A/N: I would like to start by thanking those who have waited so patiently for this chapter. This chapter was annoyingly hard to write, as I kept on getting the dreaded writer's block. Anyway, I hope this chapter was worth the wait.
Harish Ishtar, adopted brother of Ishizu and Malik Ishtar, had no clue where he was. He had been helping his sister move boxes at the museum, when a bunch of strange dressed men, and the older red-haired young man from a few days ago, appeared out of no where. He immediately fell into a protective stance, his long dagger in his hand almost instantly.
After years of being around Malik and the Rare Hunters, he learnt how to fight multiple enemies, and to not underestimate his opponent, or opponents. When they shot strange beams of light at him, Harish had been ready to dodge, and retaliate with his knife. He managed to get more than half of them disarmed, as they didn't seem very competent in hand to hand combat, and seriously wounded more than half of those he disarmed.
While he was deep in battle mode, he was able to subconsciously tell the moment that Ishizu was no longer conscious, which sent his annoyance of being attacked, to rage at the audacity of these people attacking his beloved sister.
So, tightened the grip on his knife, he began ruthlessly attacking his opponents with vicious vigor, managing to even kill a few, before he was hit with a bright red light head on, by a strangely scarred man, with one of his eyes working, and the a fake one swirling in the other eye socket. Harish had a few seconds to think that the man reminded him vaguely of Pegasus, before darkness overtook him.
That led to him waking up in a strange house, that wasn't like any house in Egypt, or even Japan. He recalled Ryou telling him about houses like this one in England, but found the idea of being transported from Egypt to England during his brief moments of unconsciousness almost laughable, so he dismissed that idea almost as soon as he thought it.
That, of cause, led him to further ponder where he was. It was possible that he was in America, but the European feel to the house made him pause mid-thought. It couldn't be anywhere like Australia, as that was even further away than England, and the house would seem out of sorts elsewhere in the world.
He was interrupted in his musing when the door, a few feet away from where he was laying on the bed, opened up, and a bushy haired girl's head popped around the door. Harish stared at her with a blank look on his face, and merely raised an eyebrow when she noticed that he was awake.
"Oh, you're awake. I apologise for not knocking, we've been waiting for you to awake for hours, ever since the Aurors brought you in. They never tell us younger ones what's going on, so we usually end up snooping for more info. I can't help it sometimes, I just ha.." The girl paused in her rambling, when she noticed the blank, bored stare she was being given. She blushed in embarrassment, before composing herself, trying to look as though her blunder hadn't happened, even though the blush was still there.
"Anyway, my name is Hermione Granger, what's yours?" She asked, as she made her way into the room, leaving the door slightly open. The only response she received, was another blank look, and a incredulously raised eyebrow.
She began to look more nervous than she already was, at his lack of a response, and she started to wonder if coming in had been such a good idea. After a few minutes of awkward silence, Harish let out a sigh, breaking the silence that was becoming steadily uncomfortable.
"Alright then, Miss Granger, my name is Harish Ishtar. Now, where in Ammut am I?" He began pleasantly enough, but at the last sentence, his voice dropped dangerously, and a dark glint entered his eyes. The girl, Hermione, looked taken-aback at his words, but responded with an air of confidence
"Simple. You're in a safe house near London. I can't tell you any more, for safety purposes." Harish had to stifle an annoyed growl from rumbling from his throat at her pompous attitude.
"London eh? Then that would mean this is Britain. Such a long distance from Egypt. Wonder how I got here?" He mused out loud to himself, ignoring the wide-eyed, disbelieving look he was receiving from the girl.
"You mean, you're from Egypt?" Harish gave her an exasperated look, before melodramatically nodding his head in affirmation.
"Why yes, I do believe I just said that." He said sarcastically, feeling pleased as she blushed again in embarrassment, and then attempted to look superior.
"I knew that, I was merely re-stating the fact." She snapped, as she tried to cover up her steadily cooling blushing cheeks. Harish snorted, leaning back on the soft bed, while giving her a smug look. The girl felt her face heat up, in anger this time, and moved to.. express her anger, when a voice called out from somewhere nearby.
"Hermione, are you alright up there dear?" She froze, a look of uncertainty on her face. After warring with herself for a few seconds, she turned, and called out.
"Everything is fine up here, Mrs Weasley." With that, she cast one last glare at Harish, and stalked out of the room, slamming the door shut behind her. Harish chuckled to himself, and lay down on the bed.
