Staring at the cracking ice, Sarah wondered if they would be able to cross the river in time. Already, miniature icebergs were cracking off from the main ice sheet. They followed the Beavers down to the river's bank. Lucy stepped on the ice, and screamed when a geyser of water shot into the air. Peter pulled her back.
Instead of having the children go, Mr. Beaver tested the ice's strength with by slapping his tail in certain areas. One by one, Sarah and the others slowly followed him. The unsteady ice shifted beneath each step they took, and Sarah was startled when she heard snarling from above. Looking up, she gasped. The wolves had caught up to them!
"Run!" Peter ordered them. Sarah did so without hesitation. Heart hammering against her chest, she realized they were already too late. The large wolf from before leaped down from the rocks, and the other one trapped Mr. Beaver.
"No!" Shouted Mrs. Beaver, pleading for her husband's life. The wolf approaching them chuckled, a deep throaty, taunting sound. The sound of metal rang out in the air, and turning, Sarah saw that Peter had drawn his sword.
What is he thinking? He's not a warrior! She thought, looking for another way out of this situation. Her eyes came to rest on the wand she was holding. Glancing back up at Mr. Beaver, who was still trapped beneath the other wolf, Sarah felt her blood boil with anger. It was like a volcano, it's wrath waiting to be unleashed. She pointed the wand at the large wolf. His eyes narrowed when he saw the weapon.
"And what do you think you're doing, Daughter of Eve?" Growled the wolf, though he backed away a little bit.
Eyes blazing with vengeful fury, Sarah pointed the weapon directly at him. Her entire body trembled, and she heard a buzzing noise in her ears. Suddenly, she felt a surge of power shoot down her arm, and a blast of ice shot out of the wand. The other children and the Beavers gasped as the ice bolt narrowly missed the wolf.
Did that come from me? Wondered Sarah, staring at the wand.
"Impossible! Only my mistress has dominion over ice! But we don't have time for questions! What will be Daughter of Eve? I won't wait for ever, and neither will the river!" He snarled.
Sarah heard the cracking of ice, and looks to see shards of it breaking off from the frozen waterfall. Then suddenly, the water forced its way through and opened a giant hole. Like a dam gate let open, so to did the water rush out.
"Hold onto me!" Cried Peter, and Sarah turned just in time to see Peter stab his sword at the ice beneath them. She had just enough time to think, We are so not making it out of this alive! Before she was swept beneath the freezing water.
Sputtering and coughing, Sarah didn't know how much time has gone since they had left the waterfall. But one thing she did know, was that she was freezing. Being tossed and churned beneath the freezing waves had not been her idea of an adventure.
"Lucy? Lu?" Asked Peter, concerned. Sarah looked around, and realized Lucy wasn't with them! Susan's right, we never should have come here! First it was Edmund, by his own doing, and now Lucy had been swept away by the raging current.
"Has anyone seen my coat?" Asked a soft voice. Spinning around, Sarah released a breath she had been holding. She and Peter hugged Lucy, who attempted to wrap her arms around them both. Susan joined them in the bear hug.
"Don't worry Dear. You're brother has you well looked after," complimented Mr. Beaver like a proud father. Mrs. Beaver spoke next. "And I don't think you'll be needing those coats."
They all turned, and Sarah gasped at that sight which greeted them. The snow was already melting, and birds chirped noisily. The sun shone bright, and the leaves on the oak trees gleamed silver. Inhaling the fresh air, Sarah could smell all kinds of flowers. Winter was thawing, and spring had finally returned to Narnia.
Continuing the journey, Sarah was glad that they now longer had to worry about trudging through snow drifts. Before long, they finally came to a valley that opened up. She gasped. In front of them was a large camp, where various mythological creatures roamed. Tents flags flapped in the wind, and standing guard were two centaurs.
I wish they would stop staring at us, thought Sarah, feeling very much intimidated by the ominous looks the beasts sent them.
"Why are they all staring at us?" Susan voiced Sarah's thoughts.
"Maybe they think we look funny," joked Lucy, causing all of them to smile.
As they made their way along the road in the middle of the encampment, the creatures began to take an interest in them. Soon, they came to another centaur, and the creatures now surrounded them. The centaur guardian the largest ten had dark hair and looked extremely strong.
Sarah watched as Peter drew his sword and raised it in the air. She stifled a chuckle. She couldn't help thinking that he looked a little ridiculous. "We have come to see Aslan," he announced for everyone to hear.
The centaur standing in front of them nodded at the gold and red tend in from of them. They all looked that way. Hearing movement behind them, Sarah turned, and realized with a start, that the creatures were bowing.
Are they bowing to us? She wondered. But we aren't royalty! Why does everyone think that? However, she had no time to ponder this further as a giant, golden paw stepped out of the tent.
