Chapter 9 -The Second Mistake of a Past King
“Dris, are you alright?” Caspian’s voice startles her out of her reverie. Having had a bath, she had been getting dressed when he came and stood in the doorway of the room she slept in. He looked worried.
“Yea. Would you mind tying this for me?” She asked after reassuring him of her well being. He walked over to her and took the ties of the corset from her hands. He made quick work of the strings, tying them to the point where they were tight but with enough room for her to breathe properly.
“I saw what happened.” He tells her. She turns around, facing him. He was standing dangerously close and her nose nearly touched his chin as she stood there. Gazing up at him she sees a look of concern in his eyes.
“All of it?” she inquires. He nods in reply. She sighs before explaining what had happened. “He's such an idiot. He has it in his head that I return his feelings, all because I kissed him before he left last time while I was drunk. Not one of my proudest moments.” She says scratching the back of her head in slight embarrassment. She steps away from him and makes herself busy, cleaning up the mess her room had turned into before she had taken a bath.
“Do you return his feelings?”
“No! He was like a brother to me. Now he’s not even that. He is different from when I met him.” she tells him throwing the dirty clothes on her bed roll, too lazy to fold them or do anything productive with them.
“What is the curse he mentioned?” He asks curiously. She stops moving and another heavy sigh escapes her lips. She hated not being able to tell him things. ‘Can I tell him? Please?’ She pleads in her head hoping that Aslan would hear her. Another moment passes and when the lion doesn’t reply she turns to face Caspian once again.
“I really hate to do this to you Caspian but there are something that will have to wait. Do not take offense to it at all. Aslan prefers that I keep that a secret. They know because he told them, but I'm afraid you will have to wait until he tells me it is alright.” She explains to him. The disappointed look on his face had more of affect on her than she thought it would but he quickly fixes it to a look of contentment.
“I think I can manage that.” He smiles and she gives him a warm smile in return, glad he understood that she wanted to tell him.
The next day was the day that they had planned the siege on the castle. Drisana spent the entire day searching for her weapons within the How. It had been a while and she couldn’t remember where she had put them. Eventually she located them in the one room she hated going into. It was where Aslan had initiated all of the Guardians. It was the room where it all began. The small room brought back too many memories to count and not all of them were good. This room was also where she usually revived with her sister by her side. She went in grabbed her things and left as quickly as possible to get ready for the upcoming battle. Her armor still fit as it always had and her twin blades felt perfectly balanced and familiar in her grips. Over the years the thick leather of the grips had formed to her hands and it was like taking the hand of someone she trusted. The last time she had used these blades was the day the Telmarines invaded.
Everyone was preparing for the surprise attack and as the time grew closer she found Caspian sitting on his bed roll, his knees pulled up to his chest. He looked to be deep in thought. After knowing him for over 18 years she knew that he didn’t need someone to talk to at the moment. Just someone to sit with him. She took up the spot next to him and he looked over at her with a small smile. That’s when she saw the bags under his eyes. He hadn’t slept at all.
“Caspian you should sleep before we leave. There are still a few hours of daylight left.” She suggested rubbing his back in a comforting manner. They both knew that castle like the back of their hands and that this raid was going to end badly. He was as worried as she was about it.
“I’m not tired.” He comments and she rolls her eyes at him. She fixes her position so she is leaning against the wall before she grabs his head and pulls it down to her lap.
“It wasn’t a suggestion.” She smirks and he settles in reluctantly but without a word. Within five minutes of her running her fingers through his hair like she had done when he was younger he was dead asleep. She chuckled at him. Typical Caspian. He always did this before a big event. He would stay up late the night before and not sleep for it and then he would do terribly. This wasn’t one of those times that she could allow it to happen. Outside of the castle she had the ability to boss him around and make him listen to her.
