Disclaimer: I don't own anything.
A/N: My first FanFiction! If you find mistakes I made- Sorry! I've tried my best! There may not be much Mergana in the first few chapters, but still they are good. Anyway, hope you enjoy this.
The story began at the Great Purge, when all the sacred temples in this land were destroyed, all the Druids were slaughtered, all the magical creatures were chained or killed and whoever got involved with magic were pursued and executed.
With the help of Balinor(the dragon lord), they finally captured the Great Dragon and kept him imprisoned deep down the castle of Camelot. Uther had held a feast to celebrate then he turned to the dragon lord, who obviously unaware of his being betrayed. When he found out, he had to escape from Camelot guarded by Uther's men during the night. He would not be able to run away successfully without the help of a lovely woman in the town. Her name was Hunith.
Hunith was born in Camelot. When she was a young girl, she loved to explore. There was a door in the cellar of her dwelling, when open the door a long and dark access can be seen. The access led to the forest out of Camelot, which was constructed by Hunith and her father when she was ten. The entrance used to lead her straight to the blueberries and flowers in the forest when she was still a girl.
When Balinor came to Camelot half a year ago, people had considered him as a friend of the king and Hunith had made him accommodations. They somehow became more than acquainted and soon they had fallen in love with each other. Now she helped him escaped.
Balinor looked at the kindest woman he'd ever seen in the world, the woman he loved, tears swelled in his eyes.
"Darling, you must take care." she looked at him, and he saw tears in her eyes.
"I can't express how sorry I am, Hunith-" he didn't continue but kissed her softly on her lips with sorrow.
"It's Uther Pendragon who should feel sorry for what he had done to you, to us."
She was right. It was Uther Pendragon who separated him from the woman he loved. It was Uther Pendragon who made him homeless.
It was time to say goodbye. Hunith thought she had just suffered one of the worst moments in her life as tears streamed down her face. Balinor disappeared behind the door. The tapestry handed down again to hide it from sight.
Uther had been pursuing Balinor and searching the one who helped him escaped for months, a large reward was offered. Another moment that made Hunith's life dreadful was night months later, as the price raise to a certain amount of money, someone in the village told their suspicion to the king. No one had been suspicious of Hunith since she was at home sleeping on the night Balinor found escaped, until they found it strange when they saw a heavy Hunith with child.
Nimueh cat lived in the cellar of the Rising Sun, which was a small tavern located in downtown Camelot city whose innkeeper was Taber. The cat slightly curled her tail, chased down the low beams of the place to a rat with a speed. Without a fine balance kept, she stirred a little and the rat in no time vanished from her sight into a very dark corner to the shabby wall. Nimueh had wonderful eye sight since she had become a cat but she eventually gave in, sighing inwardly before she turned around to head down the steps and back to her old space.
She still had no idea of how to being adapted to her cat form. It had been almost four years since Arthur Pendragon was born, she thought, settling herself on the floor. Before this, she was the High Priestess who had helped Uther Pendragon got his precious child of his dream, and for a price, his beloved queen, Ygraine, had to be taken to Avalon.
It was then when Uther started to believe that magic was as evil as a power to destroy, human would corrupt once practicing it, and it had never been any good, nor had been the ones who practiced it.
After that he started the Great Purge so she had to hide herself in a cat form to avoid the execution. Hardly anyone knew that she was that pretty sorceress Nimueh. But she still had pale blue eyes of her womanhood and covered with white fur like snow.
She licked one of her paw, thinking who else in the city had already known her true identity. She thought of the old court physician who had retired years ago before magic became illegal in Camelot. "Maybe I would have told Gaius." She thought, "If he had not practice magic and still lived here."
Hunith seemed to be reliable enough for Nimueh, though. "She knows exactly who I am," she thought, "but I know exactly what she had done as well." Of course, they shared all their secrets. Hunith came to see the High Priestess with some cat food every other day. She told the cat she loved Balinor so much that she had to help him escape. She also told the cat how much she loved the child she had with Balinor, even the child had only been born for a day at that time.
"His name is Merlin." She told the cat with a tender smile. The cat answered her words with mews.
Poor Hunith, she continued to think, how she could even answer the question of the child's father? Especially now when the king had already become very suspicious, and…
The door of the cellar sprung open, Nimueh lifted her head only to see Hunith scurried down the stairs holding Merlin in her arms.
