"Elsa, wake up…come on sleepyhead…wake up."
Elsa slowly opened her eyes to her bright-eyed sister, "Anna?"
Anna grinned, "Well, it's about time you woke up! I've been up for a while now so-"
"It's still dark…" Elsa squinted at the window, "What time is it?"
Anna threw Elsa's robe at her, "Early enough that you still have time to get ready, but late enough that you need to get up now."
Anna jumped on the bed, "Why?! It's your wedding day!"
Elsa sat up and tied her robe around herself, "My what?"
"Oh good grief, Elsa, you're terrible to have a conversation with in the morning…Come on, you big day is finally here!"
Elsa looked at her sister with realization, "I'm getting married today…"
Anna nodded enthusiastically, "Yes, now I brought you some breakfast so you can just stay in here and relax…take some time for yourself to mentally and emotionally get ready for the day."
As Anna went out into the hallway and returned with a tray full of food, Elsa remembered what had happened last night, "Anna…I think we need to talk."
Anna placed the tray on her sister's lap, "Nope, no time for that right now. I've got an itinerary to get through."
"But you just said that we get to relax and eat breakfast."
"Nuh-uh, I said you have some time to relax…I, on the other hand, have got some things to take care of. Besides I already ate…"
Anna skipped to the door, "I'll see you soon, love ya!" And with that she was gone.
Elsa blankly looked down at her breakfast, "What just happened?" She sighed and ate her breakfast in silence; she was too hungry and tired to really think about what was happening. Once she finished, she walked over to her window and opened it, letting the cool morning air wash over her, helping her fully wake up. She sat on the window sill and let the cold breeze tussle her hair; "Elsa, let me tell you a story…your father and I never met prior to our wedding, back then it was customary that our parents made our wedding arrangements before we were even born. By the age of sixteen, I was sent to Arendelle to marry their only heir to the throne, which was your father, who was only twenty at the time."
"An arranged marriage? That's horrible…"
"It sounds bad, I know…and to be honest, it was at first. Sure, he was handsome and very polite but I was such a free spirit at that time and the last thing I wanted was my freedom being stripped away so I could attend to some man I just met."
"So what did you do?"
"Well, there was nothing I could do…fortunately, your father, being the gentleman that he was, suggested that we could sleep in two separate bedrooms if I wished, even though we were married. He told me that he understood my uneasiness and that he didn't want to force me into anything…that was when I first realized that he genuinely respected me as a person instead of just some tool needed to take the throne."
"And that's when you fell in love with him?"
"Not quite…shortly after we wed, I received news that my parent's ship had been attacked and ransacked by pirates. Several people were killed and few went missing, including my parents…we figured they were kidnapped for ransom money. I was totally destroyed…I locked myself in my room, I didn't eat, I didn't sleep, I kept myself completely isolated from everyone, including your father. Eventually weeks turned into months and by the time winter ended, I fell extremely ill. If it weren't for your father and his persistence I probably would've died because I was so out of touch with reality, I never noticed how sick I was until he finally got me to a doctor."
"How did he finally get to you?"
"He, um, knocked on my door everyday asking if I needed anything or if I wanted to talk. And every day I told him 'no thanks, I'm fine.'…until one day he knocked and I didn't answer, and that's how he knew something was wrong. He kicked open the door and saw me lying motionless in the middle of the floor, barely breathing. Next thing I knew, I was in a big warm bed, being aided by a young man who looked after me with such tender care day and night for four months while I recovered."
"Who was that young man?"
"Your father…that's when I knew he truly cared for me, he loved me, and that we were meant to be together. It's funny how we fall in love with the most unexpected person at the most unexpected time. And now I couldn't imagine my life without him, ever since that incident he became my rock, my best friend, the one person I could always go to when something was bothering me. So you see, Elsa, your father and I haven't promised you or Anna to a previously arranged marriage because we both agreed that, although it worked out for us, we didn't want that for our children. We want both you and your sister to find your one true love on your own, to go out into the world and experience life as an independent woman…eventually the right man will cross your path."
