The Dragon of Camelot
Disclaimer; I own neither Harry Potter nor Merlin from the BBC. Any plot or character that you recognise are not my own and I make no profit from writing this story.
Warning; This story is SLASH. Any graphic scene will be marked but a few scenes may slip through in passing. If gay relationships offend you then stop reading my stories.
Chapter 1; Destiny
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. September 8th, 1997
Professor Paterson looked over her History of Magic class as she finished reading the roll call with the final name of 'Weasley, Ronald' and started her lesson. "Last week I asked you all to go away and find some examples of unexplained legends and myths. Now remember I said specifically to keep an eye out for the differences between Muggle and Wizarding lectures." She moved out from around her podium and pointed in the general direction of the first chair on her left. "Miss. Granger. Why don't you start? One legend to start with from all of you." She half turned and waved her wand at the board, making a piece of chalk fly up and rest on the board, ready to record any answer given.
The girl at the front of the class frown as if struggling to think of an answer and the class looked at her in surprise. Clearly she was a smart girl. "Avalon." She decided upon in the end. "The final resting place."
"Good." Paterson nodded. "Muggle rarely refer to it now but once it was strongly believe among Wizard kind to be the final resting place for souls. Next?"
"Camelot!" A rather pudgy boy chirped up, glad to have been able to give an answer even if it was one that everybody knew. Paterson nodded to the next and slowly got to the point where they gave her answers one after the other.
"King Arthur and the Round Table!"
"The Grim Reaper!"
"The Boogie Man!"
The last one sent the class into a round of giggles even as the child went red with embarrassment. "You-Know-Who's disappearance." Hermione Granger spoke up as the laughs started to trail off and at her words the room went silent. She drew herself up. "And the mystery of Harry Potter when he disappeared at the same time."
Godric's Hollow – October 31st 1981
The door to the nursery slammed open and Lily Potter gritted her teeth as a shadow blocked the hall light. She raised her wand. "You can't have him."
"Foolish girl!" Voldemort smirked. "Avada Kadavra!" The blast of green light struck her square on when she refused to dodge the spell and sacrifice her baby boy standing in the cot behind her. Her scream echoed through the room even as it cut off as her body collapsed to the ground. The baby, Harry, followed her body down with his eyes before looking back up at the murderer. "Avada Kadavra!"
The spell flew through the air but to Voldemort's confusion everything in the room began to slow down to a slow crawl even though he seemed to be able to move easily. His eyes widened as the air around the baby seemed to flex, flowing first into the boy and then rippling out. The rippling air slammed into the spell and time returned to its normal pace robbing Voldemort of his attempt to dodge as his own spell rebounded back on himself.
He barely managed to utter a scream as his body was destroyed and his soul fled through the silent house. Around the boy the air seemed to vibrate and his skin seemed to have taken on a slightly golden look to it, almost as if golden scales had replaced the skin. His eyes burned with a deep golden glow but they didn't seem to see anything in the room anymore. With a jerk of his head he looked up into the corner of the room as if something had appeared there and in an instant his body began to flow. The air around him was first to go and the rippling effect seemed to be drawn into the corner as if being sucked up through a straw. His form was quick to follow and in moments the house was empty except for the bodies of James and Lily Potter and the cloak and wand of Voldemort. The authorities would never discover what had happened to their supposed Saviour. How had a mere baby manage to kill Voldemort and then vanish?
Camelot – 905 AD
The King of Camelot, Uther Pendragon paced his bedroom deep into the night. He'd been feeling restless for most of the night as if something was reaching out to him but keeping itself at bay. He paused and looked to the window as the faint sound of a wolf howling met his ears and just as he was about to continue his pacing he froze up as a voice sounded through his mind and body, just as it had when he'd defeated the golden Dragon and chained it up beneath his castle.
"Uther." It reverberated through his mind and a shiver went up his spine at the use of magic. Against him especially. He tried to shake it off but the repeat of his name had him sitting in a chair to pull on his boots. He needed to know what that beast wanted of him and he knew from experience that it wouldn't give up in its demand for attention. He pulled a jacket over his cotton shirt and picked up his sword belt and strapped it around his waist even as he walked out of his room into the corridor.
He headed down through his castle and on down past the barracks that guarded his dungeons. He pulled a torch from the wall and lit it against the sconce before down past the cobwebbed gates and into the Dragon's cave. What he found startled him more than he could admit to himself. The Dragon was crouched on a pillar of stone that it normally spoke to him from but what really caught his attention was the naked babe lying on the edge of the ledge he now stood on. It was sleeping restlessly and he stepped up to its side and cast the light of the torch down over it.
"What is this?" He spoke more to himself than to the Dragon.
"That, King Uther, is a baby boy." The Dragon spoke aloud in amusement. "He is yours to protect and raise. Another son to stand beside Arthur in the troubles ahead."
"This is ridiculous!" Uther looked up from the baby for the first time. "How did it get down here? How did somebody bring it into the castle? Is it one of the servants?"
"Always you try to ignore the magic in the world Uther." The Dragon laughed. "I brought him here to save his life but it was his destiny to come here."
"Magic!" Uther hissed and stepped away from the baby boy as if it was cursed.
"Magical the baby may be but he is more than he looks and it will be him that saves your son and allows him to rule after you are gone." The Dragon said seriously. "Turn him away now and all hope for your united Kingdom will fail. He must be there to protect Arthur and to guide him and protect him."
"Arthur won't need a younger brother to protect him!" Uther argued. "I will see to it that magic is removed from this land."
"This land is magic, Uther." The Dragon laughed at him. "Without magic the world would wither away. This boy will protect this world, he will fight against the magic you so hate to protect his older brother. It is his destiny as it is Arthur's destiny to rule Albion."
Uther didn't like it but he stepped back to the baby's side, put the torch in a wall bracket and gently lifted it into his arms. The baby instantly turned into him and slept more peacefully. Uther almost dropped him when the eyes flickered open and he saw the deep golden glow that covered his entire eye before it faded into emerald green irises. "What was that?" The Dragon merely laughed. "What of his parents?"
"They were killed only minutes ago for the boy." The Dragon told him. "He is your son now, Uther, whether you wish it or not. Protect him or see all of your dreams for peace disappear."
"What is his name?" Uther said without taking his eyes away from the boy's gaze. He let the boy grab his finger and he seemed quite content not to let go again.
"He is known as Harry." The Dragon said simply. "Harry Pendragon."
Uther sighed and finally relented knowing that the Dragon would never give up and he didn't have the heart to leave the boy here to wither away. It might be a child of magical nature but it hadn't done anything with that magic and he'd make sure it never needed to.
He made his way back up through the castle getting strange looks from the guards as he walked out of the dungeons with a baby in his arms. He headed for the room his son slept in and paused in the doorway making sure that he could carry out his promise to the Great Dragon. To raise a second son when he didn't even know if he could possibly raise the first. Not without his wife. He turned away from the room and knocked on the door across the hall. Within a minute the door swung open and a surprised woman bowed to him.
