A/N: Sorry everyone that it has been so long. I was really busy with school, work, and being in a musical. I am now done for the semester so I have plenty of free time now to continue writing. This next reveal takes place during the episode Moment of Truth when Merlin, Arthur, Gwen, and Morgana go to Ealdor to fight Kanen. Expect some slight changes from the actual episode at the beginning of this story. I will explain the reasons for the changes once the story is complete.
The ground in Ealdor was littered with bodies of both friend and foe. Those in the village had just managed to defeat their enemy who was led by Kanen who was after their entire harvest. The villagers did not have the skills or the numbers to defeat their enemy. By some miracle, a magical whirlwind had appeared which gave them the upper hand. Unfortunately this magic was witnessed by the prince of Camelot who, like his father, was known for hating magic and executing any who were caught practicing sorcery.
"Who conjured that whirlwind?" Arthur asked the group of people from Ealdor before him. He has seen the magic, but he had not seen who had conjured the wind.
Merlin was about to confess to being the sorcerer who had conjured the wind. He had been thinking of telling Arthur the truth about himself all throughout this trip to Ealdor. The moment had never been right or they had been interrupted. Now was finally the time to admit the truth to Arthur no matter the consequences. Obviously it wasn't the enemy who had conjured the wind and Merlin couldn't let anyone from him village take the blame.
"It was me. I am the sorcerer," said Merlin's best friend Will. "I learned magic long ago and I used it to save all of us."
"No, Will don't say anything more," Merlin commanded his friend.
It was at that moment that their final enemy, Kanen shot an arrow where the three had been standing. The arrow was likely to hit either Will or Arthur. Merlin couldn't lose his childhood friend or the royal prat who he was supposed to protect. Merlin did the only thing he could do. He used his magic to reverse the arrow and have it fly back to the enemy, piercing him in the heart.
"I'm the sorcerer," said Merlin as his eyes went from gold back to their normal blue. Will was only trying to protect me. I conjured the whirlwind since we were losing the battle. We were outnumbered and I couldn't bear for anyone else to die. I did the only thing I could to end the fighting."
Merlin looked at the ground since he didn't want to see any look of disgust in Arthur's eyes. It was probably too soon for Arthur to know, but there was no way around the truth now. Merlin just wished that Arthur knew him better at this point. Any trust that had been built between the two of them would surely be gone now. Merlin was only a manservant and had just done the one thing that was guaranteed to get him executed upon their return to Camelot. Maybe Arthur wouldn't even wait that long. Merlin expected a sword to come at him any moment now. When the seconds started to turn into minutes and there was still silence and no sword protruding from his body, Merlin decided to chance a glance at Arthur.
"Is this what you were trying to tell me earlier?" Arthur asked in a calm yet slightly deadly sounding voice. "There was something important you wanted to tell me. Was this it?" Arthur was having trouble wrapping his head around this new information. His life had just been saved by his manservant, but his manservant was a sorcerer. Arthur knew that sorcerers were evil. His father had spent years trying to rid Camelot of this evil, but Arthur's own manservant was a sorcerer. Arthur wondered why this sorcerer would save his life. There was also the curiosity of why he was still alive after all this time. This sorcerer was around him almost constantly and yet had never once tried to hurt him or anyone.
"I've wanted to tell you for so long," said Merlin who was now looking Arthur in the eyes. It has been horrible having to keep this secret from you and everyone. Only three people know about me and two of them are right here in Ealdor. Just give me a chance to explain. I will tell you anything you want to know." Merlin hoped that if he could get the prince to talk to him than this might work out. It was his destiny to help Arthur on his journey to becoming the Once and Future King. Merlin figured his destiny could not be fulfilled if he was dead.
"You wish to make a confession, Sorcerer?" Arthur asked his manservant in a harsh voice.
Merlin cringed from the tone of voice and the use of the word sorcerer. "I suppose you could call it a confession even though I haven't done anything I feel guilty about you dollophead." Maybe one of his normal nicknames for Arthur was not appropriate at the moment, but Merlin wanted some way to ease the tension in the air. No one else was saying a word and merely following the exchange between prince and manservant. Everyone seemed to know that this was between the two of them and they should stay out of it for the time being. Merlin appreciated the silence. It would make it easier if he only had to answer to Arthur and not everyone else in the area as well. Merlin couldn't even bring himself to look anywhere but at the prince before him.
"You really just called me a dollophead after you have just been caught using sorcery?" Arthur asked with the hint of a smirk on his face. His manservant really was an idiot.
