Chapter Eight - Dueling by Dragons

"Okay, Jay, what the hell was that?" asked Harry of his cousin. The two were in Harry's dorm room after the tag duel.

"Ever since I was little, I kept hearing voices. They appeared to be from the cards," said Jaden. "For a while I ignored it, until I got the Winged Kuriboh card from Yugi Mutou."

"So you can hear duel spirits, too?" asked Harry.

"I guess you can, as well," said Jaden.

"Yeah, though I don't have a personal spirit yet. But why, though. Why do we have this connection?" wondered Harry.

"Maybe we have something important to do, like save the world," said Jaden.

"Great. Just great. The one thing I wanted to avoid this year, I get stuffed down my throat," griped Harry, throwing his hands into the air.

"Come on, I know what will cheer you up. We're having karaoke night, and you're invited. And this time, you're not getting out of singing," said Jaden, grabbing Harry's arm and dragging him back to the Slifer Red dorms.

"For the love of God, somebody help me!" screamed Harry, but no-one did, for they all knew not to get between Jaden and the karaoke machine.

Classes continued, and Harry, Ron, and Hermione finally got their animagus forms. Harry was a black lion, and a very large and powerful one, at that. Ron was a St. Bernard. He wasn't anywhere near Harry in size, but he wasn't something to laugh at, either, especially if he plowed into you while running. Hermione was a siamese cat, who kept an eye on the two up in a tree while they roughhoused.

Marik's lecture was starting in on the duel between the Thief King Bakura and Mahad, the Pharaoh Atem's court magician, and how he fused his soul with his spirit monster to form the Dark Magician.

Jaden and Syrus got in trouble for being in the abandoned dorm, and had to go through a tag match to stay at the academy. Syrus' self-confidence, however, almost got him killed out in the middle of the ocean when he tried to leave the island. However, Jaden's duel with Syrus' brother Zane helped him out a bit.

The tag duel was grueling, especially since it was against the dueling brothers, Para and Dox. (AN: Whoever wrote those idiots back into the show ought to be shot.) It took a while, but Jaden's well-timed fusion summon of Elemental Hero Aqua Neos, the field card Neos Space, and the equip card Axe of Despair managed to get rid of Gate Guardian. Para didn't have a monster to summon in his hand, so they were open to an attack when Syrus fusion summoned Super Vehicroid Jumbo Drill from his hand and did a direct attack, allowing them to stay at Duel Academy with that win.

One week before the first task, the three of them, plus Jaden, Syrus, Chumley, Bastion, and Alexis, were invited to Hogwarts to watch the event. The gang accepted right away, and they made preparations for the trip. It was just after Harry sent a reply message that his life changed.

"New cards from Pegasus," said Ron, carrying a small box into Harry's room, where Harry and Hermione were going over duel mechanics.

"I wonder what he sent this time," said Harry as he opened the box and pulled out a letter.

'Dear Harry and company,

Inside this box are some new Synchro and Tuner monsters. I believe the X-Saber and XX-Saber monsters will work with you, Harry, while the rest are to be split amongst your friends. Ron, I believe you have enough to work with, and the others need to learn how to handle Synchro monsters as well. Have fun with these cards.

Maximilian J. Pegasus'

After going over the cards, it was decided that Harry would take the Synchro monsters XX-Saber Gottoms, X-Saber Urbellum, and Flamvell Uruquizas, the Tuner monsters X-Saber Airbellum, Mist Valley Soldier, and Magna Drago, as well as some cards he bought from Dorothy; Quillbolt Hedgehog, Fortress Warrior, Sasuke Samurai, Totem Dragon, and Commander Gottoms, Swordmaster. Harry felt drawn to this card, for some reason, but couldn't put his finger on it. Jaden took Road Warrior and Road Synchron, as well as got two new Spell cards from the shop; Berserker Crush and Wrath of Neos. He also put in a Quillbolt Hedgehog and a Speed Warrior he got from Ron.

