webnovel

I'm on TV! (Showbiz SI)

We're back and better than ever. I've completely refurbished, revamped, and even extended the story majorly. It's almost at 100K word count now! I will update here consistently going forward. Check out my Patreon for more: patreon.com/BarCalak A casual transmigration career building slice-of-life fic. With access to modern internet watch how the MC exploits foreknowledge to turn himself into an entertainment mogul over the course of decades. This is wish fulfilment without any shame. The story of Harry Potter, and other franchises, as told through the lens of the movies, and the changes within. I sneezed as an adult in 2022 and suddenly woke up as an eight-year-old in 1998. Guess it's time to take over showbiz!

BarCalak · Movies
Not enough ratings
48 Chs

Chapter 23: The Long Con

San Diego Convention Center, California. July 2006.

The heat of the morning sun was nothing compared to the sweltering press of the milling crowds. Screeching gulls were muted by the crinkling of paper and the squeaking of cheap, fake leather chaffing on sweating skin. Even the salty ocean breeze was overwhelmed by the wafting waves of barely there deodorant failing to mask the fetid stench of unwashed pits and bits. 

Kimmy took a deep breath and just barely stifled the choking cough that nearly erupted out of her. "Please sign here, and collect your pass." Soap, Axe body spray was not. The young woman suffered through the next patron, picking up their day-pass. A messy scribble, "Thank you and enjoy your day at Comic Con!", was followed by a nasally, laboured breath.

"Thanks." Was mouthwash really that expensive these days?

"Next." Ah! And here came the lazy cosplayer. Another staple here at SDCC. "Ticket, please." If you were going to pretend to be Batman, at least have the courage to wear a full suit. Like seriously, this was Comic Con. Was a plastic mask and Batman logo t-shirt the best you could do? 

His arm flexed when he reached into the back of his chinos and tugged out a folded piece of paper. Kimmy gulped. He was too skinny, but those muscles weren't too far off. "Here you are." But that accent totally was. Even Australians were coming here these days, huh?

It was difficult, but Kimmy metaphorically patted herself on the back when she tore her eyes off his forearms and scanned the paper he handed her. A VIP ticket. Guess there was a Bruce Wayne under the cowl, too, because those things were expensive. She pulled out his special lanyard. "If you could please sign he-!" Wait, where was her pen? She checked under her papers and scrambled over her desk. No dice. That damned mouth breather stole her only pen.

"Seems the bloke before me ran off with your stationary." Click. Kimmy's eyes dropped to his arms again when he leaned over and signed the sheet with his own pen. Why couldn't his shirt be as ripped as his biceps were? "Take it." He handed her it.

"T-thanks, Batman." 

"No worries. Can't catch the culprit for you, so might as well leave you with a gadget from my utility belt." He made for the entrance and threw on his lanyard. 

Hey, guess sometimes wearing a mask brought out people's inner heroes. She glued her eyes as her dark knight disappeared inside. May the lord thank whoever invented slim fit pants.

"That eager to explore, Kimmy?" She might have flown out of her seat, but that pen wasn't escaping her clutches anytime soon.

"Hey b-boss." Good thing the accusation of ogling perv was reserved for socially maladjusted dudes and not petite girls like her. "Yeah, totally."

"Well, if you wanna cut your shift early and roam around the rest of the day, I don't mind taking over."

"Really? I'd love that! But weren't you gonna hit up the Marvel panel? I heard they're launching a new movie." Kimmy still bent down, grabbed her bag, and stood up for her supervisor to take her chair from her.

"I left after some no name director announced a bogus Iron Man live action project. That thing's gonna flop harder than Daredevil."

Well, his loss - her gain. "Then, I'm headin' out. Thanks and see you later."

"Have fun." She would. But first, the bathroom. A change of outfit was necessary.

She made a beeline for the mirrors, plonked her Hogwarts themed sling bag on the counter, and immediately pulled out her bee stripe tie.

She surveyed her reflection. Black leather pumps; check. Stocking and grey pleated skirt; check. And the pièce de résistance, her Hufflepuff crest white school shirt and yellow-lined robe courtesy of Uniqlo.

Badgers for life.

