Here's the second one-shot I wrote a few months ago. This one takes place in TastyAsItGets' universe after her The High King, the Duchess, and the Secret and The Changing of the Constellations, so this fic may make more sense if you have read those. But it can still be understood if you haven't. I did change Tasty's universe slightly to make it my own. I thank Tasty for allowing me to write this.
And thank you EWCOM for betaing both fics posted this evening!
Disclaimer - The only thing that's mine is the plot. Stinks, doesn't it? :)
"You've grown up so much, Caulitha," Lucy said to the blonde girl.
Caulitha, also known as Ramandu's daughter, blushed. "And you and Uncle Edmund have changed as well, Aunt Lucy. I never thought I would see the two of you appear younger than I do," she replied.
Caulitha, Lucy, and Edmund had excused themselves from the others and had walked to a clearing on the other side of the island to talk. The sun was bright, and its light bounced off the sand and glistened off the rolling waves. The three royals were walking on the surf as they discussed about things changed – at the moment the topic was on the High King's daughter.
"Have you been practicing the skills Peter taught you when you were young?" Edmund asked.
Caulitha laughed. "Do you think, Uncle, that I would let those skills go to waste?"
Edmund smirked. "No, I do not. Mind if I test your skills?" he asked as he drew his sword.
The High King's daughter smiled and drew the sword she had grabbed before the three of them headed away from the group. "Of course, Uncle."
The King and Princess of Old saluted each other and got into their fighting stances. Slowly, the two circled each other as they tried to get a feel for one another. Edmund struck first with an overhead arc. Caulitha blocked and used her momentum to spin out from underneath, and she attacked with an upward angled strike. The Just blocked his niece's strike and angled the blade for her neck. Caulitha ducked and swung at Edmund's legs. The king promptly jumped over her blade. Caulitha kept her head down and aimed for her uncle's middle, and the Just's blade met hers. The princess popped back up and swung her blade in an overhead arc; her uncle easily blocked the strike.
Suddenly, Edmund picked up the pace as he aimed for his niece's legs. The princess blocked the strike, and her uncle tried to twist her sword from her hands. When she did not drop it, the Just went for an upward strike and attempted to do the same thing. Caulitha, unlike when Edmund dueled Trumpkin on the beach near Cair Paravel, did not lose her grip. Instead, she used her uncle's twisting to add momentum to her spin away from Edmund's blade. The final strike of the duel came next – both the King and Princess of Old brought their swords to stop right before one another's necks. Both royals were panting slightly. After a few seconds, Edmund and Caulitha lowered their blades and laughed as they sheathed their weapons. Lucy joined in the laughing and initiated a group hug.
When they separated, Edmund said to Caulitha, "Your father will be proud."
The Princess looked at her uncle with excitement. "You will see father?"
Lucy nodded. "When we go back to our world."
Caulitha nodded in understanding, her excitement deflated a bit. "England, that is where you live now, yes?"
The Just looked at his niece in surprise. "You remember the stories we used to tell?"
Caulitha gave him a warm smile. "Of course. I hope, one day, to tell my children about England."
A call for the King and Queen of Old from the forest behind them brought the three out of their reunion. Edmund called back and said that they were coming. Lucy and Caulitha's expressions became downtrodden. Before they started to head back, Caulitha asked, "Will you tell Father and Aunt Susan that I love and miss them very much?"
Lucy smiled as comforting as possible. "Yes. And we will tell them of your wedding to King Caspian."
Caulitha gave a watery smile. "Thank you, Aunt Lucy."
"Don't you forget to tell Caspian about your history, though try to do it gently," Edmund told his niece.
Caulitha tried not to smile, but it didn't work. "Yes, Uncle Ed, I will try, though I am not Aunt Susan." The Just gave her a pointed look, and his niece raised her hands in surrender. "I promise I will tell King Caspian that I am the daughter of the man who hated him for most of the duration of his last visit to Narnia."
The three hugged before the headed back to Aslan's Table. A day or so later, all but one of the crew of the Dawn Treader, including Edmund and Lucy, set sail for the Edge of the World. As she watched the ship sail away, the Princess of Old cried, for she knew that that would be the last time she would see her Aunt and Uncle until she saw them again in Aslan's Country.
Several months later; a few miles off from Cair Paravel
Caulitha leaned against the bow of the Dawn Treader as she sailed towards the mainland. It was spring – almost summer, and the crew of the Dawn Treader had spent the winter on Ramandu's Island. And now Caulitha was going home, though nobody but she knew that. Although she had spent the last few months in the company of King Caspian, she had yet to reveal that she was the High King's daughter to her betrothed because she had yet to find the appropriate moment to tell him.
