AN: Okay so this is a Cross-over between "Narnia" and "Aquamarine". Both the "Narnia" stuff and the "Aquamarine" stuff are based off of the movies and the books, but in order for this to actually make sense: in this fic, the events of "Aquamarine" (a blend of the movie plot and the book plot; you can pretty much fill in the blanks whatever way you want) took place in the 1940s around the same time as Narnia. This is also a slightly AU verison of "The Last Battle". The main pairing in this fic is going to be Peter/Aquamarine but there may be some other ones, too (for example, there's some geeky boy from the subway station/Susan in this). So, that's pretty much all I have to say for now other than: Hope you like it!
England: September 4th, 1949
The little English cottage-style country house was fairly bursting with laughter and merriment. Seven persons sat around a table that was much too small to hold all of them-though they didn't seem to care about this in the least and had happily packed in extra chairs and cushions; sitting rather squashed together like sardines.
The oldest of the seven was an elderly man, a learned professor who went by the name of Digory Kirke, with a wise-looking, surprisingly lean, gray-bearded face. He was puffing rather hard on his tobacco pipe; he knew it wasn't good for him, but it was a habit he had all but given up trying to break. His only consolation in the matter was that the holder he had had made to keep his tobacco in (a carved silver apple) reminded him of a very special place and time, and an adventure, from long ago. Being with these people reminded him of that, too, which was the reason he was so happy that day.
Sitting to his left, was the next oldest person in the room, an old lady with soft, dark, jolly blue eyes that always looked like they were dancing and never seemed to stop twinkling at a person when they fixed their gaze on them. Her name was Polly Plummer.
Beside Miss Plummer was a wispy, fair-haired, round cheeked girl of no more than seventeen (though she looked even younger than that) called Lucy Pevensie. Her elder sister, Susan, a very attractive young woman with long black hair of about twenty-one or so, sat across the table by their brother, Edmund (he was younger than Susan but at least a year older than Lucy).
To Edmund's right, was their cousin, Eustace Scrubb; he was rather short for a boy only a few months shy of his sixteenth birthday but this had become a little less noticeable since he'd gotten over his habit of constant slouching.
Across from Edmund and Eustace, sat the youngest person in the room, Jill Pole, a school girl in Eustace's year only about three months his junior; her hair was a chestnut-brown bob just long enough to be pulled back into a small braid that rested lightly on the nape of her neck.
Lucy, who up until this point had been the merriest of them all (with the possible exception of Polly), suddenly looked a little wistful, sad even, and turning to her brother said, "He really isn't coming, is he?"
Putting down his fork, Edmund forced a smile. "Peter's just busy, Lu, he'll come next time...I-I'm sure of it."
Susan wasn't so sure; she knew what it meant to be falling away from one's siblings and memories of Narnia, she knew each and every sign having been through it before herself. When she'd come back from her trip to America with her parents at sixteen years old, she thought she knew everything and, being a very sensible sort of person, had come to the not-actually-very-sensible-at-all conclusion that being a grown up meant dressing up for social events and cocktail parties and wearing a lot of lipstick. She had all but completely forgotten the country she, her two brothers, and her little sister had once ruled over-choosing to remember it mostly as a pretty game played for fun. The life she had fixed up for herself served its place and term, but when it had passed, she felt empty inside and quite lonely-a sort of beautiful monster cut off from the rest of her kin. Humbling herself, she had struggled her way back into her siblings' circle. It wasn't easy becoming a 'friend of Narnia' again-especially since she was still, even then, a sight too keen on being 'grown-up', but she'd managed it in the end.
Sadly though, shortly after Susan had become her real old self again so that, even outside of the Narnian universe-in ordinary, run of the mill, old England-her brothers and sister knew her for 'Queen Susan the gentle', Peter had started to forget. It had started gradually at first but after a while, they-or at least Susan-knew what was happening to him. He didn't care about events and parties; his way of forgetting and 'growing up' was thrusting himself into his work with more and more intensity and vigor, giving almost no mind to anything or anyone else. He was a medical student now-studying to be a doctor-at one of the top universities in the country. To most ordinary observers, Peter appeared to be doing just fine; a decent, hard-working young man with a good head on his shoulders very likely to have an excellent career in front of him. But then, to those same people, Susan had seemed to be no more than a normal-albeit very beautiful-young woman who enjoyed-in all her own rights-a good party every now and again. It took someone who knew the Pevensies true past lives as kings and queens to see the real problems they hid so well from the rest of the world-and from themselves.
