Even more faves and follows? *whoops and does a litte jig... which I will never repeat. Ever.*
And Im really grateful for the thumbs up, as well :D Glad you are enjoying it so much guys! Okay, so this is the final chapter, and is the whumpy bamf you've all been waiting for...
When morning came, the knights had only just got to their feet when all of their things all packed themselves away. In a matter of seconds, everything was in the saddlebags, and hunks of bread were hovering in front of them.
Leon blinked, finally fully waking, and shook his head. Then he grinned, taking the food hovering in front of him. The others were all doing the same, though he noticed Tristan was staring over to the horses with an ill-disguised hatred.
Following his line of sight, Leon saw Merlin, softly patting down the horses, and frowned. He was going to have to keep an eye on Tristan.
Then he grinned, catching sight of the mischievous twinkle in Gwaine's eye as he crept, silently, up to Merlin, a bowl full of water in his hand. He was about to say something when he caught sight of Arthur, gesturing for him to stop.
Leon stood back, realising from the grin on Arthur's face that this was going to be worth watching.
Just before Gwaine reached Merlin, the sorcerers hand seemed to twitch a little, and Gwaine gave a sharp yelp as he slipped in a puddle of mud that had definitely not been there before.
As he fell, the water exploded over his head, drenching him, and he was hoisted upside down by a vine that appeared from no-where.
The whole clearing was silent for a few moments as Gwaine dangled, upside down, until Leon felt a burst of laughter coming out.
He heard Arthur laugh at the same time, and the others joined in not a second later.
Gwaine, red-faced, was glaring at them, but the effect was ruined by the fact that he was currently upside down.
"Oi! Stop laughing and get me the hell down from here!"
Leon grinned as he saw everyone look to Merlin, lounging against his mare and grinning at the sight of his friend dangling from a tree, then shared looks between them and take a small step back.
"Sorry mate," Elyan said, grinning. "I'm not getting in the way of that…"
"Oh, you… Damn it… Merlin! Let me down!"
Merlin raised an eyebrow, rolling his eyes, and, grinning, called back.
"Let you down? What, from that height? Well… If you're sure…"
"Oi! Merlin you know damn well what I mean!"
"I know that. I'm just waiting…"
"You were about to throw water on my head!"
At that, Arthur spoke up,
"Just say sorry, Gwaine… Then we can leave…"
"We could just leave anyway?" Leon said, innocently voicing a thought that was in no way connected to the fact that he was very amused by the scowl Gwaine gave when he was stuck in a tree.
"Oi! You shanky-haired git!" He swayed for a few more seconds, before cursing. "Fine! I'm sorry already! Now will you just let me down?"
Merlin, grinning, nodded,
"Of course." His eyes flashed and Gwaine was lowered to the ground. Apparently, however, Merlin hadn't fully forgiven him, and he landed, face first, in the puddle he had slipped on. Merlin simply grinned at the huge glare directed at him, and clambered onto his horse.
"See Gwaine? Was that so hard?"
Ten minutes later, and they were well on their way.
Arthur was hopeful that they would reach the village before noon, and was content to sit back, letting the knights pester Merlin with more questions. When he heard Percival speak up, about half an hour later, however, his interest was piqued.
"So, hang on. You've protected Camelot and done all of that magic… But according to some people I met in Annis's kingdom a few years before I met Lance, the power to do something like that… I've heard the legends of Emrys, but just how powerful are you exactly?"
Arthur turned to see Merlin, looking faintly embarrassed and seemingly at a loss for words… Eventually he spoke.
"Okay… According to the druids, I'm destined to become the most powerful sorcerer that the land had ever seen. As it is, I'm not quite at that point yet… I'm still pretty powerful though. Tricks like what I did with Gwaine this morning-"
"Tricks?" Percival blinked. "That would have left most sorcerers weakened by some extent. Many completely spent… You seemed fine."
"Yeah… Something like that, moving objects and stuff, it's no drain at all. Well, it would be if I was injured, but on a normal day it's no trouble." He paused for a moment before sighing.
"As for how powerful I am? I honestly have no real idea. I mean, even with everything I've done, even with injuries, I've pulled through it so… I have about as much of an idea as you do. My magic is mainly elemental, so spells aren't as important to me as they are for other people… I can often do things just by thinking it…"
They were all silent for some time after that, and Leon felt himself thinking of everything Merlin had done, his obvious ease with teasing Gwaine that morning, and Percival's words,
'That would have left most sorcerers drained to some extent. Many completely drained…'
Leon thought about all of that, and glanced at the raven-haired man who seemed as deep in thought as the rest of them, and he felt a sense of relief.
They were lucky to have Merlin on their side in this war… He dreaded to think of what Camelot would have been like if he wasn't.
