From Ruin


Summary: It all went wrong. Harry is locked away in Azkaban for decades as Voldemort destroys and conquers the magical world and beyond unchallenged. However, Voldemort's greatest strength will be used against him, and Harry is sent back in time with one mission: to kill the Dark Lord before he rises again. Notes:

Inspired by I'm Still Here by Kathryn518.

Just a couple of things... This story is inspired by I'm Still Here over at FF.N. The author, Kathryn518 hasn't continued it...I truly hope they do... in the mean time I have to satisfy my trashy shipper heart and write my own. She is aware of my version and has given me the green light to keep writing. Next, updates may not be regular. I gotta be real with you guys- full time job, Gf, friends, you know the gist. But I'll try my absolute best to do once a week. Last, I'm mostly considering the movies, but with some details taken from books 1-7.

01: My Name Is

Out of warped space and reality, Harry materializes, dropping from the sky at a height high enough to feel his delicate organs stir up before he lands hard on cold muddy earth. The pain of his touch down wrecked his fried nerves but that is nothing compared to the burning in his eyes and head. The sudden invasion of normal daylight is like a fire to sensitive eyes that has lived in a torture cell on the lowest level of Azkaban prison for decades. Even with his eyes shut, it feels like too much. Harry shuffles and shifts his weak body to hide from the painful light when he registers wet on his back. The wet reminds him of his origin.

The cold impossibly black crypt of his cell, where no light entered, no wind felt, no sound save his screams and the smacking of meat against stone, could be heard. Decades of darkness in that prison felt nothing like this. The air is fresh instead of stale and decayed. The sun feels like fire on his fragile and sickly skin but it's countered by the freeze of the wind. His overwhelmed senses has to be proof the horrific parasite actually did it. The Horcrux-Voldemort had brought them back to the past.

...Possibly, his rational mind begins to reason.

Harry is much too desensitized to properly take stock of his surroundings. All he knows is light is painful, he's in cold mud and it feels like he's naked. His ears pick up every sound like the earths sounds is on maximum volume. Harry needs time to adjust, but he needs to make sure he's safe first. There is no telling if he actually made it back in time or if he just managed to apparate out of the prison. As a method of relaxing, Harry's mind absentmindedly reviews the arithmancy of Horcrux-Voldemort's theory.

Harry weakly packs on mud over his eyes until it's a spotty black and blue under his eyelids instead of bright orange and red. As his hearing begins to adjust, his mind sees no flaws in Voldemorts math. Harry knows he has to check his surroundings to verify they did in fact return to the past but at present, he can't see and barely distinguish sounds. Harry wants nothing more than to retreat from the constant agony of sensory overload when he recalls his mindscape. Harry withdraws into his mental refuge and immediately starts to dial down his perception. Having never done it before, it takes him immeasurable time; Minutes or hours he couldn't say, but eventually the blaring sounds of nature diminishes, providing him with some relief.

Using his reconditioned sense of hearing, his mind naturally maps out his surrounding as accurately as possible. Little by little, grass and dirt patches form, then trees and rocks, shrubs, many birds, a squirrel and possibly a raccoon, or cat. It all shapes an image of a forest in Harry's mind, but it's not a dense forest. If he allows more sounds to add to the rough mental image, he can easily make out sounds of people walking—high heels and flats on concrete—and talking, cars running, doors closing and windows opening from buildings, strollers, dogs, music, and many more sounds that tell Harry; metropolitan.

"Whe..." Harry tries to speak the possibility that they're probably in a park, but his jaw, voice and mouth all refuse to aid him in speaking. Harry reasons he'll be weak for some time and for the moment concentrates on his environment. The idea of being in the world, outside of a prison cell is a challenge to stay calm and composed The fact that I can hear people and animals is so good... it's soo... Harry's thoughts feel like they're made of tears. He can feel the swell of emotion gain strength and speed, so with practiced ease he calls on his occlumency to reign in on his overwhelming emotions.

In his mindscape that looks like his dank cell in Azkaban, Harry calls out, "Did you hear that, you psychotic bastard?" Looking around, there is no reply. Harry isn't sure what to make of Horcrux-Voldemort's lack of response but what they did is unprecedented, and bound to have unforeseen complications. The parasites disappearance may be linked to that in some way.

