Jeff, the Camelot gate guard was enjoying a bit of late afternoon lunch when suddenly he heard the clattering of horse’s hooves. He looked up from his sandwich just in time to see a blur of Prince Arthur and a horse go by. Scrabbling to his feet he grabbed the lever that let down the drawbridge and pulled it. The drawbridge went down just in time and Arthur’s horse leapt over the gap that was left. Arthur galloped into the stone courtyard and sprung of the horse, ignoring gasps of shock from all people around him.
Jeff ran of to find the king as he had been ordered to tell Uther of his son’s return.
“Sire! Sire! Sire!” Jeff ran, puffing into the hall way were Uther was also having a late lunch, “He…he…” Jeff was hopelessly out of breath and couldn’t get the words out.
“What is it man!” Uther had stood up.
“He…he…he’s…back…Arthur is back!” Jeff panted, pointing desperately to the door.
Uther leapt up and swooped out of the hall.
“Gaius! I’ve got it!” Arthur thundered into Gaius’s chambers and crossed the room in a single bound, “Where is he?”
“Arthur! Thank goodness! He’s in there!” Gaius hurried with Arthur to Merlin’s door. Arthur handed the jar to Gaius and began banging onto the door with his shoulder to get it open. The wax broke and Arthur and Gaius burst into the room.
Something was lying in the corner of the room. Something, that vaguely resembled Merlin. The thing was scaly and red and what would have been arms and legs were sort of grown together into a kind of crude snakes body. Gaius and Arthur stared in horror at the thing that was more snake than Merlin until Arthur snapped out of it and grabbed the jar of dust.
He unscrewed the lid and through the dust in a cloud all over Merlin. As the dust touched Merlin it looked as though the dust was water and simply washing away dirt. Eventually the scales and snake like aspects of him were gone and Merlin sat up dizzily.
“Who, what, when, why? It wasn’t me!” Merlin cried.
“Merlin!” Gaius rushed over to the young warlock in a huge bear huge. Suddenly there was another visitor to the scene. Uther darted in to the room and hugged Arthur.
“You look dreadful! What happened? Tell me everything.” Uther held his son proudly by the shoulders.
“Of course.” Arthur said and walked over to Merlin and offered a hand down to him.
“You alright?” He asked, pulling Merlin up.
“Only thanks to you.” Merlin shook Arthur’s hand relief and thanks dripping from his voice.
Much crying and laughing and both at the same time later, Merlin sat in his favourite place in Camelot. It was just a small grassy patch under a tree on the outside of the city wall but it was quiet and had an amazing view.
He had told Arthur, Gaius, Uther and everyone else of what had happened to him, as had Arthur. Merlin had to say his side of the story was far more interesting.
Uther had held a celebratory feast to which Merlin was allowed to go to as a guest and not a servant but then Arthur had ordered him to go clean his clothes, look after the wild horse, run him a bath, polish his sword (and crown) and a list of other stuff Merlin had forgotten. Merlin put his hands behind his head and sighed happily. Everything was back to normal.