Josh Newman sighed as his boss, Nick Fleming, ordered him to move around yet another stack of books around the bookstore that he, Nick, and his wife owned. He and his twin, Sophie Newman had been left behind by their parents, both of them archeologists, in the town of San Francisco, under the care of the family friend, aunt Agness.
Sophie Newman worked across the street from the shop, in a teashop that Perry Fleming favored, and the two Newman quite liked the Flemings, even though they did not understand the quirks of the elderly couple.
Who kept a metallic arm on display at the entryway of their home?
How he wished he had taken a more interesting summer job, a simple routine at a bookshop was not cutting it.
Was that a motorbike engine? Why would anyone rev up their bike so much in the, one of few, flat street?
His answer came when a man, who was not wearing a full face helmet despite the bike that called for one. A Ducati Ninja if he was not mistaken, and heavily modified if the engine sound was anything to go by.
"Oi, Nick, Perry, you there? Why did you call me to come today?" the man looked not a day ast twenty five, but the way he felt said that he was older, "And I really hope you got some of your stew ready, I haven't eaten since before I crossed the border."
A Mexican? He knew that the Flemings had friends all over, they had traveled all around the globe during their fifty something years, but why call a foreigner when they could simply call one of their friends that lived in town if they needed help?
"Ah, Harry, I was not expecting you until next Easter, why did you come during the summer? I thought you and your family would go to the jungle," Josh watched as his boss and the motorbike man gave each other a one-armed hug, "But yes, Perry and I were making stew today."
"I got a mail from you saying that you needed my help, that you would have Cath here as well," The man, Harry, Josh corrected himself, explained, and the teen could not help but notice that the foreigner looked at him from the corner of his eye.
"I don't remember sending you anything," Nick frowned, "But it might just be my memory failing me, when you live as long as I have this happens every once in a while," There was an odd glint on both of their eyes, "Perry is across the street, so you haven't to say here until closing time."
"They have mango tea?" Harry asked.
"Yes," Josh gulped as the man turned to him, "They have all kinds, even the rare ones like orange cinnamon."
"Well if you say so," The man fished his wallet out of the leather pants, "If you're ever in Mexico, or if you need an internship, call me…" Harry left it hanging, holding a card in front of him.
"Josh Newman," the teen took the card, reading it quickly, "Isn't that near Central America?"
"Yes, but the extension will give you a free call, I only give it to people of interest, Nick has one" the older man nodded, knowing that the card called something else, "I'll give one of the pair to your sister."
Harry said nothing else, just walking out, waving his hand over the shoulder when the two others said their goodbyes.
Josh saw Nick narrow his eyes, afterwards looking towards the alcove that Josh was under no circumstance allowed into, shaking his head a second later.
Nicholas Flamel did not know that this would be the start of the last day of his peaceful life as Nick Fleming
*Across the street*
Sophie Newman considered herself a very normal teen, with the only thing of hers being that she had been put in the honor roll of every school she had been to, even the ones she lasted only a month in.
So when she was offered a job in a good part of San Francisco, in a tea shop across the street from where her brother had been asking for job, she took it without hesitation.
She had struck up a friendship with a the wife of the bookshop across the street, so whenever Perry came around she would usually sit with her and they would talk, since whenever she was there almost no other clients were there.
She was surprised, however, when a man dressed in leather pants, open jacket and tight shirt came to their table after looking around a bit, and she could not help but stare at him as he hugged Perry as if they had known each other for a long time.
"What are you doing here Harry? I thought that you would be on the other coast" Perry was happy to see him apparently, but Sophie could not figure out how the two had met each other, "Sophie, be a dear and bring Harry a mango tea, would you?
"How big is the biggest cup? Harry, if Sophie heard right, asked.
"Twelve ounces," the girl answered automatically.
Sophie blinked, running quick math on her mind, "three hundred and fifty milliliters."
Harry smirked, "I gave the same thing to your brother, but I'll say it again, if you're ever in Mexico, give me a call, it's a direct number, so the only thing you have to pay is the distance," Sophie took the card that appeared from his sleeve, "And get me that cup of mango tea, four teaspoons of sugar please."
