Disclaimer: I don't own YuGiOh or Harry Potter. I wish I did, but I don't.
Chapter 2: Researching a King
The Headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix was rarely a quiet place. Its only permanent resident, Remus Lupin knew just how true this was. Even without Kreacher stumbling around the building muttering curses under his breath, you had to contend with Mrs Black's portrait, which still stubbornly clung to the wall of the hallway. And then there was the sheer size of the Order, which now stretched to well over sixty people.
It was for this reason, that Remus was now sitting at the kitchen table holding his head and wondering how on Earth they were going to achieve anything when everyone was arguing like this. He had moved into the Headquarters over the summer, having little elsewhere to stay. He knew that if he continued living at his registered address, the Death Eaters would surely come knocking, if not to try and recruit him, then to get him out of the way. On the other hand, he mused, fighting off a group of Death Eaters was starting to sound appealing compared to sitting in this noisy room when he already had a headache. Plus he had a lot of pent up anger and frustration that he wanted to take out on someone. Since his best friends passing last June, things had been going steadily downhill for the werewolf.
A hand squeezed his arm, and he turned to see the sympathetic eyes of Nymphadora Tonks. He smiled wearily back at her at the same time that a set of purple firecrackers exploded from the end of Dumbledore's wand and everyone in the kitchen fell silent.
The reason for the emergency meeting was regarding the Death Eater attack that day. The attack had reached the Aurors three minutes after it had begun, and after some pinpointing, the location had been verified as Domino City, Japan. The location was not unusual in itself, for the ex-Minster for Magic, Cornelius Fudge, was visiting the Japanese Ministry as an envoy for the new British Minister, Rufus Scrimgeour. He had been scheduled to take a portkey back to Britain that day, but the evening before there had been more reports of Death Eaters intercepting portkeys and torturing the travellers to death. There had been similar problems with the floo network recently, as heads in fires could be snatched up easily. And as every witch or wizard of age knew, apperating across continents was difficult and dangerous.
Because of this, Fudge had decided to remain in Japan for a few extra days until they were sure he could get home safely. Of course the Death Eaters it seemed had taken it upon themselves to remind Fudge that he was not safe even on the other side of the globe, by heading to Japan and attacking a town not too far from where he was staying. It also alarmed the Japanese Ministry, who were worried about who Voldemort would target next after he had finished with Britain.
So the location of the attack had not surprised the Order of the Phoenix. What was unusual was that the attack had somehow failed, and all the Death Eaters had wound up with their souls gone, much in a manner of the Dementors Kiss. Remus had been there, and he had already guessed that it had something to do with the giant green shield that had prevented the Aurors and the members of the Order of the Phoenix from getting in. The question perplexing all of them was, what kind of magic could strip the very thing that made a human who he was, and for what purpose? Even Dumbledore was clueless, and that did not happen very often.
The present, and slightly more pressing concern, was the eight teenagers who had single-handedly fought off the Death Eaters using their own type of unknown magic. There were debates flying around the kitchen table as to who they were, what their magic could do and primarily, whether or not they could be trusted.
It was on this subject that Dumbledore now spoke. He waved his wand, and an image rose out of the pensive that was placed in the middle of the table. The headmaster was using it to play back the images of the attack so that the Order members who had not been there could witness the strange phenomenon's first hand.
"Whether or not these wizards…if indeed they are wizards, can be trusted at this moment is moot point. Our concern should be finding them and learning more about them. They could become valuable members of the Order if they were to join us. Not to mention that when Voldemort –" there was a collective shiver around the table, " – finds out about this he will undoubtedly want to recruit them for himself."
"Albus they tried to attack us when you approached them last time!" Moody reminded him.
"I'm aware of that Alastor," Dumbledore assured his old friend. "However I believe their intention was merely to stall us so they could leave, not to harm us. If they meant us harm I am sure we would not be here right now. And in any case, I noted that their magic seems to drain a lot of their physical energy, so I would guess that they could not have gone far. They may indeed live in the surrounding town."
"Professor," someone spoke up loudly. His name was Martin Higgins and he was a muggle-born, as well as a Medi-wizard for St Mungo's. Throughout most of the conversation, he had been staring at the memory in the pensive squinting at the picture. He had missed most of the fight, tending instead to the injured people in the park. "Can you rewind this memory? Just a few seconds back."
Dumbledore tapped the image and it started to shoot backwards through time. Higgin's held up his hand and the memory resumed normal play.
"Any theories on how that shield took all their souls?" Professor McGonagall asked briskly. Higgin's shook his head.