She twirled, and her skirt flared satisfyingly. The moment she'd seen those super cute Harry Potter collection ad photos, Kimmy knew she absolutely needed to buy everything in the catalogue. The one with the trio in the library was especially her favourite.

Suited and booted, Kimmy marched out of the toilets. 

Forget the escalators, forget autograph and artist's alley. Kimmy had one goal alone. The black market, the under depths, the hidden shame of comic con. Where those without official merch stalls dared venture.

Kimmy headed towards the mezzanine.

She was a reader, foremost. Not of comics or graphic novels, but of actual paper-bound books. 

Last year, she discovered the delicious romance of the Twilight saga. God, Edward Cullen was just… she'd never treat him like Bella did. But, while vampires were great, her heart belonged to the wizarding world of Hogwarts.

And she knew that the best place to get some of the best unlicensed Harry Potter paraphernalia was at what they lovingly called Knockturn Alley, downstairs. 

She needed a wand to complete her ensemble, after all.

"You're not as beautiful as the ethereal angel that is Emma Watson, Kimmy. But you don't make a bad Hermione." The only problem with her store of choice was constantly being negged by the neck-beard who ran this place.

"Hello, Lawrence." 

"A tip of the cap to you, too." It took everything not to roll her eyes till all she'd be able to see was her own brain. It would've been preferable to the fedora Lawrence was wearing. "Please don't refer to me by that name. I've already told you, and everyone else, to call me the Loremaster." Of course.

"Is my wand ready yet?" Just persevere Kimmy.

"Indeed, it is." Lawrence reached into the pocket of his leather vest and brought a carved piece of wood. Good thing she packed hand sanitizer. "That'll be fifty galleons, m'lady." 

Kimmy gathered five ten-dollar bills from her wallet and presented it to him. He laid the wand just in her grasp, but quickly yanked it back before she could close her fingers around it. "Or… I could make this a freebie if you go out on a date with me." Of fucking course.

"Just take my money and give me what I paid for."

"C'mon, Kimmy. Just give me a chance. I'm a nice guy. Look!" Another hand disappeared down the trenches of his vest pocket. "I even have an extra pass for that sold out Harry Potter fan meet. We can go together."

Tempting. But she knew better. "Not worth it. It's not like anyone from the main cast is gonna show up. At best, we'll get like some second string extras, like Fudge or someone from the crew." Even despite that, not a single pass remained out on the open market. "How'd you get your mitts on it, anyway? Steal it from some five-year-old?"

"... He was at least twelve. And I traded him a resealed pack of Pokemon cards." His tone was braggy, but the words sounded real sad.

With that little tidbit, his fate became sealed (unlike those cards). She slapped the fifty bucks into his hand, took her wand, as well as one of the two tickets between his fingers. "Here's my money. I'm taking this also. If you argue, I'll tell the event organizers about your little shady deal." Girl's gotta haggle.

"But that's not fair!" Kimmy felt sorry for his poor mother if he whined like that at home.

"Tell that to the kid who'll never get his Charizard. And think of it this way, while not on a date, I'm technically going with you."

"Oh! Playing hard to get, eh?" Not even a little. "I'll see you later, Kimmy. We can meet outside meeting room number 9 in an hour. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to put on my robe and wizard hat!"

Seeing as she now had an hour to kill, Kimmy decided that if there wasn't anything else Harry Potter related, she could do the next best thing and hit up something Harry Potter adjacent. She meandered around the halls until she reached the ballrooms that hosted the panels.

If the man boobs spilling out of bright orange muscle shirts were any indication, the weebs were also having a panel. She glanced at the info sheet, something called Dragon Ball Evolution. 

She continued down the corridor, Avatar the Last Airbender, featuring M. Night Shyamalan via telecast. Whoa. That could be huge, but still not her goal. 

Ah, there it was. Tokyo Drift.

Benefits of being an employee here? Your pass was all access. 

There were surprisingly few seats without butts despite this being just a car film. The high-octane theme of racing was generally kryptonite to Con-ners, but the Japanese setting probably played a part drawing in the mall ninjas. 

Or, like with her case, Bas Rhys had hooked and reeled in every fish in the San Diego sea. Too bad he wasn't here.

She had a room full of his posters and pictures, man. All she needed was a lock of his hair and her collection would be complete.

