During Harry's second year, the Chamber of Secrets is opened and muggleborns are targeted, courtesy of Slytherin's basilisk. But the basilisk isn't the only thing that's been unleashed...HP/Merlin Crossover. VERY AU.
No, really, I'm not paying attention to the books AT ALL. There's a lot of similarities, but this definitely isn't one of those fics where the author copies every scene from the book.
THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS HAS BEEN OPENED ONCE MORE. ENEMIES O
"What do you suppose the end of the message would have been?" Ron voiced to Harry and Hermione as the students gaped at the blood message on the corridor wall. The message had obviously been cut short -the O after 'enemies' had been smeared hurriedly and there was a messy blood splatter on the floor that suggested that someone had made a quick escape.
"Of?" Hermione conjectured. "Or? Out?" She thought for a moment. "No, probably not out." She began muttering under her breath.
Harry and Ron shrugged at each other, perfectly content to let Hermione come to the conclusion by herself.
"Back to your dorms!" McGonagall called out to the general student body, and her shrill voice carried so that everyone heard her quite clearly. With a bit of grumbling and shuffling of feet, the corridor began to clear. With one last look at the message on the wall, the trio followed suit.
"But it must have been someone powerful to interrupt the person writing the message," Hermione continued as they walked. "I mean...if anyone normal had stumbled on the penman while they were in the middle of writing it, say, a student, they probably wouldn't have thought twice before killing them -it hasn't really stopped them before. (Petrification, but same difference). And..."
She thought a bit more, then grimaced.
"...And it probably would have added an extra little flare to the message, putting a body there beneath."
The boys shuddered. "You're right," Harry said. "Who do you think stopped them?"
"Dumbledore," Hermione answered without hesitation. "Definitely Dumbledore, who else would've been powerful enough? Mind you, maybe Lockhart had -"
"Lockhart didn't stop them, Hermione," Harry said, grinning a little. "I was helping him answer his fan mail, remember?"
Hermione frowned, crossing her arms.
They'd arrived at the Gryffindor common room. Hermione offhandedly spoke the password and the portrait hole swung open.
The room was completely empty when they had arrived. They found (even Hermione) that they were all a bit too tired to even think about starting their homework, so Ron and Harry bade Hermione goodnight and trooped up to the second-year boys' dormitory.
Harry was about to crash in bed when he stopped -there was a note on his pillow.
Harry Potter, the note read.
You are being targeted. Talk to the redheaded Gryffindor girl.
"Me?" Ron asked skeptically, reading the note over Harry's shoulder. "Who signs their notes 'me'?"
"Someone who doesn't want their identity known, I suppose," Harry muttered, though he was unnerved by the strange signature as well. "It's weird, though. Who do you think left it and why do they want me to talk to your sister?"
Ron shrugged. "A Gryffindor? Or a teacher?"
Harry nodded wearily. "Yeah," he murmured, setting the note on the bedside table and plopping into bed with an exhausted sigh. The night of answering Lockhart's fan mail had taken its toll on him. "Sleep on it, I suppose."
Ron took the hint and did the same with his own bed. Within a minute, the boy's dormitory was filled with soft snores.
Not Harry's snores. Harry stayed awake for a lot longer than Ron had, staring into space above him and wondering what it all meant.
It was even later that night that Albus heard a knock on his office door.
He'd just been thinking about retiring to his bedchambers, himself -and Dumbledore frowned, because the gargoyle guarding the Headmaster's office alerted him to when anyone spoke the password.
"Come in," Dumbledore spoke curiously. Had he missed the little chime that the miniature gargoyle on his desk had emitted? Was he growing deaf/oblivious/spacey/forgetful in his old age?
It's probably Severus, Dumbledore decided. Only Severus Snape would come to his office at this hour, perhaps to discuss something urgent concerning the disseminated ex-Death Eaters throughout the country. But...
The person who'd entered wasn't Severus Snape.
He was a young man -maybe fifteen, but that was an extremely rough guess. Dark dark hair, light eyes of a blue to emulate Albus's own. There was a history behind those eyes, too. And a strange magical aura...one that he'd never encountered before.
It struck Albus that this man was what Albus saw when he looked in the mirror. Just not as old...
With difficulty, he refrained from prodding at the boy's mind. It was impolite, untrustworthy and vaguely dangerous.
"Albus Dumbledore," the boy greeted, inclining his head slightly. His eyes twinkled -that's unfair, only my eyes are allowed to do that -and he moved further into the room. "May I sit down?"
The man had an odd accent. Albus couldn't quite place it.
Albus nodded. "Certainly...may I ask who you are? You're not a student."
The boy grinned a bit. "No, I'm not," he replied. "My name is -" he hesitated. "Myrddin Emrys."
"And why are you in my office?" Maybe that came out a bit rude...
"I was wondering if I could occupy a position in your school," Myrddin asked, a bit hopefully. "I don't mean to come to you so late in the year, but...my, uh..."
The headmaster frowned.
"My parents recently passed." Myrddin drew himself up a bit. "I have nowhere else to go -I've been home-taught before now, I should be at the level of about fourth year."