The smile vanished from his face, though, as he thought about his family, and fiance, and about how they must be worried sick, especially after Ishizu was knocked unconscious with those people's weird version of magic. He also thought about how Malik was reacting. After all, there was really only 2 people that were able to hold his darker half back, and since Rishid has been busy for a while, Harish was the only other person that was able to hold back Marik, from taking over Malik's body again.
He didn't want to think about what would happen, should he be released from the Shadow Realm again. Harish closed his eyes, a forlorn look on his face. They would be able to handle it, until Rishid was available again. Or when Harish managed to get away from this place, to return to Egypt, or even to Japan.
He stretched out his senses, eyes still closed, trying to get a better feel of where ever he was. His sense of smell picked up the scents of excitement, wolf, dog and the smell of freshly cooked food.
He could feel the raw magic that was embedded into every inch of the house, and the magic that came out like tendrils from the people that have taken residence inside the house. He stretched his hearing, and caught a few snippets from a conversation taking place nearby.
".. can't believe that we've managed to finally found him. Is he awake yet?" A middle-aged woman's voice said, with excitement and apprehension.
"Yes, he's awake. I was about to come down and tell you, when you called me down. He was already awake when I got there, though." Though Harish clearly wasn't able to see her face, he knew, from the tones in her voice, that the strange girl from earlier had a fake smile on her face.
"That's good, he'll be able to properly meet everyone. I'm sure that once he realizes just how important he is to us, he'll understand why we had do what we did." The woman's voice was so wistful, that Harish had to viciously bite back a snarl, as he knew, on a subconscious level, that they were talking about him. Harish hated it when people manipulated him, especially since his childhood wasn't all that pleasant. After all, his 'father' had manipulated both himself, and Malik, since he was able to see the great potential in the two boys.
"I'm sure he'll be understanding, when it's explained why we had to take him out of the place. Such a bad influence on a child as young as he. Those people must have done so much damage to him, to make him attack the poor Aurors like that. They were only trying to help him, get him away from that place, and those people." The almost naive certainly in her voice made the snarl burst out his throat. By the tone of her voice, this woman truly believed what she was saying, which caused Harish to wonder who had put the idea in her head, and if the same person was the one who orchestrated the 'rescue' mission. Harish felt an overwhelming hatred toward that person, to which his magic rose up in response.
He felt the two people nearby pause, and viciously pulled his magic back, but the damage had been done. He heard two pairs of feet make their way to his location, so he feigned sleep, which wasn't all that hard to do, as he'd had practise as a child to get away from his 'father.
The door to the room opened, loudly hitting the wall behind it, and two people came barging in. Harish opened his eyes, acting as though he just woke up, sat up, and gave them a bleary glare, one that he had perfected from use against his sister when she woke him up too early (or what he decided was too early).
"What?" He demanded sleepily, his eyes at half-mast. The girl, Hermione, looked at him suspiciously, not believing his act.
"Weren't you awake before?" She asked with a glare at him. Harish merely stared at her blankly, before replying
"I attempted to get more rest, but then you had to be impolite and come barging in, unannounced, and interrupted my resting. Honestly, you English people have no manners." The words were spoken calmly, which left it at odds with what was being spoken. The girl's face turned red in outraged anger, while the woman gave an apologetic smile.
"In that case, I apologize for the intrusion, we didn't mean to wake you. When you're ready you can come down and meet everyone else." The woman then gave him a welcoming smile, setting him more on edge, and walked out, herding the girl in front of her. Harish sneered at the door, as they closed it behind them. He let out a soft snarl, clenching his hands into tight fists.
"Ignorant fools, they have no idea what they are messing with. No matter, I will play this game they have started, and when the time comes, they will all pay for their ignorance. Oh how they will pay." He muttered, an insane gleam entering his eyes. With a smirk, he lay back down on the bed, carefully plotting. He would wait for their next move, and when they did, he will be ready for them.
In the days since Harish was taken from them, the Ishtar family was trying frantically to find out where he has been taken to. They hadn't heard from Bakura yet, who was off busy hunting down his contacts who might know something about the abduction, and of the family of red-heads that they strongly suspected were behind it.
They also contacted the Pharaoh and his hikari to see if they noticed anything unusual, and to be on the look out in case the kidnappers were in Japan. Although the chances of them being anywhere near Japan was slim to none (as they had spoke with a British accent), they wanted to make sure, in case they were moving around a lot in order to escape detection. Ryou was also on the lookout in America, where he was currently studying archaeology, since he decided would be a good career choice for himself. So far, they had no luck what so ever.
