The Hag and the Werewolf
Author's Note: I own nothing :)
Chapter Seventeen: The Hag and the Werewolf
"It's illogical to make this deal, Caspian," a hushed whisper from King Peter broke through the throne room as I entered, fresh out of the argument with my sister. Whenever I entered, Caspian's eyes shot up from Peter's and went straight to my own. Peter noticed his change in focus and looked to where his eyes were. A smile came to Peter's face as he saw me enter into the room. I returned this with a small smile before planting myself on a rock beside Reepicheep.
"What are they talking about?" I asked him quietly as Peter and Caspian continued discussing whatever they were in very quiet whispers.
The mouse's eyes looked right at me, as if fearing what would happen if he answered," I-I don't think I'm allowed to say," he stuttered.
"Reep, c'mon," I prodded with a smile.
He shook his head," I'm sorry, my lady. You will have to speak with His Majesty Peter or Caspian on the matter."
With a small bow of his head, he quickly crawled off the rock and scurried away. I sat, baffled. What could be going on that was so secretive? What could be so important that they would need to keep it from me? I didn't think too much on the matter, however.
"Let's discuss that later," Peter said adamantly referring to something," We are all in agreement that Susan and Lucy are to go in search of Aslan? Is that what we have decided?"
I could see that Peter's faith in Aslan had gone up some since the last time I had spoken with him. They were apparently sure of themselves that this was the best plan of action, but I had my own doubts of Aslan. He was the one that saved Edmund and I, but how could we be certain that they would find him?
"I have not heard all of the plans, seeing as I just entered" I chipped in," But are we sure that they can find the Lion? He obviously is not the most common being to come by as of the last few hundred years."
All of the eyes seemed to set on me as I crossed my arms on the rock, allowing my question to settle in the tense air that never really seemed to be anything less than tense due to the war coming soon. Telmarines could already be heard from the inside of the How, their war mechanisms rolling closer by the hour.
"I have seen him," Queen Lucy replied boldly, looking at me seriously," Just days ago."
Peter looked at her before meeting my glance," Only in her dreams. We are sending her to the last place where he came to us."
"Peter," she tried arguing over the dreams, but his glance silenced her.
I nodded my head. I wasn't going to try and argue with them over the matter, it was just still hard for me to have so much faith in a lion we barely knew would come. I hoped that we had some sort of a back up in mind.
After breaking my gaze, Peter turned his head away to his sisters again and asked," You are both in agreement?"
The two of them nodded their heads vigorously," Of course, just say the word and we will go," Lucy told her brother.
He gave her a simple nod before looking back at Caspian," Are you in agreement?"
"Aslan is the only hope we've got, isn't he?" the prince asked, raising an eyebrow," I am in favor of the plan."
"Very well then," Peter replied and with a sigh said," We're only a matter of days away from war. Two or three, at the most. Be safe and try to stay in the How as much as possible. We've no idea what lies in those woods now."
And with that, the few other creatures standing in the room took that as an invitation for them to leave. Wishing that I had been there earlier, I slowly began walking toward Peter who was entering into conversation with one of the centaurs passing. He did, however, meet my eyes briefly before saying," I'll be back soon."
I nodded my head and before I noticed, the room was empty. With the exception of Caspian and myself.
The death of my mother had relieved some of the tension between us, but not much. All of me wanted to pull myself out of the room, but Caspian spoke.
"What do you think of all of this?" he asked, rather boldly.
How is one expected to answer a question such as this? There were so many emotions and opinions running through my head that I found myself taking an extra long pause between the question and my answer.
"I don't know what to say," I started, looking away from him," It would be safe to say that I have mixed emotions on the matter."
My stomach started turning as he stepped closer to me, not particularly ready to discuss all of this with him…if that's where he was going with the matter. I prayed that it was not.
"Fair enough," he replied with a shrug of his shoulders and soon began to exit the room. Relief rushed throughout me like a cool breeze does in the hot, humid summer air.
"You really think they will find Aslan?" I asked suddenly, shooting him a sideways glance as he looked back from his place near the exit of the Tomb, trying to slowly rebuild our casual relationship. Perhaps, talking like this would at least start something.
He slowly turned on his heel and looked at me with a raised brow," You've got doubts as well?"
A sigh escaped my lips," It's hard to have faith in something that is seemingly nonexistent except when he finds appropriate."
