A Queen's Promise
Everyone knows that Susan rejected Narnia. But it was exactly what her, Aslan and Peter had planned, right from the start. Because good things come to those who wait.
Susan was out on her patio in her flat near Yorkshire when it started to rain. She closed her book with a sigh and set it down on the table beside her and stared out into the cold, bleak world. Just her luck. It was the one year anniversary of her siblings and parent's deaths and it rained. How very much appropriate.
The former Queen of Narnia got up and moved her reading inside, but her mind wasn't in her activities today. It was on her and Peter's very last private talk with Aslan.
"I don't understand why we can't just stay here!" Peter exclaimed angrily to the lion as the trio were walking in the courtyard of Prince Caspian's palace. "Why can't we just stay here? I'd think we'd be of more help!"
"But Peter, if we stay it will be at least 10 more years before Edmund and Lucy return!" argued Susan. "I for one would miss them terribly and I won't stand to let the rest of my youth be waited out here in a land which no one seems to believe in anymore!" She took a look at the golden-haired lion in between her and her brother. "No offence, Aslan," she said hastily.
The Great Lion chuckled. "None has taken, Daughter of Eve. I of all people understand your wishes to grow a little more before you come back to Narnia. Peter, your sister is right. You will be of more assistance in the Other World than you will be here in this one. When you finally do come back, you will be grown into a young man instead of an old one if you were to stay."
Peter stamped his foot in frustration. "Alright, I do see that, but can't you make at least me and Sue immortal like you? That way we wouldn't have to grow older." Susan shook her head in amazement. Her brother could be so thick-headed sometimes! It was a wonder she was the wiser of the two at almost any given time, if you took into account their age difference. "Peter, you heard what Aslan said, now abide by it!" she ordered him. Peter glared at his younger sister. "I am older than you, sue. You can't boss me around, even if you are the High Queen!" "Ah yes, but as both of the High Rulers you have the power to overrule each other on certain accounts if you have the right point of view," Aslan wisely reminded the boy. Peter turned red and said nothing.
As the three continued down the path in the courtyard, Aslan became unusually quiet. "What's wrong Aslan?" Peter asked cautiously. The lion heaved in a deep breath but said nothing. Finally, once they had reached the gates, he spoke.
"I have a proposition for the two of you. Should or should you not choose to take it, you may never repeat a word of it until the proper time. Is this clear, High King and Queen?" The two teenagers nodded and Aslan began. "This will not be pleasant for either of you. Of this, I am sure that much. Peter, in a short time death will have held you in its grasp and returned you to Narnia as the Great magic predicts. It has happened to every King or Queen that this World has ever seen. It shall occur in a few short years in your time, and it is inevitable for you and your two youngest siblings." Peter put on a brave face and looked at Aslan proudly. "I'm not afraid of death, Aslan," he replied. The lion smiled. "Indeed, you are the bravest of your siblings. It does not surprise me you do not have the fear of it."
He turned to Susan, who awaited his words with baited breath. What would become of her? "Your way back into Narnia, my dear, is less than easily accomplished. You must pretend that you do not remember anything about Narnia come your 18th birthday, and convince Edmund and Lucy of it. Their adventures have only two more chances in this world. If they think you do not believe in Narnia, it will increase their desire to help others see it. Their task, whether they know it or not, is to lead a certain young man into Narnia for good. It is not easy, but if you were to, say, help it along, it would give them the energy they need to succeed. Can you do this, Susan Pevensie?"
Again, the High Queen was shocked. So shocked in fact that she stopped dead on. Pretend to forget Narnia? How absurd!
But, she had reasoned, she was good at acting. Once she had pretended she was sick so she could get out of going to a horrible social outing which her mother had wanted her to attend. IT was to meet other young men her age, her mother had said, but Susan was stubborn. She wouldn't go, and finally succeeded in leading her mother into thinking that she had a cold! As soon as she was gone, the four children including Susan after promising never to tell a soul about her secret had played marbles all afternoon. If she could do that, then she could do anything.
Susan nodded in agreement. "I'll do it. But on condition." Aslan looked at her as if he had expected this. "What is it, Daughter of Eve?" he asked. "I want to know how I will get back to Narnia. After this is all over, I mean."
Suddenly the former Queen snapped out of her memory. Her timer on the oven had gone off. Getting up and walking towards the kitchen, she thought about the remains of their conversation. Aslan had told her that once the deed was done, the time would approach when Susan would be called back to Narnia. The Great Lion had refused to tell her exactly what it was, or the precise date, but he had let on that it would be by neither death nor sounding of the horn. And that was good enough for Susan.
Taking out her loaf of bread she had been baking, Miss Pevensie started back into the living room, but an odd sensation overtook her. She thought it was drowsiness, and Susan headed into her bedroom to lie down. But no sooner had she lay down on the blankets had she found herself in a field, filled to the brim with exotic flower only found in the most remote places in the world, and never, ever together in one place. Immediately Susan knew where she was. She was back in Narnia.
The girl looked around her and discovered that she wasn't wearing her old English clothing either. Susan saw herself wearing her favorite dark blue, silk gown with silver flowers spread across the side. She had been wearing it the last day she was in Narnia before their discovery of the lamppost. When she had returned, it was missing from her collection of dresses. It felt good to be wearing it once again. Alongside her were her old bow and arrows along with a small dagger Susan had never seen before. It was shaped closely to Lucy's, but it was larger and less slender. "I figured that after your attack with the Telmarines you would want to have one of your own!" a voice came out from the grove of trees behind her. Susan whirled around to see a very young looking Peter Pevensie, not a day older than when she had last seen him. She screamed in delight and tackled him in a giant hug.
"Well, I beat you back to Narnia!" her brother joked. Susan playfully hit him in the arm. "Ouch! That really hurt! I think instead of naming of Susan the Gentle you should've been called Susan the Fierce!" he whimpered mockingly, but he nevertheless smiled. "It's good to have you back, Sue." The siblings got up and made their way towards the two horses waiting nearby. "So, why did you guys wait so long to bring me back?' she asked. Peter shrugged. "We needed time to adjust being…. Well…. Dead," he replied. "Aslan wanted you to have a little more time to yourself alone and have time to explain things to Lucy and Edmund. They weren't happy about being kept in the dark on this, let me tell you." The High King help Susan up into her saddle and swung himself up onto his own. "But they'll be excited to see you regardless."
"That stopped Susan dead again. "You mean they don't know that I'm here yet?" she asked. Peter shook his head. "Aslan wanted it to be a surprise." He gazed up at the castle towering above them on top of the cliff. "Race you there!" he challenged and took off galloping at full speed. Susan laughed and spurred her horse faster. "You're on!"
The girl soon caught up to the King and by the time they reached the gates they decided that there was no clear winner. Peter led the way to the Throne Room and opened it up to reveal a pair of two very nervous siblings, the boy pacing back and forth on the floor while the girl sat quietly on her throne. "Hey Lucy, Edmund, guess who I found down in the valley, just standing there?" Peter called out. Edmund snapped his head towards them and Lucy cried out. Susan felt tears coming on as they raced towards her yelling out "Susan!" and embraced. Everyone had questions about her year alone as they led Susan back up to the thrones, laughing and chattering all the way. The High Queen Susan the Gentle took her place alongside her siblings; she thought This is how it should be.