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Cost-Benefit Analysis

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“My. This is certainly a first, Mr., ah–”

“Moody, sir.”

“Mr. Moody. Yes. I must say, Mr. Moody, never in my twenty years since taking over Zonko’s Joke Shop from my father – nor during the sixty-five years I watched him run it – have I seen an applicant fail the training scenario by noticing the shoplifter.”

“Failed? Then I don’t get the job, sir?”

“You’re surprised?”

“Well…yes! You told me to treat it like a real situation.”

“True, but-”

“But isn’t that what I did? I confronted him. Then he ran, so I went after him. And I’m sorry for knocking over the display, and those customers – how is Miss Hopkirk, by the way?”

“The healers say she’ll be fine.”

“That’s a relief. Anyway, I’m sorry it didn’t go as smooth as it could’ve, but…I stopped him! Isn’t that what matters?”

“Let me put it like this, Mr. Moody. Did you by any chance study Arithmancy at Hogwarts?”

“Yes.”

“And were you by any chance indisposed on the day when the concept of cost-benefit analysis was covered?”

“I…don’t recall.”

“Then permit me to refresh your memory with a brief example. What item was our would-be thief attempting to steal?”

“A bar of Frog Spawn Soap.”

“And what do we charge per bar?”

“Three Sickles.”

“Very good. Now, do you know how much the merchandise you destroyed in attempting to subdue him cost?”

“…More than three Sickles?”

“One hundred twenty Galleons, two Sickles, and one Knut. And while a part of me is strongly tempted to make you work off the damage, my own cost-benefit analysis suggests that I should permit some other employer to teach you the true value of money. Perhaps in a position more suited to your, ah…how shall I put it?”

“Vigilance?"

“Vigilance. Yes. Good word, that. Best of luck to you, Mr. Moody. I’ve a feeling you’ll need it.”