The Beginning of Only A Boy
Considering that I like to share my writing process and would eventually like to provide some academic pieces on Writing Fanfiction, I figure there’s no better way to start than to share some early plotting from my fanfiction series, Only A Boy. I’ve done as little editing as possible here, so the information will be out of date and reflect the earliest forms of the story. I have however omitted referenced to events not yet written.
The first outline I made on computer, I had first scribbled some notes and details on a piece of paper as I sifted through Wikipedia Pages and tried to nail down dates and events until I decided my fanfiction timeline.
[Unedited Summary and Description]
The Overall Plot
At the time of his summoning, Albion had been already united under the rein of Arthur. Merlin was considered a trusted friend and adviser, as well as High Priest of the Old Religion. Magic was no longer banished, and Arthur was working with magic users. Four warlocks, Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw came forward with the idea to make a magical school to train those with magic how to control it and use it for good.
And thus, Hogwarts was born. On the Isle of the Blessed, they rebuilt the castle in all her glory. Merlin offered his services as a Charms Specialist for some time, forming a close friendship with Salazar as he did so. Together, they discovered the language of the snakes, an adaption of Dragon-speech. He was there to witness the creation of the Sorting Hat and meet Helena – Rowena’s daughter. However, after Slytherin rebelled, all the founders knew that he would try to find a way to ensure that his legacy continued. That drove them to gaze into the future, to the moment with Lord Voldemort. In the end, they decided to send Merlin to the present. Merlin permanently de-aged himself and knew he would not be coming back. But, as they were doing the enchantment, Salazar appeared and tried to stop them. He wanted to stop Merlin from going to the future and defeating his heir. During the battle, Merlin was hit with a curse that eats away memories. He lost all those years, making Gwen’s coronation the last clear memory. However, they are not completely gone and can trickle in at times.
In the World of Harry Potter
The Potters never had a son, they never went into hiding, and Voldemort was never destroyed. Instead, on that fateful night in Godric’s Hollow, the Dark Lord met his demise after killing two order members who refused to squeal. But, he didn’t die. And everyone knew it. When Voldemort was hit with a stray killing curse, everyone watched as a waft of smoke erupted from his mouth and flew away.
There’s something you have to think about when it becomes an Alternate Reality. If the Potter’s never had a son, never had to hide due to a half-heard prophecy, how does that change the future?
What if they decided to end the mayhem and the chaos? What if James lead a secret mission with his wife to take out Lord Voldemort? And on that mission, they managed to kill the Dark Lord but only at the cost of their lives? Snape overheard about the proposal from the order, though he didn’t know who had taken the job. He related the mission to the Dark Lord, but when he found out that it was Lily, he did everything in his power to change her mind. He begged Voldemort to let her live – but knew it was futile and so switched to Dumbledore. They sent a second back-up team, but it was already too late. She sacrificed herself and killed the Dark Lord herself. Snape feels that he will never forgive himself for what he did, and feels that he deserves to suffer whatever punishments life offers him.
James, Remus, Sirius, and Peter were best friends during school. However, during the first war, Peter defected and became a double agent. He was the one – not Snape – to feed the Potter’s a false location of Voldemort’s location. The Potter’s were ambushed, but Lily – upon seeing the betrayal of their friend and the death of her husband – went down in a blaze of glory, and fired a curse at the Dark Lord killing herself and him. Peter was caught in the crossfire.
The Order knows he will be back. The Ministry is trying to stop the war mongering. The general public doesn’t know whom to believe. And the Old Religion is spitting mad, for a man had attempted to use the ancient knowledge without knowing how, resulting in a twisted perversion that the earth recoils at. So, the Old Magicks of the Earth froth and bubble, demanding that someone fix it.
A prophecy was given, telling of a boy who would come from far away:
THE DARK WILL FALL, THE EARTH WILL CALL
A BOY FROM FAR AWAY, ON THE LONGEST DAY
BORN AS THE SEVENTH MONTH DIES
WITH EYES OF THE BLUEST SKIES
THE DARK WILL FALL, THE EARTH WILL CALL
FOR THE DARK MUST PERISH BEFORE THE LIGHT
FOR ONE IS BLIND AND THE OTHER HAS SIGHT
AND LIQUID GOLD WILL TRUTH UPHOLD
THE DARK WILL FALL, THE EARTH WILL CALL
Later, I changed why Merlin arrived in the present and ironed out the details of how he made the trip. In fact, I didn’t tie it to Slytherin and the other founders (long after Hogwarts was built) until I was several chapters into the fanfiction.
I decided against using a wand entirely because of how amusing the ‘Weighing of the Wands’ scene from the fourth book would be, not to mention how Merlin in the BBC show never required one. I thought being unable to use one would provide some fun confusion.
