Disclaimer: I don't own Narnia or House of Anubis.
"Of course it would be raining!"
Amber sat on a purple armchair, staring gloomily out the window. It wasn't just raining, it was pouring. You could hardly see the front lawn because of all the rain and fog. Nina sighed and went to join Amber by the window sill. Amber looked up at her, surprised. "When did you wake up?"
"Only a few minutes ago," Nina said, yawning. "Don't get discouraged, Amber. There are plenty of things to do inside."
"Not any fun things," she insisted. "But anyways, I'm glad you're up. I think breakfast is ready." She stood up and went over to the vanity mirror, checking her reflection. She was already dressed, and from the smell of it, Nina figured she'd already put on perfume, as well.
"Really? What time is it?" Nina asked.
"As if I know," said Amber as she ran a brush through her long blonde hair. Nina went over to her bed, stuffing her feet into slippers. Amber whirled around. "Please tell me you're not going down to breakfast in your nightie!"
"Um, well, I was planning on it..." Nina replied hesitantly.
Amber gasped. "Are you mad? You look like a wreck!" Amber quickly tossed her brush over to Nina, which was completely out of character for her - Amber rarely shared her brush with anyone.
"Thanks, Amber," Nina said dryly. "I can always count on you to boost my self confidence." At least she's not gloomy anymore, she thought.
"I'm only helping you!" Amber smiled sweetly at her roommate. "Besides, you can't impress Fabian when you look like that."
Nina's heart hammered in her chest. "I swear, Amber, I don't know what you're talking about. We're just friends!"
"Please, Nina, I'm not stupid. Especially not when it comes to love," she teased as Nina blushed fire engine red. "I saw your little moment in the corridor yesterday during the tour. And besides, you wouldn't stop staring at each other during dinner last night! It was extremely awkward for me, you know."
"That was an accident," Nina insisted, pulling a blouse out of her drawer. "And we were not staring at each other!"
Amber just shook her head, smiling. "Whatever you say, Neens."
"So much for cricket, then," sighed Mick, staring gloomily out the window.
The rest of the teenagers sat around the dining table, eating their breakfast in gloomy silence and staring at the rain, which pitter-pattered against the glass window.
"It's not the end of the world, you know," Amber piped up, looking at everyone as if they were insane. Nina raised her eyebrows. Amber had certainly been singing a different tune that morning. "And anyways, cricket isn't even very fun."
Mick shot a glare at his little sister, and Fabian helpfully whispered to her, "Amber, I don't think you're helping."
"Oops. Sorry," Amber blushed sheepishly.
There was a stretch of silence.
"Well, you know, there are plenty of things to do inside," Nina pointed out helpfully.
"Like what?" Eddie grumbled, obviously disappointed.
Nina chewed her bottom lip. "We could play a game," she suggested, glancing at the others around the table.
"How old are we, ten?" Jerome demanded, rolling his eyes.
"No one said you had to play," Amber snapped, quick to defend her friend. Nina smiled at her thankfully.
"What kind of game?" Joy asked dubiously.
"We could play a dictionary quiz," Mara suggested. Fabian opened his mouth to agree, until everyone groaned. He ducked his head, rubbing the back of his neck awkwardly. "Or not, then..." Mara sighed.
Everyone was quiet for a moment, thinking. "We could play hide and seek?" Nina suggested.
"Hide and seek is a kid's game," Jerome grumbled.
Amber brightened, ignoring him. "Excellent idea, Neens! Who's in?" She raised her hand, glancing around the table. Mara, Nina, Fabian, Alfie, Mick, and Joy all raised their hands, while Jerome, Eddie, and Patricia slumped in their seats, rolling their eyes. "Majority wins," Amber declared, grinning.
The group headed downstairs to the parlor. After playing "nose-goes", they ultimately decided that Mick would be the counter, much to his disliking. Sighing, Mick plopped onto the sofa and covered his eyes with his hands. "1, 2, 3..."
