Title: Knowing Hope
Disclaimer: I don't own the Chronicles of Narnia, or anything found within them.
Note: The answer to challenge 11 - Knowledge. This piece is clearly book-based, as certain scenes in the movie were inconvenient to the plot-bunny. I'm not sure I pulled off what I wanted to get across, but I hope you like it anyway.
"Understand that you have given me Narnia forever, you have lost your own life and you have not saved his. In that knowledge, despair…and DIE!" The knife burrowed itself through fur, flesh, blood, heart. All he saw, though, were Lucy's eyes, filled with horror and disbelief.
Edmund's eyes snapped open, his heart beating wildly. Looking around, he remembered that he was in his bunk, sharing a tent with his older brother, Peter. It was late on the night before battle, before they would come face to face with the Witch's army.
"You all right, Ed?"
He turned to look at Peter who had wearily lifted his head from his pillow. "It's…I'm…." Edmund frowned, frustrated that he couldn't seem to articulate what he wanted to say. "I just feel…know something just happened. Something really…awful."
Peter matched his frown with one of his own. "It was probably a nightmare. General Cassius said a lot of soldiers have them before battle. Don't let it worry you Ed."
Edmund knew it hadn't been a nightmare, it had been horrifyingly real. However, with the images fading, though not the pain, he could only acknowledge Peter's attempt to help him feel better and try to go back to sleep. Even in rest, though, he could not escape the feeling of helpless despair that burned in his heart.
They woke up well before dawn to find Aslan and girls gone. No one had seen any of them leaving, but Edmund knew in his heart what had happened. His dream, though faded in memory, had left him with little doubt that what he had seen was truth: Aslan had taken his place on the Stone Table, and Lucy and Susan had seen the terrible deed done. Guilt lay on Edmund's heart as he and Peter prepared for battle. He knew it was his fault, knew that because he was a traitor Aslan had died, and more would die in the day's battle because the Great Lion was not there to fight. And Edmund would have to live, or die, with the consequences of his actions.
A Faun aided Edmund in mounting his horse, and he steered towards Peter who sat on his steed facing west, towards from where scouts indicated the Witch would come. Edmund intended to bring his horse into line with Peter's, but a strange feeling passed over him and he turned around, facing east towards the Sea. The first rays of the sun were peeking over the horizon. Beneath him, the horse stilled as if sensing the feelings of his rider.
Edmund could not pull his eyes away from the rising sun. In what seemed like hours and seconds at the same time, the sun rose fully over the land and Edmund felt a surge of joy and freedom fill his heart. He knew in that moment, deep in his heart of hearts, that Aslan had defeated death. Someway, somehow, the Great Lion had cheated the Witch of her sacrifice, and now Edmund was completely free: free from slavery to the Witch, free from his treachery.
Turning his horse towards where Peter waited for him, where the army stood ready, Edmund rode with renewed confidence. He knew that, even should he die in battle today, Aslan would always protect Narnia, his family. He knew Aslan loved him. He knew Hope.
The Witch's quote in the very beginning is from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, chapter 14: The Triumph of the Witch, with only a slight personal change in emphasis. My apologies to C.S. Lewis and any who are offended by that.