Most likely decimated with Morgana on the throne…
Merlin's eyes flickered up, quickly, and locked onto Leon's, apparently aware that the knight had been watching him.
"What?" he asked, raising an eyebrow, and Leon shrugged.
"I ever told you I'm glad we're not enemies?"
Merlin's eyes widened, and he grinned,
"Nope… I-" he cut off and froze, eyes scanning the forest.
In a flash, he was down off of his horse, hand pressed against the ground, eyes gold.
The rest of them were quick to follow, drawing their swords, and stood around Merlin.
A few seconds, later, his eyes faded to their normal blue and he stood up, face grim.
"We've got trouble…"
"Sorcerers?" Arthur asked, and Merlin shook his head.
"No… But it's too much of a coincidence that they are attacking now…"
Suddenly, the path swarmed with bandits al armed and all heading straight for them.
"Them." Merlin finished, but the men were on them before Arthur could make a quip about how astoundingly obvious he was being.
Arthur brought his sword up in time to deflect a blow, and stabbed his would be killer in the gut, ignoring the thud as the body hit the floor, he was already focused on the next man, but before he could do more than raise his sword, he froze.
As Arthur looked around, he saw that all of the other bandits had frozen as well, and the other knights looked as bemused as he was until Gwaine gave an awed gasp and they all turned to see Merlin, hand out in front of him, fingers splayed.
His eyes were a bright gold, and he looked pissed off.
"You know what? I have had it. Sorcerers, and they sent bandits to do their work for them. Seriously. That's just… Just insulting. Now I'm going to have to lecture them on the correct way to deal with a threat. Which is not to pass it on to someone else. And you idiots listened? Gods, are you all stupid? When has working for sorcerers ever worked for you people?"
He glared at several individual bandits before shaking his head, obviously annoyed, and clenched his open hand into a fist.
Arthur blinked as all of the men simultaneously fell to the ground, unmoving. He turned to Merlin, who was still glaring at the, now prone, figures.
"They're not dead. Just unconscious. They'll wake up with a raging headache and a morbid fear of blood. Should put them off of their current line of work…"
The young man crouched down net to one of the men and held a hand over his face, muttering a string of words. With a gasp, the bandit sat up, scrabbling away from Merlin… Straight into Gwaine, who grabbed him, hoisted him up and pinned him into a tree.
Merlin waked over, and Gwaine shifted so that the men were face to face.
Merlin jabbed at him,
"You. Who are you working for?"
The man blinked a couple of times, then seemed to sag.
"Who the hell are you…?"
"The one who is going to give you over to these others-" he gestured to the knights and Arthur, who all grinned, intimidatingly, "If you don't answer my questions. Who are you working for?"
The man visibly sagged and he hastily responded,
"I don't have any names… It's a group of sorcerers… eight of them, and powerful. They wanted us to keep an eye out for any Camelot patrols and ensure they didn't make it to the village…"
"What are they doing?"
"S-setting an ambush for Arthur Pendragon... They know he'll come to the village's aid."
"Trapped in their homes… Some were killed when they first got to the village… seventeen in all. Men, women and two children…"
"How long will it be before they realise you failed?"
Arthur was furious, but held it in check. As did the others, and, to their surprise, Merlin. Who was obviously as angry, if not more so, than the rest of them.
The man was obviously terrified as he replied, and Arthur realised that he had really got to start paying more attention to his manservant.
"We- we were m-meant to report in regularly… Its th-three hours till the n-next appointed time… "
"Okay. Final question. Have you lied to me at-all when answering these questions?"
"N-no! No I-"
Merlin didn't do or say anything, but the man fell limp, and Gwaine dropped him to the floor, rubbing his hands in obvious disgust.
"Bastards…" he cursed.
Two hours later, and they were all staked out on the top of a ridge, looking into the village.
They had left the bandits in the clearing and rode out, reaching the village within the hour, and had immediately started coming up with a plan.
Everyone but Gwaine and Arthur had given Merlin a wide berth.
Elyan, Percival and Leon because they knew what he could be like when he was angry… even if they had only seen him that way once or twice. It wasn't pretty and wasn't something they liked to see.
The others were obviously cautious of him being a majorly pissed off and incredibly powerful sorcerer, and were also well acquainted with what an angry Merlin could be like.
Tristan just looked lie everything he had feared was reality, and none of the others could stand to talk to him after he had given a tirade about Arthur and the rest of them obviously being blind to Merlin enchanting them.
Merlin had just looked at him, and he had shut up. No magic, no threats, nothing said, they just shared a look.
Arthur had never seen a man shut up quite so fast.
Him and Gwaine however, were too stubborn to let the idiot wallow in anger, and even knowing what a pissed off Merlin was like, got him actively talking plans again.
After ten minutes, they still had no clear course of action, Merlin having given up a few minutes previously and now sitting, eyebrow raised, as they all squabbled over the best course of action.
