The Curse of Cornelius Sigan
Disclaimer: I do not own Merlin
In a land of Myth and a time of magic,
The destiny of a great kingdom rests on the shoulders of two young people,
Merlin and Mira-Liana
It had been a few days since Nimeuh's death. In that time, Hunith had made a full recovery from her sickness and had left for Ealdor, but promised to return to Camelot soon. Also in that time, Arthur and Gwen had barely let their fiancées—Merlin and Mira-Liana—out of their sight.
At the moment, Mira-Liana was trying to get some sleep in Arthur's bedchambers with his arm wrapped around her. They'd been sitting in his chambers talking and had fallen asleep at one another's side. He was still a bit shocked after finding out she and her brother practiced magic, but had accepted it nonetheless. They were going to be married in a few weeks and Mira-Liana was excited.
That night, there was noise coming from the dudgeons as Uther had some men working on something. Quite frustrated, Arthur finally called out, "Merlin! Merlin!"
Merlin came into the room. He'd been up doing some reading. "Yes, Arthur?"
"Are you deaf?" Arthur asked.
Merlin looked confused as he shook his head.
"I want you to go down there and tell them to stop."
"But they're working on your father's orders," said Merlin.
"And you're working on mine, Merlin. Look, if worse comes to worse, just use a spell when they're not looking," said Arthur. "Please, just do something before they wake Ana up."
"Too late, I'm already awake. Merlin won't have to use a spell on the workers because I'm going with him," said Mira-Liana, getting up.
"Oh, no you don't. The last time you and Merlin went off alone, you nearly got yourselves killed."
"Well, we're not doing anything like that tonight, Arthur, I promise. We're just going to the dudgeons to get the noise to stop. We shouldn't be too long," said Mira-Liana. "Besides, I'm your bride-to-be. If they don't listen to Merlin, they'll listen to me."
"Good point," said Arthur. "Oh, alright, but just hurry back, will you?"
"We will," said Merlin. "Come on, Mir."
"See you in little while," said Mira-Liana, kissing Arthur. "I love you."
"Love you too," said Arthur.
Merlin and Mira-Liana went down to the dudgeons grabbed a torch and to their shock, they saw several of the men flee. Deciding to risk it, they went to investigate. There were dozens of treasures in the room, including a huge blue, heart-shaped gem in the center of a man's tomb.
"Oh my heavens," said Mira-Liana, stepping back in horror as a dead body came into their sights.
"Get Gaius," said Merlin.
Mira-Liana fled and returned with the elderly physician within moments.
"We just found him like this," said Merlin. "How do you think he died? Gaius?"
"Hmm," said Gaius.
"Do you know whose tomb this is?" asked Mira-Liana.
"I'm not sure," said Gaius.
"Do you think it might be cursed?" asked Merlin.
But Gaius made no reply as he stepped on something, making an arrow come out of a stone crow's mouth. Merlin and Mira-Liana barely managed to use a plate to stop it in time.
"Well, I don't know about cursed, but this tomb is definitely booby-trapped," said Mira-Liana.
Gaius looked at them in shock. "You just saved my life," he said. "Thank you."
Before the two could reply, Arthur and Uther came in.
"Good-evening Mira-Liana, Merlin, Gaius," said Uther.
"Why is it whenever you two go off, you find trouble?" Arthur whispered, eyeing the dented plate.
"Just one of our many gifts," said Merlin.
"Well, this is quite a find," said Uther, gazing at the treasures. "See, Gaius, I was right. There is treasure to be found under Camelot. Which of my predecessors do I have to thank for all this? Gaius?"
"I'd have to look into it, Sire," said Gaius.
Uther nodded and then saw the body. "How'd he die?"
"He seems to have unwittingly triggered a trap here, Sire," said Mira-Liana. "Most people prefer to have their treasures protected when they die."
"To protect it from grave robbers, you mean?" said Arthur.
"Well, there's plenty in here people would want to steal," Uther agreed. "Have them secure the tomb. Guard it as your responsibility, Arthur."