Maybe he's magically exhausted? Harry questions in his mind, though the logic of how a piece of a soul can feel tired doesn't make sense. Years spent with that spiritual tumor rooted in his mind is telling him something either very good has happened, or it's on the loose. Harry's certain if the monster was still in his head, it would've assumed full control of his body again; eager to torture him with images of his friends being raped and murdered.

It was one of his favorite source of amusement. That or mentally dueling Harry in a true to life reality it controlled like a God. Towards the end, Harry didn't care how impossible it was to brutally fight it because any opportunity to momentarily kill, maim, hurt, or even tire the monster was worth it. Of course no matter how well Harry fought, it was all in the mindscape Voldemort ruled. A mindscape—it seems—it's no longer dominant over. Harry won't rule anything out but if the parasite isn't answering, the most likely reason is it's gone.

Harry's theorizing is interrupted when hears a nearby voice, seemingly right above him say, "Well, will you look at that. She was right."

Harry immediately leaves his mindscape, recalling that his eyes are caked over with mud, he uses the nearby sound of breathing, heart beats, and tone of voice to quickly learn there are two people near him, one male, the other, unconfirmed. Harry panics. He doesn't know these people. It's likely they want to through him back in prison, he reasons. Then Harry's magic rages in panic as well.

"Wow!" The male voice starts, as Harry hears shuffling away. "Wow, oh uh, one- one moment, young man," The male asserts from a bit further. "We mean you no harm! I repeat, we mean no harm, by either myself or my wife. So long as you do not attack us, we will not attack you. You have my word."

"It's true," the female voices in a comforting tone. "We mean you no harm."

They repeat that phrase until his magic reacts less and less to his lowering sense of danger. Harry's breathing is panicked, but the words do turn over in his mind, simmer a moment, then suggest certain possibilities. Harry hasn't interacted with people in such a long time, replying his thoughts with his actual voice sounds like crazy talk. His occlumancy has the hardest time keeping his emotions from barreling out and reducing him to a weeping mess. Harry desperately stays his magic from accumulating any further and in his mind he repeats a question, practicing until he finally asks in a croaky, broken voice, "who... are... you?"

"My name is Nicolas," the man replies in a comforting tone. "And with me, as I've stated, is my wife, Perenelle."

"Hello," a kind voice emerges from the hazy mass of cloudy shapes in Harry's mind.

"Now, I would like to avoid... distressing you further, as you've clearly been through an ordeal. So I'd like to ask you how you want to proceed. Though I would recommend clothes. It's not quite cold but being in the buff can still bring a man a rather deep chill."

"Honestly," he hears Perenelle mutter as he measures every word he hears, and analyzes the threat level. It's odd. The more they project safety in their words, the higher his confusion. Why do they want me to drop my guard, he asks himself. It can't be anything good. Harry decides to stall and keep them talking. He asks, "'m... na'ked?" Truthfully, his nudity didn't bother him because aside from the pain drawn by every breath, he can't feel anything else. Still, he needs more time and information.

"Quite," Nicolas states. "But no need to feel embarrassed. I am obviously male and Perenelle is a healer whose seen thousands of nude forms. If you consent, she can look you over with diagnostic spells. Nothing invasive of course. You have my word."

When the thought of them having wands while he is literally bare fills him with steady dread. Of course they would have wands! He mentally chastises himself for not thinking of their wands earlier. Not only is it pointless now, but he doesn't have any way of defending himself against a witch and a wizard. Why haven't they used their wands against him, his mind questions and immediately formulates theories that range from rational to outlandish. Assuming the simplest theory is the preferred explanation for an unknown phenomena, Harry has to believe they actually mean him no harm. But trust is too far a leap for him to make. The only test that would reveal the situation for what it is comes out of his croaky unused voice, "oath."

The silence deadening but less than a moment later, Nicolas says, "certainly." The sliding noise of a wand exiting it's holster terrifies his magic into briefly flaring, but Harry tapers it down. He can hear Perenelle move a step forward before saying, "On my magic, I swear to do no harm, intentionally induce pain of any sort, or take advantage of the young man before me in any way he disapproves as I examine him for injuries." A faint thickness seems to warm the air a moment before disappearing.

Harry tilts his head in the direction of Nicolas' sounds and a moment later he too removes his wand and states his intentions clearly before swearing on his magic. It calms Harry down dramatically, but not completely.

"As I've said," Perenelle begins. "I will only be using diagnostic spells. Afterward, we can discuss some more what you'd like to do."

