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Forever Starts Now

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It had been a month since Anya and the Pevensies came into True Narnia and Anya still hadn't spoken to her father, instead spending her time in the woods and making bows and arrows and traps – just to distract her from the important issues that needed to be addressed. She was still in Queen of Archenland and warrior mode – you put bandages over your issues and pretend they're not there, they got in the way of the important things and nobody had time to deal with your personal issues. That was how she was trained in Archenland, and it would take her a long time to learn how to get out of it and go back to being the girl she used to be.

But Anya didn't want to go back to being the girl she used to be; weak, pathetic and above all, a child. She didn't want to go back to being her, but she did want to stop being the warrior queen since there was no need for her to be one but it was all she knew. She didn't know how to live her life any other way; it was a warrior or it was nothing. She missed Archenland, too. The old one. She wanted to return to her home and she knew she'd have to wait, but Anya wasn't in a patient mood.

Her fingers traced over the engraving on her sword, wondering if she went to Archenland, she'd see Shylton once more. She wanted to see him again; he was among the very few she trusted and even fewer that she respected. All the things she had been through with him stuck inside her brain, reminding her of one of the many things she had lost far too quickly.

The only thing that brought Anya out of her trance was Lucy nagging her about giving everyone a tour of the castle she once called home, and despite Anya's protests, she finally did it. And almost an hour later, the group – which consisted of The Pevensie's and Trinian – was in the middle of a guided tour around the extensive castle that belonged to Aslan.

The group were looking at multiple different portraits hung in one of the long halls connecting the library to one of the hundreds of other rooms. "That's her," Anya told the group, pointing to a portrait of a woman who looked similar to Anya but had dark green eyes instead of blue. "That's my mother. Then next to her that was me a few weeks before I was banished."

"You looked so different." Lucy commented, a hand placing on the golden frame of the portrait.

A small smile came onto Anya's lips as she thought about how different she looked in such a short space of time. "I was a different person then; I had no boundaries or sense of self back then. I was just beginning to understand the world when I was banished. But now I'm thankful that I was, I learned so many things and of course, I met my real family and I don't regret that at all, and I don't think I ever will."

Before Anya could go onto the next portrait, a servant interrupted her and gave Anya a low bow. "Your Highness, there's someone here to see you. He says his name is Shylton and-" The servant didn't even have time to finish what he was saying because by the time the name Shylton reached Anya's ears, she was already racing down the hall towards her visitor.

Tears were already starting to fall down her cheeks as she collided and gripped onto Shylton's body. Within moments, both of them were in tears and desperately hugging each other, refusing to let the other go. It had been far too long since they last saw each other; both of them had changed since they last looked at each other both physically and mentally. Shylton buried his face into Anya's hair, pressing endless kisses to the side of her head, almost as if he was her father.

Once they finally pulled apart, Shylton placed his hand on her cheek, forcing himself to smile through his tears. "Look how big you are, you're practically a queen."

Anya shook her head, laughing away her tears. "I was queen of Archenland back in old Narnia, but all I wanted was to have you back."

Shylton laughed too, his hand dropping from Anya's face. "I always knew you'd be a queen; even when I met that sarcastic little shit in the woods all those years ago."

By that point, the group had followed Anya to Shylton and Lucy tried to pry them apart. "Anya, you haven't told us about your friend here."

Anya's smile faced slightly as she turned to Lucy. "Of course, how rude of me; everyone, I'd like you all to meet Shylton; my mentor, my protector, my father and my rock. Shylton, I'm sure you know who my friends are."

Shylton gave a low bow to the kings and queens as Anya quietly excused herself, walking back up the stairs and towards the hallway. She paused at a door, bringing out a key from a pocket in her dress to unlock the door so she could slip inside.

The room was filled with glass balls that all gave out their own light source; illuminating the room in a rainbow of colours. Anya moved through the room, her fingertips gently touching the glass orbs as she walked past them. She arrived at what appeared to be a sink except there were no taps to turn on water. Looking in the mirror, Anya noticed the figure of Lucy standing in the door way. "You're not allowed to be in here."

"What the hell is this place?" Lucy demanded, storming over towards Anya, almost knocking over a whole shelf of glass orbs on her way over.

"This is my Wonderland. It's filled with memories. I keep all the memories from all the years I've lived in here, I visit them sometimes. But nobody is allowed in here, how did you get in?"

"The door was open..."

"So you thought it would be okay to know my secrets and things I've tried to forget? There's a reason why I keep this place locked up, Lucy." Anya turned around to face Lucy, taking her hand and leading her towards a wardrobe, grabbing an orb on her way. She let go of Lucy's hand to insert the orb into the side of the wardrobe before taking her hand once more. "This is one of my darkest memories," she told Lucy before she brought the both of them inside the wardrobe – which was more like a door to another room; the orb playing the memory like a film played through a projector.