"Your Majesty. Is there..." She trailed off as she caught sight of the baby once again sleeping in his arms. "Your Majesty?"
"I need to talk to you about something, Annette." Uther told her and stepped into her chambers.
Camelot – 922 AD
Harry paused for just a moment to glance at Jeremy, his servant and friend before he tilted his head, lifted the end of the bow and released the string, sending the arrow flying up into the air in a perfect curve that brought it down two hundred and fifty metres away almost dead centre on the target Jeremy had just set up for him. He reloaded it from the quiver on his back and fired again as fast as he could but his speed effected his accuracy and the arrow hit the bottom of the target. He paused, reloaded and aimed properly and fired a third time hitting the target within the centre circle. A better shot than any of his father's archers.
Jeremy whistled in appreciation and Harry shot him a look which had him chuckling. Harry was always out here every few days for about half an hour of archery practice in the morning before breakfast and since it was Jeremy's place to follow him around and serve him he was always out here with him, ready and willing to place targets and collect his arrows though Harry did the latter task himself more often than not. Even so, Harry had an image to uphold and he'd been told off several times by his father and older brother of twenty for doing tasks himself that should have been left to Jeremy who had served as Harry's man-servant since he and Harry had been sixteen.
He fired off another dozen arrows before Jeremy spoke up. "Don't forget you need to get ready to hunt with Arthur this morning, Harry."
Harry turned and looked at him. "You really think my brother is awake yet, Jeremy?" Harry asked with a chuckle. "It's not even eight."
"Perhaps you should go wake him?" Jeremy offered.
"And perhaps you want to get rid of me early so you can spend the morning courting the cook's daughter again?" Harry retorted watching his friend go red at being caught. "You didn't think I knew, Jeremy? Shame on you."
"Sorry." Jeremy didn't deny it. Harry knew every inch of Camelot with the same precision as he knew every detail of his bows.
"Perhaps I'll let you go for the morning then." Harry spoke quietly and saw Jeremy's face light up. "Get going already, Jeremy."
"Thanks Harry!" Jeremy laughed and made to turn to go.
"Just after you retrieve my arrows, take down the target and return my bows to my rooms." Harry laughed as his friend sighed and ran down the range, trying to get done as quickly as possible.
Harry left his bow with the rest of his things and headed back up to the castle gates and in past the guards. As he came to his brother's rooms he had to step aside as his brother's latest man-servant came running from the room. Or at least he was trying to walk as fast as possible. Harry glanced over his shoulder at the boy's terrified face. He walked inside his brother's rooms without announcing himself and saw his brother just climbing into a bath in front of the fire, just behind a screen that shielded him from the doorway.
"You scare another one off?" Harry asked as he moved around the partition and sat himself on the edge of the bronze bath.
"The water's cold." Arthur told him uncaringly.
"Maybe if you'd gotten up an hour ago like he thought you would it would have still been warm." Harry pointed out, dipping a finger into the hot water to test it. It was plenty warm enough.
"He's just lacking." Arthur told him with a snort.
"They all are it seems." Harry shook his head and stood up. "Don't forget our little hunting trip."
"Uh..." Arthur looked at him. "Didn't you hear? Father caught a magician yesterday practicing enchantments. He's to be beheaded at noon. We have to stay here."
Harry groaned. "Great! So instead of actually getting a chance to spend the day with you I have to hang around and watch some sod get killed."
"It's not my choice, Harry." Arthur pointed out. "So don't get antsy with me."
Harry stood up. "I'll see you in a while. I promised Morgana I'd have breakfast with her this morning."
"So she can undoubtedly question you about me." Arthur declared smugly. Harry chucked a bar of soap at him and left while Arthur was attempting to fish it out of the water.
"Prat." Harry grumbled fondly as he left his older brother's chambers and headed for his own rooms to wash up and dress in something a little more suitable for a day in the castle rather than hunting.
Harry reached into the centre of the table and picked up an apple and with deft movements began cutting it into slices. He dropped a slice off the table and felt the touch of course fur as Feosol snatched it up as it fell. Feosol was a native wolf that Harry had found abandoned in the woods four years ago and had brought back to the castle much to his father's horror but after agreeing to let Harry care for the little fellow it had become clear that Feosol had taken such a liking to Harry that they couldn't be parted. Since then Feosol had become Harry's loyal protector and companion.
Morgana smiled at his small act and slipped a piece of her own breakfast into her mouth before finishing her glass of orange juice. Harry couldn't stop the smile from spreading across his face as Guinevere, Morgana's servant took a rather wide approach around the back of Morgana to reach the side of the table that Feosol wasn't sitting. Avoiding the wolf as much as possible.
"He's not going to hurt you, Gwen." Harry put in gently and reached down to scratch the back of Feosol's head.
"I'm sure he won't." Guinevere nodded with all grace though Harry noted she decided to stay on the far side of the room. Harry and Morgana shared a look of amusement. Feosol loved scaring people and pretending to be a wild wolf and he'd never have forgiven Harry for coming to Morgana's rooms for breakfast and not taking him along knowing that Guinevere was scared of him.
"Poor Feo." Harry laughed. "All he wants is a little love and attention. You sure you won't come say hello, Gwen?"
"Leave her alone, Harry." Morgana told him off. "Not everybody is so willing to pick up wild predators and nurse them."
"Yes, well..." Harry trailed off and popped a bit of apple into his mouth, savouring the taste for a moment before giving in to Feosol and passing him another little slice. "Mut."
Feosol yowled in distaste to the term but then slipped under the table and put his head on Harry's lap. "He seems a little less antagonistic this morning." Morgana commented.
"He's upset because I promised him a hunt today and instead he's stuck inside again." Harry sighed. "He was looking forward to catching a few rabbits or something equally juicy, weren't you Feo?"
He got another yowl for his efforts and smiled at Morgana. "It's not exactly how I wished to spend my day either." Morgana told him. "It's..."
"Barbaric?" Harry suggested as she struggled for a word to describe the beheading later. "As lamentable as it is though, I suppose it can be necessary at times. We're not ready for a battle against all of the magical users on this island."
"So you're saying that terrorising everyone we can get our hands on is a good way of controlling them?" Morgana asked.
"Not a good way." Harry shook his head. "The only way right now."
"Then what is a good way?" Morgana challenged.
"Finding somebody with a good heart and the power to keep them in check peacefully." Harry pointed out.
"Maybe we should try for diplomacy?" Morgana suggested. "Show them we are willing to make peace."
"But some of them are not that willing." Harry raised an eyebrow at her. "Or have you forgotten what gave me this?" Harry touched the exposed skin under his collarbone where his loose shirt let his chest be seen. He pulled the shirt to his left to expose the many pointed scar above his left nipple where a spell from a Wizard had left its mark on him when he was a young boy. Uther had saved him along with his knights but he'd almost died while Morgana was caring for him.
Gwen had been staring at the wound, having only seen it a few times and Harry smiled at her quickly as he moved his shirt back over the scar. Morgana swallowed. "Yes, well, obviously there are some that deserve it."
