Title: Letting Go
Disclaimer: I do not own the Chronicles of Narnia, etc.
Note: Well, it's finally here. It's been almost a year since I began writing this (longhand), but now it's done (all 34 chapters), and I'll be posting a chapter either every day or every other day. A big, big thanks to my beta, laily7520, for looking this over for me. She's done a great job making sure this actually makes sense.
Note 2: This is a Prince Caspian movie AU. In it, I've attempted to fix some of the mistakes of the movie while still exploring an interesting "what if" scenario that hit me almost the first time I watched the movie. Hope you like it!
Still frustrated at his brother's childish actions, and hurt by Peter's refusal to acknowledge his aid, his very existence, Edmund found himself sulking on the station bench. Perhaps it was not very kingly of him, but at the moment he did not care. Peter wasn't the only one who missed Narnia! Edmund nearly ached with longing for his home, for the place where he could be the Just King and not "just that strange boy" as he had become in England. Still, unlike Peter, however much he missed Narnia and Aslan with everything in his soul, he at least still trusted that they would return one day; a sentiment only Lucy seemed to share anymore.
In fact, it was Lucy who first felt the stirrings of magic, a hand pinching her, pulling her towards fate. Soon all four stood on the station platform, their whole beings tingling with that pulling song. "Everyone hold hands!" yelled Susan, not wanting them to get separated.
Edmund didn't respond at first to his sister's command, and Peter roughly grabbed at him. Anger flared in Edmund, anger over Peter's actions and attitude, and he defiantly declared, "I'm not holding your hand!"
It was then that fate twisted from its course. Whether Aslan planned this all along, it can't be known, though nothing happens in Narnia but by the will of the Lion. Regardless, Peter's frustration, his anger at his situation and at his brother being a self-righteous nuisance, bubbled up and the High King of Narnia, acting very much like a petulant child, pulled his grasping hand away from Edmund.
Standing separately from the others, Edmund watched as the world swirled around him, breaking apart. The pinching moved from his skin to his very gut; pulling him, dragging him forward…and away from his siblings. Suddenly, he began spiraling head over feet, whirling through some stream of magic. At one point his heart felt like it was being ripped out of his chest and black spots obscured his vision. More twisting and, as suddenly as it started, Edmund blinked his eyes and he was lying on his back beneath a canopy of trees.
Edmund sat up, slowly as he still felt somewhat dizzy. Taking in his surroundings, he first of all noticed, with a bit of apprehension, that he was alone; Peter, Susan, and Lucy were nowhere to be seen. His second thought, in a flash of remembered recognition, was: "Lamppost?"
And indeed, there was a lamppost only a few feet away, overgrown with ivy and seeming to almost sprout from the ground as some sort of iron tree. A smile spread across Edmund's face. The trees around it might have changed, but Edmund recognized where he was: the Lantern Waste. He was in Narnia.
Edmund took a few moments to take stock of his situation. Most pressing were his missing siblings. He ran a small search pattern from Lantern Waste, but found no sign of them. "Alright," Edmund muttered to himself. "They probably landed somewhere else." Which meant he wasn't likely to find them standing around the Western Wood. He would need help, which meant finding Narnians. Hopefully friendly ones, since the only weapon Edmund had at the moment was his torch, and there was only so much he could do with that. Luckily he knew of some nearby loyal Narnians. And so Edmund started off to the Beavers' dam.
Unfortunately, the Lantern Waste was not the only part of the Western Wood to have changed, which caused a sense of uneasiness to settle in the pit of Edmund's stomach. How long had they been gone, that the trees would change so much? The shock came when he reached what should have been the middle of the Wood and he found the end of it. Half the forest was gone, replaced by clear hills of tall grass. Oh Aslan, the trees! My people! What happened? Edmund had been crowned to the Western Woods, this was his land; many of these trees had housed his people, had been his people. And it was gone, with no trace of what had once been there.
Edmund had to hold back tears as he slunk through the tall grass, knowing in his heart that he would not find his friends. The forest couldn't disappear in only a few years. It must have been centuries since their reign. His fears were confirmed as he crested a hill and stared dumbly down at the large city that lay nestled where once had been a humble home of wood. A great castle of old, weathered stone overlooked the city, capped by a large, fluttering banner. A banner that alone had not changed much in the past centuries. Edmund's back stiffened as he recognized the golden compass standard. Telmarines.