You are currently viewing The Legacy of Merlin Chapter Fourteen

The Legacy of Merlin Chapter Fourteen

Lily Potter didn’t know what to do. When James returned from his meeting with Albus, something was clearly wrong, but he wouldn’t tell her what it was, no matter how many times she asked. 

He had locked himself away in his study for days, not even coming out to sleep, the house-elves even had to bring him his meals. Neither she nor Glory had seen him in such a state before.

After the fourth day and no change, Lily called Albus. “Professor, I need to speak to you. It’s urgent,” she said into the fireplace.

“Lily?” Albus asked in surprise. “I take it James said nothing to you?” He couldn’t say he was surprised.

“No, he locked himself away in his study for the last four day days,” Lily replied. “I’m worried Albus, what’s happened?”

“Alright, come through,” Albus instructed.

“Please Albus, tell me what’s going on,” Lily pleaded.

Without answering, Albus handed her the same newspaper he had handed James before.

Lily looked at the article in confusion, her eyes growing wide as she read through it. “This can’t be true,” she said as she finished reading it. “It must be some kind of mistake. James would never put us at risk like this.”

“It’s all true,” Albus denied.

“What’s going to happen?” Lily asked.

“There are already discussions amongst Wizengamot members,” Albus revealed. “His election tampering, the coverup. None of them like scandals, and our political rivals have been waiting for an opportunity like this for a long time.”

“You have to stop it,” Lily pleaded. “As the Supreme Mugwump, you can end this before it even gets started. There must be some favors you can call in.”

“I will not stop it Lily,” Albus shook his head. “I have been cleaning up your husband’s messes for far too long already, and I’m tired of it.”

“You made promises to me,” Lily hissed. “I didn’t even want to marry him, but YOU were the one that convinced me to. You owe me this,” she demanded.

“And didn’t you get everything I promised you?” Albus asked. “A rich husband? Living in the lap of luxury? Fancy parties? What exactly did I promise you that you didn’t receive?”

“It wasn’t supposed to end,” Lily shook her head. “What am I supposed to do if he ends up in Azkaban, or worse? Glory and I could end up on the streets,” Lily retorted.

“Where was all this concern during your fifteen years of marriage?” Albus asked. “You knew exactly what he was when you married him, and you did nothing to fix it.”

Lily took a deep breath to get ahold of herself. Getting into a fight with Albus now would only make things worse for her.

“I told you to marry him so that you would temper his actions, get him to think before he does something he will regret. That was your job!” Albus accused. “But you were so enamored with your new life you forgot everything else!”

“… You’re right,” Lily sighed. At first she thought he would mature as he got older, but it didn’t happen. After a few years of trying, it just became easier to ignore. “What is the Wizengamot going to do?”

“It is still being discussed, but there will be a fine, and the Potter family will be ejected from the Wizengamot,” Albus revealed. “There is also the possibility of him being sent to Azkaban, it largely depends on what other information Fudge chooses to reveal.”

“But… the Potters have been on the Wizengamot for more than a thousand years.… They can’t just do this, can they?” Lily asked in shock. 

“No member of the Wizengamot has acted so brazenly as to attack a candidate for the office of Minister for Magic before,” Albus reminded her. “He has embarrassed the families, and more than that, sent a message to the wizarding public that the Wizengamot is above the law. He has forced their hand.”

“What are we supposed to do?” Lily asked, feeling faint. 

“If you haven’t already you need to find a good solicitor,” Albus replied. “Get him and your daughter under control, because things can certainly get worse.” Albus advised. “The Wizengamot will take a very dim view of any more scandals.”

Lily nodded as she stepped back through the fireplace for a long overdue conversation with her husband.

“James?” Lily said as she knocked on the door to Jame’s study. “Open the door. We need to talk.”

“I’m busy Lily, just come back later,” James said through the door.

“I talked to Albus, James. He told me everything. Open the door,” Lily demanded.

There was a long silence after that, then she could hear James pacing back and forth behind the door. 

“Open the door James,” Lily repeated.

After another long pause, the door finally clicked open, and Lily saw the face of her disheveled husband. He said nothing as he stepped back, allowing her inside.

Lily looked around the study. Various books littered every surface. Sheets of paper haphazardly strewn across his desk with scribbled notes.

