|Something Yet To Learn
Author: Noel Ardnek PM
You think that if you look at someone you can tell whether or not their life has been hell. You're wrong. Especially if you look at Alice Harper, who knows better than anyone what it feels like to be a sheep alone with the wolves.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Hurt/Comfort - Edmund Pevensie - Chapters: 10 - Words: 44,110 - Reviews: 42 - Favs: 50 - Follows: 16 - Updated: 07-28-10 - Published: 07-05-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6114913
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
OMG! This is my first CON (Chronicles of Narnia) fanfic. I have always loved Edmund very much, even when my friends liked Peter better. Long live Edmund.
Anyways…here is my fanfic and I hope you like it. You better because I rewrote this like three times because I wanted to get it right. I figured a 3rd person POV would be better. BTW sorry if anything's culturally wrong.
Disclaimer: As much as it pains me I do not own anything but my own OC's.
Enjoy! : )
She was walking in a forest filled with trees as tall as buildings which blew softly in the breeze. No, the wind wasn't moving the trees. The trees were moving by themselves, dancing. She smiled when flower petals streamed through her hair and in front of her to form a lady who waved. Waving back the girl saw the flower lady gesture to the edge of the forest and disappear. The girl in question was named Alice, and no she was not in Wonderland. This Alice was Alice Harper from Finchley, England. Anyways, Alice was completely at peace with herself and walked to the edge of the forest when she heard a growl. However instead of feeling fear she felt comfort and joy but before she could move towards the growl she heard a louder and more annoying voice yell
"Wake up! Get up you lazy tramp!" The unkindly voice snarled while hitting his cousin. Roger Kingsley was not a particularly nice person, especially not to his cousin Alice Harper. He was not a patient person so when he realized that his no good cousin as he referred to her hadn't waken up yet he was in a right foul mood. Alice woke up groggily and shoved his hand away in frustration of the rude awakening. Roger raised his hand to slap her again but thought better of it, considering that his dad would beat him if he bent Alice too out of shape. They did need to make a good impression on the old bag.
Roger left slamming the door and Alice knew that his temper was already short enough so she didn't bother with a bath no matter how much she wanted one. She put on the new clothes that her uncle had bought for her a day before so that she would look her best for Jocelyn Price, her grandmother. The clothes were a white blouse with long sleeves, a grey skirt that went to her knees, shiny new shoes (just imagine Mary Jane's) with long socks that came below her knee, a new hat and a green coat that went below her bottom.
These sorts of clothes were alien to her because the usual pieces of cloth that she wore were always hand-me-downs from the cheapest stores and were always few in numbers. It wasn't that her uncle couldn't afford them. In fact they lived in a nice house considering the times and had enough money to get Alice more than enough clothes. However since Frank controlled the money and saw her as nothing more than a slave he thought 'Why should I pay for clothes that girl's going to have no use for?'
Alice flew down the stairs both eager to get out of that wretched house and so as not to keep Roger waiting. You see, Alice was visiting her grandmother, Jocelyn Price, who was indeed very rich for the weekend because of Frank got in some bad deals and needed some way to pay off the debts. Years ago he did something very nasty that booted him out of Jocelyn's will and now he was paying dearly for it. Now he finally found a 'good use' for Alice seeing as she was Jocelyn's only granddaughter. Alice carried her own luggage to the back of Roger's car with much difficulty and kept her purse to herself as they drove off to the train station. The ride there was very silent without either uttering a word. Once they arrived at the entrance of the train station he pulled over to the side and looked at Alice.
"You know what to do. You'll be staying at the old bat's house and convince her to put dad and me back in the will. And you are not to say anything about how we punish you because you know you deserve it. Just pretend that we treat you like a princess and get us back in that will and you won't be beaten so badly when you get back. Understand?" Roger asked her with smoldering eyes. Alice would just like to tell him to shove off and make him turn red but she knew better than to get him mad so she tried not to look at him and simply nodded. This didn't appease him.
"I said," he grabbed a fistful of her hair and yanked it back. ", do you un-der-stand?" he snarled in her ear.
She took a few breaths to stop herself from yelping, not wanting to give him the satisfaction. "Yes," she said shakily holding back tears as well. Roger smiled a cocky smile and grabbed her neck and pulled her further in. "Good girl." He whispered in her ear before pushing her roughly away. "Now get your bags." She pushed the door open and slammed it shut. She pulled up the trunk and placed both her suitcases on the side of the street. The second she slammed the trunk door shut Roger started the car and drove off, leaving her to couch violently from the exhaust that had built up.
