Title: Revenge is best served cold.
Summary: Kilgharrah underestimated Uther Pendragon's hatred and his willingness to wait for the perfect opportunity to strike.
Word Count: 800
Prompt: 163 - Picnic in the sun
Author's Notes: They never did explain how Uther managed to destroy the dragons and all the magical beings in the Great Purge. I figured I'd start.
Disclaimer: I do not own the BBC version of Merlin; It and Shine do. I am very respectfully borrowing them with no intent to profit. No money has changed hands. No copyright infringement is intended.
The sun was blazing overhead, calling to him to fly, fly. Brilliant blue and a cool breeze that he could drift upon and the thrill of soaring upward, to wheel in the cloudless sky and then dive back down and skim the surface of the lake, his great wings spread wide, the lesser dragons following close behind, was a joy almost too much to ignore.
As he floated there high above, deciding if it would be prudent to glide or have another go at the lake, perhaps grace those picnicking on the shore with a shake of watered wings, Kilgharrah felt as content as ever he'd been in all the long years of his life.
Magic was celebrated, the dragons were as welcomed as any in the court, and the dragonlords were a study in peaceful coexistence with the royalty of Camelot.
Except for the tragic death of Uther's queen a week past, it would have been a glorious day.
Far below, Balinor and some of the other dragonlords were lazing about on blankets, warlocks and witches and all manner of magic folk talking among themselves, laughter and sweet singing, too. Even from a distance, Kilgharrah could see the sparks of magic, full of playful wonder, gathering like a swarm of butterflies around the picnicking throngs.
There was no talk of Uther's grief, his almost-madness in blaming Nimueh for Ygraine's death. It had been a flash-point, that some had worried that there might be trouble in the utter fury of Uther's accusations. But then the king seemed to come back to himself, said that he understood the sacrifice after all, and ordered up a feast to celebrate the birth of his son.
He'd even sent picnic baskets for the throng, filled with expensive foods, and wines straight from his fine cellar. A gift of friendship and everlasting peace between them.
Most of the dragons had settled down around the lake and were feasting along with the rest. Uther had been generous there, too, sending a cart of butchered sheep to be enjoyed by Kilgharrah's hungry kin.
Turning away, not ready to be earth-bound just yet, Kilgharrah glanced toward the castle. Usually, in the sunlight, it would gleam with colour and magic, a sight sung about in bards' celebrations. But now, instead of brilliance, a heavy cloud lay over it, darkness and flashes of lightning seemed to linger there. It wasn't real — not in a physical sense — no clouds broke the bright sky, but with his inner eye, he could see something moving, a black corruption coming closer.
When he blinked again, throwing off his sudden unease, in the distance he could see the blood-red of Pendragon cloaks hurrying toward the lake, knights with swords drawn and guards' hands heavy with pikes.
Uther, it would seem, was not so understanding after all.
Kilgharrah was saddened by it. An attack by Uther's army would be butchery for ordinary beings but the knights were no match for magic; they would be destroyed where they stood. Uther would pay the price for his betrayal in blood and death.
As he twisted around, bugling out a warning, below him, at first he couldn't understand what he was seeing. He had expected a lively throng enjoying the summer's day.
Instead, there was a horror of unconscious bodies, sprawled there limp as rag dolls; some of the dragons, too, were asleep, perhaps dead, others struggling to fly away before it was too late.
And once he realized what was going on, it was all too much to grasp. It was impossible, impossible.
Uther had won after all, with treachery and deceit. A king's word meant nothing and now most of his kin were poisoned, dying.
For a moment, Kilgharrah couldn't breathe but then rage tinged his sight with blood-red and he could feel the fire in his chest aching to get out. He'd destroy them all for what Pendragon had done.
Diving, flaming his fury, some of those clad in red turned a brighter orange as they became living torches, but he was only one dragon and Uther's men had come prepared. There were magic-tipped arrows and lances glowing blue; it would seem that Pendragon's hatred didn't extend to sorcery when it suited him but it was impossible to turn the murderers back.
Screaming, harrying them as much as he could as they slaughtered his kin, still, in the end, all Kilgharrah could do was fly away, leaving the dead and dying behind.
It had been a glorious day and now there was nothing but death.
But as his heart broke into a thousand pieces, as he was barely able to flee for the grief tearing at him, he knew one thing above all else.
Someday he would return and take his revenge on the Pendragon king.