AN:Thanks to jay357 for correcting all the spelling and grammar mistakes in that chapter. The story is based on a concept art you can find on my profile page.
In this story, the title of every chapter is the title of a song (I'll always write the author of the song next to the title).
Also, the story seems going fast because of this chapter, but I insist in telling it's a prologue. The later chapter will be a slower pace.
Disclaimer: Frozen belong to Disney (obviously), the OCs are mine however. It's an Elsanna story, so if you don't like it don't read it... I'm even surprised that you clicked on the link. You have been warned!
Prologue – Karma (by Bump Of Chicken)
Vlad Thorstein sighed. He wanted to wake up his daughter. But unfortunately, he could not and resumed his task by hammering the white-hot metal on the anvil in a steady rhythm. Being the only blacksmith of Arendelle had its advantages. He usually had a constant number of orders and therefore enough money to feed his family – first him and his wife, then both of them with their daughter, and now only him and their daughter. But it had also its disadvantages as people seemed to think that being the only blacksmith of the kingdom gave him the power to create weapons and tools by magic in no time. More than once, Vlad had ended up being forced to finish several important orders at the same time.
Just like today.
The day should have been easy. He only would have had to deliver a bunch of weapons to the royal guards and two swords to the royal knights. That was all. He had planned to spend the day with his daughter and relax afterwards. But no. There would be no time to relax today as a noble family had come earlier this morning for a service. They had asked him to restore an old sword for tonight. The job was simple enough but time consuming. Because of that he wouldn't be able to deliver the weapons to the royal palace. He needed Anna's help.
"I should have refused." He groaned. "Damn that bag of gold coins"
Vlad was a realistic man. He might be nice and generous but he was no fool. He had a daughter to feed and a workshop to take care of. All of this required money. Even if he knew people would always come to him for reparations and other services, that didn't protect him from a shortage of money. Better safe than sorry. But now he really needed his daughter to wake up.
Vlad sighed in relief this time. But it was cut short when he heard a loud crash on the stairs and his daughter's scream.
He didn't waste any seconds and dropped his tools to help his daughter, fearing the worst. But he stopped dead in his track as he saw a glimpse of strawberry blonde hair at the door. Anna was massaging her head, pain written all over her face.
"Are you alright firefly?" The blacksmith asked, worried.
Anna looked at her father, finally noticing him standing in the center of the room. She smiled, endeared by the nickname her father still used. She wanted to reassure him.
"Don't worry dad. You know how clumsy I am. I just fell down the stairs."
"Are you sure you're alright?"
"Yes dad, I'm fine. You know I have seen worse."
"That's why Anna... Just... Just be careful. Okay? I would never forgive myself if something happened to you."
"I'll be, Dad."
Anna looked at her dad, serious. She knew her mother's death had taken a toll on the family. But it was her father who suffered the most. Ever since that accident, she had tried her best to help him with his job, like her mother had done her.
"So what do you need me to do?" She asked, eager to help.
"I need you to deliver some weapons to the royal guards and knights."
"Royal knights?" Anna was surprised. Her father usually insisted on delivering the swords to the royal knights himself. They were the elite of Arendelle. They took an oath to defend the country against invaders, and to protect the royal family, while the royal guards swore to maintain order and security in the kingdom and the royal palace. The ones who succeeded in becoming royal knights after years of training and a final trial were given a sword during a ceremony to commemorate their newly acquired rank. Vlad Thorstein created all the royal knights' swords. Each of them was specifically designed for its owner. Because of the importance of this ceremony, the blacksmith always insisted on giving the sword to the knight captain, who would perform the ceremony himself. So saying Anna was surprised was an understatement.
"Are you sure dad?" Anna hesitated. "I mean, you can go and I'll stay and continue what you have started…"
"I am restoring an old sword for a customer. You're still too young to do this task alone. I prefer that you do the deliveries firefly. I trust you."
Anna was speechless, disbelief all over her face. She was still processing the words in her head. Her father entrusted her with such an important mission. She was honored by this show of trust. Straightening her body, she looked at her father, determined to make him proud of her.
