Frozen: RETCoN – Regne Else: The Children of Northwind
By Iyan Sommerset
One-Shot Short Story version
"Into the unknown!"
"That's it, sister or not, I will freeze you!" Elsa, Queen of Arendelle, pointed a lone ungloved hand menacingly at the princess slumped over a few feet beside her. The snow queen magically manifested a fist-sized snowball in her palm and lazily chucked it towards her target. The alabaster sphere clumsily arced upwards into the air and then landed a good four or so feet away from where she had intended it to go.
Boisterous laughter came from the adjacent couch as the princess on it continued her teasing. "Into the unknoooooooooown!" Princess Anna of Arendelle hollered into the air, her arms and legs raised towards the high ceiling causing her body to dig deeper into the cushions of the old couch she was lying down on.
"Kris!" Elsa, slumped down into a cushioned chair of her own, reached down as far as she could but only managed to graze her sister's partner's leather-clad knee. "Make her stop!" She shook the leg as vigorously as she could. From where the queen was sitting, all she could see were her sister's bare legs and teal-sleeved arms rising from below the upholstered couch arm, a hint of blue peeking as her skirt fell to her thighs.
Kristoff Bjorgman, Royal Ice Master and Deliverer of Arendelle nudged his beloved's soft belly with the back of his head while trying to maintain his relaxed position sitting on the wooden floor beside her chosen couch. "Honey, Elsa's going to freeze us if you don't." He steadied himself with both arms spread out against the lip of the couch cushions, conveniently acting as a barrier so that his princess wouldn't roll over and down onto the hard, wooden floor.
"You're no fun, sis." Anna pouted in the direction of her sister, her upper arm resting on her boyfriend's black vest-clad shoulder. She giggled as she rubbed the course woven fabric into his lime undershirt. The princess knew how much her lover hated wearing anything formal. Someone was going to be teased today, if not her sister than it would be the next best person.
A ways off to the side, from the corner of the large warehouse they were in, two pairs of eyes were staring, baffled at what was transpiring before them. The Northuldra twins, Ryder and Honeymaren Nattura, exchanged confused glances a few times before turning to the diminutive figure sitting beside them for an explanation.
"It's Elsa's newest song. She likes to sing when she's alone late at night." Olaf the Snowman giggled as his explanation was met with even more confused looks. He half-strutted towards them, arms spread out to the sides, shaking his bottom body with each exaggerated step.
"Very late at night!" Anna chimed in from her couch, her arms crossed over her chest while still lying down.
"Yeah, I think she woke up half of Arendelle with this one," Kristoff added, tapping his ear for emphasis. He shook his head and smiled, clearly remembering that night before the queen woke the spirits of the Enchanted Forest with her singing.
Elsa tried to sink deeper into the cushions of the antique chair she had pulled up beside Anna's couch but the musty old chair had no more depth to give. The chipped wooden frame must have been older than her, and the faded green cushions not much younger. She grabbed a mismatched throw pillow and pressed it against her face in shame. "Urgh, please don't remind me," her muffled voice came out through the dusty cushion.
"It's all good fun, Els. We love you and your singing." Kristoff reached out and patted the top of the queen's platinum blonde hair, back in the single braided style that they had all come to love. He had never gotten used to the loose, flowing hair that her impostor wore during her short tenure. And he felt the rest of Arendelle agreed. Elsa didn't only wear the braid. Elsa was the braid.
On instinct, the queen shirked from the pressure on her head before realizing who it was. She hated being touched by other people, quite possibly from the years of isolation brought about by her parents' mismanagement of her short life. Thankfully, Kristoff wasn't 'other people'. Still. Elsa turned her head towards the bronze statue in the middle of the large room. 'Thanks a lot mother.'
Anna followed suit in changing the topic as her attention drifted to the bronze statue that caught her sister's attention. "Mother looks so different here doesn't she? It's like she's an entirely different person." Anna pointed up from the dusty old couch she had plopped down upon just a few minutes ago.
