The Plague (II)
A week has passed since Anna caught the plague and Elsa couldn't stand being separated from her sister for much longer, what's wrong with me? I should be used to this but for some reason I can't sleep, I can't eat, and I can't even focus on my work anymore. Elsa was sitting in her study with a bunch of paperwork slowly piling up around her. It's hard to just sit on the sidelines and hope for the best, I feel like I need to do something to help, but for once in my life, I am powerless.
There was a knocking on the door, and as Hans, who was standing by the door, reached to open it, a masculine voice called out through the door, "It's Kristoff, but please, don't open the door! I just came from Anna's room, but I do have news for the Queen regarding her sister."
Elsa stood up and ran over to the door, "What do you know about my sister? How is she?"
Kristoff briefly coughed, "I have good and bad news."
Elsa leaned closer to the door, "Give me the bad news first."
Kristoff cleared his throat, "Well, her health has not improved at all-
Elsa started to wring her hands, "And the good news?"
"She hasn't gotten worse…her health actually hasn't changed at all."
Elsa furrowed her brows, "What does that mean? What does the doctor have to say?"
Kristoff coughed again, "He's looking into it at the moment; he said he has never seen anything like this before."
Elsa took in a deep breath, "Thank you, Kristoff. Please let me know when you receive more news." When Kristoff didn't answer, the Queen began to worry, "Kristoff? Are you still there? Are you okay?"
She heard whispering on the other side of the door, but she couldn't understand what was being said. Elsa looked at Hans, who only shrugged and looked as lost as she did. She was about to knock on the door again, but all of a sudden they heard Kristoff shout, "Are you serious?!"
Elsa started panicking, "Kristoff, what happened?! What's wrong?!"
A tired voice now spoke through the door, "Your Majesty? May I talk to you face to face?"
Elsa threw open the door, to find only the doctor, looking tired and ragged, "Your Majesty…" He bowed and then cracked a small smile, "I have some very good news for you."
Elsa waved the doctor into her study and gave one last look down the hallway, not knowing where Kristoff ran off to, "What news do you bring regarding my sister?"
Hans closed the door and offered the doctor some water to drink, which he gratefully accepted, "Thank you." He looked back at the Queen, "Queen Elsa, your sister will survive this plague-"
Elsa's body sagged with relief as she collapsed onto the sofa across from the doctor, "Oh thank goodness! What changed doctor? The Kristoff just told me was that her condition hasn't changed."
The doctor nodded, "Yes, which is true. But I have been running tests and looking into this strange phenomenon, for quite some time now, and I've come to a miraculous discovery."
Elsa sat up and leaned intently towards the doctor, "What is it?"
The doctor couldn't meet Elsa's eyes, "You recall the time you accidently froze Anna's heart?" Elsa solemnly nodded her head, but remained quiet as the doctor continued, "Although her heart is no longer frozen, her body's internal temperature is colder than the average human temperature, similarly like yours. Because of that, the bacterial infection couldn't adapt to her cold body temperature and has, therefore, hit a suicide chain and is slowly dying. This means that although Anna may still need plenty of bed rest and medical attention, she will survive."
Elsa happily clasped her hands together, "That is some wonderful news, doctor. I thank you for your hard-work and dedication."
The doctor politely bowed his head, "It is my pleasure, Your Majesty. But that's not even the best news."
The Queen raised her eyebrows in curiosity, "What's better than that?"
The doctor couldn't stop smiling, "Since the disease is dying, Anna is no longer contagious and being that you also have an unnaturally low body temperature, your body is immune to this plague…With that being said, you can go see your sister right now."
Elsa's entire face light up and she couldn't help but wear a silly grin on her face, as she quickly stood up and ran towards Anna's bedroom, calling out over her shoulder, "Thank you doctor!" I can't believe it! For once, my ice powers actually did some good for Anna, instead of hurting her! Maybe we can find a way to make my powers help fend off other diseases and save people's lives. Maybe this is the reason I was born with these powers, to help cure illnesses! Okay, Elsa, don't get ahead of yourself here, I do not want to set myself up for disappointment. As Elsa approached Anna's door she stopped running and quietly knocked on Anna's door, in case she was sleeping, "Anna?"
She heard Anna's voice faintly through that door, "Come in, Elsa."
Elsa cautiously opened the door, not knowing what to expect since she had not seen her sister in about a week since contracting the plague. But to her surprise, Anna was sitting up in bed with a book on her lap, looking like her old self, perhaps a bit thinner than usual, but she knew that Anna would easily fix that because of her serious appetite. Kristoff was also there, sitting by Anna's nightstand looking pretty tired and ragged, himself, but he also looked relieved.
Elsa was almost in tears upon seeing her sister again, and knowing that everything would be fine, "How are you feeling, Anna?"
