Title: The Curse
Characters: Merlin, Arthur, Gaius, Ava, Nimueh
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters of Merlin, sadly enough!
Spoilers: No spoilers in this post
This story takes place somewhere in season 1
AN: As promised, the next and already final chapter. I know that things might go quickly now, but I felt like the story should end here. I also realize that I haven't given any more attention to Leon, but that is simply because the story was taking a different direction than I had anticipated.
Again, any spelling or grammar mistake are my own, I hope you can just ignore them...
"I hope you can save him," Uther said, "and I hope you are not wrong about him or I will have him executed."
"Thank you," Arthur said. He walked over to Merlin and sighed with relief when seeing hands untied.
"She lied," Merlin said, his voice weak, "it's over."
"Perhaps," Arthur said, thinking about Ava suddenly, "perhaps there is still hope."
* * *
When Merlin arrived home, he could see joy appear in Gaius' eyes. All of a sudden, his face brightened and his shoulders lost tension. Not hesitating, Merlin wrapped his arms around his uncle's shoulders. Only moments ago, he thought his end was near and the thought of not having been able to say goodbye to Gaius was more terrifying than any other thought.
"You don't look good," Gaius said when taking a step back to get a better look at his cousin, "what happened?"
"The curse is still on him," Arthur explained, "is there anything you can do?"
Gaius sighed. "Only the one who caused the curse can reverse it, I'm afraid science can't help in this case. I can prepare you something for the pain, perhaps that will work."
"Thank you," Merlin smiled faintly. Gaius smiled back at him and then left the room, needing to collect some herbs for the medicine he needed to prepare. Merlin could see that it was with reluctance that Gaius left, not wanting to leave him alone. Apparently, Arthur could see it too.
"I will stay until you have returned," the Prince said.
Gaius nodded and then closed the door behind him.
"Maybe you should sit down," Arthur said, seeing how pale Merlin had become.
"I'm fine," Merlin protested. If these were his last moments, he wouldn't spend them in a bed or even sitting down. He wanted to do something, he wanted to be useful. Sitting around, waiting for something to happen was just out of the question.
"You are not fine," a soft voice said.
Both Merlin and Arthur turned around, looking at Ava with shock in their eyes. It was positive shock though as Ava didn't seem hostile. On the contrary, she seemed as if she wanted to help.
"Let me help you," she said, taking a step towards Merlin.
Nobody said anything. Arthur and Merlin simply looked at Ava.
"Why?" Merlin finally managed to ask. The pain in his chest was growing and he couldn't help but lay his hands on his heart. He swallowed heavily.
"You're running out of time," Ava answered, "and I think I have come to my senses. No wonder Uther despises magic when everytime his path crosses it, it tries to hurt him or the ones he loves." She looked Arthur in the eyes. "I hope you can forgive me, I was blinded by hatred myself."
"I know I can forgive you as long as you save Merlin," Arthur said.
Ava smiled. Curious sounding words escaped her lips and Arthur knew she was using magic. If only he could understand what she was saying.
Merlin however did understand. A smile filled his face as he felt the pain subside before completely vanishing. He had never felt more alive than now. He wasn't going to die! The next words simply made Merlin happy. She was lifting the curse from Arthur.
"Thank you," Merlin said.
"What did she do?" Arthur wanted to know.
"I'm not in any more pain, she must have lifted your curse and saved us both," Merlin said. He knew he had to be careful. He couldn't tell that he had understand Ava's words, that would betray him and having been so close to being executed, he didn't want to risk it again.
Ava suddenly looked Merlin in the eyes, her eyes wide and Merlin simply knew: Ava knew about him possessing magic. What he didn't know was what she would do with this knowledge.
"You will not see me anymore," Ava said, turning to Arthur now, "goodbye."
After another set of curious words, she vanished.
Merlin turned around, not knowing what to expect now.
"What should I tell my father?" Arthur asked. "He will want to know how come my curse is gone."
