The next thing I can remember, I was somewhere I didn't recognize. I was cold and it was dark, and I was scared. But before I could really react, I was being pulled out of something wet, through something hard and cold. Then I saw the moon. It was so big and so bright that it chased away the darkness, and I wasn't scared anymore. Then I was set down on a frozen lake. I remembered only a few things. A few people, where I was, and what my name was. All of that, and Jack Frost. I remembered when we had met, a week ago. I remembered how he looked, his laugh, how he'd saved his sister, and then I remembered how I had fallen through the ice trying to save him. I looked around and saw the camp where I was supposed to be. Everyone was standing around a fire. I smiled and ran toward them. When I arrived, I found out that they were praying for my soul. I laughed.
"Guys, I'm right here!" I said with a smile. No one moved at all except Jack. He looked around but his view of me was blocked by Merida's hair. "'Scuse me Meri." I said, reaching out to brush her hair out of the way. My hand went right through it. I gasped and tripped. When I fell, my torso went through her skirt and the rest of me stayed behind her. I screamed.
Jack ran over to help me up, a look of concern with a touch of… what was it? I rather think it was fear. Of what, I didn't know, but it was fear all right.
"What happened? Oh, Vanessa, your hair! And your eyes!" Everyone looked over at him like he was insane.
I grabbed a lock of my hair and held it in front of my eyes. The beautiful strawberry blond hair that I was so proud of had become white. Jack handed me a round piece of ice that I would be able to see my reflection in. I took it and looked. My eyes had gone from pale violet to the same color as Jack's. I screamed as loud as I've ever screamed in my life. The only person who covered their ears was Jack. It was starting to become clear to me that only Jack could hear and see me. Nobody else avoided me, and they went right through me to get to Jack. Before they got to him he grabbed my hand.
"Guys, wait! Vanessa! She's right here!"
Everyone shook their heads. Tiana put her hand on his shoulder.
"We know this is hard for you to come to terms with, especially because she died saving your life. But, Honey, there's nothing there."
"No! Look there, where my hand is. Vanessa is there. Believe in her, or you won't be able to see her."
"I see her! Vanessa, what happened to your hair?" said Giselle.
Slowly, people began to either say "I see her!" Or "Where is she?" Merida was one of the latter people. She came over and said that she couldn't see me. I said that I was so sorry for hiding the truth from her. Jack told her that. She cried.
"What happened?" asked Jack.
"I woke up and I got pulled through some cold stuff. Now here I am."
"No, but did anyone say anything to you?"
"A man. He said 'Welcome home, Vanessa Frost.' I didn't see anyone, so I couldn't tell you who."
"The man in the moon."
"Who? And what does he have to do with anything?"
"The man in the moon brought all of the guardians here. He brought you as well."
"Um, but why? Why me? I didn't do anything heroic!"
"Uh, yes, you did. You saved me."
"By dying before I could get to help?"
"A big shard of ice flew up into the air and hit my staff. It flung it all the way to me and I used it to fly away. I'm going to melt that ice now, so that that will never happen again."
"But what did he mean by welcome home? And why'd he call me Vanessa Frost?"
Jack himself seemed puzzled about that, so he looked down at my feet. When he looked back up, he was smiling. I could tell he knew something.
"Vanessa, look down."
When I did, I saw that the ground at my feet was frosted over. I looked back up in confusion. He pointed to a tree, and told me to touch it. I did. Swirls of frost instantly covered the whole trunk. I laughed. I could do it too! I could control the winter weather, just like Jack could.
"But why make another Guardian who controls the winter weather? They already have you! Why me?"
"The man in the moon doesn't explain anything to anyone. Only when they ask what trouble they're up against. He never told me what my purpose was, but that was because he knew that I would find it out on my own. I did, actually, with a tiny bit of help from the Tooth Fairy."
I looked up at the moon and pleaded in my mind for him to tell me what we were up against. Maybe I shouldn't have asked that, because soon we were all surrounded by the very same creature that had attacked me back at the dorm.
"Hobogoblins!" yelled one of the guys. Everyone ran screaming except for Jack and me.
"What do you want to do here?" asked Jack.
"This first." I kissed him. Then I grabbed a sword that had been abandoned. It immediately became covered with frost. "Next, this."
Completely by myself, I charged the front line. I did surprisingly well for a girl who just recently got magic powers and had no help. The Jack stepped in to help. We worked doubly as fast as a team but we couldn't hold them off. We ran inside.
"What happened?" asked Merida.
"When? Out there or before?" Then I remembered that she couldn't hear me. She was asking Jack.
"Vanessa fought like a true Guardian and I helped her out, but there are too many of them for us to fight alone."
Merida and Mulan whispered to each other for a moment, and then they turned and faced the crowd. They were all talking and yelling and arguing and crying, so every time Mulan wanted to begin, she had to stop because no one was listening. Merida groaned and took a deep breath.
"SHUT IT!!!!!!!!!!" she yelled at the top of her lungs. Everyone stopped talking and turned to face them. "It's all yours Mulan."
