I just want to forewarn everyone that this story takes place after the Last Battle and if you have not read the books by C.S. Lewis, then this fanfiction is full of spoilers. So, therefore, I highly suggest you go read those books and then return for a better reading experience, I promise it will make that much of a difference. As for everyone else (those of you who choose to ignore my warning and read on regardless, and those of you who have read the books and are proud of the fact) I, myself, have only read two Chronicles of Narnia books: The Silver Chair and The Last Battle. So, that being stated, I apologize in advance if I don't get everything entirely accurate; I will try my best to make it as close to the novel as possible. For the most part, however, this fanfiction will be movie-based and have a novel-based foundation. (I sure hope that made sense, because that's the best I can explain it, lol.) I always welcome ideas and long reviews, so without further ado, happy reading!
Cair Paravel. She had only been here once before and only for a single day. However, this wasn't even the same Cair Paravel at all, for nothing in this world was quite the same—it was, by all accounts, better. She had never—even in her wildest dreams—imagined that she might one day call the magnificent palace her home. She sat upon her throne and sighed heavily. Her life in England was, in few words, boring and imperfect; her life in Narnia was exciting and imperfect; her life now was boring and perfect—she hated it. This place was perfect in all senses and meanings of the word and she absolutely hated it. Here you had all range of emotion, except one—fear. There was no fear in Aslan's country and no panic. It was fear and panic that one should be forced to overcome to be courageous and daring! When all was without fear, all was also without courage and the Queen of the Glorious Mountains Above simply could not find peace within her heart knowing she reigned over a land where courage didn't exist.
Jill furrowed her brow as she stared at the emptiness of Cair Paravel's throne room. She had been playing with a loose strand of her wavy blonde hair and mulling over these thoughts in her mind. The Pevencies and their cousin were out enjoying themselves in the magical land whilst she was stuck here. Aslan had given them the opportunity to spend their death in Narnia rather than the country of their birth. Jill had, originally, been quite thrilled with this, but now grew tired of it. She removed her crown from her head and admired its craftsmanship. Leaves and small delicate flowers looked as if they were growing from the bright metal. She smiled. She loved the way her silver crown looked as if it had been grown from the Narnian soil itself. Jill frowned. As much as she wished it otherwise, she had grown an over-endearing fondness for the Narnia that she once remembered—the Narnia from the Shadow Realm. She relished all the imperfections of it, and that was what made it perfect to her. Perhaps one could not feel fear here in this land, but sadness and longing were emotions which she knew all too well in New Narnia.
"A Queen of Narnia should not be without her crown, Your Highness."
Jill was startled by the voice of the faun at her side. She was relieved to see it was Lucy's friend Mr. Tumnus. He was a loyal subject and well-respected servant of Cair Paravel's royalty and Jill had found out quickly he was especially beloved by the Valiant Queen of the Glistening Eastern Sea. He smiled at the queen and made a slight bow before her. "Please, allow me, Queen Jill," he said politely, taking the crown from Jill's nimble fingers and placing it on her head.
"You have my thanks for kind words, Faun. Is there a matter in which you require my assistance?" Jill questioned; it was standard protocol to ask if there was anything she could aid him with since he had entered the throne room.
Mr. Tumnus had one of the most charming smiles Jill had ever encountered. He knelt before her Highness, "I come to ask your advice on a matter, my Queen."
The lips of rose red on her porcelain face curled into a devious smile at the faun's words. "We both know which Queen you consider to be yours, Mr. Tumnus," He had opened his mouth to speak, but she continued, "but, that is of no consequence to me. What may I advise you on, Friend?"
He looked somewhat sheepish when Jill mentioned his relationship with Lucy. "Well, Your Majesty, I would like advice on her Highness Queen Lucy, actually."
"How did I know?" Jill asked playfully.
Mr. Tumnus smiled at her, "Well, your title is Queen Jill the Intuitive. Your powers of insight do not surprise me in the slightest."
She looked over the faun thoughtfully. It seemed to her he was missing something. An emotion. She sighed. Fear. She missed it and the painicking rush of anxiety that always seemed to accompany it. Why was it she yearned to see fear in someone's eyes so badly? It was true, Tumnus—under any pretenses of the Shadow Narnia—would have been studdering and trembling with the fear of rejection from his loving queen. Jill's eyes were kind and soft as she looked down at the faun on one knee. She tilted her head to the side in slight wonder and curiosity, "Mr. Tumnus, what intentions lie within your heart for Queen Lucy the Valiant, if I may be so bold as to ask?"