"No that's still a mystery to me, however…I'm pretty sure I recognise one…maybe two of those people…"
Dumbledore waved his wand again and image froze. Higgin's pointed at one of the figures.
"Difficult to tell with the green shield in the way, but I'm pretty sure that spiky haired guy is Yugi Mutou. And that guy with the white trench coat looks like Seto Kaiba…and I'm sure I saw their trademark monsters when we arrived…"
"When you feel like explaining it to the rest of us," Moody invited. The Medi-wizard bowed his head in apology.
"Sorry. My son plays a muggle card game called Duel Monsters. It's pretty big in Japan and the US. It hasn't become quite as popular here as it has oversees. I'm pretty sure Mutou is the World Champion. It certainly looks his hairstyle. Kaiba is the CEO of Kaiba Corp, a company that specialises in games, particularly Duel Monsters. And if I remember correctly, both of them grew up in that very town that the Death Eaters attacked today!"
A few people sat up straighter in their chairs. It was certainly a very good lead. Dumbledore stroked his beard thoughtfully.
"Martin would your son be able to positively identify these two people? Today if possible?"
"Certainly," the man nodded. "He would love an excuse to tell me about his heroes. I could go now and be back within the hour."
Dumbledore nodded in approval and Higgin's took that he was dismissed, and hurried out of the door, closing it quietly to ensure that he did not wake up Mrs Black.
"When Martin returns we shall hopefully know more about these people and the attack today. For now, we should concentrate on the spell that repelled us today…"
Meanwhile, in a small two story building in Domino City, another group were having a similar conversation.
"Here Ryou, bottoms up," Joey said sportingly, handing over a glass of water and packet of Anadin. The white haired male smiled at his friend.
"Cheers Joey," he said gratefully, downing two of the pills and the water in one go. He, Yugi and Malik had all been left with splitting headaches after the fight. Ryou was thankful that his seemed to be easing somewhat. Yugi was lying back on the sofa, with Yami at his feet in spirit form. The Pharaoh looked rather washed out and both the tricolour haired males spiky locks seemed to sag in exhaustion. They all agreed that had been one intense fight.
There was a shuffling sound, and Solomon Mutou, Yugi's Grandfather came in from the kitchen, carrying a tea tray. Yugi, remembering his manners, got up slowly and began to serve everyone.
"I swear you kids can't go five minutes without getting yourselves into trouble," Solomon remarked, his voice holding a tinge of sadness. He knew that trouble was something that followed the bearers of the Items around like a loyal puppy.
"Ah I dunno Gramps, we've actually been pretty good this summer," Joey remarked. Behind him, Tristan raised an eyebrow.
"Joey do the words, Capsule Monsters and Alexander the Great ring any bells?"
The blonde duellist looked sheepish, and there was a snort from the other side of the room. Kaiba had taken one of the armchairs, and Mokuba was curled up in his lap. Solomon shot the businessman a look as he left the room. He had never really forgiven Kaiba for ripping up his Blue Eyes White Dragon. Yugi however was slightly curious as to why the brothers had not returned to their own home instead of coming to the Game Shop with them. However, the shop was closer than Kaiba's mansion was, and he guessed that the CEO wanted answers more than he wanted to leave their presence.
"You got something to say Rich Boy?" Joey challenged, his fight starting to come back.
"Give it a rest you two!" Yami said sternly, before remembering that only those with Millennium Items could see him (he had never bothered to ask Kaiba whether he could see him in spirit form, knowing that his rival hated anyone insinuating anything that could prove his past life). He heard Yugi nod mentally and he immediately took over.
"We can't spend our time fighting with each other. What we need to do is figure out who those people were."
"And what they were doing with the Orichalcos!" Joey put in.
"What is the Orichalcos?" Malik asked, from where he lay on the floor of the room with his head against the sofa. "I get that it was that giant green thing that caged us in during the fight, but what exactly is it? It felt dark like the Shadow Realm, but at the same time…not like the Shadow Realm."
"It is in a sense," Yami said. "The Shadows and the Orichalcos are essentially both sources of dark magic, but the Orichalcos is older. It's been around for ten thousand years, since the time of Atlantis. It works by bringing out the darkness of a persons heart and feeding off it. The Seal is used to take people's souls."
"Is that what that thing that surrounded us was?" Malik asked. "The Seal?"
Yami nodded. "The Seal of Orichalcos is also a Duel Monster card."
"Do you remember at the beginning of last term we all disappeared from school for a few weeks?" Tea asked, sipping her tea. Malik nodded and Ryou's eyes lit up.
"I remember! That was the week that those monsters appeared in the city!"
