Now for the real start of the story. Prepare yourselves. Mwuhahahaha
*I do not own the Santa Clause series. I do own all original plotlines, characters, and quotes in this story, so please do not steal them. It's mean, and I will personally beat you with a tuba.
Bernard groaned as he entered the workshop after his lunch break. It was in a complete state of disrepair. Ribbon was strewn across the room, tinsel hung inside of some gears prevent the machines from working, and elves just sat around; laughing and not even attempting to fix what had apparently occurred. "What in the name of Christmas happened?" Bernard shouted. All the elves at once gasped and turned to the fuming Bernard.
"I-It was Santa's idea..." One young girl whimpered. "H-He said we were working so hard and d-deserved a break."
"Well you had your fun. Now clean it up. Curtis-" Curtis walked up to Bernard and nodded. "Make sure they actually pick up. All of them. No slackers."
"Yes, sir," Curtis responded. He started to help the younger elves clean up the severe mess. Bernard pinched the bridge of his nose and started up the ribbon and tinsel covered stairs, completely frustrated by the lack of discipline of the elves, and his recently increasing thoughts about his old friend Inora. If she were here right now she'd have all their heads on her katana right now... Bernard thought.
"These elves better get their act in line again, or I swear I'll start putting Frozen Pond back into use..." Bernard muttered to himself.
"Frozen Pond? That's not a whip or something is it?"
Bernard spun on his heel and saw the person he was seeking out. Santa. The two hundred and eighth Santa was a man named Samuel Clancy that was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1914. He had shot the two hundred and seventh, and longest living, Santa believing that said Santa was trying to rob his house. Samuel put on the suit to spite lucky number seven and became the new Santa. "No, Santa, Frozen Pond isn't a whip. It's a katana that was given to me by an old friend back in the days before Christmas elves existed. When it was social acceptable, and probably required, for an elf to wield a weapon," Bernard explained. "I probably couldn't do anything with it. It's been at least fifteen hundred years since I last used it." Bernard shook his head, clearing any thoughts of Inora Everest away. "Anyway, Santa, did you really think it was wise to have a ribbon and tinsel fight while I was gone? The workshop's a mess and we'll be at least half a day behind-"
"Bernard, that isn't a concern right now." Bernard stared at Santa incredulously and dropped his jaw.
"Productivity is always a concern! If even one child is left out on Christmas, then-"
"I know it's a concern, but at the moment, it isn't. I need a distraction so the elves wouldn't notice Mother Nature and Father Time coming in," Santa told the frantic Head Elf.
"Why are they here?" Bernard asked in honest confusion. It wasn't time for a meeting, and Christmas was five months away yet... what could they possibly want?
"I was actually hoping you'd tell me that," Santa replied. Bernard cocked his head to the side. "They wanted me to tell you that they need to speak with you."
"They only told me to tell you that they've found her, whoever 'she' is..."
"WHAT!?" Bernard shouted. Impossible. They couldn't locate her for the past fifteen hundred and eighty-nine years, six moths, two weeks and four days. How come the two most powerful Legendaries only now found her? Bernard has waited so long that he wasn't sure he could believe them. In fact, he was very skeptical of this new information. She couldn't have been found. It had been too long. "Where are they?"
"In your office, I believe," Santa answered. "I don't understand, Bernard. What's so important about-"
"I'll explain later." Bernard turned and rushed to his office as fast as he could. He had to find out if this was actually true or not. Bernard honestly wasn't sure if Inora was still alive. Ull and Skadi even had a funeral for her because they gave up hope. Bernard probably believed that she lived longer than any other elf in the north pole. But he had been beginning to doubt himself over the past hundred years. He opened his door and saw Mother Nature and Father Time turn as face him.
"She's alive!?" Bernard demanded.
"I told you he'd react like this," Father Time muttered.
"Yes, yes, I know Time..." Mother Nature snapped. "And Bernard... she's not exactly alive, but she definitely isn't dead either."
"What are you talking about?" Bernard pressed.
"I want to know too," Santa added as he walked into the office.
"I'll explain it to Santa," Mother Nature told Father Time. Father Time nodded and Mother Nature continued to speak, "Santa, almost 1600 years ago a elf by the name of Inora Everest disappeared. She's one of the members of the Council of High Snow Elves and, under Aeronwen Stark's orders, still the head of the Secret Santa Security. No one knew what happened to her. We couldn't even find her. But now, all of a sudden, we were able to locate her. Bernard, you'll see her state when you come with Father Time and I to free her. We leave immediately. You'll need this." Mother Nature tossed Frozen Snow to Bernard. He caught it easily and slid the sword into one of his belt loops.
"Where is she?" Bernard asked. Mother Nature looked down slightly before answering.
"Somewhere in Greenland."
"WHAT!? All these years and she's just over in Greenland? She better have a good excuse..."
