I feel like I should maybe say that I do not own Frozen? Well, I don't, so there you have it :)
Also, this story is going to contain Elsanna (non incest) so if you don't like that, you're probably not going to enjoy this story...
No… No… Just a little while longer…
It's getting hard to ignore now…
"Anna! Where are you?"
The redheaded girl opened her eyes with a deep sigh. She'd been taking advantage of the rare chance to unwind. It had been far too long since she had been able to take a nap in her favourite tree, perched onto one of the thicker branches of the large tree.
"Over here!" she shouted, replying to the distant voice. Distant, yes, but not distant enough. She listened as the sound of her grumbling brother came closer, breaking twigs underfoot and chasing all the animals out of the forest.
I swear he's as subtle as Sven sometimes...
"Anna! Where in heaven's name are you?"
"Up here, Kristoff!"
Her brother, large of posture with wild blond hair covering his head, craned his neck backwards, peering through the foliage to find his little sister. "Anna, come down before you hurt yourself! Dad wouldn't forgive me, you know that..."
Anna huffed audibly, but nimbly made her way down the tree nonetheless. "You know I never hurt myself, you big oaf. I'm a picture of sophisticated grace, remember?"
Kristoff merely chuckled, rubbing his neck with one of his large hands. "Sure, your grace. Whatever you say. Sorry to interrupt whatever you were doing up there, but dad wants us to come home and prepare for you-know-what."
Actually, Anna didn't know. She had the feeling that she should know, but she found herself absolutely clueless. Apparently, her face betrayed as much, as Kristoff chuckled warmly.
"You actually forgot didn't you? The reason we've been working like horses these past few days? The reason you actually had the time to sit up there?"
Anna felt the blood rushing to her face at her brother's question. For a moment, she contemplated denying it, but only until she realized that would surely backfire.
"Yeah, maybe I did. So remind me!"
"The Queen's visit?"
Now Anna remembered. "Come on, Kristoff, what are you waiting for?" she yelled over her shoulder while running off towards home. The blonde boy merely let out an exhausted breath before giving chase, Anna not paying him any attention anymore.
How could she have forgotten? Of course the Queen was arriving in their village later today. Queen Elsa had only been crowned Queen of Arendelle a few weeks ago, and as part of a large public campaign, she was now visiting all the cities and villages in her kingdom. The messenger that had announced it had called it 'getting to know the kingdom and its inhabitants,' but Anna didn't expect that much of it. Nevertheless, to get a chance to catch a glimpse of the elusive queen... It was not an opportunity she was going to pass up. She'd heard so much about her. People said she was the most beautiful woman in all of Arendelle, and even the surrounding kingdoms. But then again, they also said she could conjure ice from her hands, so maybe she should take everything with a pinch of salt...
Before she knew it, she had arrived at the edge of the forest. She quickly clambered over the fence that separated their home from the forest. She took a deep breath as she looked around the fields around her, chest swelling a little with pride. The farm didn't usually look as clean and well organized as it did now, but she didn't allow that to get her down...
Oaken Farm was the largest farm of Hellmark, the village where Anna lived with her father and brother. She had been born here, and raised on the farm, helping out with the animals and the harvest as she grew older. Yes, it was a life of hard work, but she enjoyed being busy, and the physicality of the work never bothered her.
"Yoo hoo! Anna! Kristoff! You need to get ready, ya?" a voice boomed over the fields. Anna smiled and waved in acknowledgement at the large figure standing in front of one of the barn doors. Her father really was a massive man. Maybe that's why everyone in the village had so much respect for him. Everyone practically considered him the mayor of the village... then again, maybe that was because their farm provided most of the food around these parts, Anna wasn't really sure.
After making sure Kristoff had actually managed to find his way out of the woods, Anna ran to their house, a small two-story cottage made out of stone, with a roof made of straw, and clambered up the flimsy stairs to get to her room. She knew the queen would probably just be riding through the village in the royal carriage, but she wanted to make sure she looked her best nonetheless.
Pulling open the closet, she was faced with a massive problem. "This dress looks like the sacks we use to store our potatoes," she muttered under her breath, throwing the piece of clothing on the ground next to her. "This one has hole in it, which I really need to fix. Maybe this one? Oh, no, it has a large smudge on it from that time I slipped while feeding the horses... I should've washed it out immediately after... I don't think that stain is ever going to come out now..." It took her nearly half an hour to finally settle on her outfit, settling on a simple green dress with a black bodice. It was the best thing she had, and she'd only worn it once during a holiday dinner.
