A/N: Hey all I'm back from the land of the inactive authors land. Hope you enjoy this chapter!
It was around noon when it started to happen: I was reading a book in the library, accompanied by Alicia. It of a wondrous love story, though I had no idea what the name was. After a few chapters of the main characters' love, I started to feel slightly ill. My stomach churned in an odd way.
On top of that it had started to rain through the morning, and now it was pouring. It was rather dark and I was having trouble seeing the words in my book, even with a lantern close by. Trying to make out the words was making my head ache something horrible.
I wanted nothing more, in that moment, than to go back to my room and sleep. "Alicia?"
The young lady glanced up from her journal wonderingly. "Yes, deary?"
"Do you think I could go to my room and lie down for a few minutes? I feel a little ill." I asked in my best princess manner. If I wanted to leave, I had to seem completely sincere.
She seemed to buy my claim and nodded at me, concern flashing on her face. "Of course, Hun. I'll escort you, and we can pick up here tomorrow." Alicia compromised. I flashed a weak smile her way.
I set the book down on the chair I'd been sitting on. We walked out together, through the large corridors back to my room- which had been strategically placed on the opposite side of the castle to Anna's.
"Your parents should be back within a few hours honey, would you like me to come get you to see them when they do?" Alicia asked kindly. But I knew the truth; I wouldn't have a say in if I would or not. I had to. Those were the rules.
So instead of being a brat, I agreed and turned into my room with a small smile. Alicia smiled warmly back then walked away. I quickly shut my door and turned to the contents of my room.
I was unprepared, however, for the sight that greeted me. Standing there in the middle of the room was something I never expected.
There was a pedestal with a red book sitting on it like an artifact in a museum. I didn't know what to think. Was last night a dream? What was real and what wasn't?
I pushed my fears away... I needed to face this. This book... Whatever it was, had to be important- right? Or why would it be here? Seemingly magically appearing at its leisure?
I tentatively walked from the door to the room's center- which was marked by a snowflake, which was kind of fitting, considering.
I reached out and picked up the leather bound text, trying to see what it was. After examining all edges of the book and finding no indication of what it was meant to be about, I opened the cover.
My stomach still felt awful, and when there was nothing on the first few pages I frowned. Was this a book of no words? What use is that?
I flipped through the rest if the pages, finding nothing. Wow. I scoffed in irritation and threw the book across the room to the fire place. There were no flames burning in it- there couldn't be; I would put it out before I could get close enough to feel the warmth, and not on purpose, it just happened.
But as it sat in the fireplace, the book began to glow bright, and even from my position in the middle of the room, I could feel the warmth. It was strange, though. Usually I felt better in a cold room. Fires were not comforting, as they were to others. Summer was a horrid affair, and the only thing that kept me sane was my power that seemed to seep out around me in my room.
This book, however, glowed a good seven feet away from me and warmed me from the inside out. It was strange and impossible... And yet it happened. A warm, curious smile lit up my face as I took a step towards the fireplace. Surely this book was special. It glowed!
I crouched down in the large cavity and picked the text up, opening it once again; hoping by some miracle words would have miraculously appeared on the pages. I mean, if it could glow, certainly words could magically pop on the page, right?
But as I opened the cover I was disappointed by the lack of language or markings of any kind on the pages. I thought for sure I was doomed. The warmth melted away then, though the book was still glowing.
My disappointment rand strong and I felt the anger towards this unexplainable atrocity. First it appears in the middle of the night, and sets a sleep spell on me when I hold it. Then when I wake up, it's gone! Just out of existence suddenly! Then after a morning of feeling sick, it appears in my room on a frozen pedestal? What was it? And then after it all, I open it and find no words. Even after it magically glows! Nothing! No indication it had any point at all!
I felt the fury, and I didn't care. For that moment, that I was supposed to conceal, not feel didn't matter. I couldn't ignore this anger. Maybe it was more than just towards the book, maybe that was just the last straw and I was finally snapping or something... But I refused to conceal this time! No! This time, I would let it out. No holding back. What was the point anyways, to appease my parents? My father? I don't need them!
I knew exactly what I wanted from my powers, and it was going to happen. I threw the book across the room, and before it could hit anything, I willed a dagger sharp icicle from the far wall to impale the hideous book.
But the impact never came. It should have, by all rights and laws of science. But it didn't. Instead, the book stopped mid-air. I couldn't fathom how or why, but there was some reason.
