You can easily discern this as the center of the royal gardens – a great fountain decorates the courtyard’s center point. It is a scuplture of a grand lion, standing over the water’s edge. This lion is not insignifigant though – it is an artist’s tribute to the ruler of all Narnia, and a portrait of a noble character.
At all four points of the compass a paved path leads to the corners of the courtyard, North, East, South and West. To the east lies the entrance to the grand hall of Cair Paravel, and to the west, the gates of the castle. North and South lead to flower gardens, where one might sit for a spell.
The sides of the paths here are lines with decorative posts and ribbons, leading from east to west to form an aisle (going delicately around the fountain). It appears that the garden to the east has been set up for some kind of ceremony.
Linor perks up again. “Good! Because we’ve had enough of leaving.” and then deflates again. “Why do you think that our Kings and Queens would ever want to leave?”
Avery shakes her head as she sips her tea. She looks thoughtful. “I do not know…”
Lanisen follows the path around the fountain, his footsteps crunching softly in the gravel. His eyes are on the sculpture in the middle of the fountain, so he does not immediately notice Avery and the Mink, but he slows and stops when he does, ducking a bow.
Linor lets herself be pulled out of thoughts of the past with the arival of Lanisen. “Hello Lanisen!” she called, hoping from her chair to the table and turning over the second cup. “Would you like some tea? Or some biscuits?
Avery looks up as she hears the gravel crunching. She nods. “Hello, Lanisen.” She motions to an empty place to sit. “You must come and try Linor’s cookies.”
Lanisen dimples up at the offer, and he lowers his head and comes to oblige. “Hello, Lady Avery,” he says, then tilts his head at the tea and biscuits and looks at the Mink. “I’m startin’ to get the suspicion that these things follow you wherever you go, Miss Linor,” he says, playful and appreciative.
Linor beams at the praise of her cooking. “Oh, they do follow me, it’s my excuse to get out of the kitchen and see all of the castle visitors.
Avery slides the plate of cookies closer to Lanisen, smiling.
Lanisen glances at Avery before he takes one, checking to make sure of his welcome and her permission. He takes a bite, cupping a hand under the biscuit to catch any crumbs. “Oh,” he says blissfully. “Ohh, these are good. You could give the cooks at home a run for their money, Linor.”
Linor flicks her tail “Maybe you should take some Narnian jams back with you so that they would have a fair chance, Narnian fruit is the best.”
Avery laughs. “Perhaps we should.”
Lanisen agrees, “I’m always lookin’ for good gifts to take back.”
Linor asks Lanisen, “Do you think you’ll want to go back to live in Archenland, or do you think you’ll want to live in Narnia?”
Avery listens quietly, pouring some more tea for herself.
Lanisen looks a little bit put on the spot here. He glances at Avery again and shifts where he sits. “I been thinkin’ a little of stayin’,” he admits.
Linor smiles, and then tilts her head. “I should have thought about your dogs before I asked that. What would you do with them? Or do they take care of themselves for the most part.”
Avery looks at Lanisen. “Would you really like to stay? In Cair Paravel or elsewhere?”
Lanisen says, smiling, “Oh, no.” He rubs the back of his neck, and there’s something a little anxious and sad in the gesture. “No, they do take lookin’ after, but it’s… There’s a girl who lives in the town, her name’s Mara, she’s been helpin’ Danall look after ’em while I’m away. I talked to Danall when I was home and– she’s, she’s been doin’ real well with ’em, it sounds like. So it’s…” He lifts his shoulders and glances between them. “The kennels, they’ve been my home and my work for a lot of years now, but it’s… it might be time, I’m thinkin’.”
Avery nods encouragingly. “I’m sure they’ll be in good hands, Lanisen.”
Linor asks, “What do you think you’d do in Narnia? I know that we beasts don’t need jobs, but I’ve never seen a human who doesn’t have some sort of position.”
Lanisen says, “Well,” and hesitates. “I been talkin’ with Stormsbreath a bit, he’s… he’s said he’d be willin’ to take me on, teach me some things.”
Avery tips her head. “Stormsbreath?”
Linor nods “So you’d like to become a healer? That’s a noble thing to do.”
Lanisen says, looking at Avery, “The, the healer here, he’s the big gray Centaur?”
Avery ahs. “Yes, I’ve seen him, but have never spoken with him.”
Linor says, “Most people around here only speak with Stormsbreath when they’re sick. He likes to keep to himself.”
Lanisen lifts his shoulders, looking back at Linor. “Nothin’ wrong with that.”
Avery asks, “Have you always had an interest in healing or is it newly discovered?”
Lanisen hesitates. “I’ve always been a little afraid of healers, my lady,” he admits.
Linor tilts her head. “Afraid of healers? But they’re so calm and wise and gentle and…” pauses as if something is dawning on her. “Oh, but you don’t have centaur healers in Archenland.”
Avery laughs. “They can still be calm and gentle and wise.” She nods. “I think…Yes, I think you’d make a wonderful healer.”
Lanisen hesitates again. “I dunno that– I dunno that I would,” he says, ducking his head. “But it’s, there’s things I’d like to learn, and I think I can be useful, even if I’m not, even if…” He shrugs.
Linor exclaims, “Oh! I didn’t mean to say that only centaurs are good healers, just that they’re the best teachers.” Linor adds quickly. “Besides, if you work with dogs you have to be calm and gentle. Otherwise the dogs get all excited, even talking dogs get over excited, I can’t imagine how hard it must be to stay calm for dumb ones.”
Avery gently prompts Lanisen. “Even if you’re not…?”
Lanisen says, “Um, a– a real healer, my lady.”
Linor tisks. “Of course you aren’t a real healer /now/, but you will be when you train. I wasn’t a real baker when I came to the castle, but I am now.”
Avery says, “But if you learn how to care for others and about the herbs and plants, is that not enough to be considered a healer?” She sets her teacup down. “If you feel you should walk in that direction, take a few steps and see where it takes you.”
Lanisen lowers his head, seeming unsatisfied but also unwilling to push it further. He hesitates. “Lady Avery, I haven’t– I haven’t spoken to Dame Megren and Sir Darrin about this yet, could you…?”
Avery gives a nod. “I won’t say anything to them.”
Linor still seems confused by the uncertainty, but lets it drop
Lanisen says, “Thank you, my lady.”
Haft walks through the gardens. He looks a bit disheveled, as if he’s been on the Practice Grounds.
Avery nods to Lanisen. She turns as she hears the gravel crunching again and sees Haft. “Ah, Haft. You see, I am right where you left me /and/ I haven’t caused any trouble.”
Linor looks at the newcomer and motions to the plate before taking another cookie off of it. “Would you like a biscuit?
Haft says, “Never thought you would, my lady.” He turns to the Mink, pleasantly surprised. “Thank you.”
Lanisen glances up as Haft approaches and gives a quick smile of greeting, ducking his head politely.
Avery chuckles, picking up her tea once more. “Were you training?”
Haft nods. “That’s right.”
Avery smiles. “Good. I’m glad you took some time for yourself.”
Linor exclaims, “Oh, it’s time for me to get back to the kitchen!”
Linor bounds strolls along the western path.
Lanisen says, “Oh, goodb–” He stops, as she’s already gone, and looks back at the other humans, grinning with his eyebrows lifted.
Avery watches Linor scamper off and shakes her head, pleasantly amused. “She is quite the baker.”
Haft takes a bite of the biscuit. “Not bad.”
Avery finishes off her tea and stands. “Well, I have a few letters to write.”
Lanisen stands as she does, bowing.
Haft bows as well.
Avery dips her head. “Good day.”
Haft nods toward Lanisen and continues down the path