AN: So here comes the big fight scene, oooo! How exciting! I should warn you it is very long! But anyway, here it is, and I hope you enjoy it.
The grin on Merlin's face promptly dropped as he heard a moan from the stirring figure behind him. "Now, to business." A grim look set on Merlin's usually cheerful face, making all who knew him feel uneasy. They knew something big was going to happen whenever Merlin wore this expression.
He turned his head over to the Knights of the Round Table, his friends, and called out to them "My good knights, do I have your support?" His voice was calm and level but a small raise in pitch at the end revealed his uncertainty and fear.
Lancelot was the first to answer, his eyes still shining with pride "Merlin, you know my answer and I am glad that you no longer carry this burden so alone." He strode over to where Merlin stood tenderly put his hand on Merlin's shoulder for a moment and nodded as their eyes met briefly. Lancelot moved to stand behind Merlin, avoiding Arthur's questioning stare.
Gwaine was the next to speak "I can't believe I didn't put two and two together! I always knew there was something special about you Merlin, and I won't lie, magic has crossed my mind a couple of times." The long haired knight shook his head, still unable to grasp quite how he was so unobservant. "Merlin, you are my first friend and I shall always be loyal to you. And now I suppose you don't have any more secrets… you can accompany me to the tavern and share a pint of mead?" A mischievous glint had entered his eyes as he revelled in several ideas of how to use his friend's newly discovered powers.
"Really Gwaine, just the one pint? That doesn't sound like you." Merlin shook his head in disbelief. "And before you ask, no I cannot get you a unicorn."
"Ahh Merlin, you know me too well" muttered Gwaine, pulling his lanky friend into a tight embrace before joining Arthur and Lancelot behind the young warlock.
"You saved my father didn't you? Gwen told me a sorcerer healed him and it was you, wasn't it? You don't need to say anything, just…thank you. You gave him more time with Gwen and I'm in your debt. More importantly, I am you friend." Elyan, who had been silent, stared at the ground while he spoke quietly. Following the others he moved to stand behind Merlin.
"Merlin I see that you truly are the great man that Lancelot always spoke about. Y'know, you were the reason I came with Lancelot to your aid last year. I wanted to see with my own eyes this brave, modest young man who Lancelot spoke about with the upmost respect, and now I do see him. It would be an honour to stand beside you, Emrys, and the Once and Future King." And with that the gentle giant bowed his head to Merlin before he too joined the small crowd forming behind him.
Everyone looked shocked, partly because Percival rarely spoke more than a few choice words at a time so to get a small speech from him was almost unheard of! Also, they were shocked because of the great respect he already had for the King's servant and spoke of him reverently before bowing his head to Merlin in the same way he did to Arthur. The one who looked the most shocked was definitely Merlin who then decided to find out more about this quiet knight, and how he knew about Emrys and the Once and Future King. There was definitely more to this shy man than meets the eye.
Finally Leon spoke up. Out of all the knights, Merlin had been most worried about how he would react. He watched with baited breath as Leon said his piece. "This is a lot your asking of me Merlin, I'm going to have to rethink everything I've been taught." Merlin dropped his head, fearing the worst. "But, I can tell you that I am willing to trust you for now. If Arthur and the others trust me, that's good enough for me. But I do want you to tell me everything when this is over." And with that Leon too moved to stand by a relieved Merlin in a show of solidarity.
It was now Merlin's turn to speak as he turned to face his friends. "Thank you, so much. This means more to me than I can say right now," his voice brimming with emotion "but I would warn you to stay back. This could get very messy and I would appreciate if you let me do this by myself. After all, I made this mess in the first place so it's only fair I clean it up." His voice had once again become solemn and his eyes were as hard and cold as stone.
The group nodded silently and jumped as they heard another moan from Morgana; it was louder this time and she was starting to lift her head up.
Merlin turned slowly on the spot dreading what was to come but he knew it was inevitable. It was always going to happen today he told himself there was nothing you could do. She was destined for this path just as you were destined for yours. But even this didn't make him feel better.
