Harry Potter Yu-Gi-Oh crossover – Disclaimer: I own neither
/Ryou and Bakura mind link/
Koe – Voice (What Ryou calls the spirit of the ring)
Yadonushi – Landlord (What the spirit calls Ryou)
As the sun crept in through his barred windows, Harry reached out a hand and let it slap loudly on the bedside table. Finally he felt the familiar pieces of glass beneath his fingers. He pulled them over and pushed his glasses on his face. He breathed heavily, trying to will away the residual images of his latest nightmare. The boy pushed himself to a seated position and shook his head.
"Just another dream" He mumbled to himself. He glanced out the window and took in the bright morning. He told Ryou he would meet up with him today. Hopefully his muggle friend could help him forget the events from last year's horrible tournament. Maybe spending time with the living would help him forget the dead.
Harry got dressed and fed Hedwig quickly. The Dursleys glared at him as he entered the kitchen and he smirked at them in return.
"Where are you going boy?" growled his uncle. Harry smirked again.
"To see Ryou." Thanks to Ryou Bakura's arrival, Harry's time in Little Whining had become much more tolerable. The Dursleys never questioned him hanging out with Ryou since Harry was the only way to convince the boy to come over to visit the house. They had tried to get Dudley to befriend him too, but Ryou didn't really warm up to the portly boy and would politely refuse any outings Dudley suggested. Having Ryou in the house also made the Dursleys respect Harry more. It was all a show for the white haired boy with the connections, but Harry took full advantage of the better treatment.
Harry sent one last glance towards Dudley who was sitting on the couch watching television. Harry caught sight of the TV as well. The news was still trying to get information on an item that was stolen last month. Harry swore it looked familiar but that was probably just because the owner had been posting pictures of the dog statue everywhere. Now that he thought about it, Harry realized there had been a string of robberies lately. Paranoia gripped him as he wondered if it had anything to do with Voldemort. Harry knew it was only a matter of time before that snake faced bastard tried to kill him again. Maybe he was sending his followers, the Death Eaters, to steal from the area as a sign that he knew where Harry was and he could come for him at any time.
Harry shivered at the thought and headed out the door with wary eyes.
Harry made it to the park relatively quickly and was pleased at the sight of a white mop of hair already sitting on the swing set. He started heading over, raising his hand and preparing to call out to his friend, but stopped. Ryou was sitting on the swing alone, but he was definitely talking. Harry watched curiously as Ryou seemed to mumble something, then sit in silence. He even shrugged and shook his head lightly. Harry quietly approached, unnoticed by the boy who was completely absorbed in his conversation with himself. This wasn't the first time he had seen Ryou talk to himself, but Ryou looked so down Harry's curiosity was demanding he eavesdropped.
"That's your own fault for going on a spree like that….. No I'm not. I'm just… I was just looking forward to going back is all…. Huh? Koe?" Ryou finally stopped talking, his body frozen. His head whipped around so he was staring at Harry in surprise. Harry pretended he had only just walked up.
"Hey Ryou. Been waiting long?" He asked, but his farce wasn't fooling Ryou. Harry didn't know how he did it, but Ryou was pretty good at figuring out when he was being watched. It was like he had a sixth sense for it or something.
"I know you were there for awhile Harry." Ryou replied. His eyes were guarded, which Harry thought was odd.
"Honest, I only just came a few minutes ago." Harry sighed, trying to think of a way out of this mess. Luckily Ryou was happy to help him get out of a potentially awkward situation.
"I know it's a little weird… me talking to myself. Sorry, there's just been… a lot in my mind." Ryou said calmly as he faced forward on his swing. Harry smiled, relieved he hadn't damaged his only non-magic related friendship, and sat beside him.
"I thought you looked a little depressed. Did something happen?" Harry asked and Ryou immediately seemed disheartened. Harry wondered if it had to do with yesterday. Yesterday was a Sunday and Harry never saw his friend on Sunday. The only time he ever did see him was that first week when he ran into Ryou buying flowers.
"Nothing really important. My father called me this morning. He's staying in Egypt a little longer." Ryou started. Harry nodded slowly. He knew Ryou was living alone, waiting for his dad to join him. Ryou wasn't keen on talking much about his family life, and it was only after Harry pointed out that he never saw Ryou's dad whenever he visited that Ryou finally told him the situation. Harry felt a little bad for Ryou, but was confused him was that Ryou gave off the impression that he was used to this kind of behavior from his dad. Why was he taking it so hard this time?
