The Leaky Cauldron is the oldest pub in London and is believed to have been built sometime in the 1500s, along with the rest of Diagon alley. The pub is one of the few connections to Muggle London and Wizarding London. In the muggle world, The Leaky Cauldron is found in Charing Cross Road and to the muggle eye, it is a small, broken-down old shop front. Once, before the statute of secrecy, muggles were welcomed into the pub with open arms, though this changed under Ulick Gamp, the Minister of Magic at the time. To allow its survival, he ensured that the shop was placed under heavy spells and protection. In the Wizarding world, the Leaky Cauldron has an entrance to both Diagon alley and Knockturn Alley found in the establishment's backyard.
However, under Alistair Fitzgerald, the foot traffic between the two worlds have been minimised with the establishment under constant threats to close their door to the muggle world shut permanently. However, though there is a sign reminding the people of the current laws, it still remains open. It is not the first time this establishment has suffered under fascist governments, and no doubt not the last.
Currently, it's owned by Phoebe. Someone whose family was well known to be against muggles and anything related but she herself as become more open minded as the years passed by. Thus, she is known to turn a blind eye if you pass into Muggle London. Under Phoebe, the pub hasn't changed much but she has renovated the bedrooms to be more accommodating to those that stay there. The pub itself, though, is still rather grungey but is still the best place to go for any interesting gossip.
Christmas break. Good, thank Merlin, more time to do what she really wanted to be doing. Problem was? This was her time with her dads family, so she was caught up with having to spend time with them and make sure they weren't suspecting of, well, anything. And, of course, it was Christmas. Christmas was always a busy time anyway. She decided to let herself relax. It was Christmas-she didn't spend it with her mum anyway so it was easy to pretend that she wasn't...well, dead. She was also trying to make more of an effort with her other family members so she invited Chiara out for lunch. She wasn't sure what to expect but what could go wrong? She was sitting at one of the tables at the back of the room, nursing a butterbeer as she posted a picture onto witchagram as she waited for her cousin. An old picture but it was a cute one.
The Leaky Cauldron was low on Chiara's list of eateries, but Frenchie landed pretty high on her list of cousins, so she guessed they evened eachother out enough. Besides, she was grateful for a break however she could get one. With her academic performance so far this term, she'd have to spend all of Christmas break studying if she wanted any hope of staying out of the remedial lessons Déonté had threatened her with. She spots Frenchie at the back and weaves her way there through the other patrons, taking a seat across from her cousin. "Hope I kept you waiting," she says, only half-joking since it'd taken her longer than expected to finish her cigarette before coming inside.
Frenchie was never sure when Chiara was joking with her or not. But she had written it down to her own insecurities rather than something genuine. But there was still a voice going see? your father's family really don't want you around. But her face was smooth and she clicked her phone shut as her cousin slid into the booth. "N'aw, I barely noticed, I had a world of entertainment," she said with a smile, "you'll have to try harder than that." The joke was sort of tacked on, like she was tentatively trying out the idea of a teasing sort of dynamic. She wasn't sure why she felt so awkward around her family, all of a sudden. Sure-it was never the opposite but ever since her mum...took a brief holiday from life...she was suddenly so much more paranoid around them. Like she felt they were suddenly going to turn around and tell her they knew.
Chiara doesn't stop to think that her greeting could be taken the wrong way - she generally assumes people will take them the way she intends, and to be honest, it's not her problem if they don't. She takes Frenchie's joke at face value and returns it with one of her own, "Mm, but are you worth the effort?" Not that effort is really a factor anyway. "Better question, is the food here worth the effort? Place is ratty." She leans over the table to inspect Frenchie's glass and see if it's clean.
Frenchie paused to consider...is she worth effort? "I like to think so. Not a lot of effort, maybe, like, I don't know. Sixty percent of effort. Maybe forty, sixty on a good day," she said before she flicked over the menu and slid over her glass so her cousin could inspect it better. "I heard it's quite popular this place. Historical, been around for decades. Centuries. I don't know. But the owner's pretty so I'm not really complaining if I find a little bit of dust somewhere." What could she say? She had a one track mind sometimes.
"That's a little low. Maybe seventy-five," Chiara adds, lifting up Frenchie's glass to look at the bottom. "Centuries? I believe it." She decides the glass looks clean enough, and the butterbeer smells normal, so she takes a generous sip before setting it down in the middle of the table. "Or, maybe if we complain enough we can meet her," she suggests, almost sincerely. She, too, is prone to a one-track mind.