“Albus told me about Fudge and his wife,” Lily revealed.

James let out a long sigh. “… I didn’t. It wasn’t supposed to happen like that,” James tried to explain. “It was just supposed to scare him off.”

“No,” Lily said, marching up to James, taking his face in her hands. “Do not do that.”

“What?” James asked in confusion.

“Fudge is nothing!” Lily replied. “He is not from a founding family of the Wizengamot, he is just a politician. They come and go, and are forgotten just as easily.”

“Then you’re not upset… about what I did?” James asked.

“What I’m upset about is that you kept all of this from me, and that you got caught,” Lily clarified. “From now on, no more secrets. You need to tell me everything. We need to work together.”

“Alright,” James nodded, a little relieved that he wouldn’t have to fight with Lily about this, on top of everything else.  

“Albus told me that there’s going to be a hearing in front of the Wizengamot. They’re going to take the Potter seat away, and they’re still deciding if they should send you to Azkaaban ” Lily answered.

“What?” James asked in shock. “They’ve never done something like that before… never.”

“We need to hire a solicitor,” Lily replied. “And figure out how to fight this.”

~***~

Harry was in the living room of his suite, doing pushups. Because of the situation with Dumbledore, it wasn’t safe for him to leave the bank, at least until Ted addressed the issue.

After the 50th pushup he stood up, wiped the sweat from his brow with a towel, then switched to doing sit ups. The progress was slower now. He no longer had the nutritional potions boosting his recovery, but they had helped immensely during the first few days.

He was a couple of inches taller, his endurance had improved, as well as his overall strength. ‘Thanks Ben,’ Harry thought as he finished up.

“Harry, it’s Ted,” He knocked on the door.

“I’ve sent the letter to Dumbledore informing him that I’m your new solicitor,” Ted said as Harry let him into the suite. “Any communication he has with you, not related directly to your education, must go through me from now on.”

“That’s a relief,” Harry sighed. “Does that mean it’s safe to go outside the bank?”

“Yes, but if you run into any trouble, use your Gringott’s card to return here, and then contact me right away,” Ted advised.

“I’ve also finalized the candidates for the Harry Potter Scholarship Fund. Have a look,” he said as he handed Harry the folder.

Harry looked through the list of names. 

Wayne Hopkins, parents unknown, and grew up in the orphanage, believed to be half blood. 

Sally Perks, child of half blood on her mother’s side, and muggle born on her father’s side. Both parents died during the war, lives with her aunt in the muggle world.  

Oliver Rivers, child of two muggle born who died during the war. Living in the orphanage since the age of one.

“It looks like they all had hard lives,” Harry said as he put the file down. He had known about the war growing up, but no one had ever talked about the people that died. It was a sobering thought that so many people had lost their families.

“Well, they were pretty excited when they found out about the scholarship. Until now, going to Hogwarts was just a dream for them,” Ted smiled. 

“There must be other scholarships, though,” Harry said in confusion.

“There are a few,” Ted agreed. “But they also have a lot of rules that prevent most children from applying.”

“What do you mean?” Harry asked, confused. “Why set up a scholarship that no one can get?”

“Not no one, just very few,” Ted clarified. “There is usually a test on magical theory, although most third years would find it difficult, let alone a child with no formal magical training, and an interview process to reduce the candidates ever further.” 

“It’s a way for the wealthy pureblood families to claim a tax write off. So long as they grant at least one scholarship every ten years, they can continue to offer them.”

“And the Ministry does nothing to stop this?” Harry asked in surprise.

“The Ministry doesn’t have the power to. They only propose the bills, but it’s up to the Wizengamot to ultimately vote for them and make them law. Any attempt to update the law will be dead on arrival. It’s far too lucrative for the families,” Ted explained.

“That actually brings me to the other thing I wanted to discuss with you. Now that I’m your solicitor of record, I receive meeting requests on your behalf, and the Minister for Magic would like to speak with you.” Ted said.

“Did he say what it was about?” Harry asked, curiously. Did Dumbledore follow through on his threats?

“He said that he would like to discuss the Vault with you. From what I gathered, it doesn’t seem to be about your wand,” Ted added.

“When does he want to speak to me?” Harry asked.

“Today, if possible,” Ted answered. “I will accompany you to make sure everything is above board.”

