Ooh, this one's gonna be fun.
Before we start, I recommend that you go read Welcome to Mystery, which this work is a follow-up to. If you haven't read it already, it can be found in the Frozen/Coraline crossover section. As for the rest of you, hello again! I'll try to keep this comprehensible, but I make no promises. This is for my entertainment just as much as it is for yours. Enjoy. :)
DISCLAIMER: If you recognize it, I don't own it.
"We have eyes, and we have nerveses. We have tails. We have teeth. She will get what she deserveses, when we rise from underneath…"
Nine Years Later
The snow came floating down from the north and tumbled over Arendelle in a gentle waterfall of white. No strange magic at work this time, only the first day of December. The children ran out to play as soon as it was light. Their mothers placed wreaths of holly and ivy on each door, and their fathers marched out to the forest in search of the perfect trees and Yule logs. The unnatural chill in the air went unnoticed.
When Anna finally drifted into consciousness, she took one glimpse outside and instantly stumbled out of bed. I'm not dreaming, right? This one's for real?
"Ma'am?" Kai asked, opening the bedroom door after a few tentative knocks. "It's ten to - "
"What day is it?" Anna demanded, grabbing him by the shoulders.
"The first of December, ma'am."
"Yes!" She tore off down the hall, not even bothering to put on slippers, with her tangled hair flying behind her. "Elsa! Elsa, where are you? Today's the day! You promised!"
"She's preparing for a meeting with the cabinet, Your Highness," a servant said as the princess skidded into the foyer. "I believe I last saw her in the courtyard."
"Oh, okay! Thanks!" Anna answered, pulling the front doors open.
"Ma'am, it's rather cold out there."
"I'll be fine!" Anna dashed outside and back in a moment later, shivering. "...Right. Yeah. Getting dressed."
When Anna stepped into the courtyard a few minutes later, the snowfall had blanketed the ground. Kristoff was helping several other men pull a large pine tree up between the fountains. Some sang a carol as they worked. The children of the town darted around them, shrieking with joy and lobbing snowballs at one another.
A nearby voice caught her attention. "I think you left the rest of me over there, could you just...chase it the other way, please?" It was Olaf - or rather, his head. The children had placed it on a stick and hung a sprig of holly on his nose, and they were laughing at their handiwork while shooing away the rest of his body. "Does this mean they like me, Anna?"
Smirking, Anna put her hands on her hips and ambled towards the children. "And what are you up to?"
They shrank back at the sight of her, putting the snowballs they'd been about to throw behind their backs. "Playing with the snowman," one of them said. "It doesn't hurt him or anything."
"Right, you have fun with that. Just watch your backs on the 24th."
Anna's smirk grew. "Haven't your parents told you what happens to naughty children on Christmas Eve? Saint Nicholas sends his friend the Krampus to deal with them."
The children's eyes widened. "Uh…"
"You know, the Krampus? Big scary goat man? He's got a sack just like the one Saint Nicholas carries, only he hasn't got any presents with him. It's for carrying little children. Yep, you heard me right! He just scoops 'em up in their sleep and carries them back to his lair!"
"Why does he do that?" Olaf asked.
"Because naughty children are extra delicious."
The children screamed. Ripping Olaf's head off the stick and flinging it at his body, they ran off shouting for their parents. "Sorry!" Anna called out after them. "Think I laid it on a little too thick…"
"No kidding." Elsa was standing behind her, arms folded and a questioning eyebrow raised. "You could have just told them to leave Olaf alone."
"Oh, they'll figure out that guy isn't real," Anna said as she put the snowman back together. "And if they don't, their parents will have it easy for the rest of the month. Win-win! Anyway, that's not what I came out here for," she added, smiling.
"What did you come out here for, then?"
"You don't remember? We're gonna move your stuff back to my room today!"
"We...oh," Elsa finished as she suddenly remembered. "Yes, of course, I just need to - "
"Kristoff can help us with the furniture, we just gotta move the boxes of the little stuff," Anna said, grabbing her hand and starting to pull her towards the door. "Come on!"
Elsa broke free from her grip. "Anna, I have to meet with the cabinet today. It'll be a while."
Anna stopped. "What do you mean, a while?"
"An hour. Maybe longer."
"I'm sorry. I forgot," Elsa added, glancing down. "You don't have to wait for me."
"Of course I will! Take your time."
Kristoff approached them, dusting his hands off. "So, are we ready?"
"Not just yet," Elsa told him. "I'll see you later." Sighing, she swept past her sister and back into the castle. The sooner you start, the sooner you get it over with.
"You okay, feisty pants?"
"Why wouldn't I be?" Anna stood up from the spot on Elsa's floor where she'd been sitting cross-legged. She rearranged the boxes of her sister's, then sat back down in the midst of them. A moment later, she did it all again.
Kristoff's expression wavered between bemusement and worry. "That's a good start."
Anna rolled her eyes. "Has it been an hour yet?"
"It's been…" he looked at the clock on the wall. "...twenty minutes."
She stiffened, and from the bottom of her throat came a noise that was somewhere between a groan and a growl. As she picked up another box and carried it across the room, a small object wrapped in paper fell out of it and landed on the floor. Had Kristoff said nothing, she would have put it back and not given it another thought. Instead he looked at it and said, "Do you remember boxing that?"
"I…" Anna looked down at it and paused. "I don't think so." Kneeling, she picked it up and unwrapped the paper. In her hand was her five year-old self in wool and silk, a little doll. Even the freckles and the streak of white were there. Its mouth smiled up at her, as if to say I've missed you. But it was the eyes which drew her in. Two large black button eyes that seemed to grow larger when she stared into them. "So this is where you've been!"
"I lost this when I was nine. Didn't even have it for very long…" Images flashed through her mind: a long tunnel, a starry sky, Elsa's laughing face. "Do you think she knows how it got here?"
Kristoff shrugged. "You could ask her. Not right now, I mean - Anna, come back!"
Anna was already out the door and walking towards the meeting hall. "I'm just gonna wait outside until she's done!" She unconsciously clutched the doll closer to her, and the button eyes flickered. Just behind her, the faint shadow of a claw-like hand trailed along the wall.
The prisoner on the throne watched it all and laughed bitterly. "So black moves first now." Its queen had never been one for others' rules, anyway.