Categories > Anime/Manga > Yu-Gi-Oh! > The Dragon Tale

The Boy Who Lived

by tsutsuji 0 reviews

The final revelations in the conclusion of the flashback that shows how Bakura's and Ryou's lives intersect with the world of Harry Potter. Why doesn't Ryou use his wizard powers? The answer is lin...

Category: Yu-Gi-Oh! - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Crossover, Drama, Humor, Romance - Characters: Ryou Bakura, Yami Bakura - Warnings: [!!!] [?] - Published: 2006-11-29 - Updated: 2006-11-30 - 6276 words

The Dragon Tale
chapter 4 - The Boy Who Lived
by Tsutsuji

Rating: PG13? implied shonen-ai. Also some dark themes, but only things that are already part of the Yu-gi-oh and Harry Potter stories.
Pairings: Bakura/Ryou
Warnings: MAJOR SPOILERS for the Ancient Egypt arc and the end of the Yu-gi-oh series, even though I'm changing a few things for my own amusement (and yours, I hope!).
Disclaimer: I do not own the copyright to these characters and I'm making no profit from this fic and intend no copyright infringement.
Spell-checked and self-beta'd. Please inform me of any typos or other errors.

Notes: I've seen different information given about the death of Ryou's sister and mother, so I'm just using a version that fits this story. Again, as with Bakura's history, same basic events as the manga but with a different background. ^_^

Chapter 4 -
Flashback, continued.

Bakura left his place in the doorway and slipped into the room, watching Ryou and his father while he waited for the answer to his question. Neither of them looked at him. He leaned back on the edge of Ryou's desk where he could face both of them. With his ankles crossed and his arms again folded over his chest, he settled in comfortably, ready to be as patient as a cat waiting by a mouse's tunnel if necessary.

He looked to Ryou first, but Ryou turned to his father. Bakura suspected it was Senshiro's wish to keep Ryou's power secret, not Ryou's own choice. Ryou longed to have magic in his life; that was why he loved role-playing games where he could at least pretend to use magic powers. But Bakura also guessed it was more than simple respect for his father that kept Ryou from using his magic. Some black fear had a grip on both of their hearts, and some deep grief as well. Only deep fear or grief - or love - could have created the powerful magical barrier in Ryou's mind.

Finally, Senshiro nodded as if to himself, glanced up at Bakura, and began to speak.

"You may also guess, Bakura, that there are still those in this time who practice the forbidden Dark Arts, just as there were long ago in your time."

"Of course," Bakura said quietly with a grim smile. "People's hearts have not changed all that much in 3000 years, after all!"

Senshiro nodded again. He paused to gather his thoughts before continuing.

"Years ago, I studied Archeology in England, which is where I met and married Ryou's mother. Around the time Ryou was born, a very powerful, very evil Dark Wizard appeared there. He wielded terrible power in the wizarding world, and wanted even more power. Many other wizards and witches became his followers. Those who resisted, he threatened or cursed with horrible magic. But he only wished those from pureblood wizard families to join him, you see. He had no use for anyone else."

Senshiro sighed. Ryou sat with his knees drawn up, his knuckles pressed to his lips in a familiar nervous gesture, and watched his father silently.

"Ryou's mother came from one of those families, pure-blood wizards and witches for as many generations as anyone can trace. But they refused to join with this Dark Lord, as he called himself. In fact, she was the last pureblood in her family. She was an only child and her aunts and uncle had married into non-magical families. Her uncle.... disappeared. Many of our wizard and witch acquaintances disappeared as well, or.... " He shuddered, then shook his head. "It was a very dark time in our world."

Senshiro paused and glanced up at Bakura, who listened intently but said nothing.

"The evil influence of this man hadn't yet spread to my country, or so we thought," Senshiro continued. "When Ryou was four, we decided to leave England and come here to my home in Japan to live. We heard stories of more terrible things happening back in England and Europe, but we thought it couldn't touch us here. Even so, to be safe, we lived like muggles - that's the English word for all the people who aren't magic at all, you see.