She made her way over to the cracked mirror hanging on the wall and started pulling her brush through the wild mane that her hair had become. Without further thought, she crafted her usual two braided pigtails. As an afterthought, she took two green ribbons from the only drawer in her desk and tied those in her hair as well.
Perfect... Or at least, as perfect as it's going to be.
When she came downstairs again, she found her father and brother already waiting for her. They had both exchanged their dirty outfits for clean ones, only a little more decent than their regular wear. Kristoff whistled as Anna jumped off the last step of the stairs.
"Well, look at you, feisty-pants! You look like a real lady. Better be careful the royal party doesn't accidentally take you with them!"
Anna blushed slightly, giving her brother a little pout.
"You look beautiful, Anna," her father smiled gently. Kristoff nodded in the affirmative, agreeing with his father wholeheartedly.
They both sat down to wait until noon, which would be when the queen would arrive, but Anna couldn't find the peace to sit around quietly. She bustled through their little home, putting random stuff away in cupboards, before taking them out again and putting them away somewhere else.
When it was finally time to leave, the three casually sauntered to the village's central square. If you could even call it that. Technically, it was a slightly broader street than the rest, making it the most suitable spot for large gatherings. On their way, they were greeted by the other villagers they passed. After all, everyone knew the Oaken family. They found a relatively quiet spot in front of the bakery, from where they would be able to see the carriage.
After what appeared to be an eternity, Anna finally saw the carriage coming up the hill, pulled by four large, white horses, looking much more majestic than any of their own horses. The carriage itself was even more impressive, and appeared to be made out of gold entirely. On its sides, the Arendelle symbol had been painted – a green crocus in front of a large, white snowflake. Anna could hardly suppress a squeal when the carriage came to a halt, and a portly man in a fine suit stepped out, motioning for silence.
"Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, Her Royal Majesty Queen Elsa of Arendelle!" he spoke, not quite shouting, but being loud enough for everyone to hear him. As soon as the Queen stepped out of the carriage, Anna felt her breath hitching in her throat.
Well, damn. She may not be able to shoot ice out of her hands, but I bet she is the most beautiful woman in the kingdom. Evidently, Anna was not the only one who thought so, as she saw several of the men in the crowd swooning. And who could blame them?
Anna couldn't help herself. She had to stare. The Queen was long and slim. She had curves exactly there were men found them desirable, and Anna felt a pang of jealousy rising up from her stomach. And that long, platinum blonde hair, neatly wrapped up in a tight bun at the back of her head. And that dress, light blue and shimmering as if it were covered in jewels...
The Queen stood proudly on the makeshift stage, allowing her gaze to wander over the crowd, sometimes lingering on a face or group of people. Anna had never given the Royal House much thought. Why would she, after all? They never came to Hellmark anyway. Of course, news of the untimely death of the King and Queen had reached the village, but no one was really fazed by it. Anna was certain that, at this moment, she could not be more awed by the presence of her Queen. And then it happened.
The Queen turned her head, her eyes shifting from the right side of the crowd to the centre. Anna could practically feel her gaze moving over her, further to the right, and then back. Before she could prepare, her eyes suddenly locked with the icy blue gaze of Queen Elsa. The Queen continued staring at Anna for what felt like an eternity to Anna. When she finally shifted her eyes away, Anna couldn't help but feel mushy on the inside... and more than a little disappointed.
The Queen sat in her carriage, alternating between rubbing her temples and pinching the bridge of her nose. Kai, her head servant, had just told her they would be arriving in the village of Hellmark in a few minutes. Frankly, she just wanted to go home. She understood the importance of visiting the outlying cities and villages, especially after the neglect they suffered from her parents, but that did not make the journey any more enjoyable.
When the carriage slowly came to a halt, Elsa peeked out of the window. Hellmark was a small village, no more than a hundred villagers. Kai looked at her with raised eyebrows, and Elsa nodded her head in reply, wiping the fatigue and annoyance off her face as he opened the door and stepped outside to announce her. Once he had done so, she gracefully stepped outside, smiling at the cheers from the crowd. She didn't motion them for silence, taking the opportunity to scan the crowd.
She started on one side, and quickly came to the conclusion that the village consisted mostly of farmers and craftsmen. Well, at least there are no nobles around these parts. She shifted her eyes to the other side of the crowd, only to suddenly jerk her gaze back to the centre. Surely my eyes betrayed me... Or not, she thought, looking at the largest man she'd seen in her life. She was certain that he could lift her with a single hand. Only then did she notice the girl standing next to him, and for a moment, everything around her seemed to disappear.
