?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

A Prince from Another World Chp11

Chapter Eleven: Fate and Magic Collide

“No” Merlin cried out holding onto his arm.

“Ástríce!” A shot of light hit Merlin in the chest and his body arched in pain. Again Nimueh sent a blast of light, followed by another and another moving each time closer to him.

Merlin struggled to his side, each hit causing his body to shake even more. His head felt like it had been split in two. He dug his fingers into the grass and pushed himself up only to fall back down when yet another blast hit him in the back.


“I expected more of a fight. Do you care so little about what happens to you Emrys?” Nimueh spat, stopping right on top of him. She grabbed him from the collar of his shirt and partly lifted him towards her. “It really is a shame, such a waste. We could have brought Camelot crumbling down to its last stone.”

“My name is Merlin.”

Nimueh let go of Merlin and shrieked as the edges of her cloak caught on fire. She put the fire out with her magic and grabbed him by the ankle, an evil laugh escaping her lips. Merlin kicked her in the face and scrambled to his feet. He rushed towards Laura and Will kneeling down next them. He flipped Laura over and then Will, their eyes were still shut but their breathing was steady.

“If you love them so much then burn with them.” Nimueh extended her hand, bringing it back towards her and then at Merlin’s direction. “Forbearnan.”

“Scildan!” A blue sphere formed around Merlin, spreading out, blocking the fire, and extinguishing the ring of flames that had formed around them.

Laura stirred and sat up. She looked at her son with both fear and worry. His clothes were tattered beyond recognition. The ground beneath them started to shake and crumble. Merlin lost his hold on the shield and the trembling stopped. His mother rose to her feet tugging at the still unconscious Will, moving him away from the cracked earth.

Will opened his eyes and stumbled to his feet. He looked around and his eyes fell on Nimueh. The sorceress was unmoving; her arm lay at her side limp, the flesh on her hand completely burned. Suddenly her eyes changed color and Will felt an immense pressure against his arm. The bone snapped and he clung to it, stumbling against Merlin. Laura screamed as her fingers bent the wrong direction.  She fell back to the ground, tears running down her cheeks as she looked back towards the sorceress and saw her eyes turn back to their original color.

Her hand had already started to swell, her skin turning purple where some of the bones had given under the force. She gasped in fear as Nimueh started to cast another spell at her. A black shadow formed under her feet, her body was too weak from the pain to allow her to rise. She closes her eyes and braced herself.

A shriek, not human and not from anything of this world, filled her eardrums and her eyes flew open. Blue fire danced under her feet and flickered against her skin. Her skin remained unaffected by it, but the shadow underneath her withered and turned to ash. The fire transformed to form a shield once more and it spread to include Will in it. Laura turned to her son and smiled weakly at him, slowly getting back on her feet.

Merlin gathered the magic in him to casts one final spell; he could feel his body start to give way. He raised his hand towards the sky. Dark clouds appeared, flashes of light danced in them and Merlin lowered his hand to Nimueh. A ray of lighting shot down from the sky and hit her, her body vibrated and blew apart to become dust. Merlin fell to the ground and the shield flickering before disappearing completely.

“Merlin,” Laura ran towards him, falling to the grass next to him. “Stay with me Merlin, Merlin...Merlin.”

“I think we should go to the hospital now.” He whispered forcing a smile and then giving in to the darkness.

Laura breathed in relief and rested her head on her son’s shoulder. “Yes that would be nice.”

Two weeks later

Merlin and Laura were sitting around the kitchen table having dinner when Geoffrey stopped by. He had called ahead of time to let them know he was coming, so it wasn’t quite unexpected. Laura set another plate on the table in front of the elderly man.

“This really isn’t necessary Laura; I just came by to drop something off for Merlin.”

“Nonsense, eat up. Merlin doesn’t mind waiting.” Laura cheerful replied, “Right Merlin.” She said sitting back down and tugging at her cast slipping a finger in-between the material and her hand.  It itched to no end.

“She refuses to let me heal her.” Merlin flatly stated, completely annoyed by it, and sidestepping the actual question.