"Right away, sir, that'll be two dollars," She held out her hand and Harry gave her two bills, sitting down as she moved to the tea machines.
"So, you any close to finding your mythical twins?" Harry said after a moment of silence.
"Yes, there is a reason Nick hired the Newman boy, his is the purest gold Aura we have seen, and Sophie, her silver Aura is purer than Joan's," Perenelles said excitedly, "We'll take them to the Witch by the end of the summer so she can awaken them."
"I'm sure that will go well," Harry said, "Any sign of Dee or Machiavelli?"
"No, we hope to keep it that way," Perenelle smiled, "What about you, did you finally find closure"
Harry smiled widely, "Yes, Last Halloween actually, I mixed the Japanese and the Mexican spirit calling, almost did not figure the arithmancy out in time for the solstice, but I managed to spend a full day with my parents."
"I hope you are not abusing such ritual, messing with the death can have catastrophic consequences," Perenelle warned.
"I know, they told me as much, I agreed to call them only during the fall solstice, when the risks are almost null, and only then," Harry said
"Good, you were reckless back then," Sophie arrived with the tea in her hand, Harry smiling at her.
"Why was he reckless?" Sophie asked, curious about the man Perry never introduced.
"I lost my arm a few years back, I got something in it during a charge to something I didn't like," Harry lifted his sleeve to show the metal that was his arm, "I got necrosis on this arm and had to cut it off, Perry got me a doctor to use the experimental hydraulic arm, I used that eight years."
"Last year he offered himself as a test subject for a prosthesis that connected directly to the nerve endings," Perry interrupted Harry, who nodded in agreement, having come up with this story himself.
"They amputated what I had left of my arm, connected the endings to this beauty and gave me a book on how to repair it, since I am a bioengineer I've yet to have any problems, and I've even added functions to it, my wife in particular likes it."
Harry smirked as Perenelle gave him a disapproving stare, but by the clueless look on Sophie's face, he could tell that only the older woman knew what he was talking about, the poor girl. Transmutation and electronics, a wonderful mix in bed, at least according to Nicte.
There was also the fact that it could become any sort of kitchen instruments, ridding the house of a need for kitchen knives, since Harry was the only one that knew how to cook without burning the food, or eggbeaters, spatulas, ladles, the works.
"So you graduated, I'm proud," Perry smiled.
"Yes, last summer, didn't I tell you in my Christmas mail?" Harry asked.
"No, you skipped over that, in fact, you only told us that you had your arm modified, your sight fixed and your first bike."
"Ho, I was sure I had told you that, but well, now you know," Harry took a long gulp of his tea, smiling pleasantly at the taste, "Say, any advice in the stock market, I want another source of income for the house."
"How about Google and Apple?" Sophie suggested, making Harry turn to her, "Well, smartphones are on the rise, and Google just bought YouTube."
Harry nodded, "Sound advice, thank you, Sophie," he gulped down the rest of the tea, "I'll be off now, I want to see Cath before the day is over."
"I'm sure she'll be pleased that you are going to her," Perry said, "See you Harry, take care."
"You too, Perry, Sophie."
"Bye Mister Potter."
"Call me Harry, or Potter if you want to be formal."
And with that the twenty-five year-old walked out from the teashop.
"Bless his heart, the young one has gone through a lot of pain," Perry said near the brim of her cup.
"How so, Perry?"
"He doesn't like to talk about it, but his birth family has been nothing but suffering for him, his parents murdered, his uncle abusive, his godfather a criminal," Perry sighed, "His wife keeps him straight, he is happy with her, but I know how to look for things."
"Then, why did you not adopt him?"
"I did not meet him until he was fifteen, my husband when he was twelve," Perry sighed again, "too late for us to do so, he was attached to the matron at his orphanage."
"Who is Cath?"
"A friend we all share, she owes a dojo in the China Town, and the two of them like to spar from time to time."
Sophie's thoughts started wondering about Perry's friends.
First a motorcyclist and now a dojo owner? What was next, a witch?