"Do you really think I'll find someone, Mama? Even with my powers?"
"Of course, Elsa, there is some man out there who will look past your powers and see you for the beautiful, intelligent, kind-hearted girl you are. Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairytale. Now, it's time for you to go to bed…I'll try to find your sister but you know how she is, if the sky's awake she's awake."
"She always wants to play all night long when this happens…"
"If you want to play together that's fine, but play quietly and stay in your room…and most importantly do not use your powers without the supervision of your father, Kai, Gerda, or me."
"Goodnight my little snowflake."
"Elsa. Psst. Elsa! Psst. Wake up. Wake up. Wake up. "
"Anna, go back to sleep."
"I just can't. The sky's awake, so I'm awake, so we have to play."
"…Go play by yourself."
"Do you want to build a snowman?"
"Queen Elsa?" Gentle knocking continued from the other side of Elsa's door, "Your Majesty, are you decent?"
Elsa shook herself out of a daze, "Come in…"
Gerda came into the room with a smile on her face and a beautifully wrapped box in her hand, "Good morning, Queen Elsa…I have something to give you."
Elsa walked over to her, "Oh, Gerda, you didn't have to get me anything."
"It's from your parents…I was asked to give you this on the morning of your wedding, if for some reason they weren't around to give it to you themselves.
Elsa hesitantly took the box, "What is it?"
"I don't know, Your Majesty, your mother gave it to me already wrapped up like this…" Gerda slowly made her way to the door, "I'll leave you be."
"Thank you, Gerda." Elsa ran her finger along the light blue silk ribbon that wrapped around the box, she carefully examined the paper and sat back down on the window sill. She methodically unwrapped the paper and slowly lifted the lid off the box, revealing two letters, her stuffed Princess Anna doll, her little princess tiara, and her first pair of gloves. Elsa picked up the doll and gave it a quick hug, then placed it on her lap. She laughed as she put her old princess tiara on her head but quickly became solemn when she picked up her first pair of gloves. Conceal it, don't feel it, don't let it show…She put the gloves back in the box and picked up the two letters. She could tell that they were from her parents by the handwriting and she could even differentiate who wrote which letter just by the scent of the envelope. She picked up the one her mother wrote first and opened it, letting her mother's scent wrap her in a warm hug before she read the letter:
To My Little Girl on Your Wedding Day:
Elsa, my little snowflake, I can't even imagine what you've gone through to finally get to this point in your life. But you're here…this is your big day, your moment to shine. I can only hope that I was the one to give you this gift, but if not, know that I am still here with you on your special day.
Now, Elsa, I hope with all my heart that the man you are marrying today is the man of your dreams, your true love. But believe me when I say that every relationship requires attention, trust, honesty, loyalty, teamwork, acceptance, forgiveness, empathy, and compromise. He's not perfect. You aren't either, and the two of you will never be perfect. But if he can make you laugh at least once, causes you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold onto him and give him the most you can. He isn't going to quote poetry, he's not thinking about you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break. Don't hurt him, don't change him, and don't expect more than he can give. Don't analyze. Smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad, and miss him when he's not there. Love hard when there is love to be had. Because perfect guys don't exist, but there's always one guy that is perfect for you.
My little snowflake, I wish you the strength to face challenges with confidence…along with the wisdom to choose your battles carefully. I wish you adventure on your journey and may you always stop to help someone along the way…listen to your heart and take risks carefully. Remember how much you are loved…I am so proud of you.
P.S. Take a look at your fiancé's face as you begin to walk down the aisle, I promise that you won't regret it.
Elsa took in a deep breath as she wiped away a few stray tears and reached for her father's letter:
To My Daughter on Your Wedding Day:
Hello, Elsa, I gather that you are on your way to becoming a bride and a wife very soon. I hope that I am the one that has given you this letter, but if not, I sincerely apologize for my absence. Ever since the day you were born, I imagined what it would be like to walk you down the aisle on your special day. What it would feel like to hand you off to, hopefully, the man of your dreams at the altar.
