A Professor of Magic at Hogwarts - C.300: Entreaty


Felix's heart felt heavy. Though he had only met Nicholas Flamel once, they had exchanged messages through magical photographs several times. To Felix, Nicholas was more akin to a teacher.

"Wait a moment, Headmaster Dumbledore, I'll fetch something."

France, Paris.

Felix revisited an old place, guided by Dumbledore, to a quiet street where, separated by two roads, stood the Bsresles Hotel the place where the Muggle conference was held during summer vacation.

Here, he had witnessed a group of spirited young people. Their youthful faces were still vivid in his memory: the student leader Uriah, the captured yet unyielding Matt, the friendship- and family-oriented Byers, the innocent and lively Bethany...

Dumbledore handed Felix a piece of paper with "7 Montmorency Street" written on it. As Felix thought of this address, a white cottage suddenly materialized between two patches of grass.

"Fidelity Charm." This thought flickered through Felix's mind.

He glanced at the magnificent fiery clouds on the horizon and followed Dumbledore into the house. Inside was a medieval-style sitting room adorned with various odd-shaped glass containers, candlesticks, a brass globe, and several sofas covered with white sheets. The edges of the fireplace in the corner were blackened from smoke.

On the other side of a rotating staircase in the corner was an exquisite bookshelf filled with books. Opposite the bookshelf, on a table, sat a large crystal ball emitting light through a layer of thick dust.

Guided by Dumbledore, Felix ascended to a bedroom on the second floor. A small wooden sign hung on the coffee-colored door, bearing the names "Nicholas and Perenelle."

Pushing the door open, an elderly man lay quietly on the bed. His chest didn't rise or fall, his face alarmingly pale. Only when Felix approached did he hear faint snoring.

"Nicholas," Dumbledore whispered, "Felix has come."

After a long while, the old man opened his eyes. A filmy layer covered his eyes, and his trembling voice asked, "Felix?"

"It's me, Nicholas. Long time no see," Felix said casually. He discreetly held the Sneakoscope hidden in his pocket. This belated Christmas gift might not be given now.

"Felix... I've been looking forward... to the day we truly meet," Nicholas struggled to open his eyes wider, but all he saw was a blur. "However, things got delayed..."

"You had the Philosopher's Stone. How could it...?"

"Destroyed, my boy. I've lived almost seven centuries. Death... is not a bad thing."

Nicholas quivered as he extended a hand from under the blanket. "Felix... oh!" He let out a painful cry.

Felix heard a crisp crack sound. He remained silent for a moment. Even though it wasn't the right time, he found himself wanting to laugh. He recalled the image of their first meeting, with Nicholas gingerly moving away. He subtly twitched his fingers, causing the blanket to shift slightly downward.

"Thank you..."

Nicholas opened his palm, revealing a golden key.

"I know my time is short, but that's not important... Perenelle and I have no children. Before I pass, I need to find someone to inherit my knowledge."

"Why me?" Felix asked. He specialized in magical linguistics, not alchemy. Nicholas Flamel must have been well aware of that.

"I hope for a better world. You are the most suitable candidate, meeting all my requirements. This is a carefully considered decision."

Felix's heart quickened. Nicholas Flamel's centuries of research what an immense knowledge that was! Their paths were remarkably compatible, a natural connection existed.

"Have you thought this through?" Suppressing his emotions, Felix confirmed once more, subconsciously ignoring the old man's earlier words.

"Except for a little concern... I've attached a condition to it." Nicholas Flamel turned his cheek toward the window, the faint sound of passing cars barely audible.

Felix's expression grew cautious. He knew it wouldn't be so simple. Yet, he didn't want to miss this rare opportunity. Whatever difficult condition Nicholas Flamel proposed, he would strive to fulfill it. Moreover, he didn't believe Nicholas would ask him to do something he couldn't accomplish.

So he gently inquired, "What do you need me to do, Nicholas?"

