Arthur looked around. The night was silent, he had the first watch. They had given the others their desired time and had decided it was time they went and found them. Not that Arthur really believed they were in trouble, he just didn't want to risk it. Leon and Elyan were sleeping and he was trying to work out how to proceed. Yes he hated magic and sorcerers but something Gwaine had said kept coming back to mind. You are blinded by your fathers’ views and fears. Was he? He knew a lot of his feelings towards sorcerers stemmed from his fathers’ views, only because that was what he had been brought up with. But that doesn't mean he was following them blindly. Hadn't he had first-hand experience with Morgana. It was only after she found she had magic that she turned evil, he was sure of it. But on the other hand he knew she couldn't exactly shout about it from fear of what Uther would do, however that was no reason to turn evil. He was sure Uther would have figured something out. He shook his head, was getting off track. Gaius had suggested that when they wanted to enter the camp, they should leave their weapons. He didn't like the thought of being unprotected, especially around sorcerers. But Druids were peaceful, at least that is what people were constantly telling him. He sighed and rubbed his eyes, it was almost time to wake Leon. Looking round one last time he walked over to where he was sleeping and shook him awake.
"Arthur?" He said sitting up quickly reaching for his sword, "what's the matter?"
"Nothing" Arthur replied laughing slightly, no one liked waking Leon up in the middle of the night. He always assumed they were under attack so always woke up ready to fight. Which led to an incident not so long ago where he had punched a very tired and very irritable Percival in the face. "It's your turn on watch" he said.
"Right" Leon yawned. "Have you decided what you're going to do tomorrow?" He asked standing up and stretching.
"No" Arthur admitted.
"Well, we don't need to go into the camp straight away. Why don't we watch it for a while? It might be that the others aren't there" he suggested, Arthur nodded.
"I suppose it would be a good idea, just to see what we're up against."
"You don't need to" Elyan's voice spoke up, Arthur and Leon looked over to where Elyan was lying with his eyes open, watching them. "They won't pose as a threat, if you ask them politely they will tell you if they are there or not. I also don't think they will take too kindly to having us snooping around either." Arthur could see some sense in that.
"So what do we do? Unarm ourselves and just stroll into a camp full of sorcerers?"
"To put it bluntly, yes" he replied. Arthur still didn't look convinced so he continued. "These people are peaceful, any sort of violence goes against what they believe in."
Arthur sighed and reluctantly gave in, standing up he walked over to the other side of the slowly dying fire and tried to sleep.
When morning came he was a little happier about the decision. He still wasn't completely sure about it, but having thought through the various ways this day could go he had a couple of backup plans.
Gwaine slowly opened his eyes and sat up. Looking around he saw Merlin and Percival were already gone. Standing up he made his way towards the noise and smell of breakfast. He reached the clearing, which now had a fire in the middle of it, and noticed that only Merlin, Percival and the Druid was left. Merlin was deep in conversation with the Druid so he went and sat down near Percival. Looking across at him he noticed he was sitting straighter than usual, and his eyes were constantly moving, searching for threats.
"Relax, you're making me tense just looking at you" Gwaine joked.
"I am relaxed" Percival replied, Gwaines eyebrows rose.
"Could've fooled me" he said helping himself to some breakfast.
"I don't like not having my sword" he complained.
"If it really comes to it, which it won't, you're huge, you could just trample them."
"But they've got magic."
"So!? How are you so relaxed" Gwaine shrugged.
"Met Druids before" he replied before going off into one of his long stories.
Across the fire Merlin was talking quietly to the Druid about the procedure, as he hadn't had much of a chance last night.
"So if there was a powerful sorcerer here, how would they heal Ira?" The Druid smiled knowingly at him, last night he had sworn not to reveal his true identity in front of Percival and Gwaine, and knew that Merlin was planning to perform the spell himself once he had distracted the others.
"As I said yesterday, the sorcerer should just be able to call her back through her mind, it is a simple spell." Merlin nodded and then watched as Gwaine and Percival stood up.
"We're going to check on the horses" Gwaine informed him. "Also Percival's magically losing his strength because he hasn't touched his sword in nearly a day" he joked before adding in a more serious voice, "when will you be ready to wake Ira up?"
"It should be done as the sun reaches its highest" the Druid replied. Nodding Gwaine followed Percival to where they had left their horses the night before.
Merlin was leaning against a tree, waiting. He wasn't quite sure what for. Ira lay next to him. He heard a slight rustling behind him before the Druid came into view and sat down next to him.
"You are troubled Emrys?" Merlin nodded mutely, still staring into the distance. "Are you worried this will not work?" Merlins eyes flickered to his.
"I... I don't know" he admitted, "I am worried in case it doesn't work, but what if I can't do it?"
"You should have more faith in yourself" the Druid said. "It will work."
"But how will I know? I'll only have a short amount of time from when I knock Gwaine and Percival out..." He trailed off, the Druid was laughing slightly.
"Try it" he said nodding towards Ira.
"But you said it would only work at the right time of day."
"It will, but you need to gain a connection before then, after all she has to grant you access to her mind."
"What!?" The Druid frowned at his outburst.
"Will this be a problem? I assumed you were friends."
"Well we are, kind of. We don't really know each other very well though. Our meetings have always been very short" he explained. The Druid was silent for a while.
"In that case you must try now" he advised.
"What do I have to do?" He asked.
"To start with you must call into her mind, this is the hardest part. If you are successful she will respond. You must then gain her trust for when the sun is at its highest you must perform the spell."
"How does the spell work?" He asked, curious.
"This type sends power into their mind. Somehow, for we are not entirely sure how, the person uses this to, putting it simply, wake up."
"But how come I can't do this when I'm talking to her?"
"The mind has barrier around it” he explained. “Every mind has it and it's always there, unless that person is dead. She must allow you past that barrier for the magic to work. But even then it must be to the very depths of the mind, because only that part knows how to utilise the power."
"Even if they are unmagical?" The Druid nodded.
"So all I have to do is gain her trust?" The Druid inclined his head a second time, Merlin was still hesitant.
"How long will it take?" He asked.
"You must have gained her trust before midday. If not we can still use the other method but it is untested so I do not know if it will work."
Well, Merlin thought, at least it's fairly similar to the line he had read in Gaius' book. He looked around to make sure no one was watching, it was more out of habit than anything else, then placed his hands either side of Iras head. Closing his eyes he sent his mind inwards. He felt nothing at first. Then slowly he began sensing something at the very edge of his mind, a presence. As he became aware of it, it grew stronger. He smiled slightly, this might not be so difficult after all.
"Ira?" He tried mentally calling out to her, but instead of an answer he sensed something that resembled panic. He felt a sudden and unseen force push him back. When he opened his eyes he realised he had fallen backwards and his hands were stinging slightly. Looking up to the Druid he asked.
"She forced you out of her mind" he answered his brow furrowed.
"Can anyone do that?" Merlin asked groaning as he sat up, he had managed to land on the root of a tree.
"No" the Druid replied quietly, "only...only a sorcerer."