Yesterday on Twitter, quintenttsy was all, "Have come to the conclusion that the world is in need of a bandom/Narnia fusion. I don't even LIKE Narnia." (I'd link to the specific Tweet, but I can't figure out how.) And I thought to myself, why not? It doesn't even have to be Wardrobe fic. It could be Horse and His Boy fic! But then I remembered that A Horse and HIs Boy was my LEAST favorite Narnia book, and I didn't really want to go all Apocafic and End Of Days with The Last Battle (which IS my favorite - "Further up and farther in!"), so instead...somehow.... I ended up writing fic for her instead of doing learning-type things, and the final result was dryad!William and his buddy, satyr!Michael? And it takes place in one of the 1000 years between Wardrobe and Caspian, I think.
Yeah, not entirely sure how that happened. But it's got coverart, too!
ETA (03/27/12): There is a podfic of this story, and quintenttsy made it. You should totally go listen to her read it, right now!
Some Melodious Plot
A Narnia/TAI fusionfic for quintenttsy, written by reena_jenkins, rated PG, no warnings, et cetera
(Title from the John Keats quote: "Thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees / In some melodious plot / of beeches green, and shadows numberless / Singest of summer in full-throated ease.")
They say that Aslan was there the day the world was born. That his breath roared over the hills and rose the sun into the sky, that his steps caused the grass and trees to grow, that the shake of his mane brought order to the chaos of the new world and set it into being. They say that Aslan walks not just between countries, between Archenland and Narnia and over the waves of the Eastern Ocean all the way to Terebinthia, but between worlds as well. That as long as he walks on Narnian shores, their land will ever prosper and dryads grow ever taller in the sunlight.
Aslan has always been William's favorite story - the Eastern Emperor is too abstract, too far removed from him to make for good tales, and the Kings and Queens of Narnia too Human with their foibles and follies to relate, but Aslan… Aslan is more Narnian than Narnians themselves, William thinks, if he was there at the beginning of the world.
William's favorite story of Aslan, he thinks, is Aslan's victory over the White Witch at Aslan's How. It seems that Aslan has forever been locked in struggle with her, as the White Witch has many names - Jadis, the Empress of Charn, the Lady of the Green Kirtle - and a power to rival his. Yet, like all good stories, prevailing through setbacks and loss, the hero wins in the end - and so, Aslan always emerges victorious. At Aslan's How, he defeated the White Witch not through his great strength - for a Lion always has great strength - but through his compassion. This is the best part of Aslan of all, William thinks - that he cares so much for the people of Narnia that he might die for them.
William first heard the tale of Aslan's How as a sapling. His mother, perhaps, or an Aunt, had whispered the words to him on the gentle wind, her branches and leaves a soft susurration as she told him that story. The life of a hamadryad finds great solace in stories, William thinks. Dryads are a quiet folk, as a whole, never wandering far, and never raising much commotion - but stories…stories take William beyond the grove where he first sprouted, and lend him a view of the greater, wider, wilder Narnia in which he grows.
It is difficult for a hamadryad to have adventures. William can leave his tree if he must, but cannot venture far. He's heard that other dryads can leave all they want, go wherever and do whatever, but William is part and parcel to his tree. He can step away from his strong truck and his protective bark, but without them William is delicate, little more than glimmer and wind. He can leave behind his gracefully draping branches and quietly murmuring leaves, but without them William is only faintly Man-shaped, willowy as his tree but far less able to withstand a storm. In winter, William's mind slows down along with his sap, and in Spring, he perks back up to sharp-tongued eloquence. It pangs, too, when he goes too far or too long - and upon returning to his tree, William is far less likely to leave again for whiles and whiles. This is why stories are so important to William - they give him the adventures he cannot find himself, the knowledge he cannot learn at home in his grove.
William's mother - or maybe his Aunt - might have told him his favorite story, but Michael tells William the best stories. Michael is a satyr, and lives sometimes in the woods further down the river that flows tangent to William's grove. Truth be told, Michael and William did not begin as friends of an unlikely sort at all - Michael had stopped beneath Wlliam's branches to relieve himself, not even stopping to check if William were a tree or a Tree, and so William had dropped a branch on his head in retaliation for the indignity. Truly - who wants satyr urine all over their nicely lichened bark? But after all the shouting had died down, and Michael had realized that it was a person who he had turned into his own personal latrine, and both had apologized to the other at the insistence of William's mother, it was revealed in due course that Michael had had many adventures - and even more tales to tell, from his visits to far-off lands.
In one such tale, told slowly as the winter months approached and William grew less able to leave his tree for long stretches of time, Michael told William of how he learned to play the lyre. He had traveled all the way to Anvard in Archenland, and picked up both the instrument and several songs along the journey. The words were slow and deep, soft and ponderous, and perfect for William's countenance as his leaves fell and the ground grew harder. Michael sat beneath William's branches for much of that winter, playing him songs on the lyre and listening as William sang along as best he could, with branches stiffening under frost.
Satyrs are certainly not a sedentary race, but perhaps Michael would have been better off born a naiad for all the waterways he frequents - he has put his hooves in the River Shribble, and has crossed the Fords of Beruna, and has even seen the castle overlooking the beaches at Cair Paravel - though, perhaps, a naiad would have more trouble playing his beloved lyre so beautifully with watery fingers. Michael travels often, but he always returns eventually to William with new stories, new adventures, new tales to tell. He brings new songs with him, upon his returns to William's grove, and takes William's verses, those songs the two of them have made together over long winters' months, with him when he leaves again. And one day, Michael is going to meet the great Aslan himself, and he will come home to tell William all about it in the most wonderful story of all.