"You are but one side of a coin...the Lady Morgana is the other." In which, the destiny of a great Kingdom rests on the shoulders of a young boy...and the King's ward.
AU, Merlin/Morgana, Gwen/Arthur (also, Dark!Arthur) and also Gwen/Lancelot. This story is almost ENTIRELY based on a video on youtube called "A Change of Destiny" by irydionlover93. Go and watch it, it's amazing! Unless you'd rather not have this story spoiled, in which case...as soon as its over go watch it! It's the most amazing video I've ever seen and I knew, the second I finished watching it, I HAD to make a story for it. So after much talking with the maker of the video, here it is! Don't own Merlin! Enjoy guys! And remember: R&R!
He groaned and stretched his back, hauling his pack over his shoulders.
He felt pain all over his body, but the grin on his face would not leave.
Today was a fresh start. Today was his first day in the Kingdom of Camelot.
He'd passed the border awhile back, and it was as if he felt his old life leave him behind.
He bit his lip as he emerged from the forest and saw the great black gate of Camelot.
Don't use magic, Merlin. Whatever you do...don't use magic! He chanted to himself over and over again in his mind. He took a deep breath.
This was it.
He stepped forward and made his way toward the gate, where tall guards with heavy armor and spears stood, their faces blank.
Merlin grinned at them and made his way through the city, staring at it in wonder and admiration.
All his life he'd grown up in the little village of Ealdor. Now, he was in a great city filled with wonder and endless possibilities. It made his stomach turn and his heart start racing. Today...his life truly began. And today, he began his own journey.
All his life, his secret of magic had been kept hidden by his mother. But now...he was on his own. It was up to him to remind himself not to use magic...and now the stakes were higher, especially in the Kingdom of the man who made the law against magic. If Merlin was caught using it, he'd be dead for sure.
It made him feel sick, and nervous. Magic was a part of who he was. Not using it would be a tragedy...
But he had to. If he wanted to prove to his mother he could make it on his own, he had to.
He hoisted his pack over his shoulders more tightly and made his way through the city, looking on in amazement at the turrets, and the streets, filled with children running and play fighting.
The grin on his face began to fade as he entered the courtyard and found a large group of people gathered around a stage, the sounds of drums and trumpets howling through the sky.
Two knight emerged from the castle, dragging a man between them, whose expression was blank, but scared at the same time.
Merlin frowned and joined the crowd, weaving his way through.
What was going on?
"Let this serve as a lesson to all!" Merlin spun around and saw, high above on a balcony, was the King, standing and looking down upon them all with a fierce and determined look of power.
"This man...Thomas James Collins, is adjudged guilty of conspiring to use enchantments and magic and- pursuant to the laws of Camelot- I, Uther Pendragon, have decreed that such practices are banned! On penalty of death! I pride myself as a fair and just King. But for the crime of sorcery, there is but one sentence I can pass!"
Merlin watched Uther's hand strike down and spun just in time to see the axe fall onto the board where the man's head was.
Merlin almost gagged, and he glared up at the King in anger, his heart racing.
Kill a man? Because he had magic? It was outrageous!
Merlin saw, in his periphery vision, a figure standing by a window, gazing down at the man's headless body in shock and sadness.
It was a woman. A woman in a blue dress with long, dark, curling hair. She was gripping the window frame for support, her green eyes wide and staring. Merlin looked at her in wonder, and awe.
"When I came to this land, this Kingdom was mired in chaos. But, with the people's help, magic was driven from this realm. So I declare a festival to celebrate twenty years since the Great Dragon was captured and Camelot freed from the evil of sorcery. Let the celebrations begin!"
Merlin felt anger stir inside him. He'd just killed a man in cold blood, and now he wanted a celebration?
This King was not fair. He was not just. He was-
Everyone gasped and silence fell through the courtyard as an old woman stepped forward, tears falling down her aging face as she looked at the man's headless body.
