Disclaimer: I do not own YuGiOh.

another little side story I pick at once and a while. tell me if you like chapter 1.

The Secret in the Attic

By: Chi Yagami

Over the stone bridge that covers Fogg Creek, past the bakery and the bank and the game shop, lay a series of neighborhoods. This particular one was nestled near the back, next to a winding piece of the creek. The oldest and by far most decaying property was directly on top of the creek. The outdated For Sale sign in the front yard swung back and forth in the light breeze. A moving truck was parked in the driveway, and furniture was being unloaded into the garage.

"But Mummy," Rebecca wailed, "how will he find us?"

Anzu rolled her eyes. Her baby sister had been wining for the past hour about how their father would think they'd deserted him when he didn't find them at home. She momentarily flashed back to her childhood days, and then remembered how her father had been sent to war. Rebecca had just been born, literally. Two military officers had come into the hospital room and taken him away, right in her mother's time of need. Anzu had only been four years old, but she still remembered that day as if it were yesterday.

"Don't worry, darling, Papa will know our new address," their mother replied, smiling. She was a tall, skinny thing in her early forties. Anzu thought her mother looked as fragile as a china doll. Ever since her husband left, Mrs. Mazaki had grown weaker and weaker. Anzu had to drive her around everywhere. Glancing at her now, she could see her mother was tired and exhausted.

"Mom, why don't you go inside and rest? Serenity and I can handle the movers."

"I'm fine, really."

Rebecca hopped up and down as she watched the movers. Anzu didn't understand how such a scholarly girl could act so immature sometimes. Rebecca was brilliant for her age: she'd skipped a grade, passed every test with an A, and always thought everything over using logic and reasoning. However, sometimes she was out of character, such as thinking that their father wouldn't find the new house.

"Rebecca-chan," Anzu had told her, "think logically: why wouldn't Papa be able to find us?"

But her sister had merely shook her head and crossed her arms protectively around her teddy bear, named Einstein.

She blinked several times, watching her mother and youngest sister venture inside, probably to fill a vase with water for the flowery weeds that had been plucked from beside the mailbox. Serenity flounced down the steps and approached her older sister. Her long auburn hair blew in the wind, her hazel eyes sparkling with excitement. Serenity loved antiques; she was fascinated with their history, and Anzu was sure this house just as equally captured her.

"Doesn't it look like something from a fantasy, Anzu?" she marveled. "I feel as though I've been swallowed into one of my books!"

"Hmm," the other said, nodding.

Anzu often classified each member of her family as some sort of social stereotype. Her mother was the damsel in distress, waiting for her true love to come at last. Rebecca was the brainy one, always sticking her nose in a book or doing homework. Serenity was innocent, pure, and waiting for some other fictional person to suck her into the darkness and corrupt her. Anzu thought of herself as the outcast, not meant to fit in anywhere, until the turning point in the story. She wondered if perhaps somewhere down the road, she would reach her turning point, when she at last felt that she belonged.

Serenity's room was pink, a perfect fit for her serene personality. A fluffy pink bed with matching canopy, solid oak wardrobe and vanity, and a luxurious window seat for two. All of her seven hundred and thirty-eight books were arranged first by category of fiction and then alphabetically by title on a large shelf set. Several fantasy-themed snow globes rested on the windowsill and nightstand. She even had her own bathroom. Anzu thought perhaps someone had snipped the room out of a magazine and stuck it in their house. Rebecca's room was slightly more normal. Fat college books were scattered across the bed and floor, and her desk was painted a sickly yellow, while mostly everything else was blue. A large contraption was crammed into a corner (something she'd invented that could supposedly produce electricity using old gym socks), and many clothes had been tossed onto it. They'd barely moved in and it already looked like she'd been living there for years.

Anzu walked past her sisters' rooms and over to hers, which was located right next to the attic stairs. She sat down on her quilted, ancient brass bed. Her room was the only one without carpet; the floor was old and dusty. There was one window, and no matter how hard she tried to open it, it wouldn't budge. A large chest sat at the end of her bed. It was filled with childhood things, things she'd stopped looking at after he left. Her mother had pointed out that there was a much better, bigger room next to Rebecca's. But Anzu had chosen this one. It was small and secluded, away from the rest of the house.

She decided to move some things into the attic, including an old rocking horse, and her Victorian dollhouse. She had loved that thing. Her father had built everything himself, and she'd played with it every day. She hadn't touched it in twelve years.

She pushed the attic door open and stepped inside. Boxes were already stacked up, probably full of old photos and clothes. Several chests of drawers and a slightly cracked mirror accompanied them. This was probably her great-great-grandmother's. This house had belonged to her many years ago. After she'd died, the house had been put on the market. However, no one seemed to stay very long after moving in. Many buyers claimed it was haunted. The Mazaki family had simply decided to move in after their old apartment had become too small. Anzu placed her things in an empty corner and turned to leave.

