Jensen almost wishes he'd asked for Cougar's help. Almost. He thought he'd be able to sneak in a side door, easy, but they actually have security. Real security, not the kind you can slide by, even with fast talk.
He tries to insinuate himself into the catering all morning, and no one is having it. He went for the typical white shirt/black pants combo, but apparently this caterer likes khakis and polo shirts, which is crazy for a movie premiere. It looks like simple hors d'oeuvres, but they have to have people wandering around to pass them out, right? Someone around here should be in a suit.
When he's finally given up and is trying to decide whether to try his luck at pretending to be some kind of PA or going balls out and pretending to be a celebrity, he sees someone backing the most ridiculous thing he's ever seen out of a van.
It looks like a replica of Diagon Alley, but done in clay or something. The details are all right, but it's not as precise as a miniature. The whole huge platform starts to lean to the side, and then more, and then there's shouting and Jensen runs in to get a shoulder under it. That's when he can smell the sugar and realizes it must be a cake.
"Thanks, dude," a round man in a t-shirt and baseball cap says with a huge grin. "That was almost a disaster."
"No problem," Jensen says, letting a skinny guy with crazy facial hair take over his corner of the cake. "I'd hate to see something like that splattered all over the sidewalk."
"You're telling me," the guy says, shrugging like he'd be offering a hand if he had one free. "Duff Goldman."
"Jake Jensen," Jensen says, and follows it immediately with, "Call me Jensen." He eyes up the cake; the slight guy who doesn't look like he could lift a wet rag is holding one whole side of the thing, and Duff has the other, looking only slightly more secure. "You want some help with this?" Jensen asks, suddenly hopeful that he'll be able to get into the premiere after all. "I could give you a hand."
Duff laughs, a ridiculous guffaw that's as big as he is. "Yeah, sure, why not."
Jensen helps them get it in and then goes back to the van to find out they've made the other side of Diagon Alley as well, so he helps them bring that cake in, too. As Jensen watches, they start lighting things up. There are little lights in all the buildings, and the decorations on Weasley's Wizard Wheezes look just like they do in the movie. Duff and the skinny guy (Geof, Jensen overhears at some point) have some trouble with getting the animatronics to work, so Jensen steps in. "I can help with that," he says, and the three of them spend half an hour getting the disappearing rabbit to work.
"That's really something," Jensen says when it is all finally up and running.
"It really, really is," someone behind them says. "Congratulations, chef, you've outdone yourself again."
Jensen turns around to see Daniel Radcliffe shaking Duff's hand, and his mouth drops open. "Harry Potter," he says, involuntarily. He can't even get it together enough to be upset when he sees Daniel Radcliffe wince a little. "I really… I mean… my niece, she's totally in love with you. Could I?" He grabs at a napkin imprinted with Charm City Cakes and pulls out the Sharpie he's been capping and uncapping in his pocket all morning.
"Of course," Daniel Radcliffe says, and Jensen can't decide if it's weirder that he thinks Daniel Radcliffe's whole name in his head or if the first thing he called him was Harry Potter. Dan, he thinks, like he's testing it out. Better. Now breathe.
"What's your niece's name?" Dan asks, Sharpie poised over the napkin.
Duff's standing behind Dan and while Jensen's stuttering stupidly he says, "Jensen," and Dan writes it in Sharpie, with a little XO and a swoop of a signature, and hands the napkin and Sharpie back.
"Do you work at Charm City Cakes, then?" Dan asks, and Jensen's still trying to pull himself together as Duff breezes to his rescue again.
"Tech help," Duff says, elbowing Jensen in a way that reminds him weirdly of Pooch when Pooch tries to get him to shut up and act normal.
"Brilliant," Dan says, and smiles in his general direction. "Well, I'll be back for the cutting, I imagine," he says, as a young woman pulls him away by his arm. "See you, Duff!"
"Smooth," Duff says, laughing again. It's contagious. Even Geof, who generally looks a little like a walking zombie, smiles and huffs out a little breath of air that might be a laugh.
"Well, I have been trying to get in here all day," Jensen admits. "And I didn't even think I'd get to see anyone, much less talk to them, and Harry Potter himself strolls over to say hi."
Duff laughs again, and shoves Jensen out of the way a little. People have started to come over and admire the cakes, and they're blocking the view. "Listen," Duff says, "I have to get my chef coat on and schmooze, but Geof'll show you how to get in and steal seats. You just have to promise to save one for me."
"Okay," Jensen says, holding his hand out to shake on it. "But you better bring me a piece of cake."
"Deal," Duff says, and shakes.