Chapter 5: Blossoming
Harry and Yugi were walking behind the others as the massive group walked slowly through the streets of London. He looked at his Duel Disk, which displayed 'H. Potter TP: 400'. He was smiling, and Yugi knew why.
"Only 600 to go," Yugi smiled at him, still on 100 points himself. He knew that he had to start duelling soon, but for now he would wait. He wanted to show his new friends how proud he was of them, and also keep a close eye on Harry, as that Dumble fellow had asked him.
"Yep. I didn't even think I'd beat Colin, to be honest," Harry said, his smiling turning slightly sad.
"What? Why? Harry, you might be one of the best Duellists I've seen. How could you not think you'd win at all?" Yugi asked, gobsmacked. Yami appeared beside him, grimacing. He had a hunch.
Harry looked down. "People like Dudley. And his parents. They just… I guess after years of being told you aren't worth anything, it sticks with you. I just thought I couldn't win. Because my only living relatives told me I was worthless."
Yugi gasped, as Teá, only a step in front of them, let out a small yelp, and turned to Harry. "Now you listen to me, Harry. They aren't your family. If they treat you like that, then they are the ones who aren't worth it. You have so much talent. Don't let them waste it for you." She then finished, and blushed as the entire group, particularly Harry, were staring at her. "I'm sorry, Harry. It wasn't my place, I- "
"No, Teá. You're right." He gave her a warm, sincere smile, making her blush even more, and Yugi frown slightly. "They aren't my family. I have a real family – my best friend's. Thank you, Teá."
Suddenly, a bored drone of a voice entered the conversation. "How touching. Yugi and his twerps found a new loser. Well done."
A higher pitched voice came in, "Seto, this guy won both his duels. You haven't even duelled yet."
Joey smiled. "Hey Mokuba. How are ya?" Joey always seemed to lighten the mood after a serious conversation.
"Hi! I'm good, despite my big bro's attitude," the black haired boy said, before attempting to make the taller boy double over with an elbow to the gut. However, he didn't seem to be affected by his brother's attack, despite the ferocity in which it was dealt.
The taller, brown haired teen walked towards Harry. "Harry Potter. Seto Kaiba." He extended his hand, and Harry shook it. Only briefly, as Seto pulled it back almost immediately. "Pray you don't make it to the finals. Because even if you have those Demons, I will win."
Seto didn't say what he was thinking: this one impressed him. Seto never really felt the need to limit his Deck to a theme, but this boy was a natural with his Demons. He was a little scared, but still marginally confident that he could beat the British boy.
He smirked at Harry, and Harry smiled back, unfazed by the brash cockiness of the child technical genius. "Seto Kaiba, huh? One of America's finest. A minute ago, I may have been scared of you. But now," Harry said, winking at Teá, who was now almost burning a hole through the hand she had her blushing face buried in, "I think I have the confidence to say: I can beat you. Believe it, Kaiba."
Joey ran in front of Kaiba. "Not before I do, Har."
Harry raised an eyebrow and slid his glasses up his nose. "Har?"
Joey shrugged. "Yeah. I like it. Don't you?"
Harry nodded, smirking. "Not complaining. Never had a nickname before." 'Unless you count 'boy' or 'The-Boy-Who-Lived'', he said to himself.
Kaiba snorted. "Very lovely. Wheeler, you don't stand a chance. I won't even waste my time with a loser like you. And Potter here can wait untilthe finals, if he is that confident. However, I may find someone worth duelling." With this, he shot a sideways glance at Yugi, who shook his head. Kaiba smirked. 'Scared.'
"Mokuba. We're leaving."
"Coming, Seto. Bye guys!" smiled the young Kaiba, who seemed so exuberant that Harry couldn't help but like him. Despite his brother being just like Draco Malfoy.
Teá seemed to have calmed down, yet could not look directly at Harry. He was worried. Had he done something wrong? Insulted her, maybe? He had to check. He excused himself from Yugi politely, and, as the group began to move once more, interrupted Teá and Ryou's conversation.
Worry. That's all Hermione could feel. Harry was delving into something dangerous, and she knew it. He was accepted into a tournament he did not enter, and was playing a game based of the Monsters that almost destroyed the world.
But, more importantly, was the Millennium Items. These dangerous, dark artefacts were being used by people in the tournament, a check in the book, 'Quick Spell - Modern Duel Monsters History by Horatio Wilcox' proved that Maximillion Pegasus, while not in the tournament, held the Millennium Eye. Ryou Bakura had the Ring. The Rod was still with Marik Ishtar. And the King of Games, Yugi Muto, had two. The Necklace, and the Puzzle
She knew that Harry could not keep himself out of danger. Also, magic attracted. If someone had a form of magic, they subconsciously would seek out others that possessed a form of magic.
And the Millennium Items were a dark magic indeed.
Ron groaned. "Hermione, come on! Breakfast! Please?" he pleaded, stomach rumbling.
"Go ahead, Ron. I need to-"
"No!" He took the book, and stopped her protest. "You haven't eaten since breakfast yesterday. You haven't slept at all. Look, no classes today, it's Sunday, okay? So, we go eat, you come back and sleep, and I will read some of this."
