After James escaped within the first minute of being captured, the Emperor had the guards escort her to her room. Probably not to keep her safe so much as to make sure she got there.
She hoped that James had both heard her and understood that he needed to convince the trolls that he wasn’t a Primordial. Elsa wished that James wasn’t a Primordial like Ishnaugh, but when she saw how he made a huge storm and devastated an entire army she could see how he could be one; powerful and terrifying. But James had been staying with her for months and she had never seen him as scary as he was during the battle; managing to fight off the most powerful thing she had even seen and then single handedly saving the entire kingdom.
She lay on her bed and thought about how she felt about James. He was kind, gentle, understanding, and not half bad looking. But during the battle his personality changed; he was vicious, cunning, and ruthless. And apparently he was a Primordial, which meant nothing to her since she had no clue what a Primordial even was.
Elsa quickly sat up when she realized that she had a large bookshelf right next to her. She got up and started pulling books down, searching for anything that could tell her what a Primordial was. Of course, with her luck, she found nothing; not even the mentioning of a Primordial. She sat back in her desk chair and tried to relax, there was nothing she could do.
“I hear you’ve had an encounter with not one, but two Primordials, Queen Elsa.” Said a voice from behind her.
Elsa whipped around and saw the last person she expected to see; Grand Pabbie, “What are you doing in here? How did you get in?”
“Magic, my dear. Now if you please, I would like to hear about your Primordial incident.”
Although Elsa didn’t know why he wanted to know about Ishnaugh and James; she trusted him quite a bit, so she told him about Ishnaugh and about how he had claimed James was a Primordial like him.
“Hmmm, I’ve heard about Ishnaugh the Primordial of war. But I have never heard even whispers of James. What did Ishnaugh say about him?” Grand Pabbie asked.
“That James was the ‘only Primordial in play’ and that he doesn’t have a ‘field’” Elsa answered. To which Grand Pabbie smiled and nodded.
“This is good. If we help James, then he may not turn out like the rest of the Primordials.”
“Please, Grand Pabbie, I have no idea what a Primordial is or what ‘in play’ means, please I have to know.”
“I realize this Elsa, but where to begin? I suppose the beginning is as good of a place as any.” Grand Pabbie said, creating a chair out of thin air for him to settle in. “Before men or any magical creatures walked the Earth; there were Primordials. Primordials are nearly immortal beings that have immense magical power.
"Each Primordial was so powerful that their wars would literally shake the world. So to avoid destroying the world; they made a hierarchy. Each Primordial took one aspect of the world for them to rule over, like a lord or an ancient god of some sort, they supposedly called these aspects ‘fields’. Once they chose their fields, they removed themselves to a realm of their creation, one in which each Primordial had their own kingdom.
"Of course when men and creatures came along, the Primordials tried to lay claim to entire species of life; the men didn’t react well to this. The original men of the world waged war against the Primordial king and his armies. The Primordials won of course, with their superior powers, but the war made them realize that they couldn’t take the race of men into their domains. But they still hold a grudge about how we decided to resist them.
"Now, I’d imagine that ‘in play’ means that James is the only Primordial that is actively roaming the world at the moment. And when he said that James doesn’t have a field, it means he doesn’t rule over any aspect.”
Elsa tried to comprehend what she was hearing. But this was a lot of information, Primordials and their world. She just couldn’t wrap her mind around the idea that she was friends with someone who could be king over an entire part of the world, with no one but the Primordial king ruling over him.
“This is both good and bad news; a Primordial yet to claim anything. Because with his help, you could protect Arendelle, but the bad news is that the last time this happened, the world almost ended.” Grand Pabbie said gravely.
“What do you mean, ‘the world almost ended’?” Elsa asked.
“I mean, the last time an unclaimed Primordial came to this world, Lognath came to kill him. Lognath the Primordial of darkness. He is literally all the darkness in the world. Usually, he sleeps uninterrupted, but when he wakes he tries to spread his power, take supreme control.”
“So what do we do?” Elsa asked, her spirits falling.
“We get James, and we train him and convince him to help us. I believe you already sent him to our valley, he will be welcome their as long as he doesn’t hurt anyone.”
“He won’t, it’s not like him to hurt anyone who doesn’t deserve it.”
“I’ll accept your vote of confidence about him.” Grand Pabbie turned to leave but Elsa reached out and put her hand on his shoulder.
“There is one more thing I’d like to talk to you about. The Emperor is making me marry him, is there anything you can do to stop it from happening?”
“Sorry, my dear, about that there is nothing I can do. You’ll just have to talk to one of your friends.” Once he said that, he simply spread his arms and vanished in a puff of smoke.
