I own neither Harry Potter nor Frozen - just borrowing and mixing together.
"Ma- Elsa, you said magic comes in pairs; does Anna have powers too?"
Elsa looked at Harry, startled by the question. She grimaced as she answered.
"I suppose she should, given my powers… But - there was a- an accident. When we were younger. I suppose no-one but me really remembers it, now that my parents are gone." Elsa sighed, before continuing.
"I was eight years old, and Anna was five – she knew that I could make snow, and thought it was the coolest thing ever. One night, I covered the ballroom with snow and ice. It was the first time we built Olaf, you know. But- she was struck by my powers."
"Magic ice - it has a way of spreading through someone's body. Anna was ice-cold in moments. My father rushed us out of the castle in the middle of the night and we travelled into the mountains. It took our fastest horse hours to get us to Valley of the Living Rock – home of the trolls."
"Trolls? Uh, are we talking big, walking mountains of muscle and stupidity?" Harry frowned, not sure why anyone would seek out Mountain trolls. Of course, they might be different in this world – but still, how different could they be?
"What? No, no – these trolls are short, and round – basically living rocks. What trolls have you heard of?" Elsa asked, pausing from her story to try and figure out what Harry was talking about.
"Uh, big ones. Really big, and mean." Harry remembered his first year, and winced. "These ones aren't, then?
"Well… no. The trolls from the Valley are generally kind and wise beings. We took Anna to them; Papa knew that they were the only people with any knowledge of magic left, though theirs is different to mine. Their leader helped fix Anna, but in the process took her memories of magic – perhaps even her capability for magic."
"He also warned me about controlling my powers; it was a harsh warning, but I suppose it did work for over a decade. It was after that when Papa closed the castle gates."
"I'm sorry, Elsa." Harry didn't know what to say, but tried to comfort her anyway. He then started, remembering part of her story.
"Wait – I can read runes! I could help!"
Elsa froze on her chair, before carefully looking at Harry.
"You can read this?" Her voice had an odd tone of disbelief to it, as if daring Harry to answer her wrongly.
"Aye, I can. I learnt it many years ago, but I can read it slowly. I was reading when you found me." Harry blushed, remembering that he had been there without permission.
"Could - could you teach me?" Elsa's voice was coloured with hope; even having learnt to control the ice, her families story – her heritage – was buried in these books.
Harry smiled; despite the fact that he couldn't admit it to himself, he was beginning to like the Queen (he was much too old to have a 'crush'). He certainly didn't mind the idea of spending time with Elsa.
"Of course I can! It might take me a bit to remember it all, but earlier I was getting the gist of what it said."
"Thank you!" Elsa flew off her chair and hugged Harry before she could catch herself. Harry hesitated, but hugged her back gently.
Harry and Elsa had spent several hours hidden away in the library, trying to scratch the surface of what was concealed within the books there. Learning runes wasn't as hard as it might have been – when Harry had learnt to read Elder Futhark, it was in relation to Old Norse. Here though it appeared to be used instead for writing down the spoken language, instead of being in another language as well.
When Harry had first arrived to this world, he wondered at how he could understand everyone, and they him – it seemed unlikely that the alternate universe used modern Queen's English. It was one of the many questions he had never found an answer to.
A delicate yawn broke the quiet, startling Harry out of the book he was
"Shush, you. I'm tired!" Elsa berated Harry as he tried to hold back a chuckle.
"It is late, I guess. When did you come and find me?"
"Some time after sundown… and we've been here for ages!"
"Yeah… I forgot about the time." Harry shrugged and ran a hand through his hair distractedly.
"Well, I –"
"I might –" Harry and Elsa both started, and stopped, looking at each other.
"You first." Harry said.
"I should probably go – it's late."
"Yeah…" Harry said, looking down at his hands. He looked up, surprised as Elsa touched his arm.
"Thank you, Harry," Elsa said warmly, "I know you don't know me that well – but thank you. This means a lot to me."
Looking up, Harry nodded – he wasn't sure he could trust himself to string a coherent and suave sentence together. Weariness combined with the first real interest in a girl for years would doubtless have him say something he'd regret.
"Perhaps you could accompany me so far as my room?" Elsa offered, sharing a small smile with Harry – as if she knew something he didn't. "I'm sure the guards will keep the castle safe… but you never know."
"Sure, Elsa. Let me just-" Harry stretched, letting off a string of 'cracks!' as his back realigned. Tired he may be, but he wasn't silly enough to turn down Elsa's request. He relaxed and stood up, offering her his arm.
