DISCLAIMER: If you recognize it, I don't own it. And in this case, even if you don't recognize it.
The other great hall had no ceiling. Instead, it ended in a dark blue field of sky. Hundreds of stars dotted its surface, and their gentle glow twinkled down on the room as the dome slowly turned.
Anna stared up at it, eyes wide and mouth gaping. "This is amazing!"
The Other Elsa smiled at her joy. "Watch this," she said, rubbing her fingers together. Anna gasped as blue sparks of light floated up from the girl's hands. She squeezed them together, and they formed a small, sparkling snowball. "Ready?"
"I've been ready!"
The Other Elsa — the better Elsa — threw the snowball into the air, where it burst into a myriad of flakes that rained down on the laughing sisters.
They rolled the balls for the snowman together, stacking them atop one another with care. It was as tall as Anna when they finished. The Other Elsa shoved two sticks into its sides, a carrot on its face and a pair of black buttons as the finishing touch. Anna wasn't sure where she'd gotten them, but she couldn't bring herself to care. "Oh, Elsa, he's perfect!"
"Not quite." The Other Elsa carved out a mouth for the snowman, then snapped her fingers. Their sagging creation jerked upright and waved its brown arms. "Hi, I'm Olaf!" it said. "And I like warm hugs! I love you, Anna!"
Anna shrieked at first, then laughed. "I love you too, Olaf!"
"Let's go skating!"
"But there's no ice."
The Other Elsa stomped her foot on the floor. From it shot a sheet of thin ice that covered the whole ground and sent Anna sliding. "Now we can!" she said, chasing after her. She helped Anna regain her balance, then pushed her back towards Olaf. The snowman caught her, and they went dancing around the hall as a gust of arctic wind from Elsa's hands blew them along.
Directing her attention to a corner of the room, the Other Elsa formed a tall pile of snow. "Jump, Anna! I'll catch you!"
Anna looked between her and it hesitantly. "Are you sure?"
"Of course," said the Other Elsa. "I won't let you fall. I promise."
Anna took a step forward, then backed away. "I'd...I'd rather see what else you can do."
As it turned out, she could get them into the other kitchen and prepare them a feast of chocolate for a picnic on the roof. Then they went tearing up and down the halls on their bicycle, wielding swords and not caring what they ran into. She froze the other nanny's behind and the other tutor's tea, earning a round of applause from Anna. "My Elsa wouldn't do that even if she could!"
"What else wouldn't your Elsa do?"
"All of this. Everything you've done for me." Anna flopped onto her bed, closed her eyes and sighed happily. "I wish I didn't have to wake up…"
The Other Elsa leaned over her. "You don't have to," she whispered.
Anna didn't seem to understand, though. She simply yawned and rolled over. "We'll talk about it tomorrow, okay?"
"...If that's what you want, Anna."
She yawned again, slipping deeper into sleep. "I can't wait to tell everyone about this…"
The Other Elsa draped a blanket over her and smiled. "See you soon."
The sunlight streaming through the curtains roused Anna from her slumber. "You up, Other Elsa? So what are we gonna — " She stopped as she saw the empty space across from her bed. Getting up, she ran out her door and down to the great hall. Same old ceiling, no trace of snow to be seen.
"Princess Anna?" Kai was already there, dusting the pair of thrones. "Why are you up so early, my dear?"
"I had the most amazing adventure last night, Kai! The mice led me into the library and there was a magic door under the rug and it took me to this other place that was like the palace but it wasn't…"
She chattered on, going straight through her morning wash and not stopping when she got to the breakfast table. "The Other Elsa's a lot more fun than you," she told her sister as she stuffed her face. "She has snow powers! And she built a snowman with me!"
"Anna," her father said, "it was only a dream."
"No, it wasn't! I can prove it! She leapt from her chair and scampered off towards the library, her parents reluctantly following. Throwing open the doors, she immediately ran to the rug and tossed it up. "See? Here's the…"
The door was gone.
"That's quite enough nonsense for one day, Anna," her mother said as she turned to leave.
"B-But it was right here yesterday!"
"It must have been part of you dream," her father said. "There's no meaning in it."
Yes, there is. I know it was real, Anna thought as she lay on her bed later that day. I'll find a way back tonight.
She felt next to her for her doll, and then felt around again. "Little me?" she asked, sitting up. She lifted up her pillows, pulled back her covers, opened every drawer in her room and tossed their contents to the floor.
Gerda opened her door. "Are you alright, Princess?"
"Have you seen my doll, Gerda?" she asked urgently. "The new one?"
"No, I haven't. We can get you another if you've lost it, I'm sure."
"I don't want another one."
"Very well. Good day." With a polite nod, Gerda shut the door and left Anna with nothing to do but sink to the floor and pout.
The old woman held the bundle closer to her side as she walked towards the next wing of the castle. Her head kept turning back to ensure that Anna was not following her. When she reached the white door, she knocked quietly. "Princess Elsa?"
The door cracked inward, revealing the older girl's peering eyes. "Did you get it? Is she watching?"
Gerda handed her the bundle. "She suspects nothing. Yet."
"Maybe this will help, then."
"Your Highness, are you quite sure about this?"
"Yes, Gerda. I've looked in all the old books. I have to do this." She began to shut the door. "Thank you, Gerda."
"You're welcome, Your Highness." When the door closed, she walked away as slowly as she could.
Elsa undid the bundle, and out came Anna's doll. Her hands clenched into fists as she picked it up and stared at it. "I know what you are," she hissed through angry tears. "I know what you are, and I'm not letting you take her."
Digging her fingers beneath the buttons, she ripped them out and threw them in her fireplace. The rest of the doll followed. Taking a match from a drawer, Elsa struck it and held the flame to them. Once they were ablaze, she sat down and watched as they crumbled to ash.
On the other end of the castle, Anna suddenly stiffened. Her eyes rolled back into her head, and she slumped backwards as the spell lifted. The memories flew from her mind, leaving her with only the flashes of what she thought might have been.
"You're gonna be okay, Anna," Elsa whispered. "You're gonna be okay…"
She hissed and spat as she clutched the stump where her right hand had been. "You cheating little brat!" One had been quite enough, but two in a row was unbearable.
Her stomach growling, she turned to the prisoner. "What remains of your soul?"
"Hardly enough for your breakfast, I should think." He groaned in pain as she sucked up more of it, drop by drop. "...Told you."
"You wish for your freedom, do you not?"
"Then bring me this girl."
"Someone special in mind this time, hmmm?"
She looked back at Elsa. "This one is different. She is unnatural, I can sense it. I don't care how you lure her or how long you take, but I want her here alive and safe."
"In your domain, madam? I can't guarantee either."
"Bring her to the throne and you shall be returned to your own world."
He bowed his head, for he could move nothing else. "Whatever you say, madam."
She smiled. "And Maxwell? Make sure she doesn't run into any of your playthings when she gets here."
At her feet, the rats danced and sang. "We have eyes, and we have nerveses. We have tails. We have teeth. She will get what she deserveses, when we rise from underneath."
To Be Continued
I plan to finish my other Frozen short story before I start on the follow-up to this, but I'll get it started soon enough. The carnival ofhorror has only just begun, I assure you.