If you havent read the Grimm Brothers' version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs I recomend you read it before or while you read this story considering it is based on it. This chapter is really just to introduce the "evil queen". Hope you enjoy!
As always, I don't own Rise of the Guardians or any of its characters.
It all started with the Christmas Ball.
A few years ago, North decided to host a party 2 weeks before Christmas at the North Pole. Every spirit was invited.
The party was obviously nowhere near the workshop, where the yetis were very busy with the toy building. North had a special and very large room for the ball. Although it was North who arranged everything, the ball was (technically) hosted by the Guardians. The big four would welcome everybody and take a break from their duties to socialize once a year. All the spirits were very excited for this year´s Christmas ball because it was the first time it would be hosted by the big five.
Everyone was eager to meet the newest addition to the Guardians. The Guardian in question was not as eager himself.
"Do I really have to wear this?" whined Jack Frost as he looked at his new clothes specially made for the occasion. All of the Guardians were getting ready for the party. Each was dressed in their respective colors. Jack felt uncomfortable in his new blue dress pants and white shirt covered by a long blue formal jacket. It had the Guardians shield on the left. All in all, it was the fanciest Jack had ever dressed.
"I don't know why you are so upset! You look so handsome!" Tooth kept fluttering around him happily. Jack blushed lightly.
"You're just saying that." Before Tooth could answer, a certain pooka entered the room.
"Never thought I'd catch you dead in an outfit like that." Jack turned to the source of the voice with a scowl on his face and a retort on the tip of his tongue but it all froze when his eyes landed on Bunnymund. He was wearing a purple suit and tie, the Guardian's shield on the left.
"You're the one to talk! I've never even seen you wearing clothes before!" Bunny smirked as he walked towards Jack and Tooth.
"Well. I´m not the star of tonight's show. Remember that this is our day to show you off, you gotta look your best." He ruffled the winter spirit's hair and Jack whined in annoyance. Bunny chuckled. " I should go get North. He will want to take a million pictures of you." Jack looked horrified.
"Are you serious? Does he do that?" Bunny ignored him as he headed out the door. He suddenly snuck his head back into view.
"Oh, and don't think I didn't notice you're not wearing shoes. We already talked about this." Tooth looked at Jack's feet.
"I hadn't even noticed!" Jack crossed his arms with a pout
"Bunny isn't even wearing shoes!" Bunny smirked
"Rabbit shoes don't exist mate. Sorry to break it to ya." With that, the pooka left. Jack was fuming.
"Oh yeah, but rabbit suits do." He muttered. Tooth laughed and gave him a hug.
"It's just one night, Jack. Try to have fun! Everyone is here to meet you and they are very excited!"
That really didn't make him feel better. He covered his face with his hands and whined again. He noticed he had been doing that a lot in the last few days.
"Why do you even want me to where shoes? North said something about dancing but I'm really clumsy with shoes cause I never use them!" Tooth just patted his back.
They suddenly heard a voice saying, "He's here? Oh! I'm so excited!" Jack sighed as he let his hands fall and a small smile appear on his face. North slammed the door open. He was beaming with joy as he looked at the youngest of the Guardians. "Jack, my boy! You look great!" He picked Jack up and spun him around "I'm so glad you accepted wearing this! The yetis and I worked hard on it! Do you like?" Jack laughed as North put him down.
"I… haven't actually looked at myself yet." North frowned.
"That won't do! ELVES! BRING MIRROR!" Bunny laughed as he watched 2 elves walk in with a full body mirror and stand before Jack. Jack closed his eyes, not wanting to see himself in the outfit. He would surely look ridiculous, stupid, horrible…
He felt a tug on his Jacket sleeve. Jack opened one eye to look down. He found Sandy smiling at him.
"Oh, hey Sandy." The Guardian in question made an arrow shape over his head. It was pointing to the mirror and Jack knew he wanted him to look at himself. Jack sighed once again then turned to face the mirror. What he saw made his eyes open wide.
