Welcome, readers. For those of you who were part of No Strings Attached, here is your sequel. For those of you who have so happened to click on this without having read part I...never fear. You can choose one of two options:
1) Head onto my profile and read the first story of this group. There is a prequel, however it is not finished and isn't necessary to the story.
2) Skip the first one. I'm going to explain things well enough in the first few chapters of this fic. You may get a tad confused, but I'm sure you can barrel through it. I mean, the grammar in the first story was just awful, and I'm sure that you don't feel like braving that. (I don't blame you at all)
So choose. For those of you who are continuing on, here is chapter one of Blood-Bound!
This is a Harry Potter, Yu-Gi-Oh crossover. The starring Yu-Gi-Oh characters are Ryou, Bakura, and Malik Ishtar. They are in the "Harry Potter" universe (to an extent).
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter, nor do I own Yu-Gi-Oh.
Out of the Oven
The vampire leapt at the blonde wizard, and with a foul curse, the young man threw himself onto the ground to avoid the creature's assault.
Fighting. Struggle. Desperation.
Ryou wasn't sure of the exact point when those three things became the best descriptions of his life.
"Use one of your cards!" Draco shouted, scrambling to his feet and throwing his wand arm outwards. Before he could cast a spell, the creature swiped at him. Draco barely dodged the movement. His panicked gaze met Ryou's. "At least do it before this thing kills me!"
Ryou didn't need another hint. His fingers moved with practiced speed and pulled a card from his deck. He extended his arm towards the beast.
"Earl of Demise!" He shouted, the familiar power flowing from his core and down his arm into the card. The creature exploded from a vortex of blackness, its grotesque face barely inches away from their enemy.
The creature snarled and leapt out of the Earl's range.
Draco spat blood from his mouth. He hadn't been entirely successful in dodging the creature, that was for sure. "Haven't seen so many bloody vampires in my life."
"It's not just them," Ryou pointed out, mentally urging the Earl of Demise to attack the vampire. "It's any magical creature working under Him."
"Yes," Draco answered dryly, straightening. "We've learned not to say his name, haven't we?"
Ryou rolled his eyes, choosing not to dignify Draco's snarky words with a response.
"I could always just take control and beat the attitude out of him."
Ryou sighed. - We're not going to go around hurting our companions, okay? We don't have so many left. -
Ever since Ryou and Malik had been ambushed and captured by the Death Eaters in London, which seemed to be such a long time ago, they had been fighting. They had been transported to the Malfoy Manor, where they met Draco. It wasn't long after that they formed a tentative alliance with the young wizard, who desired to rebel against his father and the Dark Lord that he served.
Upon being sent to Hogwarts so that their magic could adjust to that of the wizards' magic, they had met and allied with a young witch named Luna and a young wizard named Neville Longbottom. Ryou, Malik, and Ryou's yami knew the implications of being in a place so saturated with the wizards' magic. Their Shadow Magic couldn't function easily at Hogwarts, and it'd taken far, far too long for it to finally be able to adjust and flow around the foreign power.
That was when their alliance with Draco had strengthened to trust out of desperation for help. Shortly after, they had debuted to Hogwarts' student rebellion. They hadn't gone far, though. Things had gone downhill too quickly for them to make any ties, and Draco was captured by the Death Eaters. Ryou and Malik had escaped the castle to rescue him and save Ryou's father, who had been taken prisoner as incentive for them to obey the Dark Lord.
When they located the Malfoy Manor, where both Draco and Ryou's father were being kept, things had become irreversibly bad. They had fought the Dark Lord and his lackeys, and had paid a dear price for Draco's freedom.
Ryou's father had been killed as a punishment for rebelliousness. Malik had given his life to give Ryou an escape.
- Almost two weeks, - Ryou thought quietly, - and we still haven't recovered from that attack. -
"Did you expect the grief to pass so quickly?" the Spirit of the Ring deadpanned.
Ryou supposed that he hadn't.
The vampire's body seized up and the creature fell, motionless, to the ground. Soft snarls could be heard from it, its beady red eyes darting around in a blind rage.
"Why not just kill it?" Ryou queried, though the question sounded harsh even to his own lips. It had come more from Bakura's thoughts than his own he thought, but things had been jumbled and mixed between the two for the past little while. They had been pooling their power in a hope of strengthening their magic somewhat, but that served only to cause their personalities to mix in a very unnatural way. It often caused confusion in character, something that was becoming increasingly uncomfortable for Ryou.