Sarah's mouth dropped open in awe when she saw a great, golden lion emerge from the ten. His golden fur shone like the sun, and even shimmered when he walked. She was filled with fear, guilt, shame, as if she were a condemned woman just sentenced. Those feelings were quickly replaced by ones of love and joy. But most of all, awe when her eyes met his.
He is the same lion from my dreams! She realized, lowering her gaze and bowing with the other children.
"Welcome Peter, Son of Adam. Welcome Susan, Lucy and Sarah, Daughters of Eve. And welcome to you Beavers, you have my thanks," Aslan greeted them in a rich voice. His expression and voice became serious. "But where is the fifth?" They were all silent, no one wanting to answer him.
"That's why we're here sir," began Peter. Sarah could hear the guilt in his tone, and placing a hand on his shoulder, rubbed it in attempt to comfort him.
"We ran into a little trouble along the way," continued Susan. "Our brother's been captured by the witch," finished Peter.
"Captured? How can this be?" Asked Aslan, concerned.
"He, betrayed them, your majesty," explained Mr. Beaver what the children weren't willing to themselves.
"Then he has betrayed us all!" Snorted the centaur standing by Aslan's side.
"Peace, Orious!" Growled Aslan. Bowing, the centaur moved back and fell silent. "I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation," Aslan suggested, turning back to the children.
"It was my fault really," admitted Peter, and Sarah opened her mouth to protest. She quickly snapped it shut. This wasn't the place to chastise Peter for something he didn't do. "I was too hard on him," he explained. "We all were," admitted Susan.
A deathly silence fell over them. It was Lucy who eventually broke it.
"Sir, he's our brother," she whispered.
"I know, Dear One. Now, I wish to speak to Peter, alone," he demanded.
Why would he want to speak with Peter by himself? Wondered Sarah as she watched them leave the camp together. Sighing, she looked down when she felt someone touch her elbow. It was Mrs. Beaver.
"Come along Dear, I'm sure there's some place where we can get you cleaned up," she suggested.
As Sarah followed Mrs. Beaver through the encampment, Sarah couldn't help noticing that the creatures who kept on glancing at her. She wished that the ground would swallow her up.
They arrived at a royal purple tent. Inside, there was a large queen size bed with plush pillows, and a variety of dresses hung on a rack. Frowning, if there was one choice of clothing Sarah preferred, it was the thing furthest from dresses.
"Ugh, they seriously cannot be expecting me to wear these," groaned Sarah, lifting a dress against her neck.
"What's the matter dear? Being a royal lady like yourself, it's almost expected for you to where dresses. It's tradition in this world," explained Mrs. Beaver as a history professor teaching a lesson. Shaking her head, Sarah put the dress back on the bed.
"I understand and respect your tradition, but I'm more of a, well, girl who likes to dress as a boy," she sputtered, and made a face at her poor choice of words.
Even Mrs. Beaver, as kind as a mother she was, looked shocked at this news. She quickly recovered however.
"I understand dear. Why don't we go to the clothes maker? I'm sure she could make something to your liking," suggested the beaver.
Nodding, Sarah couldn't be happier at Mrs. Beaver's suggestion. She was also relieved that the animal didn't argue with her.
Along the way, they met Susan and Lucy. Sarah was amazed by how much older the two girls looked. Their hair was French braided, and both wore dresses they had been given. Susan's was a dark forest green, while Lucy's was a white one. Smiling, Sarah asked them where they were going.
"To the river. There's a place close by with giant oaks, and lush grass. You're more than welcome to come along," offered Susan.
Susan's offering me an invitation to go with them? Thought Sarah, and gave the girl a blank stare. She thought the girl hated her, or was annoyed with her at the very least. Shaking her head, Sarah explained where she was going.
"Well, I hope you find what you're looking for," Lucy encouraged her. Nodding her thanks, Sarah said goodbye to them.
When they arrived at the clothes maker, Sarah was surprised to find another human. She had dark skin and an older woman.
"The name is Tamara, from Calormen," the old woman introduced herself as she shook Sarah's hand.
"What can I do for you?" She asked.
Sarah explained to the woman about her choice of clothing. If possible, the woman appeared even more shocked than Mrs. Beaver. Shaking her head, the old woman murmured, "Dear me! Dear me! By the Lion's mane, has the end of the world come?" She wondered in a frenzied state.
"I-I'm sorry if I've offended you," apologized Sarah, wondering why the woman was behaving in such a strange way.
"It's not your fault," Mrs. Beaver told her. "Tamara's culture, like ours, is even more strict when it comes to women in society," explained Mrs. Beaver.
Sarah was about to ask her something else, when she heard a deep note echo from outside. The noise came from the river.