Title: Autumn Feast Fandom: Narnia Author: devilinthedetails Genre: Friendship; General Characters: Lucy; Mr. Tumnus. Summary: Lucy celebrates an autumn feast with fauns for the first time since the defeat of the White Witch. Author's Note: Written for the Autumn Bingo Challenge. The words I chose were: Harvest Moon+Chill in the Air+Feast+Chestnuts+Cornucopia. Autumn Feast In the middle of a forest glade, Lucy sat beneath a harvest moon that shone silver through a canopy of changing leaves, enjoying the autumn feast the fauns had laid out on a long, makeshift wooden table whose legs groaned but didn’t give way under the weight of a meal that testified to the season’s generous bounty. Delighting her eyes and tongue were tureens of hearty rabbit stew flavored with wild mushrooms and chestnuts, platters of venison seasoned with crushed juniper berries and sweet marjoram, bowls overflowing with buttered brussel sprouts and green beans, statues shaped from tarts of pear and apple, and, at pride of place in the center of the table, a cornucopia teeming with harvest fruits: figs, pomegranates, and quinces. Of course the rabbit stew and venison had not come from the Talking variety of Beasts that existed in Narnia as they did not in England for those Talking Beasts had a special sentience that had been granted to them along with speech when Aslan created Narnia, and every true citizen of Narnia knew in blood and bone that it would be a crime against Aslan and the nature of Talking Beasts to hunt one and use it as a course in a feast. Such a feast would indeed ruin any feast at which it was served, turning it from a joyful celebration to a sorrowful affair in one fell swoop. With Mr. Tumnus, the faun who had first introduced her to the wonders and the griefs of Narnia beside her, Lucy felt peaceful in the moonlight and at no risk of that happening. It had been Mr. Tumnus who had invited her to this harvest feast of the fauns. There was a chill–a crispness in the air that reminded Lucy of the refreshing crunch of sinking her teeth into an apple–that promised a winter that, by the grace of Aslan, would last only months and not a hundred years. Mr. Tumnus, an orange woolen scarf that made Lucy warm just gazing upon it knotted around his neck, must have been thinking along the same lines as her for he remarked, “Fauns have an autumn feast to celebrate the harvest at the end of every harvest season. We have not had such a feast, such an autumn, or such a harvest in a hundred years. When last we had it, it was in my great-great-grandfather’s time when the dreaded White Witch’s winter first fell upon us and we did not yet know that winter wasn’t the natural progression of the season but a wicked magic cast by her to destroy the natural order of time and seasons.” Lucy felt her spine shiver with a chill that had nothing to do with the autumn air and everything to do with remembered evil when Mr Tumnus spoke the White Witch’s name. Mr. Tumnus must have noticed her reaction for he spun the conversation back around to pleasantness again as he finished his observation, “We celebrated in ignorance then, but now we rejoice in the knowledge that her reign of terror in Narnia is over and the proper order of the seasons has been restored.” He lifted his chalice to her in a toast. “There has been a restoration to hope and glory in Narnia because of you and your siblings, Your Majesty.” Lucy still had to fight the urge to glance around in astonishment–trying to figure out whom the speaker was truly addressing because it couldn’t possibly have been her–whenever anyone called her by that exalted title, but she raised her own goblet to him in an echo of his toast to her. “And because of you, Mr. Tumnus.” “Only because you reminded me of what it was to have the innocent faith and hope of a child.” Mr. Tumnus smiled at her, and there was something sad as well as happy in his eyes as he looked at her under silver moon and stars. “You were the one who first introduced me to the joys of Narnia.” Lucy returned his smile though there was less sorrow in hers. “I’m honored to be your friend.” Indeed, she now felt warm and full inside, not from food, but from something more wonderful and enjoying, an indestructible friendship that could survive and forgive even the most terrible betrayal because that was faith, and hope, and innocence all wrapped into one.