SPOILER WARNING! BE WARNED!
I want you all to know that this fiction will take place AFTER the final episode of Merlin which was Season 5 episode 13 The Day of Diamond part 2. If you don't want to read this because you haven't seen the episode yet here's a link where you can find it, if you don't care either way then enjoy!
Chapter 1: The Final Warning
Kilgharrah lied on the ground panting heavily as he landed from his flight; he had just flown away from Merlin and Arthur's corpse after leaving them at the Isles of Avalon. He told Merlin the truth about Arthur's death, that in Albion's greatest need Arthur will rise again to fulfill his destiny, and although he knew that Merlin was conflicted and hurting that he would heed his words. Kilgharrah closed his eyes in hopes of sleep, but the pain within his chest would not allow him the comfort of a good night's sleep. The Great Dragon laughed morbidly to himself and thought, Here I am, one of the last of a proud, strong and noble breed pained by flying two humans barely 10 leagues. He chuckled morbidly again, knowing it wasn't him aiding Merlin that had brought the pain. No it was the inevitability of old age finally catching up to him. Even among other Dragons Kilgharrah would be considered old; he had survived many centuries after his hatching alone and had little contact with his own kind. His only regret was that he hadn't found any other Dragons out of Camelot, but he hadn't the strength for such consuming flights and he knew he had to be close by in case Merlin ever called him. At the thought of the young warlock the Dragon's pain lessoned as he thought of what he was going through. Kilgharrah felt bad for not telling him the eventuality of Arthur's death, but he had warned him that if left alive Mordred would deal the killing blow. He felt Merlin's pain through their link together as spiritual brothers but there was nothing he could do. In Kilgharrah's weakened state he doubted he could rise from his spot lest of all fly to the dragon lord's side. Kilgharrah sighed and knew that his time in the world of the living was coming to an end. Finally after what seemed like another lifetime sleep finally came to the Dragon but it was anything but pleasant.
Merlin running through the forest, a dark shadow accompanying him running at his glowing side.
Monsters and Demons from across the veil crossing into the land of the living, their species un notable.
Merlin still accompanied by the darkness holding the demons at bay using strong magic of the Old Religion.
An aged Merlin and a strange aged woman wearing clothes never before seen, a device passing them at tremendous speeds.
The Isles of Avalon stirs as a form begins to rise.
Kilgharrah woke up in a flash his ancient golden eyes inflicted by the pain of his vision. He tried to get up from his lying position but realized he hadn't the energy to do it. Looking up passed the trees he saw that the sun was already setting, for what he knew he had slept for at least an entire day if not two. The vision haunted the Dragon, he knew not what it meant for Merlin but knew he had to contact him. Kilgharrah tried futilely again to raise his body but to no avail. Closing his eyes he concentrated what little magic he had left to shout a deafening cry with his mind:
Merlin, you must come to me…. I do not have much time please hurry! As soon as the final words left his mind Kilgharrah felt himself slip into darkness once more, this time his sleep was much more gratifying but not any more pleasant. The vision returned to him again this time with an even more intense ferocity. The monsters that were un noticeable before now clear, dangerous demons that even the strongest of Dragons would fear, the darkness beside Merlin still accompanied him but it could be told that it was assisting Merlin in some way. The Darkness of the creature and the light surrounding Merlin somehow familiar but Kilgharrah is unable to recall it in his weakened state. When the vision finally dissolved Kilgharrah was drained entirely by the toll the vision had claimed. He lied in darkness for an eternity. Cold, non-feeling. He heard a voice- a far off voice muttering something unintelligible, he ignores it. Then the sound returned again, louder less muffled; Kilgharrah thought he felt something touch his flank but knew it not to be true. Suddenly a warmth enveloped Kilgharrah as he began to stir, he was about to resist when he heard an all too familiar voice call out that he couldn't refuse.
"O drakon, e male so ftengometta tesd'hup'anankes!" (O dragon, permit the appeal for an audience to speak here, fierce, wise-minded one.)
