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Cryptic Conjuring -> Just A Normal Day
It is June 2076. The sun is sticking around and with it the early rises and late sunsets. This month has highs of 15°C and lows of 7°C. Rain becomes rarer while one or two thunderstorms will occur. High pollen count and high humidity start to become issues.

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With the muggleborns in charge, nothing has really changed since the Battle of Hogwarts. The sides have been switched with those bearing old family names being discriminated against. Once again the revolution is upon us. What side will go to the darkest places to get what they want? Will it be yours?

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 Just A Normal Day
Alannah Cassidy
 Posted: Apr 20 2017, 07:51 PM
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It was a slow time in the Leaky Cauldron. It wasn’t Alannah’s favorite part of the job, but at least she could do the cleaning without too many people underfoot. And the cleaning was easy. All she had to do was flick her wand a few times and tables, chairs, and the floor were almost like new again.

She waved cheerfully as the last person who had come in for lunch left. She collected the payment he’d left and put it in the till. It would be quiet for a couple of hours now, outside of people who had needed to use the floo. The dinner rush wouldn’t start until she had finished the cleaning. She’d gotten the timing down pat by now.

Granted, when she’d first started working at the Cauldron, she hadn’t really seen herself doing it for long. But now that she’d been there for a few years, she had learned to enjoy the work. She loved conversing with the regulars and meeting new people. She had made herself a nice little savings as well. Not enough for an entire university education, but she could afford a few classes now and then. She just hadn’t done anything about that yet. She had run into the problem of not having any idea what she wanted to do. Her desires had changed.

Before she’d realized it, she had finished cleaning the dining room and had even had a broom sweep up the fireplace entry. She smiled, even as she cast a quick spell to freshen herself up.

Someone entered the pub. Her smile grew. “Welcome to the Leaky Cauldron. Do you know what you want or do you need a menu and a few minutes?” No one could say she wasn’t attentive to her customers.

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Keenan Marsden
 Posted: May 18 2017, 09:05 AM
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It wasn't often that Keenan took a day off from the pub. Not that his staff weren't up to running the place. Oh no, his staff were the best he could find but still, he didn't like leaving his pub - his ultimate project - to be run by others.

Even though he hated his parents since early childhood Keenan had never hated the pub. He hated what his folks had done to it, how they'd made it such a horrible place for himself and his sister. But hate the pub itself? Never. It had potential. It could have been a bright place filled with happiness and Keenan had always known that. He'd always dreamed of one day transforming it into his vision of what a magical pub should be. Slowly but surely he was getting there.

On that particular day he did take time off however. His staff and few local friends ganging up on him, speaking of their worry. Their words had gotten through and when Keenan had finally realised just how long he'd worked without a break he'd been shocked. He'd always been a man who could find his own balance between work and leisure, he'd never had a problem before. Maybe he did need a break.

Diagon Alley was the only place he could think of going and leaving a contented Storm behind on the rug in front of the fire he disapparated. The street as always bustled and Keenan smiled to see so many hurry along their way. He even did a bit of shopping himself then silently promised he'd pop in on Kynthia after he'd had some lunch. There was only one place the man would eat in the Alley's and that was The Leaky Cauldron. After a glance at the watch on his wrist he hurried on his way and only hoped he hadn't completely missed lunch servings as he'd feared.

Upon entering the long standing establishment he first took in a deep breath, filling his lungs with the smells of the pub. Similar yet different too to the one he called home. The Cauldron was older and it told but in a good way, a comforting way.

Hearing the voice he smiled at the suggestion of one in the tone then found the speaker. "Yeah... hi... sorry." he frowned, "I'm not too late for food?" Lifting his wrist he peered at his watch, even tap it a couple of time before holding it to his ear. "A menu, yes please that would be great." He finally formed a proper answer as he walked to the bar shrugging his leather jacket off as he went while holding his few bags in one hand. Beneath the leather he wore a sky blue shirt, a tight fit to his toned body and paired with his inky black jeans and boots. He looked like he was ready for a date, which of course he wasnt, and very glad of that fact he was too.

Perching on a barstool he smiled at the woman again. "Umm... and a pint of stout please, if you have it." Branded a heavy type of beer Keenan felt there was a lightness to it and the smell... roasted malt, roasted barley... it pleased his nostrils as well as his tastebuds.

Alannah Cassidy

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Alannah Cassidy
 Posted: May 31 2017, 04:26 PM
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“Nothing to apologize for,” Alannah told the customer. He looked very familiar, but she couldn’t quite put her finger on it. She’d remember soon enough though. For now, it was more important to interact with him. “Of course you aren’t too late for food,” she laughed. “In fact, you’re here at the best time. We still have some things simmering from lunch, like our stews. We also have things ready to be cooked in advance of the dinner rush, such as the shepherd’s pie. You’re actually here at the perfect time. No matter what you order, you’re sure to get it fresh.” She made sure to smile in a friendly manner as she handed him a menu.

