Disclaimer: I own nothing in this marvelous universe; it all belongs to C. S. Lewis and Walden Media.

Author's Note: I came up with this one night after I had seen Voyage of the Dawn Treader again. Granted, it's more bookverse Susan than movieverse Susan (although some of that is in there, as well), but I hope I did the character justice.

Reviewers: All 265 of you, thank you!

Rating: T/M (for slightly graphic imagery)

.:Pinpoints of Light:.

By Sentimental Star

Chapter XXVII

54. Bias

When she forgets, Edmund tries to convince her to remember by asking, "Then how do you explain Eustace's transformation, Su?"

For all intents and purposes—in Susan's world, anyway—nothing of major significance has happened the summer Edmund and Lucy spent with their cousin in Cambridge (well, she remembers the naval officer in America, but her brother, she knows, isn't very interested in that).

Susan blinks at him via the mirror over her armoire and shrugs, carefully pinning back her dark hair. "He grew up. Do you think I look all right?"

Edmund sighs, and his shoulders drop. Susan pretends not to notice his weary countenance as he comes forward to help her pin a chestnut lock in place that she cannot quite reach. "You look beautiful, Su," he replies quietly, "as always."

She smiles at him.

IOIOIOIOIOI

Peter tries reminding her of Edmund's own transformation, as their little brother still cannot see the wondrous change within himself. "And what of Ed, Su?" her older brother challenges her softly. "You cannot just explain that away. You know how he was, before the Witch-"

It is a precious change for Peter, the one he covets the most, but Susan merely glances up at him in warm bemusement, gracefully tugging on her ankle boots where she sits in their father's chair. "What wonderful memories you all have. Wasn't the "witch" Mrs. Macready, the Professor's stuffy, old housekeeper? What a terror she was. Edmund and Lucy were absolutely terrified of her! Of course, a few sharp lectures from her, and Edmund rapidly grew up. We should be grateful, I suppose…" she chuckles fondly. "Be a dear, won't you? Help me into my coat."

Peter presses his lips together unhappily, but complies. Reluctantly, he kisses her cheek. "Try not to stay out too late, Su. It's supposed to snow tonight."

She beams at him and promises she won't.

IOIOIOIOIOI

Lucy hands Susan her white gloves as the older girl heads for the door. It is more awkward with her little sister, because Lucy is the one sibling she cannot hide this from.

"You should come with me, Lu," she gushes enthusiastically, straining to close the distance she imagines between them. "The food is scrumptious, and the boys ever so sweet…you would be the darling of the ball!"

Lucy doesn't seem to hear her—she merely looks at Susan, understanding and sorrow and grief swirling in her eyes. "When will you come back, Su?"

Susan smiles gently, adjusting her hat. "Probably late. You don't need to sit up, Lu—it will be long past your bedtime by the time I come back."

She kisses Lucy goodbye, even though her sister knows she deliberately misheard her question—and the silent one that accompanies it:

'Why did you leave?'

'I grew up, Lu.'

IOIOIOIOIOI

That is the explanation she gives everyone who asks: Eustace and Jill, Aunt Polly and the Professor…"I grew up."

Unfortunately, in her carefully constructed world, growing up cannot explain why her brothers see blood in their dreams (even if those dreams explain why the two boys often wake up in the same bed); nor can it explain why a bloodied and beaten Lion flits through hers. It also does not explain why Lucy sees the same image, but copes with it with all the aplomb of a twenty-eight-year-old woman.

IOIOIOIOIOI

Susan tells her family and their friends that she has grown up, but even she knows that is a lie.

End Chapter