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Broken Rose

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Lyanna Pendragon's slightly curled hair bounced with each step and the fallen leaves crunched underneath her leather booths. Her pale skin was still slightly flushed from her activities that day. This morning she had attended a boring council about something which didn't interest her much. As soon as the council had been excused she had fled into the woods with her hunting gear to spend some time on her own.

Fresh deer tracks were visible in the muddy ground and Lyanna followed the trail between the trees. The autumn wind put a chill into her skin, but it was easy to ignore. She had sneaked off to the woods so many times that things like this didn't bother her any more.

Within minutes she had tracked down the doe which was grazing peacefully on some grass. Lyanna drew back her arrow and aimed at the deer, drawing in a deep breath. She released an arrow at the same moment that a young man from around her age stormed into the clearing and scared the deer away. The arrow landed in the tree just above his head. He wore a blue tunic, a brown jacket and a red neckerchief. He had raven colored hair that hung just above his eyes, which looked alarmed once he caught sight of her.

"What were you thinking? I could've shot you," Lyanna blurted out kind of outraged. Her big hazel eyes looked directly at him and he dared to meet her gaze.

"I—I'm sorry. I didn't see you and I wasn't aware that you were hunting here, Miss. You must believe that it wasn't my intention to ruin your hunt. Please, tell me how I can make it up to you?" he rambled.

Lyanna assumed that her bow was making him rather anxious because she was still aiming it at him so she lowered it when she noticed that he was carrying a backpack. "The woods are filled with deer. There is no need for an apology. You're not from here, are you? People rarely wander in the woods on their own."

He shook with his head. "I'm on my way to Camelot, Miss. But I'm afraid that I may have lost my way," he responded doubtfully.

She slung her bow over her shoulder. "No, you're closer to Camelot than you think. You can come with me if you want to because I'm going there myself," she offered. "It's not that far from here."

"Yes, I would appreciate that, Miss," he answered and began to trail after her. "I'm Merlin by the way. May I ask for your name?"

"You may. My name is Lyanna," she replied with a faint smile. Her name didn't ring a bell to him which meant that he wasn't aware of who she truly was, and Lyanna thought that it was for the better. "And what is a stranger doing so far away from his home towards Camelot?"

He smiled. "What gave it away? I come from a small town called Ealdor which is in Cendred's kingdom. My mother has arranged for me to meet the court physician here so I can become his ward and help him out," he explained to her.

She looked up at him. "I wasn't aware that Gaius was in need of an apprentice. He had made no mention of it the last I've seen him. I'm sure that it must've slipped his mind. He's quite a busy man."

They said no more and walked through the gate of Camelot in silence and both looked astonished when they saw that a crowd had gathered in the courtyard. A man was being dragged forwards by two guards and Lyanna remembered the execution of the sorcerer that had been scheduled for today.

When she had left for her her hunt earlier she had hoped that she would be gone long enough to miss the execution entirely because these things were rather unsettling for her. Lyanna and Merlin made their way to the crowd until they got a better view. At that moment her father, the King of Camelot began to talk from the balcony where he stood with her brother. "Let this serve as a lesson to all. This man, Thomas James Collins, is adjudged guilty of conspiring to use enchantments and magic. And, pursuant to the laws of Camelot, I, Uther Pendragon have decreed that such practices are banned on penalty of death. I can pride myself a fair and just king, but for the crime of sorcery, there is but one sentence I can pass."

Uther raised his arm and then lowered it again as signal to the executioners. Lyanna tilted her head so that it was it hidden behind Merlin's shoulder and she didn't have to see it. She wasn't a coward, but she simply wasn't an admirer of seeing someone lose a head. During her life here she had seen many people losing their head but it was something she never had gotten used to. Especially because she believed that these people were sentenced to death while they were innocent. She didn't believe that people with magic were evil. Still she couldn't say that for sure because she had never spoken with someone who had magic.

Once Thomas Collins is beheaded the crowd gasped and then a silence falls. "When I came to this land, this kingdom was mirred in chaos, but with the people's help magic was driven from the realm. So I declare a festival to celebrate twenty years since the Great Dragon was captured and Camelot freed from the evil of sorcery. Let the celebration begin," Uther said to the people.

Everyone was about to return to their everyday activities when the wailing of a woman disturbed them. They all turned around to the old woman who was in tears. "There is only one evil in this land, and it is not magic! It is you! With your hatred and your ignorance! You took my son! And I promise you, before these celebrations are over, you will share my tears. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a son for a son," she threatened.

