A London Christmas: Chapter 2

By Sarah Levesque

Word Count: 4163

Rating: G

Summary: The Pevensies celebrate their first Christmas back in London with their Mother, but they miss Narnia terribly. Can the children make it a merry one?

Pevensies_narnia_winter

Chapter 2

One day, like many others, Edmund came home to find the girls and Mrs. Pevensie in the kitchen, getting supper ready.

“Where’s Pete?” he asked.

“In the garden,” Susan answered.

“Call him in, would you, Ed?” Mrs. Pevensie asked. “We’re almost done. Lucy and Susan, you have come so far since you left the city; you’d think you’ve spent years cooking!”

The siblings glanced at each other wryly, then Edmund left the kitchen to get Peter. A few minutes later they were all sitting at the table.

“What were you doing in the garden, Peter?” Mrs. Pevensie asked conversationally.

Edmund answered for him. “Mooning over a girl.”

“Just because you never met a girl you really connected with doesn’t mean you need to poke fun at me,” Peter protested.

“He’s right,” Susan came to Peter’s defense. “We’ve all left someone behind; even you younger two had some good friends.”

“Why don’t you write to them?” Mrs. Pevensie asked. “It’s not like they live beyond the reach of His Majesty’s Post. I’m sure they’d love to get letters for Christmas – it’s right around the corner, you know – and let them know you’re safe.”

“That’s a wonderful idea!” cried Lucy. “Anything can happen at Christmas if we believe in Father Christmas!”

“The Post isn’t exactly Father Christmas, but it does well enough, despite the bombs,” their mother said, a bit confused as to where the myth came in. But the other children understood, and their eyes lit up.

“We should!” Peter said with conviction. “I’m going to. Edu, you should write Philip. Lucy, perhaps you’d write old Mr. Tumnus. Explain why we left without saying goodbye. It was all just so sudden,” he added, looking at his mother. She nodded.

“Right after dinner, then,” she said, smiling. “And I’ll warn you now… I’m sorry, but it will be a lean Christmas. Even Father Christmas would have a hard job finding much for presents right now. But we have each other, that’s what’s most important.”

 

Dear Addis, wrote Peter,

I hope this letter finds you well. Actually, I hope this letter finds you, as I write from somewhere far from Narnia, and I rely on Father Christmas and his magic to get this letter to you. Do you remember the stories I told you of before I and my siblings came to Narnia? How we stepped through a Wardrobe and found ourselves here? Or there, rather, for we accidentally returned to our original place and time when we stumbled upon the Wardrobe again while riding in Lantern Waste. I can only try to imagine the pain and confusion that followed in Narnia. I am left wondering who is ruling, and if they are doing well. I fervently hope so. But my thoughts stray to you, Addis, all the time. I live in hope that someday I may return to Narnia and to you, but the Wardrobe has lost its magic, a fact that devastated all of us so completely, it took weeks to get over. In a way, we are still not over it, and may never be. There has been a war here, too, but we are all safe.

Addis, though I cling to the hope that I will return to you, I must tell you the truth. When we returned to our own country, we returned just at the time we left, and just the way we were when we left. I am no longer the Peter you remember – tall, strong, and a few years older than you. Now, I am once again shorter, far weaker, and years younger. Only Aslan knows if this would continue or not if he allows me to return to Narnia. In my heart and mind and soul I am unchanged, and as ever I am yours, but the uncertainty is too great, and I cannot ask you to wait for me, knowing that it may be forever and for naught, unless we meet again in the next life.

I don’t expect a reply – even Father Christmas has his limits. But know that you are in my thoughts always.

In Aslan’s Name,

Peter Pevensie, High King of Narnia

Three weeks after my return to England (Spare Oom, War Drobe), in the 7th year of my reign.

 

Dear Mr. Tumnus, wrote Lucy,

Remember how I wandered into Narnia by accident? Well, we all wandered out again quite by mistake, and now there is no way to get back. I hope everyone is well. Tell my dear ladies in waiting that they need not wait any longer, and give them my finest robes and trinkets. I wish Father Christmas would carry letters between us regularly, but I suppose even this letter may not reach you, since Father Christmas may not be able to get there, due to the distance and the war. For there is a war here – the same war as when we left, strangely enough. Stranger still, I have returned to the size of the little girl I was when I first met you. But we are all well.

