It was the end of another typical day in Camelot. The sun had set and the sky was a deep blue with still the faintest glimpse of orange at the horizon. Servants were hurrying to put away the dinner plates, knights were changing out of their armour and a certain manservant was dodging a goblet thrown at him by the King.
"Goodnight Sire!" Merlin said with a wide grin on his face as he ducked behind the dark oak door of the King's bedroom.
"Get out Merlin or I'll put you in the stocks for a week!" Arthur, King of Camelot, shouted back. Unfortunately he was shouting at nothing, as Merlin had wisely decided to leave before Arthur decided to throw any more objects at his head. Still grumbling Arthur rolled over in his massive four-poster bed and went to sleep.
Yet Merlin had a lot of work to do before he could go to sleep in his own small bed. His smile dropped as he hurried down to the laundry room with a basketful of Arthur's dirty laundry. If it wasn't all completely clean by the morning, he would have to deal with another lecture from Arthur about what a useless servant he was. Merlin was pretty sure he would rather fight a griffin than listen to that speech again. It was going to take a long time to get the clothes clean as well. Arthur had been trying to teach his knights how to wrestle that morning, and whenever that happened he got grass and mud on everything he was wearing.
Merlin filled a bucket up with water, rolled up his sleeves and grabbed the first of Arthur's shirts. But as he stood there, staring at the pile, Merlin realised how much he had to do and he realised how early he had to get up in the morning. Some random visiting dignitary that Arthur insisted they had to greet was arriving at dawn. To be honest with himself he hadn't been listening when Arthur had been lecturing him about it that morning. He never even bothered to find out the man's name or where he was coming from. Besides, it was late and everyone else had finished all their chores. After glancing around to be certain he was alone, Merlin whispered a spell.
Áfeormian þes wæsohús
His eyes flashed a brilliant gold for a moment before turning back to their normal, but still striking, blue. Even though magic was forbidden on the pain of death, Merlin couldn't help using his considerable power to make life a little easier now and then. After all what's the point of being the greatest sorcerer the world has ever seen if you can't use your powers for completely trivial things? Merlin snorted at the thought, Gaius would be horrified at how he was using his "gift".
Surveying his handiwork Merlin checked all of Arthur's now spotless clothes for any dirt his spell might have missed. Grinning again he folded the clothes so they formed a neat pile and hurried back up the stairs to Arthur's room. Even though no one was allowed into the King's room after dusk, Merlin went in anyway. Arthur and Merlin had come to an agreement long ago that Merlin was allowed into his room at any time, except when he was expressly forbidden to enter.
Silently Merlin pushed open the door and stuck his head in, checking if Arthur was still awake. When he was sure he could hear the gentle snoring of the king, Merlin crept into the spacious room and carefully shut the door behind him. Arthur would deny that he snored at all, but Gwen and Merlin did sometimes laugh about it behind his back.
Thinking of Gwen, Merlin wondered how the Queen was faring, sleeping alone in her own chambers for once. Breaking tradition like usual, Arthur and Gwen almost always slept together in his room. Despite what some of the older and more up-tight members of the court said, Merlin thought it was cute that they could hardly bear being away from each other for a single night. However Gwen and Arthur were separate tonight because Arthur insisted that he didn't want to wake her up so early in the morning. Even though she protested that she got up earlier than her husband most mornings, Gwen eventually allowed herself to be taken to her own room, just down the hall.
Merlin suddenly realised he shouldn't have been worrying about Gwen and should have been more concerned with what he was doing. This epiphany came immediately after he walked straight into the long table that the king used for breakfast, and slammed his thigh into its side. Without meaning to, Merlin jumped backwards and grabbed his leg, barely stifling a curse. As he did so, two things happened. First he dropped the pile of laundry he was holding, which would have fallen to floor if Merlin hadn't quickly and instinctively used his magic to stop it the moment before it hit the ground. Secondly he jumped back and stepped on the goblet that Arthur had thrown at him earlier that evening. Losing his balance, Merlin fell to the ground and landed flat onto his back onto the wooden floor with a sizeable crash. The second he landed on the floor, the pile of laundry also fell to the ground.
In a heartbeat Arthur was out of bed holding his sword and looking around for the source of the noise. When he noticed Merlin groaning on the floor, he was not impressed. Marching over, Arthur pulled his manservant off the ground and immediately started ranting.
"Merlin what the hell are you doing in my room this time? You know I have to be up early to meet with the Druid ambassador! I have to be awake and alert if these talks are going to be successful. I can't be half asleep because my idiot of a servant decided to wake me up in the middle of the night! Well? What do you have to say for yourself? And why on Earth were you on the floor?"
Merlin smiled sheepishly. "Well Sire, I've just finished doing all of your washing for today and was returning it to you when I walked into the table and fell on the goblet that you threw at me when I left earlier. And it isn't really the middle of the night, I've only been gone about half an hour! So you'll be perfectly fine to meet… Wait did you say the Druid ambassador?"
Arthur rolled his eyes at his servant. "Yes Merlin, I'm meeting with someone who is representing the Druids while we start peace talks tomorrow. Honestly, don't you listen to a word I say?"
"I never do Sire." Merlin retorted, but this time his mind didn't seem to be on the banter as he looked away quickly.
"What's the name of the Druid that's coming here?"
Arthur feigned a look of shock. "Merlin, caring about matters of the state? I never thought I'd see the day."
Now it was Merlin's turn to roll his eyes. "Please Arthur, just tell me who he is."
"Give me a moment! Ah, that's it. His name is Emrys."
A/N Hi! So this is my first fic, I hope you all like it. Sorry to leave you at a little cliff-hanger but I promise the second chapter is coming soon. As you might have guessed this is definitely a reveal fic but it will come in a kind of unexpected manner.
Also this chapter is exactly 1208 words long and I promise every chapter will be at least one thousand words!
I'll see you all next time!