Deleted and Alternate Scenes
A collection of scenes I removed or changed in the completed version, presented for your enjoyment. I know it's been a terribly long time since Book One finished and I thank all of you for being patient with me. I don't have an exact date for the next update yet, so keep checking my profile page for that. I will of course, also post on Tumblr the instant I start working on it.
Also, if any of you would like to check out my website, there's a link on my profile as well! I have featured a few original short stories, some poems, and my plans for an original full-length novel!
The original opening scene of the story. The beginning is identical but instead of waking up at Wool's, he has a moment to look around London before passing out.
It's a strange notion, and in some circles laughable. Of course, Merlin had first hand experience in regards to the fickle whimsies of Fate. It had been his to guide and protect Arthur to this moment. It had been his to bring magic back to a land soaked with the blood of sorcerers. And it had been his to bring about the era of modern wizardry.
He had heard what he was called among the growing magical community. Emrys, The Prince of Enchanters, the greatest wizard who had ever lived.
But he still felt like a boy.
Maybe that's why his blue eyes twinkled the way they did. And maybe that was why he snorted with laughter when Arthur almost dropped the most important document in the history of magic.
"Merlin!" Arthur snapped. He had dubbed that tone as 'Merlin's Tone' because he only ever used it when talking to him.
"Yes, Sire?" A cheeky smile.
But all he got was a glare. Merlin grinned back, his eyes flickering to the group of four that stood before them – all of which looked about ready to burst into laughter. But, after being guests of the court for several months, Merlin suspected that they had grown accustomed to the way things worked around here.
The man who had handed Arthur the document was large and burly, with wild ginger hair and a handsome face. His name was Godric Gryffindor and Merlin was always reminded forcefully of Arthur whenever they talked – though, he was certainly nicer to him than Arthur was. Next to him was a tall rather pale man with short black hair and brilliant green eyes that always seemed to be crinkled in mockery. Salazar Slytherin had become a close friend to him – even if Gaius disapproved of some of their shenanigans.
But turning all the red caps green for a week had been absolutely hilarious.
Rowena Ravenclaw and Helga Hufflepuff he knew less well. Both were refined women, though the later thoroughly enjoyed the tavern. And when Helga had a tankard of mead in her; well, she was certainly unrefined to say the least. It was a good thing he was already smiling, because the image of a woman with curly blonde hair dancing on a bar table certainly would've fixed that. Rowena was slightly taller than Helga, with sharp elven features and a rather serious disposition. Proven when she looked up at him and raised a brow, indicating that he probably should pay attention to the speech Arthur was giving. As if – he'd written that thing, and he practically had it memorized himself.
It was to mark the beginning of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, a place where children with magic would be taught how to correctly use it. Merlin could remember how they'd all fought over the name for weeks. He'd personally liked The Academy of Albion – Hogwarts sounded like a disease. Maybe that's why Gaius sniggered every time he heard it.
Merlin glanced back at Salazar, recognizing the foreign language that slipped from his tongue. It was the language of the snakes, Parseltongue. They had discovered it together only a few weeks prior. Merlin had been trying to pass on the language of the Dragonlords, but with little success. Instead, they had discovered Parseltongue, which they had developed based on the very same idea of blood magic. Of course, it didn't have nearly as much power.
But it was a very clever way to communicate.
"What?" he hissed in reply.
Salazar smirked again. "Your accent is still off," he whispered, his 's's' drawn out and running together.
Merlin very nearly rolled his eyes. "It's not. You sir, are forcing it on."
"It soundsss better that way."
"It really doesn't."
"Merlin? What are you doing?"
Merlin started, the sudden assault of English forcing his thoughts into a jumble. He turned to look at Arthur, who was giving him that incredulous "are you insane?" expression. "Nothing," he said quickly.
"You were hissing."
"Really? I hadn't noticed."
"Anyway," Arthur rolled his eyes. "As High Priest of the Old Religion you need to sign your approval as well."
It was amazing how he could make it sound like he didn't believe a word of what he'd just said. Merlin just had that effect. How could he, a man who was barely halfway to thirty be this great and powerful sorcerer? Not to mention that he was now the Chief Advisor as well – thank the Gods he didn't have to polish armor any more.
But he was still just a boy.
"Right." Merlin glanced at Salazar – who was smirking all the more now – and strode over to the document that Arthur was spreading out on a table. After skimming the headline he removed his ring. He had crafted it from magic himself once it had become apparent that he needed a seal to sign on official documents. Made of a smooth black metal, it had the carving of a merlin in the midst of flight. The wings had been imbedded with slivers of a gorgeous light blue gem, given to him by Kilgharrah.
He ignored the twitch that Arthur gave. His friend thought it was absolutely criminal to stick such a beautiful ring into wax, but lucky for him he'd enchanted it to smithereens. No one else could put it on, he could never lose it, and it would get dirty or damaged. Like he was afraid to stick it in wax.
But he would never get the chance.
Even as he made to grab the candlestick, a tremor shook through him causing him to drop his ring. He had never felt anything like that in his life. It was as though the Old Religion, the Earth, was screaming. He put a hand on the table to steady himself, only vaguely aware that someone was talking to him. He could hear the words spilling over him, but nothing was registering. Within a second a second bone-breaking tremor ripped through him, and though it was strangely devoid of pain, his knees threatened to buckle. There was a hand on his shoulder now, someone shouting his name. He tried to open his mouth to respond, but couldn't.
