Word Count: 7,048
Summary: Ice powers weren't the only thing Elsa was hiding.
Notes: Unbeta'd, unedited, yet somehow managed to win a writing contest.
Make one wrong move and everyone will know.
The servants cleared the plates and replaced them with a pot of hot tea and saucers and cups. For obvious reasons, Elsa was never a fan of hot drinks and would often cool her tea before drinking it. But formalities were formalities; she didn’t want to risk shocking the suitor in front of her.
“Arendelle is magnificent in summer, Your Majesty.” The Prince of Schleswick took a sip of his tea. “And are those the—?”
“Shipbuilders?” Elsa offered. “Yes. It looks like they’re putting a new one out to sea. These new production methods are allowing us to make more ships than ever without sacrificing quality.”
“Of course,” Prince Gustaf said immediately. “Nothing but the finest from Arendelle. Your shipbuilding is known worldwide for its excellence.”
Gustaf was nice, Elsa decided. He had a round face, dimples, and cropped sandy blond hair. He talked a lot about ships, dogs, and the sea. He was also third in line for his own throne, and as he would have no luck in gaining the throne of Schleswick, he (and his family) turned his sights to Arendelle and Elsa.
“Ships aren’t the only fine products from Arendelle.” He turned to Elsa. “Your Majesty, you are a very striking woman.”
“Thank you,” Elsa said demurely, slightly miffed at being compared to a ship. This was only one of many compliments Gustaf had given her throughout his three-day visit in his attempt to woo her over. Some of his phrases sounded so rehearsed that he reminded her of a character in a historical novel she read.
“The story of your beauty has reached all around the world,” he said. “Among other things.”
Elsa’s skipped a beat, and she took a sip of her tea. It cooled down significantly and not from the breeze. “Other things? Like what?”
Gustaf’s eyes widened, thinking that he had crossed into unspeakable territory. “Well, uhh, you know—”
Elsa sighed. “I do.” With hundreds of royal guests trapped in Arendelle last summer, word of her powers spread everywhere once they were able to sail out. Elsa thought that it would deter potential suitors; instead, men lined up in order to court her.
“The Snow Queen,” Elsa and Gustaf said at the same time.
Elsa giggled and put down her cup. Gustaf cracked a smile.
“We both thought—”
“—the same thing,” he finished for her. Elsa shyly looked down.
“Please call me Elsa.”
“Queen Elsa, this is my last day in Arendelle.” Elsa’s expression briefly turned into one of fright before maintaining her reserved expression. “I must ask that you please consider me when the time comes for you to choose.”
“…Yes, I will.” She hesitated.
She would consider Gustaf. She liked him. Could she see herself in a future with him? Well…
No, when was this ever about what she wanted? This was about the good of her people and her kingdom. Her future and her kingdom’s future rested on her choosing the best man to lead alongside her. A man who she might have met in less than a week. Her advisors expected her to marry a man she just met. That was no better than when Anna met—
“No need to think about that.”
“I’m sorry. I became lost in my thoughts again.”
“You know, you’ve been very pensive throughout my entire stay,” Gustaf said. “Is anything bothering you?”
“N-No,” she replied, pouring herself more tea to distract herself. No steam rose from the cup this time. “I’m fine. Are you done with your tea?”
“I think I would like one more cup.” Gustaf took the teapot from Elsa and tilted the pot to refill his cup—
Nothing came out.
“That’s strange,” he said. “There seemed to be plenty when you poured yours.”
“This must be a mistake,” Elsa said quickly. No. No. No. Not here. Not now. “They forgot to fill the teapot for two servings for two people. I’ll take it—”
“Please, I insist—”
“There should be tea in here—”
“Your Majesty, really it’s no problem—”
The teapot flew out of their hands and smashed on the floor, shattering into thousands of little pieces, the tea frozen inside.
Elsa stood, horrified, her hands in the same clutching position.
“I-I a-a-apologize,” she whispered. “This has never happened before. I-I’ll get someone to clean it up before—”
“That won’t be necessary,” said Gustaf. “You know I think my men are prepared to leave.”
Elsa looked into his face. He had the same bewildered fearful look that so many of the others had. His hand gripped his chair.
“Really, P-Prince Gustaf, I’m so sorry.”
“It’s alright, Your Majesty. I’ll be taking my leave now.”
“It’s barely…” This was a losing battle, Elsa knew. If she continued to complain, it would be unsightly. “I understand. Arendelle thanks you for your visit.”
“It was my pleasure.”
Elsa held out her hand to be shaken. After ten seconds of Gustaf avoiding it, she drew her hand back.
