The man chuckled to himself as the Queen of Arendelle ran over to him happily, her meeting with the King of a small, lesser known Kingdom named Reinazar finally finished. She had been discussing trade negotiations with him and, Odd assumed, trying her very best to seem interested, while keeping her eyes painfully wide in an attempt to stay awake. That was what had happened at her last meeting, at any rate.
Elsa grinned as she wrapped her arms around Odd happily, and he spun her around quickly before gently placing her back down, her smile mirrored, just as wide.
Now, for most people, to randomly start spinning the Queen around would have been considered absolutely crazy, and no doubt, they would have been sent to one of the lunatic asylums, which were hidden somewhere on little islands, deep in the Norwegian Sea. Most people hated them, the Queen especially, for she had overheard - with much sorrow - her parents discussing the option of sending her there until she learnt to control her powers. She still felt guilty about it now, for it was on a trip to one of the said asylums, in which her parents had supposedly wanted to study the quality of life there and see if it would be suitable for their daughter or not, that their ship had sunk.
Odd's mind wandered for a second, as he considered how bizarre it would be normally, if a random man began was to spin the Queen around, and he couldn't help but chuckle quietly. Of course, he was no random man - he had helped to save Elsa's life, and as a result, people didn't really mind what he did.
That, and the fact that he and the Queen were engaged to be married.
They hadn't rushed into things; Odd and Elsa had been together as a non-official couple for a year and a bit, or so, now, and just two months before, he had proposed to her, to which she responded by squealing happily and jumping on him in an excited, enthusiastic kiss.
Now, she was twenty six years old, already sixteen and a half months late for the marriage deadline, which stated that she had to have married by her twenty fifth birthday, but after everything that had gone on, none of the other royals, and none of the occupants of Arendelle, made any fuss.
Odd rubbed the back of his head, where Elsa had knocked him over onto the floor. He could still feel the stinging if he thought too much about it. Even if she could hide it better, could adapt to fit the situation, the Queen really was similar to her younger sister.
In all seriousness, though, Odd didn't really mind Elsa's sometimes peculiar antics - he loved her for who she was, and she loved him just the same. After all, he was a nobody, and she was the Queen.
No, he reminded himself, that's not true. You're the official Arendelle Forest Master and Protector, silly. He had to bite back a laugh - Anna and Elsa really were inventive with names... Possibly. It was fair enough giving him a title, because it meant that he could stop working as a stable boy and gave him something to do during the day. As the "official Arendelle Forest Master and Protector", he had to scout the forests, looking for any signs of danger and helping people if they got hurt or lost. That being said, he only really did it when the weather was horrid, because Elsa always got a few of her guards to go and check things out there; it was only when it got more dangerous that he would go (much to the Queen's displeasure) because he knew the forests so well.
It wasn't a difficult job at all, but the title at least made it sound professional, and over glamorised it. It wasn't that he was one for posh names, but simply because actually being someone other than 'the stable boy' or 'that guy from the forests' stopped other kingdoms from frowning upon his and Elsa's relationship.
At least a little, any way. T
he Southern Isles, especially, were still angry about Elsa's engagement to him, for originally, she was going to marry their second eldest Prince, Prince Bjørn.
Bjørn... That name still made Odd's fists clench. He had come to Arendelle when Karleif and his mother, along with their band of trusted followers, had began targetting royalty. They had been trying to kill off the royals, in search of blood which had magic in it, so that they could use it themselves and become powerful at magic.
Odd couldn't quite remember what they planned to do once they had achieved this - couldn't even recall if it had been mentioned. Still, the thought still made his blood boil.
Back on track, though. Bjørn had come to Arendelle requesting that he and Elsa became married, using the excuse that 'they had to keep the royal bloodline going'. Little pervert, Odd thought savagely to himself.
In the end, though, that hadn't been the reason he had wanted to marry Queen Elsa. Instead, he was planning to use Arendelle's money to pay off the debts of the Southern Isles.
A thief and a pervert. Odd's mind thought, What a messed up bloke.
In the end, it resulted that Bjørn had been possessed by Karleif's mother, and had been partially controlled by her. It transpired that he wasn't actually as greedy as he seemed, and was almost a nice guy, except for the fact that he still took advantage of people.
