Breathing Fire Doesn't Look Good On a Resume
by Lauren "Rabies" Greenleaf
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Challenge time again! Gred readily admits to being late with this one, but that's okay, since I have a LOT of studying to do for the big Psychology exam on the 18th of June...
*thinks* Gred, was there a hidden motive for the leprechaun requirement? *grins* Gred is a leprechaun sometimes, for those who don't get the injoke. All right... let's get started with The Amazing Adventures of Seamus Finnigan and Neville Longbottom, Pizza Delivery Wizards...
Oh, disclaimer. Harry Potter characters "belong" (an increasingly inaccurate word) to J.K. Rowling. The title comes from the Everclear song, "The Twistinside", and just sounded good, dammit.
Dedicated to Gred, of course I'll send you a copy on camp! - and also to Libbeh, though the day she reads this will be the day that Malfoy actually kisses Harry. Hehehehe.
"You go in and ask."
"No, YOU go in and ask."
"Maybe we should BOTH go in and ask," Seamus said. He glanced nervously back over his shoulder at Snape, who was standing and tapping his foot impatiently. Due to magic, or a continuity error, the teacher was still pregnant, despite it having been about eleven months since the mishap that had caused it. And a pregnant Snape was not one Seamus wanted to cross.
Nor did Neville. Neville, in fact, kindly held the door open for Seamus, and they stepped into the pizza shop. The place was empty - apparently pizza at lunchtime hadn't quite taken off here yet.
"Yes, can I-a take your order?" The Italian-looking man behind the counter was spinning dough on his hands. He smiled at the two young wizards.
"Er, actually, we were here about the delivery job," Neville said.
"We saw your advert in the paper," Seamus said.
The man put the dough down and leaned forward. "You two don't look-a old enough to drive. Are you-a sure you're-a going to be able to do this job?"
"Yes," Neville and Seamus said in unison. "We're older than we look, and we have our own transport, honest," Seamus added, trying a winning grin and looking very nervous.
"Well," said the shop owner. "Nobody else has applied-a, so I guess you're-a it." He reached one hand over the counter. "Giancarlo Capone. Welcome to-a the team..."
"Er, Neville Longbottom," said Neville.
"And Seamus Finnigan," said Seamus. They both shook hands with Giancarlo, who grinned at them.
"When-a can you start?"
Neville and Seamus looked over their shoulders, out through the front window of the shop, and saw Snape glaring intently in at them.
"Tonight," they said in unison.
The whole reason that Neville was looking for a job as a pizza delivery boy - or, really, as anything - was that Snape was pregnant, and it was Neville's fault, and now that Snape was going to need an operation to have the baby he was going to make Neville pay for it.
The whole reason that Seamus was with him was that Seamus felt like it.
After inspecting their résumés and referees and pronouncing them satisfactory, Giancarlo brought them their uniform shirts - red, with the logo of the pizza place emblazoned on the front. They had a hat each, as well, and fortunately these fit quite badly. Neville was trying his on when Giancarlo asked what sort of car they drove, and if the hat hadn't slipped down over most of his face he would've been seen going quite red.
"Oh, it's nothing special," Seamus said. "But it gets the job done."
Giancarlo assigned them a parking space around the back, which was good as it meant they were away from his eyes, and he wouldn't see exactly what kind of car they didn't have. Seamus and Neville had their broomsticks, and they intended to use them.
"Well," Giancarlo said after they were finally fitted out with some sort of uniform, "I'll see-a you two tonight. You work-a five o'clock until ten, and we'll-a negotiate your pay later, all right?"
"Right," said the two Hogwarts students, already pining for their classes.
That night, Neville was thankful to see that Snape wasn't hanging about the shop. He already had the jitters and seeing Snape would've made them a lot worse.
Seamus straightened his hat, hid their broomsticks behind the bin and marched up the back steps into the shop. Neville followed him - Seamus had apparently done something like this before, but Neville had no idea.
"Boys! Hurry up!" Giancarlo shoved a rather large pizza warmer at them. "Thirty-four Bambara Road, and make-a sure they pay you-a the full amount!" He went back to taking customers' orders. Contrary to how empty it had been earlier in the day, the pizza place was now quite packed, but the boys had no time to look around, as they were going back out of the back door almost immediately.
"Well, at least he won't watch us," Seamus said, handing the pizza box to Neville and picking up a second box from behind the bin. This one was bigger, and, worryingly, had breathing holes poked in the side. "Let's go."
"But... what's in there?" Neville asked.
"Never mind, let's just go!" Seamus had earlier cast a spell on both their brooms that would take them to the place they were meant to go, and now he told the brooms the address Giancarlo had given them. Neville barely had time to scramble onto his broom, clutching the pizza warmer desperately, before both brooms took off.
