Peter wished he could just turn his brain off as the various advisors and town representatives rambled on. A glance over at Edmund told him that his younger brother already had, and though he couldn't see three chairs down without being obvious, he was sure Lucy was pretty close if not already there. Sometimes he wondered why he had to be the high king. It might have been some other person, in another family. And the four of them would have gone on living a normal life from that day on, in their own world. But such thoughts were not meant for the here and now, their world was Narnia now, and it always would be. Earth seemed like another lifetime ago, even though it had only been three years.
Blinking, he realized he had missed the past minute or so of the advisor's speech. Oh well, he'd have to ask Susan about it later, she always paid close attention. He nodded for good measure as the advisor continued to drone on. Being a king was not all it was cracked up to be. Peter didn't normally shirk responsibilities, but he couldn't have been prepared for the enourmous task of running an entire country. Sure, he had grown better at it over the past few years, and they had advisors to help them along. But it was still daunting at times, and there was always something new that he had never done or had to deal with before.
To sleep, perchance to dream. Aye, there's the rub indeed. For with no sleep, no dreams may come, and weary is the restless soul who must endure the tick-tock of the clock for all the hours of the night. Though, true, there were no clocks in Narnia, at least none that would fit on a nightstand or in a room's corner. Metaphorically, it held true, and if he listened hard enough, he was sure he could hear the faint ticking of the massive clock that topped the tower across the courtyard. Maybe it was all in his head. No matter the source, he wasn't pleased with the prospect of staying in his bed the entire night. If he had to be awake, he'd be such in a more satisfying position, and location.
The High King of Narnia indeed. Wasn't there some law he could make that could force his body to sleep? Peter mused on the thought as he rose from his bed and donned a robe. Much unlike his simple robe of years previous, this one was adorned in the height of Narnian regal fashion, dyed a deep blue and embroidered with a golden lion as a badge. Such finery was all but lost on Peter, who could have cared less if his clothing was made from the finest silks of the Lone Islands or from Narnian wool. So long as it fit his still-growing body and kept him warm during the winter months, cool during the summers, and looked acceptably fashionable, he would wear it. The clothes better suited Susan, who, despite her notorioty for being a bookworm, had grown to love the beautiful clothes and jewelry that Narnian monarchs were expected to wear.
As he stepped out of his bedchambers, Peter thought about spending the early morning hours talking with one of his siblings. He dismissed it instantly, no sense in subjecting another member of his family to his misery. Turning decisively away from the long hall of bedrooms, the young man made his way down the halls of the private quarters. The flickering torchlight illuminated the way, and cast ghastly shadows upon the walls and floor, something that might have provoked a twinge of fear had Peter been younger, and not more accustomed to the castle at night. The castle was quiet, allowing the young king to focus on his thoughts.
Peter wandered the halls for some time, never truly having a destination in mind. The time was mostly spent consumed in thought, and so it's not hard to understand why the faint clanking and thumping failed to register on the young man's mind until he reached a nearer place from which it eminated. Placing his thoughts aside for a moment, Peter followed the sounds, relying on his ear to detect their position and volume. Drawing near, the young king was able to discern their source, and wasn't surprised to find that it came from within the kitchens. A constant source of noise during the day, the kitchens were generally quiet at night, when all of the castle's servants and cooks were home or in their quarters, fast asleep or performing silent activities.
Peering around the corner, he had expected to find a satyr or nymph poking its head into one of the cupboards. Or perhaps a faun, who were known for staying up at odd hours of the night. Instead, Peter was surprised to find his youngest sister, opening cabinets and drawers, apparently searching for something. He stood at the doorway, watching in silence. Maybe she would turn around and see him there, and that would be enough to send her back to bed. Peter didn't want a grumpy sister in the morning, he knew he would be in that mood himself, and dealing with another like him would make the day go worse. And he didn't feel like chiding her, although his body seemed alert and unwilling to sleep, his mind, on the other hand, was weary and tired, constantly urging his body to climb in bed and rest.
Minutes passed and his youngest sister still paid him no mind. Speaking would probably make her jump, but there was no avoiding it now. Oh well. "Lose something, Lucy? Or are we chasing dreams in the kitchen these days?" He added a smile for assurance, but he knew it wouldn't help...much. Figuring the damage was already done, Peter added, "Shouldn't you be in bed by now, anyways?"
Over the years, Peter had grown used to the fact that his younger siblings were much more childish than he was. Especially Ed and Lucy, as Susan was more precocious, equalling and even surpasing his own intellect and maturity at times. More than just sometimes for the intelligence. Although in the recent years, he had become aware of the growing mentality of his younger brother, Peter still hadn't gotten used to the fact that his youngest sister was also becoming more wise and mature with each passing year. That's probably why her acute accuracy and pertinence on the subject was so startling to him. It took a moment for him to formulate a response to Lucy's pointed statement.
"Yes, but you need your sleep." He did not feel the need to explain further. One of the responsibilities of being older meant looking after his siblings, including Lucy. She would just have to trust him on the matter. Peter did consent, however, to a smile, to return the one that she gave to him. His eyes followed her motions as Lucy directed him to look at her half-finished...well, whatever it was she had in a bowl. At the mention of her inability to reach the upper cupboards, Peter instantly had the thought to offer his services. After all, he was taller than his youngest sister. He was about to, but then his sister began again.
Cooking. That was better left for girls and the servants. Why would he know how to make cookies? If anyone did, it would be Susan. He guessed there was flour, probably water, and the chocolate that Lucy was searching for. Peter didn't know what else would be included, nor did he very much care. For the purposes of helping Lucy, perhaps he did feel some compassion. But it was a subject that he did not express any interest in or needed to learn for survival purposes.