Anything you recognize as C.S. Lewis' brilliant imagination is not my own. I only own my words and my storyline—and even that is questionable. :)
Silent Whispers of a Ghost
Edmund is knocked unconscious in a dirty fall, only to wake up in a world where the past is different, and the future untold.
Author's Note: I must first say that this is my first Narnia fanfiction, and I have only watched the two movies (the first one more times than I'd like to admit, and the second one twice since it was released on Friday). I have never read the books—though it is not without wanting to! I have also read many fanfictions where the authors have seemed to read the books, so I'm hoping I have a good enough grasp on the characters. If I don't, please don't yell at me! Whatever's on this page is the best I could get. Also, if any facts of Cair Paravel are off… you know why.
Additional Author's Note: This story is far too short than I myself would have preferred, but considering my recent lack of inspiration and my on-settling writer's block, it was all I could manage. If someone would like to take this idea and turn it into a multi-chapter story please, be my guest! The only thing I ask is keep true to the bond between Peter and Edmund—without such, there would be no story, even from me.
Edmund laughed to himself as he leaned on the balcony of Cair Paravel, overlooking his brother and sisters playing on the beach amongst themselves. It was now four summers past since the first Battle of Beruna, and the White Witch's downfall. Since then, things had been good to Edmund, though it was only in the most recent years that he had finally started to forgive himself for joining her ranks and betraying his family—much to Peter and the girls' dismay, for they had been trying to relieve him of his guilt since the moment he arrived back to camp after having been rescued. But now things were better, and Edmund hoped they would stay that way.
It was the fourth anniversary of the White Witch's fall from power, and the four definitely had a reason to celebrate. The day had been filled with celebration and goblets of wine. Now that night had fallen, Edmund could finally find peace with himself as he watched over his siblings, in much fashion that Peter would do some nights when the three youngest Pevensie children would wander around the grounds without guards.
"Ed!" Peter yelled up to the balcony, so far away that Edmund could barely hear his brother, but powerful enough to snap Edmund out of his thoughts. "Come join us!" Their sisters looked onward, nodding eagerly for the Just King to join in their fun and relax a bit.
It would be a lie to say that the past few weeks weren't stressful and tiring for the Kings and Queens of Narnia. Oreius had learned of a new threat, and as the General of Cair Paravel, he had been sure to alert the Majesties as soon as he could. Unfortunately, he hadn't much information past who roamed just on the outskirts of Narnia, threatening their very safety and home. Thinking up a battle strategy and forming armies to take care of the new threat had taken time, but now the Pevensie children could finally have a moment to themselves. They had time to breath and relax, and just be kids for a few days before returning to their usual duties. They were sure even Aslan would agree that they needed a break every now and then to just laugh and enjoy life.
Edmund looked upon his siblings fondly, though he'd never tell them such things. While he had trouble showing it sometimes, he knew that he would not be where he was that day without the aid and support of the other three. They were his rock, Peter more so than the girls. Edmund could remember some of the days of his childhood with his brother like it was just yesterday. The war, their father leaving, and school had torn them apart—but Narnia, along with so many other magical abilities, was able to bring the brothers back to how they used to be; how they would always be from now on.
"I'm coming, I'm coming!" Edmund yelled down at his siblings, who laughed as he shook his head and turned to leave the balcony. Though the Just King was not prepared for what he had happen to see in that instance.
There, just feet before him, stood a ghostly wisp of air that bore great resemblance to Jadis. She was reaching out for him, her venomous smile beckoning him forward to touch her, free her, make her whole again. Edmund felt a scream pass his lips, though did not hear a sound except the crack in the balcony, the support giving away and allowing Edmund to slip past, hurdling towards the hard ground below. The last sound that reached his ears was that of his terrified siblings.
The Just King woke with a start, looking around at his scenery in a panicked state. The last thing he remembered was—actually… he didn't remember much of anything. He rubbed his head, finding a sore spot on the back, and climbed out of what he assumed was his bed (had someone redecorated it in his slumber, without his knowing?). He walked over to a mirror that lay on a table on the other side of the room, lifting it up to get a good look at any injuries he may have.
