So what I bring you today is a series of epic proportions. No Strings Attached and its sequel, Blood Bound, is a crossover fic between Harry Potter and, no joke, Yu-Gi-Oh. Yes, you read that correctly. You’ll be even more surprised to hear that it doesn’t suck and that it has a unique twist in it to get the characters sent to Hogwarts, unlike all the other Yu-Gi-Oh and Harry Potter crossovers. Or just about anything that’s a Harry Potter crossover, for that matter.
Now, one thing I should mention that bothers me in a lot of crossover stories, and that this story does too, is that many authors don’t realize that there’s a time difference between Harry Potter and other stories. While I’m pretty sure the Yu-Gi-Oh series takes place in the early 2000s, The Philosopher’s Stone begins in the year 1991, meaning that Voldemort kind of dies before the turn of the century. I know that this is just reading into things way too much, but this is the reason that keeps me from reading too many crossovers. I get very particular about the year. I even raged during that one Fanfiction Follies about Ginny getting together with an original female character, because it takes place during her fifth year, which would be 1996, and the characters read Twilight, which came out in 2005.
It just really bugs me to no end.
Thankfully, though, Out-Of-Control-Authoress’s works are done well in enough other areas that I can forgive her story for this slight, especially considering that, as I’ve said, she wrote a Harry Potter/Yu-Gi-Oh crossover that doesn’t suck, which is certainly a near-impossible feat in and of itself.
So our story begins with Malik, and Ryou plus Bakura taking a vacation in the UK, and who should they run into but the Death Eaters? They get taken to meet Voldemort who recruits them to work for him as spies at Hogwarts during the events of the last book, and they can’t refuse under penalty of him sending people to kill their loved-ones, namely Isis, Rishid, and Ryou’s father.
Thankfully, though, Voldemort doesn’t make them start attending classes, but instead has them act like monitors around the school.
During their time at Hogwarts, they secretly start helping out Neville and Luna, but they have also managed a friendship with Draco, who gets pulled into everything that they’re doing.
What I like about this story is that, well, first of all, Harry’s not the main character, and neither is Yugi nor Seto. It’s about Malik, Ryou, Bakura, and Draco’s struggles against Voldemort, and along the way, they meet up with all the side characters, giving them time to grow and learn. They don’t even meet the famous Trio until partway through the sequel, and needless to say, with Draco there, that gathering doesn’t go quite as planned.
On top of that, they don’t just jump at a chance of joining the resistance: this magical war has nothing to do with them, and they just want to get away without becoming too involved. The fact that Draco knows as much about them and their Millennium Items as he does is actually a cause for concern.
Furthermore, their friendship with everyone else at any given time, including Draco, is more or less strained and not really wanted, adding to the conflict and some of the best attempts at characterization I’ve ever seen in a story like this. While I do have some complaints about the writing style, the characters are done so well that they more than make up for it.
The second thing I like is the magic and how it works. Voldemort blackmails them and forces them into servitude because they have different magic. It’s explained that they obviously use Ancient Egyptian magic—which does make me ask why all the characters live in Japan, because as we all know, Japan and Ancient Egypt have everything in common—and Voldemort thinks that that would be useful to the cause since it’s so different and powerful. Furthermore, while he’s aware that there are other people who also have Millennium Items, he’s not about to track them down to recruit them. He even tells Malik and his friends that had they not come to the UK, he would have left them alone, but he’s not going to pass up an opportunity when it presents itself.
But the main thing that I like, which I’ve never seen before, is that the two types of magic don’t work well with each other. In fact, they don’t work at all.
I’ve read plenty of crossovers with Charmed that do half-assed things like saying Orbing is just an American way to Apparate. Then you have the stories that make a distinction between the two different types of magic and say the Charmed Ones aren’t the traditional witches and wizards that the students of Hogwarts are familiar with. Then, you have stories like this one that take the next step and actually have to the two magic types clash, which gives reason as to why they haven’t heard of each other, because wizards and Millennium Items users would obviously not want to be around each other.
So when Malik, Ryou, and Bakura make it to Hogwarts, they are for the most part like Muggles, because all the other magic has suffocated theirs, and they need to acclimate to the new environment. This also makes it easier for the Death Eaters to control them.
This is definitely a story worth checking out. Yeah, I mentioned that I have some problems with it. Every once in a while, the author does that annoying thing where she makes every sentence a paragraph, but not always, and she does do a great job building the world and developing characters. But mainly, she doesn’t fall into the pit of using every tired clichéd idea that comes with writing a crossover story with Harry Potter. I can respect that. This is, without a doubt, not an idea I often see in fanfiction. She put a twist on it, and that makes it all the more enjoyable.
Read the first one here.