Five Stages of Grief
Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance: What the Pevensie's feel when they fell out of the wardrobe.
Disclaimer: Do not own anything.
AN: This is my first try at writing Narnia fanfiction. I value any feedback that can make me a better writer. Read, enjoy and review!
I am re-posting this since wonderful Elecktrum volunteered to beta read this for me. So thank you very much Elecktrum!
'No, no, no, no, no!' was all she could think.
This wasn't happening.
Soon she would wake up in her bed in Cair Paravel and this would all be a bad dream to laugh about at breakfast.
She looked down at her hands. They were so small. She didn't remember them being so small. Her jewelry was gone, her favorite ring that the blacksmiths had made for her when she turned eighteen and the necklace Edmund gave her on her first birthday as a queen - they'd all vanished. The ring wouldn't fit on her small hands now, she mused. But this was just a dream; she would wake up in her big, lovely bed with her precious jewelry on her. Because this couldn't be happening. How could she suddenly be in her nine- year old body when she's twenty- five? Surely that would be evidence enough that logically this wasn't happening.
She laughed, looked around and found her siblings in the same shocked state as herself. The wardrobe door stood agape behind her and she vaguely remembers the time when she stepped through it and found the lamp post in Lantern waste, when she had first met Mr. Tumnus.
'Tomorrow I will tell Mr. Tumnus all about my strange dream,' Lucy thought to herself.
That had been years ago, and she hadn't thought about the world on the other side of the wardrobe in such a long time. Now everything came rushing back to her. The war, their mother sending them out to the countryside so they would be safe, all of the memories she had forgotten while being queen came back to her.
She sat there on the floor in the spare room and wished it all to go away. She didn't want to remember, she didn't want to have all these memories back again. She didn't belong here anymore. She belonged in Narnia, that was her country and that was her home, not this cold, lifeless world where people shot each other.
She got up from the floor and turned around and went into the wardrobe again, surely she could just walk right in again. But all she found was the back of the wardrobe, a wall behind all the fur coats like a normal wardrobe should have. The doorway to Narnia was closed. That was when the tears came. Was this real? Was she stuck here as a nine- year old again? Did she have to live through another life here? No, she couldn't believe it, she wouldn't believe it.
Hours went by or maybe just a couple of minutes, who was she to judge time? There she sat under the fur coats, with Edmund by her side, in her nine- year old body. Who was she to judge time when she knew she should be twenty- five. She followed her siblings when they moved out of the room; none of them had spoken a word. She would go to bed and then she would simply wake up in her room in Cair Paravel- she had to.
'How could he do this to me?' she thought angrily.
It had turned out not to be a dream. She had actually gone through the wardrobe again and ended up as fourteen, again. What happened?
They had all gone out hunting for the White Stag and then they had found the lamp post. She remembered that she had been the only one that hadn't wanted to go on. 'If they'd only listened to me,' Susan thought, 'none of this would have happened.' She laughed at that thought. 'Of course it would have happened. The only reason they had gotten in to Narnia in the first place was because Aslan wanted them there, and the reason they left was because he threw them out. We did what he wanted us to do and then he sent us home without asking us if we wanted too,' she thought bitterly
After the shock had worn of Susan thought desperately that this must be a dream but thenher common sense asserted itself once again and started to tell her why logically this wasn't a dream.
Oh, how she wished at that moment that she didn't have to look at everything logically.
She had moved beyond denial and she was angry. She was angry at Aslan. He was the only one who could have done this to them, but why? Why did he send them back as children, why did she now have to be a twenty- seven- year old in a body of a fourteen- year old girl? She hated how her hair was so short, her body wasn't long enough and how the clothes were scratchy and too tight. Everything about this world was wrong. She hated it. All she wanted to do was to take a ride on her darling horse; all she wanted to do was to dance in the great hall.
She missed her long soft dresses that fit her perfectly; she missed the weight of her crown. But most of all she missed the smells, and the feel of the wind. She missed her country. England wasn't her country anymore, she belonged in Narnia.
She remembered when she didn't want to be in Narnia, when there had been a war, and every creature in this strange new world had looked to them for leadership. How glad she was that her siblings hadn't listened to her then. She had led a wonderful life, living every little girls dream: she had been queen. She had gotten a whole nation to look after, a whole country to care for. She had finally found her place, and now Aslan had taken it away from her.
She was so angry she wanted to scream. She wanted to ruin every piece of furniture, because every chair and sofa was proof that she wasn't where she wanted to be.
'Please don't let this be true,' he almost yelled when he hit the rough wooden floor.
He felt it the second they fell. His body changed. Suddenly he wasn't a tall man, but a very short boy instead.
He went through the denial stage quite quickly; he felt it to the core that this was real. He could only lie on the floor beside is immobile brother. He didn't have the energy to move. It was all too much for him.
Then the anger flared up in him. He ran into the wardrobe after Lucy and kept banging the wall, the wall that shouldn't be there. They had to go back. What would happen to their country? Who would run it in their stead? His thoughts went to their subjects. What would they think when they found out that they were gone?
'Please Aslan, let us go back. I'll never snap at Lucy again, and I'll never argue with Susan over all the banquets she insists on having. I'll never be late for sword practice in the morning and I'll never do stupid things again. Just please, let us go back.'
It was like a mantra in his head, going over and over again, while silent tears ran down his cheeks. He sat under the coats, back against the wall, and with a crying Lucy by his side. 'Please, can't you see how much this is hurting us?'
