Chapter Two: Edmund Pevensie
The Golden Age
Chapter Two: Edmund Pevensie
Disclaimer: I don’t own Buffy or the Chronicles of Narnia.
AN: All readers please note I am selectively ignoring the Chronicles of Narnia canon and only the events of Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe will be reported upon with any accuracy. As for character description and imagery I am using the films. Thanks to everyone who reviewed.
Dawn woke in the pre-dawn hours in a cold sweat from a nightmare whose details she couldn’t remember and froze as she heard the soft creak of someone on the stairs. Automatically she glanced at Buffy’s bed. The slayer was exactly as Dawn had left her, having not even twitched. Quietly Dawn slipped out of bed and crossing the floor of her shared room on silent feet opened her door a crack and peeked out into the hall.
Shuffling down the short staircase a little ways down from her door was a spindly old man in a long navy blue robe. He was leaning heavily on a cane and Dawn was worried that he was going to tumble head first down those stairs.
Darting back into her room Dawn grabbed the emergency flashlight in the second drawer of her bedside table and padded resolutely into the hall.
“Mr. Pevensie?” she whispered.
“What in the frozen hells…” cursed the old man turning to pin her with a death glare that had lost none of its potency with age.
He was tall and had the emaciated look of someone who has lost too much weight too quickly but his brown-black eyes were bright and intelligent and his iron grey hair was longer than was fashionable, that coupled with a little scar in the corner of his mouth combined to give Dawn the impression of an old soldier.
“Who are you and what in Aslan’s name are you doing in my house?” he growled quietly, clearly as reluctant as she to rouse the household.
“My name is Dawn, I’m Hank’s daughter, my sister is…not well, so I asked Dad if I could come and stay for a bit,” Dawn explained.
“Hmphm,” grunted Mr. Pevensie eyes narrowing as he looked her over.
Dawn blushed faintly well aware that her tiny tank top and track pants probably weren’t what Mr. Pevensie would consider acceptable nightclothes.
“Come along then girl, help an old man, if you’re going to be flitting around her making a nuisance of yourself you might as well be useful while doing it,”
Dawn tucked an arm around his too thin waist and helped him the rest of the way down the stairs.
“Can I ask where we’re going?”
He raised an eyebrow at her and a hint of a smile played at the corner of his lips.
“I don’t know can you?”
Dawn rolled her eyes.
“Where are we going Mr. Pevensie?”
“Just a little ways down the hall an up the stairs to the second door on the left,” he answered with an outright chuckle.
“Why are you visiting what I’m guessing is a spare room in the middle of the night?”
“I’m not, it is quite early in the morning,”
“You know what I mean,”
Mr. Pevensie chuckled again breaking off into a short wheezing cough as they neared the second flight of stairs. Dawn hovered anxiously but Mr. Pevensie waved off her concern.
“It’s a bit of a long and crazy story. I just need to see if it’s still there,” Mr. Pevensie said starting up the stairs suddenly and with renewed determination.
They reached the appropriate door and Dawn unlatched the old fashioned latch and swung the door inwards. The room was not particularly interesting being bare except for something covered by a heavy looking drop cloth. Mr. Pevensie though, was staring at the drop cloth and smiling fondly as if to an old friend. He strode forward as well as could be managed in his present state and pulled the drop cloth away revealing a truly magnificent wardrobe. It was made of or perhaps stained cherry-red wood and carved with intricate fantastical scenes of fauns and trees and lions.
Mr. Pevensie opened the door carefully and Dawn shone the flashlight in revealing a rather large abundance of fine fur coats most of them for ladies. Then Mr. Pevensie did the most shocking thing of all he stepped into the wardrobe.
“Mr. Pevensie!” Dawn protested.
Dawn wasn’t quite sure what the old man was doing but she was sure that given his coughing fit earlier going into a stuffy old wardrobe filled with decades old fur coats and mothballs was not good for his health.
Mr. Pevensie of course ignored her warning completely so, scowling, Dawn climbed into the wardrobe after him. It was an enormous wardrobe and the two of them fit quite easily standing side by side and staring at the back of the thing. Mr. Pevensie ran a weathered hand over the back of the wardrobe and he looked for some reason a bit disappointed like he couldn’t feel something he thought should be there.
“I had hoped I might see it, one last time,” he said to himself.
Curiously Dawn reached out with the hand not holding the flashlight and ran her own fingertips over the surface of the wood.