"Well, there's still a month left in summer. I'm sure he'll make it down soon." Harry offered, but Ryou only shook his head.
"No. He told me he can't make it. He wants me to stay here for the school year since England is so much closer to Egypt. He said he marked his calendar so he can spend Christmas day with me." Ryou's voice sounded both hopeful and disbelieving at the same time. Harry understood now why Ryou was depressed. He had been looking forward to going back home to Japan and seeing his friends again. Now his father had sentenced him to an even longer stay in a place where he would be even more alone than before once the school year began.
"Hey Harry, where do you go to school? Maybe we will be attending the same one." Ryou's eyes were optimistic and the idea seemed to cheer him up a bit. Harry was reluctant to answer and turned his head forward, letting himself move back and forth gently on his swing.
"Um… I go to…" He stopped to think. Crap, what was the name of the place his uncle told everybody he attended?
" St. Brutus'. Yeah, it's kind of obscure so you've probably never heard of it." Harry attached the last sentence after Ryou gave him a confused look. Harry had been nervous this news would just be another stone in Ryou's clearly growing pile of depression and Ryou's face did seem to fall the tiniest bit.
" Oh. Well, is it anywhere near Stonewall High?" Ryou asked, trying to keep up his optimism. He was disappointed when Harry told him it was far away and he'd actually have to take a long train ride to get there.
"Well… I guess once school starts we can only hang out over the weekends huh?" Ryou said absently. Harry felt a stab of guilt for some reason. It wasn't his fault he wasn't going to be staying here once September came around. Still, he just didn't want to tell his newest friend that he wouldn't be seeing him again once he left for Hogwarts. Actually, the next month could be the last either of them saw of each other if Ryou finally went back to Japan after Christmas. He let out a saddened exhale and looked over at the boy who was still trying to stay positive and look on the bright side of things.
"Actually, it's a boarding school. I stay there for holidays too." Harry reluctantly murmured. Ryou blinked slowly in reply.
"Oh" Ryou looked forward without any readable expression and let his hands rest along the chains of the swing. So he wasn't going to get to see his friends in Japan, his father was still in Egypt with distant plans to visit him which probably wouldn't come to fruition, Harry was leaving at the start of term, he'd have to deal with Dudley by himself soon, he'd have to start in yet another new school, and Koe was moody now that his thievery was starting to get noticed. Ryou focused on the silver lining. He still had a month left before school started and he'd hopefully make plenty of new friends at Stonewall High as long as the spirit didn't interfere … and the spirit had to keep a low profile for a little while which meant less stealing. Said spirit was quietly simmering at the back of Ryou's mind as this realization was thrown into his face yet again.
"Ryou, do you feel up to visiting Hedwig today?" Harry's voice broke Ryou from his thoughts and he looked over with a tiny smile. Harry smiled back as Ryou nodded. Harry was still astounded how quickly and how well Ryou and Hedwig got along with one another. Whenever Ryou stopped by 4 Privet Drive, he insisted on visiting the snowy owl. It was one of the few things Ryou consistently asked to do, albeit always politely. Harry was hoping Hedwig could help cheer Ryou up if only a little.
It was a little after noon when Ryou and Harry slipped inside the Dursley's home. They tried to be as quiet as possible to avoid attracting any attention, but it was a rare thing when that plan worked. Harry flinched as the sound of his uncle's voice reached his ears, and he inwardly chuckled as Vernon's tone changed mid sentence from chastising to neutral. He glanced over his shoulder at Ryou who was respectfully replying to Vernon's greetings. Vernon instantly tried to start up a conversation with Ryou and as usual Ryou did not voice his disinterest.
"Seriously Ryou, you don't need to humor him. Just tell him you don't care a hoot about what he has to say." Harry said as he glanced at his uncle. Ryou looked shocked and embarrassed.
"No no, I … that is…" Ryou couldn't find the right words as he waved his hands in front of his face and finally looked down at the ground.
