Hey guys it's FINALLY up! I don't want to keep you to long from reading this amazing piece of writing (Today is my arrogant day..please don't judge me). I just want to say thank you sooooo much for not hating me and for the get well messages you guys sent. I've got the cast on my hand off so i'm feeling a lot better now. I've written a bit of the next chapter already so hopefully it won't be too long. I'm hoping to do at least 1 update on this a week, but more if i can because i have time to make up on.
If you read Drinking Games my other Merlin fic (modern AU) then that will be uploaded by Saturday night.
Once again thanks and i hope you enjoy it.
With a dull thud Merlin falls to the floor. Gwaine quickly pulls him up into a sitting position leaning him up against a dark rocky wall. The group slowly take in there surroundings once Merlin is propped up properly. There stood in a dark cave. The only real light coming from a stone basin full of water.
Nimueh stands over the basin, holding a small clay figure.
"That's the Sorceresses that was in the cave when I went for the antidote!" Arthur exclaimed looking to the familiar woman
She places it into a large white egg. A metal seal around the centre with marks dotted around the shell.
"Bebeode thae arisan yeldo" She enchants, the egg glowing golden before she places it lovingly into the water.
The group suddenly plummet into the water. Merlin still unconscious/asleep/whatever that boy was (how,no one could understand) Everyone begins to swim quickly after the egg. Arthur quickly waving Gwaine off before swimming towards Merlin, grabbing his jacket Arthur began kicking his legs and dragging with his free arm trying to keep up with the group. The tunnel they were in was dark and tight. Arthur could just about see Gwaine's legs a few meters in front of him, the only light being that way ahead from the egg which, to Arthur was completely blocked out.
Arms and legs tiring, running out of breath Arthur began to slow down. Trying desperately to pull merlin faster to get them out of the water. The tunnel seemed never ending to Arthur who at this point was getting frantic and slightly hysterical. Mind beginning to blank from lack of oxygen. That was when Arthur bumped into the floating body of Gwaine. Using his free arm he grabbed Gwaine as well and began to kick harder to power the three of them along. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, must be nearly there Arthur thought hysterically before his back hit something moveable , head turning quickly as he saw more floating bodies of his friend I'm going to die in a memory ! His mouth opened in a silent scream which came out as bubbles giving water a chance to rush into his agape mouth. His body giving out as his eyes closed reluctantly.
If this is what being dead feels like I guess it isn't so bad,I mean yeah, I can't move but movings tiring anyway. Arthur though idly.
"Arthur..Arthur! Arthur come on!" Merlin ? Why is Merlin's voice here..unless. No..Merlin couldn't be..could he? "Come on you dollop-head!" Merlin can't be dead Arthur's mind whizzed hysterically Merlin isn't aloud to die! I didn't risk my life all those times for him to die in a bloody memory. "Come on you stupid Clot-pole!" Arthur thought of his body laying in some underwater tunnel somewhere, floating gently next to his best friends. This is my fault, I killed them, I made Merlin take us to these memories, I killed my best friend. Arthur's eyes snapped open suddenly, water spurting out his mouth as he coughed. His vision came back blurry at first. The familiar mop of head bright blue eyes, cheesy smile and neckerchief were all he could really see
"Merlin" Arthur grumbled.
"you great Idiot/Rat! I though you where dead!" They yelped in unison the smile vanishing from Merlin's face. Arthur sat himself up and launched himself at his manservant hugging him tightly.
"don't die" He mumbled into one of the warlocks overly large ears. Merlin sat unsure of what to do.
"Told you it was sexual tension" came the familiar voice of Gwaine causing Arthur to jump away from merlin. For the first time noticing everyone else looking at the two of them. They where all dripping wet.
"shut up Gwaine" Arthur growled "what happened? Last thing I saw you were all passed out"
"Merlin, care to explain" Gwen asked politely
"Um..I dunno..I just kinda..did it..I could feel you where in trouble..and I had to keep you safe..so here we are" Merlin waved his arms a bit at the end giving the impression of a entertainer at one of Arthur's birthdays when they finish with a 'ta-daa!"
"Well..thanks. Is everyone okay ?" He asked using his most kingly voice standing up and looking round at everyone.
"yeah, you were the only one out for so long..You swallowed a lot" Gwaine opened his mouth "of water" Merlin added quickly glaring at Gwaine.
"Even Gaius came round quicker than you" Elyan mocked, smirking at his king as the old man glared at him, standing straight and looking as if he had bathed with his clothes on but other than that was pretty relaxed. Arthur rolled his eyes
"well none of you had to drag these two" He defended pointing at Gwaine and Merlin. "how did you do it anyway? Your meant to be magically exhausted or are you just saying that so you don't have to lie to us to justify the sorcery.
"what? How can you even...I am exhausted you Prat but it's just been drilled into my head to save your useless ass so much so apparently I even do so when unconscious"
"Oh because that's really believable"
"I just saved your life! You could be a bit more grateful"
"Grateful to a traitor ? No thanks"
"you where hugging me 20 seconds ago why are you being a prat ?"
"why are you being a warlock"
"because it's what I am !"
"Well maybe a prats what I am!" Well that didn't come out right Arthur thought awkwardly. Merlin tilted his head slightly and raised an eyebrow
"fine.. next time I won't bother then"
"Fine" Arthur snapped back childishly
"fine" Merlin spat "Now, shall we continue in you figuring out whether or not to kill me, of course you just told me you didn't want me to die but that was whilst you weren't calling me a traitor for 5 seconds"
"Continue...You talk to me like that again and I'll make sure to see your death" Merlin's mouth hangs open for a seconds and Arthur swears his eyes begin to fill up with tears before he turns around muttering a spell and everything around them kicks back into life.
The monster begins hatching. It changes to a woman filling up a bucket of water, a man coming to the tap after her and taking a few gulps straight from the flow of the water before walking off. It flashes back to Nimueh, smirking looking down at the man walking away from her through the water in the stone basin.
"Oh look Merlin, it's your best friend" Arthur seethed.
"Don't be stupid, I killed her before we could become friends" Merlin said with a wave ignoring Arthur's shocked look.
Merlin and Gaius lean over a body, it's face first in the lower town.
"Aren't you scared?" Merlin asks the old man as he reaches out to turn him over.
"Of what?" Gaius replies blankly
"That you might catch whatever it is" Merlin said with a duh tone
"I'm the court physician merlin. This is part of my job" Gaius reminded the boy "Most of the time there's nothing really to be scared of" Gaius ensured him, realising he didn't look any more at ease by his first comment. With that Gaius turns the body over. The man from before stares up at them. His face gaunt and eyes white as paper with no pupils.
"you were saying" Merlin squeaked looking down to the body.
"father" Gwen said gently remembering the close call her Father had had with this incident.
"People mustn't see this. They'll panic" Gaius muttered to Merlin who quickly grabbed a cloth and helps Gaius place it over the man.
It fades to Gwen's house where she is helping her father get ready for work.
Elyan stiffens looking at his deceased father, involuntarily leaning slightly closer to his little sister.
"Dad, here's your sandwich" Gwen says passing a small sandwich to the man.
"Ooh. What's in it?" He asks his daughter
"It's smoked pigeon, but I'd say there's more smoke than pigeon" The girl jokes with an apologetic smile making her father laugh
"Your such a good girl to me"
"and I've done you some watercress soup for tonight" Gwen added quickly
" Don't tell me, there's more water in it than cress?" Tom joked smiling happily down at Gwen making her laugh.
"I'll see you later" The girl says whilst giving her father a tight hug
The noise of stifled sobs fills the room and all eyes turn to Gwen who is covering her mouth trying not to let any sound out as tears pour down her face watching her father walk away. Elyan quickly wraps his arms around her, trying to ignore the tight pain in his chest at seeing the man he hasn't seen in so long and comfort his baby sister.