“Shall I escort you to your ship?”
Gustaf hesitated. “That won’t be necessary. I can find my way around the docks.”
“I understand. At the very least, allow me to show you out of the castle.”
“Thank you, Your Majesty.”
Inside the study, Gerda gave her a worried expression before the other servants rushed outside to clean up the icy mess.
The walk to the gates was silent. Gustaf seemed focused on walking and didn’t give Elsa a second glance. Elsa folded her arms, her head pounding and her mind replaying the events of a few minutes ago over and over. She lost control—she lost control. She was thankful that it was just the teapot that froze and not Gustaf. Not like last time when poor Prince Albert’s shoes froze and it took hours for the servants to free him from the ice with pickaxes.
“Thank you, Your Majesty,” said Gustaf. “I expect to hear a reply from you in a few weeks.”
“Ah…yes, I shall,” Elsa said. “Reply. I shall reply.”
“Farewell, Your Majesty.”
“Farewell, Your Highness.”
Gustaf’s entourage waited for him at the gates, a large throng of men wearing red and green garments—the fox banner of Schleswig fluttering on the mast of the ship.
“Schleswig thanks you for your consideration,” Gustaf said.
“And Arendelle thanks you for your visit,” Elsa replied coldly.
After the exchange of formalities, Elsa turned her back on the group of men and entered the main courtyard. Members of the Arendellian nobility talked amongst each other. A few gave Elsa a few glances and whispered when she walked. A chill swept through her body and with trepidation, she took out her light blue gloves and slipped them on.
Elsa ascended the stairs into the castle, her head down and staring at the red carpet. It muffled her footsteps. She needed her room. She needed another place to her away from the prying eyes and questions from her court and servants. She needed—
Anna bounded towards her with hair disheveled and face beaming, wearing a simple green dress and her hair in a two braids.
Her unwavering optimism was the last thing Elsa wanted right now. “Anna…”
“How’d it go with Gustaf?”
Elsa stayed quiet. She knew she’d ask that.
“Something happened again, huh?”
She refused to meet Anna’s eyes.
“Hey, Elsa, it’s okay. So you messed up a little—big deal—”
“I’m sure there’s a guy out there for you.”
“Gustaf was always a weird guy—”
“Anna,” Elsa said.
She blinked at Elsa’s sharp tone.
“Sorry.” Her voiced softened. “I think this has to do with something else.”
Puzzled, Anna took one of her hands. “…You put your gloves back on?” she asked in a quiet voice.
Anxiety pooled in her stomach and spread through her veins. The events of the day replayed again and again. “I-I need to go back to my room. Please, Anna.”
“Nothing,” Elsa growled through her teeth. “I just need my room. Please.”
Anna stared at her and for a few moments, Elsa thought that she wouldn’t budge until—
“Okay, you need your space.”
Elsa sighed in relief and passed Anna. “Thank you.”
Anna’s brows furrowed in concern, and she looked back at her. “You can always talk to me whenever you want.”
She bit her lip and tears sprang into her eyes. Her sister wanted to help her. Even if they had been rekindling their relationship the past year, Elsa kept some emotions to herself.
“How?” Elsa said. “It’s complicated.”
“We can talk in my room,” Anna suggested. “O-Or yours. Whichever you prefer. But if you don’t want to talk about it, I completely understand.”
“Thank you, but…” She had two options: Sit in her room alone or try to talk about her feelings with her sister.
“Follow me to my room,” Elsa decided.
Anna’s expression noticeably brightened, and she bounded to her sister’s side as they walked through the high vaulted walls of the castle. The sunlight shone through the windows, and the flood of light warmed Elsa.
“Where’s Olaf?” Anna asked. “I haven’t seen him in a while.”
Bless her sister to fill the silence with small talk. “I don’t know,” Elsa answered.
“That little guy gets into a lot of stuff. Last I heard he was at Halvorsen’s drinking all the cider…How does that work? Did you give him a stomach?”
“I…don’t think I did.”
“Weird. I’d think something like that would melt him.”
Elsa started to find this conversation getting more and more irrelevant with each passing second.
“Oh well,” Anna said and shrugged.
Elsa pushed open the door to her room. Everything was poised, collected and neat. Books filled shelves and shelves of her bookcase. Papers stacked in one corner of her desk, leaving room for her to do her work. A small desk sat next to the window, where Elsa could sit and read or drink tea and watch the ships enter the harbor.
“Wow, I forgot how clean your room was compared to mine,” Anna said.
Elsa giggled. “Your room was always a disaster. You can sit down.”