"I won't disappoint you dad!"
"I'm sure you won't." Vlad only replied, smiling.
"What are you doing here girl?"
Anna turned and gasped. Before her stood a royal knight. He was tall, imposing, and his dark heavy armor didn't make him any less threatening. His dark teal eyes were scrutinizing her, still waiting for an answer.
Anna froze, trying to avoid his gaze.
She had arrived at the royal palace several minutes ago. She hadn't wasted time loading the shipment destined for the royal guards onto her horse, eager to take the deliveries to the castle. She had never visited the place before. At the beginning, she had been too young to come with her parents. Then the king and the queen had decided to close the gates for obscure reasons when she was five. Since then, the visits to the royal palace were forbidden except for deliveries and still, it usually took several minutes of explanation with the guards at the entrance to get access to the castle. After passing the gates, Anna quickly dropped the crate of weapons at the royal guards' barracks, and found her way to the royal knights' one to deliver the soon-to-be royal knights' swords. Their transport had not been easy. One of the swords was a long broadsword. Being 13 years old, Anna was not really tall for her age and so the weapon was much taller than her. She carried it on her shoulder, and the second sword, a rapier – fortunately - was on her belt.
She was clearly not welcome in the royal palace; she noticed the suspicious glares from the guards at the door and in the courtyard. It was preferable to get rid of the swords and leave immediately. However the very idea of leaving had been wiped from her mind when Anna entered the training ground of the Royal Knights' barracks. Sounds of clashing swords, odors of sweat, steel and leather and a courtyard full of armored soldiers; the redhead was in awe.
Since she had started helping her father, Anna had become curious about sword fighting. She wanted to know the mechanics, the technics in sword wielding. Originally she had only intended to learn to help her father with his work. Then after reading several books, she had genuinely became captivated by the subject. However reading books about the different technics of fighting was different from seeing a real fight. Anna had found herself unable to move, admiring the soldiers training, until a hand on her shoulder had caught her attention and she now found herself under a royal knight's gaze, still waiting for her to answer.
"I…" Anna stammered. "I'm Anna… Anna Thorstein."
"Thorstein?" The man asked. "As in Vlad Thorstein?"
"I'm his daughter."
The knight stayed silent, still staring at Anna, who was starting to become uneasy and scared. 'That's it Anna, you are dead.' Suddenly, the man burst out in laughter. The redhead jumped in surprise.
"Ha Vlad, the damn bastard! He never told me his daughter was such a lovely lady."
A slight blush appeared on Anna's cheeks, stumped by the man's behavior. At first glance, the man looked cold and severe. The impressions were accented by the scar across his face and the dark crimson bangs covering his eyes. His eyes. Anna could see them now. They were full of wisdom and kindness. Without realizing it, Anna relaxed. One thing she had learned, when growing up, was to read people. She was sure of one thing. Eyes didn't lie.
"Thank you, Sir…"
"Alex. Alex Renmeyer. Knight Captain of Arendelle." He smiled. "And I think the swords you are holding are for me, aren't they?"
"Ho yes! Indeed." Anna took both the broadsword and the rapier and gave them to the captain, doing a small bow in the process as a sign of respect.
"Perfect as always." Alex grinned, inspecting the swords in his hands. "You can tell your father thank you and good job."
"I won't forget to tell him, Sir."
Anna bowed again and started to turn around to leave, when the same hand on her shoulder stopped her again
"Wait. Not so fast." Alex laughed. "Your father told me you got an interest in sword fighting."
Anna blushed. She never would have thought her father would tell that to the knight captain.
"I do, but…" She started.
"Well, come with me." The captain didn't let the girl finish as he dragged her to the training grounds, where some training dummies were standing. Two people were training next to them. Two women. When they noticed the captain, they stopped and bowed.
"Captain." The taller one spoke.
