Susan awoke in a strange land. She thought it was odd since she remember going to bed the night before. She was lying on the grass. The grass felt familiar but everything else seemed…strange. Susan closed her eyes and pinched herself. Logic dictated that she could either be dreaming or she's back in Narnia. "But I can't be in Narnia." She thought. "Aslan said I have all I needed to learn from Narnia." She opened her eyes once more and surveyed the land she was in. "Could I be in Archeland or Lanterne Waste?" She mused. She noticed that her quiver and bow were lying beside. "That's really odd." She thought.
"There's but one way to find out." She said out loud as she stood up. She noticed she was still wearing her pajamas. She was relieved that it covered her very modestly and thanked the cold weather at home. She began to walk towards the north. Or at least she thought she was. Everything seemed new and strange to her.
The more she saw of the land the more perplexed she became. She's definitely not in the Great Woods she thought. Could she have somehow come to the Lone Islands or yet another isle she has only heard about? She was beginning to feel thirsty and really tired. For what seemed like hours to her, she finally collapsed under a tree and slept like the dead.
When she woke up, she was in a strange room. There seems to be a blue light somewhere though its source was unknown to her. She saw a pitcher of water on a table near her and an unfamiliar sort of pastry. She greedily drank and ate the provisions that were left. She didn't even bother to care if it was poisoned or not. Why poison her after saving her? She thought logically.
A tall and beautiful blond woman entered the room. Susan had to tilt her head back to encompass the stranger.
"Are you faring better now my child?" the woman asked. Susan noticed her pointed ears and wondered for the umpteenth time where she was. Susan could only nod as a reply. Child? She was used to that word. Though her body is that of a 17 year old her mind and heart is full of 30 years of life both in her world and Narnia.
"We brought your weapons with you." The stranger continued indicating Susan's trusted bow and arrows near the bed where she was lying. Susan was glad about that, those were her only link to her former life. She was grateful of the familiar company in the new place she was in. "What is your name?" she asked Susan.
"I'm Susan Pe… of Narnia." She felt that last names where irrelevant and she trusted the blond woman somehow. She looked at the woman's face to gauge her reaction with the last word she said.
"Narnia? Did you come from the Undying Lands?" asked the tall woman curiously. "I am Altaris of Lothlorien."
"Lothlorien? Undying Lands?" Susan's forehead wrinkled in thought and a little panic. "I'm sorry but I am a stranger to these lands. I'm from Narnia, a most different and beautiful world…." She trailed off wistfully. Aslan's words that she cannot return to Narnia hurt her terribly still.
"Beauty…and peace…those are quite rare. A world could easily be destroyed by greed and peace quickly taken by hunger for power. Curious that years of building and toil to create a better world could vanish in a few moments of selfishness." Altaris said pensively. Susan knew what she said as a fact. They looked at each other and understanding flowed between. Altaris also learned that Susan of Narnia held a lot of wisdom that her appearance denied.
"Tell me about Narnia Susan and your life before I met you, please." Altaris implored. Susan smiled and began her tale.
Chapter 2—Target Practice
Altaris found a soul connection with her new friend Susan. While Susan felt she found another sister in Altaris. She was an elf, she just found out. The gentle former queen has never heard of her kind but found out that they could only die in battle and that Altaris was "young" considering she's only 542 years old. She was excited to learn too that elves are expert archers.
It has been a week since she came to Lothlorien in Middle Earth as she was told. Susan looked down at her blue gown which is the same color of her eyes. She felt like a fairy garbed in "elvish" attire. She even had flowers in her waist length hair. Her gown had straps to hold it in place keeping her shoulders bare. The only peculiar thing she found in this attire was that there were no underclothes. She felt uncomfortable but got used to it in the following days. As long as it kept her modestly covered, that was fine by her. Altaris even pointed to her a hidden spring where the lady elves took baths. She was glad of such amenity available in such an earthly place.
"So how old is Aslan?" Altaris asked. They were in woods practicing target shots. Altaris was envious of her quiver that never runs out of arrows.
"He's before time. He just was which makes him older than all of the elves here I suppose." Susan said smiling while remembering the great Lion. "He's just and brings all things together. I guess you can say he is Narnia." She continued while Altaris shot a small fruit 20 meters away with ease. They tend to compete during their past time. Altaris was surprised a human so skilled and never missing a target. It only took 30 minutes of target practicing on the 1st day for the elf to learn that the gentle human was more skilled than her.
