Elsa's life was falling apart right in front of her. She had just married the worst man she had ever met, even worse than Hans, her sister and soon to be brother in law would forever be in danger of being harmed by her new husband, and the man she actually loved had just watched her life be taken away and had been apathetic. Or possibly even worse, something had happened to James and he had just watched the wedding unwillingly.
She managed not to show Julius how she felt. She concealed her feelings and opinions expertly, having practice from dealing with annoying foreign royals, and even longer from her years of isolation.
The carriage rolled across the bridge to the castle and stopped in front of the castle's giant wooden doors. As soon as the guard opened the door, she dashed out, not wanting to spend another second in that carriage with Julius.
She swiftly moved from the entryway to the ballroom. There, many circular tables had been set up and spread across the large floor, all lavished with white tablecloths and fully equipped with full place settings. There was a large square of open space in the center of the room to be a dance floor. On the slightly raised platform on the far end of the room, where her throne usually sat, was a long wooden table set up with numerous plates and silverware settings sat.
Elsa quickly wiped away the moisture in her eyes. She walked around the table and sat in the center, in one of large wooden throne-like chairs meant for the new husband and bride. She took the time before anyone arrived to make sure she had her turmoil of emotions under control. She took a few deep breaths and steel her nerves for the horrible reception that was about to drop on her.
The doors opened up, allowing Julius and his entourage to walk into the ball room. Julius assumed his seat to the left of Elsa in an equally large throne-like chair at the main table. The guards that had walked with him lined the room, two of them standing beside the ends of the head table.
People started flowing in, filling the seats of the tables up with people anxious to get the reception started. Anna sat next to Elsa on her right side, and beside Anna sat Kristoff. On the other side of Julius sat all of the council members of Arendelle. Elsa's heart almost stopped as she saw James file in with everyone else, settling in a seat across the room with the same relaxed expression.
Julius stood up to address the guests. "Attention! Attention! I'd like to thank all of you for attending my wedding. We'll have a short reception and then we'll all move into Princess Anna and Kristoff Bjorgman's wedding."
The doors opened once more and a band filed in, moving to the side of the room and setting up their instruments. "Ah, and here's the band. So with that I'd like to begin the dan-"
Julius was interrupted. And it was James who interrupted. "YOU!" he shouted. He angrily stood up, sending his chair flying back across the room. His face was twisted with a snarl of pure rage. His green eyes filled with absolute hate. "How DARE you?! How dare you do this to me?!"
Julius sighed, his earlier glee long gone. He shook his head slightly and had a moderately upset look on his face. "Well then, I wasn't expecting you to come back quite so fast. That's inconvenient."
"You had no right! No right and no authority to do this to ME!" James screamed at Julius, shaking with fury, taking a slight step forward. The guards around the room drawing their swords and taking on wary defensive stances.
"Oh, well." Julius said, a little humor sliding into his voice as an ever so small smile crept onto his face. "Then you'll be very unhappy to hear that I'm not quite done just yet."
"What?!" James questioned.
"Well... I've still got a few little tricks up my sleeve. For instance," Julius said. Then he gestured one hand at himself and one hand at James.
Elsa found it hard to believe what happened next. It looked like the image of both Julius and James both rippled. Like how water rippled when a large stone was thrown in. Their skin and clothes changing to a dull grey color that showed no details. And their size and shape flowed around and changed.
Then all of a sudden the morphing ceased. Their size and shape stopped moving around. Their skin and clothes faded back into color and definitiveness, stable as they were before. And both men had swapped places. Instead of Julius standing next to her, James towered next to her with a huge smile on his face. And across the room Julius stood, or really wobbled, sickened by having magic worked on him without his consent.
"What did you do?" Julius demanded, now staring at James even angrier than before. And with his actual face now. "What witchery did you do to me?"
"Well, let's see." James said. "I blew up a relatively insignificant room to lure you closer. I wrapped your mind in a sleeping spell, to keep you sedated. And I made it look like I was you, and you were me, unfortunately that's just how that kind of magic works. And by the way, if anything I'm a wizard performing magic not witchery."
