Chapter 7 - Interesting Introductions
The morning proved to be a rude awakening for Drisana. The Narnians had been planning to raid the Telmarines for some time for weapons and last night they had decided to execute those plans. Without her. Well sort of. They had enough courtesy to find her a ride while she was asleep. For the entire night after she had fallen asleep Storm had carried her on her back through the forest. When her eyelids had opened up she had found herself not on her bedroll where she thought she had been. Instead the sudden shock that she wasn’t in her tent sent her tumbling to the ground in her attempts to find Caspian or any recognition of where she was. This had sent the Narnians around her into a laughing fit as she sat up and groaned, feeling the forming goose egg on the side of her head. Storm had helped her off the ground just in time for Caspian to come running to the rescue having heard her yelp of surprise and slight terror. He had tried to apologize to her for not waking her but she had simply slapped his helping hand and stalked off in the direction that all the other Narnians had been moving.
That all happened just before dawn. Now the sun had risen showing her that it was about mid-morning. She had shaken off her frustration earlier and was no longer upset with Caspian. However she kept the heavy steps constant, continuing to fool him as if she were. When he tried to talk to her she fell back and began talking to Storm whom chuckled at her. It was amusing to see the Prince so confused with the situation. This was soon forgotten as she noticed two people hiding behind some rocks ahead of them, eyeing the minotaur that was about to walk before the wall of rocks.
“Caspian.” She quickly scurried over to him. He turned around immediately to look at her. She pointed to the rocks and he nodded his head. He unsheathed his sword as silently as he could and advanced to protect the minotaur just in case. At the last minute the figure from behind the rock rushed forward causing Caspian to jump in the way of the sword that had been about to come down on the creatures back. She watched intently, ready to jump in if necessary. They fought and Caspian held his ground. The male figure got his sword stuck in the tree and she had to keep herself from snorting at his stupidity. He ducked as Caspian swung his sword at his head. The other boy managed to punch Caspian causing him to reel back and drop his sword. As Caspian recovered and went for the sword in the tree the other boy with the blonde hair went for a bigger rock behind him to hit Caspian over the head with.
“No! Stop!” She yelled in unison with the second figure that had been behind the rock wall. Both boys halted in their movements as the Narnians finally realized what was going on and came to protect Caspian. Then she understood. The Kings and Queens. Peter dropped the rock from his hand and let his arm settle at his side.
“Prince Caspian?” Peter asked Caspian, verifying who he had just attacked.
“Yes? And who are you?” Caspian half spat at the King.
“Peter!” From behind the girl who had just appeared two others came sword and bow at the ready. With them was Trumpkin. Susan had been the one to shout her brother’s name.
“High King Peter?” Caspian asked in almost amazement.
“I believe you called.”
“Well, yes, but...I thought you'd be older.” Caspian emphasized on the older part and she chuckled.
“If you'd like, we could come back in a few years.” Peter said turning away. She rolled her eyes. Ever the sensitive one.
“No. No, that's alright. You're just...you're not exactly what I had expected.” Caspian was quick to correct what he said and looked at the four of them his eyes catching on Susan for a brief second before finding her gaze and holding it for a few moments.
“Neither are you.” Edmund spoke and she cleared her throat breaking eye contact with Caspian.
“A common enemy unites even the oldest of foes.” Trufflehunter says to the royals coming to stand beside her.
“We have anxiously awaited your return my liege. Our hearts and swords are at your service.” Reep ran forward bowing low and informing Peter of his allegiance.
“Oh my gosh he is so cute.” Lucy quietly blubbered to her older sister.
“Who said that!?!” Reep hollered, offended that someone would call him cute. Honestly she quite agreed with Lucy, the little fur ball was adorable
“Sorry.” Lucy apologized, ashamed for offending the mouse.
“No need to scare the poor girl Reepicheep!” She spoke up, chuckling at the mouse. Lucy looked at her and smiled in thanks. She simply nodded her head in return.
“Oh! My apologies your majesty but with the greatest respect, I do believe 'courageous', 'courteous' or 'chivalrous' might more befit a knight of Narnia.” Reep stated with a bow once again.
"Well, at least we know some of you can handle a blade.” Peter complimented, a silent implied jab at Caspian. This earned him a glare from both Prince and handmaiden. He had always been arrogant and rude. She hated that about him.
“Yes indeed. And I have recently put it to good use securing weapons for your army sire.” Reep said to him. She turned to slightly glare at Reepicheep for saying that it was Peter’s army. He had no right and it wasn’t. Caspian had been the one to rally the Narnians to retaliate against his own people.
“Good, because we're going to need every sword we can get.” Peter said turning back to Caspian as he spoke.
“Well, then you will probably be wanting yours back.” Caspian said handing Peter the sword he had pulled from the tree. Peter took it while rolling his eyes and it took everything in her not to trip him as he walked passed her. She walked forward and picked up Caspian’s sword.
“And yours, sire.” She handed it to him, jokingly with bow.
