The bald snake-like man stood behind the till with a look of utter contempt as he rang up the purchase of the very fat man standing across from him. Five bags of crisps, three bags of pork rinds, and a very large cake; how typical, he thought with disgust. As he bagged the goods and awaited the next customer, he took a moment to reflect on why he was here, and why it all went wrong. Not that long ago, he had spent his nights spreading fear and terror throughout the world, the mere mention of his name inspired shuddering. But now, the man once known as “Lord Voldemort” was here, working the night shift at Tesco.
Harry Potter had ruined everything. Voldemort often second guessed himself after that battle had gone horribly wrong, constantly reminding himself that maybe putting a horcrux in the Room of Requirement wasn’t the greatest idea after all, or the “Room of Convenient Plot Twists” as he had taken to calling it. Over the course of several years, he had many missed opportunities when Harry Potter was readily vulnerable, but no, he had to go for the big exciting climax. Like so many evil villains before him, his flair for the dramatic was his undoing.
After his fall, Voldmort’s first idea was to follow the path of many other disgraced celebrities and get a book deal. However, he had been rejected by every major publishing house. Apparently Harry Potter had published his side of the story first, and nobody wanted to hear the other side. No, it wasn’t enough for Harry Potter to simply defeat and humiliate Lord Voldemort; he had to steal his book deal too. He had then pitched the idea for a reality show where ordinary muggles would compete to become the next Death Eater, but he had yet to find any takers for that idea either. To add insult to injury, Harry had gotten a movie deal as well. Voldemort had stopped watching television altogether because every time he turned it on, there was another clip of Harry, reveling in his defeat. Potter’s minions had capitalized on the success as well. In the biggest shock of all, Cedric Diggory, who Voldemort was sure he had killed several years earlier, had suddenly reappeared posing as a vampire, which he had parlayed into a wildly successful movie career.
Even this very store was filled with Harry Potter merchandise. Every night he was forced to ring up the purchases of children buying books, DVD’s, balloons and t-shirts, all emblazoned with Harry’s face. Harry’s smile constantly mocked him, never allowing him to forget his humiliation. Every once in a while, a customer would stop and glance at Voldemort, thinking they recognized him but not really sure. But the worst, however, was the customers that did recognize him. They couldn’t just go about their business and leave him be, no; everybody had to make their own little wisecrack, all so sure that they were the first person to ever think of their particular pun. In particular, George Weasley made it a point to stop by every night during his shift and purchase a massive prawn sandwich and potato salad, only to dump the contents somewhere in the store where Voldemort would inevitably have to clean it up.
The old gang was nowhere to be seen as most of them were either dead or in prison. Every once in a while he would visit Malfoy Manor and yell at everybody inside, but it just wasn’t the same anymore.
He snapped out of his reminiscing as he heard himself being summoned.
“Tom, may I have a quick word with you?” It was Dave, the store’s manager.
“Ahem, my name is Lord Voldemort,” he replied to no avail. It just didn’t carry the same weight anymore.
“Right,” said Dave, “Well anyway Tom we have to make redundancies and I’m afraid we’re going to have to let you go?”
“But…you can’t, I need this job!” Voldemort protested.
“Well we have to get rid of somebody, and quite frankly you scare our customers,” said Dave.
Voldemort pulled out his wand, “Imperio!” he shouted, hoping the imperius curse would change Dave’s mind.
Dave simply looked at him with an expression of bored annoyance. “Please leave now, I don’t want to have to call security.”
Voldemort walked out of the store and into the cold dark night. He remembered back when he was a student at Hogwarts how Professor Slughorn had offered to get him a job at the Ministry. If he had only taken that offer, he would be enjoying a nice government pension by now; maybe he would have even saved up enough to have a holiday home in Spain. If he could only go back and warn young Voldemort of the horrible job security in the evil villain market. He trudged slowly along the street, trying to plan his next move, as he was splashed with muddy water by a passing bus. He angrily looked up at the bus only to notice the advertisement on its side; Harry Potter, continuing to mock him.
After several hours of waiting in line, the clerk at the unemployment office was finally ready to see Voldemort.
“Your name?” asked the woman at the desk, as he took a seat across from her.
“Those who are worthy to say my name call me Lord Voldemort.”
The woman typed his name into the database, “No, there’s no record of a Lord Voldemort in here.”
Voldemort swallowed what little was left of his pride, “Try Tom Riddle”
The woman typed away, and his record appeared on the screen. “Mr. Riddle, you are wanted by the authorities on over five hundred counts of murder, kidnapping, fraud, extortion, theft, assault, and money laundering, and you also owe over 2 million pounds in unpaid taxes, so I’m afraid you are not eligible for unemployment benefits. Have a nice day.”
Voldemort walked out of the office without saying a word after suffering yet another defeat.
Voldemort tested the microphone as he took the stage. He would never consider singing or dancing, so he realized the stand up comedy circuit was really his last chance to make it in the entertainment industry.
He nervously began the routine, “How’s everybody doing tonight? I tell you I just took a portkey here from Hogsmeade and my back is killing me!”
He paused waiting for laughs, applause, even a little chuckle, just some sign that somebody was listening. There was nothing.
“So I was going to go see the new Harry Potter movie, but then I thought, why don’t I just hit myself in the face with a shovel instead?”
Again he paused; there was nothing.
“And don’t get me started on Ron Weasley, I mean if he can do magic then why is he still a ginger, am I right?”
“You suck!” A man called out to break the tense silence of the crowd.
Voldemort pulled out his wand, “I can see this audience is unappreciative.”
“We appreciate the fact that you suck!” replied the man.
This was too much for Voldemort to take, “Crucio!” he exclaimed, expecting to see the man crumple over in pain. But instead, the club’s bouncers were soon on top of him and he felt a powerful electric shock wave pulsing through his body. In all his years of acquiring dark magic, he had never experienced the power of the taser.
The bouncers threw him out onto the street and he slowly picked himself up. Not knowing where else to go, he decided to walk to a nearby cinema to see what was playing. It was Harry sodding Potter, of course.