A/N: This is a musing I had in English class. What if there was a fourth brother to the Peverell three. What if Beedle erased him from the story because he found the story to be too barbaric for the readers eyes. This is Mithradates story, with footnotes by Hermione Granger.

Death turned to the fourth brother, a sickly man close to death. He had been carried by his brothers to the foot of the river. As the other three marvelled in Death's gifts, the young brother wanted nothing more than to start anew and live a long healthy life. It was against Deaths' wishes. He was not permitted to allow new life, only bring those to whom he had been ordered to take to either eternal peace or damnation. But Death, though he had never felt emotion, took pity on the brother. As the other three departed leaving Mithradates on his own, Death took his hand and promised him eternal life as long as he completed tasks for him. Mithradates, unaware agreed to Deaths proposal. Death was cunning and he smiled.

Mithradates felt a cold draught wash over him and felt immediately as if all the weight of his disease had been lifted. In vanity, he sought to leave Death and not perform the tasks he had agreed to. He tried to leave but found himself unable to escape Death.

"What do you want?" He cried at last, turning to that which had given him new life.

Death merely smiled. "100 souls for your own," He said.

Mithradates laughed. Something festered inside of his mind and it twisted, sending him to the floor clutching at his temples. Death continued to smile. "100 souls for your own," He repeated.

Mithradates looked up.

"Babies are the easiest and purest to kill." said Death. "They do not fight, they do not plead."

Mithradates was confused. What did Death mean? Death took his hand and pulled him up. "We made an agreement." He said harshly.

Mithradates continued to stare. "100 lives... For mine?"

Death nodded. "Unless... You want to die..."

Mithradates let out a gasp and fell to his knees again. Death was not amused by this and pulled the puppet up. "You will do as I say," He hissed angrily. "I have told you the agreement. And you have submitted."

Mithradates began to weep, but no tears fell. Somehow, he managed to pick himself up and walk though he wasn't his own master any more. He walked aimlessly though he knew Death shadowed him.

That night he killed his first. It was easy. No blood was spilt. Mithradates merely pointed his wand, letting the spell hit the man in the chest sending him back crashing him against the wall and breaking the man's neck; dead. Death lingered behind him, smiling. Then with bony hands that slid from his cloak Death reached into the man's chest and pulled a ghostly image of the man out. Mithradates watched as the man stared at him with sad eyes before turning and leaving with Death.

Death was right when he said that killing harmless infants would be easier. He had been right how they did not make a noise, how they did not fight or plead or cry. Well some cried, but it was not for the fact that they knew what was happening. It was because they sensed the aura of Death that Mithradates now possessed. He drowned, stabbed, and decimated as many children first. He ran and hid, often staring at his hands in horror after each murder. He wept.

"If you cannot handle it," Death said. "Then break the bargain. Die instead."

But Mithradates was scared of the eternal black that lay before him. He refused to break the bargain. He carried the dread in his bones each time he moved on from the victim. He felt as if his own life was becoming more and more distant by the minute. When he tried to remember his brothers all he could see was shapes and heard only cold harsh words that sounded like Death's voice.

Mithradates became a shell of his former life.

He no longer lived to seek life. He lived to take it. Death loomed over him as his shadow, pointing at the next victim and whispering the preferable way that they should die considering their circumstances. Death would not allow the murder of women, he would not allow their purity to be taken in death.

Death lingered. Mithradates lingered, falling in and out of commitment with Death. He never broke the bargain, but his soul felt tarnished and broken.

Death greeted him as old friends, in a black cloak and a hood. He liked turning up in his rumoured guises. It was a common thing for him to do, though he could easily come across in Human form and look like any other one.

"Last one," Death whispered.

Mithradates was tired and so he agreed. He raised his wand then said the spell that he had been hoping to make death quick and painless for his victim. A flash of green and he was dead. Mithradates turned to Death who took his victim with open arms.

"Our bargain?" Mithradates asked.

Death nodded. Mithradates was to set out in the world as a free man. He wandered many land looking for his brothers, to find that as he looked for his own way to remain alive, they had perished due to either their own selfishness or age. He realised with despair that his own selfishness would cause him much grief.

