Author's Note/ Disclaimer: I would like to apologise for:
1.) The very long wait between the Prolouge and this chapter.
2.) Any mistakes in this chapter.
The idea was that I uploaded this chapter DURING 2012, seriously, these are the dates I wanted to upload:
- 21st December 2012
-24th December 2012
-25th December 2012
-31st December 2012
-1st January 2013
But that never happened. The chapter was complete (as is the next one) but I was waiting for my BETA reader who had been preoccupied with Merlin, Doctor Who, Avengers and the Hobbit - she still hasn't read it xD - which means there are likely to be a million and one mistakes in this chapter and it will be changed at a later date when Sam reads it and tells me what needs to be changed.
Other than that, I hope you all survived the apocalypse, had a nice Christmas and enjoyed the New Year! Feel free to ask questions about this chapter or future chapters if you wish and please be as critial as you wish if you are reviewing.
I own nothing within this chapter - though I'd like to steal a suit of Armour and have my own Merlin... and Harry, I want Harry too! - everythin belongs to Joanne Rowling, Warner Bros. or the BBC.
Warnings:Rated T for possible language. It is very likely that this may turn into a Drarry or a Merthur (or both, hehehe!) if don't like it, click the little red cross in the right hand corner of your screen. Some characters may seem very OOC but I'm trying to avoid that as much as I can. I think that's everything.
Chapter One: The Knights of the Round Table
Several Years Later – because I show character development in time skips :D just like the Merlin writers!
'Arthur!' Merlin threw the doors of Arthur's bedchamber open and sprinted inside, stopping to a halt before the wooden table Arthur was seated at and clutching a stitch in his side whilst he tried to catch his breath.
'Ever heard of knocking, Merlin?' Arthur sighed irritably, hunched over a piece of parchment. With a frustrated groan and a furrowed brow, he slammed the parchment down to one side and fixed a piercing stare upon his manservant. 'I can't concentrate now.'
'Sorry.' Merlin had to fight to keep the smile off of his face.
'What do you want, Merlin?'
'A King who isn't a prat?'
'Merlin.' Arthur lectured sternly.
Merlin smiled cheekily at his friend, 'it's Gwaine, he's back.'
Merlin tailed Arthur down the stone stairs towards the Main Hall of Camelot Keep; carrying the King's cloak and sword in his arms while Arthur fastened his belt.
'I want you to gather the Knights and Lady Guinevere.' Arthur spoke as he took the finely crafted and highly polished silver sword from Merlin's arms and then placed it in the sheath on his belt.
'Uh huh,' Merlin responded in his usual tone, holding out the recently washed cloak.
'They are to meet me at the Round Table and you're to meet me in the Foyer.' The King draped the crimson fabric around his shoulders and used the shining buckle to secure it.
'Are you listening, Merlin?'
'Of course I am,' Merlin gave a small sarcastic wave as he began to head down a corridor leading off of the staircase. 'Getting the Knights and Gwen.'
'Oh and Merlin –' Merlin retraced his steps and gave his master a questioning stare. 'Do try not to bring about the downfall of the Kingdom while you're at it.'
'Such faith you have in me, sire.' The dark haired servant smiled as he rolled his eyes and crossed his arms.
Arthur grinned back, 'do as you're told, Dollophead.' The blonde haired, blue eyed man continued his journey down the stone steps.
'Stop stealing my words, you Clotpole!' Merlin called after the other man's retreating back; he could've sworn he heard Arthur's chuckle ricochet slightly up the stairs. Merlin smirked and continued to carry out his duty.
The enormous oak doors groaned as they opened; permitting the fair haired King to march through them. Arthur's red cloak baring the yellow dragon of Camelot fluttered with poise behind him and the clanks of his chain-mail reverberated around the vast room along with his heavy footfalls, his straight posture emitted the aurora of authority. The King's servant shadowed behind the magnificent man; in comparison to Arthur's fine armour, Merlin's clothing was tatty and out of place.
Fourteen chairs scraped across the flagstone floor as fourteen figures rose from the circular, wooden table in the middle of the room.
'Be seated men.' Arthur strode to his place between Lady Guinevere and Sir Mordred while Merlin took his position with Hermione Granger; a pale faced, brunette girl who worked at Gwen's servant. They would both wait until the King or Lady Guinevere called for assistance.