In the middle of the warehouse stood a statue of two children, a boy and a girl standing side-by-side, immortalized in what appeared to be solid bronze. The young man looked almost identical to the many formal paintings in the castle library of young Agnarr, the sisters' father and former king of Arendelle. The girl looked a little less like the young queen that she grew up to become, with much longer hair and dressed in native garb that they had never seen their mother wear.
In her seat, Elsa tilted her head to look at the statue. The details were pretty much as she remembered them. The statue that was supposed to represent their mother and father as young children looked very different from how the twenty four year old queen remembered them. Especially mother. "I know. But that's what my ice memory created, so I guess it's as accurate as we can get."
"You mean the Ahto's ice memory," Olaf corrected from his spot on the floor.
"Don't remind me," the queen ran a hand through her blonde hair, stopping to feel her throbbing scalp with the tips of her fingers. "I'm still trying to piece together which are my real memories and which ones it experienced. Or manipulated or distorted." Elsa tried to sort through the images in her mind. It was a jumble of events starting from the harvest festival all the way to their journey to the enchanted forest some months ago. And then after that came a mess of images and memories that the spirit inhabiting her powers had made before it was discovered and banished shortly after.
"I thought it was Ach-to Hawlie?" Kristoff asked, sandwich in mouth. From the far corner, Ryder waved another at her gesturing if she wanted one. Evidently, the Northuldra native had a sack full of the treats from the festivities earlier that day.
Elsa politely shook her head and continued trying to remember. "The spirit that possessed me was the Ahto, one of the Ahtojaa." She caught the interested gaze of the other Nattura twin, who no doubt was taking notes in her head. The queen reminded herself to formally have a talk with the Northuldra historian to clear out any more details of the events of the past. "The island itself is named Ahtohallan." The mere mention of that cursed place made the skin on her arm crawl.
"Was," Kristoff corrected, a piece of bologna almost slipping from the side of his mouth. With surprising swiftness, he caught it and slipped it between his teeth, flashing her a guilty grin.
Elsa smiled back weakly, then glanced up at the tiny skylights set in the warehouse roof high above them. The cloudless sky was as clear as it had been all day, with the sun brightly shining down on a rectangular spot on the warehouse floor. And yet the snow queen felt a chill shiver run down her spine. "It's still out there somewhere," she whispered.
From the couch beside, Anna stretched her arms and waved to the twins. "Yeah! Fathoms below! You sunk its evil island butt good." She gestured at Ryder and then to her mouth, asking for a sandwich.
"That wasn't me that sunk it," the queen replied. Elsa blankly watched Ryder toss her sister a sandwich, still carefully wrapped in bleached paper bearing Arendelle's crocus symbol. She hadn't eaten since before the ceremony earlier but for some reason her hunger simply wasn't there. Thoughts of the island with the river of ice sinking beneath the waves of the dark sea took whatever remained of her hunger with it. Those were her own memories, images that she saw through her own two eyes, instead of the ones the spirit that possessed her. She remembered the feeling of spiritual freedom she felt as the icy peaks of the island disappeared into the depths. As if a heavy shroud had been lifted around her eyes. "It just...happened."
Honeymaren shook her head. "I don't think it was evil. Not in the human sense of the word." She took off her fur cap and shook her short dark bangs loose. The Northuldra historian had always been partial to the magical spirits. If anyone would give them the benefit of the doubt, it would be her. "It was just from a time...before us. Without us."
Her brother laughed out loud beside her. "A time without humans? That's gotta be like, a thousand years ago, right?"
The queen shrugged. Despite her previous connection to the magical island, she never felt any sense of age or ancientness.
Kristoff stood and walked over to the queen. He sat down on one of the arms and placed his hand on her shoulder. "I think what's important is that you're back home here with us." He gave her a reassuring squeeze, which made the queen smile.
