Long time no see! I hit a bit of a block on this chapter, then some life stuff slapped me in the face.
Part of my block was that I wanted to do a bunch of research on ancient Egyptian tombs and archaeology to make this chapter realistic... but then I remembered I'm writing about magic card games and wizards. So there is very minimal research in this, LOL. There is a bit about the weighing of the heart ceremony, which involves like four different gods and... I condensed it. In the manga you can just do the whole thing yourself with the Scales, so I figure it's fine.
Bakura agreed to a tour of the site because he thought Bill might give him some insight into how to sneak through it. He did not expect the inner workings of a wizard excavation team to be fascinating.
"So this is the tent where we decurse items," Bill said, holding back the flap of the door for them. "Which I can show you safely, because we don't have any cursed items yet."
Bill sounded incredibly disappointed with this. If Bakura was honest with himself, so was he.
The inside of the tent was significantly larger than the outside, with rows of tables and shelves of reference books. A witch was painting runes onto trunks– for safely storing objects until they could be de-cursed, Bill said– and a witch and wizard pair were watching a cauldron in a corner.
(An actual cauldron. Just like the tiny play one Bakura had pocketed at work for his Monster World board.)
"This is cool," Bill said, waving them towards a contraption that held a series of glass discs on hinged bronze arms. "It's a curse-finder. Very cutting-edge."
He demonstrated looking through the glass discs to identify different types of curses. Malik grabbed Bakura's wrist and shoved his hand under the glass.
"No, I don't think you're cursed," Bill laughed.
"Are you sure?" Malik asked, ignoring the punch to his shoulder Bakura gave him. "He's basically the most cursed person I know."
Bill also showed them the appraisal tent, which had actual goblins, and finished the tour with a stop at their dining tent, which looked offensively like a British pub on the inside.
"Oh, yeah," Bill said when asked, "British wizards are sort of at the forefront of larger-on-the-inside charms, so you get a lot of…" He gestured at the wood paneling. "Food's local though."
The tray of snacks and tea Bill brought out to them did not look at all like what Bakura grew up with. They looked more like the sorts of otherworldly pastries Bakura fantasized the pharaoh dined on, back when he was a little kid. Malik, who was an actual modern Egyptian and must have had some modern commodities despite growing up in isolation, did look pleased with the selection.
The dining hall had one long table for communal eating, but it also had an array of booths. They sat at one, drinking tea in comfortable silence before Bill seemed to finally get up the nerve to ask, "So are you really descendents of the legendary Tombkeepers?"
"And are you really the descendant of Merlin?" Bakura shot back immediately.
Bill held up his hands and grinned sheepishly. "Sorry if I offended."
"Eh," Malik said, slumping back in his seat and draping an arm over the back of the bench. "I mean, I am the heir to a mysterious and reclusive magic clan…"
He sipped his tea.
"He sells used gaming equipment now," Bakura said. Malik choked.
"We were all told not to ask questions until your leader issued a statement, but…" BIll chewed the inside of his cheek.
Oh? Bakura thought. A burning curiosity was definitely something Bakura could use to get what he wanted.
"I'm the leader," Malik hissed in annoyance. Bill gave him a doubtful look, as Ishizu was currently the one off having important conversations with various authority figures. Not to mention that Malik was barely twenty and dressed like he modeled for mass-produced fashion catalogues.
Normally Bakura would tease Malik, but right now he wanted Bill to trust them.
"He's right in a technical sense," Bakura agreed. "Malik's allowed to tell anyone anything he wants."
Bill continued to look dubious, tapping his nails against the side of his tea cup. Since he was suspicious of the bait, Bakura changed strategies.
"What did they tell you about us?" he asked, channeling just a little bit of his inner-Ryou to let his face be openly curious as he leaned forward on his elbows.
"Ah, well…" Bill cleared his throat. "The Tombkeepers were mentioned in my training at Gringotts, but-"
"What the hell is Gringotts?" Malik interrupted.
Gringotts was a British wizarding bank. They had a whole division of Curse-Breakers and a habit of strong-arming their way into foreign excavations.
Typical British behavior, Bakura thought as Malik sighed and muttered, "Ishizu is not going like this."