"Excuse us uncle. Ryou only came over to visit Hedwig." Harry announced as he took the initiative and stepped deliberately between Ryou and his uncle. Vernon seemed thoroughly annoyed but with Ryou right there, he was holding his tongue. Harry knew he would hear his ranting later once the boy who knew Kaiba wasn't around anymore. Harry turned and guided Ryou to the stairs. He could just make out his uncle's mumblings once Ryou was upstairs.
"I don't know why he's so fascinated by that bloody pigeon"
Ryou wasn't going to admit it, but he was glad Harry had stepped in. Harry's uncle was always trying to talk to him about businesses and Ryou's status in Japan. He couldn't for the life of him figure out why Mr. Dursley was so interested. He didn't really seem like the Duel Monsters type so it couldn't be related to his Battle City fame. He thought by now his celebrity status would have lost its charm on a non-dueler.
/Still so naïve./
Ryou blinked, biting back a verbal reply. He glanced at Harry's back as he trudged up the stairs and decided it wouldn't do to give a reason for his friend to start worrying about him. He inhaled and instead tried to convey his thoughts to the spirit. He didn't understand why Koe kept calling him naïve. The reply to his thoughts was a chuckle.
/Yadonushi, you should recognize when you're being used by now/ purred the voice of the ring. Ryou frowned. He opened his mouth to offer his rebuttal but shut it quickly and tightly as he remembered where he was. The spirit chuckled again.
"Ryou? You okay?" Harry's voice made Ryou jerk his head up. Harry was holding his door open, clearly waiting. Ryou immediately blushed and rubbed his hair.
"Sorry. Got lost in my thoughts." He quickly apologized as he walked in. Just as Harry had hoped, Ryou immediately brightened at the sight of Hedwig. He walked straight to her cage and reached through the thin wires to pet her soft white feathers.
"Hey Harry, I've always been curious… why do you have an owl in the first place? I didn't even know people were allowed to legally own them" Ryou spoke softly as he looked towards Harry. Hedwig nipped his finger gently, forcing the white haired child to continue petting her.
" At my school, we use owls to send messages to each other." Harry supplied as he walked over to the cage and rubbed the owl's head. He didn't notice the curious stare he was receiving from Ryou. He was too busy wondering if owning a snowy owl really was legal or not.
"Why don't you just send mail through the post?" Ryou was genuinely curious. Harry faltered.
"Uhh…because. This way…I … don't have to pay for postage…yeah. Oh, and the school I go to isn't anywhere near the post office. They aren't even on the mail route. Plus the people I usually write to live far away. Sometimes they're camping out too, so the post office would never be able to find them anyway." By camping out, he meant in hiding or somewhere magical. Details. Who needed them.
"Hedwig must be pretty amazing to be such a good messenger. And she always knows where to go and how to get back?" Harry nodded and Ryou stared at the bird in admiration. Hedwig seemed to really enjoy the attention.
"Really though… how did you get such an incredible owl?" Ryou returned his attention to Harry who was staring at the white plumed bird with a smile.
"She was a birthday present actually. A dear friend of mine gave her to me when I turned eleven." He replied. It was strange to think how long ago that was. He and Hedwig had been partners for over four years now. Things had been so much simpler back then. His life was still full of adventure, but his earlier years at Hogwarts seemed so trivial to the nightmares he had been dealing with lately.
"Say Harry… when is your birthday anyway?" Ryou asked. Harry was pulled away from his first year reminiscing and found two warm brown eyes locked onto him.
"July 31st…" He said with a shrug. His nonchalance was not appreciated.
"Jul… that was two days ago! Why didn't you tell me?" Ryou looked upset and Harry was stunned by how much Ryou cared. Again. A muggle he had only met a month ago seemed to care more about his birthday than his best friends whom he'd known for four years.
"It's no big deal. Birthdays aren't all that important anyway." Harry said smoothly, but his words did nothing to pacify Ryou.
"I'm sorry Harry, I didn't even wish you a happy birthday. We should have done something to celebrate." Ryou looked guilty at himself and Harry was ignored when he tried to tell Ryou he shouldn't be sorry since he hadn't known. Still, it was nice that somebody in Little Whining actually wanted to celebrate his birth. The Dursleys obviously never cared and probably didn't even know when his birthday was.
"when's your birthday Ryou?" Harry asked, raising his voice just a little to quiet Ryou's apologetic mumblings. The boy faltered and blinked. Harry raised an eyebrow and cocked a smile.
