Author's Note: Nicolas Flamel, alchemist and wizard steps to the forefront here. What most fanfiction authors really don't get about the Flamels is that in the canon there really isn't anything particularly exceptional about them except for the stone.
Hell, just about all we know about the Flamels is that they made the stone in canon, so I had to pull a lot more from muggle sources to get them somewhat accurate to their apparent past and abilities.
Perenelle is actually significantly older then Nicolas (she was married twice before), and the source of much of the family's initial wealth. Both of them spent great sums of money commissioning art, mostly of religious nature.
Unlike most of the wizarding world, I think they would be religious. As a result, they don't use wizarding curse words as often as French curses. They also use older variants of curse words as they started life speaking Old French, a now dead language.
Also, as I post this my kindle books are free today: July 4th, so go hit them up if you want something else from me to read. You can find them by searching A Fox's Tale: The Warden's Daughter, VALKYRIE: Candidates, VALKYRIE: Pallas, and The Greatest Game.
Disclaimer: Harry Potter is the property of JK Rowling, as such all rights, royalties, characters, and settings belong to her.
Part II: Alchemical Gold
Chapter 10: Elemental Brewing
The next day, after seeing Flitwick in their morning charms class and struggling to keep awake through History of Magic with the ghost, Professor Binns, that afternoon, the two excitedly hurried out of the Great Hall after supper and made their way toward the dungeons, where Professor Flamel's Alchemy class and Potions club were going to be held, just two doors down from Snape's room.
Harry scowled as he found himself facing the blonde haired ponce of Slytherin, waiting just outside the room along, although he was without his bodyguards for once. Besides Malfoy, there was the mousy girl Tracy Davis once again, along with Nott, and Greengrass. Beside the Slytherins, a pair of boys clad in the robes of Ravenclaw followed suit, and Harry recognized them as Terry Boot and Anthony Goldstein from Charms Club.
Still, as Harry and Hermione approached, Malfoy turned and swaggered toward them, a superior smirk playing across his lips. "Granger, Potter... I'd hoped you'd be smart enough to stay away from a proper wizarding discipline."
Tracey's gaze flicked over to Malfoy, and the others beside the door tensed.
"I wanted to avoid your muggle stench coming down here," He sneered. "Surely you know you have no hope at alchemy."
Harry gritted his teeth and glared at the blonde just before the door opened with a clack and Professor Flamel stepped out. The ancient wizard glanced between the two of them and sighed. "I zink zat you'll find ze muggle raised to 'ave a better grasp of zis subject zen most, Mr. Malfoy." Then he pushed the door completely open and waved them inside.
Like Snape's lab, the classroom had a set of vents hanging overhead, and a plethora of cauldrons scattered about the room along with dozens of Bunsen burners. Unlike Snape's lab however, there was also a huge selection of other equipment, some of which looked like a chemistry set to Harry's eye, while books covered the shelves that lined the room. At the far end was a desk along with a simple chalkboard, upon which a golden colored bird was perched watching them. It trilled happily at them as Harry and Hermione took a seat near the front of the room.
As the other students settled into their seats Flamel walked up to the chalkboard and started to quickly write with a rather sloppy hand: Alchemy 101. When he finished he turned to the class and glanced around the room, his piercing gaze sweeping over them one after another.
"Welcome to Alchemy 101, I am Nicolas Flamel. The oldest living man and your professor for the foreseeable future... all two hours of it." He chuckled faintly as he glanced around the room. "You are 'ere to learn one of ze single most misunderstood sciences in ze magical world... If you do well, you too may find your way to making ze Magnum Opus of the field... zough I 'ope not, too much gold floating around tends to make ze Goblins upset. So... first off, we must ask a couple questions: What is Alchemy?"
Hermione raised her hand instantly and Harry struggled not to laugh as Professor Flamel turned to face her. "Miss Granger?"
"Alchemy is the study of the manipulation of elements and creation of magical gemstones through the application of heat, magic, or other physical changes," Hermione said primly, sounding all too much like a book.
