Been a while, huh? Ah well. There's a not-lemon, kinda-lime in this chapter, by the way. Just a heads up.
Satsu Kari was a frightening woman. It had nothing to do with her constantly narrowed eyes or the way she sometimes frowned and sent shivers down his spine, nor was it due to her preference for handing out chastisement with a wooden dough roller, far more often than necessary. The double and sometimes triple meanings behind all of her words could be overlooked, as well as the eagle's eye she had on every book, game, writing instrument, or jewelry that he had ever handled.
What scared Yugi most about her was that she scared his grandfather. Or at least... That was the source. His grandfather wasn't infallible, after all, and Yugi wasn't scared of every single thing that frightened the elderly Sugoroku. However, he'd never hated anything else that scared his grandfather either.
He was afraid of his mother because she had the ability to make him hate. It just wasn't something he could ever accept in himself. So he tried to push the feelings down, somewhere deep and dark and far from his reach. It didn't work as well as he wished, because his mother made it hard to love her. If he tried to help out in the kitchen, she checked the foods as if he would poison them. When he tried to help out in cleaning around the house, she went through each room and object he came into contact with, pointing out flaws and checking to see if he had used the time cleaning to hide some strange object away. Wherever Yugi found himself, she would appear shortly afterwards. Suspiscious.
And she'd never explained why she bothered to come back again. A few days after his fourteenth birthday, he'd awakened one morning to find her lording over the kitchen and living room as if she'd always been in the house. His father was 'away on business, indefinitely' and there was no longer a guest room, because she had taken it over. And Sugoroku would be allowed to keep running Kame Game Shop, but only because someone needed to keep paying the bills; apparently, he was far too old to be playing around with toys and games all the time.
He didn't even want to imagine what might've happened if she found the books, scrolls, and other supplies that his grandfather had been using to teach him for years. Luckily, Sugoroku was insanely paranoid when it came to anything 'magic' related, and they were always hidden away before dinner was put on the table at the end of the day. Now, two months since the day she had reappeared in his life, Yugi hadn't seen the inside of that hidden room once.
It was a wonder that she allowed him to keep the golden puzzle he'd been trying to complete for years. If anything was going to set off his mother, it would be the strange artifact with unknown abilities that Yugi planned to make a wish on, right? Apparently not. In his mother's mind, a puzzle that nobody could ever complete was just as harmless as the games her son constantly played and the arcade he'd only begun to frequent once she started calling their grandfather's house home.
Maybe she knows something I don't, Yugi thought, gazing upon the completed golden puzzle that sat on the pillow by his head. Maybe she knew that nothing would happen if I managed to complete it... Or at least, it seemed as if nothing had happened. A smile lit his face; he'd wished for friends the very first moment that he could, and real friends just couldn't be rushed. He didn't mind waiting if it meant he wouldn't be lonely again after that.
The amethyst-eyed boy let his mind drift to Jounouchi and Honda, the two former bullies that had decided for some reason to become his protectors instead. Do they count as friends? Yugi wanted to believe so, but some niggling doubt or lingering fear of them stopped him from embracing them as much as he probably should. How many times had he ended up in the nurse's office because Jou had spotted him in the yard during lunch and decided to come torment him? How many different meals had he missed because Honda came by and decided that he didn't need any of the money in his pockets?
"But people can change, right?" He asked aloud, softly, as he gazed at the puzzle. "If I can become a stronger person and gain friends, then they can become kind people, I think." Yugi nodded firmly to himself, then closed his eyes, finally beginning to give in to the call of sleep. "And even if they can't, you'll always understand me..."
He'd never gotten out of the habit of talking to the puzzle as if it were a real person, but as he drifted off, he could swear that this was the first time he'd ever imagined the puzzle with a body. A body that looked just like his...
This isn't the first time he's spoken to me.
