"The blood of a unicorn will keep you alive, even if you are an inch from death, but at a terrible price. You have slain something pure and defenseless to save yourself, and you will have but a half-life, a cursed life, from the moment the blood touches your lips."

Firenze

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's (Philosopher's) Stone.

Page 258.

Chapter 3.

Tom closed yet another book and sighed. Still nothing. He had been in the Ministry Library for a little more then a week, looking through the millions of books and scrolls for any hint of how to gain immortality, and so far he had found nothing.

Tom rubbed the bridge of his nose wondering if it would be better to continue the search in Knockturn Alley. Although last time had not proved any better then this library. Reaching over he pulled a large stack of books over that had looked promising.

He took the first book from the top careful of its old pages and silver cracking leather binding. He had found the books from this pile in an old unused corner of the library that looked as if it hadn't been touched in centuries. Knowing the Ministry they probably hadn't. None of the books had Titles, but the magic around was foreboding and few wizards liked reading books that made you feel as if you were the one being read instead of them.

Tom turned the pages scanning for any passage that might even remotely be speaking about immortality. Halfway through the book though he felt as if he should just give up and move on to the next one. 'A few more pages.' He told himself. 'Just a few more if there is nothing then I will look at another one.' But the more pages that passed the more he wanted to look at a different one. Finally giving it up as hopeless, Tom set the book down away from all the rest and began searching the others in his pile, making notes every now and then at something that sounded as if it might help.

Around midnight Tom sighed as he turned the last page of the last book in his pile to search. Nothing. Again. There had to be something, anything. Tom stood up and silently put the books away one by one to their appropriate areas. He headed back to the table he had been sitting at for a few weeks now, to pick up his quills and parchments before he left, and he saw that one book had not been put away yet.

The silver leather book that he had been unable to finish sat at the far left corner away from all the ones he was looking at and the ones he had finished which he usually put on the table beside him. Looking at it Tom remembered the feeling of hopelessness when he had tried to read it. And also the fact that it was the only book that he had searched thus far that he hadn't looked through completely.

Tom slowly sat back in the chair he had secretly claimed as his. The book unopened before his eyes.

Slowly so as not to bend or break the fragile pages, Tom opened it to the page that he had last read. His eyes scanned the passage in front of him. Silently he turned the page and found the first hint of real information he had yet seen about immortality in his months of searching.

Though few can achieve or understand the implications of immortality many search for it even today. Godric often tells me that I shouldn't seek it but something within me wants to know if it is possible. Is there some way for the weak humans though we are, to gain something no one else has? For wizards are just extraordinary humans. Though many think that 'Muggles' are only untalented wizards. And some a different race completely. I know I once thought so.

Tom exhaled the breath he had been holding. There was someone like him.

How could he have overlooked this book? Turning the pages back Tom searched the pages for something that might have caused him to feel that it was useless. An ancient spell, maybe. He searched for the words that could of caused the spell but found nothing. His eyes traveled over the pages, and he suddenly held the book far away from him, his eyes unfocused on the words. Slowly a pattern formed from the text. There was a ruin made with mundane words as a way to hide itself from roaming eyes. Tom smiled to himself as he recognized one of the ancient Ruins that hadn't been used since before Hogwarts came to be.

Trivial matters, the ruins said running across the pages of the book.

Nothing written here matters.

The thing you search for is not here.

Search elsewhere.

Tom smiled. He had finally found what he was looking for. Picking up his supplies he cast a Shrinking spell and placed them all in his pocket. He held the book to his chest. Walking up to the remaining librarian, he set the book down carefully.

"I'm taking this one with me tonight."

The librarian smiled. "Finally found something, Tom? You haven't borrowed a book for a few weeks now although you did when you first started coming here."

Tom smiled politely, although he was annoyed that this was taking so long. He wanted to study this book as soon as he could. In private preferably.

"Yes I finally did, just some light reading though. Not exactly what I wanted but I thought that I might read it while I continued my search."

The witch nodded her glasses sliding down her nose, and began writing down a description of the book, muttering to herself. "Title? None. Cover? Sliver. Author? …"

She quickly flipped through the book not really reading anything until she reached the end of the book. "No author mentioned. Hmm…" Her eyes, scanning the handwriting in the book, suddenly widened. "It couldn't possibly…"

She set the book down and began rummaging through some books beside her. Pulling out an old worn book, with a purple cover, and the title "The making of Hogwarts" In bronze letters at the top. She flipped to the center of the book and started going over the words written there. Without turning around she grabbed the book Tom had hand her and opened it to a random page, her eyes flickering between the two pages.

Smiling, suddenly she handed the book to Tom, and wrote down 'Author? Salazar Slytherin.'

