Author's Note: Thanks to the reviewers! Sorry for the delay. This last week was ridiculous with finals and I really do apologize for not being able to write more. I will make it up to you guys with the next couple chapters!
I don't own anything…still.
Chapter Eleven: Explanations and Excuses
Edmund and I continued running and running until we had finally reached the outskirts of the town. My legs couldn't handle much more of the intense running and I was hoping that soon we could continue our runaway on horseback.
"So, where is your horse at?" I finally asked him, my breath still heavy, as he began slowing up just a little bit.
He kept his glance ahead and replied distractedly," Yeah…about that."
My heart almost stopped beating. He did have something to take us back…right? He had said he had a horse tied up behind a barn.
"Edmund…" I started, anger starting to boil, if he didn't have anything then I could expect to be hung in just a matter of hours," Please tell me you have something. You said horse."
"Well…" he started as he started, looking up to the skies," I should."
"What do you mean you should?" I asked him, hoping that he was only pulling some sort of joke.
We had held off the troops for a while, but I looked back over my shoulder and it looked as though they were pulling the gate up quickly. Dozens of them starting piling out of the castle.
"Edmund, if you don't have something we may as well lock ourselves back into those cells!" I yelled at him as we started running again.
He didn't answer, but only kept on his way. His mind was obviously elsewhere and it bothered me that he wasn't answering me. I could hear the sound of the hooves coming up behind us.
"Edmund!" I yelled again and he broke his glazed over look and shot a glance at me.
"Would you shut up?" he finally commanded, probably fed up with me, he sighed, aggravated," Just trust me okay?"
I guess I could have sounded annoying with pestering him like that.
I wanted to say something else, but I obeyed and followed closely behind him as we approached the barn. I had no idea what to expect, but my hopes were crushed when we ran around to the back of the barn to find nothing. Nothing but a pasture that stretched all the way to the tree line of the forest.
"C'mon, c'mon, where are you?" I heard the King mutter under his breath, looking all around.
The sound of hooves echoed in my ears, but that sound was not nearly as loud as what my heart seemed to pounding. Sweat began forming at my temples as Edmund looked around frantically for our escape.
I put my hand down to draw my sword to embrace the soldiers, but found nothing. I had forgotten that both my sword and dagger had been taken from me. I still said nothing, but let out a groan of aggravation as I the hooves got louder.
Edmund began running around frantically looking all over for this rescue that I was determined wasn't coming.
"Where's that stupid griffin at?" I heard him say aloud.
"Griffin?" I accidentally let slip out, forgetting his previous command," What happened to horse?"
"I thought it'd be funny to see your reaction if you saw a griffin instead!" he replied, semi-irritated still.
I rolled my eyes. There was something about boys teasing girls that I would never understand. I imagined what my reaction would have been, but my thoughts were interrupted by the men approaching.
"We can still catch them!" yelled one of the men in the distance.
"No, they won't," I muttered under my breath as I glanced toward the tree line. Our last option was to run. I didn't know what Edmund was waiting for, but I was going to go somewhere and anywhere was better than being sitting ducks asking to be caught.
I started running toward the tree line and grabbed Edmund on my way," Hey, whadya think you're doing?" he exclaimed, trying to pry my grasp off of him.
"I will not allow them to take us back in there!" I yelled at him as he reluctantly came along. I felt as though I was literally dragging him. Why did he have to be so stubborn?
The men had now come to the back of the barn and were in the same pasture as us. I looked back, but kept running forward.
"C'mon, Edmund!" I pleaded with him, hoping he would give up this false dream of something coming to save us.
"Wait!" he finally stopped in the middle of the field.
I sighed and prepared myself to be taken back in for the men were pounding toward us at a rapid speed.
I looked up to where Edmund was pointing and it looked like a bright star coming closer to us by the minute. If I hadn't been mesmerized by the brightness and mass of the star-like object, I would have ran in the opposite direction in fear that it would hit us.
"They've stopped!" one of the men yelled, confirming our obvious action.
"What?" another asked and a buzz went through the men as their glances shifted from us to the object.
Their horses came to a stop, in awe of the object. The whole lot of us stood there, on opposite sides, not running toward each other, but merely standing looking up in awe of this massive object, glowing and barreling toward us.
"What are you doing? Grab them!" Glozelle yelled, coming to the front of the pack, he soon saw the object and was immediately silenced.
