Of Idiots and Prats

Part 6: Epilogue

"Arthur, I am not going out there," Merlin hissed, attempting to struggle out of the King's grasp.

"Merlin, I have to publicly make you Court Sorcerer. Really, you've faced down dragons! How scary is this?" He attempted to pull the reluctant sorcerer out onto the balcony again.

"A lot scarier," the warlock muttered on his breath. Then, louder, "I am not going out there! Half of Camelot must be out there!"

Arthur gave him an exasperated look. "No, Merlin. All of Camelot is out there, and you're keeping them waiting!"

The sorcerer went impossibly paler. The man really needed to spend more time in the sun. "All of Camelot?" he squeaked.

"What did you think it was going to be? A handful of drunkards?" The King's gaze was incredulous. "I just lifted the ban on magic. People are curious to see you."

"Why can't we just do it in the throne room? I don't want to go out there." He started struggling again, but Arthur kept his hand on the man's wrist in a vice-like grip.

"Because, Merlin, people need to know that there's a powerful sorcerer on our side."

The warlock was wide-eyed and frantic, like an animal caught in a trap. "I… I can't do this. What if I trip? Or say something stupid?"

"For God's sakes! I'm going to introduce you, you can do some flashy impressive magic, and then we can come back here. It'll take all of five minutes!"

"What if my magic doesn't work? It doesn't sometimes, you know!"

"Oh, for…" He grabbed the warlock's other wrist and gave a mighty heave. "Just come on!" Taken off balance, he was able to drag him the last couple feet through the doors onto the balcony.

Merlin froze, caught in the gazes of the hundreds of people who were crowded into the courtyard below, looking so pale that his skin resembled ivory, a stark contrast to his dark hair and the deep red of his new silk neckerchief. Gwen had decided that his new status deserved better clothes, and the warlock was fitted out in much the same outfit as he always wore, just with better quality fabrics. Supple leather boots and loose-fitting trousers in sturdy fabric, a fitted jacket over a blue shirt. A gold chain glinted beneath the neckerchief, apparently some amulet the warlock had discovered in the castle vaults. He looked more of a prince than a servant, though at the moment he had none of the poise of royalty.

Arthur grinned at him and clapped him on the shoulder, a silent reminder not to worry, though he knew the man wouldn't listen, and then turned to his people.

"People of Camelot, I present to you… your Grand Court Sorcerer!" He gestured to Merlin, and the warlock gave him a shaky smile, before speaking the same spell that he had to light the pyre.

"Forbearnan!" But rather than lighting something on fire, suddenly a mixture of light and blue flames lifted from the man's outspread hands, and then suddenly seemed to explode in a cacophony of shining color. Hundreds of birds made of blue fire took flight and soared among the people, trailing showers of harmless sparks overhead.

After the initial gasp of shock, the crowd collectively burst into applause, and Merlin managed to smile and give a (somewhat) graceful bow before the two of them retreated back into the castle.

The warlock collapsed against a wall as soon as they were out of sight, looking as if he'd just narrowly escaped death or something equally dreadful.

"See?" Arthur said, grinning at him. "That wasn't so bad!"

Merlin drew himself up straight and glared at him. "I hate you," he said, but there was no fire in his gaze as he turned and stalked away.

"Hey, where do you think you're going? We have to meet with the council and discuss magical law!"

"I've had quite enough duties for today!" Merlin called over his shoulder.

"Merlin, get back here!"

"Not happening!"

"I'm the King, you idiot. You have to do as I say!"

The man turned around and shot him an incredulous look, grinning. "Really, Arthur, when have I ever done as you say?"

Disclaimer: Not mine :( It belongs to the producers of BBC's Merlin.

And there's the end of it! Over 10000 words in just less than a week. *proud of self* (Now I should go back to studying for my midterms, like I should be. Shhhhhh, don't tell anyone!) Hope you guys enjoyed it! And thank you so much for the multitude of wonderful reviews!