“Ack!” she exclaimed when the back of the wardrobe turned green and began to ripple and wiggle away from her fingertips.
Jerking her hand back she hid it behind her back guiltily as if that could change what Mr. Pevensie had just witnessed.
“What in the Lion’s name did you just do?” demanded the old man.
“Nothing!” Dawn protested.
Mr. Pevensie grunted skeptically and with reflexes that belied his old age he grabbed her hand and pushed it against the back of the wardrobe, the wood rippled away from her and suddenly Dawn was not staring at the back of a wardrobe but rather a snowy silent forest.
“Whoa,” she said.
The word was inadequate to describe the mixture of shock and awe that was coursing through her.
“Quite,” Mr. Pevensie agreed somewhat breathlessly.
“What is this place?”
“This is Narnia,” said Mr. Pevensie.
The words caught in his throat with something resembling nostalgic awe and Dawn was instantly certain that this was what Mr. Pevensie had been hoping to see in this wardrobe.
“You’ve been here before, haven’t you?”
Mr. Pevensie turned to face her and while there was an easy grin softening his mouth his eyes were filled with sadness.
“I ruled as King here for twenty years,” he said.
Dawn’s eyes went even wider.
“My sisters, my elder brother and I, were brought here by the magic of the wardrobe the summer of the Battle of Britain. We had been sent to Professor Kirke’s estate in the country where we would be safe from the bombs. Lucy, that is my youngest sister, hid in here one rainy afternoon while we were playing hide and go seek and she found this world…” he trailed off wandering further into the wood.
“Why did you come back?” asked Dawn taking in the beauty of the ice touched world all around them and shivering in her nightclothes.
“It wasn’t by choice I assure you,” Mr. Pevensie said smiling as they came upon a lamp post.
Dawn found it odd that there would be a lamp post in the middle of a forest and that Mr. Pevensie would find that pleasing but she didn’t mention it.
“Susan, Peter, Lucy and I were hunting here in Lantern Waste for it is said that if you catch the White Stag he will grant you one wish. We had all mostly forgotten what England was like, we had grown up in Narnia and we could imagine no better life. Aslan, however, had other plans for us and for the thrones at Cair Paravel so he sent us back into the lives and bodies of children,”
Dawn thought he looked rather sad but she didn’t know what she could say to comfort him.
“After we came back nothing was the same, Peter and Susan fought all the time, and when Peter wasn’t fighting with Susan he was picking fistfights with some prick or another. Lucy…she hid it very well but something died in her when she made her last visit to Narnia, and she slowly faded away. Peter died in a train crash coming up here one summer and Susan killed herself a few years later when she found out she was pregnant. Lucy died a few years ago, finally, she had been wasting away for so long, I can’t imagine how relieved she must have been to find it finally over…and I, I’ve just been watching my world crumble for the past sixty years. My wife died young, my silly daughter married an idiot who is much too old for her…no offence…”
“None taken, but why didn’t you fight to stay?” asked Dawn confused, “Why did you let this Aslan person tell you what to do?”
“Let had nothing to do with it,” Mr. Pevensie snorted, “Aslan is a lion as tall as you missy with powers beyond my understanding and the rightful King of Narnia to boot,”
“If I’d known then what I know now…”
“You’d do what?”
“It’s nothing,” Mr. Pevensie sighed.
“What do you mean it’s nothing, what’s nothing?”
“I would never have taken my vow of celibacy, somehow I think if one of us had produced a human heir for Narnia we would have been allowed to stay and things would have been quite different. Aslan had to remove us because only a Son of Adam or Daughter of Eve can be a true King or Queen of Narnia and there was no heir to follow in our place,”
“Well aren’t there other humans in Narnia?”
“No, Narnians are all animals or mythical creatures like fauns or centaurs, there are however Kingdoms of men beyond Narnian borders, I could have taken a bride. Susan, Peter and Lucy could have as well I suppose but it feels like I should have realized it sooner,” Mr. Pevensie said rubbing his temples wearily.
“It’s not your fault,” Dawn said no knowing what else she could say.
Mr. Pevensie gave a skeptical grunt in response and then froze.
“Get down!” he hissed at her dropping behind a bush.
“What is it?” asked Dawn her heart leaping into her throat, the cold of the snow ignored in the face of a more immediate danger.
“There is someone in the woods, and depending on when we are in Narnian history that person may not be someone we want to meet,” Mr. Pevensie explained peering through a gap in the bushes suspiciously.
AN: Hope you liked this chapter, please review!