My Light in The Darkness

Speeches and Confessions

*Evening of Great Thaw*

"Queen Elsa and Princess Anna of Arendelle!"

Kai's voice rang loud and clear through the palace courtyard, directing everyone's attention to the two women standing on the balcony high above them. Elsa was barely recognizable in her 'Snow Queen' outfit; she had looked lovely at the coronation but today she was stunning. Sparkling in the dying summer sun, she was so poised and elegant it was hard not to fall under her spell.

The entire kingdom had gathered to hear Elsa's speech, the growing crowd became so densely packed that it was almost impossible to move more than a few feet in any direction. Children climbed onto their parent's shoulders in an effort to get a better view of the queen and princess. All were curious to see if the rumors were true regarding their elusive monarch; did she really have magical powers that had unintentionally caused the freezing of summer?

"Citizens of Arendelle," Elsa addressed the large crowd, heart hammering against her ribcage as she gazed out at the sea of faces below her. She had been required to hold formal meetings before but this was the first time she'd had to stand up in front of so many people. "I would like to begin by offering my sincerest apologies for any undue suffering I may have caused, as well as deserting you in your time of need. Please know that all I did, I did for one very important reason." Elsa suddenly grew very solemn. "I took an oath that day you crowned me as your queen, and it is an oath that I will remain faithful to until very the end of my days. I vowed to protect every man, woman, and child within my kingdom at any and all costs. And it was because of that vow I had to leave."

Her words left more than few of the villagers confused; what did running off into the mountains have to do with keeping Arendelle safe? Didn't the snow only begin to fall after she had fled? Even Anna, who knew part of the reason behind her sister's disappearance, was hearing this side of Elsa's story for the first time.

"For reasons I do not understand, I was born with the power to create ice and snow," the moment the words passed her lips Elsa felt an immense weight lift from her body. Although people had already seen her powers this was the very first time she had actually willing told anyone about them and she felt… free.

But it was different from the freedom she had felt back at her ice palace and at first she couldn't figure out why. But, suddenly the realization struck her like a bolt of lightning. Elsa could be herself and be with those she loved, without the constant fear of hurting them looming over her.

"When I was young there was an accident involving my magic... it was from then on that my parents and I decided it would be best if I were to isolate myself. Keeping my powers hidden until the day I could control them. And for thirteen years I did just that. I believed that the only way to keep my 'abilities' under control was by suppressing them deep within me. As time went on and my magic grew so did my fear of the harm they were capable of. Although the battle to subdue my magic became increasingly difficult, I knew that it was my duty as your future queen to at least try. However, I realized my efforts had been in vain the moment the ice slipped from my grasp that night of my coronation. The very thing I had worked so long to prevent had become reality; I was a danger to Arendelle. So, I did what I believed was necessary to protect my people: I ran. It was not until later that I was made aware of the storm I had left behind."

When no one accused her of being a witch or a demon and no one ran from her in terror, Elsa decided it was safe to continue, "My whole life I have searched for the answer of how to control my magic and I am relieved to announce, that day has finally arrived. Over the years I had grown to resent my powers and subsequently myself; I had seen first-hand the danger they presented and it terrified me. I didn't realize that as long as I lived in fear of my magic I was destined to be ruled by them. But recently I was reminded that love, above all else, will conquer fear and through this lesson, I now know that in order to control my powers I must first learn to accept them."

Elsa paused and gave Anna a quick glance out of the corner of her eye. The girl had tears in her eyes and was staring at Elsa like she was seeing clearly for the first time.

Everything, her entire childhood now made perfect sense.

Tearing her gaze away, Elsa focused her attention back to her people. "I stand before you now not as your queen, but as nothing more than what any of us are; human. I feel pain, I have hopes and dreams, and I make mistakes the same as you. And it is because of those mistakes I have called you all here today. I put every one of you in a great deal of danger and there are no words to express how deeply and absolutely sorry I am for what happened, intentional or not," Elsa said. Her voice broke as guilty tears surfaced in her eyes, but she quickly pushed that away and looked deep inside herself to draw on the confidence she had found on the North Mountain.

