Disclaimer: I do not own MERLIN, nor do I make any money off of this piece of fan fiction.
AN: This will be a four-shot, two in Arthurs' POV and two Merlins' POV. This is the first Arthur one. I hope you enjoy.
"Please! Please! You don't understand, I'm not-"
"Shut up." shouted Arthur, turning to face the old witch. She was bound in magic resistant chains being dragged from the dungeons by a couple of his knights. "I don't care about what you have to say, you are a sorcerer and you tried to kill me…and now you will burn." He turned back and proceeded to walk up the dungeon stairs and out towards the courtyard.
"Please, I'm not-" she pleaded, but Arthur didn't want to hear it.
"Gag her." Arthur ordered, and a piece of old cloth was shoved into the witch's mouth and tied in place with another before she could even make another sound. Arthur could see tears run from the corner of her eyes and she gave him a look of desperation. He didn't budge however; she was an evil witch who tried to slaughter him in his sleep. The only reason he was still alive right now was because of his faithful manservant Merlin.
Merlin, of all people, had been cleaning behind the dressing screen when the witch entered and managed to somehow knock the old witch out. But it was beyond him how Merlin managed it. His manservant was completely and utterly useless, but despite that, he wouldn't change manservants for the world. The Idiot was the only thing keeping him going half of the time, with his weird remarks and incessant humming. Arthur would never admit that he considered the man a friend…out loud that is.
They were now approaching the pyre, set up in the middle of the courtyard, peasants already looking in, ready for the burning to begin. His father sat up on the balcony, Morgana to his left. Gwen was standing in the crowd next to Gaius, and his most trusted knights Sir Elyan, Lancelot, Gwaine, Percival and Leon were standing guard with various other knights in case of an attack. Arthur figured Merlin was at the tavern as usual; Merlin really wasn't an execution type of person.
Sir Elyan and Gwaine, grabbed hold of the struggling witch, who was still trying to talk through the gag and dragged her up onto the pyre where they attached the witch, chains and all, to a hook at the top of the pyre. Arthur knew for a fact that the chains suppressed a sorcerers magic, preventing them from using it and escaping. His father told him they'd been made during the purge as sorcerers kept on escaping by just busting the locks with a simple spell.
Arthur went to stand with his knights and waited for his farther to read out the crimes committed by the sobbing and shaking witch who had finally given up trying to talk through the gag.
"You will be executed on this day for the crimes of treason, and the practice of sorcery. Let this be a lesson to you all…" His father addressed the crowd. "Sorcery in my kingdom will be punished by death." And giving one last hard look at the crowd which had now grown to fill the entire courtyard, he gave the order for the executioners to light the pyre.
The pyre lit up fast and within about thirty seconds the tips of the flames were starting to lick the bottom the witch's feet, who had started pulling at the chains trying to get away. She was once again trying to say stuff through the gag but no one cared what she had to say.
Arthur looked around at the crowd and saw many indifferent looks, though a few were grimacing and a couple smiling. He looked to his father and saw he had a satisfied look on his face whilst Morgana was smirking slightly. He looked around himself at his knights, who all wore a look of indifference on their faces and nodded slightly to himself. Finally he looked back towards the pyre, the tips of the flames were now approaching the witches ankle who was grimacing slightly in pain.
Suddenly behind him he heard a chuckle in a very familiar voice. Turning around and looking towards and entrance into a small alley he saw Merlin, in a very un-Merlin like manor leaning against the alley wall chuckling in glee up at the burning witch.
"Merlin!" he called out and made his way over to his servant, who, to his annoyance, smiled even wider when he saw Arthur approaching.
"Sire" said Merlin sarcastically, adopting an amused look. "Fancy seeing you here, come to join the show have you?"
Arthur felt his mouth dropped open in surprise; the last thing expected from his idiotic manservant was, well, this.
"Merlin" he said in disbelief and grabbed his manservant by the arm. "What on earth are you laughing about? This is an execution. I didn't expect this from you of all people."
"Oh, but it's not Me." answered Merlin to his confusion. A scream wrung out over the courtyard and Arthur looked over to the burning pyre. The flamed were now at the witch's knees, she was writhing in pain tears streaming down her face. Even the gag couldn't block out the full extent of the scream.
However the scream just made Merlin laugh out louder in mirth. Arthur just spun back around and glared in anger and disbelief at the manservant. He let go of Merlin's arm in disgust.
"What do you mean it's not you Merlin?" he asked seething. However, the idiot just kept on smiling.
"Oh but I mean exactly what I said." replied Merlin with an evil smile on his face. "You Pendragons are so easy to trick. Just a simple switching spell and, well, poor Merlin up there looks like he's having such a blast." Arthur looked to the pyre again when Merlin smirked and nodded his head towards the burning witch who was still screaming and writhing, yanking at the chains. The flames were now to her thighs.
Arthur could feel the dread spread through him, filling him up until he felt weak at the knees, like he was going to collapse. He spun back around to what he hoped was Merlin, but he'd moved out of the alley into the open and was laughing his head off like a mad man.
Peasant, noble and royalty alike all turned towards the laughing Merlin in surprise. Arthur figured that they, like he, never expected the sweet man Merlin to be laughing at someone else's torturous death like this. Arthur knew Gaius was certainly shocked like everyone else, but for everyone that shock turned into fear and then dread as the laughing man Merlin morphed into the witch, her laughter turning feminine as she disappeared into thin air with a puff of smoke and few short words.
Like it was choreographed, all heads and eyes turned slowly back towards the pyre like they were afraid of what they'd find, and what was once the evil witch, was now his faithful manservant…Merlin.
AN: Next Chappie Coming Soon.
Next Up: Merlin's POV of how he got to the pyre.