Anna sat on the bed and watched with a smile as Elsa sat next to her.
“So…where do you wanna start with this?”
Elsa shrugged. “I’m sorry. I really don’t know.”
“Well, we could always start somewhere. Tell me what happened with Prince Gustaf.”
“Everything seemed to be going alright. Just…something happened.” Elsa wrung her hands over and over in her lap.
“I froze the teapot.”
Anna stared at Elsa with a blank expression before stating, “At least it wasn’t the poor guys’ legs.”
“Sorry. If it was going so well, why did your powers go off by accident?”
“I’m not sure.” All that Elsa remember was the sinking fear in her stomach at the thought of becoming his wife and marrying someone she barely knew.
Anna read her mind. “Were you feeling like…scared? Or nervous? Because that could happen.”
“I wasn’t scared,” Elsa said firmly. She was the Queen of Arendelle. She couldn’t be scared when it came to the future of her kingdom and the betterment of her people.
“You put your gloves back on.” Anna’s warm hands touched Elsa’s cold ones, and they began to take off both of the gloves. “You never put these back on…”
“I was scared, alright?” Elsa admitted. She tore her hands away from Anna’s touch and made her hands into fists in her lap.
“Of what?” Anna asked gently. “Elsa, talk to me. I promise I won’t tell anyone else.”
Elsa raised her head and looked at her. “Promise?”
Anna smiled. “I promise.” She put an arm around Elsa’s shoulder. “What’s wrong? What’re you so afraid of?”
“The future.” It wasn’t a lie. That was certainly one reason for it.
“I mean, yeah, the future’s unpredictable and all but it’s nothing to get this stressed out over. Our economy’s doing pretty well.”
“I’m not talking about Arendelle, Anna.” She loved her sister but sometimes she could be so dense. “I’m talking about…me. My future. The fact that I have to pick a man to spend the rest of my life with.”
“Ohhh,” Anna said in realization. “That makes sense. That’s why your powers come out whenever you’re meeting with these guys. Because you’re scared of the future.”
Elsa looked away and concentrated on the floral pattern on her door. “…A part of it.”
“Part of it?” Anna scooted closer to her, brows furrowed in curiosity. “What’s the other part?”
“I can’t see myself with any of these men. At all.”
“Awww.” Was Anna finding this cute? “You just haven’t met the right guy yet.”
“No, Anna, that is not it. Believe me, that is not it.” Elsa stood up and paced in front of her bed, her thoughts racing and heart pounding.
“Then what is it, Elsa? Do you just not know—?”
“I do know—”
“Then what are you so afraid of telling me?”
“I can’t tell you!”
“Why can’t you tell me? We could fix this if you could tell me.”
“I can’t tell you.”
Elsa ran her hands through her hair. Panic replaced the anxiety. Her blood rushed and she paced faster. Back and forth—back and forth—back and forth—
“It’s okay, Elsa. If you don’t want to tell me you don’t have—“
“I can fix it. I just have to hide it better.” Elsa began to ramble, her mouth shooting off every thought that came to her head. “Conceal it, don’t feel it.” Her mind flashed back to the moment her father handed her gloves for the first time to “Conceal it, don’t feel it.”
“Hide—?” Anna’s voice sounded more and more like a distant memory. Elsa forgot she was in the room. It was just her and her thoughts and a swirling void of vortex in her heart.
Conceal it, don’t feel it.
Don’t let it show.
“I just don’t let it show and everything’ll be fine—“
“I’ve hid this for long enough. A few more years won’t hurt—“
“Conceal, don’t feel—“
She blinked and found herself in the middle of a snowstorm. She had transformed her room into a blizzard.
“A-Anna?” If she lost her sister again—
Strong arms wrapped around her and she collapsed and the storm along with her. The white winds dissipated. The ice that had crawled up the walls thawed. And Elsa found herself sobbing into her sister’s shoulder and grasped at her for anything—warmth, comfort, a foothold.
“I-I’m so sorry, Anna—“
“It’s okay. You’re safe now. I’m here.”
Safe. Elsa opened her wet eyes at that word. What was safe for Anna might not be what was safe for her.
Especially considering the circumstances.
Elsa gripped Anna and sobbed for a few more minutes, allowing her younger sister to stroke her hair and back and murmur comforting things into her ears. A thought popped into her mind—a thought that she hated—that there would be those who would consider her leadership incompetent if they saw her in this state.
“Are you better now?” Anna asked.
Elsa nodded. Anna helped her back onto her feet and led her back to the bed, which glittered with the aftermath of the storm.