But it wasn't an object at all. No, even as we stood there, in awe of it, I scrutinized it more and my eyes told me that it was an animal of some sort. As it came closer, I could clearly make out feathered wings coming out of its side. A white glow was being emitted from it and I could have sworn I heard a whiney. When it was about to make impact with the ground, everyone standing there could see that the object was in fact an animal. A white, flying horse.
Definitely not a griffin.
"King Edmund the Just and Lady Rosalie of Telmar?" a loud, thunderous voice called out and its voice echoed throughout the whole land. It came from the mouth of the horse.
"Y-yes?" Edmund stuttered, after a few moments of taking in its beauty.
"I have come to take you back to where you belong," the horse told us.
It was one thing to see a minotaur or centaur speak because they were now so common to have a conversation with, but a horse; I was not used to hearing a horse speak. I was still too shocked to move even when the horse beckoned us.
"What are you doing! Stop them!" Glozelle screamed, breaking the amazement of the men," Don't let them get away!"
Edmund dragged me along to the magical creature. I noted as we got closer that its eyes were an icy blue (odd for a horse) and I thought I saw a smile appear on the massive horse's face as we climbed on. After we had settled on, the creature began running at full speed toward the men.
I watched as the men scurried out of the way like scared little boys, but we were soon airborne.
"Don't just stand there!" another man yelled from the ground," Load the arrows!"
I looked down to see the men frantically loading arrows into their crossbows. The horse seemed oblivious as it raised higher into the sky.
"Watch out!" I cried as the arrows came flying through the air, but the horse chuckled.
"Lady Rosalie, there is nothing to fear," the creature ensured me as the arrows came flying toward us, but burst into flames and their ashes fell to the ground before they could penetrate any of us.
"How-?" I asked, awestruck by what had just happened and looked to Edmund for some explanation. He just shrugged; he was just as confused as I.
"My lady, you must not question what Aslan is capable of doing."
We flew through the night, high in the sky above the valleys, forests, and mountains of Narnia. I didn't speak for a long while because I couldn't get over the madness that I had just experienced. I was in a lot of shock from all of the events that had happened over the last three days.
I mostly wanted to know how in the world Edmund came to know my sister. There was no way that she would have known him prior to my being captive and to see the two of them together was mind boggling.
The horse was also another curiosity. I wanted to know just how the horse correlated to Aslan, but I didn't know if I wanted to pry into that just yet.
Above all, I really wanted to know why Caspian hadn't come to rescue me in the first place, but like the horse, it was something that I didn't want to explore just yet. Mostly because the person who I needed to question about the matter was not yet present.
"Edmund?" I finally asked and he looked back at me; I was sitting behind him.
"Yes?" he answered, his voice sounded tired.
"Can I ask you something?"
He chuckled and looked right at me," You probably have a lot to ask, don't you?"
I smiled at him and nodded my head," You could say that."
"What do you want to know?" he asked, raising an eyebrow.
Where was I to start? How could I choose where to start? I would eventually get my answers so I started with the first one that came to my mind.
"How ever did you come up with…," I tried to pick the right word to describe the rescue," all of this?"
I probably could have chosen a better phrase to describe the whole ordeal, but he knew what I meant, nonetheless.
He looked away for a moment before he answered," Well, after you were captured…Caspian and Peter have been at each other constantly. They can't agree on anything. It's so childish. The whole lot of us are ready to slap some sense into the two of them."
I could tell I was asking for a long story. It was alright by me; I was sure that I had missed a lot of what had happened, but I had rather hoped that they would at least be planning what they were going to do next and not bickering like children.
"It all started when we were coming back from the raid. We lost a lot of men, if you couldn't tell, and I think emotions were running high. Peter was fuming, but it was all bottled up. Finally, just as we were entering, Lucy came running out to meet us. She only wanted to know what happened, but Peter exploded."
"He blamed Caspian for the losses. He said that had he just followed the plan and not broken off on his own little plan, then we would not have lost near as many men. You see Caspian didn't like that, as you could imagine, and shot back claiming that the whole situation could have been avoided had we not even gone and he argued that Peter could have called the attack off sooner," he paused in his story.
It shouldn't have surprised me that they would get into an argument. Both of them wanted to rule. They also both had strong personalities and were bound to argue.
Edmund sighed," Peter then brought up you. He said that there was no excuse as to why you were in the clutches of the Telmarines. Caspian couldn't reply. He didn't know what to say. Peter kept on pushing and pushing, saying all sorts of unnecessary comments, but Caspian just seemed to be out of it. He had gone from being this stubborn, argumentative Caspian to one who seemed scared to say another word. He had even drawn his sword before, but at the mention of you…he dropped his sword."