Anna's eyes widened. Tanned skin? Accent? It was not uncommon to meet foreigners in Arendelle. Sometimes, these people from other countries would settle here and open a shop, enjoying the peaceful and beautiful place. It was rare however for a stranger to be a royal guard, less likely even to be a royal knight. Certain values and practices were still deeply rooted in Arendelle. Forbidding strangers to be a soldier for the royal family for safety was one of them.
"At ease Tian." Alex Renmeyer spoke. The tall soldier stood up straight.
"You too Sophia." The captain sighed, a smile on his face.
The other soldier looked at the captain a smile on her face.
"Of course father."
'Oh' Anna eventually noticed Sophia's dark crimson hair and dark teal eyes. 'She is his daughter'
"This is Anna, Vlad's daughter, the one who is interested in sword fighting." Captain Alex Renmeyer declared.
"But I never used a sword actually; I just read books about it." Anna quickly replied, her cheeks red. 'Don't tell me he will…'
"Your father told me. That's why I'm proposing you to try it right now. Is that okay for you?"
'Oh god! He did.' Anna panicked. "I… I don't know." She stammered. "I don't want to interrupt you in your training…"
"Don't worry about that. Those two are the ones who have their ceremony later. I think they trained enough for today."
Without a word, the captain took a training sword, which was lying on a bench and placed it in Anna's hands.
"Let's begin with the basic moves." He smiled.
Anna took a deep breath. It seemed that she had no other choice but to use the sword in her hands. Not that she didn't like it. In reality, she was thrilled. But she would have preferred a minimum of preparations first, and not practicing in front of everyone. She closed her eyes and calmed herself. She needed to focus. She knew the basic moves by heart, after reading the same books over and over. The training sword was a little bit too big for her, so she held it like a broadsword with two hands.
'Okay Anna. You can do it'
Anna started by counting in her head, trying to find a rhythm. When she was satisfied with the one she had in mind, she started swinging her sword, repeating the same moves she saw in the book. Feeling confident, she moved her feet, balancing her weight to move in rhythm. Eventually she ended up moving in circle, still swinging her sword in different angles to attack and defend, unfazed by the people who were starting to gather around her, curious.
However her performance was cut short when she missed a side step and fell unladylike on the ground. Everyone started to laugh.
'Oh great Anna, you're such a klutz!' The blacksmith's daughter thought, embarrassed. 'No matter what you do, you can't do it right!'
However, the knight captain wasn't laughing, neither Tian nor Sophia. They were staring at her, serious. Eventually Alex helped Anna to stand up.
"Thanks, Sir." Anna whispered.
"Were you saying the truth when you said you never practiced with a sword?" The captain asked bluntly.
"Y…Yes." Anna replied surprised. 'God did she do it wrong?' 'Good job Anna; you embarrassed yourself once more in front of everyone.'
"Do you want to become a royal knight?" Alex continued.
"Your moves were perfect, Anna, if not for this little accident at the end. If I didn't know it was your first time wielding a sword, I would have thought you had already months of training behind you. You have talent Anna. I don't want that talent to go to waste."
"I… I don't know. I never thought about being a royal knight…"
"I know. You prefer helping your father. I understand. You don't have to become a royal knight, but at least come training with us."
"I need to ask my father."
"I'll talk to him. I just want to know if you want to do it."
Anna stared at the knight captain, thinking. It was surreal. She had planned to deliver the swords and leaving just after. She never would have thought of being dragged onto the training grounds to use a sword and being asked to train with the royal knights. But, as crazy as it could be, Anna was excited; even ecstatic. She couldn't deny that she deeply enjoyed the exercise. She had felt free when she had been moving her sword, powerful when she attacked, confident when she defended. She was at peace. Sword fighting was becoming an escape for her. She knew it.
"I want." She said with confidence.
"Tian! No! Stop it" Anna heard Princess Elsa shouting.
"She knows your secret Princess. We must kill her." Tian announced with her light accent.
Anna gulped, the tip of Tian's broadsword on her throat. She had started her training only several weeks ago, and she already found herself in a real mess.