Elsa placed her hand on top of the mountain man's and returned the squeeze. From the couch beside, her sister smiled at her. She looked across the room at the twins. "I just feel bad about the Northuldra. I mean, the spirits are gone-"
"Thanks to you-" Anna unconsciously interrupted.
Elsa shot her sister a quick glance. "Please Anna, I'm trying not to remember." Kristoff shook his head at his princess. Thankfully, whatever she was about to say was left unsaid as she acknowledged her boyfriend with a slightly guilty look.
"We'll be fine!" Ryder half-yelled from their corner. "We were nomads long before we were born and we have you to thank for being able to do that again!" His sister, nestled snugly between his legs with her back resting on his chest, smiled at the queen. "It'll be great to explore the north. Like the sagas of old."
Olaf piped up. "I just can't believe it's all over and we're all in one piece," the snowman plopped down and stretched his wooden arms out back before folding them behind his head.
Kristoff walked to one of the piles of unused furniture in the warehouse, picked out a simple wooden stool, and carried it back towards the sisters' couches. On the way back, he shot the snowman a glance. "I can't believe you and the boys were there and didn't notice it wasn't our Elsa."
'Our Elsa'. The snow queen felt a rush of warmth spread throughout her body as she heard that phrase. She tried to stifle a smile breaking on her lips.
The snowman returned an incredulous look at the ice master, pulled out his left arm and waved it like a stick at the tall mountain man. "Sven, in our defense, we were in the basement." Olaf smiled, arm outstretched with his other, detached arm palm up in front of Kristoff's face.
Elsa's voice pleaded from her chair. "Guys, can we stop talking about Ahtohallan?" She fell to one side and rested the side of her head on one of the chair's dusty arms. "It's been months and it still gives me shivers," she added.
Anna tried her hardest to reach over and touch her sister's hair but the two, antique couches were too far away. "Sis, I'd give you a hug but I'm bushed." Anna withdrew her arm and looked at Kristoff. "Honey, hug my sister for me please."
Kristoff, who had placed his stool down directly between the two sisters, replied almost on instinct. "Yes, dear." He headed to the queen.
"Awww, it's like you guys are already married!" The snowman's voice was followed by complete and awkward silence. Enough that the sounds of bustling Arendelle seeped in under the doors from outside.
His arms around Elsa, Kristoff gulped and coughed. His throat had gone completely dry and the only drinks in the warehouse were over with the twins. The former ice harvester stared at the blonde mess beneath his chin, obviously avoiding meeting the gaze of his princess.
With a puff of aged dust, Anna bolted up in her couch and turned to face the family snowman. Her almond-shaped eyes shrunk into narrow slits as she pressed her lips together while she crossed her arms over her chest.
"What, what did I say?" Olaf blinked a few times, looking at Anna, then Kristoff, then back to Anna, and then finally to Elsa.
The queen wriggled her head free of Kristoff's bear hug and craned her neck closer to the snowman. Carefully, she lowered her voice down to a barely-audible whisper. "They called it off remember?" It was still too loud.
Ryder and Honeymaren jerked their heads at the same time to face Kristoff and Anna. "You called it off?" They asked in unison.
The snowman's eyes grew wide as he remembered. "Oh right, of course." He waved at the princess. "Sorry Anna."
Anna pouted like a little girl. "I'm not the one who chickened out," she jut out her lower lip as far out as it would go. "After just two weeks!"
"I did not chicken out!" Kristoff let go of his ex-fiancée's sister and crossed his arms over his barrel-like chest. "I thought we agreed it was the most responsible course of action?" He asked. "I mean, the proposal was made under duress!"
"Duress?" The princess spun in her couch to face her ex-fiancé. "So I forced you now?"
The mountain man took a step back and held his hands out in front of him. "No! No, I meant you. Elsa had just 'died', and then 'come back', and I unfairly sprung you the question." He half-reached out towards his love, before stopping and withdrawing his arms.
