Title: Children Again and Still
Disclaimer: I do not own the Chronicles of Narnia.
Note: Not a challenge story, just a random one-shot. Basically, I've noticed that most, if not all, fanfics, including my own, seem to presuppose that the Pevensies remembered everything about their lives in Narnia when they returned to England. However, if you read Prince Caspian, you find that they've lost quite a few memories and skills…and hadn't even noticed that they were gone, really. In the fandom and in the movies, however, the Pevensies remember and this ends up affecting them, in movie!Peter's case quite drastically. So this is a fic that attempts to follow the path of the books.
The fact that it was nearly two weeks after coming back through the wardrobe when the thought came to him was nearly proof enough to Edmund that they were missing something. It only bothered him in the way you are bothered when there is a word at the tip of your tongue, but you can't remember it: annoying, but not a very pressing matter. Still, it nagged at him until, one day, while lying on the carpet in the day room, he looked over at his brother and asked, "I say, Peter, don't you think it's strange?"
Peter looked up from the copy of The Hound of the Baskervilles that he had borrowed from the professor. "What's strange, Ed?"
"Well, Lucy and Susan are in their room playing with Lu's dolls, dressing them and such. And two days ago we put a salamander in the Macready's purse because we were bored."
Wincing at the memory of their punishment for that incident, Peter looked puzzled. "I don't see what's so strange about that. Lucy loves dressing up her dolls and she can talk Su into anything. And the salamander…well, it was there and it seemed like a good idea at the time. There's nothing odd about it."
Edmund lifted his feet so that they were settled comfortably on a nearby chair. "That's just it. It isn't odd. But…don't you think it should be?"
Peter frowned at his brother. "You aren't making any sense, Edmund. Why should it be odd to act normally?"
"Because…" Edmund's voice lowered. "Because of Narnia." When Peter tilted his head to the side, still not understanding, Edmund elaborated. "We lived there for years, right? We were grown-ups, kings and queens. I know I learned all sorts of things, about fighting and edicts and ruling countries. But I don't remember any of it now; do you?"
Putting aside his book, Peter curled his feet up on his chair. "Now that you mention it, I don't remember either. Strange, I hadn't even noticed; I don't feel like anything's missing."
Edmund shook his head. "Neither do I. I feel like a normal ten year-old boy who enjoys playing jokes on adults, and who doesn't know the first thing about hunting deer or the difference between a decree and a law. I did know all those things, once, but now I don't; and yet it doesn't even bother me that I've forgotten. Which, frankly, is bothering me."
Peter's face looked thoughtful. "I suppose…I suppose it is the same as how, in Narnia, we forgot about England. Perhaps Aslan made it happen in order to help us adjust to being back. I can't imagine remembering everything about being an adult and feeling like an adult, but still being a child. Would we even be able to handle that sort of change without going completely mad, or just falling apart? Maybe it's better that we don't remember."
"But if we don't remember…" Peter frowned again at Edmund's troubled look. "If we don't remember, if we aren't any different, then did it really happen? Were we really in Narnia and crowned kings and queens and fight in battles? Did we just imagine it?"
Peter heard the unspoken questions, 'Was I still forgiven for being a beast and a traitor? Am I really any different?' and slipped from his chair so he was sitting right next to his brother. "We were really there," he stated firmly, a hint of the High King returning as a silent whisper. "Narnia is real, Aslan is real. I…I don't think you would even bother to ask that question otherwise, or really even talk to me in the first place, not if you were still like you used to be." Edmund looked away, but Peter still continued. "We did change, Ed. You changed. We're closer than we ever were before Narnia, and I think we're all better people than we were before. Even if we don't feel like we lived all those years, even if we don't remember everything, Narnia still made us better. Though," he added lightly, "I don't think our teachers would agree if they knew about us playing jokes on the Macready."
At that, Edmund cracked a smile. "We're kids, we're allowed to have our fun."
Peter nodded solemnly. "Very true. And I think that's exactly what Aslan meant for us to be when he sent us back." The solemnity broke into a wicked grin. "So…want to have some more fun? I'm pretty sure I saw some mice in the attic the other day."
Edmund matched his grin as Peter helped him to his feet. "Of course. But, just so you know, if we get caught again I'm going to say that you forced me into it."
"As if the Macready will believe that."
"I gave Lucy some of my chocolate yesterday, she'll vouch for me. And you know the Macready will believe anything Lucy says."
Laughter floated through the air of the Kirke residence as two young boys chased each other down the hallways and corridors, enjoying life as the children they were once more.
I decided to be nice and upload this story sooner than I meant to. It's been finished for awhile, too, so I kinda just want it up.
Also, for those who may not know, the Narnia Fanfiction Revolution has opened voting for their 2008 awards. My story, Terror Gold, has amazingly been nominate for Best Short Story, which in itself is an honor. If you want to vote for that story, or any of the other great fanfiction that has been nominated, please go to.