Meet the Staff – part 1
Disclaimer: In the interest of maintaining suspense, disclaimers follow at end.
“Folks, here goes nothing.” Ramsey opens the front door, and for a moment the screen goes dark. The camera pans the interior of the restaurant. One half of the restaurant is filled with young women. They have drinks and food. Most of the tables have one or more stacked plates of scones, a dizzying array of quartered sandwiches and pastries, china teapots or coffeepots. Low laughter rumbles through the room. The camera pans across the gleaming mahogany bar. There are five patrons seated there: three men with long winter coats hung over the barstools and two women, one with long black hair hanging nearly to the floor, the other has bleached blonde hair cut close to her head in the latest Paris fashion. If a bartender is present, he or she is invisible. A moment later the camera pans a bit further, five men are on a small stage – three are playing guitar, one is on drums behind them, a final man, tall and thin with black hair, plays fiddle. One of the two older males, wearing jeans and a well fitting blue dress shirt, is singing 'Handle With Care'. Rudolf points. “Film that.” He then looks over at the camera, “Hey, they're not too bad. I wonder how much Xander is paying them?” Grayson's producer is shaking his head – “Do you know how much we'll have to pay in royalty fees to put that in?” Grayson shrugs. “Paying a band to play midday in a half-empty restaurant? What a f-ing imbecile.” A few minutes later, a man hops up on the deck, and starts singing “One” with the former lead singer filling in the harmony. The producer rolls his eyes but signals his cameraman to continue filming.
Rudolf spots a trim woman in a white blouse and a long blue skirt setting a table. He tries to count the places at the table, but somehow every time he attempts to count, he loses track of the number. The waitress, however, is having no trouble as she uses a tape measure to measure out the positions of all the plates and utensils. “Spot perfect.” The brunette smiles to herself, and begins to whistle to the music being provided by the band.
Noticing that waitress had turned “Is there some way to get some service around here?” Rudolf demanded snidely.
“I believe Dobby was waiting for you to finish filming before interrupting.” The woman indicated a spot in front of the master chef. Grayson looked down and took a jump back. “Oh, hell! It's a bleeding midget.”
“Dobby is not injured, sir. Can Dobby help you to a table?” Dobby led the film crew over to an empty table for six near the young women. “Can Dobby take your drink orders, sir?”
Rudolf looked at the small man in confusion. The man's eyes were much too big for his face, and the skin tone was off – off how, Rudolf couldn't say, but somehow not right. The little person, if Dobby was a person at all, was neatly dressed in black slacks, a blue shirt with a bow-tie, a spotless white chef's jacket with dark blue piping, and a white chef's apron, all perfectly tailored to the man's small frame. Sure enough, the patch on the chef's jacket read “Nights” and in smaller lettering “Dobby – Sous chef”. “Errr.” For once, Rudolf was at a loss for words.
Disclaimer: All Buffy characters belong to Whedon and company. All Harry Potter characters (Dobby) belong to J.K. Rowling. Mary Poppins (unnamed, setting table) belongs to P.L. Travers. Highlander characters (to be named) belong to Gregory Widen (I believe -- please correct me if I'm wrong.)