A/N-Hello! New story here, if anyone is waiting for Immortal or WSHH to update, I promise they are coming along, but it is slow. I cannot write any at the moment due to insane writers block, but they are coming soon. I promise.
Anyway, I might keep this as just a oneshot but it is very possible that I will keep going with it.
It was such a stupid mistake.
If he had just done the chores yesterday like he was told. None of this would have happened. None of the events that now lead to him running through the forest at top speeds away from the thunderous thudding of horse hooves that gradually gets closer, like the fuse closer to a bomb before the explosion. No, nothing like that... it's an incomparable feeling. The feeling of knowing the people you would have once considered brothers are on horseback, ready to kill you at the first glance. It's a feeling that alone could kill you.
3 hours earlier
Arthur sat in a council meeting, they always put Arthur into a foul mood. Merlin thought best to not throw him further into that pit of anger and started to do his chores, the ones Arthur had told him to do before training. Yesterday.
They obviously need to be done...and quickly. And what did Merlin possess that, he could guess comfortably, did he have that no one else did?
That... well...magical skill he had held since birth that would keep him out of the stocks and Arthur is a good mood. Or whatever mood he came out of the meeting in.
Seemed easy now doesn't it. But what about when Arthur walks in, out of his meeting early, to see the mop cleaning the corners, the broom sweeping away cobwebs and his 'loyal, non betraying' manservant polishing armour in the middle of the floor whistling happily to himself.
Well, that does make things difficult, does it not?
You can probably guess what happened next.
Merlin jolts on the floor. The brush and mop clattering to the floor with an ominous thud. Merlin jumped to his feet, the armour falling down and the cloth falling limply from his shaking hands.
"Arthur... I..I can explain. Please."
"You have magic?"
"Yes, but I only..."
"You've betrayed me," Arthur unsheathed his sword and held it out and at arm's length. The point was just under Merlin's chin, making him lift his neck, look to the ceiling and expose his neck fully.
"You know the punishment for using magic."
Merlin felt tears rush into his eyes and fall down his face.
"Too many have betrayed me, Merlin. This you already know, since you worked with them all."
Merlin swallowed, "Please Arthur...i...i would never hurt you... please...listen..." He was cut off as the sword poked at his throat and caused a small cut.
"No. I have had enough of your lies, sorcerer. I am granting you this, a less painful death. You have saved my life many times but it is obvious that it was for your own gain."
"Arthur!" The sword was removed from Merlin's neck forcefully by another hand grabbing at the King's arm and spinning him round. Gwaine stood there, his hand gripping Arthur's arm until the knuckles whitened and the rest of his knights behind him, Elyan, Percvial and Leon.
"What are you doing? Have you gone completely mad?"
Merlin had fallen to the floor, gasping for breath as panic took over his body.
"He is a sorcerer, Gwaine. By law he must be executed. I am granting him a swift death."
Gwaine scowled at the tone, it sounded nothing like the Arthur he swore to protect. "Arthur, you shouldn't be granting him any sort of death. He is innocent. I mean, come on... it's ...It's Merlin, Arthur. Merlin. The idiot, the clotpole."
Arthur ragged his arm out of Gwaine's grip, snarling at the man like an angered animal. The two knights' had become blinded by instincts, Gwaine's call for him to protect Merlin, innocent Merlin, they had become so intense that he was unable to even comprehend what Arthur was saying. Arthur, however was almost being controlled by the hatred that had been conditioned into him by his father and that, like Gwaine, had blinded him from even thinking that maybe Merlin was still Merlin. "That man no longer exists. It was all an act. A way to get close to me."
Arthur marched towards Merlin, who did not run away in fear but stood and looked Arthur straight in the eye. "You won't kill me."
Arthur growled and lifted his sword up to strike the final blow. Merlin's face set and his hand flew upwards, meeting the blade and slowing it down. The connection of a magic blade to magic caused a shock wave and blew all in the room, apart from Merlin, back. Merlin was rigid with his hand clenched into fists and his chest heaving with deep breaths. He stooped down to get the sword from the floor and ran a finger alone the blade, a gold, almost sand-like substance travelled down into the blade highlighting each engraving upon it. Merlin smiled then looked up to see the knights making their way slowly to their feet, he smiled a beastly smile. The Warlock's eyes flashed the cursed gold colour and the blade melted in his hand.
