"What is? What's coming?" He heard the muffled question.
"I don't know yet," the female voice whispered, "but Martin does." Hermione, that's her voice. What does she think I know that everyone else doesn't? What makes her think, of all the people, that I'm the one to know it?
Merlin, once again, stood within the hidden chamber off of his study. He was looking into a few past life memory regression spells among the old books in here that he couldn't remember from memory. Ironically. It was after talking amongst the dragons and shifting through the large arsenal of books in here, that he began to here voices from the main room. They should not have been able to enter here.
"What would make you think Martin knows anything?" Asks Ron.
"And even if he did, what makes you think he can be trusted?" Harry asked. Merlin rolled his eyes at that one.
"Seriously, you're still on that?" Ron exclaimed incredulously. "Martin's not a bad guy."
"And how well do you actually know him? Did we not think we could all trust Mad-Eye before we found out he wasn't quite who we thought he was?" Harry asks.
"Well I mean…" Ron trails off, unable to argue with his logic. "Martin can't be bad, I can't put my finger on it but I just feel it, deep down and I know, he's not bad."
"You think it's entirely coincidental that he just shows up right after You-Know-Who comes back? And what about this entire house resorting, Halloween and that old woman, disappearing for days after making Umbridge collapse to the ground and waking up with no memory?"
"Shut it Harry!" Hermione exclaims, "I know Martin isn't bad!"
"How though? How can you truly know that?"
"Because I remember!" She yells.
Merlin jumped at the outburst, not only because of how loud it was but what it might entail… because I remember. Does that mean she remembers him? He's still having trouble remembering who she is if they ever met. Everyone else who has come back looks to be the spitting image of their former selves, but Merlin would have remembered seeing someone as beautiful as Hermione had they met. Well, I assume I would. It's certainly been a long time since we were all in Camelot. 1400 years is enough time to forget I ever lived in Camelot at all, let alone remember what it looks like… but I cast that memory retaining charm on myself to make sure I could never forget, never lose the important moments with those close to me. Could she have slipped through the cracks? Could I have forgotten her?
"What do you remember Hermione? Had you met him before this past summer?" Ron asked her in confusion.
"I remember everything!" Hermione exclaims, though not towards Ron and Harry. "Martin, perhaps Ron and Harry can help. They've had to keep secrets plenty these past few years at Hogwarts and if for no other reason at all, they are my friends."
Merlin was torn. The fact that Hermione remembered without his aid was remarkable, but could he really out himself to these children so quickly? What could they possibly know or handle that he hadn't already learned to do infinitely better? What they consider long as their lives so far has become only a lonely blink of the eye for him. Getting other people involved seems far more troublesome than its worth… and then he hears it, her, that begging, "Please" and he's done for. Something deep inside him registers he will always do what she asks of him, because it's her asking. But who is she and why does he feel this way deep in his gut?
A beat passes and he opens the compartment in the wall, complete with the Old Religion's much stronger version of a notice-me-not charm to keep it hidden from people like them, who actually do manage to find his study but need to be kept away from the important things in the back.
Exiting, he looks around at the three people before him. Ron is looking at him in Confusion for having just appeared out of a wall; Harry looks defensive and ready to fight him at any moment, while Hermione just stares, merely acknowledging him and not his appearance into the room.
Merlin looks into Hermione's eyes. "You knew I was in there."
"Yes," she replies. "I could feel you, your presence emanating nearby."
"You mean you could feel my magic?"
"No not your magic," she huffs, "I could feel you, Mer… Martin."
He caught the slip up in the name. She knew who he was, and she could sense his presence. "So you know who I am?"
"Of all the people to be resorted, you are the only one I know."
"Blimey, this isn't one of those 'We're falling in love and it seems like we are the only two people in the world' things is it?" Ron asks. "Because last time I checked Hermione, you know and have known plenty of people who have been resorted for quite a long time. You've gone to school with them for years."
"Yeah, Martin's the one who just showed up out of the blue," Harry input.
"What do you mean I'm the only one you know?" Merlin asks, ignoring the other two's remarks.
"I never met the others, only you. You rescued me and I fell in love with you."
"What!" Both Ron and Harry exclaimed. "When in the blazes did that happen?" Ron continued.