"Might I remind everyone that that wasn't even Elsa," Olaf interrupted, to no one's amusement. The queen shook her head wide-eyed, motioning for the snowman to cut it out.
"My sister being dead or alive doesn't change the way I feel about you!" Anna stood from her couch and took a few steps towards her man, her bare feet leaving clear footprints on the dusty warehouse floor. She reached out with her left hand towards the man of her dreams. "You still love me, right?"
Kristoff paused a moment before taking her hand and pulling his princess in for an embrace. Her face collided with his vest as she closed her eyes and buried her nose into his chest. "Of course. I'm just..." his voice trailed off as he noticed Elsa awkwardly staring at them. The queen smiled an awkward smile that bared her lower teeth. "We're not ready yet." Kristoff declared. "Not yet."
"I know." Anna tried to burrow into her ice man's chest, digging her cheek into the soft cotton shirt underneath the formal vest he was wearing. "It's just. I don't care. I thought I got my happy ending." Her voice had diminished into a tiny squeak, made even smaller and higher by speaking into her lover's chest.
Kristoff ran his fingers through her partially-loose, strawberry blonde hair, deep enough to massage her scalp underneath. "I just wanna do it the right way. Do right by you. You know. I wanna get this right."
Anna wasn't quite sure how long they remained in that embrace when she finally pushed herself loose and looked at the other people in the warehouse. She had to make sure her tears were safe and secret in Kristoff's shirt before she faced the others. Her sister shrugged with her bare shoulders and smiled wordlessly at her. Olaf had grown impatient and was walking around the warehouse poking at old furniture covered in large sheets of cloth and paper. Sven was still in his spot by the door, resting or sleeping as the reindeer normally did. And the Northuldra twins were in their corner, Honeymaren still sitting on and in front of her brother. It seems like they were whispering to each other but stopped when the princess noticed them. Ryder quickly took one of the wooden cups filled with juice and brought it up to his lips, purple liquid spilling on his brown leather tunic.
The ice master and the princess spent a few moments awkwardly clearing their throats before acknowledging their captive audience.
"Uh, you guys totally did not see anything." It was Anna that blurted it out, while Kristoff dragged his stool over to the vacant couch and plopped himself down on the wooden chair. Anna followed suit, crashing back onto her couch, swinging her legs out at the last second to rest them on her boyfriend's lap.
"Not a thing," Ryder repeated. His sister nodded, along with Elsa and even Olaf. Sven raised his head just enough to be able to wink at his human master before tucking it back into his reindeer-elbow.
Princess Anna turned her attention to the two northerners suspiciously snuggling together in the corner of the warehouse. "So Ryder, Honeymaren. Why are you guys here?" Her gaze caught a glimpse of her mother's bronze statue, reminding her of the ceremony that had just concluded. "I mean, aside from the statue thingy and all," she added. "I thought you didn't like all the city smoke and buildings and stuff."
"Hey, we've been stuck in a mist-enclosed forest since the day we were born," Ryder shrugged. "It's great to be finally be able to see the world. Cities, towns, the sea, everything."
Honeymaren interrupted her brother. "We actually also wanted to drop by to pay our respects, and to say goodbye."
Kristoff blinked and shifted in his seat. "Goodbye? Where are you guys going?"
"East. Yelana's been trying to teach us the old ways. Apparently, our people migrate with the reindeer herds. And now is uh, spring?" Honeymaren looked at her brother for confirmation.
"Spring, something like that. We didn't really have seasons in the enchanted forest. This is all new to us. At least those of us born within." He explained.
Anna tried to rise from her couch. "I don't get why you guys just don't stay here. Arendelle's big enough for everyone!"
"We'll be back next season. Or something." Ryder waved with both of his reindeer hide-gloved hands. "It's our way."