That was when I saw it; there was a section of the window that could be opened, and the edges were slightly off. The window had been opened.
Someone was in my room. They caught the book and were moving it around to antagonize me... Or something. Oh, and the person- whoever they were- was invisible.
I was speechless; paralyzed even.
There was a person in my room- my personal quarters. Me- heir to the throne, crown princess of Arendell.
Someone- an invisible person- had broken in and teased me with an odd book. A glowing one.
And now whoever it was, knew that I knew that they were there right now. The situation left me unsure of my next move, but the other person seemed to have an idea.
The red book- the only indication of where the intruder was- started approaching me. I hastily took steps back until I was pressed against the wall next to my door.
The book didn't stop, continuing to trap me. I did the only thing I could think, I willed ice daggers like the one I'd forced out of the wall into the palms of my hands. I needed some means of defense if anything happened.
"Don't come any closer." I warned my voice low and surprisingly cool. Like I knew what was going on and I could control the situation, which wasn't how I actually felt at all.
"I don't want to hurt you." I heard the voice of my intruder say after a moment. The advances stopped though, so I was standing roughly four feet from the book and its alleged owner. It was a boy and he seemed to be a bit taller than me. Not quite a man I wouldn't think. I couldn't quite gauge the age further than that though. I hadn't around many boys after all.
"Why can't I see you?" I asked. It bothered me that I didn't know who I was up against or where exactly he was. It didn't so much matter his name, though. A name wouldn't mean much anyways. He could be Frederick or Charles or any number of other people, but that was just a name. There would be hundreds by any given name in Arendell alone. And who knows where this boy was from?
"I'm different too." He started. "Nobody can see me. Only if they know how to... Only if they have the gift." He said cryptically.
I found it hard to believe. How could someone be selectively invisible? If one person could see him... Then wouldn't the rest?... "Are you... Are you dead?" I didn't know how to ask it without being so blunt, so I said what I wanted answered hoping he wouldn't get offended and kill me.
I was surprised, however, to hear him laughing. "No, no. Not dead." He reassured. "Just invisible."
"What do you mean? A person can't actually be invisible. It's not possible!" I argued. Certainly this was all fake... I was just too tired to think straight.
"I'm not invisible so much, as I am transparent. I'm not technically here after all. You'll understand soon enough." He told me.
I covered my fear at the possible implications of his statement. "I don't think I will. This is like nothing I've ever heard of. If you're not here, then where are you?" I asked, my voice beginning to quiver.
"Physically? I'm far away. But I can't tell you just where. If I did, then the others lurking in here would hear and come after me. I have to be a secret." The transparent one insisted in a serious way. I could almost imagine his face as he spoke... except that I had no idea what he looked like.
"Well, then what's your name?" I asked quietly, my fear starting to melt away.
"I'm Ethan." He said calmly. Suddenly, my so-called dream from last night came reeling back to me.
"Ethan...?" I stuttered out. I could see him now, just like in my dream. He slowly materialized in front of me, from head to toe. He was very tall, a good foot over my slight frame, with broad shoulders and brown-red hair that seemed to glow in my icy lit room. My eyes met Ethan's, his blue eyes sizzling with strange electricity.
A sly smile lit the edges of Ethan's mouth as he realized my recognition. "Welcome to our world, Elsa." He said, and with that, the others from my dreams, and more I didn't recognize, came forth from the dark corners of my room.
The confusion and curiosity was practically radiating from me. "What... How are you all here?" I asked, pressing myself back into the wall I leaned against.
"You're not the only one with a power, Elsa. We're all different. And all very much alive, somewhere in the world." Jakul replied stepping nearer to me with an icy hand extended towards me. "Here, we haven't been properly introduced. I'm Jakul, but those who reside in this side of reality call me Jay. That hot head over there is Keelan, though he's icier than any of us. I don't understand why he hates everyone so much. But he does. Um, then there's Bea, she does plants and stuff. No big surprise there, I mean, do you see what she wears? Seriously!" Jak prattled.
"Jak, are you forgetting someone?" Ethan interrupted with a clearing of his throat.
"What? She already knows who you are!" Ethan shook his head and slapped his palm to his forehead. "Ohhh! Right! And over here..." He stepped away to the edges and brought another over. It was another boy dressed all in black, his hair a startling red color. "We have Hayden. He's a bit of a devil, you could say." Jak said with a grin. I frowned in confusion at the whole event. Was it possible that I'd somehow gotten a horrible disease that lead me to hallucinate these many confusing events?