Merlin and Gaius drag the body on a cart over the draw bridge when Gwen appears
"what are you doing?" She asks inquisitively looking to the sheet, holding her flowers tightly.
"Er..just moving something" Merlin says awkwardly walking to meet her trying to ensure she doesn't lift up the sheet.
"Looks heavy" Gwen said sounding slightly impressed by the fact an old man and Merlin could carry it.
"urm, it's nothing really" Merlin says with a wave "someone got you flowers?" Merlin adds looking to the flowers looking slightly put off by that fact
"oh...no" Gwen says with a small awkward giggle. Merlin's smile gets slightly bigger at this "oh would you like one?" She suggested "A purple one. Purple suits you, not that i'm saying red doesn't suit you" Gwen babbled
"You two are adorable" Percival noted making everyone, even the tearful Gwen look to him wide eyed. No one mentioned Gwen and any other kind of relationship she had ever had with a man since Arthur and Gwen had broken of there engagement due to Gwen still being slightly..Okay unequivocally in love with the very handsome Lancelot.
"um..Watch..shall we ?" Merlin stammered pointing back at Gwen and Merlin
"thanks. Well, erm" Merlin looked for somewhere to place it before shoving it in the folds of his neckerchief and flashing her his trademark smile as she grins back somewhat longingly at the lanky boy.
"See you" He says noticing Gaius' stares giving her arm a quick pat before walking towards the front of the cart again
"bye" Gwen hums still with a dazed smile.
"You have to admit it's kinda cute" Percival muttered to Leon who just shook his head casting a glance to the prince.
Gwen walks into Morgana's chambers, a smile still playing on her lips as she hums gently
"you look happy" Morgana notes
"I picked these for you" Gwen says offering Morgana the flowers, she takes them smiling down at them
"Something to cheer you up. I know that you're not sleeping well"
Merlin tried not to glare at Gaius at the mention of the dreams. If Gaius had let him talk to Morgana she might not have turned out like she did
"You cheer me up" Morgana replied earnestly smiling at her maid.
"would you like em to put them in water for you?" Gwen asked suddenly taking the flowers. Morgana smiles and nods at her.
Gaius is inspecting the body, looking at the eyes with a large magnifying glass
"I've never seen anything like this before" Gaius admitted frowning at the dead man
"Do you think it could be a plague?" Merlin questioned looking worried.
"No. I fear that something like this could never come from nature, but who has this king of power?"
"you think it's caused by magic?" Merlin gasped.
"MERLIN!" Arthur calls from outside the door, Merlin hurrys to the door opening it up but not so much so he can't see the body and so he can't get into the chambers
"you were blocking me out!"
"Well you know your rather delicate princess, sight like that would have scared you" Gwaine smirked at the king who rolled his eyes.
"Erm..I'm on my way, sorry I'm late" Merlin says awkwardly
"don't worry. I'm getting use to it" Arthur snaps, merlin gives him an awkward look. Before noticing his eyes have fallen to his neck. Merlin looks down following his eye line and notices the flower
"oh er. Gwen, she cave it to me" Merlin explains pulling the flower out. Arthur shifts awkwardly
"Jealous" coughs Gwaine. Making Elyan snort before a gauntlet is thrown at the side of his head. "Ow!" He exclaims
"Shut up or next time it'll be my sword" Arthur snaps at the knight "now give me back my gauntlet"
"tell Gaius my father wants to see him now" Arthur orders
"okay" Merlin obeys before awkwardly shutting the door and turning round
"gaiusGaiusI heard" Gaius interrupts
"why couldn't he just tell you himself?" Merlin asks
"Because that's the way it is. You're a servant" The physician reminds the messy haired boy
"Wha..If he knew who I was, what I've done"
"You'd be a dead servant" Gaius reminds him interrupting him again.
Merlin's eyes flick instinctively to Arthur who says nothing. Prat
Merlin sighs but makes no attempt to reply "right, get this covered up" Gaius ordered Merlin
"Hey, I'm not your servant!" Merlin complains loudly
"no your my dogsbody"
"so much better" Merlin says sarcastically with a roll of his eyes
"come on hurry up" Gaius orders making merlin do a small grin.
Gaius examines another mans body in the centre of the hall.
"what's happened to him?" The king asks nervously
"I don't know sire. It's the second case I've seen today" Gaius replies with a frown
"why didn't you report it to me?"
"Because he was to busy watching Merlin and Gwen flirt like 12 year old girls" Gwaine interjected
"Gwaine" Arthur snapped sounding exasperated
"shut up" Everyone looked to Gwen shocked, she never told people to shut up..ever! She had bright red cheeks and looked away quickly, the red increasing when she caught Merlin's eye. He thought he probably knew what she was thinking about and couldn't help but cringe slightly wondering how "I was attempting to find the cause"
"what did you conclude?" Uther asked, eye flicking from Gaius to the body
"I don't think it's time to hurry to conclusions. The scientific process is a long one" Gaius said quickly, trying to cover up what his real idea was
"What are you concealing from me?" Uther asked warily
"Sire, I have seen nothing like it. The victims are dying in 24 hours and it's spreading fast" Gaius explained grimly
"what is the cause?" Uther hurried the old physician
"why didn't you just tell him you thought it was sorcery when you first saw the body?"
"I didn't want him searching for a sorcerer with Merlin being so close"
"I think you should say that the cause, the most likely cause...Is sorcery"
"you really milked that" Merlin laughed up at his mentor "I mean seriously, could you say that sounding any more dramatic?" Gaius looked slightly embarrassed but didn't reply
Uther takes a step back, looking at Gaius with wide eyes. Arthur looks nervously at the body as he is dragged by his father to the side he keeps his eyes on the body as if it's about to jump up and bite him.
"We must find who did this"
"I will father"
"Aww is princess abit scared?" Gwaine asked laughing at the memory version of Arthur who even though the king was talking to him, looking down at the body.
"Conduct door to door searches. Increase your presence in the town. Double the guards on all gates. And lend the physician your servant" The king order's Arthur in a frantic whisper
"I'm going to need Gaius to find a cure. He needs all the help we can give him. If Gaius is right, believe me, this city will be wiped out. This is the kind of magic that undermines our authority, challenges all we've done"
"didn't he just admit there where different types of magic?" Percival asked innocently, looking to others for reassurance that he was right
"Yes, he did" Arthur said looking slightly confused at his Father.
"If we cannot control this plague, people will turn to magic for a cure. We have to find this sorcerer, and quickly"
Arthur and his guards search the lower town. Merlin and Gaius watch before Gaius pulls Merlin the other way and they begin to leave. A sick man groans causing both of them to look.
"Gaius? Gaius, he's still alive!" Merlin says quickly falling to his knee's next to the man.
"I'm afraid there's nothing we can do for him"
"But we haven't tried!" Merlin snaps confused
"If we don't know what the disease is, the how can we cure him?" Gaius asks dejectedly
"With magic" Gaius pulls Merlin up of the floor
"Have a look." he points to Arthur and the guards who are getting closer "they're suspicious of everyone. This not the time to be using magic." Keeping a hold of Merlins arm he begins marching them away, Merlin looking back to the man "Science will lead us to the source of the disease"
"did that man die?" Leon asked looking over to Gaius who did a solemn nod.
"you didn't go back and save him?" Gwaine asked looking to his friend, mouth agape
"I wouldn't let him, the man seemed to only have a few hours left. So I didn't let him out of my sights until I was sure he would be dead"
"why?" Arthur gasped staring at the physician "If we saw he was healing he wouldn't have been executed"
"Uther thought Guinevere had healed her father, he still tried to put her to death" Gaius reminded the king.
"What are you doing?" Merlin asks, leaning over Gaius who is heating a liquid.
