Summary: Seek and you will find is a theory Sir Leon has always believed in but he never guessed that a search for his lost prince and friend would lead him to find so much more than he was looking for. AU story that starts mid season 3 but mostly takes place 18 years in the future.
Seek and you will find
AN: Sorry I vanished for so long. A few other stories where demanding to be written but now I'm back and looking forward to getting on with this one.
Chadrac's ultimatum hung heavy in the air as he and his father stared each other down neither one of them wanted to be the one to break the stalemate and both of them believed that they knew what was for the best.
"Chadrac" Arthur sighed looking away from his son "You don't know what you're doing, what you're giving up, none of you do" he said looking to his other children trying desperately to make them see his point
"Yes we do Father" Chadrac insisted speaking for all of the siblings. Falling into the role of leader was natural to him because despite the fact that Bronwyn was the oldest of the children Chadrac had always been their leader. "The people of Camelot are as much our responsibility as they are yours and they need us"
"Chadrac have you thought about what you are asking your sisters to do?" Gwen asked softly. She had never really agreed with Arthur wanting to hide away and never go back to Camelot but if there was any truth to what Merlin and the others were saying about Morgana then she wanted her daughters as far away from her forma best friend as possible.
"He isn't asking us to do anything Mother, we are doing it on our own because it's the right thing to do" Isobel said innocently
"As much as I hate to admit it they are right" Bronwyn sighed. She really didn't want to leave the safety of her home but she did have to agree with her siblings going back was what they had to do; they didn't have any other choice
"Tobias?" Arthur turned to his youngest son hoping that perhaps he would see sense. He knew if Tobias refused to go the others would not go without him but he also knew the chances of Tobias going against his brother and sisters were slim.
"Your people need us Father, how can we not go to them?" Tobias answered Arthur's question with one of his own and sealed the fate of his family
Arthur heaved a heavy sigh he had always known that this day might come but he sincerely wished it had not
"It seems you win Leon, we will leave for Camelot at first light" Arthur decreed sadly
"Well" the jovial voice of Lord Mark who had stood forgotten at the side of the hall until that moment broke through the sombre mood all around him "I would say this calls for a feast" he beamed
Despite Arthur protesting that the departure of him and his family did not warrant a feast and Gwen insistence that the girls did not have any gowns appropriate for a feast Lord Mark would not be deterred.
A grand feast had been planned and prepared in an afternoon and the girls were being outfitted for it by Lord Mark's daughters. Isobel and Bronwyn had never really attended any of Lord Mark's past feasts but they were now wishing they had because they were not enjoying being forced into gowns that were now either too small or too old for their forma owners.
The Boys had had no such problems seen as they had often been to the feasts with their father and already had appropriate outfits to wear, so while the girls searched for something that was both suitable and comfortable they were left to wait impatiently for them. The Knight's of the Round Table had opted to wait with Arthur, his sons and Lord Mark instead of taking their places in the main hall.
Merlin knew that Arthur had been thought a lot over the last few hours but there was one more thing that he had to make sure Arthur understood before he returned to Camelot. He just didn't know how to brooch the subject every time he tried he would chicken out at the last minute. Finally Arthur couldn't take it any more
"Out with it Merlin" the Prince of Camelot snapped
"Out with what?" Merlin asked as innocently as he could
"Whatever it is that has you trembling like a maiden on her wedding night" Arthur sighed
"Your father didn't claim Morgana as his daughter just so she could be his heir" Merlin told him in a rush "She really is his child, she's your sister" he said gently
Arthur couldn't help but laugh "That's it, that's what you have been fidgeting about for the last hour?" He asked sounding shocked "I know she is my sister Merlin, I've known for years" he reassured his friend with a forceful slap on the back
Merlin wanted to ask Arthur how he could possibly have known but at that moment Gwen began to descend the grand staircase with Isobel by her side and they had all of Arthur's attention
Gwen was wearing a simple purple dress with full skirts, the lady's of Camelot's court would have thought it very plain but Gwen wore it with so much grace that you would have thought it was made of pure gold. Isobel's dress was a soft pink colour with overly puffy skirt's and sleeves but she looked so happy in it that she somehow kept it from looking ridiculous.
Arthur met the two of them at the bottom of the stairs with a wide smile filled with nothing but pride and love
"You look beautiful" he told his wife cupping her cheek gently
Arthur was well aware that all eyes were on him and Gwen and that he should conduct himself properly but in that moment it would have taken a dragon attack to keep him from kissing her. Gwen released Isobel's hand so that she could wrap her arms around Arthur and pull herself closer to him. They were both very much enjoying themselves until Chadrac cleared his throat as loudly as he could, the couple pulled away from one another with a self conscious laugh
If Arthur found looking at his son's after such a public display of affection unpleasant then looking at Gwen's brother and his friends was downright uncomfortable, thankfully Isobel had wonderful timing
"How do I look Father?" she asked staring up at him innocently
"You look lovely Angel" Arthur told her honestly as he hoisted her onto his hip as if she where two instead of eleven. "Are you ready for your first feast?" he asked her with a bright smile. Isobel returned his smile and nodded enthusiastically.
"Good, I'm glad" her father said and he truly was, so much was going to happen soon that she might not like and he wanted her to enjoy as many things as she could before then. "You stay with Tobias he'll take good care of you" he told the young girl as he set her back on her feet. Isobel wasted no time in racing to her brother's side.
