A/N I obviously do not own any of these characters, only the plot.
This story is set between the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian. The story doesn't relate in any way to the rest of the series, only the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. Also the character description matches the characters in the movies.
And yes, the title of this story and the titles of the chapters are lyrics from the song At the Beginning from the movie Anastasia. I also don't own this.
At the Beginning
Starting Out on a Journey
Susan Pevensie sat alone in her house, sipping her tea and reading a newspaper that her older brother Peter had brought in earlier that morning. She often found that reading the newspaper distracted her from thinking of Narnia and any chance of ever going back, so she read the newspaper every day, at least twice a day.
It was a bit of a nasty day out, considering it was only October. Snow flurries flew around outside the window, and Susan wondered what in the world her younger siblings could be doing outside on a day like this. She knew that Peter would be at his friend Jacob's house, but Lucy and Edmund would probably be outside, even though it was freezing. She felt like screaming at them to come inside, but then realized that she truly couldn't be bothered. She continued to read the newspaper, when she suddenly heard a strange noise. It sounded familiar, but she couldn't exactly place it. She ignored it, looking down at her paper. There was a large picture of a medieval style castle with giant flags blowing in the wind; a tall wall surrounding what she guessed would be a city that the castle looked over.
Wait a second.
She looked at the flags again, and noticed that they were actually blowing in the wind, flapping around violently. She looked at the entrance to the city and saw a cart pulled by a donkey slowly moving out of sight. She put the paper closer to her face, and felt a strange tug in the pit of her stomach. She closed her eyes, and when she opened them again she found herself staring at the castle, except it looked much larger now, and there was colour in the flags. She looked around her, and saw that her house had completely disappeared. Instead she was sitting on a large stone pathway that led into the city. She stood up, wondering what in the world had just happened. She started to make her way into the city. It was built like an old medieval city, the same as the castle, and all of the inhabitants were dressed as though they lived in the 1600's. She felt out of place in her school uniform, and lots of people seemed to be staring at her. One person whispered something into their neighbour's ear, and the neighbour ran away. Susan wondered if maybe she had done something wrong, maybe this was a strictly male city. No, there were woman walking around too. She wandered around aimlessly for what she guessed must have been at least half an hour. During that time she decided that she must be in Narnia, there was no other explanation. But why had she come? And where were her siblings? And where exactly in Narnia was she?
An older man riding a horse came galloping towards her, and when he reached her he dismounted and bowed. Susan felt flattered; it had been a while since anybody had bowed down to her.
"Queen Susan?" asked the old man. She nodded, "But where are the rest?"
"I do not know" she said, "May I ask who you are?"
"Oh yes! I am Doctor Cornelius, tutor to prince Caspian"
"Caspian? I have never heard the name… Where am I?"
"You are in Narnia of course"
"Yes, but I mean… where in Narnia?"
"Oh, I would tell you but you would now know how to pronounce the name. Come now my queen, we must get you back to the castle. Caspian has been expecting you"
Susan mounted the horse with the old man's help and they made their way towards the giant castle. Susan was amazed at how beautiful it looked up close. They rode through the gates of the castle, and the Doctor helped Susan off the horse when they reached the gardens.
"Continue down this path your majesty, you will find the prince at the end. I will join you shortly"
Susan didn't know what to expect as she walked through the gardens of the castle, following the path that the Doctor had indicated to her, but it certainly wasn't what she saw. At the end of the path was a young man, probably only eighteen, with long black hair and tanned skin, swinging a sword against a straw dummy. Susan was impressed by his skill, but Edmund was still the best swordsman she had ever seen. She watched in silence, afraid of breaking his concentration, until he noticed her. He wiped some sweat of his brow as he faced her.
"Hello" he said. She was surprised by how colloquially he greeted her. She smiled shyly.
"Are you… searching for someone?"
"Depends" she said.
"On whether or not you are prince Caspian"
"I am" he said.
"Then I am not searching for someone" she said, bowing before him.
"What brings you here, stranger?' he asked.
"I do not know… but I was told by the Doctor to follow this path and I would find you. Apparently you have been expecting me"
"Expecting you? Well, I am expecting four kings and queens, and since you are only one peasant dressed rather oddly… no, you must be mistaken"
"I am not a peasant. Well, in England perhaps, but in Narnia I am Queen Susan, the Gentle" she said, sounding angry, even though she really wasn't.
Caspian dropped his sword, his eyes wide. In an instant he was on his knees, his head bowed.
