Eleven hundred words of pure fluff! Sorry it's short but I'm in bed fighting of a bad case of the flu and cannot seem to write anything longer at the moment. I hope you have all enjoyed reading this story and thank you for all of your lovely reviews!
Peter woke to the distinctly unpleasant sensation of someone poking him in the ribs with their elbow. He opened his eyes, somewhat blearily, to find himself half falling off Edmund's bed. The elbow in question, which had so disturbed his rest belonged, unsurprisingly, to Edmund.
"I say Pete, can't you go snore in your own bed?" To say Edmund was not fond of mornings would have been a terrible understatement. He loathed them, and his siblings often found themselves wondering if he was even himself until he'd eaten a decent breakfast and drunk an absurd amount of coffee.
Peter groaned and stood stiffly to find that it couldn't even still be properly called morning; the sun was high in sky above Cair Paravel and the sounds of bustling servants, soldiers, traders, and many of others rose from the courtyard below. He promptly threw a pillow at Edmund's head and smiled broadly.
"Come on, Ed! I'm sure if we ask nicely our royal sisters will beg the kitchens for our breakfast." Edmund growled and pulled the blankets up over his head. Peter laughed and left him to it, knowing that in ten minutes Edmund, even if he couldn't properly be deemed so yet, would stumble into the small dining room the four of them used for a breakfast room and immediately make for the coffee.
As it turned out it was a full fifteen minutes later when Edmund stumbled downstairs, yawning and rubbing his eyes. Peter, joined by Susan and Lucy who had kindly waited to have their own breakfasts, was already eating when the younger king at last dropped into his chair, practically disappeared into his coffee cup and did not speak for a full ten minutes longer. The others, amused as always, but not surprised, knew to leave him well alone until he spoke of his own accord.
Unfortunately, the dwarf bearing the four monarchs' mail had no such knowledge of Edmund's habits upon first being woken and, when he entered, bowing and handed Edmund a letter, Edmund stared between him and the letter for a moment, obviously considering throwing both of them out. Then he groaned, thanked the dwarf somewhat less graciously than he should have, passed the letter to Peter and poured himself more coffee.
"You read it Peter, it's from that dratted Calormen fellow, what's his name, Rummash?"
The Calormen's name, as Edmund well knew, was Ramlash and he was the very same with whom Peter had so nearly come to blows in Anvard, that is to say the Calormen ambassador. Shaking his head and wondering how someone so bad tempered in the mornings could be Narnia's finest diplomat, Peter broke the seal and began to read.
To Edmund, King of Narnia, Most Noble Knight, Esteemed and Feared Monarch, Greetings in the name of Tash the Mighty, the Inexorable; the Irresistible.
My master the glorious Tisroc, may he live forever, counts himself and all his people blessed by Tash that you have been safely returned to your fair and terrible royal siblings.
Here Peter paused in his reading, frowning slightly.
"What is it Peter?" Lucy asked at last, curiosity overcoming her.
Then Peter burst out laughing, nearly choking with the force of his mirth. The other three stared at him, all smiling slightly in amusement at his reaction, until he at last wiped his streaming eyes, cleared his throat and handed the letter back to Edmund. "I think you'd better see the rest for yourself, Ed."
Edmund took the letter and continued reading aloud.
My dear and noble king, I beg your leave to speak plainly; hath not one of the poets said "the man who does not speak his mind chokes upon his own words"? Most esteemed king, I beg you, defend me from the wrath of the High King your brother, for he is a fearful fellow, terrible in countenance and most harsh in language. I tremble in fear to think what torments would have befallen me had not I taken flight from his presence at once. For fear of his wrath this treaty between our two fair lands shall be held as long as I yet breathe or live in service of our most esteemed and dreaded Tisroc, may he live forever…
"Etc. etc. By the Lion Peter, what did you say to him?" Edmund gaped at his brother with equal astonishment and wonder. "'Defend me from the wrath of the High King'? 'For fear of his wrath this treaty shall be held'? Do you know how long I've been trying to make that dratted little worm sign our treaty?"
Peter laughed, still dabbing at his eyes. Susan and Lucy were staring at him in astonishment as Edmund was. "You know, I haven't the faintest recollection, but it must have been stiffly worded."
"Stiffly worded?!" Edmund sputtered and reached for his coffee cup. "Honestly Pete, perhaps I'll send you on all my diplomatic missions from now on."
Peter paled suddenly in horror. "You wouldn't dare!"
Lucy giggled in a very unqueenly fashion. "Perhaps you would like to deal with the Telmarine ambassador next Peter, I'm told he likes to listen to the most frightfully tragic Telmarine love songs."
Peter shook his head emphatically and said, somewhat more seriously, "Honestly, I'm shocked the fellow isn't outraged. No, if I took up diplomacy there would be far fewer diplomats and far more wars when I was done. If anything, this has served to remind me how difficult a task you have, Ed, and I'm jolly glad it's you and not me appointed to it."
"As I'm sure are all diplomats and ambassadors," Edmund added, smirking.
"I will drink to that," Susan said gravely raising her coffee cup; Peter and Susan joined her enthusiastically. Edmund flushed slightly and smiled. Thank you Aslan, for my family, my kingdom, and for coffee.
It is here that our story draws to an end. Suffice it to say that the peace with Calormen was not as well kept as all may have wished, but that is another story altogether and has been told in other places. And so, we leave our four monarchs, seated about the breakfast table, with the hearts overflowing with joy and peace. If ever afterwards Edmund doubted his worth to Narnia the others were there to remind him of it and, in turn if Peter ever came close to blaming himself without cause Edmund would at once, not always kindly, remind him of their agreement. And so they lived happily, if not ever after, than at least for a very respectable time.
Until next time!