Elsa, only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you've never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can't wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement.
They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful.
There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are.
The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it's like being young again. Colors seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn't exist at all. A note or two during the day helps to get you through a long day's work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there is no need for continuous conversation, but you find you're quite content in just having them nearby.
Things that never interested you before become fascinating to you because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon.
You open your heart knowing that there's a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that's so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.
I love you so much Elsa, and even though I don't always show it, I have always been proud of you. You will accomplish great things in life, and I know that you will control your powers and rebuild a strong sisterly bond with Anna. Your mother and I won't always be here, but believe me when I tell you that we have no worries about your ability to watch over your sister in our absence. Now, no more tears (unless they are tears of joy) because you have a big day ahead of you. Have a delightful day, honey, because this day is all about you.
P.S. Don't tell your sister about these letters because your mother and I have also written ones for her wedding day and we want to keep them a surprise.
Elsa lowered the letter and looked out the window as the sun slowly rose over the mountain, warming Elsa's tear streaked face. She picked up the letter and inhaled her father's scent, sending a wave of relief and reassurance over her. She laughed, "Okay, Father, no more tears…I've got a big day ahead of me."
Anna wiped her brow with a grin, "Alright, what else do you need me to do?"
The wedding planner glanced at her giant clipboard with a smile, "You've done enough, Your Highness, I think I can finish everything else on my own. Thank you, Princess Anna…perhaps, you should go check on your sister."
Anna began to jog out of the ballroom, "Yeah, I think she's had enough alone time." She continued her light jog down the hallway and made a sharp turn around the corner, accidentally bumping into something that felt like a brick wall, "Kristoff!"
"Anna!" Kristoff bent down to help Anna stand back up, "I'm so glad I found you…I've been looking everywhere for you."
Anna shrugged him off, "I've been with the wedding planner the whole entire time…you must not have looked real hard." She began to walk away with a sense of determination.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa…" Kristoff jogged after her and placed his hands on her shoulders so that they were directly in front of each other, "Are you mad at me?"
Anna crossed her arms, "No."
Kristoff smirked, "Really…can you at least tell me what I did to deserve the cold shoulder, uh, no pun intended."
"I'm not mad…now can you please move, I do have a bride to check on."
"Anna, if we need to talk about something I'm willingly to talk-"
Anna shrugged his hands off her shoulders and took a step back, "I needed to talk to you yesterday, but you were nowhere to be found…again."
"Well, I'm here now so let's talk."
"No, thanks…" She turned on her heels and began to walk away, "I already talked to Hans about everything, and his insight was very enlightening."
Kristoff didn't move from his spot, "Anna, are we going to be okay?"
Anna answered over her shoulder, "Ask me, again, later…" She briskly walked up to her sister's door and did her signature knock, "Elsa? It's me, Anna…are you ready?"
In a matter of seconds, Elsa threw open her door with a huge grin on her face, "I'm ready."
Anna excitedly clapped her hands, "Yay! Let's make you beautifuller!"
After about five hours of washing, primping, and beautifying, the two sisters were just about an hour away from Elsa walking down the aisle. They had way more fun than they thought they would have. Elsa had cried three times out of laughter at Anna's silliness and even Anna accidentally snorted once as she rolled around on the floor. Despite, their goofing around, they managed to get everything done, with the exception of putting on their dresses, with one hour left to spare. Elsa and Anna sat down, in their robes, beside each other on the short bench at the foot of Elsa's bed, "Anna…is there anything you want to talk about? Any last minute concerns or thoughts?"
Anna nervously bit her lip, "Actually, there is one thing that's been bothering me…things aren't going to change too much, right? Like I understand that Hans will be your husband now so you could have someone else to talk to but you won't forget about me, right?"