"Where did you get find that book? I thought I had read all the books written by the Founders."

Tom smiled. "You will just have to find out later."

Nodding politely he quickly left the Ministry Library.

I think I may have found the answer I was looking for. But the price may be more then it is worth. I discovered a potion that will stave off death for a thousand years. But the partaker does not keep his younger body he shall age as the rest and be unable to die. To live for a thousand years in a body that is unable to move is more punishment then reward. The partaker will only die if hit by a strong Killing Curse although if the caster is weak the spell will not work but reflect back on the caster. Only those of stronger magical power then the partaker can cast the spell without it bouncing back. The inventor Agratagan Manoke will be a thousand today. His life is finally over. The relief in his eyes to know that in a few days he will have passed on is horrible to see. The potion must have another step for the caster to maintain their youth or if aged already to regain it. I will not try this until the spell has been found.

The potion instructions are as follows:

Vampires' fang.

5 Drops of Werewolf's blood taken on the night of the full moon.

3 Phoenix tears frozen for one year, and thawed just before use.

All the Venom drained from a Basilisk's fang.

And the 2 scales from a thousand year old Basilisk's shed skin.

The breath of a dementor.

A strand of hair from a siren's head.

13 drops of the users' own heart-blood.

The essence of a boggart.

Place the dementor's breath in a silver cauldron. And add one Phoenix tear under the full moon. Stir thirteen times counterclockwise then let it brew for seven hours three minutes and thirteen seconds any shorter and the potion will turn to water. Any longer and the potion will evaporate into the air and poison anyone with in one thousand meters. Then add the three drops of the Werewolf's blood. And allow the potion to boil for nineteen minute, from the time it begins to boil. Crush the Vampire's fang and place on a golden platter. Take the boiling potion and pour it over the powder. (The fang must be freshly crushed or the potion will turn to acid.) The potion will turn bluish silver closely resembling a unicorn's blood. Let the potion solidify, this will take two days.

Clean the potion from the silver cauldron using one drop of Phoenix tears, two drops of Werewolf blood, and three drops of the partaker's blood.

Slice the solidified potion into five equal pieces. Make sure they are equal any variation will cause the Basilisk venom to retain it's poisonous quality and kill the partaker within seconds of consumption.

Place the two basilisk scales parallel inside the cauldron with one slice of the completed potion between the two scales and one on the other side of each. Retain the last two slices for the end of the potion. Pour all the Basilisk venom into the silver cauldron. There will come a cloud of blood red smoke. Do not breath it in. Once the smoke has cleared. Which will only take a few seconds, stir in seven drops of the partaker's blood. Then simmer the potion until midnight of the next full moon.

Once the clock strikes midnight place the Siren's hair in the cauldron being careful not to allow it to touch the silver cauldron, as this will neutralize the potion.

Chill until the next full moon. The potion will be onyx black.

In a small bronze potions bottle put the remaining Phoenix tear, add the essence of boggart. Stopper the bottle with a rowan stopper and shake the bottle seventeen times.

Open the bottle and stir in the last three drops of the Partakers blood.

Slowly pour the bottled potion into the silver cauldron in the form of a pentacle.

Then stir clockwise twelve times.

Leave at room temperature for two months then drink.

I will find a spell that will allow me to use this.

Today I think I found the spell that I need. It's actually a ruin not a spell. But you must write it in the air with you wand as you say it then write it on the floor around you in your blood. .

The spell was said to back fire and kill many of it's creators when done wrong. The wizards that succeeded now live but half-lives. They found a way to counter the death caused by a mistake. But few would be willing to pay the price.

The wizards that survived have all drunken of a unicorn's blood. This allowed them to do the spell multiple times without suffering death when they made mistakes. For not one was able to correctly complete the spell the first time.

Their lives but half of what they would have been, for to drink a unicorn's blood tears your soul in two.

None has ever found their other half.

The Ruin is the incomplete part of the potion. It allows you to retain your youth or regain it. Although it will not give you a new body for it takes the essence of what you were. It also surpasses the potion and heightens the effect of the potion, which may allow you to be Immortal. Although no one can be sure as no one has yet to combine the two.

I do not know if I shall try the potion, as I don't know if I would care to be alive while all around me perish and leave me. To be so utterly alone scares me more then I care to admit.

But for those who would brave loneliness, use your Immortality wisely. Please do not use my works for revenge, for what would you do once your revenge had been completed?

Be forewarned that the consequences of your actions will affect you for the rest of your existence. For who can call a life a life when you are unable to die?

Salazar Slytherin

Tom turned the page to find the Ruin Slytherin had written of but found only a single page of blank parchment. A few charms showed more then one concealment spell along with a few illusion charms to hide the Ruin.

