Author's Note: Well, I hope this isn't your typical post-Last Battle Susan-fic. I never could quite accept the fact that Susan had so thoroughly turned her back on Narnia, and this was something that wouldn't leave me alone. How cliche for my first Narnia fic, isn't it? Oh well, I hope you all enjoy!
Disclaimer: Narnia belongs to CS Lewis and all those other people who have bought the rights to make the movies. I'm making no money from this, and I have no money to give.
I didn't ever forget. Not really. How could someone forget something as wonderful as Narnia? But I couldn't keep it with me like Peter and Edmund and Lucy could. They were too much Narnian to ever truly be away from there. But someone had to keep us grounded. Aslan returned us to England for a reason, even if none of us could see it at the time, and I would continue to do my duty to him as I had always done.
It was easier to pretend after our adventure with Caspian. Knowing I wouldn't be going back stopped me from looking. By then, Narnia wasn't our home any more, either. It had changed, and there was a new king for a new age. I knew my country wasn't in need any longer, that I hadn't truly abandoned my duty, and I could rest easy at night with that knowledge.
Even after Aslan told Lu and Ed they wouldn't be going back, they never stopped looking, though. I guess some part of me will always be jealous of that blind loyalty Lucy held for Aslan, but she had been so young when we first went to Narnia, and the war had never touched her quite the same way it had for Peter and me.
It hurt for me to pretend that it hadn't happened, but remembering would have hurt more. I just wish that the others had understood. The parties were nothing more than a desperate attempt to find myself again, to recreate the wonderful times I had spent in our palace by the Eastern Sea. Even I knew that they were nowhere near the same. I know that there was no place in Finchley for kings and queens, and I know that was why my siblings never could quite return to the lives we once had, so long ago yet only months previously.
After the train accident, I knew they had all gone back. I could feel them calling for me. How could I join them though? How could I abandon the world of our birth like they had? I still had hope for our world, while they had only ever longed to return to Cair Paravel and the wonders of our beloved kingdom. It wasn't until after they were gone that I realized what Aslan's plan had been for us.
Someone had to stay. Someone had to remind others of the hope Narnia offered four frightened children. If Lucy the Valiant, Edmund the Just, and Peter the Magnificent would not fight for that hope, then Susan the Gentle would. Our kingdom could wait in the capable hands of my brothers and sister.
And so I chose the more difficult path, without my family and friends. Aslan taught me the true meaning of sacrifice, once upon a time, and I knew he was always at my side, no matter how alone I felt. Some day, I too would walk in the land of Narnia again with my family, because after all, "once a Queen of Narnia, always a queen."