THE GREAT HALL
Mordred supported Merlin, who struggled weakly against him.
"Do not fight me, you need rest." Mordred hissed.
Merlin gave a grunt as they stumbled into the room.
Arthur had too woken, and was being aided slightly by Percival.
"Why did you save Arthur…" merlin hissed.
He did not know whether Mordred knew of his destiny…
Mordred could not know what the dragon had said.
Mordred struggled with Merlin.
"Arthur once saved my life, I owe him a debt… do not be so quick to judge me."
Merlin shoved away from Mordred with all he had.
Morded watched him and straightened.
The voices made the queen of Camelot turn, and she stared through the crowds of people in the room to see Percival hovering beside a stumbling Arthur, who was bleeding from his neck and side…
But he was stood now, and blinking around, his eyes searching for one person…
Part of his brain was taking in the number of casualties as he gained consciousness, but most of him just wanted her.
His brain began to clear.
She gasped and relieved tears sprang to her eyes.
She rushed towards him, throwing her arms around him and hugging him tight.
He gave a small gasp of pain but his heavy arms tightened around her regardless.
"I'm sorry I…" She sniffed and gasped, "You are bleeding, injured…"
"I was saved…" He croaked, pulling away and turning to look as everyone else did, at Mordred.
Merlin stumbled through the room, sitting immediately onto a bunk, rubbing the back of his head.
He stared and watched the scene as Mordred straightened, and dropped to his knees before Arthur and Guinevere.
His voice was clear and ready.
Merlin did not know what he was ready for, but he felt himself grow tense.
Tanya rushed to him and rested a cool cloth against the side of his head.
He didn't glance at her, his eyes locked on the scene of Arthur, staring down at Mordred.
Merlin could not believe that the young druid man had saved Arthur's life…
After all that Merlin had been told…
"You saved my life by stabbing Morgana?" Arthur asked.
The hall fell silent around them.
Gwaine, Percival, Elyan, Gaius, Leon and a few other knights stood staring down at the young druid man.
Gwen was stood at her husband's side, one of her hands on his back, the other on his chest.
His hand closest to her rested on her hip.
While her eyes flashed between Mordred and her husband, Arthur's eyes were only locked on the man on his knees before him.
Mordred kept his head bowed.
"But she disappeared sire, with her magic…"
"That is not what I asked." Arthur said firmly.
There was a moment of silence.
Mordred swallowed and nodded.
"Yes I stabbed her sire."
Arthur straightened, "And yet it was also you who helped her try and kill me, you who I banished from Camelot, when you allowed her to use you like a puppet in the tournament…"
"I know Sire." Mordred said in a clear voice, but his downcast eyes showed the honesty in all he said.
"I only joined with her because I felt I owed her some loyalty… after she saved my life when I was a boy, as you did… I allowed her to use me even though I felt that what she was doing was wrong… but I had no other choice, I have no one…"
Arthur narrowed his eyes slightly.
"Is that why you saved my life from Morgana, because you saw the error of her hatred, or because you felt that you owed me for my part, in helping you escape as the young druid boy my father wanted executed?"
His words hung in the air for a moment.
A ripple of murmur went through the knights and watching servants.
Gaius stole a glance at Merlin, to where the young warlock was sat on the bunk staring from a distance.
Tanya was also looking at Merlin, before she looked back to the scene.
The knights exchanged looked while Guinevere straightened and looked from her husband back down at the young man in front of them.
"It was a little of both sire… the two things are not completely exclusive."
There was a moment of silence before Arthur's eyes narrowed.
"And you were born a druid?"
"But I have been many different things in my lifetime… the druid people you returned me to as a child were attacked many years ago by bounty hunters, I escaped, lived like a hermit with travelling families and smuggles, before becoming a bandit, living by the sword… now I am just Mordred."
Arthur stared at him.
The king's voice was low.
More murmurings went through the crowd as Arthur reached for his sword; now back in its sheath at his hip.
Gwen watched as he winced, moving his arm to lift the blade over Mordred.
She gasped quietly, and the knight's eyes all widened, as they watched him lower the blade down.
Mordred swallowed and let his eyes flutter closed.
But he gasped, when he felt the blade touch his shoulder lightly, before moving and touching his other.
Arthur stared down at him.
"Your loyalty and honesty is one of the true values of a real man, a knight, and a servant of the people." His voice rang through the hall as a hushed silence fell overhead.
Tanya gasped quietly and Mordred looked up at Arthur, his eyes shocked and wide.
The innocence in his eyes stirred something in Gwen that made her swallow and straighten.
Gaius stiffened, looking at Merlin who felt his heart rate increase rapidly.
He could not ignore what the dragon had once said,
Mordred would have a hand in Arthur's death…
But the future could change, couldn't it?
