Title: A Quiet Place
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur
Summary: Learning the ways of the old magic sounded like a good idea, but being taught far away from his home is more than Merlin can handle.
Word Count: 820
Prompt: #205 First Day of School
Author's Notes: Sorry, edited because I posted the wrong version before.
His side is beginning to hurt, he’s trying to force air back in his lungs, it burns but Merlin isn’t planning on stopping. Since he left the big cold room where a priestess was narrating the daunting task of learning to reel in their magic and use it for the light side, he was ready to escape. There were another six children, awed and honey-eyed and Merlin probably heard half of what she said, his eyes fixated on the way she moved effortlessly and how he could feel her magic like a cloth drapped over them.
By the time he was in Gaius presence he felt a hole open up inside him and his eyes were stinging. He heard his mother’s voice, calling to him, she was smiling proudly at him saying one day he’ll become a great warlock. He was pleading with her, he felt alone. Back when he was eight he dreamt of the day he would be summoned and he’d learn more about magic and the old religion. The day he’d meet his destiny. When he’d get to see the place where magic was abundant and knowledge was passed at every corner. But on the day after his twelfth birthday Merlin wasn’t so sure anymore. His mother’s eyes were happy but filled with tears and he had to say goodbye. He left in a black horse with the order to not look back. Right now he isn't.
He wants to go back to Ealdor, hug his mother, chase after Will and laugh when he wins yet another race.
Merlin has his reasons for leaving before Gaius could notice his absence, but he guesses it won’t be long before he’s find out. His leg muscles are getting tired and sore, everything around is greener and greener and the main trail is far away. The castle is a mere spec behind him. When he ran he did it without a plan or idea of where he was going. If he wasn't trying to hide he’d be worried of being lost.
He finally stops, takes deep, deep breathes and cleans the sweat off his forehead against the back of his sleeve. He’s surrounded by tall trees and grass, ivy runs around freely and the earth hums beneath his feet. It’s silent around him, like the world has been muted.
Merlin tries to figure out how much time he has before they drag him back and lecture him on the perils of being a young warlock with vulnerable magic he can’t control by will.
He walks over the shade of a tree, ready to settle down except someone else is already hiding beneath the elder tree. Blue eyes and a scowl meet him when his feet get caught on a loose branch and he almost trips, making more noise than this place has ever heard. Possibly.
“Go away,” a raspy voice cuts through.
Merlin blinks. But doesn't move. Instead takes in the boy slumped against the tree. Eyes rimmed red, hands in fists against his sides. “I said go away! Don’t you know who I am?”
He shakes his head. “No, and I can’t leave. I ran away from Albion.”
The boy gets up, blond head shining with the sun, stance a touch proud. “Oh, you're a warlock.” He says the words with a hint of wonder and the satisfaction of someone who has solved a mystery. “I thought you weren’t supposed to leave the grounds before the first month passed. My father says wild magic is dangerous.”
“We can’t. I just…”
The boy’s eyes narrow, and he’s about to say something when they hear voices, footsteps, Merlin’s name being called. The new name the Great Spirit chose for him.
“Please, don’t tell them I’m here.”
“Why would I do something like that for you?”
Merlin has the urge to fight this boy who looks mocking, and is uninterested in anything Merlin related if the way he’s staring beyond him is any indication. He might as well be invisible. Merlin swallows, quenches down the feeling. He says finally in what can only be called a whisper. “I miss my mum.”
The boy must hear him despite his volume because then he’s chewing on his lip, his gaze on the ground, and when he looks back up at him again his eyes are softer and Merlin sees something he can quite place but seems familiar. He nods. “But stay back, I’ll deal with your mess.”
He shakes his head, puts a hand up. “You owe me.”
Merlin is taken aback, for a moment he expected him to yell and give him away, handing Merlin back to the place he belongs now. He does was he was told and hides beneath the canopy of leaves with the creatures of the forest. Watching the boy go and intercept the searching party. Effectively turning them around.
Merlin is relieved, everything goes back to a calm and stillness. Around him the wind speaks.