“Fëawen, awaken,” a deep rich voice called softly in the darkness. “Fëawen, come on, my child awaken.”
Fëawen stirred, her eyes drifting into focus as she became aware of someone shaking her shoulder gently. “Father?” she mumbled, her mind still clinging onto elven sleep.
Thranduil was leaning over her, one knee resting on the top of the bed. “Yes. Come now, little jewel, awaken!”
Fëawen blinked, sleep leaving her completely at the urgency present in the Elvenking’s voice. “Father? What is wrong? Is everything alright?” She sat up hurriedly, every inch of her alert. “Lego-!”
“Hush Fëawen,” Thranduil raised his hand, cutting her off. “Everything is fine. Legolas is fine. See for yourself.” He gestured towards the door. Legolas stood in the doorway, a thick woollen cloak draped about his lithe frame. He smiled kindly at Fëawen when he felt his sister’s eyes on him.
Thranduil touched her face, diverting her attention back to him. “Fëawen, do you know what night this is?”
Fëawen frowned. “The Eve of Yuletide, isn’t it?” She glanced up at her father. The king chuckled softly at the tired look his daughter was giving hm. “Yes it is. Now dress warmly and meet us outside.” He stood and left the room, leaving a sleepy and confused young princess behind.
Throwing the heavy blanket off, Fëawen stood to her feet and blindly searched the room for her clothes. She rubbed a hand across her face wearily. She had only just returned to the palace earlier that evening from a gruelling patrol that had left her exhausted. The forest had been unforgiving and was bitterly cold at this time of the year.
Fëawen bent down, groaning with the effort and slipped her feet into her soft leather boots. Grabbing her cloak she stepped out into the hallway. Legolas was waiting for her. Together they hurried towards the main doors.
“Where are we going?”
“Ah,” Legolas tapped his nose teasingly. “You will find out soon enough. But you’ll need that cloak on you.”
More puzzled that ever, Fëawen flung the cloak around her shoulders as she stepped out into the bitter night air beside Thranduil. Her eyes widened when she saw the gathering of many elves, young and old, in the courtyard, all clad in thick woollen cloaks.
“It is the tradition of our people to watch for the first star to appear on Yuletide Eve,” the king explained taking her hand, leading her down the steps.
Legolas grinned, “We always allow the little ones to spot it,” he whispered, his hot breath tickling her ear. Fëawen smiled as she gazed about her, watching the elflings as they ran around laughing and chasing each other with snowballs.
She could see her breath in front of her. It was cold. Suddenly a shriek went up from one of the elflings. “I see it! I see it! There! Look!”
Fëawen laughed at his excitement as Thranduil handed him a small neatly wrapped package; his reward. Legolas placed his arm around her shoulders and kissed her forehead. “Happy Yuletide, Fëawen,” he whispered, pressing a small box into her hands.
Fëawen looked up at him. “I-I don’t have anything for you.”
Legolas kissed her again. “You don’t need anything. You are the best gift I could ever ask for.”