Voldemort stalked through the halls of the Ministry of Magic, a trio of lackies trailing after him, desperately trying to get his attention.
“Minister Riddle, the Wizen – ” Idiot 1 was saying frantically, as Idiot 2 cut in with, “Really, Gerald, as if the Minister cares about – ” Idiot 1 quickly cut back in with “I was saying, Hershel, that – ”
Meanwhile Idiot 3 has not stopped talking the entire time, something about defunding an Unspeakable department for lack of results.
Despite the misgivings of Idiot 1 and 2, Voldemort is somewhat pleased to know that his underlings are smart enough to not pay attention to Idiot 3. It is their only redeeming quality. Voldemort does not give the lackies any hint of approval, however; he finds negative reinforcement to be an extremely effective motivational tool when handling his poorly-titled “advisors”.
Voldemort stops abruptly, his advisors running full force into his back. Voldemort doesn’t budge; his new body is more than capable of handling the failings of a few pale desk jockeys.
In front of him is Harry Potter-Black, the little nuisance from hell. He is sitting where Voldemort’s secretary Vanessa Ederling should be sitting, a long desk once covered with paperwork now bare save for a solitary bottle of nail polish sitting under a banker lamp. Harry is leaning back in the desk chair with nonchalant smugness, feet up on the desk, painting his nails slowly with the dark red liquid.
Voldemort’s (former?) assistant is nowhere to be seen. Harry is as stunning as usual, wild black locks curling in every direction, verdant green eyes simmering under hooded lids, plump pink lips pouting rather obscenely. Harry is dressed in clothes resembling his last secretary: a pair of black velvet ballet slippers, a pair of inappropriately tight black muggle jeans, and a dark green dress shirt unbuttoned just on the side of unprofessional. He’s beautiful and the little shit knows it.
Voldemort’s lackies gape wordlessly. Under normal circumstances, they would bloat up like a beached whale and rip the secretary of the month a new asshole. However, like the spineless weasels they are, they hide behind Voldemort and stare wide-eyed at the Wizengamot member lounging in Voldemort’s secretary’s desk.
“Harry,” Voldemort states smoothly, toneless.
Harry looks up through his eyelashes, still painting his nails with infuriating precision, and a slow smile spreads across his features.
“Minister Riddle, your next appointment is here to see you,” Harry purrs and Voldemort hears Idiots 1 through 3 make a communal gurgling noise, as if unsure whether to be outrageously appalled or hopelessly aroused.
Voldemort understands this feeling.
Voldemort refuses to be affected by Harry’s flair for drama and breezes past Harry, his lackies scrambling to catch up.
“I need the new bills in my office in the next hour, see to it,” Voldemort carelessly instructs the young man, ignoring Harry’s predatory expression in favour for slamming his office door shut in the faces of his Idiot Advisors, uninterested in Harry’s response.
Simply put, if Harry is going to pretend to be a secretary – Voldemort will treat him like one.
Harry does not have the new bills for signing on Voldemort’s desk in an hour. Harry has gone out to lunch and comes back an hour later with a massive square box, a strange board of some kind with buttons, and other kinds of preposterous paraphernalia.
“What in the seventh circle of hell is that?” Voldemort snaps sharply, pointing down at the secretary desk’s new set up.
Harry gasps, affronted. He lays a protective hand on the large egg-shaped device, his obscenely red nails matching the translucent casing of the thing.
“This is a state of the art, all-in-one 15-inch iMac G3,” Harry gushed, hand stroking the side of the machine. “It came in Bondi Blue but I thought I would change the colour of the housing to suit my new nails.” At this, Harry wiggles his hand at Voldemort to emphasise his point.
Voldemort stares at Harry blankly, at a loss as to which part of Harry’s incoherent statement he should attempt to deconstruct first.
“Of course, you can choose Strawberry for the outer casing but the bastards were going to charge more. What’s the point of having magic if you’re not going to use it to cheat The Man, right? Just don’t let anyone tell Steve Jobs,” Harry added, grinning, as if he were sharing some great secret.
“What,” Voldemort found himself saying before he could stop himself.
“Oh my god, you are so old,” Harry sighed, sending Voldemort a painful look, as if he was partly pitying Voldemort but mostly pitying himself for having to put up with Voldemort.
Voldemort looked at Harry blankly for a few more seconds.
What the actual fuck –
Voldemort blinked, taking a mental stepping back. Harry had disappeared his secretary, took over the front desk, painted his nails, bought some horrible muggle contraption and was not sassing him like he were some out-of-touch rude boss –
“This is a kink, isn’t it?” Voldemort said blandly, hoping the bluntness would scare Harry off. It never had before, but a man could hope.
