A New Generation of Priests
No, I don't know where the inspiration to write has been coming from!
Ahem... with that said, enjoy the next chapter. :D
CHAPTER FIVE – THE VOICE FROM NO WHERE
Atemu grumbled to himself as he made his way to the Great hall that night. Malfoy… he really had sunk to a new low by stealing the Scales, but that was not the only thing. Zork gone or not, the Items were still dangerous, especially to someone that did not have a clue as to what they were capable of. If Malfoy tried to use it…
He was so lost in his own thoughts that he nearly collided with a rather moody Professor McGonagall. She fixed him with a cold look before reaching into a pocket a pulling out a piece of paper: his Defense Against the Dark Arts exam. Atemu fought back a nervous gulp.
"Mr. Mutou," she began, "did you or your other self write this?"
"Uh… I… uhhh… Professor, please, I can explain… I think…" he stammered.
McGonagall held up a hand, cutting him off. "Thank you," she said wearily. "It was the best laugh I had in quite a long time, but don't do it again. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have detentions to hand out."
Atemu blinked, watching her leave, before letting out a sigh of relief. He was a hair's breadth away from a detention just then. Thank gods McGonagall had a sense of humor tucked away in her.
Harry rubbed his eyes tiredly, scribbling the address for Veronica Smethley while fighting back a yawn. It was a futile effort though, considering he had had to get up at the crack of dawn for Quidditch practice, and now had to listen to Lockhart ramble on and on. He and Ron had received their detentions for flying the Weasley's Ford Anglia into the Whomping Willow at the beginning of the week, and he unfortunately had to help Lockhart answer his fan mail, while Ron only had to help Filch polish the trophies in the Trophy Room.
Though, now that he thought about it, Ron probably ended up with the greater of the two evils. He was still burping out slugs on occasion last he checked.
Harry reluctantly went to grab another envelope, when a cold, chilling voice reached his ears over Lockhart's annoying prattle.
Come… come to me… Let me rip you… Let me tear you… Let me kill you…
He looked around frantically, trying to find the source of the voice. Even Lockhart noticed the terrified look on his face.
"My good boy, what's troubling you?" he asked.
"Can't you hear that?" he asked.
Lockhart frowned. "I think you've been working with me too long, Harry," he said. "Why don't you go up to your common room and get some sleep."
Confused, and straining to hear the voice again, Harry got up and left. He kept an ear near the walls as he made his way back to the common room, still listening for any word from the voice. He was so preoccupied with his strange activity, that he did not notice Malfoy coming down the other way until he crashed into him.
"Bloody hell, Potter!" he snapped, steadying himself. "Watch where you're going!"
Harry was about shout back at him, when the voice came again.
…rip… tear… kill…
What little color was in Malfoy's face quickly disappeared.
"That… that's not in my head. What is that!" he exclaimed. Harry blinked in surprised, not quite sure what Draco meant about the voice not being in his head, but…
"You can hear it too?"
"Of course I can hear it!" Malfoy snapped.
…so hungry… for so long…
The two boys spun around, trying to find a source for the voice.
"Where the devil is it coming from?" Malfoy demanded.
"Shush!" Harry snapped, straining to hear… but the voice had gone. Harry let out an annoyed noise, turning to Draco… before he frowned. He did not look good at all, like he had not slept all week. Dark circles hung under his eyes, and he seemed to be so weary.
"You all right?" he asked before he could stop himself.
Draco gave him an irritated look. "It's none of your damn business!" he snapped, storming off. Harry stared after him, before shaking his head, heading back toward Gryffindor Tower.
September flew away in a blur, and before Yuugi knew it, he was staring outside the library window at a very wet and dreary October day, trying to see if he could spot Harry out above the Quidditch field. This was why he never wanted to get into sports; to even have to go out on a horrible day like today…
He was interrupted from his thoughts by a loud sneeze, turning to see his other half pull a handkerchief out of his back pocket and blow his nose. Ryou sweatdropped, looking like he was mentally berating his other half as Seto gave the pharaoh an annoyed look.
"Would you go to Madam Pomfrey already?" he snapped. "Her Pepperup potion will take care of that."
Atemu shoved his handkerchief back in his back pocket. "I rather not have smoke coming out of my ears like some kind of stupid cartoon."
Kaiba rolled his eyes, going back to the book he was poring over.
"Besides, we've got more things to worry about," the pharaoh continued, lowering his voice. "Malfoy's had the Scales for the past month. I'm sure you've seen the result."
