Like I said, at first there was just numbness. I felt nothing. It took me a moment to fully process what had happened. Anna had frozen. Frozen into solid ice. She was gone. Gone forever. I then began to slowly process what that meant. I would never get to talk to her again. Hear her laugh, see her smile, feel her touch.
Now I was feeling. The weight of it was now beginning to descend upon me. My legs felt shaky and my face dropped completely. I stared crest-fallen at the queen, wrapped around Anna, sobbing. I wished I could do the same, but instead I stood back and just watched.
I lowered my head, almost by no will of my own. The sheer weight of my grief just seemed to pull it down. I closed my eyes. I had finally found a person- a human being- that I liked. Someone who might have restored my faith in humanity and made me believe that humans were not all that bad after all. Someone who was remarkable in every way... and now she was gone.
As I had my head lowered, Sven suddenly nudged me. What? What could he possibly want me to see right now? Anna was... I looked up. Wait a minute. Anna was... thawing? No. It was too good to be true. I wasn't that lucky, was I? I perked up and gave a small, timid, but hopeful smile. Could this really be happening?
The thawing was spreading from her chest and over the rest of her like when she had frozen, except instead of freezing over, the ice was disappearing. I could clearly see the color of her skin emerging from the icy blue again, her clothes began to fall loose once more, and her hair turned back to its beautiful shade of red. At last it reached her finger tips, ending, and she took a breath, resting her hand on her sister's shoulder.
I couldn't believe it... She was alive!
Elsa looked up into her face. "Anna?"
Elsa immediately stood up and hugged her tightly. "Oh, Elsa," Anna said affectionately.
"You sacrificed yourself for me?" Elsa asked.
Anna gave her a small smile. "I love you," she replied simply.
Olaf gasped in excitement. "An act of true love will thaw a frozen heart!" he exclaimed, as he realized.
I felt a small smile creep onto my face as I realized it as well. Now I know some of you might be disappointed that I did not have something to do with breaking Anna's spell. I know, I was leading you in that direction. But, that was not the point of my story. I've been telling you how I helped Anna bring back summer and how I began to realize that some people are actually worth my time. My falling in love with her was just a happy accident.
And a little inside scoop on Anna's side of the story, since I am the narrator: Anna had just been scorned by her fiancee and was still trying to process what had happened with that. Purely my own speculation, but my guess is that after that, she was probably a little reluctant to come to me at that time after her fiancee fiasco and since she realized she did not truly know what love was. The only love she was absolutely certain of was her love for her sister. But that love was enough to thaw her heart. And it is beautiful.
Anyways, back to the story. Elsa considered Olaf's words for a moment. "Love will thaw..." she said slowly, then her eyes lit up, "Of course!"
"Elsa?" Anna wondered.
Elsa looked around at our surroundings and then at her hands with a confident smile. "Love!" she exclaimed.
She raised her arms. Snow began to rise around us, lifting up out of the fjord and floating into the air. I looked around at it in wonder. It was like it was snowing in reverse. Sven attempted to catch one of the snowflakes with his tongue as it floated upwards out of his reach.
The fjord was thawing. A ship began to rise up below us and float on the freshly thawed water. Elsa's thawing spread through the entire kingdom. Everyone came out to see summer returning. As a final hurrah, Elsa brought all the freeze together in one giant snowflake above our heads and whisked it away with a wave of her hands.
Anna put a hand on her shoulder, smiling. "I knew you cold do it," she said.
"Hands down, this is the best day of my life," Olaf said happily. But then he immediately and very quickly began to melt. "...And quite possibly the last," he added in good nature.
"Oh, Olaf," Elsa chuckled, "Hang on, little guy."
She waved her hand and Olaf was rebuilt in a swirl of snow. A small snow cloud appeared above his head. He looked up at it and gasped in excitement. "My own personal flurry!" he cried, and then giggled happily.
