Disclaimer: I do not own BBC Merlin or Disney’s Frozen.
Arthur opened the door to the old chambers he used to visit frequently behind his father’s back. He had a suspicion that Gaius knew he was still coming to see Merlin, but the physician had never said anything. Looking around he saw books, old utensils of vials and things Gaius had used in his life but their new physician didn’t need, and Merlin’s bedroom door firmly shut. I was almost like those blissful days of childhood. Dust swirled around in the room and he wished for the sun to shine through to make the patterns like it used to in the air. He suddenly didn’t want to be an adult, or even king, but rather the child who just wondered why his best friend had locked himself away from the world.
He slowly walked into the room and went straight for the closed door to the smaller bed chamber where Merlin had stayed. A flash of lightning tore through the sky and the thunder shook through to his bones. That had been a close strike. He put his hand against the still vibrating wood of the door and said loudly, “Merlin?” He knew his friend was not on the other side, though. “Merlin, why would you learn magic?” he asked the vacant room. Sighing in resignation of not getting his answer by talking to air, he turned to the room around him. He needed to find something that would tell him why his friend would ever learn the banned arts.
His eyes scanned the shelves full of the books that Gaius had needed during his time in the castle. He would start there, he decided as he climbed to the top of the terrace to begin going through each and every book.
He had been searching for hours now, pulling one book down after another and looking through to see if he could find any indication of magic use within each cover. He was a fourth through the books when his uncle had walked in to find him. “Arthur? What are you doing in here?” he asked as he looked up at the boy putting back another large tomb and grabbing a slightly smaller book.
“I am researching,” he answered tersly.
“Well, I searched for you for a while now. I thought maybe you had gone after the sorcerer…” he trailed off as Arthur scanned the pages. “Arthur, you need to come and attend to your duties. As king, it is important to show strength right now, sire,” the honorific almost seemed like an afterthought. The newly crowned king ignored it, though, as he reached up for another book.
“I am doing my research for my people, Agrevaine. Please cancel all of my appointments for today. I will call a council meeting as soon as I find my answer,” the younger man said back.
“Answer to what?”
“To how and why my friend would do such horrible magic.” The room went silent as Arthur continued to search through another book. His uncle said he would have food sent up to him and left the room in a flourish of robes.
The monarch searched through the daylight hours and had to start burning candles before sunset due to the darkened sky. The rain started to come down in sheets again outside. He could hear it battering against the panes in the window and smacking against the stones in the courtyard.
He laid his head down against the table where his tray with his supper still sat. He had gone through most of the books in the room and now had started searching through haphazard places. He had found books not filed away on the shelf, but those didn’t seem to have any information. He turned his head to the side and laid his cheek against the cool grained wood. He shut his eyes and thought about how to continue. Of course Merlin and Gaius wouldn’t leave a magic book out in the open. Where would he hide a book he didn’t want anyone to find?
He wouldn’t hide a book, of course, but then he mentally shook that thought away. Where would they hide their magic books? …Or something that could contain information about magic?
His eyes snapped open and he ran to where Gaius used to sleep. Bending down he searched underneath the small bed. He couldn’t see anything underneath the bed, but he allowed his hand to do a quick sweep through anyway. His hand and arm were attacked by dust bunnies, but nothing else was in the dark. “Ugh,” he said aloud as he shook the balls of fluff off his fingers. Merlin really needed a lesson on how to clean properly, he thought.
Getting up from the floor, he turned to look at the one place he really didn’t want to go into. Merlin’s bedroom door stood imposingly on the other side of the room. He straightened up and marched over to the door. He was a king and a wonderful swordsman, but for some reason the thought of entering the room Merlin had been kept in was daunting. He hadn’t ever been allowed in there in his memory and it felt wrong to enter it now.
He stole some of his nerve back and climbed the stairs. Before he lost himself, he tore open the door and looked at the small room. He felt taken aback by the size of the room. It was a storage closet with a bed, a cupboard like wardrobe, a night table and random objects. The room had not actually been put in to hold such things and they took up most of it. He tore himself from looking around with just his eyes and started rummaging through the clothing in the wardrobe. Finding nothing in there he leaned down to lay on the floor and do a complete sweep with his hand there like he had with Gaius’ bed. He was surprised when he brushed out not one, but two books. Sitting himself straight he opened them both while they lay on the floor. To his astonishment they weren’t magic books but journals. The handwriting was completely different in both of them. Looking at the one on the left he realized that Merlin had possession of Gaius’ journal, and it had actually been written like a long letter to the boy starting with the time that Merlin had been sent to live with him. Merlin’s, though, started years later when the child had learned to read and write by Gaius during his imprisonment.
He grabbed them both and ran from the small room and the old physician’s chambers. He briskly walked passed all of his guards to his own chambers to start reading Gaius’ journal first. He needed to know why the first lines started with, “Dear Merlin, Welcome to Camelot. I hope that I will be able to teach you to control your power and that you become best friends with Arthur through time…”