A Warm Welcome
Author's Note: Happy New Year everybody! Thanks for all the reviews on the last chapter. I'm still getting a feel for writing with the Pevensie children so continue to tell me if any of them seem OOC.
That being said, I own nothing except Rosalie and some of her family. The rest is property of C.S. Lewis.
Chapter Eight: A Warm Welcome
He grabbed my arm before I could turn away from him.
I didn't really know what had come over me. He was very bold about what he was saying, but was he right? Oh, that didn't matter! I was too angered to be thinking logically. Even if what he said about me was…accurate.
His eyes narrowed as he looked at me," You're really so bold as to treat a King of Narnia in such a manner?"
"With all due respect, your majesty," I returned back angrily," You're really so bold as to make accusations against a young lady you have met just today? I find that hardly fair to do…even if you are a King."
My words seemed to have sunk in with him, for he did not say anything for a few moments, but he hadn't released his grip in that time either.
Thoughts were buzzing all around in my head. His words rungs loud in my head:
You say that I'm arrogant, Miss Rosalie, but I think that you struggle with the same pride.
Surely, I wasn't that prideful? Not as much as him…surely.
I had challenged him to a duel, but I didn't see that as arrogance. I also remembered that I had done some taunting…perhaps that wasn't the best act of humility. He also said that he could tell by the look in my eyes. Was it painted on my face that obviously? I didn't want him to help me, but I could have helped myself…maybe.
"Peter?" a boy's voice called from outside the room; I soon found out that it was Edmund.
Even though my rage was calming down; I was still glad to be free when his fingers slowly let up their grip on my arm.
The High King released a sigh and then looked at me with pleading eyes," Perhaps, we can talk about this more at a later time?"
He had looked very angry when I had first hit him and I don't blame him to be honest. If I were the High King of Narnia, I would not have wanted a Telmarine girl telling me off nor would I had wanted her slapping me.
I met his blue eyes once more and gave him a small nod. We both owed that to each other, at least, since we hadn't started out on the right foot, so to say. This didn't mean that we would suddenly become the closest companions, but at least we could be more cordial to each other.
He returned my nod and with a turn of my heel; I was going to bed for the night.
"Surely, you do not expect us to fight here?" Peter shot at Caspian, that next day in the Stone Table tomb after we had all received a good night's rest.
We had risen early to discuss what exactly we intended to do with our war strategy. Caspian was rather fond of the idea that we fight from our base of the How, giving us the advantage.
"We do not have the numbers to defeat them on their grounds!" Caspian reasoned.
Peter's first idea as King was to lead a surprise attack on the Telmarines, claiming that many of their soldiers would be distracted searching for especially Caspian and me, as well, after I shared that my father was one of the Lords. He felt as though we had the numbers to at least weaken them while they were distracted.
I didn't know for sure where I stood on the matter, not that my opinion really mattered. I wanted to side with Caspian because he was my fondest companion that I had, but it wasn't really logical to me for us to fight on the site of a burial ground. This was a sacred place, not a war field.
Then, on the other hand, Peter's idea was sounding more rational to me. We could surprise them when they were least expecting it. Sure, some of their troops would be there(they would be foolish not to be), but wouldn't it be better to face them when they wouldn't be as strong? No one would argue that the Telmarines weren't strong, so shouldn't we take any chance to weaken them that we could?
I ,obviously, still wasn't on the best terms with Peter, which was what prevented me from speaking up. Caspian would not be happy that I didn't agree with him and Peter would be baffled that I would even consider siding with him after being so "disrespectful".
The argument continued in front of my eyes and I sat back to watch. I would do as they decided, since they knew much more of war than I, but that idea that I had dreamed up soon disappeared.
"Peter," his sister, Susan started," Don't you think it would be wise to trust the ones who are of the Telmarines? Rosalie and Caspian both are one of them, essentially. They would know what they are speaking. We don't know much of the Telmarines because of our absence. I would recommend that we allow the natives to make the choice."
This opened the door to what happened next.
I crossed my legs on the rock that I sat on towards the side of the room. I hadn't wanted to be in the center of the action. This was not my area of expertise. War and battles.
Peter turned his gaze over to me," Do you have anything to add?"
I raised my eyebrows and then answered," Well, since you asked," I began as I jumped off of the rock I was perched on, I looked nervously between Peter and Caspian. I had no idea what I was about to say, but words starting coming out of my mouth faster than I could think.
"I-I," I stuttered as I shuffled around the center of the gathering," I know that from what my father has bragged about and from what I have witnessed, that the Telmarines are very powerful. Our numbers here are not the strongest, they surely cannot handle any sort of an attack on the Telmarines," I told them and I immediately saw Peter's eyes look away from me; he thought that I was siding with Caspian, but then I continued.
"However, I know that an attack with them is…inevitable. We must face them at one time or another and if I had to choose when I wanted to attack them…" I paused again, this time looking at Caspian who looked nervous by what I was about to say. I barely even knew what was coming out of my mouth," It would be when they are weakest."
The High King's face was shocked as he looked back over to me. Caspian wore a look of shock as well and he replied to this with a question for me," Are you agreeing with him, Rosalie?"
I looked into Caspian's dark eyes before replying," Think Caspian! You know just as well as I that an army as powerful as Miraz's wouldn't even have to put much effort forth to destroy us in a traditional war setting! If we reel them here, then they will destroy everything. This is a special place of rest and not a war field."
I think that I answered his question well enough for him. He looked away from me and I knew that I had hurt him, but I had to stand up for what I thought was right. I wanted Caspian to be King once more and ,since they wanted my opinion, I would fight for him with the ideas that I thought be most suiting.
"Thank you, Rosalie," Peter said from his place; he must have been just as confused as Caspian.
"Wait!" The youngest Queen called from the Stone Table, where she was seated atop," Don't you all think we are leaving out someone important?"
We all looked at the Queen as she looked around to all of us," Aslan," she said simply," Why are we not waiting on him?"
It was a good point, theoretically.
"I think we have waited long enough for Aslan, Lu," he said to her finally before she could utter another word he claimed," We shall attack tonight. Get the word out and we will finish our plans for the attack."
"Tonight?" Susan asked incredulously, by the side of Caspian.
"You are crazy," Caspian told Peter and I had to agree with them. Perhaps, we should have had more time to prepare.
"They are right-" I started, but before I could even finish; the High King spoke.
"It has been decided. We are going to finish this now rather than wait."
Determination was written on his face. It reminded me of the determination that I had when I ran away from my home in order to help someone I loved dearly.
We spent a good portion of the morning and afternoon making plans and finalizing decisions. We also got word out to all of the soldiers regarding plans for the evening and it would have been a lie to say that they were pleased by the decision. Most were outraged, but because of their dedication to Caspian and the King and Queens of Old, they still did as they were told.
Caspian had not spoken to me, directly, the whole day after the meeting.
Later that evening, I was taking Kingslee out for another ride. I wanted time to be able to think before we were invading the castle. I had to mentally prepare for what I might possibly see in going back to the castle.
While I was riding Kingslee, I had stopped down at the stream to get her a drink of water, as well as fill up my own canteen. I was quietly humming to myself as I admired the peacefulness of the stream, but I was not alone for long.
"I must say that no one has ever intrigued me quite as much as you have, Rosalie," the High King's voice came from behind me and I glanced up to see the light haired young man dismount and join me beside the water.
I had rather hoped that he wouldn't bring up this whole discussion thing until later, but I realized that I had to face him with this at some time or another.
I smiled, a genuine smile, at his comment," Why do you say that?"
"Well," he started as he opened his own canteen," One moment, you are outraged with me and striking me, but then hours later you are siding with me on a war plan."
I could see why he would find this intriguing. I capped my canteen before answering him. I wouldn't say that I liked him anymore, at that moment, than I did when I struck him, but he was slowly growing on me. There was a piece of me, deep down, that I believe really wanted to like him, but the dominant part was the despise I had for him.
"So, what is your theory?" I asked him as I tied my canteen to my saddle.
"My theory?" he asked, looking up at me.
"Yes, what have you deduced about me. I'm assuming that you have some sort of an idea," I replied, making an assumption of him as he had for me," Just based on what I have seen."
He stood up," I'm leaning on two factors. Either you siding with me is your form of an apology or you are only siding with me to act as revenge toward your dear friend, Caspian who has been spending quite some time with my sister."
I froze in my tracks, but before doing anything rash, like I had before; I had to realize that Peter was honest. He was always going to tell me just what he thought and I had to respect that because I was just the same way. Even though my anger wanted to come to the surface, I replied simply.
"I believe you are mistaken," I told him," You must realize that I want to do what is best for the cause and you just so happened to be the one with the better idea."
He tied his canteen onto the saddle of his own horse before replying," I don't want to push my limits, as I did last time, but…," he paused for a moment, obviously choosing his words wisely," Are you sure, Rosalie?"
He wasn't trying to be smart; I could tell. Even though it may have sounded like it at times…he wasn't trying to be. He was only trying to figure me out, but I didn't have an answer for him this time.
I had to find a way out of answering his question. I noticed that the sky was becoming dark and it was almost time for us to be flown out to our positions for the raid that night. I mounted Kingslee and he noticed what I was trying to do.
"Are you, Rosalie?" he tried once more as he mounted his horse.
Before I kicked my horse out of the forest and back to the How; I had to give him an answer. I looked up to the sky for some sort of answer from someone to help me. To give me some wisdom and I once again found my words coming out before my brain could process them.
"No. Not at all."
I realized that, by my answer; we would have to have another talk sometime and even though he asked me to say more as he caught up with me on our way back to the How; I pleaded that he would give me time to think. He respected my wish as we arrived at the How. The side of me that wanted to like Peter was in pure bliss, while the other part of me was criticizing myself for being so stupid. Being torn is a hard, rough feeling.
As soon as I pulled Kingslee into the tunnels and had her tied, I was being grabbed on my wrist by Queen Susan to get onto our griffins. It was quite a rush running frantically through the tunnels, armed and ready for battle.
I had never really fought any one before. Of course, I had dueled and all, but the closest I had ever come to actually attacking someone was when we first met the Pevensies. I couldn't even imagine the thought of killing a person…
We were already high in the sky before anyone had said anything.
"How are you feeling?" Queen Susan asked me from her griffin to the side of me, I had been rather wary about trusting the griffin. I hardly felt secure, dangling from its claws.
I shook myself out of my daydream and looked at her," I'm alright. Just a little nervous."
She looked away before looking back at me," Have you ever been in anything like this before?"
It was like she had read my mind.
I shook my head and I could soon see the castle off in the distance and my stomach lurched.
"Just keep your eyes open and don't be afraid to strike. I'm sure you will be fine as long as you stay near one of us," she advised me and I nodded my head. I couldn't help but thank her for that.
I was about to go into battle with Queen Susan. This is what I used to dream of when I was little. Although, I had to admit that I was not as excited about it now that I had actually met her. She was nice enough, but she had started to become a close companion of Caspian, who clearly was fond of her.
Caspian and I had insisted we released Doctor Cornelius, since it was because of him that either of us was there. They reluctantly allowed us to, as long as we were quick about it. As we arrived closer to the castle, my stomach was turning so fast that I could have gotten sick right there, but I tried to keep myself together.
King Edmund was dropped off at his tower with his "electric" torch(an invention I had never seen before). He was to signal the rest of the army after we had made it safely into the castle to open the gate to the drawbridge. After he had been dropped off the pack of griffins came closer to the main bridge of the castle and dropped us onto the hard ground.
When my feet met the Telmarine ground once more; I almost collapsed. I felt secure with the armor that they had allowed me to wear, but I also felt so in the open and feeble. Caspian and Peter soon followed after Susan and I, which gave me more sense of security.
"C'mon, let's hurry to his quarters," Caspian whispered in my ear as he grabbed my arm, soldiers were beginning to notice us and Peter and Susan were already fighting them off. This was the first time he had spoken to me all day after the meeting.
We ran in the opposite direction to the stairway that led to the quarters of the royal families. It was eerie at night and we encountered some small watch guards, but they were not much of a problem. After many stairways, we found his quarters and entered into his study where the door was left open from an apparent breaking in.
We looked through all of his belongings and found that many of them were gone. The Telmarines had obviously already beat us to him. We thought that it would only be necessary to check the cellars to be sure Doctor Cornelius really wasn't here. If he wasn't in the cellar then we couldn't wait any longer. By doing this alone, we were already breaking the plan.
"Rosalie," he finally said to me as we exited the study," Go see your family."
I looked at him in shock. There was no way I could sneak a family trip in.
"Caspian, that wasn't part of the-"
"Listen to me," he said, looking straight at me," They are just right across the hall. You must meet me in the gatehouse in ten minutes. Your father is out keeping patrol tonight; I saw him on our flight in. This is possibly your last chance to see them for a long time and I don't want you to miss out on seeing them. We are already breaking the plan, surely once more couldn't hurt it," he then smiled at me.
