Post hoc, ergo propter hoc ('After this, therefore because of this.')

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Title: Post hoc, ergo propter hoc ('After this, therefore because of this.')
Author(s): hitome_bore
Date(s): 17 January 2010
Length: 95,000 words
Genre: slash fanfiction
Fandom: Merlin
External Links: Post hoc, ergo propter hoc ('After this, therefore because of this.') (camelotsolstice)
Post hoc, ergo propter hoc ('After this, therefore because of this.') (reposted WIP version at AO3)

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Post hoc, ergo propter hoc ('After this, therefore because of this.') is a Merlin/Arthur story by hitome_bore (95,000 words). It was written for derryere as part of the 2009 camelotsolstice gift exchange. The warnings describe it as underage fic that meets the age requirements in the UK.

Summary: History books would not remember Gaius' death precipitating the greatest war Albion had ever seen. That blame lay entirely with an inexperienced sorcerer and the Prince whom he’d betrayed a hundred times over. Future!fic with a time travel twist. Inspired and loosely based on The Sword in the Stone.

In this story Merlin is almost twenty-four years old and the war between Camelot and the druids is escalating. Merlin has failed in his destiny because he betrayed Arthur's trust and his own actions and lies have backfired. When his magic was revealed Arthur had turned against him and all magic users in his rage. There is only one way for Merlin to correct his mistake and that is to travel back in time and make sure that Arthur grows up knowing that not all magic is evil. To appear as someone with proper authority he disguises himself with a spell that makes him look twenty years older but as soon as he arrives in the past there is an unexpected change of plans. He accidentally runs into teenage Arthur, manages to save his life and Uther rewards him with the position of Prince Arthur's tutor. That helps with giving Merlin the opportunity to teach Arthur tolerance over the next few years but Arthur is still a prat and suspects that Merlin has a secret. Also, he seems to develop a crush on his teacher.

The premise of Merlin disguising his age with a spell so that no one recognizes him is similar to The Mirror of Maybe where Harry Potter uses a spell to make himself look his true age instead of the teenager he still appears to be (he lived for several years in a mirror reality while only a few moments of time passed in his own reality and his physical age doesn't match his experiences anymore). Here Merlin tries to hide that he is still young and not that much older than Arthur. However, this Arthur is much better at finding out Merlin's secrets.

Recs and Reviews

  • "Epic. But honestly, for what the author was trying to accomplish with this fantastic plot bunny? The size just really works. The first part of the fic is set a few years after season 2 with Arthur and Uther finding out about Merlin's magic and the result is Merlin's worst nightmare. After years of war and renewed purge of magic, that Merlin blames himself for he is convinced that the only way to 'fix' things is to go back in time and somehow soften Arthur towards magic. He arrives in Camelot when Arthur is only 13 and becomes his tutor. A fantastic role reversal of an older Merlin with a younger Arthur. Their friendship and all the 'fixes' Merlin makes is beyond satisfying."[1]
  • "This mixes Merlin with The Sword in the Stone, that is Arthur finally finding out about Merlin's magic has gone horribly wrong, so Merlin decides to time travel and befriend a younger Arthur as his teacher."[2]


  1. ^ marguerite_26. Canon Era Arthur/Merlin Recs, 22 August 2010. (Accessed 02 November 2010)
  2. ^ RatCreature. Through the Looking Glass: Alternate Universe Recs - Merlin. (Accessed 02 November 2010)