by N.A Miller
A Fan Fiction Sequel to Book #7 The Last Battle
|The Return to Narnia:|
By: Nathaniel Miller - ©2019
Annexation of Series – Sequel to “The Last Battle” (Book #7 by C.S. Lewis.)
The house waited for a visitor, standing open and silent for the last seventy years, located in the middle of the English countryside far from the city of London. It was at this home, many years ago, an adventure had begun were four children named Peter Susan, Edmund, and Lucy had stepped through a wardrobe into a land called Narnia. The house they stayed in was where they were sent during the war away from London because of the Air raids and a famous house, known well everywhere throughout the countryside. It is here that it was used by a kindly professor during the last world war, a well-known scientist who was using his talents for the war effort of England. They had no expectations of where they were to end up, or knew of the portal that would lead them to Narnia. They had just been sent to their destination, as arranged, and had discovered great things that lie inside this house on their own.
Now, seventy years plus years later in the year 2005, the house is silent. The once-grand rooms are empty, and the floors and roof have fallen into disarray. It has long since been abandoned over the last seventy years since the four kids discovered Narnia after arriving at the house. The mansion itself had once been a beautiful, quite large, multi-level mansion, with turrets on all four corners, making it look like a fairy tale castle. It had textured shingles on its now rotting roof and the walls a gingerbread texture colored a faded brown with gray trim and many windows, all broken out with years of disarray. The house itself is an empty hulk, with only the howling winds rushing through the broken out of windows and down the drafty halls. The only thing left, other than the rotting floors and the half-caved-in roof, is the wardrobe dusty and abandoned inside the room where it was found long ago. It is once again, however, now the entry point into Narnia, the portal that would intermittently open up once again, just as it had done seventy years ago. The magic, that once had stirred here, has returned after a very long absence, and thought closed when the original four returned from their adventures from within.
Somehow the strange magic that inhabits the wardrobe seems to know that it will not be alone and once again will be a gateway into Narnia as it once had been. It would not wait long as four children named, Rhiannon, James, Amanda, and Dakota are here visiting Britain from America. They, with their family, are exploring the countryside and having a picnic as they visit with their relatives in this far-off land. They are far from their home in the west, in America and all four are laughing and carrying on. They do not know of the strange adventure they would be undertaking in a few hours and have no idea what had happened before in the house nearby. None of the four, their cousins, or parents on both continents had noticed the half-covered rotting house in the thickly overgrown brambles nearby. Their adventure only started when Dakota had thrown the ball a bit too high and over Amanda’s head. It bounced and went over the rotted, dirty white-picked fence that marked the outer border of the large garden that once surrounded the large Victorian mansion. She, of course, had chased the ball and almost had run into the fence. The young girl luckily had turned her body at the last minute to dodge one of the white wooden pickets that had stuck out like a spear and almost impaled her.
“Here it is!” Amanda’s voice echoed, rather loudly across the meadow nearby where they picnicked. She had run across the meadow and had been running back to catch the ball that was missed, ending up in the overgrown garden. The young girl had blindly climbed over the rotting fence and retrieved the ball that lay upon a few brambles of an overgrown rose bush that covers a brick pathway of the garden. When she stood up, with the ball in hand that she turned glancing at the house, a strange look of fear and recognition appeared on her face. She felt something strange here, a magic that she could not identify which radiated from the crumbling walls. A strange wind whistled through the open windows and it had her full attention. The young girl just stood there, staring at the large old home, and did not turn away until she was joined by her two brothers and older sister. Her head turned and Amanda met the curious stares of her siblings after the oldest brother placed a hand on her shoulder. He had had to shake her to bring her out of her daydream that seemed to have her full attention.
“What is it Amanda?” asked James, who had joined her with her older sister Rhiannon.
“Do you see that?” asked the young girl, pointing at the mansion in the darkened garden. They all peered in the house, and each one felt a cold shiver ripple down their spines. The four children sensed something strange and mystical here. Amanda had sensed the energy and aura around the garden and the house. She seemed to feel it as it pulsated outward like a heartbeat.
“What a fine and interesting old house.” Rhi said, pointing at the building, and the overgrown garden, “I bet you this place has been here a long time.”
“It does not seem to have anyone living here, not right now.” James corrected, pointing out the overgrowth in the garden. “You’d better come out of there before someone sees you.”
“I don’t think anyone lives here as you say. Do you think anyone would mind if we take a look?” Amanda asked, glancing at the others. “I can bet this place has a lot of stories to tell.”
“No, it might be no trespassing.” Her older brother said, “I don’t think we should. Uncle Charles and dad would be pissed off if we ended up at the police station for trespassing. Why do you want to take a look, Amanda?”
