‘’Reepicheep!’’ Lucy whispered, not believing her eyes.
The quite large mouse bowed before her and straightened his plume. ‘’Your majesty. What a pleasure to see you again!’’
For a moment Lucy felt like Queen Lucy the Valiant, rightful Queen of Narnia. All the old feelings came rushing back and for a minute- it was almost like she was in Narnia.
‘’Reepicheep!’’ she said again and then gathered him up in a big hug.
‘’There, there, Queen Lucy,’’ Reepicheep patted her shoulder, for she had tears in her eyes. ‘’Aren’t you happy to see me?’’
‘’Happy! Why, I’m positively delighted! But how… what… why…?’’ Lucy stammered.
‘’I’ll explain everything once we get back to Narnia,’’ Reepicheep said.
‘’But… but I thought we could never get back to Narnia. That’s what Aslan said, didn’t he?’’
‘’Yes, but- you see, he didn’t tell you all of it. You are the Kings and Queens of old- you can return whenever we need you. But I don’t think any of you will be able to return by chance, like you did the first time you came to Narnia,’’ Reepicheep said.
‘’Really?’’ Lucy asked, feeling so happy she thought she would burst.
‘’Yes, really. But now you must hurry, we still need to get Peter, Susan and Edmund,’’
Lucy bit her lip, the tears coming to her eyes again, ‘’Reepicheep. I… have to tell you something,’’
‘’Peter and Susan have decided not to believe in Narnia anymore,’’
Reepicheep looked shocked, ‘’Not believe in Narnia anymore? But… if you don’t believe… you won’t be able to enter into Narnia. The first time the land allowed it- probably because none of you knew it existed in the first place. But now… We can’t leave without Peter and Susan. All four of you must come,’’
‘’Like I said, I’ll explain when we’re in Narnia. Now we have to convince Peter and Susan that Narnia is real. Where are they?’’
‘’Peter is here, but Susan is in the Caribbean,’’ Lucy explained.
‘’Oh dear,’’ was all the mouse said.
Then he seemed to brighten, ‘’I’ll take you and Edmund to Narnia- and then we’ll see what Aslan says about it,’’
‘’Alright, but I’ll have to get Edmund first,’’
‘’Very well- I’ll wait here,’’
Lucy crept silently to the boys’ bedroom, feeling very excited indeed. They could go back to Narnia. They’d finally see the beautiful land- and Cair Paravel and all those beautiful places she’d been when she was Queen. She quietly opened the door and tiptoed over to Edmund’s bed. She shook him softly. Muttering, he turned around to lie on his other side and went on snoring softly.
‘’Edmund,’’ Lucy hissed, shaking him again.
‘’Ten… more… minutes… mother,’’ he muttered, shutting his eyes very tight.
‘’Oh for goodness’ sakes,’’ Lucy said impatiently. ‘’Edmund!’’ she said louder. She glanced over at Peter, who stirred a little, but went on sleeping.
Edmund blinked and opened his eyes. To his utmost surprise it was still dark, and Lucy was standing over his bead, trying to shake him awake.
‘’What’s the matter, Luce?’’ he asked, sitting up. Had she had a bad dream? Was she hurt? Had something happened. Worried, he looked at her and saw her eyes shining… from happiness?
‘’Lucy?’’ he asked, carefully.
‘’I want to show you something,’’ she said, grinning away.
‘’Just get up and come with me. You might want to put on some proper clothes,’’ Lucy suggested. Edward got up and quickly put on some clothes. He followed Lucy to her room, feeling curious- and excited, for some reason.
You can imagine, dear reader, what a shock he got when he saw Reepicheep sitting on the bed. He blinked, shut his eyes tightly and opened them again. Nope, the mouse was still sitting there. It stood up and gave a low bow.
‘’Your Majesty, King Edmund the Just. How pleased I am to see you once again,’’
‘’Reepicheep!’’ Edmund shook his head in amazement. ‘’How did you come here?’’
‘’Aslan, of course,’’ Reepicheep answered.
‘’I could have known. But… why?’’
‘’Well, Narnia needs your help,’’ Reepicheep answered promptly.
‘’So we’re going back to Narnia?’’ Edmund answered, amazed. He turned to Lucy, who was smiling so hard it nearly hurt her cheeks. ‘’Lucy, did you hear that? We’re going back to Narnia!’’
‘’Shh,’’ whispered Lucy. ‘’You might wake up Peter!’’
The door to Lucy’s door opened and Peter stood in the doorway. Edmund went to stand before Reepicheep, but Peter had already spotted him.
‘’Wow. That mouse is huge!’’ he said. ‘’Do you want me to chase him away?’’
‘’I say! Chase me away!! How dare you even suggest such a thing!’’ Reepicheep said. Lucy shot him a wide-eyed look, but Peter had heard him.
