Aria's Beginning

Falling. I didn't think it would hurt so much. How wrong I was. Yes, very wrong. Agony, I was filled with it. Emotionally, physically, spiritually, the last one definitely pained me most. Being ripped apart was one thing and then to be smothered, choked.

And burnt, incinerated, I never would have thought flames could ever harm me. I almost regretted my decision. Almost. How I longed to express my pain. I wanted to scream but there was no sound, I had no voice. I tried my best to concentrate on what was around me. Can't miss a view like this, can I? I'm not likely to be doing this again.

But even so I only caught glimpses. The agony was too much. Why can't I just die? I thought I could do this but it would seem I'm wrong about everything tonight. As I plummeted, my view changed. But that didn't matter, what I did was just a waste of effort. I wasn't going to be able to hold on any longer. The pain was too unbearable.

And just before I succumbed to my weakness, there was a rush of comfort all around me. The flames were gone, I felt cool. My pain was ended, only the aftershocks and aches remained and when compared they were nothing. I sank deeper and deeper into the cold abyss. I had succeeded.

Vervain's Fate

I pondered deeply, watching my mother. She could have been asleep but I knew she was not. My heart wrenched as I sobbed. She looked so beautiful even as she lay cold in the ground. I found myself wishing I could have been more like her. Her expression was peaceful for someone who had died such a violent death.

She's gone. My only family. The one who always protected me. I'm alone with nothing but her last words to guide me. Her dying wish. She told me there was never another person that showed as much promise and talent as me. I had so much to learn and my mother wouldn't be there to teach me. She told me I had to leave her behind, I must go to Camelot and seek him out.

I buried my mother where she took her last breath, at the roots of an ancient old oak. The day shone, daring to be happy in the midst of my sadness. I stood before her grave and whispered to her soul of how much I love her. Then, taking one last look I turned my back and walked away. It was the hardest thing I've ever done.

I would do as my mother would've wanted me to. I would make her proud. I walked for hours, preoccupying my mind with fleeting thoughts and musings. Then, I heard whisper, stopping me in my tracks. Without warning or any time to defend myself, the entity knocked me to the ground.

I didn't stand a chance against it. It forced its way into my chest as I lay gasping, helpless. What was the point of fighting something when you know you're going to lose? Pain seared deep within me and as my vision began to fail me, I felt a triumph that was not my own.

The Regent King

'Arthur?' I called out, softly.

'Merlin.' He said in acknowledgement. His back remained turned to me as he stared out the window into the courtyard below.

It was one of those rare moments when he didn't have anything to do. As Regent King, he had been swamped with work and responsibilities. And even when he was free, he moped. For a good reason, I'll admit. His father hasn't spoken since he apologized when Arthur rescued him.

Arthur tried to convince himself that he was taking Morgana's departure hard. But deep down he knew what was wrong. His father was broken. And now he was moping again. The same reason why the new knights Elyan, Gwaine, Lancelot, Percival plus Leon were plotting ways to cheer up their Regent King.

I sighed. I just didn't understand why I had to do the nasty work of informing him. Smiling anyways, I approached him.

'Arthur, can you stop moping for one minute?' I asked. True enough, Arthur swiveled around to look at me, surprised.

'What is it, Merlin?' He said in exasperation.

'You've been so stressed and moody with all this work that even your knights have noticed!' I said.

'Well, what do you expect? I'm Regent King.' Arthur said sourly.

'Come on, Arthur. Why don't you take a couple of days off? We'll go hunting.' I said, grimacing at the thought.

'You want to go hunting?' He asked, disbelieving and mocking. At least he's back to acting like himself again. Prat.

'No, your new knights and Leon, I mean Sir Leon, do. I'm coming too of course.' I said, groaning out the last bit.

'Merlin, it's not that simple…' He started.

I sighed. Looks like it was time to pull out our secret weapon. 'Oh fine then, at least Gwen won't have to suffer your stupid moping.' I said, turning to the door.

'Gwen's going?'

'Yeah, she was hoping you'd come but I'm sure…' I continued, hiding my grin.

'Fine I'll come.' He said sulkily, though I could hear the smile in it. I couldn't help myself.

'Are you sure? Because…'

'Shut up, Merlin.'