What a sleepless night brings.
A Narnia Fanfic
By Lorianna Kim
Edmund and Lucy go on a trip to Archenland. And on one sleepless night, they had an amazing conversation concerning love, beauty, Kings and Queens. Discovering how nice it is to have an older brother and a younger sister.
A bit of fluff. No slash, just harmless, heartwarming sibling bondings. Pre HHB
I've always wanted to write stories about different relationships between the Pevensies. And this story just popped into my head. I had it to be between Edmund and Lucy because Edmund is my favourite character, and I myself have always wanted an older brother. So this story is born.
What I have done is tweaked the ages of the characters, so it is not accurate to C.S. Lewi's. In this story, I have Corin to be fourteen, Lucy eighteen, Edmund Nineteen, so that makes Susan Twenty One and Peter Twenty Two.
I wrote this from midnight till three in the morning so please, please do tell me honestly what you think. REVIEW! Flames not welcome, but suggestions are!
So guys, I love you, okay?
I don't own Narnia. It belongs to C.S. Lewis and Aslan. But I can dream, can't I? winkwink.
"I will live like a Narnian even though there is no Narnia"
Queen Lucy of Narnia rarely had sleepless nights. Unlike her royal brother, the High King Peter, she didn't have serious affairs of state to worry about, nor like her sister, the Queen Susan, who could not fall asleep due to being worried about their siblings in the nature of wars or long voyages. Queen Lucy had always been cheerful and optimistic, the life and colour of the court. As Susan was graceful and gentle, Lucy was feisty and lively. So due to her personal personalities and duties, sleepless nights had been somehow foreign to the eighteen years old queen. But now, the queen of Narnia could not force herself to slumber.
It had been an exciting day. King Lune had entertained her and her royal brother, the King Edmund since morning with hunts and tours around Anvard and its surrounding countryside. They had lunch with the King and his high spirited fourteen years old son, Prince Corin, in the lovely gardens of the palace, in which the King told jokes and the Prince told of his many desired dreams. After that, Lucy and Edmund had the afternoon to themselves, and Edmund spent it riding on his horse, Ram, and Lucy went for a tour around the castle, talking and laughing with the courtiers and servants.
In the evening, the King held a formal ball in the honor of Edmund and Lucy, for sparing the time to come and visit their ally and friend, and also in sending them off home to Narnia on the following morning. Although the ball was a joy (for Lucy had many dance offers than she could count), the young queen couldn't wait to get back to Cair Paravel. It had been a month since she and Edmund were here. In truth, she missed Peter and Susan something terrible.
The ball finished quite late but not too late. Lucy refused the help of her ladies to change. She hadn't meant to be unkind and conceited, she was merely being herself. Unlike Susan, who had to look just right before and after balls and parties, Lucy thought it was a waste of time, having to have three or four ladies help you in and out of your gown. Tonight, Lucy had a refreshing bath, and changed into her normal Narnia sleeping gown, a long, flowing and comfortable violet colour dress. She settled herself into her bed and tried reading a book borrowed from King Lune's library, but found it extremely dull. (It was about how they build forts and dams to protect ones castle.) She put out her light and tried going to sleep. But whatever way she tried, her eyes ended up wide open. She wasn't a bit sleepy.
She lay quite still and hummed a few Narnian songs. But it didn't help. She paced around the room and looked out the window. She gazed up at the full, shining moon for the lion knows how long, and she was back to pacing and humming tunes again. After that, she went back to bed, but still couldn't go to sleep.
'Oh, bother' she muttered, nearly in tears. For Lucy was the kind of person who disliked being awake when everyone else was sleeping. 'What shall I do?'
Then Lucy's thoughts turned to her sister. Susan had many late nights herself. During these nights, sometimes Lucy had been awakened by the image of her older sister in her doorway, checking up on her at night. Lucy knew Susan did this to all three of her siblings. When Edmund was sick, Susan had crept into his room in the middle of the night to hold his hand while he slept. Maybe this was time Lucy could put one of her sister's methods into practice.
Lucy slipped out of bed and put on a blue dressing gown. Her hair wasn't plait and it, like usual, streamed messily down her back and around her shoulders. She was barefoot. She went quietly out of her chamber and through her quarters with extreme care not to wake up any of her ladies. Edmund's chamber was not far away. His quarters had been arranged not far from hers and their chambers were practically the same. She turned the door knob carefully and peaked inside. To her utter amazement, the night light was still on. And she found her brother sitting in an armchair, looking completely ruffled, and wearing his night things already.
