"What have you done with her?" Marcus screeched, appearing out of thin air in front of his brother.
"She speared me and vanished," Tyr touched his bleeding thigh.
"Her magic actually broke your flesh?" Marcus laughed heartily. "And you had the audacity to call her a mortal."
Tyr shot him a glare. "She is certainly not a god."
"Neither are we," Marcus shook his head. "The mortals once thought we were because of our advanced abilities. Her abilities are impressive. She already rules this land. Imagine all she can conquer."
Tyr smirked. "You make a convincing argument, brother. I shall have to try all the more to win her hand."
Marcus pursed his lips. "Because you're doing such an extraordinary job as it were."
"Yes," Tyr conceded, "it seems that for whatever reason she allows only you to get so intimidatingly close. I shall employ other tactics. Those that she is closest with seem to have infinite influence over her decision-making. She will do anything to protect her sister."
Marcus was now leaning against a hedge in the dark night, forearms and ankles both crossed. "You've been watching her even before our chat? Now you're planning tactical maneuvers? You are beginning to sound more like the God of Mischief than the God of Law."
Tyr shrugged. "There are no laws against finding out more about the object of my interest. I'm sure you haven't restrained from trickery in your attempts to woo her."
Marcus examined his nails. "There is no need for manipulation, considering the effect I seem to have on her naturally."
"There is no need? You claim to not manipulate her, while you hide behind the identity of a mortal? Tell her your real name," challenged Tyr. "She will hate you, as all the other mortals do."
"I am not the only one, King of Friedhelm." Marcus turned to leave, bored of his brother's insolence.
"I am the King of Friedhelm. Seizing the throne set me back an hour." Tyr looked towards the sky as a light snow began to fall. "Is it the queen who causes this?"
"It certainly is not me," quipped Marcus, glancing back as the snow dusted his dark hair.
Anna was having the most wonderful night with Kristoff. Of course he wasn't the most graceful dancer, but she still loved her dances with him more than any of Elsa's suitors. Kristoff, to her surprise, cleaned up well. Pippingsly had dressed him to the nines in a suit that was still a bit too taut over his broad shoulder and thigh muscles. Anna shyly did not mind. Kristoff had been elected, by Anna, naturally, to style his own hair, which he had simply slicked back out of his face. She was happy when her dance ended from Prince Whoever of the Southern Isles. Not only did she find all of the princes way too similar to Hans for comfort, but she missed the way Kristoff awkwardly averted his eyes when she held his gaze for far too long during a waltz.
"May I have this dance, my lady?" an unusually deep voice asked just at the song came to an end.
"I, uh," Anna stammered, abruptly extending her arm, "I don't believe we've met."
He kissed the back of her hand in a way that reminded her of someone else she'd recently met. "I am Tyr, King of Friedhelm."
She curtsied, peppy and cute. "I am Princess Anna, of Arendelle."
"I know that, dear," the king placed a hand on her waist, as if to begin their dance. "How could I miss one so unique as you?"
Anna blushed and put a hand on his shoulder. "I don't know about all that."
Meanwhile, Marcus had his eyes on the gigantic man whose teeth were clenched in his brother's direction. That was always a good sign.
"Kristoff, is it?" Marcus asked before he was even close enough for proper conversation.
"Yes, er," the large blonde hesistated, obviously having forgotten the duke's name.
"Marcus, Duke of Westley," the slender man offered along with his hand. "Remembering trivialities is hardly worth your time, anyway, old sport."
Kristoff glanced sideways, unsure of how to respond. "Not much for mindless chat?" Marcus broke in before giving him an adequate amount of time. "That's quite alright; I have something of importance to bring up to you, regardless." Kristoff started to open his mouth but Marcus continued, gesturing to Anna. "The princess, is it you who loves her?"
Kristoff cleared his throat. It was an odd question from a stranger, but he was nothing if not direct. "Yes, indefinitely. Is there a problem?"
"Yes, one might say that," Marcus adjusted his cufflinks. "It concerns her sister."
Kristoff turned to him suddenly. "Elsa? Where is she? Has something happened to her?"
"I noticed snow begin to fall outside. Though I've no idea why, I think she is causing it."
"I have to tell Anna," Kristoff said immediately. "She will want to go after her."
Marcus's forehead wrinkled thoughtfully. "Yes, Anna will want to go after her. But do you really think that's wise? Elsa is trying to win a suitor, not scare off all of Arendelle's allies, and the princess isn't exactly," he paused to search for a delicate word, "subtle."
Kristoff shook his head. "Elsa needs her sister. Anna can get through to her."
Marcus shrugged, one eyebrow raised higher than the other. "And how well has that worked out in the past?" When the mountain man did not reply, Marcus lounged one heel as he wrapped an arm around Kristoff's shoulders. "The queen can take care of herself. I expect she will return of her own accord soon enough. The best thing to do now is to keep any of the guests from noticing the sudden change in the weather."
"Right," Kristoff hesitantly agreed. "I will go close the curtains."
Marcus clapped him on the back before disappearing. "Good man."
Kristoff glanced to where Marcus had been standing next to him. For a skinny guy he sure was quick on his feet.
Kristoff hurriedly covered all the windows in the ballroom and barred the doors. No one should be leaving this late at night, anyway, but one could never be too cautious. After hiding the evidence in the obvious places, Kristoff sought out the second floor, rushing up a curving staircase. If he could meander up here, so could some random guest and he did not want Elsa's reputation to be damaged ever further.
He found himself in front of grand doors near the end of the hall. When he stepped in, he was amazed. He had never seen anything like this. The high walls were lined with massive painting after massive painting, no doubt all priceless, one-of-a-kind works of art. He smiled as he looked up to the left; he particularly liked one of a young woman kicking her legs out on a swing.
"What are you doing in here?" a dainty voice asked behind him.
He turned to find the petite princess with her hands on her hips. "I just came in to shut the curtains!" he exclaimed a bit too loudly. He wasn't lying, but he hated keeping things from Anna. The snow will worry her for no reason, he told himself.
Suddenly Kristoff's eyes fixed on the largest painting in the room. It featured a regal gentlemen, dressed in military regalia of the highest rank. "Do you know that man?" he asked Anna.
"Yes," she nodded, eyes widening in concern for his strong reaction. "That's my father."
Kristoff looked to her momentarily before squinting at the eerily familiar face in the portrait. "I know him, from somewhere."
Anna curled up her mouth. "Well, I think most subjects would recognize the king."
"Yes," Kristoff agreed, jogging his memory. "Yes! I remember. He was there the day I found the Valley of the Living Rock."
"What?" Anna's mouth hung open. "How could that be?"
"Princess!" rang through the door abruptly. It was the Head Councilman, in a panic. "I couldn't find you or your sister anywhere. We can hardly have a ball without the queen or the princess present."
"Wait, Kristoff," Anna began.
"Later," he hushed her, leading back to the ballroom. "I will tell you later."