Okay so I know that I have another story going and I've left it hanging for several months now, but I promise you, I have not forgotten it.
This story just captured my attention and wouldn't let me leave it alone. Like, seriously, since July I've been constantly planning and writing. I already have over a hundred hand-written pages, yet it's not even really half way through. Really, this is going to be a long one.
Anyways, I just wanted to get that out of the way and sorry about leaving you waiting on Eyes Gone Cold. I should have it finished by the time I finish this one, although it might take longer to post…
Camelot was a flourishing land with many loyal subjects. The people who lived there were happy, prosperous, and generally lived in peace with each other and everyone.
That is of course unless you had magic.
Having magic in the kingdom of Camelot was like asking for death, whether it was from execution from the royal family who ruled over the land, or your panicky neighbors who, encouraged by the king's fear, would be more than happy to stone you to death or string you up from a tree.
The blond haired witch watched for years as Camelot slowly grew more and more against anything magical. Even innocent creatures such as unicorns and unborn dragons had been hunted and destroyed to near extinction.
Morgause knew that if she was patient enough, magic would return to the land, just as prophesized by the druids, at the hands of Emrys and the Once and Future King.
But being patient was difficult. She had watched many people who were brave and loyal and loving die at the hands of Uther and his hatred of magic. How could she stand by and do nothing while that was going on?
Morgause stood on the hill, overlooking the kingdom of Camelot. She thought again how hard being patient was as she made her way towards the citadel. She had left the armor she normally wore behind for this journey and instead opted for a simple red dress with an apron. Her long, curly blond hair was tied back into a loose ponytail, and she walked with her head held high and her back straight. The result was her looking like a noble attempting to dress like a servant which, had anyone really paid attention, would have been a dead giveaway.
She roamed through the city, barely paying attention to anyone. Her sights were set on one specific person, and everyone else was just in the way.
Finding the person she was looking for wasn't as hard as she had expected it to be. Several people were watching a young man in the middle of a circle twirling a sword around. Several girls giggled at the way he winked at them as he twirled his sword around again. A few men, dressed as Camelot knights, rolled their eyes discreetly at the prince's showboating.
"Anyone else want to have a go?" the prince asked haughtily. None of the knights stepped forward, to which Prince Arthur let out an arrogant, humorless laugh. "No one? No one thinks they can beat me?" Again, no one stepped forward.
"Quite right too," Arthur said, although the slight amusement that had been there was gone from his voice now, as if he was disappointed at the lack of a challenge.
With one last wink to some of the prettier girls standing around, he headed back up to the castle. He hollered over his shoulder for the knights who had been standing around to follow him.
Morgause shook her head at the young Pendragon's showboating. Young knights in Camelot were notorious for their skills and boastful nature, and it seemed that the prince was no different. If anything, he seemed almost worse.
It wasn't long before she found herself settling into a life in Camelot. Two days after her arrival she managed to blend into the castle with the servants and the slightest bit of magic.
She had no desire to serve as anyone or anything under a man like Uther, much less the man himself, but she had to if she was to get close to the Once and Future King. She had waited far too long, and if Arthur ended up not being this man of legend then it would all be for nothing.
Morgause would be lying if she said that the young prince was everything she had expected him to be. She'd be lying if she said he was even half that.
He was arrogant. He was obnoxious. He was nothing but trouble for the entire castle. He couldn't even keep a manservant for more than a week.
And Morgause knew why. If he wasn't forcing the poor servants to run themselves ragged on chores, he was using them as target practice. If he wasn't using them as target practice, he was forcing them to do ridiculous stunts for his and the knight's amusement. All in all, it was rather shameful and disappointing.
A week as all it took for Morgause to see that Arthur was no better than Uther.
She watched as five sorcerers were burned alive in as many days, each time desperately wanting to help them but knowing that she couldn't. Not without risking and revealing herself. She watched as Arthur bullied servants and everyone else below him, or even thought of as below him.
Surely this couldn't be the man who was supposed to bring magic back to the land and unite everyone unto Albion. She wasn't exactly expecting him to be all unicorns and rainbows, he was Uther's son after all, but she had never expected him to be as harsh as he was. Given much more time, and he would become nothing but another Uther.
"Will you take these to the prince for me?" a young serving girl asked one night. Morgause had been lingering in the kitchens that night, wondering what would be the best way to approach the prince. Something had to be done about his attitude and general outlook on life.
Morgause turned towards the maid servant. The young girl's name slipped her mind, but she was sure it was something along the lines of Gwen. Her brown eyes darted nervously towards the meal that had been prepared and was waiting to be picked up.
"Prince Arthur's new manservant quit earlier today, leaving no one to bring him his dinner. I would do it but," she waved over towards another meal waiting to be taken out. "I have to attend to the Lady Morgana."
