"...And I can now say with one hundred percent certainty that the events of this morning were not caused by Kaiba Corp technology."
It had only been a couple of hours since he'd returned from the World of the Pharaoh's Memories and picked his brother up from the hospital, but he was already in the middle of a press conference.
He'd been tempted to drag Atem in to deal with this since this was technically his mess, but the Pharaoh had no standing in Kaiba Corp and Seto very much doubted he'd get anything intelligent out of him at the moment anyway. No. He didn't need Atem, not for this. He'd never need the Pharaoh for this.
Kaiba Corp was his. He and he alone had fought so hard to rebuild it from the ashes of his father's weapon manufacturers. The day he needed someone's help protecting it from the press was the day he considered looking for someone to take over.
Even as he took questions he was already wondering how bad a hit his company was going to take for this. Share holders were already selling as fast as they could get away with. The company would crash if he couldn't stop the downwards spiral it had already started.
"But Mr Kaiba, if your holographic projectors weren't to blame then what was?"
"Mr Kaiba, does the 'Pharaoh' who unleashed those... creatures on the world, work for you?"
Seto scowled at the last reporter. Even if Atem had worked for him, it wasn't the Pharaoh who had released the Shadows, nor would Seto admit if Atem did or had. Besides, the reporter in question had a Duel Monster, a Tuned Magician, who hadn't left her side the entire time. She should have known more of the full story then the others.
Of course there was always the option of putting the blame squarely on the shoulders of the one who had caused all of this trouble.
"As I'm sure your Duel Monster could inform you, it wasn't the 'Pharaoh' who released the darkness. I happened to be there when the Shadows, as they are called, were released. A lot of people died trying to stop Bakura Malfoy from freeing them."
That, of course, opened up a whole new bunch of questions along the lines of 'what happened to free the 'Shadows'?' as well as 'who is Bakura Malfoy?' and 'where did this all happen?'.
Seto, refusing to answer anyone who shouted out, just as he always had, scowled slightly as he watched the Tuned Magician whisper something in the reporter's ear, only for her to nod to her magician and raise her hand.
"Mikazi?" Kaiba asked when her hand didn't fall.
"Is it true that one of the Mutou twins is the Pharaoh that the Duel Monsters spoke of and that one of them nearly died while trying to prevent 'Bakura' from setting this morning's Attack in progress?"
Seto forced himself to think quickly. There wasn't much point to denying a simple truth. Every Duel Monster he'd met knew of the Mutou twins, in fact Geki had told Mokuba the tales that were told about them. He somehow doubted that the Duel Monsters who were now at their Duellists' sides were keeping back the tales that Geki had been so proud of.
What the press didn't need to know was that Atem was a Pharaoh from over five thousand years ago and that Yugi was his reincarnation, not from him at least.
"Yes, it's true that one of the Mutou twins is the Pharaoh, and before you ask, I can't tell you which one because I'm not certain of that myself," After Yugi's stunt this morning and Joey's explanation, he was finally beginning to believe that, for all their differences, they were, as they had always claimed, two halves of the same whole, "However both of them nearly died this morning while stopping the Attack."
He raised his hand before there could be any more questions. "I have already paid for the best medical treatment available and you will not find them at their home, so there is no point camping outside their house. If and when they are recovered enough to deal with the press, I will hold another press conference."
He was being overly dramatic and he was fully aware that Yugi and the Pharaoh would be 'ill amused' with him, but they could shout at him later. They had plenty of opportunities to do so considering that he'd moved everyone under the age of twenty four into his mansion for the time being.
He'd never realised before this afternoon how crowded the flat above the shop was. He'd always assumed there was enough room for everyone because he'd never been there. He had just never had the time. He'd only gone there today because Mokuba had wanted to see that everyone was all right with his own eyes.
Until today he hadn't known that there were seven people (eleven now Luna was Solomon's ward, another thing Bakura wasn't around to answer for. Hermione needed to stay close to her friends and her parents had refused to leave the flat while Hermione was still there) living in what was essentially a three person flat. Of course they'd tried to make arrangements to fit everyone.