"Hey, I told you mine, so you have to tell me yours. It's your late gift to me. Now tell me." Harry said with a playful push on Ryou's shoulder.
"Fine, okay. It's September second." Ryou tipped his head as he thought about his own birthday. He didn't really have parties or anything. Normally the day passed by completely unnoticed. Sometimes his dad would call, but more often than not he would be too submersed in his expedition to wish his own son a happy birthday. His first real party had been his last birthday. His friends had surprised him, showing up out of the blue to his house with cake and presents. He smiled at the memory.
"September. Well there you go. I'll be in school by then, so I won't be able to do anything special for your big day either. We're even." Harry replied with a smirk.
"Oh but, don't be surprised if Hedwig stops by." Harry added as an idea lit his eyes. He wasn't the brightest crayon in the box now was he? Why hadn't he thought of this sooner? At Ryou's confused face, Harry continued with his explanation.
"I already told you I can't send or receive letters in the mail once I'm at school, but that doesn't mean I can't send or receive letters." Harry brushed his fingers along the cage that held his partner. Hedwig gave a reassuring hoot in reply.
"You can give her a letter to bring back to me too." Harry smiled as Ryou's face filled with excited understanding. Harry wasn't exactly sure if it would be suspicious for a muggle to be receiving mail via owl but the ministry of magic probably wouldn't care. Besides, how else was he going to stay in contact with Ryou? This was the only way he could think of to keep in touch without blatantly saying 'Oh by the way I'm a wizard and I have magic' and losing his only non-magical friend. Harry looked over at Ryou. He was petting Hedwig again and talking to her. Actually, considering his love for the occult, maybe Ryou wouldn't run away screaming if he told him he was something that defied logic. Something unnatural.
Ryou glanced at Harry. He looked like he was lost in his thoughts, not that he could say anything. Harry really was just thinking to himself when he went quiet. Ryou on the other hand had to deal with something far less natural.
/I've got it. The answers to our problem./
Ryou tilted his head and looked back to Hedwig. Quietly he mumbled under his breath.
"What problem, Koe? Hedwig here will let us keep in touch w— "
/Not that, Yadonushi. You go to London every Sunday anyway, and in London, you aren't the 'new face' in town. Nobody will take notice of a few more missing items when crime already occurs everywhere there. Although…./
Ryou blinked as the spirit trailed off, the shared thoughts between them growing faint until the voice was no longer audible. Ryou did not like where this was going. The spirit of the ring had definitely been voicing his own thoughts out loud (Well… in a way), not really speaking to Ryou.
"Koe? You're not planning anything bad are you? Of course he is. That's the only type of planning he ever does." Ryou audibly sighed as he scratched Hedwig on the head. It looked like Sundays weren't going to be his quiet visiting days anymore.
"Ryou, when do you start at Stonewall?" Harry asked, causing the white haired teenager to look up at him with his well worn smile.
"September second" Ryou replied as he turned to face Harry properly, resting his pale hands on his lap.
"Mm schoolwork on your special day. Best birthday present ever huh?" Harry said, words dripping with heavy sarcasm. Ryou chuckled lightly.
"I guess you'll be leaving before then if you'll already be at your boarding school." Ryou voiced his guess and Harry nodded. "When do you leave?"
"Huh. Sometime at the end of August. It varies from year to year" Harry responded, smiling at what could only be an inside joke. Ryou wondered if he should ask what was funny, but decided it he should not intrude. It was probably something he shared with his other friends. The ones he'd known for years.
"How is Saint Brutus' anyway? I don't think I've ever heard of it." Ryou said as he shook his head after failing to picture the school. He didn't know anything about any of the schools in England except for the ones he had attended before moving to Japan. Still, that was a pretty good handful of schools thanks to certain… incidents. Suddenly he heard laughter.
Apparently the spirit of the ring was finally paying attention to Ryou again.
"It's uhh…. Nice for a school I guess. Strict discipline there and some of the teachers are a little … off… but overall the staff is excellent and school grounds are quite the sight." Harry spoke calmly, wondering what was okay to say and what would be better kept to himself. He had a feeling if he continued to talk about Hogwarts he'd let something slip. Best way to remedy that danger was a change in subject.
