"Good morning, Princess Mia," Hans said, as he peeked around the door, and entered the room, sitting down next to the young girl, who was laying on the bed, silently. She whimpered slightly as he smiled at her, shrinking under the covers, and the Prince moved a little away from her, trying to convey to her that he wasn't going to hurt her.
He figured that if she came to that conclusion herself, without the fact being forced upon her, she'd be more likely to believe it. And it was true, too; Hans didn't want to hurt the young girl, for she could come in useful with her powers. Now that he had Ayla on his side, Mia's value had lessened, but she could still be an asset to him; if he could convince her to get close to her parents, no matter how scared she might be, there would be a direct way to kill them. Besides, she was clearly powerful, and if he hurt her, she would likely hurt him back.
"How are you, Mia?" He said gently, smiling, "Are you feeling better?"
Mia mumbled quietly, still shrinking away, and Hans sighed. Time was of the essence, but sadly, he couldn't rush her - she needed to come to trust him herself, or the plan would never work. Standing up, he bowed slightly, and gave her a warm smile.
"Would you like anything to eat?" He asked, before leaving, and Mia nodded very stiffly. "I'll get you some soup, if you'd like?" Once again, she nodded, and Hans walked over to her slowly, scaring the child, but he tried to ignore this, as he laid his hand upon her shoulder gently. She whined as he whispered comfortingly, "Don't worry, Sweetie. You're safe now."
Smiling, he turned and left to get a maid to bring her a bowl of soup, but his face dropped the act of gentleness when he was out of her sight, and he scowled.
Bloody child, he thought to himself, savagely. It's such a pain, having to work everything around her. His mood only got worse when he was reminded of Queen Elsa's pregnancy, and he clenched his fists, trying to calm down, knowing full well that if he didn't, he'd end up breaking something.
He breathed deeply a few times, and then, suddenly, a wave of pure relief washed over him, and he sighed as his mind cleared of all emotions for a minute, before he frowned a little, and then chuckled.
"Hello, Ayla," he said, and the woman smiled as she walked over to stand before him. "How are you?"
The woman nodded. "I'm feeling well, thanks," she said, "Although I couldn't help but notice that you seemed just the tiniest bit frustrated and stressed. Thought I might lend you a hand; it's no good planning world domination when you're in a bad mood. Completely counterproductive, actually; you'd end up killing everyone and have no one to control, simply because you were a bit grumpy and they were being boring to you."
Hans gasped, putting on a face of mock innocence. "Me? Really?" He teased, truthfully in a good mood from Ayla's handiwork. His companion clicked her fingers, causing devil horns and a tail to sprout.
"Yeah, I'd say so." She replied, as she waved her hand, making the new accessories disappear. "At any rate, I need to talk to you."
"Me too. So, I've been wondering, what's your story?" He leaned against the wall lazily, taking a large bite out of a large, sour green apple sat upon a ledge, savouring the sharp taste, even as sour as it was, and he cringed slightly. "I mean, why are you actually getting involved with this whole thing?"
Ayla shrugged slightly. "My mother and brother always ignored me. They were clever, but even though I had less magic than they did, I was always much smarter. I used my time wisely and learnt just how to control my magic properly. So... I'm probably as powerful as them, nearly. At any rate, they were family, so... I guess I've inherited their goal, so to speak, and I can't let their death go to waste, now, can I?"
Hans chuckled at Ayla's almost sweet, innocent finish to her short speech. She almost sounded as if she believed her cause was completely selfless and noble, trying to complete her dead family's missions, even if it did involve starting a war. Still though, Hans wouldn't argue; she was a useful person to have on his side, and in truth, he would do exactly the same if he was her anyway.
Ayla smiled. "Anyway, like I was saying, I want to talk to you. So, I've been thinking..."
"God help us all," Hans whispered, and Ayla huffed.
"I don't think I'll help you out again when you almost blow a fuse in frustration. Quite frankly, you're almost annoying like this. And before you say it, yes, you."
Hans chuckled. "You can read minds." He joked, and Ayla laughed.