"I don't remember saving you."
"But I think you do Martin, though I admit I look quite a bit different these days. Everyone else looks the same; it's me that's changed. Though I suppose I used to change a lot, this is a different type of change."
"Who are you?" Merlin asks her, this time his chest beating rapidly, awaiting her answer.
"She closed her hands off together and looked down. "Blóstma." Upon opening them, there looked to be a delicate, red little rose inside.
Merlin's gaze shifted from the small rose in her hands to her eyes. "A rose," he says. His eyes widen a little as it clicks inside him.
"It's not a strawberry, but at least it's the right color."
Before Hermione could register it, Merlin walked the steps between them, cupped her face delicately within the grasp of his long, slender fingers and kissed her chastely, but passionately.
All the while, Ron and Harry are still standing awkwardly, and quietly, off to the side watching the strange, and highly confusing sight unfold. Absolutely nothing about today has made any sense to them. As if Hermione hadn't already been acting strangely in 'A History of Magic,' this really kicked the strange factor up an octave.
"Any idea what's going on here mate?" Ron whispered to Harry.
"No idea," he whispered back in reply.
Just afterwards; however, Martin and Hermione pulled apart.
"I love you, heart and soul Freya."
"And I you, heart and soul Merlin."
"Merlin? I thought his name was Martin."
Merlin huffs. "If this is going to work Merlin, then the past mustn't remain hidden. How else are the others going to remember?" Hermione gently strokes her thumb over his cheek as she says this.
"If you wish, for them to know then I will tell them. It is; however, not for their own benefit, but for yours if you desire it of me. I failed you once, I don't wish to make the same mistake again."
"Merlin, you made no mistake. It is like I told you before I died, you gave me the chance to feel loved."
"You know, for two people who are supposed to be explaining something, you certainly are doing a horrible job at it. What does Hermione mean by saying that she died?" Ron asks with Confusion.
"I am speaking of my past life Ronald."
"You're saying you knew him in a past life, and you still love him? Doesn't having a past life mean you were entirely different people in them?" The level confusion on the boys' faces would be comedic were it not for the seriousness of the topic at hand.
"Well, I suppose we have become the exception to the rule. Me and the others."
"There's more than just the two of you?" Asks Harry skeptically.
"Me." Hermione says simply. "There are more of us than me."
"Is not reincarnated."
"But then… who… wait, what?"
"Oh for the love off all that is… Everyone who got resorted is reincarnated, except me. I am the exception. They were reincarnated because the time came when they were needed again. The old fashion traditions and ideals are readying a comeback to bring the world into a new age of enlightenment as the books say. But the truth of the matter is that there is a far greater threat on the way than Tom Riddle. We all need to be ready when she comes."
"She? How can anyone be far greater than He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named? He's not named for a reason. And what do you mean, how can you be the only exception to not being reincarnated? How long has everyone even waited to be reincarnated? And who are you really?" Ron is in hysterics, seeming to believe the idea but trying to wrap his head around everything.
"Well, some died a lot sooner than others so they have been waiting longer. However, it has been approximately 1400 years give or take since Camelot for them to come back. And before you make some smartass remark about Camelot not actually having existed, make note of where you are standing…In Camelot's old physician chambers, where I stayed with my mentor Gaius during my time here. Because that is what this castle is, this once mighty castle of Camelot whose people have now returned home to her. No I am not reincarnated, simply because I never died. Thus I allowed the Founders to use this castle to safeguard and protect until it was time for a King Arthur's return. So yes, I am the fifth founder and yes it's a lot to take in." Merlin began to take his leave. "I have much to do today, and you have much to wrap your head around. I will leave you to that and be in my way for the time being." He has a quick look in Hermione's direction. "My love."
"And mine," she replies with a smile.
As Merlin not descends down the staircase and out of the study, Harry quickly shouts out, "You still haven't told us who you really are!"
They don't see him; all they hear is an echoed reply of "Hermione already told you… its Merlin!"
Ron began a laughing fit and Hermione helped to steady him. "And Harry thought the legendary Merlin was evil! What a twist, am I right?"
"Come on, let's sit down. I'll answer whatever questions I can."
They filled in 3 of the 4 dusty chairs around the large round table. This will take awhile, Hermione thought.