"What about Japan? How is it on the other side of the world?" He asked with a tiny laugh. Ryou took the bait and seemed to be thinking about what to say. It was a big country, so he probably had a lot to tell.
Ryou contemplated his reply. He would have to be careful if he mentioned his friends, particularly anything involving strange supernatural phenomenon. Best to avoid the topics of Yugi and Malik all together.
"It's really modern where I live. Kaiba has his corporation centered in Domino City, so all the latest technology is available to the residents right away. The inner city can get really crowded but overall it's just like any little city." Ryou explained.
"Did you move to Japan for that dueling game?" Harry was curious. Of all the places to move, why somewhere so far away as Japan? Especially since it was clear that Ryou lived there alone, just like he lived here alone. It would have been one thing if he was living with family, but Ryou had told Harry before that it was just him and his dad now.
"If I wanted to move to the heart of Duel Monsters, I'd move to America. That's where the card game originally came from" Ryou said with a smile. Technically the cards did come from America even if Duel Monsters was inspired by a much more sinister Egyptian game. Ryou chuckled at Harry's surprise.
"So then… why Japan?" Harry pressed. Ryou merely shrugged.
"I've told you before my father got a job as curator at the local museum there. Plus he thought it was best if I moved out of England for awhile." Ryou stopped there and looked away from Harry's curious eyes. It was a topic Ryou didn't really want to touch on. Harry didn't seem to recognize Ryou's discomfort on the topic this time.
"why?" He asked. Ryou sat in silence for a moment. What should he tell him? He really didn't want to talk about his mother right now, nor did he want to mention the spirit. Ever. But Harry had done research on Ryou before. He had admitted he looked him up when he first moved in to the Harthrow House. He might look this up too. The truth would probably be the best answer. Ryou looked up and took a breath to speak, but it caught and he faltered. He blinked and looked at Harry again, slowly smiling.
"The old man was just scared about the rumors floating around. Kids were falling asleep in schools all around the city and nothing could wake them up. Unexplainable comas. Dear sweet daddy wanted to get me away from all that." Ryou purred with a smirk planted on his face. Harry was genuinely surprised about this information. He wasn't one for gossip so he hadn't heard about this before. The smile on Ryou's face gave him chills too. It wasn't really a thing to smile about, but then again, Ryou did have a fascination with that type of stuff. Harry failed to make any connections to Ryou's story and the rumors surrounding Ryou's house.
The duo headed downstairs. The sky was getting dark and Ryou didn't want to stay for dinner. He honestly didn't want to because he thought it would be a bother to the Dursleys. Harry had finally gotten over his astonishment about Ryou's reasoning. Ryou tended to put others' feelings before his own. Not always, but often enough. Harry was just saying good bye to Ryou when Vernon walked into the room.
"I do hope you will come to visit after Potter has left for … 'school' " Harry's uncle said, trying to keep his tone pleasant.
Ryou gave a polite smile but said nothing as he turned and headed out the door.
Ryou exhaled a wispy cloud of breath. He rubbed his hands together and planted them in his pockets as he walked. The sky was already dark and the clouds were determined to help darken the night even more. The longer he walked the darker and colder the night seemed to get. He gave a reluctant shiver as the cold air nipped at him.
/What's wrong? Scared?/ echoed the voice in the boy's head tauntingly.
"No! It's just chilly out." Ryou countered, tugging his jacket closed and blushing as he heard the spirit's laughter ringing through his ears.
"I'm serious. If you had your own body, you'd feel it to." Ryou barked. The spirit was quiet for a moment which caused Ryou to stop and think about what he just said. "Koe, I…"
/You're touchy tonight aren't you Yadonushi?/ The sentence sounded more like a statement than an admonishment.
Ryou furrowed his brow and rubbed his arm. He didn't know why he snapped like that. He felt guilty now. He shivered again and braced himself for the spirit's mockery. When none came he instantly spoke with a scornful tint to his tone.
"What, are you all done ridiculing for the night? Too tired to pick on the person whose body you're infesting?" Ryou said before immediately slapping his hand over his mouth. Laughter greeted him, but it was different from the usual teasing laughter the spirit usually directed at Ryou. It was more like the laughter he offered to the Pharaoh – dark and twisted.
