In the interest of procrastinating cleaning, folding laundry, and packing, I am reading genderflip meta -- specifically, on girl!Daniel Jackson from SG-1 and how his/her upbringing would have been influenced based on the time s/he grew up.
Obviously, as the chick who's written 50K+ of Peta Pevensie, this gets me thinking.
The thinking would be working somewhat better if I knew something more about how a teenage girl in 1930s England (before being evacuated) would have been raised. Especially as the oldest of four siblings.
I can extrapolate that Edmund, as the only boy, might have had more responsibility; I can also extrapolate that Peta was a hell of a lot more aggressive than Peter, and that she was also less willing to fit into your basic nice English schoolgirl niche, and that therefore she may have been a little bit (or a lot) of a tomboy before Narnia. She was probably a lot more isolated than Peter and she was probably a troublemaker, and she wasn't as close to her siblings even after Narnia. But
getting into Narnia was probably even more of a lock into a key situation than for Peter: for the first time ever, she fit
. (She also had a much toughter time being taken seriously in Narnia, so she has a lot of issues that are tied up in her gender, and also the fact that her siblings are very literally her second-in-commands; she says to Caspian that, "I very seldom trust my siblings
with Narnia," which is something Peter would never say.)
But, in other words, I'm wondering just how
screwed up Peta would have been before Narnia, as a fourteen, fifteen year old tomboy in WWII London, and why and how she would have become the kickass warrior, general, and High Queen that she is in Be Like Water. (And oh, lordy, but does she ever have issues in Water. I didn't actually figure this out until I was picking at the scene that immediately follows the last scene I wrote in NaNo, the one where Peta and Lucy scream at each other about Narnia and Aslan and responsibility. And she had issues before Narnia, she had issues during Narnia, and she had issues post-Narnia.)
Also, I know that this post won't make much sense until Be Like Water is actually completed and posted (I have dreams about this. Someday, oh, someday). But, well. *flaps hands*
Anyway, this came out of one of the last things I wrote in Water, where Peta and Caspian are talking and he asks her what she was like before Narnia.
He hesitates before he actually says it, but says it anyway. “What were you like? Before Narnia.”ETA:
She winces, then raises a hand to her face, pinching the bridge of her nose between two fingers. After a moment she lets her hand fall back down to her lap and turns to look him in the eye. “I was a fuck-up,” she says.
“I’m sure you weren’t –” Caspian begins, automatically.
“No, I was a fuck-up,” Peta says. “I was a bad sister, I was a bad daughter, I wasn’t much fun to be around – I think there was a pool going on whether I’d get myself killed, arrested, or knocked up first. There probably still is, actually. The only thing that changed when I got back was that I actually had a clue how to fight, and that I could take on boys older than me and win. That doesn’t do much for a girl’s reputation back in England.” She grins a little, humorless. “Unless you happen to be one of the boys.”
Though to be fair, I don't know how much of this comes from writing juvenile delinquent!Peter with lassiterfics