A/N: I don't know what to write. How about… Yay I'm BOOK FREE! Well, after the first page I am. I'm still sorry that I didn't update for about three weeks last time! But hopefully this should've been posted on the 25th or 26th, provided my pygmy goat doesn't decide to kid early!
Princess Emma Of Narnia: Okay.
Calyn: In case you haven't noticed, pretty much all of the fic has been like that until now. And I know I'm breaking copyright laws, but then really, isn't this whole website? It's not like I'm making any money from this, it's entirely for entertainment purposes and I make that perfectly clear in my disclaimer, thank you. And I have also said, many times before, that I am only using the book to make the whole story flow and fit together, because Sophie arrives at the same time as the Pevensies. I have my reasons, and if you don't like it, you don't have to read it. And when I said chapter 8, I don't count the prologue, so I really meant this chapter.
Raven Winter: Thank you! I'm glad you like it! I hope you keep reading though, it's (supposedly) going to get better!
Anyway, on with the story!
DISCLAIMER: All original content belongs to C.S Lewis and HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd. This is purely a non-profit take on The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.
Chapter 8 – What Hurts The Most
That night they slept where they were. How Aslan provided food for them all I don't know; but somehow or other they found themselves all sitting down on the grass to be a fine high tea at about eight o'clock. Next day they began marching eastward down the side of the great river. And the next day after that, at about teatime, they actually reached the mouth. The castle of Cair Paravel on its little hill towered up above them before them were the sands, with rocks and little pool of salt water, and seaweed and the small of the sea and long miles of bluish-green waves breaking for ever and ever on the beach. And oh, the cry of the sea gulls!
That evening after tea the five children all managed to get down to the beach and get their shoes and socks off and feel the sand between their toes.
The next day was more solemn. For then, in the Great Hall of Cair Paravel – that wonderful hall with the ivory roof and the west wall hung with peacock's feathers and the eastern door which looks towards the sea, in the presence of all their friends and to the sound of trumpets, Aslan solemnly crowned them and led them to the five thrones – with two on each side leading up to a higher, more majestic throne, for the High King – amid shouts of, "Long live High King Peter! Long live Queen Susan! Long live King Edmund! Long live Queen Sophie! Long live Queen Lucy!"
"Once a king or queen in Narnia, always a king or queen. Bear it well, Sons of Adam" Bear it will, Daughters of Eve!" Cried Aslan.
And through the eastern door, which was wide open, came the voices of the mermen and the mermaids swimming close to the shore and singing in honour of their new Kings and Queens.
So the children sat on their thrones and sceptres were put into the hands, and they gave rewards and honours to all their friends; to Tumnus the Faun, to the Beavers', to Grumbleshin the Dwarf, and Giant Rumblebuffin. To the leopards, the good centaurs, the good dwarfs and the lion. And that night there was a great feast in Cair Paravel, and revelry and dancing, and gold flashed and wine flowed, and answering to the music inside but stranger, sweeter, and more piercing, came the music of the sea people.
But amidst all these rejoicings Aslan himself quietly slipped away. And when the Kings and Queens noticed that he wasn't there they said nothing about it. For Mr. Beaver had warned them, "He'll be coming and going," he had said. "One day you'll see him and another you won't. He does like being ties down – and of course he has other countries to attend to. It's quite all right. He'll often drop in. Only you mustn't press him. He's wild, you know. Not like a tame lion."
As Sophie fell onto her bed that night, she put her hands behind her head and began remembering the ball earlier. She hadn't wanted to go, but now she was glad she had. She didn't feel like a Queen, and it had been odd to hear so many people calling her that.
"Queen Sophie." She mumbled. It didn't sound right. "Queen Sophie Stevenson."
She put a hand to her neck, and felt the necklace there. She smiled at the memory of how she'd got it. The whole thing had started as she'd been led to her room by a dryad.
"I hope you will find this room to your satisfaction, Queen." She had said, pushing the door open and gesturing to the room. Sophie stepped into the doorway, looking curiously at the dryad.
"I'm sure I will…" She said, before turning her head to look in the room.
"Oh my!" She cried, putting her hands to her face and gasping.
"What is it, Queen?" The dryad said in alarm.
"It's amazing!" Sophie cried, dancing up and down a little. "I can't believe it!"
Her room had a King-sized, four poster bed, with midnight blue sheets. The floors were bare wood, and had a big patterned rug over the floor at the end of her bed. There was a desk just next to the door, up against the wall. A big desk, with draws and a large vanity mirror propped up on it. There was a large wardrobe at the end of the room, which had full-length mirrors on the doors. And between the bed and the wardrobe, there was a set of open double doors, with satin curtains which were fluttering lightly in the breeze coming from outside.