"Yes, Father," said Arthur.
The next day, Mira-Liana had just gone into the courtyard when she saw Arthur fall off his horse. She went to his side and helped him stand.
"Arthur, are you alright?" she asked.
"I'm fine," said Arthur, aggravated. "No thanks to Merlin."
"It wasn't my fault!" said Merlin. "I fixed up that saddle myself."
"That might've been the problem!" said Arthur.
"Both of you, stop it," said Mira-Liana. "You're both being ridiculous."
"Pardon me, but I believe this is your horse, Sire," said a man, startling them.
He had thick brown hair and a beard and was dressed in somewhat fine clothes.
"Thank you," said Arthur.
"It's an honor to be of service to a Prince and his lovely bride-to-be," said the man, bowing.
"An honor?" said Arthur. He looked pleased. "Well, thank you. No one's ever said that before."
Mira-Liana and Merlin rolled their eyes as the man brushed off Arthur's clothes and acted like a boot-licker as he asked if there was anything else he could do.
"You can tell me your name," said Arthur.
"Cedric," he replied. "I've come to Camelot in search of work."
"Good," said Arthur. "You can come on the hunt. We're short of a man."
"You're too kind, Sire," said Cedric.
Mira-Liana felt Merlin's annoyance as he gave Cedric a beater and practically shoved it into Cedric's stomach.
Was that necessary? she asked, as they went on the hunt.
Yes, said Merlin. He changed the subject. What's up with Arthur today?
I don't know. If I did, I'd tell you.
The hunt was uneventful for the first few moments, then Arthur froze and beckoned for Merlin to cut off the creature. Then they heard a loud roar and an enormous boar leapt out of the bushes and headed straight for them.
Arthur tossed his spear, but it missed and the boar continued to run towards them.
Quickly, Merlin and Mira-Liana grabbed hands and used a spell to send another spear at the boar, this time it made a hit.
"Is everyone alright?" asked Arthur. "Ana, Merlin?"
"We're fine," said Mira-Liana, squeezing Arthur's hand.
"Okay, who threw the spear?"
Before Merlin and Mira-Liana could reply, Cedric said, "I, Sire."
"You just saved my life," said Arthur.
"It was nothing, Sire," said Cedric.
"I'll be forever indebted to you. You must be rewarded," said Arthur.
"Oh, I couldn't possibly…"
"Come on, what do you wish for?" asked Arthur.
"I desire only to have a position the Royal Household," said Cedric.
"Consider it done," said Arthur.
What is that slimy moron up to? asked Merlin, referring to Cedric.
I don't know, but he's up to his ears in trouble when I find out, said Mira-Liana.
When the hunt was over, Merlin and Mira-Liana went back to Gaius's chambers. Merlin wasn't a good mood and it showed.
"What's wrong?" asked Gaius.
"We saved Arthur's life, someone else got the credit," said Merlin. "Just the usual. You'd think, now that Arthur knew about our secret, he'd be a little more grateful."
"I know, but Arthur couldn't have said anything about our secret in front of his Knights, could he?" said Mira-Liana. "But remember, he did come after us when we went to meet Nimueh on the Isle of the Blessed."
"True," said Merlin. "Gaius, what're you working on?"
"I found this inscription on the scepter," said Gaius.
"What language is that?" asked Mira-Liana.
"I don't know. Sigan would've known many languages," said Gaius.
"Sigan?" Mira-Liana repeated. "Is that whose tomb Uther raided?"
"Who was he?" asked Merlin.
Gaius looked surprised. "He was the most powerful sorcerer to have lived."
"Really?" said Merlin.
"I forgot you two didn't grow up in Camelot, but for those of us that did, Cornelius Sigan was a figure of nightmare."
"Why?" asked Mira-Liana.
"Sigan's power could change day into night, turn the tides and legend has it—his spells helped build Camelot itself."
"So, why was he a figure of nightmares if he built this place?" asked Mira-Liana. "What happened to him?"
"In the end, he grew too powerful and the King at that time ordered his execution."
