Elsa anxiously tapped her ice-heal shod foot on the wood floor. She was sitting on a padded bench right outside of the palace's sick room. Anna sat beside her, a comforting arm around her older sister's shoulder. They had been sitting there for nearly an hour waiting nervously. Elsa very nearly had a heart attack when she saw James collapse, the doctor had even tried to examine her for any ailment when he had finally arrived, but she had brushed him off and forced him to focus on her fallen husband.
They hadn't heard anything and Elsa didn't know how to take that. James could in much more trouble than it seemed and they were too preoccupied with trying to save him, on the other hand if something horrible had happened then they would have come out and told her. Neither sister said anything, they weren't expecting anything like this to happen, they had all thought that after the wedding they were done with all of the drama and heartache.
Finally the doors to the sick room swung open and the palace doctor walked out. He was a short, middle aged man. His matted black hair was balding on the top of his head. His brown eyes were surrounded by crow's feet and laugh lines. He didn't look happy enough to be delivering good news. Elsa stood up, managing to be a few inches taller than the doctor, to receive the news.
"I'm sorry, Queen Elsa." The doctor said. "But we have no idea what is wrong with King James. What we do know is that he is unresponsive and if something doesn't happen soon, he will most likely perish."
Elsa very nearly unqueenly dropped to her knees, but was held up by Anna. Anna asked, "Is there nothing we can do to help him? Nothing at all?"
"Nothing within my knowledge. I'm sorry, this seems to be a magical matter." He said.
"How can you tell it's magical?" Anna asked.
"Well, we found something odd on his chest. We don't really know if it's normal or not, only Queen Elsa would know."
"Can we see him?" Elsa asked meekly, barely trusting her voice not to break.
"Of course." The doctor said, then gestured to the room signaling Elsa and Anna to enter.
The two sisters slowly made their way into the sick room. The sick room was long and rectangular. It contained two rows of beds, each adorned with white sheets and pillows. There were a few doors off to each side leading to private offices for the nurses and attendants, leaving the room mostly empty of medical equipment. In a bed off to the right, James lay unconscious underneath the blankets. Out of respect they had switched the plain cloth sheets with fancy blue silk ones and propped him up on more than one above standard pillow. And they had left his golden crown on his head.
It broke Elsa's heart to once again see her love lay helpless, unable to interact with her. Knowing he hated the "accursed thing", she gently removed his crown and placed it on a small wooden nightstand on the left side of the bed. She could feel tears threatening to fall from her eyes as she ran a hand through his soft brown hair.
Anna, seeing her sister become more and more upset, asked the doctor, "So what is it that you found odd?"
The doctor came up to the side of the bed and pulled down the covers and then lifted the front of James' shirt. The doctor revealed James' impressive stomach muscles, along with a few nail marks. If she hadn't been so heartbroken she would have felt embarrassed. But when the doctor pulled James' shirt up above his chest, she found something that she hadn't seen before. There was a black almost burn mark in the center of his chest roughly where his heart would be. Spreading out from there, dark black lines had traced the lines of his veins and arteries all across his chest, the longest line reaching up to the base of his throat.
"That isn't normal is it?" Anna asked. Both her and the doctor then looked at Elsa.
"No, it isn't. That wasn't there when..." Elsa cut herself off. She was upset not crazy. "That wasn't there before."
"Do you have any idea where this could have come from or what could have caused this?" The doctor asked.
"Well, no. I have no-" Elsa started to say. However, she stopped herself when she remembered what had most likely caused this.
She thought back to when James had first asked to court her. It was immediately after Julius had done some dark magic on her, corrupting her mind to overwhelm her with fear and drive her powers out of control. She thought hard about those memories, she had fallen unconscious after he had initially corrupted her, then she had woken up inside of Eowan's cabin where she freaked out and almost froze everyone to death.
Then James had come back from attacking the stores of food being horded in Arendelle. He had come into the cabin and tried to get her to calm down. After that failed, she used her magic like she had in the Arendelle jail cell during the Great Freeze to blast out a wall, and James had quickly followed after her. After a small scuffle she lost track of exactly what had happened, but next thing she knew her mind cleared and she was back to normal. But she remembered James lying on his back several feet away his sword and a strand of black hair in his hands.
"Julius infected my with dark magic before, when he had kidnapped you Anna," Elsa said. Anna shuddered, remembering the pain of being tested on and tortured and the horrible reveal of her powers. "But I don't know how that would cause this."
"He infected you? Was there anything left of the magic?" The doctor asked.
"Yeah, a few strands of my hair turned completely black. But James threw them away immediately, and it wasn't the strands that was influencing me, they just showed that something had happened."