"Susan finally stepped in and told Peter that he had said 'quite enough'. Peter stormed into the How, leaving the rest of us outside. Susan and Caspian went on a walk while Lucy and I went in to find our brother. They haven't spoken to each other without arguing since then."
I had noticed, though, that even though I now knew what had happened in my absence; Edmund still hadn't answered my question.
And I also noticed that , according to Edmund, Peter seemed to be very upset by the fact that I was gone…this puzzled me as well…still.
"That is ridiculous, they shouldn't be fighting over such things! They need to be planning what to do next! Of course, there are going to be wins and losses, but don't they know they must put those behind in order to fight back again?" I asked, not expecting an answer, but mostly just venting my emotions," Never mind that for now, continue."
"I knew that in order to calm the tension, or at least get Caspian and Peter to speak to each other again, I had to get you back. I didn't know how, but I knew that I had to. I explained the situation to Lucy and she agreed with me. The two of us began plotting what we would do. Lucy and I knew that we must do whatever it took to get back to you, but Peter, Caspian, and Susan couldn't know about it. Peter couldn't know because he would argue that it was not safe, Caspian would basically think the same thing and if Susan knew she was bound to tell one of the two of them."
This was probably true. Caspian might have actually helped them, but that was the old Caspian, I didn't know what the new one would have done. They were probably right about Susan as well. I didn't comment though and allowed Edmund to continue.
"So, late one evening, Lucy and I snuck out to where the griffins slept. Just a short walk outside of the How, since they really can't live inside of the Tomb. One of them, Lucy had become rather fond of and claimed that she could get him to take me to the castle. I don't really know how all of the animals are so fond of her, but that doesn't really matter," I smiled at this, I found it hard to believe that any one couldn't be fond of Lucy.
"The griffin was rather reluctant at first, even to Lucy. It thought that it would be breaking orders, but we assured him that when Peter found out, the griffin would not be harmed or punished. He agreed halfheartedly and I was soon on my way to the castle. Lucy would have loved to come along, but I told her it was too dangerous and that one of us had to stay so that the others wouldn't be as worried."
The Pevensies never ceased to surprise me and I was thoroughly impressed by Edmund and Lucy's strategic thinking and courage to sneak behind the backs of their siblings. Everyone, including my mother and Penelope, seemed to have thought that I would be of some help to the war effort. I had yet to figure that out.
Edmund continued with his story.
"I reached the castle early that next morning and knew that I would not be able to make as dramatic of an entrance as we did last time during the raid. I couldn't draw as much attention to myself so I had the griffin drop me off in the woods just outside of the Telmarine castle, just far enough to where they wouldn't realize anything suspicious."
"I waited for seemingly forever, hidden in the woods some and in the shadows of the town, trying to scout just how I would get in to save you. I hadn't prepared for the fact that the drawbridge would not be drawn and that I would have no access to the castle until they brought it down. They finally brought it down. I didn't know how long it would be down, so I went fast and took care of a couple guards on the way. They weren't the most intelligent fellows, let me tell you."
I laughed at this. I could only imagine the guards, dumbfounded that they actually had some action on the job and in their state of nostalgia being knocked out by Edmund.
"When I reached the castle entrance inside the walls, I snuck in behind a group of soldiers entering. I made sure to stay in the shadows. I made my way through many hallways, I actually think that I got lost quite a bit. Eventually, I ran into your sister near what I think to be the Royal quarters. Like I said, I hadn't the slightest where anything was. She was dressed like a servant and I was rather surprised when she pinned me against the wall, held a dagger to my neck, and demanded I tell her just who I was."
My eyes widened at this. Penelope had done this to him? Held a dagger to his neck and all? My sister must have been quite the little pretender. I would have never imagined she would have the courage to do such a thing…even to someone who she thought be an intruder.
"After some explaining and retelling of my stories, she finally put the dagger away and trusted that I was telling the truth about my identity. She told me that she would be too easily recognized if she wore her normal clothes so she had to dress in rags to be more easily hidden. She explained that you were her sister and I realized that I had run into just the right person."
"What was her plan?" I blurt out, interrupting him.
"I was getting to it," he muttered, annoyed, under his breath and continued," She told me that she was going to try to break you out. Apparently, she had found those underground tunnels when she was a little girl and had followed her father down when he had first gone down to speak with you and your mother just a couple of nights ago."