She gave him another smile. “Just let me know when you’re ready,” she told him. Keenan! That was it! He owned the Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade. She knew he had looked familiar. She’d actually seen him not that long ago, though she hadn’t spoken to him.

“A pint of stout coming up,” she answered, grinning. She turned to grab a clean mug and filled it from the tap. She brought it over to him and set it in front of him. “Know what you want to eat yet or do you need a few minutes more?”

Keenan Marsden

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Keenan Marsden
 Posted: Jun 15 2017, 08:27 AM
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The mention of stew had Keenan's eyes alight as they widened. It had been so long since he'd had a stew not made by his own hand and, if memory was serving him correctly The Cauldron was second only to his own. "Thank you." he spoke politely when handed the menu which he looked over though his mind was mostly made up. Fresh, piping hot stew was on his mind and no other dish had a chance of coming close to pushing it out.

When the mug was sat before him showing off it's perfect white top Keenan's mouth watered. He didn't drink much himself preferring not to sip away his profits but today was supposed to be a treat. He was told he deserved one. A slow sip from of the pint had him sighing with happiness before he answered the woman. "Irish stew please. It feels like a sticking to your ribs food kind of day."

Smiling happily he suddenly remembered the fall back of a pint's foam and slowly ran his tongue along his top lip to ensure it was all gone. A pint moustache was a fine thing but cleaning it off quickly was preferable to leaving it there and giving it the chance to stain.

"Was the lunch rush busy then?" He asked out of genuine curiosity. Keenan liked to know how other pub's were fairing. Sometimes there were tells of a bad time coming, or if he was really lucky - an amazing one.

Alannah Cassidy

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Alannah Cassidy
 Posted: Jun 15 2017, 02:34 PM
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“You’re welcome,” Alannah smiled. It was always awesome when she had a customer who had manners and at least acted like they appreciated what she did for them. Not that she had many that didn’t, but it was enough to make her appreciate the good ones even more.

She couldn’t help but grin when he seemed so happy over his pint. It seemed that he didn’t indulge much in his own pub. She could understand though. While working, she was entitle to a meal, any meal, during a break, but she never chose anything expensive.

She nodded happily as she made a mental note of his order. “Would you like some fresh bread with that stew? Just baked this morning.” She wasn’t trying to force anything, but she loved the fresh bread when she did have stew. There was just something about dunking the bread that made her happy.

She went into the kitchen as dished him up a large bowl of stew and put a few chunks of bread on a plate. She was careful as she brought them out to him and set them down. She returned to the counter to grab some silverware and put that down too. She was just in time to watch him use his tongue to wipe the pint mustache off his face and gave a little giggle.

“Lunch is always busy here,” she replied to his question. “Most of the crowd are other shop workers and owners from around the alley. Sometimes we have others coming in or out that stop for a bite to eat. Breakfast is usually only for the ones who have rented a room upstairs, unless it’s time for kids to get ready for school. Dinners are usually not crowded,” she shrugged. “How’s business over in Hogsmeade?”

Keenan Marsden

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Keenan Marsden
 Posted: Jun 19 2017, 03:28 PM
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"Oh Merlin yes." He hadn't even thought of bread and what was a stew without bread to go with it? "Thanks." For reminding him as well as offering. Many would have just taken his order as it was and not suggested the stews natural partner. Of course he would enjoy the stew without the bread but then he'd be left wondering - just how good would the remaining gravy taste sopped up? That was a question no man should leave unanswered and he was happy he wouldn't have to.

Hearing the giggle Keenan smiled and asked, "Did I get it all?" It wouldn't do for him to be walking around with the foamy moustache. Especially given the mess he was probably about to make of himself with the stew. A neat freak himself he always tried to eat tidily but with some foods it was nigh on impossible. Stew was one of them - it dripped.

Keenan nodded as she told him about business in The Cauldron. It was what he'd expected to hear which, in a way was a good as great news and a whole lot better than bad. The pub trade in the muggle world had taken hits Keenan knew, he was glad to find the magical community were not mirroring it.

"Pretty great actually." He answered as his stew cooled. "I've got a good solid base of regulars. I cater to the students though I'm thinking of putting aside one night for them... cut price drinks, a live band... that kind of thing. Weekends are brilliant until the sun goes down."

It was a travesty Keenan felt to have an empty pub on a Friday or Saturday night. "I think I'm going to have to up my game to get bums in seats through all the hours. Hogsmeade doesn't have to be a sleepy wee village, it can have lively weekends and quiet weeks. Best of both worlds."

