Disclaimer: I own nothing in this marvelous universe; it all belongs to C.S. Lewis.
A/N: Hi, everyone! Just to let you know, this fic is based off the movieverse. The second section takes place just before Prince Caspian. The children have been six months at home, after spending six months with the Professor. And the first section shows the aftermath of the battle scene in the movie. Enjoy!
.:His Family's Keeper:.
By Sentimental Star
(In Narnia, a Year Ago Earth Time)
"Peter!" Lucy's excited cry came from behind him and he twisted to find his two sisters rushing towards him through the rocky pass.
Now he knew how soldiers on leave felt when returning home. As soon as Lucy reached him, she had her arms around his middle, and he hugged her back, never wanting to let go.
Susan did not join them, instead glancing around the area they were in. When Peter looked up at her in inquiry, still holding Lucy, she glanced at him, concern etching her features. "Where's Edmund?"
Immediately, he paled, remembered horror welling up within him.
Releasing Lucy, he whirled around and rushed towards where he had last seen Edmund fall, the two girls on his heels. With every hurried step he took, his heart pounded a little bit harder. All he remembered was seeing the Witch stab his younger brother in the stomach and Edmund falling.
He vaguely recalled screaming the other boy's name before making a headlong rush for the Witch, anger and terror coursing through his veins. And then they were fighting.
That was all he remembered. He had no idea what they would find now, after the battle was over.
Within seconds they had reached Edmund who lay on the ground, gasping in pain and barely able to move.
Peter fell to his knees in front of him, unable to say anything and completely shell-shocked. Vaguely he was aware of repeating a desperate prayer for his younger brother's survival over and over in his head.
Susan and Lucy had since fallen to their knees, too, the older girl gently easing the ten-year-old's head into her lap while the younger one struggled to uncap her cordial between tears. Neither trusted themselves to speak.
Edmund's short gasps for air drove urgency into his siblings' hearts and strained their already on-edge nerves. Peter in particular was a mass of nerves: battle-tried, exhausted, injured, and frightened.
Then Lucy tipped a single drop of the fire-flowers' juice into their brother's mouth.
Edmund swallowed it, stopped gasping, very nearly stopped breathing…and lay still.
Lucy started crying harder. Susan's tears began trickling down her cheeks. And had either of them glanced at Peter, they would have seen the look of utter devastation on his face.
Tears burned at the back of the thirteen-year-old's eyes. Edmund was their brother, his brother! In spite of the brusque way he had treated the younger boy since arriving at the Professor's house, Peter nonetheless loved him—as he did Lucy and Susan—more than life.
And if Edmund died, it would destroy him.
Before Peter's tears could begin to fall, the younger boy suddenly drew in a deep breath and started coughing.
The older boy's head jumped up, blue eyes widening with wild hope.
Lucy and Susan slowly began to grin.
All three kept their gazes locked on Edmund.
The younger boy coughed a few more times before his eyelids flickered. Once. Twice. His eyes cracked open, taking in Lucy on his right, Susan cradling his head, and Peter above him, looking as if he might burst into tears at any moment.
Edmund smiled softly at him.
That did it for Peter. Quickly, he jerked the other boy up and off the ground, into his arms, hold painfully tight.
And then the tears came. Warm and relieving, trickling down his cheeks to fall on Edmund's neck.
He felt wet warmth on his own neck as the younger boy hugged him back with equal strength. He wanted nothing more than this right now, and it was more than enough. For no time and all time he held him—there and safe and wonderfully, wonderfully alive.
Peter pulled back for only a minute, giving a thick laugh and grinning widely, eyes dancing with love and relief and pride. "When will you learn to do as you're told?" he choked.
Edmund just smiled and for Peter, that was answer enough. They hugged again, the older of the two quickly kissing the side of his brother's head before burying his face in the other boy's shoulder.
This time, Lucy threw her small arms around both of them as Susan hugged Edmund from behind. Between the three of them, they managed to crush their brother in a protective, loving embrace.
(In London, Present Time)
Pained, hoarse cries crept into Edmund Pevensie's subconscious, jerking him awake.
Still half-asleep, his hand flailed to the side, snatching at empty air where a sword used to be. When he realized it was not there, he struggled to a more fully awake state. An odd sense of loss swept through him when he realized what he had done and where he actually was. For that reaction had been ingrained in him and, in spite of six months' time having passed since they left the Professor's house in the country, it had never fully left him.
Managing to claim an upright position, Edmund ordered his still somewhat sleep-fogged brain to process the direction from which the cries were coming.
A moment later he had pinned it as his older brother's bedroom.