"Nimueh!" she shouted, "I had to leave the city, NOW. So would you take care of Merlin, please?"
Nimueh walked up to the woman and mewed once to assured her. She had already predicted this- events like this would happen soon or later, she thought.
Only to put down the baby on the ragged carpet, Hunith tried to smile at her a little but failed. She went down to look at her sleeping son wrapped in a red handkerchief-this perhaps would be the last time in her life. She felt like the tears of bitterness had already swollen in her eyes but she would not let them fall. It was a grief when she kissed his forehand and then she had to stand up, to fight her way through the forest to find another way of living out of Camelot, out of home. Though it was not a home to her here anytmore.
She put a scroll of paper into the handkerchief and turned to Nimueh. "He is special, you know, one day he will grow up." She seemed to be far away, "Tell him I love him, as always."
She had to go then, leaving Nimueh walking around the still sleeping baby. And her world was in silence again, before little Merlin woke up.
Merlin was holding a jug of mead towards the group of man who were seemingly not the frequenters to the Rising Sun. His head could barely reach their table but he somehow managed to place the jug on it, only when he was about to leave he heard one of them begin to yelp.
"Seems that we have a fool to perform us some entertainment!" He shouted, "Taber, it's that your new juggler here?"
"Given all his failings, he must be!"
They were kicking up the row, and Taber came over. Taber was a covetous man at the age of forty. He had found a sleeping baby wrapped in a handkerchief in his cellar one night two years ago, inside the handkerchief there was a piece of paper with the baby's name Merlin on it. He took Merlin in and as soon as Merlin could walk he started to serve in his tavern.
"You heard the guests, Merlin?" Taber raised his eyebrows, "Jump to it!" He tossed him several balls.
Maybe the little boy didn't have any skills, but he'd better do as the innkeeper asked.
Taber honestly didn't know when Merlin did learn to juggle like that, not that he cared. The only thing he concerned was the extra money they paid for the whole entertainment thing.
Day after day, Merlin got up at dawn, all he did after that was clean, clean, serve, serve, serve, serve, juggle, and serve, and juggle, feed Nimueh, bed.
Nimueh cat watched Merlin grew, a little bit older and day after day. She remembered the moments when the baby could turn over, sit, listen, walk and feed himself with a biscuit. Before he could talk, he moved things around and when a certain object, like a spoon flied across the room, he would not stop giggling. Now that he could talk. She appreciated the fact that Taber hadn't found out any clues of his gift thus far.
Taber hadn't pay taxes for months and he had to pay right away or he would be put in prison. He refused to give his money or the ownership of his tavern away, so he paid them a proportion of his properties, including some gold, one of his horses and a boy.
That's how 3-year-old Merlin went to the castle of Camelot, or exactly, that's how he went to the kitchens, the stables and the chambers of the castle, only to mop on the floor, clean the windows, sweep the chimneys and stables and so on.
Life had become more difficult for Merlin since he came here. Anything that the maids, servants, or cooks unwilling to do in the castle, he would have to do it. They would call Merlin when they didn't feel like to be upstairs to deliver the laundry, or they would ask him to finish their undone duties. But when he finished a day, exhausted and ravenous, he would find little to eat in the kitchen. No any leftovers for him to gobble down.
Actually he didn't have a friend since he came here because seemingly nobody liked his stuck-out ears and his sometimes idiotic grin, or his clumsiness when he was at work.
He did have one friend, though. He called her Morgie. At times he would tell Nimueh about her, about his adventures with his new friend. He made these adventures as if they were true.
When he was frozen out at night with a thin blanket covered on, he thought Morgie would come and lie down together with him. When he had nothing to eat after a hard day, Morgie would leave him some food on the small table in the cellar. He still lived in the cellar of the tavern with Nimueh. When one night he didn't have to serve around the castle, he might start his journey deep down towards where the Great Dragon had been imprisoned, with Morgie and a torch in his hand. What underneath the castle was something too dark for him to even imagine, yet they were exciting. Morgie would love excitements, he told the cat.
Then he fell asleep with the imagination still bubbling in his head and a little jolly face. After all he was only a boy and everything about his little (imaginary) friend Morgie had made him feel much better, to help him passed the time as a-he didn't really have a chance to choose-as a slave.
Well, I hope it is not that rubbish :)
Many thanks everyone, for reading/reviewing/following/favouriting.
The content of the following chapters will likely be a little bit disturbing, by the way.