Work Header

Magical tournament

Chapter Text

I hope one day you’ll understand what friendship is, my dear boy. Many say that when you’re in a high position, then you should not have friends. That everyone will want to use you. Love, don’t listen to them. I know it will be hard for you to find a real friend and some will just pretend but you have to have faith. And when you do find a real friend don’t you dare take him/her for granted. It will be a really lonely and cold world if you will have to walk it just by yourself. 

“Merlin!” Gaius gasped  when his apprentice entered their chambers in a rush. And when the younger boy shut the door with a bang he dropped the bottle and spilled the fluid on the floor. The old man wanted to be mad at his boy but with one look at him he got worried. “Merlin? What’s wrong? Has something happened to the king?”


“Hmph.. Armm...” Merlin’s words tangled together. He just couldn’t process what happened in Arthurs chambers. He looked up at Gaius with wonder. 


“Merlin, calm down boy. You’re worrying me.” Younger boy took a big breath in and gave his mentor a big smile.


“I’m going to be free!” He even jumped with joy when he told the news. “ We are going to be free!” Merlin giggled and was overjoyed. “Arthur just told me. He’s going to lift the ban on magic. Gaius, we won’t have to fear anymore!” He couldn’t stop rumbling. Even when he saw Gaius go pale. “Imagine this Gaius. I won’t have to hide anymore. How much easier it will be to protect him now.” Merlin got lost in his thoughts. In this new possibility. 


“Merlin,” Gaius's worried voice brought him back from his imaginary world. “Did you tell Arthur about your abilities?” For the first time the boy saw how pale his mentor was and he hurried to help him sit down. 


“I didn’t tell him yet. Didn’t really now how.” Merlin frowned at his uncle. “He admitted that he didn’t want me to worry.” Gaius relaxed at that, though he frowned when he saw tears appear in the boy's blue eyes. 


“Merlin? I’m sure it’ll be fine. He’ll understand.” He tried to reason. 


“But Gaius, you don’t understand! He didn’t tell me, because he thought that I’ll be scared.” Gaius blinked a few times.


“Oh Merlin.” Gaius patted Merlin’s hand. “I’m sure when you’ll talk with him and explain your reasoning he’ll accept it.” Merlin took a big breath.


“You’re right. All I have to do is to explain.” He bit his lower lip. “I’m an idiot.” 


“What did you do this time?” Gaius sighed, feeling that his boy did something stupid again.


“I ran away from him.” He hid his face in his hands. “I panicked. I just took off. I’m an idiot!” Gaius looked at the youngster with wonder. 


“I’m not going to disagree with you on this matter.” Gaius chuckled. Merlin looked up with a pout. “I do believe that you should go back to the king. Have a talk. I’m sure everything will end just fine.” With that he stood up and went back to work. Merlin took a few breaths in, straightened his shoulders and decided to face his king.

Arthur paced around his chambers with worry. Wine and glasses left on the floor near the fire. I should have known it won’t be that easy. How am I going to tell my people that I’m lifting the ban on magic, and expect them to accept it, if my friend just runs away from me when he hears the news? He sat down in front of a desk. With a big sigh he dropped his head in his hands. I should have been more gentle with him. How am I going to fix it? I’ll have to talk with the knights about Merlin. Maybe Gwaine will be able to reassure him more than me? Arthur frowned at this thought. He shook his head. Lancelot! Yes, I’ll ask Lancelot to talk with him! Gwaine is too forward. He likes to touch Merlin too much. My innocent, pure manservant. He had to suffer without me noticing it. When did he get so many scars? He blinked when he heard a knock at his door.


“It’s Merlin. Can I come in?” Arthur could hear the worry in his voice and hurryingly opened the door.


“Merlin! You’re here!” He winced when he realised how silly it sounded. “I though-” he was cut off with Merlin closing the door behind him. 


