Lord Voldemort Discovers He Has Accidentally Bound Himself to Harry Potter, a Ministry Official from the Department of Magical Transportation, a Handful of Muggles, and a Nearly Complete Set of Firestone Tires

You would think, mused Harry Potter, that a Dark Lord would have better things to do with his time than monitor a teenager doing homework. Obviously, Lord Voldemort did not, for as Harry developed an outline for an essay he needed to write for Snape, Voldemort paced in large, lazy circles around the room. The tall, menacing figure of wizarding nightmares was barely paying attention to his young, unwilling apprentice, however. He was lost in his own thoughts, gently tapping his wand against his chin with every stride he took. It was a common, though dangerous, gesture for him. It was also the reason he lacked a nose. One day, his wand had tragically gone off while he was musing (though Voldemort tried to cover it up by telling everyone that he'd wanted to look more like a snake anyway).

"Do you know what I was thinking?" asked Voldemort, halting his revolution around the room, and turning to face Harry.

Harry didn't even bother to look up. "You were thinking about using Malfoy's money to buy access to the Ministry's Department of Incidental Magic to arrange a series of unusual side effects to common spells, thus causing confusion amongst a significant portion of the population.

There was a long silence as Voldemort stared at Harry, who continued his outline unperturbed. "…Yes, that was what I was thinking. How did you know that?"

Harry put down his quill and sighed. Finally looking up at Voldemort, he said, "I have a permanent connection to your mind because you put a bit of your soul in me. It used to be quite spotty, but since I'm in nearly constant contact with you now, I almost always know what you're thinking."

"How odd," was all Voldemort could respond. He was still trying to process the idea.

"I also know that you were considering the ramifications of adding a Dark Arts research division to the Ministry after you took it over."

"This is quite disconcerting," said a still mostly dazed Voldemort.

"Tell me about it. And then you were thinking about how much you like peach cobbler."

That snapped Voldemort out of his shock. "Nonsense! That must have been you."

"It was not," replied Harry. "I don't even like peaches."

"Well, neither do I!"

"Then whose thought was that?" asked Harry. "You haven't accidentally bonded yourself to another person have you?"

Voldemort sat down on the desk, steepled his long fingers, and did not deign to answer Harry. After several moments of silence, Harry rolled his eyes and said, "Oh for the love of--You have, haven't you?"

"Quiet," said Voldemort. "I'm thinking about it."

During the following five mintues, Harry attempted to work on his outline, but found it impossible due to the large number of Hmmmms, Ahhhhhs and sighs that came from the contemplating Voldemort. Because Snape was Snape, Harry already knew that he would have to do this essay at least twice. If he had to rework his essay even more than usual because of Voldemort's inability to leave him the hell alone, Harry was going to be very pissed off.

"Look-" began Harry, but Voldemort immediately cut him off: "I think I've figured it out. Come along, Potter. We're going to go suss this out."

"But-" started Harry.

"No buts! Time for a field trip!"

Harry's essay was doomed to land of multiple revisions.

"I was not aware," said Harry Potter, "that being evil involved so much lurking in filthy alleys."

"Being evil," lectured Voldemort, pulling the hem of his robe out of a muddy puddle, "involves a great deal of lurking, both literal and metaphorical. When you get to be as important as myself, you usually don't have to do the disgusting grunt work like this. However, as this is my very soul we are talking about, I figured I ought to take care of it personally. Also, it's best not to let your lurking skills get rusty."

Harry rolled his eyes. He and Voldemort were doing the aforementioned lurking in a narrow alley catty-corner to the Ministry of Magic's entrance. Harry had a fleeting sense of déjà vu, but brushed it aside while he tried to figure out why they were here.

"What are we doing here?" he asked, going for the direct approach.

"Quiet," said Voldemort. "Being evil also involves a great deal of silence, especially when staking out your prey. Too much noise and they'll realize where you're hiding, and all your careful planning will come to naught. I recommend you practice keeping your mouth shut, which should benefit everyone."

Voldemort, it should be added, was not too conversant with the concept of irony.

Harry would have once again rolled his eyes, but before he could complete the maneuver, a wizard Apparated into the street in front of them. He jumped and nearly shouted in surprise, but was cut off by Voldemort's frantic gesturing and hissed whisper of: "Shhhhhh! He'll hear you!"

The wizard was nothing out of the ordinary; just a normal guy in normal robes starting a normal day of work that was rudely interrupted when Voldemort leapt out of the alleyway, pointed his wand at the wizard and shouted, "Avada Kedavra!"

And so, the perfectly average wizard became a perfectly average corpse.

"What the hell was that?!" shouted Harry.

"That," answered Voldemort calmly, "was Murray Abingdon from the Department of Magical Transportation. I wanted him to connect me to a fireplace in Hogwarts about a year ago, and he wouldn't, so I killed his wife in front of him. I must have messed something up and embedded a bit of my soul in him somehow. I guessed it was him because I keep having these dreams about test flying magic carpets."

"Why did you have to kill him?!" Harry continued to shout.

