A Magical Roleplaying Experience 

 #18227  by Harriet Doran
Location: Merlin's Nightclub • Date: Summer 1925

Her orders had been clear; no matter what, make sure the alcohol lasts the night. Short of diluting the precious concoction with water, Harriet had instructed her bartenders to do whatever it took. The solution was only temporary. For those who had expressed their skepticism, the manager had promised that their supply would be replenished before a single New Yorker with a dry tongue had time to notice that their reserves had run dry.

When the musicians had played their last note Harriet had finally left the office where she had locked herself all night. Carrying a small bag containing a few of her late husband's ordinary outfits, Harriet made her way backstage. Having made sure that the smallest dressing room had remained empty, Harriet dropped her bag on the counter and waited for her protégée to join her.
 #18245  by Daphne Koenig
Daph dismissed the last of her hands, sending them scurrying out onto the stage in the opposite direction to clean up after the last of the performers. It was time to meet Harriet and as nervous as she was about what they were about to do, Daphne knew her boss would never steer her wrong. Marching with a purpose from her spot near the stage to the empty dressing room she'd fought all night to keep clear Daphne took a sharp, steadying breath before entering the room. For Merlin's, she reminded herself. For Harriet. Because the wells could not dry up at the nightclub - that would mean disaster. And if these were the lengths they had to go to keep the cups runnething over, then so be it.

Harriet was already inside, bags of ordinary clothes waiting. "Ready?" She asked, stepping into the room and closing the door silently behind her. The fewer people that knew about this the better.
 #18742  by Harriet Doran
She welcomed Daphne with a small nod. The younger woman's loyalty continued to amaze her, but Harriet could not yet express her gratitude. Perhaps if they were successful then she would consider having a celebratory drink with Daphne.

"Not quite." She opened the bag she had been carrying. "Fashion spells are not my strong suit. For what we are about to do I would rather wear these." She took out a pair of pants for herself and offered one to the stage manager.
 #18804  by Daphne Koenig
Taking the pants from Harriet, Daph scrunched up her nose. Pants. She wasn't happy about the choice, but she also wouldn't complain. "If you insist" She hadn't much to offer in return. Harriet said she was bad at fashion magic but Daphne could guarantee she was worse. Her magical education hadn't been terribly extensive - and it certainly hadn't included anything like fabric altering. Besides, Harriet had the plan, Daph was just along for the ride. "What's the plan, boss?" She inquired, pulling on the offered pants quickly and cinching their waist to keep them falling off.
 #18967  by Harriet Doran
Feminine fashion was not as cumbersome as it once had been, but it still was not as convenient as masculine fashion. Not to mention that two women outside at this time of night would likely draw unnecessary attention.

With quick swift movements, Harriet put on her late husband's clothes. Her mind abuzz with the plan she was about to explain, she did not even notice his smell lingering in the fabric. "I have no doubt that we will easily get in." Harriet knew a spell or two that would take care of that. "However, I know the owner lives upstairs which means complete silence." She warned the younger woman. "We will also have to keep an eye out for ordinary traps." She offered Daphne a hat to complete her outfit and looked at her expecting a sign that she understood the few instructions she had been offered.
 #19259  by Daphne Koenig
Daphne took the hat with a curt nod. "Silence. Got it." She promised. "I'll keep my eyes peeled for any of their traps." But, to be hones, Daph wasn't all that worried. Ordinaries weren't exactly known for their craftiness with traps. "Are we ready, then?" She asked as she tugged the cap onto her head to complete her disguise. "Anything else I need to know?" If they were caught, it wouldn't be good. But if they didn't go, the cellars at Merlin's would go dry. They were in a pickle either way. At least this plan had a chance for total success. And a good chance, with her and Harriet teaming up for its implementation.
 #19282  by Harriet Doran
With a cap on her own head and a rather serious expression, she put a hand on her protegée shoulder. There were many things she could have said, among those how grateful she was to have Daphne's trust, but Harriet had never been of a sentimental nature and the circumstance called for more pressing advice. "If something happens, do not talk." It seemed a lot of the advice she gave pertained to silence.

Harriet threw the empty clothing bag under a chair and headed towards the door leading to the alley. A dressing room with a door to the alley had caused a few problems with stars who had flown the club minutes before they were due to perform, but with the current circumstance, it was the most convenient escape the could ask for.

The empty alley, bathed in the disgusting smell of rot and vomit. Harriet extended her hand towards Daphne. The Manager's magical training was limited, but when she had started dealing with the morally ambiguous, she had quickly understood that apparition was one trick she could not pass. "You're ready." She told Daphne rather than to ask how she felt.
 #19363  by Daphne Koenig
"Never" Daph frowned at the idea of speaking, of throwing Harriet under the bus. Never. That would never be an option. Not Harriet.