Morgause nodded her head and gave a small smile to reassure her. This would be the perfect way for her to get close to the Prince of Camelot.
"I'll see to it," she said and quickly picked the plates up. The maid servant released an uneasy sigh, looking very relieved that she had found someone to attend to the prince.
When Morgause arrived at Arthur's room bearing two plates filled with food, she was surprised to see him standing in front of his chambers, arguing with a servant.
"You idiot! Just what do you think you were doing?" Arthur bellowed, going slightly red in the face. "I told you that I needed my armor polished, stables mucked out, and just where is my dinner?!"
The servant began to stutter out apologies, backing up into the wall in fear of Arthur. Morgause recognized him as one of the newer servants, and someone who was constantly trying to do his best at his work.
Despite Morgause's low opinion of Arthur, she knew that the prince wouldn't hit the servant.
But even though she knew this, it didn't stop her anger from rising up within her. The boy obviously believed that Arthur was going to strike him, enough that he raised up his hands in fear.
"What's going on here?" Morgause asked, no longer able to stay silent. The prince swung his head around, looking for whoever had dared to question him.
Arthur looked livid when he noticed that it was a servant who had questioned him. "What do you think you're doing?" he asked.
Morgause shifted the plates filled with food in her hands. "I could ask you the same thing," she said, narrowing her eyes at the prince.
Arthur stood there, dumbfounded for a moment. How dare this serving girl talk that way to him. "And just who do you think you are?" he asked, stepping closer to Morgause. Neither one of them paid much mind as the young serving boy took off running past Morgause.
"A person who is going to teach you a lesson that you should have learned years ago," she said simply and placed the food down on the floor.
Arthur let out a short bark of laughter, the kind he often used when teasing and bullying servants and knights alike. "You? Teach me a lesson?" He took another step towards Morgause, almost daring her to do something.
She gave him a smile, one that only held fake innocence and no kindness. Were Arthur not a prince, and thus too brave to be frightened by mere serving girls, he would have shuddered at the look on her face.
"Yes, a lesson. A lesson in humility, love, kindness, and respect," she said. She slowly crossed her arms over her chest and gave him another withering glare. "All traits that a future king should have, wouldn't you agree?"
Arthur let out a snort of annoyance, obviously tiring of the way that Morgause was speaking to him. "All traits I already have. Seems to me like these are traits that you should be showing me, you prince, right now," Arthur said.
Morgause resisted the urge to hiss at the young and arrogant prince. "I have no desire to show any of these things to such an arrogant child," she said. She could feel her magic welling up in her, urging her to punish the prince, and she knew that she wouldn't be able to hold it back for long.
"You can't talk to me like that," Arthur said, his face going even redder than before.
"I just did." Morgause gave him another smirk.
She stepped forward to the prince, holding out her hand as she walked. Despite not wanting to, Arthur took a step backwards.
His back collided with his door, pushing it open slightly. He reached for his sword, only to remember that he had given it to the serving boy earlier, before he had quit, to be cleaned and sharpened.
Morgause realized what Arthur was doing and smirked, taking two more steps. Soon she felt her magic well up in her, causing her eyes to glow gold.
"You're a sorcerer," Arthur said, finally backing into his room. Morgause could see the fear in the young prince's eyes as he realized his opponent was not just a serving girl with guts.
"Well it seems you aren't totally useless," she said. Her hand was still raised as she forced the prince into the middle of his chambers.
Arthur's eyes cast around for anything that he might use as a weapon. When he saw none that were within reach, or likely to harm the witch, he forced himself to stare into Morgause's eyes.
"What do you want from me?" he asked, although it was rather a dumb question. What did it matter what the witch wanted from him? She was going to kill him anyways.
Morgause froze for a second, mock confusion crossing her face. "Why, I already told you, Arthur. I want to teach you a lesson. It's too late for your father to learn it, but I hope it's not too late for you," Morgause said honestly.
Her hand began to glow, a blue light pulsing out from the center. It was such a brilliant light that Arthur was forced to cover his eyes.
While his eyes were covered, Morgause took the final step to Arthur. She ran her hand almost lovingly down the length of his arms, finally stopping when she had both of her hands clasping his.
"You are a horrible man, Arthur. You are the prince of this land, the future king! You should be defending its people with all your heart and soul, but instead you mock them. You slaughter them. How many people have to die before you realize that your father is not always right? Before you realize your destiny?" Morgause spoke confidently, releasing his hands once she was done.
Arthur collapsed to the floor, holding his head in his hands. He felt like he was on fire, like his bones were snapping, like he was dying.
"Guards," he called weakly, although he knew it was hopeless. He had forced the guards into doing chores for him earlier once his newest manservant had quit. They were probably still trying to figure out where Arthur's favorite shirt had went to, all while he was being murdered by a sorcerer in his own chambers.