Lyanna felt her body grown cold as she realized that this woman was talking about killing Arthur. Her brother. She understood the woman's rage, but she had no right to harm Arthur.

"Seize her!" Uther ordered.

Guards ran towards her to capture her, but the woman quickly casted a spell. She disappeared into a whirl of wind and smoke. Once the courtyard was slowly emptying again Lyanna came back to her senses and turned to Merlin who hadn't said a word through the whole ordeal. He was just as stunned as she was. His first impression of Camelot must have been a memorable one with this whole ordeal.

"Right. You can find Gaius if you enter the castle and go left. His chamber is on the top of a small steps," she directed him. Without giving him any time to reply Lyanna hurried inside the castle but went into the opposite direction. She practically ran through the corridors and the servants all stepped aside as she ran past them. Everyone here in Camelot knew Lyanna better as the whirlwind because she was always running through the halls, almost knocking down people as she went. When Lyanna was about to enter her chambers she heard her brother calling her name. She turned her head and saw her brother walking towards her.

"Please don't tell me that you weren't hunting again by yourself?" Arthur asked as he noticed the travelling gear that she was wearing and the bow that was still slung across her shoulder. "I thought I had told you last time to take some knights with you. If father finds out that –"

"Arthur, calm down. I'm perfectly fine to look after myself. I don't need knights to escort me. They will only scare the pray away," she responded with a huff. They have had this discussion countless times before, but Arthur always worried about his sister's well-being. But he was well aware that she was far too stubborn about this matter so he let it rest.

"Well, just ask me to tag along with you the next time you decide running off. I would like to spend some time with just the two of us," he said to her and ruffled through her golden hair. Lyanna grinned. For many long years the two of them had often sneaked out whenever they wanted some time for themselves, but the last time had been so long ago that Lyanna couldn't remember when it was.

"Only if you will allow me to train with you and the knights tomorrow. I could use the practice. I believe I'm becoming rather stiff. That's not a good sign for a nineteen year old, is it?" she asked playfully.

Arthur laughed. "No, I don't think it is. Of course you're welcome to train along with us. The knights could use a good opponent who's not afraid to fight back." He thought back of the last time that Lyanna had trained with them and she had broken Sir Owin's arm. She may be a timid young woman, but she was strong and very tactic with weapons.

"Good that we've settled that then. If you'll excuse me I need to talk to Morgana. I'm sure she's quite overwhelmed by today's event," she said. Arthur wishes her good luck and placed a chaste kiss to her cheek before he strode away. When he was out of sight Lyanna opened the door of the king's ward chambers and found her standing in front of the was immediately obvious that today's events had shaken her. "Are you alright?"

At the sound of her voice Morgana looked away from the window and smiled faintly, trying to look brave. Only her facade wasn't working on Lyanna, who saw her as her own sister. She had been raised alongside Morgana so she had gotten to know her pretty well throughout her life.

"I just can't understand that your father finds a reason to celebrate by chopping an innocent man's head off?" Morgana said. It also bothered her that Uther had been killing people for years who possessed magic, only because he feared it. It was wrong that so many people had to perish because of that.

Lyanna pulled her friend into her arms in the hope to reassure her. She too struggled with these thoughts, but knew that there was nothing that she could do to change it. "Me too. What he's doing is wrong. We can only hope that my father's view on magic changes someday," she told her. This was always whatever she told to herself whenever her father got enraged when magic was involved. It kept her hope strong, but sometimes a small voice in her head whispered, what if he doesn't change? What if he stays like this? Whenever she thought that she thought that things could only change when her brother was crowned king, but that could be years away. Whatever would happen the situation was complicated.

Morgana pulled away and now noticed what she was wearing. She knitted her eyebrows together. "Did you walk through the castle looking like that?" she almost shrieked. For years now Morgana had made it her job to make sure that Lyanna looked at her absolute best and made her wear the most prettiest dresses. The princess herself only paid little attention to her looks.

Lyanna briefly looked at her own reflection in the mirror. Her travel clothes were covered in mud splatters and twigs had gotten intertwined in her hair. She only shrugged because it didn't bother her very much.

"You sure are one of a kind," Morgana laughed and hooked her arm through that of her friend. "Let's go to the market." They left the room and were quickly followed by Morgana's maid Gwen. The three of them had been good friends for years and often spent time together.

That night Lyanna ate dinner with Morgana and her family and returned to her own chamber afterwards where she read a book from the library until she fell asleep.

Lyanna was woken by the first rays of sunshine that entered her chambers. Her maid Marie had prepared a hot bath for her. Lyanna sat in the hot water for a while and quietly sang an old song while she washed herself.

