Anna stared blankly out at the sea, as she watched her sister's fleet slowly disappear over the horizon, her cheeks stained with tears, her body quivering in fear and sorrow, and even Kristoff's warm embrace holding her tightly did little to help her discontented emotions. Terrified, she spun into her husbands arms and tightly clutched hold of his royal military jacket uniform, burying her head in his chest and breathing in the faint, musty, earthy smell of him which was not completely concealed underneath his garments, and let her thoughts be carried away into a happier place, where she did not have to rule over the kingdom; her sister was not headed off to war.
Slowly, Anna sank to the ground, her legs weak and incapable of holding her up, and Kristoff slowly lowered himself down with her, until they were both sat upon the cold cobblestones. The strong Prince wrapped his arms around the girl in a snakelike fashion, and she sighed slightly at the slightly reassuring feeling of having her husband's comforting presence to help her stay strong.
She rested her back up against Kristoff, and let her hand softly slip into his own, as he squeezed it softly, his other hand softly tickling her forehead in a comforting manner.
"What am I going to do now, Kristoff?" She asked softly, seemingly unaware of the towns people looking at them, or just ignoring it. That was one of the many things Kristoff admired about the strange Princess he called his wife - she never let bad comments or disapproving glances get her down; she ignored the way people judged her for her clumsy, seemingly 'un-royal' behaviour, and in the ice harvester's eyes, it only made her a stronger, better woman.
It was something which reassured him whenever he was not near - he knew that Anna could look after herself.
"What do you mean, Anna?" He asked, confused, and the Princess sighed.
"I'm just... so worried for Elsa, and for our Kingdom, too... I'm not cut out to rule a kingdom! If we get attacked, I'll mess up, and..."
Kristoff placed his hand over his wife's mouth, cutting off her speech. "Hey, hey." He said, smiling very slightly. "The Anna I know doesn't care what anyone else thinks."
Anna frowned, and pulled back slightly, her eyes slightly shining, indicating that tears weren't far behind. "I don't care what others think about me, though." She confirmed, puzzled.
Kristoff nodded, as he continued. "Exactly. So why are you so harsh on yourself?"
Kristoff sighed, and Anna stopped talking, looking at him, waiting for him to say something. "You know, Fiestypants." He said, smiling. "There's a reason you've earned that nickname."
"Because I'm crazy?" Anna suggested, making Kristoff chuckle.
"No, Anna." He said, rolling his eyes. "Even though that is true. Anyway, the reason you've got that nickname is because you don't let anything stop you when you've got your mind set on something. Believe it or not, you actually are a good leader. You just... need to get someone to check your plans before you put them into motion."
Anna smiled weakly, cuddling a hit closer to Kristoff.
"You think so?"
"I know so."
Feeling a little reassured, Anna relaxed slightly, as she fell prey completely to Kristoff's warm embrace. With her head resting upon his chest, just over the place where his heart was, she looked out across the sea, watching as the cold winter sun slowly crept across the horizon. The calming, almost therapeutic rays danced In the dozing sky, as a few faint stars still twinkled defiantly, the moon just visible in the distance, so many miles away.
Sighing, she closed her eyes and slowly drifted off across a sea of peace, to a place where there was no war, and more specifically, no hatred at all.
But even in her dream, she knew it couldn't come true.
Mia followed after Ayla slowly, taking care to remain at least a few metres behind the beautiful, but mysterious, blonde haired woman. The young princess' bleach blonde hair was slightly knotty from being slightly tousled under the covers of her bed, and she could feel her heart beating rapidly from the sorceress' presence.
The girl wasn't sure what it was which made her so unsure and wary of the pair, but she was always so nervous in their presence. It wasn't that they were cruel to her - quite the contrary, in fact! - but something simply seemed off about the pair, as if they were concealing a secret from her.
A dark secret, none the less.
