Edmund stroked the edge of the key. The tarnished metal was so cold he shivered.
His grandmother's special box sat in front of him on the bed. Intricate grooves adorned the top of the miniature chest, yet the sides looked plain and warped, almost as if it had never been finished. One edge was stained red, another charred black.
Edmund slid the key into its hole. Took a deep breath. Twisted. Lifted the lid. Gasped.
There lay a single sheet of paper, folded up in thirds. Edmund pulled it out, his once-shaking body still as a stone.
He read the elegant script aloud, “If you are reading this, I have gone. Fled, but not perished. I cannot die.
“You were chosen from among my grandchildren to be the next in our ancient line to learn the Hidden Ways. Go to London and find a man who goes by the name of Merlin. He claims not to be the wizard of lore, yet I would not be surprised if he was. He will tell you what to do and how to find me and your other ancestors, hidden away. Waiting. Tell no one you are leaving. Give your grandfather a hug for me before you go. With love, Grandmother.”