Nearly an hour had past until Marie reentered her room. "Have you been in there for so long, Milady? Your entire skin is wrinkled and the bathwater has gone cold," she said and handed Lyanna a towel.

"I just like taking baths. They're very soothing," Lyanna responded dreamily. "Can you get my armour? I'm supposed to be training with Arthur shortly after this."

Marie quickly fetched her armour and helped Lyanna with putting it on. Her servant was only a year older than she was, but had been her servant for about seven years now. Lyanna trusted Marie, who she always saw as a good friend of hers.

"Milady, I hope you have not forgotten that Lady Helen will be arriving tonight," Marie reminded her while Lyanna picked up her sword and put it into her scabbard.

"I have not forgotten. Morgana will worry about my outfit tonight," she told her with a scowl. "I have no need for your service anymore today. Why don't you take the day off? When was the last time that you've gotten some time for yourself?" Marie tried to argue with her, but Lyanna wouldn't have it. "No, I will not accept a no for an answer. You need to go home and relax for once. Please. I command you."

Marie gave in when Lyanna smiled tenderly at her. "Alright, I will do as you wish, Milady. Please call for me whenever you do need me. If not, I will be back in the morrow." Her servant quickly hugged Lyanna and then left.

When Lyanna got all her equipment she left her room herself and hurried towards the training ground, hearing the servants mutter as she ran past them. The knights were already gathered and didn't look surprised when they saw that the princess would be joining them. They had all trained with her countless of times. Lyanna had helped the knights with putting all the training gear ready and everything was put to place when Arthur arrived a bit later. Lyanna noticed the amusing glee in her brother's eyes when he caught sight of her.

He placed his hand on her shoulder. "I'm glad that you could make it, dear sister. I'll team you up with Sir Leon today," he told her before turning to the other knights to give them instructions. Lyanna laughed at the blonde knight. Whenever she trained with them she was always teamed up with Sir Leon, but she always enjoyed it. He was a good duelling partner. From all the knights that Camelot had she surely felt the closest with him.

Arthur demonstrated them some moves and it was up to them to copy them. This went on for nearly a half an hour until Arthur announced that it was time for some duels. In her life Lyanna had fought many friendly duels with Leon, and she never got tired of it. His fights with him were always a challenge for her.

"I'll go easy on you, Milady," Leon assured her with a playful smirk.

Lyanna scoffed. "As if I need gentleness, Sir."

He only laughed while Arthur gave them the order for the fight to begin. Leon immediately came swinging at her with his blade, but Lyanna easily averted his blows because she was rather fast. Their swords clashed together several times.

"You're ready to give up?" Lyanna teased.

Leon said nothing, but she could hear her brother laughing with his knights. Everyone in Camelot was aware of how skilled the princess was with a sword, and most of them feared to face her in a battle. Some of them even named her the dragon of Camelot, because she could be rather deadly. She wasn't someone to be trifled with.

Their fight draws on and Lyanna managed to knock Leon on the ground. Her sword is pressed against the knight's chin. "Do you yield, Sir?" she asked him in a friendly manner. He sighed and nodded which only encouraged her to smirk while she helped him back onto his feet. "You gave a good fight."

"So did you," he responded, sounding rather impressed.

She laughed and noticed that Merlin was standing just out of the training ground and had seen her friendly duel with Sir Leon. When Arthur began to order his servant Morris around Lyanna walked over to the newcomer of Camelot.

"How is Camelot treating you so far?" she wondered when she stood in front of him. She noticed that he still hadn't figured out who she truly was, which she thought was quite a relief to her. A part of her wondered if he would treat her different if he did know the truth. He would find it out eventually, but for now she thought it was nice that he didn't have a clue.

He smiled at her. "Alright, I guess. Gaius is a very kind man and I'm helping him by delivering some medicines to some of his patients."

"Ah yes. I'm aware that Gaius has many patients here. It must be a relief for him to have someone to assist him," Lyanna assumed.

Their conversation paused when they saw that Arthur had begun to bully his servant Morris, who was carrying a shield on his back. "There, Sir?" Morris asked him.

"It's into the sun?" Arthur said.

"But, it's not that bright," Morris objected.

"A bit like you, then?" the prince responded. He and his knights began to laugh. Lyanna sighed tiresome. Whenever Arthur was surrounded with his knights he was always showing off and most of the time his current servant was the victim. The only knight that wasn't contributing was Sir Leon, who had already left

Both Merlin and Lyanna watch the situation enfold between Arthur and Morris. Arthur began with throwing knives while Morris ran around because he had turned into a running target. Morris dropped the target and it rolled down to Merlin's feet who quickly put his foot on it.

