Jun 17 2012, 11:49 PM
One week before Christmas
It was no surprise that Briony had been the first to arrive. Although it had only been a very short trip from The Leaky Cauldron to the small Chinese restaurant nestled on a small London back-street, Briony had sprinted the entire way. Being alone in the wizarding world was bad enough, but alone on a muggle street was her idea of a nightmare. The sun was starting to set, although it was only the early evening, and she had passed many dark alcoves on her journey that could have hidden any number of baddies. A year ago she would have strolled along the street without a second thought. Her whole perception of the world had changed.
Honestly, she hadn’t even wanted to come, but her parents had spotted the note wrapped around the leg of the owl that had arrived for her. It would be good to get out of the house, they said. To spend some time with her friends rather than cooped up in her bedroom with only a Dustin Tieber cushion for company.
Briony was lost in her thoughts now, quiet while her friends chattered excitedly around the large table that had been set aside for them. Christmas was the hot topic of course, presents and days of forced interaction with almost-estranged family members. It was difficult for Briony to engage, to care about these trivial matters when her mind was swimming with big questions. She took a sip from a glass of water just filled by their very efficient waiter. “I don’t know what to get,” she mused, peering over the packed menu. “Someone decide for me,” she said finally, setting down the booklet with a sigh.
“Why does that toy cat thing keep waving its paw at me?”
Jun 18 2012, 09:04 PM
Morgan was looking forward to getting out of the house, which was unusual, considering the boy tended to avoid the outside like one would a plague ridden dog. Today, however, was a special occasion, and no, it wasn't just because Christmas was quickly approaching. It was because his friends were back and safe and sound and that was something worth celebrating.
But for posterity's sake he continued to frown and glower all the way to the restaurant, lest someone actually jump to the correct conclusion that he was wandering outside in the snow of his own free will. He shrugged out of coat the moment he was through the doors of the oriental restaurant, quickly spotting Briony all on her lonesome. WELL, that just wouldn't do.
The Hufflepuff quickly slid down the bench beside her. He was soon followed by Aaron and Dictys, which was all kinds of awkward, because didn't they see that ENTIRELY EMPTY BENCH ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TABLE? They were cramping his style. >:/
"I don't know what to get either." Morgan confided to Briony, snapping open the menu. "Maybe I'll just get dumplings?"
Jun 19 2012, 01:31 AM
Christmas was Alison's favourite time of year, the house was always filled with people drifting in and out, decorating, cooking, tidying or dropping off presents. In fact, it had almost caused the third year to skip out on this lunch, which was a serious interruption to her baking schedule and would keep her up baking far later than she would have liked. However, as soon as Nautica had mentioned the outing and Ali had realised Dictys neglected to invite her in the first place, her mind had been made up. Bearing much resemblance to her mother, the Slytherin had dusted her hands off on her frilly apron, discarded it over a kitchen stool and tugged Nauty towards the fireplace.
Ringing of the bell above the door announcing their arrival, the Slytherin marched over to the table with purpose and forcefully placed Sir Luckless in front of Dictys before finding a seat as far away from the boy as possible. It really was true when people said muggles never noticed anything, the waiters and other diners in the restaurant hardly seem to notice the tiny dragon attempting to wipe cake batter off his tail and onto the table. He'd been at her house for the beginning of break and proved to be such a good helper in the kitchen, Alison had even made him his very own purple frilly apron which he still donned proudly.
“Perhaps it's trying to claw at some kind of invisible fly, muggles are so strange,” she mused, turning to look at the cat rather than letting her eyes rest on Briony for more than a few seconds. After everything the girl had been through, she had no idea what to say and decided avoiding any meaningful conversation would be the way to go. What if she said something to upset the girl? No, the Slytherin would let the others handle the comforting while cracked open one of the fortune cookies.
'A FRESH START WILL ALWAYS PUT YOU ON YOUR WAY.'