"You can't do this to me!" Julius shouted, ignoring James' differentiation between magic and witchery. "I won't let you."
"Well, I kind of already did most of it." James said. "But I don't recommend trying to do anything. If you leave now, you'll avoid a lot of pain and punishment. Turn away now, please."
"You don't scare me, Primordial." Then Julius laughed harshly, spreading his arms in a gesture towards all the guards who had made their way through the people and gathered around their leader, all of them except the two standing at the ends of the head table, who remained standing without even drawing their swords. "Do you even realize who these men are? What they've done."
James narrowed his eyes, anger starting to boil up in his face. "I know who and what they are. They're a hit squad. They kill Primordials."
"That's right," Julius laughed. "I formed this group years ago specifically to hunt down your kind. And now, they're going to kill you and take back what's rightfully mine."
Julius threw his arms forward, signaling to his men. The guards around him charged forward towards James. And they almost got to the head table. But the two guards at the ends of the tables finally moved. They drew swords and positioned themselves in front of James.
The foolhardy guards thought they would plow right through two measly men. But the two men protecting James moved faster than the eyes could track. Before the attacker even realized, they were defeated, lying on the ground suffering from debilitating wounds.
"What are you doing you traitors?!" Julius demanded of the two guards.
"Protecting our own." The guard on the left said, and removed his helmet. Golden hair fell out and revealed bright yellow eyes. "Ishnaugh, Primordial of War, at your displeasure Julius. And this here is Brutus." Ishnaugh gestured at the other guard who hadn't removed his helmet. "He's a Primordial, and he's not happy with you."
"Elsa!" Julius called, turning towards her. "I was rightfully named king of Arendelle. And you must hear my demands. Tell these men to lower their armaments."
Elsa just kept looking between James, Julius, and the two other Primordials standing in the room. In truth, he was legally the king. He had been crowned in front of all the people of Arendelle. She was trying to think through the power levels and if she actually had to do it. She couldn't risk breaking international law, especially after suffering damages after being laid siege to. But she didn't have to.
"You may be king, father." A voice called from the doors, which swung open violently. The open doorway revealed three men. Two of the three men stood on either side of the one in the middle and were wearing worn looking leather and metal armor with swords hanging at their sides. The man in the middle looked like a younger Julius. Flowing brown hair, sharp features, and at the moment angry brown eyes blazing with outrage. He was wearing formal leather armor stitched with a crown, and underneath black cotton robes with black leather boots. "But as of yesterday, I inherit the position of Emperor. And I say, she doesn't have to listen to you."
"Derek?!" Julius sounded surprised, he took a small step away from the new men. "What are you doing here son?"
"Don't you son me, father." Derek Xavier spat at his father. "I know now. You sent me to the front lines to get me killed. What kind of father are you?"
"You don't understand." Julius started to explain.
"No, you don't understand. It's already too late to apologize." Derek said darkly. "I already signed an agreement with Ethios, detailing your punishment."
"Who the hell is Ethios?" Julius demanded. "And what punishment agreement?"
"I believe this is where I come in." Said a seemingly random man in the room.
From one of the tables in the room, the man stood up. He was extraordinarily tall, taller than even Lognath. What hair he had that wasn't dusted with gray was dark brown almost black, and was neatly done, looking very regal. His eyes were a warm brown color, the color of finely polished wood. He had smile lines around his eyes as well as deep dark circles under them. And he wore a very regal looking black suit with buttons made of gold with crisp folds and no wrinkles. He looked very much like what people thought of as "kingly". It was astonishing that no one had noticed him sitting there. As a matter of fact, as he stood up his table mates jerked back in surprise as if they hadn't even seen him sitting at their table.
"Allow me to introduce myself," the man said. "My name is Ethios. I am the Primordial of Kings, and well as the King of Primordials. And I am the one who signed the arrangement with young Derek Xavier here." The two Primordials protecting Elsa and James immediately fell into a kneel, while nervousness showed itself in James' expression.
"He can't! I'm his father, he has no authority over me." Julius shouted, working himself back up into a fit.