It was Susan who had first noticed him slipping away and had tried-in vain-to pull him back. It was Edmund who had to come to terms with the fact that his brother was changing into someone he didn't even know anymore, whether he liked it or not. And it was Lucy who had taken it the hardest of all; this was because she was the one who loved him the most. She had been the closet to him of the four, being almost more of a daughter to him than a sister, staying by his side through nearly everything, and feeling her heart break when the Peter she knew all but disappeared completely right before her eyes.
Trying not to cry as she watched her brother and sister fumbling for the right words to say (the sensation of being Lucy's main comforters was somewhat new to them, having been largely Peter's domain before), Lucy fixed her eyes on the golden chain-bracelet with the little heart-shaped pendant hanging from its last glittering link. Peter had given it to her when she was twelve and she still wore it every day. Whenever she looked at it, she remembered that her eldest brother did love her and that he might return to his old self again-just as Susan had-some day. It gave her hope.
"Well now, then." Digory cleared his throat to rid the room of the uncomfortable silence it had suddenly found itself in and held up his glass of port (Susan and Polly had port, too, but Lucy, Edmund, Eustace, and Jill had been given only tea and milk) as if to give a toast.
Just before the professor could really begin his speech, Polly gasped and dropped her wineglass on the floor-it broke messily in several tiny shards.
"Aunt Polly, what is it?" Jill asked before following the eyes of everyone else in the room and seeing for herself what the cause of the hubbub was.
A man stood before them in full Narnian garb that was slightly stained and torn. He looked frightened and desperate, unable to stop blinking at them in amazement. His cheeks were bruised and anyone with half a brain upon seeing him knew-if nothing else-that he had surely passed a very disagreeable night somehow or other.
Susan felt everyone's eyes flickering from the Narnian man to her. She was the eldest queen present-it was up to her to address the man and rescue him if she could. Oh, how she wished Peter were there to deal with it! What was she supposed to do? She then wished that she was younger than Edmund, he looked so much calmer than she felt at the moment. Finally she gathered up enough courage to stand up and approach the Narnian man.
"Who are you?" she stood tall and tried to hold her head up in her old, once-familiar, queenly fashion. "Please speak to us, good sir."
The Narnian man went very pale in the face, flushing a withered-looking white colour underneath the darkness of his bluish-black bruises. Many times he appeared to be trying to speak to them but unable to make a sound, as if he was merely a phantom from-or else in-a dream. Then, as suddenly as he had appeared, he vanished into thin air-the look of broken dismay on his face the last bit of him they could catch sight of before he was gone.
Digory put his hand to his heart as if he was about to have a stroke. Edmund and Eustace couldn't stop glancing at each other with their mouths hanging agape. Jill whimpered. Polly plucked nervously at a small pearl-pendant necklace she was wearing on her white, wrinkled old neck. Lucy and Susan stared unwaveringly at the place where the man had been standing seeming unable to do much else.
A bay off the coast of England: September 4th 1949.
The yellowish sand on the shoreline gleamed pearly white under the light of shimmering half-moon glowing brightly above it. The waves were all white and green; breaking on the land in a sort of half-choppy kind of fashion. Peering out from behind a large rock, was a beautiful female face with a curtain of long pale hair flowing behind her. She wasn't human though, that much was certain. If anyone had been able to catch a full glimpse of her and knew anything about mythology, they would have whispered, 'Mermaid' to themselves at once. The mermaid flicked her long silvery-blue tail up and down rather impatiently as she strained her neck to be sure no one was watching her-except, of course, for the two people she had come out to meet.
Two brown-haired girls came out onto the shore; one of them carrying an electric torch. "Aqua?"
The girl with the torch was bare-footed and her hair was thrown back into a sloppy-looking ponytail; she reached the mermaid's hiding place first.
"Hailey?" whispered the mermaid, sticking her head a little further out.
"Aquamarine!" the other girl cried out happily. She was dressed in neater-looking clothes than her companion was, in spite of the fact that they were old fashioned and appeared to be hand-me-downs.
Aquamarine-the mermaid-noticed her and smiled. "Claire!"
"Oh, you made it!" said Hailey, lowering the torch a little, accidentally flashing it into Aquamarine's dark sea-blue eyes so that she blinked repeatedly until it was moved an inch or so over.