"I have heard of stories of a powerful and ancient being that once ruled our lands. But Galadriel said he has forsaken this place." Said the blond. Susan would be forever grateful to the Elvish queen who took her in. When she first met the wise elf the day she arrived, she just stared. Such was her beauty. But then again all of the elves she has seen including the soldier Haldir were the most gorgeous beings she has ever seen. Little did she know that the elves looked at her the same way.
"Why did he leave?" inquired Susan.
"Dissapointment." Said Altaris without preamble. Susan looked at her curiously. "Legend says it's due to the evil the pervades Middle Earth that was never present before." The elf continued. Susan learned from her friend a lot of tales of Middle Earth the previous days. About the one Ring, the elves, humans and dwarves and how the fellowship was formed to destroy the Ring and to thwart Sauron (the ultimate Evil in all of her stories) from returning to power.
"What was he like?" asked Susan. "What did he look like?"
"No one knows. It's been ages. Not even the three oldest and wisest elves have seen him." Altaris answered. "But they say he may come back. But no one really knows."
"I am envious of your world Narnia and of your friend Aslan." The elf continued. "How great that one being can bring so much…."
Susan wondered about her friends words. She has questioned Aslan's choice of her not returning to Narnia. That has not endeared her to the great lion at all. She understands Altaris awe. It was similar to what she felt before but not anymore. Hurt and homesickness would have overwhelmed her if not for the friendship she has for Altaris. She wondered how her siblings are faring. There was not a day when they did not enter her thoughts. She couldn't bear dwelling about those things now. She just wanted to know her purpose in entering the new world she was in.
"See that acorn over there?" challenged Susan. "If you hit that, I'll let you have my share of the fitrium (delicious elven pastry)."
"I accept." Altaris said gamely.
Minutes later, the lovely girls returned back from their game teasing good naturedly. "You know if you keep accepting my challenges, pretty soon you'll starve." Said the raven haired beauty to her blond friend.
Altaris made a face and said:"There's always tomorrow." The pair was giggling while they made their way to their abode. As they neared their place, they noticed there were a lot of elven soldiers outside seemingly in a battle mode.
When they reached the soldiers, Altaris was glad to see Haldir and she immediately asked him what was happening. Susan felt like a dwarf surrounded by towering blond elves.
"There is no great cause for fear." Haldir said. "We found 8 strangers in the forests. Strange strangers indeed." Susan held her breath. Could 3 of them be her siblings? "They are a company of an elf, a dwarf, 2 humans and 4 hobbits." Haldir continued. "They are presently meeting our queen right now."
"Hobbits?" Susan asked. Susan felt a deflated. It doesn't seem possible her brothers and sister were in that company.
"Little people from the Shire. About the size of children." Altaris supplied. "But what do they want? And why are they here?" she asked turning to Haldir.
"They are just passing through. A brother is with them." Haldir said. "They seem to be on a mission. But a certain shadow has passed over them."
Susan was curious of the visitors. In the week she was there, nothing really happened. The elves lived a quiet and peaceful existence lead by their beautiful queen. She still hasn't figured out why she was sent to this mysterious land. Even Galadriel had no definite answers. Maybe just maybe these guests could help find her way back to her own world.
Chapter 3—The Meeting
Susan was out in a little clearing in the forest again shooting her arrows. She was quite bored for she has been alone almost the whole day. Altaris was busy and so were most of her friends helping and settling the guests. She heard they were staying for less than 3 days. From what she gathered from the hurried conversation with Altaris, is that the strangers in fact comprise the Fellowship, THE Fellowship who was tasked to destroy the ring. She hasn't met them yet so her curiosity was roused.
She was shooting targets at farther distances. The battle at Aslan's How tested her strength and accuracy. She wanted to know how far she can hit targets. After all, her 5'3" body might have limits. She was aiming at the X she placed on a tree 50 meters away, when a different arrow hit it. Susan gasped not sure if she was piqued or impressed. She quickly whirled around expecting Haldir when she met an unfamiliar elf about 10 feet away from her. It took her mind 2 seconds to register that he just hit that target about 53 meters away with ease.