Penelope? My little sister had found the tunnels? Yet Caspian and I never did…she must have done a lot more adventuring then I thought she had. She had even followed father down into the tunnels when he had come to tell mother and I of our sentencing. That was probably how she knew the time frame and when she needed to get us out by.
"Rosalie, she had this elaborate plan planned out. She had a time frame of when she knew the guard was going to be down. After she first followed your father down and realized that she had found the two of you, she continued exploring down there and found a tunnel that lead to the forest."
I shook my head in disbelief. Just hours ago, I was convinced that I was unloved and unwanted by all of my family (excluding mother), but Penelope had known what she was doing this whole time. She had crafted a master plan that had worked.
"So is that where she took mother? Out that tunnel?" I asked him.
It made me a little nervous to think about my sister and mother wandering around Narnia by themselves, but I soon reminded myself that my little sister had just planned a major jailbreak. Even though I couldn't prevent being a little nervous for them, I knew that she knew what she was doing.
He nodded his head," She was originally planning to take you out with her through there, but since I was there and I had told her that I had set up a way out; she thought it would just be quicker for me to take you out and escape to the How on griffin while she and your mother traveled to How on foot. She had supplies packed for the trip and a map of how she was going to get there. Then after she had me fully informed, we went down to the underground tunnels and she led me to the cells. I probably would have never found you had I not ran into her. It was a matter of luck really. "
Penelope was a genius. I should have never doubted her. Never. Not even for a little bit. She was brilliant. And I was going to be able to talk with her about all this and hear it from her mouth in just a couple of days. I hoped that she would be alright and that her and mother could make a safe journey so that I could speak to the both of them without being confined to a prison cell.
"But as you can see, this wasn't originally part of the plan," he told me, referring to the winged horse," The griffin was suppose to come back for us…but it wasn't there, obviously. I don't really know what happened, but I suppose it got tired of waiting or something. That's why I was so upset when we were waiting around back there."
A chuckle interrupted our conversation and my thoughts. I had almost forgotten that our transport back to the How could speak and understand everything that we were saying.
"The griffin was attacked by the Telmarines," the horse spoke in its thunderous voice once more," The one that you brought with you, your majesty had taken rest in the forest and a troop of soldiers happened to stumble upon them while it slept. The beast didn't stand a chance."
Edmund and I looked at each other, puzzled. It was strange enough that this animal could fly and speak, but surely it could not have witnessed this.
"That's too bad" Edmund somberly, but he soon asked," But…how-how did you know that?"
"Don't you know what I am, your majesty?" the horse asked Edmund, who still looked as perplexed as I.
Edmund was still contemplating his answer and took a few moments before answering, his thoughts seemed to be coming to him when he exclaimed," Wait! Aslan is the Father of the Winged Horses! Right?"
The horse nodded," You are correct, your majesty. We, winged horses are, what you would call, the messengers of Aslan. Aslan came to me and told you of your situation. He knew what was happening to King Edmund's escape griffin and told me to make haste and come to the rescue. He has also become rather fond of you, my lady."
"You mean to tell me that Aslan sent you to save us?" I asked incredulously," How did he know?"
I had a very small belief of Aslan when my mother used to tell me of them and when Caspian had ran away, I had asked Aslan to provide him with safety. I knew he was there…but it was surreal. It was surreal to think such a Lion that overlooked everyone was real even though I had never seen him. It could have merely been luck that Caspian was safe...just because I had asked Aslan didn't mean that he had provided Caspian with safety. Now, these actions suggested otherwise with the winged horse and all.
"My lady, I again, repeat myself: you must not question the ability of Aslan. Remember, He is the creator of Narnia…no one knows as much as He does," the horse informed me, " We are to trust and obey what he tells us to do, without fully understanding for ourselves."
The idea was still so hard for me to grasp my mind on though, trusting and obeying someone who never seemed to show himself? I wasn't as convinced as Edmund seemed to be, but it was the only theory I had at the moment. We had been saved by the Lion who created Narnia. I didn't know why he cared so much for me, but the horse claimed that he did.
"Well, it looks as though we have almost arrived at the How. Prepare for landing, though I have practiced smooth landings, I never have mastered them," the horse warned us as we starting to drop lower in the sky.
"So soon? Why not even a griffin flies this fast!" Edmund exclaimed as he shifted himself on the horse to prepare for impact.
