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Momlestia - Ten Years

By Afterhours
Created: 4th May 2021 09:40:45 PM

  1. -Celestia- (Original Author)
  2. >Ten years.
  3. >It had been a decade already, how time flies.
  4. >You were a drift aimlessly down the halls of the castle, down one quiet, small and white one.
  5. >His hall. Your sweet babies.
  6. >The hall he grew up in, played in and even hid under your wing in a thunderstorm in.
  7. >It wasn't even that long ago, a decade.
  8. >That was a drop in the ocean for you, a second. An excruciatingly long time.
  9. >You could be doing so much with him, your son. Teaching him flight, fishing magic, painting.
  10. >But tat was impossible, he was gone you know not where.
  11. >It still hurts, to think about.
  12. >The night your son didn't return, and the painful weeks searching for him.
  13. >Time heals all wounds or so they say, but it doesn't heal amputations.
  14. >And that was what happened, your son was taken from you, a piece of your soul ripped away as if paper.
  15. >You were near the end of the hall.
  16. >His childish drawings painted the walls.
  17. >Even after Luna and Twilight had told you to let go, and get them removed.
  18. >You couldn't. He would get mad at you for removing his drawings, and you knew how much he loved them.
  19. >He be home soon now anyway.
  20. >It was nearly his Birthday, and he sure loved cake, almost as much as you.
  21. >"You are my sunshine."
  22. >What!?
  23. >"My only sunshine."
  24. >He was hear, in the castle, you knew that voice better then anyone
  25. >"You make me happy when skies are grey."
  26. >He was back, after ten years, he came back.
  27. >Your heart was soaring.
  28. >You turned around and cried, but through the tears you ran.
  29. >You could hear him, your sweetie was in his room.
  30. >"You never know, dear, how much I love you."
  31. >Running as fast as you could you ran down the hall, tears flowing freely.
  32. >You'd have to catch-up on all the birthdays. Cuddles, and love.
  33. >You'd never let him out of your sight, your little boy.
  34. >As you reached the door, you didn't have time to open it.
  35. >He was there, a stupid door wouldn't stop you.
  36. >It's cold white walls where a curse.
  37. >You darted around, maybe he had just left this place.
  38. >No, he was never here.
  39. >You had created his voice, your bastard mind.
  40. >Your tears of joy turned all the more sad, taking another chunk of your soul with you.
  41. >Your little boy was gone, never to return.
  42. >You braced then smashed through the door, breaking it into more then a thousand pieces.
  43. >"Please don't take my sunshine away"
  44.  
  45. -Anon- (My Work)
  46. >Ten years.
  47. >It’s been a decade already, it’s been so long.
  48. >You walk down the street, just trying to get home.
  49. >A chuckle escapes at the thought… ‘home.’
  50. >You haven’t really been home in ten years since you somehow came here.
  51. >You open the door to your apartment and sit down on your couch and close your eyes and try to remember.
  52. >It couldn’t have been a dream… could it?
  53. >It was just like any other night you went for a walk at the castle.
  54. >The guards were with you making sure you were safe, you were exploring the garden like you had countless times before.
  55. >The sounds of the animals filling your ears, you closed your eyes to take it all in and then… nothing
  56. >All the familiar sounds disappeared, even the smells were different, and when you opened your eyes nothing was the same.
  57. >You were terrified and started to cry out for your mother, but she never came.
  58. >Instead someone that looked like you only taller came by and asked if you were alright.
  59. >Living your whole life around ponies made you surprised to see anyone else like you.
  60. >He took you to what you later found out was a police station, they got a good laugh when you answered their question of who your mother was.
  61. >Apparently they never heard of Princess Celestia, nor did anyone else.
  62. >You wound up in an orphanage when they couldn’t find any trace of your existence.
  63. >Now you are 20, making a meager living doing what you can.
  64. >Sitting on your couch you grab a sketchbook you kept on your table and open it up.
  65. >You find the page with a sketch you did of your mother on it.
  66. >Tears begin to well up in your eyes.
  67. “You are my sunshine.”
  68. >You trace the lines of the picture with your finger.
  69. “My only sunshine.”
  70. >Was it a dream?
  71. “You make me happy when skies are grey.”
  72. >Were the first 10 years of your life a lie?
  73. “You never know, dear, how much I love you.”
  74. >No it couldn’t have been, too much happened.
  75. >You close the sketchbook and hug it against your chest and just let the tears flow.
  76. “Please don’t take my sunshine away.”
  77. >You need to find a way back home… somehow.
  78.  
  79. -Celestia-
  80. >You heard his voice, you know it.
  81. >It just had to be his.
  82. >You feel like a fool for getting your hopes up and charging into his room when every bit of your common sense said this would be the result.
  83. >Luckily nopony saw you do this.
  84. >You are the only one who comes to this part of the castle since he disappeared.
  85. >The only one that is apart from your sister or a guard they send after you to bring you back to your royal obligations.
  86. >Being summoned to return to your duties seems unlikely tonight since you already lowered the sun and Luna can take care of any other business that may arise.
  87. >Which gives you plenty of time to wander the halls and remember happier times.
  88. >You pause in front of a large portrait of yourself and Anon at your side.
  89. >You both look so regal and dignified since you both are wearing your crowns.
  90. You smile remembering how he hated wearing his crown and you had to bribe him with a whole cake just to wear it while the portrait was being done.
  91. >As always, your smile fades as you are brought back to reality.
  92. >You reach out your hoof and touch his image on the painting.
  93. “Oh Anonymous... Please come home.”
  94.  
  95. -Anon-
  96. >”Oh Anonymous… Please come home.”
  97. >You bolt up from your couch and search the room.
  98. “Mom?”
  99. >You would know that voice anywhere, even after all these years.
  100. >You search your apartment but can’t find her.
  101. >You let a sigh pass your lips.
  102. “Come on man, you know better than that.”
  103. >You say to yourself.
  104. “There is no way she would be here.”
  105. >But hearing her voice did give you hope.
  106. >Maybe tonight was going to be the night.
  107. >You put your sketchbook, along with a few personal items you accumulated over the years into your backpack.
  108. >You take your backpack and walk to the door.
  109. >As you are about to leave, you turn around.
  110. >Hopefully this will be the last time you see your apartment, but at the same time you are a little sad at the thought.
  111. >Gathering your resolve, you leave your apartment.
  112. >Once outside, you start walking towards the alley you were found at when you first came to this world.
  113. >Every year you went back on the anniversary of coming here.
  114. >And every year you were disappointed you couldn’t return home.
  115. >As you walk, your mind goes over the last 10 years.
  116. >After the police found you and you told them your story, they thought you escaped some kind of a cult and may have been brainwashed.
  117. >To be fair, after living here for even a few years you aren’t sure anyone would believe a little boy who claimed to be a prince of a land ruled by talking multi colored ponies.
  118. >It was something you learned early, and the hard way.
  119. >You could only take so much of people leaving pictures of horses on your desk at school or on your bed at the orphanage.
  120. >You lost track of the number of nights you cried yourself to sleep while quietly calling out for your mommy to come and save you.
  121. >But she never came.
  122. >You silently persevered, you wanted to make your mother proud of you.
  123. >To show her that you could take care of yourself if she wasn’t there.
  124. >You are broken from your thoughts as you reach the alley.
  125. “Tonight’s the night.”
  126. >You say to yourself, trying to boost your confidence.
  127. “I’m coming home mom.”
  128.  
  129. -Celestisa-
  130. >”Tonight’s the night.”
  131. >The words resonate throughout the empty halls causing you to pause.
  132. “Anon?”
  133. >You call out, hopeful that your mind isn’t playing tricks on you but also that there may be an answer.
  134. >”I’m coming home.”
  135. >Your eyes water at the prospect of being reunited.
  136. >You turn and start to run towards the throne room.
  137. >Never before in your many years have you ever wished something to be as true as what you just heard.
  138. “My foal is coming home.”
  139. >Your mind races over all you will do with him when he returns.
  140. >The first is just hold him and never let him go.
  141. >There were years of cuddles, birthdays, celebrations, and countless other things that needed to be made up for.
  142. >You slow your run to a brisk pace once you get closer to the throne room to avoid any unwanted attention from anypony who might see you.
  143. >You make your way past the large doors and are greeted by the sight of your clearly annoyed sister being talked to by the royal advisor.
  144. >”And in conclusion, your highness, I believe that the zero point two-five percent increase in the griffin trade agreement is more than justified.”
  145. >Luna’s eyes sift from the advisor and scan the room.
  146. >Once she see you her dull expression is replaced with a large smile.
  147. >“Well, that does sound fascinating. However, my sister has just arrived and this matter will need to wait for the moment.”
  148. >She said motioning to you with a hoof.
  149. >The advisor turns and bows once he sees you before making his exit.
  150. >Luna is clearly happy that you are not brooding near your son’s old room.
  151. >”Dearest sister, to what do I owe this pleasant surprise?”
  152. >You are smiling widely trying to contain your excitement.
  153. “Luna, Anonymous is coming home.”
  154. >Luna’s cheerful expression slowly disappears from her face and is replaced with one of sadness and pity.
  155. >”Sister, he has been gone a very long time.”
  156. >There was apprehension in her voice as she continued.
  157. >”May I ask why you believe he is coming home?”
  158. “I heard him. As I was walking the halls I heard his voice several times and he said he was coming home.”
  159. >Luna shakes her head as pure sorrow fills her eyes as she looks at you.
  160. >”Oh, sister…”
  161. “I know what you’re thinking Luna. How could tonight be any different from any other night I claimed he was coming home? Or maybe you are thinking I finally lost my mind and am hearing things.”
  162. >She looks like she is carefully trying to choose her words.
  163. >”I’m not saying what you experienced didn’t happen… I just don’t want you to get your hopes up. Just in case he doesn’t return.”
  164. >She was right, and you knew it.
  165. >How many times had you said today was the day?
  166. >How many times had you had your hopes crushed?
  167. >100?
  168. >1,000?
  169. >More?
  170. “I know, maybe I am a fool for constantly thinking he will come home.”
  171. >”No, you aren’t.”
  172. >She said reassuringly.
  173. >”I too would not be happier if he returned and hope that he will one day.”
  174. >You force a smile.
  175. “Thank you Luna. I… I should go. I shouldn’t keep you from your duties.”
  176. >You turn and leave.
  177. >As much as you didn’t want to hear it, you needed Luna to help ground you.
  178. >You needed her to remind you not to get your hopes up because you had been hurt so many times before.
  179.  
  180. -Anon-
  181. >You are standing in the alley.
  182. >Since you were too young at the time you don’t remember exactly what time it was when you got transported here.
  183. >The last few years you stood in this alley for hours just waiting.
  184. >Luckily, you did remember roughly were the spot you were standing on at the time was.
  185. >One piece of the puzzle hopefully down.
  186. >Now just to wait.
  187. >You place your backpack on the ground and crouch down while unzipping a pocket.
  188. >You pull out your mp3 player and put in the earbuds.
  189. >As you press the play button you think to yourself that this would definitely be something you would miss.
  190. >You did love this world’s music, you even managed to acquire a very large collection of it.
  191. >Standing back up you put the backpack over your shoulder, close your eyes, and let the music wash over you.
  192. >Even though you tried not to, your mind wanders and you start to think about what will happen when you get home.
  193. >Would your mother make a kingdom wide holiday welcoming you back?
  194. >Would there be a feast?
  195. >Would it just be something small and simple with just your mom, Aunt Luna, and yourself?
  196. >Would she be surprised to see you?
  197. >Would she recognize you?
  198. >You did change quite a bit over the years.
  199. >Would she even remember you?
  200. >That last thought stung a little.
  201. >It is possible she thought you were dead, it has been a while.
  202. >It would only be logical that she would have moved on.
  203. >Living here has also made you realize she couldn’t be your birth mother.
  204. >You were just like everyone here, a human.
  205. >You weren’t a pony, you weren’t her blood.
  206. >How long could the ruler of an entire world mourn the loss of her adoptive son?
  207. >This hurt to think about because even after you realized she wasn’t your birth mother, you always thought of her as your real mother.
  208. >She was far more a mother than any other you had in your days in foster care combined.
  209. >When you were scared by thunder in this world and sought protection from it, your guardians would just tell you to go back to bed.
  210. >While Celestia would drape one of her wings over you and tell you it would be alright and she wouldn’t let anything hurt you.
  211. >Or if you had a scary dream she let you sleep in her bed with her, and take you to Aunt Luna first thing in the morning to make sure she never let you have a dream like that again.
  212. >Or how she always shared her cake with you, even though you knew how much she loved it.
  213. >She had to still love you.
  214. >Even if she loved you just a fraction of how much you loved her, then that would be more than enough.
  215. >You were standing with your eyes closed for you don’t know how long and were so caught up in your thoughts that you didn’t even notice something was different.
  216. >What is that smell?
  217. >You take a deep inhale of a long forgotten yet familiar scent.
  218. “Wild Flowers?”
  219. >Slowly you open your eyes, hoping you aren’t dreaming.
  220. >You are greeted to a lush green garden.
  221. >You bring your hands up to take your earbuds out, and hear all the various creatures from the garden.
  222. >Thinking quickly you step away from where you are standing, worried if you stayed you would be taken away again.
  223. >You did it.
  224. >You bend down to smell a flower and touch the grass.
  225. >This is real.
  226. >You start to laugh.
  227. >There are no words for how happy you are right now.
  228. >Tears are freely running now but you don’t care.
  229. “I did it, I really did it.”
  230. >You’re laughing like a mad man.
  231. “I’M HOME!”
  232. >You bring your hands up and run them through your hair.
  233. >But how?
  234. >Was it a portal that opens once every ten years exactly that links the garden to the alley?
  235. >Who cares, what matters is you are finally home.
  236. >You look up at the castle, trying to find where your old room was.
  237. >You are distracted by a voice behind you.
  238. >”I’m telling you I heard something over here.”
  239. >Said a white Pegasus in gold armor.
  240. >”Yeah, it’s probably just one of Luna’s Bat Ponies or one of those stupid birds they keep out here.”
  241. >Said a white Unicorn also in gold armor.
  242. >They both stop in their tracks when they see you standing there.
  243. >”What in Tartarus is that thing?”
  244. >Asks the Pegasus clearly with fear in his voice.
  245. >The Unicorn gulps and tries to steady his nerves before answering.
  246. >”Beats me, maybe one of the Princess’s pets they keep out here.”
  247. >You look down at them.
  248. >You used to be about the same height as the regular ponies here.
  249. >Looks like a decade of growing has made you about twice their size.
  250. “Excuse me, I need to see-“
  251. >You are cut off by the Pegasus.
  252. >”SWEET SUN IT TALKED!”
  253. >The Unicorn tries to take charge of the situation.
  254. >”Whoa there whatever you are.”
  255. >Try to keep your cool Anon, you’ve waited ten years, you can wait a few more minutes.
  256. >You just need to explain you need to see Princess Celestia and they will take you to her.
  257. “Please, I’ve traveled a very long way and I need to see Princess Celestia right away. It is very urgent.”
  258. >The two guards look at each other.
  259. >The Pegasus seems to have gotten a hold of himself before he addressed you.
  260. >“You’re not going anywhere until you answer some questions. What are you, and what do you think you are doing here?”
  261. >You sigh, you didn’t want to have to play the prince card.
  262. “I am Anonymous, crowned prince of Equestria and son of Princess Celestia. I have traveled a very long way and have been away many years and I would like to be taken to her as quickly as possible.”
  263. >The guards look at each other, then back to you.
  264. >You always hated using the prince card, thought it made you sound like a spoiled child.
  265. >But it looks like it worked so no big deal.
  266. >”HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA”
  267. >They both just laughed at you like you told them the best joke ever.
  268. >Then again maybe it didn’t work.
  269. >”Oh, we’re sorry your majesty.”
  270. >Says the Pegasus as he mock bows to you.
  271. >The Unicorn chimes in.
  272. >”Where are my manners? I’m the Duchess of Trottingham and this is my friend, the Sultan of Saddlearabia.”
  273. >They both start laughing again.
  274. “Would you mind telling me what’s so funny?”
  275. >”You mean apart from the fact you are claiming to be the prince of ponies when you are clearly NOT a pony?”
  276. >Said the Unicorn.
  277. >You are so close, you can’t give up because two guards don’t know who you are.
  278. “Please, I need to see Princess Celestia immediately.”
  279. >”Look whatever you are, you are only going to go to the castle exit or the dungeon.”
  280. >The Unicorn says in a way that tells you he already made up his mind.
  281. >”But don’t feel bad, we’ll give you a royal escort either way. Your highness.”
  282. >Said the Pegasus before they both start laughing again.
  283. >You don’t like either of those options, so you make your own.
  284. >While they are still busy laughing you make a run the castle wall.
  285. >”HEY! GET BACK HERE!”
  286. >One of them yells, but you don’t care.
  287. >You just need to get to the wall.
  288. >Luckily your large size and long legs let you put considerable distance between yourself and the guards.
  289. >Once at the wall you start feeling the bricks looking for a hidden switch.
  290. >Your mother had it installed in case of an invasion.
  291. >It was built to be an escape passage, and she made you memorize everything about it.
  292. >However, ten years can make almost anyone forget.
  293. “Come on come on come on. Where is it?”
  294. >”I think he went this way!”
  295. >You hear one of the guards call out.
  296. >Just when you think you are about to be caught you find it.
  297. >You depress the brick into the side of the castle and a hidden door appears leading to a stairwell.
  298. >Quickly you enter the door and close it from the inside.
  299. >You hear them on the other side of the hidden door.
  300. >“Where did it go?”
  301. >”I don’t know but we better find him and fast. Split up!”
  302. >You wait for them to leave.
  303. >Once you are sure they are gone you take your phone out of your pocket and turn it on.
  304. >Now with a light to guide you, you slowly make your way up the stairs, to your old room.
  305.  
  306. -Celestia-
  307. >You are in Anon’s room.
  308. >You have been here so many times over the years.
  309. >You even stopped coming here for a time because it was too painful.
  310. >But you still returned again anyway.
  311. >As much as it hurt, you needed to come back.
  312. >Without your son around, this was the closest you could be to him.
  313. >You kept coming back here for the same reason you couldn’t bring yourself to wash away his drawing on the walls.
  314. >You needed a reminder of him.
  315. >A voice cuts through the silence and brings you back to reality.
  316. >”I miss him too.”
  317. >You are greeted to the sight of a pink Alicorn standing at the door.
  318. “Princess Cadance?”
  319. >Her face displays a forced smile but sorrowful eyes.
  320. “Luna sent for you I take it.”
  321. >”She did.”
  322. “Did she tell you I heard him?”
  323. >She nodded.
  324. >”Yes.”
  325. >There is a long awkward pause that hangs in the air.
  326. >Knowing something must be said you break the silence, you decide to speak up.
  327. “Did you come alone, or did Shining Armor join you?”
  328. >She smiles at the mention of her husband.
  329. >”He came with me. He didn’t want me traveling alone at night. Plus he wanted to see some old guard friends.”
  330. >He always was protective.
  331. >It was one of the reasons you made him one of your son’s personal guards all those years ago.
  332. >You smile remembering how Shining was like a big brother to Anon.
  333. >”I know it must be tough. With it being the anniversary of his disappearance I mean.”
  334. >It was, tonight was the hardest.
  335. >Then came his birthday which is just a few days away, and then the holidays.
  336. “Do you think I’m going crazy Cadance?”
