I was lying in my bed in the unfamiliar palace room, staring up at the ceiling. The thick curtains were drawn covering the room in complete darkness, yet my eyes had adjusted hours ago and I could see the outlines of my furniture.
It was mine and my family's first night in the castle and I found that it was impossible for me to fall asleep. Too many thoughts were rushing in my head and it seemed that there was no chance of stopping them – so here I sat, drowning in my own thoughts.
My eyes scanned the room I was sitting in, taking in, for the millionth time, my new chambers. The first thing I had noticed about it when Aslan had showed me, Peter, Edmund and Lucy around earlier that day, was that it was at least four times as large as my room back in Finchley. There were large bookcases stacked on one side of the room with a desk and sitting chair nearby. Rounding that corner were two doors; the first led to my closet which was already filled to burst with Narnian dresses and frocks and the second led to my own, personal bathroom which was also bigger then my old room. The other walls of the room were covered with shelves and storage and finally, in the middle sat a magnificent, king sized bed covered in lavish, deep purple bedding made of Narnian silks.
I couldn't help but feel completely out of place in my new setting. Although I had to admit that the bed was ridiculously comfortable and everything was beautiful and all I could have imagined – it wasn't quite home. I was so used to the twin bed in the plain room where I could hear Peter's snoring through the thin walls; and I couldn't help but realize that the silence was unsettling despite how much I had complained about being kept awake by the sound of "sneezing hippos" back home.
I smiled to myself and leaned back into the pillows. My thoughts drifted from the new palace home to the events of earlier that day. Today had been the day that Peter, Edmund and the Narnians fought against the Witch and her army; whilst Lucy and I experienced the resurrection of Aslan. As I thought back, I found it incredibly hard to believe that it had all happened but a few hours ago.
I also couldn't believe that a few hours ago I had almost lost my little brother.
I swallowed a lump in my throat as I recalled the event which I had been trying to forget. I remembered seeing Edmund, lying on the battle field gripping his stomach and pain etched obviously on his face. The memories of everything that had happened in those few minutes were etched perfectly in my brain, and I had a feeling that there would be no forgetting them.
Lucy and I had jumped from Aslan's back immediately upon arrival at the battle field. Although he had not said a word to us about it, we both knew that there were things he needed to do.
When we arrived with all of the rescued Narnians in tow, we neared the edge of the cliff, glancing at the scene in front of us. The battle was raging and dead bodies were scattered what seemed like every couple of feet – from both sides. It only took a moment for my eyes to find Peter and my breath hitched in my throat when I saw him at sword point.
I glanced nervously over at Aslan who was also watching my brother closely; I was about to open my mouth and beg him to do something when he opened his mouth and a monstrous roar escaped him, causing the entire battle below to come to a halt. I turned back down to the field, finding that the Witch had paused momentarily to stare in disbelief at the lion. I vaguely noticed her lips move, muttering something, before Aslan pounced from the cliff's edge and landed right on top of her. I quickly put my arm around Lucy and directed her eyes away from Aslan's slaughter of the White Witch.
After a few moments, when the coast was clear, the two of us ran down the hill towards where Peter was. Lucy shouted his name to call his attention as we neared, and she ran towards him and engulfed him in a hug.
There was a calm moment, but that only lasted for a second. My mind began to panic as I glanced up at my brother,
"Where's Edmund?" I asked him anxiously. His head shot up to meet mine, an unidentifiable expression etched on his face. My stomach tightened in nervousness as Peter released Lucy and rushed in a different direction, me close at his heels with Lucy behind.
We slowed as we approached a fallen figure on the field, one of his arms grasping a wound in his stomach and the other almost clawing at the grass, as if trying to hold on. Their breathing was hitched and shallow. My heart almost stopped as I recognized the dark mop of hair and the dark brown eyes, currently filled with immense pain
I was about to rush forward towards my little brother when I saw a dwarf approaching him. He had an axe in hand and a murderous look in his eyes; I automatically knew he was going to bring Edmund's pain to an end by killing him. My arms moved almost mechanically as they pulled an arrow from my quiver and fitted it on the string of my bow. My arms shook slightly as I pulled back on the cord and released, hitting the dwarf precisely in his middle, causing him to fall back in surprise.
With that taken care of, I took the opportunity to run immediately to Edmund. I kneeled behind him, carefully unlatching his helmet and taking it off. I pulled his head on to my lap, feeling the sweat on his forehead and hearing his heavy gasping. I figured it was at this point that I stopped breathing.
I looked up to see that Peter and Lucy had joined us, the latter of which was clawing at her belt to remove the Fireflower juice Father Christmas had given to her not too long ago. She uncorked it feverishly and tipped the bottle over Edmund's mouth. I tilted his head slightly so his mouth opened, and the drop of ruby red liquid fell in to his mouth. He swallowed, coughed and stilled.