The house was just a typical Muggle house, and so the two hid their brooms under a bush at the bottom of the driveway before starting up it. It was a rather steep driveway, and the sounds of music were very loud from the house.
"Do you think it'll be a problem getting them to pay?" Neville asked.
"No way." Seamus was kneeling beside his broom, opening the box he had brought. "Bring that pizza over here."
Neville cautiously did so, and opened the boxes when Seamus directed. A small scaly head popped out of the box and breathed fire over the pizzas, warming them up nicely.
"What exactly IS that?" Neville asked.
"Swamp dragon," Seamus said. "They're quite harmless, and I thought he'd be handy to warm the food up. There won't be any customer complaints while WE'RE working!" He shut the box again and pushed it under the bush with the brooms, and then the two of them made their way up the driveway.
The doorbell made a rather amusing sound when pressed, and Neville made a mental note to get one for himself whenever he moved out. The door was flung open and a masked and wigged figure stared at them.
"Pizza!" It raised an arm and imperiously beckoned someone out from deeper in the house. "Pizza!"
"Oh, hi." The second person was recognisable as a person, a teenaged girl. "You mustn't mind Liz, she's harmless. She just likes to have fun." She held out a handful of coins and a couple of notes. "Sorry about all the loose change, it's so hard to get some people to pay up..."
The music stopped. The "Liz" person immediately screamed, "ME GUSTA BAILAR!" and the music started again. The "Liz" person vanished into the house.
"Yes, well." The second girl looked rather embarrassed. "Thanks for this... oh, it's nice and hot, good deal." She stacked the boxes deftly on one arm and waved goodbye with her free hand, shutting the door and returning to the party.
"Well, that was odd," said Neville.
"She paid us properly, though," said Seamus, having counted the money twice. "With extra. Think we should tell Giancarlo?"
Their second delivery was to an address that Neville recognised immediately - The Burrow.
"That's Ron Weasley's place!" he said.
"How come the Weasleys are ordering pizza?" Seamus decided not to wonder too much and just helped Neville carry the pizza warmers out to the brooms. They'd thought there were a lot of boxes for the last place, but this time there were at least twice the amount.
"I think it's Ginny's birthday," Neville said doubtfully. "She did mention it."
"There you go then," said Seamus. He gave directions to the brooms and Neville was actually ready this time. The swamp dragon was restless.
"I wish we could've gone somewhere where we could list all the useful things on our résumés," said Neville. "Somewhere magic. Somewhere decent. Somewhere we could've mentioned your dragon. I wish you'd told ME about your dragon."
"I'm not sure that breathing fire looks good on a résumé," Seamus said. "But he certainly can be handy at times."
The Burrow was festooned with fairy lights. In contrast, the disco music pounding from the house was extremely loud. After getting the dragon to heat the food a little more, Neville and Seamus cautiously approached the house.
"D'you think they'll hear the doorbell?" Neville said.
"Their loss if they don't," said Seamus, ringing it.
The door opened and a very different-looking Ginny Weasley opened it. She gasped, then called her mother. But Neville was more shocked.
Ginny was wearing a very short black skirt, plus a tight top featuring a moving image of the top wizarding boyband, the BSB (Badass Spellcasting Boys *author winces*). Her hair was in two cute little pigtails, and her boots came up to at least her knee. In short, she was a Disturbing Stereotype™.
"Hiiii!" she shrilled. "Nevvie, I didn't know you delivered pizza! And Seamus too! This is too cool! You guys wanna come in and join us for a while?"
"Uh, we have to get back to the next job," Seamus said, spying Molly approaching from behind her daughter and waving at her, trying not to look frantic about it.
"Er... happy birthday, Ginny," Neville said.
"Thank youuuu!" Ginny threw her arms around his neck, then took the pizza from him and started handing it back along the chain of young teenage girls who had mysteriously appeared in the hallway.
Neville and Seamus were probably lucky to escape alive.
The next delivery (which would be their second-last for the night, fortunately) was to a little backwoods hut out in the country. It looked abandoned, but both boys had learned as wizards that things were not always what they seemed to be.
Sure enough, when the door opened, the inside of the hut was airy, well-lit, and in fact was only the front reception hall of a large wizarding mansion.
Unfortunately, it belonged to Draco Malfoy.
"Longbottom and Finnigan," the Slytherin said, looking them up and down. "Well, hand it over."
"What on earth are YOU doing ordering pizza, Malfoy?" Neville asked.
"It's not for me, actually," Malfoy said. "It's for-"
Just then, something small, green and speedy zipped between Malfoy's legs and outside, chittering insanely in some other language.
"What was that?" Seamus asked.
