La cour est comme un edifice bati de marbre; je veux dire qu'elle est composee d'hommes fort durs mais fort polis. / The court is like a palace built of marble; I mean that it is made up of very hard but very polished people.
-Jean de la Bruyere
Edmund isn’t exactly sure why they thought being kings and queens was a good idea, sometimes.
Or, more to the point, why anyone thought making him a king was a good idea. Given—well. Given, really.
He’s good at it. They all are, which he also thinks is a bit surprising. But Susan has her charms, and Peter his solemn words and firm tone and skills, and Lucy, well, it’s hard not to want to do what Lucy wants you to.
Edmund is quieter than his siblings. Edmund listens to the whispers that take place in the corners and behind curtains.
Peter dislikes to employ spies, though he recognizes the necessity. Edmund is the one who tends to that, who assigns the Ravens and Owls to their targets.
What Edmund does--the area he works in--is very rarely spoken of at all. And if at times a person disappears, one who meant trouble for Narnia, no one comments on that either, except perhaps in glances. Susan will smile awkwardly in an attempt at gratitude. Peter will look at him briefly, and sometimes he'll nod. An acknowledgment of his understanding that business has been taken care of, unpleasant as it might have been, for the sake of the Lion and Narnia.
Only Lucy glares at him. Only she, once, had spoken coldly to him on the matter.
His response had been short. “I do what needs to be done, my sister, so that you do not have to.”
“Yet I have never asked you, King Edmund, to take a burden from me, have I?”
“Little one, some things are not meant for you.”
He had known it would infuriate her, and it did. She had turned sharply, every inch the queen she had been for a decade, before throwing over her shoulder, “This games are worthy only of the Witch. I’d hoped you’d not learned from her.”
He had been--and is--aware that the words had been meant to hurt. They had succeeded.
Lucy never apologizes for that, though she acts as if the incident had never occurred. And because it is easier, he, too, pretends. And after a while it stops hurting.
Mostly. Except for the moments where he looks into himself and finds he can’t say she wasn’t right.
And yet. For the Lion and Narnia. Isn’t it worth it?
They call it the Golden Age, now.
Gold must be strengthened and purified by fire.
Susan cannot do it. Peter will not. And Edmund will not allow Lucy to come to the point where she thinks she has to.
And so, if there is blood on his hands, so be it.
It’s not as if it’s the first time.