Morgana slowly stood up clutching her aching head. She looked for the mystery sorcerer; surely one so powerful must be here to join her ranks; she smiled to herself at this thought. Her eyes were flitting around the battlefield till they rested on the sorcerer.
"Merlin…" she whispered, unable to believe that Merlin, the idiot servant who was once her friend had magic, and powerful magic too, judging by the strength of his spell and the golden colour his eyes were still burning. He had lied to her, abandoned her when she needed him most and then he had tried to kill her. She would never forgive him.
"Morgana this has to stop. Please, I don't want to fight you but I will if I have to" Merlin's voice has firm, powerful "I will not let you harm innocents anymore. There has too much blood spilt by both our hands. I am asking you now, leave. End this now, without more people getting hurt."
The sorcerers shook her head in disbelief. "Really? You don't want to hurt me? You poisoned me Merlin! You tried to kill me! And worse than that you abandoned me. You knew I had magic, you knew I was a seer and you did nothing. You stood and watched as I was terrified for my life. I didn't know what was happening. You could have helpe-"
Morgana was cut off by Merlin who interrupted with a low growl. "Do you think I wanted to do that? That I wanted to kill my friend, my kin? I had to. There was no other way. Either you died or Camelot fell and all of my friends died because I was a coward. And do not think for one second that it was easy for me to ignore you, to not reach out to you and help you." Merlin's voice was now guttural and hollow; he was far past guilt over what happened. It just another mistake from his past and one he'd rather not dwell on, it just caused him too much anguish. "Do you think that maybe, I was scared? And that I was afraid for my life? You were the King's ward, I didn't know how you would react! What if you told Uther and I was killed? What if you rejected me and I lost my friend? I thought it was better to stay quiet and try and help you from the shadows.
So I ask you again, will you withdraw?"
"I will never stop until you are dead Merlin. You and your precious Arthur, you will both die at my hand. The Morgana you knew is dead. She died long ago and that's thanks to you Merlin and you alone." Morgana's voice was filled with hate and the pain of fresh betrayal.
"Then so be it." The warlock's voice was quiet but clear, without emotion.
Before he could react Morgana had shot a spell at him, screaming "Abanatae!" Everyone on the battlefield held their breath, waiting for something to happen when suddenly there was a shimmering light in front of Merlin. A golden ripple had appeared in midair about two feet in front of Merlin's chest, a magical shield that had reflected Morgana's spell.
"Impressive," Morgana conceded "a silent shield, but tell me Merlin, how long do you think you and your party tricks can last against me, a High Priestess! Na mben sis."
Again, nothing happened, Merlin's shield rippled and he took a small almost unnoticeable step towards Morgana who simply smirked and uttered another spell. "Eorthe ac stanas hiersumie me!" The ground shook as huge clumps of earth and rocks rose into the air and sped past Merlin, towards Arthur and the Knights. It was too late for them to dive out of the way so they braced themselves for an impact that never came. The rocks had hit more golden shields, identical to the one in front of Merlin. They all stared at the young man, in awe of his power. Merlin hadn't even blinked, let alone turned around or say any incantation. He only smirked as he watched his enemy's face fall saying softly "Did you really think I would leave my friends unprotected? Surely you should know better."
Morgana snarled, her rage an unquenchable fire. "SVELT!" she screamed, a black substance flew from her outstretched hand towards Merlin only to once again be blocked by his shield. He took a step closer. So she tried again. "Sfeffin", "Swelte goldbeorth", "Ace wele", "Baerne!"
This continued for a while, Morgana flinging spells and curses at Merlin whose shield never failed him and was slowly closing the distance- until he was about 6 feet from the weakened sorceress.
"ENOUGH!" he yelled, making everyone jump. His voice was so powerful, it sounded nothing like the Merlin any of them knew and they were scared by it. It was loud, commanding and ferocious.
Morgana was clutching her sides, panting, and feeling lightheaded from all the magic she had been using. Echoing Arthur's previous words, she whispered "Who are you? Dread filled her voice as she felt she already knew the answer.