He looked… good. The clothes were a perfect fit. They were the same tone of blue as his eyes and the silvery white details were the color of his hair…
Suddenly he heard a click of a camera. He snapped out of his trance and saw North and the others reflected on the mirror.
"So? What do you think?" Jack swallowed.
"It's… different than what I'm used to. It's very… ball-like." North laughed at Jack's definition. Jack looked at the rest of the Guardian's clothes.
North was wearing a formal version of his regular red coat. Sandy also had a little golden suit. Jack couldn't tell if it was made of dream sand or of actual cloth. Tooth's outfit he had already complimented. It was a strapless green gown that was short on the front and long on the back. It was as long as her tail feathers. Everyone's outfit had the Guardian's shield on the left.
Jack turned away from the reflections and looked at the actual people. The moment he did, North took another picture.
"Oh this will be perfect for album!" Jack face palmed, but smiled. He knew that North was making an album but if it was of him or of the Guardians he didn't know. Tooth fluttered excitedly.
"We should take group shot!" Sandy nodded eagerly. A couple of elves got on each other's shoulders until they were tall enough to capture everyone in North's camera. The 4 guardians all stood around their newest addition.
A warm feeling stirred in Jack's stomach. It was not unpleasant; he actually enjoyed felling like this. It was the feeling that invaded him every time they did something together, as a group, as a family. Before, when no one could see him, he would always see families taking pictures together and sharing them with others. He had always wondered what it would be like to be in one.
"Say teeth!" Tooth called out. They all did as the flash of the camera captured the moment. Jack smiled at his fellow Guardians.
Maybe this party wouldn't be so bad.
"Oh, Cupid! Thank you for coming." North shook hands with the spirit of love as he flew into the room. He smiled at all the Guardians.
"North! Tooth! Bunnymund! Sandy! It's been too long!" He turned to Jack and a glint shone in his eyes "So this is the little snowflake everyone has been talking about!" Jack didn't know whether to be embarrassed or upset. Cupid shook his hand. "I heard about how you saved the world!" He laughed, "You really are something! It's enchanting to finally meet you! I guess all the rumors of your good looks are true too." Alright, that got Jack to blush a bit.
"Hey tone it down will ya! You're gonna freak him out!" Bunny scowled. Cupid gave him a sly smile that made the pooka uncomfortable. Jack almost wanted to hide behind bunny.
"Sorry guys! It's just that things like these are so rare!" He suddenly frowned "Well, they usually are. Although I've seen a few new faces here and there which is very strange." The rest of the Guardians nodded (except Jack for who almost every face was a new face).
"Where are all these new spirits coming from? I swear one third of the people here did not even exist last year." Bunny seemed in a bad mood at the large amount of people present at the pole. Of course every year there were many who came to the party but this year held the record. Most of them went every year but the true purpose of this year's party was for everyone to get to meet Jack.
After 300 years of being alone Jack had to accept this was a little overwhelming. Every single spirit who went to greet them would be fretting over Jack and trying to get him to talk. The other Guardians would eventually notice Jack's discomfort and, as friendly as possible, made the nagging spirit go away.
As hosts they had to welcome every single person, which was much more tiring than Jack thought it would be. Bunny would let him know who was a new spirit and who was a usual. With each passing guest Jack realized there really were many new spirits.
Jack looked at the room full of the guests. Some were talking while others danced. The music was being played by the elves, who play as well as they cook (which is very well). Jack wondered if human balls were also during the day, although he doubted it because the reason this ball was so early was because 2 of the hosts have to work at night.
His thoughts were interrupted by Bunny's nudge "Here comes another one. This one's new, and she looks like a pain." Jack smirked and was about to tell him to lighten up when he saw the spirit he was talking about.
It was a young woman. She was dressed in a purple, puffy, and extremely elegant dress like the queens of old. Her long black hair had been curled and styled into a ponytail tied with a matching purple bow. She had the right amount of makeup on her face but exaggerated jewelry. One of her gloved hands was being held by a much simpler dressed younger man. It was hard to focus on him with the woman by his side.
