Chapter 3 - Many Meetings
Laughter echoed through the halls. A small figure was running through the castle enjoying the game he had started. Maids quickly moved out if the way for him making his escape easier. Behind him was his caretaker; a young maid with auburn hair and green eyes. They had just come back from his family's weekly tradition. He had leaves in his hair and his face was covered in dirt. Naturally, he needed a bath. He hated baths. So he ran when she was not looking.
Running around a corner, he slammed into someone falling backward to the ground. Quick footfalls sounded behind him and before he could get a glance at the man he had run into, he was hoisted up and placed on his maid's hip.
"I apologize Lord Miraz. Your nephew ran from me." She was out of breath and sweat had beaded on her upper lip. The boy on her hip was pouting at her earning a playful glare from her.
"Make sure it does not happen again." The man scowled before brushing passed her. She got the feeling he did not like her very much but she shrugged it off as she made her way back to the boys room.
"Time for your bath my little prince." She teased flicking his nose lightly. He was six years old and still ran away from her whenever he needed a bath. Looking at him she chuckled tab his dish elves appearance. She bounced him on her hip repositioning him. He was almost too big for her to carry him on her hip. A small weight landed on her shoulder and she smiled seeing that his head had fallen on her shoulder in exhaustion.
She reached the doors to his rooms and she was able to open them with on hand. Looking across the room, she could see his mother sitting by the tub humming as she drew circles on the surface of the water.
As she got closer to the woman looked up and gave her a warm smile.
"That did not take long." the woman chuckled standing drying her hands off.
"No, he ran into his uncle." she replied softly not wanting to wake the little prince. "I hate to wake him."
"You're very good with him." a blush rushed to her cheeks at the compliment. "I don't know what I would do without you Ana." the Queen was gazing at her with much gratitude shining in her eyes. She had been serving the Queen's family since before she had become pregnant. She had not aged a day and would have to take her leave soon. It saddened her to know that when she returned the Queen would not recognize her. Her name would not the same either.
"You look tired, Ana. Take the rest of the night for yourself and go rest." she simply nodded as she handed the little boy to his mother. He woke up slightly enough for her to give him a kiss on the forehead and ruffle his hair, before she left the room. She glanced back at the door smiling as she saw the Prince putting up a fight as his mother tried to get him in to the bath. Then she was gone. She left that night for a year and when she returned one, a single person remembered whom she was.
She hardly registered their heads clashing before she was thrown to the ground with his body landing atop her. The air was pushed from her lungs, her body crushed under the extra weight leaving her gasping for air as the black mare continued on. She sat straight up despite the pain in her ribs watching for a moment as the horse disapeared from her view taking the prince with her. His foot had gotten caught in the stirrup. Letting out a few choice words she got up and ran after him. Pain shot up her feet and she too note that her shoes had been washed away in the water. 'Stupid river!' The horse vanished from her view and she pushed herself harder hoping not to lose the mare. Not a moment later she burst into a small clearing where she found him panting on his back. She rushed forward dropping to her knees beside him.
"You are such and idiot!" she chastised, slapping him upside the head as he sat up.
" Ow!" he cried, one of his hands flying the spot where shed slapped him. "What was that for?" she didn't have time to reply as a creaking noise echoed through the night. A light appeared in front of the. Showing two figures with swords. Two very short figures.
"They've seen us!" one of them gasped. The other rushed forward and she put herself between the person and the prince her dagger out in front of her. As the person drew near their eyes locked. They knew each other. She'd met him once before twelve years ago. Off to their right the soldiers could be heard, disturbing the forest.
"Take care of them!" the dwarf said said back to his companion running off to fight the Telmarines. The other dwarf approached them slowly but as he got closer his eyes widened and he rushed forward as a horn sounded from behind her. She made the mistake of looking behind her at her charge and was rewarded with a blunt hit to her temple. The world tilted before fading to black.
He didn't know what to do. Fear had spread like wildfire through him as the very short man had gotten closer. Desperate and coming up with only one resolve he snatched up the horn and blew. the single note sang out into the forest and the effect was mesmerizing. Though it only lasted for a moment. The resonating sound of metal on bone brought him out of his daze and he turned to see Drisana slumping to the ground. the dwarf looked at him and back down at the woman that now lay unconscious between them.
"Nikabrik!! what is going on out there?!" A new voice came from the tree and out came a badger. A talking badger. 'Narnians!' The animal got closer to them and disappointment took over his face. "What did you do?" To Caspian's surprise the badger took the blade from Nikabriks hands and slapped his backside with the flat of the blade.
"She was in my way!" the dwarf, he supposed, tried to justify his actions. Neither Prince nor Badger believed him.
"Your manners are horrendous!" The badger turned to look at the woman sprawled out in front of him. What looked like recognition crossed his face. "Bring her inside. I'll patch up that cut." it took him a moment to realize the creature was speaking directly to him. "Come quickly before your friends come this way." That got him in action. Hastily he picked up his things and scooped her up, following them into the tree.