That's when they heard the scream.
They immediately rolled to the ledge, where they could see the village. The sight that met them froze them in their place.
A young girl, no older than sixteen, was being tied to a pyre, as her families screams echoed through the air.
Then they heard the voice.
"Now do you see?" one of the sorcerers said, and Arthur cringed. The madness beneath the words was obvious. "Our kind have been persecuted for far too long… Now you will know how it feels to have everything you hold dear torn away from you!"
He held up a torch, the end bursting into flame, and began to advance towards the pyre, seemingly oblivious to the commotion around him.
Arthur jumped to his feet.
"We have to do something!"
"Sire," this was Leon, "We need a plan. We need-"
"A Merlin." Gwaine's voice cut them both short, and they span, to see that Merlin was no longer where he had been. Gwaine spoke up again.
"I have a plan… We head down to the village, watching as Merlin defeats the bad guys, and get down there in time to congratulate him and head home."
They were all silent for a few minutes before simultaneously bursting from the ridge and running towards the village.
Merlin appeared in the village just as the sorcerer threw the flame into the pyre. Merlin immediately tried to quench the flames, but discovered that they were magical in origin. He didn't have time to find the right spell to use to disenchant them, and latched his mind onto the others, sending a message.
"Flames are enchanted. I'll get the girl. Get your asses down here and deal with the villagers!"
He heard a shocked acknowledgement, but was already running.
With a blast, he had the, still unsuspecting sorcerers thrown back, and jumped up into the flames.
The girl was coughing, eyes streaming with tears and full of fear.
He muttered a spell, causing the ropes to snap, and gathered her up.
"You're okay… You're safe now…"
She nodded, obviously terrified, but seeming to trust him.
He jumped down from the platform, the girl still in her arms and ran to her family, snapping their bonds with a thought and handing the girl to them.
Not stopping to look at the terrified, and shocked gazes thrown at him, he ran to the square again, looking for the sorcerers.
Of course, that was when the others decided to arrive.
"Merlin!" That was Arthur, looking majorly pissed. "You idiot! You could have been kill-"
Before he could finish, seven sorcerers surrounded them, four blasting at the knights and three at Arthur.
Merlin reacted instinctively. He threw a shield around the others, deflecting the attack but was too slow to do the same for himself, and felt himself blown backwards, then he hit his head, saw everything falling and everything went dark.
"Merlin!" Arthur's voice rang in time with several others, as they saw their friend thrown into one of the nearby houses, which promptly collapsed on top of him.
The selfless idiot! Did he never think of protecting-
"Arthur Pendragon! What a pleasant surprise…" Arthur turned to look at the sorcerer who was speaking, the same one who had set fire to the, now flaming, pyre. "And with your knights! What a fine bonus… Morgana will reward me greatly for this…"
He grinned, mockingly, as the knights all raised their swords.
"Now, now. What do you think a stick will do against our combined power? You fools… And It seems that your only real weapon is now gone…"
Arthur froze. Merlin… He couldn't be…
"He's not dead…" Gwaine growled net to him, but the sorcerer seemed amused,
"Really? The spell we hit him with is powerful enough to destroy even Morgana, had she not wards to prevent it! He had no ward or shield… He is dead! I doubt even the fabled Emrys could survive such an attack!"
Suddenly, Bedivere gave a small grin, and spoke up.
"Well, why don't you ask him yourself?"
Arthur span, followed less than a second later by the others, and sighed in relief at the sight of the scorched, scratched, scruffy, bruised, ragged, gangly, raven-haired, completely pissed off warlock.
The sorcerer span, along with his comrades, and gasped.
"Impossible…" he muttered, paling. "No-one could…"
"Emrys could…" Gwaine corrected, now flexing his muscles and seating himself down against the wall of a nearby house. He grinned, obviously looking forward to this.
"This is gonna be fun…"
Merlin spoke up, from the top of
"That. Is. IT!"
Clouds began to form above them, the skies darkening as thunder rumbled. Winds picked up speed and Merlins hair and clothes whipped around him as he deftly leapt down from the stack of rubble he had been standing on.
Landing on the ground, he began to stalk towards the group of, now obviously shocked and fearful sorcerers.
"That is it. I have had it. Had it with the attacks, the ambushes, the deaths, the creatures, the enchantments, the curses, the poisons, the riddles, the destinies, the responsibility!
I have had it with trying to reason with you people. Trying to help you. You just never LISTEN!"
A flash of lightening lit up the area, having struck directly behind Merlin, and Arthur raised an eyebrow. His friend definitely had a taste for theatrics...
Merlin started speaking again, voice as loud as before, but filled with something more than just anger. There was hatred marred with it, disbelief and echoing sorrow.
