Mia sighed sadly as she sat in the castle courtyard, watching Seier and Sven playing together. It was sweet, the large wolf pouncing at his reindeer companion, while the said hoofed animal sprung around out of the way and tried to pick the canine up with his antlers. In truth, both could easily get hurt, whether it be bitten, in Sven's case, or stood on, in Seier's, but either way, the two were happy for now.
Lysse was laying down next to Mia, just as bored. She always knew when 'her girl' was upset, and would never leave her side during such times, as was the case now. The young princess, just turned 23 months, lay down, staring up at the sky above her. It was a bright, sunny day, although it was November now, and the air was crisp and cool. Still, the girl didn't mind - similarly to her aunt Elsa, the cold never bothered her.
After a while, three minutes and thirteen seconds to be exact, Mia got bored of watching the gentle, white clouds floating along silently, and she even began to resent them. They were all little sheep in her eyes, wandering aimlessly with no real goals or intentions. They simply did the same thing every day, confined to the exact same routine when they could so easily rebel, break free. She couldn't quite grasp the concept that they were not alive, and it almost made her angry that they never did anything different, when they had so much freedom, and yet here she was, longing to be able to just do something - anything - but not being able to.
Trapped in the castle, bored, for two months, now.
She was a bright child, and knew she shouldn't be feeling so bitter. She knew her aunt's past, knew how she had grown up due to her powers, constantly hidden away in her room. At least she was able to roam free, almost. She was glad she was allowed to wander around the castle, and play out in the courtyard. She was even allowed to go with her father ice harvesting some days, simply as an excuse to let her get out of the castle, and at other times, she'd go exploring the forest with her uncle, Odd.
Still, it wasn't enough. She was hardly confined, but she wished she could go outside into the villages again, like she used to. Occasionally Arne would come up to play with her in the courtyard, but he had never liked the castle much - it scared him, although Mia wasn't quite sure why. She assumed that he just didn't like all of the grandeur, but still, it made her sad that she couldn't go and find him, so that they could spend some time together as they always had before.
Standing up, she walked slowly over to where five wooden stakes, arranged in the shape of a cross, were hammered into the ground, and she picked up a horseshoe gently. Focusing on the middle stake, she squinted her eyes before throwing the curved metal, and she huffed when she missed her goal. Bending down again, she picked up another, and this time, aimed for the one closest to her, figuring she might as well start small, and then get better.
With only the smallest amount of enthusiasm, Mia smiled as the horseshoe met the stake and fell around it, but it did little to improve her mood - it was no fun when there was no one to play with.
She sighed. "C'mon, 'Ysse." She said, as she stroked her reindeer's soft head, where tiny antlers were beginning to grow. "Let's go practise riding."
The reindeer bleated, as she bent down to let Mia on her back, before taking off at a bouncy canter towards the schooling ring. In the two months she'd been isolated, the Princess had improved at riding greatly, spending much of her time in the arena practising, for she simply had nothing else to do.
Anna sighed as she looked out of the window, watching her daughter riding the reindeer around the schooling ring.
"I feel so bad, Kristoff," She said, as she watched the young Princess slip backwards off of Lysse's back as she tried to jump a small pole on the floor. Anna cringed slightly, but she knew her daughter was fine - over the past two months, she'd grown used to seeing the child ending up on the ground, and luckily, the reindeer calf was still small, so there wasn't much distance for Mia to fall. "I wish we could let her out into the village again. She's so bored, being here all the time."
Kristoff sighed as well, as he walked over to Anna and wrapped his arm around her waist. "I know," He said, "But what can we do? You know how scared people were of her before, and they won't trust her if they see her. It's obvious she's more powerful - or at least, will be - than Elsa, so people will be afraid that she'll end up, well, setting off another winter."
Anna nodded. "I know, I know," She muttered, "People will be afraid until she can completely control her powers, but being cooped up won't help her."
"Being scared of people's reactions won't, either, Anna." Kristoff pointed out, and he pulled his wife in closer as she began to sob quietly.
