Disclaimer: I don't own any of the League or any of the characters of 'Underworld'; just the plot.

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LXG 2004 2: Lazarus

Sitting down at the table, Bond stared critically at the man facing him. He was a tall figure, dressed in an elegant velvet shirt and dark trousers, with long locks that gave him an almost Byron-esque appearance. He appeared to be in fairly good shape, although his skin seemed slightly paler than Bond was used to human skin being; it almost reminded him of Angel's…

He shook it off and raised a curious eyebrow at the man.

"Your preference?" he asked, casually; the man had just sat down at this table after Bond's last opponent had left, coinciding defeat before things got too out of hand.

"Blackjack?" the man asked cockily, indicating the cards.

Bond nodded. "Deal," he said to the dealer.

The cards were dealt, one up, one down. His opponent was showing the Queen of Diamonds, while Bond was displaying the Jack of Hearts, with the Ace of Spades up his sleeve.

"I'll stay with what I have and bet one thousand," Bond decided. It seemed a fairly safe guess, after all; he couldn't think of many hands that could top the one he was holding at present.

The other man nodded. "I'll see your thousand." He flipped over the seven of clubs.

Bond revealed his Ace of Spades, smiling slightly as he accepted his winnings.

The other man nodded. "Good call," he said, handing over the money with no obvious signs of annoyance at the loss, before looking back at the dealer. "Again."

The cards came out again; Bond this time holding the Nine of Diamonds and the Seven of Spades, while his opponent was displaying the King of Hearts.

Bond nodded thoughtfully; he'd just have to gamble.

"Hit me," he said to the dealer, he found himself facing the Five of Diamonds and smiled; as good a card as any.

"You're a confident man, Mr…" the man said, looking curiously at Bond.

"Bond," he replied. "James Bond."

"Well, Mr Bond, in lieu of your nerve, I'll raise you two thousand," the man replied, smiling as he shoved the necessary chips onto the table.

Bond laid the Nine down beside the others, and watched as his opponent laid down the Ten of Diamonds beside the others, a brief curse passing his lips as he passed the money over.

Bond smiled slightly as he looked at the table, before glancing up at the man and resuming his poker face. He noted, with some surprise, that his opponent's eyes actually looked angry, but then supposed that it was only to be expected; it looked like he'd managed to earn a fairly substantiale amount of money before Bond showed up. Nobody liked to have a streak like that broken so fast.

Bond smiled slightly as he stood up, pocketing his chips. "I've got an appointment; I should be off," he said, holding out a hand to his opponent. "Thanks for the brief game, Mr…?"

"Kraven," the man said, taking the offered hand and shaking it. "Kraven Ordgahz."

"You're Hungarian?" Bond asked, slightly surprised; the man's accent didn't sound all that foreign.

"My father was," Kraven replied. "I haven't actually been there for several years myself."

"Ah," Bond said, as he turned away from the table and began to walk out of the casino.

He didn't know why, but there was something about Kraven that made Bond instinctively.

Maybe it was because his skin was so cold…


"Really?" Ginny asked, looking up at Harry in surprise from where she was sitting opposite him. "Dorian Gray? The Dorian Gray? You fought him?"

"Me and the League," Harry said, trying to sound a bit dismissive of the whole thing; he was beginning to wish he hadn't brought the topic up now. But Ginny had asked him what had happened during his time with the League, and as she'd sat there, her shoulder-length red hair hanging down beside her face, looking innocently at him…

He'd have stabbed himself if she'd asked him to, looking as beautiful as that.

He sighed. "But… it cost one of us his life."

"Oh," Ginny said, looking sadly at him as he sat there, picking away slightly at the food in front of him. "I'm… sorry I brought it up."

"Hey, don't worry about it," Harry said, smiling up at her. "You couldn't have known; you had every right to be curious. I-"

There was a loud knock at the door.

Blinking in surprise, Harry looked over at Ginny. "Invite anyone over?" he asked her.

"No," Ginny said, looking just as surprised as he was. "I did have Ron and Hermione over a few days ago, but they said they were going away for a couple of weeks; it can't be them."

"Then… who?" Harry said, partly to Ginny and partly to himself.

He looked over at his girlfriend. "Get your wand," he said to her, as he reached into his pocket and pulled out his own. "I'll see who it is; you stay back in case they attack."

"Right," Ginny said, pulling out her own wand and walking off to stand behind a door, while Harry headed off into the hall, his wand concealed behind his back.

He was prepared to admit that he might be making a mountain out of a molehill, but, well, ten o'clock at night was hardly a normal time for social calls, and after his recent adventure with the League…

Well, it wouldn't be too far-fetched to assume that someone was after him for revenge.

He opened the door, his wand behind his back, ready at a moment's notice to be brought out…

And stared in surprise at the people in front of him.

There were two of them; a man and a woman. The man was tall and athletic, wearing black slacks, a long black leather coat and a white shirt, the first few buttons undone to reveal a muscular chest. His face was ruggedly handsome, with medium-length dark blond locks, and unusually dark eyes. The woman was a similar height, dressed in skin-tight black leather and a coat identical to the man's, with shoulder-length dark hair and smooth, pale skin that vaguely reminded Harry of Angel.

The woman looked curiously at Harry. "Mr Harry Potter?" she said to him.

"Um… yeah, that's me," Harry said, already doubting they were here to kill him; if they'd wanted that, wouldn't they have tried something already?

"The wizard in the latest incarnation of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen?" the man put in, looking at Harry in an inquiring manner.

Harry blinked in surprise.

They knew about that…

… And they didn't want to kill him?

"Who are you?" he said, turning to the woman; she struck him somehow as being the more experience of the two of them.

"My name is Selene," she said. "This is Michael Corvin. We have a serious problem to attend to, and we need the assistance of the League if we are to succeed."

She stared Harry in the eyes. "And if we fail, at least one centuries-old species shall be destroyed for good."