Yugi, Atem and Joey had been going to squeeze into Yugi's room, Solomon, Mr Dr Granger and Yugi's father in the small store room that had been converted into 'Yami's room' and the five women, Ombre, Luna, Hermione, Mrs Dr Granger and Yugi's mother in the main bedroom.
They could have put extension charms on the flat, but there still would have been between three and five in a room, since there weren't any closets they could use to make new ones. Expansion charms didn't go on for eternity, at best they could only double the size of a room and they were expensive to maintain.
Not that Seto would have minded paying the cost, but he didn't see the point when they were family and he had enough rooms in the mansion to host thirty Clan members, or at least it felt like it.
At least at the mansion his Doctor, the same Muggle one that had treated them at the ruins of the Capsule Monsters game, could actually get to his patients, unlike at the Shop.
"But Mr Kaiba..." The reporter trailed off when a purple robed Dark Magician appeared next to the podium out of thin air.
"Mahado." Seto nodded to the Duel Monster before turning to the reporters, "This press conference is over."
His security moved to block off the reporters from following as he and the Dark Magician left the room and headed for the lift.
"I take it you being here means the Pharaoh woke up." Seto commented as they stepped into the lift, then paused, his finger midway to the button to his floor as he realised that he'd started thinking of Atem as 'the Pharaoh' and trying to work out when that had happened.
"No, the Pharaoh's still sleeping. I doubt he'll wake till tomorrow at the earliest." The Dark Magician shook his head, "I came because I needed to speak with you and Kisara passed on a message that you needed an excuse to get out of that conference."
Seto snorted as he pressed the button, semi amused at the thought of his dragon helping him get away from the vultures who would now extrapolate from what he'd said, gather some information from Duellists and what little they'd be able to gather from talking to anyone who had any sort of contact with Yugi and the others and come up with something completely false.
"Explain." Seto waved for the Dark Magician to continue as the lift started moving, semi surprised that the Pharaoh's most loyal priest wanted to speak to him of all people.
"You were at Kul Elna."
And suddenly it made sense. Seto had guessed that the place had been important during Atem's time, but he hadn't been there long enough to find out why. "I was."
"How much do you know?"
That was a loaded question. He could get the information he'd been after, why Bakura had been torturing Atem when he'd gotten to the ruined village, why something in the village had been weighing down on them, why the spirits of Kul Elna had been so furious at the priests...
But at the same time if it had been important for all the wrong reasons, Mahado would be unlikely to tell him anything and a wrong question could land him in the Dark Magician's bad books.
But when had that ever scared him?
"Enough to want some answers." Seto replied, watching the way the Dark Magician was stood, the small unconscious gestures that had been reawakened with the memories that five thousand years had washed away, "The Millennium Items were created there, weren't they? That was what that stone Bakura was trying to protect was."
"Yes." Mahado nodded, waiting for more from the CEO, having wondered if these thoughts had been travelling through Seto's mind and wanting to speak to him before he spoke to the others, "They were."
Seto nodded and considered everything he'd seen. Mahado obviously wanted to talk about something important, so there was more to this visit than just that. Then the picture came together in Seto's head. The rage of the spirits, the dark aura around the village, Bakura's hatred of the Pharaoh.
"How many died when they were created?" Seto asked. There was no point judging, not now. The Millennium Items had been created so long ago that there was no way anyone could do anything about it. His only questions were how many and had it been Atem that had ordered their deaths?
"Ninety nine. Ninety nine lives to save the entire country. Bakura was the only survivor. The Pharaoh's Uncle thought it was worth it and never gave the crown a chance to say no."
And in those times the son inherited the sins of the father. Still, unless he was going after the Pharaoh's son because it had been Pharaoh's men who had committed the crimes, Bakura's five thousand year old grudge had been aimed at the wrong reincarnation. Instead of chasing Yugi, he should have been hunting Seto...
"The Pharaoh knows, Yugi probably does too, since he got a copy of all his memories from his past life. The others, except us," Mahado indicated himself and Seto, "Have no idea."
