This story is set during Order of the Phoenix and after the end of the Yu-gi-oh series.
Waking up screaming is something you get used to, it takes time and even then the nightmares can be vivid and harsh. It was the same for Yugi, four years later he still dreamt it. It was a cruel fate, needing to wake up every night, having seen the most horrible moment in his life. At age twenty-one he should not be required to go to bed every night with that horrible feeling in his stomach. His only comfort was the presence of the soul inside the golden artifact around his neck. Atem was still with him, a small comfort and a bad joke, the only person that was left was the one who should have died that day. It was something Yugi had to live through every night, over and over again.
"Please stop screaming, you'll wake the patrons. There are sleeping potions." The bed he was sleeping in murmured tiredly and yet managed to sound obnoxiously overbearing at the same time.
At that point Yugi was used to his bed's complaints every time he woke up screaming. Not just the complaints of his bed either, but all the chairs in his room in the Leaky Cauldron were always communicating their grievances too. For some reason the furniture had taken a dislike to him. He had a different room at first, room 11, it had contained talking windows and mirrors. The mirrors complained about his hair and the windows about the fact that he always kept the curtains shut. He had soon switched rooms, but it had been to no avail.
He guessed that it was because of the darkness that surrounded him. The magic of the Shadows still obeyed the pharaoh within the puzzle and that darkness left its mark on Yugi too. Atem should have died, definite this time, and the shadows should have gone with him. Yugi had won, the gate had opened … and someone had interfered when they shouldn't have. A man with long white-blonde hair and cold eyes had made sure that the Millennium Items weren't destroyed. He hadn't understood what he did, didn't know the powers he had played with, Yugi was sure of that, but that wasn't what mattered. What mattered was that that man had felt power and had tried to destroy it before it became a threat and by doing so he had saved that very same power he'd wished to exterminate. The only thing he had destroyed was Yugi's peace of mind and the lives of all his friends.
Yugi turned on a lamp and got out of bed, dressed and looked at his watch; it showed 4.45 in the morning. It was too early to go down for breakfast, but he didn't want to go back to sleep. Instead he picked up a book that he had been reading, one of the many he had bought in Diagon Alley. This one was called Curses and Counter-Curses by Professor Vindictus Viridian. He still hadn't found that one particular curse that had done so much damage in such a short amount of time. Then he came to a chapter called 'The Unforgivable Curses'. So far the book had given clear instructions on fairly petty curses, things suitable for a bully, but little else, but this was different. This chapter held no instructions, only warnings.
It recounted three curses, a curse to torture, a curse for obedience and a curse for killing. The so far playful book took a grimmer turn, giving a supercilious lecture on the darker turn curses could take. Yugi barely read it, the only thing he needed was the one sentence that mentioned a green flash. Green flashes was all he dreamt about. The green flash, indictive of the killing curse.
/I think we found it/ Yugi mentally told the transparent spirit sitting on the bed next to him.
Atem merely nodded as he read the text more closely.
"No wonder we didn't understand what was going." Yugi put the book away without waiting for Atem to finish reading.
"Who are you talking to?" the bed muttered, still sounding obnoxious. "Even if you have no desire to sleep, I do."
"Then shut up and sleep!" Yugi said and kicked one of the bed's posts.
The bed just whined a bit about his mistreated post and fell quiet.
Yugi picked up a bag and dug out a notebook while scribbling down the information in Japanese. After everyone had died Yugi had done his best to solve the mystery, to understand what had happened. Everything he discovered, every thought that seemed important he wrote down. He had many notebooks, every page filled with clues and musings. At the very beginning of each and every one of them stood a detailed account of what had happened, Yugi had written it down as soon as he was able to. The very first person the unknown man had tried to kill was Atem, but Atem was already dead, the green flash had only gone through him. He had only barely missed Yugi. The rest were less lucky, them he hadn't missed, the only others he had missed were Ryou and Mokuba. Seto Kaiba's last action in life was shielding his brother from the unknown green flash. An unselfish end to a selfish man's life. Ryou had like Yugi just been lucky. Not once had Yugi shed a tear over the cold and grim story he had written down.
/Yugi, you should allow yourself to grieve properly. You try to distract yourself by trying to find their killer. But once you have properly grieved you will be much more effective./ It wasn't the first time that Atem had told Yugi that but once again Yugi didn't listen.
"I have already grieved. All I can do now is to find the person who killed them. We have gotten this far not by grieving but by doing, by not stopping. Now we've found another clue to what happened, one that brings us significantly closer. I will find him and once I do I will kill him."
