Disclaimer: I do not own BBC Merlin or Disney’s Frozen.
He was cold, wet and just miserable. He didn’t mention it, though, since he knew Leon wouldn’t want to hear his king complain. He also had too much pride and too much of being a man shoved down his throat for the words to come to the surface. He knew the knight was also thinking the same things, though, as they huddled into their cloaks on top of their horses. The rain had once again become a fine mist that they breathed in through their mouths. The temperature around their kingdom had dropped to almost freezing as the cold rain continued to pour down from the black clouds above. Without the sun to heat up the ground and bring about the much needed warmth, the area was turning into a constant almost freezing way. They were soaked and had spent the night sitting on a sopping wet log with no fire. There wasn’t any dry wood available any longer in all of Albion. The damp had leaked into every nook and cranny and even into the barns where farmers usually stored their wood to dry.
Arthur sighed against the buckle on his cloak and gripped his reigns harder to keep hold from the frozen feeling in his fingers. Leon came up next to him and asked, “Do you think we’ll find him?”
“I’m sure he is somewhere warm, sunny, and probably has a nice fire going. He’s probably dry,” Arthur groaned. He hadn’t meant for it to come out as a whine, but he couldn’t help it.
“Will killing him stop this storm?” Leon ignored the complaint and continued.
“Killing him?” Arthur turned in his seat to look at his knight, “I’m not going to kill him Leon. I’m going to…”
He didn’t get to finish as a large crack of lightning sounded right above them. It smashed into the top of a tree. Both horses reared up, tossed their riders and took off in a frenzy race into the trees. The young men looked up at the burning top of the tree as the rain decided to become a torrent once again. The fire was put out quickly by nature herself and the men both looked at each other as they stood up to now walk their journey.
“I’ll kill him,” Arthur grumbled as their boots sank into the muddy road. Leon snorted and shook his head.
They came into the village right before nightfall, which had been happening earlier due to the cloud cover than was normal for their time of year. Ealdor wasn’t a part of Camelot’s kingdom, but it was the birthplace for Arthur’s best friend. He had hoped that his friend would have retreated back to it when he ran from the castle. As he looked around at the dripping roofs and cold buildings, though, he knew his assumption had been wrong. The doors to every one of the houses were left open and he could hear the people coughing inside their dwellings. The rain sickness was very obvious as they made their way down the only road through the center of the village. All of the houses were built simply with wood, none had any glass windows and the storm shutters were swinging loose on some of them, and the dirt floors he could see were a flooded mess.
Arthur continued through with Leon right behind him as they came to the last house on the path. A sandy haired man was shaking out a blanket in front of his door, and Arthur decided he would probably be best to answer questions. “You there,” he called out. The boy, because he was obviously younger than Arthur by a few years, stopped his cleaning and looked up suspiciously at the knights. The king continued as he came in front of the peasant, “Have you seen a boy, about your age, come through here with dark hair and bright blue eyes? He would have come through in the last five days or so?”
The boy turned to his front door and hung his blanket over the back of a chair, “Nope. No one is coming through here. We’re on the outskirts of the kingdom, and everyone is going to the castle to escape the weather.”
Arthur continued with another question, “Is Hunith or Balinor still in this village?” He hoped maybe Merlin’s parents could help him figure out where the sorcerer had fled.
The boy looked confused for a second, “Well, from what I know, they were killed during the purge when our king made an alliance with the king of Camelot over ten years ago. I don’t know which one, but I think they had magic or at least one of them did.” The boy shrugged and went back into his home. The door shut on both of the knights’ faces.
Arthur felt like collapsing into the puddles he was standing in, but his brain was rushing again. His father had killed Merlin’s parents? Did Merlin know? Did Merlin hate him for what his father had done?
Leon grabbed onto his shoulder and they both started to go back through the town again. They needed to wander back into Camelot’s lands and follow the border to where the rumors of nice weather had been sent. Their journey wasn’t over yet, it would seem, and now Arthur wondered what he would actually say to Merlin when he saw him again. How could he ever apologize for the horrible things his father did? Could Arthur trust his friend enough to even allow him to return with magic? His thoughts became even more conflicted.
His father had tortured and harmed his friend, but was it because his friend deserved it for being a sorcerer? Did he really believe that magic was bad? Could Merlin be bad? He knew his friend’s journal inside and out, but now the question really was going to need to be answered: Was he going to follow the law set and kill his friend when he saw him?