I heard some grunting from behind us. I turned and saw the man who had almost killed Elsa just a moment ago pulling himself up and rubbing his head. It was the first time I got a good look at him. Young, clean-cut, good looking aristocrat. Probably a prince... Anna never got her kiss... It didn't take a genius to put the pieces together. That man was Anna's fiancee! And he had just tried to kill the queen and was the reason Anna had turned to ice. Sure, she had thawed, but still! In any case, I was furious. I began to march towards him, ready to pound him into the ground. But Anna held out a hand, stopping me. She gave me a look telling me she wanted to handle it. I stepped back, letting her have at it.
She held her head high and approached him. He looked at her, confused. "Anna? But she froze your heart."
"The only frozen heart around here is yours," she told him curtly. Then she turned away, proud of herself. However, she promptly turned back and socked him right in the face.
He toppled overboard with a yelp, and into the water. People on shore began clapping and cheering. Wow, what a wallop! Who knew she could pack such a punch? I couldn't have been more proud.
Anna turned back. Elsa held out her arms and the two embraced. I watched, smiling. Sven came up to me and I put my arm around him. Anna gave me a smile from over her sister's shoulder. There was something in that smile that was different than any smiles she had given me before. More... affection? Tenderness?
Up until that point, I really had no idea how Anna felt about me. I knew I was in love with her, but I had always figured that she was in love with her prince. However, now, after the whole freezing to death fiasco and the punch in the face she had just given her supposed "true love", I had to wonder.
The two sisters finally released each other. That was when Elsa finally took notice of me and Sven. "So, I have not properly met you," she said.
Before I could say anything, Anna spoke up. "Oh, this is Sven and Kristoff," Anna said, gesturing to each of us in turn. She smiled, "They helped me find you in the mountains."
Elsa also smiled. "It's nice to meet you," she said formally, "I suppose thanks are in order for keeping my sister safe?"
"Ah, no. No, not necessary, your highness," I said, and I glanced at Anna, "I enjoyed it. Your sister is very lovable. Uh, that is you can't not like her... What I mean is... I erm-"
And now I was babbling. I needed to just stop talking before I said something really bad. However, Elsa just smiled at me, then she turned to Anna. "I think, since you've all been wandering out in the wild for several days, you should get a nice change of clothes and maybe a bath?"
Hang on. Who's "you all"? Surely she did not mean me and Sven too. Anna, however, perked up at her sister's words. "Ooh. That sounds good," she said.
Elsa linked arms with her sister. "Come on," she said.
They began to walk away. I just stood there beside Sven, just as confused as ever. However, I saw Elsa glance back at me, then whisper something in Anna's ear. "Oh!" I heard Anna exclaim. She looked back at me as well. "I'll take care of it," she said.
I barely had time to think before I found Anna at my side. She coyly looked up at me, her hands behind her back. "Look," she said, "Since it is a little bit, well, warmer. Maybe you might want to come and change clothes too?"
I raised an eyebrow. Anna's eyes widened as she realized what she just said. "In separate rooms! Of course! You know. Obviously," she sputtered, "We've got plenty of things that you could wear. I mean, it is a castle. I don't even know what's all hidden in there! And I've lived there my whole life. So if you wanted..."
I had to chuckle at her nervous rambling. "Sure," I interrupted her.
She stopped and looked up at me once more. "Yeah?" she asked.
"Sounds good," I said, "I've been wearing this winter gear for far too long. And I guess since you're offering..."
"Great!" Anna exclaimed, "I'll have someone find you some clothes and draw a bath."
I smiled, watching her prance down onto the docks and towards the castle, Elsa in tow. She was perfect. Even when she put her foot in her mouth. And now I guess I was going to get a change of clothes and... wait. Did she say bath?
Yes. Yes she did. It turned out, Anna was true to her word. I found a bath ready and prepared for me when I reached the palace. I'll admit, I had never in my life had a proper bath before. And let me tell you, this was quite the first experience, with a surplus of bubbles, bath salts, oils, scents, and who knows what else! There were even places to put candles around the edges, a tray for food at the side, and... was that a place to hold a wine bottle? My word! Who knew a bath could be so extravagant?