"I'm going to have to tell him before long," the Princess thought. "Aslan help me to find the right moment."
"The right moment for what?" asked Caspian from behind her.
Caulitha turned to face the brown haired, bearded king. The unknown Princess smiled to her betrothed. "The right moment to tell you something about my past."
"Oh," Caspian said as he leaned on the rail next to Caulitha. "And what would that be?"
His fiancé gave him a mock annoyed smile and a pointed look. "You'll find out when I feel it is appropriate to tell you," she answered, and to accentuate her point, Caulitha bopped Caspian on the nose with her finger. Changing the subject, the High King's daughter motioned to her father's sword hanging from her betrothed's belt. "You got that from the High King, did you not, Caspian?"
Narnia's current king smiled widely. "Why yes. How did you know?"
Caulitha rolled her eyes playfully and said, "There was a pool on Ramandu's Island that let me see what went on in Narnia. I told you this, remember?"
Caspian smiled bashfully. "Of course, how could I forget?"
The Princess's smile grew wide. "May I hold it?"
Narnia's King's expression filled with pride. "Yes you may," he answered. The ring of the sword that sounded as Caspian drew Rhindon reminded Caulitha of when she was three, and Father began to teaching her how to fight with a blade – only she used a dagger.
For a moment, I was back on the training grounds with him – a dagger in my hands and Rhindon in Father's. He taught me how to stand and step with my blade, and now he was going to teach me how to do an overhead arc. First, he has me watch him perform the skill – lifting his sword over his head and bringing it down with control, and moving in a semi-circle step. Next I got to try. For this, Father put Rhindon back in its sheath, and took out his blue-steel dagger that Uncle Edmund made for him years ago so he could help me practice. Father got down on his knees in front of me. The sunlight danced off the blonde hair that we both shared, and his deep blue eyes sparkled as he looked into my green ones.
"Ready sweetheart?" Father asked.
"Alright. Now, bring your dagger over your head slowly and step towards me like I showed you," he instructed.
I did as he said and brought down my dagger on his with a tiny clink.
"Good," Father encouraged me as he backed up. "Now again."
We would continue to practice until Mother came out to get us for lunch. I enjoyed those times so much that I wished to have them back again.
"You there, Caulitha?" Caspian asked.
The Princess moved her head sharply as she came out of her trance. She was holding Rhindon, but in a way that almost frightened Caspian from getting anywhere near his fiancé. Caulitha smiled apologetically. "I'm sorry, Caspian. I was wound up in memories."
"That's alright," Narnia's King said, accepting her apology. "We are almost to Cair Paravel."
The High King's daughter nodded and turned her father's prized sword over to her betrothed's hands. Together, the pair walked to a safe spot near Drinian for docking. When Caulitha caught sight of Cair Paravel, tears sprung into her eyes. The castle looked nearly identical to the one she knew growing up. The only difference was she could tell the Narnians were still finishing rebuilding the very tops of the Cair.
After the Dawn Treader docked, Caspian showed Caulitha to a room that had been prepared for her – Caspian had sent a letter to Trumpkin about his fiancé – and assigned some Dryads, female Talking Animals, humans and Centaurs ladies-in-waiting to her. "I have to meet with Trumpkin, but these fine ladies will help you with clothing and getting settled down. I will meet you for dinner. You can ask anyone for directions to the Royal Dining Hall."
A smile appeared on Caulitha's face. "The Hall the Four used or the one the rest of the Narnian Royalty used?"
Narnia's current king smirked. "The former."
"I'll be there."
Caspian turned on his heel and headed down the corridor, and Caulitha pushed opened the oak door to her chambers. When she entered the rooms, it was like another flashback. It was her chambers – the ones she had as a child. Only by chance did Caspian give her those rooms. The colour theme was royal blue with gold and emerald green trimmings with oak wood everywhere. Caulitha felt like jumping up and down and crying at the same time.
After the High King's daughter got over her initial surprise, Caulitha asked her ladies-in-waiting for a dress. The ladies obliged her and also brushed her hair. When she dismissed them, Caulitha headed down to the Throne Room. She easily found her way as she relied on her childhood memories that came flooding back into her mind. When she arrived at the doors to the Throne Room, Caspian came around the corner and stopped when he saw her. His fiancé put her hands on the door knobs and pull the doors open. As she entered, Caspian followed quietly behind. Caulitha entered the Throne Room and was amazed, for what she saw was an exact replica of what had been – the only difference being she could see that the Narnians built off of what had been left by the Telmarine invasion. On the stairs of the dais, Caulitha saw the statues of her father, aunts, and uncle; she smiled as she slowly walked up the stairs. The Princess walked by each throne and touched the places where her family led Narnia; she lingered on the High King's throne a little longer than the others, which caused the following Caspian to become confused.
