A/N: Sadly, this is the final installment to this fic. You guys have been so great, and I couldn't have asked for better! I will admit I feel as if I rushed this, but I was trying to keep this under ten pages. I mean, epilogues are supposed to be kind of short, right? But, overall, I'm happy with how it turned out.
Disclaimer: No, Merlin isn't mine. But who says he doesn't want to be? ;)
Much time had passed since Merlin wiped most of the kingdom's memory, and all of those forgotten events seemed almost like a dream to the young warlock. He barely thought about it anymore, well, he didn't think about it until Gwaine would bring it up at the most random of times. Often when he was drunk.
Thanks to his experience Merlin was able to avoid being caught when he posed as Emrys, therefore he avoided all conflict that he knew would follow. His secret was still safe and Arthur was still as oblivious as ever. Merlin's life was back to normal… well, as normal as it ever could be.
Unfortunately, Morgana was still trying with all her might to expose Merlin to Arthur and Uther. Oh well, it kept things interesting.
"Merlin!" Arthur boomed from his chambers. When the warlock entered the room he smiled.
Merlin sighed. "You called, sire?"
"Yes," the prince snapped. "I did. You're late, by the way." Merlin rolled his eyes. "Do you remember what today is?"
Racking his brain, the manservant came up blank and shook his head. "No. Can't be anything important, can it?"
Arthur lifted an eyebrow and folded his arms over his chest, pacing the length of his room until he was directly in front of Merlin. "Today is my coronation, you idiot!" he spat out. Merlin's mouth fell open. When was his coronation announced? Did Arthur ever tell him? Oops…
"Now, tell me," the prince ordered.
Completely and utterly bewildered, Merlin cocked his head to the side. "Cor-on-ation…? Wait, tell you what?"
The prince rolled his eyes again, walking over to the table to get a glass of water for himself. "About six months ago, we had a conversation. Do you recall what we talked about? Of course you don't. Allow me to inform you. Six months ago, I caught you doing something that to this day I'm not sure what it was. When I asked you about it, you said, 'I will tell you when you're king.' Therefore, you owe me an explanation."
The straightforward outburst made Merlin's heart skip a beat. Oh, he definitely remembered that day; he just hoped that Arthur wouldn't remember that day.
When Merlin looked up from the floor, he saw that Arthur was giving him an expecting expression. "I did say that. If you recall, I said when you're king. You're not king right now. You're still Crown Prince," he explained, picking up the breakfast tray and exiting the room, avoiding a thrown goblet in the process.
About half way to the kitchens, Lancelot and Gwaine came up on either side of him.
"So," Lancelot started.
"Coming clean today, mate?" Gwaine asked with a cheeky grin.
Merlin playfully rolled his eyes as the three entered the busy kitchen. "I know I should…"
Lancelot sighed. "But?"
"But I'm not sure," the warlock finished, setting the tray in the dishwater. "He might not be ready," he said quickly as his two friends started to give him a disbelieving expression.
Gwaine sighed and patted his friend on the back. "I understand. You're going to have to tell Arthur and the entire kingdom at some point. You could practice… and start at the tavern!" he encouraged, Merlin raising an eyebrow. "Make hints about being Emrys to the bartender and how much you value my friendship. He'll be begging to give me free ale!"
Merlin snorted. "Right, I think I'd rather tell Arthur."
"Then, it's settled," Lancelot said. "You will tell Arthur after the coronation. Do it subtly. You know how he reacts when he finds out, so just ease him into your magic. He won't kill you. You know that."
Despite his friend's comforting words of wisdom, there was still that knot in the pit of his stomach.
The Great Hall was filled to the brim with men and women, and outside the castle at least a hundred more people were gathered. Geoffrey stood at the end of the Hall with a book in hand; ready to preform the coronation ceremony.
In an antechamber, two men stood before a mirror. One had on official Camelot garb with a ceremonial sword in the scabbard. The other looked down at the ceremonial sword and laughed at the thought that it wasn't the sword forged by the dragon's breath.