"I'm examining the contents of that man's stomach" he replied casually starting to pour a red liquid into the cloudy one he heated
"Will that tell you who did it?"
"no, but it might tell us how it's spread. One thing I do know, this is magic of the darkest kind" Gaius informed.
"Why would someone use magic like that?" Merlin asked, sounding completely bemused
"Have you ever thought of using it in a way like that..To hurt someone?" Gwen asked
"You've already seen I've used it to hurt people" Merlin replied, casting Gwen a quick look "But I only do it to protect people from people who use it selfishly or to harm those who haven't done them wrong. And I never like it, I never do it unless there's another choice" Merlin replied earnestly.
"magic corrupts. People use it for their own ends
"but not all magic is bad. I know it isn't!" Merlin said, a mixture of anger and confusion in his voice.
"It's neither good nor bad. It's how you use it"
Arthur and his Guards burst into their chambers stilting any further conversation on the topic.
"Over there!" Arthur orders his Guards "Sorry Gaius, we're searching every room in town" The prince apologises to the old man.
"A sorcerer" Arthur replied calmly
"but would he be here?" Gaius asked, trying his best to sound shocked
"being the dogsbody apparently" Merlin joked smirking over at Gaius.
"we've nothing to hide"
"nothing at all" Elyan laughed looking over to Merlin and Gaius.
"Go on the . Search" Arthur gave the physician a short nod before looking around the room.
"All these books and papers?" Arthur asked looking at the bookshelves
"My life's work, dedicated to the understanding of science. You're quite welcome to read through is you wish" Gaius offered, Arthur tried to hide his disgusted face before quickly changing the subject
"what's this room up here?"
"Er, it's mine" Merlin replied awkwardly and Arthur quickly marched towards Merlins room
"And what do you expect to find in there?" Gaius demands to the prince's retreating back
"I'm looking for material or evidence suggesting the use of enchantments" Arthur replied in a tone that suggested he had needed to say that many times that day.
"what've you done with the magic book I gave you?" Gaius whispered to Merlin, Merlins eyes fly to his bedroom door
"Merlin, come here. Look what I found" Arthur snaps. Merlin gulps and slowly walks into his room.
"I found a place where you can put things. It's called a cupboard" Arthur says as if explaining it to a young child. Merlin relaxes slightly as Arthur walks round his bed Merlins eyes fall on the book lying on the floor next to the bed on his side. Merlin looks to Arthur nervously as he looks at the stuff next to Merlins window his eyes flash gold and a shirt night shirt falls from the bed covering the book. Arthur looks at the bed before lying on his stomach to peer underneath it. Only spotting the shirt he stands up again and walks out of the room.
"How long do you think it may be before you find a cure?" Arthur asks the physician
"It depends on how many interruptions I get" Gaius replies, a slight snap to his voice.
"Arthur got told" Gwaine snorted making everyone but Arthur chuckle
"Of course, I'm sorry. We're finished here" The prince orders his guards, they exit quickly. Gaius closing the door behind them and turning on Merlin
"We have to hide that book"
"no. We must use it" Merlin suggests again
"Don't be stupid" The old man snaps
"If I have this legacy then what is it for? You keep telling me it's not for playing tricks" Merlin argues
"he has a point" Elyan says looking to Gaius
"How could you not let him do it ? People were dying" Percival asked the old man
"If he had done what he wanted then he would have been killed"
"you want to practise magic when the King is hunting for sorcerers? Are you mad?..Merlin, your life is destined for more important things"
"But If I don't practice then how will I get to be this great warlock?" Merlin states, hoping Gaius will see sense
"once again, he has a point"
"There will come a time when your skills will be recognised" Gaius comforted the boy.
"yeh and I'll get put to death" Merlin grumbled casting his ex-best friend a look. Arthur either didn't hear him or didn't care that he had spoken. Merlin had no clue which one it was.
"when ? How long do I have to wait?" Merlin groaned impatiently
"Patience is a virtue Merlin" Gaius recited
"Sitting by and doing nothing, that's a virtue?" The warlock snapped
"Your time will come" the old man reminded
"I could cure that man we saw" Merlin boasted, trying to get his mentor to see sense.
"I know it's tempting to use the way you find easiest" Began the physician
"It is when It would save a life!"
"It's no good just saving one person. We have to discover how this illness is spreading"
"Arthur is out there right now looking for the sorcerer" The messy haired teen reminded Gaius desperately
"But the sorcerer isn't even in Camelot" Leon reminded Merlin
"I know that now, but I didn't then" Merlin points out to Sir Leon.
"A sorcerer who's powerful enough to do this will never be found searching the town" Gaius admitted
"Why didn't you tell my father that?" The King snapped at the old physician
"Uther would have never believed me" Arthur rolled his eyes at the excuse although he knew it was true.
The warlock sighed realising that Gaius was telling the truth "So what can we do?"
"Hope that science can find the answer before it kills us all" Gaius stated looking to his ward who was listening to him, for once.
Nimueh watches Camelot from the stone basin, A woman draws water from the tap in Camelot as Arthur walks past the now many bodys lining the courtyard to talk to the king.
"We searched everywhere. The entire city" Arthur reports dejectedly
"Nothing?" The king asks urgently
"I don't know where else to look" Arthur admitted
"I want you to impose a curfew. No one is allowed onto the streets after the great bell" Uther states
"That won't do anything" Elyan groans
"Father" Arthur replies with a nod
"And cordon off the lower town" The king orders a second after
"Why?" Arthur yelps.
"Because that's where most of the victims are. Let's isolate it, stop this disease from spreading"
"What about those who live there?" Arthur asks shocked at the decision
"Don't you think I haven't considered it? What else can I do? I have to protect the rest of the city" Uther growls at his son
"If it was in the upper class people he would do nothing to protect those of the lower town!"Growled Gwaine, remembering the King he had met, harsh, predigest and obviously having practically no soul.
Another body lays on the physicians table,Gaius and Merlin stand examining it
"What's different about his victim?" Gaius asks Merlin
"er..She's a woman!" Merlin exclaim, thinking he got it right
"That's all you thought of?" Snorts Gwen looking over to Merlin who is looking embarrassed
"Sometimes I do wonder whether your magical talents were given to the right person" The warlock flushes "Anything else" Merlin looks down inspecting the woman again
"Erm..She's a courtier" Merlin says nervous
"ah" Gaius smiles at the warlock
"but..How does that help us?" Merlin asks confused
"Courtiers seldom go down to the lower town, So what does that mean?"
"That she hasn't spoken to any towns people?" he suggests
A round of chuckles engulfs the chambers and a small "idiot" can be heard coming from Arthur who has a small, somewhat fond smile on his face whilst watching the warlock.
Gaius raises an eyebrow, a slight pained look on his face "yes, it suggests that the disease is not spread by contact" Gaius agrees
"And they probably ate different food"
"Definitely ate different food" Came the reply from Gwaine, Elyan and who had all come from commoners so obviously knew what the state of food was like from the upper class to lower class.
"Good anything else?" Gaius prompts.
"I doubt they breathe the same air"
"So what's the only thing they do share?" Merlin thinks for a second
"Water.. You think the disease is spread through water" Merlin finally realises
"merlin, you're a prodigy" The physician says smiling down at the teen passing him a bucket.
Gwen goes to wake her dad
"It's time to get up dad. Dad?"
Gwen paled, taking a few steps back so her back was pressed up against the wall of her house. Elyan looked to her confused
She rolls the man over, his eyes white, face paler than usual
"Gwen?" Tom slurs, looking to his daughter
"no" Elyan mumbled confused "you said he was executed..." The knight turned to his sister confused, she was staring at her dad.
"he got better" Arthur told Elyan, eyes flickering to Merlin who looked guiltily at Gwen.
She runs from her home, tears pouring down her faces as she races through the courtyard. Merlin spots her whilst filling up the bucket Gaius had given him earlier.