There was something very wrong.
It was worse than when Morgana had torn the veil to the spirit world. But it was strange, as though it wasn't just one incident, it was a stream of twisted perverted rituals that had not been performed correctly. And, they were slamming into him like shockwaves. The Old Religion demanded balance, screamed, cried, begged for someone to fix it. And it was begging him.
He shook his head, trying to clear it. He had to do something. He didn't know what it was and didn't know how. He only knew that it was his job and that destiny demanded something new of him – something that would probably damn near kill him. And then, the third wave hit him.
He crumpled, his knees buckled beneath him and it was with a gasp that he fell into blackness. But, while the sounds of the court completely vanished, he remained perfectly conscious. He couldn't see a thing and couldn't hear a soul, but he could think and he could feel. He could feel the old magic swirling around him, more potent and alive than he had ever felt before in his life. It suffocated him, was within his very soul. And it jerked him forward, a strange tug of pure magic pulling him forward at an impossible speed. A strange sensation seized his body, as though he were shrinking. He expected it to be painful, but it wasn't, merely a slow steady cringing sensation as if he were shrugging his shoulders.
And then it all stopped.
He was standing, doubled over for breath, but standing. The ground beneath his feet was stone, not all that different from the castle floors. But he certainly wasn't in the castle. He doubted he was even in Camelot. His limbs still shaking slightly, his brain swimming with adrenaline, Merlin looked up and gasped.
He was outside, standing on a street corner. But, the street was covered with a smooth stone top. The stone beneath his feet was gray and fine, though there only a few feet before him was a smooth black top with white and yellow designs on it. He stared, dumbfounded at the ground for a moment – where was the dirt? – and so when something very loud and very large passed by he leapt into the air.
What. Was. THAT?!
It was entirely encased in metal, which was the strangest thing he'd ever seen in his life. It had wheels, like a carriage but they were so much larger and thicker and there was no horse pulling the thing! It moved forward without any indication of being pulled, of being pushed. Through clear – though solid – windows he could see people within. He was utterly dumbfounded. Were they making it move with magic? He could hear an odd rumbling, growling sound from the contraption. Was there an animal inside it?
Merlin had no idea, and frankly it scared the crap out of him. He took a step back as it passed in front of him and his back collided with something solid. Whipping around so fast that he cricked his neck. Okay, that was a little more normal. He was standing before a tall black ironed gate, the words WOOL'S ORPHANGE written on the curve. The building was very large, though it obviously wasn't a castle. Made of stone bricks it was a design that he had never seen before.
Merlin took a deep steadying breath.
He needed to calm down. Freaking out wasn't going to help in the slightest – even if he felt so much smaller than usual. First, he needed to figure out where he was. He glanced around, but there wasn't another metal beast coming his way and the buildings that stretched out before him – now that he looked – didn't have any people peaking out of the windows. Normally he would just do magic, but something told him to be cautious. Maybe he was in a kingdom that didn't allow magic – like Uther. Feeling safe enough, he closed his fist and muttered something into it as his eyes flashed a handsome deep gold. He opened his fist.
Okay… He looked back around, frowning as he took in the sights once more. Another metal beast drove by, though this time he didn't jump back at the sight of it. He hadn't even heard of a town called Longon. Though it sounded a little like Lundenburh, a trading town but that was very far away from Camelot! He glanced at the sky, and frowned again. It had been early morning in Arthur's throne room, but it was now well past noon. He brought his hand to his mouth again and muttered a dating spell.
21 June 2012
He stared. And then he stared some more. For nearly five minutes Merlin stood there staring at the golden words written on his palm until they had long since faded away. As he stood there staring at his hand, it became painfully apparent that this wasn't even his hand. His hand was weathered, covered with stains of ink from working on the speech last night and scared from his years polishing and helping Gaius brew potions. No, these were the hands of a young boy. His fist shaking heavily now, he brought it to his lips one last time.
Merlin Ambrosius. Age 10
And he collapsed in a dead faint.
The Department of Finance for Wizard Incapables sends Merlin a letter with his Orphan Wizard Funding Card. The scene was replaced by Snape sending Merlin a letter, informing him that he will hold onto the card himself due to the fact that most students lost their cards during the summer holidays.
Dear Mr. Evans,
The Foundation for Orphan Wizards has approved your application. Enclosed you will find your Orphan Wizard Funding card. You will be able to withdraw a set amount once each year for school materials – to be done at Gringotts Wizard Bank. You will have enough for all required equipment. It is not to be used for leisurely spending, including but not limited to: broomsticks, non-curriculum books, food, or pets. If found to have spent this money on non-approved materials, your card will be seized and you will be barred from re-applying for three years.
Thank you and have a nice day,
Department of Finance for Wizard Incapables
Merlin grinned and picked up the card. It was silver and twice as thick as an Uno card. When it caught the light a splash of rainbow color hit the wall. On the back was a large blue wax seal with the crest of the Ministry of Magic. And, there on the bottom, was his signature in glittering blue script.