“I sense a strange aura about this place like something is pulsating here. A strange aura of magic. I can’t explain it, but do you feel that?”
Amanda had a strong sense and perception of strange things, a sense of ESP of sorts that she could tell you when things were going to happen and usually did.
“Well we don't have your ability like that Amanda, but we do sense something strange here.” Dakota replied gently, “I say we go take a look, just for the hell of it. This place seems familiar though, like out of a storybook.”
“Yes, it does…” Amanda countered, “I don't see a sign that says anything about private property or no trespassing.”
An adventure seemed to be starting for the four, not knowing that it had been the same for the original four who had come here to live, protected from the air raids of war in London. They had found it on accident, because of Lucy and ended up in Narnia to fight a war, defeating the White Witch as Kings and Queens. Two times the four had come into Narnia than the last time Lucy and Edmund had only gone for one more stint, a visit into the world they had lived and loved.
“Okay then, a short one.” James said, “We have to be careful though, we do not know what kind of pitfalls are in there. It has probably been empty a while and it has new wild residents living in it.”
The overwhelming feeling of adventure moved through the group as they stood there. Amanda walked toward the mansion through the overgrown garden. Dakota followed her, climbing over the fence.
“We can’t get through that.” James said, “Not unless we can make the path wider.”
“There is way over there, I think. I’ll go see!” Dakota shouted, pointing to the fence that was broken out, and there was a large hole under a dark gnarled oak tree in the yard where one could pass under the branches. He ran toward the oak with his sister and they waved to the group. James and Rhiannon walked along the outside of the fence.
“Stay close, Rhi.” James instructed, “And be careful.”
Slowly they inched through a lighter part of the thick brambles, squeezing by the edge of the mansion to get by to the broken door on the far end. When the four stepped into the dusty old house, their footsteps creaked on the wooden floor. Slowly they made their way along, skirting passed the rotted holes in the floor and James having to catch Rhi before she almost fell through to the basement. Peering down they thought they saw movement below them. They would have been right too. A hobo lay on the floor sleeping, taking refuge in this old hulk after a hard day of travel.
Inside the mansion’s interior, it is large and open, the first room they entered was the dusty old kitchen and large oak leaves hung from the ceilings. Thick spider webs cascaded down to the floor over a nearby doorway. The sink board was cracked and worn as mice scurried across the granite surface. They walked carefully, cutting holes with a stick through the curtain of spider webs and dirt over the door. They walked along toward the dining room, and their footsteps creaked on the floorboards.
“Watch it!” Dakota said, grabbing Amanda, and pointing to a dark hole in the floor. They managed to make it to the dining room and turned, entering the front living room. The room was empty, dusty, and dirty. A large staircase is visible in the main foyer and it is made of what appeared to be solid walnut. A hallway disappeared off to the left from the staircase. It is at this very moment that Rhiannon had a bad feeling, and her head turned when she heard what she thought were voices. Whispering voices and she then heard a creak of footsteps from somewhere in the building.
“There’s someone here.” She announced, and she turned her head, scanning the room carefully. She thought she saw a shadow down a nearby hall.
“Everyone scatter,” James said, and all four went in different directions. They peered around the corners, and only emptiness and some furnishings remain.
The older boy watched and waited. After a moment, he motioned toward the stairs where they quickly climbed the steps, avoiding the broken stair steps. When they reached the window on the landing, a fair view of the overgrown garden could be seen through the opening, and turning they made their way to the top floor. James, Rhiannon, Amanda, and Dakota found themselves in the same long hallway that once Peter and the others had been in over seventy-plus years ago.
Slowly walking the hallway, their eyes are watchful of the floor perils that awaited them, navigating their way down the dingy hallway. As they approached each doorway, James slowly opened each door and looked inside. Each room was large and had once been decorated Spartan. They found each room where Peter and his brother and sisters had once played hide and go seek. They found the green room with the many shelves and the outline of the harp that once was on the wall. The shelves of the bookcases were empty, and dusty, and had cobwebs everywhere. They trooped down the hall to the next room, opening the next door to an empty room with the wardrobe dominating the back wall, covered with a sheet.
“Well, nothing here,” Dakota said, and he turned to walk on. However, they did not stay in the room and stared at the large wardrobe that dominated the rear of the room against the wall. Something about the wardrobe seemed different to them. Rhiannon walked toward the doors, and tried them, thinking they would be jammed. However, the door opened easily and two moldy mothballs dropped out. Each of them had a strange feeling here, as this house once had magic, this being the gateway found seventy years ago by Peter and the others.
Inside the darkness of the wardrobe, they peered into it starting at only a few hangars and two moldy rotting coats that remained hanging there like disemboweled skins. They did not hear the footsteps on the floor below until they heard a crash and curse echo through the foyer. They all heard the creak of the floorboards echo through the house.
