Regina found herself in a strange garden; flowers, trees and butterflies surrounded her and she thought she might have died or was dreaming. It was a beautiful landscape but it was odd how she couldn't really smell the scent of the blossoms, or feel the warmth of the bright sun above her. Colors were vivid, the birds lively, but she couldn't really feel the wind blowing that was making the leaves on the trees move gently.
She heard noise behind her and when she turned around, she was sure she was dreaming.
"Elsa?" The brunette mumbled and her heart began to pound faster, like the flutter of a hummingbird.
"Regina! My love, I was starting to think you'd never wear it." The blonde came running to her side but when she embraced her, Regina pushed her away. Elsa felt her heart break but Regina was in all her right to reject her and the Arendellian kept the distance her partner drew for them.
"Do you mean this necklace?" Regina asked and Elsa explained it was a lover's bind to help them be together.
Regina was furious and reproached why hadn't she told her so, before leaving. Elsa tried to do her best to explain she had not known of its powers until Belle told her, but it wasn't easy because Regina kept interrupting to tell her what an irresponsible impulsive teenage she had behaved like, and how she would never forgive her for having parted like that. Elsa felt really guilty for the way everything happened so fast, but even if Regina kept yelling at her, she was happy she was able to see her again, be close, and only wished with time they could heal the wounds.
"Regina… I do love you, no matter what you may think." Elsa took a step closer but Regina glared.
"That's unfortunate, seeing as how your feelings are one-sided now." The brunette said bitterly.
"You don't mean that…" Elsa took yet one more step toward her and touched Regina's arm gently.
"I'm sorry, Elsa, but I don't love you anymore." Regina looked at the hand on her arm with disgust and turned around to evade those tearful blue eyes. "In fact, I hate you and hope you don't bother coming back," her voice quavered but the brunette managed to let it out.
Elsa felt hurt at hearing her harsh words but Regina's presence here meant the opposite to what her mouth continued claiming and, as Regina looked to the infinite garden, two soft hands slipped from behind to cradle her grown belly, Elsa's chin came to rest on Regina's shoulder, and her body pressed gently against the brunette's back.
"No you don't," Elsa whispered gently behind her ear and Regina wanted to melt into that embrace, but pride wasn't easy to let go off and the brunette cleared her throat. "Don't touch me," she said to Elsa like she had told her in the diner.
"Regina I—" Elsa tried to speak but was cut off.
"I have to go. Emma is coming home and I haven't cooked dinner. If you excuse me, I will now remove this necklace and leave." The mayor said dismissively, but made sure to emphasize that name Elsa feared most hearing in their privacy.
"Emma? So you two… NO. I don't believe it." Elsa released the brunette and moved to her front to face her. "You're not together, are you?" Blue eyes pierced into brown.
"Whoever I am with, stopped being of any concern to you the moment you decided to leave me and your little snowflake." Regina groaned, removed her necklace and vanished from her sight.
"Regina!" Elsa yelled with anger and despair. "Argh!"
The flustered Ice Queen removed her necklace and woke up to find her body laying on a rug, head on a pillow, and Mirabelle's hand with a wet cloth wiping mud off her face. Her handmaiden's face lit up when she saw Elsa open her eyes and hugged her. "You're back!" She exclaimed but quickly remembered this was no proper way to display her care for the Queen. "I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" The brunette apologized blushing deeply.
"It's alright, Mira." Elsa smiled gently. "Thank you for worrying for me… What happened?" The Queen asked as she slowly rose from the improvised bed.
"You fainted and fell from the horse. I — We — were so worried about you. You were gone for about two hours, my Queen."
"I see..." Elsa looked down at her chest and noticed the absence of her necklace, but found it inside her hand turned into a stiff fist, and felt the warmth of her blood start dripping from where pointy edges of the pendant buried into her skin with the pressure she had been putting. "How far are we from Arendelle?" Elsa asked while hiding her hand behind her and rubbing at her throbbing temple with the other.
"We are about six hours from the kingdom. We made camp behind the mountain, where no one can see us. There's nothing else but these mossy rocks with us." The maiden told her and Elsa looked around her, finding this place somewhat familiar but couldn't quite recall why.
