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Merlin’s expression doesn’t change. “Gwen doesn’t know how to betray anyone.” He says it like he’d say water runs downhill, and it’s true, she knows it’s true because if anyone raised in Uther’s Camelot is pure and good and true it’s Gwen, but…
“I don’t think she can help it,” Morgana says, and thinks of the rich deep red of roses in Lancelot’s hands, the sunlight off his sword. “I think it hurts her more than she can bear, but there’s nothing she can do that will make it better, so it tears her in half and poisons Arthur and—the other.” Somehow she’s reluctant to tell Merlin who the other is. It’s laughable: Lancelot doesn’t need her protection. “It ruins everything. I think there are people who will hate her for it, or blame her for everything that happens, but Merlin”—she’s gripping his arm, desperate to make him see—“it isn’t her fault. It isn’t anyone’s fault, it’s just horrible, and it needs to be stopped.”