"Oh my god," Lucy whispered, tears rolling down her cheeks as she watched the scene unfold in front of her. "This is the day you did it, the day you killed your mother and the day you were banished to Narnia. I don't think I can watch this."

"You have to. Once you start a memory, you have to watch the rest."

A younger Anya skipped through the halls with a hardback book in her hands, looking behind her for anyone following after her before she ran into a room and locked the door behind her. She placed the book in the middle of the room; several plates of brightly coloured powder surrounded her as she opened the book to a certain page and read a passage from it;

"Darkened spirits, I call to you

To do something I will never do.

I ask of you to take a soul, who means so much,

Take them away from my touch.

Take that one who cased me pain away,

Listen to me, I pray.

I will give you my soul,

Even if this will take its toll.

Kill her, kill her now,

I am your servant and I will take my bow."

After she spoke, she sat on the floor and bowed her head before covering herself in the powder, throwing it around herself and the room. After a few moments of silence, a bloodcurdling scream was heard followed by silence. Anya stood up and bolted out of the room, towards numerous servants that surrounded a woman's body on the floor.

"I'm so sorry, your highness. It's your mother, she's dead." Then the memory ended, the orb appearing in Anya's hand before she left the wardrobe, Lucy following after her.

"This place, your Wonderland; it's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen." Lucy admitted, a hand resting upon one of the shelves.

Anya chocked back a sob, turning to face the Valiant Queen. "This is not beautiful. This whole room is filled with ghosts of people I knew and loved; Shylton, my mother, Pygott, Bowyar… all of them, they're dead. All because of me. And that's not including the hundreds of people I killed on battlefields." She shook her head to herself, picking up another orb from the shelf and holding it in her hand. "I want to show you something; this is what happened when I first came to Archenland."

Grabbing Lucy's hand, the pair walked back into the wardrobe and watched the memory of what Anya did to the commander of Archenland when she first arrived, but she didn't show Lucy why she killed him – it was something that after all the years, was still fresh in her mind and would rather forget, or try to, at least. Once the memory was over, neither of them said anything as they both walked out of the room, Anya locking the door behind them, never speaking to each other or anyone what they saw.

~#~

Several days later, Anya lay on the grass, staring up at the sky as a sea of flowers surrounded her. She didn't want to talk or see anyone; she just needed silence and time to think about everything that had happened. Everything she had worked so hard for back in old Archenland suddenly had no meaning and had no purpose; in True Narnia, there was no need for weapons, no need for warriors... everyone lived in peace. Which meant Anya was useless without everything she knew about fighting and being a warrior – that was who she was and without it, she was nothing... a nobody.

While Anya was alone, Shylton was spending time with the Pevensie siblings, talking about anything and everything. Then the conversation grew quiet, only to be changed dramatically by Edmund. "How old was she when she was banished?"

Shylton took a heavy breath before answering, not sure if Anya would appreciate him telling her life story but it was one that needed to be told. "She was just twelve years old when I first met her about a month after she was banished; she was dying of starvation, going insane from isolation and I saved her life that day. By the time we got to Archenland, she had turned thirteen and that was when she killed our commander because he raped her and she didn't want him to live with what he had done or have someone else go through what she did. Even at that age, she was thinking like a warrior and acting like a girl twice her age, it scared everyone a little. Then she was ready to lead an army by the age of fifteen, then she found you guys when she was seventeen and now, she's back here at twenty. I've had to live without the girl I considered my daughter for so many years, so you can imagine my urgency to be with her and protect her from anyone and anything that would hurt her."

Peter clenched his jaw together, licking his lips. "We won't hurt her, sir."

"You might not intentionally hurt her, but I know Anya better than I know myself. As long as you don't force her into something she doesn't want, she'll be fine. But mark my words; that girl is dangerous. She could kill someone within the blink of an eye – I've seen it. Don't underestimate her; you'll regret it when she's lodged a sword into your chest."

The room fell silent once more for a while, everyone taking in what Shylton had said before Lucy spoke up, speaking to nobody in particular. "She's a ticking time bomb. One wrong move and she explodes, destroying everything in her path. An explosion is inevitable, but something we have to be prepared for. All that pain inside of her, that's what we should be afraid of. The level of pain she's been through is a dangerous mix along with the anger of things she can't control – don't be surprised if she blows in the next few days."

~#~

After what seemed like forever, Anya came back inside the castle, her skin slightly tanned from the warm sun. She was about to go to her room when she passed a slightly opened door with her father and Shylton talking inside. Stopping outside the door, Anya started listening in.

"She thinks that because of everything she's done, she's changed. But she's still just a child." Aslan proclaimed; his shoulders heavy with the burden of what had happened between him and his only child.