"We can't stay here. I have a feeling we're being… observed." Elsa said as she walked to where knights were making a pit with small rocks to start a fire. The night would be falling soon and it was getting colder.
"Sir Reagan." Elsa called behind him and he got startled at hear her voice so suddenly.
"My Queen." He made a vow and knelt. "How may I serve you?"
"Fire produces smoke… and, do you know what smoke does?" Elsa raised an eyebrow at him.
"It… draws attention. I'm sorry, my Queen. We were just cold and didn't think it could be seen from here." The poor man felt a rush of heat come to his cheeks.
Elsa nodded lightly and asked her knights to move away, she then focused on the center of the pit they had built and remembered a spell from the small book of sorcery. "Ignis," she whispered and a blue-glowing orb of what looked like fire started burning in the center. It emitted heat, created no smoke, but could burn you if you were to touch it.
"AHHH! Help!" They heard someone scream but couldn't see who had been, until more voices screamed and all the rocks in the pit started running… with feet… and had faces.
"Oh my God, I'm so sorry." Elsa shot her icy magic and turned off the blue fire that was burning their mossy heads, and then she remembered.
A long time ago, her parents had brought her and Anna to that place and the eldest troll from the tribe used his magic to change Anna's memories of their childhood, replacing magical games for harmless days outside in the white snow.
Trolls. "Please wait! I need your help." Elsa ran behind the small creatures until she came to stand before the biggest rocks, her knights following behind her.
"Your Majesty, be careful," Reagan said as he drew out his sword when the rocks started turning into earth people.
"It's fine, I know them. Please leave us a moment." Elsa ordered but her loyal knight wasn't trustful of those strange creatures only mentioned in folk tales but not really ever seen… until now.
"But, Highness." He looked at Elsa with worry.
"Was I not clear? Leave." Elsa was firm and her knights had to go back to their camp against their wish.
In the mansion, Regina had recovered conscience but came back with a big headache resulting from that strange trip she had to the Lover's Lair. She carefully went downstairs and decided leftovers would do; she had enough food for her and Henry, and no energy to use in cooking. Besides, it was almost time for him to arrive. How long had she been with Elsa? It only felt like a couple minutes.
Emma arrived to deliver Henry and Ruby waited in the bug for her girlfriend. The werewolf wasn't really comfortable in the mansion and preferred staying outside, put; like the good puppy she was.
Regina would often make remarks about how well Emma had trained her because Miss Lucas was no longer "wagging her tail" with half the town, begging for attention. Emma would just frown and tell her she was bitter and taking it on the wrong persons, and that was enough to make Regina stop ruffling her feathers and change topics or dismiss her. It was funny how they would always bicker but remain friends, it was almost like being sisters – that fought most of the time – but who cared for each other. They were certainly not like Anna and Elsa, but family was family.
Elsa was with the elders of the tribe of trolls and her knights had no choice but to wait in the camp and keep their senses alert to go in her rescue if they heard her call. But it wasn't necessary, the earth people were peaceful and she needed their help to know more about what had happened in Arendelle. Her last caravan never came back to the Enchanted Forest and that could only mean they had been discovered spying and were being held prisoners, or worse.
The eldest troll, the Shaman, came to Elsa and showed her with his magic what had happened. In the stars, he made a series of figures narrate the event where Prince Hans was betrayed by the Duke of Weselton before the coronation, and the events that followed in their absence.
After taking a sip from the potion that would allow him to protect his memories, Lord Aurelius (the duke) came from behind Hans, pushed him to fall inside the spring and watched him drown.
The forgetting potion was still mixing with the water, absorbed Hans and made everyone forget about the twelfth prince from the Southern Isles; his marriage to Anna, his role as Grand Master — everything was erased from their memories — just like Elsa's existence after these tainted waters made it to the realm and were used for their drinks.