"It's too late, Arthur," she said, her voice filtering through the hazy pain in Arthur's mind. "The spell has been completed."
Arthur looked up at Morgause from his spot on his knees. "What spell? What did you do to me?" he asked, his voice dark and raspy.
Her eyes watched as Arthur struggled to get back on his feet. "I've shown you for what you really are on the inside, or what you'll become before too long."
Arthur resisted the urge to flinch at the witch's sinister words and smirk. "Which is?"
Morgause smile only grew wider and even more sinister.
His eyes widened as he finally struggled to his feet. Morgause didn't even seem to care that Arthur had almost toppled into her in his haste to get his numb and nearly unresponsive body to cooperate.
He cast around for something to see himself with, to no avail. The mirror that he usually used was across the room, too far away and at such an angle that made it impossible for him to see. He also didn't want to risk running past the witch to see himself in the mirror.
He spun around, almost falling onto the ground from being so unbalanced. His hands gripped the chair at the table that he usually wrote reports and ate dinner at.
That's when he noticed his hands.
Claws were where his finger nails should have been. The claws weren't over grown fingernails either; they were claws, like the kind that a bear might have.
He flexed his fingers, just to make sure they were really his. Arthur gasped when they moved as he told them to, his heart pounding in his chest as how wrong this all was.
His claws dug into the chair, breaking the wood and ripping the padding.
He growled and jumped slightly at the sound when he realized that it was a real growl. He spun around, knocking the chair to the floor with a clatter.
Arthur barely caught his reflection in the window; at least, he was sure it was supposed to be him. The….thing was standing where he was anyways.
Slowly he brought a clawed hand to his face and flinched when the creature's reflection did the same.
"No," Arthur whispered. The creature did to the same thing.
There was no way this thing was supposed to be him. That creature standing in his room wasn't him, it was a trick. Yes, that's all it was, a trick.
But it still looked awfully real. Gone was the prince's golden hair that shown as bright as magic in the sunlight, leaving only a bald head scarred by deep black, silver, and purple designs that resembled veins. Half of his face was disfigured, as if it had been burned by a fire, while the other side of his face was traced in the swirling black and silver designs as if they had been etched into it with a knife. His eyes widened at the sight of his face, and then he noticed his eyes. Instead of the sparkling blue they usually were, they were red, a red darker than the expensive rubies Morgana wore. His mouth opened to speak, but he had to stop when a sharp pain and a metallic taste filled it. His teeth were sharp, coming to a point like a wolf's although slightly crooked.
"What did you do to me?" he asked with his voice low and growly.
Morgause smiled, although this one longer held any malice. It was almost regretful, although what she had to feel regretful about, Arthur didn't know. It was her fault this had happened anyways.
"I showed you for what you really are, which is a monster," Morgause said, repeating her words from earlier. "You've committed many despicable acts against magic users. You've slaughtered them, hunted them, and forced them into hiding, lest they be caught and executed for crimes they didn't commit," Morgause said. "After all, how can you consider being born a crime?"
Arthur's legs gave out and he collapsed to his chamber floor in shock. This couldn't be happening to him. "Guards!" he weakly called, hoping that they had returned by now. Surely they wouldn't leave their prince alone for so long.
"Because if that were the case, then you would be the worst offender," Morgause said. She took another step towards Arthur, and then another, until she was standing directly in front of him. Once there she kneeled down, whispering as if she was letting him in on a closely guarded secret.
"You're a prince who was conceived with magic, yet your family still shuns it. But it's not just the magical part of the kingdom that you've committed crimes against. You treat your servants horribly, like their slaves there only to provide amusement for those of your station or higher. You are the future King of Camelot, yet you act no better than a spoiled child. It is your job to protect its people, not belittle them."
Morgause ran her hand down Arthur's arm again, sending cold chills spiking throughout his body. With that done, she stood and walked to the center of the room, her words blurring together in Arthur's somewhat hazy mind.
"But because I believe that you can still be a great king someday and that you are still able to change, I'll make you a deal." Arthur looked up at Morgause, carefully watching her movements.
"I'll give you one year," she said, holding up a single finger, "One year to prove that you can be redeemed. To prove that even you can still be loved and love someone back. Or else."
"Or else what?"
The smirk returned to Morgause's face again, her brown eyes flashing gold once. The doors began to pound as the guards called out for their prince, finally realizing that something had gone wrong.
"Or you can just stay like this forever."
And with a flash of gold eyes and whirl wind of magic, Morgause was gone, leaving the newly cursed prince all alone on the ground.
AN: No one wants to listen to how busy an online writer is, but with senior year of high school, two college classes, and a part time job, it can get hard to update. So I am sorry about my delay in writing. This story should be updated most likely weekly, perhaps even more often, but if it's not I apologize in advance.