Author's notes: Written for a writing meme I have going on at my LJ. I was prompted by Alli Snow to write something about Peter, Edmund, and dating, and this was the result. This is my first foray into the Narnia fandom after lurking for several months, so I hope you like it!
Disclaimer: I don't own anything from The Chronicles of Narnia.
"She's rather pretty, isn't she?"
Edmund grunted from behind his book of Old Narnian laws, which was apparently not the answer his king and elder brother wanted for the book was tugged out of his hands a moment later and tossed aside.
"Peter! Do you know how old that book is?" Edmund exclaimed in horror, lunging for the item in the grass and pulling it out of the sun. "I practically had to make a blood oath with that miserable old faun in the library to let me even look at it. If he finds out you've been chucking it around – "
"Why is your head always buried in books when there are lovely sights to be seen?" Peter asked with an exasperated sigh. He gestured to the group of courtiers from Archenland and the Lone Islands who were clustered around the fountain across the courtyard from where they were sitting; several of the girls glanced over at them and Edmund watched them whispers and giggle with each other as ladies of the court tended to do whenever he and Peter were in their general vicinity. It was rather bothersome, especially when it distracted one during the middle of negotiations.
"Because one of us has to act like a king when the other is being a slave to lust," he replied, flipping back to the page he had been reading. He kept his head up, though, just so Peter wouldn't be tempted to toss it again. "Which one do you like?"
"The one in the green gown."
Well, that didn't help him at all. There were several girls wearing various shades of green, and all of them were rather pretty. He decided it must've been the blonde who was wading in the fountain with her skirts pulled up around her knees; Peter always liked the adventurous sort of girls.
"Are you at least going to talk to this one, or will we be presented with another one of your melancholy fits when she leaves and takes your heart with her?"
Peter glared at him. For all his grace in the throne room and skill on the battle field, the High King of Narnia was absolutely terrible with the female sex. Perhaps Edmund didn't understand – he, after all, was only 15 and didn't have as much pressure to marry and have children at Peter and Susan did. But still, talking to girls wasn't that hard…unless their idea of a conversation was giggling, of course.
"Of course I'm going to talk to her," the High King said resolutely. But Peter made no move to get up and seemed to slump more against the tree they were both leaning on. Edmund stared at him until Peter shifted guiltily. "I will, Ed! I'm biding my time. You can't just spring these things on girls. They're delicate, need a lot of flattering. I expect you wouldn't understand."
Edmund rolled his eyes, snapped his book shut, and got to his feet. Peter blinked at him in surprise.
"What are you doing, Ed?"
"If you're not going to talk to her, I will."
"No, wait! Edmund – !"
But Edmund was already walking toward the fountain, book tucked under his arm, and resolutely ignoring his brother's furious cries behind him. The girls around the fountain all twittered nervously as he approached, bowing and shifting out of the way. The only one who didn't was the girl in the fountain, who was busy examining one of the engravings at the bottom.
"Oi, you!" Edmund exclaimed, drawing her attention. She gasped, and dropped her skirts, performing a clumsy curtsey in the water. "What's your name?"
"Lady Berenice, your highness," the girl said. "I apologize, I'll get out of the fountain this moment – "
Edmund waved a hand, silencing her.
"It's not about that, Lady Berenice. My brother, High King Peter," he said, jerking his thumb over his shoulder in Peter's direction, "fancies you, but he's been struck dumb by your radiant beauty."
He smirked as Berenice blushed from her neck to the top of her head; he didn't have a reputation for a quick tongue for nothing, after all. What was that about not knowing anything about flattery, Peter?
"Would you do me a favor and go talk to him so he doesn't act like a mute, lovesick fool for the rest of the week?"
The girls around her erupted into shrieks and giggles. That damned, incessant giggling! Was that all they could do? Surely Lucy and Susan didn't giggle this much when they were alone together.
"Y – yes, of course, King Edmund," Berenice said after a moment, bowing to him again. "I'd be honored."
"Thank you," Edmund said, turning away from the girls and marching toward the castle doors.
Peter probably wouldn't speak to him for the rest of the month and would beat him senseless during training for embarrassing him like that, but if he and Berenice got along, Edmund figured he'd be forgiven in rather short terms.
That's what being the younger brother to the king was all about, after all.