King Arthur remained standing and silent until every man and the Lady Guinevere had regained their seats once more before addressing the Knight to Gwen's right. 'Gwaine, I believe you have some information that you would like to share?'
'Yes sire,' the man with dark, shoulder-length hair cleared his throat, 'it has reached the ears of outer Camelot that a magical colony has... made itself more apparent.' Gwaine chose his words delicately. 'I believe this could add a potential threat to Camelot.'
'A magical colony?' An inky haired Knight on Mordred's left articulated with a bemused expression; Merlin recognised this man to be one of his trusted men – Sir Lancelot.
'This has "Morgana" scrawled all over it!' Came the voice of Gwen's brother – Sir Elyan.
'Morgana's name has been whispered within the rumours,' Gwaine informed his fellow Knights, 'but another name has also been mentioned.'
'And what is that name?' Enquired Arthur.
The Knights around the table began to murmur amongst themselves, each one asking the same question; who is this Malfoy character?
Gwen glanced in Arthur's direction; seeing the brief look of shock upon his face.
'Arthur?' Gwen placed her hand on top of his. 'My lord, are you –?'
'Fine, thank you.' Arthur said, unable to keep the frostiness out of his voice. He then cleared his throat and averted his eyes.
Overhearing the short conversation; Merlin and Hermione shared an uneasy gaze, knowing that Arthur's thoughts were currently fixed upon magic. Arthur Pendragon was unaware that his own servant was a sorcerer; Merlin was forced to keep his talents a secret from his own best friend in fear of execution. Even Gwen's serving-girl was a witch; Merlin had found out on the second week of her employment, he had confronted her too; he had managed to force a confession from her, but after months of working together Merlin was forced to accept that Hermione would not cause harm to Arthur or the people of Camelot. He still refused to confine his magic in her; his experiences with Morgana had taught him that to do so would not be wise.
'We'll send a patrol of men down to the boarders of Camelot; you shall be in control of that, Leon.' The sound of Arthur's voice pulled Merlin out of his thoughts.
'I will be honoured to take the responsibility, sire.' The Knight named Leon bowed his head to light-coloured haired King.
'I shall lead a party to the magical colony, we'll see if we can make this Malfoy our allies. We leave at dawn tomorrow.' Arthur got to his feet, the Knights of the Round Table and Gwen followed suit. 'You are all dismissed.'
Each member of the Round Table slowly dispersed, though many remained to discuss their newly assigned quest and share opinions on the matter; Merlin could see Leon talking in a low voice to Percival, Elyan and Gwaine.
'Arthur!' Gwen struggled through the retreating Knights to the place where the King stood in deep conversation with Mordred; she finally battled her way through the pressing Knights and stopped a few paces away from Arthur and Mordred. 'Arthur, do you really think it's wise to travel into magical territory?'
'I have to do what I can to protect my Kingdom, Gwen.' Arthur explained in a soft voice. Out of the corner of his eye, Merlin could see that Hermione was listening intently to the words that were being exchanged between Arthur and Gwen.
'But the leader of this magical colony may be in allegiance with Morgana.'
'I don't think Morgana is aware of its existence.' Mordred gave her a reassuring smile, which only deepened Merlin's suspicions. He watched the boy carefully, being sure to catch any hints of betrayal. 'She would've acted by now if she did.' Gwen didn't look calmed by the words, she bit her lip and bore her worrying eyes into Arthur's calm ones.
'I know you worry for Lancelot,' Arthur sympathised, placing his hand on Gwen's shoulder, 'I give you my word that he will be safe.'
'I – I trust you.' Gwen smiled, but the concern was still apparent in her eyes. She gave a small courtesy in Arthur's direction before turning towards the two servants. 'Hermione!'
Merlin watched as the brunette girl swiftly fell into step behind Gwen.
'Merlin, we're leaving!' Arthur approached the young warlock who was still gazing after Hermione. Arthur followed Merlin's gaze. 'I know that look, trust me, she can do better than you, Merlin.'
Merlin turned to stare at his master in shock, 'w – what? I don't – I'm not –'
'Of course you're not, come on.' Arthur shoved Merlin to get him moving. 'I need my armour polished, my sword sharpened, my room cleaned, my tunic washed –' Merlin phased out while the list continued, merely nodding his head and making noises of agreement in response.
'Are you really still doing that?' Arthur smirked at the sight of his manservant kneeling on the floor with a rag in one hand and a bucket of water next to him.
