Strength and Power
Sometimes it's not the power that makes you strong
The feeling of being powerless it what makes you discover your strength
Arthur Pendragon, son of King Uther Pendragon, walked through the lower town, how he learned to do every morning at the same time to be remembered how much magic could corrupt the soul.
That's why he did this walk every morning and that's why he started every day with pain in his heart and sadness in his eyes.
Arthur shook his head in disbelief. How long was he doing this now? He couldn't remember, and actually it wasn't even important. Nothing had changed since then, that was far more important, and a bitter fact he had to swallow each morning.
Since birth he grew up with magic, everyone around him was using magic. His teachers learned him to use magic from the first days of his life and he would never forget what harm they did to him. They used magic to teach him, to control him, to see how far he would go to take revenge. That was their way to give him the feeling of power. And Arthur used to love this power.
When he noticed what he would be able to do with magic, where he could go, it was an amazing feeling. And yet it had never really been happiness. That's something he knew know.
He knew because he watched.
Long ago he escaped from the castle with the help of magic, but the spell went wrong and he landed in the lower town. What he saw shocked him so much that he could never use magic like he did before again, never even use it at all now.
Arthur looked up and saw once more what he had seen years and years from now in the eyes of the people.
Their eyes were golden, filled with magic. And still there was so much hate in these eyes that it forced him to look away, but with time he had learned to stand this hate. And with time he had realized why there was this hate and why it was the fault of magic.
They all had experienced the power Arthur had and they all had used this power whenever they could. Abused it for stealing, hurting or even murdering. And of course there was always someone who wanted to take revenge.
These people had no fear to take revenge, because they had magic.
Arthur suddenly noticed two people passing each other. They shared an hatred look and then they were alone again.
This longing for revenge resulted in more and more abuse of magic until everyone fought everyone and no one could trust no one any longer. That was when they preferred to live alone.
Arthur's forehead was in wrinkles. After he had seen this he knew that he never wanted to be like this and that he never would use magic again.
And he went to this place everyday to be remembered how important it was to have the strength to resist this power that lied in himself.
Actually it was not a bad day, not at all. The sun shone down from the walls of Camelot and lightened Arthur's way.
Nevertheless it became harder and harder to think optimistic these days.
Slowly he was getting tired of this situation.
Arthur knew this voice. Finally a voice that he was happy to hear and that pushed his sad thoughts away.
His servant breath heavenly when he had finally arrived his lord. Without being able to talk another word he pointed to the castle.
"The king..." He looked around to the people who began watching them. Obviously he wasn't feeling very comfortable in that moment.
"Come on Merlin! You know they don't do a thing. They just want to play." Arthur smirked sarcastically and watched the people walking away again from the corner of his eye.
"The king.." Merlin repeated, still very exhausted. "Has found another victim whose been accused of the inability to use magic."
"Why didn't you just say that?"
"I just needed time to find my breath again!" Merlin gave his prince an utterly disgusted look but he was already away, running to the castle.
Merlin sighed and followed him back.
"If you can use magic, use it on me NOW!" Uther shouted at the young woman lying on the cold floor of the throne room.
Arthur lowered is head in disbelief. She wouldn't use magic, because obviously she wasn't able to and therefore she would die. Executed by the king. And again Arthur at no chance to help her.
He caught Morgana's fearful look. She was the king's ward, but Arthur had the feeling that she lost her magic some time ago.
"How dare you appear in this kingdom without being able to use magic?" Uther's voice was getting harsh, his eyes changed from normal colour to golden and back. The air around the woman moved slightly.
Tears of fear were running down her face. "Please, Mylord, I'm begging you."
"You have no power to beg, not even to think if you don't use magic NOW!" The air run faster, slowly to a whirlwind. The woman screamed in pain.
Arthur's shoulders were on tense. He couldn't just stand here and do nothing as he watched this over and over again.
The whirlwind ran faster.
Arthur looked at his father. His eyes turned golden and his face was a mask of anger and fury. But underneath this Arthur could still see the bitterness of a fallen man. At least that was were his hopes lied.
The air around the woman still moved. Her voice was swallowed by the air entangled her with fast movements.
"Mylord", Arthur said silently but very determined. "I think you can stop now."
In some way his words reached his father even though they were silent or maybe exactly because they were. The whirlwind became slower.
"What is it Arthur?" He said as if his son had the problem. "Don't you think this woman is meant to die because of her inability to use magic?" He turned his head around and looked at him directly.
It was a test. Their relationship hadn't been the best the last days. It had something to do with the fact that Arthur refused to use magic. At least the enchantment on the woman had stopped.
Arthur took a deep breath.
"If she isn't able to use magic she is not worth your power either, Mylord." He answered his father's look the same way.
"You should rather save your magic for more powerful people..." He stopped and hesitated to continue, "...to protect your kingdom."
The expression on his father's face didn't change. It was still cold as ice. But his mouth slowly turned to a hardened smile. "You are right, Arthur. We never know what is to come. And this woman-" He pointed at the person lying on the ground whining. "isn't worth to stay in this hall any longer."
He raised his voice for the others to hear. "Take her away, we will execute her tomorrow."
Arthur closed his eyes for a moment and opened them then again only to see the painful look on the woman's face.
"What still?" Uther was beginning to get really angry. The weight that lied on Arthur's shoulders was becoming unbearable, but still he had the courage to take a step forward, so that the people from the court focused more and him.
