I do not own the rights to Disney. Contains spoilers for Frozen.
A Baker's Dozen
The Thirteenth Son
Hans life wasn't a fairy tale.
Far from it in fact. He was the thirteenth in line for the throne. A prince by birth, but nowhere close enough to gain the throne as a king. His brothers knew that, and lorded it over him his whole life. They also pointed out that the only reason he was ever born was because his mother was so desperate for a girl, her little Hanna. Instead, after giving birth to twelve sons, she got Hans. Named for the daughter his mother always wanted and never got because she died giving birth to him- something else his brothers rubbed in his considering she had given birth to two sets of twins just fine. King Cobus mourned his Queen Anika and never remarried, letting his sons- Crown Prince Hendrik, Prince Alwin, Prince Bas, the older twins Princes Elbert and Egbert, Prince Ferdi, Prince Klaas, Prince Marten, Prince Gerard, Prince Otto, and the younger twins Prince Rupert and Wilbert- raise their baby brother, Prince Hans.
Hans never knew his mother, he only knew twelve brothers who loved teasing him and pranking him. His father was always too busy attending to the kingdom to pay attention to his youngest. While his older brothers- Hendrik, Alwin, and Bas married when he was rather young, they were too busy having their own families to pay attention to him. Ferdi was always kind to him, but he eventually found a beautiful princess with a kingdom of her own and left the Southern Isles. Klaas and Marten were diplomats to other kingdoms so they were seldom home, and Gerard was a general in the army. Otto, Rupert, and Wilbert, the closest in age to him, ignored him for two years.
For having such a big family, he had grown up just as isolated and lonely as Anna.
Princess Anna of Arendelle, who had fallen for him so easily for she so desperately wanted to be loved. He wanted it as well. Sure she wasn't the Snow White Ferdinand had married, she was a bit of klutz, and nowhere as poised as her sister, but she didn't care that he was a thirteenth son. She was in love with him, and her way out of the lonely world she lived in.
And she was his. He had volunteered to go to Arendelle for Elsa's coronation on behalf of the Southern Isles. A single queen, who had grown up isolated from the outside world? She was Hans' dream, his way to the throne that was always out of his reach. Except she had to turn out to be a bit of an ice queen, and that was before her powers were revealed. Only smiling politely, turning down dances the entire night, refusing to discuss potential marriages with other kingdoms. Anna was the opposite. Outgoing, friendly, and more than happy to be his wife.
The only problem was that she was second in line to the throne. Second was still better than thirteenth though. One accident, and nobody would think anything of it. But twelve (more like thirty with all the nieces and nephews he now had) and Hans would definitely be under suspicion.
Everything had seemed perfect, and Elsa's accident was just a minor hiccup in his plan. Except, the minor hiccup had turned into something major. Elsa refused to bless their marriage. Elsa had magic and unleashed a powerful winter on the land, and Anna just had to go after her sister.
That was fine with Hans though, he had been left in charge on the kingdom. Knowing that all eyes would be on him since he was engaged to Anna, he knew that he couldn't let the power go to his head. He had to be kind, thoughtful, and generous to win the people over, and it worked, he had them practically at his feet. The Duke of Weselton even unintentionally set himself up as the perfect foil to Hans' generous and caring self.
Truthfully, he hadn't expected Anna to last long in the storm before giving up and returning to the kingdom. He would at least let her feel like she was in charge before he sent men to go after Anna's sister. But then his horse had shown up, frightened, and no sign of Anna.
It was in that moment he realized he didn't love Anna. He was more scared of losing his throne than his fiancee. It was the closest he had ever been to being a king and it was going to slip through his fingers due to an ice queen and a flighty princess. Hans wanted to love Anna as much as she loved him, and wanted the fairytale ending of happily ever after his parents allegedly had. He really did want it. The problem was, he knew in his heart that he loved Anna's throne more than he loved her.
He kept it to himself though, there was no need to tell Anna- if she was still alive. Which was why he was intent on bringing Elsa back alive. Not just to end the winter, but to marry her if Anna was dead. Convincing her would be an issue, but perhaps if he helped her when she was most vulnerable and felt guilt over him losing Anna, she'd be open to marrying him. Not for love though like Anna, but guilt, which he was fine with. If anything it would lessen his own guilt over realizing he didn't love Anna.