"Jack Frost is right. They alone cannot fight a war. We must all band together with a common interest; killing those ugly little things once and for all. They killed Derek. They nearly killed Vanessa. They've been terrorizing our school grounds for years, but now they have the gall to march on our very own camp."
"We have to fight them together." Naveen cried from the back of the room. Tiana reached out and grabbed his hand, and the Merida grabbed her hand and Hiccup grabbed her hand and so on and so on until we were all holding hands with someone.
Was it massively cheesy? Yes, without a doubt in my mind. Did it actually help? Yes, surprisingly. We were all more bonded, more connected. Several people called out that they could see me, Merida among them. She looked over at me and smiled and I knew she could see me.
"So who's ready for the fight of your lives?" asked Jane, a girl from the Disney dorm.
"None of us are ready!" we all cried. Then I cried, "But we fight the hobogoblins no matter how ready we are!"
We went down into the emergency weapons storage and we were all very surprised to find that there were enough weapons for everyone. The chaperones were cowering in the corner and refused to help us out. They were such great role models, weren't they? Once everyone was armed, we all burst out the door and charged the hobogoblins. Only one teensy problem. There weren't any left by the time we got outside. There were only three living things in the field, a white horse, a brunette guy with a frying pan in his hand and a brunette girl wielding also a frying pan. They turned slowly in a circle, as if checking for oncoming attackers. When they were facing us, something about the girl struck a memory chord. The guy and horse, I'd never seen before, but the eyes on this girl were so familiar. Emerald green. Her cheekbones were dusted with freckles. Her hair was really short, ragged as well, as if it was cut with safety scissors. The girl was also looking at me as if she knew me. Something clearly had dawned on her.
"Va…Vanessa, is that you?" she asked.
"Rapunzel? What happened to your hair?" I asked, realizing then how I knew this girl.
"I could say the same thing to you. Why's it white?"
"Long story, but I'm not sure exactly why it's white. But what did you do here? Frying pans? You two killed them all with frying pans?"
Everyone gave a nervous laugh. We had been really high strung a moment ago, thinking that some of us were going to face certain death. But she had taken care of that for us.
"Oh, I'm being awfully rude. This is Eugene Fitzherbert. He took me to see the floating lanterns."
"So that's what they were. Lanterns." Jack said. I elbowed him. "Sorry, nothing. Nothing at all"
"You should come in. Those hobogoblins could come back at any second." I warned.
"Oh, not anytime soon. Look at the trees closest to us. What do you see tied to the trunks?"
I looked around and saw what appeared to be crazy long brown hair. She had set up a perimeter.
"Wait, its just hair. That's not going to stop them for long." I said
"This hair will. It's all mine, so it still has magical properties. Just, instead of the power to heal people, it now has the power to kill. But only if you touch it."
"Wait, then how'd you two get it up in the first place?"
"We have our ways. But you're right; it's not going to stop them for long. They'll figure out to tunnel under it. We should get inside though. I have a story to tell."
When we were safe inside, Rapunzel told us the entire story. She went back to her tower to find her mother dead and gone. Eugene had come along, and Rapunzel struck a deal with him. He would take her to see the lanterns in exchange for her crown. Eugene was really poor, and he needed the money. So he took her, but they unexpectedly fell in love along the way. They'd found Maximus (the horse) and found out that he was a palace horse. They got to the town and saw the lanterns, as it was her birthday. Then they found out that Rapunzel's parents were the king and queen, which she didn't know. So they went to the castle and Rapunzel found her family again. When the court got word of the hobogoblin situation here, Rapunzel immediately realized her friends were in possibly mortal danger. She'd gotten over the kiss a while ago, so she decided to do what was right.
"The end." she finally wound down.
"Wait, but you never explained how come your hair is short now!" said Merida.
"That's not important right now."
I could tell she was hiding something; I just didn't want to press her for answers.
"Well, we should eat and get some rest. We all know that hobogoblins are stronger at night, so that is when we must be prepared."
So indeed everyone ate and got some rest. Except for Jack and I. Well, we ate, we just didn't rest. We volunteered for the first watch. We sat on a couch, listening to everyone breathe.
"This is the most surreal experience of my life." I said after a long silence.
"What has been?"
"My whole school year so far. Friends the first day, a first. Then a very eventful second day. You and Hiccup came along on my third day, and we were a couple by the fourth. Now this. I got here, fell through ice, died, was resurrected by the freaking man in the moon, and now we're almost ready to declare war."
"What, you don't like this?"
"No! It's a significant improvement over being ignored. But everything happened so quickly. I'm afraid that if I blink, I'll open my eyes and this will all be over."
"The secret to a fast-paced world is just live and let live. I've learned that over the centuries."
"Oh, now you make deep philosophical comments. Where were those when I needed them?"
"Waiting for the right time. You should get some rest too. I can cover the watch alone."
"Are you sure?"
"Positive." He kissed me and smushed my head down onto his lap. He lowered a blanket onto me and I closed my eyes. No lap I'd ever slept in was more comfortable.