  337. >She has a look of apprehension and hesitates to answer.
  338. >”I think you love him, and as the princess of love I can attest that there is almost nothing greater or more powerful than love.”
  339. “But why tonight? Why not any other day?”
  340. >”As I said, love is very powerful. It may be your love that is giving you hope. With tonight being the anniversary, you might have thought you heard him as a type of therapy or like a drug to dull the pain of his absence.”
  341. >Maybe you were going crazy.
  342. “So you think the whole thing was just in my head?”
  343. >She walks closer to you till she is about a foot away.
  344. >”I don’t know. Nopony else was around when you heard it was there?”
  345. >Now it is your turn to hesitate.
  346. “No.”
  347. >She puts a hoof on your shoulder.
  348. >”I think you could do with some rest, it’s possible you’re just exhausted and your mind was playing tricks on you.”
  349. >it has been a long day, and as much as you hate to admit it you could do with some sleep.
  350. >Just as you both exit the room you see Shining Armor running down the hall towards you.
  351. >”Shining? Why are you running, what’s going on?”
  352. >He stops right in front of you and pants trying to catch his breath.
  353. >“Princess… the garden… come quick.”
  354. “Shining Armor, what is happening at the garden?”
  355. >Still taking heavy breaths he replies.
  356. >”I think… Anon… came back.”
  357.  
  358. DVD Special Feature –Shining Armor-
  359. >Your wife was called to the castle at the request of Princess Luna.
  360. >Being late when she was summoned, you offered to come with her.
  361. >Apparently Princess Luna was worried because she claimed Princess Celestia was hearing voices.
  362. >Once you arrived at the castle, Cadance kissed you on the cheek and went to seek out one or both of the Princesses and figure out what was going on.
  363. >You weren’t complaining.
  364. >This gives you time to go and see some old guard friends of yours.
  365. >You walk into the mess hall and see a fair amount of guards eating and more just sitting and talking to each other.
  366. >You see a friend from your old unit and he notices you.
  367. >He stands up and gives an overly exaggerated salute.
  368. >”Your attention everypony, Prince Captain of the Guard in the mess hall.”
  369. >Everypony you don’t recognize thinks he is being serious and stand at attention saluting you, while the others who knew you simply raised their glasses to you.
  370. >You chuckle at their different reactions.
  371. “As you were.”
  372. >You walk over to your friend and sit down.
  373. >He calls out to nopony inparticular.
  374. >”Somepony get the prince here something to drink.”
  375. >He directs his attention back to you.
  376. >”So, what made you leave that crystal palace of yours and make you want to come to the Canterlot mess hall?”
  377. >A drink is placed in front of you, which you take a quick sip from before answering.
  378. “Well, Cadance was called here on business and I decided to join her.”
  379. >You hear a guard imitate a whip cracking followed by laughter.
  380. >You even laugh at it.
  381. >That’s why you love these guys.
  382. >They didn’t care you were a prince.
  383. >You shared a bond with these soldiers.
  384. >After being treated like royalty for so long it was nice to be just another one of the guys again.
  385. >Your comradery is interrupted by a Pegasus and Unicorn who run into the mess hall.
  386. >”Guys, we might need some help.”
  387. >The unicorn says.
  388. >You look back to your friend who just smiles and shakes his head.
  389. >”Don’t mind them sir. They’re just a couple of green recruits that can’t do anything right. That’s why we put them on night patrol, figured they couldn’t mess that up.”
  390. >Your friend told you.
  391. >Another guard calls out.
  392. >“What’s wrong now you two?”
  393. >The Pegasus answers.
  394. >“There’s some kind of monster loose in the garden!”
  395. >The room goes silent for a moment and erupts in laughter.
  396. >Once the noise quiets down, the Unicorn says.
  397. >”This is serious!”
  398. >Your friend is the first to speak up.
  399. >”Okay, okay. So what does this ‘Monster’ look like?”
  400. >”Well it was tall, like twice the size of us”
  401. >Said the Unicorn reaching his hoof as high as he could.
  402. >”Maybe three times. And it walked on two legs and had claws instead of hoofs.”
  403. >Added the Pegasus.
  404. >”Sounds like you guys saw a bear.”
  405. >Said one of the guards.
  406. >”But it talked.”
  407. >The Pegasus rebutted.
  408. >”Sounds like you saw a talking bear.”
  409. >Called out another guard.
  410. >The Unicorn steps forward.
  411. >”I’ve seen bears, but I’ve never seen anything like this… thing.”
  412. >You take a drink from your glass while he continues.
  413. >“It was thinner than a bear, and it didn’t have any fur on it apart from its head-”
  414. >This causes your eyes to go wide and spit out what you were drinking.
  415. >The eyes of the room are all on you.
  416. “Tell me, did this creature look like a Minotaur only without horns?”
  417. >Your friend and the other veteran guards seem to know what you are really asking and they stare at the Unicorn patiently waiting for his response.
  418. >”Yeah, did you see it too sir?”
  419. >He said relieved that somepony actually believed him.
  420. “You said it talked, now I’m going to ask you something and I need you to think very hard before you answer. Did it say its name or what it wanted?”
  421. >The Unicorn paused before answering, clearly thinking very hard about his answer.
  422. >”He said his name was Anonymous and that he wanted to see Princess Celestia.”
  423. >He said.
  424. >The Pegasus then added,
  425. >”He also said he was the Prince of Equestria.”
  426. >The room was deathly quiet now.
  427. “Did you take him to Princess Celestia?”
  428. >”No sir.”
  429. >He answered.
  430. >These two must be the worst guards in the kingdom.
  431. “Why not?”
  432. >”Because we thought he was lying or maybe drunk.”
  433. >The Unicorn says, now lacking his confidence of before.
  434. >The Pegasus tries to defend their action.
  435. >”Besides, he wasn’t even a pony.”
  436. “You two do know that Prince Anonymous is not a pony right?”
  437. >The two stare at each other before the Pegasus answers you.
  438. >”He’s not?”
  439. >Your friend just shakes his head at the two of them.
  440. >”You bucking idiots.”
  441. >You climb on top of a table and take charge of the situation.
  442. “Okay! Everypony here is going to go into the garden and search for the Prince. If you find him, tell him that Shining Armor is Bringing Princess Celestia to him. Any Questions?”
  443. >The Unicorn and Pegasus both raise their hooves.
  444. “Yes?”
  445. >”Are we fired?”
  446. “Fired? You’ll both be lucky if Princess Celestia ONLY banishes you to the moon.”
  447. >You climb down from the table and look at your friend.
  448. “Where did you find these two?”
  449. >”To be fair sir, our standards have gone downhill since you left.”
  450. “I need to find the princess, do you know where she might be?”
  451. >He puts a hoof through his hair thinking.
  452. >”She is probably near the prince’s old room. Do you remember it?”
  453. “Yes”
  454. >You are now running out of the mess hall and to the stairs.
  455. >Unfortunately the mess hall is on the ground floor and the royal chambers are near the top of the castle.
  456. >Five flights up and you are really wishing you knew a teleportation spell.
  457. >A few minutes later you finally reach your destination.
  458. >You are winded and wheezing from your run.
  459. “Damn I’m out of shape”
  460. >You think.
  461. >You see both Cadande and Princess Celestia exiting Anon’s old room.
  462.  >”Shining? Why are you running, what’s going on?”
  463. >Your wife asks.
  464. >You stop right in front of them and begin panting trying to catch your breath.
  465. >Damn you are really out of shape.
  466. “Princess… the garden… come quick.”
  467. >The princess looks concerned.
  468. >”Shining Armor, what is happening at the garden?”
  469. >Catch your breath, don’t look like a wimp in front of your wife.
  470. “I think… Anon… came back.”
  471. >The princess’s eyes go wide and her mouth gapes open.
  472. >But just for a second.
  473. >She then regains her composure and her horn begins to glow.
  474. >All three of you are enveloped in light.
  475. >When the light is gone you see that you are now standing in the garden.
  476. >You really need to learn a teleportation spell.
  477.  
  478. -Anon-
  479. >You are walking up a stone spiral staircase.
  480. >Your memories of the castle as well as the light from your phone is guiding you.
  481. >You remember using this escape route more than a few times.
  482. >The castle was never invaded of course.
  483. >You just thought it was cool to have a secret passage made just for you.
  484. >You remember one time when you were five or six that you used it to try and get out of going to bed.
  485. “Please Mommy, just five more minutes?”
  486. >You begged.
  487. >“I’m sorry Anon, but it’s bedtime for all little princes.”
  488. >She said smiling.
  489. >She probably wasn’t sorry.
  490. >You walk over to the window and point outside.
  491. “But your sun is still up Mommy.”
  492. >She walks up behind you and nuzzles you.
  493. >”Yes, he is. And that is something I’m trying to rectify right now.”
  494. >Her horn glows and you are enveloped in her magic and levitated into your bed and covered in your blanket.
  495. “Mommy, can I pleeeease stay up until you make the sun go down? It’s one of my favoritest parts of the day.”
  496. >She sighs and looks at you with loving eyes.
  497. >”Alright, but then right to sleep. Understand?”
  498. >She said.
  499. >You nod and smile before answering.
  500. “Mm-Hm!”
  501. >She smiles and kisses your forehead before leaving your room.
  502. >Probably to go to her balcony so she could lower the sun properly.
  503. >Once she left, you threw off the blanket and press a hidden button on your headboard.
  504. >A small portion of your floor retracts and exposes your path to freedom.
  505. >You grab the candle from the table at the side of your bed and make your escape.
  506. >When you finally reached the bottom, you opened the door and walk out into the garden feeling pretty good about yourself.
  507. >That good feeling lasted all of a second.
  508. >You see your mother standing outside the door as if she was waiting for you with a stern look on her face.
  509. >”And just what do you think you’re doing young stallion?”
  510. >How did she get down here so fast?
  511. >”I am very disappointed in you Anon. This passage is meant for emergencies only, not so you can avoid bedtime.”
  512. >You messed up.
  513. “I’m sorry Mommy. I won’t use it to get out of bedtime again, I promise.”
  514. >”I know you won’t. And just to make sure, you won’t be getting any cake for a month.”
  515. >A month without cake? She can’t be serious, could she?
  516. “But Mommy, I said I was sorry. Please don’t take my cake away.”
  517. >You said on the verge of a temper tantrum.
  518. >”Do you want it to be two months without cake?”
  519. >Your eyes go wide at the possibility.
  520. “No, please Mommy! I’m sorry, I’ll take my punishment.”
  521. >Her face softens ever so slightly seeing you sad, but she stayed firm.
  522. >”You will also be punished tomorrow, because it is too late to do so properly at this hour.”
  523. >You grimaced at the thought of more punishment but didn’t want to make her any angrier so you kept your mouth shut.
  524. >“Do you understand?”
  525. >Keeping your mouth shut, you just nod you head.
  526. >”Now let’s get you to bed.”
  527. >She says before she teleports both of you back to your room.
  528. >She tucks you in again and leans down to kiss you one more time.
  529. >”I love you Anon, please know that.”
  530. >You don’t say anything.
  531. >She seems disappointed by your silence and turns to leave.
  532. >Just before she leaves your room you decide to speak up.
  533. “I love you too Mommy.”
  534. >This cases her to pause at the doorway and turn back to look at you and smile before she left.
  535. >The memory makes you smile.
  536. >Even when you messed up she still loved you.
  537. >You couldn’t have asked for a better mother growing up.
  538. >Your smile fades as you remember the last ten years and how you would have traded anything to be back with her even if just for one night.
  539. >Even on her worst day she was better than any parental figure you had growing up on Earth.
  540. >Try not to think about your crappy life back on Earth.
  541. >You are back home now and that is what is important.
  542. >If you keep thinking about Earth you will get depressed and think negative thoughts and questions.
  543. >Like does she even remember you?
  544. >Why did those guards not recognize you?
  545. >Did everyone here forget about you and just move on?
  546. >Well so much for not thinking about it.
  547. >Way to go brain.
  548. >You see you are almost at the top of the passageway.
  549. >Good thing too, don’t want to get any more depressed thinking up worst case scenarios.
  550. >Like hopefully they didn’t turn you old room into a storage room and when you open the door stuff will come crashing down onto you.
  551. “Damn it brain, stop that.”
  552. >As you get to the switch for the door you hear talking, but can’t make out all of it.
  553. >”…on… came back.”
  554. >You then hear what may or may not have been magic.
  555. >It’s hard to tell since you haven’t been around it for so long.
  556. >You press the switch and the door opens.
  557. >You climb up expecting to find who those voices belonged to, but are instead surprised because you are in your old room and it is exactly like you remember it.
  558. >It looks like nothing has been touched.
  559. >From your toy chest, your dresser, your bed that looks like it was made this morning, even to your wooden sword and shield leaning against the wall.
  560. >It was all the same.
  561. >For a moment you think you are dreaming, after all there is no way they would keep it this way for all these years.
  562. >The emotions are too much and overtake you and you start to cry.
  563. >Not sobbing crying, but manly tears crying.
  564. >You take off your backpack, place it on the ground and walk over to the bed.
  565. >Even considering the fact that you grew some since you last saw it, this was still a huge bed.
  566. >It was far bigger than even the one you had back at your apartment.
  567. >You decide to lay down on it.
  568. >It is like a cloud, firm and supportive yet pillowy and soft in all the right places.
  569. >This is the most comfortable thing you have ever been on!
  570. “Holy shit, I forgot how comfortable this thing was.”
  571. >You then remember your stuffed animal you had and start looking for him.
  572. >You lift the pillows and search all over for him but still can’t find him.
  573. “Come on Solar Eclipse, where’d you go?”
  574. >You are disappointed you couldn’t find him, but decide to move on.
  575. >No reason to stay here, you have a caste to explore.
  576. >After all, you need to find your mother.
  577. >You pick up your backpack again and leave the room.
  578.  
  579. -Celestia-
  580. >You had just teleported Princess Cadance, Prince Shining Armor and yourself to the garden.
  581. >Your heart is racing and you feel butterflies in your stomach.
  582. >You enthusiastically move your head from side to side scanning the garden.
  583. >After unsuccessfully locating Anonymous, you turn your attention to Shining Armor.
  584. “Where is he? Shining Armor, where is my son?”
  585. >You ask him, unable to hide the desperation from your voice.
  586. >”Sir!”
  587. >A guard calls out and trots over to Shining.
  588. >”Give me a status report, have you found him?”
  589. >Shining asks, his question full of hope.
  590. >”Not yet sir. But the guards will keep looking.”
  591. >The guard responds.
  592. >Your heart sank a little.
  593. >Why would Anon not want to be found?
  594. >Is he scared?
  595. >Is he hurt and can’t come out?
  596. >Maybe it wasn’t Anon at all.
  597. >Maybe it was him, but he doesn’t love you anymore and left again.
  598. >You don’t know which of the last two is really worse.
  599. >Cadance must have realized something was wrong so she put a hoof on your shoulder.
  600. >You look down to her, and she gives you a reassuring smile.
  601. >It isn’t often that you aren’t the pony who reassures others, and even less that others need to do it for you.
  602. >You had to admit though, it did help.
  603. >She turns her attention to Shining Armor, looking at him with pleading eyes if trying to tell him something.
  604. >He nods, apparently getting the message.
  605. >”Bring those two over.”
  606. >He said to a guard.
  607. >Two guards, a Pegasus and Unicorn, who each looked nervous were brought before you.
  608. >You weren’t sure why they look so afraid.
  609. >”Now, tell Princess Celestia everything that happened.”
  610. >Shining Armor orders.
  611. >The two look at each other and wince.
  612. >”Everything?”
  613. >Asks the Pegasus.
  614. >”Everything!”
  615. >Shining commands.
  616. >They hesitate until the Unicorn decides to speak.
  617. >”Well, we were out on patrol and heard something, so we went to investigate. Then we saw this thing in the garden. We never saw anything that looked like it.”
  618. >Hope creeps its way back into your heart.
  619. >Anon was unlike anything in this world, which was for sure.
  620. “What did he look like?”
  621. >You ask hoping their answer would confirm it was indeed him.
  622. >”He was twice as tall as us, your majesty, if not more.”
  623. >The Unicorn answers.
  624. >This doesn’t make sense.
  625. >Anon was as tall as a pony when you saw him last.
  626. >Granted that was ten years ago and you didn’t know much about his physiology, but he must have some dragon’s blood in him to grow like that.
  627. >”Tell her what he said.”
  628. >Shining orders them again.
  629. >The Pegasus seems content to keep his mouth shut so the Unicorn speaks again.
  630. >”He… He said he was Prince Anonymous.
  631. >You feel your heart skip a beat.
  632. >It was true!
  633. >Your little ray of sunshine had come home.
  634. >You notice that the happier you get, the more terrified the two guard’s expressions become.
  635. >”Honey, this is amazing! Anonymous is back!”
  636. >Cadance says as she embraces Shining in a hug.
  637. >You feel a weight you’ve carried for so many years lifted off of you.
  638. >You still have so many questions though.
  639. >Such as where he has been and why he left.
  640. >But all that could wait, because your son was home.
  641. >Wait…
  642. >If he was home, why didn’t he come looking for you?
  643. >Why were the guards looking for him?
  644. “I’m confused. Why is everypony looking for him now?”
  645. >You ask to no pony in particular.
  646. >”Well, your highness… he sort of… ran away.”
  647. >Said the Unicorn while wincing as if each word was painful.
  648. “Ran away? Why would he do that after just returning home?”
  649. >You ask him.
  650. >He seems very afraid at this point.
  651. >”Well, he wanted to be taken to you. But we didn’t think he really was the prince. So we didn’t.”
  652. >He finally answers.
  653. >Anger is starting to boil inside you.
  654. >Now you know why they looked scared, even terrified.
  655. >They should be.
  656. >Your son tried to find you, and these two stopped him.
  657. >It takes every bit of your self-control not to banish them to the sun.
  658. >You still needed them for some answers.
  659. “What happened to my son after you didn’t take him to me? Where did he go!?!”
  660. >They are trembling with fear now.
  661. >”We don’t know, he ran off and then just… disappeared. We couldn’t find him.”
  662. >Disappeared?
  663. >No, please no.
  664. “He… he what?”
  665. >He must have felt he needed to elaborate for you.
  666. >”We saw which direction he went and followed, but it was like he vanished.”
  667. >He told you hoping it was what you wanted to hear.
  668. >It wasn’t.
  669. >This is just like last time.
  670. >He just disappeared from the garden without a trace.
  671. >No pony, not even the guards who were with him that night knew where he went.
  672. >All hope you had seems gone and your soul is crushed.
  673.  “No… not again.”
  674. >”Princess…”
  675. >Cadance says with worry in her voice.
  676. >Tears are streaming down your face and you start openly sobbing.
  677. >You scream into the night.
  678. >There are no words that can describe the sound you just made.
  679. >Everypony’s face around you displays horror, sadness, pity, or some combination of them.
  680. >You don’t care who sees you or what they may think right now.
  681. >They are all speechless.
  682. >You need to get away.
  683. “I-I’m sorry… I think I need to be alone now.”
  684. >You extend your wings and take flight without giving anypony time to react.
  685. >He was here, not long ago he was here.
  686. >And you missed him.
  687. >Your son came here, looking for you, and you let him down.
  688. >And now he was gone.
  689. >Again.
  690. >You land on your balcony, walk into your room, and collapse onto your bed.
  691. >You look to your nightstand which has his old stuffed animal as well as a framed photo of Anon and yourself.
