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"Apart from my transformations, I was happier than I had ever been in my life. For the first time ever, I had friends, three great friends. Sirius Black, Peter Pettigrew, and, of course, your father, Harry  James Potter. Now, my three friends could hardly fail to notice that I disappeared once a month. I made up all sorts of stories. I told them my mother was ill, and that I had to go home to see her…I was terrified they would desert me the moment they found out what I was. But of course, they worked out the truth…And they didn’t desert me at all.”

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AU drabble where Voldemort is a shite children’s librarian


“Thanks for stopping by my office, Tom. Now, I know nobody likes a performance review, but I’ll make this quick and painless, all right?”

The Dark Lord Voldemort stared with marked disdain at Gary Gregory, his piteous, pathetic, gelatin dessert of a supervisor. Gary seemed not to notice, dunderhead that he was, and gestured for “Mr. Tom” to take a seat. Voldemort did so, his spine rigid as he settled his tall frame into a chair upholstered with smiling jungle creatures.

“So Tom, overall your performance has been quite satisfactory, though there are a few…ah…’red flags,’ shall we say.” Gary paused and looked expectantly at Tom. Death Eater Numero Uno merely sneered and shrugged his shoulders in his most “bitch please” fashion.

“You see Tom, we’ve had some parents raise questions about your choice of works for the summer reading suggestions.”

Voldemort narrowed his eyes. He was rather proud of that summer reading display—he had quite the artistic eye. “Go on,” he murmured in a dangerous tone.

“Well…just look at what you’ve written.” Gary gestured to the bookcase outside his office, where the Head-Death-Eater-In-Charge had arrayed various titles with small, colorful index cards giving his personal reviews:

I’d really like to eat a child, by Sylviane Donnio. “Tripe of the first order, but I agree with the sentiments overall.”

Curious George, by H.A. Rey. “An improperly supervised monkey finds himself out on the town. Unseemly nincompoopery ensues.”

Guess how much I love you, by Sam McBratney. “Spoiler alert: It’s even less than you think.”

I want my hat back, by Jon Klassen. “A heartwarming story, detailing the idiocy of trust and the exquisite satisfaction of revenge.”

The Dark Lord was unmoved. He stared unblinkingly at his supervisor with his blood red eyes. If he had normal nostrils, they would’ve been flared. “I see nothing wrong with the recommendations. I took this job to educate young minds, not pander to the lowest common denominator, Gary.”

Gary chuckled good naturedly and held his hands up in a gesture of mock surrender. “Fair enough, fair enough Tom, you’ve got me there.” He turned back to the performance review on his desk. “Now, the next thing I wanted to mention, and this is just a minor point, but we’ve been hearing from a few parents who think it’s, ah…inappropriate…for you to read your original compositions during story hour.”

WHAT?!” Tom Marvelous bellowed in surprise. “What tragically misguided fool has an issue with Lord Voldy-man?!” He thrust his finger menacingly at his manager. “Speak quickly Gary, or feel the sharp sting of my wrath.”

Gary merely grinned in response, thick-skulled lump that he was. “Easy there slugger. No one’s saying you can’t read your original works…maybe you just need to clear the content with me first. How does this Lord Whosie What go?”

Voldemort took a deep breath. For what seemed like the 847th time he cursed Lucius Malfoy and his inability to properly balance a budget. (He knew they shouldn’t have spent all that money on the monogrammed jackets, but no, Lucius INSISTED they would get a deal if they bought in bulk. Cretin.) Now he was reduced to this tomfoolery. Malfoy was SO not getting re-elected treasurer ever again…

When he had sufficiently calmed himself, he pinned Gary with his most blood-curdling stare and began to recite:

I am not a huge Muggle fan,
No I am not, said Voldy-man.

I do not like their dirty blood,
I do not like their stench of mud.
I do not like their smelly clothes,
It makes me glad I have no nose.

I will not eat with them at lunch,
I will not have them to my brunch.
I want to shove them off a plane,
Or run them over with a train.

“Okay Tom, I’m going to stop you right there,” Gary cut in. “Now, I don’t know how you did things in the big city, but out here, we don’t take to kindly to children’s literature that…you know…threatens children.”

Fun time Tommy wasn’t about to go down without a fight. “Well, Gary, perhaps it’s time to give these unpolished children a sheen of urban sophistication, wouldn’t you say?”

“You may just have a point there Tom, but I still have to insist that original works go through me from now on.”

The Dark Lord gave Gary his most simpering smile, the one he practiced in the mirror for precisely these occasions, imagining exactly how he would like to cram his next original work through Gary.

“The last complaint, and this is really just a trifling issue Tom, but Bertha at the circulation desk says you’ve been stealing her orange Fanta from the fridge. And that you’ve been, uh, hissing at her whenever you pass her at the desk.”

The main Death Eater snorted at that one. “Oh please, Bertha wishes. She’s been after me for months. And as for the orange Fanta—if she didn’t want me to take any, she should clearly label her food and beverage before she puts it in the staff fridge. It’s stated right there in the Employee Handbook.” Tom V. brought a serious handbook game.

Gary readily acquiesced. “Right you are Tom, right you are. But maybe…just cool it on the hissing?”

Mr. Marvelous rolled his eyes heavenward. “Fine. I promise not to hiss at Bertha since she’s such an infant about it. Is that all?”

“No, no, now we have the good news! The kids love you Tom, just absolutely love you.”

Lord Voldemort seemed unimpressed. “How charming.”

“They’ve written a number a comments about you in their library surveys:”

Dear library, I love story time with Mr. Tom. He always wears a funny black dress that reminds me of my grandma.

Dear Mr. Tom, I like it when you get mad at us and call us ungrateful swine. I think you and Jafar from Aladdin should be friends.

Dear Mister Tom, I think your eyes are really fun and can you come be a part of my Halloween haunted house later this year.

The Dark Lord could feel his patience growing thin. “Easy now Voldy-man,” he said to himself, “just…steady on. We need the money. Merlin knows those deluxe bedazzled death eater masks won’t pay for themselves. Remember what they taught you in yoga. Deep cleansing breathes.”

By the time he regained his composure, Gary was blathering on about what an asset he was to the staff, and how good news always made for a happy end to a review. Voldemort disagreed—he strongly felt that the session would’ve come to a much more satisfying conclusion with Gary’s death, or at the very least, the ruination of his horrid outfit by projectile vomiting. With as much dignity as one could muster in such a situation, Mr. Tom rose haughtily from his jungle perch, strode out of the office, and went to prepare for the day’s story hour: Everybody poops.

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