I unfortunately don't own the worlds of Harry Potter or Narnia. J. K. Rowling and C.S. Lewis do.

Thank you to my absolutely amazing beta, Book. Freak112233 !

Just a quick thanks to MuggleCreator, LadyGryffindor313, lilyann96, High Reacher, MusicAnime31, 21stCenturyMarauder, Elbereth Starkindler, xlovelytinkx, AusAshMommy, Amandla123, Caitydubbelyew, AnjuAddams, sapurplemonkey, TwinkleSwag, harrypotterfreakhier, Dragonnotte, C.B. Weasley, artsoccer, RosarioLily, Rainy-Round, Amwolf, Skylar97, Maximum Immortality, dobsokks, Chocolate-Tama, Kitkatrox, Minstory101, I am the One, Nadeshiko Kimoto, Never More, Forever Narnia, OMG Girl, Hunger aint Good, sarcastic girl, Collide with me, OM NOM NOM, Yeah no dude, Damn It, Whats wrong with obsessions, onyxrose99, invisible. redhead, Alexpuppy789, and angletricia.

Also, I know people have suggested that I take on a co-author and/or concentrate on one story. I am sorry it takes so long. However, I have future plans for these stories and I prefer working alone. I am grateful that everyone keeps reading and puts up with me. Thank you for this suggestion, but though I am busy, I am also very dedicated to these stories. Thank you! :)

Now on with the story! :)

Chapter 40:

Selfish Gold

Melanie awoke the following morning to Caspian shaking her shoulder. Confused, she sat up, shaking her head as she rested her arms upon her knees casually, though she was immediately alert.

"Yes?"

"That comment you made about the gold. Could there be a separate place where it originated from?" he asked, kneeling next to her.

"It's possible, especially considering how spread out it all was."

"Any idea where to look?"

Melanie scanned the terrain, her eyes suddenly spotting a dip within the sand between two peeks. She pointed it out to her friend, who nodded.

Turning back to him, she posed her own question. "Caspian, why are you asking me?"

"You know more about this magic stuff than I do," he admitted.

"Caspian, I'm sure others could have deduced the same," she said, blushing as she looked down.

"You're the only one who knew about why Eustance had turned into a dragon. Despite Narnia being a magical country, you're the one with the most experience within this field."

Sighing, she gave in, nodding. She knew it was probably taking him a lot to admit that, especially since he had originally been against her magic. "Thank you," he said, putting a hand on her knee.

She began to get up, when he pushed her gently back down. "Before we wake the others – how are you?" he asked, his voice gentle as he suddenly dealt with a touchy subject.

"Please. I want to help you," he continued when he saw her stiffen.

"I know. I just – I don't trust very easily. You know this. But I – I'm not great. But I'll try my best not to set back to much. To hold everything up again," she said, causing Caspian to look at her in shock.

"You're not a burden. Don't worry about not being able to control your emotions, or – or think we're being held up because of you. We're not."

She nodded shakily. "May I?" he asked, holding out his arms. When she hesitantly agreed, he wrapped his arms around her strong frame.

"Anytime," he whispered, before letting her go and helping his friend up.

"I'll go wake Edmund if you want to start looking around."

The King nodded, squeezing her hand, before going to wake up his men and the other girls. Meanwhile, Melanie made her way over to where Edmund still slept. She noticed how peaceful he looked while sleeping. Kneeling next to him, she brushed a stray strand of his dark hair away. Looking around and seeing no one watching her, she carefully and quickly pressed her lips to his.

Edmund's eyes shot open as he felt something touch him, but he relaxed almost immediately as he saw his fiancée looking down at him. "Good morning to you, too," he joked.

"Caspian wants to look around. I was told to come wake you," she said, smiling. He nodded, returning the smile, as she pulled him the old king to his feet.

He briefly hugged her, before simply slipping an arm around her, holding her close as they waited for the other royals.

"Let's go," Caspian said, coming up to the couple a moment later, Lucy at his side.

Setting a moderate pace, the group of friends headed towards the dip Melanie had seen earlier. As they grew closer, Melanie could see that it was in fact a crater or hole within the sand. Treading carefully, in case of a sinkhole, she came to its edge. She noticed there was a cord of rope leading into the hole.

"I'll go first," she said, looking down as she removed her wand, whispering "Lumos."

"Mel, you don't have – "

"Ed, I'll be fine. I promise."

Lowering herself into the crevice, Melanie gripped the fraying rope, holding her wand tightly within her hand. Once she reached the bottom however, she noticed there was a dim light with the cavern itself.

"You can come down!" she called up, before whispering "Nox," realizing she didn't need the extra light. As she moved out of the way, the warrior witch stowed her wand with the sheath of her sword, specially made for her.

Edmund followed her down, wrapping his arm around her once he landed solidly on the ground. Melanie noticed as they began to walk away from the entrance that the ground was jagged and dusty. Crossing a narrower part of the land, she peered down, and was surprised to see her reflection.

Squatting, she took a piece of loose rock and touched the water with it, not yet knowing what properties the water may have. Scanning the water with her eyes, she gasped, falling backwards in surprise, letting the rock drop unceremoniously into the pool. A man was in the water!

"Melanie? Are you all right?" Caspian called as he came up behind the couple, Lucy with him. She just nodded, pointing to the water.

"He's frozen. But how?"

"The gold," she replied as Edmund came to help her up.

"Pardon?"

"It's like the old tale of King Midas. This pool – anything it touches will be turned to gold," she explained.

"That tale is true!" Lucy exclaimed. Melanie nodded, backing up a few steps from the pool, her hand firmly on the hilt of her sword. "Some of it, at least," she replied as the two kings shared a quick look. She was slowly returning to her former self.

