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

The Legacy of Merlin Chapter Twenty-Nine

Rita sat at her table, nursing a glass of fire whiskey. She was in the White Wyvern, a dimly lit bar on the seedier side of Knockturn Alley. She wore a hood to hide her identity. Ever since her coverage of Merlin’s Vault, and her subsequent expose of James Potter, she had become somewhat of a celebrity in her own right.

She couldn’t even walk down the street without someone coming up to her, asking her when her next article was coming out. Some even making suggestions on who she should investigate next.

In her younger years, it had been something she dreamed about. The masses hanging on her every word, having wealth and influence. But what she hadn’t counted on was the weight of responsibility it had placed on her shoulders, not just to tell the truth, but to seek it out.

She looked up as a dark-haired man she recognized sat down at her table. “Rita, I presume?” he asked.

“Keep it down,” Rita hissed, keeping her voice low as she looked around the bar to make sure no one recognized her.

“You’re far too paranoid,” the man replied with a laugh. “Besides, I placed a muffling charm on the table before you arrived. No one can hear us.”

“Did you find what I was looking for?” Rita said.

“That depends. Do you have my gold?” the man asked, getting down to business.

Rita pulled out a leather pouch from within her robes, placing it on the table with a soft thud. “That’s half,” she said, pushing it towards him. “You’ll get the rest when you answer my questions.”

“Very well,” the man replied, picking up the pouch and feeling the weight of it before tucking it away. “I have to say, when you contacted me, I was intrigued. Perhaps you can tell me why you’re so interested in Lord Potter?”

“If you want to find out, you’ll have to buy a newspaper, just like everyone else, Victor,” Rita said with a hint of amusement.

Victor let out a snort, leaning back in his chair. “Yes,” he said with a wry grin. “I suppose I should have seen that one coming. You’re in luck. I went to school with James Potter. I was in the year above him.”

“Who were his friends?” Rita asked.

“It’s a short list,” Victor replied, his voice carrying a hint of annoyance. “Between you and me, the man was a bit of a prick. He was always causing trouble, running around pulling pranks, and making a nuisance of himself.”

“His friends, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and Peter Pettigrew, were usually along for the ride.”

Rita furrowed her brow as she thought about the names. She attended Hogwarts just after Potter graduated, so she didn’t know about Lupin and Pettigrew, but she had certainly heard of Sirius Black.

He was a Lord, just like Potter, and a member of the Wizengamot, but never attended any of the sessions. When it came time for a vote, it was usually entered by a proxy, which in most cases turned out to be Dumbledore, or one of his allies.

“Tell me about Sirius Black,” Rita said.

“He’s a recluse now, never leaves his home, and hasn’t been seen publicly in at least a decade,” Victor replied. “Before that, he had a bit of a scandalous reputation.”

“What else?” Rita asked, well aware of Black’s past.

“When he went to Hogwarts, he was as thick as thieves with Potter. When one of them was up to something, it was usually a good bet the other was involved as well,” Victor answered.

“You mentioned pranks. How bad were they?” Rita asked, leaning in curiously.

“They were mostly just annoying,” Victor said. “Stink bombs, sticking things to the ceilings, adding potions to people’s food, juvenile stuff, easily dealt with.”

“Mostly?” Rita asked.

“There was one unlucky kid,” Victor said. “He was friends with a girl Potter took a liking to. That’s when their pranks took a darker turn. They did everything they could to humiliate and embarrass the poor kid. His house mates stepped in when they could, but there was only so much they could do without risking the same thing happening to them.”

“Who was he?” Rita asked.

“Severus Snape.”

The answer caught Rita by surprise, but as she thought about it, it started to make sense. All the bullying he received from Potter and his friends. It went a long way to explaining why Snape was the way he was.

“And the girl Potter liked, who was she?” Rita asked.

“Lily Evans, now Lily Potter,” Victor answered.

Rita nodded, feeling a hint of sympathy for the potion’s professor. His friend not only sided with his bully, but also married him. It must have felt like a punch to the gut.

“What else can you tell me about Black? Why has nobody seen him for the last decade?” Rita asked, getting back on track.