"If he's dead, why are you so worried?" asked Merlin.
"Sigan couldn't bear the thought that his wealth and power would die with him. He became obsessed with finding a way to cheat death itself."
"Let's hope he didn't succeed," said Mira-Liana, remembering all too well of the wraith.
Gaius tried to convince Uther to seal up Sigan's tomb and to forsake the treasures, but Uther would have none of that. He enjoyed the legend and refused to let such an opportunity to have Sigan's riches in his grasp slip past him. He ordered Gaius not to spread panic about Sigan and Gaius left the hall in defeat.
Morgana did not sleep well that night. She dreamed of an enormous raven that swept across the skies and cried at her. She woke up, terrified as Gwen tried to comfort her.
When morning followed, Merlin entered Arthur's chambers with a plate of food.
"Is that lunch?" Arthur asked.
"No, it's break…fast," said Merlin, seeing Cedric serve Arthur food.
"Is there anything else you need doing, Arthur?" asked Merlin.
Arthur shook his head. "No, I'm fine. Cedric's got it covered. Oh, wait, my stables…"
"Already on it," said Merlin.
"Just get that done and you can the rest of the day off," said Arthur.
"Thank you," said Merlin.
However, he didn't get very far in his job as something made him pass out and he woke up to Arthur's annoyed face.
"What're you doing?" he asked.
"Nothing," said Merlin.
"I can see that," said Arthur. "Merlin, for heaven's sake, what happened?"
"This is what happened," said Mira-Liana. She held a dark pouch filled with herbs that were mostly burned. "Someone tossed this in here to knock you out."
"And they succeeded," said Merlin, looking dismayed.
"So, someone did this deliberately. Either way, you need to be more careful," said Arthur. "We just barely got the horses before they caused too much damage."
Cedric, who was standing the doorway, cleared his throat. "Sire, if I may. Perhaps he's just tired. A good night's rest and the evening off should do the trick."
"I am not tired and I've already got the day off," said Merlin.
"Just go now, Merlin," said Arthur. "Cedric's right. You're exhausted. Get some rest. Ana, why don't you join him while I look into this?"
"Alright, Arthur," said Mira-Liana.
They went to their room, and Mira-Liana got Merlin cleaned up with a spell as Gaius and Gwen came in.
"What happened?" Gaius asked.
"Someone tossed a knock-out gas in the stables today and let the horses loose," said Mira-Liana.
"Did you find out who?" asked Gwen, as she sat next to Merlin. "Was anyone hurt?"
"No, but whoever tossed that gas in, did a good job of making Merlin look bad," said Mira-Liana.
"Not to me," said Gwen.
Merlin smiled a little. "I wish Arthur would just quit being such a prat and respect me just a little more. I don't mind being his servant sometimes, but other times, he gets all the credit for what we do and I get so tired of it."
"I know," said Gaius. "But now is not the time for questioning these things, Merlin. I believe you; Arthur and Mira-Liana are destined for greatness. That your callings are to protect him."
"But it's hard sometimes," said Mira-Liana. "Even for me."
"We know, but Camelot's in peril," said Gwen. "Gaius translated the inscription on the crypt."
"What'd it say?" asked Merlin.
"It said: 'He who breaks my heart completes my work,'" said Gaius.
"It involves that jewel, doesn't it?" said Mira-Liana. "I thought something was strange about it. What kind of a jewel glows like that?"
"It's not just a jewel, it's the soul of Cornelius Sigan," said Gaius. "He's not alive, but for a soul to live, it must have a body."
"So, if the stone is removed from its setting and the heart's broken, the soul's released?" said Merlin.
"Exactly," said Gaius.
"Wonderful. More dead people to deal with," said Mira-Liana, sarcastically.
That night, Cedric was putting out the candles in Arthur's room as the young prince got into bed. The minute the room was dark and Arthur was asleep, Cedric snooped through Arthur's drawers and stole the keys to gate at the vault.
