Smuggle-Borns

They thought of us as the weak ones. The sweet ones. The quiet ones. That was our class persona. We are streaked with color and tattoos by night. We sell what they see as illegal at our school. Against the rules. They still haven't caught us. The probably never will. We are your quiet Hufflepuffs. Your blended in smart Ravenclaws. Your background Gryffindors. Your stealthy Slytherins. We run an underground network. Our cause is as "pure as our blood", as they say. We are the Smuggle-Borns.

**Warning: Mature language**

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7. Chapter 7

 Tess Griffin and Blaze Easton sat in front of a fireplace in the Room of Requirement, putting together food packages for Specialty Ordered Magical Eats. Blaze looked up from his group of orders and said, "What was the list from McGonagall for? We've gotten food orders from Flitwick or Sprout before, but never McGonagall, or an order for Dumbledore, for that matter. Why was she interested in our sales, anyways?"

 Tess shrugged and answered, "McGonagall wanted a package with twenty boxes of lemon drops, five sugar quills, five boxes of ice mice, three boxes of Bertie Bots, and ten boxes of pink coconut ice. I have no idea why she's ordering from us, even for Dumbledore. She just asked me how sales were, and she let me off the hook for being late to class. I don't know if it was because she supports the Hogwarts muggle market or that she fell for phony innocent Hufflepuff charm."

 Blaze laughed and tied a box shut. "Or your lack thereof Hufflepuff charm. You might be a good lier, but not that good!"

 Tess swatted him with a rolled up Daily Prophet. "I am a good lier, and you know it. You're the one that believed me when I said I was dating a guy named 'Nonun Vero Ragazzo'!"

 Blaze glared at her and said, "The name sounds super real, c'mon!"

 Tess laughed as she threw a handful of Floo Powder into the fire, said, "the owlery", and tossed a pile of orders in. "You know I'm Italian, and that name is literally the words 'not a real guy' in Italian dialect. You aren't good at translations, like, at all."

 Blaze looked at his watch and said, "Well, just because I'm not good at translations doesn't mean that tricking your friends is nice. It's quarter to nine, so you should probably go deliver the package for Dumbledore. It's odd, I have to deliver a teacher order in a few minutes, too."

 Tess looked at him weirdly, but then grabbed a handful of Floo and the large package of sweets, and tossed the Floo into the fire. "That is kind of odd, that you have to deliver in a few minutes, too. I know that tricking you guys isn't nice, but I can have a few things about me private, right?"

 Blaze rolled his eyes and said, "No, you obviously can't have anything private, Tess." He turned serious and said, "We just want what's best for you, Tess. We don't want to be too late like last time." He turned back to funny, and said, "Now go deliver the friggin order, Tess, or you'll be late."

 Tess stepped into the Floo fire, waved, and said, "Fireplace by Dumbledore's office!" And she was gone in a flash of green.

 Blaze tied up his last order and muttered to himself, "Not like last time. Last time we were too late. It can't happen again. It won't happen again."

~*~*~*~*~

 Tess walked out of the fireplace, a few feet away from the stone griffin guarding Dumbledore's office. The griffin didn't normally wake up, usually if you had the password you could get in without confronting it. But McGonagall said to talk to the griffin in the note she wrote, so Tess tapped the griffin on the shoulder and said, "Excuse me, mate, but I have a special order for Professor Dumbledore, sent by Professor McGonagall."

 The gray stone that the griffin was made of turned a darker gray as it woke up. It looked at her with its beady eyes and opened its beak, then said, "I need a name, your house, and to know the contents of your package before I let you up." 

 Tess sighed and said, "Fine. My name is Tess Griffin, a Hufflepuff, and I have," she peeked into the container, "twenty boxes of lemon drops, five sugar quills, five boxes of ice mice, three boxes of Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans, and ten boxes of pink coconut ice. Can you let me up now?"

 The griffin looked at her with warily. "I believe," it inquired, "that that is not your full name, Hufflepuff brethren, and I must know your full name before I let you up."

 Tess turned a light shade of red and heaved, "My friends and teachers know me as Tess. You, as I seemingly never  talk to stone griffins, will know me and address me as Tess. Let me up."

 The griffin persisted. "Must I alert the Headmaster of the disturbance down here? Then you won't get your package to him."

 Tess looked at her watch and swore under her breath. 8:58. She looked at him and blew her bangs out of her eyes. "My name is Contessa Griffin, and I swear that if you ever call me that name, I will hex you into the next era."

 The griffin started to turn back to a light gray as the stairs appeared. Before it was fully frozen, it said, "Vai avanti, buona Contessa."

 Tess glared at the griffin, which was now a light gray color, frozen as usual. The spiral steps opened up, and Tess walked up, carrying the order. She looked in through the door, and there were seven other people sitting in the room at chairs, and the four head teachers standing with Dumbledore by his desk.

 Wait, the seven people in the chairs were her friends, the other smuggle-borns. Wait, why were they here? Oh no, no no no. The magical innocence glamour that we all used was wiped off, revealing all of their tattoos (which the teachers think is forbidden), our magically coloured hair (they also think it's forbidden), our awesome makeup (they allow makeup, but not a lot), and a few visible piercings (ugh, they hate those too).

 The teachers here, like most teachers around the world, don't like things like different coloured hair, tattoos, extreme(ish) makeup, or piercings because they're different than the 'normal'. Know to you people reading this story, different isn't wrong. It can be awesome! Back to regular programming~

 Tess looked at herself and realized that her visible tattoos weren't covered with magical glamour, and her temporary purpled hair was showing. Dumbledore looked at her and said, "Please sit down, Miss Griffin."

 She put the carton of candy on his desk and said, "There's your order, Professor." He smiled at her and gestured to the only empty chair. She said, "Professor, what is this about? You seemed to have gone against our rights as students and put up a magical glamour barrier without our consent. Now what's the deal?"

 Dumbledore looked at her and smiled, "Firstly, I think you should go into Magical Law, Miss Griffin."

 Tess nodded once and replied with, "Thank you, Professor. Now what's the deal?"

 Dumbledore sighed and said, "I'm sorry, students, but we need to discuss your business. It seems that you have done something strange with your advertising, and if we don't change it, we will be shutting down all of your businesses, once and for all." 

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