Two men Apparated in silence to the corner of Privet Drive and Wisteria Walk.
One was tall and thin, dressed in a purple robe with silver embroidered stars glinting in the early morning light. His blue eyes twinkled madly behind half-moon eyeglasses. A pointed purple cap topped silvery-white hair and beard that reached his waist. He was humming Edvard Grieg's Morning Song under his breath, and sucking on a lemon drop as he walked.
The other was slightly shorter than the first, but broader in the shoulder. A midnight blue Garibaldi hat crowned pure white hair that was cut short. Deep-set grey eyes seemed to burn beneath bushy brows. A Garibaldi beard graced his strong jaw, a wild moustache twitching beneath his Roman nose. His midnight blue robe swished with his every step, a beautifully carved cane in his left hand.
Nicholas Flamel stepped out of the Headmaster's Floo, brushing soot off his midnight-blue robes.
"Ah, Nicholas! You came!" Albus Dumbledore's excited voice came from behind his desk, littered with knick-knacks, paperwork, and lemon drops as it always was. "Sit down; sit down, so I can tell you what this is all about." He gestured to a large comfy armchair.
"Thank you, Albus." Nicholas rumbled and he sat down. His tone gave no hint of amusement, but his eyes sparkled and twinkled, just as his friend the Headmaster's did. They had both perfected the art of sounding perfectly grave, only hinting at their sarcasm and irony with their facial expressions.
"I'm afraid I have both good news and bad. The bad news is that Lily and James Potter have been killed by Lord Voldemort," There was no amused twinkle in the Headmaster's face. He had been quite close to the Potters, and their son that he'd considered a grandson. "The strange thing is that Harry Potter survived the Killing Curse cast by Lord Voldemort, having the curse rebound and hit the caster. Lord Voldemort is probably not dead, but no longer has a body. The Dark forces are in disarray." The twinkle was back in full force.
"I fail to see how this concerns me, Albus." Nicholas grumbled. He had also been close to the Potters, and was rather depressed to hear of their deaths. "What happens to Harry now?" he asked, concerned for the boy.
"I plan to have him given to his next of kin, Petunia Dursley nee Evans, his mother's sister. I think that blood wards would be his strongest protection. And this is where you come in, if you would. I need help in setting up the blood wards, and I can think of no better help than the man who invented them." Albus steepled his fingers and gazed over them pointedly at his mentor and friend.
"Of course I'll help. When do we leave?" Nicholas' grumble was gone, replaced by an excited but gravelly voice.
"Right now, if you're free." Albus' eyes were gleaming like stars.
"I am. Where are we going?" Gruff and to the point, as he always was, Nicholas wanted more information on the house and neighborhood, and lost little time in doing so.
"The address is Number Four, Privet Drive, in Little Whinging, in Surrey." This came in a practiced flow, as if time had been spent memorizing it. Which, come to think of it, Albus probably had spent effort to commit the address to memory.
"Been there already?" Nicholas arched a bushy eyebrow.
"Yes, indeed, last night, when Hagrid, Minerva and I dropped Harry off." Albus' tone changed subtly. To the unpracticed ear, it wasn't noticeable, but to a man who had worked with him for a century, Albus' tone shift was a red flag.
"I take it you didn't get a favorable first impression?" Nicholas' rumble was back. If Albus was worried, this was definitelya cause for concern. He sat back in the armchair, his arms gripping the wings uneasily. He frowned, the expression enhanced by his bushy eyebrows.
"I did not. According to Minerva, who sat on a wall watching them all day yesterday, they are the 'worst sort of Muggles imaginable.'" Albus chewed his lip worriedly. "I wouldn't leave Harry with them if there was another person I could leave him with."
"Ach, Albus! If you don't feel comfortable with them, blood protection or no, why leave him with them?"
"Because his safety is my first priority - it's no use to him if he's happy, then is killed or driven to insanity."
Nicholas sighed. "You do have a point. All right, let's go then."
The morning mist on Privet dive wreathed the two old men. Standing before Number Four, Privet Drive, and the wizards silently prepared themselves to set the complex blood wards that were meant to protect one Harry Potter.
"All right, Nicholas, let's get to it." Albus spoke in a falsely jovial voice, probably meant to lighten the mood.
It just made Nicholas scowl.
Nicholas pulled out his wand from an inside pocket of his robes and began to chant. "Dall'anima all'interno di questa casa, fatto con il sacrificio del genitore, dove le loro abitazioni di anima saranno disposte una protezione contro la malvagità …" he stopped when the rune he had been drawing in the air – thurisaz – turned bright red, and seemed to melt. "That's not supposed to happen." The red-colored air then drifted over to Nicholas' arm, turned gold, and wrapped around it like an armband. Nicholas gasped, conjured a chair for himself, and sat down rigidly as the air cleared and dispersed.
"Nicholas?" Albus said, worried. Nicholas looked shaken, as he has only looked once before, when he'd received news that his great-granddaughter had been eaten in a werewolf attack during Voldemort's rise…
"How…" Nicholas sounded dazed. His face, normally pale anyway, had taken on a dead man's pallor. His thoughts crossed his mind in miles per second."My spell failed, Albus, because Lily isn't related to Petunia. That's why the rune turned red."
"But…why'd it go around your arm?"
"Because I am related to Lily, according to my spell. And this spell doesn't lie. Remember my great-granddaughter, Albus, the one that supposedly died in a werewolf attack twenty years ago?"
"Lily Carina Flamel, yes, your son's son's daughter."
"She must have survived, and been found somewhere. We always thought she'd been eaten, but it seems she was adopted by William Evans and his wife. Petunia, their blood daughter, isn't related by blood to her 'sister.'"
"This means that Perenelle and I are going to have to raise Harry, our great-great-grandson."
Translation: By the blood within this house, made with a parent's sacrifice, where their blood dwells shall be placed a protection against evil.