I do not own Merlin.

Chapter One

"I'm abolishing the laws against magic," Arthur told the court. A gasp rippled through the room, and even the king himself could scarcely believe he'd said it. "Sorcerers are to be judged by their actions, not their skills, from this point forward."

"But Sire—" Arthur put his hand up to silence the man who had spoken.

"I have not come to this decision lightly, nor will I be persuaded to change my mind. My father was wrong about magic; it is a tool, it does not make a person evil, they choose to be so," he smiled. "And, frankly, has anyone noticed nearly all of the sorcerers who have raised their hands against Camelot did so out of revenge? Well, I intend to make up for all the wrong my father and I have done against these people. Magic is free."

The court was dumb-founded, but soon accepted their king's decision. And so it was that magic was brought back into Camelot. It would not be an easy transition, Arthur knew, but it was a necessary one.

The king sat back on his throne with a sigh. What would Merlin think if he were here? His skinny manservant had gone missing three years ago, and no one knew why. He just disappeared one night, soon after Uther died. In the back of his mind, Arthur wondered if he had done something but couldn't for the life of him figure out what it might be. He missed his friend—for that's what he really was, though Arthur would never admit it out loud—dearly, though most presumed he was dead.

Arthur was pulled out of his thoughts by the sudden silence as the conversation around him died down. "Oh, and one more thing," he addressed the court again, "I'm bringing back the position of Court Sorcerer to help the relations with the magical community. And I'm holding a magic tournament to decide who will be appointed."

With that, the king left the room. He had other business to attend to, a tournament to organize. He really hoped he hadn't just made a terrible mistake.


A few weeks later, sorcerers were pouring into the city from all over to try their luck at King Arthur's tournament, or just to watch it unfold. Some were druids, others came from different kingdoms where magic was not illegal. They came in all shapes and sizes; men, women, young, old, experienced, and naïve.

Arthur watched from his window as they came and rented rooms at the tavern. Really, the king thought, there are quite a lot of them. One in particular seemed to stand out to him, he had the hood of his midnight blue cloak over his head and road on a white horse. There were two men in green cloaks with him who appeared to be either servants or bodyguards.

One of the men in green was tall and broad-shouldered, the other shorter and slimmer. The slim man took their horses to the stables while the other two walked into the tavern. Gwen came up behind her husband at this moment.

"Nervous?" she asked.

Arthur laughed, "Of course I am! What if this goes wrong? What if one of them is less than friendly? What if I've just made a horrible mistake?"

Gwen put a finger to his lips to silence him, "And what if you haven't? What if this is the beginning of a greater and stronger Camelot? I believe in what you are doing, Arthur; I am sure it will be a great tournament."


The stranger in the blue cloak waited at the entrance to the tavern while his companion waded through the crowds to find the owner and rent a room. He sighed, this was going to be one interesting tournament.

"This way to your room," his companion said when he returned. The stranger followed him, eager to get away from the crowds. Once inside he flopped down on his bed in an undignified manner, hood falling down to reveal his handsome face. He was young, with black hair that reached his chin and startling blue eyes.

"I can't wait for this tournament to start," the stranger exclaimed. "The sooner this is over the better!"

His other companion came into the room at this point, "It would be good for us to rest, my lord, for tomorrow will be a long day."

"I know, Ronan," the stranger said. He looked at his bulkier companion, "Would you get me a drink and some food, Ulric? It has been a long day."

Ulric bowed and left the room. Ronan gave him a disapproving look.

"I'll sleep after I've eaten," he said with finality.

"As you wish, Lord Emrys."

Ta-da! My first Merlin story and my first attempt at a fanfiction with a semblance of plot.