Disclaimer:Harry Potter ain't mine. Ah, but if he was…tee hee.
Also, this is my first chapter fic so please review. It would help me plenty.
"You know, when the two of you agreed to become silent partners in this little venture of mine, I thought we agreed that you'd remain 'silent' partners." said Ron as he, Harry and Hermione walked down a busy London street.
"And we would have done, except you don't seem to have a clue about what you're supposed to do this time. All Harry and I are doing is protecting our investment, isn't that right, Harry?" Hermione turned to look at her tall, raven-haired best friend.
Harry grinned back at her, mischief glittering in the depths of his emerald eyes.
"She's right. The amount I put in wasn't just loose change, you know. I would hate to lose it like that."
Ron glared at the two of them, slightly offended. " Hey, I told you you didn't have to lend me that much! I could have done it without your money as well. Besides, I've paid back your investment already, remember?"
Hermione's smile faltered. 'I know, Ron. I'm sorry, I didn't mean like that, really."
Harry nodded. "Yeah, sorry, mate. I was just kidding, okay? I didn't mean it the way it sounded."
Ron took a deep breath and ran his hand through his hair. " It's okay. Really, it's no problem. I'm sorry, I think I just over-reacted a bit."
Hermione smiled again. "You did. But it's okay. We know you're like that."
Ron scowled. " Yeah, yeah, whatever. Remind me why the two of you are tagging along again?"
"Well, Fred called me last night and told me that you were having a meeting with your new advertisers and I know how you were at the last firm you went to see so I thought you might need a little assistance so I told Harry as well. In case you need to be restrained or something."
Harry chuckled. "I'm just coming for the entertainment. I want to see who you tackle this time. I heard that was quite the crowd puller last time."
Ron growled softly. "That….skrewt in a suit had no right to talk to me that way. Just because his clothes cost more than mine. And he had the nerve to insult my parents when he thought I wasn't listening. It almost reminded me of Malfoy, except this time, I had the satisfaction of punching his face in." He smiled at the memory.
Hermione held back a smile. It would not do to appear supportive of such childishness after all. "So tell me about this firm we're going to see. It has magic and muggle clients, right?"
Ron nodded. " Double Bass, Inc. They're pretty new, about a couple of years old. They've done all the advertising and publicity for the joke shop though, and Fred says business has doubled since he hired them. Their other work is pretty good, too, I've had a look at it. All the companies which've hired them have done very well. Their client list is very impressive, considering they've only been working for two years."
" So how big is it?" Harry asked.
" Not very big, actually. They have only two junior executives who work on the smaller accounts. The bigger accounts are handled by the two senior partners, the ones who own the company."
"Who are the owners?"
Ron shook his head. " That's the thing. Fred said he's never actually met the owners, even though one of them is handling his account. All their correspondence happens by mail or over the phone. I was a little surprised that there wasn't anything about them in the papers, actually. I mean, they've practically got their own column in the Prophet, and they seem to be just as successful in the muggle world."
Hermione looked thoughtful. "You know, I'm sure I've heard that name somewhere before. I can't remember where, though, or what it was about." She frowned.
"Whatever it was, I hope they are as good as they seem. They could be just what the store needs.' said Ron.
"I know it's a bit late to ask you this now, but why didn't you hire someone when you opened your first store? Why now? I mean, The Snitch isn't doing that badly is it?"
"No, no of course it isn't! But I'm expanding into muggle sports now. I don't think anyone in the muggle world knows I was the Saviour's sidekick." He grinned.
Harry raised an eyebrow. "Oh, so you were using my name to peddle your product? I should be charging you a fee…"
"Hey, it's a common business strategy. Besides, you didn't want it. I figured, all that fame might as well be useful." Still grinning, he ducked as Harry tried to cuff him, then straightened up and took a deep breath of cold, crisp winter air. Looking up at the grey sky, he felt the warm certainty that finally, his life seemed to be going the way he wanted it to.
It had been three years since Ron had opened his first sports shop, The Snitch. The store had opened at an opportune time, around the same time that Diagon Alley's only quidditch shop downed its shutters permanently. The upcoming World Cup had done it's bit to boost sales as well. It ensured that hundreds of Quidditch crazy fans trooped into Ron's shop, and the excellent quality of his stock and bargain prices made sure that they stayed. Ron had done well enough in his first year to be able to open a second shop in Hogsmeade, forcing his sceptical family to admit that he may have as sound a head for business as his brothers. At the same time, as Harry and Hermione introduced him to the muggle world, he saw new opportunities there as well and having finally collected enough capital, had decided to diversify into the more profitable world of muggle sports.