Though, they did discover the identity of the man that attacked Ishizu, but no last name, which would have been more helpful, as knowing their last name would have been a large advantage to discovering their location, which would then lead them to Harish's location. As it is, they're relying more on Bakura's connections to find their missing brother, as they pray to the Egyptian Gods that he finds him, and that no harm has been done to him. Because if there was any damage done to him, there wouldn't be anything they could do to stop Bakura from slaughtering them. Or worse, sending their immortal souls to the darkest parts of the Shadow Realm.
For the past hour, Harish had been laying on the semi-soft bed, in the strange house he woke up in, thinking up strategies to get back to his family. So far, he has thought up several different ideas, which would be decided after his abductor's make their next move. The outcome of these events, and the ones proceeding them would determine how much damage they would undergo in the end result.
He grinned evilly, and stood up, stretching out to loosen the muscles, from lying down for so long. He blanked out his expressions and the emotions on his face, showing, what he called, his Poker Face. After making his way to the door, Harish turned the door handle and turned the bronze door knob. He made his way out of the doorway, and into a long, dark, hallway. Harish couldn't help but be reminded of his home in Egypt, though the halls of the underground building were made of stone, and not of a combination of wood and steel, as these walls were. Still, he felt a longing for the heat of Egypt, and the sight of the pyramids that had always fascinated him, not only in childhood, but also in his early teens. He followed his senses, until he came to a long staircase.
He noted that he was approximately at the half way point on the unusually long staircase, reminding him of those strange, surreal, stories that Ishizu used to read to him as a child. Thinking of his sister made his chest feel heavy. but he viciously suppressed those feelings, not wanting to be perceived as weak to his kidnappers, who would surely use it to their advantage. As he continued on, he kept that thought firmly in his mind.
So, with the grace of a feline predator, Harish walked down the stairs, looking straight ahead, with the same unreadable look on his face, ignoring the occasional moving, talking portrait, that began whispering to themselves as he passed them. As he got nearer to the bottom, he could hear voices coming from an open doorway, with only a curtain to provide some level of privacy.
He noticed a door, no doubt leading outside, almost parallel to the open doorway, but a quick magical analysis told him that he would not be able to escape that way, as some sort of shield prevented any unauthorized entering, and exiting, of the building from that door, and more than likely from any other doorway leading to the outside.
He stepped off the last step, and saw a large draping curtain, covering what looked like a painting, possibly a portrait, as he has seen very little in the way of landscapes on the way down the staircase. While he was curious about what lay hidden underneath, he knew that, at this point, curiosity was something he couldn't afford to explore.
At least, not until he found out more about his kidnappers, and what they wanted with him.
After noting all the doors he could see, 3 in total, he made his way to the open doorway, brushed back the curtain, and entered what looked like a small dining area. The small group of people that sat at a large table all turned to him, with looks of confusion, and slight annoyance on their faces.
In front of them, lay plates with food on them. Some were almost empty, some were about half way finished, and some were somewhere in between Then, the strange woman who had came barging into the room he was staying in, stood up, a huge smile on her face.
"Ah, good, you're awake. We were wondering whether or not you were coming down. Do sit down, I'll get you something to eat." With that, the woman walked away, a smile on her face, leaving Harish staring after her with a raised eyebrow, and a look of slight disbelief on his face.
He then turned his attention to the group of people that sat at the table, who were all staring at him with a mixture of emotions. Mainly disbelief, relief, happiness, and even a few calculating looks. The majority of the people there had red hair (about 4 in total), so it was likely they were from the same family.
The other people, however, sat like they had some form of military training, or something very similar, as they seemed to be making themselves aware of everything that was going on around them, even though they weren't making it obvious. One of the men was dark skinned and bald, and would have reminded him of Rishid, had he not been looking at him with a look of distrust, and begrudging interest.
Another man, sitting in a chair not too far away from the table, had long greasy hair, that hung just above his shoulders, and was currently sneering at him, with a hint of contempt and annoyance in his coal black eyes. There were two other people like them that sat at the table, one woman with hair that seemed to change colors every few seconds, and the strangely disfigured man that had been at his kidnapping.
There were two men without red hair sitting at a nearby bench, both had a plate of food in front of them and a fork in one hand. One had a sunken face, short black hair, and a look of helpless joy on his face as he looked at him, and the other had greying tawny hair, a deep weariness in his eyes, mixed with happiness.