Three weeks he had waited for this card. He had almost started to wonder if they had lost his application. Giving the card a last inspection, he folded the letter back around it and headed for his bedroom. He couldn't let anyone find the card, or the letter. It would be beyond difficult to explain, and he didn't want to end up lying to Silas, again. Just as he entered the room; however, he was surprised to see a large tawny owl perched on the head of his bed.
He stared at it. How in the world had it gotten in here? It was really quite beautiful, the way the feathers shifted from coffee to cream. It blinked large black eyes at him and ruffled it's wings, seeming to nod toward another envelope that was lying on his bed. He blinked, and then it hit him. Wizards wouldn't know how to use the post. That was a muggle thing. But, they would've needed their own system. Owls weren't known for their training ability, but perhaps they weren't your average owls either. Indeed, this one was uncannily smart.
Keeping one eye on the bird, he crossed to his bed and picked up the envelope. Now parchment, he was much more accustomed to.
Silas is unhappy that Merlin is leaving for school, instead of taking it in stride. I changed it because I felt this aspect of his personality didn't fit him, so to speak.
"So, who was the letter from?"
Merlin opened his eyes and rolled over. He could see Silas propping himself up on his pillow in the darkness. Nearly everyone else had drifted off to sleep by now. Mark's snores resonated loudly in the room, providing cover for anyone wanting to converse without alerting Martha. He glanced at the clock on the main wall, noting that it was already past midnight.
"So…?" Silas prompted.
He didn't want to lie. "It was from a school," he answered softly. He rolled back, staring at the blackened ceiling.
"That same school those two guys were from?"
"Oh." There was a moment's pause. Merlin could feel the tension in the air, the silence pressing down on the both of them.
"It's a boarding school, isn't it?" It sounded less like a question and more like a statement. "And… Martha wants you to go." His voice was sounding strained now.
"Is it close by, at least?"
Merlin swallowed. "No. It's not." He turned back to him. "But I'd be able to come back for the Holidays, and for the summer."
Merlin cocked his head, and sat up. Silas' voice had just cracked. "I'll be back," he repeated.
"Do you have to go though? I mean, I know the education here isn't great but—"
"Silas," Merlin cut in gently. "I need to go. It's… um… important that I do." Great, couldn't get any more vague than that. Silas sat up too, frowning.
Merlin was ready to tell him. Ready to tell him everything and damn the consequences. Snape could do his worst – Merlin had no doubt he could take everything and dish out tenfold. He opened his mouth, ready to spill when an image suddenly forced it's way before his eyes.
He'd had a moment, just like this one, with him. He had been so ready to tell him everything. But it had been a selfish desire. He'd wanted Arthur, just like he wanted Silas now, to know the truth not because it would be better for them to know, but because he had wanted to spare himself the pain of lying to them. Silas wasn't ready to know the truth. He had a destiny; something far more important to do and he knew that telling Silas about the world of magic wasn't a part of it. Or at least, not yet it wasn't.
"Because my mom would've wanted it." The words flowed out of his mouth without any effort at all. His mother wanted him to do what was right, and this was it. He lied back down and rolled away from Silas. And, though he closed his eyes, he didn't fall asleep until morning light was pouring through the windows.
The whole rest of the week, Silas didn't talk to him. Every time Merlin had approached him, he'd gotten a stiff nod and a cold shoulder. By Monday, Merlin was hiding in his room. He had only ever talked to Silas after all; the other boys had thought him too peculiar to hang out with. He kept arguing with himself that it was for the greater good, that there were more important things than some friendship. He wasn't even in his correct time period; it was better to break it off now.
But none of his arguments made him feel any better.
He was Merlin. Despite whatever the literature said, whatever the history books said, he was a man that did everything he could for the people he cared about. He had risked his destiny, risked the future, in order to save Gaius. Arthur knew first hand just how very ready he was to give up his life to save his friend.
And he considered Silas his friend.
He groaned and buried his face in his hands, pressing his eyes into his palms until he saw a mosaic of pixelated color.
"Merlin, dearie? Are you all right?"
Merlin looked up. Martha smiled gently at him and stepped through the door into the boys' sleeping quarters. She sat down on the edge of his bed and waited for him to speak, looking every bit the concerned grandmother.
"I told Silas about… about going to that school." Merlin had no idea why he was telling her. He felt every bit like the ten year old that he looked. Frustrated, confused, and overly emotional. "And, he didn't take the news very well."
"I see," Martha said. "He has become quite attached to you, ever since you arrived. I've never seen him so happy."
Merlin grimaced. "You're not exactly making me feel any better about this."
"Well, then stop looking for someone to make you feel better."
"Feeling guilty about leaving him isn't going to solve anything. Guilt never did anyone any good," Martha laughed. "In fact, some would argue that it's one of those useless emotions."
"But," Merlin was confused. "I thought feeling bad about doing something wrong was a good thing."
"Did you do something wrong?"
"Does feeling bad about it change anything?"
"Then what's the use of it?" Martha said gently. "Silas will come around, but you've got to stop beating yourself up first. Every hour you waste up here, you could've been having fun with him."
"He won't even talk to me!" Merlin protested.
Martha smiled. "But, he'll listen."
Silas sees Merlin do magic for the first time, an alternate ending to the bathroom scene.
"What… just happened?"