"You're wrong, Aslan. She stopped being a child the day you sent her down to Narnia to die." Silence fell over the pair before Shylton spoke up once more. "She waited for you, you know. She waited for you to allow her to come back for over five hundred years, and then she realized that you were never going to bring her back. That's why she hasn't spoken to you; she still doesn't believe that she's been forgiven. I don't even think she's forgiven you for doing that to her. I know I wouldn't if I was her, I don't think I'd ever forgive someone."

A small smile came onto Anya's lips as she listened to Shylton, grabbing the nearest bouquet of flowers to her. Listening to the words of her father, she decided to visit her mother's grave – something she'd put off for several weeks. She quietly walked through the gardens, a large bouquet of flowers in her hands. She reached a large apple tree with a gravestone in front of it before she sat down, placing the flowers beside the stone. She traced the words engraved upon it "Carew – Queen of True Narnia. Died; 23rd April, aged 47. A loving wife, mother and queen who was taken from us far too soon". Ever since she had returned, Anya had lost count of how many times she had read and re-read those words.

Taking a shaky breath, Anya wrapped her arms around the gravestone and began sobbing. "I miss you so much, mummy. I'm sorry I did this to you. I want you back so much, I need you."

After crying into the gravestone for several moments, she sat back to think about her final moments she had with her mother. Then the thought dawned on her. If she could take away life as easily as she did, surely she would be able to give life back the same way. Wiping her tears away with the skirts of her dress, she stood back up and sprinted back into the castle and towards the library.

Once she arrived in the library, she grabbed the nearest book about spells that came within her grasp, opening it to a page that gave back life. After reading the spell a few times, she took a deep breath before speaking;

"As a lost soul I have come here,

To ask of you to give back a soul I love so dear.

My heart is broken,

So I ask of you to give me back my token.

The love I lost,

I need to feel her touch.

I pray you give me back my mother, Carew."

A few moments passed and nothing happened, so Anya closed the book and allowed her tears to fill her eyes once more. The thought of knowing that she had failed to save her mother came back into her mind – a thought that hadn't been in there for nearly 700 years.

"Anya?"

A woman's voice brought Anya out of her crying state and made her head jerk up. She knew that voice... it couldn't be... no, this has to be a dream... "Mother?" Anya turned around and almost fell off the chair she was sat on. There she was, in the way she remembered her, her mother. That was when Anya started running towards her, her arms out stretched. Anya collided with her mother, giving each other a tight hug and crying into each other's arms. After almost a millennium apart, they were finally back together, where they should be.

~#~

After Anya's mother had returned, Anya was on cloud nine. But the only thing that made her come down was Peter asking her if they could talk in private – which in Anya's mind meant he was ending whatever they had with each other, and something she reluctantly accepted.

Peter took Anya's hand and led her through the courtyard and into a quiet garden filled with every colour flower imaginable. Anya frowned as Peter stopped her right in the centre of it, dropping Anya's hand as he shakily dropped down on one knee, bringing out a small black box out of his pocket. "Anya, I love you with my whole heart and those eight years I spent without you were the worst years of my life and I never want to spend another second of my life without you in it. Would you please do me the extraordinary honour of marrying me?" A small smile came across his lips as he opened the box, revealing a diamond ring with blue diamonds placed inside of it – the colour Anya wore the day they met and the colour that explained their entire relationship.

A tear slowly made its way down Anya's cheek as she pressed a kiss to Peter's lips. "Yes," she whispered against his lips as she wrapped an arm around his shoulders. She felt the ring slide onto her finger, then being scooped up into his arms. After everything they had been through, they could finally put it behind each other and start a new life as husband and wife.

The wedding of Queen Anya and High King Peter soon became the talk of True Narnia as soon as it was announced. Everyone was already talking about Anya's dress and what the wedding would be like.

All too soon, the big day arrived and Anya had mixed feelings. She was excited to finally be able to call Peter her husband but she was scared about not being able to live up to everyone's expectations of her. She was Aslan's daughter and that placed more pressure on her to look perfect and be as perfect as anyone could be.

Susan helped with Anya's hair and make-up, making sure her natural beauty was shown in all its glory. Her hair cascaded down her back in beautiful and perfect curls, while other parts were tied into braids so they wouldn't fall in her face, but added a small tiara to hold the veil in place. Lucy helped with Anya's dress and making sure the dress and the veil were in the right places.

Anya's dress was kept a secret from everyone but those who made it and Susan and Lucy; it was one of the best kept secrets anyone had ever done. Her dress was a strapless work of art; it was a traditional white but had dark blue flowers and diamonds sewn into it – the colour Anya wore the first time she and Peter met all those years ago. The dress fell down to below her feet but thankfully, she had a pair of light blue heels on her feet to stop her from falling over.

