AN: So I finally got around to opening this fic again. ::sheepish grin:: It was, honestly, a blast to write. Of course, I didn't escape the OOC bug. Yeah... but it isn't really a serious fic, so I'm hoping you like it anyway. Enough talking... on to the story!
Roses are red, violets are blue, I'll love you a lot if you review... please?
Disclaimer: No, don't own it yet.
"La, la, la, li –"
Susan Pevensie, Gentle Queen of Narnia, lifted her head from her recreational table with a melodramatic sigh. For the fifty-eighth time that day Edmund's boyish tenor was echoing through the castle. It would have been beautiful, really, and Susan would have enjoyed listening to it, if Edmund's voice hadn't been in the stage of breaking. Every fourth note wavered and broke, causing a certain Gentle Queen (who wasn't feeling quite so gentle) to bang her head against her table repeatedly.
"Why me?" was the plaintive whine.
"La, la, la, LI!"
Doors, walls, and closets (which Susan had pushed across the four-inch thick door) proved to be of no avail against the ear-splitting sound of Edmund failing to reach that last note. Peter, huddling on his bed with the pillow over his ears, was not immune to the sound, either. He was seriously contemplating passing a decree banning every human child under thirteen from singing.
Susan had had enough!
Thrusting open the door with almost super-human strength, the irate Queen dashed into the hall and pounded upon her little brother's thick door.
"Edmund Pevensie!" she roared, dimly realising that maybe she was overreacting just a little bit.
"The Just," a voice, not entirely devoid of mischief, squeaked from within.
Susan, breathing heavily, regained her composure and knocked almost primly once more. "Edmund," she said, "can I talk to you?"
The hinges creaked loudly as Edmund pulled the heavy door open. "Yes," he said, with a wide grin, "of course you can. What do you want?"
"For you to shut up," was the oh-so-blunt response.
Edmund's face fell and his almond eyes became round. "What?" he cried, followed quickly by a whined: "Why?"
"Edmund," said Susan, becoming surprisingly diplomatic and calm, "nobody has been able to think straight ever since you started that -" Susan stopped herself from saying infernal just in time - "lovely singing," she finished, lamely. Queens (especially gentle ones) do not use words like infernal. It was an unspoken rule.
"But Susan," Edmund said, even more diplomatically with an innocent smile, "if it's so lovely why does it bother you? I'm not singing loudly."
Susan made a mental note to get Edmund's hearing checked as soon as possible. "Oh, it's loud, Ed," she assured him.
"But you said it was lovely," Edmund chirped.
Susan momentarily cursed her inability to replace infernal with a word of equal impact. Now she would have to backtrack.
"What I mean to say is that," a pause, as Susan carefully considered her words. Edmund, at such a young age, was surprisingly clever at analysing simple sentences and twisting them to his advantage. He would have made a wonderful politician. " Is that even lovely things lose their charm when used too much," she finished, with a proud smile. There. How was Edmund going to get out of that?
Edmund's cheeks turned a light shade of pink at the compliment. "You think my voice is that lovely, Susan?" he beamed.
Susan nodded dumbly.
"Then I can hardly keep you from enjoying something you enjoy so much, now can I?" continued Edmund, completely ignoring the part about losing charm.
Susan rubbed her forehead in a frustrated motion. "I'll live," she said dully.
"I wouldn't dream of depriving you," said Edmund, with a casual wave of his hand. The motion distracted his sister from the look of undiluted mischief that lurked in his dark eyes. "Listen to this."
Ignoring the sound of panic that gurgled from Susan's throat, Edmund skipped (yes, you read that right, skipped) back into his chambers and motioned to a chair in the corner. "Sit down, Su. I want you to hear – first hand – my solos."
"Solo....s?" Susan said, gazing in horror at the sheets of music that littered her brother's floor. Since when had he learned to read music? The fortnight he had spent on the tuba back in Finchley hardly counted, as he had spent the majority of that time experimenting how many times their mother would yell at him before she snapped and threw the tuba out the window. Yes, that hardly counted. (And, for the record, Mrs. Pevensie snapped the sixty-fourth time when Edmund blew it down the chimney. How he was able to climb up to the roof will never be known).
"Yes, solos," Edmund said, with a casual wave of his hand.
Susan had barely enough time to ponder on this sudden interest in music, before Edmund launched into a touching, if slightly off-key, rendition of "The Fauns Lament".
Susan was speechless.
"Where did you learn to sing like that?" Susan finally murmured.
"Orieus is a fantastic singer, believe it or not," said Edmund with a casual shrug.
For the second time that day, Susan was speechless. Orieus? Singer? Okay, so maybe singer wasn't so unbelievable, but fantastic singer?
"Impossible," she said flatly.
Edmund simply shrugged, flashed her a smug, superior smile that practically shouted: "I know better! Ha!" and sat down on a low stool.
A moments pause, in which Susan tried to gather her scattered thoughts. And then it began again.
