Why did she have to run? The reason was simple: Because they had found out. In a moment of weakness, in an attempt to protect herself and with a mistake of her sister taking off her glove and not giving it back, she created a wall of jagged spikes and revealed the existence of her powers.
The look on their guests faces showed mixes of astonishment, horror and worst of all...fear. They feared her magic. They feared her abilities and what she could do with them. They feared her and called her a "monster". Her own fear and sense of self-preservation took over, and she fled the castle grounds, running across the lake...
...and now, here she was.
She hugged herself as the storm raged on, buffeted by the unrelenting snow, and regret filling her being.
We shouldn't have opened the gates. Even for the coronation, it could've been a silent affair... Now...all I am is a queen of isolation. She mentally scoffed. That sounds like it would suit me better...
With the weight of her cape and dress, she trudged on, fighting the wind and intensity of the snowfall rather than the actual cold. It didn't really bother her -- it never did, for that matter.
After a while, she looked up to get a better look of her surroundings and where she was...only to find that she had reached the peak of the mountain that overlooked Arendelle. The storm in the area had quieted while the wind died down to a cold breeze. Her arms stayed where they were around her as her eyes met the sheets of snow by her feet.
In the silence, her father's words rang in her mind.
"Don't let them in. Don't let them see."
But she did. She did let them see. Against her better judgement, they all know now...and there was nothing she could do about it.
"Conceal. Don't feel, Elsa."
...and then, her mind supplied her another memory. Something...fairly recent that happened with her friend, Jack.
I think I've figured out your problem.
Elsa's eyebrow raised at the question on the floor as she was in the middle of turning the page of the book on her lap. "Problem? I have many pressing problems, Jack." She fully turned the page before continuing. "But if you mean my powers, there's nothing more to figure out," she said, returning to her book. "I have to control them better so I can conceal them better. That's the only solution."
Without warning, the book on her lap flew into the air and spun closed. The princess frowned but took the hint: he wanted her undivided attention.
That's just it. Your problem with your powers is that you're trying too hard to control them.
Her eyebrow raised at the statement as it vanished and a new one took its place.
You can't repress what you should freely use. If you do, it'll backfire on you. Badly.
"Oh really?" she said, folding her hands and standing from her spot on her bed to walk to him with her head held high. "Then pray tell, oh wise one...what must I do?"
There was a pause before the writing on the floor was erased again.
The 'wise one' says that you have to lighten up. Let them loose. Let it do what it wants and let it do what you want.
A pause to erase...then again came the writing.
Don't let anyone stop you from being who you are, Elsa. Especially not yourself.
The Guardian's last words rang through her head and she found herself standing straight. In the past, she had tried anything and everything to hide her abilities -- to hide who she was.
Now...everyone knew of her and her powers. Now, her secret was a secret no longer.
Without anything to hide...what was stopping her now?
Her mind provided the answer: she was stopping herself. The queen smiled against the cold, relaxing her arms that hugged herself in protection.
"Maybe...Jack was right. I have...to let go."
Unbeknownst to her, a twinkle of sparkles danced before her eyes...and her smile grew brighter as the words sank in and the lightness in her core sang through her being. She held out her hands, allowing her magic to show her what she was missing out in the past years, the snowflakes dancing in her palm.
She would let go...and now, she would see what she could really do.
Jack smirked as he retracted his outstretched palm, satisfaction filling him as he watched the queen's magic release in bursts of light and sparkles. It looks like his plan of giving her a push in the right direction had worked. She was more lively now than he had ever seen her...
...and he thought that she should've been this way sooner. Happiness suited her better. It made her practically glow with radiance.
As she unclasped her cloak, he moved closer to the woman, hovering by her side and encouraging her. "There you go, now you're getting it."
With a twirl or two, she came across a gorge and held out her hands to let her powers do the work. The base of a stairs formed. Apparently pleased and further encouraged, he watched her step onto them and more formed before her, leading her way higher in the mountain.
He let out a light chuckle. "Slow down, lady. Are you trying to one-up me or something?"
The wind carried him to follow her lead onto a pedestal of clear ice she created, with her at the center. A smirk played on his lips as he hovered above her.
"This is your blank canvass, Ice Queen," he said as he maneuvered through the air. "Show me what you can do."
He knew she couldn't hear him. But her next movements made it appear as if she could. With a stomp of her foot, a snowflake design branched out from beneath her feet. With a wave of her hands, ice rose from around her, creating walls of elaborate and beautiful designs. Bringing her hands together, the high ceiling came together with a chandelier in the middle, created as intricate and stunningly beautiful as everything else in the room.
Jack took in his surroundings with awe and surprise, unconsciously gaping at the result of her work. "Okay...I didn't expect this."
As much as his pride hated for him to admit, Elsa was good. She was very good.
Nodding appreciatively, he was about to approach the area where the queen was to announce his presence and congratulate her on what she had done...
...when he was greeted by the sight of her letting her hair down from the tight bun she had it in...
...and her using her magic to transform her dress from the ceremonial queen's garb prepared by the castle to an enchanting blue gown with a transparent train that showed off her figure so well.
Jack felt his face heating, a single word as his only verbal reaction: "Woah."
He didn't expect that either. Man on the moon, he didn't even know ice powers could do that.
...and since when did Elsa become so...
Stunningly beautiful? His mind supplied. He shook his head, willing the thought away. This wasn't the time for that. Besides, this was Elsa he was thinking about.
The same girl he met since she was a baby. The same girl he unintentionally blessed with ice magic. The same girl he watched grow and stayed with, whether good times or the bad. The same girl he grew closer to once she acknowledged his existence. The same girl he taught with how to use her powers...
...and the same girl he found unquestionably enchanting as she continued to build more staircases, more doorways and more rooms in her palace of ice.
His face flushed again as he shook his head. These thoughts were new and definitely strange. When had he found the woman to be beautiful to the point she had an effect on him? Or was it just a weakness of the moment when he finally saw her let loose and enjoy?
He didn't know...and he wasn't sure if he wanted to. Especially if this feeling was what people called "attraction" then...
Jack groaned as his palm met his head, nursing the headache that seemed to develop from thinking too much on the subject. This was complicated... This was confusing... Thankfully, his attention was brought back to the situation at hand when Elsa's melodious laughter rang through the castle halls. His head whipped up as saw her descend the staircase in all her regal glory. Her smile was genuine and she seemed to have been really enjoying herself. She was practically glowing...
...and Jack couldn't help but smile at her infectious happiness.
A sigh of contentment passed her lips as she crossed to the center of the room, breathing in the cold air as the world around her stilled.
She was free.
She was happy.
He could see it.
He could feel it radiating from her.
And her happiness was all that mattered at that moment.
He'll figure everything else out later.