Dad suggested I'd call this story Jumbo. Some things parents won't ever understand. He also said I'd call it vampire hunter but that I should change the content in that case.
Well I'm back. Though it will get harder from here, I have my first day of work tomorrow and this work is real work. I'll have little time left for this thing.
Enjoy, it's short, it's new, it's all for you.
The natural order of daily summertime life. They got up late, made breakfast out of bacon, eggs and toast together, dad asked them how they would spend the day without receiving any form of real reply and their mother would fuss about their table manners. Naturally everyone already knew how everyone was going to spend the day. The morning was like any other.
Many people could not appreciate the joy that came with normal things. To simply enjoy a breakfast with a complete and peaceful family without any real troubles was among the best things Cole knew. He preferred simplicity. Books before fancy toys, family before parties, small trips before luxurious vacations and everything alike. Surely he had enjoyed the trip to Japan, but he preferred home, he loved home.
Sometimes Cole felt guilty, his family had no problems at all, beside from him. He worried his parents, a lot, and he knew it. If something weird had the possibility of happening to him, it happened. His parents were therefore slightly overprotective, but Cole knew his parents had reasons to. Not that their precautions ever worked.
Sometimes Cole was glad that all the unusual stuff always happened to him. From all the kids in the world it was he whom had received Yugi Muto's deck, which was currently laying in his room and it was he whom had met Mokuba Kaiba and had given him the three long lost Blue Eyes White Dragons together with his brother. Cole had met his biggest idol simply out on the streets and that made him see his life as eventful.
Perhaps regular breakfasts did not fit in an eventful life, but breakfast was home and home was eventful. In a way, to Cole, this regular breakfast was an event in itself and he smiled as he poured some milk in a mug while his mother told him that he should be more careful when doing so. He didn't care much for her criticism, he hadn't spilled a drop and thus it was ungrounded.
Cole had little family, the only family he had were the people sitting around the table and his dad's older brother who was always working. His mother had some friends, but Cole had never really met them and when they came their mother made sure he and Theo had other things to do. That's why it was quite the surprise when someone knocked on the door.
Cole's father looked up at the door with a raised eyebrow before putting down his paper. "Who in the world knocks in this day and age?"
His wife just gave him a look and when it became clear that he wasn't going to open the door she looked at her oldest son. Theo shrugged. "I'm not expecting anyone, but I can go open." He stood up and then looked at his father. "Who in this day and age reads the paper?"
"Be careful", his mother said, ignoring her son's comment just as much as her husband who simply returned to his precious paper.
Theo and Cole both looked at her. It was Cole who spoke. "Mum, he's going to open the door."
"Well, you never know who's at the door", she said firmly as Theo walked into the hallway, smirking at his brothers comment.
Like everyone living this close to London they had a fair amount of locks on their doors and like usual it took Theo a while before he had opened them all. The woman standing before him appeared as if she had been waiting half an hour rather than a couple of minutes and she was tapping her foot impatiently. The first thing Theo noticed where her weird clothes, the next thing were her eyes. The eyes staring back at him weren't human, they were the eyes of a hawk. Perhaps his mother had been right.
"Who are you?" he asked, probably not sounding all too intelligent before turning slightly away from her and calling out rather loudly: "Mum!"
The woman held out a hand. "My name is Rolanda Hooch. I'm here for your little brother, Cole Clancy."
From behind him Theo heard a loud and frightened gasp from his mother. Theo himself wasn't quite sure how to react, the woman in front of him seemed strange enough to fit the strangeness around Cole, a strangeness Theo had less problems dealing with than any of his parents since he was more down to earth than them. He decided that the best thing would be politeness. He took her hand and noted that the handshake was firm, almost painful. He did however not move out of the door-opening the slightest.
"Why are you looking for him", his tone indicating that he wouldn't accept a random stranger to just barge in without explaining exactly what her business was. He felt more than heard his father entering the hallway.
