Title: Samhain Eve (Part 5)
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur, Knights
Summary: Arthur and the knights reach Hollyvale
Warnings: Character death
Prompt: 337. Cemetery
Author's Notes: This is the last chapter
Arthur and the knights reached Hollyvale at dusk. There was an eerie silence in the village.
“Arthur, it's too quiet.” Merlin whispered.
“I know.” Arthur dismounted and pulled his sword. He motioned for the knights to spread out.
“I smell smoke.” Merlin looked around as he followed Arthur. “Bandits?”
“I don't know, Merlin.” Arthur pushed open the door to the tavern. There were bodies everywhere. He sighed. “Now we know why its quiet.”
Merlin picked up a cup and sniffed it. “Ale is poisoned.”
“This one has been gutted.” Arthur knelt by a bloody body on the floor. “Let’s try some of the houses.”
Arthur and Merlin checked a few houses then met with the other knights in the square.
“Everyone's dead.” Percival said. “All of them. There's no sign of who killed them. Some had battle wounds but others look like they just fell over dead.”
“It's the same all over the village.” Leon rubbed his forehead. “There's no trace of who did it. No enemies’ bodies amongst the dead.”
“The ale in the tavern was poisoned.” Merlin told the others.” Arthur, this isn't just a tragedy, it’s an attack.”
“I agee.” Arthur scowled. “This is not the work of a small band of men. This took time and planning.”
“A lot of planning.” Lancelot frowned. “Odin?”
“It's not Odin’s style. He likes to take credit for his attacks. Could magick be involved?” Arthur asked as he looked at merlin.
“I don't know. There is no way to tell for sure. All the deaths seem to be acts of a murderer not a sorcerer.” Merlin looked around. “We should bury them properly. We shouldn't leave them like this.”
“This entire village has been wiped out.” Arthur shook his head. “Now, it will be one big cemetery. Families should be buried together. Start digging on the north side of the village. Percival, you and Leon bring the bodies over there.”
Percival had just taken a step when Death appeared in front of them.
Arthur held his sword out in front of him. “You again. Did you do this? Are you a sorceress?”
Death laughed. “Yes I did this but I am no sorceress. I am Death. Pendragon, the enemy you seek is not of your world. He came here from my side of the veil. He was a shade doing what was asked of him.”
“A spirit did this?” Arthur looked around. “How?”
“With the help of a powerful sorceress. Your sister.” Death pointed her bare bone finger at him. “Your father killed many trying to purge the one thing he could never escape. Magick! It was right beneath his nose the whole time.”
“Morgana hid her magick from all of us.” Arthur lowered his sword. “Why did she kill these people?”
“They had captured her and imprisoned her. Lady Morgana was exacting her vengeance.” Death smiled. “You are as blind as your father. There is magick under your nose as well.”
“What are you talking about?” Arthur asked.
“Tell him. Tell him or I will.” Death looked at Merlin. “Do it now… Emrys.”
Arthur turned to Merlin. “Is there something you want to say to me, Merlin?”
“I have magick.” Merlin took a breath. Tears filled his eyes as he spoke. “I have been protecting you since the day I arrived in Camelot. It is my destiny. My honor.”
Arthur blinked then turned to face Death. “I knew about his magick. I have known since the day we met.”
Merlin sucked in a breath.
“What was the purpose to that? Would you have me kill him and dig one more grave this night?” Arthur held the tip of his sword to Deaths throat. “Spiteful wretch. Leave this place. We have enough to do this night.”
Death just smiled and faded away.
“You knew?” Merlin's voice was barely a whisper.
“Yes.” Arthur grabbed Merlin’s shoulder. “I knew you couldn't tell me. I assume Gaius knows as well?”
“Here me.” Arthur sheathed his sword. “Merlin is protected by me. No one who stands here on this Samhain night is to reveal his secret. We shall all take it to our graves.”
The knights all nodded.
Merlin felt the kitten in his pocket stir. The little black cat jumped out and turned into Freya.
Freya smiled at Merlin then turned to Arthur. “I am the Lady of the Lake. Gatekeeper of Avalon. Arthur Pendragon, King of Camelot, Once and Future King, you have shown great wisdom and compassion this night. When your days in this lifetime are over. I grant you an honored place in Avalon until you are needed once again.”
“Thank you my lady.” Arthur bowed.
Freya stepped up to Merlin. “I knew I couldn't fool you, Merlin. You knew it was me all along.”
Merlin took her hands. “I will always know its you, Freya.” He kissed her softly.
“I must go.” Freya caressed his cheek then put her hand over his heart. “I am never far from you.” She stepped back and turned into mist.
Arthur waved the knights off to there duties then tapped Merlin on the shoulder.
Merlin sighed. “She was the bastet you killed. The druid girl cursed by a witch. We were going to run away together. To a lake with mountains and wildflowers.”
“I’m sorry.” Arthur shook his head and went to help bury the bodies.