"He must have fallen in," Caspian said, coming to take a closer look, standing where his friend had fallen.

"Poor man," Lucy said, coming forward as well.

"Poor lord," Edmund corrected, pointing to the golden shield beneath the water.

"The crest of Lord Resten," Caspian said solemnly.

"And his sword!" Edmund said, pointing into the water.

"We need it," Caspian stated, rather obviously in her opinion.

"But how are we to get it?"

"Your sword," Melanie replied, almost instantly.

"What?"

"Grab that sword with the blade of yours," she said to her fiancée. Nodding, he did as he was told, being very careful not to touch the water.

"Be careful," Lucy said as Edmund brought it from the water. She then frowned. "It hasn't turned to gold."

"Both the swords are magical," Caspian said, before looking at Melanie. Surprised, she nodded.

"Yes. Certain objects will reject other magic," she said, causing him to give her a nod and a smile.

"He mustn't have known what hit him," Lucy mused.

"Maybe. Or maybe he was onto something," her brother replied, causing Melanie's eyes to narrow. She didn't like the sound of that.

"Edmund," she said, her voice low and in warning. However, only Lucy caught it as the other king replied,

"What are you talking about?"

"Look," the Just one said, taking a shell from the shore and kneeling, quickly dipping it in the water before laying it on the ground as it turned to gold. Once it had, he picked it up, and Melanie noticed the way he greedily looked at it.

"What are you staring at?" Lucy asked, exchanging a look with the older girl. Apparently the two of them noticed the same thing.

"Whoever has access to this pool, could be the most powerful person in the world." He replied.

"But why would you want that?" she exclaimed, as the other two royals shared a glance between them. She loved Edmund, she did, but sometimes, his craving for power or control made her nervous. Especially since she hadn't seen him like this, truly, since just after his initial coronation.

"Lucy, we'd be so rich," he began, looking up at his sister, lustful desire for the gold clear in his eyes. "No one could tell us what to do, or who to live with." His gaze then turned to his fiancée. "We wouldn't want for anything, Melanie.

"But I don't want this type of a husband," she replied, but he was too far gone to hear her properly. This worried Melanie greatly.

"You can't take anything out of Narnia, Edmund," Caspian said, and Melanie could detect the hint of caution within his voice.

"Says who?"

"I do," he replied, his tone becoming stronger, more forceful.

All of the sudden, the golden lust still clear in his eyes, he rose, grabbing his sword and advancing towards the current king. "I'm not your subject.

"You've been waiting for this haven't you? to challenge me; you doubt my leadership."

"You doubt yourself," spat Edmund. Melanie was growing exceeding nervous, and shot another look to Lucy, whose eyes were equally as wide. The older girls' grip on her sword hilt tightened.

"You're a child," Caspian said, both kings growing angry.

"And you're a spineless sap!"

"Edmund," Lucy said, grabbing his arm, trying to intervene, but Edmund simply threw off his sister.

"I'm tired of playing second fiddle. First it was Peter, and now it's you. You know I'm braver than both of you. Why do you get Peter's sword? I deserve a kingdom of my own. I deserve to rule."

"Well if you think you're so brave, prove it!" Caspian said, pushing Edmund.

"Enough!" both girls shouted in unison as Melanie brought her sword between them, stopping the boys' swords from clashing.

"This has gone on long enough! You're both acting like children!" she shouted, before turning to Edmund specifically. "And you! You're supposed to be just! I love you, but if you can't grow up and stop being so selfish and greedy, then I don't want to marry you."

Sheathing her own sword, she stormed out of their sight and out of the cave, moving directly to the boat.

"Melanie! Melanie, wait!"

She could hear Edmund calling her, but she was to upset and furious to listen.

Entering her cabin, she was started as she began undressing to find Gale in her room.

"Are you okay, Lady?"

Despite her mood, Melanie's harsh gaze softened as she looked at the much younger girl. "I'm fine, Gale. I thank you for your concern. And how are you?"

"I – I'm good, Lady," she replied shyly. Gale was silent for a moment before speaking. "Lady? I – well, I was wondering if I could dress up all prettily again sometime?"

Melanie chuckled, slowly feeling tension and anger leave her as she sat beside Gale, wrapping an arm around her, much to the younger girl's surprise.

"Yes, most certainly can. Just as soon as things settle down. How does that sound to you? You can even keep the dress this time, if you like," she offered.

"Oh, Lady, that would be too much. But…can I really?"

"Of course. I wouldn't offer if you couldn't. And you may call me, Melanie. I don't mind."

"Oh thank you Lady Melanie!" she exclaimed, throwing her arms around the older girl.

As Melanie looked down at Gale, she couldn't help but feel better, soothingly rubbing the girl's back, frowning at the material of the dress. She loved Gale, though she had only known her for a short while. She sighed as the two lay down upon the cot, Gale soon falling asleep.

Lucy stormed in just then, but quickly quieted as she saw the two girls.

"I'm sorry," she said quietly. "I don't know what got into them."

"I – I don't blame you, Lucy. I just wish he would worry. I don't care about that. However, his reaction does worry me. I – that's not the Edmund I remember."

Lucy just nodded, coming around to her other side.

"Good night, Melanie."

"Good night, Lucy. Sweet dreams."

The last thing Melanie did consciously was lock and silence the door against two arrogant, self-absorbed kings. They were the last thing she wanted to deal with right now.

Thanks to all who are reading and enjoying this story. If you have any suggestions, (i.e. would like to see something happen, etc.) questions, or comments, please feel free to private message me. Thanks! ~ Leanora