"Unfortunately the only way to find that out is after the damage has been done." Harry shrugged before pushing away the remainder of his fruit, he'd lost his appetite. Morgana gave him a sympathetic smile before letting Gwen take the plates away. Harry finished his juice before rising, unsettling Feosol from his rest on his lap. Feosol made to lie down in front of the fire but Harry clucked his tongue and Feosol looked at him mournfully. "You're not going to spend the entire day terrorizing poor Gwen, I'll have the fire in my room lit for you."
Feosol looked at Gwen before barking sharply and trotting to Harry's side. Harry shrugged at Gwen who smiled at him. "One day Gwen will realise he's nothing but a big puppy and Feosol will be all over her." Morgana laughed.
"Not likely." Gwen spoke up before going red at realising that it wasn't just her and Morgana in the room. Harry laughed and rubbed his knuckles between Feosol's ears. "I'll talk to you later on, Morgana. Gwen."
Harry's room looked out to the mountains to the north, away from the town of Camelot so he had made his way to one of the towers so he could sit on the window lining the spiral staircase. He looked a little odd to anybody that past them but he was the King's son, not somebody you pointed that out to. Feosol was curled up on the stair case to his right, being a hazard to anybody coming up or down the stairs. The courtyard below his vantage point was filled with the citizens of Camelot and in the centre was a raised wooden platform with a block in the centre.
Harry had seen the evidence against this particular man though, he had been using ingredients that Gaius, the Court Physician, had identified as only being used in the worst sorts of magic, magic that could only do harm. Harry was drawn from his musings when his eyes caught sight of a late comer to the events. Harry didn't know why his eyes were drawn to him but he found that he couldn't look away from him. Harry didn't realise that he was making a slight purring sound in his chest and throat as he watched but Feosol heard it and jumped up to put his paws on the window sill. The young man was about Harry's age, eighteen, tall and slim with a handsome face. He had black hair that looked well cared for yet unruly, like Harry's own. He wore tan trousers, a dark blue shift top and brown leather jacket and a dark red travelling scarf knotted around his neck. He was carrying a bag over his shoulder and seemed to have been on the road for a while.
A growl alerted him to Feosol and he turned and realised for the first time about the sound he'd been making that had been concerning his wolf companion. As soon as he realised it, it stopped and he stroked Feosol on the head. The thud of the axe made him jump and he found himself half relieved that he'd missed the execution. He listened to his father's speech with half an ear since he'd heard his father's explanation many times before though he didn't agree with all of it. He'd been about to slide off of the window and take some of his unease out on a dummy when a wild, crazed cry echoed through the courtyard and the crowd split apart to reveal an old woman who was half crying and half laughing. Harry couldn't understand half of what she said but he got the idea. It had been her son that had been killed and she'd sworn to take her revenge out on Uther by taking the life of his son.
Before Harry could think about doing anything the woman grabbed a pendant around her neck and shouted out a spell. The magic seemed to tear her apart and she vanished just as the soldiers tried to close in on her.
The crowd left amongst a wild surge of gossip and intrigue and Harry slid off the seat and crouched down to stroke Feosol while he thought about what had just happened. In the end he stood back up and looked out of the window noting that the young man he'd noticed before was gone.
The next day
Harry sighted along his arrow before opening his right hand and letting the force of the bow travel through his body, the bow straightened with a thud and the arrow left it on a perfect line slamming into the centre of the target. The archers under his command were ranged out along the targets, firing three to a target and they weren't doing too badly. Harry was a little young to be commanding any of the castle's archers but he'd been admitted as being the best archer in Camelot when he was only fourteen.
He pulled another arrow from his quiver and had just notched it when a commotion erupted on the other side of the training ground. Harry lowered his bow but left the arrow notched as he released the tension from the string. On the other side of the training ground was his older brother and his friends, trainee knights for the most part. More interestingly though was the young man from the execution the day before. He was facing off with Arthur as if they were having an argument and it actually took a moment for Harry to realise they actually were having an argument since nobody argued with Arthur except for Harry and never in the public eye.
Harry sighed and handed Jeremy his bow before slowly working his way across the training ground towards the fight. "Hit me then." Arthur teased the young man.
Harry was shocked out of his skin when the young man did exactly as he was told. He drew back his fist and lashed out, aiming for Arthur's face and missing by entire inches when Arthur ducked. "Now that, was a mistake." Arthur told him "Arrest him!"
"Who do you think you are?" The young man argued, pulling against the restraining hands. "The King?"
"No. I'm his son." Arthur pointed out sarcastically and the young man's eyes widened. Arthur waved at the soldiers who hauled the confused young man away. Harry stopped at his brother's side.
"Defending your honour again, Arthur?" Harry asked.
"He called me a prat." Arthur defended at Harry's tone.
"Were you being a prat?" Harry asked making all of the onlookers cover their smiles.
"Funny, Harry." Arthur mock glared at him before turning away and returning to his training. Harry motioned to Jeremy and headed for the castle.
"You see what happened?" Harry asked.
"Yes." Jeremy told him. Harry cast him a look telling him to spill it. "Arthur was using Bates as a moving target."
Harry tried not to laugh and had to force a straight face when Jeremy looked offended. "And Bates would be the poor lad I saw fleeing Arthur's chambers yesterday morning?"
"Probably." Jeremy told him. "I don't think he'll last long after today."
"You know that kid will probably be in the cells for a few days right?" Harry asked and saw Jeremy's carefully hidden look. Harry laughed. "He did throw a punch at Arthur."
"But..." Jeremy started before stopping.
"What?" Harry pressed.
"He's Gaius' new apprentice, he's never been to Camelot before. He didn't know who Arthur was." Jeremy defended.
"I see." Harry grinned at him. "Jumping up to be his knight in shining armour are you, Jeremy. Did I miss something?"
Jeremy rolled his eyes. "You're the one into that, Harry."
Harry laughed and put an arm around his friend's shoulders. "I'll talk to my father about lightening his punishment a little."
"Thanks, Harry." Jeremy hugged him back before straightening up to open the door to Harry's rooms for him. Harry took the bows from his friend and put them on the table designed for just that. He unlaced his archery jacket and slipped it and his shirt off before heading for the basin of warm water that Jeremy placed on the table for him. He dipped his hands in it and rubbed the water over his face before washing his torso. He dried himself off and pulled on a fresh shirt.
Harry headed down to his father's audience chamber almost an hour later and stepped through the door to find his father and Gaius talking. "I can't just let him get away with attacking my son, Gaius, no matter how new he is." Uther was saying.
"He was being a prat, father." Harry spoke up making both men look around at him.
"Who was?" Uther frowned at him. Harry rarely came to speak to his father, he knew his father loved him on some level but he rarely showed it, not like he showed it to Arthur. Clearly sometimes blood was a more important thing to share than anything else and Harry was merely adopted whereas Arthur's mother had died giving birth to Arthur.