Getting past the guards was an easy feat for him, being the sneaky thief he was. Using the key, he opened the gate and slipped inside. Once inside, he grabbed a torch and lit it and helped himself to the jewels and gold of the tomb.
He was about to leave when the jewel in the center of the tomb caught his attention. Being as greedy as he was, he did not hesitate. He took a knife from his bag and pried the jewel loose.
He held it in his hand, feeling smug and proud of himself, but then the curse awakened and Sigan's soul took possession of Cedric's body.
Such a great use of magic did not go unnoticed by Merlin and Mira-Liana, who had been woken up when they sensed it. At that same time, Gaius came into their room and informed them that there had been a theft in Sigan's tomb.
They did not waste any time and were down beneath the castle within moments. Arthur had joined them and was examining the place where Sigan's heart had once been.
"This isn't good," said Arthur. "I'll sound the warning bell."
"I'll be with you in a moment," said Mira-Liana, as Arthur disappeared.
"Maybe a long moment," said Gaius.
"Why? What is it?" asked Merlin.
Gaius held up the heart and it was devoid of its former blue and misty look. It was now as clear as glass.
"Whoever did this got more than they bargained for," he said.
"Not good," said Mira-Liana. "But how did they get in the first place? Do you think they used magic?"
"No, I don't think so," said Merlin. "There was no sign of forced entry."
"They must've used a key," said Gaius.
"But Arthur's the only one with a key and he usually keeps it on his belt with all the others," said Merlin.
"Does he ever take it off?" asked Gaius.
"Only when he's asleep and he keeps it next to his bed," said Mira-Liana.
"And who had access to his chambers last night besides the two of you?"
"Just the new man, Cedric, but…" Mira-Liana's voice wandered off as her eyes met Merlin's and they realized something.
"I'm going to kill him," said Merlin. "Come on, we need to warn Arthur."
They ran to Arthur's chambers, where he sat at his desk writing.
"Arthur, we've got a problem," said Merlin.
"I know," said Arthur. "Father's upset about the theft of the jewel. I'm doing all I can to find it, but so far no luck."
"No, this something worse than a theft," said Mira-Liana. She placed the empty heart on Arthur's desk, as he looked over in astonishment. "It wasn't a normal jewel."
"What're you talking about?" asked Arthur.
"The jewel was the soul of an ancient sorcerer, Sigan," said Merlin. "We think it's possessed Cedric when he tried to steal it."
"Oh, heavens," said Arthur. "This is why my key was missing and why he was trying to work with me. Oh, why didn't I see it before?"
"There was no way you could've known," said Mira-Liana. "Don't blame yourself."
"We need to find Cedric and fast," said Merlin. "Camelot will fall if we don't."
"Well, I have no idea where he is. He disappeared this morning," said Arthur.
"Great," said Merlin. "Don't worry. We'll sort this out."
They were about to leave when Arthur called them back. "Merlin, Ana, wait!"
"What?" asked Mira-Liana.
"Watch yourselves and be careful," said Arthur.
"We will," said Mira-Liana.
Despite their efforts, Cedric remained unfound.
Later that night, the skies darkened and Camelot was attacked by gargoyles that had been brought to life by Sigan.
Uther, upon learning that there was more than one, ordered Arthur to hunt down the gargoyles and destroy them. The entire city was in a panic as the people tried to escape the gargoyles. Those who hadn't been killed by the beasts were injured and lucky to be alive.
Gaius tried again to tell Uther that the attacks were Sigan's doing, but the stubborn king refused to heed the physician's words. Arthur and his men had their hands full fighting the beasts and Gaius was busy tending to those who needed him with what little help he could get.
Merlin and Mira-Liana were also busy fighting and trying to not get themselves killed. They were running through the courtyard when Mira-Liana saw Arthur on the ground, about to be killed by a gargoyle.
"Arthur!" she shouted. "Reduna!"
A shield covered Arthur's body, which deflected the gargoyle and caused it to fly off into the distance as Merlin and Mira-Liana helped Arthur to stand.
"Arthur, are you alright?" asked Merlin.