Do write me back next Christmas, if you can, or if you happen to meet Father Christmas.

Yours Truly,

Lucy Pevensie

P.S.  I miss you all dreadfully, though it is lovely to see my mother daily again. LP

 

Lucy continued on to write five more letters. Edmund wrote one in the same amount of time.

Dear Phillip,

I’m sorry I abandoned you. It was not by our choice, but Aslan’s choosing that we left. He has most unexpectedly retuned us to England (Spare Oom, War Drobe), without a clear way of coming back. I miss you, dear friend. The only horses in this world are dumb beasts. Sometimes it is a relief to work with them, as they are distant relatives of yours, while at other times their lack of understanding brings me such sadness that I nearly feel physical pain. And you’re the only one I could ever really open up to. Though it is nice to see Mum again, practically everyone I know is in Narnia. I wish Aslan would take us back. It has only been three weeks, and I am already terribly homesick for Cair Paravel, the fields, and the forests. The city we live in is crowded with buildings and hurrying people and rubble from the war that is going on here. I long for the quiet peace of the Narnia woods. If Aslan did permit us to return, I suspect you would find it easier to carry me, as we arrived here exactly how we arrived in Narnia years ago – young and small and without strength. Peter and I are working on that part – it was depressing to realize we are such skinny weaklings again after having years of full-grown strength. Not only that, but just when it was over, I have to go through puberty all over again!

I am running out of paper, but I would like to thank you for everything. Teaching me to ride, and to respect all creatures, and for being my best friend, despite all my shortcomings.

Sincerely,

Your friend Edmund Pevensie

 

Susan wrote many versions of one letter, sitting alone in the room she shared with Lucy. She finally finished and burned the other versions, regardless of the cost of paper.

Dear Rispan,

I never meant to break my promise. I was counting the days until I would see you again. But Aslan had other plans, it seems. By now you have heard of my disappearance, along with my brothers the kings and my sister queen. I assure you, it was nothing we could have prevented. We are all safe, but Aslan has whisked us back to our native country, and the magic door no longer works. We’ve tried. Over and over and over again. We miss Narnia and all our friends dreadfully. I miss you most of all, you who I was missing as soon as I turned my back when I had to leave the last time, called to my royal duties. I wish I hadn’t left, for that was the day we made plans to go riding in Lantern Waste the next week, and that ride has put a barrier of impenetrable distance between us, unless Aslan rules it otherwise.

I told you about London, with its motorcars and trains, its tall buildings, smog, and rushing multitudes. In one sense I’m used to it here again, but in another sense I will never be, as I will always long for Narnia and for you, Rispan. Oh, I wish you were here, and I could show you my world, introduce you to my mother and my old favorite haunts! Though many of those have been destroyed in the war. All these years and it still rages just as it did when I left.

Rispan, does your heart ache for me the way mine aches for you? I suppose I may never know, since we have only hope, not certainty, that these letters will even reach Narnia. After all, we are sending them by way of Father Christmas himself, if he comes to this world. We know not yet if he does – perhaps he is only in the Narnia world, and this letter will never be read by you. If that be the case, I may keep it always to remember you by. We had nothing Narnian with us when we were suddenly returned to England, and we were even dressed in our old English clothes. I was not even allowed to keep your ring that I kept on the chain around my neck. Whether it may be found in Lantern Waste or whether it is lost to both worlds, I know not. I comfort myself with the thought that you, at least, still have the gifts I gave you.

I won’t say ‘I love you’, though it is true, because only Aslan knows if we shall be reunited, and perhaps time will pass and you will find another girl who delights in your company nearly as much as I have, and you will fall in love with her. If this ‘perhaps’ comes to pass, you may love without guilt, without thought of me. And perhaps I will do the same. Or perhaps we will remain true to our promise at the river, and think of no one beyond each other. In any case, I thank you for all the wonderful times, for all the stolen moments, for our plans and dreams and love.

Susan

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