Part 4: link

    Merlin hurries to Elyan’s house. If I can find the girl now, I won’t need to come up with a way to go with Elyan later, he thinks as he walks. He reaches the house and knocks on the door. Elyan opens it a moment later, candlestick in hand.
    “I had a feeling it was you, Merlin,” he says. He holds out the candlestick. “I was going to bring this with me when I returned to the castle. I saw she had left it on the table.” Merlin takes it.
    “Thank you. She missed it immediately,” he says.
    “Father made it for her when she came of age. I know he probably wished that he could have given her something finer, something pretty and jeweled perhaps, but she treasured this gift from him.”
    “It is beautifully wrought,” Merlin agrees, admiring it. It is long and made of many thin rods of iron, twined together in a swirled pattern, their number giving them strength.
    “I’ll be ready to go shortly, if you’d like to come in and sit a moment, we can walk back together,” Elyan steps back to invite him in.
    “Um, I can’t thanks. I have another errand I must see to before I return,” Merlin says.
    “Very well. See you later, then,” he says, disappointed because he enjoys Merlin’s company, but understanding because Arthur and Gaius both often send him scurrying all over town collecting things for them.
    “’Bye,” Merlin calls back as he walks down into the street. He turns to head in the same direction he saw Bronwyn and Marcus walking earlier.
    He walks down the road, his careful eyes searching. This side, then that, looking for her light brown head. Six houses down and on the opposite side, he sees her, sweeping the front steps in front of their small home. He approaches.
    “Hello,” he calls to her.
    “Hello again, Merlin,” she answers, setting the broom aside. Merlin stops. I don’t recall giving my name this morning, he thinks, but is not entirely surprised she knows it.
    “Can I talk to you for a minute?” he asks, walking closer again.
    “Yes. Come sit with me,” she answers, sitting on the step. Merlin sits next to her, candlestick across his lap. He thinks.
    “When Sir Elyan call this afternoon…” he starts.
    “Yes?” she answers. She has a curious air about her; her attitude and manner of speaking are those of a much older person, “He is supposed to make arrangements for Marcus and for me, should I desire.”
    “Well, have you given any thought to this? Is there anything you would like to do, to learn?”
    She bites her lower lip and looks down at her hands, folded in her lap.
    “It’s all right, Bronwyn,” Merlin says, “you can tell me.”
    She looks at him and it happens again. The flash. The vibration.
    “Did you feel that?” she whispers.
    “Yes, I did. Do you know what it is?” he asks her.
    “I think so. But I dare not say.”
    “Then you do, indeed.” He looks at her. He looks into the street. No one is about. He makes a dangerous decision.
    Merlin reaches a hand out, palm up, showing her that his hand is empty. He closes his fingers loosely, brings his hand back, and bends his head over the loose fist. He whispers a word and his eyes shimmer gold for a moment. She is watching, rapt. He reaches his hand back over and opens it. Bronwyn gasps and takes the small daisy now lying across his palm.
    “What should I do?” she asks him, staring at him with large green eyes now full of wonder and admiration.
    “Tell your parents and Elyan that you wish to learn the healing arts from Gaius. He is my guardian and he will take you under his wing. We will both protect you, and I will help you develop your… other talent.”
    “Does he know about you?”
    “Yes. He is the only one. The king does not know my secret.”
    “Of course he does not. You wouldn’t be sitting here if he did,” she says. “I will tell them this. I think they will be relieved to get me out of the house, actually. They think I’m odd.”
    “You are. So am I,” Merlin says with a smile. He takes the daisy from her fingers and sticks it in her hair, behind her ear. He starts to stand, but as he does, she suddenly jumps over and hugs his neck tightly.
    “Thank you, Merlin,” she whispers. She allows herself to feel hope where there was only trepidation before. She has always known that she was different. Any suspicions she had about magic she immediately shoved aside, too afraid of the consequences to face the truth. We will both protect you, he had said.

Part 6: link