Hermione chose two Synchro monsters that look way out of place with her deck; Psychic Lifetrancer and Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier. Hermione explains. "I've been thinking about re-working my deck, moving it from being a solely spellcaster deck. The Psychic type seems to fit me, but right now I'm just testing, and the other card is for Synchro training." For Tuners, she chose Frequency Magician, Krebons, two Cryomancer of the Ice Barrier, Psychic Commander, Counselor Lily, and Mind Master. The reason for so many? "I like to pad my chances, unlike you and Charlie, Harry, who have both Fusion and Synchro monsters, and Ron, who has the most Synchro monsters," she said.

Syrus also took a Synchro monster, and this one fit him like a glove; Power Tool Dragon. He also got Blackwing - Blizzard the Far North, Flamvell Magician, Comrade Swordsman of Landstar, and Blackwing - Gale the Whirlwind for Tuners.

Finally, the day came for the group to head to Hogwarts. Professor Dumbledore sent a portkey-charged rope earlier, and the group was standing around holding it, waiting for it to activate. At ten till eleven, the portkey activated, and the group felt a tugging at their navels as the portkey whisked them to Hogwarts.

Everyone landed in a heap at the entrance to the school, where they were met by Professor McGonagall.

"Welcome, everyone, especially you three," said the professor as the group got up and dusted themselves off. "It's good to have you here, even if it's only for the events."

"It's great to be back, even if it's only for the moment," said Hermione. Professor McGonagall led the group to the stands, where they'll be watching the first task with the rest of Hogwarts, the invited schools, and other guests.

To say the task the participants had to deal with were exciting would be a vast understatement. Cedric Diggory, the Hogwarts champion, got burned by the Welsh Green he faced, while Fleur Delacour got caught by a fiery snore from the Chinese Fireball she put to sleep. Victor Krum, the Durmstrang Champion, used the Conjunctivas Curse very well on the Hebridean Black, but lost points due to smashed eggs.

In the end, Cedric was in the lead, followed closely by Fleur, then Victor. After the final score was given out, Professor Dumbledore stood up.

"And now, the time has come for our secondary event. The duel between Charley Weasley and his co-worker, Wilhelm Strakoff, in front of the dragons here." he announced.

Charlie and Wilhelm faced each other in the arena, while in the background the dragons roared, wondering what was going on with the pesky bugs.

"Alright, let's duel!" shouted the pair, and the match was on.

"Oh, man, this is gonna be great," said Ron excitedly.

Charlie's LP: 8000

Wilhelm's LP: 8000

Charlie's hand (opening): Widespread Ruin, Magna Drago, Montage Dragon, Sakuretsu Armor, Darkblaze Dragon

Wilhelm's hand (opening): Big Evolution Pill, Survival Instinct, Dark Driceratops, Black Ptera, Hydrogeddon

"I'll go first," said Charlie, drawing Draining Shield. Alright, lets take this nice and slow. "I set one card facedown and summon Magma Drago. That ends my turn."

"A nice, slow start," said Harry. "Charlie's probably holding back a few cards, just in case."

"My move," said Wilhelm in a deep voice. He drew Heavy Storm and played it right away, wiping out Charlie's Widespread Ruin. "Next I set my own card, then summon Hydrogeddon in attack mode. Attack Magma Drago!" The dragon was destroyed, and Charlie took 200 points in damage. "Next I special summon another Hydrogeddon and attack directly!" Charlie took 1600 points of direct damage. "That ends my turn. Hope you can continue!"

"I hope Charlie can recover," said Jaden.

"He will," said Fred.

Charlie's LP: 6200

Wilhelm's LP: 8000

Charlie's hand: Montage Dragon, Sakuretsu Armor, Darkblaze Dragon, Draining Shield

Wilhelm's hand: Big Evolution Pill, Dark Driceratops, Black Ptera

"Alright, my turn's up." said Charlie, drawing Luster Dragon. "Sweet! I summon Luster Dragon! Attack the first Hydrogeddon!" The first monster on Wilhelm's side was destroyed, and he took 300 points of damage. "I set two cards facedown and end my turn."

