The Chthonologist

Disclaimer: I Don't Own Grim Tales. If I did, this would be on the SNAFU website.

Summary: Grim Junior had been jealous of his sister; there was no question in that. However, Junior has found his own calling to pursue until he takes the throne. After all, who better to study and know all the races and realms of the underworld than the future Death? Pairing undecided for now. Xovers.

Regular speak

Thoughts and Emotions talking to person outside mind

Demonic or Animalistic Speak

Demonic or Animalistic Thoughts

Beta-ed by Dragon Wizard 91

Princess MiniMandy "Minnie" Thanatosian, First Princess of the Underworld, smiled as she walked amongst the resident monsters of Halloween Town, heading to the table for some punch. Nearby sat her mother and father, Queen Mandinia "Mandy" Thanatosia and King Grim Sheolian Reaper Thanatos. They had decided to take her to Halloween Town this year where her uncle, Jack Skelington Thanatosian, also known as the Pumpkin King, resided to celebrate this night of All Hallows Eve. Of course, that wasn't the only reason why she was smiling. Her mother had let her in on a little surprise about the trip, a certain other person that would show up...

"Ya sure he be comin?" Grim asked a bit skeptically as they sat and watched their daughter mingling with all the ghouls and creeps.

"He said he'd be here, so he'll be here," Mandy answered simply as she took a sip of her tea.

"Righ. Are ya sure he even knew wha day it was? Dat boy does get los in his work sometime," Grim pointed out, a bit skeptical.

"Like father like son," Mandy retorted evenly, making Grim glare lightly for the jab

"Minnie dear, are you alright? You looked a bit concerned," Jack asked curiously, joining his niece for a drink, and a bite at that.

"I am just a bit anxious, Uncle. Mine brother is due to arrive here on this night," Minnie assured with a smile, looking up whimsically, "I hath not seen him in many a moon now...," She murmured hopefully.

"Ahh, the Great Chthonologist," Jack remarked with a chuckle, "I've heard quite a bit about him. A shame he never deemed our town interesting enough to pay a visit to," Jack mused.

"Thine town is well known in the Underworld and beyond, Mine Frightful Uncle, and few creatures lurk here that are unique to this region. Brother, to mine understanding, hast an interest more towards the mysterious and wild regions and species of the Underworlds," Minnie pointed out, a bit consolingly.

"True. To a mind like that, I suppose even our spooky town might seem a bit dull," Jack mused.

A lone figure waltzed through the town at a steady pace, until he came to the town hall where the party was obviously taking place. Holding the long staff of his weapon in one hand, he knocked on the door, sighing in annoyance when nobody answered. Without care, he opened the door himself and headed inside...

Grim, Mandy, Minnie, and Jack gradually became aware of the party growing quieter, the sounds of celebration replaced by whispers of surprise, curiosity, interest, and even maybe a little awe. Slowly, the crowd made way for a small figure.

"You're late," Mandy pointed out flatly as her son stood before her.

"No, I'm not," A voice retorted just as flatly as they looked up at the fourth and final member of the royal family. There stood a skeleton boy, not even old enough to be a teenager. He wore a jacket, made from the skin of what looked like a green-furred wolf, the head and upper-jaw fashioned as a hood. Under that he wore a shirt covered in dark scales of some kind. His black silk pants, however, looked strangely worn and torn, likely from age and travel. Over his left shoulder, he carried a bronze-tipped hasta spear with a white and spotless backpack hanging on it by the guards.

This was Prince Grim Sheolian Reaper Thanatosis Junior: Heir of Death, First Prince of the Underworld, and better known for his work as the founder of Cththonology. Or, to his family, he was simply known as Junior for short, "You didn't exactly put a time on when to be here, Mother," Junior pointed out as he gazed upon his family dispassionately...only for a blonde missile to impact into his chest, making him grunt as he found his sister wrapping him in a hug. "Minnie, I see you haven't changed at all," Junior commented, rolling his eyes as he returned the hug with his free arm, lacking the enthusiasm of his sibling.