"If you allow me to do so, I promise to spend the rest of my reign making it up to you. I will spend every day striving to be the queen that you need, the queen that you deserve. The palace gates have been re-opened and will remain that way, so that anyone in need of assistance from the royal family will receive it. I know that I am young and untested, but I give you my word I will work tirelessly to grow Arendelle into the kingdom I know it can be. All I ask in return is that you accept me for who I am: Elsa, a woman forged from winter, wielder of magic and ruling monarch of Arendelle."

At first there was only silence. Time stood still for Elsa and she began to panic.

They're too scared, they don't want me back. Oh God, what if they come after me, or worse, they could hurt Anna. I shouldn't have done this.

She could feel the magic swirling within her rising to the surface. However, she was able to keep it under her command by holding one thing centred in her mind; I can use my powers to keep Anna safe… if I have to. She had begun searching for an escape when she heard it.

"All hail Queen Elsa!"

"Yes, long live the Queen!"

The shouts were soon picked up by the rest of the crowd until entire courtyard echoed with voices raised as one to praise their ruler; a woman who had acted with wisdom beyond her years and had been willing to sacrifice everything for the well-being of her subjects.

It did not escape her notice that not everyone cheered; some looked on with disapproving eyes and a few of the dignitaries looked very unhappy. Elsa decided to deal with that at a later time as warmth the likes of which she had never felt before spread through her entire body. It filled her from the tips of her toes to very top of her head. The smile that lit up her face stretched from one ear to the other and tears sprang to her eyes once more. Overwhelmed, Elsa swept her gaze across her subjects and she remembered something her late father had once told her during one of their lessons.

"Elsa, when we wear the crown we become the caretaker of our people. You must earn their respect, their trust. And above all you must love them so that they may love you in return."

Elsa had been young then and did not fully grasp what he had meant at the time, but as a mother-like affection bloomed in her chest she finally understood.

My people.

Raising both of her hands Elsa called for quiet once more. "There is one more thing that I would like to address before you return to your homes. And that is the matter of our princess." Elsa said as she turned and stretched a long pale arm in the direction of a still teary eyed Anna.

"Wait what? Me?" asked the incredulous redhead looking from her sister to the people below and back again.

"My sister has displayed determination, compassion, and incredible courage. Risking life and limb to bring me home and believing in me when I did not believe in myself. If not for Anna, I would have remained on that mountain; too afraid to return and ignorant of the damage I had caused," Elsa announced glowing with pride.

Anna on the other hand, was shifting uncomfortably beside the queen, face and neck turning a deep red as she brushed some hair behind her ears. Feeling the crushing weight of hundreds of eyes resting on her, Anna suddenly felt very grateful she was just a princess who was not expected to do this kind of thing on a regular basis.

"It is thanks to her unfailing love that I was able to learn the secret of mastering my powers and end the eternal winter. I think I speak for everyone when I say we will forever be in your debt, Anna. You have saved Arendelle… and me," she added softly so that only Anna could hear giving her a small smile. "In a months time, Arendelle will be holding a grand celebration in honor of our heroic princess, to which you are all be invited. Food and drink will be provided for everyone and the palace will play host to a proper ball. It shall be an all-day affair so that we may celebrate someone whose loyalty knows no bounds, whose love is endless, and without whom we would all be lost. Princess Anna of Arendelle!"

The roar that erupted from the townspeople was deafening. Cries of, "Hooray for Princess Anna!" and "Bless you, Princess!" could be heard amid the applause. Half laughing, half crying Anna waved shyly at the cheering crowd. She had started looking for Kristoff when she felt Elsa's cool hand take her own.

"Thank you, Anna," Elsa said ice blue eyes full of warmth and affection. "I couldn't have done it without you."

Happy tears streamed down her face as Anna wrapped her arms around her sister's waist. Feeling the woman return the embrace she whispered, "I missed you so much Elsa."

The two of them remained that way for a time, reveling in the nearness of one another after having been apart for so long. When they finally separated the queen hooked one arm through Anna's and turned to wave at the still cheering crowd. Quickly wiping her eyes Anna followed her sister's example.

"Your Majesty, I implore you to see reason. Prince Hans is royalty," begged the ambassador of Denmark.

