READ FIRST! READ FIRST! I've decided that I'm going to have Arthur know about Merlin having magic. It just seems right…. Arthur is a little apprehensive still about it, but has accepted it. You will notice a previous scene from season 1 of Merlin as well as from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 was used. NOW ON WITH THE STORY!
Arthur had just finished training in the late afternoon and was in need of some pain relievers. He had pulled a muscle during training and one of Gaius's medicines would surely do the trick. He was just at the door of his chambers when he heard two people talking, Merlin and Gaius. He did not want to be caught snooping around but could not resist the urge of listening in on the conversation.
"Gaius, it isn't helping," Merlin's voice came through.
"I know Merlin, but you have to keep practicing."
Practicing? Practicing what, Arthur thought. He listened more tentatively.
"Killagarhara, still refuses to tell me what is going to happen. You know how he is."
"Yes, I know Merlin. Now let me see your back."
Arthur heard shuffling, Merlin must have been getting off his seat. Arthur looked through a small hole in the door and caught a wide view of Merlin's back. What Arthur saw almost made him gasp. On Merlin's right shoulder were scratches, not ordinary scratches. They looked to be as if someone had a short whip and had repetitively hit him in the small area. Merlin had gone over to another bench closer to Gaius who was holding up a small bottle of medicine. Merlin drowned it quickly with a grimace as Gaius started to clean his wound.
"Am I a monster?" Merlin asked, his voice shaking.
Gaius quickly put the washcloth down and looked sternly at Merlin. "No Merlin, don't you ever believe that."
Gaius resumed cleaning. "But my magic. Is this the reason why?" Merlin asked moving his hurt shoulder.
Gaius sighed. Arthur heard enough, Merlin was a sorcerer.
Arthur quickly barged in. Merlin and Gaius both started.
"Arthur," Merlin breathed, shocked.
"I heard what you said." Arthur stated.
"Arthur let me explain."
"No, you betrayed my trust, you're a sorcerer."
"No I'm a warlock."
"What difference does it make?" Arthur's voice rose to just below shouting.
"I was born with it. I can't control what I am Arthur," Merlin stated, matching Arthur's volume.
"I can have you arrested. The both of you." Arthur added, looking at Gaius.
Merlin quickly spoke. "No, you can't arrest Gaius."
"Arthur, you have known me my whole life and you know I would do anything for you," Gaius said, honesty lacing his voice.
"Listen, not all magic is bad. Just like a sword can be weld for bad it can also be weld for good. I choose good, Arthur." Merlin explained, pleading shown in his eyes.
"Let me show you." Merlin slowly opened his hand and a flower blossomed in his palm. Arthur was amazed. It was beautiful, but just then, it caught on fire.
"I was born with magic. I have been learning how to control it with Gaius and how to use it."
"Please Arthur, you know me. I would do nothing that would betray you or Camelot. Please."
Arthur nodded slowly, relieving Merlin of a sigh.
"Gaius I need some medicine. I believe I pulled a muscle during practice."
"Yes, sire." Gaius quickly bustled off for the medicine.
He returned and handed him the vile, Arthur gave him a curt nod and was gone.
The memory plagued Arthur as he watched Merlin's sleeping form. They were captured and he couldn't do anything about it, but that gave him a thought. Maybe Merlin can!
About thirty minutes later, a guard walked into the room with their measly breakfast consisting of a loaf of bread and water. The guard put the meal in the center of the room and left with a grunt.
Arthur looked over at Merlin and decided he needed to wake him up. He lifted the chains, so they wouldn't make noise on the ground, and crawled over the Merlin.
"Merlin," Arthur shook him gently. "Merlin, come on, then gave us breakfast."
"No, not hungry." Merlin moaned, tucking his head towards his chin.
"Merlin you haven't eaten anything. Come on, or I will force you."
Slowly Merlin started to make some movement in getting up. Arthur passed him a slice of bread and a goblet of water.
Merlin gave a small smile and barely took a nibble before setting it back down.
Arthur frowned. "You still not feeling well, are you?"
Merlin shook his head. "No, there's just something, here, it's just not right."
Merlin looked intently at Arthur before replying. "Yes."
"I have a really bad headache and I feel nausea."
"Magic makes you feel that way?"
"No not usually. Just strong magic, evil magic, or different types," Merlin said with a sigh.
"So this place has magic?"