James put his finger to his lips. They could hear footsteps walking up the steps. Dakota locked the outer door and moved toward the wardrobe.
“Quick there is nowhere else,” James said and motioned toward it.
“What? In there?” Amanda asked.
“It’s the only place.” Replied her older brother, and they all entered the wardrobe that smelled of musky cedar. James closed the door, but not all the way, keeping it slightly ajar. They had the common sense to not shut one's self up in a wardrobe. Together they all sat panting in the wardrobe, and behind them in the darkness, did not sense the portal that had opened there. Amanda stepped back, expecting to feel the back of the wardrobe, and when she did not, turned, to reach out as she stepped back further. The young girl felt the prickle of branches. She moved the coats aside to get a better look.
“What on earth?” She muttered, stepping further on and parting the branches with her hands. She pushed her way through the trees onto a path. Turning she stared at the trio standing there, her brothers and sister who watched through the door into the room outside. When she looked up, her eyes widened at the branches of trees that were silhouetted in the night sky. Dakota had turned when he did not sense his sister behind him and in the dark, blindly groped toward the back of the wardrobe. He stumbled through the prickle of the branches and stood with his sister in the dark woods.
“James, Rhi!” Amanda said, “Come here.”
“Where are we, sis?” Dakota asked.
“I don’t know,” Amanda replied
James and Rhiannon moved backward from the door, seeing the handle jiggle on the outer door. James put his hand to his lips indicating for Rhi to be quiet. He could see she was about to panic, and that would be the last thing he needed her to do at this critical moment.
“This way…” Jim whispered, and they backed quickly from the door. They felt for the back of the wardrobe in the darkness. When they did not, they too gasped, turning alarmed to stare at the thick branches of trees making up a barrier between the interior of the wardrobe to wherever they seemed to be going.
“Very strange, where did these trees come from?” Rhi asked and James shrugged. He squinted, able to see a light in the darkness ahead through the trees. The young woman noticed the open airy feeling inside the wardrobe. She had no idea they had left their world and ended up in the world of Narnia.
“This must be an enormous wardrobe.” She thought and put out her hand.
Behind them, they heard a crash as the door was struck, and turning they saw the grizzled face of a hobo who prowled the empty hallways of this old mansion. Rhi let out a gasp as James covered her mouth as she was about to scream. He stepped back, pushing her through the trees, and followed her into the darkness. Both tumbled to end up on a dark path in the middle of the wood as the door finally gave way behind them, and in ran a grizzled-looking hobo, dressed in rags. He had heard the whispers of the kids in the room, also having seen and heard Amanda and Rhiannon from the basement through the hole when he looked up. When he reached the doors of the wardrobe, he tore at the handles, slamming open the doors to peer hard into the back of the wardrobe, expecting to find the kids cowering in the back of it. The wardrobe was empty. They had all slipped away through the portal into Narnia.
Meanwhile, Jim and Rhi got to their feet quickly and both turned their heads in alarm at the surroundings of the wood that spread out before them both. They glanced at each other in alarm.
“What the hell?” Jim stammered as they stood on the empty path among the trees of a great forest.
“W-where are we?” Rhi asked, and her brother met her fearful expression with a mere shrug of indifference. Her head turned when she saw the face of the hobo in the darkness behind them at the doors of the wardrobe in the spare room of the mansion they were exploring.
Jim turned and readied himself for a fight, and waited. The Hobo’s face showed astonishment, upon hearing the scream, and he stood his ground, lunging toward the back wall of the wardrobe to strike it with his hands in frustration. He did not see either of them.
They ran down the path toward the light, a short distance away. They found Amanda and Dakota both standing next to a lamp-post standing in the middle of the wood, brightly lit. It was made of iron and covered with ivy.
“Are you two all right?” Amanda asked and both of the older siblings nodded in silence. James, of course, kept his eye on the path and the grove of trees in the distance, as if waiting for the hobo who stood in the spare room, waiting for them to appear.
“Where are we?” The older brother asked, “This is very odd. How did we end up in the forest outside again?”
In the distance, he could see the silhouetted form of the hobo who still stood inside the wardrobe, striking the back with his hand. They could hear his pounding on the wardrobe back for a few minutes before there was complete silence.
The four of them suddenly realized they stood in the middle of the forest, alone.
As they listened to the sounds of the forest echo around them, the four had no idea that they had come to Narnia, the same way as it had been seventy years ago when Peter, Edmund, Lucy, and Susan traversed the wardrobe in the house and found their way into this mystical country. They did not know where they were, or where they were going. Amanda suddenly stopped, freezing in place with a look of fear on her face as she saw the silhouette of a lion in the woods, the glowing eyes and golden mane visible in the moonlight.