The nineteen years old king looked up and his dark eyes widened in surprise at the sight of his sister. 'Lucy! What in the lion's name are you doing up at this hour? Are you ill, sister?'
'Certainly not, my dear brother' replied Lucy. She went into the chamber and closed the door. 'I just could not sleep, and as I see, neither can you.'
Edmund cracked a smile. Lucy had always thought that Peter's smile was warm and lovely, while Edmund's smile was challenging and charming in a way that only Edmund could be. 'Take a seat, Lucy, on the bed if you must. I think we both have landed ourselves in a quite dreadful situation.'
The queen giggled and her face flushed with pleasure. 'As we both cannot sleep, we might as well stay up and talk, brother. We have been in the hospitality of the noble King Lune for a month now. What say you, my brother, of this fair country and of his family?'
Edmund ran his hands through his black, raven hair and it was left slightly messy, but which Lucy thought gave him a rather handsome look. 'Archenland is a noble and fair land indeed. I am delighted to inform our brother that this land will surely be our most powerful ally. As for King Lune himself, he is a good man, and one of the best of kings.'
'I agree whole heartedly, brother. But I must say, his courtiers are somehow…quite' here Lucy's eyes downcast. 'They all tend to take great store in the ladies.'
Here Edmund almost double up with laughter. Lucy pouted and shook her head, making her golden hair flew around her little face. An effect that her brother thought was perfectly adorable. 'That was not what I meant!' said Lucy indignantly, with a crisp, intimidating tone. Her hand grabbed Edmund's pillow.
Edmund laughed even harder and got ready to shield himself from his sister's harmless weapon. 'Not the pillow, Lucy.' He bellowed. 'Anything but the pillow!'
'Oh, you're impossible!' cried his sister. But she did not violate him with the pillow, she just gave him fiery and irritated glances.
Finally Edmund's laughter subsided. 'Lucy, the only lady who they take great store in is you! That's why they offered you all those dances at the ball tonight, and that's why they occasionally like to make conversations with you. I have noticed that they do not tend to be like this around any other women.'
'You noticed? You noticed whether the King's men take notice in other women? Brother, what have you been observing through out our stay here? Not the way of Achanlander courting?'
'What I meant,' here Edmund looked quite alarmed. 'That the lords here are quite please with you. They enjoy your company.'
'What a bunch of…'
Edmund had the pleasure of seeing his sister blush. We must not blame him for being amused by his little sister's displeasure, because anyone with a younger sibling knows the older folks like to tease their little brother or sister once in a while.
'But the person who I have begun to notice that takes high stores in you, and who are please with your audiences the most is no other than our mischievous little friend, the Prince Corin!' Edmund pressed on and here, as he had expected, his younger sister's mouth dropped and her eyes flashed.
'Sir, if you weren't my royal older brother, I would have beaten you to pulp with your own fluffy pillow!' gasped Lucy. 'What a thing to say!'
'I am merely stating the facts.' Edmund had to bite the inside of his cheek to keep himself from laughing all over again. 'I know he lurks around corners hoping to see you, and that his favourite part of the day is when you tell him stories in the evening and saying goodnight to him with a kiss on the cheek.'
Lucy gaped at her brother. Her clear blue eyes were wide. 'Do you mean to say that Corin likes me?!?'
'It's as plain as day, sister' said Edmund. 'And my advice is that when he comes asking for your hand in marriage from our royal brother, you will do him the courtesy of accepting.' And at his own words, Edmund lost control and doubled up in laughter.
'How dare you!' shrieked Lucy, and this time, by the benefit of being a splendid dagger thrower, the pillow found its mark.
'I am being attacked by my own crazy sister!' cried Edmund.
'Edmund, do stop laughing!!' Lucy begged, although her tone was quite commanding. 'Stop laughing!! Or I give my word as queen that another pillow will be thrown your way if you do not heed what I say!'
Edmund held his sides and tried subduing his laughter, till finally, the young King had his composure back. He settled rightly in his armchair again and looked at his sister, waiting ever so chivalrously, for the conversation to continue. It would look mighty courteous of him except for the fact that he had a stupid, mocking grin on his face, which he failed in hiding.