There was a silence for a brief moment before he replied," I share the same doubts," he whispered and without another word he had left. So it wasn't the longest conversation...but it was something. It was better than totally ignoring one another. It was better than the harsh stares. It was better than nothing. Penelope's words started to resurface in my head about my feelings for Caspian, but as soon as they appeared I fought them. I hadn't the time to dwell on them anyways because as I turned to follow Caspian. I heard his voice mixed in conversation with another.
Easily, I could tell the voice was that of the dwarf, Nikabrik. Curiosity filled me as I hid myself around the edge of the corner, careful to silence my breathing.
" You know that there is another option," the hard voice of the dwarf hissed, trying to persuade Caspian of something," Since the Kings and Queens of Old have failed us all."
I was baffled to this dwarf, Nikibrik. I hadn't ever been particularly fond of the creature, but he couldn't have possibly known something that would be more useful than what the Old Kings and Queens knew. I hardly believed that he would ever betray the Old Kings and Queens.
"What are you suggesting?" the prince replied, his voice wary.
"We can get your throne for you," the dwarf assured him, his raspy voice trying hard," Just come along, you'll see."
And just who was we? The more I listened, the less I liked the tone of the conversation. Their footsteps started to grow closer and my heart started beating quickly. Acting on instinct, I ran back into the Stone Table room before hiding myself behind one of the partially degraded columns. It wasn't my best thought, but it would be alright for the moment.
A cold spell was sent through my body as the two entered into the tomb room. I hadn't seen anything as we all sat in here just moments before, but my eyes shot over to the darkness in the room that led out of the room. In the shadows, something lurked. My heart began beating quickly once more. I hadn't any proof, but my gut was telling me that someone else was watching us. Nikabrik said some more words, but my eyes were focused on just what lay hidden beneath the shadows. I kept my body hidden from Caspian and the dwarf, but I would easily be seen by whatever was lurking.
Soon there was silence. The silence was broken by the sound of a sword being drawn and then Caspian calling out," Who's out there?"
It was tempting to stay where I was, but my lips stayed tightly pursed together and my feet flat on the ground.
Then slowly, like a snake slithering ever so slowly out of the damp, comforts of its hole in the ground, this creature that resembled a mangled wolf slowly creeping out of the corner chanting," I am hunger….I am thirst…I can fast one hundred years…and not die…" the voice was eerie and sent another shiver through me. The creature wore a dark cloak that covered its face, but showed just enough that we could easily see the messy, tangled fur and the dark black eyes peering out from underneath.
The creature appeared to be hunched over with thick, ruffled brown fur, and claws that could easily tear apart any prey it set its sight on and continued on," I can fast one hundred years…and not die…I can lie one hundred nights on the ice…and not freeze," the mantra was slow, yet very menacing sounding, yet it was not over," I can drink a river of blood and not burst," the creature growled.
Then a beastly cry came from the jaw," Show me your enemies!"
I peered around the column once more to see a more human-like creature, yet to call it human would be an overstatement. It's skin was pale and scarred heavily, the eyes were dark, and it, like the other creature, was wearing a cape. In fear of being seen, I shot my head back around and steadied my breathing as the other creature began speaking. Remembering mother's stories reminded me that this was more than likely a hag, and the other creature a werewolf. I couldn't remember specific stories, but both were servants of the White Witch at one point.
Just as I thought that, my heart stopped. Surely...surely...they would not be summoning the White Witch.
"You want something destroyed?" the hag's voice questioned, high pitched and witch-like," No one hates better than us," it boasted, the pitch of its voice piercing my ear drums.
Caspian finally spoke, his voice shakier than normal," You can ensure the death of Miraz?"
I could see where Caspian would be willing to be open to other options, but this was not the option we needed. I couldn't exactly show myself at the moment though. Showing myself would probably make the situation worse, so I continued to listen.
"And more," the hag cackled.
"Let the circle be drawn!" the wolf howled and I could slowly see them inching closer to the column where I stood.
I could only imagine what happened between the pillar and myself as I stood with a heavy breath and fast-beating heart. Chants escaped the hag's mouth, words that I could not recognize, and growls spilled out of the mouth of the wolf. I heard Caspian's sword slide back into its sheath as I peered once more around the corner to see them circling the prince. It was almost as if a warning was going off inside my body telling me to stop this, but there was something about the darkness about these creatures that was rather...enchanting. Plus, it would have been very foolish of me just to trot out in the middle of the ceremony.