/Yugi!/ Atem said shocked. /Don't say that! It's not like you! You're changing Yugi, and it's not to the better./ Atem had killed more than one person in his life, Yugi never had, he wanted to keep it that way. Throughout their mad quest, wherever that had been their only option, Atem had always done it. Atem was sure Yugi hadn't noticed that yet and that to was something he preferred to keep that way.
"I have confidence, I am strong, I am moving towards my goal. I am changing to what I need to be to do this." Yugi snapped at Atem.
/You are ruthless and harsh, you never smile anymore and hunger for vengeance.../
Yugi glared at the transparent being next to him, he had very little patience with Atem anymore. "Sounds familiar?"
Atem drew a deep breath and his scarlet eyes widened. /Yugi!/ Atem was quiet for a while, trying to come up with a good reply. /Yes, you are right. That was me, but it was you that set me on a different path, to make better decisions than that. But as you are now, you wouldn't have, you would have made it worse. You are not a light anymore./
Yugi sighed and looked suddenly much more like the person Atem had known before the massacre than he had for months. "I know. But you were a good person, otherwise, why would you otherwise have sacrificed yourself to save your people?"
Atem smiled a bit but didn't reply; he was just glad that Yugi had calmed down.
/Perhaps you'd better study for your new job, there aren't many days left./ Atem shook his head a bit. /I don't understand how all this has happened us/
"Neither do I", Yugi whispered and picked up Hogwarts: A History by Chronicles Punnet. "I'm becoming a teacher. A teacher at a school teaching magic." Yugi laughed a bit. "Hope I make a better teacher than Chouno", Yugi said with a shiver.
/Yugi, do you remember Ribbon?/ Atem asked Yugi, not happy with the reminder.
"I don't know a Ribbon. At least I don't think so … Oh ... you mean Miho Nosaka. I remember her, that was the girl Tristan had a crush on. We wrote her a puzzle. It's weird though, I nearly don't remember that lesson at all. It was the same day Chouno quit …" Then it dawned on Yugi. The incident with Miho had been before he had realized Atem's presence, when his blackouts were still a frightening and unexplained occurence. Now it made sense. "Atem, what did you do to her?"
/I showed the world her true face/ Atem confessed. His eyes narrowed. /Her looks match her personality now. It's not a pleasant sight./
Yugi laughed lowly. "I don't pity her."
/I know,/ Atem said and it was exactly what troubled him.
"Are you sure of this?" Severus Snape asked Dumbledore. "I understand the idea behind it, but I do not like him. He's dark, perhaps even as dark as the Dark Lord himself." Whilst Severus was quick to come with artistic exagerations, this was something he said in earnesty. He had spent a lot of time with Voldemort, but this darkness was different, darker but less dense.
"Severus", Dumbledore said with a low voice to avoid calling the attention of the rest of the order. "Darkness has many sides. The darkness of this young man comes from loss, much like the darkness you emit yourself. Despite that he is but a simple muggle, why would you need to fear him?"
Severus frowned. "You do not honestly expect me to believe that this person is a mere muggle?"
"Doesn't it all depend on how you interpret the term, Severus?" Albus Dumbledore asked with a faint smile on his lips.
"A muggle is someone who is unable to use magic the way we do", Severus said, not thinking entirely through his words.
"Than he is a muggle by your standards. He didn't even know about the wizarding world until I introduced him to it, so I honestly don't understand why you are so against it, Severus." Dumbledore sat back. The rest of the order kept their distance, both out of respect for Dumbledore and distrust for Snape.
"You are leading him straight into death! The Death Eaters will kill any muggle they'll find inside the castle when they try to get in, I might be the one having to kill him! It started with Bertha Jorkins, and this muggle will be next!" Severus said, feeling frustrated.
"Now, now Severus. Are you starting to care for others now? This muggle might be able to stop many of the student becoming followers of Lord Voldemort. We could save many students by sacrificing one person. But people are rarely as harmless as they seem. I'm not heartless, Severus. I haven't chosen young mister Muto as sacrificial lamb; there is some sort of strength in him which I hope will help us."
Severus glared at the huge fireplace in number twelve Grimmauld Place. He knew that Albus Dumbledore could think in ways not many could: placing the group before the individual, yet Severus Snape was not happy with the attitude the headmaster of Hogwarts had towards people he didn't know. He saw them as weapons rather than people. Severus, knowing what Dumbledore was up to, couldn't help but feel sorry for the new History of Magic teacher despite his immediate dislike of him.
"Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to make sure that Harry does not get expelled from Hogwarts."
The headmaster was ready to leave the house and Apparate when Snape called out, "Dumbledore!"
"What is it Severus?" the headmaster asked looking somewhat impatient.
