Unloading the dishwasher, I had a random wonder at what had happened to Arthur's last manservant. I wondered how he had died, then realised that he was in the first episode - the poor guy Arthur was throwing knives at (git). I thought he looked like a bit of a George, and wondered what advice he would have given his replacement - Merlin. So here we are! Tell me what you think.
DISCLAIMER: If this was a real disclaimer, it would be funny.
Georgie Porgie, pudding and pie, kissed the girls and made them cry. When the boys came out to play, Georgie Porgie ran away.
George grinned like an idiot as the guard who had found him walked away. Discharged! He was discharged from his duties as Prince Arthur's manservant! George checked no one was looking, then grinned and did a little happy dance. His day really couldn't get any better.
As footsteps sounded on the corridor floor, he sobered and straightened up – he recognised that imperious stride all too well.
Prince Arthur in all his golden-haired glory turned the corner sharply and shoved George out of the way. "It's your lucky day." He snapped. "You're fired."
"Yes, Sire." George couldn't keep the cheerful grin off his face. "A guard told me."
Arthur's face was thunderous as he turned on his former servant. "Then what are you still doing here? Get out!" As George scurried away to the door, Arthur yelled after him, "And find that idiot who has to serve me now! I have need of him!"
George didn't reply as he ran away down the corridor, laughing gleefully to himself all the way. He turned a corner too fast and bumped into a familiar figure – Guinevere, the Lady Morgana's maidservant. "Sorry," He stuttered, holding her upright. "Sorry!"
She smiled. "That's okay, George. I expect anyone would run for joy on discovering that they've been sacked from Arthur's side." She laughed, and George broke into a grin.
"You got that right!" He let go of her and they both wheeled around as a yell of anger came from Arthur's chamber, accompanied by the clang of an object hitting the wall. There was a silence, and then the two servants looked at each other. "I am so glad," George said fervently, "That I don't have to serve him anymore."
Gwen smiled. "I'm happy for you. Where will you work now?"
"Oh, my uncle was saying that there's a position open for a stable boy." George waved a hand. "I'll be fine. I'm just sorry for the poor sod who's next in line."
Gwen pulled a face. "Yes, poor Merlin."
"Merlin?" George asked, curious.
"He saved Arthur's life at the banquet," Gwen explained, "So Uther hired him instead of you." At George's baffled look, she smiled and went on. "He was the boy who confronted Arthur in the training yard when he was bullying you. He tried to punch Arthur, remember?"
George's eyes widened. "He's Arthur's new manservant? What on earth possessed him to save that gits life?" He and Gwen flinched as another object hit the wall of Arthur's room. "On second thought," George said, still staring at the door to Arthur's chambers, "I'll just go and get him. Do you know where he is?" He turned to Gwen hopefully.
She nodded. "I expect he'll be with Gaius in the physician's quarters."
George smiled. "Thanks. See you around."
"You too." Gwen smiled and they parted ways.
George was servant-born, and knew the layout of the castle like the back of his hand. He was at the door to Gaius's quarters in less than a minute and knocked on the door. "Merlin! Prince Arthur wants you right away!"
A few seconds later the door opened, and there stood Arthur's saviour. George ran an eye over him quickly. Tall, lanky, dark-haired and with the look of a gangly foal just learning to walk – too many knees and elbows. Still, perhaps that would mean he'd be better at dodging whatever Arthur was in the mood to throw.
"Merlin?" He asked, just checking.
"That's me." The tall boy sighed, closing the door behind him. "Aren't you his last servant?"
"Yeah." George smiled sympathetically. "Come on. You must have really bad luck."
"Guess so." Merlin's shoulders slumped. "I don't suppose you could give me any tips?" He asked hopefully as they walked.
George nodded kindly. "Sure. First – make sure you get up just before dawn so that when Arthur gets up at dawn, he isn't kept waiting. He'll expect you to bring breakfast for him from the kitchens – just ask and they'll give you a tray. Second – always laugh at his jokes, whether they're funny or not. Third – if he tells you to do something, don't ask why, or how, just do it. Fourth – keep a list in your head of what he does and doesn't like. Fifth – never, ever ask about his personal relationships, especially with his father and the Lady Morgana." He winced and rubbed his shoulder at a remembered missile.
Merlin stared at him, his jaw slightly agape. "Anything else?"
"Oh yes." George nodded seriously. "Memorise his schedule and follow it to the letter except for when he tells you otherwise. Remember that you don't have free time – there's always armour to polish, dogs to exercise, his chambers to clean, his horses to muck out, his socks to wash…"
"I don't have to do his laundry!" Merlin gasped, horrified.
George smiled crookedly. "Afraid so. From here on in, you are his most trusted servant. Pretty much everything is done by you."
Merlin groaned and hung his head in defeat.
George took pity on the boy and patted his back awkwardly. "I don't think you'll do too badly, if it's any help."
"Really?" Merlin asked despondently, lifting his head.
George pulled a face. "Provided you can get through the first week." Merlin groaned and hung his head again. "You just have to hold your tongue." George told him. "He'll be especially nasty to you because you tried to stand up to him. Just say "Yes, Sire" to whatever he says – blank out anything that isn't a direct order – and you'll be fine." He slapped Merlin's back and grinned.
Merlin sighed. "Yeah right. I save his life, and this is my reward?" He cried. "How is that fair?"
George shrugged. "He'll be just as annoyed – I hope you can duck fast, else you'll be covered in bruises soon."
Merlin threw him a look. "Please tell me you're joking."
George shook his head sympathetically. "Nope. Don't worry," He reassured him. "Gwen will help you – she helped me a lot when I first started – and I'll be in the stables if he asks you to do something you don't know how to do."
"Yeah?" Merlin sighed as they turned into the corridor leading to Arthur's chambers.
"Sure." George grinned. They both flinched as a loud bang came from Arthur's room and exchanged looks – George's of concealed happiness at his freedom, Merlin's at horror and resignation at his own grim fate. "I'll leave you to it." George turned away with a shrug. "Oh!" He added, turning back. "Duck as soon as you open the door – he'll definitely have something ready to throw at you."
"Thanks." Merlin nodded sadly and turned to walk up the corridor, dragging his feet as though trying to prolong the wait. George watched him for a moment, then shrugged and jogged away, a grin spreading across his face. He was free!
As he turned the corner, he heard a bang and a furious yell. Poor Merlin, he thought, unable to stop smiling, he really was the unluckiest bugger in Camelot.
So should I continue? Review and let me know what you think.