Caspian strolled through the halls, bent on a mission. He wanted to see his aunt. He thought her gentler than his uncle, and perhaps able to change. She had not wanted to kill him and she had not known that Caspian the Ninth's death came at her husband's hand. He wished to offer her a place to stay, to live on in the castle, raising her son. He would provide for their wellbeing for all the days of his life. He had not forgotten her kindness to him. She had rocked him to sleep as a child, bandaged his wounds as a boy, and as he grew, it was she who remembered his birthday and saw to it that there was always a feast prepared and a special gift. Indeed, he had much to thank her for.

Prunaprismia looked frightened; an expression he was not used to seeing on his aunt's face. She held her baby close and curtsied clumsily.

He smiled and looked on the infant's face. "So, it is for you, all this trouble." He smiled. He addressed his aunt: "Is he a good child?"

"The best," the maternal pride was evident as she beamed at the child, "He never cries."

Caspian smiled. "May I hold him?"

Prunaprismia shuddered and held the child closer.

" King," she stumbled over the words, "He is but a baby, please..."

"Do not fear, my aunt, you mistake me for my uncle if you think that I would harm an innocent child," Caspian's words were cold.

Prunaprismia blanched. With trembling hands, she held her son out to her nephew. Caspian took the baby. He looked more like his mother then his father, and for this Caspian was glad. Perhaps the boy would take after his mother, with heart and courage, and not cruelty.

"I shall see that you are well looked after," He raised his head to look at his aunt.

"Thank you, my King, you are most merciful," She curtsied, swooping low and not lifting her eyes to meet his.

"Caspian, please, Aunt."

She nodded.

"You have always been good to, my Aunt, and I will not see such kindness unrewarded. You may live here and raise your son in peace, in his home."

"Caspian," She grabbed his arm, "I am sorry that all this had to happen. I knew nothing of Miraz killing your father, I swear it! I...I suspected he wished you dead, but I did not know the specifics of his plan."

"I believe you."

She sighed. "We cannot stay, Caspian. It would not be wise. Too many people will say I stay to usurp your throne. Many are not so good as you and wish my baby killed, so that no Telemarine may ever again challenge the throne of Narnia."

"I will keep you safe. No word will be said against you!"

She laid her hand gently on his arm. "No, Caspian, we must go. I am the widow of Miraz and that fact is not soon forgotten."

Caspian felt an odd sense of sadness steal over him. It seemed as if the very last thing had been taken from him. His mother and father were gone, his uncle betrayed him, and now, his aunt was to leave him, as well. Sadly, he returned his cousin to Prunaprismia. She smiled gently at him.

"Caspian, for many years, you were as a son to me," She gently kissed his cheek, "Go now, my boy. Please do not worry about us. I have a new life to make."

Caspian nodded and walked slowly to the door. A new life... There were not many things he would miss about his old life, but here was one thing he would never be able to replace.


He turned back to look at her.

"Narnia is blessed to have you for a king."