Well I hope you guys like this, cause it literally hit me about ten minutes ago and I love it all ready. I don't think anybody else has done this before, but I haven't double checked every Merlin fanfic on the web, just on :) Obviously this is nowhere near as good as her highness Queen Rowling, but consider it my best attempt.
With both of my multi-chapter fics mere chapters away from being finished, I've put a poll up on my profile regarding what story you'd like me to do next. There's a brief description and genre on each option so I'd love it if you guys went and voted for what you'd like to read next! :D
Right well here we go then.
A huge battle was raging in Camelot, thousands upon thousands of sorcerers and soldiers were holding the citadel on siege. They had remained that way for one week. Not breaking through the walls, but not letting up either. Slowly, the people of Camelot were starving. The council chambers had been turned into a small hospital, where Gaius, Gwen and some of the other servants were doing their best to heal the wounded with dwindling supplies. King Arthur was doing his best to guard the castle and its people with what little men he had left. Merlin was locked up in his room with every known book on magic, desperately searching for spells powerful enough to destroy an entire army.
The situation was getting desperate. Many had fallen or been wounded in the battle and moral was little to none. It was nearing midnight when Gaius came rushing into Merlin's chambers.
"Merlin!" Gaius bellowed, slamming the door wide open. Merlin jumped up from where he had been sitting.
"What is it?" Merlin asked, rushing towards his mentor.
"Merlin, its Gwaine. He's been fatally wounded, he...he wants to see you." Merlin lost colour and let his eyes go wide.
"No." He tore through the room and across the castle, ignoring all calls from passersby and threw the council doors open. He desperately looked around the hall before seeing a bed with Gwen, Elyan and Leon standing round it. As he walked towards it, he noticed the tears in Gwen's eyes. When the knights spotted Merlin approaching, they stepped away, leaving Merlin and Gwaine in privacy.
Gwaine looked terrible. The knight was usually a sight to be seen, wooing all the ladies of Camelot, but now, now he his hair was matted, stuck to his forehead that was gleaming with sweat. His breaths were coming in hollow gasps, his hands grasping at the wound on his side. Merlin approached slowly, then knelt at his bedside and grabbed his hand.
"Gwaine...Gwaine, I'm here, it's alright, you're going to be alright." Merlin voice cracked, and Gwaine's head turned slowly to observe his best friend.
"Merlin..." Gwaine whispered. "Merlin, you've...you've been my best friend, these years past. You've been closer to me than anyone else, you didn't...you didn't judge me where anyone else would. Thank you." During Gwaine's speech, Merlin shook his head repeatedly, whispering 'No, no, no...' under his breath.
"No, stop saying that, this isn't goodbye, you hear me, you're not going Gwaine." Merlin instructed through the tears welling up in his eyes. "I won't let you, please."
"Don't be daft, mate." Gwaine smiled weakly. "I want you to listen to me. I need you...I need you to look after everyone. Make sure the-" Gwaine burst into a fit of coughs before carrying on. "Make sure the princess, isn't too much of a...prat." Merlin snorted loudly.
"C'mon, you and I both know that's never going to happen." Merlin chuckle turned into an all out sob and he threw his hand over his mouth. Gwaine smirked at Merlin.
"Thank you Merlin, for being the brother I never had." And with that, Sir Gwaine of Camelot let out his last breath and closed his eyes for the final time, a small smile still lingering on his face. All was silent for a while, before Merlin stood up.
"We have to save him; there must be something we can do. Anything." Merlin said to the knights and Gwen, who all shook their heads sadly at him. "Please?" Merlin begged, his voice breaking. Deciding that he would receive no help from them, he turned to his mentor. "Gaius...Gaius please..there must be something..." Gaius approached the boy slowly, his arms outstretched.
"Merlin, there's nothing we can do. He's gone."
"No. No! No he isn't! He can't be, no!" Merlin backed away from Gaius, shaking his head. He turned to his friends and observed them hopelessly. "Have you all given up? Gwaine wouldn't have given up on us, never!" Unbeknownst to Merlin, Arthur had been watching the scene from afar and now chose his moment to approach his manservant.