"I beg for your forgiveness your highness. I did not mean to offend"
Susan giggled, and Caspian looked up at her, confused.
"I wasn't offended" she smiled and brushed a strand of hair out from in front of her face, "I was only joking. But I am Queen Susan, though you may call me Susan"
Caspian stood up, and gave her a crooked smile, then a confused look.
"But if you are Queen Susan… where are the rest of the Kings and Queens of old?" he asked, "I was told the horn would summon all of you"
"The horn!" she said, snapping her fingers, "That was what I heard!" then she looked at him apologetically, "I'm afraid though your highness that I do not know where Peter, Edmund and Lucy are. I do not doubt that they are in Narnia, they must have just appeared somewhere else"
"No need for formalities" he replied, smiling, "If I am to call you Susan then you are to call me Caspian"
"Why did you summon us?" she asked. Caspian sighed.
"I am in need of help, more specifically the help of somebody who lived in the days of old Narnia"
"The days of old Narnia?" asked Susan, "Why my siblings and I only left Narnia less than six months ago"
"Where you come from, perhaps, but in Narnia it has been over thirteen hundred years. This is why I need your help. I am in need of refuge. My aunt is pregnant, and it would not surprise me if she gave birth to a son. I have heard the stories of old Narnia, and am hoping that the Narnians will provide me with the refuge that I seek"
"I am sure they will" said Susan, "But why do you need our help?"
"Well, as you can see, I am a Telmarine, and the Narnians are not too fond of us. I was hoping that if I was accompanied by the Kings and Queens of Old they would grow to trust me"
"You are a Telmarine? What are you doing in Narnia?" she asked. When her and her siblings had lived in Narnia there were no Telmarines in Narnia, only in their homeland, Telmar.
"It is a long story" he said, giving her another crooked smile.
"I see the two of you have become acquainted" said the Doctor, walking towards them.
"Cornelius, are the horses ready?" asked Caspian. The Doctor nodded.
"Yes my prince, they are ready to leave when you are"
"Then we have no time to waste" he said, then he turned to Susan, "I expect you will be joining us?"
"Joining you? Where are you going?"
"In search of the Narnians of course" he said, as if it should be obvious.
"Well I suppose I should, since my accompanying you in your search for Narnians is the reason you called me" she said. Caspian nodded and guided her and his tutor towards the stables. Caspian mounted a black stallion while the Doctor chose the same horse from earlier. Susan got on the last available horse, a beautiful brown horse with wild eyes. She stroked it's mane before the three of them set off. As they rode in silence, a thousand questions formed in Susan's mind. Why had Caspian truly call her and her brothers and sister? She didn't believe that it was simply because he wanted to gain the trust of the Narnians so he could become a refugee among them. Why were the Telmarines in Narnia? Why were the Narnians in hiding? Why did the horses not talk? Where exactly had Peter, Edmund and Lucy turned up? She hoped to find the answers to these questions soon, as well as her siblings. This new Narnia was so unfamiliar to her that it felt as if this were her first time in Narnia. Finally, after what seemed like hours of riding at a fast pace, Caspian's horse slowed down. Susan hadn't really been paying attention as to where they were, and was surprise to find herself in a large forest. She slowed her horse down too, until all three horses came to a complete stop.
"We will rest here for the night" announced Caspian. Susan admired the young man. He was so young, and yet he was obviously born to be a leader. Susan dismounted her horse and tied it to a tree. The Doctor and Caspian did the same, and Caspian started searching for some sticks and branches to make a fire.
"Would you like some help?" asked Susan, and Caspian shrugged, so Susan decided to begin searching. Soon she found several branches large enough to make a fire and she brought them to the where Caspian had begun to deposit all of the sticks and branches that he found. He noticed the amount she had brought, and looked at her impressed.
"Where did you find these? They are the perfect wood for fire…"
"Because the tree they come from is naturally dry. I found them by the tree that they had fallen from. You must remember that I have lived in Narnia longer than you have"
He nodded, still impressed, and started to make the fire.
"May I ask why we need a fire?" she asked, "It is a warm day, and it doesn't cool of too much at night"
"We need a fire for two reasons," said Caspian, not looking up from his work, "Because we need to cook the meat that I asked Cornelius to pack, and because a good story is told better around a fire"
"Two actually" he said, "I will be telling you about how the Telmarines came to Narnia and basically everything that has happened when you were away, and you will be telling me the story of what happened when you resided in Narnia"
"Sounds like a deal" she said, smiling and Caspian dedicated a third crooked smile to her.