  692. >Both of these things you kept close so you always remembered him.
  693. >You close your eyes and continue to cry.
  694. >You don’t know how long you stayed like that.
  695. “Oh Anon… please… come home to me.”
  696. >You begged between sobs.
  697. >You feel something on your shoulder.
  698. >Probably Cadance trying to console you.
  699. >Nothing could help now.
  700. >The only thing that could help you now is-
  701. >”Mom…”
  702. >Your eyes bolt open and you turn your head and see him standing next to you.
  703. >You see tears in his eyes.
  704. >”I’m home.”
  705.  
  706. -Anon-
  707. >You’re wandering the halls after leaving your old room.
  708. >It was like a dream.
  709. >More accurately, it was like waking up from a nightmare.
  710. >Long forgotten memories are flooding back to you one after another.
  711. >Every sight, sound, and smell you came across brought forth feelings of nostalgia.
  712. >You pause as you walk past a large portrait.
  713. >It was of your mother with a much younger you standing at her side.
  714. “Mom.”
  715. >There she was.
  716. >It was the first time you saw a real picture of her in ten years.
  717. >You tried to draw her in your sketchbook from memory but it didn’t do her justice at all.
  718. >You are lost staring at the painting.
  719. “Snap out of it Anon.”
  720. >You try to bring yourself back to reality.
  721. >You need to find her and let her know you are alright.
  722. >Any doubts of your mother’s love or remembering you were dismissed when you saw your room.
  723. >There was no other possible excuse for leaving it the same for so many years.
  724. “Now let’s see. My room was back there, so I need to keep going this way.”
  725. >You say pointing down the hall you were currently in.
  726. “Or, was it that way?”
  727. >You once knew everything about this castle, but are now having some difficulty navigating around.
  728. >You put a hand through your hair and look from side to side trying to remember.
  729. “Well, mom didn’t want me to be too far from her in case I got scared. So it should be this way.”
  730. >With that you continue your search.
  731. >You are kind of surprised that you haven’t run into any guards yet.
  732. >Of course given what happened with the last guards you saw this isn’t really a bad thing.
  733. >You turn a corner and are greeted to a pair of familiar large doors with a sun insignia on them.
  734. >Looks like you picked correctly.
  735. >As you approach, you hear crying.
  736. >Not just crying, but open bawling, snot running down your nose type sobbing.
  737. >You look in and see the source of the noise.
  738. >It is your mother laying on the bed.
  739. >It breaks your heart.
  740. >Your eyes start to water and you begin to silently cry.
  741. >You don’t know what could have made her, the ruler of a whole world cry like that but it had to be bad.
  742. >You walk through the door and stop a few feet from her bed.
  743. >It doesn’t look like she noticed you yet.
  744. >Her room smells so sweet, like vanilla.
  745. >Never mind that.
  746. >You need to help her, if only you knew why she was crying.
  747. >“Oh Anon… please… come home to me.”
  748. >She seemed to beg between sobs.
  749. >She needs you.
  750. >You walk closer to her and extend your arm placing it on her shoulder.
  751. >She doesn’t seem to react and just keeps crying.
  752. >You might need to announce your presence.
  753. ”Mom…”
  754. >She turns to face you.
  755. “I’m home.”
  756. >She looks like she just saw a ghost.
  757. >”A-Anon?”
  758. >She says as she studies your face.
  759. “Yeah, mom. It’s me.”
  760. >You nod to her.
  761. >This seems to have calmed her down and she stopped sobbing, she is still crying but she isn’t sobbing anymore.
  762. >She looks you up and down and seems surprised.
  763. >You know you have changed a great deal over the years and don’t look anything like when she last saw you.
  764. >She on the other hand hasn’t aged a day.
  765. >She tenderly raises a hoof and places it on the side of your face.
  766. >”Is it- Is it really you?”
  767. >You reach your hand up and hold her hoof in your hand.
  768. >”My little ray of…”
  769. >She stops, obviously getting a little choked up.
  770. “Your little ray of sunshine.”
  771. >After hearing that she leaned forward and threw her hooves around you and starts to cry into your shoulder.
  772. >She has you in a tight grip like she never wants to let you go.
  773. >There is only one thing you can do now.
  774. >You wrap your arms around her and hold her in a deep hug and cry with her.
  775. >You’re home.
  776. >After ten long years
  777. >You're finally home.
  778.  
  779. -Celestia-
  780. >Finally.
  781. >Your nightmare that has lasted ten years is over.
  782. >You have been holding Anon in a firm embrace for what had to be hours.
  783. >He never once tried to pull away from you.
  784. >He just hugged you back and let you cry.
  785. >Occasionally reassuring you that he was home.
  786. >You had long ran out of tears, but you still held him.
  787. >You need to look at him again.
  788. >Ever so carefully you soften your grip on him and pull back to see your son.
  789. >He had changed.
  790. >His once carefree and loving face filled with innocence was gone.
  791. >His face was harder now.
  792. >There was still love, but it was not as easy to find.
  793. >Time had stolen your foal from you and left a grown stallion in his place.
  794. >You had so many questions for him.
  795. “Anonymous, what happened? Where were you?”
  796. >He closed his eyes and sighed.
  797. >”I… I think I went back to where I came from.”
  798. >He said before pausing.
  799. >it looked like he was thinking whether or not to say something.
  800. >”You… you aren’t my birth mother are you?”
  801. >He finally manages to ask.
  802. >You are taken aback by his question.
  803. >He never gave the fact that he was different from you or anypony else a second thought when he was younger.
  804. >You always told yourself he would eventually ask you this question, and when he did you would answer honestly.
  805. “No, I’m not. But Anon, please know I didn’t love you any less because of that.”
  806. >You say as you lift a hoof and place it against the side of his face.
  807. “You’re my son, and I love you.”
  808. >He smiles, closes his eyes, and leans into your hoof.
  809. >He must have been waiting a long time to hear that.
  810. >”I love you too.”
  811. >He says contently.
  812. >He opens his eyes and looks right at yours.
  813. >“Mom, can I ask you how you found me?”
  814. >He asks.
  815. >Though his request is surprising, you don’t deny him the answer he seeks.
  816. “Well, tomorrow will be twenty years to the day since I found you.”
  817.  
  818. ~Celestia Twenty Years Ago~
  819. >You are standing on your balcony staring up at the moon.
  820. >You see the moon start to lower, which informs you Luna is doing her duty.
  821. >Which also means it is time for you to do yours.
  822. >You concentrate and your horn starts to glow and you begin your morning ritual of raising the sun.
  823. >It was a beautiful sight.
  824. >You take a moment to enjoy the morning you just created.
  825. >True, you could raise or lower the sun from anywhere, but you preferred to do it here because of the view.
  826. >After a short while of admiring your work, you prepare to do one of your other favorite morning rituals.
  827. >Taking a pre-breakfast walk in the garden.
  828. >You extend your wings and start to glide down to your destination.
  829. >As you near the ground you start to hear something.
  830. >It sounds like a foal crying.
  831. >You land and make your way towards the noise.
  832. >As you approach, you can see several of the garden’s inhabitants surrounding whatever s crying.
  833. “What do we have here?”
  834. >The animals hear you and open a path for you to approach.
  835. >You see a small form wrapped in a blanket continuing to wail as you move closer.
  836. >It has no fur apart from the top of its head, has no hooves, small ears and nose.
  837. >You have seen all these features on different animals, but never all on one creature in Equestria.
  838. >If you had to hazard a guess, you might say this was a combination of a dragon and minotaur only without fur or scales.
  839. >You lean down to inspect the creature further.
  840. “Just what are you little one?”
  841. >You ask knowing it probably won’t answer you.
  842. >After it heard your voice, it stopped crying.
  843. >It opened its eyes and looked up at you.
  844. >It then raised its arms up to you and your heart melted little.
  845. >You lift it up with your magic, which it seems to enjoy because it laughs at being levitated.
  846.  >It then reaches out and grabs your snout.
  847. >This couldn’t be a wild animal.
  848. >It was wearing clothes.
  849. >They were worn and tattered but they were clothes none the less.
  850. >It was also wrapped in a blanket, which tells you something left it here.
  851. >Whatever it is, it doesn’t seem like it can fend for itself.
  852. “What am I going to do with you little one?”
  853. >It just responds by giggling and reaching for your horn.
  854. >This thing was cute and you couldn’t help but smile.
  855. “Why don’t I take you inside for now, would you like that?”
  856. >You start walking towards the castle gate with this strange creature in tow.
  857. >It again giggles and seeing this thing happy, for some reason, warms your heart.
  858.  
  859. -Anon-
  860. >Your mother just told you how she found you.
  861. >Just like you expected she found you in the garden.
  862. >You didn’t expect to be found in the morning though.
  863. >The two times you shifted between worlds that you can recall happened at night.
  864. >A question also is repeating itself in your head.
  865. >Why were you left in that alley alone all those years ago?
  866. >You can only guess the answer to that.
  867. >After spending ten years on Earth, you saw things you would rather forget.
  868. >Whoever your parents were must have left you in that alley.
  869. >They probably had their reasons.
  870. >As much as it hurts to realize your parents abandoned you, you’re in a way happy they did.
  871. >If they hadn’t, Celestia wouldn’t have found you and you wouldn’t have had the best mother you could have possibly asked for.
  872. >”So, you went back where you came from?”
  873. >Her voice pulls you back to reality.
  874. >You nod to her in response.
  875. “I think I did. And based on my personal experiences and your story, I think I know how.”
  876. >She leans closer to you, clearly interested in your theory.
  877. “I think there may be a portal that links Equestria and Earth together. And that portal connects with an alley which I think only opens every ten years.”
  878. >Her face shows she is processing what you just said.
  879. “Now don’t ask me how it works, but I think that’s how I appeared in the garden twenty years ago, disappeared ten years ago, and then was able to come back tonight. Does that make any sense?”
  880. >She lowers her head and appears to be in deep thought.
  881. >”I do know of several portals to other worlds. Some of which only open at select times. However, why did I find you in the morning if the previous two times you traveled were at night?”
  882. >She asks.
  883. >You didn’t really know yourself.
  884. “Well, I’m not sure either. But, it might have been that I was sent here at night and just wasn’t discovered until morning.”
  885. >Her eyes widen at what you just said.
  886. >She wraps her hooves around you and hugs you.
  887. >”Oh, my poor little foal. I’m sorry I didn’t find you sooner and you had to be alone all night.”
  888. >She says apologetically.
  889. >You softly pull away from her embrace.
  890. “Mom, it’s okay. I’m fine, don’t worry. It was twenty years ago.”
  891. >You say reassuringly.
  892. >She smiles and starts to look you over.
  893. >”Oh my little ray of sunshine, what happened to you?”
  894. >You remember your hard life growing up.
  895. >Being shifted from one foster home to another, they each provided you with food and shelter but not much else.
  896. >Or psychologists and therapists interviewing you, and even trying to “cure” you.
  897. >After all no normal child thought they lived in a world of colorful ponies, or that your mother controlled the sun just as your aunt controlled the moon.
  898. >The torment and ridicule you endured at the hands of the other children you were raised with.
  899. >Even the almost constant nights you cried yourself to sleep and hoping that your mother would appear to take you away and save you.
  900. >You couldn’t let her know what really happened.
  901. >She would never forgive herself for allowing you to suffer, even though there was nothing she could have done.
  902. “I’m sorry mom. But, I don’t want to talk about it.”
  903. >Maybe someday you will tell her the truth, just not today.
  904. >She seems disappointed but accepts your decision.
  905. >”Dearest sister, I realize the night has been difficult for you and am wondering if I may come in to speak with you.”
  906. >A voice calls out from the hallway.
  907. >You smile hearing your Aunt Luna, you really missed her too.
  908. >”Yes Luna, Please come in!”
  909. >Your mother responds.
  910. >Luna enters your mother’s bedroom.
  911. >”I’m glad you sound like you are doing better than before. I just came to check…”
  912. >She sops talking when she sees you on the bed with your mother.
  913. “Hi Aunt Luna.”
  914. >You say waving at her.
  915. >”D-Dear nephew…”
  916. >Luna says as she covers her mouth with her hoof.
  917. >You smile and stand up.
  918. “I’m home”
  919. >She takes off into a full run and tackles you back onto the bed.
  920. >“Anonymous! You really are home at last!”
  921. >She cries out as tears start to form in her eyes.
  922. >She apparently missed you a great deal too.
  923. >It has been far too long since you were together with your family ad truly happy.
  924. >”Oh nephew, where were you? What happened? Are you alright?”
  925. >Luna barrages you with questions.
  926. “There’ll be time for all of that later. You said you needed to check on mom?”
  927. >Luna struggles to regain her composure.
  928. >”Yes of course. I came to see how you were feeling Sister, and if you would be up to raising the sun.”
  929. >Your aunt states trying to be professional while also failing to hide her excitement at seeing you again.
  930. >”Yes, of course.”
  931. >Your mom said happily.
  932. >She gets up from the bed and starts walking to the balcony.
  933. >Wait, is it really drawn already?
  934. >You’ve been up the entire night?
  935. “Can…”
  936. >Your mother stops walking and turns towards you looking a little concerned.
  937. “Can I please watch?”
  938. >You finally manage to say.
  939. >You feel embarrassed asking and even a little childish now that you think of what you just said.
  940. >Your mother just smiles at you.
  941. >”Of course sweetheart.”
  942. >She says and then motions with her head for you to follow.
  943. >”Come on.”
  944. >You get up and despite your best efforts, you are unable to hide your excitement.
  945. >You catch up with her and you see Luna has decided to join you as well.
  946. >Now with the three of you standing together on the balcony, your mother gives you a loving look before her horn starts to glow and the sun starts to rise across the horizon.
  947. >You have seen sunrises back on Earth, but they never seemed to match how you remembered them.
  948. >Maybe because it was too noisy, the sky was too busy with buildings, or lights from the city.
  949. >Or maybe because you could feel the love your mother put into it.
  950. >Whatever the reason, this was the first sunrise you’ve seen since returning.
  951. >It is the perfect beginning to your first full day back home.
  952.  
  953. -Anon-
  954. >A bell ringing makes your eyes shoot open.
  955. >You roll over in bed and put your hand on the alarm to silence the infernal noise.
  956. >You hate this old wind up alarm clock, but at least you would never sleep through it and miss school.
  957. >You get up and walk to your dresser and pull out a pair of worn hand-me-down jeans as well as a shirt a size too big which has also seen better days and you get dressed for school.
  958. >You make your way down the stairs and into the kitchen.
  959. >”Morning Pony Boy!”
  960. >Yells a boy a few years older than you.
  961. >”Matthew, be nice to Anonymous.”
  962. >An older woman says in a deadpan way she always did.
  963. “It’s alright Mrs. Thomas, I’m used to it.”
  964. >She sighs.
  965. >”Anonymous, why don’t you call me mom? You’ve been with us about a month now.”
  966. “Because you aren’t my mother Mrs. Thomas.”
  967. >”Yeah mom, didn’t you know his mom is a talking horse?”
  968. >The boy said.
  969. >”That’s enough Matt. Oh that reminds me, don’t forget Anonymous you have a session with Dr. Jenkins tonight after school.”
  970. >She says as she pours cereal into a bowl in front of her.
  971. “I didn’t forget.”
  972. >You say as you take the box of cereal from her.
  973. >You pour it into your bowl and only dust and a few actual pieces come out.
  974. >You open the pantry and there are no more boxes left.
  975. >”I’ll stop and get more cereal after work today.”
  976. >She says as she takes a spoonful of her breakfast.
  977. >The boy leans over to you.
  978. >”You know mom and dad only took you in because they get a big check from the government for taking care of a crazy like you.”
  979. >He says.
  980. “Yeah, I know.”
  981. >You look out the window and see something dark blue, but can’t make it out.
  982. >You get up, open the door, and walk outside.
  983. >You find yourself in school walking the halls trying to get to class.
  984. >You weave around students just standing and talking in the hall.
  985. >As you pass a group of jocks you hear one impersonate a horse followed by laughter.
  986. >”Freak!”
  987. >Calls out a voice.
  988. >You just keep walking and try to ignore it..
  989. >You get to class and continue waking to your desk.
  990. >Hopefully nothing is on it today.
  991. >You can see a piece of paper on it as you get closer.
  992. >Nope, looks like it is going to be one of those days.
  993. >As you sit down, you can see it is a picture of a horse in a field with a word bubble drawn on t that says ‘Hi son.’
  994. >Yeah, that never gets old.
  995. >You just sigh in frustration and hope tomorrow will be better.
  996. >You look out the window and see a blue form in the distance getting closer to the school.
  997. >Why does this seem familiar?
  998. >The bell rings and everyone in the class gets up to leave.
  999. >You walk through the door while looking out the window at the dark blue form.
  1000. >When you turn around you are in your late teens with your girlfriend in a restaurant.
  1001. >”I’M glad you brought me here.”
  1002. >She says.
  1003. “Don’t worry about it. After all, it isn’t every day you have a six month anniversary.”
  1004. >She smiles and takes your hand.
  1005. >You sit down at your table and stare into each other’s eyes.
  1006. >”Is that you Pony Boy?”
  1007. >A voice calls from behind.
  1008. >A boy a little older than you comes up to the table.
  1009. >”It is you.”
  1010. >He says.
  1011. >”Anon, do you know him?”
  1012. >Your girlfriend asks.
  1013. >”Course he does, my name is Chad and this guy here used to be my brother.”
  1014. >Chad says with a wicked grin.
  1015. >”Used to be?”
  1016. >She asks clearly confused.
  1017. >”Yeah, my parents adopted him for a while and then returned him.”
  1018. >He says clearly happy that he seems to be ruining your night.
  1019. >”Oh, a bit of a bad boy?”
  1020. >She says with a grin eyeing you up.
  1021. >”Naw, he was fucking crazy. He was raised by a cult or something and thought his mother was a talking horse who controlled the sun.”
  1022. >He says laughing.
  1023. >Your girlfriend stares at you with a mix of shock and possible disgust.
  1024. >”You two fucked yet? If you do, I wouldn’t be surprised if he had you pretend to be a horse or something weird like that.”
  1025. >He adds, clearly crossing the line.
  1026. >Your girlfriend is blushing deep red in embarrassment.
  1027. “I hope you’ll excuse Chad here Ashley. He never was one for social interaction or school for that matter. You were what, 16 or 17 when you graduated 8th grade?”
  1028. >You state coldly.
  1029. >He gets angry and slams his fist on your table.
  1030. >”At least I don’t cry myself to sleep crying and begging for my mommy!”
  1031. >He says angrily and storms off.
  1032. “Well, that happened. Do you know what you would like to order?”
  1033. >”I’m not really hungry anymore. Do you think you could just take me home?”
  1034. >Ashley says.
  1035. >You force a smile for her.
  1036. “Sure, whatever you need.”
  1037. >You stand up and turn around to leave.
  1038. >As you finish turning you are now at work.
  1039. >It’s been a long day and you are looking forward to going home.
  1040. >You are about to punch out when your boss walks up to you.
  1041. >”Anonymous.”
  1042. >Shit, what now?
  1043. “Yes Mr. Smith?”
  1044. >”Jerry just called in, said he can’t make it tonight. You’ll need to cover his shift.”
  1045. >What?
  1046. >Now that is some bullshit right there.
  1047. >The worst part is that this wasn’t the first time your boss pulled this on you.
  1048. “I’m sorry Mr. Smith, but I just came off a nine hour shift and I have plans tonight.”
