A/N: Being me, I often allow my imagination to run wild when thinking of the world of Narnia, but I've always wondered just what shaped the Pevensie family before the evacuation. This just seemed to spill out.
I was flicking through an old photo album, and et voila! Here are the Pevensie's mimicking my daily life. It is a small collection of little scenario's (in chronological order) mainly revolving around Peter and Edmund. The first section is when Peter was three, the day Edmund was born. It moves forward in time from there.
I just had to get it done on paper! Enjoy!
Disclaimer: Narnia belongs solely to CS Lewis, and I sincerely hope he will not mind me borrowing his characters for a slight variation (cough cough) on his story. Don't sue, you'll only get a half empty jar of old fashioned jelly babies.
Rating: U. There is absolutely zilch which could possibly scare anyone who is mentally stable.
A weary sigh echoed about the recesses of the attic, coupled with the creaking snap of cracked knuckles. The two Pevensie brother's sat in miserable, resigned silence, Edmund idly drawing swirling patterns in the layer of dust which coated the floor.
Peter wrinkled his nose in distaste as he looked down at his jumper, which, once a clear sky blue colour, was now smudged with large patches of grey powder.
Edmund frowned at the half finished picture of a horse patterned in the dirt, frowned, rubbing it out with his sleeve. A cloud of silvery particles rose about them, but Edmund ignored it, tutting as he drew the horse's misshapen head in properly.
Edmund muttered vaguely, still scowling down at his 'masterpiece'. There was something wrong with the legs…wrong angle, maybe?
Peter mimicked Edmund in letting out a heavy sigh, then scrambled up to his knees, wincing as the bare skin was grated against a lopsided nail in the floorboards. Edmund glanced at him, hand poised halfway through rectifying the horse's hooves.
"Come on, break over. Let's get on with it."
Edmund groaned, but rose to his feet nonetheless, wincing as the stiff muscles in his legs protested. He stretched, smirking as his adolescent spine straightened with a resounding pop, and Peter winced.
"God, you're like a walking one man band, Ed! Can't you do anything without creaking?"
Edmund considered, interlocking his fingers and cracking his knuckles once again, at which Peter shuddered. He was now a couple of weeks over thirteen, and as such, was growing rapidly; much to Peter's dismay.
"I can swallow. And think. Without making a sound, I mean."
"No, I can hear the rusty cogs in your head creaking from disuse when you think. Wait…you can think?"
Peter was rewarded for his efforts with a rather sharp slap upside the head, but he laughed it off, rubbing at the stinging spot with a hand aching from fatigue. They had shifting heavy boxes all morning, only just having stopped for a few minutes to catch their breath.
"Well…at least we can actually see the floor now."
Edmund commented, carefully picking his way through the discarded pile of papers and documents, trying to peer around his brother to see what they were going to tackle next.
Peter knelt down before a large, rosewood trunk, plain but nevertheless quite impressive. The eldest Pevensie wiped the dust from its lid and leant down to look for an opening mechanism of some sort.
Edmund knelt beside him, grumbling under his breath. He glanced around at the surrounding piles of junk, taking in the smudged and broken china, the outdated lampshades, and even (strangely) what looked like a stuffed bird in a glass cylindrical case.
Edmund's head snapped around, to find Peter wincing, the forefinger and middle finger of his right hand stuffed in his mouth. He glared as Edmund raised an eyebrow.
"Let me guess: you tried to open it, found it was too heavy, and slammed your fingers inside."
By Peter's scowl and the light flush spreading across his brother's cheeks, Edmund confirmed that he was correct. Peter had been rather clumsy since they had got back from the country, and Narnia. It wasn't really his fault, though. He just sometimes didn't remember that he was a child now, and misjudged his own lack of strength.
Thus resulting in many a throbbing big toe and some very 'colourful' language.
Edmund rolled his eyes, carefully tugging Peter's hand away from his mouth and examining the damage. No bruising, just a large red welt where the lid had slammed down on them.
"Well, I expect you'll need my help to open it then, huh? Honestly, what would you do without me?"
"Live a happy, fulfilled life?"
Edmund chose to ignore the muttered grumble, and instead turned his attention to flipping the latch on the trunk and bracing himself against the floor in order to lift it. Peter gingerly did the same, still scowling rather childishly and muttering under his breath.
