Categories > Books > Chronicles of Narnia > Harry Potter and the Most Noble Order of the Lion

Susan Returns and the Wand Waving Begins

by ElrondsScribe 0 reviews

Susan is brought into the madhouse, and the fun begins!

Category: Chronicles of Narnia - Rating: PG - Genres: Crossover,Sci-fi - Warnings: [!] [?] - Published: 2015-07-08 - 2777 words

Need I even bother with a disclaimer?

When they stumbled through the fireplace in Finarfin's house in the country, they were greeted with a surprise which they weren't sure was pleasant or unpleasant. Another Elf with yellow hair who rather resembled Finarfin had unexpectedly showed up, and had brought with her the last person any of the humans had expected to see.

"Susan?!" gasped Lucy, trying to right herself and at the same time keep hold of her very startled chick's cage.

Susan, who was very white and had been clutching the Elf's hand very tightly, gave them all one look and burst into tears. Lucy promptly dropped all her things (except the cage with the baby owl in it, which she put down carefully) and rushed to embrace her.

"As I was going to say, Susan," said the Elf. "Aro, really, did you forget her entirely? Or did it not occur to you that she might want to be spared the grief of thinking her entire family had perished?"

"They only just came this morning, sister!" Finarfin protested. "I've been occupied!"

"B-but I th-thought you were all on the t-train when it c-c-crashed earlier today," wept Susan on Lucy's shoulder.

"We-ell, we were," admitted Lucy hesitantly, patting the older girl's back. "It's kind of a long story."

"It has to do with Narnia again," said Eustace unceremoniously.

Susan sniffed and wiped at her eyes. "Oh, go on," she said. "Tell me all about it."

The other seven humans all looked at each other as if to say, Here we go again.

"Well, you remember last week we all went down to the Professor's house, don't you?" asked Peter, and launched into a brief account of what had happened during dinner at Digory's home, the subsequent train ride, their brief time in The Real Country, and Aslan's final instructions. Then, with many additions and corrections from the others, he told about the Elves and their visit to Diagon Alley.

"And if you won't believe us this time - " Eustace began.

"Oh, hush, Eustace," said Lucy. "Don't mind him, Su."

"It's all right," said Susan who seemed to be pulling herself together. "Mostly I'm just happy to see you again, though I rather wish I could have been with you when you did go back to Narnia - "

"Oh, you're acknowledging Narnia again?" asked Polly not unkindly.

"It's no use anymore, is it?" said Susan. "All I wanted to get on and move past it, and I didn't like all of you trying to keep me a child for the rest of my life - "

"We did nothing of the sort!" insisted Peter. "None of us were trying to stay children for the rest of our lives, we just weren't trying to pretend we never were."

"And we thought you were turning into an airhead like the ones you were hanging out with," said Edmund.

"Thanks a lot, you two," said Susan.

"Well, it doesn't matter now," said Jill. "As long as you've at least stopped not believing in Narnia, I mean. It's not like we're ever going back - until we've gone there to stay, at any rate."

"But doesn't she need a wand and everything now?" asked Eustace.

("Weird!" muttered Susan under her breath.)

"Of course!" said the Elf who Finarfin had addressed as his sister and whose name was Findis. "But I hardly think any of you are up to Flooing again, so I will take Susan with me."

Which she promptly did. It was two hours before they returned, and by then Earwen had already begun to get the others set up with their own magical supplies.

The days which followed were strange ones for the friends of Narnia. What made them strange, of course, was principally the variety of rather uncanny things they were learning to do. They had thought, at first, that Finarfin and Earwen would be able to help them, but this was not to be.

"We are Elves, and you are Mortals," said Finarfin. "As such, the magic we perform is different from yours. We cannot teach you our charms nor learn your spells. But do not worry; you will have the best of teachers."

This "best of teachers" who came to the house consisted of a tall, dark-haired man by the name of Arathorn and his tall, dark-haired wife Gilraen. They were well versed in many different branches of magic (for apparently there were quite a few different branches of magic). The now eight friends of Narnia were soon quite busy with Charms and Transfiguration and Herbology and Magical Potion-Brewing, with a smattering Ancient Latin Runes, Astronomy (which of course they already knew quite well), Magical Creatures, and Divining the Future. There was also a subject which they called alternatively called Dark Arts and Defense Against the Dark Arts, and neither Arathorn nor Gilraen could clearly define what "Dark" was supposed to mean - except that "Dark Arts" and confirmed evil magic were not quite the same thing, though the terms were apparently used interchangeably (and carelessly) quite a bit in wizard society.

