|The Lady of the Lake
Author: Yukinflake PM
Ten years have passed since Merlin first met the cursed druid girl, Freya. Since then, he has seen her only once: in the water spilled from the Fisher King's gift. He's only heard stories of the impetuous enchantress she has turned into. While he can't be sure, he suspects that Freya has begun to fade in the shadow of the being she has become.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Merlin & Freya - Words: 582 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 1 - Published: 07-11-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8310747
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Merlin strode through the crowded marketplace, glancing over the wealthy vendors. "Lovage seeds," he muttered "Lovage seeds..." The leafy plants had wilted in the late frost, and while he probably could have conjured new seeds for the herb garden, he enjoyed a visit to the market place, if only for its normalcy.
"Sorry!" He skidded to a stop by a middle-aged man, who scowled, and bent down to pick up the produce Merlin had sent flying. "Here, let me help." He knelt down, and began to refill the woven basket.
He had just wiped the dirt off the last carrot when he sensed a presence behind him. He turned in time to see a lady in a blue-velvet cloak turn her back. He got off his knees, and brushed off his hands on his tunic as he followed her through the bustling crowd.
As the woman turned around, a lock of dark hair slipped out from the hood of her cloak. "Yes?" Her voice was a low murmur, but the voice he heard could not be mistaken for any other.
"Freya?" Her eyes were old, older even than the gentle face he had once known, now chiselled with hard lines. He touched her hand; it was not the same face, but yes, those were the same delicate fingers. The last remnants of a forgotten soul.
She regarded him evenly, and he quickly knelt. "My lady," he murmured, pressing his lips to her hand. His jaw tightened against the hot tears that came with the realization of the truth he had only suspected: after all her years as that revered Lady of the Lake, Freya existed only as a vague memory in her own body.
She nodded. "Rise, Emrys; you have nothing to fear from me."
He stood awkwardly, staring at the ground, willing the tears to stop. Her slender hand tipped his chin up, and her dark eyes met his with a flash of gold. Then she turned away, and slipped into the crowd.
He remained where he was, frozen in a moment in time passed long ago. He finally lifted his head, her voice echoing in his mind, the words that had followed the spark of magic that was their bond. That had once been their bond.
'Do not mourn her, Merlin. All things must pass.'
'Not like this.'
She made no answer.
'Freya,' he thought, a desperate attempt to reach through the years, 'I don't want you to be nothing more than a... a fading memory.'
'It is too late, young warlock. Freya was never a part of your destiny. She gave up what she had with you when she became a part of me.'
The Lady of the Lake, they called her. Freya was nothing more than an origin, a lowly place of birth to the powerful enchantress.
Yet he would have traded all the imperious grace of the Lady for the young, innocent girl in an instant.
As the market began to clear of merchants and villagers, Merlin stepped out into the shallow water of the lake. Freya's voice echoed in his mind.
'I'm a monster, I tried to tell you.'
He held out his hand, his fingers closed over his empty palm. His eyes glowed gold, and he opened his hand.
'You must hate me.'
Three strawberries tumbled from his hand into the lake, and disappeared into the depths.
The ripples faded into glassy stillness once more.