"There is only one evil in this land but it is not magic! It is you! With your hatred and your ignorance! You took my son!" She cried, her voice shaking with emotion. Merlin felt his heart break for the poor old woman, but her gaze turned into one of anger and hatred.
"But I promise you, before these celebrations are over, you will share my tears. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and a son for a son!" She cried, pointing at Uther.
He glared down at her.
"Seize her!" He roared.
The woman grabbed a necklace around her throat and Merlin held his breath.
She's going to use magic. He thought.
She began hissing feverishly and within moments, she disappeared in a flash of bright light.
Everyone began shouting in hysteria and Merlin looked up at the King, who glared down at the spot where the woman had vanished and then walked back into the castle.
Merlin saw the beautiful girl at the window withdraw and shut the window tightly and Merlin felt his heart-beat slowly return back to normal.
He sighed and weaved his way through the crowd, walking into the castle. He stopped before a guard.
"Uh...where would I find Gaius? The Court Physician?"
"There." The guard said, jabbing his thumb behind him.
"Thanks." Merlin smiled grimly and made his way into the castle. He couldn't stop thinking about what happened.
The woman had used magic! In the middle of Camelot! Merlin felt sorry for her. She was distraught at the loss of her son, clearly...but he hoped her threat was simply out of grief and not pure need for revenge...
He climbed some steps and finally found a door, slightly ajar. He knocked once and poked his head in.
"Hello?" He called out. He walked in and gazed around the place in wonder.
So many potions and instruments...books scattered all over the place...
He heard a ripping sound above him and looked up. A lone figure was on a balcony above him, its back turned to him so all he could see was a sheet of white hair.
"Gaius?" Merlin called out. He cleared his throat and Gaius turned.
Suddenly, the balcony railing behind him gave way and Gaius shouted out in shock as he went spiraling to the ground.
Merlin felt his heart start racing and he concentrated all his willpower on stopping Gaius from falling. Gaius suddenly froze in mid-air and Merlin looked around until he spotted a bed.
He fixed his gaze on the bed and turned his head, making it move with his mind. It zoomed across the room and landed underneath Gaius, who began moving at a normal pace again and slammed onto the bed, groaning in shock.
Merlin let go of his bated breath and walked over to Gaius.
"I-wha-What did you just do?" Gaius demanded breathlessly, standing up.
Merlin's heart sank.
"Tell me!" Gaius said, glaring at him.
"I, uh...I-I-I I have no idea, what happened!" Merlin stuttered. Gaius looked up at the balcony, then back at Merlin.
"If anyone had seen that-" Gaius began frantically. Merlin shook his head.
"No! No, that was-that was nothing to do with me-"
"I know what it was! I just want to know where you learned how to do it!" Gaius exclaimed.
"Nowhere!" Merlin said, panicking.
"So how is it you know magic?"
"I don't!" Merlin said, shaking his head. Gaius raised an eyebrow.
"Where did you study?" Merlin looked at him in shock.
"I-I've never studied magic! Or been taught!" Merlin said.
"Are you lying to me boy?" Gaius growled, stepping forward.
"What do you want me to say?" Merlin begged.
"The truth!" Gaius exclaimed.
"I was born like this!"
"That's impossible!" Gaius said, waving his hand dismissively. He looked Merlin over.
"Who are you?" He asked, narrowing his eyes in suspicion. Merlin pulled his backpack off his shoulders.
"Oh! I um...I have this letter!" He took it from his back and handed it to Gaius, who waved his hand again.
"I don't have my glasses!" Merlin grinned.
"I'm Merlin." He said. A flicker of recognition glinted in Gaius's eyes.
"Yes!" Merlin said, relaxing finally.
"But you're not meant to be here 'till Wednesday!" He said. Merlin's grin faded.
"It is Wednesday..." He said.
"Ah...right then...uh, you better put your bag in there." Gaius said, pointing to an empty bedroom at the end of the chambers. Merlin began walking, then turned back.
"You won't say anything...about..." He said, gesturing to the balcony.
"No." Gaius said adamantly. Merlin nodded.
"Although Merlin...I should say thank you." Gaius said, smiling slightly. Merlin simply nodded and walked into his bedchamber, grinning widely.
He had made it! He was in Camelot!
Now...now he just had to stay out of trouble...
Why couldn't I stay out of trouble? Merlin thought, as two guards shoved him into a cell and locked the door behind him.
His first day in Camelot and he tried to attack the Prince!
It wasn't his fault! The Prince was such...such an ass! All Merlin was trying to do was help the poor man he was hurling knives at, and now he was thrown into a cell because of it.
He growled and smacked his head lightly against the bars of his cell.
Gaius was going to be furious. He was supposed to be keeping a low profile after all. But he couldn't stand by and do nothing.
Merlin glared at nothing.
The prince was horrible! Merlin thought about the fact that he, the stupid young boy who laughed while he wreaked havoc on that young man, would one day be King of Camelot!
There was no way! He was too horrible!
Merlin sighed and saw the sun beginning to set through his barred window. He curled up on the floor and tucked his hands inside his shirt to keep warm.
All of a sudden, he began thinking of the women with the long black hair he had seen at the window yesterday.
He still had no idea who she was, but he felt he had a faint idea...
She had been dressed in such fine clothes...and was so beautiful...it was impossible that she was a maidservant or cook.
She looked like royalty. Which meant she could only be one person:
The Lady Morgana, King Uther's ward.
Merlin had heard of her beauty all the way back home in Ealdor, and he was stunned to see the rumors were indeed true.
He sighed and curled up into a ball, closing his eyes and casting the Lady Morgana from his mind.
He tossed over and sighed, a cold chill creeping through him.
He woke with a start and jumped to the other side of the room.
The voice had definitely been coming from underneath him! He heard his name again and he crouched down on the floor, pressing his ear to the floor.
"Hello?" He whispered.
Merlin looked up and saw Gaius at his cell door-
A furious look on his face.
"You never cease to amaze me! The one thing that someone like you should do is keep your head down and what do you do? You behave like an idiot!"
"I'm sorry..." Merlin said sheepishly. Although, he wasn't. He hoped the Prince would get a good-
"You're lucky. I managed to pull a few strings to get you released."
"Oh thank you, thank you! I won't forget this!" Merlin said, ecstatic.
"Well there is a small price to pay..."
Merlin felt the fruit smack against his face and he groaned.
This was not how he imagined life in Camelot would be like...
He saw someone approaching from his side and he tried to turn his head, but the shackles binding his hands and neck stopped him.
A young woman with dark skin and brown hair stepped toward him, smiling kindly.
"I'm Guinevere, but most people call me Gwen. I'm the Lady Morgana's maid." She said, smiling. Merlin's grinned at her.
"Right...I'm Merlin." He held his hand out as far as he could (which wasn't very far at all) and Gwen chuckled and shook it awkwardly.
"Though most people call me idiot." Merlin said, sighing.
"No no! I saw what you did! You're so brave!" She breathed, smiling.
"It was stupid..." Merlin muttered, sagging against the stocks.
"Well I'm glad you walked away. You weren't going to beat him..." Merlin looked at her in shock. Was she insulting him?
"Oh what? I could beat him..." He scoffed. Gwen's eyes went wide.
"You think? Cause you don't look like one of those big muscly fellows." She said, smiling. Merlin looked at her, hurt.
"Thanks..." Gwen seemed to realize her mistake.
"No no! I'm sure your stronger than you look, it's just...Arthur's one of those rough, tough save the world kind of men and you...don't look like that." She finished lamely. Merlin urged her closer and she leaned forward.
"I'm in disguise." He whispered.
"Haha! well it's great you stood up to him."
