You are currently viewing The Legacy of Merlin Chapter Twenty-Six

The Legacy of Merlin Chapter Twenty-Six

Harry sat down in his Defense Against the Darks Arts class, only half paying attention to Professor Green’s lecture. He was too preoccupied with everything else that was going on.

Fred and George had been keeping an eye on the study group for the last few weeks, but so far, they hadn’t done anything out of the ordinary.

He glanced at Hermione, and then Draco, watching as they took notes on Professor Green’s lecture. He was worried about them, and what Andre was telling them.

Whenever he saw Hermione in the common room, she had her nose buried in one spell book or another, each of them far too advanced for her age and magical development. She also hadn’t said a word to him since he told her he was leaving the study group.

Draco was much the same, choosing to keep his distance, even during classes. Sometimes he caught the blond glaring at him, as if he wanted to confront him, but he never followed through.

His lessons with Merlin continued, and he was becoming more proficient with the magic Merlin was teaching him. He expanded his magical sensing ability out another foot, but still hadn’t come across the magical item that caught his interest.

The iron skin spell had improved a bit as well. He could coat both his arms up to the elbow with his magic now. It wasn’t very strong yet, the equivalent of a few sheets of parchment, but it was a start.

He would need every advantage he could get against Andre and the rest of his study group.

Hermione looked up from her parchment, glancing at Potter. He wasn’t even taking notes anymore. He stopped a few days ago, and somehow still managed to hold on to the top spot in the student ranking.

She remembered the letter she received from her mother, making her second guess herself about Potter even more.

Her mother had pointed out, just like Ron, that Harry had never lied to her before, and that she could be projecting the anger she felt towards her bullies back home onto Potter, who at least on the surface looked to be cut from the same cloth as them.

She also thought about what Andre told her, and how helpful and kind Beatrice had been to her. She even lent her advanced spell books to help her catch up with Potter. How could she turn her back on the study group after all they had done for her?

Hermione didn’t know what to do, or who to believe. It was all just so confusing.

Draco let out a sigh of frustration as he looked down at his parchment, then the blank one on Potter’s desk. He was staring out the window without a care in the world.

None of the Professors, save for Snape, even bothered to call him out for not paying attention anymore. Why would they? They knew, just as well as everyone else, he could answer any of their questions, and perform any spell they asked him to as easily as breathing.

He had to spend more and more time studying, and increasing alongside Granger just to keep from falling further behind Potter. On the few occasions he tried to study with Crabbe and Goyle, he spent more of his time teaching them the basics than improving his own standing, a complete waste of his time.

Worse still, both Weasley and Perks were quickly rising up the ranks, now holding the fifth and sixth positions for their year.

If that wasn’t bad enough, Potter was only improving with each passing day. Both the power and the speed of his spells casting were leaving the rest of the first years in the dust.

He asked Bole what he should do to catch up, or at the very least, what he could do to slow down Potter, but the response he got wasn’t very encouraging.

Trying to intimidate Potter was a non-starter. Unlike many of the other first years, Potter was no pushover.

No one below third year wanted any part of it. The damage to their own reputations if he somehow managed to come out on top would destroy their own standing within the house.

Everyone above third year thought it was beneath them to involve themselves in first year squabbles, no matter how many galleons he promised them.

“Alright everyone, off you go to lunch,” Professor Green said as she checked her watch. “I expect your essays to be handed in tomorrow. No exceptions.”

“Mr. Potter, please stay behind,” she said as everyone packed their bags to leave.

“You wanted to speak to me, Professor?” Harry asked as the last student left.

“Yes,” Olivia replied. “I noticed that you’ve been distracted over the last few days. It hasn’t affected your schoolwork yet, but I’m a little concerned.”

Harry looked at Professor Green for a moment, considering what to tell her. She was a good teacher, and he liked her, but at the same time, he wasn’t sure that he could trust her with what happened.

What if she was working with Andre? What would happen if she told him the memory spell didn’t work? He doubted he could beat Andre in a duel, let alone the rest of the study group.

That didn’t even include Dumbledore, and whatever he was planning. He hired her, after all. What if she was reporting everything she learned about him to Dumbledore?

“…I was just thinking about the trial again,” Harry replied, deciding to stick with a topic that was at least public knowledge. “The Wizengamot wants to me to take my father’s place when I reach my magical maturity.”

Olivia nodded. “You could do a lot of good there. You could actually pass laws, giving a voice to people that are ignored by the government.”

“Except I was never supposed to,” Harry explained. “Glory was supposed to do that.”

“Because she’s the girl-who-lived?” Olivia asked.

“Yeah,” Harry replied. “It’s not something I ever considered doing. I’m not sure it’s even something I want.” Especially after everything Merlin told him.