But wait. Something was wrong. Wasn't he supposed to be… older? His reflection seemed a bit young in his eyes, but maybe that bump on the back of his head was impairing his judgment at the moment. Yes, that was it. He didn't look younger—his vision was simply off for the time being. Which had to be nature, was it not? Considering he couldn't even remember what had happened in the first place, only that he head a terrible headache.
Edmund briefly wondered what time it was and rubbed his stomach, the ache for food almost too much to bear. It was at that moment that Peter walked into the room, seemingly distracted. Something was troubling his brother, Edmund could tell, for Peter was deep in thought. And wait… did he not seem younger too?
"Peter, what happened? I have a lump on the back of my head the size of—" Edmund then realized that Peter wasn't paying attention, instead just sat down on his own bed. The younger of the two raised his eyebrows, before walking over to his brother and sitting down next to him. "Pete?"
Peter still didn't say a word to Edmund as he quickly stood up and made to exit the room. Edmund also stood up, looking after his brother with a confused stance, crossing his arms. "Well fine!" he called at the door as Peter started to make his way down the hallway. "Be that way! Two can play that game, Mr. Magnificent!"
Edmund huffed to himself and looked down at his stomach as it decided to grumble again. He rolled his eyes and wondered briefly to himself what had been made for breakfast as he quickly made his way out of the room. And yet again, something seemed off. He may not remember recent events, but he knew Cair Paravel when he saw it, and this was definitely not it—at least not the Cair that Edmund was so accustomed to seeing. It wasn't bright, it wasn't cheery, it wasn't full of the warmth that usually encompassed it. Not to say that the place was fit for a funeral, but something seemed to be missing from the very core of the Cair. It wasn't so much the different tapestries and larger statues that bothered Edmund—for he was used to Susan redecorating without warning, whenever she felt the need arise—but it was the pure anguish that radiated off of every fragment of Cair Paravel. He did not feel the need to smile as he usually did in the morning, save the moments that he was first waking up.
Walking into the dining chambers, Edmund looked upon his sisters enjoying their last bits of toast and butter. He slunk into a chair next to Lucy, grabbing the last grape from her plate and munching on it lightly. It took her not but a moment to notice that it was gone, and her brow furrowed in confusion. Susan seemed to notice Lucy's concern, and immediately questioned the youngest of the siblings.
"Is something the matter, Lu?"
"Oh, it's nothing… I just could have swore I had one last grape left… Nevermind it, then."
Edmund couldn't help but smile to himself at this, and looked around the table in anxiety for his meal. When four plates were usually set out for breakfast, it seemed that only three were there now. One was half eaten, and Edmund could only suppose that Peter had eaten before that ridiculous game he played in the room, while the other two belonged to the girls. Well… what about his plate? What about his food? What was he supposed to eat?
His stomach gave another painful growl and he looked down at it, scowling. "Yeah, yeah. Sod off, I'm trying." He stood from his seat and made his way into the kitchen, looking around at the fauns trying to keep everything in a tidy order as a few dwarfs here and there prepared some drinks for the ladies still in the dining chambers. He crossed his arms, glaring at his subjects. "Who thought to be wise and keep my breakfast from me?"
Except… no one answered.
"Oy, you lot, this isn't funny anymore!" Edmund yelled, furious that everyone seemed not to notice his presence this day. All he was asking for was a little recognition from his brother and a spot of breakfast to cure the painful digestive movements his stomach was making in attempt to gain some food from him. He didn't know why he was so hungry. Of course, he always woke up in anticipation for breakfast, but this was different. He felt as if he hadn't eaten in days—the way his memory was treating him at the moment, he wouldn't be surprised if he hadn't.
When no one even dared to look up at the Just King, Edmund sighed in frustration. "Some servants you are," he grumbled to himself as he walked back into the dining chambers, just in time to hear a tad bit of conversation between Susan and Oreius (apparently Lucy had departed from breakfast in Edmund's haste to get something to eat).
"What is troubling you, my Queen?" Oreius asked as Susan sat in her seat at the table, looking down at her barely touched food.
"Worry not, King Peter is well."
