Standing on the steps leading up to the four thrones in the Great Hall of Cair Paravel, Peter Pevensie sipped his wine from the crystal goblet that he held loosely in his right hand, and glanced around him. He was trying to appear as interested in the going-ons as possible, but if truth be told the ball was boring him. As they usually did. He was aware that up here with no one by his side, he must have struck a rather lonely figure, but he didn't mind. Around him the party was whirling in full force, the Hall filled with laughter, cheers, and the swaying bodies of the various dancing guests, but Peter was content in his solitude. It wasn't often that he got time to himself in such a public setting, and he was intent on enjoying it and to just survey everything that was happening around him.
However, his peace didn't last long. Peter found himself tapping his foot lightly as he greeted some high-born lord from Archenland who wandered up to him. After the usual polite greeting had been given, he wracked his head for an interesting topic of conversation, not wanting to let the conversation die with him looking like a disinterested and impolite fool. With a sudden surge of luck he remembered that this particular lord had recently had a son born to him, and so Peter proceeded to congratulate him on that. The man was ecstatic that he remembered, and thanked him continually for his well-wishes.
But before too long, the man was gone to tend to his exceedingly drunk brother, and Peter used that break to look around for his own siblings.
Soon, he spotted them. Edmund was sitting amidst a group of dwarves and foreign ambassadors, laughing loudly and drinking far too much wine than Peter thought his younger brother should be consuming. He shook his head, reminding himself that Edmund was now a man, and he was also a King. It would only prove highly embarrassing to him for Peter to order him not to drink with the others. It would only serve to belittle his brother infront of the guests, and Edmund had been so much better humoured then he'd been in years. Peter was loathe to risk spoiling that. Still, at times it was hard to curb his old protection instincts towards his siblings that had been ingrained into his very being.
Almost as if summoned by that thought, his mother's image and voice flashed through his mind.
Promise me you'll look after the others.
I will, mum.
Peter noticed with some discomfort and guilt that her picture in his mind was less substantial than it had once been. As much as he clung to the memory of her and his father, at times it felt like the memories of his old life were slowly slipping away from him, like water through his fingers.
A sudden laugh stopped him from dwelling on that any further, and his head snapped up just in time to see Susan whirl past in a blur of dark hair and white silk, in the arms of some foreign prince or lordling. By the flirtatious smiles he glimpsed on both of their faces, he gathered that they were enjoying each-other's company. Staring after them as they moved, he wondered if this dance may soon blossom into courtship. He could tell that Susan wouldn't mind if it did, but Peter knew that he would be more hesitant towards this young man. He'd have to ask around about this prince before he let his sister alone with him.
There were a lot of men who would gladly deceive a girl for the chance to hold a crown of Narnia.
That uneasy warning made Peter turn his attention to locating the whereabouts of his youngest sister. After a few seconds, he found her and had to smile. Lucy, despite being the easiest to get along with of the Pevensie family, was sticking to the shadows by the side of her beloved friend, the faun Tumnus. They were conversing happily, only interacting with one another, and Lucy was hopping from foot to foot in some strange sort of jig that had her companion shaking his head and laughing fondly. Satisfied that the faun would not let anything happen to her, Peter glanced away again. His eyes roved once more over the crowd, before a loud giggle hit his ears.
He twisted slightly to see a gaggle of young women staring at him coyly, and whispering and giggling among themselves. Successfully stopping himself from sighing in exasperation, Peter just smiled politely and raised his glass in salute to them. The giggling reached a new pitch, and a few of the girls shrieked in glee. Peter felt like rolling his eyes at just how silly they were acting, but to do so would be considered highly rude of him, so instead he just set down his glass on the nearest long table, and gave them a goodbye nod. Ever since he had become High King, a lot of women had been acting like this around him.
Straightening up and brushing down his deep blue tunic, the young High King found his gaze settling on the open doorway to the balcony outside.
Some air might be nice after all...