"I have a letter for him. Usually it's delivered by owl, but since Cole is Muggle-born a messenger is supposed to deliver it and explain", she informed with a small and strict smile while conjuring a letter from her pocket.
"Muggle-born", Theo said and sighed deeply. He decided to take it as it came and opened the door completely.
"Theo!" his mother said horrified. "You can't just let a stranger into the house."
"I really don't think it matters, mum", Theo said while the woman took some steps inside and closed the door behind her. Cole had also left the breakfast table and had joined them in the hallway.
"You're Cole Clancy, aren't you?" the woman with the spiky gray hair asked and bend down until her face was in the same height as that of Cole. He just nodded. She gave him the letter and he took it without hesitation. His mother looked extremely uncomfortable and was biting her nails.
"I think the living room is a better place to be opening that letter", the woman said and gave Cole a wink. Cole just nodded, he didn't seem to be the least troubled by the woman's presence. He and the woman left for the living room and Theo followed not far behind, his parents followed both eager and hesitatingly at the same time.
Cole sat down on the couch and the woman took the only armchair in the room. Theo sat down next to Cole and their parents got stuck in the door leading to the living room. Cole looked hesitatingly at the letter.
"Come on now. Open it", she urged, not giving the two extremely worried parents a look.
"Let's open it, Cole", Theo said and put a hand on his little brother's shoulder.
Cole nodded with a frown and broke the red seal. He liked the fact that the letter looked the way it did, it was like something from his books. It wasn't one of these letters the library send, but more like a letter a king would send his loyal knights. He unfolded it and saw that it were two pages.
HOGWARTS SCHOOL of WITCHCRAFT and WIZARDRY
Headmaster: ALBUS DUMBLEDORE
(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock,
Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. of Wizards)
Dear Mr Clancy,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.
Term begins on September 1. We await your owl by no later than July 31.
Cole reread the letter three times. Then he looked at the woman whose name he had not heard and asked. "Are you Minerva McGonagall?"
She shook her head. "No, I'm Rolanda Hooch. Professor McGonagall is probably with someone else explaining the same things."
"Can I see it?" Theo asked Cole and Cole handed him the letter. Theo read it a couple of times and was glad he had been expecting the worst, otherwise it would have been hard to tell how he would have reacted on the letter. Instead he remained pretty calm. He looked at Cole who looked neither afraid nor happy. Just like Theo he seemed to take it as it came.
"What is it Theo?" their mother asked very carefully.
Theo handed her the letter and their mother read it. When she was done her eyes where burning. "What kind of a joke it this?" She was furious.
Their father pried the letter from his wife's hands and looked at it, also with disbelieve.
"It's no joke", Rolanda Hooch assured them. "Cole is Muggle-born, that's why you did not understand all the things that happened around him. The fact is that Cole is a wizard, just like I myself am a witch. Witches and wizards would do no good in a regular muggle school and that's why they are all accepted to Hogwarts, where they won't only learn how to use but also how to control magic."
"Such things don't exi …" Cole's father said and then Yugi Muto's words went through his head. That attitude could become harmful for him if it turns out that you were wrong. Was this what he had meant, had he known? "Is this for real?"
"Bud!" his wife called out but the woman in the chair ignored her. "Yes, it very much is."
The man went with his hand over his slightly unshaved chin and thought deeply. Eventually he sighed. "I have been told to have a more open mind, but I can't help it. Prove it."
"That's what I'm here for", the woman with the gray hair said with a smile. From her pocket she conjured something which to the four inhabitants looked like a wooden stick. She pointed it at a candle on the coffee-table. "Avifors", she said gently and the candle turned into a bird. Then she pointed at the couch Theo and Cole were sitting in. "Multicorfors", she said with a smile and the couch turned a hellish green. Theo carefully went with a hand over the green material, but it felt no different, only the color had changed. Then she caught sight of some pots with small plants, they had only just started to stick out from the dark earth. She pointed her wand at them and said: "Herbivicus." Instantly the flowers grew until they were in full bloom. "Point proven?"