Everyone quickly scrambled out of the room, nearly knocking each other down in the process. Amber found the first spot she could find, under a table. Alfie slid himself underneath a bed, but not before setting up pillows and throwing a blanket over it to make it look like someone was hiding on top of the bed.
"17, 18, 19..."
Joy lowered herself into a chest, and Fabian hid behind a door.
"24, 25, 26..."
Mara hid inside a small spare room, and Jerome followed suit.
"33, 34, 35..."
Patricia and Eddie both raced towards a curtain at the same time, and immediately began arguing on who was there first.
"38, 39, 40..."
Nina ran frantically, trying to find a hiding spot. Everywhere she turned, someone else was already hiding there, and almost every door was locked.
"44, 45, 46..."
She stomped up a flight of steps and turned into a corridor, pulling on the first door. It was locked.
"49, 50, 51..."
Frantically, she pulled on the next door and it swung open. Sighing in relief, she burst into the room, and abruptly stopped. The room was completely empty, except for a large object at the back that was covered in a white tarp.
"55, 56, 57..."
Nina approached the object and tore down the tarp with a mighty yank. It billowed and sank slowly to the floor, revealing a large, mahogany wardrobe. Nina grinned. Perfect.
It was odd, though, that the wardrobe was kept in a separate room, all by itself. But it wasn't exactly an ordinary wardrobe that you would put in a bedroom, either. It was huge, and had many intricate carvings on it, that looked like they almost told a story...
"64, 65, 66..."
Almost having completely forgotten about the game, she quickly yanked the wardrobe door open. Two moth balls fell out and rolled to the floor, and with one last look behind her, she jumped inside the wardrobe and cracked it shut...because after all, it's very foolish to shut oneself in a wardrobe.
"70, 71, 72..."
Nina slowly moved backwards, feeling the soft, fur coats as she did so. Eddie always called her weird, but Nina had always loved climbing inside wardrobes. She loved the feeling of the fur coats against her hands and the smell of mothballs.
"79, 80, 81..."
Nina continued to back up, confused. Shouldn't she have reached the back by now? And she was feeling some weird crunching beneath her feet. More mothballs? She wondered.
"84, 85, 86..."
Suddenly Nina felt something jabbing into her back, and she turned around. It was a pine tree branch. Nina's eyebrows raised. What on earth was a pine tree branch doing in a wardrobe? She glanced down at the ground, expecting to see wood, but all she could see was crunchy white stuff.
"88, 89, 90..."
Slowly, she moved back the row of coats in front of her...and gasped.
She wasn't in the wardrobe anymore.
Instead, she was surrounded by a huge forest.
Nina simply stared at her surroundings, her mouth hanging open. "No way," she whispered to herself.
I must be dreaming. She closed her eyes and pinched herself, hard. Slowly, she cracked her eyes open.
Nope. She wasn't dreaming.
Hesitantly, Nina stepped forward, out of the rack of coats and into the bright sunlight. Snow covered the ground and snowflakes were gently falling, settling on her shoulders and eyelashes. Nina blinked and looked up towards the sky, walking forwards slowly. The bright sun was partially shielded by a canopy of snow covered evergreen trees.
She whirled around. Sure enough, there was the wardrobe...although from this point it looked more like a random rack of coats hanging in the middle of some trees. And if she was quiet enough, she could still hear Mick's steady counting. She turned around, laughing and stumbling forwards. She'd never seen snow in real life before, but it was wonderful. Everywhere she looked, all she could see was white. Little white things flashed in front of her-
Suddenly Nina stopped. For a second, the strangest sense of deja vu fell over her, like she'd seen this before, like she'd been here before.
Then, she remembered.
The empty room with something at the back of it.
Nina stumbled backwards, realization hitting her on full force.
The dream was happening.
She should've known this would happen. It'd been so foolish of her to just pass it off as a coincidence. And she should've picked up earlier on how familiar this had felt. You should've known! She scolded herself, tears beginning to sting in her eyes.
Nina had only had a dream come true one time in her entire life.
And when it did, her parents had died.
