called_lioness: (She's not like the Queen Susan)
[personal profile] called_lioness
I.

His name was Tarigin.

He'd come from Lune's court in Archenland, as many had once news spread that the throne in the cair were held by true rulers. He was not a bad knight, if not the most skilled of them, and he was always pleasant and laughed freely.

The giants had just begun to be a problem, as they would for years to come, and he'd gone to fight with the High King.

It had gone badly, and messangers had come and asked for the younger queen and her cordial to come as quickly as she could, for they thought it would get worse before it got better. The giants alone were bad enough, but other creatures--servants of the Witch, mostly--had fled to the North and were fighting with them as well.

She was fourteen. Susan had not been pleased and asked if she couldn't just send the cordial with someone.

Lucy looked at her blankly, like the question made no sense at all, and Edmund had sighed and rubbed at the beard he'd started to grow. The next morning he'd ridden out with her and more knights and centaurs, and a Dog or two.

Edmund, when they reached Peter's camp, looked about at the wounded and wished Lucy had listened to Susan. She was fourteen, and too young for this. But Lucy didn't say anything, just dismounted from her steed (she'd refused a saddle again) and rolled up her sleeves.

Two hours later, she'd torn them both off.

The problem with magic cordial is you still can't be everywhere at once, and it can't fix everything. And shrapnel must be removed, and limbs can't be regrown, and the worst of wounds you have to stitch up before putting magic to and and and it goes on.

It all takes time and pressure and sometimes you can just apply a drop or two, and sometimes you need to work first.

Tarigin was one of the last she reached. That was the only thing she reproached herself for afterwards, that she hadn't seen him sooner. That might have changed things. (Or maybe not; someone else would've been worse.)

He had been shot, without wearing mail--later, she was told he lent it to another, who was already injured and whose own mail had been ruined, and she felt her heart break a little--and the arrowhead lodged deep, the shaft snapped off.

It was very simple. Cordial can heal wounds, but if you don't get shrapnel out, it just makes a new one. He was bleeding out, and she didn't have time to think it through more than once and quickly.

If she healed him, he'd bleed again internally, and there'd be no entrance wound to try and get the arrowhead out through. It would be agony, and she'd have to cut him open. She didn't think it would help anyone.

There were no bullets to bite in Narnia, and whatever they'd given him--opium poppy, it turned out--wasn't helping much, so she had a dwarf hold him down while she dug.

It was deep, and when she pulled out what she hoped was it, she nearly threw up. It was only half.

Lucy dug fast and quickly, with something closer to pliers than tweezers--not very elegant, but it was what was there, in Narnia--and murmured to Tarigin the entire time, trying to quiet him as she worked.

It was going to be okay.

It was going to be okay.

And then Tarigin didn't make any more sounds, and the dwarf didn't have to put pressure on his shoulders.




She got the arrowhead out. It just took too long. And then she went to the next person, who only needed a gash tended to. And then she went to the next. And that night she went into the tent that had been set up for the Queen, and she stared at her hands for a long time.

She only was sick once.

She cried much longer.
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Lucy Pevensie, The Valiant

June 2008

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