Everyone in the family stared at the flowers. Cole was the first to react. "I think that it will suffice, although I can only speak for myself."
The woman in the armchair raised an eyebrow and Cole was well aware that it had to do with the way he spoke. Everyone always reacted on the way he spoke, including his brother. Theo used to joke about it. 'Perhaps I should learn to speak like that. It would probably go home with the ladies.' Cole hadn't bothered to reply although he was convinced his older brother should read more.
"Most of us have seen things alike before", Theo said dryly and Cole turned to him with a glare. "What?" Theo asked and laughed. "It's true! You do such things all the time."
When Cole looked at the ground the strange woman spoke. "That's completely normal. Nearly all young wizards do things like these, relatively simple magic, without being aware of it. Naturally this is a lot harder on Muggle-borns than on those with wizard families."
"What does muggle mean, exactly?" Theo asked as Cole looked relieved at the explanation.
"Non-magical people. We call them muggles. It happens that a wizard is born by muggle parents."
"Then it isn't genetic?" Cole asked confused.
"Yes, it is. A wizard and witch will without doubt give birth to a witch and wizard. In fact, the 'magical' gene is dominant. It happens quite often that a wizard or witch marries a muggle and their children will be wizards and witches. It does however happen that a witch or wizard will receive a child who can't do magic, they are called squibs, it can be compared to being born blind or deaf. When a squib marries a muggle there can go centuries and suddenly the magical gene from the squib can surface anywhere in his direct lineage", she explained. She didn't mind answering the question but she was surprised that something like that interested him.
His parents just listened to whatever was said. Deep down their mother was ashamed that it was Theo who was acting as Cole's caretaker and not she, but she hadn't comprehended everything yet.
"Let's get down to more practical business", Mrs Hooch said and looked at Cole's parents for the first time. "I suggest you sit down. You too need to hear this."
Bud Clancy was the first to register the words and as he walked to the remaining couch he pulled his wife with him. He gently pushed her down, deciding it was best for her to get out of her shock herself.
"You're saying my son is a wizard", he asked the woman. She nodded. "It would indeed make sense", he sighed as reply. "I think I'll believe you, for the time being. Tell me more about this school."
"Hogwarts is a very old school located in Scotland, it was founded several thousand years ago and it is the only wizarding school in Britain. It's a boarding school, as wizard and witches, especially those with muggle parents need to be surrounded by the wizarding world as much as possible to develop their abilities and to learn the ways of the wizarding world."
"A boarding school", Cole's father said with dislike and Cole too looked slightly pale at the idea.
"Hogwarts doesn't only teach subjects, it teaches a lifestyle. To learn that lifestyle ones presence is required at all times. The students can however go home during Christmas and the summer. Hogwarts students attend the school seven years. Five years to reach Ordinary Wizarding Level, or more commonly known as OWLs, tests based on different subject. Your OWLs show which subjects you can advance on to NEWT level and then one is done and can apply for a job." She had been talking to Cole but now she turned to his parents. "You must understand that wizards and witches become a part of the Wizarding World, even when Muggle-born, they are not suited for this world."
"What does that mean for us?" Theo asked. "His family." Cole had come to sit closer to Theo and Theo knew that it was a sign of fear. He knew very well how Cole felt about family.
"Parents of Muggle-born wizards and witches are allowed to enter the Wizarding world when required. It is however necessary that an experienced witch or wizard goes along with you to help you find it and to make sure mistakes are avoided. These two worlds differ. Many wizards and witches make mistakes in this world and many muggles make mistakes in our world. These mistakes can have permanent consequences and should be prevented at any cost."
Theo nodded. "I see. But I'm not losing my brother?"
The woman in the armchair shook her head. "No, you will not, unless your brother wants that. Our worlds are separated, but the borders are crossed daily."
"We never signed him up", Cole's mother whispered.