Aurelius had been waiting for this golden opportunity. He made himself appear the best friend of the greedy prince and benefitted from this partnership of betrayal from the start, but he aimed higher and had a wider vision, unlike Hans. Arendelle could be the first of many realms to fall under his claws. Riches, power, dominion — that was what he wanted. The rise of an empire of many kingdoms under one ruler: him.
The Duke noticed the small container close to where Hans had been standing, picked it up and smelled the contents. He had seen when Hans drank from it and decided to drink the remaining liquid from the bottle, and his memories were protected from forgetting Hans and Elsa. She couldn't ever trust the short man, but she never imagined he could reach so high. Her attention had been set on Hans and didn't realize there was a bigger threat growing under her watch.
A descendant of the Aesir did come. Price Baldur: son of Odin and Frigga, third in line for the throne in Asgard, found shelter in the lands of Arendelle. He came to this realm in an attempt to escape death, a death he saw in visions would befall from the very hand of one of his brothers, but fate brought him to meet the Queen of Arendelle in the forest.
The night fell and Baldur and his men made camp in an inconspicuous side of the mountain where the guards of Arendelle wouldn't notice their arrival. He ordered his men to keep watch while he went for a walk to make a mental map of the land that would have to be their new home. But why not have a look at the palace? He was a curious one.
Baldur moved with stealth in the shadows and as he was coming close to the kitchen door of the palace, he suddenly noticed movement coming his way and went to hide behind a pile of old barrels. His dark blue eyes only caught sight of a flowing pair of braids with a peculiar white strand of hair interwoven in strawberry blonde. He watched her leave the castle and his mindset took a different turn. Who are you? He had to follow secretly behind her.
Anna was now almost running through the woods in urgent search of something, or someone, when Baldur tripped after stepping on a puddle and landed with his face on the mud. She became aware of his presence that moment and turned to look at him as he got on his knees and wiped some of the sludge off his face. The mysterious lady offered her hand and when he took it to stand up, he noticed it was just as cold as ice. He got up with her help but when he asked her name, the girl turned around and continued running. Not a word ever left her mouth. What was that? Baldur asked himself. Was she just a vision? He wasn't sure she was even real.
The sound of hoofs alerted him and Baldur quickly hid behind a tree. He watched royal knights storm in direction of where the mystery lady had ran to and he followed quietly behind them. He came to a raised part of the mountain from which he could see the people gathering below without getting noticed.
They were close to the edge of the cliff and he could distinguish a broken staircase made of ice or glass next to where the girl finally stopped. He watched as a short but imposing man from the crowd approached the mystery lady on his black steed. Who is that? Baldur wondered and then took notice of the moonlight shine reflecting from the medals on his chest. The King's advisor?
Could she be the princess? He was even more curious. But he was alone and far from the camp, it wouldn't be wise to walk up to them on his own, so he watched. A knight came after the short man beckoned, took Elsa by the waist and mounted her on the same horse as the old man. Baldur didn't know what to make of this scene and went back to his camp to get some needed rest. Maybe his visions could give him a better insight of what he needed to know about this mysterious damsel.
As soon as his eyelids closed, images started to bombard him with nightmares. But, no, these weren't nightmares. This was very real and he watched as a different man followed behind a woman through the forest with his men behind him. It was the same route he had seen the mysterious lady travel, but the woman in his visions had a single braid and platinum blonde hair. And was that a crown she was wearing? He watched as the frightened Queen came to the edge of the cliff and, just when he thought he would see her die without anything he could do to help her, the light haired lady made magic shoot from her hands to create the icy staircase that allowed her to escape the royal guard.
He woke up feeling exhausted, as if this woman's race to escape a fatal fate had drained him off his energy. His heart was beating fast and Baldur had to have a moment alone to think about all he had experienced that night in these apparently cursed lands. His men became nervous because he wasn't bearing his usually secure demeanor and there wasn't much of his characteristic cheerfulness transpiring from his pores this moment. It was really unsettling but they decided it was best to wait for their prince to come around.
"No man is to leave the camp unless I say so." Baldur made the first command after joining his men for breakfast. "No one but me shall explore these lands." He was final and his subjects knew better than to question. He was a wise man for his age and had the gift of sight, something none of them had, and they fully trusted in his guidance. That was why Frigga, mother of all, picked this small but devoted crew for her son to take in his journey of survival.
