The Lost Pevensie: Finding Narnia
A Story by UndeniablyMe
A/n: So, up until a few days ago, I had no idea that the Pevensies die in a train crash, and upon finding out that Susan was the only one left, I was sad for her. It's hard to be the only one left behind, and so, I wrote a oneshot detailing how I thought she'd be feeling. This is my first Chronicles of Narnia fanfic, so tell me what you think! :D
P.S. I went through and edited, so it flows a little better and I (hopefully!) caught all the mistakes as well as added a few things so it all makes sense. Enjoy!
The rain left a soft pitter patter sound on her window as the old woman sat, staring at the rain washed window with a carefully constructed blank expression. The calendar clearly displayed the date and the clocked on the wall gleefully struck the hour, but she didn't need any of that to tell her what time it was, what day it was. She knew, without even consciously wanting to know. Today was the day that her world had ended, the moment that her life had been shattered.
Susan sat and stared out the window. Today was the day that her siblings had all died in that tragic train crash over seventy years ago. A dream had come to her the night before, of Lucy and Edmund and Peter in a meadow, waiting her arrival.
"We wait for you dear sister!" Lucy had said, her beautiful eyes sparkling. "Do hurry!"
Susan wanted to run to her, to tell her that she was coming, but her voice did not work and she could not move.
"Don't take to long, Sue," Peter added, turning to look at her with his bright blue eyes. "We miss you."
"Terribly," Edmund added, his dark eyes serious. "Come quickly, Sue. Come quickly!"
"We wait…" Lucy chorused, the beautiful vision fading away into nothing.
Susan closed her eyes, still unable to place the name of where she knew they waited for her. She could hear their voices echoing in her mind and it was going to make her lose control. And yet, she couldn't help but wonder…
How long had they waited? Susan pondered the thought as she stared out the window, the sense of emptiness wavering inside her for a moment. The Golden Age of justice, of gentleness, of valiance, of magnificence seemed so long ago… A time she had almost entirely forgotten. Long had the depressing rains and dense fogs suppressed her joyous memories of that magical land--stolen moments, as it were-- of times that could never be ripped away completely, but who's imprints hurt more now that she could no longer remember them in their entirety.
It had been a long time since she had thought of those childhood games played in, what she had thought, was her imagination. Long ago had the name of that place slipped through her fingertips... But where exactly had it been? She couldn't remember and the thought troubled her.
There had been a war and her father had fought, that much she remembered. They had been taken to the countryside to be kept safe, though Susan had not wanted to leave. And something had happened there, in the countryside, but what had it been? Faded images, names that would not come to her, sounds that rested on the tip of her tongue...
But Susan was old now, very old, and memories were starting to slip from her. The only things she truly remembered was her siblings, and the thought of them made her cringe and wallow in self guilt.
How long had it been since she'd allowed herself to think on her three siblings? When they had been around, she had taken them for granted, and now they were gone. How long had it been since she lived without Peter, her protector, Edmund, her confidant, and dearest Lucy, the jewel of her heart? It seemed too long to bear and she shivered in the cold air of her little flat. She had never loved again, after their deaths. She had never allowed herself too, but was it because of them, or because of something else?
How long had it been since she had felt her heart racing in her chest and her pulse thundering beneath her skin? How long indeed, but she allowed her thoughts to pass no more onto that train of thought. It did not do to dwell on what could have been. So much time lost, so much to never be found.
Suddenly she felt very old, ancient beyond all means, and the tears swam in her eyes as she pressed a very ragged handkerchief to her mouth, weeping openly into it. The London rain drizzled around her, the streets outside busy and murky with people who lived but had never known life.
Susan had known life. Susan had known love. Why was it that it had been taken away? How had she forgotten? She struggled to remember, calling back memories from the life of a different girl it felt.
First, she alighted on her brother Peter; but not Peter as she had known in England or as a student. She focused harder and his radiant gaze and golden image burst through her confused mind, shedding a small amount of light.