'It takes longer than you think.' Merlin retorted sullenly, glancing up at the King and tossing the filthy piece of cloth into the bucket. 'It's also harder than it looks.'
'We've had this discussion before, Merlin. Would you like me to take you through the demonstration again?'
'No, thank you!'
'Well then, shut up and get on with it!'
Merlin begrudgingly snatched the rag out of the now cold water.
'So –' Merlin said, scrubbing the floor again, 'Malfoy.'
'What about him?'
'Do you really think he's a threat to Camelot?'
Arthur frowned slightly and moved over to his bed; stepping over Merlin along the way, where he sat and watched his manservant slay away on the floor. 'I don't know,' Arthur paused for a moment; his eyes followed Merlin's backward and forward motion. 'What would you have done?' Merlin hesitated, pretending to vigorously scrub a certain spot on the floor. 'Merlin, I'm asking you a serious question.'
The servant sighed, 'why would my opinion matter? I'm just your –'
'I'm asking you as a friend.'
The scrawny man stopped his cleaning altogether. He clenched the dirty fabric in his hands, his electric blue eyes locked with the King's while he considered his answer. 'I probably would have done what you are doing.' Merlin eventually replied honestly, fiddling with the soaked rag. 'Although, I think Gwen's right,' he added watching Arthur's expression carefully, 'you should be cautious. Malfoy may well be in allegiance with Morgana.'
Draco studied his book carefully, reading the paragraph entitled "Parselmouths" and remembering what Harry had said earlier; "'It was strange, everyone stared at me as though I was dangerous... but the snake spoke to me! I thought it was going to hurt Justin so I told it not to!'" Draco was later told that a snake had indeed managed to get into the castle and many Aurors and house-elves had witnessed Harry speaking in a strange language.
Draco grimaced deeply as he reached the bottom of the paragraph – "Two well known Parselmouths were Salazar Slytherin; known for his works in Potions, and Herpo the Foul; a well known dark wizard, first wizard known to hatch a Basilisk and created the first Horcrux." – With a huff, the blonde man turned the page to see if there was any more information on the topic, seeing that there wasn't, Draco lent back in his chair and rubbed his eyes.
When he opened his eyes, he bent over the book again, but he didn't start reading again; a shadow had fallen over the pages – indicating that someone was standing behind him, blocking the light from the window – a gleam of light glistened on Draco's right hand – a reflection of the sun from a shiny object.
'I wouldn't do that if I were you.' Draco warned, rolling his eyes. 'I'll have you on the floor in seconds, then you'll be locked up in the Dungeons in a matter of minutes... and I won't be letting you out this time.' The blonde King swivelled around in his seat to arch an eyebrow at his ward; who had raised a sword, ready to swing it over Draco's head as a joke.
'I have a feeling,' Harry began in a teasing tone, 'that you love seeing me locked up.'
'Put it down, Harry. Preferably before you take someone's eye out.' Harry loosened his grip on the hilt of the sword, letting it crash to the floor.
'How did you know it was me?'
'Who else was it going to be?'
'I don't know,' Harry clambered into the chair opposite his only friend, leaving the sword on the floor, 'an assassin.' He joked.
'You are, by far, the worst assassin I have ever seen!'
Harry shrugged and smiled at Draco, 'better than you.'
'Don't you have a Transfiguration lesson to get to?' Draco queried, returning to his book.
The smile slid off of Harry's face, 'you're not coming?'
'No, I have matters to attend to.'
'It's no fun without you.' Harry sighed, resting his elbow on the arm of his chair and placing his head in his hand.
'I can't drop everything for a Transfiguration lesson, the kingdom comes first.'
'We never spend time together anymore!' Harry moaned.
'I'm sorry, Harry, I – what are you doing?' Draco glanced over his book to find his ward lying on the floor with his eyes closed and glasses askew.
'Lying on the floor.'
'Well, that's obvious, but why?'
'I'm going to refuse to move until you agree to come to Transfiguration with me.'
'Harry, you're acting like a spoilt child.' Draco tried to be stern, but he couldn't keep the smile off of his face. 'Get up.'
'No.' Harry sniggered.
'Fine, stay there.' Draco laughed. 'You make a lovely rug; I might even have you moved to my bedchamber.'
'I bet you would love that.'
Draco put his book to one side, slid to the floor and crawled to Harry's side on his hands and knees. 'We can do whatever you want tomorrow.'