"Ryou could have attended the foremost English school of Witchcraft and Wizardry, just as his mother's family have for generations. Instead, we taught him never to use magic, and to pretend that he had no magical powers at all. We thought that at least that way, the Dark Lord and his followers might forget all about us and leave us alone.

"Unfortunately, to my shame, the same kind of evil turned out to exist within my own family. The Dark Wizard, the one whose name we never speak, believed that those of pure wizard blood are superior to everyone else. I discovered that my own brother feels much the same way, but not only about magical powers. Sentaijo was shocked and disgusted that I married an Englishwoman, even if she was a pureblood witch. He despised our children, both because they were half English, and because they had no magic at all - as far as he could tell. 'That's what comes of marrying outsiders!' he said. We had a daughter by then as well... Ryou's little sister was born here. She knew absolutely nothing of magic. We never gave her a chance to know."

He fell silent. His face was white, but he showed no emotion, staring at nothing.

"Father," Ryou said softly.

"This is the sister you miss so much?" Bakura guessed.

Ryou nodded but didn't look at him.

"Yes. My mother and Amane died..." Ryou said hesitantly. "You know that..."

"A car accident?" Bakura prompted. "Isn't that what you tell your friends when they ask you?"

Bakura knew surprisingly little of Ryou's mother and sister, or of his life before he'd come to Domino to live alone. Those memories were buried deep in his mind, obscured by the same barrier that hid his magical knowledge.

Ryou nodded again. "Yes, they died in a car accident," he said. His voice sounded flat and numb.

"It's the truth," Senshiro said. "But there was magic involved in that accident. I don't know what happened, but from the strange stories the witnesses told, I knew some of them had been Obliviated - that is, they had a Memory Charm put on them to make them forget what they'd seen."

Bakura scowled. The story disturbed him more than he'd expected it would.

"Your brother murdered your wife and child?" he said. It came out sounding like a growl.

"I don't know. Sentaijo didn't admit to it, but he never denied it, either. He only said it was just as well that my wife was dead, and that it was a shame my 'half-breed' son hadn't been killed as well. I have no proof that it was him, and it might not have been. It might have been the same followers of He Who Must Not Be Named that threatened her family back in England. Who can tell?"

Senshiro's voice had become shaky. His hands were clenched into white fists in his lap.

"Father," Ryou said again.

Bakura glanced at his former host. He knew Ryou's grief over his sister and mother well enough, but all that showed on the gentle face now was sympathy for his father.

"I haven't spoken with my brother in years," Senshiro went on in a steadier voice. "He stays at an ancient shrine high in the mountains that can't be found by muggles, where he studies old, forgotten magic. My younger brother tells me he speaks as if I and my son no longer exist, or never existed at all."

"And what about this evil English wizard?" Bakura asked. "The one whose name no one will speak? Where is he now?"

Senshiro didn't answer. After a minute, Ryou turned to Bakura and continued in his very soft voice.

"He was no longer in power by the time my mother and sister died. Many of his former followers are in prison; others fled or repented after he disappeared. But we know that many of them still secretly follow his footsteps and hope he'll return someday, even though he's been gone over ten years."

Bakura was about to ask what happened to him when Senshiro suddenly shook himself out of the depths of his memories.

"Ah, yes!" he cried. To Bakura's surprise, and apparently Ryou's as well, he broke into a huge smile. "I completely forgot what I came all this way to tell you, Ryou!"

"Father?" Ryou said cautiously.

Senshiro leaned toward him eagerly. "How would you like to go and attend Hogwarts after all, my son?"

Ryou stared at him, as baffled as Bakura was by his sudden change of mood.

"What? Why?" Ryou sputtered. "Father, I'm too old to attend school there now, and anyway, it's still too dangerous - isn't it?"

