Grazhir :: Harry Potter :: Control Issues :: 06 :: Lord Thanatos

06 • Lord Thanatos

“Harry, I’ve been thinking,” Voldemort said, wanting to distract his mate and possibly cheer him up. Harry had been quite mopey all day, and Voldemort could only assume his mate’s present mood was entirely connected to the events of the previous day, and even his breakdown of sorts the night before.

“Yes?” Harry replied absently, not looking up from the crossword puzzle he was working on.

“I’ve been thinking of changing my operations a bit,” he said. “And given that we’ve already discovered you are, in fact, a metamorphmagus, that would be very useful for what I have in mind.”

Harry glanced up at that, a spark of interest lighting his eyes for the first time that day.

“I was wondering if you’d like to become a dark lord in your own right, and help me to run my empire.”

Harry tucked his pencil into the puzzle book and set them aside, giving Voldemort his full attention.

“After all,” he continued, “you must be getting terribly bored with nothing much to do all day. I also thought I could arrange for a little demonstration so you could show my followers just what you’re capable of.”

“A dark lord?” Harry said thoughtfully, then bit his lip. “And what exactly does a dark lord do all day, Tom?”

Voldemort looked faintly sheepish when he said, “Well, there is rather a lot of paperwork involved, I must admit, but for you I was thinking more that you might consent to take over all training operations. I’ve been rather unhappy lately with how things have been going, and I think my Death Eaters need a bit of shaking up. I could continue to handle the espionage and political aspects.”

Harry tucked one leg underneath him and settled back in his chair. “If I did that, I’d need a name, wouldn’t I.”

“Yes,” Voldemort agreed.

Harry thought about it some more, then smiled impishly, something Voldemort was very happy to see. “I could prance about as Lord Thanatos.”

“The personification of death? I think that sounds very appropriate, Harry. Perhaps you might be persuaded to carry a scythe around just to really make people quake in fear.”

Harry chortled and nodded his head. Then he sobered and said, “Do you really mean that? You’d let me co-rule your dark army?”

“Of course. I have complete confidence in you, Harry. You are an integral part of my life, one that I cannot conceive of being without, and I value what you are able to contribute, should you wish to do so. I would be happy to share with you all that I have.”

Harry’s eyes got all shiny at that and suspiciously wet; he glanced away a second later.

When his mate didn’t say anything for several minutes Voldemort gently asked, “Have I said something to upset you?”

Harry’s gaze flew back to him instantly. “No! I’m . . . happy.”

Voldemort had a fairly good idea what was running through Harry’s head, but still wanted to lighten the mood again if possible. “Happy enough to come give me a kiss?”

His mate’s expression changed abruptly, going from vulnerable to lustful in a heartbeat. Then he tilted his head and said, “And what do I get out of it?”

Voldemort pretended to be shocked. “Are you saying my kisses don’t please you?”

Harry rose from his chair fluidly and advanced using a particularly slinky gait. “Oh, they do,” he said throatily, then settled onto Voldemort’s lap and clearly ordered, “You will play with my scales, Tom.”

“As you wish,” he murmured, and hastened to obey.

*

Harry spent the next week not only screwing about deciding on his new look, but spending an inordinate amount of time training with a scythe, a weapon he had not previously wielded. In the end he looked similar to how he had for the Weasleys, but his eyes were now pale and nearly colourless, giving his gaze an oddly dead quality that went splendidly with his translucent skin. He had also altered his facial structure a bit, now more closely resembling that which one might expect to see if one of Tolkien’s elves had come to life, and had retained the waterfall of black hair. He had even managed to make his ears a bit pointy.

The changes did not in any way diminish Voldemort’s attraction to his mate, though if pressed hard enough, he might possibly be persuaded to admit that he had been perfectly content with Harry’s true appearance, even if this one was devastatingly erotic in its own way. In point of fact, he was slightly worried that the Death Eaters would find Harry to be a little too attractive. But, on the other hand, once they realized exactly what Lord Thanatos was capable of, they might be too afraid of him to spare a moment for lustful thoughts.

And on that note, once Harry felt he was ready, Voldemort presented his mate with his very own office. He had been more than happy to set one up in the room next to his own and create a connecting door, not to mention arrange for Harry’s own set of cabinets and stacks of files and papers. He had long since changed the way he did things from a disorganized, fly-by-night type of operation into something more closely resembling a business, so the transfer went fairly smoothly in terms of physical things.