“Look out a Lion!” She shouted.
“Form a circle, Amanda step in the center,” James instructed, and they did so.
“He won’t harm you.” Another voice said, they looked again as a young woman, with long hair, appeared beside the lion.
“Greetings James, and Dakota, Sons of Adam, Rhiannon, and Amanda, Daughters of Eve,” Aslan said, regarding the four with his golden eyes.
His voice was rich and gentle, something leaping inside them when they heard his voice. They also were surprised the Lion had spoken and already knew their names.
“W-who are you?” Amanda asked the young girl, “Where are we please?”
“You are in the new Narnia,” replied the woman, “This is Aslan. I am Queen Lucy. I bid you welcome, although I am a bit surprised to see other humans like us in this place.”
Amanda dropped to her knee. Dakota followed suit, followed by Rhiannon and James. There was an uncomfortable silence as they stood on the threshold and several times James glanced at his siblings. The young woman smiled at the four newcomers, acknowledging the courtesy they gave them despite their being strangers in this land.
“Arise.” Lucy told them and they rose to their feet, “Can I ask you all something? How did you get into this realm? I didn’t think it was possible after the last time aboard the Dawn Treader.”
The young woman met each of the four’s expressions with an amused twinkle in her eye. Lucy was perplexed, confused by their clothing, however, clearly unaware it has been a few decades between the three instances the gateway to this land had opened, allowing them to enter Narnia. The last time had been after the train wreck that allowed them to stay here permanently.
“We entered through a wardrobe. Y-your Majesty?” Rhiannon replied, “We stepped through the door over there and here we are. Are we dreaming?”
Lucy gasped aloud and Aslan glanced at her.
“W-what did you say?”
“We came through a wardrobe,” Rhiannon repeated.
“B-but that gate had closed when we returned.” Lucy stammered, “That was many years ago, during another time during World War Two!”
James and the others had glanced at each other.
“Well, it is two thousand and five now.” James told them, “There’s no war going on like back then, only a skirmish in the Middle East.”
Here, the young woman and Aslan glanced at each other.
“How strange, it was nineteen forty, when my brothers, sister, and I came through.” Lucy mused, “I still don’t understand how they got here.”
“Just so you know, seventy years have elapsed since you came through.” James said, “Things are different since you knew them. A lot has happened in that time.”
“You will have to fill us in, it looks like. But it is nice to see another human for a change.” Lucy said, gazing at the four carefully, “How very ironic there are four of you. You remind me of my sister, my brothers, and I, four strangers in a new land.”
` James and Dakota walked toward Aslan who shook his thick curly mane.
“Come on, is this for real?” Dakota asked suddenly, “Where are we.”
“Narnia, I told you.”
Lucy was reminded of someone else, a certain fawn who had started her adventures here in Narnia the first time she had come to this land. She sensed their confusion and misunderstanding of the surroundings they found themselves in.
“Come, this way, you can come and tell us of your adventures.” She said, “And what the future is like.”
Together, the four from the future were led through the forest at a quick pace and headed to the east. A short time later, they came to a grassy meadow and toward a large castle on a fjord. The castle, Cair Paravel stood in this new land, the same castle that had been destroyed after the original four had returned to their world. It stood as it had before on the coast, large, ominous, and foreboding. The sea crashed against the stone that surrounded it, and they walked along the path toward it. The group entered an arch that led into a large village.
“Just act casual,” James whispered, meeting the curious onlookers, staring at dwarves, gnomes, druids, and other creatures of fantasy. They all knelt seeing the lion who led them toward the large gates and slowly they walked over the large drawbridge.
“How can we… you know… walk with strange creatures like this?” Asked Rhiannon and James shrugged as they continued to walk onward beside their newfound friends. Soon they entered through a great archway, past a portcullis from which they entered the grand castle of Cair Paravel. Turning their heads, all four stared in wonder, astonished by the lush interior of the castle, the huge tapestries, and the high-pillared ceilings. The four soon came to a pair of large doors where on either side two centaurs stood guard. The two guards raised their lances in salute as they followed Lucy and Aslan into the large throne room.
There seated in the middle was Peter, with a long beard and long blond hair, in council with his brother Edmund the Just, who spoke in low tones. They saw Lucy and smiled.
“Lucy.” Peter exclaimed formally, “Where have you and Aslan, been off to?”
He stopped speaking immediately upon seeing the four who slowly panned their heads, staring in surprised awe at their surroundings. The visitors all stared at the four thrones in silence. Amanda watched Lucy take her seat beside her brothers.
All were speechless, stunned to see another human in this new Narnia.