"A devil? Why?" I asked despite the discombobulated state of my mind.
"He's like the 'spirit of fall' kind of. When all the leaves fly away and stuff. That idea of death in the land to prepare for winter, he has this quality to take away motive of people, and kill plants and all this really cool stuff. He and I are pretty tight!" Jak said with a smirk that didn't seem to fit the relationship between the two.
"We are not friends, Jak. Not after what you did!" Hayden grumbled and stepped away from the group and with a pop, he was gone. I frowned once more.
"I don't think I'm following much of this. Can someone just explain how you're here? Are you really in the room? Why can I see you? Does everyone else see you? How did he just pop away? What-" I started.
"Whoa, whoa! Slow down there! We'll explain everything! Don't worry!" Jak hurried.
Suddenly there was a loud knock at the door. "Elsa? Are you awake? You're parents are home!" Alicia called in.
I sucked in a nervous breath. "I need to go. What happens if she sees you all?" I whispered towards the group of people.
"Don't worry, Elsa. She can't see us. Only hear, and sometimes mortals can't even do that. But I have to go either way. Good luck." Bea said in farewell before she turned and faded to the darkness.
"Keelan's gone, as well. I'm afraid I have to leave now too. Sorry Elsa, you'll manage. I'll be back to help you later." Jak said with a soft smile before he too faded away.
That left only Ethan with me in the room, still holding the glowing red book.
"I have time. I don't leave for another couple hours usually. I have to keep the book in here though, or else the other's will see it floating... Do you have a good place to keep it while we greet your parents?" Ethan asked.
"We? Who said anything about 'we'? I don't even know you!" I started in a quiet voice.
"Elsa, are you alright? I can hear you talking in there. Is someone in there with you?" Alicia called in. I knew I couldn't continue to argue with Ethan with Alicia at the door, so I took the book from his hands, disappeared the ice pedestal in the middle of the room- which was surprisingly easy with a little concentration, and picked up a loose board under the edge of the rug. I slid the book in, replaced the board and walked quickly to the door.
"Don't worry I'm fine! Just reciting my words of the week!" I said, a cover story slipping into place without a second thought. I opened the door with ease, wondering if she would see Ethan standing behind me as I felt him. No such recognition was made. She merely led me along down the halls to where my parents were being greeted back to the castle.
Ethan walked beside me silently. I tried not to glance his way much as that could be considered suspicious, but it was hard. How did work? The 'Gift'? Was he talking about my ice powers?
"Mommy! Daddy!" Anna's squeals interrupted my thoughts. She ran up to my parents and my father scooped her up and twirled her around in circles. Anna's giggles resounded around the room. Ethan looked at me in confusion.
"Why do you not also greet your parents in this way?" He asked in what I knew to be the 'Royal Tongue' where you made your sentences more proper. And confusing. I didn't understand why he would use it now, especially if nobody could hear him.
I shook my head in the smallest of ways before allowing a small smile to curve my mouth. My parents saw me then, and my mother opened her arms to me. My smile widened and I walked to her- because running isn't proper- and she wrapped me in a tight hug that I returned full-heartedly. Mom gave the best hugs.
She pulled away after a moment, much to my dismay- though I concealed it. Anna then ran into my mom's arms and my father gave me a one armed side hug. I felt like screaming and crying at the same time.
I loved my father; he was my knight in shining armor- once upon a time. Why did he choose now to hold back his affections towards me? Was I not worthy of his love anymore? I smiled to appease him and stepped back.
"Oh, so you've got daddy problems? Suddenly everything makes just a little less sense. I glanced at Ethan, who was standing by the wall, sending him a meaningful look; 'you don't know me, don't act like you do', or something like that. I turned back to my smiling- and frowning in my father's case- family.
"Was the trip sooo fun?" Anna asked, nearly bouncing off the walls with excitement. I remember when I was like that. No, Elsa. You can't be like that again! Look at Anna's hair! You see the white stripe, don't you? That's your fault. You can't be her friend anymore. And if you acted like that, who knows what might happen with your powers?
I shoved the awful thoughts away before looking to my mother. She was watching me with concern. Perhaps I wasn't so good at covering my thoughts as I once thought.
"Are you well, Elsa? You look abnormally pale." My mother piped in. It wasn't usual of a queen to say such a thing aloud, but my mother held not the fears of others hearing.