Merlin could hear his own heartbeats in the ensuing silence. He tried to calm down, tried to tell himself that there was a perfectly reasonable explanation for all the water suddenly vanishing into mid-air. He waited for someone from the Ministry of Magic to swoop down on him, to wipe the memory of his friend and give him a stern talking to about using magic in front of muggles.
But no one came.
"I—I don't know."
Instead of dissipating like it was supposed to, the magic was responding to his panic. It was still resting in the air around him, like a thick cloud. Could muggles sense magic? It didn't seem like it, but he was certainly going to notice the side effects of it; namely, the flickering lights.
Electricity did not like him very much.
Merlin didn't even give him a chance to finish his sentence. In seconds he had pelted through the door, passed the janitor, and up the staircase. He slammed the door to the sleeping quarter's shut – luckily everyone was downstairs – and started pacing back and forth.
This was a complete disaster.
He was completely out of control and he hated it. And, he had just managed to make matters worse. Why had he run? He should of stayed, pretended that it was nothing. He should have wiped Silas' memory himself. He knew a spell that would do the trick, kill the last thirty seconds. He wouldn't even have noticed it. But no, he'd had to give into his flight response and take off like a bat out of hell. Snape was going to be murderous when he found out. And what would the ministry do? He wasn't scared of being executed here – even though he instinctively felt like that would be the consequence. But, they could do something else to punish him and what about his friend?
What would they do to him?
Silas had followed him. Like a child, he dove behind his bed just as the door opened. He felt like a moron. He was an adult man with years of experience! He shouldn't be hiding, ruled by impulsive emotions. Swallowing, knowing he still had a chance to make things right, he got to his feet and glanced over at Silas.
"It's okay, bro," Silas said and he smiled at him.
"Okay?" Merlin repeated.
Silas nodded. "I've been suspecting it for a while now…"
"Dude. Your glass shatters when you have a nightmare. The ground shakes when you get scared. It doesn't take a genius to notice."
Tell that to Arthur.
"So… does everyone know?" Merlin asked slowly. Had Silas confided in Martha? And if Silas had noticed, had the other boys noticed as well? So much for being a master of secrets…
"Nah, I've been covering for you."
"Wait, so you're the one spreading the ghost rumors around?"
This kid, this young child had known him barely two months. Arthur had taken over a year to start trusting and confiding in him and he'd never dare expose his secret even then. Of course, the politics were a little different, but why did Silas trust him so much? He'd done nothing but lie to him. And the kid knew it too!
Silas was silent for a moment. He had started to wring his hands together and for the first time, Merlin saw an expression of grief pass over his friend's face. "Because," he said closed his eyes for a brief moment. "You remind me a lot of my older brother."
"I—I didn't know you had a brother."
Silas shifted uncomfortably. "Not anymore." He shook his head. "Anyway, that's not the point. The point is you can trust me."
"You don't… hate me for hiding this from you?"
"Are you kidding? I would have done the same!" He smiled. "And I promise, I won't tell anyone."
"How…" Merlin swallowed. "How can you be so relaxed about this?"
"Like I said, you remind me of my brother."
"Was your brother—"
"Anyway," Silas interrupted him. "We're going to have to celebrate your birthday tonight. And that reminds me, I need to go do something," and he was halfway to the door before Merlin could open his mouth.
To his relief, the kid stopped and slowly turned around. "What?"
"Are you okay?" Merlin bit his lip. "I mean, suspecting is one thing but knowing… there's a lot going on here. A lot I can't tell you."
Merlin frowned. What on earth was going on? Silas was, what? Totally fine with the fact that his new brother had this strange ability? He hadn't even asked him what it was. Did that mean he knew? Everything was so messed up and did not make any sense to him. Sure, he was thrilled that he might have someone to confide in now but he'd rather have gone about it on his own terms.
And an older brother that Merlin knew nothing about?
"Silas, I need to know. If they find out that you know—"
"If who does?"
"There's a Ministry of Magic?"
"Yes, but that's not the point!" Merlin shot a little more loudly than he intended. He took a deep calming breath to steady himself, to reel back in the anxiety. "How did you even know that what I can do is magic? How can you just… accept it without any qualms?"
"I take it not everyone has been so accepting."
Merlin grimaced. "It's been complicated. But, that doesn't answer my question."
"Merlin," now it was Silas' turn to look uncomfortable. "You have your secrets and I have mine.
Merlin groaned and buried his face in his hands, pressing his eyes into his palms until he saw a mosaic of pixelated color. This was completely insane. Sure, he wasn't unhappy that Silas knew about his abilities – even in Camelot, he'd had people who'd known his true nature. And he certainly wasn't scared that Silas would get him executed or thrown into prison, but he couldn't help but be somewhat uncomfortable about it.
After all, he hadn't told Silas about his magic of his own accord. It had been an accident, unintentional and that scared him more. Would this happen again, with someone who wasn't so magic friendly? And what about the Ministry and Snape? Surely they would find out, what about all those measures that were in place to keep underage magic in control and under supervision?
"Merlin," and he felt a hand on his shoulder. "If—" And he heard Silas' voice crack. "If you have to you can wipe my memory, c-can't you? You could make me forget—"
"No." He looked up, narrowing his eyes. "I couldn't do that to you."
