Disclaimer: I do not own Merlin.
When Arthur came back to his chambers that day he was definitely a different man. His talk with Merlin had changed a lot of things rather significantly. He had also talked with Gaius and Gaius had corroborated all of Merlin's tales putting Arthur in the position of having to rethink a lot of his beliefs. He had spent a lot of time talking to Gaius and understanding the basis of magic. With understanding came the realization that magic was just a tool used either as a weapon or as a shield depending on the user.
As Merlin put it "When you use the sword to defend Camelot the killing is justified and when a killing is made for personal benefit it is wrong. In both cases the weapon is the same but the intent is what makes all the difference. I used my magic to defend you Arthur and I would do it till I die". The conviction in his voice had scared Arthur and he had no doubts that Merlin would put Arthur's life before his own and Arthur did not want that. He had never believed that one's life was above another…a life was a life and everyone had a right to live theirs.
The minute that thought ran through his mind he understood the basics of everything...of life itself... and it was as simple as that. Everyone had a right to live their life, just not at the expense of others. His father had not let so many people live their lives even when it was not at the expense of others and it felt very wrong now. He felt sick as he thought of the countless children who had been burned at the stake and he felt his eyes tear up. His father had been unnecessarily cruel and he wowed that he would not be the same.
He would be a king whom his subjects could approach freely. They should be able to voice their problems and have faith that they would be resolved. He would be a king who would be kind and compassionate and above all just. His father's ruthlessness had only created a vicious cycle of sorcerers being hunted and they in turn wanting to have their revenge and neither of it was feasible. He would break the cycle and bring about a peaceful reign.
His shifting thoughts had shifted further when he decided to go the whole way and visited a druid camp. He had been amazed to see magic being used for mundane chores and he was also taken aback when the whole camp had knelt in front of Merlin. He had looked in Merlin's direction and had seen only extreme discomfort on his friend's face as he had urged them not to do such things.
Arthur's beliefs had come full circle when a small girl of about seven had approached him. Her eyes had held a mix of fear and curiosity and she had come up to him even as her mother hovered anxiously behind. "Are you really King Arthur?" she had asked curiously and in spite of himself Arthur had been taken in by the innocence of the question. A child was a child, magic or not and he could only see the innocence in her face and nothing "evil" prevailed.
"Yes I am king Arthur" he had responded and the girl had asked in all innocence "why are you afraid of magic?". He had looked up to see a smirking Merlin and glared at him before answering slowly. "I have seen people with magic do bad things and it can be powerful" he had replied trying to keep things simple for the little girl to follow.
"What bad things?" she had pressed on and Arthur had hesitated unsure of how to talk about death and destruction to a child but he did not want to lie either. "I have seen magic hurt people and sometimes kill people" he had replied delicately but he had been unprepared for the girl's next comment.
"Well, my family was killed by your people and everyone is afraid of you. Should we be afraid of you? You don't seem so bad" she had said and Arthur had felt like he had been stabbed in the heart. He had felt an immense sadness steal over him to hear such words from a little girl and he had known without a doubt that he would never want any of his subjects to fear him. Inspite of himself he had been drawn to the fearless child and he had extended a hand to the little girl.
"You don't have to ever fear me" he had whispered and had felt flabbergasted when she had replied "and you don't have to fear me" in her innocent wise way. He had felt lost and he had looked up at Merlin for guidance only to see a proud smile on his friend's face. Yes in the end it was simply that…trust bred trust and love would result in love.
Arthur had never been the empathetic type but in that instant he could feel for what the little girl had lost, what countless others had lost and what his friend had lost. He had always respected Merlin, not that he had ever expressed it but his respect grew for the man who had stood as hard as a rock by his side at great risk to himself…every second of every single day. The burden of carrying his secret and the never ending fear of being put to death would have destroyed a lesser man. How Merlin had managed to do the impossible Arthur would never know but now he could do for the girl what he could not do for his friend.
His last barrier had fallen away and he had drawn the little girl and placed her on his lap. "Show me" he had requested and when she had looked at him quizzically he had explained "show me your magic". "Okay" the little girl had agreed readily and then she had looked at Merlin shyly "but my magic is not so good. Maybe Emrys can help?" she had asked.
