Prologue: Sworn Vows
I do not own anything in this story! All references to Narnia belong to C.S. Lewis. I am not making a profit on this. I am simply trying to beat back the invading horde of plot bunnies that are eating me out of house and home.Summary:
There is nothing so strong as the bond of a family…but which family prevails?Timeline:
Post-The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
, pre-(and through)Prince Caspian
with flashbacks to the Pevensies’ reign in Narnia.A/U?:
PG-13, mostly, although some chapters will have slightly strong language. I’ll make a note of those chapters as they come about.A/N:
This is mostly going to be movie-based (somewhat), but there will be some MAJOR changes as the story progresses, especially to the timeline. I have read the books and loved them for years, but for simplicity’s sake we’re going with the movies. Also, the ages of the characters are as follows: Peter is 16, Susan is 15, Edmund is 12, and Lucy is 10. In flashbacks they may be older or younger, but these are the ages for the main part of the story. Oh, and this is NOT
a Mary-Sue, but there are going to be original characters in the story.A/N # 2:
This story was inspired by my dearest friend Gwenneth and her wonderful story "To War", which I helped to beta for her. As we were bouncing ideas around one night, this topic came up in discussion, and lo and behold, a new plot bunny materialized in my apartment. (sighs and starts throwing them out the door and windows) If you haven't read "To War", please go and do so! It is currently finished but undergoing revision, and the sequel, "To Defend and Protect" is currently being posted on Fanfiction.net.
Prologue: Sworn VowsCair Paravel…six years into the Pevensie’s reign…
“I can’t believe that I am about to do this!”
Eighteen-year-old Edmund shook his head, trying his best to hold in his laughter as his twenty-two-year-old brother Peter paced the small antechamber where they were waiting. His brother was neatly dressed in formal robes of the royal scarlet, and his golden crown, studded with rubies, was neatly balanced atop his pale blonde hair.
Finally, just when Edmund thought that the situation couldn’t get any more amusing, his brother fisted his hands in his hair, nearly dislodging his crown. That did it. Edmund burst out laughing, which made Peter look up and growl, “What’s so amusing, Ed?”
“You! Peter, you’ve faced down armies twice as large as your own without blinking! You’ve settled disputes that would have started wars! You learned all the proper court etiquette in record time, and you’re worried about this?” Edmund laughed louder, his dark hair – a contrast to his brother’s pale locks – bouncing up and down with the force of his chuckles.
“This is different, Ed!” Peter exclaimed. “I’m about to get married!”
It was true, and as Peter continued to fret, Edmund thought back on the events that had led them to this point.
Six years ago, through a series of events that Edmund could barely recall now, he and Peter, along with their two sisters Susan and Lucy, had stepped through a doorway into the world of Narnia.
At the time they had entered Narnia, the land had been in the grip of an evil Witch named Jadis, who had cast a spell to make it always winter, but never Christmas. The arrival of Edmund and his siblings had been the catalyst that had begun the end of the Witch’s reign. Together, they had defeated Jadis and had been crowned Kings and Queens of Narnia. That had been six years ago.
In those six years, Narnia had flourished under their rule. Many were calling it a Golden Age, although compared to the way things had been under Jadis’ rule, that wasn’t an especially hard distinction to earn.
Ever since they had been crowned, Edmund and his siblings had been courted by royalty and nobility from Narnia’s neighbors. Many sought them out, seeking to form an alliance marriage. Thus far, none of them had agreed to a marriage until a young lady named Krisalyn, from Archenland, had won Peter’s heart.
Edmund brought his thoughts back to the present as Peter began pacing again. Edmund watched his brother, a frown crossing his face at his frenetic motions. “Peter, what are you so worried about? You love Lady Krisalyn don’t you?”
Peter paused his pacing and looked at his younger brother. “More than you can imagine, Ed.”
“She loves you, yes?”
“Then don’t worry
. All you’re doing is publicly affirming your love.” Edmund smiled and reached up to remove his brother’s crown. Peter appeared confused, until Edmund began smoothing his hair, which had been mussed when Peter fisted his hands in it. Once the pale locks were back in place, Edmund gently replaced the crown on Peter’s head.
“This is different, Ed!” Peter said again. “You won’t be laughing when it’s your turn!”
Edmund grasped his brother’s shoulders. “Peter, you can do this. We’re all going to be there with you.”
