Spoilers: This story takes place after series 3, and contains the most delicious spoilers for the season.

Triggers: Character death.

Author's Notes: This story is a semi-sequel to Comedies End With a Wedding. It's not necessary to read that one first, but if you like this one you might want to. :)

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Prologue

"Magic. That was magic. You did magic." Merlin wanted to laugh. He knew that Uther had at least once requested the use of magic, even while forbidding it on pain of death. He had seen Uther do unimaginable things before. Yet somehow, Merlin never thought he would see the day when the king used magic his very own royal self.

"You two will not speak of this, of course." Uther glared at Merlin and Gwen.

"Then you admit that not all magic is evil? Not every sorcerer always wicked?" Merlin said, feeling a little giddy. "I won't run my mouth, I just want to hear you say it once."

"Magic is...unpredictable. Purity of spirit, strength of will - these are of nothing when it comes to magic. Once unleashed, no natural force can stand against it. It is dangerous. Too dangerous."

"I see now. You're afraid. You're afraid because you don't understand it and you can't hit it with a sword."

Uther's eyes glinted dangerously. "Are you calling me a coward?"

"Coward? No. Not at all. I just don't understand why you're afraid of magic and not afraid of looking Death in the eye and calling his mother a yeasty strumpet."

Uther looked over at the woman Merlin had magically bound, sorrow creasing his face. Hers, however, was entirely blank - just like a doll. If she had any idea what was happening to her, she showed no sign.

"Look into her eyes and tell me there aren't some things worse than mere death."