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To Brave the Frozen Heart

Chapter Text

Today was going great day, Anna thought excitedly. Waking up, she remembered that today was to be her sister’s coronation day, the day that the palace doors would open and for the first time in forever she would finally get meet actual real life people.  It would be so totally strange and exciting.  Anna just knew that today would be fantastic. 

Elsewhere in the palace, Elsa had already been awake for quite some time, having tossed and turned all night.  Elsa was a bundle of nerves and had been terrified for years about this day.  Today she would have to remove her gloves to hold for the first time the symbols of her royal office.  Today she had to open the doors to the public who had gathered to bear witness to the crowning of Arendelle’s new queen, and she was petrified that she might let her powers show in front of everyone. 

“Conceal, don’t feel.” She repeated to herself the mantra of her past thirteen years, ever since she discovered the danger of her powers. “Conceal, don’t feel.” She couldn’t slip up in front of the trade delegates from other kingdoms.  “Conceal, don’t feel.” She wished that she was allowed to keep her gloves on during the ceremony.  They’d always helped her to feel safe and kept small amounts of frost from her hands contained besides. As the windows were opened to air out the normally dark and shuttered ballroom her discomfort grew.  Letting all these people into the Castle Arendelle went against her every instinct. “Conceal, don’t feel. Don’t let them in.” She reminded herself it was only for today and practiced picking up the ball and scepter, each time unsuccessfully coating them in ice.

Meanwhile, Merida was happily snoring inside the cabin of the ship that was transporting herself and her mother to Arendelle. 

Elinor and Merida had been travelling around for several months. Tensions were rising between the clans as Merida grew older without marrying.  The highland queen had spent two years bickering with her daughter before they’d came to the decision that Merida would make a political match between DunBroch and one of its neighboring kingdoms rather than marrying one of the highland lords’ sons.  She and her mother had been going to events like this coronation, meeting with possible suitors.  Although Elinor had hoped that Merida would have made a match by now instead of ruining all possibility of marriage with boorish behavior, she clung on to the possibility that here in this sunny, prosperous, Scandinavian kingdom Merida might at least find someone of the nobility she would accept.  Besides, with the great number of people grouping together for the large kingdom’s coronation, chances were that Merida would have to find one of them not entirely disagreeable. 

Elinor, ever the early riser, had been awake for several hours and was enjoying a quiet breakfast.  It was in the fleeting peaceful moments like this, when she was preparing for her daughter’s future, that she wished that her daughter hadn’t inherited Fergus’ willfulness. It did not serve well for a woman in this day and age to be so stubbornly ferocious.  She knew that the longer Merida spent without wedding a proper mate the worse the political state of the highland nation would get.  And Merida knew it too.  But Merida didn’t care.  Or rather she put her freedom above everything, including the affairs of her kingdom. Elinor hoped that war hadn’t already broken out between the clans.  Fergus was rather clumsy with handling diplomatic relations and the clans had been itching for a fight since driving out the invading forces.  If things weren’t handled delicately the peace which they’d worked so hard to foster would fall apart.

Merida woke up as the ship neared its port.  Arendelle was sunny and gorgeous, she’d like to be here on more unofficial business because it would be fun to explore.  She felt a pang of longing for Angus but knew that he wouldn’t have wanted to have been cramped up on the boat.  Besides, Angus was getting on with age and probably didn’t want to go gallivanting through the scenic mountainous terrain.  He probably would just want to stay in a nice peaceful meadow and relax.  Still, she missed her horse.  He was a wonderful companion and great for a vent after her mother had been particularly adamant about a suitor.

 Hans might have charmed her mother with his fancy manners but he was far too fussy and stuffy for Merida.  Plus he called Angus a smelly old beast.  She couldn’t marry someone who didn’t respect her best friend and dearest companion.  Even if Angus did smell a bit like his stable.  Still Merida reckoned that Hans probably didn’t deserve what Hamish, Hubert, and Harris had done to him in exchange for deserts.  Even if it was funny.  And it was very funny.

As Merida stretched all of the cricks out from sleeping in the small cabin of the ship, Elinor ducked in to help her daughter get ready for meeting potential suitors. 