"La, la, la, LI!"
Susan hands reached automatically for her ears. "Why do you do that, Edmund?" she groaned. "Why?"
"It conditions the voice," was the matter-of-fact answer, "so that I can reach higher notes even when my voice has broken. It's also... fun."
Edmund laughed sheepishly. "I guess it has something to do with cause and reaction. I like getting a reaction."
Susan decided to let the matter drop, and ended the conversation with a well-aimed clout to the side of her brother's head.
"Yeah... reaction..." Edmund said, somewhat dazedly, looking up at his sister with clouded eyes.
He wasn't so fond of violent reactions.
It was later that same day and three of the Pevensie siblings were in Peter's study. Susan and Peter were on the floor, playing chess and shooting each other death glares.
"Peter, stop cheating."
Peter humphed and sat up straighter. "How do you cheat in chess?" he asked, folding his arms.
"You keep moving the pieces when I'm distracted."
"Paranoid," Peter murmured.
"Cheater," was the sharp response. "I would have thought you, being High King, would be above such things."
"Your turn," said Peter sweetly, shifting the board slightly. He looked over at the only other Pevensie sibling, who was sitting sideways in a small armchair.
"Lucy," he said, gaining the young girl's attention, "can you come over here and convince Susan that I'm not cheating?"
Lucy rose from the armchair, placed her book on the floor, and shuffled over to the chess-board. She gazed critically at the game before dropping to her knees. "Okay," she said, folding her hands in her lap.
The game progressed quietly enough. Twice did Lucy raise her hand warningly, when Peter committed some suspicious move. And twice did Peter comment on the paranoid nature of both his sisters.
"Really," he grumbled, pressing Susan's queen into a corner, "if I was going to cheat I would be a lot more sneaky."
"We're not taking any chances," said Susan, simultaneously moving her queen out of the way and checking her brother's king.
"Paranoid," said Peter again, moving his castle.
Susan, on the point of check-mating her brother, was stopped by a loud sound.
"La, la, la..." rang through the castle, causing Susan to cover her ears in horror. Peter followed suit, somehow managing, in his dash to protect his ears, to knock the chess pieces to the ground.
"La, la, la ..." there it was again. Peter, Susan, and Lucy waited breathlessly for that final cracked note... that never came.
"LAAAAAAAA!" The final note was loud, but at least it was in tune. Susan smiled. It would seem that Edmund's voice had finally stopped cracking.
"What are you all doing?" At the sound of the puzzled voice, the royal siblings turned. There was Edmund, his expression smug and his eyebrows raised.
Susan ignored the question in favour of releasing her ears and getting to her feet.
"Your voice stopped cracking," she said enthusiastically.
The eyebrows went higher. "That wasn't me," said Edmund bluntly.
Peter, on the point of demanding who the dickens was making that noise, was stopped by a sight that rendered all the siblings (except Edmund) speechless. With the door opened, they had a first rate view of one of the many halls in Cair Paravel. In the centre of the hall, surrounded by adoring dryads, loud fauns, and giddy, young centaurs, was a proud looking Orieus. He would have looked rather imposing, really, if he hadn't of had a garland of flowers around his neck and a silver harp in his arms. Peter's jaw swung open.
"He told me that he had something very important to do!" the High King fumed.
"This is... important," said Lucy, peeking from behind her brother's arm, "I think."
"I never would have believed it," said Susan dazedly. "Orieus. Of all people."
Edmund said nothing, but the glint in his eye clearly said: "Told you so."
As Orieus began singing a stirring ballad, the Pevensie siblings staggered away from the rather disturbing sight of Orieus dancing to the slow beat of the music. They slammed the heavy door shut and returned to their (now destroyed) game.
"I'm sorry that you haven't reached that note yet, Ed," said Susan sincerely.
Edmund smiled. "I don't really mind," he said, rocking on his ankles. "Besides, I've found something else to occupy myself."
"Yeah. I'm getting a tuba made."
And, while Susan had a mental flashback to Edmund's last tuba experience, Peter and Lucy exchanged amused glances.
"I wonder," whispered Lucy, "how long it will be before Susan throws the tuba out the window..."
Seeing Susan's face, Peter could only chuckle and whisper in return: "Not long, Lu. Not long."
Peter's prediction proved correct exactly forty-eight hours after the tuba fell into Edmund's possession. Susan did, indeed, throw the instrument from the highest window in Cair Paravel. It landed around the neck of a young talking rabbit, who, from that day forth, was convinced that tubas fell from the sky.
Edmund went back to singing... and Susan was left wondering if he would survive a trip out the window.
It didn't stop him from singing.
AN: Yeah, throwing Ed out the window was a bit extreme. Hehe, I just couldn't resist. I seem to be falling into the habit of torturing Orieus. He does not appreciate it. Anyway, if you feel so inclined, drop a review so I can judge whether or not to churn out a few more chapters. Thanks! ^^