Harry bounced around his office for quite a while in a display of childish excitement and enthusiasm before settling down, leading Voldemort to believe he had been right in making the offer. Harry was so clearly happy to be given a job, one which he knew he could do well, and would once again give him a purpose in life. And this time it was a position of power, not blindly obedient subservience, which of course had been a complete waste of most of his talent and ability.

Voldemort had made a number of arrangements for Harry’s debut, having called for a general assembly. All Death Eaters were required to attend, and were presently gathered in the audience chamber, many seeming a bit puzzled at the two score of golems and Inferi that were grouped up in files of five over by one of the walls.

He looked at his mate, who nodded, stepped out into the chamber via the private door at the back and approached his throne-like chair, then gracefully took a seat. At once every minion prostrated themselves, heads bowed respectfully.

“You may rise,” he intoned, and waited until they had before saying, “Today is a very special day, my faithful friends. It is true we have come far in the last few years, leaving behind the wasteful habits of the past, and moving forward into an organization of individuals with a common purpose and goal. However, today we gain a new ally in our efforts against those who would attempt to bring our world down around our knees and destroy us all.

“Today I will present to you my ally, and co-ruler, and your new master. His word shall be as mine among you, and our opinion shall be as one. You will”—he paused to sweep a menacing gaze over the throng—“give him the same respect you do me, and the same measure of obedience. He will be taking over all operations pertaining to training, and his word on those matters shall be as law. Now, allow me to present Lord Thanatos.”

Harry slinked into the chamber and drifted to a stop next to Voldemort’s throne, sweeping his gaze out over the hall and making a number of them shudder at his glacial demeanor. He was dressed very similarly to how he had for the Weasleys, in fact, though Voldemort had, after much discussion, finally persuaded him to add a leather vest so that his scales were safely out of view. Harry had tried to argue that his hair would cover them, but Voldemort was having none of that, and Harry had flat out refused to try to morph them into hiding.

When no one made any other sort of move Harry shook a wand into his hand and cast crucio on the closest Death Eater. After lifting the curse he said in a positively frigid voice, “Which part of you giving me the same respect as your master Lord Voldemort did all of you fail to comprehend?”

Everyone abruptly prostrated themselves. “How terribly kind of you to give me such a prompt and warm welcome,” Harry said dryly. “You may rise.”

Voldemort took back up the thread of power and said, “As a treat, my friends, Lord Thanatos has agreed to give you all a demonstration. As you have no doubt noticed, there are a number of constructs in the room, and they are here for exactly that purpose. Those of you in the front rank will also be a part of this demonstration, so the rest of you will now move back out of the way.”

He caught a glimpse of Draco Malfoy in his peripheral vision and nearly laughed; the young man happened to be in the front row of Death Eaters and did not look at all happy about it. It took several minutes for their minions to sort themselves out, at which point Voldemort signaled the golems and Inferi to spread out in the center portion of the chamber to await the command to start. “Those of you who are a part of this demonstration will strive to the fullest to disable Lord Thanatos. Obviously, the killing curse, dismemberment curses, and any other spells which would cause irreversible damage are forbidden.”

Harry rested a hand on Voldemort’s shoulder briefly, then produced a scythe seemingly out of thin air and advanced into the center of the hall, weapon held loosely in one hand. At his mate’s smirking nod Voldemort said simply, “Begin.”

Harry immediately disappeared from his spot, Malfoy slumping to the floor a moment later after being hit in the head with the handle of Harry’s scythe. Voldemort knew then that Harry had also noticed the young man’s reaction and had decided to have a little fun before he got down to business.

A second after that Harry backflipped through the air and landed in a crouch at the center of a small cluster of constructs. He whirled in place as he rose, expertly beheading three Inferi and two golems, then ducked away and popped up behind a few more to slice clean through them with his wicked blade.

Death Eaters on the periphery were openly gaping in surprise at the blur that was their new master, and those fighting against him were too busy trying to figure where he had gone to manage to get off any spells. Harry, in a fit of mischievousness, avoided the Death Eaters entirely after downing Malfoy and instead concentrated on the constructs, wielding his scythe like an extension of his own body.