"Believe me, Bernard," Father Time stated seriously. "She does. Now follow the teleportation trail of Mother Nature and I."
"Yes, sir." Mother Nature and Father Time disappearing in a glittery dust. Bernard mentally locked onto their trail and followed it himself, disappearing in a glittery dust as well.
Bernard appeared alongside Mother Nature and Father Time in a harsh blizzard in a rocky tundra area of Greenland. Bernard squinted his eyes in order to see through the white in front of him. "It's this way. When you a see a cave to your left, go in. That's where Inora is," Father Time told Bernard. Bernard held his hat to his head and nodded. He trudged through the thick, heavy, knee-high snow behind Mother Nature and Father Time. They walked for at least a mile before the cave Father Time mentioned could be faintly seen ahead.
"Is that it?" Bernard shouted through the howling wind.
"Yes," Mother Nature replied. It took them a good ten minutes to even get near the cave. The blizzard had not died down in the slightest. In fact, it was growing stronger by the second.
"Why couldn't we have just teleported inside the cave?" Bernard asked.
"Old magic prevented us from doing so. Where we went to was as close as we could get," Father Time explained. They entered the cave, greeted at once by drops of water from icicles on the roof of the cave. Bernard looked further in and saw that it went down a good long ways.
"Are you suggesting than a member of the Legendary council has her?" Bernard inquired with suspicion. He had no idea what any legendary would want with Inora Everest. He could only think of one, and that was highly impossible. He never showed any interest towards Inora. Nevada, definitely. He tried to get her to cheat on Volos with him. But never Inora.
Bernard groaned and kicked the wall of the cave, causing a few icicles to fall down and shatter on the floor. "It was Frost. Wasn't it?" Mother Nature nodded. "Where is that bastard? Frozen Pond will finally claim some blood when I'm done with him."
"He'll be forced to this location soon. We need him here to free her," Mother Nature explained.
"You keep talking about freeing her. But you won't tell me from what." Father Time and Mother Nature exchanged glances briefly before walking forwards.
"All in good time, Bernard," Father Time told the elf. "We must go onwards. Your old friend waits." Bernard sighed in a mix of annoyance, depression, and hate. As they walked deeper into the cave, a long, blistering cold gust of wind and snow followed them. Suddenly, in front of Mother Nature, the wind swirled around in a circle for a few seconds, then disappeared to reveal Jack Frost. Bernard never had, and never will, like Jack Frost. He always hated that smug smirk on his face and his large egocentrism. He treated everybody like a lesser being. Bernard always wondered how Jack Frost ended up as a Legendary figure.
"My, my... it has been a while since I last visited this particular hideout. Almost a thousand years, I think..." Jack mused with that annoying smirk upon his face.
"Frost. You were charged with the kidnapping of Inora Everest, head of the SSS and member of the Council of High Snow Elves, found guilty, and are to release her. You are to make no comments and do what ordered. Understand?" Mother Nature coldly told Jack Frost.
"Yes, yes, yes, Nature," Jack responded, appearing to not care. "I just want to get back to spreading Frostmas."
"You're not getting Frostmas," Father Time snapped. Jack rolled his eyes and took the lead. It took everything Bernard had to not speak to that damned sprite. Bernard gripped the hilt of Frozen Pond even tighter and followed the three Legendary figures before him. It was another ten to fifteen minutes before they finally reached a large room. Bernard entered it and dropped his jaw at the sight he saw.
There, floating in a white-violet-pale blue mist, was Inora Everest.
And didn't age one day since Bernard last saw her.
She floated about five feet off the ground, still wearing the same white armor she wore the day she disappeared. The white mithril chain mail tunic was still perfectly intact, the white mithril corset hadn't tarnished, the swirly gold design looked as if it had been engraved yesterday, and her white cotton trousers weren't worn down in the slightest. Soot rested in it's scabbard on her hip, like it always was and always will be. The only difference that Bernard noticed was her hair. Instead of being chin length, it was all the way down to the floor and rested in a pool. She still maintained the appearance of a human sixteen-year-old.
"Huh... looks like it must've stopped at the hairline. Why do I always do that?" Jack muttered.
"What happened to her? Frost, what did you do to Inora?" Bernard asked in a hurried, panicked, rush.
"Bernie, isn't it obvious?" Jack snorted. "I froze her in time. She got in my way, so I got her out of it. Be glad I kept her weapon with her." Bernard let out a scream, and before he knew what he did, whipped out Frozen Pond and held it at Jack's throat.
"Release her. Now," Bernard growled.
"Sheathe your sword, Bernard," Mother Nature ordered. Bernard glared at Jack and did as he was told. "Frost. Do as Bernard said. Release her."
"Fine, fine," Jack went up to Inora and bent down slightly. "Time to wake up, sweetheart." Jack breathed in, and the white-violet-pale blue mist went inside of him. The moment the last of the mist disappeared, Inora fell into Jack's arms. Jack smirked and sighed. "If only she were Nevada..."
