Title: The Magic Message
Summary: Gaius, the year after the battle and a mysterious script.
Warnings: Slight angst, set after 5x13
Word Count: 751
Prompt: #52 At Last
Author's Notes: Part of the ‘verse I’ve decided to call ‘One of a Kind’, Starting with Noise Of Loneliness. This instalment is slightly angsty, with a reasonably happy ending.
Also, YAY for camelot_drabble's first year of drabble prompting. I owe this comm a heap in enabling me to get back into the writing groove. So, THANK YOU!!!
Nearly a year passed since the battle at Camlann and Gaius had started to train a new apprentice to be his successor as Court Physician. There isn’t a day that has passed that Gaius did not think of Merlin, but he had all but given up on the hope the last Dragonlord would find his way back to Camelot.
In the beginning, Gaius thought Merlin would write. Yet, as the weeks passed with no word from the young warlock he had nurtured, life in Camelot moved on without so much as a whisper of the Arthur’s manservant.
One of the Queen’s first orders of business was to extend the hand of peace to all those who possessed or practiced magic for the good of those around them and for the good of Camelot. She made it clear that those who were seen to use magic against the Kingdom and its people would still be punished for their actions.
Gaius had played a large role in advising the Queen about various magical customs and practices. During these times, Gaius was sure, on occasion, either or both of them had the urge to mention Merlin, but neither did. Gaius didn’t mention him because many a time it was obvious both their thoughts were on Merlin and his name didn’t need to be said, but other times it was a fleeting thought or memory and a small glint in one of their eyes, which disappeared with a blink.
Yes, Gaius missed the young warlock dearly, but he tried not to let others see. He needed to be strong for the Queen, for Leon and for Percival, who too felt the lost presents of a good man and friend.
So, as the weeks turned into months with no word from Merlin, Gaius’ hope of contact faded into the background. He would only think of him now and then, hoping he was safe and well.
Gaius had just sent his new apprentice out to the forest and lower town to gather more supplies, when a mysterious breeze travelled through his chambers, dislodging a couple of books from their place on the shelf and table.
Gaius turned from the potion he was making to the books that now lay open on the floor. He leaned over to pick them and as he was closing them, spotted a sketch of a dragon he had not seen before, on a loose piece of parchment between the open pages on one of the books. He looked at the other book’s contents and saw that it was open to a page about dragon’s eggs.
Gaius shuffled over to his table and sat, opening the books flat on the pages. The sketch of the dragon was definitely new to him and the writing both on top and below did not look like any written language he was familiar with.
He looked over at the other book with the information and picture of a dragon’s egg and then looked back at the strange language. Was it a coincidence or was someone trying to tell him something?
It was a few minutes of starring at the parchment and the open book in turn before it struck him.
Through force of habit, he looked around and listened to be sure nobody was around and his apprentice was not coming back yet. Once he believe it was all clear, he placed his hand over the parchment and uttered a spell to would translate the dragon’s tongue into a language he could read with ease.
I hope you are well and have not worried too much about me over the time that I have been gone. Please do not tell the others I am writing to you, as I do not want them to come looking for me.
I have been spending my time with Kilgharrah and Aithusa, working on righting the wrongs done to them. I have been slowing healing Aithusa and the sketch below shows how she has grown and healed so far.
I’m sorry I have not come back to see you and the others but I’m sure you all understand why. Thank you for all that you taught me.
Gaius could not stop the tears running down his nose and cheeks. At last, he knew for sure Merlin was still alive. And even after the loss of Arthur from this world, the other half to who made him whole, Merlin had found a meaningful purpose and immersed himself in magic.