It had not yet been ten minutes when Harry came to a stop in the center of the room and spun his weapon in one hand as though it weighed nothing, then crashed the butt into the floor before making the scythe disappear. He had not been hit once the entire time, not by a golem, an Inferius, or a Death Eater’s spell, nor had he ever once used his wand. Every last construct was either missing its head or split in half, and every Death Eater was sprawled out unconscious on the floor.

Voldemort smiled.

Unfortunately, pleased as he was by the demonstration and the effect it was having on their followers, it also meant he had lost another bet. Harry had finished up before the ten minute mark, which meant he had to pay another forfeit. He really needed to stop letting Harry talk him into these things if he was always going to be the loser.

Harry stepped back onto the dais, paused long enough to conjure up a throne of his own, then regally took a seat. He was not even breathing hard. “Those currently on duty as training staff will present themselves to me in the meeting room tomorrow at two in the afternoon,” said Harry, then inclined his head at Voldemort.

“You are dismissed,” Voldemort said, then glared when one of them made a move toward helping one of the fallen. The room quickly cleared, leaving behind only the defeated.

Harry immediately laughed softly and got to his feet. “Well,” he said.

Voldemort sighed and rolled his eyes. “Yes, you win.”

“Naturally,” he said smugly. “I want my prize now. I’m very hungry after that.”

Voldemort blinked, briefly flicked his gaze over the hall, then looked at Harry steadily.

“You’re not worried about them, are you? They’ll be out cold for long enough.” Harry began unfastening his vest, making short work of stripping it off and tossing it onto the seat of his throne, then sat down long enough to slip off his boots.

“I’m beginning to think you’re an exhibitionist, my sweet,” Voldemort murmured.

Harry laughed again as he shimmied out of his trousers and dropped those on his chair as well, then slinked over and began to free Voldemort’s already erect penis from his clothing. That made Harry make an appreciative noise in his throat and say, “And you’re not?”

Within moments Harry had impaled himself and pulled his lover into a passionate kiss, managing to grind up against him as he rode Voldemort’s cock, and Voldemort was doing his best to reach between them to make absolutely certain his mate received more stimulation than just rubbing up against his clothing, not to mention reaching back to slide his hand over Harry’s ass and back possessively.

They were both getting quite close to climax when a sound made them break apart slightly and glance toward it, then snort and return to kissing each other hungrily. Malfoy had awoken earlier than expected, no doubt because he had been knocked unconscious at the beginning of the battle. Not less than a minute later Harry threw his head back and let out a high, keening cry of pleasure as he came, which incited Voldemort’s own violent orgasm.

A short time later, once Voldemort’s breathing had resumed its normal pace and Harry was beginning to rouse himself from where he had slumped against Voldemort’s chest, they both came to the gradual realization that Draco was kneeling not far away, a glazed look in his eyes and very little awareness in his expression.

Voldemort and Harry exchanged a puzzled look, then Harry extricated himself and got to his feet, cast cleansing charms, and began pulling his clothing back on with a faint moue of distaste. Voldemort straightened himself up quickly and rose, staring at Malfoy intently, then shook himself slightly when Harry said in a low voice, “What’s his problem?”

“I’m beginning to wonder. . . .”

“Yes?”

“I think,” Voldemort said not much above a whisper, “I recall seeing something about the effects of bonding such that you gain much more control over the thrall you exert. However, given what we were doing. . . .”

Harry arched a brow, glanced at Malfoy, then planted a hand on his hip. “You think I had no control before, I guess to make sure I’d get fed somehow, though I gained control because of the bond, but during sex I just broadcast my little heart out, and that’s why Draco looks like he’s been sunk so far deep in lust he can’t see straight?”

“Approximately, yes.”

“Interesting,” Harry commented. “So what do we do with him? That’s twice now he’s played voyeur.”

“Yes, and how coincidental that it keeps happening during bet payouts,” Voldemort muttered, then produced his wand. Two quick spells in succession knocked Malfoy out and levitated him. “I plan to investigate his memories.”

“All right. I’m going to go watch some of the training sessions. You know, get a feel for how things are currently being done so I can figure out what needs tweaking. Nudge me if something comes up?”