"Just a drop of blood is all we need," Nikabrik assured him.
I continued to watch stealthily as the chants got faster and the tension in the room increased, my eyes widened as I noticed the sector that hag held in its hands as it chanted once more. It was crystal clear and white. Appearing almost like white, this had to be stopped before Caspian did something that he regretted. Plans began buzzing through my head. Ice exploded out of the epicenter from where the staff struck the dirt ground. It crawled out from the staff and up the walls, freezing over the portrait of Aslan that stood so tall over the room of the Stone Table. The ice appeared thick, like that of glaciers after it had traveled its length up the wall. Crystal clear, perfect, beautiful.
My eyes glanced at Caspian, who was just as in shock as I was from what I could tell.
A woman appeared through the ice, frozen.
The White Witch.
Caspian said the exact words on my heart," This is not what I want."
The three conspirators swarmed around him as he tried to back out of the circle that was drawn around him.
Then she spoke through the ice, her voice muffled, but still unnerving," Just one drop and I am yours, my King."
"No!" Caspian cried out, but the wolf kept a firm grip on him as the hag pulled out a dagger.
I felt my own dagger at my waist. There wasn't any way I would allow this to happen. Slowly, I began creeping out of the darkness. Through the shadows I inched to where I was just behind the hag coming toward Caspian.
"It appears as though we've got company!" The White Witch commented, from her perch at the top of the room.
I swore under my breath as I ran, climbing atop the Stone Table to get a better angle at the Hag. I jumped from the table to take my first swing, but the Hag strategically dodged my blow and hissed at me, "Do not disturb the ceremony!"
I steadied myself after stumbling about. I noticed that Caspian had now been grabbing by the werewolf...if only I could get him out of the circle. I dodged another swing from the Hag before striking it with my dagger, cutting it severely. A squeal came out of the Hag after I struck it. My dagger still was held strong in my hands, my eyes looked over to where Caspian fought against the werewolf struggling.
"Rosalie!" Caspian's voice cried out.
I felt as though the whole battle was in slow motion and all I could hear was his voice...for some reason...Penelope's words came to my head once more. I saw the way you used to look at him, it's still there today...you still love him.
"No!" I cried as the werewolf forced Caspian's hand to the White Witch, who was inching her own hand out to his. I did'nt know what I was saying "no" to. Was it the fact that Caspian was in danger...or was it to the words that Penelope had said? Both, perhaps.
"Stop!" a voice cried from behind us just as I swung one last blow to the weakening Hag before our aid arrived.
Between swings, I looked up to see King Peter, King Edmund, and Queen Lucy come running down. Immediately, Nikabrik came running at Peter with his own dagger, but Peter was solely focused on removing Caspian from the circle formed around his feet. Surprisingly, Lucy was able to handle the dwarf on her own with her little dagger. Edmund came over to my side to assure that the Hag was indeed gone. When confident, he ran over to Peter to help with the werewolf that had climbed off of Caspian and onto the stone table, bearing its razor sharp teeth. It jumped to try and tackle Peter, but the High King swiftly moved out of the way. After a small scuffle, Edmund and Peter had nailed the wolf when it was distracted.
With both the Hag and the Wolf gone, I noticed the White Witch still floated over us, watching all that had happened. Peter went to help Caspian up, but as he did the Witch spoke to him while he passed through the ring drawn for Caspian's blood.
"Ahh, Peter darling," the White Witch cooed, still watching intently," Come now, just a drop of blood."
She reached her hand through the ice once more. Peter had no response for her, but only looked into her cold, hard eyes. I didn't know how he would respond, part of me thought that for a moment he was going to recall the witch to life. I knew that he surely wouldn't do it…but the look in his eyes suggested otherwise.
"Peter…I think you'd better think-" I tried, stepping closer to him.
The Witch's glance shot over to me, her eyes bloodthirsty, and hissed," I don't believe this involves you."
Then like a flash, the ice burst from behind and the Witch was slowly disappearing. We found a blade come through the other side of the broken ice and Edmund had strategically snuck himself behind and destroyed the Witch. The horror that could have pursued had Peter or Caspian given their blood would have been down right treacherous.
"I'm sure you had it all sorted out," the Just king said and with that his shield was sheathed and he strolled out of the room.
Peter and Caspian looked to each other before looking up at the carving of Aslan on the wall. I looked around where the bodies of the hag, werewolf, and even Nikabrik lie on the ground lifeless. I shouldn't admit that I did not blame them for not trusting a lion that had yet to come roaring in to save us, but still it was discouraging to have to deal with traitors. Soon, Susan arrived at the entrance to check and make sure that all of us were still safe. The bodies of the traitors were soon dragged out by some of the Narnians and after this had been settled, Peter approached me once more.
"Do you have the time to speak with me?" he asked.
I looked straight into his blue eyes, that I could tell wanted badly for me to stay so that we could talk alone. Out of the side of my eye, I could see Caspian standing beside Susan. Susan apparently speaking with him, but he not with her. His eyes stared at Peter and I as we spoke softly.
"I want to tell you what's going on," he muttered to me as he started motioning for us to leave.
I looked from Peter to Caspian, who's eyes were still watching. Hungry for information, I turned away from him and started walking with the High King. Penelope's words still floating in the back of my head...which I didn't understand because I knew they were not true.
"The Telmarines have offered us a deal," Peter told me quietly as we walked through the tunnels.
I remembered my father saying something of an offer, but I hadn't heard any more of it since then. Mostly because I had spent my day tending to Peter and speaking with my sister.
"They spoke of it earlier, but I hadn't the time to think of it much," I answered.
"Well," he sighed, looking away," It wasn't exactly reasonable."
"One could only assume so much," I replied with a smirk.
He returned the grin as he continued on," Do you want to know what your father requested?"
Peter's question ran through my head as I thought on it. I could only imagine the plan that my father had schemed up alongside King Miraz. Deep inside I really wanted to know what he had up his sleeve, but part of me didn't want to know as well, scared of what the outcome may be.
"Tell me," I answered as we continued walking.
"Well," The High King started," According to the King's decree both you and Caspian are criminals of Telmar."
I rolled my eyes as he said this, but he kept talking, nonetheless.
" Your father basically told Caspian that he wants the both of you behind bars. He also claimed that he thinks we are in over our heads and need to rethink fighting a war against them," he explained to me," He offered that if either you or Caspian were to turn themselves in, then this whole war could be avoided and we could live in peace."
"That's unreasonable," I said, almost cutting him off," Don't they know that we do not desire to live in peace with them? I would not hold them to their word anyways."
Peter nodded his head," One would think so," he said with a sigh.
"Then why would they offer it?" I asked.
"I think they underestimate us, but I honestly do not fully understand the ways of the Telmarines," he told me.
There was a silence for a moment before I asked another question," Then how are we to answer them?"
"No to that, of course," he said, assuring me," But there is something that we have decided on."
My eyes shot over to his. This must have been what they were discussing before I entered the picture. I had a feeling in my stomach that this was not going to be the best of plans.
"Caspian suggested that we challenge Miraz to a duel to the death. A duel for the crown. A duel for peace," he finally told me.
The words broke through the silence harshly. How could this be a logical plan? They could easily blindside us by this plan. How would we know that they would hold up their side of the deal? But most importantly…what if we lost? Just who was to be doing this duel?
"Peter, this is very risky," I said, slowing my footsteps to a stop," I do not trust them."
" I know, nor do I," he answered," But it's our only counter option. How can Miraz deny it? He's much too proud of himself. And we have to face the fact that our army is not nearly strong enough to defeat them...they are too powerful."
I didn't answer again for my mind was much too busy. I couldn't bear to see any of the Narnians duel Miraz and I was scared to ask who he had in mind to fight the duel. Peter was right though...it didn't matter how long we trained, we would still have to fight and lose to them eventually. As much as I hated to admit it, this was our only option. This was practically our back up plan in case the Lion did not come to our rescue. This barely gave me a peace of mind.
"Please, don't tell me who's doing the dueling," I answered meekly, knowing I couldn't handle it.
"Rosalie," He sighed as his whole body seemed to tense," I'm the one who has to fight Miraz."
Author's Note: Alright, whadya think? Let me know! Thanks reviewers, love you all. Check out the poll on my profile :)