As soon as the wood was silent again Susan and Lucy crept out into the open hill-top. The moon was getting low and thin clouds were passing across her, but still they could see the shape of the great Lion lying dead in his bonds. And down they both knelt in the wet grass and kissed his cold face and stroked his beautiful fur—what was left of it—and cried till they could cry no more....
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....
It was quite definitely early morning now, not late night. “I’m so cold,” said Lucy.
“So am I,” said Susan. “Let’s walk about a bit.” They walked to and fro more times than they could count between the dead Aslan and the Eastern ridge, trying to keep warm; and oh, how tired their legs felt.... 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 round,” 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 it from 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, Aslan!” cried both the children, staring up at him, almost as much frightened as they were glad.
“Aren’t you dead then, dear Aslan?” said Lucy.
“Not now,” said Aslan.
“You’re not—not a—?” asked Susan in a shaky voice. She couldn’t bring herself to say the word ghost.
Aslan stooped his golden head and licked her forehead. The warmth of his breath and a rich sort of smell that seemed to hang about his hair came all over her.
“Do I look it?” he said.
“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 has committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the Table would crack an Death itself would start working backwards. And now—”
“Oh yes. Now?” said Lucy jumping up and clapping her hands....
And now,” said Aslan presently, “to business. I feel I am going to roar....
C.S. Lewis, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, Chapter XV: "Deeper Magic from Before the Dawn of Time".