"Maybe not! A lot of people call it the safest place in the world, you know."

Ryou frowned at him. "But Mother said that's where a lot of, of You-Know-Who's followers studied magic. Some people even think he was a student there himself. She said once that all the most powerful Deatheaters attended Hogwarts before they joined him."

"That may be," Senshiro said, with his enthusiasm dimming just a little. "I agreed with your mother that it wasn't worth the risk to send you there at the time, even after Professor Dumbledore became Headmaster. But now, there's someone else even more exciting at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry!"

Senshiro clasped his hands together and smiled excitedly at Ryou.

"I heard from a friend in Egypt that Harry Potter himself has shown up at last, alive and well, after being hidden away somewhere all these years. He's already in his second year at Hogwarts!"

For a second, Ryou stared at his father as if he'd gone mad, which Bakura was beginning to think as well. Then his face lit up into a smile that was brighter than any Bakura had ever seen on him before.

"Harry Potter!" he said in an awestruck whisper.

Before Bakura could ask who or what Harry Potter was and why he so exciting, and what he had to do with their family's tragedy, Ryou went on as excitedly as his father.

"Of course! It was eleven years ago, wasn't it? So he'd be old enough to start at Hogwarts last year. He really was somewhere in England all this time? Everyone wondered."

"Yes, and if we weren't out of touch with the wizarding world, we would have known the day he showed up at Hogwarts," Senshiro said. "I wish I'd known! I could have been worrying a lot less all this time. Hogwarts must really be as safe as everyone says. The Deatheaters can't be much of a threat in England anymore, either, if Dumbledore thinks it's safe to bring the one who defeated You-Know-Who to Hogwarts."

"What's this?" Bakura broke in. "The Dark Lord you fear has already been defeated?"

Ryou's smile faded a little. "Yes - apparently - although no one is quite sure how it happened, and it was a horrible tragedy."

"Would you care to explain that in a way that makes sense?" Bakura suggested patiently.

Ryou looked confused - charmingly so, Bakura thought briefly - and then he nodded and grew serious.

"I'm sorry! I'll try to explain... It's because of Harry Potter that He Who Must Not Be Named disappeared eleven years ago. Apparently he tried to get Harry Potter's parents to join with him. They were good people, so of course they refused. He went right to their home and killed them both with an Unforgivable Curse. Harry was only a baby, but somehow he survived when You-Know-Who tried to use the same killing curse on him. All he has is a scar..." Ryou pointed to his forehead. "According to the stories, it's supposed to look like a lightning bolt.

"Right after that, You-Know-Who disappeared completely. Some people thought he died when his spell backfired, but a lot of people think he just lost his powers. No one really knows why, though. Harry must be a wizard, of course, but he was only a year old then. He couldn't have done anything to harm such a powerful Dark Wizard."

Bakura watched as the smiles returned to their faces, with a growing sense of amazement as their words sank in. The most powerful and fearsome wizard of their time had been defeated, possibly destroyed, and they didn't know how it had happened? He stared at them, hardly able to believe his ears.

"Powerful!" Bakura said, incredulous. "Powerful? Perhaps he was, but he was certainly not wise!"

He saw their shocked faces and had to laugh. Ryou and his father looked at him now as if they thought he was the one who'd gone mad, which only made him laugh harder.

"We were all glad to know that the evil one had suffered some kind of blow," Senshiro said, looking at Bakura a little warily. "But I don't think anyone found it quite as amusing as you seem to."

"Oh, but it's very amusing," Bakura said. "Especially if this is the great Dark Lord you're all so afraid of. I don't know what they teach at this school of magic, but if he did attend it, obviously they don't teach anything of the Deep Magic there. If they did, he would have known better than to try to kill that child. His followers follow a fool!"

"Deep Magic?" Senshiro said doubtfully. "You think that's what saved Harry Potter's life?"