Odd might have taken the time to know him. That is, if the spirit of Karleif's mother hadn't killed him when he tried to get away from Arendelle. Naturally, the Southern Isles were angry to have lost a Prince. And not just a worthless one like Hans, either.
Overall, it had been a horrible day. Some of the Royals had ended up drowning as they tried to flee Arendelle, their boats completely burned down by the two sorcerers - Karleif and his Mother - and the church was left as a skeleton of what it had been. Work had been done to restore it, but it was very difficult.
Karleif, his mother and their followers had been crushed when the church's ceiling had fallen down upon them, but unfortunately, Elsa had been trapped inside at the same time. However, unlike her enemy, she seemed to have an in-built defence mechanism, and when the rubble had began to fall around her, Elsa's ice magic had frozen her body solid, so that she was protected.
At first, Odd had feared that the Queen would have remained frozen forever, and not be able to come back to life, but luckily, with the help of Grand Pabbie, they had worked out how to save her. It had taken a while for her to thaw, but when she had, everything had been perfect.
Odd could still picture that amazing day in his memories.
"Odd!" The voice carried on the wind, and it had a beautiful, melodic sound to it. "Odd! Wait!"
He didn't need to look to know who that voice belonged to, but he did anyway, and there was Elsa, standing in the doorway, calling for him. His face broke out into a large grin, as he saw her.
For a moment, she just stood there, and then she ran towards him, holding up the bottom of the tattered wedding dress with her good arm - the one which wasn't broken still - so that she wouldn't trip over it. For all of the time she had been frozen, the gown had been stuck to her, and it was impossible to remove.
Odd grinned as she made her way over to him, and he jumped off of Storm Chaser quickly.
The crowd parted as their Queen ran through the middle, and Odd couldn't help but notice how beautiful she was when she smiled - even if she did have hundreds of scratches all over her face, including a rather nasty gash across the side of her forehead.
She quickly reached Odd, and he caught her in his arms, giving her a massive hug, that one only gives to someone they truly love. He pulled away, and Elsa smiled at him gently, and her joy over ruled the stinging pains all over her body. She looked at him in the eyes, and then suddenly, not caring that at least one hundred people were watching, she pulled him closer and gave him a long, gentle kiss, as she wrapped her arms around him.
Coming out of his little moment of thought, he smiled at Elsa, and she pecked him gently on the cheek.
"Hey, Odd." She greeted, smiling, and he returned the gesture as he took her hand, and together, they began to walk through the corridors of the castle together, heading to lunch.
"So," Odd said casually, "How was the meeting?"
Elsa rolled her eyes. "Don't make me laugh; it was just as dull as usual."
Odd chuckled. "That bad, huh?" He asked, and his fiancée nodded, sighing. "What was wrong this time?"
Elsa shrugged slightly. "The usual. I'm sure the king's a nice man, but he really is rather dull, as always - he kept going on about how many valuable trading products the kingdom of Reinazar has, and how they are a good alliance to make, as if we were weak ourselves." She sighed, as she looked at the new pictures on the walls, paintings of freshly blossomed spring flowers, warm summer meadows, crisp trees in autumn, and the gentle snow of the winter. "The only thing he overlooked is that I had thorough training in Norwegian, and so I know how to read between the lines. Whenever I went slightly off topic, for example if I began talking about another country, he'd rush to get back on topic. Seems a bit desperate, don't you think?"
Odd nodded, agreeing. "Just a bit." He joked, and Elsa giggled, as the pair entered the dining hall and sat down. Anna and Kristoff were sat around the table already, happily munching away on their ham, lettuce and tomato sandwiches, and, Odd noticed with amusement, the Princess also had a bowl of chocolates hidden under the table. Every so often, she would turn to her daughter, now aged eighteen and a half months old, and help to feed her a spoonful of soup, although the child was perfectly capable of feeding herself by now. In fact, the elder Princess simply used it as an excuse, for as she did so, her hand would drift towards her candy, as she hastily popped one in her mouth, smiling at the sweet taste.
She didn't realise that Kristoff knew exactly what she was doing. Didn't know that he couldn't care less, either.