She was beautiful. One, if not the, most beautiful women Jack had ever seen. Yet there was something about her face, a sort of smugness that seemed to lower the quality of her looks.
Her head was held up high as she walked towards the Guardians. She smiled as North took her hand.
"Welcome my lady." He kissed her hand and the woman looked pleased. Bunny had a bad feeling about this spirit.
"Thank you for having me. My name is Cashlin. I am the spirit of jealousy and vanity." The Guardians couldn't help wince at the words. She laughed "I know it sounds bad, but I promise I am not as terrible as I sound."
"There's a thing or two that would make me disagree." Bunny whispered to Jack who elbowed him. Cashlin greeted the rest of the Guardians until her eyes fell on Jack.
She froze. Her eyes opening frighteningly wide. Jack felt a chill run through him as their eyes met. Hers were filled with shock, fear, and hatred. The winter spirit didn't understand what could have possibly brought up such feelings. He felt terribly uncomfortable but he couldn't get himself to look away. It was not until North coughed that Cashlin blinked.
"This is Jack Frost. He is newest Guardian." Cashlin looked Jack up and down before offering her hand.
"It is a pleasure to meet you, Jack." Her voice seemed kind enough but her face looked hostile and the hatred had not left her eyes.
Jack swallowed and nodded.
"You too." North and Sandy looked at Jack with concern while both Tooth and Bunny looked at the woman with distrust. Jack suddenly noticed the man next to Cashlin and said, "Oh, sorry! Didn't see you there. Hi, I'm Jack!" He shook the boy's hand. He looked older than Jack but younger than Cashlin. The boy blinked in shock at Jack who seemed clueless. "What's your name?" He opened his mouth but Cashlin cut in.
"He's nobody. He works for me." There was anger in her voice. The rest of the Guardians frowned but Jack still seemed clueless.
"So? He has a name. Come on! I told you mine!" Jack gave the boy a childish smile. The young man smiled shyly as he said,
"My name is Benen. It's a pleasure to meet you… Jack." Jack's face brightened when he got his answer. The rest of the Guardians greeted Benen but the boy's eyes kept going back to Jack. Cashlin seemed more than a bit upset. Her eyes had not left the winter spirit. Jack had decided to ignore the weird creepy woman.
Finally, Cashlin looked at North and smiled,
"I should get going. There are more guests you must greet." She raised her hand and Benen took it with a displeased look. He found Jack's eyes again. He waved at him and that brought a smile to Benen's face.
The Guardians watched them go. Jack let go of a breath he didn't realize he was holding. Bunny scowled.
"Spirit of jealousy and vanity! Seriously, what is going on!"
"The young man seemed nice," said Tooth "but I don't like the way that woman looked at Jack. It was just so…"
"Creepy?" offered Jack
"Hateful." She answered.
The Guardians frowned but before any of them could give it another thought more guests approached them.
Things were not as terrible as Jack thought they would be. The rest of the guests were extremely friendly and soon the cheerful atmosphere got Jack to relax and enjoy himself. He was, after all, the Guardian of fun.
He tried to talk to everyone even if it was for a short amount of time. Everyone seemed to take a liking to Jack immediately. The boy was able to get a laugh out of anyone he was talking to.
The only person he avoided was Cashlin, but he was able to talk to Benen when he went to fetch her a drink. Jack had a feeling that Benen didn't usually talk to anyone who wasn't the spirit of jealousy and vanity, and he could imagine how well those conversations went. It was not until they saw Cashlin walking towards them that Jack sadly but quickly said goodbye and left before the woman could get to them.
The winter spirit went to stand next to Bunny who had been kind of secluded in a corner for most of the party.
"What's wrong, cottontail? Don't like parties?" Bunny frowned.
"I usually don't have a problem with them. I just don't feel very social today." Jack looked at him with a bit of concern. He had seemed so cheerful before. Bunny looked down at Jack.
"You are doing better than I expected." Jack smirked.
