A/N: It's been a while and this is a day late. I've been stretched a little thin lately and I'm graduating tomorrow so more chapters (probably two or three) will be up eventually. Please just bear with me for a little while, and I'll try to make it worth the wait. And so, here it is, a second companion piece to The Just, which someone somewhere asked for probably.
For two decades, Peter, the High King of Narnia and Aslan's Elect, ruled over Narnia with a firm but gentle hand. He and his three younger siblings led the country into a time of health and prosperity, and he was, gratefully, after the century long winter that Peter and his brother and sisters had ended, remembered as the King who reigned over an eternal summer.
They didn't, of course.
The four kings and queens of Narnia left, or disappeared, on an autumn day, whisked away with the red and gold leaves. Taken back, the Narnians presumed when they had officially given up looking, to the land of eternal summer from whence they had come.
This is how, historians say, the rumor of the Golden Age had started. The children granted Narnia the gift of eternal summer, a gift that their own country had been granted by Aslan. And while most Narnians knew, logically, that this was just a fairytale, there were some, old and young alike, most very wild, who believed every word of it. And even those who knew such stories couldn't be true, they liked the idea of it. The era of eternal summer.
The Golden Age was, for its part, a time of prosperity and safety for the Narnians. There was never famine or drought. There was no war, at least not any that the Narnians were aware of. Small conflicts, maybe, with the supporters of the White Witch at the beginning, and the giants taking up too much space to the North. And there was that nasty business with Prince Rabadash, but they were safe, and they were healthy. They were happy to live in a land where they knew their kings and queens would fight to protect each and every one of their citizens.
Once they left, things changed. Even before Caspian I came out of Telmar and destroyed what little civilization there was left in Narnia, before he stamped out the dwarves, and cut down the trees, and drove all the Talking Animals into hiding; before the humans who lived in fear from the Witch had to live in fear of the Telmarines; before the Conqueror came into Narnia with his catapults and his war machines and took what was left for himself; before all that, the Narnians had already begun to talk about those kings and queens of old like they were fairy tales, instead of real, living breathing people.
And even those Narnians who refused to believe that a fourteen year old boy and his three younger siblings brought Narnia peace called him and his era by their rightful names. Even some of the Telmarines let the word slip reverently through their teeth. The Golden Age, the time during which High King Peter had ruled. He was Magnificent.
King Peter the Magnificent.
He wasn't always magnificent, of course. At first, he was just tall and blond and nervous. And although the name followed him throughout history, the first time Peter heard it, he was fifteen. For the second time. And the stories of these Narnians, who were driven deep into the woods by the Telmarines who took their home out from under them, were stories of their four kings and queens during their reign of eternal summer. One story they told, whispered in the dead of winter, or staring up at the top of Miraz's castle, was a story about their High King, a boy of fourteen. They told it like the Golden Age, as it must have been, was forever cloaked in the heat of summer, but when Peter himself heard the story for the first time he remembered it as it was: up to their ankles in snow.