But Arthur either ignored or didn't hear Merlin's slight chuckle. "Do you think I'm ready?" he asked dryly.
Merlin's expression turned serious. "Yes. I know you are ready for this, Arthur. All of Camelot believes in you." A smile broke out on his face. "And, in a few minutes, you will be king and I will tell you what I've been hiding ever since I came to Camelot."
The soon-to-be-king smiled ever so before taking in a deep breath. "It's been less than a week since my father passed. They're already ready for a new king." Merlin knew it wasn't a question. Arthur was hurting, not asking.
"They know you will be a great king. You've proven yourself," Merlin encouraged. "Now don't doubt your leadership. If you need proof then look at the past few years and ask anyone you've come across. There are five Knights of the Round Table out there who would follow you to the ends of the earth without hesitation."
"Not to mention Emrys," Arthur whispered.
Merlin nodded slowly. "He would too. Emrys has… always believed in you. Well, maybe not since the first day, but in time," the two chuckled, "in time, he came to know you and who you are going to be."
Arthur lifted an eyebrow. "Are you telling me you know Emrys?" Taking in a deep breath, Merlin nodded one. "And is that your secret; that you two are friends?"
The warlock snorted. "No, that's not my secret. I told you, when you're king you will know. Now, go out there before they think you got lost in your own castle on the way to the Great Hall."
Arthur and Merlin chuckled a moment before the prince pulled Merlin into a one-armed hug. "Thank you, Merlin, I don't know if I could have gotten this far without you."
The warlock sighed. "No, I can honestly say, you couldn't have."
Arthur chuckled and rolled his eyes, opening the door to the Great Hall. Merlin slipped over to stand next to Gaius, a giant grin on his face as he watched the prince walk down the hall. When Arthur got up to Geoffrey, the man began speaking.
But Merlin wasn't paying any attention to the words being said. He was eyeing Arthur warily, wondering how and when exactly he was going to reveal his secret. It would be safer with Gwaine and Lancelot around, but Arthur mind feel more threatened with them in the room. Better to do it in private after the ceremony. Yes, that would be best. Surely Arthur won't overreact like he did before. It's been about half a year and he's changed… right?
Before Merlin knew it, Arthur's princely crown was being replaced by the king's crown. The warlock clapped the loudest as King Arthur stood before the Court with a small smile on his face. The entire room was rejoicing and glowing with smiles and tears. Over all the noise, Merlin could have sworn he heard Gwaine yell at Arthur, "To the tavern to celebrate!"
"So," Arthur sighed, taking off his crown now that he was in his chambers. "We're alone. Tell me. My curiosity has been growing all day!"
This was it; time to tell Arthur the truth. Merlin could hear his heart pounding in his ears as Arthur continued to stare. "Right," he breathed. "Arthur, I'm… a… I have magic," he managed to spit out at last. Merlin looked nervously to Arthur.
The king sighed. "Merlin, you're not funny, especially when it has to do with illegal things like magic." Arthur turned his back to Merlin, removing his cape and tossing it on the bed.
"I'm not –" Merlin tried to say with no success.
"It's a bit chilly," Arthur complained, standing over the fireplace. "Can you light the fire before I freeze my –"
Merlin outstretched his hand and muttered, "Forebernon." Instantly, a fire roared to life before Arthur's eyes, cutting him off in mid sentence. "I wasn't lying, Arthur. I do have magic." Merlin held his breath, awaiting his response.
Arthur remained unmoved for another few moments before he finally spoke, but did not face Merlin. "I know," he whispered.
Eyes going wide, Merlin asked, "What?"
The newly crowned king looked at his friend. "I mean I know you have magic, at least… I think I knew. You told me this before, didn't you?" he asked. There were no signs of anger on his face, only wonder, which allowed Merlin to breathe again.