“Thank you, Anna. I have no idea what I would do without you.”
“It’s okay. You’re my sister. I love you.”
“And I love you too,” Elsa replied. She laid down on her back, staring up into her bed’s canopy.
“If you don’t want to talk anymore, I totally understand. But I’m not leaving your side until you get better.”
“You don’t have to.”
“Don’t say don’t. I’ll stay with you.”
Stubborn Anna. “Fine. If you want to.”
“I knew you wouldn’t make me leave.” Anna flopped down beside her and curled into a ball, looking up at her.
Elsa smiled slightly. As much as she calmed down, her mind still focused on one thing and one thing only. This could affect her whole future. Would her people still want her? Would they cast her out? How would this affect their trade if it ever got out?
Anna sat up. “You’re shivering.”
No. Not again. She couldn’t afford to lose control of her powers this time. Not with Anna so close by. The last thing she wanted to do was hurt her. She didn’t want a repeat of the past thirteen years of her life.
“It’s okay.” Anna put her hand on her cheek. “It’s okay. I’m here. It’ll be okay.”
It couldn’t go away overnight. It was a permanent plague, haunting Elsa no matter where she went. A part of her, like a parasite. Or her powers.
“Something’s wrong with me,” she began. “Something’s wrong and I…I don’t know where to start with it.”
“Are you talking about your stress about the future?”
“It’s…what causes it.”
Anna sat up on her knees and leaned in eagerly. “What is it?”
“I…” Her tongue felt thick and fuzzy and her mind moved slowly. Her present room was very far away, and Elsa felt the same as she did several years ago when such thoughts emerged after spotting a new young serving girl not much older than her—confusion, insecurity, and fear.
“What if I…I can’t be in a relationship with a man?”
“You can’t? What do you mean?”
“It can’t be that bad.”
“Anna, I might lose the crown if this gets released.”
Anna went dead silent for a few moments, and all time in the room seemed to stop.
“I…Elsa,” Anna whispered in the quietest voice she could give. “What is it?”
“I…I can’t see myself in a relationship with a man. Any man. It doesn’t matter if he’s handsome or smart or rich. I just…I can’t see myself marrying a man. It feels so wrong to me.”
Anna scooted back a bit, confused. “Wait, what? If you can’t see yourself marrying a man then who—“
Her sentence trailed off and her eyes widened at the realization. She put a hand over her mouth.
Oh? You just realized that your sister, who happened to be the queen, was a sexual deviant and all you could say was oh?
Elsa sat up. “A-Anna.” Her throat tightened. The last person she wanted to lose because of this was Anna. Not Anna. If she lost her support—
“Please just say something.”
Anna’s eyes darted between her and the comforter.
“I’m going to get myself fixed,” Elsa resolved. “There’s something wrong with me, so don’t worry about it, I’m going to fix myself.”
“What do you mean get yourself fixed?” Anna asked incredulously. “What’s wrong with you?”
“What do you mean what’s wrong with me? Everything. First the powers, then my sadness, and now—“
“Elsa, there’s nothing wrong with you.”
“There’s something wrong. Women shouldn’t act this way. The Queen of Arendelle shouldn’t be having such thoughts.”
“But I read somewhere that these kind of feelings are just a part of who you are, like your powers.”
“This is nothing like my powers,” Elsa snarled. “I-I can create and build with my powers. With this, I-I can only bring ruin.” Bring ruin to her name, her family, her kingdom. Nobody would want someone like her for a queen.
“But they’re a part of who you are. I know that with something like that, we need to keep it hidden, but being a Sapphist is—“
“I am not a Sapphist,” Elsa pushed. “I’m not like one of those perverted, soulless—“
“They aren’t any of those things. That’s just a small part of you, but that’s not who you really are.”
“I can’t rule Arendelle like this. I need help.”
“No you don’t. Even if you are a Sapphist, I love you and I always will. This isn’t something that you need help with. It’s a part of who you are.”
It’s a part of who you are. Said the girl who didn’t have powers or melancholy or these thoughts. What did she know abet innate characteristics? She shouldn’t have said it in the first place.
Her reign was doomed. Her reign was doomed since that time when she was a few months old and her mother found her holding a snowball she made out of thin air. If her parents could see her know, they’d be so ashamed. Not concealing her powers, freezing Arendelle, almost getting her sister killed—
“Uh—“ Anna regarded Elsa as though she had struck her. “Alright.”
“I’m sorry. I just—I want to be alone right now.”
“I get it, Elsa.” Anna slipped off the bed and out the door. “You know where I’m at if you need to talk okay?”
“Thank you, Anna.”
