Disclaimer: I don't own Narnia or any characters you may recognize from the books or the movies, I wish I did but I don't...
Summary: It was a most unfortunate stew...
A/N: The expansion on my short "Tongue" and a gift fic for WillowDryad and is part of my A Light in the Darkness universe. Spoilers for Veiled, don't read if you haven't read Veiled yet. Enjoy!
An Unfortunate Stew
"You fed her?" Peter scowled, but Edmund paid him no mind as he continued to broil the fish they had caught. "It's a wonder Thalia survived."
His big brother's scowl deepened. "I am not a bad cook. And Thalia likes my cooking."
"Well, that settles it. Either Thalia doesn't have a properly functioning sense of taste or she's just pretending." He glanced around, hoping his Wolves hadn't gotten into too much trouble as they hunted for their own food. Only to himself would he admit that he would have felt better if Peter had brought his Tigers instead of assigning them to protect the girls (including Thalia). But, given the unease about Kat's battle shock combined with the memory loss, it was probably a miracle Peter had agreed to go on a scouting trip at all.
"Thalia's sense of taste is fine. You're just too picky."
Edmund snorted, grateful for the distraction from the current cloud hanging over Cair Paravel. "And you have the sense of taste of a rock." He smirked as he heard Philip's soft whicker of amusement before he passed Peter three of the broiled fish and kept the other three for himself. "We'll meet up with the patrol day after tomorrow and-"
"'Ing 'Mun! 'Ing 'Mun!" The Wolves crashed through the underbrush, tails wagging and their yellow eyes shining with accomplishment as they dropped a bloody rabbit and a bloody ground squirrel right in front of his boots. Remus (he thought) grinned, pink tongue lolling. "King Edmund! Look! I caught a rabbit, a big one and he was fast too."
Romulus shouted, "I caught a ground squirrel!"
Edmund hid a grimace and caught Peter looking revolted then giving his fish a very sad look. "I can see that. You both did very well."
Remus picked up his limp rabbit and set it on his boot. Edmund idly wondered if he could talk Peter into cleaning his boots since he wasn't seeing the Wolves' bounties by himself. Remus nudged his hand. "Do you want to take your share?"
Edmund quickly ruffled the fur on Remus' head. "I appreciate and acknowledge your offer, Remus, but I am satisfied with the bounties of my own hunt." He was so glad he had finally asked Vardan Windwolf what to do about the Greyback twins' expectation of not only his approval but also offering to give him a share of whatever raw and bloody prey they hunted. Especially since this was the only way to reject their heartfelt offers without plummeting their spirits.
His answer satisfied Remus but Romulus still gave his broiled fish a skeptical look. He stifled a snicker as he remembered the Wolves' horror the first time they watched him purposely "burn" his meat. Peter nudged him as the Wolves ate with a ravenous cheer. "How do you keep your appetite?"
"I remind myself that I don't have to eat something you cooked," Edmund deadpanned.
Peter shoved him. "Very funny, Pevensie."
"Yes, I am." Edmund held up his broiled trout with an exaggerated amount of pride as he added, "And my cooking won't send anyone to the healers."
Before Peter could retort, a sharp shriek split the air. Philip whinnied in alarm and the Wolves leapt to their feet, snarling, as Peter's horse bolted into the darkness. Edmund shoved Peter forward, but then talons sank into his tunic, tearing into his shoulders. Remus howled. "Alpha!" He lunged then jumped up in the air, jaws snapping at the Harpy pulling Edmund higher.
She shrieked in fright and banked wildly, knocking Edmund into a tree. He could feel rivulets of blood dripping down his back from the Harpy's filthy claws digging through muscle and touching bone. Jerking his dagger free of his belt, he slashed at the Harpy's near leg just as a grey shape lunged up and the Harpy shrieked in pain as her right wing was abruptly yanked down. They went careening into the dark as Peter's war cry filled the night air and the Harpy released her hold on Edmund. He shouted as one of her claws caught and tore a larger wound up his right shoulder then he plummeted down.
"Eddie, Eddie, open your eyes, brother mine."
He groaned then spluttered as a rough, wet tongue dragged up his face. A moment later, he pried his eyes open to see one of the Wolves with his nose snuffling his opposite cheek, the other Greyback twin licked him again, and Peter was peering worriedly over their heads. Edmund tried to shove them away but he couldn't raise his arms without hissing at the flash of pain across his upper back.
"Don't move, Ed." Peter moved out of his line of sight then he came back with a bowl of something. Oh, no. Edmund clamped his mouth shut as Peter spooned a generous helping of whatever terrible disaster he had managed to cook. Then Remus shifted and managed to step on his shoulder. Edmund opened his mouth in a reflexive yelp.
Peter seized the opportunity to shove the spoon into his mouth. Edmund gagged as the foul excuse for a soup hit his tongue. He turned his head away, trying to avoid the spoon. Unfortunately, his self-appointed nursemaid was persistent. "Come on, Ed. You got to eat this. I sent the Owl to summon the patrol. But, even the healers won't be able to help you if you don't keep your strength up."
Edmund nearly choked as the barely feasible anomaly that was Peter's mystery broth assaulted his tongue again. Oh Lion, he hoped the patrol found them before Peter's broth finished what the Harpy started. Coughing and sputtering, he forced that unfortunate stew down then groaned. Why his blockhead of a brother decided that was a signal for more his awful cooking, he couldn't fathom. Maybe Peter was really trying to commit fratricide…
The only relief came when the patrol swept down on them. After the healer in the group finished cleaning out his wounds, Edmund groaned as Peter sat down next to him. His brother's eyes were intense. "I'm taking you back to Cair Paravel and then I'll join another patrol to inspect the northern border, look for clues. And I'm cooking as much broth as I can for you, Edmund, and you are going to eat it without complaint until I can leave you in our sisters' tender care." Edmund moaned. I should have stayed unconscious.
A/N: Please Read and Review! Okay, this takes place during Veiled between Chapters 16 and 17. Also: Happy belated birthday to Willow! :D Leave a review and let me know what y'all thought about this one.