Title: Thou Shalt Not Be Afraid Arc - The Terror by Night
Archive: Please ask first
Status: In Progress
Summary: In the weeks following their coronation, the Pevensies face a challenge that may take Edmund away from them forever and it's up to them to save him from the Witch's allies and from himself. Golden Era.
Spoilers: For The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe both Book and Movie
Please be kind.
I don't own them, C.S. Lewis' estate and Walden Media does. I'm just borrowing them for a while, though I may keep Edmund, Peter and Phillip for a bit longer. ;-)
Author's Note: This is my first Narnia story. I've been working on this for the last few weeks and a single story has turned into a two story arc. My betas are working steadily away at this one while I'm busy writing the second. Many, many thanks to Rhyselle, Alliesings and LibraTraveler for the wonderful beta work!! Thank you guys!!
Thou Shalt Not Be Afraid Arc
The Terror by Night
"Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor the arrow that flieth by day;"
Chapter 1 - Uneasy Sits the Crown
Edmund sat on the balcony overlooking the sea, the salty breeze ruffling his hair and cooling his flushed face. Inside, he could hear Lucy giggling merrily at Peter and Susan's musical laughter joining in with them. He knew he should be with the others, but he didn't feel very much like laughing right now.
Everything had happened so quickly. It seemed like just hours ago they had all piled into the wardrobe to escape the dreaded Macready and ended up in Narnia together. He sighed. Had that been his first trip to Narnia, how differently would things have happened?
Edmund pulled his knees up tightly to his chest and rested his forehead against the marble banister of the balcony. Edmund Pevensie from Finchley, King of Narnia. He shook his head. King. He didn't deserve to be King. Peter did, Lucy and Susan did, well Queens in their right, but he didn't deserve it.
He closed his eyes.
"Is our little prince uncomfortable? Does he want his pillow fluffed? Special treatment for the special boy! Isn't that what you wanted?" Ginarrbrik the dwarf snarled at Edmund, taunting.
The harsh bite of the whip cracked his shoulder as the dwarf laughed cruelly. More taunting followed as the black dwarf poked and jabbed at him.
He deserved it. All of it and more. His brother and sisters could be dead, and it was his fault. Tumnus was a stone statue, and it was his fault. And the fox. And the butterfly. And—
Peter's voice jerked Edmund out of his dark thoughts. He looked up to see his older brother standing in the doorway to the balcony, frowning. Peter looked around a moment before finally seeing Edmund hunched in the corner by the railing.
Concern flashed over his features, "Ed, you alright?" he asked, moving to kneel beside him.
Edmund looked up, suddenly realizing his face was wet. Had he been crying? Blushing furiously, he hurried to brush the evidence away. "I'm fine," he mumbled refusing to look his brother in the face. He struggled to unfold his body and stand. The balcony under him bucked and swayed at the sudden movement.
Peter reached out, taking his arm to steady him. "Sure, and I'm a penguin."
Edmund couldn't help but smile at that. "I'm just tired," he said finally. "I didn't sleep much last night. Too much to think about," he said with a shrug.
He could tell Peter wanted to question him more, but they were saved by Lucy bounding out. "Peter! Edmund! You have to see what Mr. Tumnus brought!" Lucy went on in a happy babble about a squirrel and a lark and something involving a gooseberry patch.
Edmund smiled at his little sister's happiness and rubbed his aching wrist. He grimaced at the pins and needles feeling in it. He must have pinched it against the banister and not noticed. Peter gave him a questioning look, but Edmund just brushed it off with a shrug. He hurried to catch up with Lucy, trying to sort out her story.
Peter watched as Edmund listlessly pushed his food around on his plate. The younger King was going through the motions of eating without actually eating anything. Peter caught Susan's eye, and he realized she had noticed it as well. She gave Pater a questioning look, but he warned her with a subtle shake of his head not to mention it.
Something was bothering Edmund, but he had learned long ago not to push his brother. Edmund would only talk about it when he was good and ready and not a moment before.
Much to her credit, Lucy was holding up a very animated conversation at her end of the table with a dramatic recounting of a conversation she had with a group of talking Rabbits she had met on the grounds outside the castle.
"Edmund, you wouldn't believe how many words they have for grass and they have twelve different words just to describe all the different shades and hues of green!" she went on.
Edmund grunted his amazement. "I've always thought most animals were color blind," he commented.
"Maybe animals in our world, but not the Animals here," Lucy responded, stuffing most of a roll into her mouth. "Mrs. Cloverblossom made the most wonderful tea. I promised I'd be back tomorrow to visit them again," she mumbled around the mouthful and she dug in her pocket for something.
"Lucy!" Susan scolded. "It isn't polite to talk with your mouth full!"
The young Queen blushed and mumbled an apology.
Susan smiled, shaking her head and glanced at Peter. They may be Kings and Queens of Narnia, but some things never changed.
Edmund yawned abruptly and his face colored. "Sorry," he said sheepishly. He tucked his napkin under the edge of his plate. "If you'll excuse me, I think I'm going to turn in. I promised Phillip an early ride tomorrow. He wanted to show me the spot he thinks will make a wonderful paddock and would like to get me there and back before the heat of the day."
Lucy was still digging for something in her pocket as he got up. "Edmund, wait," she called before he left. He paused as she pulled a small wreath of slightly crumpled white flowers out. "Mrs. Cloverblossom asked me to give you this, though I'm not sure why."
"Thanks, Lucy," he said, reaching for the flower wreath. As soon as he took them, he grimaced, flexing his right wrist.
"Edmund, are you alright?" Peter asked, noting the reaction.
Edmund gave him a perplexed look and shook his head. "Nothing. I'm fine, just tired," he said with a wan smile that didn't make it to his eyes. He gave Lucy a peck on the cheek. "Thanks, Lu." He glanced at the others. "Night," he said slipping away quickly before they could stop him again.
Peter sat back in his chair. Something just wasn't right, but he just couldn't figure out just what it was.