"Oh!" Sophie rushed forwards, and on to the balcony, the dryad's chuckle disappearing behind her.
"Isn't it beautiful?" She asked the dryad, gesturing to the view. She could see over the beach, over the eastern hills, and could hear the mer-people singing.
"Yes, Queen, it is. I will get your dress for the coronation ball." She said, sweeping into the room and pulling out a dress from the wardrobe.
"I have put it on your bed. Please Queen, come and get ready."
But Sophie's eyes were wide and she was leaning away, bending over the rails. "Uh-huh." She said. "You are not getting me into that. Not for anybody. I do not wear dresses, I know that much. And as for getting ready – what do you mean? If you mean hair and make up, you're laughing. I look stupid with makeup on, and you can't do anything with my hair!"
"Queen," the dryad laughed, "You are babbling. Please, come and sit." She pulled out the chair of the desk. "I promise you, Queen, that I can style your hair. It is not as bad as mine, for I am a tree."
Sophie pursed her lips. "I don't care. I'm not going." And she folded her arms.
"Not even for me?" came a lilting voice in the doorway.
"Susan, tell her I'm not going!" Sophie demanded, pointing at the dryad.
"Ah." Said Susan, walking into the room. She had a dress folded over her arm. "I'm afraid I can't. This is our coronation ball, we must go. Don't be silly Sophie."
"NO!" Sophie yelled. "I don't want to go!" She ran forwards, and threw herself on her bed.
"Not even for your sister?" Susan asked, grinning.
"Huh?" Sophie asked, rolling onto her back and sitting up and crossing her legs beneath her. Susan raised her eyebrows, and Sophie frowned.
"That was low."
"Did it work?" Susan asked, hopefully.
"Yes." Sophie sighed, and threw herself backwards. "Oh, it's so soft!"
"Get up and get dressed, quickly!" Susan ordered. "I'll get my dress on too. I brought it with me, I had a feeling you'd be being stubborn!" She laughed.
Sophie frowned again, and heaved herself off the bed. "Okay, I'll wear the stupid thing. But I'll look horrible." She decided.
"I assure you, Queen, you will not." The dryad said, gliding over and holding out the dress.
"Will you stop calling me 'Queen'? My name is Sophie." She said, quickly getting out of her clothes and holding out her arms.
The dryad simply smiled, and gently helped Sophie into the dress.
"All done." She said moments later, letting Sophie go.
"Hmph." She said. "But you're not doing my hair. I don't trust trees with my hair, they normally ruin it."
"Stop being stubborn." Susan said, appearing from around the bed. "Thank you," She said to the dryad. "You may go now."
She nodded, and gracefully swept out of the room, closing the door behind her. As soon as she had been gone a little while, Sophie burst into laughter.
"I know you're a Queen, but you don't have to order her about!"
"She won't mind. Come, I'll do your hair. Mine is already done." Sophie opened her mouth to protest but Susan cut her off. "And before you say anything, I won't do anything fancy with it, just simple."
Sophie narrowed her eyes and pursed her lips, but nodded suspiciously. She slid into the chair avoiding looking in the mirrors.
"You are to dance with Edmund for the first dance." Susan instructed, picking up the brush and trying to de-tangle Sophie's hair.
"You won't be able to do anything with it. It's an untameable explosion. And don't say I didn't warn you!" Sophie laughed. "And why Edmund?"
"Because Peter is already taken." Susan answered a little too quickly. Sophie raised an eyebrow and nodded slowly.
"Well, I don't want to dance with Peter anyway."
"You might have too!" Susan laughed, and Sophie's eyebrows went higher.
"Why? You just said I had to dance with Edmund." Sophie asked, closing her eyes.
"Because he is the High King, he has to dance with everyone." She said.
"How do you know all this?" Sophie asked.
"Everyone must dance with their date for the first dance. And because I read a lot of princess books as a child."
"DATE!" Sophie roared, opening her eyes again, "Date! I'm not dating Edmund!"
"I know!" Susan laughed, "But you have been paired as his date so you must start and finished the night with him."
"I won't kiss him." Sophie said. "He's stubborn, irritating, self centred and annoying! I refuse to kiss him."
"You don't have to. And please don't talk about kissing my brother." Susan said, disgusted. "It's rather weird."
"Oh. Yes." Sophie said, thinking. "Ew. I would not like to hear about that from my brother's girlfriend! If he ever got one."