Elsa playfully scoffed, "Forget about you? Are you kidding me? I don't think I could ever forget about you, Anna. You're my sister, no man can ever come close to replacing you…you're irreplaceable. From my isolation to the eternal winter to my post-Sperca adventure to the realization of my feelings towards Hans, you've always been there for me. You never turned your back on me, even when I deserved it…you were always willing to help me out, even when I didn't deserve it. You're my best friend, Anna…there is no better friend than a sister, and there is no better sister than you."
"Oh, Elsa!" Anna threw her arms around her sister's neck and let out the tears she had been holding back, "I promised myself that I wouldn't cry…well, so much for that."
A few stray tears rolled down Elsa's cheeks, "You can cry as long as they're tears of joy and besides, I'm not going anywhere…I'll see you tomorrow morning like I always do."
"It's the principle, Elsa."
The sisters laughed as someone knocked on the door, "Your Majesty, it's Gerda…I have your dress ready to go."
"Come in, Gerda."
Gerda walked in with a huge smiled on her face, "Oh, Princess, I was hoping you'd be in here…I have a surprise for you."
"For me?" Anna gasped as Gerda pulled out a second dress, "My dress! Without a chocolate stain! How'd you do it? The wedding planner said it wouldn't come out!"
Gerda smirked as she hung up both dresses, "Well, I have a little something known as experience on my side, and an old family stain removal recipe."
Anna gave her a huge hug, "You're the best, Gerda."
The old family friend just laughed, "Thank you…now, I think it's time we get you two dressed in your gowns."
I can't believe I'm doing this… Kristoff quietly knocked on the door; But this is my only chance…once he leaves this room, he won't be available for the rest of the evening. Kristoff knocked a little harder this time and nervously waited for the door to open.
The door opened partly, "Hello?"
"Prince Hans, I'm sorry to bother you but I needed to talk to you about something."
Hans cautiously eyed the man, "Uhh, yeah sure…come in."
Kristoff managed an uneasy smile, "Thanks…"
Hans furrowed his brow at the man who seemed vaguely familiar, yet his name he couldn't place, "I'm sorry, you seem very familiar but I'm embarrassed to say that your name escapes me." The two haven't really met before, or been introduced to each other formally because the two men never crossed each other's path and the sisters didn't go out of their way to introduce them to one another.
Kristoff bowed a little bit, "It's Kristoff…the Royal Ice Harvester and Deliverer, according to Princess Anna."
"Ah yes, Kristoff Bjorgman…Anna's beau." Hans debated on whether or not to shut the door; You better watch yourself around her, or else Kristoff will come after you. Hans decided to leave it open and also stood next to the doorway for good measure, "How can I help you?"
Kristoff anxiously stood in the middle of his room, "I needed to talk to you about Princess Anna…you seem to be quite the expert about her recent feelings."
"I wouldn't say expert, I mean, it's not like I'm some sort of love expert."
Kristoff snorted and muttered under his breath, "Trust me, I know you're not."
"But I have talked to her quite recently, yes…what seems to be troubling you?"
"I ran into her in the halls a few hours ago and she seemed pretty miffed at me, and I have absolutely no idea what I did wrong. I mean, I haven't even seen her in weeks-
"Well, there's your problem right there…" Hans decided to close the door in order to give them privacy, "Leaving your beau for a long period of time is bad enough, but if she's helping with wedding plans that's even worse." Kristoff eyed the prince up and down, assuring himself that if Hans tried something while he was in here, he could certainly take him down if need be. Hans turned around and the atmosphere in the room seemed to change, "I know Anna…she can easily get ahead of herself when it comes to matters of the heart, so being that she's been surrounded by wedding details for over a month, you can understand where her mind has been."
"She's been thinking about her sister's wedding…so what's that got to do with me?"
Hans leaned back against the door, "Not just her sister's wedding…her own wedding, or should I say your wedding?"
Kristoff's eyes widened, "How did you know that I was going to propose to Anna?"
Hans smirked, "I didn't…but now I do."
Kristoff rubbed his head as if he had a headache, "So you're telling me that Anna is mad at me because I haven't proposed to her yet?"
"No not at all…Kristoff, I think Anna just wants to know that you're not avoiding her and that you're thinking about your relationship long-term."