High King Peter the magnificent. She remembered this Peter. And Peter had not deserved to die in a train crash. Peter was good. He had given everything for his siblings and he always would; because he loved them more than his own life. Readily he had promised to die for them time after time, and though even the thought of accepting Peter's offer made her quake and hate herself most desperately, she knew that had she asked Peter would have done it. Dashing Peter, charming Peter, Peter the High King... Peter was the mountains of that great magical land, the rigid and beautiful landscape. How was it that he was no more?
The tears fell faster than the rain outside and Susan shivered, but now that it had started there was no going back. What did the world have to offer her now that she had remembered the world she had refused to be a friend to? She had lost all of her careful restraint, and now that the bridge was crossed, there was no going back. Her thoughts moved to Edmund and the tears fell faster.
Edmund the just, for so he had been called. But, by whom? She found that, for a moment, she could no longer remember her own brother's face and the thought shocked the tears out of her. Ed, she struggled, closing her eyes, and savoring the taste of his name on her tongue. Edmund...
Her thoughts would not let her get past the annoying little boy that had been Edmund before. Originally in England, Susan and Edmund had fought worse than Edmund had fought with Peter. Like cats and dogs, the two for the life of them could not get along. Susan was practical, always had been, always would be, and Edmund was rebellious. They were doomed, it seemed, to always be forever bickering.
And then… that magical land. It was as much of a blessing for her as it was a curse. It was in that land, growing up with King Edmund that she and he really bonded. And then, when it was finally time for them to leave behind that childhood game, it was Edmund who knew what had troubled her. Leaving behind all her dreams, all her hopes, all her wishes… They said her heart was never truly in the game, that she never really grasped what the game had really meant.
Edmund alone understood.
Edmund was the forest of their magical land, as Peter was the mountains. The forest was hard to understand and no one had ever sojurned into the depths of the forest, for fear of danger and reprove, but it offered shelter to those in need, and comfort to those lost souls. Where the mountains had offered shelter and protection, they had often left Susan exposed and afraid. In the forest she could hide, though she never truly understood...
But Edmund had understood Susan.
"It is not an ending," he reminded her, the night she realized it was over. She was distraught. The game had been so much more than real to her.
"But you'll get to go back," Susan said softly, wistfully upon their return to London, as she stared out the window into the commonplace streets that bored her. She turned her unwavering blue gaze on him and he held it. "You get to go back. What I would not give for that. Oh Edmund…"
And, it had been Edmund who held her while she sobbed that night through while the mountains watched over them both. It wasn't just for the loss of the game that Susan grieved, though that alone was enough to leave her distraught. She had left behind her dreams, her happiest moments, and a love that she wasn't sure what to make of. Of course, she never would, because he was gone and she would never get the chance to see what might have been.
"It's alright Sue," Edmund said, gripping his older sister tightly as she trembled and sobbed. "Let it out Sue, let it out. It will all be made right. You know it will."
Except, it hadn't been made all right. She had forgotten it all and now Edmund was dead. Peter was dead. Lucy was dead. And there was nothing, nothing,that could ever be done that would restore them back to life.
"It will all be made right."
But it wasn't. The proof was in the empty rooms, the empty house, and her empty soul. She too had been standing on the platform. Why had the train not killed her, just like her siblings? Just like Peter, just like Edmund, just like Lucy…
Susan, Susan, Susan...
The old lady sobbed harder. She could almost hear Lucy's chirpy little voice, calling to her through the trees like she used too, laughter ringing in every syllable. Lucy's face came readily to her recollection and she sobbed harder.
Lucy was the kindest most gentle, most pure hearted girl that ever was. Lucy did not deserve to die, and Susan did not deserve to live where her sister was now gone. Lucy was the sunshine streaming through the emerald forests, lighting even the darkest patches of the forest and reflecting off the mountain ridge. Lucy was the jewel of all, the most perfect of any little girl who had ever lived and loved. And. She. Was. Dead.
Susan... Susan... the wind called to her, gently touching her cheek. Susan.
"Lucy?" Susan choked out, falling onto her aching knees. She looked around as the wind continued to sing her name. "Edmund? Peter?"
"Please!" she begged, shaking with grief. "Please, where are they? Where are they? Where have you taken them?"
She strained at her memories, desperately trying to break past the cloud of dust that hung over them. There was something missing inside of her. There was something missing...
