Hello again everyone. As I'm sure that many of you have heard, the current season of Merlin will be the last. With that being said, it's also very possible that Arthur will die in episode 13. I already had a song choice picked out for this chapter, but I needed to figure out what exactly to write about. Once again, listen to the song choice while reading this chapter. Start by listening to Grave. I leave a note in the chapter of when to start Sad Romance.
Music that inspired most of the chapter: Anodynia: 3. Grave
By: Break of Reality
Song that Merlin played: Sad Romance (violin version)
By: Thao Nguyen Xanh
Disclaimer: I don't own Merlin.
Dark clouds blanketed the skies of the sorrowful kingdom. Winds swept through the cold, empty streets as the torches struggled to remain lit. After a particularly strong gust of frigid wind the lights flickered before going out completely; blanketing the streets in almost total darkness.
A figure sat in the darkness of their chambers, staring at the cold empty fireplace. Dust and cobwebs gathered in the corners of the room and onto the furniture from lack of care. The figure sat on the edge of the unused bed with their head in their hands, silent tears falling down their face.
A pale light flooded the dark room as the door creaked open.
"Merlin?" a sorrowful voice questioned. There was no reply. Footsteps entered the room and the light disappeared as the door closed behind it. The footsteps approached the figure sitting on the bed and stopped in front of the fireplace.
"Merlin…" the voice spoke again.
"It's been three weeks… You have barely eaten, you haven't slept… You haven't even left your chambers… not once." The figure still did not respond. The footsteps came closer until they stopped right in front of the bed. A soft hand reached out, hesitating for a moment before resting on the figures slumped shoulder. Still no response.
"Please… Merlin… Please don't make me do this alone." There were tears and a quiver in the voice. Finally, the figure looked up.
"It's my fault Gwen. It's all my fault." Merlin finally croaked, looking into the eyes of the queen. Gwen shook her head, tears falling from her eyes, her hand still on the man's shoulder.
"No it's not. You did everything you could-"
"But it still wasn't enough." He said.
"I couldn't protect him Gwen. I couldn't save him. It was my job to protect him, and I failed." He whispered.
"I failed, and now he's…" a sob broke the silence of the room.
"Arthur's dead." He choked out. Gwen pursed her lips and nodded.
"I know Merlin. But no matter how powerful you have become, you cannot save everyone. Arthur would not have wanted you to blame yourself… he wouldn't have wanted…" she removed her hand from Merlin's shoulder and covered her mouth to suppress a sob.
After Arthur's death, she became responsible for the Kingdom and had not had the time to properly grieve. Even at her husband's funeral she could not grieve because she felt that she needed to stay strong for her people. They needed to know that not all hope was lost, but even she was beginning to have doubts. The queen would go about her day with a smile on her face; accepting the condolences from other kingdoms and the people around her. Merlin had quickly disappeared into his chambers after the King's funeral, not once coming out. No smiles or words of wisdom; nothing saying that everything would be OK. Gwen had tried talking to him a few times before, but with no response from the Warlock. She knew that Arthur's death had hit him the hardest and knew that Merlin needed the time to grieve.
The third week had rolled by and Merlin had still not emerged from his room. Gwen could feel herself slipping. It was becoming harder and harder for her to keep her emotions in check. She smiled less often and was beginning to lose hope. Even Gawain seemed to be losing the cheerful spark in his eyes, and she saw him stumbling from the tavern looking worse and worse with each passing day. Sir Leon would look at her sadly and try to give her words of comfort, saying everything would be alright, but even he seemed to believe his own words less and less.
She simply could not do it anymore and felt her walls crumbling around her. Gwen tried to suppress the sobs that escaped her lips and covered her face with her hands, but the sobs escaped anyway. Her shoulders shook with grief and all of her suppressed emotions came flooding back.
She felt Merlin's arms wrap around her as tears continued to fall down her cheeks. She hugged him back and buried her face into his shoulder as he rested his cheek on top of her head and rubbed soothing circles with his thumb on her shoulder.