"I figure there is no need to change my habits now your royal pratness," said Merlin with a small smile and a mock bow. He just needed to get Arthur into their usual banter and everything would be fine.
Arthur did give a real smile now before he remembered where he was and what was happening. It would have been too easy to banter with his manservant and fall into a joking attitude with him. That is probably what the sorcerer wanted to throw him off guard so that he could attack. "Enough, Sorcerer! Your mind tricks will not work on me. You will answer some questions before I make a decision on what should be done with you. I want to know when you started learning magic and why you came to Camelot."
Merlin sighed at how quickly Arthur had gone back to being hateful and distrustful. Merlin thought he could have gotten through to Arthur by just being himself and showing the prince that nothing had changed between them. Merlin gave one last sigh since he knew the prince would never believe his answers. "I never asked to have magic. I never studied sorcery here in Ealdor. I could do magic before I could walk or talk. My skills improved when I moved to Camelot and had to start saving your life all the time. I went to Camelot since I didn't fit in here anymore and my mother wanted me to go live with Gaius."
"Hang on," commanded Arthur. "That doesn't make any sense. You had to have learned how to do magic. No one has the ability to just do magic at will. Those who perform magic are choosing to do evil and make a conscious choice to do so."
"Well I am different," Merlin responded with a shrug.
"There had to have been some dark purpose for you coming to Camelot," said Arthur trying to convince himself of what had to be the truth. "You have some dark plot. You have probably only gone this long with attacking so that you could bide your time. Maybe all of those attacks I have survived were your doing."
"Don't be an idiot," said an exasperated Merlin. "If I had wanted you dead, you would be. Maybe I shouldn't have said that," Merlin said in a calm voice when he saw Arthur's expression. "I only meant that I have never tried to hurt you and will never try to hurt you or anyone in Camelot unless they mean to hurt you or those I care about."
"Why should I believe anything you say when you have been lying about everything since the moment you stepped foot into my father's kingdom?" Arthur asked in a demanding voice.
"I've done nothing but help you since I first arrived in Camelot," said Merlin. "Well that is not entirely true. I hated you at first, if you remember. I had plans to just stay away from you. When that dagger was about to kill you, I slowed down time so that I could get to you and push you out of the way. I then learned that it is my destiny to help you become the greatest king ever known. I thought it was ridiculous and that you could never be as great as you are meant to be. I have seen you grow and learn and already I believe that one day you will become the Once and Future King. I want to be there to help you, but I had to keep my magic a secret from you so that I could survive long enough to help you achieve your destiny. I couldn't do that if I was executed for sorcery."
"Were you ever going to tell me?" Arthur asked.
"I was waiting for the right time to tell you," replied Merlin. "I was hoping I could sit you down and talk to you about my magic and have it not be revealed in battle like this. I wanted you to slowly learn that magic could be used for good and that not all those who use magic are evil."
"You decided to help me for now, but even you have to have your breaking point," Arthur began. "You may be good now and using your magic for good, but how long until it corrupts you like it corrupts everyone else? If you swear to me you will never use magic again, than I can overlook this."
"I can't stop, Arthur," said Merlin sadly. "Magic is who I am. Magic comes easily to me and it is part of who I am. You might as well ask me to stop breathing."
"I still don't understand how you have been able to use magic without studying it?" Arthur asked. "Are you some kind of magical creature I have never heard of?"
"Possibly," stated Merlin.
"You need to give me more than that, Sorcerer," said Arthur.
"I guess I should start by saying that I am not a Sorcerer," Merlin began. "The Great Dragon refers to me as 'Young Warlock'. I'm guessing that I am a Warlock and that the difference between Sorcerers and Warlocks is one learns magic and the other is born with it."
"You are to be confined to your home until I know what to do with you," said Arthur. "I need time to process what you have told me. You are not to leave your home for any reason. Is that clear?"
"Yes, Arthur," said Merlin.
"From now on you shall refer to me as 'Sire' and not address me so casually as if we were friends," commanded Arthur.
"Yes, Sire," said Merlin as he turned away to enter his childhood home.
Once Merlin was back in his home, the rest of the crowd began to depart and return to their own homes. Even William returned home without a word despite the fact that he wanted to stick up for his friend. The only ones who did not leave were Gwen and Morgana who had stayed silent during the exchange between prince and servant.
"You really are an idiot, Arthur," said Morgana.
"Not now, Morgana. I need time to think," said Arthur.
"I will give you some things to think about, Arthur," Morgana began. "Merlin has always been loyal to you and now you are treating him as if he is a stranger. You didn't even say his name once after you learned his secret. You couldn't stop referring to him as 'Sorcerer.'
