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Albion's Darkest Hour

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Dear Dumbledore,

                It has come to my attention that you are in need of a temporary teacher for the class Care of Magical Creatures.  I would like to apply for the job no doubt you are wondering about me seeing as how I did not attend Hogwarts. To spare you the trouble of checking I also did not attend Durmstrang Institute or Beauxbatons Academy of Magic. I was taught magic by my uncle outside of any schools.

                Due to my uncle’s life style I have been in the position to both meet and wok with many magical creatures.

                I understand any reluctance you may have to hire a man from just a letter which is why I would like to schedule an interview of sorts if I may. Please, if possible send me correspondence via owl.


Marvin Emrys

Merlin rubbed his cramping hand as he read through the letter. Sighing he decided it was bound to make Dumbledore suspicious but it was the best that he could do at the time. If Dumbledore was seriously worried he’d speak to the portraits of the founders and by choosing an alias that had the name Emrys he’d practically guaranteed they’d urge Dumbledore to give him the position he wanted.

                After one more read through Merlin enclosed the letter in an envelope which he sealed with was and spelled so that only Dumbledore could open it. Then Merlin whispered in the language of the old religion and his eyes flashed golden as the envelope rushed out of the window towards Hogwarts.

                Merlin stood up and went to the window to watch the letter disappear. His thoughts took him back in time, back to Camelot. It’d been so very long since he’d last seen Arthur and soon he’d be returning. That was the only reason Merlin was integrating himself into Hogwarts. He could sense that Arthur was on the verge of returning and that he’d have to be in a position to help. What better way to do that then to gather information at the very school of the boy connected to Voldemort? Of course he was also going because the Old Religion wanted him to, Merlin wasn’t foolish enough to believe that the decision was his alone, not when he could feel the magic pounding through his body.


Chapter Text

Merlin snatched the note off of the brown owl’s leg and carefully read through the letter Dumbledore had sent him.

Dear Mister Emrys,

While I cannot guarantee any sort of position for you it would be my pleasure to meet. Even if you don’t receive the job it would be fascinating to discuss your training in magic. If possible please apparate to the Three Broomsticks on Saturday at 3:00. My associate Professor Snape will meet you and escort you to Hogwarts.

With Regards,

Albus Dumbledore

A quick glance up at the clock revealed that Merlin was due to meet Snape in five minutes. Quickly the ancient warlock scrambled for his cloak and the stick the used as a wand. Once he had everything he needed he called out the words used by the Old Religion for teleportation, “Diflannu yma, ailymddangos yno.

Merlin landed outside of the Three Broomsticks right as Professor Snape reached the door. Before he could enter the establishment Merlin called out, “Hello, I’m Marvin Emrys are you the professor Dumbledore sent to fetch me?”

Even as he stretched out his hand in greeting Snape reached little tendrils out to the young looking man’s mind. However the legilimency was stopped by a very powerful wall of magic.

As Severus’s magic recoiled and they began their trek back up to the castle Snape said, “You have very powerful magic for someone so young.”

Merlin smirked both because he was being called young and because he had felt Snape trying to enter his mind, “you mean my Occlumency?” He asked. “Well, I do my best.”

The head of the Slytherin house glared at him and said, “Yes I see. Tell me who the uncle that trained you was?”

Fortunately Merlin was saved from answering by their arrival at Hogwarts. As Merlin and Snape stepped foot into the castle the Bloody Baron appeared and stated, “I shall guide Master Emrys from here.”

Stunned Snape stood there quietly as Merlin and the Baron left him trying to form a coherent thought.

Merlin looked at the ghost floating besides him as it asked, “Still going by Emrys then?”

The Warlock just grinned and told the baron, “I did say I’d never change that part of my name didn’t I.”

The Bloody Baron Chuckled and asked, “Do you want me to spread word not to speak of you? There are some new ghosts and portraits since the last time you were here.

As they reached the gargoyles of Dumbledore’s office the dark haired man said, “Thank you. Who knows maybe this year I’ll tell you who I am for your efforts.”

The Bloody Baron said the password to the study before telling Merlin dryly, “That’ll be the day.”

Once the Bloody Baron floated off Merlin heard Dumbledore say, “What a curious display. The Baron has never shown such interest in anyone to come to Hogwarts.”

“Perhaps he was curious as to what house I would’ve been in?” Merlin said batting his eyes innocently. “He never did get around to telling me what his point was.”

Dumbledore observed the Merlin’s face and said, “Yes maybe,” As the corners of his eyes wrinkled with mirth. He found that the young man’s grin put him at ease despite still being wary of the stranger.

Merlin took a seat on the opposite side of Dumbledore’s desk and held out a hand to shake, “Marvin Emrys at your service.”

The headmaster shook his hand and introduced himself as well, “Albus Dumbledore. Now if U may ask, why do you want to be the teacher for Care of Magical Creatures?”

That was when Merlin realized that he should’ve planned how to answer these questions and internally berated himself; he was almost 1500 years old and still as careless as ever. Since he had no lies prepared Merlin decided to tell a half truth.

“Well normally I’d go for the Defense Against Dark Arts post but I have a feeling that whoever you end up hiring is going to be here for a reason.” Merlin stopped himself from speaking knowing that if he said more the headmaster would become even more suspicious.

As curious as he was by the boy’s statement Dumbledore decided not to question him any more about it instead asking, “Could you tell me more about your experience with magical creatures?”

Merlin’s face lit up and he said,”Oh yes! I actually just came from a job at a dragon reserve in Romania. I rather liked my partner there, a man named Charlie Weasley but it was time for me to go. I think that if I stayed any longer I may have ended hexing my boss,” Merlin paused for a breath thinking that it was true but not the real reason he’d left. “Anyways before my uncle died and I went to work there we traveled quite a bit and I encountered several magic creatures in their natural habitats.”

Dumbledore watched the other man’s face light up as he spoke of the animals he’d met and knew that he wanted to hire Marvin. However there were a few questions he needed to ask first and he needed to check up on the boy’s story.

“Your uncle, what was his name?” the headmaster asked.

Fortunately Merlin had been using this alias for a while and already had set up the name of his last alias as his uncle. “Myridian Emrys.”

“I think I’ve heard that name before,” Dumbledore said stroking his beard thoughtfully.

Merlin cringed as he remembered those past years and the dark place he’d been at the time.  To pull himself together and get out of his funk he had ended up writing a book with true Arthurian history. The wizard society had scorned the book, not willing to accept anything that might tarnish their hero’s, Merlin’s reputation.

Before Merlin could speak, Dumbledore clapped his hands once and said, “Ahh I remember now. He wrote “The True Life or Merlin” did he not?”

“Yes, he did, Uncle Myridian was a bit eccentric like that.” Merlin told him.

“Come on now don’t put your uncle down. I liked his book.” Dumbledore watch Merlin’s face closely trying to understand the hint of humor he had seen there.

“Trust me I did to,” Merlin told him. “The man himself was still odd though.”

Suddenly a gong rang throughout the room and Dumbledore stood. “I’m afraid I must go.” He said to Merlin. “It was a pleasure to meet you Marvin I’ll send you an owl tomorrow about whether or not you got the job.”

“Of course the pleasure was all mine.” Merlin stated as he probed the power of the man before him, it never hurt to be cautious he reasoned with himself.

Dumbledore walked Merlin to the door of his study and said, “If you get lost feel free to ask any of the portraits or ghosts for directions.”

