Disclaimer: not mine
I've read many stories over the years of someone being sent or brought from an alternate world to the canon one of a series, or vice versa. Very popular idea in HP. So I decided to give it a go.
There's non-con, and some mean stuff in this first chapter but just this chapter. Remember, this starts off in the AU world where things are a bit flipped.
He'd heard rumours on and off for about the last three centuries of a new Winter Spirit, one that was different to the others. He had noticed that winters had seemed gentler, children having more fun, and apparently it was all due to one Jack Frost. Evidently, he'd had a bit of a scuffle with the blasted Rabbit back in the 1960's and come away from it alive and well. That was rather shocking, and he applauded the Spirit for doing so, but it also put Frost on the Guardians radar, not a safe place for any Spirit to be.
The Guardians…light and love, protectors of children everywhere….in their own warped minds. Unfortunately, they were believed in, in a way no other Spirits were and that gave them a lot of power. He'd been that powerful once, until they had decided he was 'evil'. He often wondered how Manny could be so blind to their true character. Fear was necessary, without fear a child would run out into the street or climb too high. Too much fear was bad, yes, but none was just as dangerous. Nightmares helped prepare children for when bad things happened too, showed them the dangers of the world. The Guardians had turned on him, spread the word he wanted to destroy all they stood for and the gullible had believed them. Those who realised the truth about the Guardians, well, they tended to disappear or suddenly have total personality changes, becoming their most ardent supporters.
Jack Frost was not the kind of Spirit they would like to have roaming free, he truly did care for children from the stories, almost a child himself, so he decided to keep an eye on how much the Guardians knew about him. He didn't approach him because why would the boy ever believe a word he said?
Jack wandered across the rooftops; it'd been a pretty good day all things considered. He'd given the kids a snow day and lots of fun…even if he hadn't meant for Jamie to get wiped out by a flying couch, making him more interested in the Tooth Fairy than playing. He'd never met her, but if she was anything like Bunny then he didn't want to. He'd heard a lot about the Guardians over the centuries but…things didn't add up to him. So he did his best to stay below their notice. He'd received an invitation from Old Man Winter to join his court and was seriously considering it, the protection would be nice. He was one of the few Spirits powerful enough that the Guardians kept their distance from him and those tied to him.
Jack started as something passed him by at lightning speed. "Woah! Hah!" he hesitated before going after it. He flitted from roof to cars, poles, taking fully to the air at times. There were some nasty things out there and while most avoided human cities, some favoured them as hunting grounds. He landed in an alleyway to the sound of dogs barking, staff up as he looked around.
Jack spun at the voice, recognising it even after several decades, heart pounding, as he spotted the Easter Bunny absently spinning a boomerang in his hand. "Uh!" he quickly put more room between them.
"Been a long time," Bunny stepped from the shadows, glowering at him. "Blizzard of '68, I believe. Easter Sunday, wasn't it?"
"Bunny! You're not still mad about that - are ya?" he doubted the faked nonchalance fooled anyone. The blizzard hadn't been his doing but he'd still received the blame and the rabbit hadn't been interested in the truth, Jack still had the scars on his thigh to prove it.
"Yes." He smirked and Jack reached for the wind, ready to fly off. "But this is about something else. Fellas?"
"Hey!" Jack yelped as he was hauled off his feet by the back of his blue hoodie, struggling wildly, recognising the language and feel of the ones behind him…Yeti. "Put me down! What the- ugh!" despite his struggles he was soon shoved in a sack.
"Me? Hehehe... Not on your nelly. See ya back at the Pole," he distantly heard Bunny say before everything went weird, twisting around him and then he felt the sack hit something hard.
"He's here!" a voiced called and Jack hesitantly scrambled from the sack, looking around. "Hey...! There he is! Jack Frost!" Santa boomed and Jack swallowed.
"Wow... You gotta be kidding me," he whispered, he was at the Pole! The Yetis hoisted him up to stand. "Hey hey! Put me down!" he quickly grabbed his staff. At least the Pole meant snow and cold, hopefully that he could use if necessary. He'd tried once, when he was about twenty, to break in, wanting to meet Santa but he'd never tried again.