"He is a stranger to me now," said Arthur. "I thought I knew him, but he has been lying to us this entire time. How can you just be alright with the fact that someone you know is a sorcerer? He may not be evil yet, but pretty soon he will be. He won't be able to help it since that it what happens to all those who practice magic."
"You think so?" Morgana asked. "You only see the sorcerers who come after you and Camelot. There have to be others out there who keep what they can do a secret to protect their own lives. You know what your father is like. He would execute anyone no matter what type of magic they were using."
"Why did he lie to me?" Arthur asked. That is the question that was really on his mind. He thought that Merlin trusted him. He thought that they were becoming more than just prince and servant. He would never let any other servant get away with half of what he lets Merlin get away with. He couldn't imagine himself ever disobeying his father to come help his servant's village in the past. Merlin had changed him and he knew it. Arthur was glad that they were not currently in Camelot at the moment and that there were no guards he could have called in his haste.
"You should go talk to him," said Gwen as she put a hand on Arthur's chain mailed shoulder.
"What do I say to him?" Arthur asked more to himself than to anyone else. "Where do we go from here?"
"Only you can decide what happens next," said Morgana. "You and Merlin can return to the way things were and nothing ever needs to be said about what was learned today. You can accept Merlin for who he is and earn his trust. He didn't need to reveal his secret today, but he did for the greater good. Trust that he is a good man and will remain a good man. Your final choice is to do the unthinkable. You can turn Merlin over to your father and watch as someone who is loyal to you gets executed. I don't think you would be able to live with yourself if you chose the final option and I don't think you will ever grow to be this great king that Merlin spoke of if you do so."
"Trust that Merlin is a loyal servant and loyal friend to you," Gwen added. "Think of all the times he has helped others. I don't think he could be evil if he tried"
"Thank you both for your counsel," said Arthur. "I don't know what I am going to say or do yet, but you two have given me more to think about. I guess my only option now is to confront Merlin."
"We can come with you," stated Gwen.
"I need to do this alone," said Arthur. He then spun away from Morgana and Gwen and went towards his manservant's house. Arthur hesitated at the door for a moment before deciding to knock. "Open up. We need to talk."
The door mysteriously opened to reveal Merlin nowhere near the door, but on the other side of the room sitting in the corner. Obviously Merlin had used magic to open the door since it no longer mattered if he was caught now.
Arthur had to repress a shudder at such an obvious display of magic. He had to understand now that he was dealing with a man who had nothing to lose and expected the worst. This was the worst type of person to deal with alone, especially when dealing with a sorcerer. "Can I come in?"
"You are the Prince so I guess you can do what you like," said Merlin from his corner.
"Merlin," said Arthur in a tone that said he wasn't going to joke around at the moment.
"So you finally remembered my name," said Merlin mockingly. "I thought that today you had gotten hit on the head at some point since you couldn't seem to remember that my name is not Sorcerer."
"I deserved that," stated Arthur. "I was just speaking with Gwen and Morgana and they gave me something to think about and also my choices in this situation. You should be happy to know that they are on your side."
"Really?" Merlin asked with a slightly hopeful tone in his voice. He had hoped that Gwen could forgive him and accept him, but the fact that the King's own ward was on his side meant so much to him. "What are the options?"
"Forget this ever happened, accept you for who you are, or turn you into my father," said Arthur, listing off the three choices.
"Have you made a choice?" Merlin asked slowly getting up from his corner and taking a few hesitant steps towards the Prince.
"I don't know yet," Arthur stated honestly. "I don't want to see you executed. I don't know if I could ever forgive myself if I let you die, but I can't accept you for who you are and I can't forget what happened here today."
"What can I do to gain back your trust and make you believe that I am loyal to you?" Merlin asked sadly after hearing that the man he thought was his friend could not accept him.
"I don't know right now if I can ever trust you again. I understand why you lied, but at the same time I thought you were a terrible liar and yet you were able to deceive me about something like this. Your innocent nature is what makes you such a dangerous man. I will never be able to tell again what you are thinking or what you plan to do. I thought I knew who you were until today. I thought you were a lazy idiot who couldn't keep a secret if his life depended on it. Has anything been true or has it all just been an act this entire time? If you are supposed to be some sort of protector or advisor, than is that the only reason you are around me?"
"You Clotpole!" Merlin exclaimed. "I only ever pretended to be less than what I am, but that is all. You know me and you know that I am your friend. Everything you knew about me is true except for that one little thing."
"That little thing is sorcery," said Arthur reminding Merlin.
