Uther isn't sure whether he wants to kill everyone in the immediate area or drop to the floor and melt into a little puddle of goo like the rest of his court. He should have picked up on the bitter smell in the cup, but he didn't, and now he's stuck with a small problem.
And by small, he meant his son and manservant are now seven year olds. Seven year olds who are best friends. And sitting on his thrown. Asleep. Curled around one another.
Morgana is sitting by them, sweeping hair our of Merlin's face. The manservant is sitting mostly upright, arms round Arthur, who snuggled against him, head tucked under Merlin's chin, small hands fisted in the others shirt.
Merlin yawned and blinked an eye open. He saw Uther and his arms tightened around Arthur, tugging him closer still, hand in his hair. There's a passion burning in big, round blue eyes, protective of the boy cuddled close to him.
Uther felt the armour round his heart crack.
"Has she gone?" Merlin asked, eyes sweeping the room with a critical accuracy that doesn't quite fit a seven year old. Then again, Merlin doesn't quite fit into the role of manservant all that well, either.
Morgana nods, patting his hair. "She's gone. The Knights are holding her in the dungeon to await judgment." Merlin craned his neck round to look at her. He nods, evidently finding something he agrees with and looks down at Arthur.
He pressed a kiss to the blonde boy's forehead. "Good," he murmured, "At least she can't hurt Arthur anymore."
Several people giggled or let out a quiet "Aww," at the act, and Uther was surprised no-one heard the barriers around his heart crack loudly.
Arthur opened his eyes and rubbed his eyes blearily. He blinked confusedly at them, before turning to Merlin.
"You saved me," he whispered, voice awed and amazed.
"That I did," Merlin agreed, with a beam that destroyed the rest of the wall around Uther's heart. Arthur nodded, before blinking and looking back at them. Morgana ruffled the blonde hair. Arthur screwed up his nose and stuck his tongue out at the King's ward.
"Come Merlin," Arthur said, in his best commander voice, the effect slightly ruined by him being a head shorter then Merlin and clutching his hand.
"Coooooommmmingggg, Sire!" Merlin sang, a very mocking edge to his voice that he only got away with because he was beaming. Arthur, evidently, was too slow for Merlin's liking, however, and soon the black haired boy was towing his Prince out of the throne room door, giggling and rambling and still beaming.
Several servants sank to the floor at the obnoxiously cute display. Uther joined them.
"You do realise they do that on purpose, and know perfectly well what they're doing to you?" Morgana asked, sitting next to Uther on the floor. "Saying no to Arthur was hard at that age, but with the combined cuteness of Merlin, it'll be impossible."
Uther groaned, and then settled for dissolving into a pile of goo along with the rest of the court, giving into the undeniably adorable duo.