"Gwen?.. GWEN!" He shouts before running after her. Bucket in hand. She runs into Gaius' chambers,
"Gwen?" The old man says shocked at her entrance
"Gaius" she sobs
"you have the sickness?" He asks worried, Gwen shakes her head quickly
"my Father. Please Gaius, he's all I have" She cries, looking to the man who has been there, taking care of her when she got sick since she was a child.
"Gwen, I have no cure" the physician informs her sadly
"I am begging you!" The girl pleads
"I wish there was something, anything, but so far the remedy is beyond what I can achieve." Gwen backs away tears spilling down her face before running off, past Merlin who looks at her helplessly before turning to Gaius
"There must be something we can do" Merlin asks desperately
"Let's hope that this can provide some answers" Gaius says taking the bucket of water.
"but, that'll be to late for Gwen's father" Merlin snaps
Gwen lets out a small sob, Elyan wraps his arms around his sister whilst everyone else stands quietly, not knowing what to do or say.
"I fear you may be right" Gaius confirms before putting a flower into a small vile of the water.
"you were going to let her father die?" Gwaine asks looking to Gaius who nods "but you knew Merlin could save him and it's not like it was some random stranger you had never met it was a friends father...How could you stand there and pretend there was no cure when you had her begging you" Gwaine snapped
"I had many people beg me for cures" Gaius reasoned.
Merlin sneaks past a sleeping Gaius, a poultice in hand. He is doing okay before Guards appear searching the lower town for anyone who is breaking curfew. Ducking into a hiding place he waits, a guard getting closer, They start to get closer to where Merlin is hiding so Merlin quickly mumbles, the door giving a quiver for the guards to inspect.
"Onstyrain onbregdan" Merlin whispers, the door flying open hitting the man in the face.
Gwaine and Elyan burst out laughing
"you need to teach me that" Elyan says to Merlin smirking, arms still wrapped around Gwen, Gwaine nods eagerly.
"no" merlin says quickly, feeling Arthur's glare burning through him.
Merlin enters Gwen and her Fathers home, Tom is asleep on the bed where as Gwen is curled up next to it, head resting on the bed.
"Weren't you scared you might catch it sleeping so close to him?" Leon asked
"I wasn't going to let him spend his last day alone." She muttered, Elyan now stood next to her, ready to give her a hug again if she needed it.
Sneaking the poultice under tom's pillow Merlin whispers a spell. He watched from the window as Tom woke up, colour returned and places a hand on Gwen head to wake her up.
"father?" The girl asks
"Gwen" He cooes, looking at his daughter
"what's happened? I can't believe it!" she yelps hugging her father tightly.
Nimueh once again watches from her basin, smiling when she sees the amount of bodies laying in the courtyard.
Arthur reaches for the glass vial, the flower Gaius placed in had been sucked of it's life leaving it pale and limp.
"Don't touch it" Gaius scolds the prince "I had this in the water for no more than a few hours" Gaius informs the King and Prince
"Where's the water from?" Uther questions
"the pump from where the people take their daily supply" Gaius answers.
"We have to stop people from using it" Arthur states quickly
"The city cannot survive without water" Gaius reminds him
"We have to find this sorcerer!" Uther growls
"What happened to her? After the cave I haven't heard of her again" Arthur asked looking to Gaius.
"You'll find out" Merlin answered for the man, looking to the king
"You know?" He asked Merlin, who gave a nod "then tell me" Merlin turned back to watch what was going on, wanting Arthur to find out about it when he watches it, not with Merlin simply telling him "I order you to tell me" The blonde growled. Merlin chewed his lip for a second
"I killed her" The boy replied monotonously, shocking everyone but Gaius.
"I killed her"
"Why?" Arthur wasn't sure why he had asked why, it was obvious, she was evil but it was still the first question that came to his head, the thought of Merlin killing, although he had seen Merlin take down many bandits and the child he had saved was still not right to him. Merlin was to nice to kill.
"We didn't get on to well"
"I don't believe that they're inside Camelot" Arthur told his father.
The mans younger voice snapped everyone from staring at Merlin.
"Then extend the search to the villages" The king snapped.
"We've started, but I can't search the entire kingdom" Arthur admitted
"And I can't stand by and watch out people dying" Seethed the king, The prince does a small nod and leaves.
Merlin enters Morgana's chambers as she tidies away clothes, a smile is on her face as she hums happily
"How's your father? Is he feeling better?" Merlin asks trying and failing to sound innocent.
"How did I not guess?" Gwen asked looking to Merlin with a small smile.
"Yes, it's incredible, a miracle" She sing joyfully
"his skin's clear, back to normal?" Merlin asked obviously trying to make sure his spell had worked fully
"Yes" The girl grinned
"Great" Merlin replied, his goofy smile lacing his face.
"You don't seem surprised" Gwen suddenly realised
"no, no I am! It's a miracle"
"Very believable" Came the mutter from Percival.
"but, how did you know he was well?" Gwen questioned
"er..Because your smiling!" Merlin exclaimed, not even stuttering..okay..stuttering..a lot.
"That's really weird because, I haven't told anyone, but you know. How could you know?" Gwen asked suspiciously, searching Merlins face
"Yeah. Alright, you finally found out, I'll tell you"
"you told Gwen?" Gaius gasped in surprise looking to his ward
"Of course I didn't tell Gwen"
"why is that an of course you didn't?" She asked sounding offended "I wouldn't have told...Don't you trust me?
"Thanks Gaius!" Merlin growled at his mentor before turning back to Gwen and trying to explain himself whilst the others continued to watch the scene before them.
"I'm psychic" Merlin lied causing Gwen to giggle
"No you're not"
"It's true!" Merlin gasped
"alright, what am I thinking?" She asks smiling at Merlin
"That I'm not phycic" Merlin guesses, making her laugh this time him letting you a small chuckle.
"You're strange...I.i don't mean that in a nasty way!" she gaped "You're just funny, I like that" She corrected.
The group stand watching as Merlin and Gwen stare at each other, smiles on their faces. Percival is practically purring at the 'adorableness' where as Arthur is slowly turning redder, getting angrier and angrier that his ex-fiancée and servant where obviously pretty infatuated with each other and he had never heard of this past...eye sex. Sure he had thought that Merlin may have a slight crush on her once or twice but that was just because really, apart from Gaius for the first few months the only people he spent time with where him and Gwen.
"erm..I'm pleased for you" Merlin said awkwardly returning back to the earlier conversation about her father.
"thank you" Gwen replies gently as Merlin goes to leave
"What for?" He asked confused.
"I don't know, just for asking" The girl answered shyly.
"It felt like you were saying thank you about your dad" Merlin told Gwen smiling slightly at the thought of someone other than Gaius being happy he had used magic.
"I didn't like to see you upset" Merlin admitted
A small aw came from Percival
"I have to... get on" Merlin muttered pathetically before waving and leaving a smiling Gwen in his wake.
Gwen and Elyan's father is working in front of a crowd of bystanders. Arthur spots him and approaches
"The story is you were sick" Arthur states to Tom
"Not any more" Replied the blacksmith happily
"Perhaps you were suffering from some other ailment?" Questioned Arthur, trying to think of a reason for him to get better whereas no one else did.
"Oh, you're joking. I felt like death itself, not enough strength in me to stir the air" Tom chatted.
"why couldn't he just say he had something else?" Gwen mumbled
"then what happened?" Arthur asked
"I don't know. Suddenly it was gone. I'm fitter than I was before" Tom admitted.
