69. Potter’s Tavern
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"Well this is um," Melody hesitated for a second before finishing, "Nice."

Kaylee made a bit of a face, "That's one way of putting it."

We were just outside the restaurant, on the north side of Main Street. Me and Nina met up with Kaylee and the three of us walked together, then found Melanie and Cerys already here waiting. And Melody arrived last, after she found a spot to park her car on the other side of the road.

"This looks like an older building," Cerys commented. She glanced at Kaylee and asked, "And you laid a spirit to rest here a few years ago? Before I joined the club I guess."

The cute redhead nodded, she adjusted her glasses then explained "It was in April, back when I was in grade nine. I'd only been in the club for a few months, and this was the first haunting we'd researched since I joined."

"And yes, it is an older structure. This is all actually one building, from here to the corner," she added as she pointed out the opposite end of it.

Potter's Tavern was at one end, and at the other was a little tea shop and sandwich place that looked like the sort of thing that would appeal to little old ladies. There were two shops in between, the one next to Potter's was a tiny old jewelry store that was currently closed and had bars over the windows and door. And between that and the tea shop was a games store, but not the kind Nina and Melanie liked. It was all board games, table top games, puzzles, and they even sold 'pub games' like darts and stuff like that.

All four businesses looked old, like the tea place and the jewelry shop both looked like they belonged in the nineteen fifties. The games place and the restaurant were maybe more nineteen eighties style.

Kaylee continued, "The building's been around for about a century? It was originally a factory, but at some point it was divided into the four separate store-fronts. That's when the second floor was turned into apartments, but I'm pretty sure they're all empty nowadays. Or they might be used as storage or something."

"So when you were looking into the haunting a few years back, what did you find?" Melody asked.

Before Kaylee could respond Melanie spoke up, "Why don't we go inside and get a table? We can talk about this stuff over dinner."

Our newest club member smiled, "Right, sorry! I actually called ahead and booked us a table for six."

We were a few minutes early but we went inside. It wasn't exactly crowded, but this was a Saturday night and it was busier than I expected. The inside was kind of divided in half, with a long narrow rectangular restaurant on the right and a long narrow rectangular bar on the left. They weren't two separate rooms, but there was a divider that ran most of the length in between. You could see both sides from the front, or at the very back, but if you were in the bar you wouldn't see the dining room, and vice versa.

The six of us were only waiting for a half minute or so before a waitress noticed us standing at the entrance. She came over to take care of us, and Melody let her know about our reservation. Then we were all led to where they had a couple tables pushed together to fit us all in.

It was a half-booth thing, so one side was chairs and the other side was bench seating. I ended up in the middle on the bench side, with Nina on my left and Kaylee on my right. Melanie was across from me in one of the chairs, with Cerys facing Nina and Melody facing Kaylee. Then we spent a few minutes looking at the menus.

"I've never been here before," the shape-shifter commented, "But a few folks at college are regulars. Apparently the prices here fit into the budget of most college students."

I hadn't been there before either, and it turned out Kaylee was the only one of our group who'd been. And that was because of the last Club Luna investigation. I assumed it was because the place didn't really appeal to parents and kids. It was probably more geared for college people like Melody said, or young adults.

The decor wasn't much, they had lots of random knick-knacks on the walls, lots of assorted framed pictures and posters, and a bunch of TVs were spread around on the walls and hanging from the ceilings, but a few of them were turned off. Or maybe they were broken. The ones that were on showed various sports, like baseball, football, or basketball. And at least one was showing guys playing golf. None of the TVs had sound, but there was some background music playing, like some random bland pop or dance music under all the conversations of the other guests.

After a look at the menu I figured there wasn't anything that special about the food either. They had some sandwiches, some burgers, stuff like wings and ribs, and everything came with fries or onion rings. The prices seemed reasonable though. Like cheaper than most of the chain 'family restaurant' places, and definitely cheaper than the nicer places I'd been to with Kaylee.

After a few minutes the waitress came back to take all our orders, then went and got us our drinks. And after that we finally got back to the earlier conversation.

Kaylee adjusted her glasses again as she resumed the history lesson stuff, "The whole building block had a bit of a reputation for being haunted, but most of the sightings were at this end. In fact there were several sightings and related experiences over there, between the door to the kitchen and the door to the bathroom."

She pointed towards the back of the restaurant, where the dining room and bar were connected and there were a couple doors leading to the back.

