LbN: This is set during the children's reign of Narnia. I know it says that it was a time of peace, but Peter and Edmund had to clash at least once...Here's my take on that :) Happy reading!
Edmund stood back, admiring his handiwork. He'd just put the finishing touches on a model of the university he planned to open. It would be Narnia's first. "Rigel, what do you think?"
A satyr walked over from his post at the door. "Very good, King Edmund. Though I must admit, I thought this grandiose sort of thing was more High King Peter's style."
Edmund laughed. "It is, but I beat him to the punch on this one." The sixteen-year-old king walked around the long table, smiling at his plans.
"Will the school bear your name then, sire?" Rigel asked.
"No. It will be called Aslan's College. Peter's already approved it."
"That's grand, King Edmund!"
There was a knock at the door, and Mr. Beaver appeared. "Hello there, King Edmund," he said. "High King Peter wishes to speak with you."
"In the throne room?"
"His study, my young king."
Edmund's stomach dropped. Any time Peter wanted to talk to him in private, it meant he was being told off for something. "Very well. Rigel, show Mr. Beaver the model. I'll return shortly." He walked briskly down the hall, trying to remember what he could possibly have done this time. So wrapped up in his thoughts, he didn't notice he'd made it to Peter's wing of the castle until he had passed the study. He backtracked, smiling sheepishly at the guard who held the door open for him. "Thanks Orious."
The centaur smiled and nodded at him.
"Peter?" Edmund said softly, walking over to the window where his brother stood.
Peter was leaning against the wall, looking out into the gardens. In an effort to look more kingly, he had started to grow a beard. The look didn't really suit him yet, he just looked a bit scruffy. Still, he had a regal tone when he said, "We need to talk, Ed."
Edmund smiled, he couldn't help it. Peter was using his "King Voice". He was definitely in trouble for something, but the fact that his brother was trying to be the imposing father figure, again, was a little amusing. "Yes?"
"Your court has been altogether too rowdy lately. It has to stop."
Edmund sighed. They'd had this discussion a month ago. It wasn't his fault his court had more fun than Peter's. Peter's court was full of scholars and older Narnians; Edmund's was more well-rounded. "What's wrong?"
"Your guards have been carousing about the kingdom again, drinking and gambling."
"Not uncommon for Narnians, Peter. They're not an uptight people."
"And your servants have been attending every Satyr Dance held."
"They're not on duty when they go out, so what's the problem? It's not like they're hurting anyone. And I've warned them not to get drunk in public."
"That's not the point, Edmund."
Uh-oh, full name, Edmund thought. "What is the point then, Peter? I can't control what they do when they're not attending to me."
"You have to stop thinking like a child, and start acting like a king," Peter said, exasperated. "What your servants and guards do reflects on the royal family. Your court is getting a reputation for licentiousness and gluttony."
"Only because you're always complaining about us!" Edmund protested. "And I highly resent you insinuating that I don't act like a king. Who was it that organized the farming districts of Narnia so that the country didn't starve last winter? Who is it who's always going out to the people and making sure there's no unrest? Me. I take my responsibilities seriously, even if you don't give me that many."
"I know you're trying, Ed," Peter said, in the type of voice people use when they're trying not to be patronizing. "And you do your duties well. But you have to take responsibility for those around you. It's time you realized that."
Edmund swallowed the angry outburst that was about to erupt. "I'll speak with them today," he said, and walked from the room. On his way back to his wing, he passed Mr. Beaver. "May I ask a favor?"
"Of course, my young king," Mr. Beaver said.
"I need you to find all of my tutors, butlers, and maids. Tell them I wish to speak to everyone at two this afternoon. We'll meet in the amphitheater. The tutors should be in the library. My maids and butlers are probably having their breakfast now."
"Of course, King Edmund."
"Thank you." Edmund continued on to his rooms. When he got there, Rigel was back at his station with Eowyn, Edmund's other bodyguard. "Eowyn, I need you to round up all of my guards and soldiers. I need to speak with all of you. We'll be meeting at two in the amphitheater."
"Yes, King Edmund. Even those off duty?" she asked
"Yes, them as well, thanks." Edmund walked into his suite and sat at his desk, still fuming a bit.
"My king?" Rigel asked softly closing the suite doors. "May I ask, is something troubling you?"
"Oh, no Rigel. I'm fine, thanks," Edmund smiled at him. "I think I'll study for a while. Would you make sure no one disturbs me?"
"Of course, my king."