"Thats...Remarkable. Was anybody with you when all this happened?" Arthur asks suspiciously
"just my daughter Gwen" Tom said smiling, Arthur nods before retreating. They search Gwen's chambers and find the poultice under Tom's pillow
"I should have snuck back in and removed it" Merlin sighed "I'm sorry"
"You saved my father's life, you have nothing to be sorry about"
Gwen is humming again, carrying a vase of flowers around Morgana's room, obviously to get rid off them, Arthur and two guards entertainer
"Seize her" He ordered
"sorry" The King awkwardly muttered towards his ex.
"it's fine Arthur, you were just doing your job" Gwen replied politely, gently smiling at the blonde
"no" Gwen yelps as the guards grab her arms
"Guinevere I am arresting you for crimes and contraventions of the laws of Camelot that you practice enchantments" Arthur spoke proudly, in a business like tone. Morgana enters the room and sees her maid being Dragged towards the door.
"What have I done? I haven't done anything, help me please!" The servant cries to the woman she takes care of.
"What are you doing?" The Lady Morgana demands
"I found a magic poultice in her house" The prince explains
"That's ridiculous" Morgana snaps.
"Then how else do you explain her father's recovery" The prince questions
Merlin winces slightly, looking to Gwen and Elyan
"I'm sorry" Both give a roll of there eyes but say nothing, Gwen having a small fond look lacing her features
"Well she's innocent. I know she's innocent" The to be sorceress argues"
"What can I do? I can't turn a blind eye" Arthur reasons.
"Mordred" Merlin chocked, badly covering it with a cough, Arthur glared at the warlock, no trace of amusement in his features.
"Who's Mordred?" Percival wondered
"I'm sure we'll find out later..If Arthur hasn't burnt Merlin by then" The luxurious haired man joked trying to ease some of the tension in the room.
"thanks Gwaine" Merlin spat back at his friend
Arthur walks out, Guards following him dragging the crying girl behind them
"No, please! You've got to listen to me, I haven't done anything wrong! You have to listen to me! Please. I am innocent! I swear, let me go! I swear to you" The servant cries out trying to pull out of the Guards grip.
Arthur, at least has the decency to look guilty at the sight of his ex fiancée being dragged to the king by his orders.
Merlin approaches the Guards, the serving girl spotting her "Merlin! Merlin please help me!" Merlin stares at the girl shocked before getting dragged of by Gaius as Gwen continues to beg for help and to be released.
"I am so sorry" The sorcerer says once again desperately wanting Gwen to realise just how sorry he was.
"Merlin, shut up!" Gwen said quickly, then her mouth fell open, turning to Merlin she started to babble "oh no, I didn't mean..I just..I meant that.. I mean it's not your fault is it ? You saved my father and..and you have no reason to be sorry. I swear I didn't mean for you to shut up. I ju-"
"Gwen?" The girl stopped her chattering, still looking like a deer caught in headlights "shut up" Merlin said gently, the friends began to laugh, typical dopey smile on Merlins face.
"What have you done?" Gaius snaps to the young boy as they enter their chamber.
"what?" Merlin asks, clueless as usual.
"I warned you! Oh, I understand, you thought you were doing good" Gaius ranted, looking at the boy with a mixture of proundess of him being so kind hearted and anger for him risking his own life and now getting his friend into trouble.
"I couldn't let her father die knowing I could cure him!" Merlin exclaimed
"Didn't you think it might look a bit suspicious, the curing of one man" Gaius asked, once again amazed by the boys stupidity at times.
"Well then, all I have to do is...I'll cure everyone! No one will ever have to know it was magic" Merlin said as if it was easy
"It's too late. They think Gwen's a sorceress. They think she caused the disease" Gaius explained sadly
"but she didn't" Merlin spits exasperated
"Oh, and how are you going to prove that?"
Arthur appears before his father, the guards fling Gwen to the floor
"Please..listen to me, I have done nothing! Please, I swear. I haven't done anything" she asks sobbing.
Elyan grabs Gwens hand and pulls his little sister closer to him as if making sure she is still okay.
"Well done" Uther praises his son, ignoring the weeping girl
"Why will no one believe me? He got better! He just recovered. I Didn't do anything!" Gwen shrieks hysterically.
"I believe you. Perhaps this is a disease that isn't always fatal. Have you thought of that? Perhaps he recovered naturally" Morgana sides with her friend, stepping forwards.
"And what of this poultice that was found?" The king snaps back at his ward
"What poultice? I don't know anything about a poultice" Gwen stutters, confused.
"It was found in your house. Undo this enchantment. Put an end to this contagion" Uther commands the serving girl
"I will show you no Mercy" Uther growls dangerously low.
"I am not witch. I don't know how to stop the illness!"
"If you will not undo your sorcery you force my hand and I must find you guilty"
"Even if it was her who cured her father and she did go around saving everyone he would still kill her as soon as it had stopped" Merlin snaps. Arthur looks over to Merlin, watches the way he looks to his father with so much hate. So much contempt...Surely if he was evil he would have killed Uther He began to reason No. magic is evil, it corrupts, it corrupted Morgana it will corrupt Merlin, or already has
"but I told you"
"It is therefore my duty to pronounce judgement and under the circumstances, I have no choice but to sentence you to death" Uther interrupted
"No!" Came the pitiful shriek from Gwen.
"I can only hope that when you die this evil plague dies with you" Gwen shakes her head, mumbling a no, tears streaming down her face "take her away" Uther commands
"Please no! I am innocent. Please please no! Please help me, please I beg you.. NO!" Gwen is dragged from the hall followed by the courtiers.
"Sire, don't take this the wrong way. But where your father still alive.. I would kill him" Elyan seethed, watching Uther watch unblinking as his sister was dragged away. Arms wrapped protectively around her.
"He was rather harsh, but he had Camelot's best interests at heart" Leon defended his past king
"He had his best interests at heart" Arthur admitted
"I know Gwen, she is my maidservant, not an enchantress" Morgana stepped towards her minder hoping he would realise.
"Have you ever seen an enchantress?" Uther snapped
"uh well yeah, she was in the hall when crazy old lady tried to kill Arthur.. Serious is your father a moron"
"Gwaine" Came the stern voice of Arthur back at the comment. Merlin thought of agreeing with Gwaine but didn't want to give the king further reason to want him executed.
"believe me, they bear no sign, no mark. There is no sense of evil in the eye"
"I've seen the way the girl works. Her fingers are worn, he nails are broken. If she was a sorceress why would she do this? Why would she knee on a cold tone floor morning after morning when she could make these things happen with a snap of her finger? Like an idle king"
All eyes but Gaius' turned to Merlin, who gave an innocent smile and an awkward shrug.
"You have no right!" Snarled Uther
"You have a right to cast a judgement on that girl!"
"they are way to alike" Merlin grumbled
"Don't let her hear you say that. She'd kill you in a heart beat" Leon informed the Warlock
"She'll have to be quick or Arthur'll do it first"
"Really Gwaine?" Merlin groaned, really not enjoying the constant reminders of his impending doom.
"I have a responsibility to take care of this kingdom! I take no pleasure in this"
"Liar" surprisingly the snap came from Gwen but still no one disagreed with it.
"You are sentencing the wrong person!" Morgana begged
"She's right Father. You hear the word magic, you no longer listen" Arthur tried to reason to his father.
"you saw it for yourself. She used enchantments" Uther argued
"yes..maybe. But to save her dying gather, that doesn't make her guilty of creating a plague. Ones the act of kindness, of love. The other of evil. I don't believe evil is in this girl's heart"
"Thank you" Gwen muttered to the king. Who gave a curt nod back
"I have witnessed what witchcraft can do. I have suffered at its hand. I cannot take that change. If there is the slightest doubt about this girl she must die. Or may the whole kingdom perish." Uther finished dramatically
"I understand that" Arthur agreed, sensing him about to continue the king butts in
"One day you may become king. Then you will understand, such decisions must be made. There are dark forces that threaten this kingdom"
"and that's all your fault"merlin grumbled so no one but those closest, which consisted of Gaius and Gwaine, could hear him
"I know witchcraft is evil Father. So is injustice. Yes, I am yet to be king, and I don't know what kind of king I will be but I do have a sense of the king of Camelot I wish to live in. It would be where the punishment fits the crime" Arthur admitted
"I fear you are right. She's played with fire, sadly she must die by fire" Uther decides.
