As soon as Gaius finished reciting the old creed, Morgana knew.
“They’re coming,” she breathed, swaying slightly as her eyes unfocused with the images swirling in her mind.
Arthur’s sharp gaze swung to her from where he was arguing with Uther about checking out the herdsman’s claims. Her eyes cleared, and she met his gaze squarely, nodding slowly.
“Very well. We’ll ride out immediately.” He abruptly yielded to the King’s insistence, striding away without waiting for a formal dismissal. He caught Morgana by the arm, steadying her under the guise of escorting her out. Merlin and Gwen were hard on their heels.
“My chambers. Now.” Morgana managed. She didn’t remember the journey there, only that when she opened her eyes, it wasn’t to the soothing blues and creams, but to the bold crimson and gold Pendragon colors.
“Arthur’s room is shielded.” Merlin said before she could speak, shooting the prince a warning glare. They had prepared for the eventuality that they would have to reveal Merlin’s magic, and after much argument and discussion, had come up with a cover story that would protect all involved.
“Please just listen to me first. What I’m about to tell you could put my life—and those of all I love—in mortal danger, were Uther to ever find out.” He said urgently.
Morgana closed her mouth on her instinctive imperious demand to know all, and Gwen joined them at Arthur’s table. Servant and Prince exchanged a long look, before Merlin took a deep breath.
“I have a twin brother. His name is Emrys, and he is a Druid.” He said slowly. Both women clapped a hand over their mouths in shock, and he shook his head. “Please listen. He has magic, as do I to a lesser extent. My mother sent him away to the Druids as a babe, for his own protection, when he began showing signs of his gift. I did not show the same signs until I was an adolescent, and they have only grown stronger as I matured.”
“So then, at Ealdor…” Gwen breathed, her quick mind putting together the missing pieces of a puzzle that had confused her until now.
Merlin inclined his head. “That was me, not Will that conjured the windstorm. However, it was safer to let everyone believe that the magic had died with my best friend.”
Gwen rubbed the back of his neck soothingly, causing him to smile wanly at her.
“So when you sent me to the druid camp. You meant for me to meet your twin.” Morgana stated quietly, regaining his attention.
Merlin breathed a silent sigh of relief; she was following the trail he had laid for her, as planned. “Yes.” He answered, turning to her. “If all had gone as planned, he would have taught you to control your powers, my lady. As it was, he was travelling at the time and I was unable to reach him before Uther sent the knights after you.” He met her gaze squarely. “I could not tell you of your gifts without revealing my own, Princess.” He said, deliberately using her title. “You were the king’s ward; I was a mere servant. I couldn’t take the chance.”
She stared at him, hard, those crystal green eyes assessing. After a moment, she released him, and he breathed easier. “I know, Merlin. I understand. We are all at the mercy of the king’s hatred and fear and obsession.”