She scoffed. "Really? And why, Ronald, would you want to do that?"
He shrugged. "This is hurting you. It's worse than your usual reading. At least you can stop. You're obsessed with this Duel Monsters stuff. I will read this, even though I think Harry is safe, if you sleep. Okay, Hermione?"
She sighed. "I just want him to be safe."
"And he is. Do you really think Dumbledore left him unprotected? I beat Remus is watching out for him, or Moody, or Tonks. Maybe even Shack. But you making yourself sick won't help him. It'll just hurt him when he comes back."
Hermione nodded, too tired to say anymore. 'Forget breakfast,' she thought, 'I'm sleeping now.'
And with that, she slumped back in her arm chair, sleeping soundly. Ron smiled, despite her not eating, and draped a blanket over her.
He was just looking out for her. One of his best friends. It's not like he liked her or anything. After the things they had gone through together, he had a lot of respect, gratitude and sisterly love for Hermione Granger.
Besides, he had his sights set on someone else.
Ron stood up, and walked out of the common room, hoping no one would be stupid enough to wake Hermione up.
"Teá, can I talk to you for a second?" Harry said softly. Teá turned around and blushed heavily.
"Bakura, could you excuse us?" she asked quietly.
Ryou smiled. "Of course. We should talk later, Harry," he said, and walked off to join in the discussion between Joey, Tristan, Colin and Dean. The topic of discussion: whether Harry could beat Yugi.
"Teá, whatever I said, I'm sorry," Harry started, making the American girl's eyes widen. "If I hurt your feelings, I can understand if you don't want to be my fr-"
"Harry, no. That's not the problem. It's just that..." Teá seemed to be struggling for words. She took a deep breath, and said, "I just felt embarrassed when I yelled at you. It wasn't my place. But, seeing you upset like that, abused by your family... Wait, you never said why you don't live with your parents."
He sighed. "Teá, I know what your thinking. No, my parents never abused me. It's a lot more complicated then that." Harry looked at the ground, his eyes watering slightly.
Teá felt bad again. She had brought up a sore spot for this boy, a boy she barely knew, yet made her blush with a single look. And here she was, making him almost cry.
Well, she was going to fix that.
Without warning, she took Harry in a tight embrace that shocked him. "Whatever it is, I'm sorry I brought it up," she whispered. "I'm not exactly good with words. They leave my mouth before I think, and-"
"Teá," Harry interrupted, before hugging her back slightly. "Don't worry about it. I'm a tough guy. And you're forgiven."
She smiled as they parted. "And so are you."
Unbeknownst to all of the group in London, Harry was being watched.
Remus was at first worried about this group when Harry met them in the café, but he was told by Albus that the purple-haired teenager was trustworthy. Nevertheless, Remus took care in not straying too far away from the group.
He watched with interest as Harry and Dean out-duelled the boy of Dursley and his skinny lapdog. Harry was good at this, and Remus was surprised.
The interaction that Harry was having with the Anerican girl made him smile. 'I don't know if that's Sirius' influence or James' natural ability,' he thought, 'but Harry sure knows how to win a lady without trying.'
Speaking of which, Tonks would be here soon, and Remus smiled. Meeting with Nymphadora was the highlight of his days. Being unemployed was a nightmare, particularly with the rising price of Wolfsbane, but seeing Tonks' smiling face made him feel young again. It brightened his life. And yet, he still could not bring himself to agree to dating her.
If he hurt her, then it would all be gone. He'd lost James, Lily, Sirius, even Peter. Nymphadora and Harry were all he could live for. And Harry didn't need him. He was practically an adult. But, if he lost Tonks...
He shuddered at the thought. 'No,' he thought, 'she's safer without me.'
"Hi, Remus," said a shy voice behind him. He smiled, a true smile for the first time today.
"Nymphadora. How are you?" he asked, noticing two things. One, she didn't say 'Wotcher, Remus!', which was her standard greeting.
And two, she didn't complain at being called Nymphadora.
He smiled at her blushing face, as her hair changed to a similar shade. 'Merlin, she's adorable,' he thought, them shook the thought from his head. 'Okay, Remus. So you're attracted to her. That isn't a bad thing. Just control yourself. It cannot happen. It will not happen.'
Suddenly, Tonks jumped into him, kissing him fair on the lips. Remus was surprised, yet allowed it. For once, since that fateful night, Remus felt alive again.
A/N: Sorry about the Remus thing at the end. Lupin is my favourite character, so I couldn't resist.
No duels this chapter, I was sick of writing them to be honest. But now this one I'd out of my system, another Duel shall ensue!
Just thought I'd let you know that I will respond to any PM's that come my way, so if you have any questions, just ask me.
Also, sorry about the shortness of this chapter. I am quite tired at the moment.
I would like to thank xxdarkxxalicexx for pointing out a terrible error that resulted in Piers duelling with a part of his anatomy that should not have been shown.
Another huge thank you to hermoine331 for her offer to make me a cover for this story.
If you have any ideas for the story, PM me with them. I would love your input.
Also, keep reviewing! My brother seems to think that this story isn't any good, and I want to prove him wrong with the assistance of all you lovely readers!
Thanks for reading!