I watched Frozen with my little sister on December 27, and it was a blast! Elsa instantly became my favorite. I've always loved characters with grace and poise (and cool powers to top it off). I wrote and published this the next day. Please enjoy this X-over.
Queen of Ice and Snow
Antenora: One of four rings in the lowest ice-covered circle of Treachery in Hell, according to Dante's Divine Comedy. Antenora is an icy prison filled with sinners punished for betraying their homeland.
Princess Anna of Arendelle woke up early, unfazed by usual morning grogginess as she got ready for the day. She kissed Kristoff goodbye, both going their separate ways as the mountaineer went to work with Sven and the princess headed for the castle.
As she walked down the lowered drawbridge, a foreign prince and his host marched past her. He was dark-haired, olive-skinned and handsome, but certainly not happy. He kept his shoulders high as he rode his horse, but his frown was too much to miss.
Anna didn't need to ask to know what happened. Her spirits dampened a little, she bit back a sigh and continued making her way in. Stopping at the door to Elsa's office, Anna knocked. Her knuckles felt the coldness on the other side.
"Elsa? It's me." After a moment, she heard ice melt from the lock.
"Come in," her sister's voice beckoned.
Anna braced herself before turning the knob and walking in. No matter how many times she visited Elsa's office and chamber, the frigid air always took her off guard. Elsa liked her rooms cold. It never bothered her, anyway.
Queen Elsa of Arendelle sat behind a great oaken desk. Icicles thinly coated the edges. She seemed to be surrounded not only by thin frost in the air, but stacks of papers as well. Darkly dressed, blond hair neatly braided and looking beautifully serene, Elsa didn't look frazzled or stressed over her daily duties. At least, not to Anna. If her older sister was tired, she didn't show it. Elsa was in the middle of reading a lengthy paper at hand, but looked up and smiled when she saw her sister. "Good morning, Anna. You're up earlier than usual."
The princess shivered and tugged her fur coat tighter around her shoulders. "Must you always have it so cold, Elsa?"
"I'm sorry that coming into my room is always such a hassle. But it keeps the papers from decaying, and I like it this way."
"I know. And it's totally fine. I didn't come here to complain about that. I just came to check up on you...and the prince."
Elsa made a resigned smile. "Just me, you mean. The prince sails for his home in the far south as we speak."
"Oh come on, Elsa. Just get married already!" Anna had been hopeful before. Now she was frustrated.
Elsa never broke her composure. She'd been getting good at that. "There's no need to push me, Anna. My outlook on marital prospect is simple: I wait. When the right one comes, I'll let him come."
"But that's the problem. You don't want the right one to come in the first place." Anna threw up her hands in exasperation and crossed her arms. "You're so graceful and beautiful...all these handsome princes, even kings, come from all over to court you. But you wouldn't give them so much as a curtsy and an apology before you send them home in tears."
Elsa heard her sister's joking tone, but deep down she knew Anna greatly pitied these poor princes and wanted the best for her big sister.
Elsa couldn't help but smirk. "I've made them cry?"
Anna nodded fervently. "From highborn men to blubbering babies. You've got some other magic power on them, I think."
"Good thing I don't freeze them by accident. Heaven knows what would've happened if you have these suitors come to me three years ago."
"What happened with the latest one?" Anna asked. "That one from the far south. I invited him myself. He's so tall, tan and strong, and so dreamy...I was so sure he'd be the one to melt your heart. What made you turn him away?"
Elsa signed her name on a letter, briefly mulling over Anna's words. "We had a fine dance last night," she admitted. "He was nice enough. But not enough to win me over."
"Win you over on what?"
Elsa set the quill down and looked up with a deadpan gaze. "After the dance, he said he wanted children. Lots of them. 'Dozens of sons and daughters sired by his strong southern seed and born from my lovely northern loins,' as he put it."
Anna burst into raucous laughter, so sudden and loud that the crows perched outside the window flew off in a startled flurry.
Anna kept laughing so hard she snorted. Then she covered her mouth in embarrassment and wiped away her tears. "Well, that's one way to woo a woman," she finally managed to say. "So how did you respond?"
"I told him, 'You have quite a way with words, sir. I might've taken you for a poet or a singer if not for your princedom. But I'm afraid your seed will only wither and die in this cold body of mine.'"
"You didn't mean that literally, did you?"
Elsa chuckled. "Of course not. But Arendelle and I would not suit his tropical upbringing. He'd find both too cold and unpleasant. I spared him that future. Then I said, 'Look elsewhere for another woman who will return your feelings and fulfill your...um, fiery desire.'"
Anna doubled over in laughter again. She had to clutch the desk to keep herself upright.
Elsa smiled, though Anna could see how strained it was. "I suffer enough from severe cramps and migraines when the moon's blood is upon me. How can I handle bearing a child? Let alone many?"
"The cycle stops when you're pregnant anyway," Anna mumbled. She knew that firsthand; she had been through it twice. First with Henrik 3 years back. Then with Hilda, who was born just a month ago.
Elsa made a sad and distant smile, one beyond her years. "I'm happy for you, Anna. Kristoff and your children...they're blessed to have you as a wonderful wife and mother. But I can't see myself being that. At least, not right now."
