Song suggestion: Breakaway-Kelly Clarkson
"Ummm..." I dithered, unsure what to say.
Nice one Anna, always acting before you think.
"Did you come through the wardrobe too?" Lucy piped up, her brown eyes sympathetic. I didn't miss Peter's automatic reaction to move with her as she stepped forward.
"Not...exactly," I finally answered after a few moments of indecision.
What in the name of Aslan am I supposed to say? I can't tell them who I am otherwise they'll just torture me until I tell them the whole story and then the story will fall apart then Narnia will fall apart and I'll be held completely responsible and who knows what Aslan will do to me!
Peter soon brought me out of my panicked thoughts.
"Uh, miss?" he said politely, but I could see there was a hint of suspicion and mistrust in his eyes. I needed to think of something, and quickly.
"I was, uh, sent here," I said pathetically.
I think they guessed that, you idiot.
Judging from the looks they were giving my clothing (Skinny jeans, Converse, my favourite blue top and a white jacket. How very conspicuous.) they knew I was most definitely not Narnian.
"Oooh!" Lucy exclaimed excitedly. "Where from?"
"Uhhhhh..." I said helplessly, still completely clueless as to what to tell them. That's when dear Mr. Beaver saved me after he decided he'd had enough.
"All right, I think we've stood around chit-chatting long enough. Let's go," he declared with an indignant swish off his tail before continuing on. "Feel free to join us," he added as he walked past me.
Liking the sound of that idea far more than wandering aimlessly around the forest for who knows how long, I started to walk behind the Pevensies. It didn't take too long for Lucy to fall back to start talking to me again.
"So, where are you from then?" she immediately questioned. As adorable as she was, Lucy asked some really awkward questions. Before I could answer, however, I was interrupted.
"Stop bothering people Lu," Peter chastised lightly, materialising next to his sister. "You'll scare them off." The look of worry on the poor girls face was almost heartbreaking.
"Don't listen to him, he's just jealous you're talking to me instead," I teased, smiling down at her.
She immediately returned it with a smile of her own and then directed her triumphant grin in her brothers direction. He only raised an eyebrow at her before turning his attention back to me and extending his hand towards me, which I took in my own.
"I'm Peter, Peter Pevensie. This is Lucy and the other two are Edmund and Susan, my siblings."
I smiled before introducing myself. "I'm Anna O'Brien. As you can see, I have no siblings." Peter and Lucy both laughed, their previous suspicions of me now seemingly eradicated.
"Are you not cold?" he asked, eyeing my (what he probably thought to be) unusual attire.
"Nah, I'm Irish. I'm used to the cold," I replied cheerfully. I wasn't trying to be brave, because I honestly didn't mind the cold that much.
"I knew it!" Edmund exclaimed, obviously having been listening to our conversation the entire time he had been walking next to Susan. "You sound like the Macready," he pointed out disparagingly.
"I'm not Scottish!" I exclaimed, beginning to laugh.
"I told you she was Welsh," Susan muttered to her brother.
"I'm not Welsh either," I said, laughing harder. "Honestly, don't you know the difference between an Irish and Scottish accent?"
"They're not very common in Finchley," Peter said.
Then Edmund spoke, "Except...how did you know who Mrs Macready was?"
Brilliant Anna. You've outdone yourself this time.
I opened and closed my mouth several times, trying to find some excuse that wouldn't make me sound any more insane than I already did. It wasn't happening.
Mr. Beaver saved me again. "Ah blimey! Looks like the old girl's got the kettle on. Nice cup o' Rosy Lee!"
Everyone was momentarily distracted by the sight of the little dam. It was even more lovely in real life, much better than seeing it on a movie screen. As everyone else was too hungry and cold to care anymore, my as of yet unexplained origins and how I knew who Mrs Macready was were now forgotten and replaced instead with hopes of food and warmth.
"It's lovely," Lucy commented, seeming to be genuinely taken with the Beavers humble abode.
"It's merely a trifle. Still plenty to do," Mr. Beaver responded modestly, "Ain't quite finished yet, it'll look the business when it is, though."
It was at this point that Mrs. Beaver decided to make her appearance. "Beaver, is that you? I've been worried sick! If I find you've been out with Badger again I..."
She stopped short when she saw the rest of us following behind Mr. Beaver. "Oh! Well, those aren't badgers! I never thought I'd live to see this day!" Mrs. Beaver exclaimed excitedly, now beginning to attempt to smooth out her already sleek and well groomed fur. She turned to her husband and began to chastise him, "Look at my fur! You couldn't have given me ten minutes warning?"
Mr. Beaver chuckled, "I'd have given you a week if I thought it would've helped," he teased lightly.
Sending her husband a playful glare, Mrs. Beaver started to usher us into the dam. "Oh, come inside, and see if we can't get you some food, and some civilised company."
I smiled at their good natured jibes towards one another. Mr. Beaver only laughed at his wife before we all entered the Beavers home.