"Put her down and leave her be," Bernard hissed. Jack rolled his eyes and faded into a cold, snowy, wind.
"As you wish," Bernard heard Jack say before the wind left the cave. Bernard glared off into the direction that Jack left in for a few mere moments. He then turned to where Inora was and ran to her side. He held her in his arms and watched her for a second. After what felt like forever, he heard a faint groan.
For the first time in fifteen hundred and eighty-nine years, six months, two weeks, and four days, Bernard found himself looking into the icy, dark blue eyes of Inora Everest.
"Inora," Bernard gasped. He hugged her and he felt Inora awkwardly hug back.
"Hi? Why are you acting like you haven't seen me in forever?" Inora inquired, confused at what was going on. She looked around and widened her eyes in alarm. "And where am I?" She then finally noticed Mother Nature and Father Time. "And what are the head Legendaries doing here?" She then seemed to notice her hair. "And how did my hair get so long, so fast?" Bernard tilted his head slightly to the side then looked at Mother Nature.
"Inora," Mother Nature started. "How long do you think you've been here?"
"It felt like a second, but based on how long my hair is, I'd estimate about one hundred to two hundred years," Inora answered. Bernard, Mother Nature, and Father Time all exchanged glances again. "I'm way wrong... aren't I?"
"Inora..." Bernard started. "It's been fifteen hundred," Inora widened her eyes in shock. "and eighty-nine years, six months, two weeks, and four days since I last saw you that day in our clearing when you went off after some unknown sound. No one could figure out what happened to you, not even the Legendary Council. Ull and Skadi gave up any hope they had of finding you a thousand years back. Inora, you were frozen in time by Jack Frost for who knows why that entire time."
"Fifteen hundred and... oh my," Inora stammered. "I've been frozen in time for nearly sixteen hundred years!?"
"Yeah," Bernard replied. Inora stared blankly in front of her for a few minutes. Bernard had no idea what thoughts were going on in her intelligent, still young, mind. She gripped Soot so tightly that her knuckles grew whiter than they already were. Her normally emotionless, stoic face held an expression of shock and disbelief. Suddenly she started shaking her head.
"No... no that's not possible. Reason tells me that this isn't possible," Inora muttered. "I'm not even sure how I ended up here... I don't remember a thing after I went into the woods. This can't be-"
"Inora, look at me." Inora looked over at Bernard and straightened up a little, resuming her stoic expression.
"You're older. You appear older than me now..." Inora noted. She sighed in annoyance and looked at Mother Nature and Father Time. "Well shit. It's true." Inora stood up and took a breath. "Well. It'll do no good just sitting in this cave. How far is the North Pole?"
"We need to walk at least a mile before teleporting," Mother Nature told Inora. "You can follow our trail." Inora nodded. Inora looked at Bernard.
"Can you hold my hair back?" Inora asked. Bernard was confused, but complied with the wish of his friend. Inora unsheathed Soot and placed it behind her neck and under her hair. In one quick slice, the long train of hair fell to the ground, with some remaining in Bernard's hand. "Leave it here. It represents the sixteen hundred years that I rested idle and did nothing. You know that's not like me at all. I've leaving that chapter of my life behind." Bernard dropped the long, silky white hair to the ground and turned back to Inora. "Good. Now let's get out of here. Even though it didn't feel long enough for me to miss the North Pole, I have a feeling that some people up there miss me."
"Wise choice, Councilwoman Everest," Father Time replied. Inora raised one eyebrow.
"They didn't replace me? After so long?" Inora inquired.
"No. But Generys Chill was replaced after her death one thousand years ago," Mother Nature explained.
"Who replaced her?"
Inora turned and faced Bernard in confusion. Bernard sighed and started to explain, "I'm Head Elf now in Santa's workshop. I'm still technically a Snow Elf, even if I have adopted more Christmas elf traits, so they chose me."
"Not to mention you're the only Petersburg left in the north," Inora commented.
"That contributed..." Inora chuckled and rolled her eyes. The rest of the journey was silent as Inora and Bernard followed Mother Nature and Father Time out of the cave. Inora showed no emotion and made no sound, but Bernard knew her well enough to know that she was mentally having a spaz attack. The best thing to do in this case was to leave her to her thoughts and let her find her own way. When they reached the outside of the cave, Bernard noticed that the blizzard seemed to have calmed down, making the mile-long trek easier for the four travelers. Bernard held out his hand for Inora take and he looked down at her. It felt so bizarre for Bernard to be looking down upon an elf that he once looked up to. Inora looked up at him and took his hand. Bernard felt for his link to the North Pole, a link that all Christmas elves had, and used it to teleport back to Inora and his home.
The four then disappeared into a glittery mist, save for Inora, who disappeared in a swirl of snow and wind.