Disclaimer: I don't own Merlin BBC does.
A/N: This is my first trip into writing in the Merlin Fandom so I hope all of you out there will approve. If not you can throw rotten tomatoes, if Merlin can take it so can I-Bring it on! Please read and review it's like cookies to us writer's.
PS: Thanks a million to Christina B, who was kind enough to beta my story :)
Title: sóðian hláfordsearu or 'Witness to Treason'
Summary: A forest, 3 sorcerrors, 1 warlock, and 5 witnesses.
Arthur watched as a look of intensity swept over his manservant's features, his normally docile blue eyes filling with anger and vengence. It was an expression that the Prince would have thought impossible for his usally jovial servant to even make. It almost seemed as if the very man before him was a different being altogether. Merlin pushed his sholders back, raising his form to full hight. A stance that combined with his expression made the boy appear more intimidating than he should ever look.
"You should have heeded my warning" the young warlock shouted angrily "Now you will pay for your arrogance."
The sorcerers that had attacked their hunting party let out cackling laughs that told without words, exactly how threatened the larger men felt. "You are but one insignificant man against three powerful beings of magic, you are a fool." The leader mocked.
"Merlin! Get back! Get out of there you idiot!" Arthur shouted at the younger man.
"Yes run you coward!" the enemy hissed.
Merlin's frown deepened. "It is not I who is a coward! It is you who attacked innocent people!"
"Arthur Pendragon is hardly innocent boy! He has murdered so many of those who are truly innocent. He and that father of his!"
"Arthur is not his father," Merlin argued. "He is a good man, merciful, and just. He would never kill someone who didn't deserved it."
"Words of a loyal infidel," the sorcerer sneered. "My views cannot be swayed, and neither can my associates. The Pendragons must die." With a sinister smile the older man began reciting foreign words that were understood by none but the beings of magic that faced each other.
Merlin knew what was coming and moved toward the prince. "Arthur get down!" he shouted.
In an instant the servants body was slamming into his master, throwing both men to the ground as a ball of fire flew over—barely missing the pair. The flames were so close that they singed the back of Merlin's tunic, the heat painfully licking his skin as he lay protectively over Arthur's body.
The sorcerer growled in frustration as Merlin pulled himself up to his feet with a hiss.
"I won't let you do this." The warlock warned, moving forward across the clearing. "I won't let you hurt Arthur, not any of you."
"We shall see," the older man smiled.
Arthurs struggled to his feet. He was now a couple of meters behind his servant, along with Sir Leon, and several other knights who had just recently recovered from the earlier attacks.
"Merlin!" he shouted. "I'm ordering you to get back! What the bloody hell do you think your doing!"
"I will kill your fool of a servant first Pendragon, considering he seems so keen to die."
"No!" Arthur shouted, rushing forward. Merlin looked back at him with a look of resignation on his face, and it was an expression that the prince did not understand, nor like.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry Arthur," the boy whispered, and the intense blue irises that were looking at him began swirling into gold. The prince stopped in shock "Merlin?" he breathed, several gasps from the surrounding knights following.
The older sorcerer was chanting, as Merlin turned from his master. The warlock thrust his hand forward, fingers flayed, just as the enemy let loose a red ball of energy.
" bordweall!" Merlin threw up a barrier to deflect the attack, before it could case any harm.
"Well now, Pendragon's pet has magic, a curious development indeed." The sorcerer smiled. "Let's see how long you last against all three of us boy."
The enemy started to advance and Merlins skin prickled as the air surrounding the group began to crackle with the very essence of magic. "Arthur, get out of here now! I'll hold them off!"
The prince frowned and motioned for his knights to stay their ground. Merlin cast an urgent look back "Arthur!" he pleaded. "go!"
"Why should I listen to you?" the prince shouted.
The younger man was unable to respond as a sudden onslought of power came surging toward him from several directions. He hissed a few spells as he tried to dodge the enemy's attack, but one bolt of crackling electricity struck him unmercifully in the chest, flinging him to the ground. Merlin tried to gather his breath as he rolled onto his side. To his horror Arthur and his men began to charge at their foes, swords raised for the attack.
