The next morning, Sarah got up early to talk with Snow. She needed to discover how the horse knew about Narnia. Sliding on her leather boots, the silver straps clinked like coins as she marched out of the room. Stepping into the fresh air, Sarah allowed a content sigh out of her lips. Contrast to yesterday, the sun was shining brightly, it's yellow rays causing the dew on the grass to sparkle silver. When she got to the barn, she heard Snow whinny. Smiling, she prepared the horse's oats and hay, and carried the treats to the stall. Snow backed away so that she could more easily open the door.
"Good morning," Snow greeted her.
"Morning. Here's your breakfast," grunted Sarah and put the flakes of hay and oats on the ground.
"What, no sugar?" Complained Snow like a spoiled child not getting their way.
Placing her hands on her hips, Sarah cocked her head. "You're spoiled enough as it is," she argued, and playfully slapped the horse on the neck. Turning serious, she asked Snow about Narnia.
"The reason I know about Narnia," she said between mouthfuls of oats and hay, "Is because Aslan, the High King of Narnia, has given all animals the knowledge of that land. So I had the knowledge of Narnia, but because I was treated as a dumb animal since birth, I had no speech," she then nudged her nose against Sarah's chest. "Until you came along, that is," she finished as Sarah lovingly stroked her forehead.
"And what's all this nonsense about me having Narnian blood?" She asked the horse.
"I can sense the blood in your veins. Think of it as a sixth sense for me," explained Snow.
Sarah shook her head. All this was simply too much to take in. A talking horse she was willing to believe, but to think that she had blood native of a different world? It's absolutely ridiculous, she thought.
Just then, Sarah heard what sounded like glass breaking. Eyes widening, she said goodbye to Snow, and found the Pevensies staring at the mansion. She followed their gaze and stared at the window with an open mouth. As she suspected, the window had been broken by a cricket ball. It was also a window where inside, her grandfather had placed a suit of armor directly in front of the window.
There will be hell to pay if they broke that! Sarah thought worriedly and rushed inside with the other children.
To her horror, they found the suit of armor in pieces. The room looked like it had been ransacked by a burglar. Shards of glass lay scattered on the floor around the armor.
"Look what you did!" Sarah chastised them.
"It wasn't my fault, Peter bowled it!" Argued Edmund.
How very normal of Edmund. To blame someone else for his mistakes, she thought.
"What on earth is going on up there!" Shouted a voice.
"The MacReady!" Exclaimed Susan and Sarah followed them, running all around the mansion in an effort to not get caught by the housekeeper. But no matter how hard they tried, no matter where they went, the old woman somehow seemed to be able to keep up with them.
Finally, they came to one particular room. Like a frenzied mob, the children shoved each other against the door.
"Hurry!" Shouted Peter. Sarah could hear Ms. MacReady's high heels echoing loudly in the stairs a few feet away. Finally, the door unlocked and they spilled into the spare room. The first to notice Edmund running to the wardrobe was Sarah. She narrowed her eyes, suspicious of his intent.
"Come on!!" He exclaimed.
"You've got to be joking," Grumbled Sarah and Susan at the same time. Sarah glanced at the other girl, who appeared to be just as irritated as her.
Great, the only two who I haven't managed to offend are Peter and Lucy, thought Sarah, and with great reluctance, leaped into the wardrobe.
Someone stepped on her toe, and she was shoved backwards. "Ouch, stop it," she demanded. "It's not me! It was Susan," protested Lucy. "No, it was Ed!" Countered Susan.
Enough of this babbling! Sarah was getting tired of being shoved.
Deciding she'd had enough, Sarah turned around and thrust out her arms. Her hands made contact with someone's chest, causing them to fall over.
"Aaah!" Cried Susan as the group landed in fresh white powder. Sarah landed on someone, and she looked down. Cheeks flushing red, she realized Peter was trapped beneath her.
"Sorry," she apologized and quickly scrambled off of him. He gave her a curious look, but nodded. "It's alright," he told her.
"Impossible!" Exclaimed Susan, in awe at the snowy white forest. Vapor streamed out of her mouth when she spoke. Peter then turned to Lucy, but Sarah was too fixated with Edmund to pay attention to what he said.