"You think?" Merlin said, grinning.
"Arthur's a bully...and everyone thinks you're a real hero."
"Oh yeah?" she smiled and Merlin's grin faded.
"Uh, I'm sorry Guinevere, but my fans have returned."
Gwen sped off as Merlin was sacked with another bunch of tomatoes, feeling slightly better about his day as he thought of Guinevere.
At least I have one friend in Camelot. He thought bitterly.
Merlin walked down the street, frowning...
Something was definitely wrong about the Lady Helen...
She had magical objects in her chambers, of that he was sure. But he couldn't exactly tell anyone now could he?
He sighed. Perhaps he was simply over-reading things. He needed to calm down and-
"How's your knee walking coming along?"
Merlin growled under his breath and kept walking, deciding to ignore Arthur and his little group of boys.
"Oh, don't run away!" Arthur chastised, a hint of a laugh in his voice. Merlin stopped in his tracks.
"From you?" He growled, his voice shaking with anger.
"Oh thank god! I thought you were deaf as well as dumb." Arthur said, rolling his eyes.
"Look, I told you you're an ass...I just didn't realize you were a royal one." Merlin said, sighing. Arthur's friends stepped forward, scowling. Merlin chuckled.
"Oh...what? Are you going to get your daddy's mean to protect you?" He sneered. Arthur laughed.
"I could take you apart with one blow."
"I could take you apart with less than that." Merlin said quietly. He knew he should stop, that Gaius would be furious, but he was just so angry! Someone needed to teach Prince Arthur a lesson...
"You sure?" Arthur asked, grinning. He grabbed a mace with a chain and a ball and threw it at him.
"Here you go, big man! Come on!" Merlin barely caught it. "I should warn you...I've been trained to kill since birth."
"Wow...and how long have you been training to be a prat?" Merlin asked, grinning. Arthur scoffed, shaking his head in disbelief.
"You can't address me like that." He said.
"Sorry...how long have you been training to be a prat...my lord?" Merlin asked, bowing his head slightly.
Arthur swung the mace at his head and Merlin barely ducked in time.
"Come on then, Merlin!"
Merlin ducked again and fell to the floor. He crawled into the marketplace and barely avoided another blow from Arthur's mace. Arthur was laughing like a mad-man and Merlin felt his anger grow. Arthur swung at him again and Merlin fell over, then gazed up.
He saw hooks in the corner and concentrated on it.
The hooks suddenly smashed together and Arthur's mace got caught between them. Merlin grinned triumphantly-
Then saw Gaius in the crowd, glaring at him disapprovingly.
Merlin got distracted, and Arthur had gotten his mace free. He walked toward Merlin tauntingly-
Arthur spun around-
And Morgana stood before him with Gwen, her hair tied behind her back and her purple dress flowing behind her. Merlin looked at her in awe, but she was gazing at Arthur, looking him up and down.
"You would think you'd have better things to do as Prince of Camelot then terrorising young boys." She said sarcastically, a smirk on her face. Arthur growled.
"Stay out of it, Morgana!" He hissed.
"I would, but I can't. Your father wants to see you. Now be a good little prince and go see him." She said playfully, the smirk still on her face. Arthur glared at her, then looked down at Merlin.
"Looks like you've got a reprieve." He tucked his mace in-
And held his hand out to Merlin. Merlin took it with hesitation and Arthur helped him up.
"You're a fool. But a brave one. I'll give you that." He said, his eyes narrowed as he looked Merlin over. He walked away and Morgana exchanged a single glance with Merlin before following him.
He felt someone grip his arm.
"Come on." Gaius said. Merlin sighed and Gaius took him back to his chambers silently, but as soon as they got there-
"How could you be so foolish?" Gaius shouted, shutting the door behind him.
"He needed to be taught a lesson!" Merlin said angrily.
"Magic must be studied, mastered and used for good, not for idiotic pranks!" Gaius said.
