A/N: It seemed odd not to post anything on World Book Day, so here is a quick oneshot set at the beginning of the Golden Age. It is inspired by part of 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight' which was one of the readings in school for the week. It's kind of silly, but I like it :)
This goes with the idea that the Narnians consider it rude to be mounted on a horse when their king is on the ground, but not to be on the ground when their king is mounted. Edmund and Peter aren't aware of this, and when they discover it, use it to amuse themselves at the expense of their court. Because after all, they are two young boys at this point...
Please review! I would love to know what you think of this :)
The heavy hooves of Narnia's finest horses thundered through the Great Western Woods. A herald rode first, hunting horn blasting. High King Peter the Magnificent cannoned after him, a sunshine-haired boy of thirteen, borne by a towering white stallion whose muscles rippled powerfully under his rider. His face was flushed with the thrill of the hunt, crown slightly askew on his head, golden hair made wild by the wind. He appeared the picture of boyish pleasure, but there was a suggestion of the man he would be in the sweep of his jaw and the set of his shoulders.
There was not yet any hint of manhood about the younger boy who tore along at his brother's heels, mounted on his trusted steed Phillip. King Edmund the Just was every inch a child, but a fierce joy lit up his face as he whistled through the forest, two bright strips of colour painting his pale cheeks with the exhilaration.
The court galloped along in their wake, centaur lords and mounted dignitaries alike. Suddenly, the herald wheeled around, and the rest of the mighty procession followed, so that soon the whole hunting party were gathered in a clearing.
"What's this? Why've we stopped?" gasped King Peter, breathless.
"My apologies, Your Majesty. We seem to have lost the trail of the quarry," replied the herald glumly.
"Again?" burst out King Edmund. "That's the fourth time today!"
"Might I advise sending out the trackers again?" cut in Oreius, who had insisted on accompanying them on a day's hunting for their protection.
The herald nodded, and before long, a pack of Talking Dogs had shot off into the forest, eager to smell out the quarry for their new kings. Edmund noticed his brother's skew crown, and gave him a significant glance, reaching up to tap his own to get the message across to Peter. Peter blushed slightly and tilted it back, smiling in thanks and Edmund felt heat rush into his own face as he gave a shy smile in return, unused to gratitude from his brother, however small. They were still exploring their new bond, and it seemed to him that every day he discovered something fresh that he'd never bothered to notice about Peter before.
Stiff from the saddle, Peter swung down to the forest floor, landing heavily and wincing. He stretched and had only walked a few paces when he heard a curious cacophony of rustling and clinking behind him. He turned to find that the entire company had also dismounted, dropping quickly from their horses as their king did so, with the exception of Edmund, who was still perched on top of Phillip looking as bewildered as Peter felt. They shared a puzzled glance, then Peter strode back to his mount, disconcerted and self-conscious. He hoisted himself back into the saddle, and looked on in confusion as the rest of the party hastened to do the same.
Peter turned back to Edmund and cocked his eyebrow, and Edmund took great pleasure in finding that he understood his brother's silent message: You try.
So Edmund slid down from Phillip and gave a large, obvious stretch. The boys watched in amusement as, sure enough, their following of court members hurried off their own horses. Twin ideas swam into their heads, and they glanced at one another with matching mischievous grins. Peter dismounted, pretended to adjust something on his saddle, and then swiftly turned and clambered back up onto his steed. About half of the court began to do the same, and then froze as Edmund turned big brown wounded eyes on them, standing dejectedly next to Phillip. With uncertain glances at their High King, all dropped back to the ground. Satisfied, Edmund turned to remount and with audible noises of relief, so did the rest of the hunting party. However, at precisely the moment that Edmund took his seat in the saddle, Peter was dropping out of his, and their followers were caught out, some hanging over their horses, feet in the stirrups, others jumping from their seats as though they had been suddenly burned.
Peter smothered a laugh and began to climb back into the saddle, but before he was seated he swung down again. Those members of the court who had already retaken their seats leapt from their saddles in horror, mortified at disrespecting their High King.
The boys continued in this manner for some time, switching and feinting until the whole court was a confused, fumbling mess of scrambling onto and tumbling off their mounts. Eventually, the two boys swung down from their horses and stood together, snickering as the hunting party gave a collective sigh of relief and slumped against their steeds.
Oreius turned a stern, reprimanding gaze on the mischievous pair that he had resolved to take under his wing. For all their kingliness, they were still two young boys who, he decided, would most definitely need educating in the art of courtly manners. His kings noticed him watching them and both flushed as they realised that their game was up. Edmund shrank slightly closer to Peter, who smiled apologetically, bright in Oreius's face. A flicker of a smile passed over his own hard countenance, and the two relaxed. Today, they had gotten away with it.
A/N: Thanks for reading!
Please review, they are very welcome :)