Hermione wasn't surprised, when she and her parents arrived at ten to ten, to find Yugi and Yami waiting.
Neither looked like they'd gotten much sleep, she knew how to tell after four years of dealing with their weird sleeping patterns, and Yami's tense nod and Yugi's small smile told her much more about their state of their mind then their pleasant chatter with her parents did.
They were nervous.
Understandable really, considering everything.
Today was the climax of everything they had gone through together, every villain fought, every duel played out, every night they'd just supported each other through good time or bad, it had all been for this one moment, the moment that Yami finally got his memories back.
"Look." Yugi sounded amused and Hermione turned to see what could have flipped his mood so dramatically.
Joey had sprinted around the corner, and was running up the road to meet them.
Yami, feigning impatience in order to wind their best friend up, pretended he was looking at a watch, and when Joey reached them and paused to catch his breath, stated, "Two minutes late.", which earned him an amused but exasperated snort from Yugi.
"What?" Joey yelped, looking for a clock, remembering he had his phone in his pocket, and checking the time on it. "Hah, wrong." Joey replied, "I'm three minutes early!" Joey paused to consider Yami, "You're not wearing a watch…"
Hermione and Yugi laughed at Joey's half mocking glower and Yami's grin, while Joey bowed to Mr and Mrs Dr Granger, saying good morning when he straightened.
The pair calmed down when Hermione's parents said that they'd meet them at the café just across the street in two hours for lunch, and departed for the inside of the museum, in order to look at exhibits in their own time, rather then at the group's pace.
"The big day then." Joey said, watching them go and turning to the others.
And instantly the nervousness was back.
If Hermione didn't understand the pair as well as she did, she would have been shocked by the way the nervousness infected both of them at exactly the same moment.
Joey ran a hand through his hair, "I always thought we'd be doing this with Tea and Tristan, you know?" He asked, slipping back into Japanese now that it was just them and making Hermione glad that she'd had Kari teach her the language back in their second year.
"Yeah." Yugi sounded rueful, "I called them this morning, they said good luck."
"What do they expect, rampaging Duel Monsters to suddenly appear or something?" Joey asked, slightly amused.
"No clue." Yami shrugged, "Can we please get on with this?"
"Sure, pal." Joey put his hand on Yami's shoulder, "Let's go."
Yami nodded, and started climbing the stairs.
"What Kaiba?" Yami snarled, wheeling around at the sound of Kaiba's voice.
"Pushy." Seto snorted. There was something wrong, Yugi could tell from Seto's stance and tone.
"What's happened?" Yugi asked.
"Bakura." Seto growled, "And while the tablet of the Pharaoh's here, he'll be here too."
"How do you know that?" Yami growled, clamping down on his temper at being interrupted, having had quite enough of Bakura after their run in with him last night, when he'd sent those who had broken into the Game Shop and stolen the God Cards to the Shadow Realm and proceeded to wind Yami up and spout some nonsense about wanting them to find Yami's memories, confusing Yugi, before vanishing into the darkness.
"He told me last night."
"You saw him?" Yugi asked, worried.
"Let's say I have a score to settle with him and leave it at that."
"Where's Mokuba?" Hermione asked, looking around, concern in her voice.
Seto's lack of response, other then to ball his hands into fists told them what had happened.
"Oh… oh no…" Hermione breathed.
"I suggest you stay out of my way." Seto warned Yami.
"We have our own reason for being here, Seto." Yugi said, trying not to worry, knowing Seto was more then capable of beating Bakura and that this was one occasion that Seto would rather tear his own arms and legs off then ask for help, even as Yugi wanted to offer it, "But if we see him, we'll phone you, alright?"
"Thank you, Yugi." Seto nodded and stalked into the museum.
"Never a dull moment." Joey commented.
Joey's comment earned him a eye roll from Yugi and a semi-amused, semi-frustrated snort from Yami.
"Should we help him?" Hermione asked. "I mean, if Bakura's…"
"If we help Seto now, other then to tell him where Bakura is, he'll never forgive us." Yami shook his head, "He's never quite forgiven himself for failing and relying on us during Duellist Kingdom, doing it again would only compound the problem."
"But that was five years ago!" Hermione protested.
"Nearly six, but I'd feel the same way if I'd failed Serenity." Joey replied, knowing there were times he was reminded of and felt guilty over some of his past actions, and some of those were almost ten years old now.
"We can't do anything standing here." Yami cut Hermione off. "Bakura said he'd be at the Tablet of the Pharaoh, and that's where we're going. He'll probably be waiting for us."
"So we should just follow our original plan." Hermione nodded, understanding, "And we'll probably be able to help Seto find Bakura that way."
"Exactly, now, shall we?" They followed Yami up the steps and into the museum. As if the whole situation hadn't been tense enough before, now, as they went straight through to the tablet, darting under the tape that had been put across the doorway by Isuzu, to cut off this section to anyone but Yugi and the others, and was waiting for them calmly, Hermione could see that the others were on high alert, just waiting for trouble to strike.
"My Pharaoh, it's an honour to see you again." Isuzu bowed.
"A pleasure to see you too." Yami bowed back quickly, his eyes sweeping the room.
"You haven't seen Bakura by any chance have you?" Yugi asked her, when she seemed surprised by Yami's shortness with her.
"The Tomb Robber? Thankfully not. Please tell me he isn't here?"
"There was an incident last night. Could you put out an alert among the security guards, just in case he comes into the museum?" Yugi explained.
"Of course." Isuzu nodded, "Take as long as you need, I'll be back shortly."