"So far this is looking good, but after that shuffle, anything can come up in Wilhelm's deck," said Bastion.

"My turn to draw," said Wilhelm, who drew Megamorph. Not what I need right now. "I tribute my Hydrogeddon to summon Dark Driceratops." Hydrogeddon was replaced by the ugliest monster ever seen in the game. "Attack Luster Dragon!"

"Not so fast," said Charlie, who revealed a facedown trap, Sakuretsu Armor.

"Blast!" said Wilhelm, who could only watch as Dark Driceratops was destroyed. "That ends my turn."

"Go, Charlie!" yelled Ginny, which caused Charlie to smile her way.

"Charlie had better win this, we're betting on him," said George.

"Why does that not surprise me," said Hermione.

Charlie's LP: 6200

Wilhelm's LP: 7700

Charlie's hand: Montage Dragon, Darkblaze Dragon

Wilhelm's hand: Big Evolution Pill, Black Ptera, Megamorph

Charlie drew his next card, which turned out to be Lava Dragon. "Just what I need right now. I summon Lava Dragon in attack mode. Both of you attack directly!" Wilhelm's life points took a major hit, losing 3500 points in direct damage.

"Alright! Charlie turned this match around!" yelled Syrus.

"It's not over yet," said Chumley. "There's still plenty of moves left to go."

"I draw," said Wilhelm, picking up Miracle Jurassic Egg. Damn, not what I needed. No help for it. "I play Black Ptera, and equip it with Megamorph!" The black pterodactyl appeared on the field, where it had expanded to signify that it had gotten a power boost. "Now, attack Lava Dragon!"

"Reveal facedown! Draining Shield! Thanks for the lp boost," said Charlie, as Black Ptera's attack was stopped, and the attack points were added to Charlie's life points.

"Mr. Weasley sure is holding his own in this duel," said Karkaroff.

"Indeed he is," said Dumbledore before returning to the duel, wondering just what the young man had planed.

Charlie's LP: 8200

Wilhelm's LP: 4200

Charlie's hand: Montage Dragon, Darkblaze Dragon

Wilhelm's hand: Big Evolution Pill, Miracle Jurassic Egg

"Here goes something," said Charlie as he drew his next card, Debris Dragon. Alright! "I summon Debris Dragon, and because he's a Tuner Monster, I tune him with Lava Dragon to summon Red Dragon Archfiend!" Lava Dragon leapt through the air, fading into its wireframe form and was surrounded by the summoning rings. Debris Dragon changed into four lights and merged into Lava Dragon. A line split the monster in half, and when it came apart, Red Dragon Archfiend was there in all it's glory.

Suddenly, the three dragons watching the duel cried out, their calls harmonizing with one another. The call was carried across the globe on the winds, and every dragon heard it. In the stands, Harry's, Jaden's, Ron's, Hermione's, and Syrus' decks started to glow.

"What's going on?" asked Harry as he and the others pulled out their decks. As soon as they held them, voices unified as one called across their minds, as well as the minds of every wizard, witch, and magical creature in the world.

"The chosen champions have come to quell the false darkness and restore the balance. The Dragon Knight, the Warriors of Earth and Space, the Machine Master, the Mistress Mage, and the Protector. Each will have a role to play in stopping the one who seeks to destroy the balance, but in the end, only the Warrior of Earth shall move to defeat him, but only if all tasks are completed. The champion's tasks are hidden from them, and will only know of them once they are done. We the dragons shall watch over the champions, and guide them on their journey, for although they would still win without us, many deaths will come from that path."

The voices left their minds as the dragons stopped their call. Everyone looked around at each other, dazed at what they had just heard and felt in their minds.

"Okay, what the bloody hell was that?" asked Harry.

"What was what?" asked Alexis, Bastion, Syrus, and Chumley. "Yeah, all we saw was most of you acting strange. Not 'lishus," said Chumley.

Harry just looks at Dumbledore, who's eyes told him to stick around for a bit after this, said, "Something happened. I don't know what it is yet, but we'll find out after the duel."