"He looked like hell just after a week with the thing," Ryou replied. "I can't even imagine why he hasn't snapped yet."
"Pride," Kaiba grunted distractedly, getting sweatdrops from the other three in response.
He'd know, Bakura grumbled in his other half's head.
"I'd have grabbed the Scales back awhile ago, if we could just get—"
Atemu was cut off, letting out another sneeze that made Ryou and Seto jump back, as he failed to cover his mouth in time to prevent them from an impromptu bath.
"Dammit…!" Kaiba growled as Ryou stood up, switching places with the tomb robber as he did so.
"Okay, that's it," Bakura declared, hopping over the table (Yuugi let out a yelp, protecting his homework). He went right over to Atemu, pulling him up out of his seat and forcing him to move. "You're going to go get that potion even if I have to cram it down your throat myself."
Atemu let out a sound of protest. "Aibou! Kaiba!"
Yuugi sighed softly. "Kaiba-kun, do you have your transfiguration book?"
Seto grunted, handing the book over as Atemu sweatdropped. "Thanks a lo—"
He was cut off by another sneeze as Bakura pushed him out the door of the library. Yuugi and Seto continued their studying as if nothing happened, before the later finally spoke up.
"What would happen if the Scales were meant for Malfoy?"
Yuugi looked up, surprised, before frowning in thought. "I… honestly have no idea. I can't imagine any of the Items being for someone like Malfoy though…"
An eyebrow rose. "Need I remind you of how we first encountered Ishtar? And Pegasus?"
Yuugi sweatdropped. "Good point…"
Seto nodded. "We should be cautious. We don't want another psycho imprisoning people's souls on the loose."
Atemu was freed from Madam Pomfrey's grasp (with his ears still a bit red from all the steam) just in time for lunch. He sat down, looking grateful that he was able to do something without a certain white haired thief clinging to him and petting his head.
"I should get him a puppy," he finished, once Malik stopped laughing.
"I don't think the professors would allow Jounouchi in the school," the Gravekeeper replied flippantly. "It's just… weird. I mean, I'd expect you to be the one to cling to Bakura constantly with him trying to pry you off with a crow bar. Not the other way around."
"Don't get me wrong," Atemu said as Harry, Ron, and Hermione came into the room, "I feel really comfortable when he's holding me. Much more than I ever thought I would. But when I have steam pouring out of my ears, I'd prefer it if everyone stayed a few feet away from me."
"I'll keep that in mind," Malik replied, sliding over a bit to give Hermione some room to sit.
"What are you two going on about?" Ron asked as he and Harry took a seat on the other side of the table.
"The trials and tribulations of the hopelessly romantic," Malik provided, getting Atemu to roll his eyes. "What's up with you guys?"
"Sir Nicholas invited me to his Death Day party," Harry replied, which drew the expected confused stares.
"It's a sort of holiday for ghosts," Hermione provided, "where they celebrate the day they died."
Atemu dropped his fork, looking horrified. "Who would want to celebrate that!"
"I bet it's exciting though!" Hermione exclaimed, looking like she had gotten a perfect score on a test. "I imagine not many living people have ever been to one. I want to come too."
"Sounds dead depressing to me," Ron replied, poking at his lunch.
"Agreed," the pharaoh said. "Count me out."
"But we could learn something interesting about the ghosts in this castle!" Hermione protested. Atemu just gave her a look of ever so slightly strained patience.
"Hermione, I've been dead. It's not something I want to celebrate."
Halloween festivities were as magnificent as they always were at Hogwarts, though Draco took it all in stride. Of course he did; all he was there for was his fill of the magnificent food that he only got to see once a year. That was, of course, when it was not being devoured by his two thickheaded bodyguards.
He rubbed his eyes as Crabbe snatched yet another slice of pumpkin pie. Things probably would have been more enjoyable if he had actually been able to see the inside of his eyelids more than once a week. Ever since he had taken that scales from Mutou, his nights had been plagued with nothing but horrible nightmares. Those red eyes… they haunted him… tormented him… He could even see them when he was awake sometimes, staring at him…
"Hey, boss, you're not eating…" Goyle said suddenly, snapping him out of his thoughts.
"Because unlike you muscle heads, I don't need to consume my own body weight to survive," Draco snapped irritably, before standing up, muttering something about going to bed as he left.