“What a load of rubbish,” muttered the blonde, scrunching up the paper and hiding it under her plate. Scanning the menu, she nodded in agreement with Morgan. “Dumplings sound good, Morgan. We could get a few different ones and share them around.” Share with everyone except Dictys, hur hur.
Jun 19 2012, 08:15 AM
He couldn’t help but feel excited about meeting up with his friends and girlfriend. And Chinese food. Have you ever gotten Chinese take-out in Knockturn Alley?
Word of advice: Don’t.
The last time, Dictys was almost strangled by his pork lo mein, which meant he didn’t have to look at the menu to know exactly what he wanted. He opened his mouth to order just as a familiar blonde marched over, setting a green model dragon on his placemat. Dictys glared at Alison’s back, holding back spite since a very confused waitress was blinking at the puffing Sir Luckless. “It’s a hobot,” Dictys declared as if he was the authority on Muggle technology. Gawkrodger, you have taught him well in the one or two lessons he showed up in. The Slytherin quickly snatched up the toy and shoved him in a coat pocket.
Although it was quite late in the day, the place remained packed, and the magical group sat squished together in a booth and additional table. IT HAPPENED. Since Alison was Nautica’s best friend (and was probably once a close friend of his too, though it’d ended before he realized), he didn’t comment on her opening the fortune cookie before they’d even eaten. “I’ll have pork lo mein,” Dictys said. He tried to ignore the other unpleasantness that was MORGAN at the table and turned to Nautica.
He squeezed her hand under the table.
“What do you want to eat?”
Jun 20 2012, 12:13 PM
Chinese food with his friends sounded delicious. But there was always his mum commenting on how he was never home now and how he was always busy and how he had chores to do that could honestly wait and other blah blah blah sort of things. All Aaron really wanted to do was go visit his friends, but he needed to take the trash out first. Ew.
Finally Aaron was able to leave his house and dash through the fireplace to get to somewhere at least in walking distance of the restaurant. Somehow, walking from his home in Scotland to this restaurant didn't seem possible.
"Hey, sorry I'm a bit late!" Aaron added as the waiter showed him where they all were. He squeezed in even more and offered everyone a smile, purposefully not staring at Briony for too long. His mum had told him that he needed to stop thinking that she was going to break every five seconds, but how could someone not fall apart when they spent two days with death eaters, who weren't known for their hospitality. Aaron had yet to bring up the incident with her, and since he felt awkward enough when anyone cried, he wasn't going to.
"I'm getting fried rice," Aaron offered, "Maybe we could get a few big plates for the table and share them?" His family did all the time.
Jun 21 2012, 05:38 PM
(I know not everyone I PMed has posted yet, I just wanted to keep the thread moving <3)
Still somewhat distracted by the small cat incessantly waving its paw at her, Briony’s mind wandered away from the crowded table while her friends chattered. After having spent much of the beginning of the holidays alone, having so many people around her was quite overwhelming, and she had to stop herself from looking as if she wished she was at home, eating all of December’s chocolates from her advent calendar in one sitting.
Briony quickly latched onto Morgan’s idea of dumplings, “Yes. Dumplings,” she decided, putting down the menu, glad that a decision had been made for her. Weeks ago she would have made a great show of disregarding the advice of everyone around her and ordering the most obscure thing on the menu. She would probably turn out not to like it, but that was the price you paid for bravery.
She smiled at Aaron when he appeared a little late, and tried to make room for him to sit down near her, but she was already squished from both sides, Morgan’s bony elbows digging uncomfortably into her arm if she didn’t sit up properly. “Ooh!” she said when she saw Alison break open a fortune cookie, “What did it say Alison?” she hadn’t missed the girl trying to hide it. Which probably meant it was something utterly scandalous.
“Dict can I feed some of these prawn crackers to Sir Luckless?” she didn’t like the idea of the poor dragon being cooped up in Dictys’ pocket all by himself. “I’ll be careful I swear,” she didn’t want the waitress getting suspicious again after all.
