Disclaimer: I do not own the Chronicles of Narnia or any of the events, characters, or places therein
Disclaimer: I do not own the Chronicles of Narnia or any of the events, characters, or places therein.
A/N: What happened in the secret conversation between the traitor and the Lion that bright spring morning in Narnia? Based on the scene in the movie, LWW. Edmund's point of view. I would really really appreciate reviews…;)
Special thanks to my anonymous reviewer queenchristythenoble, who suggested on her review of "Nothing?" that I should try this conversation. Hope it's good enough for you.
When I awoke, the first thing my half-awake mind registered was the strange feeling of warmth that flooded my sore body. Strange, because the only feeling I had felt for the past few days was that of bitter cold. For a moment, I just lay there, completely immersed in the warm, relaxation. I breathed deeply. Then I breathed again. The warm spring air filled my lungs, and a fresh, cool breath of wind played across my face and ruffled my hair.
The last time I had felt like this was when Father took all of us to our grandparent's summer house at the warmest beach in England on vacation. It had been sunny there, and I still remembered the feel of sunlight on my face and the salty, invigorating sea air in my face.
For a moment, I thought I was back on that beach. Then I remembered. The last thing I could remember was the knife, the Witch's evil smile, and the dwarf taunting me. And then…we were attacked…and rescued? Hope flooded into my heart, and I finally opened my eyes. The warmth didn't go away.
I was in a fine, gold and red colored tent. The front flap was open, letting in the soothing beams of sunlight and the sweet spring wind. I don't know if I've ever been so glad to see the sun. It seemed like when I was with the Witch, clouds always gathered overhead. At least, the sunlight wasn't warm like this. Merely cold, as if a bitingly cold wind blew away all the warmth in it. But now, the cold was gone. Or most of it, anyway.
For a long, wonderful moment, I just melted back among the soft cushions I was on. How I had got there, I didn't really know. Or care, right then. All I knew was that I was safe, and she wasn't there. The warmth of the sun flowed over me, relaxing my very sore, very tired muscles. Then, my stomach rumbled, and I tried to remember how long it had been since I had eaten.
It must have been the rock…er, bread in the Witch's castle, I realized.
I hated to get up, to leave the comfort of my cushion, but I was hungry. I stepped outside the tent, and then stopped short. Not really in amazement; I'd seen strange creatures at the Witch's camp. But maybe in fear.
A huge, tough-looking centaur, maybe twice as tall as me, with a stern face, glared down at me.
"Uh…" I didn't really know what to say. What could I say? I was the bad guy.
"How are you feeling, Son of Adam?" the centaur asked, though I could tell from his tone of voice that wasn't the question he really wanted to ask.
"Fine," I said lamely, still not sure what to say.
He put his head to one side, and narrowed his eyes skeptically.
"Are you? You fainted when we found you at the Witch's camp."
I turned red, and winced at the mention of her. And at the hostility in his voice.
"Speaking of the Witch's camp," the centaur continued, "I'd like to know how you got there."
His hand went to his sword hilt, though I'm sure it was just a natural reaction.
"I…she kidnapped me," I lied quickly. How could I tell the truth? I didn't even want to believe what I'd done. Who would want to admit that they'd betrayed their family?
"Did she?" the centaur said darkly, gripping his sword hilt. "Or is that just a lie?"
So he saw through me. I should have known. I opened my mouth to reply, but then realized that I didn't have a good answer. Luckily, a voice from behind me saved me from having to answer. What a voice! When it spoke, the whole world seemed to shake, from the blades of grass beneath my feet to the clouds in the sky. My heart shook too. It was a golden voice, a strong voice. Deep and certain, and…loving.
"Peace, Oreius," the voice said sternly.
The centaur jerked his head around, an expression of surprise on his face. He bowed deeply when he saw who it was. I couldn't move; I couldn't turn around. I wasn't sure I wanted to. I knew the voice belonged to someone who knew what I had done. I knew that the owner of the voice was the someone I had feared ever since I had first heard his name at the Beavers' house. How could I turn?
But somehow, I did. And when I saw the huge Lion before me, my heart almost stopped beating. I dropped to my knees, knowing that before me stood the King of All. How could He not be? I couldn't look at Him. His fiery brightness was too intense. And I was afraid of what I might see in His eyes.
"Edmund, Son of Adam," came that terrible, wonderful voice again.
And I had to look up. I couldn't not. But I was glad when I did.
The Lion was as bright as the sun, and the warmth that went with the sun was with the Lion too. But I couldn't look at his eyes. I couldn't bring myself to that.
"Walk with me, Son of Adam," the Lion said gently.
I looked down again, and slowly stood up. I could hear Oreius' hoofs go away softly behind us. The Lion began walking, and I had to follow. He took me up a rocky hill, until we stood upon the top, looking down on the camp and the surrounding landscape. It was then that He spoke again.
"Do you see that castle, on the shore of the sea, Son of Adam?"
I looked up from the ground, and followed His gaze, somewhat surprised at the question. I had been expecting something much different.
"I see it," I said after searching for a moment. "The one shining in the sunlight?"
"Your eyes see far," the Lion answered in approval. "That is Cair Paravel, the castle of the Four Thrones."
