Title: enamoured by your magic
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur
Summary: When Arthur finally accepted that Merlin has magic, he has regularly been requesting Merlin to perform magic for him. This is a story of one of those moments, and how it first came about.
Word Count: 993
Prompt: 416: Voyage
Author's Notes: this is my first ever published Merlin fic. i finally just went for it and actually posted a work of mine. yay! i hope you enjoy. :)
Merlin and Arthur arrived at a lake an hour’s walk beyond Camelot's borders. Merlin dropped their things, with His Royal Pratness barely bringing anything as usual, and he brought out a little boat figurine from his satchel.
“What’s that?” Arthur asked.
“You’ll see,” Merlin said smugly. What he planned this evening was slightly different from their usual adventures. He wanted tonight to be special.
Merlin put the figurine by the edge of the water, and uttered a spell.
Gradually, the little figurine morphed into a wooden boat which could fit about ten people, with a sail hanging in its middle. Merlin looked back to see Arthur gaping at the boat.
"That's crazy," Arthur exclaimed.
Merlin smiled. "Come on."
They climbed aboard with Merlin heading near the sail, and Arthur looking around in amazement as he sat directly at the front.
“Ready, sire?” Merlin asked.
“Ready as I’ll ever be,” Arthur said.
Merlin closed his eyes and let the invisible tendrils of his magic spread throughout the boat. Then, they were slowly soaring up, with winds blowing more heavily which each ascent, as they magically made their way past clouds and into the sky.
The full moon was bright and gigantic, almost as if it could swallow them whole. Merlin could see Arthur holding on tight to the boat's edge, trying to hide his fear.
Merlin approached him and put his hands on Arthur’s shoulders. “Arthur, it’s alright. I’ll keep us safe.”
Merlin felt Arthur relax a bit. “I know. It’s just, I’ve never imagined being this high up from the ground.”
“I know,” Merlin said gently. “Though I wouldn’t want you to miss out on why I brought you all the way up here. Come on, look below.”
Arthur let out a huge sigh and set his eyes downward.
Below them was Camelot, with the castle illuminated by the full moon, and several rows of torches around its walls. There was the lower town, dark and almost eerily empty at night, with a few pairs of Camelot guards roaming around at this time of curfew.
Arthur still held on tight, but as he took in the familiar surroundings in this unfamiliar point of view, his fear slowly seeped into fascination.
They went further ahead to the thickness of trees which were different from those which surrounded the castle - this was most likely the Forest of Ascetir. A few miles more and they saw another familiar looking village - Ealdor. Merlin could see the little shape of his mother’s home. Their home.
Merlin looked on wistfully. He remembered long ago when his mother told him not to tell Arthur about his gifts. At the time, he was determined to use his magic to save their village, and was resigned to whatever fate Arthur will bring upon him once Arthur realizes who he really was. However, things didn't go as expected, with his long time friend getting sacrificed in the process.
"You know how dangerous magic is," Arthur had said. So, Merlin heeded his mother's words.
But as time went on, he realized that if he were to believe all this talk on destiny which almost every magical creature he has come across kept informing him, to truly fulfill his destiny, he had to actually involve Arthur in it.
More of his kind continue to be wrongly persecuted with Uther as king. Merlin had to ensure Arthur would be different, and he couldn’t do that without letting Arthur know who he truly was.
And, if Arthur rejected him? He would leave. His priority was to protect Arthur, destiny be damned - he would just have to do so differently while remaining on the sidelines.
So, in the next solo mission Arthur was assigned to (which of course meant Merlin had to tag along), Merlin decided it was time.
It was quite dramatic, really. They were following a trail on foot when the first arrow whipped past beside Merlin's head. They ran until Arthur stumbled, giving the bandits enough time to catch up with them.
"Leave at once," Merlin said threateningly.
Ignoring him, they all raced towards them. Merlin flipped them back with a wave of his hand.
Merlin braced himself for Arthur's response. Hearing nothing, he forced himself to look at him. Arthur stared at him with utter contempt, and walked away without saying a word.
Arthur didn't talk to him for weeks, aside from telling Merlin of his duties. It stung Merlin that Arthur was ignoring him, but he understood. He was also nervous during the first few weeks following his admission, but no order ever came of his arrest.
One day, Arthur invited Merlin out on a hunt at the early hours of dawn. They went to a clearing a little beyond Camelot’s borders, and Arthur told Merlin to do magic. He felt surprised and wary, but did as commanded. He conjured a bunch of butterflies which circled around Arthur, and Merlin felt his heart clench in happiness when he saw the look of wonder Arthur had at that moment.
From then on, it became their routine - they would meet as planned, travel far enough from Camelot, and Arthur would ask Merlin to perform magic. Merlin always obliged, feeling giddy and relieved that he’s able to share this with someone else, most especially with Arthur.
And now, seeing his prince looking around him below in amazement was worth it.
"Merlin, this is beautiful." Arthur brought a hand up to hold Merlin's. "Thank you."
Merlin squeezed his hand, and moved next to Arthur, facing him.
Merlin cupped his hands and whispered, his eyes turning gold. When he opened them, there was a small rose, glittering slightly. He handed it to Arthur.
"Thank you for accepting and trusting me despite having magic. I know I said this before, but I'll say it again - I use it only for you, Arthur. Always."
Arthur smiled fondly and pulled Merlin to him for a kiss.