"What? You thought I would give a sudden excuse and hide on the roof or something like that?" Bunny chuckled.
"Something like that." Jack sighed.
"I'm doing better than I expected too. Having conversations with strangers is hard, but not if you don't make them serious." Bunny ruffled Jack's hair.
"And you're the expert in not acting serious so that works perfectly for you." Bunny laughed, then frowned. "I just have a… bad feeling about tonight. I'm not sure what it is but…" He hesitated. Jack nudged him.
"Don't stop there!" He insisted. Bunny growled.
"It's that jealousy spirit! I've been back here watching everything and I've seen her time after time moving aside from everyone, taking something out of her bag, and whispering to it! Every time after it she gets this renewed air of supremacy that is making me want to punch her!"
Jack stared at Bunny blankly, not knowing what to think.
Bunny took a deep breath and gave Jack a weak smile.
"Don't listen to me. I just haven't been around other people for a while. I mean, you and the others don't count. You're like… you know… family."
Jack's face seemed to glow at Bunny's words. The pooka tried to ignore how cute the boy looked. Bunny pushed him away lightly.
"Don't you have a party to attend to? Don't mind me, just go." Jack was about to say something but decided against it. Instead he said,
"When you feel less moody find me, ok?" He flashed him a smile before going back to the party.
As Jack walked he thought about what Bunny said. Whispering to something? How crazy could that spirit get?
He tried to think of something else.
Boy did he hate shoes. They were the most uncomfortably thing. He could hardily move his toes and he felt awfully unbalanced. Jack really hoped no one asked him to dance cause he doubted he would be any good in those things.
Jack walked around and began to talk to people. A while later he felt a light tap on his back. He smiled, thinking it was Bunny, but the person he saw wiped the smile off his face.
"Jack Frost," said Cashlin, her voice as cold as ever. "May I have this dance?"
Jack felt his tongue turn to lead. He wanted to say no, but he knew he couldn't. He technically had no reason not to and it was not what hosts did… and yet he couldn't bring himself to accept. Cashlin smirked, as if pleased to see him so uncomfortable. "Come on, Jack. I want to dance with a Guardian." Jack looked at her helplessly but his eyes widened in shock at a sudden voice.
"I am a Guardian too. Will you not dance with me?" Bunny had suddenly appeared behind Cashlin, who violently turned to face Bunny. The Guardian of hope smirked, knowing he had trapped the spirit in her own web. Cashlin scowled for an instant then smiled fakely.
"Of course, Bunnymund." Jack caught Bunny's eye and the winter spirit gave him a thankful look. Bunny nodded, then walked off with Cashlin's hand in his.
The relief Jack expected did not come. He watched as Bunny and Cashlin began to dance. Their faces were showing no emotion but there was a war going between their eyes. They were glaring at each other, neither had blinked. Jack was distracted by a random spirit asking him to dance. He absentmindedly accepted, not taking his eyes off the silent pair.
As Jack danced he didn't even think of his shoes. All he did was watch Bunny and Cashlin. The spirit he was dancing with was nagging his ear off about nothing. Jack would crack a joke without really thinking but the spirit didn't seem to notice. Suddenly the spirit said something that caught his attention.
"Oh, did you see that woman in the purple dress? She's soooo pretty! They say that she used to be a queen before she became a sprit! That is soooo cool!" Those words frightened Jack a bit. He was afraid that both Bunny and Cashlin would be too proud and stubborn to end their staring (glaring) contest (battle).
Once the song was over Jack watched as the pair stopped dancing but kept glaring. They were like that for a few seconds before Cashlin said something and Bunny blink into a shocked look.
With that, Cashlin smirked and left Bunnymund standing as if frozen on the spot.
Jack was about to make his way to him but instead he watched Cashlin walk towards Benen and take her handbag from him. He saw her take a pocket mirror out of it. Cashlin moved away from the people, opened the mirror, whispered a few words, and looked into it.
