quasar273: (yuletide)
[personal profile] quasar273
Fandom: C.S. Lewis: The Chronicles of Narnia
Title: The Lost Heir
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: ~2500
Warnings: interspecies union, possibly underage
Summary: The Kings and Queens of Narnia disappeared while on a hunting trip, leaving no behind no heir -- save one.

A/N: Written for Sternel for the Yuletide rare fandom secret Santa project. This was written as a last-minute Yuletide treat on December 24.

At that happy time in the land of Narnia there was not one ruler, but four: two Kings and two Queens. And for ten years they ruled well and wisely, but then while on a hunting trip they went astray and were seen never again. The land was thrown into sad disarray, for none of the four rulers had wedded, being but children at the beginning of their reign; and all thought they had sufficiency of time to get an heir, or that they should be each other's heirs, until all at once were gone, leaving no issue.

Or so it was believed, by all but a very few. This is the tale of how one of the Four Golden Monarchs of Narnia had an heir.

At that time, being shortly past Yuletide in the eighth year of Their Majesties' benevolent reign, King Edmund the Just was on retreat in his castle in the northern part of Narnia, hard upon the border of the Lantern Waste in the erstwhile realm of the White Witch. Many of the fine folk in this region felt a shadow upon their hearts each winter as they remembered how the White Witch had so long held sway there, and it cheered them to have their King at hand, with music and fine food and courtly conversation to drive away the winter cold.

Upon a snowy night the King was standing near a window which gave upon the North, thinking on the Witch and on transgression and redemption. There came to him then the head of his castle guard, Ranulf the talking Wolf, brother to that Fenris who had served the White Witch, and thereby shunned by many until he found an honorable place in His Majesty's service.

"Sire," said the great Wolf, his tall ears aprick, "a horse approacheth, with a rider."

"In this weather, they must be nigh unto freezing," said King Edmund. "Build up the fire. Let blankets and mulled cider be brought, and a hot mash for the horse." And he slung his fur cloak about him and went to wait upon the castle steps for this messenger.

Great was his surprise when he saw his young sister, Queen Lucy the Valiant, riding alone through the waste on this wintry night.

"Fair Sister!" he cried, "What brings thee hither in such haste, and so poorly attended? Tell me not that some ill has befallen our royal brother and sister."

"Nay," she said, alighting from her dappled mare in good cheer. "When last I saw them, they were well in Cair Paravel."

"Then come inside," said he, "if thou hast nothing of dire urgency to convey, and hold thy tale until thou be warm again." So saying, he pressed his cloak around her shoulders.

Seated in a chair piled with blankts, her feet toward the fire and her hands warmed by a goblet of cider, Queen Lucy said, "I came to visit thee, Dear Brother, and to share thy company."

"Only this?" he asked. "Why come all unattended for so slight a cause?"

Now the roses in her cheeks were from more than riding in the chill wind. "In truth, I have quarreled with our brother High King Peter. When he would not agree with me, I left Cair Paravel in haste."

"Would that I had been there to reason with the both of you!" he said.

"Nay, Brother, thou canst not be the peacemaker eternally."

"Of what like was this quarrel?"

"The High King would not grant me his permission to marry whom I wish," said she.

"Why, what swain is this?" he exclaimed. "I have not seen any man wooing thee!"

"Indeed, thou hast," said Queen Lucy, "For he has been the oldest and dearest of friends to us all. I wish to marry the Faun Tumnus."

This gave King Edmund pause, for although all manner of folk dwelt in Narnia in those times and dealt each other the respect of equals, yet marriage was reserved only for those of like form. "A maid -- a Daughter of Eve -- and a Faun? I have not heard of such a union."

"It is perfectly commonplace," said she. "Thou knowest that all Fauns are male?"

"Why, 'tis true, all that I have met are male," he wondered. "I had not thought on it overmuch. I supposed the females shy of company."

"Nay, for there are no females at all."

"Then how do they get --" he began, and held his tongue for propriety.