Anna closed the door behind her.
Elsa tore the covers off her bed, buried her head in her pillow and cried. Everything was wrong with her. She was cursed. Everything about her was cursed. The oldest daughter of the King of Arendelle had to be the one afflicted with all of these conditions. It was her fault, and it was her fault that Arendelle was essentially isolated from foreign partners for almost thirteen years. If only she had been the queen that Arendelle deserved, not a closed-off snow queen who froze everything in sight, had overwhelming anxiety, and liked wo—
No, she wouldn’t dare herself to think along those lines. Not yet. Maybe there was still away that could be cured. The priests preached against it and mentioned that devotion to religious life typically drove it away. But what did she know about religious life? She was the Queen of Arendelle; she couldn’t spend most of her time in a convent. Maybe she could go to others for advice; cure her of this sickness. Maybe she could finally meet a nice man and marry him and have the most wonderful union between Arendelle and his kingdom…
Her dreams plagued her with feelings of suffocation, fear, and melancholy. Anna must have spoken to the servants because she did not hear a knock on the door for dinner. When she woke, it was already dark, the only light coming from some houses near Arendelle’s harbor.
How long did I sleep?
She sat up and rubbed her eyes. Her paperwork laid forgotten in the corner of her desk. She had to fill out bills and treatises before the next session.
Knock, knock, knock.
“Anna, not now please.”
“But I’m not Anna.”
Surprised and curious, Elsa got out of bed (her dress was very wrinkled at this point) and opened the door.
“Olaf? What’re you doing here?”
The snowman walked in, his ever present gray flurry hovering above his head. “Anna told me that you needed help.”
Elsa sighed. “Did she tell you?”
“Um…” Olaf looked away. “Not really I kinda overheard it when she was talking to Kristoff.”
Elsa slammed the door. “She told Kristoff?” So much for “I promise I won’t tell anyone”. “What did she tell him?”
“That you’re just having love problems.”
“Love problems?” Elsa repeated, softly. She almost chuckled. Love problems were a better way of putting it. “That’s it? Is that all you heard.”
“Yup.” Olaf hopped on one of the chair by the window. “That’s it.”
Anna only told Kristoff about the “love problems” she was having. Well, it was a whole lot better than saying that she was a—
“Why’re you here, Olaf?” Elsa took the chair opposite of him. “Since you know that Anna couldn’t help me?”
“I just want to help.” Olaf frowned. “You made me and I really don’t like it when you’re sad, especially about something as beautiful and sunny as love.”
Elsa appreciated his naivety. “Olaf…my problems are…a little bit more complicated that just ‘love problems’. I know you want to help and I thank you for it, but—“
“But I have to help you. You made me and you’re the reason why I’m still alive in the middle of summer.”
“Yes, I understand but—“
“Besides, weren’t /you/ the one who said that love will thaw? Love is the only way that your problems are going to be solved. Love will solve your problems.”
Elsa’s heart briefly leapt at the idea of falling in love with the woman of her—
“No, Olaf, you don’t get it. You and Anna don’t get it. Love won’t solve my problems. It’ll make it so much worse.”
“But love helped you last time, didn’t it? If it helped you last time, then it could help you again this time.”
“No. That’s not what this problem is. It’s different. I…I need to find a way to fix it.”
“Find a way to fix what?”
“Find a way to…” How could she put this in a way that the snowman could understand?
“…To fix the way I fall in love.”
“Whoa,” Olaf whispered in amazement. “You can do that?”
“I-I’ve heard you can.”
“So, fixing the way you fall in love could help fix your love problem?”
“Yes. If I’m right.”
“I think I could help with that.”
Elsa skeptically looked at him. “You can help fix my problem.”
“Nope! I’m just a snowman. But I know people who can help you fix your love problem.”
“You know love experts?”
“Kinda. They’re Kristoff’s family.”
Kristoff’s family. Anna and Kristoff mentioned them a few times. They weren’t Kristoff’s family in the most traditional sense. They were—
“Trolls,” Elsa breathed.
“Yeah, they’re trolls!”
Hope replaced the anxiety coursing through her. She quickly stood up, almost knocking down her chair in the process. If the trolls could make Anna forget that Elsa had powers and heavily modify her memories, maybe they could heavily modify Elsa’s affections as well.
“That’s perfect. Oh thank you, Olaf.”
A wide smile broke across Olaf’s single-toothed mouth. “Are you going to go visit the love experts now?”
“Yup.” Elsa opened the doors to her closet and took out a long dark blue robe with the yellow flower of Arendelle printed on the back. “And I’m going to need you to take me.”