The amphitheater was full of Animals and Narnians, all talking and laughing with each other. Edmund stood out of sight in one of the entrances, looking out at them. He had a hard time lecturing them; he was really quite fond of them all. Peter treated his court as colleagues and/or servants; Edmund treated his as friends. They were there to help him, and attend to his needs, but he was more aware of their feelings than Peter was. At least, that's the way it seemed to him. With a deep breath, he strode out onto the grassy field. His court stood at attention when they saw him arrive. "Please, there's no need," he said, smiling. "Everyone be seated." When they sat, he cleared his throat and began. "It was brought to my attention that there has been…well, a lot of merry making, shall we say? That's grand, I want you to enjoy yourselves. However, there needs to be more…er…discretion, I guess you could say. I'm concerned that my court is gathering a reputation," he chuckled. "That said, I must request that you keep the carousing to a minimum, and go easy on the Satyr Dances. I know they hold one every week, but perhaps you could skip a few every now and then?" He smiled as they all nodded and voiced their consent. "Good," he said, relieved that it had gone over so well. "Is there anything you need? Patriclus, have your soldiers the equipment they require?"
"Yes, my young king. Everything is in proper order."
"Excellent. And Euridecus, are the butlers and maids content? Is there anything I can do?"
"No, King Edmund. We are all quite content."
"Good. I'm glad. You may all go back to your duties now. Thank you." He beckoned to Eowyn and Rigel to follow him. "How was that?" he asked his two bodyguards.
"Very good, your majesty," Eowyn said, smiling.
"I didn't sound too harsh did I?"
"No, my king," Rigel said soothingly. "We all understand you very well."
I'm glad someone does, Edmund thought.
"Have you spoken with your servants?" Peter asked, over tea.
Edmund nodded. He saw the girls exchange a glance out of the corner of his eye. "I talked with them this afternoon."
"And you ordered them to stop their…antics?"
"I told them I'd like it if they toned it down," Edmund said. "I didn't order them to do anything."
Peter shook his head. "You're too informal with them. They'll be back to their old ways in weeks."
"Which, I still say, weren't all that bad."
"We don't need any of our courts getting a bad reputation. Yours least of all, Ed."
Edmund glared at him. He knew exactly where this conversation would end up…
"Peter, stop," Susan said gently. "He says he's talked to them. We can drop it."
"No we can't, because he doesn't get it."
"I get it just fine, thanks. You're always so worried about what people will think of us. You're always trying to stay one step ahead of people thinking we're bad rulers."
"Well you made that necessary on your first trip to Narnia."
Edmund stood up so quickly that he knocked his chair over. The servants, usually stoic even in the presence of royal arguments, all flinched, but he ignored them. "You said you'd forgiven me for that!"
"And I have!"
"You haven't, or you wouldn't have brought it up just now. I get it, you're afraid people will think I'm turning into Jadis. Well, I'm not, and I won't bully my servants around like you do to prove it to you!"
"You're out of line!" Peter yelled, standing up too.
"Peter! Edmund! Stop it!" Lucy said.
"I'm not out of line at all!" Edmund said. "They're my court, and I'll handle them as I choose."
"You'll do as I command!"
"I'm king too, Peter!" Edmund said, surprised and pleased that his voice deepened a few octaves. He stood, glaring at his brother.
Peter took a deep breath. "I think you've found the problem, there," he said quietly. He waved, excusing the frightened servants. When they'd left, he turned back to Edmund. "We can't both do this, Ed. Our styles of ruling are just…too different."
"What are you saying?" Edmund asked.
"Edmund…you need to leave."
"Peter!" Susan yelled.
"You're banished from Cair Paravel. You, and your court, will retire to one of the smaller castles elsewhere in the country. I'll keep you posted on the kingdom's progress, and you will, of course be in charge of your area of the land."
"Peter, you can't be serious!" Susan yelled again. "We need him."
"He is, Sue," Edmund said. "High King Peter doesn't need anyone." He picked up his chair and pushed it in. "I will do as he says." With a pained look at them, he walked to the door.
"Wait!" Lucy said. "How do you think the Narnians will take it if you banish him?" she asked Peter. "They love him and we need him. Aslan made him king for a reason."
Peter looked discomfited for a moment, but recovered. "I know. I'm not saying he won't rule, I'm just giving him his own section of the country to rule."
"You can't just draw a line down the middle of the kingdom like it's your bedroom, Peter," Susan grumbled.
"When can I come back?" Edmund asked, choking up a bit. He knew his brother, and his brother's temper, and he knew he would have to leave. Susan and Lucy wouldn't be able to talk Peter out of it.
"When I summon you."
Edmund nodded and left the hall.
LbN: Hope you liked it so far! Send reviews please!