To all my dear readers: This will be the last chapter in this Tale of a Displaced Monarch. Thank you for your kind reviews and the enthusiastic response to my first fanfic!
I'm thinking about doing my next fic on either Harold and Alberta's take on the Pevensies' stay in Cambridge (both book- and movie- based), or on Charn before the Deplorable Word. (I'm the sort of person who can't chew gum and type at the same time, so working on two stories would be beyond me.) Please mention your preferences when you review!
Disclaimer: For the eleventh and final time, I do not own Narnia (and I wouldn't want Calormen [may it live forever]); and I am no closer to owning it than the moment I began this story!
It was a rare thing for the girls of St. Finbar's to be allowed over at Hendon House, or vice versa, so it surprised Peter to no end to find his little sister in his schoolyard surrounded by a rapt audience of his fellow schoolmates—among them members of the Busybody Society. Apparently, Lucy was spinning her stories again with an ease and grace that transported the audience to a world beyond the universe.
As he walked past, he heard her voice as he had heard it so many times at the Cair—the excitement mounting as her voice became louder, then dropped down so that shivers ran up and down spines and bodies shuddered.
And then with a flurry of blades and armor, the usurper attacked. There was no need for his countrymen's cheers to encourage him in his wild assault. Then the shouting died down, for the High King fell.
A horrible silence followed her hushed words. Boys wiped their foreheads of sweat and surreptitiously scrubbed their cheeks.
He had fallen on his shield. Then Miraz' sword flashed high above his head, his white teeth gleaming as he bared them, as a wolf bares his fangs before he lunges at his cowering prey. But the King rolled off his shield and away from Miraz, who followed him, slashing furiously, intent on destroying all Narnian resistance with one blow.
But he had met his match in the younger boy. With a quick reversal, the King swept his body against Miraz' legs, bringing the older man crashing down. Then all time seemed to stand still as the King rose, standing over the usurper, sword point down.
He stood over him, waiting to deal the death blow. Then he hesitated. "What troubles you, boy?" taunted Miraz. "Too cowardly to take a life?"
"No," replied the King. "But it's not mine to take." And he handed the sword to Caspian.
A relieved sigh went up from her audience. Apparently they liked the King and were quite pleased to discover his chivalrous heart.
Peter knew the rest of the story—about Caspian's refusal to kill his uncle, about the battle that ensued, about chasing the Telmarines to Beruna's Bridge. He did not listen to Lucy's voice; instead, he watched the boys as they heard the story.
And then, Lucy finished quietly, the four sovereigns of Narnia stepped forward. Aslan nodded to them as they prepared to take their leave. The High King grasped Glenstorm's arm as the Centaur smiled at him. The Just King said his farewells to the noble Mouse and Badger, and…
Even after a month, Lucy could not trust herself to speak of Trumpkin without tears.
…and the girls said goodbye to their various friends. Then they stepped through the tree and…
She looked over at Peter, who nodded a little.
…and…and they found themselves back in their own land.
"Now, my friends," said Lucy, "I wish to introduce you to the man who inspired the character of the High King. Peter Pevensie! Step forward!"
A murmur of amazement ran through the small group at her feet as Peter stepped forward. He inclined his head to them before wrapping an arm around his sister.
"Gentlemen," she went on, head held high, "I bring you the man on whom I based the Just King. Edmund Pevensie! Step forward!" And out of the shadows stepped Edmund, looking uncommonly shy.
Lucy looked back at the gathering. "You have before you great gifts, my friends. My brothers are noble and will teach you many things, if you will allow them."
And as the two brothers stood before their comrades, they realized that the gifts Aslan had shared with them would not be wasted in England. Had He not said that Peter had learned what he could from Narnia? For what purpose would he have learned those lessons, if not to teach others?
Truly, though not a tame Lion, He was good. He had used even the most terrible pain to shape them into the men they were. Now they had the opportunity to truly live as Narnians, even if they would never return. For the One Who had called them to Narnia first surely had a purpose in calling them out.
And that's the end. I am afraid the ending might be a little contrived, but it is the best I can do.
I always thought that not sharing the lessons they had learned would be the worst thing they could do.
What do you think?