Disclaimer: I own nothing in this marvelous universe; it all belongs to C.S. Lewis.
Author's Note: :heaves a huge sigh: Finally. I found the Bible quote I was looking for, and honestly, it's a critical one to this story. You'll see why.
Furthermore, the problems I've been having with my account are fixed, and honestly, they weren't that bad at all :shakes head in amused self-reproof:. So I'm staying with this account for now, although I might change it at a later date.
I don't have my LWW DVD, yet, unfortunately :pouts: I have to wait another week or so, but I did want to get at least the Prologue out, and I'll divide postings between this and Nighttime Demons (as well as, perhaps, a few one-shots in-between), so this story's updates might be a little slow coming. At any rate, I hope you enjoy!
Summary: Edmund never met the White Witch. He found out about her from Mr. Tumnus on Lucy's second visit. He's also mute...(Book and Moviebased)
Those Who Speak
By Sentimental Star
Prologue: The Stolen Voice
He has done all things well. He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak. --Mark 7:37
(Four Years Ago)
"I'm afraid there's nothing to be done," the doctor's voice was muffled behind the door against which the three siblings had pressed themselves. "Only a miracle will be able to restore it. As of right now, Mr. and Mrs. Pevensie, your son will be unable to speak. Take him to any physician or therapist you wish, and they will all tell you the same. The fever has too badly damaged his vocal chords. I'm sorry."
There was a few long, awful seconds of silence, and then the three children heard the doctor's footsteps crossing the floor of their six-year-old brother's room to the door.
As the wooden door was pulled open, and the last of the doctor's orders were given, nine-year-old Peter, eight-year-old Susan, and four-year-old Lucy (courtesy of her older sister) all hastily stumbled away from the entrance.
The doctor emerged from the room only moments later, tall and daunting and terrifying dressed in his dark gray overcoat. At least to Peter who, as the oldest, understood the entire conversation far better than his parents undoubtedly would have liked.
His baby brother, mute? Impossible!
But as the doctor caught sight of the three siblings standing close together in the upstairs hall, varying degrees of fright in their eyes, and quickly turned away, Peter felt a leaden weight settle in his stomach.
There was a small tug on his sleeve. Dully, he glanced down at Lucy. "P'ter! P'ter! What's he mean?"
She looked terrified. But Peter could only shake his head, looking back into the room. Stricken.
Their parents followed the doctor to the door where their mother remained standing in the doorway, gazing after his retreating back with a look of utter shock and grief upon her face as their father came forward and crouched in front of them, smiling sadly.
"Daddy?" Peter finally managed, voice tight.
Susan clutched Lucy's hand, face very white.
Their father reached out to lightly ruffle his hair, before forcing some cheer into his smile, glancing at all of them. "Would you like to see your brother now? You can. He won't be able to talk with you, but he can listen. How about it, hmm?"
None of the three children moved, not even Lucy.
Their father's smile dropped. "Well don't you?" he asked quietly, something very close to fear in his eyes.
Peter bit his lip. "Is…Is…He's going to talk again, right, Daddy? He's going to talk again. This…this is just because of his fever, right?"
His eyes begged his father to lie, to agree with him, to say everything was going to be okay and nothing would change. Deep down, however, deep, deep down, he knew it would. It would change, and nothing would ever be completely okay again.
And Daddy saw that in his face. Dropping his own blue eyes, their father whispered, "I don't know, Peter."
There was a sudden sob from their mother, and she abruptly rushed from the doorway of Edmund's room and down the hall to hers and Daddy's own, hand covering her mouth.
Daddy started to his feet, calling anxiously, "Helen!" before sprinting after her. The doorway to the grown-ups' room slammed shut behind him.
And it was their parents' reactions more than anything else which told them the truth: their brother would never be able to speak again.
In the next moment, several things happened at once.
Lucy, even at only four, had understood, and jerking her hand out of Susan's, ran into the room to Edmund, tears streaming freely down her cheeks. Dimly, Peter saw her scramble up onto Edmund's bed and throw her short little arms around his neck, sobbing.
Susan, beside him, gave a funny little cry, before whirling, and fleeing into the room she and Lucy shared, slamming the door shut behind her.
And Peter, in a painful daze, somehow managed to get himself to the threshold of his little brother's room. There he froze, unable to muster the willpower and courage to enter.
He swallowed, eyesight blurring, as he dizzily watched the two youngest cry together (for Edmund, he realized, had heard everything).
His hands clenched tightly in his sleeves, 'til the knuckles were nearly white, and heat spilled down his cheeks as he continued to watch, a small sob making it past his lips.
Edmund's own cries were silent.