There was a shadow in the mirror.

Anzu blinked and it was gone. She slowly turned around and walked over to the looking glass. Nothing. No shadows or shapes, just her reflection, which she had to admit might be a little scary. She looked tired and her hair hadn't been brushed yet. Sighing, she trudged back down the stairs and into her room.

"Anzu!" her mother called. "Time for lunch!"

"I'm not hungry," she replied. Anzu glanced across her room at the brass desk. It was pretty, in an ancient sort of way. She knew Serenity would love it. Maybe she should give it to her.

"I don't know what's wrong with me. I used to be so happy, but now I'm just lonely and antisocial…"

She often blamed her father for her sadness, but she knew deep down it had nothing to do with him. She was crumbling on the inside, falling to pieces for some reason. She sighed and fell back onto her bed.

"Anzu…" Her mother was standing in the doorway with a lunch tray. "Tell me what's wrong, please."

"Go away…"

Mrs. Mazaki looking longing at her daughter before placing the tray on the dresser and leaving.

Anzu got up and slammed her door closed. She knew her mother only meant well, but how could she ever understand? Anzu herself didn't even understand. She felt like crying; she knew she had to let out the negative energy held within. On the other hand, something was holding her back. She didn't want to cry; it would only cause more pain.

Later that night, Anzu, Serenity, and Rebecca stayed up late and played monopoly. It was the last night before they started going to their new school, and the girls didn't want to waste it.

"Yippee," cried Rebecca, "I win again!"

Their mother poked her head into room and announced bedtime. Anzu closed her door. Her cheeks were flushed with excitement from the game. She hadn't spent time like that with her sisters since… she couldn't remember. But the joy faded quickly as she thought of school and classmates and of how she'd have to introduce herself. Serenity would be there, but Serenity was in a different grade. She would also make friends easily. Anzu knew she'd have to face the new environment on her own.

Once she finished her book, she turned out the light and tried to sleep. However, something was keeping her awake. She turned the light back on and sat upright. There was something in the atmosphere that was making her feel uneasy. Anzu stood and walked over to her desk. Sitting down, she pulled out pen and paper. As she was closing the drawer, she noticed it seemed to be a lot smaller than the opposite one. She pushed her hand against the back part and— it fell over! A secret compartment! Her heart pounded with curiosity. She felt around and her hand came to rest on an object. When she removed it from the darkness of the drawer, she saw it was a necklace. A seven-pointed star hung from the golden chain, along with a strange-looking clasp; Anzu thought long and hard and decided that perhaps it was meant to be headpiece of some sort. And she was right: it fit perfectly on her head and fell beneath her hair, the star hidden behind her bangs. Anzu yawned; she suddenly felt very sleepy, and she could hardly walk back to her bed. Her knees gave way and she fell to the floor, sound asleep. With a light click, her lamp went out.

"Anzu, are you sure you'll be alright?"

"I'll be fine, Sis," she told Serenity. "You'd better get going; your class is on the other side of the building."

She watched Serenity run off before heading to her own class. Anzu wasn't necessarily worried about school, but she always got tense when standing in front of a crowd. She slid the door open and paused. Nothing. Stepping inside, she could see that not everyone was present yet. She approached the teacher and handed the note over.

"So, you're Mazaki Anzu… I'm Sensei Amasawa. Welcome to the class. You can sit next to Jonouchi Katsuya; Jonouchi please raise your hand."

He was a tall, blonde boy whom Anzu thought looked like the class clown. He gave her a cheesy smile and went back to talking to his friends. She sat down and took out her books.

"Hey," said a short boy, "Katsuya, who's winning?"

She saw that this boy's hair was oddly colored and strongly gelled. He stood over Katsuya Jonouchi and another boy, watching them play cards. As they talked, Anzu discovered the short kid's name to be Yugi Muto, and the other's was Honda Hiroto. His hair was shaped like a pencil. More students came into the room and took their seats. A girl with long purple hair sat down on Anzu's other side; she smiled and introduced herself as Miho Nozaka.

"So," she said, "where'd you move into?"

"Uhh, some old house on the creek. It used to be my great-great-grandmother's."

"You mean that haunted house on Woodbell Lane?" Miho inquired. "That's pretty far from here."

"Yeah…" Haunted? Anzu thought.

"Yo, Nozaka, how's it going babe?" the one named Honda asked. "Lookin' sweeter than a donut!"

"Go stuff yourself in a pencil sharpener. I'm not interested," she replied.

The girls talked some more, and Anzu found she wasn't as nervous as she'd pictured last night. Last night… the jewelry! Where was it? It was no longer around her head; had she lost it? She felt nothing on her forehead…

"Is something wrong?"

