Word Count: 426
[Spoiler (click to open)]Merlin didn’t drink - which was probably for the best because if he was witnessing this drunk then he might be more confused than he already was.
Alright, now he looked at him again, the boy didn’t look as much like he used to as he thought. This kid had a scar and glasses…actually that was mostly where the differences ended. Or maybe there were more… Merlin didn’t think he could be blamed for forgetting how he used to look when he was younger - that had been centuries ago and he certainly didn’t look like a young man anymore. He probably could if he tried, but he had grown quite attached to the beard over the decades.
Still - there were definitely similarities in the scruffy, black hair and the skinny frame, not to mention the sarcasm and the sense of humour. Merlin could certainly see bits of himself in this boy. Which is how he justified following him to this magic school that he was off to. Hiding in places up and down the train with a cloaking spell that he had learned to maintain for extended periods cast over him, Merlin was shocked at how laid back some of these children were about going to wizarding school. He would have done anything to go and learn how to do magic properly - well anything was perhaps a step too far but he felt the point was better-made with the hyperbole.
Following the boy, Harry, into the school was a bit trickier because even if people couldn’t see him they could certainly still bump into him, and Merlin had no idea what sort of powers the teachers at this school had. What if they detected him? An old man using a cloaking spell to follow a young boy into a school was probably not the best way to introduce himself - even if he managed to convince anyone he was the real Merlin.
That was when he was convinced that this was some bizarre sign from the universe - that he was reincarnate without being dead, or that this boy was meant to be his prodigy, or something else that he couldn’t think of. On the stairs up to the school they met him, or rather Harry met him and Merlin spied on Harry meeting him. Blonde and arrogant with a sharp tongue and a taste for putting down his fellow man, he even had a powerful father.
Though Merlin had to admit, he would have thought the once-and-future king would have returned a little less weedy.