Harish looked over the red-haired family, an inquisitive eyebrow raised. The eldest of the boys smiled inviting at him, gesturing for him to sit down. Suppressing a sigh, Harish sat down next to two boys, who looked like they could be twins, and attempted to ignore the puzzled, yet happy, looks they were giving him.
His attempts were put on hold, however, when the woman came back in the room, carrying a plate that held food similar to what the other people were eating. Harish felt wary about eating that much food, after being so used to Egyptian and Japanese food, he didn't think he'd be able to eat half of what was on that plate. As the plate was placed in front of him.
Harish came to the realization that he was mistaken in that assumption. After getting a better look at the food, he now knew that he wouldn't be able to eat even a third of the contents on that plate.
After being so used to eating smaller quantities of food, the teenager doubted he'd be able to stomach all that food, without vomiting it all back up. So, he hesitantly began eating, small bites, in case the foreign taste didn't agree with him. He found, to his surprise, that the food was actually quite tasty, and began eating larger portions, but remained cautious in case anyone tried anything. He ignored the fond smiles the now sitting woman was giving him, resisting the urge to throw a dagger at her, to make her stop.
Just the thought that a woman he didn't know, or like, was looking at him as though he were her own son, made him want to hit something.. or someone, as the case may be. He still missed his surrogate mother, the woman who raised him, even though she died 6 years ago, when he was 9 years old.
The thought that this woman, who he had never seen before, and had a part in his kidnapping, assumed she had the right to act motherly toward him, someone she had never met, made him more mad, than the time he saw the way his 'father' treated Rishid. The only person who had the right to 'mother' him, was Ishizu, and even then he only just tolerated it. He had a few more moments to himself, before the two boys next to him tried to start up a conversation with him.
It took them several minutes before they realised that he wasn't going to respond to their questions, and they sat back with disgruntled looks on their faces. Harish hid a smirk with his hand, a gleam of satisfaction in his eyes. The gleam left his eyes, and the smile left, when he noticed the facially deformed man watching him closely. He gave the man a dark look, which earned him a startled look, and blanked his emotions before anyone else could notice. The rest of the meal passed by relatively peaceful, well, as peaceful as it could get with these strange, overly happy, people.
Harish was steeling himself for the questions they were bound to ask him, if the curious looks they had been giving him was anything to go by. He wasn't disappointed, for as soon as the twins left the room, the adults were asking him several questions at once, making it very hard to understand what they were saying, or hearing himself think. He felt his annoyance rise, and placed a hand on his temple to calm himself before he did anything he might regret later.
Unfortunately, the attempt didn't work, and he found himself developing a head ache from all the noise around him. He raised a hand to silence them, enforcing it with a bit of power. The talking almost immediately stopped, and they all stared at him expectantly. Harish gave a small sigh of relief, as the headache began to ease.
"Now, let's do that again. This time, only one person speak at a time." They looked at each other, before shrugging, and began asking him questions, one at a time, and only asking another when he answered the previous one, even when the answer was only a few words long.
The questions continued coming, and it seemed that only Harish saw a strange old man, with very long white hair and beard, with piercing blue eyes that were covered by half-moon glasses, enter the room, only to lean against a wall, seemingly content to watch him answer the many questions being asked. It took the group of adults a while to notice the old man's entrance into the room, the greying tawny haired man (who, along with the sunken faced black haired man, chose not to bombard him with questions) noticing him first, but chose not to comment on it.
"Headmaster, we didn't notice you'd come in." The red-haired woman said, a sheepish smile on her face. Harish barely stopped himself from rolling his eyes at the woman, having heard better excuses from Malik when they were children. The old man, obviously the headmaster of a school, smiled at her, his eyes were kind and soothing, but Harish could sense something else in them, something that had nothing to do with kindness. Before he was able to determine what it was, the man turned to him, a new emotion in his eyes. Victory, covered up by concern.
"I see you are doing well, Harry, despite the dreadful situation you have been in." Harish's eyes hardened, cold anger swirling in his emerald green eyes for a split second, before his eyes became emotionless again.
"Your.. concern for my well being is touching" Harish drawled sarcastically, saying 'concern' with distaste in his voice
"However, I assure you that my childhood was not how you believe it to be. Despite certain events, I am content with the childhood I had, and wouldn't have it any other way." He sent the old man an unimpressed look, with a raised eyebrow added in for emphasis.
The man blinked at him in surprise, a calculating look entering his eyes for a split second, before it was covered by the look of a benevolent grandfather. 'Hmm, there's more to this man than meets the eye. I'll have to watch myself around him, now, and in the future.' Harish thought to himself, while eying the man suspiciously.