"I'll be fine," said Arthur. "That thing could've killed you."
"And it still might. Get down!" said Mira-Liana, as she knocked Arthur down and Merlin ducked. She then realized she was on top of Arthur. "Oh, sorry, Arthur."
"No, my pleasure," said Arthur, smiling.
"Yeah, not now," said Merlin, as they got Arthur inside the castle.
Arthur sat on one of the tables as Mira-Liana looked him over and Gwen embraced Merlin, having been worried about him.
Mira-Liana bit her lip in worry as she examined the wound in Arthur's chest. "I'll get you something to stop the bleeding and numb the pain." She got up, but then Arthur grabbed her hand. "Arthur…"
"Just hang on a moment. I just wanted to say…that you and Merlin never cease to amaze me and I'm grateful you two came to Camelot," he said. "And thank you for saving my life, again."
Mira-Liana smiled as she tended his wound with Merlin and Gwen's help. Just then Uther burst in looking worried. "Arthur!"
"I'm fine, Father, it's nothing," said Arthur.
"Have we driven the creatures out?" Uther asked.
"They have control over the lower town. The market is all but destroyed," said Arthur.
"How many dead?" asked Uther, as he gazed at the number of wounded people.
"Too many to number, sire," said Merlin.
Too many people dead to number," Arthur added as Uther gazed around the wounded.
"I'm sealing the citadel," said Uther.
"You can't!" Arthur protested.
"I have no choice! I have to protect those who have a chance. If I don't, we all fall!"
Arthur, with fury and determination in his eyes, stood up.
"Where are you going?" asked Mira-Liana.
"There are people trapped on the drawbridge, I'm not leaving them to die!"
"It's suicide!" Uther protested.
"It's my duty to Camelot and to myself!" said Arthur.
Before anyone could stop him, Arthur was gone and Gaius had come up to them. "Merlin, Mira, I need to speak with you, privately."
"Yes, of course," said Merlin.
When they were out of earshot, Mira-Liana said, "This is disaster. We have to help Arthur."
"Sigan's power is beyond yours, you two. Sigan is an immortal and you're not. If you face him, he will destroy you both!" said Gaius.
"We don't have a choice!" said Merlin. "There has to be a way!"
Gaius sighed. "There's only one alive who is old enough to give us the answers we need." To their confused looks, he said, "The Great Dragon."
Mira-Liana and Merlin sighed.
"So, you knew," said Merlin. "That we used to visit him."
"And now you must do so again," said Gaius.
"Yes, you two, of course I knew. You're creatures of magic, just like he is. I had hoped that he would help you," said Gaius.
"He helps no one but himself!" said Mira-Liana, with venom.
"For Arthur's sake, you must go to him."
"We can't!" said Merlin.
"We have no choice!" said Gaius.
Mira-Liana sighed again. "Fine. Merlin, come on."
Mira-Liana and Merlin stormed down to the caves. They could not help but feel angry. The Dragon had almost cost them their mother and had deceived them for his own gain. They would've gladly never sought his help, but they had no choice.
"Hello?" Merlin shouted. "I know you can hear me! We need your help!"
They waited a few moments, but there was nothing. They were about to leave when the Dragon flew into sight and sat before them.
"You told me I would not see the two of you again," he said.
"Circumstances have changed that" said Mira-Liana. "We're here for Arthur's sake, not ours"
"Arthur's path lies with yours. You've made it clear that you do not walk in step with me."
"You cannot want Cornelius Sigan to win, you're not evil!" Merlin protested.
"At least Sigan knows where his loyalties lie; you have shown that you do not."
"How dare you! Our loyalty is to our family and friends!" Mira-Liana snarled. "You lost that loyalty when you betrayed my brother and me for your own personal gain! And now you're prepared to let Camelot fall for the sake of revenge against Uther?"
"I did not say that," said the Dragon.
"So, you'll help us, then?" said Merlin.
"Why?" asked Mira-Liana, narrowing her eyes.
The Dragon sighed. "I did a great wrong that day I sent you to the Isle."