The realization came on slowly but surely, as he drifted in the not-abyss that had taken over the former darkness of his world recently. He wasn't as surprised by the thought as he could be, not really. It seemed to him that the only things he truly knew were those that came from the other. The warm one. The breathing one. The one that didn't have the demonic crimson eyes.
He still didn't know why his eyes were in the likeness of blood when the others' passed for jewels. But maybe that knowledge would come later? Only time could tell.
Until then, he would remain floating until he was needed, trying to grasp at whispering thoughts and unclear messages to try and find out the purpose of his existence. It couldn't only be as the companion to the other, correct? Eight years solving that puzzle was quite a bit of time to wait, if companionship was supposed to be the end result...
"I wish I could have true friends!"
Or at least companionship from the being that used to reside within the puzzle. He wasn't sure the other would like that. The other tried so hard to smile, but could he upturn his lips for the nameless one that clung like a parasite to the fringes of his mind?
Maybe, maybe not, he thought, ruby colored eyes closing in imitation of the pair across from his. But the other says I would make a good friend. That I will always understand. Is that true...?
He sighed. He drifted. He waited. And still...
Nothing made sense at all.
Malik had once been told that he would "catch more flies with honey than vinegar." He wasn't sure who exactly had said it; Ishizu didn't speak to him very much if she could help it, since she was never quite sure which of his personalities would be in control. His brother Rishid seemed like the type to impart such wisdom, if only in the vague hopes that it would somehow diffuse into the less benevolent side of his personality, but he couldn't think of a reason for it to be said. Maybe he'd read it in one of the hundred or so fortune cookies he'd consumed after his first visit to an authentic Dim Sum place...
On second thought, it was probably Rishid after all. He couldn't remember much of anything from that day after the sugar rush he'd gotten and crashed from, let alone fortunes, so his older brother was the most likely source of the wisdom. It was certainly proving to be effective in practice, but somehow, he didn't imagine Rishid had meant his advice to be taken in such a way.
His goal wasn't one that he could reach all on his lonesome. And while Rishid was guaranteed to assist him, no matter how against the still unexplained plan of his sibling he was, two people was still too small a group to achieve anything to the extent that Malik needed in order to fix all the problems in his life. What he needed was contacts. More people with more connections and more abilities that Malik could use to push things along.
The problem arose in his being a fifteen year old boy with nothing to offer besides obscure knowledge and old magics that most people didn't believe in anymore. Nobody would help him because nobody believed that he was worth helping. Once, he'd believed that he was making headway on the issue when Marik was loosed from his bonds and allowed to terrify a few people into agreeing to help, but those plans had fallen through easily. Loyalty created by fear were broken too easily, so obviously it wasn't what he needed.
He'd searched and searched, until one day, he realized that the answer had lain beneath his nose the entire time. Where fear would not suffice, love could conquer all. Love made Rishid follow him instead of slitting his throat in the night. Love made Ishizu push past her fear of him to teach him about the world, money, and languages when he asked for the help. Love made ordinary people do the most insane of things, all for those he cared for.
And while he wasn't sure he could inspire true love, not the pure kind he saw more and more often as he continued through life, lust was very close. In fact, many people seemed to mistake lust for love in their every day relationships. In this instance, where fear and threats were the 'vinegar,' something much easier to access became the 'honey' that Malik needed to get closer to his goals.
Until very recently, it had never occurred to him that he might be considered attractive. He'd seen very few people in his life, and among them, his blonde hair and violet eyes weren't beautiful. They were normal. In his former, simplistic views, everybody looked different and that was the end of that. Rishid had brown hair and eyes, Ishizu had blue eyes and black locks, and he was the lightly colored one. Rishid was broad shoulders, Ishizu was curvy, and he was small and skinny. More differences were abound, and they were all perfectly normal.
On in the world, however, it wasn't so. Here, he was exotic. Here, he was petite. Here, he was desirable... And this was what he played on. Because it didn't seem to matter, among the people of the world outside, whether he was the same gender as they were or not. And if he wasn't mistaken, his young age and the taboo aspect it gave him only seemed to put him in higher demand.
