A/N: I was very hestitant about starting a Merlin fan fiction because I love the show so much and I didn't want to ruin characterization or plot points or anything. But I really wanted to try so this might prove to be just an experiment, although I would like to go all the way with it. I tried really hard to stay in character so I hope I succeeded!
So, in this fic, Morgause did die. This is my theory of what would happen if Morgause did die and if our Merlin friends were forced to help Morgana out. In my head, it's more interesting than it sounds, I promise.
Copyright: I do not own anything Merlin related, although that would be neat. :)
Chapter 1: Prophecy
"The witch must live."
Merlin's eyes shot open. Although the room was quieter than the forest and darker than Uther's black heart, he could have sworn he heard a voice – a loud, persistent voice. He closed his eyes uneasily. It reminded him too much of when he used to hear the Great Dragon's voice in his head…and Mordred's.
"She must live, Merlin."
Again, he opened his eyes. He sat up and looked at his window intensely. Was that where the voice was coming from? He continued to watch it, waiting and wondering.
"I'm not up there, Merlin."
He immediately scrambled out of his bed and pulled on his boots and jacket. He had to find the voice; that was his only choice. Although his mind – the same mind that the voice happened to be coming from - advised him against it, something deep inside told him it was important.
He quietly opened the door to his room, wincing as it squeaked a bit. Gaius's sleeping form merely grunted. Walking very carefully through the dark chambers, Merlin kept his ears alert for any sign of the voice again. He was so intent on this task that he walked into the table, knocking a cup onto the floor. Gaius stirred a bit before resuming his snores.
When Merlin finally got himself out of the castle, he carefully navigated the empty back streets, doing his best to avoid any guards. After wandering around aimlessly for awhile, he was just about to give up, when he saw a cloaked figure standing near the stocks, the same stocks he was frequently locked in. The figure was silent and still, and although Merlin could not make out a face, he knew whatever it was, was staring at him.
"I have a prophecy for you, Merlin," said the deep, female voice. Merlin stared. The voice had not come from the figure, but had merely arrived in his head again.
"What is it?" Merlin thought warily, communicating through his mind.
"You must find the witch immediately. She must be protected so that she may turn to good and live. Only she can restore the balance in Camelot and only then can Arthur become king."
Merlin said nothing, staring at the figure without truly seeing anything.
"You know who it is I speak of, Merlin. I speak of the Lady Morgana."
Merlin felt his stomach burn in anger at the thought of Morgana and of the events that had happened the night before. The last he had seen of her was when she had screamed down the walls of the throne room. She had disappeared with Morgause's body and now everything was in disarray.
"She won't turn to good," Merlin thought, swallowing hard. "She is beyond saving."
"I have warned you, Merlin. Now you must do what you can, no matter how impossible things may seem." And then the figure turned and disappeared into the fog.
Merlin stood still, staring where the figure had once been and thinking about the strange message. He told himself the only thing to do was go back to bed. He would go back to his bed and maybe tell Gaius about it in the morning. Then he would polish Arthur's armor, repair his chainmail, and muck out his stables. This bizarre, impossible prophecy would be forgotten.
But instead of turning back to the castle, Merlin turned to the direction of the gates.
He knew he had to find Morgana before Arthur and the knights of Camelot did.
Merlin found Morgana sooner than he had expected. He had been running through the forest, occasionally tripping over something, believing he wouldn't find her and that he was merely on a fool's errand. He could imagine the figure laughing at his stupidity. Let's fool, Merlin! What fun it is to always fool Merlin and get Merlin into ridiculous situations! But his frustrations disappeared when he heard the sounds of someone sobbing.
Hiding behind a bush, Merlin found himself looking up a hill with a lone, large oak tree sitting atop it. Morgana was sitting under that same tree, holding Morgause's lifeless body to her chest, crying uncontrollably into her blonde hair. Anger flamed in Merlin's chest as he remembered her betrayal and everything she had put them through. But that flame was softened by pity and he couldn't help but feel a little bit sorry for her. He knew what it was like to lose someone close. He knew what it felt like to hold a lifeless body and cry.