He ambled towards the door, dodging past the guests and various servers, before stepping out into the cool air of the outside. Breathing in deeply, he closed his eyes as the night wrapped him in it's embrace. When he opened his eyes again, he became aware of a solitary figure standing directly infront of him, staring down onto the beach below. After a second of inspection, he realised it was a woman; Standing silhouetted against the moonlight.
* * *
A gentle breeze stirred the skirt of your lilac dress and tussled your hair as you stood on the balcony of Cair Paravel, hands braced on the white stone wall infront of you. It was a gorgeous night, and you could hear the waves washing against the shore below you. Staring up into the starry sky, you tried to relax. To your chagrin, your shoulders stayed tensed, and none of your worry diminished. Glancing behind you into the Great Hall, you chewed your lower lip nervously.
You were seriously delaying, and you knew it. But who could really blame you? You were doing this completely on your own, you hadn't been given a script or anything, and so you had absolutely no clue what to say to the rulers of Narnia when you finally met with them.
Hi. Your Highnesses. My name's ______, and I've been sent here on the Great Lion Aslan's behalf to become the spiritual leader of your people. Because I am a demi-goddess. Yes, it was a surprise to me too. No, you can put away the straight jacket please.
Your ridiculous inner babble made you snort with indignation. Being honest, you weren't even sure if they actually had straight jackets here.
"Not enjoying the festivities?" a voice called, and you were aware of someone coming to stand beside you.
It was the voice of a young man, somewhere in his late twenties, polite and yet strong.
"This is not really my sort of thing," you replied while absent-mindedly gesturing towards the party as you turned to look at your new companion.
Much to your pleasant surprise, you found that he was rather handsome. Very handsome, in-fact. He was tall, taller than you, with perfectly styled blond hair and gorgeous blue eyes.
"Mine neither," he agreed, a boyish grin creeping onto his face. "And you don't know how glad I am that I'm not the only one who thinks it! I've been feeling very alone and anti-social these past few hours, while everyone e else enjoys themselves and I just mope!"
"Glad I could be of service," you laughed, allowing yourself to delay from the task of funding the ruler of Narnia.
"I don't blame you for standing out here," the young man continued, white teeth flashing as he spoke. "It's rather a glorious night"
"It is indeed," you murmured, turning to stare up at the twinkling stars in the sky. "It was very peaceful out here."
The guy started, causing you to turn and look questioningly at him. A slightly uncomfortable look was creeping across his face.
"I apologize if I interrupted you, milady," he said uncertainly as he began to back away slowly. "I did not mean to spoil your serenity."
You suddenly realised how your previous remark could have been interperated, and you were quick to rectify what he must have been thinking.
"No, sir, you did not disturb me at all. In-fact, you saved me from pouring over my worries for too long."
His shoulders relaxed, and he moved back to your side. His hands set upon the low lying wall infront of you both, and you could feel the heat of his body from where his arm just about brushed yours.
"That is good to know," he rumbled. "I was afraid that I had imposed myself on you."
"If you had, I would have told you to get lost!" you joked, twisting the skirt part of your dress in your hand nervously.
He laughed at that, and then raised a curious brow at you. "May I ask you something?"
"Where is your entourage?" he questioned, peering around like he expected to see a gaggle of people hiding behind a pillar.
"My entourage?" you repeated in confusion.
"Yes. A group of your peers, friends or servants, who accompany you to these events? I can see by your finery that you're more than likely someone of exceedingly high birth, and ladies of such always have their followers"
"Oh..." you said slowly, and then blushed as you felt even more out of place. "I don't have any. He, um, my... My father told me to come alone."
"You came here alone!?" the man exclaimed, looking horrified.
"Yes, but it's alright," you laid a reassuring hand on his arm, flattered at his concern. "I am more than capable of handling myself."
He looked troubled as his sympathetic eyes bore into yours.
"That maybe so," he shook his head, "But I could never send my sisters anywhere alone."