Bakura's laughter died out. He grew serious again as he looked down at them. He was amazed that it wasn't as obvious to them as it was to him. Surely Senshiro, so protective of his own son, could see it? Or didn't they even know?

"I'm certain of it." He shook his head, amazed at them. "In my time, even the commonest people with no magic powers at all knew of the Deep Magic. I thought you understood it as well, but I see that you don't comprehend the depths of it, do you?"

They looked up at him, wondering, clearly baffled.

"Don't you understand how I survived the slaughter of my entire village?" he said. "When the Pharaoh's soldiers came to drag us away for their ritual, they reached for me along with all the others. But after my mother threw herself on their spears to keep them from getting to me, even those fools knew enough to leave me alone. Even if they could have killed me, the magic that protected me after that would have made my soul entirely useless for their purposes."

Ryou gasped. Bakura didn't need to hear his thoughts; he could see the pain on Ryou's face as a fragment of Bakura's own memories flashed through his mind.

When the moment passed, he looked up at Bakura, horrified.

"I didn't realize," he whispered. "You were so young..."

For a moment, Bakura felt like he was looking back at his own, impossibly young, horrified face, unable to comprehend what had happened to his mother, what was happening all around him. But Ryou's horror softened into wonder and sympathy, not the dark madness that had engulfed his own soul.

"That's really how you survived all this time, then?" Ryou said in awe. "Because she did that for you? And then, the Millennium Items..." His voice faded to the barest whisper. "She was a part of them..."

Bakura stared at him and said nothing more.

"I see!" Senshiro had been lost in his own thoughts; he hadn't seen the horror come and go on Ryou's face or heard him whisper. "Yes, you could be right about Harry Potter, at that. I simply never thought of it that way before. There's been so much speculation, you see, and all anyone was really concerned about is the fact that it seemed to put an end to the One Who Must Not Be Named."

He thought some more, gazing at Bakura speculatively. He still seemed puzzled by something. Bakura waited for him to ask more about the Deep Magic, but instead, he seemed to be trying to sound out a word.

"Sar byt'ankh," he said at last, and nodded. "Yes, that's it! That's what you said you were called long ago, when I came in and found you here. I just remembered and worked it out. It means, more or less, 'The Miraculously Living Son,' doesn't it?"

Bakura nodded briefly. The ones who found him near the ruins of his village called him that, never knowing what had happened to destroy his home, or what had become of all the others whose blood soaked the sand but whose bodies they never found.

Ryou gasped again as his father's words sank in. Senshiro turned to him and grinned. Then, to Bakura's surprise, they both turned toward him.

"That's amazing!" Ryou said happily, beaming at him. "It's just like The Boy Who Lived!"

Bakura stared back at their smiling faces with the feeling that he was the one who was missing something now.

"That's what everyone calls Harry Potter," Ryou explained finally. "Because he's the only person who ever survived the killing curse, you see."

Bakura did see, although he wasn't sure he was happy with the comparison. He wondered if this Harry Potter even knew why he was still alive.

"Well, now I know the reason that you kept your magic hidden," he said, "but are you still going to hide? Or are you going to return to your mother's homeland and meet this wondrous wizard child, and learn to use your magic at that school?"

Ryou glanced at his father uncertainly. He didn't look quite as excited about Harry Potter and Hogwarts as he had a few minutes ago.

"I've always felt badly that you couldn't go to Hogwarts, Ryou," his father said. "Perhaps, given the prestige of your mother's family - and mine as well - Dumbledore would allow you to attend, if only for some kind of private tutoring, or something."

"Father, thank you. I'd like to see Hogwarts, I guess," Ryou said, politely but not happily. "And I'd certainly love to meet Harry Potter! But, father, I don't have pleasant memories of England. I'm sorry, but I don't think I really want to go back there. All I remember is worry and fear while we were there. I know Mother was much happier here. She loved this country."