"What is he like?"
"Do you mean young mister Muto? Why do you want to know?"
"It's just that ... If I do not like him it will be easier for me to watch him being killed, or even kill him, when that time comes."
Dumbledore looked at Snape for a moment; his impatience had vanished. "I reckon you have no second thoughts about our agreement?"
"No, I do not. I understand it is necessary. However, I've been preparing mentally. I want to prepare for the death of anyone else I know, or will get to know."
"Severus, you know young Muto better than I do", Dumbledore said, the twinkle in his eyes nowhere to be seen.
Diagon Alley was the most interesting place Yugi had ever been to. The problem was that he had no free access to it. He always had to wait for a witch or wizard to open the door in the courtyard by tapping the correct brick. Because Yugi owned no wand of his own he wasn't able to open it himself.
A week before he was to take the Hogwarts Express he entered Diagon Alley once again. At this point he had only visited Flourish & Blotts to learn more about the world he was currently residing in. Now he had to get ready for teaching at Hogwarts; he'd have to blend in as well as he could did he want to learn whom the blonde man was that had killed his friends.
The first stop he made was at a shop next to Flourish & Blotts. It was Madame Malkin's Robes for All Occasions. Yugi wasn't stupid and he knew he stood out wearing the clothes he did. He got himself a casual black robe that would do for teaching but he doubted he would actually use it. He liked his own style way too much. He wondered if he would be forced to wear these robes as a teacher or if they all did it out of their own free will.
He strayed some more trough the street and got a lot of weird looks despite the fact that most people could look straight over him, short as he was. He knew it was because of his hair and clothes, but he didn't care. When Yugi passed Ollivanders Atem smirked.
"What's so funny?" Yugi demanded to know out loud.
Atem had noticed the golden text on the sign for the first time. It read: Ollivanders: Makers of fine wands since 382 BC .
/I'm approximately 2600 years older,/ Atem said and the two of them laughed together, almost like old times. Almost.
On occasion his thoughts wandered towards the sportsbag with six of the Millennium Items in his room at the Leaky Cauldron and didn't like the fact that he couldn't bring it along. He found a solution to that in Twilfitt and Tatting's. The cloth shop didn't only hold clothes but also a number of small bags with an Invisible Extension spell on it. Eventually he found a small brown leather necklace with a little scarlet bag on it. It was the kind of necklace people kept stones in.
Just for the sake of it, he went in to Eeylops Owl Emporium and watched all the owls. He didn't feel the need to keep one, he had no one to write to anyway. However, he liked it in there; it was a dark place filled with soft hooting.
Eventually his worries about the Millennium Items became too much to bear and he went back to the Leaky Cauldron. He directly put all the items in the little bag he had bought and hung it around his neck, it was a bit heavy but still manageable. He had just fastened the leather cord when someone knocked on the door to his room. He opened and before him stood a tall man with a crooked nose and long white hair and beard. It was the man that had recognized the picture he had drawn of the murderer. However this same man had not spilled a word about who or what this person was. Instead he had been introduced to this entire new world.
"Welcome. Please come in", Yugi said with a slight hint of hostility, so far he had been playing by the man's rules and he didn't like it. Yugi opened the door a bit further as an invitationen despite his dislike, so far he still needed the man.
"Thank you. I'm sure you know I'm here for a reason", the old man said in a serious voice.
"You made it quite clear that you are a busy man, so I assume you do", Yugi said, still sounding slightly hostile.
/Yugi.../ Atem sighed. The Pharaoh could not understand how the cheery high school boy could have transformed to this hostile man. There was one thing that could not be disputed, Yugi was not a child anymore.
"Yes, I'm here for a quite important reason. First of all, I'd like to inform you that I have a very bad reputation, and if I don't I will soon get one. I'd just like to point out I am no madman nor am I dangerous … to most people." He only hesitated slightly before adding the final addendum.
Yugi raised an eyebrow. Surely he had read the paper, the Daily Prophet. But even though he could fluently speak and understand English reading was still quite hard. He had not understood the articles about the headmaster very well. He just knew that they weren't in Dumbledore's favor.
"Second of all, about what you are suppose to teach. There are no strict rules about that at our school. Every teacher teaches in his or her own way. It's all up to you. Third of all, have you ever heard about Lord Voldemort?"
Yugi shook his head. That name he had never heard before.
"Ah, of course, my bad. Have you ever heard about He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named or The Dark Lord?"