"Okay, on three. One, two, two and a half…"
"Alright, alright! Three."
The lid flew open with a loud bang, and yet another cloud of dust rose, as the air was filled with the familiar musty smell of memories. Peter almost immediately lapsed into a coughing fit, and Edmund waved the dust away testily, while his brother retrieved one his infamous peppermint hankies from his pocket.
Well…peppermint was better than decaying furniture, at any rate…
While Peter mumbled muffled curses into his handkerchief, Edmund leant over the contents of the trunk, inspecting the interior with a growing smile on his face. His eyes lit up, and he eagerly reached down, turning briefly to address his brother.
"Peter, have a look!"
Peter leant over and peered in curiously, and his own face suddenly transformed from its sullen frown to a look of pleasant surprise. The contents of this particular trunk were far more interesting than the last, which had contained nothing but a few moth eaten mufflers and some long dead spiders.
Edmund reached inside and retrieved the item nearest him, holding it up to the glowing light of the gas lamp, a fond smile spreading across his face.
It was a small, rather crudely carved wooden sword, only about the length of Edmund's forearm. The hilt was tied with a complex system of knots and loops, in the form of what looked like ordinary parcel string. Peter reached for it, smiling, running a finger over the shallow insignia on the underside of the blade.
It read, in disjointed, lopsided writing:
F o r Eddy, Luv Peter
This little weapon had slayed many a brawling, fearsome beast (usually Lucy wearing a tea cosy, but it worked, nonetheless) and had been given to Edmund for his fourth birthday. Peter had been eager to try out his new craft knife which he had received from their father for Christmas, and had spent many a long hour carefully creating the little toy.
To Edmund, who had only ever brandished a wooden spoon, it seemed truly one of the most wonderful gifts he had ever received.
And of course, nobody commented on the fact that in his enthusiasm, Peter had inadvertently spelt 'love' wrong. Except Susan, many years later.
"I wondered what happened to this! Mum must have packed it away…"
Edmund took it back from Peter, conjuring a mental image of his seven year old brother, tongue sticking out the side of his mouth and face set in a determined, concentrated frown. He smiled, and once Peter had turned back to the trunk, he subtly slipped it into the waist band of his trousers.
He could hide it under the loose floorboard in his room later.
Edmund's eyes widened as Peter retrieved a small, frayed and patched lump of fur, and held it out before him in seeming reverence. Edmund squinted, peering closer, to see it was, in fact, a stuffed toy dog.
"Peter, what on earth-"
Edmund's mouth fell open as Peter clutched the thing to his chest, hand tight around its middle, a fond smile on his face as he nuzzled the dog's face with his cheek.
Peter glanced up at him, apparently unabashed, and reluctantly held it up before Edmund. Edmund stared at it, noting the small cross where a button eye should have been and the worn edge of one of its ears.
"This, Ed, is Barnaby!"
Edmund gaped at the dog in disbelief as a childishly happy grin spread across his brother's face, and the toy was abruptly returned to its rightful place in Peter's arms.
"Barnaby? What kind of a name is that?"
Peter shot a glare at his brother, and whispered something in 'Barnaby's' ear. Edmund shook his head, exasperated. Peter really was amazing sometimes. Stupidly amazing, but amazing nonetheless.
"Besides, you're one to talk! What's this here I see?"
Peter held up a stained, creamy coloured slip of material, and Edmund snatched it away, trying not to let his excitement show on his face, and failing miserably.
Peter snorted, rolling his eyes as he carefully set Barnaby down on a nearby chair.
"You shut up! At least it's not got a stupid name like Barnaby…"
Edmund rubbed his face against the soft material, breathing in the smell of the thing. It wasn't really a toy, just a small blanket he had had since he was born. He and Blankie had been through a lot together.
"Anyway, let's see what else this thing has got…"
Peter trailed off as he ducked down and began to shuffle around inside the trunk. Edmund did not release 'Blankie', but leant over the side of the trunk with the blanket still in his hand.
Then Edmund caught sight of something, and smirked.
"Oh my God…"
Peter glanced up, and his face filled with horror as he snatched the small piece of paper away, but the damage was done. Edmund began to shake uncontrollably with suppressed laughter.
