I sat down slowly, taking in my surroundings. The small bistro was nearly empty, save for myself and an elderly couple seated in the corner. The décor was unpleasant and as I looked around the yellow walls made me want to close my eyes and never open them again. You would think as it was a wizarding restaurant, the owners would have used some magic to make it look a little more appealing.

Once seated, I took out my notebook and began to jot down a brief description of the small little bistro on Tavistock Street. I then closed my notebook and skimmed through the contents of the menu, frowning slightly at the choice of food.

“What do you want to eat?” A tall and lean male waiter stood by my table with an apron full of breadsticks. He chucked a few on my table and then clicked his tongue impatiently. His shoulders were slumped and he leant his weight on one foot, slouching to the right.

“I’ll have the Chicken Parmesan and then I think I’ll have some Alfredo and I’ll finish with a slice of the red velvet cake thank you.” The waiter looked at my small frame cynically and then scribbled down my requests.

“What do you want to drink?”

I perused the menu again. “I’ll take a decaf cappuccino.” He nodded and moved off towards the kitchen. I picked up my pen and wrote down my thoughts on the service.



Questions how hygienic breadsticks being held in trousers is.

The irritating waiter returned with my cup of decaf cappuccino and he carelessly set it down on the table, sending specks of creamy coloured liquid flying.

“Your food is coming,” he muttered before leaving me alone with my coffee stained tablecloth. I eyed the large cup wearily before peering inside. I was met with a mess of yellowish froth and almost white coffee.

The beverages; made by monkeys.

I poked the breadsticks with a fork and heard a discouraging clink.


My entrée, the Chicken Parmesan arrived and it looked edible I suppose. I gingerly spooned a piece of chicken, some spaghetti and marinara sauce into my mouth and chewed. I shuddered and very discreetly spat the mouthful of food out into a napkin. The chicken was undercooked and the spaghetti was crunchy; it tasted terrible. Pushing the plate of food –if you could call it that- away, I signalled the waiter.

“Finished already?” he asked sarcastically. I resisted the urge to roll my eyes.

“I can’t eat it,” I replied. He arched his eyebrow.


“It’s inedible, so I won’t be ordering anything else thank you.” I replied, grabbing my notebook and purse and getting up to leave. I took out a few galleons which my boss had grudgingly given me this morning to cover the meal and dropped them down on the table before walking to the door and leaving the stunned waiter behind.

“What do you mean inedible?!” he asked loudly, capturing the attention of the elderly couple. I whirled around and faced him.

“Never have I come across such awful food in all my days of- erm eating…” I trailed off awkwardly and then mentally face-palmed. That sounded so much cooler in my head.

“What exactly was wrong with the meal?” demanded the angry waiter who was twice my height and size. I drew myself up to my full height –reaching a measly 5”6- and narrowed my eyes in an attempt to look menacing.

“The chicken was undercooked; which by the way is extremely dangerous, the marinara sauce was like water and the spaghetti was crunchy!” I retorted. Mr Waiter Man scowled and stuck his finger up at me.

“Well that was just plain rude,” I commented. The elderly couple appeared enthralled with the scene we were making.

“No you are plain rude!” he shouted back.

“Lance, what’s going on out there?” A male voice asked.

“We appear to have a very dissatisfied customer here Joey,” Lance replied. He moved slightly and I could see a massive beast of a man walking towards us. Damn he’s bigger than Lance, much bigger. I took a few cautionary steps back.

“Now what seems to be the problem here Lady?” Mr Big Man Joey asked menacingly. I gulped and took a shaky breath. I am going to be beaten up by two Yeti men who are going to hide my broken body in the walk in freezer. I’ll be forced to spend the rest of eternity resting in pieces between the chicken and the tomatoes.

 “Your erm food is umm unpleasant?” He narrowed his eyes. I am going to die.

“What do you mean, unpleasant?” He took a step towards me.

“There was err bad chicken and stuff.” I muttered weakly. “Listen I best be leaving-” I made to turn around but Joey caught my wrist.

“Oh no you don’t, not until you take that back!” My eyes widened. Okay Plan B.

“Stupefy!” I yelled, whipping out my wand and pointing it at Joey. He didn’t have time to react before he fell unconscious to the floor with a thud.

“You little-” Lance shouted, pulling his own wand out. “Flippendo!” I dodged the jinx and it shattered the window behind us.

“Petrificus Totalus!” The spell hit Lance square in the chest and he too fell to the floor with a dull thud. I took a deep breath and calmed myself. I better be paid extra for this.

I grabbed my purse and climbed through the broken window, carefully avoiding the shattered glass. I turned the corner into an alley and apparated to my flat in a hurry.