The younger Pevensie brother appeared to be staring at something. "Edmund?" She asked, wondering what it could be. All she got in reply however, was a sour look. Sarah sighed.
Some things never change, she thought, weary of trying to interact with him anymore. Yelping in surprise at something which hit her shoulder, Sarah was jolted from her thoughts. Apparently, the others had taken up snowball fighting. Giggling, Sarah gathered snow in her hands and packed it together. She threw the ball of snow at Lucy, and grimaced as it hit the girl in the head.
"Sorry, Lucy!" She shouted. Lucy nodded and threw a snowball at Edmund.
"Ow! Stop it!" He demanded, angry with them. Sarah rolled her eyes. I wonder if he's always in such a sulky mood. I wouldn't doubt it if he were.
"You little liar!" Peter chastised Edmund. "Apologize to Lucy," he demanded with an edge to his voice. Edmund remained silent. "Say your sorry!" He yelled, clenching a hand into a fist.
Placing a hand on his shoulder, Sarah tried to defuse the situation.
"Alright, I'm sorry!" Sarah could tell Edmund's apology was a fake one. After spending a few second on deciding what they should do, it was agreed that they would meet the Faun Tumnus. Lucy's mood appeared to get better, and Peter brought out fur coats for all of them.
"But that's a girls coat!" Whined Edmund.
"I know," said Peter, shoving it into Edmund's hands. Sarah sighed, exasperated by the siblings fighting with one another.
"It may damn well be a coat for a girl, but considering your behavior, you deserve it!" She shouted, and stomped her foot. She'd finally had enough of the sibling rivalry. Everyone turned, and stared at her. Cheeks burning red, Sarah realized what she had done. She'd only succeeded in drawing attention to herself. Shrugging on a coat, she looked at Lucy.
"Lead the way. Let's meet this Faun friend of yours," she said.
Lucy led them past the lamppost, and deeper into the forest. It was eerily quiet. No birds sang, and Sarah detected no traces of life whatsoever. The only sound to be heard was the crunching of their shoes against the snow.
If only I had brought my boots! Thought Sarah longingly. Gradually, the snow became less thick, and they came to a place where the drifts vanished altogether. In the distance, there were granite cliffs. Blinking to make sure her eyes weren't deceiving her, Sarah realized there was a doorway carved into the cliffs. But something was wrong.
The door itself was ripped off its hinges. Sarah knew that whoever had done such a thing had to be very powerful indeed. Gasping, Lucy took off running.
"Lucy!" Peter shouted and reached out to grab her. Sarah kept him from running after her and shook her head. "Let her be. If the Faun is a friend of hers, she has a right to be concerned," she whispered. They met Lucy a few seconds later inside.
What happened here? Wondered Sarah, as she surveyed the damage. Books had been ripped to shreds, pots and pans lay everywhere, and shards of glass were scattered all around the floor. She watched as Peter reached for a note.
"The Faun Tumnus, has hereby been charged with high treason. Against her Imperial Majesty, Jadis, High Queen of Narnia, and Empress of the Lone Islands. For fraternizing with humans. Signed Maugrim, Captain of the Secret Police.
Long live the Queen!"
With a start, Sarah realized that she had heard the name Jadis before. When her grandfather had told her stories of his adventures, he had mentioned meeting a dangerous woman by the same name.
"Perhaps we should go back," she suggested to the others. If this was indeed the Jadis from the stories, she was incredibly dangerous.
"Maybe we should call the police," chipped in Susan. Sarah rolled her eyes, wondering how stupid the older Pevensie girl could actually be.
"These are the police," spat Sarah, taking the letter and ripping it into shreds.
"Pssssst!" Hissed a voice from outside. A bird chirped and landed on the tree just outside the Faun's home.
"Did that bird just Pssst, to us?" Asked Susan, confused. They all followed Peter outside, with Sarah the last in line. Small footsteps could be heard in the distance, and Sarah jumped when a branch snapped. But then she smiled as a beaver emerged from behind the rocks.
"It's, it's a beaver," said Lucy, confused.
With great caution, the beaver strolled over to them, and appeared to be curious about what they were. Peter knelt, and stretched out his hand.
