Welcome to Wizards and Warlocks. Chapters that have not been rewritten will not have this above them: REWRITTEN Chapters that are will have that above them, though, so you should be able to tell them apart. The flow of the story will be the same whether the chapter is rewritten or not, as I'm writing by chapter.
I'm not going to bore you with an author's note, you'll just have to see for yourself what the story is about. Enjoy!
Merlin was enjoying a nice cup of tea when he felt it.
He rammed his knees on the table and sent his tea cup falling to the ground as he stood up with a shout, feeling destiny awakening, and not expecting to. His restless magic on Samhain would have led to him feeling it, doubtless, but it was such a rare occurrence that nobody would think it would happen at any given moment, especially someone who had lived as long as Merlin. He listened to the feeling of destiny, and gave another shout, this time of glee.
Voldemort was defeated.
Sure, Merlin could tell that he wasn't completely dead, (and that was something he would have to think about later,) but he smiled as he realized that the world would finally be at peace from him for a while. But then he listened to destiny a bit more and found out that James and Lily Potter had died protecting their son, Harry. He felt a twinge of sadness at the cost.
Listening to destiny more, he found a small problem in the peace presented to them. It seemed that Harry had a destiny, and a terrible one- one that Merlin didn't really want to think about right now. He figured that those who knew the destiny would not tell Harry about it until much farther into his life, but Harry was now touched by evil in a way that Voldemort couldn't have possibly meant. Merlin decided right then and there that Harry would need watching, and if that meant going to Hogwarts again, then so be it.
He ignored the nudging that destiny was doing in his mind, and determined to have himself a cup of tea and see what came for himself.
"Ah, another customer. Sit down over there- I'll be with you in a minute."
Several years later, and Merlin was sitting a pile of wands and a half-giant away from Harry Potter with Ollivander buzzing about like a bee. He didn't expect this to happen so soon, but he figured it was for the best, if he were to protect Harry.
"Having trouble?" asked he, nodding his head at the pile of wands next to the half-giant. Harry jumped, surprised that he was being talked to. He started to reply, but Ollivander zoomed back into the room with surprising vigor for an old man and a wand in his hands. Harry took the wand, only to have it pulled from his grip by a pleased-looking Ollivander. Harry blushed as he looked back at Merlin.
"Sorry about this," he said. Merlin shook his head.
"Not a problem- It's not your fault that those wands don't like you," said Merlin, grinning, and the giant man between Harry and the wands let out a loud chuckle.
"'at's true," he barked, "Awfully picky, those wands. Don't know 'ow 'ey could refuse 'Arry Potter."
Harry's blush intensified and a look of dread crossed his face. Merlin decided not to act like most of the wizarding world.
"So you're Harry Potter, then?" he asked, and Harry nodded shyly, "NIce to meet the person behind it all. My name's Marlin Emrys."
Harry relaxed and smiled as he realized that Merlin wasn't going to make a big fuss over his name. He opened his mouth to comment and Ollivander interrupted him yet again by racing to his side with another wand. He actually let Harry wave it this time, but whipped it from his hands with a grin that made him look like a lunatic. He was muttering, as well, which didn't help the insane impression. Merlin watched the man's retreating figure, Ollivander rustling through the shelves as though looking for something.
"If you don't mind me asking," said Harry, turning back to Merlin as Ollivander continued his search, "Why not a bigger reaction?"
Merlin chuckled, thinking of the real reason, before he began his fabrication.
"I was raised by muggles, and rarely had interaction with the wizarding world. I learned most of the things I know from my father's journals. He died at work shortly after Voldemort's-" Hagrid gasped, and Merlin ignored him, though he had to withhold an eye roll, "-defeat, so there were a couple of mentions of you."
Harry eyed Merlin curiously throughout this speech. "What did your father do?" he asked after Merlin was finished.
"He worked with dragons," Merlin explained. Harry looked even more curious at this, but Ollivander came back, and no further questions could be asked.
"Tricky customer, eh? Not to worry, we'll find the perfect match here somewhere- I wonder now- yes, why not- unusual combination- holly and phoenix feather, eleven inches, nice and supple." He handed the wand to Harry, and the boy waved it with a peculiar look on his face. The half-giant whooped as sparks came out of the end and Merlin found himself cheering as well. "Oh, bravo! Yes, indeed, oh, very good. Well, well, well… how curious… how very curious…"
The wand maker put Harry's wand back in the box and wrapped it up, constantly muttering 'curious' until Harry's confusion became too much for him. "Sorry, but what's curious?"
