Curdie did not speak for some time after the Queen finished her tale, he simply thought over all she had said.

"Then I'll never see her again?"

"No, Curdie, you will not."

"What if she forgets me?" he asked, worried.

"She will never forget you, Curdie. And you must never forget her. But do not be sad that she is gone. Be happy for her, for she is happy now."

Curdie nodded and looked into the roses. "Goodbye, Lina," he whispered. Then, wiping the tears from his eyes, he stood.

"Thank you, my lady, for burning Lina in your rose fire," he said with a slight smile.

The Queen smiled and nodded. And with that Curdie left, forgetting that he had come to ask her advice. He walked slowly down the stairs, and as if each stair brought a memory, he went down as slow as he could, remembering the times he shared with Lina, how he had not liked her at first, how she had risked her life to save him from many dangers, how she had remained faithful to him through everything, and how beautiful she was despite her ugliness. But she was not ugly now. Curdie thought to himself that he would give anything just to see her one more time, just to see her as she truly was. But he knew that he would not see her again. And yet, it did not seem to bother him so much now. He was happy for his old friend, and he knew that, although he would not see her, he would never forget her.