"Narnia!" she breathed out, feeling the name roll off her lips. The memories floated closer to her and she snatched at them, horror resounding inside her mouth. "I've forgotten Narnia."
Susan... the wind called again. Susan's eyes, despite the cloudy tears, had sharpened back to their illustrious blue as the recollection of Narnia came to mind.
The name was as sweet as honey to her lips and as ripe as the summer days, but the name made her shrink back away from the caressing wind. She had forgotten Aslan. She had forgotten Narnia. She had forgotten Susan.
The horror and despair was quickly becoming too much for what was left of her broken heart to handle. So much was wrong; so much was missing, so much left to be wished for. She felt empty, used, and void. She had nothing left. Everything she had ever had had been found and gained in Narnia, and then eventually lost. Everything was gone and there was no point anymore.
"Aslan!" she called out, the sobs ripping through her and causing her physical pain. She cried harder. "Oh Aslan, I remember. I remember!" She sobbed, her chest heaving greatly, and continued, "Oh Aslan, I forgot, but I remember. Am I too late to come?"
There was no answer, but Susan did not stop crying. She wanted what she could not have, she longed for something that could not be. The picnics on the beach with her siblings, the smell of the forest as she rode through with her brothers, the late nights spent laughing with Lucy… gone. Forever gone, and never to be found. And she had no one to blame but herself.
There were no more tears to be shed, but Susan could not find the will to bring herself off the floor. She laid there; her eyes closed, and reveled in the memories that had not yet faded from her, the ones that had not slipped through her fingertips.
There was a ride through the forest with Edmund, talking with him before they had been first taken away from Narnia, discussing the future. Her eyes pricked, but shed no more tears. A walk with Aslan and Peter as the horrible dawning truth was made known unto her that she would not be coming back. She had guessed at it, she had known it would eventually come to this, and she was still left heartbroken. How it felt to be held in the strong arms of a prince, left to forever ponder ifs and what could have been…
And, lastly, the last departing hug given to Lucy before the train had derailed. The last fleeting touch she'd had of her sister.
"She was a queen Aslan," she answered softly, agonizingly, the face of her sister left undimmed in her mind by her age and senility. The wind swirled around her. "A Queen! And you let her die a silly little s-schoolgirl."
Her voice cracked.
One last tear dropped onto the veined, knotted hands of the old maid and she breathed hard. The ripping, all encompassing sobs had broken something inside of her, something that could never be repaired. She felt empty, broken, and beyond description. There was nothing left for her.
"Aslan," she said, her voice ringing out true in the tone of a queen. The old woman's voice sounded young, if only for a moment, before it broke with grief. "Aslan, I know not why you've taken them from me. All of them, Aslan. You did not even spare me one…" Another sob, dry this time, came and she winced at the pain. "Not Peter, not Lucy, not Edmund and not even Caspian. Not one Aslan. And I do not know why…" She sobbed again. "I don't think I will ever know why. But I ache and I hurt and I'm afraid. I'm afraid Aslan and I don't want to be anymore."
There was no answer but she pushed through, knowing that the great lion would hear her no matter the distance or space that separated them.
"You loved Lucy like none other, maybe that's why you did not let her suffer like this," Susan said, her eyes cast downward. "Edmund had been tried once already, you would not do that to him again. Peter was good, too good, to be reduced to this, and I'm sure Caspian found happiness and soon forgot about High Queen Susan the Gentle." She beat her fists in absolute misery against the ground, before looking up in absolute rage and shouted. "Am I gentle now, Aslan? Am I still Queen Susan, the gentle, the girl who wore the silver circlet of Narnia upon her head?"
She broke off and sobbed her horrible dry sobs again.
"I have forgotten Aslan, I have forgotten!" she cried, her tone of absolute heartbreak. "I have forgotten you and I have forgotten Narnia. I forgot what I stood for, I forgot who I was. But I remember now. I remember. Please Aslan, please. Have mercy on me. Please."
The silence was stiff, but empowered with something new. Susan could feel the hum of it on the back of her neck but she did not move, even as the wind whistled consolingly in her ear, Once a King or Queen of Narnia, always a King or Queen of Narnia.
