A/N: I don't know where this came from. I haven't even watched PC recently...anyway, enjoy! Reviews are much appreciated.
You may find Narnia a more savage place than you remember.
A more savage place?
He doubts that.
How must they appear to this sceptical Dwarf? As the stuff of fairytales, of legend, catapulted into the future to stitch up the tears that have been ripped in their perfect world with their old-fashioned values. They are from the mists of history, blurred into myth. They are from a golden time of great battles, glorious victories, codes of honour, damsels in distress. When the women were more beautiful and the men were more noble and the jewels were brighter and the wine was richer and the laughter was louder. When the trees danced and the animals spoke. When Cair Paravel was the shining capital, glowing with culture and beauty. When the world was effortlessly happy and peaceful. Doubtless they will come storming in, disdainful of modern customs, and win Caspian's throne with old virtuousness, righteous anger and many hurrahs.
They had fought a heroic battle against a Witch, and won a valiant victory with the aid of a Lion, and been crowned with prophecy as their only real claim to the thrones, seamlessly transforming from children into monarchs. The four of them reigned together as perfect sovereigns, as legends. Sweet Queen Lucy, who would sneak out of the castle to go dancing in the streets with the common folk and picked berries in summertime. He, wise King Edmund, with his quick wit and ready smile, passing fair judgement on all. Beautiful Queen Susan, who threw the most spectacular parties in the land and had men from all over the world compete for her hand in friendly tournaments. Noble High King Peter, the finest warrior of his time, chivalrous and daring, cheerfully defending his country's borders and riding to the aid of those in need. They lived an easy, happy life, luxury poured on them. They gave feasts and balls and tournaments and festivals that lasted for months on end, dances that went on for days, songs that were sung for many happy hours. Everyone lived in comfort and joy, and there was utter peace, and everywhere and everyone was beautiful and sickness and grief and unnecessary violence became but a dull and distant memory.
What would we know of hardship? Of real war, of real pain and real enslavement? What can we do, landed in this strange, savage world, out of our depth with our naive and archaic customs?
How false is legend, he thinks dryly.
It is a shimmering mirage of perfection. As each era passes, people choose to forget all but the best of it. This Dwarf knows nothing of their time, only what legend has told him, and Edmund has never met a legend that shows a story in all its truth. The Narnians have picked the best bits out of the Golden Age and clung to them, and allowed all the rest to slip out of memory.
They had been children, nothing more, when they were plunged into struggle and battle, and had seen things no child should see. They had their innocence snatched away, and as children had become killers. They had watched people they knew cut down on a battlefield or frozen into stone by the Witch's wand and their cold, paralysed bodies dashed to pieces on hard rocks or crushed into dust under the wheels of her chariot. They had risen to the thrones as ignorant children, with no knowledge of economics or diplomacy or anything else that was required to run a country, and Narnia had teetered dangerously that first year. As monarchs, they had raised their country out of the frost and ashes of its former glory, and the bricks of the shining city of Paravel were cemented with their own blood, sweat and tears. They themselves were tattered shadows of their perfect images. Sweet Queen Lucy, who had first knifed someone when she was nine years old. He, wise King Edmund, who had once made a strategic decision that had cost the lives of half the army and a village full of civilians. Beautiful Queen Susan, who brought her country to war several times by her flirting and changing favours. Noble High King Peter, who had killed fourteen men with his bare hands.
Legend never spoke of the long, gruelling months of campaign that it took to keep Narnia safe and happy. It never spoke of those who froze slowly to death inside their armour in the bitter north, of those who went raving mad with the heat in the wars with Calormen. It never spoke of the sweat and confusion of battle. It never mentioned the innocent people he had seen sacrificed to the god of the Calormenes, of the agonising nights he had spent with his brother, curled in a dank cell, backs in bloody ribbons from the lash, licking trickles of water off the walls to try to quench their thirst. Never of the men who, driven by lust, had tried to force themselves on Susan, never of those who had kidnapped Lucy and held her life against them until Narnia's armies laid down their weapons. It did not tell of the horrific famine they had suffered, of the time they had sold off all the priceless furniture in Cair Paravel to trade for food for their people. It never mentioned the time Susan had washed up on the beach, blue skinned and ice blooded, having almost drowned saving a young Fox when the tide rushed in on the beach, the time Lucy had run for three miles through a dark forest, her arms and legs torn up by thorns, pursued by wolves, the time Peter had wandered, dehydrated and delirious, through the searing desert for two weeks, the time he, Edmund, had been captured by remnant followers of the Witch and almost sacrificed in a ritual intended to bring her back. He absently rubbed his wrists, where he could still feel the burn of the ropes they had bound him with. It did not tell of the soul-deep fear and sheer blind panic when Peter's life-blood ran over his hands on the battlefield, or when he himself slipped into hazy oblivion with his brother's despairing howls in his ears.
You may find Narnia a more savage place than you remember.
He hides a bitter smile, and doubts.
A/N: Thanks for reading