A/N Hello everyone, yes I am back. To all of those waiting for an update on 'Duty Comes First' I'm sorry but I am at a total loss as to where that fic is going, I've had two conflicting ideas and I can't decide so I'm afraid you guys might be waiting a while until I can find some inspiration.
To everyone else, I hope you enjoy this one. I'm afraid I may be a little bit rusty with regards to writing for Narnia so please review to tell me if you think I've done okay…
Disclaimer: I own nothing, not even Skandar…Okay I own the plotline and a poster…
People often say, when things seem too good to be true, they probably are. Now, while this wasn't a particularly common saying in Narnia every Narnian worth his lions knew and had experienced it more than once in his or her lifetime.
This being said, it is rather surprising that King Frank had never considered how easily his own perfect life could crumble around him. You see, as cliché as it might sound, Frank truly believed his life was perfect; he had the most beautiful woman in Narnia - quite possibly the world- to call his wife and two beautiful children to call his own. Yet it was to be this very perfect life that would be destroyed forever and no one could ever have predicted how tragic the beginning of the end would be.
It is important for the reader to know that prior to this story, Helen, the queen, had found out that she was expecting the pitter-patter of tiny royal feet. She had developed that queer glow the often befalls pregnant women despite the swollen ankles and throbbing back and beamed happily as her belly ballooned over the months. She laughed delightedly as Peter practised his swords-play with a very battered Trumpkin and snuggled up with Susan who slowly began to read her mother's moth-eaten dictionary for herself.
So, for anyone who had seen her during her pregnancy, the sight of the grey-faced woman laid almost motionless on her bed would have been a terrible shock; in fact it was for her doctors, many of them suspected some kind of sorcery had taken place (given later events it is not unwise to believe they were right in their assumptions). Her dark hair was glued to her face by the sweat that was pouring from her forehead as she gasped through another contraction whilst the midwives cooed words of encouragement.
With a wail, the queen gave birth to a little prince, collapsing into her pillows as he screamed his protests at having been forced from the warmth of his mother's womb.
Helen panted heavily as her son was wrapped up, unable to find the strength to crane her neck for even the smallest glimpse of her son.
"His name is Edmund." She closed her eyes wearily before whimpering as a fresh wave of contractions took hold of her lower abdomen.
Helen was too exhausted to speak and winced again as contraction after contraction attacked her.
"There's a second baby," one of the midwives, an elderly faun, realised incredulously.
The queen cried out as the second baby, a girl, came into the world.
As the new princess screamed to announce her arrival (setting her brother off again in the process), her mother gave a soft gasp before her chest stopped heaving. The Queen was dead.
Months later, the country wore black and trudged along, trying to go about their business despite the melancholy looks that were permanently etched onto their faces. Some had barely stopped crying since their Queen's death. Others had been too shocked to shed a single tear.
The palace had become an island of misery. The king was barely seen anymore, the eldest of his four children would occasionally be spotted wearing the darkest black velvet garments ever seen with tears constantly crusting their skin. The twins Helen had died for had yet to be presented to the public, many wondered if the baby (no one had announced the birth of twins) had indeed survived the birth at all.
In fact, the princess had yet to be named. Frank could barely look at her, (despite her already impossibly friendly and loving nature) let alone find it in himself to name her. Occasionally he would pass the nursery with the intention of spending time with the twins only to hear them gurgle to one another causing a deep pain in his heart that forced him to excuse himself from that wing of his palace under the pretence of an important meeting.
Peter was the only one who chose to devote his time to the care of his little siblings, despite how often he left the nursery covered in baby vomit or worse. He would sit with one of the babies in his arms and sing some nonsense to them in a soothing voice that could even lull Edmund (by far the more stubborn of the two) to sleep. On one occasion he was found by Tumnus telling his little sister about his day;
"I'm sure Trumpkin didn't mean to slice my fingers, Lucy, he's a nice enough chap really."
Tumnus smiled at the scene, "Who's Lucy, Peter?"
Peter smiled guilty at the faun before returning his attention to the dribbling girl in his arms, gently wiping the spittle from her chin with the cuff of his doublet. "No one else wants to name her, so I did."
Tumnus smiled fondly before excusing himself, trotting off as fast as his hooves would carry him to alert Frank to the news.
Frank half looked up as he heard the faun approaching. "Yes Tumnus, what is it?"
"It's Peter, sire," the faun froze as he noticed the king stiffen. "He's perfectly fine sir. Only, he's named the princess."
Frank raised an eyebrow at the faun, a smile dancing on his unpractised lips. "He has, has he?"
"Indeed, my lord. He refers to her as Lucy."
Frank nodded silently, collecting his thoughts momentarily before speaking again. "Then Princess Lucy it is."
Only six months after the death of their mother a second tragedy was set to befall the royal family.
While the rest of the palace residents slept soundly, peacefully unaware of what would await them when they awoke, the tiny twins were gurgling to one another. As they did so, an unnaturally icy wind bit at the curtains above the two cradles, blowing them outwards, casting dreadful shadows on the wall that caused Lucy to cry out for her brother in a panic.
As she squealed a figure emerged from the shadows; frightfully pale and tale in the tiny flicker of light the candle left in the nursery was able to produce. The witch grinned cruelly, observing each of the twins in turn. With a laugh she left them to complete her main objective.
The chilling scream of a little girl was the first warning anyone received to suggest anything was wrong.
Susan was carted away from her father's chambers, kicking and screaming the whole time despite her usually grown up demeanour.
Peter blinked as he was ushered away from his father's doorway. The glimpse he'd gotten of his father was less than reassuring; the king was motionless and the sheets were stained red. Young as he was, Peter was no fool; there was something very wrong that the grownups weren't telling him.
One of the maids hovering in the corridor noticed his screwed up face and walked over to him, crouching to meet his eyes.
"Sire, do you understand what's happening?"
Peter shook his head.
The maid looked towards one of the stony-faced advisors of the king, silently seeking permission to tell the little prince in front of her the truth. He nodded.
"Your father, the king, has gone to Aslan's country to be with the queen."
Peter swallowed at the lump in his throat and blinked fiercely at the tears welling in his eyes, "has anyone told Lucy and Edmund?"
The maid smiled at the little boy's concern. "I don't think so, would you like me to come with you to help you tell them?"
Peter shook his head. "I think they need to hear this from their big brother not a stranger." he didn't say it rudely, more in that innocent way a young child does when they say something they haven't realized may insult the person to whom they are speaking.
Alone, Peter walked towards the nursery, choking on his tears as he tried to be strong for his siblings. He had yet to find Susan, so far he was being kept away from her and had no idea what she knew, but Susan wasn't his main concern right now. He opened the door slowly, careful not to be too loud and scare them.
A quiet noise came from the closer of the two cradles.
There was no reply.
"Ed, it's Peter."
Despite the familiar words Peter still received no reply from the cot.
"Edmund, are you asleep?" he past Lucy who croaked indignantly as he ignored her, stopping short when he found the crib was empty.
He looked quickly at Lucy to reassure her before falling over his own feet in his hurry to find an adult to help him find his baby brother.
A/N I hope you enjoyed that, although I am well aware it is appallingly depressing. Please R&R it makes me write faster.