Four Thrones? I thought quickly. Hadn't the Beavers mentioned something about Four Thrones and a prophecy? They had thought it was me and my siblings, but that couldn't be now. What country would want a traitor for a king?
"Your brother, as the eldest, shall be the High King," the Lion continued, "but that doesn't necessarily mean that the younger brother will always be in his shadow."
My eyes jumped up as I realized what he had said. Me? A king? But of course, Peter would be the High King. No, I thought, stopping that train of thought. That's how I had gotten into trouble the last time. Besides, I thought with a pang of guilt, Peter really deserves to be a king. Whenever people saw us as a family, they always commented quietly to my mother how handsome Peter was, how strong, how good. It didn't matter what it was they said. Peter had it all. And the problem was, he really was good. He was always the one doing the right thing. I was the only one who didn't listen to advice or obey our parents.
I don't deserve it, my heart cried out. I don't deserve to be a king.
"What do you deserve?" asked the Lion's voice in my head. "It is not because you deserve this thing that I give it to you."
"But why? Why Aslan?" I asked, using His name for the first time, and forgetting that we had not yet spoken out loud of these things. "Why would you make me king? Don't you know what I've done?"
In my anguish, I looked up at the great Lion, and finally caught sight of His eyes. Aslan's eyes were full of love, such love that the sight of them pierced my heart and finally broke the last barrier of ice that the Witch had left behind. In His eyes, I saw that he knew everything. I saw understanding, forgiveness…and hope.
"I know what you have done," Aslan said softly. "I know, my son."
His great grey eyes filled with huge, crystalline tears, and I knew that smaller tears, less perfect , were filling mine too.
"Aslan…I'm so sorry…" I couldn't go on. What could I say that would make everything all right?
"My son, you have done wrong," Aslan said gently. "We both know this."
"Edmund, I have seen your heart. I know what you long for, and I feel your hurt and pain at being abandoned by your father, when he left for the war, and your mother, when she sent you away. I have felt your pain of being isolated in your family, the one who feels like nothing he does is right. I know, my child, and I know that you regretted every single one of those angry words with Peter and Lucy and Susan as you sat in the Witch's dungeon."
The tears rolled freely down my face, but I held the great Lion's gaze as his words spoke in my mind.
You have the heart of a king, Edmund. And because of the injustices you have faced, especially the ones you brought upon yourself, you will become a wiser, better person. My father knows this, Edmund. You have been chosen for this task. I believe in you, Edmund. You will be as great a king as your brother. I know…"
His words echoed through my mind, and I felt the warmth of the Lion's love again. The love of the Son.
I barely heard the sharp, excited cry as I thought about what he had said.
"All is forgiven," Aslan said in his deep, loving voice. "Now you must face your family."
I looked over toward where the cry had come from, and saw Peter holding Lucy back, giving her The Look. Susan stood behind them. And for some reason, I felt a different feeling when I looked at them, different from all the other times I had looked at them with a smoldering hate, angry at them and the rest of the world. Now, I knew that I loved them more than anything else. Even Peter.
As Aslan and I made our way down the hill, I dashed my tears away. When I finally stood before my brother and sisters, I could feel the tension in the air. They weren't sure what to say. And neither was I. What could I say? How could I look them in the eye again after what I had done?
I looked at the ground.
"What's done is done. There is no need to speak to Edmund about what is past," Aslan said softly, looking pointedly at Peter.
He walked away, and we stood there in silence for a moment. I managed the courage to look up at Peter. In his eyes, I saw anger, but also pity and…could that be love?
"Hello," I said, breaking the terrible silence.
Then Lucy, dear little thing, immediately stepped forward and wrapped her arms around me. Even after all I had done. So this time, I didn't fight the hug, even though she pushed against several bad bruises which hurt like mad. I hugged her back. After a moment, even though I could have stayed like that for ages, Susan stepped forward with a forgiving, gentle smile, and gave me a hug too. This time I couldn't keep from wincing as her arm brushed against one particularly bad bruise.
"Are you alright?" she asked, her expression changing to one of concern, as she looked me over, noticing every cut and bruise.
"I'm a little tired," I said truthfully, realizing how hoarse my voice sounded.
"Get some sleep," Peter said abruptly, jerking his head back toward a large, red and yellow tent, like the one I had woken up in.
Our eyes met for a moment. His cold blue eyes looked into mine, and I wasn't sure what to say. He should be angry, I knew; he had right to be. I had tried to kill him and the girls. I knew I shouldn't expect forgiveness from him, but after what had happened with Aslan, there was reason to hope.
Something in his expression told me he wasn't about to just let go, though, and I wasn't about to argue with him. I knew it was hard to let me back in after I betrayed them all. So I just nodded and started toward the tent. Susan and Lucy watched me go. After I passed him, I heard him spin around.
"And Edmund…" he began quickly, as if he was about to say something that he'd rather not.
I turned slowly. This was it. The ice in his eyes had melted, and Peter, always one for hiding emotion, fumbled for words, and finally said lamely, "Try not to wander off."
I had to grin. I knew it was his way of forgiving me, and asking me for forgiveness. And when I grinned, he grinned back. We were a family again.