I hope you guys like it! I wrote this chapter as I sat eating Tai Pei, watch Raising Helen, and talking with family. Enjoy!
CHAPTER ONE: PART FOUR
It wasn't uncommon for Phoenix to stare at Harry. However, the look of worry had everyone on edge. He still treated the other boy like he had been, but there was a sort of gentleness to his touches. He didn't hold Harry as harshly as he had, but he also kept him close. Like he was protecting him against an outside force.
"Phoenix, you need to stop!" Harry finally snapped, looking up at the teen playing with his hair. Blue eyes flinched. "I'm not going to up and disappear, or break because you hold me too tightly. I...I actually kind of miss being held like that." Harry looked down as he blushed. They were in the common room with Yugi and Atem.
"Oh really?" The Egyptian Prince smirked, wrapping his arms around Harry. He leaned down so he was nose to neck with Harry. "Does that mean you're warming up to me, عاشق?" Harry shivered as the breath tickled his neck.
"Maybe?" Harry sighed, "when I was younger, the only touch I got was the harsh punishment of my relatives. So when you came around I wasn't sure. Now I am, and you make me happy when you hold me because it lets me know I'm safe and sound."
"Oh?" Phoenix tightened his grip around Harry's shoulders. "Then perhaps I shall take you out this weekend." Harry blushed brightly, but pouted.
"I can't. Hermione and I are meeting up with a reporter to get my side out."
"I don't think that's a good idea-" Phoenix tried to say.
"Phoenix, people need to know what happened. They may not believe me, but if I stick to my story, then I can prove not once did my story stray."
"He's right, brother." Atem said softly. "He may be looked down upon, now, but should he ever falter, they will attack him publicly later."
"They will no matter what." Yugi snorted. "He's famous, its a hard life. Don't sugarcoat things, Atem."
"That was cold for a light, Yugi." Phoenix growled, glaring.
"I'm honest. Shadows lie." He replied. "I don't want Harry hurt. That's all."
"Thanks Yugi, but I already knew that." Harry smiled softly. "Thing is, I never wanted it. You had some choice in your publicity. I may not know the story, but I can guess a friend, or family, was in trouble and you rushed to help."
"Right in one." Yugi smiled fondly. "It was also the first time I realize I had the Pharaoh inside my head. If Atem wasn't with me then, I don't know how I would have coped."
"I bet. It's hard when you're alone." Harry whispered, leaning into Phoenix's touch. His fellow fifth years shared uneasy looks.
"Harry-" Ron started.
"I know, Ron. You've apologized many time already. Just drop it." Ron nodded in agreement. "Phoenix, what happened to you? I mean, you know our story, and we know their story." Harry pointed to Atem and Yugi, who were playing with Joey and Seto. "What's your's?" The others looked over.
"Mmhmm. Not much different, actually. A few years after Atem was sealed away, I fell ill. When I got better, Sett fell ill with the same thing and passed away...I was made king, and I started losing myself to the shadows. In a last ditch effort of my sane side, I buried as much as I could about the Shadow Magicks. By my seventeenth birthday, I was insane, and committed suicide. I had begged the council to erase my existence from the records."
"I am so sorry I left you alone." Atem said, closing his eyes.
"Brother, it was all we could do." Phoenix sighed, "we are together again, with our other halves as well. That is all that matters." Harry closed his eyes, letting himself be held.
Harry grumbled as Hermione dragged him away from Rita Skeeter. The only upside was they got to dictate what was placed in the article. Upon reaching the castle, they decided they should hang out. Something that the two hadn't done in a while.
"I can't believe this year, so fair, Mione." Harry sighed, laying his head on his best friend's shoulder.
"Things will get better." The girl clasped hands with him, patting his hand.
"We think this every year, Mione." Harry whined. They stared out at the water. "I'm sick of it. Every year, it feels like they're tests of my abilities. Like Dumbledore set everything up."
"Don't say that!"
"And why not, Mione? Every year, he would drop hints at something, then turn around once we were onto something and act like he didn't know. He would disappear when he knew we needed our help. You can't tell me that Hogwarts doesn't have spells that detect things like possessed people, evil diaries full of possessive magic, a teacher under poly-juice potions, and allowing Sirius to be treated like a criminal. He could have asked for a trial, but didn't."