"Good, zat is a fairly good description of Alchemy in general, despite its numerous omissions and errors. 'istorically, alchemy 'as been concerned only with ze production of ze Philosopher's Stone, 'ence it's description by most alchemists as 'ze work' or 'Magnum Opus'. Most alchemical inventions are in fact ze accidental results of failed attempts to create a stone. Most believe ze stone to be ze ultimate alchemical creation, and it certainly 'as a number of applications... most do not realize ze single most difficult problem with using a stone."
As he spoke Flamel walked over to the desk and pulled out a small vial full of a white-gold powder. He shook it once and held it up for all to see. "Zis is ze result of a piece of ze philsopher's stone being ground to powder. You see, to make gold from a stone one must first destroy it and reduce it to powder, when mixed with water and a small amount of gold dust, it creates an oil zat will turn anything it is rubbed into a solid gold. It makes ze production of gold a rather tiresome process. Since I 'ave a stone, I've found zat while useful... zere are far better zings to spend time on. It is zese byproducts of chasing ze stone zat we will focus on. Can anyone name one?"
Terry Boot raised his hand. "Red Mercury."
"Good, good... you might be surprised by Russian muggles have been making Red Mercury for some time. Its unique properties are that it emits a blast of energy when struck. Russian muggles use it as part of some of zere nuclear devices. We wizards 'ave occasionally used it as an 'ignition' for runic charms and magical devices." Harry's eyes widened at those words and the old professor continued on. "Care must be taken as the energy emission includes quite nasty forms of energy, Yes... quite nasty. Another?"
Harry raised his hand.
Professor Flamel nodded. "Mr. Potter?"
"Blood Stones," Harry answered, remembering one of the simple alchemical recipes he and Hermione had worked on.
"Ah... very good, yes... zose are very important. You might have heard zem under a couple of different names: Crystalized Crow, Power Stones, and so forth. A Blood Stone is a gemstone made from Bloody Crow, one of the ingredients to the Philosopher's Stone. If you've ever used a magical device, you've likely experienced it in some fashion. Most brooms for example utilize a powdered form of the stone as varnish in the wood, and so forth. Essentially Blood Stones allows a magical object to be charged by ze ambient magic of ze enviroment, making any enchantment or charms placed upon it last longer. It is roughly analogous to ze muggle battery. Another?"
"Alchemical Silver," Malfoy said after raising his hand.
"Yes... Alchemical Silver," Professor Flamel nodded. "Essentially, Alchemical Silver is one of ze most potent weapons against werewolves and similar creatures. It is created from an amalgam of mercury, iron, and silver. If ze mixture is changed to include aluminum, carbon, and titanium, one can produce ze nearly mythical metal mithril... if you're skilled enough. Very good, so you know some alchemical items, now... let us move on to something more basic."
"The Alchemist works through the manipulation and understanding of ze elements, much like ze muggle chemist. A good alchemist need not necessarily be a powerful wizard, as much like potions zere is 'little wand waving here'," He chuckled faintly at that. "In fact, I know of a number of alchemists zat were in fact muggles, and managed quite a bit on zere own. Robert Boyle nearly managed to make a stone, and he was a muggle... still, most of the uses of alchemical materials are magical in nature, so being an alchemist and being a muggle leaves one studying half a discipline, not ze whole."
"An element is ze... well; it is almost ze most fundamental building block of the universe. Every bit of matter zat fills ze world is made of elements. Now, I do not doubt zat you 'ave 'eard of elements, but I do not zink zat you know much about zem. So let us start with somethin simple," As he spoke he turned toward the chalkboard and wrote: How many elements are there?
Malfoy raised his hand and with a board expression playing across his face. When he was called, he leaned back. "Four... Earth, Air, Water, and Fire."
"Really, just four?" Flamel shrugged and wrote four. "Another guess?"
Malfoy blinked; seemingly shocked that Flamel didn't say he was right.
"Five, those four plus metal," Nott said.
Again Flamel shrugged and wrote five down on the board. Slowly Harry felt a slight smile tug at his lips as Hermione raised her hand. Flamel arched an eyebrow. "Six?"
"Over one-hundred-and-four," Hermione said, and the entire room gaped at her.