Harry can briefly feel a faint and foreign warmth wash over and through him, like stepping out into warm sunlight. While she does her spell, Harry asks for more information. "Why... ar' ou... here?"

"That is a story best left for another time," Perenelle chimes in, her tone very perturbed. "He's incredibly weak and it won't do your condition any good to hear anything remotely alarming or even mildly stressful. Can you tell me your name? If you like, a nickname is fine."

"...Hedwig," Harry weakly answers.

"Very good name," Perenelle softly states.

"Old high German, if I recall correctly," Nicolas adds in an attempt to fill the space with conversation. "My old German is pretty rusty but I believe it's broken down to two elements: Hed, combat or battle, and Wig, fight or duel."

"You remember Eleonora?" Perenelle asks almost cheerfully, also assisting in expanding the soothing effect of conversation despite the seriousness of the situation.

"I'd hardly forget the queen of Sweden," Nicolas says before raising his voice in a clear apologetic voice at the speculative eye of his wife. "Not because she was attractive. You have to admit she was a dominating figure. I'd remember her regardless of how she looks."

"Mnhm," Perenelle hums. Despite the small break, she finishes her examination and states as much. "Young man- Hedwig, I must say... I don't even know how you're conscious at the moment. Your condition closely resembles a state of stasis similar to a corpse. Your heart is hardly beating and erratic, have low blood pressure, you have hypothermia, severe muscular atrophy, bones so weak I thought my diagnostic spell might break them, magical imbalance, and... well, I can go on but it's a whole host of other ailments."

"I'd also like to know why you have mud on your eyes," Nicolas adds hoping some humor might alleviate the grave atmosphere. "Truthfully, I have a multitude of questions I'd metaphorically die for answers to. However before we can get to that we need to restore you to proper health. Hedwig, if we swear to help you regain your strength, will you consent to hospice care in our home?"

Wandless and naked as he is, everyone present knows full well there is little he can do in his condition, yet they ask. As abnormal as they are, Harry has to trust that there's nothing of value for them to hatch an elaborate plan like this in order to manipulate him later. Though before he agrees, Harry asks, "Wha'... year... s'this?"

"Interesting," Nicolas mutters while Perenelle answers, "1994. June of 94."

'Fourth year,' Harry's mind recalls.

They missed. Horcrux-Voldemort calculated for the end of third year, but they're in the beginning of fourth year. The World Cup hasn't happened yet, nor has the Tri-Wizard fiasco. Barty Crouch Jr impersonating Moody, Cedric's murder, the parasite finally getting a body. Now that it seems he has complete control of his body, Harry has to stop all of that from happening. His overwhelming need to be ready for it and prevent the deaths of his loved ones has him nodding to Nicolas' offer of assistance. They promptly make their detailed oaths to do him no harm. He knows it's a magical bond when, oddly enough, he faintly feels their magic.

They tell him everything they're going to do and though it scares him to place himself in the hand of strangers, he has to continuously remind himself the oath is binding, this is to kill that bastard, and he has no other choice. Harry doesn't return to his mindscape. He instead prioritizes his mind, body, and magic to healing. He feels great stretches of blackness between moments of consciousness, but with every moment of lucidity, he's feels ever more stronger than before.

Apparently a whole week passes in the hospice that is Nicolas and Perenelle's home. Harry wakes in the now familiar room, and for the first time, his body has no further need to return to sleep. He feels strong enough to remove the thick blanket and walk, or maybe even run. Instead, Harry enters his mindscape, which still looks like a dank and dark cell. He walks over to a dark gray brick he knows to represent his body. Placing his palm on it's surface, Harry utilizes his magic to analyze and enhance his body's natural recuperation. Harry finds that his body is recuperating well above normal. It's odd that this is all he can accomplish, when he hears the click of a door open. Returning to the surface, Harry opens his eyes in the darkened room to see Perenelle enter.

She walks over to him, greeting him with a "good morning," as she runs quick diagnostic charms over his frame. Harry has a much easier time of sensing magic now as opposed to when they first found him. Even with his enhanced memory, he can't recall ever being able to sense magic to this extent. It only leads him to more theories about this new world or what Horcrux-Voldemort did to his body. Theories that beg for confirmation.

"I'm ready to talk," Harry announces with much less strain than before. Perenelle looks him over and nods before leaving the spacious room. It's not long before she returns with Nicolas and they pull chairs up by the bed to sit in.