"Tis grand to see you once more, Mine Brother. Several seasons hast past us by since I hath laid eyes upon you," Minnie said happily as she released her hold, shrugging off her brother's attitude with practiced ease.

"As I said, you haven't changed a bit," Junior said with a sigh.

"Son, be nice ta yer sista, she's been lookin forward ta seein ya again," Grim said, looking exasperated already.

"I am being nice," Junior retorted flatly as Jack and Sally approached, "I take it you must be my Uncle, Jack Skelington. Which would make you the Ragdoll Zombie, Sally Finkelstein?" Junior asked politely as Minnie released him.

"Indeed we are, Little Death. I haven't seen you since you were just a baby," Jack said with a skeleton smile as they shook hands with the boy.

"Tallness must be a common trait amongst Reapers," Junior noted idly, realizing that Jack was as tall as Grim Senior. "Pleasure to meet you, Aunt Sally." He greeted.

"Pleasure is all mine, Professor," She said with a bit teasing, "I'm sure my father would love to pick your brain some time."

"He'll find that a bit hard, I'm afraid," Junior said, knocking on his physically hollow skull, getting plenty of chuckles for his joke. "But in all seriousness, I'm sorry I missed the main part of Samhain," Junior said with a tiny, momentary smirk.

"Ohhh, we haven't heard that name in a long time, Professor Prince," Jack said as he and all of the Halloween Town monsters started grinning sadistically for a few minutes, "Not many people care to remember the old days, or the old rules." He said with a nasty chuckle.

"Just because I didn't come here, doesn't mean I haven't done my research, Sammy," Junior answered, making Jack cackle like a madman.

"What the hell is Junior doing?" Mandy asked curiously.

"Ya know how dere song goes "Life's no fun widout a good scare! Dat's our job, but we're not mean!"" Grim began, getting a nod, "...Yeah, it wasn' always like dat. Dey use ta be very mean, back when dis place was called Samhain, a name Jack took as his own fer fun a few times," He elaborated. "Jus dinkin abou dat makes dem change a bit, let alone talkin abou it."

"Why'd they quit?" Mandy asked curiously.

"They got bored," Junior answered, walking up closer to his parents, the party starting to resume with Jack and Sally sharing a dance of their own, "The incident with them taking over Christmas had been a long time coming, Mother. They got bored of scaring people to death, so they tried to do everything short of that. Then they got humans to scare each other. Then they started trying to scare themselves as well," Junior explained, "Eventually, they'll probably turn back to their old ways, but for now, they just don't feel the spark yet."

"In other words, everyone needs a break and some new spice in their life sooner or later," Mandy mused absently.

"Yes, unfortunately. Then again, Dad probably wouldn't have married you if that wasn't true," Junior mused dispassionately, "And you'd probably be in Hell, Mother."

"It's great to see you too, Son," Mandy drawled evenly yet sarcastically

"Can't even have one family reunion widou one of ya being a stick in de mud," Grim muttered.

"Oh, well, I guess I shouldn't have brought Minnie a present then," Junior said blankly, turning as if to leave. His sister's eyes dilated at the 'P' word from him, instantly in front of him and blocking his path, her wide eyes looking up at him with rapt attention.

"Present?" She asked, very eagerly.

"Just don't let her starve, or I'm not bringing you anything else," Junior warned with a roll of the eyes as he pulled her back and lifted up his scaled shirt, exposing his skeletal insides...

"WAAAAAA!" Minnie yelled, getting everyone's attention as she was launched backwards and over everyone's head. Jack stepped forward and attempted to catch her, blinking in shock as he felt himself launched backwards as well now. Wolfman, thankfully, stepped in front of the window before they hit it...and was promptly pushed against it so hard that the entire window cracked.

The three let loose a simultaneous pain-filled grunt as Jack slid off of Wolfman and Minnie slipped on to the floor, "Thanks Wolfie," Jack wheezed, catching his breath, the lycan giving him a grin and thumbs up. The two looked down as Minnie clutched something to her chest while she slid to the ground. Grim and Mandy looked surprised but not too alarmed yet, while Junior just let his shirt fall back down with a bored expression. Wincing lightly, Minnie looked down and uncurled her arms to see what had launched her into the wall.