After she visited the thrones, Caulitha went directly for the statue in the back that led down to the Treasure Trove – this act added to Caspian's confusion. The Princess felt the statue, pushed the statue to the side, and opened the door that separated Caspian's fiancé from the stairs leading to the Treasure Trove. Caulitha gathered her skirts and carefully descended the spiral stairs. Caspian quickly made his way across the Throne Room and watched his fiancé reach the bottom and open the metal gate that led to the Four's treasures. She stood before the treasure chests, and behind the chests the weapons of Kings Peter and Edmund and Queens Susan and Lucy hung with honour.
"I wonder if the crowns are still in the chests," Caulitha thought to herself. She moved towards the High King's chest and opened it slowly. Tears filled her eyes as she felt her father's clothes. Caulitha picked up the shirt that was on the top and rubbed her face on it – hoping to catch even the slightest trace of his scent. She let the clothing fall back and began digging for a metal box.
"Ah ha!," she said softly when she touched the box. "Found you." Caulitha brought the box out of King Peter's chest and placed it on the ground. She went through a similar digging process through the rest of her family's chests.
As she did this, Caspian grew even more confused. When Caulitha had all the boxes out of the chests, she opened each one of them to reveal the crowns that the Pevensies wore. The crowns glinted in the torch light, and the sight surprised Caspian. He had thought, like the rest of Narnia, that the crowns had been lost to the ravages of time.
"How did you know those were there?" Caspian asked softly, forgetting that his wife-to-be didn't know he was there.
Quickly, Caulitha pulled a blue steel dagger from its sheath and stood in a defensive stance. Caspian stepped back with his hands up in surrender – he hadn't noticed her pick up the dagger. When Caulitha noticed who was with her, she lowered her father's dagger and smiled meekly.
"I'm sorry, Caspian."
Narnia's king smiled sheepishly also. "It's alright. I should have interrupted you better."
The Princess sheathed the dagger. "I think I am ready now to tell you about my father."
Caspian's eyebrows sprung up, and he tilted his head. "Oh? Tell me what about Ramandu?"
Caulitha shook her head. "Not Ramandu. My father is High King Peter the Magnificent."
Narnia's king went still, and a look of shock swept over his features. He swayed a bit where he stood, and his fiancé swiftly went to his side and helped him sit down. He sat there a moment or two as he took in this news. "Your father … you're …" he stuttered.
Caulitha put a finger to Caspian's lips to stop the babble and smiled kindly to him. "Yes. I am King Peter's daughter. I am the daughter of the man who was terribly angry for most of the duration of his last visit."
Caspian opened and closed his mouth a couple of times before he was able to ask, "Then how is it that you are here?"
"It is a bit of a long story."
"Then tell me as we walk to the Dining Hall."
"Alright, but we should take the crowns up as see that they are displayed properly."
Together, Caspian and Caulitha closed the boxes and picked them up. When they reached the dais, they passed off the crown boxes, with an explanation of what they were, to the few Narnians that were in the Throne Room for cleaning. The two exited the Throne Room of Old, and Caulitha began her story:
"I was born during the eleventh year of the Golden Age; Father married later than Aunt Susan and Uncle Edmund. During the four years that I grew up in the presence of my family, I saw Father angry, sad, happy, exhausted, you name it. The day that Father, Uncle Edmund, and Aunts Susan and Lucy disappeared was hard for the rest of us left behind. My mother Femina, Aunt Leza (Uncle Edmund's wife), and Uncle Demtur (Aunt Susan's husband) took over ruling Narnia. They did a good job, but not nearly a fine job as the Four did.
"One day, two or three years after the Disappearance, Aunt Leza, Uncle Demtur, Cousin Robtin (Uncle Edmund's son), and Cousin Layla (Aunt Susan's daughter) were killed when the four of them were defending the north and west borders from the invading Telmarines – Aunt Leza and Robtin went to the western border, and Uncle Demtur and Layla went to the northern border. The Telmarines got closer every day. Mother led another band of Narnians to try and prevent the group nearest Cair Paravel from getting here. She failed and was killed during battle. Somehow, General Oreius managed to survive, and he rushed back to Cair as fast as he could go. He stormed into my chambers where I was learning how to read, and he scooped me up into his arms. I screamed in a terrified voice because I knew that Oreius was there for a reason. When I asked him why, he said that Narnia was falling, and he needed to get me to a safe place. Oreius also said the day my father left, he promised him that he would protect me should anything happen.
"Oreius ran into the Throne Room and pushed the statue in the back to the side and opened the door. He carefully made his way down the stairs and placed me on the floor in front of the Four's chests (which I had helped pack full of their clothing, treasures, and crowns).