She looked down at the sleeping Prince and smiled. He had grown up to the man his mother had always talked about and she was glad that she had been able to keep her promise to the Queen to take care of him. The Queen had known who she was. Yet she never threw her to the dogs. Never told her husband. Simply accepted as she was and allowed her to continue serving her family and every time she left the Queen would tell her until next time. An indefinite good bye because she knew that the girl would show back up. The Queen had had a unique gift of seeing passed her magic to hide her appearance. Like the hand maiden Cora she was a Telmarine with what the Narnians called ‘The Sight’. Aslan bestowed it upon very few who entered the lands. This was why Caspian had been able to tell that there was something off about her yet it wasn’t anything for him to distrust. He had half the capabilities that his mother had possessed but it was enough.
Over the 18 years that she had known the Prince she had been able to watch him grow. Literally. He had once been a little short chubby toddler but now all the chub had disappeared. Now he stood at least 5’ 11” and he was thin but muscular. His size made him a very good swordsman. He was able to move around quickly yet his toned body allowed for heavy blows that could easily surprise his opponent. His face had lost the childish roundness that she had been fond of when he was younger to reveal that he had high set cheek bones. In all honesty he had grown into a very handsome young man.
Her thoughts were interrupted by Lucy walking in looking for her. In all her thinking too much time had passed and they were looking for the two of them so they could depart. She thanked Lucy who left so she could wake Caspian up. She leaned down and brushed the hair out of his face and kissed his forehead, effectively waking him up from his slumber. She blinked and froze at her own actions. ‘Why did I just do that? I never wake him up like that!’ She screams in her head. She had been acting weirdly around him lately and she couldn’t help but wonder why he had this affect on her.
He got up with ease and thanked her for letting him nap on her. They joined the others and made their way towards the castle. The griffins had offered to transport them to the castle for stealth. With the exception of the royals and Drisana, all the other Narnians had already began their trek towards the castle. The sun was setting and she found the color of the sky very daunting. It was a dark orange red color. She had one thought at the side of it; ‘things are not going to go well tonight.’
The sun had finally set on the horizon. The darkened sky allowed for the griffins to approach the castle without being seen until the last second. Each griffin carried someone. Edmund was the first to approach the castle. His goal was to land on a watch tower and take the place of one of the guards and then signal Drisana and the others with his “torch” (i.e. flashlight). Once his mission was accomplished Peter, Susan, Trumpkin, Caspian and Drisana advanced to the castle to begin the second stage of the attack. AS they got closer guards could be seen on the upper part of the castle walls and towers, patrolling for the night. The guards were taken by surprise when Caspian flew by, hanging from his griffin by his left hand and took them out. Susan shot the remaining guards with her bow.
On the wall where they were standing were two guards. One carrying a cross bow, the other with his hand on the hilt of his sword as he walked along the wall. The guard with the crossbow spotted Edmund standing on the tower above him and aimed. However he never got the chance to shoot as Peter landed and attacked the other guard. This distracted him long enough for Susan to shoot him with another one of her arrows.
The griffins didn’t stay as they dropped each of their passengers. Just below where they stood was Professor Cornelius’s study and the only way they knew to get down there without getting caught was through the window. Drisana had the rope and with Caspian’s knot tying expertise they managed to repel down the side of the wall to the window without falling to their deaths. Caspian was the first one to go down, eager to see his dear friend. Drisana followed him down shortly and he helped steady her as she stepped onto the ledge outside the window. Caspian knocked on the window.
“Professor?” Caspian whispers attempting to see if the old man was in the room or not. After getting no reply Caspian unlocked the window with his knife. He eased the glass open and found a sad sight.
“His poor study, they completely trashed it.” Drisana was appalled by the state of the Professor’s study. Papers and books littered the floor. Not a single shelf had a book on it. This had been one of her favorite places to escape to when she had lived there. She wanted to cry, seeing the study in such a mess.
“I have to find him.” Caspian had found the Professor’s glasses on the desk amongst the papers strewn atop it.
