I have to tell you this!  The other day we were walking along this tiny street near where we live, and after my wife sort of stumbled off the footpath, she noticed an overgrown, pot-holey pathway, that led behind one of the shops and looked to be a shortcut to the next street.  So we followed it, finding a tiny shop tucked improbably behind the ones on the street, and it was there I bumped my head on one of those old-style hanging signs.  That’s when I noticed some rather odd-looking items through the shop’s window and found myself opening the unfriendly, creaking door.  If it wasn’t for the sign, I would’ve sworn it felt like intruding into someone’s old house.  Despite the coziness of the inside of the shop, there was a long wooden bench along the wall, with a silent old man sitting there smoking a pipe, but our attention was drawn to the wooden bar, behind which was an older woman, her long, grey hair and staring eyes causing us uneasiness.  I suppose she was kind, however, since she asked, ‘Not lost are you, my dears?’

I have to admit that it was somewhat overwhelming, and I stuttered, ‘Th-th-that stuff in the window there.  Is- is it for sale?’  So began a brief conversation that saw us leaving with the curious little skull and a four-pack of butterbeer that you can see in the above photograph.  When we returned home, we were already talking about going back for more, but somehow couldn’t recall the name of the street we had been on when we found the old path.  We found some of it though, actual butterbeer, that we had fancied for so long.  I found it very tasty, and it reminded me of the best-tasting butterscotch hard lollies my grandmother always put out, but mixing soda water with it diluted the thick sweetness and made it last a bit longer.  You know the scene in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince where Harry, Hermione and Ron enjoy butterbeers at the The Three Broomsticks?  How many people have wanted that delicious elixir since then?  Or even earlier, when they read this passage in the book:

‘Harry was still fuming when Hermione returned to their table a few minutes later holding three bottles of Butterbeer.’  -J.K. Rowling


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