Anya was celebrating the coming of the harvest with her people when she heard the news of the war that was starting in Narnia. She had tried to keep her people safe by ignoring the oncoming war but now that Narnia was requesting help from its ally, she couldn't ignore it any longer. She left the festivities, only saying she had a few things she needed to discuss with her staff while in reality; she was going into her study to look over the letters that had been sent to her as a distress signal from Narnia.
At first Anya ignored them since she wanted to distance herself from Narnia after what happened with the Pevensies and her father but with her feelings to the side, Anya couldn't turn her back on Archenland's ally. Narnia needed help and she was in no position to turn her back on alliances. That was what she was taught while she was being trained all those years ago.
Looking out of the windows in her study, Anya was strangely calm and slow with her movements as she opened her window to look at the many innocent people enjoying the festivities. The most recent letter from Narnia was in her hands, telling her that if she didn't send help, Narnia would fall within the next few weeks. Anya was placed into a hard place, she wanted to send troops to Narnia to help their allies but she needed those same troops defending their borders and protecting the innocent men, women and children that were in need.
It was then when a servant – Bowyar – knocked on the door and slipped into the room, bringing with him another letter in his hands. "Your majesty, we have reports of more soldiers from Calormen trying to breech our walls and I'm sorry but we cannot hold them out any longer, all efforts of keeping them out have failed. They will be here in a matter of hours. It's time to leave Archenland; it is no longer safe for you."
Anya turned to face Bowyar, tears streaming down her cheeks as she turned her back to the window. "What will happen to everyone else? Is there a way to get them somewhere safe?"
"I'm sorry… the lucky ones will be slaughtered within the first three hours."
"So that's just it; I abandon my people and my home to fight in a war I never asked or wanted to be a part of?"
"Anya, you don't have a choice. If you stay here, you'll die and you'll be remembered as the coward who didn't fight in a war, who chose to stay behind and die with her people."
Anya's tears dried, anger rising within her once she heard Bowyar call her a coward. "I am no coward. I will go, prepare my horse and tell no-one of my departure and make sure nobody sees. I will be in my chambers when you are ready."
Bowyar bowed his head, leaving the letter on Anya's desk before leaving the room. Anya didn't even bother opening the letter before she left the room, already knowing inside her heart what it would say; Narnia has fallen, you are needed far more urgently than we originally expected. Please come and save us, Anya. Just like you did when Miraz was in control, come in and get us out of our troubles.
Arriving at her chambers, Anya peeled off her dark red dress and let it pool around her ankles. For once in what seemed like forever, Anya wore a dress but that was only for the festivities despite many of her advisors telling her that if she was a queen, she had to dress and act like one. Something Anya ignored time and time again, spending more time in her battle armour than any dress.
She dressed into her battle armour with a large black cloak over the top and placed her hair into her usual multiple braids before she started pacing around her room, looking for things she wanted to take with her. A part of her wanted to bring her crown, to represent the country she loved so much and the lives she was failing to save. But she didn't, it would bring back memories of the life that was ripped away from her far too quickly.
In the end, Anya only took a notebook filled with various drawings of people she knew but most pages were filled with portraits of Peter; even after all that time, Anya still loved him and cared for him. Aside from the notebook, Anya also took a small make-up kit for battle then that was it, she wanted to take as little things as possible so she wouldn't be noticed when she left although she still felt like a coward for running away.
A quiet knock on her door brought Anya back from her thoughts, revealing Bowyar who quickly ran over to his queen. "Anya, everything's ready. We have to move." He grabbed Anya's hand and both rushed down towards the stables, making sure they were as quiet as possible to avoid being spotted. On the way down, Bowyar handed Anya her sword and a small dagger to hide in her boots in case of an emergency.
Once they arrived at the stables without detection, Anya forced back her tears as she gave Bowyar a tight hug, hiding her face in the crook of his neck for a moment before pulling away. "Will I ever see you again?"
Bowyar gave Anya a shaky smile, placing a hand on her shoulder. "I hope we do, your majesty. It truly has been an honour to serve you, now go. Narnia needs you."
"May we meet again." Anya told him as she climbed onto her horse, taking a shaky breath as she held onto the reins of her horse with one hand while the other placed her hood over her head.
Bowyar gave her a nod before slapping the horse into a gallop. "May we meet again." He muttered to himself as he watched the figure of Anya and her horse disappear into the darkness.