“Well, no one says you have to,” Olivia pointed out. “All they can do is offer you the position. They can’t make you accept it, but for the record, I think you should.”

“Why?” Harry asked. “You read what they did to the Minister. They’re only care about what benefits them, and their reputation, not anyone else.”

“I know,” Olivia agreed. “But it’s still better than being on the outside looking in.”

“Thank you Professor,” Harry nodded. “I’ll think about it,” he said, going to the great hall for lunch.

Just as Harry was about to take a bite of his lunch, he spotted Dermott circling overhead. ‘He must have just come back,’ Harry realized.

He watched as the hawk landed in front of him, startling a good number of his classmates in the process. He dropped the letter in front of him, then picked up a piece of chicken from his plate and took off again.

Harry made a mental note to spend some time with him to work on their bond before he picked up the letter and started to read.

Hi Harry,

It’s good to hear from you, but the first time I met Dermott he gave me the shock of my life! I got back to New York just fine. Thanks again for the ticket.

You said this lawyer of yours sent a letter to your headmaster, but don’t let your guard down. He doesn’t seem like the type that follows the rules.

Your scholarship program is a great idea too! I’m so proud of you. I knew you would do great things, Harry.

I would love for you to come for a visit in the summer. You can meet my nephew, Peter. He reminds me a lot of you, actually.

He’s smart, and talented, just like you, and he also got dealt a a tough hand.

His parents passed away recently, car accident. That’s why he’s staying with us, but he’s a tough kid. He’ll get through it.

Don’t wait so long to write next time,


Harry folded the letter and put it in his pocket, already planning on writing a return letter after Dermott took a few days to rest.

Draco watched as the giant hawk flew out of the great hall. ‘Of course, Potter can’t have a normal owl like the rest of us,’ he thought derisively.

He needed to figure out something soon. There had to be something he could do to wrestle away the top spot from Potter.

Bole had offered him some advanced spell books to study, but most of it flew over his head. Besides, what good were advanced spells if they wouldn’t be graded on them until fourth year? He needed something that would benefit him now.

Bole carefully studied Malfoy’s face as he glared at Potter, certain that he had done his part to keep Malfoy in the study group. Playing on his insecurities had made it little more than child’s play.

He was glad that Egwu, Winger, and Murk were dealing with the larger issue of replacing Potter and Weasley. As it stood, they were two people short, and running out of time quickly.

The rest of the first years were nowhere near the caliber they needed. If they didn’t come up with a solution soon, hundreds of years of meticulous planning would go up in smoke.

On paper, Longbottom should have been an ideal replacement, but so far, he had been a disappointment. Even with Potter taking him under his wing, he still wasn’t showing any real improvements.

The same could be said for Crabbe and Goyle. The apple had certainly fallen far from the tree with that pair.

Potter’s scholarship students were obviously out as well. Their loyalty to him would see them quit with just one word from him.

Hermione sat across from Malfoy in the library. The Slytherin wasn’t exactly her first choice for a study partner. But considering how often they traded for second place in the ranking, he was the only other person that understood her drive to succeed.

“I looked through Beatrice’s old notes. It looks like the lesson plans don’t really change very much from year to year,” Hermione said. “Potter probably knows that, too. That’s why he’s so far ahead.”

“It’s more than that,” Draco said, shaking his head. “You saw how he caught Longbottom mid fall. Adult wizards would struggle to react that fast, and the actual power he manages to put behind each of his spells is well above even the third years. We’re not going to catch up with him, let alone surpass him just by studying more.”

A silence fell over them as they considered their options. It wasn’t just that Harry was ahead of them. It was also Weasley and Perks. They had been exercising with Potter recently and were also climbing up the rankings quickly. Soon they would have even more competition just to keep their second and third place spots.

“Maybe we can spend more time practicing our spell casting,” Hermione suggested. “Beatrice told me that the more we use our magic, the easier it gets to cast spells.”

She had already borrowed some books from Beatrice about magical theory, and had been practicing her second and third years spells. It was going slower than she liked, but she was making some progress.

Draco glanced up from his homework at Granger. He would never admit it out loud, but he and Granger had a lot in common. They were both very competitive, worked hard, and had a lot to prove.

They bonded over their mutual dissatisfaction with their current rankings. Granger wasn’t exactly his friend, he could still respect her abilities.

“I suppose it wouldn’t hurt,” Draco agreed.

Harry sat in the common room, watching as Ron, and Seamus played a game of chess. Ron was predictably dominating the game. He was at least three steps ahead as he maneuvering Seamus into yet another trap.

Over the commotion of his other house-mates, he heard a tapping at the window, and looked over curiously.

An owl bearing the insignia of Gringott’s Bank stared back at him.

He opened the window, letting the owl inside, who immediately held out its leg with a letter addressed to him.

