After their run-in with the Snow Queen in the forest the white-clad woman vanished from the face of the Earth. Her ice cream shop stood abandoned next to Granny’s and, despite the ice cream remaining frozen, no one dared to eat it. Not even Roland, who loved the ice cream from that shop above anything else in Storybrooke. Search parties scanned the forest, but found not even a snowflake to point them in the direction of the Snow Queen’s hideout, and after a couple of days the town seemed to have almost forgotten about it all. Businesses were run as usual, people worked with the same projects they had always worked with and, as long as no one spotted the high wall in the distance, people looked happy and content.
Well, not everyone. For some the Snow Queen remained in their minds, present physically or not. Regina spent most of her time down in the crypt beneath her father’s mausoleum, going through book after book on magic in order to find a cure for Marian. Whenever Arianne was free from teaching duties she tended to join her, but no one else was allowed. Then there was Emma who, however hard she tried, could not forget the way the Snow Queen had addressed her. And if one came across one of the Four Mansions in the middle of the night you could be sure that the lights in that mansion’s library or any of the training rooms were on as people there worked to find a way to beat Ice Magic.
Sam looked up from the book he had been flipping through, without really paying attention to the text itself. Amber stood in the doorway to the Dragon Mansion library, frowning at him.
“What are you doing here?” she asked. “I thought you had a morning lesson with Rachel.”
“Yeah”, Sam sighed and glanced up at the finely carved wooden clock on the wall. 8:40 in the morning.
“Well, why aren’t you?” Amber asked and sat down opposite him on the couch.
“We usually meet here”, Sam replied, looking down at the book again. Now that he actually tried to focus on the text again he found that it was a book about old Celtic religions.