Anyways, I thought the bath a bit over the top. I just needed a change of clothes, really. But I used the bath out of courtesy, and according to my family even when I used my usual washing methods, I still end up too smelly. And if I was going to go back out there and meet Anna and the queen again... I wanted to make an impression that did not say "isolated mountain man with no sense of personal hygiene".
As I cleaned up and got dressed, I began to think about what I was about to do. I was about to go out and face Anna. Anna, who had punched her fiancee in the face. Anna who had come looking for me in the blizzard. Anna who was no longer engaged and was now being a lot more tender with me. Was it at all possible she was reciprocating my feelings at all? I mean, the way she was smiling at me now. The way she just looked at me. They way she got all shy when she was talking to me. (That had only happened one other time after we had fallen off that two hundred foot cliff. Boy did I remember the heat I was feeling then and that certainly was not coming from any place around us).
Only time would tell I supposed. I opened the door and began to walk out only to bump right into the princess of Arendelle herself. She stumbled backwards, crashed right into a passing maid with a cart, propelling her forward, and straight into my chest.
Now don't get any ideas that this was a romantic hold because it was anything but. Her face was squashed awkwardly into my chest, one hand flung over my shoulder, the other hanging limp at her side. I caught her by her shoulders. "Whoa! Anna!" I exclaimed, "Are you okay?"
She pulled her face out of my chest and looked up at me. "Kristoff? Wha...?" she stared at me for a moment, processing, "I'm- yeah. I just didn't expect a door to open up in my face."
I cracked a smile. "Tell me, are you always this graceful?" I asked, gesturing to her position.
"Are you always so rude not to apologize for opening doors into people's faces?" she asked, cracking a smile.
"Okay, okay. I'm sorry," I replied, chuckling.
She giggled as well. It was then that I realized I was still holding onto her. I quickly released her and she stepped back. We just stared at each other for a moment. It reminded me greatly of our little stare-off when we fell off the cliff at Elsa's ice palace. There was that heat coming out of nowhere again, but I jst could not bring myself to look away from those gorgeous blue eyes.
"Oh! I have something for you!" Anna said after a second.
Really? What else could she possibly do for me? I just looked at her. "What is it?" I asked.
She grinned mischievously. "It's a surprise," she replied. She held up a long strip of cloth, "Put this on."
I frowned. "What? Why?"
"Because it's a surprise!" Anna said.
I smirked, then took the blindfold and wrapped it around my eyes. "Okay," I said, once I finished tying the knot, "What's the surprise?"
"Come on!" Anna cried.
And with that, she grabbed my arm and yanked me along with her. She pulled me by the arm at top speed across... I wasn't even sure. I was blindfolded after all. We went quite a distance though and she was very excited. I don't think I had ever seen (or not seen) her so excited. What could she possibly want to show me?
"Come on, come on, come on!" she said, trying her best to contain her eagerness as she pulled me along.
"Okay, okay. Here I come," I told her, attempting to keep my balance as I stumbled over the cobblestones as I tried to keep up with her.
Suddenly, I collided with a very hard metal pole and lost contact with Anna's hand. My face throbbed with pain, but I couldn't help, but be amused at the fact the Anna was actually so excited that she was not watching where she was going.
"Pole," I grunted, backing away from it.
"Sorry," Anna said, taking my hand again and pulling on it once more.
We finally reached her intended destination and I could feel her bouncing in place in her delight at my side. "Okay," she said, "Here we are."
She quickly removed my blindfold and gave a tiny, happy squeal of excitement. As my eyes adjusted, I looked ahead for what she wanted to show me and my eyes widened.
In front of us sat the most beautiful, ornate sled I think I had ever seen in my entire life. A giant red bow was even tied around it. Sitting on the seat was a brand new lute which also had a red bow tied around it. There might've been some other stuff sitting in the back, but I was too focused on the sled itself to notice. Sven stood beside it and placed his hoof on the front, posing, as though he came as an accessory.
"I owe you a sled," Anna said.
My jaw went slack as I stared at the gorgeous piece of craftsmanship. "Are you serious?" I asked, dumbstruck.
"Yes!" Anna cried happily, "And it's the latest model."
