Year 7: Nightmare Pitch

It had become so very cold.

The skies clouded overhead, so dark that no one could be sure if it were night or day. The storm kept raging, a ruin of snow, and ice, and winds so severe that it felt like pushing against a wall of freezing rage.

No one could see past the storm. No one could hear beyond the howling wind. No one could remember the warmth of summer.

Against such a threat, Hogwarts had raised her defenses. The castle resisted the storm with grim determination. Inside, all of the students huddled together under blankets and coats and cloaks, as close to the fires as they could get. Everyone had been gathered into the Great Hall once the halls had started to ice over.

Elsa was running through those iced halls now, heart beating fast and scared.

Rapunzel was safe in the Great Hall, underneath all of her winter cloaks and a pile of blankets. She was probably worried out of her mind, but she was safe.

Somewhere in the castle, Elsa had left Katherine behind with the promise to stop this.

And Aster was probably at battle against this storm by now, as brave and as reckless and as secretly self-sacrificing-ly noble as he was.

None of the other Guardians would be able to cross the snowstorm. There would be no help on its way. And the Hogwarts professors must place protecting the entire school of students as their highest priority.

They had been caught unprepared, wholly surprised by the attack. As it was, it was a miracle that no one had been hurt yet.

But Elsa feared that the intent of this magic wasn't to hurt them. Not physically at least.

No, the storm was to keep everyone trapped as much as it was to keep outsiders away. And without the deep-seeded magic of Hogwarts to shield them, Elsa knew that the cold would have affected the others very differently.

Not freezing them to death. But forcing them to sleep.

Because Hogwarts was one of the largest concentrations of magical children in the world.

And in hindsight, it had only been a matter of time until the Nightmare King attacked them here.

Elsa skidded to a stop while turning a corner, saved from impalement by dozens of sharp ice spikes only by the instinctive reflex of her own magic.

Taking a deep breath, Elsa took a half step back and slashed her arm through the air, shattering the ice trap instantaneously.

The kid gloves were off, it seemed.

Elsa pulled hers off as well. Her hair had fallen out from the elaborate style she usually wore it in anyway, the long braid falling over her shoulder.

The eye of this storm was the Astronomy Tower. Elsa could feel the powerful magic originate from there. But to storm up the stairs would be suicide. The tower was such a good spot to defendbecause there was only one way up.

Well, Elsa hadn't been sorted into Ravenclaw for nothing. She was supposed to be smart and intelligent and wise. So, she was going to get atop the tower...just in a different way than many would expect.

Elsa couldn't fly; she wasn't like Jack. But her winter magic would get her through the winter storm raging outside. No one else could say as much.

Rushing up to the nearest window, Elsa blasted the stained glass with her magic and braced herself against the rushing chill. She climbed through the open space, her arms shielding her face from the worst of the wind.

Once outside, Elsa flicked her hand over the open window to replace the glass with the varying shades of her blue permafrost. She couldn't know if even as minor a breach as that in the castle's defenses wouldn't be exploited by the unnatural storm outside.

Elsa slid down the slate roof, the long rift she left in the snow filling again almost as soon as she left it. With a panicked wave, her ice magic flashed and created an icy ledge for her to regain her footing before she careened off the edge.

Pressed against the snow-covered roof, Elsa needed a moment to gather her wits before she was able to get up.

Staring up at the dark, looming shape that was where she needed to go, Elsa leapt upwards and just barely managed to hang onto the edge of parapet wall. Straining her strength, but helped along by the upwards rush of wind hitting the castle-side, she tumbled over and into the collected snow past the wall.

Determined, Elsa clung to the fortress battlements and used them to guide her across.

She could barely see the tower even though she was so close. Even the continuous spiral of magic she kept tightly wound around her to buffer the storm allotted little visibility. If Elsa had not been able to transverse most of the distance from within the castle, hadn't known that the last stretch would entail going straight across, she would never have made it here. She would be lost within the storm, wandering until she was too far away to be saved.

But atop the roof, as close to the Astronomy Tower as anyone could get from outside it, Elsa would still have to climb up the side.

She surveyed the daunting distance with dismay. But steeled her nerve and did what a Ravenclaw did best when faced with a problem: Think.

Glaring at the obstacle, but relentless, Elsa formed a sharp spike from her ice. She stabbed the icicle hard into the tower wall, lodging it firmly into the stone on her second try. And then repeated the same action with her other hand.

More conjured spikes in hand, Elsa scaled the tower, using the ice she left behind as footholds. It was strenuous, dangerous work. And it took longer than she wanted. But steadily, Elsa made her way up to the top.

Pushing herself up and over the parapet, it was as if she had crossed a barrier and fallen into another world.