It'd been sort of like the dreams she'd had the first few nights after she'd moved to Liverpool. The first dream had been a big blur - she'd seen her parents, a flash of light, a loud bang, and then she and her brother, sitting in their living room, a stranger talking to them.
The next night, it'd been the same dream, only much clearer. Her parents were driving a car. Then there was the flash of light - headlights - and a loud bang. Then she and Eddie were sitting in her living room, the stranger talking to them. Only this time, she could tell that the stranger was wearing a police uniform.
It hadn't made any sense to her until the next afternoon, when a police officer knocked on her door, sat her and Eddie down in the living room, and told her that her parents had died in a car accident.
She'd never told anybody about it. How could she possibly tell someone that she'd predicted her own parents death through a dream? No, she'd kept it to herself for all these years. In truth, she'd almost forgotten about it.
Suddenly, Nina's knees began to wobble and she felt scared. What if something was wrong with her? Did these kind of things happen to normal people? "I need to go back..." she whispered to herself. She turned to look back at the opening to the spare room. Mick was still counting.
She looked forwards again, at the bright, wonderful snow falling around her. She'd just walked into a wardrobe, and had come out into a magical world instead. This wasn't something that happened everyday. Was she going to go back just because of a dream?
But something terrible happened the last time one of my dreams predicted the future, Nina reminded herself.
Yes, but that's only because something terrible happened in the dream, she argued. This dream was harmless, remember?
Am I really arguing with myself?
Yes, you are.
Nina sighed, looking at her surroundings. She stood there for a good five minutes, debating on whether to go back or to move forwards. It wouldn't hurt to explore for a little while would it? It'd be simply foolish not to. After all, these things didn't just happen. She'd only stay for a few more minutes, and then she'd go right back.
At least, that's what she said to make herself feel better as she walked forwards through the snow, drinking in every single detail as she walked through the thicket of trees. Finally, she reached a small clearing with a glowing lamppost standing in the middle.
Nina stared at it curiously. "What is a lamppost doing in the middle of a forest?" She wondered aloud. Slowly, she approached it, placing a hand against the cold metal.
Suddenly, she heard another set of feet padding against the ground and tightly clung onto the lamppost, frightened. It hadn't occurred to her that maybe other people lived in this forest, too. You should've gone back while you still could, Nina. She was about to run and find a place to hide when a man came into view, carrying a bunch of parcels.
Except for it wasn't really a man. He was a man from the top up, but from the bottom, he had...goat legs.
The man/goat thing looked up, saw her, and screamed, dropping all his parcels. Nina screamed too and hid behind the lamppost, desperately clinging onto it. The man/goat thing quickly ducked behind a tall tree. Well, at least I know he's as scared of me as I am of him.
Nina stood there for a while, breathing heavily, her arms wrapped around the lamppost like it was a life raft and she'd been tossed overboard into the ocean. After her breathing had returned to a slightly normal rate, she peeked her head around the lamppost. The man/goat thing was still hiding behind the tree, although she could see him pretty well - his back was turned away from her, and his parcels were scattered all over the ground.
Taking a deep breath, Nina hesitantly came out from behind the lamppost. And then slowly, oh so slowly, she began to quietly pick up the parcels, loading them into her arms. The man/goat thing peered at her curiously, and hesitantly came out from behind the tree. Gently, Nina handed him the three parcels she'd picked up, and he bent down and grabbed the last remaining one. "Er - uh, well...thanks," the man/goat thing stuttered out.
"No problem," Nina replied softly. Realizing she was staring at his hooves, her eyes quickly snapped up to his face. He was a little taller than her, with brown, curly hair and two horns sticking out of his head. He didn't wear a shirt, which Nina thought was a little odd, especially because of how cold it was, although he did wear a little red scarf. Nina squinted at the glow emerging from him - baby blue, light pink, and some sort of dark color stood out the most. Baby blue meant kindness, of course, light pink meant embarrassment or flustered, and the dark color...well, she wasn't really sure what that meant. After all, she'd only had fifteen years of practice with this thing. "If you don't mind my asking...what are you?" Nina asked curiously after she was done taking in his appearance.