“I’ve asked around, and this is mostly rumor,” Victor warned. “But from what I’ve been told, he’s under house arrest. He’s not allowed to have any visitors, or leave his home… ever.”

“What did he do?” Rita asked, shocked at such a harsh sentence for someone of Black’s standing.

“I have no idea,” Victor replied. “Whatever it was, it was near the end of the war, and bad enough that his position on the Wizengamot didn’t save him.”

‘Around the time Gloria Potter defeated the Dark Lord,’ Rita thought. ‘Interesting.’ She made a mental note to talk to Fudge again. He wasn’t minister at the time, but he should be able to find out what happened.

“And his other friends?” Rita asked.

“Remus Lupin, bitten by the werewolf Fenrir Greyback when he was just a child. He was able to hide his condition and successfully graduate from Hogwarts, but is currently residing in the muggle world,” Victor replied.

“And he doesn’t have any contact with Potter anymore, either?” Rita asked.

“No,” Victor shook his head. “At about the same time Black became a recluse, Lupin left the Wizarding world, and hasn’t been back since.”

“What’s the connection?” Rita asked.

“None of my contacts will talk about that,” Victor replied.

“What about the other one, Pettigrew?” Rita asked. “What happened to him?”

“No idea,” Victor replied. “He just disappeared without a trace.”

“Let me guess,” Rita said. “At the same time Lupin left the Wizarding world, and Black became a recluse?”

“Yes,” Victor replied.

Rita let out a deep sigh. She had hoped to find some answers today, but she had ended up with even more questions than before. “What about Potter? Is there anything else you can tell me about him?” Rita asked.

“There isn’t really much there,” Victor admitted. “Most everything has already been aired publicly. His finances are managed through a trust, and he receives a monthly stipend. It’s a little unusual, but not unheard of.”

“Unusual how?” Rita asked.

“Normally, an heir is taught from a very young age how to manage the family investments, and when they become the new head, they manage it directly. A trust is normally used if they become the head before reaching the age of majority.”

“Interesting, who manages his investments?” Rita asked.

“That one was a little hard to track down,” Victor replied. “There’s various shell companies involved, but it eventually leads back to an investment company, Evergreen.”

“Well, that’s a start at least,” Rita said, handing Victor the second pouch.

“A word of advice Rita, this may be something you want to avoid,” Victor said, putting the pouch in his pocket.

“Why is that?” Rita asked curiously. She had worked with Victor multiple times before, and this was the first time she received any type of warning from the man. “You’re not going soft on me, are you?”

“Look, Rita,” Victor said with a sigh. “You’re good for business, and you pay well. That’s why I’m telling you this. This stuff about Potter, it might not be worth kicking over the hornet’s nest over for.”

“A lot of my contacts came under scrutiny just for asking about this, far more than what you would expect for something like this. That tell’s me there’s a lot of powerful people that want to keep this buried. You might not like what you find,” he said, getting up and leaving.

Rita stared after Victor. ‘What is Potter involved in?’ She thought. She made a mental note to speak with Fudge about it as well. If Victor of all people had trouble finding this Evergreen, it meant that someone had gone to great lengths to keep it hidden. It could be just what she needed to take down Potter once and for all.

Hermione sat in the great hall, tapping her fingers nervously on the table, the food on her plate, an afterthought. Her mind was still reeling from the nightmare she had the night before. In it, she was hunted by the study group, but Harry and Ron weren’t there with her. She was all alone, and she wasn’t able to escape.

She took a deep breath, trying to calm down. She knew she had to go to the meeting tomorrow night. The thought made her heart race, but she knew there was no way out of it.

It had been next to impossible to concentrate in class. She even had trouble casting spells she had no problem with the previous week.

She didn’t know how Draco could be so calm about this. He was just sitting at his table, eating his lunch without a care in the world.

Hermione looked down at her plate, pushing the food around, but not eating. She was too nervous.

“Hello Hermione,” Elspeth said, walking up.

Hermione’s fork clattered to her plate as she let out a gasp, and looked up with a start. ‘What was Elspeth doing here? Did she find out it was them in the forest?’ She thought as a knot formed in her stomach.

“Oh, sorry,” Elspeth said, taking a step back. “I didn’t mean to startle you.”

