Chapter 3

Ryou was indeed in big trouble for missing a day and a half of school, though all his teachers were willing to go easy on him since he was usually such a good student. Still, he ended up with detention for the next two weeks, starting that day. The sun was setting by the time he got out of school, and it was with a feeling of annoyance that he started home. Two weeks of scrubbing dishes in the cafeteria, he complained to himself. Mou hitori no boku, this had better not happen again.

The tomb robber wasn't listening as usual, and Ryou sighed. "I need to stop thinking to empty air," he murmured, and immediately he began to worry for his sanity.

"You need to watch where you're going, little boy," said a voice from the deepening shadows in front of him. "You just might run into someone you don't want to see."

Ryou froze, his eyes flicking to all around in search of the speaker. A low chuckle sounded in front of him, and the Death Eater woman stepped away from the tree in front of him, pointing her wand at him. "You have something we want, little boy," she said with a sick grin. "And you won't be escaping us this time."

Ryou sensed a presence move up behind him, a presence he guessed was the other Death Eater, and he tensed, ready for anything.

"Imperio," the woman cried, and he jumped to the side, narrowly avoiding the red beam of light. Years of living with bullies and an ancient Egyptian spirit had taught him how to evade, and he did it well. Even as the Death Eater behind him began firing off a spell, he was moving back to the left, running at the woman and zigzagging randomly to avoid more Imperius curses. When he was three feet from her, he suddenly turned sharply and jumped, grabbing the top of the fence surrounding a bordering park and swinging himself over it.

Mou hitori no boku, he pleaded. I could really use your help about now.

The spirit seemed more interested in watching him dodge curses and scramble into the safety of the trees' shadows, and he snorted. "Thanks a lot," he muttered aloud, only to sigh in exasperation when the tomb robber replied, You're quite welcome.

Ryou slowed to a walk, trying to catch his breath while creeping through the trees noiselessly. Behind him, he could hear the Death Eaters scaling the fence, and he paused long enough to leap into the closest tree, quickly climbing its branches until he was sure the leaves concealed him adequately. There he crouched and waited as the noisy pair as they made their way through the park, lighting the tips of their wands and searching around every tree.

Bakamono, the tomb robber commented as the woman passed right under them without looking up. Anyone could see them from a mile away.

They think force is the answer to everything, Ryou replied, a small smile playing across his lips. Like a certain someone I know.

The spirit didn't bother to put in any more thoughts, and as the lights of the two searchers moved away through the trees, Ryou slipped out of his and snuck back the way he had come. But he had moved too soon; even as he was climbing the fence, the woman's voice called out again. "There he is! Rodolphus, this way!"

"Who the heck would name their child 'Rodolphus,' anyways," Ryou grumbled in irritation as he heaved himself over the fence and picked up his fallen briefcase. The red light of a spell hit the sidewalk in front of him, and he jumped into a run, hoping to escape through his knowledge of the town like he had done the day before.

But the Death Eaters had gotten smarter, and before he could take five steps something caught around his legs and brought him down hard. "Ite!" he cried as his palms and face scraped painfully against the sidewalk. Looking down, he saw the thin golden light of some kind of spell cord tangled around his legs, one end of it trailing from the wand of the woman Death Eater.

"Now," she purred. "Maybe you'll be more cooperative."

Rodolphus moved up beside her, giving him an evil smile as he kicked futilely at the spell cord. He lifted his wand, but before he could utter a spell, a voice from behind Ryou cried, "Expelliarmus!" The wand flew from Rodolphus's hands, and the woman cast a look of fury at the source of the voice.

In that instant of distraction, Ryou reached into his pocket and pulled out the locket. Yadonushi! his darker half snarled. What the hell do you think you're doing?

Someone's bound to take the locket sooner or later, Ryou answered crossly. And I'd rather it be taken by the good guys, if you don't mind. "Harry!" he yelled, craning his head back to look at the younger man. "Catch!" Then he threw the locket.

"Accio locket!" Harry cried before the Death Eaters could do anything. But Ryou saw nothing beyond that; his darker half was furious, and he had it in mind to vent right then and there. As darkness swarmed over Ryou's vision, he could only pray that the tomb robber chose not to vent on Harry.

He needn't have worried. The ancient spirit had decided to turn his wrath on the Death Eaters. They were the source of all this trouble in his mind; if they hadn't kept coming after him, he could have kept the locket instead of having Ryou throw it away! Ignoring the teenager completely, he called upon the power of the Sennen Ring, drawing the Shadow Realm into reality and surrounding himself and the Death Eaters with it.