Given the small train in front of the mic, she'd made it in time for the tail end of the Q and A.

"Since its release a month ago, the movie has grossed three-hundred million dollars internationally with no signs of stopping so far. It surpassed the box office of both previous installments. What do you think is the reason for this?" Wasn't it obvious?

"Casting probably played a huge role." Kimmy guessed it was the director who'd said that. "It's definitely unusual, especially for a majority Asian cast." Cough Bas cough. "Which is why I think opening week was so huge for us. I mean, we'd made back the initial budget of eighty-five million in revenue in just the domestic market. International response has been even better." Praise be to Harry Potter. "But I think the staying power is coming from the story itself. Critics like Roger Ebert wouldn't be praising it otherwise." 

Question answered the journalist stepped aside and let the next person grab the mic. Kimmy had only peeped them once, but she'd immediately recognized those buns and those guns. Her Batman was here.

"I have a two-part question, if that's not too much. My first question is for Sung Kang. Han has become super popular. Do you think you'll ever come back for a sequel?"

"Kind of difficult, considering I apparently blew up. But I don't remember filming a funeral, and the crew basically all also got out scot-free by bribing the Yakuza with their own stolen tofu and goading them into a race. So hey, you never know."

"Thanks. And for part two of my question." She could only see the back of his head, but it was apparent that Bats had taken his mask off. Whoever it was, the crowd hadn't seen his face yet, but the panel had and they'd all immediately jumped to their feet in surprise. "Did you miss me?"

All of a sudden the crazy guy rushed the stage and hopped on. But instead of booking it, the cast glomped on him. 

The crowd, including Kimmy herself, were only confused until the interloper turned to face them. 

Bas Rhys was here. Bas Rhys was here. 

Camera! Where was her camera!? Damn all this screeching. She couldn't hear herself think. Oh wait, she was one of the people screaming and she hadn't even realized it.

Half the hall shared her idea. Abruptly the stage turned into the surface of the sun with the amount of light beaming on to her Bas from the manically shuttering flashes. She couldn't believe he was here.

She'd spoken to him. She'd smelled him. Best day ever!

Her hand whipped towards her robe's pocket. The fan meet! It was him! 

The stool shook under her with how excitedly she was trembling. She closed her eyes and smiled wide enough that it hurt when she felt the weight of a floppy leather hat settle on her head. 

The event was so much more than any Harry Potter fan could have asked for. It was the furthest thing from what she'd expected. 

Rather than just a simple autograph and handshake, Bas had gone all out for the fans. Whenever someone's turn came up, they were sat on a rickety wooden stool and sorted! "Better be… Hufflepuff!" Yes!

Next came the gifts. She'd already bought the knitted scarf from Uniqlo, but another house scarf was more than welcome. As was the strong hand that cradled her wrist and clipped on her new bracelet. She looked at the charm hanging off it, a golden galleon with the words official member of Dumbledore's Army etched on it. 

Step three was the photo. "Smile for the camera!" Kimmy knew her face was redder than a sundried tomato, but she didn't care. 

The second photographer offered her a Polaroid, which she immediately snatched. Damned thing was still developing. She wanted to see herself with Harry!

It yoinked out her hand by the aforementioned wizard. "What would you like me to write to you?"

"Just tell me you love me!" She blurted out. She smacked a hand over her mouth. Stupid brain, you failed me!

Oh god, he was laughing at her. "Sure thing. And believe me, I do. Just like I adore all my fans." Nevermind, thank you brain. "Damn," he shook his pen. "Out of ink. Hold on."

"Wait! I have this." She fetched it out of her pocket and returned the pen he'd given her earlier today. She was planning on keeping it as a family heirloom, but oh well.

"My hero."

He got back to signing her photo. "My name is K-"

"Kimmy. I remember your name tag." Her heart just about stopped. "Here you go." He handed her the photo and even her pen back. "Thanks for that. How about a final request if you have one?"

Just for her? Thank God she was still sitting on this stool because her legs just gave out. "C-can I," cut some of your hair? Have your babies? "Get a kiss?" 

"Okay, dimples." Bas pointed at the camera guy again and planted his lips right on her cheek. 

Snap!

She could die now.