“I hope no one who…

"I hope no one who reads this book has been quite as miserable as Susan and Lucy were that night; but if you have been -- if you've been up all night and cried till you have no more tears left in you -- you will know that there comes in the end a sort of quietness. You feel as if nothing was ever going to happen again. At any rate that was how it felt to these two. Hours and hours seemed to go by in this dead calm, and they hardly noticed that they were getting colder and colder. But at last Lucy noticed two other things. One was that the sky on the East side of the hill was a little less dark than it had been an hour ago. The other was some tiny movement going on in the grass at her feet...

It was quite definitely lighter by now. Each of the girls noticed for the first time the white face of the other. They could see the mice nibbling away; dozen and dozens, even hundreds, of little field mice. And at last, one by one, the ropes were all gnawed through...

In the wood behind them a bird gave a chuckling sound. It had been so still for hours and hours that it startled them. Then another bird answered it. Soon there were birds singing all over the place....

Then at last, as they stood for a moment looking out towards the sea and Cair Paravel (which they could now just make out) the red turned to gold along the line where the sea and the sky met and very slowly up came the edge of the sun. At that moment they heard from behind them a loud noise -- a great cracking, deafening noise as if a giant had broken a giant's plate.

'What's that?' said Lucy, clutching Susan's arm.

'I -- I feel afraid to turn around,' said Susan; 'something awful is happening.'

'They're doing something worse to him,' said Lucy. 'Come on!' And she turned, pulling Susan round with her.

The rising of the sun had made everything look so different -- all the colours and shadows were changed -- that for a moment they didn't see the important thing. Then they did. The Stone Table was broken into two pieces by a great crack that ran down from it end to end; and there was no Aslan.

'Oh, oh, oh!' cried the two girls rushing back to the Table.

'Oh, it's too bad,' sobbed Lucy; 'they might have left the body alone.'

'Who's done it?' cried Susan. 'What does it mean? Is it more magic?'

'Yes!' said a great voice behind their backs. 'It is more magic.' They looked round. There, shining in the sunrise, larger than they had seen him before, shaking his mane (for it had apparently grown again) stood Aslan himself...

'Oh, you're real, you're real! Oh, Aslan!" cried Lucy and both girls flung themselves upon him and covered him with kisses.

'But what does it all mean?' asked Susan when they were somewhat calmer.

'It means,' said Aslan, 'that though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know. Her knowledge goes back only to the dawn of Time. But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and the darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation. She would have known that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor's stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards. And now -- '

'Oh yes. Now?' said Lucy jumping up and clapping her hands.

'Oh, children,' said the Lion, 'I feel my strength coming back to me. Oh, children, catch me if you can!' He stood for a second, his eyes very bright, his limbs quivering, lashing himself with his tail. Then he made a leap high over their heads and landed on the other side of the Table. Laughing, though she didn't know why, Lucy scrambled over it to reach him. Aslan leaped again. A mad chase began..."

-- C.S. Lewis, _The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe_

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