"That's true," Senshiro said, with a wistful smile. "She did adopt Japan wholeheartedly, and never had any desire to go back to England. But Ryou, I want you to learn to use your magic properly now. You should have the best teachers, and those are at Hogwarts!"

Ryou inclined his head respectfully.

"Father, if I'm to learn magic, I would rather go to a wizarding school here in Japan."

Bakura watched this polite and formal exchange with a little amusement. He hadn't been much impressed with the non-magic school Ryou went to, and he had already formed a poor opinion of Hogwarts.

"What do they teach in these wizarding schools, anyway?" he asked skeptically. "I could probably teach you more than any school of this time even knows of magic!"

"I'm sure you could teach us a great deal," Senshiro said. "However, we've made a few discoveries in the past 3000 years, too! I'm familiar with some of your Egyptian magic, you know. Our methods, spells, and incantations have evolved quite a bit since your time. In fact, if you're to live in this world as a wizard, I think you're going to need to learn a few things from us!"

"You're not suggesting I attend school with a bunch of little wizard brats!" Bakura said before he could stop himself.

Senshiro raised an eyebrow, but he looked as much amused as shocked.

"It is difficult to imagine you getting along in a place like Hogwarts," he said, smiling indulgently.

"Maybe," Ryou suggested hesitantly, looking quickly from Bakura to his father, "maybe we could learn together? On our own?"

Bakura raised an eyebrow at this. Ryou smiled up at him, shy and hesitant. And then suddenly he blushed, hiding his shy grin behind his knees.

Bakura was speechless. After a moment, while Ryou continued to peer up at him from behind the hair falling over his face, he smiled. When he thought about it, the idea of learning and teaching magic along with his former host sounded very appealing, indeed.

Senshiro thought about it a moment - not noticing the unusual color of his son's face - then he shrugged.

"Possibly you can. After all, it's not as if you don't know any thing at all about magic, simply that you've trained yourself not to use it. I could make some inquiries, perhaps find a tutor for you. I don't know of any other wizards or witches here in Domino, but we can pay a visit to some old friends in Kyoto. They'll be happy to help, I'm sure. And anyway, if you're going to learn proper modern magic," he continued with a quick, amused glance in Bakura's direction, "you'll need the proper equipment. The best place to find all that, short of a trip to Diagon Alley in London, is in Kyoto."

Ryou's eyes grew wide. "Do you mean I can have a wand?"

"Of course!" Senshiro laughed. "And perhaps an owl as well, so we can stay in touch from now on!"

Bakura hadn't seen such a glow on Ryou's face since the deluxe expansion set for Monster World had arrived at the Kame Game Shop. He wasn't quite as pleased as Ryou was with the prospect of acquiring new magical objects, but he was starting to get a little curious about just what he'd been missing in this world of magic-users in Ryou's time.

Senshiro smiled indulgently at his son, but then he grew serious again.

"You should still be cautious, I think," he said. " 'Muggles' here are not as afraid of magic as they are in the West, and for that matter, wizards and witches are not as alienated from the 'muggle' world as they are in England. It's a bit of a controversy in the worldwide wizarding community, in fact, that we don't keep as well hidden as they think we ought to be, especially in a place with very old magical traditions like Kyoto. Even so, Ryou," he continued, with a quick glance at Bakura as well, "Don't go announcing it to the world that you can do magic! You'll still need to attend regular school here, at least for another year, but I don't think your friends at Domino High School would understand if you start waving your wands around and turning teacups into tortoises!"

"No," Ryou said, shaking his head. "I won't do anything like..." he trailed off; suddenly his eyes grew wide and round and he clapped his hand over his mouth. "Oh. Oh dear. I completely forgot..."

He looked up at Bakura with those great, deep brown eyes. For the first time since he'd woken up after fainting, he looked scared. That made Bakura nervous and a little annoyed.

"What have you forgotten, Yadonushi?" he said impatiently.

"Ryou? What's wrong?" his father asked.

