warning: small cliffhanger.
Susan Pevensie had been tempted, when she found the secret doorway in her room, to keep it to herself.
The four of them were staying at a house in the country for summer and, while it wasn’t nearly as nice or as large as the place where once they had found a world in a wardrobe, it was solid, and old, and full of strange passageways where there shouldn’t have been any – including in the room Susan had been given, just behind the mirror.
It was quite tempting to sneak through on her own, to see what was behind the door and, for once, have an adventure she didn’t have to share. Lu and Edmund had gotten to go back to Narnia, a tiny part of her brain whispered. However, the more sensible part of her mind suggested that, while there was nothing at all like being a King or Queen in Narnia to be had in the whole world and, yes, Lu and Edmund had gotten one more chance at it, but they were all in the same boat now. And if they were all cut off from Narnia, it would be nothing but cruelty to explore without them.
(In the end, Susan was not only a sensible sort, but, while she had been named fairly Queen Susan the Gentle, she could just as well have been named the Fair.)
And so, despite the door just about staring at her from behind the mirror, despite the feeling of adventure just beckoning her, Susan waited until after dinner, until the adults who were minding them had gone off to play chess and left them, it was assume, to more childish pursuits. Only then did she beckon them all into her room.
“This had better not be about makeup.” Lucy had been nearly unbearable about certain things for the last couple years: Make-up, boys, school-work. It was as if she felt Susan was betraying her. Since Susan was intending nothing of the sort, she had settled for sighing and ignoring Lucy’s outbursts.
This time, however, she found her temper a little pricked. “Of course I wouldn’t want to torment you with anything so vile, Lu. No make-up, no clothing – wear something old and durable, all right?”
“That’s clothing, Susan.”
“But it’s not fashion.” Susan desperately hoped that Lucy outgrew this phase soon. Please? Hurry.”
Something about her voice must have caught their attention. The door could be nothing, of course. But it had been so carefully hidden, so very neatly crafted. If Susan had not dropped a hair-comb behind the mirror, she may have never found it at all.
It was Peter who gave her the strangest looks. “We’ll be right there, Susan,” he assured her. Always the big brother, always the King.
It seemed to take them forever to make their way from their own rooms to Susan’s room. They had to make certain the adults were really ignoring them, of course, and Lucy had actually changed into something old and durable. Susan had taken the time to do the same, putting on an older dress, the one she liked for picnics and other outdoor pursuits. If they were going to be crawling about – for the door only reached to her shoulder – she wanted to be prepared.
“Well?” Edmund looked at Susan impatiently. “What it is? Only there was a book I was going to read tonight…”
Susan felt a sensation like flying coming over her. She found her lips curling into a silly smile, which was quite unlike her. “Oh, Edmund,” she teased. “When did you become so boring?”
“What is it, Susan?” Even Peter sounded a bit impatient now. Susan’s smile grew wider.
With a flourish, she pushed the large mirror aside.
“It’s… a wall, Susan.” Edmund sounded particularly snotty.
“No, not just a wall.” The trigger was on the floor, right where nobody would ever put their foot, but where they might put a hand if they were picking up a hair-comb. Susan leaned on it until the door clicked open. “It’s a doorway.”
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