Disclaimer: Wow, all good things in life really DO belong to Disney…
"Someone's poisoned the king!"
The news spread throughout the kingdom, flying on the wind. The birds sung it from the treetops, the dryads whispered it amongst themselves, and the animals shamelessly gossiped in disbelief. The centaurs were among the only beings not shocked by the news, for the stars had proclaimed misfortune to come.
The great castle of Cair Paravel was in chaos. Servants were scrambling around frantically, trying to clean up the hall from the earlier meal. Healers were running around the castle, each getting in the way of each other's efforts to help their good king. The court's advisors were hurrying to attend the sudden court session that had been called in response to the king's plight. And in the midst of it all, one badger was trying to gain control of the mess.
Trufflehunter called to a passing servant. "Go get some—!" The
servant ran right by him.
"Call—," the badger began to someone else, only to be ignored once more. Trufflehunter scowled. All night long he'd been trying to gain some control of the castle or find out some new news on the king, and all night long there had continued to be a steady state of chaos and nothing on the king was heard. A small figure suddenly caught his attention out of the corner of his eye.
"Ah! Reepicheep!" he called to the mouse who bounded over to him amidst the scurrying feet of passers by.
"Trufflehunter," the valiant mouse responded angrily. "When I find out who did this, I'll—"
"Yes, yes, that's nice," the badger cut in. "But before we can take revenge, we need to figure out who poisoned the king!"
"I'll tell you who did it. It's one of those blasted Telmarines. They're still mad that Caspian let us Narnians have our country back."
"I'll have you remember that our good King Caspian is one of those 'blasted Telmarines', in case you've forgotten," Trufflehunter retorted.
Reepicheep shrugged the comment off. "All the same, I'll bet you anything it was one of them that did it, and when I get my tail on them…" The mouse trailed off.
"Doctor Cornelius!" Trufflehunter called, seeing the man walking around the corner. The good professor briskly walked over to them, nodding his head in respect. "How's the king?" the badger asked when the tutor reached them. If anyone would know how Caspian was doing, it would be Doctor Cornelius.
The half-dwarf twirled his beard around for a minute before answering. "The good news or the bad news?"
"Good," Trufflehunter answered, at the same time that Reepicheep said, "Bad."
Doctor Cornelius laughed for a short moment before turning serious. "Well, he's still running a high fever, and he keeps vomiting up blood, but the healers say that if he hasn't died yet, there's a small chance that he'll survive. It's only a small chance, but a chance is a chance nonetheless."
"Is there nothing anyone can do for him?" the badger questioned.
"We're searching for the queen Lucy's vial. If anything can save him, that can, but no one has seen it since the queen herself was here those few months ago."
"Can we see him?" the intrepid mouse asked.
"I was on my way there myself. As chief advisor, it is my duty to know how he's doing."
"Speaking of advisement, how is the court session going?"
"Not too good. Someone let it out of the castle that the king's been poisoned, and the dryads sang it from their leaves. Now the whole country is in a state of disarray. In fact, I believe the only ones who don't know are the Telmarines. The Men. Which, in actuality, is very lucky because you do remember how the Tisroc of Calormen has been pressing for war with Narnia ever since Caspian took over the throne, correct? If news got out to them that our country was in such disarray, I would fear to see what would happen. But, come, that is a matter for another time. Let us go see how our king is doing," the doctor beckoned, heading off in the direction of the king's chambers, Trufflehunter and Reepicheep right behind him.
If they thought the rest of the newly rebuilt castle was pandemonium, they were in for a shock when they reached Caspian's rooms. It was crawling with different people, beasts, and even a few dwarves, all tripping over each other in an effort to force their own remedy onto the king.
Trufflehunter was beyond fed up with the mess. At this rate, Caspian would die before anything would get done.
"ENOUGH!" he bellowed, and the room instantly stilled, all eyes turning to the usually patient badger. "We only need one person in here working on the king at the moment! Everyone who is not a certified healer leave." When no one moved, the badger barked out, "Now!" A few seconds later, the room was almost completely clear; only two men remained.