"Hey, come on, that's enough," he said. Arthur looked to him in bewilderment. "You've had your fun, my friend."

Arthur walked over towards them. "Lyanna, do you know him?" he wanted to know.

"Yes, we've met each other yesterday. His name is Merlin and he is new to Camelot," she explained and crossed her arms. She didn't like where this conversation was going. By the way that her brother was looking at the newcomer told her that he wasn't going to let it rest. Merlin held out his hand for him so that Arthur could shake it, but he made no intention to do so.

"So I don't know him?" Merlin shook his head. "Yet, you called me friend."

Lyanna became rather tensed to see the two of them bickering. It was perfectly obvious that Merlin was completely unaware who Arthur truly was and just thought that he was a knight that loved to show off and bullied innocent servants in his spare times. Since Merlin originated from another kingdom Lyanna couldn't blame him for not knowing who she and Arthur are. Especially because the people in Ealdor must have never seen people of nobility before.

"That was my mistake," Merlin muttered in return. "I'd never have a friend who could be such an ass." He looked at Lyanna and they both thought that it was for the best to walk away. She admired Merlin for speaking to Arthur like that, but she also feared what Arthur might do if this conversation went any further.

Arthur only snorted at that. "Or I one who could be so stupid." She and Merlin stopped walking and turned to him again. "Tell me, Merlin, do you know how to walk on your knees?" Merlin muttered a no. "Would you like me to help you?"

"I wouldn't if I were you," Merlin almost threatened.

But Arthur chuckled, not impressed. Lyanna understood why. Merlin was quite slim, and had no muscles. He wouldn't stand a chance in a fight with the prince. "Guys, this is enough," she interfered, growing tired of this argument. "Let's both walk away before something happens which we're going to regret. There is no need for this."

Only her words were ignored completely. "Why? What are you going to do to me?" Arthur wanted to know. Lyanna sighed in annoyance at her brother's foolish behaviour. This wasn't going to work and there was no way that he was going to listen to her.

"You have no idea," Merlin responded mysteriously as if he was capable of something incredible.

"Be my guest!" Arthur began to taunt him until he would break. "Come on! Come on! Come ooooon!"

That was enough for Merlin to take a swing at him, but Arthur easily twisted Merlin's arm behind his back. The knights gasped and Lyanna covered her mouth behind her hands. The last thing she had expected was that Merlin would honestly begin to fight. She hadn't pegged him as the fighting type, but Merlin was obviously someone who would fight against bullies which was admirable.

"I'll have you thrown in jail for that," Arthur told him through gritted teeth.

"What, who do you think you are? The King?" Merlin mocked with disbelieve.

"No, I'm his son, Arthur. And this is my sister Lyanna." With that the knights began to take Merlin out of here.

"Arthur, stop this nonsense! He didn't do any harm!" she pleaded for Merlin. "He only stood up to you because you were behaving like an ass!" But once again her words were ignored and she watched as the knights dragged Merlin towards the cells. She growled under her breath and stormed off. She would arrange an early release later today, but even then Merlin wouldn't be released before tomorrow morning. She just couldn't believe her brother was acting like such a fool.

Lyanna returned to her chambers for a quick bath and then headed to Morgana's chambers where she spend some time with her friends. They both noticed how tensed Lyanna was, but they didn't ask her about it. The rest of the day went by silently without any events. That evening everyone was gathered in the throne room to await the arrival of Lady Helen. Morgana and Gwen had made sure that Lyanna was looking well tonight and had stuffed her in an expensive dress. Arthur was standing alongside his sister who shot a few angry glances his way.

"I cannot believe you've thrown Merlin into jail," she pretty much whispered so the rest wouldn't hear their conversation. "You were behaving like an idiot this morning and someone had to stand up to you."

"He insulted me in front of my knights," was all that Arthur had to say about it and their conversation ended. Lyanna growled under her breath, but at that time Lady Helen entered the throne room. Their conversation simply had to continue another time.

"Lady Helen," Uther greeted their guest. "Thank you so much for coming to sing at our celebrations."

During her years here Lyanna had the pleasure of hearing Lady Helen sing four times and the woman's voice was truly enchanting. Every time she came to Camelot it was for a celebration.

"The pleasure's all mine," Lady Helen replied.

"How was your journey?" Uther asked politely. He had always been very fond of the singer and had even asked her to stay her permanently as Camelot's finest singer, but she had refused his offer. She was a woman that couldn't stay at one place and shared her voice with different kingdoms.

