AN: Okay, sorry for the one month hiatus. Things have been a little busy lately. I had to prepare for a debate tourney in two weeks at SCU, and I'm still prepping now. I've rarely found the time to write the story, sometimes continuing on the Google Drive app on my phone. So, gonna start again! Also, I decided to respond to reviewers' reviews, if it may be a question or an in-depth comment I have decided to respond to! For those wondering, Mother Nature's residence is in the Appalachian Mtns.

AngetianPrincess18- Alright! You're the first one :D. So, in regards to the whole "Diff. plot than the movie," thing, what I mean is that yes, the GoC will of course be in the story! But, the movie adaptation will not exist b/c of this story (You know, Jack in this story never ended up alone for hundreds of years when comparing the Jack in the movie). Also, I put "movie" because I'm sure that most of the people are here because of the movie, not the books. Though, I'm sure people are here b/c of the books as well. Thanks for reviewing all the chapters up to date!

*Disclaimer* Guardians of Childhood belong to William Joyce; Story concept, Mother Nature, Estival belong to me.

On with the show!

Chapter 6: Formal-ish Introductions

To say that Estival was baffled was an understatement. He was more that baffled, he was astounded. Another seasonal spirit? Estival was fascinated. And a Spirit of Winter as well. In the thousands of years that Estival or the other Seasonal Spirits have existed, there was never a Spirit of Winter. They expected one of course, but after years and years of expecting one to come about, they stopped. Why were they expecting one? Well, if a season does not have a spirit to harbor it, then the burden of trying to control that season falls to the other nature spirits. Autumn and Vasanta always had a bit of trouble when it came to transitioning from or to Winter, as their sphere of influence only went as far. If there was someone, however, who would be able to bear the burden of Winter, then the job is made less difficult. So with the arrival of Jack Frost, will the change that Estival and the others have been waiting for finally come? Perhaps.

So there Estival stood, still shocked about Mother Nature's announcement. Mother Nature just looked at him, waiting for a response. After getting none, Mother Nature proceeded down the hall. Breaking out of his trance, Estival followed closely behind.

"Is what you're saying true, mi'lady? Has a Spirit of Winter finally awaken?" Mother Nature answered, but continued walking.

"Yes," she answered, "He has finally come. Not at a bad time too, if your report holds true. If Pitch has indeed returned, then we will all need everyone here." She and Estival reached the end of the long hallway, which led to large, oaken wood doors. Carved on to the doors were images displaying the seasons; Spring and Summer on the left door, and Fall and Winter on the right. On each quadrant of the doors, corresponding to each season, was a protective rune. Each rune played a role in preventing the breach of the Seasons' summoning and meeting room. Only Mother Nature or the combined might of the Seasons could open the door to get in.

Calmly, Mother Nature pressed her hand on the door, muttering a chant in ancient tongue. Estival stood close, in case she needed so e assistance. Mother Nature never really did. As Mother Nature continued her spell, the runes on the door began to glow with energy, the double doors creaking as the locking mechanisms began to open. And, just like that, Mother Nature swing the door open, and she and Estival stepped inside.

Once inside, they were greeted by one of the most important rooms in the palace; the Hall of the Seasons. The room itself was pitch dark, except for the piece in the center that was one of the room's only source of light. As Mother Nature and Estival entered the hall, two columns of candles illuminated, marking a pathway that led to the center of the hall. In the center of the hall. was a platform that appeared to hover in mid-air, as there was no way of telling if there was even a floor in the hall. The platform took the shape of a circle, which was divided into four equal quadrants. Each quadrant was where the respective Season would stand if they joined to hold a meeting. The whole platform was a stained glass, strong enough to stand on. Fall's space was orange and red, Autumn's color. The glass showed an image of a village during the Fall season, the orange and red leaves of the trees blowing about. Summer's depicted the bright afternoon sun, spreading life to nature. Spring's displayed a cool, bright scene. The leaves of the trees a beautiful shade of green. Winter's showed the peaks of snowy mountains, and trees covered in snow. The center of the platform showed an image of the moon, a blinding white. That is where Mother Nature would stand. The platform as an entirety glowed, displaying dazzling colors and radiance. Three arched windows, protected by magic, shined moonlight on the platform.

Mother Nature and Estival walked down the pathway and onto the platform. Mother Nature took her place in the center, with Estival just standing off to the side. Mother Nature would need her space if she was to summon the others. Mother Nature stood in her circle, and lifted her arms with the palm of her hands facing the windows. She took a deep breath, the platform glowing brighter, and began her incantation:

Corpus meum sanguinem, spiritus, caritas,

Et sequitur ex dictis

Pluralitas diligendo qui volunt mihi bene,

Veni ad hoc circulo cum ego clangere campana

After the spell was uttered, the sound of chimes rang out. They sounded a gentle tune, but also sounded of firm spirit. The tune went its way out of the summoning room through the windows, travelling with the wind to those whom the message is sent for. The sound soon faded away as it went farther. Mother Nature lowered her arms, the platform's glow dieing down. She faced Estival.

"It is done," she said, "Now we wait for their arrival." Estival nodded, and followed behind Mother Nature as she made her way out of the hall, and back into the hallway. "Now Estival," she said to him, "There is someone you ought to meet."