Merlin couldn't help but smile at the sweet family moment but his smile fell away when he glanced to the top of the stairs. Bronwyn had just begun her dissent, she was wearing a rusty brown gown made of velvet that clung to her every curve, it was lovely but it wasn't her dress that took Merlin's breath away, it was the girl herself.
Bronwyn had inherited her father's fair complexion and blue eyes she was the only one of his children that had but she also had her mother's thick dark hair and sweet smile. She should have been a perfect mix of both her parents but instead she looked very much like someone else Merlin knew well.
The girl coming down the stairs towards him could have been the younger sister of Morgana Pendragon, her look was softer than and not quite as perfect as the older woman's but the likeness was there. Merlin knew he should have seen it sooner but the dirt and grime of the forest that had coated her and the boys clothing she had been wearing up until now had hidden it from him.
"Lovely isn't she?" Lord Mark commented from behind the sorcerer making him jump, before Merlin could reply the Lord gave him a smile that said he knew exactly what the man was thinking "Perhaps now you understand why your revelation about Morgana's true parentage did not surprise Arthur the way you thought it would" he said sagely
Merlin gave Lord Mark a small smile and made his way over to greet Bronwyn but Chadrac beat him to it "excuses me my lady" he greeted her "but have you seen my sister? She is a scrawny little thing that runs around in boys cloths all the time" he said shooting his sister a cheeky grin
Chadrac was proud to say that he was rarely taken unawares but he was not too proud to admit that he was genuinely shocked when his sister grasped him by his hand and with swift twist had his arm locked behind his back "scrawny little thing huh?" she teased him
"Bronwyn, let me go" Chadrac pleaded with her
"I don't think so" she told him using the same cheeky tone that he had used when teasing her
"Father" Chadrac called out when it became clear that Bronwyn had no intention of releasing him. The reaction he got from his father was not the one he was hoping for
Arthur laughed almost raucously "what did you do this time?" he asked having missed what had passed between the siblings at the bottom of the stairs
"Bronwyn" Gwen gasped shocked at her daughter's behaviour "let him go at once" she ordered firmly
Bronwyn heaved a sigh before following her mother's command. Chadrac quickly straightened up and brushed himself off. "You look very nice" he told his sister slightly awkwardly
"That's much better" Bronwyn smiled at him and patted his shoulder before making her way over to the rest of their family. When she reached her father's side he pulled her into a warm hug, Arthur was unable to suppress his smile no matter how much they sometimes displeased Gwen he loved to watch his children's antics
"You look wonderful" he told Bronwyn, truthfully he couldn't remember a time when she had looked as lovely as she did in that moment but after seeing her handle Chadrac he was not brave enough to tell her that
Lord Mark moved forward and offered Bronwyn his arm, she graciously excepted it and the two led the Pendragon family and their friends into the hall
The evening passed in a blur of laughter and enjoyment. The food was some of the nicest that any of them had tasted in a long time and afterward there was music for dancing.
At Lord Mark's insistence it was Arthur and Gwen who opened the dancing, as they twirled around the hall the love that they had for each other was so clear to see that those around them felt like they were intruding on something very privet.
Bronwyn danced with every man that asked her despite claiming that she didn't really know how. Chadrac tried to spend his last night socializing with his fellow guards but in reality he spent most of it glaring at the men that had dared to ask his oldest sister to dance. Isobel danced too but only with her brothers or father, Merlin had offered to dance with her as well but after watching him trample her mother's feet during their one dance Isobel wisely declined. Tobias it turned out was quite the charmer, he didn't dance much but his way with words meant he was never short of female company.
As Sir Leon observed the family's happiness he couldn't help but feel a little guilty. No one that gathered in the hall that night knew they were biding their Sir William, his wife and children goodbye, they all believed the feast was to celebrate seeing off Cenred's men. Arthur and his family had a good and happy life here with these people and he was helping to take it all away from them. The worst thing was that he knew he didn't feel guilty enough about what he was doing because he still could not wait for the sun to rise tomorrow and for the journey back to Camelot to begin.
The next morning Lord Mark and the Knights of the Round Table once again found themselves awaiting the arrival of the Pendragon family but this time the mood was entirely different.
Just like the night before Arthur and the boys where the first down the stairs. All three were dressed in armour with their swords hanging at their sides and all three wore matching masks of determination. Gwen and the girl's soon followed, Gwen and Isobel where both wearing simple but good quality travelling dresses with cloaks, Isobel's were a soft blue colour while Gwen's were –of course- purple. Bronwyn was dressed in her usual hunting clothes, having refused every offer of a dress on the grounds she thought them to be ridiculously impractical for riding in but after much nagging she had agreed she would wear a coat of her mother's choosing over the top of them. Gwen's final choice was actually not as bad as Bronwyn had feared; it was long and made of rich green velvet with billowing sleeves and a large hood. Bronwyn hated the sleeves but the rest she had to admit she liked.
As Merlin sadly watched the six of them bid Lord Mark goodbye he couldn't help but see them for who and what they really were for the first time, they were more that the hidden royal family of Camelot they were also its future and if they treated their people with the half the love and respect they gave each other that future would be a good one.
Thank you for reading and please let me know what you think