"Well, if he released the magic in you, could that have resulted in a violent explosion of magic?" The doctor asked.
Anna and Elsa reached the conclusion at the same time. Anna asked Elsa, "You don't think he was hit in the heart do you?"
"Well it looks like that's where the blackness is the worst." Elsa pointed out.
"So how do we fix this? True love?" Anna asked.
"Trust me, if it was true love this would've already been fixed." Elsa said.
"Perhaps I could be of assistance?" a voice from the doorway asked.
The three people present whipped their heads around to see who was there. Standing in the doorway was Gran Pabbie, accompanied by a tall figure whose face was hidden by a hood.
"Gran Pabbie? What are you doing here?" Anna asked.
"Well, I couldn't be here for your wedding but I decided to come before either of you leave for your honeymoon. And then I heard that James had fallen possibly fatally sick." He responded. Both of them proceeded into the room and over to the bed. The man in the cloak helped Gran Pabbie to stand on a free space on the bed to observe James.
"Hmm, this is troubling." Gran Pabbie said. "I'm not well versed in dark magic, but it seems your previous guess was correct, he appears to have a darkened heart."
"Is there a cure?" Elsa asked.
Gran Pabbie didn't seem to have an answer. He looked up at the man in the cloak, as if asking for the answer to Elsa's question. Elsa turned to the man with a piercing glare, "Whoever you are, tell me now; is there or isn't there a cure?"
"I'm sorry, Elsa. I didn't know that this would happen." The man said. Then he reached up and pulled down his hood. As the shadows fell away from his face, Elsa and Anna finally saw that the man before them was none other than Lognath.
Elsa, Anna, and the doctor all stumbled back away from the Primordial. "What are you doing here Lognath? Haven't you done enough?" Elsa demanded.
"I said I'm sorry." Lognath said, his temper flaring up. "I realize now that what I did was wrong. James showed me the truth when he saved my life. I honestly didn't know this would happen. I only gave Julius the power he used so that he could effectively take total control over Arendelle, I didn't have killing James in mind when I gave it to him."
"If you really are sorry, then fix him. Fix him now." Elsa demanded.
"Don't you think I would if I could?! I don't want him to die anymore than you do now."
Elsa deflated, knowing there was no point in arguing further. If both Gran Pabbie and James trusted Lognath enough to associate themselves with, then Elsa could too. And if Lognath said he couldn't heal James, she knew he couldn't.
"So what do we do?"
"I don't know. As far as I've seen there is no cure for this. Although...."
Elsa perked up slightly. "'Although' what?"
"It might be crazy, but we could try letting him die then reviving him." Lognath thought aloud.
"How would we do that? And how would we be sure that would work?"
"I'm not sure. I've never seen a resurrection before. And my power isn't suited to bringing back life."
Elsa thought about their dilemma, mulling over different ideas and solutions. "What if I became a Primordial? What if I became a Primordial and gained enough power to be able to bring him back?"
"While it's not technically impossible, it might as well be. First off, it would take too long, he'd wake and die way before you got even half way through your trials. Second, there is no possible way to predict or guide your Primordial field, it just comes to you. And you'd probably be more 'Primordial of Winter' than 'Primordial of Resurrection' or Life."
Elsa was about to propose another idea when suddenly the doors burst open once again. This time a young messenger came running in, looking winded and flustered. He took a second to collect himself and regain his breath. He looked at Lognath, who quickly threw his hood up once again, and Gran Pabbie questioningly. Elsa simply nodded her head, signaling for him to relay his message.
The messenger bowed at the waist. "Queen Elsa, urgent news from the ports. Two ships have arrived, one from the Southern Isles and one from Weselton. They're carrying the Duke, the Southern Isle King, and Prince Hans."
"What?! What are they doing here?" Both Elsa and Anna exclaimed.
"They state that they're here to negotiate a lasting peace, but they haven't arrived with any other delegates."
"Where are they now?" Elsa demanded, putting on her 'Queen mask'.
"They're in Arendelle's main square, waiting for you."
Elsa looked at Anna. "Stay here. Make sure no one tries anything to hurt James."
"Elsa are you sure you can take them alone?" Anna asked, fearing for her sister's safety.
"I'm more worried about them trying to kill James while he's down. If Gran Pabbie heard about this, they probably have as well."
Anna clearly didn't like the idea of leaving her sister to deal with all those enemies alone. But she didn't argue. She knew if anything happened to James, Elsa would fall to pieces. As it was, Elsa was nearly there already. So she just nodded and wished her sister luck.