“I will.” Merlin promised smiling; he probably knew the castle better than any of them.

Once Merlin was gone Dumbledore turned to the portraits hanging on the walls and asked, “So what do you think?”

To his surprise all of them remained silent except for the founders who chorused together, “Hire him.”



Chapter Text

It had been a month since Merlin had met with Dumbledore and been given a job at Hogwarts; however it wasn’t until today that he started. Merlin looked at his clock and cursed, it was almost time for him to be on the Hogwarts Express.
Quickly Merlin gathered his bags and made sure his stick was in his pocket then he muttered a few words and landed in the front car of Hogwarts express. The rough landing jarred his bones and as he crawled onto a seat he cheerfully told himself, “I must be getting old.”
“You are older than you look,” a voice said and Merlin saw a girl with blond hair and a necklace made of butterbeer caps
To say that Merlin was startled was an understatement and it was only because he had years of practice at lying that he kept his cheerful grin as he said, “You’re not wrong. Everybody thinks I’m twenty but I’m actually twenty six. I’m Marvin Emrys what’s your name?”
The girl gave a dazed smile and said, “I’m Luna Lovegood but everyone calls me Loony Lovegood. Anyway I better go before the Nargles come.”
Before Merlin could ask what she meant Luna left the compartment. Only a few minutes later he was greeted by a little Villia from the lake they were passing. Looking down at the creature’s bluish skin he realized that Luna had sensed it coming and simply called it by a different name. She could see clearer than most and Merlin would definitely keep an eye on her.
Soon Merlin sent the little thing away and went over his check list in his mind. He was pretty sure he had everything but if he was missing something he could just summon it to his room later.
When the train stopped Merlin recalled that it was his job to usher the first years across the lake and he jumped out of the train sprinting to the boat.
“First years,” He bellowed, “First years over here.”
By the time Merlin had rounded up all of the first years the carriages with the older students had already left. Knowing that the feast wouldn’t start until the first years had been sorted Merlin made sure that the trip across the lake went as quickly as possible. After handing the young student off to Professor McGonagall Merlin hurried to his seat eager to watch the sorting. It would be nice to see which of his old friends the student took after.
Then the sorting hat began its new song:

In the times of old when I was new
And Hogwarts barely started
The founders of our noble school
Thought never to be parted:
United by a common goal,
They had the same self yearning,
To make the world’s best magic school
And pass along their learning.
“Together we will build and teach,”
The five good friends decided
And never did they dare to dream
That they might someday be divided
For were there such friends anywhere
As Slytherin and Gryffindor
Unless it was the second pair
Of Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw
The Mentor of course was there for them all.
How could such friendships fail?
Why I was there, so I can tell
The whole sad sorry tale
Said Slytherin, “We’ll teach just those who are cleverest,”
Said Ravenclaw, “We’ll teach just those whose intelligence is surest,”
Said Gryffindor, “We’ll teach all those with brave deeds to their name,”
Said Hufflepuff, “I’ll teach the lot,
And treat them just the same.”
The Mentor said, “No house for me
Are you bloody mad?”
These differences caused little strife
When first they came to light
For most of the five founders had
A house in which they might
Take only those they wanted, so,
For instance Slytherin
Took only those wizards
Of great cunning just like him,
And only those of sharpest mind
Were taught by Ravenclaw
While the bravest and the boldest
Went to daring Gryffindor
Good Hufflepuff, she took the rest
And taught them all she knew.
Thus the houses and their founders
And of course the Mentor too,
Maintained friendships firm and true
So Hogwarts worked in harmony for several happy years
But then discord crept among us
Feeding on our faults and fears.
The Discord came when the mentor left
After many years
The houses that like pillars four
Had once held up our school
Now turned upon each other
And divided sought to rule.
And for a while it seemed the school
Must meet an early end.
What with dueling fighting and
The clash of friend on friend
At last there came a morning
When old Slytherin deported
And though the fighting then died out
He left us quite down hearted
And never since the founders five
Were whittled down to three
Have the house been united
As they once were meant to be
And now the sorting hat is here and you all know the score
I sort you into houses because that is what I’m for
But this year I’ll go farther
Listen closely to my song
Though condemned I am to split you
Still I worry that its wrong
Though I must fulfill my duty and quarter every year
Still I wonder whether sorting may not bring the end I fear
Oh, know the perils, read the signs, the warning history shows
For our Hogwarts is in danger from external deadly foes.
Though we may be protected, both you and me
He really is quite busy and there is no guarantee
So we must unite inside the school or we’ll crumble from within
I have told you I have warned you
Let the sorting now begin.

Everyone in the room appeared to be frozen trying to understand what the hat had said. Then before McGonagall could call out the first name and start the sorting students everywhere began to talk over one another. Merlin heard snippets such as, “What’s this fifth founder rubbish,” and “Has the hat given warnings before.” The warlock opted to ignore all of these conversations for a much more interesting one between him and the sorting hat.
“What was that?” Merlin shouted at the hat mentally, similar to the way druids used to communicate.
“What was what?” The Sorting Hat replied appearing innocent enough.
“You know exactly what I mean!” Merlin growled, “no one was to know the founders had help, now all of Hogwarts does!”
However their conversation was interrupted when Professor McGonagall regained control of the room and called up the first boy to be sorted. Merlin clapped politely for every child to be sorted but his mind was elsewhere and it wasn’t until Dumbledore stood to announce that it was time to eat that he came back to the world around him.
Merlin dug into the food with a gusto that earned him looks of disgust from Umbridge who he mentally referred to as the pink toad. Once Merlin had finished with his meal he pushed his plate away and began to investigate Umbridge’s magic which he found to be weak and paltry.
Thankfully at that moment Dumbledore stood and Merlin didn’t have to find something else to entertain himself. Instead he listened without much interest until he reached the part where the new Defense against Dark Arts teacher would be announced.
“We’ve had two changes in staffing this year,” The old wizard announced. “We are very pleased to welcome Professor Emrys, who will be teaching Care of Magical Creature lessons; we are also delighted to introduce our new DDA teacher Professor Umbridge.”
Upon seeing Umbridge’s toad like smile at the announcement Merlin groaned, he could already tell that she would be an unwelcome annoyance.

Chapter Text

Once Dumbledore had finished his speech with the only interruption being Umbridge the students began to file out and Merlin stood to follow. It was then that he realized he had never asked Professor McGonagall to show him to his room.

The warlock slowly navigated through other teachers until he happened upon the transfiguration professor. Then he tapped her shoulder causing her to spin around quickly looking rather irritated.

“I’m Marvin Emrys.” He introduced himself shoving a hand into her face.

McGonagall shook his hand and said, “Minerva McGonagall pleasure to meet you. I suppose you’d like to see your room now.”

“It can wait if you aren’t done here,” Merlin said gesturing to Flitwick with whom she’d been speaking to when he’d arrived. 

The two exchanged significant looks which he knew meant they didn’t trust him enough to continue their conversation in front of him. Finally, McGonagall said, “No we were just finished here. Also I’m sure your trip has exhausted you.”

Minerva McGonagall led the way and soon Merlin found himself in front of a portrait of a half constructed Hogwarts from so very long ago. The warlock smiled lovingly at the painting that he could still remember having commissioned and turned to the woman besides him.

“The current password is vord rolett in order to change it just tap the back of the painting three times with your wand and state your new one.”