"I hope the Yetis treated you well?" Santa asked and Jack glanced around, trying to pick out exits.
"Oh yeah, I love being shoved in a sack and tossed through a magic portal."
"Oh. Good! That was my idea," either Santa didn't get sarcasm...or he was happy Jack hadn't liked it. "You know Bunny, obviously."
"And the Tooth Fairy-"
"Hello Jack! I've heard a lot about you, and your teeth!"
"My- my what?" He stammered, was she…leering at him?
"Open up! Are they really as white as they say? Yes- Oh! Oh they really do sparkle like freshly fallen snow," she announced, forcing his mouth open to look, paying no mind to his struggles.
"And Sandman. Sandman? Sandman?" Santa nudged him as he sleep-hovered. "Wake up!" In response the Sandman startled awake and descended to the floor, looking Jack over as he did. Jack tightened his grip on his staff, on the surface it all seemed relatively friendly but every instinct he had said he had no friends in the room.
"Hey! Woah! Anyone wanna tell me why I'm here?" he began pacing around, keeping his distance from them. "I must've done something really bad to get you four together- Wha-? Am I on the Naughty List?" he asked, acting curious even as he tried to work out how to escape.
"Hah! On Naughty List? You hold record. But! No matter, we overlook. Now we are wiping clean the slate," Santa announced, and Jack frowned, that was almost….sinister… he still remembered the bruises and cuts from the Yetis, the way they'd tossed him off the edge without knowing he could ride the wind.
"How come?" Outside the wind began to howl, unable to reach him and he realised all of the windows had been shut tight.
"Hah, good question," Bunny sneered, arms crossed, and watching him very closely.
"How come? I tell you how come! Because now, you are Guardian!" Santa called out grandly. Music began playing and Jack backed away until he was stopped by two Yeti.
"What makes you think I wanna be a Guardian?" he asked in shock and Santa laughed at him.
"Of course you do. Music!" He snapped his fingers, glaring a little, and the elves started up again.
"No music!" Jack yelled, and it stopped. An Elf with a trumpet used the trumpet to smack his comrade with the sousaphone and Jack winced. "This is all very flattering, but, uh... You don't want me. You're all hard work and deadlines. And I'm... snowballs and fun times. I'm not a Guardian."
"Hah! That's exactly what I said!" Bunny laughed darkly.
"Do not worry Jack, when we have finished training you, you will fit perfectly."
"Yeah, thanks but no thanks. I'll just be going now," he answered lifting off to head for a nearby window, willing to break it to get away. Silver sand suddenly filled his vision and he dropped back to the floor, stumbling, struggling to keep his eyes open but he couldn't fight the Dream Sand. He was distantly aware of his staff clattering to the ground as his body became too heavy, crumpling to the hard floor. The last thing he saw was the Sandman grinning at him.
The Guardians stared down at the sleeping Winter Spirit. They weren't impressed with being told they needed a new Guardian, especially Jack Frost of all Spirits. He was young though; he could be trained.
Tooth reached out and ran a hand down his cheek. "Let's get him back to the Tooth Palace," she smiled, she was looking forward to his re-education.
Dream Sand slid under his limp body, lifting him into the air while Bunny snagged his staff, and Santa opened a portal. He was taken into the depths of her Palace and laid on a nest of pillows while Tooth went to search her archives. She eventually returned with a tooth box, having stopped to check the memories over first and hadn't his choosing been interesting, the picture on it was Jack, though with dark hair and eyes.
"We leave him to you and Sandman," Santa smirked and then he left with Bunny who tossed the staff to her. Until they knew how it was bound to him, better to keep it close but not where he could get to it.
Sandman wove fresh Dream Sand into the walls of the room, ensuring Jack would remain in a dream-like state, unable to truly wake but able to hear anyone in the room who spoke, and then left to spread dreams.
Tooth sat on the edge of the bed and reached out to stroke Jack's cheek. His skin was cold but not freezing thankfully. She ran her fingers over his tooth box, watching it light up before placing it in the receptacle. Jack's eyes were moving behind closed lids already due to the Dream Sand but now his childhood memories would be pulled into those dreams.