But Merlin wouldn't ignore the idea that the future was set in stone.
Arthur stared down at Mordred, and moved his sword once more, tapping the young man again on both shoulders.
"Arise Sir Mordred… knight of Camelot."
THE BALCONY – CAMELOT COURTYARD
The scene melted into another.
In it, the king and queen were stood side by side on the balcony, dressed in their finery.
The knights, including Mordred, stood behind them in a loose semi-circle.
Their crimson capes gleamed down at the people who stared up at them.
The sky was bright overhead.
A new dawn.
Merlin stood at the side with Gaius and Tanya, his arms were folded and his face was pensive.
Mordred glanced at Merlin who was glaring forwards, not meeting his gaze for a second.
Gaius glanced between them and folded his hands in front of him.
Arthur stared down at the people.
His voice rang clear.
Through the top of his chainmail the bandage on his neck could be seen.
Gwen wouldn't let herself stare at it.
She was stood at his side, full of the knowledge that he lived, and that he was breathing and living beside her…
The battle had been won…
And she believed with all that she had that they would win the war.
"People of Camelot!" He declared.
"Once again we have triumphed in the face of our enemies. We have risen from the ashes ad shown those who would seek to hurt us that we will not be defeated… that we stand together united in the face of that which would divide us."
Cheers went up at his words, but he raised his hands for silence.
His speech had far more to say.
"And yet… the only reason that I am able to stand here with you in this victory, is because of a power that I have yet to understand."
Merlin straightened and Mordred glanced at him once more, before looking back to Arthur, his hands folded in front of him, as all of the other knights did.
Arthur's voice remained clear and unwavering, but the emotion in his eyes was beginning to seep through.
"My wife, Queen Guinevere, allowed the use of magic in order to resurrect me."
This resulted in murmurs through the crowd and Guinevere stiffened, her hands tightening around themselves just in front of her hips.
Arthur swallowed slightly to keep his voice strong and loud.
"Her proof of love, loyalty and bravery allowed magic to give me a second chance at life, so that I may stand before you today as your king and leader."
"Long live the king!"
The crowd erupted into cheers that Arthur once again raised his hands to try and calm.
"I owe her a greater debt than I can ever hope to repay…" His eyes glanced at his queen who smiled slightly at him, before they both stared back out at the crowd below them.
"And yet I have not forgotten that the magic she allowed the use of is outlawed in our great kingdom." He declared, "But I am reminded of something I vowed once to remember… the idea that there is no evil in magic, only in the hearts of men… that magic does not make people evil, that it is the other way around."
Eveline's words made Merlin stiffen.
Arthur swallowed and kept his voice loud and clear.
"I do not forget that magic can cause hurt and evil… we as a kingdom continue to battle and fight for those we love in the face of that such as Morgana… I lost my own father to the evil of magic, my mother, and my wife lost her father to a false accusation of sorcery…"
Murmurs went through the crowd and Gwen straightened.
Arthur reached for her hand.
His speech continued.
"But now I know and can see that magic can help those who need it. It can help a person to as greater extent as it can hinder one… and I am having to realise through the words of those once said to me, that it is the people with magic we should fear, not the magic that they have."
Gaius looked to Merlin and the young warlock straightened.
Arthur's words were a double edged sword, and they made Mordred stiffen slightly as well.
The king continued to spea.
"With this knowledge that magic can bring strength, life and love… I stand before you with a promise…" He straightened, "I intend to make our kingdom great, far greater than it can ever hope to be at the moment."
Merlin drew in a breath, his heart hammered.
Tanya looked at him and swallowed, looking back to the king.
Gwen stared up at her husbands determined eyes and set jaw.
He stared at the people.
"From this day forward, magic in this kingdom of Camelot, is under review."
Murmuring went through the crowd.
Arthur's voice remained loud and true.
"My privy council and I intend ti analyse each case of sorcery brought to us, and while magic still remains outlawed, times are altering."
The crowd stared up at him with unwavering trust in their eyes.
It burned through the shock they all felt.
But they had lived through Uther's tyrannically reign, and they knew now that they had all believed something that was true, that Arthur was different.
"I look to you, my people," Arthur declared, "my intent is to keep you safe and protect you, to the greatest extent that I am able."
Merlin gulped and Gaius threw him a look that told him to be cautious.
The young warlock's eyes remained on Arthur.
The king was speaking again.
"When I can be sure that those we hold closest will be safe…"
His hand moved slightly to take Gwen's in his, and she squeezed it back as a sign of solidarity.
He continued to speak to the crowd.
"And that the time is right, and when I have someone at my side who can assure me with all that they are that mafic can help our kingdom…"
Tanya's eyes flitted to Merlin.