While I'm being completely honest in saying I don't mind the cold, it sure as hell doesn't mean I don't like heat. It was wonderfully warm in the Beavers house, and the four Pevensies immediately shed their fur coats. A delicious smell was floating over from the open wood fire and the sizzling sounds of food cooking was audible throughout the entire room. My mouth began to water as I suddenly realised I was actually very hungry. I normally ate a lot after training, but after the events of the last few hours I hadn't exactly had a chance to think of such trivial matters.
"Isn't there anything we can do to help Tumnus?" Peter asked as he sat down next to me. I had sat next to Lucy, the only one of the Pevensies who didn't seem to entirely resent my presence, and I suspected this was Peter's overly protective side coming out again.
Mr. Beaver only shook his head. "They'll have taken him to the White Witch's. You know what they say. There's few that go through them gates that come out again."
Lucy hung her head, looking as if she were trying not to burst into tears. I can't say I blamed her.
Mrs. Beaver ran over and placed a plate of fish and chips in front of Lucy before sending a warning look to her husband. "But there is hope dear. Lot's of hope."
I didn't miss the subtle nudge she gave Mr. Beaver, who eagerly agreed with his wife, "Oh, yeah, there's a right bit more than hope!" he exclaimed. Then, leaning over the table, he spoke in a much softer voice, "Aslan, is on the move!" he whispered excitedly. I held back a grin, feeling nostalgic for my recent encounter with the majestic lion.
I couldn't help but think how surreal and extraordinary it was that I was really here. Either that, or I still must be suffering from some sort of severe head trauma from when Bradley had attacked me. To think that I was now sitting next to the people who I had for so long imagined and dreamt about as a child. And I wasn't going to deny it, but I had held a torch for Peter Pevensie as a thirteen or fourteen year old, like a lot of girls had when the movie came out, but I had moved on to boys who actually existed long ago. The trouble was, now that he was here next to me, I found myself constantly distracted by him. It just sucked that he didn't trust me.
I decided to pay attention again when Mr. Beaver began to explain the prophecy. "When Adam's flesh and Adam's bone sits at Cair Paravel in throne, the evil time will be over and done," he recited mystically.
"You know, that doesn't really rhyme," Susan pointed out smartly. I had to smirk this time.
"Yeah, I know it don't, but you're kinda missin' the point!" Mr. Beaver yelled in exasperation.
Mrs. Beaver decided to try and explain the situation in a more composed manner. "It has long been foretold that two Sons of Adam and three Daughters of Eve will defeat the White Witch and restore peace to Narnia."
Aslan definitely forgot to mention that!
I began to choke on a piece of fish I had just eaten in my shock. Everyone in the room turned to stare at me as I struggled to breathe normally.
"Sorry," I gasped, "But did you say...three Daughters of Eve?"
Mr. Beaver gave me a curious look. "Yeah, she did, what's the problem?" I shouldn't have made such a show of myself, because now everyone's attention had been brought back to me and the as of yet unanswered question of my origins.
"It's almost like you knew what she was supposed to say," Susan said thoughtfully, looking me up and down.
"And you didn't act like or ask the usual sort of questions typical of someone who's just arrived in a different world. In fact, it actually seems like you've been here before," Peter added knowledgeably. I sighed, knowing there was nothing else for it now but to tell them.
"All right, you got me. I am from your world, but the future. The year 2012 to be exact," I explained.
I was quite surprised by their reactions; Lucy had a look of wonder on her face, Susan one of mild interest, Peter just raised an eyebrow and the Beavers looked completely indifferent, almost as if they had been expecting this. I'd been expecting a scene of pandemonium and endless questions. Then again, the four Pevensies themselves had just fallen into another world and I suppose it wouldn't be quite shocking to discover others could do so as well.
"But I haven't been here before," I clarified, turning to face Peter. "Where I come from..." I hesitated slightly at this point, not entirely sure how to tell someone that they didn't actually exist, or at least, weren't supposed to exist.
"This is all just a story. You're not actually supposed to exist, you're all fictional characters in a book," I said slowly. "The only reason I know so much about Narnia is because I'm a really big fan," I chuckled, a little embarrassed at admitting this to my actual childhood heroes.
A small smile played on Peter's lips. "So we're famous in your world?" he asked. I laughed and nodded, not at all surprised at his question. But then I returned my attention to what Mrs. Beaver had said.
"So you're telling me the prophecy says that three Daughters of Eve are to become Queens of Narnia," I stated, looking from one Beaver to the other.
"Correct," Mrs. Beaver confirmed.
"Incorrect," I challenged, "The story is that there are only to be two Sons of Adam and two Daughters of Eve to become Kings and Queens of Narnia. Are you sure you've got it right?" I said in a matter of fact tone, folding my arms and sitting back in the chair.