He was beautiful and for now he was all hers. She reached out and unlaced his worn pants, pulling them down his body to reveal skin as white as the snow he could cause. She began working the horrid brown sweater up his body, lifting his torso from the bed, his head hanging limp as he continued to dream. She yanked the sweater off and lay him back down, the white of his body almost glowing on the rich purple cushions. He sighed in his sleep, shifting slightly, a tiny smile on his pale lips. She began running her fingers through his slightly long, messy hair, finding it was as soft as it looked, every now and then lightly scratching at his scalp. Tooth smiled when he began pressing into her touch, moving restlessly. Jack Frost was a known loner, no friends, nothing; the idea she could be the first to see him bare, the first to take pleasure from his body, was a very nice thought.
She leant down and pressed her lips to his before taking his lower lip between her teeth, gently tugging and then letting go. She did it again and again, and Jack let out a little noise of pleasure, lips parting for her. She kept kissing him and he began responding, eyes moving even faster. "Jack," she whispered in his ear, nibbling on it, and he moaned softly. She moved a hand to his hip, teasing and caressing the skin, her other hand in his hair. "Listen to me Jack," she ordered firmly and then began whispering in an ancient tongue, the Language of Memory. With it, she began twisting the happy memories of childhood into cruel ones, even as her hands drifted from his hip, stroking him.
Jack whimpered, head moving fretfully, hands curling closed and then relaxing over and over. His own magic was reacting, trying to wake him, but thanks to the Dream Sand he couldn't, very few Spirits could resist the Sand. She kissed him again, exploring his mouth, as she continued to stroke him. She smiled as he began to thrust into her hand, whimpering, even as frozen tears slipped from closed eyes.
"They never loved you, never wanted you," she murmured in the language, he would not consciously understand it, but his memories would respond better to it. Sure enough, he choked back a sob, head thrashing.
"Moth…er," he cried. "No…no…please…"
The sleeping mind was far easier to influence, it made working with Sandman so rewarding. "Worthless boy, couldn't even die right," she hissed before kissing him again, hard. "No one wants a Winter Spirit, too much trouble. So lonely and undesirable. We'll look after you Jack, you just have to be a good boy," she nibbled across his jawline, nipping harder in spots. His mind and body were confused by the twisting memories tormenting him and the alternating pleasure and mild pain of her touch, further destroying any defences. Every word settled into his mind as if they were his own thoughts, tearing apart any sense of self-worth. She would break him and then they would make him into what they wanted him to be. He wouldn't fight them because he would be eager for any kind word or gesture, any affection.
She straddled him, taking him into her body and he groaned, body shifting on the cushions but unable to really move, sleep weighing him down. His hips jerked in small, irregular thrusts and she pressed down on one side with a hand. "Don't be bad Jack," she warned in English, and he whimpered. "You don't move unless given permission. Understand?"
"Y…ee…s.s." he mumbled before whimpering. "Papa…I be good…please…"
She moved, doing all the work, but needing to train him to obey no matter what was happening. "You belong to us, we protect you, feed you, and all you have to do is be a good boy, obedient and eager to please."
For one shining moment, Jack finally knew who he was, why he had been chosen. He'd saved his sister! But then a soft voice whispered into his mind and the memories began to change, distorting into horrors. He was dimly aware he was dreaming, remembered the Dream Sand, struggling to wake up. He couldn't block her voice out, his dreaming mind unable to resist her words as they began sinking in to his subconscious. He had no magic that could fight what was happening, he was snow days and fun…and there was no fun now. Only pleasure, unlike anything he'd ever felt, hands on a body that had never known the touch of a lover, and pain.
She got off of the cushions and watched as Jack's breathing evened out, body utterly lax, recovering, even as his eyes continued to move wildly behind closed lids, his mind being given no break. She leant over and kissed him one last time before leaving the room, sealing it behind her, she had to check on her fairies and their other current re-education project.
She glanced in the door to see the young Fire Sprite whimpering in her sleep. Another day or two and she would be woken and then released back into the world. She would never again say anything bad about them.
