Chapter One: Normal Again
I, Peter Pevensie, have been wandering the halls of Dr. Diggory Kirke's house, a constant summer vacation spot ever since the war, trying not to feel too bitter at the turn of events my life has taken. It had gone from horrible, to absolutely wonderful, right back to horrible again and I was trying not to lash out at everyone from all the anger I was feeling.
What caused my foul mood? It was a long story, but I'll try to sum it up here:
I had been a King of Narnia, a wonderful, magical place that had everything from talking animals to tree spirits that danced in moonlit meadows as fauns played beautiful melodies. We, me along with my brother and two sisters, had been rulers of that wondrous world for many years before we had returned to our own world, the exact moment that we had left it.
The following weeks after our return, the four of us had talked of nothing but our glorious, special Narnia; the places we had been, the people-and animals-we had met, how they all were doing, how they would react to the four of us gone and when, if, or how, we would return.
Lucy, the youngest of us and the first to visit Narnia, had spent every night after our return going back to the wardrobe on the second floor. Every night, she would return, sad faced and shaking her head, to inform us that she could not get to the wood again.
Edmund would than tackle her and tickle her mercilessly until she would cry out for someone to save her, and then we would make it into a game of saving a Narnian Queen from the dreadful Ice Giant. I always thought it was funny that Edmund was an 'Ice Giant', what with him being only a few inches taller than Lucy, despite the two years that separated their age.
Susan was just beginning to question whether or not we really had gone to another world or whether it was some game of make believe when the most wonderful thing had happened: Narnia called us again.
It had happened at a train station; where I had gotten into another fight and Edmund had come to help yet again. I had been angry at everything; the fact that I couldn't go back to Narnia, that I was stuck being plain old Peter instead of Peter the Magnificent and that I couldn't tell anyone all of my fears and frustrations without sounding like a complete nutter.
I had lashed out at Edmund, telling him I was perfectly capable of handling it myself and didn't need his help; he looked hurt for a moment before shrugging it off and siting next to Susan on the bench as Lucy, sensing trouble, started talking about some nonsense to cheer us all up.
Then it happened; a sudden tug and an absence of sound that told us something extraordinary was about to happen. Lucy, either picking up on my mounting excitement or feeling her own glee overwhelm her, eagerly told everyone to hold hands so they wouldn't get separated. I was all too eager to agree, giving her hand a little extra squeeze I was sure she understood.
Yet, this trip was different; for even though it had been only a few months between the times we had left and arrived, thousands of years had passed, meaning everyone we had known, cared for, and grown with were all gone and buried. It took a few moments for the shock of it all to settle in.
We didn't have much time to reminisce, for almost immediately were we thrust into another adventure; with supplanting Kings, another war, royal duels, and the fear of the White Witch to deal with.
I shivered, remembering the feeling of that cool, eager voice crawling down my spine as she promised everything I ever wanted; to be a King again, to never have to leave Narnia again, all in exchange for a drop of blood. I was so close to giving in when Edmund stepped in and helped me again.
As the White Witch once again was sent to the hole where she belonged, I met Edmund's eyes and saw the King he had been, the King I thought, feared, had vanished over the time we had spent in England and I realized something; he missed it all too, he knew what I felt about living in England and longing for Narnia, he knew what it felt like to be surrounded by ordinary people and know that you had been part of something greater. I also realized in that moment he was a far greater King than I.
Watching Caspian's coronation was a bittersweet memory for me; for it meant that Narnia was once again entering a Golden Year of peace and prosperity, but it was also when Aslan told us that we, Susan and I, would not return to Narnia, for we had grown too old.
It was a slap in the face to me, for I had been exalted that we were able to come again and believed that we would continue to do so on and on as long as we pleased. To have to be exiled because I was too old hit me hard and my actions following were the furthest from Kingly you could have seen.
I raged against it; furious that a simple thing like my age was keeping me from the most glorious place I knew, I locked myself in my room, swearing I would never leave again and that if I died of starvation-Lucy brought that up on my second day in my room with no food-at least I would die in Narnia.
Caspian visited me shortly after that, whether he was called or came on his own I never thought to ask, and I cringe to remember how cruel I was to him; I blamed him for calling us, to bring us back just to hear that we would never come again, and I told him that he never would be as good a King as we were, if he was any good at all.
He listened to my little fit, staying quiet until the very end, when he asked me a question that was completely off topic and even threw me a little; "What do you believe happens when you die?"
I could only sit there in a sullen fury, weak and irritable from my tantrum and my self imposed starvation. I didn't want to riddle through nonsense with him, I wanted to stay. "What are you talking about, Caspian? Why does that matter right now?"
"I believe," Caspian continued, his voice calm despite my slanderous outburst and general childishness, "that you are taken to a place that you were the happiest in your life. The place that gave you the greatest joy."
I sat there and let his words sink in, let the thought mull around in my brain as I gaped at the door that separated the two of us. "Are you saying that Narnia could be my... Heaven?"
"Yes," was all he said before I heard the chair he was sitting on, the chair Lucy had moved so she could watch over me, scrape against the floor as he arose and informed my sister that she could return to her place and that he hoped I would come out soon, for he needed our help with some of the prisoners we had captured.
I did leave the room, but it wasn't until much later that day. I had been giving a lot to think bout and I needed time to fit it all in my head. Lucy, the motherly girl that she was and still is, leapt for joy when I opened the door and asked her if she would ask some one to prepare me some lunch
Walking through the doorway Aslan had erected between our worlds was one of the hardest things I ever had to do and was one of the worst; the only thing that gave me the courage to take that single step, to not drown in the despair that I would never see my beautiful kingdom again was Caspian's words and the soft breeze of air Aslan breathed on my face before I stepped forward.
Standing back on the station a few moments later, Lucy pressed against my side and Susan's hand on my shoulder with Edmund giving me that crooked smile that means he's trying not to cry, I felt some of that peace that Aslan breathed into me return; I was not alone, I had my family with me. We would get through this, together.
The train whistle broke us out of our silent musings, alerting us that it was time to return to our own world. Sighing, I picked up my suitcase, mentally preparing myself for my return to England.
Little did I know that Narnia, and Aslan, weren't finished with us just yet.