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George walked into Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour and inhaled the rich aroma of caramel syrup, freshly-baked ice cream cones and sugary biscuits.

“Ahh! Monsieur George! How nice to see you here again!” Florean himself shouted in greeting from behind the bar. “Merci, madame... Yes, yes... Merci beaucoup!” he said gratefully to one of his customers, who was just leaving him a very generous tip.

“Hello, Monsieur Fortescue!” George replied to the aged but ever lively man. “Could I hope to order one of your most delicious chocolate fudge sundaes?”

“But of course, of course!” Fortescue beamed, gesturing to a free seat behind the bar. “Anything else you would like?”

“No, thank you,” George replied and his eyes fell on a photo of Florean Fortescue, which must have been taken at least twenty years before. The man was standing at one wall of his Parlour, eyes blindfolded, and was preparing to toss a scoop of ice cream from a spoon into a sundae, which was standing about two meters away on the bar.

“Ahh, I see you do not believe?” Fortescue asked, seeing the incredulous look on the teenage boy’s face.

“Of course I don’t! No one could possibly manage to do that!” George replied remembering his failed attempt to flip a pancake. The dried remains of dough were still stuck to the kitchen ceiling in the Burrow and his ears rang whenever he remembered how loud his mother yelled at him for it.

“Monsieur, I can very well assure you that I can still do that!” Fortescue shouted, getting the attention of a few people. “I can even try it here and now!”

“All right then, sir! A Galleon that you will miss!” George challenged, digging out the only gold coin he had and laying it on the bar.

“And a Galleon and free sundae for you if I miss, Monsieur!” Fortescue exclaimed. “Make room! Make room!” the man shouted, waving his arms at the people along the bar to step back before nodding to George and going to the kitchen to get the appropriate serving spoon.

“I’m sure of a win,” George mumbled and sat back, watching the many people in the Parlour, all enjoying their own desserts, some accompanied by the oddest of pets, but his attention was soon drawn to one particular group.

A family of six, was seated at a small table. The adults and teenagers were talking while the youngsters shoveled their treats into their mouths as quickly as possible. The father called for his daughter, who was playing in the small garden behind the cafe, to come back and finish her own portion.

At that moment Fortescue reappeared, a huge chocolate sundae and an ice cream spoon in hand. A small crowd gathered around to watch the elderly man count five steps off from the end of the bar, where he placed the sundae. He scooped a large ball of ice cream from one of the trays, closed one eye and took aim... But at that moment the small girl whom the father called ran in obediently, shovel of dirt and worms in her hand (probably more bugs than dirt, George thought). Everyone, except for Fortescue, who was still aiming at the sundae, turned to stare at her.

“Mummy, look! I found bugsies!” she called proudly to her mother.

“Claire, go back right now and put that back before-“ the mother began, but was not given the chance to finish, because her daughter tripped on one of the manicured poodles lying on the floor next to a well-built woman, who reminded George slightly of Harry’s uncle Vernon.

Everyone in the Parlour held their breaths as the girl just barely regained her balance while her father rose from his seat abruptly to catch the end of the massive shovel, which was hovering precariously right behind the poodle owner’s back.

The girl’s father would have stopped the catastrophe if not for his small toddler son, who now emerged from under the table, where he had been scooping up crumbs and stuffing them eagerly into his mouth.

“Brian!” the mother shouted in hopeless warning as her husband toppled over the boy and fell forward, pushing Claire over. The shovel, knocked upwards from below by the girl’s elbow, shot the dirt and bugs into the air.

“AAAAARGH!!!” the fat lady screamed and cursed as all sorts of earthworms, beetles, grubs, ants, larvae and a particularly fat caterpillar (which had been hanging off the edge of the shovel a moment before) rained on her head, back and into her strawberry mousse. Her two well-groomed poodles started barking.

Just as the woman got up and started jumping up and down madly, Fortescue finally tossed the scoop of ice cream and it flew in a perfect arch, straight for the sundae.

The fat lady, squealing and flailing her arms, moved towards the bar, away from her bug-infested table. The poodles barked even louder...

“AAAAAAAAARRGGGHHHH!!!” the fat lady screeched even louder as the scoop of ice cream fell straight into the low neckline of her summer dress robes.

Even greater chaos, if possible, erupted in the Ice Cream Parlour. Fortescue, realizing what had happened, began apologizing profusely. The fat woman began shouting at the big family, who all defended little Claire and her father. The poodles were barking like maniacs. The baby boy bit the tail of one of them and the dog began squealing. People were either laughing at the situation or screaming as the bugs crawled around the cafe floor, attempting to hide inside shoes and bags.

The fat lady and her loud poodles left, still screaming, and the commotion lessened considerably as one of the Parlour’s employees swept the bugs back outside. George, nearly falling off his stool from laughter, pulled the sundae towards him and dug in.

“So, Monsieur Fortescue, a Galleon for me, I understand?” he asked the owner of the cafe, who was standing behind the bar, staring hopelessly at the scene before him.

“I guess so, my dear boy, I guess so...”





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Love you all,

~ Adrielne

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