He lifted an eyebrow, as if that was a silly question to ask. "Well, I'm a faun," he replied. I guess I'm going to have to stop calling him a man/goat thing. "And what about you? You're not nearly short enough to be a dwarf...and you don't have a beard, either."
Nina's eyebrows shot up. A dwarf? "I'm not a dwarf! I'm a girl."
The faun's eyes widened in shock. "What?"
"Have I said something wrong...?"
"No, no, no," the faun shook his head vigorously. "But, do you mean to say...that you're a Daughter of Eve?"
Nina's eyebrows shot up. "A what?"
The faun shook his head again. "Forgive me, forgive me...but you are, in fact, what they call...a human?"
Nina looked at him curiously. From the way he was acting, you would've thought that being a human was something special or important. "Yes, of course I am." The faun stared at her. "I mean, what else would I be?"
The faun broke into a smile. "How in Aslan's name did you get here? You have such a different accent, as well...you must be from Archenland."
Nina giggled slightly, shaking her head. "No, not at all! I'm American. And it's kind of a funny story as to how I got here...I mean, I was just playing hide and seek, so I hid in the wardrobe in the spare room. Then I came out here."
"What strange places you name of!" The faun said. "If only I'd worked harder at geography when I was younger, then I might would know what you're talking about...are any of these strange cities in Narnia?"
"Narnia?" Nina asked, perplexed. "What's that?"
"Well, you're in it," the faun explained, chuckling. Nina raised her eyebrows. "Everything from that lamppost," He pointed at it with his white umbrella, and then pointed it somewhere far off in the distance. "All the way to castle Cair Paravel on the Eastern Ocean is Narnia."
Nina stood, open-mouthed as she stared at the vast amount of mountains and hills that stretched on for miles, and miles. In fact, it seemed that the view of the rest of Narnia never ended. "Wow. This is an awfully big wardrobe..." She whispered to herself.
"Oh, I'm sorry. I've been rather rude, haven't I?" Nina tore her gaze away from the view and back to the faun. "Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Tumnus."
Nina smiled. "It's quite alright, Mr. Tumnus, I'm very pleased to meet you as well. I'm Nina Martin." She stuck out her hand. The faun stared at her, and then back at the hand, looking awfully confused. "Oh, you shake it," Nina explained.
Mr. Tumnus lifted an eyebrow. "Why?"
Nina's eyebrows knitted together in sudden confusion. "I don't know..." Mr. Tumnus laughed. "People just do it when they meet each other."
Mr. Tumnus shrugged and grabbed her hand gently, and begun to shake his arm. Nina giggled. She was going to point out that that's not really how you're supposed to shake hands, but the sight of him shaking his arm was too funny that she didn't want to. Nina began to swing her arm back and forth and the two of them stood there, holding their arms out with their hands connected and swinging them back and forth like idiots, laughing.
Finally, they stopped. "Well then, Nina Martin, from the shining city of War Drobe, in the wondrous land of the Spare Oom which resides in the great country of Merica," Nina giggled at his pronunciation errors and Mr. Tumnus opened his umbrella, holding it above his head. "How would it be if you came and had tea with me?"
Nina's face fell. "Oh." Mr. Tumnus lifted an eyebrow, confused. "I mean, I'd love to, but...I really need to be getting back." She turned to search for the direction that she came from.
"It'd be only just for a little while," Mr. Tumnus said almost desperately, and Nina turned back to him. "And there will be a glorious fire, and I could tell you wonderful stories...and we could have toast, and tea, and cakes." Nina looked doubtful. "And perhaps, I could even break out the sardines." He waggled his eyebrows, hopeful.
"I don't know..." Nina sighed.
"Oh, come on," Mr. Tumnus pleaded. "After all, it's not everyday that I get to meet a new friend."
Nina sighed again and beamed up at him. "Well, when you put it that way...I guess it wouldn't hurt to stay for a little while. That is if you have sardines." She added with a grin.
Mr. Tumnus grinned at her and they linked arms, him holding the umbrella over both of their heads. "By the bucket load," he assured her.
