Chapter: Shattered Past
Author: Guardian of Hope
Summary: In an instant, Susan Pevensie's life is shattered. She must pull herself and her life together and continue on.
Susan wasn’t sure she could survive the funeral, between the number of people there and the five caskets that would have to be buried. She had opted for closed caskets, not sure that she could stand staring at them while her parents’ priest droned on and on. The only blessing was that Harold and Alberta (“No need for Aunt and Uncle, Susan. We’re family after all;”) were there and would help keep the well wishers to a minimum.
Still, as she sat in the church and listened to the music, she couldn’t help but to think how wrong it all was. This shouldn’t be the music that bid farewell to three monarchs. There should be heavy drums to keep the time, and the haunting pipes playing, and maybe a harp, played by a singer. Not these strange and awkward notes and off-key singers.
A hand on her arm drew Susan out of her thoughts, Alberta peered into her face for a long moment and Susan smiled tightly. It wasn’t right, but she had her duty. As the last hymn finished, pallbearers came forward to bring the five caskets out of the church and Susan stood to follow. She looked up and studied the crowds as she moved through the church. There were so many there, people she knew, and some she did not, but all of them friends of her family. From the RAF pilots who had flown with Peter and Edmund’s fellow law students, to the girls that Lucy had made friends with, not so many of those, Lucy was a rare sort and did not interact well with the average young woman her age.
Outside, and in to the church yard, and across the parking lot to the graveyard where her family would be laid to rest; it was, fittingly, a dull, grey day, and Susan took a deep breath, wishing that she was smelling air that had never been touched by smog. Soon, she’d be at her parents’ place, the home they’d inherited from a distant aunt, and away from the crowds and the world she wanted so desperately to escape.
For now, she took her place beside her father’s grave as the small, graveside service began. Susan kept her head bowed, staring at the grass beneath her feet and trying to figure out why it was happening. Her mind was whirling, again, dancing between what she had sworn was the truth for so long, and memories that she had buried and shoved away out of fear.
“Susan,” Alberta said gently, “It’s over.”
“Ok,” Susan said, she looked at her aunt, “If you and Harold will go ahead, I'll be there shortly. I want to say good bye.”
“We don’t want to leave you here,” Harold said.
“I brought father’s car,” Susan replied, “I'll drive myself back.” She managed a smile, “Please, I need to be alone to say good bye.”
“Don’t be too long,” Alberta said finally, “that storm looks like it’ll be a bad one.”
“Don’t worry,” Susan said, “I'll be back before you know it.”
She watched her aunt and uncle leave, along with everyone else, and then she turned to the three caskets she’d wanted to ignore. For a moment, she stood still, then she walked forward as her memories surged, filling her with what she had struggled to forget.
First was Lucy, a little girl who had grown into a warrior. Susan remembered her smiles, the smile of content, reserved for the quiet moments in life. Her smile of mischief, usually seen after getting Peter with a snowball, or when she’d joined the foxes, great cats, wolves and hounds in pranking somebody. It was, in truth, rare for her to play pranks in England, but in Narnia, she had been the ringleader. Of course, it had also been her cover, for who would suspect the youngest, and seemingly most innocent of their number to be the spymaster?
Then Edmund, the Just, they’d called him. He had an amazing mind for law and judgment. As a law student, she knew he would have been considered a top lawyer one day, and maybe even a judge. Edmund had been the one in the beginning who had understood those who fought for the White Witch. He had created laws that gave them a chance to be a part of Narnia, while ensuring that they new they were on the loser’s side. He had understood the intricacies of judging a case and had developed a system of law, both in the few cities, and in the wide countryside.
Then Peter, who had been called gold-crowned even without his crown; he had been the warrior, and under Oreius’s tutelage, had gained an understanding of war and tactics that had been unsurpassed. He was a rising star in the RAF, or had been. She had buried him in uniform, but had declined the military honors he was due, wanting to bury them together as was proper.
As the storm that had been waiting broke overhead, Susan turned and walked away, schooling her face to reveal nothing. Especially how much it hurt when she had made her final decision; for you see, she had left no space between Peter and Edmund. They had journeyed on to Aslan’s Country, and there would be no place for her there.