Helen sighed. "Oh, the time it took, Sire." She now turned to his children. "You've sure grown since last I've seen you, Milady," she said to Lyanna.

"Thank you, Lady Helen. I sure am excited to hear you perform again," she replied honestly. She then turned to Arthur again for a brief moment before Uther escorted her away.

After those events Lyanna returned to her chambers where she read a book that Gaius had given her a few days prior until she fell asleep.

Lyanna was woken around dawn when she felt Marie shaking her shoulders. "Milady, it is time to wake up." Marie helped her into a green dress and did her hair. When Lyanna had eaten a simple breakfast she made her way towards the physician chambers to return the book that she had borrowed.

She opened the door and found Gaius sitting at the table, studying one of his book. At the sound of her footsteps he looked up at smiled warmly at the princess that walked over to him. "Have you finished it already, Milady?"

"I have indeed. I have to say that it was very interesting," she replied and placed the book back on the pile beside him. "I also wanted to inform you that your ward has been thrown into jail yesterday because he had stood up against my brother. I've already arranged for him to be released today, but there was one downside."

Gaius knew what she meant and laughed softly. "Oh, for crying out loud. That boy cannot even stay out of trouble. Would you mind coming along with me, Milady?"

"Not at all," she retorted with a small smile. Together the two of them walked out of the physician chambers and made their way towards the cells. Lyanna ordered the guards to open the cells so Merlin could be released, but Gaius quickly entered the cells.

The old man sighed. "You never cease to amaze me! The one thing that someone like you should do is keep your head down, and what do you do? You behave like an idiot," he said to his new ward.

"I'm sorry," Merlin apologised sincerely.

"You're lucky. Princess Lyanna managed to pull a few strings to get you released."

Merlin's face lightened up like the sun and he looked at Lyanna who entered the cell as well. "Oh, thank! Thank you!" he exclaimed happily. For a moment Lyanna feared that he might pull her into his arms and twirl her around, but he didn't. Gaius only gave him a disapproving look for being so excited. "I won't forget this, Milady."

"I'm glad I could help," Lyanna said with a generous smile. "When Arthur ordered for his knights to drag you away I got angry with him. My brother isn't one of the easiest people to be around with. He's a royal prat who loves to show off with his knights. That's why I had to release you from here because you did absolutely nothing wrong. There is only a small price to pay."

Lyanna watched how he gave her a confusing look before she followed the physician out of the cells, holding back her laughter. Two guards dragged Merlin out of the cells and out of the castle. They made their way to the lower town where they placed Merlin into the stocks. It was a beautiful day and it didn't take long before children had gathered to throw some vegetables and rotten fruit towards Merlin. This was the only way that she could've freed him from his cell, with a small price to pay. She had tried to argue with the guards about the punishment, but it was simply the law that prisoners had to be put into the stocks for the citizens entertainment.

While she stood beside Gaius, who was laughing heartily while his ward was being hit by tomatoes, she couldn't help but laugh herself. A part of her felt sorry for him having to experience this, and she was already planning to shorten his time in the stocks.

By the time the children ran out of fruit the throw Lyanna sat down with a couple of them. She told them an old story of the kingdom of Albion, and the children were hanging on her every word. When her story had ended the children left to find some more fruit to throw. Lyanna patted the dirt of the skirt of her dress before she turned to see Merlin still standing in the stocks with Gwen beside him. She noticed the tension that hung between them as the two of them talked, and she could tell that there was already something between them.

When she stood beside them she heard Gwen say, "Merlin told me that he met you in the woods two days ago when you were hunting and that you nearly shot him. Is that correct, My Lady?"

She nodded. "It is true indeed. He scared the deer away at the moment I released an arrow. It almost hit him in the head," she admitted truthfully.

Gwen smiled nervously. "If you'll excuse me I've got to help Morgana. Will you come as well, Milady?" the maid asked her.

"I'll come later," she told her. Gwen waved them goodbye and walked away. "You sure leave quite an impression on people that meet you, Merlin. My brother throws you into jail and Gwen here seems to be quite smitten with you."

Merlin laughed at that in the best way that he could with his head stuck in the stocks. "And what kind of an impression have I left on you, Milady?"

"Hmm. I haven't figured that out yet. But I believe that there is something special about you. I just can't place it yet," Lyanna replied a bit puzzled.

"Why didn't you tell me that you were a princess when we met?" he wondered.

Lyanna shrugged. "I wanted to be treated like a normal person just once and it was nice. And –" She stopped in the middle of her sentence when the children returned with more baskets filled with rotten fruit. "I believe your fans are waiting."

