Merlin was in shock. He had managed to stumble his way through the woods and back to his small cottage at the edge of the village. The sorcerer's mind was reeling, thoughts going a mile a minute, still struggling to comprehend that Voldemort planned to use the Powers of the Old Religion to get his body back. The Old Religion had informed Merlin some years ago that the Dark Lord was using Its magic, attempting to gain immortality through Horcruxes.

However, documentation on the making of a Horcrux still existed, both in a few privately owned books and in the Department of Mysteries at the Ministry of Magic, and a determined and well-connected scholar could potentially use that information to reconstruct the rituals. Comparatively, Merlin was positive that he had destroyed all records of the dark ritual that Voldemort had been foreseen to conduct.

Sighing, Merlin turned his thoughts from the corruption of the Old Religion to ponder the new role gifted to him by destiny. This was not the first destiny that aged warlock had become involved in, he could remember the excitement of discovering a new land, filled with strange creatures that bounced around in their hind legs, or the more recent horror that accompanied the destruction during Grindelwald's reign of terror. 'Get back to the task at hand,' Merlin silently scolded himself, before beginning to contemplate ways he could complete his newest destiny. As the sorcerer though, the familiar rush of his magic informed him of his first task.

Merlin needed to write to Albus Dumbledore.

He was going back to school.



m m

Dear Professor Dumbledore,

My name is Martin Amber I would like to come to your school, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I am thirteen years old, so I think I would be in the third year if I joined your students. There are a few reasons behind why I have not requested this previously, but I will do my best to explain.

I used to be educated by my mother and her brother as they, as well as me, did not want us to be separated because of my mother's bad health. Sadly, mum died this past spring and I had planned to continue learning with my uncle. Sam (that's my uncle) is in the Auror corps and has been stationed at Azkaban. I do not want to follow.

My father is not around.

I don't really have anywhere else to go so please consider my request.

I do understand that this is unusual and you may be unable to accept me. I am willing to work something out if it will allow me to attend, and I will look into any suggestions that you have.


Martin Amber

Merlin smiled as he read over the letter, before attaching it to his owl's leg. Bring different personas to life was a fun, entertaining but necessary part of being immortal. The warlock loved the challenge of adapting to a new society and the need to change his personality, defining traits and history each time he did. Although, to be honest, his personality never really changed.

With no small amount of sorrow, the warlock realised that he would have to move away from the village that had been his home for the last five years. Osmotherley reminded Merlin of Ealdor, the small village that he had grown up in. It was a close-knit community where everyone had grown up together and everybody knew everyone else. Nevertheless, they had welcomed him with open arms, looking out for the twenty-six-year-old man they believed him to be.

In the beginning, Merlin had worked at the convenience store, but when one of the three local pubs, Queen Catherine, was put up for sale he took the opportunity to purchase it. Merlin had been operating the Queen Catherine for three years and in that time he had transformed it into old style pub, taking much of his inspiration from Camelot's tavern The Rising Sun.

Now Merlin had to give it up and Begin his newest destiny.



m m

Professor Albus Dumbledore sat at his desk as he had done every day for the last week, sorting through the mountains of paper that accumulated over the term. Most of the documents only needed to be read and signed but every hour or so Albus would come across a piece of parchment that had a bit more work involved. These he would lay to one side, creating a separate pile that he would go through in the coming weeks.

The headmaster was startled out of the daze created by the repetitive action of sign and move, sign and move by a tap on the window overlooking the lake. With a glance upward, Albus spied a small tawny owl, staring at him through the clear pane.

The Headmaster slowly stood, striding towards the window and pushing it open. He stepped to one side to allow the bird entrance, laughing as it ruffled it's feathers self-importantly before hopping into the office.

The tawny stared at Albus as if scrutinizing him and the headmaster wondered if unsettling feeling in his stomach was similar to what his students felt when he was studying them.

Feeling a need to break the oppressive silence that had begun to build in the office Albus greeted the bird.

"Hello there."

The owl blinked once then let the letter fall from its beak. Leaping lightly from its position on the headmaster's desk, it flew to perch next to Fawkes. The Phoenix opened one eye, asses the owl before giving a short trill and closing his eye again.

Albus drew his wand and started casting a series of spells at the letter, sighing in relief as they all created a bright green light, signalling that the where no enchantments on the parchment.

"It seems that habits from the past are still very prevalent," the professor muttered to himself.

Picking up the letter, Albus discerned that it was from a Mr Martin Amber, asking for placement at his school. The headmaster frowned, wondering if the latest Educational Degree from the Ministry, Educational Degree number 21, was at all related to Mr Amber or if the new degree and the request for placement happening in the same week was a coincidence. Putting all thoughts of the Ministry to one side, the professor picked up his quill and started to write.

Dear Mr Amber,

I am very sorry to hear of your loss, and I hope that you are able to pass through this troubled time. I must regretfully inform you that I am unable to offer you a place at Hogwarts due to a new degree put in place by the Ministry of Magic. Educational Degree number 21 states that no school that operates under the British Minister of Magic is allowed to admit transfer students.

While these circumstances are hard, they are, unfortunately, unavoidable.

May I suggest that you contact Madame Maxime of Beauxbatons Academy of Magic or Professor Karkaroff from Durmstrang Institute for Magical Learning. Both are fine schools that I am sure would be happy to welcome you.

Once again, I do apologise.


Prof. A. Dumbledore, Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock, Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. of Wizards

Albus felt discouraged that a young boy had already been through such trials and hoped that Martin Amber would take his suggestions to heart and apply to either Beauxbatons or Durmstrang. It seemed a shame that such a bright child, that had already caught his interest, could not find placement at Hogwarts. 'However,' the headmaster thought, 'this does not mean that I will not be able to look out for him in the years to come.'

And with that thought in mind Professor Albus Dumbledore turned back to his piles of paper, signing and moving them as he prepared for the new school year.