And he burst out laughing, clutching at his sides, Blankie flying up into the air as his master fell to the floor in a fit of snickers. Peter folded his arms stiffly and blushed, eying the photo with unveiled disgust.
A small baby, dressed in what appeared to be a white christening gown was blinking drowsily up at the camera with overly large blue eyes, a thatch of straw coloured golden hair on his head. It wouldn't have been quite as embarrassing had the little boy not been sucking his thumb with enthusiasm.
Peter glared at his brother, who was still howling with laughter.
"It isn't that funny."
Edmund continued to writhe with mirth, and Peter was hit with sudden inspiration. He reached inside the trunk once more, and drew out a very old, dusty, baby blue coloured photo album. He flipped it open, as Edmund's giggles subsided and he scrambled up, red faced, to look over Peter's shoulder.
"Here, look at this…hang on…"
Peter flicked through the pages, until he found the one he had been looking for, and held it up for Edmund to see.
Peter nodded, smiling as he fingered the image of the tiny bundle wrapped in the in the protective arms of a beaming three year old. Edmund eyed the smiling toddler, who only had one front tooth, and grinned.
"When was that, then?"
Peter ducked his head, eyes twinkling in remembrance. He stared down at the picture, and Edmund knew he was seeing something which he himself was far too young to remember.
"Best day of my life, dearest darlingist little brother of mine. The day you were born."
"Daddy…can't you ask the baby to hurry up? M' tired…"
Peter Pevensie yawned, watching with disinterest as his father paced frantically back and forth in front of the large, sparkling white hospital doors. The three year old was unaccustomed to sitting still for so long.
"Oh, do stop your whining, child. Be patient."
His Grandmother said, snapping her purse shut irritably as she reached for the morning paper. Peter frowned, swinging his legs (which were very far off the ground) idly backwards and forwards.
Susan interjected, toddling over to their father and tugging insistently on his trouser leg. Henry Pevensie smiled, and scooped her up, swinging her around as she squealed in delight.
"Stop it, Henry! She'll be sick!"
Unfortunately, it seemed their Grandmother was correct. Soon after their father had set Susan down, she had gone a pale green hue. Peter frowned as their Grandmother took her roughly by the hand, and escorted her off to the ladies loo to clean up.
Henry shrugged sheepishly, reaching down to scoop his eldest child out of the hospital chair and up into his arms instead. Peter only sighed, his thumb automatically going to his mouth as he settled against his father's chest.
"Do you fink he's afraid?"
Henry Pevensie frowned, halting in his pacing to stare down at his son's bright blond hair, confused.
Peter pulled his thumb out of his mouth and looked his father in the eye, leaning forward to whisper in his father's ear.
"The baby. It'll be scary, bein' born, won' it?"
Henry laughed, ruffled his son' hair fondly, and continued his pacing while replying.
"How do you know it's a boy, Peter? It might be a girl. A little sister. Would you like that?"
"Dadda, don't be silly. It's a boy. Little brother. I already got a little sister."
Henry decided not to attempt to explain it to his son, and bit his lip as he glanced at the clock for what seemed like the thousandth time. Two thirty. Four hours. It had been four hours. What was taking so long?
"You afraid, Dadda?"
Henry jumped, and looked to his son in shock, meeting solemn, somewhat drowsy china blue eyes which were hauntingly similar to his own. He smiled nervously, and clutched his son to him.
"A little, son. A little."
Peter wrapped his arms comfortingly around his father's neck.
"Don' worry, Dadda. I'll pr…prodent…look after the baby. Nuffin will happen to him nor Mummy, I promise!"
Henry felt his eyes sting at the little boy's determined proclamation, and sank to his knees, setting Peter down on the floor in front of him.
"Now listen, Peter. This is a promise not easily made, and even harder to keep. This little baby will be your little brother, or sister. Do you know what that means?"
Peter nodded vigorously, his hair dancing about his serious face.
"Yes, Dadda! It means I hafta…um…pro…tect them?"
Henry touched his hand to his son's cheek, marvelling at how fast he was growing up. It seemed like only yesterday when it had been this resolute, determined child who was a tiny babe in arms.
"Yes, squirt. And I'm sure you'll do a fine job of it, too."