Jack would be with her longer and then would be sent to each of the others in turn, to ensure he knew his place. He was a Guardian now after all. What Manny saw in the brat she didn't know, unless he liked his looks too? There was something ethereal, fae, about him and it made him all the more attractive. What was he even meant to Guard? They had everything necessary covered to ensure the Earth's population kept going. The more belief, the more powerful they were, it was in their best interests to ensure nothing interfered with that.
She had her fairies to deal with ensuring the children believed in her and for the most part Sandman could just send out his sand as he pleased. Bunny and Santa only had to worry about one day a year technically, but those days took the whole year to prepare for and she knew they'd rather be doing other things, but they had been tied too tightly to the kids belief.
Maybe, Jack's presence meant Pitch had finally dug himself out of the hole they'd shoved him down so long ago? As if they couldn't handle him on their own. He'd find no allies anywhere; they'd made sure of that. They'd made sure to tell Manny about how evil he had become too.
Sneaking into Tooth's Palace was not as easy as it once would have been, but also not quite as hard as he had feared it would be. The Spirits had been whispering about a new Guardian being chosen, most upset over who it was…Jack Frost…who had not been seen in two months. He knew how they worked, knew that it would be Tooth, with some help from Sandman, to 'soften him up'. He moved from shadow to shadow, ever deeper, smirking when he came across a locked room with a wooden staff inside. He quickly removed it and then continued until he found a hallway lined with small rooms, all of them empty but one.
A glance inside had him grimacing as he took in the sight of pale body lying in a nest of cushions, eyes moving rapidly in dreams, expression half tortured even as frozen tears ran from the closed eyes. Straddling him was Tooth, obviously enjoying herself as she whispered to him. He spotted a shadow inside and slipped into it, watching for a second but she showed no awareness of his presence as she raked her nails down Frost's chest, the boy moaning and sobbing, but remaining utterly still. He struck out with a blast of Nightmare Sand, feeling rather pleased with the noise she made hitting the opposite wall, slumping limp to the ground.
He moved quickly to the nest of cushions, checking Frost over, pleased to find nothing more severe than some scratches and bruises. He grabbed the boys tooth box and pocketed it before lifting him into his arms, ignoring the chill of his body. He stepped back into the shadows and left quickly.
Pitch walked through his home, nudging open a door to reveal a bedroom, carrying Frost over to the bed and setting him down gently. He went into the attached room and returned with a bowl of lukewarm water and clean cloth, gently cleaning off his body, removing the evidence of what she had been doing to him. The blood in the scratches had frozen, the skin underneath already healing. He dressed him in a pair of loose sweatpants and shirt he had procured from a charity bin, as a just in case measure, and then very carefully sprinkled him with Nightmare sand, watching carefully, he wasn't trying to give him nightmares but to simply counteract the Sandman's sand. He stopped as Frost's eyelids began to flutter, moving back so as not to loom over him, ensuring to light the lamps since Frost would undoubtedly wish to be able to see.
Blue eyes slowly opened, glancing around, but Frost remained still, a soft whimpering noise coming from his throat. He finally saw him and sat up, lowering his head, crawling across the bed towards Pitch. He tumbled off the bed, body weak from inactivity, but he stubbornly crawled across the floor until he was at Pitch's feet, everything in his body language screaming submission. What had they done to him? Did they think Manny would never check on the boy?
Pitch knelt down and slowly put a hand under Frost's chin, urging his head up, the boy lowering his gaze to the floor still. "Can you understand me Frost?" he asked.
"Y...yes sir," he whispered.
Pitch had seen the worst of humanity over the centuries, he was the Nightmare King after all, and he had heard that kind of tone before, in slaves of all sorts, beaten down until they couldn't even think of resisting, had no self-worth or spirit left. He should have hit Tooth harder.
"I'm going to pick you up and put you back on the bed," he warned before doing so, the boy limp in his hold. He got him back under the covers, sitting up against the headboard, and then sat on the edge of the bed.
