Hey guys, an update for you during the humid summer months. Stay cool and hydrated, enjoy the update, and thanks.

Dedicated to my adopted brother E.C. and my best friend Shannon, for helping me out. And E, as always

Chapter 7: Of Love, Time, and Trees

"There you two are. Why didn't I look here first?"

I looked up to see Susan navigating between the shelves of the library, her course set for Peter and me where we had buried ourselves amongst books on history and law, respectively. With a flutter of skirts Susan took a seat in an available chair, smiling as she brushed a strand of hair out of her eyes. Peter noted his place and closed his own heavy tome, setting it on the table in front of us.

"Why were you looking for us?" I smiled at my siblings, my own book still sitting open on my lap. We had a bit of time before tea, and had retreated to the library in an attempt to get some reading done. In hindsight, maybe the library wasn't the best hiding spot in the Cair, but it did have all the books.

"I know you both have a tendency to loose yourself in something if you find it interesting, and tea will be ready soon. I thought I'd come find you to make sure you weren't late," Susan smiled warmly despite her teasing. I rolled my eyes good naturedly, putting the book in my lap on the table.

"You were with Torva earlier today, la?" I asked. It had been a little more then two weeks since we had introduced the four orphans to their new nursemaid, a Tigress who had more then enough experience in raising cubs, and from what I had seen, things had gone well. The children were starting to open up to her, and open up to other around them a bit as well. It was a comforting thing to see Narnia beginning to heal them the way it healed me a few years ago and continued to make me better every day with my siblings help. Susan nodded.

"You would not believe the changes taking place. Cyrus and Cole are more apt to smile now, although neither of them have spoken a word as of yet. They met Torva's other cubs today."

"None of which can be called cubs anymore," Peter pointed out. I snorted at the idea of calling Torva's children cubs.

"How did they handle meeting them?" I asked curiously. Ricanus, Manicus, and Tiberius were part of the palace guard, and Tonia and Vinia had just begun the training required to become part of the patrols. They hadn't seemed terrified of Torva, but Torva was not a full-fledged member of the army.

"The children were a bit frightened, but Torva was with them, and so was I. Ricanus, Manicus and Tiberius convinced Jarid and Oliver to come play with them after introductions, which Torva strongly insisted they do outside. Jarid and Oliver wanted to climb trees, and they were off fairly quickly. Tonia and Vinia kept an eye on Cyrus and Cole, and chatted with Torva and me. It was a very nice afternoon, I enjoyed it."

Peter smiled and nodded. "Now the last thing on our list is to find them a tutor." He looked toward me. "You had someone in mind, Ed?"

"I have a few learned Animals in mind actually. One is an Elephant named Hanan, one is a Raven that goes by Velasco, and the other is a wolf by the name of Coinin. They're all very well learned and patient enough to teach the children. I have interviews scheduled with each of them."

"I think Velaso would be the best choice," Susan said thoughtfully, twirling the loose strand of hair between her fingers. "He certainly is patient, and he's incredibly well versed on all subjects, he could answer any question they could throw at him."

I shrugged, holding my own judgment until I had interviewed all three. "I'll have to see who fits the position the best. Now I believe you said something about tea, Su?" She shook her head indulgently, standing gracefully.

"Come on then, we can discuss this more later." Peter and I scooped up the many books that were piled upon the table as we stood.

"One moment." Peter smiled charmingly, already heading for the history section of the Cair's library. I moved in my own direction, intent on putting away the many volumes before we left for tea. Once each was returned to its space on the shelf, I made my way back to the table where Susan was waiting. Peter joined us shortly thereafter and we left the library, heading for today's tea location, which Susan informed us was on the balcony facing the sea. We apparently had a few of our fellow Narnians joining us today.

"By the way, Torva informs me that Cyrus and Cole's nightmares are starting to lessen as the nights go by," Susan said. She adjusted her crown, even though I thought it had been just fine a moment ago.

"Time," Peter nodded. "I told them a few weeks ago, when they had first arrived, time was the only thing that could really heal their wounds."

"And love," our sister added confidently. "Love from the people around them is helping them heal just as much."

I nodded silently, lost in my own thoughts. Love from my siblings and those around us had helped me, and in some cases, time was the only thing that could heal wounds that ran deep. I still held firmly that Narnia herself had something to do with the entire process. Our land was full of secrets and wonders and magic.

Lucy spotted the three of us as we came into view of the balcony and hurried down the corridor to meet us, her smile bright. "Oh, you'll never guess what happened!"

"What Lu?" Peter asked, giving her a quick hug. Her eyes were dancing with amusement as she pulled back from the hug to look at us.

"Ricanus and his siblings had to go, but Jarid and Oliver didn't want to come in yet. Even when Torva ordered they get down from the trees, they didn't listen." She paused in her story and giggled. Obviously nothing bad had happened since the tale was so amusing to my younger sister. "Jarid eventually got down, but Oliver still wasn't listening to Torva. She didn't like that so…"

"They aren't hurt are they?" Susan jumped, worry written all over her face. Lucy gave her an exasperated look.

"No, of course not. Torva would never hurt them. She did let Oliver know who was in charge though." Her eyes shone and she beamed at us. "He came down to the lowest branch and she gave him this look. It took him a minute, but he came down. And when he did, she grabbed his tunic in her mouth and carried him all the way back to the room they're all in right now." She hid her smile behind her hand.

Peter and I both burst out laughing. "That'll teach him to ignore her again," Peter said after he'd regained his breath. I shook my head, still chuckling, the image of the formidable tigress carrying Oliver by the tunic back to his room. He wasn't hurt if Lucy found it so amusing, and it was a good sign that the children were learning how to be children again, not slaves.

"He'll be alright, it will be good for him." I shrugged and gestured toward the balcony, where they were obviously ready for us. "Shall we?"

Lucy grinned, skipping back to the table. Susan followed, smiling to herself as she started to organize the tea, in her element. I smiled at Peter and followed our sisters out.

"Cheroom wants to meet them remember," Peter mentioned. "Maybe after you find them a tutor you should do that. You did promise."

"Yes, and then Lucy and Susan can unveil their rooms to them," I said thoughtfully. Peter nodded.

"Hopefully they'll be ready for the separate rooms." I thought of the adjoining rooms that Susan and Lucy and their ladies-in-waiting had planned out for Cyrus and Cole, and the room waiting for Jarid and Oliver. They would be together, an idea of Peter's.

"They will, Peter, they will."