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Merlin regretted not bringing another layer of clothing. His old bones ached, cold and exhausted. He stared intently at the lake.

Another night. Waiting.

He could warm himself with magic, but couldn’t bring himself to use any. He always came back to the thought of how Uther had been right all along: magic was evil.

The thought of how it had given him only pain, cruelly unfulfilled prophecies, broken promises, stolen golden ages…

And yet here he was waiting. Waiting for another prophecy to come true.

Waiting because one more minute with Arthur was worth centuries of cold, lonely nights.