She knew it was unprofessional, but those blue eyes kept her own imprisoned in their own little world. She only faintly noticed the red hair, the freckles on her cheeks, and the simple but elegant dress. Only when Kai audibly cleared his throat did the Queen snap back to attention, clearing her own throat as well.
"Citizens of Hellmark," she started, knowing her speech by heart now that she performed it for the umpteenth time. "I am Queen Elsa of Arendelle, daughter of King Agdar and Queen Idun. I am grateful to be welcomed in your village. I realize that my parents, bless their souls, hardly ever left the capital. Many you have suffered under that negligence, but I intend to set that right. I want to know what goes on in my kingdom, and in the lives of my citizens. I want to help where there's trouble, and I want all of you to know that I have your best interests at heart. Thank you."
Her eyes quickly darted back to the red headed, blue-eyed, green-dressed woman at the back, before she turned away to step off the stage and walk towards Kai.
"We'll be staying here tonight," she muttered.
"Your Majesty, we're supposed to visit the village of Northelm tonight," the portly servant interjected.
Elsa merely shook her head. "Send a messenger ahead to let them know we'll be arriving tomorrow at noon."
"Of course, Your Majesty. But, if I may, we do not have food and shelter arranged here."
Elsa hadn't thought of that, but she was remarkably good at thinking on her feet. "Ask the citizens if they have room and food for us. Also, let them know I'd like to speak to those that want to, and arrange a proper meeting place, if you could."
"Of course, Your Majesty."
"Oh, and Kai? I'm sorry for all the extra work. I just don't feel I can take the 'two-villages-a-day-routine' anymore."
"That's quite alright, Your Majesty. What else would I be here for?" Kai smiled jovially.
Anna sat in her chair, her feet placed on the table, and leaning backwards, causing the chair to dangerously balance on two legs. Anna didn't care. In fact, she didn't even notice. She was too deep in thought. Those blue eyes.
She was trying to convince herself that she had been mistaken. Of course the Queen hadn't been staring at her. It had been the other way around. Surely her mind had played a trick on her, causing her to believe those abnormally blue eyes rested on her for such an extended period of time. Anna had to admit, though, it had been a very good trick. Good enough to have her thinking about it for five hours straight.
Kristoff, who was trying to patch a hole in one of his pants, occasionally glanced over to his sister. She had been eerily quiet for too long. Usually, she'd be bustling around the house, spewing out a waterfall of random words, or working outside. A spell of silence like this one was extremely uncommon for the little redhead. In fact, he was starting to become a little worried. Before there was any time to ponder on it, though, the household was startled by three gentle knocks on the front door.
Oaken, who had been dicing up vegetables at the small counter, made his way to the door, both of his children looking on. As soon as he opened the door, Anna gasped audibly, seeing the servant who had announced the Queen, standing right there, on their front porch.
"Ya, what can I do for you?" Oaken asked politely.
The Queen's servant smiled humbly. "The Queen has decided to stay in Hellmark for the night, and I've been tasked with finding suitable accommodations. We've been told that this is the largest farm in the village?"
"Correct, ya," Oaken beamed back, hardly trying to hide his pride.
"Would it be possible to house some of our guards in one of your barns tonight?"
"We have two barns empty, right Kristoff? Men can stay there, hm?"
Kristoff merely nodded. Watching as the servant opened his mouth again. "Marvelous, marvelous. That leaves me with only one question. Would you mind the Queen dining with you and your family tonight?"
The following silence was only broken when Anna let out a cry of shock and pain as she hit the ground, the chair having tumbled backwards because of her spastic movement. Neither her brother nor her father paid her any mind, staring at the servant as if he had suddenly grown an extra head and three tails.
"Of course, if you would rather not, we'd arrange something different," the servant started.
Oaken quickly shook his head, opening the door a little wider. "We'd be honoured, really. But as you can see, we do not have much room, ya? Nothing like Her Majesties palace. And the food here is simple, hm? No palace food."
The servant merely smiled. "Her Majesty is aware of the fact that she won't be enjoying her usual comforts. She feels it will enable her to get closer to the people."
"We'd be honoured to host our Queen, most certainly," Oaken replied sheepishly. The servant nodded with a satisfied smirk. "Good, good. Would an hour and a half from now be acceptable?"
The servant nodded and turned to walk away, only to be stopped by a certain outburst behind him.
He turned around again, seeing a young woman sprawled out on the ground, her face as red as her hair.