"I am Emrys. I am a High Priest of the Old Religion. I am Lord among Druids. I am the slayer of Nimeuh, High Priestess and the defeater of Cornelius Sigan. I have taken council with the Fisher King and Taliesin. I possess the Crystal of Nethiad and the staff of the Sidhe. I am the lover of the Lady of The Lake and I am Dragoon the Great. I have seen the future in the CrystalCave, the birthplace of magic and I have seen the Lake of Avalon while I still live. I am magic."
He never shouted. Arthur decided that was the worst part. Merlin's voice was strong and powerful, it commanded respect, but he never once raised his voice, making it sound enraged and dangerous beyond measure.
It was then that they saw the true fury and power of Emyrs.
The small wind that had appeared during the battle had risen to a raging storm, whipping the men's cheeks and whistling through their chainmail. At its epicentre was Merlin, his eyes cold and unforgiving, his face expressionless as the wind howled around him, slowly lifting him off the ground. Storm clouds gathered over head and thunder rumbled, but the accompanying flash of lightening was no where to be seen.
"I summon the white lightening from within me" Merlin continued, his voice breaking slightly with raw emotion and power "and I strike down those with the black of heart, those who have betrayed their kin."
Suddenly lightening erupted from the floating warlock, making him convulse as the light collided with men on both sides of the battlefield who promptly keeled over. Arthur watched on, terrified of what his friend would do next. He had so much power in him; the King could hardly believe his eyes.
"And I take their life and give it to those who deserve it, those who are pure of heart. I command the Power of Life and Death and I use it to give salvation." All of a sudden men sat up on the battle field, gasping for air. They looked around, shocked. They had been dead and now…they weren't.
A lone tear rolled down Merlin's check as he whispered "There is so much death… so much loss… but I shall bring life. I shall right the wrongs done today. I give hope to those who are thought lost." He threw his head back and his arms wide, his mouth open, gasping.
And with that a shimmering light was released from Merlin. It spanned the battlefield and fell in a blue haze and the low moans of dying men were heard no more. As the mist descended on Arthur, his skin tingled and his heart increased its already frantic pumping. He felt warm all over; he felt safe. As the feeling left him, so did the pain coming from the wound on his left arm. He stared in amazement for it was gone. Looking around the other knights he could see, or rather he couldn't see, any wounds. Even Elyan's stab wound to the thigh was gone. They all gaped at Merlin. He had healed them, and everyone else on the battlefield. This dazzling display of power proved to the knights and Arthur once and for all that while he had lied to them about being a sorcerer, the man before them had been honest about his character. Giving people life, healing the wounded, such acts were so kind, so very Merlin, there was no doubt that Merlin was still the kind, caring man who hated killing so much as rabbits if it wasn't necessary. Once again, the great King felt a fierce urge to protect the skinny warlock.
Arthur was pulled out of his revere by the sound of beating wings. The dragon he thought, cursing silently, could Merlin hold off Morgana and a dragon? To his surprise not one but two dragons appeared in the sky, soaring down towards the eye of the storm. They landed between Merlin and the Knights, who all rushed forward to try and defend the otherwise occupied warlock from being roasted alive by the two dragons. They stopped in their tracks however, when the larger of the two dragons whipped his head around and stared at the charging knights. It wasn't a threatening or angry stare, neither was it a shocked one. It's eyes were golden like Merlin's and they were ancient and wise. They instantly stopped the knights, who had become captivated by their wonder. Arthur recognised it as the Great Dragon, who had escaped from beneath the castle four years ago and laid waste to the city, nearly destroying it. A dragon who, according to Merlin, Arthur had killed four years ago.
They locked eyes briefly and an understanding passed between them. Merlin had something to do with the dragon surviving and for that the dragon was loyal to him. Merlin was in no danger from either of these creatures; they wanted to protect him as much as Arthur did.
So they King gestured for his comrades to stand down and while they did, they all shot him confused looks. Although they were swiftly distracted as Merlin was about to speak once more.
Merlin once again was looking to Morgana, who had sunk to her knees him defeat. She still stared up at him, utterly terrified for she knew that Emrys was her destiny and her doom.