He had not expected Frost to be this bad so quickly. What had they done to break him so thoroughly? He may not be a 'nice' person, but he had limits and targeted the deserving. He was always careful to remain in his role, not wanting to know what he would become if he let himself stray. He supposed he'd be like the Guardians or even worse.
For now, he needed to concentrate on working out what she had done to Frost and how to reverse it or help him heal to the point he had some willpower of his own, otherwise he wouldn't last long out in the world. He could keep the immortal teen with him if he could not be helped, but sooner or later the Guardians would track them down. It was far easier to hide one than two in the one location.
"Do you know who I am?" he asked.
"N…n..no sir," Frost stammered, beginning to become scared.
"Shh, there's no reason to be scared, I won't hurt you," he promised, reaching for that fear, siphoning it off. "Do you remember the Man in the Moon choosing you as a Guardian? You can nod or shake your head." It was better than hearing him stutter. Frost slowly shook his head. "Two months ago you were chosen and vanished. You have been in Tooth's Palace since then. She is the Guardian of Memory, Frost. She has spent that time manipulating your memories to make you like this." Would the boy understand what he meant?
Frost shook his head and Pitch watched; he really did cry frozen tears. "B...b…elong to Guardians, worth…less, bad b…oy," he mumbled more phrases along a similar vein, rocking himself. "G..g…good boys o…obey…"
He pulled the boys tooth box from his pocket and looked at it, would activating it help or would conflicting memories do more harm…though how it could get worse he wasn't sure. He did not deserve what they had done to him, what they would do if they retrieved him.
"Do you know what this is?" he asked, making sure Frost could see the box and he shook his head, still mumbling brokenly, parroting the words Tooth had obviously driven deep into his mind. While he could affect the mind, it was not in the same way. There were spells yes, if he could find them, but all carried risks. "This is your memory box from childhood, it holds your true memories, not the ones they have made you think are real."
Frost whimpered, shaking his head, still mumbling, eyes losing focus. Simply removing him from that room and waking him had obviously not been enough to stop her magic, it was still active in his mind and Pitch was losing him. He should have gone after him sooner…but he had needed the time to plan, it would have done no good to get caught.
He'd stopped rocking now, looking through Pitch at something only he could see, lips moving silently but Pitch was good at lip reading and it was more of the same, of how worthless he was, that he belonged to them
"Frost!" Pitch shook him slightly and he whined softly in pleasure at the touch. Wonderful, he thought dryly, though not surprising considering how he'd found them. He manoeuvred Frost until he was lying under the covers and then left the room, locking it.
He went to his library and in the end, he sent a Nightmare to Alexandria with a note for a Spirit he knew would not speak to the Guardians, if there were answers anywhere to help the boy, it would be in the ancient library.
As soon as she had woken, Tooth had gone to Santa who summoned the others. They knew who had taken Frost, only one Spirit could use the Nightmare Sand. The boy had been well on the way to being totally broken but they didn't want Pitch training him to be his, they'd have to start all over again. They had to find them. At least no one would ever help Pitch, they had made sure of it.
He read the letter and sighed as he pulled out the enclosed handwritten book. The spell was ancient but…there did not seem to be any other option. He looked up to see Frost sitting on the chair as he had been told, head lowered, hands still in his lap. He was like a living doll, following any order given immediately, never speaking except to answer a question. Pitch was just glad he didn't call him Master, she had likely pushed the use of Sir and Ma'am onto him to keep others from being suspicious, such titles would just be very good manners and not a sign of what they had made him, nothing more than a slave.
After two weeks of work, Frost had regained his physical condition, Pitch ensuring he was well fed and given simple exercises. Nothing he had tried had helped the boys mind though. He hadn't activated his tooth box because he was worried about damaging him further when the memories conflicted so sharply. Mnemosyne's advice was simple, since the memories were so badly altered, erase them all. Better to have none than what Tooth and Sandman had given him. After that was done, his childhood memories could be restored to him, he would be like a newborn Spirit again, but he would at least be a true version of himself. Some of the behavioural changes may remain, those that had dug in deeper than mere memory, but for the most part it should 'fix' him.
Pitch left the room briefly and returned with a bowl. "Eat the soup Frost," he ordered, and the boy took the bowl, obediently beginning to eat while Pitch studied the spell work and began preparing.
