Summary: The year is 1949 and Madeline Crawford is a student at King's College London. She is studying to be a nurse as she attends school with her twin brother, Henry. As she attends she meets and later befriends Edmund Pevensie.
Just as she finds herself growing closer to him he surprises and shocks her with talks of a magical country hidden at the back of a wardrobe. Thinking him delusional Madeline keeps her distance until tragically, Edmund dies in a horrific train crash.
How will she deal with the revelation that the world Edmund spoke of might possibly be real?
Find out in "Disbeliever!"
The graphite pencil moved effortlessly over the smooth paper as the pencil moved with such grace and determination. It knew exactly where it was going to head, knew what exactly to draw and where to draw it. It knew its exact location as a single hand guided it carefully.
The fingers were curled around the wood, soft yet strong. A firm grip but not too firm as to cause finger cramps and destroy the picture at its climax. For one mistake would shatter all that had been drawn and make the drawing worthless.
And the guider of the pencil couldn't have that. She had sat too long in the sun as it beat down upon her back to give up now. A ringlet of sandy hair fell into her eyes as she blew it away absentmindedly with a huff. She was not going to give a single strand of hair attention that would take away from her drawing.
Her eyes flickered up as they came upon the inspiration to her latest masterpiece. She gazed at it for a moment before looking back to the drawing as she lightly shaded in the shadow that the Larch tree cast across the grassy campus of King's College London.
The hand moved in a jagged pattern as the cones of the Larch were drawn in; as she pressed down to bring out the pattern of the paper. She licked her lips, as she always did, when her drawing was nearing its end. Just a few more touches and it would be complete.
Finished. Never to be worked on or even looked at again. The guider of the hand sighed sadly at the thought as she continued to draw. It was strange, how one would throw themselves into their work. Pouring their heart and soul into it for long periods of time only to have it come to a screeching and halting end.
What did one do after that? After everything they've worked so hard for just suddenly ended. How would they go living? Would they just find new inspiration? Simply forget about their project? Act as if it had never existed?
She did not know. And that thought was scary. So she kept drawing, she kept drawing to keep away the fear of the end. It was like reading a beloved story. You did not want it to end, but yet it must. She looked down at the picture and then back at the Larch with a critical eye. She stared at the tree for a moment before lowering her pencil in triumphant…or was it defeat?
The holder of the pencil was a young girl named Madeline Crawford. At eighteen she had branched out from her parent's townhouse at the outskirts of London and had come here, to King's College London, to get a degree in nursing.
It was a family tradition in the Crawford family of the women becoming nurses. It was either that or have no career besides taking care of the children all day every day. Her mother her briefly been a nurse before coming pregnant with Madeline and her twin brother. Her grandmother and her great-grandmother had also been nurses.
It was a tradition as vast and as long as the River Thames. Madeline tucked the ever persistent strand of hair behind her ear as she lowered her sketch pad daintily onto the grass and slowly, almost catlike, stretched her throbbing limbs. When she was drawing she often forgot of the world around her and of her own body, pushing it to limits that sometimes couldn't be met.
She looked around the campus of the college as students bustled around. Talking and giggling with one another as they carried their textbooks and talked of their upcoming plans for the weekend.
A gentle breeze blew by as it gently caressed Madeline's cheek as she paid it no mind. She was about to get up when someone called out from behind.
"Little Sis!" She turned her head to see her twin brother, Henry, racing towards her ad a maddeningly speed. She had to laugh as he raced past student's knocking into a few as he hastily apologized and kept running.
Ah, her dear Henry. Such a badger he was. His auburn hair was flapping behind him as he ran to her, collapsing down beside Madeline as he wheezed in and out.
"Hullo Maddy." Henry Jacob Crawford III greeted to his sister as Madeline smiled.
"Why must you insist on calling me Little Sis? You're only five minutes older, you know." She said as he chuckled and blew some hair out of his eyes as he rested on the elbows of his arm.
"Because it drives you up the wall." He easily answered as Madeline rolled her eyes and looked ahead. The eldest Crawford children sat in companionable silence for a few moments before Henry finally spied Madeline's sketch book. He smiled deviously as he began to reach for it.
"What have you drawn now?" Madeline's eyes widened as she tried to beat him to her pad but he was too quick. He rolled onto his back and began flipping through the worn pages, ignoring his sister's protests.
He whistled appreciatively as he looked over her latest work of art as his eyes darted to the tree that had served as Madeline's afflatus.
"Wicked." He whispered in awe as Madeline took the time to pull the sketch pad out of his strong grip. She cuddled it to her chest, hugging it as she stared at her brother, a bit self-conscious of him seeing her work.
"Maddy, those were brilliant." Madeline blushed and looked away as she shook her head.
"No they're not. They're just doodles, things I do for fun." Henry snorted and went back to his resting position as Madeline leaned against him.
"Yes, well tons of people would kill to be able to do that in their past time." Madeline only waved him off as she securely tucked her sketchpad into her school bag.
"So how was class?" She asked, knowing her brother had just come from his history class. Henry only grunted he was never one for history. It always bored him something terrible to have to listen to old ancient wrinkly professors go on and on about history and how bloody great it was.
"Don't worry; I'm sure they'll move onto a particularly gory subject such as the Crusades and that will snag your interest." Madeline said comforting her brother, as he only shrugged.
"Perhaps, but all the gore will be overshadowed by the religiousness and holiness of it all." Madeline nodded, for once Henry was right.
"Too true." They once more sat in silence as they enjoyed the crisp fall day. They wouldn't have too many more of these before winter would set in and the ever downpour of rain would be evident.
It was London after all.
