Merlin had decided he really didn’t enjoy being Arthur. His decision was only strengthened as the fourth knight of the day knocked him of his horse for the third time. The crowd booed and hissed, cross that their “prince” seemed to suddenly have forgotten everything he knew. Merlin picked himself up, rubbing his shoulder where the knight had painfully jabbed him with the surprisingly sharp lance.
He was aware of Uther glaring at him angrily. The king wasn’t too pleased that Merlin had obliterated Arthur’s reputation and left it in tatters. The skinny dark haired boy had entered the tournament with full gear on so that no one could tell it wasn’t Arthur and everything had seemed fine then but then the fighting had started.
He had lost every single round and the crowd were obviously none to happy about it. In actual fact they were looking ready to ether pelt Merlin with fruit or begin a riot (complete with pit forks.) Maybe letting the servant impersonate his son was not such a good idea after all. However it was the end to the day’s tournament and he could go and see Gaius about what they were going to do with Arthur so the king rose to his feet.
“Good people of Camelot. Thank you kindly for attending today and I look forward to tomorrows tournament.” He said. The crowd lumbered away, muttering under their breaths and throwing dirty and disappointed looks at Merlin who was slumped on the sand probably looking sorry for himself under the helmet.
The young man looked in a bad way. His armour was crushed in several places and the tunic and chain mail ripped. Dust covered him like a blanket and he looked nothing short of dishevelled. However the only thing Uther was concerned about was that his son’s reputation was on the line.
Merlin climbed to his feet swaying precariously and hobbled away back to Gaius’s chambers, rubbing his sore back, which he had landed on more times than he could count. He couldn’t understand how Arthur could do this every day for hours on end. Maybe it was because he knew what he was doing and never fell of his horse…
He found Gaius hidden behind a mountain of books reading up on everything that could possibly help. Uther was also there, pacing anxiously.
“Found anything?” Merlin said, dumping Arthur’s armour unceremoniously on a table and peering over Gaius’s shoulder at a huge book the physician was currently delved in.
“Not yet. I’ve looked through almost everything I could think of…” Gaius looked fleetingly up at the king who still paced up and down the room with a stony face.
“And?” Merlin asked.
“And I think its up to you. You know what I mean.” Gaius said quietly.
“The spell book?” Merlin asked, also quietly. If the king heard their conversation it would all be over.
“I’m on it.” Merlin said and went into his room. He shut the door and pulled the heavy, leather spell book out of the compartment under the floorboards. He began to flick through it, stopping on all the possible pages. There really was nothing that said anything about turning a golden prince back to flesh and blood. Growling crossly at the lack of information Merlin slammed the book shut. And that’s when the idea hit him.
No one knew who had turned Arthur into a statue except the prince himself. There had been no witnesses or someone would have mentioned it by now. And whoever had done it would be able to change him back right? But who had done it? Only Arthur knew so maybe, just maybe there was a way to read his memory and find out what exactly had happened. But would magic like that work on a gold statue?
Merlin opened the book again and furiously searched it for anything to do with memory. He came across a page with hundreds of squiggly diagrams and symbols that all pointed to a phrase of words. The phrase might as well have been a tounge twister and it looked almost impossible to do the spell on closer inspection of the diagrams. Also there was a warning at the bottom of the page that surprised Merlin. There had never been a warning on any of the other spells in the entire book.
The warning said: Beware, do not use unless you have confidence. Merlin guessed this was confidence in how strong your magic was. He was sure he was up to it so he studied the spell carefully until he had learnt the words of by heart.
It seemed that once the spell had been cast his conscious mind would somehow join with however he did it on and he would be able to walk around the person’s memories and see them almost as if he had experienced them himself. Merlin guessed that if his mind was in someone else’s then his body would be unconscious. Once he was in Arthur’s memories he would be able to find out who had done it and then he could somehow find them and make them change Arthur back.
Merlin had been studying the book for hours and the king had already left so he made his way into Gaius’s office to show him his discovery.
“Gaius, look at this!” Merlin said, slamming the book down on the table in front of the physician.
Gaius scrutinized the page for a moment.
“Merlin, this is a very dangerous spell. Messing with peoples minds is not a good idea.” He said soberly.
“I know, but it’s the only way.”
“Do you think your ready? It looks to me that this spell is for very accomplished sorcerers.”
“I can do it. Trust me.” Merlin said, locking eyes with Gaius.
“Then we should give it a go.” Gaius said. “I don’t need to say that we won’t be telling anyone about this.”
“Why’d you say it then?” Merlin asked in innocent sarcasm.
Gaius rolled his eyes and headed for the door, Merlin in tow.