"The people," he said, "are more than tired to see executions of poor, powerless people, they want to see something powerful die." He looked around the hall in the face of the real poor people, which were, he realized just in this moment, the people with power. "That's what is way more excited to them."
He glanced at Uther, his voice raised. "Don't you wonder why the people aren't watching the executions any longer?"
Uther stared at him in disbelief, but he couldn't mishear the quiet agreement of the knights and servants standing around.
Arthur took a moment to catch the look of a woman who was serving in the royal household. She answered his look with a long, proud smile.
Guinevere. Her smile came from the heart. There was no corruption in her soul. Everything of her was real.
"So what would you suggest?" Uther's angry voice took him back to the sad truth. "Free her?" His father's sarcasm was throwing through the air, but Arthur meant to take his question serious.
He turned around.
Uther looked at him in complete disbelief. For a moment he said nothing.
Obviously he waited for the knights to say something against this. To his disappointment they stayed quit.
Uther grumbled and focused on his son again.
"For your sake free her." He still focused on Arthur harshly, "but take her far away from the kingdom so that she will never enter it again."
He lowered his voice so that only Arthur could hear him. "We will speak soon, son."
"Of course." Something in him sighed in relief. It was over. And this time he had won the fight, and still he didn't know if he was able to that again.
Not far away from them stood Merlin and grinned from ear to ear. He had watched the scene from a far and couldn't resist to feel proud now. His smile grew and grew. Now he knew that it had been right to come here and that there was a chance to step to a new era. Maybe this time wasn't even that far.
They stood behind a pillar in a floor, that wasn't actually that empty at all. From time to time people were passing by. However these people didn't notice the man and the woman who were talking silently to each other. And they would never. They were too busy with their magic to think clear or to notice anything around them.
"You were amazing today, Arthur, " Guinevere softly touched his cheek with her fingers. "I am so proud of you. It was so strong how you stood up against your father."
"I am not that sure." He sent Gwen a sad smile. "I don't know if I can do that again."
"That isn't important," she said with her warm voice that always lightened his life no matter how dark it was. "Today you spread hope among the people."
"Which people?" Arthur asked with a dry, sarcastic sound in his words. "Everyone here is corrupted by magic."
"You should watch more carefully, Arthur." She looked to the people who were passing by. "Not everyone of them has magic. They are just very good in hiding that they don't."
Arthur followed her look. He only saw people with hate in their eyes. But maybe this was just what he saw. Maybe magic still corrupted his view on things. He had lived under magic for all his life.
"And still, what can I do to this people, Guinevere?" He watched Gwen's movements with a meaningful glance. "How can I help them?"
"You cannot help them." Gwen didn't turn her eyes away again and he was captured from the beauty of her face and her truth. "Not yet."
She touched his cheek again and left a warm embrace. "But maybe when you are king things will be different."
Arthur smiled, and this time his smile was as real as hers. "Maybe", he said silent.
That was why he loved her so much that it hurt. She was just like him. Gwen had the ability to use magic but she preferred to go with her heart and with her brain.
She was so strong, no magic would ever have the chance to bring her down.
As Merlin entered the chamber, Arthur was sitting in his chair and staring into nowhere. More than never before he was noticing the weight that lied upon him and the duty he had to the people. A duty he would never be able to forget from now on.
When Merlin came in he had no chance to continue his deep thoughts. He was forced to turn his head and watch his servant gazing at him.
"What about knocking, hm?"
Arthur rolled his eyes. "You are always sorry." The corners of his mouth turned to a halfhearted smile.
"I watched you today." Merlin said very quiet and different from how he usually talked to his prince. He sounded just as thoughtful as Arthur was.
"What's up Merlin?"
"You were brilliant." Merlin looked him straight in the eye. "Today you saved a life."
Arthur didn't know how to deal this sudden change in Merlin's behaviour. Actually he had no patience for this right now. "Congratulation, Merlin, you watched. Now would you please-"
"I don't think you understand, Arthur." Merlin's voice turned even more serious than it was before.
Arthur sighed. Maybe it was important.
"Today," Merlin began and sent him another significant look. Arthur couldn't resist to roll his eyes once more. "Today you have shown the future that is to come."
Now it was Arthur's turn to look strange. Sometimes he thought he knew Merlin, then again...
Merlin had something inside him that was different. There were times when Arthur thought that he maybe wasn't able to use magic, but each time he thought that, he resisted to think it again. It was too dangerous, even just to think it.
"Nobody in this entire kingdom is able to think clear. Anyone who would want to conquer Camelot, could easily do so." Merlin moved a step forward nearer to Arthur who still sat on the chair. "You can be the one to change that."
"You are the second person who tells me that today." Sometimes Arthur had the absurd feeling that Merlin was...wise. Now it was some of those moments.
"Then the other person is also right"; Merlin smiled as if he knew, "because I know that someday you will be a great king."
The voice suddenly moved through the air like a thread, slowly and hesitating, but strong.
Arthur looked up, it was like his words had went straight to his heart and opened a part of him he never knew was closed. And the weight on his shoulders continued to pull him down until he had no room left to breathe.
"You will be the greatest king Camelot has ever known." Merlin didn't look like he moved at all in the last seconds. He wasn't even twinkling.
"The greatest king the world will ever see."
Maybe Merlin really had no magic, Arthur thought it now the second time on this day.
At least this would explain his strength...and his wisdom.