"I mean... Could you please wait a moment, sir? I was thinking- Or well... I wanted to ask... Not that it's any of my business, but er... Yeah, so... Where will the Queen be sleeping, exactly?"
The servant raised his eyebrows slightly, before knitting them together in a frown. "We have not yet found suitable accommodations for Her Majesty."
"Oh... Oh! Because we have like, totally room. Spare room. Upstairs. Like, no one's there. Now. Or later. Like tonight. And privacy. I mean, she'd have privacy. And stuff. Very clean, too. Totally not a mess. Like, at all. Nope sir! No mess upstairs."
Anna was very aware of her tendency to babble and ramble when she became nervous. Around the farm, it didn't happen all too often, luckily. Anna was usually quite comfortable around other people, but royalty was another thing entirely.
The servant seemed to think for a moment, before nodding. "I'm certain the Queen will be happy to spend the night here, if that's okay with you?"
Oaken and Kristoff merely nodded, after which the servant mirrored the motion and walked off again. Once the door was closed, Kristoff turned towards his little sister.
"You are aware of the fact we don't have a spare room, right?"
Luckily for Anna, it was not possible for her face to become more red than it already was. She nodded frantically, scrambling up from the floor. "I know!"
"She can sleep in my room," Anna blurted out. "I'll find another place to sleep. Not the barns, because there will be soldiers sleeping in the barns. Oh, and we need to clean! And dinner. Father, will you be making dinner?"
Oaken was already back at the counter, cutting up the vegetables with renewed vigour. The next hour was spent cleaning the small cottage, with Anna paying special attention to her bedroom. She put the mess of clothes back in her closet, opened the window to let in fresh air, replaced the linens on the bed, got rid of the clutter on her desk, and made sure there wasn't a speck of dust on any surface.
By the time she came back downstairs, the small dining table had been set for four, their best plates and cutlery on full display, and the entire cottage smelled of fresh vegetables and roasted meat. Kristoff just emerged from the cellar, holding a dusty bottle of wine, while Oaken still stood at the counter, performing some final adjustments to the food. The tension in the house was palpable as they awaited their royal guest.
Kristoff sat in the corner, occasionally throwing carrots out of the window to his pet reindeer, Sven, who had been moved out of sight. "Who would've thought... the Queen... dining... here... with us... Good, little old us... Hehe... That'll be some story to tell our children..."
All three residents of the cottage jumped notably when there was knocking at the door. Oaken opened it slowly, as if he were second-guessing his decision to host the Queen in his humble abode. When he opened the door, the portly servant stood in front of it, flanked by two armed guards. Once Oaken stepped aside, the two guards entered the house, scanning around the room for possible threats, before turning back to the servant and nodding.
The servant stepped aside to reveal the radiant form of the young Queen. Anna couldn't help but gawk. She still wore the sparkly blue dress, but her hair had been released from its bun, now casually draped over her shoulder in a single French braid. She smiled shyly at the three commoners. What an odd twist of fate that I would run into her of all people.
"Good evening," she smiled. "I understand I will be dining and sleeping here. Thank you very much for your generosity."
"The pleasure is all ours, hm?" Oaken replied cordially, eyeing the guards slightly.
Kai whispered something to the Queen, who nodded in reply. The servant then turned on his heels and walked off.
"Can I... Can I come in?" the Queen asked somewhat hesitantly.
"Oh, ya! Of course."
The Queen smiled warmly as she stepped into the small house. She then turned towards the two guards, still flanking the door. "You can wait outside."
"But Your Majesty-"
"I'm not in any danger here, gentlemen," she interrupted, her tone indicating that there was to be no discussion. Once they were outside and the door had been closed, the Queen looked at her hosts again. "I'm sorry about them. They're just doing their work..."
"Of course, of course," Kristoff immediately murmured. "Here, please. Take a seat. Dinner's ready to be served, if that suits you?" He pulled out one of the chairs, which the royal gracefully took.
"Thank you. But really, I'm your guest tonight. I will be the one adapting to you, not the other way around."
Once they were all seated around the dining table, Oaken revealed the food, simple meat and vegetables, with an apologetic smile. "It's not much, but-"
"It looks absolutely delicious," the Queen interrupted before her host could apologize. "I didn't give you much time to work with."
