A/N: This is complete and utter cracky nonsense. It's dedicated to railise, who bribed my plotbunnies so I'd write this after I jokingly came up with this plot. Hope you like it! :)
Morgana was bored.
She was sitting in her hut, with her feet propped up on the table in a shockingly un-ladylike manner.
"Huff," she huffed.
"Huff," she huffed slightly louder.
"HUFF!" she huffed more loudly than she probably ought to have.
Agravaine came running, or rather, wobbling, to her assistance, within seconds.
"My lady? Are you quite well?"
"No!" grumbled the witch. "I'm bored."
"Oh." Agravaine breathed a sigh of relief; he had been expecting something much worse.
"Oh? Is that all you have to say? OH? I'm practically dying of boredom in this wretched little hut…"
"Some might call it quaint, my lady, or charming."
"I called it wretched, and I called it so deliberately. I suggest you keep your opinions to yourself. I am bored! It maybe alright for you, playing traitor in Camelot, but trust me, one day they shall discover you and cast you out! And then what shall you have to do? Life isn't half so interesting when you don't have to be duplicitous. You shall sit around all day, plotting! In a wretched hut! With woodlice for company!" she crushed one under her fist as it passed. "Like me. Then you'll understand how it feels. Until then, I shan't listen to your advice on boredom."
Agravaine was stumped for a minute, then something fabulous occurred to him, and he scuttled off to Camelot and took his bright idea with him, with every intention of bringing it back.
"What is this?"
"It is called a television, my lady."
Morgana sneered down at the ugly black box. This was not necessarily any reflection on how she felt about it, she simply sneered at everything.
"How is it supposed to relieve me of my boredom?"
"Ah. Well, my lady, one simply pushes this button, you see, and it turns on. And then, if you will take the remote, there are a number of channels, at your disposal, for, err, amusement."
"Agravaine, I do not think…"
"Just try it, Morgana. Just for a week, I implore you. I've hooked it up to a Freeview box, so you'll get lots of channels!"
Morgana said nothing, and looked on, stony-faced, at her snivelling sidekick.
Agravaine peeled back his hood, glancing around to check that no one had seen him, before sneaking into Morgana's hut.
A piece of Butterkist popcorn was hurled at his head as penalty for disobedience.
"I'm watching my cartoons!"
Agravaine removed his standard evil-guy cloak (purchased from Standard Evil Tailors) and stood around stupidly.
"Okay, it's an ad break, now you can talk."
"Morgana… I'm not entirely sure I understand what's going on…"
Morgana snorted. "You're my evil Robin."
"I've already decided that my favourite superhero is Batman, because he wears so much black, but the only bad thing about him is that he was good. So I'd be evil Batman; that makes you evil Robin."
Agravaine was struggling to follow logic that was heavily influenced by sleepless nights spent endlessly watching children's cartoons.
"So… Morgana… Has this at least helped you get some more fun in your life?" Agravaine stared in amazement at Bugs Bunny chewing his carrot lazily. "Helped you do something other than dastardly plotting?"
Morgana snarled. "Absolutely not! I've been researching." She produced a notebook from her side, filled with strange doodles of her enemies.
"At first, I was just going to drop a piano on Arthur's head, but then watching all these children's cartoons gave me a brilliant plan. A better plan than even one of Morgause's…"
Merlin sat at the breakfast table, flipping through the bright, newly-delivered paper with its pretty pictures.
Whoever this Dennis was, he was certainly causing a lot more trouble than is socially acceptable.
What was truly concerning the young warlock, however, was that almost all of these images depicted magic! Who had known to send these papers to him? What was their purpose? Were they blackmailing him?
WHAT IF THEY TOLD ARTHUR?
Gaius tootled into the physician's chambers.
"Ah, Merlin. I see you're reading one of those funny books too."
"What?" squeaked Merlin. "There are more of them?"
"Of course, Merlin. All of the children in Camelot have them. I was wondering where they were getting them from…"
"All of the children in Camelot!" Merlin was close to fainting. "So they know? So everyone knows?"
"Knows what? Merlin, what are you talking about?"
Gaius raised an eyebrow at his young apprentice, and it calmed him down immediately. "Merlin no one knows your secret, otherwise it wouldn't be called a secret. They are simply reading these so-called comic books. Although, to what end, I haven't the first clue…"
"Merlin! You unbelievably shambolic excuse for a manservant! I asked you to polish my armour and muck out my stables, not polish my stables and muck out my armour! Do you have any idea how confused the horses are?"
"At least they're shiny…" muttered Merlin defensively.
"And it's a good thing Sir Leon stopped you getting rid of everything in the armoury! What on earth possessed you to behave like such a… a…"
"Yes! A clot pole!"
"I'm sorry, Sire. I guess I've just been a bit distracted today."
"By what, pray?"
"Haven't you noticed?"
"The comic books?"
Arthur seemed perplexed, as ever.
Merlin rolled his eyes. "Never mind."
Arthur reached out to pluck something from Merlin's back pocket. "What is this?"
"Why are these people so disproportionate?"
Merlin shrugged goofily and waited for Arthur to tell Merlin he was an idiot and that he should get out.
"You're an idiot. Get out."
"It's an ingenious plan!" Morgana cackled and scoffed an entire bowl of ice cream in one go.
Agravaine looked warily at the skittle she had offered him before enquiring, "How so, my lady?"