I hate him, she thought. I hate them. She recalled how they treated her like a slave ever since her loved ones deaths. Ever since she was forced to live with them she promised herself that she would as far away from them as possible. There certainly was nothing but them and the law holding her back, both easily rectifiable once she turned 18. And besides, she has no other family than them and her grandmother who is hopelessly clueless about what they do to her. She has no friends to confide her secrets to and she certainly couldn't risk yet another attempt for police assistance, not after last time. She was alone, left to fend off the wolves by herself.
Sighing heavily she reached for her bags but someone else already beat her to it. She looked up and was met with a boy around her age with black hair and brown eyes.
"What are you doing?" She said rather defensively.
"I saw what he did." The boy said to her. She snapped upright and quickly looked away.
"What did you see exactly?" she asked in a small voice.
"He just drove off without even helping you and blew car gas in your face, that's what." The boy said astonished at the rudeness of the driver. No matter what world you may be in that would be unquestionably rude. Alice almost sighed in relief but then again this wasn't exactly a blessing in disguise in Alice's case.
"Oh, alright. Well I better get going." She said trying to pick up her bags but she tripped over the curb and would have hit the cold, hard cement had it not been for too strong arms catching her. The same could not be said for the bags as they hit the ground and the contents of her purse split all over the sidewalk.
Alice turned slightly and saw that the boy was the one who caught her. Slightly annoyed she let him help her up but pushed him off.
"Are you alright? Here let me help with that." The boy said to her, helping her pick up all the things that fell out of her purse.
"Thank you for catching me but I can handle this." She said referring to picking up her things and putting them back with the boy's help. She grabbed one of her suitcases but couldn't find the other.
"Where'd that-" she began but stopped when she saw that the boy already had it.
"Let me take that other one." He said trying to grab her other suitcase but she reeled back from his touch. He seemed a bit shocked and Alice saw this and quickly composed herself.
"No. Thank you. I've got it." She said. "My station's not far from here. Would you mind if you helped me carry this. I'd rather not have my belongings scattered all over the trains if you don't mind." She said grudgingly. Alice wasn't used to asking for help seeing as she pretty much raised herself.
"I don't mind. Just show me the way." Then he two walked together to Alice's train.
"I'm Edmund Pevensie. What's your name?" he asked Alice.
"Alice Harper. Do you go to Hendon House?" she asked him.
"Yeah. I think I've seen you before."
"Not surprising. I go to St. Finbar's."
"But you don't have your uniform on. Did you go to school today?"
"Why must you ask so many questions?" Alice snapped and realized that was rude. "Sorry, I've just had a long day. No I didn't go to school today. I was preparing to go to my grandmother's for the weekend and was swamped."
"Where does your grandmother live?"
"London. I was invited to stay with her for a week or so. Then it's back here." Alice said the last part sadly enough for Edmund to notice. By now they had entered the train station and once they set her bags down at an empty bench Edmund turned to her.
"Are you sure you're alright? And who was that who drove you and why'd he treat you so badly?" he asked with genuine concern.
"Again, why must you ask so many questions? You barely even know me." Alice snapped again but before he could answer they heard what sounded like fighting right in the middle of a crowd coming near the rails.
"Oh not again." Edmund muttered under his breath.
"What is it?" Alice asked.
"Probably my brother." Edmund said before he ran off towards the fighting followed by Alice who wanted to see this brother of Edmund's. The two broke through the crowd. Alice stopped short of the front but Edmund kept going and tackled one of three boys that were brutally kicking a blond boy.
"Edmund!" Two girls yelled that name. One we know as Alice while the other was known to many by Lucy Pevensie. The girls noticed this and looked at each other with confused looks.
"How do you know him?" Alice asked.
"I'm his sister. What about you?" what Alice perceived as 'a girl with auburn hair' shouted over the crowd.
"I don't really know what to call us!" Alice yelled back and the 'auburn haired girl' looked even more confused. This look was shaken off and replaced by one of horror when she saw the blond boy being thrown to the ground and kicked in the stomach. Alice cringed when she remembered the last time that happened to her.
The fighting only became more intense and garish until there was a loud whistling sound and guards began to pull the boys off each other. The crowd left as quickly as it came and ran off in different directions.
"Break it up!" a guard shouted. "That's enough. Come on." Alice did not hear the rest for she left as well, not wanting to get beaten even more for being an 'accomplice' to a fight. Anyway you look at it her uncle Frank would find some way to blame it all on her.