"Think of all we have been through together," said Merlin. "Magic was involved in most of those cases. All of our adventures have involved magic in some way. Without it the two of us and many others would never have survived. I'm surprised you never figured out sooner that I can use magic. Now that you know, my job is going to be so much easier."
"I never said you were going to be able to continue being my manservant," said Arthur.
"Who else are you going to find who can save you?" Merlin asked. "You keep landing yourself in trouble. I feel bad for the next manservant you get who doesn't have magical powers and still has to come along with you on ridiculous trips."
"Enough, Merlin. I might just run you through with my sword for being so annoying," said Arthur with a grin on his face.
"Then who would clean your sword for you?" Merlin retorted.
"So here is the deal," Arthur began, suddenly serious. "You will continue to serve me and go about your normal business, but you will never keep secrets from me again. You will continue to use your powers only in life of death situations and not anytime else just because I know now. What is so funny?" Arthur asked when he saw Merlin laughing.
"I have always used my powers around the castle," said Merlin. I use magic to get my chores done all the time. "
"You seriously use magic inside of the castle in Camelot where the magic hating King lives?" Arthur asked with a bewildered look on his face. "Do you have a death wish?"
"Well how else am I supposed to get done the long list of chores you give me on top of everything Gaius has me do? Plus there are times when I need to practice new spells that are needed for vanquishing dangerous magical creatures."
"Just don't get caught," said Arthur. "I was right then about you being lazy."
"You want to see a trick?" Merlin asked now that everything was out in the open and it seemed like Arthur and Merlin were going to be able to eventually get back to their easy friendship. Merlin just needed to remind Arthur what he was capable of while still being the same person. He hoped that this would be the first step to getting the magic ban repealed eventually and a step towards bringing magic back to the land.
"Why not," said Arthur. He knew that this was something he would need to be able to get used to if he was going to allow Merlin to serve him and in some cases fight beside him. It also wouldn't hurt to know what his manservant was capable of.
Merlin said a spell into his palm and his eyes flashed gold. Arthur didn't think he would ever be able to get used to Merlin's eyes flashing gold since he connected that with evil doers. He couldn't help but be slightly amazed when a small fire was dancing in the palm of Merlin's hand. "Doesn't that hurt?"
"It doesn't hurt me," said Merlin.
"Just how powerful are you?" Arthur asked as he still watched the dancing flame.
"I don't know yet since I am still learning. Apparently I am supposed to be the greatest and most powerful Warlock to ever live, but I think there is still some time before I reach that point.
"Learning?" Questioned Arthur. "I thought you didn't learn magic and that you were so special that you just knew it from birth.
"I have been able to use magic since I was a baby but I until I came to Camelot I really could only move objects around and slow down time a little. I need to learn spells for everything else and I also needed to learn how to control my powers."
"Alright," said Arthur. "Let's start getting ready to leave. My father will probably be upset that Morgana and I left without telling him. We probably shouldn't keep him waiting much longer. I will go get Gwen and Morgana and I will send your mother in so you can have some time with her before we leave."
"Thank you, Sire," said Merlin.
"Don't call me Sire. Oh and Merlin, your secret is safe with me. Thank you for what you have done for me and for Camelot," said Arthur who paused before opening the door. He was almost out when he felt Merlin's hand on his shoulder. Thankfully the fire had already gone out or this would not be a pleasant situation at the moment.
"Thank you for giving me this chance, Arthur," said Merlin. "Thank you for what you have done for me in the past despite the fact that I was just your servant."
Within an hour the four were set to head back to Camelot. Of course King Uther was furious that his son had left Camelot to help Ealdor and had dragged Morgana along as well. Arthur kept his word and never spoke of his friend's magic to his father or anyone else besides Gwen and Morgana. Merlin was able to help Morgana through her own magical difficulties in the future and was to become a great friend to her and help her stay on the correct path since she had friends to help her through her difficult times.
Within a short amount of time, Arthur was used to Merlin using his magic and would barely blink an eye when he saw his friend's eyes flash gold to do something as small as heating bath water. There was still a long way to go before magic would be returned to the kingdom. Arthur knew that one day when he became King he would help Merlin and those like him. For now Merlin would just have to settle for the acceptance of the Crowned Prince.
A/N: Hope you all enjoyed this second reveal. I made a big change from the episode right at the beginning of this story. Will confessing to using sorcery before getting shot is something I debated about adding. I figured that Will would do that for Merlin. Will lives in Cenred's Kingdom and is not subject to the laws of Camelot. Merlin is his best friend and who wouldn't do something super stupid to save their best friend? I just wanted to make that clarification in case someone was going to mention that in a review.