  1049. >Yeah, big plan alright.
  1050. >Standing in an alley.
  1051. >”Hey, my hands are tied. It’s gotta be you.”
  1052. >He says unapologetically.
  1053. “What about anyone who didn’t work today, or at least didn’t just come off a shift?”
  1054. >”No one is answering their phones, it has to be you.”
  1055. >He answers bluntly.
  1056. >Really?
  1057. >This isn’t just bullshit, this is some Grade-A bullshit is what it is.
  1058. “Well like I said, I’m sorry but I can’t do it.”
  1059. >He seems pissed you aren’t dancing to his tune today.
  1060. >”Well then I’m sorry, but I’m not sure I can guarantee your job tomorrow.”
  1061. >What is this now?
  1062. >”You’re seriously going to fire me if I don’t cover a shift for someone else who just called in AFTER I just finished working a shift myself?”
  1063. >He puts his hands up defensively.
  1064. >”Whoa, whoa, whoa. I never said I would fire you for that. But in this economy, I need to make sure I have people who are team players working for me.”
  1065. >He says while fixing his tie.
  1066. >”So Anonymous, are you a team player?”
  1067. >Oh do you hate this guy, and this job for that matter.
  1068. >The pay isn’t bad, but it isn’t really worth it at the same time.
  1069. >But tonight is the ten year anniversary of coming to Earth, and you need to be in that alley tonight.
  1070. >If you get stuck working, it would be the first one you missed.
  1071. >Who knows, maybe tonight will be the night.
  1072. >Do you want to roll the dice on going home at the cost of your job?
  1073. >Actually, you should be asking is keeping this job worth never having a chance of home again?
  1074. >No it isn’t.
  1075. “I’m sorry Mr. Smith. But as I told you before, I have plans.”
  1076. >You start to walk away and all light slowly disappears from around you.
  1077. >You find yourself still walking but surrounded by complete blackness.
  1078. >”Don’t expect to have a job tomorrow!”
  1079. >Yells a disembodied voice.
  1080. >”Where’s your mommy Pony Boy?”
  1081. >Mocks another.
  1082. >You continue down the darkness and your body slowly starts to shrink as you begin getting younger and younger with every comment made.
  1083. >”He got in another fight today.”
  1084. >”He should be put on this medication immediately.”
  1085. >”We’re sorry, but we just can’t take care of him anymore.”
  1086. >”Freak!”
  1087. >”I’m not sure I want a boyfriend with such… issues.”
  1088. >”We’re going to the zoo today, maybe we’ll see your real family.”
  1089. >”Here’s some hay horsey.”
  1090. >”Hey look, it’s the Pony Prince.”
  1091. >”No one loves you horse freak.”
  1092. >The voices start to overlap and you can’t even make out what each voice is saying anymore.
  1093. >The voices get louder and louder.
  1094. >You stop and drop to your knees.
  1095. >You bring your hands up and cover your ears but can’t drown them out.
  1096. “STOP IT! PLEASE, JUST STOP IT!”
  1097. >You shout into the darkness.
  1098. >You feel tears start falling.
  1099. “Please… Mommy… please help me…”
  1100. >You sob and collapse on the ground.
  1101. >The voices continue as you keep crying.
  1102. >”ENOUGH!”
  1103. >One voice booms over the others.
  1104. >The darkness is shattered accompanied by the sound of breaking glass.
  1105. >You are on the ground still crying, but can see you are in your old room at the castle and Aunty Luna is standing in front of you.
  1106. >She looks down at you with tears of her own flowing from her eyes.
  1107. >”Oh dear, dear nephew…”
  1108. >She says still looking down at the sobbing ten year old before her.
  1109. >You quickly stand and run to her wrapping your arms around her leg and cry.
  1110. >She leans down and nuzzles you, trying her best to comfort you.
  1111. >”I’m sorry Anonymous, I tried to stop them. However, every time I came close another would take it’s place.”
  1112. >You just respond by burying your face into her chest.
  1113. >You’ve needed this for so long, just to get it out of your system.
  1114. >”Is this… was that what your life was like all that time?”
  1115. >The strong face and bravado you have worn for years has finally crumbled.
  1116. >All you can do is nod while continuing to weep.
  1117. >”Oh dear sweet nephew. It is alright, you are home and safe now with your mother and myself. This was jus but a very bad nightmare.”
  1118. >She said trying to reassure you that everything was alright.
  1119. >It all starts coming back to you now.
  1120. >Your ten year old body grows back to your normal one.
  1121. >You just watched your mother raise the sun and were about to tell the guards to stop looking for you.
  1122. >You then yawned and asked if you could lay down on your mother’s bed for a second.
  1123. >Guess you were more tired than you thought.
  1124. >To be fair, you had also been awake for over 24 hours.
  1125. “So how long have I been out?”
  1126. >”Approximately six hours.”
  1127. >She replies.
  1128. “What? Why didn’t you wake me? What about mom?”
  1129. >”Your mother has not left your side. In fact she sent for me when she noticed your restlessness while you slept.”
  1130. >She said.
  1131. “She’s going to want to know what my nightmare was about won’t she?”
  1132. >You ask her.
  1133. >”Your mother did request to know the source of your unrest, this is true.”
  1134. >She said as you notice more formality returning to her speech.
  1135. “Can you please not tell her what you just saw?”
  1136. >She seems surprised by your request.
  1137. >”Dear nephew, our sister made a special request of us. Why should we abandon hr request at your behest?”
  1138. >She said with her dialog going full regal.
  1139. >You completely forgot how she got more and more dignified when she was flustered.
  1140. >It was cute in her its own way, but back to the matter at hand.
  1141. “It broke your heart to see me like that just now didn’t it?”
  1142. >”Yes, it did.”
  1143. >She said as she closed her eyes and nodded.
  1144. >”I felt powerless that I could not aid you or alleviate in some way your nightmare.”
  1145. >She adds.
  1146. “I just want to spare her from what you are feeling now. And you know she would take it a lot harder than you just did.”
  1147. >She looks away from you and appears to be considering your request.
  1148. “You can tell her basically what you saw. But please just gloss over it and leave out the details. Knowing what happened to me would only upset her.”
  1149. >She looks at you and sighs.
  1150. >”Very well dear nephew. There is no need to worry your mother over things she cannot control.”
  1151. >You walk up to her and hug her around her neck.
  1152. “Thanks Aunt Luna.”
  1153. >”Be grateful you are my favorite nephew.”
  1154. >She said while returning your hug.
  1155. “I’d expect nothing less from my favorite aunt.”
  1156. >She pulls back from the embrace.
  1157. >”Anonymous, you do realize I’m your only aunt?”
  1158. >She asks.
  1159. >You just smile and shrug back to her.
  1160. “Details, details.”
  1161.  
  1162. -Celsestia-
  1163. >Anon was laying next to you and asleep in your bed.
  1164. >After being apart for so long you didn’t want to be away from him again.
  1165. >He slowly started to rouse himself.
  1166. >His eyes opened and he seems at first confused by his surroundings and then his eyes find you.
  1167. >”Mom…”
  1168. >He says hopefully, as if he thinks his eyes were playing tricks on them or maybe that he was still dreaming.
  1169. >Based on his movement while asleep you thought he might be having a nightmare, so much that you asked Luna to intervene.
  1170. “It’s not a dream my little ray of sunshine. I’m right here.”
  1171. >You say reassuringly.
  1172. >He sits up and hugs you tightly.
  1173. >Oh how you missed this feeling.
  1174. >You could sped an eternity staying just like this and never grow tired of it.
  1175. >You wanted to spend as much time with him as possible.
  1176. >You even asked Luna to go to the garden and tell the guards to stop looking for Anon, just so you didn’t have to leave his side while he slept.
  1177. >He slowly pulls away from the hug.
  1178. >He looks into your eyes but quickly turns away.
  1179. >He starts to fidget on the bed.
  1180. >Is he nervous?
  1181. >”Hey mom… I was kinda wondering…”
  1182. >He says while scratching the back of his head.
  1183. >You lean closer to him.
  1184. “Sweetheart, what is it? Is everything alright?”
  1185. >You ask with concern in your voice.
  1186. >He seems worried about something, and even more about asking you.
  1187. >”Is it alright if I can get something to eat, please? I’m kinda hungry and haven’t eaten in a while.”
  1188. >He says rather sheepishly.
  1189. >Is that all?
  1190. “Of course you can. In fact, I was feeling rather hungry myself. Why don’t we go down to the dining hall together?”
  1191. >You tell him with a smile.
  1192. >You silently wonder what kind of life he has lived if asking for something to eat should have made him that nervous.
  1193. >Maybe he was just acting that way because he was finally home and wanted to be on his best behavior for you.
  1194. >You know you have butterflies in your stomach being back with him.
  1195. >Whatever the reason can wait, it’s time to get your son something to eat.
  1196.  
  1197. -Anon-
  1198. >You are following your mother to the dining hall.
  1199. >You are just soaking it all in at the moment.
  1200. >The sights, sounds, and smells all bring back memories from your lost youth.
  1201. >How many times did you run down this very hall, chasing or being chased by your mother or aunt?
  1202. >Now that you think about it, they were always good sports about it.
  1203. >There was no way that a young boy could catch a full grown horse unless they wanted to be caught.
  1204. >Just like they should have had no trouble catching you, but always made it last enough to have fun.
  1205. >As you continue, you notice several stained glass windows.
  1206. >You look at the scenes portrayed and can’t tell if they are new or you just forgot them after so long.
  1207. >There are several with the same six ponies in them performing various deeds.
  1208. >One that stands out though, it is an image of those six ponies that looks like they are shooting lasers at a strange looking creature.
  1209. >It wasn’t the scene that caught your attention, but rather the image of the creature.
  1210. >You could have sworn that its eye was following you as you walked.
  1211. >Your mother turns to see you admiring the windows.
  1212. >”I’m sure you have many questions. We’ll all do our best to answer them and to fill you in on what you’ve missed these last ten years. But for now at least…”
  1213. >She says while opening a set of doors to the royal dining hall with her magic.
  1214. >”Let us eat.”
  1215. >She continues and escorts you in.
  1216. >You see a medium sized circular table in the middle of the room with five places set.
  1217. >As you get closer to it, your mother pulls a chair out with her magic.
  1218. >”Let me get that for you sweetheart.”
  1219. >She says almost glowingly.
  1220. “Oh, thanks mom.”
  1221. >You said a little surprised.
  1222. >You can’t remember the last time someone pulled a chair out for you.
  1223. >She takes the seat to your left.
  1224. >You look at the three remaining settings at the table.
  1225. “Not that I’m complaining, but are others going to be joining us?”
  1226. >You ask pointing at the three vacant seats.
  1227. >”Of course my sunshine. Your aunt Luna insisted on eating with us for your first meal back home.”
  1228. >She said while extending a hoof and pointing at the seat to your right.
  1229. >That’s nice of her, if you remember correctly she prefers to be sleeping at this time.
  1230. >But who are the other two places for?
  1231. >”Your cousin, Princess Cadance and her husband Prince Shining Armor happened to be visiting and wanted to see you as well.”
  1232. >She said, making you wonder if she could read your mind.
  1233. >Both of those names sound familiar, but after so long you are having a little trouble matching faces with them.
  1234. >”Cadance was your old foal sitter and Shining Armor was one of your old guards.”
  1235. >Your mother says, which again makes you wonder if she has mind reading powers.
  1236. >”Now then, do you know what you would like to eat?”
  1237. >She says with a smile.
  1238. >You look down in front of you expecting to find a menu like at a restaurant but find nothing.
  1239. >You feel like an idiot but you might as well ask.
  1240. “So, is there like a menu of something?”
  1241. >She is momentarily surprised by your question.
  1242. >”Sweetheart, you are the Prince of Equestria. The Royal chef will make you anything you want.”
  1243. >She says in a patient and understanding motherly tone.
  1244. >Anything huh?
  1245. >Well, probably not meat.
  1246. >You can ask about it later but better just have something a little more plain for now.
  1247. >”Greetings dear sister and nephew!”
  1248. >Luna calls out, breaking your attention away from deciding what to eat.
  1249. >”I have brought our dear niece and her husband with me.”
  1250. >She said while continuing towards you.
  1251. >You can see two ponies behind her.
  1252. >One is pink and is wearing a big grin on her face while trying to get a good look at you.
  1253. >The other is white and is trying to look serious, but you can see the faintest curl of his lips as if he is desperately trying to hide his smile.
  1254. >You really want to make a good first impression on them… well good first impression back and- you know what never mind you know what you meant.
  1255. >You stand up from your seat.
  1256. “Princess Luna, Princess Cadance, Prince Shining Armor. It is a pleasure to see you all.”
  1257. >You say nodding to each one as you say their names.
  1258. >Out of the corner of your eye you see your mother staring approvingly at you.
  1259. >Probably proud of how you addressed them.
  1260. >”Anonymous!”
  1261. >Cadance practically yells and runs past Luna and stops right next to you.
  1262. >”It’s been so long.”
  1263. >Guess more than just your mom and Luna missed you.
  1264. >She then starts… hopping?
  1265. >”Sunshine, sunshine, ladybugs awake. Clap your hooves and do a little shake!”
  1266. >She sings while acting out each part of the little song.
  1267. >It ends with her shaking her behind at you.
  1268. >And there’s a pink pony butt in your face.
  1269. >You’re pretty sure it isn’t intentional, but she is giving you a fairly clear view at… well everything really.
  1270. >You feel your face get a little warmer.
  1271. >Shining Armor must sense the awkwardness.
  1272. >”She does this with all the ponies she foal sat for. So don’t worry, it’s not just you Price Anonymous.”
  1273. >He says trying to reassure you.
  1274. >You vaguely remember this, but again it was so long and unfortunately many details like this is like knowing a word on the tip of your tongue or trying to remember a dream.
  1275. “Oh, don’t worry about it Prince Shining Armor. And please, just call me Anon. there’s no need to be so formal with me.”
  1276. >”Well alright, but only if you drop my prince title too.”
  1277. >He said seemingly a bit relieved.
  1278. >Maybe he thought you would be a dick about being a prince and flaunt it in front of everyone.
  1279. >”Oh my goodness Shining, look how big he’s gotten.”
  1280. >She said looking up to you.
  1281. >It’s true, you really did change.
  1282. >From what you can remember about her, you can’t really find that much different about her.
  1283. >Come to think of it, your mother and aunt look exactly like you remember them.
  1284. >The only one who looks like they really changed is Shining Armor.
  1285. >But this could just be because he isn’t wearing any armor like the guards normally do.
  1286. >Enough about that for the time being.
  1287. >Now that everyone’s here you should be able to get something to eat.
  1288. >Everyone takes their seats.
  1289. >Your mother on your left side and aunt on your right.
  1290. >Cadance sits on Luna’s other side and shining beside her.
  1291. >A pony dressed like a waiter walks up to the table.
  1292. >You can feel his gaze upon you.
  1293. >Might as well get used to it, you are the only human here so there are bound to be stares.
  1294. >”Do their highnesses know what they would like to eat today, or would you like more time?”
  1295. >He asks politely.
  1296. >”I’ll have a garden salad please.”
  1297. >Stated your mother.
  1298. >”Excellent choice you majesty, and for you your highness?”
  1299. >He responds looking at you.
  1300. >The ‘your highness’ part kind of surprised you, especially considering what happened with the guards last night.
  1301. “Uh, is it okay if I could get some pancakes and orange juice please?”
  1302. >You ask more than a little hopeful.
  1303. >You didn’t want to come across as bossy or demanding, but you still would really like some pancakes.
  1304. >The waiter smiles and nods slightly to you.
  1305. >”Of course your majesty, not a problem at all.”
  1306. >He says kindly.
  1307. >That’s good, even if the cook was willing to make you anything you didn’t want to inconvenience him at all.
  1308. >As the waiter starts to take the others orders, your head starts to fill with questions.
  1309. >What are you going to do now that you’re back?
  1310. >You’ve spent so much time dreaming of coming home and being reunited with your mom, but you never really put much thought into what would happen after.
  1311. >It’s not like you can raise the sun or moon like your mother or Aunt Luna.
  1312. >You don’t have much to contribute to the kingdom really.
  1313. >Would they realize this and ask you to leave the castle since you couldn’t pull your weight?
  1314. >How can you prove yourself to them and show you can help?
  1315. >You can see the waiter has finished taking everyone’s orders and is returning to what you assume is the kitchen.
  1316. >You then look and notice a sixth setting on the table next to your mother with no one at it.
  1317. >When did that get there?
  1318. “Mom, are we expecting someone else?”
  1319. >Your mother looks to the spot next to her in surprise.
  1320. >She’s just as shocked as you, if not more.
  1321. >A new place set at the table without even her noticing is not something easy to do it seems.
  1322. >Her surprise quickly turns to anger and she glares at the empty spot to her left.
  1323. >”No, this meal was only meant for us.”
  1324. >She said in a mixture of frustration and rage while still looking at the vacant seat.
  1325. >”Oh Celestia, I’m hurt I didn’t get an invite to your little royal gathering.”
  1326. >A disembodied voice calls out from seemingly everywhere and nowhere at the same time.
  1327. >You look around the room trying to find the source but are unsuccessful in your endeavor.
  1328. >”After all…”
  1329. >The voice continues.
  1330. >A bright flash of light emanates from the empty seat next to your mother.
  1331. >You instinctively bring your hand up to shield your eyes and when you lower it you are greeted by the site of a tall odd looking creature.
  1332. >”I thought we were friends.”
  1333. >Says this… thing that appears to be made up of several different animal parts.
  1334. >He almost reminds you of a Chinese dragon by his overall body structure.
  1335. >”Discord! You have no business here, this is a family event.”
  1336. >Your mother says angrily.
  1337. >”Oh but I am family, I’m his Uncle Discord.”
  1338. >He says leaning back in his chair looking right at you.
  1339. >Uncle?
  1340. >You look to Luna, then to him, and back to Luna.
  1341. >Luna is with this thing?
  1342. >Well, if he makes her happy.
  1343. >She seems to pick up on what you’re thinking.
  1344. >”Nay Nephew! We do not have relations with that creature!”
  1345. >She says rather flustered and with a red face.
  1346. >”No, of course not. After all, I’m already spoken for. The old ball and chain is at home.”
  1347. >He says while bringing out a wallet from you don’t know where and pulling out a picture.
  1348. >It is of him in a light blue tuxedo next to a literal ball and chain that is wearing a veil.
  1349. >In a flash, the picture and wallet are both gone.
  1350. >”You have a lot of nerve showing up here.”
  1351. >Shining Armor almost growls.
  1352. >”Are you still holding a grudge from the whole Tirek thing Prince… uh, what was your name again?”
  1353. >He says scratching his head.
  1354. >Shining bares his teeth in anger and his horn starts to glow.
  1355. >Better step in before this gets any uglier.
  1356. “Okay everybody, let’s just take a step back for a second.”
  1357. >You say extending your arms across the table in a vain attempt to break them up.
  1358. “I’m afraid you have me at a disadvantage mister…”
  1359. >You say while gesturing to the uninvited guest.
  1360. >”Discord, the Lord of Chaos. I’d give you my resume but my work tends to speak for itself.”
  1361. >He says with a toothy grin that shows off on of his fangs.
  1362. “Well Discord, I am-“
  1363. >”Prince Anonymous, oh I know all about you. Why the last time I saw you, you were only this tall.”
  1364. >He interrupts you while shrinking his body to about half of your height.
  1365. >Hold on, how does he know you?