"Idiot! The bloody idiot!" Merlin hissed as he stumbled to his feet, rushing forward to try and intervene. "wæter" he shouted, as the sorcerers sent fire rushing towards his comrades. In a burst of steam the flames disipated, and once again the group changed their attetion to him. "Kill the boy!" the leader shouted.
Instinct's kicked in and Merlin's eyes flashed gold once more "bewyrcan." instantly an impenitrable dome of swirling light surrounded Arthur and his knights, and that was when everything went to hell.
Magic surged from unknown origins, trees began falling, and flames devoured the grasses, bursts of light were errupting in multiple shades of colors, and intinsities. The prince and his men had to shield their eyes from the blinding flashes. Arthur though, fought hard to locate his servant in the chaos that was ensuing outside their protected arena.
Merlin held his ground the best he could, matching attacks, taking the upper hand briefly before subcombing to a painful jolt from the side. He hit a nearby tree with a bone crushing force before falling to the ground, chest heaving desperately for air, blood running down the side of his face.
In a flicker, the protective wall faded out and Merlin begain to try and pull is arms up beneath his trembling body.
The Prince watched in watched horror as Merlin was overwhelmed and flung aside like a rag doll. Instantly the barrier around him disipated leaving the men in a eerie circle of life that had been previously untouched by the chaos around them. The ground that was outside their dome was blackened by now extinquished flames, the air still smelling harshly of smoke.
Arthur stared at his manservant who was trying to pull his body of the ground, and his chest tightened at the sight of intense pain reflected in the blue depths that were now desperately looking back at him.
Laughter filled the air and the sorcerers began to move like vultures, circling their prey.
"Knights, to me!" he shouted. Instantly the remaining four men in his party formed their attack stance just as they had been trained to do.
"You think your men are any match for us?" The leader growled, "slæpan!" In one swift flick of his wrist Arthur's men where flung to the ground unconsious, or dead, he did not know. Now the prince was left standing as a mere solitery figure.
"Leave him alone!" Merlin growled as he stood shakily off to the side.
"Why do you protect the man who'd burn you on a prye for no more than the act of simply existing?"
"He's my master, my future king, and I also consider him my friend. I have sworen to protect him—it is my destiny to do so." Merlin answered wearily, looking at the prince, willing his words to be believed.
Arthur nodded at him, just as the teeth of the sorceror ground together in anger and disgust. "You are a traitor!" He sneered. "þoliandeaðcwalu" In an instant Merlin was on the ground crying out, as pain seared through his body.
"No!" the prince screamed, rushing to his friend's side. Grabbing the arching form and pulling him up into his arms. "Stop!" he ordered. "Stop it!"
"A-thur." Merlin choked. "Run!"
Confused Arthur continued to look at his friends horror filled eyes, even as two of the sorcerors gripped his shoulders and began to pull him away from the boy. Merlin's breath became more ragged and his eyes slipped closed, face pinched in agony.
"It's over young prince, we have defeated your wizard, and there is no one left to protect you."
"You won't get away with this, my father will hunt you to the ends of the earth, and you will die at the end of a sword of Camelot."
"I think not." The enemy grinned. "for Camelot will fall long before I-" The man sputtered to a stop, his breath hitching, before blood began spilling from his lips. At his back Merlin lay on the ground hand outstreached, eyes golden. When the sorceror turned arround Arthur could see the glowing sword that had imbededed itself between the man's shoulders. A look of shock flitted across the enemy's face before, only the blank look of death remained. When his body hit the ground, a cry of relief spilled from the warlock who had just been released from the pain that had been overwhelmming him.
In angry retribution the remaining sorcerors released the Prince and surged forward. Merlin was already standing on his feet, his eyes still filled with magic, his mouth hissing a spell, voice rising with each syllybal. "middangeard folgian—bugan to min willa!"
Clouds began to roll in, blotting out the sun, thunders rumbled in the distance. The winds picked up, and the surrounding trees began to sway and groan. Leaves were swirling in funnels throughout the clearing.
Arthur looked from his servant to the trembling sorcerors that had halted their advance. "Emrys!" They hissed in unison. It was disconcerting to see such fear dirrected at Merlin. Even the prince knew that he should fear the power before him, but he could only bring himself to stare in awe.
