Disclaimer: I do not own Narnia or anything related to it.
Note: Originally I planned to do an incredibly long, involved drabble fic detailing Ramandu's Daughter and her life in 100 word increments. I got up to when the Dawn Treader came back from the end of the world and then I petered out. So I retooled it, and ended it at 60 drabbles, which I have posted here in one, long chapter. If you want to know how I originally intended to end the story, I talk about it in my commentary on my livejournal community "The Library of Anvard".
She always thought her name was 'Daughter'. That was, after all, what Father called her. And her aunts and uncles usually called her 'Ramandu's Daughter'. Then, one night, Aunt Alambil called her 'Niece'.
"Aunt, my name is 'Daughter'."
Alambil had smiled and stroked her hair. "No, that is what you are, child. You are your father's daughter, as you are my niece."
"What is my name, then?"
"Every star remains without a name until they find it. You will find your name, either from within yourself or from another who speaks it."
She frowned. "But I am not a star."
Her father was a star, past his time of shining. Her mother, though, was human; an Archenlander, to be exact. Father never spoke much about Mother. He only ever once told his daughter how a lady ran away from the court of Anvard with her brother, in search of adventure. They took ship and sailed as far to the East as the crew would take them, before continuing in a small boat of their own. Brother and sister journeyed together, until their rations ran out and they realized their adventure had become their doom.
Then they landed on Ramandu's island.
The lady and her brother were starved and half-dead when they reached the island near the Edge of the World. Ramandu had cared for them as best he could. The lady recovered quickly, but her brother only grew weaker, and died clutching her hand.
Father never told her what came after. How they fell in love. How her mother was determined to have their daughter, though giving birth to a child of a star would likely kill her. How Ramandu grieved for the loss of his wife. He did not need to tell her; she saw it in his eyes.
Her father no longer danced in the skies. This did not stop the others from bringing their niece into their flight. Alambil usually took her, holding her tightly since she could not walk on the night-field. She loved the stars' dance, floating above the earth.
And when the dancers rested, she would sit in her aunt's lap and look down at the lands that lay below. Most often, the people and places looked like the insects of her father's island, like her own little toys. Sometimes, though, she was able to see as the stars, and gaze on unknown faces.
She was six when she saw the little boy. He stood near the window of a great castle, idly playing with his toys on the windowsill. She frowned at the loneliness in his face. "Aunt Alambil, who is that?"
"That is Prince Caspian, dear. He's a Telmarine."
She didn't understand the disapproval in her aunt's voice. She just knew that this Caspian was lonely, much as she sometimes was. "May I go down and play with him, Aunt?"
Her aunt pulled her closer and sighed. "No, dear. It is not time yet."
Another sigh. "All too soon, love."
Most of her time was spent with her father. It was a quiet childhood, sometimes lonely, but never unbearable, not when she had her father. Ramandu cared for his child with all his heart. She was the brightness that had made his fallen solitude bearable. He taught her all he could, all that her growing mind would lap up.
Those things which Ramandu didn't know, her aunts and uncles and grandmother taught her. Though her aunts and uncles knew only the night, Grandmother danced through the night and sometimes into the day when she met with her husband, the sun.
Grandmother was the wisest of the heavenly bodies, and taught her granddaughter how to be a lady. Grandmother saw both night and day, learning through her countless years of observance how a proper human woman would act, what she would know. Always, Grandmother kept the example of the first woman, Queen Helen of Narnia, in mind as she taught her granddaughter.
And so Ramandu's Daughter learned Narnian etiquette; she learned to think, sew, and cook. Most importantly, Grandmother taught her to read the old texts that her father kept in their home. Those books were some of her greatest joys.
When she was nine years old, she saw something strange floating on the ocean; something she had only seen while in the sky. Running into her house, she yelled, "Father, come and see!" A smiling Ramandu let himself be dragged to the shore. They watched as an ailing ship sailed towards them. Its sails were ragged, timbers falling apart, and they could see the distant figures of sailors struggling with ropes.