  1366. “I’m sorry, but have we met before?”
  1367. >”Why yes, but I was a little more… statuesque at the time.”
  1368. >He states as his body turns to stone and he puts one arm in the air while the other is across his chest.
  1369. >Why is that so familiar?
  1370. >You’ve seen that statue before, a long time ago but where?
  1371. >Suddenly you remember running around the garden when you were young.
  1372. >That was him?
  1373. >You lean over to your mother.
  1374. “Mom, are all the statues in the garden alive?”
  1375. >You ask with a mild amount of concern.
  1376. >This earns an almost evil chuckle from Discord.
  1377. >”Oh, I like him. No my boy, not ‘all’ of the statues are alive.”
  1378. >He answers.
  1379. >”Discord please, tell us why you’re here and then leave us.”
  1380. >Your mother says clearly irritated.
  1381. >You know that tone and that this probably won’t end well if it continues much longer.
  1382. >Apparently Discord knows this as well.
  1383. >He puts his silverware onto his plate and begins to roll the plate up like a burrito.
  1384. >”Well first, I wanted to enjoy a nice meal with everypony.”
  1385. >He states while finishing rolling his plate.
  1386. >He takes a bite from it and you hear glass breaking as he chews.
  1387. >You lean over to Luna.
  1388. “I’m not still dreaming am I?”
  1389. >”No Nephew, you are very much awake.”
  1390. >She says seriously.
  1391. >”But I suppose the main reason I’m here, is him.”
  1392. >He says pointing at you with one of his claws.
  1393. >Instantly your mother and aunt extend a hoof in front of you as their horns glow ready to defend you.
  1394. >You look to see Cadance and Shining Armor with their horns glowing, ready to attack him or defend you at a moment’s notice.
  1395. >”Easy, easy. Let’s all put our horns down.”
  1396. >He says while seamlessly taking his own two horns off and placing them on the table.
  1397. >”All I meant by that was I wanted to see how much he’s grown in the last ten years. And you certainly changed Anonymous. While your lovely mother and aunt don’t look a day older than when they used the Elements of Harmony to turn me to stone well over 1,000 years ago.”
  1398. >He says looking at the three of you.
  1399. >Wait, what?
  1400. >They were alive over 1,000 years ago AND still look exactly the same.
  1401. >That was impossible, how could they still be alive after that long?
  1402. >You look from your mother to your aunt almost in disbelief.
  1403. >Discord is now wearing a wicked smirk on his face.
  1404. >”Well, I believe I’ve out stayed my welcome. Don’t bother getting up, I’ll let myself out.
  1405. >He says standing up and putting on a hat he picked up from thin air.
  1406. >He walks to a door that stands in the middle of the room that wasn’t there a second before.
  1407. >”But don’t worry, I’ll be in touch. Oh and Anon, if you ever need someone to talk to, just give a call to your old Uncle Discord.”
  1408. >He says just before walking through the door.
  1409. >The door closes and in another flash of light is gone.
  1410. >Leaving you with your family, and even more questions than ever.
  1411.  
  1412. -Celestia-
  1413. >Discord’s little distraction seems to have rattled everypony, but especially Anon.
  1414. >The meal went well and everypony was engaged in small talk.
  1415. >Shining and Cadance even invited Anon to the Crystal Empire.
  1416. >You are walking with Anon back to his room.
  1417. >He appeared to have a good time, but you could tell something was weighing heavily on his mind.
  1418. >It had to be something Discord said.
  1419. >Maybe he’s upset at the thought of both Luna and yourself turning Discord to stone.
  1420. >Truth be told you didn’t like doing it either but you did what had to be done.
  1421. >You have done many things you aren’t particularly proud of in your long life.
  1422. >Whatever the reason you can ask him about it when you two are alone.
  1423. >You both enter his room and he sees the bag he brought with him on the ground.
  1424. “I had your things brought back here while you slept earlier. I hope you don’t mind.”
  1425. >”No, no, that’s fine.”
  1426. >He tells you reassuringly.
  1427. >He picks up his bag, walks to his bed and sits down on it.
  1428. >He opens the bag and starts pulling things out from it.
  1429. >”Matter of fact, I have a few things for you.”
  1430. >He says happily and motions for you to join him.
  1431. >You make your way towards him and sit down on the bed.
  1432. >He opens up one of the books he took out of his bag and pulls out several loose pieces of paper from it.
  1433. >”Here we are. I knew I kept these for a reason.”
  1434. >He says holding out one of the pieces of paper from it.
  1435. >You envelope it in your magic and bring it to your face to get a better look at it.
  1436. >It’s a piece of paper that has multiple smaller pictures on it.
  1437. >The images are of young colts and fillies that looked like Anon before he disappeared.
  1438. >One image stands out from the rest.
  1439. >it’s a picture of Anon just like you remembered him.
  1440. >You put a hoof in front of your mouth and start to tear up.
  1441. >”It’s a school photo from when I was on earth. I tried to keep as many pictures as I could.”
  1442. >He says giving you another one.
  1443. >Now that you know what you are looking at you quickly scan for which image is of your son.
  1444. >There he is!
  1445. >He mainly looks the same, but you can see some changes from the last one.
  1446. >He looks even more different on the next one you look at.
  1447. >You are witnessing your son growing up before your eyes.
  1448. >It is a strange feeling, being sad and frustrated at missing him grow up yet at the same time grateful he kept these and is sharing then with you.
  1449. >He holds out a book for you to take.
  1450. >When you open it you can tell it’s a photo album.
  1451. >There is your little ray of sunshine.
  1452. >He’s standing next to others like himself in a variety of locations in many of the photographs.
  1453. >It’s hard to see it, but you notice a faint sadness on his face in them.
  1454. >”Sorry I don’t have more. The people who took care of me didn’t take a lot of pictures unless it was a vacation or holiday.”
  1455. >He says apologetically.
  1456. “No, no sweetheart.”
  1457. >You tell him while wiping a tear away.
  1458. “All I’ve ever wanted and wished for since you disappeared was for you to come home, and here you are. You’ve given me a way to see my little stallion grow up, and I’m incredibly grateful to you for that. Even if I couldn’t be there to see it happen.”
  1459. >You say as your eyes start to water again.
  1460. >He reaches over and embraces you, and you instinctively lean into him.
  1461. >”I’m here now mom. That’s all that matters.”
  1462. >He tells you in a reassuring voice.
  1463. >It’s funny, you wanted to talk to him and find out if something was wrong and here he is consoling you.
  1464. >You pull out of the hug and chuckle.
  1465. >You gaze at him and feel an overwhelming sense of pride.
  1466. “When did you turn into such a fine stallion?”
  1467. >He laughs a little in response.
  1468. >”I don’t know mom. I guess I just had to.”
  1469. >He says and shrugs his shoulders.
  1470. >His cheery expression slowly fades.
  1471. >”Mom, is it okay if I ask you some questions?”
  1472. >He asks hesitantly.
  1473. >As if you could deny him any request he could make of you.
  1474. “Of course my sunshine.”
  1475. >You respond.
  1476. >Maybe now you will find out what has been bothering him.
  1477. >”My birthday is in a few days…”
  1478. >He says before pausing.
  1479. “Oh don’t worry sweetheart, I know. I also intend to make it the biggest event in all of Canterlot. All of Equestria will celebrate your return and birthday.”
  1480. >”No, that’s not what I meant. In fact, I would just appreciate something smaller if anything. I don’t want it to be a big deal.”
  1481. >He tells you.
  1482. >You sigh and smile.
  1483. >He was always like this.
  1484. >He was surprisingly humble even in his youth.
  1485. >He didn’t like wearing his crown because he didn’t want other ponies to think that he thought he was better than them.
  1486. >”I guess I’m just wondering if you found me twenty years ago today, why is my birthday in a few days and not today?”
  1487. >He asks.
  1488. >A valid question.
  1489. >You remember that little foal you brought into the castle and later raised as your own.
  1490. “I could have made your birthday today. But, in those few days I took care of you after I found you I knew I needed you in my life. So the day I decided to keep and raise you as my son is the day I made your birthday. I also didn’t know how old you were, so I rounded up and made that your first birthday. I’m sorry I was selfish and decided such things on my own.”
  1491. >”It’s okay mom, don’t worry about it.”
  1492. >He says while rubbing your shoulder trying to convince you it truly is alright.
  1493. >You can see in his eyes that he is troubled by something else.
  1494. “That’s not all you wanted to ask me is it? Anonymous, you know you can talk to me about anything.”
  1495. >”I never could hide anything from you could I?”
  1496. >He responds and slowly shakes his head from side to side.
  1497. >He takes a deep breath and looks you in the eyes.
  1498. >Whatever it is must be very important.
  1499. >”Mom… are you immortal?”
  1500.  
  1501. -Anon-
  1502. “Mom… are you immortal?”
  1503. >She lowers her head and closes her eyes.
  1504. >She lets out a deep sigh.
  1505. >”That… is a very complicated question.”
  1506. >She answers.
  1507. >She sits next to you on the bed and stares at the floor.
  1508. >It must be complicated if it is taking her this long to answer what you thought was a simple yes or no question.
  1509. >You don’t want to rush her so you quietly leave her to her thoughts.
  1510. >”Alicorns, like Luna and myself, are very near immortal. We naturally have an exceedingly long lifespan to begin with and can also extend our lives through various means. But believe me, we are very capable of dying.”
  1511. >She says with what seems to be a very heavy heart.
  1512. >”Alicorns also have the ability to be linked things, either physical or something more like an ideal. For example, I am linked to the sun while Cadance is linked to love. As long as those things we are connected to exist, so will we.”
  1513. >She explains.
  1514. >Deep.
  1515. >”However, if an Alicorn encounters something of substantial power or magic…”
  1516. >She pauses, looking away from you.
  1517. >She seems to be remembering something very painful.
  1518. >”Well, it is one of the few known ways an Alicorn can… pass.”
  1519. >She eventually says.
  1520. >Just what could be as powerful as she claims and want to kill an Alicorn?
  1521. >”Equestria has not always been the beacon of light that ponies know it as today. There were times it was dark, cold and extremely unforgiving.”
  1522. >She says practically reading your mind.
  1523. >Okay, that is a lot more than you bargained for as a response.
  1524. >You don’t want to push with any more questions right now, especially given her current facial expression.
  1525. >So she will live as long as the sun?
  1526. >If you remember correctly from school, the sun could last for millions or billions of years.
  1527. >Well, it was one with an ‘illions’ in it anyway.
  1528. >Either way, that is definetly longer than any human could possibly live.
  1529. >This is a little- no VERY overwhelming to think about.
  1530. >Less than 24 hours ago you went from wondering if you’ll ever see your mother again, to being reunited, to finding out she will outlive you by practically forever.
  1531. >That is a lot to process.
  1532. >You look over and can still see a rather distant look on her face.
  1533. >Either she is still remembering those Alicorns who have… passed as she put it, or she’s possibly thinking of your mortality just like you were.
  1534. >Whatever the reason, she definitely seems like she could use a smile.
  1535. >You outstretch your arm behind her and slowly rub her back with your hand.
  1536. >She blinks, seemingly returning to reality and turns to look at you.
  1537. >You flash her a reassuring grin, hoping to convince her everything will be alright.
  1538. >She reciprocates with a smile of her own.
  1539. >You remove your hand from her back and return to looking through your backpack.
  1540. >You take out your laptop and portable speaker.
  1541. >You get up, walk over to your old dresser and place your laptop on it while connecting your speaker to it.
  1542. >You look over your shoulder to see your mother staring intently at you and what you’re doing.
  1543. >Okay, let’s see here.
  1544. >You navigate to your music folder.
  1545. >You are also careful to avoid accidentally opening your porn folder, which you cleverly named ‘Not Porn.’
  1546. >No one would see through that ruse.
  1547. >Definitely don’t want her to see that.
  1548. >Alright, now what song to play for her?
  1549. >You scroll through your vast library trying to find the right one for her.
  1550. >What would she even like?
  1551. >One track seems to jump out at you.
  1552. >Here Comes the Sun.
  1553. >Well it’s worth a try anyway.
  1554. >You start it up and walk back over to her.
  1555. >You sit down next to her, close your eyes and let out a deep sigh.
  1556. >Music always helped you relax, hopefully it will help her too.
  1557. >You tap your fingers to the beat and occasionally sing along under your breath.
  1558. >You feel your mother lean against you and rest her head against your shoulder.
  1559. >Guess it did help her relax.
  1560. >You feel something against your other shoulder.
  1561. >You look and see she has draped one of her wings around you like a blanket.
  1562. >”Thank you.”
  1563. >She says.
  1564. >You look at her still resting her head on you.
  1565. >”Thank you for coming home.”
  1566. >She says with her eyes closed seemingly to try and savor this little moment.
  1567. >The two of you relax against each other and enjoy the rest of the song.
  1568.  
  1569.  
  1570. -Celestia-
  1571. >You have just spent hours with Anon in his room listening to music.
  1572. >First on his ‘Laptop’ and then on his M-Pee… well his little music player.
  1573. >It was the most relaxed you’ve felt in years.
  1574. >You smile thinking back to when you were just with him.
  1575. >How every time a song ended you asked if you could hear another.
  1576. >And how every time you asked he simply smiled, got up, picked another song to play, and sat back down next to you.
  1577. >The only time you took a break was to lower the sun and order dinner to be delivered to his room for the two of you.
  1578. >You would probably still be in there with him if he hadn’t started yawning.
  1579. >At that point you resumed your role as his protective mother and informed him that he had a long day and should be off to bed.
  1580. >To which he informed you that you should retire for the evening as well.
  1581. >You would have complained but you knew he had your best interest in mind.
  1582. >But rest will have to wait, there is so much to do and plan.
  1583. >You arrive at your private study and make your way to your writing station.
  1584. >You bring out fresh parchment, quill as well as ink, and place them down on the table.
  1585. “Now let’s see.”
  1586. >You say dipping the quill into the ink.
  1587. “Plan birthday and welcome home party, make the greatest birthday present, have royal baker make the perfect cake.”
  1588. >You pause after that last part.
  1589. >You quickly scribble out that last part from the list you’re making.
  1590. “Have royal baker make TWO perfect cakes.”
  1591. >You say and write while smiling.
  1592. >Hopefully he still loves cake as much as he did.
  1593. >Now then, who to invite?
  1594. >Family of course, maybe some dignitaries, but he did tell you he wanted something small.
  1595. >Maybe just friends and family.
  1596. >But how many friends does he have or remember from ten years ago?
  1597. >It’s not like when he was in school and you could just invite his classmates.
  1598. >In fact, the only pony apart from Luna, Cadance, or the guards that spent time with him whose name you can remember is…
  1599. “Twilight.”
  1600. >You say grinning from ear to ear.
  1601. >This will be perfect in so many ways.
  1602. >Under the guise of science and knowledge, she can ask Anon all the things you want to know.
  1603. >There is absolutely no way Twilight could resist finding out about another world.
  1604. >He also didn’t look like he brought many clothes with him, so Twilight’s friend Rarity should be able to fashion some new ones for him.
  1605. >Her other friends could assist with the party planning like they all did for the royal wedding.
  1606. >You can take him to Ponyville tomorrow, he would probably appreciate the outing as well.
  1607. >This will also give you time to investigate the old castle you and Luna shared so that you can locate Starswirl’s private library.
  1608. >Ever since he asked if you were immortal his own mortality has been weighing on your mind.
  1609. >After losing Anon for a meager ten years, you can scarcely fathom how much of a nightmare the rest of your life would be if you lost him again.
  1610. >Maybe Starswirl discovered an immortality spell you could use or at least something to allow you to link him to your life.
  1611. >You use your magic to bring out a new piece of parchment.
  1612. “To my most faithful student, Princess Twilight Sparkle…”
  1613.  
  1614. -Twilight-
  1615. “Okay Spike, how many books did we get today?”
  1616. >Your little assistant runs over to a box that reads ‘Book Donations.’
  1617. >”We got…”
  1618. >He says, leaning down to collect the box’s contents.
  1619. >”Two.”
  1620. >He says shrugging his shoulders.
  1621. >What?
  1622. “Two? TWO! That’s it? Don’t these ponies know that this town’s only library is gone? How are we supposed to rebuild a library if we don’t have any books?”
  1623. >”So, do you not want them?”
  1624. >He asks holding them up.
  1625. >You let out a deep sigh.
  1626. “Just put them with the others.”
  1627. >He jogs over to a pile of about a dozen books you’ve managed to collect so far and puts the two with them.
  1628. >”Cheer up Twilight, maybe we’ll get more tomorrow.”
  1629. >He says grabbing a clawful of gems from a bowl.
  1630. >You smile at his optimism.
  1631. >He throws a gem into the air and catches it in his mouth.
  1632. “Whoa, careful there Spike. Don’t want you to choke on one of those.”
  1633. >You say in a concerned voice.
  1634. >”Aw don’t worry about me Twilight, I’ve done this plenty of times before.”
  1635. >He says as he throws another into the air and again catches it in his mouth.
  1636. >Spike’s eyes go wide and he quickly covers his mouth with his claws while making a mild retching sound.
  1637. “I tried to warn you.”
  1638. >You can see he’s hunched over now, maybe he could use your help.
  1639. “Spike, are you alright? Do you need some water or maybe-“
  1640. >You are interrupted by him burping up a scroll.
  1641. “A letter? Nopony’s written me a letter in a while. Why don’t you read it Spike?”
  1642. >”Ugh, yeah. Sure thing Twilight.”
  1643. >He says trying to recover from regurgitating the message.
  1644. >”*Ahem* To my most faithful student, Princess Twilight Sparkle.”
  1645. >He begins.
  1646. >You can feel your eyes light up, it’s a letter from Princess Celestia.
  1647. >Just when you thought today wouldn’t turn out so well, this letter from your beloved teacher brought a much needed smile to your face.
  1648. >”It is my greatest pleasure and privilege to announce the return of my son, Prince Anonymous.”
  1649. >He reads.
  1650. “Wait! What?”
  1651. >You quickly use your magic to take the letter from him and continue reading yourself.
  1652. “Prince Anonymous and I will be traveling to Ponyville tomorrow to meet with you and the rest of the Elements of Harmony. I would like to ask your friends to assist in both his return and birthday celebration as well as to help him adjust to life back in Equestria.”
  1653. >You pause after reading that last part.
  1654. “Life back in Equestria?”
  1655. >”Well, where was he?”
  1656. >Your little assistant asks.
  1657. “I don’t know, but I have a feeling we’ll find out tomorrow.”
  1658. >You look back down at the letter.
  1659. “Please see the attached list for what I would like your friends to help with. I would also appreciate if you could investigate the various pieces of technology he has brought back with him. We both are looking forward to seeing you soon. Sincerely, Princess Celestia.”
  1660. >You quickly reread the letter again to yourself.
  1661. “Prince Anonymous has returned and he brought technology back with him. That I get to look at!”
  1662. >OhMyGoshOhMyGoshOhMyGoshOhMyGoshOhMyGoshOhMyGosh!
  1663. “Tomorrow’s going to be a great day!”
  1664. >You almost yell as you are now jumping around in excitement.
  1665. >You’re practically giddy as a school mare.
  1666. >But you stop jumping almost instantaneously as a dark thought enters your mind.
  1667. “But what if tomorrow isn’t great?”
  1668. >”Say what now?”
  1669. >Spike answers your question with a question of his own.
  1670. >You hate when he does that, but there’s no time to worry about that now.