“You don't have time. You need to get the gate open.” Peter said urgently not wanting the plan to fail. She agreed that they didn’t have time for it but that didn’t mean she wouldn’t go and find him with Caspian. Cornelius had helped them escape. It would be fair to leave him here after everything he had done for them.
“You wouldn't even be here without him. And neither would we.” Caspian looked over at her, a sad look in his eyes. She could tell that he was hoping that the Professor was even alive.
You and I can deal with Miraz.” Susan says to her brother, taking Caspian’s side on the matter. Another pang of jealousy hit her body, like before. Without even really meaning to Drisana found herself semi glaring at Susan.
“And I can still get to the gate in time.” Caspian reassures Peter.
“I'm going with you. I know this castle better than you Cas.” Drisana tells him, wanting to find the Professor as well as get away from Susan. They run out of the room in search for their friend.
She knew exactly where Miraz would have put Cornelius if he hadn’t killed him; the Dungeons. They raced through the secret pathways that went through the entirety of the castle like a labyrinth to reach the Dungeons as quickly as they could. Within minutes they were standing outside the dungeon doors taking out the guards and stealing the keys. They ran down the stairs and immediately spotted the old man. He was lying on his back on the hay covered ground asleep. Caspian quickly unlocked the door and fell to his knees while she stood in the iron doorway of the cell. He shook the professor, easily waking him.
“Five more minutes?” Caspian asks as the Professor fully awakes.
“What are you doing here?” The professor asks, bewildered. The Prince unlocked the manacles that were around Cornelius’ wrists and helped him stand. “I didn't help you escape just so you could break back in.”
“Who would we be if we left you behind old man?” Drisana chuckled though she knew he was right. He hadn’t planned for them to come back and rescue him, but neither had they. Caspian had told her that he thought that Cornelius was dead. Though she knew different that what he had said she had not voiced her opinion knowing it would only upset the Prince even further.
“You have to get out before Miraz learns you're here.” Cornelius urges.
“He's going to learn soon enough. We're giving him your cell.” Caspian says handing him his glasses. He quickly turns around though, ready to bolt up the stairs and to the gatehouse where he was supposed to help Trumpkin put the drawbridge down. However the professor stopped him. He grabbed the Prince by the shoulder and backed him up against the bars of the cell.
“Don't underestimate your uncle as you father did.” Professor tells him.
“What are you talking about?” Caspian’s yes go wide at the professor’s statement and she felt like slapping the old man right there.
“I'm sorry.” Is all the professor manages to say before Caspian bolts up the stairs. She knew where he was going and she knew this wasn’t going to end well.
“Caspian!” She calls after him, trying to get him to stop, but to no avail he is already gone. She turns to Cornelius. “Perfect timing professor.” She snorts sarcastically. “We'll meet you in the stables.” She tells him before running up the stairs and following Caspian to Miraz’s rooms. She knew exactly where she was going and didn’t really pay attention to the heavy footfalls of Caspian as he ran down the halls frantically. ‘Great! Now this siege really isn’t going to work! And I have to explain yet another thing to him later.’ She groans as she runs, frustrated. She didn’t want to have to explain to Caspian that he had been the ones to find his parents dead in their bedroom. He probably didn’t remember what had happened that night. She did however and never wanted to see anything like that ever again.
Miraz’s room was right down the hall and she could already hear the murmur of voices coming from within..The door was open and she walked in without hesitation. Caspian stood with the tip of his sword pressed up against his uncle’s throat. She walked up to his side but didn’t take her eyes off of Miraz. He glowered at her, his eyes dark and cold. She easily mirrored his look.
“Did she put you up to this? Is she the reason behind all of this behavior?” Miraz spits at Caspian.
“No! This is of my own accord.” Caspian replies, his voice full of rage and raw grief she knew had surfaced with the mentioning of his parents.
“You know some families would consider this inappropriate behavior.” Miraz comments, seemingly calm in the situation.
“That doesn't seemed to have stopped you!” Caspian shouted at him.
“But you are not like me, are you? It's sad. The first time you show any back bone and it's such a waste.”
