*Heathrow airport*London, United Kingdom*July 31*
Getting out from luggage claim was a challenge in itself, the crowd was thick and spaces between people scarce, even with the somewhat intimidating presence Harry projected, but he was still a fourteen year old boy, nahil could be more intimidating than him, even if he was shorter, it was in the face, when Nahil put on his blood red eyes there was nothing scarier, or nothing Harry had seen.
They didn't count; they were ridiculous, a purple whale, an albino horse and a red beach ball.
Still, while his height was above the average for his age, Harry was still below the average of the UK, and so had a hard time seeing over the people, yet somehow managed to see a sign that read 'Mexican Exchange' and so he directed them towards the sidelines where a pretty, tanned and blond woman was waiting for them.
"Are you ones from Mexicó?" the woman asked in really broken Spanish, showing that while she had bothered to try, she was not a speaker.
"Yes, but please refrain from insulting our language" It was Nicte that answered.
"We are a proud country, do not test us" Nahil stepped forward.
"Please forgive them," Harry whacked both on their heads, "But please, refrain from talking to us in Spanish until you are sure of what you say, our English should be good enough for passing all the communication barriers" shouldering his backpack and moving his trunk from right to left hand, he held out his now-free right hand, "Am I right to assume you'll be our guide?"
The woman shook his hand with a sheepish look on her face, "Yes, sorry, it's just that I wanted to make a good impression," she tucked a bang behind her ear, "No one wanted to receive you, you'll find that British wizards are stuck in the middle ages, the most modern thing they have is Guttenberg's Press," she muttered, "anyway, my name is Penelope Clearwater, I'll be taking you to Diagon Alley, so you can get all you need for the coming year, now, as I understand you are fifth years?"
"No, that was five years ago, we are in our fourth year of magical education though, if that is what you mean," Harry answered.
"Fourth years, but you're supposed to be fifteen" Penelope said astonished.
"They are, I skipped a year, but magical education in Mexico starts at twelve, that would be your, you start school at five, right?" Penelope nodded, "your eight grade of school, when we enter the last level of basic education, it's to make sure the secret doesn't slip out, don't want the mundane getting wind of us, though the chupacabras need more discretion"
"Chupacabras?" Penelope asked.
"Oh yes, fearsome beasts they are" Nicte started epically.
"They stalk the corridors of our school" Nahil continued.
"Kidnapping beloved pets"
"Draining them of half their blood"
"Leaving them at the tender mercy of their owners"
"They kill innocent cattle"
"Cattle that would have been killed anyway"
"To feed their never-ending rumbles for animal blood"
"We're friends with one!" the two finished cheerfully.
Penelope giggled while Harry face palmed, "you'll have to forgive them, they are creatures of chaos, literally"
Penelope shook her head, smiling, "It's alright, they remind me of my ex's brothers, the two were always getting in trouble"
The twins shoved Harry out of the way, "Could it be, my brother?"
"I think it is, my sister"
"We have found a kindred soul"
"You must take us to them"
"Stop it, both of you" Harry whacked them again, "We'll follow you to wherever we need to go, and if you know a good three stars where we can stay"
"Actually, you'll be staying in my flat until September first," Penelope started to lead them away from the arrival gate to the parking lot, "I have a roommate, but she can move into my room along with you" she pointed at Nicte, "while you two stay on the other room"
Harry took his next step slightly to his right, getting some distance between him and Nahil, while at the same time getting within muttering distance with Penelope, "I would sleep with an eye open" he muttered.
"Why is that?" she turned to face him slightly.
"They've traumatized half the school, you tell me" he put his hands on his pockets, fumbling about before taking out a yellow gum roll, "Gotta love magic, I doubt you have this around here," the thing in question was a gum fruit roll of mango, not the only similar thing on his person.
"No, I don't believe we do, what is that anyway?"
"It's gum in the shape of a roll with the flavor of a fruit, mango for most of what I have on my things" he took a bit out of it and put it on one of his waist pockets, "I don't think you have enough supply at your school to give me a daily mango, so I brought my own," It had put a huge dent in his savings, so he would need more time to get a good computer, but to keep eating his favorite fruit daily then it would be worth it, plus, he had variety.