  1671. “Spike this is a big deal! Prince Anonymous is Princess Celestia’s only son, who has been missing for years and just now returned.”
  1672. >”So?”
  1673. >He asks shrugging his shoulders.
  1674. “So? SO! If he comes and it isn’t great, what if he has a bad time? He’ll tell Princess Celestia! And then she’ll be angry with me. She’ll never trust me with anything important again- No! She’ll never trust me with ANYTHING ever again! I’ll have failed the Princess Spike, I’m a failure!”
  1675. >”Twilight! Snap out of it!”
  1676. >He shouts as he tries to shake you back to reality.
  1677. “Thanks Spike… I needed that.”
  1678. >”Relax, I’m sure the Princess would never think that.”
  1679. >He says putting a claw on your shoulder reassuringly.
  1680. >You let out a sigh.
  1681. “I’m sure your right. Come on, let’s go tell the girls.”
  1682.  
  1683. -Anon-
  1684. >It was a weird night of sleep for you.
  1685. >Despite how comfortable your bed was, and it was incredibly comfortable, you still found yourself waking up several times.
  1686. >It was probably a combination of dreams, the excitement of being home, and possibly your mother coming into your room to check on you… three times.
  1687. >But you didn’t mind, quite the contrary, you found it surprisingly reassuring that she cared enough about you to check on you like that.
  1688. >But that was then and this is now.
  1689. >And right now, you are currently enjoying a nice quiet breakfast with your mother.
  1690. >”Now my Little Ray of Sunshine, I know you’re probably still getting adjusted to being back home but I have a little excursion planned for us today.”
  1691. >She says with a caring expression on her face.
  1692. “Sure mom, that sounds great.”
  1693. >It really did.
  1694. >The castle was great, but you did want to see more of your new home.
  1695. >Or would it be old home?
  1696. >Well more of Equestria regardless.
  1697. “So what did you have in mind?”
  1698. >”First, we are going to see one of my old students who you might remember, Princess Twilight Sparkle.”
  1699. >She says.
  1700. >Another princess huh.
  1701. >Well you are the prince after all, you’ll probably have to meet with other royalty on a regular basis.
  1702. >Better get used to the idea.
  1703. >But why would she think you should remember her?
  1704. >You begin to wrack your brain trying to think of who this princess is.
  1705. >”She was the little filly who I gave magic lessons to when you were younger.”
  1706. >She tells you.
  1707. >Trying to remember certain things from so long ago is like is like trying to remember details from a dream after you just wake up.
  1708. >”She is your old guard Shining Armor’s little sister. You also played with her sometimes before and after her lessons with me.”
  1709. >She adds sensing you still don’t know who this Princess Twilight Sparkle was.
  1710. >You have to admit you were having a hard time with just the name, but now that you have some more details you think you might remember her.
  1711. >You’re 90% sure that she was a little purple pony that almost always had a book.
  1712. “Okay, I think I remember her now.”
  1713. >”She is very interested in science and technology so I was wondering if you could show her the things you brought with you.”
  1714. >She says and takes a drink of juice.
  1715. “Okay, that shouldn’t be a problem.”
  1716. >Who knows, she might have a way for you to charge your stuff too.
  1717. >”She also might have some questions for you about the world you came from. It would mean a lot to me if you could answer them for her.”
  1718. >She says, hopeful you would agree.
  1719. “Of course mom, anything for you.”
  1720. >She smiles at hearing that.
  1721. >”After you meet with Twilight you’ll meet the other Elements of Harmony. Equestria owes all of them a great deal.”
  1722. >She tells you as she turns to look at a stained glass window with six ponies on it.
  1723. >The Elements of Harmony.
  1724. >You’ll have to thank them for all they’ve done for Equestria and especially your mother.
  1725. >You take one final bite of your breakfast and wipe your mouth with your napkin.
  1726. >Looking at your mother, you see she has already finished hers.
  1727. “Well, let me go get my stuff to show Princess Twilight Sparkle.”
  1728. >You stand up as does your mother.
  1729. >”Would you mind if I walked with you?”
  1730. >She asks tentatively.
  1731. “No, of course not.”
  1732. >You can tell she is trying to hide her excitement at getting to walk with you.
  1733. >Since you returned, she has wanted to be with you as much as possible.
  1734. >It was actually rather sweet.
  1735. >You both start to walk back to your room.
  1736. “Hey mom?”
  1737. >”Yes my sunshine?”
  1738. >She responds in a loving tone.
  1739. “Can you tell me about the Elements of Harmony?”
  1740. >”Of course sweetheart. There are six Elements of Harmony, they are Honesty, Kindness, Laughter, Generosity, Loyalty, and Magic. Originally they were powerful magic gems that grew on the Tree of Harmony. But now, it is a title given to a pony that exemplifies one of the six elements.”
  1741. >She states while gesturing to one of the stained glass windows in the hallway.
  1742. >You can see the same six ponies on several different windows.
  1743. >That must be them.
  1744. >And from what you can see, they must have been busy.
  1745. >”Your Aunt Luna and I first used the elements to turn Discord to stone and end his reign of chaos.”
  1746. >She says as she continues down the hall.
  1747. >You are reminded of your meal yesterday and that strange creature that interrupted it.
  1748. >”The next time the elements were used was…”
  1749. >She said pausing.
  1750. >You turn to look at her.
  1751. >She looks sad and ashamed for some reason.
  1752. “Mom, are you alright?”
  1753. >Your words seem to shake her back to reality.
  1754. >”Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to drift away like that. A little over a thousand years ago, your Aunt Luna was taken over by an evil entity and she became Nightmare Moon. The evil corrupted her mind and she tried to cast all the land into eternal night. She became too powerful for even me to stop alone, so I was forced to use the Elements of Harmony on my own sister.”
  1755. >She explains, clearly still with a heavy heart over her actions.
  1756. >You can’t imagine what that must have been like.
  1757. >To be forced to attack your family to save the kingdom.
  1758. >Right then you saw your mother in a different way.
  1759. >No longer just your loving mother or raiser of the sun.
  1760. >But a leader who is willing to make sacrifices to save and protect her subjects no matter the cost.
  1761. >You reassuringly put your hand on her shoulder, trying to comfort her.
  1762. >”Luckily, the elements just cast the evil out of her. However, the battle had taken its toll on our old castle so we had to abandon it and we then made what is now Canterlot.”
  1763. >She said, still looking rather somber.
  1764. >You need to cheer her up somehow, or at least make her laugh.
  1765. “So wait a minute. You’re telling me we had another castle?”
  1766. >Despite her best efforts, she lets out a chuckle.
  1767. >You both are now outside your room.
  1768. >You start to pack your things into your backpack.
  1769. >”Then about four years ago, the evil returned. It took over Luna again and incapacitated me before I could do anything to stop it. It was Twilight and her friends that epitomized the elements and were able to use them to again cast the evil from Luna. That was when they saved Equestria the first time.”
  1770. >She explains as you finish packing.
  1771. “The first time? Exactly how many times have they saved the world?”
  1772. >”Quite a number of times actually. Now come along, we should be getting to the chariot.”
  1773. >She says as she turns to leave your room.
  1774. >Chariot?
  1775. >You sling your backpack over your shoulder and follow quickly behind her.
  1776. “Whatever happened to that evil entity that took over Aunt Luna? Aren’t you worried it might come back again?”
  1777. >”If and until it appears again I will believe the same thing that I believed a thousand years ago. That it has been destroyed and purged from the world. I do not think this way because I simply hope to be rid of it or that it will be dealt with at a later time, but instead that no evidence has been found to point to the contrary.”
  1778. >She says while forcing a smile for your benefit.
  1779. >You can tell she is still concerned about it though but decide against pursuing the issue further.
  1780. >You both continue the rest of the way silently.
  1781. >It isn’t long until you both are outside a set of doors guarded by two Pesasai, or is it Pegasuses?
  1782. >They turn their attention to your mother and you.
  1783. >”Your highnesses.”
  1784. >Says one of the guards bowing his head.
  1785. >Your mother subtly bows her head in response, so you quickly attempt to mimic her as well hopefully to show respect.
  1786. >You see her smile approvingly at you out of the corner of your eye.
  1787. >”Is everything prepared for the trip?”
  1788. >She asks the guards.
  1789. >”Of course your highness. Please follow me.”
  1790. >States the other Pegasus.
  1791. >You follow them into the room and see what has to be the chariot your mother was talking about.
  1792. >It is gold, ornate, and seemingly lacking even the most basic of safety features.
  1793. >For example, rails or something to prevent you from falling off.
  1794. >The Pegasus guards that escorted you in are fastening themselves into harnesses to pull the chariot while your mother boards it and sits down.
  1795. >”Is something the matter Anonymous?”
  1796. >She asks clearly sensing your hesitation.
  1797. >At least she isn’t calling you any nicknames in front of anyone else.
  1798. “Oh no, nothing at all. Just trying to find the seat belts on this thing, or seats for that matter.”
  1799. >She covers her mouth with one of her wings, probably so the guards won’t see her smiling.
  1800. >”It’ll be fine, just come up here next to me.”
  1801. >She tells you like a mother trying to get their child to jump into a swimming pool for the first time.
  1802. >You tentatively step onto the chariot and stand next to her, slightly shaking.
  1803. >”Oh that’s right, you were never on a flying chariot before were you?”
  1804. >She says a little surprised.
  1805. >Flying chariot?
  1806. >The look on your face must have told her what she wanted to know.
  1807. >Her expression turned from concern to understanding, all the while with maternal love present.
  1808. >”Don’t worry, I’ll be right here with you. I promise, I won’t let anything happen to you my Little Prince.”
  1809. >She whispers so that only you can hear her.
  1810. >Her soft and caring voice relaxes you.
  1811. >The doors to the outside of the castle open up and the two guards unfurl their wings and start to take off.
  1812. >The sudden motion of the takeoff causes you to stumble slightly.
  1813. >True to her word, your mother extends her wing to catch you and pull you close to her in a protective fashion.
  1814. >”You can hold onto me if you would feel more comfortable.”
  1815. >She again whispers.
  1816. >Looking down you are a considerable ways off the ground, so you could probably do with any extra security you could get.
  1817. >You wrap your one arm around her neck while you are still wrapped in her protective wing.
  1818. >You catch her smiling, either because you are like a little kid again who needs his mother or because she finds your reactions amusing.
  1819. >it doesn’t really matter though, because nothing can beat this view.
  1820. >Such a pure and pristine land unlike anything you saw on Earth, and you can see it all from up here.
  1821. >But more important than the view, was who you were sharing it with.
  1822. >And right now you couldn’t think of anyone else you would rather be with right now.
  1823.  
  1824. -Celestia-
  1825. >You are flying through the air on the royal chariot heading to Ponyville.
  1826. >You are also unable to hide your happiness if you tried to.
  1827. >True, you always enjoyed these rides and almost any excuse to get out of the castle but that isn’t why you’re happy.
  1828. >Nor is it because you will soon get to see your most faithful student.
  1829. >The cause of your delight is carefully and protectively wrapped in your wing, your son Anonymous.
  1830. >You could sense his trepidation before you took off.
  1831. >He was probably nervous because he hasn’t flown with you in so long.
  1832. >So you did the same thing you did when you first taught him how to swim.
  1833. >You asked him to trust you, and you promised that you wouldn’t let anything happen to him.
  1834. >You close your eyes and let that memory wash over you.
  1835. >”Mommy, is it safe?”
  1836. >He asks tentatively staring at the large pool of water until before him.
  1837. “Of course it is my little prince. Here, let me show you.”
  1838. >You proceed to walk into the water until your legs are completely submerged.
  1839. “Now, come out here to mommy sunshine.”
  1840. >”But it’s really far… and it looks so deep.”
  1841. >He wearily says while sizing up the several paces between the two of you.
  1842. “The water is about your height, and I’ll be right here so don’t worry.”
  1843. >You tell him with a reassuring smile.
  1844. >”But…”
  1845. >He starts to say before pausing.
  1846. “But what honey?”
  1847. >”… I’m scared.”
  1848. >He answers sheepishly.
  1849. >You look closer at him and see he’s starting to shake.
  1850. >It takes every ounce of your self-control not to run up to him, wrap him in your wings, pass a decree banning all bodies of liquid deeper than your son is tall, comfort him, and let him know everything is going to be alright.
  1851. >But you need to be strong, so that he can become stronger.
  1852. “Now sweetheart, I know you’re scared and there is nothing wrong with that.”
  1853. >”There isn’t?”
  1854. >He asks.
  1855. “Of course there isn’t. Fear is a normal part of life, and everypony gets scared from time to time.”
  1856. >”Even you Mommy?”
  1857. >He asks, clearly surprised.
  1858. “Yes my little one, even me. But you mustn’t let fear control you either. In fact, sometimes you discover the things you were afraid of turn out to be rather silly and you end up wondering why you were scared in the first place.”
  1859. >He starts to slowly move closer to the shallow end of the pool.
  1860. >”You promise I’ll be okay?”
  1861. >He asks, still a little wary.
  1862. “Anonymous I promise that so long as I’m here with you, I won’t let anything happen to you.”
  1863. >Encouraged by your words, he cautiously continues out into the water to meet you.
  1864. >With each step he takes, the water rises higher against him until it is just a little below his neck.
  1865. >He is still shy of reaching you however.
  1866. >He is starting to look worried, most likely because he isn’t comfortable walking further.
  1867. “Alright my little ray of sunshine, I’m going to hold you with my magic and I want you to gently kick your legs alright?”
  1868. >He still looks scared and doesn’t answer apart from nodding his head.
  1869. >You envelop his torso with your magic and levitate him just enough so he isn’t touching the pool floor.
  1870. “Now slowly start kicking sweetheart.”
  1871. >He does as he’s told and to his surprise, he’s treading water.
  1872. >You do your best to hide your excitement at his accomplishment.
  1873. “Now, keep kicking to stay above water and try to come to mommy.”
  1874. >He continues to kick and he is getting closer to you.
  1875. >You stealthily take a step further away from him as he keeps swimming towards you with your help.
  1876. >You next weaken your magic holding him up until he is only swimming under his own power.
  1877. >You stop walking backwards and wait for him to reach you.
  1878. >Being ever ready to grab him with your magic again should he need it.
  1879. “Come on sweetheart, you’re almost here. You can do it.”
  1880. >You say smiling, unable to contain your emotions anymore at witnessing your little foal swimming on his own.
  1881. >He reaches you and hugs you around your neck to support himself.
  1882. “You did it! Oh, I’m so proud of you my little prince.”
  1883. >You lift him with your magic and bring him to a sitting position on your back.
  1884. >You lean your head back and kiss his cheek.
  1885. >He starts to giggle at the attention you’re giving him.
  1886. >He then reciprocates and kisses your cheek and hugs your neck again, this time to show you that he loves you.
  1887. “Oh my little ray of sunshine, mommy’s so proud of you. You were my brave little stallion and swam all on your own.”
  1888. >”I thought you were holding me Mommy.”
  1889. >He says, surprised by your revelation.
  1890. “I was at first, but the last part you did all on your own. And you weren’t scared at all.”
  1891. >You explain as you slowly walk back to the shallow end of the pool with him still on your back.
  1892. >”I was scared earlier, but you promised nothing would happen. And Mommy always keeps her promises.”
  1893. >He says beaming your praise.
  1894. “And are you afraid of swimming anymore?”
  1895. >”Nu-uh. You were right Mommy, it was silly to be afraid of that. Now I can go swimming with you whenever!”
  1896. >He declares proudly.
  1897. “Not so fast my little one, you still need to practice and get better at swimming on your own. But that’s enough for one day.”
  1898. >You tell him as you finally exit the pool.
  1899. >You use your magic to place him on the ground and to bring towels for both of you.
  1900. >You effortlessly wrap him in the towel and begin to dry him off.
  1901. “What do you say to a little reward for what you just did?”
  1902. >His eyes light up.
  1903. >”Cake?”
  1904. >He asks almost begging.
  1905. “Cake.”
  1906. >You answer him smiling.
  1907. >He turns and starts to run out of the room.
  1908. “Ah-ah-ah, no running. And wait for me.”
  1909. >You chide at him.
  1910. >He stopped in his tracks, turned and waited for you.
  1911. >You caught up to him and together you both were on your way to some well-deserved cake.
  1912. >A few days ago that memory, which initially would make you feel warm and happy inside would ultimately depress you.
  1913. >You learned the hard way you couldn’t retreat into your memories of your son after he went missing.
  1914. >Every time you thought about him when he was gone was like scratching a bug bite.
  1915. >It would initially subside the pain but in the end it would just make the entire situation more painful.
  1916. >Once you are at Twilight's you would excuse yourself and make your way to your old castle.
  1917. >Once there you would find Starswirl’s private library and hopefully an immortality spell to cast on Anon so that you would never have to be apart from him again.
  1918. >You are going to make sure nothing takes your son away again.
  1919. >You promise.
  1920.  
  1921. -Anon-
  1922. >You are currently holding onto your mother in an attempt to help yourself balance on her flying chariot.
  1923. >Even with her wing extended around you and your arm around her, you’re still struggling not to fall.
  1924. >To your relief, you appear to be nearing what you think is your destination.
  1925. >At least it should be your destination.
  1926. >Let’s be honest, you’d be surprised if Princess Twilight Sparkle isn’t in that tree castle thing you’re approaching.
  1927. >You must be right since the two guards pulling you start to descend towards it.
  1928. >You land surprisingly unceremoniously on the castle’s landing strip.
  1929. >Okay, time to put on your prince face.
  1930. >Want to make sure you make a good impression on this other princess.
  1931. >You mother unwraps you from her wing.
  1932. >You take this as your queue to remove your arm from around her as well.
  1933. “Thanks mom.”
  1934. >You say so that only she can hear.
  1935. >”Of course my sunshine.”
  1936. >She responds also in a voice only you can hear.
  1937. >You spoke at a low volume not because you are embarrassed by her helping you, but instead because you don’t fully know what to call her in a public setting.
  1938. >’Thank you Princess Celestia’ does sound extremely formal.
  1939. >You two should really go over things like that together.
  1940. >You step off the chariot and walk to the front to where the guards are located.
  1941. >They are starting to unstrap themselves from the chariot.
  1942. “Thank you both very much for the ride.”
  1943. >You say bowing slightly.
  1944. >They both stop what they are doing and seem a little surprised by what you just said.
  1945. >You hope you didn’t just break some royalty and or guard protocol.
  1946. >”Y-you’re welcome your highness.”
  1947. >Says one.
  1948. >”It was our pleasure your highness.”
  1949. >Adds the other.
  1950. >Your mother walks to your side.
  1951. >”Thank you both as always for the flight. We won’t be returning to Canterlot for some time, so please enjoy yourselves in town and I’ll summon you when we’re ready to depart.”
  1952. >She tells them.
  1953. >They nod in approval and surprising unison as they salute her with their wings.
  1954. >”Of course princess. Please don’t hesitate to call if either of you need us.”
  1955. >Declares the Pegasus on the left.
  1956. >They both finish unstrapping themselves from the chariot and fly off the landing strip.
  1957. >You assume they are going to enjoy a nice day off in town.
  1958. >Now that it’s just the two of you, you want to ask your mother a little more about royal protocol.
  1959. >Better late than never.
  1960. “Sorry if I said anything I shouldn’t have in front of the guards. I’m still not used to the whole royalty thing yet… or again actually.”
  1961. >She looks at you with a puzzled look on her face.
  1962. >”What are you talking about sweetheart? I thought you handled yourself rather well.”