“What you got there, Harry?” Seamus asked as he looked up from the game.

“A letter from Gringott’s,” Harry explained as he sat back down in his chair. “It’s probably just a bank statement.”

Seamus nodded, looking down at the chessboard, grimacing as he tried to figure out a way to salvage the game. Ron already had him in check.

Harry opened the letter curiously, wondering what it was about. Most of this stuff should be going to Ted.

Harry Potter,

You impressed me when you solved Merlin’s cypher. Such talent is rare.

I have come across a unique problem that I think your skills are well suited for.

I would like to offer you a consulting position with our curse breakers teams. If you accept the position, our curse breaker teams will send you the details of a ward scheme we are having difficulty solving. You will collect a fee for any progress you make towards solving it.

I have already sent the details of what we will offer to your solicitor. If you are interested, please contact us through him.

Chairman Gringott

Harry folded the letter, placing it in his pocket as he considered the offer.

“Be careful with goblins,” Merlin warned. “They have plots within plots. It’s almost impossible to tell what they’re after until it’s already over.”

‘I’ll talk about it with Ted,’ Harry thought. ‘If it’s just consulting work, it may not be too bad.’

“I’m going to turn it early. Goodnight guys,” Harry said.

“Night Harry,” Seamus and Ron replied.

Harry walked up the stairs to his dorm room and closed the curtains around his bed. He closed his eyes and entered his mind scape.

He could see more improvements to the stone room. The walls had smoothed out completely, and the floor no longer jutted out in odd places.

He glanced at the bookshelf, a recent addition to his mind scape, filled with books representing what he had learned so far.

“You’re dong well,” Merlin said. “I think you’ll see some big improvements on the iron skin spell soon.”

“I hope so,” Harry nodded. “Are there any other spells you can teach me? Something that would be useful in a fight?”

“Your body and your magic are nowhere near ready for the kinds of spells you’re asking for,” Merlin replied.

“What would happen if I tired?” Harry asked.

“There are three main considerations when it comes to spell casting,” Merlin explained. “The amount of magic your body has to draw upon, the rate at which your magic replenishes itself, and how quickly you can circulate your magic through your body.”

“Even with the work we’ve done so far, you’re only eleven years old. If you go too quickly, it will strain your magic, weakening the power of your spells, and ultimately slowing down your progress.”

“How long until I’m ready?” Harry asked. It was only a matter of time before his next confrontation with Andre.

“Months, possibly years,” Merlin explained.

“There must be something,” Harry insisted. “I’m not going to beat anyone with first year spells.”

“There are rituals you can perform,” Merlin explained. “But they all come at a steep price.”

Harry nodded, remembering Merlin’s test from the vault. “What can we do then?”

“You need to stick to your training plan,” Merlin explained. “The iron skin spell will be the most advanced spell you’ll have for the foreseeable future, so you have to make sure you’re as efficient and creative as possible with the spell you’ve mastered.”

“Are you going to show me more of your memories?” Harry asked.

“Yes,” Merlin nodded. “These memories take place after I fled the town, and Amatheon explained who he was.”

Harry didn’t know quite how to feel about what Merlin did after Gaius died. The amount of grief Merlin felt in that moment must have been overwhelming.

“…Merlin, those people you killed. Do you regret it?” Harry asked.

Merlin was silent for a long moment. “I don’t know,” he admitted. “I wanted to save Gaius, and when he died, something just snapped. Even now, I don’t remember exactly what happened… but I wanted them to feel the same pain I did.”

“If you could go back and change things, would you?” Harry asked.

“Gaius died because of me. I’ll always regret that, but it’s not something I can change,” Merlin answered.

Harry nodded, understanding that it was probably the best answer he would get out of Merlin.

Merlin rode out of town on the wagon he stole from Jonas, doing his best not to draw any attention to himself. He knew it was only a matter of time before someone discovered Jonas’s body, along with the other men he killed.

The guilt weighed heavily on him, knowing that it was his carelessness that had led to this. He glanced behind him at the hay he had used to cover Gaius’s body with a heavy heart.

By mid afternoon, Merlin pulled off the main road and into the woods. He needed to find a secluded area to bury his mentor.

He should have run as soon Jonas’s thugs saw him do magic, then none of this would have happened.

He felt an immense sense of regret and sadness as he dug a grave for Gaius and placed his body inside. No one would know what happened to him, or where he had gone. No one would have a place to go to mourn him.

“Who are you?” Merlin demanded of the voice in his head.

“I told you, my name is Amatheon,” he explained calmly.

“Where are you? How are you doing this?” Merlin demanded.

“It’s complicated, but I exist in your mind,” Amatheon explained.

“Are you a demon?” Merlin asked fearfully. “Sent to lead me astray?”

“No, nothing like that,” Amatheon explained. “I was born, and lived, much the same way you did, then I grew old and died.”