Charlie shook his head, as if clearing his thoughts, and said, "Alright, Red Dragon Archfiend, attack his monster!" Red Dragon Archfiend fired a blast at Black Ptera, which destroyed it and knocked 1000 lifepoints off Wilhelm. "Next I'll attack with Luster Dragon." Wilhelm took another 1900 point direct attack. "That ends my turn."

"It's my move," said Wilhelm, drawing Tail Swipe. Blast. I need to get something next turn. But first I need to survive to next turn. "I activate the trap card Survival Instinct. I remove from my graveyard the four Dinosaur monsters in it, and gain 400 lifepoints for each one." Wilhelm's lifepoints go up by 1600.

"Bugger," said Charlie.

"Next I set a monster in defense mode and end my turn," said Wilhelm.

"It all comes down to this next turn," said Hermione. "If Charlie gets a monster with high enough attack points, he wins."

"He will," said Harry. "He trust his deck."

Charlie's LP: 8200

Wilhelm's LP: 2900

Charlie's hand: Montage Dragon, Darkblaze Dragon

Wilhelm's hand: Big Evolution Pill, Tail Swipe

"And it's my move now," said Charlie, who got... Dust Tornado. Crap, I don't need it right now. "Alright, Red Dragon Archfiend, attack the facedown." The dragon blast revealed Miracle Jurassic Egg. "Now, because I attacked a defense position monster, Red Dragon Archfiend's effect kicks in, allowing me to destroy all defense position monsters on your side of the field." Miracle Jurassic Egg gets destroyed, leaving Wilhelm wide open. "Luster Dragon, direct attack." And once again, Wilhelm is rocked by a direct attack. "That ends my turn."

Wilhelm drew his next card, Riryoku. Sighing, he places his hand over his deck. "I surrender. There is nothing more I can do."

Charlie's LP: 8200

Wilhelm's LP: 1000 (surrendered)

Winner: Charlie Weasley

"Way to go Charlie!" shouted pretty much everyone from Hogwarts, as well as the Duel Academy group.

"Yes, such a powerful duel," said Professor Dumbledore. "But now it is close to supper time, so let us return to the castle so that we may partake of the food. However, I would like for Mr. Weasley, as well as the group from Duel Academy, to come with me to my office for a moment."

Once everyone was in the headmaster's office, Professor Dumbledore began. "It has been a very long time since a Dragon prophecy was heard. The last one was around the time of the Founders."

"A Dragon prophecy?" asked Harry.

"Yes. Dragon prophecies are very powerful, for they always come true. This one also confirms a prophecy I heard a year before you were born," said Dumbledore.

"Something tells me that it's one of those 'you or him' deals," said Harry.

"Pretty much," replied Dumbledore. "That prophecy was given to me by Professor Trelawney, though this new one concerns me, as hers never mentioned other warriors."

"I believe I know who the warriors are," said Hermione. "Charlie is the Dragon Knight, Harry is the Warrior of Earth, while Jaden is the Warrior of Space, Syrus is the Machine Master, Ron is the Protector, and I'm the Mistress Mage."

"Very good, Ms. Granger," said Dumbledore.

"So that's why our decks glowed," said Syrus.

"It signified us as the champions," said Ron. Everyone looked at him. "I can have a complete thought, too, you know!" he said in a huff.

"Sure you can," said Harry and Hermione patronizingly. Ron just pouted, while the others laughed.

"Anyway, since we don't know what these tasks you all must face are, it would be best if we just continue as we are, and pray you make the right choices," said the headmaster.

"It's all we can do, professor," said Harry.

"As for dealing with Voldemort," here Hermione and Ron shudder, "do you have any idea how to do it?"

Harry thinks it over. "There's only one way. A Shadow Game."

"A what game?" asked Dumbledore.

"A Shadow Game. Duel Academy is a gateway between our world and the Shadow Realm. I face off against Voldemort there. Whoever wins, will be the only one to come out," said Harry.