She went back to her things and sat down, pulling out one of the only books she owned. It really was a pity though. Alice loved reading, snatching anything she could get her hands on and absorbing every detail she could. However because of her minimal allowance (which was almost nothing) she didn't own many things which included books. She'd rather spend more money on a simply novel than better clothes. The book she was reading right now was The Hound of Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
She began reading when she felt a hand on her shoulder. She cringed at the bruise left there and looked up to find who touched her. It was the same girl from before, Edmund's sister.
"I'm sorry to have startled you. Are you sitting here?" she asked, Alice then noticing a beautiful brunette behind her.
"Yes actually. Are you sitting here too?" Alice hoped not. She wasn't really used to people crowding around her since she wasn't very comfortable letting them near her, especially boys.
"Yes." The girl said. Alice looked back at her book trying to ignore her but the girl didn't really mind. "I'm Lucy by the way. You know my brother Edmund?"
"Not really. He just helped me carry my bags in even though he didn't need to." And it's not like I asked him. Alice thought to herself.
"Well that was nice of him." The brunette said. "I'm Susan. You haven't told us your name."
"Alice Harper." She said putting away her book now that she realized reading was a futile effort with these girls. An awkward silence fell and Alice was prepared to leave until Lucy put a hand on her wrist, making her cringe more since there was a bruise there also.
"You can sit here with us until your train arrives." Lucy offered a bit too quickly. Alice sat down when she saw her shining blue eyes begging her to stay and not wanting to have to argue further she sat down and forced a small smile towards Lucy. To be truthful Alice didn't believe that she hadn't smiled whole heartedly for years.
"Thank you for the offer." Then she saw Edmund and the blond boy from before coming towards them until they were directly in front of them.
"Hi Alice." Edmund said.
"Hello Edmund." Alice replied a bit awkwardly. Another awkward silence ensued until Lucy's bubbly personality took over.
"Alice, since you've already met most of my family, I'd like to introduce my brother Peter. Peter, this is Alice Harper." Lucy gestured to the blond boy from the fight who at the moment looked rather put out.
"Hello." Peter said.
"It was a pleasure meeting all of you, but I think I should go. You need the space more than I do." Even though this was true courtesy was not her intention. She just wanted to get away from the boys and before anyone could object she slung her purse over her shoulder, picked up her suitcases and walked off, careful not to drop them this time. She only stopped 10 feet away, just within hearing range of the Pevensie's, when she put the heavy suitcases down and leaned against the wall. That was too close. She thought to herself.
"You're welcome." Edmund grumbled.
"I had it sorted." Peter muttered back.
"What was it this time?" Susan asked annoyed.
"He bumped me." Peter standing up and pacing.
"So you hit him?" Lucy asked exasperated.
"No. After he bumped me they tried to make me apologize. That's when I hit him." Peter answered as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.
"Is it that hard just to walk away?" Susan said.
"I shouldn't have to." Peter shot back. "I mean, don't you ever get tired of being treated like a kid?" But you are a kid Alice thought to herself.
"Um, we are kids." Edmund answered. Alice almost laughed at the smart remark he made to him, wishing that she could ever have a chance to do the same.
"I wasn't always." Peter grumbled. "It's been a year. How long does he expect us to wait?"
"I think that it's time to accept that we live here. It's no use pretending any different." Susan said. Where else did they live and who are they talking about Alice thought. "Oh no." Susan muttered so quietly that even Alice could barely hear. She looked in the same direction as Susan and found a boy with glasses and a Hendon House uniform looking around.
"Pretend you're talking to me." Susan whispered to the others.
"We are talking to you." Edmund said.
"Ow!" Lucy exclaimed. Suddenly Alice felt something pinch her and nearly yelped as well but bit it back.
"Quiet Lu." Susan scolded.
"Something pinched me." She complained and soon the rest followed. Then the ground began to shake but no one seemed to notice. The only exceptions were those four, plus Alice. The wall began to peel away and the signs shook but still no one saw a thing. Alice looked on in fear and felt more scared than she had ever felt before. She noticed that the other children were watching also and walked towards them.
"What's happening?" Alice shouted to them and they looked at her surprise that she saw too. Lucy grabbed her hand and the train that was passing them revealed what seemed to be blue skies until it completely disappeared.
They were in a cave which looked at a beach. The five walked outside the cave and while the four were amazed and ecstatic, Alice was still racking her brain trying to piece together what had just happened. Suddenly the four Pevensie's looked at each other ran to the beach, tearing off their scarves and jackets and hats so they could play in the water, shouting and laughing. Alice stood just behind the entrance of the cave still looking at the beach. Alice had to agree that it was a very beautiful site had she not been so confused.