“Alright,” Harry agreed. 

~***~

Harry and Ted walked into the Minister’s office to find both Minister Fudge and Saul Croaker waiting for them.

“Hello Harry, Mr. Tonks, thank you for coming on such short notice,” Cornelius said as he stood up, shaking each of their hands. 

“Of course Minister,” Ted replied. 

“This is Saul Croaker, Head of the Department of Mysteries,” Fudge introduced.

“Harry, there’s something else I wanted to show you as well,” Fudge said as he handed him the newspaper.

Harry took the newspaper, noticing it was not the prophet, but a French newspaper. His eyes grew wide as he read through the headline.

Even knowing what he did about his father, it was still a surprise to read. “I… I didn’t know anything about this.”

“It’s alright Harry,” Fudge patted him on the shoulder.. “I didn’t expect you would have.”

“Your father will be brought in front of the Wizengamot in the next few days to answer for his actions,” Fudge continued. “I wanted to make sure you were aware of what was happening, especially considering your recent charitable actions.” He said, referring to the scholarship program. “When the paperwork came across my desk, I approved it right away.”

“Thank you Minister,” Harry said politely. 

“You’re welcome Harry,” Cornelius smiled. “And for the record, what you’re doing is commendable. Those children will have a much better life, thanks to you,” he praised. ‘And perhaps it will even shame some of the families into doing the same,’ he thought privately.

Harry blushed at the compliment. He wasn’t used to being thanked by anyone.

“Minister Fudge, I was hoping to speak to you about that,” Ted cut in, not wanting to let this opportunity slip through his fingers. “To give these children the best chance to succeed, a summer internship at the Ministry could be invaluable.”

“Hmm,” Fudge pretended to think about it for a moment. He knew exactly what Tonks was offering. A chance for him to get some good publicity while also giving the children some valuable work experience.

“That sounds interesting Mr. Tonks. I’ll tell you what. By let’s say… February, if they can show they are taking their studies seriously, send me an owl with what Ministry Department they’re interested in, and I’ll arrange for an internship. I’ll even make it paid, so they have a little spending money for their second year,” Fudge offered.

“Thank you Minister,” Ted smiled. “I’m sure they’ll jump at an opportunity like that.”

“Harry, there was also another reason I wanted to speak to you,” Fudge said. “It’s about the vault.”

“What about the vault?” Harry asked, worried that he had somehow found out about his wand.

“We’re not able to remove anything from the vault,” Fudge explained. “We hoped that you would have some insights for us on why that is.”

“Harry, ask him to take you to the vault,” Merlin said urgently. “It’s not what they think it is.”

‘What do you mean?’ Harry thought back.

“The vault is dangerous. They can’t remove anything from it. Tell him you need to see it.” Merlin urged.

“Alright, can we go there now?” Harry asked.

“Certainly,” Saul said, speaking up for the first time. “We’ve had it moved to the department of mysteries.”

A few minutes later and an elevator ride down to sub-basement nine, Cornelius, Saul, Harry and Ted stood in front of Merlin’s vault. 

A team of Unspeakables were already waiting for them, examining the contents of the vault and the door itself.

“Tell them to get out of the vault. You need to step in alone,” Merlin instructed.

“Minister Fudge?” Harry asked. “I think I need to step inside the vault alone.”

“Alone?” Fudge asked. “Why is that?” 

“I think the vault became linked to me after I solved the cyphers,” Harry explained. “I don’t think it will do anything if someone else is inside with me.”

“Saul?” Fudge asked. “What do you think?”

“We’ve tried everything else, Minister.” Saul replied.

“Is it safe?” Fudge asked.

“Most likely, if something dangerous was going to happen, it would have already.”

“…Alright Harry, it’s your decision,” Cornelius said as Saul motioned for the unspeakables to step out.

Harry took a deep breath and stepped inside. A moment later, an energy field expanded to cover the door.

“Do you see that large tomb on the pedestal?” Merlin asked.

Harry nodded. “Yes, that’s your journal, right?”

“Read it,” Merlin instructed. 

Harry walked up to the tomb on the pedestal and read. “… It’s a ritual to increase magical power.” Harry’s eyes widened. “This can’t be real. Why would you have something like this? It’s vile.” Harry said, disgusted.

