I am so incredibly sorry for the inexcusable delay. I have no idea if I even have a readership left with this story. If there are any loyal readers left (wouldn't blame anyone if there wasn't), this Epilogue is for you.
I really didn't like the final 'official' chapter that I did. It felt too out of place with the story, but I wanted to leave you guys feeling like Edmund and Peter were okay with everything that had happened. It just didn't turn out as I would have liked. So this Epilogue in my opinion, is needed. I am hoping to start the sequel soon.
"You better think carefully about whose side you're on Edmund…" No no nonono... "Mine, or theirs."
"You have a traitor in your midst…"
"Then you are of no further use to me."
"THAT boy will DIE on the Stone Table!"
Edmund's eyes fluttered open suddenly; he had the dream again. Edmund sat up in his bed, shirking off the sweat soaked sheets but felt no comfort, his nightclothes clung to his sweat covered skin anyway. It had been fifteen years since Jadis the White Witch had been defeated by the Great Lion. Fifteen years since Edmund betrayed his family for her. But only 1 year since they had returned from Narnia. Edmund ran his fingers through his hair and sighed in exasperation. He was getting bad again. A stressor often triggered the nightmares: this week was the first snowfall of the year in Finchley.
"You've been a grown man, and now you're a teenager, and yet you still suffer from nightmares…"
Edmund had come to accept long ago that he couldn't help now what he had done and who he had been, but that he could control where he would go from there. He had been crowned King Edmund the Just, and since that day he had dedicated his life to earning that title. Despite being just a boy at the time, he had become a diplomat and was known for giving good council. He tried to maintain those same roles and qualities now that he was back in England.
But he still had the nightmares.
They had become less frequent over the years. They were nearly every day for the first year, until they began to dissipate over time. Edmund had actually hoped that he had finally conquered Jadis, as he hadn't dreamt of her since his return, but even in death she could still affect him. Perhaps this was his punishment for what he had done. He had earned his siblings forgiveness, as well as that of his Narnian subjects and friends who he cared for so dearly. These nightmares then must be a way of reminding him of past sins, so that he would never forget. That must be why he saw her every night for the past week. He was definitely getting bad again.
Edmund was taken from his introspection by a voice to his left.
"Edmund…?" It was Peter, of course.
Edmund quickly looked over to Peter's bed to verify what he already knew. Peter peered up at him from his own bed with a furrowed brow.
"I heard screaming. It's happening again isn't it? You're getting bad again." Peter stated.
There it was. Even Peter knew Edmund was seeing Jadis again. Edmund simply nodded his head, and shifted his body awkwardly. He hadn't meant to wake Peter, and he was embarrassed that he had actually screamed out in his sleep. Peter sat up in his own bed, swinging his legs off the side so he could face his younger brother. Edmund looked over at Peter, expecting to meet his eyes, but instead he noticed that Peter was focused on his bed.
The sheets were in complete disarray from what Ed could only assume was his thrashing about in bed. Where his body had been on the mattress was now completely doused in sweat. He was surprised that Peter could notice, because the only light in the room was from the moon light pouring in through the window.
"It's okay, really Peter. They aren't even that bad anymore, I swear. Last nights nightmare only lasted for what felt like a few moments and-"
At this Peter whirled around to face him, "Last night? This wasn't the first…? Edmund how long has this been going on again?"
"…A week." Edmund admitted.
He knew Peter would be upset that Edmund had kept this from him. He just didn't want him to worry.
Peter sighed and stood up, making his way over to Edmund's bed to sit beside his brother. Edmund instinctively pulled his knees up to his chest and hugging them there.
"Ed I thought we were past this. Why do you still feel the need to do this alone? You haven't seen Jadis in over a year, and she's back in your nightmares suddenly. Why didn't you come to me straight away?" Peter asked looking at him with a pained expression.
Edmund shifted his gaze to his knees, ashamed of causing his brother pain. That was not his intent.
"Please don't make me feel worse than I already do Pete." Edmund stated simply.
"I thought you had let go of all this…" Peter said softly.
Edmund reached out and placed his hand on his brother's shoulder. Peter's eyes were glistening from either tears or the moonlight, Edmund couldn't tell.
"Pete I have, I promise you that I have. You and I are fine. You've forgiven me for my betrayal and I've forgiven myself as well. I've taken responsibility for what I've done, and I've been making amends ever since. That doesn't mean that I won't think of her from time to time, or continue to try and better myself from past sins." Edmund explained.
Peter nodded, apparently accepting what his brother told him. But it was Peter who hadn't let go. Peter still took responsibility for him, for the path he had taken all those years ago.
That was when Edmund noticed the shift.
"It's my turn now…to look out for you now Peter."
Peter hadn't been quite the same since they'd come home six months ago. He was more self conscious and wasn't able to adjust to being a teenager again. Peter was fragile, and it was Edmund's responsibility to protect him now.
Edmund moved his hand from Peter's shoulder and grasped his brother's hand instead. This caused Peter to finally look at Edmund.
"Don't worry Pete, I've got it sorted." Edmund said, while trying to give Peter a reassuring smile.
Please review or private message me if you enjoyed it or not! Let me know your thoughts! And thanks again to anyone has stuck with this story, I appreciate you guys so so much.