I had totally forgotten about our little deal. Besides, when she had said she was going to replace my sled, I had thought she was just going to get me something along the same lines as my old one, but this... this was so beyond what I used to have. How could I even begin to accept this? How could I even begin to deserve this?
Still completely dumbstruck, I said, without taking my eyes off the sled, "No. I can't accept this."
"You have too!" Anna said sternly, "No returns. No exchanges. Queen's orders. She's named you the official Arendelle Ice Master and Deliverer."
She gestured to the silver medal hanging around a very proud Sven's neck. I raised an eyebrow and looked at her. "What? That's not a thing," I said, slightly amused at her enthusiasm.
"Oh sure it is," she said, waving away my skepticism and turning back to the sled, "And it even has a cup holder." She looked at me tentatively, "Do you like it?"
Did I like it? Did I like it? This was beyond anything I could have hoped for! I grinned at her. "Like it? I love it!" I said happily.
Like her, I really could not contain myself. I'm not really sure what came over me because I suddenly swept her off her feet and began to spin her around. She cried out in surprise, but then laughed along with me.
"I could kiss you!" I declared.
Wait. Did I just say that? The impact of my words suddenly hit me and I quickly dropped her, embarrassed. I suddenly didn't know what to do with my hands and became very aware of her watching me.
"Uh, I could. I mean, I'd like to," I said quickly. I did want to kiss her actually. But how do you even go about that? I could ask her, I supposed. At least that was the solution I came up with, spur of the moment: "I'd... May I? We me... I mean, may we? Wait, what?"
Now I had no idea what I was even saying. Could I sound like a bigger idiot? I frowned at myself. But suddenly I felt a pair of soft lips against my cheek and I was immediately snapped out of my embarrassment. I turned to look towards the owner. Anna was looking up at me, compressing a smile.
"We may," she said simply.
I could? I could! We could! I smiled and decided to just go for it. I put a hand on her cheek, stooped down to her level, and pressed my lips to hers. Soon we had our arms wrapped around each other. I am not even going to begin to try and describe how incredible that first kiss was, but I will tell you that I personally believe that all other kisses in the history of everything blind in comparison (but that's just me).
And now I suppose you're wondering about the other loose ends like Elsa, what happened to Anna's fiancee Prince Hans, how the kingdom fared after the winter, and so on.
Well, first off regarding Prince Hans, he was sent back to his own country to be dealt with there for his crimes. It turned out he never loved Anna in the first place and was just using her to marry into the throne. He planned on marrying her, killing Elsa and becoming king through their marriage. I wouldn't be surprised if he had planned on getting rid of Anna as well since he did intentionally leave her to freeze to death. A manipulative jerk is putting it so mildly. But what I'm really thinking, I really cannot say here as it mind offend some people.
Then Elsa and the kingdom both kind of tie in together. Elsa was loved and accepted by the kingdom after she ended the eternal winter. She mended the damaged areas of the kingdom with ice, rebuilt the castle, she even created an ice rink in the castle courtyard, open to anybody and everybody. The castle gates were never closed again and Elsa ruled for years with a firm, yet loving hand.
And of course, as for me and Anna. Yes, we did get married eventually. No, it was not after one day, don't be ridiculous. We took our time, but eventually it did happen. Sven and Olaf lived happily at the castle with us and are just as good of friends as ever.
So there you have it. How I, a loner mountain man who hated people, met a fantastic girl (even though it was the last thing on my mind at the time), and helped her bring back summer.
You know, ice is a beautiful thing. It comes in many different shapes, sizes, and forms. But it also has a dark and deadly side. Even with all the pain it has caused me through my life, I still found it to be beautiful and always worth my time. I've come to realize, people are kind of the same. They come in all different shapes, sizes, and forms, but also have a dark side. But that doesn't mean they can't be beautiful too. Even with the icy force, foul and fair, ice always has a frozen heart worth mining. Anna has shown me, even with all the difficulties, and beatings, and cursings I've put up with from other people, just like ice, some people are also worth mining.
And thats a wrap! Thank you so much for reading, you guys! It's been fun!