Anna smiled and shrugged, "Eh…I can't complain. I'm not dying anymore, so that's a huge relief!" She dramatically threw one arm upon her forehead, "I feel as if a great load as being lifted off my shoulders!"
Elsa laughed and rolled her eyes, "You were always such a drama queen."
Anna giggled, "Admit it, Elsa, that's one of the things you love about me."
Elsa nodded, "That is true." Elsa sat on the edge of Anna's bed, "So what has Kristoff told you so far?"
Anna narrowed her eyes at Kristoff, "Not much, other than the fact that I'm not dying. But he won't tell me what happened!"
Kristoff looked at the Queen, "I thought that it would be best if you told her, since you know…"
Elsa nodded, "Yes, thank you." Elsa looked directly into Anna's eyes, "Anna, when I froze your heart a while back, it seems that although your heart has obviously thawed, the coldness of the ice has remained in your body. With that being said, your unnaturally cold body temperature has made you immune to the illness, and therefore, the disease has died off."
Anna remained silent for a few minutes, soaking up all the information that was just said. Elsa and Kristoff questioningly looked at each, before Anna spoke up, "Elsa? Do you know what all of this means?" Elsa warily shook her head, but stayed silent. Anna grinned from ear to ear, "In some strange way…you almost killing me, by accident of course, ultimately saved me! Elsa, your ice powers are miraculous!" Anna flung herself at her sister, and squeezed the air out of her lungs in an enormous bear hug, "I always believed that everything had its reasons for happening…you could do some amazing things with this! Perhaps now you can heal all other diseases in the world! Oh my gosh! You'd be a hero! You'd be legendary! They might even write a book about you someday!" Anna theatrically held out her hands, "Image this: 'Queen Elsa-Ice Healer'! Or, 'The Miraculous Ice Queen'! Or maybe something more generalized like, 'The Snow Queen'! Oh! I like that one! Sounds mysterious, yet intriguing, I would definitely read that!"
Elsa and Kristoff couldn't help but laugh at Anna's over-the-top performance. Elsa lovingly looked at her sister, yup! I think everything is going to be just fine! All of a sudden, Kristoff started coughing harshly. Anna gave him a handkerchief and caringly put a hand on his shoulder, "Kristoff? Are you okay?"
Elsa turned towards the doorway, calling Hans, who was standing near the entrance, "Go fetch the doctor, immediately!"
As Hans ran off to get the doctor, Kristoff started breaking out into a sweat and began shivering a great deal. Then, the unimaginable happened, Kristoff removed the handkerchief and his wide eyes flooded with fear, "Uh-oh."
Anna and Elsa both spoke at the same time, "What is it?!"
As Kristoff slowly showed the sisters the handkerchief, they both gasped when they saw that it was covered with spots of blood. Anna's eyes welled up with tears, "Kristoff?"
Anna, Elsa, and Hans silently waited outside the ice harvester's bedroom. The doctor was adamant that Anna stay in bed, but she insisted on coming anyways. If I'm not going to die, then what's the point of prolonging my bed rest? Anyways, he should be more worried about Kristoff than me; he was never struck by Elsa's magic and is, therefore, very vulnerable to this disease. Anna took in a deep breath and looked upward; please don't take him away from me just yet. Please…not yet, not now?!
The doctor came out of the room, gently closed the door behind him, and sighed, "Well, it seems that Kristoff has also come down with the plague. It looks that even though I specifically told him to wear a mask at all times when around the Princess, he failed to follow my instructions. Unfortunately, he has passed the first stage already and is well into the second phase. And I'm presuming that he was not struck by any ice magic?"
Elsa solemnly shook her head, "No."
The doctor nodded, "I see…" He looked at Anna, "Your Highness, I'm sorry to tell you this but…Kristoff will most likely not make it."
Anna leaned against the wall, slide down onto the floor, and burst into tears. Elsa sat beside her sister and put her arms comfortingly around her, "Doctor, there has to be something that can save him."
Hans cautiously spoke up, "Doctor, is there any way that Queen Elsa can use her powers to improve his chances of survival?"
The doctor shook his head, "I'm afraid not, although…"
The hallway suddenly became very quiet, with the exception of Anna's sniffling, "There may be a very slight chance for him to pull through, being that you get him the right kind of medicine."
Elsa stood up, "What kind of medicine do you speak of?"
The doctor ran a hand through his hair and sighed, "It would be magic, Your Majesty. I have a friend who supposedly found this magical remedy that could cure most diseases, and I'm pretty sure this plague was one of them."
Hans stepped forward, "Who is he? Where does he live?" The Queen cleared her throat, signaling Hans to step down, "Sorry, Your Majesty."
Elsa evenly looked the doctor in the eye, "What's the drawback?"
The doctor looked surprised, "Drawback?"
The Queen continued her intense gaze, "Yes, there must be a drawback because when Anna fell ill, you never brought up this alternate option. So you must think that it's a pretty big risk."