Honeymaren shifted in her spot between her brother's legs, twisting her body up to face him. She reached up with her right hand and ran her fingers through his dark hair, nudging his reindeer fur cap off the other side of his head. "Been that way for generations of Northuldra. Hundreds of years of tradition. Thirty some years being trapped in a magical forest is a drop in that river."
"Traditions are very important to the identity of a people," Elsa nodded towards her younger sister. "They're what make us who we are. More than what we look like or how we sound. Traditions are what bind us together."
Anna gave the two northerners a long, discerning look. The young princess had spent almost the entirety of her life in Arendelle. While traditions were something that never sat well with Princess Anna, home was a concept that she knew all too well. "Well, our roots are here, in Arendelle. This is where I belong. This is where we belong." She sat up straight to face her sister. "All of us."
"I care about Arendelle," the princess said.
Olaf nodded in agreement. "Except for that time you were willing to let the town get whooshed." He nonchalantly added, a stifled laugh accompanying the smirk that formed on his icy face.
Anna threw the snowman an annoyed look. "Hey! The townspeople were safe! Pabbie had them on the cliff, with well, Cliff!" She half-shouted at Kristoff. She had pulled her legs off his lap and seemed like she was about to jump up in her seat. There was a tinge of annoyed frustration in her voice.
Kristoff looked deep in thought. His eyes lit up as a thought hit him. "I always wondered, were they standing there the whole time?" He mused out loud. "I mean, I drove us all the way north. We went through the mist, saw the giant rocks, met the reindeer people, ran from a forest fire, ran from the giant rock monsters. I got lost in the woods." The former ice harvester winked at the reindeer sitting by the large double doors on the far end of the warehouse. Sven the reindeer made some sort of acknowledging noise and grinned back at his best friend and master. "What else," the mountain man looked seriously deep in thought.
"You got sent into a cave by Elsa," he nudged Anna's bare knee with his elbow, then pointed to Olaf with a shake of his foot. "You flurried away, then I found you running from a bunch of stone giants, who you apparently woke up and tried to get the dam destroyed by. Then fake Elsa stopped the wave, Olaf came back...and they were on the cliff the whole time?"
"With Cliff," Olaf reminded him.
"With Cliff," Kristoff nodded.
Off to the side, Honeymaren shifted in her brother's lap and gave him a look. "Reindeer people?" She whispered. Her brother merely shrugged and stifled a laugh but said nothing.
Elsa appeared to be deep in thought. It was still somewhat of a chore to pick through which memories were actually her own and which were experienced by her doppelganger. It was quite difficult for her to remember especially in this case since the memories she was trying to remember were clearly not her own. It felt like reaching blindly for a teacup behind a large, heavy veil.
"They were still on the cliff," the ice queen vaguely remembered.
Kristoff spun on the floor to face his princess. "And everyone's houses, boats, things, crops, fields were left behind." He reached out to touch Anna's shin, but she shook him loose and pulled it in. Her lips were pressed tight against each other and her brows were all twisted. She was clearly disturbed by the reminder of her near-catastrophic failure.
The ice master continued, seemingly unaware of his lover's distress. "Could have been really bad. I mean, we just had the harvest festival." He shifted closer to Elsa. "I mean seriously. It's a good thing you stopped the wave when you did."
Elsa held her hands to her temples as she shook her head. "You mean evil me," she corrected him. That wasn't her that rode the Nokk down to Arendelle and stopped the torrent of water that her sister unleashed with the destruction of the dam. She wondered if her frail human form could have even made the journey from Ahtohallan to Arendelle in the span of time it took the spirit masquerading as her. It was a distance that took them several days by cart, and that was only until the Northuldra encampment.
"Anyway," the ice master continued. "If evil you didn't stop the wave, I don't know what would have happened to Arendelle."
From the couch behind him came a muffled groan. "I'm sorry, okay!" Anna squeaked out from under a throw pillow that she was pressing down on her face. "I felt it was the right thing to do." Her voice almost broke. "The next right thing!"
