Mr Tumnus musing on the loss of Lucy after she returns to England.Disclaimer:
I wrote this after listening to the audiobooks for the Narnia series, and felt the need to write something around my favorite character since the series itself has always struck me as not living up to its potential.
Tumnus had spent a great deal of his time alone now. Years ago, when he had been a much
younger faun than he was now, he had lived in the cave that he had returned to not too long ago. It had been decorated a tad differently then, and he hadn't yet taken up the art of smoking a pipe (something he had learned from the dwarves), but there was still a comfortable chair next to a cozy fire.
Then again, his whole life had been quite different then, back when there had been no grey in the hair on his head or legs; when he had worked as a notary during that apparently endless winter. There had been so much fear in his life then; fear and desire. He feared the witch, feared the things she could reportedly do, feared that things would never change into anything better. But there had also been a part of him that wised for everything to somehow go back to the way they had been before the ice and the snow came. His fear of the witch, however, was so great that he had ignored that part of himself, tried to push it down as far as it would go. It made him sad now to think back on those times; what a great coward it made him feel.
But then, his life (his real life) had begun with a sudden jerk. He remembered that he had been on an errand, but for what, and because of whom, he could not now remember. All other memories of that day where overshadowed by the meeting of the most important person he had ever known: Lucy. To think of what he had almost done to her still filled him with such a shame that it made his bare skin color slightly (even though she had forgiven him almost at once). The time when he had reminded her of that day, years after it had happened, she had put a hand on his face more tenderly than she had done before and told him to think of it no more. Then, she had given his beard a playful tug, and she giggled in that way that was only for him, while her eyes sparkled with mischief.
He missed that now, more than he ever would have imagined that playful tug of his beard. She had never had to explain what she meant when she had done it; her meaning had always been obvious to him. And whenever she tugged at his beard, he always found himself pushing back her hair so that he could put a soft kiss on her neck; sometimes it happened before he realized that he had started to move. Those moments had been so precious to him when they occurred, and they were even more precious to him now ... now that he would never have any of them ever again.
He still remembered when he had decided to ask her for her hand. He had been far more nervous than he thought he would be. Even when he had made up his mind to make his attentions known to her brothers, he had been scared. Pulling the two of them aside, he told them what he meant to do with a shaky voice and a trembling body. While he was keenly aware that it wasn't their decision, he still wanted them to approve. He had always been very fond of the four of them and would hate to have any of them upset with him; or worse yet, to have them upset with Lucy if she agreed. But he had had nothing to fear, because as soon as he had made his intentions known, Peter had taken him by the hand and shook it so hard that now his whole body shook from the force of Peter's gladness.
Days later, with his body shaking even more than it had before, Tumnus had gone to speak with Lucy in private. There was a voice inside his head that had told him he was being daft for even thinking that a queen would accept a faun such as himself. After all, he was no one important, and any position he had attained had been given to him by the very family in which he was no attempting to become a part of (it hadn't occurred to him that he had earned every accolade he had received, or just how highly the Pevensies thought of him).
He had knocked on the door of her chambers, and after a moment, he had heard her voice telling him to enter. Her face lit up immediately when she saw that it was him at the door, and she said that he should take a seat with her next to the fire. But then, she stopped what she was going to say next and asked him if he was alright; and said that maybe he should see the doctor, because he was looking rather pale. He assured her that he was fine, even though it felt as though he had swallowed a thousand live scorpions. And now that he was there and hand an open opportunity to say what he meant to, he found that his tongue was tied and his will was broken. All he could think of was the possibility that she would say no, and the utter shame he would feel at asking her the most important question, only to find that it was something that she had not wanted him to ask. So, he sat in silence, wishing that he felt a bit braver.
She asked him again to tell her what it was that was bothering him, saying that it was evident that there was something important on his mind. He looked into her face, warm and kind, smiling at him with such tenderness, and he found that the words were tumbling from his lips of their own accord. He told her all of the things that he had meant to say but never had, told her the words of his heart, and asked her if she would accept him. There was a great deafening silence that followed his words, and he was sure that he was about to be rejected.
To his amazement, this is not what happened. Instead, a look of peacefulness filled her face, such a look as he had never seen on it before. Then, taking his hand, she said in a quiet voice that of course she would accept, for her heart was already his. He could think of nothing to say to this, for he had not thought that it would be that easy. So, they sat there in silence together, holding each other's hands.
They were married in the following spring, in the faun fashion. That is to say that the ceremony took place in a clearing in a wooded aread, without most of the pomp and circumstance that was befitting a lady of such high station. Peter presided over a short ceremony, as was his right as High King; Edmund stood next to Tumnus, and Susan stood next to Lucy; and Lucy looked more beautiful than he had ever seen, in a dress that was as green as the first leaves of spring. And afterwards there was a celebration that went long into the night with all sorts of good food, drink, music and company. But his eyes were only for Lucy, and he spent a majority of the day in a blissful daze.
Years passed, and he was content. Married life suited him, and everyone that saw them together agreed that they wished they could be just as happy. He realized, even then, just how lucky he was, and he did not want it to ever end.
But then, the fateful day came. He had heard news that the white stag had been seen in the forest, not far from the castle, and he told the kings and queens not long after. Within the hour, the four of them were ready to go hunting for the most elusive of Narnian beasts. Before she mounted her horse, Tumnus pulled his wife close to himself. She smiled at him and tugged at his beard; he moved her hair and kissed her neck. She only pulled away, and he only let her go, when the others began to tease them.
Then, she climbed onto her horse, blew him a kiss, and they were off.
And that was the last time that he had seen her, but it was certainly not the last time that he had thought about her. He could only imagine that she had somehow found her way back to that mysterious country that she had originally come from (or that somehow the same magic that had brought her to Narnia had pulled her unwillingly back to her own country), even though he could never be entirely certain. The only real clue that he had found was the horses that they had ridden out on, which had been tied up near Lantern Waste (the very place in which he had first seen her, and where the mysterious doorway into her world was located).
He wondered if she still thought about him, and if those thoughts were filled with fondness. He hoped that they were. He wished that he could see her again, but doubted that he ever would. So, he was left sitting next to his small fire, his hope dwindling a little bit more every day.