guardian_of_hope: Together We Are Strong (Susan Pevensie)
[personal profile] guardian_of_hope posting in [community profile] its_a_penguin_thing
Title: Once A Queen
Chapter: Shattered Dream
Author: Guardian of Hope
Rating: PG
Summary: In an instant, Susan Pevensie's life is shattered. She must pull herself and her life together and continue on.


She is living for one thing now; it is her only driving force. The first full moon of summer is coming, and for the first time since she put aside Narnia for England, Susan will celebrate. With her carefully horded money, she has commissioned a dress the likes of which she has not worn since she’d been in Narnia. Added to it, is a set of pipes, made by humans, but sweet enough in tune to serve the purpose she has.

Finally, it is time, and Susan heads north to the Lake District, where her parents had moved after Lucy entered Cambridge. The house there was her grandparents, past down to her parents and now to her. Here, also, is where she buried her family.

On soft feet, Susan entered the cemetery under the blazing red of a setting sun, dressed in a pale grey dress that is Narnian in style, if not in make. In one hand, she carried a box; in the other are her reed pipes. As she stepped between the headstones to her brothers and sister’s graves, Susan took a final, deep breath, to prepare for what she would do. Standing there, Susan stared at the headstones that mark the graves, and then lifted her eyes to the full moon that danced among the trees. “Summer Moon,” she said aloud as she toed off her shoes. “Can you see it?”

Barefoot, she opens the box to remove the crown of daisies she had created that afternoon and places it on Lucy’s grave; “To the glistening Eastern Sea, I give you Queen Lucy, the valiant,” she murmured, remembering that day. Next, she takes out a carved fox, so lifelike that she expects it to talk. She places this on Edmund’s grave, whispering, “To the Great Western Wood, I give you King Edmund, The Just.” In her mind was the first time Edmund had stepped forward to advise Peter in court, and the many, many times he’d wandered the halls of Cair Paravel, reading a scroll and dodging people at the same time. For Peter, it is a knight, dressed in gold washed mail and a shield with a rampant lion; “To the Great Northern Sky, King Peter, the Magnificent.” There was no questioning her thought of Peter, in his gold-washed mail and triumphant smirk after a battle against giants, or bandits. Stepping back, she lifted the pipes and began to play.

First she played The Long Winter, for there is no other song she knows that is sadder. She followed it with others, playing songs for the tragedy that Narnia had become, that her life had become. She ended with the heartbreaking A Song for Summer, the song that she had played every year in Narnia, either with her siblings, or alone, but every year, four pipes had carried the same song deep into the night.

As Susan lowered the pipes, she tugged a handkerchief from her bodice and dried her eyes before turning. The pipes fell from her nerveless fingers as the moon illuminated two very familiar figures. Aslan approached, with an almost translucent Peter. “Peter,” she said.

“Hello Sue,” Peter replied.

“Queen Susan,” Aslan added.

Susan gasped and curtsied as best she could, “Aslan.” She said.

“You have forsaken me,” Aslan told her.

“No,” Susan said.

“You have,” Aslan said. “I brought you to Narnia that you would know me. Then I sent you to England in hopes that you would find me as I am here.”

“I looked,” Susan told him, “I looked, I don’t understand, I couldn’t find you!”

Peter lifted his hand, “Calm down, Susan, I know. I didn’t understand it either, not until now.”

“You’ve made it into Aslan’s Country,” Susan said, “are Edmund and Lucy there?”

“Yes,” Peter smiled, “and so many others, we’ve even gotten to see Mum and Dad.”

“Are they happy?” Susan asked, afraid of the answer, but needing to hear it.

“Everyone’s worried about you,” Peter replied. “It’s been almost a year and you’ve changed so much.”

“I have nothing here,” Susan said, “I want to come home, Peter.”

“Not yet,” Aslan said, “I need you here.”

“Alone?” Susan asked.

“Not for always,” Aslan replied.

“Susan, we can’t stay,” Peter said, “No matter how much I hate leaving you here alone. I just, look, Sue, I need you to trust me, ok?”

“Of course,” Susan said.

“Talk to a priest. Not just talk, but listen. All the clues to finding Aslan are here.” Peter smiled, “I have to go.”

“No,” Susan said.

“I am sorry,” Aslan said, “we can only stay so long. Come here.” Susan stepped forward, struggling not to cry anymore than she already was, and Aslan breathed on her. “You will not be alone forever, I promise.”

Susan woke up; she leaned against Peter’s headstone. She glanced around, and realized that with the angle of the moon that it was not quite midnight. She stood up, wondering if she had just been dreaming, but when she lifted her hand to her hair, she pulled off her old crown.

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