"I apologize, it was foolish of me to make such assumptions, when I don't know all the facts." The old guy said, sounding repentant, but Harish could tell the man was anything but repented, even without looking in his eyes.
"Is that so? Well, I believe I'm entitled to knowing the name of the man who had decided to orchestrate my life." Harish kept his voice pleasant enough, but his slightly hostile stance made the request seem more like a demand. The old man's eyes went hard, as he noticed the hostility in Harish's emerald green eyes, and had also noticed the swirling power behind it. The other adults, excluding the two black haired men, and the graying, tawny haired man, hurriedly left the room to escape from the unpleasant feel to the room.
"Very well, Mr. Potter, my name is Albus Dumbledore, headmaster of Hogwarts, school of Witchcraft and Wizardry." Harish gave him a dark look, not liking the way he said the foreign, yet strangely familiar, name.
"My name is Harish Ishtar, I don't know who this 'Mr. Potter' is, but I am certainly not he. Perhaps you should direct your search elsewhere." Harish said, with a harsh tone, displaying his displeasure at the old man's words.
"I see that those who raised you, have changed your real name. You see, you were born as Harry Potter, the name your real parents gave you, before they were, unfortunately, killed when you were a baby, just a few short months after your 1st birthday. For you're own safety, you were placed in the care of your mother's sister, and her husband, but it appears that you were kidnapped a short while after you were placed there." Dumbledore's voice conveyed concern and worry, but something about it made Harish even more wary of him.
Then, the conversation he had had with his mother, before her untimely death, came into his mind. She told him that she had found him outside of the entrance to the tunnels, much like how she found Rishid. He had had several cuts on his small body, and had shown signs of malnourishment and neglect. He had been 4 when she found him, and in such bad condition, that they were unsure of whether or not he would survive.
They could tell that many of the wounds were relatively old, a few of them were more recent, that couldn't have came from being out in the Egyptian desert, even if the occasional bandits, who had too much pride in themselves to commit such an act of cruelty to an innocent child, had been around. It had became rather obvious that the wounds he received had been inflicted in his previous location, some were dated back almost 3 years previous.
So, if this man is telling the truth, then these so-called relatives of his were behind the injuries.
"In their care, you say?" He asked, in a soft voice devoid of any real emotion. Dumbledore blinked in surprise, confused about the tone of his voice.
"Yes, it was the best choice, given the circumstances." He replied, looking bewildered at the cold look in the teens eyes.
"I see. So you decided that the home of abusers is better than anywhere else?" His voice was so soft it was almost a whisper, sending shivers down Dumbledore's spine, and warning bells to go off in his head.
His attention was so focused on the teen in front of him, that he failed to see the shadows around him come to life. The others jumped back when they noticed the shadows surround the pair, and placed a hand on their wands, just in case it showed malicious intent. Out of the corner of his eye, Harish saw the action and, after realizing the cause of their caution, reigned in his power over the Shadows, locking it tight inside himself.
Harish turned his full attention to the man in front of him, ignoring the other people in the room. The old man had failed to notice the Shadows move and. if he read this man right, even if the others mentioned it to him, he would not fully believe them. This man looked, to the young Shadow User, as someone who wouldn't believe something unless he saw it with his very own eyes. With this in mind, Harish changed his tactics.
"Of cause, I don't know the exact details of what occurred in that house, as I was only 3 years old at the time, so perhaps there was no abuse at all." Harish said, faking uncertainty. The old man hid a manipulative smile, and gave a warm one instead. Harish smirked smugly in his mind, satisfied that his plan was working.
"If that is all, I would like to go back to bed, this day has been tiring, and I need my sleep." When he received a nod of affirmation, Harish brushed past him and the trio that had remained silent observers, catching the eyes of the greasy-haired man, noting the flash of hatred and annoyance in the dark eyes, before walking back up the stairs.
The time it took him to make it back to the rooms he was staying in, seemed to be a lot shorter than when he came down. It took him a while to figure out that the stairs must have a type of magic placed on them that allowed the stairs to change the distance from one point to another, which would seem logical as the time it would take the occupants of the house to make it down those stairs would be unnecessarily long, and tiring, especially since they seemed to be gifted with some form of magic. With that thought running through his head, Harish lay down on the bed, and was asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow.
A/N: Now, I know that Malik/Ishizu's mother died giving birth to Malik, but I've changed it for the sake of the story.
I'd also like to thank all those who have reviewed, faved and put this fic on story (I'd put the names down, but it'd take me forever to do it)