That terrifying slow smile curled around the edges of Harry’s lips. Those eyes, which had been sparkling with mischief the entire time, now burned like the simmering embers of a floo hearth.
“Wouldn’t you like to know?” Harry replied breathily, leaning against the egg-Mac-thing and his buttoned shirt suddenly very open and suggestive.
“I have a lot to do today,” Voldemort replied smoothly, arching a brow with unimpressed annoyance. But he knows his eyes have dilated. The traitors.
“Well, get on with it then,” Harry encouraged, reaching down and pressing a button on the contraption. It began to glow, make a strange fanning noise, and lit up the side facing Harry.
Voldemort pinched the bridge of his nose, “Muggle electrical inventions should not work here,” he muttered pettily, before taking off to his next meeting.
Voldemort pushed into the lift just as it opened, surprising his Idiot Advisors (who he suspects had come to gawk at Harry under the guise of collecting Voldemort for his next appointment). He turned around as the lift doors were closing and his eye twitched as a Muggleborn who worked on his floor picked up a plastic-rope-thing with metal prongs off the floor, staring at the glowing machine and Harry with awestruck confusion.
“How in Merlin’s name is your computer turned on if it isn’t plugged in?” The woman asked, appalled, and Voldemort looked up to the ceiling of the lift with exasperation so he wouldn’t have to see Harry’s answering innocent smile.
Perhaps this isn’t so bad, Voldemort thinks, spreading Harry across his desk and shoving the younger man’s shirt up, nails digging into pale, toned flesh.
His secretary laughs breathily, messy hair ruining Voldemort’s carefully organized in-tray and knees pushed wide by Voldemort’s hips.
Voldemort is late to his next appointment.
He finds he doesn’t mind.
“I really do need those bills,” Voldemort hisses against the nape of Harry’s neck, biting down on the offered flesh as he pins the horrible brat against his office door.
Harry presses back into Voldemort’s toned frame, hair mussed and expression blissful as Voldemort doesn’t let up, grinding against Harry firmly.
“Remind me tomorrow,” Harry answers distantly.
Voldemort frowns. If Harry is able to think, to talk, then he needs to double down on his efforts.
Ten minutes later, Voldemort is satisfied that Harry can’t remember his own name.
Voldemort steps onto the Minister’s private floor the following morning and sees that somehow there is still no paperwork on Harry’s desk, no one is around as far as the eye can see, and that infernal muggle thing on Harry’s desktop is still there.
However, Harry is not to be found.
For the first time since becoming Minister of Magic a year ago, Voldemort walks into his office and there is nothing for him to do. He is fully aware that he has things to do. But he simply cannot find where Harry has stashed his work. He stares at his empty desk blankly, glances back to his office door, wondering where it all went wrong.
The Idiot Advisors bustle into Voldemort’s office, not even knocking the idiots, and Voldemort turns to stare at them blankly.
“Where are my things,” Voldemort states. It is not a question. It is a demand.
“Well,” Idiot 1 begins boisterously.
“You see –” Idiot 2 counters.
Idiot 3 is already talking but no one hears him.
“Where. Are. My. Things.” Voldemort repeats, slower, deadlier. He has not used this tone with them yet.
His advisors freeze, as if shocked into stilling like mice before a predator.
“Your secretary finished it all,” Idiot 3 says.
Voldemort, Idiot 1, and Idiot 2 turn to Idiot 3 in surprise. It is the first thing Idiot 3 has said that anyone has paid attention to since his hiring.
“How?” Voldemort says, continuing in that tone. It is yielding good results. Perhaps he should always speak to them like this.
“Your secretary had Bernice on the seventh floor do all the proof reading, Leonard on the eleventh floor file all the documents, and Patricia down the hall sign all the bills that needed signing in your hand,” Idiot 3 squeaks, suddenly unsure how to handle the pressure of people paying attention to him.
Voldemort doesn’t know who these people are. Actually – no, he does. Annoyingly enough, Voldemort knows Patricia will sign only what she knows Voldemort would want to sign and will shred the rest. He is aware Leonard is the best filer in the Ministry. He has heard Bernice is an unparalleled paralegal. Voldemort is annoyed he knows these things; they are little insipid thoughts that rise up to the surface of his mind, put there from unwillingly half-listening to water-cooler talk for over a year.
It infuriates Voldemort that he hasn’t thought of this option before.
“What of my appointments?” Voldemort barks, tone somehow darker than before.