So he worked it.
"Tell me, Fariq," he breathed out into a dark-skinned man's ear, "what are you thinking of right now?" Huge, heated hands gripped at either side of his bony hips as he lazily draped himself over the form that was nearly twice his size. His eyes remained closed as he ran his hands through the medium-length black hair of his oblivious prey. "Are you content?" He purred, rolling the word off his tongue in a way that had taken him a week to perfect and rolling his hips slowly as well.
Fariq swallowed thickly and his hips bucked up in response to both the movement and the voice in his hear. "Indeed I am," his deep voice vibrating pleasantly against Malik's chest. "I was unsure..." He trailed off, hissing in pleasure as the boy began pressing a trail of kisses down his neck. It took a lot of effort not to grip the tiny figure closer against his chest.
"Unsure?" Now, Malik smiled against the man's skin. "I must not be doing a very good job convincing you." He ran his hands slowly down Fariq's bare back until they were trapped between flesh and the hard wood of the chair. He slowly increased the gyrating motions of his hips, and smirked at the rumbling groan from his prey. "I can't imagine any better incentive for your assistance in such a lucrative venture, Fariq." Again with the purring. It worked very well, he'd noticed.
"I'm, ah, in agreement with that." Fariq ground their hips together with more force, feeling the softness of the exotically colored boy's thighs pressing into his denim clad legs. He was at a point where he'd do almost anything to remove the barrier of clothing between them and finally reach the ambrosia he'd been fantasizing of for days. "I believe... I believe I will take you up on your offer," he managed to get out breathlessly.
Malik paused in his motions and listened to the half-whine, half-growl type sound from the man he was perched upon. He pressed their chests together more fully, and unseen, rested his hand upon the golden rod that had become his constant companion in the past years. "Would you swear to that, Fariq Abdul-Karim? To keep my secrets, follow my each and every command, and give me your never ending loyalty? Would you risk your body and blood for that? Would you risk your soul?" He pressed them tighter together still.
In the right voice, at the right time, those words sounded like an erotic promise rather than the death sentence they truly were.
"I swear, little one," he panted out, clenching his eyes shut and completely. "Body, blood, soul... Yours. Anything can be yours. Anything is yours for this price!" His hips bucked again, and he felt lightheaded enough that he saw a blinding golden light as the gyrating began again, faster than ever which each friction-filled slide against each other. "Y-yes! I swear!"
Malik smirked as the brilliant golden glow from the rod in his hands finally faded. You should've known better than to deal with the devil, Fariq Abdul-Karim. Because now, you are mine. Some distant part of him, perhaps from a time when he'd admired his father and loved the isolated world he formerly resided in, felt sadness for the life that had just been given up. But mostly, he felt victorious.
Fariq was a major piece when it came to building up his Rare Hunters, in both contacts and skills. And they had just become Malik's contacts and skills. It was perhaps unfair to damn someone to something very similar to what he was trying so hard to escape, but his selfishness tended to win out on the issue. He wanted that final release far more than he wanted to care about the happiness health of the people around him. There was never any question of going against this.
With another, more concentrated glow from the millennium rod, Fariq went slack, and then tensed up with complete and utter ecstasy. Malik slid back and stepped away, watching disinterestedly as a stain began seeping into the front of the man's pants. It was vaguely interesting to watch, knowing that he'd caused it mostly without the aid of the rod, but he had no desire to partake in pleasures of the flesh. They didn't call to him at all.
He left the man there, lost in his magic-induced fantasies, then gathered the jacket he'd left on a chair and exited the hotel room without any further ado. Rishid was waiting for him, after all.