Voldemort nodded and strolled off with Malfoy in tow, taking the young man to his office, though not his dungeon. Draco was planted in a chair, and Voldemort settled himself comfortably behind his desk before proceeding to wend his way through Malfoy’s memories since the time he had inadvertently walked in on them the first time.

He could be pleased about one thing; Malfoy had never dared lift his head during that first encounter, so the only impression he had was of dark hair and pale skin when it came to Harry. Well, several things, he supposed. After all, Malfoy had behaved himself on a number of accounts. He had also not told a soul about what he’d seen.

For this instance, though, Voldemort had trouble trying to interpret the young man’s memory of the event. It began normally, with Malfoy regaining consciousness, but after that it was like he’d been struck completely dumb. Voldemort could only assume his theory was correct; Harry had lost or released all control of his thrall and rendered the unfortunate Malfoy insensible.

He quickly came to the conclusion that all doors would be firmly locked and barricaded before he would agree to give Harry another potentially exhibitionistic type of reward.

Voldemort sighed and gazed at Draco speculatively. He hadn’t actually done anything punishable, not that that would normally stop a man like him from meting out a bit of pain. In the end he decided that Malfoy was simply a temporary research subject, woke him up, then summarily dismissed him.

If Malfoy managed to catch them at it a third time, though. . . .

*

Harry amused himself greatly by slowly striding back and forth along one side of a training ring that was in use. His expression was quite forbidding, and his gaze keen, as he took in the sight of a squadron of trainees practicing against slowly moving wooden targets. He wanted to roll his eyes; they had horrible aim for pity’s sake, and he was beginning to despair of a place like Hogwarts ever teaching children how magic was and could be used in real-life situations.

The way this lot looked, Hogwarts would be better off teaching everyone housekeeping charms, cooking, potions, and how to apparate. But that was making him feel a touch depressed so he mentally shook himself and went back to studying the trainees. A short time later they hauled themselves off, so Harry approached the sergeant who remained behind.

“My lord,” the man said quickly and bowed.

Harry inclined his head briefly. “Who is up next?”

“A more advanced group, my lord, practicing against golems programmed to act as muggles.”

“All right,” he said equitably. “Carry on, then, and try to pretend I’m not even here. I’m simply observing for a few hours.”

“Yes, my lord.” The sergeant bowed again and moved away to set things up.

The next day Harry was seated at the head of the table in the meeting room and opened things by saying in a very deliberate way, “We’re going to be making a few little changes to how we do things around here.”

That set off a round of restless movement, though no one actually dared to speak.

“Now, you have all had a chance to think about yesterday’s demonstration, so we will begin with a discussion of that very event.” Harry turned to the man sitting to his right and said, “You, what’s your name?”

“Euphrates Melkanson, my lord.”

“We’ll begin with you. Share with everyone your thoughts on the demonstration yesterday.”

“My lord, regarding just you or. . . ?”

Harry favored the man with a slight smile. “The participating Death Eaters as well.”

Melkanson nodded, took a moment to collect his thoughts, then said, “My lord, you had a number of advantages in that fight, among which were speed, flexibility, and what seemed to be an extreme awareness of those around you, and you rarely stayed still long enough for anyone to be sure of their aim. You wielded your weapon of choice with exceptional skill, and I do not recall seeing you ever use your wand.”

He hesitated for a second, then continued, “I believe that was partly to prove that we need not consider ourselves completely helpless in the unfortunate event that we are disarmed.”

Harry smiled approvingly at Melkanson, which seemed to hearten the fellow a bit.

“As for the Death Eaters, my lord, they were disorganized and unaware. Those involved did not attempt to form teams, nor did they use the constructs properly as cover or even in any attempts to ambush you. I can imagine a scenario there where one might have stood or crouched behind a construct and waited for you to pause long enough to take care of it, then cast while you were doing so. None of them did that I could see, and it was clear you were leaving our men for last.”

Harry did the slightest of double takes at that, then said, “Interesting.” He pointed at a fellow part way down the table and said, “Name?”

“Yuhidu Wallander, my lord.”

“And what, if anything, do you have to add to that?”

“My lord, any of those men could have used the constructs you defeated as a method to try to distract you. Pieces could have been spelled as projectiles sent at you by one or several while another used that opportunity to try to get in a disabling spell.”

“Also interesting. You?”