“Caspian...” Drisana tries to get him to drop the subject and just stick to the plan but he doesn’t hear her.
“Put the sword down Caspian. I don't want to do this.” On the bed Prunaprismia now had the cross bow set and aimed at Caspian. Drisana took a step forward and a little closer to Caspian. She now stood in the way of the arrow if his aunt pulled the trigger. She looked over at her and saw the look in her eyes. Prunaprismia didn’t know what to do. She didn’t want to kill her nephew but she also didn’t want her husband to die and leave their son without a father.
“We don't want you to either.” The siblings barged into the room weapons ready. Caspian’s Aunt moved from aiming the crossbow at Caspian to at Susan.
“This used to be a private room.” Miraz was annoyed and it took everything in Drisana to not laugh or slap the man.
“What are you doing? You're supposed to be at the gate house!” Peter looked panicked. There in lied his weakness. Any sort of chink in the plain and he panicked and froze.
“No! Tonight for once, I want the truth. Did you kill my father?” Caspian put his second hand on the blade of his sword and stepped forward, pushing his uncle against the window sill.
“Now we get to it.” His uncle nods impressed that his nephew had finally figured it out.
“You said your brother died in his sleep.” Prunaprismia says, faltering slightly and lowering the crossbow.
“That was more or less true.” Miraz doesn’t deny Caspian’s accusations.
“Caspian, this won't make things any better.” Susan tries to make Caspian stop but again he doesn’t listen.
“No it won’t but he needs to hear it from his uncle or else he won’t believe anyone who tries to explain it to him.” Drisana says looking right at Miraz. “Tell him what you did. Tell him how you took his parents lives in their sleep when they had no way of defending themselves, coward!” Her anger was beginning to boil and she didn’t care if Caspian would be mad at her for not telling him all these years. She had had her reasons and they had suited him well in his upcoming.
“We Telmarines would have nothing if we had not take it. Your father knew that as well as anyone.” Miraz states, trying to justify his actions. Caspian didn’t buy it, even Prunaprismia looked at her husband disgusted.
“How could you?” Prunaprismia she asks, wanting to know what reasons he had to commit such an offense against his family.
“For the same reason you would pull the trigger. For our son!” Miraz steps forward, increasing the pressure of Caspian’s sword against his neck enough to draw blood. Caspian moved back as Miraz moved forward, dropping his second hand to his side.
“Stop!” Prunaprismia orders her husband but pointing the crossbow at Caspian. Once again Drisana gets between the Prince and the arrow aimed at him.
“Stay right there!” Susan orders Miraz as well, pointing her own arrow at Miraz.
“You need to make a choice dear. Do you want our child to be King?” Drisana grabs Caspian's hand giving him the support he needed so he wouldn’t falter as Miraz spoke. “Or do you want him to be like Caspian here? Fatherless?”
“No!” Prunaprismia screams in agony and she shoots the arrow hitting Drisana in the upper arm. She cries out from the sudden pain. Miraz runs to the other the closest wall an pushes it open in the commotion. Just as he steps through Susan shoots an arrow and it lodges itself in the wood of the secret door.
“Drisana!” Peter yells in alarm and concern. He rushes to her side and puts a hand on her back. She was leaning over in pain but took a deep breath and stood straight. Peter went to pull the arrow out but she grabbed his wrist tightly.
“No! Break it! Don't pull it out, it will only make the bleeding worse.” She snaps at him and finds herself agitated by his stupidity. ‘For loving me you sure don’t know how to take care of me without killing me.’ She thinks as Caspian pushed Peter aside and snapped the shaft of the arrow off, causing her to cry out once again.
“We need to get you out of here.” Peter tells her worried. She wanted to slap him. She wasn’t a weak woman and he knew that. ‘Or have you forgotten, you little twit?’