"Merlin." Arthur walked slowly and carefully to him and grasped his shoulders tightly. Merlin fought against his hold before giving up and slumping against the wall behind him. Suddenly the sobs tore through his body. Arthur took this as his queue to embrace Merlin, but again Merlin fought against his grasp.
"Let me go. Let me go. Go away." Merlin cried, pleaded. Arthur then picked Merlin up and carried him swiftly out of the room while Gwaine's body was covered up. The occupants of the chamber could hear the sobs of the young man long after he had been taken out of the room.
It was a few hours later, in the light of dawn that Merlin had finally ceased crying. Overcome with grief and exhaustion, he had passed into a fitful state of sleep in Arthur's chambers after his king had tried to comfort him. The castle was quiet for a while, the enemy had retreated for a while, but everyone knew the attack would begin again soon. Some were hoping it would be the last. An end to the fruitless war.
The sun was high in the sky when the young warlock finally arose. After the blissful few moments of ignorance after waking were over, his grief returned in full swing, only to be interrupted by the familiar voice of Morgana booming across Camelot.
"You have fought. Fought against my army of sorcerers. You have lost many. Far more than I have. But I do not address the people of Camelot to brag. I have...an offer to make. I want the crown and for magic to be freed in this land. I do not wish for innocent lives to be sacrificed. My army will retreat. You will have time to say goodbye to your deceased loved ones and to bury them." A pause. "And now I speak only to Emrys. I know who you are. Do you really want more lives to be sacrificed? More people that are loved and cared for, that you love and care for? Emrys, give yourself up to me and the fighting will end. No more will be lost. Come to me and no one else need die. You have an hour."
Silence. In the council chambers, Arthur, Gwen, Gaius and the knights gazed at each other in confusion.
"Who is this Emrys?" Elyan broke the silence with a frown.
"Gaius, have you ever heard this name before?" Arthur turned to look at the physician, who was supporting a pale colour.
"Emrys...Emrys is the most powerful warlock to walk the earth." Arthur visibly cringed. "His destiny is to protect Camelot and its people, as he has done so for a while now. He has saved your lives more times than I can count."
"But he has magic." Leon said quietly.
"No, he is magic. He is the embodiment of magic itself."
"Why would this Emrys person want to protect us?" Arthur questioned. "My father killed nearly all of his kin."
"Because he believes that you will be able to restore magic to the land." Gaius said simply. All eyes fell on the king. A voice broke into all their thoughts.
"Well, magic or not, he's our last hope." Elyan stated. Gaius seemed to break from his reverie and his eyes widened.
"Arthur, where did you leave Merlin?"
"In my chambers, he was asleep when I left him." The young king said sadly. The members of the table all jumped when Gaius launched to his feet and almost ran out of the door. "Where are you going Gaius?!"
"To find Merlin!" Was the called reply. The remaining members of the round table followed Gaius out of the door and through the castle until they reached the chambers. Gaius pulled the door open and entered the room. As the others filed in, they discovered Arthur's chambers, minus the manservant that was supposedly there. Cursing under his breath, the physician shuffled across the room to the window just in time to see Merlin sprinting around a corner at the far side of the courtyard.
"Gaius?" Gwen said, from her place with the group by the door.
"Damn that boy." Gaius whispered under his breath before turning to his king. "Sire, I need to visit my chambers for a moment to retrieve some medicines. Guinevere, will you be okay to attend to the wounded by yourself for a bit?" Gwen nodded her head and bit her lip.
"What of Merlin?" Leon asked. Gaius paused for a moment.
"He will be somewhere in the castle, leave him be. I know Merlin; he'd want to be alone at such a hard time." Gaius stuttered, before hurrying out of the room. Slowly the members of the round table disbanded and left the king in his empty room.