"Babe, it's okay." Kristoff turned to hug Anna. This time, she didn't push his away. "Everything worked out in the end. Arendelle's safe."
"Besides," Elsa's voice surprised both lovers as the older sister joined their impromptu family hug. "The Ahto did manipulate you into destroying the dam. It's not entirely your doing."
Princess Anna wrapped her arms around the two most important people in the world to her. "I know," she sniffled. "But I still made the decision from an ice statue." She frowned. It was clear that she was more mad at herself than anything. "I'm impulsive, and a little bit crazy. I'm a terrible queen." There was a slight trembling in her voice. "I don't want to be queen."
Elsa leaned in and bumped her forehead against her sister's. "And you don't have to be, not while I'm around." She pushed forward with her head and bumped noses with her sister. "I promise."
A sniffle escaped through the princess's nose, along with a dribble of clear fluid. "I just want to be me, you know?" Anna smiled and subconsciously wiped her nose on her sister's bare shoulder. If Elsa noticed, she didn't show a sign.
"I'm sorry for putting you through all this, for putting this on your shoulders." The queen disengaged and held her sister at arm's length.
Olaf interrupted from across the room. "Um, reminder. That wasn't you that made Anna queen."
Of course. "Aaagh!" Elsa's hands reached into her hair again in frustration. "I hate these weird composite memories!" She took Kristoff's arm by the wrist. "Kris, can you ask Pabbie? About fixing my memories?"
Still holding on to his princess with his other arm, the ice master winked at the queen. "Already did. Wanna go this weekend?"
Elsa disengaged from the family hug and began pacing around the warehouse. "As soon as possible, please." All around them, old and antique furniture were stored or piled up in various states of disrepair.
"It wasn't all a bust. You're not hearing the voice anymore are you?"
The queen stopped and listened beyond the sound of bustling Arendelle outside the warehouse doors. "No, I guess." She hadn't heard that siren's call since they had freed her from the Ahto. That siren's call had plagued her since before they had journeyed to the enchanted forest. Appropriately enough, she had stopped in front of the bronze statue that they had just removed from the town square that morning. Her mother's statue towered over the queen in front and above her. That singing voice masqueraded as her mother's call before being ultimately revealed as that of the spirit that had trapped and possessed her.
From the warehouse corner, a voice reminded the royal family that they weren't alone. "For what it's worth, you destroying the dam did break the enchanted barrier." Honeymaren waved her arms out to mimic the mist around the forest dissipating. "You freed us. The Northuldra owe you." Ryder said. The twins bowed almost in sync.
"Right," Princess Anna agreed. A smile formed on her face as she realized her hasty decision wasn't a complete disaster. Her eyes grew as she remembered another thought. "And we got Mattias and the others back!"
Kristoff smiled back, happy to see his princess in good spirits again. "Mattias, right. Where is he anyway?"
Anna stood and walked to the opposite side of the statue from where her sister had been standing. "He wanted to see the world. Said something about discovering his roots, his people. Finding himself? His last letter said something about joining up with some Scottish missionary in Buttswanah."
"Godspeed," Elsa shook her head. The queen couldn't imagine travelling so far, leaving the comforts of civilization, just to connect with one's roots. Especially not the Dark Continent.
The ice master joined the sisters on the side of the statue that was supposed to be their father in his youth. He slapped the bronze sculpture with his palm, expecting a ringing sound but getting nothing but a solid 'thunk'. It was then that Kristoff realized just how solid brass was.
"Shame that we have to store this here," he gestured throughout the warehouse proper. It was one of a few large wooden buildings in Arendelle, previously a large longhouse that had been converted into storage space. A place to store old things, antique furniture that had long since been replaced, old clothing that had worn out, fragments of the past that now held no place in a rapidly modernizing world. "I hope the replacement will be more accurate."