“Who are you?”
James stepped forward, at the nod of Aslan, and the others stepped up to stand beside him.
“James Mitchell.” James said, bowing, “My sisters and brother, Your Highnesses.”
With that, he bowed slightly at the waist. James motioned to his siblings who watched the three with grim looks on their faces. They had to clear their throats before speaking.
“How is it that humans have ended up in this new Narnia?”
“They came through the wardrobe that we entered, brother,” Lucy told him and he glanced at her in equal surprise to the others.
“The same one we exited into our world again?’ He exclaimed, “How is that possible.”
“That house had magic that none of us understood.” Edmund said, staring at the four icily, “Somehow that portal has opened again.”
“It’s not nineteen forty Peter,” Lucy whispered, and all three met her look with surprise. “It is what he said, two thousand and five.”
“For every year, one hundred years elapses here.” Peter reminded her, making Lucy nod.
“If I may, majesties, I can prove what I say,” James said and he took a step forward. Guards lowered their lances, preparing to charge. He reached slowly for his identification, from which he withdrew a card, the size of a credit card. Aslan nodded his head as James glanced at him. He moved toward the courtier, and he handed him the card, walking with him toward Peter who sat on the center throne. The futuristic card seemed to glimmer in the light, made of light plastic and Jim walked three more steps before lances lowered in front of him. The courtier walked it to Peter.
Peter handed back the card, standing slowly and walking toward the Lion who stood beside the newcomers.
“Can you show us where the gateway is?” He asked hopefully.
“You can see Peter, but know this you can never return to a world you knew before,” Aslan warned, “You and your brothers and sisters are no longer living in that world you knew, if you return now, it would mean your deaths.”
“I know Aslan, it was a hope for a chance to see about retrieving Susan, as she did not come with us after we died. If there is a hope that the portal can be used to allow my sister to come to Narnia and be with us. I would always want that.” Peter replied, his voice hopeful.
“These four are not bound by the confines of mere time, and space, but also by the energy that is.” Aslan said solemnly, “They said the future, I don’t know if the magic can grant you what you seek. What you ask and seek is harder than you know.”
The four from the future suddenly realized a cold, hard fact. They were trapped here, unable to return themselves through the portal that had brought them to Narnia. If they attempted to do so, they would be prisoners of the hobo who prowled with his friends the very mansion where the original four had come through. They did not even know the way back home. The lion glanced at them and he nodded solemnly.
“I am aware and be easy, that you will be able to return any time you wish.” The lion said and James smiled. The older boy hatched a plan and planned to stay and explore this new Narnia. It was very different better than the annoying cousins they were forced to endure back home. This was more of an adventure than meeting family in England. There was also another cold fact that was apparent too, that if something happened, their end was just as real too. He leaned over and whispered to his brother and sisters who all agreed, they would stay for a while.
Meanwhile, their cousins had noticed their disappearance and had found the ball, abandoned near the fence line of the garden. The alarm was raised, as they were missed, and the police were called. A search was conducted of the house and the hobo was arrested. However, they were not found anywhere, not in their world. The parents and relatives called for them, almost screaming their names in desperation as they searched the woods with over fifty policemen and women from the local station and detectives from Scotland Yard. The hobo was questioned and interrogated harshly by the police. When he repeatedly denied his involvement in their disappearance, he was released but told not to leave town.
The four’s parents were frantic now, searching the house thoroughly, when they found Amanda’s sweater on the stairs where she had dropped it, running away from the hobo that had prowled the house. They found footsteps in the wardrobe room, the open door, and a strip of Rhiannon’s shirt on the edge of the wooden door of the wardrobe.
However, there was no sign of any of the four otherwise, except for footprints in the dirt, the sweater, or the torn shirt.
In Narnia, James and the others stood outside on the balcony of Cair Paravel, from which they gazed across the cove, and the fjords of Beruna, from which they could see the thick forest beyond. A warm breeze whipped across them, as it whipped from the sea and together it struck the four. They could not believe they were here.
“This has to be a dream,” Amanda said, turning to her brother James who stood beside her, whimsically peering out across the sea like her sisters.
“We’re here…” James said, “I can’t deny it. It's not a dream Amanda.”
“Maybe we should go home now; our parents are probably worried about us by now,” Rhi suggested, and they glanced at each other, as the sun set in the western sky, the first stars of night began to appear on the skyline of Narnia. A large moon could be seen in the distance as if it were rising from the water and ocean itself and all four stared at it in amazed silence. A golden light shimmered across the green carpet of trees.
“It’s going to be night soon,” Lucy said, walking toward the four, smiling as her long hair draped to her back, nearly to the knees.
“Yes. Best to stay in the castle.” She replied, “Dangers are abundant, even in this world.”
