"Nicholas, what the hell do you think you're doing?" Cried out a golden-haired man in a dark brown coat. Red lightning flashed and crackled, spinning wildly in to the sky and ripping across the ground in deadly arcs. Despite the danger, the slightly shorter man in nature ran on, racing to stop the man crouched down at the edge of a not only massive, but very familiar, transmutation circle carved onto the ground. The circle was perfect. With perfectly curved lines and every symbol perfectly balanced, nothing could go wrong. Nicholas knew he would succeed. A sharp, slightly grim smile spread across his dark features. Meanwhile, the blond was nearing the man, every instinct within him screaming at him to stop his now former, way-ward student.
"The hell Nicholas! Stop! Right now!" The blond screamed, only a few feet away from stopping the horror that was tearing the entirety of Europe apart. The birth of the Crimson stone. The Devil's work.
The Philosopher's Stone.
But that's when everything went wrong.
The blond neared his former student, his goal being to rip his arms away from the array to stop the disaster that would inevitably come. But as he got close, Nicholas whipped his head around, eyes reflecting the blood red lightning, madness lurking within their depths. Just as the light began to die out, the process complete, the blond reached out to Nicholas, readying to slug him straight across the jaw in an anger and metal filled punch. Nicholas, remembering the physical training the blond had given him years ago, lashed out at the attacking man, causing him to tumble over Nicholas and roll right into the center of the array.
Right where the brand-new massive Philosopher's Stone was.
The blond screamed in pain at the same time Nicholas let out a cry of anger. The large Philosopher's Stone was gone, having melted into one of the many cuts that adorned the blonde's skin due to the attack he endured.
The blonde's scream of agony tore through the night. Veins bulged and every organ, every nerve, every cell within the poor man's body felt as if it was on fire. The Blond thought he knew pain. That he had endured some of the world's most horrible agony, such as the automail surgery and, of course, the separation of his brother. But that pain was nothing compared to the feeling of the Philosopher's Stone being fused to him. Pure flames ripped through everything he was, tearing at his mind and sanity. The blond, for once in his life, begged for the pain to stop, begged for death to just stop this maddening torture. He begged for everything and anything.
And then, everything stopped.
A slight tap, tap, tap interrupted the young man's work. He was hunched down over a wooden desk, books and research papers littering the ground around him. The desk was so overstuffed with papers, books, pencils, and all sorts of other tools, that you couldn't even see the table top. The blond growled. He was already irritated with his work. He had reached, yet again, another dead end, and with this as his last lead, he was even more pissed. So when an owl of all things decided to come and interrupt him, he had half a mind to wring the poor bird's neck. With a sharp sigh, he stormed over to the window and yanked it open. The bird flew in, its yellow eyes glaring at him in distrust and hostility. Ripping the note from the owl's leg, the man stared at the letter, somehow even more irritated than before. He thought he told the damn wizards to fuck off already; but obviously the message went in one ear and out the other. Wizards were not only close-minded and annoying, but persistent and old fashioned, as well as…
The man shook himself out of his thoughts. Glancing at the letter, he read, in neat and swirly
"Edwin" sighed. He knew exactly who sent him the letter and was surprised. He hadn't gone by the name "Edwin Eichel" for a very long time. At least fifty years, he supposed, more or less.
Glaring at the offending piece of mail in his hand, "Edwin" debated whether or not he should actually open it. If his old "friend"-he thought bitterly- was sending him a letter that meant the bastard wanted him for something and that was never happening. Though "Edwin" did have the ability to perform "magic," he despised the actual practice. He still had no true idea how it worked, where the Equivalent Exchange was, only theories. Not only could he not stand the practice of such a…art, he disliked the majority of wizards in general. The entire culture was cut off from the "real world," and that would bring
nothing but problems. In fact, he knew it brought problems. He was pretty sure that fifty years haven't changed wizards what-so-ever, probably still didn't even know what a light bulb was.
With a light growl, he ripped the letter opened, surprised when he saw that the letter was no letter. In fact, when he opened the "letter," a tacky looking ring fell out of it, hitting the floor with a dull clunk. Curious, "Edwin" bent down to look at the strange piece of jewelry. The ring was overly large, with an ugly bronze band that was ridiculously thick and a dull, fake blue jewel in the center. The ring was very strange and "Edwin" let himself ponder for a moment why women would wear such strange things. Bending down, he lifted the offending ring up to take a better look at it.