"What is there to master? I could move objects like that before I could talk!" Merlin yelled at him.
"Then by now you should know how to control yourself!"
"I don't want to! if I can't use magic what have I got? I'm just a nobody and I always will be!"
Gaius sighed and Merlin felt hot tears building in his eyes.
"If I can't use magic I might as well die." He said, his voice shaking with emotion. He got up and walked away, slamming his bedroom door behind him and crying into his bedsheets.
Merlin woke with a start and sat up in his bed.
There was that voice again!
"That's it." He jumped out of his bed and sneaked out of Gaius's chambers. He walked around, following the voice.
It grew closer as he moved toward the dungeons and Merlin began going down the steps-
And he stopped short when he saw guards.
He used magic to move the dice the guards were using. It clattered to the floor and Merlin used more magic to make it go into the next room, the guards foolishly following it.
Merlin ran down the rest of the stairs and grabbed a torch from the wall. He walked forward, then turned left-
And saw a secret passage way.
He swallowed, his heart racing and his mouth dry.
What was down here?
He went down the steps, the darkness making him feel nervous. He held his torch closer to himself.
Merlin came to a stop at the mouth of a cliff, and looked around.
He was in a cave.
He gazed in shock, and heard a chuckle.
"Where are you?" He called out.
He felt wind rush up to meet him-
And gasped, almost collapsing to the floor.
A great golden dragon gazed down at him, smiling.
Merlin looked at the dragon in complete shock.
A dragon! Here in Camelot!
The dragon chuckled, leaning forward.
"How small you are...for such a great destiny." He whispered. Merlin looked at him in confusion.
"I-wha-why, what do you mean? What destiny?" Merlin breathed, still in shock over seeing the dragon.
"Your gift, Merlin, was given to you for a reason." He said. Merlin let out a sigh of relief, his eyes wide.
"So there is a reason..." He whispered. The dragon leaned forward even more.
"Your destiny is great, young warlock. As is your future."
Merlin waited patiently, then the Dragon spoke again.
"Morgana is the Once and Future Queen who will unite the Land of Albion."
Merlin blinked twice-
"Right...that's impossible. Morgana isn't even in line on the throne, she isn't-"
"Oh, but yes she is, young warlock. Morgana is Uther's daughter, although she does not know it. And one day, she will take the Throne of Camelot, and be the greatest Queen this land has ever seen."
Merlin was shocked at this revelation.
"Wait...Morgana...is Uther's daughter? Arthur's sister? That's impossible! She...she is so nice! So elegant! Uther is a tyrant and Arthur...Arthur is an ass! There's no way she's related to them! It's impossible!"
"Mark my words, Merlin. I speak only the truth. Morgana is a Pendragon by blood, and blood alone. It is her personality, and how she differs from Uther, that will make her the great Queen she is destined to be."
Merlin ran a hand through his hair.
"I...I don't understand why you're telling me this?" He said.
"Morgana is destined to be Camelot's greatest Queen...but she faces many threats...from friend and foe alike."
"I still don't see what this has to do with me!" Merlin said desperately.
"Everything! Without you, Morgana will never succeed. Without you there will be no Albion."
"What? Me? Why?" Merlin breathed. He was so confused! So, so confused...
"Because it is your destiny."
"No, no. You've got this wrong. I'm Merlin! Just Merlin!"
"There is no right and wrong. Only what is and what isn't."
"But what do I have to do with Morgana? I've barely even spoken a word to her! How can I share a destiny with someone I don't know?"
"None of us can choose our destiny, Merlin...and none of us can escape it. You see, you are but one side of a coin...The Lady Morgana is the other." The dragon began to fly away and Merlin stepped forward frantically.
The dragon did not listen to him, his wings propelling him upwards.
"STOP! I need to know more!" Merlin begged. The final whoosh of wind brushed past Merlin and he was left all alone, reeling in what he had just heard.