AN: This is my companion fic to my other fanfiction, "Susan's Secret" It's a cross over with Narnia...obivously. I hope you like it.
Emma Gilbert swam in a blur passed Rikki Chadwick on their way to Mako Island. It was one of their rare midnight swims.
They'd invited their friend and fellow mermaid Cleo Sertori but she hadn't come. She was at home with her father and Kim watching old re-runs of some dumb programme that she didn't actually like but had to watch because of what her father called, "Family time"
"No fair!" Rikki said as she came to the surface of the water. "You got a head start."
"Did not." Emma insisted. "I'm just faster than you are." She gave her a smug smile. "Deal with it."
Rikki splashed her.
"Hey!" Emma splashed back, using her tail to get more force.
Rikki suddenly stopped. She had a strong feeling that someone was watching them. "Cleo?"
Emma looked behind them and saw a fish tail speeding away from them. Maybe Cleo had come after all. "Hey, wait up!" She called.
She was headed for the moon pool.
"She must want to race." Rikki laughed going into full speed in the water.
When they arrived at the moon pool they cornered the tip of the mermaid's tail.
"Seeing how long you can stay under, Cleo?" Rikki asked.
The mermaid surfaced. It wasn't Cleo. Her skin was far whiter than Cleo's and her hair a shade darker. She looked a little like Gracie but not quite. After all Gracie was dead. And this mermaid's face was very different from Gracie although they shared some similarities. Her eyes were open wide. She looked about twenty or so.
"Who are you?" Emma asked. So there were other mermaids after all. She's assumed that other than Charlotte who was not a mermaid any longer anyway, they'd been the only ones.
The mermaid managed a smile. "My name is Susan." She had a British accent.
"Were you always a mermaid?" Rikki asked point blank.
"Were you?" Susan teased. Then she laughed a little. "No, I came into this pool just like you, not knowing what was going to happen. I only wanted to get my little sister and I out of the cave."
"How long have you been a mermaid?" Emma asked. This was kind of fun talking to another mermaid who wasn't trying to lure them into losing their powers.
"About...I don't know...fifty years?" Susan laughed.
"What?" Rikki and Emma gasped at the same time.
"I know, I don't look old now," Susan explained to the girls. "But it's only because mermaid age differently from humans. When I dry off I'll turn back into an old woman with a terrible cough from being in the water all night."
"That doesn't make Sense." Rikki said doubtfully.
Emma looked very thoughtful. "Wait, yes it does!"
"It does?" Rikki raised an eye brow.
"Do you remember when I dyed my hair red?" Emma said excitedly. "It was only red when I was a mermaid. So we are different as mermaids they we are as humans."
"Is it hard for you girls?" Susan asked. "I know it was hard for me."
"Sometimes it is." Emma admitted.
Susan looked like she was thinking about something. "I have a small vacation house rented for a couple of weeks. Would you girls like to come and visit me?"
"We could bring Miss Chatham." Rikki said. "She's old too."
Susan nodded politely.
"There's actually three of us." Emma said shooting Rikki a glare for being so up-front about Susan being old. "Our friend Cleo is a mermaid too."
"Ah, you can bring her with you then." Susan told them. She started to untangle a knot in her long black hair. "It's so strange having hair that's not gray..."
The next day, Emma, Rikki, and Cleo sat at the juiceNet talking about what had happened.
"I can't believe while I was home watching Margie get dumped by Mike, you actually found out something cool." Cleo sulked.
"I can't believe we might get to be young whenever we take a bath as old people." Rikki said blowing on her hot chocolate.
"She seemed so sad." Emma said softly. "Under all that cheerfulness, it seemed like she was trying not to cry."
"What are you guys talking about?" Lewis asked as he sat down next to them.
Cleo lowered her voice. "Emma and Rikki met another mermaid last night."
Both of his eyebrows shot way up. "Whoa. That's some big news."
"I know." Cleo said. "I can't believe I missed it."
Emma started to get up. "Well I think we should go visit her this afternoon."
"Good idea." Rikki turned to Cleo. "Can you invite Miss Chatham?"
"Sure." Cleo fiddled with her locket as she spoke.
"Can I come too?" Lewis practically begged.
"I don't think that's a good idea Lewis." Emma said. "I have a feeling she's a tad...skittish."
Rikki let out a snort. "Yeah right."
"Rikki!" Emma frowned at her.
"What?" Rikki rolled her eyes.
Lewis put his hands together like he was about to say prayer. "Please guys? Look, this could have a big impact on my research. She could know things that would help."
