Title: A Choice Was Made
Pairing/s: Arthur/Gwen, Ron/Hermione, Merlin/Morgana,
Character/s: Harry, Neville,
Summary: Arthur has a conversation with Harry and his friends.
Word Count: 829
Prompt: 144 Frost
The Golden Kingdom (Modern AU Series 3)
A Choice Was Made
The frost was thick on the ballroom terrace of the Kingdom Building when Merlin and the others arrived.
Merlin sent Aithusa back to the sanctuary and escorted the others through the French doors. They took the lift down to the Royal Floor.
“Will the King see us without an appointment?” Hermione asked as the lift doors opened.
“The answer to that is yes, madam.” Arthur was leaning against the wall waiting for them. “But first, Lord Emrys and I are going to have a conversation. Leon, could you see to our guests.”
Leon walked out of the Knights office and smiled. “If you will follow me, there is a pot of nice hot tea in the sitting room. It will take the chill out of your frosty bones.”
Harry, Ron, and Hermione followed the Knight into a sitting room with plush chairs and cupboards.
Neville was sitting on the sofa waiting there. He looked up and smiled.
Merlin followed Arthur into his office. Arthur slammed the door behind them.
“What in the bloody hell were you thinking? The treaty with the English is broken and you may have started another war.” Arthur looked at Merlin and crossed his arms in front of him. “Well? What do you have to say for yourself?”
“I couldn't leave them there and there wasn't time for diplomatic channels. Six are already dead. Elizabeth was going to execute the rest of them at sundown.” Merlin said. “I had to help.”
“With dragons? Couldn't you have been more subtle?” Arthur said.
“No. I couldn't.” Merlin said. “Elizabeth needed to know that sorcerers would never stand for what she was doing. She's getting as crazy as Uther was as Camelot's King. I can't stand by and let another Great Purge happen.”
Arthur ran his hand through his hair. “We have to release a statement with everything we know. It’s the only way to keep things from getting bloody. But it won't stop her from imprisoning more people with magick or even suspected of magick.”
“I know. I'll draft a statement for you. Arthur, please don't be angry.” Merlin said.
“This isn't the old days and no one should have to die just because they are different.” Arthur seemed calmer. “Go draft the statement. I'll go talk to your traveling companions.”
“Thanks.” Merlin left quickly for his office.
Arthur leaned on the edge of the desk and looked up at Excalibur. He let out a heavy sigh and headed for the door.
Arthur walked into the sitting room and looked around. Leon with the help of Adara had everyone wrapped in blankets with steaming cups of tea.
Arthur sat down and leaned forward. “Merlin said six were killed before he got there. How many were captured to start with?”
“Twenty that I know of, Sire.” Harry said.
“They had captured more but only twenty went to that old nasty dungeon.” Hermione said.
“How many more?” Arthur asked.
“There were almost sixty of us. We were all in the Tower at first but we tried to escape. They took us and left the rest there.” Hermione told him. “They were sympathizers. None of them had powers.”
“Leon, get in touch with that old friend of yours who is a Tower Guard. Ask him about the prisoners. Make it sound casual. He doesn't need to know the inquiry is from me.” Arthur said.
“Yes Sire.” Leon pulled his phone out of his pocket and left the room to call.
“Your parents? Are they safe?” Ron asked Hermione.
“Yes. They went to France. I was captured after they got out of England. I was at their home about to get on my way to you when they grabbed me. I should call them.” Hermione told them.
Leon came back into the room. “Sire, the prisoners were deported to Germany and Italy. They were also stripped of their property and citizenship. I've told Merlin what he said he's adding it to the statement.”
“We were all stripped of property and citizenship. “Ron said. “We only have what we could carry out.”
Arthur sat back and clenched his jaw. “What is she doing? Does she think this is the old days when no one cared what happened in the next kingdom? This will not end well for her or her son.”
Leon cleared his throat. “Sire, does this mean we should prepare for war?”
Arthur looked up at the Knight and shrugged. “I suppose we should prepare. Adara, send out the notices to the sorcerers on the registry and assemble the Gold Knights. Leon, you do the same with the regular Knights.”
“Are you going to recall Lance?” Leon asked.
“No. We will need our ambassador more than ever now.” Arthur said. He stood up. “If you have any more information, tell it to Sir Leon. I have to inform the Queen. Have a safe journey back to your families.”
“Thank you Sire.” Harry said.
Arthur nodded and went to find Gwen.