It was early to mid-morning by the time Anya finally stopped to let her horse rest, even though she really didn't want to stop until she was with Tirian, the king of Narnia and who had sent the multiple letters to her for help. She leaned against a tree and sat down on the grass while she watched the horse eating closely. She knew they couldn't stay long due to how dangerous Narnia and now Archenland are from the Calormen army.
She'd thought of sleeping but it wasn't safe, she would sleep once she got to Tirian's camp and then she would be safer to sleep with many soldiers around her in case something bad would happen. Despite being completely exhausted from an almost twelve hour horse ride and her eyes beginning to droop, Anya refused to sleep. She had to stay on high alert in case trouble came their way, and she needed to be prepared for that.
Just as Anya was about to slip into sleep, she heard Calormen soldiers coming towards her, the sound of their chainmail echoing through the silent forest. Within seconds, Anya stood up to grab her belongings and run to her horse. But by the time she arrived, the horse was already gone. Something had obviously spooked it and the horse had completely gone. "Fuck," she muttered under her breath before she threw off her cloak and started sprinting away from the soldiers.
She kept running deeper and deeper into the forest and didn't stop at anything, even when branches and thorns tugged and pulled at her skin and clothes, she kept going. She ignored the pain coming from all areas of her body and she just kept running until she reached the edge of a cliff, her body sliding to a halt. She looked around her for another way down but she found nothing, the only way down was to jump and that was going to hurt. This would either kill her or leave her with permanent injuries; but whatever happens, it would hurt. A lot.
Turning around to check where the soldiers were and that did nothing but make her panic more since she could still hear their voices coming nearer. She turned back around before taking a deep breath and closing her eyes and finally just let go and felt her whole body become weightless as she fell. Slowly, she opened her eyes just as she was about to collide with some rocks, she grabbed onto the side of the cliff, slowing her down but causing multiple cuts on her hands.
In that moment, she wanted to scream and cry from the pain but she had to force them back so she could climb down safely. With tears in her eyes, Anya slowly climbed down the side of the cliff, landing on her feet at the bottom. Once she was safely down, Anya looked at her hands that were now covered in blood and had deep and painful cuts across them. That was when Anya finally allowed herself to cry; over all her people who would be dead and how she could have saved them, if she had been a little bit faster. But now she was completely alone and probably the only person from Archenland left alive; broken, bruised and in pain but alive all the same.
After her crying fit, Anya stood up and started walking in the direction she hoped Trinian would be. She knew she was starting to lose consciousness from how much blood she had lost but she had to keep going, even if it would kill her. She needed to get to Trinian and save his country from their enemies; alliances and loyalties came first then personal wellbeing's and problems came last. It was the unspoken code between rulers that they were told from day one, and they had to abide by it in order to get a country that would survive against all odds.
After what felt like an eternity of walking and stumbling through the dense woods, Anya finally heard people talking. Pausing at a tree, she quickly got her sword out, quickly ignoring the pain in her hands and her feet. She quietly started to make her way towards the voices. Just as she was prepared to start her attack, she listened into what the voices were saying. More specifically, who the voices were calling each other; Edmund, Lucy, Peter and Trinian.
"Peter?" Anya called out, dropping her sword as she ran towards the group, finally allowing her emotions to get the best of her and she almost burst into another crying fit.
"Anya!" Peter almost shouted as he ran over to her, their lips crashing together as they collided and their arms wrapping around each other tightly, as if they were afraid of the other disappearing within seconds.
Anya had been dreaming of these moments ever since she left Caspian's castle all those years before. Peter – her Peter – had come back to her. It seemed all those years of sleepless nights and dreaming of his face was worth it, he was back and hopefully this time, they would be together for longer. But the thoughts of his leaving came back into her mind and she couldn't stop them, the moment of goodbye was inevitable but she knew that she just had to appreciate every moment she got to spend with him.
"Is this normal for these two?" Tirian asked after a few moments of awkward silence, leaning over towards Lucy who was trying her hardest to ignore what was going on between her oldest brother and one of her friends.
"No, they haven't seen each other in eight years in our time; I don't know how long it's been for Anya. But I think we should let them have their moment." She whispered back, taking the shoulders of the boys and forcing them to turn around to give the couple more privacy.