Ramandu leaned over and grasped her hand. "Come, daughter. We must be ready to meet them."
"There is no need to fear. We will meet them together."
She watched from the window of her room as the ship beached on the island, the ragged and unwashed sailors staggering as thy disembarked. Three men seemed to be the leaders, and they were the only ones brave enough to venture closer to her home.
They ended up in the room which held Aslan's Table, and she frowned. They frightened her, these strange men, and now they were blocking her way to her food. If they wanted to eat before the birds came, she and Father would have to meet them, go near those fierce, sharp-eyed men. Her stomach growled.
Father only smiled at her fear. "My daughter, these are good men, if often proud. And it is our duty, as children of Aslan, to help those in need."
"Father…they scare me." No matter that they were weak and frightened; to a little girl who knew no one but her family, the strangers were terrifying.
Ramandu squeezed her hand tightly. "There is no need to be scared, child. I am with you." And that was enough for her; if her father said it, it was true. Still, she clutched his hand as they entered the room to greet their guests.
"Welcome, friends," said Ramandu. Her father's voice was as pleasant and gentle as when he told her stories before she went to bed. To her surprise, the men seemed wary of Ramandu, their hands straying to the things at their hips which she remembered were called 'swords'. Yet, this did not frighten her; in fact, her fear lessoned as she realized that they were just silly men who did not know how wonderful her father was, how kind and loving.
The tallest man stepped forward and greeted Ramandu; but his tone was high and proud, and she didn't like him.
As father talked to Tall Man, as she silently named him, she glanced at the other two. They seemed annoyed at the haughtiness of their companion, but made no move to speak up.
Then, one of them noticed her at her father's side. His eyes widened and she gave a timid wave. He waved back stiffly and she giggled at how silly it made him look. That made the man smile and she found that she rather liked his kind face. "How do you do, my lady?" he asked in a low voice, so as not to interrupt Tall Man.
She looked up at her father, who gave her a quick smile and squeezed her hand. Taking this permission, she tentatively let go, walking over to the man. Remembering Grandmother's instruction, she gave what she hoped was a proper curtsy. "Very well, thank you. How do you do, sir?"
The man bowed gallantly. "Better, now that you have graciously allowed us harbor on your island. I am Lord Mavrimorn of Narnia. And who might you be, lady?"
"I am Ramandu's daughter." Once more she wished she had a name, to give it to the old man with the kind eyes.
"Have you no name?" asked the man curiously.
She shook her head. "Stars do not get names until they find them."
Mavrimorn looked startled, but hid it quickly. "And how, my lady, will you find your name?"
She thought of the story she had recently read. "I think it would be grand if a handsome prince found it. He would sail here and take me all over the world and we would meet Talking Animals and speak of stars with the centaurs. And he would give me my name."
"Aslan willing," he said with a sad glance to his friend.
Her father and Tall Man soon joined them. "Do you have children, sir?" Ramandu asked, seeing how the lord acted with her.
Mavrimorn shook his head. "No, my lord. But I knew well my king's son, at least before my king's death. It has been long since I have seen the boy, for fear of his uncle." He looked so sad that she could not help but take his hand. He smiled at her. "Who knows, perhaps he will be the prince to find your name, my lady."
Smiling back, she did not see the sorrow in her father's face.
Ramandu sent her off to bed soon after, though not without a snack to hold her until morning. She bid goodnight to Lord Mavrimorn and his companions before skipping off to her room. She was glad that she had gone with Father to meet the Narnian lords (though Tall Man – she learned his name was Lord Revilian – said they were Telmarines). Drifting off to sleep, she smiled, looking forward to talking with Lord Mavrimorn when Grandfather again entered the sky.
That night, she dreamed of ships and sailors, and princes with bright eyes who whispered her name in her ear.
The next morning, she woke with a smile. Dressing quickly, she skipped down the stairs and over to the room which held Aslan's table. She giggled at the sight that met her. All three Narnian lords were sleeping with their heads on the table. Lord Argoz let out a loud snore, which made her laugh harder. Running up to Mavrimorn, she shook his arm to wake him up.