It took quite a bit of time to put things together and work out all the kinks, but at long last, Hermione had a plan. It relied heavily on all her parents being both present at home and occupied, as well as her admittedly shaky acting skills and the reputation she had as a good, responsible little girl. It was also dependent on how much of her allowance she'd managed to save up in the last few months, and however much pocket money her parents would be willing to give to her.
Still, the ten year old had spent literal days just thinking out solutions to every plausible issue she could think of, from transportation, to weather, to her own calculations simply being incorrect, no matter how unlikely the last option was; she had an IQ of 163, after all. There weren't many approaches to a situation that she couldn't find when she sat down and focused. Considering that this plan was the answer to a problem she'd been struggling with for three years, she was certain that she'd seen every side to it that was possible.
She commenced her plan on Saturday, June 26th.
It began at the breakfast table; her mother was serving out food while her father was having one of his less-than-amicable staring contests with her daddy, who was too tired to even notice since he'd only arrived home a few hours ago. She brought up the subject casually: "Mum, could I go to the library today? I'm sure daddy wants to rest after his flight, and I would hate to wait until Monday to pick up my books. I would also like to look at some materials for my precalculus class next year."
As she'd predicted, there was barely any protest, especially since Hermione had conveniently left out the fact that she meant to go to the main library, an hour away in London, rather than the Crawley branch that was right next to the school she was attending. She felt guilty for lying, but only a little bit. It wasn't as if she was really doing anything wrong, after all. And she hadn't really lied, so it was okay.
It's definitely worth it, she told herself resolutely.
She had to be a bit more careful with the second part of her plan: her daddy kept a folder of important papers and notes he made to himself, and he carried it everywhere he went, so it was usually in his backpack. Hermione rushed to finish her breakfast, and while she was sure that all her parents were still downstairs, she crept into her daddy's room and went digging through the folder for the papers she wanted. There were only four; a bank statement, a bill, and two birth certificate copies. She was fairly sure that they were all she would need.
Her heart was racing with anticipation as she carefully rearranged everything so that it looked untouched, before darting into her own room. The papers went into a folder of her own, decorated with purple unicorns, and that folder went into her backpack. The next thing she did was double check her supplies; her money was secure, her school I.D. card was tucked into the wallet, she had a spare jacket and an umbrella in case of sudden weather changes, and she'd packed a small lunch for herself. After a few moments of staring at the pack thoughtfully, she ran to grab a small notebook and a few writing utensils.
Then she said goodbye to her parents as calmly as she could, and tried to keep the guilty look off her face when she walked straight past her school and the Crawley Library Branch, in the direction of the bus station. She was going to London and she absolutely refused to mess things up.
For Harry, his ninth year of life had heralded many changes, which all ranged from the one event that he (secretly, in the farthest depths of his mind, where Hawthorne would never be able to catch onto the thoughts) considered the best thing he'd done in his life: not-really-accidentally almost-killing himself by trying to burn down his teacher's office.
The first and most obvious change was Hawthorne's presence. The green eyed boy still wasn't quite sure what his spectre-like companion was; supposedly, he was some kind of friend and guardian that came out of the shadows because Harry wished for him. There was more to the explanation, but it wasn't anything he quite understood, so he stuck with the 'friend and guardian' part. Harry didn't know what kind of guardians lived in the back of your mind and had the ability to take over your body, but he supposed that he couldn't complain anyways. It was what he'd wanted, after all.
Of course, having Hawthorne around meant that he had reluctantly promised to act like a model student as much as possible from then on. Luckily, his sudden turn around left teachers and classmates alike completely wary of him, and the better he did, the more they backed away.
The second change was two-part: he now knew about the existence of wizards, and as a consquence, the Dursleys were terrified of him. Apparently his 'not-accident' had been big enough to have more than a few of them lingering around Little Whinging for quite some time afterward. Even though he should've had his memory erased more than a few times at this point, something about Hawthorne's presence made the spell useless on him. And his aunt and uncle had retained their memories, and now knew that somewhere inside of him, the ability to burn down an entire school spontaneously was hidden.