I was touched that he was thinking of me. He always knew that I loved my family and even though I knew it was against the rules and Peter would probably throw a fit once he found out; I turned away from him.
Caspian started pushing me toward my family's quarters, but before he could I looked at him," I really am sorry…for not agreeing with you. I-I just-"
"Rosalie, it is fine," he assured me quickly," Go!"
I looked at him one last time. He was sincere when he said it was fine and I could tell by the look on his face. I obeyed him, but still looked back to make sure he was on his way.
Then, I was alone.
The hallways were dark, but I soon saw my family's door and quickly sprinted down to it. I was about to see them again! It had felt as though it had been ages since I had last seen them. My nerves quickened as I knocked at the door softly.
I heard footsteps and prayed that Caspian had really seen my father out. If he was in there, then I could say goodbye to helping Caspian win his throne back.
The door opened and my heart almost exploded-it was beating so hard.
"Rosalie?" my brother answered the door, dressed in his night clothes. I threw myself into the quarters once more and embraced him.
"Jacob!" I cried in relief as I hugged him tight.
"Father…" he whispered to me as he broke the embrace," He wants you back. He's outraged."
I wasn't listening to my brother, for I didn't have much time. I kept walking back to the hallway to where my sister's bed chambers were. I slowly opened the door to see her softly sleeping on her bed. I came to her bedside and brushed a few spare hairs out of her face.
She shot open her eyes.
"Rosalie?" Penelope asked drowsily and she immediately sat up. I grabbed her tight and planted a kiss on her cheek," Where have you been? Father is going to-"
"Shhh," I put a finger on her lips," I do not care what father will do, but please just don't say anything to him about me coming to see you. I haven't much time and this might be the only time I get to see you again for awhile."
A tear began to form in her eyes," You mean…you aren't staying?"
"I can't, dear," I told her as I stood up once more," Please, stay strong."
"You can't go, Rosalie," she told me simply and threw her covers off of herself. She acted as though she was going to stop me.
I looked at her. Something must have happened for there was a look in both of their eyes that I had never witnessed in them before.
"Rosalie," Jacob said softly as he came into the room," Father found all of mother's books that she used to read to us. He found every single one of them. Ever since he discovered that, he's had mother sent away. We haven't seen her ever since you left, but the night he sent her away…it was-"
Penelope came in, her voice high pitched as if she were fighting off tears," It was horrible! Rosalie, they came in and took her away. They were beating her and throwing her around like she was nothing but trash."
"Father told us that he would never let us be around her again because she was a lying, deceitful woman. He didn't tell us what he did with her, but we haven't the slightest where she could be," Jacob added in, apparently not wanting to relive all of the details.
I couldn't believe my father. He couldn't have. How could he have found out about everything of Narnia that she owned? Tears were swelling up in my eyes at the thought of my mother being brutally beaten around like she was nothing. I had always thought it would be impossible that he would ever discover anything about what our mother had taught us for so long. It was one thing that he would plot to kill the King and it was another to have his own wife, the caretaker of his children sent away. There were now two levels of disrespect that I had for him.
"They were only stories!" Penelope recalled, tears flowing down her face," That's not so bad."
I assumed that after Caspian had run off, as well as myself, in search of the Old Narnians…rules ,considering the punishment of those who were found teaching it were severely punished, got stricter. The thing Penelope did not know was that they were not only stories.
"Both of you must realize something," I began as I started inching toward the door," These stories of Narnia are true. More true than anything I have seen in my life. If you don't believe me, look out your window and see what is invading the streets when I leave," I told them both quietly," You will see them all."
"You can't mean that you actually found the Old Narnians?" Jacob asked me, quietly.
"I have, but the both of you must know that I will come back one day for you. Please, be strong and don't cry any more. Jacob, take care of-"
"No!" Jacob cried, throwing himself between me and the door," We can't let you go! Don't you see?"
I stood there with wide eyes, shocked at my brother's behavior. He had better of had a good excuse for choosing then to be stubborn. Caspian was waiting for me to help open the gate and I couldn't afford to be late.
"Father told us that if you ever came back to us we were to tell him right away," Penelope informed me as she moved to the door as well, a serious look on her face.
"If we give you to him," Jacob started," Then Mother will come back to us."
"You left us," Penelope spat out at me, the look on her face, now angry," Mother was always there for us."
I wanted to argue with them, but I couldn't because they were absolutely right. Why would they want me back when I had left them?
Author's Note: So, what do you think? :)