He didn't move. Frowning, she shook him harder. A hand came down on her shoulder, and she looked up at her father. Seeing the sadness in his face, she knew the truth.
It became her tradition to check on Mavrimorn and his friends each evening as the sun went down. Her father had told her what had happened, and she thought it really too bad that Lord Revilian had touched the Stone Knife, and yet the others had to sleep as well. Unfortunately, her father would not explain it to her, only saying that there were some things that were for Aslan alone to know.
She didn't like it, but eventually accepted it. And she prayed for someone to come and sail to the end of the world, and free her friend.
The years passed and Ramandu's daughter grew older, even as the fire-berries that Grandfather sent slowly returned youth to her father. She learned all she could from her family, drinking in stories of the Western lands, of the Narnia of the three lords. Many nights she danced with the stars, looking out over lands that she longed to touch.
She saw peace and war, hate and love, played out below. Her aunts and uncles watched with her, always teaching her more about everything she saw.
Then, one night, it was not Aunt Alambil, but Aunt Hiravin who took her above.
The stars were solemn; this night was a time appointed by Aslan for a great dance, meant for only two. She watched with her family as Aunt Alambil and Uncle Tarva met on the night-field. Tarva bowed to his wife, the Lord of Victory saluting the Lady of Peace, but the look in his eyes was one of passion and Alambil's gaze mirrored his intense devotion.
As her aunt and uncle came together, she looked away. The intimacy of their dance was not meant to be seen by mortals, save at a distance. And she was but a star's daughter.
The stars sang as Tarva and Alambil danced. Ramandu's daughter listened, but her eyes were fixed on the earth below. A faint cry rang out, and she focused her attention on the windows of the Telmarine castle in Narnia. A foreboding shiver ran up her back as her eyes caught sight of a figure in one of the windows
There, framed by torchlight, was a Telmarine lord. She frowned at the glint in his eyes as he watched the great dance, and she pulled back as she thought she saw him stare right at her.
She didn't like this Miraz.
Tearing her eyes away from that man, she searched the other windows. Was the boy she had seen before – Caspian, Mavrimorn's prince – still there? She had not looked for him for some time, and she hoped he was well. Aunt Alambil had told her that he often watched the night sky with his tutor, that the Telmarine prince was a Narnian at heart.
She knew how he felt. The only human blood in her was Archenlandish, and yet she also felt captivated by Narnia, and the Narnians who hid away in the woods and were seen only by the stars.
She frowned as she caught sight of a young man racing on his horse through the courtyard, escaping past guards and out of the castle, fleeing towards the woods. What was happening? Why was he running?
"Prince Caspian escapes his uncle, who seeks to kill him."
She glanced up at Hiravin, having forgotten that her aunt held her in the sky. "Will he be alright?"
Hiravin smiled and tweaked her nose. "It is in Aslan's paws. Now, it is time for you to return home." She protested, but Hiravin was firm. "Soon, child, it will be the beginning of a new morning."
To her frustration, her aunts and uncles did not allow her to join them in the sky for far too many nights. Grandmother explained that, in such an important time, it was essential that the stars not be distracted in their dance. And as all the stars were needed, none could hold her in the night-field.
So she spent her time trying to read to occupy her mind. But her thoughts continued to remain on Narnia; on the battles being raged, on the desperate plight of the Narnians. On the Telmarine prince who led them, though only a boy himself.
Finally, one day her grandmother came to the island, to tell Ramandu the outcome of the great war. She listened eagerly as Grandmother spoke of the Kings and Queens of Old returning at the call of Queen Susan's horn; how the High King dueled and defeated Miraz, how Aslan woke the trees and brought joy back to Narnia. How Telmarines and Narnians lived together in peace.
Narnia was free once more…ruled by a Telmarine who loved the Old Days. Though, if she was honest, she was more relieved to hear Caspian lived than that Mavrimorn's prince held his father's throne.