He was cold…there was something hard under him…slowly he opened his eyes, seeing someone leaning over him but not too close. He glanced around; they were in a room? His gaze was drawn back to the man. "Who….who are you?" he asked and then he blinked. "I…who am I? I can't…"
Hands gripped his shoulders and he lifted his hands, holding on to the arms tightly, terror growing. He didn't know who he was! Silver-gold eyes met his and he felt the fear begin to drain away, leaving him gasping for air.
"That's it, keep breathing," a silky voice told him. How could he know what silk was but not who he was? "Are you in any pain?"
"No," he answered and then he was being helped to his feet, glancing down at himself and then the other, curious.
Pitch was actually relieved Frost had panicked on waking and now he was showing curiosity, more than he had seen from him since breaking him out. He had drained the fear away though, it had its uses but right now he wanted Frost able to listen and understand. He seemed…curious when he had looked at himself and then Pitch but had made no move to cover himself. While the aim had been to erase his personal memories only but leave behind the procedural memory as Mnemosyne called it, it seemed that perhaps it had taken more than planned. Thankfully, he had retained the ability to speak and walk, but how much would he need to be re-taught? Then again, some of that may return with his human memories.
"Here," he handed him the clothing he'd had him remove for the spell work since he'd had to draw symbols on his body, only to be met with a blank stare, so apparently how to dress himself had been forgotten. He helped him and then they sat.
"Why can't I remember anything?"
Straight to the point then. "Because your memory has been erased," he stated, watching blue eyes go wide. "You were captured, and they altered your memories so that you would become their willing slave, believing anything they told you. When I retrieved you, it had already worked. You were incapable of doing anything unless ordered to," he tried to explain as gently as possible, but he was far better at being blunt. "I consulted with an expert on memory and they said the only way to undo what had been done, was to fully erase your memories since they weren't really yours anymore anyway. There is a way to restore some of your original memories, but not all of them."
"Why…why would anyone…" he shook his head, eyes wide and skin paler than normal.
"Because they are cruel and like having total power over others," he offered and then he held out his tooth box. "Stored in here are memories from your childhood. When you go to sleep, they will be returned to you in dreams. They won't cover everything but with their return it is possible you may remember some more yourself in time."
"Then…why not do that before I woke up?" he shifted on the chair and Pitch nodded.
"Because if done too quickly, you wouldn't be able to retain them. You may not remember this conversation later. By tonight it will be safe for you to be given them back."
"Oh, will I…" he blinked slowly. "Who are you?" Frost frowned. "Who…who am I?"
It seemed he was correct; the spell was still working. "I am a friend, and you are safe," he offered, patting a cold hand.
Safe for now but for how long? He'd thought of perhaps working with Frost, the boy was powerful despite the lack of believers, together they may have been able to stand against the Guardians, ally with some of the other Spirits out there who had managed to avoid the Guardians but an untrained Frost who knew nothing of being a Spirit? Would either Winter Court shelter the boy when the Guardians wanted him?
"Come, you need to rest," he urged Frost to his feet and the boy followed him to his room, curious and a little scared. He pulled back the covers and helped Frost settle. "Try and sleep, you'll feel better." He went to leave but a cold hand hesitantly touched his.
He was surprised but sat down and stayed until Frost fell asleep. He then went to retrieve the small supply of unaltered Dream Sand he had as well as Jack's tooth box. He woke Jack for dinner and had to feed him, the boy not recognising anything. Once he was asleep again, Pitch checked the time and then nodded, placing Jack's limp hands on his chest, wrapping them around the box, before activating it, sprinkling half of the sand on the box and the other over Frost's face. The boy instantly relaxed further, eyes moving behind closed lids as he began to dream.
He woke up slowly, feeling utterly relaxed…he needed to get up, see to the herd….he bolted upright, looking around. Where was he? He looked down, seeing his too pale hands…he…he'd gone under…where was Emma? He stumbled off of the fancy bed, looking around. The room felt vaguely familiar, but he wasn't sure why and then the door opened….the man…he'd seen him….hadn't he?