"I guess..." She whispered, and her eyes drifted to the girl outside once again. "I just hope she can learn to control it soon. She's doing well, but she's only two. How can anyone expect her to learn something as complicated as this at her age?"
Kristoff was silent for a moment. "I don't know, Anna. I really don't know."
The sun was beginning to set as Odd returned from patrolling the forests for any sign of trouble. He'd set out late in the afternoon, and by now, it was beginning to get even colder than it had been before.
He was worried about Storm Chaser, now that it was getting colder, worried that if he was on his own, he'd freeze to death. However, the horse was a valuable stud stallion, and if he hadn't escaped on his own, he was probably still okay.
Despite numerous searches, Odd had never been able to find his horse, who had been his only companion for thirteen years. It made him sad, but by now, he'd lost any hope of ever finding him again.
The horse wasn't the only thing that was going missing, though. Over the last month, there had been reports of at least 8 people from the villages going missing, and it was beginning to get worrying. Some people were blaming Mia for forcing them away, but most, luckily, didn't believe that.
Either way, though, they were still going missing, and it was worrying. Although in general people were still okay, it wouldn't be too long before they began to get scared and hid away, and then, just like that, poof! The kingdom of Arendelle would end up falling, and that was a terrifying concept indeed.
Odd sighed as he glanced out towards the horizon, looking over at the sea between the little houses of the villagers, the new horse Elsa had given him allowing him a greater elevation. His new stallion, Brandy Shot, wasn't Storm Chaser, but he really was a lovely horse, in the prime of life. As a result, he could see things from higher up, and as such, he could also see more.
Squinting, he noticed a little black blob on the horizon, and after a few minutes, he could make out the distinctive shape of a ship. Gasping, he quickly turned his mount around, and rushed back to the castle, to tell Elsa of the new vessel coming ever closer.
Mia was sat in her room, playing fetch with Seier, when she noticed the ship landing at the docks, and she squealed in excitement when she saw the flag that was fluttering about gently in the wind. Jumping off of her little desk, which she had been using to sit on so that she could see, she ran quickly to her parents' room, where she found the two tangled up in sheets, looking as if they were enjoying themselves.
"Mama? Papa?" She asked, confused, and her parents quickly jumped apart, blushing furiously. "What are 'oo doing?"
Anna stuttered for a moment, while Kristoff looked as if he had just been told that Sven was now dancing the makarena. Sven hated dancing. He had too many left hooves. Not to mention his antlers always seemed to get in the way when he was trying - he always ended tangled up.
After a few seconds of silence, Anna recovered the use of her brain, as she said, "I'm just giving Papa a special cuddle,". Mia frowned, then she smiled.
"I have special cuddle too?" She asked, and Anna shook her head.
"No, Sweetie, because then I'd have to tickle you." She said, making things up as she went, "Papa likes me tickling him," Kristoff chuckled to himself at this, "But you don't like it when I tickle you, do you?"
Mia shook her head. "No! Too tickly!" She cried out, before remembering what she had come to say. "Oh!" She exclaimed, "I saw big boat! With 'Punzel's flag! Outside!"
It took the two adults a few seconds to process the information, but then Anna gasped, and quickly got out of the bed, rushing to the door. Mia frowned.
"Mama." She said, "You not wear clothes."
Anna looked down at herself and blushed. "Oops." She muttered, while Kristoff just laughed at her as he got up himself, pulling on his uniform - something he'd grown much less annoyed at - and picking Mia up. Once the older Princess had retrieved her dress from its discarded position on the floor, and had done up her corset, they were ready to go.
Anna smiled, as she waved excitedly to the pair who were now descending down from the ship. Her hair was thrown up in a quick ponytail, not in her usual braided pigtails, and she was wearing her old dress from Elsa's winter.
Rapunzel grinned widely, as she ran down to greet her cousin, engulfing her in a massive, almost sisterly hug, while Mia cuddled her leg gently, and Eugene walked over to greet Kristoff, slapping his back in a 'man hug' by way of greeting.
"Rapunzel!" Anna cried out when the pair broke apart. "This is a surprise! What are you doing here?"
