Harry stares at the letter with bemusement.
"Huh, that's new," he murmurs
The skeleton guard beside his throne twitch nervously. Harry resists the urge to glare at them since that made the twitching worse.
"A mistake in the mail, sire?" the sensible succubus asks.
Harry smiles, which makes everybody in the throne room nervous.
"No. It's a little girl who's asking for a puppy."
Everybody in the throne room actually looks incredulous. Harry doesn't show it but he agrees. He still glares at all of them for staring.
With the clank-clank, the twitching resumes. Harry wants to sigh. Bones hitting and grinding against each other are so noisy.
"Syrena, do we have a newborn hellhound?" he asks instead.
Syrena – the succubus, tilts her head and thinks. "Hallows Eve has recently passed, sire. The hellhounds have given birth two weeks ago."
Two weeks is long enough. Harry stands up and waves the skeletons to stay.
The problem with staying in the underworld is that if you stay there long enough, the taint of it would start to cling to you and change you. Harry made sure to never stay there longer than three weeks. A newborn hellhound would still be safe to put in a child's arms.
"There," he says, picking up the smallest of the lot. It was likely the runt of the litter, easily pushed aside by its brothers. It was still bigger than any puppy should be. "You will do, I suppose."
The puppy hound gave him a look. 'How may I serve, sire?' Harry heard in his mind.
Harry just smiles at the puppy, cradling him to his chest. The mother hound gives him a dismissive look when she sees who he has taken. "There's a little girl in the mortal world who asked for a companion," he explained. "And you are perfect."
'Is the girl going to bring about the destruction of the mortal world?' the puppy asks eagerly.
Syrena stifles a laugh.
"No," Harry deadpans. "Well, hopefully…." He doesn't finish his sentence. Hopefully not, he wants to say, but his companions would misunderstand.
Three years into ruling the underworld and he still finds the concept of mayhem and death a bit disconcerting.
"Hopefully, she will make chaos and destruction reign supreme," Syrena says slyly.
Harry resists the urge to scowl at her. She knows his personal feelings on the matter.
'Hopefully, it will be soon,' the puppy sighs longingly. 'It would be glorious to be part of that.'
Hopeless, the lot of them.
On Christmas eve, a little girl who accidentally wrote to Satan instead of Santa, got a hellhound for her present.
It is part of the magic, of course, that has the eyes of her parents sliding off the puppy – who gets renamed Herbert. Herb for short.
Mayhem and destruction does occur and the underworld suddenly has a new surplus of sinners, mostly people who didn't resist the urge to curse and maim an energetic child. An energetic child, who grew to be one of the most chaotically good person the world has ever seen, enabled and encouraged by her hellhound companion.
Harry will try not to be too smug. It certainly wasn't his idea.