Ryou spent the rest of the time before the day to head to Hogwarts arrived reading his course books. With a bit of experimenting, he and his dark half had discovered something very useful. Ryou sat at the head of the bed with his knees bent and a book propped open on his lap. Right above that rested another book. The two of them, both wanting to look through separate books, had discovered the ability to both be in control of the body. As long as the two books were in the same general area, they could both see the writing and when their minds were 'distracted', there was no protest to either of them turning respective pages.
Satori, as the black and green snake was now named, decided that he was going to get Ryou used to him. If it meant slithering over various parts of his body or wrapping himself around Ryou's neck or arms, then he would do that. Even though Satori was only a foot long and an inch and half thick, he still managed to explore everything and everywhere.
With Ryou and Bakura working together to learn 'magic', they found that it was incredibly easy. Spells were learnt and implanted into memory and both of them found that the theory made sense. After reading through most of the books that they had gotten, Bakura had taken the body – with permission this time – and went out to explore.
They ended up in Knockturn Alley.
They were wearing a black cloak with the hood up, and the way Bakura prowled down the street caused the few other people to shy away from him. They picked up a couple more interesting books – one on the barely legal Dark Arts as well – before they ran into someone they never expected to see.
"Malik!" Bakura hissed in surprise, causing the blond to spin around. Surprisingly, the Egyptian seemed to look like he belonged there. He was wearing a set of fine black robes with a golden embroidered trim. His hood was up, but there was no mistaking him or his gold jewelry.
"Bakura?" Malik exclaimed softly before glancing uneasily around the Alley. "Come with me, we'll talk somewhere more... private."
Once they were settled into a private booth in a fairly clean pub and Malik had put up a bunch of anti-eavesdropping wards, they began talking.
"I never expected you to turn up in Knockturn." Malik started, sipping calmly at a drink Ryou was sure he couldn't pronounce the name of.
"I never expected to be in Knockturn, though I have to admit it's much more... interesting than Diagon."
"I completely agree with you. How long have you known about your magic?"
"This summer. You?"
"That's not long. I've known all my life actually, it's what's helped me with controlling so much of the Shadow Realm."
Bakura split himself off from Ryou into a spirit form, invisible to all but the two of them and Satori.
"You never mentioned anything." The spirit growled.
Malik shrugged. "I wasn't supposed to. It's against Wizarding Law. It's not like I used this magic against you."
"You never went to school?" Ryou inquired.
"No, I was never above ground until after I went crazy."
Bakura snorted and Ryou suppressed a smile.
Even though Malik had never gone there, he knew quite a bit about Hogwarts and even more about the people the two of them were going to be in frequent contact with. He offered up some interesting information that he was positive that hardly anyone else knew, like the juicy past of one Harry Potter, the boy's parent's and parent's friends and enemies, and on the secret organization: The Order of the Phoenix.
Bakura was shocked speechless to find out that Ishtar was a member, though he didn't go to many meetings. More often then not he passed his information through Ryou's to be potions professor, Severus Snape. Malik offered to set up a meeting between them, but Ryou declined, not wanting the teacher to single him out or treat him any differently than the other students. Malik had adopted an amused expression but wouldn't explain why it was so amusing.
Malik took them on a brief tour of Knockturn Alley and pointed out a few useful items that they might want.
Barely a minute after they had departed ways with Malik, a faint voice spoke to them in their minds.
"Mind-speakers, there is a speaker in the busy alley along with a wolf-man and a changing woman. I will let you hear them."
"C'mon Harry, I know you don't want to go back there, but we have to, it's not safe out."
"Tonks, I am well aware that it's not safe, but I don't want to be cooped up in that house! It drove Sirius mad and it will drive me crazy as well!"
There was a frustrated sigh. "I know it's not my fault! Every member of the Order keeps telling me that when all I want to do is remember the good times with him!"
Ryou frowned mentally and Bakura picked up his pace through the alley.
"Don't mention that in public Harry! You don't know who might be listening." There was a far off cry of 'Harry' and the sounds faded away.
They arrived where Satori was hidden just as the busy haired girl from the Menagerie jumped him in a hug. Bakura suddenly felt an overwhelming need to get away. He scooped up the slightly dusty snake and wove his way through the crowds back to the inn.
'Why did you leave like that?' Ryou inquired. 'And what was that, that you did?' He added to Satori as he wiped the serpent down with a warm damp cloth.
"I'm pretty sure that girl doesn't like 'me'." Bakura answered.
The snake hummed as he coiled up in Ryou's lap. "I relayed what I could hear. There is a bond developing between our minds. You can call me from far distances and I can respond. I can also home in on you and make my way to you in a matter of moments."
"I am a magical snake. I use the shadows to travel. Perhaps I will be able to help you walk through the shadows if the bond grows more. Relaying has made me tired. I will sleep now."
Satori said nothing more on the subject and the other two left him alone to sleep.
They didn't see Malik again, though it was understandable as they hardly ever left the inn. Ryou was significantly more at ease with Satori, but he wasn't sure he'd be as calm with another snake.
Malik had mentioned something about the potions needing more study than the rest so Ryou spent plenty of time reading through and memorizing different reactions. In a book they had picked up there was a chapter on something called 'Occlumency' and Bakura had gone through that chapter very carefully. After finding 'their' mind, Bakura deemed it safe. Their mind was surrounded by the Shadow Realm and their favored monsters.
There was nothing more eventful during the time drawing up to the start of school than mastering a few useful spells and the organizing of his three compartment trunk. One for books, one for his personal items, and a hidden compartment with half a dozen security features that they hid the darker or more valuable items in.
And then it was time to go to Kings Cross.
A/N: I'm well aware that it's short. I didn't actually do much in this chapter, besides give Satori (and there's no meaning behind that at all) a name and a gender along with show you one of his abilities.
For someone who asked, everything in italics, but not bold, is inside their head. If Harry were to overhear them talking to Satori, he would only hear Satori's side of things, but not what Satori Relays.
I'm aware this chapter is rushed. I really didn't want to write it and for some reason Malik decided to drop in. Totally unplanned I swear. On another note, what classes should 'they' take and who should be good at what and why? I'm not planning on doing Dinivation unless I get a good idea.