As she said the password the portrait swung open revealing an entrance.

“Thank you Minerva.” Merlin said as he stepped into his room. As he turned to leave Merlin decided to risk drawing even more attention to himself by asking, “Do you happen to know what the sorting hat was talking about back there?”

McGonagall froze for a minute before saying, “You mean that stuff about a fifth founder? No clue, do you know?””

Merlin grinned a little at her deflection and replied, “Well I imagine that bit means there was a fifth founder. What I was asking about was the part about deadly foes and being protected.”

“Voldemort has risen I imagine most would consider him a deadly foe,” She replied before stalking off.

Turning to the portrait Merlin called the man in charge of construction to the front. It was a short stout man named Henry that Merlin remembered well from the time of the founders.

“Ahh Mason” the man yelled exuberantly, “I’ve missed you.”

“Hush old friend,” Merlin insisted, “It’s Marvin now and we’ve never met.”

“Fine,” The painting grumbled before asking, “What did you want then?”

“As you know I haven’t got an actual wand so I was wondering if you would change the password for me.” Inquired Merlin.

“Sure, what’ll it be this time?” Henry said.

“Aithusa,” Merlin told him. “Maybe it will remind me to check up on her. We haven’t been in contact since I left Romania.”

“Aithusa it is then.” The magical painting told him before gently closing him in his room.

                Merlin began to unpack his belongings by hand having missed the muggle way of doing things. The physical toll had a relaxing affect on the warlock. Once Merlin had everything where it belonged he made his way towards the great hall.

                Upon arrival Merlin was delighted to find the room empty except for the occasional house elf, all of whom gave Merlin the upmost respect. Ignoring the bowing elves Merlin placed his hands on the cold stone floor and began to chant.

                “Wardiau o Hogwarts cryfhau, adeilad fod yn gryf.”Merlin finished the incantation and pulled his glowing, golden hands off of the floor.

                As Merlin started down the hall to his next destination he began to test the new and improved wards he had set for Hogwarts. Upon finding them satisfactory Merlin repeated the same process at the schools highest point, the astronomy tower, and began to make his way to the lowest point, Snape’s classroom in the dungeon. That would be the last place the wards updates required him to go and then he could return to his room.

However before Merlin could reach his goal a cold hard voice interrupted him, “Mr. Emrys what are you doing down here at this hour?”   

                “Hello Severus,” Merlin said even as he checked on his occlulmency. I got a bit lost in my explorations.”

                Snape looked at the other man suspiciously but seeing nothing said, “I think you’ll find your rooms are in the other direction.”

                “Thank you,” said Merlin as he turned to make his way out of Snape’s sight all the while cursing the man with terms outdated by several centuries.

                Once he was around the corner Merlin muttered the spell to become invisible, “anweledig.” Then he started back towards Snape’s classroom. There he set the last of the wards meant to protect the school from anything Voldemort might throw at it.

Happily, Merlin skipped out of the dungeons and dropped the invisibility charm halfway to his room. The prospect of a nice warm bed excited him not because he was tired from the huge amount of magic he’d used but because it had been a long day of excitement and he wasn’t as young as he used to be. However before Merlin could get back into his room’s another voice stopped him.

                “You’re back!” it cackled and Merlin looked up to see Peeves. The young poltergeist hadn’t been there last time Merlin had come to Hogwarts but he’d obviously heard of him.

                “Quiet,” Merlin commanded and with a snap of his fingers the ghost’s throat was constricted. “You will make no reference to my age, previous years spent here, or my various names, do you understand?”

                Obviously not paying attention to what had been said Peeves began to nod and once his throat was unstuck said, “Yeah, uh-huh.”

Merlin could tell that his words hadn’t stayed with the Poltergeist and his eyes glowed gold as he commanded, “You will obey me.”

                “Yes Sir,” Peeves said only slightly sarcastically.

                “Peeves, I can make your life very, very difficult.” Merlin said. “If the Bloody Baron listens to me that should be a sign that so should you.”

                The ghost nodded looking much more sincere since Merlin had opened his wards a little to show the power he possessed. Then as the poltergeist began to slink off Merlin had an idea.

                “Peeves,” he called and when the ghost turned to face him he added, “Umbridge had very weak magic, almost a squib level. Thought that be useful if you ever get bored.”

                Peeves shot off down the hallway singing a parody to the tune of La Cucaracha. “She’s got no magic, she’s got no magic, and she has barely any power.”

                Now standing alone in the hallway Merlin was overcome with a bone deep weariness. Though he wanted to take a shortcut and apparate into his rooms he remembered that normal wizards couldn’t do that on school grounds.

                After finally making his way back, Merlin flopped on his back to rest for his first day of teaching tomorrow.



Chapter Text

On Merlin’s second day of teaching he didn’t get up until ten because the first class he taught was the fifth years at noon. A normal teacher would’ve already had two classes but since nobody above OWL level took the class that was not the case.

By eleven forty-five Merlin was down by Hagrid’s cabin with a table covered in Bowtruckles.  They were the same ones he had shown the younger kids yesterday after realizing that he had no lesson plans and asking the trees for help.

Fifteen minutes later Merlin found himself standing in front of a group of students saying, “I assume you’re all here, I mean who would want to miss a class like Care of Magical Creatures.”

After calling on Hermione to tell the class about Bowtruckles Merlin stood back and whistled merrily as the students went to grab one of the creatures. However the warlock’s tune was soon interrupted by the voice of Harry Potter.

“Professor Emrys, do you know where Hagrid is?”

Though Merlin didn’t agree with keeping the boy in the dark he knew that he couldn’t know these things without drawing more attention to himself. So he simply said, “No clue, hope it’s a vacation though; he deserves it.”

When Harry and Draco began to fight Merlin interrupted by saying, “Harry if you squeeze that Bowtruckle any harder it’ll pop.”

The tension diffused as Harry looked down and Merlin placed a comforting hand on his shoulder. Then Merlin walked away beckoning for Draco to follow him.

“Draco, you can’t taunt him,” Merlin said, “not like that.”

“I didn’t” the boy lied. “We were simply discussing how worried we were about Hagrid, sir.”

“Don’t lie,” Merlin growled, “This is my class don’t think for one second that I don’t know what happens in it. Now get your act together, you and Harry need to finish this stupid rivalry by the end of the year.”

“Sure, whatever,” the Slytherin said before Merlin let him walk away. The warlock had faith that eventually the boy would outgrow this behavior.

Near the end of the class after Merlin had collected his student’s drawings of their Bowtruckles he yelled, “Alright everybody listen up. Since nobody with any OWLS takes this class I’ve gotten special permission to teach you younger ones something I would normally teach my NEWT level students. So the rest of the week will be spent getting ready for them to arrive from Romania next Friday.”

At that Merlin had turned and begun to walk off until Hermione asked, “Professor Emrys are you going to tell us what we have to get ready for?”

Merlin spun back around and exclaimed, “I forgot I didn’t say! My friend Charlie is bringing some dragon’s from the reserve he works on.”

The students all began to chatter among themselves and until Merlin heard the words, “I think Charlie is one of those blood traitor Weasley’s.

Merlin stood up to his full height and his happy demeanor suddenly vanished. Several students took a small step backwards and all of them looked slightly frightened.

“Charlie Weasley is a very good friend of mine and I would appreciate it if you didn’t say anything else.” Merlin growled before returning to his earlier happy persona.