Anna burst through Elsa’s door and threw herself on her bed.
“Elsa, I need help with the wedding. And since you’re the only bridesmaid I’ve got you’ve got to help me!” Anna said voice full of innocence.
“Alright, what is there left to do?” Elsa asked, thinking it shouldn’t take too long considering how much time had passed since Anna and Kristoff had gotten engaged.
“Uhm, promise you won’t get mad, but… all of it.” Anna said, flinching in expectation of Elsa yelling. But she didn’t, she just gave a steely look.
“You didn’t do anything?” Elsa said trying to reign in some serious irritation. Elsa loved her sister, but sometimes Anna did things that got under Elsa’s skin.
“Uh, no.” Anna said sheepishly.
“Ugh, fine. Let’s get started then.” Elsa said, standing up and dragging Anna by the arm to go arrange an entire wedding.
With Elsa’s help the wedding preparations came along much faster than both Anna and Elsa expected. In a matter of weeks the two sisters had prepared to have a relatively low-key wedding which still unfortunately corresponded with Elsa’s wedding day; just moved back a bit.
When they had finished they finally rested in the dining hall. This had a long oaken table and many large stain glass windows that depicted some of the most significant people in Arendelle’s history, kings and queens Elsa only slightly knew about, warriors that dedicated themselves to the protection or Arendelle. And at the very end, the newest window was a stained glass depiction of her; because she was the first queen of Arendelle that could use magic. She was proud to be up there but she also felt guilty that she hadn’t actually done anything noble or great to be up there.
“Elsa, we need to talk.” Anna stated as she was eating a sandwich the cooks had made her.
“Okay, what do we need to talk about?” Elsa asked politely, trying to figure out if this was going to be a serious conversation.
“We need to talk about you and James, duh.” Anna said like it was obvious. Elsa could feel her face get cherry red in embarrassment. “See, it’s so easy to see that you like James that even Kristoff noticed it.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Elsa said, trying to play dumb.
“I’m talking about how you look at him like he’s your personal hero. You can’t hide it, you know it’s true.”
Elsa struggled to find something to say that would make Anna stop saying such things, but she knew Anna was right, Elsa was crazy about James; even if he was a Primordial. But it didn’t matter; she was already engaged to the Emperor.
“Even if I did, there’s nothing I could do about it, thanks to his royal pain-in-the-butt-ness.” Elsa said, using the tip of her finger to chill the tea she had gotten earlier.
“Couldn’t you just refuse to get married?”
“Not a chance, he rules over everyone, even me.”
“So what are you going to do? You don’t want to marry him.”
“There’s nothing I can do.” Elsa said, defeated by herself.
“Well as a first the Emp… oh my god, the Emperor is the furthest relationship you've ever had!” Anna said, suddenly excited like the inner child that she was. But it also surprised Elsa, she hadn’t thought about it like that; technically she was right.
“Oh oh have you had your first kiss yet?” Anna asked like she was still a kid.
“Well, no. I haven’t.” Elsa answered honestly, and then a new fear surfaced. What if she messed up kissing the Emperor or god forbid; someone she actually wanted to kiss? Of course, only she would get something like that wrong. Of course, Anna could somehow see her thoughts and her expression became guilty.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to-“
“It’s okay, don’t worry about it.” Elsa said, cutting Anna’s apology off. Elsa would just have to worry about that particular fear when she was faced with it, but there was no reason to stress out at the moment.
“So, does James know?” Anna asked, trying to keep the conversation going in the right direction.
“Oh, no I guess; unless it’s really that easy to see?” Elsa asked with a hint of mockery. But the smugness went down when she realized that she’d frozen her drink solid.
“Kind of… Where do you think he is?” Anna asked, realizing Elsa wasn’t up to talking about James and her anymore.
“He should be training with the trolls. Grand Pabbie told me they would accept him, and help him practice and learn magic.”
“So did they ask if you wanted to learn?” If there was one thing that Elsa found out to an uncomfortable degree over the years about Anna; it was that she excelled at having awkward conversations.
Just as Elsa was about to tell her that no she had not been asked and yes she had wanted to go, a young boy barreled through the door breathing heavily.
“Your highnesses, there’s a woman in the town square who demands to see you both!” He gasped.
“Tell her that she can come in and address us.” Elsa said, a bit ticked off from both this stranger’s rudeness and she was still mad that she wasn’t invited to learn with James.
“We tried to tell her your doors were open but, your highness, she blew up a flower stand by just pointing at it.” The boy said, obviously scared of this woman.
Whoever this woman is she knew magic, and wasn’t afraid to use it; so Elsa stood up, smoothed out her ice dress and started towards the town square.