Merlin had looked startled and glanced at Arthur for approval and when Arthur had nodded he had squatted next to the girl. He had taken her hands in his and there had been no spell spoken aloud, no loud waving of hands…just a flash of gold and the entire camp had sprouted flowers. Every inch of the ground had been covered in flowers of every possible hue and the girl had laughed merrily. With her laughter and another flash of gold there were rose petals falling very much like snow and even Arthur had sat entranced by the scene. It had been so beautiful and peaceful and serene. Yes this was the other side of magic, the one he had not known.
Everyone had looked up with awe, mesmerized by the beauty and there were smiles on everyone's face. The children had all come up to them and soon Merlin had been surrounded by little children. "Emrys please teach us" they had begged and Merlin had simply smiled "I will come back and teach you. Now we will have to leave" he had made his leave for the both of them and soon they were on their way back to Camelot.
For once the ride back had been silent with each lost in his thoughts. Arthur could now admit freely that he was comfortable with the idea of magic and started thinking of the possibilities it presented. For one thing it would help a great deal if he had some magical defense of his own considering that Camelot attracted a lot of magical beasts as well as evil sorcerers like Morgana.
Secondly he admitted without a second thought that not all sorcerers were evil and deserved to live their life freely. Merlin was definitely not evil, of that he was sure and there could be other innocent magic users out there still living in fear and secrecy. This made the idea of making magic legal the logical next step. Having made the decision in his mind he decided that there was one last thing he needed to do.
"Merlin" he called and when he had his servant's attention he spoke "I want to meet the great dragon" he said. Merlin had stopped his mount thoroughly taken aback "what? You want to meet Kilgarrah? Why?" he had asked completely puzzled. Arthur had shrugged "He is the only thing related to magic that I have not encountered yet. It is like a final step before I legalize magic" he said causing Merlin to almost fall of his horse.
"You would do that?" he whispered, feeling the weight of his destiny lessen. He had not failed…a wave of happiness swept through him bringing tears of joy to his eyes."Yes I am planning to do exactly that. Now stop crying like a girl, you have lots to do. You have to fix up this meeting and then help me draft the laws for bringing magic to... what do you call our kingdom? Albion...Yeah you have lots of work ahead" Arthur replied eliciting a choked chuckle from Merlin.
"Do I still have to be your servant?" Merlin asked flippantly and Arthur replied "You will be if you don't call the blasted dragon now". Merlin had called the great dragon then and the conversation that had transpired had been one for the books. Kilgarrah had spoken first "young warlock I am happy to see you at the side of the once and future king. I see we are the on the verge of completing the prophecy. How may I help you?" he had asked.
"For once I do not need anything from you. Arthur wanted to meet you and hence this meeting" Merlin confessed while Arthur tried to meet the dragon without dragging his sword in front of him. "Tell me young Pendragon, what is it that you need from me?" Kilgarrah had asked and Arthur had wasted no time in replying. "I need some answers. I understand that you hold Merlin in good regard, why did you then go against Camelot?" he asked and if dragons could blush Merlin would swear Kilgarrah just did.
"That was a lapse in judgment on my part young Pendragon. I give you my word that it will not happen again, especially as now I am under the control of Merlin" he promised which made Arthur pause. "Will you support us in the war against Morgana?" he asked and Kilgarrah nodded fervently.
"I can never support that witch. She is the darkness to Merlin's light and you can rest assured that my allegiance will always be with the young warlock and to you the once and future king." he promised. Arthur nodded and then looked thoughtful as he asked "why do you call me the once and future king? What does that mean and can you see the future? Tell me, if I decide to bring back magic will it do good?"
Kilgarrah chuckled "all you young people are so impatient. It is not the right time for the answers you seek. To know too much is a curse young king. Listen to your heart and do what you feel is right. You have your counsel by your side. I am afraid I am simply his servant. Although I have the wisdom of a thousand years I cannot help you see the future. The future is a fragile thing and should not be meddled with as Merlin knows too well. All I can say is that it will be my honor to serve you young king but I am afraid that I cannot do anything more. If you permit I will bid my farewell young king, listen to your heart that is the key" he said and dipped his head showing his respect before flying away into the night.
"Is he allowed to do that? He went without answering my questions" Arthur complained as Merlin laughed aloud. "Welcome to my world" he quipped as Arthur shook his head in defeat. "Some dragon lord you are can't even force him to answer" he muttered with a smile as he sheathed his sword and made his way back to his mount. Merlin followed suit also grinning widely.