For some reason, her lessons increased in the years following Narnia's restoration. She soon found herself overwhelmed as her father, grandmother, aunts, and uncles instructed her in different aspects of life. She learned the new Narnian etiquette, and the history of Narnia that the Telmarines had destroyed but the stars remembered. More interesting was when Uncle Girvanu helped her learn to read blueprints, including of Golden Age Cair Paravel, and to memorize what details of the castle interior that the star remembered.
Inundated with lessons and studies, she did not notice her father's face slowly grow drawn with resigned grief.
"I do not see why it is necessary for me to learn how to arrange a feast for several hundred people, including various Narnian peoples." She had finally had enough and decided to complain to her father. Ramandu sat silently in his great chair while she stood before him, hands on her hips. "There are two of us on this island, and my aunts and uncles rarely visit more than three at a time. And if there is need for food, it is provided by Aslan at his table!"
Ramandu sighed and held out his hand. "Come here, my daughter."
Sighing, she knelt by her father's knees. He took her hands between his, and she was startled to see tears in his eyes. "Father, what is wrong? I am sorry, I should not have…"
He held up a hand and she quieted. "Do not apologize for seeking answers, my dearest child. But your lessons are necessary." Ramandu smiled at her. "When you leave this island to go to the lands you have longed to see, you will need all that you have learned.
She frowned at his words. "Do you not mean if I leave the island?"
"No, my daughter."
She did not ask her father how he knew she would leave her home. Aslan gave stars foresight into the future; it was written in their blood, though not in hers. It was not for mortals to know the future in their veins, only read the imminent in the sky.
She did not ask her father if she would return to the island. She didn't ask if she would ever see him again once she left. He no longer danced in the sky, but she could read the future in the way her father's hands trembled when they held hers.
The lessons continued, but she no longer complained about them; instead, she sought to learn all she could. If she must leave her father, then she would give him no reason to worry about her abilities and knowledge in his absence.
And, sad as she was to think of leaving her father and her home, a spark of excitement kindled in her heart. How would it happen? A ship would come, surely. Would they take her to the lands in the west? Oh, she wished to see them; all of them! Perhaps they would even take her to see Narnia.
She didn't have to wait very long for fate to arrive. Soon after her sixteenth birthday, a ship appeared on the horizon, sailing towards her island. Its sail was a royal purple, and the prow curved into the head of a dragon. Her excitement deepened as it drew closer, and she dearly wished to greet the travelers as they came aground.
"Daughter." She turned as her father approached. Looking out, he saw the ship and sighed. "Dearest child, we must await them inside." Her disappointment must have been evident, for he continued. "You will greet them when Aslan wills it."
It was not until they were sitting in the library that Ramandu's words fully registered. "Father, why did you say that I will greet them? Will we not be greeting our guests together?"
"No, child. I shall not join you until it is time to greet my father's birds. You will be first to welcome them to our home." He smiled. "I warn you, it is likely that they will have many questions."
The thought of greeting these strangers by herself was frightening. "Father, must I do so alone?"
"Never alone. Remember that Aslan will always be with you, daughter."
A faint greyness tinted the horizon when Ramandu nodded at her, telling her it was time for her to go to Aslan's table. She breathed deeply to calm her nervous trembling as she held the lit candle in her hands and walked into the room.
Five new figures sat around the table, watching her warily as she set the candlestick down on the table. To her delight, she could see that one was a Mouse, a Talking One if his demeanor spoke true. The others were a girl with a kind face, and three boys, one looking about her age.
Honestly, she was so nervous at the time that she was never sure what she actually said. Luckily her grandmother trained her well, so she was fairly certain that she hadn't insulted anyone. She remembered three details, though. One, that she had told them the tale of the three lords. Secondly, that she recognized the girl and one of the boys as Queen Lucy and King Edmund, from the pictures in her books.
Lastly, she was embarrassed to realize that she had flirted with the oldest boy. Really, who talks about kissing princesses in polite conversation? Grandmother would be horrified.