"Yes, the British Ministry of Magic has historically used Gringotts to steal a lot of important magical artefacts," Bill agreed bluntly. "Since the War, though, there have a lot more socially-conscious regulations-"
Bill babbled for a few minutes about international laws and things that didn't particularly interest Bakura. It seemed more like Bill was justifying his employer so he could feel good about getting to break into tombs and dig up treasures, rather than actual evidence his employers had changed their pillaging ways.
(Ishizu had a lot of strong opinions about repatriation of artefacts. Bakura knew more about that than he strictly wanted to.)
Bill seemed very excited about the breaking into ancient tombs bit of his job. His enthusiasm very unfortunately made Bakura like him.
"...anyway, we were taught that Tombkeepers showing up was a myth, but one we shouldn't ignore," Bill said. "You know, like how basilisks probably aren't real, but you should still keep frogs out of your chicken coop just in case."
"What?" Malik asked.
"Sorry, that's a bit obscure," Bill said, waving his hand. "My brother is a bit of a magical creature fanatic. I meant, we haven't had any wizarding sightings in decades. The last one was someone showing up to warn that Tutankhamon's tomb wasn't cleaned up right, and that was dismissed as a hoax."
There was a long pause as Bill finished off his tea.
"Didn't people die?" Malik asked after a beat.
"Officially I'm supposed to assure you that the investigation found that all those muggles died of natural causes," Bill said, quirking an eyebrow. "What's the Tombkeepers' official story on Tut?"
Malik shifted in his seat slightly. Despite his whining, he didn't actually like talking about the Tombkeepers that much, unless it was to complain about being ignored.
"Officially we're only tasked with guarding the one tomb," Malik said slowly. "But sometimes branch families… get involved in different things."
The conversation digressed after that, to Bill describing his first curse-breaking job (a month working on some Celtic ruins in Northern Ireland, as part of his training), and then some bizarre asides about his strange and giant family, and then Malik spending a very long time trying to explain his online trading store to Bill.
Bill had absolutely no concept of the internet or holograms or any game either Malik or Bakura brought up, which was fascinating. He offered to show them a wizarding card game, and Ishizu found them hours later, squatting in the shade outside of Bill's tent and arguing over a game of Exploding Snap.
"I'm going to spend the night at home," she told Malik, by which she meant she was staying with the Tombkeepers in their freaky underground crypt. Malik visibly gagged. "It's more convenient," she defended, "and I need to go through our archives anyway. You're welcome to join me, or go back to the hotel."
She held out the keys of the rental car. Malik took them, looking doubtful.
After Ishizu waltzed off, some other wizards showed up to drag Bill off to do whatever his actual job was, and Bakura and Malik were left to their own devices. Malik stared down dejectedly at the key cars.
"Stop being so childish," Bakura told him. Malik glared at him, so Bakura tired, "There's nothing else we can get done here today. Let's see what the game shops in town are like."
Malik drove them back to Luxor, but not even bargain bins of cards in the back of a shop could cheer him up.
The next few days served to just make Bakura more and more frustrated with the situation.
Two officials from the Egyptian magical government were involved now, as apparently the Tombkeepers had a century-old pact with them to be left in privacy, which no modern Tombkeeper knew anything about. Amir, the head of the excavation, spent a lot of time blustering around and muttering to himself about how he and his colleagues should have been let in on the little secret, as they were the ones who actually had to deal with it.
Everyone was currently banned from entering the Tomb of the Unnamed Pharaoh, including even the Ishtars.
"I'm sorry," Ishizu told Bakura over dinner one evening, looking incredibly tired. Bakura was an affront to the Tombkeepers' existence and very decidedly not invited into their home, but Ishizu had dragged out some chairs and bowls of soup so they could eat together under the desert stars.
It actually would have been very nice, except that Bakura was mad at both Ishtars.
"I want you to go into the tomb and get the items," Ishizu told him. "But I don't want any wizards going in, and that takes precedence."
The worst part was that Malik agreed.
"Three thousand years to get all the items resettled and the Pharaoh into the afterlife," Malik told him. "I don't want some wizards who don't even know his name putting their hands all over everything."
