I hired a witch

Chapter 1 - the vacancy

"You're not the first person in history to hate their boss!" sighed Harriet's mother dramatically, with little patience for the woes of mortal life. "You'll just have to put up with him, like every other mortal," she finished, strutting around the kitchen preparing her famous skin repairing cream that was in high demand with the other families in the coven whenever a witch had an accident.

"But couldn't you just whip something up to teach him a lesson?" Harriet pleaded. "Honestly, if you met him, you'd see how much of an ass he is!"

"Language!" shot her mother back at her. "You know full well that any magic used like that will rebound."

"I'm not talking about killing the guy," Harriet shrugged. "Just..."

"Teaching him a lesson," her mother finished for her. "I'm sorry Harriet. But the answer is no."

Harriet sulked off home. If either of her sisters had asked for a favour like that from their mother, she would have sent them home with armfuls of potions and spells. The truth was that not being as powerful as everyone else in her family, she had unwittingly become a second class citizen; shunned by the coven and merely tolerated by her family. Having two powerful and adept older sisters, she had always been the 'runt of the litter' as her grandmother would say. Harriet had never been much good at magic; she lacked the right balance and sensibility for it, her mother had said; being unable to perform much more than what her mother dismissed as 'parlour tricks'.

Harriet's boss, Henry, was perhaps more similar to her than Harriet would give him credit. He too belonged to a powerful family; only his family were mortals, heavily invested in the hotel industry. Henry had been shifted off to this quiet, lonely town to run one of the family's smaller hotels. It was common gossip among the staff that Henry was not trusted by his family to work in their huge major city hotels, like his brothers and sisters. Harriet could see why. The guy was an ass; always shooting his mouth off and putting people down. He had very little people skills and as such, the staff turnover in the hotel was eye-watering. He was a good looking man, with a tall, broad frame and handsome face, but his good looks were no mystery to him, using them to bed as many women at the hotel as he could. Harriet had walked into her stock room in the kitchen on more than one occasion to find Henry's pants around his ankles; some newly hired girl having her turn before Henry would flick her off him like a crumb.

"Let's just get this over with," Henry sighed, opening the door to the first applicant that morning. Harriet had the pleasure of spending the morning interviewing with Henry for a new chef to work with her in the kitchen. Henry had publically mocked the previous guy in the presence of guests, causing them to quit on the spot. The last week had been torturous in the kitchen, trying to cope without the correct number of staff.

Harriet was tired and grumpy before she even came in this morning; rolling her eyes seeing that Henry had only shortlisted young women for the interviews. Still, at least they had three applicants, all perfectly qualified and keen.

"What are your thoughts?" she asked Henry after the last applicant left, knowing that he would be the only one to make the decision, no matter what she said.

"I'm not having any of them!" Henry spat. "Not in my kitchen."

Harriet gasped. "But why?" she almost shouted. "They're all suited to the job. What's wrong with any of them?"

"Are you joking?" Henry laughed. "They're all fatties. Every one of them! It's disgusting. They should make you say that on the application form," he ranted. "Wasting my morning like that." He turned to Harriet as if to give her a sound piece of advice. "Never hire a fatty in the kitchen. They'll eat away your profits for sure."

Harriet felt herself bubbling up with rage. "So the rest of us are just supposed to carry on working double shifts whilst you re-advertise to find some hot young chick instead?"

"Yeah," Henry nodded without a single care. Then he gave her an appraising look and smiled, letting her know, without a single word, that she had been hired for her looks.

That's when the idea hit Harriet. She'd soon make him regret hiring her. She knew the perfect 'parlour trick' that could teach Henry a lesson, without needing any help at all from her more powerful family. After all, Henry had hired a witch.
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