"It should stay that way." Seto nodded, hearing the question beneath Mahado's words. He understood. Five thousand years ago the sacrifice of a few for the lives of the many would have been, if not right, at least acceptable, but what was allowable changed over the course of time and the others would never understand that the Millennium Items had been needed.
Mahado let out a soft sigh of relief. He'd been worried that Seto would inform the others of what had happened. He should have realised that the CEO would probably be the most reasonable about this whole thing.
"Go home and rest." Seto surprised the Dark Magician by saying, "You and the Pharaoh," Seto internally grimaced as he realised that he was going to keep calling Atem that if he didn't do something about it, "Are going to have a lot to talk about and I doubt the Monster World's any quieter then here."
"You have no idea." Mahado muttered under his breath, "Look after them for me. I'll be back shortly."
"They're my family, Mahado." Seto replied with a short nod, his headache beginning to return. He needed another cup of coffee, "Of course I'll look after them."
Mahado nodded and disappeared just in time for Seto's PA to find them.
"Mr Kaiba, sir? There's someone from the Ministry of Magical Japan to speak with you?"
Seto let out a soft snort. He was just glad he'd managed to get at least one press conference out before they'd pounced on him, "Where?"
The International Confederation of Wizards was having its first major meeting in five years.
There were representatives from almost all of the major European countries and all of them were shouting at the Supreme Mugwump about his inability to stick to The Plan.
When they'd first found out about the Shadow Wielders, there had been fear, suspicion, even anger that someone outside of their world could wield a magic so powerful that it could negate and obliterate their own.
And so the plan had been formed.
The original plan A had been simple. The Shadow Act that would have been passed would have called for the deaths of anyone shown to have access to or have been touched by Shadow Magic.
Then there had been an amendment. The Supreme Mugwump had offered another, more peaceful solution.
He would get the Shadow Wielders to join his school and take them under his wing. There he would be able to watch and control their actions. If they followed him, the Lord of the Light, the Defeater of Grindlewald, then they were far less likely to attempt to destroy the world of the wand users and, if aided properly, even guided away from their dark powers, back to the light.
And so the new Shadow Act had passed and Dumbledore, via the judicious use of compulsions, manipulation and monetary offerings to various people, including those within the Ministry of Magical Japan, who had been against taking the group out of Japan and had been dealing with it in their own way until they'd had to bow to international pressure, had gotten the wielders of the most dangerous magic in the history of the world to join his school.
And now the Original Shadow Wielders had done it anyway.
Unleashed the darkness the entire council had feared upon the world.
Those from the ICoW had already been making plans to usurp Dumbledore after he'd lost control of the Ring Holder and his guardian ghost (who should have been sent to the afterlife, either via the death of his host or by being sent through the veil, as soon as he'd become public knowledge) were in uproar now.
They had only passed the amendment because Dumbledore had promised that he could keep control of those he'd Confounded into his school. Now, not only had he lost control of the situation, not only had the world almost been destroyed by darkness, as they'd feared would happen since discovering the Millennium Items, but there were Muggles who had suddenly developed similar but weaker powers like those the item holders held, the power to summon creatures from the Realm of Shadows.
Now, because Dumbledore had lost control, instead of just six Shadow Wielders, who they could have dealt with, they had thousands, possibly more, Shadow-Touched Muggles to deal with and if they started wiping them out, they would start a war with the Muggle world.
Of course there was one way to repress those who had come into their powers suddenly without resorting to genocide, a word that none of them liked.
Put the original six, Yugi Mutou, Joey Wheeler, Seto Kaiba, Mokuba Kaiba, Ryou Bakura and Rebecca Hawkins, on trial.
They'd need extradition orders for all of the Shadow Wielders who lived abroad, which included the main ring leaders, and find those who had fled England the moment that the Shadows had invaded the world.
There were others who had been trained by the original Shadow Wielders, others they were thinking of putting on trial, six more in fact.
The Boy-Who-Lived, who should never have been allowed to mingle with such Dark Wizards and was tainted by his bond to the Puzzle Holders, four members of the Weasley family, a Pure-Blood family from England and a Muggle-Born witch named Granger.
The four Shadow-Touched Weasleys were hiding and while they could have demanded Mr. Potter's and Ms. Granger's return a year ago, their induction to the 'Domino Clan' gave them sanctuary in Japan as a citizen of the country, should they seek it.
The crimes against wizarding kind, especially the breech of the International Statute of Secrecy, were great and someone had to pay for it. The question was who. In theory the International Confederation of Wizards, whose rules governed magical Europe, had no jurisdiction over something that had triggered in Japan.
However the wizards who had triggered the Attack were, as Domino Clan members, citizens of not only Japan, but England, America and Egypt too. Meaning that the ICoW had some, not much, considering that only one of those countries were within their borders, but some jurisdiction over what happened because of their actions.
Not only that, but the Attack hadn't just happened in Japan. It hadn't just changed Japanese muggles. It had affected the entire world. Something had to be done and someone had to pay for the crime of revealing magic to the world.
The arguments went on late into the night, but, at five minutes past nine CEST a decision was made.
The Original six Shadow Wielders, and their other selves would face trial for their crimes against the wizarding world and, when... if found guilty would be sentenced to death.
Now all they had to do was get them extradited from Japan...
It was only six o'clock in the morning and Mokuba was already up and watching television.
Yesterday's press conference had been shown repeatedly on all the news channels right through the night, along with videos of the Attack. Mokuba had known it was bad, when he'd come around he'd helped defend the Hospital after all, but he hadn't realised how bad it had gotten.
Seto had told him about what had happened inside the Shadow Game, but it was pretty hard to believe that all of this had been the result of Bakura's actions during it, even for him and he had more clue as to what the Shadows could do.
That wasn't what he was watching for though. What he was watching for was the bulletin that his brother and the Ministry of Magical Japan had sent out an hour ago, after the International Confederate of Wizards had started demanded the extradition of those Clan members who originated from Japan, as well as 'Mr Potter' and 'Miss Granger'.
Of course the Japanese Ministry had turned around and told them where to stick it within the hour.
Oh they'd been polite about it, reminded them that the Shadows had been disseminated by Bakura Malfoy, not any of those who were currently alive and well in Japan, and they had even gone so far as to offer Bakura Malfoy up, but the ICow had no interest in a dead scapegoat, they wanted a living one that they could put all the blame on and execute to get some sort of control over the situation.
And so his Brother and the Japanese Ministry had come up with a solution that would probably tick off a lot of people, but would firmly cement the idea that Yugi and the others were heroes and Bakura was the villain in people's minds before the ICoW could do anything.
Personally while Mokuba was glad Seto had come up with something quickly, after all he was counted among those 'original Shadow Wielders' simply by dint of having been touched by Shadow Magic before they'd gone to Hogwarts, he wasn't sure that this wasn't at least partially Atem's fault.
If the Pharaoh hadn't gone to the museum, then Bakura wouldn't have been unable to summon Zorc.
Mokuba's train of thoughts derailed as the Kaiba Corp logo came back up on screen. The second press conference was about to start then.
"News just breaking, we go live to the CEO of Kaiba Corp, who, yesterday afternoon, denied that his company had anything to do with the Attack that struck worldwide," And of course they'd focus on that, "And who is answering questions about the press release that was sent out just an hour ago..."
With that it cut to the press room of Kaiba Corp, where Seto, backed up by a pair of rather large security guards, with both the Muggle Prime Minister and the Speaker for Magical Japan, who was the Japanese equivalent of the English Ministry's Minister of Magic but who had to answer to the Diet (the Japanese parliament) were about to start.
Mokuba would have been there with them - Seto had, after all, been refusing to let him out of his sight - if the Speaker hadn't assigned three of his best Shiragiku, the Japanese equivalent of Aurors, to Mokuba's safety. Even then Seto had only done it because Mokuba had wanted to keep an eye on the others, who were still asleep upstairs.
Not that they hadn't been lucky with the healers that had been assigned to them. In fact Mokuba was rather looking forward to when Joey woke up.
"Before any of you ask, the Mutou twins are still recovering from their injuries and will not be coming this morning." The CEO told the reporters, "However there are many rumours flying around that need to be stopped."
Mokuba could hear the disgruntled murmurs but Seto ignored them.
"I am fully aware that all of you want information on what happened yesterday morning that triggered the Attack. After getting all the information available, I can now tell you almost exactly what happened…"
The clock was chiming eight o'clock when Joey stirred from his slumber, though his sleep addled brain wasn't sure if it was am or pm even though sunlight poured through the window.
He'd managed to stay awake long enough to help move everyone from the shop to Kaiba's Mansion but, after he'd helped everyone get settled, the combination of the three hour Shadow Game, losing over half his life energy in one shot and carrying his friends around had sent him deep into dream land.
Not that he would have woken up when he had if it hadn't been for the voices in his room.
He blinked at the group gathered, comparing notes, one of whom was in a lab coat, the other two in medical robes. One of whom he knew.
"Serenity?" He asked, sitting up slowly, his head spinning.
"Joey? You're awake?" Serenity darted over to his bed, dropping her notes on the table beside him, and hugging him.
"Hey, hey, easy sis." Joey murmured, hugging her in return and rubbing her back when he realised she was sobbing, "I'm all right."
"I thought... when the Shadows came..." She hiccupped, tears soaking the t-shirt he'd thrown on before collapsing into bed, "You... and then the Ministry..."
"The Ministry?" Joey warily asked the older witch who was watching the scene with a combination of bemusement and irritation, having not thought about what the Ministry of Magic would say to them over what had happened.
"I'm Healer Akata Yuna. I'm assuming you know my Apprentice, Wheeler Serenity." Joey nodded as the older witch spoke, "The Ministry for Magical Japan has assigned us to the cases of you and your friends. We're working in connection with your regular Doctor," She gestured towards the Muggle Doctor, Dr. Hoshigawa, who Joey knew far too well, "In order to provide the best treatment we can." She snorted slightly, "I should ask for another pair to be assigned. I should have guessed that Wheeler Serenity and Wheeler Joseph were siblings."
"Don't." Joey shook his head, "I'll behave. Besides there's nothing wrong with me that a four course meal won't solve." Joey flexed his muscles when his sister pulled away, looking embarrassed in front of her mentor, both at her actions and her brother's posturing, "How are the others?" He asked as he attempted to get out of bed.
"Serenity, would you go inform the butler that Wheeler-San is awake and requires a large meal?" Healer Akata asked. Serenity nodded and darted out the door.
"Since when did I rate a Wheeler-San from anyone?" Joey asked, confused, having never been treated with a huge amount of respect by anyone outside his group of friends and even that was rare. His friends were too fond of poking each other's egos to act respectful, even towards those who were much smarter or more powerful in their group.
"When you help save the world your standing goes up." Dr Hoshigawa joked, knowing the blonde's humour rather well, only to see Joey's shoulders sink.
"How many people know about...?" He trailed off when Serenity re-entered the room and offered him the newspaper she'd grabbed on her way back in. Just reading the headline was enough to cause him to groan, his face a picture of semi-amused concern, "We're in trouble."
"Actually, thanks to the Ministry and Kaiba-San, you're not." Serenity shook her head as she started to do all the necessary checks under the watchful eye of her mentor, "They already released a press statement announcing that the 'Pharaoh' lives and Bakura Malfoy was the one who caused all the destruction."
Joey stared at her, unsure if he'd actually woken up or whether he was dreaming.
"Of course there are going to be those who don't believe what they're being told but..." Healer Akata trailed off at Joey's confused look. "I can get Kaiba Mokuba to come up and tell you what his brother's been up to if you like?"
"Can't I get out of bed yet Doc?" Joey begged, feeling fine except for the hunger.
Dr. Hoshigawa and Healer Akata looked at each other and muttered to each other before nodding and making up their minds.
"Apprentice Healer Wheeler." Dr Hoshigawa turned to Serenity, "Please take Wheeler-San down to the front living room and then join us in Granger-San's room."
"How is 'Mione?" Joey asked, concerned for his friend.
"She should be okay." Serenity answered as she turned away from him so he could get dressed and the other two left the room. "It was touch and go for a while, but we managed to stabilise her."
"What?" Joey demanded, midway through doing up his trousers and wheeling around to face her.
"Her soul wasn't stable." Serenity informed him, wincing slightly at her brother's tone but not turning around, "And I have no idea how she was still alive considering she had nothing left. We gave her an powerful energy restorative which pushed her back into the stable zone but we don't know when she'll wake up."
Joey scowled as he tapped his sister on her shoulder, having had no idea Hermione had been that badly off. She turned around to find him fully dressed. "What about the others?" He asked as she led him out into the corridor where there were several doors, all with pieces of paper taped to them with names on.
"Kaiba-San's in work." Serenity said as they passed the CEO's door, "Kaiba Mokuba's downstairs. Lovegood's with Potter, who is still sleeping off yesterday's summons..."
"When did Harry get here?" Joey asked with a frown.
"Sometime yesterday afternoon. Mutou-Sensei sent him and Valentine Mai over the moment they got to the shop, but kept Black Sirius at the shop. Valentine Mai returned to the shop this morning to give Mutou –Sensei a hand."
Joey nodded, understanding and hoping to get a chance to speak with Mai at some point soon, "And Yugi and Yami... I mean Atem?"
"The Pharaoh's just exhausted. A good night's sleep, maybe two, and he'll be fine." Serenity said, then her head turned towards Yugi's door, a look of concern crossing her face, "Yugi was in almost as bad a state as Hermione. An energy restorative pushed him back into the safe zone, but his energy is slower to recover then Granger-San's. We think it's because he's trying to support Potter-san and the Pharaoh even though he's got very little left himself, and we don't know how to block the link to stop him doing it."
"Typical Yuge." Joey sighed. "Ask Atem when he wakes up, he'll be able to close the link off so Yugi won't drain himself any further." Serenity nodded at his remark. "Where's Ombre?" Joey asked, noting that there was a door for her but it was wide open and the bed looked untouched.
"Granger-San's room. She refused to leave so we set up a camp bed in Granger-San's room for her." What Serenity didn't tell her brother was that Ombre had pretty much been banned from working in the shop until she'd had at least two day's rest.
Joey nodded and darted over to Hermione's door, knocking on it and waiting until he heard a muffled "Come in" before entering.
Inside the room the Doctors were just checking Hermione's charts and Ombre was in the process of getting up.
"Breakfast?" Joey asked Ombre, not looking as she pulled on pair of shorts and watched the Healer cast a much more complicated version of the diagnostic spell they had been taught. She frowned slightly as she caught a glimpse of the lights that floated in midair and shook her head. "Want me to bring breakfast to you?"
The spirit of the Orb of Light shook her head, too concerned for the teen on the bed. Joey let out a soft sigh. He understood why Ombre was worried, he didn't like to think about how close Hermione had come to dying and slightly ticked off with Seto for leaving her alone after they'd paired off, however he didn't know why Ombre was so reluctant to let Hermione out of her sight.
"Go and eat, Wheeler-San." Dr Hoshigawa practically ordered him out of the room, "We'll look after your friends."
Joey nodded, making a mental note to bring Ombre some food anyway since he was fully aware that it wasn't a good idea to let her get to the point where she was living off of her magic alone, and headed downstairs with his sister.
"You should..." The Healer trailed off when the Doctor put his hand on her arm and shook his head. He'd been treating the group for so long he knew them all rather well. Wheeler would bring Ironhide food, even if she told him not to. The blonde had done many times before.
"Ironhide-San." The Doctor turned to Ombre, "In all the fuss yesterday, I didn't get time to talk to you." He pulled a white envelope, which was decorated with black and silver kanji, out of his coat pocket and offered it to Ombre, "Please accept my condolences on the death of your sister. She was a lovely woman and she'll be missed."