Geoffrey looked at Merlin and then gave in when he was given another reassured smile from Laura. The meal went by with not much being exchanged besides small talk here and there. They talked, well Merlin mainly listened to them talk about the weather, how Geoffrey had finally finished organizing his bookstore, and anything else that didn’t relate to Prince Arthur and Camelot.

With the plates washed and put away, all three moved into the living room. Geoffrey was the first to break the silence. He handed Merlin a golden amulet and Merlin almost jumped out of his seat.

“This is….” Merlin gasped, turning the amulet over in his hands.

“Nimueh’s amulet,” Geoffrey finished for him. “Someone stopped by my shop yesterday wanting to get its historical background. They claimed they found it at the park. I managed to coax them into selling it to me, of course after I convinced them it was a cheap knock off.” He paused for a moment, unsure on quite how to phrase the next part.

“Merlin with this you don’t have to wait for the next Lunar or Solar Eclipse. You can go to Camelot right now.” Geoffrey stated, finally reaching the reason for his urgent visit and the thought that was on everyone’s mind.

Merlin stared at the amulet; his fingers grazed the cold metal and golden jewel resting in its center. “Mom?” He looked up at Laura with a mixture of emotions showing in his eyes.

“It’s what you’ve been trying to do ever since you returned Arthur and Balinor home.” Laura smiled at him, knowing the sadness and emptiness that was to follow her after today but refusing to let her son see it. “You should go.”

“Just be careful with it Merlin. It’s one of the few remaining magical objects created by the high priestess of the old religion; many sorcerers have died in trying to get their hands on it.” Geoffrey warned. “Once you get to Camelot you must promise to destroy it or put it somewhere where no one can get it.”

Merlin reassured him that he would and rushed to his room. He packed the few things he wanted to take with him, his drawing pad, Laura’s picture, a few books, and anything that wouldn’t stand out too much. Fully packed and ready Merlin returned down stairs. Geoffrey took his leave saying his final goodbyes to Merlin.

“You should call Will, I am sure he would like to see you off.”

He reached for his cellphone and dialed his friend’s number. Will answered after the first ring; he must have been waiting by the phone in case he called. He cleared his throat and broke the news to his friend. For a long moment there was only silence and Merlin stared at his mother for moral support. He was breaking their hearts and leaving them behind. It was not a decision he had come to lightly.

“I think you better give Arthur a kick in the ass for me and it better be a good one not one of your pansy poor excuse for a kick.” Will said and Merlin found himself holding back a laugh. They talked for a few minutes before they hung up.

“He agreed to meet us at the park.” Merlin informed his mother as he set the cellphone on the counter. He couldn’t take it, it was too conspicuous and Merlin had no idea if it would even work or not.

Laura called a taxi for them and they wasted no time in getting to the park. Will took a few minutes to arrive and all three moved towards the lake. Merlin stood at the foot of the bridge and gave his mother one last hug. She took something from her purse and placed it in his hands covering his fingers over it.

“I want you to keep this and remember me.” She said, her eyes were watery and her voice was shaky. “It was something that caught my eye when I was on my business trip. I got it for you but in all the commotion forgot to give it to you.”

Merlin looked at the necklace; a blue stone wrapped in wire and then weaved into a leather strap. “It’s beautiful.” He kissed his mother on the cheek and stuck it in his bag.

Will hugged him and shoved a small bundle into his hands. “It’s not as girly as your mother’s present. But take it anyways.”

He untied the thin cloth and stared down at the wooden carved box. Uncapping it he saw that there was an assortment of charcoal sticks, they differed in size and thickness.

“Thank you Will.” He carefully placed it inside his bag and moved towards the bridge.

Taking one final glance towards his mother and friend, the young warlock closed his eyes, clasped the amulet tightly, and concentrated. Once he had the words in his mind he opened his eyes slowly and recast the spell that would send him home.