“You could become powerful, more powerful than any of our other incarnations,” Merlin tempted. 

“No,” Harry shook his head adamantly. “Not like this. No power is worth this.”

“Good,” Merlin said simply. “You passed.”

“What? Was this a test?” Harry asked angrily. “What would you have done if I didn’t pass?” Harry asked.

“I would have allowed you to perform the ritual,” Merlin answered.

“This ritual is real?” Harry asked, aghast. “You would have let me sacrifice children?”

“It’s real,” Merlin confirmed. “If you sacrifice the lives of 10 magical children with that ritual, you can take their magic, but what it doesn’t tell you is that it is a cursed life.”

“Everyone that you meet will feel that taint on your soul. They won’t truly understand what they feel, but they will know you are the cause.”

“Everyone that performed this ritual was hunted down and eventually killed. It was only a matter of time,” Merlin explained.

“I thought you were supposed to help me,” Harry said in shock.

“That is what you need to understand, Harry. If you decide to do something terrible, I can’t stop you. I’m just a voice in your head that will teach you what I have learned. Everything you decide to do with that knowledge is your decision and your responsibility.” 

“How many more of your ‘tests’ do I have to look forward to?” Harry asked, unamused.

“Harry, this was not my test. One of our earlier incarnations conceived it. It happened so long ago that I don’t even know which incarnation it was.” 

“What?” Harry exclaimed. “Why didn’t you tell me this before?”

“Harry, this vault isn’t just my tomb. It also contains some of the most dangerous magical items in the world,” Merlin explained. “Before I told you any of this, I had to know what you would do.”

“There are rituals and magical items here that can summon the undead, demons, even spells capable of killing millions,” Merlin explained. “No one, under any circumstances, can use these items.”

“What do we do now?” Harry asked. “The Minister is expecting us to help him get into the vault.”

“He understood how dangerous atoms are after you explained it to him,” Merlin replied. “I suggest you tell him what this vault contains, and why it can never be allowed to fall into the wrong hands.”

“And if he doesn’t agree?” Harry asked.

“Don’t give him a choice. Close the vault door. Even though they know the answers to the cyphers, it will only open for you now.”

“And the sword?” Harry asked, changing the subject. “When I saw it the first time, I thought it was Excalibur.” 

“No, after Arthur died, the sword was returned to Nimue. This is something else, something worse,” Merlin answered vaguely.

“What is it then?” Harry asked.

“… It is called the Ebony Blade, and it will corrupt anyone that attempts to wield it,” Merlin finally answered.

Harry took one last look around before stepping out, willing the door to close behind him.

The unspeakables looked up, alarmed, as the door closed behind Harry. They ran, trying to pull the door open, but despite their best efforts, the door remained closed.

“What happened, Harry?” Cornelius asked. “Can you open the door again?”

Harry shook his head. “No… Is there somewhere private we can talk? We can’t let anyone back in there.”

“There had better be a good explanation for this,” Fudge said as he led them into Saul’s office and closed the door.

“Can you check if there’s any spying spells?” Harry asked.

Saul Croker waved his wand, muttering a few spells under his breath. “It’s clean.”

“… We were all wrong about the vault,” Harry explained. “It isn’t just Merlin’s final resting place, or his personal library… it’s a tomb meant to store things that were never meant to see the light of day.”

“What are you talking about, Harry? How could you possibly know that?” Cornelius demanded.

“The book in the middle of the vault. I thought it was Merlin’s journal. When I read it, I found a ritual that lets you steal magic,” Harry explained.

“Steal Magic?” Saul asked skeptically. “I have run this department for over 30 years, Mr. Potter, and I can assure you, no such ritual exists. Magic can’t just be stolen.”

“You’re wrong,” Harry denied. “I saw the ritual. It exists.”

“Then why, in the entire history of the Department of Mysteries, have we never come across a shred of evidence that such magic exists?” Saul asked.

“Merlin destroyed every copy of that vile ritual except the one in the vault,” Harry explained.

“If it was as bad as you say, why wouldn’t Merlin have destroyed all the copies?” Cornelius asked.

“Witches and wizards created these rituals,” Harry explained. “There is always a chance they could re-discover them. If they ever do, the books will also show how to stop them.”