That's when "Edwin" felt a strange tingly feeling, than a sharp tug. The world blended all around him and he found that he couldn't let go of the ring. As the racing colors slowed down, "Edwin" seethed with anger.
His old "friend" had sent him a portkey.
Groaning, "Edwin" sat up, rubbing his head from when he fell to the floor. He had never been a fan of any sort of wizard's travel and he hadn't actually traveled by portkey in so long that he wasn't used to the feeling at all, having fell to the floor right away. "Edwin" rubbed his tired eyes, wondering why he had to have such a large lunch that day and stared around at the room he was now in. The room was very familiar, seeing the same old professor's desk in front of him, as well as the strange moving pictures that adorned the wall. The past headmasters stared down at him with slight recognition and curiosity. Despite the familiarity of the room, "Edwin" could distinctly remember that the table with all the strange silvery instruments was new, along with the bird stand and the old phoenix that it housed. Climbing to his feet, "Edwin stared long and hard at his old "friend,"taking in all the new changes that befallen the man the past fifty years.
Dumbledore still had that annoying, and slightly creepy, twinkle in his eyes. His hair was still worn long, like his own, but instead of it being brown, it was now old silver. Along with his long hair, he had an equally long beard. He still wore that strange dress that all wizards wore and just like a stereotypical wizard, his dress was a dark blue adorned with stars. Dumbles also wore a cone shaped wizard's hat that had the same pattern. His blue eyes bore into "Edwin," struggling to read his mind, to break him down and try to understand him.
Nice try, Dumbles. Mused "Edwin." His mental shields were powerful; Dumbles couldn't just walk in on his mind. "Edwin" let a small smirk grace his features, easily proud of himself.
"Edwin, it is good to see you. Though I swear that your hair color was brown and cut very short the last time I saw you!" Dumbledore greeted, an easy smile on his face that spoke more of just friendship.
"Edwin" frowned, letting his muddy brown eyes meet the headmaster's, flicking his now long black hair trailing down just past his shoulder blades, in a thick and simple high ponytail, away in a simple gesture. He had a slight mental twitch at the cursed word that spilled from Dumbles lips. He was not short. In fact, he was now five and a half feet tall, which was average not short. His contact-covered eyes bore into Dumbledore's sparkly blues. Just two minutes with the man and he already felt like he needed an aspirin. Letting a low growl out under his breath, "Edwin" decided that the faster this exchange went, the less time he had to spend with Dumbles and his irritating school.
"Can't say the same about you, Dumbledore. I thought I told you to fuck off and leave me the hell alone? I really meant what I said last time; leave me out of your dumb culture. I want no part of your "Wizarding world" Finished "Edwin," an angry undertone evident to his usual calm voice. He had no idea why Dumbles called him out here and if it weren't for the fact that he had no way to escape, he would've been long gone by now.
"Edwin, I contacted you because my friend, Nicholas, wanted me to. He's dying, Edwin. The Sorcerer's Stone has been destroyed and he wants to see you."
"Edwin's" eyes locked onto Dumbledore's with slight shock. He couldn't remember how many years it's been since he saw his old student. He had heard rumors of the "Sorcerer's Stone" but it didn't take much to figure out that that particular stone was completely fake. Made out of mostly magic, with barley any alchemy in it, the stone could do what any alchemist worth two grains of salt could do, make metals into gold. As for immortality, though he had never seen the Stone, he suspected that the Elixir of Life only prolonged life as long as the user drank a dose each and every day. Not true immortality, but instead incredibly slow aging.
"Edwin" thought for a moment. Should he really see Nicholas? His only true student, lying in bed? Last time he had spoken with the man, "Edwin" was thrown into a newly created Philosopher's Stone. Afterwards, he hadn't seen hide nor hair of his former student and though he was itching to find him at the time and beat him within an inch of his life, he held himself back. He had to figure out the, at the time, current situation, and sort out his thoughts. Between that, Nicholas escaped his thoughts, somehow, and "Edwin" figured that there was no point in finding him. Finding him wouldn't bring the dead back to life. It wouldn't make him human again.
Besides, at the time, "Edwin" was scared that his emotions would get the better of him and he would accidently kill his former student.
So, should I see my former student? "Edwin" asked himself? His thoughts tossed each other around, a silent debate on whether or not he should go. After a few more seconds of sorting out his mind, "Edwin" had an answer.
"Of course. It's the least I can do." He answered. Though he knew God didn't exist, "Edwin" caught himself in a silent prayer that nothing would go wrong with this confrontation.