The woman's spell disappeared, and both looked around apprehensively at the mottled shadows that surrounded them. "What…what have you done?" the woman snapped, turning her glare to the tomb robber.

"Merely turned the tables," he chuckled, thoroughly enjoying her growing fear. "Don't bother trying to work your spells here; this is my realm, and it's fully under my control. Nothing you can try against me will work, and neither can you escape. Now," he spread his arms with a psychotic grin, and the great gray monster, his soul monster Diabound, shimmered into existence behind him. "Let me show you my hospitality."

* * *

Harry wasted no time as he caught the Horcrux. Even as a globe of darkness shrouded the street in front of him, he was pulling out a simple wand of silver, and with two taps of his regular wand he released the shape-changing spell on it. It grew, becoming longer, flatter, sharper, a sword with a glittering ruby set into top of the hilt. The teenager tossed Slytherin's locket on the ground and slammed Godric Gryffindor's sword home, splitting the pendant in two. A deafening boom split the air, and Harry quickly dove out of the way as a fireball erupted from the severed locket. Wow, he thought dazedly as he picked himself up and brushed off his clothes. Yeah, I'd say that's destroyed.

He picked up Gryffindor's sword, pleased to find that it was undamaged but for a blackened spot, and recast the shape-changing spell. It shrank back into a silver wand, and Harry tucked it away as the shadows in front of him dissipated. "What did you do?" he questioned, staring at Bellatrix and Rodolphus Lestrange, both gibbering madly on the sidewalk.

The tomb robber shrugged and crossed his arms. "I guess they didn't like my hospitality." He surveyed the scene in front of him as he spoke, and his lip curled in disgust when he saw the destroyed locket. Tossing his hair, he whirled and began to stalk away.

"Wait," Harry called, and the tomb robber paused, glaring at the teenager over his shoulder.

"That Ring…it's a Horcrux, isn't it?" Harry continued, undaunted. "Your Horcrux."

"So what if it is?" the tomb robber retorted. "You going to arrest me for murder? Sorry to inform you, but the police around here wouldn't give a damn about an Egyptian who died three thousand years ago."

The scarred boy stepped back, staggered by this new piece of information. Three thousand years? This man's been alive for three thousand years? "I…I don't care about that," he said. "Finding Voldemort's Horcruxes is enough of a task for me. But I was just wondering about Ryou."

"My other half," the spirit said tonelessly. He turned fully to face Harry, giving the boy an unreadable look. "This is a Horcrux," he said, fingering the Sennen Ring. "But it's flawed. I messed up when I made it. I put too much of my soul in it, and the rest fled when my body died. Ryou is the cast-off of who I used to be." He looked back up at Harry. "He's not to know. Ever. If he found out how he came to be it would kill him."

Harry nodded. "Your secret's safe with me," he said softly as the tomb robber walked into the night. He had bigger things to think of at the moment anyways. Three more Horcruxes waited on him.

The tomb robber heard the crack as Harry Disapparated, and he relinquished control to Ryou. The boy whirled around as soon as he was aware of his surroundings. Not far away, the Death Eaters were lying on the sidewalk, clearly out of their senses, and Ryou sighed in relief. Harry was nowhere to be seen, but the white-haired boy had seen enough. He started towards the Death Eaters, but the tomb robber's voice stopped him.

Let's go home, Yadonushi. It's been a long three days.

Hai, Ryou replied, redirecting his steps towards his apartment. This little adventure was over now, thank goodness, and he did want to rest up for another round of detention the next day. As he walked, his thoughts wandered down the avenues of all he had learned while Harry Potter was in town, and he unconsciously rubbed the Sennen Ring. "I bet you would have made one," he said softly. "A Horcrux, I mean. If you didn't already have the Ring."

The spirit didn't answer for so long that Ryou gave up, believing he was being ignored again. Just as he did, however, the tomb robber spoke up.

Perhaps I would. But it's not your concern.

Ryou allowed himself a ghost of a smile. "Of course it is. Where would I be if I didn't have you?"

You'd be a normal, content teenager. Now leave me alone.

Ryou chuckled, but he didn't bother to push. It wasn't often that the tomb robber bothered to have a conversation with him, and he was happy enough with what he got. Now it was time to rest.

* * *

A very big thank you to everyone who reviewed. I very much enjoyed writing this little fic, and I'm glad to know y'all enjoyed reading it. Peace guys.