Jun 21 2012, 08:04 PM
If one mentioned going to a place that served food, Herbert wouldn't hesitate to say 'Yes'. Okay. He wasn't that chubby of a child anymore but he was sure a lover of all sorts of foods. Although he had been stuffed full with the delicious meals from his mother, he couldn't turn away the offer to hang out with his friends over break. The last few weeks had been weird for them all and he was about ready to be a naughty child and sneak out if he wasn't able to go. But things seemed well so he was able to slip out to the Chinese restaurant not too far from the Leaky Cauldron.
"Hey guys." He greeted cheerfully managing to squeeze in with the rest. Once they were all here, it would be a tight fit. But so worth it. His hands quickly grabbed up a menu and he began looking through every little thing on it. "I think I want everything." He said with a shake of his head. IT ALL LOOKED SO GOOD.
"Fried rice sounds amazing... and dumplings and this thing here..." And he shut himself up before he began listing off every little thing there. "Oooh can I feed it one too?" Herbert thought about it for a moment. "Maybe not for me..." If anyone would raise suspicion, it would be his clumsiness.
Jun 25 2012, 06:50 AM
Nautica had never been to a Chinese restaurant. She'd had Chinese food, because her mum collected recipes from the places she travelled and was the main chef when home, but Muggle restaurants in general weren't places she frequented. Naturally, she was excited. And from there she had also assumed that Alison was also invited, because she forgot about the Dictys disagreement. It was the kind of thing one forgot after one seemingly endless baking session of a sleepover. (Alison baked; Nautica watched.)
So yep, this was all the natural progression of events, really.
"Oh, we actually have one of those in Brighton," the girl said with a nod in reference to the waving cat. "It doesn't wave, though. It just sits there in one of the glass cabinets and stares at us." The glass cabinets held a collection of souvenirs from all over the world. It also held a lot of dust, which was removed once in a while with a few Scouring charms.
But enough about the unimportant. Nautica was hungry and everything on the menu looked too darn appealing. "I have no clue," she replied with a sigh, squeezing his hand back. "Maybe the beef fried rice? And is Chinese tea good tea?"
Nautica was about ask about the fortune cookie Ali got too, but then realised something. "Ugh, I think I forgot to bring Muggle money," she groaned. Loudly.
Jul 2 2012, 05:55 PM
Christmas break was ruined. Vanity normally loved Christmas and everything the holiday had to offer, it could do no wrong for the Slytherin. It forced people to buy presents for her, and most importantly the Devons household had a dinner where every important person in her life had to show up. However, this year the dinner was canceled ‘in light of the recent death eater attacks’; apparently people wanted to spend time with their families.
It was everything she had always wanted, more attention from her mother! Or so she thought. Sadly, that was not the case. Since there was no guests that were coming for dinner, there would be no fancy dinner and instead her mother was going to work at some protest at the Ministry, rioting over the lack of safety at Hogwarts. It was stupid and Vanity couldn’t help but to be in a bit of a tiff as she marched herself from Diagon Alley to some part of muggle London, looking for her friends.
Sure, the death of the teachers and missing students had been scary and getting locked up in the common room wasn’t exactly great, but it wasn’t as if Hogwarts was unsafe. It was just stupid students doing stupid things, breaking stupid rules and going to stupid places at a stupid time in the night just to end up getting their stupid selfs kidnapped. It was just a bunch of stupid actions that lead to a unfortunate result. It wasn’t like anybody had been really hurt.
If it had been that bad, Briony wouldn’t have been there in the restaurant with everybody else talking about dumplings. Huffing, the small red head took a spot near the edge of one of the seats, trying to find a medium of sitting and not touching anyone else before she looked up and tried to be pleasant. Or at least just tried not to glare.
“I’ve never had Chinese food before. I guess I’ll just get whatever you guys are. Muggle money? They have their own money? Can’t we just give them our money and tell them to exchange it at one of their banks?”
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