"Oh!" Ryou said again, turning to his father as if he'd forgotten he was there. He looked even more distressed. "I'm not supposed to tell you!"

Now Senshiro looked both worried and annoyed as well. Bakura wished he could just hear Ryou's thoughts, but before he could make up his mind to try to reopen the mental link that had existed between them, Ryou's shoulders slumped and he sighed.

"I suppose I have to tell you, don't I?" he said miserably. With both his father and Bakura scowling at him now, he forced an apologetic smile.

"Well, I forgot... But when we came back from Egypt... Bakura, I'm afraid you're not really the only ancient Egyptian who has returned to life."

"Really?" Senshiro was predictably excited to hear this. "There's another survivor from the past? Where is he? Or is it a she?"

Bakura wasn't quite as pleased. There was only one other person from Ancient Egypt whose soul was likely to have survived. "Don't tell me," he growled.

The look on Ryou's face confirmed his horrible suspicion.

Bakura groaned. "That cursed Pharaoh still walks this earth as well?"

Ryou nodded apologetically.

"At the very end," he explained quickly, "after all seven Items were returned to the stone tablet, everyone thought he was going to disappear into the Afterlife. I know Yugi expected it, but he didn't want Atemu to go. Atemu said it was their fate to be parted, but just then, Isis stepped up and said it wasn't. That is, she said Atemu had a choice. He could live out the rest of his life in this world as an ordinary man, or he could go and take his place in the Afterlife as the son of the gods. She said that Shadi had revealed this to her right at the end of your duel with the Pharaoh, before he disappeared into the Afterlife. Atemu... well, he decided to stay with Yugi."

Bakura scowled darkly at this news. Senshiro gaped, looking from one to the other of them in confusion.

"I suppose it makes sense," Bakura grumbled at last, after thinking it over. "He never really died either, and he sacrificed his own life as Pharaoh to seal the Dark One away. And in the end the fool did somehow manage to defeat the demon forever. I suppose the gods would choose to reward him with such a choice and another chance at life," he admitted, very reluctantly.

"There's a real Egyptian pharaoh here in Domino as well?" Senshiro couldn't contain his excitement. "That's wonderful! I -"

Ryou held up his hand. "Father, wait! Please."

Senshiro paused, startled by his son's command. Ryou sighed heavily.

"Well, yes," Ryou admitted. "It's true. He's going to be living with Yugi Motou, a friend of mine from school. But no one is supposed to know that he's really from ancient Egypt!" he added with a pleading look at his father.

Senshiro looked so disappointed that Bakura was tempted to laugh. He wanted to reassure him that Atemu wasn't much of a source of ancient knowledge - wasn't much good for anything in fact. But he kept silent as Ryou continued.

"I said I wouldn't tell anyone - especially you, father! I'm sorry, I forgot I made that promise, but at the time I didn't think there would be any reason to tell you. We all agreed we wouldn't say anything about it to anyone who wasn't there. Yugi's grandfather said they'd make up some explanation for him coming to live with them. He'll probably come in as a transfer student in Yugi's class at school. Come to think of it, I suppose we'd better think of an explanation for you, too, Bakura. They'll be surprised..."

"Yes, they will," Bakura said with a grin. Ryou had a too-innocent look in his eyes, and he caught Bakura's gaze and smiled, too. Apparently, his former host was going to enjoy surprising his friends as much as he was.

"Heh-heh!" Bakura laughed, brightening up even more at the thought of Atemu attending high school like an ordinary, modern kid. "That's right! He's not a pharaoh any longer. No one in this world is going to bow down and worship him as the son of the gods! In fact," he said, with his grin widening, "without his Millennium Puzzle, he's just an ordinary man now - a 'muggle'!"

Ryou tried to stifle a giggle behind his hand. His brown eyes sparkled as he caught Bakura's gaze again.