"Oh so zey finally did confirm zat one... Yes, over a 'undred and four at last count 'ave been discovered. I find zat lately I've 'ad to update my table almost once a year," Flamel said with a faint smirk before turning back to the board and writing down: 104.
"But..." Malfoy murmured.
"What you and Mr. Nott listed is what is known as ze traditional elements, not alchemical or chemical elements but ze 'traditional' ones. Your elements are more in line with types of elements zen true elements, Mr. Malfoy, and in terms of elemental study, muggles are well ahead of wizards," He tapped the board and a periodic table appeared on it instantly, showing all one-hundred-and-four known chemical elements. Harry studied it for a moment before his eyes widened.
Instead of the normal grouping he'd seen on various charts in school, this one had elements grouped and color coded by those types that Nott and Malfoy suggested. The most reactive elements, were marked as 'fires', the majority of metals marked as 'metals', most of the dividing line was called 'earths', and the rest were marked either as 'waters' or 'airs'. When Flamel had finished, he turned away from the chart and smiled faintly. "Now... what is one of the most difficult tasks for any alchemist?"
Again Hermione raised her hand, but this time Flamel glanced around the room looking for another to answer. Finally Tracey Davis raised her hand. "Transmutation of elements."
"Excellent!" Flamel said happily. "Transmutation is ze single most difficult part of being an alchemist. It is ze transformation of one element to another. Aside for the Philosopher's Stone, alchemical transmutation tends to be a hideously messy and difficult process. Muggle alchemists can do it through repeatedly stressing a material through heat, acid, or even nuclear bombardment, while we wizards can refine our techniques a bit beyond that. Still, most of the time it results in materials zat are a mixture of the original and ze desired result, forcing us to constantly purify our work."
"Why can't we just transfigure it?" Nott asked.
"Surely, McGonagall told you rule number one to transfiguration? Transfigurations are not permanent, alchemical transmutation is!" He said gruffly. "If you attempt to just use transfiguration, you'll find your material reverting ze moment you apply any alchemical techniques to it. Now... we will begin our work on alchemy by creating Blood Crow, and next week we will be making Blood Stones from the results," He said and waved his wand. Instantly every Bunsen burner set itself upright before the students and a crucible floated over from the shelves. "Each crucible contains twenty grams of earth, treated by a 98% hydrochloric acid solution. Once you 'ave the crucible, you will 'old it over the fire and set to work on heating the earth until it breaks down into its components, leaving a bloody red mass of liquid which will shimmer like a crow's wings. Since normally zis would take us several days of constant heating... we'll be taking a short cut. Conversa, if you'd please?"
The golden bird atop the board chirped once and suddenly each of the flames from the Bunsen burners began to burn with a brilliant white light. Hermione's gaze flicked between the bird and the Bunsen burner in front of her before she whispered. "Phoenix fire?"
"I guess that makes it work fast," Harry said as he took a set of tongs and held the crucible over the flames. At the same time that the class was starting to work, Flamel began to wander amongst the desks, making quiet comments. He stopped beside Hermione's and smiled faintly on seeing her put on some safety goggles.
"Caution is always good," He observed before walking on. "While you are cooking away, can any of you tell me why the earth was treated with a 98% hydrochloric acid solution?" When no one answered he sighed. "Extremely intense chemical reactions can stress elements, making them more pliable to alchemical techniques. However, the processes of drying the earth after its treatment is rather dangerous... and I'd rather not explain to St. Mungos what radiation burns are."
Hermione almost dropped her crucible and gaped at him. "Radiation burns?"
Flamel nodded, "Indeed, ze stressed atoms of ze element occasionally collide when zey dry, resulting in quite brilliant flashes of light... I'd certainly be long dead if not for ze stone's healing properties just from ze amount of exposure I 'ave 'ad over ze years. I tell you, it was quite scary before we knew what it was... but ze elixir would clear it right up. Many other researchers were not as lucky."
"Is there any way to shield it?" Harry asked.
"Yes, but we 'ad no idea what it even was until zis last century, since zen Perenelle and I 'ave been using a new charm to shield ourselves when working through zis step," Flamel said. "Essentially it is... an overpowered 'sunblock' charm."