"That was related to us," Joey nodded. "We had to beat off these guys who were using the Seal to take people's souls and free this giant snake they called the Great Leviathan. That's the nutshell version."
"How does the Seal take a persons soul?" Malik asked. "Because we were stuck inside that thing and we're perfectly fine."
"Well when duelling," Yami said. "It takes the soul of the loser. Since we weren't duelling I guess that it just took the souls of the people who had got knocked out…in effect they had lost as they were unable to continue."
Joey, Tea and Tristan exchanged looks before shuddering collectively. It was never pleasant to remember someone having their soul taken. Malik was watching, wide eyed. This sounded a lot more dangerous than any Shadow Game he had ever played. Ryou was quiet, and after a second or two, Bakura was sitting in his place.
"So what exactly does the Seal do? How does it work? You said that it was making the woman who played it more powerful during the fight?"
Yami nodded. "The Seal unlocks the darkness of the person who plays it, making them angry, violent and more irrational than normal. It also stops people outside the duel from entering. That's why those people who arrived during the fight could not get in."
Joey opened his mouth to ask something, but Tea cut him off.
"We'll talk about those people later. Let's finish briefing Ryou and Malik."
Yami gave her a thankful look before continuing. "The Seal also makes all the monsters in play real, though the Millennium Items did that for us anyway. And when a loser is declared, their soul is removed."
"What happens if there is a draw?" Bakura asked, hoping to find a potential weakness in this seemingly all powerful magic.
"In the event of a draw, the Seal disappears without taking a soul," Yami said. "It can also be broken if someone outside the duel has a fragment of Orichalcum. That was the rock that woman had around her neck."
"What about Duel Monsters?" Malik asked, his eyes narrowing. "If we're duelling and that person plays the Seal? You said it was a card too."
"The Seal of Orichalcos is a field spell card," Yami explained. "And it's a very powerful one. It can't be removed from the field by spell, trap or monster effects."
"What about bouncing it back to the player's hand?" Malik asked. Yami shook his head.
"No, once it's on the field, it stays there."
"What about replacing it with your own field card?" Bakura asked, knowing that the rules stated that only one field card could be used at one time.
"Waste of time," Yami said, knowing the thief was wondering what would happen if he played Dark Sanctuary in an Orichalcos duel. "Your field card would not work and the Seal would stay on the field."
Malik whistled in awe. Bakura scowled, before his eyes glazed over a bit. He nodded and snapped back into focus.
"Ryou wants to know if the Seal can be sent directly from the players hand to the Graveyard?"
Yami exchanged looks with Joey and Kaiba, trying to think of an occasion when that had event had ever occurred.
"It could be, as far as we know," Yami said slowly.
"I would probably work," Kaiba admitted. "As long as the Seal doesn't touch the field, it is just like a regular card, so it would be sent to the Graveyard."
"So what else can this thing do?" Malik asked, watching Yami keenly, with the interest of a duellist who was out to exploit any weaknesses of his opponents.
"The Seal gives all monsters on that persons side of the field an extra five hundred attack points, as well as making them Dark attribute creatures," Yami recited from memory. "It also lets that person use their spell and trap card zones for monsters. These monsters form a 'back row' as it were, and they can't be attacked until the front row is cleared out."
"I'm sorry," Malik said incredulously. "Do these people actually believe in playing fair?"
"No," Yami, Joey and Kaiba answered together.
"Is there no other way to destroy the Seal?" Bakura asked. Yami and Joey exchanged looks with each other, before looking at Kaiba. The CEO shrugged, as if to indicate that he didn't care what they told them.
"Well…there is one other way," Joey finally said. "The Seal can be broken by using the Three Legendary Knights of Atlantis…but they're gone now aren't they?"
Yami nodded again in affirmation, wishing now more then ever that they had the help of Timaeus, Critias and Hermos.
"In any case," Kaiba added suddenly. "I was in contact with Pegasus after that little incident with Dartz. He assured me all known Seal cards were destroyed and declared illegal. Anyone found using one or even carrying one in their deck now faces a prison sentence."
His brisk tone indicated the closing of this particular topic.
"I have a question," Tea remarked. "Who were those people who attacked the park in the first place?"
At this, everyone looked stumped.
"Erm…good question," Joey said. "Whoever they were, they sure meant business."
"They were all English," Kaiba provided. "Definitely native speakers at least."
"And that magic they used…" Tea shuddered. "That was horrible. Those people just fell over…dead."
Everyone shared a moment of silence in respect for all those who had fallen that day.
"I've heard of other ancient civilisations around the world using magic," Malik remarked finally. "But I've never heard of it still being actively practised."