Ollivander stared at Harry- and Merlin felt as though that would be a particularly unsettling experience- and said, "I remember every wand I've ever sold, Mr. Potter. Every single wand. It so happens that the phoenix whose tail feather is in your wand gave another feather- just one other. It is very curious indeed that you should be destined for this wand when its brother- why, its brother gave you that scar." Harry swallowed. Merlin himself felt a bit put off. Ollivander continued, "Yes, thirteen-and-a-half inches. Yew. Curious indeed how these things happen. The wand chooses the wizard, remember. ...I think we must expect great things from you, Mr. Potter… After all, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named did great things- terrible, yes, but great."
Harry shivered and paid Ollivander, opening his mouth to say goodbye to 'Marlin,' but stopping as he saw Ollivander had already started measuring the boy. Marlin gave him a nod, not wanting to interrupt Ollivander, and Harry nodded back, and left with Hagrid. Merlin wondered what Harry's new wand meant, and figured it was Voldemort's, and maybe destiny's, fault. He wondered what it might be like for Harry to have a normal life, and felt sorry for him.
"Hold out your arm… Good, now every Ollivander wand…"
The wand that eventually chose Merlin was an English Oak wand with a core of dragon heartstring, which Ollivander described as "surprisingly swishy," though Merlin couldn't really tell. He couldn't help his flinch when he heard what the core was, but he supposed that it was the wand most likely to choose him, especially when he reviewed how many times he had had a dragon heartstring core over his many years. He left walked back towards The Leaky Cauldron, ignoring the stares he got from various people as a kid walking alone. He didn't worry- he was Merlin! He could protect himself and conjure up a milkshake in the meantime.
Except the evil aura of the man escorting him was really putting him off.
Merlin didn't know why, but something was seriously off about Professor Quirrell, and it wasn't his stutter. Every time he was within fifteen feet of the man, he felt nauseated by the evil that seemed to come from him. That, and the smell of garlic. He planned to find out what was up with the professor as soon as possible.
Merlin was just glad that he was well-versed in magic- he didn't want Quirrell to be sniffing around his business. Seeing that a ten-year-old lived alone would have definitely told the professor that there was something off about 'Marlin.' Fortunately, Merlin had managed to cast a spell on his neighbor's cat, which he 'borrowed' for the weekend and cast a spell on. Merlin still did all the talking and answered the door, but his mother was there in the background, and said 'Yes, honey,' when spoken to. Quirrell was too busy stuttering to notice that she hadn't joined the conversation, or that her expression never changed.
"T-Time to go, then?" asked Quirrell quickly, and Merlin nodded, walking fast to try and lose the nervous professor in the crowd. He noticed uneasily how Quirrell eyed his shrunken school supplies as he walked. Well, how did they expect him to carry all those books as a ten-year old? He didn't have a half-giant travelling with him.
"Another wizard helped me," he explained, and Quirrell nodded, set off the trail.
Merlin walked through the train, looking into various compartments in search of an empty one. Considering how early he had gotten there, the train was very full. He finally found one and settled down to wait for the train to start.
A few minutes later and he was interrupted from his book by a knock on the compartment door. He looked up to see Harry Potter glancing inside the compartment uneasily. He grinned and nodded at him, and the boy came in, sitting down across from him and looking somewhat more relaxed.
"Hey," said Merlin, "You excited?"
"Yeah," Harry said, and there was an uncomfortable silence. Harry was staring out the open window down at a group of redheads. Merlin looked out as well, but they were entering the train. He shut his book.
"So, how've you been?"
"Good," said Harry halfheartedly. Merlin looked at him and realized how skinny he was. He thought about it a moment. Hadn't Dumbledore stuck him with some Muggles? It would explain how curious he seemed about the wizarding world.
A knock came on the compartment door again, and one of the redheads from before opened it.
"Can I sit here?" he asked, "Everyone else is full."
Merlin doubted that every compartment was full for a moment, then remembered the hassle he'd had trying to find an empty compartment. Harry and he both nodded, and the redhead sighed in relief, stepping inside the compartment and closing the door. He sat next to Merlin.
