The Plan (II)
Elsa walked through the castle gardens and towards the courtyard, as she does every evening, to help clear her head and keep her emotions in check. The last thing I need to do is lose control again and create another eternal winter. It's just that-Elsa heard the faintest sound of someone knocking on a door. She, more than anyone else, could recognize what knocking on wood sounded like. She's been listening to it for 13 years. Where is that coming from? She quickened her footsteps towards the direction of the courtyard. There she discovered that the knocking, more like pounding, was coming from within the stables.
"Hello? This is Elsa...who's in there?"
"Elsa?! It's me, Kristoff!"
"Kristoff?! What happened?"
"Anna locked me in here!"
"Wait, what? How...why?"
"I don't know...she told me she was headed back to the dungeon to address Hans's injuries, and when I told her to stay away from him, she just lost it! She slammed the door in my face and locked me in here! She insisted on seeing Hans but she could also be in danger!"
The Queen felt a knot form in the pit of her stomach, "Oh no! Anna!" She started running towards the dungeon as ice began to form and left a trail of frost behind her.
"Your Majesty?! Hello?...Elsa? Can someone get me out of here? Please? Helloooo?"
In the dungeon, Anna was casually leaning against the doorway to Hans's cell, swinging the stable keys around her finger, trying to play it cool and calm. Hans, on the other hand, was a bit nervous about speaking to the queen about his past and ultimately trying to change her mind about his upcoming execution. He looked up at the scheming princess, "What if she doesn't come? She could always send some guards down here to come and get you."
"Nope, I don't think so. I know that every evening, at this time, Elsa takes her evening stroll through the gardens and the courtyard. When she hears Kristoff's knocking, she'll ask him what's wrong, and come directly here. I know Elsa, and if she thinks I am in any sort of immediate danger, she'll come rescue me herself."
"But what if she won't talk to me?"
"She doesn't need to talk to you, she just needs to listen."
"Well, what if she doesn't listen?"
"Would you quit worrying about it? You and Elsa both share a common bond, a miserable childhood. Heck! That's what helped you and me connect at the coronation, remember?"
"Yes, but you are far more sympathetic than Elsa. And to be honest, she kind of scares me."
"Aw, give her a chance. If she can stand to sit around and listen to that horrid council of hers all day, then she can definitely listen to your side of the story. And besides, I could just lock her in with you if she refuses."
Hans couldn't help but laugh, "You know what, Anna? You're not as bad as I thought you were. Here I thought you were some sweet, naive, innocent girl, but you really are quite the scheming mastermind. I think we could have gotten along really well if we did end up getting married."
Anna stopped swinging the keys and slowly made her way to Hans, "Excuse me? And what's that supposed to mean?!" She grabbed the prisoner by his shirt collar, "Now you listen to me. If you so much as make a move towards my sister that I don't like, then it's game over for you buddy! I believe in giving people second chances, but if you decide to double cross me again..." She held up a fist, which made Hans flinch, "Then you can forget about my help and kiss your neck goodbye. Got it?" The former prince carefully swallowed as Anna let go of him.
In the distance they heard the sound of the dungeon door open and slam shut. Anna knew her sister was coming down any second, so she quickly walked out of Hans's cell, making sure to leave the cell door open, and hide in the shadows.
Elsa ran as fast as she could down the spiraling staircase that led to the prison cells. When she finally reached the bottom, she stopped. There was something wrong...it was quiet, too quiet. All she could hear was the pounding of her heart and her rapid breathing. She cautiously walked through the halls and noticed that one of the cell doors was open. Oh no! Anna! The Queen ran towards the cell and screamed her sisters name upon entering it, only to find Hans chained up, sitting by the window, alone.
"Where is she?! Where is Anna?!"
The prisoner looked up at the concerned queen face and gently replied, "Don't worry, Your Majesty. Anna is safe."
Slowly, Elsa's temper began to rise as the temperature in the room began to drop, "Where is my sister?!"
"Your Majesty, I was hoping to have a word with you. You see, I-"
"Enough!" Now the queen as angry, "I am not going to listen to you unless you tell me where my sister is!" Elsa turned around and angrily strode back towards the cell door just as it slammed on her face and diligently locked her in.
"What the...?! Hey! Open this door immediately!"
Through the small window on the door, Anna nervously peeked her head out, "Hey, Elsa..."
"Anna, let me out of here this instant!"
The younger sister shook her head, "Nuh-uh! I'm sorry, Elsa, but you can't condemn this man without talking to him first. Listen to what he has to say...please?"
"Anna, you have no right to tell me what I should do."
"And you have no right to decide this man's fate without truly knowing his side of the story and what he has gone through. Every individual has a past that helped shaped them into the person they are today. Elsa, you and I both know that more than anyone else! Please...just listen to what he has to say."
Elsa sighed and looked down, "Okay, I'll listen to his story. But I don't know what you expect to gain from this." She threw Hans a hard look, "And you better not try anything while I'm stuck in here."
Anna yelled from the other side of the door, "Don't worry, he won't!" Then she added in an exaggerated stage whisper, "He told me that you scare him."
Hans just covered his face with his hands and sighed, while Elsa coldly looked at the prisoner, "Well that's because he knows what I am capable of."