The Curious Case of Professor Quirrell
[What follows is an early outline of the main plot for the first year, including how I wanted to handle the Quirrell Arc and the finale. If you have no read the first year of the fanfiction in it’s entirety, there will be heavy spoilers]
Merlin knows there is something wrong, with the professor. He just can’t figure out what. Every time he’s in the same room with the man the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end. It just doesn’t make sense to him, he seems like blubbering imbecilic. He tried to ask Snape about him on more than one occasion, but he could never get the words out of his mouth. After the incident with the troll, Merlin goes to Quirrell to ask him about how such a creature could have gotten into the castle in the first place. The man is dismissive and stuttering as always, but he shows a keen interest in the fact that Merlin was able to defeat the creature on his own.
Merlin has known enough liars and spies to realize that Quirrell is hiding something, and like he usually does, makes it his business to find out. He finally confided in Snape that he felt something off with the DADA professor and though Snape initially tried to blow it off he seemed to realize that Merlin was far sharper than he let on. He hinted that Quirrell had been acting rather strangely and that he was looking into it. Merlin might have left it at that if it weren’t for the fact that he’d realized that Quirrell had met Voldemort on his trip to Albania while reading. He immediately went to Quirrell to try and establish this, by asking about his year sabbatical – pretending to be interested in doing the same when he graduated. He asked about Albania, and that was pretty much all the confirmation he needed. The only problem was that now he was also on Quirrel’s radar and that he had just made a very dangerous enemy.
Now sure that whatever Quirrell was after was in the third floor corridor, Merlin tries to go after it himself. However, Snape catches him and the professor realizes that he isn’t just going to leave it alone. He tells Merlin about the stone, and that he does believe – as does the headmaster – that Quirrell may try to steal it. However, the both of them do not have any proof that would allow them to fire the professor, other than circumstantial evidence. He tells Merlin to leave it to the adults and enjoy his holiday, as there’s really nothing he could do.
When Merlin comes back from the holidays, he learns from Kor in the woods that Quirrell has been sneaking out and drinking the blood of unicorns. Merlin’s immediate thought was to tell Snape, but before he can even open his mouth he realizes that anything he says will just be the word of a child and he can’t even explain how he knows any of this without exposing Kor in the forest or his night-time wanderings. He’s going to have to deal with this himself. He doesn’t quite know where Voldemort is though.
After dinner, he realizes he forgot his book bag in Quirrell’s classroom and goes back to retrieve it. He hears conversation in Quirrell’s office and takes a peak. He catches sight of Voldemort and makes a mad dash for the door, but he trips over a desk. Quirrell emerges with his turban intact, and Merlin shakily plays it off that he was just collecting his bag. However, once in the hallway he makes a mad dash for the dungeons and he’s hit in the back with a curse at the top of the stairs. He falls two flights and lands in a crumpled heap on the floor, but his magic saved him from being killed.
He wakes up in the infirmary, being told a heroic tale of how Quirrell found him and saved his life. The professor smiles dangerously at him, and when Merlin tries to accuse him remarks that he must have hit his head very hard. In fact, Merlin is nearly hysterical. It’s easy then for Quirrell to suggest that Merlin be given a sleeping draft before he aggravates his injuries and Poppy is only too happy to oblige. The spell was to knock Merlin out for the rest of the night, but he wakes up three hours later. He knows that Quirrell is going after the stone, now that his cover has been blown and he can’t just kill a student without drawing attention – not to mention the fact that Snape already suspects him.
Bruised, his ankle twisted, Merlin stumbles out of the infirmary and runs into Hermione who was sneaking up to see him after she heard that he’d gotten hurt. Surprisingly, she is also with Draco who had gotten the same idea. They listen while Merlin explains everything and don’t argue with his determination to go to the third floor and stop Quirrell. Instead, Hermione puts a brace on Merlin’s foot, and they help him get there, but outside the door he tells them both to run and tell Snape. He won’t let them get hurt.
Merlin Catches up with Quirrell on the chessboard and it pretty much turns into a battle. He knocks Quirrell’s turban off and meets Voldemort. They are both surprised at Merlin’s magical abilities, and he invites him to join him – which of course, Merlin doesn’t agree too. Quirrell bewitches a knight to go after him, and Merlin gets pinned down – and just a little stabbed. Merlin golden eyes flash and the doors seal so that Voldemort can go ahead. His magic expands chaotically, knocks everything back and collapsing the ceiling. Snape and Dumbledore find Merlin weak but alive, and Quirrell knocked out. Voldemort abandoned Quirrell, and the professor was taken into custody, or rather an emergency hospital for criminals.
Merlin is forced to hang out in the nurses for a week, but a lot of people visit him.