Lucy decided to overlook that smile. She frowned and looked deeply serious. 'But Edmund, how do you know for certain? Hasn't Corin taken a liking to Susan when he first met her too?'
'But not in the same way, Lucy.' Stated Edmund.
'But how can you be certain?' cried Lucy.
'Well…it's easy to see! His whole face lights up when you say his name. He looks extremely happy and content when you are around. Even when he is in an awful mood, he sees you and he is all well again. Also for the fact that when someone makes a joke, he glances at you to see whether you are laughing or not. And at the ball for instant, he likes to ask you for a dance, but he doesn't because he fears that everyone will see right through him' here Edmund's eyes carried a far away look. 'And the most important of all, he will do anything to make you happy, whether it pains him to death by doing so.'
Lucy fell silent. Her eyes were on Edmund's face and she drew in a long sigh. 'That was beautiful, brother. I haven't known you had that poetic touch in you. You seem to know a lot about this kind of things, don't you?'
Edmund eyes now snapped strangely and he had on an innocent smile. 'Do I?' But Lucy saw that kind of smiles many times before, and she knew exactly what it meant. 'Edmund! You are hiding something, aren't you?!' she bounced on the springy bed and sat crossed leg, beaming excitingly up at him. 'I know!! You are an expert at these kind of things because you experienced them before, haven't you?'
'I have nothing of the sort!' he cried indignantly. He almost faltered, but being an absolute diplomatic King that he was, he held it together quite well.
'There's no point in hiding, Edmund. I know you're up to something!' Lucy's eyes twinkled mischievously, a twinkle that made Edmund wondered whether she inherited it from him or not. 'Tell me, O my brother, do you fancy someone? Are you in love?' She let out an excite squeal, which she muffled it by pressing another pillow to her mouth.
'I told you, No!' cried her brother, but quite betraying his own words by not quite meeting her eyes.
'Edmund! You cannot refuse what I know you know perfectly well what!' cried Lucy. The young queen could be pretty impatient when she gets excited. And by knowing that her brother has a fancy was the easiest way for her to get excited.
'If I am, I shan't tell you'
'Come now, Edmund. Is that how you treat your sister and your equal? I should think not!' Lucy's eyes fired and Edmund knew quite well that she's beginning to let out one of her stubborn tempers. 'We rarely get to talk. Peter and Susan spend time together a lot, so do Peter and I, And you and Peter. But we rarely get to bond.'
'We rarely get to bond?' cried Edmund. He was finding his sister's reasons quite unreasonable.
'You love me, don't you?' Lucy put on that face, the face which Edmund had called the Pouting Face, the face that gets Peter everytime. She looked extremely adorable with it, and Edmund knew he couldn't resist for long.
'Of course I do. You are my sister. But that doesn't give you any rights to pry into my personal life.'
'Please, Edmund. Please'
'Lucy, don't even think about it! There's no way I'm telling!'
And not knowing how it quite happened, (but if you asked Edmund clearly afterwards, he would say it was because Lucy's eyes were so penetrating), Edmund covered his face with his hand, a gesture that looked depressing and exasperating at the same time, and said. 'Alright!'
The effect he received what somewhat short of thunderous. Lucy let out a joyful scream and she clapped her hands vigorously, her eyes shining and she was smiling in a way that Edmund thought was no longer adorable, but in a way he thought deserved a good shaking from her older brother.
'Well…do you remember Lady Ariana from the Seven Isles?' started Edmund. He was now avoiding direct eye contact with his sister, and trying very hard not to notice how she was hugging her knees and nodding her head in a very eager fashion. 'I met her when I went to the Seven Isles for the tournament set by our brother the High King. It was a voyage I went alone, by only a small envoy to accompany me. She was the daughter of the governor. She was very beautiful, and only a year younger than me. She was different from other women, for she was smart, witty, and compassionate and she was an excellent archer, though no match for our fair sister, the Queen Susan. Her father had assigned her to take care of my needs and arranged my quarters and household for me.'
When he got to this point, Edmund's voice, which had been quite muffled earlier, had begun to get clearer. 'Somehow we got along very well. We were great friends. After each fencing match, I would spend time with her in the study, talking or went outside to take a walk in the woods and such. She was very clever and she understood me in a way that no one else ever could, except Aslan of course. And she…WILL YOU STOP GIGGLING?!?'
This last comment, of course, was directed at his sister. The young queen had quite by now collapsed into quiet giggles and she tried to hide it by covering her face with her knees. 'I wasn't giggling!' she defended herself.
