Hunt for the Items
'I heard from Kaiba,' he explained, 'though I wasn't expecting to bump into you like this.'
'Neither were we,' said Ron, which was rather ironic considering he was wearing the Millenium Necklace still.
Yugi said as much. 'However, Ishizu also said strong wills can change the flow of fate.'
'Sounds about right,' Ron agreed.
Harry wondered if he was talking about them and Voldermort's defeat, but that was tooting their horn a little bit.
'And I wasn't too surprised,' he confessed, 'to hear the items had spread around the globe. They had a way of making it to certain niches.'
The ring had made it back to Kul Elna. A little Plana girl had gotten hold of the necklace. The scales had wound up in the hands of a judgemental group of death eaters. The eye had come into the hands of a greedy man who would have paid anything for power.
Yes, they all had their tales, but then were was the rod? That's the question they'd been asking before they came to Japan.
'Do you know?' Harry asked. 'You're quite travelled, yourself.'
'I haven't heard of any mind control incidents,' Yugi shrugged. 'But the rod was initially Kaiba's.'
'We're going in circles,' Ron grumbled as they went to Kaiba Corp to meet with the younger Kaiba again.
They were, by that point. The younger Kaiba didn't know much about the rod either, and the information he offered could have led them on a wild goose chase through the underground.
'There's got to be an easier way,' Hermione frowned. 'Or another place or person we're not thinking about.'
The ring had been decidedly unhelpful throughout.
It was Ron, in the end, who came up with the plan. 'Why don't we trace the Kaiba brothers' footsteps? It worked with Voldermort.'
It wasn't at the orphanage or the school, or downtown Domino and they'd already ruled out the company. However Kaiba had also been involved in creating other infrastructures like Kaiba Land, the Kaiba Dome and Duel Academia on an offshore island.
'Tooting his horn much?' Ron wondered, then frowned, a faraway look in his eyes. 'I think it's the island.'
'Why?' Hermione asked immediately.
'Looked like an island to me,' Ron shrugged, somewhat shaken 'and I don't know if anything's happened yet, but it's going to be the centre of quite a bit of magic and battling in the future.'
He described what he saw. Just flashes, and it didn't make a whole lot of sense to him. Three monsters: red, yellow and blue. Something really bright controlling minds and destroying life. A half bat, half dragon like woman and a young boy with brown eyes clad in dark armour and gold contacts. And, at the end, a skeleton like figure covering the sun in a dark shadow.
'Could be those Egyptian gods,' he shrugged, 'and Zorc. Not that I really know how any of them are supposed to look.'
'There should be records –' Hermione began.
They never looked.
Ron was right. The rod was at Duel Academia island. In a dormitory, no less, but luckily all the damage it had done was bewitching a student to carve the history of the Millennium Items on the wall.
They left the work there. They didn't see the harm and now they had six of the seven items at their disposal.
And that's where the next problem came. Kaiba wouldn't hand over the puzzle.
'There's a limit to how much magic I'll believe,' he said firmly. 'I will see the Pharaoh and an ancient cursed being isn't going to stop me.'
'It's probably for the best,' Bill admitted. 'The ancient Egyptian magic is beyond us, even still. I don't think you'll find a person alive who could unravel these items, and the backlash from destroying even one of them would be too great.'
'Then the Veil?' Hermione asked. She still wasn't sold, given they had no proof where the Veil went.
'Probably. It's our safest option.'
'But throwing all the items in would be…'
'But we're not. Sans the puzzle, for one. And we can wrap them with layers of enchantments and traps. Better than Voldermort, just one man, managed himself.'
And that was the selling point. It was a team effort, and they had all sorts of magic at their disposal. Even if Kaiba never know the pains they went through to make sure nobody but the Kaiba brothers and Mutou Yugi could touch the Millenium Puzzle. Even if the other items were layered with enough enchantments to function as bubblewrap so they'd never physically touch each other.
Theoretically, someone could unravel it all, but they layered their spells and made the net as tight as possible. Theoretically, someone could unravel the ancient Egyptian curses as well, but not yet.
It was quite a procession who watched the tablet shoved into the veil. And it was their own fault, Harry reflected, really.
Or maybe it was Shadi's. He had unexpectedly showed up, and when they updated him, he updated the others. Some form of closure, possibly, or farewell. And Harry, who'd had the same chance with the Resurrection Stone, could hardly begrudge that.
Though he forgot to ask the ghost how he planned to compensate them. The others did too. Kaiba Mokuba did wire them a sum of money though. And they'd, hopefully, very neatly avoided another Dark Lord's return.
By about ten years later, they'd heard a few tales. A murder of an Industrial Illusions employee and his orphaned son taking in by the new champ. An incident at Duel Academia where the Illusionary Gods rampaged (and turned out they weren't the same gods after all, just the same colour scheme), and then the following year, the Light of Destruction reigned.
A year after that, the darkness blotted out the sky and Harry, Ron and Hermione stared at the eclipse and wondered if Zorc had escaped the veil.
It was something called Darkness, and no hocruxes involved this time.