Disclaimer: I do not own The Chronicles of Narnia.
-wow, I am so incredibly sorry for not updating sooner! I have been so busy with school and color guard, and now fencing... I'm just exhausted all the time. So, this chapter is a bit shorter than the others, so I'm sorry for that too. I'm not satisfied with the chapter name; I may change it later on.
Summary: Susan and her brother Edmund climb through a wardrobe into the magical world of Narnia. There, the White Witch rules cruelly, and she turns Edmund to stone. To get him back, Susan must enlist the help of young Queen Lucy and the overconfident High King Peter.
Chapter VI – Reality
He didn't exactly see what had happened, but Peter did hear the deafening screams that followed. Growling, he swung his sword at the White Witch again. However, she was too good, matching blow for blow, ice sparking as their weapons clashed. The centaurs that had accompanied him were busy fighting the wolves, and the gryphons were attacking the enemies from above. He wobbled atop his horse from all the movement, but no matter how jostled he was, his crown remained firmly on his blond head. He knew the White Witch knew this.
"Another time then, Peter-dear," she offered, blasting him back with a sweep of her wand. Then, she and her surviving wolves were gone.
Susan was only vaguely aware of the battle taking place around her. She was too focused on the blood. There was so much blood… She was crying and screaming and staring transfixed at her left pinkie finger.
Where her left pinkie finger should have been.
It had all happened so fast! Susan had thrown her hands up for protection, and then something had distracted Jadis, so that she swung and missed stabbing Susan's chest. Instead, the wand tip had grazed a finger. The finger had turned to stone. And the momentum of Jadis's attack kept the staff moving, cutting right into the stone and breaking the finger off into tiny pieces.
Her finger was now shattered across the snow. There was too much pain in her hand to concentrate on anything else, but she was slightly aware of the nauseous feeling in her belly. Aware enough to lean over and retch into red snow. All she could see was blood, because she couldn't look at the mass of tissue and bone visible on her hand. She didn't know if it was blood from her hand or her ankle, but Susan had always been more squeamish than not. She threw up again.
"Are you really that stupid?"
She wiped her chin with her right hand and looked up to find Peter glaring down at her. She tried to answer but her throat was weak from vomiting. She ended up sobbing with pain when she accidentally looked at her hand.
"What in the world were doing?" he demanded. "You almost got yourself killed! I could have been killed! Do you realize the damage you've caused with your foolishness? Two of our centaurs are dead because of you!"
Susan could barely hear his words over her own cries. She couldn't stop herself; her finger had just been chopped off. But he was right: she had almost died. The throbbing of her hand was no dream; this had to all be real. I almost died, Susan thought over and over. I almost died, and I lost a finger…!
A loud ripping noise brought her to her senses. Peter was tearing at the hem of her dress. Before she could protest, he had already torn off a large piece. He wrapped it tightly around her left hand, where it was instantly soaked.
"Stop crying," he told her.
Susan tried but could not stop sobbing. She looked at her bandage with a horrified expression, and Peter's glare softened. Yes, she was one stupid girl. But he said nothing more on it for the moment. He instructed several of the centaurs to return to the castle ahead of them. Then he tugged at Susan's arm.
"We need to get back to the castle now," he told her. "The Witch might return with backup; we need to move." Susan tried to stand, but her left ankle gave way immediately. Peter helped her up again, allowing her to lean on him for support. He was three years younger than her, but Susan found that Peter was about her height, and much stronger.
"I will carry her, Sire," one of the centaurs offered.
"No, I think it's best if she ride with me," Peter replied firmly. "Can you help her onto my horse?"
The centaur started to lift her, but Susan flailed so much that he had to put her down. Peter sighed impatiently. "What now?" he asked.
"The crown," she choked, tears still streaming down her cheeks. "Where's the crown…?"
"Crown? What crown?"
"Your sister… Lucy gave me…"
"Lucy gave you a crown?" Peter asked roughly. "Where is it then?"
"I… I don't know!" Susan cried. "I must've dropped it somewhere!"
Peter could no longer contain his anger and frustration, and he decided to punch a tree. He might have preferred to punch Susan right then, but he had been taught better than to strike a woman. He returned to the grotesque spot where Susan had been sitting, but he could not find the crown.
"You lost the crown," he told her flatly. "I bet the White Witch took it; no wonder she left so quickly! You let the Witch get her hands on something that valuable! UGH what is wrong with you?"
"I was trying to rescue my brother!" Susan shouted into his face. "All I wanted to do was rescue my brother! I just want to go home… I want to go home!" She began to cry all over again.
Peter had the centaur successfully mount Susan onto the horse, and he climbed up after her. After making sure her injured leg wouldn't move too much, he kicked his boots into his horse and rode off toward Cair Paravel.
"I'm sorry," Susan whispered, looking down at her bandage. "I'm really sorry…"
"Yeah? Well sorry won't bring back the Narnians we lost! Sorry won't rescue your brother or get you home!" he scolded. He felt her flinch away, and so when he continued, it was with a softer tone. "I know you're sorry. But you shouldn't have run off like that! You had no idea what you were doing and now one of our magical crowns is gone. You do realize you gave the Witch your only form of protection, right? We don't have another spare!"
"I said I'm sorry!"
"I know, I know… You just need to listen to us from now on; don't go running off by yourself!"
Susan sat across the horse uncomfortably, but she didn't complain; she was deep in thought about what was possibly happening. There was no more pretending it was all just a bad dream. The throbbing pain in her hand was real enough. But what did that mean? That she and Edmund had actually been transported to an alternate universe inside a wardrobe? It just didn't make sense. It was like something out of a fairytale; Susan liked fairytales, but they all had happy endings. Losing a finger was not a happy ending. And even if somehow this was all really happening, surely the Professor or Mrs. Macready would have discovered it. Although… Mrs. Macready was hardly the type to explore wardrobes, and the Professor had probably never seen it. It had just been sitting there, collecting dust, until Susan and Edmund had stumbled upon it.
As they passed through the gates, Lucy ran forward to meet them. "Oh thank goodn— Peter, she's bleeding!"
"I know," he replied gruffly, dismounting his horse. He had one of the centaurs lift Susan and carry her inside. Then he turned back to Lucy.
"The Witch stole that crown you gave her! Now it's only a matter of time before she penetrates these walls! She will absorb the crown's magic and make it her own! Our mother's sacrifice is useless!"
Lucy sniffled. "Don't yell at me, Peter! I only gave her that crown for protection! If she hadn't had it, Susan would probably be dead!"
The siblings stared at each other, panting. Lucy, always the first to recover from their arguments, looked around for a change of subject.
"Where's her horse?"
Peter flinched; Lucy never took death well. "It… we couldn't find it. I think it must have run off during the battle." At Lucy's startled look, he told her about what happened.
"She lost a finger…?"
"I had Oreius take her to Healer Cloudbirth. Hopefully he can help."
Fun Fact: I listen to the Narnia soundtracks repeatedly while writing this story. It helps my inspiration and gets me in a Narnian mood haha.
Please review, it helps to motivate me!