Title: The Memories We Keep
Character/s: Merlin, Freya, a bit of Gwen
Summary: Merlin and Freya tell each other a happy childhood memory. One that Merlin treasures forever
Word Count: 783
Author's Notes: The illusion that Merlin creates for Freya has been taken from the Middle English Prose Merlin.
Memories we keep
Candlelight flickered gently against the walls in the catacombs , giving the alcove they were hiding in a warm glow. In the aftermath of almost being caught by Halig, Freya broke down crying. In their relief, Merlin comforted her, and then kissed her, tentatively at first. Within seconds they grabbed at each other, kissing each other passionately and urgently. Contrary to what Arthur, and possibly Gaius believed, Merlin wasn’t exactly innocent, or naive. Really, neither had any idea what those who lived in small farming villages got up to. It wasn’t all hard work and no play. He knew well how to pleasure a girl, but this wasn’t some girl from the village, who he knew from a young age. For the first time he felt something stir within him, a desire to be with her and protect her and make her happy. There was something about this girl that he felt drawn to, he felt he wanted to know everything about her. He loved the way her face lit up when she talked about her home.
Afterwards, as they lay comfortably next to each other, he turned to her and asked
“Tell me more, about your lake and your family”as her face fell he added “a happy memory from your childhood or something”
“Why?”she asked raising her eyebrows slightly.
“Don’t know really”he admitted, “just curious, I suppose – Go on”he nudged her.
“All right then”she replied, “but you have to tell me something as well”
Freya closed her eyes, remembering back to a happier time, before this horrible thing had happened to her, and she’d lost everything.
“Sometimes a travelling fair would come, and my mother and father would give my sister and I some coins...”
Merlin interrupted, “A sister, what’s that like?”
“I don’t know, just having a sister I guess, didn’t you have a brother or sister?”
“No”, he replied,”it was just me and my mother, Go on”he prompted her to continue.
She thought for a moment, the memories returning to her, making her face light up again “There would be all kinds of people, jugglers, acrobats, minstrels playing music, and magicians, not like you of course”she laughed “just ones doing silly tricks, not real magic. One time there was a fortune teller, she told my sister to be careful, something dreadful would happen to her on the way home”
“And did it?”Merlin asked.
“Well” Freya laughed at the memory “she tripped over and bruised her knee, I don’t know if that counts as dreadful!” They both laughed.
Merlin had an idea and sat up.
“Wait”he said, and started to make the candles dance as they had done before. Freya started to speak, he turned to her smiling and said, “Sshhh, watch”
The candles changed multiplied and changed shape, suddenly they were surrounded by a parade of knights and ladies holding hands as they danced to music from the troubadours, a faint sound of music could be heard from their instruments. Jugglers threw bottles and balls high up into the air catching them again, while acrobats balanced on top of one another.
Merlin watched Freya with one eye as she stared with delighted awe at the illusion he had conjured for her. “Hold on”he said as he thought of something else, and a stream wound its way around the parade. “That’s a bit more impressive than a strawberry, don’t you think?”he asked grinning . She smiled widely at him and nodded. He’d made her happy again, and he was pleased.
“Merlin, that’s amazing, do you think you could teach me something like that one day.?”
His heart soared, “I could try” he answered, an idea forming. He could do this, he thought, he could keep her safe, and make her happy forever. He let the flames regain their original shape and go back to their candles.
“Now, your turn”she demanded.
So he told her of the time he had nearly destroyed Old Man Simmons hut with a tree, regaling her with his and Wills antics as they had made their quick getaway, and the description of the old mans face as he saw his roof.
Many years later, he would travel out to the lake where she now resided , bringing strawberries and conjuring the parade out of water.
After Arthur had died, he brought Gwen along with him and showed her as well. She laughed and clapped as Freya had done. As they were leaving she turned to him and asked why he still came here. He looked at her, no longer smiling. “It’s the only memories I have of her”
Gwen nodded in agreement, she knew full well that memories where meant to be treasured.