In the next few days Merlin and Arthur sat for hours together drafting the new laws that allowed the use of magic in Camelot. Magical crimes would be treated like any other and the offenders would be judged just like any other with a free trial. Gaius was a major support with his infinite wisdom and Merlin could hear Kilgarrah's cheerful laughter a half world away.
And then there was Morgana. She had amassed a huge army with Mordred's help and Arthur was once again faced with the prospect of war. He was however on a better standing thanks to the pro magic laws and he gathered his army and also called magic users to fight for their homeland. All the druids answered the call of Emrys and seeing them, a majority of Camelot's secret magic users joined the fray. The members of the Catha swore their allegiance and many magic users in other kingdoms offered their support as well.
The battle was fiercely fought with magic users on both sides evenly matched and the soldiers too. At one point the druids who were more of healers and less of soldiers started falling back and Morgana's army pressed the lead. Iseldir called out for Emrys and Merlin surged to the front. What happened next was not something anyone would forget for a long time to come.
He had stood at Arthur's side and spreading his hands created a golden shield which spanned his entire army. Arthur himself was encapsulated in gold and looked at his friend in awe. This was not clumsy friendly Merlin; this was the all powerful Emrys in play. Arthur marveled at the power that his friend radiated as he stood tall and strong by his side. But there was nothing that he could do except stay by Merlin's side as it was now a war of the sorcerers.
It was now Merlin versus Morgana and Mordred. Every ball of fire that Morgana aimed at Merlin went back at twice the speed and none of Mordred's spells could penetrate the shield. Morgana's attempt to use Aithusa backfired spectacularly as she heeded the commands of her dragon lord and retreated from the battlefield. Morgana shrieked in rage and her spells became erratic but Merlin's shield was impenetrable leaving her even more deranged.
Seeing her struggle to get the upper hand, Morgana's army moved forward only to be met with a rising tornado that answered to Merlin's magic. The wind swirled and twirled pushing back everyone in its path and the soldiers were flattened by the sheer power of it.
Morgana screamed in raw fury and seeing that she was not able to attack Merlin changed her attack towards Arthur. Right now he was the more vulnerable target and Mordred knew that as well. Sharing a glance Morgana and Mordred chanted together gathering their combined power for an all out assault. The magic pooled in Morgana's hands becoming a tremendous ball of glowing fire as she threw it in Arthur's direction. The ball burst in midair and the blast that carried all of Morgana and Mordred's power would have definitely killed Arthur had Merlin not stepped in front of him.
"Noo" the warlock shouted and utter rage played on his face as he stopped the blast inches from his own body. He was done playing nice and for the first time Arthur saw raw anger on Merlin's face. "Enough Morgana! I warn you this is your last chance to retreat. Take your army and leave" Merlin commanded but Morgana was too far gone to heed. "You have created your downfall and if this is your choice so be it" he said with a tinge of regret in his voice before his expression hardened and his face became determined.
Merlin's eyes were as hard as steel as he started incanting in his powerful voice. "Eorðe, lyft, fyr, wæter, hiersumaþ me.Eorðe ac stanas hiersumaþ me. Ic can stanas tobrytan." The words flowed with raw energy and Arthur could see the glow emanating from Merlin with each word. At one point the glow was so bright that Arthur could hardly see the form of his friend when Merlin lifted his leg and brought it down with a final cry of "Hiersumaþ me".
Arthur watched spell bound as the ground under Morgana's feet split open and the witch and Mordred were sucked right into the abyss. The glow slowly receded from Merlin and the ground sealed up looking untouched and pristine. Morgana's soldiers stood looking lost and dazed as they watched their leaders literally vanish off the face of the earth. Knowing that there was nothing to fight for anymore and knowing that they could never beat the power they had just witnessed they beat a hasty retreat leaving the Camelot army vicorious.
With the threat of Morgana now eradicated and with the peaceful alliance of the remaining sorcerers the golden age of Albion continued unabated. Arthur and Merlin stood by each other and the world celebrated the friendship of the Once and future king and his warlock for many centuries to come.
Author notes: I wish to thank each one of you who have given this fic the time of your day. Thank you for the reviews, follows and the favorites. I hope this story let you feeling good and hope to see you on my other forays into other fandoms as well. Stay safe and take care. Adios!
The translation of the spell is as follows.. Earth, air, fire, water, obey me. Earth and stones, obey me. I have the knowledge to break the stones into pieces. Obey me as taken from Merlin wiki.