Harry has gone over dozens upon dozens of probabilities and hazardous topics to avoid in his mindscape. With his ultimate goal of killing Voldemort, Harry has to see every moment as either opportunity or set back. Most scenarios he played in him mind try to account for the best and most efficient way to achieve this goal with or without help. Excluding assistance of any kind, going it alone always has the worst percentage of success by comparison. The results doesn't mean he'll take anyone however, but he reasons keeping a small and talented network of assistance will be the best case scenerio. And depending on how they answer his queries, he may not consider any further help from them. He starts with an easy test topic.

"You're Nicolas and Perenelle Flamel," he states with absolute certainty. He couldn't place them in his weakened state but when he regained his strength, he recalled their heads on the wall of decapitations Voldemort taunted and tormented him with during his confinement. He recalled Voldemort happily expressing indignation over his immortality being challenged by the 'immortal alchemist.' For more than one immortal being to exist was a personal slight to the dark monster. Add to that, the Nicolas of his world refused to give Voldemort his remaining philosopher's stones, or the recipe to create it, and he easily butchered them, mounting their heads along the collection of friends and family in Harry's first cell.

The Horcrux lodged in Harry's head postulated that Voldemort did find either the recipe or stone, which reduced the need to depend solely on Horcruxs thus forcing the Harry/Horcrux to imprisonment. In a way, it's very possible Nicolas's stone ultimately led to Harry's travel into the past, to then be found by the very man. That seems far too fortuitous for coincidence and Harry reasoned there's something missing.

"Seen my head on a chocolate frog card have you," Nicolas easily states with a smile.

"Something like that," Harry responds with in an ominous tone. The room isn't completely dark. They've been adjusting it little by little so Harry can get accustomed to light. But it's dark enough that his response seems darker, changing the impression of the room to something more grim. "How did you find me?" Harry asks one of his many questions.

"That's an interesting story actually," Nicolas starts, seemingly brushing away some of the haunting feeling. "As you know our identity, you may also be aware of why we're famous. Even now coursing through your veins is the famed, 'Elixir of Life'."

"How I hate that label," Perenelle groans with a small hint of irritation. "I'll never forgive that oaf Guillard for betraying our trust."

"Can you blame him?" Nicolas poses to his wife. "We did tell him we were nearing 500 years of age."

It doesn't seem like the elusive and recluse couple would go around dosing complete strangers with the elixir of life. There's no way they can be sure it would for the betterment of the world or not. If, for example they had come across a young Tom Riddle and gave him the elixir on a whim, they could've helped destroy the future that much faster. "You wouldn't have given me your elixir of immortality so easy," Harry comments. "My recovery is the only thing that feels different."

Nicolas and Perenelle share a look of surprise before the older man turns to Harry. "May I have your word that you will not reveal what we share with you to anyone; for profit or recognition of any kind?" Harry nods easily. He may not know the exact avenues of his immediate plans, but he knows his goals are nowhere near as self-serving as immortality or money. "It's quite surprising and very perceptive of you to note your recovery. Yes the 'Elixir of Life' is exaggerated by uneducated rabble... well, to a degree. While it's true the reason Perenelle and I have lived for so long is due to the elixir, it is not a perpetual remedy. We take it twice a week to continue prolonged life."

"And as you can see, it doesn't make us younger," Perenelle adds wistfully. "But it does help our bodies perform to ideal levels. Your condition was systemic as it was cataclysmic. It wouldn't be a leap to say you were dead for several months before slowly starting to come back to life. As something of a medical professional, your injuries was so extensive—and keeping in mind it's not a permanent remedy—I deemed the elixir to be the best treatment for you, or else we would not have given it to you."

It seems to Harry the older couple are hoping he might elaborate of the circumstances of his condition, but he only nods. When it seems Harry won't shed any light on the events that led him to his near death-like state, Nicolas continues.

"So, in the expanse of our time circling the globe, we've seen it all, I'd say. Or heard about something remarkable. Oh the tales we can tell. The rise and fall of great kingdoms, and in this case a plethora of characters met along the way. Some were very good, truly heroes of their time. Some, not many but enough were quite evil. The 'chaos for chaos' sake' types. But for the most part, everyone was normal. There have been a few special cases. Talented witches and wizards, such as Merlin, or the Founders—of Hogwarts that is—King Oberon, Merwyn the Malicious-" "Vindictive troll," Perenelle mutters though easily heard. "Herpo the Foul," Nicolas smiles as he continues. "Some of our encounters were with experts in the unconventional practice of divination; Nostradamus, or in this case, the witch that has led us to you, Cassandra Lufugōd."