'You were, Lucy. Now do you want me to continue this or not?!?' said Edmund, who was beginning to be quite outraged.
'I cry you mercy, brother, for interrupting your story in this manner' grinned Lucy. 'Please continue.'
Edmund scowled at her and bowed his head. I suspect you all know how hard it is to continue a story once you have stopped. But Edmund was a king, and he had many experience with stories and beautiful speeches and he continue right where he left of in a dignified manner, in which Susan would be proud to hear if she was there.
'I spent time with her almost everyday. She taught me many things and made me see who I am, that I am not just a boy, or just a king, but someone with a great heart. She was my best friend in that voyage. Then It was my own stupid fault that messed everything up. It was on the last day before I went back to Narnia.'
Lucy had now stopped giggling and had contained herself rightly. She was looking at her brother with concern and interest. 'What happened?'
'The day the tournament ended, that being the day before my departure, we came to see each other like we did everyday. It was sad because I had to leave her, but I convinced myself it was not too bad. Letters could still be send and we could see each other soon enough. But she…' Edmund now looked down at his hands and held a faraway look in his eyes, a look that was rare for this young King. '..she was different that day. I asked her what was amiss. She looked up at me, and said that she must tell me something, even if it's a thing unfit for a lady to say to her lord.'
Here Lucy smiled beautifully, a smile that made Edmund quite mad at himself for even thinking of shaking her! 'She told you she loved you, didn't she?'
Edmund swallowed and averted his eyes. 'She did. And I was a fool. I told her I cared about her deeply and I loved her like a friend and a sister, but I did not love her that way, not in the way she loved me.'
Here Lucy gasped. 'Edmund, you didn't!'
'I did, regrettably.' mumbled the king. And we must forgive him for looking a bit shameful at that moment. 'I must have hurt her awfully. For she just curtsied and said, 'May I ask to be excused, milord?' And I let her go. The next day I sailed home'
'But Edmund..' Lucy turned speechless. We couldn't blame her for that either. 'Why didn't you say something? You loved her, didn't you?'
'I thought I didn't!' snapped Edmund. And Lucy looked quite taken aback with her brother's fierce reaction. 'Not until last year, when she and her father were guests at Cair Paravel. Don't you remember?'
'Yes I did. But their visit was also a very quiet one too' mused Lucy.
'We were quite normal with each other, like we used to be. We were even closer, I might dare say, and that's when I realized that I do, in fact, love her. But it was too late. She had completely gotten over me. Now she's married to Peridan, and I'm her King once more. I have never told her I loved her. She never knew.'
Edmund's voice had turned hoarse at this point and he avoided Lucy's eyes completely, He had taken interest with the hem of his tunic, toying with it absent mindedly.
Lucy stared at him, quite shocked. Then she reached out and took his hand. Edmund's head snapped up in surprise, for that was not the gesture he thought he would receive. He had been expecting another round of giggles and squeals.
'It's alright.' Lucy told him calmly. He looked her in the eye and was thankful. He squeezed her hand in return.
Finally she let go and he drew in a short breath. Lucy took that as a sign of wanting to change the subject.
'So what about Corin, milord?' asked Lucy instead. 'What should I do with him?'
We couldn't blame Edmund for feeling pretty glad that the tables had been turned and that they were discussing the trouble making prince once more.
'Nothing, sister.' He replied. His confident was returning. 'Just be normal around him.'
'But how can you be normal around someone who you know likes you?' Lucy inquired. She had adjusted her position and was now lying on the bed, looking at her brother. 'I cannot imagine how Susan could deal with all those suitors of hers. Is it not totally awkward? She is brilliant at it, though. She refuses all of them with such grace and kindness; even though some of them are perfectly ridiculous! Do you remember that one from Galma?'
'The duke?' a fierce scowled escaped into Edmund's dark features. 'He was awful. Peter and I had to threaten him to leave un lest he wanted to attempt single combat with both of us. Do you remember how he wrote poems for Susan? Poems that were utterly revolting and disrespectful! Thinking back, we should have done more than threaten him. Maybe a kick in the arse might teach him something.'
If Susan was there, Edmund would have received a scolding, for a King should never use such a word, but the case being Lucy, his little sister just laughed.
'You are right, brother. It's amazing how many suitors she attracts, our fair sister. Cair Paravel is simply swamping with them. By the lion's mane, in the future they could even outnumber our own Narnians.'
