"Sir, your package from London has just arrived", the maid announced, softly.
Professor Kirke's eyes widened with pleasure and surprise. He left aside what he was doing, and rushed to the entrance of his Mansion. There, a couple of workers were waiting next to a big, wooden wardrobe.
The Professor smiled. At first glance, it was just as he had imagined it: big, luminous… special. He was really eager to see it calmly, once it was already on its place.
He told the workers to put it in a certain room, and he went with them, hoping it would came through the door without any problems.
Just as he had expected it, everything went smoothly, and the wardrobe soon got to its new place.
He left it there, for a while, while accompanying the workers to the exit, leaving the magnificent piece of furniture behind him.
He tried to think about other things, rather than jumping right into the wardrobe, but everything was taking him back to that topic.
He avoided London like the plague.
His opinion hadn't changed much since his childhood days there, as he still thought about it as a beastly, hideous hole.
Even if he had also spent some of the best moments of his life in that hole.
But everything had a limit, and he was already fed up with the city.
So, he retreated to the countryside, once again, to the beautiful plains, and the magnificent house full of History and secrets.
He kept his late aunt's house in London, and had contact with the caretaker from time to time. He would also use the house whenever he needed to stay in the big city.
He had been there when, after a terrible storm, the house's caretaker told him that one of the trees had fallen down.
Luckily, Digory could save the tree in the nick of time. While talking to the caretaker, he thought about using the tree's wood for something else rather than firewood.
Such a magnificent tree couldn't end up reduced to ashes.
It made his heart ache, to even consider it as mere wood.
Luckily, a big piece was quite well preserved, and there was plenty of it, so he thought that maybe making a wardrobe out from it could be a good idea.
He could take it with him to the country house, and it would be like having a piece of Narnia with him, still.
Considering that he couldn't stay much at London, he would look for a cabinetmaker, a real artisan, to make a wardrobe worth of its origins. Then, he would ask it to have it delivered to his country house.
And now, it was waiting for him, a floor over his head.
So, he decided to call it a day, and thought that, spending the rest of the afternoon studying his new wardrobe was a good idea.
He walked to the room, and once he saw it, it seemed as if it had been destined to be in that place, for some reason.
It was so obvious that the wood still resembled the one of its original tree in Narnia. Talking about that tree, he wondered if it would still be standing on its roots, or if it had also fallen down.
The wood of the wardrobe was shinier than any other wood around it. Even if the cabinetmaker had used some special treatment on it to make it more valuable and resistant, it was crystal clear that there was something on the wood that was different than the rest.
Professor Kirke admired the work made out of the wood, the fine piece of furniture that the artisan had made out of his beloved tree. Indeed, it was a majestic work of art, intimidating and tall.
He caressed it, following with his fingers the carvings on the wood, which had parts of his memorable and beloved adventure in Narnia.
He chuckled, recalling a moment when talking to the artisan about the things he wanted in the new wardrobe. The artisan had let slip some commentary about how nice it would be for a kid's room.
He had just smiled and let him believe that. He didn't want to start explaining himself.
He saw, at the centre of the panel, the magnificent tree, that resembled the mother tree of his tree. He thought about those special apples, and his mother's recovery.
He smiled faintly, touched.
He had decided to trust in the Lion, and he hadn't turned him down. He had been waiting for years for a way to return to Narnia and meet Aslan once more, to be able to thank him in person for saving his mother, and letting his father return home from India, and for the country house –his current home-, and for his friendship with Polly.
For making him see things in a new, special light.
He had wanted so much to return…
He took a deep breath, and decided it was time to see if it would be possible…
He opened the wardrobe's door. It made a faint sound.
Its interior was as luxurious as it was outside, even if there were no carvings or decorations there. But it was big and nice.
He sighed, once more, hoping that one of his most intimate wishes could be granted. He moved forward, and touched the wardrobe's wall.
It was solid to the touch, cold and firm. He tried pushing it, but nothing happened. The wood didn't turn into anything else, and he found himself –a respected middle aged man- inside a wardrobe, like a kid playing hide-and-seek.
He laughed at it, and sat down on the wardrobe, defeated.
It was evident that the tree was really Narnian, and it was also true that he wasn't still needed there, for the time being.
It hurt him, as it had hurt him through all those years.
He sighed, and wondered if he would be able to return, someday…
Some days later, Polly came to visit him, just as she had promised him in her latest letter.
She never failed to meet with him, no matter how many years had passed since they met.
After she made herself comfortable, and talked about other things, he took her to the room were the wardrobe was. He was overjoyed, much like a kid with a new toy.
He needed to listen to her opinion about the wardrobe.
She inspected the wardrobe, while he commented how he got it.
Eventually, she left her high-heels shoes, and got into the wardrobe.
Digory watched how she closed the door, and for some instants, he thougth she would have succeeded, but it was then when she came out, claiming that it was really comfortable to stay inside.
"Do you think it may have magic, somewhere on it?", he asked her, anxiously.
"I don't think it wouldn't", Polly replied, smiling.
"But why doesn't it work with us now, then?"
"Maybe we have already wasted all of our chances to return", she said, taciturnly. "Maybe Aslan doesn't want us there for now"
"Maybe it doesn't work with us, but may work in the future, or with other people", he said, hopeful. For some reason, he was completely certain that that wardrobe had to link someone with the world of Narnia.
"Who knows, His paths are always so mysterious", Polly said, softly, with a slim smile on her face.
He held her hand, and smiled back at her.
"Guess you are right", he said.
"Now… will you treat me properly and offer me some tea and cookies? I think I deserve so for having gone into a wardrobe like a little girl"
Digory laughed. "I'll treat you as you deserve, but I've been there first, so I know how you feel"
Polly laughed, and her laughter still had traces of her childhood laughs.
He nodded, and knew she must have been thinking something along that line. He offered her his arm. "Shall we go?"
She took it, and nodded. "Yes, you have to tell me about your last trip"
And they left, with their inner children close to their hearts, and their friendship as strong as the first day.
That was something else they would have to thank to Aslan whenever they got to see him.
The door closed behind them, and the Narnian wood wardrobe waited for the right person to come, to show its way to the needy land…
Notes: I got inspired by the photo that appears at CS Lewis Wikipedia entry, where's a statue of him with a wardrobe (the one's that supposed to appear as a cover here). I really loved Polly and Digory, for some reason, and I had this idea written down for ages. Luckily, I got to write it down.