It had taken hours for her father to accept Alex Renmeyer's proposition. At the end her father had agreed on the condition that Anna wouldn't become a royal knight. Anna didn't understand why he had been so vehement about it but she hadn't paid much attention. The beginnings had been difficult. She had been forced to juggle between the smithy and the barracks, and other soldiers had been wary of her presence among them. But she had never given up and eventually everything was going smoothly for her.
One day, after her training, Anna had discovered the entrance of the royal garden. That area was forbidden except for the royal family. Anna knew it. But Anna being Anna, she had opened the gates of the garden and entered, led by mere curiosity. But she hadn't expected to find Princess Elsa of Arendelle having a picnic in the center of the garden. She also hadn't expected the snowflakes coming out of the princess' hands to transform into a little snow fox running around her. She had let out a gasp of surprise, which had alerted the princess. Anna hadn't had the time to explain herself as she had heard footsteps beside her. She had turned and had only had the time to see a blade swinging toward her neck to avoid it by bending backwards. Instinctively, she had grabbed her training sword on her belt to block the second attack that she had known would be coming. However she hadn't expected the force behind it. The violence of the attack had disarmed her and made her fall on her back. She was now at the mercy of Tian's sword.
Anna had learned after the beginning of her training that Tian and Sophia were destined to become Princess Elsa's personal bodyguards after becoming royal knights. They were with the princess all the time, except when their presence was needed to train the new recruits. Even during those trainings, they adapted their schedule so at least one of them was still with the princess. Anna had trained with Tian once. She was sure of one thing. You didn't joke with her. She was the perfect example of someone who respected the rules and leniency was a foreign concept to her. Yet Anna could see a glimpse of compassion in her amber eyes. She just didn't show it really easily. Right now she didn't show it at all.
Anna closed her eyes. 'At least I saw a beautiful lady before dying… Wait… What?'
All of sudden, a cry of pain alerted the redhead, who opened her eyes. Sophia was here. 'Oh thank you god!' The blacksmith's daughter sighed in relief. Sophia was more lenient than her partner. Everyone loved Sophia. She always smiled and was as cheerful as Anna. That's why she was usually the one who trained the new recruits. But her gentle nature was hiding a really perceptive person and sometimes a frightening one, like in this moment. Just now said royal knight was pulling Tian's ears to make her drop her sword.
"Really Tian." She smiled. "You know we mustn't dispute the princess' orders."
"Are you alright?"
Anna turned her head to directly look at mesmerizing blue eyes. She couldn't stop a blush from appearing on her face. She was finally able to take a good look at the princess. Platinum hair pulled back in a bun, fair skin with light freckles on her cheek. The princess was utterly gorgeous.
"Yes." Anna managed.
The princess only smiled and extended her hand to help her stand up.
"I'm sorry for this little accident. Tian is quite overprotective of me." Elsa hesitated.
"No I'm sorry." Anna said in haste. "I shouldn't have been here."
"Indeed." Tian interrupted her, but she was interrupted herself by Sophia who hit her on the head.
"I was just curious and wanted to visit the royal garden." Anna continued. "I didn't think I would find you here. I also never thought you had ice powers."
"About that… It would be nice if you kept that little detail a secret." The princess begged.
"Why? Your power is really wonderful."
"Wonderful but dangerous. I still don't have full control over it. It is for the better that people don't know of my power. Please."
Anna observed Elsa for a moment, noticing the fear in her eyes and the frost on her fingers. The redhead only smiled. "I understand. Your secret is safe with me Princess!"
Elsa smiled in return. "Thanks. It means a lot to me."
Anna felt butterflies in her stomach. She didn't know why but suddenly the princess' smile made her happy. She realized that she would do anything to see this smile on Elsa's face again and again.
Eventually, the older girl invited Anna to have picnic with her. The young trainee couldn't refuse, especially when there was chocolate for dessert. Both of them were under the surveillance of the princess' bodyguards who had been silent the whole time.
"What is it Tian?" Sophia finally noticed the serious look on her partner.