The elf's eyes widened momentarily as he assessed her. They just stared at each other for what seemed like hours. Icy blue eyes clashing with kin. Susan was not unfamiliar with admiring looks and stares. Like what Caspian gave her. She didn't return Caspian's affections though for she saw him as a young boy. But she felt rather uncomfortable and a little annoyed as the elf appraised her openly. He was definitely an elf she thought. He towered about a foot or so over her small frame. Same pointed ears, blond hair and blue eyes, gorgeous. Same archery skill as well she mused. She was the first to look away.
"I don't believe I know you." Susan said. She has stayed at Lothlorien for over a week now and she thought she has already met everyone.
"I am Legolas Greenleaf of Mirkwood." The handsome elf said. Legolas just continued to stare at the ethereal beauty before him. She was human. He suddenly felt burdened knowing that he would outlive her. He was surprised by what he was thinking since she just met the young girl.
"I can see you have very accurate sight and aim." Susan replied as she turned back to her target and shot her arrow easily splitting Legolas' arrow in half as she hit her target. That will show him she thought.
Legolas barely glanced at her shot before redirecting his gaze back to Susan. "May I know your name?" he asked.
Susan then turned around and said:"I'm Susan Pevensie of Narnia or now Lothlorien." Copying the elf's introduction.
"Well Susan Pevensie of Narnia now Lothlorien, why is a human living with the elves in Lothlorien, if I may ask?" Legolas asked. He was definitely intrigued with the beautiful human with the unfamiliar name whose archery skill matches his own.
"I wish I knew." She said under her breath and said loudly:"My tale is quite long and boring. While you sir I haven't seen from around here which makes me think you're one in company of the visitors from Rivendell." She continued: "Your tale sir would be of much worthy attention."
Legolas definitely disagreed but if telling his tale would keep the fair maiden with him longer, then so be it. He stepped closer and took Susan's hand and kissed it. Susan felt a sudden jolt at the contact. She looked at him while he said: "If it's my story my lady would like to hear, then your wish is my command."
Chapter 4—Kindred Spirits
Susan listened attentively as Legolas told of the fellowship's tale upon leaving Rivendell. Of his friend's Gimli pain of lost in Moria, the sea creature that almost took Frodo, the cave trolls and orcs they fought and lastly how disheartened the company has become upon losing Gandalf the grey, their wise leader.
"Did you hear the song of lament last night?" asked the elf. "It was in memory of him." Susan did remember the haunting melody she heard the previous night. It was suddenly clear why she felt miserable and homesick then.
"I am sorry for your loss. But don't be disheartened in your mission. Strength and resolve are what you need. For if you succeed and rid of your world of this war, his death would not be in vain. After all, everything has their own place and time." Susan said. She recalled the events in Narnia during her and her siblings reign and how they fought the Telmarines to restore peace and justice. Hardships is a bitter but faithful teacher.
Legolas stared at her wondering how such depth could come from a child. He couldn't help but ask: "You speak coming from years of experience. Tell me, what is your story sweet Susan. It is of great interest to me where you came from." So Susan once more told her tale, her life in both worlds, the wardrobe and even father Christmas' gift to her.
"But I don't know my purpose here." said Susan sadly. "And I know I wouldn't be able to leave until I fulfill that. I just wish I wouldn't stay too long for I miss my family immensely." They were nearing the clearing now where they started their walk.
The elf felt close to the human even if they only spent a day together. He felt he found a kindred spirit. The beautiful girl was strong, yet vulnerable, wise yet meek, gentle yet brave. Susan on the other had found the elf strong and wise as well. She knew he understood her plight and feelings almost as well as Peter. They stared at each other for awhile, each unwilling leave.
"Thanks for talking with me. This has been a most pleasant day." said the black haired beauty. "I better get back though to Altaris and see what she's up to." She continued while smiling.
The blond elf once more took her hand and kissed it then said: "The pleasure was all mine. Thank you. You don't know how much you have uplifted me." He momentarily paused before asking: "Would you be practicing here again on the morrow?" He was just searching for solitude earlier in the day. He never thought that he would find much more.
Susan's heart skipped a beat. He wants to see me again she thought. She smiled and said: "I might. We'll see." He was such a good companion she thought. "Bye Legolas."
"Bye my queen." The elf said in reply. He continued to stare at her back while she left until she was obscured by the trees.