Malfoy, Greengrass, and Nott stared at them strangely as if they were speaking some foreign language.
"I see zat I shall 'ave to explain radiation at some point zen," Flamel said with a sigh.
Harry swallowed the lump that had risen up in his throat. He glanced up at the professor and asked. "Sir, could you make a nuclear explosive through alchemy?"
Flamel froze mid stride before slowly turning to face them, and Harry saw that his face had drained of all color. He took a deep breath. "Yes, in fact... during ze Grindlewald War, ze Germans tested a number of nuclear weapons zat used fissionable material produced alchemically. Fortunately, ze devices were never deployed."
A chill ran down Harry's spine at those words and he looked back at the crucible. Around him only Hermione, Terry Boot, and Tracey Davis seemed to understand what Flamel had just said. Nuclear weapons just weren't something in the pureblood wizard's consciousness, while those living in the muggle world remembered the drills for just such a threat.
Flamel saw the confused looks on the others and shook his head. "Yes, now I remember why I prefer ze company of muggles now... Zey know what I'm talking about." Slowly he headed back toward the chalkboard and started to scribble a few notes. "Who 'ere does not know what chemistry is?"
Slowly all the pure-bloods in the room raised their hands.
The hands stayed there.
Again, none of the purebloods lowered their hands and Flamel shook his head. He turned to face them and sighed. "All right, I see I will 'ave to speak of zings even more fundamental zen while you work on zose crucibles."
"Chemistry is a muggle science zat evolved out of muggle experiments with alchemy, it is a far more successful discipline zen alchemy since zere are so many muggles working on it. Most muggle medicines come from ze field along with ze steels zey create, and ze weapons zey wield all 'ave a basis in chemistry, aside for one real exception."
"Nuclear physics and chemistry is ze study of what 'appens when two elements are forced to merge or broken apart. Zis process creates a massive amount of energy, and one way man 'as always applied energy is too war. A single nuclear bomb would 'ave enough force to destroy ze whole of London, reducing most of it to nothing more zen ash. Muggles also use it to make electricity." Flamel glanced around the room and saw that most of the purebloods didn't believe him.
"Finally, radiation is best described as waves of energy. There are many forms, just as there are many different amplitudes and wavelengths, but you all experience it every moment of everyday. Light is one form of radiation, heat is another, and there are many more. Radiation can cause burns if it has enough energy, in people this can result in cancer and various forms of diseases. Hence, the invention of the sunblock charm and sunblock, a number of researchers outside of ze UK are looking into magic being one of ze's energy waves. Your crucibles should be done now."
Harry glanced back at the crucible and saw the earth within it sudden liquefy into a lusterous black mass which sunk to the bottom hastily, he removed the crucible and carefully set it on the table.
"Now, while zey cool... let's see what else I'll have to explain to you."
The next hour was a whirlwind of ideas and explanations that left Harry's head throbbing and Hermione's brain brimming with new information. As the class ended the two of them sat for a long moment to process what the old man had said.
As the students shuffled out, Harry heard Malfoy mutter darkly about the professor before walking deeper toward the dungeons. After a moment or two the rest of the Slytherins followed him, though they seemed more confused than anything by the class.
"I guess he will not be joining us tomorrow then," Professor Flamel said from the door as he watched the Slytherins leave.
It seemed that Flamel was right, as when they went to the meeting of the Potion's Club the next night, the same crowd of students had arrived with one single and obvious exception: Malfoy. As they stepped inside, they were surprised to find not one but both Flamels sitting behind the desk, with Conversa sitting atop the chalkboard.
Between the two flamels a single cauldron sat, fumes slowly rising from its bubbling surface. As the students watched it gave off a dull blue glow, and Mrs. Flamel reached inside with a ladel to scoop out a dozen black beads that looked vaguely like pearls. As they were pulled from the potion, each gave a flash of blue-white light before a faint glow filled the black bead from inside.
As the door shut behind the last of the students, Mr. Flamel glanced up and smiled faintly before waving them to their seats. "Welcome back, I see zat Mr. Malfoy elected not to join us after 'is experience with Alchemy, a pity."