“Class is dismissed, I will see you tomorrow,” He cheered and most of the student quickly gathered their belongings and left.


However the golden trio stayed and Ron asked, “How do you know my brother?”

Merlin, who had been rifling through his bag for his fake wand, popped up and said, “Your brother? Wait, red hair, only a fifth year, you must be Ron. Sorry, I didn’t realize that you were a Weasley before, I was a bit preoccupied.”

This time it was Harry who prompted their teacher, “How do you know Charlie?”

“Don’t be rude,” Hermione scolded but Merlin waved her off.

“We worked together in Romania. I’d tell you more but you’ll be late for class if I do. Maybe I can get Charlie to stay and we’ll do a story day before we actually handle the dragons.”

Merlin watched the young student walk away discussing how they’d never heard Charlie mention someone named Emrys. This brought a smile to his face because he knew exactly why Charlie never mentioned him.

The rest of Merlin’s day flew by as did most of the next week. In fact it wasn’t until that Saturday afternoon; when he decided to go to the Gryffindor practice, that Merlin something to do besides make rounds around the school talking to portraits and ghosts.

When Merlin reached the Quidditch pitch the sight was nothing like he’d expected. There was a chalk white girl covered in blood and one of the Weasley twins was saying something about accidentally swallowing a blister pod. Since he had nothing better to do Merlin decided to follow the twins and Katie back up to the castle as practice broke up.

About halfway there Merlin over heard Fred say, “Here Katie take this. It’s the other half of the blister pod.”

“It’s the fix it part of our skiving snackboxes. This one should stop the bleeding. Then all the nurse will have to do is replenish the blood you’ve lost.” George added.

“It’s the one we meant to give to you earlier.”

By then the twins has reached the hospital wing and were handing Katie off to Madame Pomferry. Once the twins had continued down the hall Merlin stepped out into the open.

“You’re Fred and George Weasley, right?” Merlin called, “Charlie’s brothers?”

The twins exchanged looks and George said, “Yeah we are.”

The Fred added, “But who are you, and what do you want?”

“Sorry rude of me, I always forget to introduce myself, Marvin Emrys, the new Care of Magical Creatures teacher, well for now anyway. I thought you would’ve now though it was announced at the feast.”

“We had other things to deal with.” George said and Fred nodded besides him.

“Anyway,” Merlin said, “I heard you mention Skiving Snackboxes and I wanted to see if I could buy some from you.”

“What would a teacher need with those?” Fred asked cautiously.

Merlin decided to avoid the truth, “Never mind that. What have you got?”

The boys must’ve decided it was safe because Fred said, “All we’ve got on us are some Fainting Fancies. The rest aren’t perfected yet.

“Eh, I’ll take those then.” Merlin replied flipping a bag of coins out of his pockets and into their hands.

The boys quietly pulled out five of the candies and placed them into the older man’s hands. Then as he made his way towards his room he heard George murmur, “Weirdest teacher ever.”

Chapter Text

The next day, when Merlin received a copy of the Daily Prophet at breakfast he was disgusted but not surprised to see the headline: Ministry seeks educational reform, Dolores Umbridge appointed first ever “High Inquisitor.”

Merlin read through the article and growled to himself, “That stupid education degree is going to make this harder than it has to be.”

“What did you say Mr. Emrys,” Asked Professor Sprout who he was sitting next to.

“Oh Nothing,” he replied innocently, “and please call me Marvin. It makes me feel like a student to be referred to and Mr. Emrys.”

The teacher laughed good naturedly and returned to her breakfast as Merlin surveyed the room. The only out of place thing he located was Umbridge’s horrid pink chair which he resolved to turn rainbow later.

After breakfast Merlin headed out towards the fields by Hagrid’s hut where he then taught hi students all about woodland sprites. The day went by quickly until suddenly he found himself sanding in front of his fifth year class.

When the last of the students arrived Merlin said, “Hello class, I’m afraid we aren’t doing anything exciting today just building nests for the baby dragons. We’ll need to pi up into groups of three, but make sure it is someone you’re willing to work with because this is who you’ll care for your dragon with.”

Once the students had separated into their ten different groups Hermione raised her hand, “sir when are the nests due by It takes several days to construct something worthy of a live dragon.”

“Good question,” Merlin replied clapping his hands together, “I’m going to say Thursday just because the Dragonets get here on Friday.”

At that the groups began to build their nests which would later be moved to the large coop Merlin had constructed. After about ten minutes of Merlin walking around offering advice Harry spoke up.

“Could you tell us about your time in Romania as we work? It must’ve been pretty cool to work on a dragon reserve.”

So Merlin told stories about his antics both alone and with Aithusa (though he cut lots of those ones) but, he saved all the ones about Charlie and himself for the younger man’s arrival. This trend continued all throughout nest building until Friday.

The morning the dragon’s were due to arrive Merlin opted to skip breakfast and head to the field where Charlie would arrive. The warlock had been sitting in the grass for about five minutes when Charlie and four other men flew do with large crates attached heir broom sticks.

“Marvin,” Charlie exclaimed as he embraced other man, “Long time no see.”

                “Nice to see you again,” Merlin said as he directed the men to where he wanted he broomsticks.

Once all of the crates had been placed where Merlin had asked the other men got onto their broomsticks and left. Merlin n Charlie however, decided to go for a walk around the area.

“Are you staying for today’s lesson?” Merlin asked.

Laughingly Charlie replied, “I don’t know what’s in it for me?”

A feral grin slipped onto Merlin’s face as he chuckled, “I saved all our best stories for today.”

“I’m in!” The ginger crowed, “It’s finally my chance to embarrass you.”

“Don’t even try. Your brother will be there and I could tell him everything you’ve done,” Merlin cautioned.

The friendly banter was broken up by the arrival of Merlin’s first class in which Charlie sat down and listened quietly. After that the boys continued to watch the day drag on until they reached to moment they’d been anticipating, which was promptly ruined by the appearance of Umbridge

“Hello,” She croaked, “I assume you received my note saying that I’d be inspecting you today.”

“Actually I didn’t,” Merlin said as he felt his friend tense behind him. “It’s probably due to the lack of a proper classroom.”

By now student were appearing and Merlin could hear murmurs of excitement about how he’d react to his inspection. The warlock barely held off a smile as he pointed Charlie over to Ron’s nest.

Even before Merlin could start his Class Umbridge pounced on him asking; “Now you do not normally teach this class do you?”

“Nope,” Merlin said popping the p. “I’m a substitute for Hagrid and before you ask, no I don’t know where he is.”

“Hmm,” Umbridge huffed seeming unimpressed, “Get started then.”

“Morning class,” Merlin called, “Today we have two guests, Professor Umbridge and Charlie Weasley. When I call your groups come up and get your dragonet from Charlie. Then-“

Merlin’s instructions were interrupted by Umbridge muttering, “Hmm, you are aware the Dragons are a NEWT level are you not Mr. Emrys?”

“Yes, I am.” Merlin answered, “However I got special from Dumbledore seeing as how I’m a former Dragon handler and we have another one right here.”

“I see,” the toad like witch said calmly but Merlin could see in her eyes that she was scheming.

After that Merlin called up the groups and had each one tell him what kind of dragon they were receiving. Once every group had a dragonet Merlin saw Umbridge creeping towards him.

