Author's Note: Oh my goodness. First off, I'm so sorry about taking forever. Life took over there for a minute! Secondly, I can't believe it, but this is the end! The epilogue! I have had this idea since the beginning, and I am slightly nervous as to what you will think of it. It sets it up for a tantalizing idea for another installment in the series, but it's definitely not required. What was your favorite moment of Destiny? Or Connected? THANK YOU A MILLION FOR ALL OF YOUR SUPPORT!
It had taken many days to interview with each of the sorcerers involved. Most, Arthur had agreed to simply banish, upon pain of death if any tried to return to Camelot again. It was a threat that they would never have to carry out – each of the men and women were interviewed by Arthur and Merlin together, and every one of them had paled and cowered in immense fear at the sight of Emrys. After his display in the throne room, none were willing to cross him again.
There were a few unique cases – Merlin told Arthur of Clara's bravery, and she was issued a pardon, though Arthur had been more than a little angry at the thought of letting the woman who had brought the news of Merlin's death to him off completely free.
Phineas was set for a lifetime of imprisonment, since Merlin had begged for clemency regarding his life, and Arthur had reluctantly agreed. The men who had spent so long tormenting Merlin were also spoken to – Timothy, Reagan, and most of all Samuel. Each of them swore they knew nothing of Phineas' true allegiance and all three were given a warning – any hint of violence or one wrong word about Merlin, and they'd be joining Phineas in the dungeons.
And lastly - the sinister platform was wheeled out into the courtyard once more, and though Merlin could hardly bear to watch, he stood beside Arthur, Gwen, Gaius, and several knights and advisers while a crowd of townsfolk looked on below. Tabor took a long time to burn.
Amidst the none-too-pleasant task of administering justice to the wrongdoers, Merlin continued to recover his strength from his display of magic. Gaius had foul-smelling potions for him to swallow down and after a few days, he seemed nearly back to his old self again, although he wasn't up to any terrific displays of magic quite yet.
He found he was happiest with Gaius, Gwen, and the knights, and of course Arthur. Being alone made him think dark thoughts of all that had happened in the past few months – or the past year, if the time difference was to be accounted for. As the months passed, it became easier to look back on those times as unpleasant memories and nothing more.
It was one morning sitting in Arthur's chambers with the king and queen that another shock awaited them.
"You're lucky you've got me around, Zoe," Merlin said, bouncing the baby on his knees. "Your father has got to be one of the most clueless human beings I've ever seen."
"Hey!" Arthur growled, reaching forward and snatching Zoe away. "Don't listen to him, Zoe," Arthur cooed gently. "He's useless."
Gwen rolled her eyes. "At this rate, Zoe's first memory is going to be the two of you bickering. And besides, she could be saying her first words any day now! I'll string you both up by your ears if you accidentally train my daughter to say prat, or idiot, or something else."
"And yet you sit here and threaten us!" Merlin said, while Arthur sniffed indignantly.
"C'mere," Gwen said to Zoe, lifting her out of Arthur's arms. Zoe, for her part, did not seem to mind being passed around among the three of them. She had spent many a day in this manner – Merlin was always busy at the same times as Arthur, and Zoe would stay with one of Gwen's maids, Gaius, or Gwen, if she wasn't also occupied. Whenever the three of them had time off, they spent it together, fighting over time spent with Zoe.
"I'm sure she's not going to learn idiot before she learns mother or father," Arthur said grumpily, crossing his arms.
"'Prat' is an easy enough word though," Merlin observed shrewdly.
"Merlin," Arthur growled in warning. He reached for a goblet on the desk between them and made to throw it, but Merlin spoke a quick spell, sending the goblet flying above Arthur's reach.
Before Arthur could chastise him, Zoe giggled in her mother's arms and repeated the spell that Merlin had just uttered. The goblet flew slightly higher.
Arthur, Merlin, and Gwen all turned to stare at Zoe with looks of shock frozen on their faces.
"Did – did she just – " Merlin started, feeling a bewildered grin start to creep up on his face.
Gwen grimaced and grabbed a pillow from the bed, throwing it straight at Merlin's face. It hit him with a thwack.
Well, then. Princess Zoe the sorceress. That was going to be interesting.
Author's Note: This might not fit with the way magic is supposed to work... is it usually a hereditary thing? Nevertheless, the show doesn't give us a canon answer to this question, so I decided to go with my version. Thanks again for taking the time to read my stories! If you haven't already, check out my two Merlin one-shots and my Merlin 5-chapter piece on my profile! Much love!