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"Initially, he wasn't sure what to believe," Leon said. "Della and my mother were both brought in for questioning, much to my dismay. It didn't take long for Mother to confess. She was desperate to protect Della from any suspicion." Leon said. His words came faster. "As you know, Uther had no tolerance for any kind of magic, even if it was used for good. He sentenced her to burn at the stake." Leon's voice wavered at those last words.

Merlin's heart sank. Was it any wonder she'd kept this quiet? He couldn't imagine watching his mother be condemned to die. Knowing Della, he was certain she didn't take such a judgment easily.

But why did she harbor such negative feelings towards Leon? He studied the knight, noticing beads of perspiration forming …show more content…
"She broke our mother out by casting a temporary sleeping spell on the guards and myself." He shook his head. "Uther was furious. He sent me and three other knights to apprehend them. We caught up with them on the edge of the Darkling Woods." Leon looked away, his eyes focusing on a distant past. "There was a struggle. In the ensuing fight, Sir Hector, Sir Bors and our mother were killed." He didn't elaborate on the details, and Merlin didn't pry.

Leon took a steadying breath. "Our mother passed away in Della's arms. Her cry still echoes in my dreams." He quickly brushed away a stray tear with the back of his gloved hand.

Merlin shut his eyes, his heart aching for Leon and the terrible position he was put in, and for Della and the loss of not only her mother but her brother and the life she once had. That sorrow haunted her still, and assumed it was connected to everything that happened in Havenswood. But it had gone far deeper.

"So how did Della manage to escape?" Merlin asked quietly.

His question broke through Leon's grief. He straightened his posture, his former stoic demeanor returning. "We couldn't let Della go after all that had occurred. When we tried to apprehend her she attacked …show more content…
So many feelings warred within him. Anger at Uther's sheer cruelty, and sorrow mixed with disappointment at the choices both Leon and Della were forced to make.

Leon noticed his silence. "I would understand if you chose never to speak to me again after this," he said. "I am not as honorable as you might've thought." He stared at the ground, lost in his thoughts again. Merlin couldn't remember another time he'd ever seen Leon look so vulnerable and broken.

Merlin sighed, carefully considering his next words. "You made a terrible decision, with long lasting consequences," he said. "Yet I am the last one who can judge you for it. " How many destiny altering choices had he made over the years and with far worse consequences? He shut his eyes, feeling that ever present shadow of grief threatening to take hold. "We cannot change the past no matter how much we wish we could. All we can do is look forward and hope our past decisions give us better judgment for the future."

Leon gave him a sad smile. "You speak with great wisdom, my friend. No wonder Arthur thought so much of your advice."

The mention of Arthur sent an all too familiar pang of regret through him. Regret that would likely never leave no matter how much time

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