"Yes, but I can't tell what kind. If that man had magic he would have already sensed mine or would have performed magic himself."
Arthur thought about this for a moment. So that how Merlin felt when Morgana was around? No wonder he didn't want to be near her. Just then the door opened with a bang an the leader came in.
"Get up!" he barked at Merlin, yanking his bonds, sending Merlin crashing down face first in the ground.
"Hey!" Arthur shouted at him.
"You shut up, you'll be getting it next!"
"Merlin! Stop, take me!" Arthur pleaded.
"No Arthur. Shut up!"
Merlin was dragged from the cell, leaving Arthur alone. Twenty minutes later Arthur heard the first scream. Merlin. Arthur started to breath fast, his friend was being tortured and all he could do was sit and listen.
The screams were agonizing, almost unrecognizable as human. Arthur heard the men yelling at him, asking questions and in reply Merlin always said no. What an idiot, just give them what they want. But Arthur knew better, the faster you give information the faster you die and the least likely you would be rescued. A while later the screams became grunts and the grunts became silence. Perhaps he had passed out. Arthur heard shuffling coming down the hall towards his cell. Two men were dragging Merlin by his arms, roughly. They threw his battered body in, locking the door behind them.
Arthur made sure they were gone before he made his was over to Merlin. Merlin was facing him. His eyes stared straight into his own eyes, making Arthur feel uncomfortable. Blood was streaked across Merlin's face, as well as seeping through his hair line. Bruises covered his face and neck where they seemed to have strangled him. Arthur took in the rest of his body and noticed cuts, obviously from a knife, along his arms and chests.
"Arthur," Merlin's voice cracked.
Arthur got his bearings before speaking. "Shh, don't try to talk."
Arthur ripped some of his own shirt and dipped it in the water. He needed to clean his wounds, especially the one on his head. As soon as Arthur put the cloth to Merlin's head, he came to.
"St…stop, hurts," Merlin groaned.
"Oh stop being such a baby," Arthur retorted but soon regretted it when a saw the look of pain plastered on Merlin's face.
"Don't be," Merlin shrugged.
Merlin was numb, well almost. He could feel the stinging cuts over his body, but it was just a dull pain. Merlin closed his eyes as Arthur resumed cleaning his wounds. Soon Merlin fell asleep. Arthur was still working on the cuts on his chest, his chest rising and falling with every breath he took. Arthur finished his work, placing the now red water and dirty cloth down. He brushed Merlin's sweaty hair off his face, before noticing he too was sweating. It wasn't hot, must have been nerves. He took off his traveling cloak just when the man came in.
"Hello Arthur," the man said long and slow.
"Who are you? What do you want?" Arthur snarled back at him.
My name, you ask? Arathorn."
"What do you want?"
"You should know what I want, Prince Arthur!" Arathorn came around grabbing the front of Arthur's shirt.
"I don't know what you are talking about?"
"You don't know the pain you have caused me! You don't know what it's like to have your wife killed!"
"Your wife? What happened?"
"Oh, like you don't know."
"No I don't."
"You father killed her for using magic. She never hurt anyone! She was just doing her chores!" He screamed.
Arthur said nothing, his mouth gapping slightly. "What was her name?"
"Lydia. She was beautiful. And you took all that away from me!" He shoved Arthur down and fled the room.
Arthur was shaken. His father kills sorcerers, he knew that. Magic was evil, or so he thought once he learned about Merlin, but he never thought his father would kill people just for having it, even if they didn't use it against someone. Maybe he was wrong about his father.
A few hours later both Merlin and Arthur were interrupted from their sleep by Arathorn again.
"I've got an idea," he said.
"You will fight one of best men in exchange for Merlin's safety. If you win Merlin is safe, if you don't we will, how do you put it? Interrogate him."
Arthur thought about this for a moment before answering. All he had to do was win and Merlin would be safe, simple enough. But before he replied Merlin shouted out.
"No, Arthur he's playing with you!"
"Oh, he knows how to play," Arathorn said mockingly.
"No, I'll do it."
Merlin hung his head in defeat.
"Good, be ready tonight. Eight o'clock, we will come get you and your servant."
"Arthur, you shouldn't have," Merlin groaned.
Arthur didn't answer, he knew he got himself in a bind. But all he had to do was win and he was determined to do it, for his own sake and for the sake of Merlin.