"Then—then this ministry probably will—"
Merlin shook his head, his blue eyes narrowing. "They will not," and he was surprised to hear the cold authority in his tone. Silas was staring at him, a little befuddled. "You said you're okay with it, aren't you?"
"Well yeah, but—"
"Then nothing else really matters does it?" Will had known about his magic, Gaius, Freya, and they had all kept the secret for him. In fact, he wasn't sure he would have been able to handle the weight of his destiny if they hadn't. He needed someone to know. "You are not allowed to forget, all right?" Merlin met his eyes. "Never."
Silas blinked, "I won't," and smiled his wide chipped-tooth smile. "Now sit down, I have a ton of questions for you."
Snape and Dumbledore Discuss the Gringotts Break-In.
Snape stared at him. "Someone," he ground out, "broke into Gringotts?" It was something unheard of. "Who was it? How?"
"Unknown. An investigation is currently underway." Dumbledore placed the letter back into his drawer.
"I've never heard of anyone successfully getting into a Gringotts vault. It must have been—"
"A very powerful witch or wizard?" The man's blue eyes had lost their twinkle. "Yes, that much is certain. I think it would be unwise to discount his involvement in this."
Snape frowned and took the seat opposite the headmaster. "You don't know that," he countered. "That stone promises riches that even the most law abiding citizen would be tempted."
"And yet you seem entirely uninterested in those riches." The twinkle had returned in some degree.
"I have no need for riches and one lifetime is unbearable enough."
Dumbledore gave him a searching look but didn't touch the subject again. "As I mentioned before, the elixir of life is one possible way that Voldemort—" Snape grimaced, "—can return to power. In fact, I believe it was one of the simplest ways he can do so."
"According to you, the Dark Lord is wandering the forest of Albania, formless and without aid," Snape spat back. "How would he even find out where the stone is, let alone get back to London?"
On the Hogwarts Express, the twins stop by Ron's compartment to tell him they are going to look at an enormous spider. Although it fell with canon, I didn't like the flow of the scene.
The Weasley twins were popular.
Merlin hadn't really expected that, though in retrospect he figured that their warm playfulness appealed to more than just him. They had been walking down the hallway toward a compartment when another student stopped them.
"Fred, George!" The boy seemed to be the same age, with long black dredge locks.
"Lee!" Fred turned around and nodded to Merlin. "This is our partner in crime, Lee Jordan. Lee, this is Merlin."
Lee grinned when he heard Merlin's name. "Cool." He turned back to Fred and his tone became excited. "You have to join me, you're not going to believe what I brought."
"What?" George asked.
Lee glanced around. "I have a giant tarantula," he said. "It's in a box in my trunk."
"Seriously!? We'll be right there, just gotta make a stop. Where are you seating at?"
Lee Jordan told them the number of his compartment and then took off, and Merlin had a feeling that shenanigans were to shortly ensue. The twins wore identical looks of mischievous glee, and they took off down the hall once again at a hurry.
"Where are we going?" Merlin asked as he followed.
Merlin frowned. "Is he coming with us?"
Fred laughed. "Oh, absolutely not."
"Our little brother is terrified of spiders," George elaborated.
"But we are definitely going to tell him."
"You know, just in case he decides to try and find us and has a panic attack."
Merlin chuckled. "Smart plan."
"You're not squeamish about spiders, right?" Fred asked, as though in afterthought. He glanced back at him raising an eyebrow.
Merlin had faced much worse than spiders. "No, definitely not."
Fred grinned and pushed open the door a compartment, peaking his head in. "Ron? We're headed up the train. Lee Jordan has an enormous tarantula up there." Merlin could see Ron's freckles become more apparent as he paled.
"Right," he said, voice slightly muffled. His eyes flickered once toward Merlin and then back to his bother. "See you," and he turned his attention to the world flashing by his window. Fred shut the compartment door and turned around.
"All right, let's go."
"Is he always like that?" Merlin asked as they walked back up the hallway.
"Pretty much. Mind you, we did turn his teddy bear into a spider back when we were little. Think we scared him for life." Fred looked thoughtful. "Probably why he doesn't really enjoy hanging out with us."
"Yeah, you think?" Merlin said sarcastically, his eyebrow raising. "Wait, I thought magic wasn't allowed outside of school."
"But for those under eleven, there is some leeway for accidents."
"Namely, us stealing our parents' wands." Fred winked and then stopped beside another compartment, glancing though the window for a split second before opening the door. Lee Jordan was sitting on the seat, holding a shoebox in his hands.
"Glad you could make it," he said with the air of someone beginning a meeting of importance. Fred and George grinned and bowed, taking a seat on either side of him. Merlin sat opposite, and for the first time he was struck by how much larger they were than him – even if he was tall for his age.
"Now, don't breathe on him. Oliver did and she got all excited."
"Maybe she wanted a kiss," Merlin suggested with a grin. George snorted with laughter.
Lee smiled at him and then looked down at his box. With a great deal of pretense, he opened the box. The spider was larger than Merlin's hand; with long and orange hair covering it's body. She looked up at them with glittering black eyes, and all of the boys leaned closer in order to get a better look at her.
"Whoa," Fred said. "She's huge!"
Ron Weasley's sorting, and a conversation that I later moved to take place inside of the common room.