Peter beamed, and clapped his hands in joy as he puffed out his small chest with pride.
"I will, Dadda! I give you my…um…honner!"
"Honour, Peter. Hon-our."
The child's face grew serious, and Henry started at the fiery determination in those sky blue eyes.
"On my honour, Daddy. I promise."
Both Pevensie's glanced up, and a tall, thin nurse started at the twin sets of bright blue eyes which gazed nervously up at her. She smiled encouragingly down at the child, and addressed the father.
"You may come see your wife now. Congratulations, it was a healthy, successful delivery."
The little boy jumped up and down in eager excitement, and the father appeared to slump in relief, taking the child's hand and leading him hurriedly inside.
Peter jumped up onto his the hospital bed, as his mother smiled tiredly down at him. His father rushed to his wife's side, gave her a light kiss on the cheek, and gazed down at the small, still bundle in her arms.
He looked questioningly at her with eyes blurred with tears.
"A boy, Henry. We have a son."
Helen looked to her eldest son, beaming.
"Hear that, darling? You've got a little brother!"
Peter let out a whoop of joy, and clambered over to sit in the crook of his mother's free arm. He leant carefully over, squinting down at the creature with an apprehensive, eager expression.
It was rather…well…small. Tiny, in fact. Messy tufts of dark brown hair stuck up here and there other its round head, its face scrunched up in restless sleep. Its cheeks were flushed pink, its nose small and pointy.
The bundle squirmed, and let out a small gurgle, and two deep brown eyes slowly drifted open to blink drowsily up at him.
Peter grinned, as the little boy reached up a tiny, bright pink hand to bat at his older brother's face. Peter extended his little finger, which the hand immediately latched onto, and the baby giggled, tugging on its new toy in contentment.
"C'mon, squirt. Give your old man a chance, hmm?"
Peter moved obligingly away, the baby clutching onto his finger with all of its strength. However, as soon as Peter left the child's eyesight, it suddenly opened its mouth and let loose a fearful wail.
Peter yelped, and toppled off the bed, only saved from a nasty bump to the head by his father's arms. His mother hastily rocked the baby, making soothing noises, but to no avail.
After a few moments, Peter spoke quietly from his father's somewhat tight embrace.
"Momma? Can…can I hold him?"
Helen hesitated, then nodded, and Henry hoisted his eldest son up onto the bed to settle once more beside his mother, reaching inside his pocket for his camera. The eldest Pevensie furiously wiped his streaming eyes as Helen instructed their eldest son on how to hold his little brother.
Peter carefully held the baby on his lap, his arms forming a natural cradle for him. The baby suddenly hesitated, choked, spluttered, and stared up at Peter's face for a moment.
Then he gurgled, and smiled a toothless grin, reaching up two hands for the face hovering above him.
And as Peter glanced up at his father, beaming, a bright flash of light filled the room, and the moment was frozen in time forever.
"Peter? Hello! Earth to Peter, do you read me?"
Peter abruptly snapped out of his wanderings, and flinched as a hand appeared in front of his face. He hastily turned the page, as Edmund looked at him curiously, withdrawing his hand.
"Penny for your thoughts."
Peter shook his head, smiling as he flipped through to the middle or the album.
"It's nothing, just…oh, never mind. It doesn't matter."
"Well, if you say so. But, I will say that-OH WOW!"
Edmund snatched up a heavy, rusty object from the floor. He blew the dust off, fingering the metal indentations upon the side of the small toy steam engine.
"It's the Bluebell! You remember, the one we used to play with on the garden path?"
Peter raised an eyebrow, setting the album to one side as he stared at it.
"If I remember correctly, that used to be mine. But a certain small crawling monster masquerading as a little brother came along and relieved me of it."
Peter flicked his brother's nose, laughing as Edmund glared at him and protested, clutching his 'abused' face with affront. He took the engine from Edmund while he grumbled, and smiled reminiscently.
"Pi! Me chug chug!"
Well, it was a good attempt. 'Peter' did have two syllables, after all, which was rather a difficult concept for a two year old.
"No, Eddy! This is mine! Use this one..."
Since when had that ever meant anything to Edmund?
"Na, Pi! Chug chug!"
Quivering bottom lip. Never a good sign.