It was decided that Shylton would give Anya away since Aslan was conducting the ceremony and Shylton was the main father figure in her life while she was in Archenland and he taught her everything she knew; and after almost 700 years since they had been separated and been apart, she still loved him as a second father and they were still as close as they were back in Archenland.

Anya clutched onto the small bouquet of blue and red roses she had while she waited to be called for the wedding. That was when the nerves really started kicking in and she had to grip Shylton's arm to stop her from fainting from nervousness. Anya lived through many wars and never showed any fear but she never knew her wedding day would turn her into a nervous mess.

The moment arrived and Susan and Lucy quickly left Anya and Shylton to take their places in the hall, making Anya far more nervous than she was before. Shylton looked at her for a moment, holding onto her hand tightly. "Are you ready?" He asked, giving her fingers a comforting squeeze. Anya simply nodded before both of them finally walked into the hall, all eyes fell on Anya.

A tear came into Peter's eye as he looked at Anya, the only woman he'd ever loved. Their ceremony combined English and Archenlandian wedding ceremonies; their vows were English while the rings were placed on their fingers with Aadmari words spoken between them.

Anya was smiling so much, her cheeks hurt but she was happy; euphoric even. Peter never released her from his grasp, enjoying the feeling that Anya was finally his wife and they could finally start a new life together. All the things that happened between them when they were apart didn't seem to matter, all that mattered was that they were together and would never be apart.

During the reception, Anya and Peter sat on a long sofa, looking out onto the horizon before them. The sun was just beginning to set, illuminating the skies with an orange and pink haze. Between the pair, sat a half drank bottle of champagne which they would take in turns to take a sip out of it. After everything that had happened, they were content with silence. Nothing needed to be said between them because everything had already been said.

There came a knocking on the door, Anya almost forcing her husband to stay in his seat so she could answer it; only to find that it was her brother-in-law Edmund. "Ah, you two have your clothes on. Su was worried you two would've started the couple thing already."

Anya laughed awkwardly, hitting Edmund over the head. "Screw you, Ed! But seriously, what did you want?"

Edmund rubbed the back of his head where Anya had hit him, chuckling to himself. "Everyone's going down to the beach, do you want to come?"

Anya thought for a moment before racing across her room to grab her husband, squealing about going to the beach. Reluctantly, Peter went along with it, not wanting to upset his wife. The group made it down to the beach, racing each other and spraying each other in the salty water. Despite protests from Susan, Anya dove into the water, not wanting to miss out on any of the fun while she was still in her wedding dress. The sounds of their screaming and laughter could be heard for miles around; making Carew smile as she looked at her daughter and her new family have fun. She knew that her daughter made the right choice by marrying the High King; they seemed to be perfect for each other.

Anya was stubborn and Peter was, too. She thought he was barking mad, he thought she was positively insane. She was dramatic, he was dynamic. She was troubled, he was carefree. She was the warrior queen and he was the magnificent king – from two completely different worlds but they couldn't be more perfect for each other.

The festivities of the wedding continued for many days to come, and when it came around for Anya and Peter to go on their honeymoon, it was highly debated where they would go. Peter wanted to go to Archenland and see the place his wife loved so much, but Anya was highly against it since it brought up too many bad memories for her but she promised to take him there once the honeymoon was over and they would go back to their normal duties; Anya become queen once more and Peter becoming High King. Since Anya was the last queen of Archenland, she was quickly re-crowned and Peter later became King of Archenland beside his wife.

~#~

Anya and Peter went on to have four children; Elizabeth, Christopher, Rosemary and Daniel. They were just as in love as they were when they got married all those years ago. Anya forgave her father and welcomed him back into her life permanently, and their relationship is stronger than ever.

Susan never married, but continued to help with various weddings and celebrations across True Narnia and even helped write stories for children learning about England and their customs.

Edmund had visited Archenland to see his brother and his new sister-in-law when he met Lovell, one of Anya's maids. The pair was often seen together, walking through gardens and the castle and talking about anything and everything for a few months until Edmund finally got the guts to ask her to marry him; which Lovell accepted at once.

Lucy became a nurse and helped with any form of medical emergency that was around, even helping with the births of Anya's children. After the birth of Anya's children, Lucy met a charming young traveller named Tabard and the pair quickly became smitten and a few weeks after their marriage, both packed up and went exploring the new world together.

Jill, Lucy and Anya were still as close as they were on the battlefield in Narnia, and consider each other as their non-biological sisters.

And at long last, Anya finally found her true home and didn't want to go back to being a warrior queen, she had finally let go of her past and was willing to move on and become a loving wife, mother and queen of a land she loved as much as the old Archenland.

And they all lived happily ever after;

THE END