"So me and Paige were both new club members back then," the redhead continued. "Brooke was there too, she was in grade ten at the time. And there was another girl named Angela, who was in grade eleven. And our club leader in my first year was named Mary. I never actually got to know her too well, but I ended up working with Angela a lot? She was good at spiritual magic, which is one of my specialties."

Cerys added, "Spiritual magic was one of my things as well. Angela was the club leader when I joined, then like you all know Brooke was leader last year."

Kaylee nodded, "Right. Me and Angela both helped teach you some of that, after we realized you had a knack for it."

Our wolfgirl spoke up, she asked Melody "Has anyone started teaching you that stuff yet? I know it hasn't even been a month yet since you joined, but someone ought to be training you on stuff right?"

The shape-shifter nodded, "Brooke's teaching me. We just started, but she's going to be my witch tutor I guess? Since we're going to the same college, it's easiest for the two of us to get together."

Hearing that made me think of my little sister. I looked to Nina and asked, "We've never talked about you learning any of that stuff, but I guess there's no point? You already have your own magic, you don't need to learn the witchy stuff right? Or do you want to learn it?"

She'd been quietly listening to the conversation, and blushed a little when the others looked towards her to see what she had to say. She shook her head, "I don't even know if it's possible for me to do that sort of magic? But you're right, I have my own. And I can't teach it to anyone else, it's um, specific to what I am."

"Ok Nina," I smiled at her. "I just wanted to make sure you didn't feel left out or anything. Not that I could teach that stuff to you, since I can't use it anymore either."

"I'd offer to teach you," Cerys volunteered. "If you're ever curious."

Melody asked, "I thought you were retired?"

The young blonde shrugged, "Doesn't mean I can't teach some of it? And who knows, if all goes well I might be un-retired as early as Thursday."

"Anyways," she added as she looked towards Kaylee, "You were telling us about the haunting here and we got kind of side-tracked."

The redhead nodded, "Right. So I'm not actually sure how Club Luna first got involved? But we all came over here for lunch one day, and a few of them did their Sight thing. They confirmed there was a haunting, but we obviously couldn't lay a spirit to rest in the middle of the lunch rush."

"I think Mary talked to the restaurant manager," she continued after pausing for a sip of her cola. "She told him we were working on a history project or something, for school. I assume she gave him Miss Hawthorne's contact info, incase he actually checked into it. Anyways Mary somehow talked the manager into letting us come in one Sunday morning before their normal opening, and we did a make-believe ghost-hunt and seance."

After another brief pause Kaylee finished her story, "Mary, Brooke, and Paige did the fake seance while me and Angela did the actual magic to lay the spirit to rest. Or, it was mostly Angela since that was my very first time and I was still getting the hang of it. It was pretty exciting though."

"Oh," she added, "And we figured out that the ghost worked here back when the building was a factory. He was killed in some kind of accident, and that spot where most of the sightings happened is the place he died. There was some machine or something there, that he got tangled up in."

Melody spoke up first, "That's really cool! So what do you figure's going on now? If that ghost is at rest, maybe it's another? Could be someone else died in the factory way back when?"

Kaylee frowned, "I suppose it's possible? We should have caught that though, when we were here the first time. And it really felt like after we laid him to rest the haunting was over."

"So you girls have heard about our ghost I take it?" Janet, our waitress asked as she returned to deliver our meals. "I've only been working here for a couple months, but the way things are going I might be looking for another job soon."

Melanie replied, "We've heard some rumours. What sort of stuff's been happening?"

"And when did it start?" Kaylee added.

Janet smiled, "I'll let you girls enjoy your dinner first, then if I have a few minutes afterwards I'll tell you what I know."

That was kind of frustrating, but I figured we probably shouldn't say we were there for the ghosts more than the meal. So we all just nodded and thanked her, before she headed away again.

The food looked ok, and the portions were ok for the price. I just got a chicken burger and Nina got some chicken strips, Cerys had a basket of wings and Melanie got a half order of ribs, Melody tried one of their burgers and Kaylee had a roast beef sandwich. And everybody got fries, except Melanie who went with onion rings instead.

After a couple minutes the waitress came back to top up everyone's drinks. The others were all drinking cola but me and Nina just had water. Then for the next while we were mostly focused on our food, and talking about other stuff.

Like Melody had some questions for Cerys and Melanie about what was going to happen at the full moon on Wednesday. The two younger girls couldn't or wouldn't say too much though. I figured either it was secret werewolf stuff, or maybe they just didn't want to talk about it over dinner in a restaurant.

