Disclaimer: Everything recognisable belongs to J.K. Rowling and I am most certainly not making any profit from it.


In Covent Garden, on the corner of Southampton and Tavistock, there is a café. Despite its attractive façade and stylish, though innocuous, sign, it does not seem to attract many customers. Perhaps the reason for this lies in the very name of the café: Subsentio. An archaic, Latin word. A dead word, in most respects.

But that, of course, depends on your perspective.

Subsentio: to notice secretly. An interesting phrase, really. How does one notice secretly? The very act of noticing something generally removes any secret the previously over-looked object or fact may have protected. Perhaps it can be defined as seeing something others have not - finding that which is hidden, which no one else knows about. This is the most convenient description, and is how the word is most often interpreted.

There is, however, another explanation.

Subsentio: to see that which has always been there but never before truly noticed, and never before spoken of, till finally, in a moment of breathless clarity, it is thrust into focus. What was blurred becomes sharp, what was ambiguous becomes obvious.

A rather disconcerting experience, all things considered. To suddenly be totally aware of something that was only a dim, undefined hunch for days, weeks, even years, is startling and in many cases unpleasant.

Unpleasant, and painful, as revelations such as these may be at first, time does in fact heal most wounds. And sometimes, after they have been thoroughly examined and scrutinised, nasty shocks turn into pleasant surprises.

Imagine for a moment this picture: two people, a man and a woman, both silent and still, sit at a small, wrought iron table on a patio. It is enclosed by a high, brick wall, the pale stones of which seem to be trying to retain some shimmer of golden, late afternoon sunlight. It is dotted with tiny flowerbeds, fruit trees and climbing ivy. The sun is almost set, and there is an unlit candle on the table between them. The moment the last traces of the sunset fade from the sky, its wick catches and a small flame flickers to life - magically, of course.

There is a muted rumble of sound - one can never truly escape the sounds of London, even in a guarded and hidden place like this.

The woman is touching the back of the man's hand, and as they both sit, content to be near each other for a while, she wonders how this simple, intimate and seemingly unfeasible touch became possible.