For the last hour he had ranted and raved about how Elsa did not have the authority to imprison Hans without a proper trial. His country had very strong ties to the Southern Isles so it made sense that he was speaking on behalf of its youngest Prince.

Movement near Elsa's left elbow caught her attention and she realized the girl sitting next to her was trembling in anger. Anna had not taken no for an answer when the blonde told her she could not sit in on the meeting with all the important visitors, even after assuring the girl she would only be gone for a few hours. It was not until Anna was practically in tears that Elsa finally gave in, warning her that if she were to behave inappropriately the queen would be forced to have her removed. For the first hour and a half Anna had been a perfect lady, sitting silently beside her sister and politely answering any questions directed her way. However, when they had reached the topic of Hans, Elsa could see her resolve begin to chip away.

The woman couldn't really blame the princess; she herself found that her own patience was wearing thinner the longer the ambassador rambled on. The rest of assembly, even if they did not approve of her decisions, at least treated her with respect. But this man acted like she was just some flighty woman, unfit to lead anyone.

"I am perfectly aware of his status sir. However, that does not absolve him of his crimes. The man manipulated my sister and tried to kill me. What would you have me do?" she asked keeping her voice even and face impassive.

"You have no proof of any of these accusations! You are being ridiculous; this is a blatant misuse of power! I demand that the Prince be released until a trial can be carried out!" he said slamming down a large fist, his face turning beet red.

Elsa sighed, tenting her hands on the large mahogany table in front of her, pressing her fingertips together and closing her eyes. She was very tired and had come to realize she had not eaten anything that day, causing her stomach to clench painfully.

"Arendelle's laws clearly state that the punishment for attempted regicide is punishable by death without trial. The way I see it I am being very merciful toward the prince. In regard to evidence against him, Anna witnessed– "

"That's another thing! Are you now making it common practice to put the word of a silly little girl over that of a decorated soldier and prince? How do we even know she is telling the truth?"

The man instantly regretted his words.

Elsa's eyes had snapped open and the temperature dropped significantly. Everyone in the room grew extremely nervous as they looked back and forth between her and the ambassador. The queen rose silently, never breaking eye contact with the man and he gave an audible swallow.

When she finally spoke her voice was calm but that only made her appear more dangerous, "I consider myself a patient woman, sir. I have endured your disrespectful attitude and ill-manners all night and as far as I am concerned you may abuse me all you like. But never insult my sister in front of me." Elsa said, not bothering to prevent the frost that crackled around her fingers which were still pressed firmly on the table; something that did not escape the man's notice. "That 'silly little girl' saved you from freezing to death… you would do well to remember that," she said daring him to argue with her. The man simply nodded his reply, face drained of all colour.

Returning her attention back to the rest of the room she continued, "As for the matter of Prince Hans, he will remain in the dungeons until I can commission a ship and return him to his family, should the Southern Isles wish to hold a trial for the prince at that time I will not stop them. I bear no ill will toward his kin but Hans himself is no longer welcome in this kingdom and that is my final say on the matter. Now, if you will excuse me it is getting late and it has been a trying day for all of us. You are all welcome to stay in Arendelle for as long as you need and I personally invite each of you to join us at my sister's celebration. If there is anything else you require please inform my staff and I will be more than happy to assist you in any way that I can. Good evening." She said bowing her head slightly.

"Good evening, your Majesty," was the collective response as the politicians rose from their seats and bowed low in return.

Elsa turned with all the elegance that came from years of training and with slow, even steps strode through the large double doors behind her. Anna followed at her sister's heels, but not before shooting the ambassador one last icy glare.

"Wow, Elsa! That was so awesome! You were all like, 'Grrr I'm the Snow Queen!' and he was all like, 'eek please forgive me, your Royal Highness, don't turn me into an icicle!' you are seriously the coolest sister ever." Anna was bouncing around the queen like an excited puppy as they made their way to the kitchens.

"Yes, well I'm glad you think so," Elsa said pursing her lips. She was unsure if her actions had been appropriate, Elsa did not want to make enemies at court nor did she want to scare anyone with her powers. No, she thought to herself he cannot talk about Anna like that and I need them to respect me.