Thankfully, the boy did not seem to notice her slip in manners. She was mentally berating herself, though, for her words. It was just…he reminded her of that other boy, Caspian. It was always hard to see facial details at night, so she did not truly know what the Narnian king looked like, but she imagined he would look like this handsome young man…
She was very glad when Father appeared and they sang for Grandfather's birds. Hopefully their guests did not notice when she nearly choked as she heard the birds twittering with excitement for seeing one King Caspian.
She was relieved when her father took up the conversation with King Caspian and the others (she learned later that the third boy was a cousin of King Edmund and Queen Lucy, and that the Mouse was called Reepicheep). It was fascinating to hear even those bits of their journey that they told Father. She was surprised when Ramandu mentioned that he knew they had met Coriakin. Her father often spoke to her about his youngest and dearest brother, who had done some terrible thing and now lived on an island too – though his was no rest, but an exile.
As Caspian, his friends, and the newly-arrived crew discussed sailing to the end of the world in order to free the three lords, Ramandu's daughter made her way over to the tired, troubled Lord Rhoop. His tale had hurt her heart, and she had been glad when her father offered him the dreamless sleep of Aslan's table. "My lord."
He jumped at her voice, but did his best to settle his nerves. "Lady?"
She smiled gently at the old man who reminded her of Mavrimorn. "Will you sit at the table?"
"If it will end the dreams, lady."
She helped poor Lord Rhoop to the seat next to Lord Argoz, looking up as she saw that King Caspian and Queen Lucy had joined them. As Ramandu laid his hand on the lord, her eyes drifted to the two royals. Lucy held Rhoop's hand tenderly, a sweet smile on her face that made Ramandu's daughter wish to be friends with the Narnian Queen.
Caspian also placed one of his hands on Rhoop's, as if the King were blessing his servant's wish for peace. As Rhoop fell into a dreamless sleep, she prayed to Aslan the blessing would hold true.
The sailors of the ship – which was called the Dawn Treader – scattered throughout the island, and Ramandu retired to his study, leaving his daughter to practice her skills as a hostess on Caspian, Edmund, and Lucy (Reepicheep and the Royal Cousin, Eustace, had found her chess set and were intent on their game).
She was not quite sure what to say to them; she had never met anyone her own age before. Luckily, Lucy began asking questions about her life on the island, and she fell into easy conversation with the younger girl, and with Caspian, who joined their discussion.
Surprisingly, it was the mostly silent Edmund who first seemed to realize that they hadn't been given her name. Caspian looked surprised. "You're right, Edmund. Lady, forgive me for not inquiring before."
She looked down at her hands and fiddled with a stray thread on her dress. "It is no matter, my lord. I have not yet found my name, as is the way of the stars."
Silence fell as the three Narnian royals processed this information. She looked up when Caspian spoke, a smile on his face. "Well then, my lady, we will have to help you find it."
After almost a half hour of the Narnians trying to guess her name – well, really just Caspian and Lucy. Lucy disqualified Edmund for suggesting 'Murpaleesa' – conversation turned to other things. Soon it was dinner, and then night fell. The sailors mostly returned to the ship, but Caspian, Edmund, Eustace, Lucy, and Reepicheep accepted the invitation to stay on the island.
As there was only one guest room, the boys and Reepicheep were shown there by Ramandu, while his daughter took Lucy down the hall. The room they entered was small, but cozy, with books strewn around. "This is my room."
"Oh, I couldn't take your room!" exclaimed Lucy. "Where will you sleep?"
She smiled at the Narnian queen. "My father is a star. I can easily miss one night's sleep."
It took some persuading, but finally Lucy acquiesced. Ramandu's daughter gave Lucy one of her own nightgowns and sent her to the washroom to change, while she tried to tidy the room a little more. She was just finishing as Lucy returned. "Do you need anything else?"
Lucy smiled. "No, thank you though. It really is good of you to give up your room."
"It is truly not a problem."
As she was leaving, she heard Lucy make a noise of exclamation. Turning, she saw the Narnian queen looking at the small painting by her bedside. "Oh, did you paint this? It's lovely."