But Queen Lucy, not easily flustered, merely smiled at him. "How do young Fauns come to be?" she asked on his behalf. "Most often, they mate with naiads or dryads during the festivals of spring and summer. If the child be female, she grows to be another such nymph as her mother. If a boychild, then he is a Faun and goes to live with his father."

"Yet a nymph is not quite the same as a Daughter of Eve," said King Edmund.

"True, Dear Brother. But there have been such joinings, in Archenland and the southern parts of Narnia where dwell more men and women. Recall, nearly all such were destroyed or driven out by the White Witch."

"I do recall." King Edmund considered her words. "Though such a union be possible, is it wise?"

Here Queen Lucy sighed unhappily. "So spake our brother, saying that an alliance with a Queen of Narnia should be a privilege granted to some potentate who might return it in like measure. Yet I say that dear Tumnus has earned our gratitude, and more than that, my love."

"Love may not lightly be gainsaid," King Edmund mused, "and yet the High King may say us yea or nay and we must heed him. Perhaps I might speak to Peter on thy behalf."

"Indeed, thy intercession is most welcome, dear Edmund, but I fear Peter will not be swayed. Our words became quite rancourous upon the mattter, and it pains me to recall what epithets we used. Write to him if thou desirest, but I shall not expect a swift response. Meantimes, may I dwell here at thy castle, until such time as our brother sees fit to call me back?"

Thus it was that Queen Lucy joined the northern court during the harshest days of winter, and all were much cheered by her laughter and sweetness, and the light of her golden hair which recalled the Sun. Yet King Edmund perceived betimes that her spirits were downcast, and asked her if it was that matter on which he had written to High King Peter which troubled her heart.

"Indeed, I miss my dear Tumnus," she said sadly, "but there is something more I must tell thee, dear Brother. I am increasing."

Much astounded was King Edmund at this news, for the warm furs she wore had concealed his sister's figure from him. "Is this why thou wished to marry Tumnus?" he asked.

"Indeed, for he is the father of my babe. We had joy of each other last Midsummer's eve, when the dancing was over and the mead was all gone. I love him most warmly, but I fear our brother and sister would count it a terrible thing that I have done. And so I came to thee, Dear Edmund."

She did not say it, but it was in both their thoughts: Edmund knew only too well what it was like to make a dreadful mistake, and to be forgiven in spite of it. "Does Aslan know of this?" he asked at length.

"I am sure he does," said Lucy. "I saw him in the late summer, and he bespoke me most perplexingly. Later I guessed he had spoken of what I did not yet suspect myself."

"If this is a girl child, she will be a Daughter of Eve, even as thou art," said Edmund. "What then?"

"Why, then our royal brother and sister must know, for I shall keep the child with me and love her dearly. But if the babe be a young Faun, he shall leave with his father and I shall see him little if at all."

King Edmund thought on all these matters. "It is not for me to say whether it be well done or ill," he concluded at last. "Only Aslan may judge on that score. Yet well or ill, this venture will come to its fruition in due time, and we shall know then what else must befall."

It was not long after this that the Faun Tumnus arrived at the northern castle and begged an audience with Their Majesties. And King Edmund looked upon him with suspicion as one who had used his sister ill, but Queen Lucy wept for joy and embraced him, asking him what had delayed him in returning to her side. And he replied that he had been preparing a place for the little one in case of need.

King Edmund entrusted a small number of his retainers with the news, that they might care for Queen Lucy in her time of need. When the days began to lengthen and winter's hold on the land was near to breaking, Queen Lucy took to her bed, attended by Mrs. Beaver, the wise Dwarf Brimble, and the Unicorn Sabinet. Full three days she laboured, while the last great storm of that winter shook the castle stones about them, and King Edmund and Tumnus and all the folk of the castle crept about in dismay as they waited. At the end of the third day a tiny Faun was born into the world, but Queen Lucy lay direly ill and heeded him not.

Then King Edmund begged a favour of noble Sabinet, for no mount in his stables could overleap the drifts of snow that hemmed the castle about.