"I thank you." Ombre replied quietly as she took the envelope, which, she knew, would have a monetary offering in, feeling like she'd suffered a heavy defeat. She had promised her fallen quasi-hikari that she would look after the girl on the bed and Hermione had nearly died. She hadn't been able to protect Kari and now she was failing Hermione. In her opinion she was obviously a very poor guardian. She never seemed to be where she was needed.
The Doctor nodded to her and turned back to their patient. There wasn't much else he could do for Ironhide Ombre, she was, after all, healthy physically and magically. Healer Akata watched the interaction and then made a note to question her colleague further, since he obviously knew the group they were treating rather well.
"Akata-Sempai, is this your cat?" Ombre as she bent down to pet the tabby cat that was wrapping itself around her legs, pausing when she noticed that the cat's tail was split down the middle, "You're not a normal cat..." Ombre growled, her Orb already glowing as she prepared to defend herself, Hermione and the doctors from this creature.
"Easy, Ironhide-San." Healer Akata said with a soft sigh as Ombre yelped as a flame appeared in front of her face and the cat darted under the bed, "That's Akane. She's one of the Shiragiku assigned to Kaiba-San's mansion."
"Shira..." Ombre trailed off as the Orb's light died down. "Oh..." She considered the gap under the bed where the cat was glowering at her from under it, "Sorry."
The cat responded by padding out from under the bed and giving Ombre a most disgruntled look before shapeshifting into a human woman with shoulder length black hair and amber eyes who at worst could be described as pretty and, if Ombre was right, would catch the attention of the guys when they saw her.
"Maybe you should ask before you throw your magic around." The woman hissed at her, looking irritated.
"I apologise, Akane-San, was it?" Ombre asked. The woman nodded, "I'm Ironhide Ombre."
"I know." Akane told her, looking smug, "I know about all of you. Those tiny fuzzballs are fun to pounce on and they talk nineteen to the dozen."
Ombre frowned, confused as to why the shapeshifter was still in one piece if she'd been pouncing on Kuriboh and where she'd found one to pounce on, "What are you?"
"Surely you've heard of Nekomata?" Akane feigned insult, "After all the 'Princess of Knowledge' should remember what she's been told about my kind."
Just the word Nekomata was enough to have the information tumbling into Ombre's mind. With her hikari gone and Atem's memories returned, she felt no need to pretend that she didn't know how to control the Orb's powers and memory banks, any guilt she had over remembering the lives of hundreds of past holders while Yami had nothing completely gone.
"I remember," Ombre nodded, "But how did you become an Auror? I was under the impression magical creatures couldn't join the Ministry."
"Your English Ministry maybe." Akane practically purred, "But the Japanese Ministry is much more... refined."
Ombre nodded, though she doubted that, unless the Japanese Ministry wasn't beholden to the same laws as the English one, that it was that much different. "Are all of the Shiragiku guarding the mansion like you?" She asked the magical cat.
Akane let out a sharp giggle, one Ombre hoped not to hear very often. "No, I'm the only Nekomata. My partner and his friend are here too though, but they're both human. Very boring. Now if you don't mind..." Akane shifted back into her true form and jumped up onto the desk, before circling for a moment and then settling down on her paws and staring at Ombre.
Which was fine, because the Spirit of the Orb decided she wasn't going to be intimidated by a feline and started staring back, much to the amusement of the healers.
"A hundred yen Akane-San looks away first." Dr Hoshigawa chuckled to his colleague.
"Make that two hundred and you're on."
Author Note: - There you go, the first chapter of Shadow Treaty. If we haven't diverged enough from the books by now, this is the total divergence point. Nothing can run the same anymore so I'm not going to try to make it. This is still crossed with Harry Potter and don't worry, Moldywarts is still going to cause trouble.
However this story is completely different to Rowling's and I have given up pretending otherwise. Welcome to Yugi and Harry and the Shadow Treaty.