"I'm sorry… I am so… so sorry. I've been soo selfish." He said quietly. Gwen sniffed and pulled away to look him.
"I locked myself away from everyone. I left you alone when you needed me most, and for that I am truly sorry…" Gwen smiled sadly.
"You needed time to grieve." Merlin shook his head.
"But you haven't been able to mourn at all since the funeral." He looked away, spotting something in the corner of the room before turning his head to gaze out the window.
He stood, pulling Gwen up with him.
"There is something I would like to do." The warlock walked over to the corner of the room and picked up a dusty crate from the floor before placing it on the table.
After swiping some of the dust off of the top, he pulled off the lid to reveal an item wrapped carefully in a silk cloth. He then unraveled the cloth to reveal his old violin. Despite the fact that it had been stored away for over a year, the instrument looked like it had been polished and well cared for every day.
Merlin ran his fingers along the smooth edges of the wood before plucking one of the strings, surprised to hear that after all of this time it was still in tune. Holding the item to his chest, he reached in the crate and pulled out the bow. He then looked to Gwen, who seemed to have a small spark of excitement return to her eyes. The queen walked to the door before glancing back at her friend as he came to join her. With a nod, he opened the door and stepped out into the dimly lit hallways.
"Even the Castle itself seems to be in mourning." He muttered to himself. There was a click behind him and Gwen shut the door and moved to stand beside him.
They walked side by side through the deserted hallways and up a set of stairs leading to the battlements where the warlock and queen were met with a dark sky and light drizzle. Merlin walked over to the wall before sitting down next to the edge and looking out over the darkness of the once bright Kingdom. Gwen came and stood next to him, arms folded in front of her to serve as protection from coldness that greeted her. Merlin pressed his jacket into her arms and she took it gratefully.
For a few more moments Merlin looked out into the city, before bringing his violin up to rest on his shoulder and tucking it under his chin. Then, for the first time, in what seemed like a very long time, the warlock brought his bow up and began to play. (AN: start the song Sad Romance)
The first few notes were soft and simple. He paused for a moment before he began to play a longer melody. The music quickly began to echo around them as it drifted down to the streets below. Movement could be seen in the shadows below as people began to step out onto the streets to investigate the music that had suddenly drifted into their homes. Many were murmuring to each other, looking for the source of the melody. Parents hushed their children as they asked about the song.
Suddenly the light drizzle stopped completely as the clouds slowly began to part; the light of a full moon began to shed light onto the darkness.
There were several shouts of surprise and wonder from many of the children below as the pointed up to the battlements. Townsfolk, servants, guards, and all of the citizens of Camelot that had been drawn outside looked up in awe.
Gwen watched the scene with tears in her eyes, then gasped and brought a hand up to cover her mouth as she glanced over at her friend. The strings of the instrument looked almost as if they were glowing in the light of the moon. Merlin's eyes were closed, but a light golden glow could still be seen under the eyelids.
Torches all around them had suddenly begun to light themselves as another breeze blew by.
As the queen looked out over the wall, she could see that the people had begun to light candles and were now distributing them amongst each other. Guards were bending down to accept candles from the small children offering them. Commoners and noblemen alike stood together with their lights and held them up towards their queen in a silent salute to her and their fallen King; the light reflected in the eyes of each individual.
The candles flickered in the breeze, but never went out.
Suddenly, the people below began to hum the tune being play by the warlock. Their voices were in perfect harmony with the melody and Gwen wondered if Merlin had anything to do with it or if the people of Camelot were truly that amazing.
As Merlin's melody came to a close, there was a new silence as the last notes echoed throughout the great city.
Gwen looked out over the city and a genuine smile formed on her face. Camelot was no longer covered in darkness. Although grief still lingered in the air, the city was now graced with a new light as the moon shined down upon it.
She brought a hand down to rest on her stomach.
Yes, Arthur may be gone… but his legacy would live on.
I feel like that last line could be interpreted in different ways. I meant for it to refer to maybe a child that Gwen would soon have and/or it could refer to Camelot and her people.
Let me know what you thought, I would greatly appreciate it.
Also, I'm still taking prompts.
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