"Yes," he answered simply. "I told you once before, but due to… an emergency, I had to wipe everyone's memory." The king's mouth opened and shut several times. "Are you angry with me?" Merlin asked nervously.
Blinking a few times, Arthur shook his head. "No, no, of course not. I just need to get used to it." He paused for a moment, looking into the fire. "There was something I was supposed to do once I was king, but I can't remember…"
"You were going to make me Court Warlock!" Merlin reminded him with his signature grin. Arthur rolled his eyes and gave him one of those what-will-I-do-with-you looks. "Let's face it, if you arrest me I will just break out, and if you banish me then I will come back. We both know I don't obey orders."
The king laughed once. "Give me one reason why I should make you Court Warlock."
"Well for one, you will need my help to bring magic back to Camelot," Merlin explained, fully back to his normal self now that he was sure Arthur wasn't going to run him through.
"And who says I'm going to bring magic back into Camelot?"
"I do." Merlin smiled widely. "So does Emrys, but seeing as Emrys is also me, then I guess just I say that you should," he babbled.
Arthur's eyes went wide, which unnerved Merlin slightly. "You're Emrys?" he asked incredulously. "Why doesn't that surprise me as much as it should?"
Merlin groaned inwardly at the thought of having to explain everything all over again, but another idea popped into his head. "Come with me," he said, walking over to the door. "Come on," he laughed when Arthur remained still and gave his servant a confused look. "Trust me, you won't regret it!"
"Where are we going?" Arthur asked after half an hour of riding in the forest.
Merlin scanned the trees in search for what he was looking for. "It should be," he dismounted, "about here." He walked away from the horse as a glint of metal caught his eye. Merlin heard Arthur call his name, but the warlock ignored it. He could hear the king following close behind him and gave a gasp as Merlin smiled brightly.
Before them, a beautiful sword was sticking out of a stone, the sun shining on the area as if to highlight its beauty even further.
Arthur slipped past his friend to examine the strange sword up close. "How did this happen?" he asked Merlin when the warlock was standing next to him.
"I put it here," he said, receiving a disbelieving look. "You weren't ready for it before. Now you are." The Once and Future King eyed the sword placed in the stone. "Pull it," Merlin encouraged.
"Pull it out of the stone. Only you can do it, Arthur." Merlin stood back to give his friend more room.
Arthur grasped the hilt with both hands, wondering how on earth he was supposed to pull it out of a rock. He glanced at Merlin once before tugging on the sword. It did not resist, it did not refuse move. Instead, the sword slid smoothly out of the stone as easily as if Arthur was pulling it out of water.
He held it up to the sun to let the weapon glisten brightly. "It's a sword for a king," Arthur muttered as he gazed in awe at the blade.
"Excalibur," the warlock offered. "That's the closest word for 'sword of king' in my…" How to dumb it down for Arthur…? "Magic speak." Yes, that worked.
Arthur nodded approvingly. "I will call it Excalibur." Then a thought occurred to him. "Why did you put it in a stone?"
Merlin chewed his lower lip. "That sword was forged by the dragon's breath. It can kill the dead and undead, which I guess is the same thing. It can probably do more, but I'm not sure what. I used Excalibur to defeat Morgana's immortal army, and that sword is how Uther killed the wraith all those years ago."
Taking out his old sword and sheathing Excalibur, Arthur smiled. "Let's get back to Camelot."
King Arthur stepped onto the balcony, the sun high in the sky. It had been three months since he was crowned king, and he owed Merlin. "People of Camelot," he announced with his friend at his side. "Almost thirty years ago, my father, Uther Pendragon, banned any form of magic from the kingdom. Unfortunately, this law also punished the sorcerers with only the best intentions."
The crowd began to murmur at their king's unexpected words.