Baldur dressed up as a peasant and entered the kingdom in full light of day to learn more about the rulers. It turned out the girl he followed was the Queen of Arendelle, an orphan with no siblings and a little "touched in the head," as a man told him in a tavern after a few beers. There was no King and not even a suitor, and Baldur couldn't help letting a smile appear in his thin lips. Anna was beautiful, from what little he'd been able to see, but if she was truly mad – that was something he wanted to find out.
He returned to the camp to give his men food he brought from Arendelle, but asked them to stay hidden again. He waited by the broken staircase until night fell and his gut feeling didn't disappoint him. Anna came running again, but she was surprised to see him waiting for her.
"Are you stalking me?" She asked him with anger and pulled out a knife from her boot to warn him she was no damsel in distress. "No, my Queen. I am just curious as to why you keep coming here." Baldur asked her and put his hands up in the air to show he had no intentions to harm her.
"I'm not your Queen." Anna said as she took some steps closer and pressed the blade of her knife to his neck, and her spare hand opened his cloak to reveal the emblem of the Aesir on his tunic. "A prince from Asgard… Where is your troop?" She pressed her blade harder.
"Behind the mountain," Baldur scowled. "What's your problem?" He asked but the sound of horses coming their way made them turn around. They were getting closer but not visible yet, and Anna felt anxious.
"Take me to your camp." She ordered and Baldur was bewildered. "NOW, or I will kill you." She menaced him and he wanted to chuckle at how cute her face had looked while threatening his life so seriously.
"If you ask like that…" He mumbled and then pulled on her cape to remove it, tossed it from the cliff and it got stuck on a branch not far from the staircase to misguide them. "This way, my Lady." He took Anna's hand and started running through the woods before her knights were able to see them.
His own soldiers drew out their swords when they heard people coming, but lowered them down when they saw their Prince in company of a maiden. He asked them to offer their guest their best gin from Asgard and the girl drank it from a gulp, trying to look all bad ass and barely standing the dry bitter flavor and heavy alcohol – it hadn't been mixed.
"So this is–" Baldur tried to introduce the Lady to his crew. "Joan," Anna said before he could continue. "And I'm not the Queen of Arendelle." The girl shook her head, cheeks turning rosy from the effects of alcohol.
His people looked at him with shock. They knew Baldur liked women he couldn't have, but usually those with no titles and which he would do best not to look at, but a Queen? Would they have to fight the King of Arendelle this time? No shit…
"I think the Asgardian gin was a little bit too much for Lady Joan." Baldur shrugged.
"NO. Nothing is too much for *hiccup* Joan. Pour me another, stewy-boy!" The tipsy woman hiccupped and tried to grab the bottle, but Baldur glared at the steward re-filling her drink and dragged Anna to his tent before she embarrassed herself further.
"Get some sleep. We will keep guard outside but tomorrow I would like to get some answers." Baldur told her before leaving the tent and joining his men to tell them to double the security.
He went with three of his best men back to where he'd found Anna and hid when they saw some of her royal guards still searching the land. They could hear when one of them said to the others that this had become too tiring and hoped the Queen had fallen or was eaten by wolves, so they could stop chasing her every night and have some peace. That girl was mad and they didn't need her, since they had Lord Aurelius to care for the realm.
The royal guard then went back to the castle after their Grand Master, Lord Aurelius, told them they would come back at dawn. He shared the same feeling and could use this opportunity to get rid of her as well. He was wary of magic, preferred recurring to intelligence, and might just have the trained wolves to do his bidding tonight.
When Arendelle was sleeping, Aurelius went to an abandoned farmhouse and made the wolves he had chained in the barn smell Anna's cape. The animals hadn't been fed in days and now had the scent of their prey in their nostrils. He cut the chains with an axe and the wild beasts ran free in search of their promised meal.
