The Sword and the Shrubbery
Disclaimer: Arthur and Merlin appear courtesy of
Mallory. The cookie references appear
courtesy of the Girl Scouts of America.
Oddly enough, JKR doesn’t have much to do with this, for which she would
probably be profoundly grateful.
Viviane was halfway to her
rooms before she remembered that she was capable of being royally,
terrifyingly, murderously angry, and decided to become so at once.
It didn’t take much of an effort.
Damned stupid hypocritical shortsighted…Potions Boy, she
hissed. Overly pale dungeon
dweller. Vitamin-deficient moron.
She liked her rooms the way they were and the thought of how
they would look after she let her anger loose made her stalk outside and
towards the Forbidden Forest, kicking at tufts of grass. Viviane noticed a few stray Hinkypunks along
the way and briefly pondered scooping one up to dropkick it, but she didn’t
want to break stride. Unsheathing her
sword, she beheaded one instead.
Scarcely knowing where she went, she plunged into Forbidden Forest and
walked deeper and deeper into its gloomy environs.
“I’d like to know the names of the people he’s killed, the arrogant two-faced
slimebag,” she muttered, carelessly tripping over tree roots and sliding in
Centaur dung. “At least I wasn’t offing
angelic Aurors, though I would have enjoyed torturing Moody to a slow-“
“ddddeeaaaaaaathhhhhhh….” Viviane wailed, as the ground
dissolved below her and she felt herself falling through infinite space. She grasped the handle of her sword and
tried to see through the grayness that surrounded her, but the strong winds
tossing her about made her eyes blink and close.
She landed with a splash and a bounce. Viviane cautiously sat up. “Of all places, I’ve landed in a….swamp?” Looking around, she realized that she was
definitely not in the Forbidden Forest.
Sad, halfhearted shrubs poked out of the morass in which Viviane sat,
and gentle hills rose in all directions.
Wisps of fog drifted about, one of which stuck to her hair like a
“Yuck,” said Viviane, struggling to her feet, her robes
sodden and muddy. “I’d best find out
just where I am. Probably the same
place I was. This definitely looks like
some form of time travel. Damn, what a
stupid thing to have happen.”
She trudged off over the nearest hill, dismayed to find
nothing but other hills and more shrubs.
How about a tree, just for
novelty? she thought. Or something to slay? I’m getting hungry.
The beneficent plot gods intervened just at that moment,
because over the next hill Viviane found a lovely stretch of forest, much more
cheerful than the familiar Forbidden one.
It skirted a clear, blue lake that boasted glimmers of the occasional
Viviane looked down at her disgustingly beslimed robes, Severus would appreciate these, she
thought, and glanced at the lake. A bath and trout for dinner sounds like a
nice end to this dreadful day. After
dinner and a nap, I’ll figure out what to do next.
She stripped off her clothing and unsheathed her sword. Gazing at her family weapon, she felt rather
strange about using it to spear fish. I’ll attempt to summon a practice
sword. Can’t hurt to try, she
Standing straight, her hair blowing around her and her hand
out, she cried “Accio!” The plot
gods, having just consumed an entire box of Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies, were
in a positively ecstatic state and came through again. One of Viviane’s practice swords appeared in
her hand. “So, where am I?” she asked
it, only half rhetorically, before plunging into the water.
Arthur was in the pissiest of pissy moods. Merlin’s stupid pet owl had bitten a chunk
out of his arm, Lancelot was having a perfect hair day again, and the kitchen wenches were too busy roasting an ox to
indulge in idle dalliance. And damn,
was Arthur in the mood to dally.
He strode along in all his youthful glory, up and over the
hills that looked, to his young and horny mind, like furry green breasts. I need
to get rid of these shrubs; they spoil the effect, he thought. Although,
maybe they could be used for something, especially if they were a little
taller. A fort? A privy?
A maze? A maze! A maze…
The usefulness of a shrubbery maze for purposes of dalliance so filled
his thoughts that he ran straight into the tree trunk.
“Bloody hell,” he exclaimed, holding his head. He blinked for a few moments, then realized
that not only were there trees where no trees had been before, but there was an
exceptionally nice lake containing a…naked
chick with a sword! Hot damn! Arthur
stopped rubbing his head and stared.
The plot gods giggled and opened a box of Trefoils.
The naked chick was standing knee-deep in water near the
edge of the lake, fruitlessly poking her sword at fish that seemed to be
taunting her by swimming just out of reach.
She was using language to make Sinbad blush, was covered with scars and
was definitely not princess material, but Arthur wasn’t looking for a princess.
“Hey there,” he shouted, “did you plant all these trees?”
The naked chick immediately plunged into the middle of the
pond, her long, dark hair streaming behind her. “Go away,” she shouted, with an accent that stirred Arthur’s very
non-girded loins. “I mean it. Or I’ll impale you with this!”
She waved her sword at him.
She can do that while
treading water? Impressive, he
thought, applying such talent to other, more interesting uses in his mind. “Oh, don’t be mean, Miss,” he shouted back,
edging towards the lake. “I mean you no
harm. I am Arthur, Sort-of-King of-“
The hilt of her hurled sword caught him smartly on the
forehead, knocking him clean out. He
fell senseless into the lake.
He awoke to the smell of frying fish, and the pain of a
large lump on his forehead. Opening his
eyes, the woman had clothed herself, just
my luck, Arthur thought, and was finishing her meal. As he groaned and tried to sit up, he caught
her piercing, very green stare and hastily lay back down.
“Er, Miss, you really didn’t have to do that. I was just out for a walk-“
To his surprise, the woman grinned at him. “You went down as neatly as Neville
Longbottom in Defense Class. Sorry
about that – I realized after I pulled you out of the lake that you only had a
small knife. Is it safe, to roam around
without a weapon?”
“Merlin always tells me-“
The woman froze.
“You, er, know Merlin?
Arthur hovered between truth and discretion, and truth
won. “Daft old bugger. ‘Arthur do this, Arthur don’t do that,
Arthur, stop impregnating the chambermaids’…well really, what else is there to
do around here?”
“I wouldn’t know-“
“You’re a stranger here, aren’t you?” Arthur sat up and extended his hand. “I’m Arthur. And you are?”
offered him the rest of the fish.
“Not for trout,” he said, his blue eyes beginning to take on
a hot glow. “I say, you wouldn’t be
interested in a little, er, dally, would you?”
Viviane looked at him appraisingly. Handsome,
good, young, bad, king, good, Muggle, bad, virile, good, Viviane, you’re in a
fucking time warp, and this is bad.
So? In the usual fight between her logic and a
good lay, logic, as usual, lost out.
Viviane reached for her wand and disrobed both of them in a
Arthur reacted in astonishment and with an impressive
“I say, could you teach me how to do that?” asked Arthur, as
he reached for her, to pull her underneath him.
“Ask Merlin, he’ll know,” she responded, drawing his head
down for a kiss.
“Merlin! Oh, bloody
hell, what will I tell Merlin? And
everybody, back at the castle? I came
across a lake that wasn’t here before and some naked chick lobbed a sword at my
head? That doesn’t-“
“Make something up,” Viviane said. “You’re the king – they’ll have
to believe you. And you can keep the
sword as a souvenir.”
“Awesome!” exclaimed Arthur, and then bent his mind and body
towards hours of exceptional dalliance.