"We've missed you so much." Claire told her.
"I missed you both, too." Aquamarine assured them.
"How's the water?" Hailey asked; her mother was working to clean up the water in the local bays-she didn't know about mermaids-but she knew other creatures needed good water to live in and it was her job to ensure that they did. Now that she had a sea-faring friend herself, Hailey had actually started to take an interest in what her mother did.
"Simply delightful." Aquamarine giggled, reaching up and splashing her in the face. "Here, try some."
"You're coming with us to Bristol next week, right?" Claire asked her, just to be sure.
Aquamarine laughed-a very watery laugh, but that was only to be expected considering what she was-and tossed her head back as her cheeks flushed blue with excitement. "No, of course not, Claire, I've swum all this way to sit here and stare at nothing."
Hailey rolled her eyes and splashed the mermaid in Claire's defense. "Stop being such a little sea-princess, Aqua."
"Sorry, Claire." the mermaid amended.
"Were your six sisters very upset to see you go?" Hailey asked, more than a little curious about Aquamarine's family because, even though both she and Claire were best friends with the mermaid-just as they were with each other-they'd never met her family. They were much more discreet about appearing to humans than Aquamarine was; she was something of a family rebel.
"I can do what I like, they aren't the bosses of me." Hailey had forgotten that implying that Aquamarine was under anyone's authority-especially that of her sisters-was something of a sore spot with their ocean-bred, sharp-tongued friend.
"So are you going to meet us at the train station when we go?" Claire interrupted pointedly so as to steer clear of the possible row that was starting up.
Distracted, Aquamarine lost her sarcasm, became cheerful again-then insecure, and nodded. "Yes, I'll meet you there...is it very hard to find?"
Noticing that she suddenly seemed a little unsure, even child-like, they went over the directions again and promised not to leave with out her, even if, by some misfortune, the train did.
"I-I can't leave here until the sun comes up." Aquamarine reminded them shakily. "My tail wont turn into legs when the moon is out."
"We remember, it's okay." the girls said at the same time, reaching out and each squeezing one of her hands.
"See you tomorrow, then." said the mermaid. "I'll try and find you and maybe we can talk some more about this...Bristol...place we're going to next week."
"See you." Claire waved goodbye.
"Bye, Aqua." Hailey picked up her torch and turned to leave.
England: September 4th, 1949
"Now look here," said Edmund, finally breaking what had seemed to be an everlasting silence. "It's no use just sitting around staring at one another...we'll have to make some sort of plans," -turning to Digory- "Don't you think, Professor?"
"Yes, something must be going on in Narnia or else we wouldn't have seen that. Even if our visitor wasn't real-even if he was just a vision-we must do something." Digory agreed with him, puffing on his pipe again out of suppressed anxiety.
Susan didn't necessarily disagree with them, but she took a more practical approach in discussing the matter. "But what is the use?"
"Susan!" Eustace snapped, thinking she was suddenly reverting to her old ways.
"Don't look at me like that, cousin." Susan said shortly, feeling slightly put-out with him. "I didn't mean to imply that Narnia's well-being isn't important, only that we haven't got any way of getting there and solving anything."
"That man...is it just me or did his face...I mean, not very much, but a little, remind anyone else of...Caspian?" Lucy blurted out, not so randomly as it might seem.
Susan, who had never quite managed to forget his face in spite of the fact that she had long gotten over any feelings she might have once had for him, agreed with Lucy. "Yes, a little...very like Caspian, only with a different nose and lighter hair."
"Reminded me a bit of Rilian, too." Jill confessed, looking over at Eustace to see if he would back her up. He did.
"His hair was the same colour as Ramandu's daughter had." Edmund added, thinking back to his last trip into the Narnian world.
"You don't think he's related to them..." Susan mused, her eyes widening as she spoke.
"Yes, Su, that's exactly what we think." Lucy said. She didn't say it unkindly, or even sarcastically, she just said it. It was a simple, honest statement.
"Eustace and Jill...neither of you were ever told you couldn't go back to Narnia, were you?" Polly realized; the only one of the seven who seemed to have anything to say that was going to get them anywhere.
"Well...no," a small half-smile crept up onto Jill's face. Was it possible that she could go back? She'd been longing to see that place again; it was the sort of world she wished could last for ever, seeing as she knew in her heart of hearts that the one she was born into-England's world-probably couldn't. "Do you really think...?"