  1963. >She casts a loving smile in your direction.
  1964. >”I believe they were pleasantly surprised is all. Not all royalty or dignitaries express their appreciation to the guards, let alone acknowledge them.”
  1965. >She explains.
  1966. “Okay, I just worried I said something I shouldn’t of.”
  1967. >”Just keep being yourself and I don’t think you should have anything to worry about.”
  1968. >She states as she starts to nuzzle you.
  1969. >This is quite a confusing feeling.
  1970. >On one hand, you are enjoying the love she is expressing to you that you have been missing and longing for all these years.
  1971. >But on the other hand, you are a grown man who is being nuzzled by his mother.
  1972. >Calm down, relax Anon.
  1973. >Maybe nuzzling is the pony equivalent of hugging.
  1974. >At least no one is around to see this and make you feel self-conscious.
  1975. >”Princess Celestia.”
  1976. >An excited voice calls out.
  1977. >Well shit.
  1978. >You turn towards the voice and see a purple pony with what seems to be a small lizard like creature next to her, both standing in a doorway leading into the castle.
  1979. >They both start walking towards your mother and you.
  1980. >As they get closer you notice a big grin on the pony’s face.
  1981. >”Princess Twilight, how good to see you again.”
  1982. >Your mother says as she leans down and nuzzles the other princess.
  1983. >Okay, you’re 90% sure nuzzling equals hugs now.
  1984. >That’s good, you wouldn’t want a tabloid to run a story about your mother nuzzling you and ruining her reputation.
  1985. >Do they even have tabloids here?
  1986. >Never mind that now, focus.
  1987. >Your mother pulls away from the other princess and gestures to you.
  1988. >”Allow me to introduce my son, Prince Anonymous. And this is Princess Twilight Sparkle and her assistant Spike.”
  1989. >She says
  1990. “Princess Twilight Sparkle, Spike. It is my pleasure to meet you both.”
  1991. >You say nodding to each of them as you say their names.
  1992. >”The pleasure is ours Prince Anonymous.”
  1993. >She says bowing.
  1994. >”Well, shall we move into the castle and make ourselves more comfortable?”
  1995. >The little pony asks.
  1996. >”Of course, after you Twilight.”
  1997. >Your mother replies.
  1998. >Twilight and Spike turn and start to walk into the castle proper, with your mother and you following behind them.
  1999. >Now that you have seen the princess you’ve been trying to remember her, but something seems off about her.
  2000. “Hey, mom.”
  2001. >You whisper.
  2002. >”Yes?”
  2003. >She whispers back.
  2004. “Did she always have wings?”
  2005. >Your other smiles and stifles a laugh.
  2006. >”No honey, she didn’t always have those.”
  2007. >She answers.
  2008. >Your mother and you are following Princess Twilight through her castle.
  2009. >The princess and her assistant seem surprisingly unfazed for meeting a human.
  2010. >Maybe your mother told them about you in preparation so they didn’t freak out in front of you.
  2011. >Not that you’re complaining.
  2012. >After all you don’t want a repeat of what happened with those two guards from when you first came home.
  2013. >Wonder whatever happened to them?
  2014. >You are lead into what looks like a large laboratory.
  2015. >That’s not something you see in a castle every day, well unless it’s in a monster movie or something like that.
  2016. >”Now, Prince Anonymous, I’m going to be asking you some questions about yourself, where you’ve been and things of that nature. Some of my questions may seem rather personal but I assure you that it is all for science. I also understand that you have some technology that you brought with you. If it would be alright, I would like to take a look at them as well.”
  2017. >The princess explains to you, not unlike how a doctor might talk to you.
  2018. “Yeah, of course.”
  2019. >You walk up to a vacant table and place your backpack on top of it.
  2020. >Next you remove your laptop, mp3 player, headphones, and portable speaker from your bag and put them all on the table.
  2021. >You also take your phone from your pocket and place it next to your other things.
  2022. >She trots over and quickly glances at your things.
  2023. >She looks like a kid on Christmas morning.
  2024. >While she is preoccupied looking at your stuff, you notice her assistant getting stacks of paper.
  2025. >You walk over to him and crouch down to get to his level.
  2026. >He is either too busy with his work or you were very quiet when you walked up to him because he doesn’t seem to notice you.
  2027. “Um, excuse me.”
  2028. >”WHAAAAA!”
  2029. >He screams as papers are thrown inadvertently into the air.
  2030. “Ah man, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you like that.”
  2031. >You tell him as you start to pick up the scattered papers from the ground.
  2032. >”Oh no, you didn’t scare me. You just surprised me was all. Is there something I ca do for you your highness?”
  2033. >He asks as he begins to gather the papers as well.
  2034. “Well actually, I’ve never seen anything like you before. If you don’t mind me asking, could you tell me what are you?”
  2035. >You ask him hoping not to offend him with your question.
  2036. >”Oh, well I’m a dragon.”
  2037. >He says to you in a matter of fact sort of way.
  2038. “Like a fire breathing dragon?”
  2039. >”Yup.”
  2040. >he replies confidently.
  2041. “You probably get this all the time, but that’s really cool.”
  2042. >You say with a smile.
  2043. >”Actually, I don’t hear that often.”
  2044. >He says scratching the back of his head.
  2045. >”Honestly, it’s kind of hard being the only dragon and constantly feeling you’re different from everypony else.”
  2046. >He says with the faintest hint of sadness in his voice.
  2047. >You can totally relate to him.
  2048. >You can’t remember getting odd looks whenever you were introduced as Celestia’s son because of how you looked, but now you realize that you had to have gotten them.
  2049. >Luckily you always had your mother and Aunt Luna to make you feel loved and accepted.
  2050. >And though their example, others started to make you feel that way too.
  2051. “Believe me, I know exactly how you feel.”
  2052. >You say putting your hand on his back.
  2053. >He looks at you with mild surprise, most likely doubting you can relate.
  2054. “I grew up looking different than everyone around me. Then I grew up feeling different than everyone around me, even though I looked just like them. It took years, but in the end I realized it doesn’t matter what others think about you. What does mater though, is what you think of yourself.”
  2055. >You tell him and look back to your mother talking with Princess Twilight across the room.
  2056. >You can’t help but smile when you see her.
  2057. “But it does help having someone who always makes you feel accepted no matter what.”
  2058. >You say turning back to him.
  2059. >You see he is gazing across the room as well.
  2060. >Following his line of his sight, you see he is staring at the purple princess.
  2061. >Guess you two have more in common than you first thought.
  2062. >You finish picking up the remaining scattered pieces of paper and hand them to him.
  2063. “Here ya go. Again, sorry for surprising you earlier.”
  2064. >”Thanks, and don’t worry about it Prince Anonymous.”
  2065. >He says taking the papers from you.
  2066. “Hey, call me Anon.”
  2067.  
  2068. -Celestia-
  2069. “Thank you again Twilight for doing this.”
  2070. >”Oh please princess, it’s my pleasure. After all, it isn’t every day a pony can look at items and a species from another world.”
  2071. >She says cheerfully, taking her attention away from your son’s things.
  2072. >She suddenly has a panicked look painted on her face.
  2073. >”I mean your son- I mean Prince Anonymous! I didn’t mean to call him another species or anything. Oh, I’m so sorry.”
  2074. >She blurts out, as she also seems to be on the verge of hyperventilating.
  2075. “It’s alright, I know you meant no ill will in what you said.”
  2076. >You reassuringly tell her.
  2077. >It works as she seems to have calmed down.
  2078. “But you are correct. Even though he is my son, he is still a different species we know little about. That is why I asked you to help in discovering everything you can about him.”
  2079. >You explain to her.
  2080. >”Of course princess, you can count on me. Now, can you tell me anything about him before I begin?”
  2081. >She asks.
  2082. >What can you tell her about him?
  2083. >How he means more to you than life itself.
  2084. >Maybe you could tell her how since he’s been back it’s as if a light has returned to a dark but familiar room.
  2085. >Perhaps you could tell of his determination he showed in returning and never giving up that he would.
  2086. >In the end, the truth is you don’t know much of his physiology.
  2087. >When he was younger you did, but you aren’t sure if anything changed since then.
  2088. >You then look over to Anon, who is helping Spike pick up papers from the ground.
  2089. >You smile and are reassured again that one thing hasn’t changed.
  2090. “He has a kind, strong, and good heart.”
  2091. >You say still looking at your son.
  2092. “And it looks like he made a new friend as well.”
  2093. >You tell her while gesturing to the pair across the room with your wing.
  2094. >Twilight turns to see the two of them together.
  2095. >She has a worried look on her face, probably because she thinks Spike might be annoying him.
  2096. >You know how this little pony worries about making everything perfect.
  2097. >Her fears are dismissed and her expression lifts as you both see them talking and laughing.
  2098. >The pair walks over to you.
  2099. >”Well then, shall we begin?”
  2100. >Twilight asks him.
  2101. >”Alright.”
  2102. >He responds.
  2103. “And with that, I believe it is time for me to take my leave.”
  2104. >Anon and Twilight both look at you.
  2105. >Anon unable to hide his surprise and Twilight unable to hide her disappointment at your statement.
  2106. >”Is everything alright?”
  2107. >He asks you.
  2108. “Of course, nothing to worry about. I just think this might go easier for you if your mother wasn’t around. Besides, I haven’t been back to Luna and my old castle in some time. This may be a good chance to return.”
  2109. >He nods in affirmation.
  2110. >You walk up to him and nuzzle him.
  2111. “I’ll be back later, feel free to continue meeting with the other elements of harmony without me if I’m not back.”
  2112. >He hugs you around the neck.
  2113. >”Okay, I’ll see you later then.”
  2114. >He says as he releases his embrace.
  2115. >You turn and start walking away.
  2116. >”Alright, Spike the first set of questions please.”
  2117. >You hear Twilight say as you continue walking.
  2118. >You are sorry to leave Anon to her undoubtedly long list of questions, but you need time to search your old castle for Starswirl’s private library.
  2119. >You’ll make it up to him though.
  2120. >Hopefully with the gift of immortality.
  2121.  
  2122. -Anon-
  2123. >Your mother has just left to visit her old castle, leaving you with Princess Twilight and Spike.
  2124. >Hopefully this exam won’t be too embarrassing or awkward.
  2125. >”Alright then, shall we begin Prince Anonymous?”
  2126. >She asks turning to you.
  2127. “Sure, and fell free to just call me Anon.”
  2128. >You explain.
  2129. >”Oh no, I couldn’t. I mean, you’re the prince of all Equestria.”
  2130. >She states nervously.
  2131. “It’s okay, I insist. To be honest, I always found all that prince stuff a little too formal for my taste.”
  2132. >Your words seem to put her more at ease, if even just slightly.
  2133. >”I actually understand what you mean. I’m still getting used to the whole princess thing myself.”
  2134. >She tells you.
  2135. “So does this mean you can drop the whole ‘Prince’ title from my name? You know unless it’s for something formal, Princess Twilight Sparkle.”
  2136. >She tilts her head to the side, seemingly to think for a moment.
  2137. >”I suppose that should be fine, since you insisted of course. So long as you drop the ‘Princess’ title from my name too. You can just call me Twilight if you like.”
  2138. >She says with a smile.
  2139. ”Well now that we know what to call each other, how about we start with those questions?”
  2140. >”Yes, of course. Ready Spike?”
  2141. >She asks turning to her assistant.
  2142. >”Ready.”
  2143. >He replies holding up a paper and…
  2144. >No way, is that a quill?
  2145. >You forgot that most of Equestria had or apparently still has ‘Ye Olde’ technology.
  2146. >Which is kinda surprising considering you are in a state of the art laboratory in a castle made of crystal.
  2147. >Probably best not to think about it.
  2148. >”First, where did you go? You vanished ten years ago without a trace. Also, why did you leave?”
  2149. >She asks, breaking you away from your thoughts.
  2150. “Well, I went to a place called Earth. I’m pretty sure it was a different planet or dimension because no one there knew anything about my mother or anyone else from here. And I didn’t leave by choice. I was in the garden at the castle, I closed my eyes and when I opened them I was there.”
  2151. >She is nodding and Spike seems to be writing down everything you say.
  2152. >She puts a hoof to her chin.
  2153. >”Very interesting, Non-Pegasus and Unicorns are called Earth Ponies. Given that our worlds seem to be connected by that portal, it can’t be just a coincidence.”
  2154. >She contemplates.
  2155. >”So were there any ponies at all?”
  2156. >Spike adds to the conversation.
  2157. >You shake your head no.
  2158. “The closest thing to a pony was just a horse, even then they weren’t sentient. As for Unicorns or Pegasai, they were all thought to be the stuff of legends, mythology, or just stories for children.”
  2159. >You explain and he resumes writing down your words.
  2160. >”I want to come back to that, but when you moved between worlds did you touch or walk through anything at all?”
  2161. >Twilight asks returning to her questions.
  2162. “No. I was just standing in the garden and then I ended up there. I also got back the same way. As far as I can figure, those two spots ae connected and a portal only opens up once every ten years.”
  2163. >You explain.
  2164. >”Mm-Hmm… very interesting. And you didn’t change form when you shifted between worlds at all?”
  2165. >She asks while taking down her own notes.
  2166. >You are a little surprised by that question.
  2167. “No… not that I know of anyway.”
  2168. >You answer her.
  2169. >”Well it sounds similar to the mirror but still different. I wonder how many other worlds are connected to ours.”
  2170. >She says more to herself than anyone else.
  2171. >Wonder what that mirror she’s talking about is.
  2172. “Uh, Twilight?”
  2173. >”I wonder what would happen if he interacted with the mirror.”
  2174. >She says still writing down notes.
  2175. >You look over to Spike.
  2176. “Is she normally like this?”
  2177. >”Pretty much, you kind of get used to it.”
  2178. >He answers.
  2179.  
  2180. -Celestia-
  2181. >You are currently flying to your old castle that you shared with Luna all those years ago.
  2182. >Your thoughts drift back to the day thus far and are rather pleased with it.
  2183. >You got to enjoy a quiet meal and chariot ride with your son.
  2184. >Not to mention getting to see Twilight again.
  2185. >That always helps brighten your mood.
  2186. >It also isn’t every day you can play hooky from your royal duties and ditch your guards either.
  2187. >You are still beside yourself that Anon is back.
  2188. >However you do regret that he isn’t your little foal anymore.
  2189. >Not that you don’t love him, just that you would like to pick up with him where you left off when he disappeared.
  2190. >You wanted those years back so badly.
  2191. >The castle is now visible and you begin to descend towards it.
  2192. >You land at the main entrance and make your way inside.
  2193. >Even without considering what Twilight and her friends have done to renovate the castle, you are rather impressed with how well it has held up after all this time.
  2194. >Especially considering how much damage was done when Luna became Nightmare Moon.
  2195. >You pass the old throne room and decide to stop.
  2196. >Looking in you can see two thrones.
  2197. >One is adorned with the sun and the other a moon.
  2198. >You step into the room and approach them.
  2199. >A smile has made its way to your face at the sight.
  2200. Twilight must have taken great care restoring them, as they look almost new.
  2201. >Perhaps she had Rarity help with them.
  2202. >You stare at them and remember ruling Equestria with your sister by your side back then.
  2203. >You also remember how the two of you loved to play jokes and pranks on one another.
  2204. >You close your eyes and this time a chuckle finds its way to your lips.
  2205. >When you open your eyes, you think you’re seeing things.
  2206. >Where Luna’s throne once was is now another with your sun cutie mark on it.
  2207. >No, not another.
  2208. >It is identical to yours down to the smallest detail.
  2209. >As you are trying to make sense of things, a strange thought enters your head.
  2210. >You think of how nice it would be to rule Equestria with your son at your side.
  2211. >Just as you did with Luna only…
  2212. >No, something just doesn’t feel right.
  2213. >You close your eyes and shake your head from side to side.
  2214. >When you open your eyes, the second throne has returned to being moon themed.
  2215. >Perhaps your eyes are playing tricks on you.
  2216. >That wouldn’t be hard to fathom considering the lack of sleep you’ve had in combination with the various emotional highs and lows over the last few days.
  2217. >You turn and start walking away.
  2218. >Once at the door, you look back over your shoulder at the thrones one more time.
  2219. >Again, you see one sun and one moon throne.
  2220. >As it should be.
  2221. >You let out a sigh of relief and continue out of the room.
  2222. “It’s probably just lack of sleep and my emotions getting the better of me.”
  2223. >You reassuringly tell yourself.
  2224. >You’ll most likely go to bed early tonight to try and make up for the deficit you have right now.
  2225. >Soon enough, you find yourself in the castle library.
  2226. >You lightly laugh remembering how Starswirl insisted on keeping his private library in the castle’s main library.
  2227. “What was it he always said?”
  2228. >You say to yourself while walking up to a seemingly innocent looking bookshelf.
  2229. >Using your magic, you then pull on a dull and mundane looking book.
  2230. >This causes the floor to shake and slowly parts of it start to lower creating stairs leading down to a hidden room.
  2231. “Oh yes, hiding in plain sight.”
  2232. >You say as you begin to descend the stairs.
  2233.  
  2234. -Anon-
  2235. >You are finishing getting dressed after your physical.
  2236. >You tried to mentally prepare yourself in case things got awkward.
  2237. >Which they did.
  2238. >You honestly did not see the camera, and the subsequent photos, coming.
  2239. >You’re still not sure if you should be embarrassed or flattered that Twilight was blushing during part of the exam.
  2240. >But if there was one good thing that came from this, it was that she figured out a way to charge your electronic devices.
  2241. >Well, that and Equestria now has a very detailed if not a complete guide on the human race.
  2242. >”Thanks again Anon for answering all my questions and letting me run those tests on you.”
  2243. >She says looking over her notes.
  2244. >”You have no idea how much the scientific community will appreciate this information.”
  2245. >She continues with a genuine smile on her face.
  2246. >Her happiness is infectious and you can’t help but to grin at her excitement.
  2247. >You swear you’re never seen anyone get so worked up over facts and figures before.
  2248. >You walk over to the table you left your phone on and pick it up.
  2249. >You quickly use it to check the time and see that several hours have passed since you started the tests.
  2250. >Twilight must have thought the same thing as she seemed shocked looking out the window at the position of the sun.
  2251. >”Wow, I didn’t think we were here that long. You know what they say, time sure flies when you’re having fun. That is, if you consider taking tests and answering questions fun.”
  2252. >She turns to you and says with a laugh.
  2253. >You let out a little chuckle and nod at her joke.
  2254. >Her eyes then open wide, like she just bit into something really sour.
  2255. >”I mean, I hope you had fun. Not that you had to have fun of course, but you hopefully didn’t have a bad time. And-“
  2256. “Twilight.”
  2257. >You cut her off.
  2258. >She looks up at you, almost as if she is afraid she upset you.
  2259. >You walk over to her and can tell she is very nervous.
  2260. >Crouching down you put your hand on the back of her head and rub her not unlike you might do to a pet.
  2261. >You really hope you aren’t breaking any royal or social protocol.
  2262. >You should be fine because ponies seem to nuzzle each other all the time.
  2263. >And seriously, how different is a head rub from a nuzzle anyway?
  2264. >As it is, she doesn’t seem to mind.
  2265. >If anything, she seems to be enjoying it.
  2266. “Don’t worry about it, okay? I didn’t have a bad time, even if things got awkward every now and then.”
  2267. >”Uh-huh…”
  2268. >She responds with her eyes closed.