"I fear something may happen to the princess. Thorstein knows too much now. It may be dangerous."
"Let it go Tian. It may be time for the princess to have a friend aside from us. Anna is a sweet girl and a competent soldier. The princess is safe with her."
Tian only stayed silent.
"I love Elsa."
Those were the first words Anna pronounced when she woke up this morning. She had been seeing Elsa in secret for 3 months in the royal garden. After their first encounter, Elsa had asked, unsure, if Anna would like to come back the day after. Anna had gladly accepted. Since then, they had decided to meet every time Anna was free after her training, without anyone knowing about it. Tian and Sophia agreed on staying silent about their secret meetings, realizing how happy it made Elsa to finally be able to talk to someone who was not them. They just insisted on being present during their meetings.
Anna enjoyed her time with the princess. They would laugh about anything they could think of, eat chocolate, talk or stay silent, enjoying each other's presence. Sometimes Anna would train with Tian and Sophia; Elsa watching or training on her own with her power. They were always in the royal garden, their haven. It was after those three months that Anna realized she couldn't stop thinking of Elsa. She would remember her smile, her laugh and even her scent at night. Her dreams were only about the platinum haired girl with striking blue eyes. The redhead realized her feelings for her friend when she dreamed of her naked in bed and moaning Anna's name. When Anna woke up after her sudden discovery, she was scared at first. It was wrong. She was the daughter of a blacksmith, a commoner. Elsa was the princess of Arendelle. The most beautiful and perfect princess she had ever laid eyes upon. For several days, Anna was distant with Elsa. 'It was only a phase.' She thought. Surely the feeling would disappear in time. But it didn't and Anna could see how Elsa was suffering from her sudden distance. It broke Anna's heart as well. The more she was distant, the more it hurt both of them. Eventually Anna couldn't bear it anymore and asked Tian and Sophia for advice. She was scared. Scared that her friends – yes they were her friends now – would shout at her, saying it was wrong, and stop her from seeing the princess again. But no. They only smiled – and Tian shrugged.
"Took you long enough." The tanned woman smirked.
"You knew?" Anna stammered.
"You two were pretty obvious." Sophia answered.
"You agree on that?
"Your life will be difficult. More difficult than ours. You are the daughter of a blacksmith and she is a princess." Sophia continued. "But you are both strong. Take care of her Anna. Elsa needs you. Tian and I both agreed you are the right one for our princess."
Anna couldn't believe her ears. Tian and Sophia, Elsa's most trusted bodyguards and their friends accepted her love for the princess. She smiled. She couldn't deny it anymore. She deeply loved Elsa.
"I don't even know if Elsa loves me back." Anna realized.
Both royal knights laughed.
"You're really oblivious for someone who knows how to read people." Tian responded.
Thus, the day after, Anna found herself beside Elsa in the royal gardens, eating chocolate. The soldier was stressed, not knowing how to initiate the conversation.
"Are you alright Anna? You haven't touched your chocolate." Elsa asked. She was as stressed as her friend. She eventually concluded that the distance between them was due to the fact that Anna didn't want to see her anymore. Elsa didn't want that. But she could do nothing to prevent that and had to accept the truth even if she would be devastated.
"I don't feel like eating today." Anna smiled, still uneasy.
"I want to tell you something."
"You don't want to be friends with me anymore."
"I..W … What?"
"You have been distant for several days. I thought it was because you didn't want to see me anymore."
"NO! Elsa no! That's not that. I… I just discovered I have feelings for someone." Anna declared. 'Okay I said it'
"Oh" Elsa didn't expect that. "Well… This person must be lucky then. Does this person return your feelings?", she dared to say. Elsa had fallen in love with Anna long time ago already. She had hoped for Anna to return her feelings even if a part of her was sure it was impossible.
"I don't know." Anna noticed the glint of hope in the older girl's eyes. Instinctively she inched closer to Elsa. "I think she might."
Elsa looked at Anna, realizing the proximity of the latter. She came closer to Anna as well. "You think she might?"