I noticed though, there was a distinct difference in how the two of them reacted to the topic. Cerys was excited and clearly looking forward to it, while Melanie was more restrained and almost looked a bit sad or guilty.

Eventually as we all had enough to eat the conversation swung back to the ghost stuff again. Kaylee commented, "I've been using my magic Sight since we got here, and I haven't seen any hint of spirits about. But we don't even know when the new haunting is active, or where to look."

"Have you seen anything Cass?" Cerys asked me.

"Nothing," I shook my head. "No orbs, no purple glows."

After another minute or two our waitress came by to check on things, and Kaylee asked her "If you have time, we'd love to hear some stories about the recent haunting?"

Janet glanced around at the other tables then nodded, "Sure it looks like I have a minute. It started towards the end of last month, with some odd electronic things? The TVs would turn themselves on and off, same with lights, they'd go on and off by themselves. Then over the long weekend stuff started breaking? A stack of plates in the kitchen were pushed off a shelf and smashed on the floor, with nobody around. Just jumped off and smashed all on their own. The following morning the bartender found a rack of glasses behind the bar were all shattered in place, right on the shelf."

"Then there's the noises," she continued, "Can't hear anything when we're open like this, but after closing, when the place is quiet and we're doing the clean up? A few times there's been voices, whispering sounds coming from random places with nobody around. Like two nights ago, it was coming from the booth near the doors. Last week I heard it myself over on the bar side, from one of the hightops."

The waitress leaned closer and lowered her voice, "We've also had a couple close calls with fires? Small things, like a stack of napkins suddenly catches fire for no reason? Or the weirdest one, yesterday they found a box of chicken in the freezer had burned. Can you believe it, in the freezer!"

Kaylee looked like she was about to ask a question when Janet suddenly said, "Oops they need me over on number six. Sorry girls!"

With that she hurried over to another table to check with the patrons there.

"Wow," Melody commented. "That sounds pretty wild!"

Cerys frowned, "It almost sounds like a poltergeist."

"I was thinking the same thing," Kaylee agreed. "And that actually makes more sense than a new haunting, or the original one starting up again."

Melanie asked, "How so? And what do we do next?"

The redhead suggested, "We should probably check with the other businesses sharing this building, just to rule out other possibilities? And we should let Paige and Brooke know what we've learned so far. Basically we need to do some more research, and we'll probably have to come back here again. Ideally we'd be here at closing and hopefully witness an event or two ourselves, so we can try and identify for sure what we're dealing with."

Melody asked, "So was this visit tonight worthwhile? I mean, we've learned stuff but we haven't really done anything."

"It's a success," Kaylee stated. "These things take time, this is just the first step. It might take us another week or two before we're ready to do anything more direct. Like last October, we spent almost the whole month preparing before we actually went out to confront the ghosts ourselves."

I asked, "So are we done here for now?"

Kaylee nodded, "I think so? Unless anyone else has suggestions or ideas?"

Cerys and Melanie shook their heads, and Nina stayed quiet. I was quiet too. The shape-shifter spoke up though.

"Actually this is totally unrelated, but I was wondering if the club does anything for halloween?" Melody asked. "It seems like a natural to me? Like do you throw a party, or dress up and go out, or anything like that?"

Kaylee shook her head, "No. The club's supposed to be secret, and we definitely don't want anyone to know we're witches."

The shape-shifter frowned, "That's the beauty of halloween though! People will think it's fake. It's the one day supernaturals can be themselves in public without anyone raising an eyebrow."

The redhead shrugged, "Even so, witches are just normal humans who know magic. I'm not in disguise or anything now, there's no mask to take off."

"Oh right," Melody sighed. "Well I bet you could still throw some awesome parties, or set up a really good haunted house or something? Plus you've got werewolves and demons in the club too. And I could mix things up a little for myself."

Melanie asked, "What sort of stuff have you done in previous halloweens?"

Melody grinned, "Last year I was a catgirl! Gave myself fuzzy ears and a long furry tail."

That led to a few smiles around the table, except it reminded me of Kirstie which made me feel bad.

"Maybe post it on the group chat if you really want to try and organize something," Kaylee suggested. "Or talk to Paige about it? But like I said, we've never done anything like that before. It kind of goes against the whole secrecy thing."

That seemed to be the end of that topic, and nobody had anything else to say or do while we were there. So we flagged Janet down again and got the bill, then everyone put in money to cover it along with a good tip. And that was about it for our evening.

We all said goodnight and stuff, Melody headed back to her car while Melanie and Cerys set off for the wolfgirl's house. And Kaylee walked home with me and Nina.

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