The unspoken agreement that Bakura had a right to go in was… soft of nice, actually, but he was still annoyed. Why should some wizards get in Bakura's way? Who cared if they put Atem's corpse on display in a museum, as long as Bakura got the Millennium Items first?
"It's true we really can't let these Gringotts people get their hands on the Items…" Malik agreed, frowning up at the moon. "Ishizu, I think I should stay with you. Help out more."
Bakura was handed the car keys, and he wanted to scream. Instead of being juvenile and yelling, he snapped something mean at Malik and stomped off into the desert. He got all the way back to the excavation camp- adjacent to the Tombkeepers' home- before he remembered that he had absolutely no idea how to drive.
He shoved the keys into his pocket. He was a thief. It was time to do thief things.
The wizarding wards around the entrance to the tomb were impressive enough that they would likely be a major hurdle for Bakura. He was confident he could get around them, eventually, but they were different enough from ancient permutations that it would take a lot of time and work. On top of that, where the Bakura of three thousand years ago would simply light the camp on fire and seal away the souls of any survivors, this Bakura needed Ishizu not to kick him out of her house.
Bakura was the King of Thieves, though, and there was more than one way to rob a tomb.
Bill was in the dining tent, telling some story in broken Arabic to a group of giggling witches. The entertainment seemed to be more that Bill kept making exaggerated hand gestures for words he didn't know than the actual anecdote.
"You are very lucky you're handsome," one of the women told him in English, her eyes straying to Bakura as he approached, "because I didn't understand any of that."
"I get that a lot," Bill said cheekily. "But I've been looking for a private tutor, if you know what I mean…"
Bill trailed off when he noticed Bakura, eyebrows raised at him.
"Yes, he's always like this," one of the witches told Bakura, winking at him. "But he's cute, so we let him. Go on, Bill, go talk to your friend."
Bill followed Bakura out of the tent, looking suitably embarrassed. His ears were pink.
"I do actually want a tutor," Bill said earnestly. Bakura held up a hand.
"I don't care," he said. "I need a favor."
Bakura had had a few more conversations with Bill over the past few days. Bill was young and naive and curious about Bakura and Malik, and that made him perfect for manipulating. It also helped that Bill was one of those friendly hero types who liked helping people.
"They just left you?" Bill asked, face all covered with concern when Bakura explained his transportation problem.
"I may have also just left abruptly," Bakura said dryly. Bill thought he was a Tombkeeper, so Bakura had pitched his disagreement as a family squabble. Bill had six younger siblings. He understood family squabbling.
"Yeah, I can help you get back," Bill said after Bakura described where the hotel was, producing a wand from his pocket. Bakura eyed it warily. He'd watched Bill very casually summon items to himself and use it to translate text, and that seemed absurd to Bakura. Not even the Pharaoh's stuck-up priests used magic so nonchalantly.
Bill, hilariously, seemed nervous about going into a muggle city.
"They're not going to burn you at the stake," Bakura teased.
"I know," Bill stressed, then looped his arm through Bakura's. "You've Apparated before, right?"
Bakura didn't even know what that was, and Bill didn't give him a chance to ask. One minute they were standing outside the dining tent, and the next minute Bakura was nauseous and staggering across his hotel room.
"Wow," Bill said, not paying Bakura any attention as he sank unsteadily onto his bed. What the fuck had that been? "I've never been in a muggle hotel before…"
Bill fiddled with the light switch while Bakura tried to get his bearings. They'd just teleported, like it was nothing. He'd seen Dumbledore do it, but still. What the fuck?
"Fantastic," Bill said of a lamp. "Amazing. Dad would love this." Then he asked, "Why are you staying in a hotel anyway?"
Bakura very vaguely answered, "Had a bit of a disagreement with the family when we moved abroad. Want to get a drink?"
Bill paused. "With… the muggles?" he said, sounding confused by the concept.
"Do you never interact with them?" Bakura asked, standing from the bed and stretching. "C'mon, I owe you for the… apparating."
He had to loan Bill clothes- stolen from Malik's suitcase- because Bill was dressed in wizard robes, which Bakura anticipated would get more looks than even Seto Kaiba's sleeveless trench coat. Bill looked hesitant about the whole thing, but Bakura played the I want to repay you card a few more times until he relented.