And so they were off, giggling and winding through pathways in between the forest, snow gently falling on their umbrella. It wasn't too long of a walk, and before they knew it, they were approaching a large boulder. Nina expected Mr. Tumnus to turn away from it, but instead they were walking straight towards it. For a moment, Nina was scared that they were going to run into it, until she noticed a wooden door. It wasn't a boulder at all...it was a cave.
The two of them entered the cave, wiping off their feet. Mr. Tumnus immediately went to work setting up their meal, while Nina wandered around the cave, inspecting his items. They had titles like Is Man a Myth? or Nymphs and their Ways. Weird, Nina thought. She moved away from the bookcase and over to a table with a picture of an older looking faun.
"Now that," said Mr. Tumnus, and Nina looked up. "That is my father."
Nina looked back down at the picture again. "Wow. You two look an awful lot alike."
Mr. Tumnus was quiet for a moment. "No. No, I'm not like him at all, really."
Nina sighed and set the picture back down on the table. "I wish I had a father," she said softly, more to herself than anything.
Mr. Tumnus looked up at her again. "I miss my father, too," he admitted. "But he died a long time ago. Before this dreadful winter."
"Oh, winter isn't all bad," Nina reasoned. "There's ice-skating...and snowball fights..." She tried to rack her brain for more good things about winter, but she didn't have a very long list. Winter wasn't exactly her favorite season. "Oh! And there's Christmas!"
Mr. Tumnus came into the room, carrying a tray and shaking his head. "No, not here."
"What?" Nina asked.
"We haven't had a Christmas for about a hundred years," Mr. Tumnus explained, sitting down in one of the chairs around his table.
"You're kidding." Nina gasped. Mr. Tumnus shook his head. "You mean no presents for a hundred years?"
"Always winter, never Christmas," Mr. Tumnus sighed. Nina sat down at the chair across from him. "And it's been a long, long, winter." He took her cup and poured some tea and a few sugar cubes into it. Nina gratefully took it and took a small sip. It was delicious. "But you would've loved Narnia in summer," he added, smiling. "We...the fauns, I mean...would stay up and dance with the dryads all night. And do you know, we never got tired." He sighed, smiling as he leaned back in his chair, trying to relive his memories. "And the music! Ah, such music."
Nina smiled. "It sounds lovely," she said, taking a bite of a sardine.
Mr. Tumnus nodded. Then, he looked at her. "W-would you like to hear some now?"
"Sure," Nina replied, grinning.
Mr. Tumnus reached up and grabbed a small box off the mantle. "I hope you're not familiar with any Narnian lullabies," he said as he opened the box, taking out a small instrument. "Because this probably won't sound anything like one."
He cleared his throat, and then began to blow into the instrument. A soft melody came out and Nina listened eagerly. She wasn't sure what Narnian lullabies were supposed to sound like, but this one sounded wonderful. Sipping her tea, she stared at the yellow flickering flames of the fire. Then, out of nowhere, she saw a small figure - it looked like a horse - galloping in the flames. Nina gasped, nearly dropping her cup of tea. She looked at Mr. Tumnus, but he said nothing, just continued to play. Curiously, Nina turned back to the fire, intrigued. More figures danced in the flames - a galloping stag, four fauns playing music on their pipes...suddenly, Nina felt her eyelids growing heavy. I guess they don't call it a lullaby for nothing. She struggled to stay awake - she wanted to listen to the rest of the song and watch the figures in the fireplace - but sleep won the battle as she closed her eyes, dropping her cup to the ground, which shattered. The last thing she remembered was the sound of a loud lion roar.
When Nina opened her eyes, it was pitch black. For a while, she was frightened, because she couldn't remember where she was. Finally, her eyes became accustomed to the dark and she remembered that she was in Mr. Tumnus's cave...except Mr. Tumnus was nowhere to be found. The chair across from her was empty.
"I should go..." Nina said softly to herself.
"It's too late for that." Nina jumped, whirling to face Mr. Tumnus, who was now curled into a ball on a bench against the side of the cave.
