Wow, it feels good to be back on the site! It's been awhile. College is rough, man.
So, this piece picks up right where Glints of Gold ends, which my magnificent friend rainingWolf wrote as a sequel to an earlier one-shot of mine: We Are Not Children (We Haven't Been For Years). After I read Glints of Gold, my plot bunnies went ballistic, and I just had to finish this little series off with this lovely, angsty thing.
So, the first bit in italics belongs to rainingWolf, and it's the last few sentences of Glints of Gold, so you know exactly where we're starting.
WARNINGS: just a lot of emotions.
DISCLAIMER: the first bit in italics belongs to rainingWolf, and Narnia and all her people belong to C.S. Lewis.
Shimmers of Silver
…Edmund moved first, back straight, face still pale, still white, still otherworldly; he stepped up to Peter and laid a hand on his shoulder.
"Aslan knows mercy. If He shows it, I will grant it."
Then there was nothing as the Silver King let go, face impassive, and became still.
Lucy moved second, head high, face still pale, still white, still regal; she said nothing and took her place next to Edmund.
Peter bowed lower, tan skin on his neck exposed, waiting…
"I ask for judgement," Peter repeated. "I plead guilty…"
Susan sagged against the Table, her hands tightening to talons as she clung to the worn stone to keep herself upright.
Caspian couldn't think, couldn't speak, could barely breathe, utterly unable to look away from the scene before him.
Tarnished Gold kneeling before pure, shimmering Silver.
The Silver Crowns did not speak, did not look away from the form of the accused—their brother, their king—kneeling on the cold floor, neck bared.
They seemed to be waiting for something, but Caspian had no idea what.
His professor's grip on his forearm was cutting off the blood flow to his hand, but he really couldn't find the mental capacity to care at the moment.
"I plead guilty."
Peter's words echoed sickeningly around the chamber, and Caspian swallowed hard.
He managed to tear his eyes from the Royals and look around the still-crowded room, taking in the Narnians' reactions.
Every last one of them was utterly still, barely breathing, looking like a ring of statues in a courtyard—even Pattertwig, and he was never quiet.
Every eye was pinned on the Silver Crowns, waiting for…what?
Waiting for what?!
"What are they waiting for?" Caspian breathed to his tutor.
"The judgement of the Lion," came the almost soundless reply. Cornelius' eyes were very wide, and a sheen of sweat gleamed on his brow. "They wait for the judgement of the Lion. Whatever it is, the Just will declare it and sentence the accused, as is his duty. The Valiant will carry it out, as is her duty."
A sense of awe crept up in the Prince's chest.
"And Aslan will answer? Just like that?"
His Professor gave him a look that he had seen many times over the years, bright eyes sparkling with hidden knowledge and a quiet sense of I know more than you think I know, and I most certainly know more than you think you know. "It is His court. He is the final Judge. And besides, anyone who thinks He will not answer the call of His children is a fool at best."
Caspian nodded thoughtfully. He opened his mouth to ask another question, but he never quite got it out.
A massive gust of wind rushed down into the chamber, dragging the torchlight into a wild, flickering dance along the lights and shadows of the walls. It seemed to concentrate itself around Lucy, and Caspian saw her tilt her head to one side, like she was listening to something no one else could hear.
Then it swirled around Edmund, and he closed his eyes, bowed his head in service and obedience.
It danced over to Susan, and she shrank away from it like it burned her.
It seemed to crush Peter down, down, down towards the floor under the weight of it.
When it reached Caspian, it brought with it a sense of hope and strength.
Courage, my child, a Voice murmured to his heart. Courage. I am with you still.
And as suddenly as it arrived, it had gone.
Caspian was left breathless, comforted and frightened and very, very confused.
"What—how—who—" he gasped.
Cornelius slapped a hand over his mouth and turned his head back to the center of the room, where Edmund and Lucy had straightened.
"The High King has spoken," Edmund said, his voice still quiet and calm, but there was a peace in his eyes that had been starkly absent a moment ago.
The wild grief and rage in Lucy's tears had faded as well, and Caspian remembered the hope the wind had brought with it.
The Just rested his hand on top of his Brother's head.
"Peter Pevensie, son of John and Helen," he said quietly. "In the name of the Lion, by His blood and sacrifice, in His Mercy and Grace and Love, He has forgiven you your transgressions."
Susan really did collapse then, into a heap on the steps, face in her hands, shoulders shaking with sobs that no one could hear.
Peter's head jerked up, and helpless tears of relief and gratitude filled his eyes. He bowed back to the floor for a long moment, his lips moving in words too quiet for the Prince to hear.
Lucy took a deep breath and stepped up beside her brother, placing one hand on Peter's forehead like some kind of blessing.
"We bid you rise, Peter Pevensie," she said, voice ringing clear and strong with the power of the Lion.
She and her Silver counterpart spoke in unison then, and their words brought fire to the eyes and hope to the hearts of all who heard them.
"We bid you rise, Peter the Magnificent," they said. "Son of Aslan and High King of the Northern Skies."
Peter's eyes blazed, and as he rose to his feet, Caspian saw a crown of gold burn around his head.
Lucy cried, then, leaping forward and clinging to Peter with a desperation that hurt to witness. Edmund was barely a step behind her, both of them reaching out and holding on tightly.
Peter's strong arms came up around them, unyielding and safe and home, and the surrounding Narnians could see that they had no place here now.
But neither did the Golden Queen. Susan did not move, weeping alone on the cold stone steps of the Table, and they did not go to her.
Caspian took in a shaky breath and saw many of those around him doing the same. Cornelius pulled out his handkerchief and mopped his brow, his face still pale, but his eyes sparkling. Around the room, the various Narnians seemed to wake from the trance-like state they'd been in earlier.
"Well, I say!" Pattertwig said, scampering partway up one of the pillars and very nearly vibrating in place. "That was exciting!"
The glare Reepicheep gave him could have frozen the entire Beruna Strait solid in a single heartbeat.
Glenstorm snorted and gently but firmly guided the rest of his people out of the Table Chamber, leaving the Four to themselves.
Cornelius tugged on Caspian's arm and they followed the Centaur general to the door. As the general stepped through the door, however, he stopped and turned back.
Edmund and Lucy were watching them from where the two of them and Peter had sunk to the floor, still wrapped tightly around each other.
Glenstorm clasped his arm over his chest and bowed deeply to them, and Lucy's eyes overflowed again. Edmund nodded in return, grave and regal, and Glenstorm continued up the passage.
Caspian looked back at them for a long moment before Cornelius led him away—Peter, clinging to his youngest two siblings like they were going to disappear.
Edmund, one arm around Peter's waist, the other in Lucy's hair, his face still as white as snow.
Lucy, her fingers twisting in the fabric of her brothers' tunics so tightly her knuckles were turning white, trembling from head to foot.
Susan, weeping brokenly beneath the carved visage of the Lion, alone.
Caspian swallowed hard, a tight feeling pulling at his heart.
He turned and followed his tutor away from the Table Chamber.
The Silver Court was over.
All they could do was try to pick up the broken pieces and fit them back together again.
And there it is!
This is the end of the We Are Not Children arc, unless rainingWolf wants to do something else with it.
I hope you enjoyed!
Till next time!