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What Only Hardcore Harry Potter Fans Know About Voldemort's First Job

"Work to live," they say, "don't live to work." The sentiment rings true, even if you're only living a fraction of a full existence after having shattered your soul in the pursuit of immortality and hidden the fragments in, say, half a dozen or so artifacts and knickknacks and snakes and little boys. See, this sort of thing is what made Voldemort such a great villain: he was relatable. He also had to eat (well, we presume), and that meant getting a job after graduation. And what better job for a budding, young, genocidal maniac than a low-level position in local government, say, attaching parking tickets to flying cars? Young Tom Riddle no-doubt had a variety of potential vocations waiting at the Ministry of Magic, but, following the conventional wisdom that you can do more evil in the private sector, he chose something else.

And so it came to pass that the Dark Lord, a man who had already tamed a basilisk and murdered his father and his father's father, and who would one day grow so powerful as to make grown men shudder at the merest implication of his name, took another surefire step towards a life of misanthropy, avarice, and hatred: he got a job working retail.

At some point, someone asked to speak to Voldemort's manager

Yes, in spite of the prestigious opportunities offered to him, Tom Riddle chose to take a gig working at an antique shop. It's a pretty standard move for a struggling young fascist who's just waiting for their empire of evil to take off, but in this case, there was a method to the mundanity. In as much as an antique dealership is capable of having a bad-boy reputation, Borgin and Burkes had one. Located in the seedy, enchanted strip mall of Knockturn Alley, the shop was a go-to spot for magical families looking to offload heirlooms with a shady history, and Riddle used that built-in customer base to keep the Dark Arts good times rolling. 

"Polite and handsome and clever, he was soon given particular jobs of the type that only exist in a place like Borgin and Burkes," we're told in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. "Voldemort was sent to persuade people to part with their treasures for sale by the partners, and he was, by all accounts, unusually gifted at doing this." If the Wizarding World had a Pawn Stars, it would have starred Lord Voldemort. Peter Pettigrew would have been the Chumlee. Voldemort's association with the shop would eventually put him on the trail of Slytherin's locket, an accessory that he'd go on to turn into yet another horcrux. Unspeakable evil stood behind the counter of a creepy-but-unassuming shop for years without anyone noticing. Remember that the next time you lay into the kid at the register at the quik-e-mart.