“You’ll be required to come down twice a day this weekend to feed the dragon and play with it if you want. Enjoy it as much as you can because after Monday Charlie is leaving with them again.” Merlin told the class. Then he leaned towards Charlie and whispered, “Would you go help the kids while I talk to Umbridge.”

The ginger walked off with a brisk nod and Merlin turned back to Umbridge who smiled and said, “I hear there have been injuries in this class.”

“Yes, one.” Merlin said. “A hippogriff slashed Draco but was sentenced already so no concerns there. It was years ago.”


“I see,” She growled looking frustrated by the way he kept blocking her line of inquiry. “Thank you so much Professor Emrys. You’ll receive your results within the next ten days, and please take that scarf off its highly unprofessional.”

With that the defense against dark arts teacher stalked off towards the castle and Charlie returned to Merlin’s side.

“That one’s got a nasty temper hasn’t she Marvin,” the dragon handler laughed.

“That she does,” Merlin agreed quietly his eyes still tracking her. Then he turned to the class and said, “Have I told you about the time s Swedish Shortsnout abandoned her egg and Charlie and I took turns sitting on it.”

“No,” the Gryffindors cried as the Slytherin remained silent. However he could tell most of them had a sliver of interest in their eyes. 

“Yes,” Merlin thought, “This is all going well. Now I just have to wait for Arthur.”






Chapter Text

The following two weeks had been quite busy for Merlin,  he had, upon seeing Harry’s I will not tell lies scar, snuck into Umbridge’s office and vanished all of her Blood Quills; this forced the toad to give normal lines as punishment. As well as giving Draco a detention where he explained why pureblood supremacy was a bad thing he had also brought Aithusa to the Forbidden Forest.

Bringing her had been both tiresome and time consuming. The night after Draco’s detention he had used a teleportation spell to arrive at the reserve where Aithusa stayed. There he’d pleaded with the white dragon until she finally agreed to fly to Hogwarts. Every night when Aithusa flew and he had nothing to do Merlin would apparate to her and ride along.  She arrived within a week and a half and landed within the clearing Merlin had prepared for her in the forest.

Now it was the end of September and a Hogsmeade weekend and Merlin planned to go out for a drink. Aithusa had told him not to mope around and Dumbledore agreed to let him go out so Merlin began his trek to the Hog’s Head. There he sat in a corner and ordered a fire whiskey which he sat there nursing until he heard the voices of the golden trio.

Well at least I’ve got good enough luck to end up where these guys do,’ Merlin thought downing the rest of his drink and leaning forwards to listen.

Pleasantly surprised to learn that it was a meeting for a Defense against Dark Arts club Merlin murmured a silencing spell.  The warlock listened closely and found himself agreeing with everything until Hermione and Luna began to argue about Heliopaths. Thankfully Ginny got them back on task with her Umbridge impression.

Having regained control of herself Hermione asked, “Well the other thing to decide is where we are going to meet…”

At the rather difficult question the whole group fell silent until moments later when Katie Bell suggested, “Library?”

After hearing Harry’s explanation as to why it wouldn’t work Merlin stood and began to work his way over to them. The group was a good idea and he didn’t want t see it fall apart just because they had nowhere to practice.

A few more students had offered ideas before Merlin finally spoke and drew attention to himself, “You really should have cast a silencing charm. Don’t worry though I did, once I heard your bright idea. As for places to practice, I know somewhere I will write Harry instructions and give them to him in class.”

“That’ all very nice,” said one of the few students whose jaw hadn’t dropped upon seeing him. “But how do we know we can trust you?”

The warlock grinned and answered, “It’s quite simple really, I don’t like Umbridge she insulted my scarf.”

With that Merlin walked out the door towards Hogwarts leaving behind the group of baffled children. Once the warlock had reached school grounds he began to laugh to himself; he could tell that he’d be confusing lots of students until Hagrid returned. Especially if everything he’d seen in the crystal cave played out the way it looked like it would.

Merlin made his way to the edge of the forest and after checking to see that nobody was looking slipped in. Whistling cheerfully Merlin made his way down a path that rapidly appeared before him as leaves and branches moved out of his way. After about fv minutes of walking Merlin stopped in a clearing and sat down next t the large white dragon that was laying in it.

“Aithusa,” He cooed, “How are you?”

The dragon snorted and a tendril of smoke came out of her nostrils, “You know perfectly well how I’ve been Merlin. I can’t fly around and I can’t even help you! I don’t know why you needed me here for this.”

“Moral support,” Merlin offered, “Or maybe because I have no other friends to talk to.”

“Whatever you say young warlock,” the dragon said but Merlin could hear the smile in her voice.

It was then that Merlin realized what she had said, “Who are you calling young, I’m older than you.”

The dragon sniffed delicately and said, “A mere twenty years does not matter, we are discussing how old one’s inner self is.”

“Trust me Aithusa, my inner self is much older than it looks,” Merlin stated his eyes darkening. “After everything I’ve been through how could it not be.”

The dragon paused for a moment as she recalled that her companion had fought in both world wars and seen many terrible things.

‘Yes,” Aithusa said slowly, “I guess it would be.”

The playful mood had vanished and the duo remained silent for awhile as Merlin sat with his back pressed against Aithusa’s ribs. He was almost asleep when she spoke again.

Speaking softly she said, “Merlin, you came to tell me something, did you not?”

“Oh yeah,” he said perking up. “The students are making a club to learn defense against dark arts and I was wondering if I should tell them to use the old dueling room or the room of requirement?”

The dragon looked down at Merlin and replied, “I don’t know why you’re asking me. You already know you’re going to tell them to use the room of requirement in case they need somewhere to hide or something later in the year.  Now go and get some rest so you don’t fall asleep in class tomorrow. If you do that Umbridge woman will have you fired.”

“Bye Aithusa,” The warlock said rising to his feet. “I’ll see you later.”

When the warlock got back to his room he collapsed onto his bed and stared up to the ceiling.

“Arthur,” he said, “feel free to show up at any time you feel like. Though preferably before I have to face Voldemort, I’d like a little moral support.”

The next day Merlin was full of life and jumping all over the place. All of the students were looking at him sideways but the ones who’d been at Harry’s meeting more so than the others.

At the end of his fifth year class Merlin called, “Harry could you stay behind?”

The rest of the class, besides Ron and Hermione began to trek back up to the castle as Merlin leaned in close to Harry.

“There is a room called the Room of Requirements that will appear if someone needs it. I can’t say more right now because my fourth years are coming but ask Dobby about it, he knows where it is.”

Harry looked startled to hear the house elf’s name and very cautiously said, “Okay thank you Professor Emrys.”

“You’re welcome,” he said happily as he turned to tidy up for his next class. “Off you go now, don’t want to be late. Snape won’t care that you were talking to another teacher especially if it was me. He isn’t too fond of me because I can do Occlumency.”

Harry and his friends walked off and Merlin began to talk to the fourth years about Phoenixes even as he mentally reached out to Aithusa.

‘Told them about the room but may have let it slip that I can do strong Occlumency. I didn’t want the students to know that.’

There was a small chuckle in his head and Aithusa said ‘For someone with such a big secret you’re atrocious at keeping them.’

Chapter Text

The next month or so was relatively boring; the only problem was Umbridge who was out to get him. Once she had even attempted to follow him in an attempt to see what he did on his nightly excursion to visit Aithusa. That hadn’t ended well for her; she’d woken up on the table of the Great Hall with no recollection of the night before. However, besides Merlin’s little pink problem life at the castle was positively dull until Hagrid returned.