/ Yadonushi , looks like somebody's finally grown a spine. Color me impressed. Here I am playing nice and letting you keep your consciousness awake all the time. Clearly I'm giving you too much leeway./
Ryou removed his hand from his mouth. He had to apologize. He was acting so awful towards the spirit of the ring for no reason. He had to say he was sorry. When he opened his mouth to try to speak again, something he was not used to began to flare up within him, overpowering the guilt. Anger.
"Hah! What a load of bull. YOU, giving ME too much leeway? This is MY body! If anything I'm giving YOU too much free reign." He pretty much yelled, and this time both hands clapped over his mouth. That had not been an apology. What was wrong with him?
The spirit was honestly stunned. Something was not right here. Even Ryou could tell that. Still, the thief was growing angry as Ryou persisted with this little charade. He prepared to reply to his foolish little host when he finally felt a prickle from the darkness. He stared through Ryou's eyes as the white haired boy turned towards a bright light that lit up an alleyway not too far away. It was warm and silvery in color and it almost looked as if it was blowing away the darkness that layered itself on the world this cold night.
Ryou blinked, mind blank of both his own thoughts and the spirit of the ring's. It didn't last and soon his mind was flooded.
Ryou clutched his head and gritted his teeth. Images flashed through his mind. Terrible pictures of a blood splattered car, a crushed little girl, and his mother's blank eyes. He fell to his knees and shivered uncontrollably.
What was that sound? He didn't know and it didn't matter. His heart was pounding and it wouldn't stop. He cried out in anguish as he saw his family die again. He saw his friends disappear one by one from unnatural comas. He saw his own hand being thrust onto the pointed spire of a poly-resin model castle, listened to laughter that was not his own erupt from his mouth.
/Yadonushi, pull yourself together!/
That sound again. It was familiar yet so very distant. It didn't matter. He was too concerned with watching himself being stabbed by his own hands.
"K-koe…?" That was what it was called right? Koe?
Ryou blinked in confusion and went wide eyed at the thing that was before him. How had he missed it? A monster draped in black shredded cloth was drifting towards him. He couldn't stop shivering and he could feel cold tears that must have fallen from his eyes. The monster drifted closer to Ryou and he gasped. The images replayed themselves and he had to stifle his scream.
/Yadonushi, block it out! You've … Augh, don't die from this!/
Frustration was evident in the voice and suddenly Ryou felt something warm against his chest. The feeling spread and flooded his body as a completely foreign and yet entirely familiar presence pressed against his mind. Something pulsed around his feeble frame and pushed the bad pictures away. The strange cloaked monster hesitated, unsure of this unusual power that seemed to surround its victim.
The pulsations pressed against the floating creature, trying to keep it back. The creature continued forward until the shadows on the ground reached upwards and circled their white haired master. Ryou saw and felt his arm thrust forward, though it was not his doing. He could feel the dark tendrils of the living shadows wrapping around his outstretched limb and surging forward toward the creature. He watched as the shadows stretched out like a piercing net, tearing through the wraith like creature's cloak and body. He heard it cry a hoarse screech and watched the once rigid obsidian blades of darkness mold around the creature, wrapping their way up towards its head and stifling its screams. The monster was violently forced against the ground, pressed flat against the hard cement. Ryou shivered again, feeling something slam against his mind. It started to break in, bringing with it the trickling coldness. Ryou's breathing became rapid as he anticipated the horrible replay of nightmares that was sure to come. Something on his chest burned and the coldness ebbed away.
/calm yourself Yadonushi./
"K-Koe" Ryou stuttered. He was surprised the words came from his lips. He was positive he was not the one controlling the body, and yet he was the one speaking. He was feeling light headed. Maybe he could just…
/Yadonushi, stay awake!/
Ryou blinked and jerked in shock at the forcefulness of the command. Again he looked at his outstretched limb. He tried to flex his fingers and to his amazement they obeyed. Then they curled into a fist and pulled back, which was definitely not something he told his hand to do. His head turned towards the dark monster that had attacked him and the shadows that strapped it to the ground seemed to just swallow it up.
Ryou's arm fell to his side and soon his body fell flat on the ground. He only just realized he was in a cold sweat. His whole body was icy and his mind felt a little numb as that strangely unrecognizable familiar warmth began to fade from it.
He let peaceful unconsciousness take him.