“Alexej Denby, my lord, and speaking as a member of the training staff, I think those participating did very poorly indeed, and we should all be ashamed of ourselves for letting them be trained that badly.”

Harry arched a brow, then gave a chill smile. “Does anyone else have anything to add?” He waited a short time, gazing at each of the people at the table, then continued, “All right. I spent some time yesterday watching some of the squads in training. I must say, I was very disappointed. However, it is true that these young men and women are not being trained in the same manner that I was, so perhaps I cannot expect them to even begin to approach my level of skill.

“Frankly, I don’t think any of them would survive the experience. Now, there will be a review of every single able-bodied man and woman in this army. I want accurate information on every last one of you. And yes, I will be judging against myself in that respect. I get the distinct impression that many of our people could not hit the broad side of a barn without a map and a spotlight to point the way.

“I’ll let you in on a little secret, gentlemen,” Harry said, then leaned forward. “The first time I ever touched a scythe was one week ago. I bought that weapon at a muggle farming supply shop.”

Happily, the implications were not lost on any of them. Quite a number paled at the admission, and several looked like they wanted to wet themselves.

“Our fighters will learn, to the best of their ability, how to use at least some non-magical weaponry. You see, there is something none of you thought to mention during your comments about my little demonstration. Muggle methods have their uses. We are all of us, muggle and wizard, human. We may be able to claim superiority due to our enhanced bodies and lifespans, and the fact that we can wield magic, but that does not and should not negate the fact that we are still human. The fact that a muggle might have been the one to invent the knife does not make that weapon useless.

“To disdain what has worked for centuries, and continues to work to this day, is utter foolishness, and I will not have our people so blind and so conceited as to let them discard the past as a waste of time, or as being beneath them. And this business of merely making sure a fighter can aim in sort of the general direction of a target will stop.

“So, as I said, we’ll be making a few little changes around here. Now, which of you has anything to do with torturing?” Several hands raised briefly. “Fine,” Harry said and produced several red bar pins from his pocket and slid them down the table. “Wear those. Supply?” More bar pins appeared, this time blue, and he carried on for another minute or two like that until finally he said, “And are any of you skilled in purely physical combat, such as martial arts?” A few white pins were tossed onto the table several seconds later.

“You will always wear those while within the confines of this compound. While I have a nearly perfect memory, I want to be able to tell at a glance exactly who is under my immediate command and what you do, even if your faces are covered. They are not magical in any way and are purely decorative. If any of you are subject to sudden fits of stupidity, I want you to think long and hard about whether or not you wish to retain your positions, or if you would feel happier stepping down to a less stressful role.

“I want intelligent, thoughtful men on the training staff, who can recognize a person’s strengths and weaknesses as applicable and work with that information to produce the best fighter that person can be. Now, questions or comments?”

There was a brief silence, telling Harry that he had done an adequate job at the least of cowing them, then one of them said, “My lord?”

“Yes, what is it?”

“My lord, would you be willing at some point to give a second demonstration showcasing magic, or even a combination of magic and weaponry?”

Harry thought about that for a moment, then gave another chill smile. “I might be persuaded to do so. After all, I do like to get in my exercise, and I must say, my present training location is a touch cramped. It may well be that I might decide to begin working out outside on occasion, where anyone who wishes to observe may do so. However, if that should happen, you would all do well to point out to your trainees that watching me is not an excuse to become despondent at their own lack of skill in comparison, and instead a height to aspire to.”

“Thank you, my lord.”

“Anyone else?”

“My lord”—it was Melkanson—“when would you like to begin your reviews?”

“This Monday. That will give people a chance to put in a little extra effort first. One or several of you will be setting up the rotation, allowing a half hour for each person to start. That means eight people in the morning, starting at eight, and another eight in the afternoon, starting at one. Those people who hold down outside jobs during the week will simply have to be scheduled in for a weekend day, or in extreme cases, the evening.”

Melkanson nodded so Harry looked around the table again; there were no further questions. “All right. My nominal office is directly next to that of Lord Voldemort. If I am not there and you cannot find me within the compound, then you will leave a note. If the matter is urgent, you will attempt to gain audience with Lord Voldemort, and if that is not possible you had better hope you can figure it out for yourself. You will, after all, be explaining your actions to me after the fact. Right, dismissed.” Everyone pushed back and rose, then filed out quietly, so Harry decided he’d had enough for one day and headed home.