"As many of you may already know," a couple knights in the courtyard smiled up at him, "I am not quite like my father." Arthur turned around and gestured for Merlin to step forward. "Uther thought all of those with magic are evil. Yes, it is true that many of our foes have had magic…"
Merlin stepped up and whispered in his friend's ear. "You're taking too long."
Arthur glared and cleared his throat, turning back to his people. "Right. Long story short, the warlock Emrys is actually Merlin and he will be made my official Court Warlock and Adviser. If anyone discriminates against him or has any problem with Merlin's magic, they will answer to me. Most of you know Merlin and know he can't hurt a fly unless that fly tries to hurt Camelot. That will be all!" The king's words came out in such a rush that it took a good minute for the people to process the information.
Once they did, however, the entire kingdom was bustling with gossip and shock. There were a lot of knocks at Merlin's door that day.
Yes, Merlin got his own chambers.
"Well, that was subtle of you, Arthur," Merlin commented once the long day had ended and he and Arthur were sitting by a fireplace having a drink. The king snorted a laugh and poured himself another glass of Meade. "Just wait until the people find out that Kilgharrah is still alive and as confusing as ever."
"I can still hardly believe he's alive," Arthur admitted, taking a sip of his drink. "How have the people been towards you so far?"
The warlock sipped at drink before answering. "Well, a few people think I've enchanted you," he said, making Arthur laugh. "Others thought it was a joke, so I had to prove it to them. A couple druids came and asked permission to live in Camelot."
"Whoa, whoa, whoa!" Arthur said, holding up his hand. "They asked you if they could live in my kingdom? What gives you that authority?"
Merlin shrugged and a grin. "I'm Emrys." Arthur grumbled, chugging the rest of his Meade. "Anyway, I told them that it was fine with me, but to ask you first. I've set up an audience with them tomorrow at noon."
Setting his glass down, Arthur put his hands together. "Let me get this straight; druids want to live in Camelot, despite what my father did to them?"
Merlin nodded eagerly. "Almost all of the druids know that you are the Once and Future King and that you would bring magic back to Camelot. Together," he yawned, "we will unite the land of Albion… well, as long as you stop being a prat." With that, Merlin fell asleep in the chair. Arthur's eyes slid shut and quickly followed in his friend's footsteps.
The next morning, the two friends woke up to find that they had spent the entire night in chairs in Merlin's chambers. They were awakened by a vigorous knock at the door. The person didn't even wait to be invited to come in, and barged into the room in a panic.
"M-my Lord!" he exclaimed, looking directly at Arthur. "I-I-I was worried… Queen Guinevere said you didn't come back last night… and I searched the castle… I couldn't find you…"
"Wendell," Arthur said, standing up. "Take a breath. I'm fine. I've been with Merlin. Please go inform my wife of this."
The young servant bowed deeply. "Yes, sire. C-can I get you anything?"
Arthur sighed. "No, Wendell, you're free to go."
Once again, Wendell bowed – even lower this time – and exited the room, shutting the door quietly. Merlin looked right at the king. "I told you not to get a bootlicker."
"I know," Arthur sighed.
"This is why I didn't want a servant."
"No," he snorted. "You didn't want a servant because you can get everything done by the snap of your fingers."
"Can't argue with that," Merlin admitted, standing up. He walked around to the back of Arthur's chair and his eyes flashed gold. "I'm going to go get breakfast. You can join me if you like," he said as he walked out the door.
King Arthur sighed and tried to stand up… but he couldn't get out of his chair… "Merlin!" It was as if his bottom was stuck to the seat. "Merlin, I can't get –" He struggled to get up, glaring at the closed door. "Merlin! Merlin! MERLIN!"
A/N: Yes, Arthur and Gwen got married. Yes, Merlin got his own chambers. Yes, Arthur just jumped Merlin's magic on everyone in Camelot (just because I can see him doing that). No, after the coronation they didn't go to the tavern. Yes, Gwaine was upset.
I know it's the last chapter, but it would mean the world to me if you'd review! =) I hope you enjoyed the story!