“You called, Master?” Devious appeared just above the work surface and clattered onto the marble. He was so fast Harold didn't even notice the opening of his travel portal. It would, he supposed, be easy to imagine the imp appearing from mid-air as if by magic if one didn't understand the mechanics of portal tunnels. Which was, technically, magic.
“Yes. We'd like some Chinese food, please.”
“For how many?”
“Um...” Harold looked at Jasfoup. “Are you staying for dinner?” When the demon nodded he returned his attention to Devious. “Three, plus yourself if you want to join us and perhaps some indigestion remedy for your lad, there.” He gestured to the popcorn-stuffed Delirious.
“Right you are, sir. Just take-away or do you want me to go all the way to China for it?”
“Certainly not. It'll be cold by the time you get it back. The Hong Kong Garden on Cheapside does a very reasonable take-away meal for four.”
“Even more reasonable when you apply the literal meaning to 'take away'.” Devious grinned, his teeth flashing under the fluorescent kitchen striplight. “Back in a tick.” The way he opened the sliding door of his tunnel was so fast and deft it was almost as if he'd vanished. Which, of course, he had.
“He's got very good at appearing and disappearing.”
“Yes.” Jasfoup sniffed. “He went to see a magic show in Blackpool at the week-end and was impressed by the skill of the performers. It took me ages to convince him they were illusions. Now he wants to join the Magic Circle.”
“They won't accept him, obviously.”
“Why? Because he's a creature of magic?”
“No. He's too short.”