Dumbledore smiled, his eyes twinkling even more at the positive answer. Nicholas had thought that the black-haired man would refuse his offer. He will be pleased to see "Edwin" again. Making a gesture to follow him, Dumbledore slipped behind his desk, opening a drawer to reveal a battered looking piece of parchment. Random scribbles of different colored inks marked the surface, like someone was testing different ink colors on it.
Dumbledore turned to the black-haired man that stood next to him. Giving him a smile, Dumbledore counted to three and both men touched the portkey, letting colors ripple around them as they were yanked from the relatively safe school to the one and only creator of both the Philosopher's Stone and Sorcerer's Stone.
"Edwin" wasn't sure what he was to be expecting. It had been-what? Six hundred years? Seven hundred years? Since he had seen him former student. Last time "Edwin" checked, Nicholas was interested in not only both magic and alchemy, but non-magical knowledge as well. Knowledge was knowledge in Nicholas's eyes, and he wanted it all and that fact in itself was what led to their falling out and the creation of a monstrosity. "Edwin" also remembered that Nicholas had a love for flamboyant clothing and objects, reminding "Edwin" of the days he donned a red jacket with white gloves. Those days were long gone, brown replacing the red and black replacing the white.
As the world stopped spinning around him, (He thankfully, didn't fall down this time.) "Edwin" noticed he was in the living room of a small cottage. A very warm and bright fire roared in the stone fireplace while cushy red armchairs filled the rest of the room. The floor was made out of a red wood of sorts that he didn't give the time to figure out what exact type of wood it was, and an intricate golden rug was spread across the room, ducking underneath all offending chairs and side tables that the room held. Besides the fire, small candles dotted the room around him on various shelves, brightening the room slightly. "Edwin" shook his head.
As he had expected, wizards still didn't know what a light bulb was. Pathetic.
"Edwin" was shook from his stupor by a small, throat-clearing noise from the left side of the room. He noticed Dumbledore standing next to a wooden door that seemed to be opened a crack. Weaving his way through the maze of furniture, "Edwin" softly pushed open the door a bit more, sliding into the darkened room, closing the door behind him, locking Dumbles into the living space.
"Edwin" could tell that the room belonged to Nicholas. Besides the large bed that lay in the corner, a large desk sat against the wall. Papers and books were stacked neatly. Nicholas had always been much more organized than "Edwin." Besides the neat desk, bookcases stuffed neatly with books and research folders were lined on the walls, so tall that they reached the ceiling.
"Edwin" made his way to the bed that lay in the corner. The room had a single window, moonlight pouring from it onto the wrinkled, old face of his beloved student. Without the Elixir of Life, Nicholas aged quickly to what he would actually look like. His skin was horribly pruned and wrinkled, having so many folds that he looked like a crumpled up blanket. His eyes were bloodshot, pale, and watery. He no longer had any hair, having shed all the silver locks.
Overall, Nicholas looked like death.
"Edwin" gulped, unable to say any words. He had no clue how to talk to Nicholas, though that wasn't entirely strange. In nearly seven hundred years, "Edwin" sill couldn't figure people out. He had never been a people person and he never will be.
Nicholas's wrinkles smiled at him, his dull eyes glowing at him with not only admiration, but sadness, guilt and many more emotions that couldn't be fathomed. A slight awkward silence filled the air, until Nickolas cracked the silence with a positive statement.
"It's good to see you again, sir." Nicholas gasped. His voice was scratchy, age dragging the pitch and understandability down. Despite the mangling of vocal cords, "Edwin" could understand it perfectly.
"I'm surprised you even found me. I took great care in all my forgeries and I haven't gone by my true name ever since we parted." "Edwin" replied, completely neutral. "And don't call me sir. You know I hate that." He muttered as an afterthought, a slight smirk working its way onto his features.
"It was difficult. In fact, I lost track countless times, but I eventually came across some old records of an Alchemist teacher at Hogwarts around fifty years ago. Of course, I searched into this and found a picture. I must say, you're pretty good at disguising your appearance, but I could figure it out, sir!" Nicholas explained. A boyish glint in his eyes as his wrinkles lifted up in a muggy grin.
"Edwin" smiled, a warm light in his eyes. Yes, Nicholas performed a taboo. Yes, he slaughtered millions to create a monstrosity. But "Edwin" himself wasn't entirely clean either. Plus, Nicholas was still his student. The only student he ever took in that he believed to be an actual student. Not only that, but "Edwin" could clearly see the pain and regret that lit his former-students eyes as he gazed upon him. "Edwin" stared down at the old man.
