More Like Two Different Coins
It wasn't enough that he was the Boy Who Lived, or that he was the reincarnation of the most powerful wizard in history. He just had to be connected by destiny to Draco Malfoy.
So as many of you know, this is an updated chapter from the original. Since writing How Harry Became Merlin I wanted to fit continuity. This is more of a description of the entirety of that prequel, hopefully with new insights, but in order to find out the details of what actually happened, you'll need to read it.
PS: This is very light on dialogue, more of Harry describing his life for the past week, and thus I've tried to format it so it is easier and appealing to read.
If you have any suggestions about formatting please do let me know.
Chapter 1: A Shared History
The week Harry learned he was Merlin had been the worst and best week of his life.
First there had been the mysterious humming and calling of magic at Hogwarts – magic that only Harry could feel. Then there had been the whispering voice that was so like parseltongue and yet not. He'd found it was a dragon, held in a room he didn't know existed.
After that he'd found the book with the magic – the wonderful golden magic that had captured Harry's wonder and fought its way into his soul, activating power he'd never imagined existed. But the wonder only lasted a short while before the fear of what it meant began to kick in. When the curiosity finally overcame his caution, he'd opened the spell book, causing the cascade of memories that revealed everything. With that had come the worst of it – the pain, the sadness, the disbelief and the denial that he could be the greatest wizard of all time. There had been headaches, arguments and battles of will against the powerful wizard, before finally, an understanding. Then Harry wondered why he'd spent so much time fighting.
With he and Merlin as one person, his magic and skill had flourished. Magic became as visible to him as colour. His wand finally adjusted his loyalties and spells came to him with little effort. It was truly amazing, except he couldn't share any of it, not with Hermione and Ron, not with his housemates, and certainly not with his Professors. At least not if he wanted to be treated the same, or to keep his identity from the Ministry.
So he'd tried to hold back in every class, to seem like a fourth year student, but even then he'd excelled, and been the recipient of many a lecture about not doing his best. His knowledge of herbs and remedies had boosted his understanding of potions, but hadn't won him any favours with Snape. The potions master had nearly marched him to Dumbledore then and there for even suggesting the remedy they were making was useless and there was a much better potion out there. Coupled with the fact that Harry still had trouble brewing new draughts, it was obvious his performance certainly wasn't going to win him any awards.
Then there had been Hermione and Ron. Hermione had initially been angry at Harry's use of the golden magic, but had suddenly withdrawn, going to the library every evening and giving Harry odd stares in all his lessons. Ron was the polar opposite. Either he was ignoring Harry or arguing with him. Harry wondered if he should just tell his friends, but he couldn't see any positive outcome to that, and chose to avoid them instead. That had proven more difficult than he thought and Harry spent endless hours dodging questions and ignoring suspicions cast in his direction. He'd become all but a hermit, spending his lunch and break in the common room, looking at the fire.
Not long after, Harry's doubts about being Merlin had come out to play in a nightmare. The idea of being the head of the Ministry of Magic had troubled him, and in his dream, Harry was running, denying his identity, ending up in the dungeons. He'd heard a familiar voice – the voice of a friend: a friend long dead, and had looked up with hope, only to find Draco. His disbelief provided no comfort. The link of destiny still joined them even after all these years, and waking up to find such an unwelcome fact had soured his day significantly. It bothered him so much that he'd snapped at Hermione and Ron multiple times, eventually realizing that he needed to talk to someone. That is, someone who wasn't the dragon because he knew how that usually ended.
For some reason, Hagrid had believed Harry about his predicament, and about Merlin, so he'd marched to the wizard's hut, desperate for some advice. Hagrid had been slightly awed but very willing to give him help, even if Harry felt the advice wasn't exactly what he wanted to hear. He was going to have to tell Hermione and Ron. That was it.
In the end he'd found he never really had a choice. The next day, Hermione and Ron had essentially chaperoned him to lunch and insisted he wasn't leaving until they'd been given some answers. It would have been touching if it wasn't so embarrassing. All the Gryffindors had watched half in fear, half in amusement as his friends dragged him in the Great Hall like a prisoner. But Hermione and Ron had been so surprised when he'd agreed to their demands that they'd let him go, hesitating only a minute before following him out the door and to someplace more secret.
Ron hadn't believed him – he'd expected that – and Hermione was convinced that he was possessed. Harry would have found that laughable if he hadn't though the same thing himself just days ago. He'd led them to the forbidden forest in an effort to show them irrefutable proof. Harry had conjured up memories of his life on the surface of the water, along with sound, allowing his friends to see a deconstructed, un-god-like Merlin. He hoped they would see how similar Merlin actually was to him and understand, but it hadn't turned out that way.
Hermione had stood by, ready to face down the great wizard for her friend, which touched Harry, it really did, but he was already tired of trying to convince his friends of the truth. He eventually managed to get Hermione to give him the benefit of the doubt. Ron was still petrified but actually went within a two metre berth of Harry, so he considered that a victory.
The next few days had been full of awkwardness, silence, and hidden elephants in the room. Hermione eventually found some peace with the whole thing, and Harry made more of an effort to joke about the things they always had, hoping he and Ron would find some common ground. That had worked for a while until Ron began avoiding them both. Harry assumed Ron was still overwhelmed and figured it best to let him process things in his own way.
But just as things were getting better, he'd run into Draco. The Slytherin had started an argument and once realizing he was bested, had insulted Hermione's blood status. Harry had been surprised at the sudden drop of books behind him, indicating Hermione's return from the library, and quickly moved to stop a confrontation. As usual with Harry, though, nothing ever went to plan. It was bad enough knowing that Draco very well might be – oh gods, who was he kidding anyway, Draco was – Arthur. But Draco was sending insults his way, baiting that part of him that hated the Malfoys and he felt himself responding, escalating things when he should have just calmed down.
Then Malfoy had said it.
"I could take the mudblood down with one swipe of my wand, and you too."
Harry's heart nearly stopped. He couldn't move, couldn't think, but the retort escaped his lips so easily that he wondered if it had been fate acting through him.
"I could take you down with less than that."
The memories replayed in Harry's head and he breathed in, barely hearing Draco's taunt of "Try it."
And he had. His magic had just left him, pulling the carpet directly out from under Draco's feet and the Slytherin wizard fell back, hitting his head on the floor.
Harry swallowed nervously. Draco had sat up then, his eyes following something Harry couldn't place and he wondered, is Draco remembering?
Hope and dread battled in his gut, but the finality came when Draco muttered, "Not Potter, anyone but Potter."
Harry couldn't describe how much that both hurt and angered him, so he put on a farce. "Welcome back, Arthur." He said with feigned exasperation.
"Shove off, Merlin." Draco snapped, before storming out.
Harry deflated, feeling that little bit of hope crumbling to dust, and wondering just how any good could ever come of this.