He laughed while the children began to pelt him. The children all had glee in their eyes from enjoyment, and even Merlin didn't seem to mind that he was smeared in rotten fruit.

After several minutes Lyanna held up her hand for the children to stop and they all hastily ran away. She ordered the guards to free Merlin from the stocks and waited until they had done so. "Normally whenever someone crosses the line they have to be in the stocks for an entire morning, but I thought you had enough for now. Just try to stay away from my brother. I've got to go now. Perhaps I'll see you another time."

"Thanks for everything that you've done for me, Milady," Merlin said gratefully.

"Lyanna," she corrected him placidly. "Please, call me Lyanna." With that she turned around and headed back towards the castle.

Together with Morgana, Gwen and Marie she had spent the entire afternoon trying out dresses which were specially made for the upcoming feast. With every dress that she tried Lyanna's headache grew. By the time dinner had also ended she couldn't help but feel relieved that today's activities had ended.

It was early the following morning when she was once again sitting in Morgana's chambers. She was seated on a chair near the window, fluttering through a book that she had found on the table.

When Merlin entered the room Morgana tied her hair together and stepped behind the chamber fold. "You know, I've been thinking about Arthur. I wouldn't touch him with a lance pole. Pass me that dress will you, Lyanna?"

Before Lyanna was able to stand up Merlin looked around him uncomfortably before he fetched the dress while Morgana began to undress. It only took mere seconds for Lyanna to realise that Merlin wasn't aware of her presence and was pretending to be her. Of course she could reveal herself, but that meant ruining the joke and she could use some laughter.

"I mean the man's a total jouster. And just because I'm the King's ward, that doesn't mean I have to accompany him to the feast, does it?" Morgana continued. Merlin placed the gown on the screen. "Well, does it?"

"Uhm-mm," he said with a high pitched voice while he shook his head, a failed attempt of Lyanna's. The princess had to do her absolute best not to give up her cover, not wanting to make the situation even worse. Holding back her laughter was quite difficult.

"If your brother wants me to go, then he should invite me, and he hasn't," Morgana continued. Merlin tried to figure a way out of the situation, pacing through the chamber. "So, do you know what that means?"

He made an "Hm-mm" sound, going along with the situation. Lyanna wondered how foolish Morgana was for not realising that something was happening.

"Where are you?" Morgana asked, looking over the top of the screen.

Merlin immediately held up one of her cloaks to hide his face. "Here" he answered with the same high voice, causing Lyanna to hide her own face to stop her laughter. Merlin peeked through the neck of the cloak.

"It means I'm going by myself," the King's ward stated. Merlin started to put the cloak down, heading towards the door. "I need some help with this fastening." Panic rushed through him, while he has no idea how to solve this situation. "Where are you, Lee?"

"I'm here," Lyanna said, standing up. Merlin's eyes widen as he turned to look at her. She grinned with mischief while she motioned towards the door. He gave her a nervous smile before he hurried out of the chambers while Lyanna started to help Morgana.

"So, it's whether I wear this little tease," Morgana said once she was done, and made her way back towards her vanity in a new dress, carrying another gown in her hands. She looked at the dress in the mirror, and then held up a maroon colored gown. "… or give them a night they'll really remember."

"I think you should give them a night they will never forget," Lyanna said with a chuckle.

When she was ready with assisting her friend she made her way back to her own chambers where she looked through her closet in the hope to find a dress that she could wear for tonight's feast. After a moment she found one. It was light green in color, with darker green flowers stitched onto it. It was sleeveless, with a high neckline.

Just when Lyanna was about to put on the dress Marie entered her chambers. "That dress is beautiful," she gasped, taking in the dress. "Is this a new one, Milady?"

Lyanna shook with her head. "No. Actually it was collecting dust in my closet. I'll think I'm going to wear this one and save the ones that Morgana has arranged for another occasion."

Marie gestured Lyanna to sit before the mirror so that she could do her hair properly. "You're going to look breathtaking. Like you always do, Milady. I'm positive that you're going to steal someone's heart tonight."

After that she made her eyes smokey green, and tint her lips into flaming red, she placed a silver circlet on top of her braided hair. While she looked at her own reflection in the mirror there came a knock on the door. "Enter," Lyanna said, absentmindedly.

Arthur entered the chambers, dressed decently for tonight's feast. He wore a brown jacket, and a red cloak of Camelot. "You look stunning," he complimented while he looked at her. "Just like you always do. Don't you agree, Marie?"