*

“And how did our first day go?” Voldemort inquired silkily.

Harry slumped into his chair at a slight angle and tossed one leg over the arm. “I’d like to think I scared the piss out of them. I’d also like to think I made them think for once about what they’ve been doing. Or rather, what not. One of them admitted that they’ve been doing a piss poor job and ought to all be ashamed of themselves.

“In any case, I’ve told them to wrangle up a schedule for me so I can start assessing everyone to see where they really are in terms of skill, actual training, and so on. The showing yesterday was bad enough, but what I saw while observing some of the recruits was just dismal.”

Then he furrowed his brow. “I gave them until Monday, which is when I’ll actually start. I have a week to flip through all that lovely paperwork you saddled me with, or perhaps have some fun.”

“Such as?”

“Well, I’m not sure. I suppose I could trip over Lupin or Tonks,” Harry said, looking sort of thoughtful.

“I will remind you of your thoughts on checking with Gringotts about any properties you may own. That is something else you could do if you felt like going out.”

That made Harry look even more thoughtful. “It’s only about three, right?”

“Yes.”

“Perhaps I’ll go now. Is that all right with you?”

“Certainly, though I would like to spy if you don’t mind.” Naturally, Voldemort did not like his mate leaving the compound if he could not keep a mental eye on him, and he knew he was being irrational on that score.

Harry bounced to his feet and snatched his clothes back up from where he tossed them untidily, then paused. “I suppose I should wear something more Harry-ish, huh. And fix my face and all that.” He snorted. “What a bother,” he said, then disappeared into the bedroom for a while. When he returned he looked like his natural self again. “Say, Tom, you’re going to have to clue me in on this whole Dark Mark thing soon.”

Voldemort blinked slowly, then nodded. “Yes, you’re quite right. I will make sure of it before you start in on your assessments, my sweet.”

Harry flashed him a smile and came over to straddle his lap, then engage him in an appreciative kiss. Voldemort was aching with need when Harry pulled away and stood up, a rather devious smile on his lips, then whipped up his hood and sauntered off.

The goblin working for Harry at Gringotts was more than happy to show him a much more detailed accounting of his holdings, and in fact, pointed out that Harry did own several properties, one of which was № 12 Grimmauld Place, courtesy of Sirius.

And thanks to his parents, he also had a second home in northwest London near Rickmansworth, a property in Wakefield, and of course, the ruins of the cottage at Godric’s Hollow. Harry left the bank in the mood to check out the closest unknown, to see what sort of condition it was in, and hastened off.

When he arrived the first thing both of them noticed was that the house was occupied. Harry apparently found it a very prudent idea at that point to wander off out of sight, find a nice place where he could be guaranteed some privacy, then alter his appearance and clothing.

He spent another minute or two transfiguring some nearby rubbishy bits into a clipboard, papers, and a pencil, then purposely strode back to the building in question, boldly marched up to the front door, and rang the bell.

The woman who answered looked vaguely familiar. When she spoke, though, it was sort of a done deal. “Wotcher,” she greeted him cheerfully.

Harry blinked, squinted down at his clipboard, then looked back at Tonks. “Something tells me, miss, that you are not Hiroko Yamaguchi?”

She laughed merrily and shook her head. “I think you’ve got the wrong house.”

“You don’t have a house mate by that name, then?” he asked.

“Not a chance,” she responded.

Harry sighed and frowned at his clipboard, then aimed an apologetic smile at her. “Yes, I guess I do. They must have given me the wrong address. Or perhaps you’ve not been here long and she’s moved recently?”

“That’s possible, I suppose, as I haven’t been,” Tonks admitted.

Harry nodded, rubbed his forehead, then said, “I’m very sorry to have bothered you. Thank you for your time and patience. I hope you have a nice evening.”

“No worries,” she said cheerfully, then backed up and closed the door.

Harry took his leave and walked off down the street, chucking his props into a bin after he had turned a corner, then ducked into a convenient spot to change looks and pull up a concealing hood again. A few minutes later he was striding into the sitting room, a rather pissed off look on his face.

Once he was settled he said, “That woman is living in my house? That’s it, Tom, she’s the next one to go.”

Voldemort simply nodded and smiled.


Associated Snapshots: Freak, Dark Marks