"Arthur of course." Harry shrugged. "He was using his servant as a moving target."
"That doesn't excuse the boy's actions." Uther pointed out.
"Yet it should give a reason for it at least." Harry defended. "He's new, father, and you know how Arthur treats his servants. Give the boy a chance, father."
"You're jumping to his defence rather quickly, Harry." His father commented.
"The kid's new, father. Not everyone has to jump in line instantly." Harry shrugged.
"Alright then, Gaius, you win." Uther chuckled. "He'll stay in the cell tonight but you can take him out tomorrow. Two hours in the stocks should be sufficient."
"Thank you, your Majesty." Gaius bowed to him and retreated from the room. Harry turned and left as well heading back to his own rooms.
Harry walked through the town with Guinevere on one side and Feosol weaving through legs on his other, purposely trying to trip people up just for the attention and chaos that ensued every time he managed to send somebody flying. One time he sent a man onto the floor and the man wasn't much impressed and rounded to kick Feosol. Feosol growled with his hackles up and Harry had to snap his fingers and call him back. The man turned to tell Harry to keep control over his dog but the words died as soon as he saw Harry. Harry had continued walking without another comment though he kept Feosol close at his side.
He'd met Gwen on the way out of the castle and offered to escort her into the market to pick up some cloth for a dress she was making Morgana and though Gwen was a little nervous about being alone with the King's youngest son it gave her some bargaining ability in the market. Nobody would try to trick her out of money with Harry around, not that she needed the help. Gwen was a very bright and skilled young woman.
They turned around into the last section of the market and Harry laughed at the sight before them. Gaius' apprentice was in the stocks and by the looks of him he'd already been there for a while. A single soldier stood guard over him, making sure nobody did him any serious harm. "You know, rumour has it you helped him out of his punishment." Gwen spoke up with a smile on her lips.
"He is a little on the cute side isn't he." Harry mused making her choke. If she was going to try to tease him he'd get his own back. Morgana, Arthur and Jeremy knew he was that way inclined and he knew for a fact that Morgana had mentioned it to Gwen. "I know everything remember, Gwen."
"Funny. So did you?" Gwen asked.
"I may have convinced my father that Arthur was, in truth, being a prat." Harry shrugged. "Want to get some fruit?"
"No!" She jumped and Harry laughed at her.
"I was joking." Harry smiled just as they ran out of rotten fruit and vegetables. Gwen walked towards the stocks and stopped beside the young man and Harry walked up with Feosol who began sniffing around the young man's boots before he began nibbling on this trousers. Harry didn't bother to call him back.
"Hi, I'm Guinevere." She greeted the young man.
"Merlin." The young man smiled at her and wriggled his hand in the stocks. She giggled and took it, shaking his restrained hand.
"This is Harry." Gwen told him, ignoring the part where Harry was Arthur's brother, clearly she thought that wouldn't help at the moment. "That's his pet Feosol."
"Pet?" Merlin frowned. "Dog?"
Harry laughed. "More of a wolf." Merlin jumped shaking his leg, trying to get his trousers out of Feosol's mouth. "You'll hurt his feelings you know."
Merlin went still. "Leave him be, Harry." Gwen admonished. Harry raised his eyebrows at her and she went red. He grinned at her and clucked his tongue. Feosol obediently trotted to his side and sat down, liking his paw as he looked up at Merlin. "I saw what you did." Gwen continued.
"I know." Merlin sighed. "It was stupid of me."
"I thought it was very brave." Gwen told him, making him look up. "Arthur is a prat, somebody needed to stand up to him."
Harry snorted in amusement making them both look at him. Harry made an offhanded gesture just as he saw a woman arrive with another basket of rotten fruit. "Uh..." Merlin looked at Gwen. "I think you should move."
Gwen looked at where Harry was standing before smiling at Merlin and dodging to the side. Harry walked away a little more regally and waved at the old woman who was holding two children back who were both armed. Clearly to stop them from hitting the King's son in their excitement.
Harry stuck around for a little while watching him getting pummelled with fruit and vegetables, noting when his chest began to rumble gently which made Feosol growl and rub his head against his leg. Harry turned his attention away from Merlin and followed Gwen into the castle.
Harry was walking down the corridor on his own, heading for Arthur's rooms for dinner when he heard a crash at the end of the hall followed by a shout of anger. Harry frowned at the noise. It was coming from around the corner ahead of him, from where the kitchens were and the shout sounded like the head Chef who was a rather vicious man when he was made angry by someone and by the sounds of it he was chasing somebody out of the kitchen. Harry was completely prepared for Jeremy to come running around the corner with the Chef hot on his heels but he was shocked when instead of his servant it was Merlin.
Harry made his decision quickly and as Merlin made to dodge him and continue Harry grabbed him and pulled them both to the side and seemingly through a tapestry. Harry knew the castle better than anybody else and he knew every single nook and cranny, including this alcove hidden behind a hardened tapestry. He shoved Merlin into the alcove and hid himself in with him, making sure the tapestry laid flat against the entrance of the small space.
It was a very tight fit with the two of them and the surprised Merlin had wrapped his arms around Harry to stabilise himself even though it meant they were flush up against each other. Harry found that Merlin was ever so slightly taller than him and his face was right next to his neck, breathing in his specific scent. Merlin tried to pull his arms back but Harry hissed in his ear, making him go still at the sound of the chef running into the corridor and swearing to himself when he found it empty even though it was a long corridor with only a few store rooms. They listened to doors opening and shutting and Merlin stayed completely silent knowing that getting caught wouldn't be a good thing.
Harry waited until he was sure the Cook was gone before he turned his attention back on Merlin and was instantly aware of how much of them were touching. He felt the rumbling start in his chest and could almost hear it in the silence of the alcove and was sure that Merlin could feel in through where their chests touched. He found himself moving his face closer to Merlin's neck and he knew the moment that Merlin realised just how close they were by when his arms tightened but with that movement came consequences. As Merlin tightened his grip Harry was brought closer into his front and with a wave of pleasure their groins were pressed together. Harry managed to avoid moaning but Merlin wasn't so lucky and Harry realised with a satisfied grin that Merlin was turned on by the last few minutes of closeness and without shame he pressed his hips further into Merlin's and ground his hardening cock into Merlin's.
Merlin's breath hitched in his throat and Harry pressed a kiss to Merlin's cheekbone before pulling his head away and pressing their lips together. Merlin recoiled and hit his head on the back of the alcove and jerked away from the wall but that only made him thrust back into Harry who groaned. Merlin tensed up and Harry knew that Merlin wanted this as much as he did and without a word Harry pressed his lips into Merlin's again and licked along Merlin's closed lips. As soon as they opened Harry pushed his tongue into Merlin's mouth and grinded his hips side to side eliciting a groan from Merlin to accompany the strange rumbling that Harry knew he was making deep in his chest.