She unconsciously hugged herself as she focused on the picture, a miniature image of her father. "No. Truthfully, I'm absolutely horrid at painting. I asked my Aunt Jaril to paint it for me."
Lucy looked at her, the younger girl seeming to sense her sadness. "Why?" she asked gently.
"Because…my father told me I would be leaving soon. And I do not want to forget his face."
Lucy was kind enough not to press her on a matter that was obviously quite personal. So they bid each other good night and Ramandu's daughter left. Going down the stairs, she went out from the house, going to wander across the island as was her want on nights when she couldn't, or didn't want to, sleep.
She walked west to the sea-cliffs, sitting down in the soft grass and staring out over the ocean. The night was clear and she closed her eyes, letting herself drown in the song of the stars. Until startled words broke through the night.
"Oh, milady!" Opening her eyes, she saw that Caspian was not in bed as she had expected. The Narnia king looked at her in consternation. "Forgive me, I didn't know you were still awake."
"I do not need much sleep, my lord."
Caspian smiled sheepishly, likely having forgotten that she was a star's daughter. "I could not sleep myself. I suppose it's the excitement of finding the last three lords."
She could understand that. It would be exciting to be near the end of a journey. "Please, sit, my lord." She didn't expect the look of shock at her suggestion.
"Lady, it wouldn't be proper!"
With a start, she realized that he believed them to be alone, at night; certainly not an acceptable position for a respectable lord and lady. She tried not to show her amusement. "My lord, I assure you: if you attempt anything indecent - and I don't expect you to – my grandmother will have your mind before you could finish the thought."
His brow furrowed. "Grandmother? My mind?"
She nodded toward the sky. "There is a reason madmen are called lunatics."
Caspian looked up at the bright, full moon and his eyes widened in understanding. "Oh."
He sat on the ground, near her but not too near. "So, you don't sleep?"
"Oh, I sleep. I just do not need very much, according to my father."
"The blessings of being the daughter of a star, I suppose." His eyes twinkled, she noticed, but she did not believe he was laughing at her; no, he was just joking with her, and she found it rather pleasant.
"Indeed. Though, being a star's daughter does have its downsides. Not having a name, for one." She smiled and hoped she was doing this joking thing correctly.
She was, for Caspian laughed.
"We do need to remedy this lack of name, milady. Perhaps…Neala? Balinel? Sembeline?"
She smiled and shook her head. Apparently he had thought of some new names since the afternoon. "No, my lord."
"Please, call me Caspian."
"But that wouldn't be fair, my lord."
He gave her a fake glower. "Very well, Lady…Prisaprima?"
She raised an eyebrow. "No. And that sounds too much like the name you tried earlier, which turned out to be your aunt's."
He grinned. "Perhaps Edmund was right and your name is Murpaleesa and you do not want to claim it?"
She glared. "No."
"You really dance with the stars?"
"You sound surprised. They are my family, why would they not take me to the nightfield?"
"It is just…I didn't think it was possible."
"Well, I cannot walk the field. But I watch my aunts and uncles dance, and sometimes they will hold me as they move and I can feel the sky spin beneath my feet."
"It sounds wonderful."
"It is wonderful. But sometimes…I know I am only a visitor. It is the home of the stars, it is my father's home, but I do not belong there."
"I know how that feels."
"…fell right off the horse, and bruised my tailbone. I could not sit properly for a week! Don't laugh, it hurt! Really, I don't even know why I'm telling you this; it's hardly proper conversation. I suppose it's the air here."
"Well, it's so light and…and purple."
"Purple? Do you mean the smell of the heath?"
"Maybe. It's just…the air is so…soft and the sky so bright, even at night."
"The…the sky in Narnia is darker?"
"Well, yes. There's just so much light here. But, I suppose, we love the stars and moon more for the darkness."
"Did you ever look down on earth when you were on the nightfield?"
"Often. But I could never see very much. While stars can usually see detail on the earth, my eyes do not work so, and I can only see the things on earth as if they were small toys. I only ever…well, never mind that. Would you tell me more about sailing?"
