Boy King




The oddest thing about growing up all over again was anticipating the abjectly stupid thing you're about to do moments before you do it. Peter knew he shouldn't have punched Higgenbothem. In Narnia, he'd managed to arrange a peace between two warring nations with nary a raised voice. He could quell a council uproar with a life of his brow and don't let us forget of the many times he and Edmund talk circles around each other when it came to war strategies.

He simply could not stop himself from punching Higgenbothem, his sixteen year-old spleen reacting even as his thirty year-old spirit delivered a thunderous speech on the fool-hardiness of such an action. He'd been thusly torn since returning from that first trip to Narnia. His body wanted one thing, his mind another. Peter wondered at times if he'd go mad.

The only time both sides felt at peace was when he and Susan and Edmund and Lucy sat around the living room reading or revising, the radio humming quietly in the background. The outside noise dulled to nothingness and Peter could almost imagine they were in the royal sitting room just east of the thrones, thinking not of wars nor suitors, not exams nor dissections, not thinking really of anything but simple enjoying each others' company. Peter the Boy and Peter the King agreed on that at least.

Higgenbothem scrambled to his feet, his lip sluggishly bleeding, his knees sprinkled with bright red beads, and his weaselly face contorted into a scowl. "You want to try that again, Pevensie?"

"No," said Peter the King. "I'd whip you to mulch," Peter the Boy added, not to be undone.

He could have, Peter thought. Susan said that when she played the piano, she didn't have to think about where to put her fingers. Her very hands seemed to remember the movement on their own much in the same way your legs must remember how to walk. Peter rode like a centaur when he let himself forget The Boy and revel in The King. He was certain that, had he allowed The King to wield a stick, he'd've pummelled Higgenbothem into an unrecognizable mass.

But that was unfair and neither The Boy nor The King believed in taking unfair advantage.

"I'm sorry I hit you," Peter said. The Boy and The King both railed at the words. "If you'd like, you can punch me in return providing you apologize to Susan."

"Peter, please." Susan shook her head and stepped forward. "There's no need to any of this. He's not worth it."

"You certainly thought I was worth at least a snog," Higgenbothem sneered.

The Boy and the King roared but Susan spoke before either of them could think of a next course of action. "I did and thought no such thing, Frederick. You shame yourself with such lies."

Higgenbothem sneered. "Listen to her talk like she's some sort of queen. Fancy yourself better than me, eh, just because you've got top marks and some Yank to give you lipstick?"

Susan glared at him. Truly, that was a glare worthy of Susan the Queen. Her words fairly dripped in icicles. "I don't think I'm better than you; I know it." Peter was about to protest the words but she added, "I have a family that stays with me no matter what while you can only buy sycophants. He's not worthy of fighting you, Peter. You'll just dirty your hands."

Peter the King applauded the Queen's terrific set down. Peter the Boy sulked at being saved by a girl in front of his schoolmates.

"Come on, Su." Peter deliberately turned his back on Higgenbothem. "Let's go home."

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