a trick question (erb_) wrote in zhficrelay,
a trick question

Twenty-seven: A Day In The Life Of A Fool

keywords: Three separate Frank Sinatra song titles somehow worked into the fic, Herbology, a flickering light bulb, stained glass fragments, and an exceedingly unusual profession.

I have no excuses for this being so late.
I weep at your feet.

Also, this is a dabbling into a jazzish AU I'm working on, so it's in that universe. You can decide whether or not they're wizards. It's not stated here. But yeeaaahh. It's an AU. FYI. Also, if you know what song Mr Pete originally comes from I will totally marry you on the spot.

1,400ish words
PG-13 / R - language, general content

The title is also a Sinatra song.

A Day In The Life Of A Fool

There was a dog humping his right leg the first time Harry Potter saw Zacharias Smith.

“Luck! Be a lady!” This was Zacharias, the blond aristocrat no good ratfink who smelled of Burmese cigarettes, French women, and American jazz. He slapped his thigh and the dog, a scruffy, mud-splattered beast of a woman, pranced off into the interiors of the mansion.

“Luck, eh? She’s… mm.” That’s Harry. Harry is the disposal man. His job is to enter the house discreetly at the arse of dawn, gather up all the shit Zacharias leaves around, bag the shit, and get rid of it to an anal retentively thorough degree. S’good thing Harry doesn’t mind the stench of moldy socks or pasta that’s been left out too long.

Up until being humped by his bitch, Harry hadn’t a clue as to what Zacharias Smith—the man who made rich brats into rich legends (and then stole all their clams; possibly a fuck from their wives)—would be like. He’d imagined, of course.

Everyone imagined, from the Queen to Mr Pete the fruit man, but no one knew.


Mr Pete—fond of coffin varnish and expanding his waistline—an Italian with a comical, curly black mustache and three warts on his nose, had once told Harry to “never expect anything, ragazzo. You’ll end up spending the rest of your life sleeping next to a donna malefica with a pair of bad joojoos.”

Mr Pete never did make much sense, come to think of it.


The honest to god, real as your aching prick Zacharias Smith was hardly the bee’s knees. Couldn’t even futz around close to the elephant’s eyebrows. He was too skinny, too ribbish, too jumpy. He listened to records that made his entire place smell like burning rubber on a sticky, August day when the sun’s depressing and the workers—the ones still alive by the end of their shift—are clambering, nicely oiled, into the upturned nostrils of vintage London.

Whenever he walked, Zacharias gave everyone else the impression he’d been working in those same factories since before he was born, defying the laws of possibility simply because he could afford to. His joints were too loose and his legs were all jangly. If Harry could’ve had him paralyzed, he would’ve. He’d have to seriously think about that one.

At the moment it’s hard to think of anything; the drum beats take off from the record and explode against the walls. The trumpet wails just like the crazy old coot who lives in the flat next to Harry’s and believes her husband (worm chow for ten years now) to be trapped in the ice box. It’s all very sensuous. There are voices in the background, behind the music, and they make Harry believe that—as Zacharias pours the wine onto a basket of pears, missing their goblets completely—that they’re being quite wicked, flirting like they are, zozzled as they are, in the middle of a crowded room.

Except that no one’s there. It’s Harry, the great new masterminds behind this American craze called jazz, and Zacharias crawling across the loveseat and garbling out words, which make the room spin like a day at the fair.

“Dear little boy of mine,” he smirks, his eyelids suddenly a burden. “Boy of mine, boy of… mine. Dear little… little little… I’ve such an edge, little boy of mine.”

The real Zacharias Smith is also, Harry thinks it’s worth mentioning, ridiculously easy to ossify so early in the morning.