"I'm not alone now," you smiled shyly, "You're here."
Oh my God, you were flirting with him?!
"Well, I hope my company is satisfactory?" he asked, and you noted the slightly flirtatious undertone to his voice.
"It is most satisfactory, I assure you," you smiled, feeling a small thrill at the fact that such a handsome young man was paying attention to you.
"Good," he grinned as the wind ruffled his blond hair.
You noted the crown that sat proudly on his brow, and realised that he must be royalty.
"And your company is much better than most of those back in the Hall," he complimented. "You don't seem to indulge in fake flattery or meaningless pleasantries, and you are capable of holding an interesting conversation. And you don't simper. You don't simper most of all."
"Well," you smiled apologetically at the stranger. "I'm afraid you won't have much of my company for long, now. I have some matter that I need to attend to."
"Oh?" he asked, leaning against the low wall.
"A... Business matter," you decided to tell him. It was kind of true?
"The High King Peter of Narnia."
There was a glimmer of interest and amusement in his eyes.
"About what?" he tried again, but you just shook your head.
"What I have to say is for the ears of the High King to hear before any others," you refused him as politely as you could, as he seemed like a nice guy, but that couldn't allow you to forget duty or propriety.
"Well, if you are going to be entering into formal business mode soon, would you at least do me the honour of a single dance before your audience with the High King?"
You tilted your head to the side, and mulled it over for a few seconds.
It's not like you didn't want to. Your new powers had made you much more nimble and graceful than you were before; Perfectly capable of following his steps, and matching them with easy confidence. He was exceedingly handsome and kind also, not too mention he was as interesting as he claimed you were. There was something about him, the playful glint in his eye and easy lightness to his tone that made you like and trust him at the same time. It was so very... Attractive, but you had a job to do and didn't have time to dwell on what could be a developing crush on some foreign prince that will probably be sailing back to his country before morning.
But his soon departure was also an excellent reason to accept, because when would you ever see him again?
"Yes..." You trailed off as a thought hit you. "I'm sorry, but I don't even know your name."
"Tell me yours first," he encouraged for some strange reason, and so you relented and did.
"Now, what's your name?" You asked again, arching a brow as you placed on hand on your hip.
"All in due time," he smirked, and then offered you his hand.
You thought about not taking it, demanding that he tell you who was before you went back into the castle and danced with him. Something in his expression stopped you. Trust me, his eyes were saying playfully. So you just simply rolled your own eyes, and slipped your hand into his. He took hold of it gently, and then began to carefully lead you back into the Great Hall. You followed obediently, with the hand that was not lightly gripping his reaching down to lift the hem of your ball dress slightly off the ground. In the twenty-first century on Earth, you had never worn anything like this before, and so you were continually afraid that you may trip over it's long skirt and fall. That would be rather embarrassing for you, to say the least. It was an rather irrational fear though, as the gown was designed so that it would not trip you.
Within seconds, you entered the Great Hall, and made your way up the middle aisle towards the space cleared for dancing just below the dais. At first, people seemed to take no notice of you, but then, almost instantaneously, it seemed as if everyone was staring at you. People stopped what they were doing, head following your steps as you passed them by, and the chatter and laughter turned into a frantic buzz of low-spoken voices. You shrank back as you caught sight of a group of beautiful girls staring at you, but you were tugged onwards by the prince. He was striding forward confidently, his head held high and his blue eyes intent on a certain spot of the floor before him.
"Stop fretting," he whispered to you as you raised a hand to run it nervously through your hair. "You look astounding."
Jeez, mate, come on strong much?
"Everyone is staring," you informed him as you reached a clear spot in the middle of the floor.
Ignore them," he commanded, pulling you so that you faced him.