Merlin forced the thoughts of Gaius, Will, Freya, and his father out of his mind as he slowly stretched out his hand. He muttered a single word and his blue eyes briefly flashed golden in the blackness of the forest. Morgana fell unconscious over her half-sister's dead body.
Everything was silent. Merlin stayed in the bushes for a moment, before running up the hillside. He fell to his knees and dragged Morgause's body away from Morgana.
Merlin moved towards Morgana, trying to figure out the best way to carry her back to Camelot. As he was debating this, he watched her face for any sign of movement or consciousness. There was none. There were just the remains of tears, sparkling in the moonlight as they rested on her pale face, which stood out brightly in contrast from her red dress.
He shook his head against the thought that was forming in his head. No, Merlin. He did not owe her or Morgause any kindness. He knew he should take Morgana away that instant and leave Morgause's body to rot. After all, that's what they would have done had it been him.
But instead, he found himself sitting down and concentrating on the ground. Muttering a continuous slur of incantations, he dug a hole in the ground with his eyes. He let his power take over so that the task would be done quickly. And then, he picked up Morgause's body, and dropped it in.
He held his hand out and whispered. Fire erupted from the hole.
With the flames of the fire hot on his face, he lifted Morgana into his arms and hurried down the hill. As he listened to the distant crackle of the flames, he knew he had done too much already and wondered if this deed would come to any good at all.
Merlin saw Camelot in the distance just as the rays of dawn began touching the earth. His arms ached and his head was muddled with confused thoughts. He stealthily snuck to the gates, hiding in shadows here and hiding behind objects there. As the guards stood sleepily at their post, Merlin reached out a hand and murmured something in his mind. There was a loud bang and a bale of hay lit on fire. The guards rushed to it in alarm and Merlin took that opportunity to sneak into the city walls, only breathing a sigh of relief when he was safely back in Gaius's chambers. He gently shut the door with his foot and turned to the room, expecting to see Gaius still sleeping peacefully.
But Gaius wasn't in his bed. He was sitting at a table with a candle and judging by the melting wax, he had been sitting there for much for the night. The old physician raised his eyebrows as he took in the sight of the kingdom's enemy in Merlin's arms and softly tapped his fingers against the wood.
"I suppose you have an excellent explanation for this, Merlin."
Merlin looked down at the unconscious body with a perplexed look before looking back at Gaius.
"Er," he said slowly. "I sort of found her."
"You're going to hand her over to Arthur?" Gaius asked with polite interest.
"Not exactly," Merlin said, opening his mouth to form some kind of coherent, sane explanation, and instead coming out with the truth.
"It's going to sound insane, Gaius, but there was this voice and it said that Morgana had to live and be turned to good in order for Arthur to become king of Camelot."
Gaius was silent for a moment as he thought about this. "Who would give you such a prophecy, Merlin?"
"I don't know. I think it was a woman."
"And you believe her?"
"She knew my name," Merlin insisted. "She managed to get into the city. It had to be important. I don't see why anyone would make it up."
"What if it was Morgause?" Gaius asked. "What if Morgause survived and was trying to get Morgana back into Camelot?"
Merlin said nothing. He walked over to Gaius's bed and laid Morgana upon it. He sat at the table across from Gaius, watching the flickering candle. Finally, he looked up and met Gaius's waiting eyes.
"Morgause is dead. I burned her body myself."
Gaius nodded. "Well, Merlin, I trust your judgment. And if you see this as being for the best, then I will aid you in any way I can."
Merlin let out a noisy breath of relief and smiled. "Thank you, Gaius."
Gaius smiled the smallest of smiles back, before motioning with his head to the unconscious figure. "So what do you plan to do when she wakes up?"
Merlin squinted and tilted his head as he thought. "I don't know," he admitted.
"Well then," Gaius said as he heaved himself to his feet and circled around the table. "I suppose we should start there."