Odd shook his head happily as he sat down next to Elsa, and Anna looked up at them, beaming. Ever since they had gotten together, she had been constantly ecstatic for them, and, Odd assumed, she felt quite smug about setting them up too.
"Afternoon," Kristoff greeted, as he took a bite of his sandwich happily. "How'd the meeting go?"
Elsa sighed. "I think I may have dosed off at one point, briefly." she said in response, and that was answer enough. Anna giggled slightly at her sister, as she waved the spoon in front of Mia's face to catch her attention.
"I'm so glad I'm not Queen." She said, and Elsa nodded in agreement.
"Some aspects of it are nice, but I'd trade with you any day." She joked, and Anna smiled, before considering.
"Actually..." She said, as she helped feed an eager Mia another spoonful of her lunch. They little child really did love solid foods, even if her favourite was soup, which could hardly be considered solid. Anna had never heard of a child's favourite meal being soup, but considering she had eaten it ever since she could actually stomach things other than milk, she must have developed a taste for it. "I'll take you up on that offer. Then the kitchen staff wouldn't get annoyed when I ask for chocolate."
Elsa frowned, and Odd shook his head at her. "Why does it annoy them?" He queried.
Anna shrugged slightly, and Kristoff chuckled. "She usually spends about half a day in the kitchens, asking for more chocolate." He explained. Elsa rolled her eyes.
"No one would guess that you were a chocoholic, would they?" She teased, and Anna pouted at her sister's sarcasm.
Just then, some quiet little footsteps sounded outside, and the door opened with a slight creak. At first, it appeared like no one was there, but then there came the sound of overly-excited laughter, as a little snowman came skipping into view.
"Olaf!" Elsa and Anna cried out in sync, happily. Kristoff smiled, as he greeted, "Hey, Mate," and Mia laughed at him at him, crying out "O-af!" in an attempt to recreate the snowman's name, reaching for him with her little arms, excitedly. Odd just stared at the snowman, his face a mixture of shock and confusion.
Elsa noticed this quickly, and smiled sheepishly. "Oops. I guess you've never met Olaf, have you?"
Odd shook his head, and Olaf came trotting over bouncily.
"Hiya, Elsa!" He greeted warmly, then he looked at Odd. "And... who are you?"
Odd was temporarily shocked, but Elsa reacted first.
"This is Odd, my fiancé" She said, indicating to her fiancée. "Odd, this is Olaf."
Olaf bounced around happily at the opportunity to make a new friend. Jumping higher, making his body parts separate momentarily, and he launched himself at Odd, wrapping his arms around his legs and hanging on tightly.
"Hi! Nice to meet you! My name's Olaf and I like warm hugs!"
Odd stared down at the strange little snowman clinging onto his legs, unsure.
"Uhm..." He said, unsure and not knowing what to think. It wasn't everyday you came across a walking, talking snowman, after all. "Nice to meet you, Olaf... I guess?"
Elsa smiled at him, and had to hold back her laughter. Still, though, he reacted better than most people did, but that being said, he was accustomed to Elsa's magic more than most people were. Especially over the week when she had been getting ready to marry Bjørn, Odd had grown used to her random outbursts and, as was clear now, the unbelievable scale of her powers.
"So, Olaf," Elsa said, "Where have you been? I haven't seen you around in over a year, at least!"
Olaf giggled happily, as he bounced around to see Mia. Reaching up, completely ignoring Elsa, he tickled the girl under her chin, and was unfazed when she took his wooden arm and began playing with it, completely amazed by the strange item. Soon, though, she got bored of it, and dropped it on the floor, before it ran on fingertips back to it's owner, and Olaf clapped his hands together happily.
He lifted up his head with his hand to get a better view, and Mia laughed as she took his nose, and began to suck on it, and the snowman, not having the heart to take it off of her, began to sob like a child. Anna, however, knew better, and quickly snatched it away, replacing it with a spoonful of soup, and returning the vegetable to Olaf, who squealed with delight.
Anna turned to Kristoff, glaring. "You know, I'm blaming that on you and Sven! You're a bad influence on Mia!"
Kristoff raised his eyebrows. "So, she's not allowed to eat healthily?" He asked, and Anna shook her head, her pigtails flying.