"No, I'm fine," she answered. She looked up to see a darkly tanned boy enter the classroom. His hair was the color of light sand, and he was wearing gold earrings. She felt herself blush and stared down at her open textbook. Anzu gasped inwardly when he sat behind her, and scolded herself for thinking about boys.

Unluckily for her, however, Malik Ishtar was in every one of her classes, including gym. She couldn't do anything but think of him.

During lunch, Anzu sat on the roof and watched other students play basketball. It was only her first day here, and Sensei Amasawa had already assigned her to lunch duty tomorrow. She sighed and looked out over the city. She wanted to go home.

"Hi there. It's Anzu Mazaki, right?"

She turned around to face Yugi Muto. He smiled and sat down next to her.

"So what's up? How do you like Domino so far?"

"Not so much."

"I see you're friends with Miho. She's nice. I'm Yugi Muto, by the way," he said. She nodded.

"I know. You hang out with Hiroto and Jonouchi."

"They're my best friends."

"What was that weird card game they were playing earlier?"

"Oh. It's called Duel Monsters. It's a fun game; you should play with us sometime," Yugi explained. "Hey! Why don't you come over to my place after school? I can teach you how to play and maybe show you around town. How about it?"

She wondered if he was hitting on her, but decided it didn't matter.

"Sure. Uhh, can you excuse me? I have to tell my sister."

After school, Anzu watched her sister run off to meet Rebecca at the middle school. Then she walked to the front of the school and waited for Yugi. While she was standing there, a black limo pulled up. She squinted to see who was driving, but was pushed out of the way by a trench coat.

"Hey, you jerk!" she yelled. The boy merely glanced at her before getting into the car. As it drove off, she realized that guy was in two of her classes.

The revving of a motorcycle pulled her from her thoughts. Malik was mounting his bike and putting on a helmet. Anzu blushed again and stared. It was a while before she noticed someone was trying to get her attention.

"Sup? What's a pretty girl like you doing out here alone?" He was a strange boy with black hair and a single dice earring. What was with the guys wearing those things?!

"Oh, uhh, hi. What did you say?"

"My name is Otogi Ryugi. What are you doing out here?"

"I'm waiting for someone—"

"A boy?" he asked.

"Yes… Why is it any of your business?"

"Leave her alone, Ryugi. We don't need scum like you sleeking around. It bad enough you're in school; cant you at least go home?"

The motorcycle stopped in front of them, and Duke and Malik glared at each other.

"What's your problem, Ishtar? So what if I'm here. I see you're going home."

"Do you want to sleep with him?" Malik asked, addressing Anzu. She blushed a deep red.

"Umm, no."

"There you have it, Ryugi. Go find some other girl who's on your level of shame."

Otogi frowned but left. Malik started to drive off but noticed Anzu.

"You're new, right? Well, be aware that there are sleezeballs like him running around," he said. "What's your name?"

"Anzu Mazaki."

"Well, Mazaki, see ya—"


Both turned around to see a woman walking frantically towards them. She looked tired and stressed, and in her hand were many papers.

"Yes, sister?"

"You were supposed to meet me at the museum an hour ago! We need to discuss entrance exams and cram school!"

"Uhh… I'm busy!" he shouted back. Then, to Anzu, "Get on."

"Huh? But I'm waiting for—"

"Just get on!"

She sat on the bike and glanced around for Yugi; no sign of him. She didn't want to ride off with this boy she barely knew, but her heart was racing, and she could feel the rush of an adventure.

"I'm taking my friend home!" Malik told his sister. Then, before she could protest, they were off, speeding down the road. Anzu held onto him tightly, both arms wrapped around his waist. She knew she was blushing madly, but he didn't seem to notice.

"Where do you live?" he asked over the wind.

"Umm, actually I was supposed to meet someone… Do you know where Yugi Muto lives?"

He didn't answer but continued to drive. She wondered if her words had offended him, or if he hadn't heard her at all. Her head started to ache and feel heavy; the rush of air was giving her motion sickness. Anzu rested her head against his back and breathed in deeply. Her eyes were closed, but, had they been open, she would've spotted a hint of pink on Malik's face. She also might've noticed that they circled the game shop about ten times before actually stopping.

"Here you are," he announced. "The Kame Game Shop."

It was a shop / house with practically no yard. She dismounted the motorbike and thanked Malik.

"See ya later," was his reply as he drove off. She blushed from the tips of her tops to the hairs on her head; Malik Ishtar was positively THE hottest boy she'd ever met. She felt as if she might just melt on the sidewalk. However, she regained control of herself and walked calmly into the building.

Anzu gasped. Everywhere around her, beautiful cards lay sitting on shelves. Pretty ones, ugly ones, funky ones that didn't make sense. They were multiples of the cards Jonouchi and Honda had been playing with. Duel Monster cards. One in particular caught her eye.