"So how do I make her talk to me again?"
Hans chuckled to himself, "You don't…you can't make a woman talk to you, you just wait for her to come around. Trust me, most women who initially blow a guy off aren't trying to intentionally push them away. Most of the time, they have something else going on that is more important at the moment and requires their full attention. Don't worry, she'll come to you when she's ready."
Their conversation was interrupted by a knock at the door, "Prince Hans? It's time to head to the chapel…are you ready?"
"I'll be there in a minute." Hans looked back at Kristoff, "Anna's not one to hold a grudge…if I were a betting man, I'd say that she'll be back to normal by the time the reception begins."
As Hans opened the door, Kristoff awkwardly smiled, "Thanks, uh, you know…for the advice."
As they walked down the castle corridors, Hans looked the ice harvester up and down, "Kristoff, can I ask you something?"
Kristoff shrugged, "I guess…"
"How old are you?"
Hans smirked, "I'll finally have a younger brother, you know, once you marry the Princess."
"Elsa, you look amazing!" Anna was happily bouncing up and down in her light blue gown as she admired her sister's overall appearance.
Elsa slowly turned and looked at herself in the mirror with a smile. She remained silent as she took in her appearance: her hair was pulled up into an intricate up-do, her crown rested nicely upon her head, and her veil was attached to the underside of the up-do and flowed down to her lower back. Her wedding dress was a pearl white strapless gown that showed off her upper back but her arms and upper back were covered by a see through lace fabric. The lace fabric also covered her chest, but settled off her shoulders and the sleeves only came down three quarters of the way. The lace also overlapped the silky strapless gown and extended out about three feet past the end of the gown. She smiled at her sister through the mirror, "This is it…I'm actually getting married."
As Anna opened her mouth to speak, there was a knock on the door, "Your Majesty, there is someone here who wants to see you."
Anna and Elsa briefly looked at each with confusing before Anna shrugged, "Maybe its Rapunzel…she is family after all."
Elsa nodded, "Let them in."
The door opened and a beautiful middle-age woman with long black hair and kind, intellectual, blue eyes stepped inside, "Good morning, Queen Elsa."
Elsa's eyes went wide as she hastily walked over to give the woman a hug, "Eir! You're here?! In Arendelle?!"
Eir laughed, "Yes, dear, you didn't think I would miss your wedding, did you?"
Elsa was grinning from ear to ear, "I can't believe it…it's so good to see you again!" She led the woman to her sister, "Eir, this is my sister-"
"Princess Anna…" Eir respectfully bowed, "It's a pleasure to finally meet you, your sister has told me much about you."
Elsa held onto Anna's arm, "Eir is the woman from Sperca who is responsible for making the antidote for Kristoff…"
Anna's face lit up with recognition and gratitude, "Oh! Oh my goodness, it's an absolute honor to meet you…thank you so much for what you did for Kristoff and me."
Eir kindly smiled, "No thanks is necessary, helping and healing people is a part of the job, it's what I do."
Gerda stuck her head into the room, "Your Majesty? It's time for you to head to the chapel."
Eir gave Anna and Elsa one quick hug each, "I better go find a seat in the chapel, we can catch up on things later, dear. Savor the moment, both of you, because it will go by much faster than one would think."
Elsa and Anna simultaneously nodded as Eir left the room. Anna sighed and looked at Elsa one last time, "You look perfect." She carefully gave her sister a warm hug and tried to hold back her tears for the second time today.
Elsa excitedly and, yet, nervously grabbed the final accessory to her outfit, a pair of short white see-through lace gloves that only reached up to her wrist, and smiled at her younger sister, "It's time…"
The energy in the chapel was filled with so much excitement and anxiety as the wedding guest all settled in their seats. Hans was already standing at the front of the chapel and the butterflies in his stomach were practically bursting inside of him, although to the naked eye he seemed as cool as a cucumber about the whole thing, which definitely pleased his father. But the nonchalant prince suddenly tensed up when the musician began to play the organ and Princess Anna began her steady walk down the aisle. Kristoff's breath hitched a second when he saw Anna enter the chapel, she looked so beautiful in her pale light blue dress that hugged every curve in her body just right and her face was glowing with so much joy that one would assume that she were the bride-to-be. Hans gave her a reassuring smile as she passed him and Anna playfully winked at her soon to be brother-in-law.
