Warm Hugs

Hans' Story (I)

A lively, playful, excited, 8 year old Prince Hans ran through the Southern Isle castle halls, heading straight to the docks where his two oldest brothers were returning from a year long expedition. I can't wait to tell Klaus and Viktor everything that has happened over the past year! I lost my front teeth, my polo team won championships, and I went hunting with father for the first time! They will be so proud of me! Maybe they'll actually start talking to me again! As Hans turned a corner he ran straight into his father, the King, and his third eldest brother Simon.

"Oops! Sorry Father! Sorry Simon!"

The King frowned at his youngest son, "Boy! What have I told you about running through the halls!"

Hans guiltily looked down, "To not to..."

Now it was Simon's turn to shout, "And look at father when he is talking to you! Show some respect! He is not just your father, but also your king!"

Hans looked up at both of them, "Yes, Simon. My apologizes."

The King and Simon said nothing as they walked away, allowing Hans to stick his tongue out at them behind their backs, "Poopyheads..." Hans slowly turned the corner, making sure no one was watching him, and then quickly started running at full speed once again. I'm not gonna let them rain on my parade...not today!

By the time Hans had reached the docks, his brothers' ship had already pulled in and they were about to walk down the gang plank. Unfortunately, there was an enormous group of civilians surrounding them, making it hard for the small prince to even get close to seeing his brothers. He tried his best to shove and push his way through, "Excuse me! Pardon! Royal Prince coming through!" But nobody seemed to hear or see him. Typical! I'm even invisible to the peasants! Hans tried to push his way through a little longer before finally giving up and heading back to the castle. Might as well join the rest of my family back at the castle and wait to see them then.

Back at the castle, all of the Southern Isle royals were lined up, waiting to greet their eldest brothers. All except Hans who was still making his way back from the docks. The King was beginning to grow impatient, "Where is that boy?! He should know that we are all here waiting for him! Klaus and Viktor deserve a proper greeting and I swear if that boy doesn't show up soon I'll-"

"Richard!" The queen scolded her husband, "Hans is just a boy! He is still very young and probably got so excited that his oldest brothers were returning that he went to greet them at the docks. Don't worry, Richard, Hans maybe young, but he isn't dim-witted. He knows his responsibilities and he will be here."

"You don't understand, Hannah! Klaus and Viktor deserve better! They deserve to have perfection! I can't have that boy screw everything up because he couldn't control his emotions! Does he think that I am not excited to see my sons return home after their year long journey?! Those two are my pride and joy and they deserve nothing but the best from us all!"

"Richard! I cannot have you constantly put Klaus and Viktor on a high up pedestal while you leave the rest of your sons down on ground level! Especially Hans! You don't even recognize him as your son! You won't even call him by his name!"

"The boy shouldn't even be here! He was a mistake! I only wanted twelve sons, but you had to give me a thirteenth one! Unlucky number thirteen, you know that!"

The constant hearing of the King's hatred toward his youngest son, influenced the rest of the Southern Isle princes to treat Hans worse and worse. Little did the King and Queen know that young Hans had been listening to their entire conversation around the corner. He was on the verge of tears but knew that he couldn't let them know that he had been listening. So he shoved his emotions way down and prepared himself for the scolding that was to come. I told myself I wasn't going to let them rain on my parade today, but at this point, my parade is completely underwater. The rest of the day was a blur for the young prince. He was scolded by his father, he was harshly teased by his mean older brothers, and was completely ignored by Klaus and Viktor. This was supposed to be one of the best days of my life...and now it's one of the worst. Hans never showed up to the welcome home dinner, not like anyone would notice him missing anyways, and went straight to his bedroom. There he grabbed his stuffed horse Sitron, curled up into a ball underneath the window, by the curtain, and just cried. He stayed like that for a good hour before he heard knocking on his door, followed my his mother, the Queen, coming into his room and closing the door behind her.

She gracefully walked over to him and sat down on the floor beside him, "Hey honey, what are you doing in here?"

Hans knew he could trust his mother, he could tell her anything. She was probably the only person in the entire kingdom who actually cared and paid attention to him. Hans sniffled, "Mommy, nobody notices me at all, they treat me like I am invisible. They only see me when I do something wrong or when they want to make fun of me and tease me. They don't treat me the same."

"I noticed that you were gone, Hans. And who are 'they' anyways?" Although the Queen already knew who 'they' were.

"My brothers, father, even the people of the Southern Isles don't notice me. I'm a complete nobody!" And with that he started crying all over again.

His mother gently picked up her youngest son and held him close in her lap, "Hush sweetie, don't cry. Someday you'll be an important leader of some far off kingdom and the people there will absolutely love you. Oh Hans, you will become a far better ruler than any of your brothers. And you want to know why?"

Hans shook his head.

The Queen began to cradle him back and forth, "Because you are a sweet, polite, kind-hearted, brave, resourceful, and ambitious boy. Unlike your brothers who seek nothing but power, you seek to please others. Your brothers see the throne as a tool to control the world but you see it as a tool to make a positive difference in the world."

This made Hans look up at his mother, "Really, Mommy? Do you think so?"

His mother gave him a warm smile, "Of course, Hans. You are a lot like me, you know that? That's why I convinced your father to name you after me instead of some other posh relative of his."

This made Hans giggle, "I want to be just like you when I grow up Mommy!"

The Queen laughed, "I'm happy to hear that. Just make sure your father doesn't know about it okay? He would have a field day if he found out that I favor you over his 'pride and joy'."

"I promise, Mommy. And when I get older, I promise that you will be proud of me and the man I will have become."

"Spoken like a truly great future king...pinky swear?" She held out her pinky.

Hans giggled and wrapped his small pinky around his mother's, "Pinky swear."

And with that, his mother tucked him into bed and kissed him goodnight, "Oh Hans, I know you will make me a proud mother someday. I love you so very much."

"I love you too, Mommy. Goodnight!"

"Goodnight, Hans."

Little did either of them know, that was the last conversation they would share. The King had followed his wife out of the dining hall, to Hans's bedroom, and listened to their entire conversation. He was completely overcome with anger and betrayal that he slipped poison into his wife's drink. That night she came down with a very serious illness and by the morning she was declared dead. Or so everyone thought. In reality, her husband still loved his wife too much to actually kill her, so instead he faked her death, and sent her far, far, away from his kingdom, his sons, and especially Hans.

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