"Your Majesty!" called a familiar voice as a portly manservant came trotting toward the two royals.

"Yes Kai, what is the matter?" Elsa asked praying that it was not some other official come to drag her away again.

"The ice harvester you spoke of has arrived with his moose and is looking for you and the princess."

"Sven is a reindeer," Anna corrected.

"Apologies, m'lady. Reindeer. Also, Majesty – I am not sure how to say this – he is also in the company of what appears to be, well…," the man looked very flustered as he tried to find the right words to say without sounding like a madman.

"Living snowman?" Elsa asked, surprising the butler. "It is alright Kai. I created Olaf, although I admit I did not realize I had brought him to life at the time." She smiled to herself as she remembered the wonder she had felt upon seeing the little snowman of her childhood alive for the first time. "Please show Kristoff to his room so that he may freshen up before joining us for dinner and take Sven to the stables. Please inform the head groom that he is to be given the very best care- "

"And carrots! He loves carrots!" Anna exclaimed suddenly shooting a single arm up in the air.

Nodding, Elsa resumed her directions, "See that Mr. Bjorgman is comfortable; he and his friend are my personal guests for their services to the crown."

"Very good Majesty, and the snowman?" he asked.

The question threw Elsa for a moment. What was she going to do with Olaf? Did she give him a room? Did he even need to sleep? I should know this I made him for goodness sake. She couldn't very well let him roam the kingdom, at least not yet. A sentient pile of snow may be unnerving to some. "I will make arrangements for him after dinner. That is all Kai, thank you."

After bowing first to Elsa then to Anna, the manservant hurried off to carry out the queen's wishes. The blonde smiled as she watched him leave. Kai had been with the royal family since before Elsa was born and, besides Gerda, he was the only other person who had known about her secret. When her parents died they had stepped in as her support, helping to keep Anna occupied when Elsa was most vulnerable.

"Come on Elsa, I'm starving! I wonder what Viktor has made for dinner. Scratch that, I wonder what is for dessert. I hope its chocolate related. Oh I'm so excited for you to meet Kristoff. I mean I know you already met him you didn't really meet, meet him. He is a bit weird but don't worry he loves ice, he was practically crying when he saw your castle and... "

Elsa raised a hand to cover her mouth and gave a small chuckle as she listened to Anna chatter on, bouncing from one topic to another. God how she had missed her, so full of warmth and energy; it was true that they had still seen each other occasionally during meals and on the rare occasion Elsa left her bedroom to roam the castle. However, any interaction was brief and formal, strangers living in the same house.

As soon as the girls rounded the corner they were met with cloud of delicious smells that made Elsa's mouth water and stomach growl angrily.

"Wow Elsa, you must be hungry too!" Anna laughed. "Ugh that smells soooo good," she moaned, skipping ahead and throwing open the dining room doors.

The royals had opted to eat in the smaller of the two dining halls; this one was specially designed to fit just the royal family while the other was used to hold lavish feasts. Or at least it did before the gates had been shut. There was a decently sized table that could easily fit six people but was currently only set for four and a fireplace that blazed merrily across from it. A single waitress stood next to the table, curtsying as the queen and the princess walked in. Naturally, Elsa sat at the head of the table while Anna sat in the seat to her right. Once the women had taken their seats the servant girl poured Elsa a glass of wine and Anna a glass of water.

"Thank you, Helen," Elsa said politely as the girl finished filling Anna's cup.

She gave another curtsy and left through the servant's door into the kitchens.

"Why don't I get any wine?" Anna whined as she watched her sister take a sip.

"Because you are not old enough yet," she replied simply and tried not to laugh as Anna flopped back in her seat pouting dramatically. "Anna, please sit up. If it means that much to you, you can have a small sip of mine," she said handing the cup to the princess.

Elsa knew she was indulging Anna but the queen found that it was very difficult to say no to the girl after all she had put her through. Elsa had a feeling that the redhead was about become the most spoiled little sister in Arendelle, which may not entirely be a good thing considering Elsa was also technically her disciplinarian.