It was about the size of a cat, maybe a bit bigger. It had two hind legs, but no front ones. Instead, it had two small wings, along with a stubby tail. It had the face of a reptile, or more accurately, a dragon's on a slight elongated neck. It was covered all over in snowy fur, except for the pinkish scales over its underbelly and rabbit like legs. On its head were four small eyes, uniquely enough. The top pair were a bright blue while the bottom were a brilliant green. It cooed up at her happily, its young teeth just barely out of the gums.

"BROTHER, I LOVE HER!" Minnie screeched happily, hugging the pet to her chest, forgetting about the pain in her spine. The young creature let out a happy coo as people gathered around in, looking adoringly at its cute face that would one day be very menacing, they imagined.

"...Son, wha is dat ding?" Grim asked curiously, unable to get a good look at the tiny creature his daughter was holding lovingly.

"A Jaculus," Junior answered evenly.

"...You got her a fookin dragon?" Grim asked in shock.

"Does it breathe fire?" Mandy asked curiously, Junior's nonexistent eyebrow twitching now.

"Does it spit acid?" The mummy, of all people, asked eagerly.

"Does it lay eggs in people's guts?" A small witch asked with a cackle

"No, and it doesn't have venom either. It just has a lot of horse power, hence the human's nickname for it: Javelin Serpent," Junior answered, as if he was reading from a textbook. "Personally, I prefer Jumping Dragon," He added on with a shrug.

"She is so tiny and young! Brother, where chance did you come across such a beautiful creature?" Minnie asked in awe, holding up her giggling dragon above her head as she re-approached her family and brother.

"I found her as an egg in a tree, her mother dead at the bottom," Junior answered bluntly, the crowd losing a bit of cheer at that.

"...Way ta putta dampa on de mood, boy," Grim said with a blank stare as Minnie lowered the infant reptile, looking at it with pity now.

"She asked," Junior retorted with a shrug. "I got her past the infant stage, but she's your responsibility from now on, Minnie," He warned sternly.

"I wilt endeavor to raise her properly!" Minnie promised quickly, never wanting to disappoint her elder brother, before quickly looking sheepish, "Umm, Brother? Would thou hath instruction of some kind on how a creature such as this should be nurtured properly?" She asked, having no knowledge of this race. The Jaculus, looking between all the new voices rather curiously, quickly grew bored and began to snuggle into Minnie's cloak, nibbling at it playfully.

Junior just gave Minnie an annoyed look before he jerked his spear, the white backpack flying up and off the weapon with the slightest effort, before falling into Junior's waiting hand. Propping the spear onto his shoulder, he used both of his free hands to unzip and rustle through the backpack before pulling out a hardcover book, "I took the liberty of marking the section on her species," Junior added on before she could ask, holding out the book.

Holding her pet with one hand, Minnie took the offered book. There was nothing on the front, but on the side of the book, in golden print, was the title: "Cththonology: Species Collection: Dragons 1st Edition" and at the bottom of the spine was the name of the author: Grim Sheolian Reaper Thanatosis Junior.

"Ahh, thank yee...," Minnie thanked with a smile, feeling a bit stupid for asking.

"Well, aren't you going to name her?" Junior asked curiously, throwing his backpack up in the air, the straps dangling on the spear guard again.

"Hmmm, I think I shalt name her Aetha Javalin, after Aether, the Light born from Great Nyx and Grand Erebus," Minnie said with a smile, nuzzling Aetha's head lightly with her own. While Mandy just watched the exchange patiently, Grim smiled at the naming of the dragonling, "Uncle, might I trouble ye to hold my young Javalin for a short while?" Minnie requested. The King of Halloween took the furred reptile with a curious expression, holding it in front of him and tilting his head. Aetha mimicked the movement, equally curious.

"How does something this small almost knock a Wolfman through a window?" Jack asked in light amazement.

"How does a ten year old girl make Death her Bitch?" Junior asked bluntly, making everyone grow quiet, Minnie in the middle of turning a page and Mandy about to drink her tea. Even Aetha looked around in confusion as the stillness of the room made her nervous.