Deciding to leave the removal of those spells till tomorrow, Tom set the book down and retreated to his bedroom. A flick of his wand to light the candles and a quick look around reveled that no one had entered the room since he had last been here. Silver mirrors reflected the entire room to Tom as he stepped through the door. The forest green walls and drapes contradicted the pale light cast by the dozens silver candles. His thick dark red carpet deadened the sound of his footsteps as he made his way to his enormous bed. Quickly changing out of his robes he fell into his bed and fell into an exhausted sleep as he had been rising early and going to bed late since his search for immortality began.

As he slept Tom heard a voice quietly whispering 'Please Tom, don't seek immortality. I'm afraid that if you do I will be lost.'

Tom waved his wand over the last page of the manuscript, one last time. Finally after four days removed the last concealment spell.

Determined are you?

You shall not find the Ruin here. Search for my rival's journal, for only he would entrust my discovery to another. His posterity guard it well be warned. Search among arcane dangers and domestic spells for who would expect immortality to be hidden in plain sight?

Be warned though of harming those who hold the secret for danger lies along that path. For if you are an heir to me our fates lie intertwined till last.

Though silver showed the way to go, it cannot work without the gold.

Tom's eyes blazed with fury. How could this happen? And when he was so close. Tom tried to calm himself down. And as he thought about it a smirk crept onto his lips. It was a simple riddle. All he had to do was find the descendants of Gryffindor and he would find the Ruin.

Finding Gryffindor's descendants proved harder then he had first though. They changed names frequently and many of the direct lines died off. Currently there were two that he was looking into seriously. One was Alexander Potters line. And one was Christopher Griffith. The Griffith line though soon faded into a Squib line and changed names again to Harper.

Tom put those records aside as useless, and started concentrating on the Potter's line. Delphinus Potter was the head of the family currently, his son Perseus had been in first year during Tom's sixth year. They were a proud family and most had been sorted into Gryffindor with the exception of a few that went either to Ravenclaw or the very rear one that went to Slytherin. They considered few to be their equal and believed in justice and right for all. One of the few purebloods that accepted all wizards and witches from mudbloods to purebloods to half-bloods, if he remembered correctly they had some half-blood blood in their line. They were one of the most trusted families in the wizarding world, and one of the most guarded. For wizards that were suppose to accept everyone they were extremely paranoid.

It would not be easy to access their vault. That is once he found out which of their vaults it was in. The Potters were extremely rich and each generation just seemed to add to that wealth. With a sigh he grabbed his jade cloak and left the genealogy section of the ministry behind.

He had a few favors to call in.

The next few months was spent calling in favors from his many acquaintances, many of who had won bets with the goblins and still hadn't called in the favor. He soon found out that there were two hundred ninety-seven vaults that belonged to the Potter family. This task was beginning to look impossible but he was determined.

Looking at the blueprints of how to get to them, which he had also acquired from the goblins, he started searching for the most likely vault that it would be in. Going by the riddle he had found in Salazar Slytherins journal he knew that it had to be in one of the more used vaults. This reduced the vaults to search and it now rested at thirteen vaults but he was still unable to cross out more then that without knowing what was in them.

It looked like he would have to go and search them himself. Now he just had to find out how to get into them without arousing suspicion or setting off alarms.

The security had been easier to get passed then Tom had expected. The sleeping potion had worked on any creature that was set to guard the vaults. Also the invisibility cloak and the Notice Me not charms helped him pass some of the less intricate traps. And to avoid the last traps he had used a spell that covered magical signatures and an unplotable charm on himself.

Standing in front of one of the Potter vaults he pulled out a ring of keys. These were replicas of the keys the Head of the Potter family keep on him when he had come to visit his son at Hogwarts.

Tom had been on his way to have a visit with the Headmaster at the time. He had had a run in with him, literally and had been able to pickpocket him and get molds of both the keys and the magical signatures on them before he put them back.

Thumbing through the various keys he found an iron one that seemed the size of the keyhole and went in.

This was the fifth vault he had searched. The others proved to be just piles of galleons, sickles and knuts. When the smoke had cleared away Tom was ecstatic to see that this vault had journals and books in it.

Hours later he came out with copies of about fifty books that looked promising. Some were histories others family cookbooks and other volumes that looked as if they had been around for many generations.

Tom searched through the books for the next few days trying to find the ruin that Slytherin spoke of. He found a few symbols through out the volumes that looked as if they could possibly be what he was speaking of. Writing them down he again returned to the Ministry Library to see if he could find out what they meant.

He spent most of his days searching and by the end of the second week had crossed off seventeen ruins as either not so common ruins, or obscure protection ruins.