"What do you mean?" Nina asked. "I only meant to stay for a few minutes, and it's been hours. Everyone will be wondering where I am."
"But it's no good, now." Mr. Tumnus said. He met her eyes, and then looked down, as if he was suddenly embarrassed. A tear ran down his cheek and dripped onto the floor. "I'm such a terrible faun..." he muttered, sniffling.
Nina stood up, shaking her head. "Oh no, that's not true," she said, approaching him. "After all, you're the nicest faun I ever met," she said almost jokingly (for she'd never met a faun before), fishing her handkerchief out of her pocket and handing it to Mr. Tumnus, who accepted it but shook his head vigorously. "Oh, Mr. Tumnus, I'm sure you can't have done anything that bad." She reasoned.
Mr. Tumnus wiped his eyes with the handkerchief. "It's not something that I have done, Nina Martin. It's something that I'm doing."
Nina's whole body suddenly went cold. "What are you doing?" She asked alarmedly.
"I'm kidnapping you."
Nina stumbled backwards, her hand clapped over her mouth, her eyes immediately watering with tears.
"It's the White Witch!" Mr. Tumnus cried. "She's the one who makes it always winter, never Christmas! I've taken service of her, and she gave me orders: i-if I were to find a h-h-human running around in the woods, I-I was supposed to turn it over to her!"
I knew this would happen, I knew this would happen, I knew this would happen. It's all because of the dream. I knew something bad would happen, and I should've left while I still could. "M-Mr. Tumnus, please," Nina pleaded, her voice wobbly. "You wouldn't."
"And if I don't," Mr. Tumnus continued, sobbing. "She's sure to find out, and she'll do horrible things to me. She'll have my tail cut off and my horns sawn off...and if she's especially angry, she'll turn me into stone!" He blubbered. "I'll just be a mere stone statue of a faun standing in her courtyard!"
"Mr. Tumnus, I-I'm very sorry," Nina said, her whole body shaking and tears welling in her eyes. "B-but please let me go home." Mr. Tumnus looked down, wiping his eyes with her handkerchief again. "I-I...I thought you were my friend."
Mr. Tumnus looked up at her, sudden determination in his eyes.
The next thing she knew, he was grabbing her hand and leading her through the woods. It was dark outside and the snow wasn't falling anymore, and the nice, wonderful atmosphere that Narnia had given off before had disappeared. Suddenly, everything seemed gloomy and scary and foreboding.
"She may already know you're here," Mr. Tumnus was explaining as they scrambled through the forest. "The woods are full of her spies. Even some of the trees are on her side." Nina clinged onto Mr. Tumnus tighter, not daring to even look at a single tree, or anything else for that matter other than the back of Mr. Tumnus's head.
Finally, they were at the clearing, the lamppost glowing above them. "Can you find your way back from here?" Mr. Tumnus asked.
Nina peered through the trees. "Yeah, I think so." She turned back to Mr. Tumnus, who was suddenly crying again. She frowned, placing a hand on his shoulder. "Hey, hey...it's alright."
"I'm sorry," Mr. Tumnus sobbed. "I'm so, so, sorry." His hand shaking, he handed the handkerchief back to her, and Nina shook her head, pushing it back towards him.
"Keep it. You need it more than I do," she said half-jokingly. She became serious again. "Are you going to be alright?"
Mr. Tumnus sniffed again, wiping his eyes with her handkerchief. "I-I don't know." Nina felt tears sting her eyes, and he gently grabbed ahold of her shoulders. "But what I do know, Nina Martin, is this: no matter what happens, I am glad to have met you." Nina smiled, wiping her tears with the back of her hand. "You've made me feel warmer than I've felt in a hundred years. Now go." Nina opened her mouth to say goodbye, but Mr. Tumnus was already shoving her away. "Go!"
Without another word, Nina scurried off in the direction she'd come from, not even stopping to turn around until she'd hit the wooden floor of the spare room with a loud thud.
A/N: There's chapter four! I hope you liked it, and please please PLEASE review and tell me what you thought! :) Thanks for reading!