"Well not only is he the new Emperor, but he has also been blessed by me, where you have not." Ethios explained calmly, not effected by Julius shouting. "So I think everyone, including foreign nations, would say that should make you at least equal. And that's where us Primordials come into place."
"What are you talking about?"
"Well, so many centuries ago we Primordials and you humans signed a peace agreement. That first agreement between man and Primordials established the understanding that if either a Primordial or a human commits repeated purposefully violent transgressions against the other, that it was the right of either to take justice into their hands."
"No, no, you can't!" Julius sounded panicked, having realized the trouble he was is.
"Oh yes I can." Ethios said, his voice becoming darker. "Julius Xavier, I charge you with repeated hate crimes towards Primordials everywhere. Including murder and unlawful and unprovoked torture."
Instead of refuting the charges, or trying to fight his way out, Julius simply turned and ran. He ran straight towards the door, obviously intending to simply barrel through his son on his way out. But Ethios said over his shoulder to James, "James, if you would kindly stop that man."
Without saying anything, James raised his right hand towards the fleeing Julius. A bolt of blue lightning shot from his palm and collided with Julius' back. Julius then collapsed, convulsing and twitching on the ground. "Brutus, detain his please." Ethios said.
Brutus calmly walked over to Julius' body and effortlessly picked him up with one hand and threw him over his shoulder. With a deep bow to Ethios, Brutus turned and walked out of the ballroom, Julius in tow.
"Thank you, Emperor Derek, for your help. It will be remembered." Ethios said to Derek.
"No problem, King Ethios. Anything to ensure peace between the two of us. However, there is one more thing that you should know, about the ancient laws of man." Derek said. The rage faded out of his face and it returned to a calm one. Without the anger, Derek could be considered a handsome man, and at least looked very kind and wise. Battle aging him quickly and teaching him valuable life lessons.
"And what, pray-tell, is that?" Ethios said, he too was visibly becoming more calm and pleasant.
"Well unfortunately, according to a rather obscure but maintained rule, royalty cannot marry a commoner."
Elsa looked over to her sister. All the blood in Anna's face had drained out, and she clung possessively to Kristoff. To her left, James became more troubled, he would probably defend Anna and Kristoff's right to marry, but that would get messy and complicated with Ethios present.
Derek noticed Anna's reaction and quickly corrected himself. "Do not worry, Princess Anna. I don't mean you and sir Kristoff. Your sister was smart enough to make the 'Royal Ice Harvester and Deliverer" an actual title and rank in royal standing. Albeit a very low rank, it still counts. What I do mean, is Queen Elsa and James here.
"You see, James doesn't have a royal title. He may be about to become the Primordial of something, most likely something impressive. But that's not a human royal position. Or at least, it's not substantial enough to count."
This didn't seem to ease the troubled expression on James' expression. And he started to say something, but was cut off by Ethios. "I actually have an announcement to make in relation to this subject."
Ethios took a second to make sure he had everyone's attention. Then he continued. "With the completion of his trials James has earned the right to join our ranks. And his excellent execution of his trials have earned him a place on our high council, as voted by the rest of us while he recovered.
"Unfortunately, the amount of magic required to fully heal him caused damage of its own. This damage takes the form of the permanent alteration of his hair, and the destruction of his memories. Because his memory was destroyed as a direct result of the trials he went through, I will simply tell him what he has forgotten."
Ethios turned towards James with a sad expression. And James on the other hand had an anxious one, not sure of what his memories were going to give him. "Your full name is James Alexander. You were born in the small kingdom of Dorana far to the south. Your father left your mother before either even knew you were coming. But none the less, your mother, Catherine Alexander, raised you with as much love as she could for twenty-five years. Unfortunately, the king of Dorana made a decree for all first born sons to be killed, in an effort to decrease peasant wealth. Your mother asked us for help, and we allowed you to take the trials, making you a Primordial."
James was stunned. His expression was one of shock and small pain. The pain stabbed Elsa in the heart, who felt strongly for James and couldn't stand to see him in any more pain. After a moment or two or silence Ethios' expression brightened significantly as he turned back to Derek.