Edmund and Lucy shot each other a look. ‘’Ehm, no, that was Edmund! Just for fun, you know,’’ she laughed a bit uneasily.
‘’Oh,’’ Peter seemed to accept that explanation, but of course Reepicheep had a pride as well.
‘’I can very well speak by myself! King Edmund, his majesty, did not need to speak,’’ he turned to Peter, ‘’High King Peter the Magnificent, High King of Narnia. How pleased I am to see you again. I was informed, I am sorry to say, that you do not believe in Narnia anymore?’’
Peter’s eyes were as wide as saucers by now. ‘’King of Narnia? What on earth?’’ then he seemed to relax, ‘’Well done- you almost had me believing it, Edmund and Lucy. Now turn off that mouse and get back to bed,’’
‘’I am not mech… mechani… mechanic, High King Peter! If you will excuse me for speaking so, I am quite offended!’’
Peter turned back to the little mouse and picked him up. ‘’Now where is the off- button?’’
‘’Peter!’’ Lucy almost yelled, but remembered in time there were other sleeping in this house.
‘’Peter, put him down!’’ Edmund hissed.
Peter turned the mouse over and started looking all over its back to find that ‘’button’’. Reepicheep turned and bit him in his hand, hard. Shocked, Peter dropped the mouse, who was just in time caught by Lucy.
‘’Ouch,’’ he said, looking at his hand. There wasn’t any blood- Reepicheep had taken care that he didn’t bite that hard.
‘’I’m very sorry, your majesty, but it was out of self-defence. I am very sorry, sir!’’ the mouse apologised.
Peter looked positively shocked. He walked over to the bed and slowly sat down. ‘’The mouse is real?’’
‘’As real as you can get ‘em,’’ Reepicheep answered cheerfully.
So the voice in his head had been real. Peter had brushed it off as his imagination- but it had been real after all. ‘’Why is there a talking mouse in Lucy’s bedroom anyway?’’ he asked.
‘’Because I have come, in orders of Aslan, to bring you all to Narnia. Narnia needs your help, High King Peter, and the help of the other Kings and Queens of Old,’’ the mouse said.
‘’Aslan? High King? Kings and Queens of old? Narnia?’’ Peter repeated. Suddenly memories started coming back. He remembered riding horseback on his beautiful horse, Midnight, through the beautiful high woods of Narnia. He remembered the coronation day, when they all sat down on the four thrones at Cair Paravel. He could see it in front of him, plain as day.
‘’Of course,’’ he whispered, ‘’how could I have ever thought it was our imagination?’’
Lucy ran over and hugged him, tears once more in her eyes. ‘’Oh Peter, you believe it now- don’t you?’’
‘’Yes of course! What a perfect beast I’ve been to you! I’m so sorry Lu!! Will you shake hands?’’ he asked.
Lucy laughed through her tears, remembering the first time he said it- when he hadn’t believed her when she told him that there was a magical land in the wardrobe and then he and Susan had gotten in themselves.
‘’Of course,’’ and she willingly shook his hand.
‘’Now, we mustn’t stay here jabbering like idiots. Let’s get on with our quest!’’ Reepicheep cheered.
‘’I’m sorry- but what kind of quest?’’ Peter asked.
‘’I’m brining you to Narnia!’’
‘’Hold up- what about Susan?’’ Edmund asked.
Reepicheep hung his head and shook it. ‘’I’m sorry- but we have to leave her behind. You’ve done it before- you know,’’
‘’We couldn’t help it,’’ Lucy protested.
‘’You can’t help it now- either,’’ the mouse said gently. And- because all the children felt that was very true- they didn’t say a word, but followed him down the stairs and outdoors.
‘’How will we get to Narnia?’’ Peter questioned.
‘’Like this,’’ Reepicheep said and before the children quite knew what had happened to them they felt a soft breeze surrounding them and they smelt a delicious aroma of flowers. They could almost taste the salty sea air on their lips and the sun shone down on them, surrounding them with its warmth.
‘’What happened?’’ Lucy asked, eyes shining while she looked around her. Oh- how good it was to be back in Narnia- even though there wasn’t any Queen Susan the Gentle. How she wished Susan was here with them. How could she forget something as beautiful as this?
‘’How could I forget this?’’ Peter said softly, looking around him with a slight smile on his lips. His bearing was once again like that of a king. His face shone with a manly happiness- and you could truly see he loved his land and everything that came with it.
‘’High King Peter the Magnificent, High King over all the Kings of Narnia,’’ Reepicheep murmured, bowing. The little mouse felt quite overwhelmed with the royal bearing of Peter. He looked ( and felt) like a true king.
‘’What was it that you wanted us to do here?’’ Edmund asked.
‘’Well, first we must journey to Aslan’s How- where we shall meet Aslan himself. I can only say that Narnia is in grave danger- and only you can save it.
‘’Good gracious,’’ uttered Lucy. ‘’How on earth are we supposed to do that?’’