It's super late, I'm bored and supposed to be studying, but really, who wants to study when you can't sleep? Writing is so much more cathartic. I've never written anything about Digory before, so I hope this doesn't sound too unlike him.
Digory Kirke had cause to regret many things in his sixty plus years of life, but dying didn't happen to be one of them.
The instant he grabs Polly's wrist in the Hall of Images, surrounded by the desolation of Charn, he regrets it. Regrets and says nothing; after all she's only a girl, she cannot possibly understand the pull of adventure and the thrill of wanting to be more than she is. Who is she to tell him what he can and cannot do? Still, it doesn't seem right, even then, and later when he sees the bruise his grip left on her wrist the regret overcomes his pride and he apologises. First and foremost, she is his friend, and friends aplogise.
The thing he regrets longest and more deeply than the rest is the moment he strikes the bell. He claimed to feel the enchantment of the place taking over his will, but the truth is there was never any enchantment; only the foolish tendencies of a foolish boy. He doesn't regret it immediately, the consequences of that one, simple action take far longer to show themselves completely than he could ever have imagined. It takes another forty years and four children stumbling into the havoc his choice had wrought for him to finally, fully regret what he had done.
The Witch told him he would regret his choice in the garden; for the most part she was wrong. And yet, often waking in the darkness to aching bones and raspy breathing as the years took their toll he did regret, if only for a moment. This was a regret shadowed with guilt, both the guilt of the Witch's presence and that of his almost overwhelming desire to take her offer. The guilt always overcame the regret and when morning came he would no longer wish he had stretched out his hand to take an apple so long ago.
When Polly tells him she is engaged his first reaction is shock; his second hurt. Why he should feel either is a mystery to him. Of course, Polly would be engaged, married; grown up and somehow grown apart from him. They spoke far less now than they had as children or even in the years Digory had spent at university, it made no sense for him to feel such hurt at her words. The mystery did not resolve itself until he at last recognised the regret that accompanied the hurt. He had waited too long; now it was too late.
"Polly?" They're facing each other from opposite sides of a train car, friends now as they had been for a mere handful of their adult years.
"Hmm?" She doesn't look up from the newspaper spread across her lap and Digory finds himself wondering when her hair turned so grey.
"Did you ever regret it? Breaking off your engagement?" It's an impertinent question and a younger Polly might have raised her eyebrows and kicked half-heartedly at his shin. This Polly glances up at him briefly with a flash of her old smile.
"Never." And her voice holds no uncertainty.
They walk arm in arm through the bright sun and clear air of the Real Narnia. Polly's hair is golden now, her face unlined, and there is a spring in Digory's step that has not been there in many years. Beneath a tree they pause, breathing deeply of the apple scented air and Digory smiles.
"Digory?" Polly takes his hand, smiling too. "Do you regret dying?"
And he can answer truthfully; "Never." By the grace of Aslan, he had been given another chance; to live without regrets was the gift given by Death. It was no longer too late.
If you want to read this as a Digory and Polly pairing feel free to do so, but I've left it ambiguous enough that you don't really have too. Drop me a review to let me know what you thought :-)