Arthur could hear the shrieks from the dungeons and desperately wanted to stop them, to go down there and remove the magic suppressing cuffs, but he knew that if he did Merlin would just go back to his old ways. If we would just stop trying to use magic he wouldn't have to suffer.
That's what he thought anyway.
Oh how wrong he was.
Within the hour, everything changed. The entire castle shook and rumbled, and Arthur knew there was only one place that could come from.
When he reached the dungeons, there was a beast, and broken cuffs. He couldn't describe it, it kept changing. One moment it had six eyes and three mouths, then one eye and ten mouths, then no eyes or mouths, and it went from being furry to scaly within instants.
The worst though we're the limbs. It could go between have four to twelve. Some were pawed or spidery or tentacles or wings, but that wasn't the worst part no. What he was staring at now was two thin, pale arms, with sigils burned into the wrists.
The same sigils from the cuffs Merlin had been wearing.
He scurried (no kings don't scurry that for mice and prey, but what else could he be to this beast?) away from Mer- that thing as quick as possible and lost his lunch almost immediately.
He flinched at the feeling of a hand of his shoulder but it was only Mordered looking at him with tight lipped concern, not because of what his reaction was but because he knew.
"Mordered, wha-what is that thing?!? "
A sigh left the young knight and he started explaining.
"Merlin- he didn't have magic-"
"Yes he did I saw it with my own eyes-"
A hand lifted interrupting him.
"Let me rephrase. Merlins didn't just have magic he is magic, the physical embodiment of it. Life is created by magic even if it isn't magic itself so his body is constantly pulling magic in and pushing it out whether consciously or unconsciously. To.... Keep him from letting it out.... It builds up like a dam and since it had no where else to go it build up until.... I think it imploded into him."
"So that- that monster was-"
"Look yourself, you tell me."
The beast was in fact looking at them, two eyes gold and two blue, and looking so undeniably human, and a question filling them. 'Why. Why did you do this to me, to all of us, what did I do to deserve it' so much pain and fear and hope and love and trust and hate, all the worlds magical citizens looking at him from eyes that he could not deny used to be his best friends.
"How- how do I get-get rid of it?"
Mordered looked at him, anger and pity both in his eyes.
"The Druids.... We have prophecies about Emerys. The most powerful sorcerer to ever live, made to protect the once and future king who will unite Albion and bring magic back."
"Emerys???? What does that mean?"
And that's how he ended up where he was now, Morgana defeated and magic legalized, alone in the woods with a monster loyal only to him that would never leave. A persistent reminder of his guilt.
He leaned against a furry back and the tail connected to it wagged and he sighed.
It was a long time till the end of eternity.
It had been decades since the appearance of the beast (he refused to think of it as the death of Merlin) and he had began to deteriorate slowly, but surely. With the over protective beast he could do very little. Sparing with the knights lead to..... disappearances, if he went to go hunting the beast would catch the food for him, even the chores he tried to do to have some physical activity were already done, though he didn't know how as the beast never left his side.
Perhaps the lack of muscle use would have ended his life sooner if it weren't for the fact that it kept his body from wearing down. That was not the point however, the point was that Arthur could finally feel himself dying, and he was happy for it. He would finally get his freedom and his peace.
The last thing he saw before it went dark was a pair of large, golden eyes.
When he woke up, the first thing he noticed was that he did, in fact, wake up.
The second thing was a large weight on his chest, a cat with blue eyes and black fur that never left his side.
And so, he did the only thing he could think of, he drank to forget what it reminded him of. He was never superstitious but he knew that cats were a symbol of magic. That paired with the fact it had black fur, blue eyes, and he was somehow still alive, in a different body and a different time, it drove him mad. He grabbed the cat and held it down as he removed its eye out of pure spite for bringing him back.
Of course he felt guilty, but the cat avoiding him only turned his guilt into anger. He had spent the majority of his last life feeling terrible, he refused to feel it again. So one time, late at night, he took a rope and the cat and waited for it to stop breathing. His house caught fire shortly after, and on his wall was the silhouette of a hanging cat.
He tried to get over the guilt, but a new cat started following him. One that was identical to the last one, missing eye and all, except for a small white patch that slowly morphed into sigils and a noose.
Arthur couldn't take it, but in his attempt to kill the cat, he missed and killed his wife. It was still the stupid thing that got him caught for the crime though, and he was put on death row.
Once, there was a women named Joan of Arc controlled by the voices in her head that saved her country only to be burned at stake
Once, there was a man named Galileo who was driven mad by science.
Then there was a man who played the piano named Mozart who was driven mad by the music.
Then a man named Hamilton who was driven mad by the pen.
Then there was Tesla, who simply wanted to make the world better.
Then Hitchcock, with horrors, and on and on it went until one day it changed.
Once there was a king and a beast, a beast who knew the only way to keep him from saving the king was if he was killed by magic, so slowly as the years passed by, he started killing the magic instead.
Finally, there was a planet, and a raven haired boy watching it.
The boy had always watched over his king, Jupiter, the king of the solar system. The boy had not always been a boy. He supposed with the magic in the world disappearing, that meant the magic that took him from himself faded away as well.
Jupiter watched the boy back, unable to talk or make any outward appearance of joy or misery. The beast was cruel, for the last time it could bring him back, and had somehow brought him his merlin, he was millions of miles away and they could only watch each other.
The universe ran on magic, it was necessary for life and gravity and chemical reactions, and so the boy and the planet watched each other in their last moments as the universe faded away.
The story with the black cat is literally just the plot of Edgar Allen Poes the black cat it is not mine but I thought it fit nice. It is worth noting that Merlin is always with Arthur, just not in a physical form.