Merlin had been on his way back from a quick visit to Aithusa when he saw lights on in the hut that belonged to Hagrid. With nothing better to do Merlin walked over and knocked on the door; it couldn’t hurt to tell Hagrid what he’s already taught the students this year.

To his surprise the sound of his knock was met with a series of muffled curses and the sound of something falling. Pressing his ear against the door he heard somebody shuffling around frantically.

“You okay?” He called pulling away from the door as the cabin’s interior fell silent.

Just then the door swung open to reveal a battered looking Hagrid. “Hello, I’m Marvin Emrys. I was filling in for you while you were gone,” Merlin told him.

“Nice ter meet yeh.” Hagrid said, “Bu’ why are yeh down ‘ere?”

Grinning Merlin replied happily, “I was walking the grounds and I saw the light on. I wanted to see who it was and maybe ask if you didn’t mind me staying on as assistant groundskeeper.”

Before Hagrid could answer a loud, explosive sneeze tore through out the room. Instantly Hagrid tried to cover it saying, “Tha’ must be Fang he’s na been ter well, allergies I think.”

However Merlin’s eyes had already scanned the room and seen the telltale shimmer of an invisibility cloak. With a little magic to strengthen his eyes Merlin could easily make out the three figures huddled beneath it.

Rolling his eyes Merlin strolled forwards into the cabin and plucked the cloak from on top of their heads.  Harry, Ron and Hermione all gasped but Merlin began to laugh.

“Should’ve known you lot would be here,” he exclaimed happily smiling down at them.

“How could you tell where we were?” Hermione asked. “It shouldn’t have been possible unless you have eyes like Moody’s.”

They’re both real.” Merlin said sounding slightly offended before waving it off. “Never mind that though. Hagrid tell us more about your encounters with the Giants.”

“Wha’, Wha’ giants?” The large man asked trying to look clueless even as a red flush made its way up his cheeks.

Merlin tsked and said, “Come on Hagrid those are very distinctive injuries. They obviously come from giants.”

“It’s okay Hagrid. You can trust him.” Harry said but they could all hear the unsaid words. I hope.

So Hagrid began to tell his tale, they had just finished talking about his mother when there was a sharp rap on the door. Fang yelped and everyone stared out the window.

“It’s her!” Ron hissed and Merlin knew they were talking about Umbridge.

The three students clambered to get under the cloak as Hagrid walked towards the door. Merlin, having been in these situations far too often, was the one who remembered to clear away the children’s dishes. He had barely made it back to his seat when Hagrid opened the door.

“So you’re Hagrid are you?” Umbridge asked as she pushed her way into the hut. Her eyes devoured everything before the stopped on Merlin. “Professor Emrys, what are you doing down here?”

“Oh no, I’m not a professor anymore, I finished today. Hagrid is the real professor.” Merlin informed her.

“Well then, Mr. Emrys what are you doing down here in the middle of the night?” the toad asked.

“I was informing Hagrid of what we’d already done this year so he wouldn’t have to rewrite any lesson plans,” Merlin said the picture of innocence.

Umbridge, who looked as though she’d eaten something sour instructed, “You’d best be on your way now that you’ve done that; I need to speak to Hagrid.”

Having watched Merlin and Umbridge interact enough to see he didn’t want to be left alone with the witch Hagrid interjected, “He can’ go yet he has ter stay an talk abou’ his new job as assistan’ groundskeeper.”

The witch’s eyes glittered dangerously as she replied, “well in that case I’ll just speak to you in front of Mr. Emrys, and I hope you don’t mind.”

When Hagrid shook his head she continued, “Where have you been? Term began two months ago and none of your colleagues knew where you were.”

Merlin decided to step in when Hagrid began to mumble about France and sensitive skin. “Professor Umbridge it is rather late and we have business to attend to so if you would get to the point we’d be most grateful.”

“Of course I can,” She told him with a sickly sweet smile before giving Hagrid the details of his inspection and when it would occur.

With that Umbridge swept out of the room like a pink tornado. Merlin pulled the curtains shut as the teens took off the cloak.

For a moment the cabin was dead silent until Merlin said, “So where you serious about the assistant grounds keeper thing because I’d love to keep working here,”

Through a throe of chuckling Hagrid replied, “The job’s yours if you really want it.”

“Woo hoo,” Merlin cried doing a celebratory dance. He stopped only upon feeling the cabin’s other occupants staring at him.

“You sure ‘e isn’t an over grown studen’,” Hagrid asked Harry.

In reply the boy said, “I pretty sure, I mean he has been our teacher for the past two months.”

Rolling his eyes Merlin said, “Don’t worry Hagrid I’m just odd, it runs in the family.”

“What do you mean,” Ron asked so tactlessly that Hermione punched him in the arm not to gently.

Merlin grinned, thinking of his father and told him, “My family has been noticed because of its little quirks before.”

“You’re related to Myrridian Emrys aren’t you?” Hermione asked, “The author of, The True life of Merlin.”

“The one and only. Now you three better head up to the castle before someone realized you are gone.” At that Merlin held the door open so they could trail out and then he followed the path back to his rooms.

Chapter Text

On the following Tuesday, when Hagrid was showing his class Thestrals Merlin saw Umbridge approaching the forest. Immediately Merlin ran towards their class because while Hagrid is a great man he the best at being tactful.

Slipping into the space besides Hagrid Merlin muttered, “Umbridge is almost here be careful what you say.”

The large man nodded cheerfully but within a minute Umbridge was there and already writing things down on her clip board. When the DADA teacher moved onto interview students Merlin fixed them with a hard glare and, even though he didn’t plan to use it he wrapped his fingers around the false wand.

When asked about being able to understand Hagrid Pansy Parkinson looked nervously at Merlin before replying, “It’s relatively easy once you get used to his accent.”

Umbridge continued with her student interviews but, upon realizing that nobody would say anything bad about Hagrid, finished quickly and left the forest hurriedly. Merlin was in the middle of leaving also when he heard a conversation among the golden trio.

“Well, that went better than expected,” Harry exclaimed.

“Yeah,” Ron agreed. “I wonder why the Slytherins weren’t being nasty though.”

Hermione sighed heavily and said, “Honestly the two of you are so oblivious.”

Grinning, Merlin turned and walked away.

Around December Merlin became very busy. Until then he’d gotten out of being social by using the Weasley’s candies he had bought. He’d also been keeping the grounds in shape with magic and spending most of his time with Aithusa or off grounds in small skirmishes with Death Eaters, many of whom had spread word about an old man who was killing them off.

Merlin was laying in bed having a mental conversation with the unicorn leader Ynra when the old religion called out to him. It warned him that Voldemort was making a move that unless stopped would drastically alter the outcome of the war.

Tossing the covers off Merlin let the old religion direct him as he chanted, “Diflannu yma, ailymddangos yno.”

Merlin’s timing was second off. When he arrived he found Voldemort’s snake sinking its fangs into Arthur Weasley for the third time. When the snake dislodged itself the man quickly fell to the ground. The snake then turned towards Merlin who was I his old man disguise.

Merlin could hear the poison rushing through the man’s veins and could sense that without immediate treatment he would die. So in order to reach the man in time Merlin temporarily stunned the snake.

“Wace ierlic,” He barked sending the serpent flying backwards.

Then turning back towards Arthur Weasley Merlin cast a spell to halt the venom until the healers reached him, “atal y gwenwyn.”