The doctor nodded, "Yes, my Queen. My friend lives in a far off kingdom, which has been struggling for quite some time now. I do not know what this remedy consists of exactly, but I do know that it could be a very dangerous trip due to the seasonal storms approaching, among other things."
Elsa frowned, "What 'other things'?"
The doctor sighed, "The Kingdom of Sperca had fallen due to the death of their King and Queen long ago, and afterwards the citizens lived in a land of democracy. But now, a new King and Queen have recently emerged and have taken the kingdom back into a monarch rule. I have received word that the people are not happy with what is happening, and they are bent to destroy the monarch system."
Anna spoke up, "How does this affect us exactly?"
The doctor puzzlingly looked back and forth between the two sisters, "Because only those born with the powers of the unknown can actually find the main ingredient to this remedy, which means, only Queen Elsa can make this journey. But being that she is a royal monarch-"
Elsa finished his thought out loud, "I will most likely be killed before even finding your friend or the secret ingredient."
The doctor nodded, "I'm sorry, but if you'll excuse me, I need to get some medical supplies from my office and prepare myself for a long night with Kristoff."
The Queen acknowledged his request and he took off. The group of three was silent, thinking to themselves about what just happened. Anna stood up, "I'll go!"
Elsa and Hans both wore shocked expressions on their faces, but Elsa was the first to respond, "What? Anna, no, it's too dangerous. You're still recovering, and besides, you heard the doctor, only 'those born with the powers of the unknown' can find the ingredient. Also, you're a royal monarch, which means that the people would be after you too."
Anna started to wring her hands, "I know…but Elsa? I can't just let him die! We have to do something!"
Elsa was starting to get frustrated, "Anna, there's nothing we can do."
Anna evenly looked at her sister, "I refuse to believe that…"
Now Elsa was exasperated, "Anna, what do you want me to do? Go on this incredibly dangerous journey, risk being killed, and leaving Arendelle without a queen? All for this 'magic' remedy that we don't even know will work?"
Anna dejectedly looked down, "No."
There was a thick tension that sat in the hallway for a few minutes before Anna quietly spoke, "Elsa? I'm sorry. I just feel so desperate and helpless, right now. I don't want you to go and do that, because you're right, it's too much of a risk for something that has very little chance of working." She sighed, "Goodnight, Elsa."
As Elsa saw her sister shuffle her slippers down the hallway and silently wipe a tear from her eye, she felt something tugging at her heart. No, I can't do this. I can't go off and get killed because then Kristoff will surely die, then Anna will have nobody left. I can't do that to her…But why am I feeling so guilty about this?
Elsa walked Hans back to his chambers, where she would lock him in every night to ensure that no shenanigans would occur when she was asleep. Elsa tiredly looked at Hans, "You're excused for the rest of the evening."
Hans respectively bowed, "Yes, Your Majesty."
Elsa gasped as she woke up, around two in the morning, breathing very hard, very fast, as ice was starting to form around her bedroom. She quickly jumped out of bed, threw on her most conservative robe and ran down the hallway. She swung open the door to the doctor's office to find him reading a book, "Doctor…" She stepped inside and closed the door behind her, "Who's your friend?"
Elsa stormed into her study and scrambled for some paper, and it was there that she wrote a note to her sister:
My Dearest Anna,
I want you to know that I love you very much. I've been thinking, ever since you risked your own life to save me, I needed to do something that great of risk in order to show you how much I would do to ensure your happiness. Kristoff is a good man; he's kind, compassionate, and treats you very well. I know that Kristoff is the one for you, he's your true love, and I couldn't live with myself seeing him die and you miserable for the rest of your life. You were right when you said that everything happens for a reason, and it wasn't just some strange coincidence that I had to be the one to find this magic ingredient. You, yourself, said that I may be the one to find a cure to save the world of diseases, and once again, you were right. This is what I was destined to do. This is why my powers were bestowed upon me. I am going to Sperca and I am going to find that magic ingredient and I am going to return home with the remedy to save Kristoff.
Anna, while I'm away, you are the acting ruler of Arendelle. I have the upmost faith in your abilities to protect and care for our people. Keep an eye on Hans for me while I'm gone, I don't think he will try anything but then again, I still don't trust him. I know that right now, you feel responsible because you'll think that you made me feel guilty and that's what persuaded me to go, but just so you know, this decision I made entirely on my own.
I love you so much, Anna, and if anything should happen to me…Long live Queen Anna.
All my love,
Elsa tucked the letter away in an envelope, along with the room key to Hans's bedroom, and quietly snuck into her sister's bedroom. She placed the envelope onto Anna's nightstand and looked at her beautiful baby sister. Elsa gently brushed Anna's hair away from her face and kissed her lightly on the forehead, "I love you, Anna." She quietly closed the door, hurried back to her room, and prepared herself for what was to come. This time, it's my turn to sacrifice myself for you, Anna.