At this point, Anna's face was only inches apart from Elsa's. She could feel icy breath on her skin and smell her lavender scent. "She doesn't seem to reject my advances."
Eventually they kissed. It was an inexperienced and clumsy one. But for both girls it was an explosion of sensation. It was soft. Anna could taste the chocolate Elsa had been eating earlier, while Elsa could feel the warmth of Anna's lips on her cold ones. Eventually they broke the kiss, in need of air. They looked at each other, eyes filled with love.
"Indeed." Elsa whispered. "She doesn't seem to reject your advances."
"I love you Elsa." Anna simply replied.
"I love you too Anna."
"I'm going to be a royal knight." Anna declared, her head on Elsa's lap. Elsa was playing with her strawberry bangs, silently listening to her lover. Tian and Sophia were watching them but they were far enough to let the couple some privacy. As usual, the four of them were in the royal garden.
"A royal knight? I thought your father was against it." Elsa said, rising an eyebrow.
"I'll talk to him."
"Why do you want to be a royal knight anyway? I thought you wanted to help your father at the smithy."
"So I can marry you."
"What? Elsa shouted surprised.
"I am only a commoner, love. I can't marry you. Being a royal knight, I can marry people of the nobility or royalty. You for example.
"Anna do you realize what you are asking me"
Anna suddenly got up and looked at Elsa, serious.
"I do. Elsa. I have been thinking about it for weeks now. We have been together for six months already. The best six months of my life."
Elsa blushed, which made Anna smile, endeared by her lover's reaction.
"But I want more Elsa. I want our relationship to not be a secret. I love you more than anything else Elsa and I want to show the world that you belong to me as I belong to you. I'll become a royal knight for you. It will take years before I actually become one. But when I do, no one will be able to stop us from being together."
"Princess Elsa of Arendelle, will you marry me?"
At this moment Elsa was crying. She couldn't hold the tears back anymore. It was crazy. Anna was only 14 and she was 17. But at the same time, she knew deep inside her that Anna would keep her promise, as she would keep hers. She was sure of it. Still in tears, she managed saying "yes". Anna smiled, caressing her lover's cheek with her finger before kissing her.
"I'm going to tell my father about my decision of being a royal knight and the good news." Anna said ecstatic.
"I will tell mine too."
"Anna you're back!" One soldier exclaimed. "We were getting worried because we haven't seen you around. It has already been a week!"
"Sorry guys. I got into an accident in the forest and was stuck in bed." Anna smiled.
"I don't remember unfortunately. I have a memory loss according to the doctor."
"So you don't remember how you get that white strand in your hair either?"
Anna shook her head.
"Well glad you are safe at least"
Anna laughed, still stiff because of her injuries. She tried to exercise some moves to ease the pain, when she noticed Tian and Sophia leaving the training grounds. "Hey guys, royal bodyguards' duty?"
The two royal knights looked at her and only smiled. Sophia replied. "Yes!"
"Guys you are so lucky. I wish to meet the princess one day." Anna whined.
Tian and Sophia said nothing and only waved at the redhead before entering the castle. They arrived in front of the princess' bedroom. They stopped, feeling the cold emanating from it. They positioned themselves on each side of the door, back on the wall.
"Princess?" Tian spoke.
"Anna is getting better. She has recovered and is already resuming her training."
Tian heard Elsa through the door, her voice full of pain.
"And as planned, she forgot everything about her encounters with you those last months and everything related to it."
The two royal knights could hear the ice growing behind and under the door.
"Princess..." Tian started. "Don't you think it was a little bit extreme..."
"No it's better that way. Anna will be safer that way. She must forget me. It is better that she stay far away from the monster I am."
Tian took a glance at Sophia. The latter shook her head. They both knew that their master had made her choice and they wouldn't be able to do anything about it. As dutiful bodyguards, they stayed silent and watched the princess of Arendelle, listening to her sobs without flinching.
On the other side of the door, Elsa was on the ground with her back on the door. She was looking at the snowflakes frozen in the air, eyes in tears.