As the gold faded from his eyes the water splashed upwards on both sides of the bridge, droplets of water splashing against his face. Merlin could feel the magic swirling around him then nothing but stillness encompassed him as everything began to blur. He felt the ground shift and he found himself standing in a field of wild flowers, the grass gently grazing against his clothes and the world he knew was gone.

He was back in Camelot; the spell had worked. The thought of his mother and Will back in the park stirred his heavy heart, but their words echo in his mind and he moved into the woods in the direction of Arthur. Merlin walked for hours, night turned into day providing him a clearer path in the trees and he stopped at the edge of the woods to stare at the beautiful towers peaking against the tree tops, red flags waving wildly in the air.

The young warlock quickly picked up his pace; he stumbled through the main gate and made his way through the lower towns towards the castle. Before he reached the castle Merlin found himself once more turning around to admire the lively people in the market place and what he could see of the castle. This world was so different from the one he had grown up in.

Arthur stood looking down at his people from atop one of the castle walls when a familiar tall slim figure caught his attention. The young prince leaned against the edge; his gloved hand grasped the stone construction tightly. A grin crossed his lips and he ran back into the castle, quickly making his way down, passed the courtyard, and to the marketplace.

He halted as he reached the spot where he had last seen Merlin; he looked frantically around trying to catch a glimpse of his raven short hair or blue eyes and felt doubt start to form in his heart. Had he imagined seeing him again? Arthur ran a hand through his hair, trying to calm himself down.

“I see that you haven’t missed me at all.” Merlin said behind him, a sheepish smile on his face.

Arthur turned around and brought his arms around his lover, hugging the warm body that had never been able to leave his thoughts. People stopped to stare at their prince and Merlin. Arthur quickly released Merlin and cleared his throat. He dragged the still red cheeked Merlin towards the castle, holding back what he wanted to say and do to him until they were in the safety of the castle.

Once they were in an empty corridor he pushed Merlin against a wall and pressed his body greedily against his. “I’ve missed you more than you could possibly imagine.” Arthur whispered into Merlin’s ear, lovingly nibbling the soft skin under it. They he kissed him, it was intense and Merlin could feel himself melting against Arthur’s touch.

A noise at the end of the corridor had them jerking apart. A guard came into view and walked past them before turning the corner. Arthur looked back at Merlin and scratched the back of his neck, a bit embarrassed at almost being caught.

“There is someone you must see.” The prince said, taking Merlin’s hand and leading him the opposite direction the guard had gone.

Arthur pushed Gaius’ door open, without bothering to knock, and walked in. Gaius almost fell off his stool having been given no advance notice of a visitor before he noticed it was only the prince. Merlin quickly stepped in and looked around the room, countless books and potions took up the two tables and desk in the room. The young warlock was reminded of Geoffrey’s bookstore.

“Arthur” Gaius said setting down his spoon and moving to shut the door. He glanced at Merlin and back to a door located at the back to the right near his desk.

The door opened and Balinor stepped out holding a bag over his shoulder. “Merlin” He called out as his eyes fell on his son. A smile reached his lips and he moved towards him, setting the bag on an empty stool. “But how..?” He hugged Merlin and then retrieved his bag, swinging it over his shoulder.

“Geoffrey found the amulet Nimueh used. She must have dropped it in our fight.” Merlin explained as he handed Balinor the amulet. “I’m supposed to destroy it or make sure no one ever uses it again.”

“There is a certain dragon that would be more than happy to help you in that.” Balinor said handing the amulet back. “I’m on my way back home, you caught me heading out. Want to come meet your mom?”

Merlin looked at Arthur and then back at his father. “I would like that.”

“Then it’s settled, I’ll wait for you at the edge of the woods. Pack light.” Balinor grabbed another bag near the door and left.

Balinor was exactly where he said he would be and soon they were on their way to Ealdor. Merlin shifted on his saddle and pushed his horse forward, already regretting having taken only one class in horseback riding. His mother had tried to get him to hang out with more people and her typical choice had been horseback riding. After he had fallen off a horse when some kids had decided to spook it while he was still on it that had been the end of that.

“You do know how to ride a horse.” Arthur commented, moving his horse next to Merlin’s.

“Yes, city people do more than just ride cars and bikes.” Merlin said, blushing at the unintentional second meaning to his words. The prince caught it and smirked.

A few hours passed before they stopped to let the horses rest. Merlin welcomed the break, his limps ached all over and his legs were all stiff. Once the horses were fed they were back on the trail, keeping at a steady pace and trying to gain as much distance from the castle and themselves. It wasn’t until the sun had hidden taking with it most of its light that they stopped to make camp.

Merlin moved to gather wood for the fire while Balinor unsaddled the horses. Arthur had disappeared once he had gotten off his horse. A pair of hands grabbed Merlin by the waist and he spun around in surprise, dropping what he had collected, to only have the prince’s lips on his. Arthur pressed Merlin against a tree and slipped his leg in between Merlin’s leg.

“Arthur” Merlin gasped, breaking the kiss and pushing on Arthur’s chest. “My father will see us.”

A twig snapped somewhere behind the tree Merlin was pressed against to support his claim and Arthur had no choice but to let his prey go. He stepped back and around the tree.

“Balinor” Arthur greeted, his composure showing no hints at what he had just been doing.

“Arthur”

Merlin banged his head on the tree and slowly moved away from it. He walked around it and headed for camp, looking down at the ground to hide the blush on his cheeks. Balinor followed both of them with his eyes and moved to pick up the pile of wood Merlin had dropped.

The next day, Merlin spent his entire time avoiding both Arthur and Balinor’s stare. His face was glued to the woods in front of him. He was grateful that Balinor wasn’t much of a talker but Arthur kept trying to rile him up. The lack of feeling to his bottoms helped him evade most of the prince’s attempts.

“That is Ealdor.” Balinor said, pointing past the hill’s edge to the tips of houses that could be seen in the distance. “We should be there by midday.”

Merlin paused at the edge of the hill to stare at the village. Trees surrounded it on all sides and beautiful mountains served as its backdrop. Merlin could make out smoke coming out of some of the houses. He guided his horse back to the trail and sped up to catch up with Arthur and Balinor who were in the middle of a conversation.

“If we explain to my father what happened to you he will understand and see that he is wrong.” Arthur argued pulling back the reins on his horse to keep him at the same pace with Balinor’s.

“Do you really believe your father will stop? Your father has lost himself in his crazy notions against anything related to magic. If I reveal myself to him it will surely be my death and that of everyone I love.” Balinor angrily stated standing by his decision.

“My father is a good King; he will do what is best for his people.”

“I will not see King Uther and that is the end of it boy.”

The conversation was dropped after that and the rest of the trip was spent in silence. The woods came to an end and the trees were replaced with fields of corn, rice, and vegetation. People were busy about collecting herbs, flowers, and conversing among themselves. Merlin could feel himself starting to get nervous. What would his birth mother be like? Would she find him adequate? Or would she find him strange?

“He is back,” A little boy who looked to be no older than seven spotted them and ran off towards a set of houses connected by wooden fences.

Balinor stops in front of a house and dismounts. He waits for Merlin and Arthur to do the same before leading the horses to the side and handing them to the same little boy who had announced their arrival. He tossed a few coins from his side pocket and moved back to the entrance of the house.

“This is our house Merlin.” Balinor said beckoning him to get closer. “And this is my wife, your mom, Hunith.” He added when the door opened to allow a woman with fair brown hair through.

“Merlin” Hunith greeted her son, taking him into her embrace and kissing the side of his cheek. “And you must be Prince Arthur; you are welcome in our house anytime.” She smiled warmly, grasping Merlin’s arm and leading him inside.

“He is very handsome my son, a good match for you.” Merlin could feel his ears turning beet red. “Your father filled me in on what happened while you both were in the other world.” Hunith whispered into his ear before giving his arm a supportive squeeze and then making her way to the pot over the fire.

“How long will you be staying?”