She knew she could control people now with her powers, even if this ability she possessed was not all that strong. She figured she could control weak willed people, but she wasn't sure how much her power stretched, and did not know whether someone more capable of protecting and sealing off their mind. Of course, she was only two; she hadn't put that much thought into the matter. Still, though, the issue had plagued her mind once or twice.
"Okay, Mia," Ayla said, her voice soft, but there was an undertone of frustration behind it, which went missed by the young child, who was much too distracted by nervousness already to notice such a subtle note. "If you wait in here for a minute, and then I'll be back with a surprise for you."
Mia whimpered silently and nodded, shrinking back into the couch, wishing it would just engulf her and take all of her fears with her. Of course, she didn't realise that if she was 'swallowed' up by the sofa, that she'd actually suffocate and die.
Not that she wasn't drowning in a deep lake of confusion and fear already.
She watched carefully as Ayla left the room, and slowly, her quivering began to fade, as her heart rate returned to normal. She let out a sigh of relief, and curled up on the sofa, relishing the moments she had alone until the sorceress came back.
The few moments of happiness quickly disappeared when Mia's ears detected a soft pounding upon the floor, like gentle footsteps, and she quickly scrambled to hide behind the sofa.
It okay, Her young mind was working ten-to-the-dozen, trying to calm her down, and failing miserably. Just maid, or someone. Not Ayla, Hans. Just maid...
"Mia?" Came a quiet, hushed whisper, and the Princess jumped in shock, her heart pounding wildly, until she recognised the voice. "Mia?" The person murmured softly again, a little louder than before, but not angry, still calm.
"Auntie Elsa?" Mia whispered in disbelief, as she crawled out from behind the couch very slightly to peep around the corner, to see that she had been correct - before her Queen Elsa stood in all her glory, her hair pulled away from her face in its usual, slightly messy plait, which was draped across her shoulder. She was wearing her old ice gown which she'd made when she'd frozen Arendelle, and her crown rested lightly upon her bleach-blonde head of hair.
Warning bells were slowly starting to ring in the back of Mia's mind, but she ignored them as she slowly crawled towards her aunt, nervous and excited at the same time. Perhaps her Aunt could finally get her out of this place, and she could return to Arendelle with her family. She'd missed them all so much - her Father, Mother, Aunt, and Uncle, Lysse, Sven and Seier, and Arne, too. She considered the orphan boy part of her family.
Elsa looked around quickly, as if waiting for someone, and then returned her gaze directly to Mia, her eyes pleading the girl to hurry.
"Quick, quick, Mia!" She whispered, in a now urgent tone. "We need to get out of here before they catch us!"
Mia's eyes widened, and she nodded frantically, still ignoring the bells in her head, hurrying over towards her Aunt. Just before she could get there, however, she noticed how the Queen's expression had changed to one of pure hatred, and a lust for revenge danced in the cold, dull blue orbs.
"You killed Arne!" She snapped, taking a step towards Mia, "You killed everyone! And now, I'm going to avenge their deaths. This is goodnight for the very last time, Mia!"
The young girl didn't quite understand what her Aunt meant by 'goodnight for the very last time', but she was smart enough to know it was definitely not a good thing. She scrambled back as Elsa drew a knife from the folds of her dress in a seemingly impossible place, and twirled it in her fingers, before directing it at Mia.
She grinned as she brought the blade to a rest, just below the girl's chin, and quickly jerked it upwards. Mia gasped in pain, beginning to wail, but somehow she was unable to utter a scream. She placed her fingers under her chin, and when she drew them back she saw blood red liquid coating them.
She gasped, and scrambled back further. Elsa advanced, and for some reason, she appeared to be getting fainter, almost transparent.
Was this the end? Mia wondered. She knew enough to understand that injuries could result in death, although it didn't occur to her that her cut on her chin, though painful and seemingly deep, was nothing in comparison.
Elsa flickered in and out of view, and Mia began breathing heavily as she felt the end drawing near. The woman brought back her hand, and was about the plunge the knife straight into the Princess' side, when suddenly, she dropped it to the floor with a clatter. She stood completely still for a minute, like a meerkat standing on alert, before she glanced down, and saw smoke rising up from her feet.
