I don't own Narnia or the Pevensies. But I am running out of witty afterthoughts. Oh, dear.
When Peter is troubled, he goes up.
Sometimes, he will climb the hundreds of stairs to stand at the top of the northern turret, and there he will clasp his hands behind his back and stare not at the kingdom (his responsibility), nor at the castle (his crown), nor at himself (his shortcomings), but at the clear northern sky and its wide expanse of cool, soothing blue. It is the color of his eyes, and just as many look into them and feel safe, he finds his reassurance in its remarkable consistency. Here, he can't hear the bickering of the dignitaries or the clanging swords of his practicing army. There is only the wind whipping about his ears – nothing else.
He doesn't always use the turret, though it is a favorite; he doesn't really care, as long as it is up. Sometimes, if it is late at night and he is tired, he will find solace on his balcony and converse silently with the stars. If he has a fair amount of time, he will ride out and find the cliffs. If he doesn't, he will close his eyes and imagine he has wings to carry him away from the weight that the world would like to place upon his shoulders. And when he returns from his high places, he will again have the strength to take it up and be a nation's hope, to accept his responsibility and wear his crown and work past his shortcomings.
Peter gives new meaning to ascending the throne.
When Susan is troubled, she goes out.
Sometimes, she will depart from the Cair, leaving behind only a note, and ride until she can't see it anymore. To the north she has found a certain beach that she can take to, where she can sit upon the sand and let the surf soak the hem of her gown and not care about it. To the west, there is a spot upon the Great River where she can rest beneath the cool shade of the elm trees and listen to the water roar by without worrying about being bothered by courtiers or worse - suitors. To the east is the ocean, which doesn't help, since she is no boatman, but to the south she has discovered her favorite place of all, a little spring inside a small grove of trees by which she will lay down and breathe in the beautiful air.
In all of these places, she will find comfort in the fact that it isn't what's expected of her. Too often, she finds herself becoming predictable, her mind dulled by the constant stream of praise she receives from her suitors. She knows she is beautiful – but she mustn't forget she is more. In her solitude, she will remind herself that though she is fair of face, so too she is sharp of mind and pure of heart, and that no multitude of chauvinistic musclemen will ever take that away from her. When she leaves the Cair, she leaves to be alone, to regain the sense of self that the world would like to bend for her. When she hasn't enough time to be truly alone, she will hide in the gardens until late at night, worrying her ladies in waiting, and find her seclusion there. And when she returns to her daily life, she will be sharper, more defined, and the right sort of men will take notice of her this time.
Susan takes no offense when her siblings gently tell her to go away.
When Edmund is troubled, he goes down.
Sometimes, he will quietly slip from the throne room and make his way to the deepest, darkest part of the cellars, where the air is thick with wine smell and the barrels are like a labyrinth. The first time he came to be there, it had taken him three hours to find his way out, but now he has visited it so often he can do so with his eyes closed, which is fortunate since at such a depth, it makes little difference whether one's eyes are open or not. When he has found his nook, a small area with walls of casks on three sides, he will fall to his knees and remain that way until they bleed from grazing the rough stone floor.
Here, the closest place to hell he can find without using his sword, he will hold still until all sound disappears into the wood of the barrels, until he can truly see nothing but blackness, until he feels nothing but the clawing pain in his knees, until all his senses dim and he can think without being disrupted that he deserves to die. These moments of despair come less frequently than they used to, but still more often than some would believe, and though he will never willingly end his own life – he has promised Peter that much – he is still allowed to think of it, and dwell on it until he feels he has punished himself sufficiently and he can rise up again to take his place as an undeserving king. He can't always use the cellars, as sometimes the wine is being rolled out and the torches are lit, but any place dark and dank and lonely will work, and occasionally he will find himself in the cliff caves or in one of the many secret passageways of the castle. He does not find joy in these retreats, but joy isn't the point.
No one has ever remarked that King Edmund needed to bring himself down to the people's level
When Lucy is troubled, she goes looking.
Sometimes, she will climb the hundreds of stairs to stand at the top of the northern turret, and there she will take hold of her eldest brother's hands and speak to him in the way that only she can, reassuring him that no one expects him to be a god, and that when he needs to rest, he should. Sometimes, she will depart from the Cair, leaving behind only a note, and ride until she finds her sister, and then she will look her in the eye and remind her that no matter how pretty she is, she will always be more than this to Lucy; she will always be a strong, proud, virtuous young woman and an idol to her. Sometimes, she will quietly slip from the throne room and make her way to the deepest, darkest part of the cellars, where the air is thick with wine smell and the barrels are like a labyrinth. There, she will place her arms around the younger of her two brothers' shoulders and whisper to him that all is forgiven, that he is changed.
Lucy is not often troubled if it isn't for the troubles of her family. But when Peter feels his responsibility too acutely, she will relieve him of it. When Susan struggles to remain true to herself, she will aid her. And when Edmund destroys himself to destroy his guilt, she will heal him, not with cordial but with words and the love she feels for all of them. Some laugh to hear it, but she is truly the strongest of them. She is the one to nurse Narnia back to health after the devastation of the war, and she is the one to keep hope alive for all of them even in the darkest hour. She is their faith, their pride and their escape. To her siblings, Lucy is what makes being a king or a prize or a traitor bearable, and they shudder to think where they would be without her.
In the end, everyone looks to Lucy to love them to completeness.