You Were There

In which Haft reflects on a single moment that casts the last fourteen years in a different light

This is not a log, just him thinking after his talk with Lanisen in the tavern.

Haft stands on the Inner Wall Walk beneath the clear night sky.  His arms are folded as he rests them on the battlement.

And he remembers.

He remembers fourteen years of bitterness, raging against himself, against everyone around him.  Fourteen years of one-sided shouting matches against an Emperor he couldn’t bring himself to wholly forsake.

He remembers visiting the Stone Table, the memory of Aslan’s sacrifice still fresh on everyone’s lips, searching for a peace he wouldn’t allow himself to feel.  And going back after that, many times.

So much guilt and pain, only to be told by the man he respected most in all the world that he had been forgiven, forgiven years ago…that all his years of exile were pointless.

And I couldn’t understand why You would do this.

And then Lanisen had said the boys were lucky not to have died in the battle.

And he remembers standing over a fallen boy on the battlefield, felling a Calormene, two…more..?

And I thought it was Corin.

And because of his guilt, the shame he had nurtured those fourteen years, he’d been watching for the boy from the battle’s start.  Had listened for word of Corin every time he ventured to Sted Cair.  Had always known that he would put himself between Lune’s child and any danger.  Because he had failed before.

And because he was a foot soldier, and not the Captain he might have become had his career continued undeterred, he had the liberty to turn aside and do just that, where officers had to be concerned with directing every soldier under their command who was still standing and able to fight.  Peridan couldn’t have abandoned his duty in order to defend the boy…Lune could not.

And because he had arrived with the Narnians, he was standing on the right side of the field.  Had he been inside Anvard, defending it with his countrymen…there would have been no one.  No one to protect Cor.

In that one instant You put me exactly where I needed to be.  I was there.

Every day of pain, every moment of guilt, every time he raged…

You were there.

And tears flow down his cheeks.

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