Night Owls By Daylight
Concepts contributed by: Brishea & Jade
But first, said the wizard known as Harvey, speaking through the handkerchief that covered
half of his face, it is time that you knew a little about the people you may be working with.
The figures seated around the back parlor table stirred uneasily. Everyone seemed to prefer
Its all right, Harvey added. I wont name your true names or ask you to unmask, though our
friend Spanky has already taken the initiative of doing so. We already knew that Spanky works
for the Rogue Magic Bureau, and most of us remember the mess he made at the Owlympics all those
years ago. We are all acquainted with his sometime associate, Mr. Joe Albuquerque, wizard
detective. And we all know Sid Shmedlys real name, though in consideration for Mr. Spankison,
it will not be spoken here. Agreed?
His cloaked, veiled, and invisible companions murmured assent.
Excellent, said Harvey. Now Sadie here, our veiled companion, has done me many a service in
the past. Her talents are invaluable, though a bit of better judgment on her part might be
desired now and then. Sadie, to put it delicately, has a special gift for opening locked doors,
entering premises by stealth, transferring property from one owner to another without going
through a lot of paperwork, and persuading people to make unequal exchanges. Her work often puts
her at odds with the establishment, but it has often proved useful to me and other men in my
Also, Sadie whispered confidentially, Im a bit of a thief.
Yes, that too, said Harvey, closing his eyes briefly. Now, the business plan I have in mind
requires the precise gifts and connections of all four of you. It will come to nothing if any of
you sees fit to withdraw. So the first thing to be got over is whether Sadie and Spanky can work
together, considering that their talents lie in, er, such widely disparate areas.
I suppose that depends on what your proposal is, Spanky said evenly.
Yes, and I will get to that. But I hope you will keep an open mind. After all, Sadie has never
been implicated in dark magic of any kind. I doubt very much that any of her activities would
fall under the RMBs jurisdiction. But strange times make strange bedfellows, and thats that.
Our Merlin, Harvey continued, gesturing toward a seemingly empty corner of the table, besides
being a rescuer of enslaved krups and a world-class long-distance broomstick racer, also has a
decidedly unusual career. Well have to go into the details another time. For now, lets stop at
saying that he is one of the few people now living, apart from one or two dark wizards, who have
first-hand knowledge of the location and configuration of a certain unplottable facility. It is
there that our business lies, but since no one can draw a map of the place, or even directions
to the place, we will need him to guide us there and back again.
Finally, we come to Endora, said Harvey, whose special gifts include a cast-iron stomach, the
most precise tastebuds this side of Lands End, a long memory for potion formulas, and ready
access to any kind of sweet known to the wizarding public--and some that are unknown. Would you
share for us where you work, dear?
Endora cleared her throat nervously. Well, you see, I dont like it to be...
Go on, said Sadie. You know the worst about the rest of us. How bad can it be?
Well, you see, said Endora, her voice blushing though her face remained invisible, its just
that I...Im a sweets tester. She added hastily, It isnt as if I just sit around nibbling
sweets all the time, either. I am also a certified confectioner. I hold patents for the formula
of 73 flavors of Bertie Botts Beans, seventeen different choco-spells, a whole line of blowing
gums that form different shapes of bubbles, and six of the varieties on Honeydukes Unusual
Tastes counter. But Im best known for being able to spot the tiniest difference between a
perfect flavor and a less-than-perfect one. And also, I dont get sick at my stomach too easily.
By the end of this speech, Endoras voice sounded proud.
Which is why you will be as important as anyone else in this operation, Harvey said firmly.
What I have in mind is thought, by most of my advisors, to be entirely impossible. But a few of
them grant that there might be a slim chance, given a combination of the best thief in Britain,
a first-hand knowledge of the site to be robbed, a world-class wizard dueler, and someone who
can tell, by flavor alone, the precise ingredients of any magical formula. Plus, we will need
someone who is a master of disguise.
At that moment, the greasy, hairy, lanky proprietor of the Hogs Head pushed his way into the
parlor and snarled, Last call.
One more all round, Harvey said cheerfully. And also, would you happen to have an American
detective on you?
At your service, said the bar man. With one smooth motion, he removed his fake beard and
eyebrows, prosthetic nose, and wig, followed by other parts of his disguise. An instant later,
where a well-known local character had stood before, appeared a figure that made Merlin groan,
Sadie and Endora gasp, and Spanky leap to his feet with a shout of joy.
Joe! he cried. Joe Albuquerque! Is that really you?
No, its just a disguise, said Joe Albuquerque, seating himself in a chair Harvey had just now
conjured from nowhere. So when do we get down to business?
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