Across the other side of Camelot, Merlin was marching through the mud of a deserted battlefield towards the forest, where Morgana's army was located. His grief at Gwaine's death had given way to pure, undiluted fury and hatred, which coursed through his veins at a rapid rate of knots, urging him on. A small voice at the back of his mind was telling him that what he was doing was a bad idea, it sounded distinctly like Gaius. But it was drowned out by the deafening cries of rage and despair the rebounded in his mind. If I'm going to die for Camelot, I'm going to take down as many as possible with me. And he did, the minute he strode into the camp, his eyes glowed the brightest gold, and tens of hundreds of the army were thrown back, screaming could be heard as people panicked. Cowards. Merlin thought venomously. This continued until Merlin reached the centre of the camp, where Morgana stood, smirking as always. She didn't even look surprised to see him, even if he had just destroyed about a quarter of her army in one go.
"Well, well, well. Look who we have here." Morgana frowned. "I can hardly believe it really, though I suppose, you betrayed me didn't you? It must be so easy to betray Arthur too. We're more alike than I thought." Morgana chuckled evilly.
"We are not alike, Morgana. And we never will be." Merlin growled. "I didn't betray my own family for greed. I didn't let my bitterness get the better of me and turn into an evil hag." Morgana scowled. "Don't you dare, say that I am anything like you."
"Oh well, what a shame. I was going to ask you to join me. But as long as you are alive and a threat, Camelot will not be saved from this war."
"Then I will give myself up, if it means no more harm comes to Camelot." Merlin straightened. "That's where we're the most different Morgana."
"Is that so? Well I suppose that is what must happen, because in the end, it's either me or you that meets an untimely end. I'd much prefer it to be you. Hey, I even brought a friend, so you can say a dignified farewell to at least one person. Aren't I kind?" Morgana smirked and nodded behind Merlin. The warlock turned around to see Percival bound to a tree, a gag tied around his mouth. His eyes were wide and he was straining against the binds, shaking his head wildly. Merlin looked his friend in the eye and said;
"I'm sorry. I hope you forgive me."
Then he turned and stared at Morgana. A dare. Daring her to do it, to kill him. In the background somewhere, Percival was attempting to shout to Merlin through the gag. But all Merlin could see and hear was Morgana. She threw her hands up in the air and started chanting wildly, calling upon the Old Religion. And then suddenly, she pointed her finger at Merlin and sent a bolt of green light towards him, which hit him squarely in the chest and sent him flying backwards.
Silence fell on the forest.
And for that moment, Emrys was dead.
Gaius could feel it in his age old bones. He heard the screaming from the forest, most members of the castle assumed that they were celebrating, but the old physician knew better. Let them have it, my boy. Gaius thought, smiling slightly. But now it was all silent, and he knew it had been done. He knew he had been in his chambers far too long already, but he no longer cared. Gaius slid down onto his bench and let his head fall into his hands, the beginnings of a sob escaping his dry, cracked lips.
A moment later, Arthur and Gwen burst into the chambers.
"Gaius, are you alright, you've been in here a long-" Arthur stopped abruptly when his eyes fell on the old man, who was sobbing quietly against his desk. Gwen gasped and rushed down to his side, putting a hand on his shoulder.
"Gaius, what's wrong?" Gwen asked, sitting down next to her old friend. Gaius sat up and brushed the stray tears off his face. He took a deep breath to say something but was interrupted by Morgana's voice echoing around Camelot once again.
"Emrys, is dead." Gaius let out a little sob. "Your last hope is gone. Not even your king can save you now. Come to the front of the city to see that I do not lie. Come and see your fallen hero." Gwen leapt up and grasped at Arthur, the pair turned to Gaius, who was already half way out the door. With a nervous glance at their still mourning physician then at each other, they both turned and headed into the corridor.
By the time they had reached the front, many of the citizens of Camelot had already gathered, muttering amongst themselves. They parted for their king and queen, to reveal that Leon and Elyan were already standing at the front. But there was no Merlin. Arthur fought off the worry, which was for another time. Many of the people's attention were on the forest line ahead, baring no signs of Morgana or her army. The cold November breeze blew the people of Camelot, but no one noticed. Suddenly, figures began to emerge from the trees.
Morgana strode out of the forest first, flanked by many soldiers and sorcerers. They came to a halt a fair distance from the city, and stayed there. When Morgana started to talk, it surprised many to see she was using her normal voice, just managing to shout over the wind.