It seemed like time had frozen – it hadn't worked. How was that possible? Father Christmas had promised that it would heal any wound, yet here lay my little brother, not breathing and unmoving.
But suddenly, when I felt as if I might as well die as well from the pain in my heart, Edmund gasped and opened his eyes.
Relief washed over me like a tidal wave and a wide grin spread across my face. I looked over at Peter who had tears in his eyes; he gripped Ed by the shoulders and choked out "why can't you ever do as your told" before pulling him in to a tight embrace. Lucy and I immediately joined in, relishing that all four of us were alive and together.
I choked back a wave of tears at the memory, not being able to imagine what would have happened if I had actually lost him. The mere thought of living life without Edmund by my side was unimaginable – he was like my other half, it had always been that way.
Peter had always had Lucy, obviously taking to her vibrant personality and bright smiles, not unlike himself. Although the two of us were the closest in age, there had always been something that kept us from being 100 close knit – like twins. Sure, I loved Peter and Lucy with my entire heart and trusted them completely, but they never quite understood me.
But then there was Edmund. He was surly, moody and stubborn – and he was the one that actually knew who I was and what I felt. We had always connected more with each other; going to other for advice, help or just general comfort and companionship. If I had lost him, I wouldn't know what to do with myself. It would be like losing half of my soul.
As I thought more and more about life without Edmund, my throat felt constricted and I felt anxious. Without another thought I slid from underneath my covers and swung my legs over the side of the bed, slipping my feet in to a pair of plush slippers. I felt around my nightstand for the candle and matches that sat there and carefully lit the wick, being met with a glow of light.
I held it out in front of me as I navigated my new room to the large, double doors that served as the barrier between me and the hallways. I turned one of the knobs and pushed lightly, opening the left door, remembering distinctly that the right one creaked.
I stepped in to the hallway and closed the door behind me. I had to gather my surroundings and think about which direction Ed's room was in before heading to the right, padding lightly against the stone floor. As I walked down the hall I considered how cheery they were during the day and compared that to now, when they were slightly intimidating. I quickened my pace slightly until I reached another set of large, double doors. Etched on to both doors were a sword and a wand, the same symbol that was carved on to Edmund's throne, so I knew I had reached the right room.
I opened the door carefully, so not to wake him up, and tiptoed in to his room. I noticed instantly that he had left the curtains open, allowing the light of the full moon to flood in to his room. I set the candle down on his desk, no longer needing its light, but keeping it burning for the return to my room, and scanned his room. I found it similar to mine in structure, but the decoration was more masculine and Edmund style. His bed was as large as mine covered in dark red covers and sheets. I smiled as I saw his figure almost being swallowed among the pillows and blankets.
I pulled over his armchair and positioned it next to his bed. Before I sat down, I leaned over the bed and pulled his covers up over him. My hand brushed the bandage around his stomach and I cringed lightly. Despite the amazing effects of Lu's cordial, there was still some healing to be done on his wound. I kissed his forehead lightly and curled up in to the surprisingly comfy chair.
I simply sat, relishing in the sound of his deep breathing and watching the rise and fall of his chest. It was these small reassurances that told me he was still alive, something that had only recently become a realistic concern.
The light of the moon glowed eerily against his pale skin, and it wasn't until now that I noticed an uneasy expression etched on his face. I furrowed my brow and leaned towards him, running my fingers through his hair. He moved instinctively towards my touch, yet whimpered in his sleep.
I sighed sadly, figuring that he was having a nightmare; he had been having a lot of those ever since Aslan and the others rescued him from the Witch. His brow was slick with sweat and his body twitched uncomfortably as he continued to let out small moans and whimpers.
I moved myself out of the chair, pushing it back slightly, and instead took a position kneeling next to the bed. I ran my fingers gently through his hair and hummed the lullaby our mother used to sing for us, trying to calm him down.
I stayed like this for minutes, or hours, I wasn't sure, simply repeating the song over and over again, keeping my voice soft and eventually singing the words as well. He scrunched his eyes, a sound escaping him that greatly resembled a dry sob.
I moved my hand to his cheek, a deep frown on my features. I rubbed my thumb gently feeling his body tensed as his eyes fluttered open; they were wide and scared as if he were still locked in his nightmare. He studied my face for a few seconds before tears began to stream down his face.
I instantly stood up, moved him slightly on the bed and got on next to him. I wrapped my arms around him as he sobbed openly, his shoulders shaking violently. I rubbed my hand in small circles on his back in attempt to calm him down.
"Shh, it's okay Edmund" I whispered to him, not noticing in the least the tears that were soaking my nightdress, "you're okay, I've got you".
After a few moments his breathing evened out slightly and he rested his head on my shoulder. I leaned back so that we were lying down, my arms still comfortingly around him.
"It was her, Su. She was hurting me again" he choked quietly.