“Mr. Potter-Black had Muggle Liaisons work in tandem with the Magical Creature people to deal with the pixie infestation in Leicestershire, somehow scared the Maintenance Department into cleaning up that swamp that’s been in the Eighth Floor for weeks, and accepted the Department of Magical Law Enforcement’s increasing demands for a larger budget by taking it from the hide of the Head Auror’s pension,” Idiot 3 gushed, now on a roll, hardly pausing for breath. “He got the Accounting Department to finalise the three years of tax backlogs by promising them board games and calzones on Fridays and got Supreme Mugwump Akingbade to agree to the proposed schedule for the Norwegian Accords by promising to introduce him to a chimera.”
There was a beat of silence as Voldemort and Idiot Advisors 1 and 2 stared at Idiot Advisor 3.
“Well, clearly everything he just said was preposterously untrue – ” Idiot 1 began to say.
Voldemort flicked his hand and Idiot 1 disappeared.
Idiots 2 and 3 stared at Voldemort in shock.
Voldemort realises he probably shouldn’t display power like this in front of his Ministry appointed underlings, but he cannot find it within himself to care. He walks around his desk and sits down heavily, legs sprawling and head tilting back to look at the ceiling, resting his head against the top of his chair.
It because of his internalized, ruminating fury that he doesn’t startle when soft hands slide up his thighs. Voldemort doesn’t look down, knowing his desk hides his lower body and that the nails on those hands are blood red, and closes his eyes as nimble hands begin to quietly undo the buttons on his trousers, teeth pressing into the side of this thigh.
“Get out,” Voldemort growls at the ceiling.
“But Minister Riddle – ” Advisor 2 starts to say.
“Don’t make me send you after Idiot 1,” Voldemort says through clenched teeth, hands gripping the arms of his chair as Harry quite possibly permanently ruins his office for him.
Idiot Advisors 2 and 3 squawk and take off, quickly closing the door behind them.
Voldemort reaches down and yanks his cackling secretary into his lap, choosing to forget his anger in favour of mauling a gleeful Harry Potter-Black.
“I’ve been banished from the Ministry,” Harry bemoaned sadly as he sat at the kitchen table in Grimmauld Place, sending sad eyes to Sirius as the man dealt the cards for Go Fish.
“I’ve heard you created quite a stir,” Remus comments from the kitchen stove top, tending to the steaks. “Hermione told me that Creature Management got a new computer that operates on its own accord. Its instant messaging capabilities have apparently blown the Ministry’s preferred method of flying memos out of the water. Unfortunately it wasn’t too long before it devolved into forwarded email-chains of bad jokes and got confiscated by Unspeakables.”
“What?” Sirius asked, glancing up at his husband.
“You don’t want to know,” Remus sighed, flipping a steak on the grill.
“But I was really good at being a secretary,” Harry whined, pouting.
“You can’t be too efficient, Harry,” Sirius stated seriously. “You make everyone else look bad. Welcome to the world of office work.”
“What would you know about office work?” Remus laughed, sending Sirius a sceptical look.
“I’ve heard things!” Sirius replied, placing an offended hand to his chest. “Apparently you have to be like Peter.”
“Are you referring to the Peter Principle?” Remus asked, suddenly sounding very resigned.
“Yeah, sure,” Sirius answered, flapping his hand. He turned to Harry with a gleam in his eye. Harry knows this look; he’s about to hear some wildly untrue things and he braces himself for it with glee. Sirius Storytime is Harry’s favourite. “Basically, Peter is someone who doesn’t do any work and is really lazy and incompetent and everyone hates him because they have to pick up Peter’s slack. But because Peter is lazy and incompetent and all his coworkers do his work, he gets hired because management thinks he’s either delegated his work to the right people or is finished with all his work. Thus, Peter is in upper management before anyone can think twice.
“Now Peter gets paid more than anyone else for doing zero work and his bosses, who are also Peters, are so impressed that Peter is now on an upward trajectory towards financial success and professional prestige without ever having to lift a finger. Before you know it, you have an entire board room of Peters doing nothing, thinking they’ve worked really hard to get there because no one has called them out on being lazy fucks, and everyone at the bottom is stuck holding the hot potato. And that’s how offices work.”
Remus stared at his husband, eyes wide. “That’s both totally incorrect and yet somewhat near the Peter Principle,” Remus said at last, as if proud Sirius could get in the general vicinity of the truth.
“See, I know things,” Sirius replied sweetly, winking at his husband.
“So, like the Wizengamot,” Harry says, thinking hard.
“Well, sort of, but that’s mostly nepotism,” Sirius said, winding up for another story.
Remus groaned and turned back to his steaks, ignoring his husband and son with years of practice as the only sane one. He wonders if Hermione’s free tonight. Judging by the mad glint in Sirius’ eye, it looks like it’s going to be a long evening.