They didn't say a word to each other and muffled their moans in the ongoing kiss for several minutes until with a muffled cry Harry's vision burst into stars and he trembled against Merlin as he cummed. Merlin held him tight, waiting for Harry to finish but his own body was trembling with need and as soon as Harry could see properly again he pinned Merlin back to the wall, delved back into his mouth with his tongue and reached down. He forced his hand under Merlin's waistband, pulled out his shirt and without pause he pushed his hand down to grip Merlin's hardened cock. He squeezed it once and then twice and Merlin cried out as he too cummed. Harry felt it against his hand and wrist and left his hand in place as he pinned both of their weights against the wall.
It was several minutes before their breathing had returned to normal and only after that when the rumbling in Harry's chest stopped. Harry pulled his hand away from Merlin's softened cock and smirked at a dazed Merlin as he wiped his hand with the back of the tapestry. Merlin suddenly seemed to come out of his daze and he glared at Harry angrily. "What did you do that for?"
"You weren't complaining before." Harry smirked.
"You didn't give me a chance to complain." Merlin told him.
"Your body clearly didn't want you to." Harry chuckled.
"Don't laugh!" Merlin ordered. "It's not funny."
Harry stepped back into his personal space. "It's a little funny." Harry grinned from only an inch away. "You're welcome for saving you by the way." With that Harry placed a small kiss on his lips and in a flash was gone. He went in the direction of the kitchens doubting that Merlin would follow him and took a short cut to his own rooms to clean up before he went for his brother's room but in his rooms he had to take a minute to think about what had happened. It wasn't like him to do something like that but there was something about Merlin that pulled to him and part of him knew that within days Merlin would learn who he really was and he'd never get a chance again.
Harry groaned as he woke up, he felt pain spreading through his left chest and even though he had become used to it over the years it still hurt like nothing else. He looked towards the window, trying to ignore the pain, only to see that he was up far earlier than normal. He groaned as he fell back onto the bed and tried to fight the pain but he quickly realised that this wasn't just a normal wave of pain caused by stress or overexertion and he needed help as fast as possible.
He rolled out of his bed and winced as he strained to straighten up fighting back the wave of nausea that nearly made him throw up. He grabbed a loose pair of brown trousers from a chair and his white shirt and struggled to put them on before finding the door. The corridor was empty and he knew he had to get to Gaius if he wanted help before the attack struck him completely and rendered him incapable of getting help until one of the patrols stumbled across him. He made his way down the corridor and down two flights of stairs and unfortunately managed to get to Gaius' work place and rooms without running into any of the guards.
He threw open the door to what could easily be called a laboratory and was surprised when his sight landed on the new servant boy, Merlin. He was sitting at the table pouring over the pages of a book but Harry didn't have the sense in him to take in what he was doing. Merlin's head snapped up and took him in even as he slammed the book shut and then jumped up, sending his chair flying back onto the floor. "Haven't you heard of manners?"
"Haven't you?" Harry managed out before his vision swam and he had to catch himself on the back of a stool which only made the stool fly over. Pain flashed through his torso and he fell to his knees. "Get Gaius."
"He's sleeping upstairs." Merlin frowned moving to his side.
"Does it look like I just want to chat to him, Merlin?" Harry stretched his back in an attempt to alleviate the pain. His voice barely came out above a whisper. Merlin obviously saw something other than mere drunkenness and lack of coordination and Harry heard more than saw him run across the room and up the few steps to the room above this one in the tower.
Harry forced himself to his feet and after a couple of failed attempts managed to reach the cot and sat down in the middle of it. He pressed a hand into his chest and winced. The attack was getting worse and it was quickly becoming the worst he'd ever felt. About once a month it caused him a small twinge of pain that made it hard to breathe but about once a year it filled his body with excruciating pain. By the time the last major attack had let up he'd been screaming in pain even though he'd been in a feverish nightmare all the time.
"Harry!?" Gaius' welcomed voice broke his pain and he blearily turned to him. "Is it...?" Harry nodded and made to try to take off his shirt but the pain prevented him from gripping the base of the shirt. He made another attempt. "Merlin, give the lad a hand rather than just staring."
Harry looked up at Merlin as he slowly approached and the other young man helped him pull the shirt over his head. Merlin quickly took back his hands as if Harry was about to bite him and under normal circumstances Harry would have made a sarcastic comment but he was in too much pain. Harry knew the instant that Merlin got a look at the star-shaped scar just above his left nipple when he gasped in surprise. It would undoubtedly be an angry red colour and the skin around it would be an almost equally red colour.
"What is that?" Merlin asked.
"What does it look like?" Harry snapped almost angrily. He wasn't in the mood for bantering right now.
"What gives you the right to be so rude? You could have knocked rather than barged right in here in the middle of the night just because of a bit of pain." Merlin snapped back.
"Merlin!" Gaius snapped at him as he suddenly appeared beside the bed and pushed Harry back to lie down. "Don't you ever learn?"
Harry winced and his back arched slightly off the bed. "Learn what?" Merlin asked him. "That people around here are just plain rude?"
"Mind what you say!" Gaius told him off and slapped him on the back of the head lightly. "You'll get yourself in more trouble and you've only just got out of the punishment for the last time."
"That was that prat's fault." Merlin argued making Harry snort out in amusement.
"That prat..." Gaius started as he helped Harry raise his head to swallow a small vial of blue liquid. "... is Harry's older brother."
"Harry's...?" Merlin gulped.
"The King's second son." Gaius told Merlin sharply. "Now, if you've finished being so rude make yourself useful and find one of the guards. Now, Merlin!"
Merlin was quickly out of the door and into the corridor and Harry grabbed Gaius' arm as he made to stand. "It's worse than last year." Harry hissed out through clenched teeth.
"I'll get you a cold cloth." Gaius stood up and collected something from the table with a grumble before disappearing upstairs and returned a moment later with a damp cloth and a bowl of cold water. He placed the newly cold cloth on Harry's forehead and Harry winced at the sudden change in temperature.
"It's not Merlin's fault." Harry whispered. "I didn't tell him who I was."
"The boy still needs to learn to watch his words in the castle." Gaius told him.
"You worried he's going to say something to get himself in trouble?" Harry asked before wincing as a wave of pain washed over him.
"He's just not used to this sort of place." Gaius muttered. The door opened and Merlin entered along with two soldiers who took in Harry's identity and tensed. Gaius looked up at them. "I need as much fresh water as you can carry and some fresh soup from the kitchens, wake the head cook if you have to and one of you summon the King immediately."
The two soldiers ran from the room but Harry sagged limply onto the bed loosing energy quickly. "Harry?" Gaius grabbed his shoulders firmly. Harry looked at him. "How do you feel?"
"My chest is hot." Harry hissed out. "It hurts more than I remembered."
"It's a lot worse than last year." Gaius told him.
"You're worried..." Harry trailed off with a wince. "I'm not going to pull through."
"What's happening?" Merlin asked as Gaius shut his eyes.