He had always known that similarities to one another, such as Ryou becoming more cynical or Bakura becoming less violent, were things that were bound to happen. Coexisting in the way that they did guaranteed that to happen. However, such an overlap of personality was causing trouble and no lack of headaches for the both of them.
Draco took the question with a grain of salt, having been let in on the situation. "Every time a wizard kills something with a spell like that," he explained slowly, not for the first time, "a part of his soul is ripped off. This is what He did, how He became so powerful. I refuse to bear any similarity."
Ryou instantly felt bad for asking the question and reprimanded himself for it. He should have trusted that Draco would have a good enough reason. He understood not wanting to become something evil. He and Bakura fought with that temptation nearly every waking moment.
Bakura didn't really want to think about that, and promptly interrupted.
"I'll kill it," he grumbled, "since everyone seems to be sidestepping the necessity of it."
Ryou didn't argue. He was well aware of his boundaries, and killing something living when he was in any normal state of mind was something past his boundaries. Past many of his boundaries.
Bakura knew this, and also knew that he had to tiptoe around Ryou's state very carefully. Pushing his hikari was only going to prove extremely problematic later on, and he didn't want to cause Ryou any more pain than he'd already been put through.
Ryou let himself be carried back into his mind, Bakura gently shutting his senses as he killed the creature with the dagger in his coat pocket.
Draco Malfoy, however, watched the killing with a revolted expression on his face. His expression became even more disgusted as the creature exploded into a mix of green gas and dust. "You know, I almost would have preferred to give up part of my soul than watch you do that." The comment was snippy, and definitely a little unwarranted.
This was just something that seemed to define Draco's personality: boundless sarcasm. It was irritating, sometimes.
"Then close your eyes," Bakura snarled at him, pulling the dagger out and wiping the creatures blood and other unmentionables onto the grass.
The Earl moaned, likely frustrated at having the deed taken away from it. Bakura glowered at the creature and dismissed it. It vanished in a thin cloak of shadow.
"Your monsters are so goddamn creepy," Draco complained, pocketing his wand. The young man ran a hand through his hair, bangs falling over into his eyes. There wasn't a time where he'd wished for hair gel more than he'd been wishing lately.
- Okay. -
Draco watched with interest as the Millennium Ring, exposed over the front of Ryou's black t-shirt, glowed white to signify the switch. Red eyes closed, opening brown a moment later.
Ryou sighed, feeling the familiar wave of nausea spread over him. Using Shadow Magic, no matter how minimal, had been like this for some time now. Bakura had mulled over 'why' a lot more than Ryou had, but it seemed that no conclusions had been drawn. He was suspicious of a few things, but had refused to let Ryou in on what those could possibly be. He knew that Bakura didn't want to worry him about things. Not right now. Not after everything that had happened.
"You okay?" Draco ventured slowly, having noticed Ryou's sickly expression. The white-haired male realized this quickly, and tried to look neutral. Draco wasn't fooled.
He sighed. Draco had known that things were going to be slow in the trust department. Simply being a wizard didn't win him any points, and after everything that the three Shadow Masters had been through, they weren't looking to give a whole bucket load of trust out in the first place.
That said, Draco had learned some things since the escape from his home. He had learned little about their magic, other than that they summoned monsters from a place known as the Shadow Realm. He had also learned that Ryou used a "cult-style" deck to summon from.
Otherwise, he hadn't learned much about their magic or about their pasts than he'd known before. What he had learned about, however, was what they were like.
Well, mostly Ryou and Bakura. Learning about Malik was...
Regardless, he'd learned quite a bit about the other two. Ryou had always been the gentler of them, but he had a strength of heart that far outweighed any negatives of his gentleness. When someone he cared for was in danger, Ryou could carry out any number of tasks to save them. His caring nature extended to all things that he did, but that didn't make him weak and it didn't make him merciful when his friends or loved ones were concerned.
Bakura was another story altogether. Though he certainly seemed to have a sense of companionship, he maintained a fierce protectiveness for Ryou to the exclusion of almost all else. If Bakura had to choose between you and Ryou, your fate wasn't looking to good. Bakura was ruthless, too. He had no issues with ending the life of any creature, human or not. He was a predator in all possible ways, and it was something that chilled Draco to the bone like nothing else.
The two of them, however, synchronized in such an outrageously perfect way that Draco often found himself unable to distinguish between them. It was ludicrous, of course, since they were so different. However, Ryou had once explained to him that that was natural. As two halves of one whole, most people wouldn't be able to discern the two personalities. Only people that knew that they were two separate souls, or those that were familiar with Shadow Magic, could consciously tell the difference.
