Title: Beneath the Traitor Sun
Summery: An eclipse, a reformed traitor, and an ancient myth all come together as the Free Narnians make their next move. To bad that remnants of the Witch's army have a similar plan. Sequel to King's Bane.
Disclaimer: See previous chapters
AN – Heeeey, you guys…so. I'm not dead. Yeah. Um. /is ashamed/ Seriously, I have no excuse. I was distracted by some shiny, new fandoms like Star Trek and NCIS. But I have every intention of finishing this story (if anyone's even around anymore to read it, that is). But. But. I have no buts, actually, 'cause I really don't have any excuse. So…I'm not going to make any promises about updates and stuff, 'cause I can't and I don't want to leave all you peeps hanging. But it is my full intention to finish this. Since the last update, I have become a Senior in high school, hosted a German exchange student, seen the new Harry Potter move (epic!), finished the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, finished the Pendragon series, spent a month in Germany as an exchange student (I was in Hessen, and the seal is a lion, so every castle I was all like "asihfhg;jfsk! NARNIA!") and found out that my favorite character on Torchwood died (WHY?!?!?!), become a Trekkie ("aksdhfa;klsdfj! TRIBBLES!), and gotten accepted into college. Basically…um…basically, I fail at updating. Here's the long awaited fourth chapter, where there is actual action-type events.
Edmund wandered out into the courtyard in the dying day. His dark cloak swished noiselessly about his ankles and he glanced over his shoulder. There was nothing, no one, but the empty cobblestones. The only sound was the crystal, clear water spraying peacefully into the fountain. Edmund hesitated, feeling the pull to walk over at run his hand through the water, to splash his face in a vain attempt at clarity.
A cool wind fluttered through. Edmund shivered slightly, and looked up at the sky. Without warning, he felt the now familiar sensation of shaking knees and eyelids weighted with lead.
When he woke, the cool wind was bitter cold. He pushed himself up to his hands and knees, fighting off the near overwhelming urge to vomit. Moments passed – precious moments – and Edmund felt his hands grow numb in the snow. "No, there's no snow," he whispered. "Just stones. It's not winter, definitely not winter."
Edmund opened his eyes, and his dismay almost smothered him as he took in the apparently abandoned, froze wasteland that surrounded him. There were no people, at least. No Wolves or trolls or her. Edmund felt a thrill of relief before the harsh reality of how much trouble he was in occurred to him. No one was in sight. No monsters. That meant no Susan, Lucy, Philip, or Oreius as well.
"Focus, Edmund," he said, ignoring the desperate, ragged tone his voice had adopted. "Focus."
Where had he been before? He remembered coming down from the tower. He remembered walking into the courtyard. He remembered looking around, seeing that fountain, and then…this.
Edmund staggered to his feet and stood shivering in the harsh, freezing wind. "No, Pevensie, it's not cold," he growled quietly, choking back tremors and the flutters of panic in his stomach. "In fact, it's very p-pleasant."
Apparently, his body and heart had decided to ignore his mind. Edmund pushed down the feelings swirling throughout him – She's coming, it's only a matter of time, run run run, not good, Peter, where's Peter, Oh, Aslan, not again please please no, not again – and forced his mind to the task at hand.
Edmund shuffled forward, not letting his feet ever clear the top of the snow. Eventually, after what seemed like a millennia, he felt his toes bump into something. Rock, whispered that traitorous part of his thoughts that emerged whenever he was stuck in his nightmares. "Wr-wrong," Edmund told it, and plunged his face forward.
Edmund couldn't tell if he was drowning or suffocating, if his head was submerged in snow or water. In the end, it really didn't matter, because he couldn't breathe. Breathing was an appealing prospect. Very appealing. In fact, it was so appealing that Edmund jerked his face back and stumbled backwards before landing, graceless, on his bottom.
He gasped, blinking around at the once again silent stones that surrounded him. The night was cool, yes, but against his frigid skin it felt like a hot summer noon. Shaking, weak, and unable to stop gasping, Edmund spent a few minutes in complete disconnect. He pushed himself up into a seated position, head cradled in his hands. He still felt a bit queer, as if he hadn't quite awoken from the dream.
This was the first time that he'd managed to shock himself out of one of his nightmares. The first time. Edmund took a deep breath. All right, then. Someone besides himself should know about this. Yes, it was important that somebody should know.
He staggered to his feet, and stumbled off in the direction that he had originally been headed. Philip was closer than Susan, anyway…
Edmund needed time alone. Edmund was a very independent person. Thus, Edmund surely didn't appreciate Philip following him around all of the time. That was the logic Philip repeated to himself time and time again. Philip snorted and stamped a hoof. He reminded himself, again, that it really didn't matter what Edmund wanted, as long as Edmund was safe.
And then Edmund stumbled around the corner, ghostly pale and soaked to his bones.
"Edmund! What happened? Where've you been? Are you - " Philip cut himself as Edmund slapped the back of his neck idly and winced. "Are you all right?" he asked.
Edmund attempted a small grin, failing miserably. Philip opted not to comment. "It's nothing, Philip," Edmund said. "Just a bug bite."
Philip froze, and turned to see a similar stricken look on Edmund's face. "Philip, I didn't mean, that is, I don't think, I mean, I'm sure that –"
"We're going back to the castle," Philip said shortly. He pushed down the wave of guilt that made his tail swish irritably. After all, he had been the only one there the last time that Edmund had gotten a 'bug bite', and look at how well that turned out. He caught sight of Edmund's look, one mixed with petulance and terror, and he added a firm, "Now, Edmund."
Edmund nodded, and approached Philip. He came up alongside the Horse, and Philip knelt on the ground to get Edmund onto his back with more ease. Philip stood, and he found himself struck with the ludicrous notion that if he moved too fast while the wind blew at just the right strength, Edmund would go flying away. He shook his mane, and making certain that his boy was secure, turned in the direction of Edmund's room. "Philip, you won't believe what's just happened," Edmund started to say. Philip shushed him irritabley. Whatever it was, it could wait, for he could hear someone coming up from behind him. The someone had a peculiar gait that went step-step-thunk, step-step-thunk. Philip turned to find their visitor just behind him.
"Master Philip," Ritnik said, leaning heavily upon her walking stick. "King Edmund. I hope you are both fairing well."
Philip felt a creeping sort of feeling crawling up his spine. He felt Edmund's grip tighten around his mane. Philip didn't know if the young king was just reacting to his own anxiety or if Edmund also felt that something was amiss.
And what happened next happened so quickly, Philip almost missed it. Almost. It took only a second to prove his previous thought – the one of Edmund blowing away and he not noticing – to be utterly and completely false. The griffin had dove and Edmund's weight, small though it was, had vanished from his back. He raised his head to bellow a warning cry to anyone who may've been near, but there was a sharp prick on his foreleg, and then…
Then Philip was waking up.
The courtyard was deserted.
Well. I hope that was worth the wait. I'll try and be better about updating, I swear! Next time…Peter, Susan, Lucy et al (or, really, that is the entire et al) find out about Edmund's disappearance, fingers are pointed, and the long awaited first mention of Mr. Tumnus' porridge is made. Or is it? Mwahaha!