"I think that about Edmund. He never gets a girlfriend. He went around moping at school, complaining nobody would ever love him. He's such a funny boy. I bet he'd get all defensive and off hand if he knew we were talking about him like this!"
"I can just imagine what he'd say!" Sophie said with a giggle. "I can't believe you were talking about me." She said, imitating him. "Don't ever do it again, or I won't talk to you."
"Yes, that's him exactly!" The older girl laughed. "Now shush. You move your head when you talk."
For almost fifteen minutes, Sophie sat as still as she could, keeping her eyes firmly closed. She did not wish to see how she looked. Susan was gently tugging her hair into place, and seemed to be twisting it up on top of Sophie's head. And finally, she was done.
"There." Susan said. "Perfect. Even if I do say so myself."
"I doubt it." Said Sophie, opening her eyes. "My hair will never be perfect."
"I bet Edmund will think so." Susan said, cheekily.
"What? Shu- no!" Sophie said, standing up to swat her.
Susan laughed. "C'mon, we should go."
"Do I have to?" Sophie protested, hoping one last time to get out of it.
"Yes, the date you won't kiss will be waiting." Susan said, poking her tongue out.
"Don't be so childish, Queen Susan." Sophie said in a snotty voice, before bursting out into laughter.
"Susan! Sophie!" A high-pitched voice was calling. "There you are!" The owner of the voice appeared in front of them, her golden hair left hanging loose, with a plait each side, running from above her ears around to the back of her head.
"Lucy!" Sophie said, smiling.
"Oh! Look at the colours of our dresses!" The little queen sang. "Ruby for the eldest, Sapphire for the middle, and Emerald for the youngest! We're gems!" She laughed, grabbing Sophie's hand, and then Susan's.
"Let's go dance!"
Edmund stood at the entrance to the Great Hall, adjusting his shirt collar. This thing will choke me, he thought. I don't want to be here. But they made me dance with Sophie. And she's a girl, I bet she'll want to be here.
Oh god, here they come. I can't even dance; get me out of here!
"Hello, brother." Susan greeted him, smiling.
"Edmund, Edmund!" Lucy cried, jumping up and down. "You look handsome!"
His dark hair was brushed for once, and he looked like a King.
"Edmund." Sophie said shyly, pinching part of her dress. The Sapphire blue material was fitted to her waist, where there was a beaded ring around her middle. The dress then flared out from there, forming a circle around her feet. The ends had lace over them, as did the sleeves. They were full sleeves, flaring from the shoulders. She had a square neckline, which she liked, but her chest felt bare. I need a necklace, she thought.
"Sophie. You look…" Beautiful? No. "Good." He said, awkwardly. "Shall we dance?"
"It would be an honour, King Edmund. Or are you Sir King Edmund? Does that even work?" Sophie laughed, taking his arm.
"Wait…Queen Sophie." He retorted, with a grin. "I have something for you." He pulled a small parcel from his pocket and placed it in her awaiting hand.
"What – what is it?" She asked, looking up into Edmund's eyes, confused.
So she did. As Sophie pulled out the gift, she gasped. It was the necklace she needed!
"Oh Edmund! It's beautiful!" She threw her arms round his neck, not thinking. She pulled back to look at the necklace. It was just the kind of thing she liked. It was a simple, delicate butterfly, and its wings had a stone set in each one. The stones were a blue, sapphire colour.
"I had Grumbleshin make it for you. I know how much you love that dwarf." Edmund teased.
"I don't love him. He just fed me and then let you have the keys to my cell, so of course I like him." She said, looking up from the necklace. "Here, put it on." She turned around, putting the clasp at the back of her neck and waiting for Edmund to take it.
He sighed, and quickly did up the clasp. "There."
"So lets go." Sophie said, with a smile.
They began to walk down the stairs, when Sophie suddenly whispered, "I don't know how to dance!"
"Neither do I, don't worry!" He said. "Hey, careful!" He said, as she wobbled on the stairs.
"It's the shoes, okay?" Sophie laughed. "Help me walk though, will you? Like you did on the way to the Witch's house." Sophie carefully placed her feet down as she descended the last few steps.
They both sighed as Sophie's feet touched down on the floor.
"Okay, lets get this over with!" Sophie chuckled. Somewhere, she caught a glimpse of a ruby red dress, and another glimpse of an emerald green one, and felt oddly comforted.
A/N: Awwww! Ball memories in the next chapter! And did you know chapter 7, or chapter 8 if you're including the Prologue was my longest chapter? 3360 words! I can't really take credit though, because most of it came from the book. But I'm BOOK FREEEEEEEEEEE now!
Livy ~ xx