Draco had been sceptical. How did people not notice when Ryou suddenly became cold or violent?
Ryou had smiled sadly at this and said: "sometimes, people blind themselves from the truth because natural laws say it's impossible. They don't accept that the world is quite abnormal, and that the human perception of nature is solely based on that which they have seen. When magical worlds are so exclusive, you really can't blame people for being blind to the truth."
Draco hadn't really had any words for that. Ryou had spoken nothing but truths, and Draco had once again been floored by Ryou's perceptiveness and how attuned he was to the world and the people in it.
A growl from somewhere nearby. Draco spun, throwing his wand arm out in the direction of the sound.
Another one of those stupid vampires was lurking at the edge of the forest. Draco should have known. Vampires didn't travel in packs, luckily. They did, however, always travel in pairs.
The creature remained skirting the edge of the forest, just barely ten metres away. Draco glanced at Ryou, who wasn't moving either. From the still-sick expression on his face, Draco knew that a lot more of the two of them switching was going to be a problem.
"I suppose," Draco said dryly, catching the attention of the snarling, red-eyed beast, "that I should have expected karma to make me eat my words sooner or later. Pity it wasn't later."
Provoked by the sound of him speaking, the creature lunged. Draco wasn't fazed. He extended his arm outwards, pointing his wand directly at the monster's chest.
"Avada Kedavra!" He cried, and the green spell exploded outwards and slammed into the creature's torso. It spun midair before hitting the ground with the sickening crunch of bones breaking. Draco winced.
The creature's body exploded like the first one, and Draco wrinkled his nose as a putrid stench wafted past. He wiped the sweat from his face with his shirtsleeve, inhaling and exhaling very slowly to calm himself.
"I'm sorry..." Ryou whispered, and though is voice was soft, it cut through the silent tension like a knife.
Draco waved his apology off, feeling disgusted with himself. It was better when it wasn't human. He could deal with that much easier than he could when it was a human. Like when he'd killed that Death Eater back at the mansion. Like any other time, few that they were, he had committed murder.
He should have realized way back, every time that he got sick from it, every time that he felt that aching sensation of regret, that he wasn't cut out for being a minion of evil. He didn't care for all of the fluffy hero stuff, but he didn't care for being a monster, either.
He straightened and stretched his arms upwards. "Let's just go back to the inn," he suggested. "I'm going to be pissed right off if I have to kill another stupid vampire, again."
Ryou's lips twitched in amusement, but he nodded and turned. Draco jogged up beside him, and the two of them returned back towards the small town that they'd been hiding in. Lights sprang up around the farmland.
They had only been outside the city because Ryou had felt magic off towards the forested area. They had hoped it would be Harry and his merry duo of cheerleaders. Draco had been frustrated and disappointed when it had turned out that whoever it'd been had apparated out of the forest before they arrived.
Ryou pulled a small set of keys out of his pocket and pointed them forwards. Out of the darkness, a pair of headlights flashed.
They had stolen a car somewhere back in London, right after they had rushed to buy all of the clothing and necessities that they had lost between escaping Hogwarts and attacking the mansion. Draco had nothing but wizard money with him, and had had to leech off of Ryou. Ryou had admitted that most of the money had been pick-pocketed as they were on the way to the store.
Draco wasn't sure if he was supposed to reprimand the theft or just be impressed that Bakura had managed that without Draco even noticing it.
Ryou pulled open the driver's door and hopped into the car, starting the engine as to relieve himself from some of the cold. It'd been a tad chilly in good old Britain, lately. Draco agreed with Ryou's sentiment and got into the passenger seat with equally undue haste.
Ryou drove it off of the grass and onto the gravel road, eyes focused intently ahead of him.
"When did you learn to drive?" Draco queried after a moment. "You can't be much over seventeen."
"I am seventeen. And I don't know how to drive. Not really." He cast Draco an apologetic, tentative smile. "Whatever I know has been through watching others driving and from what little tips I was given from..." he trailed off, brow creasing.
Ryou paled slightly, and nodded. "Yes."
"That reminds me: we need to pick up some food before we get back to the motel," Draco murmured, slumping down in his seat. The seatbelt was irritating, and Draco had half a mind to take it off, but Ryou having had admitted to not being a practiced driver gave him enough incentive to keep the stupid thing on.