Images of all of his victims, some old, some young, some evil men and some good, flashed in his eyes, and in the broken building of his childhood home he took his wand from his pockets and though Death had blessed him with long live, he pointed his wand at his forehead and muttered the words of Death's spell.

Death greeted Mithradates as a dear friend. And together, they parted the life. Forever.

It is not clear what made Mithradates kill all the victims that he did, but it is obvious why Beedle wished to erase all mention of him from the Tale of Three Brothers. Indeed it seems that history wanted to forget the tale of Mithradates, so much so that even Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, one of the greatest wizards to have ever lived and one of the most learned of these tales did not know of Mithradates. Only through extensive research has his story come about.

Certainly Beedle had his fair share of dark tales; The Warlock's Hairy Heart springs automatically to mind. The tale of one killing another seems poisonous enough, yet the killing of a hundred especially children seemed truly barbaric.

It is debated whether Mithradates really was working on Death's orders. It seems unlikely seeing that the other brothers were rumoured to have made their own Deathly Hallows. It seems more likely that the disease that caused Mithradates to seek out eternal life also affected his mind to such an extent where he could not tell what was real and what wasn't anymore.
The Delusions of death spurred Mithradates to kill willingly. Yet, he shows remarkable wishing to be free from Deaths hold. This suggests that Mithradates was a conflicted soul perhaps suffering from a complete personality change now and then. It would lead him to kill but feel disgusted at himself afterwards.

The idea of one soul for a hundred seems such a clichéd notion, yet it would hardly be regarded so if Mithradates was to exist (there is still much debate over whether or not this brother did exist, many of the leading experts not knowing what to decide upon.)

Mithradates story shows an area that is not brought up by many wizards and witches – conflict involves all of us and whether it be big or small we are always fighting whether what is right and what easy. I remember when I was in third year at Hogwarts I had a Professor called Remus John Lupin who was a werewolf. He was the kindest man anyone could wish to meet, yet he was shunned from society. He had a constant battle to remain good when it would have been so much easier for him to fall into Voldemort's ranks along with the other Werewolves.
Another conflict that residues from my own childhood, that I can remember quite clearly is one of Draco Malfoy. Though we had been enemies from first year, his pure-blood mania had split any idea of us ever being friends. He was still conflicted when Voldemort hired him to kill Dumbledore. He had only two choices; die or kill. For any sixteen year old, it would be a difficult choice. Why give up the concept of living when there was so much life left? But it was that or live with blood on your hands, and I suppose that it is very much the same reasoning for Mithradates.

In a way, Death does give him a longer life than what he would have had. Death cannot be treated as the enemy. He made himself clear. He offered to let Mithradates leave the bargain and indeed gave him long life. So long as he was under Death's bargain, he could not die, therefore when he returns to his childhood home still quite a young healthy man, his family are dead. It is likely that his family have been dead for many decades.

It is unlikely that Mithradates did create the Death Curse. It seems more to be that he would have been the first to use it against wizarding law. Yet it is interesting that he uses this means of death for his last victim and his suicide at the end. Though, it is a ghastly matter to bring up, it would seem that using the curse would make deaths quicker and easier.
A friend of mine Luna Lovegood (nee) suggested to me that Mithradates was simply longing for human connection. "Death" was making him feel less like a human therefore the killing of his victims was meant to be a personal close moment. He wanted them to struggle and to fight against him. It would make him feel less like the devil when he did so. Luna also suggested that the last two times he killed, referring to his last victim and himself was because of his degradation into nothing more than a monster. He killed like that because he didn't feel human anymore and it was important for him to feel human.

After Mithradates was wiped from the history of the Deathly Hallows he was not included in the mark though I cannot imagine what it would take form of. A personal friend of mine though, Sirona Flett as assured me that she will be placing what she thinks would be the mark after Mithradates was included on the muggle website DevainTART.
This tale is dark and I would not suggest that anyone would read it to their children.
Hermione Weasley

As Hermione said, I will be putting it up on DevainTART shortly. You may find a link on my page. If any questions are needing to be answered, please contact me through a review or message and I can pass the message onto Hermione who will gladly answer. Thank you for reading.

Sirona Flett x