"Here boy," he encouraged the animal, while making clicking sounds with his tongue. The beaver was about a foot away from them.
"Well I ain't gonna smell it, if that's what you want," Said the beaver, surprising the four Pevensie children. Sarah snickered at their reaction. They reacted much the same way as she had when snow had first spoken to her.
"Lucy Pevensie?" The beaver inquired of the young girl.
Sarah watched as Lucy and the beaver exchanged a few words. "Further in," the beaver raised his voice for all of them to hear.
"Wait, how do we know we can trust him?" Asked Susan in a shaky voice.
"He said he knows the faun," Explained Peter as if he encountered talking animals every day.
A dismayed expression appeared on Susan's face. "He's a beaver. He shouldn't be saying anything!" She protested, dumbfounded that Peter would believe in a talking animal. Sarah remained quiet, not wanting to upset the girl anymore. Lucy and the beaver were already walking off, so she did what was best and followed the two. Reluctantly, the others eventually did the same.
The beaver led them to a river, which was iced over. Noticing a dam, Sarah smiled. She guess this must be the beaver's home. There was a light on in the window, and smoke rose out of the domed roof.
A fire! Thank God! I don't know how much longer I could have withstood the cold, thought Sarah, relieved at finding a warm place to stay.
"Beaver? Is that you? I've been worried sick! If I found out that you've been with badger again, I'll-" began a frantic, motherly voice as another beaver emerged from the house. "Those aren't badgers," she whispered, holding her paws up to her mouth.
"I never thought I would live to see this day!" She exclaimed, and Sarah wondered if the beaver would faint. "Look at my fur, you couldn't have given me ten minutes warning!" She glared at Mr. Beaver, who shrugged. "I would have given you a week if I thought it would help," he said, causing Sarah and the others to giggle.
"Come inside, and we'll see if we can get you some food. And some more civilized company," she said, sniffing at Mr. Beaver.
"They will have taken him to the witch's house," Mr. Beaver explained once they were seated around the table. Sarah was feeling a lot better now that they were seated inside a warm home. The benches and table were a bit low, but she was more focused on the food in front of her.
"You know what they say, lots go in, but few ever come out," said Mr. Beaver cryptically as he took a swig of ale.
"But there is hope, dear, lots of hope," said Mrs. Beaver, placing a paw on Lucy's shoulder while simultaneously glaring at Mr. Beaver. He swallowed, and choked.
"Blimey, there's a bit more than hope!" He exclaimed, then lowered his voice. "They say Aslan is on the move," he whispered as if the name held some great reverence.
Sarah didn't know what came over her, but on hearing the name Aslan, she felt warm and giddy inside. Goosebumps rolled down her arms. It made her feel joy the such as when someone met a friend they had not seen in a long time.
"Who is Aslan?" Came Edmund's voice from the stairs which he had been sitting on. Mr. Beaver burst out laughing, but stopped when his wife nudged him in the shoulder.
"Well he's only the king of the whole Woods, the real king of Narnia!" He explained. "He's been away for long time," chimed in Mrs. Beaver. "But he just got back, and he's waiting for you at the Stone Table!"
"He's waiting for us?" Asked Lucy and Sarah wondered how someone could have possibly known about five children from earth.
"You mean you don't know?" He asked, stupefied by the curious looks he was receiving. Sarah and the others shook their heads. "There's a prophecy," he explained.
"When Adam's flesh and Adam's bone, sits on Cair Paravel in throne, the evil time will be over and done," he folded his hands.
Mr. Beaver continued. "And he's got a large army to help in your battle against the witch." Sarah and the others glanced at each other. Susan was the first to get up.
"I'm sorry, but you got the wrong people. We're from Finchley!" Protested Susan.
"It's time for us to be getting home," Agreed Peter, getting up and standing by Susan. "Ed?" When there was no answer, Sarah followed Peter' gaze to the empty stairwell.
Where could he have gone? Wondered Sarah.
"I'm gonna kill him," growled Peter in a threatening voice. Sarah had no doubt Peter would carry out the threat.
"You may not have to," began Mr. Beaver in a grave voice. "Has Edmund ever been to Narnia before?"