Harry stepped into 'Eylops Owl Emporium' clutching a large owl cage under his arm. He walked up to the counter and placed it in front of the owner. "Hello, I wish to register a complaint."
The owner inspected his nails.
"Hello, miss–" Harry added.
"Miss? What do you mean, 'miss'?" the owner looked at Harry.
"Sorry, bit of a cold. I meant 'mister'. Anyway, I wish to complain!"
"Well do that on your own time then. I'm closing for lunch," the owner answered.
"Mind your cheek. I'm returning this owl my best mate bought for me earlier today," Harry drawled.
"Ah yes… the, erm, the Plumed Merlin. What is wrong with it?"
"What's wrong? This bird is dead!" Harrypulled off the cloth covering the cage, revealing an owl sitting perfectly still.
"Nah, he's just resting, see? You know, owls are
"Nocturnal," Harry interrupted.
"As I said, owls are nocturnal, and it's, say, lunch time – hint hint." He made shooing motions with his hands.
Harry rolled his eyes. "Look, I don't quite know how you fooled Ron into buying this… thing… but it's clear this. Is. A. Dead. Bird."
"Tell me this, if the bird is dead - how is he sitting?" the owner countered, a smug look on his face.
"You bloody well nailed his feet to the plank!"
"I did not!"
"You most certainly did! Listen mate, I've owned an owl before, and I can tell the difference between a live one and a stuffed one. This, is the latter."
"Well, he is a little quiet," the owner agreed.
"Quiet? He's dead! Gone, joined the choir invisible, shuffled the mortal coil!" Harry slammed his fist on the counter.
"All right… I understand. Erm, you'd be wanting a replacement then?"
"Obviously," Harry drawled.
"Well, erm…" the owner pulled at his collar, "the thing is… we're all out of owls."
"Out of owls?" Harry's mouth fell open before he composed himself. "Out. Of. Owls. Look, this place is called 'Eylops Owl Emporium', isn't it?"
"That's what it says on the door!" Harry let out a groan. "Listen, I need an owl. What can you do for me then?"
"I suppose you could go to my brother's shop," the owner proposed.
"Fine. But I'd better be getting an owl for free. Where is your brother's shop?"
"Hogsmeade. You could take my floo?"
"All right. What's the address?"
"Eyelops Owl Imperium," the owner clarified.
"Bloody waste of time," Harry grumbled as he stepped into the store's fireplace.
The moment he was engulfed in the green flames, the owner cast a quick spell on himself, changing his features. A few fire flashes later Harry stumbled out of the fireplace, covered in soot.
"You must be the man my brother sent," the owner said.
"Of course I am! Look, just give me an owl…"
The owner pushed the same cage Harry had come in with forward, "Here you are, sir."
"Thank you. Good day," Harry said, sighing, as he left.
A/N: With apologies to Monty Python!
Written for the QLFC DP bonus 'crack fic' competition. 500 words exactly.