"Actually, Hogwarts provides all the food a student could need, and if a request is taken to the house elves in the kitchen they will try to give you what you want, as long as they can acquire it" Penelope lectured, "So I do believe they could provide fresh mango"
"Nothing like what I have on my pack though," oh yes, what a wide range he had.
"What do you have in there anyway?" Nicte tried to open the zipper, but found herself unable to do it.
"You broke laws by bringing food through the plane, the last you could do it tell us" Nahil joined his sister in trying to open the zipper.
"Only mundane laws, as far as I'm aware, as long as I don't bring a magical plant it doesn't matter, it's not like the mangos could grow a thousand feet and become carnivore," He scoffed, "I laugh at whoever got the idea," there was a movie, black and white, about killer tomatoes, it was the most ridiculous thing he had ever heard.
"That would be terrifying" Nicte said, snickering.
"Oh yes, tomatoes were scary enough" Nahil broke out laughing.
"The solution would be setting Harry on them" Nicte nudged the green-eyed teen
Nahil nodded, "He could get rid of them in less than a day"
Harry snorted, "Give me a knife and an hour"
"Right, some chile with that"
"If you could, I have some on my pack" They arrived to Penelope's car, a really ugly hatchback, Vauxhall, the badge read.
"OH, give some, I want CHILE" The particular variety of chile Harry had on his pack was used on any kind of fruit, mixed with some sugar to give the fruit more flavor, he would give the twins none.
"No, last time I gave any of you sugar you tried to make the monster from Ghostbusters" Luckily transfiguration mixed with charms were not their forte.
"Do you think your trunks will fit?" Penelope opened the booth.
They wouldn't, but they had prepared for that, having expected not being welcomed by someone with a van, so before they departed they had made their guardians put a shrinking charm on their trunks, so a tap of their, in Nicte and Harry's case shrunken, foci, their trunks became small enough for all of them to fit comfortably on the booth of the Vauxhall.
"Call shotgun" Harry opened the door and smirked at his friends.
"What's the plan?" Nicte leaned between the front seats.
"Where are you taking us?" Nahil was between Penelope's seat and the window.
"I'll take you to Diagon Alley first, to get your school supplies, and then I'm taking you to my flat" Penelope answered.
The ride was not smooth, the traffic was hellish, Penelope was a violent driver, Nicte and Nahil insisted in making up songs to pass the time and some memories passed through, memories from before them, of happy times.
Three years and no answer, he still had no idea of how to talk with the death without disrupting their peace, no way of calling them, that was just another reason he was in the UK, so far Mayan runes had revealed nothing, different dictionaries could help.
Two hours after leaving the airport, and after an extra ten minutes trying to find a parking lot, the lot of them entered a dark pub with a sign over the door that read The Leaky Cauldron, crossing it to come out to the back, where after tapping some bricks in an order none of them bothered to remember, the wall turned into an archway that led to a bustling alley of people wearing antique robes and pointy hats, with a giant marble building at the far end of the alley.
Penelope led them through the crowd to the marble building, which she explained along the way was the wizarding bank.
Going to a teller, already taking out his student ID from his wallet, Harry took no time in asking for whoever was in charge of his family vault, handing the card when asked.
Much to his disgust the goblin teller took a lick out of the card, nodding and handing it back without cleaning it, "Follow him to the office, welcome back, Potter" he pointed at a goblin.
A long walk with Nicte and Nahil following him, with nothing but a glance at the latter two, and Harry was sitting before a goblin that looked important, "I'll be blunt, I want all my properties transferred to BanaMex in Mexico and furniture, books and heirlooms out of whatever vault they are in and moved to storage near where I live"
The goblin did not react other than looking at Harry with a raised eyebrow and a glance at a notebook, "You do realize that that could collapse the economy?" The goblin didn't sound terribly upset, "It can be done, we've made many transfers over the years, but from minor accounts, the Potter account is one of the oldest, wealthiest accounts we have, only surpassed by the Black and the Bones, and only the Lord can authorize it" This last thing was said with a meaningful glance.