Merlin look passed his enemy to check once more that the prince was far enough away to be considered safe, before uttering his final words. "fretan hi!"
Arthur stumbled to the ground, as the very earth beneath him shook. He heard shouts of distress, and lifted his head to see his men now consious and clutching to the shifting soil. The ground cracked at the sorcerers' feet, and in one unified cry they were swallowed up by the earth itself in a show of steam and fire.
Abruptly the tremors ceased and the winds began to die down. Arthur lifted his head and gazed at his manservent who stood tall amidst the receeding chaos. His arms stretched out to the sides of him, chin lifted to the heavens, eyes closed. He stood there untill the leaves fluttered to the ground and the clounds began to part. When the suns rays hit the clearing there were no signs of the enemy or the crevises that had devoured them.
Merlin's chest heave with exertion, and slowly he lowered his hands to his sides. He could feel his legs tremble before giving way, and he barely reacted when his knees struck the soil. He bowed forward, totally spent, his eyes rolling open just long enough to see Arthur coming towards him. Then the warlock pitched forwadrd, the rest of his body coming to rest against the chared earth.
"Merlin!" Arthur shouted, watching the boy drop to his knees. He immediately rushed toward him, insides curling as the warlock looked at him briefly before colapsing the rest of the way.
Skidding to a stop, stretching his hands forward to grasp the sides of his blood stained face. "Merlin!" he hissed, patting the pale cheeks. To familiar blue eyes fluttered open, but couldn't seem to lock with his.
The cracking of twigs under feet caused the prince to tense up. He stealed his gaze and looked up at the the four approaching men.
"Your majesty," Sir Leon spoke. "What do you wish us to do with the boy?"
Looking down at his manservant he felt a sudden surge of protectiveness. "You'll do nothing, I am not my father, I will not reward loyalty, and bravery with death." He growled firmly.
Leon smiled as he kneeled down by the pair, placing a gloved hand on the princes shoulder "We would not wish you to. I have watched him at your side for the last three years, none of us would believe him capable of any form of evil."
In shock Arther looked up at the men that were gathering around him. "We would feign blindness to what we have seen if you would but give the order." Sir Bedevere added. Sir Percival nodded. "He's a good man-helped me a few times in the past."
The prince swallowed thickly, his tense muscle relaxing. "Thank you" he replied genuinely.
"So...I get to keep my body intact then." Merlin murmured wearily, a shadow of a smile creasing his lips.
The prince let out a bark of laughter and looked down at his man servant affectionately. "If what you can describe the current state your in as being intact."
"I've had worse."He we said with a hint of humor. His tired blue eyes slowly slipping closed once more with a soft exhale.
"Merlin?" the prince shook his man servant gently.
"M..ok," the younger man groaned, "j...st tired give me...a minute."
"Don't think you can get to get out of explaining yourself. Once were back, I want to know what the bloody hell you've been up to. you're gonna explain exacly what you meant by 'I've had worse'. Details Merlin, I want lots and lots of details."
The only response the prince was given was a huff, which he decided to recieve as a confirmation.
With a sigh Arthur slid his arms beneath his servants thin frame, and lifted. "Let's get you back to Gaius."
Merlin hissed, and tensed in the Prince's arms. "Fine my ass," Arthur grumbled. The corner of Merlin's lips twitched. "Gaius," he breathed, "is so going to kill me."
Arthur frowned at what that statement alone revealed. It hurt to know that the older physision knew before he did. Though, he couldn't help but also feel strong affection for the boy that had shown extreme loyalty and true friendship to him despite their difference in status.
He gripped the lanky frame tighter, almost as if he was hugging the warlock. He didn't doubt that once discussed, he would find himself indebted to the man many times over. The prince would make sure that he was worthy of Merlins obvious suffering and protection , and that the younger man was equally protected in the future.
A/N: I don't pretend to know Old English lol! So I tried to use an online dictionary. Here is what the translations are suposed to be.
bordweall - "wall of shields"
wæter - "water"
bewyrcan - "cover, surround"
slæpan - "sleep"
þoliandeaðcwalu - "suffer agony"
middangeard folgian—bugan to min willa! - "earth obey—submit to my will!"
fretan hi! - "devour them!"