"I can't help you with that I'm afraid, you'll have to come up with a lie." Merlin answered.
Arthur nodded. "I better get going then."
"Yeah," Merlin said. He couldn't believe that after everything that had happened, this was the end of it. Arthur had gone through so much to save his servant and now that everything was over, he was going to walk away just like that? But Merlin knew the Prince wouldn't let emotion get involved.
Arthur turned around and walked towards the door. Coming to a halt, he turned around. "And Merlin?"
"I'm glad you're still my servant," Arthur said rather awkwardly.
Merlin tried to hold back his smile, but he was failing. Arthur rolled his eyes and turned around again, leaving the room now.
"I have something for you."
Merlin hadn't expected to hear that voice again, so he quickly turned around, stumbling back a few yards.
Ava stretched out her arms, giving Merlin the Libri per Scienta. Merlin's eyes widened. Confused, he looked at Ava. Why would she give him this? How did she even get the book?
"I stole it from Nimueh," Ava explained as she had read Merlin's thoughts, "I have learned my lesson. Magic can corrupt those who already carry hate. You do not carry hate, Merlin, I can see it in your eyes."
"But..." Merlin still wasn't able to accept this.
"You are a sorcerer, you understood me when I spoke in the ancient language which could only mean one thing. Trust me, Merlin, I will keep your secret." She looked at the book now and waited for Merlin to take it.
"It doesn't belong to me." Merlin said, still not taking the book.
"Nor does it belong to the King," Ava smiled, "and Nimueh will use it for the wrong purposes. You know this as well as I do. Please, take it, hide it if you want, but keep it safe."
Merlin swallowed heavily. He laid his hands on the cover of the book and after taking in a deep breath, he accepted the gift.
"Thank you," he managed to say. He was still a little shocked by everything that was happening.
"I understand know what Arthur's destiny is," Ava said, "he will allow magic to return to Camelot, but he will not be able to do so without your help. You will succeed, Merlin, I know you will."
"Goodbye, Ava," Merlin said, knowing that this was truly the last time he would lay eyes upon her. Ava smiled for the last time and vanished once again.
Merlin gazed at the book, knowing the power it held, but he was afraid to open it. What if this power wasn't destined for him? No, he would hide the book in a place where no one would find it and when the time was right, he was look in it and read it.
He walked into his bedroom and hid the book under his bed. When he would find the time, he would take it to a better hiding place, but right now, Gaius was about to return and Merlin needed to find a way to tell him the good news.
Smiling like he had never smiled before, Merlin closed the door of his bedroom behind him. Gaius entered and looked stunned to see the cheerful young warlock waiting for him.
"I have some good news," Merlin laughed and Gaius already understood him. Laughing as well, he walked over to his cousin and hugged him, glad he would be able to do this a thousand times more.
* * *
Nimueh stared at her altar. Fury filled every thought in her mind, it filled every cell in her body and even the clouds above her were turning dark. She could feel the presence of a witch. A powerful witch, but nothing compared to her.
Closing her eyes, she focused. Ava her name is, but there was something odd. Nimueh opened her eyes again and took a step closer to her altar. Speaking words in the ancient language, an image formed in the water before her.
She watched how he entered his bedroom and how placed something under his bed. The book. Her book. Nimueh's hands itched with fury. Her lips were nothing more than two small lines. How did he get his hands on her Libri per Scienta?
Making the image in the water disappear, Nimueh stared into the distance. She would get her revenge and she would get her book back, but not yet. She needed to be careful about this, she needed to make a plan.
Yes, soon, she would make Merlin pay.
* * *
* * *
AN: That was it! The end... I know, it is very open, but I loved the idea of Nimueh finding out and swearing she would get her revenge. This also means I left a door open for a sequel, but I don't know whether or not it will happen. Perhaps in the future or during the summer...
Again, I want to thank everyone who stuck with this story even though sometimes you had to wait for weeks to get an update...So, thanks!
But this was it, I'm afraid. Let me know what you thought of it!