When Merlin looked back at where the snake had been he was unhappy but not surprised to see that it had been replaced by death eaters.

“Hello there,” said Bellatrix Lestrange as she gripped her wand tightly. You must the one who has been causing so much trouble with that wandless magic of yours.”

“Who, me?” The warlock asked feigning innocence, “I think you want someone else. I’m just a harmless old man.”

“No matter, I’m sure the Dark Lord would love to meet you anyways. I mean, you were awful rude to Nagini,” She hummed her dark eyes shining brightly.

“If it’s all the same to you,” Merlin croaked, “I’m busy and can’t meet him at the moment.”

The witch’s face twisted in anger and as fast as lightening she whipped out a wand and yelled, “Crucio.”

However Merlin was ready for this reaction and pulled up a shield before him and the Weasley, “Darian ni rhag poen.”

When they saw their leaders curse fail, the other Death Eaters charge at the man thinking they could take him with physical violence. They failed to do so because Merlin fired a spell at them which made them all sleep until they were taken to Azkaban.

“Gwsg Dwfn nos rhoi I gadw yn y carchar,” Merlin yelled and everyone fell to the ground besides Bellatrix who had moved out of the way of the Men’s charge.

Being able to tell that she couldn’t defeat Merlin alone Bellatrix apparated away with a large crack. When Merlin saw that she had gone he altered the unconscious man’s shield so that anyone except for Voldemort and his death Eaters followers could touch him and carry him to St. Mungo’s.”

Merlin whispered his transport spell as he de-aged himself and arrived in front of the gargoyles guarding Dumbledore’s office. If he wasn’t in such a serious mood Merlin would’ve grinned as he said the password to the headmaster’s office, “Fizzing Whizbee.”

The warlock made his way up the stair case and knocked rapidly on the door until Dumbledore invited him in. Upon seeing Merlin’s usually grinning face completely serious Dumbledore’s smile slipped away.

“Is everything alright Mr. Emrys?” He asked peering up at Merlin.

“Arthur Weasley has been seriously injured by Voldemort’s snake. He needs to be brought to St. Mungos immediately before the old man’s healing spell ends.” Merlin said.

Quirking an eyebrow, Dumbledore asked, “Marvin, What on Earth makes you say that?”

“I saw it in a vision,” Merlin said opting for a half truth, because he had seen it, just not in a vision.

“I see,” Dumbledore said slowly as he absorbed the news.”

Rolling his eyes impatiently Merlin sighed, “If you don’t believe me then listen to Harry Potter. He is on his way up here right now to tell you that Mr. Weasley is in danger and even though he was given medical attention by some old man he is still in danger.”

The warlock knew all of this because he was aware that Harry was a horcrux and had seen through Nagini’s eyes just like Voldemort had. Now he could sense Harry coming up to the office with McGonagall and Ron.

“Harry saw the same as I did except what he saw was through Nagini’s eyes as Voldemort possessed her, you need to teach that boy Occulemency,” Merlin lectured the headmaster.

They were interrupted then by the entrance of the boy who lived. When he told the same story as Merlin had Dumbledore sent Portraits to find Mr. Weasley before shipping the rest of the family off to Grimmauld place to wait.

Once all of that had been taken care of, Dumbledore said to Merlin, “So you’re a seer. You should add that to your resume seems like a handy ability.”

“That it is,” Merlin replied, “However I hope I won’t have to use my resume anytime soon I’m quite happy with my current job.”

“Yes, of course.” Dumbledore mumbled, “I will see you later Mr. Emrys.”

At the obvious dismissal Merlin barely held back a mocking bow like the one he would’ve given Arthur.


Chapter Text

It had been awhile after the incident with the snake and the only that had changed in his (fighting the death eaters was normal by now) had been the newest educational decree and Harry’s interview in The Quibbler where he talked about Voldemort’s return.

Merlin was on his way back towards his room when he heard a shrill scream; knowing he couldn’t risk a transport spell inside the school he ran to the source. When he arrived Merlin found professor Trelawney falling apart and yelling about being sacked.

It wasn’t until Dumbledore arrived that things began to calm down, or at least appeared to. Umbridge asked where the new teacher would stay if Trelawney wouldn’t move out.

                “That won’t be a problem,” Dumbledore said pleasantly, “I’ve already found a new divination teacher and he already has his own lodgings.”

                Sniffing Umbridge said, “You can’t appoint a teacher that job belongs to the Ministry.”

                With false cheerfulness Dumbledore corrected her, “The Ministry can appoint a teacher if the headmaster cannot find on in time. However I was successful in getting someone for the job. Would you like to know who? He’s here.”

                “Yes, Dumbledore do enlighten me, who is this new teacher?” The woman croaked thinking it was a bluff.

                Smiling apologetically, “Dumbledore made eye contact with Merlin before saying, “Unknown to most we’ve our very own seer in the room, Mr. Emrys.”

                Umbridge swung around to look at Merlin as he gave a little wave and groaned internally. While he was capable of seeing the future his seer abilities were weak and he usually depended on the crystal of Neahtid. Merlin wished the he’d been consulted on the matter of his promotion but he knew why Dumbledore had gone ahead and done what he did.

                The toad like teacher smiled falsely and asked, “So you’re a seer then? How old where you when you had your first vision?”

                “About eighteen,” Merlin answered truthfully not quite sure if it was eighteen or nineteen due to it being at least thirteen hundred years ago.

                Umbridge marked something down on that clipboard she always had before stomping away and trying to appear calm. Ignoring the gawking students Merlin approached the head master.

“You don’t mind teaching divination do you?” Dumbledore asked quietly as they walked towards the headmaster’s office. As Merlin shook his head Dumbledore continued, “I didn’t think you would and I needed to fill that post.”

                “Before the ministry did you mean,” Merlin said and Dumbledore let out a loud bark of laughter.

                “Well yes, Marvin, if you want to be blunt about it.” Dumbledore said as they parted ways.

Merlin made his way to his bed, which had been his destination before the whole fiasco, and flopped down on to it for a nights rest.

Several days later Merlin was hosting his first class (the fifth years) in his brand new class room that Dumbledore had set up. Slowly students shuffled in and sat on the floor with folded legs.

Once everybody had arrived Lavender Brown asked, “Excuse me, sir, why did we switch class rooms?”

“Excellent questions,” Merlin told her, “It’s because we are not looking for the future in crystal balls we are looking in the stars. Not only can this room be enchanted to show the night sky it is also more accessible for our guest who will be here any minute. Can anyone guess what that guest will be? I’ll give you a hint their kind is well known for seeing the future in the stars.”

At first the room was dead silent but then Pavarti spoke up, “Is the guest a centaur?”

“Correct, he is!” Merlin exclaimed happily. “A great big centaur.”

The next to speak was a Ravenclaw girl named Penelope who alerted the class, “Centaurs don’t like to meddle in human affairs why would one come teach us? “

“Firenze’s a friend of mine who owes me.” Merlin informed them.

Ron attempted to whisper to Harry but the entire class heard him say, “Blokes got a friend for every subject hasn’t he. At least I know it isn’t a brother of mine this time.”

Grinning at Ron’s comment Merlin continued, “Anyway, Firenze is here now and he’s going to talk to you about centaur divination which makes so much more sense than the human nonsense you’ve been learning.”