Besides, Draco wasn't extremely comfortable with cars in the first place. He'd seen a few in his lifetime, but they had never really been necessary and his father had preferred other modes of travel. This was only the third or fourth time he'd ridden in a car at all.
But Ryou's revelation did explain why he'd always driven so slowly.
Draco leaned back in the seat, eyelids drooping. It was shocking, even still, how much he'd gone through in the short time that he'd known the three of them. It had barely been...two months, perhaps? He didn't even count the days, anymore. He preferred not to sound sappy, and thus didn't voice this, but it felt sort of like he'd known them for a lot longer.
However, he was still frustrated with how secretive they all were. According to whatever hints they'd dropped, though, they had always been that way.
The drive was long and slow. They hadn't gone outrageously far out of town, but it'd still been enough that Draco was decidedly bored on the ride back.
"I'm sorry," Ryou said suddenly, cutting the silence, "that you lost your mother."
Draco didn't meet Ryou's eyes. He was still hurting over that. Having lost his mother was the toughest thing he'd gone through. He had been reclusive for days, as much if not more so than Ryou had been.
"It's fine," he said, and winced at how much of a lie they both knew that was.
"It's not," Ryou persisted, switching gears as they moved onto a main road of the town. People milled about, completely oblivious to the fact that magical convicts were driving right past them.
Draco sighed, running his finger along the foggy glass. "So what? I don't mean to sound harsh, but pity isn't going to bring my mother back." He watched as the condensation made tiny, almost like tears, down the clear line he'd drawn. "It won't bring your father back, either."
He sort of felt bad for saying it once the words were out of his mouth. Still, he stared out the fogged window, praying that Ryou wasn't feeling any more chatty. Thinking about his mother put him in a bit of a mood.
He got his way. Ryou didn't answer, and instead drove silently through the thin streets. He turned a sharp left, and apologized in a muffled voice for the action. Draco murmured a short response, but other than that, no further words were exchanged.
It'd been like that for some time. Draco had never thought of himself to be a man of few words, but lately it'd seemed that there weren't words to give. It frustrated the typically well-spoken (although admittedly foul-mouthed) wizard like nothing else.
He folded his hands, digging his nails into the opposite palm.
There was nothing that Draco wanted more than to spill that wicked woman's blood all across London. That she could even spill the blood of his mother...it disgusted him. Bellatrix had always proclaimed how much she loved her "sissy". Killing his mother made Bellatrix even lower than the dirt he'd already thought that she was.
He would kill her. It had to be by his hand. He would kill whoever got in his way. He didn't care if it was Potter. He didn't care if it was the Dark Lord. He would stop at nothing.
Draco blinked, mind snapping back to reality. He was made suddenly aware of a cool hand on both of his, and when Ryou pulled back, red stained his nearly snow-white palm.
"Was I...?" he mumbled, staring at his cut, stinging palm with a sort of sick entrancement.
Ryou's expression was worried. "You can clean it when we get back to the motel."
"My nails aren't that dirty."
Ryou's lips twitched. Barely. "...Regardless, you should clean it."
Draco sighed and stuffed his hand into his pocket, glaring out the windshield. Another perfect instalment to another perfect day. He rolled his eyes at his own thoughts. The angst was positively suffocating.
The car slowed to a stop, and Ryou shifted it into "park". Draco met Ryou's eyes curiously. The white-haired sorcerer gestured out his window, where the small grocer's shop sat, people rushing in and out.
"I'll go," Ryou offered, and without waiting for a response, he hopped out of the car and left Draco in the passenger seat.
Self-consciously, Draco locked the car and slid even further down his seat. He'd grown awfully wary of being alone. He supposed that it was more good than bad, considering the general situation.
The general situation of having utterly failed in attacking his mansion, the general situation of having lost comrades and loved ones. The general situation that just reeked of everything that they'd sacrificed, of everything that they hadn't achieved from those sacrifices.
He was disgusted by it.
It seemed, however, that they lost from the moment that Fate stepped in. Something had been bound and determined for Malik to die by Bellatrix's hand. Fighting her had done nothing. Intimidating her had done nothing. Threats had done nothing. Disarming her had perhaps only delayed her. She had still found someone else's wand to use, and had still killed Malik that night.
How was it that Potter could cheat death so many times, and yet Malik had been unable to?
When he'd voiced this to Ryou, Ryou had smiled sadly and said that, perhaps, his chances had run out a long, long time ago. After all, chances were not granted to villains, no matter how repentant they may be.