Henry played with the blades of grass as he absentmindedly pulled the grass from the earth. Finally he remembered why he had sought out his twin, he turned to her and brightly exclaimed.
"Some of the boys are playing a game of rugby tomorrow at the park, care to join?" Madeline turned to her brother, knowing exactly who the 'boys' were. Henry had had the same friends since he was a child and had gone off to boarding school with the boys and now most of them attended the same college or a university near King's College London.
Madeline knew most everyone herself as she had to put up with all of them over the years as most of Henry's friends had been frequent guests of the Crawford household. Madeline raised an eyebrow as she ran her hands over her blue pleated skirt.
"You want me to come and watch your rugby game?" She asked slowly, wondering why Madeline would ask her. She wasn't the largest fan of sports, everyone knew that.
At this point Henry's cheeks reddened as he coughed and looked away from his sister while he muttered.
"We were hoping…you and your friends…would like to…a-attend." Ah. Now she knew why he wanted her there. He wanted her to bring her friends, well they were more acquaintances, but still they were of the opposite sex of Henry and his mates and that was good enough for him.
"So you're just asking me because of my friends?" She asked, somewhat sadly, as Henry vigorously shook his head, trying to fix his mistake.
"No! I want you there! It's just my friends would like to have some of the girls fawn over then and whatnot and…and I want you there." Madeline slowly smiled.
"Really?" She asked softly as he nodded and loudly proclaimed.
"Absobloodylutely!" Madeline giggled and nodded as she looked Henry in the eye.
"Alright, I'll come and I'll see if I can't persuade some of the girls to come as well." Henry beamed as he smacked both of her cheeks with his lips, giving her loud kisses.
"You're a dime a dozen, Mads!" She laughed and lightly shoved her brother off her as male voices rang out.
"Henry, come on you git!" They both turned to see a group of five or more boys standing in a huddle, waving for Henry to join them. Henry gave an apologetic smile to his sister as she pushed him forward.
"Go on, I need to study for the science test coming up anyway." He nodded and stood as he began to jog toward his chums.
"Remember, half past noon at the park! Usual spot!" he called over his shoulder as she nodded.
"Right, got it!" And then he was gone, laughing and joking with his buddies as they made their way to a café to meet up with some of the girls from campus.
Madeline stayed in her sitting position for another hour or so. She was there in physical means but her mind was other places, places she couldn't even begin to describe. But soon she stood and wiped some stray dust off her skirt and picked up her school bag as she slung it over her shoulder.
A breeze swept past her as she began to walk back to the girl's dormitory which was her home throughout the school year. She nodded her hello to other girls as they hurried past her, loud and giddy as they spoke of beaus and romantic dates and whatever else girls loved to speak of so loudly as if no one else in the world was able to talk except them.
She hurried up the stairs, two stairs at a time, as she finally made it to her level. She walked down the long bleak hallway before finally coming to her wooden door. She pushed it open with a light push to find her roommate, Daphne, standing in the middle of the room.
"What do you think?" She asked as she held up two different dresses. One was long and a mint colored green that went well with her dark green eyes. The other was a satin scarlet red gown that stopped right below her knees and would match perfectly with the blood red lipstick that would be applied to Daphne's lips.
"Red one." Madeline said as Daphne looked it over and nodded, a pleased smile coming across her alabaster face. Daphne loved men. It was a fact. She loved to tease them, date them, and fool around with them, practically anything and everything with them.
There wasn't a night that went by without Daphne Yelverton being on a date. But besides her flaky and promiscuous ways she truly was a bright individual. She wouldn't be at King's College London is she wasn't, it also helped that her grandfather was on the board of trustees, but that was another story.
"So who's the lucky chap now?" Madeline asked with little interest as she placed her book bag down and sat on her woolen bed as Daphne quickly said the boy's name.
"James Aynesworth, you've heard of him, haven't you?" Of course she had heard of James Aynesworth. One of the catches of campus, everyone knew him, every girl wanted him and every boy wanted to be him. Young, handsome, deviously rich and intelligent to boot. He was any girl's dream and Madeline wasn't surprised that Daphne had attached herself to him.
She stared off into space as Daphne began to strip down to her undergarments and began to dress in the red gown. Once that was complete she took out her curlers as her honey colored hair curved around her heart-shaped face. She applied a layer of makeup, making her pale skin even lighter as she placed dark mascara around her eyes, giving her the air of mystery and intrigue. She topped it off with her signature red lipstick upon her plump lips that were infamous to the boys on campus.
"How do I look?" She asked as she twirled like a little girl. Madeline smiled softly.
"Truly great, Daph. You'll knock him dead." Daphne nodded and winked suggestively as she exclaimed.
"I intend to do more than that with the young Mr. Aynesworth." As she chuckled at her own joke as she went to her dresser and picked up her matching red purse as it lightly jingled.
"What are you planning for the evening, Maddy?" She asked curiously as she turned to her quiet friend. Madeline shrugged.
"Read or draw, one of the two." Daphne groaned.
"We really need to get you a social life and fast before you turn into an old granny." Madeline rolled her eyes and countered back.
"Don't you have a date to be on?" Daphne nodded and started heading to the door as Madeline remembered her promise to Henry.
"Daphne!" Daphne turned back to her impatiently as Madeline said.
"The boys are getting together for rugby tomorrow; they want all of us to attend. Think you can past the word around?" Daphne smiled and nodded.
"I'll see what I can do. Don't wait up!" She called over her shoulder as she walked into the hallway and closed the door behind her. Madeline slowly sighed as she leaned back and lay against the scratchy starch pillowcase of her bed. She looked up to the ceiling and prepared herself for a long evening.
Please read and review! I do not own the Chronicles of Narnia!