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Follow The Star (Into the Light Remix)

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When the Dawn Treader departs, Liliandil stands on the shore and watches it go, until it's just a dot on the horizon.

Of course, she could see it clearly from the sky. But she knows that Lucy is standing in the stern of the ship, looking back at the island, so she chooses to see it the same way as Lucy does.

She waits until she can't even see the dot anymore, then takes to the skies.

 

***

 

She watches from her vantage point high above as Lucy and the others approach the wall of water, and as Aslan approaches them. She can't hear what is said, but she sees Reepicheep's departure first, and then after that, she watches as the wave parts for Lucy and Edmund and Eustace, and the Queen leaves her world for the last time.

She watches from the sky as they walk away, and when Lucy does look back, Liliandil waves frantically, even though she knows Lucy cannot see her.

 

***

 

She waits for Caspian to return to her island, as she knows he will. When he comes ashore, she is waiting for him on the sand.

His face lights up when he sees her, with that strange combination of awe and admiration that he's worn each time he's looked at her before, and he bows in greeting. "My lady," he says. "Thank you for allowing us to stop at your island before returning to Narnia."

Liliandil fights back irritation - she does not want him to be awed by her, or to worship her. She needs an ally in her fight, and she needs it to be him. "Caspian. I would like to join you on the journey back to Narnia."

His surprise is plain on his face. "You would? But... why?"

And though she needs an ally, she hesitates, and does not tell him the truth, does not share with him as she did with Lucy. "I wish to leave the island, to see more of the world. Your land of Narnia sounds likes a wonderful place. And..." She reaches for his hand. "I think, after having so much company of late, that I will be very lonely when you leave." He is not Lucy, and of course, in Liliandil's heart, it is Lucy she truly wants to journey with, and Lucy she wants by her side. But Caspian seems like a good man. He will do. And if she needs to get her way with flattery and sweet words, well... it will not be the first time she has done such things.

Caspian looks at their joined hands, then back up at her, and Liliandil is surprised by the arch of his eyebrows, and the skeptical tone of of his voice. "I see," is his reply, as he bows again to her and drops her hand. "Then I will make ready your cabin on the ship, my lady. If you'll excuse me." He turns and Liliandil watches as he slowly walks to the Dawn Treader. His back is stiff and unlike Lucy, he does not look back.

 

***

 

Liliandil spends her days up on bluff, overlooking the beach, as Caspian and Drinian and the sailors repair the ship, and ready her for the long journey back, filling the water barrels, and replenishing what food stores they can.

She watches the men go about their work impatiently. She had no idea it would be so long before it was time to depart. She tells herself that if Lucy were here, she would understand the urgency of Liliandil's quest, and the need to make haste back to Narnia.

If only Lucy were here. Lucy, whose light shines nearly as bright as her own, and who is her friend and her sister and her love. If Lucy were here, Liliandil would have the ally and the help she needs. She wonders if Lucy has found a new star to follow in her own world, a new quest which needs a courageous queen to lead it.

Liliandil looks up at the sky and wishes there was a way to see into Lucy's world.

 

***

 

Night falls, the stars rise, and Liliandil sings her song of greeting, but she does not move from the bluff. She watches as the crew of the Dawn Treader eat from the great Table. She sees Caspian sitting away from the men, and she wonders at that, but then she sees him looking up at the bluff, and realizes he can see her light. She waves, but he drops his gaze, and does not wave back.

"You are not the only one who is missing Lucy, Daughter of Stars."

Liliandil turns to find Aslan standing behind her. "I know, Aslan," she answers him, but she realizes that she hadn't considered that Caspian could be lonely before.

"The King has lost his friends, the only real family he has ever known," Aslan says. "The journey back to Narnia will be a long, sad voyage for him."

"Well," she says with a smile. "I will be there to keep him company."

Aslan fixes his fierce gaze on her. "Daughter of Stars," the Lion says with a low growl, "Caspian needs a friend, not a false lover. You would do well to remember that. Lucy will not be returning to this world. And you need a friend and an ally in your fight. Caspian could be most loyal to you, if you gave him the chance."

"But I don't want him as a lover! And how else could I return to Narnia with him? Why else would he want me to join him, except as a future Queen?"

Aslan's gaze is still fierce, but this time Liliandil thinks she hears a chuckle instead of a growl. "And what makes you think he wants you for a lover? You are not the only one whose heart is given to someone out of reach." The Lion comes closer to her, and touches his forehead to hers, and his voice is gentle now. "Daughter of Stars, you and Caspian have much in common and much to offer each other. If you start as honest friends, you will find yourself with much help and support in your quest."

Liliandil nods, and she is surprised to feel the grief in her heart over the loss of Lucy lighten just a bit. She may not be able to have Lucy by her side, despite how much she wishes it was so, but a true, honest friend is what she needs.

Aslan stays with Liliandil until the dawn comes, and though they do not exchange any more words, Liliandil leans against his warm, soft tawny side and is comforted by his presence.

 

***

When the Dawn Treader departs the island the following week, Liliandil stands in the stern, looking back at the island, just as Lucy did when she left. She blinks back tears when the island grows smaller, as the Dawn Treader cuts through the waves.

Caspian stands beside her. "Are you sure you want to leave, my lady?"

She nods and turns to him. "Yes, I am sure. I must leave. And I need your help." And this time she takes his hand and offers him an honest smile, and she explains everything.