His new, or old, body felt strange. It took him an extra second to figure out how to move his limbs. Already he missed his adult height. He had been a tall man, almost taller than Peter. But where Peter was burly and full of muscles, he had been lean and thin.
'Complete opposites' Oreius used to say. 'The way you fight, move and talk, complete opposites, but there is something in both of you that leaves no questions that you are brothers.' How he missed his old teacher and general. They hadn't been gone that long, but the wall against his back created a void so vast between him and his friends and subjects in Narnia.
'Aslan please' he whispered. 'Please, please, please.'
He already missed the fresh Narnian air, the soft grass, the clear water. He missed it so much it hurt. He missed the weight of his sword at his hips and his crown on his head.
They had to go back, they needed to go back. He kept pleading with Aslan, the mantra going faster: 'I'll never be late for etiquette class, I'll never fight with Peter, and I'll be pleasant and polite to Susan's suitors and not kick their arse for thinking they where good enough for my sister.'
In Narnia he had found his place. Who was he know, when he wasn't there anymore?
He just laid there, on the floor, in his new, or old, boy body. He mustered up the effort to wiggle his fingers, his small childlike fingers. His skin was smooth, as if all the years of hard work had been swept of his body. But not his mind, his mind would never forget, but right now he wished he could.
Why had this happened? Had they done anything wrong? It had to be a reason for why he was here in a fifteen- year old body and not his thirty- years old form. They had been there for fifteen wonderful years, had Aslan planned it that way all along? Why? He couldn't understand why. Why were they back now?
Had they done something wrong, was there something they had missed? He thought back on all the battles he had fought, the particularly hard one against the giants. He thought of all the trips they had made, peace treaties they had managed to make. He thought of the fiasco with Prince Rabadash and Calormen.
He heard rather than saw his youngest sister run back into the wardrobe, and for a second he felt hope well up inside him, they would just walk back in. It only lasted a second, and then he heard Lucy's disappointed cry. Then he heard Edmund follow her, and his brother kept hitting the wall. He knew he should get up and stop Edmund, he knew he should go in there and comfort his youngest siblings, but he just couldn't muster up the strength to do so. He knew they would all look to him when they all were out of shock. But he was still in shock himself.
Would they forget? That was his biggest fear. He feared that they would forget about Narnia like they had forgotten about England.
'No, I can't forget, we can't forget,' he said to himself before despair caught him again. 'What's the point? We can't be there and live there; maybe everything would be better if we just forgot about it.'
He knew he wouldn't forget. Being king of Narnia defined his very being, being king was all he was, all he knew, and that wouldn't change. He remembered what Aslan had said: once king or queen of Narnia, always king or queen of Narnia.
He knew that in sometime he would recover, just not right now. Right now, he was sad and probably still in shock. They were in England now. They were children in English clothes. Gone was his tunic and sword and instead he lay on the floor in his too tight English clothes.
They really weren't at home anymore. They were stuck here in this strange but yet familiar land. The air was different. This wasn't his country and this wasn't his home.
What would they do?
Acceptance: (All four)
It had taken them some time. They sat in that room for hours, before the Professor found them. They told him about it. All of it, how Lucy had been right and they had walked into the wardrobe, and the adventure that waited for them there.
The professor advised them not to talk about it, advice they disregarded. They couldn't not talk about it, all they had now was their memories.
It took them some time; they spent days in silence, days not talking to each other, just sitting in the same room, drawing support from each other. They knew that as long as they were together they would be able to overcome this. It would just take time. Lucy was the first to break the silence:
"Do you remember when I cam running and told you about the wardrobe?" she asked quietly.
"Yes," Susan answered.
"Remember how beastly I used to be?" Edmund said in a disgusted voice.
"Ed, you're not that way now," Peter told him.
"That was three days ago," Lucy said suddenly. They all looked around amazed. Fifteen years had gone by in Narnia, while it hadn't meant a minute in England.
"Will it always be this hard?" Susan wondered.
"No, soon it will be our most treasured memories." Edmund said with certainty. He looked at his siblings. "I know we'll get through this, it doesn't matter that we aren't in Narnia. We are still us and there must be a reason that Aslan sent us back. Maybe there is something we have to do here, too." He started to smile.
"I for one will never turn back to the way I was. I've learned so much in Narnia that I think have made me a much better person," he said.
"Yes, we must never forget," Peter said quietly. He looked at his siblings before taking a deep breath and told them his fears. "I'm afraid of forgetting Narnia like we forgot England."
"That would never happen," Lucy said with so much conviction in her voice that she made the others smile.
"No?" Peter said with a smile.
"No," Lucy answered, "we'll never forget Aslan."
"No, we'll never forget Aslan," Susan echoed. "Am I the only one that feels that this isn't our country anymore?"
"No I feel the same; Narnia will always be our country…" Edmund trailed of.
"And our home?" Susan said in a whisper.
Lucy looked at her sister and smiled. She thought of Narnia and Aslan, all the friends they had left behind. All the sorrow that would probably hunt them forever, but she though- they would be fine.
"No Susan, your home is where your family is. I know for sure that my home is where you are. As long as Aslan is with me, and I know He'll always be, I don't care where we are, as long as I am with you," she said softly. She knew this would have been so much worse if she hadn't had her siblings. Susan was her best friend, Peter and Edmund was her protectors. She knew that, at least would never change.
They all smiled at that. It was true. Narnia was their country, Cair Paravel was their house, but their home was where their siblings were.