mirabella: (Firefly Simon and River)
mirabella ([personal profile] mirabella) wrote in [community profile] mirabellafic2013-02-02 09:16 pm
Entry tags:

The Emperor's Hangman, Chronicles of Narnia, Peter/Susan, G.

More zombie fic shifting.

Title: The Emperor's Hangman
Fandom: Chronicles of Narnia, Peter/Susan, G.
Summary: Even the White Witch served a purpose.
Author notes: This is wildly AU for books and movies both.

In the beginning, there was a magic deeper than the White Witch knew.

In the end, there was a magic deeper than Aslan knew, or deeper than he told. But the Emperor knew, and knew this: there must be balance. That endless winter must give way to summer everyone knew, or thought they knew; but that there could be no redemption without sin, no sin without judgment, that the deep magic might be swift and unforgiving… that knowledge was longer in coming, and came with the Emperor's ambassador from across the sea.

In the beginning, even the White Witch knew her place.

The ambassador came from across the sea, and spoke long in parliament with the Kings and Queens of Narnia. "For the White Witch is dead," he said to them, "and with her died the long winter. But in time winter must come again, for winter has its purpose; and the deep magic is not as merciful as the sons of Adam, nor as gentle as the daughters of Eve. It will have balance; it will have blood for treachery, lives for lives, sacrifice for grace. And it will have this, O Sovereigns, willing or unwilling."

"Speak, then," said King Peter, pale as stone.

So the ambassador spoke plainly then, saying, "The White Witch was terrible; but she too was part of this land. With her gone and no one to serve her purpose, the deep magic will lose its way, and the land will sicken. One of you must take her place."

"Even so," said Queen Lucy, stricken, and the others questioned no further.

For a month the Kings and Queens deliberated, while summer passed into autumn and the leaves fell in a riot of color. In the end, it was Susan who prevailed. Peter was High King and could not leave the throne of Narnia; Edmund, wise in counsel, would have had no heart for the Witch's tasks; Lucy was yet too young, and too light-hearted to school herself to harsh necessity. It was Susan who prevailed, and Peter was heartbroken.

"Let me go instead," he said, night after night, as they walked in the gardens at twilight.

"You are the High King," she said, night after night.

And Peter said, "Yes, I am the High King. And if you do this thing, you will be Queen in the White Witch's house, and all of Narnia will lie between your towers and mine. I will not even be able to see their lights, not if I climb the highest tower of Cair Paravel on the darkest night of the year and you have fires blazing in every room of your castle."

"And yet the towers of Cair Paravel will grow no higher if you go in my place," said Susan.

"I will not have all of Narnia between me and my Queen, forever," said Peter.

"We owe the deep magic a life, the four of us," said Susan. "The time has come to repay that debt."

But Peter said, "It could have asked my life of me instead," and would say nothing more as they stood together in the silent dusk.

So it was that Susan, Queen Susan the Gentle, left behind her crown and went to the White Witch's house, setting forth in the first chill of autumn. And Peter stood in the highest tower with his brother and sister and watched until she was long, long out of sight; and perhaps he thought that the deep magic had asked too high a price. Perhaps he thought ahead, to a day when he and his sister would face each other as Aslan and the White Witch had, and wondered what he would do when that day came, and if blood and love together could call a magic older and deeper still.

In Susan's kingdom it is always summer, and it is to Cair Paravel now that winter comes.

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