"I will take that as a compliment, your majesty," the horse replied and I smiled at this.
I grabbed hold of Edmund as we came barreling down out of the sky. I could see the How now, rather clearly. I could only imagine what the watch centaurs were thinking as they saw this ball of white falling out of the sky.
The horse had been right about his landings. They were not smooth. Not at all. In fact, I was wondering why we had not been slowing down as we approached the cold, hard ground, but I didn't ask any more questions. When we hit the ground, I almost took my own flight through the air, but I held tight to Edmund.
"Sorry, again," the horse said tenderly as we sat in shock.
"That's alright, don't worry about it," Edmund assured him as he threw his legs off the horse. Once he was on the ground, he assisted me as well.
Edmund patted the horse once more," Thank you and tell Aslan the same, will you?"
The horse nodded its head in affirmation and then I walked up to the head of the horse," Will you tell him the same from me?"
I think I saw a smile form on the horse's remarkable face. It's blue eyes met my own. I could not believe that a horse would have such blazing blue eyes.
"Of course I will, my lady," the horse replied and I gave it one last smile before turning to enter the How," And one more thing."
I turned back around to meet the horse's glance once more," Yes?"
Edmund had already started his way back to the How as the horse spoke to me again," Aslan wishes for you to trust your heart for your heart always knows what's best."
I didn't really understand what Aslan was supposedly trying to tell me, but I smiled and assured him that I would. I couldn't help but ask one last thing of the horse.
"I just have one last question," I whispered to the horse," You said that Aslan had become rather fond of me. Why?"
The horse looked at me sideways," My lady, I believe that he admires your courage. Not many young women such as yourself would be willing to be so loyal to even their closest friend. Not many would be willing to stand up against their family. That is an honorable trait to have."
I nodded my head, meekly. I had so many more questions about Aslan, but I knew that the horse needed to be getting back and I needed to be getting inside to calm all of the worried beings.
"The best of luck to you, Rosalie," the horse said one last time.
The angelic creature turned and began running off into the distance before flying into the air. With one last whinny, the horse was gone.
"Edmund!" Queen Lucy exclaimed as we entered the Tomb once more. Smiles were on the faces of everyone in the How as we entered.
The Pevensies shared a family reunion as all of them hugged Edmund and exclaimed how happy they were to be back. I felt odd standing out the outside looking in, but it made me happy to see all of them thrilled to see their brother once more.
The youngest Pevensie made her way over to where I had planted myself on a rock and surprisingly, she embraced me," We were all worried about you."
I smiled as she said this," Thank you for your concern, Lucy. It's good to be back."
"Don't leave anymore," she told me, smiling right back at me as she broke the embrace," Things haven't seemed the same."
I didn't reply, but still smiled at her as she made her way back to her perch on the broken table.
Soon Susan and Peter came to stand in front of me. Susan looked at me, up and down for a moment before saying anything," It's good to have you back," she finally said, but I couldn't tell if she was genuine or not.
When she walked away, I saw that Peter wore a smirk as he stood in front of me," You know, it was a little sad to not have someone around here to despise me."
A small smile grew on my lips as he said this and I even chuckled at his comment," Well, I guess you can cheer up because I'm not going anywhere for awhile."
I didn't think that "despise" was the appropriate word to describe my feelings for Peter, but I wasn't going to let him think any different for the time being. I had actually begun to like him a little better before my capture.
His smile grew bigger and he, tenderly, placed a hand on my shoulder," It really is good to have you back and I really do apologize for not being able to do more for you when…well you know."
I nodded my head knowing what he was referring to. I looked him right in the eyes and said," I understand. You are not the one who needs to be apologizing, Peter. You did all that you could."
And I meant it...he really had.
In my peripheral vision I saw that Susan was standing next to Caspian in the far side of the room. I found it odd that he had not come to say a word to me; he could have at least said something. Even if all he said was "sorry", that would have sufficed, but what I really wanted was for him to explain himself and as soon as Peter stepped away, Caspian stepped forward. My heart started beating faster as he walked toward me and it took everything within me not to explode at him for what he had done.
"Rosalie," he started, not looking at me, but rather at the ground, obviously ashamed," I think that I owe you an explanation for-"
"I would hope so," I interrupted, crossing my arms, my voice had probably came out a little colder than I would have liked.
Author's Note:I will have the next chapter up very soon! Promise. I've already started it and this one was longer and a lot of talking, I know, but it was necessary in order for Edmund to explain everything, I think..haha :)