Kilgharrah's eyes opened instantly as he took in a hard, labored breath he looked down and saw Merlin in front of him, slightly better dressed than usual, channeling magic into his body to restore a portion of his energy. The Dragon smiled tiredly not raising his body and said, "Merlin, you have no idea how glad I am to see you."
"I came as soon as I heard your call are you all right?" Kilgharrah moaned and finally managed to raise his body off the ground into a labored standing position. He may be dying but he needed to look strong for Merlin's sake.
"I am better thanks to you, but that was not the reason I called you here,"
"Then what's wrong?" Merlin asked worriedly. Kilgharrah looked at Merlin with a deep look of regret and sorrow. He did not wish to put him through any more pain but there was no other choice and no one else he could turn to.
"I am afraid that I have grave news, news I wish I didn't have to give you Merlin."
"What do you mean what's happened? Merlin asked fear etching into his voice. Kilgharrah looked at him with intense remorse as he recited the vision that he had foreseen the nights before, each detail widening Merlin's eyes. He waited for Kilgharrah to finish, hoping for a silver lining somewhere but was obviously disappointed when there was none.
"What was the shadow you told me about? Why was it following me?" Merlin asked trying to make up some part of the Dragon's vision, but Kilgharrah simply shook his head.
"I am sorry young warlock but I know little more than you do. Unlike most prophecies, I am afraid I do not have the time to unravel its mysteries."
"Wait what do you mean your out of time?" Merlin demanded, his voice cracked for he obviously knew the answer but did not wish to accept it. Kilgharrah sighed sadly as he bent his head down to Merlin's level.
"It is as I said before, I am old. And all living things must eventually return to the Earth, creatures of the old religion are no different."
"But you can't leave me!" Merlin pleaded tears forming in his eyes, "Not now, not when I need you the most!"
"Merlin," Kilgharrah started sadly looking at Merlin directly in his tear filled eyes he was about to continue when Merlin continued.
"Who am I to turn to if I need help? You've always had the answers for me Kilgharrah, I may not have always liked them but I realize now that you were always right." Kilgharrah closed his eyes clearing the haze that was attempting to conquer his mind. When he reopened his eyes Merlin flinched.
"Kilgharrah, your eyes! They stopped glowing for half a second, what's happening?"
"I am afraid I have less time than I had hoped Merlin," Kilgharrah stated. He noted the look of concern and worry on Merlin's face and knew he had to make the rest of their final visit count.
"Merlin listen to me, I am not and will not be the only place you receive aid. When this horrid prophecy comes to existence the great powers of the old religion, powers equally as powerful as Dragons, will feel it and will fight against it to maintain their hold of power in the living world. Some will help you willingly while others may scorn your help but regardless, whenever you require aid they will become available to you."
"But how?" Merlin asked now confused by the Dragon's words. Kilgharrah said nothing for what seemed like hours as he looked up to the sky. He then gave a rare smile as he looked back down to Merlin.
"You never realize how beautiful the world is Merlin, until your about to leave it for good,"
"Kilgharrah please-"Merlin started but he was immediately interrupted.
"Merlin I have but one final gift to give you, and as the last Dragon Lord only you are the only one I can, and would, give it to." Merlin stared at Kilgharrah as he raised himself to his full height any sign of exhaustion from before was forced from the Dragon's expression as he looked down at Merlin as he always did to him: wisely and with power. Kilgharrah took a deep breath and exhaled the magic into Merlin, Merlin recognized the sensation as when Kilgharrah had taught him the spells to entrap Cornelius Sigan's soul into a crystal and when he had forced him to teach him how to heal Morgana, but this was on an entirely different level. Kilgharrah wasn't simply giving Merlin a few spells, he was pouring the very essence of his knowledge into him, not memories but straight decisive knowledge coursing through his mind. Merlin's magic flared at the on flow of knowledge, his eyes glowing brightly as the flow finally ceased. Merlin put his hands to his head to prevent it from exploding, it took a few minutes but the utter pain was reduced to a seemingly painful headache.