“No, it’s okay,” Hermione said quickly. “I wasn’t paying attention.”

“I was hoping to talk to you for a few minutes, if that’s ok?” Elspeth asked.

“Talk to me?” Hermione asked. “What’s going on?”

“Is everything ok, Hermione? You seem a little nervous,” Elspeth asked curiously.

“No, no, everything is fine,” Hermione said, thinking quickly. “You just surprised me. I was just thinking about the transfiguration test tomorrow.” She said, doing her best to sound convincing.

“Oh, ok,” Elspeth smiled. “I just have to ask you something. It won’t take long. Can you meet me in the hallway?” She asked.

“…Oh, ok.” Hermione said, trying to appear calm, even though her heart was racing.

“Great,” Elspeth smiled, turning on her heel and walking towards the door.

Hermione stood up, exchanging a nervous glance with Harry and Ron before trailing Elspeth out of the great hall.

‘She won’t try something during the day,’ Hermione thought to herself, trying to convince herself more than anything at this point. ‘I’ll be ok.’

Harry and Ron watched Hermione leave the great hall nervously. There were other members of the study group in the great hall with them. They couldn’t check on Hermione without drawing their attention. They had to trust that Hermione could handle it.

Hermione stopped in front of the door, taking a deep breath to prepare herself, then she opened it and stepped outside.

“Over here, Hermione,” Elspeth called from one of the school award display cases.

“I was out on an early morning walk yesterday,” Elspeth said. “I saw you out there with Harry and Ron. What were you all doing?”

Hermione felt her heart hammering in her chest, but somehow managed to appear calm. “I’ve been trying to convince Ron and Harry to re-join the study group.”

“Oh, well, that’s good,” Elspeth said. “But what does that have to do with running around the lake?”

“That one is a bit of a long story,” Hermione replied. “Harry doesn’t think our study methods are as good as they could be. He thinks that physical exercise helps with magical development, and we’re missing out by excluding it.”

“So you’re out there with them to see if there’s any merit to what he’s saying?” Elspeth asked.

Hermione nodded, not trusting herself to speak.

“Well, that is an interesting theory,” Elspeth said. “Harry, and Ron’s grades are certainly a testament to that. Let us know how it goes. See you tomorrow night,” Elspeth said as she walked off.

When Elspeth rounded the corner, Hermione let out a sigh of relief. She was so sure she had been found out.

She opened the door to the great hall, catching the eye of Ron, Draco, and Harry before walking out again, and heading to the unused classroom they used the previous day.

She didn’t have to wait long for Harry and Ron to show up, followed by Draco a few minutes later.

“Are you ok? What happened?” Harry asked.

“I think it’s ok,” Hermione said. “Elspeth was just asking what I was doing outside. I don’t think they know it was us.”

Harry nodded. “That’s a relief.”

“So what do you want us to do at this meeting, Potter?” Draco asked.

“We need to find out what they’re planning,” Harry said. “If they’ve been operating as long as they say they have, they must have help from outside Hogwarts. Be discreet, but try to find out whatever you can.”

Draco nodded in agreement, leaving first, followed shortly by Ron, to make sure no one saw them together them.

“Hermione, could you stay back a minute?” Harry asked. “There’s something I want to ask you.”

“Ok, what is it?” Hermione asked.

“I noticed over the last few days your spell work has been a bit off. Is everything ok?” Harry asked in concern.

“It’s just been a difficult few days,” Hermione said, brushing it off. “I’ve just had some trouble concentrating.”

“I understand,” Harry replied. “But I’ve noticed it before we found out about the study group, too. Have you been using advanced spells? Ones that are outside of our first year books?”

“It’s fine Harry, I appreciate the concern, but there’s nothing to worry about,” Hermione replied. “I have to go,” she said, walking out, not wanting to think about what was wrong with her magic in top of everything else going on.

Harry watched Hermione leave, not sure what to do. They had finally found some common ground, and he didn’t want to ruin it by having another argument with her.

Harry gazed at the large crack on the wall of his mind. The jagged edged were scorched black and ran the length of the wall. He was still having trouble casting magic because of it.

“How bad is it?” Harry asked.

