DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fanfiction produced for entertainment purposes only. Yu-Gi-Oh! and all related characters are the creations of Kazuki Takahashi.

The Magician's Mistake
by Shadow's Mirror

The Dark Magician stood as silent and still as a stone statue on the front step of his tower home, mournfully eyeing the bedraggled, blackened, tattered and torn item that the Blue Eyes White Dragon had just dropped on the grass before him. A look of gleeful malice danced in her eyes as the eldest of the four BEWD sisters leaned her head down and hissed softly at him. "Let that be a lesson to you, stupid man." She tossed her head and took off for her mountain home, her powerful wings creating a gust of wind so strong that the item she had just dropped off might have threatened to take off as well, had it not been put through so much already that day that not even such a wind could make it do more than give a very weak shudder.

The purple-robed mage ignored the wind that tried to whip his hair and clothes around him. He stirred just enough to turn his head, watching her leave before he returned to his solemn study of the misshapen mess on his front lawn. Only then, with no one around to witness his reaction, did he finally let loose the heavy sigh he had been holding in since the moment he had heard the dragon's arrival.

He had known that she would be the one to return his precious item to him. She was always the one to do so, even if she was never the one to take it from him in the first place. She left that sort of thing to the handful of smaller dragons who regarded her as their mentor. He didn't believe she actually sent them to do so... at least not deliberately. But all it ever took was the vaguest suggestion that he had done something that she disliked and they would immediately target his treasure and take it back to her for whatever 'punishment' she deemed necessary at that time.

Unfortunately, it didn't take a great deal to annoy the eldest of the Blue Eyes White Dragons. The proudest, stingiest, nastiest and quickest to anger of the four sisters, she was forever finding fault with something or other.

Lately, most of those 'something or others' had been related to him.

He was beginning to think he had made a slight miscalculation in regards to the whole situation.

The mage sensed someone coming up behind him and stepped down onto the front path so his assistant didn't run into him, for once. Finding herself deprived of the solid form she usually used as a brake, the Dark Magician Girl instead skidded slightly in the hall as she tried to stop. Failing that, she was soon skidding outside and over the front step. The Dark Magician arched an eyebrow at her as she caught herself before she could fall to the ground. Unrepentant, she grinned at him as she magically hovered with her knees up, as if she was in the middle of a jump. "That was close!"

"Perhaps if you were to try walking more... slowly?" As always, his suggestion trailed off as it was obvious that she was not listening to him at all. Her wide eyes were already fixed on his former treasure. The look of horror on her face confirmed his own thought that the results of this morning's work were easily the worst yet.

"Oh, no. Not again!" Landing, she warily inched closer. "Ugh. What is that smell?"

He sniffed delicately and barely kept from coughing. "Sulphur, mouldy cheese and old socks with a hint of mint, I believe. I suspect she may have enlisted the aid of Thousand Years Dragon, this time."

Dark Magician Girl blinked at him. "What could he do to it?"

Eyeing his beloved treasure, he sighed heavily again. "My guess would be that he chewed on it for a time."

"Ew." She wrinkled her nose. "That's disgusting."

He sighed again at her reaction and she looked at him seriously. "Don't you think this is getting out of hand? I mean... this is the fourth time this week that she's done this. It's only Tuesday."

He nodded slightly. "I admit, I had not anticipated that she would be quite so... easily annoyed. When her younger sister came to see me last week to ask for my assistance, it seemed like a reasonable request. Besides..." He paused, wincing slightly, and his assistant picked up where he'd left off.

"You felt guilty that she was depressed because Yami Yugi had used his Dark Magician card to defeat her and win another duel against Seto Kaiba. I know. I still don't see why you had to be the one to entice her out of her cave again, though. So what if she hadn't left it in a month? She was just sulking. She sulks after all of Seto Kaiba's defeats against Yami Yugi. It's not your fault. Anyway, she loves sulking. It's her favourite hobby."

"Perhaps, but that does not change the fact that this time her younger sister was quite concerned about her well-being." He shrugged slightly and his voice was quiet as he looked at his assistant. "It is very rare for any dragon to ask a favour of me, but it is only the second time that particular dragon has asked. I could not refuse her. It was a simple enough request. Entice her sister out of her cave now and then so she could get some exercise. You cannot deny that I was the right person for her to ask. I have managed to do as she requested. Her sister is always so eager to avenge the merest hint of a slight against her that it is the work of but a moment to lure her into action against me. This time, I managed it by merely sending her a polite letter asking her if she could possibly remain inside again today, as I was planning to fly over her mountain to take tea with the Elders." He smiled slightly, pleased at how well she had risen to his bait.

The Dark Magician Girl arched an eyebrow at him. "You've also managed to completely ruin that." She pointed at the item in question and the smile slipped from his face.

As he winced at the reminder, the girl shook her head. "Well, as much as I'd like to stay and watch as you bury that disgusting thing, I promised Change of Heart that I would take her and her friends berry picking this afternoon." She grinned at him. "I'm off now. Try not to breathe in until it's at least four feet down!" With that bit of cheerful advice, she hopped up on her staff and flew off. He could still hear her giggling as she zipped out of sight behind the trees.

The Dark Magician sighed once more as he eyed the remains of his treasure, still lying limp and lifeless on his lawn. Perhaps it had been a mistake for him to choose annoying the eldest Blue Eyes White Dragon in order to lure her out of her cave. He could have tried several other methods, but this one was by far the easiest. Unfortunately, it was also always followed by her taking out her vengeance on his poor, innocent treasure.

Fortunately, there was one thing that neither the dragon, nor his assistant, knew.

He had long ago perfected a spell for this very occasion.

Drawing himself up to his full height, the Dark Magician lifted one hand. His long staff immediately shimmered into existence in his grasp and he paused a moment to gather his magic. Pointing his staff at the sorely mistreated item in question, he quietly intoned the words of power.

"Fire, Water, Step, Tear, Spill.

My hat, unable to escape.

Shadow Magic work my will.

Restore it to its rightful shape."

The magic burst out of his staff and surrounded the item in a purple glow that sparked and shimmered for several moments before fading away to reveal his hat in perfect purple condition. He smiled as he vanished away his staff again and moved forward. His hat rose up to meet him and he smiled more widely as he plucked it out of the air and put it on his head. He gave a wary sniff and then beamed contentedly.

"It seems I added that deodorising component to the spell just in time. Now then... how shall I lure her out of her cave tomorrow, I wonder?"

He happily headed indoors, to make his plans over a pot of tea with perhaps a slice of cake.

The End