Baldur's men were starting to doze off when the howling of wolves in the distance made them alert. Knights began to get ready in case of an ambush and Baldur went to awaken Anna, but she was deep in sleep with the effects of that beater drink. "Anna, we have to move." Baldur insisted but the Queen opened one eye only to close it again and scratched her head. "Just a sec." More howling was heard, much closer, and everyone had their weapons ready to kill the beasts coming their way. Baldur picked Anna in his arms and carefully moved in the woods to protect her, leaving his troop to distract and fight the pack of wolves.
In their escape, they came to a secluded area in the mountain where hundreds of round mossy stones laid in no special pattern, but which seemed rather unnatural to be found as they were. He looked around him and thought they were safe, put Anna to lay against one of the rocks and tried to think, but the voice of an old man startled him.
"We don't want problems with humans… please take the princess elsewhere." A strange creature said.
"I've nowhere to go. The wolves—" Baldur tried to appeal for his help.
"Are the least of your problems," responded a different man this time. Lord Aurelius came down from his horse and approached.
The shaman troll had turned back to stone before the Duke of Weselton saw him and Prince Baldur looked for his sword, but he had left it in the tent.
"What could a man your size possibly do to me?" Baldur mocked him.
"It might surprise you… But I'm here for the Queen." Lord Aurelius said and Baldur turned to see Anna surrounded by three vicious wolves waiting for an order. Their mouths were bloody, they must have killed one of his men together, and he froze on his place unable to do anything for a moment.
"NO!" Baldur recovered his breath and went to fight the fierce wolves. He had more strength than an ordinary knight — being a descendant of the Aesir — known for their skills in war and uncommon strength attributed to a magical cup from which only the royal family could drink the mythical ether that gave them unnatural force.
But it didn't make them immortal, did it? Lord Aurelius would enjoy watching.
Baldur was bitten in the calves, thighs, and arms; his whole body bled but he wouldn't give up. Anna started opening her eyes and thought she was having a nightmare, her vision was blurry, but it all became real the moment Lord Aurelius put his boney hands on her. "No! Leave me alone!" She struggled with the old man and made him loose balance and trip, and in his fall he hit his head on a rock and almost lost conscience.
Baldur continued fighting against the wolves and Anna took Aurelius' sword to help him. She used all her strength and from a swipe, she decapitated the wolf pulling on his left arm to rip it off. But this made one of the remaining wolves turn his attention to the girl; it pounced on her, made her land over her back and went after her jugular, but she pushed his head with her hands using all her might to stop it from coming close to her neck.
"Anna!" Baldur groaned and with the surge of adrenaline managed to break the neck of the beast attacking him. He ran to her side and grabbed the wolf by its hind legs, pulled it away from her and spun with the animal until gaining enough speed to crash his skull against a big rock and killed it.
"Are you hurt?" He went to her side and pulled her into his arms, embracing her with despair. He might have just met her but he couldn't imagine not seeing her again. He knew she might just be whom he had always wanted, a brave and silly girl who could slay vicious wolves if she had to.
"I am now… Thank you." Anna responded and blushed in his embrace, holding onto his blooded body with relief. She was someone worth fighting for, not a burden, like she was made to feel in the council. That stupid crazy girl they had for Queen could have someone who saw her differently.
Some of his soldiers came and found them safe, and told Baldur they had killed the wolves but lost two men in the process. Their Prince asked them to take Anna with them while he took care of the last beast and they guided Anna back to the camp.
Baldur walked to where the old man lay unconscious, bleeding from his head, but he could see him breathing and picked up the sword from the ground to bring it up in the air and aim for his white-haired head.
"I know you can hear me. Why do you want the Queen dead?" Baldur asked while holding the sword up but the old man mumbled something he could quite understand. "ANSWER ME!" He demanded with anger.
"Raz… I call upon you." The old man said more loudly while his hand was inside his cloak touching something.
"Raz? Is he whom gives you orders?" Baldur asked as his hand went to take whatever the old man had been keeping under his cloak.
A book. But he didn't see when the black gemstone encrusted in the cover glowed. "Answer! Who is behind you?" Baldur asked again.
