Who: Tamara Crumb, Felicity Eastchurch
Where: The Fat Fryer
When: 8 July 2001, lunchtime
Felicity had had a very, very late night on Sunday evening when what she’d thought was going to be a routine physical training had turned out to be an unexpected exam on stamina, quick-thinking, and crisis mediation. As such, the trainees had been told to take the morning off and come in for some hard work around two. She’d woken up feeling hungover even though she hadn’t had anything to drink and decided that a nice basket of fish ’n’ chips would be just the thing to replace all the calories she’d burned the night before.
There were plenty of people milling about the shop by the time Fliss made it to the front of the queue to order. “Morning, Tam,” she said with a smile. “Surviving?”
“Hey, Fliss,” Tamara replied, smiling at the familiar face, “Surviving seems to be the word for it. This isn’t exactly my dream job, you know.”
Not that Tamara had any idea of what her dream job would be. Maybe if she’d stayed in school longer something would have come to her.
“Are you off today?” she began then stopped and sniffed. Smoke. Ugh Bob was probably burning something again. She supposed she’d have to brace herself for an unhappy customer soon enough.
“Not as such,” Felicity said, running a hand back through her hair. “I worked a bit over the weekend, so I decided to take the morning off and go in late.”
Sometimes she wondered if it ought to concern her how easily she lied. Her supervisors thought it was an asset, but Fliss had to wonder if it wasn’t a sign of some latent sociopathic tendencies that ought to be alarming.
“Can I just get a regular sized basket?” she asked. She wrinkled her nose at the burning smell. “And hopefully not from whatever batch—”
Before she could finish her sentence, movement caught the corner of her eye from the kitchen behind Tamara. The burst of flame came so quickly that Felicity didn’t have time to think, she reacted solely on instinct and her training. Launching herself over the counter with practiced grace and agility, she tackled her friend to the floo just before the fire could engulf her. She rolled Tamara into the hollow under the counter, blocking the other girl’s body with her own while simultaneously drawing her wand and shooting a very power version of the aguamenti spell at the flames.
It didn’t put out the fire completely, but it went a long way towards containing it.
“One reg—” Tamara stated to call back when all of a sudden she was tackled and pushed to the floor before she even realised what was going on. In fact, it wasn’t until she was under the counter and watching Felicity Eastchurch fighting the flames with a powerful blast of water.
This had to be a dream, right? There was no way the Fat Fryer was really on fire and Fliss was saving the day. That was not the girl she remembered from school.
“Godric,” she whispered. This was so surreal.