The Professor’s Grandson
What has changed in England for Caspian:
Caspian and Edmund are friends at school, well maybe friends is a strong word for it, especially with how Edmund had been acting recently. He had been all sulky, and looking for a fight constantly. Caspian couldn’t stand it. It was a relief when Edmund went away with his family, sent away more like. But then he was stuck, in the Blitz, and soon it got too much and he too was sent away, his favourite aunt (not that that said much) turning away with barely a glance, as he headed out to his grandfather’s house.
His grandfather had long told him stories of a magical land called Narnia, and golden apples. He had loved them when he was younger, imagining flying on Fledge with his Aunt Polly (who he only knew from his grandfather’s stories she had died before he was born) and talking to the Talking Beasts. His real aunt had found him talking to the cat and told him not to listen to his grandfather’s stories. Animals couldn’t talk. And that was the end of the Narnia stories.
Arriving at his grandfather’s house led to a surprise, his grandfather had mentioned taking in some boarders during the Blitz, but he didn’t realise they were the Pevensies. They looked...different. As in they had a new shine to their faces. Edmund especially had changed, the sullen look on his face had gone, and he looked at others in the eyes now. The Pevensies were constantly whispering about something, stopping as soon as he came near.
One night he woke up, noticing the lack of one of the two boys he was sharing a room with. He went to investigate, watching as Edmund came out of a room. Looking visibly distraught. He stayed hidden and watched as Edmund went back to bed before going into the room Edmund had been in. There was only a wardrobe with fantastical designs on it. He looked closer, before jumping with a start as a hand landed on his shoulder, he looked up at his grandfather who was staring wistfully at the wardrobe.
“All in good time, my boy, you’ll find what you’re looking for in good time.”
But what happened here? He silently asked, What changed you all so much? What gave Peter that command, and Susan that tact? Why does Lucy have such a wide smile now? And why does Edmund know who he is, and what he wants now? What gives you this look of something long lost? What happened here?
Instead of asking any of these questions he silently nodded, and went back to bed. The mystery left unsolved.
Time goes on and he gradually get used to these new, mature Pevensies. He becomes closer to them but knows they are still keeping something from him. Soon it becomes time to go back to school for the Pevensies, he himself is going to follow along a little later, after spending some time with his grandfather. He watches them leave knowing that the change will be noticed, and not just by him.
He turns and opens the door, only to find himself in a completely different world.
Sometimes all it can take to do something new is to just open the door. He had been told that at some point, but he truly was finding it out then. He remembered the Pevensies and their whispers of “Narnia” that he had dismissed as fantasy and knew. He was in Narnia, the place his grandfather had watched be created, and the place that had changed the Pevensies so much.
And the Pevensies:
They still went to the Professor’s house and still failed to believe Lucy at first. They still went into the Wardrobe that fateful day and found themselves in Narnia. However when Edmund had still been close friends with Caspian he had once told him stories of Narnia. Edmund knew more than he let on. He knew about Aslan and the Witch, and still chose to go with her, This made his betrayal worse in a way. Yet he still returned, and used that knowledge for good, being the one who in the end destroyed the Witch’s wand.
Once returned they weren’t able to be as open about Narnia. Caspian was there, and he knew something had changed. They snuck out to look at the Wardrobe, and whispered conversations about their other life. Caspian suspected.
Then they were at the train station getting whirled away in a rush of magic, not knowing where it would take them except back, back, back.
And what has changed in Narnia (Caspian):
Caspian knew where he was instantly and he felt he was prepared. His grandfather’s stories had always stuck in his head. He just needed to look for the Talking Beasts. He couldn’t believe it, he was in Narnia! The Narnia of the stories he had grown up with. It was all a fairytale world to him.
He was disillusioned soon enough.
