Word Count: 732
Prompt: Family dinner
Summary: Merlin is a bit sad that he’s not with his family on his birthday
Notes: Sorry, once again not beta’d. And yes, it says Merlin/Arthur even though this isn’t mentioned anywhere in the drabble. But would Arthur do this for anyone else?
“Merlin, Arthur needs you in the great hall.” Leon smiled and then turned, assuming that Merlin would follow him.
Sighing, Merlin did, not without dragging his feet. It was his birthday and of course nobody in the whole castle had thought about it, not even Gwen. Especially not Arthur. He had only given him tons of things to do all day long. As soon as Merlin had thought he was done and could find a way to weasel out of the castle to have some time for himself, Arthur had ordered him to do something else.
These were the days he missed his mother most. Holidays, times when everyone got together, his birthday. She had always found a way to cook a nice meal for him on his and sometimes she had even asked Will and his mother over.
Now he was just a servant nobody cared about.
If he paid a bit more attention, Merlin would have noticed that Leon was trying to bite back a grin all the way and that there were noises coming from the great hall.
When he finally noticed, he threw Leon a look, but Leon already opened one of the heavy doors and made a grand gesture for Merlin to enter.
Confusedly, he did, carefully stepping over the threshold, suddenly wary. Had he done magic lately that had been discovered? But no, Leon was smiling even wider now, he wouldn’t if he had to lead Merlin to be punished. Had he done anything else that wasn’t to Arthur’s liking? He couldn’t remember anything, but with Arthur you never knew.
Why were there so many people assembled around a huge table? And there was food on the table, too. Had he missed that there would be a feast? Why hadn’t anyone told him that he had to wait on Arthur? But it all made sense. The orders to brush out Arthur’s clothes and to shine his boots and to do all those little things and if Merlin dared say so, Arthur looked stunning in the way he just got up out of his chair at the head of the table.
Merlin automatically ducked his head and everyone chuckled.
Arthur waited until Merlin stood next to him and Merlin was totally confused when Arthur pulled up a chair and motioned for him to sit.
Slowly, he sank into the chair, looking questioningly from one to the other. Gwen was there and Gwaine, Lancelot and Percival, Elyan and Gaius and a lot more of the people from the castle who Merlin liked.
Someone pushed a goblet of wine in his hand and Merlin looked up at Arthur as Arthur began to speak.
“We’re here to commemorate…” he started and Merlin was even more confused. What had he forgotten? What was going on that everyone but him knew about?
“…a special day. Without it, I’m not certain if Camelot would be a safer place considering all the mishaps and accidents that usually happen, or if it would be a lot duller.” Arthur pulled himself up to his full height. “The day of Merlin’s birth.” He turned towards Merlin. “You have learned a lot since you came here and one day, we will teach you how to be a good servant.”
Everyone laughed and Merlin felt as if the tips of his ears had caught fire.
“But today is not that day. Today is the day to celebrate you coming of age. So celebrate we will!” Arthur raised his goblet and everybody got up, imitating the gesture. “To Merlin!”
“To Merlin!” The room echoed.
Merlin shyly raised his goblet and drank, too, when they all did. All day long he thought that nobody cared enough to remember his birthday and there they were, having a feast in his honour. He had missed his mother and Will and everyone in the village coming over with a little present or well wishes, they had been his family.
As Merlin looked around the table, Gwen smiled widely at him, Gwaine winked and Percival took another gulp from his own goblet and nodded, Merlin leaned back and smiled. A warm feeling ran through him when Arthur gestured for a servant to put more of the best foods on Merlin’s plate.
Even though they were not connected by blood, these people were his family now and it felt good to be part of them.