Voldemort searched to and fro in case he'd missed anything, even though the
magical sack of holding at his side was very nearly full to capacity. He
spied a silver garland hanging over the fireplace he'd somehow missed
earlier. He promptly snatched it and tossed it in the bag with the rest of
the decorations. He looked around, hand on his hips, taking in with gleeful
satisfaction the newly barren Ravenclaw Common Room.
Only three more to go, he thought malevolently.
He caught his reflection in the near window. Oh yes, he did look the part.
Though admittedly a heavily padded red and white outfit, a magical fat man
mask and a bushy white beard weren't particularly becoming on an august
Dark Lord such as himself. Well, no matter.
In a few hours, when the accursed children would wake, they would find all
their precious presents and Christmas decorations missing. Of course, he
could have annihilated them all in their sleep, but where was the fun in
that? Much better to drag out their suffering as long as possible, he'd
long since determined.
He turned to go, tying his bag off to ensure nothing accidentally spilled
out; it just wouldn't do for them to find even a single reminder of
Christmas in the morning, oh no. What kind of Dark Lord would he be if he
allowed that? He had a reputation to live up to, after all.
He'd just heaved the huge bag over his shoulder when his eyes fell upon the
now barren Christmas tree in the corner of the room. They wouldn't
redecorate it in the morning, would they? No, no, he had all the ornaments
in the bag, of course.
Still...many of those ornaments appeared to have been improvised, made out
of such ridiculous things as butterbeer caps and corks, acorns, pinecones,
radishes, floral crafts and other nonsense. He dumped his bag back on the
floor. No, these items were much to readily available. He had to take the
But how? The bag was out of the question; it was almost overflowing as it
Oh, of course! He could propel it up the chimney, with a good shove, it
would shoot out the end and fall next to his sleigh on the roof.
He soon discovered that shoving a tree up a chimney with sufficient force
to expel it from the top was much more difficult than he'd anticipated. Ah
well, time to use the trusty wand...
"Hello," said a vague and dreamy voice behind him. He spun around, for a
moment horrified at having been discovered. Wait a minute, he quickly
thought to himself, you're the Dark Lord, after all...
A pale young girl was standing before him, her long and straggly, dirty-
blonde hair dishevelled from a partial night's sleep. She was staring up at
him with two enormous, silver eyes, a partially-eaten cookie in one hand, a
glass of milk in the other. His disguise was working, he saw with
satisfaction; she showed no fear.
"Er...well, hello there, my dear," Voldemort said as sweetly as he could
manage, trying his best not to sneer. "You really should be in bed, little
girl. You aren't supposed to see Santa doing his, er, rounds."
The girl took a small bite of her cookie and continued to stare at him. She
didn't blink or otherwise give any indication she'd understood what he'd
said. Wasn't she familiar with the concept of Santa Claus?
"Well..." Voldemort said after spending a good minute wondering if she
would leave on her own accord, only to find himself being stared at
unblinkingly by this cookie-eating waif, "...shouldn't you be getting back
up to your dormitory now, little girl? I really can't let you watch, it's
er...it's against the rules, you see?"
She tilted her head slightly. "Why are you taking our tree?" she asked in a
Voldemort glanced back at the spruce partly sticking out of the fireplace
behind him, taking a half-step to one side to shield it from view. "Tree?
The girl walked serenely round him to the fireplace, pointing her half-
eaten cookie at the large bottom half of the conifer protruding from the
chimney. She took a sip of milk, her large silvery eyes peering at him from
over the rim of her glass.
"Oh that! The tree, oh yes! Well, er, you see, it's er, it's like
this...the tree is, er, malfunc - er, no, it's defective, yes, that's what!
It's not behaving as a good Christmas tree should, so I'm just going to
take it to my workshop to fix it up properly, and then I'll bring it
straight back down in time for morning, yes." Ah there, he thought, and
Bellatrix said I wouldn't be good at subterfuge!
The girl kept staring at him, her slightly mad eyes starting to disconcert
him. Get a hold of yourself, man! He chided himself silently, You're the
most feared dark wizard of modern times, after all!
Another nibble on the cookie. Large silver eyes staring straight through
She wasn't leaving. Blast, he thought, stealing their things nearly as
satisfying when you're being watched!
"Does anyone ever bring you anything?" asked the girl airily.
"Eh? Oh...er...well, no, I'm the one who's supposed to bring things to
everyone else. That's the tradition, you see?"
Another nibble of the cookie. "Well, I don't think anyone should be left
out at Christmas," she said matter-of-factly.
"Well that's, er, very sweet of you, little girl," Voldemort said. "Now you
really should be getting back to - "
The girl took a step closer, reaching into her robes and pulling out a
porcelain figurine of a frog. She drew forward and pressed it into his
"It's not much," she said, drawing back and smiling dreamily, "But it's the
only thing I have that hasn't disappeared yet. Well, not counting my
schoolbooks, of course."
Voldemort looked down at the tiny figurine. Its large, bulbous eyes seemed
to be smiling at him. He shook his head. No, of course it's just my
"Happy Christmas," the girl said dreamily before disappearing up the spiral
staircase at the back of the room.
"Finally," he muttered to himself. He walked over to the large bag, fully
intending to dump the silly little porcelain amphibian in with the rest of
the trinkets and decorations. Yet, as his hand held the figurine over the
open sack, he found himself hesitating. He brought it up close and examined
it. Well, it's not altogether repulsive, he thought. Actually, the
workmanship seems rather good.
Oh, fine, one present won't kill me, he thought, pocketing the item. He
turned to close up the bag. He found himself hesitating once more. What was
that he was feeling? Strange, he thought, I had dinner just before coming,
I know I'm not hungry...
It...it can't be... remorse, could it? He mused. No...no! Certainly not! I
am Lord Voldemort, most feared dark wizard of -
His hand drifted into his pocket, fingering the tiny frog concealed within.
Oh, well, darn it all, he thought, looking at the large bag and tree before
him, doesn't seem as satisfying now for some reason...well, maybe I can
take one night off from being Lord Voldemort...best not tell Bellatrix
about this or I'll never hear the end of it...
He drew his wand out. Everything flew out of the bag and back into their
original locations. He flicked it at the tree, watching it jump clear of
the fireplace and shake itself clean before hopping over to the far corner,
its decorations waiting patiently before leaping back to their branches.
He threw the now empty bag over his shoulder and drew out his Evil
Overlord's Handbook. He opened it to page twenty-one, the heading entitled:
'How to Steal Christmas'. He tore the page out, crumpled it up and tossed
it in the fireplace before resetting it ablaze.
As he left that night, throwing his empty bag into the back of his sleigh,
he silently decided that robbing wasn't really his forte anyway.