“Not as bad as it could have been,” Merlin replied. “You weren’t anywhere near ready to channel that kind of magic. You could have easily burned out the magical pathway.”

“What would have happened then?” Harry asked.

“Those kinds of injuries take months to recover from, if at all,” Merlin said.

“So, how do we fix it?” Harry asked.

“Place your hand on the crack,” Merlin instructed. “Then direct your magic there, only your own magic,” he warned.

Harry ran his fingers along the rough and jagged edges of the crack, following Merlin’s instructions. He could feel a strain as his magic poured in, filling the crack. It wasn’t gone. It looked more like it had been patched than anything else. He could still see the outline of it on the wall.

“You’re going to feel it tomorrow, but that will fix the worst of it,” Merlin said.

“How long before it’s fully healed?” Harry asked.

“Probably a few more days at least,” Merlin replied. “You’ll have to avoid using the pathway until then.”

“That could be a problem if I have another run in with Andre,” Harry replied.

“You’ll have to be careful then,” Merlin warned. “And it isn’t just him you have to worry about. That ritual made all of them stronger.”

“I understand,” Harry nodded, taking the warning to heart.

“We’ll continue with our lessons then. It will be a couple of years after Amatheon started training me,” Merlin explained. “Most of what I learned before that you already know, but there’s a few things in this memory that could be useful for you.”

The room faded away as they descended into another one of Merlin’s memories.

I fell into a depression for the first few months, drowning my guilt with whiskey, spending almost a third of the gold I took from Jonas on it. But slowly, it became more bearable, allowing me to concentrate on what Amatheon was trying to teach me.

The first year had been the most difficult, accepting that my old life was over, and that I could never go back to it. Taking a stroll around the town, talking with Gaius as we spent the day brewing. They were all just memories now.

I spent the next two years after that, wandering from one town to another, never staying in one place for very long. I couldn’t shake the feelings of loneliness and regret, but I had learned not to get too close to people.

I was grateful to at least have Amatheon to talk to, especially when I was traveling. I still had the cart and horses I took from Jonas, at least making the travel a little easier.

Even after all this time I still couldn’t bring myself to visit the town Gaius died in, or his grave. The pain still felt as fresh as the day he died.

It took another year, and another third of my gold, before I could control my magic. By this point, it was nowhere near enough to open my apothecary, like I had planned.

In the towns and villages I visited, I brewed potions, further refining my technique with Amatheon’s guidance. It was enough to earn a few coins, or more often, a roof over my head for the night.

I lived a far less comfortable existence than I had grown accustomed to with Gaius, especially as my meager supply of coins slowly dwindled. It eventually led to the difficult decision to sell the horses, knowing it was the only way I could survive.

Just when I was about to give up hope, my fortunes finally took a turn for the better. I was visiting one of the larger towns when a soldier approached me. My first instinct was to run, thinking that someone had found out my secret, and reported me, but the soldier didn’t seem on edge. In fact, he looked almost bored to be there.

“I bring a request from the Duke of Tintagel,” the soldier drawled. “He bids you to visit his castle, and teach his daughter your arts.”

That was not what I was expecting. I wondered if it was some kind of trick. “My arts?” I asked.

“Aye, how you make your potions and poultices,” the guard said, dropping the formality in his tone.

“My recipes are my livelihood,” I said, trying to find a graceful way to decline. “It’s not something I can just share on a whim.”

“The Duke insists,” the soldier said, resting his palm on the pommel of his sword.

I looked at his sword resting in its sheath, picking up on the implied threat. “…I see.”

I looked around, knowing there would be no easy way out of this. Running away was not an option, not in broad daylight, and with so many of the townspeople watching. Attempting a spell was also out of the question. I had refused to learn any more from Amatheon than what was absolutely necessary, and combat spells were something I wanted nothing to do with.

“Relax,” the guard said, picking up on my distress. “It’s just another flight of fancy for Lady le Fay. Just teach her a couple of things and you’ll get a bag of gold. It’ll be the easiest money you ever made.”

“…Very well. I suppose a few of my more common recipes wouldn’t hurt,” I said, with little other choice in the matter.

I needed the coin anyway, and if this was really a trap, there would have been a lot more soldiers, or at least I hoped that was the case.