“Just one night,” Arthur answered for Merlin. “We will be returning to Camelot in the morning.” His tone of voice left no room for debating and Merlin found himself agreeing with the prince.

Food was served, beef stew and bread. Balinor gulped it down in one go and stepped outside mumbling something about checking on the horses. Arthur barely touched his and Merlin was halfway through his when a nudge to his side had him spilling the rest on the floor. He shot Arthur a questioning look.

“Are you really going to eat that?” Arthur said loud enough for only Merlin’s ears.

“That was the plan.” Merlin said moving to help Hunith with cleaning it up. He sat back down and stared at his not so empty bowl.

Arthur fought back the smile creeping up at the corner of his lips and he thanked Merlin’s mom for the food. He spent the remaining minutes it took Merlin to eat the rest of the stew looking around the room and trying to look interested. The house was small and simple, it only had two rooms. One served as the bedroom while the kitchen, dining area, and sitting room took up the room they were currently in. Arthur couldn’t help but wonder where they would be sleeping.

It wasn’t long before he found out. He stared at the straw bed barely large enough to fit two and his eyebrows shot up. “You can’t be serious.”

“You’re the one who wanted to come along.” Merlin teased setting his things on the corner of the room and sitting on the bed.

At the first stroke of daylight Arthur and Merlin galloped back towards Camelot with the promise that Balinor would take the amulet to Kilgharrah to be destroyed so that no one else could use it again. Arthur had accepted his decision in staying hidden from Uther. He had to admit his father was a very suborn king and deep down he knew his father would not accept magic even with the last dragon back. Merlin moaned, discomfort ridden all over his face as he shifted on his saddle.

“Stop being such a girl Merlin,” Arthur teased as he brought his horse to a halt, a grin on his face. Merlin rolled his eyes at his prince and moved past him.

“Not everyone can have as much meat on their bones as you sire!” Merlin teased back.

“I am not fat!” Arthur stated his horse now at the same pace as Merlin’s. “You of all people should know that.” He concluded, his eyebrows shooting up in a playful manner hinting at the love making they had shared. A laugh escaped his lips as Merlin’s cheeks turned red at the mentioning of it.

The trip back took less time and a few hours before midday of the following day the main gates of Camelot came into view. Arthur and Merlin galloped at a much slower pace the rest of the way and dismounted when they reached the courtyard. A guard met them and informed Arthur that King Uther required his presence.

“Leave them.” Arthur told Merlin and made his way to the throne room. Merlin hesitated unsure what to do when a boy around fourteen took the reins from him and he quickly moved to catch up with the prince.

“Don’t speak; let me do all the talking.” Arthur said turning to Merlin before pushing the doors open.

The King was sitting on his throne and rose to his feet when his son entered. “Arthur what is this about you leaving the castle to visit a small village just outside our borders. You were just safely brought back and you go off and disappear again.”

“I am sorry father, I wanted to thank the man who informed our knights of my whereabouts personally and I heard he resided in Ealdor.” Arthur replied standing firm and every inch the prince he was.

“I will let it pass this once, but the next time you run off like that again I will throw you in the stocks for a month. Is that understood?”

“Yes father.”

“And who is this?” Uther questioned waving a gloved hand towards Merlin standing to the left a few paces behind Arthur.

“He is…He is my new manservant.” Arthur stated beckoning Merlin forward. “Merlin” Merlin masked his surprised reaction and bowed to the King giving him one of his best smiles.

“Very well you are dismissed.” Uther signaled, ignoring Merlin, and sat back on his throne.

Arthur and Merlin walked out, the doors shut behind them and they continued to make their way down several corridors until they reached another part of the castle leading to one of the lookouts. Arthur leaned on the edge and looked over Camelot. Merlin let his eyes take in the sight and the realization that he was where he belonged, with Arthur.

“Your manservant, huh…?” Merlin asked a serious look on his face. They stared at each other for a moment, neither saying anything for or against the idea.

Merlin was the first to give in. “Naw, I don’t think you can afford me.” He smiled sheepishly and took off running. Arthur made chase, their laughter filling the quite air.