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London, England May 22nd, 1851

Arthur grunted as he rolled out of his bed. It had been five months since he first began to change into a werewolf and four since Gaius started giving him the potion. Things had gone well: Arthur vaguely remembered what he did at Merlin’s house, which was better than before when he remembered nothing. Merlin made sure he stayed inside and didn’t try to kill anyone. Arthur felt he was making progress. He got dressed and made his way downstairs. His father and sister were already at the table.

“You are late Arthur,” Uther said pompously. He was flipping through the newspaper. “You missed Gaius bringing you your medicine.”

“My apologies Father. I have been very tired lately.” Arthur sat next to his father and across from Morgana. Gaius’ potion was on the table in front of his plate. He drank the potion in one gulp. “How odd, it does not taste as foul as it normally does.”

“Perhaps you are getting used to it,” Morgana said. “Are you sure you are all right?”

“Perhaps I am and yes, Morgana, I am perfectly fine. Gaius said the medicine might make me drowsy.”

“Well as long as it makes you better.”

Uther hummed in agreement. Suddenly, he shut the paper and looked at Arthur. “Have you thought about the marriage to Sophia?”

“I have told you Father,” Arthur said forcefully. “I do not want to marry her. She tried to blackmail me.”

“So you have said. However, if that is true, then what is this.” He held the paper out to Arthur.

Socialite Sophia Tir-Mor to wed Arthur Pendragon, heir to Camelot and cousin to the King. Rumors state that young Pendragon could be next in line for the throne, making Miss Tir-Mor the future Queen of England.

Arthur began to seethe with anger. “Never in my life would I agree to marry that harpy! She only wants my money and titles. Well, she will not have them. Ever!” He shoved away from the table and stomped back upstairs.

“Oh dear,” Morgana uttered. “I hope he does not do anything stupid.”

“Nor do I my dear. Nor do I,” Uther replied with a gleam in his eyes.

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Halfway across the city, Merlin threw down his paper on the table. “Have you read this...this..tripe, Mother!”

“I have dear. I do not believe it.” Hunith bit her lip. “You said that Arthur had decided against it, damn the consequences.”

“That is what he said. I told him he should, but he would not hear a word of it. Damn that Sophia! This is just too much.” Merlin got up from the table and collected his coat and hat.

“Where are you going Merlin?” Hunith asked as she rose from the table.

“To see Sophia Tir-Mor and find out what she is up too.” He kissed his mother’s cheek and left the house.

Hunith put her hand on her cheek and sighed. “I do not think that is a wise idea, my son.”

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That evening, Hunith had left the house and it was just Arthur and Merlin. They were in the sitting room as always. Arthur was still furious at what Sophia had pulled earlier in the day. Merlin was having a hard time keeping him calm.

“Arthur! Did you take the potion?” Merlin asked concernedly.

“Yes, but I think I am too angry for it to work!” he barked out. “Sophia makes me so ang–” Arthur was cut off as he suddenly shifted into a werewolf.

Merlin jumped back in surprise. The transformations had been gradual and easy. This one was too quick and Arthur was too out of control.

“Arthur?” Merlin asked quietly.

The wolf growled loudly and stared at Merlin. His eyes were the same unnatural blue color they always were, but seemed bigger, as if he had taken drugs of some kind. His body heaved as he panted heavily. Merlin was about to reach out to Arthur when there was a knock on the front door.

“Damn. Just stay here, okay Arthur?” Merlin shut the doors to the sitting room and locked them. He didn’t want to take any chances. He then went to the front door and opened it. He found Lancelot and Gwaine there, leaning against each other, slightly drunk.

“Merlin!” Lancelot cried. “How are you?”

“Fine and yourselves?”

“A little drunk,” Gwaine replied. “Where is Arthur?”

Merlin frowned. “Why do you think he is here?”

“Well, he is not at home and we could think of no other place he would be.” Lancelot swayed forward slightly, only to be caught by Gwaine. Lancelot gave him a big grin and kissed his forehead. “Dear Gwaine.”

Gwaine blushed and cleared his throat. “Anyway, Arthur is here I take it?”

Merlin smiled crookedly at them. “Yes, but he is not up to seeing anyone right now. Sophia’s announcement angered him.”

“I bet!” Lancelot exclaimed. “He has you after all. Why would he want that shrew?”

“Indeed,” Merlin said. Suddenly the sitting room doors rattled.

“What was that?” asked Gwaine with interest.

“Oh,” Merlin laughed nervously. “Just Arthur. He must be throwing things.” Merlin turned to the door and yelled, “Do not break my mother’s vase!”

The door rattled once more. There was a pause and Merlin let out a sigh. Then the doors burst open as Arthur howled and broke them down. He sniffed, then shoved Merlin, Lancelot and Gwaine aside and ran out the front door.

“Arthur!” Merlin cried as he tried to chase after him. He soon lost his lover, as the wolf was too fast for him to catch up. “Damn it!” He ran back to his house, only to find Lancelot and Gwaine sitting on the floor. “Get up damn you and help me find him!”

“That was Arthur?” Lancelot croaked. He stood up shakily and then pulled Gwaine up.

“Yes, it is a long story. The short version is he turned into a werewolf. He had been taking a potion to control it, but something must have gone wrong,” Merlin divulged. “We have to find him and stop him before he hurts more people.”

“More?” Gwaine asked with raised eyebrows.

“Like I said, long story. Will you help me?”

“It is Arthur! He is our best mate, of course we will help you.” Lancelot paused. “How do we find him? Whistle?”