"A better question is… Who is behind you?" The old man smirked and Baldur felt as a hand went through his body, coming from behind, and saw his own heart beating in front of him in the hand of a faceless entity.
"Would you like me to crush it, or do you have a different purpose for him, Master?" The entity asked Aurelius, his voice coarse, low, and cryptic.
"I think I found my successor, Raz." The old man said but started coughing. "Do it."
The dark entity pulled out his boney arm and let Baldur's body fall on his knees. He dragged him by the cloak and put him to lay next to Aurelius.
"What will you do to me?" The Prince asked weakly, his heart still glowing in the entity's hand.
"Present you with fate. Did you really think you could fool death?" The creature answered and pulled his hood to show him his face.
"Brother…" Baldur let out in a breath, but the face started to change and this time showed him his father's, his mother's, and lastly his own face.
"You can no more run." The faceless entity said and went to rip out Aurelius' heart.
He began to intone a spell and black magic started swirling around both bodies laying on the ground, until their spirits were drawn out of their shells and went to the opposite heart in the entity's grasp. Raz put the hearts back in their bodies, but the owners had changed, and now Baldur was dying instead of Aurelius in the old man's body.
"You have a new vessel, a new life. And as payment I shall take his now." The entity said to the owner of the Book of Death.
Aurelius, or rather Baldur now, smirked and watched as the entity sucked light out of his previous body until it stopped moving and a new chapter began to write inside the book, speaking of the last victim stolen from life: Baldur.
"Is there anything else you would like from me?" The entity asked.
"Not for the moment. As always, it was a pleasure doing business with the Devourer." Baldur said and the entity vanished in a black cloud that reeked of death.
It was unknown how many copies of this book existed, but coming across one made you master of the creature that devoured life. But not just any life would suffice, as it preferred owners of hearts with light. Offering a dark heart would be an insult, the reason why he couldn't use it with Hans, and Anna hadn't really been a problem for him until recently. That clueless child.
Baldur returned to the camp with Aurelius' inert body over his shoulder. He told Anna he had died from the fall and his old age, and in the morrow arranged for their departure to bring the Queen of Arendelle back to her kingdom safely.
The Queen told the council about Lord Aurelius' treason and showed them the bodies of his chained wolves that they brought back with them. Aurelius body was also presented to them and they could see it had a bruise on the back of his head but no other injuries.
They couldn't argue the Queen's word, but neither could they trust this Prince from Asgard they were seeing for the first time. Lord Aurelius had been their Grand Master and Regent King since Anna wasn't considered fit in her "mental state," and there were many amongst them that believed this had all been a set-up to fool the weak lonely Queen and woo her, and make the third son of the Aesir King of Arendelle.
Prince Baldur spent the following days courting Anna, being the gentleman any woman could dream of, but Anna couldn't get past the too good to be true feeling – oddly familiar. Still, what she had felt when they embraced after the wolf attack, was deeply etched in her heart and she wanted to hold on to that feeling he had awoken in her that fateful night.
She shared with him why she continued running from the palace and always went to that broken staircase. She felt it was important for her and continued hearing the echo of a voice in her head that screamed her name with despair. Anna. It always woke her from her sleep and set her in motion to the forest. That voice came from the enchanted staircase that never melt, and from which no one knew its origin.
"You must now believe I'm insane." Anna said to Baldur and looked downcast, but he lifted her chin gently with his finger and looked into her eyes. "Some say there are dreams that come from a past life... maybe it's the echo of those memories what you're hearing, Anna." He said kindly to her and the Queen was lost in his deep blue eyes. Baldur leaned forward slowly and brought his face close to hers, Anna felt her heart flutter and her cheeks turned rosy, and it was precisely her cheeks what the gallant prince kissed – not her lips. "It is me whom has lost his head, but only for you." He said sweetly and Anna fell for him.
They were married by the end of the month and a big event celebrated the union of two powerful realms through their marriage. Queen Frigga and King Odin attended to the wedding and not even them noticed his different demeanor, how he would look at others with an air of superiority – something Baldur had never done – because it was their son, he was still alive, and they couldn't see beyond the furor of this miracle.