"She's gone, Ed. She's never going to hurt you ever again. I promise you that" I reassured him. He looked up at me.
"How do you know? How do you know that?" I was so shocked that it took a moment to compose myself. Edmund was so incredibly afraid, a vulnerability showing in his expression that she rarely saw anymore.
"Trust me Edmund Pevensie. Even if she did come back, she would have to go through me before she ever laid a finger on you again" I told him, somewhat sternly.
"And you know how I can be when I'm angry" I added as an afterthought. I was glad I did when I saw a small smile creeping up his features.
"Aslan himself wouldn't stand a chance" he joked, choking slightly on his tears that continued to roll down his cheeks.
I feigned irritation as I tightened my arms around him. After a moment though a released him and lied on my side and placed my arm under my head for support. Edmund turned his head to look at me as well.
"You really scared me today, you know that?" I informed him, returning to a more serious expression.
"I don't know what I would have done without you" I added after a moment, brushing a strand of his hair out of his eyes. He looked down slightly, biting on his lip. I wanted to tell him to stop it so he didn't split his lip again, but I bit back the instinct. This really wasn't the time to scold him like his mother.
"I'm sorry Su" he muttered, not meeting my eyes. I furrowed my brows,
"Sorry about what? It's not your fault you got injured" I asked, placing a finger beneath his chin to raise his eyes to mine.
"I'm sorry for everything. For being a monster back in England, despite the patience you kept with me, for running off and betraying all of you, for putting you, Pete and Lucy in danger, for practically causing that battle – I've got lots of things to be sorry for" he said, his soulful eyes boring in to mine. It never ceased to amaze me the amount of emotion that filled those brown orbs.
"I'd understand completely if you hated me" he muttered quietly, returning his gaze to anywhere but my eyes.
"What?" I asked incredulously, "Ed, I could never hate you. Ever. You mean too much to me" I promised him, complete sincerity in my voice.
"Edmund, what happened is in the past. It's over and done with and no one thinks any less of you. We've all forgiven you, and I think it's time that you forgave yourself" I encouraged, rubbing his arm lightly.
I noticed that he grinned broadly, "what?" I asked him, confused.
"That's almost exactly what Aslan told me when they had brought me to the camp" he explained, looking back up at me. I smiled as well, feeling somewhat pleased at the comparison.
"Perhaps you should try listening to us" I suggested, still grinning.
I glanced out the window to see the moon beginning to dip beneath the horizon line, "you should get some sleep. Big day tomorrow" I reminded him, speaking of our coronation. I found it hard to imagine that Aslan was going to trust his country in the hands of me and my siblings – almost laughable when I really thought about it. But I suppose he knew what he was doing; he wasn't the King for nothing.
I kissed his forehead lightly, pushing covers and pillows aside as I made a path for myself to get off of the huge bed.
"Wait" I turned to face my brother, who was sitting up looking slightly concerned. I gave him a questioning look.
"Will you stay with me tonight?" he asked me, looking more childlike then he had in years.
"Of course" I smiled and repositioned myself on the bed as Edmund scooted over more to make room for me. I watched as he pulled the thick covers over himself, almost melting in to their comfort. I then too leaned back and covered myself, relishing in the warmth.
"Goodnight Su. I love you" he said, his voice already thick with sleep.
"Love you too, Ed" I responded, smiling. I closed my eyes and drifted in to a peaceful sleep.
The next morning, Peter walked in to his brother's chambers, intending on waking him for breakfast.
When he entered the room, he found his two younger siblings sleeping soundly. Edmund was wrapped completely in almost all of the covers like a mummy, looking blissful. Peter smiled to himself and walked towards the sleeping pair.
He carefully untangled some of the blankets from his brother and moved them over the sleeping figure of his sister, who reacted to the added warmth by instinctively pulling the blankets up to her chin.
He kissed each of their foreheads before heading for the door; he didn't feel it right to wake them. He would let them sleep and they could always grab a bite to eat later from the kitchens.
As he stood in the doorframe, he turned again to get one last look at his slumbering siblings, not having seen either of them this relaxed or comfortable since they had entered Narnia.
A wide smile was spread across his face, which only grew as Edmund let out a loud snore, tugging fruitlessly at the blankets now wrapped tightly around his sister. Susan kicked him in her sleep.
Peter grinned broadly before moving back in to the hall and closing the door quietly behind him. When he was out of danger of waking them, he let out a chuckle and shook his head.
Some things never changed.
A/N: Yay :o) Hope that ending wasn't too cheesy for ya, I couldn't quite help myself. Despite the fact it was somewhat disconnected from the rest of the story, I had to throw some cute stuff in after the seriousness. I admit I've fallen completely in love with the Susan/Edmund sibling bonding stuff, so there is a definite possibility for more of it in the near future. Reviews are always greatly appreciated!