"I think you know, Queen of the Mountain Stronghold. However, if I must elaborate my feelings for Queen Lucy, I will simply say I have waited many long years to tell her what I had planned on telling her the night of her disappearance from the previous Narnia."
Jill's eyes began brimming with tears and her face began to redden. Tumnus was concerned, had he said something wrong to her? "You waited all this time for her? To tell her your feelings?" she paused to recompose herself; she was touched by the faun's passion for his queen, "You said you seek advice, but I fail to see what advice I could possibly offer to someone whose love for another is so strong it could last and transcend lifetimes."
"You don't think it would be—unfitting?"
"What I think unfitting is that you have been forced by circumstance into waiting so long to tell her! Queen Lucy has eyes for no Son of Adam," Jill winked at the faun before her, "perhaps there's a reason for that—a reason with hooves."
He stood and bowed to the youngest queen, thanking her for her time and her advice. Jill was pleased with herself, it wasn't often that a Narnian came to seek aid in this world, but when one did it was very rewarding. She sighed once more and propped her head up with her hand. She inwardly wished that Susan would return to her throne so she wouldn't have to sit in this dull throne room every other day. Her afterlife was being wasted on such trivial things. Seeing the demands of the people were met was the duty of the High King and Queen, of which Jill was neither. However, she had been appointed the position of Acting-High Queen by High King Peter. Until Susan came to reclaim her throne, Jill would stand in her place. It truly was an honor, but Jill knew she was not meant to be the High Queen, and thus, did not want the responsibility of the title.
"I seek an audience with the High Queen of Narnia," the deep, majestic voice said from the entrance.
Jill raised her head and immediately sat upright to seem more lively and alert as she watched Aslan enter the throne room. She idly wondered if she should stand and bow to the Great Lion, but decided against it as she pondered his words. "I apologize, there is no High Queen here, Your Excellency."
"Then I will speak with you in her stead, Queen Jill."
"Of course, how may I be of service?"
Aslan sat on his haunches at the base of Jill's throne. He stared at her for awhile with what looked to be a great sadness in his golden eyes. "Jill, you are the most dedicated queen in all of Narnia, yet I can not help but notice that you are often immersed in memories of the past. Wishing for things that are no longer pertinent to your—or any of the dead's—existance."
"What troubles you?" Aslan asked, intrigued and concerned.
She felt like a cornered lamb in the eyes of the lion. Jill did not wish to seem ungratful or arrogant, but she missed the days of olde. "Aslan, I do like it here, but... part of me still feels that this is the shadow land of another Narnia and I don't know that those feelings will ever leave."
"No, but it is something I often dream of now."
She further explained her theory of fear and its connection to courage. Aslan was keen on removing that thought from her mind. He, instead, suggested that all who now live here in happiness have all—at least once—experienced fear and gained courage from it. "All who dwell here are courageous," Aslan said with a rumble that must have been a chuckle, "courage is not extinct, it lives within the very core of every Narnian now."
"What of love, then? How is love to grow here?" Jill asked him.
"You saw for yourself. A certain faun has held deep feelings of love for centuries. His love for the Daughter of Eve will blossom and know no bounds."
"It has limits here, though."
"None that were not already set in the world of the living."
"The love they have is not procreated, it is merely expanding on something that already was. I long to punish the pernicious, and live where courage is not a given right, but rather—earned. Yet here—" she had to pause to find a suitable phrase, "there are no such things. I find the most perfect way to live is to live in imperfection."
She did not mean to argue with the lion, but simply express her own views. He watched her for a long time and saw a solemn and passionate fire in her yearning eyes. After some time of silence Aslan seemed to give her what might have been a lion's smile. Her brow furrowed, perplexed. "Queen Jill, am I to understand that your truest desire of happiness lies with an imperfect Narnia? One with its own mysteries and pitfalls?"
A wide smile stretched from one ear to the next. "Yes, the Narnia that existed in my mind back when I was living in England."
"Who would return to that Narnia? And at what cost?"
"What do you mean?"
She thought she could hear him purring, but she wasn't sure. He spoke softly now, "Nothing comes without a price, dear one. I shall leave it to you to decide at what cost you will gain this imperfect Narnia you so desire."
"What about Queen Susan? Surely she would—"
"Do not rely so heavily on High Queen Susan and her actions. For she has abandoned Narnia in favor of more pleasing things. However, I encourage you to speak with your fellow rulers on this matter, for it will affect them as well." He rose to leave, thanking her for her counsel.
Jill didn't know what just happened. She supposed she would have to ask the others their opinions on the situation since Aslan had suggested it.