“Funny,” Merlin gave Lancelot an glare. “No, just call his name. If he did not growl at you now, he does not see you as a threat.” He tugged on their arms. “Come on! We need to find him quickly.”

The three men left Merlin’s house and began the search to find Arthur. Even though they looked all night, they could not find him. Merlin feared the worst.

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London, England May 23rd, 1851

Arthur awoke with a headache. He rubbed his head and thought I have not had this feeling in a long time. This cannot be good. He realized he was in Merlin’s bed and could not remember anything of last night. “Damn it!” He got out of bed quickly and went downstairs. “Merlin?”

“In the sitting room, Arthur,” Merlin called back.

Arthur walked in to see not only Merlin, but also Gaius, Lancelot and Gwaine. “Ah. I see something must has happened.”

“Yes,” Gaius frowned at him. “Are you sure you took my potion yesterday?”

“Yes!” Arthur shouted. “I woke up late and Father said you brought it by. I had it right before I ate anything. It tasted different, but I figured I had gotten use to the taste. Then the Sophia incident happened and I just got so angry!”

“Hmm,” Gaius said. “It could be that the anger overrode my potion. I shall have to see. Anyway, I must be off now. I left Hunith alone at my home. If I do not get back quickly, the neighbors will talk.” He paused to talk to Arthur. “I shall be coming by your house later for a check up.”

“Yes, Gaius,” Arthur sighed. He then looked at Lancelot and Gwaine. “I suppose you two know as well?”

“Well, we did look for a werewolf version of you all night after you shoved us aside,” Lancelot quipped.

Gwaine rolled his eyes and said seriously, “Why did you not tell us?”

“I was worried. It is not something that happens every day, you know.”

“Hmph,” Gwaine snorted. He shared a look with Lancelot and nodded. “Lance and I went through a lot last night. We will need some compensation.”

Arthur laughed loudly. “Fine! Whatever you two want!”

“Fantastic!” Lancelot crowed. He got up from his chair and stretched. “Now we must be getting on. We need sleep desperately. We shall not tell anyone, Arthur, we swear.”

Arthur nodded and waved as they left. Only Merlin left. He gazed upon his lover and let out a small sigh. “Did I kill anyone?”

“No!” cried Merlin. He walked to Arthur and gave him a hug. “Not that we know of anyway. You were on my doorstep again, but there was no blood this time.”

Arthur rested his head on Merlin’s shoulder. “That does not mean anything.”

“I am aware of that. We can only wait and see.” He pulled away and placed a kiss on Arthur’s head. “Would you care for some food?”

“That would be lovely.”

“Stay here then. I shall bring it to you.”

Arthur sat down on the couch and placed his head in his hands. “Damn this curse. Damn it to hell.”

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Later in the day, Gaius came back to Merlin’s house. He had a wild look in his eyes and was waving a paper around. “You must see this!” he yelled out.

Merlin and Arthur came running downstairs. “What is it?” Arthur asked in a tight voice.

“Sophia and Aulfric are dead!” Gaius exclaimed. “As are others. Apparently, every full moon two or three people had been killed in a similar way to Valiant!”

“Well, that cannot have been Arthur then,” Merlin reasoned. “He was fine until last night and he had no blood on him. I am certain he did not kill anyone.”

“The police want to question him anyway.” Gaius paused. “They want to question you as well, Merlin.”

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At Scotland Yard, Merlin was being held and questioned extensively about Sophia, Aulfric and even Valiant. Hunith was waiting for him, with Morgana and Gwen on either side of her. “I cannot believe the police think my Merlin could have done this,” she cried into a handkerchief.

“Arthur will fix it,” Gwen said comfortingly.

“Indeed,” Morgana confirmed. “Merlin will be out free in no time at all. Ah, see, here they come now.”

Two policemen herded Merlin down the hallway. Behind him Arthur was glaring at the police, while Gaius quickly moved to Hunith’s side.

“They let him out on with bail, paid for by Arthur, and Arthur’s word Merlin would stay with you and I for the foreseeable future,” the old doctor said. “They want to charge him with multiple murders.”

Hunith let out a sob and rushed into Merlin’s arms. “It will be all right, Mother. Do not worry,” he said, holding onto her tightly.

“Why do they think Merlin did it?” Morgana asked glaring at the police as they left the group.

“Because I had a fight with Valiant, a fight with Aulfric, and a fight with Sophia,” Merlin muttered into his mother’s shoulder.

“What about those other people?”

“Apparently, I killed them to hide the other murders.” Merlin pulled away from his mother and straightened his coat. “I am a master criminal,” he joked.

“Oh, Merlin! Do not joke about things like that,” Hunith sniffled.

“Sorry, Mother,” he replied contritely. “I guess I must go home now.”

“Yes,” Gaius said. “Hunith and I will stay with you until this goes away.”

Merlin kissed Morgana and Gwen’s cheeks, then turned to Arthur. “You have been awfully quiet.”

“I have been thinking,” Arthur responded distractedly. “I will come see you tomorrow.” He kissed Hunith’s cheek and left.

“What is wrong with him?” Morgana asked furiously. “It is like he does not even care!” She made a disgusted noise, but smiled at Merlin. “Gwen and I shall accompany you all home if that is all right?”

“That would be lovely,” Hunith said. “We would be glad for your company.”

The five of them left Scotland Yard behind them and made their way to Merlin’s home. They did not realize that this whole incident would soon be solved.

Chapter 15 and Epilogue
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Nikki

January 2013

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