Title: A Hope For All
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur, OC, Crossover character (Sir Percy Blakeney)
Summary: He was a disgusting example of mankind and Merlin wished that people like this wouldn’t exist anywhere in the world.
Word Count: 1000 (exactamente, I promise)
Author's notes: This contains a crossover, sorta, but I hope it’ll be understandable for all.
A Hope For All
„Surrender yourself! There’s nowhere to run.” Arthur’s harsh words echoed through the small, dark alley. A boy no more than seventeen stood there with his back against the wall. His shoulder-length brown, matted hair was wet with sweat after the furious chase. His breath came in short gasps and his eyes searched desperately the alley, like a cornered animal, looking for a way out. But there was none. The king’s knights were blocking the only exit.
He was searching for a spell that would do some good in this situation, but his magic was useless now. Opening a prison cell was one thing, but he was quite untrained in sorcery, and the few spells he had learnt were only good for making plants grow faster. And now he was going to die for it.
Suddenly a man appeared seemingly out of nowhere, gasping just as hard as the boy.
„You ’eard the prince! Come on, boy, back to your cage. Now!” The man breathed out menacingly.
„Excuse me, but who are you?” Asked said prince with a confused frown. He was annoyed with everything at this point that kept him further from his bed. The bells had roused him from his sleep, to chase some sorcerer who had escaped from the dungeons. It was almost dawn, just three hours till his execution.
Merlin too had been roused from his sleep, and had gone to see what the commotion had been. He had watched the scene unfold from a distance, covered in shadows. What he saw took his breath away. The boy with his back to the wall looked quite similar to him, and he also had magic. It easily could have been him.
„M’name’s Dugan.” Said the man with a deep bow towards Arthur. „I’m a bounty hunter, sire. I captured this boy on me way to Camelot.” Merlin only saw the man from profile, but he instantly felt repulsed. If not for his profession, than for the man himself, for he was a disgusting example of mankind. A man nobody in their right mind wanted to be around. His clothes, while expensive, were tasteless and dirty, his hair unkempt just like the boys’ he was so proud to have captured, and he had no teeth, just a black hole gaped back at the prince when he opened his mouth. Even his accent put Merlin off, he was obviously not from Camelot, and he wished that people like this wouldn’t exist anywhere in the world.
„Well, thank you…Dugan.” Said Arthur. „I’m sure, you’ll get your well-earned reward from my father, but we can take care of this now. You are no longer needed here.” He just wanted to put the boy back into his cell and go back to bed.
„I’m sure you can, sire, but you are tired, and yer guards are not so capable, it seems. They already let him escape once. Believe me when I say, he’s a sorcerer and a dangerous one at that. M’cage were designed with sorcerers in mind, there’s no way he can open that one.” He said in a derisive tone and he drew his thin mouth into a mocking smile which he instantly disguised with another unnecessarily low bow. Suddenly a cart with a big cage appeared, ridden by a man equally as repulsive as Dugan. „Ah, thank you, Blothan. If you allow it, sire, my assistant will put the boy in there, and we’ll guard him with our lives until his time to die comes.”
Arthur gave up at this point. He wasn’t in the mood to argue, and definitely didn’t want to be roused again because of this boy, so he nodded.
Merlin felt sick as he saw Blothan walk up to the boy and grab him by the shoulders. At first he tried to struggle but then the assistant whispered something in his ear that made him accept his fate and he allowed himself to be dragged to the cage.
The prince and his knights retired, leaving the two men, and the boy alone, but Merlin stayed. Something told him that these men were up to something, and he shouldn’t leave the poor boy alone. He knew he was beyond saving now, but still, he was reluctant to leave.
He was so caught up in staring at the cage that he failed to realize that Dugan disappeared. Suddenly someone caught him from behind, a strong, grimy hand covered his mouth preventing him from uttering a sound, and he was spun around.
„What are you doing ’ere, boy?” He whispered threateningly, then his eyes went wide, and his jaw dropped. Merlin realized that he had his teeth, every single one of them, but they were also covered in grime, so they remained unseen until his face came within inches from his. „You…you have magic!” The man mused, and Merlin was seized by a whirl of panic. He was sure his life was over.
Dugan suddenly released him, and for the first time, Merlin saw his eyes. They were intelligent and deep, so deep that he lost himself in them for a moment. They were so in contrast with the whole appearance that he refused to believe they belonged to this man.
„Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone. Just make sure you go back to your bed, and forget this whole night. You haven’t seen anything, right?” He smiled and went back to the cart, leaving Merlin there dumbfounded.
Three hours later the bells roused him again. Uther was furious when they found the cart abandoned and the cage empty just outside the gates of Camelot. Only a small piece of paper was left there with a little flower with five petals made of red wax on it, and a strange rhyme.
„They seek him here, they seek him there,
Those Britons seek him everywhere,
Is he in heaven?-Or is he in hell?
That damned, elusive Pimpernel.”
Merlin wished more people like Dugan existed. Or whatever his real name was.