"That's not necessary. Every wizard and witch in Britain is automatically accepted into Hogwarts. Naturally you can decline attending the school, but in the end that could become dangerous for both Cole and the people around him. Magic wants to be used", Hooch said and looked at the parents, rather than Cole.
"Is there more we need to know?" Bud asked, still comprehending the news.
"Not that I can think of at the moment", she said. "Read through the enclosed list of things you are going to need before attending the school, it might give you an idea of how the school works on a daily basis. I'll be back in a week to hear your decision, if you decide to attend Hogwarts, which I recommend, then we'll go to Diagon Alley to get you what you need."
Cole nodded and looked at the letter. He had never imagined something like this could happen to him. "Thank you, ma'm", he said politely.
She stood up and smiled at everyone in the room. "Take the things you have heard today in close consideration. I'll be back soon. Good day to you." Then with a loud CRACK she was gone. She had disappeared in front of their eyes.
Theo stared at the spot where the witch had stood earlier. Cole gaped wide-eyed. "I want to learn that!" he called out dumbfounded.
"You can", Theo laughed.
Cole nodded and read the enclosed list of things he was supposed to bring to the school if he chose to attend it. He wanted to, although he didn't like the thought of boarding school. "Mum, I'm going upstairs."
His mother didn't react and Cole just went to his room. He closed the door and went to his bookcase. On top of it stood a little wooden box and he had to take a chair to reach it. He opened it and sat down on his bed. In the wooden box was a white cloth covering a rectangular object. He lifted it carefully and removed the white cloth. In it was Yugi Muto's deck, Dark Magician Girl was on top. "So", he asked her, "are we going to Scotland?"
His grandfather had always claimed that behind the counter was the worst place in the shop. Yugi disagreed, one could see the whole shop from behind the counter and he really enjoyed watching children fuss about all the games. Sometimes it made Yugi feel like an old man, the way he longed back to those days didn't suit a twenty-two year old.
He smiled as a child hardly older than six left the game-shop with a brand new chessboard and pieces. He had been very talkative and had told Yugi that his father had promised to teach him how to play chess, but that they didn't have a chessboard or pieces. Since the boy was the first customer of the day Yugi had helped him pick a set. He had enjoyed it.
The reopening of the Kame game-shop had been big news. No one knew it was about to reopen, but one day the little sign had just showed the words open after five years and the word had spread through Domino like fire. The news that the King of Games had resurfaced spread just a little later, even more quickly.
The first few days had been a challenge, people didn't come in for the games, but for him. He had done his very best to remain friendly, but on occasion people really got on his nerve. The third day he had called Ryou and asked him for help. It was Ryou who did the business that day and was kind enough to avoid every question about Yugi for him.
Even though the questions stopped eventually, business was at full speed. Having the King of Games behind the counter was exceptionally good for business. Beside, Yugi had taken over his grandpa's example and did only sell a little more old-fashioned games. Naturally he sold some more modern games, like Monster Fight, Dungeon Dice Monsters and Monster World, but they were all collector games and Yugi liked those. It were games like Operation and Twister which he didn't bother with.
Ryou completely loved the fact that Yugi sold Monster World, he was the only one in Domino and Ryou often expressed his delight that one didn't need to go to Tokyo anymore to get Monster World. Yugi found the enthusiasm of the albino quite amusing and it happened that the three of them played Monster World. Without the spirit of the Millennium Ring it was a much more pleasant experience. Despite Lucius Malfoy's interference at the end, the aftermath of changing the past still counted. Zorc's priest had never been locked away in the Millennium ring, thus no Yami Bakura. The only reason Atem was still in the puzzle was since his soul really hadn't had anywhere else to go.
Yugi's return hadn't only affected himself, it had also affected Ryou's life greatly. After the tomb collapsed Ryou had gone home alone and found an empty apartment. His father who had been in Egypt at the time too found out through a newspaper and wrote Ryou a word of condolence. He didn't ask why Ryou hadn't come to see him? What Ryou would do now? If he should come home? Or even if he was alright? Nothing. His father still didn't really care for him.
