Disclaimer: I don't own Merlin

A/N: I saw this done with Harry Potter and thought it would be fun to try with Merlin.

There won't really be romance in this, so don't expect any. Updates will be very, very sporadic, but they'll happen.

This takes place about 18 years after an AU end of series 5 (many people who died in the last few episodes *cough*Arthur*cough* didn't).

A troubled woman tossed in her bed, muttering under her breath.

A sword pierced the chest of the man in red, and he crumpled to the dust. A familiar, distinct scream of despair echoed through the gully, carrying her gaze to the other side of the battle. Through grating metal and sickening smells of war, she caught sight of the fallen king's mourner.

It was a familiar dream and one she could never remember.

The vision shifted.

Morgana, dressed in a nightgown, stormed into the physician's chambers, her heels clicking urgently against the stone floor. Merlin was the only person in the room – he was lounging in a chair with a book, legs propped up on the table, and so absorbed in his reading that he didn't look up until she asked loudly and rather desperately, "Is Gaius here?"

"Nope," he said, turning a page.

Morgana walked up next to him, murmuring urgently, "I need to speak to him. Where is he?"

"Apparently Uther's requested his presence," Merlin said dully. Then he looked up at her, an enormous sigh accompanying his gaze. "What's wrong?"

The dreamer watched herself turn away from the servant boy looking pitifully pale.

"You're worried about the fire, aren't you?" Merlin piped up.

Morgana stiffened, then turned back to face the traitor of a sorcerer, looking anxious. "I'm scared, Merlin," she admitted, her voice cracking. "Everything I've known... I don't understand anything anymore."

"Really?" Merlin asked incredulously. He slammed the book closed with a bang, swinging his legs to the floor in sync with his tone. "I would have thought everything was painfully obvious." There was a hard edge to his voice.

"What?" Morgana asked.

Merlin tilted his head at her. "Are you trying to be as idiotic as Arthur?" he asked in a semi-serious tone, his eyebrows raised.

"I beg your pardon?" she said, an angry note creeping into her voice.

Merlin pushed himself to a standing position. "You aren't denying it," he sounded triumphant.

Morgana gave the boy a shove, eyes glistening. He barely moved. "You... Merlin. Since we've met..." she grasped for words. "What have I done to deserve your contempt!?"

Merlin didn't seem fazed by her sudden flair of temper. "Morgana, you've been having prophetic visions for... how many years? And you're just now figuring out that you have magic?"

With a gasp, a very befuddled Morgan le Fay awoke, her sightless eyes burning a vivid gold.

Morgan closed her eyes and reopened them slowly. They faded back to their normal hazel. Her dreary canopy curtained around her, letting in what little moonlight she allowed, exactly as it had been when she fell asleep.

Unlike most of her prophetic nightmares, that had not been a dream of the future. The girl in the dream had her old, flowing locks, that so many had once admired. Morgan's once-raven hair was flushed with gray, a side-effect to aging she hadn't bothered to amend.

Still, the dream wasn't of the past either. Morgan remembered the days of Emrys's pathetic attempts to help her with vivid clarity, and that had most definitely not been in the sequence of events. Back then, the foolish man never would have been so brazen.

But it was definitely a prophecy.

Morgan stared at the crossbeams above her, the pattern of the woodwork etching into her retinas. The maze of new thoughts would keep her awake until the sun rose.

O o O

Merlin cleared his throat loudly.

No one at the table paid any attention. Normally Arthur might have acknowledged him, but Guinevere had captured his full attention with news of their son's most recent exploits to escape his studies.

The warlock narrowed his eyes.

A flash of gold later and the feast in front of them transformed into various bouquets of flowers. The pheasant had become a bundle of rather lovely tulips (Merlin found himself rather pleased with the result, failing to hide the smug grin that overwhelmed his features).

Arthur took a bite of lavender before he realized what had happened.

"Merlin!" he spluttered, pulling purple flowers from his tongue. He turned and glared at the warlock.

"Sorry," Merlin said, not looking sorry at all. "I had to get your attention."

Arthur spat out the last of the flower and asked, annoyed, "What's wrong with just saying my name?"

"I did," Merlin sniffed. "I also banged on the table, coughed, and cleared my throat."

"...Plus I kicked you," he added as an afterthought.

"And here I was thinking you did it on accident," Arthur said, rolling his eyes. "All right, then, what is it?"

"Do I have everyone's attention?" Merlin asked loudly. There were murmurs up and down the table from the various knights and nobles. Most of them were grumbling that they wanted their food back. "After my announcement," Merlin assured them.

"Right. So, it would probably be a very good idea if no one came down to my experiment room after dinner... for the entire night."

"What are you doing this time?" Arthur asked blandly. "Does whatever it is come from your new stupid magic book?"

"Erm, yes. Please stop calling it stupid."

"Is it dangerous?"

"Not if done correctly."

"What are the chances that you'll die?"

"Two percent. Tops," Merlin promised. "Or I might end up trapped in an alternate shadow universe and then die."

Arthur stared.

"I'm trying out time travel," Merlin explained.

Guinevere frowned.

"Erm… Why?" Arthur questioned, looking unimpressed.

"Don't look at me like that!" Merlin scowled. "It's a brilliant piece of magic! Imagine the history you could uncover!"

"Imagine the bets you could win!" Gwaine called excitedly from down the table.

Merlin snorted. "It's for archival purposes only. Wouldn't want to accidentally ruin the time-space continuum," he said thoughtfully.

Arthur raised his eyebrows.

Merlin rolled his eyes. "I'm not going to," he scoffed. "Have a little faith, Arthur."

"If this is like the dog incident…" Arthur trailed off warningly, lowering his voice slightly. They had technically vowed to never again speak of the dreaded accident.

A bout of sniggers erupted from across the table, and Merlin turned to glare at the source (Gwaine was going to find himself bald one day) before turning his sour gaze on his king, who was blinking innocently in the court sorcerer's direction.

"It won't be," the warlock promised. He hoped.

Arthur stared at Merlin for a long moment.

"So no one is to go near your chambers then?" Arthur finally asked. Mostly he was just glad that Merlin's long obsession with the archaic magic book was almost over. Not only had it taken six months to retrieve, but after the warlock returned, Merlin developed the nasty habit of forgetting to feed himself whenever he was in the middle of working on one of its ancient, time-consuming spells, and Arthur found himself frustrated by the increasing lack of his friend's presence.

"That would be conveniently safe," Merlin admitted.

Arthur looked at everyone present. "Everyone got that? No one is to go near the court sorcerer's experiment room until further notice!" the king proclaimed loudly. "Spread the word."

Everyone bowed their heads in acknowledgment.

"There you are, Merlin," Arthur said, lips pressed together. "Now would you please bring back our food!"

Merlin sighed out in relief, watching everyone tuck back into their meals. Good. Now that there weren't going to be any distractions, the spell was bound to work out nicely.