But the moment came when the organist played the bride's entrance piece and everyone in the chapel stood up. The double doors in the back of the chapel opened up and out of the shadows stepped forth a glowing bride dressed in white, an image of both purity and beauty. Hans couldn't help himself; he dropped the nonchalant act and let himself gaze in awe upon the beauty of his bride. As Elsa slowly, regally, elegantly walked down the aisle, her eyes bright and cheery, her cheeks ever so slightly rosy, her lips pulled into a beautiful and honest smile, Hans knew he absolutely loved this woman, heck, he died for this woman seven months ago.
Elsa felt beyond giddy and it took every bit of strength to keep from skipping down the aisle; Take a look at your fiancé's face as you begin to walk down the aisle, I promise that you won't regret it. Elsa couldn't take her eyes off Hans, his white suit made his face seem radiant and the golden trim and sash made his green eyes and red hair stand out. But the thing she couldn't peel her eyes away from was the way he was looking at her, those beautiful jade eyes were filled with so much love and adoration that Elsa knew that she was lucky to have this man in her life. Finally, what seems like an eternity, Elsa met Hans at the front of the chapel. She gave her bouquet to Anna, then her and Hans faced the Bishop.
After several minutes of the ceremony passed, the Bishop turned toward Hans and signaled that it was his turn to say the vows both he and Elsa wrote on their own. Hans held both of Elsa's hands and looked directly into her bright blue eyes, "Queen Elsa of Arendelle, I vow to fiercely love you in all your forms, now and forever. I promise to never forget that this is a once in a lifetime love. I vow to love you, and no matter what challenges might carry us apart, we will always find a way back to each other."
The Bishop turned towards Elsa and signaled that it was her turn, "Prince Hans of the Southern Isles, I choose you, to be no other than yourself. Loving what I know of you, and trusting who you will become, I will respect and honor you always and in all ways. With you I pledge to repair one small piece of the world. I take you to be my spouse, to have and to hold, in tears and in laughter, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, from this day forward, in this world and the next."
Kai presented the rings, and this time, Hans and Elsa recited the standard traditional vows as they placed the rings on the other's finger. The Bishop did his final passage before he smiled at the loving couple, "You may now seal the promises you have made with each other with a kiss."
The room erupted in applause as Hans reached forward and gave his bride the biggest kiss he could muster, wrapping one arm around her waist and placing a hand in the nape of her neck. Elsa smiled and giggled slightly after they pulled apart, as Anna gave an impromptu cheer from the side. The guests quieted down and stood as the newly wedded couple faced the audience, "Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the loving couple Queen Elsa of Arendelle and her King Consort, Prince Hans of the Southern Isles."
After Hans and Elsa left the chapel, they made their way to the balcony that looked over the courtyard, where they knew all of the citizens of Arendelle would be waiting to see them. The walk to the balcony was filled with nothing but giddy laughter and exuberant smiles, no words were actually exchanged between the new royal couple. Once they finally reached the double doors that led to the same balcony that Elsa had once stood on before her coronation, she took a deep breath and looked up at her new husband, "Are you ready?"
Hans lovingly took his wife's face into his hands and gave her a lingering kiss, "They say nothing lasts forever, we'll have to prove them wrong."
They both opened the double doors together and stepped onto the balcony, overseeing the hundreds of citizens that crammed into the castle courtyard just to get a glimpse of the new couple. The people of Arendelle excitedly cheered upon seeing their Queen and her new husband, causing Elsa and Hans to laugh and wave to the people of their kingdom. Eventually, the citizens grew overly ambitious and prompted a kiss from the new royal couple, in which they happily obliged.
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