Elsa then turned to the doctor. "You stay here and make sure James stays alive and well. If anything happens to him, I'm taking it out of your hide."
The doctor, who had never heard a threat from Elsa was shocked into immediate obedience, running over to gather his medical equipment. Planning on doing anything and everything to keep James alive.
To Lognath and Gran Pabbie, Elsa said, "You two, go out and find anything you can find on either curing this or bringing him back. I'm not going to lose him again." Lognath and Gran Pabbie both nodded solemnly and dissappeared in a puff of black smoke.
With an assignment given to everyone to help James, Elsa finally turned and marched out of the sick room and then out of the castle towards the town square. Ice crackled and snapped from her ice cape and the ground froze wherever her feet touched. Everyone could clearly see that she was furious.
Standing there in the main square where the offending men; King Malek of the Southern Isles, and the Duke of Weaseltown.
"What do you two want?" Elsa snapped at them. "We beat you, you lost, why won't you leave us alone?"
"We want many things, Queen Elsa." King Malek drawled. "But the first thing we want is a little respect, with a side order of your husband's power." Then Malek nodded to something behind Elsa.
What did he nod to? Elsa thought. Then she realized her mistake. Where's Hans?
She felt a sharp pain on the right side of her head and immediately collapsed to the ground.
Back in the castle, glass shattered, a few metal bars and tools crumpled, the doctor and Anna were knocked to the floor by a powerful, invisible force. And James' eyes snapped open. The green of his eyes surrounded by another ring of bright electric blue.
My chest ached liked crazy as I sat up in my bed. It took me a second to realize that it wasn't my bed, but I was in the sick room of the castle. Another few seconds went by before I realized that the place had been trashed. Shattered glass and crushed structures scattered across the floor. Candles and lanterns looked like they had exploded. And anything around the size of a loaf of bread had been thrown violent across the room and had gouged into the walls. And Anna and the castle doctor were groaning as they stood up and brushed themselves off.
But strangely, I didn't care. For whatever reason, I was mad. Almost enough to start breaking things for no reason. And I had no idea why. I got out of the bed, magic stirring in my blood.
"Oh wow, what happened?" Anna asked, shaking her head slightly.
"Anna, where's Elsa?" I asked, having expected her to be by my side.
"She went out to the town square, the King of the Southern Isles, the Duke of Weaseltown, and Hans were all seen coming off a boat on the pier." She said.
"What?!" the floor around my feet cracked as my magic surged. "How did they even get close? There've been ships guarding the harbor since the weddings, there shouldn't be any way that they got into port."
Anna didn't have an answer, but I didn't stay much longer than that. I was already walking quickly out of the room. With a snap of my fingers my sword and scabbard flew into my hands were I attached it to my waist. Anna was following in my wake, more jogging than walking to keep up with me and my long stride. Through the entire castle, I couldn't find any guards, even though they should've been everywhere to protect the royal family with enemies so close.
"How long ago did she leave?" I asked, still making my way through the hallways.
"Just a few minutes before you woke up. James I really think you should rest, we're all very worried about you."
"Resting won't do any good, something doesn't feel right, and I can't do anything about that from a bed." I said, finally reaching the large front doors of the castle.
With a simple thought, a forced the doors open, a little more violently than necessary, with magic. Anna and I were greeted with a sight that finally explained why I was so angry. The King of the Southern Isles, the Duke of Weselton, Hans, and the guard I had first met on the castle's wall when I had first come to Arendelle, all stood side by side. Elsa was kneeling, facing us, in front of Hans with a large purple bruise on the right side of her face. I could tell she was regaining consciousness by the way her eyes moved around and focused on things.
King Malek was definitely shorter than me, being only an inch or two above Hans and Elsa. He had black hair, slicked back untastefully. He had the same eyes as his son. He was dressed in average red and orange royal robes with a much to elegant looking golden crown on his head.
"Ah, James. And here I was thinking you were comatose in the castle." Malek, the King of the Southern Isles said.
"You would like that wouldn't you, coward." I growled back.
"Show respect, you low life." The guard said, angrily, his face flushed with anger. "He is a true king, unlike yourself."
I narrowed my eyes at him. I caught myself formulating a spell that would blast them all off the Earth, and stopped myself. Senseless violence would accomplish nothing. "What do you want?"
"Well, you see. Arendelle is a valuable trade port. And I think it would be used much better if it was controlled by Weselton." the Duke said with a smirk.
"And I couldn't let any injustices to my family go unpunished. So me and my son are here for revenge." Malek said. "And being the master tactician that I am, I figured out the perfect revenge. Kill Elsa's new husband, then imprison her and use her for her power. Then sell off Arendelle to Weselton, and give Anna here to Hans."