"Really?! Thanks Elsa! What does it taste like?" Anna asked taking what was definitely more than just a small sip. Her eyes grew twice their normal size as she slammed Elsa's glass down on the table before waving her arms and looking around frantically.

"Anna, don't you dare spit out that wine!" Elsa said shooting her a dangerous look.

"Mmmmf," came the strangled reply. Scrunching up her face in concentration Anna struggled to keep the beverage in her mouth but eventually was able to choke it down. After which she immediately grabbed her water and drained the entire glass. "How the heck do you drink that stuff? It tastes awful!" she said pushing the remaining wine as far away from her as possible.

"I did tell you to take a small sip, and it's more of an acquired taste," Elsa said even though she herself did not enjoy wine very much. Alcohol in general in fact. She had never liked the idea of anything that had the potential to muddle her mind and weaken her hold on her already unruly powers. When she did drink it was mostly for show and more often than not it was watered down.

"Kristoff Bjorgman and Olaf… the snowman," announced Kai as he opened the doors revealing a very nervous looking Kristoff and excited Olaf.

"Uh thanks," he mumbled walking over to where the queen and princess sat.

The ice harvester had changed into some fresh clothes; a simple white, linen shirt and black riding pants. His boots however, remained the same. As he approached the table both the queen and the princess rose. Anna had a goofy grin on her face while the queen gave him a small, albeit warm smile. He felt his mouth go dry when he saw Anna up close. She looked so beautiful in her dress with the low neckline; making his cheeks flush when he saw the freckles that dotted her collarbone.

Keep it together, Bjorgman.

"Hi guys!" cried an exuberant Olaf as he skipped over to the table and sat in the seat beside the princess. "I saw your speech Elsa. It was so nice, I cried three whole times," he said proudly.

"Thank you Olaf," Elsa said. "Please take a seat Kristoff, dinner should be along shortly," Elsa said gesturing to the chair to the chair on her left, facing Anna.

Sure enough, the second the mountain man sat down the food was served. It was the best looking meal Kristoff had seen in his entire life; smoked Arendellian trout served with golden potatoes and fresh green beans. For a while they sat in awkward silence, each in their own private thoughts as they ate, occasionally Kristoff would steal a glance at the woman across from him, unable to help himself from watching her lips as she chewed.

Elsa was the first to break the silence, "So, Kristoff are you originally from Arendelle?"

Kristoff almost choked on his bite of fish, terrified the queen had seen him starring at Anna. "Well… I'm not exactly sure where I'm from to tell you the truth," he said with a shrug, unable to keep eye contact. What was it about this woman that terrified him so much? She is Anna's sister. "My parents died when I was really young and the other ice harvesters took me in for a while before I was adopted by my current family."

"He was adopted by trolls Elsa! Can you believe that? Trolls," Anna interrupted excitedly.

"Yeah! We thought he was crazy because they look just like rocks!" Olaf chimed in.

Elsa went stiff, dropping the fork she had been about to bring to her mouth and causing the potato it held to roll across the table. Her mind flashed back to that night. An unconscious Anna lying in her mother's arms shivering from the icy blast Elsa had accidentally shot at her head. No! Anna's here, she is safe. Calm down.

"What did you say?" she whispered her voice shaking.

"I said Kristoff was raised by trolls," she said slowly. "Elsa, are you alright?" the princess was becoming increasingly worried as watched the queen hug herself tightly.

It was a long time before Elsa finally spoke. "How long have you known?" Elsa said eyes never leaving her plate.

Kristoff instinctively knew she was talking to him. There was no sense in lying to the queen, she was bound to have found out sooner or later. "Ever since your… visit. It was actually you and your parents that led me to the valley in the first place."

"And you never told anyone?"

He shrugged in reply and rubbed the back of his neck. "It wasn't any of my business, I doubt anyone would have believed me anyway," the man said unable to bring himself to look anywhere but the cup in his hand.

"Thank you. That means more to me than you could ever know," she said quietly.

"Okay what are you guys talking about?" said a very confused Anna. Everyone was avoiding her gaze, except for Olaf who was looking at everyone at once.

"Why do you look so sad Elsa? Do you need a hug?" said the snowman asked hopefully.