However, this is where he met his first obstacle. In the wizarding world, it had been enough for his customers that he was the best friend of their Saviour and that his brothers owned the most successful joke shops in England. In the muggle world, he was just as anonymous as anyone else. He had been a little overwhelmed with the thought of it all, but then Fred had suggested that he hire someone who would do his publicity for him. Ron had thought about it long and hard and agreed. The only problem now was finding someone suitable for the job. Ron could be very picky when it came to making choices about his precious store. No firm he had seen so far had impressed him. Then he saw an article about Double Bass, Inc. in the Prophet and it sounded perfect. He had spoken to the twins about it and it was then then that they told him. Double Bass handled the publicity for Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes. Ron didn't need any more proof. He decided to hire them at once and that was why he was headed there today.
Harry and Hermione had helped him out a lot in the beginning. Hermione found out that he was running a little short and being Ron, refused to ask them for help. She suggested that he allow them to make up the difference in return for being made silent partners. Ron promised to return their money as soon as possible, and true to his word, repaid their debt a year later. He owed them a lot, so he hadn't said no when Harry Floo-ed him that morning and asked if he and Hermione could come along. Though now that he thought about it, it might not have been the wisest choice…
He snapped out of his reverie as they walked into the offices of Double Bass, Inc. He looked around and whistled. "Not too shabby."
Hermione glared and whacked him on his arm as a secretary passed by them.
"Ow, Hermione! What? What did I do?"
Hermione glared at him some more, then rolled her eyes. "Never mind."
Harry meanwhile, was examining the outer office. The room was simply and tastefully done up in black and white. Opposite the main entrance on two ends were two doors with simple gold nameplates on them. Harry assumed they led into smaller cabins. Between the two doors was a long desk with three secretaries behind it, each evidently very busy. A glass wall next to the offices led through into what looked like a conference room, where Harry could see a meeting was in progress. As he watched, the figures on the other side stood up and after shaking hands, two of them left. The remaining man stood for a moment, ran his hands through slightly dishevelled blonde hair and sat back down. Harry turned his gaze to the other side of the room.
On the other side of the room were two black sofas with two chairs in between on either side. In the middle of the set a vase with a single flower stood on the low table. The whole place seemed to give off an aura of easy affluence.
Just then, one of the girls at the table stood up and came over to them. She smiled at Harry and Hermione and then turned to Ron. "You are Mr. Ron Weasley?" She looked to him for confirmation.
"Yes, that's me."
"I'm Cecilia Simmons. The boss just finished his first meeting so you won't have to wait too long. Please have a seat. I'll tell him you're here." She turned and went into the conference room. The three of them sat around the table.
Another secretary brought them glasses of water as they waited. The glasses each had the company monogram on them, a black D and B against a dark purple background, with a snake entwined around both letters. Ron picked up a glass and took a sip, glancing at the logo. "You know, this kinda looks like the Slytherin logo. If they replaced the B with an M, it would probably be a dead ringer for the Malfoy family crest. Hmm…I think I am having second thoughts about this firm after all…"
Harry laughed and turned to see what Hermione would have to say about this.
Hermione was looking like she'd been hit by a HUGE pile of bricks. As Cecilia came back out, she started to speak. "Uh, you guys? I think I've just remembered where I've heard this name before."
Ron sat up. "You have? So tell me."
Hermione laughed nervously. "You're not going to like it."
Ron frowned. "Hermione, what don't you want us to know?"
Just as Hermione opened her mouth to answer, Harry saw a figure approach out of the corner of his eye, and stood up. Ron and Hermione had seen him too, and as they turned to him, Harry suddenly saw the reason why Hermione had looked so shocked.
His eyes widened as the man before them raised a groomed eyebrow and smirked a very
"My God. Are the three of you still joined at the hip?"
Behind him, Hermione winced.
So…did you like it? Kosher? Not kosher? Tell me…
Oh, and you've guessed who the new guy is, right? I think I've made it a leetle too obvious…