"And appropriate," Elsa looked up at her mother's youthful visage, captured forever in cold, hard metal. They had decided as a family that the statue, representing their heritage as the union of both Arendelle and Northuldra, had been commissioned and erected in haste. In a year or two, there would be a better, more appropriate reminder of their parents.
"So explain to me the deal with your mom again?" Kristoff tapped the former queen's metal shin.
Anna sighed, as if she had already had this conversation a few times before. She gestured towards the Northuldra twins in the corner. "Well, apparently mother was one of them." She looked up at the statue, pointing to the native-styled reindeer hide tunic and pants that Idunna was wearing. It was a stark contrast to the silk and cotton formal wear that young Agnarr wore, recognizable despite being made of solid bronze. "And she ran away to Arendelle. And met dad for reals. And it's actually a long story after that." The princess rapped her knuckles on her father's statue.
Kristoff had that look on his face, one that hinted to the princess that he had heard enough. "I'm not really the long love story kind of guy," he gave her a weak grin.
The princess spun on her bare feet and rested her back on the statue, crossing her arms over her chest. "I noticed."
"Actually, I have a question." Honeymaren's voice was surprisingly louder than usual. Anna turned to see the Northuldra historian having left her brother's side and walking towards the statue and the royal family. "What exactly was the dam for? I was never clear about that."
Anna looked at the sunlight tracing the outline of the warehouse windows on the floor. The bright yellow of the midday sun had now turned a darker, deeper orange. The day was soon coming to an end. She noticed her boyfriend looking at the same spot on the floor and apparently reaching the same conclusion. Her sister was still looking up at the sculpture of their parents, seemingly oblivious to the passage of time.
The princess drew a deep breath and prepared her thoughts. There had to be a way to conveniently summarize the background behind the events of the past few months for their northern compatriots. "Long story short, a long time ago, corrupted spirits made a pact with you guys, the Northuldra. By Yelana's time, that had been so long ago that nobody remembered anything except for the most elder of elders." Honeymaren nodded, she already knew this part of the story. "So our grandfather Runeard discovered that, and found a way to trap the essences in that dam. That's how you guys got stuck in the forest." The princess glanced over at Olaf, thinking how much easier it would be if she could use her body to mime events the way he told stories. "And um, so one night, Elsa awoke the big bad spirit. She went to Achoozertown, it tricked us into destroying its prison, and that's how sis got fully possessed."
"So a week after, stuff happens and we discover all this," she walked over and pulled her ice master into a one-armed embrace. "Then evil Elsa tries to kill us, but we beat her." Anna gave her older sister a suspicious look in jest. The queen wrinkled her nose and shook her head, knowing that that wasn't her doing. "We go to Atorvastatin, free her, and there you go!" She finished with a flourish, gracefully drawing a circle with her hand and ending her presentation.
"You forgot about passing by us in the forest," Ryder meekly raised his hand as he walked up to his sister. "We were with you in Ahtohallan, remember?" Instinctively, Honeymaren took her brother's arm and leaned into his shoulder, her hand slowly following the contours of his grey reindeer hide-sleeve downwards until her fingers found the spaces in between his.
Anna grinned at him and kept her flourish, redoing the circle before returning her hand to its place as if holding up an invisible platter.
"How did you find all this out?" Honeymaren asked.
"Don't ask," Kristoff coughed while gathering their things. The ice master walked over to the reindeer by the door and tapped Sven awake. The sunlight on the floor was an even deeper shade of orange. The day was ending and they had to return to the castle soon.
Anna took her lover's cue and nodded at the twins. "Long story. Very long story. Wanna hear over dinner? You guys are staying for dinner, right?"
"Um," Ryder seemed reluctant to answer as he returned to the corner to gather the sack of food he had taken earlier. "We um, have plans?" He asked more than stated, seemingly to his sister.