"I can't entirely forgive you for what you've done. But I can tell, in your eyes, that the regret that has eaten you for the past seven hundred years has done the damage. Equivalent Exchange, no?"
Nicholas stared at his old teacher, amazement written clearly upon his face. Fresh tears gathered over his pale eyes, spilling over the brim, causing twin streams of silver to trail down his cheeks before getting caught in the folds of his face.
"I-I regret that day ever since it happened. I was too selfish and scared. I feared aging, I feared dying, and that's what drove me. I eventually figured out how to combine magic and alchemy to create a replica of the real stone, called the Sorcerer's Stone. It did its job to an extent; slowing my aging down to such a slow pace that, if it hadn't been destroyed, I could still live for around two or three thousand years."
"Yeah, I wanted to ask you about that. What happened to that stone? I mean, I'm glad it's destroyed and all, but still." "Edwin" asked.
Nicholas smiled, the shining light in his eyes never wavering. "The story is too long and I have little time left. Before I go, I wanted to ask you a…favor."
"Edwin" frowned. He had no clue on what Nicholas wanted him to do, but with the fact that the man was on his death-bed, literally, a single favor is the least he could do.
"There is a boy that I want you to look after. He protected the stone from on old evil, and though it was through Albus, convinced me to destroy the stone. I want you to protect the child." Nicholas asked.
"Edwin" looked shocked for a minute, until his face melted back into a cold hardness. He let out a soft growl. "Nicholas, I want nothing to do with the Wizarding World! Plus, I already tried a mission like this fifty years ago and failed miserably."
"Harry Potter is a very special case. He was able to defeat…well, Tom Riddle as you know him or how the world knows him, Lord Voldemort. Not only that, but even though he knew the powers of the stone, he wanted nothing from it. He had no intention of using it. Actually, from what I understand, the thought of using it had never even crossed his mind. He is nothing like Voldemort. Or me. Or even you for that matter." Nicholas gasped, his argument running dry.
"Edwin" frowned. He wasn't sure how this "Harry" was able to defeat Riddle. Or "You-Know-Who." Or Voldemort, whatever the hell that names supposed to mean. "Voldemort" was a pretty stupid name. However, "Edwin" could tell that this information came from Dumbles and though Dumbles was a manipulative bastard, he didn't outright lie; only skirted around the truth. Though he was a bit intrigued that the boy didn't want the power himself, he was coming upon a realization on what this mission would mean.
"I'm going to have to return to Hogwarts for this, won't I?" He asked bitterly, a small scowl appearing on his features.
Nicholas frowned slightly, but answered his question with a breathy sigh. "Yes, you will have to return to not only Hogwarts, but the Wizarding world."
"Edwin" stared hard at his former student. Nicholas glanced up at his fierce expression, unable to tell what the young-looking man was thinking. Finally, pinching the bridge of his nose, "Edwin" let out a frustrated huff of air.
"Fine! I'll do it. But only because you're dying and it's your last wish." "Edwin" growled.
Nickolas let out a tiring sigh, his droopy eyes sliding closed for the last time. "Thank you, Edward. Truly. And before I go, I just want to say, you looked much better with blond hair."
Edward let out a sharp huff through his nose as Nicholas died. The ghost of tears formed at the edge of his eyes, but didn't fall. Nicholas has lived a very long and very painful life; he deserved an eternity of rest. Turning from the bed, he made his way out of the quiet bedroom, a new goal and plan in his mind.
Dumbledore stared at the man in front of him. After returning to the Hogwarts castle, "Edwin" told him the promise he made Nicholas, how he would watch over Harry Potter and resume activity in the Wizarding World.
"I'm going to need a new identity. And a new wand. A new everything I suppose." "Edwin" mused. Then, a thoughtful expression came over him features. A mischievous look crossed his face. I could always…I mean that identity hasn't been used in seven hundred years. Besides, I doubt there are records of that insignificant name that date back that far. "Edwin" smirked.
"Actually, maybe I don't need a new everything."
Dumbledore watched in surprise as "Edwin" reached up and slipped two brown colored covers of his eyes, revealing the molten, golden orbs. He tossed Dumbledore a carefree smile and held out his hand for Dumbledore to shake.
"Name's Edward Elric. I'm your new Alchemy teacher."