Grim glared at his eldest child for a moment before two small fire balls leapt out of his eyes. Junior didn't even bother reacting beyond just reaching up to pull the hood of his wolf-jacket up, the top of his face covered by the wolf head. The fire balls, small and weak, would have just sent most boys running to put the fire out; Junior wasn't most boys. The instant they hit his clothes, his entire form ignited with bright green flames.

"Yeah, Dad? I'm fire proof," Junior's voice pointed out smugly before the flames took the form of a green wolf that jumped at and through Grim, making him flail about and fall back in his chair, before the flames dissipated with a rush of air and the ominous echo of a howl.

The room burst into cheering after a few moments, "Bravo, Bravo!" Jack praised with a few claps, having handed the Jaculus back to Minnie, before helping his seething brother off the floor, "Junior is a natural. I wouldn't mind adding him into our performance next year," Jack said with grin.

"Ya, ya, me brat of a son is a bit of a show off," Grim acknowledged gruffly.

"Get the stick out of your ass, Grim," Mandy said with a sigh, "He obviously said that solely to have an excuse to leave," Mandy pointed out, making Jack and Minnie blink before looking around, seeing that the boy was indeed nowhere in sight.

"He's gone..." Minnie said in sadness and disappointment over his quick departure.

"Junior isn't the type to idly stick around without reason, Minnie," Mandy pointed out as she walked over to the slightly scorched ground where Junior had stood. She reached down and picked a cardboard box, shaking off the soot to reveal a gift bow on it. "But he normally isn't the type to leave gifts either," Mandy murmured before opening it, smirking at the contents. "And here I was expecting a Nemean Cloak. You never cease to impress, Professor," Mandy said to herself as she pulled out and slipped on a long coat, made of an animal skin with dark grey fur.

The crowded marveled at the intimidating aura the hide itself gave off, adding even more to Mandy's own. Mandy took a deep breath and smirked, her red eyes gleaming. 'Very nice, Junior, very nice,' She thought, momentarily a bit power drunk, before humming as she felt something in her coat. She opened it and her smirk widened; Inside was no less than four built in gun holsters. Three were empty, and one had an object stashed into it. She took it out and rolled her eyes. "Here's your gift, Bonehead," She said, tossing the small metal object to Grim, who caught it in surprise.

It was a silver flask with a skull imprint on it, with a distinct resemblance to Grim. On the back, there was a hand written note tapped on, "Molded wid fire an juices supplied by the wood an fruit from an Umdhlebi tree, dan lef ta soak in tree resin from de same. Any liquid added will gain de same properties of a Umdhlebi fruit: Deadly poison ta mos creature, but Vodka to Reapers," Grim read out loud, blinking as the meaning sunk in. He grinned as he pocket the gift for now, "Well, at leas de boy is a generous show off," He joked lightly.

Jack starred at the flask like it was the Holy Grail. "Grim, before this night is over, you are giving me a bottle worth of liquid that has been in that flask," He said flatly, getting laughs from the rest of the crowds. Jack may not be much of a drinker, but even he liked a good drink every now and then-and for a reaper, that was not always easy.

"Fine, fine. Geeze, yer as impatient as ever, Sammy," Grim noted with a smirk.

"Mother?" Minnie asked, heading up to her mother with her pet and book in hand. "Why doth brother always depart so quickly and suddenly? I twas hoping to spend more time with him, to reminisce with him how our lives have been since we last met...," She asked softly, petting Aetha absently while holding the book under her arm.

"Junior spends much time writing and editing books about his studies of the various realms and species of the Underworld, Minnie. I doubt he wants to spend even more time telling us the unedited details," Mandy explained evenly.

"I suppose ye doth speak truth...," Minnie said with a sigh. "And I doubt one such as he would take interest in the happenings of a simple ballerina, sister or not," She mused lowly to herself before smiling bitterly at her Jaculus, "Nonetheless, he hath given me you, Aetha, my little Javalin," She said in a loving tone, the four eyed beast crooning happily at the attention, rubbing its head against Minnie's neck.