Jack realized that was what Bunny had seen her doing all day. Cashlin seemed to be reenergized as she closed the mirror. An air of arrogance surrounded her as she lifted her head up high with a smile and walked back towards Benen.
"What in the world…" Jack murmured. This was all too weird.
Suddenly Jack felt a heavy hand land on his shoulder.
"Jack! It's time to dismiss the guests! Sandy and Tooth must work soon." The boy nodded and followed North to the door.
He noticed Bunny walking towards them with a frown. He stood next to Jack and immediately said, "Stay away from Cashlin." That startled Jack.
"What? What happened?"
"Nothing, it's just… something she said." Jack frowned.
"What did she say?" Bunny stared at the winter spirit's face for a long time. Finally he spoke.
"Nothing. Just… stay close to me." Jack wanted to know more but the guests approached them and they were occupied with that for some time.
When it was Cashlin's turn, Jack felt Bunny become tense. The pooka subtly pulled Jack a step behind him, almost as if he expected the jeleasy spirit to attack the boy. All she did was looked only at North.
"Thank you for the lovely evening." With that she went away, avoiding everyone's eyes. As Benen followed behind her he said a quick "Bye, Jack!"
Jack waved goodbye, then stretched.
"Ugh! I'm really tired! This socializing thing is exhausting." North laughed and patted Jack's back.
"Glad it's only once a year, eh?"
After a while all the guests were gone so Tooth and Sandy were free to go. Jack yawned and poked Bunny (who had calmed down once Cashlin had left) in the stomach.
"Kangaroo, can I stay at the warren tonight?" Bunny looked surprised at the request.
"I thought you were staying with North."
"I am but with him so busy and with Christmas so near I feel like I'll get in the way. If you don't want…"
"No no, it's fine. I told you to stay close to me didn't I." Jack grinned. He then extended his arms and childishly said.
"Carry me!" Bunny blinked in confusion then scowled.
"What! I'm not carrying you, you dill!" Jack whined.
"I'm tired Bunny! Pleeaase!" The winter spirit gave him his best puppy eyes. Bunny looked away, trying to stay firm, but failed.
"I'll carry you on my back. That's all I can offer." With energy that Jack supposedly did not have, the boy leaped onto Bunny's back and put his arms around the pooka's neck.
"I knew you'd say yes! My charms are irresistible." Bunny rolled his eyes.
"You are a spoiled little brat."
"You love me! Don't deny it!" The winter spirit snuggled his face into Bunny's fur and fell asleep.
The Guardian of hope realized Jack had actually been tired. Bunny let a fond smile appear on his face.
"Yeah. Yeah I do."
Cashlin was in a terrible mood. She couldn't get her mind off that boy.
Ugh, just muttering his name made Cashlin's skin crawl with hatred.
That stupid kid with his bright blue eyes that sparkled when he laughed. Stupid boy with his stupid perfect hair and flawless skin. Why did he have to be so…
Ok, stop. Just stop thinking about him.
Cashlin took a deep breath and took out her pocket mirror. This was what she needed. It would help get rid of these horrible thoughts. She opened her mirror and said,
"Pocket mirror please tell me
What is my greatest quality."
On the glass the words "Of your many qualities, your beauty is greatest." appeared.
Cashlin smiled, pleased. Smiles… stupid Jack Frost and his stupid smile with his teeth as white as freshly fallen snow…
This needs to stop! Cashlin growled in frustration. Then the answer appeared to her. She would ask the mirror a question that would put her nerves at ease.
"Oh, pocket mirror on my palm,
Who's the most beautiful spirit of all?"
She waited anxiously for the mirrors answer.
"Your beauty is great
but Jack Frost is more beautiful than all."
For a second Cashlin was silent. She couldn't believe what she was seeing. She felt like she had been slapped, punched, and stabbed all at once.
No… it can't be… he can't be more beautiful than me…
And yet she knew the mirror never lied.
A violent screech erupted from her throat. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath.
"Jack Frost." She murmured, trembling with fury. "You will rue the day we met. Those words on the mirror are your death sentence."