"Poor girl," Perenelle chimes with sorrow.

"Poor family, more like it," Nicolas estimates. At Harry's quiet and curious exterior, Nicolas continues to further explain. "We came across her plight through our travels in Greece. While most soothseers are born with their ability, Cassandra's ability was the result of a curse placed upon her by something wickedly powerful. We never learned who or what would do such a thing, but for the rest of her days, she would be cursed to foresee only the bloodiest, most tragic acts of wanton destruction perpetuated by vile and evil men. Naturally we attempted our very best to help the poor lass."

"Even in constant despair, she tried to stop what she could," Perenelle picks up the explanation from her husband. "And we like to think she was successful, but being unable to see positive outcomes, she couldn't ever know for sure if she in fact made a difference. What's worse is the curse continues throughout her family line—though only among daughters, if I remember correctly."

"Well it does weaken," Nicolas adds. "We were able to examine a descendant and found it's much weaker now than it was in Cassandra."

"The Lovegoods, I believe their surname has evolved to," Perenelle notes as a matter of fact.

Independent of his desires, the name immediately recalls memories of being forced in penseive records to bare witness of his blond friend's bestial rape and bloody murder. After which they mounted her head on the wall beside his other friends. With a healthy body, a clear memory, and an agonizing spirit, his magic automatically responds, like a lite blaze within him. Unexpectedly, his body is a poor container for his rage induced magic, and a flash forms erratically and repeatedly, floating objects, splintering the wood of the bed frame, or blasting window panes.

"Hedwig!" Perenelle calls as Nicolas pulls his wife away before the surge becomes life threatening. "What's the matter?! Please calm down! Hedwig!"

"This is a safe place!" Nicolas tries shielding himself and his wife from all the debris flying around the room. "You're safe here!"

Angry as he is he can still hear their words, like a distant echo. Harry quickly calls on his occlumancy to calm down. Almost immediately the flaring of erratic magic subsides and everything calms. After a moment of awkward silence, Harry mutters, "sorry."

Regarding the green eyed boy carefully, Nicolas nods and begins replacing or repairing the scattered furnishing of the room. Perenelle moves to Harry to check him over for any injuries or abnormalities. Seemingly content, she lowers her wand around the same time Nicolas finishes restoring the room. "You seem to be as normal as any 13 year old," she states officially.

"I don't know about that," Nicolas chimes. "I can't say I've ever come across any children—let alone adults—capable of doing whatever that was. It seemed like a cross between accidental magic, and magical force similar to an obscurus."

"There isn't any trace of foul magic like that in him," Perenelle remarks. "As unlikely as it is, that was his magic."

"Can you stop talking about me like I'm not here," Harry asks, preferring to move past this. Truth be told, he's a little embarrassed at losing control like he did, but he certainly wasn't expecting to hear about Luna's family. The surprise and the sudden flashes of painful memories is something he'll have to be more careful with in the future. There's no telling what other triggers he might come across. "So, can I assume Cassandra mentioned me in one of her premonitions?"

Setting their seats in place beside Harry's bed, Nicolas nods, "yes. Her only premonition to us. While we were attempting to remove the curse, she told us to be at a Lilly Hill park in Brecknill, UK, June 13th year 94, if we wanted to avoid certain travesties. We may not have taken her seriously but for the fact we never told her we were essentially immortal. That she knew without being told gave her the credibility for us to act on her instruction. And low and behold," he gestures at Harry with both hands.

"Can you imagine?" Perenelle asks. "The United Kingdom hadn't even formed until the early 1700's! How could we not take her seriously?"

It's a little jarring to think that an ancestor of Luna's from the distant past would help him on his return from the bleak future. The other nugget tugging at Harry's mind is Lilly Hill park. Harry dives into his Horcrux-Voldemort enhanced, perfect recall, to his childhood with the Dursleys. That park was one of the larger nearby parkland he used to pass on his way to primary school. Why would he return there, and not in his cell in Azkaban?