Merlin walked from the center of the class as the white-blond centaur entered from the open door. They made eye contact as the warlock gave a nod of thanks for him teaching the class.                 Firenze looked out at the sea of students and said, “I’m sure Emrys has already told you who I am so we will be diving straight into the lesson.”

The centaur told them about Mars the bringer of battles and then had them burn sage and mallow sweet to look for symbols. Firenze remained unconcerned when nobody could see anything telling them that most humans did badly at this and even centaurs took years to learn it.

“Students,” called the centaur, “put out your fires and gather around me. Emrys, you too.”

As everybody obeyed quietly Merlin walked over to Firenze and asked, “Are you going to tell them the future because you know as well as I do that the future changes.”

“Did you hear that class, the future changes and predictions aren’t always accurate?” Firenze called, “Now your teacher is going to read out some symbols to you.”

Merlin glared into the fire feeling cornered; he couldn’t tell Firenze he wouldn’t do it without the students becoming suspicious but he couldn’t mention Voldemort’s future to this class.

Looking at the signs in the fire Merlin announced, “I don’t see anything.”

“Emrys, you studied with the centaurs for years with many different herds , you always see something in the fires.”

Merlin snapped his gaze from the fire and back towards his students who were watching with curious expressions, a few of them even whispered excitedly about his stint among the centaurs.

“Class dismissed,” he called wanting to have a chance to berate Firenze before the next class came in. Then he remembered his plans to speak to Harry and called, “Potter stay behind.”

When everybody was gone he looked at Harry and said, “You need to tell Hagrid he has to stop. It isn’t working and if it wasn’t for the protective magic he let me lay down people would’ve been hurt already.”

After that he let Harry go and rounded on Firenze.

Chapter Text

It was almost time for Easter break when Merlin found himself standing in Dumbledore’s office looking at the Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge. He’d gone to talk to the headmaster about leaving during the break when Fudge had popped in yelling about Harry Potter and a secret organization. Dumbledore immediately sent a patronus to fetch McGonagall as Merlin planted himself firmly behind the headmaster thinking, ‘how did anyone find out about the DADA club?’
Moments later Umbridge entered the room gripping Harry’s arm tightly, “He was attempting to flee the scene but the Malfoy boy caught him.”
Fudge began to question Harry who took Dumbledore’s lead and denied any prior knowledge of the illegal organization. Merlin was just getting comfortable enough to allow a small smile on his face when Umbridge offered an informant. When the ministry witch led in Cho’s friend Merlin was pleased to see her faced cover in horrible boils spelling out one word: SNEAK.
As Dumbledore argued that Marietta was only reporting a meeting tonight and that it hadn’t been going on for the last six months Merlin realized that the girl wasn’t speaking because it would worsen her condition.
‘Well that will make this easier,’ Merlin thought as he collected himself and dove into the student’s mind. Carefully he made sure to avoid all memories but the ones related to the DA meetings which he then altered to fit the headmaster’s story.
Only moments after Merlin finished his work Umbridge said, “Now dear tell us about these meetings, you can just nod or shake your head. Have they been going on for the past six months?”
Even though Merlin knew his magic wouldn’t fail him he waited with baited breath until Marietta shook her head; confused Umbridge tried again and again. Finally, Umbridge reached her breaking point, seized Marietta and began to shake her very hard. Before anyone else could react the older witch had fallen to the ground with a golden flash of Merlin’s eyes and he’d taken out his wand to cover up how he’d done it.
“Who are you?” Fudge asked, “You should know better than to use magic on a Ministry employee.”
Merlin’s aura leaked danger as he answered calmly and quietly, “As an employee of the ministry she should know better than to assault a student.”
Glaring at Merlin, Umbridge rose to her feet saying, “He’s right of course, I just lost my temper.”
Then to distract from her embarrassment Umbridge produce a piece of paper that listed the clubs participants and handed it to Fudge.
“Dumbledore’s army,” he hissed. “They call themselves Dumbledore’s army.
At that Dumbledore grinned and asked, “Is that enough or do you want a written confession?”
Merlin sighed realizing that the old man was taking the blame and wouldn’t go down without a fight. Rolling his eyes Merlin repositioned his eyes as Fudge cried to Percy Weasley to take notes. Once that had been taken care of, Dumbledore cheerfully informed Fudge that he wouldn’t come quietly.
“Enough of this rubbish,” Fudge called pulling out his own wand, “Dawlish, Shacklebolt, take him!”
A streak of silver shot out of Dawlish’s wand but it halted when Merlin cried, “Amser, er Arglwydd magic, atal.”
“What did you do?” Dumbledore asked as he looked around the room and saw that only McGonagall, Merlin and he could move.
Not wanting to reveal how powerful he really was Merlin didn’t tell him that he’d stopped time instead replied, “It was nothing just a simple freezing spell my Uncle Myriddian taught me awhile ago, anyone could do it.”
“And it was you who modified her memory?” He asked. “You’re very quick on the uptake.”
“Thank you sir,” Merlin answered, “We’d better get going though I don’t know how long I can hold this spell.”
That was a lie of course; Merlin could leave it in place until he died, if he ever did. However, there was no reason for Dumbledore to know that either.
Grinning cheerfully Dumbledore said, “make sure that my school isn’t ruined by that witch.”
Merlin smiled in return saying, “Don’t worry I can make her life a living hell without ever getting caught.”
“Good bye, Marvin, Minerva,” He said before walking towards Hogsmeade so that he’d be able to apparate away.
“Can you hold the spell until he’s all the way gone?” Minerva asked eyebrows furrowed almost as if she were testing him or perhaps his powers.
“That’s what, about ten more minutes?” The warlock asked, “Yeah, I think I can do that.”
The head of Gryffindor looked at him appraisingly and said, “You must be a very powerful young wizard.”

Forcing himself to blush Merlin replied, “Oh no, it’s just an easy spell once you get the hang of it.”
By now the two had returned to where they’d been when Merlin had frozen time and they settled down to wait. Once the ten minutes had passed Merlin broke the spell and Chaos ensued, the two silver streaks of light crashing into the wall behind where Dumbledore had been.
“Where is he?” Fudge questioned them winging around wildly, “Where is he?”
The two aurors looked around the room just as puzzled as him and one answered, “I don’t know.”
“Well he can’t have disapparated,” Umbridge cried. “It’s impossible inside of the school. Find him!”
Fudge looked at the students then at McGonagall and Merlin before saying, “It has been a rather exhausting meeting perhaps you should all go back to bed as we search for him.”
The transfiguration professor took the students and began to head out the door with them but Merlin stopped to look at Fudge and say, “You’re making a grave mistake you know.”
“What would you know? You’re just a twenty year old kid who happened to be in the room.” The minister snarled, still furious about the loss of Dumbledore.
Merlin, who had been leaving, turned back to Fudge to say, “Don’t underestimate me, it never works out for those who do.”
Unbeknownst to Merlin a dark look crossed his face and caused Fudge to take a step back as Merlin’s mind flashed back to Arthurian times. Mechanically Merlin made his way towards his rooms thinking. Morgana had been one of many to under and while he may not have been able to save Arthur he’d ensured she wouldn’t rule the kingdom. But that had been ages ago and he’d been less skilled, when Arthur returned he would keep him, Harry Potter, and the rest of Hogwarts safe from any threat whether it is the Ministry of Magic or Voldemort.
Reaching his room Merlin flopped down on his bed. Goddess, he thought, give me something good in my life right now.