Back with Anya and Peter, they'd pulled apart slightly but kept their arms securely around the other. "And here's me thinking you didn't like me like you used to."
"Ah, but that's where you're wrong, High King. There's only ever been you. After all this time, it's only been you who has been in my mind." A small smile came onto her lips before she pressed them to his for a moment before pulling away and releasing Peter from her grasp.
Anya quickly noticed Lucy and ran towards her with her arms out stretched, giving Lucy a tight hug. "It's been far too long since I've seen you. I simply wish I could've been there on your voyage to the end of the world, but my people needed me so alas I could not come but I missed you all the same, Valiant Queen."
Anya moved onto Edmund, giving him a tight hug before releasing him, much to the discomfort of the Just King. "Who are these two? I don't believe I've met them."
"Oh, this is our cousin Eustace and his friend Jill. And this is Anya, Queen of Archenland." Edmund introduced, taking a step away from Anya, Eustace and Jill to give them space to talk and properly get to know each other.
Jill couldn't help but smile once she took a look at Anya, although she did imagine Queen Anya to be different; in a dress and crown, perhaps. But she wasn't disappointed. In fact, she rather liked Anya and thought she was very beautiful but she was a far cry from Susan, who would always be one of the most beautiful people she'd ever met. "You're a queen? Where's your king?"
"I don't have one; well, I sort of have High King Peter but we're not married if that's what you mean. I rule or rather ruled over Archenland alone." Anya's heart skipped a beat when she had to correct herself to say she ruled over Archenland, since by now, it had probably been burned to the ground and all her people had been slaughtered in cold blood.
"What happened in Archenland?"
Anya chocked a sob, falling to her knees as she saw the horizon turning a dark orange from the endless fires that were burning, instantly thinking of Bowyar and everyone she had left behind to be slaughtered back in Archenland. "They burned it to the ground, killed everyone in their sight, they came for me but I had already gone, but they found me anyway. That was when I got all my cuts and bruises; I was running for my life to get here."
Peter ran to Anya's side, his arms wrapping around her shoulders tightly before pressing a kiss to the side of her head. He kneeled down to face her, holding her face in his hands. "You're okay, you're safe now. I won't let anyone or anything hurt you again, I promise," he whispered before bringing Anya into his arms, his chin resting on the top of her head. "How long have you been waiting for our return, Anya?"
Anya turned her head towards Peter, tears still dropping down her cheeks. "It has been 252 years since I have last laid eyes upon you. They told me that you would never come back but I guess I was too stubborn to let you go." Anya smiled a little then, standing up to walk back to the group, wiping away her tears as she did. "Where is Trinian? It is incredibly important that I speak with him."
"Right here, your majesty," Trinian took a step forward, taking Anya's hand and pressed a gentle kiss to it. "We have been awaiting your arrival, your majesty. We were starting to believe you had died along with your people."
Anya almost snapped her hand back to her side. "Yes, well. You could've waited until the harvest festivities had been over. But no matter of that now, you wanted me here to help you with the war against Calormen. I need to see your army and your battle plans."
Trinian nodded, "of course, your majesty. Right this way." He walked through the trees towards the camp, followed closely by Anya and everyone else in the group.
Anya was escorted through the Narnian camp, causing some of the Narnian army to shout things at her, telling her that she had no place within their camp and fighting by their side and to go back to Archenland to burn with the rest of her country while others simply told her she was a harlot and was only there to give King Trinian pleasure. Anya kept a tight grip on her sword as she walked through the camp, keeping her eyes glued on the back of Trinian's head. Being shouted at by people who had no idea what they were doing was one thing but to be told to burn like the people she loved took it a step too far, but she had to keep her anger hidden and contained until the battle would begin. "When you'll be screaming for mercy, you'll be grateful that you have me. So until then, keep your goddamn mouths shut and suck it up. If I hear one more voice telling me to go back, I will tear you limb from limb and serve your body for dinner." Was all she told the army before disappearing into Trinian's tent.
After the meeting with Trinian, Anya walked out of the tent; the Narnian army gave a loud cheer once they noticed her. "Jus drein jus daun!" (Blood must have blood!) She declared to the army, raising her sword. "The dead will be avenged, we will destroy the Calormen army and we will take back what is ours." The Narnian army cheered loudly before chanting Anya's previous sentence, echoing the same words over and over until the woods were echoing their shouts.