"The whole of magic is grey," said Gilraen when Edmund pressed her about it. "Some shades of grey are almost white, others nearly black, and still others are near the middle. Our hope is to see to it that you can magically defend yourselves against any who may attack you, and for that we will have to teach you some rather unpleasant spells. But I am not worried for you. You all know good from evil, and will not need to be told what magic to avoid and what to embrace."

As it turned out, they had enough to occupy them with the logistics of actually doing the magic without worrying about the ethical particulars just yet.

For example, spellcasting of any sort (Charms and Transfiguration required it the most, and to a lesser degree Defense Against the Dark Arts, or the Dark Arts, as it may have been) seemed to require concentration, practiced hand motions, and perfectly pronounced (usually Latin) incantations. All three had to be timed fairly exactly to get the desired result, and even then it was often the case in the beginning that nothing happened even when you tried to follow the directions you were given as exactly as you could. Only after about the first fortnight or so could all eight of them be assured of getting any kind of result (whether the intended one or otherwise) every time they attempted to cast a spell.

Then there was Potion-brewing (Potions for short), which involved working with all sorts of pickled animals and animal parts and magical plants and smelly mysterious substances. The actual brewing of the potions themselves tended to be more an art than a science. There were all kinds of variables involved in it, which drove Edmund and Eustace in particular mad with impatience, as adding too much or too little of an ingredient, or adding it in at the wrong time, could cause dangerous and sometimes quite painful chemical explosions ("It's Chemistry all over again!" said Susan, quite truly).

Learning magical history and magical creatures and plants (or, more properly, Herbology) was perhaps the most fun, at least when you weren't having any success with spellcasting. It seemed that there existed in England quite a few creatures which they had met back in Narnia - Mer-people, Centaurs, Dwarfs, Unicorns, Giants, Dragons, Sea Serpents, Werewolves, Winged Horses, and even the Phoenix. There were also quite a number of creatures that they had never met in Narnia at all and had never dreamed could be real - Vampires and Fairies and Pixies and House-Elves (quite a different sort from Finarfin and his friends) and Trolls and Leprechauns and Gryphons and Sphinxes. There were creatures that they had never heard of before too - Blast-Ended Skrewts, Flesh-Eating Slugs, Hippogriffs, Grindylows, giant spiders called Acromantulae, and three-headed dogs.

There were two distinct disciplines which had to do with looking into the future: the very general, intuitive Divination, which seemed somewhat dependent on innate ability and so no one could really get a handle on it, and Arithmancy, which involved the use of numbers and was much more logical and straightforward (considering that it was after all magic). There was also, according to Arathorn, another discipline called Xylomancy which hardly anybody bothered with anymore that had to do with twigs, though they didn't have any time left to squeeze any of it in.

Oddly enough, though they did brush up on their knowledge of Astronomy, there seemed to be no such thing as Astrology (divining the future by the placement of the stars), except as practiced by centaurs, and they didn't teach it to humans.

The Ancient Runes they touched on mostly for the purpose of reading and translating ancient scripts that dealt with magical secrets. Nobody except Digory and perhaps Eustace liked learning the Runes at all, and so very little time was spent on them.

But of course what all the friends of Narnia found most disturbing was the Dark Arts, or Defence Against the Dark Arts. Part of this involved learning how to engage in magical combat (or Duelling, as it was apparently known), which was entirely different from combat with swords and spears and bows like they were used to (with the exception of Polly and Digory). Quite aside from having to re-learn all the physical motions that the boys in particular had become used to using in battle, there was also the question of learning spells which, at their mildest, could knock out your opponent out for a few minutes if they didn't block you in time. Perhaps the pleasantest part of this kind of magic was learning the kinds of charms that were purely defensive in nature - like warding spells to guard a building, or secrecy charms that could not be broken by force - and the few Healing spells they learned.

During this time they all learned to their surprise (and discomfort) that there really was such a thing as developing a relationship with one's magic wand. Each of them after the first three weeks or so began to notice a warming sensation in their hand and arm whenever they picked up their wand, and when they tried to use one another's wands the results became worse instead of better. There were also some very subtle differences in the magic that each wand (and the wielder) would produce, noticeable only to the practiced eye of Gilraen and Arathorn, after about a month.