A new, slow song began to play, it's melody beautiful and haunting. Keeping his eyes locked on yours, the prince bowed low, and you curtsied in time with him. You both rose up, and then he raised his hand infront of him, straightening it so that his palm was facing towards you. Months of being tutored on Narnian customs before you arrived, you knew immediately which dance he had chosen, so you also lifted your hand into the air, uncurled it so that it was ram-rod straight, and held it right infront of his. If you had moved your hand closer another two centimetres, it would have been pressed flat against his, but the dance decreed that you were not meant to touch just yet, and you were to retain eye-contact at all times.
Slowly, you walked in a counter-clockwise circle around one another, keeping your steps nimble and graceful. You were dimly aware out of the corner of your eye of another girl with dark hair and a white dress watching you both curiously as her dance partner wrapped an arm around her waist and whispered in her ear. You didn't glance at her, however, just kept your gaze on the young man infront of you as you completed the circle. As soon as you were back into your original position, you both switched the hands that you held infront of you, and moved in a clockwise circle, still not touching. The guy's lips were curving upwards in some secret amusement as he stared at you. Soon, you were back once again in your starting position. This time, both hands were held millimetres from each-other infront of you as you moved in another counter-clockwise circle.
Arriving back in your original position for the very last time, you were only there for a split second before you moved as one into a waltz. One of your hands was once more taken in his. Your other hand slid to to place itself just behind his shoulder, while his free hand came to lightly rest midway up your back. As the people around you began to move in time to the music, you did too. He took the lead easily, expertly guiding you around the centre of the floor, and you were happy to follow.
There was no stepping on dresses, no trodding on one another's feet, or messing up a step. There was just this single, perfectly in sync dance.
The lights from the chandelier above flickered over the prince's face, and in their fleeting shards of light you realised all over again how very handsome he was. Catching your somewhat awed look before you could hide it, he gave you another dazzling smile as you moved in time to the beat. You grinned back shyly, before your eyes caught on the crown upon his head once again.
"Who are you?" you asked him quietly, though you knew he could hear you.
"You will know once this dance is over," he promised, readjusting his hold to bring you a little closer. "But let's just enjoy this dance for now."
Once more you thought about arguing, but you were enjoying yourself too much, so you just let it be. It seemed like the dance only went on for seconds, but you had heard the phrase 'time flies when you're having fun' before, and knew that that must have been what happened. You briefly stopped to question why you were having so much fun with a guy that you had only just met, but then you just shrugged it off and continued dancing. He was cute and nice, that was it. You weren't going to get attached or anything.
The song ended, and you heard him sigh as he released you and stepped back to eye you ruefully.
"I don't suppose I can bribe another dance out of you?" he asked, though it seemed he already knew the answer.
"I'm sorry," you replied regretfully, wishing that you could accept. "But it is urgent that I speak to the King, and I have delayed too much already."
The prince bit his lip, and averted his eyes nervously to the ground. You stared at him curiously, the both of you still standing in the middle of the dance-floor.
"What is it?" you pressed.
"What... What if I was to tell him that you hadn't delayed speaking to him?" the young man said eventually.
"What?" your brow furrowed. "But that's not possible. The only person at this ball who I have spoken to is you..."
His eyes flickered up to you, and something clicked.
The amused, secretive smiling.
The refusal to tell you his name until after you had danced.
The reactions of everyone in the Great Hall upon your entrance.
"You!?" you gasped, eyes wide.
"Guilty as charged," he admitted sheepishly.
"You're High King Peter," you repeated, feeling incredibly stupid.
"So I am told on a regular basis," he tried to joke.
"Why didn't you just tell me from the start?" you demanded.
"Well... When they find out who I am, most people, especially girls, they utterly change in how they act towards me. We were having a nice conversation. I wanted to keep it that way,"
"This is very, um, unexpected," you managed to stutter out.
"And I'm sorry about that. I sincerely am," he said earnestly. "But don't you agree that it was more enjoyable this way?"
You wanted to say no, to say you would have just preferred him to tell you who he was so you could have gotten your meeting over and and done with. But you found that you couldn't say it, because he had spoken the truth. It had been a lot more fun.