“And the rest of the items, the sword?” Cornelius asked. 

“All of it,” Harry replied. “Spells, rituals, magical items. They will only bring death and destruction.”

“Then why put all the writing on it? The cyphers? What was the point of that?” Cornelius asked.

“Merlin knew there were more items like this out there, and that someone would need to carry on his work,” Harry explained.

“So all of this was to find a new caretaker?” Saul asked. “You’re asking us to accept a lot, without any proof.”

Harry exhaled slowly. Mr. Croaker had a point. What could he say?

“You don’t have a choice,” Ted piped up. “You allowed my client to enter the vault. He removed nothing from it, and it is all still in your possession. He is under no obligation to help you further.”

“He closed the door behind him,” Saul denied. “Because of him, we no longer have access to the vault either. He has effectively taken the items from our possession.”

“For good reason, Merlin himself said those items are too dangerous. What could you possibly gain from studying them that would out way the obvious risks? How could you possibly guard those items better than they are now?” Ted demanded.

“We only have Mr. Potter’s word on that,” Saul pointed out.

“And why is his word not good enough?” Ted asked as the exchange got more heated. “He was the one that solved the vault in the first place, and from what I see, he is the only one showing any genuine concern for the safety of the wizarding public!”

“Alright, Alright,” Fudge interrupted, clearly able to see how quickly things were escalating. “Let’s all just take a breath.”

“I have no reason to doubt Harry’s words. It makes sense, and the risks far outweigh the gains, as Mr. Tonks pointed out. I’ll have to figure out something to tell the press, but no one is going to force you to open the Vault Harry,” Fudge said as he looked pointedly at Saul.

“Why don’t we discuss things in my office,” Cornelius suggested as he led Harry and Ted out, leaving an annoyed Saul Croaker behind.

“I have to apologize for Saul,” Cornelius said as he closed the door. “Him… all the unspeakables really… they’ve always been more interested in studying things than asking themselves if they should.”

“What are you going to tell everyone?” Harry asked. 

“That the vault contained some powerful magical items, and until such time that we can identify exactly what they are, and what they do, it is not safe for the public to view them,” Fudge explained.

“You’re taking this surprisingly well,” Ted observed.

“This isn’t the first time the Ministry has had to deal with a dangerous magical artifact,” Fudge explained. “Certainly nothing this his profile though, and there will be quite a few people who are unhappy about it.”

“Maybe you can help me with that, Harry,” Cornelius asked.

“Help? What did you have in mind?” Ted asked shrewdly.

“The press is still very much focused on the Vault, and the best way to distract them is to give them a few other stories to focus on,” Cornelius explained.

“The scholarship you created is admirable, Harry, the thing the public loves to hear about. How would you feel about another interview? Perhaps after your first week at Hogwarts?” Fudge asked.

Harry didn’t really like the idea of giving interviews, but the Minister had done him a huge favor. “Alright, I guess I can do that.”

“That’s great Harry,” Cornelius smiled. “Who knows? Maybe you’ll inspire a few other people to follow your example.”

“… Actually, now that I think about it,” Cornelius paused. “How would you feel about attending the Ministry Christmas Ball? You can even bring the children you sponsored. The press will obviously be in attendance and it will get you some more good publicity.”

“That would be wonderful,” Ted interrupted when he noticed the reluctance on Harry’s face. “We would be happy to attend.”

“Wonderful,” Cornelius smiled as he shook each of their hands. “I’ll be in touch with the details, Harry, but if you’ll excuse me, there are some meetings I have to get to.”

“Of course, thank you for your time, Minister,” Ted said as he led Harry out.

“I don’t really want to attend the Christmas Ball,” Harry said when they stepped out of the Minister’s office. 

“Harry,” Ted replied. “Part of my job is managing your public image, because like it or not, you’re a public figure now. If you are not in front of the press regularly controlling the narrative, someone else will decide how the public sees you.”

Harry sighed as he thought about what Ted had told him. There was so much on his plate already. Could he really afford to split his attention between this and his training?


Thanks very much for reading. I wanted this chapter to give some more insight into Lily’s character, and how she turned out the way she did. The question now is how will her influence affect James and the story going forward?

How do you feel about the revelations about the vault? I came up with the idea fairly recently, and thought it was a good way to set up some future storylines.

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