It was perfectly calm here. So quiet that Elsa had to turn and look behind her to be sure that there was still a storm raging beyond, bombarding the castle.

There was also a massively powerful spell at work here. It was bright and beautiful and more complex than anything she had ever seen before, in either working-order or in theory. Elsa studied the circling, spinning designs spreading across the stone floor with great trepidation. It reminded her of the face of a clock, marking time for a purpose she doubted she wanted to discover.

As her standing directly atop the spinning, circling spell designs didn't seem to be affecting it, Elsa cautiously looked past that immediate threat to the rest of the tower.

She nearly fell over the side of the tower.

There was an enormous block of ice at the very center of the spinning spell. The sides were smooth and flat and clear, so pure that she could see through it to the other side. And the ice floated in the air atop its own sharp point, not dissimilar to an inverted pyramid.

And trapped within the ice, floating upside down, was Jack Frost.

Elsa transversed the distance without being conscious of it, pressing one hand against the flat surface of the clear ice, reaching for Jack's sleeping face.

He looked peaceful. Like Jack. As if he had merely fallen asleep flying, floating upside down. His Hogwarts uniform floated around him, frozen as it had been rippling in the air. And his magical staff was in his hands, held loosely across the front of him, ready at a second's notice.

"Jack?" Elsa whispered, one hand pressed into the ice, daring but not hoping for a reaction.

It was a frustrating illusion, nothing but a taunting parody to all who saw it. Because Jack wouldn't be ready and able to defend, wasn't simply closing his eyes as he enjoyed a casual fly. No, he was frozen in ice, trapped in a moment he could not escape from.


Elsa pounded both of her fists against the ice, hoping that it would provoke a reaction. That he would just open his eyes.

"Jack, wake up!" Elsa ordered, issued her royal command.

It was useless; Jack couldn't see or hear her. But Elsa kept slamming her fists against the ice anyway.

Then she took a half step back and threw her magic at it.

The ice finally responded, throwing aside her spell with a hiss of frosted air.

Elsa seethed and threw more of her magic at it. Conjured icicles and dangerous spikes and enormous blocks of ice. Concentrated snowstorms and ice storms. Bursts of silver-blue magic. Explosions of white power.

She even tried an all-encompassing winterspell. Designs of frost magic spread across the clear ice in a beautiful, intricate web, as delicate and complex as snowflakes.

But while this spell held on longer than the rest, it was eventually blasted away just like the rest of her magic.

There was no help coming. If Elsa didn't free Jack, then even the magic of Hogwarts would eventually be worn down by the magical snowstorm. Everyone would suffer the cold. They would all be put into an enchanted sleep within an eternal winter. And with the nightmares of hundreds of magical children, the Nightmare King would have enough power to terrorize the world.

Struck by this realization, Elsa froze and just stared at Jack and at the ice. She didn't know what to do. She wasn't powerful enough to break this spell. Even if she was, she didn't know how to break the spell.

But if Elsa couldn't do it, then who would?

Jack's power alone had been enough to create this eternal winter, this magical snowstorm. And he was just one sleeping magical child.

"You could join me."

Elsa flinched, whipping backwards and pressing close against the ice encasing Jack.

Her arm was thrown up, a spell upon her fingertips.

But it was just a child.

A small child with pitch black hair and bright silver-gold eyes. His skin was pale and moonlight white. And he wore the Hogwarts uniform, the Slytherin crest glimmering upon his winter cloak.

Elsa couldn't help but stare at this boy. He was just a first-year Hogwarts student.

He looked up at her, staring unflinchingly into her gaze. There was an unnatural stillness to this child, an unsettling sense of knowing too much. Elsa wasn't proud of the fact that she was the first to break eye contact.

"Who are you?"

"Kozmotis Pitchiner." The boy replied promptly, nodding to her in respectful greeting. "You may call me Pitch."

Elsa felt as if she should introduce herself. She was a seventh-year and a crown princess. She had the responsibility and the duty. But she couldn't bring herself to form the words.

"You're Princess Elsa of Arendelle." Pitch continued on without missing a beat in the conversation, despite Elsa's silence.

His next words came easily and without judgment.

"You're the Snow Queen."

Elsa held herself very still, even though she felt as if she had been slammed into a wall of solid ice.

"How did you know that?" She asked him, reigning in her panic.

Pitch looked at her curiously, tilting his head slightly to his side.

"I didn't." He replied. "But only winter magic like Jack's could get through his storm without needing to break it completely. So I guessed."

Elsa felt a cold shiver run down her spine. But she held herself tall and proud, her icy mask falling into place. And she had never been more grateful for having become so used to it.

"Why would I join you?" Elsa questioned him, remembering his earlier offer right before her original question of 'Why are you doing this?' slipped from her lips.