"Why'd you move abroad, anyway?" Bill asked from the bathroom while he changed. He'd assured Bakura that he had gotten muggle disguise training through his job and he knew how to use a zipper, which was a problem Bakura had not anticipated and was very glad he didn't have to deal with. "I know Malik has a job, but…"
But aren't you supposed to be guarding the tomb? was the unspoken question.
"Circumstances changed," Bakura answered. Then because he was actively trying to make Bill like him, he added conversationally, "Ishizu has a job in London now, and we decided to follow."
Bill stepped out of the bathroom looking deeply unsure of his ability to walk in cargo shorts.
"London…" Bill said, pulling at Malik's shirt and looking dissatisfied. The light color did no favors for Bill's pale complexion, but at least Bakura didn't hand him one of Malik's crop tops. "You should have said something. I grew up in Devon."
Bakura led Bill out of the hotel- Bill found the elevator very exciting- and to a bar a few blocks away. He coaxed Bill into telling him more about whatever Devon was (a county in England Bakura had succeeded in never hearing of, despite living in Surrey) and then what wizarding London was like.
Bill was very social and talked easily, even as he stared around him with eyes as wide as dinner plates. Bakura didn't see what the big deal was. He'd come from a time with no electricity, after all, and the fairy lights decorating the windows of the bar were not that interesting.
(Fortunately, Bill was very obviously a foreigner and therefore a tourist, and no one seemed to think it was weird he was gaping at everything like a child in a toy store.)
"My neighbor is meant to go there next year," Bakura said when Bill started talking about Hogwarts, the magic school. He said this mostly to give the illusion of friendly connections, although part of him was genuinely curious about the place Harry was supposedly getting shipped off to. "Is it nice?"
"Oh, a muggle-born?" Bill said, nodding approvingly. He was on drink number three and asking fewer questions about the stories Bakura fed him. "Yeah, Hogwarts is great. Best magical school in Europe."
Hogwarts, when Bill talked about, did admittedly sound a bit cool. There were ghosts and a forest filled with magical creatures, and secret tunnels and passageways.
"The twins are driving Mum mad," Bill said. "Last week they got in trouble for sneaking into the Forbidden Forest. Wanted to meet a centaur, they said."
Bill rolled his eyes like meeting a centaur was a mundane experience, like meeting an accountant.
"So your brothers keep in touch with your family?" Bakura asked. "Do students get to go home on weekends?"
"No, just holidays," Bill said, pushing his now empty cup away from him, and Bakura felt oddly disappointed about the answer. "I feel like I'm talking about myself too much. What about you?"
"I'm not very exciting," Bakura lied.
Bill insisted, so Bakura ordered him stronger drinks and told some boring stories about working in the Epsom game shop.
"D'you- d'you, um," Bill slurred, blinking rapidly as he tried to put his question together. He was not much of a drinker, Bakura thought smugly. "Do you miss home, though?"
Bakura considered the question for a few moments, pushing the shot of liquor he'd had in front of him for the past ten minutes toward Bill. Bakura did, very deeply, miss Kul Elna, but he'd accepted millennia ago that he was never getting it back.
Bill took the shot, and Bakura said, "I do miss the desert. I miss being away from the city, and being able to see every star in the sky."
Bill nodded drunkenly. "I get that," he said. "The month I was based in Belfast was rough, 'cause of the…. um… the lights…"
"I don't think you get it," Bakura said, smirking. "Your country is too overcast to see the sky."
"Not all the time," Bill countered.
"Hmm," Bakura said, leaning back in his seat and cocking his head at Bill. "Have you ever really seen the desert sky, though?" When Bill opened his mouth to argue, Bakura held up a finger and added, "I've seen how much light your camp gives off. Doesn't count."
That was how Bakura convinced Bill Weasley to drunkenly Apparate them into the middle of the desert, kilometers away from the Tomb of the Unnamed Pharaoh.
"Ah, I splinched off a toenail," Bill winced, staggering away from Bakura.