Ignoring her creation's question the queen rose from her chair and made her way over to the fireplace. She then proceeded to stare into the flames lost in thought for what seemed like an eternity. "Kristoff, Olaf, would you give me a few moments alone with my sister?" she said.

"Uh yeah sure, no problem," Kristoff said hurriedly, relieved that he would be able to escape the awkward situation he had unwillingly created. After shooting Anna one last apologetic look he walked through the doors out and into the hall with a stricken looking Olaf in his wake.

"Elsa, what's going on? You're scaring me."

"Anna, there is something I need to tell you, something I have wanted to tell you for a very long time. I had hoped that it could wait but… " she sighed, straightening her back and clasping her hands behind her. Maybe if I don't look at her this will be easier. "Do you remember earlier today when I mentioned there had been an accident regarding my powers?"

"Yeeeaaaah," Anna said looking very intensely at the back of her sister's head.

"You weren't always ignorant of my powers. In fact, you were the one who loved them most of all. One night we were playing in the ballroom and I made it snow for you, it always made you so happy when I used my magic," she said bringing her shaking hands in front of her. "We were playing a game when I slipped and hit you in the head with my… my…" She couldn't bring herself to say the words.

"You hit me with your powers?" Anna finished for her. Elsa just nodded slowly. "Why don't I remember any of this?" she said searching her memory for any traces of the event but all she found were images of the two of them giggling in the palace gardens as they built their snowy friend.

"Mother and Father brought you to the only creatures that had any real understanding of magic: the trolls… and apparently Kristoff's family. They cured you, but it required removing every trace of magic from your mind, including memories of it. We were all so afraid that it would happen again that father thought it would be for the best if we concealed my powers from everyone until I could control them… even you," Elsa said as her shoulders sagged. "I had hoped that it would only take a year or two to learn how to master my power, and then we could be together again. I tried so very hard, practicing every day but they only got stronger and I got more dangerous," she said bitterly.

"Why didn't you tell me later, when I was older? Did Mama and Papa really not trust me that much?" she said sounding so hurt that it caused Elsa to feel physical pain.

"No, no Anna. It was never like that," she said finally turning around and kneeling beside her sister who looked very close to tears.

"Mother and Father wanted to tell you when they realized that I wasn't getting anywhere by myself. I was so angry and scared all the time that they thought your knowing would somehow help… but I wouldn't let them," she said, voice full of guilt and tears swirling in her eyes.

"What?! Why not?" Anna cried searching the queen's face for any hint of an answer.

"I couldn't let you see me that way. I was terrified that if you found out before I could control it you would be afraid of me, think I was… a monster... that would have destroyed me. Although, I wouldn't have blamed you if you did. I had hurt you; my little sister… my best friend," she finally choked out before collapsing into Anna's lap, sobbing uncontrollably for the third time that day. Elsa was surprised she had any tears left, but here she was leaving a stain on Anna's skirts.

"...I forgive you."

Elsa's head jerked up at Anna's voice. She had not expected that. "What? No Anna, you should be angry with me. I made your life miserable all because I was too selfish to tell you the truth," she said baffled that Anna had forgiven her so quickly.

"Elsa, you did all that stuff because you wanted to protect me, you spent all that time alone and scared. You were willing to sacrifice your own happiness just to keep me safe, which I am pretty sure is the exact opposite of selfish," the princess said smiling.

The young queen stared up at her in amazement. How this goofy, brash, young girl could be so unbelievably understanding was beyond her.

"By the way Elsa, I don't know where you got the idea that I would find you scary. So you have wintery powers, big deal. I once smashed a giant snowman in the face with a tree."

Elsa laughed. A real laugh, not the proper little giggles she sometimes allowed herself. The queen had forgotten how wonderful it felt. When she was finally able to catch her breath the young woman stood up, using the table for support. "All this crying is exhausting," she said dabbing at her eyes. "Go fetch Olaf and Kristoff so that we can finish eating. I think that I will need to go to bed soon."

"Your wish is my command, your Majesty," Anna said jumping up and bowing low in front of her sister before running to fetch the boys.

Elsa could only laugh and roll her eyes.

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