A second later, the flames engulfed her.
Mia coughed as the acrid smoke reached her lungs, though it was not all that scratchy or bitter in her throat, and she slowly began to crawl towards the door, suddenly overcome with an intense sense of fatigue.
In a rush, a figure dashed in through the door in a heroic fashion, running across the room. At first, Mia thought that he'd run straight through the burning Elsa's body, but then she realised she must just be delusional.
You couldn't just run through another person, after all.
Scooping Mia up and coughing, the man rushed from the room with the girl in his arms. Through her heavy eyelids, the Princess could just make out a head of bright blonde hair, and quickly came to understand that it was Ayla who was taking control of the situation, taking control of the flames.
Exhausted and frightened, Mia's heavy eyes softly slid shut.
The slash of a blade, slicing through the air. The cold, cruel glares of two very distinctive sets of eyes, boring into her mind.
Gasping, Mia shot up from the bed, almost falling onto the floor. Moaning, she ran her hands across her sweaty hair.
The nightmares had been getting steadily worse, and the poor child was beginning to dread going to bed, knowing what was awaiting her on the other side of consciousness. She could never be quite sure what would be causing her terror on a specific night, but one thing she knew for sure: they always ended exactly the same way, and Mia couldn't help but feel it was a sign. Still, she believed everything to be a sign nowadays - a sign that something was completely off.
Softly climbing out of bed, the young girl slipped on a new, non sweaty night dress and padded over to the door, quietly tottering through the corridors, hoping to find a maid to get her a drink.
Passing a large, bronze memorial statue of the late Southern Isle Prince, Bjørn, Mia froze at a soft, approaching sound, and she shrank back into the shadows, pressing herself against the cold metal, wishing she could just blend in. Though she could not see them, Mia knew the two in the room were Hans and Ayla, simply from the deep feelings of discomfort in her heart, from the nagging commands of her instincts to get away.
A few soft footsteps sounded near to her door, accompanied by quiet murmuring, and the young child quickly held her breath, trying to listen into the conversation.
"Don't worry, Hans." Ayla's voice was quiet, almost impossible to hear and even harder to actually comprehend and understand. "I know you said she was bored, but we don't have time to worry about that. The events tonight will have stirred her up, and she'll no doubt be terrified of Elsa and grateful to us for saving her. She'll be on our side for sure, now, which will be useful, and if she gets anywhere near the Queen, we can get her trained to just kill her on sight. One little icicle and bam - she's dead, and this is all over."
Hans grunted softly, approvingly. "That's a fair plan." He agreed, "But won't she be confused when she finds Elsa is alive, and not actually dead?"
Ayla let out a tiny, quiet laugh. "She's a two year old, Hans. She's stupid. She won't question those sorts of things - she'll just accept it."
The conversation died out, and in the silence that followed, Mia held her breath, not wanting to give Ayla and Hans any clue that she was awake. She hadn't been meant to overhear the conversation, and clearly something terrible was going on - much worse than she'd thought at first. She couldn't quite pick up everything, just a few snippets here and there, but she knew for a fact that somehow, this plan involved her, and it wasn't a good one.
Back in her room, she sat on the window seat, staring out across the sleeping kingdom as she so often did. The sky was dark and pitch black, and the wind was howling. The clock chimed midnight, making Mia jump. A few small icicles burst forth from her fingers, making her fear that she was losing control of her magic.
Twelve am - the witching hour. The time when all of the creatures of darkness come out of hiding to haunt the world, when witches, demons and ghosts are most powerful, and black magic is strongest.
Mia gasped as she heard the slight crack as the room began to freeze up, and she backed up against the wall, struggling to thaw the ice, and failing terribly.
The witching hour - the time when her magic was at its peak, too.
Thinking back to Hans and Ayla's conversation earlier, she sighed. After all she had been through herself, she was of no mind to hurt anyone else, but the one true question now was a simple one.
Could she hold her magic back to keep everyone else safe?