Title: Carte Blanche
Summary: They would never know what life could have been like... AU LWW.
Notes: A 'what if?' fic, regarding the Pevensies arrival in Narnia. What if they missed that opportunity? What if they had never gone? Probably a couple of chapters long. Movie-verse, except the kids didn't break a window. They were just loitering. And remember – football is what Americans call soccer. :D
Disclaimer: See profile.

Chapter 1

The children looked at the crossroads, aware that a decision had to be made fast, but they were afraid to do so. For each moment they lingered, the steps of the Macready came closer, carrying with them the threat of scolding, beating, being kicked out into the wild... The children had only been running around the house and come across a group of visitors, but the old housekeeper preferred the children to be out of sight. As a result, the children were blowing things out of proportion.
Peter cursed in his head. He hated to take the lead, but it appeared that he had no choice in this situation. Just as he was about to run down one of the corridors, Susan made a decision.

"This way!" she whispered, running in the opposite direction to that which Peter would have taken. He caught up with her and gave her a questioning glance. She smiled slightly.

"That way leads to the wardrobe, and I for one would rather avoid having these two fighting."

Peter smiled in return and nodded. A wise decision. Now that he thought about it, why hadn't he realised that as well? He'd been avoiding that corridor all week.

But it felt right, he thought, turning a corner. Almost as if someone was calling me...

Shaking his head as the children reached the back door, they all ran outside and into the woods surrounding the house. After they were a good way in, the four stopped and collapsed to the floor, panting for breath. The older two siblings weren't so tired, as they were faster runners than either Edmund or Lucy but had kept behind them in order to herd them.
After a few minutes, Peter sat up and grinned.

"Well, I say," the oldest Pevensie said. "That was a fair adventure."

"That was no adventure," Edmund growled. "That was just a stupid excuse to get us to exercise!"

Edmund was not fond of his exercise at school and invented a new ailment each week to avoid his lessons. This never stopped him playing football during breaks, though.

"Honestly, Ed. If you believe that, you're more of a brat than I previously thought," Peter replied, returning the fierce glare the younger boy was sending his way with a look of pity.

"Oh, just bugger off!" Edmund snarled, getting up and running away into the woods. Susan started to rise to her feet, but Peter shook his head.

"Let him be for a while, Su. He won't get hurt, will he?"

"Peter," Lucy said quietly, getting up and sitting next to her brother. She looked around the woods in fear and clutched her brother's arm tightly. "I'm scared."

Susan smiled and moved to sit behind Lucy, pulling her into a hug that Peter quickly joined.

"Not to worry, Lucy. We'll be able to go back into the house soon, I promise."

With that, the three sat in each others' arms, content to remain that way until they could return to the dark halls of the house, all the time unaware of the fourth figure sitting in a tree, sobbing as he watched.

Carte Blanche

To say the children were happy to be returning home was an understatement. While each would miss something about the country house and its strange occupants, they were all relieved to go home to their mother and grandmother, with their father returning from the war a few days later. Lucy was dancing around their luggage, a look of glee on her face as she kept trying to pull Edmund in with her. He couldn't resist the infectious smile, but he could bloody well keep himself from dancing!

A little way off, Peter and Susan were thanking the Professor on behalf of them all (as the younger children had once again forgotten their manners).

"A trivial matter, my dears. I must make some pretense at helping with the war effort, after all."

The two children smiled and started to walk towards their siblings, when Susan suddenly turned around and gave the Professor a hug. He smiled down upon her and patted her head as a father would his child.

"Thank you, my child. Be sure to write."

Susan stepped back and nodded, then ran to her siblings as they were leaving the house. Lucy waved enthusiastically before running to the cart. She simply adored the lovely horse!
The Professor waved back at the empty doorway, a sad smile on his face. The children had taken everything with them, but he felt that there was something left unfinished. As he did in times of confusion, he headed towards his place of solitude. It happened to be the same room in which Lucy had found the wardrobe leading to a land of snow and magical creatures, but the Professor did not know that anyone else had entered.

As he opened the door and saw the sheet on the floor, he gasped.

The wardrobe had been a rich, deep mahogany, beautiful carvings adorning the doors and its sleek walls glistened in the light. The solid, sturdy structure had been admirable and its presence had always filled the room, drawing attention to it, but no more.
Now, the wardrobe looked dull, seeming to drain the room of colour and light. The doors seemed too big for the frame, the carvings faded into the wood and no longer the clear, crisp, inspiring images they had been. It seemed small and insignificant, not to mention cold. The Professor didn't know how he came to the conclusion, but he knew what had caused the drastic change.

They did not go to Narnia.

At that realisation, the old man, a Digory Kirke, fell to the floor and cried.

I know this chapter is pretty short, but I'm just setting the scene! It will get better, I promise. I have many things in store for the Pevensies.