Author: Isabeau of Greenlea PM
Secret Santa fic written for Wyl on CMDA. What would happen if Merrill found an eluvian that worked? M!Hawke.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Hawke (M) & Merrill - Words: 1,340 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 1 - Published: 12-24-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7670955
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
From what I can tell from the Dragon Age Wiki, "my heart" is more accurately translated as "emma vhenan". But Merrill calls Hawke "ma vhenan" in the game, so that's what I used.
Merrill stared at the mirror in amazement. After the years and the blood she'd spent trying to restore the eluvian that had taken Tamlen, to find one that was whole and looked operational roused conflicting feelings in her breast. To be so near to such a piece of Elvhen history inspired awe-but it also inspired fear. Keeper Marethari's death had taught her at the last what Hawke's companions had often warned her about. Blood magic always carried a price and to meddle with ancient magics of which one had little understanding was perilous. But the shimmering surface mesmerized her. She trailed her fingers across it, admiring the ripples. No images appeared and immediately she began going over in her mind what the demon had told her about eluvians. He had not imparted information about their operation, merely instructions upon how to cleanse the mirror of corruption, and Marethari had claimed he had not been entirely honest even about that.
"What are you thinking, ma vhenan?" Morgan Hawke asked, leaning upon his father's golden staff. It had been a long, weary trek that had seemed to cover the length and breadth of Ferelden, only to end here in the desolate Dragonbone Waste, and a longer one before that, fleeing the disaster of Kirkwall. One by one Hawke's friends had gone their separate ways, while his Templar brother Carver had remained in the city, by all accounts very influential in the new regime. Only Merrill remained at his side.
"That for all the studying I did, I learned so little of them," Merrill replied. "Until we talked to that mage in the Tower, I had no idea that eluvians could be used for anything except communication. My people have lost so much!"
"Finn would not have known about it either, had he not seen it done."
"But the information must have been in the book that Ariane got back from this Morrigan. Else the witch would not have known how to open the portal."
"Possibly. Or perhaps Morrigan knew already and wanted the book for some other part of the puzzle."
Merrill's small hands balled into fists. "All the Keepers know of all the ancient artifacts-they compare and trade them at the Arlvathvhen. Marethari must have known of the book! Why did she never tell me of it?"
"Besides the fact that she did not want to encourage you? Perhaps because she knew there was no way to access it," Morgan replied reasonably. "Ariane's people stayed on this side of the sea. How would you have acquired it? Come back across the sea to a blighted Ferelden all on your own? She loved you too much to risk you in such a fashion."
"I suppose that you are right." She looked at her lover, noted the lines of weariness about his turquoise eyes. "But we are on this side of the sea now. And I doubt that King Alistair will be satisfied with the news we bring him about his friend the Warden-that the trail stops here at the mirror."
"But it is all that we can tell him and more than he knew before. What else can we do?"
"We could try to find Ariane's clan, look at the book, see if it tells how to open the mirror."
"Could we?" Morgan's expression was dubious. "I doubt I'd be welcome at her tribe's aravels, even with the King's gift to the Dalish. And you might not be either, Merrill. How quickly would the word have spread among the clans of what happened to Marethari, do you think?"
At Merrill's blank look of incomprehension, he sighed. He loved his little Dalish pariah beyond any reasonable measure, but her willful blindness to the consequences of her own actions sometimes made him like her less than he could.
But suddenly, she surprised him. "I am doing it again, aren't I, ma vhenan?" she exclaimed, turning towards him. "Mythal! Will I never learn? Obsessing about a stupid mirror instead of living my life with the people who care about me! What do you wish to do?"
Hawke ran a hand through his sherry hair. "I want to go back and tell the King that Hallan Tabris' trail ends here, that we know he went through the mirror to some land beyond the Fade to be with Morrigan and his child. And then I want to…go away. We have money and there is plenty of land down in the southwestern corner of Ferelden, land that wasn't blighted but is remote enough that we could hide from the Seekers. I want to find some hard by a forest so you'll be comfortable and then I want to build a house and make a big garden and just… vegetate. Grow things. Read books. Study my magic. Watch the stars. Spend time with my lovely Dalish girl." Merrill dropped her eyes and giggled. "I don't want to save the city, save the kingdom, save the world, enact massive social change, solve everyone else's blighted problems! I just want to be totally selfish and self-absorbed. Drop my nose into my navel and never look up again-except into your eyes."
Those eyes studied his face intently for a moment. Kirkwall had been deemed a victory for the mages, but it had enacted a more terrible toll upon Morgan Hawke than many a defeat might have done. He is not a young man any more, Merrill realized, and for the first time a thrill of fear ran through her as she contemplated the possibility of a life without her beloved shemlen mage. And he spent years supporting me in my ruinous obsession with the eluvian. He has lost two homes in his life and all of his family. Perhaps it is time that I should support him.
"Then that is exactly what we shall do, ma vhenan," she declared. His look of surprise shamed her.
"But what about the eluvian?" Morgan asked in disbelief. "This one actually works, Merrill! You could find things out about your people that have never been known."
"And do what with the knowledge? Lock it away in some shem library?" she asked softly. "You are right, Morgan. Even if I could discover all of Arlathan's secrets, I could not go back to my people to tell them of it now. I burnt that bridge years ago, with my willfulness. How much of my obsession was out of a genuine desire to help my clan and how much of it was out of a desire to make myself more important? Or perhaps even to avoid becoming Keeper in my turn? I was never good with people in the way that a Keeper needs to be." She deliberately turned away from the shimmering surface. "Friends, the people you love-those are more important. It took me too long a time to realize that." Standing on tiptoes, she reached her arms about his neck and kissed him gently. Morgan sighed when they were done and held her close for a long moment, bowing his head over hers.
"Thank you, ma vhenan."
"No thanks necessary, my beloved. You are more precious to me than any mirror. Though if we run across an Elder in our travels, I will be interviewing him or her."
"Understood!" Morgan chuckled. Merrill put fingers to lips and whistled in the way Morgan had taught her. Brannon, who'd been nosing around the rocks, came loping up with what looked suspiciously like a small dragon bone. Always sensitive to mood, he gamboled and frisked about them as they turned away from the mirror and started hand-in-hand back up the road to where Alistair's men waited.