A soft curse and the eleven-year-old threw his covers off. Slipping on his slippers, he grabbed his blue robe from where it hung over the chair near his bed and threw it over his shoulders.
The muffled cries kept coming.
Hurrying to his room's door, he tugged it open and darted swiftly into the hallway.
Next door, his two sisters poked their dark heads into the dimly lit corridor. "Ed, what is it?" Susan hissed at her younger brother.
"It's Peter," he advised them hurriedly. "Come on!"
The two girls did not need a second telling. Lucy, already dressed in her pink robe, scampered out to join him while Susan reached back into their room and grabbed her own, throwing it on as the three of them made their way to their oldest sibling's bedroom.
In the lead, Edmund shoved Peter's bedroom door open as Susan, who was right behind him with Lucy, quickly snapped on the lights.
All three immediately looked at the older boy's bed where Peter, still caught in the throes of his nightmare, tossed and turned.
"No, no!" came the broken plea. The fourteen-year-old tossed his head. Once. Twice. "Edmund!"
Said boy flinched at the cry and hurried to his older brother's side. Taking the other boy's shoulder, he gave it several hard shakes. "Peter, wake up! Peter!"
Susan and Lucy quickly followed him, the younger of the two scrambling onto the foot of Peter's bed while Susan sat down on its edge. Both watched as Edmund continued to try and wake the older boy.
"What's he dreaming about?" Lucy demanded, becoming more and more upset when Peter continued to struggle and cry out hoarsely.
Neither she nor Susan had to see his face to know that there were tears on his cheeks. Looking concerned, the older girl wordlessly shook her head, eyes not leaving the two boys in front of them.
They found out soon enough.
With a ragged gasp, Peter awoke from the nightmare and lurched forward, nearly cracking foreheads with Edmund before the younger boy pulled him into a hug. "It's all right, Peter, it's all right. I'm fine," he mumbled, carefully tightening his hold.
His older brother didn't respond right away, sweaty and trembling slightly with his eyes shut tight and forehead pressed to the eleven-year-old's chest. His breathing was uneven.
"Ed," Peter finally rasped, hands clenched in the back of his younger brother's robe. "You…how are you…the Witch…" His voice was tremulous.
Edmund pulled away slightly and framed the older boy's face with his hands. Peter's blue eyes stared disbelievingly through wayward sandy bangs into his own dark ones. "The Witch is dead, Peter," the younger boy replied quietly, voice firm. "She's been dead for years—in Narnia, anyway. Lu gave me a drop of her cordial, remember? I'm perfectly fine." He emphasized the "fine" part of that statement.
It did not seem to help much.
Peter shut his eyes again, his breath hitching and shoulders heaving. Allowing Edmund to hug him again, he gripped the other boy's arms in an effort to make sure he did not go anywhere. Although, clearly, he was battling it out to regain control over his emotions.
In spite of everything, the eleven-year-old chuckled softly. "Peter, we are well aware that you feel like you ought to be the responsible one and protect us. And you've done a marvelous job of it. But who is going to look after you?"
"Shut up, Ed," Peter chuckled thickly.
Edmund laughed softly, before quieting as his older brother kissed his forehead and buried his face in his shoulder, the silent tears beginning anew.
Susan silently climbed to her feet, moving to stand at Edmund's other side, and placed her hand on Peter's shoulder. Lucy crawled over to them and snuggled against her oldest brother, giggling softly, "There. You see? Everything's okay."
The fourteen-year-old gave a sputtering laugh. "I'm usually the one that says that."
The dark-haired little girl giggled again. "I know. Where do you think I heard it from?"
Susan gently squeezed Peter's shoulder. "Yes, and now it's your turn," the older girl whispered with a warm smile.
Another muffled, rather wet laugh. "You three are incorrigible."
But clearly, he was grateful.
(The Next Morning)
The next day, around eight-thirty in the morning, Helen Pevensie peeked into her oldest child's bedroom, smiling at the sight that greeted her.
On the fourteen-year-old's bed lay all four of her children, sleeping soundly. On one side of Peter was Edmund, snug in his older brother's arms and hugging him back. On Peter's other side lay Lucy, clinging to the older boy's back. Next to Lucy lay Susan, who had her arms around her little sister's waist.
It had literally been years since she had last seen them like this, and it made her wonder how on earth the four of them could fit in that single bed…
Quietly, she closed the door and glided away in search of her sketchbook.
Once she finished the sketch she would wake them.
A/N: Well, how was it:sheepish grin: That was my first Narnia fanfic, and I hope it was up to par. Please let me know what you thought of it via R&R!