1. A Rose in Winter
For the tolkien_weekly "Season of Gifts: A Merry Heart" challenge.
Arwen wanders disconsolately out into Rivendell's deserted gardens. A month since all her hope, all Middle-earth's hope, vanished into the gathering twilight. All's silent; it has not snowed in the sheltered valley, and everything is dead, and dull, and brown.
Drawing her shawl tighter, she comes to the rose garden; glances wearily about her – then smiles. One bush, despite the frost coating stems and thorns, refuses to yield to winter; three, no, four tightly wound red buds a small yet sturdy gift.
Arwen carefully plucks one, tucks it into her hair, and returns within doors with an unexpectedly merrier heart.