Sifting throughout the memories of his youth, Harry notices there's a set of similar or different occurring memories from the age of 4 to 7, like images with slightly different changes. Observing one pair of memory of the same day and event, he notes actually happen differently. The day Harry received his first black eye, one memory is how he knows it happened in his past-past, while the returned-past is more severe and was administered by a fist from Vernon instead of Dudley, like he remembers.

One event with two memories. Two different experiences of the same moment in time. The Horcrux-Voldemort did postulate that it was possible that a ripple may form upon breaking through the fabric of the past and that it could extend through space and time, affecting past events differently by a small margin or not at all. It's why the parasite was so meticulous with his arithmancy—it didn't want to change past events more than would be to his benefit. The numbers, magic and runes had to be perfect to keep the ripple as small as possible. It's the only reason Horcrux-Voldemort needed Harry's cooperation. The energy required was astronomical. Not only did they have to remove the magical limiters from his mind, but the parasite had to use the decades of ambient magic soaked in the wards and structure of Azkaban, or they couldn't have done it. Harry will need to spend a lot of time going over this slightly altered history.

Harry's deep dive into his memories is interrupted when Perenelle speaks up. "Mr. Hedwig," Perenelle starts and continues when Harry opens his eyes. "We were hoping you might shed some light on what those travesties we might be avoiding are by helping you."

"We can tell you are... a very guarded person," Nicolas takes over. "And normally we would not pry, but we're almost sure this involves my wife and I. If you can place yourself in our position, and imagine. We've come and gone in the affairs of man and wizard sparingly for hundreds of years. We've seen the rise and fall of kingdoms, of dark lords, and short-lived peace without the need of much intervention. Having seen and been through so much, what could Cassandra have seen that might make this future so devastating that we would need to be involved? The only outcome that would make the most sense to a couple of immortals, is their demise."

"It's why we feel it's in our interest to help you if we can," Perenelle interjects. "If you need a sworn oath to hold true all you share with us, I am willing to do so."

Harry takes a moment for thought before looking at Nicolas for a similar pledge. Understanding what his eyes are asking, Nicolas says, "I would like to make a similar oath. I truly would, but I cannot be certain my silence will aid or hurt us, and others, in unforeseen ways. You can be a dark lord for all I know."

Harry stamps on his rage with his occlumancy before it can even spark his magic to frantic life. He can't exactly blame Nicolas. That's a rational precaution.

"That may leave us in a bit of a conundrum, I think," Nicolas continues. "You may not be willing to share what you know without my oath and I will not give that oath without knowing more about what you're unwilling to share."

It certainly seems like a catch 22 but Harry can be sure to explain one thing, no matter the oath. "I am no dark lord," he says with disgust. "Nor will I ever allow myself to come close to being regarded as one. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that my entire existence is for the sole purpose of dismantling and utterly destroying... self-proclaimed dark lords."

The vile bitterness of his tone alone is more than enough to tell the Flamels that this young man is deathly serious. But the light of green illuminating his angered eyes is the exclamation point of legitimacy. The couple share a look of concern, then a look of curiosity, and finally acceptance before returning their focus on Harry. "If you can swear that to me, I'll feel safe in swearing silence on anything you tell us now and in this room." Nicolas and Perenelle seem unified on this but Harry isn't sure how much he wants to say.

They seem honest in their intentions and they did help him regain his strength without asking for much in return, but is that enough reason to tell them the truth. Harry's mind quickly analyzes the pros and cons of the critical decision before him. Not telling them doesn't mean he couldn't do what'll need to be done to eliminate Voldemort. The con there is it'll take longer, as he's already learned through simulated scenarios. But if taking longer is the best way, shouldn't he follow that path? No, his mind easily answers. There was nothing to stop Voldemort from his eventual return because everyone did nothing. In Dumbledore's case, he prepared a child for martyrdom that still ended up failing. Destroying the snake is his sole focus and attention, but he has to consider what telling others about the future might do to change an already battered past-future—or is it new-future—into something worse.

In either case, telling them might be helpful in ways he hasn't considered. Not to mention, they've lived for centuries, so if anyone in the entire planet, can handle the responsibility of such a secret, it's the Flamels. They're recluse, observant, intelligent enough to reason, and they promised magically binding oaths.

Harry takes a deep breath. "I can't promise to tell you everything," he starts to say. "But I'll say enough for you to grasp the entire situation."

The couple share a look and with a nod, Nicolas says, "I think that'll be fine."

"First, my name is Harry."