"Alright..." Emma gave in. "But don't bombard her with questions okay?"
"But didn't you guys sort of do that last night?" Cleo stuck up for him.
"You just go call Miss Chatham." Emma told her.
The house was old and weather beaten. Not the sort of house rich people vacationed in. Susan must be fairly poor. It was the cheapest house on the block and the paint was pealing off of it. A shingle or two was missing as well.
Emma rang the bell.
"Just a second." There was the sound of a person coming to the door. It Susan but not as they had seen her last night but as an old lady with a wrinkled face. Her eyes were still the same but that was about it. Everything else had changed. Her nose had a bump on it now and the duck waddle way of walking she had was nothing like the graceful swimmer they'd seen only the night before.
"You are old!" Rikki exclaimed as though surprised.
Susan chuckled. "I suppose I am. But I did warn you." She turned to Cleo. "You must be the absent mermaid from last night." Then she noticed Lewis. "And you are?"
"Lewis, ma'am." He managed he was caught off guard the girls had forgotten to tell him that she would be old.
"He knows?" Susan asked.
"He knows." The girls answered.
"I'm Louise." Miss Chatham introduced herself. "I was a mermaid once myself, But I gave it all up."
"I didn't have the chance to." Susan sounded a tad bitter but then it passed as she let them inside.
In the hallway a few pictures had been set up. There were about three of them. All in plain looking wire frames. They were all in black and white.
One was of four children standing together. Two girls and two boys. The older girl's face looked a lot like the Mermaid's face that they'd seen last night only even younger.
"Is this you?" Emma asked pointing to the picture.
"Yes it is." Susan told them.
"Who are the people with you?" Cleo asked.
"My siblings." Susan sighed. "My little Lucy, My darling Edmund, and..." She paused for a moment. "My lovely Peter."
"Do you talk to them often?" Lewis asked. "Do they know you're a mermaid? did you ever use your powers on them? are you from England?"
Louise shot him an angry look and Emma elbowed him.
"They died in a railway crash in the year 1949." Susan said gravely. "I'd rather not talk about it if it's all the same to you."
"Sure." Cleo said kindly.
The next picture was of her parents who had apparently also died. The last was of Susan and the boy she'd called Peter standing together. He had his arms wrapped around her and she was smiling.
"Is there any reason you wanted to meet us here today?" Cleo asked
"An old woman can't simply want some company?" She asked. Then there was a whistling sound. "Ah, the tea is ready." Susan waddled into the kitchen and came out with some cups and the kettle. "Tea anyone?"
Everyone took a mug and sipped it as they sat on the old slightly torn couch that had come with the house.
"How long will you be here?" Emma asked.
"I don't know." Susan sighed. "Perhaps a while. I don't care for London now...it's so fast paced and I simply can't keep up anymore."
"Oh." No one said anything now. No one knew what to say to that. The poor old woman with the dead family was obviously at lost for words too.
"So was the boy in the photo your boyfriend?" Rikki asked.
Emma slapped her forehead.
"It couldn't be it's one of her brothers." Lewis reminded them.
"I've never seen a brother and sister be that chummy before." Rikki pointed out.
"He was adopted and we did have a brief boyfriend girlfriend relationship." Susan said quickly. "now why don't we talk about something else?"
Lewis opened his mouth to ask question about her being a mermaid and full moons and what powers she had and when but all three girls and Miss Chatham's glare shut him up before he said anything.
Later that day, Lewis was talking with Max Hamilton on the beach.
"Another mermaid eh?" Max asked sounding surprised. "I didn't know about a fourth. I dare say I would've made her a locket too for Gracie's sake."
"She's from England." Lewis explained. "I can only guess she came to Mako as a tourist or something years ago."
"Poor girl." Max sighed. If she went though anything like what his Gracie went through, he pitied her.
"I know, her whole family died in a railway crash." Lewis told him.
"Oh my." Max thought he'd hadn't felt so much pity for someone in a long time. The last time he'd taken pity on someone hadn't gone well. He'd told Charlotte everything about her grandmother and that had failed. And after than he'd promised himself he would think twice before jumping on the pity train ever again. But he couldn't help but feel sorry for this poor mermaid. She didn't even have the comfort of two other mermaids to lean on.
"I wanted to ask her about her powers but I didn't get a chance." Lewis said.
"Well don't push it." Max advised him. "Let her tell you what she wants when she's ready. It's the best way." He smiled a little. "It always did work with Gracie, god bless her."
AN: Review! Review! Review!