"Yeah right, because I can totally claim that right now," he scoffed, "Hey, I'm Harry Potter, last living Potter and I want to claim the title of Lord, ha" the sarcasm was so thick it could be cut, but from the desk of the goblin came flying a metal ring, straight at Harry, who covered his face behind his arms, but the ring settled on his right hand.
"Good to see you, Lord Potter, if you want to start collapsing the magical economy we will start converting the money to Mexican currency and transferring to the bank of your choice" The goblin started to pass forms to Harry.
"Would it be possible to transfer the money over time, I don't want a crisis to happen back home" The goblin nodded, apparently thinking it was a good idea, "what is the exchange rate from your currency to mine?"
The goblin turned to his desk, turning pages from his book and doing math at an astonishing speed, "One galleon traduces to ninety seven Mexican Pesos, plus the safety will leave you three pesos to us for every galleon we transfer," There was the greedy nature, Harry was wondering why they had been so helpful, "you would lose thirty every ten galleons, so you tell us the daily amount you wish to transfer"
Harry thought on it for a long while, doing all the math he could, which wasn't much, considering the only thing he knew about economics was that just as too little income, too much income was bad, "Fifty galleons a day should be enough, how long would that take?"
"At least fourteen years, two and a half million galleons for transfer, furniture and other possessions will have to be moved at a price, a galleon per pound moved," once again the goblin moved to do the math, "Five thousand galleons for us, if you give us the address of the place where you are currently living in we will be able to get all your material possessions moved to the storage in a month."
"Start doing that by March next year, and the money I want transferred to this bank account" Harry handed the goblin his Children Saving Account debit card, the only thing he could use until he got his IFE.
"Very well, we will send weekly statements of how the transfers are going," taking that as a dismissal Harry and the twins left the area, and Harry was really satisfied, he didn't think they would have been that cooperative, the goblins, then again, he felt as if he had been scammed.
A hundred pesos per pound moved, well, some moving services were worse, and he was a friggin millionaire, hopefully it wouldn't get to his head.
Everything from there was smooth; Harry and Nahil had a really good laugh at some books in the non-fiction section of the book store, Nicte found an article in a tabloid disguised as newspaper about a home-owned prank shop, showing her brother as soon as she did, Harry bought some obscure potion ingredients, he also discovered the joys of flying, and when the time came to, something necessary, Penelope said, buy wands for school, even though they all assured her that they could handle themselves quite fine with their own foci, the old man that owned the shop was kind enough to deactivate the trace, whatever the hell that was, because the Ministry had no business with foreigners.
Perhaps the most useful branch of alchemy, if one knows how to do it in seconds, is transmutation, but it is also more difficult than simple brewing, as it involves understanding of many things at a single moment.
The first thing on has to keep on mind when transmuting things is the universal law of energy and matter, also known to alchemists as the law of equivalent exchange: you cannot create nor destroy anything, only transform. The perfect example of this is any animal: food enters the body, it transforms into either energy or waste, sometimes one more than other, but it always happens, unless you have a parasite, as my love just pointed out. One cannot create a table that weights fifty kilograms with just ten.
The second thing is understanding; you need to know, even if it is just a subconscious knowledge, what you want your creation to end up as, otherwise you are simply changing the shape, everything else will remain the same, from texture to density.
The third, probably the most important is limitations; every circle you make will have different attributes and change different things on different periodic elements, but the circles will never change the atomic make up of anything, and attempting to do so will result in either failure or Taboo.
Which brings me to the last thing to keep in mind: morality. Alchemic circles are probably the most dangerous yet rewarding form of runes, but they also carry a great danger, should you breach what nature considers normal, even for magicals, this includes, but is not limited to: human transmutation, the attempt at circle less transmuting, soul sealing, and, as regretful as I am that I ever did it, the creation of a philosopher's stone.
Of the four I mentioned, only one can be achieved, but again, it is very risky to try, as it involves either breaking a Taboo, staring at death in the eyes and coming back or understanding the Universe, none of them are riskless, so do as most of my colleagues did and have circles ready for what you are trying, preferably done days before doing it.
Transmutation for begginners, by Nicholas Flamel with help from Perenelle Flamel