Title: Seeing Red
Character/s: Arthur, Leon, Gwaine, Percival, Elyan, Merlin
Summary: Leon is doubtful and Arthur is trusting and loyal.
Word Count: 962
Prompt: #23 Red
Author's Notes: This is the next instalment in the Seen and Hidden ‘verse (as promised). It is accompanied by my drawble for this same challenge. I finally managed two entries in one week *dances* (even if one is a tad late).
Having had a day to think about the news of Merlin’s magic, Arthur decided his closest friends and most trusted Knights should hear the news before others in the castle (besides Gwen, who had already confided in), as they were as close to Merlin as they were to him. He sent messages to Leon, Elyan, Gwaine and Percival to meet him in one of the guest bedrooms before training.
When they were all present, Leon was the one to ask the question. “So, what is this about?”
“You all know that the laws around magic in Camelot are in the process of being re-written and that I want someone trustworthy to advise me in this area, having had a biased upbringing.”
“Have you found someone?” Percival asked. The other knights seemed to want to know the answer as well and Gwaine had a particularly curious smile on his face Arthur chose to ignore.
“I believe I have and that’s why I have called you here. I thought you deserved to know the truth before the rest of the castle and the kingdom.”
The knights’ expectant expressions turned to confused ones, except for Gwaine who continued to grin.
Arthur took a deep breath. He had decided he would not beat around the bush and would tell them straight.
“Merlin will be my Magic Advisor.”
“Merlin!” Leon exclaimed before Arthur could say any more. “Arthur, we know you are close to him and we are too, but why Merlin? He doesn’t practice magic. There is only so much you can read from books. Gaius may have taught him a thing or two, but surely not enough to be up to the standard you wanted? Someone who could protect you from magical attacks?”
“Calm down, Leon. Merlin has saved us all from the evil sorcerers who have wielded magic against us and Camelot. He is the one the druids call Emrys. He is a powerful warlock and a Dragonlord. Do you still question my judgement?” Arthur’s face was stern. He looked at the other knights to see their reactions.
Elyan and Percival were too surprised to speak, but they didn’t seem to doubt what Arthur said as Leon did. Gwaine’s expression was surprised but not nearly as much as the others. Arthur suspected that not all of this news was new to him.
Arthur finally settled his eyes back on Leon and waited for an answer.
“How do you know all this?” Another question, but Arthur would answer it.
“Merlin showed me his memories. I saw his eyes change colour and then I felt his magic caress me skin.”
“He put a spell on you.” It seemed years under Uther’s rule had corrupted Leon’s mind and he was trained to think the worst. Arthur had hoped that the years after Uther’s passing would have changed some of the older knights’ opinions on the world, but it would seem Leon would need more time to adjust and change his instinctive thoughts and actions.
“He did not put a spell on me. I was totally aware and conscious the whole time. I trust Merlin with me life and he has not let me down yet.”
“Have you seen his magic with your own eyes and not just through memories, as you say?”
Arthur had to think twice before answering. “I saw his eyes change. I felt his magic… but maybe you have a point. I still have no doubt that Merlin is the person I want by my side, but if it would set your mind at ease, I’ll will arrange for him to give us a demonstration of his power.”
Merlin looked up when the door opened. Arthur walked into his chamber and closed the door behind him. Arthur noted the smile lighting up Merlin's face, then the rag on the floor and the bucket full of murky water.
"Good afternoon, Sire," Merlin chimed. He was about to say that he hadn't been expecting the King back in his chambers until later that night when he noticed Arthur had raised an eyebrow and was giving him a questioning look.
"Merlin, what are you doing?" he asked the question as if he had never seen his manservant on his hands and knees cleaning the floor with a cloth and bucket before.
"The floor was filthy, so I'm cleaning it," Merlin replied, puzzled.
"Yes, I can see you are cleaning it. But why?"
"Because that's part of my job?" Merlin made the statement into a question, not sure what he was missing.
"But I told you, you are to be my new Magic Advisor."
"We'll yes..." Merlin agreed. "But only a handful of people know and you never said I was to stop being your manservant."
"Do you want me to shout the news from one of the balconies overlooking the courtyard so all of Camelot will know you no longer have to scrub the floors of my chambers, it's that it?" Arthur said this jokingly and although Merlin knew this, he had passed up too many opportunities to just let this one slip past him.
"Maybe not using those words, but announcing the new laws and my role to Camelot wouldn't be so bad." Merlin did his best to keep a straight face as Arthur's face moved from his jolly expression to one that was a combination of shock, questioning and utterly serious.
Then he smiled and walked over to Merlin, red cape flowing gracefully behind him. He placed a hand on the top of Merlin’s head as he knelt on the floor. Merlin looked down at his red neckerchief, which matched the King’s cape perfectly.
“That day may just come. But before then, you may have to prove yourself to a few doubtful people.”