"Now, shall we get down to business?" the High King asked as he folded your arm into the crook of his and escorted you off the dance-floor.
"Well," you managed to get out even though you were still in shock. "I was rather hoping for a private audience with His Highness and his siblings?"
The High King bit his lip.
"It would appear too rude to abandon our guests while the ball is still happening," he told you after a few seconds. "And I fear that my brother and sisters may be too tired afterwards to fully comprehend whatever it is you have to say. Perchance we could meet on the morrow to discuss the matter at hand? I would be more than happy to offer you a room in the castle for the night."
You mulled it over, and then shrugged. It wasn't like you only had a limited time in Narnia, you were here for the foreseeable future. You had been in a hurry to tell them, but you were willing to delay one night.
"Tomorrow will be just fine, my liege, if you're sure that it suits you and your family also?"
"It will," he promised as you both reached a table. "Then we will see what you have to say. I must say, you have piped my curiosity immensely."
The High King then pulled out a chair, and waved at you to sit down. You were once again charmed by his manners, and smiled in thanks as you sat down. Gently, he pushed your chair towards the table and then moved to take the seat opposite.
"Thank you, sir," you repeated as he poured you a glass of wine from the decanter that sat in-front of you.
"It's my pleasure," he said politely. "If there is anything else you need, the servants will be passing by with trays of food at all times. Just wave them over."
"I'll keep that in mind," you smiled, brushing some hair back from your face. "However I am not too hungry at the moment"
"Suit yourself," he chuckled, and beckoned to a smiling faun who was carrying a platter of pastries.
The smell of the freshly baked goods hit you, and you felt your mouth beginning to water.
"Are you sure you don't want one now?" Peter Pevensie smirked as he plucked one of the tray.
"Maybe just one?" you relented, laughing, and the faun immediately skipped to your side.
"Thank you!" you smiled at the horned man as you picked something off the tray at random.
He grinned back at you, jovially, bowed, and then turned to scramble merrily away. You laughed as he hopped in the middle of his skip before disappearing once more into the crowd. Turning back, you noticed the High King was watching you.
"What?" you asked a little self-consciously.
"You were nice to him. Most people of high standing can be a bit dismissive of those lower than them. Seeing you so polite was quite... Endearing."
You felt your cheeks heating up in pleased embarrassment, and dropped your gaze to the white linen cloth that was stretched over the table infront of you. His words really shouldn't get to you this much, but this man seemed to have a natural instinct for making you blush.
"They matter too," you replied softly. "I just think the world is much nicer when everyone gets along."
"I think so too," he responded, raising his wine-glass into the air. "Cheers to that thought."
Trying not to smile too widely, you lifted your glass and lightly clinked it against his. Raising it to your lips, you both drank deeply.
"I hope you can hold your liquor, if you're going to continue to drink like that," he joked as you set the empty goblets down on the table. "Narnian wine may not seem to be very strong in taste, but don't let that deceive you. Three glasses and your head will be spinning."
"Which you've learned from personal experience, I presume?" you asked playfully, the wine already taking effect and making you bolder.
"Unfortunately so," he chuckled. "Though not to the extent that my brother, Edmund, did. We lost him one night, and found him the next morning passed out on the beach below Cair Paravel. He could barely walk three steps back towards the castle, he was so hungover. It was very many years ago, but still funny."
"With all due respect, wouldn't he have been rather young, sire?" you were shocked.
So hypocritical, it wasn't like you'd never been drunk of WKD in a public park when you were fourteen.
"Well, not really any-more. He'll be twenty-four years old in less than a week, though this incident took place when he was around fifteen. And please, enough with the titles. Just call me Peter."
"Peter," you repeated to yourself, much like how he had repeated your name earlier.
He responded by smirking at you, and saying your name.
"Out of curiosity, where are your siblings?" you peered around at the people crowding the enormous Great Hall.
