Kristoff returned to the castle later that evening, after all the snow had been cleared and the great battle between the Queen and the Princess had been concluded with an outstanding victory for the monarch. He wanted to see Anna again to let her know that he had returned safe and sound before heading off to bed, and after asking a member of the castle staff, he was directed in the right direction.

He found her and Elsa in the library, cuddled up under a blanket together on the couch in front of a roaring fire. Anna was sound asleep, her head resting on Elsa's shoulder and snoring slightly. The Queen did not seem to mind, as she held a book in one hand, while the other was wrapped protectively around her little sister. He did not fail to notice the two empty mugs of what he assumed to be hot chocolate sitting on a table nearby.

Elsa looked up from her book when she heard him enter and cast him a small smile. "Welcome back," she greeted quietly.

"Thanks," he replied sheepishly. Even now, in a position that was the furthest thing from Queen Elsa, she still somehow managed to slightly intimidate him.

"Was the harvest good?" she asked.

He nodded. "That lake has always provided the best ice… Well, aside from you," he told her with a nervous grin.

"I appreciate the compliment," she responded warmly, "And I trust you took the proper precautions during that storm?"

He shrugged. "Nothing like spending three days in a cramped cabin with a reindeer to really make you appreciate the wonder of actually being outside. I see everything has been cleaned up nicely, here."

She nodded. "Yes, we've had quite the day," she said softly, casting an affectionate glance down at the princess.

"Do you want me to carry her to bed for you?" he asked. He caught her suspicious glare, so he added quickly, "And then go to my own bed waayy on the other side of the castle?"

Her pleasant mood returned. "No, that's alright," she told him, "I'd like to stay like this a little longer. I'll let her know that you've returned home safely, if you wish. You look exhausted."

He rubbed one eye wearily. "Little bit," he said through a yawn, "Well, alright then. Goodnight, your Majes– Erm, Elsa."

"Goodnight, Kristoff," she returned with a smile.

He nodded and left them alone. Elsa closed her book and set it down beside her. She looked down at her sister and just felt at peace. For thirteen years she had always dreamed of being able to do this: to hold her sister and feel calm and in control doing it. But there was more to it than just that, as momentous as that was.

In the time spent in her room over those thirteen years, she had stared out her window at night a lot. And it was then that she sent a wish to every star she could see from that window. Some were different wishes, but many were the same one: she just wanted to be happy again. There were sometimes fleeting moments when she thought that maybe she was happy, but they never lasted long and they never were the kind of joy she used to feel that filled her whole being. After her parents died, that wish was the first one she stopped asking for, because she believed it to be impossible.

But now, while holding her sister close and feeling the warmth and comfort from both the fire and Anna's body, she felt that nearly forgotten feeling of happiness. It was not like the relief-based happiness she felt when Anna came back to life, or the adrenaline-fueled ecstasy she felt on the North Mountain, or even the playful joy she had felt earlier that day.

This was the kind of happiness that made her feel warm inside; the kind that told her that even though there are and always would be moments in her life that would hurt, she was going to be alright because it was possible for her to heal from them.

That was always Anna's promise to her whenever the younger sister had to cheer her up: that she was going to be ok. Now, after all this time, Elsa could finally believe it.