This is the sequel to my first Merlin story 'Unusual Way' to those who haven't read it, I suggest you do so or you may not understand. When I finished 'Unusual Way' I got several requests to do another part of the story, so I decided to do so, once I got an idea. I'm not to sure where this fic is going, but I've got an idea.

I own nothing except Ariana, Prince Brandan, Lily and Merlin's children.

Chapter One

The wasted years

Ariana kept one hand pressed on her growing stomach and the other holding onto her five children. All five followed her obediently on the magical, 'leash' for them.

Lily, was their first born daughter, and secretly Merlin's favorite child. She'd been born mute, but Merlin had been able her to give her the gift of song. Whenever Lily sang, the very birds in the air stopped chirping to listen to her.

Then, there were the twin boys, Will and Arthur. She didn't like the name Arthur, but Merlin insisted on naming their son after the man who insisted on running him ragged every day. She didn't see the logic or the sense in that.

Then Aimee and Louise followed in the two years after the twins. Now, she was carrying Merlin's sixth child and she was hoping that it was a boy to balance out the number of children. Not to mention, level out the playing field if there were any arguments between the siblings.

She knocked on Arthur's chamber door. "Come in!" she walked in to see Merlin handing Arthur his chain mail. Arthur's eyes widened. "Ariana, what are you doing here?"

"It's time for Merlin to take me home." She declared. "Honestly, Arthur, he's not your pack mule!"

"Now darling," Merlin said walking up to her and kissing her. "it is a little early for me to be leaving."

Her eyes flashed. "Don't you argue with me! It's getting hard to walk these days you know."

"And whose fault is that?" Arthur asked as he knelt beside the children. "Certainly not mine."

"Arthur," Merlin warned. "didn't Gwen ever teach you not to argue with pregnant women?"

"No." He asked as he picked up Louise who immediately began to fuss. "Why?"

Ariana groaned and tugged on Merlin's sleeve. "Can we go home now?"

"Right." He reached for Louise. "I don't know why she doesn't like you Arthur."

"Shut up Merlin."

"Merlin?" Ariana nudged him. "Hey. It's time to get up."

Merlin yawned and looked over at the woman who'd been his wife for twenty-two wonderful years. He pushed back a strand of her hair, wrapping an arm around her waist. "Really?"

"Yes. Arthur will get upset."

"I'm getting a little tired of this deception." He exhaled. "I keep dreaming about that last day."

She nodded. "When you saved Gwen from dying and he banished us outside the kingdom of Camelot?"


"Mother!" Alice, their youngest daughter, screamed. "Daddy! Help!"

They jumped out of bed and opened the door. "What is it?" Ariana asked.

"It's Lily!" She shrieked, her shrieks attracting all the attention of her siblings. "We were at the creek and these men," she began crying. "they're hurting her!"

It had been an ordinary day for Prince Brandan. Every morning, he stole out of the castle and rode his horse, relishing the scent of the fresh earth and the sound of the birds. But today, the sound of twigs snapping and men laughing caused his senses to become alert. He halted his horse, reached for several arrows and fitted them to his bow.

A woman came running around the corner, terror on her face. She tripped on her skirt and fell on her face. Three men appeared behind her, laughing and leering at her. She scrambled back and as one lunged for her, he shot him in the arm.

At the man's roar of pain, the other two paused. He glowered at them. "Get out of here. Now! Before I kill you all!"

The men wasted no time hurrying back into the forest. He set his bow down and approached the girl cautiously. She looked up at him and he saw her face for the first time. She was…the most beautiful maiden he'd ever seen. Dark brown hair, deep brown eyes, every feature of her face was striking.

She licked her lips, innocent as the gesture was; it took all of his will power not to steal a kiss from those lips. "Are you all right?" she exhaled and nodded. "What's your name?"

She bit her lip and looked down. She drew in the sand and he looked as she spelled out her name. "Lily?" She nodded. "That's a pretty name. Can't you speak?" She shook her head and tapped her throat. "I see. Here, let me help you up." He helped her up and she took a step forward and immediately buckled. He caught her. "You're hurt." He lifted her up into his arms and her eyes widened. "I'll take you to the castle," her eyes widened. "Gaius, the physician can see to your ankle and you can write the directions to your home once your injury is seen to."

Lily's gray dress was torn badly, but she wasn't hurt in any way. Prince Brandan set her on the horse, pulled his red cloak off and draped it around her shoulder's gently before turning his horse towards Camelot. Lily turned casually in his arms and waved at her parent's invisible forms.

Ariana sighed. "Now, why couldn't we have met like that?"

"Why didn't you let me rescue my daughter?" Merlin demanded, completly focused on anything but what just happened. "Now, she's off to Camelot with Prince Brandan!"

"They make a cute couple." She hinted. "They look well together."

"What are you implying?" Ariana watched Merlin's face, waiting for him to catch on, and when he did, his eyes widened in horror. "Oh no!" He said. "No way!"


"She is not going to marry prince Brandan! Arthur would kill me!"

"I've heard you say that for years and I'd like to see Arthur try it! Besides," she shrugged. "Merlin, it might be just the thing required for magic to be restored to Camelot." The clock chimed and she exhaled. "You're late Merlin." She kissed him, biting his lower lip lightly and stepping back as his face changed into the face of 'Allan' his counterpart. "Now, go!"

He huffed. "Fine."

"And don't worry about Lily." She said. "I've all ready telepathed to her to stay at the kingdom as long as she likes. And don't you even think about busting up that relationship."

"They just met!"

She kissed his nose. "I can see the future, remember? And he's definitely in it!"