"So, who are you, then?" he asked, gesturing to both Merlin and Harry.
"Marlin Emrys," said Merlin.
The redhead gave him a glance, then turned abruptly as Harry said, "Harry Potter."
"Are you really?" he asked, and Harry just nodded, "I thought it might've been one of Fred and George's jokes. Have you really got… you know…" He pointed at Harry's forehead to say what he meant, and Harry pulled back his bangs. Ron stared at his scar, quite rudely in Merlin's opinion. "So that's where You-Know-Who…"
Harry pulled his hand back from his bangs. "Yes, but I can't remember it."
"Nothing?" Ron asked.
"Well- I remember a lot of green light, but nothing else."
"Wow," said Ron, staring at Harry.
"That's more than I remember when I was that young," said Merlin helpfully. He was surprised that Harry remembered it, being only one year old at the time.
Just then, the compartment door opened to reveal two redheaded twins. The one on the right spoke.
"Listen, we're going down the middle of the train- Lee Jordan's got a giant tarantula down there."
"Great," said Ron unenthusiastically.
"Harry, and…" The one on the left stared at Merlin.
"Marlin Emrys," supplied Merlin. Both their eyes widened.
"You're kidding," they said at the same time.
"Your parents were that mean?" asked the one on the left. Merlin grinned.
"I get that a lot, but yes."
The twins looked at each other, one of them grinning. The other sighed. "Well, we're Fred and George Weasley. And this is Ron, our brother."
"I was just going to introduce myself!"
"No, you weren't," said the grinning one.
"I guess we'll see you later, then," said the other, who Merlin guessed was George, then grinned himself, "Unless you want to see a tarantula."
Ron yelled, "No!" but Merlin and Harry both shook their heads. Fred shrugged.
"Your loss, then. Bye." He shut the compartment door.
Ron sighed in relief, muttering, "Spiders," with a grimace. Merlin couldn't say he sympathized- he had seen much bigger spiders than a tarantula.
"Are all your family wizards," asked Harry. Merlin flipped through the pages of his book, debating on reading it. Harry probably wouldn't have any questions for him, but he supposed that it would be rude to read through a conversation. He flipped his book closed.
"Er- yes, I think so," said Ron, "I think Mom's got a second cousin who's a Muggle, but we never talk about him."
"So you must know loads of magic already," said Harry.
"I heard you went to live with Muggles," said Ron, changing the subject, "What are they like?"
"Horrible-" said Harry, and Merlin turned to look at him in surprise before he said, "-well, not all of them. My aunt and uncle and cousin are, though. Wish I had three wizard brothers."
"Five," Ron corrected, and Merlin stared at him. He had heard of the Weasley family before, when he entered Diagon Alley a few years past, but he had thought the rumors of their numbers were exaggerated. He wondered what it was like to have five brothers, and decided that it must be hectic, though never lonely. "I'm the sixth in our family to go to Hogwarts. You could say I've got a lot to live up to. Bill and Charlie have already left- Bill was head boy and Charlie was captain of Quidditch. Now Percy's-" he went on to list all the things his brothers had done, but Merlin wasn't really listening. Ron had about as much to live up to as he had in his early years. (And he was embarrassed to call them his early years, but he was just so old that that was the only way to describe them.) He felt sorry for the boy.
"-But if I do, it's no big deal, because they did it first. You never get anything new with five brothers. I've got Bill's old robes, Charlie's old wand, and Percy's old rat." He pulled a rat from his pocket, and Merlin recoiled, surprised. He didn't like rats, though he had seen much bigger ones and even eaten one, but it was mostly the fact that Ron was keeping a rat in his pocket that made him cringe. Though he decided it probably was the only place he could keep a rat when they weren't allowed at the school.
Ron made some speech about the rat, but Merlin didn't really pay attention- he was getting a weird feeling from the rat, but he promptly put it aside when he realized that he was getting a weird feeling from a rat.
Ron suddenly turned to him. "What about you then, what's your family like?"
Merlin thought it kind of strange to be talking about blood status to get to know each other, but then realized that it was only natural. Harry didn't know about the wizarding world, and it wouldn't become a problem for them, most likely- they didn't seem very Slytherin, with the way Slytherin was anymore, and there mostly weren't prejudices in the other houses.