Lucy tapped Anya's shoulder before whispering "What are they saying?" Into her ear, watching the army before them.
Anya placed her sword back into its holder before answering. "Blood must have blood; it's sort of a battle cry where I come from. When we go to war, it's to avenge the fallen so that's where the saying comes from."
Lucy nodded after understanding what they were saying, slowly joining in with the chanting with a whisper until she was screaming it along with Anya until they couldn't shout any longer. That was when Anya went back into her tent, with Lucy and Jill in hot pursuit. Anya placed her small bag of make-up and her notebook on the table before she sat down on the floor and stared at the wall, she quickly noticed Lucy and Jill. "What do you want? To tell me that I don't belong in your war? Or maybe even better, maybe to kick me out?"
Jill was slightly taken aback by Anya's words but she took a deep breath before kneeling down in front of the Queen. "I – I mean we – wanted to know if you could do our hair like yours, teach us some Aadmari and make us look like you; a warrior."
Anya couldn't help but smile a little at Jill's request before she nods her head and stands back up. "Sure, if you want to. You can be my warrior sisters; although you can't cry if you get hurt, your victims cry, you don't. Warriors are as strong as their swords." She told them; bringing Jill into a chair so she could start styling Jill's hair and teach Lucy some Aadmari.
After around an hour, the three of them walked out of the tent, the soldiers getting out of the way of them as they walked to find Trinian. One soldier tried to grab Jill but Anya punched him clean in the face to get him off. "Em ste ai gona, natrona." (She is my warrior, traitor.) She told him sternly before she moved her grip onto Jill's arm and the trio continued their trip towards Trinian.
Once they had found him, Anya took a seat on the grass beside him, Lucy and Jill followed close behind her. "Have they attacked yet? Sent any kind of message? What the hell is going on?"
"That is exactly what I want to know, Anya. They're just standing there, nothing seems to be going on and I'm getting concerned." Trinian answered, his arms folding across his chest as he looked down at Anya for a moment before looking back at the Calormen army. "Wait, I see three soldiers coming this way. It could be a peace offering."
Anya's eyes narrowed as she stood up, Lucy and Jill following after her. "Chit dula op yu gaf kom dula op, heda kwin?" (What do you want to do, commander queen?) Lucy asked, taking a step closer to Anya.
"It looks like a general with two other soldiers; kill the general, spare the others. I have a plan."
Anya tied the Calormen general to an apple tree, her eyes locked onto his as she removed her sword from its holder, the blade gliding over her fingers as she pursed her lips together. "You might as well say your prayers now and pray your god will have mercy on your soul once I've finished with you."
"You're going to kill me with that sword? Listen, sweetheart, that sword won't do shit." He laughed awkwardly, fighting against his bonds as he looked at his companions as if to say; "help me; this psycho is going to kill me".
"Oh, I'm not gonna kill you with my sword," Anya almost chuckled to herself as she placed her sword down on the grass beside her feet before getting a small dagger out of her boot and leaning closer to the general, the blade inches away from his throat. "I'm going to cut your heart out of your chest, eat it and then let you bleed to death. That's how I'm going to kill you."
"You're completely insane. You should be the one tied up here. I didn't even have anything to do with what happened to Archenland."
"Oh darling, I'm completely sane. I was raised with warriors, and that is how we deal with traitors and prisoners of war where I come from. So suck it up, and hope you die quickly, it's easier that way. Although, I would prefer if you died a slow and painful death; so you would understand how much it hurts when you lose something you care about and you feel as if your heart has been ripped out of your chest. But in your case, your heart will literally be ripped out of your chest." Anya started removing the general's body armour and clothes until his chest was bare. "Nontu beja wigod op ai gon chit ai souda dula op." (Father please forgive me for what I must do.) She muttered under her breath as she tightened her grip on her knife before she forced it into the general's chest.
Ignoring the agonizing screams from the general, she cut a clean circle on his chest, directly over his heart. Cutting into his chest, she ripped out his heart and instantly feeling her face and arms being coated with blood but she didn't care; if she was seen as a savage, she'd be one. She took a deep breath to look into the eyes of the general then she took one huge bite. Blood rushed down Anya's face and chin, dropping onto her clothes and to the grass beneath her. The dark red liquid filled her lips, staining her teeth into a black mess as she devoured the still warm heart. The rusty taste of blood filled her mouth and left a bitter taste in her mouth, she'd done it multiple times before in Archenland but she still hated the taste.
