By Sarah Levesque
Word Count: 4163
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?
The next day, Lucy was skipping to keep up with Peter’s long strides. “I wonder what Father Christmas will bring us this year,” she said. “I’d love some good Narnia cloth.”
Peter cleared his throat. “I’m not sure he’ll bring anything. I’m not even sure he can get to this world.”
“He’s always come before.”
“Not really, no. Mum and dad have always gotten our Christmas gifts. Maybe Father Christmas just didn’t visit us, since Mum and Dad didn’t believe in him. Maybe he did come and they never knew. I don’t know.”
“The legends had to come from somewhere,” Lucy persisted.
Peter nodded. “True, and that is why I have hope. But he may not come, and I want you to know that is a possibility.”
Lucy nodded. “I understand.”
“Then you understand that it will be a lean Christmas, as Mum said, since Dad’s not here and the war and all.”
Lucy nodded again. “I’d still like a bolt of cloth or two – something nicer than English wool.”
“Let’s think of what we will give Mum instead of what we’ll get,” Peter suggested.
“I could sew her something – I’ve gotten much better in Narnia, though the dryads did most of my sewing.”
“I’m sure she’d love anything you make her. Any ideas of what I should do? I have a bit of money put aside.”
Lucy thought for a moment. “She needs a new hat. Su or I could help you pick it out. But her green cap is so old – from long before the war. And I heard her wishing for coffee a few days ago – perhaps you could hunt some down?”
“Good idea. I’m sure Ed will put in some of his money – he’s already been keeping some from Mum for himself and surprises and such.”
“How often do you dream of Narnia?” Lucy asked abruptly.
“Every time I dream,” Peter answered after a moment, his voice a bit husky.
“Me, too. I miss the people and the openness, both in speech and in spaces. I’ve only just realized I miss the colors, too. Everything there was so much brighter, or deeper, or more vibrant. But even the professor’s countryside of the autumn is better than winter in London. Everything here seems grey or black, maybe dark brown. Any color is gone in a moment, and only makes me want more.”
“You know, I hadn’t thought of that, but you’re not wrong,” Peter said. “Now that you mention it, I’ve been missing the colors, too – the blue glittering sea, our pennants fluttering brightly in the breeze, the leaves and grass and flowers…” he trailed off.
Lucy smiled up at him. “And Addis?”
Peter nodded. “And Addis. Her dark hair always changed color slightly each season – did you ever notice? Browner in the winter, turning slowly into a sure green tint in the summer, then shimmering in every color in the autumn. Evidence of her dryad mother, I suppose, but it fascinated me. I never quite new what color it would be. I’m not sure why I’m telling you this,” he added.
Lucy shrugged. “Who else would you tell it to? Mum wouldn’t believe you, Ed would think you’re silly, and Susan… well, maybe she’d be alright, but I knew Addis better. And you’re right, her hair did change tints, but I never paid enough attention to it to realize why. She loved you, you know.”
Peter nodded. “And I loved her. I was hoping she would be my queen. Never quite figured out the politics, since you and Susan were queens, but I was looking for a solution.”
“Isn’t it funny how we’re still mostly grown up in our minds, despite our new-old sizes?”
“We can never really go back to being children,” Peter agreed. “Though with the war here, who knows if we would have kept our childhood, anyway. But growing up all at once and growing up slowly, then returning… those are completely different.”
“I’m almost glad there’s still a war on,” Lucy said. “Yes, it’s different for the other children, but no one really expects us to be less than adults anyway, not really, so our seemingly sudden maturity has a reasonable explanation to hide behind.”
“True,” Peter agreed. “I just wish we knew Dad was safe.”
Christmas Eve soon came. Peter stayed awake until Mrs. Pevensie was asleep, then slipped downstairs as he and his siblings had planned. He sat at the kitchen table and dashed off a note.
Dear Father Christmas,
We are all clinging to the hope that you truly come to this world as well as to Narnia. If you are reading this, we beg that you deliver these letters to the people to whom we have addressed them. We wrote them to explain our disappearance from Narnia, and to articulate how much we miss it and our friends.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, and Happy Christmas!
Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie
Leaving this note on the table with the others, Peter went to bed, hoping against hope that they would not be there in the morning.
Christmas morning saw the Pevensie children awake long before their mother, even Peter. Susan was the last of the four to awake, and she found the other three at the top of the staircase.
“What’s going on?” she asked sleepily.
“It’s Christmas, Su,” Lucy said, bouncing on her toes.
“Then why are you still up here?” she asked, suddenly wide awake.
Peter cleared his throat. “We’re all a bit afraid to go down, we’ve pinned our hopes so high.”
“Fine,” Susan said. “But I’m going.” She started down the stairs. “Anyone coming?”
They all went, nearly tiptoeing to the kitchen.
The letters were gone. In their place was a Narnian evergreen flower.
There was a moment of silence, then Lucy shouted. “He did it! He came! I really, really did it!” She grabbed Edmund’s hands and they began whirling wildly around the kitchen. Lucy let go and crashed into Peter, who caught her. She threw her arms around him and squeezed.
“Happy Christmas!” Mrs. Pevensie said, coming down the stairs with a smile. “What’s all the commotion?”
“Lucy’s convinced Father Christmas has come,” Edmund answered quickly.
“And so he has,” their mother said. “She must have seen your chairs – look, you each have a gift on yours!”
The children looked, and saw that each of their chairs held a small package. They knew these were from Mrs. Pevensie, but they played along, running to tear them open.
Edmund opened his first, and only years in politics allowed him to grin up at his mother. “Turkish Delight! However did you find any?”
“It was Father Christmas,” his mother said, beaming at him.
“Oh Mum, I love it,” Lucy said, hugging a stuffed lion to her. “You’ve no idea how perfect this is!”
Susan and Peter had more sensible gifts in a hat and a pair of gloves.
“Now for my gifts for you,” Mrs. Pevensie said. She handed out packages containing scarves and socks, knitted with love. They all exclaimed over them, then Lucy said, “Now for our presents to you!”
“For me?” their mother repeated, surprised.
In answer, the children handed her three packages. One contained a new hat, the second some nicely embroidered handkerchiefs, and the third a small sack of coffee.
“What a nice surprise!” Mrs. Pevensie had tears in her eyes. She gathered her children into a hug, and no one objected.
Later that day, when the four Pevensie children had some time to themselves, they gathered together.
“Anyone want some Turkish Delight?” Edmund asked wryly. They all laughed.
“I’m so glad Father Christmas got through,” Lucy said, petting her new stuffed lion. “Now they all know we didn’t desert them.”
“How could anyone have thought we’d all four desert them?” Susan protested. “Far more likely we’d been kidnapped.”
“Or killed,” Edmund added.
“The horses would have heard something if there had been a fight,” Peter commented.
“Anyway, who cares? They all know the truth now,” Susan said practically.
Edmund nodded. “Now we can live here more contented, since we must. And if it is Aslan’s will we stay here forever, so be it.”
The others nodded, all of them caught up in the bittersweet joy of the moment, unaware they would have another bittersweet moment in the not-too-distant future, when they would be returned to Narnia, but a very different Narnia than they remembered.
Sarah Levesque is the Assistant Editor of Fellowship & Fairydust Publications. She also works with autistic elementary school children and in the children’s room of her local library. She is a lover of suspense and Shakespeare, wit and wisdom, playfulness and puppies.