The group is once again transported to the physicians chambers where Gaius and Merlin are
"I thought I was doing good and that curing Gwen's father would help her. I thought I was saving a life...It seemed so simple" The warlock muttered dejectedly
"An easy solution is like a light in a storm merlin. Rush for it at your peril for it may not always lead you to a safe harbour" The old man said in a killgharrah like way.
"I can see that now" Merlin sighed
"how many times have I warned you about the responsibilities of being a warlock?" the physician scolded.
"now's not really the time for telling him of" Elyan chocked to the old man
"I must see her" The ruffled hair boy stated jumping up. On the way he passes a crying Morgana leaving the dungeons.
"Gwen?" he whispers through the bars, Gwen lays facing the wall of her cell for a second before slowly turning. Quickly she gets up and goes towards Merlin but chains restrain her.
"If she was actually an evil sorceress she would escape from that so easily, surely you know that" Merlin asked Arthur
"You've been down there plenty of times" The king reminds Merlin, still not looking him in the eye when they talk.
"I let you"Merlin replied awkwardly, giving an awkward smile mixed in with pity.
"thank you" She murmured quietly, her tear soaked face staring back at Merlin
"For coming to see me" Gwen said earnestly
"I'm sorry" Merlin offered gently, guilt shining through his eye.
"It's not your fault" the servant reassured her friend.
"yeah it was"
"Shut up Gwaine" Came the chorus from the knights and Gwen
"well..." The boy trailed off, unsure of what to say
"It's alright, don't worry about me. There's no point crying about it. I mean,,I mean, I'm not saying that you were going to cry about me..Obviously I don't think that"
"Aww Gwen, still babbling like an idiot even when your about to die" Elyan cooes wrapping an arm around his sister and smiling fondly at her
"Merlin cries when he kills a spider, of course he'd cry over you" Gwaine says smirking at his friends
"I don't cry when I kill spiders" Merlin defends
"Only because you won't kill them because you feel bad to their spider family's" To this merlin mumbles a small shut up but doesn't deny.
"oh, Gwen.. I can't let this happen" Merlin sighed
"please, one thing, you don't have to..but" Gwen stopped, scared to continue
"what?" The warlock asked gently
"Remember me" She chocked out, tears threatening to begin falling again.
"You're not going to die. I'm not going to let this happen" Merlin assures her, a stubborn look on his face as he runs off
Uther, Gaius, Arthur and other members of the council are sitting in the council chambers discussing Gwen and the disease.
"What if burning this witch doesn't stop the poison? How do I protect my people?. My men have closed down the water pumps"
"But the emergency supply won't last for much longer. We have to find a way of cleansing the water of the disease" Gaius replied to his king smartly.
"But how?" Uther asked, looking to the physician for an answer
"well" Gaius started, obviously unclear on what to say next. The doors fly open as Merlin runs in.
"You really love to be dramatic don't you" Gaius said to the warlock, who gave a small shrug
"It was me! I was the one who used magic to cure Gwen's father" The sorcerer announced avoiding the eyes of Gaius.
"You idiot !" Merlin looked to Gwen confused "You told them!"
"Of course I did, I wasn't going to let you die" The boy argued back
"He would have killed you..why didn't he kill you?" Gwen asked bemused
"Arthur" came the mumble from Merlin.
The council stares at him for a second as he is insane
"Gwen is not the sorcerer. I am"
"Merlin are you mad?" The old man hisses standing up and looking at his ward
"I cannot let her die for me" Merlin says back to Gaius calmly, before turning to Uther "I place myself at your mercy"
"I would have wet myself if I were Merlin" Elyan said loudly to Leon making the whole room laugh.
"He doesn't know what he's talking about" Gaius defends quickly
"I'm sorry Gwen" Gaius apologised quickly, looking to the girl
"I understand, Merlin is like a son to you. If you hadn't tried to defend him I wouldn't be so happy" She says smiling at the old man
"I do" Merlin argued confidently
"Then arrest him" Uther ordered quickly. Arthur jumps up as Guards go towards merlin
"Father please, I can't allow this..This is madness! There's no way..Merlin.. is a sorcerer" Arthur snorted out the last part
"Shut up Gwaine" Growled the king
"Did you not hear him?" Uther asked, bemused at his son protecting the serving boy.
"Yes" Arthur said reluctantly
"He admitted it!" Uther pointed out
"He saved my life remember"
"hundreds of times since then" Merlin grumbled tiredly
"why should be fabricate such a story?" The king asked
"as Gaius said, He's got a..grave mental disease" Arthur lied
"It is very believable" Gaius insulted his apprentice. Earning a glare from the boy and snorts of laughter from the others. Even Arthur cracking a smile.
"Really?" Uther asked
"He's in love!" Arthur decided suddenly
"What?" Merlin gasped
"With Gwen" Arthur continued, a grin forming on Uthers face as he looked at Merlin
"I am not" Merlin denied, embarrassed, cheeks and over sized ears flaring a bright red.
"Aww you so were" Percival cooed
"I wasn't" Merlin said quickly.
"Merlin loved Gwen merlin loved Gwen, Arthur loves Merlin Arthur loves Meahh." true to his word Arthur had drawn his sword and pointed it straight at Gwaine. "Really Princess, you know I could take you" Gwaine challenged
"No you couldn't"
"Don't you remember when we had to fight and I beat you"
"I beat you"
"both of you sucked!" It felt like re living that moment in the forest, the way both of them turned to Merlin with shocked faces as Merlin glared at them, fed up of their fighting. "Percival I didn't love Gwen, no offence Gwen you are lovely and yes I had a crush I'll admit that but love no I've only ever loved one girl and Gwaine Arthur doesn't love me and I don't love him so stop winding him up. I'm already going to be executed please don't make it you as well"
"You loved someone?" Arthur asked quickly, sheathing his sword
"That's all he gets out of that? See he is totally in love"
"Shut up Gwaine" this time it was Leon, who was also looking at Merlin interested. He, like Arthur and Gwen had been around the whole time Merlin had been in Camelot and had never once saw him with a girlfriend.
"where are they?" Leon asked quickly, thinking maybe they were back in Ealdor
"Dead" Merlin stated calmly although remembering Freya made him feel sick
"Will?" Gwen said gently, remembering the one other person Merlin seemed really close to when they had went to Ealdor
"no..we were just friends" Merlin said quickly.
"who then? And how did they die?" Arthur asked looking extremely interested at the fact not only had Merlin hid the fact he had magic from him but also that he had..at some point, had some sort of love life.
"we should continue watching" Gaius interrupted quickly, not wanting Merlin to have to explain everything about Freya.
"Yes you are"
"No way!" Merlin said quickly
"I saw yesterday, with that flower she'd given you" Arthur reminds his servant, Uther's smile getting bigger as he puts the pieces together in his head, creating a fake story
"I'm not in love with her" Arthur swings his arm around his manservant
"You're lucky that Uther was to preoccupied thinking about Merlin and Gwen" Gaius states to Arthur
"If he saw the way you where interacting with your manservant here he probably would have fired Merlin. The boy is just a servant he wouldn't understand the bond you two share"
"See even Gaius thinks you two are sha-"
"I meant friendship" the old man interrupts Gwaine quickly. Arthur says nothing but knows the man is right.
"It's alright. You can admit it" Arthur assures his servant
"I don't even think of her like that!" Merlin growls
"Perhaps. She has cast a spell on you" Arthur's smile dies instantly as he and Merlin share a worried look as Uther laughs, the other Council members joining in
"Merlin is a wonder, but the wonder is that he's such an idiot. There's no way he's a sorcerer" Arthur admits.