"I have bombarded Camelot with blatant pro-magical propaganda, and they have actually welcomed it!" she grinned. "One must simply replace cartoons with comic books, the obvious medieval equivalent, and quickly Camelot's children fall under my spell! I brainwash them under their parents' noses and they welcome it. It is too good. Soon I shall have created an army of children who are loyal to me, to magic! They will destroy Camelot from within its own walls! And it is all thanks to cartoons! Mwa ha ha!"
Agravaine couldn't help but feel that Morgana might benefit from cutting down on TV time. But he wasn't going to be the one to tell her that, not on your nelly.
The comic books had quickly become acknowledged in Camelot as being something that were only for children.
Well, children and Prince Arthur.
That was a secret known only to his manservant. It did not surprise Merlin overly much, since, as he had told his master many times over the years, his mental age was about three.
Merlin entered the prince's room to find said prince rolled over on his back on his bed gleefully chuckling at the latest edition.
"This is classic, Merlin!"
"That's great, Arthur."
All of a sudden, Arthur tossed his comic to one side and skipped over to Merlin with an inane grin on his face.
"When I grow up, I want to go to Hogwarts!"
"Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry!"
"Is this a joke?"
"Nope!" Arthur bounced on the balls of his heels. "I want to be a wizard! And do spells and make potions and stuff, it looks really cool!" He grabbed his comic book and pointed in order to demonstrate this to Merlin. "Magic is the best thing ever! But don't tell the king, okay? It's illegal."
"Arthur… You're the king."
"Am I? Oh, yeah, right. So I guess magic's not illegal anymore!"
With that, he cartwheeled out of the room.
One week later, and it seemed to Merlin as if Arthur really did mean it. He'd officially lifted the ban on magic, and tried to encourage wizards back to Camelot by offering them free drinks (Gwaine's suggestion). Unfortunately, so far, it wasn't going so well, as people seemed to think that after thirty-odd years of persecution, it was strange for a city to suddenly change its mind, ergo the whole thing was probably a trap. This meant the position of Court Sorcerer had yet to be filled, much to Arthur's chagrin.
It was while Arthur was sitting on the floor of the Great Hall, trading Comic Cards with the other Camelot kids, that Merlin finally decided to approach him.
"Hang on a minute, Merlin." He turned to the small peasant next to him. "I'll trade you Grindelwald for Circe."
"No fair! Nobody knows who Grindelwald is!"
"I'm the king; you must do as I say!" (He'd used that one twenty times already in this game.)
"Arthur?" Merlin tried again.
"I have something important to say to you. In private."
"There is nothing you have to say to me that cannot be said in front of these good men."
In the corner, the knights of Camelot were guffawing and looking on jealously, wondering what these scrawny children had that meant the king wanted to hang out with them so much all of a sudden.
"Fine," Merlin breathed in deeply. "Arthur: I have magic. I've always had magic. I was born with magic. In fact, I'm a Dragon Lord. I'm probably the most powerful warlock you will ever meet, ever. The druids call me Emrys. Weird name, I know. I didn't pick it. They're quite nice, actually. Next time we meet them, please don't threaten to kill their children, because, unlike you, I have to see them again afterwards. Oh, and I basically spend my entire life saving yours. Anything that's ever happened to you that makes no sense was me. Except for you falling unconscious at convenient moments, I think you might have serious head injuries. So… In conclusion: please don't have me executed."
Arthur got to his feet.
For one heart-stopping moment he scrutinised Merlin like an obscure painting in a modern art gallery that could possibly be hanging upside down for all the casual observer knows.
Then he whooped, punched the air, and jumped up and down screaming, "My best friend's a warlock, my best friend's a warlock, my best friend's a warlock!"
The other children pouted.
"The most powerful warlock ever," Merlin felt the need to interject.
"Take that!" Arthur continued. "My best friend could take all of you! I beat you, Matthew the baker's son, with your my mum's a druid! She's dead anyway! Sorry about that, no hard feelings. Whoop! This is so cool! Hey Merlin?"
"We should have a party!"
Merlin blinked. "Aren't you even a little bit concerned about the years of deceit and the lies upon lies upon LIES?"
"My best friend's a wizard!"
"Sh! Agravaine! What have I told you about interrupting me during Avatar: The Last Airbender?"
"My lady, I think you will forgive me for this."
Morgana scowled, and muted the television. "Fine. Report, monkey. But do it quickly."
"I have good news and bad news."
Morgana blew some bubble gum. "Go on."
"The bad news is that our plan has, to put it bluntly, backfired. King Arthur has accepted magic in Camelot."
Morgana growled. "What's the good news?"
"I know who Emrys is."
"WHO IS HE?"
"This, actually, is also sort of bad news. Perhaps I shouldn't have said it was good news, actually. Emrys is Merlin."
Morgana's eye twitched.
"And Arthur has appointed him Court Sorcerer. And he's told Arthur about all of our plans. And… I've been exiled."
"Were you chased out with pitchforks and torches? I hope you were chased out with pitchforks and torches."
"Err… No. I just sort of ran off before they could catch me. I was hoping I could stay here, and we could maybe catch that Disney movie marathon you mentioned?"
Grudgingly, Morgana budged over on the sofa, as Agravaine began to tell her all about his clandestine hobby: bird watching.
She'd thought she couldn't have been more bored.
Oh boy was she wrong.