Bakura, who'd mentally prepared himself this time, managed to stay firmly on his feet. He waited patiently while Bill vomited just a little bit into the sand, and then kicked off his shoe to say some spells over his bleeding toe.
"It's good though, right?" Bakura asked, opening his arms wide to indicate the sky.
"Oh," Bill said in a quiet voice.
They laid in the sand for a while, side by side, and Bill even sloppily described some British magical astronomy to Bakura, pointing out stars and constellations. Bakura indulged him in pointing out the patterns and divinations he'd learned in his own time.
Then, when Bakura dubbed Bill to have sobered up enough to perform more magic without ripping off any more toenails, but not sober enough to make good decisions, he asked, "So what do you think is in the Tomb?"
Bill groaned. "It better be good, if they're keeping all of us out for so long."
"I don't think you're getting in," Bakura said. "The Tombkeepers don't want anyone going in, and if your people have any respect for magical law, they'll seal it back up."
Bill bit his lip.
"You know…" Bakura said, eyeing Bill's disappointed face and fighting back a mean smirk. "I've been in there before. I could show you it. No one has to know."
Bill made a very pained sound in the back of his throat. Bakura waited a beat, grinning at him, and then Bill said, "Well… okay."
It was well past midnight and the camp was dead silent as they stumbled in. There was no physical guard to the tomb's entrance, because the wizards were very confident that the wards would keep anyone without authorization from going in.
Bill, luckily, was a bonafide Curse-Breaker and knew all the spells to make the wards accept them.
The entrance to the tomb was a stone archway with a staircase leading down into the earth. It had collapsed when the Pharaoh moved on, but the magical efforts of the wizards had repaired it to the point where it looked newly carved. The deceptive newness vanished abruptly when they got to the foot of the stairs, and the narrow corridor at the bottom had a distinctly ancient look to it.
The tomb was crackling with ancient magic, different from whatever was going on with the wizards above ground. It was the type of magic that Bakura had grown up with and was used to, and it sent a wave of nostalgia through him.
"Lumos," Bill muttered beside him, and a tiny light appeared at the tip of his wand. Bakura used his own heka to make his own orb of light, just like in the old days.
Bill stared dumbly down at the ball of light in his hand. "Wandless magic," he whispered in the still air of the tomb. "Nice."
Bill hesitated a bit in the chamber, looking less sure of their plan now that they were there.
"The team that went in died," he said, "trying to go down to the second level."
"Yes, well, they weren't tombkeepers trained in ancient magic," Bakura pointed out, holding up his light that he'd very much made with ancient wandless magic.
Bill stared at it for a few seconds, then shrugged. "Lead the way."
There were more stairs at the end of the chamber, and Bakura ran his tongue over his teeth as he felt the magic shift around them. This was only for the Pharaoh, the magic told him, and he wasn't welcome.
The magic would have been easy to undo with the Millennium Ring. Bakura only had his heka now, but he also had some modern tricks.
"Uh," Bill said when Bakura flicked a Duel Monsters card down the stairs. The walls of the staircase lit up with Swords of Revealing Light clinging to the walls. "Um."
"It's fine," Bakura assured him, and then took the stairs down two at a time. Bill followed, swearing under his breath about his missing toenail still hurting.
Bakura actually didn't particularly care if Bill came with him or not- he'd only needed him for the wards- but it was fun to show off. The second level of the tomb was a horrible maze of curses and traps to keep people out, and Bakura giddily pointed out all the places not to step and slapped more cards onto curses.
"Okay," Bill said, hip checking Bakura as they entered another room. "I do do this professionally, you know."
Bill held up his wand, and all the cursed pieces of the floor and walls lit up in a green-yellow glow.
That was… that was really convenient. His spell missed a few things- because this Tomb was one of the deadliest ever made and could trick even the most modern spells- but it was nice to have a visual.
"Less fun," Bakura grumbled, but he didn't stop Bill from doing it again in the next room either.
"Excuse you," Bill said with fake posh and then elbowed his way past Bakura to decurse the room himself.
It turned into a game, then: a race to get through the tomb the fastest. Bill was not nearly as practiced as Bakura, and Bakura had to double back more than once to save him from doing something stupid, but it was still the most fun Bakura had had in weeks.
