Morgana sprawled on the throne, waiting for her minions to return.
And her glee was hard to contain when they did, striding through the open door with the boy uncomfortably dragging between them.
Despite the shattered horror on her brothers face at the magic reveal, he looked appalled that Merlin was being treated in such a way. That he would be hauled across the rough stone floor.
They all looked appalled, but only her brother would be able to voice it. She'd gaged the rest a long while beforehand. Her brother was fun to taunt, the rest were just annoying.
Part of her really wanted to leave Merlin in Arthurs hands, let him burn the boy, but that would deprive her of the satisfaction of killing him.
She really wanted to end his miserable life.
They dumped him gracelessly on the floor and she drew herself up, ready to gloat.
“Merlin, the loyal servant. But loyal to who? To Arthur, or to Emrys. Oh, I'd love to get the answers, but I can’t break the curse, or Emrys will awaken and I'd hate to have to fight him.”
Merlin didn’t respond. Obviously.
Her captive was far more vocal.
“Morgana you’ve gone mad. Merlin is no traitor. He doesn’t know anyone called Emrys.”
“Oh Arthur, if Merlin is so innocent, why did he collapse with the spell?”
“You targeted him. This is some kind of trick.”
“Even you don’t believe this. No, brother, the spell was set to cause all persons born with magic inside the city at the time to fall into a deep unending sleep. If he fell, he is guilty.”
“Then he was born with it. Doesn’t mean he ever used it. Doesn't mean he’s guilty of treason. He's smart. He'd know better than to use it. He's not evil.”
“But I am?” she hissed, “I suffered for years terrified when my magic emerged. I didn’t choose it any more than he would have, but I'm ‘evil’ and ‘a traitor’ and ‘a monster’. What makes us different, Arthur?”
“Merlin’s never attacked us. He's always been loyal. Magic or not.”
“I was loyal.”
She was aware she was screaming now, but how could he dare to answer in such a calm tone. How could he dare to be so cruel? How could he accuse her and accept Merlin all at the same time?
She spun away from her brother, knife in hand, and prepared to end the boy's life once and for ever.
But his eyes were open.
Her spell had been broken.
“Welcome to the land of the living, Merlin.”