Back to the future 38

A slightly puzzled look on his face Harry answered his great grandfather.

"I know only what I was told by one of my parent's friends – and that wasn't much. He told me that Thanatos is one of four possible guardians, Ares, Harpyia and Pandora are the others. At all times only one of the four is aware – that is till he or she calls the other three… Each of them, of us, have a group of …servants, mine are the Ceres, Banshees and others like them as well as the Necromancers. All undead follow me, everyone dyeing enters my rule. With the right chant everyone, be they magical or not, is able to summon us and bind us to their will. Only the one that is awake can call the other three.

When all of us are together and awake destruction follows and everything we or our "masters" perceive as a threat will be utterly destroyed; but even when only one of us is awake and loses control blood will drench the earth…especially if the one is either Ares or myself, Harpyia and Pandora normally spill less blood but leave just as much devastation in their wake.

We are both harder and easier to kill then none-Guardians and once we are aware only the one who summoned us or one we asked to stop us can kill us, that is apart from the other three.

Together we are commonly referred to as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and most believe that we will only rise at the end of the world when the Seven Seals are broken."

For a moment the Borgia patriarch sat silent, pondering what the young man had just told him and his heir.

"What you know is both more and far less than what was told in the scrolls. The Guardians are much more than a personification. They are as close to gods as exist – and at the same time they are as human, as mortal as the rest of us. Only the chants of death, war, famine or pestilence can wake you to your full potential – till that moment you will only be a guardian; but once called you will be Thanatos, will be Death. You will lose much of what makes you human – but then you will no longer be just human. Yes, you will continue to be mortal – that is as mortal as you are now – but you will beat the same time more and less than human. I do not know how exactly you will be affected, but the phrase ` losing once humanity' was first applied to the Guardians.

There are two forms of binding; the first is the one you asked us about: someone uses the chant of death and calls Thanatos to the forefront of your being while at the same time binding him to the caller. This form is so close to magical slavery that I believe that it is where all spells pertaining magical slavery originate from as this chant predates them all.

Should you ever be bound this way the family will find a way to kill you, no matter what the cost, as the binding is till death and you will already have ceased being Harry, worse yet, you will have your memories and knowledge but your only thought will be to follow your masters orders.

The second form is nearly the opposite of the first; it also calls Thanatos to the forefront but it does not suppress the personality of the Guardian like the other does. Only a selected few are able to call on a Guardian in this way, there is a second spell that identifies who those will be. Out of these persons one is chosen to act as an anchor for the Guardian. While still bound the Guardian would not be controlled by his anchor in any way as that person is only there to prevent the other binding from being able to take hold.

The downside of this binding is that you will be at the mercy of Thanatos instincts. Suddenly you will be Death, now you should only feel a shadow of those same instincts, only have a notion of what it would mean to see life as a preliminary step to death. As Thanatos though you will see everything only as it relates to death. In the worst case you will lose yourself in death and will no longer see the value of life, in the best case your humanity will be strong enough to suppress death enough for you to still enjoy life.

So while we will call Thanatos forth when the time comes we will only do so at the last possible moment as there will be no going back once you, he has been called. Hopefully you will only become a little bit detached from everything and not the next Dark Lord… and most of all let us pray that you will be able to resist the pull to call your siblings and there will be a constant pull, a need to be with others like you, to be once again surrounded by those who share your destiny."

For a moment Marcello VII paused in his words, allowing the enormity of what he had just said to sink in before he continued, his voice soft and coaxing:

"Do you now understand why my son was so furious that you did not tell us of this connection you have with Britain's newest Dark Lord – for it is Voldemort, the man you were so eager to meet, whom you are connected to, is it not -, that is able to exert such a control over you.

Imagine what he could do to the world by torturing a Guardian, awake or not, into insanity. Or worse yet torture you just enough that you give into temptation to call on your siblings. It would be bad enough if you were just an ordinary wizard of ordinary power but as it is you are anything but. You are one of the most powerful, magical as well as political, wizards alive.

As such you have to mention something like such a connection to us so that we can prepare to aid you. Had not Callisto known to call a family-meeting and placed therefore all who were needed to help you in one place we would have been too late to safe you and you would have died, leaving your young fiancé with your corps and the world in need of a new guardian – not to mention leaving your friends and family bereft of your presence.

Now that we know of this connection we can search for ways to counter it or – should that prove as impossible as you claim – to at least combat the symptoms or simply eliminate the cause."

The Borgia heir watched the young man whose life he had just helped save as his father spoke. While he was still angry about what had happened he was no longer furious now that he knew that the other had just not known in what danger he really had been. It was still difficult for him – and he was sure that it always would be – to reconcile the young man who was barely an adult with the power he held.

Yet as now looked at him, still pale from the earlier blood loss and close call, he saw for the first time something other than a powerful member of their family or Guardian instead he saw a weary young man who was scared and valiantly tried to hide it. He saw someone who could be his son and who could desperately need a father. Yet as much as he cared for the young Guardian he was not sure if he could fulfill that role. His own children were of the same age as Harry that was not the problem; no, what made him hesitate was not Harries age, or that he only learned a short while ago that he was a Borgia.

No, his hesitation was explained much easier: he feared the power the younger man carried. He supposed that this was the feeling others had when they thought of his family. Though for him this feeling was much more personal: as a Necromancer he fell under the rule of Thanatos – not as directly as the dead themselves but enough that he would feel… uneasy to disobey him once he was called. Even then, while Thanatos was still … unaware… did he feel unsettled to speak against Harry.

As soon as he had heard of the position of an anchor he had known that he was not a possibility, the most he would ever be able to be to Harry was a friend, an uncle or cousin but never a father. Part of him whished that he were able to feel differently but a larger part was glad that he would not be required to act as a father figure for the young man before him.


Long after he and Bellatrix had been left alone by his family Harry knew that the discussion he had with his great grandfather and great uncle was far from over, worse yet, he had even had to explain to his fiancée just what had happened earlier that day to him – and to say that she was angry was stating it very lightly. Nothing he had said could convince her that it was the first time that an attack had been as bad, that he normally only had a very bad headache. No, she was convinced that he lied to her because he felt that she was either too young or not trusted – or both; not even when he tried to tell her that no-one, not even he himself had known about the possible severity of the attacks had she been appeased – quite the contrary.

Frowning Harry burrowed further under the covers of his bed, cursing Voldemort in his mind for destroying the first date he had had with his future wife. When they had finally left Italy Bellatrix may have calmed down from her earlier shouting – and hadn't that reminded him of the Bellatrix he had known in the future, minus the baby-voice of course - but she had still been visible angry with him. Worse yet, as she left his room she had donned her aloof Black mask, seeming indifferent to all who did not know her.

He hated that mask. Hated that he was the one who caused her to resort in its safety, no matter that he had had no control over the circumstance that caused his fault.

Absentminded he grabbed one of the vials of blood replentisher his great great aunt had left for him, his cousin had told him before he left that he had to take two vials every day, one in the morning and one before bed, for two weeks and that he was forbidden from taking any other potions for the first week. He knew that he had lost too much blood, he knew that it was for his own good not to take any other potions - and yet he longed for at least a whole bottle of dreamless sleep to forget the past day, most of all the acts of murder and torture he had been forced to .