Susan shook her head, looking up at the Centaur. "That's just it, he isn't!" she exclaimed with an exasperated sigh. "It's the first anniversary of the Battle of Beruna—"
Edmund couldn't bring himself to listen any further. First anniversary? No, that wasn't right. Silly Susan, she mustn't had been fully awake yet, or someone put something funny in her morning drink. It wasn't the first anniversary, it was the fourth. Edmund smiled to himself, snorting a laugh. Who knew Susan was so bad with dates? He turned his attention back to the General and the Gentle Queen.
"I'm sure the King will be well, your Majesty. It has been a year past, surely he had learned to let go?"
"No, he hasn't," Susan said softly, looking back down at her food. "He still talks to him, every night. I can hear his hushed whispers as I pass his door… I'm afraid that he's not as stable as he once was. I'm afraid Ed—"
Susan suddenly broke off as a loud crash came to reach their ears from just atop the staircase. Edmund looked at Susan for a moment before the two of them rushed up the stairs, only to come faced with the image of Peter attempting to put a statue back together (one that Edmund figured had been right together before Peter came strolling down the hall).
"Oh, Peter, are you alright?" Susan asked, kneeling down next to her brother and taking the pieces of statue out of his hands, laying them in a pile to the side.
"Even a nymph wouldn't have been able to avoid the misstep of those things on the ends of Peter's legs, which we call feet," Edmund said, snickering to himself. Though, much to his disappointment, neither Susan nor Peter seemed to notice that Edmund had spoke (and if they had, they were ignoring him). Edmund rolled his eyes and walked away from the pair and back down the stairs, making his way to the front gates of Cair Paravel.
The Just… What was that supposed to mean, anyway? He was Just Edmund? He was Just the traitor of Narnia? He was Just a King, while Peter held the title of High King? Why was that fair? Why was Edmund always pushed to the side? And why was he even questioning things like this? He had been ages since he had the 'Just' argument with himself, and even now he knew that his fights before had been ridiculous. Peter needed him just as much as he needed Peter. So why did he feel so helpless right now?
Maybe it was the fact that no matter what, his siblings had always paid mind to him. Now, on top of him not being able to remember any past events, Edmund felt shunned. Had he done something to upset the others, something that was blocked out by this terrible headache that wouldn't go away? Had he been banned from speaking to them because of a prank or an incident. The girls Edmund understood. Sometimes when they got angry they didn't speak; so which was their right. But Peter always paid attention to Edmund.
Ever since the two had been named Kings of Narnia, they had spent much time together. Training, studying, being taught in the arts of the Kings of Narnia before them. They even shared a room together, for it helped both the brothers sleep better at night. Peter and Edmund had gotten close, and now? Now it felt like his brother was intentionally trying to hurt him, trying to break him, trying to tear his spirits away in one swift motion. And, much to Edmund's dismay, it was actually working.
Edmund walked over to a cherry tree in the middle of the orchid. He knew that if any of the fauns found out that he was sitting there, they would surely serve his head on a silver platter. Well, that was one way of making Peter pay attention to him. Though, at his rate, Edmund was sure that Peter wouldn't even notice it was his brother's head instead of supper for the night. The thought of Peter chewing away at him ran a chill down Edmund's spine, and he found himself glancing up at one of the windows of the Cair, where Peter stood by himself, looking over the fair skies. What was wrong here? What was he missing?
A seven year old Edmund sneakily opened his big brother's door, sliding in between the wood without a sound as he started to tip toe over to his brother. However, his attempts at being quiet failed when the sound of thunder shook the night sky, causing the smaller of the two boys to cry out in surprise.
Peter Pevensie of nine years heard the cry from his brother, and immediately straightened up in his bed, searching the darkness for any sign of movement. After a few moments, he allowed himself a small smile and lifted up the covers of his bed, allowing Edmund entrance. "Well hello there, Ed."
"It's scary, Pete!" Edmund cried out in fear, nuzzling his face into Peter's shirt as another clap of thunder shook the clouds, a bolt of lightening lighting up the clouds for all to see.
"Shhhh, Ed, I got you. Nothing's going to hurt you when I'm around," Peter reassured his brother with a smile.
Edmund looked up at the older with a hopeful expression, his eyes glimmering with unshed tears. "Promise?"