"I do, My Lord," Marie quickly answered, once she finished adjusting her hair. "She looks beautiful."

"You two are far too kind," Lyanna thanked them. "Did you come here for a reason, Arthur?"

He nodded. "I did. I have the pleasure of escorting my lovely sister to the feast."

Lyanna couldn't help but roll with her eyes before she hooked her arm through that of her brother. She had always praised the bond between the two of them. Even though she could sometime be angry at him, she loved him with all her heart.

Together the twins made their way towards the banquet hall where the room was already filled with many guests, which existed of noble families, knights and other important people. Music was being played were waiting to dance, while others were gathered nearby the tables which were filled with all sorts of food. Lyanna nodded in greeting as she walked past the people, until they stopped in middle of the dance floor.

Lyanna was dancing the first dance of the evening with Arthur, and the two siblings swirled gracefully through the room. During her lifetime the princess had been present at more balls than she could remember, and she had figured out dancing easily. It was the nicest way to spend the evening, and talking with people.

"I heard that you got into a fight with Merlin today," Lyanna said, breaking the silence between them. Marie had told her all about her brother's encounter with Merlin and that they gotten into a fight in the lower town.

Arthur frowned and pressed his lips forwards, clearly not liking the subject she had picked out. There were so many better things to talk about instead of a boy that was working against him for two days now. "He wasn't much of a challenge. I won easily and –"

"That's not what everybody else is saying, Arthur," Lyanna interrupted him with a smirk plastered on her lips. She was simply enjoying this too much. "They said that he made it rather difficult for you, and that he even managed to steal your mace. Did he really knock you onto the ground? You're seriously getting slower…"

"That is so not true!" he protested heavily and maybe a bit too loud because a couple of people were now looking at them to see what was going on. Arthur wanted to defend his honour even more, but when he noticed the twinkle in her eyes he burst into sweet laughter as he twirled her around elegantly. "You are such a tease, Lyanna."

She knew that it would only be a waste of breath to continue taunting him, so she decided not to say anything when the music stopped and the song had ended. She applauded to thank the band that was playing before she made her way over to Morgana who had just entered the room wearing the sleeveless red gown.

"You look breathtaking," Lyanna said to her before she briefly wrapped her arms around her friend's neck. "Did you notice how everyone was looking at you when you just entered the room? I believe that my brother had to wipe his mouth to look decent again."

Her friend didn't have time to come up with a respond because Arthur was already standing before her so that he could talk to her himself. She wondered why the two of them wouldn't just admit their feelings for one another. It would make everything so much easier.

Lyanna decided to give the two of them some privacy so that they could talk. Her eyes lingered through the room, so she wasn't paying attention when she bumped into someone. "Oh, I'm so sorry," she hastily apologised onto to realise who it was. "Merlin! Oh dear, I had no idea. I didn't see you there. Are you alright?"

He was smiling warmly to her. "I didn't see you as well, Milady. I was looking around at everything and –"

"Please call me Lyanna. Oh right. This is your first time at a ball is it not?"

Merlin nodded understandingly. "It is. I have to say that it leaves quite an impression on me. For example you look stunning tonight."

Her cheeks flushed crimson at his words. Never before had a compliment made such an impression on her. She noticed by the color of his cheeks that he felt the same.

"Thank you, Merlin," Lyanna said gratefully as her lips curled upwards. "You're behaving like a true gentleman. Do you care to dance?" As soon as the words her left her lips she realised what she had said. A princess dancing with a peasant. It sure sounded like a bad joke, yet she didn't seem to see the problem in it. The feast hadn't started, and her father was yet to show up. It would be fine if they went for a quick dance.

He looked astonished at her sudden question. "I ehm – don't know if that's wisely. I'm here to work tonight with Gaius, and I'm not a guest… I can't even dance and -"

Completely surprised by her own actions Lyanna grabbed him by the wrist and pulled him with her through the crowd and towards the dance floor. "I wasn't going to take no for an answer. It's easy. I'm going to teach you. Just follow my feet."

There wasn't any time for Merlin to protest. The thoughts were pushed out of his head as she took his left hand in her right and his other round her waist. Her left hand came to rest on his shoulder and he felt warmth spread from her touch.

Lyanna took a step back with her right foot and Merlin responded nervously by taking one forward with his left. Then she took a step to her right and closed her left foot which he also followed.

"I told you that it would be easy," Lyanna said proudly with a smile.

They set off slowly round the room. Lyanna watched the look of concentration of his face fondly. She could tell that he was really trying his had almost made it round the banquet room when Lyanna took her hand off his shoulder. She grabbed Merlin's chin and pulled his head up so that instead of looking at his feet he was looking into her face.