"Thank you." Yami nodded at her.
Isuzu just bowed and left.
"So now what?" Joey asked when it became apparent that Bakura wasn't going to suddenly jump them.
Hermione was distracted. She'd heard stories of this tablet, but she never thought she'd get to see it in person.
"It's a bit overwhelming isn't it?" Yugi chuckled, doing a rather good job of keeping his emotions out of his voice, "To think that that was us, five thousand years ago." He indicated the Pharaoh on the tablet, "And that Seto was trying to beat us back then too." He indicated the priest.
"I'll keep an eye out for Bakura. You do what we came to do." Joey said, causing Yugi and Hermione to look around, to find that Yami had gotten the God cards out of his deck, while Yugi had been talking.
"You sure?" Yami asked, just wanting it over with one way or another but hesitating in case Bakura got away while they were distracted.
"Just get on with it." Joey shoved him gently towards the tablet.
Yugi and Hermione moved aside to let Yami stand square in front of it.
Yami held the God cards up, facing towards the tablet.
There was no response at first. Then a bright light erupted from the tablet, the God cards and the Puzzle, blinding them all.
Joey swore violently, and waited for his vision to clear, having gotten far too used to bright lights during their stay in the capsule monsters world, unable to help wondering how no one had noticed, but the thought didn't remain for long considering Yami was passed out, collapsed on the floor in a heap and Yugi was on his hands and knees, tears falling, the expression on his face far too familiar for Joey's comfort.
"Yugi?" Hermione asked, kneeling at his side as Joey rushed to Yami's, checking his pulse and casting the diagnostic spell Madam Pomfrey had insisted the group learn after Harry's collapse at the start of fourth year.
"He… he's gone…" Yugi stammered, sitting up, taking the Puzzle into his hands, shaking, "He just left…"
"Yuge?" Joey asked, looking away from the single light that flickered, measuring the Pharaoh's pulse.
"Pharaoh. Pharaoh!" Someone was hissing, shaking his arm gently, trying to be subtle.
Yami groaned quietly and opened his eyes, blinking as he looked around trying to clear the sleep from his eyes. Taking in his clothes and his surroundings, frowning as he realised that it appeared to be a throne room of some kind, "Where…" He murmured, then stopped at the concerned look the man at his side, who looked a lot like Solomon, his Grandfather, gave him.
"Great Pharaoh," The man worried, "At all times you must act with the dignity befitting the living embodiment of the gods… for you to fall asleep on the throne."
"I apologise." Yami stated, still confused, but aware that he'd been thrown into the role for a reason so he'd better play it, even if he wasn't sure how, "I did not sleep well last night."
He reached down the link, to speak with Yugi, expecting to find him waiting patiently, or listening over the link, to what was going on and was startled to find not only was there no response from his hikari, but it was like Yugi had never been bonded to him in the first place and yet it wasn't like he was missing anything from his heart or his soul...
The six nearest to the throne, one woman, five men, all wielding Millennium Items, moved slightly as a guard, and Yami wasn't sure how he recognised the man as a guard, walked along the throne room and bowed at his feet.
"O Great Pharaoh." The man said, not rising from his place, "It is time."
'Time for what?' Yami was confused and he wasn't happy about it. He hated being thrown into a game without knowing the full rules, and being chucked headfirst into this illusion wasn't much better… or maybe… Yami realised as he found he recognised everything, with that odd recognition of something you hadn't seen in years, you knew you knew it, but you couldn't remember where… maybe this was a memory, one of his memories.
"Pharaoh," The guard continued when Yami didn't speak, "May we open the court?"
"Very well." Yami nodded, figuring that either everything would explain itself, or he could ask at a time where he'd look much less foolish.
"Bring in the prisoner." The guard rose and called to those at the great stone doors.
As they brought the prisoner forward, Yami stole glances at those nearest the throne. There was the man who looked like his Grandfather in the modern age, the woman, who reminded him of Isuzu and held the Necklace, a previous incarnation, possibly, and the one with the Millennium Rod looked familiar too, but he couldn't be sure without seeing his eyes, and Yami knew he should know the priest wearing the Millennium Ring, but he couldn't think where from.
The man was brought to the base of the plinth where Yami's throne sat and the guard at his said announced, "This man was caught trying to enter the tomb of the former Pharaoh!"
Yami's eyes widened as the implications sank in. Even as the man tried to deny it and was told that he'd trespassed on scared ground, Yami's mind was working overtime, the tomb of the former Pharaoh… his father's tomb perhaps?
"Great Pharaoh, there is no end to thieves like this, who would rob the royal tombs, but fret not, the holy relics of the Great Pharaoh and the six priests, the Millennium Items, judge them." The man who looked like his Grandfather explained.
'Judgement?' Yami listened and nodded, 'Is that what the Millennium Items are for?' Then frowned slightly, 'I need to get some names, or I'm going to go crazy. If I haven't already.'
Yami sat up, making sure he paid attention to every detail, even as he wanted to know what the hell had happened to his bond with Yugi, gaining some information as the priests judged the thief, removing the 'Ka' from the man's soul (and Yami was privately convinced that 'Ka' was what they called Duel Monsters here) and sealing it away in a stone tablet, but it wasn't that that stunned him.
It was the fact that the priest wielding the Millennium Rod looked and sounded exactly like Seto Kaiba and the priest with the Millennium Ring had been revealed to be a man named Mahado.
It couldn't be the same Mahado… could it?
There was so much he didn't know…
Author Note: - Ok a short chapter, but it will get more in depth from here.