The king's voice continued.
"Change will come."
The crowd erupted.
"Long live the king!"
"Long live the queen!"
"Long live the king!"
"Long live the queen!"
THE ROYAL CHAMBER
"The feast will start in the great hall in a few hours…" Arthur declared as he walked into the chamber, throwing his sword down on the table and reaching up to remove his cloak.
Merlin shut the doors and followed behind, reaching to pick up the sword.
"Make sure that Mordred enjoys himself; look on him as though he was your master…"
Merlin straightened at Arthurs words.
"Of course sire."
Arthur glanced at Merlin as the young warlock folded his cloak over his arm.
"You look rather pensive Merlin, what is it?"
Merlin stayed silent for a moment as the king sat down at his desk, rifling through some papers.
"Your speech, just now on the balcony, to the people…" The young warlock straightened.
"Oh?" Arthur didn't look up.
Merlin let a small somewhat disappointed smile cross his face as he played his part.
"I thought that for one moment you were going to lift the man on magic…"
His words trailed away.
Arthur's eyes snapped up to stare at him before looking back down.
"I won't do it until I am sure, and have seen for myself that a person can be completely without ebil and still have magic."
A part of Merlin screamed out for Arthur to know the truth, but he swallowed and buried it down inside.
The young warlock shifted.
"And I am surprised, that you have knighted Mordred."
"Why?" Arthur didn't look up.
"Well he is a druid, one who tried to kill you…"
"He was a druid." Arthur corrected.
"He may have magic."
"He may not." Arthur's jaw set.
"Have you asked him?" Merlin stepped closer.
"I don't need to, Merlin!" Arthur sighed shortly, looking up at him firmly, "He saved my life…"
"He was also working for Morgana…"
"Yes. And he admitted to it and told me about his loyalty to her for saving his life as a child…" Arthur stared at his servant and friend, "That honesty, bravery and loyalty are the mars of a true knight…"
Merlin straightened and Arthur stood from his desk, staring hard at the man before him.
"I should be glad to have him at my round table."
Merlin straightened and nodded.
"Then very well my lord."
Arthur watched as his servant turned away and made to walk to the door.
The young warlock turned back to stare at his king.
Arthur stared at him, "I would have much like your support on this."
Merlin stiffened and nodded his head, a small smile on his face.
"I always support you Sire, you know that… until the end of my days…"
"Good." Arthur straightened, "And I wanted to say thank you, for helping Guinevere, letting her go to Eveline, and resurrecting me…."
Merlin let himself grin.
"Does that mean that I can have the day off?"
Arthur coughed slightly, "Of course, the day off to polish my armour, straighten my cape and polish my boots…"
Merlin turned to rush to the door.
"The tavern it is then!"
Arthur's eyes snapped up.
The door closed.
Suddenly hands were over his eyes.
Soft palms pressed over his eyelids.
He chuckled and turned, wrapping his arms around a person whose brown eyes bore into his.
"Guinevere…" He breathed and his hands moved up her spine as hers hooked around his neck and she pulled his lips down on hers.
Her palms moved to cup his face and her thumbs stroked over his jaw.
He stared down into her eyes for a moment, before wrapping his arms fully around her and pulling her to him.
She giggled and it made the sun shine brighter, as his lips came down upon hers for a second time.
Together they were stronger.
"You have had a busy few days you must be tired… too tired for pudding?"
Gaius's words made Merlin look up from where he had been sat at the table, chewing on the end of his thumb, staring at something Gaius could not see.
Merlin sighed heavily as the old physician walked around with two bowls to sit facing him.
"What is wrong Merlin?" He asked.
Merlin pushed some of the pudding around his bowl.
"It is Mordred."
"I thought as much," Gaius sighed, "People change Merlin… perhaps you should give him the benefit of the doubt."
Merlin looked up at him.
"Remember what the dragon said? He said that Arthur would meet his end at the hands of a druid…"
"And you still believe that that is Mordred?" Gaius arched one eyebrow.
"He said that Mordred would play a part in Arthur's death, what am I supposed to think?"
The young warlock jabbed at a piece of pudding.
"I feel that the die is cast Gaius…and that for good or ill…" Merlin muttered gravely and looked up at Gaius.
"Albion's great trial has begun."
**END OF SEASON 5**
AUTHORS NOTE! SO WHAT A JOURNEY IT HAS BEEN!
THIS IS IT - THE END OF SEASON 5 - BUT DO NOT WORRY - go to my Profile now - and in a NEW STORY there is SEASON 6 and its first two chaptes... so you have had FOUR chapters to read and review... go... go now... go read and review those two as well... otherwise I will spam message you until you do!PLEASE READ AND REVIEW.