Honeymaren's brown eyes were large as saucers as she half-looked at her brother while trying to maintain eye contact with their royal friends. "We'd love to!" She shot Ryder a quick glance and a shake of her head, something that Anna managed to catch in passing.
Kristoff's booming voice echoed in the warehouse. "Guys, ready to go?" He had already loaded Sven up with their belongings and was standing halfway outside the open large, double-warehouse doors. Beyond, the setting sun was bathing the trees in hues of ochre. The sounds of Arendelle had simmered down as the citizens were settling in for their evening habits. Spring meant that sunset was now at around five or six in the evening. The ice master surmised it must be a bit past four in the afternoon. Perfect time for a walk back to the castle.
As the twins joined the queen outside the warehouse, Olaf looked around one last time and asked the princess. "Is there anything else?"
Anna held her chin as she passed the diminutive snowman and joined her boyfriend outside. "I think we've covered pretty much everything!"
The snowman walked to the exit, stood silhouetted against the doorway, turned around and looked squarely at the screen. "I guess that concludes our retcon of Frozen II." He laughed his classic laugh as he winked at you, the reader, before closing the doors behind him.
"What was that?" Anna asked as she patted the snowman on the top of his head.
"Oh, nothing!" The snowman laughed as he bounded down the hill to catch up with Sven.
"We'll meet up with you in a bit!" The twins quickly disappeared into the woods where they had left their reindeer, far too quickly for any of the royal entourage to give any meaningful reply.
The warehouse stood on one of the hills overlooking the fjord and the rest of the town of Arendelle. From their vantage point, most of the urban area was visible, along with the docks, the market square, and the bridge that linked the castle to the rest of the town. Castle Arendelle's white spires called out to them from below. The queen felt the call of her ancestral palace beckoning her home. A place where she would always belong. The princess saw the purple and green flags of their kingdom fluttering in the late afternoon shoreward wind. Flags that would always fly.
Elsa stretched her arms up and outwards as she basked in the late afternoon sunlight. "It's good to be back." The once-and-forever Queen of Arendelle reached behind and stretched her back before heading down the hill. "And sleeping in a bed again," she added.
Her sister, once-again Princess of Arendelle, joined up with her. "It's great to have you back, sis!" Anna said as she gave her older sister a hug before taking her hand. She tried to lead her sister down in a trot, but as usual the princess was way too energetic for her older sister and ended up dragging her on awkwardly.
"As long as there's no more 3 A.M. singing!" Olaf, the family snowman, chimed in as he interjected himself between the sisters, breaking them apart before skipping past them with his naturally enthusiastic snowman cadence.
"More like screaming!" The ice master and deliverer of Arendelle came from behind and wrapped his arms around his strawberry princess and lifted her into the air.
"Into the unknown!" Anna half-shrieked as Kristoff spun them around once, before carefully placing her on his shoulder.
"Stop it!" The queen felt herself blush in embarrassment and picked up her pace, catching up to Olaf, with Anna and Kristoff still within earshot behind her. "Okay, okay, I get it! Don't remind me!" She broke into a run as Kristoff's surprisingly melodic voice joined in with Anna's. "Aaaah!"
"Into the unknooooooooown!" Anna jumped down and shouted up into the sky as she playfully chased after her sister. Kristoff and Olaf followed teasingly with a chorus of "Aaaah aaaah!" much to Elsa's embarrassment.
The queen laughed as she ran towards the direction of Arendelle Castle, her unusual family in tow.
It was good to be home.
A/N: This is the tl;dr (short) version of the retcon that I've been planning for Frozen II. I disagreed with a lot of the movie and didn't like how it went, so like any self-respecting fan with a modicum of writing ability I sought to retcon the movie to bring everything (more-or-less) back to the status quo of the original Frozen.
One of my main goals in writing this was to make a retcon so that everyone who previously had a canon-compatible post-Frozen fic could use to make their fic still canon-compatible.
A longer fic is being planned to show the events talked about in this one.