"I can, actually, although I've never tested it out, so stop thinking what you are and get back on track, Princey." She scolded, before continuing, "Like I was saying, I was thinking and, correct me if I'm wrong, but I do believe that we really need to start getting a move on. I know about the situation with Mia, but would it not be prudent to begin the attack, and continue to... Train her, so to speak, whilst the war is raging. Perhaps we could even stage it to look like Arendelle and Corona started the war, which would surely make the Princess angry and help our cause?"
Hans paused for a moment, weighing up the suggestion.
Oh, what to do?
Queen Elsa sat on her end, rubbing her stomach gently, as her sister gently massaged her aching shoulders.
"Thank you for this, Anna," She said, "It means a lot to me. Odd said he'd do it, but then he had to go out to help with the search for Mia this morning, as you know, so..."
Anna sighed. "I'm not even getting my hopes up, anymore. They haven't found her in almost two months, so I can't really see her being found at all anymore." She stopped rubbing her sister's shoulders, and sobbed. "I mean, how often have you heard of royalty being kidnapped and not killed? Except for ransom, which they'd have demanded by now."
Elsa's face fell. "Oh, Sweetie... We'll find her, don't worry. In fact, I've been thinking, and I do suspect that it may have something to do with her powers. I expect that whoever kidnapped her is keeping her so that they can use her magic."
Anna nodded, sadly. "I wish I had magic... Then if I ever found them, I could freeze them, and then blast them to smithereens."
For a moment, Elsa looked taken aback, but she smiled softly after. "You want magic, you say?" She whispered, "You seem to have forgotten about your own Talent."
"Talking people into insanity?" Anna suggested feebly, and Elsa giggled quietly. Though she was terrified for her niece, she was glad her sister was beginning to be a little happier, if very occasionally, and she wasn't too worried herself; she was convinced her hypothesis was correct.
"Well, other than that." she teased, "You can channel magic, remember?"
Anna nodded, as she recalled the way she had been able to harness Elsa's magic before, and Elsa took her hand in her own, channeling some of her own icy magic into the Princess. Anna smiled very slightly at this, as she began to make a few soft snowflakes, and Elsa batted her hand gently.
"Save it for someone else," She whispered, and stood up. "Come on. Let's go see how the search is going."
Anna nodded, and followed her sister out of the door.
"So, Elsa," She said, but her voice had lost it's slightly happy edge. Ah, well- at least she'd been happy for a few minutes when she was distracted. "When are you, you know, due?"
Elsa smiled softly. "Well, it's December now, and I'm about four months along, so... Probably some time in May, I reckon. We don't know for sure, but it's a pretty good guess."
Anna nodded. "You should probably tell the kingdom soon," She said, and then burst into tears, just as Elsa replied "yes", remembering the presentation of Mia.
Elsa sighed. "Come here, Anna..." She whispered, and opened her arms wide to accept Anna in an embrace. "Shush, it'll be okay. I promise." Gently, she smoothed her sister's hair, and cooed softly, trying to calm her, not hearing Ida's approach. The poor woman looked terrible, even worse than Anna; her daughter had been murdered just a week, or so, before.
"Excuse me, Ma'am?" She said, and Elsa jumped a little in surprise. "I've a letter here for you, from Corona." Her voice was dull, and the Queen took it softly.
"Thank you, Ida." She said, "But I really must insist you at least take a few days off. I hate to see you like this..."
Ida shook her head. "It helps to keep myself busy. Just working through the pain... It helps..." She sobbed softly, and Anna's eyes widened. Quickly, she rushed over to Ida and pulled her into a hug, both women clinging to each other for support, as Elsa read her letter.
A soft thud made the two grief-stricken mothers look around, to see Elsa, the master of regality and a strong Queen, leaning against the wall, her knuckles white where she was gripping the ledge so tightly. The letter fell from her grasp, floating down to the floor like a feather.
"What is it, Elsa?" Anna asked, worriedly, and Elsa gasped slightly, before she began to speak.
"The southern Isles and Weselton," She whispered, "They've gone to war with Corona!"