Rapunzel giggled happily, and Eugene put his hands on his hips, shaking his head in amusement, rolling his eyes at Kristoff at their wives' actions. "Me and Eugene were just on the way to one of Corona's alliances, for some boring meeting, and the weather's been favourable. We're a couple of days ahead of schedule, so we took a slight detour to come and visit!"
Anna looked absolutely thrilled. "That's brilliant!" She said, happily, as she took her cousin's hand and dragged her towards the castle, but stopped when Rapunzel said, "Woah, woah, woah!" Anna paused, and looked down at the Blonde-haired Princess' leg, where her daughter was still clinging on tightly.
Rapunzel giggled when she saw the little girl. "Hello, there!" She cried out, "What are you up to, little miss?" Bending down, she picked the child up and swung her around, laughing gleefully as the girl giggled in her high-pitched voice. "So, let me guess... You're Mia, right?"
The young princess nodded happily, her tiara almost slipping off of her head as she did so. Having the opportunity to get out of the castle meant she was extra excited, more so than usual.
"My, you've grown!" Rapunzel commented, as she gently placed her cousin's daughter back down. Patting her head gently, she smiled at Anna, and added, "She looks like you, y'know. Except for her hair... That's because of her powers, yes?"
Anna nodded, as she bent down to pick her toddler up. "Yeah," She replied, "It's been getting blonder and blonder every day, I swear. Not to mention it's really long... are you sure you haven't given her your hair by mistake?"
Rapunzel laughed, as she began to walk back with Anna to the castle. Kristoff and Eugene laughed, before they both shrieked in surprise as Maximus came galloping, bowling them over like skittles. He whinnied in amusement, before trotting bouncily after the three princesses, his tail and head held high, looking rather comical as he lifted his knees as high as he could.
Anna, Rapunzel and Mia reached the castle first, close followed by Maximus, Eugene and Kristoff, who ended up landing in a pile of hay, thanks to a well aimed buck from the stunning white stallion. Standing up and glaring at the horse, they brushed themselves off as they made their way into the grand building, all sighing at its warmth, only noticed that they had been cold when they were warm.
Anna opened her mouth to speak, when the doors burst open, and Odd stood there, gasping for breath, after having clearly run a long distance, very quickly.
"Anna! Kristoff!" He cried out, then he noticed the two new guests, and nodded briefly at them. "Princess Rapunzel. Prince Eugene."
Turning back to the Princess, he ran his hands through his hair, as he said quickly, "Where's Elsa?" Anna shrugged.
"I don't know, why?" She asked, and Odd looked even more worried.
"There's a ship, it's approaching Arendelle, quickly." He replied, and Anna giggled in amusement.
"That's just Rapunzel and Eugene's ship!" She said, but Odd shook his head.
His bright green eyes were dark, and had lost their usual sparkle, replaced by a glint of anger. "No, it's not their ship. There's another one... a much larger one... about a hundred and fifty metres from Arendelle. It's coming up from the South, not the east."
Anna frowned for a moment, before her eyes widened. "The South...?" She asked, and Kristoff's eyes hardened.
"The Southern Isles." He bit out, and no one would deny his prediction. No one could believe it to be false.
"Everything's going perfectly, Alec." Hans said, as he ran the blade of his knife down the wall, making a sharp scratching noise. At the request of his brother, the 'traitor' of the Southern Isles had been moved to a cell in the castle, so that he could be "kept an eye on", and "given the chance to redeem himself".
"Hans," Alec began, "Don't you think we ought to... you know, make more of an impact?"
Hans chuckled darkly. "Here's the thing, Brother." He said, "You do not understand these things, whereas I do. Trust me - we need to pace ourselves. We get them on their toes, and they'll be clumsy, disorientated. Put a little fear in their hearts, and it'll soon spread to their brains, and when it does, then we know that we've succeeded. You can't rush these things. Get to know your prey a bit, before you try to destroy it."
His eyes glinted maliciously. "You never know what tricks they'll pull otherwise."