The question she had asked implied that she was in control, that she wasn't completely thrown off balance right now. She didn't know how much he had seen or figured out. In fact, everything about him had surprised her so far. And that put her at a political disadvantage.

"We're the same." Pitch shrugged casually, trying to hide the importance of his statement. The only indication that he wasn't entirely at ease was his downwards glance towards the floor.

Elsa was the Snow Queen, Evil, a villain. Just like him.

"Because you're the Nightmare King." Elsa stated.

Pitch nodded, still studying the ground.

"You don't look as if you need my help." Elsa commented smoothly, intoning her words just so to indicate Jack's imprisonment without having to actually indicate it.

Pitch's gaze glanced up and past Elsa, at where Jack was sleeping in the ice.

"I only have enough power to keep Jack asleep." Pitch told her. "The rest of it is his power. I'm not strong enough yet."

"Trapping Jack was a risk." Elsa worked that out quickly.

"I had to." Pitch turned sharply, piercing her with his flashing gaze. "It's already the end of the school year. Two of the three Guardians would graduate. And the Guardian of Storytelling isn't as powerful."

"Then she would be easier to subdue." Elsa watched Pitch carefully.

"But her spells would be easier to break." Pitch hissed, clenching his fists tightly at his sides.

Elsa's eyes darted away from that subtle show of frustration quickly, giving no indication that she had noticed it. For as young as he was, he had remarkable control over his reactions. But he was still a child, and there were weaknesses still.

"You don't have to do this." Elsa gambled on his youth, that he was still a child and so had yet to harden into an adult's thinking. "You don't have to be what you don't want to be."

Pitch looked at her, staring at her with a complex emotion Elsa couldn't quite figure out. It made her nervous, but she held his gaze steadily.

"I don't understand." He finally said, looking up at Elsa so intensely. If she were a lesser person, she would have been afraid then. "This is what I was born to be. The Faerie Prophecy said I was the Nightmare King."

Elsa could relate to Pitch. She understood him, in ways no one but those in their position ever could. And, in a way, she felt sorry for him. Because of their similarities, she wanted to show him a different way, to guide him towards a better path.

But he wouldn't suddenly change his mind. He hadn't struggled continuously against his destiny. He had accepted it and thought it to be his purpose.

"And the Prophecy was clear that I was the Snow Queen." Elsa held her head high, tilting her chin up to what she knew was a commanding angle.

She would appear strong, in control, and commanding. Like a queen. Not just because she was royalty, in both this world and the fairytale one, but because the world would expect her to be if she was going to do anything at all.

"So I'll do what I want."

Her magic had finished before she had even commanded it.

It had been a mistake to tell Elsa that he only had the power to keep Jack frozen in sleep. Pitch might have been bluffing, hiding his true power, but he was still a child and too truthful.

In a flash of her magic, Pitch fell unconscious as soon as her spell hit him. The small first-year crumpled to the ground, asleep.

For a moment, Elsa just stared at the sight in shock. Her hand still raised for her attack.

But at the sound of a loud crack, Elsa spun around as the spinning magical design flashed and disappeared.

Before she could even throw a spell at it, the clear ice which held Jack shattered into glimmering snowflakes, carried away in the rush of the barrier falling.

In an instant, the magical snowstorm stopped.

Elsa almost cried out in happiness. But she didn't even dare to breathe until Jack finally opened his eyes, blinking sleepily at her in his still-upside-down position.

"Elsa?" Jack's eyes widened in shock.

"Jack!" Elsa did cry out now, tears falling from sheer relief.

Somehow, Jack's eyes widened even further. And in his panic, he righted himself rightside-up and landed firmly upon the ground.

He hadn't even managed to take a step forward before Elsa was suddenly right there, sobbing and gripping him so tightly that he had the air knocked out of him and they nearly fell backwards from the impact.

Jack was just about to reassure her that he was alright, that she was alright, his hands raised awkwardly to pat her on the back...

When Elsa grabbed him by the front of his uniform and kissed him.

Impossibly, Jack's eyes widened even further the third time. And he stood perfectly still, not at all knowing what to do. His arms were still raised awkwardly in the air behind her.

Elsa pulled away before he could process any of this, smiling up at him beautifully.

Jack blinked down at her for a much needed moment.

"Wait. Does this mean we're dating?" Jack grinned at her goofily, already stupid from just the idea.

Elsa laughed, open and happy and free.

"You'll have to ask me on an actual date first." Elsa told him, still smiling.

Jack grinned and winked at her.

The End

Author's Note:

As always, THANK YOU for reading my story!

My baby sister's request was simple: Elsa + Jack + Hogwarts = this fanfiction. (So really, you have ichigo-daisuki to thank for this.) It was really fun to work on, since this is something I would have never thought of on my own.

I hope you liked the story.