There was a look of near-panic in Peter’s blue eyes. Before Edmund could say anything more, there was a quiet tapping at the door.
Edmund released his brother, walked over to the door and pulled it open to find sixteen-year-old Lucy standing there, dressed in a formal gown of scarlet trimmed in gold. Her long, dark hair was upswept and pinned in place and her crown gleamed softly in the light from the torches. “Is he ready, Ed?”
Edmund glanced at Peter, who was pacing again, and shook his head. “Not really.”
Lucy took a look at her eldest brother and her dark eyes widened. She turned in a flurry of skirts and hurried down the corridor. Edmund stared after her, but before he could wonder what she was doing, she was back, with a large, regal lion pacing beside her.
Edmund knelt swiftly. “Aslan.”
“Rise, Edmund,” the great lion spoke, his voice warm and full of love. As Edmund rose to his feet, Aslan continued. “I would speak with your brother alone.”
Edmund nodded and stepped out of the way, holding the door open as the lion moved on silent paws into the room. Edmund pulled the door closed behind the great cat and turned to Lucy. “That was a good idea, Lu.”
Inside the room, Aslan watched Peter pace back and forth. The King was so nervous he hadn’t even realized that Aslan was in the room with him. The lion sat down and regarded the High King with his warm golden eyes. “Peter.”
Peter’s head jerked up and he stopped in his tracks. “Aslan!” He immediately approached the lion and knelt in front of him. “I didn’t know that you were coming!”
“Rise, Peter,” Aslan said with a low chuckle. “Surely you didn’t think I would neglect to come to celebrate the marriage of the High King?”
“I didn’t know you were aware of it, Aslan. If I had known you were here I would have greeted you.”
“That is not necessary, Peter,” Aslan reassured him. His warm eyes regarded the young King as Peter rose back to his feet. “Tell me, Peter…what do you fear? This is a happy day.”
Peter huffed out a breath and started to run his hands through his hair again, before he remembered how Ed had already fixed his hair once. He slowly lowered his hands and clenched them at his side. “I love her, Aslan. But…something about what we’re doing…it just scares the hell out of me. Am I too young for this? Am I ready to be a husband?” He gazed back at Aslan.
Aslan chuckled, a low, soft rumbling in his throat. “I cannot answer that question for you, Peter. Only you can see into your own heart and make your choices based on that. But I would give you some advice. Not long ago, you felt you weren’t ready to become High King. Yet here you are today, High King Peter the Magnificent. You found your truth then. You can find it in your heart today. There are some things in life that make a person pause to reflect on their lives. Marriage is one such thing. I don’t think anyone is really ready to be married, and if they are, they are lying to themselves. It is an important decision, but it is one only you can make for yourself.” He rose to his feet and paced up to Peter, his great golden eyes meeting the deep blue ones. With a gentle breath, he exhaled softly, the warm breath washing over Peter. “If you fear whether you are making the right choice, you must discover what your heart is telling you, because it is your heart and not your logic that usually guides you to the right choice.”
Aslan turned and moved back towards the door. Glancing back over his shoulder, he regarded Peter again. “Whatever you decide, Peter, know that I am proud of you, and I am confident that you’ll make the decision that is right for you.” With that, the great lion nudged the door open and vanished into the corridor.
The throne room was packed full of people. Everyone had come to celebrate the marriage of their High King and his chosen bride. Outside, the sun shone with a gentle radiance, lighting up the room through the glass ceiling. Flowers were everywhere, their sweet fragrances dancing into the throne room on each delicate breeze that wafted in through the open balcony doors and windows.
Peter took a deep breath and stepped forward to where Edmund and his sisters were waiting beside Aslan. As part of his family and his half of the wedding party, all of them were dressed in the royal scarlet and gold that had been chosen for his half of the ceremony. Lady Krisalyn’s wedding party had chosen blue and silver, the Archenland colors, for themselves.
His siblings and Aslan all looked up at him and Peter nodded, indicating his desire to go through with the ceremony. His stomach was still flip-flopping in knots, but he was certain he was making the right decision.
“Peter,” Edmund said quietly. “I know the plan was to have me officiate the ceremony, but now that Aslan’s here, would you rather have him officiate and have me stand up with you?”
Peter looked at his younger brother, before turning to look at the great cat. After a moment he nodded again. “I’d be honored if you would officiate, Aslan,” he stated softly so his voice wouldn’t carry. As the lion nodded his regal head, Peter turned back to his brother. “That is, if you don’t mind, Ed?”
