A/N: Today is my twentieth birthday, and so this story came to be. Because my birthday's in June, I gave Lucy a summer birthday too, which seems quite appropriate for her.
Presents for the Queen
Twenty years old.
Lucy still had a difficult time believing that she had turned twenty years old. She could not escape the fact that now she was a young woman, as horrifying as that notion sometimes seemed. If she was truly honest with herself, the youngest monarch of Narnia would admit to a wish that she could remain a girl forever.
Queen Lucy's twentieth birthday celebrations were coming to a close. The festivities had lasted an entire week, with games and dancing, jousting and competitions, and had culminated in a sumptuous feast in Cair Paravel. The meal had ended, the birthday cake had been cut, and the dancing had begun.
Lucy had only just managed to get away to have some time alone, and she stood on the quiet balcony enjoying the cool night air. In the palace hall, lively music played merrily for the laughing couples. The feast had been cleared away, and on four enormous tables her presents were piled high.
So many presents!
Queen or not, Lucy was still not accustomed to being given such a great number of fine things. Several princes had sent her gifts of rich jewels and lavish gowns. Some had even sent her portraits of themselves in frames of tooled gold. Lucy was inclined to laugh at the implications of the portraits, although Susan smiled in a knowing way and Lucy's brothers narrowed their eyes suspiciously. The riches showered upon her by the princes would go into the Narnian treasury, although Susan advised that Lucy keep a few of the nicer gowns.
Still more gifts had come pouring in from the Narnians themselves. Lucy had been given countless hand-embroidered tablecloths, jars of homemade jelly, enormous cakes and loafs of bread, baskets overflowing with summer fruit, and beautifully-carved wooden figurines. Looking at this pile of rustic gifts made Lucy feel very warm inside, for they were signs of honest friendship and generous love from her people. These presents would be distributed to the poor of Narnia; Lucy was sure that her subjects wouldn't mind her giving these items to those in poverty.
Lucy's favourite presents had been the ones from her siblings. Edmund, who was cunning with his hands, had fashioned a chessboard and pieces. Half of the chessmen were fashioned from white ivory, and the other half were of polished stone. Lucy could see all of the clever details he had put in, such as the tiny crowns on the Kings and Queens, and the little eyes and ears carved on the Knights. Edmund had been teaching her to play chess, and now she had a chess set all her own.
The young queen had been expecting another gown from Susan, or perhaps a vial of Calormene perfume, so she had been pleasantly surprised when her sister gifted her with a pair of boots. They were fashioned out of blue felt lined with soft white fur, and were wonderfully warm. "For those ridiculous snowball dances you insist on attending", Susan had said affectionately. "This way you won't come back with your feet soaked through." Lucy had thanked her fervently, and had refrained from pointing out that it was actually called the "Great Snow Dance".
Peter had not given her a wrapped present, but instead had blindfolded her and led her out of the castle onto the grassy lawn. When he'd taken away the blindfold, Lucy had squealed with delight. In front of her had stood a groom holding the bridle of the prettiest horse Lucy had ever seen. Its coat was glossy chestnut brown, its eyes were large and bright, and its proudly-arched neck was covered by a long silky mane. She had loved it at once.
Lucy leaned against the railing of the balcony and sighed with contentment. She was glad that the festivities were nearly over, so that she could go back to her regular duties as Queen of Narnia. Royal birthdays seemed to be such silly things, with ambassadors coming from all across the land to attend and win honours at the competitions. Although Susan seemed to enjoy these celebrations during her own birthdays, Lucy would have been quite content with a private little party consisting of family and friends.
The sudden tapping of approaching hooves brought her out of her thoughts.
Lucy whirled around and her gave a bright smile. "Mr. Tumnus!" she cried happily. She would have taken the Faun's hands, but he was clutching a lumpy parcel tied neatly with string.
"Good evening, Queen Lucy", her old friend replied, beaming.
Lucy could not help but laugh at his greeting. "It is not evening anymore, Mr. Tumnus", she pointed out cheerfully. "The sun has been down for an hour or two." She cocked her head to the side and eyed the package. "Is that for me?"
"Do you know another young lady whose birthday is today?" Tumnus teased, and awkwardly held out the package for her.
Lucy carefully untied the string and lifted away the sheets of crinkly green paper.
Something soft fell into her hands, and she held it up:
It was a scarf.
"Mr. Tumnus!" Lucy gasped in surprise. "Did you make this all by yourself?"
It was a rather silly question, really. For starters, the scarf wasn't the proper shape. One end was noticeably larger than the other, as if the Faun had lost some of his stitches while knitting it. Also, it seemed that Tumnus had attempted to knit a pattern of yellow flowers along the edges, but some of those misshapen flowers could be easily mistaken for stars, clouds, or butterflies.
"I– I made it out of red wool", the Faun stuttered, blushing furiously. "Like my own scarf. The pattern did not really turn out the way I wanted it to, because the flowers kept on turning out wrong, and–"
Lucy placed her hand on the Faun's arm, and he stopped his babbling.
"Mr. Tumnus", the young queen said sincerely, "This is the best present that anybody has ever given me." Without more ado, she draped the scarf about her neck, throwing one end jauntily over her shoulder. She then grabbed the startled Faun by the hand. "Let's dance!"
"What!" Mr. Tumnus exclaimed, utterly flabbergasted. "You – you're going to go out there wearing that thing? In front of everybody?"
"Of course!" Lucy made her eyes as wide and adorable as she possibly could. "It is my twentieth birthday, Mr. Tumnus, and I can do what I please. Come on!"
And before the faun could say another word, Lucy had dragged him from the balcony, and back into the music-filled hall of Cair Paravel.
A/N: Now that's how I would like to spend my birthday, dancing with Mr. Tumnus! Thank you so much for reading. Reviews, as always, would be lovely.