"Don't tell me you ripped apart 'is worldview, Nicolas..." Mrs. Flamel said before rolling her eyes once and spilling the beads onto a tray lined with a towel. "Some people are not capable of seeing beyond zere mansion door, but it is not your job to make zem."
"Yes dear," He muttered quietly and a couple chuckles came from the group. Slowly he smirked and glanced up at them, "Welcome to first year Potions Club... as Professor Snape is too busy researching, teaching, and acting as the Slytherin 'ead of 'ouse... ze two of us will be your faculty advisors."
"First, zis is a club. We will not be giving you assignments, but we're here to supervise and prevent you from blowing up ze castle," Mrs. Flamel said. "We expect you to work independently and experiment as a result. So, setup your cauldrons and we'll see what each of you would like to do."
"But first, a little demonstration of what can be done with potions..." Flamel said with a feverish grin as he picked a pair of beads from the drying tray and rolled them in his hands. Slowly he held them up, "Can anyone tell me what zese are?"
Even Hermione shook her head as Flamel held them up, a slight smile playing across his lips. "No? Alright zen..." Suddenly he pivoted and threw one of the beads. It slammed into a bare wall and suddenly a pulse of blue magical energy shot out from the impact before solidifying into a shield that surrounded the wall.
"Nicolas! Zose are expensive!" Mrs. Flamel said.
"Well, I 'ad to make sure zey worked, didn't I?" He asked with a slight smile before walking over to the shield and tapping it with a finger. Then he turned and held up the remaining bead. "Zese are known as beads of force. Zey are mostly used by cursebreakers and other... adventurerous types. On striking a target zey send a pulse of arcane energy out in all directions, throwing zings out of ze way as zey conjure up a shield around ze impact point. Ze shield lasts for around ten minutes, allowing ze curse breaker or adventurer to escape, if zey find zemselves facing something ze can not handle."
Mrs. Flamel shook her head and sighed. "Ze are rather expensive, as each bead uses a black pearl and ze potion zey must be immersed in is quite potent and requires a number of very expensive ingredients. On ze open market, each costs over three thousand galleons."
The students gaped realizing their teacher had just spent a small fortune in his demonstration.
"Zey only cost zat much because ze prices are so inflated, we only spent... ten galleons on each pearl," Nicolas protested. "And we can make as many of zem per batch as we 'ave pearls, so it isn't quite so expensive."
Perenelle Flamel rolled her eyes and glanced over at the cauldron, "Ze potion we use to infuse ze pearls is a variant of ze potion known as ze potion of imbued force. It 'as many viable uses, mostly related to infusing magical energy into an object. It can be mixed with alchemical ingredients such as Bloody Crow to produce a zick laquer zat makes any wall treated with it react with a blast of force when struck. Ze American Department of Occult studies uses such treatments for zere prisons and cells, making zem much more difficult to escape from. I 'ave also seen it used upon weapons and armor, zough such uses are rare zese days."
"Now zat my wife 'as explained ze potion, let us get started with some other potions," Nicolas said. "I'd suggest working in groups."
Within moments Harry and Hermione had paired up, while the Slytherins had split with Greengrass deciding to work with Terry Boot, while Tracey Davis and Theodore Nott sat together. Each group started to brainstorm, trying to decide what they wanted to make and Harry heard Tracey mutter something about a potion of Arcane Sight.
Harry skimmed through the various potions before stopping on one that drew his attention with a gasp. A slow smile slipped across his lips as he turned the book to Hermione and pointed to the entry.
Her eyes widened as she stared at it for a moment before a slight gleam slipped into her eye. "Do you think we could do it?"
"We won't know unless we try," Harry said as he started to scribble down the little information the potion's text listed on the subject. "You think we should?"
She nodded and started to copy down the information.
Potion of Permamence
Either ingested by an organic transfiguration or rubbed into the form of an inorganic transfiguration, the potion will allow the creature or object to remain after its creator has stopped feeding it magic. Despite this, the creature or object may still be forced to revert with the application of a dispelling spell. Currently the primary use of the potion of permanence is by transfiguration sculptors, where it is often combined with other spells or potions to make their creations as permanent as magic allows.
"We could have a lot of fun with this," Harry said.