The dark haired man's eyes flew open, giving the blonde a searching look. 'Hunting.'
'I hate hunting.' Draco said, scowling slightly.
'Exactly!' Harry poked his tongue out at Draco and sat up, 'but you said that we could do whatever I want.'
Draco's grey eyes narrowed, but a grin crept up on his face. 'If it will keep you from murdering me than we shall go hunting.'
'Promise.' Draco put his hand out and Harry shook it with his own. The King studied his wards expression carefully, noticing the dark circles beneath Harry's eyes. 'You've been having nightmares again, haven't you?'
'Er... late night.'
'You've always been a bad liar. I wish you would tell me about your nightmares.'
'It's nothing, honestly.' Harry attempted to set Draco's mind at rest. 'Just a silly dream.' Harry hastily got to his and muttered something about Transfiguration. Draco watched the other man stride across the room to the door and pause for a moment. 'Draco?'
'You were reading about Parselmouths, weren't you?'
'Yes,' Draco sighed, knowing that there wouldn't much point in lying.
'You don't think I'm a – do you?'
'Of course not, Harry.' This time the lie came easily from Draco's mouth, but he say the doubt in Harry's eyes as the black haired fellow left the room.
Harry descended the steps of Minerva McGonagall's tower, mulling over everything she had just taught him in the past two hours. Draco had hired her and many other great witches and wizards to teach Harry and Draco himself how to use their magic appropriately; though he had not been to any lessons recently, leaving Harry to study alone.
Halfway down the winding staircase Harry found Draco glowering out of one of the windows.
'Draco?' The ward's voice was filled with surprise, but he soon gained a concerned feeling as the King's glare deepened; the blonde man refused to wrench his venomous stare away from his current point of attention. 'What's wrong?' Harry joined Draco at the window, his eyes instantly finding the scarlet clad man.
'Know who he is?' Draco whispered harshly.
'No,' Harry watched the man with wavy, shoulder-length hair intently. The stranger was joined by two other men; one wore an identical red cloak with shining armour, his blonde hair slightly reflected the sun, the other wore a red tunic and a brown overcoat with a blue scarf. The first man looked over his shoulder at the other two men; allowing Harry to briefly see a yellow dragon on the shoulder of his ruby cloak. 'Camelot?' The emerald eyed ward questioned aloud. 'What are they doing here?'
'I wonder.' Draco sneered. The three figures moved towards the castle doors, immediately stopped by an Auror named Nymphadora Tonks. 'If I am right, which I believe I am, he –' Draco pointed at the blonde man, 'is King Arthur.'
'King?' Harry pulled his eyes away from the unfamiliar person wearing the blue scarf to look at Draco. 'I thought Uther was King.'
'He was killed with magic... that's what I heard anyway.' Draco remained at the window for a few minutes, then composed himself and hurried down the stairs with Harry hot on his tail.
'What do you mean by that?' Arthur questioned the woman impatiently. 'I am Arthur Pendragon, King of Camelot!' Merlin dearly wanted to smack Arthur around the head for being such an arrogant ass – as always – but was able to refrain from doing so.
'You can't just appear unannounced and expect the King to see you.' The woman's bubblegum pink hair turned to a fiery shade of red and her glare matched Arthur's. Merlin shook his head at Gwaine as the Knight's fingers twitched towards his sword.
'It's okay, Nymphadora.' A gloved hand touched her shoulder – the hand belonged to a young, blonde gentleman with pointed feature and eyes as dark as the clouds hovering over their heads. He was accompanied by another young man; this one had black hair, vibrant green eyes with round glasses perched on the bridge of his nose, beneath his fringe was the most peculiar scar Merlin had ever seen. The raven haired man gave Merlin an odd stare. Nymphadora raised her eyebrow at the new arrivals. 'Go on, it's all right.' The grey eyed gentleman encouraged her to leave.
As she walked away, Nymphadora shook her head from side to side, her hair slowly changed back to its original colour.
'You two must be the –' Arthur started but the blonde stranger cut across him.
'Draco Malfoy,' Draco's tone was too hostile for Merlin's likings, Draco also seemed to be searching Arthur for any flaws, 'and this is my ward – Harry Potter.' The name seemed familiar to Merlin, but he couldn't quite remember why.
Arthur extended his hand in greeting to Draco, 'I'm Arthur Pend –'
'I know who you are.' Draco said coolly, he did not shake Arthur's hand. Arthur balled his hand into a fist and dropped it to his side again; his lips were pursed, unsure of what he should say next.
