Disclaimer: The Chronicles of Narnia is the intellectual property of C. S. Lewis and his estate. No money is being made from this story, and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.

Author's Note: This story was inspired by the 4/27/09 word #108 on the 15_minute_fic livejournal community.

Near the end of The Magician's Nephew, Aslan tells Digory and Polly that Jadis "has won her heart's desire; she has unwearying strength and endless days like a goddess. But length of days with an evil heart is only length of misery and already she begins to know it. All get what they want: they do not always like it."

First, people do not always get what they want; anyone who claims otherwise is engaging in sophistry or wishful thinking. Second, Jadis is too practical to despair. Therefore, I must respectfully disagree with C. S. Lewis on this issue.

Summary: Jadis in the garden: separation from God is only a punishment if you believe in him.

Heart's Desire

"Come in by the gold gates or not at all," the garden's maker had written. And truly, there was no need to turn aside, walk a quarter-circle around the hilltop, and clamber over the wall, but Jadis was the Queen of Charn and she bowed to no one.

She would have the apple on her own terms, as she had earned everything else in her life.

The fruit was sharp and almost painfully sweet, with a metallic tang underneath that expanded to bitter and salt in the aftertaste. The juice was shockingly dark for such a fair-fleshed fruit. Jadis licked the red-brown stain from her hand and laughed.

Pure theatrics: the apple bled. Was that supposed to induce guilt or shame?

The Lion had made this world, she acknowledged, but she had been here at the making; her magic was thus woven deep into its earth and air, inseparable from its very fabric of being. Until this world died, the Lion must adjust his plans to account for her. And even after, she could continue -- if that simpering fool had learned to travel between the planes, surely so could she! And she would learn to cross directly, without the crutch of that horrible, drowning place between the worlds.

A breeze stirred the garden, swirling petals and scent from the tree. Jadis sneezed, and then nearly gagged on the rotting sweetness of the silvery perfume. Stumbling, she turned aside, holding her arms across her face as if to block the very air from attacking her.

The air stilled. The scent dissipated.

Jadis lowered her arms and clenched her free hand, seething. So. The Lion had fashioned a trap for those who defied him and ate the fruit unbidden. But even he could not stop the apple from performing its function; already she could feel new strength coursing through her blood and bones like a river of ice, scouring away her mortality.

She had forever, now. She had new magic to master, a new world to conquer, a new foe to destroy. If the Lion thought that a mere tree would defeat her or that length of days would lead her to despair, he was a fool, as her sister had been.

Jadis ran her tongue across her teeth, savoring the iron tang of immortality, and took another bite.


AN: Thanks for reading, and please review! I appreciate all comments, but I'm particularly interested in knowing what parts of the story worked for you, what parts didn't, and why.