And how Harry got here in the first place was all the fault of Mr Pete. Harry worked for Mr Pete, selling fruit for next to nothing but a whole load of Italian lecturing. On the days when Mr Pete’s ankles swelled up and the vein in his forehead throbbed like a ripe tomato, Harry was tremendously happy he’d never gotten none of that schoolin’ shit, or else he might actually understand what it was Mr Pete was screaming. He could tell what was what and who was who and all that how do you do. Thas’ good enough, yeah?

“Intellect makes you weak. When you know things,” Harry was telling Mr Pete, waving his hands over a battalion of brown bottles that reminded the fattening Italian of dead soldiers, “then you know things, you know? And there’s just too many things out there no one should know. It’s like, and they come out of nowheres, and learning is just… you know?”

Mr Pete, very drunk himself, nodded vehemently. “Right you are, ragazzo. Right you are. Smart is for the ignorant.”

“And how!” Harry cried, lifting up one of the rolling ale bottles and drinking the nothing it contained.

“But I have a propo—proper—propsition for you, ragazzo,” Mr Pete smiled wolfishly. It was horrifying. “There’s new rich fellow in town, a paranoid crazy one. Says he’s ‘fraid of strangers lifting his rubbish. Told him I’d send my nicest worker—that’s you, Harry—over to… ahhh… help him out. It’s better job than fruit selling, Harry. Don’t look me like that.” Mr Pete, after downing a few and a dozen, dropped words like flies.

“You want me to be the keeper of some prat’s shit?” Harry peered dubiously over his fingers.

“I want you get paid and you share with me for hooking you up. What you say, ragazzo? Help a fruit man out.” Mr Pete pinched the arse of the server passing by. “Also, you never see him. It works for you. You go in, you clean, you get rid of. That’s it.”

“That’s it?”

“That’s it!”





“I’m a real fortunate fellow, you know,” Zacharias says over the tea he’s forced Harry to take with him out back. There are peacocks roaming his land. More importantly, there are peacocks in London, full stop. Harry just doesn’t know what to do with himself, with his hands, with his mouth, with his words. He has to sneeze, too. Should he excuse himsel—too late. “Have a cold, old sport? I’m trying that out, the old sport thing. What do you think of it?”

“I think it makes you sound like a pompous cock.”

“Really? That’s not what I was going for at all.” Zacharias butters a crumpet.

“Oh no, keep with it. It works well on you.” He sniffs. “What are you? A skirt?” Harry laughs. “You’re a man—I suppose—and you’ve forced me to tea and crumpets! No wonder you don’t want your rubbish sifted. You’re right embarrassing.”

Zacharias, calm like an impressionist painting, sets his neatly buttered crumpet down on his gilded dish. “You can go, then.”

“Never asked to stay,” Harry states. He pushes his chair back and heads away from the table, kicking a peacock on his way indoors for good measure.

“Oh!” Zacharias calls. Harry turns round in the doorway, cautious. “But you will miss the women. I always let the women out after dark.”

Harry considers, and then his prick deliberates.

“Women, you say?”


None of the real skirts can turn down the lure of jazz, it appears, and Harry begins to think Zacharias really is as everyone imagines he is and this pansy bushwa is all an act to trap the ladies of London in his spun silk web.

By the time Harry gets pushed out the door, having been informally informed that he’s overstayed his welcome, the only light left on in the Smith estate is the porch light, flickering against the moths and the frequent fall wind.

Inside, the drums kill each other, pounding at flesh at an abnormal, demonic rhythm. The horns are absolutely screaming. Doors knock and walls pound and the atmosphere pulsates with too much vitality. Oh baby! Oh honey! Oh doll!

And Harry misses it all, stopping only once to piss in a bush littered with the broken pieces of a stained glass Jesus who couldn’t hash it against the St Louis Blues and that Night In Tunisia.

Finally, as the piano crushes and the groove slinks on, the disposal man stumbles into the night with a full moon and empty arms.

spectacular's next five keywords are: fake hair, half-awake conversations, a tycoon at something unusual, vocal warm ups, and twenty-five eyes.

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