Once in the square Elsa and Anna saw the woman the boy was talking about. She was about an inch shorter than Elsa and she had golden hair that seemed to shimmer in the wind. Her eyes were a calming shade of caramel, except with a wild, angry look that didn’t look natural. Her shin was darker than most others in the village, but was flawless. Her gown looked like an elder wedding gown, hoops and pure white silk, but with no veil. But the scariest part of her was the crown on top of her head; it was golden but with decorations of doves engrained in it, and it had small diamonds on the top of every point.
“It’s about time you two.” She said. “Since I already know you two I guess I should introduce myself. I am Marshual, the Primordial of Marriage.”
Both girls stopped in their tracks. Another Primordial? Why would the Primordial of marriage want with us? Elsa wondered.
“Since you two are both engaged and getting married soon, I have a certain amount of influence in your lives.” The Primordial stated, as though she was reading Elsa’s mind. “Although I could make you do some very entertaining things for my amusement, I am much more important matter to discuss; the capture of my husband by that upstart James.”
“Uhm, you have a husband?” Elsa asked, for some reason finding it surprising that these immortal beings got married.
“Of course I have a husband! I’m the Primordial of marriage for crying out loud! But did you not recently imprison my husband Ishnaugh is the Jailing Rod?” Marshual questioned angrily.
“Oh, that’s what the staff is. In that case yes, I did use the staff to trap your husband.” Elsa said, for some reason just being around this Primordial made her feel angry. Maybe it was because if she was supposed to manage marriages, then why was she not intervening in Elsa’s disaster of a forced wedding?
Elsa expected the Primordial to get mad; to use some powerful magic or curse Elsa. But to her surprise and probably Anna’s; Marshual unfolded her arms and the angry look in her eyes disappeared.
“Good, I told him not to mess with you but he did, and now he’s paying for it.” Marshual said, the approval in her voice was apparent.
“You’re not mad? Not that we want you to be.” Anna asked and corrected quickly. And at this Marshual laughed, it sounded warm and cozy; like how marriages should feel like.
“No I’m not mad. I don’t want him hurt but I do find it funny. As a matter of fact I am actually quite grateful; so to show my appreciation for you teaching my hot head husband a lesson I give to you two one wish.”
“You’re giving us a wish?” Elsa asked, now seriously confused. “Why would you do that?”
“Despite the stereotypes that you mortals put us in, my kind and I are actually quite generous and peaceful. I often give people gifts, as long as they are within my power of course.” Marshual said, still smiling with flawless teeth.
Anna looked up at Elsa, who knew that she wanted the say I wish I wasn’t getting married to the Emperor. But Elsa couldn’t bring herself to do it; she couldn’t take a gift like this from her sister, who Elsa still felt guilty towards. So instead Elsa said, “I wish that Anna and Kristoff will have a long and happy life together.”
Anna’s eyes got bigger as soon as Elsa said it, which lifted her spirits slightly; even though she wouldn’t be participating in Anna’s happiness. Marshual however looked even more surprised than Anna.
“You’re different Snow Queen. Not like any of the other mortals I’ve helped, you are the first person to ever have wished for someone else’s happiness.
“Have no fear I will grant your wish; Anna will be with Kristoff as long as I am alive, and I’ll even get some help from Infatius, the love Primordial, but fear not Elsa; you won’t have the miserable life you’re expecting. I have a few surprises planned for you.
“One last piece of information; when the time comes, and you will know when it has, release my husband, he will be of more help than you think.”
And with those last few words, Marshual rapidly grew blindingly bright. When the light faded away, she was gone; all that was left was a small nest with a single baby dove in it.
The villagers started coming out of their houses, curious about what had happened. Elsa and Anna assured them that everything was under control, and Elsa made it snow so the kids would calm down. Elsa was finally starting to relax, a Primordial had come and hadn’t tried to kill them, and nobody was hurt; plus they even got a free wish out of it. But then things got more complicated.
Standing just out of town, in the middle of the road was James. He was wearing dark blue robes, and a long black cloak with the hood pulled up to hide his face to anyone looking for him, and the tail billowed in the wind. The blue sword the smith had given him hung at his side, still in the scabbard Elsa had made, and he wore a red cord for a belt. The air shimmered in front of him; blurring him progressively more and more until he completely disappeared.
“Anna, did you see that?” Elsa asked, emotions she couldn’t decide on flooding her system.
“See what?” Anna responded, quickly returning to her usual cheerful self.
“Nothing, I, I think I’m just seeing things.” Elsa decided, trying to believe that she hadn’t seen anything.