It meant that he was left alone virtually all the time, and he'd been given his own room in the hopes that he wouldn't try to burn down the house because he disliked the cupboard. They left him to eat on his own, whenever they weren't in the kitchen, and he was never bothered about chores again. It gave him a lot of room and a lot of free time to do things he would never have been allowed to do otherwise, much to Hawthorne's dismay.
One such thing was randomly making his way to London, because there was supposedly a Wizarding Center there.
/This cannot possibly be a good idea... Honestly, the last thing Hawthorne wanted was for his danger-prone charge to get his hands on anything magical, especially without any supervision. He'd never met anyone, let alone a nine year old, that attracted as much trouble as Harry did so effortlessly; considering how long he'd been 'alive,' that was saying quite a bit.
Harry glanced to his side, where the spectre was standing. He still felt inordinately pleased every time he caught sight of Hawthorne's transluscent figure next to him. He hadn't even realized how lonely he was until, suddenly, he had somebody he could talk to about anything and everything, no matter the time of day or night. And even though it was rare that he followed Hawthorne's instructions, he really did appreciate the spirit's presence.
"It's a great idea," the boy replied quietly, nudging up his glasses on his nose. "I can finally see something other than Surrey and expand my horizons. I'm going to be finding out more about my roots. Maybe I'll even make a friend, finally, so you can stop worrying about that too." He didn't have to look to know that Hawthorne was wearing a skeptical expression. It was a normal occurrence whenever Harry tried to justify doing things that he really ought not be doing.
/Right. Expanding horizons, finding out about your roots, and making friends? I'll admit to the first point, but you don't even know where in London you're going. I'm not even going to try and imagine your attempts at making friends.
His words should probably have stung, but privately, Harry agreed with him... But only privately. "I'll know where I'm going when I get there," he protested as the bus went over a bumpy patch of road. "And I can make friends just fine." Keeping friends was an entirely different matter, of course. But then, he'd never had much incentive for that before.
/Which means that you have no destination at all, not really. And the day you make and keep a friend for more than a few minutes is the day I willingly show you how to curse in Arabic. He was a bit guilty, when it came to the latter. Harry was frustrating to deal with once he'd gotten an idea in his head and Hawthorne had a mouth that was better suited for adult company.
Ironically, it was only a few moments later when Hawthorne looked at his charge's face and realized that he'd given the boy an idea. /...Damn it.
"I consider that a promise," Harry spoke. Then, without further adieu, he stood up and walked to the back of the bus he was on, where a girl had gotten on just a few stops before. She had large hazel eyes and wild brown hair, along with the countenance of a frightened rabbit. Her eyes only grew larger when Harry climbed into the seat next to her. "Hello, my name is Harry. This is my first time going to London all on my own. I noticed that you were all alone, and you look a bit nervous too, so I thought I could come over. Is it your first time going to London as well?"
Hermione beamed at the scruffy looking boy sitting next to her, and offered him her hand. "It is! My name is Hermione. I really am nervous, because I've never traveled on my own before, and, well," she broke off, blushing, before offering hesitantly, "I didn't tell my parents where I was going and I'm a bit afraid that I'll get in trouble for it when I go back home."
/...I don't believe this.
Hah! Well you should've! Harry shook her hand and grinned back. "I didn't say anything when I left either, but I don't think my aunt and uncle noticed. It'll be fine anyways. So why are you going to London?"
The bushy haired girl hesitated, wondering if she should tell, and then decided that it wouldn't hurt. Maybe he could help? "Well..."
Sometimes, Ryou wondered why he even kept his cellphone. It was old, and clunky, and he rarely even used it unless he was ordering food on a lazy evening or bored enough to mash random numbers and see if they actually connected to someone. The contacts in it were important, but he'd written those numbers down ages ago. Although... He supposed that some stupid, childish part of him was still waiting for his father to call. He didn't know why. His father had only called once, and he'd hung up before Ryou could even answer. It had probably been an accidental call.