The stairwell down into the third level, when they found it, was collapsed. That might have slowed Bakura down, but it only took around fifteen minutes of muttering and wand-waving from Bill to make it passable.
This level was the start of rooms containing actual treasures and artefacts, and Bakura indulgently stood around and tapping his foot while Bill marveled at Atem's stupid belongings.
"There are so many games," Bill observed. "Was the pharaoh a child?"
"Extremely childish," Bakura said, nodding seriously.
Bill didn't seem tempted to touch or remove anything, although Bakura could practically hear him mentally cataloging what was there and what decursing would need to be done. The thief in Bakura was doing something similar.
Bakura actually wanted, just a little bit, for Bill to steal one of Atem's games. Maybe one of his organ jars, even. That would just be funny.
The third level had fewer traps and so their little game turned more into who could spot and despell curses faster. It involved a lot of running and shoving, which in hindsight was a horribly unwise idea. The reason for this became apparent when they set off a trap wrestling at the top of the stairs down into the fourth and final level.
Both of them froze when they felt it: divine magic, pure and ancient and deadly, slapping at their very souls.
"What," Bill squeaked from the headlock Bakura had him in.
"Fuck," Bakura swore as the head of a crocodile appeared from the depths of the stairwell.
Bakura then acted on instinct, and his instinct was not particularly noble. He shoved Bill at the goddess as she appeared before them. Ammit's lion paws came down on Bill, and Bakura rolled past them, letting himself fall down the stairs into darkness. He got all the way down the first corridor of the fourth level before he felt a bit bad he'd abandoned Bill to the Heart-Eating goddess.
Bakura stood in the absolute darkness of the tomb for a few moments, listening. There were no screams from Bill having his heart ripped out, so… so what? Should Bakura go back to him?
Bakura shook himself and summoned another ball of light. If Ammit was going to eat Bill, he was already dead, and there was nothing Bakura could do about it. It would be a shame, because Bakura did like Bill, but he'd still have his goal.
Bakura rushed a bit more than he might have to get to the tablet containing the Millennium Items. He didn't even pause to spit on Atem's sarcophagus.
The plan had originally been to take only the Items they wanted- the Ring, the Rod, and the Necklace- but now that foreign wizards might steal them, Bakura took them all. The puzzle was smashed to pieces, little bits of gold scattered around the room, but they were easy enough to find once the Ring was around his neck.
It felt good to have the Ring back, like the natural order of Bakura's life had been restored. It felt weird beyond measure to have all the Items in hand, hung around his neck or shoved into pockets, and not have a single thought about using them for abject evil.
The power of the Items had dimmed, Bakura thought with some satisfaction as he ran back up to the third level of the tomb, the weighboats of the scales clanking loudly as he went. They were no longer fueled by trapped souls.
Ammit did not reappear as he crossed the threshold of the stairs. Bakura had the Millennium Scales shoved under his armpit unceremoniously, and Ammit traditionally obeyed the owner of the scales.
Bill was on the ground, slumped against the wall of the tomb and staring listlessly down at his illuminated wand. He was even paler than usual and visibly shaking, but he scrambled to his feet when Bakura stepped into the room.
"You're alive," they said in unison. Bakura said it with mild surprise, while Bill practically yelled in relief.
"Er," said Bill, running a hand through his long, gringery hair. "Yeah, I had my… heart weighed?"
He seemed confounded and could barely stand. He didn't remember what had happened very well, but his heart had been weighed against the feather of Ma'at- the goddess of Truth- and he evidently had passed the test.
"Huh," said Bakura. He wouldn't have passed that test in a million years. Malik wouldn't have passed that test. Most people sneaking around a tomb in the dead of night wouldn't pass that test.
In order to cover up the part where Bakura had literally left Bill behind to be eaten, Bakura held up the Millennium Scales.
"This tool of Anubis would have drawn Ammit back," he said, like he'd been purposefully trying to save Bill. The Millennium Scales were made by man and didn't belong to Anubis at all, but he wasn't lying that he would have called Ammit off if he'd gotten back in time.
