A/N: I've finally posted the edited version! (thanks to the new copy paste feature on ff.n) Enjoy!

Chapter I

Merlin was lugging two buckets of water down the corridor when the felt a pair of eyes on his neck, burning into his skin beneath the roughspun neckerchief he wore. He froze, peering into the shadows of the sconces and saw her, beautiful as always, watching him. Merlin tensed, but didn't speak. Morgana's eyes trailed after him as he continued towards Arthur's chambers with the bath water.

Morgana spoke to his retreating back. "You won't be around here forever, Merlin."

And Merlin tried not to let her threat bother him.

Morgana needed to find a way to silence Merlin. He hadn't talked yet, but it was only a matter of time - of this she was certain. And the simplest way to get rid of someone in Camelot, so it seemed, was to accuse them of sorcery.

"This is excellent sister," Morgause whispered in the vaults beneath Camelot. "That boy is nothing but trouble. I don't know why we didn't think of this sooner."

Really, it was almost too simple. With Merlin executed, she and Morgana could carry out her schemes unhindered.

"My lord?" Morgana peered around the king's door to his private chambers. The king, the father who had secretly disowned her and who was nearly soley responsible for her misery, sat in the hard, straight-backed chair at his desk, pouring over treaties and maps and other royal paraphernalia that Morgana knew she would manage one day as Queen of Camelot. Needless to say, she would never tell Uther that.

"Uther?" Her voice was the essence of innocence with a touch of fear.

Uther put down his magnifying glass and raised his head, smiling. He stood, beckoning her, and Morgana rushed toward to him.

"What is it, child?"

"I- I," she stuttered slightly, putting on a nervous air.

"Out with it," he urged, setting down his quill as well and guiding her by the elbow to sit at the edge of the four-poster bed.

"I thought I saw a sorcerer. In the courtyard. I couldn't be sure, but..." It wasn't entirely a lie. She had seen someone – Merlin – cross the courtyard to draw water that afternoon and then later in the halls. But when did lying ever interfere with her conscience?

Uther tensed beside her and drew her closer. "What did the sorcerer look like?" he demanded.

"I didn't get a good look, sire. But he was-" she paused trying to think of something. Uther seemed to take her momentary pause as fear of what she had seen. The king reined in his impatience and sat beside his ward, offering what comfort he could in the face of such evils as servants conducting household chores.

Morgana bit her lip. "He looked like was trying to find something."

"I shall send out a search party immediately." Uther rose from the bed and snatched a sheaf of parchment from his desk, leaving Morgana wringing her hands on the bed. "Every corner of Camelot will be searched." He now addressed the servant that hovered in the corner of the room. "You there, tell the guards to be vigilant. I shall make an official announcement in the council rooms. This sorcerer will be stopped!"

When the servant departed with his instructions, Uther turned back to Morgana and she wiped the smirk off her face. "My darling, have nothing to fear. We'll find the sorcerer and bring him to justice; you have my word. But I want you to stay in the castle."

Morgana just smiled tearfully and took his hand in silent thanks. "Thank you, my lord. If there's anyone who can put a stop to the evil, it's you. You've done so much already."

Touched, Uther embraced her briefly. "Now if you will excuse me, I must begin to coordinate the search."

Morgana left the room, a smirk firmly plastered across her face.