Fandom: BBC Merlin / Disney's Sword in the Stone.
Other stuff: Yeah, I went there.
Word count: 1418 so far.
I know this has been done to death, but I couldn't help it. So there.
Notes: I know this has been done a few times already, but the resemblance between adorably gangly Colin Morgan and Disney's Merlin, complete with crooked pointy hat is just too good to leave alone. Plus, it's my headcanon that Merlin will inevitably end up with a talking owl in whatever incarnation I'm watching. Besides, putting a shippy spin on my childhood Disney is equal parts disturbing and hilarious. :oP
“Before you ask- which I happen to know you wont, by the way- yes, there was a little hiccough with the magic, no, I haven't been able to figure out exactly what made it happen and yes, I can send you back. In about three days. Sugar?”
His brain caught up with him, just in time for his mouth to blurt out:
“If you're really me, shouldn't you know whether I use sugar in my tea, or not?”
The old (alleged) Merlin smiled and sat down.
“Yes, well, the trick about getting this old, is that the memory isn't always up to par. I can't remember exactly when this little mishap occurred, but I happen to know that around that time, circumstances changed enough for me to develop some slightly more costly habits than I grew up with. Or should I say: we grew up with? This is all very complicated.”
“That's putting it mildly...”
Just then, an owl swooped in and landed on the restored perch, fluffing its feathers and shifting its feet before snapping at the old warlock:
“It's been broken again, hasn't it? I can feel it. It always gets lumpy when you've magicked it back together, you bumbling fool!”
This made Merlin's overtaxed brain short circuit once again.
“Did that owl just talk?!”
Old Merlin piled some sugar into both their cups and chuckled.
“Yes, Archimedes is another little... hiccough. Although, he'll protest wildly that the only thing I ever did was make him able to speak.”
This made the little grumpy owl take off into another tirade:
“That's right, and you know it. I was perfectly intelligent before your little 'hiccough' came along. I'm a highly learned owl, just so you know, and I certainly don't need any help from idiot warlocks to get by in the world.”
Bushy white eyebrows waggled at young Merlin, stunned into silence.
“Yes, he does seem to channel Arthur sometimes.”
Turning to Archimedes, he poured him half a cup of tea and set it down on his perch.
“So, I suppose that before I came along, you spent your time in the forest reading heavy tomes, discussing literature and drinking tea with the other creatures of the woods?”
This made the owl fluff his feathers again and turn his back to both Merlins with an annoyed “humpfh”.
Old Merlin chuckled and sipped his tea. “Before you go off in a huff, I think you should be polite and say hello to me. My younger self, that is. I just popped in for a visit for a few days.”
Archimedes cast a look at young Merlin over his shoulder and snorted. “I guess you were always that bony,” and returned to his tea and his moping.
Young Merlin, for his part, was really starting to wonder just what his magic had gotten him into this time when a loud crash sounded from just outside the cottage, old Merlin jumped up with a heartfelt: “Oh BUGGER!” and ran to the door.