At that moment, I knew there was something different about Merlin. Something in his eyes spoke of sorrow, fear and the wish to speak. He never did, though, and Morgana came through the door before he had a chance to tell me. I couldn't fathom what he wanted to tell me, couldn't imagine what would make me feel differently about him. He was just Merlin to me, my clumsy and irritating manservant. He cared deeply, that much was clear, especially about people like Will, whom he grew up with. After the battle was won, after Will had died, Merlin wouldn't speak, wouldn't do anything. He had watched the pyre on which Will lay, watched as his best friend disappeared forever, and I again sensed that there was sadness that was always with him, sadness that went beyond Will's death.
"You knew Will could do magic, didn't you?" I inquired.
"Yes, I did." Merlin whispered, and again, that unimaginable grief was in his voice.
"There's more to it than that, isn't there?" I asked.
"Yes, there is." Merlin murmured.
"Are you going to tell me what it is?" I said.
"Arthur, you'll find out in time. I can't keep it from you forever, but now, I'm not ready. My best friend just died, Arthur." Merlin quietly said.
"Can anyone else in the village do magic?" I inquired.
"Well…um…" Merlin stuttered.
"Don't lie to me, Merlin." I said.
"Wouldn't dream of it, Sire. Yes, there is one other person here who can do magic." Merlin replied.
"Alright, Merlin." I said, as we lapsed into silence, watching the pyre burn. I looked over at Merlin, and again that ancient grief was in his eyes. I wondered who could do magic, why it brought that look into his eyes. There was a nagging feeling that I was being lied to, that there was a secret in this village, and that Will's sorcery wasn't half of it. But what if Will wasn't the sorcerer at all? What if it was someone as clumsy and irritating as Merlin? That could be why he had grief in his eyes, because of the secret he had to keep. More then Will's death, more then Will's "sorcery", it was because he was a sorcerer. That's what he wanted to tell me, but he was afraid. Now that I knew Merlin's secret, I was determined to keep it a secret, even from Merlin.