"I have done all that I can for you my Dragon Lord, all that I know is now at your disposal. Merlin looked up and was shocked to see that Kilgharrah's eyes no longer had the glow of magic in them. When he pointed this out to him he merely laughed humorlessly as he lied down on his legs.
"Yes Merlin I know, my knowledge and power will do little good to anyone when I am dead." Kilgharrah lied his neck and head down as his body laxed as the stress immediately left him.
"So this is it then?" Merlin asked in a strangely calm tone. Kilgharrah looked at Merlin and saw tears freely flowing from his eyes. Kilgharrah was genuinely touched by the concern Merlin was showing him. After everything he had put Merlin through the child, no, the man,could still see him with any form of kindness.
"Do not cry for me Merlin, it is the way it must be," he said softly. Merlin wiped at his eyes and said,
"I've either lost or am losing two of my greatest friends, it's not easy," he joked badly with a small grin. Kilgharrah returned the grin and said, "Tell me how things fair in Camelot Merlin, that will get your mind off of things."
"Well," Merlin started, "They held the funeral for Arthur a few days ago, well it was mostly for Arthur, but for the knights that died fighting the Saxons as well."
"They fought bravely I'm sure, their enemies would not fight fairly." Kilgharrah stated his eye lids beginning to droop. Merlin noticed this but continued to speak of Camelot.
"Arthur's wife Gwen, she found out that I'm a sorcerer. I figure Gaius must have said something but it isn't all bad. She offered me the position of court magician, and she's allowing magic to be practiced within Camelot again."
"That is excellent Merlin, our endeavor was not in vain then," Kilgharrah's eyes were nearly shut. He looked at Merlin expectantly and asked, "Do you intend to take the queen on her offer? To be court magician?" Merlin shrugged replying,
"Eventually maybe, there are a few things I want to take care of first."
"Like what young warlock?" Kilgharrah asked, struggling to remain conscious.
"Well the big one is that I want to find Aithusa and try to help her, get her healthy again you know?" At the sound of his wards name Kilgharrah moaned in sadness. He opened his eyes slightly to look up at Merlin.
"Merlin, Aithusa did not deserve what came to her. She is young and already scarred deeply, please promise me you will do your best to protect her. Teach her the ways of our kind." Merlin nodded and said, "I promise Kilgharrah, you have my word." Kilgharrah returned a small, almost unnoticeable nod and said, "That is assuring to hear Merlin," His eyes were nearly closed completely when he barely whispered, "You have been a noble friend to me Merlin, and I hope that… I don't see you too soon in the realm of the dead."
"It will be a much smaller world without you in it, old friend." Kilgharrah managed a small chuckle. He said nothing as his breathing became labored, Merlin simply stayed by him so neither of them would be alone. As Kilgharrah's final breaths were taken he managed to say something in a ragged whisper that Merlin almost didn't hear.
"She is the darkness to your light." As the words left his body so did his final breath. As Kilgharrah's body stilled Merlin stared at the corpse of his friend as the tears freely rolled from his eyes. As he stood up a saying in the Dragon's tongue came to his lips almost instinctually
"May you forever rest in the hearth of the ancestors," Merlin continued to stare at his friend, not wanting to leave. On a surge of instinct Merlin approached Kilgharrah's corpse and put a hand on his scales. Feeling for a few moments he manages to find a loose one and gently removes it from the body.
That way you'll always be with me my friend, he thought to himself. He gave the body a once more look over as his eyes glowed at the use of magic. The body shined for a few moments then seemingly disappeared. He would return one day and give his friend a proper burial, until then he would hide the body where only he could find it, out of harm's way from those who'd defile it. Merlin turned and left to begin the treck back to Camelot. He was slowly running out of allies and he knew that things would get a lot worse before they got better, but he did know that one thing was clear: There was an evil that would threaten Albion, and he'd be damned if he let it happen without a fight.
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