The twins exchanged a look.
"You do not believe me and nor do I expect you to. I have some regrets about the course of my actions, but I still want my freedom. I will make a bargain with you two. To defeat Sigan, you will need a spell more powerful than anything you know. But in return you must promise me that you'll allow me to be released into the stars."
"What do you mean?" asked Merlin.
"It is said that if one is considered worthy at the time of death, they will be transformed into one of the many stars in the skies. But this can only be done at the hands of a witch or warlock of the Old Religion. That is my new desire, young witch."
"Very well," said Mira-Liana. "We promise you'll be released into the stars when your time has come. Now, please, give us the spell."
"Excellent," said the Dragon. "Now close your eyes and open your minds and join hands."
Merlin and Mira-Liana did as they were told and the moment the Dragon breathed on them, their minds were filled with great knowledge like they had never known before. When they opened their eyes, they were ready for battle.
"Few men have ever been gifted such knowledge. Use it wisely," said the Dragon.
"We will," said Merlin.
Back in the courtyard, Arthur and his men were fighting for their lives. The battle got so bad, that Arthur ordered his men to retreat as the citadel was sealed, leaving Arthur trapped outside. In the end, Arthur was knocked unconscious and just as Merlin and Mira-Liana arrived, a gargoyle flew through the air, heading straight for Arthur.
"Sheviet!" they said, and then the gargoyle exploded to smithereens.
They ran to Arthur's side and were relieved when they realized he was still alive, but their relief vanished when Cedric, possessed by Sigan, appeared.
"Who would've believed it?" he said. "The two of you are a sorcerer and sorceress and powerful ones at that."
"We won't let you hurt him!" said Merlin.
"And you're going to stop me?" mocked Sigan, as they stood up and prepared to fight.
"We will stop you," said Mira-Liana.
"He does not deserve your loyalty!" Sigan hissed. "He treats you like slaves."
"That isn't true!" said Merlin.
"He would cast you aside without a moment's thought! And he has before, hasn't he?"
"That doesn't matter," said Mira-Liana.
"But it must hurt so much to be so put upon, so overlooked by so many, when all the while you have so much power."
"That's the way it has to be," said Merlin.
"Does it?" Sigan stared at them, not evilly but persuading, "You're young, Merlin and Mira, look inside yourself, you have yet to discover your true power. I can help you. Think, you two, to have the world appreciate your greatness, to have Arthur know you, for what you are."
"He already knows," said Mira-Liana. "One day, magic will return to Camelot, but it cannot be now!"
"Why not let that time be now? Everything you ever want, it can all happen now, if you join me! Together we can rule over this land, Arthur will tremble at your voice, he will kneel at your feet!"
"We don't want that," said Merlin.
"You would rather be unequal to Arthur?"
"Better to serve a good man than to rule will an evil one!" said Mira-Liana.
"Then so be it! If you will not join me, I will become you and your power will be harnessed to my will!"
Cedric's eyes rolled back and then he collapsed to the ground. Merlin and Mira-Liana remained in their spots as Sigan's soul crept up into their bodies. They joined hands and said the spell as they fell onto their knees.
Gaius walked through the courtyard, trying to ignore what he saw as the smoke slowly cleared. Then he saw Merlin and Mira-Liana.
"Merlin? Mira?" he said.
Merlin and Mira-Liana walked over to him with cold and hard looks on their faces, startling the old man, but then their faces lit up with smiles as they held up the Heart of Cornelius Sigan.
"Well done, my dears. You did it!" said Gaius, laughing as he embraced them.
"They certainly did," said Arthur, appearing from behind them. He'd woken up not long after Sigan was imprisoned and was quite glad the whole event was over. "Now, what're we going to tell my father?"
"The only thing we can," said Gaius.
"You drove out the gargoyles and destroyed Sigan," said Merlin.
"But I didn't destroy Sigan, you did," Arthur protested.
"That's the way it has to be, Arthur," said Mira-Liana, gently.
Arthur sighed. "Very well," he said.