She had thought her tears spent, but more fell at the declaration and she curled up within herself.
"Seventy years Aslan," she said, clenching her fists on her ugly gray skirt. "Seventy years I've been alone Aslan. Is this enough? Have you put me through enough? I was a Queen, yes, but I was apart of a set, apart of a family. And now they are gone, and I am alone." She looked down, the tears beading on her eyelashes, before she looked back up towards the ceiling. "I am so alone Aslan… I am so alone…"
A breeze blew through the little London flat and it smelled distinctly of fresh pine trees, clear blue river waters, and of magic. The smell of Narnia. Susan closed her eyes.
Susan, it said, softly caressing her. Susan.
"Please Aslan, please," she begged, falling forward onto her hands and sobbing. "Take me home, take me home, take me home."
There was a long pause, full of agony and pain. Susan closed her eyes and prepared to stay there until the end of time. She was not fit to be a Queen of Narnia. She had forgotten. She did not deserve Narnia. She did not deserve Mercy.
A clear deep voice broke through the tumult and the pure sorrow of Susan's soul. With one word, the mist of old age and the sting of old wounds was washed away.
The deep voice touched her soul and Susan looked up, tearstained cheeks and misty eyes gazing into the large eyes of the true savior of Narnia.
"Aslan." Susan's voice was rich with youth and she looked at him, her heart seeming to mend with his very presence. She quivered in remorse. How had she ever forgotten? "Aslan."
"It has been long, my Queen," he said, looking down at her with a stern, yet loving gaze. "You have been lost for a long time."
Susan could not speak and looked away, new tears filling her eyes. Around her, the London flat was no more, and it was replaced with a meadow, dead with winter as if the white witch was back. She looked up at Aslan and shivered.
"I want to come home Aslan," she said, her voice pathetic and little, as if she were a little girl lost and not a queen of a mighty realm. Indeed, she felt more like a little girl than a queen. "I-I want to go home. Take me home Aslan… take me home."
For her, home was Narnia, the place she had thought a game, the place she had forgotten. She didn't dare ask with the name Narnia though. She was not fit for Narnia. Wherever he placed her, wherever he deemed would be home for her, so it would be.
Aslan's eyes pierced her and Susan shivered.
"My dear Susan," he said, looking down her kindly and with his own degree of pain, as if he too had been suffering with her. "You have never been alone in all of those seventy years that Lucy, Edmund, Peter and the othershave been gone. I have been with you the whole way, watching you and protecting you, and waiting for you to simply reach out to me and embrace Narnia the way your siblings did. Often you would turn away from me, as I knew you would, and so my dear, I had to wait until you would come back to me."
Ashamed, Susan looked away into snow covered meadow, kneeling before Aslan looking as she did when she had entered Narnia for the first time; young, naïve, overbearingly practical, and disbelieving. It hurt her to know that, by turning away from Aslan, she had also been turning away from herself and happiness.
"You made me wait Susan, and so made I you," he said, blinking his great large eyes at her. "You were not accepting like your siblings were, you did not do as was befitting a Queen. You turned your back on your people and you forgot Narnia."
The sin was laid before her, for it could not be called anything else, and Susan fell in on herself. She did not even deserve to have this audience with Aslan. She did not deserve to be Queen.
"Forgive me, Aslan," she said, the tears clouding her vision once more. She thought of all the times she had bickered with Edmund, snapped at Lucy and been a bother to Peter. "I am not deserving of your grace… I do not deserve to come home… Forgive me."
Aslan surveyed her with kind, trusting, and all knowing eyes before his great maw burst into his equivalent of a smile. Susan looked up, amazed at his great grin.
"High Queen Susan of Narnia," he said, looking down at her as a proud father would. "Though you are imperfect, you have taken those imperfections and you have made them strong. You were alone seventy years and forsook my help, but you have come back to me. You have come back home. Rest here, Queen Susan the gentle, for you have found Narnia."
Aslan threw back his head, and gave an almighty roar. The snow blew away, leaving behind the green meadow and flowers in full bloom that the cold ice had concealed. Susan looked up into the understanding eyes of Aslan and wept openly. She had turned her back on him, she had pushed him away, she had forgotten, and he came back to her to take away her grief at last.