"Harry, no, it's too dangerous!" said Jaden.

"Not if I do it right. As the challenger I get to set the game. I'll duel against Voldemort in a game of Duel Monsters, and set the rule that we can not draw our wands or cast a spell wandlessly, which, as you know, we haven't covered yet," said Harry. "If he breaks the rules, then the main game is over and I get to play a penalty game, in which his soul gets to remain in the Shadow Realm for all time."

"But how are you going to get to the Shadow Realm. According to Marik, you need the Millennium Items to open the gateway," said Hermione.

"Which is why Duel Academy Island is a ley line junction," replied Harry. "All someone needs is a connecting spirit on the Shadow Realm side, and the two can open the gateway."

"Of which he now has," said a voice.

"Who said that?" asked a scared Syrus. Behind Harry, a figure appeared.

"Greetings, I am Commander Gottoms, Harry's duel spirit," said the specter.

"Kuri!" cried another voice, as Winged Kuriboh appeared over Jaden's head.

"Winged Kuriboh!" called Jaden as his spirit partner landed on his shoulder.

"Graaaw. Who woke me up?" asked a voice with a yawn. A large, armored dragon with a sword and shield appeared next to Charlie.

"Dragonic Knight, is that you?" asked Charlie. The spirit just nodded.

A man in armor appeared next to Ron. "It looks like the gathering has started," he said.

"Freed the Matchless General," said Ron in awe.

"Tee hee hee," giggled a girl's voice above Hermione. Looking up, she saw another famous monster appear, surrounded by a lot of hearts.

"Dark Magician Girl, you're my duel spirit?" asked Hermione.

"Of course! Us girls have to stick together," replied the female magician.

Finally, a dragon-like machine appeared next to Syrus. It was yellow, with a jackhammer on its left arm, and a scoop for a right hand.

"Wow, I can't believe Power Tool Dragon is my duel spirit!" exclaimed Syrus.

"Rawr!" roared Power Tool Dragon.

"We are your duel spirits," said Gottoms. "We're here to guide you through these tasks. They must be completed before Harry faces Voldemort."

"Otherwise, both worlds will be destroyed," said Dragonic Knight.

"We're not permitted to tell you just what your tasks are, but do listen for us. We will let you know when a task is to start," said Dark Magician Girl.

"Not all the tasks involve duels. Most will be puzzles you have to solve, or objects that need to be found. Either way, all must be done before the face-off," said Gottoms. "We must return to the Shadow Realm for now, but know that we are with you. We wish you good luck." With that, the monsters disappeared.

Everyone stood there stunned for a moment. Then Bastion spoke. "Is this a normal year for you three?" he asked of Harry, Ron, and Hermione.

"Par for the course," moaned Harry as he dropped his head into his hands.

"I suggest we go down and join the others for supper, for it will soon be time for you to return to the academy," said Dumbledore. The others nodded, and they all trooped out of the office.

Voldemort was with Wormtail in the old Riddle House in Little Hangleton. Both were still reeling from the Dragon prophecy that was heard earlier in the day.

"So, there is a new prophecy out there. However, I do not feel that I or Harry are involved in it, as I am not this false darkness," hissed Voldemort. Oh how wrong he was.

"How goes the plan to get Harry Potter?" he asked of his minion.

"Not well, my lord," whimpered Wormtail. "Harry is in an area where three ley lines cross. That combined with his lord rings means that it is impossible to get him away from the muggle academy."

"You disappoint me, Wormtail," said Voldemort. "When I get my body back, remind me to Crucio you for five minutes."

"Yes, my lord," said Wormtail, wondering just what drove him to join Voldemort in the first place. Oh yeah, blind jealousy of James, Sirius, and Remus.

AN: Well, well, well, looks like I have an early Christmas present for you guys and gals, and it looks like I've written myself into another corner again. Harry's dueling abilities are tying into Trelawney's prophecy, via a dragon prophecy that makes much more sense. Hope you like the duel spirits, even if DMG is a bit overused.