/This is the perfect opportunity to go purchase a new one. Preferably one that would actually fit in your pocket. With a new number./
Three years, and Bakura was still pushing for him to disappear completely. The spirit just couldn't understand why Ryou still let the bank statements go to his father, especially since they inevitably showed exactly how and where each bit of money was spent, whether it be on plane tickets or hotel rooms. He'd been in a foul mood when Ryou paid for the hotel rooms with his credit card, mostly because it was England, and that meant that Ian Bakura finally could find them if he wanted to, just by looking at the papers.
/It's not as if anyone ever calls you, yadonushi./
Almost as if it were spiting the spirit, a shrill ringing noise suddenly broke the silence of the hotel room. Ryou panicked, briefly, until he realized exactly what was ringing. "H-hello?" He stuttered out after finally finding and answering the phone.
"You picked up! It worked! Oh, I'm so happy!" The voice on the other end of the line, a young female, sounded vaguely familiar. "I can't believe this! Oh, I'm rambling aren't I? Hello! You're at the Comfort Inn, right? Near Charing Cross Road?"
"Excuse me? How do you know that? Who am I speaking to?" The white haired teen was confused and more than a little bit bothered. Do I have a stalker? I can't have a stalker, right? Who would want to stalk me? There's no point to that!
"Oh, um, well, I can't tell you that. But can you please come down anyways? Um, to the... Um... Oh be quiet, you! What else am I supposed to say to him? I bet you couldn't do better!" The last part seemed to be directed to someone else. Then there was a series of strange sounds, before the voice on the other end of the line changed to that of a young male. "You're a good person, right? I'm sure you wouldn't leave a small ten year old girl by herself in London. All you need to do is come to the diner across the street from your hotel, and we can resolve this peacefully. I'm not sure my patience will hold out very long, so... You have three minutes."
And then the line hung up.
Ryou stared at the phone for a moment, bewildered and somewhat panicked. What in the world was that about? Who could possibly be wanting to meet him? Who was the little girl on the line? Was she really being threatened?
/Yadonushi, don't you dare go down there! It's none of our business and we have other things to do today! I need to get into that library!/
"There's a little girl that might be in some kind of trouble Bakura, I can't just pretend that nothing is happening." Really, he didn't even have a choice, when he thought of it that way. He couldn't just leave her there. "It is my business, they called me, and the library will still be there on Monday! A life is more important than some books you've been waiting to scour."
/Damnit!/ As the spirit broke off into low, dangerous mutters and Ryou exited the hotel at a fast-paced walk, he knew that his decision to go against Bakura was going to come back to bite him in the ass. If there was one thing the thief absolutely couldn't stand from him, it was outright disobedience. He would be in pain sometime in the near future. He was just hoping that whatever he was walking into wouldn't be painful in itself.
As it turned out, it wasn't pain he was in for. He knew that the moment he walked into the diner and caught sight of the girl standing near a table in the back. For a second, his heart almost stopped; but then he realized that the person he was looking at was far too young and had far too English features to be Amane. But her wild brown hair was familiar, even though it curled, and she had the same set of eyes he saw in the mirror every day.
Even the way she ran at him, screaming happily, was painfully familiar.
"It's you! It's you, it's you, it's you! I can't believe it! I've wanted to meet you for so long! Big brother!" Tackling strangers for hugs simply wasn't something she did, but Hermione had never been so excited before in her life. "You look just like I always imagined you would!" And then, she was crying, for no reason that she could figure out. "I've always wanted a big brother!"
I... Ryou was overwhelmed.
It took some pursuasion, but Harry was finally coerced into staying after Hermione calmed down and introduced him to her completely bewildered older brother who she'd apparently never met before in her life. It felt strange to be sitting at the table and eating even as the brown haired girl that he'd only met half an hour ago began spilling out details of her life and asking questions about the other boy that he really shouldn't have been privy to. Still, he wasn't going to turn down free food, and he was admittedly very curious about the white-haired teen.