" 'Stay here, Princess,' he told me.
"I nodded my head vigorously. 'Yes, General,' I said as I clung to the doll I had been holding when Oreius had burst into my rooms.
"When he turned to leave, I shouted, 'Wait!'
"He turned around and said, 'Yes, Caulitha?'
"I tears sprung into my eyes and all of a sudden the castle shook – the Telmarines had began their catapult assault. 'I love you, Oreius,' I said.
"Then the General gave the most sincere smile I had seen since my family had disappeared. 'I love you too.'
"The last time I saw the good General was when he closed the door to the Treasure Trove. I sat by Father's chest in hopes that it would comfort me. Cair Paravel continued to shake, and I heard numerous boulders hitting her walls. I stayed down in the Trove for three days, and it was on the third day that the noises had stopped. During the course of the days, I had moved my seat as a boulder had come crashing through the ceiling and almost hit me. When the third day became night, I heard movement right in front of me, and being about seven years old, I was immediately frightened. But just as I was about to cower against the metal gate, I smelled the sweet scent of summer, and I knew it was Aslan I sensed. Slowly, I stood up and asked in a quiet voice:
" 'Aslan?' A purr replied. I immediately dropped my doll and threw my arms around His neck. 'I'm hungry, Aslan,' I said.
" 'I know,' He replied. 'I will take you to an island where there is plenty of food for you to eat,' He told me.
" A bit confused, I asked, 'But why can't I just go upstairs?'
" 'Because, my child, Cair Paravel is no more, and there is no one left alive that knows that you are here,' He said.
" I felt like crying, but He gently hushed me and told me that there would come a time where I would help rule Narnia, but for that to happen, I needed to put my complete trust in Him. I told Aslan that I trusted Him, and He took me to the island where Ramandu resided. There, Ramandu taught me how to read, write, and how to shoot a bow, and he also help me keep up on my sword skills. As I learned these things, Ramandu and I got very close, and I started calling him my 'adopted father'.
"And as I grew up on the island, I noticed that the island was full of magic – the sort of magic that allows you to grow older to a certain age and then keeps you there. As you have probably noticed, I look about eighteen when I am truly thirteen hundred and twenty-one years old. I have also noticed since leaving the island that the affects last only as you stay on there. I shall now age like a normal person."
When Caulitha finished her story, Caspian sat back from his food – for they had made it to the Royal Dining Hall and had started eating – in amazement. A puzzled frown then made its way onto his face.
"What is it?" asked the High King's daughter.
"If you are over thirteen hundred years older than me, why did Queen Susan use the excuse that she was too old for me?" Narnia's king asked.
The Princess smiled sadly. "You have similar features to Uncle Demtur. He too had dark hair, eyes, and skin – of course, he got the dark skin from working out in the sun every day."
Caspian raised his eyebrow in confusion. "Uncle Demtur was a farmer, Caspian."
Her fiancé's other eyebrow followed the other in going up. "A farmer? The most beautiful Queen of Narnia married a farmer?"
Caulitha narrowed her eyes and tightly pressed her lips. "Don't make it sound so disgusting, Caspian. He made her happier than any other royal suitor could. In fact, Father and Uncle Edmund also married hard working 'peasant' women, and they were very happy. Unfortunately, it's those details that don't make it into the history books, but should very well be there. So don't judge a book by its cover, else it might smack you in the face," the Princess scolded forcefully.
Narnia's king was taken aback. "Where did you get the temper?"
Caulitha smirked mischievously. "Mother and Father actually."
Caspian slumped in his chair, and his fiancé's smirk turned into a gentle smile. "Don't worry, Caspian, Father, Mother, and Ramandu worked hard to teach me to keep my temper under control."
"Speaking of your Father and tempers," her betrothed started. "What do you think he will do when you King Edmund tells him about you marrying me?" he asked at length with concern.
Caulitha looked lovingly into Caspian's eyes. A wide smile then crept onto her face. "He will be shocked at first, and then he will say, 'Aslan help him, she's a lot to handle.'"
Together, the two royals, old and young, began laughing so hard that tears escaped their eyes. They finished the rest of the day with more stories of Narnia during the Golden Age and discussing how they differed from what was written in the library's tombs.
A week later, the two were married, and Caulitha became Queen of Narnia. With Caspian, they made Narnia great again – not as great as during the Golden Age, but Narnia was the place to be again. Two years into their marriage, Caulitha bore to Caspian a son whom they named Rilian. The Queen of Narnia spent much of her time taking care of their son up until her death.
And Queen Caulitha had been correct about what her father said. Once Edmund told Peter of Caspian and Caulitha's betrothal, the High King said, "Aslan help him."
I hope you all enjoyed this!