"Well, they do say that the great Merlin was a Slytherin," said a sneering voice behind him. "Trying to live up to your name?"
Merlin had been so absorbed in his thoughts that he'd missed Draco Malfoy's sorting. The blond boy sneered at him as he took a seat opposite, flanked once more by Crabbe and Goyle. Merlin sat a little straighter, his eyes narrowing. Oh, if only Malfoy knew.
"Really? That's the best you can come up with?"
Malfoy looked a little taken aback. Merlin rolled his eyes and continued, turning to watch the sorting. "A name means nothing. They remember the names of people that have done great things, not the great names of ordinary people. You don't live up to a name; the name lives up to you."
He was silent for the remainder of the sorting ceremony, and so was Malfoy. Merlin cast his eyes up to the high table while a blonde girl was being sorted. Headmaster Dumbledore was watching the ceremony with great interest, but as he looked at him those sparkling blue eyes flickered over to him. Merlin blinked but smiled, and the elderly wizard smiled back before turning his gaze back to the sorting. Merlin wondered whether or not he could help him, with his cursed memories or even the entire mission in general. But, at the same time, Merlin wasn't sure he trusted the man yet.
Merlin glanced half-heartedly at the red-haired boy as he walked up to the stool. He was an awful green color, and the cat calling jeers from his brothers at the Gryffindor table didn't seem to be helping matters. Merlin grinned when he saw the twins. They looked over at him and waved, smiling. Merlin waved back.
"So, I see you are still going to associate yourself with those blood-traitors," Malfoy muttered darkly.
Merlin didn't even turn around to look at him. "I dare you to find someone more Slytherin than them."
When Merlin insults blood purity and mentions inbreeding, Draco hits him. I removed this due to the fact I wanted him to punch Merlin in the Great Hall later, and the fact that Merlin would later get into a fight with Ron.
"And what makes you better than them, huh? Chances are you have some muggle blood in your family tree somewhere, Malfoy. Otherwise you'd be the result of inbreeding! Ever think of—"
But Merlin never got to finish his sentence. With a furious yell, Malfoy dive tackled him a fist colliding with his face. The entire common room was in an uproar, but no one tried to pull Malfoy off of Merlin. Some were cheering him on, others torn, and some shouting for them to stop being childish.
Merlin had never been much of a fighter, but luckily neither was Malfoy. Merlin managed to knee him in the gut and shove him off of him, but Malfoy tired to hit him again. Merlin threw a punch of his own, wincing when his knuckles bruised upon impact. It felt like it lasted forever, but it couldn't have been more than three minutes.
"Break it up!"
Someone grabbed Merlin around the middle and pulled him back; another boy was pulling Malfoy away, a boy Merlin recognized. Terence held Malfoy's arm in a tight grip, his eyes wide and disbelieving.
"What is the matter with you two?" he asked sharply, but he got no reply from the two panting boys.
Malfoy's eye was quickly turning purple, a scrape on his pale cheek. After a moment he wrenched his arm free of Terence's grip. The person who had grabbed Merlin let go as well, but he didn't turn around to see who it was. Malfoy had given him a bloody lip and had probably bruised one of his ribs. He wiped some of the bloody from his face with the back of his hand.
"You know, Merlin was a muggle lover too," Malfoy shot at him. The common room had gone silent. "Trying to live up to your name?"
Oh, if Malfoy only knew.
"A name means nothing," Merlin spat in return. "Nobody remembers the great names of ordinary people, only the names of those who have done great things. You don't live up to a name; the name lives up to you."
Merlin didn't even wait to see how these words affected the young pureblood. He turned around and strode toward the boy's dormitory, and away from the wide eyes staring at him.
Merlin has a nightmare after the Broomstick Incident and wakes up the other boys in his dormitory.
A shudder and a jolt, Merlin shot straight up in bed with a strangled yell on his lips the flash of acidic green still swimming before his eyes. He took a deep breath, wincing when he aggravated his healing injury and glanced wildly around his dorm, as though half expecting to see a tall figure standing in a darkened corner.
They had all been released from the infirmary earlier that day, with the instruction to take it easy. Merlin was healing quickly, though he knew that the processes was slowed due to the fact that the potions Pomfrey had given him were, while the correct dosage for a child, incorrect for him. But, as he didn't want to arouse suspicion – any more than already swirled around his character – he didn't say anything.
He could handle a few days of healing, after all.
But, it seemed that because his magic was so preoccupied with his injury that his mind had become more susceptible to the fears that had plagued him before entering Hogwarts. The flash of green light and sickening aura had returned the instant he'd closed his eyes, breaking past the calm wall he had built around his mind.
"Hey, Merlin you okay?"
He'd woken up the other boys in his dormitory. At least he hadn't shattered a water glass this time – more because there weren't any in the room.
"Sorry—I'm fine. Just a bad dream," Merlin tried to explain. He still hadn't gotten back his breath and sounded a little more panicked than he actually felt. In the gloom, he saw Theodore give him what looked like a nod of understanding and roll over in bed. The curtains rustled beside him and Draco's face appeared through the gloom.
"Maybe you should talk to Madam Pomfrey," he whispered as Blaise went back to sleep as well. "She could probably give you something."
Merlin shook his head – even if he did get a dreamless potion from her, he knew it'd be the wrong dosage. "I'm okay, really."
