Title: Harry Potter and the Merlin

Author: Whisper2AScream (whisper2ascream13@yahoo.com)

Disclaimer: Here's your order, the usual: Tim Hunter, Ash, Molly, and the like belong to
DC Comics, and Neil Gaiman, Dylan Horricks, and John Ney Rieber respectfully. Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Draco Malfoy, and the like all belong to JK Rowling, and Scholastic. No profit is being made from this, so keep away the rats…er… lawyers, since me pay's abysmally low.

Summary: It's a new year for the Gryffindor Three, and there's a new student by the name of Tim Hunter who looks a great deal like the Boy Who Lived.

Rating: Um, going with PG-13 for now for violence and language.

A/N: No offense, and I know it's been said before, but Hunter came first. Do like Potter and company in spite of what I initially expected, and it's frightening how many parallels you can make between them. Just a shame that Harry's stealing thunder away from the comic book industry, but getting kids actually reading, being imaginative, and (oh what is the world coming to? *smirks*) thinking for themselves is always a good thing. So, to you young'uns, when you're a bit older, pop down to the comic book store, and pick up a trade (or two or three) of Books of Magic, and read about Harry's long lost older brother. ;)

BTW, since there's a Vertigo character starring, don't expect this to be all sanitized and Disneyfied. It's darker, and richer, more like a Grimm's marchën, and beyond GoF darkness. Plus, Harry will be featured more prominently later on, but starting out, it's more Tim-centric. For those unfamiliar with Tim, basically he's a lad from the Hackney section of London, who one day when he was twelve, went skateboarding, and ran into four strangers. The Trenchcoat Brigade, as John Constantine mockingly called their group, consisted of himself, Dr. Occult, the Phantom Stranger, and Mr. E. They had learned that Tim had the potential to be the greatest mage of his time, and wanted to guide him thusly to that decision. In a nutshell, he ultimately chose magic, and his life went rather downhill from there. He dated, met a succubus, ran into angels and demons (not much difference between the two he found as well), lost his father twice, and had several other misadventures. Don't want to recount everything since it'll spoil you, and it would take a frigging long time as well. Basically all you need to know is he's now 15, and recently found out some things about himself, and is on better ground for it. Though not above mistakes still. For those familiar with BOM and NoM, it's following them, and taking a sharp turn before going into H:AoM. Tim's still going to the White School, only on a world where it's commonly referred to as Hogwarts.

For those unfamiliar with Harry, well, good on you for bucking the curve, and not going with the popular necessarily. Anyway, Harry had lost his parents to a murderous, and evil wizard, who somehow backfired a killing spell against baby Harry, and the boy survived. Years later, the boy gets a similar wake up call to Tim's, only learning that's he's a wizard, and is going to a school to be taught as such. Makes friends, enemies, has some adventures, and nearly gets killed several times. For those familiar with Potter's travels, it's now Year 5 for his group, and follows after the events of GoF. And now, I hope everybody's still awake, because it's storytime finally!

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Harry Potter and the Merlin

C h a p t e r O n e: Starting Term

"Hogwarts? Bloody silly name for a school." Tim scoffed a bit as he pushed his glasses back up his nose. He had agreed that he needed to learn magic properly, and someplace safe from the Lotus, the Cold Flame, and any number of cults, faerie, and who knows how many other enemies, but the place sounded awfully strange. Even for him, and considering that he had been to places like Faerie, Hell, and even to the end of time, that was saying a great deal.

Ash explained, "But it is a form of the White School, and they wouldn't think of looking for you there. It's a different world, but you would be protected. Magic is more welcome there for one." Off the fifteen year old's look, he added, "And yes, I have walked there once. It is not just this world that Walkers must walk. There is a large community of magic users, and while they keep separated from non-magic users, they are generally accepted."

Tim shrugged, "I guess. So how do we get there?" He glanced up as he saw something in the sky. But it was only an owl, or at least his owl, Yo-yo. He still called it that even though nowadays the old Merlin used it as a way to keep an eye on him and advise him.