After giving Uther all the information they could, Uther was now even more determined to wipe out magic in Camelot, forcing Merlin and Mira-Liana to be more careful in their practice of the craft and there was a mourning session for those lost in the attack. But things were not all bad.
Repairs were well underway in Camelot and making fine progress. Arthur had Cedric sacked and arranged for him to be in the stocks for six months and then arrested for his deceit, theft, and part in Sigan's resurrection.
The morning after the attack, Gaius, Mira-Liana, Merlin and Gwen were having breakfast together. Gwen had fixed up a fine meal.
"I know it's not much for a reward, but the two of you deserve something for all that you did," said Gwen.
"Nonsense, it's great," said Merlin.
"It's delicious," said Mira-Liana.
"You certainly know how to cook, Gwen," said Gaius.
Gwen smiled and then there was a knock on the door and Arthur came in.
"Arthur," said Mira-Liana. "How're you?"
"I'm fine," said Arthur, briefly kissing her on the lips. "I've just come to see Merlin."
"About what?" asked Merlin.
"I wanted to apologize about what happened with Cedric," said Arthur. "You always said not to trust a bootlicker and I completely ignore your advice." He sighed. "Look, Merlin, I know I've been unfair and I want to make it up to you. Seeing as how after Ana and I are married, you'll be my brother-in-law and therefore part of the royal family, so how would you like to also be my personal Chief Advisor?"
"Me?" said Merlin.
"Who else would I trust for the job?" asked Arthur. "So, what's your answer?"
"I'll do it," said Merlin.
"Thank you, Arthur," said Gwen, smiling.
"My pleasure. Consider it an early wedding gift," said Arthur. "Oh, Merlin, one more thing. When you're my advisor, I'll need a new manservant. So, when the time comes, I'll let you interview him and decide if he's good enough."
"Sure," said Merlin, smiling.
Arthur nodded. "See you later."
Gaius smiled after Arthur left. "I told you so."
One week later came the wedding of Merlin and Gwen.
While Morgana and Mira-Liana helped Gwen prepare, Arthur was trying to get Merlin to relax. In one of the many rooms, Morgana and Mira-Liana were admiring Gwen's appearance.
"I still can't believe this is happening." said Gwen.
"But it is," said Mira-Liana. "You look lovely, Gwen."
"Merlin won't know what hit him when he sees you," said Morgana, smiling.
When the hour came at last, the doors opened and then Merlin saw Gwen.
Gwen's gown was pale lavender silk and was embroidered with darker violet flowers. Her beautiful hair was in loose waves to her shoulders and she carried a bouquet of forget-me-nots. She was smiling and looked stunningly beautiful.
"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to witness the joining of these men and women in holy matrimony. If there is anyone here who does not believe these unions should take place, speak now or forever hold your peace."
No one spoke, so the priest went on.
"Do you, Merlin, take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife, to love and to cherish, in sickness and in health, for better or worse, richer or poorer, for all long as you both shall live?"
"I do," said Merlin.
"Do you, Guinevere, take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband, to love and to cherish, in sickness and in health, for better or worse, richer or poorer, for all long as you both shall live?"
"I do," said Gwen.
"Exchange your rings and vows."
"Gwen, ever since the day we met, I've loved you more than words will ever say. You are more precious to me than anything in this entire world and I couldn't ask for anything more than you," said Merlin, slipping the wedding ring on her finger.
Gwen had tears of joy in her eyes. "Merlin, from the moment we met, I knew my life would never be the same again. You gave me the world and you gave me your heart. I couldn't have asked for a better man in my life than you. I love you."
The priest smiled. "I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride."
Merlin and Gwen kissed as she threw her bouquet over her head—Morgana caught it—and the guest clapped and cheered as the two of them left on their honeymoon. Mira-Liana waved good-bye as her brother and Gwen rode off in the carriage. She was happy to have Gwen as a sister and even happier that her brother was getting what he deserved.
She felt someone slipping their arm around her and saw Arthur beside her. "Soon it'll be our turn," he said. "Just you wait."