“That’s the spirit,” the soldier said, slapping me on the back and nearly knocking me over. “You’ll be done in less than a week, probably sooner, depending on how quickly Lady le Fay loses interest.”

“A week?” I asked in surprise, thinking it would be just for the day.

“Aye, and three square meals a day to boot,” the soldier said, leading me towards the castle in the distance.

I reluctantly followed the soldier, hoping that to get this over with quickly as I could.

“How did the Duke even know I was in town?” I asked.

“It’s a small town,” the soldier explained. “When a healer comes in selling potions that actually work instead of the normal snake oil that gets pawned off as medicine around here people take notice.”

I had been in town for the last week. It was longer that I normally stayed, but unlike most towns, they had coin to exchange instead of the usual bartering.

“What can you tell me about the Duke?” I asked, hoping to get the measure of the man before meeting him.

“He’s an honorable man,” the soldier explained, “and he treats his people well. As long as you do your work, you have nothing to fear from him.”

We continued in silence the rest of the way to the castle as I kept a watchful eye on our surroundings, looking for places to hide if I had to escape in a hurry.

It was another hour before we reached the gates of the castle and stepped into the courtyard.

As we approached, the unmistakable figure of the Duke stood waiting for us. He was broad shouldered, and dressed in fine robes. Beside him stood a young woman, her deep green eyes sparkling with curiosity.

I was smitten as soon as I laid eyes on her. Her dark hair cascaded down her back, swaying in the breeze. The subtle scent of her perfume lingered in the air, a sweet and floral aroma. She smiled at me, the corners of her lips turning upward, revealing a set of pearly white teeth.

Perhaps teaching her would not be as much of a burden as I thought it would be.

The following morning was when I had my first lesson with Lady le Fay. Despite my attraction to her, I kept my composure and focused on the task at hand, determined to keep things professional.

“Lady Le Fay, this poultice is a simple yet effective remedy to keep infections at bay and heal minor wounds.” I explained, using a mortar as pestle to grind the mountain flower petals. “The hanging moss adds an extra layer of protection against disease,” I said, grinding the mixture.

“Please, just call me Morgan,” she said, leaning over to watch.

“Of course… Morgan,” I replied, a light blush tinting my cheeks.

“May I try?” she asked, holding her hand out expectantly.

“Of course,” I replied. “You need to grind the ingredients together until it is uniform in color,” I instructed, holding out the mortar and pestle to her.

Morgan took the mortar, but as she reached for the pestle, it slipped from her hand. Her eyes widened as it fell to the ground, only to stop an inch from the ground and float in the air.

My jaw dropped as I stared down at the floating mortar. I knew I didn’t catch it. I had learned to control that aspect of my magic a long time ago.

I looked at Morgan, knowing it was the only explanation. After all this time spent searching for others like me, and I had finally found one.

“Oh no,” Morgan whispered, her eyes widened in fear as she looked up at me.

“It’s alright Morgan,” I said in a calm voice.

“Please don’t tell anyone,” she begged. “If the King finds out, I’m done for.”

“It’s ok,” I said, making a snap decision. I used my magic to float the mortar into my hand, to the shock of Morgan.

“How?” Morgan asked.

“I’m like you,” I explained, ignoring the warnings from Amatheon.

“Have you met others like us?” Morgan asked, her fear giving way to excitement.

“One,” I replied.

“Where are they? Can we meet them too?” Morgan asked. “What are they like?”

I backpedaled a bit, still cautious about how much I wanted to reveal. “They’re gone. They mostly just taught me how to hide my magic.”

“How have you been able to hide your magic for so long?” I asked. “Do your parents know about it?”

“They do,” Morgan said, sadly. “They don’t want the king to find out about me, so I have to hide in the castle. The servants can’t even talk to me.”

“It’s lonely, isn’t it?” I asked, remembering my own childhood.

Morgan nodded. “Even after I got older and could control it a little more, they wouldn’t let me leave the castle.”

“You’ll stay, won’t you? And teach me?” Morgan said, taking my hand. “Please, I don’t want to live like this forever,” she implored.