Following the Broomstick Incident, Merlin asks Draco how he might send a letter by muggle post. Quirrell teaches the class about counter curses.
The next few weeks were full of nothing but the story of how Merlin's broom exploded. When he'd been discharged from the hospital wing the following morning, Hermione had already gone down to breakfast. Draco didn't mention her once, though Merlin caught him glance to her bed with a strange expression on his face. At least Merlin had the peace of mind to know that although Draco didn't bring up their late night conversation about his core beliefs, he did think about it from time to time.
Well, he'd take what he could get.
When Merlin finally saw Hermione again in double potions, he was glad to see that their vow of silence was no longer in effect. She smiled and gave him a wave, which he returned, ignoring the whispers and frowns that spread among his fellow Slytherins. Only Draco didn't react at all, in fact, Merlin was sure that he stared at her all during class as though she were some sort of a science project.
Ever since the explosion, he hadn't left Merlin's side. But it didn't feel strange. It felt like they had truly become friends, and now that he knew what Merlin had been hiding from him there wasn't any more of that awkward hostility. He didn't even bring it up or make fun of Merlin about it. Merlin had expected something – some revamp of the Snape if Merlin's father rumor, but though Draco asked about the lessons in curiosity he didn't spread his knowledge around.
He even waited for him after the lesson, though usually Merlin was too irritable to much but grunt and go to sleep.
By next week, he'd gotten used to it. It almost reminded him of how he and Silas interacted – except that they spoke in fluent sarcasm. And, speaking of Silas, Merlin still hadn't heard back from him yet.
"Do you think I should try sending a letter by the muggle post?" Merlin asked Draco at breakfast one day. The owls had already flown out of the Great Hall, leaving Merlin with nothing and Draco chocolates from France. He'd told Draco about his foster brother, in hope that he could give him another reason to change his prejudice against muggles.
Draco gave him a look. "And how exactly would you do that? I'm pretty sure the muggle postman is over fifty miles away."
Merlin frowned. "So, how do wizards send muggles letters pray tell?"
"They don't," Draco said with a smirk.
"Dumbledore sent the lady at my orphanage a letter," he said watching as Draco finished his scone.
"Well, why don't you ask him then?"
Merlin sneered in reply, but filed that idea away for the next time he actually got to talk to Dumbledore. He had no idea where the man's office was, and he didn't see him walk the halls of Hogwarts. Short of exploding another broomstick, his other option was to ask Snape how to get in touch with Dumbledore – or better yet, just ask Snape how to get in touch with Silas.
"Hey Merlin," Blaise asked from the other side of the table, smirking at him. "Ready for Defense Against the Dark Arts?"
Merlin rolled his eyes. "Oh, don't you know it Blaise. Just can't wait to have another lecture that I can't understand."
"He's not that bad," Daphne interjected, glancing from Blaise to Merlin.
Blaise merely laughed in reply, motioning toward Merlin. "He's got it out for Merlin, apparently."
"Yeah well, maybe if he actually did the homework…" Pansy said with a chortle and Daphne shared her grin.
Merlin hadn't bothered to hide his displeasure of the class, although no one knew the real reason why he disliked Quirrell. Even Draco didn't know, but not because Merlin didn't want to tell him. It was just that Merlin couldn't tell him. He couldn't explain why he his skin crawled every time the professor walked by him. There really wasn't any good reason for it.
"C'mon, let's go," Blaise said and he lead the way to the class. Merlin and Draco fell behind him, talking about the homework. He'd assigned some counter curse reading and some homework about which spell to use to counter which curse.
"W-w-welcome, Slytherin," Quirrell stuttered and Merlin resisted the urge to slam his head into his desk. Yes, there was something wrong with the man and Merlin knew it. Yes, he had grown so tired of that stutter that he could no longer stand to listen to it. And to his horror, the quarter wasn't even half-finished.
"I h-hope that you a-all f-f-finished your homework," Quirrell said as he looked around at them all. Merlin was glad he'd opted to sit several desks back. It wasn't as bad from back here. "W-we will b-b-be turning them in at t-the e-end of c-c-class." Quirrell took a deep shuddering breath.
"L-lets see h-how much you've l-learned."
Merlin stared at him. What did that mean? He glanced sideways to Draco who looked just as confused as he did. Sure, they'd had a few practical lessons before – all of them horribly organized – but they'd been mostly just been understanding curses. Quirrell seemed to think the best way to avoid a curse was to jump out of the way.
"A-ah Mr. Z-zabini, w-would you c-care to assist m-me?" He said motioning for Blaise to come for the front of the classroom.
Blaise nodded in reply and got to his feet, taking out his wand at the same time. Quirrell nodded approvingly and instructed him to stand opposite him. "N-now, I-I want you t-to cast one of t-t-the c-counter curses w-we have b-been s-s-studying."
Blaise shrugged and cast the most generic one. Merlin knew that though Blaise didn't boast about it, but he was really one of the best duelers in the class. He learned all the defense spells quickly. Granted, they were first year spells, but Merlin suspected that some home tutoring had occurred.