"Well, obviously, I can't have some random guy walking around with access to my mind. Sure, he had a piece of my soul, but I've got lots of soul pieces to spare. It's better to have him out of the way permanently. Now stop shouting. We have to keep moving. In case you hadn't noticed, young man, we are currently outside of the Ministry."

Harry stared at him in open-mouthed horror.

Half an hour later, Harry was still trying to process the sudden death of Mr. Murray Abingdon, figure out how to convince Voldemort to stop killing people today, and how to keep Voldemort from killing him for suggesting that maybe he shouldn't just be offing everyone he met.

They were now hanging around outside of a charming country cottage, and Voldemort was trying to decide whether or not to just blow the front door down and kill everyone inside or if he should try to call out the possessors of his soul.

"I don't think they're home," said a relieved Harry.

"Hang on. I'm going to peek in the front window," replied Voldemort. "I can't believe I gave a bit of my soul to a Muggle. To a whole family of Muggles, no less! I think I need to be a little more discriminating about who I kill."

"I really don't think that's the problem," said Harry. "And would you stop looking in their windows like that? This is so incredibly creepy."

"Nosiness is the prerogative of evil," said Voldemort, pressing his lack of nose into the window and cupping his hands around his eyes to see into the house more clearly. "Not that you need any further encouragement in that direction." Harry glared, but got (and expected) no response.

"They're definitely in there," concluded Voldemort, finally pulling back. "I can't see anything, but I can hear them creeping around. I think they're hiding."

"Imagine that," muttered Harry. "Do you have to kill them?"

"Of course! Unless there's some way I can get my soul back."

"Regret will rebind it to you. You could try that. If you could actually regret anything, that is."

"Well, I regret that I accidentally lodged a piece of myself in their entirely worthless bodies. Do you think that counts?"

"I doubt it."

"Then I'll have to kill them. Walking liabilities and all that," finished Voldemort, readying his wand to breach the front door.

"WAIT!" shouted Harry. "Maybe it will work. Why don't we try it first?"

Severus Snape paced the dining room (his makeshift classroom), and glared angrily at his pocket watch. Potter was late again. You would think that a boy who was virtually a prisoner in the house would be able to make it to his classes on time, but noooooooooo, not Potter. Potter was too arrogant to give Snape the time of day, even when Snape had the power to take that time of day, transform it into pure potions form, and shove it down that cocky, no-account little bastard's throat.

It was unhealthy how much Snape hated Harry.

Stalking out of the dining room into the foyer of their split level colonial, Snape almost ran straight into Lucius Malfoy. "Hi, Snape!" said Lucius, cheerfully. "Have you seen, um, what's his name?"


"Yeah. That one. I don't think we're supposed to call him that anymore." Lucius was not too certain of his continuity.

"No, I have not! He has shown no interest in furthering his studies, which only goes to show that I have been right about him all along."

"Oh," said Lucius, who had no idea what Snape may or may not have been right about. "He didn't show up for Dark Baking today, so I wondered if our Lord had carried him off for a field trip again. Like that time they went to the lake or the botanical gardens or the Nuremgard prison to contemplate whatever the hell is worth contemplating there."

"The fleetingness of power," muttered Snape, who had been treated to an amazingly boring debriefing on Voldemort and Potter's return from the prison.

"Right. So, you haven't seen him either? That's a pity. I had a great new recipe for us to try today. Popcorn balls. They're delicious."

Snape was about to answer when the front door burst open, and Harry Potter staggered in carrying a large tire under each arm. Snape and Lucius blinked in surprise, and Harry said, "Don't even ask, I swear."

"What are those for?" asked Lucius, who was not consciously attempting to be contrary. It just came naturally.

"You put them on cars to make them roll," replied Harry crossly.

"Ahhh," said Lucius, nodding. "So, that's how they do it."

"Where have you been?" demanded Snape.

"He's been with me," answered a cold, stern voice, and Lord Voldemort swept into the house, also carrying a tire. Lucius and Snape immediately dropped to their knees and muttered something that sounded like, "My Lord," though it may have been "My cord," or even, "Ply board."

"It's been a productive day, wouldn't you agree, Potter?" asked Voldemort. Harry grunted in response and shuffled sullenly. "Yes, it has," agreed Voldmort. "Shame about that factory showroom. But did you see that salesman run? Ha! You miss things like that when you run the operation from the depths of a dungeon or on a dais in a throne room. I had completely forgotten about that time I killed half a dozen people in tire store! Wish I could remember what I was doing there. Aha! I know. I thought "Firestone" meant the firestone, the mythical rock that turns water into flame. I wondered why they had an entire store for it. Well, I think that takes care of my missing pieces. Oh, hi, Lucius. Good evening, Snape."

Lucius and Snape bowed and scraped, and Harry gave a sigh of relief. It had been a very long, very difficult day.

"You know what I'm thinking now?" asked Voldemort. "I could really go for some apple pie à la mode."

"I can't believe-" started Harry, but he stopped, shocked. "Wait. That does sound good."