"The Dark Magician Girl…" she breathed. It was beautiful artwork of a cheery girl dressed for what looked to Anzu as Halloween. Her fingertips brushed against the glass case. She was so transfixed that she didn't hear the door open.

"Anzu! Hey, how'd you get here? I was waiting outside the school for you!" Yugi exclaimed, his cheeks flushed from the outside. Winter was on its way, and many people in the city were already wearing heavy jackets.

"Yugi! I waited for you a while, but then, uhh Ishtar kinda forced me to get a ride with him and he brought me here…"

"Malik-kun gave you a ride?"

"Yeah, I think he was trying to avoid talking to his sister, so he occupied himself with me."

"Oh… So, how do you like the shop?

"It's nice. So these are Duel Monsters?" Anzu marveled. "I was expecting creepy monsters, but some of them are quite pretty."

She turned to him. Yugi was already getting out his own deck, along with some other cards that she could borrow. They sat at the counter for at least three hours, the first two spent teaching her how to play. She had a hard time understand the point of the game, and often she would just zone out everything he was saying. When they finally got around to playing, Yugi whooped her butt about ten times.

"I give up… you win," she sighed. Then, glancing at her watch, "Oh my gosh! It's seven-thirty already?! I have to get home right away!"

"Okay then. Wait, do you even know how to get to your house from here?"

"Uhh, …yeah! I do."

"Well, see you tomorrow, Anzu."

As she exited the shop, she cursed herself for not telling the truth. She didn't have a clue where she was! She could go back inside and tell him she was lost, but she was too stubborn. She sighed and slumped against the side of the building. Hugging her knees, she pondered over the decision of asking Yugi for help. She didn't know how long she'd been sitting there. Soon, she felt herself yawning occasionally, and suddenly she was dreaming. However, she was dreaming without being aware of it. Her unconscious mind knew what was going on, but when she would awake, she'd remember nothing.

"But Master, we know nothing of this world. Is it wise to venture there just because you have a feeling that the stone was activated?"

"It is not a mere feeling! I know it was activated! There are times when you just know!"

"And do you think his majesty is aware yet?"

"No, or we would've heard from Duke. But he will know soon, for his senses are almost as in tune as mine are. We've got to act now."

"Very well then, I shall cross the veil and retrieve it. But what if I find nothing?"

"If I am wrong, then you won't be able to cross the veil, will you?"

"Right. I forgot that one can only cross over when the stone is activated. I shall return with… well, with whatever I happen to find."

"Yes. Now go. If it is actually whom the king seeks, we will have finally reached the silver lining on those clouds that I hate so much."

"Anzu!! What are you still doing here?"

She glanced up to see Yugi looking down at her. She blushed and stood up, wiping her skirt with her hands.

"I must've fallen asleep! What time is it?"

"About… about ten-forty. You were asleep for a long time…"

"Uhh, well I… I actually don't know my way home… Could you help me?"

"Sure. Let me just go and tell my grandpa."

She pushed a stray hair behind her ear and smiled softly, embarrassed for falling asleep outside Yugi's shop. How had she lost track of time? Her mother was probably worried to death…

"Okay, Anzu, let's go," Yugi said. "Which street do you live on?"

"Rebecca, who do you like at school?" Serenity asked her little sister, who frowned.

"I don't like anyone. I'm not interested in boys right now."

"Still think they have cooties, eh?" Anzu laughed. Her sister gave her a light punch in the shoulder.

"I'm not stupid. I just don't like boys."

The three girls were sitting in Serenity's room, chatting away about boys, school, etc. Anzu's mother hadn't been too worried; she hadn't called the police anyway.

"Hand me another Oreo, would ya?"

Anzu relaxed into the fluff of her sister's pillow. It was days like these that she truly missed. Days where she didn't have a care in the world, and her family would go to the beach or some place fun. She rubbed her forehead; it had started to ache on her walk home with Yugi. She would've taken some pain reliever, but this wasn't an average migraine. No, it was something else.

"How can you sleep in that?" Anzu laughed. Rebecca was questioning the comfort of her somewhat sleazy lingerie nightdress.

"Well, it gets hot at night. Less clothes equals cooler person."

Rebecca wore a long, flannel nightgown. She liked traditional clothes. Serenity was wearing matching pajama pants and T-shirt. After a while, she became bored and started a pillow fight, which lasted until their mother came and told them it was time for bed.

In her room, Anzu lay awake. She wasn't sure why, but something about the house made her feel uneasy. She knew it was stupid, but things were putting ideas into her head. Like the attic for instance. When she was up there, Anzu had been a bit frightened, like something horrible had happened and would happen again. And the headpiece. What had happened to it?

to be continued...