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Embellishment (the giving in to temptation remix)

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Lucy stared at the Spell for Divine Beauty, and thought of Caspian. How he looked at her even now, plain as she was; how he would look at her when she was truly beautiful. How he would love her.

She opened her mouth, and for a moment her breath stuck in her throat at her own daring. Magic could do weird and wonderful things, she'd already been witness to that, and if used unwisely could be dangerous (she will never forget the statue of gold at the bottom of a lake, nor the slow crawling realization that it had once been a he), but surely ... surely it wouldn't hurt.

It wasn't, after all, fully self-serving: Caspian was interested in her, and she was already a Queen of Narnia (once a queen, always a queen), and if she did this she would be giving him the possibility of the bride he deserved.

She forced herself to breathe, and then the words came.

#

No one would look at her. No one except Edmund, who said "What the devil did you do, you daft girl," like she was still nothing more than a child, like he wasn't.

Caspian snuck glances at her, occasionally, and the respect was still there, but there was also fear.

"I don't understand," she wailed at Reepicheep, the only one aboard the Dawn Treader who seemed unaffected by the change. "This was supposed to make things better!"

"Ask Aslan," the mouse suggests.

"How? He's not the sort to come when called, after all." She stamped her foot, realizing (and not caring) that she was not quite acting her age.

#

It took three days before he showed up.

"Child," Aslan said in her dreams that night. His voice was mild, but there was disapproval in his eyes as he looked at her.

Lucy reached out to him and bit her lip when he stepped back out of reach. "I've done it," she said in a low voice, "haven't I? Made a mess of everything."

His head dipped in something that was not quite a nod.

"Can you -- can you fix it? Like you fixed Edmund, when he was-- when he-- can you fix it, oh please?"

"What is done cannot be undone," he said sternly. "I could make you look the way you did before, but it would not fix anything."

"Do it," she begged.

"But this is what you wanted..."

"Not any more," she said, and started to cry.

He regarded her for a long moment, and then opened his mouth wide as if to roar. No sound came out, just a wind that nearly knocked her off her feet. "It is done," he said, and then stepped forward to bump his large head against her shoulder.

#

She was plain old Lucy again, unembellished; but Caspian still kept her at a distance, and she wondered desperately what would have happened if she hadn't cast that spell.