"V-very good," Quirrell said and the shimmer that had erupted from Blaise's wand vanished. "N-now, I will t-t-teach you one that will d-d-deflect a spell rather t-than neutralize it. T-this is necessary as most c-c-curses you will encounter are more p-powerful than t-the neutralizing spell. Now, I want you to c-c-cast a c-curse on me – any we've mentioned in c-class – and I will d-demonstrate the new c-counter curse."
It gave Merlin a headache to follow his words, but he got the gist of it and he was confused. Wait, what? But Blaise was already rolling up his sleeves and at a nod from Quirrell, sent a spell toward him. And then Merlin saw something interesting. He was sure no one else caught it, because he didn't just see it. He felt it too, and it made him freeze in his seat.
The smallest of smiles graced the professor's face. It was so indiscernible that merlin was sure would have missed it if he hadn't felt a strange burst of calm energy from the professor. But, below the calm magic that organized to perform the simple counter curse, something dark stretched. Merlin extended his own magic toward it, trying to get a feel for it, because he was sure this was part of the reason the professor felt so wrong. But he had never felt the darkness itself.
But, when he touched the darkness something icy shot through him. He could feel something looking back at him.
Quirrell had cast the spell. Blaise was taking his seat again. No one else in the class had felt anything. Merlin hoped he had imagined it, that he hadn't actually felt that dark magic within the professor – magic that most certainly did not belong to Quirrell. But, as the professor returned to his lecture, writing on the chalkboard Merlin knew he wasn't mistaken. The only question now was whether or not Quirrell meant to do something with that darkness. And why the darkness had been able to look back at him.
Alternate conversation between Merlin and Snape on the third floor corridor. I felt that Merlin was too emotional in this version – too panicky if you will and changed it. Snape too, is nicer and felt too out of character.
Merlin felt like those cold black eyes were staring right through him. Panic started to rise in his chest. What would happen if Snape found out what really happened? What if anyone found out? He couldn't think, his mind had gone numb, his heart thundering in his chest.
Merlin let his head drop to his shoes, noticing for the first time the way he was panting as though he'd run a mile. Nothing happened for a moment and then Snape bend down to his level, one of his legs positioned awkwardly so that no weight was on it. "You can tell me, Merlin," Snape said softly. "You can trust me."
Merlin didn't meet his eyes. He didn't trust anyone anymore, not after all the betrayal's he'd experienced. So Merlin didn't say anything, and for several moments there was silence between them. And then, Snape pulled up his black robes to show him one of his legs, which was bandaged and bloody. Merlin's head shot up, staring wordlessly at him.
"Quirrell has been my radar for quite some time. On Halloween night, I knew he would head for the third floor while everyone else was headed to the dungeons, so I went there to cut him off," Snape dropped his robes, and grimaced. "I'm sure you noticed that three against one are unfavorable odds."
"Why?" Merlin whispered, glancing toward the door. "What—what's under the trap door?"
Snape paused, surveying him for a moment. "I suppose if I don't tell you, you'll just try to find out on your own." He sighed and shook his head. "That dog is guarding a Philosopher's Stone or the elixir of life. Dumbledore is safe keeping it for a friend of his."
Merlin swallowed. "Someone tried to steal it, that day in Diagon Alley."
Snape nodded. "We suspected an attempt would be made, and so it was moved here." Merlin wondered if he knew that it was Voldemort himself who had been a part of that attempt. "It's important that no one knows about this."
"And it's important that I am able to trust the other staff members," Snape continued with an earnest look. "I need to know who told you about the location of the troll."
Merlin looked up at him, his blue eyes conflicted. The professor had told him so many secrets – it was only right that he trusted the professor with some of his own, but it made his insides squirm. "Do you promise not to tell anyone?" He didn't care that it sounded childish and naïve. He felt like a child. "Not even Dumbledore?" he added and the childish tone dropped to one that was cold and challenging. A threat.
Snape put his hand on his shoulder. "I promise."
Merlin believed him. He took a deep breath. "No one."
Snape's expression fell somewhat. "I've been perfectly honest with you, Merlin." The continued use of his first name was beginning to feel a little strange. "I need you to be honest with me."
Predictable. Merlin lifted his head somewhat, looking straight into the black eyes once more. "No one told me," he repeated evenly.
Snape's expression turned hard. "Evans—" he started to say, his lips curling before he stopped. He dropped his hand from Merlin's shoulder and started to walk away. Merlin felt slightly insulted. He knew that the professor had told him the truth, so why didn't he believe that Merlin would do the same?
"No one told me," he shouted after the professor. Snape didn't turn around and Merlin's hands balled into fists. "The troll was twelve feet tall, and smelled like rotted meat and toilet," Merlin hollered. Snape froze in the hallway. "And when it died," Merlin went on, "it fell to the ground on its face, it's club cracking part of the tiling."
Snape turned back around very slowly, staring thunderstruck at Merlin.
"And I know all this," Merlin continued savagely. "Because I'm the one who killed it."
The Legacy of Salazar
After hearing about Voldemort's continued existence during the Quirrell Case, Lucius fears that he will be marked a traitor if he does nothing to help his master to return to power. He slips Tom Riddle's Diary to Ginny Weasley, and the terror beings. Merlin begins to wonder if he is going insane, the new Defense Professor is acting too creepy for comfort, and Malfoy is torn between loyalty to his father or the only real friend that he has.