'Right – er,' Arthur cleared his throat awkwardly, 'this is one of my Knights – Gwaine.' Arthur motioned towards the man on his right and then towards the one on his left. 'And this is my manservant – Merlin.' Merlin shifted uncomfortably, still very aware of Harry's piercing gaze.
Draco was still staring at Arthur, his expression mingled with curiosity and displeasure. 'Strange, how you come to Hogwarts with many Knights, but you will only walk one of them to my front door.' Draco folded his arms, his face now lined with suspicion. 'Where are the others?'
'Waiting for us to return, but they are still nearby. You have my word that they will not attack or provoke your people.'
Draco beckoned the three new arrivals to follow him into the castle. Harry ensured that he tagged along behind the group so he could keep his watchful gaze upon Merlin. Draco led his new acquaintances into the Dining Hall and motioned that they should sit. He waited until they had done so before addressing them again.
'You must have had a long journey and it's getting late, you should've brought your men to the castle.' Draco spoke as he took the seat at the head of the table.
'We didn't want to alarm you,' Arthur replied, examining his surroundings.
'Can I offer you something to eat or drink?'
'No, we're fine thank you.' Arthur declined politely.
'Speak for yourself.' Gwaine muttered in an audible undertone.
Draco turned to his ward. 'Harry, do you mind –?'
'Consider it done.' Relief coursed through Merlin as the jade eyes were finally forced to focus upon something other than him, he and Gwaine watched the raven haired sorcerer leave the room, closing the doors behind him.
'Ward or servant?' Arthur articulated inquisitively, also staring after Harry.
'Ward, but he dismissed my house-elf.' Draco grinned at the memory. He then saw Arthur's questioning look and added, 'he feels as though he should work for me in return for the protection I offer him,' the smile on Draco's face slipped away, 'it's a shame really, I prefer to see him as a friend. I've tried tell him to leave it to the house-elves but –'
'House-elves?' Arthur stared incredulously at Draco. 'I'm sorry, I shouldn't have spoken out of turn, but what are house-elves?
'A magical creature that is devoted and loyal to it's master, they must follow every instruction given to them by their master. You'll only see house-elves within the households of the oldest or richest wizarding families.' Draco rattled off quickly. 'It really does amaze me, you know, how you Muggles live without them.'
'Muggles?' Although Arthur obviously did not know the meaning of the word, he still sounded offended.
'Oh, I see –' the blue eyed King still spoke in a slightly off-handed tone; under the impression that Draco thought his magical skills made him superior. 'It seems odd to have a male ward over the age of eighteen.'
'He's too venerable to leave the protection of the castle.'
'What makes you say that?' enquired Gwaine. Merlin listened with rapt attention, wondering if Draco's answer would explain Harry's odd behaviour.
'He's powerful but he has trouble controlling his magic, he sometimes has angry outbursts which can cause an immense amount of damage.'
'You mean to say that he's dangerous?' Merlin spoke out of shock reaction. The other three men looked around at him.
'Merlin!' Arthur hissed reproachfully.
'Sorry!' Merlin apologised quickly.
'He's only dangerous if he's ill-advised,' Draco said softly, looking at Merlin. 'Unfortunately past events have shown that he is easily misguided.' Draco stood in silence for a few minutes. 'It was my father's wish to protect him and bring him up to be good.'
Harry returned with a small, skinny elf who wore a tea towel like a toga. Harry had just managed to carry three plates of food while the elf had been sensible enough to carry the goblets and water jug on a silver plated tray. Merlin watched the elf place the tray in front of Draco, bow to everyone in the room then make a speedy retreat. Harry placed the pates in front of Arthur, Gwaine and Merlin while Draco poured the contents of the jug into the goblets and handed them to each of the men.
'Did I miss something?' Harry asked, noticing the apprehensive face around the table.
'Of course you didn't,' Draco smiled encouragingly at his ward then pointed to a chair, 'sit down.'
For minutes afterwards everyone in the room was silent. Only the occasional tap of goblets being placed on the wooden surface of the table and the sounds of chewing could be heard. When Gwaine finally pushed his empty plate away, Draco turned to address the other King once more.
'I trust that you didn't travel all this way to enjoy the view?'
'No –' Arthur hesitated, deciding how he would explain their visit. 'I wish to... discuss... a small issue with you.'
