A/N: As I promised, here's the epilogue and the happy ending I would have liked to see in the actual series. From now on, every time I will watch Merlin's series finale, I will stop it before the infamous scene, you know, the one with the boat and I will re-read this adopting it as my official head canon.
Perhaps, this way I'll manage to survive the finale without breaking my heart in a million pieces. If this also helps one or some of you, then I think my mission is complete.
Now, all I have left is to thank you all so very much. I published this story with great trepidation for stepping into a new fandom as a fanfiction writer is always very daunting. Mercifully, you guys are fantastic and have all exquisite manners. Your kind words have encouraged me to write more Merlin based stories in the future.
Till then, thank you again for your continued support, I hope you enjoy the final instalment!
Albion's New Age
Two weeks after the battle, in a mild morning of late spring, Merlin stood behind the city walls, watching the splendid view his high position offered. The clear skies allowed him to see a large portion of the Kingdom and, smiling, he felt a little bit proud of the peace he'd helped his King achieve.
Glancing down at his new dark blue robes, he felt the heavy fabric and, for the umpteenth time ever since he'd received them, he wished he could go back to wearing his usual attire. Alas, Arthur insisted that his Minister for Magic could not be seen wearing serving boy's clothes, no matter how comfortable they were.
"Merlin!" he heard his King calling out.
Turning round, he saw his best friend rushing towards him in a very un-kingly manner.
"Queen Annis just arrived," he informed him, "she's asking to see you as soon as you can."
"Is she feeling unwell again?" Merlin asked frowning a little.
"No," Arthur replied, "she's in top form, thanks to you."
"It was nothing," Merlin brushed it off.
"You saved a Queen's life, Merlin," Arthur said seriously, "you should learn to take the credit you deserve."
Merlin just nodded.
"Have you considered King Rodor's offer?" he asked Arthur.
"Yes," the King replied, "what do you think about it? Can I do it?"
"Arthur," Merlin said, "I don't know anyone better suited for the job. Queen Annis has already agreed to it and after having accepted to place King Odin's lands under Camelot's protection, I think it's only fair you become the overseer of Nemeth and Caerleon, that will put us one step closer to a truly united Albion. After all, it was your destiny."
"My destiny was to die and wait for Albion's great moment of need," Arthur reminded him.
"No," Merlin said, "that was never your true destiny, at least not in this lifetime."
"If you say so," Arthur said, "come on, everyone is waiting for…"
"Wait," Merlin stopped him, he glanced up at the sky and noticed a couple of specks flying towards them, "look," he told Arthur, his heart swollen with pride, "Aithusa is taking Saviik on his first flight."
The King and his Sorcerer watched as the two dragons approached. Aithusa's white hide was gleaming against the sun but it was nothing compared to the beautiful golden glow coming from Saviik's new scales.
"You look like a proud mother," Arthur teased him.
Without looking at him, Merlin shook his head and said:
"Not a mother, a father."
"What?" Arthur asked.
This time Merlin lowered his gaze down to Arthur's level and tried to explain.
"I know it sounds strange but, as a dragonlord, I was responsible for both Aithusa's and Saviik's births. In a way, I am their father."
"Okay," Arthur replied making an obvious effort to understand.
"Don't strain yourself, you might get hurt," Merlin laughed.
"Merlin," Arthur warned him, "I am still your King, you know?"
Merlin just smiled and said:
"Of course, My Lord."
"Let's go," Arthur said shaking his head in defeat, "we've got work to do."
"Speaking of that," Merlin said as they started walking, "I want to take Gilli to the Grove of Brineved and, if my memory does not fail me, you did promise me a couple of days off."
"What?" Arthur asked, "I never said that."
"Yes you did," Merlin countered.
"Never," Arthur insisted.
"I'm hurt," Merlin protested feigning dismay, "I thought I was the only friend you've ever had and you didn't want to see me suffer."
Arthur's shocked expression made Merlin want to laugh out loud but then his King reacted in his usual way:
"Merlin, mention that again and I'll put you in the stocks for a month."
"I'd like to see you try," Merlin challenged him.
Arthur went to grab Merlin's head but the warlock just dodged him. Soon, both men were chasing each other around the royal garden, completely disregarding the fact that they were King Arthur and Minister Merlin.
Up in the sky, the pair of dragons observed the scene looking rather amused.