'That's a possibility, considering that you are becoming more charming everyday' Edmund gave his sister a little smile. Lucy made a face but she silently beamed inside. Compliments of this sort from Edmund were rare. Unlike Peter, Edmund had never been complimentary or 'sweet', as the girls put it.
'Why not? You are beautiful, charming and lovely, the suitors will be knocking for you soon. And Peter and I will spend all our hours threatening them and protecting your honor until our hair turns gray.'
'I can protect my own honor, thank you very much, brother' said Lucy thickly. Edmund chuckled. He had never doubted that at all.
'But that's not going to happen, Ed. Your hair and Peter's are going to stay black and blonde for still a longer period of time. No suitor will come for me as long as there's Susan.' There was a trace of annoyance in her voice which I wish was not there, but It was. Lucy fell silent. And Edmund didn't know what to do for a minute. Finally he found the courage to ask her. 'What ever is wrong, sister?'
'Edmund.. have you ever feel overshadowed by Peter before?' the question came straight and honest.
'Occasionally. Especially in times when our dear brother is particularly Magnificent. Yes, is being my answer.' Edmund licked his lips thoughtfully and ran his hand through his hair again. 'But the truth is, I know Peter and I are different in person, different as kings. There're some things Peter are good at, which I am not. And there are also things which I am good at, and Peter is not. So Peter is Peter, and I am me.'
Lucy put her chin on her hand and looked thoughtful. 'I have always felt like I'm not beautiful like Susan. That I am not as graceful and as well mannered as she is. I am not diplomatic. I usually say what I think out loud but she always know what to say and how to act in every situation. And that what makes a good queen, doesn't it?'
Edmund nodded in acknowledgement of what she was saying, but knowing his sister, he knew she wasn't finished.
'And sometimes it makes me wonder whether I am such a good queen, or whether Susan is more important than me. Do you understand, Edmund?'
'I do.' He smiled to reassure her. 'But let me to tell you this, Lu.' She noted that he was using her pet name, which didn't happen very often. 'Susan maybe graceful and diplomatic, but that's not all what makes a good queen. And you, my sister, you bring hope, and love, and life, And that for me, you are a very good queen, Lucy. One of the best I've ever known. You are beautiful. Don't ever think you are not as beautiful as Susan. You are. You are beautiful in a much more, real way, so I may say' Edmund gave a little smile. 'Aslan gave us Narnia, and he chose us. All four us. And I think he must have a pretty good reason for why he did that.'
Lucy smiled warmly. In that moment, Lucy had a strong desire to reach out and hug her brother, so she did just that. Edmund looked quite taken aback by the gesture but he returned it quite pleasingly. When they broke apart, a yawn escaped from Lucy. Both brother and sister laughed.
'I suppose your warm bed awaits you, good lady' said Edmund with genuine love and courtesy. He stood up and walked with Lucy to the door.
'I suppose you're right, as always, dear brother.' She stood up on tiptoed and kissed him on the cheek. She smiled. 'And you are a great king, Edmund. Aslan would be proud of you.'
He smiled warmly, a smile that Lucy thought was a mix of his own and Peter's, and the result was astounding to see. Lucy thanked Aslan inwardly at that moment for blessing her with such a splendid brother.
'Thank you, Lucy.' He kissed her on the forehead, a gesture of his which is also rare, and said. 'Good night, fair sister.'
Lucy returned his smile. This time Edmund decided that it neither looked annoying nor lovely. It looked like spring had come early just for him. 'And good night to you too, my good brother.'
They parted at the door and he watched her walk down the hall and out of sight. Edmund closed the door and walked back inside the room. For one fleeting second he thought of collapsing back in the armchair, but then he felt his eyelids drooping, so he went over to blow out the only remaining candle and lay himself on the bed, after retrieving the pillow from the floor. Aah… sleep had never come so welcomed before.
And it could be said that when the two monarchs left Anvard for Narnia the following day, they were both drowsy and heavy with sleep, and King Lune began to wonder whether it was because of how late the ball went last night, but Edmund and Lucy assured him it was nothing of the sort, that they were just tired. That made the older monarch at peace. But despite the sleepy eyed condition of the two young Narnian rulers, last night was probably the best time they had on this whole vocation.
And Edmund promised himself from that day on, that he would never fall for Lucy's Pouting Face again.