Song suggestion: Defying Gravity-Wicked
After Mr and Mrs. Beaver had rather vigorously woken us all we were now groggily packing up the blankets and blearily rubbing the remaining sleep from our eyes. Lucy was undeniably the worst out of us all, having to be coaxed out by Peter and I, and when she finally emerged, however reluctantly, from her plethora of blankets she could only stand there and yawn widely whilst the rest of us set about tidying the place up. After our discussion last night an unspoken truce seemed to have formed between Peter and I. This was a marked improvement on our relationship from only 24 hours ago. However, I remained cautious and kept my distance, fearing anything I said or did wrong would revert this and create tension again. But still, I was glad that we had managed to form a bond, however small.
The sun had just begun to rise when we stepped out into the cold morning air, instinctively pulling our fur coats tighter around us. I couldn't help thinking that it had somehow become even colder today. Without even needing to consult one another the Beavers began to lead us away from the Badger's home and deeper into the surrounding woodland.
One thing that I love about being in the real Narnia is getting to see all of the areas that you are never shown in the movies or books. It truly is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, vastly superior to anything back home.
Would I really never go back? What would happen to me when the Pevensies leave Narnia? Would I be able to go with them, stay here or simply cease to exist? The latter was a frightening prospect. I missed my friends, my training, my old life. I was even beginning to miss my mum. Although I did like the Pevensies, I found it strange to imagine that they could be my only friends or family for the next few years to come. I had been so happy with my life back home. I was going places. I was going to be on the Irish Olympics Gymnastics team for God's sake! Why was it that I was the one who had to have it all taken away from me?
I hadn't really thought about it much, but now I was beginning to wonder; what exactly was my purpose in being here? I wasn't allowed to interfere with the original story line in any way, but now the prophecy seemed to have been changed to accommodate my arrival. Why was that? If I wasn't going to be able to do anything then what was even the point in sending me here? I had thought that perhaps I was being given a second chance at life, but why would I be given it in a fictional world? I had many unanswered questions that I knew could only possibly be answered by Aslan and I was determined to get answers.
The journey with the three Pevensies was surprisingly enjoyable. The Beavers were usually a little too focused on navigating but they occasionally indulged us in conversations about Narnia. Each conversation with Peter, Susan and Lucy were unique too. Peter wanted to know all about day to day activities and comparing how different our lives were in our respective time eras. Susan was more interested in cultural things and the society I lived in; how it worked and and also how much it had changed. Lucy just wanted to know if we had regular buses to the moon and robotic servants yet. Needless to say she was very disappointed when I told her we didn't.
Our bonds became stronger and I was soon able to call each one my friend. I was especially glad to be able to say this about Peter considering the less than ideal start to our friendship. Susan and Lucy were like the two sisters I had never had and as a result the mutual trust and esteem for one another deepened.
It wasn't until Peter picked Lucy up on his back and said, "If he tells us to hurry one more time, I'm gonna turn him into a big, fluffy hat." that I realised what part of the story we had reached.
I smiled to myself, both at Peter's words and at what I knew was to come. Soon enough, we were all cramped into the small crevice below the snow and it wasn't long then until we were standing in front of the jolly figure that was Father Christmas. I couldn't help laughing at Susan's shocked expression and she looked like she wanted to give me a good whack for doing so.
"You knew!" she exclaimed.
"Of course I did!" I chuckled, "But I'm still not allowed to say anything!"
Her silence told me I had won that brief argument. We went through the whole rigmarole of the present giving, and I was just getting ready to walk away after Peter was handed his gifts when Father Christmas' next words stopped me in my tracks.
"And for you, Anna."
Turning to his sack, he then proceeded to pull out what were undeniably two sheathed swords attached to a belt at either end. I took them carefully, and holding them at arms length I surveyed them warily as if they would suddenly spring to life and attack me. But thankfully, they remained inanimate objects. I slowly pulled one of the swords out and saw they were slightly curved, the intricate detail of a Celtic design adorning the metal. The handles were a brilliant white and had the same detail as the blades.
"Separated, these blades are weak; but united they are strong and will not allow you to easily falter. A Guardian must never remain defenceless, learn to use them well."
Hold on there.
DID I MISS SOMETHING?!
The confused glances between the Pevensies and myself told me I hadn't gone completely insane yet. Before I could begin to ask what the hell the man was talking about, Father Christmas delved into his bag one last time and produced an all too familiar looking backpack.
"My bag!" I exclaimed, both shocked and delighted at its appearance. "But how did you get it? I thought I'd left it back home!"
He smiled at that. "It came with you, but it seems you didn't notice as I found it in the woods against a tree."
Hey, I never was incredibly observant.
"Thank you very much for returning it to me, sir. I am very grateful." Chuckling at my words, Father Christmas replaced his sack on the back of his sleigh.
"The pleasure is mine, your majesty," Then turning to address all of us he spoke his parting words, "These are tools, not toys. Bear them well and wisely. Now, I must be off. Winter is almost over, and things do pile up when you've been gone a hundred years. Long live Aslan! And Merry Christmas!" And at that he drove off with a clatter of bells, all of us waving and calling our parting words.
"Told you he was real," Lucy said smugly as she turned to Susan.
It was only after he left that I realised I had never received the answers to my questions. Oh well. More for Aslan I guess. Pulling my bag open I discovered it exactly as I had left it; my favourite purple training leotard, my shoes and my phone. I quickly wrapped my phone in the towel, hoping that I could keep it dry in the events that I knew were soon to come. But I don't think I'll have to wait long to find out.
"He said winter was almost over," Peter said slowly, and for reasons I couldn't possibly fathom he looked directly at me when he next spoke, "You know what that means."
Nope, no idea why he would have done that.
Of course I know, you idiot.
"No more ice," he finished.