After she'd consumed the heart, the whole Narnian army cheered as Anya stood up, the blood trailing down her neck and chest. She walked back to the two soldiers, who had both gone as white as snow, her arms folding over her chest. "Go tell your commander that if he wants a war, then he'll get one. Oh, and tell him what happened to your friend, I think that'll motivate him to think."
When the two soldiers were released and ran as fast as they could back to their camp, the real war began. The Narnian army could hear the battle cry from the Calormen army, knowing that even with Anya's threats; they were still going to have a war which would lead to more bloodshed. Anya picked up her sword, walking over to Lucy and Jill to give them a tight hug and a kiss on the sides of their heads. "Whatever happens, just know that I am so proud of both of you."
None of them cried, they just held onto each other until they were told to prepare for the Calormen army that was sprinting towards them. Anya stood beside Peter, the blood completely dry on her body and made her look as if she'd covered herself in paint rather than blood. She linked her fingers around his thumb, leaning against him slightly. "If we die here, just know that my heart was always yours. And know that I love you, Peter. I will love you until the last breath leaves my lips." She pressed a gentle kiss to his cheek to stop her from crying before the Calormen army closed in on them and Anya got her sword into its correct position for fighting.
The battle wore on, but quickly Anya noticed that peter wasn't by her side like he was. Quickly she noticed him near the edge of the battlefield, she quickly beheaded a soldier that was in front of her before she ran after Peter, who had retreated off the battlefield and back to camp and threw his sword beside the fire. She couldn't believe he had given up, that wasn't something Anya remembered on the battlefield against the Telmarines. "Ge smak daun, gyon op nodotaim." (Get knocked down, get back up.) Was all she said before she threw her blood soaked sword down besides Peter's. "Narnian's don't give up, we fight. Either you get up and we fight this together, or you crawl away and die alone like a coward." Anya was fighting back her tears by that point, hiding her face in her hands. "I waited for you and this is what I get? Where's the High King I fell in love with, huh? If he's gone, you might as well say your goodbyes now because I'll be going back to my people who need their queen."
Peter stood up then, his eyes locked with Anya's as he backed her against a tree and pressed his lips to hers with more passion than he ever did. The tension between them was reaching boiling point simply from that one kiss, Anya's heart skipped several beats as she wrapped her arms around his shoulders.
But before the kiss could go any further, Peter pulled away. "I love you, Anya. And I would happily spend the rest of my life with you. But this warrior queen bullshit has to stop. You're a queen, yes. But eating people's hearts and practically bathing in their blood? That's not something I want to rub off on my siblings. I'm not sure your father will be too happy once he sees what you've done with your kingdom and your crown."
Anya shook her head, sighing as she picked up her sword. "I want to be the girl I used to be but the girl who ate the heart was the girl you fell in love with. She just wasn't in charge, so she didn't do it. In Archenland, eating someone's heart was a way of dealing with grief so you'd eat the person's heart that killed the one you loved so they'd know what it felt like. But I think we should get back to saving Trinian's country."
Once Anya and Peter had returned to the battlefield, it looked as if a bomb had exploded. There were bodies and remainders of campfires everywhere, both of them unknowing who was still alive and who were part of the many people who had died. Their ears filled with the desperate cries for help from the wounded and dying soldiers along with the sound of swords clashing together.
Anya's face went pale as she held on tightly to Peter's arm while they walked through the battlefield of death; she'd been in many battles and seen death before but she'd never seen anything like this – this wasn't a battle, this was an extermination and they succeeded in their plans.
By the time Aslan came to take them into True Narnia, Anya was ready to let go of Narnia and what was left of Archenland so she could start over again with Peter. She placed a hand on Aslan's mane as she walked through the door to True Narnia, saying a silent goodbye as she saw Peter close the door behind them.
"Now what, Earth Boy?" She asked; her hand dropping from her father's mane so she could talk to Peter face to face in the bright and warm sunlight, a wide smile etched onto her lips.
"Well, since we have forever, you get to choose, Sky Girl." Peter mirrored her smile, his arms wrapping around her waist as he pulled her in for a kiss.
Anya and Peter's love continued for the rest of their lives, but that's another story.