"Understand this, Susan," Aslan said, staring down at her with his ancient eyes. "For it is not just my grace that has saved you, daughter of Adam. But you have come back to me, and you have repented of your wrong doings, and because of that you are able to be saved."
The burden that, for seventy years had been growing and growing, was removed from her shoulders at last. She stared at him, her tears never ceasing to fall, hardly daring to believe that what he said was true. He stared back at her, no deceit in his eyes, and nodded.
"Aslan." The girl wrapped her arms around his great head and buried her head in his mane.
They stayed like that for a moment in time before she heard the laughter.
Sweeter music was never heard than that that reached Susan Pevensie's ears that dawn of the eternal day as she turned and-- in full grace of her eternal youthfulness-- laid eyes upon her three siblings, young as they had been upon first entering Narnia. The three stopped as if surprised to see Susan there, before Lucy burst into tears and began running to her.
"Oh, Susan! Susan!"
As she took off, running across the wide meadow to make it back to her sister's side, Lucy changed. Running towards her she grew into the sweeping young maiden that she had been whilst ruling Narnia at her brothers and sister's side, and Susan felt herself grow as she turned and ran to Lucy. The wind swept around the two joyously.
"Lucy, oh dearest Lucy!" Susan could not see, the tears half blinded her, but she felt her young slender sister slam into her and grasp her tight.
"We waited and waited Susan!" Lucy said, half laughing half crying into her sister's chest as she held her, Peter and Edmund now running too to greet their sister, slamming into her a second later.
The three fought to get their arms around her as much as they could and all were tearful and joyous as they embraced.
"What took you so long?" Edmund asked, as soon as Lucy had drawn back, hand still in her sister's, and he embraced her more fully. "We waited and waited, like Lucy said, and Aslan would not say when you would get here."
"I'm not quite sure I knew I would be getting here Ed," Susan cried, her eyes wet with tears that would never cease to fall. Lucy smiled.
"But Aslan knew."
"I wish I would have known," Peter said softly, taking his turn at hugging Susan on his own, rendered only slightly awkward by Lucy's grip on Susan's hand. "How could you leave us for so long? I thought you were no longer a friend of Narnia."
Susan's tears were bitter as she wept into her brother's shoulders.
"I'm sorry," she sobbed, true despair ripping through her. "I never should have forgotten. I never should've let you leave without bringing me. I'm sorry it took me so long to remember."
"No matter," Alsan's firm voice said as he watched the scene with glowing eyes, just as she felt she would forever have to live in the guilt of her past transgression. With one look the guilt was swept away. "Dwell not on the past, Susan, for you live in the now. Your siblings have waited long for you, though, not as long as others have."
Susan looked up in confusion, not sure what else could be added on top of all of it to make her bliss even more complete, but of course Aslan knew her better than she even knew herself. Walking through the edge of the trees and into the meadow was a calmly serene prince, who had waited patiently for her return.
The sight of him in his brown breeches, white shirt and Telmarine armor hanging off of him in a lazy sort of way made her breath catch. He stared at her, his face awed and shocked, and Peter gave a little laugh.
"Well don't just stand there!" Peter said, gesturing to him. "Come over here and greet her!"
The prince didn't need to be told twice and he was at her side in an instance. Susan was in his arms, Lucy was in Susan's, with Peter and Edmund being ever protective brothers and a great lion to watch over them all. Everything was bliss and perfection, as it always would be forever, as was the eternal state of the soul when freed at last.
In a lonely little London flat a woman lay on the floor, motionless. A woman the world of men had forgotten-- a woman who had, in her turn, forgotten--, and a woman the land of Narnia would never forget. Her body though confined to the world of men, left her soul to run free in the eternal fields of Narnia. Her and her fellow rulers of Narnia would live forever, their names eternalized in the stars and legends of their glory, for such is the story of the little lost Pevensie girl, who had finally come home.
A/n: And, that's the end. Susan gets her happy ending, as she so rightfully deserves, and they're all united together in Narnia. Like it, hate it? Well, you should let me know. Thanks all!