Stupid princess etiquette, even has me thinking in the Royal Tongue. How annoying! I just want to be a child and speak, think, and act like one! Why do our parents have to pack perfection on our shoulders? Do we really have to be so stuck up?
"I'm fine, mother." I replied with a small smile.
"On the contrary, your majesty, the crown princess has been ill all afternoon. She went back to her room during her afternoon lessons because of it." Alicia put in. I feigned innocence on the subject.
"Elsa, do not lie to us." My father said in a quiet commanding voice. I nodded my head, though I wished I could just hit something. This is idiotic!
"Yes father. I apologize." I said weakly. No point in arguing, obviously. He's the king.
"So you're of Arendell? Ha! I wondered what their rule was like! No wonder their gates are closed, their crown princess is of the gifted! So what are you? What makes you so scary, eh?" Ethan punched in at what was supposed to be a moment of silence for my apology as my father considered its sincerity. I was so glad nobody else could hear him. But then Anna turned her head curiously, as if she too heard something.
"Just don't do it again, okay? You should return to your room now, since you're obviously not well. I'll send a servant to check on you soon, okay, Elsa?" My father said in a voice of finality. It wasn't a question really, more a command than anything.
"Yes, father. Thank you." I said. "Goodnight all. Shall I come down to dinner?" I asked my father.
"I'll send word." He replied. I nodded, feeling a chill spread inside my hands. Yup, time to go!
With that I walked from the room, Alicia at my right, and Ethan to my left. I glanced between them as we walked, wanting to talk to both, but neither in front of the other. Annoying, I know.
We arrived at my room and before I could say anything Alicia broke into a grin. "Ethan, is that you?" She asked in the wrong direction. I gaped for a moment. What?
"Over here, Leesha." Ethan replied in her direction.
"Oh it's been too long!" Alicia replied, turning to Ethan's voice. I was dumbfounded as they had their happy little reunion.
"Only since you came here have I not seen you." Ethan replied.
"That was years ago! I'm just glad to see… talk to you!" Alicia said with a million dollar smile. "I just wish you were really here so I could see you." She continued with a frown.\
"I'm sorry to cut in here, but what's going on? How do you know he's here, and how do you know each other?" I interrupted, done with being out of the loop. This was a bad time in my life to have all this additional crap going on.
"I can't actually see him, only hear him. But he used to visit my sister before… her death, and I recognized his voice," Alicia responded after a moment.
"And I'm here now. And she actually knew me. We met once in person a few years ago while she was looking for a new home. Since we formed a friendship, she can hear me. The rules get more complicated from there with our- the Gifted's- visits, but that's what I've gathered from my many visits to different people. I'm still figuring everything out for myself, to be honest." Ethan continued.
I was still confused, but I nodded slowly. "Okay… um, well I have to go in now, and I figure you should leave too." I said to Alicia. "So… see you later, Alli." I said quietly and escaped into my room, closing the door behind me.
When I turned around, Ethan was standing by my window. "How do you do that? How are you here? I need a real answer." I demanded in a low voice.
He sighed and gazed out the window, ignoring my questions. "I'll be going soon."
"Please, just tell me!" I pleaded. The air around me seemed to grow more frigid, and I felt the frost growing on my cool palms. The walls began to snowflake, the furniture icing over, slowly making its way across every surface in the room. "I'm just confused. I don't know what my life is anymore." I said hopelessly.
"What…" Ethan was staring around the room in wonderment. "So that's your Gift? Ice? Just like Jak! Have you mastered it yet?" Ethan asked, his interest piqued and his excitement back.
"No! And if you don't tell me the answers I need soon, I might do something I'll regret!" I exclaimed.
"Whoa, calm down, spitfire! You can't hurt me." Ethan replied cockily.
"I honestly doubt that." I said bitterly.
"Do you not remember when I saved you from Keelan? I have fire based powers. You can't freeze me anymore than I can burn you." Ethan said, his voice softening with endearment. Why though? Not like we knew each other. Maybe it's something to do with 'opposites attracting' or something weird like that.
I frowned for a moment and looked at my frosty hands. After glancing between them and Ethan a few times, I started walking slowly towards him. My room was completely frozen, I noted, except for the few feet around Ethan.
Once I stood close enough to touch him, I stared at him curiously. "Who are you?" I whispered, looking into his eyes.
He chuckled softly. "I told you. I'm Ethan." And then he faded away to wherever he actually was. I stood there and watched as the ice slowly filled over the space Ethan had left warm.
What a day.
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