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Chapter Text

The Great Hall was filled to the brim with guests wearing their finest outfits. Decorations festooned the walls while sunlight poured in through the open windows, as if the very heavens were celebrating along with everyone else. The cheers of the people soared out into the summer air.

The woman on the throne next to the king smiled and waved at the mass of people. The crowd called out, “Long live the Queen! Long live the Queen!” The deafening chants spilled out the windows, floated on the breeze, and carried all the way to the Valley of the Fallen Kings, ready to torment her…

A hand settled upon Morgana's back, and she jerked awake with a start. She whipped her dagger out of her dress and thrust it towads the intruder's neck.

“My lady!” It was only Agravaine, come to beg for scraps of attention, no doubt.

“You better have a good reason for scaring me like that!” She slowly returned the dagger to its hiding place and settled back in the rickety chair in front of the fire. It was early spring, and this dump of a hut that she lived in was always chilly and damp.

“I'm afraid I do.” Agravaine pulled up a chair, making himself at home in a way that completely grated on her nerves. If only she didn't need him still…

“Arthur is to make Guinevere his queen.” He sounded as if he wanted to vomit.

“It's just like in my dream. I will not see that woman upon my throne!” Morgana was always angry, but now it boiled over.

“I don't see how we can stop her.”

Morgana racked her brain for ideas. She had heard of something once. . . . Yes, that might work.

“I have heard tell of a way to poison the bond between soulmates, to cause the one to hate the other. I will have to make some inquiries. But I will need something of Arthur's, something that he wears all of the time.”

Agravaine tipped his chair back precariously, a sneer etched across his face. “He wears my sister's ring. How I long to rip it off his unworthy finger.”

Morgana couldn't help but smirk at the irony of using the queen's ring to get revenge on the son who had killed her. “And if that ring could be used to keep a servant from sitting on Ygraine’s throne?”

“That would be poetic, my lady. Sweet Ygraine would turn in her grave if she knew that the son she was sacrificed for lowered himself to consorting with garbage.”

“Bring me that ring before the next full moon. I have a journey to make, but it should not take long. The Dochraid will know the answers I seek.”

Morgana rose and began preparing for her trip, growing happier as she did. “This should be very painful for Gwen—both physically and mentally.” She was stuffing food into a pack when she came up with the most delicious thought. “And if Arthur executes her, as is likely, the spell will break and he will realize what he has done. The guilt and despair will destroy him!”

As she followed Agravaine out the door, him to return to Camelot, her to seek the Dochraid, delight settled all the way into the marrow of her bones. It was just unfortunate that she hadn't thought to do this sooner.