"People of Camelot! You stand before me as lost, helpless people. You stand not a chance against my army. Your one and only hope has given himself up for your safety. Do you really wish for that to be wasted? If you stand down now, not another Camelotian's blood will be spilt, if you do not however, I will no longer let my army be easy on you and you shall all be slaughtered. You hero has gone. What more do you have?" Morgana threw her hands up.
"Who is Emrys anyway? How do we know you're not bluffing?" Arthur bellowed.
"Oh Arthur Pendragon, still as oblivious as before. I assume Gaius has already told you of Emrys, the most powerful warlock to walk the earth, the last Dragonlord, Camelot's protector. Do you really believe that you saved Camelot from all those threats? You did not. And I defeated the man who did." Morgana's voice turned taunting.
"Show us!" Gwen shouted. "If nothing else, show us this man."
"As you wish your highness." Morgana smirked and swept to one side, as her army did also, leaving a path from which Percival appeared, carrying a body. At first, Arthur was confused. Percival, who had gone missing during the earlier days of the war, had long since been presumed dead. His heart swelled with pride to see his knight return, but his thoughts were interrupted by a loud sob coming from Gwen. His eyes were dragged to the body. An unfamiliar body until a flash of raven hair appeared, then a glimpse of red. No. Arthur felt his throat dry up and his stomach drop. No. Merlin can't be dead. Arthur felt denial wash over him. Somewhere in the bleak dark corners of his conscious mind, he knew he should be more worried about the fact that Merlin was apparently a warlock, but all he could focus on was the all-too-limp body of his brother. Too late did he realise he was shouting.
"MERLIN!" Arthur bellowed, and then clapped his hand over his mouth. The Queen had collapsed into the body of Gaius, who was stroking her hair and whispering comforting words to her. The remaining knights were gawping in shock, except for Elyan and Leon, who had lowered their heads in respect. Arthur gulped down the building grief inside of him, and let it be replaced with a more familiar emotion. Anger. He went to rip his sword out but was beaten by Leon, who was marching towards the witch with a familiar mask of fury.
"How dare you harm Merlin! He was an innocent, harmless servant, no part of your ruthless games!" Leon shouted. But Morgana merely laughed.
"Oh how unobservant you all are! Merlin, a harmless servant! You should know better. Merlin has foiled my plans many more times than you could have even dreamed of!" A babble of nervous mummers broke out and the king glared Morgana down. "He is Emrys, the most powerful warlock to walk the earth, and I defeated him!" She said gleefully.
"Merlin may been a warlock, but he has done no harm, no wrong, unlike you Morgana." Leon snarled. "You betrayed your family. You betrayed your friends. Even Merlin!" Morgana's gleeful smile vanished to be replaced by an evil scowl and with a glow of her eyes, Leon was being thrown back into the crowd.
"You are all pathetic! You will never survive now, unless you all surrender your puny lives to me! Unless you bow down before your new Queen." This kicked Arthur's brain into gear and he stepped forward.
"We will never bow to down to you Morgana. You are no Queen, and you never will be." Then he raised his sword above his head and roared, "FOR CAMELOT!"
The wave began. Hundreds of Camelotians threw themselves into battle, attacking the nearest enemy possible. The anger and fury of the people took over and before long the enemy was drowned in angry individuals, desperate to get revenge. For their dead. For their king. For their city. Slowly, the crowd was pulled back into the city as the final battle began.
Being dead wasn't what Merlin expected. The back of his head was still pressed against the leafy floor of the forest, his ears could still hear the triumphant shouts of the people crowding around his body, but still he kept his eyes shut. Suddenly, he heard a voice.
"Move out of the way!" Morgana said happily, "Here, you can carry him; you're strong enough after all." She sneered at Percival, who was then forced to pick up then apparently lifeless body of Merlin. Merlin felt his face press uncomfortably against Percival's chainmail before he the rocking of movement began.
"Where are we going?" Percival said through gritted teeth.