When they made their vows and shared their first kiss in the altar, no curse was broken… nobody remembered Elsa… and no one recalled the greedy Hans because there was no True Love in that marriage.
Though, Aurelius was a much better husband than Hans had ever been for Anna. It wasn't necessary to be cruel, he had her under a different control; she loved him, but he couldn't return those feelings. He faked them, it just wasn't in his nature to care for anyone else than him, so when the news of her pregnancy were given to him; he turned around and ordered everyone in the room to leave. He had never touched her, and in Baldur's memories he could see that neither did the Prince of Asgard.
Anna couldn't come with an answer, she was just as baffled as her husband but she was innocent. She had not betrayed him, not even when she knew of his secret affair with the steward from Asgard. Someone must have taken advantage in her sleep… that was the only thing Anna could imagine, but Aurelius remembered. It was Hans' child.
He went and kissed her forehead. "Anna…" He said with practiced remorse.
He couldn't be the fool of Arendelle. If the realm learned the child was a bastard, it would make him look like the biggest imbecile, and decided to recognize Hans' child as his own. Besides, this had just saved him the displeasure of having to touch the Queen to put a seed in her womb to create an heir.
"You're right, it is mine. I took advantage when you were sleeping in my tent that night. I'm sorry."
Anna was surprised by his admission and felt hurt beyond repair. How could he do that to her? She had trusted him and now her love was a castle built upon sand coming apart. She cried and cried, but tried to move on because they were married now. She married in love… if he had done that in the past, she should forgive him, shouldn't she? No. She couldn't and didn't want to have him close.
The time for her child to be born came, and a lovely boy graced the palace. Anna was happy with her baby, she felt so much love the moment she had him in her arms and saw his tiny hands and feet, his rosy skin, and lost her breath when his eyes opened to see her for the first time.
Light grey eyes… How rare is that? No one in her ancestry had ever had a child with such eye color. Maybe Baldur's family had? But something else was different, though in her. Her mysterious white strand of hair was no longer. Somehow it had begun to fade into strawberry blonde during her pregnancy and now was completely gone.
King Baldur would rarely be seen with the Queen or their child, he was invested in business transactions and making Arendelle grow in wealth and power. He was also forming a bigger army in preparation for war, because his mind was still set in conquering other kingdoms when the time was favorable.
The council found his radical new training of the army monstrous, torturing their soldiers so they would be prepared for suffering if they were captured and would first give their limbs and life before the King's plans or location. An army like this would take years to build, though, but he was patient and patience was always rewarded with success.
Baldur would try each year to make the age for joining the forces younger, so he could mold children to his needs and turn them into death machines with no moral, but the council wouldn't let him. He managed to bring it down to nine years, but that was when his citizens began to make fuzz in the streets and he left it at ten again. But money, they had a lot of that and made the wages for soldiers juicy ones and some people started to forget why children didn't belong in the field and riots became rare.
Just as Arendelle's wealth and army kept growing, so did the heir, and with each day passing the gossip of his dissimilarity from the King became louder. Anthony, the Prince, had silvery eyes that had never before been seen in Arendelle, but what was most upsetting was his odd white hair. Nobody had an explanation for it, as Anna's was strawberry blonde and Baldur had golden; this boy was illegitimate.
There was a conspiracy brewing to bring Baldur down from the throne and get rid of Anna's bastard son, accuse the Queen of adultery, insanity, and finally appoint one of the Lords as King. Arendelle had become a beautiful nest of vipers waiting for you to take the wrong step and bite your ankle.
When the Prince turned sixteen, there was a celebration in his honor. He was now the age to become a husband and they sent invitations to every realm in hope there would be one special princess to capture his heart. A lot of them came, but not all, and Baldur took note of which realms had shown their loyalties and which hadn't. Marriages were serious business, they unified kingdoms, and he saw Anthony as just another of his goods to barter with.
