AN – First of all, so sorry this took so long. I've been a little stumped, but I have a couple of ideas at least, so hopefully that'll carry me through. Any suggestions let me know. POVS you want me to do or anything like that.
Also, I know this is a drastically different Peter than the last two chapters, but it's been about three months, so we're gonna go with the idea that he's feeling much better.
Throughgood was never quite sure what Pevensie was going to do next.
At the beginning of the term he'd sat in the back, quiet and skittish. He'd flinched when he'd been addressed, and he'd been walked to a from class every day by a boy with dark hair who looked like he'd fight the whole world for him.
That had been at the beginning of the term, when Summer was just starting. The younger boy had been away a while, but he was back now, now that fall was coming. That had seemed to ease Pevensie a little, he'd told one of his mates after class that his brother was due back the next day.
Now Pevensie talked, and he laughed with his other mates, as he watched the other boys file out and waited for the dark haired boy after classes. That was what he was doing now, sitting with his books, waiting. Thoughgood asked him if he needed anything and he shook his head, saying, "He should be here soon."
"No hurry lad."
Pevensie, one of the boys had told him, had been in the war. Maybe that was why when he looked at you you wanted to look away. His eyes were dark and stormy and horribly steady, and they spoke of things and places that boys his age should not see.
But he never acted as wounded as he really was. He'd smile with the rest of the class when Throughgood made one of his rare jokes, and every once and a while he'd make an astute, and incredibly wry observation.
But then you would see the cold come back into his eyes if someone said something that was out of turn, you could see the blankness that reflected there if he was riled, and you were reminded, quite harshly, that the boy had seen things.
Throughgood knew what war did to men, had seen it, had felt it. But he thought, sometimes, that he knew nothing about what it had done to Peter Pevensie.
He watched as Pevensie stood and the other boy rushed into the room, saying, "Sorry I'm late, Pete. The trains ran late and the meeting - "
He just laughs, "You're fine. I'm not in a hurry." He goes to leave then looks at his brother's face, turns it, asks, "Who did that?"
Throughgood can just make out the fading outline of a bruise on the younger boy's face. "Ed?"
There was no answer and without warning, he pushed the boy down on a seat and pulled up his shirt sleeve, his face darkening as he hissed, "Did Dad - "
"Then who, Ed?"
The boy turns away, and he can almost see the shame on his face, as he mumbled something, that Peter obviously heard well enough. He turned his brother back to look at him, then bent his head and murmured something in his ear, something that made the boy relax. But Throughgood was not relaxing, because he could see the rage beginning to make storm clouds of the boy's eyes, could see him begin to shake with anger as he kissed the top of his brother's forehead before turning to Throughgood and saying, "I really hate to ask..."
Ten minutes later the younger boy was sitting in Throughgood's office sipping at a cup of tea and resettling the cold compress over his face. He'd said yes when Pevensie had asked because he'd felt for the lad, but also because he'd never seen someone as angry as he'd seen Pevensie in that moment. The brother apparently had, because he'd called, on the way out, "You kill him and you'll have to live with aunt Alberta."
Now the boy looked at him and apologized for his time, and Throughgood shrugged. He'd learned to take things in stride in twenty years of teaching. This wasn't the first boy who'd found himself on his couch with a cup of tea and a compress.
"Your brother made a convincing argument."
"I could not hold him."
Throughgood shook his head, "No. I don't imagine you could've. You've seen him that angry before?"
He looked up, and the boy sighed, "You wouldn't believe me if I told you."
Edmund had been fourteen. He'd been captured, he remembered that still, though most of the ordeal was blurred. But his brother -
When Peter had found him, and he had, he'd shown his captor's no mercy, offered none. When the leader had fell to his knees before him, his older brother had not hesitated, had not questioned, had not flinched.
He'd slit his throat. Kicked his corpse away, and knelt down next to Edmund.
Another man might have flinched when Peter brushed his hair away from his face. He might have wondered about the stability of such a man as he gathered him up in his arms.
But Edmund hadn't even worried as he'd leaned against his brother's chest and closed his eyes. Peter had him. Everything was fine.
He sighed and turned his head away from the noise. He hadn't slept well for months after Narnia, and now that he was finally asleep, someone wanted him to move.
"Ed?" a sigh, then someone slid an arm across his shoulders and under his knees. The other man, the professor, asked, "You need help with him?"
"Nah. I can still carry him." A heft and he was up.
"I'd hope so. Let's go, hmm. I've got a cab."
He lapsed a minute until he was in somewhere else, and they were moving, his head on Peter's knee, his brother's hand stroking through his hair. He roused enough to say, "I'm sorry I didn't tell you."
"Hush. It's all right."
"He'll be staying with us a while."
"Aunt Alberta -"
He felt his brother stiffen, "I wouldn't let that woman near a dog I didn't like."
He relaxed again, drifted off for a time. He became aware again when he was being settled into a bed in a room he almost didn't recognize.
His older brother looked up from where he was unlacing his own shoes, having already helped Edmund into his pajamas. "Hmm?"
"Why am I in your room?"
"Thought we'd let Eustace have some space to himself."
He smiled, thinking it had more to do with the fact that his brother wanted him closer to him than any sort of space arrangements. But he'd let Peter have this facade if he wanted it.
"I'm glad your back."
He heard rather than saw his brother smile, "I'm glad I'm back too."