Edmund shook his head. “I don’t mind at all, Peter.” The younger King thought quickly. “Su, let me have the ring.”
Susan passed the red velvet cushion to her younger brother, before quickly disappearing down another side corridor leading to the antechamber where Lady Krisalyn was waiting with her attendants. She returned a few moments later. “Lady Krisalyn didn’t mind the change of plans,” she murmured.
Edmund nodded and signaled to Mr. Tumnus, who was waiting near the dais that held the four thrones of prophecy. The faun turned to the orchestra that was waiting for just that signal. The instruments rose, and a moment later a trumpet fanfare echoed through the chamber, drawing all to silence. Susan and Lucy both quickly embraced their older brother before moving to take their places.
As the fanfare repeated itself, Aslan paced gravely down the aisle that had been left open, his steps slow and measured, full of contained power and grace. The sunlight caught his coat and it flamed a brilliant gold. As he reached the dais, he ascended the steps and turned to face the crowd, standing directly between the two groups of thrones.
Lucy followed Aslan down the aisle, her gown swishing around her ankles and the bouquet of red tulips and carnations, with a single white rose in the middle, lightly resting in her hands. She moved up the aisle but did not ascend the dais, instead stepping off to the side so that she was in front of her own throne, but still on the floor. Susan followed her sister, her own bouquet made of golden lilies and daffodils, also with a single white rose. She paused so that she was standing one step up from Lucy, on the younger girl’s right.
Edmund clasped Peter’s shoulder quickly and squeezed once, before moving down the aisle to join his sisters and Aslan. When he reached the dais, he moved up to the second step and stood on Susan’s right. In his hands was a small scarlet cushion holding a single golden ring with a deep ruby in the center and surrounded by diamonds.
Then it was Peter’s turn. He took one last, deep breath, before straightening his shoulders and moving down the aisle. He moved up to the third and final step before the top of the dais, and stood just to Aslan’s left. He was still standing lower than the great lion and he turned to face the crowd.
The trumpets sounded again and the bride and her wedding party moved to the head of the aisle. The attendants were all garbed in blue and silver. First to approach was the bride’s younger sister, who held a bouquet of blue irises and baby’s breath, also with a single white rose in the center. She moved down the aisle and took her place opposite Lucy, on Aslan’s right.
The second member of the bridal party was the bride’s niece, who carried bluebells and larkspur and a single white rose. She moved down the aisle and stopped opposite Susan. The last member of the bridal party was Lady Krisalyn’s twin brother, who carried the blue velvet pillow that held a silver ring with deep sapphires. He moved up the steps and stopped on the same level as Edmund.
Lady Krisalyn appeared at the far end of the room, her gown of silver silk and satin falling in elegant folds around her. She clutched a bouquet that combined all the flowers in both halves of the wedding party. As she moved gracefully towards the dais, Peter swore his heart was about to stop beating. She was absolutely lovely, just as she had seemed the night that he had met her, almost a year ago.“Ah, Lady Krisalyn,” King Lune stated happily as he and Peter walked through the throne room, conversing quietly as the party went on around them. The older King turned to Peter. “High King Peter, I would like to introduce you to my niece, the Lady Krisalyn. Krisalyn, this is High King Peter of Narnia.”
Krisalyn dropped immediately into a low curtsy. “It is a great honor to meet you, Your Majesty.” She waited respectfully until Peter indicated that she could rise, before raising her eyes to meet his.
It took all of Peter’s control to hold in the gasp of surprise. Lady Krisalyn’s eyes were a rare and striking violet color, and her hair was jet black, woven into a graceful braid and pinned into a coil at the base of her neck. She wore a gown to match her eyes, trimmed in silver, and around her neck was a slender necklace of silver, with a large amethyst. “The pleasure is mine, Lady Krisalyn,” he managed after a moment, taking her hand and kissing it gallantly.
Now she stood before him, her brilliant eyes shining with joy, although he thought he caught a tiny flicker of nervousness in them as well. That brought him some measure of relief, knowing that she was nervous too. They had gotten along splendidly from the time they had been introduced, and it hadn’t been long before Peter was head over heels in love with her.
Peter reached out one of his hands and she handed her bouquet off to her niece before taking Peter’s hand and allowing him to escort her up the stairs, where they turned to face Aslan, who was looking down on them with love.