"Not that, duh! Of course she can eat healthily. All I'm saying is that she needs to be a normal child, and normal children don't eat carrots randomly. At least not at her age; maybe I'll let her off when she's older."
"Normal kids wouldn't be eating soup." Kristoff pointed out, but Anna waved her hand dismissively.
"Soup's cooked, it has a combination of flavours, I can let her off for that." She replied, scowling, though her eyes shimmered amusedly.
Kristoff glanced helplessly at Elsa, who just shrugged and sent him a look which read, "Just accept it."
He chuckled, and nodded at Anna, muttering, "Yes, yes, I'm an awful person, I shan't do it again."
Elsa turned back to Olaf.
"So, Olaf, where have you been?" She repeated, not annoyed that he'd ignored her - he was only being Olaf, after all.
Olaf turned to her, as if he'd just realised that she'd spoken. "Oh, right!" He said, his voice cheerful. "I went looking for Santa!" The way he said it, it almost seemed as if he thought it was obvious.
"Oh. Of course. Silly me." Elsa replied, but Olaf looked a little down. "What's wrong?"
Olaf shrugged. "Oh, Santa doesn't exist. I couldn't find him. I didn't stop searching, but..." He said, and Elsa felt bad for him. It was Odd who acted first.
"Of course he does!" He said, as if he were talking to a young child, perhaps to reassure Mia, although whether she understood or not was another matter. "But you can't find him unless you know exactly where he lives. Where do you think he lives?"
Olaf thought for a moment. "Australia?" He suggested, and Odd had to fight the urge to laugh loudly.
Elsa giggled. "No, No, No. He lives at the North Pole." She corrected, amused at the snowman's naïvety, and he smiled.
"Oh! So I have to go to the North Pole?"
This was a little more difficult, but for Odd, it was easy to explain why he couldn't go to find Santa.
"Well, no one knows where he actually lives, Olaf." He said, calmer in the snowman's presence now. "So you can't find him. Maybe on christmas, you can wait up for him though, with Mia?"
Olaf gasped excitedly, his head being raised by his hands.
"Great idea, Olf!" Olaf cried, and Odd crossed his arms, a little annoyed this time, but he remained calm.
"My name's Odd." He corrected, trying to sound gentle, and Olaf giggled.
"I know!" He cried, "That's what I said!" Waving, the snowman turned around and bounced out of the hall - literally, jumping a few meters at a time - and the door closed with a slight thud.
"Well, he seemed like a... nice guy." Odd said, as he rubbed the back of his neck and sat down again, picking a sandwich from a platter on the table. Elsa nodded, smiling.
"He's lovely, even if he is a little strange." She commented, and Odd nodded, agreeing.
Hans lay in his prison cell, the small bowl of - what was it? Gruel? - laying untouched at the other end. He was a prince, and he deserved better than this.
He snarled as he sat up, and looked outside the cell, through the bars, at the plain wall on the opposite side. Sighing, he lay back down, his twisted mind reeling.
Ever since he had received the news of Bjørn's death, Hans had been even more riled up than before. It wasn't that he was ever close to his brother - quite the opposite, in fact - but the fact that he had been killed, in Hans' mind, by Elsa herself. He didn't know the exact details, but as he didn't know, his mind was free to come up with it's own theory, and as a result, he'd taken full advantage of the opportunity.
But how to get revenge?
Not for his brother's death, no - he didn't care about that - but rather for his own public humiliation. He needed to get back at Elsa, and her brat of a sister, Anna, but how?
The cries of a struggling man sounded through the cell walls, and Hans could hear the guards shouting, "Next time, try not to pick a fight with someone superior to you!" Hans grinned - he loved the divisions between the poor, and the wealthy. It made him feel special, like someone who had a worth.
Even if he was stuck in a dark, dingy cell, twenty-four, seven.
Suddenly, something clicked in his mind.
That was it!
He rushed over to the bars of his cell, and tried to force them open, but strong though he was - three and a half years in a prison cell meant that he had plenty of time to work on his muscle power - he could not pry the bars open. He snarled, angrily, and banged his head against the metal in his state of aggravation.
Oh well. Nothing to do but wait.