"They don't believe that you're real, Mr. Tumnus. They say that I made you up and everything."
Tumnus laughed softly as he took the tea kettle down from the stove and poured the hot water into two porcelain cups. He added a spoonful of honey to each and then the tea leaves, handing a cup and saucer to Lucy and placing his on the table while he got the cookies.
"Well, you know that I'm real." He said, placing four cookies on a plate and setting it between them as he sat down. "I certainly know that I'm real as well. At least…I think I'm real." Tumnus put on a worried look and Lucy laughed softly.
"You are real, Mr. Tumnus." She assured him.
"Well I'm certainly glad of that." Tumnus said. "I would hate it if I wasn't."
"I just wish that the others would believe me. Maybe if I brought them here…"
"Oh! Uh…" Tumnus tried to remain calm, but his cup was shaking and spilling tea into the saucer.
"Whatever is the matter?"
"Maybe you should hold off on that for a bit." Tumnus said.
"But I hate it, Mr. Tumnus. No one will believe in you or in Narnia. My sister Susan just keeps asking for proof and I don't have it!" Tumnus tilted his head to one side slightly and he stared for a moment at nothing in particular.
"Are you all right?" Tumnus shook himself from his thoughts and he blinked for a moment before he turned back to Lucy.
"Did I tell you about the White Witch?" he asked softly.
"You mentioned her." Tumnus nodded absently, and his fingers stroked his small beard a bit.
"When she first came to Narnia, she had no followers of her own. No one in Narnia took notice of her at first, because she did nothing at the start. But the witch was a patient one.
"Day after day she would go out to a few of the people of Narnia and she spoke to them in this serene and calming voice of hers."
"What did she say?" Lucy asked.
"It's not what she said, Lucy." Tumnus said. "It's what she asked."
"Yes." Tumnus nodded.
"What would she ask?"
"We used to have a saying here in Narnia; 'May Aslan keep you'. It was a way of greeting here and when someone would say it to her she would ask who Aslan was and they would tell her."
"Who is Aslan?"
"Exactly, and then…"
"No, I really would like to know who Aslan is."
"Oh." Tumnus paused for a moment and he stroked his beard once more. "Well Aslan is the lion who made this world. Back when he made Talking Beasts and the jackdaw was the first joke. The lamppost that we first met at was also planted on that day as well if I remember my lessons right."
"A lion made Narnia?"
"Not just any lion, Lucy. The son of an Emperor."
"After she was told who Aslan was, she would ask more questions about him. Her last question would always be if they had ever seen Aslan."
"Had they ever seen him, Mr. Tumnus?"
"No one has seen Aslan for a long time, Lucy." Tumnus sighed softly. "When they told her this she would ask how they could believe in him if they had never seen him. She said it was ridiculous to believe in a lion making the world. She would push and push and then…"
"What?" Tumnus looked at Lucy sadly.
"Some of us stopped believing in Aslan, and she got her followers and control of Narnia."
"Mr. Tumnus?" Lucy had seen the tears starting to build in his eyes and before she could stop him he burst into tears. "Oh Mr. Tumnus…" Getting out of her chair she hugged him tightly around the shoulders, resting her cheek against his.
"I'm a bad Faun! I don't suppose there ever was a worse Faun since the beginning of the world." Tumnus wept. "I doubted Aslan and then stopped believing in him altogether!" For a few minutes they stayed like that until Tumnus finally calmed himself and merely sniffled on occasion.
"Are you all right now, Mr. Tumnus?" Lucy asked gently.
"Don't let your brothers and sister make the same mistake I did, Lucy." Tumnus said. "Just because you cannot see something, it does not mean it's not true. Make them believe in Narnia, Lucy. For their sakes and ours."
"I will, Mr. Tumnus." Lucy promised, wondering why he had said 'our sakes'. With a final sniff Tumnus stood up and he rested his hands on her shoulders.
"I think that perhaps it is time for you to go home, Lucy." He said with a faint smile. "I hope to see you soon."
"Me too." Lucy said with a smile and she gave him a kiss on the cheek and left, waving good-bye.
Tumnus stood in the doorway of his cave, leaning to one side with his arms crossed. He watched Lucy until she was gone and he then sighed, shaking his head a bit. He was glad that a doubter like him could be forgiven by Lucy, but what of Aslan?
A Week or so Later:
Tumnus was terrified.
When Aslan had breathed life into him, Tumnus had been so happy to see Lucy again. The two had danced in a little circle, laughing happily until Aslan rested a giant paw on his shoulder.
"Come with me, Son of Forest." He said.
"Oh don't be hard on him, Aslan!" Lucy said, feeling Tumnus' trembling hands.
"Peace, Daughter of Eve." Aslan said. "I shall act as need be."
Now Tumnus was walking beside the great lion, wringing an end of his red scarf in worry and trepidation. He had doubted in the existence of Aslan and now what was going to happen to him? Was he going to be gobbled up? Or perhaps torn asunder by Aslan's great claws? Or worse, what if he was forbidden to ever see Lucy again?
Aslan stopped and he turned to look at Tumnus. Tumnus stood looking away from him, his head lowered in shame as he trembled and continued to play with the end of his scarf.
"Child, why do you not look at me?" Aslan asked.
"I'm afraid to, Aslan." Tumnus admitted softly.
"Because I doubted you, Aslan." Tumnus said weakly. "I thought you didn't exist and I worked for the White Witch and almost gave Lucy to her."
"Look at me." For a moment more Tumnus did not look, but he finally forced himself to. Aslan sat down and he held out his paw pad side up to Tumnus.
"At your feet there lies a thorn. Prick the center of my paw with it."
"Yes." Tumnus paused and he then picked up the thorn. He pierced Aslan's paw and tears fell from his eyes at how red Aslan's blood was. It was redder than his scarf and when a drop fell to the ground, he wanted to catch it to stop it from hitting the stone floor.
"Touch my wound, Son of Forest." Tumnus looked up in surprise at the request and for a moment he wanted to ask why when he stopped himself.
Slowly Tumnus reached out with both hands and he touched the wound. The blood on his fingertips was warmer than blood should be, and the warmth seemed to spread over his entire body. Tears of joy fell down his cheeks and he looked up at Aslan.
"Do not doubt me anymore, Son of Forest. I am real." Aslan said gently. "Believe in me."
"I believe, Aslan." Tumnus whispered. Aslan lowered his paw and leaned down, giving Tumnus a lion kiss on his brow.
"Come now, there is still much to do." Aslan said, starting to walk away.
"What about my hands?" Tumnus asked.
"What of them?
Looking down at his hands, Tumnus was amazed to see that Aslan's blood was gone from his hands. However, his scarf was now a brighter shade of red and he could only look at Aslan in wonder before he burst into laughter and ran after him.
Seeing that Tumnus was not harmed, Lucy clapped her hands and threw herself into his arms as he spun her around.
Thus was the doubting Tumnus given his proof by touching the wound of Aslan.