Now that rung a bell at Yugi's. He nodded and said, "I've heard a word or two. He was said to be an evil wizard, greedy for power who believed that muggles were to serve the wizards of pure-blooded families. He rose to power fifteen years ago but died when one of his own spells rebounded on him. I picked up different things here and there." He had been fairly indifferent to it. He remembered the evil wizard Atem had locked away and in comparison that one was worse.
"You have picked up things quite fast for someone newly introduced to the wizard world."
Yugi gave a wry smile. He wasn't going to hide that he had tried to learn as much as possible.
Dumbledore gave him a warm smile. "I just want to warn you. The Dark Lord is not be spoken about in past tense but in present. Being a muggle, it will not be very safe for you at Hogwarts, or in this world at all. If you wish, you can still leave before he returns to his full power and claims the lives of everyone he deems unworthy of being part of this world." The white-haired man almost looked as if he hoped Yugi would decline.
"Tell me one thing. This man that killed my friends, has he anything to do with this Dark Lord of yours?" Yugi asked with a flicker in his eyes that hinted at anger.
Dumbledore frowned and for a moment Yugi thought he wasn't going to answer. Then: "I must tell you the truth; yes, he does. He is a member of a group called Death Eaters. They are Lord Voldemort's most loyal servants and are cruel and dangerous people."
Yugi eyed the man in front of him. It made him feel uncomfortable that this man was so much taller, and as if the headmaster had heard his thoughts he sat down on the bed. The bed murmured: "You are not going to wake me screaming again, are you?" Yugi gave the bed a kick, making it grunt in slight pain. "I deserved that."
Dumbledore didn't seem the slightest surprised by the fact that the bed was talking. "Have you been having nightmares?"
"Yes", Yugi said shortly, he felt no need to deny it now that the bed had made it so obvious that he did. "I relive the events that brought me here in the first place. It is not, how do you say it, appreciated." He sighed and sat down on a wooden chair, putting his feet with the buckled boots on the desk.
"Nightmares are something we all must deal with on occasion. However, when they overstay their welcome, we can get ourselves some help. Here is a Sleeping Potion; don't look so troubled. It's nothing like these weird pills you've got in the muggle world." Dumbledore gave the young man a little smile
Yugi was in no mood to small talk. "About the issue with danger regarding the teaching job, I will not decline just because of these Death Eaters. I'll help you fight them, for what it's worth."
"Teach the children what you want. Remember that knowledge is the strongest power", the headmaster said and frowned a bit at his own words. "Which brings us to the main reason for my visit."
Yugi simply raised an eyebrow as encouragement.
"You are no mere muggle. I can sense a deeper darkness than that the loss of your friends and family left you. I do however not think you want us harm; besides we have the same enemy. I just need to know that you make no threat to my students. Give me a sign I can rely on you. I've often been told that I'm too trusting, but I have always had a good reason to trust these people."
Yugi gave a hard smile. "I recognize that. I used to trust people; I learned the hard way that you can't always... Hmm." Yugi took a brief pause to debate with Atem.
/It's up to you/ Atem said quietly.
"Alright let's make a deal. I tell you something about me that you'll find interesting as a sign of trust, but as a sign of your trust in return, I want you to tell me who the Death Eater was that killed my friends and family. I promise I will not kill or harm him in any other way unless it is in self-defense."
Dumbledore looked amused, worried, curious and serious all at the same time. "The Death Eater that killed your friends was most likely Lucius Malfoy. He is a high ranked Death Eater that escaped Azkaban after the war ..."
"Azkaban?" Yugi interrupted.
"Ah, yes. Azkaban is a prison, a prison for wizards. It has some methods I wish were not used. Ever heard about Dementors?"
"I can not say I have." Yugi said, his interest awoken although he tried not to show too much.
"They are soul sucking creatures. They feed on fear, making people relive their worst memories. However, Lucius Malfoy escaped both Azkaban and them. Now he is Hogwarts governor, has high friend in the ministry and keeps a good name by donating lots of money to charity and St. Mungo's Hospital. He is a dangerous opponent. There is one other thing; his son starts fifth year in Hogwarts this year. I hope you treat him equally well as the rest of the students."
Yugi frowned; he was insulted. "Sure, I seek revenge, but I know you can't blame the son for the sins of his father."
/Thank you, Yugi/
/Or uncle. I do not believe that it was your fathers fault/
/It wasn't... It was indeed Akunadin that killed the villagers of Kul Elna, but my father should have known better/
"That's what I hoped you would say. Now then, what would interest me?" Dumbledore said interrupting their silent conversation.
"Me." Yugi sighed, not sure how to begin. "We are three in this conversation."
"Are we?" Dumbledore said, if not surprised, amused.