“Come.” She said, “Your rooms are this way.”
“I think we need to try to get back.”
“You can try in the morning, it is dark now, and as I said, dangers lurk in the forest at night.”
“I thought this world was safe, Aslan said it was safe,” Dakota commented, making the queen look up.
“Well it is, but there are still animals that are predators of others.” Lucy replied formally, “Best you don’t become their dinner.”
James turned as Tumnus appeared at the door, a full-fledged fawn with a huge rack of antlers. He smiled at Lucy.
“Queen Lucy.” He said, “Your brother is looking for you.”
“Which one…?” Lucy asked, formally, as she turned the four toward their rooms.
“Edmund…” He replied, and she nodded.
“I am going to lead them to the lower section, and I will be with him shortly.” She replied, motioning to the four.
They followed her from the balcony, overlooking the beach and cove, more toward the throne room. Turning they passed through a doorway into the side passage, dressed with tapestries on the castle walls, and fine rugs and furnishings made of oak wood and some gold. Tumnus followed a discrete distance and waited as she motioned to James and Dakota who entered the one room, Rhiannon and Amanda in the room next door.
Lucy motioned to a centaur that stood on guard outside their doors, as the kids bid her goodnight.
“Guard them with your life.” Lucy instructed, “They are the ones that are going to show us the portal, to the spare room.”
“I will guard them with my life.” The Centaur said formally, lifting his lance.
Other guards patrolled the castle, but there was no sense in doing so that evil did not exist there. The young queen turned to Tumnus and nodded, he took up her hand, and together they went toward and further into the passage.
“They remind me so of you four when you were first in the country.” He said, and she laughed.
“Was it better, or worse?”
“For this group, they seem to be more refined than you all were.” He said, “Strange that it comes back that they came in the same way as you four.”
“Yeah….” Lu mused, “Now that you mention it…”
“Heaven forbid you will leave us again.”
“We won’t, we cannot return to our world, we were killed there and our deaths, I just wish that Susan would have liked to join us here, than not. She just became so much older, and wanted more with makeup and nylons, and invitations.”
“I would have thought that Susan would have returned too.” Tumnus mused, “Of course, one day she might remember and return.”
“If that day ever comes, and she arrives here, we should have a big feast.”
Edmund turned the corner a moment later:
“Lucy, I’ve been waiting.” He complained.
“I had the guards posted for our guests. We will be escorting them back to where they need to be in a few days.”
“Good.” He said, grumpily, and he motioned her to an alcove.
“Do you mind, Sir Tumnus?” He asked and the fawn bowed formally to them both.
“Goodnight, Majesties.” He told them formally and moved off with soft hoof beats down the hallway.
Edmund turned to his sister and put a hand on her shoulder. “I heard what you said, and I miss her too, we all do, but I don’t think she will be coming back.”
“I know, Ed.” She replied, “However, is that why you wanted to see me?”
“No there is much more I want to tell you, passed on from Aslan himself, and he began speaking as meanwhile, two more kids had sneaked through the wardrobe. It was Chester, and Sandy, their cousins. They had also been searching and had opened the wardrobe, going off while their parents and their family from America had talked with the police.
“We are going to find them.” Chester said, “They are being rude and I say, very unsociable, hiding like this and from us.”
“Agreed…!” Sandy said, “Such unacceptable behavior.”
They both were a small bit above Amanda and Dakota’s age, and they had not agreed that the four were off on their own in an area they had been to before. They did not like the attitude they were being given by their cousins. Although they were to treat them with full hospitality, both of them stepped into the wardrobe, following the tracks in the dirt and dust throughout the house.
When they opened the doors of the wardrobe, they stepped into it, leaving the door open, and walked toward the coats that still hung in the back of it.
"The tracks seem to end here," Chester grumbled, and he turned as he was going to lead his sister out of the wardrobe. A warm wind whipped from behind them, making them gasp and turn. Sandy crept toward the coats and pushed them aside to reveal the tree branches that prickled her hand making her gasp loudly.
“What the hell?” Chester gasped, and he pushed aside the trees, revealing the same woods that the four had just entered.
“Where the hell are we?”
“I say, I don’t know.” Sandy gasped, simply amazed, as she turned glancing at the dim light of the doorway as bright lights could be seen outside as the command post was set for the four by police.
The bright light of the forest and the warm wind whipped through the trees. Chester and his sister were both amazed by the sight and there was a forest inside the wardrobe in a dusty old house in the middle of the English countryside, their home.
“I think we should go back.” She warned, “I don’t think we should be here.”
“Yes, but their footsteps in the dust lead to the wardrobe and there was a scrap of Rhi’s sweater on the frame. I think, look in the light, there are footprints here on the path.”