“Hey Siren,” I called as I unlocked the front door. “I’m home.” I walked into the flat I shared with my two friends. It was small and a little bare and there were a few other species sharing it with us but it was alright really. Siren and I shared a room and Fred had his own (because his parents were rich, paid half the rent and he was a boy). The living room which wasn’t really a room but more of an area was kitted out with an armchair and a second-hand sofa which we found in a skip. There were rugs and throws everywhere to disguise the stains in the aforementioned sofa and to cover up the ugly lime green carpet. A crumbling fireplace took up almost a whole wall and it liked to spread dust everywhere. The kitchen was simple and wooden and sometimes the stove liked to stop working or the pipe under the sink would crack and flood.  It was a bit of a dump really. Not even magic could save this place.

My room-mate and long-time best friend was sat on the couch, surrounded by tissues and what looked like ice-cream.


Siren looked up and I cringed at her appearance. She had thick trails of black mascara running down her face and mingling with her tears. Her long blonde hair was knotted and it looked as if she had been repeatedly running her hands through it. I left my bag by the door and awkwardly cleared a space on the sofa and sat down.

“So uh it didn’t work out with Kevin?” Siren shook her head miserably and then dissolved into fresh sobs.

“I –I –I thought he was th- the o- one,” she sobbed, burying her face in my shoulder. “And –and then he dumped me for Claris – Clarissa Maynard, his thirty-five year old b- boss!” I stroked her hair as consolingly as possible and bit my lip anxiously. I am the worst person when it comes to things like this. Our other room-mate Fred has the best shoulder to cry because he’s always so sympathetic. And he’s conveniently not home right now.

“Well if it makes you feel any better, I was almost brutally murdered by some terrible Italian cooks.”

Siren looked up. “Why would that make me feel better?!” And then she resumed bawling uncontrollably into my shoulder.

“Guess not…” I muttered helplessly. And then I heard the most welcome sound ever.

 A key in the lock.

“Look!” I jumped up, maybe a little too enthusiastically, and bounded to the door. “Fred’s home!” Siren’s wails were so loud that I doubt she had heard me. I pulled the door open and Fred stumbled through.

“Well no one has ever been this happy to see me,” he joked, straightening up.

“I’m going to order some Chinese food whilst you go play tissue,” I said pointing over my shoulder to Siren. Fred’s smile immediately twisted into a grim line and he sighed.

“On it.”

I hurried through the open door and kicked it closed almost severing our grumpy ginger tom cat, Bernie, in half.

“Whoops sorry Bernie!” I called as I jogged along the corridor to the stairs. I would apparate but we live in a muggle block of flats and apparating down to the lobby could get me seen. Plus the graffiti-ed walls, broken concrete stairs and a strong smell of piss are so enchanting this time of night.

I walked down the seven flights of stairs and each time I got to a landing, I stared longingly at the ‘out of use’ lift. A good deal of stairs later, I stumbled into the lobby and practically crawled to the public phone.

I say lobby but it was basically a little room with a large desk, four chairs spread out around little tables and a doorman who never spoke.

The landlord, Mr Tipplemore, sat at his desk against the back wall of the lobby. He was a squat little man with a handlebar moustache, carefully combed into place and no hair on his head. He walked around in cowboy boots because he was an avid fan of the Wild West. And he hated most of his tenants. He didn’t need to sit there but he preferred to keep an eye on everyone instead of hire someone to do it for him.

His beady little eyes followed me over to the phone and I jumped when he started talking.

“You use that phone an awful lot,” he said accusingly. I picked up the phone and nodded.

“I do.”

“I ought to start charging you to make calls,” he said, stroking his moustache tenderly.

“You charge enough on rent already,” I muttered under my breath.

“What was that missy?” Tipplemore barked.

“I said and we are very thankful that you don’t,” I replied in a falsely sweet voice. He continued to stare for a minute as if daring me to step out of line and then he looked away and I dialled the Chinese takeaway place as quickly as possible.
“So if Oliver Wood wasn’t so old would you sleep with him?” Fred asked, munching on Chicken Chow Mein. I tapped my chopsticks against the plastic carton of noodles thoughtfully.

“Well he is fit but he’d probably start discussing broomstick makers halfway through.” Siren snorted into her glass of wine and Fred started giggling.

“Too true,” he replied and we knocked our glasses together.

“Would you?” Siren asked Fred.

“Well, he’s a man,” Fred pointed out.

“Amen to that brother!” I shouted and we high-fived, nearly knocking the bottle of red wine onto the carpet. “Whoops,” I giggled. Siren took my glass from me and downed it herself.

“No more for you!” she slurred, wagging her finger at me.

“Sorry mother,” I mumbled. Fred suddenly jumped up and switched the Wizarding Wireless on which was sitting next to the sink. I couldn’t remember why or how it had gotten there.

“And it’s Disco Night tonight!” The radio DJ announced cheerfully.


Track This Story:    Feed


Get access to every new feature the moment it comes out.

Register Today!