Following her boss into the disgusting alley, she tried to put on a brave face. Apparatting was never her favorite. It made her feel strange, but it was necessary. She took Harriet's hand and squeezed tight. "Ready." Even if she wasn't really, she was going to have to be. It was time. "Let's do this."
 #19535  by Harriet Doran
An invisible force tugged at her navel and the world around them disappeared. A smell as disgusting as the one they had left repleted the ordinary alley. Harriet gave Daphne a brief once-over before she started inspecting her surroundings. Broken bottles varnished the ground, puddles of rancid liquid forced her to make a few detours. "Disgusting," she muttered as if the alley behind the Merlin's had been in superior shape.

At the far end of the alley was a door with a large lock. Certain that the alley was empty, Harriet took out her wand and pointed it at the lock. Using the spell her husband had lovingly called, the Thief's Friend charm, Harriet murmured the necessary "Alohomora" and waited for the lock to turn.
 #20016  by Daphne Koenig
Daph scrunched up her nose in distaste. Disgusting was an understatement. Still, she ignored the smell threatening to turn her stomach and the tell tale sound of rats feet as they scampered away and followed Harriet deeper into the shadows. She kept watch, ensuring no one would come wandering down the alley and see the two witches committing some light breaking and entering. Getting through the locked door would be quick enough, ordinaries hardly ever protected themselves from magical criminals. She heard Harriet mutter the spell, and kept her ears open for any noise towards where the alley met the street. So far so good.

A quick in and out. That's all this would be.
 #20076  by Harriet Doran
The lock clicked without an itch, leaving the door handle loose and ready to open. Harriet gave her partner one last look before she opened the door of the establishment. As dark as it was silent, the small ordinary tavern was finally at their disposal.

Little rocks and dried mud, dirtied the wooden floor she observed as the floor felt uneven under her boots. The blinds had been pulled down for the night; a modest string of light from the lamppost that stood outside colored the room. Harriet could already see the glitter of liquor bottles standing behind the bar.

"Lumos," her wand started emanating light. Focused on her objective, Harriet paid no mind to her feet thus stepping right on a trip wire. The trap was rather simple, a large log had been set on the ceiling and would come down swinging towards them in the fraction of a second.
 #20316  by Daphne Koenig
Daphne nodded and followed Harriet into the dim tavern. It was hardly less disgusting than the alley they'd left. The floors were dirty, and the air smelled faintly of vomit and stale liquor. It was a far cry form Merlin's, and Daph could hardly believe the ordinaries had left the place like this to go home. If she or any of Merlin's employees dared leave the nightclub in this state after closing Harriet would have their hides.

So distracted by the state of the tavern, Daph heard more than saw the trap being set off. The large log was far from silent as it dislodged from its place on the ceiling to swing down aiming directly for Harriet. Not sparing a second to think, Daph whipped her wand up and shouted "Arresto Momentum" a little louder than she had intended. The log stopped a few inches short of its target, and Daphne breathed a heavy sigh of relief. It seemed that while ordinaries didn't protect against magical intruders, they didn't leave their possessions entirely unprotected.

"Are you okay?" She choked out, forcing her voice back down to a whisper. She was shaking, the log was large enough to do some serious damage to whomever set it off.
 #20440  by Harriet Doran
Braced and ready to feel the log hit her chest, Harriet could barely let out a sigh of relief when she realized she had been saved by her quick thinking partner. Scared that they had been too loud she remained still and paid attention to every single sound surrounding her. After a few seconds, she turned towards Daphne. "Fine," she offered as her only reassurance before she quickly, yet carefully made her way towards the room she suspected to be their reserve. The log had scared her and she had not been blind to the young woman's shaking hands, but there was no time for comfort, risk like these had been expected, surely Daphne had known that.

Like a woman on a mission, she took out her magically extended bag and started taking bottles as soon as she reached the reserve's shelves. "Quickly," she snapped feeling that Daphne was being far too careful.
 #20768  by Daphne Koenig
Still trying to catch her breath and steel her nerves, Daphne would not be left behind. Carefully picking her way after Harriet - trying to step where her boss stepped, and avoid triggering any more devices meant to maim or kill them. She had been loud, someone could have heard her shout. Which meant that someone could be on their way right now to check that everything was in order. If that happened, there would be trouble. And they couldn't have any trouble - not when they were committing several crimes to ensure the survival of their business.

Approaching the shelves and Harriet, Daph tried to quicken her pace to little avail. She feared another log descending from some shadowy hiding spot and taking them out. With shaky hands, she set a bottle in Harriet's bag and tried to muffle the clanking of glass on glass as the liquor containers settled against each other.

"Sorry." She muttered, grabbing another. "I'm trying, but my hands won't steady." Nervously, she checked over her shoulder to the door. So far no bar keep, or roaming police officer had walked up to see what the commotion had been. But it was better not to take any chances.
 #20915  by Harriet Doran
"I do not care for apologies," not in general and certainly not in circumstances where every mistake pushed them closer to the abyss. The manager's impatience was made evident by her tone and her refusal to even offer a glimpse of reassurance.

Only once the shelves were empty did she finally take the time to put a silencing charm on the bag. Moments like these would likely occur again. If Daphne wanted to amount to anything she would need to either learn to steady her hands or thicken her nerves.

Using her chin, she pointed towards the door. Now that their bag was full they needed to escape without getting caught.