"I'm a half-blood, but I live with muggles," he said, "My wizarding parent died, so I learned most of what I know about the wizarding world from his journals."
Ron nodded, but Harry looked interested. "You said he worked with dragons?" he asked.
Merlin nodded, "Yeah, died protecting me," said Merlin, then realized his slip-up. He relaxed as he realized that it wouldn't give anything away, but told himself that he needed to be more careful. He could easily give his identity away in a casual statement like that.
"How'd that happen?" asked the redhead, and Merlin frowned, thinking his question rude. Then again, he probably had less developed manners from living with so many brothers.
He quickly thought up a story, and started talking, "A dragon got loose while I was visiting and he just managed to stop the dragon from hurting me, but was seriously burned in the process. He died before we could get him any help."
Merlin looked at the rat, which was now chewing at the chair. Ron blushed a bit, and Harry started in on how being poor wasn't bad. This seemed to make Ron less bashful, but Merlin was horrified at the description of how his parents treated him. He would have to do something about this, but with Dumbledore meddling in affairs, short of giving away his identity to the headmaster and demanding Harry be put in a different house, he didn't know what to do. Besides, it didn't sound like they were beating him or anything.
"...and until Hagrid told me, I didn't know anything about being a wizard or Voldemort-"
"What?" Harry asked.
"You said You-Know-Who's name!" said Ron, looking shocked and sounding impressed. Merlin rolled his eyes- the fear of even saying Voldemort's name was kind of ridiculous in his eyes. The muggles sure didn't mind saying Hitler, so what was the problem?
"Oh, big deal," said Merlin, but Harry barely gave him a sideways glance.
"I'm not trying to be brave or anything, saying the name. I just didn't know you shouldn't say it. See what I mean? I've got loads to learn… I bet- I bet I'm the worst in the class."
Merlin frowned, speaking up. His mindset was wrong- what did Merlin know before he got to Camelot and started practicing magic?
"Yeah, right, just because you don't know not to say Voldemort's name?" Ron gasped again, and Merlin sighed. "Look, what's the point in being afraid of saying the name of a dead man? The Muggles have no problems, and they say Hitler all the time. He hasn't come back, and look at all the deaths he caused."
Ron frowned, "But-"
Merlin frowned at him, "As far as I know, magic in names hasn't been around for a long time. What's the problem, then?"
Ron still wasn't convinced, "But he-"
Merlin groaned, exasperated, and decided that he was completely tired of the wizarding world's attitude and yelled, "VOLDEMORT!" at the top of his lungs. There was a consecutive gasp all around their compartment. Merlin threw his hands up in the air, and continued loudly, "Look at that! I'm fine!"
Ron was staring at him like he was insane, and Merlin figured that he was. He had lived too long.
Harry was staring at him, "You sure have a strong opinion about this," he said. Merlin frowned.
"My father was too nervous to even write the name, and it got kind of annoying reading He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Without-Hyphens' name. What's wrong with just saying it?"
Ron looked sullen, and there was a silence. Merlin opened his book and absentmindedly flipped through the pages, wondering if he had gone too far. He had finally settled on a page when the compartment door was pulled open. A woman with a cart laden with candy stuck her head in and asked, "Anything off the cart, dears?" She glared at Merlin as though she had heard his outburst.
Merlin put his book down and stood up to at least look as Harry leapt to his feet, obviously excited at the prospect of candy. Ron muttered something about sandwiches. Merlin picked a box of Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans and a package of Chocolate Frogs, paying the lady and thanking her. A few minutes later, Harry came back with two of everything, thinking of Ron, apparently. Merlin frowned- he had that much money- a thousand years did a lot to your funds- but wasting it on candy was a bad idea, even if it did taste good. He sighed and popped a bean in his mouth, gagging as he tasted it. Ron and Harry looked at him, Harry confused and Ron looking curious.
"Rat flavour," he explained, swallowing quickly and with much difficulty and grabbing another bean to wash the taste out, "Arthur would have a field day if he saw this," he finished quietly.
Ron raised an eyebrow, pulling Scabbers close to him with a protective look on his face. The rat gave out a ear-piercing squeal at the sudden movement.
"And how exactly do you know what rat tastes like?"