"You've been saying that for three years."
Elsa fixed her sister with a serious blue-eyed gaze. "Anna, I don't want to sound cold...though I often come off as such...but you had the luxury of falling in love with little care. You marry a mountaineer and all is well. You don't have to worry about ruling over a realm. A queen cannot settle for anyone less. If I ever considered marriage, I'd have to wed a prince or a king." She lowered her voice to a soft whisper. "I may be twenty-four now, but it only seems like yesterday when I came of age." When she said that, suddenly the young queen looked so vulnerable in her sister's eyes. "Let me take care of Arendelle, then perhaps I'll take care of my marital life in the future. Near future, as you might hope. Thank you for your efforts, but I must continue the work of our mother and father without any distractions."
Elsa returned to her duties, and gestured with her free hand. "Go have fun with Kristoff and the kids. Enjoy the clear sky. I still have unfinished business and unsigned documents that require my attention."
Elsa was courteous enough. But whenever she waved a hand to the door, it was nothing short of a firm order and a real desire to be left alone.
Anna relented, her shoulders slumping in defeat. "Okay, Elsa. I'll leave now." Before leaving she gave her older sister a brief hug. She could only hope Elsa wouldn't develop backaches and a sore hand during those long hours at her desk.
Anna made her way back home. After their wedding, she and Kristoff had settled in a cozy little hovel just outside the palace, close to Arendelle yet immersed in the beautiful wilderness. Anna intended to move the children into the palace, only after Kristoff was okay with it too. But right now he was still trying to get a handle of life as a royal consort. He loved the freedom of his job in the mountains. Anna respected that; it was during her quest to find Elsa three years ago that instilled a love of the wilderness. A love that she shared with her husband. Anna was all for raising her children here. Her son and daughter wouldn't have to live through what she and Elsa had during their own childhood: years of parentless and divided isolation. There would be no secrets among her family. Henrik, and soon Hilda, knew the world wasn't perfectly safe and happy. But under the guidance of their loving parents, and the protection of their cryokinetic-powered aunt, the kids lived the best of both worlds.
Olaf the talking snowman babysat the children when both parents left the house. Henrik, a boy of three years, was yanking Olaf's head off his body when both saw Anna coming. Slowly and steadily she climbed up the snowy hill.
"Mommy!" Henrik cried. In his excitement he accidentally threw Olaf's head high in the air as he rushed to his mother. Anna pulled him into a loving embrace. Henrik giggled as she ruffled his messy brown hair.
"Good morning, Anna!" Olaf said brightly, once he found and reattached his head. "How is Queen Elsa?"
Anna shrugged. "Busy as usual." Holding Henrik's hand, she headed for the house.
Olaf followed, his cloud not far above him. "Aww...Elsa just can't get a rest, huh? I miss those days she'd come out and show off her powers. But with all these princes going head over heels just by looking at her, I don't blame Elsa for not wanting any more attention."
"Yeah...the princes coming over are kind of my fault," Anna said wryly.
"How was candidate number twenty?"
Anna pouted. "Rejected. Like the other nineteen before him."
Olaf's stick arms waved up and down in a failed attempt to shrug. "I'm not surprised. Poor guy."
Anna balled her gloved hand into a fist. "I'm gonna have Elsa pair up with a guy. I'll make it happen someday."
Though she said that, part of her felt guilty for seeming so forceful and pushy about her sister's love life. Or lack of one. True, it was up to Elsa to make the ultimate choice. But Anna only wanted to help, because she feared that her older sister was only going back to the old habit of shutting people out. Elsa certainly seemed to be doing that, with the way numerous princes came in and out of Arendelle with no luck.
Anna went inside to check on her baby daughter. Little Hilda slept peacefully in her crib, swaddled firmly in a patterned blanket. Her blonde hair peeped out of her cap like a soft tuft of straw. Anna picked her up, planted a kiss on her head and walked into the living room. The hovel was small but very homey, with hints of Anna's royal heritage here and there. The ornate banners hung over the mantle reminded her of home. Elsa's home, too.
Henrik sat by the fire, warming his little hands. "I want to see Aunt Elsa."
Anna sighed. "I know. Mommy tries hard, but Aunt Elsa hardly leaves the palace. She has to be a good queen."
She sat down next to Henrik, watching Olaf cheerfully tending the fire unharmed. Hilda stirred in her arms, opening her doe-like eyes and cooing. Anna briefly smiled at her then stared into the flames, lost in thought.
'Elsa, you mention our mother and father. They ruled together. How long can you keep ruling Arendelle by yourself? You need a king by your side. Someone to love both you and Arendelle with all his heart.'
Anna looked forward to the day her regal sister would be swept up in the arms of a strong prince, blushing like a little girl as she was hugged, kissed and cherished by a man. She wanted Elsa to experience the wonders of falling in love, getting married, having children. Elsa took everything so seriously. Perhaps she could let that cool shell melt when she experienced the simple joy of holding a baby in her arms, so warm, small and precious. Or playing with a little son or daughter when that baby grew up.
'The queen of ice and snow needs some warmth and love,' Anna thought resolutely. 'Elsa may not like it, but I'm doing this for her. I won't give up.'