Susan had gotten the notification two weeks ago. It was a flyer attached to the door of her and Lucy's shared dorm room, and she had noticed it on the way to breakfast.
Saint Finbar's School for Young Ladies,
In collaboration with Hendon House for Excellent Boys,
Would like to announce the fifteenth annual Family Christmas Ball.
When: December 18th at 6:00 PM
Where: The Grand Ballroom at Saint Finbar's
Dress is Formal, and all immediate family members may attend.
Please inform your Headmaster/Headmistress if you will attend.
Now, two weeks later, on December 18th, 1942, Susan and Lucy were getting ready. Their parents, Helen and John, were due to arrive shortly and would meet them at the ballroom along with their brothers who were arriving with Hendon House. Susan smoothed down her red gown that accented her dark hair, and finished pinning holly into Lucy's curls. Lucy was dressed in a dark green brocade that was very much in a Narnian style, as was Susan's.
When they arrived at the ballroom, the girls greeted their parents, the both of them unknowingly adopting regal airs as they slipped into the role of hostess. Peter and Edmund arrived soon after, and they intermingled with their parents, sisters, and other students after the dinner was finished.
Soon, the musicians started the first song of the night, a waltz, but no one seemed brave enough to start the ball. Peter, summoning his bravery, held his hand out to Susan.
"Would you do me the honor of starting the ball milady? For old times' sake?"
Susan smiled at his use of the old language. "It would be my honor milord."
Peter escorted his sister to the middle of the room, Edmund and Lucy not far behind. All eyes were on the four children, the four of them doing what none had dared. With a formal bow each from Peter and Edmund, and low curtsies from Susan and Lucy, the musicians restarted the music. The boys swept their sisters across the floor, twisting and turning, spinning the girls left and right. About halfway through, the boys spun the girls out and switched partners, Peter with Lucy now and Edmund with Susan.
"It feels wonderful to dance this again." Susan commented to her baby brother. "The Nymph's Waltz I mean."
"It is sad that Caspian does not know it. Such a tradition will be lost. We always started the balls' off with this dance." Edmund commented sadly as he twirled Susan.
"Oh, don't worry about that!" Susan laughed. "I taught it to Caspian before we came back. He had wished to know if there were any customs that had been lost after we left the first time, and I mentioned this one. I made sure he could dance it in his sleep before his coronation."
"You really are wonderful Su. Now, back to Peter you go! We have one more sequence before the dance is over."
With that, Susan spun back to Peter, passing Lucy on her way. The Nymph's Waltz was a carefully orchestrated dance that the Royals opened every ball with. As such, the four siblings knew it inside and out, backwards and forwards. Fifteen years worth of galas will do that to you. During the switching of the partners, Peter and Edmund would twirl the girls twice, and then release them, and the other brother would catch their hand before moving away. One misstep could ruin the whole dance, and it was a beautiful dance to watch.
All too soon, the waltz ended. Susan and Lucy made low, beautiful, curtsies that revealed the queens that they were, and Edmund and Peter gave kingly bows. After the bows though, the siblings realized that they were alone on the dance floor, and everybody was looking at them astonished. Thankfully the children were saved from an explanation by the Headmaster and Headmistress of the schools coming out to dance the next dance.
However though, any time that night a sibling danced with someone else, the other student always felt incompetent because of the glorious display of dancing that had been put on. Whispers also followed the four siblings for the next few weeks as people mused about how the four children had learned to dance like that. Their response?
"In the country."