“I see them, and they look like Rhi's shoes she was wearing.” She said, grasping him from behind, frightened by the sounds of the forest around her.
“I wonder what time it is here…?” Her brother asked, pointing at the sky, as the sun shone down upon them. "It looks like mid-afternoon."
They looked down as they stood at the lamppost in which the tracks of their cousin’s footsteps were imprinted in the grass and dirt.
“It looks like they went this way.” He said and motioned to his sister, “Let’s go.”
Together the pair began to follow the tracks and slowly made their way through the forest. As they progressed, they glanced about them at the swirl of wind that whipped at them, and the particles of peddles whipping in the breeze. They did not notice that they were being watched by the trees. Already a message was being passed from tree to tree in the forest by the Dryads, the spirit of the trees to the castle.
At the castle, Queen Lucy turned with a start as a familiar form appeared beside her bedside.
“Fear not, majesty.” She said, “I bring you news there are others in this realm too. They are only two, a son of Adam and a Daughter of Eve, who now traverse the way to the castle.”
“What?” Lu gasped, as she sat up.
“Is it Queen Su, the gentle?” She asked and the form shook its head.
There was a knock as Peter and Edmund appeared, clad with the swords at their side, from which they had already been notified of the news. Lucy rose, taking her time, and walked down the hall toward the two rooms. The Centaur still stood diligently at guard. He saluted as he moved aside.
She opened the door and entered the girl’s room first, standing there a moment before they turned with a start.
“Majesty?” Rhi asked, and Amanda nodded.
“I bring you both news, two more of your people have come to Narnia.”
“Uh oh…” Rhiannon groaned, “I bet you it is probably Ches and Sandy.”
“My cousins probably came looking for us when we disappeared, and are no doubt helping everyone who is looking for us,” Amanda added.
“We have both decided to stay and accept your hospitality too.” The older sister of the future said, “This world looks unique and amazing to explore.”
“Narnia has its perks. That is for sure.” Lucy said, “What say your brothers?”
“We agree too.” James and Dakota said, “She’s right, it’s probably our cousins looking for us, Chester and Sandy Tennessee. It makes more sense than anything that someone else found the portal.”
“Then we shall welcome them too.”
Rhi and Amanda nodded, as the brothers were herded out and quickly the girls changed into the gown garb they wore about the castle. The boys next door wore a simple tunic, breeches, and boots, with a belt to match. They had a rampant red lion on the front of the tunic. They joined their sisters, and all laughed at each other as they peered at the unique costumes that seemed more appropriate to a renaissance festival than a real place or perhaps a real-time long ago.
When they emerged from their rooms they were escorted to the throne room from which they stood on the balcony, overlooking the Fjords of Beruna. They watched as the sun started to dip into the horizon and another day finished in the world of Narnia.
Lucy and Aslan both appeared a few minutes later, and with them were Chester and Sandy, who when they saw the four ran toward them.
“Are you four alright?” Chester asked, almost demanding, “Mum and Dad and your parents are worried sick!”
“We found our way into this place, and decided to check things out.” James said, “It is only a few minutes elapsed since our departure from our world to this place, which I also must say, welcome to Narnia.”
”Narnia…?” Sandy and Chester said together, and there were smiles by the four.
“Yep…” James said, motioning to the landscape that flowed out before them like an emerald sea, the sea sparkling before it, and around the castle.
“Narnia….” He said as he pointed to the surroundings, and the two of them glanced dubiously at the three Lucy, Peter, and Edmund who were nearby, as the five of them reunited. A long silence followed as they stood together.
“Now what do we do?” Their cousin asked snidely, “Look for elves, gnomes, druids, and dwarves?”
“No.” James said, “We follow the lead of these three majesties, and show them the portal. Then start exploring this place.”
“No, we need to be getting back.” Ches said, “You will come with us…”
“No way, this is more fun than being around you.” James said, “You are snide, arrogant, and hypocritical of us. I speak for my brother and my sisters that we’re staying.”
“Furthermore, you are terrible people.” He said, “We’re on vacation, and if you want to go, then go. We will be along when we are ready.”
Lucy, Peter, and Edmund thankfully had not heard that tirade by James, and Aslan grimaced openly. He had a point they were here on vacation, and were not being treated well by their cousins. The four of them had found something more interesting than being around them, and wanted to stay and check things out. However, the cousins were not willing to listen and take part in their adventures together. After all, they were family.
It was just the unwillingness of the English cousins to treat their American ones properly or be civilized.
Rhi and Amanda joined Lucy on the balcony, overlooking the Fjords, and peered across the water onto the landscape.
“This is amazing,” Rhiannon told her sister.