“Sirius said I was fired because I wasn’t more like Peter,” Harry says from his perched position on Voldemort’s desk.
Voldemort looks up from his paperwork. Harry had not been there a minute ago, and yet here he was, sitting daintily on the edge of his desk, legs crossed and expression disinterested.
“I don’t know Peter and I don’t care to,” Voldemort answered steadily, not rising to the bait.
“Sure you do. How else do you think your advisors got their jobs?” Harry replies cryptically, examining his chipped blood red nails. “Or maybe that one is nepotism. I have to check with Sirius, he is teaching me about office lingo.”
Voldemort suddenly feels an uncharacteristic and unwelcome stab of empathy for Remus Lupin. He’s not sure why but, somewhere out there, he has a feeling that the werewolf is walking in his shoes.
“You’ve been banned,” Voldemort says slowly, unsure if Harry is aware of the term and what it means. Many people have attempted to ban Harry from things over the years; not many people have succeeded.
“That’s racist,” Harry answered, looking down his nose at Voldemort.
“How is that racist?” Voldemort replied, eyes narrowing.
“Oh, wait – no,” Harry said, blanching. “I get confused. That’s sexist?”
“You’re not a woman,” Voldemort sighed, leaning back in his chair. He clearly wasn’t going to get any work done.
“How do you know?” Harry shot back. “Have you ever asked me?”
Voldemort stared at Harry steadily. “I think you need sensitivity training,” Voldemort stated.
“Also, I just found out about sexual harassment in the workplace,” Harry continued, gleefully.
“You go to a sexual harassment seminar every year as a member of the Wizengamot,” Voldemort groaned, pinching the bridge of his nose and staving off an incoming migraine.
“Well, sure, but I didn’t realise I could be sexually harassed,” Harry continued, oblivious to Voldemort’s sudden glare.
“You’re mine,” Voldemort growled, timber deep and threatening.
“You bent me over this desk, like, seven times in two days,” Harry countered, sending Voldemort a pointed look. “And against that door. And over Idiot Advisor 1’s workspace, which probably wasn’t very nice seeing as he was too busy being banished to protect his desk.”
“You asked me to,” Voldemort bit out, not liking where this was going.
“Are you saying that I was asking for it?” Harry pressed, appalled.
“Yes, because you were literally asking for it,” Voldemort shot back, baring his teeth before he could suppress his reaction.
“Well, Minister of Magic, I feel like I am owed an apology,” Harry snapped, standing to his feet and pressing his palms on his desk as he leant closer to Voldemort’s dour expression.
“Oh, really?” Voldemort hissed, canines definitely now on display.
“Yes, really,” Harry hissed back. “If you apologise to me for not respecting my sexual integrity in the workplace in my first week of work, I’ll climb on your lap and make it worth your time.”
Voldemort barely stopped an eyeroll but felt an eyebrow muscle twitch, much to his displeasure. “So you’re saying that if I apologise for having sex with my secretary, who banished my old one just to play dress up and have sex with me at work, you’ll reward me with having more sex at work, all in the name of respecting your so-called sexual integrity in the workplace?” Voldemort clarified, wondering if Harry would see the absurdity. Unfortunately, he rarely did.
Harry stared at Voldemort for a moment, tapping his finger against his chin as he thought. “Yes, I think that’s right,” Harry confirmed at last.
“It’s counterproductive to ensuring a healthy workspace to trade apologies for sex, I’m not apologising, get out of my office,” Voldemort sighed. “And bring Vanessa back, her family has owled me multiple times this week wondering where she vanished to and I believe they’ll open an investigation soon if you don’t return her safely.”
“Who the hell is Vanita?” Harry asked, surprised.
“Vanessa, my secretary,” Voldemort stressed, feeling his entire face now straining against a suppressed twitch.
“Oh, yeah,” Harry laughed, “She’s eloped to Andorra with her boyfriend to get married. I can ask her to come back, I guess, but she told me she quit and took off like, three days ago. Why else did you think I filled the role? Like they say, no good deed goes unpunished,” Harry admonished primly.
Voldemort despairs. He loathes. He feels like every bad thing he has ever done in his life has been karmically wrapped up in a single beautiful being and it is now being inflicted on him.
“I think at this point any sexual harassment claim would be on my side,” Voldemort says at long last.
Harry looks shocked. “Am I sexually harassing you? Should I apologise?” Harry asks, aghast.
Voldemort looks up to the ceiling, wondering if this is what he deserves for inflicting himself on the world for seven decades. “Not so much harassing as terrorizing. Either get on my lap or get out.”
Harry climbs over the desk before Voldemort can take it back and, well, really – it’s not like he would anyway.