Fanfic / The Student Prince
The Student Prince
is a Merlin Alternate Universe Fic
set in present day Britain, specifically the University of St. Andrews.
To the outside world, Merlin Emrys is a geeky but otherwise ordinary university student, studying Physics at St. Andrews. However, he's secretly the most powerful wizard that Britain has produced in centuries. With help from his new-found friends such as Lance, Gwen and Morgana and some guidance from Professor Gaius of the School of Sorcery, Merlin must protect Arthur Pendragon - his roommate, the Prince of Wales and an insufferable prat - against various magical threats, while struggling with his growing feelings toward the prince.
- Actor Allusion: The romance between Uther and Igraine began when the latter came to the former's room to ask for some coffee. Anthony Head played Uther in the show, and he also appeared in a series of Nescafe ads, playing a man who flirts with a neighbour over coffee.
- Berserk Button: Unlike in the show, Merlin never uses his magic to kill people... until he realises Val is about to kill Arthur. When this happens, Merlin bends the fabric of space itself to get between them and creates a swarm of angry bees who goes after Val. Merlin later says that he does not regret killing him.
- Beta Couple: Gwen and Lance to Arthur and Merlin. The most dramatic their relationship gets is the reader wondering when one or the other of them is going to spit it out. The same cannot be said of the story's alpha couple.
- Brain Uploading: Merlin does a variant when Excalibur malfunctions, by transferring Kilgharrah to the plane to make it fly without the use of both its engines.
- Broken Pedestal: Merlin has a few moments of this, after he meets Prince Arthur (his longtime crush) in person and declares that he's apparently a massive prick. Subverted later, as he eventually realizes that Arthur is actually a good person, although different from the romanticized image the media had painted of him.
- Celebrity Paradox: Averted; the legends of King Arthur exists in this universe. It's implied that this fic is set in the same universe as the show, although there are some inconsistencies with canon since it was written before the show finished.
- Chew-Out Fake-Out: When Merlin asks Kilgharrah for help with reaching Nimueh, he rephrases Merlin's question so that it sounds downright treasonous, before replying, "I should be delighted to oblige you, my dear boy."
- Cool Plane: Arthur's Learjet 40, Excalibur. Arthur also has a brief but excited monologue about the Typhoon.
- Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Arthur doesn't see the point of a royal family that doesn't actually do something, and is frustrated that being a prince poses limitations on his life.
- Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: At one point when he was twelve, Merlin (who at the time had little grasp on his magical powers) accidentally summoned the Kraken on a boring field trip - and then made friends with it. The Kraken also appears later when Merlin is moping by the sea in a moment of inner turmoil, and tries to cheer him up by taking him on an underwater journey in an air bubble.
- Grand Romantic Gesture: While Arthur doesn't come out on live TV just for Merlin's sake, his feelings for Merlin definitely plays a role in his decision and it is a major step in moving their relationship forward.
- Hypocritical Heartwarming: Arthur is often rude to Merlin, but he gets protective when Lady Viva acts rudely to Merlin, promptly turning her down and shutting her out of their room.
- I Thought Everyone Could Do That: Or rather, I Thought Every Sorcerer Could Do That. Merlin isn't fully aware of how potent his magic is. He can stop time, expand his mind to cover thousands of miles and talk to Kilgharrah, and it's only when Gaius and Morgana tells him that he learns how unusual such talents are.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Arthur's friend Kay is elitist, sexist and just plain obnoxious, but when he's offered money by a reporter in exchange for details on Arthur's private life, he responds by punching the reporter and smashing his camera.
Kay: I'll stick your bloody camera where the sun don't shine, you scum! Offering me bloody money for dirt on Arthur! You're not worth the mud under his shoes, you leeches, even if he is a bloody poof! He's our bloody poof!
- Kissing Under the Influence: Gwen and Arthur kisses each other at a party while they are both drunk out of their minds, although nothing comes of it.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: After kissing Arthur to bring him back to his senses, Merlin uses his magic to wipe Arthur's memory of what happened.
- Literary Allusion Title: The fic is named after the operetta of the same title.
- Love at First Sight: Arthur says that he had felt "something... [he] never felt like that before" on meeting Merlin for the first time.
- Love Potion:
- Lady Viva uses one on Arthur, as per the canon.
- Arthur suspects Merlin of using a love spell on him after he finds out about Merlin being a wizard.
- The Mole: Val, the bodyguard, is getting paid to kill Arthur. The surprise may be spoiled for readers who realise that "Val" is short for Valiant.
- Nice Guy: Lance. He's pretty much a paragon of virtue.
- Papa Wolf: King Uther is very protective of his son. Arthur isn't always happy about it, especially given the pressure he's already under as heir to the throne; but when he decides to come out as gay on live TV, his father fiercely supports him after the initial shock wears off (although he is still seriously pissed off at Arthur for announcing it out of the blue).
- Reincarnation Romance: Discussed; Merlin wonders if Arthur, Gwen and Lance are destined to have the same Triang Relations as their mythological counterparts. It's averted, of course, since this is an Arthur/Merlin fic - unless you assume that their previous incarnations were also in love with each other. Though given some of Kilgarrah's comments...
- Shipper on Deck: Merlin ships Lance/Gwen, and keeps egging Gwen on to make a move on Lance. It's likely that this is partly because he wants Arthur for himself and doesn't want Arthur/Gwen to happen.
- True Love's Kiss: As in Sweet Dreams, this is needed to undo the effects of a love potion on Arthur; however, unlike in canon, it's Merlin's kiss and not Gwen's that reverses the effects.
- Twice Shy: Lance and Gwen's relationship. Neither can work up the courage to ask the other out for a long time, both of them thinking the other is out of their league.
- Was It All a Lie?: Arthur questions his friendship with Merlin after he learns that Merlin is a magic user, suspecting that Merlin only got close to Arthur as yet another surveillance member ensuring Arthur's safety.