The little girl noticed Alice's uneasiness and came out of the water and up to her.
"Are you alright?" Lucy asked her.
"Where are we?" Alice asked.
"This is Narnia. Come on in the water with us. It's warm and refreshing!" Lucy gently grabbed Alice's hand and walked her towards the water. But once they were in full view of the sunlight Lucy gasped.
"What happened to your eye?" Alice reached up to where the girl was pointing-her right eye. Alice winced as she remember that only three days ago her uncle came home one night very drunk and the black eye she was now sporting was the least of her injuries. Alice almost laughed thinking about how little the girl knew, thinking that the black eye was her biggest worry. I guess that hat didn't cover it up as well as I thought. Alice reprimanded herself.
"I fell down the stairs a few nights ago. I was reading a book and wasn't watching where I was going." She lied easily. Wherever she may be, if she returned back to England and her uncle knew that she talked, it wouldn't be her arm that he broke this time.
Lucy, however, was not convinced even though Alice was a very good liar. But not wanting to force Alice to talk Lucy gingerly took her hand and led her to the water.
"Hurry up Lu!" the other girl called out before she was splashed by the blond boy.
"Coming! Well go on. Take off that jacket and come in with us." Lucy practically demanded.
"I don't think that's such a good idea." Alice said quietly panicking.
"Well you can't go in the water and get all your clothes soaked. Here let me help you." Lucy reached for her coat but Alice jumped back.
"No!" Alice yelled loudly enough for the others to hear and come out of the water to see what was wrong.
Blushing at the spectacle she made she composed herself.
"I mean, um, it's just that…I can't swim." Alice said after coming up with a good enough lie.
"What's going on Lu?" Peter asked concerned when he heard Alice yelling.
"It's nothing." Alice said quickly. "I was just telling Lucy that I couldn't go into the water because I can't swim." This was a bull faced lie considering when she was younger she loved to swim every summer. Alice looked at their faces and their expressions showed that they must've believed her and Lucy looked apologetic. Then Edmund noticed the cliffs.
"Where do you suppose we are?" Edmund asked.
"Where do you think?" Peter said as more a statement than a question.
"I don't think they had ruins in Narnia." Edmund replied and everyone looked at the cliffs. There were indeed ruins there are everyone looked confused, even Alice who didn't think that she could get more of it. They walked up the cliff as Lucy introduced her brothers and sisters to Alice.
When they came upon the very top Alice saw the ruins were overgrown with apple trees. Then her surroundings changed and the inside of a throne room took its place. There were four thrones seated on one side and huge doors on the other, the in between made Alice think of a castle like the ones you would imagine belonged in fairytales.
She heard her stomach growl and remembered that she didn't eat breakfast because she was too tired. She saw a tree with a very juicy looking apple that was awaiting her so she went to get it.
Or at least she tried until she had to jump to just get even one. Alice cursed the fact that she was so short. She took off her coat remembering that her shirt has long sleeves and her hat as well hoping to reduce the weight, but ultimately failed again. She rolled up her sleeves to her elbows, forgetting there were bruises there too, and she continued jumping up and down like a child until the apple she strived to catch was in another's hand. She looked and saw that Edmund was very close to her. She flew back at the closeness. Edmund was not only startled by her reaction but also by what he saw on her face. Not only was the black eye evident, but if you looked carefully then you would see that there was a dark hand mark on her wrist, elbows and lower neck. He was startled but decided that he better ask her later. He raised his arms as a show of peace.
"It's alright. I'm not going to hurt you. Here." He said teasingly trying not to look at her bruises and extended his arm to give her the apple and she took it rather quickly and walked off.
"You're welcome." Edmund called after her but she ignored him. Why had he helped her? Alice thought. Alice knew that she was pretty but underneath her bruises no one would know. Then again because of her aversion to men she didn't have many male friends or female friends who couldn't talk of anything else but silly gossip and boys. Many people avoided her because they thought they she inflicted those bruises on herself because she never let on that someone else hit her.
Alice walked around the ruins eating the apple that Edmund picked for her. It was sweet yet sour, just the way she liked it. She was walking around when she spotted Lucy looking over the edge of the cliff near some stone rumble. She went to stand next to her and saw what she was gazing at. The sea below was very beautiful.
"I think I saw this place before." Alice said without thinking how ludicrous that must've sounded.
