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Arthur stood on the pavement, swallowed hard and tried to fight the tears as he watched the car drive away. He couldn’t imagine a single day without Merlin and now Merlin was gone. Each morning, he went over and Merlin came out to play or if the weather didn’t allow that, they played inside and Merlin’s mom made cookies or some other yummy treat for them. More than once, his own mother had to come get him when it was getting dark and he had to go to bed. Some days they were at his place and Merlin was allowed to stay overnight. Those days were the best.

But now Merlin was gone, the car rounding the corner taking him finally out of sight and Arthur felt lost. What would he do without his best friend? Where would he go? Merlin always had the best ideas and could puppy-eye them out of the tightest situations when once again one of the good ideas turned out to be not so good after all. And now they couldn’t do that anymore and Arthur wasn’t sure if he could go on without him.

A huge tear rolled down Arthur’s face and he pressed the stuffed plush dragon that Merlin had asked him to take care of against his chest. Merlin was gone and Arthur felt miserable.

Ygraine picked him up and kissed his cheek. “Come on, let’s go inside and look at the list of things we wanted to do while Merlin is away.” She couldn’t help but chuckled when her five-year-old sighed as if all the world’s sorrow was on his shoulders. “Oh, Arthur.” She smiled. “It’s only for a week. You’ll see, Merlin will be back from his Uncle’s place in no time and then you can go over and play again.”