The tune she hums is melancholy and wordless, but it lulls her off to sleep every night when she hears the crying in the room beside her's. She's sure that it hasn't always been wordless, though. She likes to think that the words were, or are, sweet and slow. She hopes that one day she will have a story that is worthy of being sung to such a melody.
She remembers that she heard it first three or so years ago, when she was but five years old. There were strange things happening in London around that time. She remembers only the song and a thick, suffocating smoke. Of course, everyone is past those happenings, now. The subject only comes up every once in a while with a school yard myth, or a nervous joke between acquaintances.
It's stayed with her through all of the years, ever since she heard the man in the second floor shop sing it. She tells him naively that her father was supposed to have come straight home from the barber, but he hasn't been seen in nearly two hours. A look passes over his face, but only briefly. Then he tells her that he hasn't seen a customer all day, and she believes him without thinking twice.
She wonders if anyone else heard the song all those years ago, and if maybe they might be able to tell her the words.
Someday, perhaps when she's a bit more worldly, or maybe when she hears the rumors and figures things out, she'll wonder if it was regret that passed across the barber's face. But for now, she is happy looking out her window onto foggy London streets, humming the song that she can just faintly begin to remember if she thinks hard enough.
And . . . She was beautiful . . .
She decides that she doesn't really want to know the words to the song. That would ruin it, wouldn't it?
A/N: Sweeney Todd fandom reviewers epic win. You all leave such lovely feedback. Sweeney Todd, as always, belongs to Stephen Sondheim and/or Tim Burton. The little girl (who is not Johanna, or any character previously introduced) is mine.