Basically, this story is a Dawn Treader rewrite, Susan included.
Hope you enjoy it, &thanks for reading!
"This is quite possibly going to be the worst summer of my whole entire bitter existence."
Susan rolled over on her bed in the room that she shared with her sister Lucy in their dreadful cousin Eustace's house so that she was looking up at the ceiling. The two girls and their brother Edmund were subject to spend their whole summer there while Peter was continuing his studies with Professor Kirke and their parents were in America for Mr. Pevensie's work. She stared up at a picture that hung on the wall. The painting had a ship sailing in the rolling open sea, and it seemed, at least to Susan, and to her siblings as well, as though it had much more life and personality than any other painting they had ever seen before. She felt as though it actually breathed.
"It's dreadful luck that we all couldn't go to America with mum and dad," Edmund said.
"Too bad plane tickets were ghastly expensive and we ended up getting stuck here," Susan said miserably.
"Anything would be better than being stuck in this old coup."
"I do wish we could go back to Narnia," Lucy willed.
"That would help greatly," Edmund agreed.
"But you heard Aslan, I can't go back to—" Susan began.
"Where the blazes is Narnia?" an annoying voice interjected.
"Ugh…Eustace," the girls sighed in unison.
"It must be the most ghastly place ever, if you lot seem to enjoy it." Their cousin Eustace entered the room, and Susan could have sworn that the temperature dropped a couple degrees. The whole mood of the room became even more glum and miserable than it already was, for Eustace was quite a sour soul.
"Just ignore the idiot," Edmund said loudly. "Maybe he'll get the hint that we hate him and he'll go away."
But Eustace did not get the hint that he was not liked, or if he did he ignored it, and he thus remained and continued to annoy his poor cousins.
"Do you like that painting on the wall?" he asked as he saw Lucy looking at it. "The one of the ship?"
"Don't get him started on art and all…" Edmund began, but he was too late, for Lucy began to answer.
"Yes, I do. It's a very nice painting," Lucy said.
"It's a horrible picture."
"Well, then, you won't see it if you step outside," Susan jeered.
"Why do you like it?" Eustace continued, ignoring Susan.
"It feels as though it's alive," Lucy answered. "The ship looks like it really is moving, and the water looks as though it really is wet. Even the people look like they are real. I do believe the picture is very much alive."
Eustace opened his mouth to make some sort of nasty remark to his young cousin's answer, but he did not, for in that very moment that he looked at the painting on the wall, it seemed as though the ship really was moving. And then, all of them were certain of it now, the things in the painting were moving. The colors were real and the images sharp, as though they were no longer painted on a canvas but a real ship sailing on the real sea. A wave crashed on the deck of the ship and all four of the children could feel its spray upon their faces. Susan, Edmund, and Lucy smiled; Eustace felt seasick. Then came the smell of the sea, salty and fresh. They knew now that this was so much more than just a painting.
"Blast it all!" Eustace cried as a cold wave slapped the children across the face and left them rather breathless. "I'll break the thing!"
He was then flying at the painting.
"Stop it!" Edmund yelled, pulling his cousin back by his collar.
"Edmund, don't hurt him!" Susan cried, grabbing Edmund by the shoulder.
"Susan!" Lucy called with surprise, grabbing her sister's hand.
And then, either the children became much smaller or the painting became much larger, for they found themselves inside of it. All four of them fell into the cold sea together, very near to the large, teetering ship. Luckily, all of them could swim, Susan being excellent in the water and Lucy a recently learned swimmer.
A white figure dove from the ship into the sea and a rope was tossed in after it. Susan, Edmund, and Lucy found their way to the rope and began to scale the ship as the rope was lifted, and the diver who had rescued Eustace soon joined them. Eustace had begun to panic, thus making him swim poorly and being to drown, due to the fact that he was a sheltered boy who had never been on such great adventures like the Pevensies had.
All five of them stumbled on board of the ship, Lucy coughing up some water, Edmund brushing off his clothes, Susan wringing out her hair, Eustace trying to catch his breath, and the tall white figure standing and looking rather smug with himself.
"Caspian!" exclaimed Lucy. For the figure was, in fact, none other than King Caspian X himself.
"Hello, dear one," he said, kneeling to embrace Lucy.
Edmund then walked over to him, and the two shared a handshake that turned into a hug.
"Jolly good to see you again, mate," Edmund smiled.
"I'm glad that you have returned."
"How long has it been since we've left?"
"How's it been?"
"Everything is perfect, which is why I'm at sea, of course. I wouldn't have left if it had been otherwise. Trumpkin and Trufflehunter are back at Cair Paravel ruling in my stead while I am gone."
Caspian's eyes then wondered from Edmunds face to his left. He saw a pale figure standing there, its skin radiating beauty. It stood uncomfortably towards the starboard side of the ship, the side that the company had boarded from. Caspian reckoned that it had been standing there ever since, quite unnoticed and out of the way from observation, by choice rather than chance. Blue eyes looked upon him shyly as he gawked at them in utter astonishment and shock.