'I feel that we should save this discussion until tomorrow.' Draco set his elbows on the table, his fingers locking together and resting his chin on the entwined fingers. 'It is late. I will send some Aurors to collect your Knights, they will be brought up to the castle to be fed and watered. I will organise some house-elves to prepare beds for you and your men.'
Harry strode down the corridor; carrying a pile of clean bed sheets in his arms and feeling a little uneasy about the sudden claustrophobic feeling that had settled over the castle. He weaved between the red draped men in a daze, barely noticing the sound of a clearing throat behind him.
'Excuse me?' Someone grabbed Harry's shoulder and spun him around, accidentally making him drop the bed sheets on the floor. His meadow green eyes met Arthur's sky blue ones. 'I'm sorry! I didn't mean to make them fall on the floor.'
'It's fine,' Harry shook his head and stooped to the floor to pick them up again, 'sorry, I didn't mean to ignore you.'
'It's Harry, isn't it?' Arthur crouched down to help Harry pick up the sheets. Harry nodded in response to Arthur's question, fleetingly meeting his gaze. 'Why don't you just use magic?' Arthur chuckled slightly.
'I was told that you don't like magic. You don't have to help –' Harry motioned to the crumpling white clouds of cotton.
'It was my fault... tell me, Harry, if you're the King's ward, why are you so adamant on doing the chores?' Arthur and Harry rose to their full heights; Harry only just becoming aware of how much taller Arthur was. Arthur bundled the now screwed up fabric in Harry's arms.
'It just – gives me something to do.' Harry sighed, feeling his unhappiness creep up on him again.
Something to – surely you have plenty of things to do? Jousting? Hunting? Archery?'
'I'm not really allowed to go anywhere on m own. I always have to have a guard of Aurors of Draco with me.'
'He doesn't let you go out alone?'
'It's for my protection.'
The pair stood quietly for a moment; Harry played with a loose threat on one of the bed sheets while Arthur studied the green eyed fellow in front of him. 'I'll get Merlin to help you with this,' the King of Camelot waved a hand at the bundle Harry held and then rushed off before Harry could protest.
'Arthur told me that you don't go anywhere alone, is that true?' asked Merlin, wishing that the other sorcerer would engage in conversation with him while they stripped the covers off of Draco's bed.
'Yeah.' The emerald eyed wizard tried to make his tone dismissive as he didn't really want to discuss the topic with a man he had just met.
'What if I took you – I don't know – for a horse ride, after this?' Merlin beamed at Harry, trying to give a friendly approach.
'Draco barely knows Arthur, as you're his servant he won't trust you either.'
The smile fell of off the blue eyed warlock's face, 'have you ever thought about... sneaking out?'
'I'll get caught, Draco will give me the face and the tone – it's not worth it.'
'Face and tone?' Merlin peered around the bedpost at Harry; seeing the other man shake his head. 'Well, disguise yourself. Dress up as a peasant.'
Harry snorted. 'Where am I going to get peasant's clothes from?' Merlin gave Harry a mischievous smirk. 'I don't think I like that look.'
'Where did you learn that spell?' Merlin was stretched out on Harry's bed, watching as the jade eyed wizard pulled on clothes that strongly resembled his own.
'I learnt it when I was young,' Harry shrugged the brown overcoat on, 'it was an accident, but it helped me save the life of my cousin.' Harry's eyes widened as he said it out loud, he stared fearfully at Merlin.
'You weren't supposed to free him, were you?' A small grin tugged at Merlin's lips. 'Calm down, I won't tell anyone.'
Harry's expression changed to one of relief, he moved over to his bed and sat on the end so he could face Merlin. 'Does Arthur know that you're a wizard?'
Merlin's eyes snapped up to meet Harry's. 'How do you know?'
'I can feel it.'
'No, Arthur doesn't know. I would prefer it to stay that way.'
Harry nodded, deciding it was time to change the subject of their conversation. 'I'm still – I don't think a disguise will work.'
'It should, you'll look like me... from behind anyway.'
'And if Arthur sees me?'
'Don't worry about Arthur, I'll keep him busy.' Merlin smiled at Harry again; relieved to see a small, sheepish grin in return. 'Just make sure you're back in time for Arthur and Draco's meeting.
If you're wondering what Arthur was talking about when he said "'We've had this discussion before, Merlin. Would you like me to take you through the demonstration again?'" then this picture should remind you:
I do not own this picture.