Albus felt a twinge of sympathy for the boy, though it didn't show on his face. Instead, the old man nodded immediately -he'd never turned anyone magical down in all his years as headmaster, and he wasn't about to start now. "Of course," he responded receptively. "Though I must warn you, there was an incident in the school last year and there seems to be a bit of trouble in the school currently. We'd have to sort you. And get your books -"
"I have everything," Myrddin interrupted. "My parents were wealthy, I went to Diagon Alley yesterday."
Albus nodded. "Then when would you like to begin school?" Albus asked. "We can't officially put you in any classes for a week, but if you'd like the Sorting can take place tomorrow at the earliest."
Myrddin frowned. "There's...a bit of a problem, concerning my classes," he began hesitantly. "Um...I can't exactly...I don't have the ability to use a wand."
There was a silence. Albus stared. It hadn't even occurred to him that the boy might be a Muggle. What?
"How did you manage to get into the castle?" Albus broke the silence. "For that matter, how did you know the password to my office?"
Perhaps I was a bit hasty in this decision...
"I'm sorry, Myrddin...without the ability to use magic, you will find it difficult to remain in Hogwarts School."
But Myrddin was shaking his head. "No, you misunderstand me. I can't use a wand."
"...But I am perfectly capable of using magic."
Without a word, Myrddin opened his hand and a flame appeared, cupped in his palm. And...was it the firelight, or had the boy's eyes shone gold? He hadn't really been paying attention.
"So you might want to tweak my schedule a bit to put me only in the classes that don't require a wand," Myrddin continued, closing his fist and extinguishing the light as if nothing had happened. Albus stared at the spot which the flame had disappeared. "No transfiguration, or charms...I'm perfectly happy just brewing potions and looking into crystal balls and whatnot..."
But that was powerful magic! No way a teenager could perform that! Wandless, wordless...and with fire, too!
"How..." Albus said weakly.
Myrddin gave Albus a small close-lipped grin.
"I'm a druid," Myrddin said after a moment. "My parents were, too. Druids don't have the ability to use wands -anyone connected to the Old Religion -it's the type of magic we use -is connected strictly to the Old Religion, and we can't use the magic that most wizards would use."
Myrddin shuffled nervously, waiting for Albus to respond.
"Forgive me for being so dumbstruck," Albus said after a moment, recovering his wits. "I've...just never seen anyone so young perform magic such as that. I'd thought the druids had died out as well, but apparently I was wrong.
"And I think...I don't usually enjoy doing this, but the circumstances are rather unusual and I find I have little choice." Myrddin frowned a bit, confused. "I need to search your mind," Albus revealed guiltily. "Using Legilimency. It won't hurt, and if you have a memory you don't want me to see, just imagine a door and shut the memory behind it. I won't prod."
Myrddin nodded. Was it Albus's imagination, or did Myrddin seem as though he...expected this?
"Go on, then," the boy said, taking a stance that indicated that he was bracing himself for the old man's prying. "I have nothing to hold back."
Dumbledore nodded once, still a bit guilty, and with a muttered spell he dove into Myrddin's mind.
Merlin shuddered as he left the headmaster's office, slipping past the gargoyle on his way out. The headmaster had searched through his fake memories of his parents dying and the general scheme of his forged childhood, had given him the rundown of the school and had told him that he would be Sorted the following morning. Merlin had made a couple of mistakes back there -hesitating when asked for his name, and going past the gargoyle in an unorthodox fashion. He'd told Dumbledore that he'd asked a passing teacher -he hadn't mentioned which teacher, and Dumbledore thankfully didn't pry. In reality, he just didn't know the password and instead had simply walked through the wall.
Lazy, Merlin cursed himself. Stupid. You have to think, you idiot!
That last part had been in Arthur Pendragon's voice.
Merlin felt a twinge of sadness. Arthur Pendragon was long gone, of course, and he had been for thousands of years -but to Merlin, it wasn't thousands of years.
Merlin had been sleeping since Hogwarts had been built and the Chamber of Secrets opened.
In retrospect, it probably hadn't been the best of ideas, agreeing to Godric Gryffindor's proposition. Merlin had been alive for hundreds of years after Camelot's fall (his ties to the Old Religion forbade him to die, dammit, or even age), until the early 11th century when the founders had surfaced. Merlin had met them, befriended them, told them who he really was because why not. Not as much was at stake back then.
He'd played a major hand in the building of the school, but had refused to be named officially as one of the founders (though he did sometimes wonder what his house's morals would stand for. Laziness? Dumb trust? Zero concern for one's own health?)
Emrys House, where dwell the idiots, he thought to himself, chuckling darkly. Yes, it was probably better that he didn't have a house under his name.
And he had been bored. He'd had four hundred years of loneliness with no one but Kilgharrah and Aithusa for company, and they were usually off on their own. So when Godric Gryffindor had asked him how would he like to remain in the school asleep for a really long time and wake up when there's actual danger Merlin had said yes. And now there was danger, and now Merlin was awake.
He'd used a quick charm on himself to make him look a few years younger (he looked twenty-something, usually, but twenty-somethings weren't allowed to go to Hogwarts). He'd strengthened the school wards as well, just in case.