"You can't just touch magical artefacts," Bill answered, looking alarmed. "Bakura-"
"Relax," Bakura scoffed. "The tombkeepers wanted these safe from your colleagues. This is all above-board with the ones who matter."
Bill kept shooting Bakura looks as they climbed back out of the tomb, but he didn't question him.
The sky was the light blue of pre-dawn when they stepped out of the tomb, and Bill spelled away their footprints as they headed back into the camp proper. Bill changed into his own robes and passed Bakura back Malik's clothes.
"Do you need help back to your hotel?" Bill asked, sounding like he hadn't slept in a week instead of just taking a light tour of a cursed tomb.
"No," Bakura said, "I think I'll try and make up with the Tombkeepers."
Still feeling the rush of adventure, Bakura went ahead and broke into the Tombkeeper's home. It was all drab stone walls with minimal decoration and home comforts, and was just about as miserable and awful as Bakura had imagined.
"What's wrong with you?" Malik griped when he wandered into his kitchen to find Bakura spreading butter and honey over their hand-made bread.
"Forbidding me from entering places is just an invitation," Bakura said, then tossed the Millennium Rod at Malik.
Malik yelped but caught it, holding it up like he'd been handed a revelation.
"You-" he started. "How?"
"Kind of Thieves," Bakura answered, waggling his eyebrows.
Ishizu, when she came in a few minutes later to find all the Millennium Items spread across her table, had to walk right back out again to calm herself down. When she came back, she gave Bakura the longest lecture he'd ever endured.
Then she put on the Necklace and in a very pleased voice said, "At least the Items are safe now."
It was odd, Bakura thought as he watched the Ishtars put their own breakfast together, that his hands were now considered safe.
Malik and Ishizu decided to extend their stay in Egypt, in order to deal with the wizards trying to dig up the tomb their family was charged with protecting. The "dealing with" meant that Bakira was left to his own devices for the next six days until his flight back to England, and he spent most of his time either screwing around Luxor or bothering Bill at the excavation site.
"I can't believe we did that," Bill would mutter periodically.
On Bakura's last night in Egypt, they Appareted into the desert to stargaze again, and Bill confessed he was feeling increasingly paranoid about getting fired.
"Why?" Bakura asked. "There's no reason anyone's going to think you snuck into a tomb that's impossible to sneak into."
Bill frowned back at him, crossing his arms. They had some bottles of whatever butterbeer was between them, and an old textbook Bill had about astronomy.
"You got me drunk and took advantage of me," Bill said. "I splinched myself and could have died."
"Oh, please," Bakura answered, rolling his eyes. "You were sober enough when you agreed to go."
Bill still looked upset, and Bakura remembered giggling like a child while he raced him through the tomb, and Bill's relief when he'd found Bakura was still alive…
"Well, if you're going to whinge about it," Bakura said, then brought his butterbeer to his face and muttered into it. "I guess I'm sorry for manipulating you."
Bill's face lit up immediately, the little goody-two-shoes that he was.
"Apology accepted," he said, then held out the textbook to Bakura. "Okay, this might sound like centaur nonsense, but I think Mars's angle tonight means…"
Bill was wrong, and Bakura smirked knowingly while he explained what the stars really meant.
When Bill Apparated Bakura to his hotel, he wrote something down on the notepad on the bedside table. He claimed it was an address, even though all it said was The Burrow, Ottery St. Catchpole, which was basically just nonsense.
"If you need anything," Bill said in a grossly earnest voice, "feel free to reach out to my family." He paused and then added, "Or if your neighbor has any questions about Hogwarts. My brother is starting Hogwarts next year too."
"I'm pretty sure you have a brother starting every year," Bakura replied, slipping the note into his pocket to be forgotten about and laundered. Bill just laughed.
In the morning, Bakura packed all of the Millennium Items- save the Rod and the Necklace, which the Ishtars had eagerly claimed- and took a cab to the airport.
Now the fun could begin.
Bakura: What... what is this feeling?
Bakura: Gross. Die.
I hope this chapter was worth the long wait! Unfortunately I don't anticipate the next chapter coming out very quickly. I do want to emphasize that even if I disappear for months, this fic is not abandoned... I'm just really busy!