Every now and then, especially after Shasta (or Cor, I should say) got married to Aravis, people asked Corin if he, too, wouldn't like to get married. Mind, nobody suggested he had to - in part because that would have been a very rude thing to say, and perhaps also a little because Corin was quite likely to have boxed anyone saying something like that to him. Still, many people felt it would be nice for Corin to find someone to be happy with in the same way Cor and Aravis were, only without quite so much arguing going on.
At first, Corin simply said he hadn't yet found anyone he liked enough to want to marry. Most people he talked to considered that a very good reason not to get married, but unfortunately for Corin, some people also took his answer to mean that he very much wanted to meet someone he did like enough to want to marry. There were plenty of girls who'd heard stories of how brave and strong Corin was, and so when they heard that Corin was desperately looking for someone to marry (which wasn't at all what he'd said, but just the way people who'd talked to people who'd spoken to Corin had told it) they all decided to come and introduce themselves to Corin.
In a very short time, the castle was crowded, which put Aravis in a bad mood and made her argue with Cor even more loudly than usual. However, because there hardly was any room to avoid one another, she and Cor also made up again very quickly, and afterwards, they went to see Corin, who'd hidden himself in some corner of the castle nobody'd yet thought to look for him.
They talked for a long time, and in the end, they decided that Cor and Aravis would tell everyone in the castle that Corin had left on an urgent and very secret mission. (They'd agreed to say it was 'very secret' mostly because they really couldn't think of any real urgent mission Corin could go on, and so rather than make up one that people might ask questions about or realize to be fake.) Then, when all the guests had gone home again, Corin would be able to come back.
Everything went according to plan and for a few weeks, everyone was happy and Cor and Aravis didn't have even the smallest disagreement, but then Aravis realized that the next time someone asked Corin why he hadn't gotten married yet, the thing would start all over again.
"You have to think of something else to say," she said to Corin, when he and Cor had come to her room and sat down. "You can't tell people you want to meet someone you like enough to get married to, or else the whole castle will be filled with guests again."
"But what else can I tell them?" Corin protested, looking rather uneasy. Quite probably, he'd much rather have been fighting another Lapsed Bear than to talk to Cor and Aravis about why he didn't want to get married, but unlucky for Corin, Aravis didn't intend to give him a choice.
"Something else," Aravis said, a little uncertainly, because although she knew very well what she didn't want Corin to say, she hadn't actually yet had much time to think about what she did want him to say.
"Couldn't you tell them the real reason?" Cor asked, also a little uncertainly. He didn't much like the idea of Corin needing to lie to people, even if he could see why Aravis wanted Corin to give a different answer than the one he'd given last time.
"I'm not entirely sure myself," Corin confessed. Unlike Cor and Aravis, he didn't sound uncertain at all. Both Cor and Aravis realized that meant that in reality, Corin probably knew quite well, only didn't want to tell his reason to them, for some reason neither of them knew about.
Since Aravis didn't know what to do next, it was decided that they'd meet again the next day, after they'd all thought about the problem. However, the next day, none of them had any good ideas, and the day after that, it went just the same. The day after that, quite a while before the meeting, Corin snuck into Cor's room, the way he'd done often when they'd both been boys who liked doing things like sneaking into each other's bedrooms, even though quite likely, nobody'd have minded if they'd simply visited one another by using the doors to their rooms (and in fact, if somebody'd have caught them at using the windows, they might very well have been scolded for doing something so dangerous, even if Cor and Corin themselves were quite sure they'd never fall).
"I'm going to tell you why I don't want to get married," Corin said. "And then I'm going away and I'll never come back again."
As you can imagine, Cor was rather alarmed to hear his brother say that, for even though he'd lived quite a few years not knowing he had a brother at all, by now, Cor had become quite used to it and he was very sure he'd miss Corin terribly if Corin would really go away and never come back again.
"You don't have to tell me," Cor said quickly, before Corin could begin to tell him anything.
"When I didn't know I had a brother," Corin began, either not having heard Cor or deciding to tell him anyway, "I always wished I did have one. And then it turned out that I did, and it was just as wonderful and grand as I'd imagined it would be."
Cor wasn't sure what this had to do with Corin feeling he needed to go away, so he mumbled something about how he, too, had sometimes imagined having a brother.
"I think having a twin-brother is actually even better than having a normal brother," Corin said, and if you don't agree with him, then just remember that Corin only had a twin-brother instead of a younger or older one. If he'd had both, maybe he'd have felt differently, but as it was, he obviously felt he'd been very lucky. "Nothing's very much fun when you're all by yourself."
Cor, remembering how alone he'd sometimes felt when he'd been living with Arsheesh, nodded.
"I - " Corin began, then stopped. "I don't think I could like anyone more than I like you. I can't imagine liking anyone so much that I'd rather spend time with them than with you."
Cor felt he ought to say something in return, but he couldn't really think of anything. Naturally he, too, loved his brother very much, even if he'd never quite said it out loud, the way Corin had just now. Unlike Cor and Aravis, Cor and Corin never argued, although you can be sure that they didn't always agree about everything.
For one, Cor was very sure that he didn't think Corin should leave just because he couldn't imagine liking anyone more than Cor. In fact, he thought that idea rather silly, and he didn't understand how Corin could have come by it at all.
Quite possibly, since Corin was waiting for Cor to say something, while poor Cor was trying to find the right words to tell Corin how he felt, the silence in the room would have lasted for a long while, if it hadn't been for Aravis. She'd heard quite a bit of the conversation, not because she'd been listening at the door or anything like that, but rather because she'd been right outside the window.
Probably, if anyone had known that Aravis, too, occasionally used to visit people's rooms without using the door, she'd have been scolded even more severely than either Cor or Corin. However, since Cor and Corin were the only persons she visited this way, and neither of them would ever tell anyone else, nobody knew about it.
"I know how we can prevent people from trying to get Corin to marry someone," she said.
For a moment, Cor was a little confused, because this didn't seem to have anything to do with what he and Corin had been talking about, but then he remembered the original problem.
"The two of you should act more like you did before again," said Aravis, too eager to share her idea to wait for Cor or Corin to say something. "If people can't tell you apart, they can't pester you about getting married either."
Cor frowned, maybe because he thought the solution couldn't possibly be so simple as Aravis made it sound, but Corin shook his head right away, to show he didn't agree with Aravis at all.
"I don't want to be a nuisance," he said, and those words made Cor frown even harder, since he'd never even once thought of Corin as a nuisance, and he was sure nobody else ever had either, no matter how they might grumble at Corin sometimes.
Aravis stamped her feet. "If you continue to act this silly, I'll either have to have you thrown into a dungeon until you've changed your mind, or else me and Corin will have to come with you, and then who'd look after your father?" King Lune was, by this time, a very old man, and even if he'd probably have denied that he needed anyone to look after him, he'd definitely have missed Cor, Corin and Aravis as much as Cor would have missed Corin.
Corin said nothing. Cor didn't blame him; once Aravis started stamping her feet, it was a sure sign she was about to lose her temper, and even if he knew she wouldn't really try to get someone to lock Corin in a dungeon, she might still get very angry with him and refuse to talk to him for the rest of the week, at the very least.
"You love Cor," Aravis went on, once she'd made sure neither boy was going to say anything. "And I love him, too, and that's perfectly all right and no reason at all to get all dramatic about and talk about leaving."
Corin mumbled something, but he didn't say anything loud enough for Aravis to feel like she needed to make sure he'd understood her by repeating her previous words with a bit more volume and perhaps while throwing something at him.
And ever thereafter, people would discover that many times, when they'd thought they'd been talking to Corin and casually brought up the subject of his marrying someone, they'd actually been talking to Cor, who'd look at them surprised and tell them that he was married already - and sometimes, that was even true, because aside from King Lune and Aravis, nobody was ever able to tell Cor and Corin apart when they didn't want to.
And they lived happily ever after.