Then how can you be here?” Merlin asked. “Shouldn’t you be… wherever people go when they die?”

“I don’t fully understand it,” Amatheon replied. “But when I was alive, I could use magic just like you, and after a certain point in my life, there was a voice in my head, too. He taught me about magic, and the world.”

“Is this the same for everyone that can use magic?” Merlin asked.

“No… we are different,” Amatheon explained.

“You helped me after what happened,” Merlin said. “Why?”

“I think I’m here to help you, to teach you what I’ve learned,” Amatheon explained.

“Magic has done nothing good for me,” Merlin denied. “All it has caused is pain and suffering. I don’t want to learn anymore.”

“Magic is a tool, Merlin. It isn’t inherently good or evil. What matters is how we use it,” Amatheon replied.

“Gaius is dead because of me, because of my magic,” Merlin replied bitterly.

“You don’t know how to control your magic yet,” Amatheon explained. “It will only get worse until you do. I can help you.”

Merlin sat there, looking at Gaius’s grave, and thinking for a long time. Could he really stop using his magic, even after everything that happened? What if something like this happened again? Was there really a way to control his magic?

“…I want to learn to control my magic,” Merlin finally decided. He couldn’t risk something like this happening ever again. “But after that I’m done.”

“Alright,” Amatheon agreed. “We have a lot of work to do.”

“How long will it take?” Merlin asked.

“It will be at least a year to control when you use your magic, even longer to cast spells properly.”

Merlin nodded. “What do I have to do?”

“Today, nothing,” Amatheon explained. “You need to go to the next town and find a place to stay for the night. You’re exhausted.”

“After that, you’ll need to keep moving. We can’t stay in the same place for more than a few days at a time, a week at most.”

“Why not?” Merlin asked.

“Your magic is growing stronger,” Amatheon explained. “So it’s only a matter of time before someone else sees you use your magic. You need to be gone before they report you to a local lord or soldier.”

Merlin sighed, realizing Amatheon was right. He was no match for trained soldiers, and if he wasn’t careful, the king would find out about him, then his mother would be in danger, too.

Merlin took one last look at Gaius’s grave, making a silent prayer for his friend before he returned to the wagon and got back on the road. If he hurried, he could reach the next town just after dark.

‘I just have to spend a few years learning to control my magic,’ Merlin thought. ‘After that, I can use what Gaius taught me to open my own apothecary far away from here, and never have to use magic again.’

Andre stood amongst his fellow study group members in the astronomy tower. It was well past curfew, so there was little risk of anyone stumbling upon them.

Lucian Bole looked around, “why aren’t Granger and Malfoy here?”

“I didn’t tell them,” Andre replied. “This meeting is just for us.”

“What’s going on?” Beatrice asked.

“Talbott, Ismelda, and I have already discussed this beforehand,” Andre explained. “After what happened with Potter and Weasley, we don’t know if we should trust Draco and Hermione.”

“But we need them,” Elspeth said in confusion. “We need nine casters for the ritual to work.”

“No,” Talbott shook his head. “There’s another way. We can do this with six.”

“How?” Lucian asked.

“I’ve been shown a ritual we can perform to increase our magic and the size of our magical pathways,” Andre explained. “We’ll have to do it a few times, but it will give us enough magic to jump start the first part of the ritual.”

“Those kinds of rituals are dangerous,” Lucian pointed out. “They always come at a cost.”

“Our benefactor has assured us the consequences will only be temporary,” Talbott replied.

Beatrice nodded. “What do we do about Granger and Malfoy? Are we kicking them out?”

“No,” Ismelda shook her head. “Stick to the plan. There’s still work to be done outside of the ritual they can do, once we know we can trust them.”

Beatrice nodded her head in agreement. After getting to know Hermione over the last few weeks she couldn’t help but feel a soft spot for the first year. She deserved to be a part of what they were doing.

“I know that none of us expected to be the ones to usher in the new golden age,” Andre said as he looked around the room. “It was supposed to be another twenty years, at least before we were ready.”

“You can call it coincidence, or luck, or a simple quirk of magic, and maybe it is, but I believe it’s providence. We were all meant to be here, we were all meant to do this.”

The others nodded reverently, their lingering doubts vanishing. They knew what they needed to do, and they would be ready.

“We’ll perform the first empowerment ritual on Halloween,” Talbott explained. “I won’t lie to you. It’s not going to be pleasant, but you’ll notice the change almost immediately. Your magic will flow more freely, and you spells will be much stronger.”

They nodded to each other as they left the astronomy tower and returned to their common rooms.

Thanks for reading and supporting me! Any reviews or feedback would really be appreciated. How do you feel about the pacing of the story so far? Is it slow or dragging on longer than it should in certain areas?

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