"May I, Your Majesty?"
"Of course." Elsa's small smile bloomed, confirming for Harry that he'd done the right thing.
It was a short walk out of the hidden library room, and from there to the hall. It took Elsa bare moments to cool the lit torches enough to extinguish them, rather than leaving them to burn.
The last few hours seemed to pass in a haze – it was a brand new experience for Elsa. Until now, Anna had been the only person that she had really told anything about her powers – but when Elsa had found Harry there, in that secret room – everything just seemed to pour out. Harry had sat there, listening. Letting it out was a strange catharsis; she felt numb as memories she had locked away surged back, but lighter as they lost their edge.
Then he had dropped that bombshell on her; Harry could read the runes that had frustrated her for years on end! It sounded almost too good to be true. It hadn't taken him long to prove it, though – Harry had taken a piece of paper and translated a page out of a book for her. Like he had said, it didn't happen quickly but she could tell he was getting quicker as the memories came back to him.
During the hours that followed Harry had started teaching her how to read the runes – he had also written out the direct translations of each character. They had spent those hours huddled together over the ancient books, slowly rediscovering the hidden history of Arendelle's royal line. They had yet to find anything relating to her ice powers, but it was clear that magic had permeated her ancestor's lives in a way that she recognized.
It was strange having someone so receptive to her magic; most of her life, those that had discovered it had instantly associated it with danger, and evil. Harry, on the other, seemed to be filled with a constant sense of wonder and deep interest. It had been years since anyone had regarded her like that – probably Anna, come to think of it, from before… it.
A yawn escaping broke her train of thought, prompting a chuckle from Harry. She tried to look stern as she told him off, but the smile gracing her face told another story.
Harry had an unique smile, Elsa thought – it was part rakish, part demure, and suited him wonderfully. He had moments when he seemed so unsure of how to behave around her, and others where he forgot that attitude entirely! It was confusing, how he moved from one extreme to the other – fortunately for her, Harry seemed to be relaxing around her in general.
On the whole, Arendelle was fairly laid back, and that generally extended to their treatment of royalty (or so it seemed – it had only been a couple weeks) – polite and respectful, but not overly formal and reserved. Perhaps Harry was just unused to… her?
"Thank you, Harry," Elsa smiled, trying to communicate just how much his help meant to her, "I know you don't know me that well – but thank you. This means a lot to me."
Harry nodded to her, looking as if he wanted to say something, but couldn't find the words – the light pink that dusted his cheeks instead was adorable, but gave Elsa a sudden flash of insight into what might be behind Harry's behaviour…
"Perhaps you could accompany me so far as my room?" Elsa said, mentally crossing her fingers – maybe! "I'm sure the guards will keep the castle safe… but you never know."
"Sure, Elsa. Let me just –" Harry stood, stretching his back.
"May I, Your Majesty?"
"Of course." Elsa's unconscious smile grew as she took the offered arm, letting Harry lead her out of the library.
She barely even noticed the effort it took to snuff the torches as they left.
Harry woke up the next morning to hurried knocking on his door, as well as someone calling his name.
"Harry! Are you up?! Wake up!"
Harry groaned and rolled over, hoping that if he ignored the voice for long enough, the noise would stop.
"Harry! Get up! Ivar wants you out!" Leif was starting to sound desperate. "Something's happened!"
"Hang on, hang on…" Harry grumbled, rolling out of bed reluctantly. He stumbled to the door, not bothering to throw on a shirt.
"What's wrong? It's barely daylight!" Harry wasn't actually sure what time it was, but it certainly felt like he'd barely slept.
"-What? It's like 10 in the morning!" Leif protested, before rushing on, "Never mind – Ivar sent me to get you. Something's happened to the Princess, and the Queen's freaking out, and-"
"What?! No - just give me a moment to dress." Harry turned around and started grabbing clothes, ignoring the open door and Leif.
It only took a couple minutes to find enough clothing to wear, another to put it all on and Harry was moving back towards the hall. He wasn't quite in full regalia, but looked the part of a guard. The sword strapped to his waist certainly helped that impression.
"Ivar is with the Queen and Princess, up on their floor." Leif said, continuing when Harry looked at him in askance. "I don't know much, but Kristoff and Gerda went looking for Anna when she didn't show for breakfast. Gerda came back panicked, looking for Kai and Elsa."
"Nothing on what actually happened?" Harry enquired as they quickly climbed the stairs.