"Now look here," Eustace cut in, throwing his hands in the air. "just because we weren't told we couldn't go back doesn't mean we can just go into Narnia at will, Aunt Polly." turning to Jill, he added, "It's useless to get our hopes up, Pole."
The Professor suddenly became quiet and withdrawn, taking one last deep puff on the pipe, he said in a low voice-nearly a whisper, "But would it be wrong if you could?"
"How do you mean?" Lucy, though she didn't know why, suddenly felt her cheeks growing hot with an inward, prickly-feeling sort of fear.
Polly at once understood what he meant and uttered two little words, "The rings."
And five faces gazed incredulously at her and Digory.
England: September 5th, 1949
The streets of London were dead still except for the cars going by-they rolled by in a rather speedy fashion, forceful, but not with enough rage to induce anything actually resembling a din at that early morning hour-and the smog felt thicker than usual to the young medical student on his way back home to his apartment.
This young man looked rather like that hot scary place where the devil lives; one eye slightly blackened, a large gaping hole in the side of one of his boots, the smell of alcohol shooting off of his coat in a very offensive manner. He wasn't drunk, though, he'd barely had anything at all to drink at the bar he had just gotten himself kicked out of-he could barely even pass for tipsy. It was probably for the better that he'd had most of his senses and wits about him because he had still managed to get himself into a bar fight being nearly sober!
It wasn't that he had wanted to cause trouble; he hadn't even meant to go to the bar in the first place. It was just that his study-group (which he joined only because one of his professors threatened to lower his grades if he didn't) had all gone and had somehow managed to talk him into coming.
You would never believe that the mess of a man who had turned the corner and was now slinking up the narrow stairs leading to his apartment-and hopefully, he thought, being nearly ready to plop down right where he was, his bed-was once the high king of Narnia.
Although Peter was much too tired to allow his mind to wander as much as he was, he let it go anyway, he had no hopes of stopping it. He found himself wondering why he hadn't walked away from that fight-why he hadn't walked away from countless others as a young school boy-he knew it wasn't because he didn't know any better, truly, he knew more than anyone that violence never solved most issues outside of out-right war...and yet...his fist had still flown...there had still been shouting and cursing and an angry bartender grabbing him by the back of his coat and hurling him outside.
When Peter reached the top of the stairs, he shakily fumbled for his keys, found them, opened the door and pretty much threw himself inside.
What has gotten into me? He wondered-feeling strangely as if he was suddenly running from something, I have a reputation to uphold and look at me!
"Peter?" a concerned voice said as a light was turned on, making him jump.
"Holy-" Peter put his hand to his heart and took a deep breath when he recognized his roommate. "-oh, it's you! You gave me a fright, Warren."
Warren Roberts, Peter Pevensie's roommate, was also Susan Pevensie's boyfriend-but she had never told him about Narnia so Peter had taken a liking to hanging out with him because he was one of the few people close to him that didn't constantly try talk about his old kingdom. Plus, it helped having someone around who was willing to pay half the rent.
"Phyllis called for you." Warren told him (Phyllis was a sort of joke-name he had for Susan because the first time they had met, at a subway station, she'd wanted nothing to do with him and had lied to him about her name). "She was pretty worried when I told her you weren't home yet...she really wanted to talk to you, said it was very important."
Peter moaned and took a seat on the couch. "I'm sure it's nothing, you know how girls can get."
Warren looked like he was holding back a grimace. "Peter, why are you avoiding your siblings?"
"I'm not." Peter lied quickly and with too much false-conviction.
"You used to go on and on about how upset you were with Susan for cutting you and the others out of her life a couple years back and now you're doing the same thing." said Warren; it was very apparent that he was dead-serious because he didn't even bother calling Susan by her fake name.
"Bull manure." Peter muttered, putting his hand to his black eye.
Compassion won Warren's kind nature over when he noticed his friend was somewhat injured and he let the issue slide for the time being. "Ice pack or steak?"
"Fine." he stood up with a heavy sigh. "Sit tight, I'll be right back."
"Thanks, mate." Peter closed his eyes and-not being completely used to being worn down from anything that wasn't cramming for an exam-drifted off to sleep.
AN: So, Whatja think? Should I keep going? Please review!