Susan in particular (whose wand was made of black walnut) had a particularly hard time getting her own wand to do anything at all until about a week and a half into their stay. She didn't seem to be doing very well in general; she alternated between vehement denial ("None of this can be real!") and crippling insecurity ("Why does it work for everybody else and not for me?"). Then, on the eleventh day, something about her general mood seemed to change, and suddenly her wand was performing rather gorgeous charmwork with relatively little effort on her own part.

They were all shut up in the house together exhausting themselves with magic for two months solid, and in that time they all became very well acquainted with all the other Elves who lived in Finarfin's house. There were eight of them, besides Finarfin and Earwen - Sanarondo, who everybody jokingly called Finarfin's nanny because he'd apparently looked after Finarfin when he was a child thousands and thousands of years ago; his wife Enyalime, who was expecting; some distant relative of Earwen's called Gaerion; his soon-to-be wife Telpelinde; identical twin brothers Elured and Elurin and their wives Alasse and Helyanwe.

Not all the Elves spoke English, and instead chattered away in their melodic voices in song-like languages that Digory learned were called Quenya and Sindarin. They really were curious creatures, the Elves. The more you looked at them and listened to them, the less human they seemed. They were really far too pretty, with voices much too musical, and powers too strange and radiant eyes full of knowledge. They were much too old too - apparently thousands and thousand of years old - Earwen once mentioned in passing having watched the Remaking of the World, though when Polly wanted to hear more about it she would only say, "Don't you have any charms to practice?"

I am afraid the poor owls would all have starved to death if it had not been for Gaerion and Helyanwe, who took it upon themselves to feed the birds and let them out every so often. The humans were all being kept frantically busy by Arathorn and Gilraen, who insisted that they had a lot of catching up to do before they could even think about venturing out into a world of fully qualified wizards.

"But what are we learning all this for?" asked Peter one day. "Is there a war you want us to fight in?" For a rather disproportionate amount of time was being spent every day on the Dark Arts, especially Duelling.

"There is," said Gilraen briefly, and left it at that for the moment.

So there you have it: Susan has in effect returned to the fold.

I've seen a lot of people get up in arms about the way Susan is seemingly dissed at the end of The Last Battle, especially because of the "lipstick, nylons, and invitations" comment, saying that Lewis was against growing up and against romance and blah, blah, blah. Having myself read the Space Trilogy (Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength), not to mention Till We Have Faces, I can only say that such accusations are quite frankly absurd. For the sake of time (because nobody wants to read a long essay at the end of a chapter) I will deal only with the way I see the so-called "problem of Susan."

Being of the same faith as Lewis himself, a Christian and a Prostestant at that (cue the rotten tomatoes), I believe Susan is meant to represent the believer who has turned their back on God and is "doing their own thing." Now if, once a person is saved, they decide to turn their back on God, they don't lose their salvation (because it's not possible to lose your salvation, no matter how much you may want to or how hard you try); what they lose is temporary fellowship with God. But at the end of the day, that "wayward believer" (Christian term) goes to the same heaven as does the missionary who died for the truth in a Muslim country.

Similarly, the fact that Susan no longer acknowledges that she is a queen of Narnia has no bearing on her actually being a queen of Narnia. Once a queen of Narnia, always a queen of Narnia, remember? For that reason I also would like to point out that even though she's not there with the others when Tirian initially meets them in The Last Battle, she wasn't on the train when it crashed and so is not dead yet. I'm absolutely positive that once she does die she'll come straight to The Real England, and Aslan and her brothers and sisters will be there waiting for her with open arms (in proper Narnia canon, I mean, not this AU).

Also, I'm fairly certain the "lipstick and nylons and invitations" (and probably the romance) are not in themselves what Lewis has a problem with in Susan. I would argue that the message he wants to send to young, impressionable children that there's more to adult life than booze and sex and eye shadow, and at least right now those are the only aspects of adult life that Susan's interested in. Getting together and talking about Narnia doesn't mean that her sister and brothers are trying to emotionally remain there permanently (why else would Aslan send them back at a certain age if not to avoid this?) or that they're trying to cling to their childhood as they grow up.

Here's how I'd put it in a nutshell: when you're a child, read The Chronicles of Narnia. When you've grown up, read the Space Trilogy. And then I dare you to say that Jack Lewis was against love and adulthood.

On quite another note, I'm having a great deal of fun mixing Tolkien characters and Narnian royalty in with the Harry Potter universe! Can't you tell?

So there you have it! Please leave me a review and tell me what you liked or didn't like.
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