"You're missing out all the fun if you continue to stare at your feet. My face is up here," she instructed with a smirk. "Besides I'm not that short."

"I'm sorry, Lyanna. It's just that it's my first time dancing," Merlin apologised sounding rather sad. For some reason she didn't like it when he was looking like that. She was already seeing the newcomer as a friend, even though her brother couldn't stand him.

"There's no need to worry," she assured him. "You're doing great."

Merlin managed a couple of steps like this, his face still wrinkled in concentration. Sadly enough the song ended sooner than they two of them wanted it to end. He slowly let go off her while his bright blue eyes remained transfixed on her hazel ones. They kept looking at each other while they thanked the band for the music, and curtsied at each other.

"Thank you," she said gratefully with small curtsy. "You did amazing."

"Well I had a wonderful teacher," he told her which only made her smile proudly.

Before she could say anything her father entered the room. "I'm sorry, Merlin, but I need to be sitting at the table now."

She picked up the skirt of her green dress and hurried through the crowd towards her seat beside Morgana and the King, who was holding a speech for the people, and quickly sat down before someone had noticed her absence.

"We have enjoyed twenty years of peace and prosperity. It has brought the kingdom and myself, many pleasures. But few can compare, with the honour of introducing: Lady Helen!"

Everyone started to clap as Lady Helen entered the room and took place on top of a small stage, so that everyone could see her. The music started playing and a beautiful singing voice filled the room. Lyanna could only smile with the delight because she was hearing the woman sing again.

After a couple of seconds listening to the song Lyanna felt herself getting more tired, and she was fighting to keep her eyes open. She saw how everyone was falling asleep around and she quickly covered her ears only to see Merlin doing to the same, wondering why they were the only ones that were awake.

The rhythm of the song changed and cobwebs started to appear on the people, making it look as if they have been asleep for many long years. Lady Helen's attention was focused on Arthur as she kept continue singing. Lyanna was too perplexed to do something when Lady Helen fished a dagger out of her sleeve and got closer to Arthur. If she didn't act now he would get killed!

Before Lyanna could come up with something she saw Merlin's eyes flash into gold and the chandelier fell down from the ceiling and fall onto Lady Helen. Silence filled the room as everyone slowly rose from their sleeps and wiped away the cobwebs.

They were now staring at the woman that was lying underneath the chandelier. It was the woman that had threatened her father a few days ago when he had executed her son. Soon you will share my tears, Uther Pendragon. This was her plan all along. To kill Arthur so that they had both lost their son.

The woman was able to pick up the dagger and threw it at Arthur who was standing in front of his chair now. Suddenly the time was slowed down and Lyanna saw how Merlin jumped towards Arthur to push him onto the ground, so that the dagger planted itself into his chair. Everyone was holding their breaths as the woman gave one last grasp of breath before her head hit the floor. She was dead.

Lyanna hurried to her brother and Merlin who were both standing again and wrapped her arms around Arthur. "Are you alright?" she asked concerned as she tried to see if he had any wounds.

"I'm fine, Lyanna," he assured with a weak voice, but that did reassure her enough.

She turned around to face Merlin when she realised what he had done. He had used magic to save Arthur's life. He was a sorcerer. Lyanna knew it was for the best to make no mention of that and resisted the urge to pull him into an embrace. "You saved my brother's life, Merlin. A debt must be repaid."

Merlin seemed to disagree with her and shook his head. "Well, don't be so modest. You shall be rewarded," Uther insisted, taking his daughter's side.

"No honestly you don't have to, your Highness and Milady," Merlin continued being his humble self. Lyanna could see that he didn't like receiving the credit and that wasn't why he had done it. He had used magic to save Arthur and she seemed to be the only one who have noticed it. With the ban on magic she was kind of grateful that no one else had witnessed him using magic and especially not her father because she would have him burned on pyre.

"No absolutely," Uthur continued smiling at him. "This merits something quite special."

"Well..." Merlin tried stopping him again only to be completely ignored.

"You shall be rewarded a position in the royal household. You shall be Prince Arthur's manservant."

Lyanna had to hold in her laughter and applauded with everyone else. This is certainly the last thing that he wanted since they both couldn't stand one another.

"Father," Arthur called to him, clearly not happy with this new change either. Lyanna wanted to talk to Merlin so that she could thank him for his actions, but was being pulled along with along with Arthur who stormed after their father out of the banquet room. The talking would have to wait for another time. Right now the feast would begin.