“M-Me?” Olaf sputtered. “Why me?”
“Because I have no idea where the trolls live.” Elsa swung the cloak around her shoulders and clipped the clasp. “Is Anna still awake?”
“I think she’s still talking to Kristoff in her room.”
Elsa threw the hood over her head. Her white blond hair would instantly give her away, and the last thing she wanted was for Anna to run off after her like last time.
“Thank you. Come with me.”
Olaf waddled behind Elsa as she descended the castle to the front gates, calling for the groom to bring her horse.
“You know where the trolls live, right?” she asked.
“Duh. Of course I do.” Olaf did his silly little chuckle. “They live deep within the mountains and forests. I’ll show you when we’re riding.”
As expected, her white horse Isfjell and her groom waited for her at the castle gates. Her ears twitched and she stamped nervously when she saw Elsa, whinnying softly. Elsa patted her nose and mounted her, Olaf sitting in front.
“When will you be back, Your Majesty?” asked the groom.
“I expect to return by daybreak,” Elsa said. She threw forward her hood. “I trust that Princess Anna will learn nothing of this.”
“She will not, Your Majesty.”
The gates parted before her. Elsa led Isfjell into a swift gallop, running across the bridge connecting the castle and the town. After a brief race through side streets and alleyways, Elsa found herself on the slightly worn path into the woods and mountains.
The terrain became steeper, Isfjell panted harder, and Olaf looked like he was having the time of his life.
“This is a lot like riding on Sven!” he exclaimed. “Except Kristoff doesn’t allow me to ride in the front.”
“How long does it take to get there, Olaf?” Elsa shouted over the pounding of hooves.
“One or two hours! It’s kinda far away, but you’ll definitely know when we get closer.”
The light of the full moon illuminated their path, even as the trees got closer and the forest grew darker. Elsa relied only on Olaf and the moon for directions. Occasionally, a settlement would zoom by them, but as the woods got thicker, the spaces between homes widened until there were no homes to be seen at all. Just vast, untamed forest.
The temperature warmed considerably. The steam from hot springs appeared on the side of their path, and the forest cleared and opened to a hilly meadow filled with what appeared to be mossy rocks.
“I think this is it,” Olaf said. “Hi, Kristoff’s family. Remember me? I’m Olaf!”
Elsa lowered her hood. She hadn’t been in the Valley of the Living Rocks since she was a child. Not much seemed to have changed. It was a place lost in time.
“Hello?” she called out, among the gushes of steam rising from the rocks. “I am Queen Elsa of Arendelle and I, the ruler of Arendelle, require your assistance.”
The ground shook beneath her feet as the rocks quivered, some of them rolling towards her. And then—
One by one each and every one of those round rocks unfolded into a troll. There must have been fifty, no almost a hundred of them. A hundred trolls staring and muttering at her.
“It’s the queen.”
“Why is the queen here?”
“I-I must speak with your leader about something of grave urgency. Please. Where is he?”
The oldest of the trolls shuffled towards her—the same one who took away Anna’s memories.
“I-I remember you—!”
“And I remember you too, Queen Elsa. I remember your sister much more clearer.”
Right. Anna had told her that she and Kristoff had visited the trolls on their way back to Arendelle.
“What do you need assistance with?”
Elsa knelt down so that she was almost at eyelevel with the King of the Trolls.
“I need you to help cure me of an ailment.”
The King squinted at her. “What type of ailment? I detect none on you.”
“I have a bit of a problem with falling in love. With men.” Elsa coughed. She must not lose her regal demeanor even if the trolls were Kristoff’s family. “Is it possible for you to fix me so that I can?”
A few of the trolls snickered at this request. The King appeared puzzled. “I apologize, but can you please explain this more?”
“I can’t fall in love with men. At all. The thought of being in a relationship with another man terrifies me. I can’t see myself falling in love with a man. It’s a rather major inconvenience when my advisors are trying to tell me which prince to marry.”
“So, can you change the way I fall in love? Can you make it so that I can fall in love with men instead of women? Please?”
The King gazed at her for a few seconds. He shook his head.
Elsa’s heart sank. “Wh-What is it? You can fix me, can’t you?”
The King let out a great sigh and looked at Elsa with sympathy. “Elsa, love is one power I cannot fix.”
“Of course you can. I heard it could be done. I’ve been told that—”
“Those are lies that men tell in order to keep their power. The fact remains that this is just a part of you the same way that your powers are. They are a part of who you are, and they are something you cannot change no matter how hard you try.”