In Jack's Room

Jack awoke, and rubbed at his eyes. He sat up in his bed, forgetting where he was for a moment. North Wind was on him just as he awoke, ruffling his hair in affection for the young spirit. Jack smiled, reaching out his hand in recognition for the wind's presence. Jack took a look around the room again, taking in his surroundings. Was this really for him? He had only known Mother Nature for a short while, and already she treated him with such love and kindness. It felt foreign to Jack. Not feeling so tired anymore, Jack leaped off his bed and picked up his staff, which was leaning conveniently against the bed frame. Jack walked over to the large window, once again gaping at the view from the palace.

The valley seemed on stretch on forever. the moon beaming down on him, a content look on his face. Jack stood there, taking in everything as the North Wind played with his hair and clothes, trying to get the boy's attention. Suddenly, a tune could be heard. It was loud, yet gentle as it passed by the window and down the valley. The sound of chimes melted into Jack's being, leaving him swaying to the tune as it died down. It was the most wondrous sound.

Then, the door opened. "Oh Jack, you're awake."

Back to Mother Nature and Estival

"Now Estival," she said to him, "there is someone you ought to meet." Estival's eyes immediately glowed with curiosity.

"Meet him?" he asked, "The new spirit?" Mother Nature nodded as they ascended a set of spiral stairs and down another long hallway.

"Yes. You will meet him, as will the others." Mother Nature affirmed, "And, you will love him." They stopped in front of the familiar wooden door. Slowly, she cracked the door open, aware of the sleeping boy on the other side. What she didn't expect however, was Jack Frost, awake, and looking out the window. She fully opened the door, and the two entered.

"Oh Jack, you're awake." Said boy looked over, and after seeing Mother Nature, immediately ran over and took her by the hand.

"Mother, Mother!" he exclaimed, "What was that heavenly noise." Mother nature was confused.

"What noise, Jack?" Jack led her to the window, motioning to the space outside.

"The chiming noise! With the rings n' stuff." He waved his arm for further emphasis.

Mother Nature thought, and realization hit her. Ah. He must have heard the summoning.

I'll tell him about it later. Mother Nature told Jack, "I'll tell you all about the chiming later, and what it represents. But right now, there is someone I want you to meet."

Jack had a confused look. "Oh? Who?" Estival cleared his throat behind him. Mother Nature and Jack looked over to where the Spirit of Summer stood. Estival approached the two.

"Jack," Mother Nature started, "Meet Estival, the Spirit of Summer." Jack looked at the slightly taller spirit, as said spirit took a few steps closer to get a better look.

"H-hi." Jack stuttered out. He held his staff a little closer. Estival sized up the young spirit.

"So," Estival said slowly, "Where exactly have you been?" The last part was said a little too harshly. Jack flinched a bit. Mother Nature looked at Estival, flabbergasted.

"Estival!" she exclaimed, "Show some respect, please! Jack may be younger than you, but take note that he is also a seasonal spirit, just like you are." Estival, realizing his mistake, stood straighter.

"Y-yes, yes." he stammered out, "My apologies, Jack Frost. I did not mean to come out so cold." Jack Frost waved it off with the hand that was not latched on to his staff.

, "You know my name?" Estival nodded in affirmation.

"Yes. I know quite a bit about you, young Spirit of Winter. As m'lady has stated before, I am called Estival amongst the others. I sheperd the season Summer. I am pleased to finally meet you." Estival offered his hand to Jack, who shyly took it. The temperatures of both spirits were mutual upon contact, resulting in a perfect blend of heat and cold. Both spirits released each other's hand.

"I am pleased to finally see a spirit to shepherd Winter," stated Estival, "The others and I were afraid that we would have to continue in trying to move Winter along." Jack, puzzled, look to Mother Nature, who only smiled back in assurance. All would be explained in due time.

"And," Estival continued, "You have also come at a time of great importance, young one. We need you now, to face a threat that was once vanquished, but has decided to rear its ugly face again." Once again, Jack was confused. Jack was about to ask what did Estival mean, when a noise in the distance was heard. The noise stopped, but sounded again. It was the sound of a battle horn. In surprise, Mother Nature and Estival rushed to the window, with Mother Nature pulling Jack with her. The three took a look out the grand window, and into the pathway that led up to the palace. Sure enough, two horses galloped up the pathway, too dark to make out the figures. Mother Nature and Estival however, knew exactly of the group that approached Mother Nature's palace. Another sound from the horn.

"It seems that they have arrived." Mother Nature said.

"Indeed they have." Estival affirmed. Jack stared down at the two forms who were fastly approaching. Mother Nature turned to Jack, smiling.

"Jack," Mother Nature began, " It is time you met Vasanta, Spirit of Spring, and Hemanta, Spirit of Fall."

A/N: Thanks for reading, guys! I appreciate the reviews, and the faves!

I gave Autumn a name, seems fitting, yes? I think so. The chant that Mother Nature uttered is the Latin version of this :

"Blood of my blood, you spirits of love,

Come from below and from above;

Entities loving who wish me well,

Come to this circle when I sound the bell. "

Cool, yeah? R&R for opinion on how it's going so far?