You were aware of some of the girls littering the side-lines of the dance-floor still shooting you dirty looks, but you just ignored them. You were fully aware that they were only looking at you like that because you were in the company of the handsome High King of Narnia.
Some women could be so petty.
Peter straightened up on the chair, and peered around the room. His eyes were squinted as he attempted to pierce the half-darkness to locate his siblings. After a few seconds a smile crossed his features and he rose. Dragging his chair around to your side of the small, circular table, he settled down beside you so that your arms brushed together. He leaned on closer, and raised one hand to point so you could follow it.
"Over there," he said, pointing at a tiny girl in a green dress. "Is my youngest sister, Queen Lucy. That faun by her side is Sir Tumnus, her closest friend."
"She's adorable," you gazed at the smiling face of the younger girl and feeling a strange surge of affection for her.
While she looked to be in her early twenties, she still had an air of childish innocence around her.
"She is," Peter smiled, and you could tell that he was deeply pleased by the praise of the sister that he so obviously loved. "And that," he indicated to a dark-haired young man dancing with a girl in a pale pink dress. "Is my younger brother, King Edmund."
"He seems happy," you intoned, watching the boy throw back his head and laugh.
"Much happier than he's been in a long time," Peter informed you. "Now, where is Susan?"
He rose to his feet as he scanned the crowd for her.
You watched in growing apprehension as he twisted and turned, examining every area of the room. His brow was beginning to furrow in worry, and you got a deep, uneasy feeling in the pit of your stomach.
Something was not right.
"Maybe she's outside," Peter muttered, more to himself than to you.
He pulled you gingerly to your feet, and then made for the door of the Great Hall,. You were unsure if he realised that he was still holding your hand, but you figured that he was rather distracted, and so maybe did not even notice.
His steps were strong, determined, and people knew it. The crowd parted to let you both through as Peter stormed past with his cape cracking behind him. Before long, you were in sight of where you and he had met, on that balcony outside the Hall, overlooking the beach. But now it was completely empty, the only thing to see was a red flag with a golden lion on it flapped solitary in the wind. Peter turned his attention to the two formidable-looking centaurs at the door.
"Orieus," he called, stepping forward to the taller one.
The creature's head turned toward him.
"My King?" he rumbled.
"Has Queen Susan passed this way?" Peter questioned, still tightly gripping your hand.
"She has, sire," the centaur bowed his head. "She and that boy she was with made for the gardens. She ordered me to remain here when I offered to accompany her."
"Thank you," Peter touched the guard's arm, before dropping his head and whispering; "Dammit, Susan"
"Peter-," you began, but he stopped you.
"One second, I need to speak with my brother."
His head suddenly rose snapped to the side, and he let out a single, strong summons.
The dark haired boy was at his side in almost an instant. You watched as his brown eyes flickered to you, then down to you and Peter's interlocked hands. Feeling uncomfortable under so many eyes, you removed your hand from the High King's. Peter did not seem to notice, just let his eyes bore into his brother's face.
"Have you seen Susan?"
Edmund looked around, worry beginning to cross his features; "Not... Not for a while now."
Peter bit his bottom lip, and you could see worry flash across him. He hid it quickly, but both you and his brother had caught it in that fleeting second.
"Is something wrong?" Edmund asked in a low, concerned voice.
"I'm not sure," Peter replied. "She's not in the Hall. Orieus said that she headed for the gardens with some boy."
"Do you want me to go and look?" Edmund's hand went to his side, where his sword was usually strapped to his waist.
However, his weapon wasn't there now. You figured it was a habit for him now to reach for it when he felt threatened.
"No," Peter instructed. "It could be nothing, but I don't like her heading off alone with some boy she barely knows. Stay here and keep close to Lucy, would you?"
"Of course," Edmund replied, turning on his heel and scurrying back towards his younger sister.
The oldest Pevensie then returned his attention to you.