Finally it was time for him to savour the delightful food before him. Taking a mouthful he chewed thoughtfully before swallowing. "Mmmm, that's grand." He smiled again. "Can't wait until I'm at the dipping bread into gravy stage." He looked at the woman again. "Did you make this?" he queried.

Alannah Cassidy

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Alannah Cassidy
 Posted: Jun 19 2017, 05:01 PM
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Alannah laughed at Keenan’s joyful exclamation when she offered the bread. “You’re welcome,” she replied, as if it was nothing. It really wasn’t. It was second nature to offer the bread when someone ordered soup or stew. It came at no extra charge. She just didn’t like to waste the bread, which was why she always offered it. People who didn’t eat it made no sense to her. She was sure there was no better homemade bread anywhere.

Smiling, she just had to shake her head when Keenan asked if he got all of the ale mustache off his face. “Not quite.” She gave him another napkin and gestured to a spot on her own face. “I’m guessing it’s good?” she asked. She wasn’t much of a drinker, since she couldn’t while working and honestly had no time outside of work for it. During the times she wasn’t working, she liked visiting her family and doing some shopping.

“I wish that your plans had come to fruition while I was in school. I would have loved all that. Had she really been out of school for three, almost four, years? Time did fly. She’d started working at the Leaky Cauldron because she hadn’t been sure what she wanted to do. She didn’t want to waste time going to Uni when she didn’t know, but now she loved her job. She knew some people might look down on her, but if one loved their job, they never worked a day in their lives.

“Do something just for the locals,” she suggested. “Dinner specials, music, whatever. Make it a nice casual date spot. After all, the only real competition you have for dates is that horrendous tea shop. I’m pretty sure a lot of guys would prefer your place.” She didn’t see her suggestions s helping the competition. The two pubs really weren’t competition at all. And if they could help each other out, why not?

“Glad you like it,” she smiled. Then he asked his question. “The stew I made. The bread, not so much. The owner’s wife makes that. I’m afraid I haven’t quite gotten the patience down for homemade bread yet, no matter how much I like eating the end product.” All the waiting and rising and all of that. There were some things even magic couldn’t improve.

Keenan Marsden

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Keenan Marsden
 Posted: Jun 20 2017, 12:57 PM
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Keenan took the napkin and wiped all round his mouth just to be sure he got the stray foam. "Yes, very." He answered her. "Not that I'm any expert on beers... a bad thing for a pub landlord to say I suppose." He laughed. "I drink less than most people expect."

Even when he'd been travelling it was never about the alcohol. Oh he'd taste local tipples and the ones he deemed good were now stocked in his pub. He'd just always been more into the sight-seeing while his friends toured drinking establishments.

"Same." He smiled. "If only my parents hadn't relied so much on their regulars."

And boozing their lives away he added to himself.

Maybe with a more varied client base his parents would have been different. They wouldn't have spent all their time just with the down and outs who frequented the pub day after day. There was no point worrying about maybe's though, nothing would change the past for him.

"Good idea. I can't rely only on the regulars but I can't forget them either." He thought it over while eating some more of his stew. "I'll list some options and see what they think of them." His regulars were really good at giving him feedback... even if he didn't ask for it.

"Next time I'm in I'll give you a book with some cheat spells in it." Keenan offered. "If it wasn't for the cheats I would have time to make it myself either." Of course he did put making homemade Butterbeer before anything else. For the kids sake mostly but also because it was a good drink for warming anyone up... or even cooling them down in the summer.

Alannah Cassidy

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Alannah Cassidy
 Posted: Jun 21 2017, 05:25 PM
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“No shame in that,” Alannah responded. She worked in a pub as well and never really drank more than a sip of something just to try it. “I don’t really rink myself. It’s quite awkward when I’m asked for recommendations. I try to play it off and ask what types of drinks they like and then I recommend something that has been ordered a lot.” It was the best she could do.

“Well, regulars are important,” she commented. “Most places couldn’t survive without them. The trick is balancing the regulars and new customers.” It was often hard for her not to cater more to new people, or those who only stopped by once in a while, but she’d gotten a lot better about it.

She smiled as he ate more of the stew. He must have liked it since he was eating during their conversation. “You can’t go wrong with a survey,” she agreed. As she’d said before, the regulars were just as important as the other customers.

“But are those cheat spells as good as not cheating?” she asked. She knew she’d never use any cheating spells if the quality went down. And the owner’s wife was all about quality of her bread. “I’d appreciate it either way,” she smiled. She seemed to be smiling a lot. She was glad he came in during a down time so they could talk. She did miss having actual conversations when at work.

“Any chance you’d like to see a dessert menu?” she asked. She wasn’t trying to hurry him along. She just didn’t want him to have to wait if he did.


Keenan Marsden

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