Harry nodded at Gaius weakly. "Harry was kidnapped by a Wizard when he was ten. He..." Gaius trailed off thinking better than telling Merlin what had happened and Harry was glad. "Before the King could rescue him the Wizard cast a spell on Harry and it hit him where the scar is. Once in a while Harry's body tries to push out the bad magic."
"What happened to the Wizard?" Merlin asked.
"Uther locked him in a cage in the middle of the town and left him there." Gaius told him. "The idea was to kill him without any water."
"That's horrible." Merlin frowned.
"Merlin..." Gaius sighed. "That Wizard tortured Harry for almost thirty hours, it took months for Harry to even wake up and years to fully recover. What happened there..." he glanced down at Harry who was merely listening in silence. "Well, only Harry knows and refuses to talk about it."
Harry flinched on the bed, his eyes rolling up until his vision went white as pain screamed through him. He gasped and felt hands pushing down on his torso and a soaking wet cloth press down on his scar, causing him a flash of utter agony. He cried out but then the wave of pain ebbed off and Gaius looked at Merlin again. "The Wizard died after three days when the story of what happened reached the townspeople. They love Harry and even though the soldiers tried to stop them they killed the Wizard."
There was a scratching at the door and Harry craned his neck to try to see. "What on earth is that?" Merlin frowned.
"You'd better let him in, Merlin." Gaius asked but Merlin just eyed the door. "If you don't let Feosol in then he'll just find another way to get to Harry." Merlin stood up and moved to the door and as soon as it opened Feosol hurtled through the door and to Harry's side. His front feet jumped onto the bed and Feosol started licking Harry's neck and shoulders desperately.
"Sorry boy..." Harry groaned and tried to reach up to stroke him but failed to muster the strength even to raise his arm. Feosol whined and settled back onto the floor and put his head on Harry's boiling chest.
"He must have followed your scent." Gaius told him.
"That's the wolf right?" Merlin edged closer but for once Feosol didn't growl at him to scare him further.
The door slammed open a bit more abruptly than necessary and Gaius stood up. "Gaius, what is happening?"
"It's one of his large attacks, your majesty." Gaius told him. Harry didn't bother trying to see his father and his large frame appeared on his left.
"Where is your servant?" Uther asked him. Harry frowned at him and shook his head even though it hurt him to do it. "Useless boy."
Harry groaned as he tried to sit up but Merlin stopped him from moving. It wasn't Jeremy's fault since he didn't live in his rooms but Uther might punish him for not being around regardless. "Don't worry, your Majesty." Gaius told him. "Harry will be fine."
Harry knew he was changing the subject for Jeremy's benefit and he was glad since he couldn't defend Jeremy himself. A wave of pain swept over him again and before Harry knew it he was having more and more trouble focusing on the room until finally he was immersed in horrifying dreams and images of the Wizard hovering over him as he experimented on his body.
The next day
Harry woke up on a bed rather less comfortable than his own and he felt cold. He opened his eyes to find himself looking up at Merlin and Jeremy. "Alright, I know I'm gorgeous but you don't need to stare at me." Harry groaned and swatted at Merlin's head rather carelessly.
"Good, you're alive. I can get back to my work then." Merlin said rather harshly and got up and left Harry's vision. Harry looked to the left at Jeremy with a raised eyebrow.
"Now I'm hurt." He told his friend with a mock hurt look.
"That's what you get for not telling him who you are." Jeremy pointed out.
"But we were playing so nicely when he didn't know I was the King's son." Harry shrugged and made to sit up. Jeremy helped him swing his legs off the bed and swatted his hand when Harry tried to rub at his chest. "Hey!"
"You know how it works." Jeremy grinned at him. Harry took a look around Gaius' laboratory to see that after Merlin had left only himself, Jeremy and Feosol were there and the wolf was sleeping next to the door and hadn't noticed Harry was awake yet. "Anyway, what did you do to rile Merlin up?"
"Why do you think I did anything?" Harry asked, rather offended at the accusation.
"Uh, because I caught him blushing rather dramatically earlier when I came in on his watch." Jeremy laughed. "Did you embarrass him?"
"How do you know he didn't embarrass himself?" Harry countered.
"Because he just rather dramatically ran for the door?" Jeremy offered.
"So, maybe I embarrassed him a little." Harry shrugged. "But he wasn't complaining at the time."
"Wait!" Jeremy jumped. "You mean... you and him?"
"It was one of those spur of the moment things. He needed a place to hide from the cook and I happened to know somewhere. Unfortunately it was a little on the cramped side and well..." Harry trailed off with a small grin as he remembered the little bout of frottage in the alcove. "Like I said, he didn't complain at the time."
"I'd imagine not." Jeremy laughed and swatted Harry on the arm. "So he's hurt because you didn't tell him who you were straight out."
"Yeah. I kinda met him when he was in the stocks the other day and Gwen might have forgot to mention who I was when she told him my name and I might not have corrected her." Harry shrugged meekly.
"And why didn't you tell him later?" Jeremy pressed.
"It's not like he would have even looked at me twice if he knew who I was." Harry sighed and stood up, taking in his nearly naked appearance. "I took a liking to him and knew that if I told him who I was I didn't have a chance."
"Harry..." Jeremy sighed and left it at that for a moment as he helped Harry get his clothing straightened out on his body, mainly just helping him with his shirt since Harry couldn't really move his left arm all that much right now. "Maybe if you just tell him why then he'd understand. I think he likes you too so maybe there's a chance?"
"That's a laugh." Harry shook his head as Feosol came and licked at his hands in greeting. "Who's going to risk the King's anger by fucking his son?"
"Crude, Harry. Very crude." Jeremy rolled his eyes. "Well he did just call Arthur a prat."
"Not after finding out who he was." Harry corrected. "Let's just face it, I don't stand a chance with anybody that knows who I am."
"I think Merlin might be your answer." Jeremy told him. "Like I said I think he really likes you."
"And he shows that by running away from me at the first convenience?" Harry asked.
"People do strange things." Jeremy offered before smirking. "You never know, maybe staring at you all hot and sweaty and half naked did other things to him and he had to go sort himself out."
"You, my dear Jeremy, are incorrigible." Harry shook his head before letting Jeremy steady him as they walked out of Gaius' rooms and into the corridors. No mention was made of how Harry felt or how close this bout had come to killing him or how likely it was for the next one to do it. Jeremy knew that Harry simply didn't want to hear about how much time he had left.
Arthur's rooms – that evening
"You know what that brat did today?" Arthur asked Harry as he walked in to find Harry sitting on his window sill.
"Brat?" Harry prompted. He'd come up to spend some time with his brother since he knew his brother was worried about him after the previous night's attack.
"Merlin." Arthur sighed. "He called me a prat. Again! In the middle of the town!"
"Is he getting to your pride, Arthur?" Harry asked, raising an eyebrow ignoring the tiredness of his body. "And were you acting like a prat?"
"I don't ever act like a prat." Arthur argued, rounding on Harry.
"Yes you do." Harry shrugged.
"Don't you start." Arthur glared at him before turning and pulling off his shirt.