He probably should have asked Godric to make the spell so that he would wake up when there was danger anywhere, but if that had happened, then he would have woken up practically a day after the spell had been cast. There was danger everywhere, always.
I need to find out more about this school, Merlin decided. He had time to kill between now and the Sorting tomorrow. He'd told Dumbledore that he'd been left his family's home, and that 'his (ahem, nonexistent) aunt was there, and that he had a way of getting there (floo, of course!)'...but he didn't actually have a home in this decade.
With a quick muttered spell, Merlin vanished to the naked eye. He set off in the direction of the library.
Oh, I've missed this school, Merlin grinned at the corridors around him. It's barely changed. Oh, look, there's that bloody statue that Godric put in that Rowena was complaining about for ages. There's the first classroom ever used in Hogwarts. There's that burn mark on the wall from when Salazar and Godric got into a spell fight. Aha, there's the library!
Merlin stopped, glancing around him surreptitiously just to be sure no one was lurking to see the door randomly open.
He pushed open the door to the library.
Wow, it's grown, Merlin marveled around him. He had a lot of reading to do tonight...and the English language had changed a lot from when the founders were there, there would be a ton of strange spellings in these books that Merlin wouldn't recognise. The only reason he'd been able to carry on a conversation with Dumbledore was because he'd cast a translating charm on himself before he visited the headmaster.
Oh, wait...the translating charm extends to writing, too, doesn't it?
Merlin couldn't quite remember, but he hoped so. It would be an even longer night otherwise.
He moved forward into the room, in the A section.
Hogwarts' history first, he decided. Then the history of everything else. I need to catch up on my current events.
Merlin found the Hogwarts section easily enough, and picked a promising book off of a shelf. Hogwarts: a History was the last copy left.
He read the book rather quickly, thank to the fully-functioning translator charm (he was scanning a bit, a talent he'd learned at Camelot under Gaius's supervision) and stopped on a chapter that mentioned something familiar.
The Chamber of Secrets...
He remembered the writing on the wall.
The Chamber of Secrets has been opened. Enemies o...
He remembered the girl who had been writing it -a redheaded girl with a red Gryffindor tie, with her fingers dipped in red blood. The Old Religion had been calling him to her, and he realised immediately that she was possessed.
She had recognised him, though -or whoever was indirectly possessing her had, and she had stopped writing mid-sentence and ran. He would find the girl, he told himself. She had to be a student here.
The Chamber of Secrets blah blah Salazar Slytherin blah blah Muggleborns...
(Basically: Salazar had put a monster in a chamber to kill Muggleborns and left the school).
The book was very vague on the subject, and made it absolutely clear that the Chamber was a myth.
That's not true, Merlin thought, frowning. Salazar definitely put the Chamber in the school, I remember...unless the other three founders just thought that he had. But I've never known Rowena to be wrong...
Still frowning, he put the book back on the shelf and picked up another.
A Recent Detailed History of Hogwarts School, the book was titled. It spanned from the seventeen hundreds to the late nineteenth century, and seemed fairly accurate.
The Chamber of Secrets was supposedly opened in 1943...
Merlin stopped scanning.
This is interesting.
But Merlin had been asleep during that time. Why hadn't he woken up?
And Dumbledore had mentioned trouble within the school last year...why hadn't he woken up then? Or earlier this year, for that matter?
Merlin finished the passage and shut the book, sighing. He stood up slowly from the position on the ground which he had been reading the other books, and moved towards a different section in the library -'History of the Wizarding World'.
It took Merlin three hours and a headache to scan through a gigantic book that spanned from the beginning of the 1000's to the present. It was a very brief summary of every event, but there were a lot of things that had happened from then to now, and it was a lot of information for Merlin to keep straight in his head.
One thing had stuck, though.
He knew the name -the first thing that he had done when he'd woken up from his Rapunzel-esque sleep was ask some of the portraits about, well, everything. He knew about Voldemort, and he knew what had happened on October 31st, 1981. He knew that Harry Potter was in danger, and right after the message had been written on the wall and he had glimpsed the girl, he had used Legilimency to barrel into the mind of the person who was possessing her. He hadn't gotten much information -the confrontation had been extremely brief, and he didn't want to hurt the girl -but he knew that it was a man, a young man, and that they were after Harry Potter.
So he wrote a note. He didn't know if Harry knew he was being targeted or not, but he put it in the note anyways.
Then he'd cast a quick translation spell and placed it on Harry Potter's pillow, aided tremendously by his own magic.
Merlin's mind was racing -he hadn't had this much to think about in over one thousand years -and his eyes were getting blurry from lack of sleep over the past few days. It seemed that a thousand years of sleeping didn't exactly overrule the human body's natural sleep cycle.
Rubbing his eyes, Merlin closed the book with as soft a snap he could manage, reshelving it and standing up.
Then he re-remembered that, at least until tomorrow, he had nowhere to sleep.
Bollocks, Merlin groaned mentally, ...I'll just keep reading then.
And he did, until the sun rose over Hogwarts and it was time, finally, to be Sorted.