Unfortunately, bed was going to be a long dream away. No sooner had he left the Great Hall, did he find himself staring at two heads of multicolored hair. He looked down to see both Mutous… and then to the side to see Ishtar and Kaiba and Bakura as well.
"Out of my way, mudblood," he snapped at Yuugi in annoyance.
"Not until you give it back," Yuugi replied firmly.
"Give what back?"
"You know what," Atemu replied, crossing his arms. "The Millennium Scales. Give them here."
Draco's lip twitched, annoyed at being caught, especially with this kind of opposition. Anyone with half a brain was smart enough to be afraid of Ryou's other half, and Kaiba… well, he looked like he could take on Crabbe and Goyle without any help, physical or otherwise. He growled softly under his breath, before reaching into his robes, taking out the Scales.
"Take the bloody things! They've caused me nothing but trouble!" he snapped, throwing them at Yuugi's feet…
…or, at least, trying to.
He shook his hand franticly, golden scales swinging back and forth, trying desperately to get the shaft to part from his hand. No matter what he did, it would not budge, as if someone had glued it to his skin.
"Bloody hell, Mutou," he swore. "This is all your fault!"
Yuugi blinked. "My fault? You're the one that stole the thing! I mean… who's stupid enough to steal a dangerous magical golden object?"
There was a pause, before all eyes (with the exception of Draco's) turned to Bakura…
"Oh, shut up," the tomb robber growled. He stomped over to Malfoy, seizing the shaft in an effort to help pull the thing away, only to jump away a moment later, his hand red and blistering where he had grabbed the Item.
"No good," he replied, wincing. "He's stuck with it."
Atemu groaned, covering his face with a hand as Draco looked between them. "What the bloody hell does that mean!"
"It means you're now a permanent member of the Millennium Item club," Malik replied sarcastically. "The benefits suck, and there's a pretty good chance the dark side of yourself will manifest and start sucking people's souls into the Darkness. Oh, yeah, and the voices in your head are wonderful conversationalists, even though they've been dead for three thousand years."
"Voice in my head?" Draco repeated, paling. He had heard a voice that night in September… but Potter had heard it too, so it had not been—
…rip… tear… kill…
Draco froze solid, ignoring the stares he was getting. The voice! It was back, and it definitely was not coming from his head. He dashed over to the nearby wall, listening for the low, cold voice. He heard it again, moving up and away… down along the corridor…
He sprinted down the hall, ignoring Mutou as he shouted after him, knowing by the pounding of their footsteps a moment later that they were following him. That voice… what was it? Did it have to do with the Scales, or was it something else…?
…I smell blood… I SMELL BLOOD!
He felt his breath freeze up in his chest, forcing himself to keep going. It was going to kill someone this time! He was sure about it! Darting up a nearby staircase and down another hall, he did not stop until he nearly slipped on a massive puddle on the floor, flailing to regain his balance, and probably would have ended up rather wet if it were not for a hand grabbing his shoulder. He glanced back at Kaiba, though his attention was soon drawn away to the wall before them…
Something was shining on it, and the seven of them approached slowly, squinting in the dim light to see it better. Foot high words glared out at them, looking eerily like blood in the torchlight…
THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS HAS BEEN
OPENED. ENEMIES OF THE HEIR, BEWARE.
Draco swallowed slightly, as the sound of footsteps coming from the other direction met their ears. Harry, Ron, and Hermione – back from the Death Day party – came into the light a moment later, the later two gasping for breath as Potter eyed him.
"You heard it too?" he asked after a moment.
"It was rather hard to miss," Draco replied with a sniff, looking back to the letters. "Who the bloody hell is doing this?"
Harry opened his mouth to reply, when Hermione suddenly screamed. Everyone turned to her, before following her gaze up to something just above the words…
There, hanging from a torch bracket by her tail, was Mrs. Norris, the caretaker's cat. She was stiff as a board, and her creepy red eyes looked like they were bugging out of her head.
"We-we better get out of here," Ron stammered.
"For once, we're in agreement, Weasel," Draco growled, already starting to back up.
"Shouldn't we try and help…?" Yuugi suggested, though he too was backing up.
"Believe me, we don't want to be found he—"
Draco was cut off, in the middle of turning around to leave, when he nearly smacked into Argus Filch. He let out a squeak of surprise before backing up, nearly slipping on the wet floor again. Filch was hardly paying him any heed; he had seen what was left of Mrs. Norris.
"My cat!" he exclaimed suddenly. "You brats murdered my cat!"