Disclaimer: I don't own Narnia or any characters you may recognize from the books or the movies, I wish I did but I don't... I also don't own the Narnian Calendar. It belongs to Elecktrum who was kind enough to let me borrow it for my story. Her own stories are awesome and you should go read them too.
Summary: "Life is a reflection of intent. Love reflects love. Hate reflects hate." - Jonathan Lockwood Huie
Can the reflection in the ocean waves be trusted?
A/N: If you have not read the first six stories in the A Light in the Darkness main story arc (Awakened, Shadowed, Revealed, Concealed, Rekindled, and Refracted), I highly recommend you do so for the full experience. However, I have included a quick summary of the previous stories so if you want to give this one a whirl on its own, you can.
Epilogue: The Bestowal
7 Fairdawn 1008
Tarrin ran his calloused fingertips over the silver watchtower stitched onto the center of the sable tabard. "Vigilance."
"And yet it is quite easy to creep up on you."
With a slight jump, Tarrin spun around to meet his father's gaze. There was pride shining in those eyes as his father took in the sight of him wearing the same heraldic crest as he wore. Peridan clasped his shoulders, smiling. "I am very proud of you, Tarrin." He chuckled. "My son, knighted before he sees ten and eight years."
The delicate clearing of a throat alerted them to Marsalla's presence. Adhering to Sisemaalian formality, Tarrin bowed deeply then pressed a kiss to his mother's hand. "Mother, I pray I have brought neither shame nor dishonor to you in my actions and ask your blessing ere I present myself before our royal sovereigns."
His mother's beatific smile said as much as the tears standing in her grey eyes as she pressed a kiss to his cheek. "You have my blessing, my son, and know you have brought only honor to myself and your father. I am so proud of you, Tarrin." Apparently, she had also forgiven him for being in want of the cordial due to his attempt to protect King Edmund.
A knock at the door reminded them that there was yet a ceremony to attend. Tarrin took a deep breath as his parents left the antechamber to take their places in the Great Hall. The only member of his family who wouldn't be present was Maisee since the toddler had already been put to bed. Everyone else was waiting…
Sir Rupert Grefftus Fox opened the doors. "It is time, Tarrin Peridanson."
Schooling his face into a serious mien, Tarrin took one last deep breath then slowly entered the Great Hall. Polished armor and jewels gleamed underneath the candlelight as the court of Cair Paravel watched him walk between the raised swords of the honor guard. He could see his family standing at the head of the right line. His mother's red-gold hair shining in its perfect coiffure and even Raisa's long red curls shone with just a touch of gold highlights. His brothers ceased plucking at their sable raiment long enough to wave enthusiastically. While Peridan stood tall with his own blade, Durendal, in a place of prominence directly across from General Oreius.
As he drew near to the dais, Tarrin could see three of the Four sat enthroned in their finest raiment while King Edmund stood before them wearing his armor and silver crown, Shafhelm clasped in front of him. "Kneel before me."
Tarrin knelt and bowed his head. King Edmund touched Shafhelm first to his right shoulder and then to his left. "Rise, Sir Tarrin Delos, Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Table." King Edmund then gestured to someone standing to the left of Queen Lucy's throne. Turning back to Tarrin, he grinned then intoned, "Receive you now this sword as further symbol of how you have served the Four of Us by saving Our most beloved and honored Sister, Queen Lucy the Valiant."
The Princess Royal came forward holding one of the finest blades Tarrin had ever seen. It took until she stepped close to gird the sword about his waist for him to realize that though she was wearing a sapphire gown with embroidered golden sunbursts along the hem of her skirts and in the center of her bodice, her own blade hung at her hip. She winked at him and he felt his ears start to burn.
King Edmund stepped forward when the Princess Royal withdrew and placed the ceremonial blessing of two swift kisses on top of Tarrin's head. Then he motioned for Tarrin to turn and his voice carried throughout the Great Hall. "Soldiers of Narnia, beloved cousins and subjects, I give you Sir Tarrin Delos, Knight of the Order of the Table!"
The cheer that erupted drowned out all else. Tarrin couldn't help smiling as the Queens each kissed his cheek and the High King clasped his arm and thumped him on the shoulder. The Princess Royal briefly appeared once again to kiss his cheek but then both she and the General retreated from the crowd. Tarrin hugged Raisa and his mother before Queen Lucy bounced over and grasped his hand firmly. "You, Sir Delos, are to escort me for the first dance."
"Yes, Your Majesty."
Queen Lucy laughed as they whirled across the room. Looking over her head, Tarrin spotted King Edmund dancing with Queen Susan. Queen Lucy whispered conspiratorially, "We argued over whether you would be of the Vial or the Table. I let Edmund win. I know you'll serve us well."
15 Fairdawn 1008
"To our Valiant Queen's sixteenth year! And may Aslan grant her many more to come!"
The noise was nigh deafening as the assembled Narnians cheered, roared, howled, stamped, and clapped their approval of the toast. Lucy laughed and clapped in delight as a large strawberry marble cake (one Katerina and Susan had conspired together to make) was rolled out. Katerina grinned and raised her glass in silent salute. Someone breathed warm in her ear, "Enjoying yourself?"