Or rather, he was curious about the shadowy being hovering over the teen's left shoulder and looking somewhere between put-out and disbelieving at everything going on. It was talking, as well, but the words sounded like quiet murmurs to his ears. Harry was fairly sure that the boy, Ryou, knew about it being there, but Hermione couldn't see it, and neither could Hawthorne when he asked. Of course, Hawthorne could never see most of the things that Harry saw. Nobody ever did, but he was used to that.
"...and Daddy is just a scaredy cat, because he keeps a picture of you and these birth certificates and all these bills and statements and when it rains outside he just sits there looking sad and I think it might make him happy if you would come to see him but I would hate to push you when I just found you and I'm a bit angry because I had to do all this just to meet you when he could find you on his own and I met Amane but I don't think she likes me because we have different mothers which made me sad and you're going to be my big brother and not disappear again and leave me all alone, right?" It seemed that Hermione could ramble with the best of them, especially when she was excited.
Harry couldn't help but sidle closer to the girl when the shadowy figure reared up and almost hissed at her, looking angry. Immediately after he did that, though, it focused on him with a piercing gaze. I guess it figured out that I could see it, he thought.
"I'm a very busy person, Hermione. I've finished my schooling, but there are still many things I need to do on my own," Ryou spoke quietly. He had proven to be a very gentle, soft-spoken person, and he tended to look at Hermione like he couldn't believe she existed, or as if she was the first light he'd seen after several months in the darkness. "And I don't believe your parents would be very happy about you associating with me." Something about his tone made it seem like he wasn't far off from crying, even though his expression was placid.
Hermione seemed like she really would cry at his gentle denials. For the first time since his brief introduction, Harry spoke up, "It's not like you have to move in with her. Can't you just send her letters or email? And you have a phone; she could call you. I mean, she's spent the last three years trying to find out about you and meet you. That counts for something, right? You seem like you'd be a good big brother."
Ryou wanted to deny her, but looking at the little girl across from him, he already knew resistance was futile. I want a family so badly... He'd never even dreamed that he might one day meet his little sister, and certainly not that she would actually seek him out. It was insane to think that all this time, there had been someone out there who actually wanted him. He shot a glance to his side, a pleading look on his face. This wasn't something he could go against Bakura on, but if he would just acquiese...
The spirit growled slightly, but he'd known from the moment the girl introduced herself that he wouldn't be getting his way at the end of things. /Whatever. Do what you want./ If nothing else, the girl was obviously extremely intelligent, possibly moreso than her older brother. It was always good to have intelligent contacts.
The sudden smile on Ryou's face was almost blinding. "I've always wanted to be an older brother."
Hermione smiled brightly as well.
Harry noticed that another hugging moment was probably about to start, and decided that he'd put off his exploring to help Hermione for long enough. "Well, that's awesome. You can trade emails and phone numbers, have fun, all that good stuff; I'm gonna go now." He stood quickly, hoping to get a move on before the other child could latch onto his arm and keep him there again.
Ryou nodded. "Of course..." His words trailed off as Hermione all but lunged at Harry for a hug, the sudden motion making the boy's fringe fly upward. "Harry Potter?" He asked, suddenly wide eyed.
/Her brother's a wizard? You just happened to run into a wizard? I don't fucking believe this! Hawthorne exclaimed from the back of his mind.
Harry blinked, shifted Hermione away, and then grinned at the boy. "So you're a wizard? Then you can show me to where I want to go!"
Hermione was confused. "Wait, what? Wizards?"
A/N: Is this the part where you acknowledge how AU this is going to be? Because seriously, I have no idea what actually happens in the Yu-Gi-Oh! series besides the most major events. And even those are vague...
And. Um. Is a T rating still acceptable? I think it is...