"That actually was not the announcement, that was merely completing a task. The real announcement is that, after centuries of running the Primordials and human kings by myself I have finally married." Everyone gasped and looked around at each other. Derek narrowed his eyes in thought, trying to figure out where Ethios was going with this. James didn't really seem to hear him, still reeling from the revealing of his past. Elsa, Anna, and Kristoff were half paying attention to James and half to Ethios.
"Yes, after a while of talking back and forth, we figured out we had a lot in common. And we fell in love. She's a mortal, but we Primordials don't have laws against such marriages. She seemed very happy to leave her desolate home. But that was to be expected. Her king had made her give her only son away to keep him safe, plus with this marriage she can see him again."
Ethios stopped talking and looked around the room, a knowing expression on his face. He was waiting for everyone to connect the dots. Derek and James were the first to understand, Derek smiled broadly nodded and actually applauding Ethios' cleverness. James' eyes went wide and he was at a loss for words.
"That's right James, you guessed it." Ethios said with a warm, fatherly smile. "By all the power invested in me by the Primordial court and laws of inheritance, I name thee James Primordial of Heroes and Prince of Primordials."
Everyone from the tables stood up and clapped and cheered. They all figured it out, and were delighted that the hero of the Battle of Arendelle was given such a rank. Derek, face still plastered with a huge smile, said, "That seems to be of sufficient merit. No one will doubt the legitimacy of your claims. Congratulations on the wedding, King Consort James."
"Nonsense!" A voice from the crowd shouted out. "We'll not have our hero be limited to King Consort!"
Many other voices offered their agreement with that statement. And in a few moments, the entire room was chanting "King James. King James. King James."
"It seems you've won popular support, King James." Derek corrected.
"Seems fitting." Ethios commented. And Ishnaugh nodded in agreement, Marhsual appearing at his side, holding his hand and smiling brightly at Elsa and waving.
Golden light shone around James. The light shone too bright to look at for a second then faded, revealing James once more. He was now wearing fancy new royal blue robes, and a red cape with white fur on the edges. On his head was a medium sized golden crown with slightly shining blue diamonds embedded in it. Around his waist was a polished leather belt, with his blue sword and ice scabbard hanging at his side.
"Good luck, King James." Derek said as he and Ethios made to leave. "I believe we'll be talking soon." And with that, the two kings of kings left the room, followed closely after by Ishnaugh and Marshaul after they offered their own congratulations and luck wishing.
The people were still applauding and cheering, some more people even came in from outside to join in. Elsa felt a smile spread across her face, looking at James standing at her side with all the people of Arendelle on his side.
After so long in depression and fear of the future, good feelings overwhelmed her. They swept her up in an unstoppable wave of emotions. Almost as if she was no longer in control of her body, she stood from her seat, grabbed James' face, and pulled him down for a long and passionate kiss.
The crowd cheered even louder during the kiss. But neither of them paid attention, they were too busy reuniting with each other. The magic created by their emotions swirled around their bodies in a flurry of visible power.
When they finally broke apart for breath, they leaned their foreheads against each other. They looked into each others eyes, losing themselves in them for a moment after such a long time apart. James smiled, a glint in his eyes. "Well, Snowflake. Are you ready for another wedding?"
The couple turned and looked at Anna and Kristoff. Said other couple looked at each other, then back to the rulers of Arendelle with huge smiles and nodded. James turned to address the eager crowd of people. "Thank you, good people of Arendelle, for attending our wedding, even if you didn't really know it was me. But now it's time for the main ceremony, the wedding of Princess Anna and Kristoff." The crowd cheered like crazy. "To the church!"
The crowd rushed out of the doors. Elsa took Anna out of a secondary exit, avoiding the now massive crowd, to a waiting carriage that James had arranged beforehand that wasn't driven by one of Julius' guards. James took Kristoff's arm and turned them both to blue smoke, and shot out of the castle, through the town and onto the church stage to await the coming women.
Now, to make this the best day my sister has ever had. Elsa thought to herself as she averted her eyes so Anna could switch into her actual wedding dress.