Part Seven

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Nico didn't know how to react to it this time. Walt seemed to read his mind. Or was he still Walt? It didn't seem quite right. And why did he have a horrible feeling they were being watched? He turned and studied the dark narrow alley behind him, but all he could see was plain old nighttime darkness.

"I know, and sorry I didn't explain sooner," the Nico copy of a boy said apologetically when Nico turned back to him.

"Uh." Nico hesitated. "What are you? I mean, who are you?"

Walt/whatever his name was smirked a little, which didn't help with the tension in the air. He was tapping the lamppost with his fingers, and wherever their movement seemed to leave a glowing gray trail.

He stopped tapping. "You may have heard of me. I'm the god Anubis."

Nico was sure his jaw had dropped to his waist. Oh, he knew who Anubis was. Funeral god who wore black and often had his head replaced with a jackal's? He was totally the kind of god Nico would've wanted to get to know.

Nico secretly admired him, even know he knew that Egyptian mythology wasn't real, unlike Greek. Or maybe that was wrong. The boy in front of him, not-Walt or whomever, claimed to be the Egyptian god of funerals.

"No way." That was all Nico managed to say.

He caught himself and closed his mouth. "How does that work? You're a god or a magician?

"Both." His calmness slightly annoyed Nico. "Walt, or me, and me, or Anubis, combined. Gods do that sometimes so that they could take action in the mortal world."

Nico arched his eyebrows. "That's... really confusing." This made Anubis smirk a little wider, nearly smile.

"And since Walt was anyways dying from a curse," he continued, "it worked out. And one thing is equal in our shared mind, that way we stick as one body no matter how much we disagree; we both love Sadie."

Nico shuddered. "That's Mrs. loud British girl, right?"

Anubis laughed. He brushed his black hair out of his face. "I just realized, we look nearly exactly the same."

"I saw it before," Nico said. "This form of you flickered momentarily."

"I hesitated. I could feel death around you. In the duat and with my jackal senses. I thought maybe you were a creature from the land of the dead. My automatic reaction was to change form, just for a moment."

Nico shrugged. "I'm still really confused. Should I be bowing down to you or what?"

Anubis regarded him with his somewhat kind, warm brown eyes. "That's okay. You've got your own gods to worry about and worship."

"And your own enemies to face," a low voice said from a nook behind them. For the second time that night, Nico jumped. Anubis did too. They both turned and watched as a figure walked out of the darkness of the pitch black alleyway.

The guy who stepped out of the shadows was human. He was wearing torn dark punk clothes even harsher than Nico would think to wear. Nico strangely made out a white skeleton playing a guitar on the shirt. His black jeans were torn, most likely on purpose. His black leather jacket had a number of gleaming silver skull pins, seemingly pinned at random. He wore studded goth combat boots. All in all, the boy looked a little older than Walt. Seventeen-eighteen, maybe. He would've fitted right in to a club like Nico and Anubis, except that his expression was hostile and pretty evil. Just looking at his face, with the fierce expression and the frame of dark wild hair gave Nico the chills.

He looked at Nico as if he was a prize he'd been searching for intently for a while already.

"Son of Hades," he said, as if he'd recently laughed at a good joke. "I've finally found you."

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