"You wonder why people fear us? Hate us? It is because of those like you! Those who think no further than revenge! Whose only basis for magic is a selfish desire! I've been called a traitor for protecting Camelot? It is people like you who have betrayed out kind! Allowed the image of magic to become distorted and warped to one of hatred and evil! You stand there, thinking yourselves just and righteous in your beliefs!"
The wind seemed to reach a point where its fury could no longer be contained and it seemed to explode, knocking the sorcerers back a good thirty feet.
As they got to their feet, one sent a bolt of light towards Arthur, who didn't even flinch.
The blast never came close.
Arthur did almost flinch, however, at the fury in his friends, now molten gold, eyes.
The very air around him seemed to radiate power. Golden and blue streaks flashed round him, seeming to dance. When he spoke gain, his voice was lower, but held more fury than Arthur could have thought possible of him.
Several bolts of light came from the sorcerers, flying towards him. He didn't even blink, as the spells dissipated harmlessly around him.
"You attack innocent people! You murder and injure and inflict pain without care! You attack my friends! And you still have the nerve… To attack me?"
The sorcerers cracked, sending spell after spell, curse after curse, ball after ball of light and power at the Warlock, but all he did was stand there, seeming almost amused, yet clearly disgusted by their attempts.
Nothing hit him. Nothing got near.
Two of the sorcerers collapsed from the effect of using too much magic.
Three vanished, obviously fleeing.
Two were able to do nothing more than stay on their feet.
One, however, the one who had seemed the very centre of this, kept going. His attacks becoming increasingly more desperate and violent.
Eventually, however, he seemed to get the idea and stopped, facing Merlin, eyes glowing with a hatred, fury and madness. They were all obvious when he spoke.
"Why?! Why choose to protect a Pendragon over your own kind?!"
Merlin simply stared, his anger still evident, but almost matched with a pitying revulsion.
The question needed to answer.
When he received no reply, the sorcerer screamed, blasting everything he had at Merlin.
Merlin raised his hand, flicking his fingers, and everything stopped. For a millisecond, everything was still, then the whole world exploded.
Or, at least, it seemed that way to Arthur.
One moment, everything was still, then he could barely concentrate on something long enough for an image to stick.
He saw Merlin, his eyes a brighter gold than he had ever seen before, stood, his right arm raised slightly, in the middle of his own, personal storm.
He saw him flick his wrist.
And he saw how the tiny gesture caused everything to devolve into chaos.
Everything seemed to explode out of him.
The dirt and the rubble were reduced to dust, and blown away.
The pyre was utterly decimated and travelled away on the wind, nothing more than ash.
The spell from the other sorcerer dissolved into a mist, carried away by the wave of sheer power coming from the Warlock.
The sorcerer, himself, and his two companions, were destroyed.
There was no other word for it. The wave ripped through them in a flash, and they were gone. No sign of them. It was the same with the two that were either dead or unconscious.
Wave after wave of blinding blue and gold light washed over him, but, like with the rest of his men and the villagers, it simply passed over him, leaving nothing but a deep warmth and sense of security.
Then, it was over.
Merlin stood alone, his eyes back to his usual azure blue, his clothes torn and singed, hair completely windblown and tangled, and a cut down the side of his jaw, which was healed to a thin white line, along with all of his other cuts and bruises.
He lowered his hand, flexing his fingers, then ran it through his hair, following through and rubbing the back of his neck, as he turned to face the rest of them.
His expression had lost most of its erstwhile anger, and he was now looking utterly innocent and sheepish.
"Err… I'm um… I'm sorry you had to see that…"
Arthur looked at him, then looked at the others as they all turned their heads, then they all turned to look at Merlin again, who was starting to look a little confused.
Leon turned to Elyan, from where he was leaning against the wall, obviously awed, yet grinning wildly at the knowledge that this war with Morgana was as good as won.
"Remind me never to make him mad…"
Arthur blinked at the sudden indignant look on Merlin's face, then snorted before bursting into laughter.
Because, really, when your best friend is the world's most powerful sorcerer, has shown that there is no chance of you losing the war you're fighting against your insane, evil and power-hungry sister and is the only hope for a decent future according to the most revered of prophesies, but also happens to also the most clueless, clumsy, far-too-popular-with-bad-guys -, chirpy, optimistic to the point of depressing, disobedient, quirky, gangly, immature, ridiculous and infuriating idiot in the history of forever, what else was there that you could do?
So, yeah. An intended one-shot that evolved into the three chapters. Please review and let me know what you think!
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed :D
(And yup, I do have several more random reveal fics that are either requests or just weird explosive bouts of imagination and access to a laptop... Anybody interested in me uploading them? I can guarantee that none(or only one or two) of them are as cliche as his one...)
Ayway, thanks to all readers, favers, followers and reviewers! Glad you enjoyed :D