It took him almost a month to finally bring it down to five ruins, two of which were part of the family crest.

Sighing in frustration Tom set aside the volume was reading and picked up his copy of the Griffindor family trees in the hopes of seeing something he has perhaps missed. His eyes skimmed down the page till about the third name change that Griffindor's second son line went through. They had changed again their name to Flamel, which went down the tree, and there was at least one descendent still alive if the red ink on the tree was any indication. One Nicholas Flamel… If Tom remembered right he had come to visit the Transfiguration Professor during his last year at Hogwarts.

Toms head shot up and he shot out of his chair and started searching the bookshelf behind him in his own library. He had received a present from Alphonse Malfoy for graduation on lectures and theories for transfigurations, potions and charms that had included many cross lectures between the subjects including many from Nicholas Flamel, his most common the mixing of Transfigurations and Potions in new and arcane ways.

Flipping towards the middle of the book he skimmed over the lectures looking for some common phrase or symbol. After flipping through a few he found that each of Flamels signatures on them had in them a crossed snake. Walking back to the desk that he had the ruins on. He searched to see which had one part of it similar to that. Only two of the symbols resembled it. One of which was on the family crest. That one was the exact opposite of the one that Flamel used to sign with. As the snakehead at the end of the cross, turned to the right instead of the left.

The last symbol was one that was mentioned a few times but more in spell books and cookbooks, was of a circle that had unusual markings in it.

There was also another symbol that was mentioned more then once. It was the symbol for the syllable hon in Japanese.

Flipping through one of the journals that he had found Tom came across another page similar to the one in Slytherin's journal that had many spells covering it. Tom slowly uncovered the spells and found a small explanation.

My dear descendents,

Please keep these symbols safe for they are the symbols needed for a spell that should never be used. Please never put these symbols together when making family crest or other similar structures.

We have three symbols to use in our family relics that must never intermix then for disaster would happen. Please keep these safe.

Godric Gryffindor

Tom sighed in relief at finally finding what it was he needed. He now knew which three he would have to pick between. He could eliminate Flamel's signature as he had only reversed the one that was mentioned. He also took out the squared symbol that he had also found.

So Gryffindor had to be talking about mixing two of the symbols left: the hon kanji, the circle and he crossed snake. There were six possible combinations to create the proper ruin that he would need for him to gain immortality.

Now he only had one option left, to try them out. And that meant only one thing….

Tom wrapped his cloak around him tightly to keep of the cold wind of the winter equinox. Tom had searched for all known Unicorn locations in England and while there were surprisingly many they usually only had a small herd and were extremely hard to find. The one were one could find Unicorns more often unfortunately was somewhere that Tom wanted to avoid if at all possible.

The Forbidden Forest. It wasn't for the fact that Tom was afraid of the forest but it was much to close to Hogwarts, where Dumbledore had recently become Headmaster, for his tastes.

The trees around him were steadily getting bigger and the foliage was getting thicker also making it hard to walk through it.. Fortunately Tom was following a path that was made by a unicorn. From the looks of the markings he would say that it was a foal. Tom would prefer to catch an adult but if this trail didn't lead to one he was willing to use the foal at the end of the trial.

He had been wondering for a few hours already and was beginning to think that he might not find one by the time the sun went up. He keep following the trail and almost walked into the clearing. He realized it just two steps away from revealing himself by going into the clearing and crouched down behind a tree just off the path.

The clearing was filled with the light of a waning moon which reflected off the pond. The water seemed to be in vibrating in the wind. Tom gasped when he realized that the pond wasn't moving in the wind but was moving from a group of three unicorns bathing in it.

Tom was almost reluctant to ruin the scene in front of him so watched the three playing. He couldn't tell if he stood there for just a few minutes or if he stood there for hours. He finally came out of his daze when he realized that they were leaving and were already running to the opposite side of the clearing.

He was just about to follow them when, out of the corner of his eye he saw movement and paused. The moonlight illuminated the pure white coat of the Unicorn that came out. It strode majestically toward the small beach and leaned down to get a drink.

Tom gathered his courage and stood up his wand outstretched and the curse on his lip.

"Avada Kedavra!" Tom yelled. The flash of green light struck the Unicorn and it fell to the ground, water lapping around it. A part of Tom screamed in protest of what he had done but Tom almost couldn't hear it anymore. He hesitated a moment but walked to the creature that lay still in the water. Kneeling down facing the unicorn Tom pulled out of his robes a ceremonial dagger. His hands shook as he lowered it to the neck and cut a slit into it. Pushing his hair back from his face Tom leaned down and drank the blood that was dripping down.

Tom felt a pain so unbearable it was as if someone was tearing his soul in half.

Then the world turned black.