"I'm going to go out and look for her," he told you, placing his hands on both of your shoulder. "I want you to remain here in the Hall. It could be too dangerous-"
"I'm going with you," you argued firmly. "You may need me."
He chuckled kindly, though there was impatience and worry in his eyes. "You're a brave girl, and I appreciate the offer of help, but in-case something bad is afoot I don't want anyone else to get hurt. I will take Orieus, and you will stay put. Do you understand?"
"Peter, I can-"
"Do you understand!?" he demanded more urgently. "I need to go look for my sister, and I wouldn't leave unless you say you won't follow. You're delaying me, right now. Do you understand!?"
"I understand" You snapped angrily, crossing your arms.
"Good," he breathed a sigh of relief, and then let go of you.
He stepped backwards, still facing you, and the light from the chandelier fell across his face once more.
"I'll find you when I get back," he promised, "We need to sort out your accommodation in the castle."
"'Kay," you muttered, still cross.
Smiling apologetically at you one more time, he turned away from you and kicked into a jog. You watched as he reached the two centaurs on guard duty at the door, and spoke to them both earnestly. The one who you knew as Orieus stepped forward, while the other nodded and remained in position, only reaching behind him to pass the High King a sheathed sword. Peter strapped it to his waist, and you realised that it must have been his own weapon by the way that the belt fit his waist so perfectly. Peter glanced back at you once more, and noted you watching him. You had glanced away as soon as you'd copped on to him looking, but it had been too late and he had seen. He sternly said something else to the remaining centaur, and beckoned to Orieus. Together, they both headed off into the night. The other centaur looked far more alert than he had been ten minutes ago, and straightened up to scrutinise everything around him. You decided to take the chance, and plastered on your most charming smile.
Sauntering up to him, you beamed at him and said: "Excuse me, I'm just going out for a little air."
"No one is to leave, milady," he snapped, moving to block your path. "The High King has ordered it."
"Surely a woman is allowed to go get a little breathing space for an upset stomach?" you tried again, but he remained firm.
You sighed loudly, and ran a hand through your hair, not caring any-more if you messed it up. You then looked up into the centaur's stern brown eyes.
"I really didn't want to have to do this," you told him apologetically.
"What do you mean you-," he began, tightening his grip on his weapon.
Before he could finish, you fixed your eyes on him as a familiar tinge started to spread from your fingers and all through your body. He froze, staring at you, completely mesmerized. You could feel pressure in your eyes, and didn't even need a mirror to know that your eyes were changing from their usual colour to one as golden as a lion's mane.
"You're going to let me through," you told him in a voice as gentle as a summer breeze. "You're going to let me through."
"I'm... Going to let you through," he repeated, sounding wiped of all emotion except for awe.
"You're going to let me through," you finished. "Then you're going to forget about me telling you to let me past."
"I'm going to let you through... And then I'm going to forget about you telling me to let you past," he agreed dazedly.
"Good man, uh, centaur," you said, blinking hard and breaking eye contact.
The centaur seemed to shudder, closing his eyes and shaking his head. When he opened them, he was himself once more. With one difference, however; He stepped out of your way to allow you through.
"Thank you," you murmured, feeling extremely guilty.
You didn't like using that particular power; Stripping some-one of their free will and imposing your own. It just felt... Wrong. Unnatural. It was definitely not a power that had been given to you lightly, but Aslan had agreed that you could use it when you were in need of it. If Queen Susan was in danger than it would most certainly prove to be a time where it was needed.
Shaking your head to rid yourself of the thoughts that were jumbling your mind, you peered ahead into the darkness.
You could just about make out the shapes of the High King and his guard as they passed under a bridge in the distance. If it wasn't for the torch strapped to the wall, you would have missed them entirely. Picking up your skirts, you hurried after them, all the while cursing yourself once again for not wearing something easier to run in. Then again, it hadn't really been your choice. You were just blasted to this damned land in this. Still, a nice pair of breeches (or whatever it was that people wore here) would have done quite nicely with all this running and sneaking around.