"You will marry Princess Abigail, Midas' daughter." Baldur said to Anthony after having taken a look at the princesses and their parents. King Midas was the wealthiest, proudest, and presented a very good opportunity for a partnership. But Anthony confronted him, told him he didn't like that girl "so full of herself" and had met someone he felt connected with. Poor foolish child, just like his mother. His father burst his bubble. This ball wasn't so he could fall in love with a lesser princess, this was a business transaction and he would go arrange the wedding with Midas this moment.
"No! I refuse. Why do you treat me like property? I'm your son!" Anthony groaned and his father slapped him. Told him as his son and heir he had a duty to Arendelle and had to see the best option available amongst these women. Beauty was temporary; Love: finite; but Power, it was everything.
"You never have loved us." Anthony muttered and Baldur stopped a few steps from the door.
This child of Hans was so different from what he could've expected, and somehow his words got to him – but didn't really fully soften him.
"Choose whomever you want," his father told him and walked to the door.
"But?" Anthony asked him, he knew there had to be something behind his permission.
"You will stay in her realm and never come back," answered the King and Anthony felt his eyes pool with tears.
"It will be a dream come true. I'm sure Mother will love Agrabah when we are freed from you." Anthony muttered.
"Anna is not part of the deal," the King told him. "Her place is in Arendelle."
The King closed the door behind him and Anthony allowed his bitter tears to fall, wiped them away after a moment of silence and gathered the courage to go ask for Princess Aminah's hand in marriage.
Aladdin and Jasmine accepted, they could see in his eyes he really liked their eldest daughter and had no bad intentions, and took the Prince of Arendelle with them to live in Agrabah as part of the agreement. Everyone knew the King of Arendelle had a secret army growing in numbers; it was wiser to become an ally rather than an enemy, and Agrabah really enjoyed peace.
Anna didn't see her son for two years until the wedding, as Aladdin and Jasmine didn't want their daughter to marry so soon and wanted to give both teens the chance to get to know each other better and see if what they had was True Love. And it was, they discovered it while playing in the dunes.
Aminah was trapped in quicksand and her life was endangered, but they had come alone in the magic carpet and not even with the help of the rug could Anthony help her out of her entrapment. Despair and fear of losing her then made something strange happen; Anthony's hands shot a ray of silver light and made the sand freeze. He went to break the ice around her and could pull Aminah out, very much alive. He didn't know he had magic until that day.
After the wedding in Agrabah, Anna had to go back to Arendelle with her King but was thankful he had allowed their son to marry someone he loved. Anthony had a good life now and that was all the peace she could ask for, her own happiness didn't matter. But when she kissed his forehead to say her last good-bye, something magical occurred; memories of her childhood were returned, and she knew now who was the owner of that tormented voice she had been hearing every night. It was her sister's.
The curse was broken in Agrabah, so it only returned Anna's memories and she had to keep it a secret; Baldur was dangerous and now she knew he wasn't her son's father but… Who was he really? He was a complete different man from the one she met that fateful night of howling and screaming.
Anna remembered the day Elsa was trapped in the urn, and images of people dressing the palace for her coronation and Hans' appeared in her mind. But Hans disappeared before it happened, soon after the Dark Wizard gave him the potions, and never came back. Why had he erased his own existence, if he would finally be King? Anna started to investigate.
One of the many nights when Baldur got drunk with his steward and slept in his servant's bedchambers, Anna use the opportunity to look in his possessions; she looked everywhere she could think of until she found a peculiar book hidden inside a taxidermy trophy.
She went through the pages but couldn't make something of them; they looked like biographies of important people, she assumed… until she saw the last page and read her husband's name. It said everything about his linage, his trips, his life… and his death. She learned it had been Lord Aurelius, the Duke of Weselton, whom traded vessels with Baldur and took over his life. Anna put back the book and went to her bedchambers to mourn her loss.
With her son gone, gossip and conspiring became less heard of, Baldur had a big army now and spies everywhere — what contributed to the "quieting" of the minorities; people would go missing and never be found again, and so the rebels began to loose numbers. "The Purge" continued for years and there was a cold peace in Arendelle; nobody dared speaking ill of the King or Queen, and their son was never mentioned... it was as if he had never even been born. But everyone knew of his existence; everyone knew of the Bastard Prince exiled to Agrabah.