guardian_of_hope: Together We Are Strong (Susan Pevensie)
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Remember how I said I was working on a Narnia fic? Well, I thought that I would go ahead and share the first chapter. The catch is that I'm going for emotive descriptions, mostly because I'm good, very good, at dialogue, and I want to work on catching the little things in the room that I forget. Let me know how that turns out, please? Also, I am not English, nor have I ever been to London, and this was set back in 1949, according to C S Lewis's timeline and is not a time I am familiar with. I will strive to do my best, anyway.

Oh, and this is a cross of Movie-Verse and Book-Verse, so it may be considered AU.

Title: Once A Queen
Chapter: Shattered Glass
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.


 As the sounds of a busy London street faded away, the woman sighed, it was hard to be in London every day; she much preferred her weekends in the country with her parents. However, life didn’t fall to the whims of a girl, no matter how pretty she might be. Choosing a table, the dark haired beauty sat with a grace that had made her the envy of so many of her peers. No sooner had she placed her purse at her feet, one of the waitresses, not much older than she was, hurried over. “Can I get ye anythin’ mum?” The waitress asked; her blue eyes evaluating Susan as she nervously tried to smooth the blond hair that was pulled back from her face and a style that turned sharp features to nearly harsh in stead of towards beauty.

“Tea,” Susan replied, with a relieved smile, “Please.” As the waitress walked away, Susan glanced around. At the table next to hers, an older man read the London Times. On the front was a story about a railway accident and she paused, her parents had been coming home on a train. Then she shook her head, surely she’d have been informed if there had been an accident. She might not speak to Peter, Edmund or Lucy often, but they would have called if it were something this big.

After enjoying her tea and breakfast, Susan left the café for the office where she worked as a secretary. It was a law office, a friend of her father’s had helped her get the job, but she had kept it with her own merits. She heard often enough that she was too young to be as committed as she was, but Susan had learned long ago the value of hard work, and the fact that parties and invitations didn’t pay for themselves. At five o’clock, she finished her work, bid farewell to her boss and headed home, stopping at the market for some fresh groceries.

As she let herself into the building her flat was in, she found two policemen waiting, “Can I help you, gentlemen?” She asked absently, debating if she should try to juggle her mail with her bags or check it tomorrow.

“Are you Susan Pevensie?” One of the two, an older gentleman with a look of deep sympathy on his face asked quietly.

“I am,” Susan said, “why, is something wrong.”

“I’m sorry,” he said, “I don’t know if you heard about the railway accident outside of York?”

“I saw the article in the paper, but I haven’t read it,” Susan replied, her attention caught fully. She turned her dark eyes onto the policeman, tears already beginning to form.

“Miss. Pevensie,” the policeman began, “I don’t know how to tell you this…”

Susan took a deep breath, “All at once, please.” She half-whispered; feeling her carefully structured world beginning to crack.

“We’ve identified Lydia, Nigel and Lucy Pevensie from the York to London train, and Peter and Edmund Pevensie on the London to York train.” He said, as compassionately and quickly as he could.

The bags fell from Susan’s suddenly nerveless fingers, she was vaguely aware of a cracking sound that had to be the eggs and a wet splat that would have been the tomatoes and the lettuce rolled out of the bag on a wandering path towards the wall as Susan suddenly couldn’t breathe. She stumbled backwards; angling for the bench on the wall as all sound left the room, except for a roaring thud that she knew was her heart. Vaguely she felt arms steering her to the bench and she collapsed with a shallow, soundless cry. Around her, she could tell that people were moving, but she couldn’t understand them. Where was she? Where was Peter, or Edmund, or Lucy? Why were they not here? Didn’t they know she needed them?

A harsh scent in her nose made her jerk back, and brought the world into a startling clarity. “Oh,” she said.

“Are you all right?” The policeman asked.

“No,” Susan said, “I just lost my entire family; I am most certainly not all right.” She looked around the foyer at her neighbors and the two policemen. Standing she drew up her dignity, and looked around the room, making sure to make a brief eye contact with everybody there, or at least, she appeared to. Peter had taught her that, back when being ‘the Gentle’ had been an honor and a curse. “Thank you for informing me of this.” She told the policeman, “Where do I need to go to confirm their identities and see to the disposition of their bodies?” The family crypt would need to be opened and prepared for receiving the five of them. She would have to contact Peter’s fiancé, and work, as well as Edmund’s. Cambridge would need to know about Lucy, and there were flats to be cleared out and the leases dealt with. Her parents’ home would need to be cleared out and dealt with. There were wills, she knew, and it would be her job to ensure that everything was handled smoothly.

“That will be in York, ma’am,” the police officer replied. “Should you need assistance in getting there…”

“I assure you,” Susan said, softly, “I am quite capable of doing what is needful. I hope that we will not meet further over this.” Turning, her mind already running down the list of jobs to do, Susan swept up the stairs with the long forgotten dignity and grace of Queen Susan, the Gentle. Behind her, she left two bags of spilled groceries and a group of people in awe of her ability to cope. Had she felt so inclined, Susan could have told them that cleaning up after a battle with a witch in a world nobody else had ever seen would make a person able to cope with anything.


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It's A Penguin Thing

June 2010

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