“No! I'm fine. I have had much worse! Let's go!” Drisana says standing straight and ignoring the pain. She didn’t need to be babied by Peter. He had done that last time he had been here. She wasn’t going to take it from him again. They ran out of the room ready to leave the castle and call off the siege. However Peter had different ideas as he started going in a different direction.
“Peter!” Susan yells at him stopping in the corridor.
“Our troops are just outside come on.” Peter says to them before running down the hall, headed to the courtyard to get the gate open. They followed after him and as they caught up to him they stopped near him. He was trying to turn the wheel that opened the gate but was struggling to get it to open.
“Peter it's too late! We have to call it off while we still can!” Susan tries to get him to stop but Peter is determined to make the plans still work.
“No! I can still do this!” He says focusing on turning the wheel. Caspian and Susan help him turn it while Drisana stood to the side, unable to put that much strain on her arm. She faced in the inside of the courtyard and took note that the soldiers were lining up on the levels of the castle with crossbows as well as flooding out of the barracks and into the courtyard. She stood there, ready to fight any of the Telmarine men that got within her range.
Suddenly Narnians rushed past her and initiated the battle. She stood there momentarily taking things in. Caspian stepped up beside her and gave her a nod before they both went to fight. They fought side by side, each covering the others weaker and unprotected side. She had long since forgotten how much she had once wished she could fight by his side and now was her chance. After years of watching him train and learning his style she found it easy to accommodate and fight with him. She kept her back to him but would glance over her shoulder on occasion to see if he needed help. About the third time she looked over her shoulder she saw a Telmarine soldier coming up behind him, ready to stab him in the back. She reacted quickly, pulling a dagger from her belt and launching at the man. The dagger hit its mark; dead center of the man’s neck. Caspian heard the shocked gasp of the man and turned around ready to strike him but found his target paralyzed in pain. The man fell over and revealed Drisana to be standing behind the victim. He nodded to her in thanks before rushing forward his blade out. For a moment he looked about read to run her through but his target was behind her. He stopped mere inches away from her as he killed her assailant.
“Now we’re even.” She remarks before something caught her eye. There behind Caspian was Miraz standing on a balcony. On the ledge a Minotaur was holding on for dear life, having just taken an arrow to the shoulder. Miraz just stared at it for a moment before stepping forward. She watched in horror as the tyrant simply pushed the Minotaur off the ledge, allowing it to plummet to its death. She glared at the man and he saw her and returned the look. The soldier next to Mira said something to him to which he shook his head in reply.
“Fall back! We need to retreat! Now!” Peter was yelling for a retreat finally and she looked at the young King, glad he had finally come to his senses. She glanced back up at Miraz only to be shocked that the person that had joined him on the balcony. Her shock only lasted a few seconds however. ‘Why am I not surprised dear sister.’ She growls in her mind, hopping the other girl would hear. ‘Because you know me.’ The other girl smiles at her evilly before leaning over to Miraz and whispering something. The man just nods at her.
“Drisana!” Caspian’s voice draws her attention away from the balcony. Caspian was riding towards her on a horse his hand out for her to take. She took a running start before latching on his wrist and swinging herself up onto the saddle. Her arms instinctively wrapped around his waist for balance. They rode out of the courtyard and over the drawbridge but stopped on the other side of it looking back at Peter and the gate. It had fallen, crushing the Minotaur that had caught it after the counter weights had been destroyed. A quarter of the Narnian soldiers remained within the walls of the castle and they now had no way of escaping. Glenstorm bore a grieved look on his face. His sons were among the trapped.
“Peter! The bridge!” Reepicheep yelled as the draw bridge began to lift up. He gave his mare a kick to the ribs to get her going. She reared up slightly before jumping forward into a canter. Peter’s horse managed to get enough speed to jump the gap of the inclined bridge, landing on the stone pathway on the other side. The other’s had already started retreating, including Caspian and Drisana.
“Are you alright?” Caspian turned his head to see her face resting between his shoulder blades. They continued to move and for a minute she doesn’t say anything.
“I will be.” He faintly hears her whisper before she passes out behind him.