"But he c-"
"He placed me with the Dursleys, Mione. Against my parent's wills." Harry whispered, hand tightening around hers. "I am hated by them. I spent my first ten years with them sleeping the the cupboard under the stairs. I've been starved and beaten as punishment. I'm claustrophobic, lygophobia, ecophobia, Traumatophobia, Trypanophobia, and syngenesophobia. I have anxiety and panic attacks, I've been depressed, and I've attempted suicide."
"No!" Harry shook his head, blinking away his tears as his friend's grip got uncomfortable. "Harry, please tell me you're ly-"
"I'm not. I have proof if you want to see."
"That's fine." Hermione protested weakly, "okay, you're not lying...when did you first..."
"I was five, Mione."
"Five..." Hermione's voice was faint as she slumped against their tree. "Harry, you have to get-"
"Phoenix isn't allowing me in that house again. He says that if he has to, he will take me to Egypt, where the Ishtars can protect me."
"He's good for you, Harry. I'm glad."
"So am I, Hermione. With him around, I feel like everything is going to be okay. Like life just got fair. It sounds stupid, but-"
"It's not stupid, Harry. You're falling in love with him. He's doing his job in the relationship that you have. You're his submissive half. The one that is emotionally unstable. It's natural to feel these things."
"You know, it's funny. All of us Hikari's are emotionally unstable, while the Yami's are emotionally detached." Harry explained, smiling softly. "We've had our battles. We've faced a lot. However, we all have one thing in common, Hermione."
"We've got people who have our backs now."
"It still isn't right, Harry. I...until I met you, I never dealt with anything dangerous. Do not give that look, Harry James Potter." Harry had adopted a self-loathing look, but he was startled, because there was no way Hermione could have seen that. "I wouldn't trade our friendship for the infinite knowledge of the universe."
"Thanks, Hermione. That means a lot. More than anything actually." They fell silent for a while.
Screams, however, had them jumping up in surprise. Racing to, what they thought would be a battlefield, the Quidditch Pitch, Harry and Hermione paused, laughing.
Apparently, Yugi and the others had figured out how to get their duel disks to work.
"I place two cards face down, and end my turn." Yugi said, smirking at his other half. Atem rolled his eyes with a fond smile. Yugi already had Curse of Dragon and Summoned Skull on the field and half his life points gone. Atem had the Queen's Knight and Dark Magician Girl and all his points.
"I summon my King's Knight, which allows me to special summon Jack's Knight!" Yugi's smirk started to fall from his face. "I use my Polymerization card to bring Arcana Knight Joker into play. Now attack!"
"I play my Mirror Force!"
"Oh yes, my Yami." Yugi grinned.
"I end my turn."
"I draw." Yugi's smile widened, "you do realize you can't win, right Atem?"
"One day I will, Yugi."
"What is the meaning of this?" Came the shrill voice of Dolores Umbridge. "Battling monsters?"
"It's a game, ma'am. They're not real." Phoenix corrected, a secret smile on his face. "It's rather popular in Japan and America, where it was born. It's much like your Quidditch games."
"That's right, Miss Umbridge." Ryou said, smiling softly. "I started playing when I was young. Except I play Monster World more. It's a RPG of this game." Harry drew level with the white haired teen. "Ello, Harry."
"So, you promised to teach me how to play when you came back. You're back, Ryou!"
"Er...I didn't bring my set. I'm sorry, Harry. I honestly expected this to be one of the 'we go in and train the shadow user and get back out' scenarios."
"Instead it turns into a Prophecy predicted war from the gods." Harry said quietly. "Why didn't you ever come back, Ryou?"
"Oh Harry, I would have, but I've gone from possessed by a Zorc infected Bakura, to depression, to training others so they can find their other halves as to not go insane." The group looked back when Yami let out a string of cuss words. His Life Points were down to zero already.
"And that, people, is how the shadows are brought down a peg or two." Marik, who had been commenting on the whole battle, said. Mariku was asleep at his side, head in the light's lap. "All hail the King of Games, Yugi Muto!"
"Oh shut up, Marik! Come on, Atem, you promised me a back massage if I won!" Yugi whined, leading his other half away.
"I want to learn." Hermione whispered to Harry, "it would be cool to freak the Death Eaters out with those illusions."
"Yeah, it would. Hey Phoenix...?"
"Yeah, yeah, I heard. I'll teach you how to use them later. Now, it's time for dinner."
"But I'm not hungry-" Harry started.
"You are eating, Harry James Potter." The shadow said, glaring.