"Dearest Majesty," said Sabinet then, "it would be my pleasure to bear you. For when the White Witch broke my horn, I was too shamed to be seen so disfigured. But Your Majesty caused a new horn to be fashioned for me out of moon-silver which will not tarnish, and gave me a place in Your Majesty's court, and for this I am forever in your debt." And she consented to wear a light saddle for the King's comfort, and bore him upon her back while she leapt lightly over the drifts of snow, and ran tirelessly all the day and into the night until they reached Cair Paravel.

"Why, Edmund," High King Peter exclaimed, "What brings thee here in such haste and disarray?"

"Our beloved sister Queen Lucy is laid low by a terrible fever," said King Edmund. "I have come to fetch her cordial, which alone might make her well."

"Indeed, she shall have it," High King Peter declared. "We shall convey it thither together, and Queen Susan along with us, for we have dearly missed our fair young sister all this long winter."

"Come in full train and you both shall be welcome at my castle, and more than welcome," said King Edmund. "But Dearest Lucy cannot wait for the cordial. Let me take it to her at once, and you follow after."

Then King Edmund mounted again upon Sabinet, refusing all offers from other mounts, and she ran the width of the land once more, through the remainder of the night and all the next day, over snow which had not yet receded, until they arrived at King Edmund's castle at sunset near to collapse with exhaustion. Sabinet curled her legs beneath her next the hearth and lay her head upon the stones and slept; but King Edmund, staggering with weariness, carried the cordial to the chamber where his sister lay near to death and placed a drop with trembling hand upon her ashen lips.

And Queen Lucy opened her eyes and smiled, her face flooding once more with colour. "Dearest Edmund!" she cried. "Oh, where is my babe? Tell me that he is well and safe!"

And the young Faun was brought to her bedside in the arms of Tumnus, who was much overjoyed to see her well. The infant was named Vernal in honour of the season, and he brought great happiness to both his parents for two weeks. But when the snows were melting and the rivers full to their banks, word came that High King Peter and Queen Susan were on their way with great train of folk from the court in Cair Paravel. Then Queen Lucy kissed her tiny son upon his head and embraced Tumnus once more, and bade them both farewell. And King Edmund and Queen Lucy reunited with their brother and sister amid declarations of joy, but they never revealed what had transpired that winter.

And thus, when Their Majesties went out hunting one day and never returned, there were only five souls left in all the land who knew that they were not entirely without issue.

Edmund Pevensie wondered sometimes how much his sister remembered of that time in Narnia. All four of them had found that their recollection was hazy, but they bolstered it by talking often among themselves. Lucy spoke fondly of Mr. Tumnus, of the music that he played and his love of dance, but she never said anything improper or revealed that she knew about matters which young girls should not know. And Edmund, of course, could not ask her about it, so he let it be.

More than one thousand years later, upon the first day of the reign of King Caspian the Tenth, a young Faun came before the Kings and Queens and made an elegant bow to Queen Lucy.

"Your Majesty, my name is Bauran," he said. "Perhaps Your Majesty is aware that we Fauns keep track of our lineage from father to father, going back many years?"

"I did know that," said Lucy, listening to his words with anticipation.

"I thought it might interest you to know that I am descended from the Faun Tumnus, who was recorded in history as a special advisor in Your Majesty's court."

Lucy hugged the Faun, and her siblings did not wonder at her tears, for they all felt sadness at the thought of old friends they would never meet again. Only Edmund realized that Lucy was embracing her own descendant, and knew that she wept also because she had never been allowed to know her own son.

Soon after, they had to depart Narnia. And though Edmund and Lucy were able to visit once more, there were no Fauns among the crew of the Dawn Treader, and Lucy never saw her descendants again.

Not, at least, until after the Last Battle, when she was reunited with Tumnus, and Vernal, and all that was beautiful and impossible.
Anonymous( )Anonymous This account has disabled anonymous posting.
OpenID( )OpenID You can comment on this post while signed in with an account from many other sites, once you have confirmed your email address. Sign in using OpenID.
Account name:
If you don't have an account you can create one now.
HTML doesn't work in the subject.


Notice: This account is set to log the IP addresses of everyone who comments.
Links will be displayed as unclickable URLs to help prevent spam.


quasar273: (Default)

January 2017

8910111213 14

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 21st, 2017 08:50 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios