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Our Better Selves

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“Pete, why were you glaring at the Dean?” Edmund asked as he caught up with Peter outside the school chapel.

“That was a stupid speech,” He kicked a pinecone with a sigh, the Dean had gone on and on about becoming men.

“Its a school ceremony and its the Dean,” Ed pointed out in that voice he had of saying, ‘anything else?’ That voice had helped a lot in Narnia, one time a centaur who’d gone missing from his arms’ training had confessed to everything from kissing his best friend to scrumping apples from the royal orchard and hiding instead of being called as late too often.

Peter was fairly sure most of the reason Ed was called ‘the Just’ came from how he could look at you and seem to see the truth, it wasn’t fair for a younger brother to do that, “I could do better. Do you remember the year of the golden eagle and the speech I gave to the class of knights? Tumnus was crying.”

“Tumnus cries at everything or pulls his horns,” Ed said in that same tone.

“I saw Su wiping away a tear,” He added as that was worth a lot, it wasn’t that she never cried, she just was thoughtful about where and why.

“Yes, it was a good speech, but that’s different,” The way Edmund said it was like showing a fault in logic.

“No, its not. Still a speech to young people getting ready for the next part of life,” Perhaps it was bad logic but it didn’t feel that far away to Peter and he stood up straighter as he talked.

“We’re not there anymore and if we don’t hurry, there won’t be any of the proper pudding left which you should get as you are officially finished with a form,” Edmund nodded to where all the other boys were getting in line.

Peter opened his mouth to say something more, saw Edmund being fair and just and looked up at the clocktower to blink away the tears in his eyes. Missing Narnia never made sense, this was only a speech but they were both better there, their best selves. The Dean didn’t know that, he thought their best selves would be in London or on a battlefield not found in a place that was always there but not easily reached. He took a deep breath and noticed Edmund watching him and wondered what Ed saw in him before heading to the hall as the clock struck twelve thirty.