"But…hey, give it back!"
If at first you don't succeed, try harder. Or resort to drastic measures.
"Pipper nice! Me go chuggy chug now?"
Well, what older brother could resist such a hopeful, loving little face?
"Alright, fine! Just…give it back, sometime…"
Meanwhile, back in the present here and now, Edmund was folding his arms indignantly as he rubbed his nose.
"You gave that to me!"
"Yeah, and never got it back, either…"
Edmund rolled his eyes, grabbed Peter's hand and shoved it gently into his palm, smiling sheepishly up at his older brother.
"Well then. You do now."
Peter examined the engine, while Edmund turned once more to the crumpled pages of the photo album.
All five of them on a holiday in Blackpool. The day Lucy was born. All four of the children playing some game or another. Their mother and father, on their wedding day. Their father-
Edmund swallowed thickly.
The…day their father had gone off to war.
Peter gazed down at the picture, and he drew in a sharp breath. His arm slid around his brother's shoulders. Edmund drew a deep breath and leant against him, tearing his gaze away from his father's face.
"He'll come back. He said he would."
Peter's voice was thick, but filled with conviction. Suddenly, the attic seemed cold, and unwelcoming. The toys and memories scattered in broken pieces seemed so far away, they may just as well have been mere dreams.
"I'm alright, Peter. Just…just miss him. That's all."
Peter leant his head against his younger brother's, and Edmund felt his brother's chest heave with a deep, weary sigh. All these…things…belonged to a world which had long passed them by.
And he could never go back. Not now.
But…even though the toys were all broken, the photos faded and crumpled, mere shadows of the happy times they depicted…oh, what was the use in looking to the past?
Those days were gone.
And so were the golden days of Narnia. When he hadn't had to think endlessly of sorrow, of the weight of the war. He was no longer a King, no longer important. Just a little boy. Little Edmund.
"Please, Ed. Don't look so sad. It's…not that bad…is it?"
Edmund looked into his brother's concerned gaze, and for a moment, felt he was looking straight into the face of his father. But the man who bore those china blue, such hauntingly bright blue eyes was far away, so far it seemed like they were worlds apart.
And yet, somehow, he was still here.
Right beside him.
"Shut up! You think you're Dad, but you're NOT!"
No. Peter wasn't his father, and he never would be. But…Edmund didn't need him to be. Peter was just…Peter. And he would always be there. Always.
And that was enough for Edmund.
Smiling weakly, he turned to bury his head in his brother's neck, and Peter, surprised, wrapped his arms around his brother's back. They sat there in silence for a few moments, before Edmund drew back and smiled fondly at his older brother.
"Thank you, Peter."
Peter blinked, and cocked his head to the side, golden strands of hair falling into those blue eyes.
No. Peter's eyes.
"For always being there. And for always being…you."
They both jumped, startled, and Peter hastily began to gather all the discarded toys and books up and place them back in the trunk. Edmund hastily hid Blankie behind his back, noting with a smile that Barnaby the dog was not returning to the trunk.
"Go on, Ed. Su said there'd be cucumber sandwiches today."
Edmund's eyes widened. Cucumber was really quite a delicacy nowadays, with the rationing. He eyed the mess still scattered about them and frowned.
"Shouldn't we at least tidy up first? And what about you?"
Peter shook his head, tucking Barnaby under his arm and closing the lid of the trunk with a sharp snap, eying his still bright red fingers with a scathing look. He glanced up to meet Edmund's gaze.
"No, leave it. I'll be down in a minute. Besides…"
He smirked, and hefted the photo album back onto his lap, flipping it open with uprising swirls of dust.
"I have got to find that picture of you in the sailor's suit…"
Edmund groaned, and Peter laughed as he made a dive for the trunk, Edmund grinning and tackling him, desperately attempting to defend his soon to be affronted dignity.
Memories are fragile, fickle things. Misleading. And there was always the danger that you could become too much entrenched within the past, and forget the present.
Who knew what the future would bring?
But as long as they were together…and trusted in each other, and the love they bore so freely…they would not have to face it alone.
A/N: This story was not directly connected to 'Ironic Synchronicity', just a little gathering of thoughts I thought I might share. I hope you enjoyed it!
Feedback would be appreciated! Please review!