"If that wasn't active I don't know what is," Tristan remarked.
"Do you think maybe Dartz is behind all this again?" Joey suggested, remembering the ex-ruler of Atlantis who had been responsible for their last encounter with the Orichalcos.
"I don't think so," Yami shook his head. "After the final battle with the Leviathan, Dartz was freed from the control of the Orichalcos. Yugi and I saw him leave this world, and I don't think he could come back even if he wanted to. Besides, those people in the park were killing, and Dartz would not want that. Souls are useless if the bodies are dead."
"The woman who played the Seal," Mokuba said. "She said something about a 'Dark Lord'. I'll bet he's the one who's behind all this!"
"Well I don't know about you guys, but I don't know any Dark Lords myself," Malik said. Bakura cleared his throat loudly.
"Except for you Bakura," Malik amended wearily. The Tomb Robber smirked.
"So this 'Dark Lord' is sending his minions to kill people or take their souls?" Joey summarised. "Sounds like your average psychopath to me."
"But if they are British then why send their hired help all the way to Japan?" Tea asked. "And why the exact place where we were meeting?"
"I don't think they were specifically targeting us," Yami remarked. "They attacked all those children before they even realised that we were there. And they seemed just as shocked to see our Duel Monster as we were to see the Orichalcos."
"So for once in our lives," Bakura summarised. "We were just in the wrong place at the wrong time."
"Meh, it had to happen once," Malik pointed out. "So what do we do now? Do we leave it be or do we try and find out more?"
"I don't know about you," Yami said. "But now they know about our magic, I don't think they'll be leaving us alone. At the very least they will want to recruit it for themselves like they did the Orichalcos. Besides, all those people were killed today. It would be like turning our back on them if we did not try to help."
Everyone had to agree with this.
"Well thanks for this little discussion group," Kaiba said finally, shifting Mokuba off his lap and getting up from his chair. "But I prefer to research these freaks my own way. Come on Mokuba, we're going home."
"Are you sure you're going to be okay?" Ryou asked, taking control again.
"This is Kaiba you're talking too," Joey pointed out. "When is Rich Boy ever 'not okay'?"
Ryou nodded, as Kaiba began placing the call for his limo driver to come and pick him up. Yami, deciding that he had been out long enough, relinquished control over to Yugi, before retreating to the depths of his soul room to rest.
"Does anyone want to stay the night?" the tri colour haired duellist asked as the Kaiba's left, Mokuba waving goodbye to everyone. "It might be safer if we stick together after what happened today."
"No can do," Tristan shook his head. "My relatives are over and I'm supposed to be home this evening to welcome them."
"Tea?" Yugi asked. The dancer shook her head.
"Sorry Yugi. I'd like to stay, but my parents are expecting me home."
"I'll stay," Ryou said firmly, ignoring the loud groans and general slamming of soul room doors from his yami. "You're right Yugi, its best if we stick together."
"I'm staying too," Malik said. "I'd better just go give Ishizu a call and tell her what happened today. If those guys attacked us then I want my family to be on the alert."
"Phone's on the kitchen wall on the left side of the door," Yugi recited immediately, as the blonde Egyptian boy got up from his place on the floor and hurried into the next room.
"Joey, you staying?" Yugi asked.
"If you wouldn't mind Yug'," Joey said. "I'm not that keen to go home right now to be honest."
Yugi nodded sympathetically. He knew Joey's home life was not the best and that his father was not the nicest person to be around. The blonde sometimes stayed over when things got too much for him.
"That's fine Joey. I'd better go tell Grandpa who's staying."
"Thanks Yug'. You're the best," Joey said smiling. Yugi grinned back.
"Just don't tell Kaiba that Yami never supplied him the magic for summoning his Blue Eyes. He won't be happy to hear that he did it by himself."
"But…" Joey said slowly. "If you and Yami didn't provide the magic, then how did he summon? I thought only people with Millennium Items could call their monsters?"
"That's true," Yugi nodded. "But Yami says whether he believes it or not, Kaiba was his High Priest back in Egypt, and he does have his own magic. But don't tell him that. He'd rather believe that we helped him, then believe that he has magic and that he used it to call his Blue Eyes today."
"My lips are sealed man," Joey promised.
"Did you have to say 'sealed'?" Ryou asked weakly.
Back at Number Twelve Grimuald Place, the front door closed quietly, and Martin Higgins slipped back into the house, clutching a magazine that his son had loaned him (after he had been forced to swear on pain of death that he would return it unharmed). His mind was packed full of information. He just hoped that it would be useful to Dumbledore.