For a moment, they shared a sudden understanding. Ryou's soft brown eyes were shining, and as they continued to gaze at each other, his pale cheeks became softly flushed again. Bakura felt the glowing warmth of life inside himself as well. Perhaps he really was welcome here, he thought.

He laughed out loud, and Ryou's giggles burst through as well.

Senshiro looked terribly disappointed. "An ancient Egyptian Pharaoh - a /muggle/?" he said sadly.

Senshiro was still shaking his head over the idea of an Egyptian Pharaoh being nothing more than a muggle - and one he couldn't even talk to - several minutes later. He suddenly declared he'd heard and talked as much as he could stand for a while, and left to make dinner for all of them.

Bakura found himself suddenly alone with Ryou for the first time. Still blushing, Ryou met his eyes for a moment, and then quickly looked away.

Bakura watched him sit and fidget silently for a moment. He crossed his arms again to keep himself from fidgeting as well, not from nervousness, but to control the urge to touch Ryou again and find out if his face was really as warm as it looked. He knew he'd grown fond of Ryou, somehow. The feelings that were stirring in him now, the desire to be closer to him, took him by surprised. But he also felt other, deeper emotions toward Ryou that were even more surprising than that. Or maybe they weren't really that surprising after all.

Ryou's grief and loneliness had touched his own and made him feel human again, but he hadn't realized the terrible source of those emotions before today. He'd always known of the Deep Magic that had protected him. Watching Ryou while his father told the story of his family's tragedy, it suddenly seemed to him that even he had never really understood it until now, either.

Now, knowing of the danger that still existed in Ryou's world, he felt an overwhelming, baffling urge to protect his former host from harm. If Dark Wizards or anyone else threatened Ryou, Bakura decided he would use all the magic and knowledge he had to keep him safe. Even if it meant invoking the power of the Deep Magic himself someday.

But in order to do that, he would need to be able to stay near Ryou.

" /'Adjo/," he said softly, watching the soft light gleam on Ryou's hair.

"What? Did you say something to me?" Ryou asked, his voice suddenly soft and shy.

Bakura smiled and shook his head.

"Nothing," he said. "Never mind."


Ryou realized that the story of his own tragedy and the excitement about Harry Potter had distracted him from really noticing Bakura for a while, but as soon as they were alone, he suddenly became terribly aware of the former spirit's physical presence again.

He hardly dared glance up at him for fear he'd be caught staring. He told himself it was only because he was still getting used to the idea that Bakura was out there and not inside his head, plus the strangeness of seeing someone who looked like him only so much different. The fact was, most of that shock had already worn off. He simply found himself wanting to look at Bakura - rather a lot.

When he finally did look up, Bakura was watching him silently, with that oddly tentative look in his eyes again, as if he was wondering what Ryou thought of him.

Ryou wasn't quite sure what he did think of Bakura anymore, only that his feelings toward him were quite a bit different than they had been a few days ago, when he was ready to do anything to get rid of the Ring and its terrible Spirit. But then he thought back further and remembered moments when the Spirit wasn't being quite so terrible, when it seemed like they might actually have something in common after all, like the love of games or a hatred of bullies. He remembered wishing it could stay that way, as if he really did have a friend who really understood him.

"Well, /Yadonushi/," Bakura said. He suddenly sounded more like the spirit Ryou remembered, but his eyes were hidden in the shadow of the hair that had fallen over his face. "Your father is very generous to have welcomed me so readily. But then, he only knows that I was trapped by an ancient curse. You know so much more, Bakura Ryou. You know all that I've done in the name of vengeance. I must admit, despite being free of the Dark One's influence, there is very little of it I regret. But your father has welcomed me into your home. Is that all right with you? Do you wish to welcome me into your home as well, Ryou Bakura?"

Ryou stared up at him. The question surprised him. He thought the answer should be obvious, but it sounded as if there was something behind it that he didn't understand.

