The Prophecy of the One Ring: Chapter 2 – Back on This Side of the Door
Lucy awoke to a dark room. No moon or stars shone through the window, suggesting a late hour. “I should be going,” she whispered to the darkness.
“It’s no good now, you know,” came Tumnus’ voice from somewhere off to her right.
Lucy turned and could just barely make out his form, curled up on a set of steps. “No good? What do you mean?” she asked, going toward him. “I’ve got to get home at once. The others will be wondering what has happened to me.”
Tumnus let out an unchecked sob.
“Mr. Tumnus! Whatever is the matter?” Lucy got down on her knees, offering forth her handkerchief.
“I am a very bad Faun.”
“I don’t think you are a bad Faun,” Lucy soothed.
“Oh, you wouldn’t say that if you only knew. No, I am a bad Faun. I don’t suppose there ever was a worse Faun since the beginning of the world. My old father; he would never have done a thing like this, no matter how much he hated Humans. I am sure you are not like those he met.”
“A thing like what? What have you done?”
“It’s not what I have done; it is what I am doing. I am kidnapping you.”
Lucy nearly fell over backward as she stumbled to get away. “No.”
“I am in the pay of the White Witch; the one who calls herself Queen of Narnia, though she’s not. She’s the one who makes it always winter, but never Christmas, for ninety-eight years.” He wrung out the handkerchief. “Look at me, Daughter of Eve. Would you believe that I am the sort of Faun to meet a poor, innocent child in the wood, one that had never done me any harm, and pretend to be friendly with it, and invite it home to my cave, all for the sake of lulling it asleep and then handing it over to her?”
“Mr. Tumnus, you wouldn’t, would you?”
“And if I don’t, she shall turn me to stone just as she has so many others, like she did to the last person who tried to fulfill the Prophecy.”
“It is best if you don’t know; best if know very little of Narnia and the rest of Middle-Earth. And you mustn’t ever come back.” The Faun stood and took a firm hold of Lucy’s hand.
“Please, let me go home.”
“Of course I will.” Tumnus twirled his red scarf around his neck with one hand as they darted out the door. “We must go quietly. The whole wood is full of her spies. Even some of the trees are on her side.”
Lucy scanned the snow-covered forest filled with its stationary trees, wondering how much they could see and if they really would reveal the fugitives to the Witch. After a few moments of stumbling through the white powder, they arrived at the lamppost, its beam still bright in the dark landscape.
“Can you find your way from here, Daughter of Eve?”
“Yes, I can see the wardrobe door,” she replied, glancing in between the pine boughs.
Tumnus still held her hand. “Can you ever forgive me for what I almost did?”
“Of course, you’re my friend.”
The Faun gave a difficult-sounding sigh of relief that pasted a genuine smile on his face for just a moment. “Whatever happens, Lucy Pevensie, I am glad to have met you. Here,” he added, pressing the handkerchief into her hand.
Lucy withdrew her hand, leaving the white, crumbled piece of cloth in the Faun’s hand. “You keep it. You need it more than I do.”
Tumnus stared at the little girl, wishing that things might have been different, that he might have gotten to know Lucy’s kind, forgiving heart a bit better. “Now go,” he ordered at length. “Go, and never come back.”
She nodded sadly, then ran out of the pool of golden lamplight into the dark fur coats that filled the wardrobe. Next moment, she had fallen through the door and landed on the hardwood floor of the spare room.
“It’s all right! I’m all right!” she shouted, rushing from the room and down the hall. “I’m back!”
“Shut up!” snapped Edmund from behind the curtains where Lucy had left him nearly two hours ago. “He’s coming.”
Around the corner came the Professor with Mrs. Macready hot on his heels, followed by Peter and Susan, both looking shamefaced.
“There you are, you little troublemakers!” the housekeeper bellowed. “Shoutin’, runnin’, touchin’ the artifacts, and disturbin’ the Professor!”
“Take it easy, Macready. No real damage has been done,” remarked the Professor.
“Weren’t you wondering where I was?” the bewildered little girl wanted to know. “I’ve been gone for hours.”
“Lucy, what on earth are you talking about?” questioned Susan.
“There was a wood at the back of the wardrobe.”
“That’s the back panel,” pointed out Edmund irritably.
“No, it was real. A forest and a lamp post and snow and a Faun named Mr. Tumnus whom I had tea with. It was a place called Narnia in Middle-Earth.”
The Professor caught in his breath sharply while the others frowned. Edmund tapped a finger to the side of his head. “Batty, quite batty,” he said.
“Don’t you believe me?”
“It’s a nice game, Lu, but I’m afraid none of us have the imagination like you do,” put in Peter.
Lucy’s chin began to quiver and her eyes filled with tears. Quickly, she pushed her way past the others as she fled down the hall. Susan and Mrs. Macready went after her.
Peter looked solemnly up at the Professor. “I’m sorry about that.”
“You don’t believe her?” was the man’s response which caught the brothers off guard.
“Well, why not?”
“It can’t be real, sir.”
“Oh, so your sister is a very untruthful person?”
“That’s just the funny thing, sir. Up until now, I’d have said that Lucy was the most honest of us all.”
“Hum,” muttered the Professor, sticking his pipe in his mouth. “Then that leaves only two options now, doesn’t it? Either your sister is mad or she is telling the truth.” And with that, he strode off down the hall, leaving the boys to give each other a strange look.
Awhile later, Lucy wandered into what appeared to be a library. She brought along her sketchbook and a pencil, and went directly to the chair beside the window. Staring out into the rain-drenched world, her mind returned to Narnia. She would never forget the place, even if she lived to be a hundred. She flipped to a blank page and began to draw a humanlike figure with cloven hooves for feet and carrying an umbrella, standing under a lamppost in the middle of a wood, (a funny place for it, she thought).
“Oh, Eru,” whispered a voice behind her.
Lucy spun her head around, noticing for the first time that the room was not empty as she had first assumed. The Professor was standing in front the unlit fireplace, one hand on the mantle, the other clutching his pipe. He continued to speak, and Lucy could not be sure whether he knew that she was there or not.
“Oh, yes, I remember being there when the Ainur sang everything into being. How Polly and I had been there with Uncle Andrew, though he never heard, and we listened to the sweet music that gladdened you so. And I remember being there when Melkor grew strong and became Evil. And from him the land of Charn was formed, and Polly and I were so foolish to wake those in sleep there. Up rose Jadis, and the War of the First Age began. I looked into the Lady Galadriel’s Mirror, you know, and I saw that Melkor would be thrown down and that his servant, Sauron, would rise in his place. But Jadis, she would freeze Narnia, and now she has. Lucy said ‘snow’. Oh, beautiful Narnia.”
Lucy stood, wanting to question the Professor about Middle-Earth. He believed her; he knew. Instead, she silently crept from the room. Narnia was real; she knew she had not been pretending. And all at once, she made up her mind to return.
A.N.: In The Magician’s Nephew, Aslan sings everything to life, while in The Silmarillion, Eru taught the Ainur to sing which brought about Creation.
Also, Melkor and Morgoth are one and the same: the First Dark Lord – in case anyone was wondering. Morgoth went to the utter west and led forces of Orcs and Easterlings against the Houses of Hador and Boer and their Elvin allies led by King Thingol, (The Children of Hurin by J.R.R. Tolkien). While, in my story, Jadis went east into Narnia, which she would ultimately take over and hold enslaved in winter for 100 years until the arrival of the Pevensies.
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