So, you increased your pace and set off after them, murmuring quiet incantations to muffle your steps and make your body almost as transparent as mist. Cold air rushed through your veins, and you knew that if you looked down you would see your body shimmer, and then fade slightly. You did not disappear completely, but at night the mist-like quality that you called upon yourself was harder to see. You were able to use this combination to draw almost level with Peter and Orieus as they hurried down the outside of the many buildings that made up the castle of Cair Paravel. You stayed slightly behind them, and a bit to Peter's right. The two were talking quietly amongst themselves.
"Why would she have gone off alone with a boy she didn't know!?" Peter was fretting. "I've warned her about such things so many times! When are they all going to learn to do as they're told!?"
"When they have learned the consequences of not doing as they are told," Orieus said gravely. "You remember your brother, King Edmund? It was through his mistakes that he learned his lesson, and now he makes them no more."
"I... I just fear for them, Orieus, My mother, the last time that I saw her, made me promise to look after them," Peter confessed, causing your heart to lurch with pity for him.
"You are doing just fine," the centaur reassured him. "You are doing the best that you can, and it is enough. You cannot change someone's nature, only guide them to do it themselves."
Peter didn't seem like he was about to reply, but you never would have known, for that moment the centaur yelled loudly, causing you and Peter to both jump in shock. The next thing you heard was the galloping of hooves as Orieus took off towards a crumpled body lying around a hundred feet infront of you all. Peter took off after him, yelling his sister's name. You heart was in your chest as you raced along behind them, and your lack of concentration allowed the magic to wash away so that you were completely visible once more.
"Susan!" Peter cried, dropping down beside the form that Orieus was stooped over.
You hovered over them, panting, and stared down as Peter stiffened.
It wasn't Susan.
A boy lay on the ground, a familiar looking boy. After a few seconds your mind placed him as the young man who was hugging the waist of the dark-haired girl who had watched in fascination as you and Peter danced. As you recalled King Edmund's looks, you realised how much his features had looked like that of the pretty girl in the white dress.
She must have been Queen Susan, then.
"What happened!?" Peter demanded as he shook the shoulders of the other unconscious boy, desperately trying to wake him up. "What happened!?"
"Peter!" you cried, tugging his shoulder as the boy's head lolled limply on his shoulders.
Your voice had him twisting around in shock as he let go of the boy, who was luckily, caught by Orieus before he could slam into the ground and possibly injure himself gravely.
"What are you doing here!?" He demanded, lurching to his feet. "I told you to stay inside."
"And I told you I could help," you shot back.
Peter opened his mouth to reply, irritation blazing in his eyes, but Orieus spoke before he could.
"My King! He is coming around!"
Peter attention turned back to the young man on the ground, who had started to cough and splutter loudly. Orieus thumped him on the back, while Peter knelt once more straight infront of him, and stared into his face.
"What happened?" He growled, lapis-lazuli eyes glinting dangerously, "Where is my sister?"
The boy gasped, holding his head in his hands. It was then that you noticed the steady trickle of blood running down from a rather gash on his forehead. His face was pale and sweaty, and he was trembling all over.
"Move," you ordered, shouldering Peter aside and crouching down to grip the boy's shoulders.
Closing your eyes, you allowed your conciousness to expand, rushing down your arms and into your fingertips. Your hands glowed white, and you could see the light behind your closed lids. The boy shuddered even more underneath your grasp, and then gasped loudly as he felt your mind brush over his.
"Concussion," you said finally as you withdrew. "Not terrible, but he should be looked at."
"Not before he tells me where Susan is!" Peter snapped, too caught up in his fear for his sister to wonder about what you had just done.
"The... The Queen..." The boy rasped, eyelids drooping. "Nothing I could do... They hit me..."
"Who," Peter demanded. "Who did what!?"
"They took her... They... Took Queen Susan."