"Hello," Susan said sheepishly.
"Hello," Caspian said to her. He walked over to her and placed his hands on her shoulders. "Is this a dream?" he asked softly.
"I'm afraid not," Susan smiled back.
"Right, then," Caspian said, removing his hands from her shoulders.
"Excuse me," an annoying voice spoke up, "but is there any way that I can go back? I don't want to be on this beastly voyage, and I especially don't want to be stuck here with them," Eustace said, pointing at his cousins.
"Let you go back?" Caspian answered. "Well, I suppose you can give it a go, if you're willing to go back into the sea in the hopes of getting there."
Eustace became rather quiet and uncomfortable. He was bitter and angry as he realized that there was no certain way back to his home. He then turned away from the company and was taken by surprise, for he saw a rather curious creature that had emerged from below the deck slowly approaching them. It was a mouse, one that stood on its hind legs, and it was much larger than any mouse that the sheltered Eustace had ever seen before. It was about two feet tall. A thin gold band was around his ear, and in it was stuck a long crimson feather. His left paw rested on the hilt of a sword, or rather, a small knife that was the proportion of a sword to a mouse. His manners and walk were very courtly, for the mouse was Reepicheep, the most valiant of all the mice in Narnia, and perhaps the most valiant Talking Beast. He put his left foot forward and swept into a deep bow to the Pevensies.
"What on earth is that?" Eustace cried in disgust. "Ugh, get it away! I hate mice! And I never could bear performing animals. They're silly, and vulgar, and – ugh!"
"Am I to understand," a small, somewhat squeaky but very confident voice began, "that this singularly discourteous person is under the protection of Your Majesties? Because if not—"
Rather timely, Susan and Lucy both sneezed, and Edmund coughed.
"How foolish of me!" Caspian suddenly exclaimed. "All this time I've kept you all standing here, wet and shivering! Aye, Rynelf! Would you be so kind as to get some spiced wine for Their Majesties?"
Rynelf soon returned with steaming spiced wine, and when the children drank, they could feel the drink's warmth spreading to their toes. Eustace, however, spat the stuff back out, finding it rather distasteful and demanding to be dropped of at the very next bit of land that they came across.
"What a merry shipmate you've brought us," Caspian whispered to Edmund with a chuckle.
"You should listen to him," Edmund replied solemnly. "The sooner we're rid of his company, the better."
Lucy, then, having drained her flagon of the spiced wine, began to shiver, and the sound of her clattering teeth drew Caspian's attention.
"Come on below, you lot," he addressed them all, "and we shall get some fresh and dry clothes. I'm afraid there are no women's clothes on board, Queens Susan and Lucy, so you'll have to make do with some of mine."
They were lead below by Rynelf. Caspian brought up the rear and Susan was in front of him. He placed his hand on her back as they went below.
"I thought you weren't coming back," he whispered so that only she could hear.
"So did I," she responded.
And she was quite vexed that she would never return to Narnia again. For a year ago, when the Pevensies had returned to Narnia and met Caspian for the first time, Susan and her brother Peter were told by Aslan that they would not be able to come back to again. Susan had seen such a talk coming, for they were getting a bit old, but this had not made the news any better or easier to take. She sat alone in her room back in England for many a night, sobbing over the fact that she would never return to the beautiful land of Narnia, and she cried especially hard when she thought of Caspian, for she had grown to love him very much. She had nearly moved on from Narnia when she was swept into the land once more by a picture frame. She did not understand by what circumstances she found herself in Narnia, but there she was.
The company then approached a door with a flat gold image of Aslan on it. Caspian brushed past the crowd and opened it.
"This will be your room while you're here, Susan," Caspian said. He rummaged through his things to find some clothes. "Here, wear these," he said, tossing a pair of his pants and a shirt to her. "If you leave you're clothes outside the door, I'll see that they're taken to the galley to dry."
"Thank you," Susan smiled.
"I'll leave you to change, then," Caspian said, and he was heading towards the door. At the last second her turned to face Susan once more. "Susan?"
"Yes?" she quickly responded.
"I'm glad you're back."
Susan smiled. "So am I."
Caspian left, and Susan dressed into his warm, dry clothes. She took in the beauty of the chambers and reckoned that they belonged to none other than Caspian himself. There were three square windows that look at the swirling blue water astern, and low, cushioned benches around three sides of a table. An exquisite, detailed lamp of silver, which was obviously dwarf made, hung overhead. The bed across from the table was large and plush, furnished with large pillows and blankets of crimson and gold.
When she had finished dressing, Susan walked over to the middle window and watched the water rushing past the ship and took a deep, long breath. She felt quite certain that she was in for a lovely time.