"I am Merlin Emrys, son of Balinor. I am the last of the Dragon Lords. I freed the Great Dragon Kilgarrah and stopped him attacking the city. I granted him clemency and he is loyal to me. I hatched Aithusa from the egg I rescued from the Tomb of Ashkanar. And you, Morgana Pendragon" the witch kneeling before him quivered at her own name "corrupted her. You have twisted her to your own dark purposes, filling her heart with hate and lies. But no more. She is my kin and I will not let her be used like that. She is dark no longer Morgana, I have cleared her heart of hatred and given her clemency, as I did to Kilgarrah and just as I have offered to you."
Morgana began to shake, knowing what would happen next.
The wind subsided and Merlin was lowered to the ground, golden eyes heavy with remorse. "Too many times I have offered you second chances. You should have taken them and run Morgana. But you didn't and now you have forced my hand."
"Morgana Pendragon," Merlin called out, his voice carrying on the now still night air. "For your crimes against Camelot, against your kin, against magic, I sentence you to death." Merlin's voice was now fraught with sadness and pity. "May She have mercy and lead your soul to Avalon."
Merlin then thrust his hands forward and a bright white stream of light shot out of them and hit Morgana square in the chest. She threw her head back in pain, yet if you could see her face; it bore a smile, as she knew that Merlin was saving her.
Everyone surrounding the pair had to look away it first the light was so blinding, but when the looked closer it wasn't pure white like they just thought. It was red, blue, green, yellow, all colours, all at once. It was beautiful and treacherous simultaneously. Just when the onlookers thought they could no longer bear to watch this torrent of light escape from within Merlin the warlock pulled his hands away, his golden eyes fading to their usual cerulean blue.
The Knights were once again shocked for they no longer saw Emrys, the all powerful, vengeful warlock, they saw just Merlin; the clumsy, cheery servant who crossed the remaining distance between himself and Morgana with tears in his eyes. He reached the dying witch just before she fell,he caught her weak body in his arms and slowly lowered both of hem to the ground. He sat upright, cradling Morgana's head in his lap, he stroked her hair. And in a soft voice he once again spoke to her, choking back his tears. "Oh my old friend, how did it come to this? I am sorry for what I have done, and what I am about to do. You know what I'm going to say don't you? I'm sorry, I'm so sorry because it's the very worst thing."
Morgana's eyes widened in fear as she feebly shook her head, terrified of what she knew he would say next. She had dreaded it ever since she left Camelot and her old self behind.
Merlin took a deep breath and allowed the tears to roll freely down his cheeks as he prepared to say those dreaded words.
"I forgive you Morgana." He whispered to her paling face.
Morgana blinked, a solitary tear ran out of the corner of her eye as she nodded, the corners of her mouth turning up in a small smile. She knew she didn't have long left in this world, so she met Merlin's gaze and tried to say all the things she could never say out loud. He simply nodded and began rocking them back and forth, still holding her hand and stroking her hair, he began to sing her to sleep. He sung a nursery rhyme that his mother sang to him as a child.
"A little cock sparrow sat on a tree,
Looking as happy as happy could be,
Till a boy came by with his bow and arrow,
Says he 'I will shoot the little cock sparrow,
His body will make me a nice little stew,
And his giblets will make me a little pie too.'
Says the little cock sparrow 'I'll be shot if I stay.'
So he clapped his wings and then flew away."
He felt Morgana's hand loosen under his own and he watched as her eyes fluttered closed, a small smile on her face. She looked at peace, like the Morgana of old, his friend. He felt a slight pressure on his shoulder and he looked up through misty eyes. Opposite him kneeled Arthur, one hand squeezing Merlin's shoulder, the other clutching Morgana's other hand. Their eyes locked as they felt each others pain, their guilt, anguish and forgiveness for the Lady Morgana.
After what felt like years, Arthur spoke.
"It's okay Merlin; it's over now."
AN: See, I told you it was very long! Please review and let me know if you enjoyed it or if you thought it was rather poo, either way, I'd like to now :-)
I am planning on adding another chapter as a kind of epilouge, where Merlin explains everything to Arthur, the Knights and Gwen but otherwise, first fanfiction done! Wow, don't I feel good about myself?