"What does that look mean?"
"I was thinking perhaps…is it Trewen?"
"My name? No. What does the name mean?"
"One who changes the subject in conversation in an awkward and obvious manner."
"I never really knew my mother, either. I only have very faint memories of her; though sometimes I think I just created the memories from stories Doctor Cornelius told me."
"Is it possible to mourn someone you never met?"
"Obviously, or else we wouldn't dwell so on it."
"…My father never told me what my mother's name was."
"I'm sure he would tell you if you asked."
"Do you think she would have known my name if she had lived?"
"I think she knew. Mothers always know."
"I wish I could have met her."
"I wish you could have, too."
"No, it is most certainly heath, not heather."
"That is what Eustace said, but I honestly cannot tell the difference."
"They are related, but differ enough to be considered different plants…what?"
"Heather is a nice name."
"Yes, but it is not mine."
"Maybe another flower? Rose? Peony? Fern?"
"Hmmm, no, those don't sound right."
"Snowdrop. Lilac. Chrysanthemum."
"I do not think my name will be a flower."
"You're right, most stars have their own names. Though, I like Chrysanthemum."
"The name or the flower?"
"I…do not think I have ever actually seen a Chrysanthemum."
"There are more than one kind…"
"How did you know Edmund, Lucy and my names before we told them to you?"
"Well…my aunt Jaril drew pictures of the Four Sovereigns of Narnia, among others, in one of father's history books. I recognized Edmund and Lucy from them."
"…I've only seen as the stars do twice."
"Do I need to start calling you Trewen again?"
"When I was six, I saw a young Telmarine boy playing alone in his room. Three years ago, I saw that same boy fleeing for his life on the night his cousin was born. My aunt told me his name."
"That is your second yawn in five minutes."
"Third. My lord, I believe you should go in and try to sleep."
"Is your name Somnia? Hy…pna?"
"Oh, for…Stand up. Good. Now start walking that way, my lord. And try not to walk into the door. You need to open it first."
"Is it Kalendia?"
"Caspian's not a good name for a girl…Maybe Caspiana?"
"My lord, I think you are close to delirium from staying up so late. If you are not already there."
"It is Murpaleesa!"
"Fine, fine. Good night, milady.
The Dawn Treader set off the next morning, soon after her grandfather's birds left. Ramandu and his daughter saw them off, and she watched as the ship sailed into the distance, not moving until the top of the mast disappeared. Then she turned and went back to the house, to set up the guest room for the one sailor who had been left behind.
This Pittencream was a sour man, who shunned her and Ramandu's company whenever possible. It took a day before she threw her hands up at trying to be a polite hostess and left him to himself.
She refused to count the days. After living her life with little expectation of the future, she would not do so now. Therefore, she refused to count the days since the Dawn Treader had left. She refused to think of the words that Caspian spoke to her before his departure.
"Lady, I hope to speak with you again when I have broken the enchantments."
She wondered if he wasn't joking with her again, sharing a laugh about their, sometimes absurd, conversations the night before. Still, there was a look on his face that made her think he meant something more.
The dawn burned pink and orange on the day the Dawn Treader sailed back into view. Her father, seeing her anxiety to greet her friends, told her to greet them on the shore while he cared for the lords who would awaken as the first man stepped onto their island.
She watched as the sailors landed on the island, and Caspian was the first one to come on shore. The other sailors quickly dispersed, seeming to know that they should not interfere with the reunion of their king and the star's daughter. She held her breath as Caspian came nearer.
Caspian's face was older and wiser than when he had left. She greeted him warmly, and he smiled and bowed over her hand in return. When he straightened, he stared at her with a strange look in his eyes. Keeping hold of her hand, Caspian stepped closer and kissed her cheek, causing her cheeks to flush and her heart to pound oddly.
Though the kiss was swift, he did not move away. Instead, he brushed his mouth to her ear where he whispered something softly, gently. Her hand tightened around his.
From his lips came her name and her future.