“I-I have to change this. I must—I can’t be a ruler if I’m like this. Please. You have to be able to do something.”
“I’m sorry. Magic cannot fix this as much as magic cannot take your powers away. They are a part of you. There is nothing wrong with solely preferring your own sex. It is a part of you.”
“But I can’t.” Elsa grasped at straws—something, anything to keep her from being this way. “This can’t be who I am. What about my kingdom? What will my people say if I…”
“You are open about your ice powers to your people, and you have had very little problems with that.” Elsa nodded. “On the other hand, this is a bit more trickier. Men in your land have been preaching against this type of love for centuries, often jailing or executing those who practice it.”
“What about me? I am their queen. And Anna. She’s my sister and she wouldn’t allow anything like that to happen to me.”
“Men are uncertain creatures, begging your pardon. Depending on how their feelings sway, they will either accept it or be against it. But for now, I think that the best part is to accept that this is who you are and you can’t change this part of you as much as you can’t change your powers.”
“B-But…if this is a part of who I am like you say, should I be less open than this than my powers?”
“For now, I am sad to say yes. I don’t believe that your kingdom is ready for a monarch who holds such affections, and if you come out with this information, there could be grave consequences.”
“Conceal, don’t feel…” A shiver ran down Elsa’s spine and she wanted to cry again.
“However, if you’d like, I’m sure that there are a few people you can trust and be open about this. Your sister…”
“Anna.” Anna just wanted to help and—
She needed to tell Anna. Anna was right this entire time, and Elsa pushed her away.
“I have to apologize to my sister,” she said, standing up. “Thank you for your help.”
“You’re welcome, Your Majesty.”
“Olaf?” she called.
Olaf fooled around with another group of younger trolls, who were playing with the three different parts of his body. “Aww, sorry guys. We gotta go.” The trolls groaned their unhappiness and released him. He waddled towards Elsa, his nose sticking out of his forehead like a unicorn’s horn.
“Did you get fixed, Elsa?”
“…Not exactly.” She sighed.
“Ow, man, I have a headache.”
“Your nose is on wrong. Come here.” She put his nose back where it was supposed to be. “Where is my horse?”
She found Isfjell eating grass nearby, a soporific effect glazing over her eyes as she chewed. Maybe even the plants here had magic. She snorted and raised her head as Elsa approached.
“Come on, Olaf.”
“Remember, Queen Elsa,” said the King. “The only way you can be at peace is if you accept that this is part of who you are, and there’s nothing wrong with you because of it.”
“Thank you again.” Elsa took the reins and galloped back into the forest.
“See that didn’t take that long, huh?” Olaf said. “How’d it go talking to Grand Pabbie?”
“Grand Pabbie. The old troll you talked to. He’s really smart.”
“Oh you mean the king.”
“I guess he’s the king. I don’t know much about that. But anyways, did he help you?”
“I…I don’t know if he did. It’s complicated.”
“Did he at least give you advice about your love problem?”
“Some, but I don’t know if…”
“What’s your love problem about anyways? Anna mentioned something about not finding the right guy.”
“That’s a…a small part of it.”
I’m sure that there are a few people you can trust and be open about this
Elsa halted Isfjell, who whinnied impatiently.
“Olaf, can I tell you something?”
“It’s about my love problem.”
Olaf smiled and gazed at her in adoration. “Yeah, what?”
“You know how I’m…having a problem finding the right guy?”
“Because…” Elsa took a deep breath. “I don’t like men. I like women instead.”
“That’s just who I am. Like my ice powers.”
“Okay.” Olaf stared at her with his naive smile. “That’s it?”
“I…I guess? A-And you’re okay with that?”
Elsa didn’t want to delve deeper into why it wouldn’t be okay. “No reason.”
Olaf wriggled around in the saddle. “Does this mean that you’re going to have to find a princess instead of a prince?”
“It’s a bit more complicated than that.”
He frowned. “You know, I might be a snowman but I’m not stupid. You made me after all.”
Elsa scowled. Olaf might not have had a brain but he had a point.
“Some people don’t see it as a good thing. They think it’s bad.”
“Why would anyone think it’s bad? I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it.”
“Some people think it is.” The church, her citizens, her parents.
“Then they’re wrong.” Olaf gasped. “Maybe if you told everyone, they’ll feel differently about it and they won’t think that it’s a bad thing anymore.”
“Maybe. This is something I could lose my crown over. It’d be like the one time I lost control of my powers all over again.”
“That’s horrible! Why would anyone want to kick you out because of it?”
“Because that’s just how it works.”
“Well, I think it’d be better if you just told everyone. Like with your powers.”