"That's what's been said for one hundred years now, I'm fairly sure we've got it right," Mr. Beaver interjected somewhat irritably. I pulled my eyebrows together in confusion and remained silent, contemplating this new turn of events.
"So you think we're the ones?" Peter asked incredulously, returning the script to its original course.
"Well you'd better be," Mr. Beaver admonished, "'cause Aslan's already fitted out your army!" The three Pevensie children sitting around the table all widened their eyes in surprise.
"Our army?" Lucy said faintly, looking slightly dazed.
Susan turned to Peter, horror evident in her eyes. "Mum sent us away so we wouldn't get caught up in a war."
Peter obviously agreed with his sister. "I think you've made a mistake. We're not heroes!" he exclaimed, looking from one Beaver to the other.
"We're from Finchley," Susan added.
"Yes and no," I muttered under my breath.
The Pevensies began to stand up. "Thank you for your hospitality, but we really have to go," Susan said hurriedly, pulling her fur coat back on.
"No! You can't just leave." Mr. Beaver said, panic evident in his voice.
"He's right, we have to help Mr. Tumnus!" Lucy agreed, training her big brown eyes on Peter, desperate and pleading.
Peter, however, was not to be swayed this time. "It's out of our hands," he said apologetically. "I'm sorry but it's time the four of us went home," Peter's voice held a note of finality and not even Lucy dared attempt to try and persuade him any further.
"Ed?" Peter called to his brother, who I knew was now long gone from here. "I'm gonna kill him," he said furiously once it had been discovered he was missing, turning to Susan with anger in his eyes.
"You may not have to," Mr. Beaver said darkly. "Has Edmund ever been to Narnia before?"
And so it begins.
I followed Peter, Susan, Lucy and Mr. Beaver out into the cold night air. We ran up a small hill not too far from the dam and when we reached the top we could clearly see the Witch's castle casting a sinister glow in the darkness of the night. It was the only source of light for miles in any direction, and it wasn't exactly comforting to see such a sight.
"Edmund!" Lucy screamed, hoping by some miracle that her brother would hear her and magically come back to them.
Sorry Lu, it's not happening.
"Shh! They'll hear ya!" Mr. Beaver whispered frantically. Noticing that he was distracted by Lucy, Peter attempted to run, but Mr. Beaver was too fast for him. "No!" he cried as he lunged at Peter and pulled on his coat.
"Get off me!" Peter yelled angrily, trying to shake Mr. Beaver off.
"You're playing into her hands!" Mr. Beaver explained desperately, making Peter finally stop.
Susan stepped forward with a look of fear and indecision. "We can't just let him go!" she exclaimed.
"He's our brother," Lucy added quietly. I put an arm around her shoulder in an attempt to comfort her, and she leaned against me seeming tired and defeated.
"He's the bait! The Witch wants all five of ya!" Mr. Beaver was now growing very impatient.
"Why?" Peter asked. I had always wanted to whack him across the head for asking this question. Was it really that difficult?!
"To stop the prophecy from coming true; to kill us," I said, not really caring that I'd just stolen poor Mr. Beavers line.
Aslan never told me I couldn't do that.
The three remaining Pevensies stared in horror at the castle, obviously now even more concerned for their brothers well being.
"This is all your fault," Susan said heatedly, turning on Peter, who gave her a look of shock and anger at the accusation.
"My fault?" he said incredulously.
"None of this would have happened if you had just listened to me in the first place!" Susan almost screamed.
"Oh, so you knew this would happen?" he retorted, his voice dripping with sarcasm.
"I didn't know what would happen," she defended. "Which is why we should have left while we still could!"
"You're right," Peter conceded, his now calm exterior totally unnerving. I had a bad feeling about where this was going. "But Anna knew," he pointed out, causing everyone to turn to me.
"Oh, so you're blaming me for your brothers misadventures? Thanks, Pevensie,"I said sarcastically.
"No" he said shortly, taking a step towards me. "I'm blaming you for failing to prevent it when you could."
"Except I couldn't have done that," I retorted, getting rather angry now. I'm normally quite a patient person, and for anyone to push me to my breaking point is a big achievement.
"And why not?" Peter seethed, almost as furious as I was.
"I'm under orders from Aslan himself not to reveal or interfere with parts of the story I have any knowledge of. That's why," I said evenly. Peter looked slightly taken aback at this, but only raised an eyebrow in response.
"You've seen Aslan?" Mr. Beaver gasped, "What's he like?"
"Or are you not allowed to tell us that either?" Peter mocked before I could answer.
"Do you really want to test me?" I said in a low voice, my anger clearly audible.
"Try me," he challenged, stepping dangerously close to me.
We both glared at each other until Lucy regained our attention. "Stop it! This isn't going to help Edmund."
Mr. Beaver nodded in agreement. "She's right, only Aslan can save your brother now."
Without even sparing me a glance, Peter made a decision for everyone.
"Then take us to him."