I looked into her hopeful face and knew that I couldn’t say no. Even with my previous experiences telling me otherwise, I couldn’t condemn her to a life like this.

“Alright,” I promised. “I’ll stay just until you can control your magic.”

“Oh, thank you Merlin! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!” Morgan said, throwing her arms around me, hugging me tight.

I was glad that Morgan couldn’t see my face. It must have been as red as a tomato. She was a beautiful woman, the most beautiful woman I had ever laid eyes on, and I knew I was completely out of my depth.

I kept my word, spending the next year teaching Morgan what I had learned, showing her how to control her magic. Her enthusiasm was infectious, always delighting in every new thing she learned.

The Lord and Lady of Tintagel, after getting over their shock, also treated me well, even allowing me to dine with them on occasion. In my spare time, I read books, explored the town, and with the help of Morgan, finally put my grief behind me.

Lord Tintagel had even taken a liking to me, teaching him more about business, and what I would need to set up my shop.

With each passing day, I fell more and more in love with Morgan. I did my best to hide my feelings, knowing that a high-born lady of her standing could never be with a commoner.

But one day, the inevitable happened. I ran out of things to teach her, but I didn’t want to leave, so I did something I thought I would never do. I asked Amatheon to teach me again, not just how to control and suppress my magic, but also how to use it.

While everyone else slept I took lessons from Amatheon in my mind scape, staying a few steps ahead of what I taught Morgan, but it only bought me another six months.

Amatheon taught me everything he had learned, finally going back into the ether from where he came. The silence was jarring, and for the first time in many years, I was alone in my mind again.

With a heavy heart, I realized what I had to do. There was no point in putting off the inevitable any longer. I walked to Morgan’s room, prepared to say goodbye.

“Merlin, there you are,” Morgan smiled. “I almost thought you weren’t coming today.”

“I’m sorry, Morgan, but there’s something important I have to tell you,” I said.

“Merlin? What’s wrong?” Morgan asked, her smile fading. “I’ve never seen you like this.”

I looked at Morgan, struggling to find the words. “…I have nothing left to teach you, Morgan,” I finally admitted.

Morgan’s eyes widened as she heard the new. “No, that can’t be right.” She shook her head in denial. “There must be some spell or potion left to learn!”

“There isn’t,” I said, gently. “I should have told you weeks ago, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I have to leave. I’m sorry.”

“Where will you go?” Morgan asked, her voice cracking.

“I have enough gold now to open my shop. I suppose I’ll find a parcel of land somewhere,” I said, but the words felt hollow, even to me. It wasn’t truly what I wanted anymore.

“Then I will ask father to give you a parcel of land here,” Morgan smiled in triumph. “You don’t have to leave.”

“Your father asked that I leave Tintagel after you complete your training,” I explained sadly.

“What? Why?” Morgan demanded. “You must have misheard him. I’ll speak to him and straighten this out.” She said, turning to leave.

“No,” I said, taking her hand. “The longer I stay here, the more suspicious it becomes. The townspeople are already talking. It’s only a matter of time before someone draws the wrong conclusion.”

“What are they saying?” Morgan demanded.

“They say that I’m not here as your teacher…” Merlin trailed off, unable to finish his sentence.

“I don’t understand,” Morgan said. “What do they think you have been doing this past year?”

“…They say… that I’m your lover,” I said, blushing.

“Oh,” Morgan said, her eyes widening in realization. Then she looked down at her hand, still firmly in my grip.

I looked down, following her gaze, finally realizing how close we were standing. I quickly released her hand and took a step back. “Sorry,” I mumbled, looking away.

There was a long moment of silence between us as we considered our position.

“Merlin?” Morgan asked, taking a step closer and grasping my hand again.

My eyes met Morgan’s, and the rest of the world seemed to fade away. She had the most remarkable eyes, a deep green that I had lost himself in on more than one occasion.

“Yes, Morgan?” I asked.

Morgan pressed her lips to mine in a soft and gentle kiss.

I hope you enjoyed the latest chapter. Rita’s investigation is underway, and Harry, Draco, Hermione and Ron, are starting to get on the same page. What did you think of Morgan’s introduction? How are you liking Merlin’s backstory so far?

Thank you for supporting me,


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