Ryou had left school and started to look for jobs instead. He decided that there was only one place they were sure to have a job open. Now that Anzu had died, the job at Burger world had to be open, and it was. Hadn't his father send money once every month Ryou would not have able to live on the money he earned. Determined to make it on his own he had started looking for better jobs. He changed job often, Burger World didn't find him cheerful enough, he had not enough knowledge of hardware or he just got refused the job because he sounded too English. The job he eventually settled for was a job at the tourist agency.
A month after Yugi had opened the Kame game-shop Ryou had spent so much time helping there since Yugi couldn't keep up himself that Yugi offered him a job. Ryou accepted it more than willingly. During weekdays it was Yugi who took care of the shop. On Friday and Saturday they were both in the shop since it used to be crowded and Ryou also held the shop open on Sunday's. Monday morning Ryou would also take care of the deliveries and he was responsible for shipments which he did whenever he had time. The Kame game-shop earned more than three times as much as it had ever done before and Yugi knew that if he wanted, he could continue like this forever. They could easily live like this and the job itself wasn't bad either.
The problem was that Yugi knew too much. He spent most of his time with his mind at Hogwarts. Although the school was empty now he thought about its full corridors with torches and laughing students. He had liked it there, in a way, and in a way he had hated it there. He wondered about the people who he had gotten to know there all the time. So did Atem. Neither of them could let go of Hogwarts. They tried though, he had thrown away the robes and everything else which reminded him of Hogwarts. Everything, except for the little red bag containing the Undetectable Extension Charm simply since it was so useful.
There was only one thing he had not been able to do. Stop caring.
Ryou walked in through the front doors, he had access to the main house but he preferred it like that. "You know, I could swear there is an owl out there every morning. I wonder why, it's not that common with owls in the city."
Yugi shrugged and hid a blush. "I like owls. It can sit there as much as it wants. It won't harm anyone."
Ryou nodded. "Though I could have sworn it's a different one ever time", he whispered to himself. "Has the delivery truck arrived yet?" Just as Ryou asked it an engine was heard behind the shop and the albino perked up. "Ah, see you soon."
Yugi nodded and waited until he heard Ryou open and close the door behind the shop to help the men with the deliveries, then he quickly went out with a Knut in his hand. The owl flew down towards him as soon as Yugi left the shop. Hurriedly he removed the newspaper and handed the owl the money, then it flew away.
He still received the Daily Prophet, he couldn't stand not knowing what was going on. The Minister had been replaced and both he and Atem were unsure about what to think about that. Atem had given his opinion, basing on his experience of ruling. /The minister is being appointed in troublesome times. He will most likely be easily persuaded by the stronger side, regardless of what side that might be./
/Or he's like you and is a stable leader who makes sure that his people will be safe from the danger/ Yugi had said optimistically. Neither he nor Atem felt all too positive though.
One didn't need the Daily Prophet for all the news. Some things also made the regular news. The collapse of the Brockdale and the Millennium Bridge made the news worldwide and the overall message was: 'No one has a clue why it happened' Yugi knew. The collapses had been far from natural.
Ryou often wondered about Yugi and Atem's behavior, but he never asked. Yugi had made it pretty clear that he would tell what he could when he could and Ryou had decided to respect that, after all, it was pretty evident that Yugi had been through some rough stuff.
It was also obvious to anyone that the odd trio working in the Kame game-shop were working on a new beginning and that they were having a hard time. They were taking baby-steps, all of them. Yugi had limited himself to the shop, his old home and Ryou's apartment. He never went out unless he had to. Domino had become a stranger during the time he had been gone. The city had changed, evolved, but probably more important was that he had changed and in the town where he had grown up that was more than obvious.
Has it ever occurred to any of you that 1) in each and every game in YGO the word Monster is in the name. 2) Ryou can't be a albino, at least not completely, since he has brown eyes 3) it's ironic that it is called the Millennium Bridge
First chapter deserves a review. Review!