Ash seemed to grin as the bird alighted on Tim's shoulder, "How else? By walking there."

* * * * *

Elsewhere, the summer had been rather quiet for Harry. The Dursleys were as horrid as ever, which wasn't a surprise. Though nowadays they would simply avoid him as much as possible, particularly Dudley. He had lost some weight from the diet that Smeltings had ordered him to go on. He still remembered the Ton-Tongue Toffee that the Weasleys twins had tricked him into eating, and now he would run past Harry holding a hand over his mouth. His Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia let him have normal meals and didn't take away his belongings, but mostly out of fear that some wizards would come in, and cause problems again.

And they were all eager for him to leave when the Weasleys invited him over to the Burrows for the latter part of the summer. In fact, since his 15th birthday was on July 31st, they invited him the week prior so he could celebrate it there. Which was very preferable for him because the Dursleys had never held a single party or any sort of celebration for him growing up. If they had their way, they would have been better off without him. Needless to say, the feeling was mutual for Harry, and he was glad when the Weasleys stopped by to pick him up. Floo powder last year turned out to be a disaster, so the Ministry of Magic helped Arthur Weasley in obtaining a new vehicle, with the solemn promise not to alter it with magic. (Which he bent a little by extending space inside in the car.)

He whispered about this as such to Harry when the family arrived. It was just Mr. Weasley, Ron, and Ginny. Mrs. Weasley was back at home, and Fred and George were busy with their joke shop. They had only bought it about a month ago with the money Harry had won in the Triwizard Tournament. They still had a year left at Hogwarts, but wanted to work on their future as soon as possible.

The Dursleys kept their distance from the Weasleys, despite Arthur saying hello, and asking about their health. Dudley just gave a small nervous whimper at that. After gathering Harry's trunk, suitcases, and Hedwig's cage, they were on their way.
As much as Harry looked forward to his visit, part of him felt a bit uneasy. After all, Voldemort had come back into power, and though he was able to get away from him last time, Cedric's fate wasn't so lucky. And he knew it was only a matter of time before Voldemort would try again.

His time at the Burrows was very much enjoyable though. Fred and George came to visit for his birthday party, and even gave him some of their latest merchandise as presents. So, his pockets were filled with items like Snapdragon Sparklers, Bug-Eyed Buttons, and as an inside joke, some pieces of the infamous Ton-Tongue Toffees. Ginny still had a bit of a crush on him, and tended to stay in her room mostly while he was there. As usual, Mrs. Weasley fussed over him, and kept offering him extra helpings at meals. She also commented that he had grown a bit, and Ron seemed to have sprouted a good five centimeters.

Harry was happy to get letters from Hermione, and also some greetings from Sirius. He knew he had been busy on assignment from Dumbledore, but he still hoped to see his godfather soon again.

"Harry,
I just wanted to let you know that I am well. I have been able to contact others, many who were also good friends of your parents. Keep me posted if you need anything. Remus says hello, by the way, and hopes your lessons with him have not gone to waste. Perhaps we will be able to meet sometime this fall. Hope to hear from you soon.
Your godfather,
Sirius"

He had already read his letter several times since he received it. And he did remember many of the lessons that, the then Professor Remus Lupin, had taught him when he was teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts. The Patronicus spell came in handy during the tournament when he had thought he had run into a dementor, and which had turned out to be a boggart. His particular Patronicus figure, a type of protector, resembled the animagi form of his father, which had been that of a stag deer.

It wasn't until almost the end of summer that Harry had received a letter from Hagrid, saying that he and Maxine were well, and had made some friends with some of the giants. It was especially good for them since they were both part-giants themselves, and had a chance to be amongst kindred beings. But his unease refused to leave, and his dreams were increasingly troubled as time wore on, often waking up at night, and rubbing his scar, which throbbed dully with pain regularly now.