“Please let me explain.” Arthur was doomed. When Merlin looked at him with this big puppy dog eyes he just couldn't refuse him. He could ask for a moon and he would find a way to give it to him. Arthur nodded dumbly. “Let's sit down for this.” When Arthur saw how nervous Merlin is he pointed at their abandoned places near the fire. Younger boy took a breath in. “I start with saying that you’re wrong.” Arthur winced. 


“Merlin.” He said his name firmly. “I’m not wrong with this. Magic is not evil in itself. It just is.” Merlin’s eyes widened. 


“God Arthur! No! I didn’t mean this!” He hid his face in his hands. “I’m just making this worse.’


“Merlin, calm down.” Arthur patted his soft hairs. “Where am I wrong, then?” 


Merlin looked up at his blond friend. “Arthur, I don’t fear magic.” Arthur's eyes widened. 


“Oh..” Arthur frowned. “But everytime something magical is happening you disappear or hide. And when the problem is solved you appear again. I don’t understand.” He looked at Merlin puzzled. 


“Arthur.” Merlin took a deep breath. “I don’t fear magic, because I have magic.” He shook with worry when he said it. Merlin stressed the world “have” so Arthur wouldn’t be mistaken. Arthur’s eyes widened with shock. And then he laughed.


“You don’t have magic. I would have known.” He chuckled again. “Merlin it’s alright to scared no one will - “ 


“Arthur!” The blond blinked at Merlin. “Do you truly believe that all this branches falling down on bandits was just luck? And all this lucky escapes?” Arthur looked at Merlin with wonder. Merlin knelt in front of Arthur and took his hands into his. “Arthur, I did it all for you. My magic is yours.” The tears run down his cheeks. He wanted to say it for so long. He couldn't believe how freeing it felt.


Arthur looked at his innocent, beautiful Merlin. He couldn’t believe what this boy was telling him. Arthur had to be honest with himself what Merlin said made sense. For how long Merlin lied to me? Does it matter? He looked at this crying man again and it dawned on him. Merlin did it for me! He learned magic for me! 


“Merlin you idiot!” Arthur went to his knees as well and just hugged his boy. “You shouldn’t have. It was so dangerous to use magic! If anyone found out.. Merlin you could have..” He shook his head not even wanting to think about it. “Merlin I understand that you learned this small tricks for me and the knights. I truly appreciate it.”


“Small… tricks?” Merlin repeated dumbly. 


“Thank you for protecting me, Merlin. But you won’t have to worry about it anymore.” He said it with a big smile.


“What do you mean? Of course I’ll be worrying!” Asked exasperated Merlin. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing. 


“Merlin, I’ll do a magical tournament to find a suitable court sorcerer.” Merlin’s eyes widened. “This way you won’t have to worry about magical things. Of course it’ll take some time but I’m sure that I’ll be able to do it soon!” Merlin was speechless. What is happening here!!!


“Arthur, what are you talking about?” He thinks I’m using tricks. Merlin wanted to cry with frustration. 


“I don’t want you to get hurt again. And from what I learned and seen, magic can be dangerous. That’s why Merlin I want you to stay out of it.” Arthur was looking straight into Merlin’s eyes when he said it. There were many mixed emotions in both boys' eyes.


“You’ve got to be kidding me!” Merlin stood up. “You really want me to stay out of this? After everything that happened?” He looked at Arthur as if he slapped him. “You really think I will not take part in this tournament?” He glared at his king.


“You will not! I forbid it!” He jumped up to be face to face with Merlin. “Merlin it’ll be dangerous. You can get hurt! I don’t want that to happen.” The king tried to reason.


“You want me to trust some stranger to take care of magic?” He looked with disbelief at his king. To take care about you?


“Then, you’ll help me with the law regarding magic. But you will stay out of the tournament.” He begged the younger boy with his eyes. Merlin looked like he was contemplating this.


“I’ll help with the laws.” Arthur sighed, thinking that he won this argument. The king smiled at his manservant and before he realized what he was doing he hugged the younger boy.


On the next day the citizans of Camelot got informed about the ban on magic being fully lifted after the tournament, on which the court sorcerer will be chosen. Anyone with magical abiliteies can paricipate and be chosen.