"Oh, hell," said Malfoy. "Father, the leprechaun's got out again," he called.
Lucius Malfoy appeared behind his son and frowned. "Well, go on then, go after it," he ordered. "You, pizza-boy" - this was to Seamus - "help him." He looked down his nose at Neville as the two boys chased after the leprechaun. "You're the Longbottom boy, aren't you?"
"Y-yes, sir," Neville stuttered.
"Give that... food here. Draco, hurry up," Lucius yelled as Neville handed the pizza over. "That blasted leprechaun..."
"Er, why have you got it?" Neville said.
"Don't be a fool, boy," Lucius said. "Leprechauns know all about gold, don't they? Except this one won't work unless we feed it, and the only thing it will eat is this peculiar Muggle food. DRACO!"
A moment later, Malfoy and Seamus were back, holding the struggling leprechaun between them. It glared mutinously at Lucius, but then its eyes landed on the pizza and it went quiet, then began to shriek in its own language at the top of its lungs, a wide grin appearing on its face.
"I think it wants to be fed, father," Malfoy said.
"Just get it inside." Lucius fumbled irritably for his wallet and handed over the Muggle money - the right amount, for a wonder. As at the Burrow, the boys had been a little worried that the magical families wouldn't have Muggle money, but fortunately - for whatever reason - they had.
"Thank you, sir," said the two pizza boys in unison. They got no reply as the door was slammed in their faces.
"Bloody ungrateful," Neville said as they went back to where they had left their brooms.
"Those leprechauns can move quick," Seamus said. "Thought I was never going to catch it. Come on, it's getting late and we'll get in trouble if we don't hurry."
In fact, they had a rather long wait for the next delivery to be called in, and once again it was to a wizarding household. Giancarlo was shaking his head over the address.
"Never heard-a this one, boys, but you can always find a map, yes?" He handed them the warmer and the order. "It's a place called-a Hogwarts. Off you go."
"Who's ordering pizza from HOGWARTS?" Seamus said as soon as they got outside.
"Says "Sinistra" on the order form. That's good, she's not too bad." Stella Sinistra was the Astronomy witch, and was, as Neville had said, not too bad. "But we'd better hurry, it's a hell of a long way. She must know we're working here."
They kicked off on their brooms and took off into the night sky.
By the time they reached Hogwarts it was very late, and they definitely needed Seamus's dragon to warm the pizza back up. Instead of dragging their brooms in, they left them outside - the pizza box would be enough to contend with, climbing all the way up the Astronomy tower.
When they were finally at the top the meal was almost cold again.
"Oh well. She's a witch. She can do it herself," Seamus grumbled, knocking on the door. The sound of voices was coming from beyond it, but stopped at his knock.
"Ah, boys, thank you! Do come in for a moment, you've come a long way," Sinistra said, opening the door.
"Oh, Stella... perhaps not..." a second voice said. Both boys jumped. They knew that voice.
"Don't be silly, Severus. They need to warm up. It's nippy out." Sinistra gestured them in, and the sight that met their eyes set Seamus giggling, while Neville's eyes got so big he was afraid they were going to drop out.
Snape was standing on the big table where they put their star charts during term-time. He was wearing a long green dress, a rather moth-eaten fox-fur
scarf, and a tall hat with an ugly stuffed vulture on the top, and holding a
big red handbag.
"Oh dear, boys," said Professor Trelawney, scuttling around from the other side of the table. "I didn't know you were coming!" She looked flustered. "Severus is being very good and helping us fit this costume for the next Witches and Wizards Ball in Hogsmeade."
"Uh," said Seamus.
"Pffththt," said Neville, biting his tongue. Snape glared down at them both. They looked back innocently.
The hat wriggled, and something flittered out from underneath it. It was an extremely disgruntled pigeon.
"Oh, so THAT'S where that went!" cried Trelawney, making a grab for it. "I do some magic for Muggle children's shows, bless them, and little Petey here has been gone for a whole week," she explained to the boys.
"Right," said Seamus. Neville was still incapable of coherent speech. It was probably fortunate that Sinistra had found her purse and handed over their money at that moment - they could make a bolt for the door before he exploded with laughter.
"Oh good God," he sniffled when they were out of hearing distance, then began giggling. Seamus joined him, and they were both doubled over with it.
The next day when they arrived for work, Giancarlo said he regretfully had to let them go.
"It's-a not you boys, but-a my niece has come over from Italia, and she is very interested in-a helping out. You-a have been most helpful." He proved it by giving them a whole week's wages.
"Oh well," Seamus said as they went out. "There must be somewhere else we can try for a job. Maybe a supermarket or something..."
"As long as we don't have to deliver anything to Sinistra again," said Neville.