“People of Narnia and Archenland!” the lion began, his deep voice ringing through the room with no effort. “We have come together on this most joyous day to celebrate the binding of two hearts. Today, in a public affirmation of their love, Peter, High King of Narnia, and Krisalyn, Lady of Archenland, will claim each other as husband and wife. With this affirmation, the ties between the peoples of Narnia and Archenland will be closer than ever before.”
Aslan turned his gaze on Krisalyn. “Lady Krisalyn, you have chosen to bind yourself to High King Peter and to claim him as your husband. Will you remain true to him, in all trials and blessings that your lives may bring, and use your love for him to enrich both of your lives to the fullness of your ability?”
Krisalyn nodded. “I swear so to do.”
Aslan nodded. “Make your personal vow to Peter.”
Krisalyn turned her gaze back to Peter. “Peter, you have been my rock of strength for this past year. I have no doubt that I was meant to meet you and to fall in love with you. I had heard stories of your kindness, bravery, and faithfulness, but in the time I have known you, I have found that not even the stories reveal the full truth. You are all of those things and so much more, and it is the deepest desire of my heart to bind myself to you as wife, if that be your desire.”
Aslan turned to Peter. “High King Peter, you have chosen to bind yourself to Lady Krisalyn and to claim her as your wife. Will you remain true to her, in all trials and blessings that your lives may bring, and use your love for her to enrich both of your lives to the fullness of your ability? Will you cherish her and her love and use all your strength to protect her?”
Peter looked into Krisalyn’s eyes before raising his own to meet Aslan, allowing the great lion to read his answer there. “I swear so to do.”
“Make your personal vow to your lady.”
Peter took a deep breath. What could he say to this lady? “My lady Krisalyn, there are no words to describe how much I love you. From the moment that I met you, you touched something deep inside my heart, something I knew I wanted and yet could not put words to. You have brought love and laughter to my life, a different kind of love and laughter than that which I share with my royal siblings, and for that I thank you. I choose, on this day, before these witnesses, to accept your vow of love and take you as my wife, and ask that you accept my vow and claim me as your husband.”
Aslan looked to Krisalyn’s brother. “Bring forth the ring.”
The young lord stepped forward and offered the ring to his sister, who took it and slid it carefully onto Peter’s finger. The sapphires gleamed in the light, a sharp contrast to the rest of his outfit, but matching perfectly with the young King’s eyes.
Aslan looked to Edmund. “Bring forth the ring.”
Edmund stepped forward and offered Peter the ring he was carrying. Peter picked it up and slid it onto his bride’s finger. The gold glistened in the sunlight and the light caught the ruby, lighting it up with a fierce flame.
Aslan spoke again, this time to all. “As King above all Kings in Narnia, it is my great honor to witness these vows and affirm that they are truly made from the heart, not for the sake of convenience. With this public affirmation, and the exchanging of the tokens you have chosen, it is my honor to declare that you are now sworn husband and wife.”
Everyone burst into applause and Aslan looked at Peter, giving him a small wink, so swift no one else noticed. “Now I give you leave to seal your union, High King Peter.”
Peter took the invitation and leaned forward, catching Krisalyn’s lips with his own and sharing a gentle kiss as the applause and cheers grew louder and more raucous. As he slowly drew back, he smiled a slow smile at the blush on her face.
Aslan wasn’t finished however, and he spoke again, drawing the crowd to a hush. “By all customs, the marriage of the High King will not be complete until his Lady has been made his Queen.” The lion turned to Krisalyn. “Lady Krisalyn, do you this day swear to make Narnia your home and to honor it in your heart as you honor your husband? Will you rule beside your husband, helping him to make the decisions that will secure Narnia’s future? Do you swear to follow the laws and customs established by myself at the Dawn of Time?”
Krisalyn dropped into a low curtsy as she looked up at Aslan. “I do so swear to keep Narnia in my heart and in my mind, to make it my own, and to assist my King in making the decisions that best benefit its people and to obey the laws and customs established at the Dawn of Time.”
Aslan rumbled softly and Lucy stepped forward, a silver crown in her hands. Like Lucy's and Susan’s crowns, it was made to resemble a wreath of flowers, in this case, lilies and irises in both white and yellow gold. The youngest Queen stepped forward and placed the crown on Krisalyn’s head.
Aslan spoke. “Rise, Krisalyn the Steadfast, Queen of Narnia.”