One year later, the young Kings and Queens were riding in the Western Woods.

"Ed!" Lucy shouted. An accomplished horsewoman at eleven years old, even she could not beat her older brothers and sisters. "Susan! Peter! Wait for me!"

"Gotta catch us, Lu!" Ed shouted back to his sister. "Come on! Queen Lucy the Valiant can't catch up with her brothers and sisters!" He teased.

"Edmund!" Lucy shrieked, and asked her horse, "Could you go faster, please?"

The mare replied, "With pleasure, milady," And sped up.

Suddenly, Lucy said, horrified, to her horse. "Stop, stop right now, please!" Before her horse had completely slowed, Lucy was on the ground, running.

"Lucy?" Susan called back.

A shriek came in answer.

"Lucy!" Susan shouted, and the horse did not need to be told to turn back. Pulling out her bow and arrow, Susan jumped to the ground, her brothers hot on her heels.

"Susan!" Came a shriek. "Peter!"

They came running, to find Lucy kneeling on the ground besides two girls, who appeared to be unconscious.

The older siblings quickly sheathed their weapons, and ran to Lucy's side.

"What happened, Lu?" Susan demanded, kneeling by the older of the two girls.

"I don't know," Lucy stammered. "I just saw them on the ground, and I thought I saw something over there," She pointed into the woods. "But I'm not sure if I just imagined it."

Susan stood. "Lucy, I need you to come with me," She said. Lucy nodded, and passed her vial of cordial to Edmund.

"Just a drop each," She ordered. "Otherwise it could hurt more than it could help," And she ran after Susan, pulling out her own weapon, a dagger.

They disappeared into the woods, silent as the black cat that ran after Susan, and the young golden hawk that swooped after Lucy.

Peter and Edmund looked at the girls.

The younger of the two seemed to be Edmund's age, now fourteen, or maybe a year younger. She had dark hair, and long lashes. She seemed to be the sister of the older girl.

The older girl seemed to be Peter or Susan's age. She was beautiful even unconscious, with long red-brown hair that fell around her shoulders.

Edmund, who was good at such things, examined them quickly.

"A rock," Edmund said. "They were both hit with rocks."

"Hard enough to knock them out?" Peter asked.

Edmund shook his head, and looked at the girls. They were dressed as Narnians, commoners. But they were young women, and that meant . . .

"Corsets," Edmund said flatly. Peter stifled a laugh.

"You want to do the honors?" He offered.

"How about you take one and I take the other?" Edmund said, and pulled out his dagger.

"Fair's fair," He said, taking out his own weapon.

Edmund unlaced the younger girl's dress, and cut the corset over her underdress.

Peter did the same with the other girl. Both coughed, and opened their eyes.

They both had silver eyes, a sharp gray-blue.

The first thing they each saw was a King's face over them.

"Peter! Edmund!" Susan admonished, coming back. "You cut their corsets?"

At this the girls seemed to come out of a daze, and realize their dresses were unlaced in front of two boys.

The older one shrieked, and slapped the High King across the face.

Lucy, coming over, laughed.

The younger one sat up, and wrapped her arms around herself, one handedly unbuttoning her dress while she spewed a colorful vocabulary to her King.

"You're welcome," The Kings said sorely in unison and Lucy fell over laughing.

Susan offered both girls a hand, and they each took it, getting up.

Still sitting on the ground, Peter asked Edmund, "Have I got a mark?"

Edmund peered at his brother's face. "No, just a little red,"

Lucy ran to her horse, and came back with two spare saddle blankets that belonged to Peter and Edmund's large horses.

"Here," She handed each girl a saddle blanket, and helped the younger one lace her dress up again. Susan helped the older one.

"Really, Peter!" Susan scolded. "It's not proper at all!"

Both boys got up. "Should've let them lie there then?" Ed asked.

The girls looked uncomfortable. "Um, thanks," The older one said. "Guess you didn't really deserve the slap,"

"Of course he did," Susan contradicted. "He deserved it completely."

The younger girl said, "I'm Sable, and this is my older sister Rosalie,"

Rosalie bobbed a curtsy, and Sable followed suit.

"What happened to you?" Susan asked.

The sisters looked at each other. "We don't know," Sable said. "We just woke up with their," she pointed at the two Kings. "Faces in front of us, and couldn't remember anything else."

Susan glared at her brothers.

"What?" Peter demanded. He said to Sable and Rosalie, "Come back to the castle with us, then."

Lucy nodded, bouncing up and down. "You can meet Mr. Tumnus! And the Beavers!"

The girls looked at each other, the back at their rescuers. "Um," Sable said. "Who are you?"

Peter stuck out a hand to Rosalie. "High King Peter the Valiant."

"Queen Susan of the Horn," Susan said, shaking Sable's hand. "And this is my brother King Edmund the Just, and my sister Queen Lucy the Valiant."

Lucy smiled, and pulled something out of her pocket. She tossed a bandage to Susan.

"You get Rosalie, and I'll get Sable."

When the girls' heads were bandaged, the four rulers climbed onto their horses. Then there was the problem of who would ride where.

"My horse isn't big enough for anyone to ride with me," Lucy announced.

"Edmund, Peter, you should take them," Susan said.

"Why don't you?" Edmund demanded.

"If we're attacked, I have to have both hands free," Susan said reasonably.

"If we're attacked, we'll have to use our swords," Her younger brother argued.

"But you can wield a sword with one hand," Susan said reasonably. "I can't use a bow with one hand."

Peter, without argument, held a hand out to Rosalie, who took it. Edmund did the same for Sable, and in seconds they were settled behind the Kings of Narnia.

AS they rode back towards the palace, Rosalie yelled, "Hey, sable!"


"I just realized something!"


"I slapped the High King!"