Her sister nodded, glancing at the young queen who was smiling at a memory of long ago when she stood on this very balcony during the celebration of their victory against the white witch, Jadus, and Aslan walked on the beach alone. Mister Tumnus had joined her, and they had a moment of tears by the young girl. They had both seen the great lion disappear but understood with a brief exchange that he would be back.
Queen Lucy grimaced and glanced at the two girls.
"Are you all right, your majesty?" Rhiannon asked, and here the young queen grinned, nodding.
"I stood in the same place many tears ago, when we first came to Narnia." She said, "I just had a memory of Aslan on the beach and walking alone to disappear by magic. I am all right, this is a new Narnia and no evil. We're safe here in Cair Paravel."
The girls nodded and sensed a mood drop by the young queen. They did not realize there had been four of them before and she just missed her sister, Susan who had survived the train wreck and had buried her, and their brothers. She had not believed in magic and had been skeptical the first time, a pacifist wanting to be smart and logical. Ultimately, she had not come to Narnia if she would have been killed in the mass of twisted metal that made up the passenger cars of the train.
Susan, her sister, back in time and space, knelt at the graves of her family and cried, wishing and finding the spark of magic, believing in something that she had been skeptical about before. Her family was gone and she was alone. The young woman stood up to wipe away the tears, and considered trying to find the magic that they had experienced two times coming to Narnia so she could be with her family, and leave this world, but didn't know how to start looking.
Rhiannon and her sister peered at the ocean in the cove of Cair Paravel and were smiling at the gorgeous sunset that sank on the western horizon. Their brothers joined them, and they whistled at the sight before them. The sky was a fierce color of deep gold, sinister cinnamon reds, and a deep purple, as the sun sank on the skyline. The first stars of night twinkled overhead.
James younger sister peered upward at the stars and in her mind, she wondered if it was the same universe that was in their world, from which they would return, but not without sending their nasty, ill-tempered bratty cousins through. They all considered one alternative, staying here for a spell, to explore this place. It was after all like the old Narnia that had been established, seen war, battle, and freedom. It also saw change as the great lion led them to this new Narnia. The old one perished by fire as did the evil there.
The four of them, humans from the future of seventy-five years did not know what to make of this place, or if they could find their way home. However, it was fun here until their cousins found their way into this realm.
As the stars of night twinkled high above them in Narnia, a new Narnia, a new generation had rekindled the magic that had reopened the portal to Narnia. They knew they would have a lot to tell their friends back home, about this place, and wondered if they could find their way to this place in America.
They glanced at Aslan as he stood nearby and he seemed to grin at them, amused by their astonishment at a world that had replaced the old long after the original four had come.
Meanwhile, Susan Pevensey stood at the train station in London, and as she waited for the train, the young woman grimaced as she walked down the tunnel, toward the platform where they had been brought to Narnia the second time. She almost hoped that it would be there, and she could find her way again into Narnia, believing strongly in the magic now, despite it being a memory, the world of Narnia far behind her where she had been a Queen.
"All it took was a spark." She thought, and peered at the wall, as a train passed her by, the wind whipping the dust and debris on the deserted platform as she stood there. She almost hoped that the portal would open, and she would be drawn through, but alas, when it did not, she almost broke down in tears. Another wind whipped at her, and she gasped as a spark of electrical energy crackled around her, as another train passed, and this time, a bright blue light appeared on the wall, and a tornado of wind whipped at her hair, drawing her through the opening. Her clothes fluttered in the strong breeze as she felt drawn further and faster into the opening.
A moment later, the older sister of the three in Narnia had found herself in a cave, the very cave from which she and the others had come the second time. A thunder of waves crashed on the sandy beach as she stepped out in disbelief, the wind whipping at her hair and the bright sun shining overhead. The young woman ran across the beach toward the water and turned as she smiled at Aslan who was waiting. She ran toward him, hugging him tightly with tears streaming.
"Aslan…!" She chortled, holding him as she wept.
"Welcome home Susan, Daughter of Eve." He said and turning she peered at the cave, now stone that remained so. The portal had vanished.
Little did she know that the breeze had whipped her off the platform, and she tumbled in front of a local train passing by her when she had been too close to the platform edge. The last sound, what she thought was the wind, had been a scream, as someone saw her body struck by the train moments later, killing her instantly.
She peered at Aslan and smiled, finally home in Narnia. Turning, she saw Lucy and her brothers running toward her, hugging her tightly in greeting. No one knew what had happened as a funeral was given for her, and she was buried next to her family. Neither did she know of the four yet nor the cousins who came from the future, a future from which was far beyond the time where she had come. Nevertheless, it was a new Narnia with many possibilities that were just starting again as they had seven decades ago in another time.