And the Pevensies:
They still found themselves in a destroyed Cair Paravel, and were still distraught over what had happened to their home. They still saved Trumpkin and showed off the skills they had learnt during their reign. They still journeyed until Lucy saw Aslan, however things changed here. Edmund knew the stories still, and he also knew what had happened last time he ignored them. He knew of his greater betrayal and forgiveness, and he stood up for what was right. He stood by Lucy and then told her to lead them on. The others followed annoyed, until they had safely crossed the river. There they saw Aslan, and there he told them that they had “More friends than you think” In Narnia with them. They continued on to join the rebellion against Miraz, who although the rightful Telmarine King, did not treat the Narnians well. There they found whom Aslan had selected King, an old friend, who was indignant over the treatment of the Talking Beasts he had grown up hearing about their wisdom. His grandfather had known the first King and Queen of Narnia and was a Lord of Narnia, he was descended from Narnian Royalty. He was the rightful King of Narnia as much as Peter or Edmund.
Many discussions took place that night about their stories. The changes that had happened. And they could see the changes in Caspian too. He was the Aslan ordained King here, not just Caspian form school, or the Professor’s grandson. His aunt wasn’t here to put him down, and the stories were all true. They fought and beat Miraz, the castle raid was avoided as an unwise decision by all involved. There were no personal reasons to do after all.
The duel still happened and it was still Peter who challenged Miraz, as Caspian was still considered a nobody by the Telmarine nobility and even they had heard of High King Peter the Magnificent. The battle still happened and in the end the Narnians won with the help of Aslan whom Caspian finally got to meet.
Caspian knew him not only from the stories but from the dreams he had dreamt of him since he first heard about him. He told Caspian that he had called him for a reason and that was not like the Pevensies to go back to their world after righting the wrongs in Narnia, but to rule.
The Pevensies left and Caspian was left behind. This time though he was busy, and although he knew he wouldn’t see Peter and Susan again in Narnia, he knew he would still see them again, and he hoped Edmund and Lucy would visit again in his lifetime.
The Pevensies landed on the station as the train came for them. They knew they would need to send a letter, or perhaps call the Professor to explain Caspian’s disappearance.
Edmund missed Caspian at school, especially now he had changed. He made new friends and explained away Caspian’s disappearance with a “He’s gone to live with his grandfather” but none of that stopped him from missing someone who understood.
As Susan drifted away from them he missed him all the more. He needed someone connected but not, and he couldn’t have someone. He tried with Susan, but when she went to America and talked of their silly games he knew they had lost her.
Then they were at their Aunt’s with their cousin and he was teasing them about Narnia and the painting was overflowing and there was a Narnian ship. Then there was Caspian diving from the ship to get them, and he had grown, but Edmund still recognised him, of course he still recognised him, he was his best friend.
Aboard the Dawn Treader:
Caspian felt it was odd seeing Edmund and Lucy barely changed when it had been 3 whole years. He was as old as Peter now. Yet there they were a year older and he knew there was a time difference, after all it had been hundreds of years when they came back the second time.
And then there was there cousin, he only had to hope that Narnia affected Eustace as much as it had Edmund. Eustace was a real piece of work, but he had learnt much from his years as King, and he knew what Eustace meant when he talked about the navy and steamships.
That didn’t mean he would put up with Eustace disparaging Narnia and it’s ways however. They might not be what he’s used to but that doesn’t mean they’re bad.
The voyage upon the Dawn Treader goes much the same. Caspian had heard of these Lords and that Miraz had sent them away for not supporting him. He had decided to get them back and go on a quest like the Pevensies had, and his grandfather had. This was his chance to make a mark, other than being the King who came from another world.
They travel and make mistakes, they still get captured by slavers, and Caspian talks them out. Eustace still gets turned into a dragon for his greed, and he still becomes a better person because of it. Not much changes with Caspian coming from another world, except, once they reach the end of the world.
Caspian wants to join them, to see his grandfather again, to see the world he came from again. Aslan still talks him out of it, and the Pevensies (+ Eustace) still leave without him, with the added knowledge that he wouldn’t get to see his best friend again.
And so they carry on with life, Edmund with the Friends of Narnia in England always aware of the one missing from their midst, and Caspian continuing to rule Narnia, when he dies he gets to scare of Eustace and Jill’s bullies yes, but he also gets to see his grandfather, and Edmund one more time before going to Aslan’s country, where he knows they will join him someday.
And when Jill is thrown into the stable and sees all the Kings and Queens and Lords and Ladies of Narnia before her, she sees King Caspian the Voyager, with his arm around King Edmund the Just and Lord Diggory’s hand on King Caspian’s shoulder. She had heard the stories, and she knows that they are all, finally home.