Chapter 15 -The Festivities
Drisana and Gareth arrived by dusk and were greeted by a cleaned up Caspian. She introduced the two of them before announcing that she was exhausted and left them there. She went to her old chambers and the minute she flopped down on her bed she lost all motivation to change her clothes or even get up for that matter. Instead, she allowed her body to be pulled into the void of dreamless sleep.
“Long live the King! Long live the King! Long live the King!” the cheers of the towns people filled the air around her as she walked in front of the Kings and Queens of Narnia. They each sat on a horse of their own, smiling and waving to the crowd as they went by. Caspian had been crowned King at midday of the New day just outside the gates. When he walked back through the gates he no longer did it as Prince but as King. The people were ecstatic that the rightful heir now sat upon the throne.
She walked alongside Aslan as he led them to the front gates of the castle. As they reached their destination she recognized the six guardians that had made it. Her sister was not among them; she never was. And neither was Kamara due to the time of day. She would join them when the sun had set on the horizon, taking the place of her twin.
Each guardian bowed and she joined the line as they spoke the ancient vow to protect Narnia and the King at all costs. They had only ever needed to say it once before when the Pevensie’s had been crowned and she found herself surprised that she even remembered.
That night at the feast she sat at the table with her fellow guardians. Each guardian was wearing extravagant clothing and circlets to match their respective titles. She sat watching the King as he floated about the room, flirting and socializing with the crowd. She found herself longing to be his hand maiden once again, just so she could be by his side once again. Since her return to the castle they had barely spoken to one another and she missed their banter and conversations. Lost in her reminiscing that she hadn’t even realized that Caspian had approached the table until he spoke.
“Excuse me…” Caspian spoke with a small bow of respect. “AS tradition, the King shares the first dance with the Lady of his choosing.” He explained, not taking his eyes off of her as he spoke.
“Mmm.” She hummed, looking about the room at the many different girls he could choose from. “And who shall you choose, my liege?” she inquired.
“You, Dris.” He smiled at her and put his hand out. “Will you dance with me?” His answer caught her off guard and her cheeks flushed. It took her a few moments to regain her composure.
“It would be my honor, my King.” She responded as she stood and took his hand. They walked out to the center of the room and as soon as they were ready, Caspian nodded to the people behind her and music filled the room.
“I wanted to thank you.” Caspian said to her as they began dancing around the room.
“For what may I ask?”
“For being there for me. You’ve been in my life since I can remember. You’ve taught me and protected me all these years.” He pulled her closer so he was whispering in her ear and her cheek flushed at the proximity.
“I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.” She whispered back. It hadn’t been her plan to leave for the first two years of his reign. She wanted to stay and help him but she couldn’t. Aslan had made that very clear. She felt guilty for not being able to tell him until she was leaving.
The song finished and the people cheered. Caspian took a step back from her a bowed in thanks before taking his seat on the throne between the siblings. She stayed there for a moment before making her way out to the balcony on the left side of the ball room. She stood there by herself, looking up at the stars that were shining down on her. She didn’t want to leave but the thought made her sad. She knew Caspian would be disappointed that she wouldn’t be there to help but she honestly had not choice in the matter.
“I see you finally decided to escape.” She smirks as Caspian comes up behind her.
“NI needed some fresh air.” She tells him, keeping her eyes on the sky.
“You know, you’re the closest friend I have.” He began, looking at her. She tore her gaze from the sky to his. “I don’t know what I would do or where I would be without you.” She flushed once again, dropping her head to keep him from seeing the redness in her cheeks. It had started to become more and more of a problem lately. He would say the simplest thing and her cheeks would burn.
“Watching you grow and learn has made serving the Telmarines worth it all these years. You will be an excellent King.” She grabs his hands and gives it a reassuring squeeze before folding her hands in front of her as she leaned on the balcony.
“You look beautiful tonight.” He complements, getting another burning red to flush her cheeks. This time though she smiled and simply thanked him.
“You clean up nicely as well.” She chuckled.
“I had a room prepared for you.”
Really?” Again the guilt washed over her, ruining the moment.
“Yes, it’s right down the hall from mine.” He tells her.
“Thank you.” She wished she could sue it for more than one night though. “Look, Caspian…” she didn’t get to finish her though as Lucy came out and interrupted.
“There you two are. The people are beginning to wonder where there King is.” She laughed as she approached him.
“Thank you Lucy.” Drisana said. The girls stayed back as Caspian went back in after telling her they would finish talking later. She let out a heavy sigh and ran a hand through her hair.
“Did I interrupt at a bad time?” Lucy asks coming to stand beside her.
“Not really. I was about to tell him I’m leaving.” She explained turning to look up at the stars again as her eyes began to water.
“Guardian duties. I have neglected my role as guardian for far too long and there are many things I need to do. So Aslan has called me back home to take care of those things. I’ll be gone for about two years.” Drisana explains as a tear rolled down her cheek.
“Just like you did with us. You left for a year but you came back.” Lucy deducted, remembering that she had, had to leave for a time to let them rule on their own.
“Exactly.” She sighed. “Only this time I’m leaving behind something I don’t know if I can survive being without.”
“Caspian?” Lucy asked a small smile on her face. “I see the way you look at him. Do you love him?”
“That’s just it. I don’t know. And it’s frustrating because I want to break this curse but I don’t want to set my heart on someone who won’t return the feelings.” She looked at Lucy and the younger Queen gave her an empathetic look.
“I think your heart has already set itself on Caspian but your mind hasn’t come to terms with it. You won’t know for sure until the day when you can admit it out loud to yourself how you feel.” Lucy says to her.
“I’m scared.” She chokes on her tears as she says this and they came rushing out, rolling down her cheeks like a waterfall. “I’m so confused.” Lucy pulled her into a hug and they only stood there for a moment or two as Drisana composed herself.
“Feel better?” Lucy asked her.
“Yes. Thank you.” Dris replies, wiping her face of the tears. “When did you become an expert on love?”
“I have friends that come to me for advice yet I have never been in a relationship.”
“Neither have I.” Dris commented and suddenly they were both doubled over with laughter. This went on for several minutes and they both ended up leaning over the balcony rails, holding their stomachs. When they finished their giggle fit they hugged and went their separate ways. She took her time finding her room once she had left the feast. She was exhausted but wasn’t quite ready to call it a night, so she just wandered the castle going through all the memories she and Caspian had made together. Each memory made her smile but also made her a bit more sad at the thought that the memory making wouldn’t happen for another two years. As she approached her room she had tears in her eyes and as she entered she put her back to the door and slid to the floor, sobs racking her body. Eventually she stumbled over to her bed where the sobs continued until she was too tired to keep her eyelids open.