"Do you remember who you are now?" the man asked, and he nodded, of course he knew who he was…no….he'd been awake before…it was foggy, barely there…he'd seen this man, he'd helped him eat, he hadn't remembered how.
"Jack," he whispered. "Jackson Overland. But…how? I…I should be…dead," he swallowed hard. "Did you pull me out?" he vaguely remembered his Father speaking once of someone who had almost drowned and that it had affected their mind, had that happened to him? "Who are you? Where are we? Please, I need to go home." His Mother and Emma needed him with Father gone.
"Calm down Jack, it is a long story. But first," he held out a familiar crook and Jack reached for it, gasping as frost spread over it as soon as he touched it.
"My name is Pitch Black and a few weeks ago I rescued you from those who would have made you their slave."
He knew about slavery, not that there'd been any in their village. None of them could have afforded such a luxury. Why would someone want him as a slave?
"This will be difficult for you to accept Jack, but it has been a very long time since your last memory."
Jack listened as the man explained what he knew of Jack's life….or death? He…he wasn't human anymore? Three hundred or so years, it was impossible! Why lie like that. And yet…he looked down at the Shepherds Crook he had carved last year, seeing the frost covering it and…it felt right. He didn't really think Pitch was lying to him, which meant someone had altered his memories against his will, forcing them to have to be erased. "Could they do it again?"
"Yes, and now there would be less work involved."
"Because I only have eighteen years' worth and not three hundred?" he asked, and Pitch nodded. "Why? Why go to all that trouble? Why not erase them like you did? Surely that would have made me even easier to control? Why me?" he asked.
"Because you were chosen as the fifth Guardian and they do not like to share power." He then explained about the Guardians and Jack felt sick, he had received presents as a child, small coins for his teeth, had hunted eggs at Easter. It was all a lie perpetrated so they could have more and more power.
"How could they fool this Manny so thoroughly?"
"It takes a lot of effort for him to communicate and all three act very well when doing their duties at night. Any Spirit or Sprite who speak ill of them tend to disappear and if they are later seen, they will be speaking of how wonderful the Guardians are."
"You mean they do to them something like they were doing to me."
"What happens now? Will they come for me again?"
"They will come for us both," he admitted, and Jack shifted nervously. "It may be possible for you to find protection in the Court of Old Man Winter. He does not like them but whether he would endanger all those under his protection…"
Jack nodded, it'd be like their village taking in a fugitive, brave but crazy and likely to end in a lot of deaths when the army showed up. "I won't go back without a fight," he swore, and Pitch nodded.
"Then we had better start teaching you. I have heard stories of your exploits so have some idea of what you could do before."
Training Jack was easier than he feared, his mind did not remember but his body did. He was very fast and limber, strong for his build but he was a Spirit after all. With the wind to aid him he could be all over a battlefield. That was good and made his escaping his altercation with Bunny more understandable. Tooth could fight in a similar manner though which meant he couldn't rely on simple instinct, he had to learn to counter their styles and teamwork.
When not teaching Jack he was researching the rest of the book, trying to find a way to keep the boy safe and out of the Guardians hands. He'd noticed the worrying trend that when exhausted he became very docile, the trained instinct to please and obey coming forward. It didn't help that in his home, there were no good dreams, he kept the Nightmares from reaching him, but he had no Dream Sand left. Even then, he'd had a few nightmares due to remembering his own death. He had drowned in a frozen lake after saving his younger sister from that fate. He could see why Manny had chosen to make him a Spirit, but none had ever died first! That made Jack unique among them and perhaps explained why he did so well without believers.
There was nowhere in the world they wouldn't eventually be able to find Jack, and he was Jack now, not Frost. Every spell designed to hide someone was fallible. He couldn't exactly send Jack to Manny which was the only place he knew they couldn't reach him, but he couldn't either.
Jack lay in bed, staring at the ceiling, not really wanting to sleep. Thankfully, he'd found he didn't need as much sleep now he was a Spirit. It was hard…to realise his family was three centuries dead. He wondered if he'd seen them after, tried to talk to them, but Pitch had explained people couldn't see them unless they believed in them…and no one believed in Jack Frost, the name he'd been given as a Spirit, fitting considering his powers and at least he'd kept his first name in part.