The kitchen was considerably quieter than it had been when he had left. Dumbledore appeared to be reiterating to a few scowling people, that Severus Snape had been unable to contact him for a few days now, and so he knew nothing yet about the Dark Lords new power of soul stealing. This was an old debate in the Order of the Phoenix, for very few people truly trusted Snape.
"Ah Martin! You have returned," the headmaster said, looking rather grateful for an excuse to end the rather tedious argument. "Did you discover anything?"
"More than I hoped for," Martin said, sitting back down at the table and pulling out the magazine. He flipped open to page five, half of which was taken up by a colour photograph of eight people and eight monsters. A few members of the Order gasped, recognising not one but five of the people from the attack.
"Duel Monsters," Higgins began, "is a card game, in which opponents basically battle monsters with one another. You can see a few of the monsters in the picture. In Japan and recently in the US, holographic systems have begun being used for major tournaments…holograms are like muggle illusions," he added seeing a few of the Order members looking rather confused. "The systems basically bring the monsters to life."
"Muggles have this technology?" one person exclaimed.
"Its Japan," Higgins shrugged. "They have all the latest technology. Anyway, these tournaments are pretty big and having the holograms makes them even more amazing…well according to my son anyway."
"About six months ago Seto Kaiba – this guy –" he pointed at the picture. "Threw a Duel Monsters tournament in Domino City. The tournament was called Battle City, and Yugi Mutou, Joey Wheeler, Ryou Bakura and Malik Ishtar were all finalists, along with Kaiba himself." He pointed at each person in the picture as he recited their names. "The kid who also involved in the attack today was Seto Kaiba's little brother, Mokuba. He was the Battle City commissioner. There were three other finalists but none of them were at the attack today."
"The tournament started off as normal, save for reports of a group of card thieves running around. The strangeness started when the finals did. For some reason only a few of the duels in the finals were ever aired on television. Most of them were censored by Kaiba Corp after the tournament. There have been rumours of course but no solid proof as to why they were never shown to the public. But in all the rumours, two words keep cropping up. Shadow Games."
At this, Dumbledore raised an eyebrow.
"Are you familiar with the term Albus?" McGonagall asked hopefully. The headmaster nodded.
"The Shadow Games are an Egyptian myth that very few wizards still remember. No one knows how the Shadow Games began, but once they did, Sorcerers would use their powers to call forth beasts and spirits that dwelt in another realm. These battles were known as Shadow Games. But from these games came a great evil that started a war that threatened to destroy the world. The only person who could stop it was the Pharaoh. He supposedly sealed the magic away forever."
"Wait, so you're saying that in Ancient Egypt, Sorcerers used to call monsters to fight for them?" Remus asked. "Much like the monsters we saw today in Japan?"
"For now, we must assume so," Dumbledore nodded, before turning back to the Medi-wizard. "Martin I don't suppose your son mentioned anything about the magic that stopped us from getting to the Death Eaters?"
Higgins shook his head. "No. There was no information on the duellists that linked to anything like that. After Battle City the next tournament was the KC Championships that took place at the beginning of the summer. But there was no mention of Shadow Games there. In fact the tournament went pretty smoothly except for a rival of Kaiba Corp trying to damage the companies reputation. But there was no magical disturbances as far as anyone can tell. As of right now, Yugi Mutou is still the number one duellist in the world, followed by Seto Kaiba, Joey Wheeler, Ryou Bakura and finally, Malik Ishtar. And all of them currently live in Domino."
"Thank you Martin," the headmaster smiled. "Now that we know the names of these people I should be able to track them down."
"What are you planning to do?" Moody asked, caution etched into his voice. He was clearly worried about his friend running off to visit a group of people who quite clearly did not trust them, and used magic that for all they knew could be stronger than theirs.
"I am going to ask them for help," Dumbledore said simply. "Now, if that is all I think we should adjourn for now."
There were a few collective nods and everyone rose to their feet. Dumbledore, clipped his cloak around his neck before heading to the kitchen fireplace and helping himself to floo powder. It was time to track down the King of Games.
A/N: (giggle) I got reviews! Yay!
Props once again to Tai Greywing, my dear plot beta.
Okay a little something I forgot to mention. I know nowhere in the anime or manga does it state that Ryou is British, nor does it state that Joey is American. The only reason people think they are is because their dub actors have accents and because neither of them look Japanese (though to be fair, none of them really do). But because I because I want a few people to speak English already, and because I think Ryou's accent is cute, I'm keeping Ryou as British and Joey as American. It'll make their histories more interesting in my opinion.
Review! Constructive criticism is always welcomed! Next chapter should be up sometime before August 10th when I'm on holiday.