"Prat." Harry called him making his older brother spin and throw his balled up shirt at him. Harry defended himself and tackled his brother, unwilling to let his tiredness and weakness effect his day. Arthur laughed and the two brothers wrestled until Harry collapsed to the side, breathing heavily. "Prat." Harry laughed and Arthur just groaned and swatted him on the stomach before lifting Harry to his feet and carefully settling him in one of the chairs. Arthur backed away even as Harry swatted him on the arm for his aid. Again Arthur was another one that wouldn't bring up how weak Harry was but would watch his every movement in case Harry needed help.
The next evening
Nobody was actually allowed to sit down in their chairs until the King arrived and took his own yet standing for so long, making chatter to the nobles, was beginning to take a toll on Harry's body but Jeremy was at his side and his hand was on Harry's elbow acting as a balance for Harry and somebody to catch him if his legs buckled. Harry was still very pale and still looked as though he'd just recovered from a fever and rumour had already spread throughout Camelot that Harry had become sick with the aftermath of the Magician's attack and when Harry had forced Jeremy to take him outside the castle the guards had informed Arthur within moments and word had quickly travelled that he was in the market and two children had brought him bread and water on the orders of the stall keepers to make sure he was alright.
Now he was at the feast to celebrate twenty years since the fall of magic and the rise of Uther's realm and they'd invited a singer from the neighbouring country of Mora to sing for them. Harry had heard her sing before and she was very good and the celebrations were good to bring the town's moral back up after what had happened to Harry.
Merlin was at the feast standing to the side chatting to Gwen and once or twice Harry looked over to see the two talking together and glancing at him. "I wish they'd stop that." Harry muttered just as he finished a conversation with one of the Noblemen and he moved away leaving Harry and Jeremy to a bit of peace. Harry reached for a goblet of water and drunk it even though until the King arrived and drunk from his own it was improper to do so. Nobody here would mind though, not with how weak Harry looked and felt.
"Who should stop doing what?" Jeremy leaned in to whisper.
"Gwen and Merlin." Harry grumbled. "They keep talking to each other and looking at me."
"I thought that was a good sign." Jeremy pointed out. Harry rubbed at his head and sighed as one of his many waves of dizziness swept through him. "Are you alright?"
Harry straightened up and nodded. "I'm fine, Jeremy." Harry told him though Jeremy knew he was lying.
"Perhaps you should just sit down. Nobody's going to complain about it." Jeremy suggested.
"I'm not going to go around acting like a cripple just because I feel a little tired." Harry told him sharply. "Having you hanging onto my arm is bad enough."
"Would you rather I just let you fall over?" Jeremy asked with a raised eyebrow.
"If you do that I'll put you in the stocks." Harry said perfectly straight faced and that more than anything else brought a grin to Jeremy's face. They were interrupted from anything more as horns sounded from the upper walkway and his father walked through the main doorway and into the hall and the crowd split to allow him to walk through to the head table where he as well as Arthur, Harry and Morgana would sit. Uther signally for everyone to take their seats and Jeremy led Harry around to his seat and as soon as Harry was comfortable he backed away to stand on the spiral staircase that led away from the hall. Arthur was sat on the other side of his father's chair and Morgana sat on Harry's side between him and his father's chair since she was his ward and older than Harry. Harry didn't mind since it kept him out of the direct line of sight.
Harry relaxed into his chair ignoring the etiquette that he had to sit upright like everyone else but then again even when not ill he tended to be rather blasé about such things. He eyed his glass of wine before nudging it a few inches towards Morgana who glanced at him and grinned. Jeremy saw the motion and as soon as the King finished his speech and the feast started he'd go to find something non alcoholic for Harry to drink. Gaius' instructions were clear in that Harry wasn't to drink anything like cider or wine until he was fully recovered which would undoubtedly make this feast drag on painfully.
His father finally introduced Lady Helen of Mora and Harry clapped along with everyone else until Uther had taken his seat and the Lady stepped forwards into the light at the end of the hallway and begun to sing without backing or instrumental. She was very skilled, Harry remembered that from a few years ago when he and Arthur had been sent to Mora for trade talks.
She started walking down through the middle of the hall as her song got slightly louder and Harry felt himself relaxing at the sound before he realised he was starting to feel even more tired. His head turned as he spotted two of the nobles move on the left and they rested their heads on their arms. Completely against etiquette but by the time he realised that others were falling to sleep down the hall.
He felt something within him. A vast sense of anger that was swelling up inside him, trying to fight whatever spell was putting them all to sleep, Harry included, and the ever more common rumbling in his chest echoed through the room as he growled. She didn't stop singing but she looked directly at Harry who realised that, even though he couldn't gather the strength to turn his head to look at Morgana, his father, Arthur or Jeremy on the stairwell, he was the only one so far that wasn't asleep. His eyes met Lady Helen's and her song faltered ever so slightly as she saw him.
He clenched his hand over the silver knife on the table trying to lift it and the growling tripled in his chest and he glanced down to see a golden tinge to his skin, almost as if his skin was changing before an even greater sense of exhaustion hit him as she focused the song on Harry. Harry's vision blurred before his hand relaxed and his head nodded down as he fell back in the chair as his body fell to sleep.
He jerked away at the sound of an immense crash and was half way to his feet in seconds. He had just enough time to see what had been Lady Helen pinned under the great chandelier and that the room was covered in cobwebs before his vision blurred and he fell back into his seat. He gripped his upper left chest with his left hand as a wave of pain stabbed at the scar that had only just been playing up.
Morgana turned to him and he forced a straight face. He didn't want this focused on him right now. He could just see from his place as the woman from the execution forced her upper body up and with a jerk of her hand she flung a dagger straight at the head table. Harry choked but before he could react he heard it strike wood and heard the clatter of people hitting the floor. He didn't try to stand but could see Merlin and Arthur sprawled across the ground. Merlin had pulled him out of the way at the last moment.
Harry turned back to the woman on the ground just as she gave up and died and then relaxed a little more as the room filled with motion. "You saved my son." His father declared to Merlin.
"It was nothing, your Majesty." Merlin muttered as he went red as everyone in the room looked at him.
"Nonsense. This merits something very special indeed." Uther announced before pausing to think. "Yes. From this day forward you will be my son's man servant."
If Harry wasn't in pain he would have laughed at the look of shock and horror on both Merlin and Arthur's faces but at that moment the room started clapping and what Harry had known would happen did happen. Jeremy touched his shoulder. He hadn't gotten Morgana to help because he knew that Jeremy would check on Harry and notice he was still sitting in a hall of standing people and that he was struggling to remain still.
"What's the matter?" Jeremy hissed attracting Morgana's attention
"Harry?" Morgana whispered so as to not attract attention.
"Jeremy. Get me out of here." Harry hissed back and made to rise. Jeremy grabbed him and helped him to rise.
As Harry was moved away from his chair he started feeling weak again and before he put his right hand on Jeremy's arm he pocketed what he'd been hiding from Morgana and the others. The silver knife from the table that he'd woken up with in his hand.