Elsa breathed in and out, counting to ten in her head.  “Conceal, don’t feel. Don’t let them in.” It would only be for today then she could close herself away forever. The white haired crown princess steeled herself as she ordered the guards to open the gates. 

Anna had been waiting at the gates, completely elated if a bit gassy from all of the sweets that she’d stuffed her face with earlier.  (She refused to believe anything as delicious as chocolate could cause her harm.) Here was her chance to end her loneliness, her chance to find true love.  She’d been bouncing around the castle for over an hour, unable to contain herself. As the gates opened she couldn’t help but to run under the bakers who were bringing a gigantic cake in for the festivities.  She pushed herself recklessly past the good citizens making their way into the castle.  For the first time in forever danced around in the normally busy, currently vacated, for the present coronation of her sister as queen, open-air market just outside the castle walls. 

Elsa was inside in one of the more secluded rooms of the castle, dreading having to go downstairs to greet the waiting people. But she was the queen and this was her royal duty to her populace. 

Merida was happy to be off that boat.  She’d hopped off it at the first chance at all their stops.  Her mother cringed as she stretched loudly again, yawning in the crisp cool mountain air.  She swaggered proudly down the pier, stretching out her legs properly.  She really wanted to go riding through Arendelle.  She made a mental note to borrow a horse and get away while her mother was trapped inside of a crowd at the first opportunity.  Elinor, stately as ever waited to be let off onto the pier.  Once a ramp was lowered, lifted her skirts and elegantly stepped down it.  Merida rolled her eyes.  Things took way too much time the way her mother wanted to do them. She took off toward the visible castle while Elinor stood grumpily on ceremony for the crew.

Arendelle had a nice rustic style in spite of its sharply hewn stone, paved streets and metal fixtures.  Merida thought of home, and the rough bumpy stone that made up Castle DunBroch and the dirt trails and hoped that the nobility of Arendelle wasn’t too snooty and pretentious because she really wanted to like it here.  On the way to the castle she passed a burly young man that reminded her a bit of the young MacGuffin lad feed half a carrot to his moose thing and eat the other half.  She definitely wanted to like it here.

Merida didn’t really like the pomp of coronations, all indoors and stuffy.  Besides the dress that her mum had picked for her was from Arendelle and was made of a sort of stiff itchy fabric.  Furthermore, in Arendelle’s style it had corsetry, which was much too confining. She really didn’t want to sit inside the cathedral for an hour watching people say things but it wasn’t like she had a choice.  Her mother would never forgive her for giving their host such a large insult. 

Merida was very bored until she noticed the queen of Arendelle.  The queen was covered from head to toe and wearing a heavy cloak to boot.  In the middle of summer no less! But she didn’t look sweaty she just looked extremely confined and sort of cute. Actually really cute. She just looked so small underneath all of her heavy clothing.  Merida loved the way her chin was shaped and how her lip held still in spite of the nervousness that she was no doubt feeling about taking the throne to such a large and prosperous kingdom. She liked the gentle slope of her small shoulders and how still she held her chin up, proud and regal in spite of her short stature. She liked how the queen walked gently across the floor keeping her head level in a continuous sweep.  She never understood what her mother wanted to see in her walk until now. A walk was just a walk, a way of traveling from place to place stretching out her legs. But when the little queen walked, she understood.  When the little queen walked, she made her status irrefutable.

Elsa’s hands started to tremble when the officiator of the ceremony prevented her from taking the ball and scepter with her gloved hands.  ‘Don’t let them see,’ Elsa thought.

As she noticed the queen’s pale delicate hands Merida was stricken with a sudden urge to protect the little queen.  She didn’t understand why the queen wanted to wear them but those gloves were clearly important to her and she clearly felt more comfortable with them on.  Why couldn’t she wear them?

The queens hands started to frost up as she held the ball and scepter.  She noticed how many unfamiliar faces were looking straight at her in the cathedral.  It was all she could do to wait until they’d made her queen to grab her gloves and run out of the cathedral.

“Long live Queen Elsa.”

“Long live the queen!”

It was done.