The old man struggled to catch his breath, his chest heaving like a worn-out bellows. Dumbledore whispered, "Nicholas, you" but the old man shook his head. "Don't stop me, Albus."

"Felix, do you rememberdo you remember what I said when we first met? Old folks like to carve a niche for themselves in the world, seek a sense of security."

His eyes suddenly widened, his face devoid of color, appearing somewhat ghostly.

A sinking feeling gripped Felix's heart. He knew what Nicholas was about to say! And indeed, after a few breaths, the old man spoke, laboring, "Over this time, I've been studying you. The more I learned, the more worried I became about you taking the wrong path. Therefore... ah, cough cough! As long as... as long as you enter into a contract, everything I have... will be yours."

"An Unbreakable Vow?" Felix shaded his face in the shadow, his voice devoid of warmth.

The Unbreakable Vow was a powerful magical oath between wizards. Its potency was immense, and the consequence of breaking it was death. Felix had entered magical contracts before, but compared to the Unbreakable Vow, the degree of constraint was worlds apart.

With the former, he could find ways to escape or redirect the magical effects. But the latter, he had no way to escape it.

He couldn't bear to be caged like that!

Nicholas gasped, not saying anything. He fully confirmed Felix's guess and struggled to raise the key in his hand, but it seemed he lacked the strength.

"After careful consideration, you came up with this solution. You really outdid yourself," Felix remarked sarcastically.

"I, cough!... I know. If I had time... I would've observed you for decades. But, Felix... I'm dying."

"That's your issue," Felix's pale blue eyes stared intently at Nicholas Flamel, and he continually tried to lift the golden key in his hand. "Here's some advice for you. While you still have time, find another person willing to make the deal."

Nicholas seemed to gain some spirit. His words flowed more smoothly: "If... if you agree, you'll inherit all my possessions. Not just what you see here... I have twelve safe houses around the world, seven libraries. They hold almost seven centuries of my accumulation: alchemy, ancient magical languages, spellbooks, ancient magic... And I'm a governor at Bauxbatons. If you agree, everything will be yours..."

"Believe me, the conditions aren't harsh." His eyes gleamed with hope.

Felix retorted coldly, "I'm not foolish. Aside from refusal, I have nothing to say."

Felix looked to Dumbledore, his gaze full of inquiry. "So, are you here as a witness?"

"No, Felix." Dumbledore sighed sadly. "I'm not sure of Nicholas's intentions." He turned to the old man and said gravely, "Nicholas, we both know this isn't a good solution."

Nicholas didn't argue. "I... I know. If I had time... I would've observed him for decades. But, Felix... I'm dying."

"This is your business," Felix sat on the only chair, his right leg crossed, his black wand deftly twirling in his hand. He spoke nonchalantly, "What do you want to do? In your current state, you can't do much."

Nicholas smiled. "That's actually my advantage. I'm dying; this is my advantage." He emphasized the point.

Felix looked at him in surprise.

The old man continued gently, "Your answer has never changed. You detest external constraints. Therefore, I have a backup plan." He extended his hand, and a series of magical symbols formed in his palm, coalescing into a golden eye.

"Do you know ancient magic?"

"Living for a long time has its benefits. You can draw parallels. In fact, I've never practiced..."

Felix asked cautiously, "What do you want from me?"

"From you? No, no. I just thought of paying a visit to your home..."

"Don't even think about it!" Don't even think about entering my mind.

"I'm dying, Felix." The old man extended his hand, looking at him with a pleading gaze. "No one will hear your secrets from me."

Silence enveloped them. In the stillness, Felix seemed to see the old man's life slipping away bit by bit. Each breath came with a hiss akin to a serpent's, and he suddenly softened. Angrily, he said, "I'll watch you die. You won't die in peace!"

Nicholas Flamel burst into hearty laughter. For him, at this moment, death was a blessing. His tone carried a contented resignation, "You won't be disappointed."

Felix stood up and walked briskly to the side of the bed, scrutinizing the frail and pallid hand. Just as it was about to descend, he grabbed it firmly.

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