"I'm glad I know the truth," he said. "I don't like to think too much about some of the things you did." He winced as one of those more unpleasant memories flashed through his mind. "Like how you acquired the Ring for the first time, for example. But I think Father is right, this is how things had to be. And if you had never had the Ring, you might not be here now."

Bakura continued quietly. "The first time I visited, you were quite anxious to have me leave. If you feel that way now..."

Ryou said nothing. Bakura lifted his head a little, and their eyes met. Ryou wondered how he could feel more exposed than ever, sitting here like this face to face, when Bakura had already been inside his mind. Or maybe it was just that he could see deeper into Bakura than he'd ever seen before.

Bakura pushed himself off of the desk and came over to stand in front of Ryou. For a second, Ryou felt frozen, but not with fear. With a strange sense of anticipation, he watched as Bakura dropped to his knees. Kneeling at the side of the bed, he was eye to eye with Ryou.

He lifted a hand toward Ryou, who didn't move or blink, although his heart was pounding. But Bakura dropped his hand onto the bed and cocked his head at Ryou instead.

"Well? Do you welcome me into your home? Into your life? Or do you still want me to get out and leave you alone?"

Only a few days ago, Ryou never thought he'd want the Spirit of the Ring to stay, but he knew what his answer was without a doubt. They were separate now, but he wasn't alone and apart anymore, and he was glad of it.

He sat up on the bed and folded his legs underneath him. Kneeling that way, he was a little higher than Bakura now. The former spirit looked up at him calmly, waiting.

Ryou just needed to make sure he was quite as real as he looked. He reached out his own hand and touched Bakura's. It felt solid and warm. Looking down at the Egyptian's tanned skin next to his own white fingers, he spoke softly.

"I did miss you, in a way, after it was all over. And I would definitely miss you now if you went away again," he said.

When he looked up again, Bakura's blue eyes were locked on him. He wasn't quite smiling, but unless Ryou was imagining things, his face was a little flushed now, too. Ryou suddenly felt shy, but he continued anyway.

"Welcome home, Bakura," he said. "I hope you'll stay. I hope you'll stay for a very long time."

Bakura watched him for a long, silent moment from the depths of his shadowy eyes. Finally, Bakura's hand closed around his, and he smiled.

"Thank you, my host. I believe I will!"

At that moment, Ryou Bakura knew his life was about to become even stranger than it already was - and better than it had ever been.

to be continued...
Although this story is on hold for the moment (as of November 2006), I plan to continue it eventually, but break it into two stories: one that tells about the Dragon and why it's suddenly come to visit Bakura after 3000 years, and another story that describes the time between the flashback and the arrival of the dragon, showing how Ryou and Bakura study magic and become full-fledged Wizards and, along the way, begin to fall into a magical relationship...
Reviews and suggestions are much welcome, and will probably help me get those two stories written sooner rather than later!

Notes on the timeline of events in this story:
I'm figuring Harry found out he was a wizard around the same time Yugi solved his Millennium Puzzle, while Ryou acquired the Ring several months before those two events. I also figure the events of Yu-gi-oh took about a year to unfold, so this flashback occurs sometime during Harry's 2nd year at Hogwarts. He'd be 12, and Ryou is 17. Amane and Ryou's mother died when he was 14, so Amane was 11 - just old enough to have gone to Hogwarts herself if things had turned out differently.
Back in the present when the dragon arrives, Ryou has turned 18 and is still in high school for his final year. Harry would be in his 3rd year at Hogwarts.

Notes on non-English words:
"sar byt 'ankh" - excuse my lame attempt at translating "Boy Who Lived" into Ancient Egyptian. I hobbled this together from a couple of books on hieroglyphics, especially Bridget McDermott's wonderful book "Decoding Egyptian Hieroglyphs."

"Yadonushi" means host or landlord, a word the Spirit of the Ring uses for his host, Ryou Bakura, in the Yugioh manga.
"Adjo" is Ancient Egyptian for "takara," which is Japanese for "treasure."
Sign up to rate and review this story