The first few minutes of dinner were tense and awkward, no one feeling comfortable enough to speak. Anna, however, was not someone who dealt well with awkward silences. Especially now, with such a goddess sitting across the table from her. Frankly, five hours of thinking had not been enough to clear her mind from some of the confusing thoughts and feelings the Queen had sparked. "So, Your Majesty the Royal Queen..." she started, not entirely sure what she was going to say, and blushing at the tiny smile that graced the Queen's lips. "I'm Anna." Way to go. Like she cares about your name. She just wants to eat in peace. Just shut up. "That's my brother Kristoff, and my father Asger, but everyone just calls him Oaken." Way to shut up, Anna. Really, great job you did there.
To her surprise, the Queen actually smiled at her. "Pleasure to meet you all. In the heat of the moment, I actually forgot the proper introduction etiquette. My name's Elsa, but I suspect you were aware of that."
"Right! Etiquette. We don't usually do that stuff. Not that it's not important! Oh no! It really is... We just don't do it. I don't mean to say we're not civilized people, because we are, but not as civilized as you. You're civilization incarnate! We're cavemen compared to you."
"Anna!" Kristoff grumbled, interrupting her rambling.
"Right. Sorry. I tend to talk when I get nervous. Like, a lot. There's no stopping my mouth sometimes. It just keeps going and going and now I'm doing it again and I'm shutting up now sorry." Anna took a bite from her food to prevent herself from continuing her embarrassing babbling.
The Queen raised her hand to her mouth, covering it to hide a small smile. "That's quite fine, Anna. I imagine the Queen coming to dinner nearly unannounced would put most people on edge."
The remainder of dinner was filled with the Queen telling stories from previous villages and cities she had visited, as well as Anna and Kristoff recalling some of their childhood antics, none of which failed to bring a smile to the Queen's beautiful lips.
Sometime after dinner, there was another knock at the door. Oaken opened it, only to find his front porch swarmed with Royal Guards and servants. "Good evening, sir. We were told we could spend the night in your barns?"
Oaken nodded happily, sending Kristoff with them to show them the barns. Once he returned, looking considerably more exhausted than when he had left, the Queen immediately asked whether everyone had been able to fit in the barns. After Kristoff had replied in the affirmative, the Queen seemed to relax somewhat.
"If it is not too much trouble, I would like to retire for the night, now. I'll have to rise early tomorrow if we want to reach Northelm by noon tomorrow."
"Of course!" Oaken boomed, louder than necessary. "Anna will show you your room, ya?"
Anna blushed a scarlet red when she led the Queen up to the second floor, down the narrow hallway, and into her bedroom.
"I'm afraid this is the best we have to offer, Your Majesty," she mumbled shyly.
"It's perfect, Anna," the Queen replied without missing a beat. "It doesn't look like a spare room, though..."
That took Anna by surprise. "Well, uh, yeah... It's actually my room, but I'm not sleeping here. Tonight. Obviously, since you are. Your Majesty! If you want to, of course."
The Queen frowned slightly. "If I sleep in your room, then where do you sleep?"
"Don't worry about that! We've got everything covered!" Anna replied hastily, waving her hands around frantically.
The Queen seemed hesitant, but nodded after a short moment. "Very well. Thank you, Anna."
Anna, understanding that she was no longer needed, turned towards the door. Before closing it behind her, however, she turned back. "Uhm... Goodnight, Queen Elsa."
You weren't supposed to call her that! What happened to 'Your Majesty'? You can't just go and call her by her name, you dimwit!
"Goodnight, Anna," Elsa replied with a warm smile gracing her beautiful features.
Anna couldn't help but smile in return. The dopey grin hadn't disappeared yet when she came downstairs, where Kristoff and her father were cleaning the dishes.
"So, feisty-pants... Did you figure out where you're going to sleep yet?"
"Yup!" Anna chirped in reply, grabbing a sleeping bag from underneath the stairs. "I'm going to go camping!"
"You go to sleep now, ya? Kristoff and I will clean up. Rise early tomorrow! Seeing the Queen off, hm?"
"Of course, father," Anna smiled, waving as she made her way out of the door. It was a warm night, much to Anna's relief. After a while, she found a suitable spot to place her sleeping bag, and she started making herself comfortable, blissfully unaware of the pale blonde looking at her from the second-floor window while she slowly drifted asleep.
This story came to me pretty randomly, and I'm still working on the details of the overall plot (Oh my! There will be plot? Yes, there will be plot!... I think). I planned to write the entire story before posting anything, but I was sort of hoping to get some feedback. After all, if no one will be reading it, it's a bit of a shame to spend all my time on writing it, no matter how much I'd enjoy it.
So yes, please do let me know what you think of it so far. If you have ideas or suggestions, please do send them. If you know any good jokes, those are also welcome. :)