"Oh, just to show the people of Camelot that they have no hope." Morgana said happily, the Merlin heard her footsteps pace ahead until her voice could be heard, summoning the Camelotians. After they had stopped, Merlin strained to hear the conversation that was going on, but to no avail. Percival began walking forwards again and Merlin started to feel vaguely ill. A few moments later, they fell to a halt and Merlin suddenly heard the heartbroken bellow of no other than Arthur. Unfortunately, the voice of the other speaker was drowned out under the roaring of the wind.
And then all hell broke loose. Merlin felt his body being placed carefully on the floor before the familiar voice of Percival was heard.
"We'll be back for you Merlin, I swear it." before his rapidly retreating footsteps could be heard. Merlin waited a moment before opening his eyes a crack and whispering an invisibility spell. After the tingle was gone, the warlock stood up and ran after the huge crowd slowly making its way to the centre of the city.
Merlin silently thanked the gods for gifting him with knowledge of the short cuts and small paths that led to the courtyard; otherwise he would never have got there on time. In the centre of the crowd, Arthur, Gwen, Leon and Elyan were locked in a vicious battle. Why isn't Morgana using magic? Merlin questioned. But it was obvious, she was toying with them. He stood quite still until Morgana threw out her hand and started bellowing a spell. Marching forward, Merlin burst into the courtyard and bellowed;
The crowds, Morgana and her attackers all turned to see Merlin standing, palm outstretched, eyes glowing, very much alive. Arthur then looked around and saw the glistening of fading magic and realised that Morgana's spell had never reached its target.
"Arthur. Take Gwen and the knights and go. This is my fight." Merlin said in a whisper.
The king was still in shock, unable to move. All of a sudden, Gwen appeared at his arm and dragged him away, followed by his loyal knights. Merlin stepped forward. The courtyard was covered in a blanket of silence, the only sound being the footsteps of the two magic users in the centre as the circled one another.
"So you're alive." Morgana sneered. "You always were difficult to get rid of."
"Give up Morgana." Merlin said quietly, but with a voice full of power and strength, much unlike the Merlin they all knew. "Give up now, then maybe I'll let you die a more dignified death."
"You? Kill me?" the witch laughed, "You couldn't kill me if you tried." Despite her confident behaviour, her voice wavered with uncertainty.
"I honestly don't know anymore. You killed my friend, Morgana. You've been threat after threat and killed hundreds of innocents. My mercy really has run out. Have no pity for you, nor sorrow. You are no longer the Morgana I cared for like a sister."
"You didn't care for me." Morgana spat. "All you care about is your precious king."
"It is my destiny and my duty to protect the king and his people. It is my main priority."
"You are a mere weakling. You say all these empty threats but you are no one. No one, compared to me." Morgana smirked.
"I am Emrys!" His voice thundered across the city. "I am the most powerful warlock to walk the earth. I am the last dragonlord, son of Balinor, defeater of Nimhueh and Cornelius Sigan, sworn protector of King Arthur Pendragon and Morgana," He lowered his voice, "I am your destiny and your doom." Both Merlin and Morgana bellowed a spell at the same time and the power crashed together in the middle. But Merlin was stronger. Soon enough, his magic cut through and Morgana burst into a hundred pieces of dust and fire, leaving no remains of the witch that had once stood there.
Quiet. Quiet for an age. Until Merlin turned around to face his king. Arthur walked towards him and was surprised to see his manservant-now-sorcerer kneel before him.
"Merlin, what on earth are you doing?"
"Emrys, it means immortal. The only thing in this world that can kill me is your sword, Arthur."
"And, I am a creature of magic, the laws of Camelot dictate that I should be killed, this is the only way." Arthur looked on incredulously before putting his hand on Merlin's shoulder and lifting him up. He then announced,
"Don't be such a girl, Merlin." Before pulling him into a back breaking hug. This was the trigger, hundreds of Camelotians burst into cheers of happiness and Merlin was soon surrounded by his friends.
Merlin knew that in the future they would face many more threats, monsters, witches, deaths and new lives. They would never be completely safe. But they were a little bit closer, with their favourite warlock. Merlin looked across the courtyard and smiled. All was well.