"No, but Kai sent someone to prepare horses, and get Kristoff's reindeer." Leif was full of nervous energy, dancing from side to side as they walked.
"Wha- you know what, I won't even ask. Is this the room?" Harry asked as they approached a door slightly ajar.
"Yes, this is it. Uh… do you want me to stay out here, or do something?"
Harry paused, considering the question – it was an unusually insightful thought from a young man.
"Yes. Go to the kitchens; ask them to prepare a travel pack for several people. If horses are being prepared, someone is travelling. Also, ask around the castle and get some light supplies to go as well – blankets, flint, water flasks, etc. Once you've done that, put the packs on the horses being prepared."
Harry thought for a moment, and nodded sharply at Leif. The young guard scampered to do as asked. Harry turned to the door and knocked.
"Come in." Ivar's voice emanated from inside the room.
Harry pushed in, gazing around the room and taking as much in as he could. Elsa, Kai and Ivar were standing together in a corner, talking urgently. Kristoff, Gerda and Olaf were all standing by the bed, which contained Anna.
Anna looked terrible – her normally bright eyes looked tired and haunted, sunk into her face. She looked weak and sick, wrapped up in an enormous number of blankets. Oddly enough, her hair had changed colour somewhat – white, as if it was frosted overnight. Harry's entrance barely garnered a glance, though he could see her trying to acknowledge him.
"Your-" Harry started, before being interrupted.
"Enough, Harry. There's been – an issue." Elsa said, looking harried and impatient, though not at him. Her late night was obvious in the deep circles under her eyes, undoubtedly exacerbated by this morning's trouble.
"Anna's become sick – I don't know what you heard about the Great Freeze, but something like this happened to her during it."
"You mean exactly like this!" Kristoff interrupted, before restraining himself. "Sorry, that was out of line. I'm just worried…"
"We all are – we just need to keep tempers in check." Kai spoke up – it sounded like he had been peace keeping for some time. He seemed unaffected by the glares he received from the pair, and continued.
"Anna's condition was caused last time by an incident involving Elsa's powers – she was thought to be cured, but it may be that it has come back."
"There was also the time this happened when we were kids." Elsa said, looking at Harry.
"When your father took you to see the trolls?" Elsa nodded.
"Kristoff also took Anna to the trolls when this happened a few weeks ago, and though they couldn't help her, they knew what to do. We think – that is, Kristoff – that Anna should be brought to them again." Elsa looked conflicted. "I want Anna to get better, so she's going."
"…What's the issue then?"
"I'm going with them this time." Elsa said, looking Harry in the eye and daring him to contradict her.
"Oh." That was why he was brought up before they left. Kai and Ivar undoubtedly wanted him to side with them and argue against Elsa leaving. Elsa and Kristoff, on the other hand, looked ready to steamroll Harry if he sided against them. Gerda was just standing there, alternatively twisting her hands in anxiety and fussing over Anna.
"Kai, Ivar – it's clear that Anna is in a terrible condition, and if the trolls are the best bet for helping her, she should be on her way." Harry paused, choosing his words carefully, "Whilst I think Elsa staying would be better, there's no way we can force her, and it will work out better if she goes prepared."
Elsa's glare lessened greatly after Harry finished, and Kristoff looked somewhat relieved. Ivar and Kai both frowned, but didn't argue any further.
"How were you planning on taking Anna? A carriage will take much too long to get there…"
"I can carry her – I did on the way here last time." Kristoff said, and started gathering Anna up in the blankets.
"Whoa – not yet! Kristoff, head back to your room, gather what you might need first. You too, Elsa. Travelling clothes. Leif is already getting supplies ready, he'll have them on the horses by the time you leave." Harry reeled off, the role of leader seeming to slip back instinctively.
Kai nodded, seeing the sense in Harry's words.
"If I may, I suggest you go too, Harry. Having a guard go along would ease my concerns greatly – and I doubt the journey is short. Kristoff will need time to rest."
"Agreed." Elsa nodded, before leaving the room with Kristoff.
"Gerda? While I go and get my stuff, can you gather some things for Anna? I'll bring a really warm blanket that I've got. Ivar – my horse is at the garrison in town. If he could be brought up to the castle?"
Harry left, rushing back to his room. Being mostly packed from the move (was that only yesterday?) meant that it didn't take long for him to ready a bag.
All over the castle, urgent preparations were being made.
Apologies for the long wait to get this chapter out - life has its ways of interfering. Also, the last part of this chapter kept giving me issues - this is the version I was happiest with.