"King Uther." Morgana touched his father on the arm just as Harry and Jeremy walked past the back of his chair. The King turned to look at her and she motioned to Harry. The King turned to look and he took in the way that Harry was pressing his left hand into where his scar was.
"I'll be fine." Harry told him.
"Sire?" Gaius arrived having clearly noticed what was happening and the room was starting to notice that something was wrong.
"Jeremy..." Harry hissed who nodded at the King before helping Harry towards the spiral staircase that led up to the corridors around the hall and away into the castle. Merlin took the excuse to escape and helped Jeremy get Harry up the stairs and out of sight. As soon as they were around the spiral a few time Harry sagged and gritted his teeth in pain and the two caught him.
"Anything not to make a scene, Harry." Jeremy sighed.
"Get him back to his room." Gaius announced as he came up the stairs before leaving rapidly as they reached one of the upstairs corridors. Jeremy led the way guiding Harry and Merlin even as they both helped Harry run out the pain but even as they began to close on his rooms Harry began to start feeling better. The pain began to slowly ebb away and Harry took a little more of his weight onto his own legs.
Jeremy let go of Harry to open his rooms door and as soon as they were through the door Feosol was growling at Merlin. All the wolf saw was Harry weakened and Merlin who he didn't trust like he did Jeremy who had almost always been around.
Harry clucked his tongue as he always did to settle Feosol down and the wolf stopped growling and let Merlin lead Harry past him and sit him down on the bed. Feosol jumped up onto the bed with Harry and laid down with his head in Harry's lap. Harry almost automatically started stroking the back of his wolf's neck. "Maybe you should take off your jacket and shirt." Merlin suggested worriedly.
"I think you should at least wait for Jeremy to leave before trying to undress me you know." Harry pointed out in amusement trying to lighten the tense look on Jeremy's face.
"Harry, leave him alone." Jeremy told him off.
"Hey! Who's the Prince here?" Harry argued before looking at Merlin. "He never lets me have any fun."
"No wonder. Whenever you get away from him you cause trouble." Merlin countered.
"The same can be said about you, Merlin. Every time Gaius lets you out on your own you get into trouble." Harry chuckled before pulling his jacket from his shoulders trying not to move his left hand that was still stroking Feosol because it caused him pain to move it. Jeremy brought over a bowl of water and a cloth before helping Harry to undo the laces on the top of his shirt and helped him pull it over his head.
"Ouch." Merlin muttered and Harry looked down at the angry red scar. "What happened? I thought your attack was over."
"So did I." Harry muttered as he eyed Jeremy soak the cloth, drain it a little before placing it on Harry's chest. Harry hissed. "That's fricking freezing, Jeremy!"
"Well I'm not going to have much luck cooling your scar with hot water am I?" Jeremy pointed out dryly.
"Git." Harry muttered and Merlin laughed abruptly before stopping himself. "You're allowed to laugh you know, Merlin."
"Tell that to your brother." Merlin grumbled.
"Maybe if you stop telling him he's a prat he'll like you better?" Harry suggested as he swatted Jeremy's hand away from the cloth and took hold of it himself. "I do have hands of my own you know."
"That's something I'll have to check with Merlin." Jeremy teased making Merlin burn bright red. Jeremy laughed and backed away and clicked his fingers. Feosol growled angrily at the order but Harry rubbed his knuckles into his head telling Feosol to do what Jeremy said. Feosol begrudgingly slipped off of the bed and curled up on the rug where Jeremy pointed, growling at Jeremy the entire time though it didn't faze Jeremy in the slightest. "Besides," Jeremy continued. "I don't think it's the being called a prat part that bothers him. Harry does it all the time."
"Merlin isn't his brother." Harry pointed out before turning to sit with his back to the end of the bed.
"Thank heavens." Merlin muttered before wincing when he realised Harry had heard him.
"Try to be nice to him Merlin." Harry told him. "He's not half as bad as you think, he just has his moments where he can be a right idiot."
"Which doesn't tend to be when he's around Harry." Jeremy told him. "Because Harry calls him on it. Perhaps you should spend more time hanging around with Harry." Jeremy winked at Merlin who groaned and turned towards the door only to be stopped when the door burst open and Gaius walked in with the King on his heels as well as Morgana and Arthur.
"The pain's over?" Gaius asked him in relief.
"I think it's the magic she used." Harry told him, ignoring the others for the moment. "The pain started just after we woke up."
"Let's have a look at that scar." Gaius ordered before turning to the King. "Perhaps a few less onlookers Sire. You know how..."
"Of course." His father nodded his head knowing perfectly well how much Harry hated having this made a fuss of. "Morgana, Arthur, we'll come back a little later. Let's give Harry some rest."
Morgana nodded and smiled over at Harry before turning to leave and Arthur eyed him with more worry on his face then Harry had seen in years. "Jeremy, can you take Feosol for a walk?" Harry asked before glancing at Gaius who saw the look in his eyes.
"Merlin, why don't you go with him. It's dark out and I doubt Jeremy wants to run into anything." Gaius' excuse was weak but Jeremy wasn't about to complain and when Merlin made to Jeremy grabbed his arm and yanked him from the room calling to Feosol as he went.
"Gaius, am I right?" Harry asked as soon as they were alone. "What she did? Did it react to the magic infesting me?"
"I can't know that for sure but it seems more like what normally happens." Gaius frowned. "You're body reacted against the magic when it joined with the magic already infesting you."
"I need to know." Harry caught his eyes. "You monitored me the other day during the attack. How close was it? Is it going to kill me next time?"
"I can't know that." Gaius defended.
"Don't keep things from me Gaius." Harry snapped. "If I've only got the year to live I don't want to waste it. I don't want you to pretend that I'll survive the next one if I'm not going to."
"I can't tell you with certainty." Gaius sighed. "But it was very close this time and there's nothing I can do to help you. If it increases next year by the same amount it increased this time then yes, Harry. I'm sorry to say that the chances of you making it through it again are low."
Harry sagged in the bed and forced himself not to react badly to the news. "Thank you, Gaius."
"I don't know that I need thanking." Gaius put in rather self-deprecatingly.
Harry chuckled. "Can you pass me my jacket before you go?" Harry asked and in that question asked to be alone.
Gaius clearly understood and before leaving passed Harry the jacket he'd worn at dinner. Harry sat up and as soon as the door was shut he pulled the silver knife from the pocket and looked at the crumpled mess and then at his right hand. He'd twisted the blade and handle into a curve and while he knew that silver was quite easy to mould once heated or with a heavy mallet he didn't think it was possible for any person to twist silver as thick as a dinner knife like Harry had. Then there was the golden colour his skin had turned and the deep routed rumbling that had continued to become more common, especially when he was emotional or seemingly around Merlin, though that seemed to tie in with the emotional part.
He hid the knife under the side of his mattress and turned on his side, away from the door and pulled the blanket over his body, burrowing into the blankets as he finally let himself think about what Gaius had told him.