“Maybe in the future, Olaf. Just…not right now.”
“Okay, if you ever been anyone to talk to, I’m right here, okay?” Olaf patted the saddle, still continuing to smile.
“Hey, shouldn’t we be riding back to Arendelle.”
“Arendelle. Oh shoot, right.” Elsa forgot that they needed to be back before dawn, or before Anna woke up. Which was much later than dawn.
“Hold on, Olaf.”
The day broke along the horizon when Elsa entered the town. To hell with taking side streets. She went down the main street, shocking the vendors beginning to set up their shops for the morning. When Elsa finally passed under the castle gates, she immediately dismounted.
Grooms and servants rushed towards her, taking her horse.
“Kai,” Elsa said to one of the servants she recognized. “Kai, where is my sister?”
“She’s still asleep, Your Highness. Princess Anna sleeps in on Saturdays.”
“Right. Thank you, Kai.”
Through the doors and up the stairs they went. If Anna wasn’t awake, then Elsa would do the one thing that Anna did in front of her door for thirteen years—sit and wait.
She sat in front of the door. She leaned against it while Olaf waited beside her, his hands touching his stumps of legs.
“What’re we doing now?”
“I need to talk to Anna. I’m going to talk to her.”
Olaf smiled. “Are you going to tell her that you li—“
“Shhhh, not out here. I mean, yes, I’ll tell her what I told you. We just need to…wait for her to wake up.”
“When do you think she’ll wake up?”
“In a—“ Elsa yawned and rubbed her eyes. “—in a while.”
She sighed and rested her head against the door. Tiredness caught up to her, and she half-closed her eyes. She slumped her shoulders, breathing out steadily.
“Uh, Elsa, should I wake you up if you fall asleep?”
“N-No. I won’t fall asleep. Just…” She yawned again, and she forgot what she was going to say. She closed her eyes.
She jolted upright. “A-Anna! Where are you, Anna?”
“Right here, Elsa.”
She swiveled around to look up at Anna. And Kristoff, who had apparently slept over.
“Anna.” She hastily got up, smoothing out her dress and stumbling. “I need to talk to you.”
“Hi, Anna! Hi, Kristoff!” Olaf exclaimed, waving at them.
Anna rubbed her eyes. “Elsa, it’s too early for that.”
“No, please, I need to go.”
Kristoff shuffled his feet. “Should I leave or…?”
“Did you sleep at all?” Anna asked.
“No—I-I mean, no, I did not get any sleep last night.”
“It’s a long story, and I would really want to discuss this in private.”
“Um, okay.” Anna yawned. “Come inside or something.”
Elsa and Olaf walked inside Anna’s room. Her room always looked like an explosion. There were piles of clothes and bed sheets everywhere. Olaf closed the door behind them.
“What’d you wanna talk about?”
“Anna, I’m sorry about what happened yesterday,” Elsa said. “I-I just got scared and anxious and pushed you away at a time when I really needed you.”
A spark returned to Anna’s eyes. When something caught her attention, she woke up straight away.
“Yesterday…? Elsa, I should be the one who’s sorry. I pushed you when you weren’t ready to talk.”
“I needed to talk to you. I needed to figure that out somehow. And you know what? You were right. I spoke to the trolls—“
“You went over to them?” Kristoff said incredulously. “Why?”
“I needed help. I-I wanted to see if I could fix myself.”
“Why would you want to fix yourself?”
Anna sighed. “I’ll tell you later, Kristoff.”
“Point is, you were right, Anna. I should have just accepted myself. It is like my powers. It’s just a part of who I am.”
Anna’s eyes widened. Kristoff looked confused.
Elsa turned to Olaf and smiled.
“I don’t like m-men. I like women.”
Anna smiled brightly and she threw her arms around Elsa’s shoulders. “I’m so glad you told me. I knew you could do it.”
A smile broke across Elsa’s face. “Thank you.”
“W-Wait, you’re a Sapphist, Elsa?” Kristoff said.
“If you want to put it that way, then, yes, I am.”
“Kristoff…” Anna said warningly.
“What? I don’t have a problem with it. Good for you, Elsa.”
Elsa chuckled and broke away from Anna’s hug. “Thank you, Kristoff.”
“I’m guessing you don’t want a lot of people knowing about this.”
“Obviously not, but…I think this is a small start.” Elsa nodded to affirm Anna and Kristoff and herself.
“I think so too,” Anna said. “A small start is still a start.”
“Thank you, both of you,” Elsa said. “I have no idea what I’d do without your support.” She let out a sigh that she had been holding for a very long time.