Mandy didn't say anything else to console her saddened daughter, retaking her seat with her new coat, 'I am almost tempted to reveal what Minnie is to Junior, if only to see if she suddenly becomes more interesting to him,' Mandy thought with a mental sigh.


Junior reappeared in the graveyard in a small column of green flames, his backpack-carrying spear still held over his shoulder with one hand, as he pulled down his wolf-hood. With a sigh, he jumped on a nearby tombstone, removed his backpack from his spear, planted the weapon firmly into the ground, and pulled a plain, ordinary sandwich out of his backpack, "Well, this was boring and mostly pointless," He mused coldly to himself, taking a bite out of the sandwich. It wasn't moldy or stale. One of his guilty pleasures as a Reaper was enjoying fresh peanut butter sandwiches instead of something molded or stale or otherwise inedible by human standards.

"Hey, is that the guy that came late to the party?" Shock asked to his two partners in crime as they hid several grave stones away from the boy on the tombstone.

"Yeah, I think so!" Lock agreed with a wicked grin.

"Wonder why he left already?" Barrel mused curiously.

"Who cares!?" Shock asked with a snort.

"Yeah, Oogie said he wanted us to grab this guy after he left the party, and that's what we're going to do!" Lock pointed out wickedly as they readied their bag.

"If I wasn't sure she'd send a fourth of her army to find me, I'd probably not bother coming back every few months," Junior mused to himself as the three crept up on him...

End of Chapter

Well, that's that. If any of you have read the Meeting of Juniors in the Grim Oneshots, you all know of this Junior as simply "Cththon". So, yes, here you have Junior as something of a genius, spending most of his time researching the various places and creatures of the underworld...and being a bit of an ass to his family. I hope you all enjoy Junior's new image in this fic, and yes, the clothes all have significant oigins and none of you will guess where that spear came from.

Now, onto the thing I did with the names. Since Grim is the 'King of the Underworld', I'm fairly sure he has some royal family name. Everyone in the Grim clan has Thanatos as a last name. Junior has Thanatosis as the Heir of Death, Grim is Thanatos as Death himself, Mandy has Thanatosia as the Consort/Wife of Death, and everyone else gets Thanatosian.

Now, onto creatures. I won't tell you all what Junior's clothes are made out of yet, or Mandy's coat, but I will say that the Jaculus and the Umdhlebi tree are fairly accurate to mythoogy. With Aetha the Jaculus, the only real liberty I took was with giving her four eyes. The rest of it seems to right: They were able to killed purely by ramming, hence Aetha's powerful kick, the only picture I could find of it showed white and pink, and it normally has no front limbs besides the wings. With Umdhlebi Tree, the accounts vary on what makes it poisonious: sometimes it the fruits, sometimes its the air around it or from the ground. Even said that it has dead skeletons all around it. So, yeah, I figured it'd get Reapers drunk and/or stoned.

Now, yes, Junior is a bit of an asshole of a scientist, especially to his family. However, yes, he does occassionaly give gifts for whatever reason, said gifts always being a product of his research. Why he doesn't care for his family, well, you'll figure that out eventually.

As for the whole Samhain thing?(shrugs) I figured Halloween Town use to be named after a different Holiday that fell into the same time of the year as Halloween. Most people would go with All Hallow's Even, but I went with Samhain. I also figured that Jack isn't the only one that suffered from the woes we saw in Nightmare Before Christmas Movie: Jack was just the first to get completely tired of their current version of things, even if only for a while.

And no, things are not going to go down like they did in canon, at all. Anyway, that's about it, happy to finally have this up and out. Hope you all enjoy it and hope Cththon Junior doesn't rub you all the wrong way.

QTP: What are Junior's clothes, and Mandy's coat, made out of? Where did he get the spear? Why doesn't he seem to like his family too much? How is he going to handle Oogie Boogie and his henchmen? Will Minnie be able to handle her little dragon? When will Junior be seeing his family again? What even started Junior into this profession? And why did he leave those specific gifts for his family?