Draco had frowned and said that that sounded cynical, even to him. Ryou had only laughed in response. The conversation had ended there, and Draco hadn't dared let the topic resurface. He knew a touchy subject when confronted with one.
He was worried, though. Draco wasn't much for martyrdom. He didn't want to just go down trying like some kind of idiot who bit off more than he could chew. Draco wanted to actually do something. He knew it sounded childish, even selfish, but he sort of wanted to live to tell the tale.
Draco knew, though, that he could and would give his life for this war. He'd gone far past the figurative and literal point of no return. Even so much as glancing back would just be a waste of time. He had to do everything and anything to end this, however he could.
And if that meant that they needed to find Potter and his friends, then that was what they were going to do.
Besides, it wasn't like he was going to be getting out of the situation anyways. He was essentially bound to their Shadow Magic, now. He was going to have to stick around for a long, long time. He agreed with Bakura on one thing: that was going to become a very problematic point if and when the war ended.
Draco had no illusions about settling down. He was sick of the fighting. He wanted a normal wizard's life, however he could get that.
He snorted at his own thought. If anyone heard him mumbling anything of that sort, they'd write him off as stir-crazy. Draco Malfoy wanting anything resembling normal? Blasphemous. Complete and utter lunacy.
Because everyone seemed to know him so well.
He pulled his hand out of his pocket, fingers curling over the thin nail-marks in his palm. He was sick of the part he'd been playing all of his life. Finally, finally he was free to do what he wanted. No more expectations.
He glanced out the window at the people on the street, parents herding their children through the chilly air, couples hand-in-hand, teenagers biking past.
Since when did Draco Malfoy envy muggles?
Poppycock. The weather was getting to him.
There was a sudden tap on the window. Draco jumped nearly two feet, hand reaching into his breast pocket for his wand. His head snapped in the direction of the intruder.
Ryou waved quickly, breath fogging on the glass. Draco took in a shaky breath to calm his heart and popped the lock.
Ryou pulled the door open and tossed two plastic bags into the back seat of the car. He closed the door quickly and rubbed his hands together.
Draco cocked an eyebrow. "That was awfully fast."
"I had motivation for speediness," Ryou explained a little sheepishly. "I know that we shouldn't be leaving each other alone. It's not safe."
"Do you think they would find us here?" Draco asked, trying to sound the sceptic and failing. His anxiety showed through. "I mean, we're fairly off the radar."
"'Fairly' isn't good enough to let our guard down," Ryou answered plainly, shifting the car back into gear and pulling onto the road.
The radio came on, playing an odd muggle tune that Draco found entirely unappealing.
"We're in bad shape," Draco commented. It wasn't so much conversation than a statement of fact.
Ryou smiled softly. "Yes," he agreed, "we are. But we're not down and out. Not yet."
He had to give Ryou points for the optimism.
Draco glanced out the windshield. He could see the sign for their inn coming up. The shop hadn't been far from where they were staying.
"We can eat inside," Ryou promised. They hadn't had anything that day, and it was nearly dinnertime. The mentioning of food brought a gnawing to Draco's stomach.
Ryou pulled into a small lot behind the inn, and Draco grabbed the bags. He hopped out of the car before Ryou even managed to park and stop the thing. He really wasn't comfortable in cars, no matter how short the trip. He would have even preferred Floo powder.
Ryou pocketed the keys as he also jumped out, locking the vehicle in the process. They moved silently to the front, walking into the warm entrance with much relief.
Draco's eyes flickered to the clock hanging above the clerk's desk. "We're going to be in trouble," he said. "We've been gone for some time."
"Not too long," Ryou assured him as they walked down the hallway of the one-level inn. Noise from the restaurant-and-pub reverberated off of the walls. Draco had to admit - it was the biggest dump he'd ever been forced to stay in. Low-profile had been the only way to go, and he'd been told quite plainly to suck it up.
Ryou fumbled in his pocket for the key to the room, and after a few moments, retrieved it and slipped it into the keyhole. Draco followed him inside, dropping the bags onto the table.
"Oi," he called, probably louder than necessary, "we're back."
Ryou stepped out of his shoes and padded into the room. "We brought some food, Malik."
The blonde sat up from the bed, grinning around the corner. "Took you guys long enough."
Didn't expect that, did you? (grins evilly)
Well. There we go. Chapter one.
I hope you enjoyed. Drop a review for me on your way out. I'll answer any questions in either a PM or in a note on the next chapter.