Disclaimer: I do not own the Chronicles of Narnia. If I did, the Prince Caspian movie would have been much closer to the book. I would also be dead, and a man. I am clearly neither.
The night after we had fallen out of the wardrobe, we sat on Peter's bed in the boys' room and talked about how to deal with being back here. Despite numerous attempts, none of us had found any way back through the wardrobe. Though none of us were pleased by the prospect, it seemed that we were stuck here for the time being, and we would have to deal with it.
"Come now," Susan said, "at least we are in friendly territory."
That was Susan, always trying to look on the bright side.
"I noticed you didn't call it 'home,'" replied the ever-observant Edmund.
Susan glowered at him. Peter scowled at both.
"You're not helping, Ed. I suppose there's nothing for it but to try to re-adjust."
Re-adjust. None of us had even begun to comprehend how difficult that would be once we were "home." When we were with Professor Kirke, it was easy enough. He believed us when we talked about Narnia. How could he not when he had been there once himself? He understood that we had lived a lifetime already, and he treated us with the respect due to the monarchs of Narnia. In his country manor, we could talk freely about life at home. We could wonder and conjecture about what might have happened since we had left.
It was different once Mum picked us up from the train station. We were thrilled to see her. After all, twenty years is an awfully long time to go without seeing one's mother. We had all missed her something dreadful. I think Ed felt it most. He had been something of a prig when we had said goodbye. I knew from the way she clutched me in her arms that it wouldn't be easy to be around her. This was reaffirmed when she held my hand as we crossed the street, and the way she spoke to me as if I couldn't understand words that had more than two syllables. By the time we had arrived home from the train station, I was more than a little cross. I tried to smile a pretty little girl smile, and pretend that I was not at all annoyed, but Edmund quickly saw through that. He drew Mum's attention to himself.
"Mother, I feel I should apologize for my behavior before I left," he began. "I can see, looking back that I was being horrible both to you and my Ki-- I mean brother-- Peter, especially. Peter was gracious enough to accept my apology, and I do hope that you might do the same."
I could see that he had more to say. In Narnia, his apologies were often long. He liked to make it clear that he understood exactly what he had done wrong, and that he would try to never do such a thing again. Mother just clutched him to her, weeping about how her little boy had grown up, and of course she forgave him.
We all went to bed early that night. I think we were all desperate to be away from the weepy woman who was our mother.
I could hear the crickets chirping. It was somehow off, but I couldn't put my finger on just what was wrong with the sound. The sheets were colder than they usually were. My toes were chilled. I reached a hand out from under the blanket, hoping to find the husband that was being cruel enough to deny me his warmth. My fingers found nothing. That was odd.
"Tumnus?" I called, hoping to bring my wayward faun back to bed.
There was no answer. Had he left the room? Groggily, I opened my eyes. The pale pink walls that had once been familiar and now were foreign brought me back to reality. I wasn't home anymore. I was back in England, the place of my long distant childhood. Catching sight of the new doll Mum had bought for me yesterday, I was reminded that I had been forced not only into the place of my childhood, but also back into childhood itself. I had tried to talk Mum out of buying me the silly doll-- Aslan knows we don't have money to spare on frivolities-- but she had insisted.
I hated the stupid pink walls. I hated the ridiculous teddies and dollies that were littered about this awful room. I hated the dirty air I had to breath and the scratchy sheets. More than anything else, I hated that my toes were cold. I was away from my husband, my love. We had been back in England for three weeks now, and this was the part I was having the most trouble adjusting to. I hated waking up alone. Since our marriage nearly six years ago, Tumnus and I had never slept apart. I missed his funny cloven hooves, his warm, fur covered legs, his darling goat's ears. I missed his blue eyes and his warm smile. I missed the way his arms felt wrapped around my waist. I missed the feel of his hair between my fingers. I missed everything about him. And I hated it. I hated this stupid world for taking him away from me. I felt hot tears slipping down my cheeks. I had known this wouldn't be easy.
Resigned, I pushed back the covers and sat up. My overly frilled nightgown had bunched uncomfortably around my thighs during the night, and I spent several moments struggling to right it before giving up. I slid my feet into the slippers beside my bed and pulled my dressing gown off its hook. The dressing gown had once belonged to Susan. It had been her favorite shade of purple, but was now worn and faded. I found it was still serviceably warm as I pulled my bedroom door open slightly and poked my head into the hall. I was lucky; the lights were all out, which meant that no one else was awake.
I crept down the hall, trying to remember where to step to avoid the creaks in the floor. It was useless. I had been away too long. I winced as the second stair made a particularly loud squeak. Before too long, I had managed to pull the back door open and was standing out in the garden. The night air was crisp, but my dressing gown and slippers saved me from being cold.
I closed my eyes for a moment to appreciate the feel of the night air and the stars on my face. I tilted my head back to catch more starlight, pretending that I was back home. The sound of a plane overhead ruined the effect. With a sigh, I opened my eyes and went to sit on the little bench. It seemed forever ago that Father had carved our names into the wood.
"Little girls should not be outside in the middle of the night."
I turned to glare at the speaker, whoever it was. It was Edmund.
"Queens, however--well, I suppose they can do whatever they like."
I softened, and Edmund came and sat beside me, putting an arm around my shoulder.
"What woke you up, Lu?"
"My feet were cold," I told him. "Tumnus never let my feet get cold."
"I suppose his furry legs would keep them warm."
I could feel tears leaking from my eyes as I nodded.
"What's this, then? A king and queen sitting in the dark?" came Peter's teasing voice.
He had a small blanket with him. He spread it on the ground at the foot of the bench, and Ed and I dropped from the bench to sit on it with him.
"It's almost dawn," Peter whispered with a sort of reverence.
"You'll all catch your death sitting on the cold ground like that with nothing to keep you warm."
We all looked up to see Susan standing in the doorway with a tea tray. She came and sat the tray down between us on the blanket, then fussed, making sure each of us had a proper cup, before taking her own and sitting on the bench.
The four of us were silent as we sat and enjoyed the night. We kings and queens of Narnia sat on a blanket in an English garden and watched the sun rise slowly. If the buildings obscuring the horizon had been trees, it could almost have been a Narnian dawn. Tears trickled down my cheeks, and as I looked at my siblings, I could see tears on their faces as well. Edmund grasped one of my hands, and Susan leaned down from her bench to hold the other. We Narnians watched a foreign sun light up a foreign sky.
Ok, that's the first chapter done! I hope you all liked it. I am going to try update once a week, but I will be a bit busy with finals soon. If you think I am taking too long, feel free to yell at me. I hope you all like it!