"No way at all" Leon says with a small smirk.
"Don't waste my time again. Let him go" Uther ordered. Gaius quickly walks with Merlin out of the hall. When they get into Gaius' chambers Merlin snaps
"Arthur's the idiot!" He yelps
"No. He was right to do what he did. And thankfully he saved you from your own stupidity" Gaius snaps back at the young Warlock
"What else could I do? It's my fault Gwen's going to die" Merlin protested sadly.
"Yes but you don't prove her innocence by offering to jump into the flames. You do it by finding out what's causing the disease"
"well. Whatever it is one things for sure.. Arthur isn't going to find it. He thinks he's so sharp, but even when I told him I was a wizard he still couldn't see it!" Merlin complains
"Sometimes they're pretty hard to spot" The old man informs
"Well..Maybe I should go around wearing a pointy hat!" Merlin rants stupidly
"Because we all know how much Merlin loves hat's" Those who had been there when merlin had to wear the stupid hat laughed at Arthur's comment
"I don't think you'll find one big enough"
The knights all burst out laughing as Gwen and Gaius give small chuckles at the abuse younger Merlin is going through.
"Anyway, forget that. If we're going to save Gwen we have to find out what's contaminating the water" The two head to where the water is stored, "The water from here supplies the whole town. Take a sample" Gaius orders merlin, Merlin quickly pulls the bottle in to take a sample. "Let's take it back and examine it" Gaius says as Merlin pulls the vial out of the water. The two are about to leave when the aflanc rears up out of the water.
Everyone but Gaius and Merlin who knew it was about to happen jumps. Gwen lets out a small scream and is once again pulled back towards her brother, who Merlin thinks is soon going to turn into someone beyond over protective.
"What the hell was that?" Merlin gasps as he drags Gaius away.
"Naww..Is merlin a little scared?" Gwaine cooed, smirking
"Shut up you jumped like a little girl when it came out, no offence Gwen" Merlin retorted
"Here, it was an afanc" The old man says smartly as they sit in his chambers, showing the book to Merlin.
"an..a what?" Merlin asked dumbly
"A beast born of clay, and conjured up only by the most powerful sorcerer"
"Could you conjure it?"
"I don't know/Yes" Came the quickly replies from Merlin and Gaius.
"Merlin underestimates his powers, if he wanted, he could easily conjure something like this" Gaius informed the group
"You could?" Percival asks, sounding slightly scared. Merlin gives a small shrug looking to Gaius
"I never would.."
"Now we have to find a way to defeat it.. But where?" the physician questioned, looking to his packed bookshelves. Merlin follows his gaze
"That could take days. Gwen'll be dead by then"
"have you got a better idea"
Merlin runs out the room. Through the small window in the cell you can see the pyre that Gwen is to be burnt on "Gwen? I'm going to get you out.. I will" Merlin promises in a whisper to Gwen's back. The girl never turns but is obviously awake. The warlock sets of again and runs to the dragons cave.
"This ledge should be bigger..It's hard for all of us to fit on" Leon points out when they appear on the small ledge behind Merlin.
"It's not as if we can fall off" Merlin says with a shrug
"I bet you thought you couldn't almost drown in a memory either." Came the scathing reply from Elyan.
"Hello" Merlin calls out, the dragon appears quickly
"Hello. The great warlock returns, as I knew he would"
"I need to know how to defeat an afanc" The sorcerer informs Kilgharrah
"Yes, I suppose you do" Kilgharrah says calmly
"Will you help me?" His voice is desperate as he stares up at the dragon.
"Trust the elements that are at your command" The dragon replied.
"Sounds like Merlin before a battle" Arthur jokes doing a small smirk to the rest of his knights who have faced Merlin's cryptic pre battle talks almost as much as Arthur
"Elements? But what is it I have to do?" Merlin asked , sounding frustrated that the dragon wouldn't just give him a straight answer
"You cannot do this alone. You are but one side of a coin. Arthur is the other"
"I, I don't understand. Just tell me what it is I have to do" The warlock begs but to no avail as Kilgharrah takes of.
"No please, help me!
"I have" The dragon laughs back. Flying from view.
"oh yeah, right..Thanks" Merlin mumbles sarcastically before leaving the dragons den (see what I did there...eh..eh..eh..no...okay :[ )
Once again Arthur is standing in the hall, updating his father.
"have you found anything more?" The ageing Uther asks
"I've tried. I can keep looking" Arthur responds tiredly
"People are dying! We can't delay any longer. We must kill the witch. Bring her execution forward to tonight" The king orders. Arthur does a small bow and slowly leaves.
"How close did you come to dying?" Elyan asks, looking down at his sister.
"A few hours away" Gwen replies quietly, Elyan looks like he's about to lose his temper so she quickly continues "But Merlin's actually died so it's not that close when you actually think about it!"
"You died?" Leon asked turning to Merlin
"You'll find out next memory, Anyway Gaius and Arthur have as well..It's not that much of a big deal"
"I've died?" Arthur yelps
"Gaius died?" Percival asks looking to the old man
"I've almost died" Gwaine murmured feeling left out.
"Yes Arthur you died, you'll find out later and yes Gaius died you will also find out about that later can we just" He waved at the scene in front of him and reluctantly everyone went back to watching.
"Merlin, what are you doing?" Gaius asks the warlock who is frantically flicking through books.
"Looking for a book" Merlin states quickly.
"You going to tell me which one?" Gaius prompts
"A book on elements" Merlin says finally looking up to Gaius
"Yes. Which one would I find them in?" The old mans ward asks impatiently
"Well, most of them. The study of base elements is at the very heart of the scientific process"
"But how would they help me kill the Afanc?" Merlin asks, looking at Gaius for an answer
"Well, the afanc is a creature made from earth and water. That's two of the four base elements" The old man explains.
"What about the other two?"
"Well..perhaps they will destroy it. You want fire, wind and fire. How did you find this out?" Gaius finishes suspiciously
"Erm..I just knew, you know.. One of my powers" fibs the young sorcerer
"You really thought he would believe that?" Gwen asks with a small giggle.
"Generally if you give people a stupid answer they stop asking, like when I told you I was physic" Merlin explains
"What else do your powers tell you?"
"That I am only one side of a coin. The brighter side obviously" Merlin replies with a cheesy grin
"you wish" Came the inaudible mumble from Arthur.
"And who's the other side?" Gaius asks, obviously already knowing what the warlock was about to say
"I think that might be Arthur" Merlin joked. Suddenly Morgana barges through the door.
"They're bringing forward the execution. We have to prove Gwen's innocence" yelped the disgruntled lady.
"we're trying" Gaius admitted, trying to calm her down
"please, just tell me what I can do to help" The lady pleads desperately.
"We need Arthur" Merlin butt's in
"Arthur?" Morgana says, a slight snort in her voice
"There's a monster, an afanc in the water supply. That's what's causing the plague" Merlin informed.
"well we must tell Uther"
"The Afanc's a creature forged by magic. Telling Uther wouldn't save Gwen. He'd just blame her for conjuring it" The physician reasoned with the kings ward sadly.
"So what are we going to do?" Morgana asked, eyes flicking for Merlin to Gaius
"we need to destroy it. Then the plague will stop and Uther may see sense" Merlin said, hoping he would be right.
"And that's why you need Arthur"
"He's our best chance..But he won't want to disobey the King" the warlock finished disappointed
"yes he would. If he thought it was the right thing to do. He went to find the flower for Merlin even though Uther said no" Gwen scolded, giving Merlin a disapproving look for not thinking that Arthur would disobey his Father when it's the right thing to do.
