Title: Trust This, Trust Us
Disclaimer: I do not own The Chronicles of Narnia, etc, etc.
Note: The answer to challenge 12 – Trust. An exploration of Edmund's feelings before and after the events in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. The next few weeks are going to be busy so this will probably be the last challenge answer for a bit. Hopefully I can jump back in it soon!
His siblings had never trusted him.
The young boy grimaced as he rolled over to face little 7 year old Lucy who stood next to his bed, shivering in a light nightdress. "Lucy, it's the middle of the night, go back to bed."
Lightning flashed from the storm that brewed outside. The following thunder caused both the children to jump, though Edmund hid his movement by pulling his covers up closer. Lucy climbed onto the bed next to him. "The storm is getting closer. I…I can stay with you if you want."
Edmund grimaced. So what if he could barely sleep when there was a thunderstorm? He was 9 years old, too old to be coddled…especially by his baby sister! He shoved her roughly so that she barely had time to get her feet underneath her before she hit the floor. "Go away. I'm not scared of any storm!"
He turned his back as Lucy headed for the door. Thunder struck again, but Edmund, of course, didn't see Lucy's frightened eyes as she darted down the hall to her parents' room for comfort.
They always thought they knew better than he did.
Edmund scowled as Susan handed him his heavy coat. "It's too warm for that!"
Susan matched his scowl with her own frown. "It's getting close to winter. It may be sunny now, but it's going to get chilly later. You'll need it when we walk back from the restaurant."
Still glaring, he reached past her and grabbed his light jacket. Ignoring Susan, who was rolling her eyes, he hurriedly pulled on his coat. When Susan tried to help him button it and straighten the collar, he swatted at her hands. "I can get dressed by myself!" Giving up, Susan turned to help Lucy with her winter coat.
When they left the restaurant Edmund could not stop shivering from the cold autumn air. He ignored Susan when she tried to wrap her scarf around his neck, then scowled when she gave it to Lucy instead.
They didn't think that he could do anything by himself.
"Ed, wait!" Edmund scowled as he stormed away from Peter, who was sporting scraped knuckles from 'saving' his little brother from a rather large bully. The blond-haired boy quickly caught up to him. "Edmund, are you alright?"
Edmund glowered at his older brother. "Why did you have to do that?" he demanded.
Peter looked decidedly confused. "Do what?"
"Go after Donald like that!"
The puzzled expression did not leave Peter's face as he gently grabbed Edmund's arm, trying to get him to stop. "He was hurting you!"
Edmund jerked his arm away, but did stop, still glaring at Peter. "I can take care of myself! I don't need you to try and help me when I don't need it!"
Fuming, Edmund turned and resumed storming away. "Just leave me alone, Peter!" The young boy was too busy inwardly fuming about how Peter didn't think he was able to protect himself to see the hurt look that crossed his older brother's face.
Paradoxically in Narnia, even though he had once turned them in to the White Witch, his siblings seemed to actually trust him.
A clap of thunder caused Edmund to shoot upright in his bed. He wasn't really afraid of thunder anymore, but the sound still caused involuntary shudders to pass through his body. At least, that's what he told himself.
The door to his room in Cair Paravel opened, revealing an 8 year old Lucy, clad in a dryad-made nightgown. Edmund smiled at his little sister. "Lu, what are you doing up?"
Climbing into bed next to him, Lucy put her arms around her brother. "The storm is really close. I thought I might…stay with you?"
Edmund hugged Lucy back. He recognized the fear in her voice, fear she was valiantly trying to hide as she sought comfort by being a comforter. "Thanks, Lucy. Maybe I can actually get some sleep tonight. We do have a country to run now, you know."
Lucy grinned and squirmed beneath the covers, until she was comfortable. Edmund sighed in mock exasperation as she kicked him for more room, but in truth he was happy that she trusted him to be the one to comfort her. Feeling safe from the storm, both siblings soon fell fast asleep.
They worried, but they did what they could to help him in all his endeavors.
Edmund dashed through the halls of Cair Paravel. Caladus had let him out of training rather late, and now the young king has only a few minutes to wash up and get dressed before he had to meet the ambassador from Calormen. When he finally reached his room, he was surprised to see Susan there. "Su?"
The elder queen frowned at the dirty site before her eyes. "Edmund, you look like you were wrestling in a pig-sty!"
Edmund grinned. "Basically. Caladus thought I needed to learn how to fight better in mud, and Grun the Boar kindly let us use his wallowing hole."
Susan shook her head, but there was a twinkle in her eye that betrayed her amusement. "Well, I had your attendants draw up a hot bath that's ready for you now. And I set out some clothes that I think will do well for the meeting with the Calormene ambassador."
"Thanks, Susan, you're a life-saver!"
Susan smiled slightly, but as she left she put a hand on his (muddy) shoulder and gave him a serious look. "Be careful with the ambassador, Edmund. I don't like the look in his eyes; I think he means trouble."
Edmund shrugged, but knew it would be smart to take his sister's advice. "He probably does mean trouble. Though I bet I'll look so impressive in whatever outfit you picked out that he'll run blubbering back to the Tisroc."
Susan laughed, used to his teasing and fully aware that Edmund had faith in her ability to pick out the clothes which, combined with Edmund's own surprisingly imposing presence, would make just the right impression on the shifty Calormene. She smacked him lightly in the arm and left, but not before instructing him to hurry to the bath. "You don't want your smell to kill the ambassador after all."
Most importantly, his siblings trusted him to watch their backs as they watched his.
The two kings of Narnia fought side by side in the thickest area of fighting. The trolls converged upon them, but the brothers fought almost as one person, fending off their enemies. Though surrounded, Peter and Edmund were confident in their abilities and in each other, even as they were attacked on all sides.
His swords already engaged against two trolls, Edmund could not turn to meet the third as it thundered towards him, club raised to bash in the young king's head. The blow never came, as Peter thrust Rhindon into the belly of the beast. Then, just in time, Edmund dispatched the two already in front of him, for another troll lunged at Peter, whose back was turned as he protected his brother. Edmund quickly killed that one before falling back into his usual fighting stance, back to back with his brother, ready to take on the next enemy who dared to test the strength of the Narnian kings.
The battle soon ended with the trolls in retreat and with few casualties on the side of the Narnians. Edmund grinned at his brother, energized by the after-battle euphoria that usually overtook them when they had won and both were alive and well. "Glad you caught that one troll, Peter, or I would have been a goner for sure! Though you should not have left your back so open to attack."
Peter smiled back and slung one armoured arm around Edmund's shoulders. "As if I would let anything happen to you, little brother. Besides, I knew you had my back covered."
With a laugh, Edmund gave his brother a friendly push. "I always do, older brother mine. I always do."
Perhaps, just perhaps, his siblings had always trusted him. The difference, he supposed, was that he had learned to trust them as well.
Not sure I really like how this turned out. It was supposed to show that Lucy didn't come to Edmund because she thought he was scared but because she wanted to be comforted; that Susan trusted Edmund's judgement but wanted to help; and that Peter knew Edmund could fight but just wanted to protect his brother if he could. The problem was how Edmund viewed his siblings' actions. I'm just not sure that got across. I also dislike the title: I thought about Trust's Evolution but thought that sounded corny, though maybe it's better than the one I picked which, for some odd reason, is a line from Peter Jackson's version of The Two Towers in a completely unrelatable scene.