"What?" Lucy asked shocked. Had she been to Narnia before?
"In a dream. There was a castle where we were standing. When I was younger I used to dream about a place like this. Most of them in the throne room." Alice walked a few feet away from Lucy and pointed out where things went.
"Who do you think lived here?" Lucy asked.
"I think we did." Susan holding up what looked to be a golden chess piece. When Alice walked over with Lucy Susan used all her self control to compose her face once she saw the bruises and did her best not to look.
"Hey that's mine. From my chess set." Edmund said taking the piece.
"Which chess set?" Peter asked. He too noticed the bruises but didn't say anything, that could be saved for later.
"Well I didn't exactly have a solid gold chess set in Finchley, did I?"Edmund retorted.
"Is that real gold? Wait a minute. What do you mean by 'I think we did'? Have you been here before?"Alice rushed out all her questions.
"That's actually kind of a long story." Peter said shyly as the others looked shyly as well.
"Well I'm all ears. What is this place?" Alice asked. Lucy ran in the other direction and the others followed.
"Don't you see?" Lucy asked standing on top of a rock, setting each of her siblings up in a line. "Imagine walls. And columns, there. And a glass roof." The Pevensie's used their imagination and finally saw what Lucy had seen.
"Cair Paravel." Peter said finally.
"What's Cair Paravel?" Alice asked and everyone looked at her. Well, first at her then her bruises. Some took too long to look away and Alice followed their line of sight. Her eye widened when she realized that her arms bruises were fully exposed and opened her mouth in shock as she realized one thing: they saw. And they're going to ask.
"I can explain." Alice said hastily rolling down her sleeves and trying to cover up her neck bruises.
"Then explain." Peter said in a voice of authority that usually got others to obey when he was king.
"I don't-" Alice stopped herself when she saw the other's expressions and knew she wasn't getting out of this one.
"I-I'm very clumsy. And I always have my nose in a book so I don't look where I'm going and-and-" For God's sakes stop stuttering you twit! Alice screamed at herself mentally.
"If you fall a lot then how do you explain the hand marks on your wrists and elbows?" Edmund asked already guessing what might've happened as the Pevensie's stepped closer to her. Alice glared at him and took a deep breath to try and come up with another excuse. When the Pevensie's stepped closer however she stepped back.
"You don't need to be afraid of us Alice. We're just want to help you." Susan said gently, seeing Alice as a scared animal who felt cornered.
Alice scoffed. "No one ever wants to help." Then she ran. She didn't care where she was going she just needed to get away from them. She saw an opening between them and the path to the beach and she ran towards it.
"Wait!" she heard someone say as well as shuffling feet behind her, which only made her run faster. She ran down the path and almost tripped up a few times but didn't stop. Once she was at the beach she took a dangerous glance behind her. Bad mistake. This provided Edmund who was the fastest to catch up easily to her and grab her arm, not tight but firm.
"Let me go!" Alice yelled beating upon Edmund but he held on.
"You don't need to run! Ow! We're not going to hurt you! Ow, quit it!" Edmund yelled as she struck him on head a few times.
"I'll quit it when you let go!" Alice said beating him up even further. He grabbed both her other arm and tried his best not to hurt her anymore than she already was and tried to get her to calm down.
"Edmund! Let her go!" Susan shouted to him once they had reached them. "Poor thing must already be scared as it is." She muttered to herself. Edmund looked at the terrified look on Alice's face and immediately let go feeling bad for making things worse.
Alice began to back away. "Please don't run. We're tired you're tired. We aren't going to hurt you Alice." Lucy said breathing heavily. In fact, they all were. Realizing that she was out numbered Alice stopped backing away and stood still.
"I'm not going to tell you, you know." Alice said finally.
"Why not?" Edmund asked exasperated.
"Because it wouldn't make a bit of difference even if I did. No one ever believes me." Alice said miserably when she remembered the last time she tried calling-no, crying for help, and no one did anything. They just thought she was a troubled child.
"We will. Just stop running." Peter said. As much as Alice wanted to, she spent too much time and effort building her wall and making it strong to let it crumble down because of a few pretty promises.
"I wish I could. I'll go with you, but I won't tell you." Susan went up to Alice after she said this and placed a hand on her shoulder blade, hoping that she wouldn't touch any possible bruises. Luckily she didn't and felt more confident.
"You can tell us when you're ready. We won't force you." Susan whispered in her ear and Alice felt very grateful towards Susan for her understanding. "Now let's get back up there. I think there may be more to this than we believe."