Disclaimer: For once, I do own a character in one of these things. I am very proud of Edward. He is my own creation, but you may feel free to borrow him, given the following conditions:You thank me profusely You notify me.
None of the other characters are mine, though.
"HOW IN MERLIN'S NAME CAN YOU BE OUT OF CINNAMON?"
Severus Snape was having, in Snape terms, a bad day. The reason I point out "Snape terms" is because Severus' definition of a good day was one in which he hadn't been tempted to kill anyone and use his victim's skull as a quill holder.
He was having a bad day.
"I'm sorry, sir," said the potion store clerk, who was quite aware that he was the target of the anger of a man who likely had poisons on his person that even the greatest Healer in history would be unable to treat. And he'd use them, too. He had that look in his eye. Then he got an idea. "Perhaps you can get it at the market in London—"
"Muggle London?" Severus hissed. Somehow, he sounded even angrier when he was quiet, and the shopkeeper, whose name was Edward, and was likely soon to have the prefix "Dearly beloved, we have gathered to mourn the passing of" to his name, wished that Snape would yell some more. It was easier on his nerves. "You expect me to wander aimlessly into Muggle London in a vain quest for a spice that any proper store would have anyway?"
Edward, who was something of a Muggle music aficionado, and whose girlfriend was a Muggle-born, didn't really see this as the same punishment as the dark-haired Potions Master seemed to. "Sir, if you like, I could go down to the market for you. I wouldn't be but a minute," he volunteered. Indeed, he likely would have volunteered for a mission to the bottom of a piranha-infested lake to find a lost Knut if it got him away from Snape.
Severus Snape smiled a smile that fell somewhere between sneer and smirk, and said, "You do that."
After exchanging his money for pounds (exchange rates were good, at least), Edward set off through the Leaky Cauldron, with a spring in his step. The frightening Potions Master was far behind him (and, technically, in front of him, but that was the distant future of at least half an hour) and all of London lay before him.
Well, all of London between the Leaky Cauldron and the market, at any rate.
Already, he was close to one of his favourite forms of entertainment: the Muggle record store next to the pub. He was tempted to just pop in there for a minute, but he was, he reminded himself, on a Mission. And the man meeting him probably wouldn't take too kindly to such a detour.
He paused only briefly in front of the store, listening to the music flowing out of the open door. It was a song he'd heard before. He finally tore himself away and took off down the road. He found that the song had invaded his mind in a way that magic could rarely emulate. Edward almost couldn't stop himself from humming the music while he strode down the street.
He was a couple blocks away when a sharp and almost familiar voice knocked him from his musical mentality. "Oh my God, what is that painful screech? Is a human voice capable of digging into my mind like a dull razor blade?"
Edward looked around; he thought that Snape would have avoided Muggle London at all costs. But Snape was nowhere to be found. Instead, a man sitting outside a café was glaring at him. "I'm sorry?" Edward said, confused.
"You should be," the man scowled. "It seems that every time I suffer the worst experience of my life, something has to come along to challenge for the position." He looked up at Edward, who was wearing a very confused look on his face. "Is there a reason you're still here?"
Edward blinked. "Sorry, you just seem… very familiar to me." He was vaguely aware of a noticeable amount of stares coming his way. He self-consciously adjusted his transfigured robes, which he'd thought looked Muggle enough to pass.
The man raised an eyebrow. "You're certainly not the sharpest person around, are you?"
Before Edward could answer, not that he had any idea exactly how to respond to something like that, a group of… somethings… shoved him out of the way. Upon closer inspection, he discovered they were females, all probably between the ages of fifteen and seventeen, and all American. He discovered this last bit by observing their accents as they squealed things such as, "Oooh, it's Simon Cowell!" and, "Wow, in a regular café!" and, "I wonder if he'll sign my chest!"
Edward took advantage of the confusion to escape from Simon Cowell, whoever he was.
He wasn't entirely sure whether the Potions Master would prefer cinnamon sticks, ground cinnamon, or fresh cinnamon, so he took the liberty of buying all three. It never occurred to him that he would probably not be getting any money from this. Rather, it had occurred to him, but in such a way that he would also be keeping certain things that he had grown accustomed to having. Such as a pulse.
As he walked back from the grocery, he checked his watch. Excellent, he was ahead of time. That meant that he'd be able to just browse a bit in the record shop. Not too much though.
The door jingled as he opened and closed the door, and he enthusiastically greeted the teenager behind the counter. The teenager adjusted a piercing on his face and ignored the wizard.
Edward made his way to his favourite section and thumbed through a stack of CDs, which did not, as he'd once thought, stand for "Collecting Dust". The thought was likely a side effect of shopping almost exclusively from the Oldies section.
At any rate, he made his selection and carried it to the listening station. Once again, he found himself singing along with the music. "We all live in a yellow submarine…" he sang, although he did wonder what a submarine was. A type of Muggle flat, perhaps. Underwater, for some reason.
"You again?" said the same voice that had insulted him earlier.
Edward looked up and took off his headphones. "Simon Cowell?" he asked stupidly.
"Oh, you've placed me, have you?" Simon Cowell sneered. He then ducked behind a display of music advertising some Muggle singer with a name like a sandwich.
Edward raised an eyebrow at Simon Cowell's odd behaviour and put his CD back. "No, I haven't placed you," he said. "But I do have to go."
"I'll try very hard to care," Simon Cowell spat as Edward walked away.
Edward spotted the same group of American girls that had shoved him out of the way earlier outside the shop. Without knowing quite why, he said, "If you're looking for Simon Cowell, he's hiding in the Beatles section."
He learned that it is physically possible for human beings to make the sound, "Zoom!" while screaming, "SIGN MY CHEST!" to people named Simon Cowell. Live and learn.
Edward opened up the shop again just as Snape arrived at the door. "Well?" Snape spat. Edward handed over the bag, and Snape's lip curled upon seeing the plastic containers. "I suppose it'll do."
He left without another word, or payment for that matter, not that Edward noticed. His mind was elsewhere.
It takes at least an hour for the Polyjuice Potion to wear off, right? How long was I gone?