As it turned out, Anna was as good as dead. Elsa had hit her in the heart with her magic. Only true love's kiss could break the curse and prevent Anna from freezing to death. Hans was well familiar with true love's kiss, Ferdi had awakened Snow White with it after all. He was also well aware that when he failed to break the curse, his secret would be known- he was just marrying Anna for the throne.
He could have drawn it out, attempted to kiss her and watch her face as it scrunched up in confusion, wondering why the kiss didn't work. Or he could do what he actually did- tell her the truth and hope it was enough to break her heart and cause her to freeze for good. Hans locked Anna alone in the room, unable to watch her slowly freeze to death. Putting out the fire, closing the blinds in an attempt to lower the temperature was a mercy act. She would have made such a perfect little obedient queen, he owed her that much.
There was still the problem of his throne. Anna was dying, Elsa was clearly not going to marry him, and there wouldn't be a throne if the entire land was frozen to death. A great solution popped into his head, a way to kill two birds with one stone. He lied to Elsa's advisers and convinced them that Anna had insisted on marriage before she died. She had actually insisted on true love's kiss, but the advisers didn't need to know that. Once they had declared him to be the king, he ordered Elsa's death since she had caused Anna's. Which, to be fair, was true- or at least would be by the time the act was done. Her death would also, presumably, end the winter.
Then once more, Elsa, who had been merely a minor hiccup turned into a major one. She escaped the guards before the deed was done and the storm was growing in intensity. Realizing that this was his crowning moment of glory, the moment he could prove himself to his new people, he ventured out into the storm after Elsa. Since breaking Anna's heart had seemed to cause her despair and unable to go on, surely the same could work on her sister. Hans didn't even have to lie, well not exactly. For all he knew Anna was dead by then and it was all Elsa's fault.
As expected, Elsa collapsed to the ground in despair and hopelessness. The storm even seemed to abate, getting clearer to allow him a perfect view to behead her. Hans had never killed anybody, and Elsa would be the first. He would go down in history as the great King Hans of Arendelle, who avenged his fiance's death by killing her monster of a sister, the sorceress and Snow Queen Elsa who brought death and destruction unto the land. Foreign princesses would fight to be his queen, and his brothers would be disgraced- they had never killed a monster or sorceress before. Ferdi had come closest, but all he did was kiss a girl he had loved and thought was dead. Which was even creepier than what Hans was about to do, once Hans thought about it.
But that moment never came. Anna, who had somehow managed to survive for much longer than he thought she would and stopped his sword from striking Elsa, causing it to shatter. Apparently Anna needed less of true love's kiss and more of an act of true love, for as his hands stopped throbbing from the sword which had shattered in his hands, she was being embraced by Elsa.
Before he could regain his footing, Elsa had reversed the winter she created, Anna was being embraced by a mountain man, and he got punched overboard by his former fiance while Elsa's advisers cheered in the background. And had he seen a talking snowman on deck, or was that just his imagination?
In less than three days he had gone from being a thirteenth son, to being engaged to a princess second in line for the throne, to being a king, and then to be a prisoner on his own ship. His brothers would never let him hear the end of it once he got home, and that wasn't even on top of whatever punishment they would dish out for nearly beheading the monarch of a foreign land and nearly killing her sister.
Meanwhile, Elsa, who in his eyes was just as guilty as he was, was embraced with open arms. Forgotten was the fact she had been responsible for Anna's freezing heart. Forgotten was the fact she had nearly brought about the worst catastrophe Arendelle had ever faced. Instead it was all love, acceptance and ice skating.
Elsa had gotten her happy ending along with Anna. Hans, had just as much if not worse of a childhood than theirs.
So where was his?
I have enough stories going on, but this one popped into my head the other night and now I can't write anything else until it's done. It started as an attempt to explain Han's actions in the movie and sudden betrayal, without going with the 'Hans is a sociopath' theory.
So far, I hope he seems in character. Since Hans is a Dutch/German name (and the character was named for the author of the Snow Queen), I went with that when naming the rest of his siblings. Because Snow White's prince is supposedly named Ferdi, I decided to include it into the story, and we never really learn of her prince's family, so he could have twelve brothers.
This story is about what happens after the movie, Hans' punishment, and how he learns what love really is. There will be a total of 13 chapters, befitting the title. Next chapter is called, 'The Eldest Daughter'. I don't have an update schedule, but I have all the chapters outlined, so the next one should be up soon.
Thanks for reading, and if possible, please leave a review.