"Do you really think that'll happen?"
"I don't think that you'll simply allow us to do it, no. But I know that you will because if you don't," Malek drew a small knife and put it up to Elsa's throat "then we'll kill her and have our revenge anyways.
"However, all you have to do to save her, is give us your power."
I blanched. I didn't know exactly what was happening to me, but I had a feeling that my magic was one of the only things protecting me. Plus, if I gave them my powers, I had no idea what they would do with it. And judging from what I could do just from being angry, I couldn't bring myself to imagine what they would do with it on purpose.
"Well, if you don't want to..." Malek said, and made to slit Elsa's throat, her eyes wide and scared.
"Stop." I said. Malek did stop, and looked up at me questioningly. A small bead of blood trickling down Elsa's neck. I couldn't let her die. There would be no way for me to live with myself if I did. "I'll do it."
Malek smiled cruelly. "Good, I'll finally get to use the artifact we found. You see, in the volcano where we found our heating stones, we found a knife. A knife that would allow us to simply take magic straight out of someone's blood. Barny, it's your time to shine."
Barny, the guard, pulled an ancient looking knife from his waist. It was made of bronze, with all sort of symbols etched on the blade. The handle was simple wrapped leather. And even from the distance we were at it felt horribly, sickeningly wrong. Every bone and every muscle in my body wanted to run. Or to blast Barny out of existence.
Anna tried to step in between me and the knife, but Malek pushed a little harder on his knife, making Elsa whimper in fear, another trail of blood trickling down. I stopped Anna by holding up a hand, and she stopped advancing and moved back. She looked scared and angry that she was powerless, but she stayed back none the less.
As Barny came closer and closer to me, the horrible feeling of wrongness and fear towards that knife got stronger and stronger. Until finally, I stepped back in fear. Malek narrowed his eyes, questioning me.
"Please," I asked Barny. "Please don't use that. I'll just give it to you."
Malek didn't look too happy about it, but he nodded at Barny none the less. He put the knife away, and advanced to face me. He looked at me with disgust, which must have been weird, I was around a foot taller than him. "Well, what are you waiting for?"
"James, don't do it." Elsa called, but was quickly silenced by Malek and his cursed dagger.
"I'm sorry, Elsa. I love you." I called back softly. I reached out a hand towards Barny, and he begrudgingly took it. I had never done anything like this before, but it was a simple concept, just release my power without killing him.
So I poured it out, all of it. Everything that gave me power, even that which made me a Primordial. Everything went. And with every drop of magic I forced out of me, another drop of pure agony replaced it.
I fell to my knees quickly, my hand still firmly grasping Barny's hand, who seemed to be overwhelmed by the amount of power he was receiving. Around our hands was a huge corona of flaming blue energy, the essence of my magic in physical form. You could faintly see scenes from what memory I did have flow from my hand to his and was absorbed through his skin.
Soon we were both in tears, overwhelmed with pain and shear magic power. I was fading, darkness creeping in from the outskirts of my vision, and breathing was getting more and more difficult with every breath. Once everything I had was out, I knew I was past saving, I was too far gone. But I looked deep in to Barny's eyes and said, "Please, I know you don't like me, but whatever you do don't give them this power. Use it rightly."
Then I released his hand and fell over on my side. Barny stumbled back a step, looking at his hands which were now crackling with blue power. Malek laughed and released Elsa, who immediately ran over to me, rolling me over to look me in the eye, Anna as well came to my side.
"James, why would you do that. Why do this?" Elsa asked, tears flowing freely from her shining blue eyes.
"I couldn't let him kill you. You at least have a chance for a better future now." I said, the pain almost unbearable. "I'm sorry. I love you."
"No. No no. Don't you die on me! Don't leave me James!" Elsa shouted at me, begging, as my eyes slowly started to close. "Please. Please."
She cradled my head in her lap, rocking back and forth slightly as she wept. Anna just sat in silence, her voice squashed by the tears that were also flowing from her eyes. I hated for this to be how I left them, in tears as their world went under siege once again. But I was content with knowing that my last act was to protect them, to give them a fighting chance. In their sadness, surely, they'd have enough power to beat mine which resided in inexperienced hands.
My last sight of the world was the love of my life and her sister in tears over me. Elsa's blond hair a mess, her dress ruffled, and small cuts on her neck. Her eyes red and puffy and her cheeks flushed red. But even then, in her distraught condition, she looked absolutely stunning. I smiled at that. At least I got one last look at Elsa I thought to myself. And the darkness took over once again, and silence reigned as they sobs of my new family sounded further and further away.