“I don't know how many times I have told you to call me by my actual name.” He sighed heavily, seemingly stressed by the arrival of the Kings and Queens.
“I was only joking. Come on.” She told him, her voice soft.
They continued on through the morning towards the How where the rest of the Narnians were already preparing for battle. She walked by Caspian’s side keeping him company. Peter walked on the other side of Caspian and she had a hard time not slapping the boy. His arrogance had only increased since he left. It had gotten better but it seems having a large army behind him had brought it back full swing. It irritated her.
“Well, it's good you have troops, but we need some fortifications, somewhere to train.” Peter told Caspian. ‘As if he doesn’t already know this.’ It took all her control not to sneer at him.
“Patience, your majesty. We are almost there.” She told him in a sickly sweet voice. It was evident she was mocking him.
“And you are?” He asked in his ‘I’m-better-than-you’ tone.
“Prince Caspian's hand maiden.” She told him with a fake smile on her face. Out of the corner of her eye she could see Caspian trying hard not to laugh at her. He knew what she was doing but knew better than to interrupt.
“You don't have a name?” Peter replied in a cynical voice.
“Not one you need to know.” She smirked at him and lengthened her steps, putting a little bit of distance between her and the boys. She took a deep breath and let it out along with her frustrations with Peter. She stopped at the edge of the forest. There on the other side of the field was Aslan’s How. Better known to her as the meeting place of the Guardians of Narnia. She had been here countless times and thought that it would be a good place to prepare for battle. Glenstorm had not been sure when she had told him how she knew of it. He thought that it would have been a bad idea to step into the sanctuary of the Guardians but she reassured his that it would not do any harm. Soon enough Caspian took up his spot beside her and grabbed her hand, giving it a reassuring squeeze. He let go after she squeezed back and her hand felt cold without the warmth of his hand in her own. She looked over at him and smiled half heartedly at him.
“It has been abandoned for hundreds of years; only the mice new of its existence.” Glenstorm said coming up beside her. She half smiled knowing that Glenstorm was covering up the fact that she had been the one to show him the How. She was grateful it was not yet time to reveal who she was to the people.
“It may not be what you are used to but it is defensible.” Caspian told the Kings and Queens. She looked at Peter and found him looking at her in return. She rolled her eyes and started walking across the field towards the How.
As they approached centaurs lined the walkway into the How. Each one drew their swords and held them high for the royals to walk under. The kings and Queens stood on either side of her and Caspian. They waited for a moment before continuing forward. Caspian went to follow but she grabbed his upper arm gently.
“Wait.” She told him with a sympathetic smile. Once they were far enough ahead she and Caspian followed them into the How. Upon entering she stood back away from Caspian. She watched as Susan ventured off and found the tunnel that led to the center of the How.
“Peter, you may want to see this.” Susan hollered to Peter coming to the entrance of the tunnel with a torch in her hand. She followed about ten paces behind and as she walked she allowed the magic around her to fade. It was as if she was taking a deep breath of fresh air after being stuck underground without it for a lifetime. The freedom it brought her lifted much weight off her shoulders. Caspian led them down to the end of the tunnel where it opened up into a larger room a stone table at the center and a trough of fire lining the outer edges of the room.
“He must know what he is doing.” Lucy had walked up to the stone table, finally realizing what the place was and stared at the golden mural of Aslan on the wall. She turned to her siblings when she spoke.
“I think it's up to us now.” Peter said with authority in his voice. She rolled her eyes as she stepped out of the shadows.
“That would be correct King Peter.” She said. Her voice was the same as it had always been but the color of her hair, skin and eyes had finally gone back to its natural state. Her hair fell to her waist in golden waves, her eyes a golden brown. They all whipped around to look at her and Lucy’s eyes widened in surprise.
“Drisana!!” The youngest queen came running at her and nearly knocked her over in a hug. “Oh, I've missed you!”
“And I you.” She whispered into her hair before kissing the top of her head and letting her go to look at Caspian. “I am sorry for hiding who I truly was all these years Caspian. If your uncle had figured out that I was Narnian he would have had me killed.” She apologized to him hoping he would understand why she did what she did.
“It's alright.” He looked completely dumbfounded at what was going on and the look she gave him told him she would explain everything later.
“Wait, you were the dark haired girl?” Peter finally connected the dots and she rolled her eyes at him.
“Yes. I never had a reason to use my abilities until the Telmarines invaded. When we lost I found a job within the Castle. I have been serving Caspian's family since, changing my appearance every three to four years.” She explained.
“I remember now. You served me as a child. You were the one to tell me all those stories.” Caspian had a small smile on his face as if he was seeing an old friend from the past and she smiled back at him.
“Yes, and I only regret getting caught. It was a pleasure getting to see you grow up over the years.” She told him.
“I always wondered why you seemed so familiar, yet the way you appeared seemed odd.” He chuckled shaking his head before rubbing the back of his neck.
“I will explain more of that to you later. It's complicated and may take a while.” She promised.
“What do we do now?” Edmund finally piped up, speaking the thought that was on all of their minds.“That is for you to decide.”