Pitch's place was a little creepy, but he was the King of Nightmares. The Nightmares horses were interesting and even let him pet them. He liked Pitch, he was his friend, his teacher. The thought of ever ending up in the Guardians hands terrified him, the idea of having his memories used against him, of believing his family loathed him when they'd all loved each other so much…he'd rather die permanently. He didn't remember the Guardians, but Pitch had shown him hand drawn and coloured images of them, so he'd be able to recognise them; Bunny with his dark brown and white fur, the Sandman made of Silver Dream Sand, the Tooth Fairy with her crimson and white feathers, and finally Santa Clause with his grey hair, short grey beard, large stomach and green and white clothing. They all sounded very memorable to him.
He wished he could do something, to make the world see the truth about them and what they did to any Spirit who was against them. He hadn't even done anything! Other than a blizzard he couldn't even remember now, but that had been years ago. It wasn't right.
He sighed and angrily rolled onto his side, trying to sleep rather than brood. He didn't realise that his anger had transferred to the wind, sending it raging northward to bury the North Pole in a blizzard so bad no one could leave the Workshop except via portal.
He'd found it, a way to save Jack. It was an ancient spell and the magic needed…would likely kill him. It would allow him to set certain parameters and then find another world that matched them. A world where Jackson Overland had never became Jack Frost or had since died; one where the Guardians were truly that, Guardians; one where he would be safe. His Nightmares were keeping as close a watch as they could on the Guardians and the sudden blizzard had slowed them down, but their searching was growing ever closer to finding his home. He couldn't tell Jack the cost of the spell, let him think Pitch was simply going to continue giving the Guardians hell, because Jack would never agree to him doing it otherwise.
Jack lay down nervously, clutching his staff to his chest along with a small bag. He was scared, the idea of other worlds, the same and yet different to this one…that was crazier than Spirits. Except Spirits existed and so did other dimensions apparently. He didn't want to leave but Pitch would be safer if he left, they would both be. At least he'd be making the trip asleep, Pitch had managed to secure a small amount of Dream Sand to make sure of it.
"You'll be sent to the Guardians of that Earth, the spell will ensure they are truly Guardians, nothing like those here. They may be totally different Spirits even."
Jack nodded shakily. "And there won't be another me there."
"No, either Jack Frost never existed or…"
"He died," it was weird thinking of a Spirit dying, but then he was weird since he'd already died once. "What about you?"
"There may be a version of myself there but Jack, do not assume we are anything alike. Watch and learn from those around you. I barely managed to find a balance; an alternate may not have."
Jack nodded, he hated the thought that his only friend might be evil where he was going but this was his only chance at safety and freedom, he would be careful. "Thank you, for everything," he sat up and hugged him and Pitch rolled his eyes but allowed it, he wasn't a very physically demonstrative Spirit. Jack lay back down and Pitch upended the small pouch over his face.
"Sweet dreams Jack," Pitch whispered, sounding far away as the sand drifted into his eyes, drawing them shut.
He watched as blue eyes closed in sleep, Jack's body limp. Pitch had nicked some new clothing for him for the journey, he should make a good impression on his new world after all. He looked very different to the underweight boy he had rescued months before. Shoulder length white hair had been tied back as neatly as possible, side pieces falling free, too wild to contain. He was barefoot as he preferred but dressed in nice dark blue jeans, a white shirt and a blue vest.
"Goodbye Jack," he whispered and then began the spell.
He watched the air shift and shimmer around Jack's sleeping form, the wind picking up. Slowly the portal formed around him and Pitch felt the wards on his home shatter as his magic was drained…and the Guardians attacked. He looked up and smirked at them as the portal sucked Jack in before sealing and then his world went black.
Bunny watched in shock as Frost was swallowed by some sort of energy and then Pitch dropped, a quick check proving the Nightmare King was finally dead. They searched for hours to try and work out what Pitch had done but he had destroyed the book to ensure they would never be able to find Jack.