lady_songsmith: owl (golden1)
[personal profile] lady_songsmith
In between trying to sleep off my cold today I wrote this. Why? I don't know, it was just there. Unbetaed.

Need to Hear

He knows, from the moment he sees them crumpled before the wardrobe, with a look in their eyes that any soldier, doctor, or priest would know. There is a look people have when their world has been shaken to its root and all they knew has to be reordered. And perhaps the children of bombed London know that look, but Digory does not think anything so mundane has disordered his houseguests.

He offers his hand to the girls with a slight bow, the old Victorian courtesy that he hardly uses anymore, except with the grand old dames of Society, and then only when the university or Polly’s beloved zoo needs funding. He escorts them all to his study, nevermind how it will shock Mrs. Macready, and sends Margaret for a tea tray, with the good china. “Five cups?” she asks dubiously, eyeing the littlest ones, and “Five,” he replies, firmly.

He pours them tea and makes no demands of speech beyond the polite murmurs of ‘cream?’ and ‘sugar?’ — there are times to ignore rationing, and this is one of them — and sits quietly, waiting for them to come back to the here and now as gently as they can.

They look to him for answers, and what is he to tell them? His own adventure was a brief candle, a weekend’s outing. What gives him the right to counsel men and women who have lived a lifetime and been returned to childhood? Fumbling for words, he tells them the best things he can think of, half comforting platitude and half advice for a world that he knows is not kind to the exceptional ones. Of course you will go back. Of course there is a reason. But you must not dwell on it. You must live in the now.

It is what they need to hear, he tells himself, and wonders if he believes it any more than they do.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-10-19 11:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This is lovely. I like it when the whole "Wow, that was quite an adventure! Haha!" aspect is left out when the children tumble out. This is scary stuff, reverting backwards like that, and it's fantastic that he has the insight (and respect) to be gentle with them as they recover.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-10-20 12:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This is lovely; I think it's actually all the better for being rough. It's the perfect way to deal with them, and I like that you avoid either too much understanding on his part or too much dismissal of the difficulties they would face.


(no subject)

Date: 2011-10-20 12:16 am (UTC)
ext_793005: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
So lovely. I can see Digory acting just this way, trying to be so gentle with them even when he isn't sure what the best advice would be. And I agree with Metonomia; I think it is all the better for being rough - surely it's just how all of their minds would feel, too, rough and tumbled and suddenly disordered and painful.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-10-20 12:31 am (UTC)
ext_418583: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Oh Digory. He is so sensitive and terrific here.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-10-20 01:44 am (UTC)
autumnia: The apple orchard in Cair Paravel (Pevensies (at the Cair))
From: [personal profile] autumnia
How wonderful and a little sad this was. Digory can see and he simply knows. The little comfort with the tea and just being there to listen to them was certainly helpful and lovely. He too had been there before, and he's doing his best to ease the transition for the children back to war torn England.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-10-21 02:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Excellent! Reading this makes me wonder why I've never seen anyone really explore Digory's side of that scene before! It's one of those scenes that suddenly seemed a lot more worthy of attention as soon as you got to Book Six (The Magician's Nephew- I refuse to acknowledge the re-ordering as even the narration completely fails to make sense if you do that). At what point did Digory tell them all what really happened to him and introduce them to Polly (who probably didn't even exist in Lewis's head when he wrote LWW).


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