"Leave that to me" Morgana says before quickly walking out the room again. Morgana is waiting in Arthur's chambers when he returns
"You alright?" He asks gently "sorry about all this..Merlin's not been in today" he says waving his hand over the mess covering the table.
"yes" Arthur agrees sympathetically
"To offer to give his life to save Gwen's. I certainly can't imagine any man loving me so much" Morgana admits.
"No..I certainly can't Imagen that either" Arthur says with a small smirk which Morgana returns easily
"That's because you're not like Merlin. He's a lover"
"yeah, Maybe that's because I haven't found the right person to love" Arthur defended
"but he's right there!" Gwaine yelped pointing at Merlin, Elyan tried to hide his laugh behind a cough but failed dismally. Both Arthur and Merlin had given up trying to stop Gwaine being..well Gwaine.
"Sadly the age of gallantry seems to be dead. You look around and all you see are small men, not big enough to fill their armour"
Gwen giggled. Remembering the sight of Merlin in armour at Ealdor and how silly he had looked with it hanging of him.
"There's not one of them that's able to stand up for what is right" The kings ward prompted.
"I wish she still put her vindictive side to good use" Merlin sighed, getting nods of agreement from all who knew Morgana before she changed.
"What do you want me to do?"
Morgana and Arthur meet Merlin in the courtyard. They walk along quickly past the pyre Gwen is set to die on in a few hours, Arthur drawing his sword as they enter the undergroud passage where the afanc is hidden
"You'd better be right about this Merlin" Arthur hisses to Merlin. A low growl echo's throughout the tunnel.
"Afanc" Gaius corrected
"Can't get us can it?" Gwen asked nervously.
"No..We kill it pretty soon..and in my memory it doesn't veer of and kill anything that isn't there so i'm pretty sure we are safe"
"You should stay here" Arthur tells Morgana.
"I'm coming with you" The girl replies quickly
"no" The prince objects quickly
"Scared I'll show you up?" Morgana asks with a smirk.
"Father will slam us both in chains if he knew I'd endangered you"
"Well good thing he doesn't know about it then" The kings ward sneers before continuing
"I'm telling you Morgana. Turn back, You could get hurt"
"You could too if you don't get out of my way" She spits out at him.
"When exactly did her threats become real?" The king mutters.
"I think they always were princess just before you backed down like a sissy" Gwaine replies smirking at him happily.
"How are we going to find it?" Morgana questions
"I just hope we find it before it finds us" Merlin replies, jinxing the situation.
"Stop!" Arthur orders spinning round
"what?" The warlock asks, quickly following the princes gaze
"It's just a shadow" Arthur mumbles to them before they continue to search. They reach the water source and Arthur looks around for a second
"Spread out". The three of them split slightly. Another growl echo's through the cavern and the afanc swipes at Arthur from behind. Morgana is first to him
"What is it are you alright?" She asks frantically
"yes" Arthur assures her
"Did you see it?" The young warlock questions.
"Yes" Arthur said again.
"what did it look like?" Merlin asks.
"you've already seen it you dolt" Elyan says laughing slightly at Merlin
"it..it's quick" The prince stuttered
"amazing observation skills there princess" Gwaine smirked
The Afanc comes for them again , Arthur pushes the screaming Morgana behind him and takes a swing at it but it falls back into the shadows.
"Where is it?" Arthur screamed.
"I think it's gone this way" Merlin stated pointing down a tunnel. The afanc creeps out before coming at them again. Morgana's torch is knocked from her hand along with Arthur's sword.,
"Arthur! Use the torch!" Merlin yelped at his prince. Arthur swings the torch at it.
"lyfte ic be in balwen ac forhienan" Merlin mutters. A wind blows through out the tunnels sweeping the fire over the afanc which incinerates.
"So Arthur did nothing really..Just..held a flame up" Elyan pointed out.
"oh shut up" Arthur growled at his knight, pouting slightly that another one of his achievements had really only been down to Merlin being their.
"Merlin!" Nimueh exclaims angrily hitting the water residing in the basin.
Uther stands in the council chambers. Gaius approaches him
"Good news Sire. There are no new deaths, and those that are sick are recovering" The physician informs happily.
"good... Strange, I've never heart of an afanc before" Uther replied to the old man.
"It's conjured from clay by powerful magic. The type that can only be invoked by an ancient sorcerer. One that has the power to mirror the spirit of life. I found this at the water source" Gaius shows Uther part of the egg that the Afanc had hatched from
"It bears the mark of Nimueh. We much be vigilant sire" The old man admits
"Will I never be rid of her?" Uther growls.
"Sire" Gaius starts
"leave me!" The king snaps at the physician, who lives the room quickly.
Gwen's cell door is opened, Gwen's father enters followed by Merlin and Morgana
"DAD!" The girl exclaims wrapping her father in a tight hug.
"I'm happy you didn't get killed" Elyan admits to Gwen.
"Yeah...So am I" Gwen replies giving her brother an you're-an-idiot face.
"oh my little child!" Tom cries happily. Gwen reaches over to Morgana
"don't thank me. It was all Merlin" The kings ward admits, smiling happily.
"Really?" The serving girl asks shocked.
"He's the really hero here" Morgana continues.
"I don't know what to say" Admits Gwen gob smacked.
"Couldn't believe I helped? Thanks for that Gwen" Merlin says, with a smile on his lips.
"I didn't do anything" The warlock replies with a shrug
"I'm grateful to you all, Come on Gwen" Tom admits before gently steering Gwen away. The remaining two stand in silence for a minute.
"Merlin..I wanted you to know, your secrets safe with me"
"Morgana knows?" Gwen gasped looking to Merlin
"Uh...no" The warlock said trying not to laugh at what he knew was about to happen.
"my secret?" Merlin asks worriedly.
"Merlin don't pretend. I know what you did"
"you do?" He gulped
"I saw it with my own eyes" The lady confirmed smiling gently
"you did?" The sorcerer gasped
"I understand why you don't want anyone to know" Morgana assured
"well..Obviously" Merlin agreed.
"But ii won't tell anyone.. You don#t..mind me talking to you about it?" She asked hopefully.
"Er no.. I-i..it's er... You have no idea how hard it is to keep this hidden" Merlin admits, happy to have someone to vent to
"well, you can continue to deny it but..i think Gwen's a very lucky woman" Morgana replies with a flattering smile.
"oh" Gwen said giggling
"It was so awkward" Merlin laughed. Watching the look on old hims face as he started to work out what Morgana thought.
"Gwen?" Merlin squeaks, Morgana places her finger gently over her lips
"It's our secret" With that she leaves Merlin alone in the cell.
"why are you sad she doesn't know?" Leon asks
"I thought she had found out about my magic..that she'd accepted me even with magic. I was so happy to have someone to tell how I was feeling and talk to about these things."
"you have me" Gaius stated
"I know..and I appreciate you being there but...I wanted someone else..someone who didn't start doing it as a favour to my mother." Merlin confessed.
"This fish didn't come from the water did it?" Merlin asks worried, looking to Gaius as the eat dinner in his chambers.
"Well where else is it going to come from? The water's fine now" Gaius says to Merlin happily "that's not your worry..This is the work of a very powerful sorcerer. I only hope you didn't come to her attention"
"I wish I hadn't" Merlin moaned, thinking of what people would think once he flirts with the evil sorceress, or when he kills her. Weird thing, he was more worried about the flirting.
"doubt it. Well, no one else seems to appreciate me skills. I just want someone to see me for who I am" Merlin whined
"One day Merlin..one day" The old man reassures him.
"one day what?" He asks with a pout
"One day people won't believe what an idiot you were" Gaius replied smiling at the boy like a father would to his son.
"thanks" Merlin says with a lopsided grin.
Nimueh stands watching the scene from the basin
"merlin you will pay for this" she vows. A scowl on her face.