"Well, how is he?" the mouse asked, scampering over to the bed on which the teenaged king lay in a fitful sleep.
"The vomiting has temporarily ceased, but the fever's gotten worse since you were last here," the first man, Lord Tungsten, addressed the professor. "I take back what I said earlier. It is very unlikely that he'll survive tomorrow, and even if he does, he won't survive past the day after."
"Not without Queen Lucy's cordial…" Trufflehunter mused.
"Not to offend you, but I would not place my hope for the king's life in old Narnian legends," the other healer said.
"Do not doubt the Deep Magic, Lord Glynn," Doctor Cornelius responded, moving over to the bedside.
"Yes, that vial saved my life once!" Reepicheep piped up.
"Besides," a weak, raspy voice broke in. "I thought you would've…learned about…doubting Narnian tales…when I…defeated…my uncle."
"My king!" the mouse exclaimed, looking down at Caspian. The boy smiled weakly up at his most valiant knight.
"Reepicheep," he managed to rasp out before beginning to hack violently. Tungsten was at his bed in an instant, turning the young ruler onto his side. The three Narnians were alarmed at the amount of blood that spewed forth with each cough.
"How long…?" Caspian managed to get out during a brief interlude before the coughing started again. Glynn waited until the king had stopped coughing (for real, this time) and been returned to laying on his back to respond quietly.
"The day after tomorrow at the very latest, highness." Caspian managed a nod, a small action that required a lot more energy than it should have.
"If you could tell us where the queen Lucy's tonic is, Caspian," the old tutor attempted. The fevered young man mumbled something incomprehensible under his breath, drifting back into oblivion. Glynn and Tungsten hopped into motion, returning the teen to his back.
Reepicheep sighed in frustration. "Our king is dying and we can't do a thing about it except look for something that no one has seen for nigh on six months!"
"And where is that great lion when you need him?" another voice joined the conversation. The mouse looked up from his perch to see that Trumpkin had entered the room.
"Trumpkin!" Trufflehunter scolded. "Don't talk about Aslan in that manner!"
"All I'm saying," the red-dwarf relented before turning to Doctor Cornelius. "They've got a situation in the council room, demanding that you come immediately." The professor frowned before quickly exiting the room.
"What kind of situation?" the badger asked once Cornelius was out of earshot.
"The naiads warn of the Calormens making good on that promise of theirs to attack Narnia. They're sailing this way as we speak."
"Foul play!" the mouse cried in outrage. "This is no coincidence! We have a traitor amongst us!"
Trufflehunter nodded in agreement. "But as for now, there's nothing we can do except pray that Caspian lives and we survive this threat."
Doctor Cornelius, meanwhile, had a difficult decision in front of him, having been informed of the situation. The king was lying on his deathbed and the Calormens were on their way by sea to start a war. It was true that Narnia had once had the most strongest, most well-built navy, but since the Telmarines were generally afraid of the sea, it had been destroyed since they had invaded. It didn't take a military man to see that, and that was exactly what the professor wasn't. Which was problem number two, considering he was currently in control of the kingdom. With things continuing the way they were, Narnia would be destroyed and overrun by the Calormens in no time at all. They were in a bad situation. They needed help…and he knew right where to get it.
"Bring the horn," the order went out. The horn of Queen Susan the Gentle was brought before the half-dwarf, and he gazed at it in adoration for a moment, remembering the difficulties and hardships he had undergone to reclaim this for Narnia. It had saved Caspian's life once, and if everything worked out well, it would save his life again. Without a second thought, Doctor Cornelius put it to his lips and blew, long and hard.
And at that moment, a world away, four children felt the call.
Adrian: Well, I hope you all liked it! I'm trying something different. Not only am I doing a non-humour story, I'm writing a Narnia fanfiction. That's a big first for me. After all, I've only been a fan of Narnia since, well, forever. I've read all the books AT LEAST five times each. However, the movie inspired something deep within me, so I now present you all with this. Please tell me if you would like a bit of SusPian in it, for I would add some, but otherwise it'll by ix-nay on the romance.
Anyway, please Read and Review!