"Yes, we are. Some years ago, I solved a puzzle, this puzzle..." Yugi held up the Millennium puzzle with two hands without taking it off, so Dumbledore could see. "It took me eight years. When I solved the puzzle, I released an ancient spirit. Ever since, he has been sharing my body, we grew close, he's a friend, almost a brother I guess. We were trying to find a way for him to make him move on when that Death Eater attacked us and removed that possibility."
Dumbledore seemed interested, yet worried. "You must realize that I need to think about the safety of my students. We have had a possessed teacher before, and it almost led to the death of a student."
"I fully understand."
Dumbledore was, despite what some thought, no fool, and he could clearly hear and see the difference between the man, the boy, he had hired and this man standing before him. Especially the eyes made an obvious difference, they had been Amethyst earlier, now they were as red as blood.
"You are the spirit possessing young mister Muto?" Dumbledore asked cautiously. The only type of possession he had ever dealt with were filled with fright and sorrow from the possessed side and malice from the possessing side.
Atem took his feet down from the desk and straightened his back. Folding his hands underneath his chin, he then placed his elbows on his knees and turned somber eyes on Dumbledore.
"I would not exactly call it possessing. I have once pledged never to disobey his wishes because I'm well aware that this is his life, not mine. Once I've broken that promise and the consequences were so severe I would never do it again." Atem's eyes narrowed in a mixture of guilt and hatred.
"What's your name?" Dumbledore knew that with a name he would be able to learn a lot about this particular spirit.
Atem chuckled lowly. "I am not that easy fooled. You needn't know my name; everything you want to know you can ask me. But simply remember this; I'd do anything to protect my hikari."
Although Dumbledore had no idea what the last word meant, he understood that the spirit meant Yugi, and he picked up on the edge of sadness when the spirit said the word.
"You are the darkness that I and many others sense coming from mister Muto", Dumbledore noted. With a darkness that was greater than that of the Dark Lord he couldn't trust this spirit very easily.
Atem gave a short nod. "I am. When I was set free, I had no memory from what happened to me and it was Yugi who kept me on the right track. While I was learning about origins of this item I was told that an evil being had been sealed away within … it." Atem hesitated slightly. There was no need to inform the headmaster that there was more than one item. "I thought they meant me. Now, I know that I sacrificed my own life to lock away a dark power my people controlled. It was created for good, but it was too dangerous, too dark. That dark power was released with me and I still control it. The power I control is what you sense. I don't use it though; too many have suffered at its hands. It hasn't always been just me who controlled those dark powers but today others no longer have any acces to them."
"Then you are ..." Dumbledore had to look for the word, "a guardian then?"
Atem shook his head. "Not really. But these powers will stand against that Dark Lord of yours. From what I've heard you can use all the help you can get."
"Alright then", Dumbledore said and did exactly what he was so well known for. He decided to trust this stranger with the spirit. "I see you and mister Muto at Hogwarts 1st of September." The headmaster turned and opened the door.
He was just about to close it when Yugi called out: "Wait! I still have a question!" Yugi had one hand reaching out towards the headmaster as if that would keep him there.
"What is it?" Albus Dumbledore asked patiently and for some reason Yugi had the feeling that the headmaster already knew what he was about to ask.
"The killing curse … Does it hurt? Does it hurt being killed like that? Did they … suffer?" Yugi had trouble finding the correct words and to Atem's delight he was nearly the innocent little boy he had come to know and love again. But he anxiously awaited Dumbledore's answer sitting in spirit form on the bed.
"I don't know. Only one person has ever been hit with the curse and survived it. He was just over a year at the time and does not remember it so it isn't known how much it hurts." Dumbledore took a pause and turned to look at Yugi. "But people die immediately and I do not think they suffer."
"Thank you", Yugi said and the headmaster closed the door behind him.
So the idea of this fanfic is from a story I once read. It is absolutely amazing, it isn't finished and the last time it was updated was seven years ago and yet I have my hopes it. It was that awesome! However this story has another kind of storyline.
I'm dutch but I live in Sweden, just for the sake of it I read Xenophobe's Guide to the Swedes. It said and I quote: 'When two Swedish individuals meet for the first time, there are actually four people present: the two visible persons, plus their invisible alter egos who stand close by and criticize every word and every gesture. Only when the acquaintance is well established do the alter egos move to the sidelines, albeit still shaking their heads.
No wonder then that the Swedes seem aloof, even a little cold, at the first encounter: they are so busy arguing with their alter egos that they cannot focus properly on the company before them.'
Now who doesn't think about an encounter between Ryou, the toom robber, Yugi and the Pharaoh when they read that? I found it incredibly funny!
Hope you liked it. Review!