"No!" Arthur leant to his left and pulled Leon's blade from his sheath and charged at Merlin again. The Man of Magic looked up from the melting blade in his hand and calmly dropped the hilt then flicked his wrist up, almost nonchalantly.
Arthur fell to the floor onto his knees and forced to stop moving, not from his own will through but the strength of the spell.
"Release me, sorcerer." Arthur spat out.
Merlin turned away to the window, stared out at the courtyard and the people below, placing his hands either side of the ledge, leaning his full weight onto it, took a deep breath and slowly began to speak.
"I have saved this kingdom, its people and its even monarchs more times than each person in here could count on their hands. And this..." he gestured a hand towards the melted pool, Excalibur on the floor, "Is how I am repaid? You would kill the one who kept you alive for almost a century because you find out instead of doing it with a sword, he did it with a more powerful tool. One that is feared but does less evil then a sword." Merlin sighed and moved to face Arthur frozen on the spot.
"I lost so much for you. And in return I get a painless execution? I lost my father, my mother, Lancelot...Freya." Merlin's voice broke on the last name. None of the men knowing who it was he spoke of and had managed to break his dark demeanour but it was soon regained.
"If you knew what I have done for this kingdom, maybe your views would not be this way and maybe I would live peacefully here..."
"Magic has no place in Camelot..." Arthur said, the rehearsed and conditioned phase rolled easily from his tongue.
"Just remember who you are speaking to before quoting that phase. Who said it? Your father, your knights, even myself."
Arthur closed his mouth and Merlin continued, "I will never know the answers because I will never tell you information needed for the answer. I do doubt that we will see each other again. You have shattered destiny and you have shattered any chance of Camelot being free and safe. You are doomed, sire. And magic will not be by your side and if he chooses to follow me," Merlin extended his arm towards Gwaine, "neither will strength."
Merlin began only addressing Gwaine, practically ignoring the rest of the knights and the kneeling king still unable to move. "Come with me, we can be free. I can give us a new world and life or you can stay with Pendragon but I can never guarantee safety or freedom under such a rule."
Gwaine moved for the first time since Merlin had cast the spell on Arthur. Gwaine stepped forward and clasped arms with Merlin. They turned to face the others who the same as Gwaine had not moved in shock. Gwaine addressed them first.
"You see what he does to magic and goodness when it is thrown in his face. Why would you want to spend your life under him when you could be free of it? Please, brothers. Lancelot did not die for Merlin just for him to be to be killed. He took the man's place to save him and ensure him a long happy life."
Percival seemed most wounded at these words, Lancelot was his first friend and the man who had rescued him and stopped him doing something stupid for revenge. Lancelot had died saving Merlin but it was not just Merlin he was saving it was Arthur and his kingdom. That was what Percival would stand for. He looked sadly to his comrades and shook his head. Gwaine and Merlin faces both dropped, Merlin's more than Gwaine. He could not understand why people would stay under such a cruel man when they could be free.
Elyan shook his head, stating "I would if not for Gwen."
Arthur growled as how his knights could just so easily desert him. All but Leon who confidently said "I stay with the Pendragon line."
Merlin shook his head, "I don't understand you. And now, I never will. Goodbye, my friends. I wish you all a safe and happy life. Farewell, sire."
And so Merlin bid farewell to the king he once knew. The fair and just traits, that Arthur had been admired for, slipped right away from him when faced with another 'betrayal' and all hope for Merlin's faith in destiny was washed away too.
Destiny was shattered.
Albion was doomed.
The young sorcerer fell to his knees and wept.
A/N- I do have a plan for the rest of the story so I will keep on writing it but whether it will ever be finished or ever go on to here. Please Favourite, Follow or Review and tell me if this is worth continuing.