4/14/14: Quick note. It has been brought to my attention that there were some issues with the recent edits when I went to upload the chapters. Mainly ffnet deleting spaces and some words surrounding punctuation in a few places. I know of 1 particular sentence in chapter 12. I fear there are more than just this one. SO...with that in mind, would anyone reading this, please make a note of strange run-on sentences that don't appear to make any sense. Just PM me with the chapter number and approx page position, if you would. I would GREATLY appreciate it!
Knave of Hearts
Sequel to Two Sides of the Coin (one shot), Flipping the Coin (AU Season 5 after 5.04 "Another's Sorrow"
Summary: After sacrificing himself for his King, Leon's body lays frozen, and the world begins to move on. Merlin is searching for a way to free their friend from the curse and cure the poison running through both Leon and Arthur's bodies. Meanwhile Merlin is adjusting to his new status while trying to keep his sanity in check and figuring out a balance between the himself and the man he wants to be.
AN: This piece was originally titled "Merlin and the Cauldron of Dyrnwch" but...I never got to the actual cauldron in this piece because I was sidetracked by weaving in other plot threads and developing characters. Knave pretty much turned into the equivalent of a 2 part episode for the beginning of my season 6 of Merlin, and introduced my OC Cai to the mix..
As of Dec 2013 (A year since I began posting this piece), this story is finally undergoing edits, and Nance has stepped up to the plate to retro-edit the entire series! Please give her a round of applause! (I will also be removing the majority of my rambles in the header and footer.)
There is a little bit of everything in this story twisted legends, romance, some BAMF, LOTS of humor and Bromance...well except Merthur...there's no Merthur, sorry.
Please review if you find something you enjoy along the way! Or at the end at least, if you would be so kind! Thanks!
And an amazing thank you to everyone who has reviewed, followed, favorited me, this story, and the whole series! You have all just made my soul sing with your words of encouragement and praise! If you see something odd or out of place, don't hesitate to let me know. (There might look like a chapter is missing in the list, but all I did was change the default "Chapter 1" to "Prologue" so I can keep track of where I am in my editing.)
The days were growing shorter as the season progressed. Leaves changed from summer greens into hues of reds, oranges, and browns on the trees. The first rains of autumn helped to wash away the remaining carnage and blood from the nearby vales. By spring, it would be hard to tell that there had been a battle at all. The village of Bedkelerd was bustling with activity on this market day. Small and somewhat hidden at the convergence of two rivers, high in the hills of Snowdonia, the year had been a good one for its few inhabitants.
It was difficult to grow crops on the rocky mountainous crags, but the influx of men from the war against the Saxons brought a new sense of life to the sleepy little town. Copper had recently been found in the hills, and the people, along with their new lord, enjoyed the prosperity it brought to the region through trade. Some of the ore was loaded on wagons and taken to Lothian by road. Most, however, was taken by ship out of the newly settled port on the mouth of the river to the kingdoms in the south, such as Caerleon and the one their new lord claimed fealty to...Camelot.
A raven-haired woman, her skin a pale cream, walked gingerly through the muddy, track-laden path that served as the main road; careful not to step in the muck, as she surveyed the carts lining the street. Soft green eyes smiled warmly as she spoke to the merchants. It was a nice change to be back among people. Over a month had passed since Morgana regained her life. The transition was difficult as her nightmares were plagued with memories of the past years.
Her mother, whom she had been told was dead, tended the Magical Grove near her new home. Their relationship was awkward at first, as Morgana held resentment towards the woman whom she knew only from the tales of others. She was two when the Great Purge was brought down on the magical population of Camelot, and Uther's lust for his friend's wife did not deter his anger when Ygraine died.
Morgause had already been hidden away from the fiery temper of the king. She showed signs of having the Sight and told King Uther, in her childish innocence, about her baby sister not being her father's daughter. Uther wanted to make certain the blond first-born of Gorlois would not be around to spread the rumor any further. Vivienne trusted in Gaius to get the child away before the king could do something to her himself.
When Ygraine finally became pregnant, the dark-haired woman breathed a sigh of relief; thinking she would finally gain her freedom from Camelot, and be allowed to return to her husband's home of Tintagel. On the night of Arthur's birth, however, her world of hope crumbled in heart-stopping fear. Uther knew she was a trained priestess before her marriage to Gorlois, and being the closest of the Queen's Ladies, Vivienne suspected her head might be first on the chopping block.
She took Morgana and fled that night to Cornwall. A fortnight passed and the rumors of King Uther's rage against anything magical spread like wildfire through the whole of Camelot. As his forces drew closer, a dream came to her that she needed to leave the area. The only hope for her daughter's safety was to be found at the Grove of Magicians. Unfortunately, Morgana was much too young for such a journey.
Gorlois arrived home, just ahead of the king's men. One daughter already lost, he knew his wife could easily be next. Crying, Vivienne bade her husband and child farewell, and fled the kingdom.
As Morgana perused the market, she thought about her mother, and what it must have been like for the woman. With the help of a man who had become her dearest friend, Morgana was beginning to push past the hatred of Uther and resentment of her mother's flight; especially as she knew how much pain her own hands caused, as a result of revenge born from something she did not understand, nor could fully control.
She shifted the basket on her arm, filled with embroidery supplies to keep her hands busy throughout the long winter ahead. Further down the lane, she spied the raven-haired warlock and couldn't suppress the smile that came to her lips. Formerly a servant to the king, and not used to being in a position of power himself, he was currently bartering with a poor merchant who had no clue of the Earl of Snowdonia's past. Merlin seemed to be enjoying the man's distress at having a nobleman haggle with him like a commoner.
Morgana thought briefly about trying to save the trader, but was interrupted when a late blooming wildflower suddenly appeared in front of her face.
"Greetings, beautiful Lady." Gwaine bowed deeply, his dark eyes twinkling, pouring on the charm.
She plucked the bloom from his fingertips, gracing the ladies' man with a bright smile and a curtsey of her own. "Well, hello there, Prince Gwaine. We haven't seen you in a while. To what do we owe the pleasure of your visit?"
He looked deeply hurt, his hand over his heart. "Ah, now you've gone and insulted me, Lady Morgana. It breaks my heart to hear you name me as a noble."
She laughed as he took her basket and offered his arm in an act of flirtatious chivalry. They walked towards the warlock. Merlin saw them and finally left the merchant in peace to greet his friend.