"Promise," Peter said, planting a soft kiss on the top of Edmund's head. "Now, let's sleep. Mum will have our heads if she finds out we've been up this late."
"Sing it to me?" Edmund asked with hopeful eyes. Both boys knew of what he spoke; there was a lullaby their mother used to sing to them when they were younger and afraid. She had now to think that they were too older for such things at lullabies, and saved them for Lucy, but Peter didn't mind. Whenever Edmund wanted to hear one, he was more than willing to lend the extra comfort to his brother.
"Of course," Peter said, smiling, as he laid on his back, wrapping a protective arm around his little brother. He hummed a bit of the tune to himself before adding in the words, singing softly to the boy curled up next to him under the covers. "The Sandman's coming in his train of cars, with moonbeam windows and with wheels of stars. So hush you little ones and have no fear, the man in the moon he is the engineer. The railroad track it is a moonbeam bright, that leads right up into the starry night. So come you little ones and run up the stairs, put on your 'jamas and say your prayers. And ride with Mr. Sandman, ride with Mr. Sandman, 'til daylight comes again...
"An you'll see all the wonders of wonderland , in the Sandman's Train," Edmund finished to himself slightly, lolling off to sleep underneath the great cherry tree.
It was much later that night when Edmund finally awoke, engulfed by the darkness of the night sky, nothing to light his way except the knowledge of the Cair and its surroundings. But, even though he knew he way around every inch of the great palace, Edmund will still fairly surprised at how quickly he was able to get to his room in the darkness. He opened the door slowly and quietly, so as if not to wake Peter, and tip toed over to his bed. However, apparently he wasn't as quiet as he had wished.
"Ed?" came Peter's sleep-logged voice through the darkness.
"Yes, Pete. Go back to sleep," Edmund said as he slowly settled himself back into his bed.
"Ed, I tol' you not t'come anymo'," Peter said, still half asleep as he searched for the outline of his little brother.
"Oh, get off it, Peter. This is my room too. Now stop being such a senseless git and let me get some real rest," Edmund said, rolling his eyes as he settled his head on his pillow and closed his eyes.
"Bu…. Su…. and Luce… they're get'n worrie', Ed. C'n hear me talk'n to m'self… You c'nt stay… Yo'r not here an'way."
Edmund was startled by this and looked over at his brother, who was staring at him as intently as he could in his dazed half-slumber. He stared at Peter for a long while before running a hand through his hair. "What do you mean, Peter? I'm right here."
"No yo'r not… Yo'r dead, Edmund."
Edmund laughed a nervous laugh, shaking his head. "I can assure you that I'm very much alive, Peter. I'm not dead."
"White witch… Luce… Cordial di'nt work… Dead, Edmund…"
"I'M NOT DEAD! I'M NOT DEAD!"
Edmund woke with a start, a panic arising in his chest as he looked around his room quickly, taking in every little detail. Nothing was out of plate, nothing seemed to be redecorated. And, oh Aslan, Peter wasn't young still! … Wait, Peter.
"Of course you're not dead, silly," Peter said, a small smile upon his face as he took the cool washrag from his brother's forehead, before dipping it into some more water. He pushed Edmund back down into a laying position and dabbed at his brother's forehead a bit. "Gave us quite a scare, though. Good thing Lucy's been taking lessons with Oreius, I've never seen her run so fast. A good thing she had her cordial on her, too. Or else things might have turned out differently."
Edmund stared over at his brother, confusion written across his face. "The balcony broke," he said softly, struggling to remember exactly what happened.
Peter nodded. "Yes, it did. And don't worry, I've already sent word to Aslan that the White Witch appeared." At the look Edmund gave him, Peter shrugged. "What? You weren't the only one who saw her. She'll be dealt with accordingly, but hopefully she won't be bothersome until the next anniversary."
Peter looked into Edmund's soft brown eyes, his own blue ones questioning as he waited for his brother to speak.
"Stop being such a fussy git, I'm fine!" Edmund pushed his brother's hand and the cloth away from his forehead.
Peter couldn't help but just smile. "Whatever you say, Ed. Whatever you say."