As a large hand settled at her waist, Katerina smiled up at Oreius as he drew even with her. "Came for the company, stayed for the cake." The feeling of being watched caused her to glance around…Tuulea was smiling far too brightly at her, correction, at them. "And they're staring at us again. I was hoping Alithia and Ardon's news of their coming foal would distract everyone for longer than a day or two."
The Kentauri chuckled. "Do you wish me to withdraw?"
"No, you're mine, that means you have to be stared at by the matchmakers with me."
Oreius laughed and Katerina's smile widened before she hid it with her drink. The crowd shifted closer, pressing in for a better view as Lucy began opening the presents. Setting her drink down, Katerina took a steadying breath as someone brushed too near and Oreius' hand fell away from her waist. She tensed a little then relaxed as the Kentauri grasped her hand, threading his fingers through hers. It was a little odd to show affection in the midst of the crowd, but then again news of their courtship had spread like wildfire in the eleven days since their relationship had been revealed, so it wasn't as though all of Cair Paravel didn't know.
Peter stood up just then and raised his hands. The assembled crowd quieted as he grinned at his youngest sister. "It seems most fitting to Us that Our beloved Sister whom Aslan has given charge over the Eastern Sea should in fact have a ship of Her own." Katerina exchanged a look with Oreius as Peter took Lucy's hand and led her to the balcony framing the Great Hall's eastern side. Moving with the crowd, they stayed close to the Four, which made it easy to see the ship anchored in the cove. Grinning, Peter gestured grandly to the ship. "For you, Lu. What shall she be called?"
Lucy threw her arms around her brother, hugging him tight, before she clapped her hands in delight. "Oh, she's such a trig little thing!" Whirling about to face them, Lucy's smile was as dazzling as the sun on the ocean waves. "I think I will call her the Morning Dove."
The crowd roared their approval and then Susan gently reminded her sister that she had more gifts to be opened before they could proceed to the feast. As the Four led their guests back inside, Katerina was a little surprised when Oreius tugged her to the railing. "Don't you want to be where you can keep an eye on them?"
With utter confidence, the Kentauri stated matter-of-factly, "I can see them from here and you were uncomfortable."
Katerina rested her hand on his upper arm for a moment then rose on her toes to press a kiss against his cheek. "Thank you." Nodding toward the newly christened Morning Dove, she feigned a serious tone, "I don't think that trig little ship is big enough for you to go anywhere besides the main deck, a chara."
Her Kentauri looked from her to the Morning Dove then raised an eyebrow. "Why would it not be? And I believe you shall be accompanying its maiden voyage, Alambiel, not I."
She grimaced. "Yes, I know. But not until after Peter and Thalia's wedding. And how do you know for certain? Did you take a measuring rod to it?"
Oreius shook his head then captured her chin, tilting it up as he muttered, "Such an incorrigible minx you are, my Alambiel." He kissed her before she could pretend to protest his assessment.
Watching Alambiel and the Centaur General kiss, he wondered how he might use that against them both. Circe's death was long in coming and he had expected it to be achieved sooner. He had never liked the way Jadis used the Sea Witch who, being a power forged solely in Narnia, was as unpredictable as the sea she came from and had been content to let her plot her own destruction.
Now, though, now he had watched for almost long enough to be satisfied with his familiarity of Alambiel and the younger king of Narnia. Alambiel was the linchpin to weakening Narnia, her knowledge constantly proved to be greater than she allowed people to believe and her close ties to both the Four and the General of the Army made her a valuable asset. The Werewolf, Brutus, was still wandering the Northern wilderness beyond Ettinsmoor rebuilding his pack. Perhaps it was time for him to recall the Werewolves… After all, it was time to turn Alambiel into a useful tool. Soon, he would have Lew's daughter and Narnia exactly where he wanted them.
A/N: Please Read and Review! And so ends A Light in the Darkness: Reflected! I hope you enjoyed both this chapter and the story as a whole. As I mentioned a couple chapters back I have some very BIG plans for our beloved characters this summer; however, I probably won't start posting the next main entry A Light in the Darkness: Veiled until late June/July as I need to take some time to focus on my original fiction. Never fear though, I shall be posting a number of one-shots and two-shots in the interim, which shall include a bachelor party and wedding and at least one good KnockOut story. Leave a review and let me know what y'all thought about this chapter and story.
A/N2: The Morning Dove and Peter's gifting it to Lucy is the original idea of WillowDryad who was kind enough to allow me to borrow the trig little thing from her story Counted Among the Traitors (psst, if you haven't read this, you should go read it...now, right now!) and give it to Lucy two years early. An additional giant and most heartfelt thank you to Willow for not only encouraging *cough*badgering*cough* me to keep writing this story and gleefully cheering when I hit upon the unplanned relationship snarl between Kat and Oreius but also being an awesome beta reader.
A/N3: Thank you to everyone who has read, followed, favorited, and reviewed my story. Your support means a lot and helps me to keep writing about Oreius, Kat, and the Four.