  2269. >You laugh lightly at her reaction.
  2270. >Might as well have a little fun with her as payback for having to answer all those questions of hers.
  2271. “Everything alright Princess?”
  2272. >You ask her.
  2273. >”Sounds good…”
  2274. >She answers you with her eyes still shut.
  2275. >That answer doesn’t even make sense.
  2276. >Uh-oh.
  2277. >Did you just head scratch a princess stupid?
  2278. >Spike trots up beside you and looks at her.
  2279. >”Wow, I’ve only ever seen her react like that to a really good book.”
  2280. >He explains.
  2281. >You decide it might be best if you stopped for now.
  2282. >So you stop petting and scratching her, and stand back up.
  2283. >A few blinks and one head shake later, she seems to have come back to her senses.
  2284. >“You alright?”
  2285. >He asks her.
  2286. >”I’m great Spike, just great.”
  2287. >She quickly says.
  2288. >She then looks back up at you.
  2289. >”So, a… what do you call that… thing you just did?”
  2290. >She asks sheepishly.
  2291. “Head scratchies.”
  2292. >You tell her holding up you hand and moving your fingers for emphasis.
  2293. >She uses her magic and quickly brings a piece of paper and a quill to her.
  2294. >She hastily writes something down, folds the paper in half, and returns both it and the quill to the table she got it from.
  2295. >”Well I think that’s enough questions for now. How about we head over to Rarity’s so she can design you some clothes?”
  2296. >She states more than asks.
  2297. >It was almost like she wanted to change the subject.
  2298. >”Can I come?”
  2299. >The little dragon inquires.
  2300. >”Sorry Spike, probably not right now. I need you here organizing the data we just collected.”
  2301. >She tells him.
  2302. >Poor little guy looks dejected by that.
  2303. >”It’s okay, we can stop by later today after you’re all finished here. I’ll want to thank her for everything she’s going to do for us anyway.”
  2304. >She says to him.
  2305. >She probably sensed he needed a pick me up.
  2306. >It seems to have worked, as he smiles ear to ear and returns to his work with a little more spring in his step.
  2307. >It must be one hell of a place if he wants to go there.
  2308. >”Well, shall we then Anon?”
  2309. >She inquires while standing in the doorway.
  2310. “Sure, of course. Bye Spike, see ya’ later.”
  2311. >You say waving at your new dragon friend.
  2312. >”Bye Anon, Bye Twilight.”
  2313. >He calls out and tries to wave without dropping the stack of papers he’s holding.
  2314. >You follow Twilight as she starts to lead you out of the room.
  2315. >Well, time to get some clothes.
  2316.  
  2317. >You didn’t remember much of Twilight when you first heard the name.
  2318. >But being around her today and seeing how she acts and especially her quirks has reminded you more and more about her, and her private lessons with your mother.
  2319. >Your mind drifts back to a little purple pony who was a few years older than you.
  2320. >>She always seemed to have her nose in a book.
  2321. >The two of you even played together often when waiting for your mother to finish up her duties before Twilight’s lesson.
  2322. >That is of course after your guard, her brother, and your babysitter encouraged her to put down her books and play with you for the first time.
  2323. >You remember playing childish games in the castle with her.
  2324. >Running through the halls, playing tag, or hide and seek.
  2325. >Occasionally sneaking into the throne room to find either your aunt or other there.
  2326. >They always had a smile on their face when they saw you though, even if you thought you were interrupting them.
  2327. >Sometimes other guards or castle staff would join in on the games too, which always made things more interesting.
  2328. >She occasionally even stayed the night if her lessons ran late.
  2329. >She always seemed to enjoy those nights when that happened.
  2330. >Now that you know your old guard and baby sitter are married to each other, you wonder if they just got you two to play together just to get you two out of their hair so they could be alone.
  2331. >If so, well played.
  2332. >”We’re almost at Rarity’s Boutique and should be there shortly.”
  2333. >Twilight calls out to you, bringing you back to reality.
  2334. “Sure, no problem.”
  2335. >You respond.
  2336. >You look ahead and see an interesting building that looks like a merry go round.
  2337. >To be fair there have been a few weird looking buildings.
  2338. >Pony architecture seems to be similar but just a little different to buildings you’ve seen on earth.
  2339. >Not to mention the materials used for some of them.
  2340. >Without counting the castle made out of crystal you just came from, you’re pretty sure one of the buildings you passed was made partly with gingerbread and frosting.
  2341. >You also see, and have seen several ponies staring at you.
  2342. >You did think this might be the case and accepted it early on.
  2343. >In reality you can’t blame them though.
  2344. >After all, how often would a pony here see a large and strange looking creature walking about on two legs rather than their usual four?
  2345. >It would be the same if someone on Earth saw a little talking magical horse walking down the street.
  2346. >Somehow you don’t think things would end well if the roles were reversed and a pony was on Earth.
  2347. >You’ve seen too many Sci-Fi movies about what humans do with aliens they capture.
  2348. >Good thing you are being escorted around by a princess, and even then that another princess is your mother.
  2349. >Also while you’re comparing Equestria and Earth, you try to imagine what would happen if a ruler adopted a child.
  2350. >Especially a child who was a completely different species.
  2351. >Now that would be a scandal for the tabloids.
  2352. >You wonder how adopting you affected your mother’s reputation when it first happened.
  2353. >You look down at Twilight and see her looking uneasy because of the glances you’re getting.
  2354. >Luckily she kept her word when you made her promise not to advertise who you were.
  2355. >Don’t want a whole ‘What are you looking at? Don’t you know who this is?’ thing to happen.
  2356. >Again you just don’t want to sound like a spoiled brat prince.
  2357. >You both finally arrive at the door to what you assume is Rarity’s shop.
  2358. >There is a closed sign in the window.
  2359. >She knocks on the door.
  2360. >”I’m terribly sorry, but we’re closed for the day.”
  2361. >A voice eventually calls from inside.
  2362. >”Rarity, it’s me. Twilight.”
  2363. >She says.
  2364. >You hear shuffling of things inside the building.
  2365. >The door opens and a white unicorn is in the entrance way bowing to the two of you.
  2366. >”You highness, welcome to the Carousel Boutique where ever… y…”
  2367. >She says as she comes up from the bow and sees you.
  2368. >Her eyes keep going up until they meet yours.
  2369. >She is now looking almost dumbfounded at you.
  2370. >Now that was the reaction you were thinking you would get from Twilight this morning.
  2371. >The unicorn quickly shakes her head and manages to compose herself.
  2372. >”Ah-ha ha ha.”
  2373. >She laughs nervously.
  2374. >”Would you excuse us a moment your highness?”
  2375. >She asks you.
  2376. “Of course, take your time.”
  2377. >You nod and say in response.
  2378. >She quickly grabs Twilight and almost drags her into the building, closing the door promptly behind her.
  2379. >”Rarity, what-“
  2380. >”You didn’t tell me he was so big.”
  2381. >”What are you talking about?”
  2382. >”Based on the pictures you gave me, I assumed he would be smaller. So I designed and created accordingly.”
  2383. >”You already made something? Why?”
  2384. >”So I could have something to give the prince now.”
  2385. >”Well, I can always use an expanding spell to-“
  2386. >”Don’t you dare! My designs must not be altered by magic, they must instead be created.”
  2387. >”…Okay.”
  2388. >”It’s alright, it’s okay. I’ll just consider what I made earlier a trail run, or a small scale design.”
  2389. >You hear through the door.
  2390. >You can’t tell if your ears are that good, or if they just don’t know how to control the volume of their voices.
  2391. >Then again, maybe they just have thin and non-soundproof walls.
  2392. >”So, can we let him in now?”
  2393. >You hear a gasp and fumbling with the handle.
  2394. >The door opens and the white unicorn is looking apologetic.
  2395. >”Oh I am terribly sorry to keep you waiting your highness. Please come in Prince Anonymous.”
  2396. >She tells you while shifting her position to give you room to enter.
  2397. “Thanks. And please, just Anon is fine.”
  2398. >”Well then, Anon, do come in.”
  2399. >She says.
  2400. >You oblige her and enter.
  2401. >At least she didn’t have to take convincing to drop the prince from your name like Twilight did.
  2402. >Once inside you notice several pony mannequins, and almost all are wearing elegant gowns.
  2403. >You see what appears to be some children’s clothes on a circular table.
  2404. >Those must be the ones she already made that you overheard them talking about.
  2405. >Even considering they’re small, it’s still surprising they were able to be made from scratch on such short notice.
  2406. >To say nothing of how difficult it must have been to design for a different species.
  2407. >Wonder how many human designers could make something for a horse based on a picture?
  2408. >The unicorn trots over to the table and lifts up the clothes in her magic.
  2409. >”Now, as you can see, Anon, I’ve created several ‘small scale’ designs for your approval. This way you can see and feel the quality and materials without waiting for the finished product.”
  2410. >She states clearly proud of her work.
  2411. >And she has every right to be proud of this stuff, it looks great.
  2412. >She brings over one of the pieces she has held in her magic to you.
  2413. >You reach out and take it from her and can immediately feel the craftsmanship and high quality of fabric and materials that went into making it.
  2414. >It is head and shoulders above the kind of clothes you got from the chain stores you mainly went to on Earth.
  2415. >Looking at the design, it is similar to almost a medieval royal clothes.
  2416. >The other looks like a modern take on a formal royal outfit.
  2417. >With a fair amount of flair and tassels and even a sash.
  2418. >You could easily see a prince back on Earth wearing it actually.
  2419. >Guess some things are the same no matter where you are.
  2420. >”Now, please keep in mind that these are just small scale fabrications of the final design. If they’re not to your liking, I can always make any alterations you would like to them.”
  2421. >Rarity says, almost fearful of disappointing you.
  2422. >Looking up from the small outfit in your hands you can fully see the worry in her eyes.
  2423. >She must have confused your admiring of her work to scrutinizing of it.
  2424. “What are you talking about? This stuff is amazing.”
  2425. >You cheerfully explain.
  2426. >Your words elicit an almost giddy reaction.
  2427. >She is practically grinning from ear to ear with pride.
  2428. >She seems a little too excited by your praise, almost like she is over selling it.
  2429. >But then again, how would a human designer react it a prince complimented their work?
  2430. >Okay, her reaction does seem to be within acceptable parameters so you can let it slide.
  2431. >”Why, I can’t tell you how much it means for me to hear that your High- I mean Anon. but I’m sure it isn’t anything compared to the clothes you had acquired since you’ve been gone.”
  2432. >She tells you.
  2433. “Actually, almost all the clothes I got were off the rack. There is no comparison to what I got there and what you made.”
  2434. >You say, again praising her work.
  2435. >Her cheerful expression slowly shifts to one of shock.
  2436. >”O-off the rack!? Oh no, no, no, no, no that simply won’t do. You’re a prince after all, and you must present yourself as one.”
  2437. >She explains.
  2438. >You have to admit, she does have a good point.
  2439. >You highly doubt it would be appropriate to wear jeans and a regular shirt for most royal business.
  2440. >Not that anyone here would know that, since they’re all mostly nude anyway.
  2441. >But you would know.
  2442. >You want to look the princely part, and most importantly make your mother proud.
  2443. >”Not to worry, so long as Rarity is here, you will never have to wear… ‘off the rack’ clothes again.”
  2444. >She says trying her best to hide the distain from the words ‘off the rack.’
  2445. >It must be like a five star chef just found out you normally eat fast food and don’t see anything wrong with it.
  2446. >She bring over a clipboard with her magic and looks up at you.
  2447. >”Now, in addition to the small scale outfits you have already seen, are there any other items you would like to be created for you?”
  2448. >She asks, ready to apparently copy down your response.
  2449. “Well, I guess I’ll be needing multiple formalwear like what you already designed. You seem to be on the right track, and what you already made is great, so I’ll actually just defer what they look like to you. After that, a few less formal ones would be nice. Just something simple like what I’m wearing now. Some shorts and lighter stuff for the summer and warmer things for winter, but no rush on that. Oh, and some socks and boxers would be great too.”
  2450. >You list off to her.
  2451. >She is copying down what you said but has a confused look on her face when she finishes writing.
  2452. >”I’m very sorry darling. I do try to keep up on fashion everywhere, but I’m not sure what ‘boxers’ are.”
  2453. >She sheepishly tells you.
  2454. >Oh that’s right.
  2455. >Can’t say you blame her for not knowing what they are.
  2456. >Ponies don’t wear underwear.
  2457. >And since you were raised as a pony, you didn’t know about or wear them for the first half of your life.
  2458. >”It’s a smaller article of clothing worm under other clothes that is similar in appearance to shorts.””
  2459. >Twilight almost expertly explains.
  2460. >It is fairly impressive she could rattle that information off like that.
  2461. >Especially considering she just found out what they were during your physical and Q&A session.
  2462. “I actually brought a pair along with some other clothes with me, if you wanted to use them for reference.”
  2463. >You say as you start digging in your bag for them.
  2464. >”You see Rarity, humans wear ‘underwear’ under their clothes. Hence the name, of course. Boxers just happen to be one example of them.”
  2465. >Twilight continues.
  2466. >Hearing her prattle on inadvertently makes you smile.
  2467. >It reminds you of when you were younger and when she came over to the castle for her private lessons with your mother.
  2468. >Twilight always tried to impress her by rattling off facts and figures about spells or history.
  2469. >You walk over to Rarity with an armful of clothes.
  2470. >”And there are apparently briefs as well as boxer-briefs. But Anon didn’t have any examples of those to show me.”
  2471. >She continues rambling.
  2472. >Guess Twilight talks like that no matter who she speaks with.
  2473. >Rarity didn’t seem to notice your approach.
  2474. >Probably too caught up in what Twilight was saying about human fashion.
  2475. >It might be best if you announce yourself.
  2476. >Don’t want to be rude and just drop clothes one someone’s table.
  2477. “Excuse me, is it alright if I put these here?”
  2478. >You ask, gesturing with your full arms towards the table.
  2479. >She turns to see you and lets out a gasp.
  2480. >”Oh my, I’m so dreadfully sorry! I didn’t mean to ignore you I swear. I suppose I was just so caught up in what Twilight was saying.”
  2481. >She apologizes and starts to make room on the table for you to set your things down.
  2482. “Don’t worry about it.”
  2483. >You reassure her.
  2484. >Placing the items down, you notice how meticulous her instruments are.
  2485. >How well maintained her sewing machine seems to be, along with her stock of fabrics.
  2486. >A place for everything and everything in its place as it were.
  2487. >She must really love what she does.
  2488. >”Is something the matter?”
  2489. >She asks, bringing you back from your thoughts.
  2490. “Huh? Oh no, I was just looking at how well kept and organized your workplace is. Not to mention how good all your outfits look. I can tell you’re really passionate about what you do.”
  2491. >You say offering her a friendly smile.
  2492. >”Oh, w-why thank you. Do you know much about fashion Anon? You seem to have a discerning eye.”
  2493. >She says.
  2494. “Not really. But I know the look of someone who is good at something. All my life I’ve admired those who can create something from nothing. It’s a skill I never had. I can draw a picture but I can’t ‘draw’ a picture. Just like how I can play a piano but can’t make music. You have a gift, and to be honest I’m a little envious.”
  2495. >You tell her.
  2496. >”Y-you’re far too kind. I don’t know what to say other than thank you.”
  2497. >She responds with a slight blush.
  2498. >”Also, I should get some measurements for your new ensemble. Please disrobe and stand in front of the mirror.”
  2499. >She says seeming to try and be more professional.
  2500. >Looks like you’re getting undressed again.
  2501. >Hope this doesn’t become a thing.
  2502.  
  2503. -Celestia-
  2504. >You are in depths of your old castle.
  2505. >Standing in the library of one of the greatest magical minds of his or any other generation.
  2506. >Starswirl the Bearded.
  2507. >And it is here, amidst the dusty shelves, tattered scrolls, and ancient artifacts you will find it.
  2508. >A spell to turn your son immortal.
  2509. >So that nothing, not even death, would ever take Anon away from you again.
  2510. >Now it is just a matter of locating said spell.
  2511. >How long has it been since you’ve been down here?
  2512. >It had to be just after Starswirl…
  2513. >You close your eyes and lower your head, remembering your old friend.
  2514. >He left you a letter, to be opened in the event something were to ever happen to him.
  2515. >The letter outlined which items to be moved, and what should stay.
  2516. >He wanted his knowledge and spells to be accessible to ponies, even after he was no longer able to teach them himself.
  2517. >And it were those books, spells, and scrolls that were used to create the Starswirl the Bearded wing at the Canterlot Library.
  2518. >Everything he requested to be kept here, he deemed too powerful or dangerous.
  2519. >And you do recall that his letter stated his immortality spell was one he requested to be left behind.
  2520. >You start walking and peruse the shelves, trying to find it.
  2521. “Let’s see, necromancy, mind control, summoning… this would be so much easier if he alphabetized things.”
  2522. >You sigh in frustration.
  2523. >You then spot a shelf that is completely empty, save for one scroll.
  2524. >As you approach, you can make out the text ‘Immortality.’
  2525. >YES!
  2526. >You immediately grasp the scroll in your magic and bring it before you.
  2527. >Shaking with anticipation and nervousness you ever so delicately open the rolled parchment so as not to damage it in anyway.
  2528. >Will it be a spell or an incantation?
  2529. >Perhaps a potion.
  2530. >Maybe it might even require some sort of ritual.
  2531. >Once the scroll is finally and carefully opened, you instinctively begin to read it aloud.
  2532. “Dear Princess Celestia,”
  2533. >You read, unable to hide the surprise from your voice.
  2534. “If you are reading this, then you have finally come seeking my immortality spell. I regret to inform you that your search will end in vain, as I have destroyed all traces of that spell…”
  2535.  
  2536. -Anon-
  2537. >You are currently getting dressed, again, after being fitted for your custom wardrobe.
  2538. >You hope being stripped down to your skivvies doesn’t become a regular thing while being around ponies.
  2539. >Because right now you’re two for two today.
  2540. >”Thank you for your patience during the measurements darling. I know how boring it must be to just stand there while I work, so I do appreciate it.”
  2541. >Rarity tells you.
  2542. “Don’t worry about it, if anything I should be thanking you. I mean, not only will you be making an entire wardrobe, but it will be for a completely different species too. Your staff is certainly going to have their hands- I mean hooves full.”
  2543. >You say as you pull your pants back up.
  2544. >”Hm? Oh no staff, it’s just me.”
  2545. >She informs you.
  2546. >Wait, what?
  2547. “Hold on. You mean to say you made all this, completely by yourself?”
  2548. >You say gesturing to the items around you.
  2549. >”Rarity is the best designer I know. She’s able to design and make clothes almost effortlessly. In fact, there’s only been a few times she’s needed any help.”
  2550. >Twilight says from behind you.
  2551. >”Now Twilight, you’ll make a mare blush if you keep talking like that. And Anon, you’re sure it’s alright for me to hold onto these clothes of yours so that I can make a template from them?”
  2552. >She inquires.
  2553. “Yeah, not a problem at all.”
  2554. >You reply while putting your shirt on.
  2555. >”Well, we should be heading out. We still have a few more stops to complete.”
  2556. >Twilight speaks up.
  2557. >”Well then don’t let me keep you then darling. Do tell Princess Celestia I said hello when you see her.”
  2558. >The Rarity says while folding the clothes you gave her with her magic.
  2559. “Of course, thanks again for everything.”
  2560. >You say getting ready to leave.
  2561. >”I must say, you aren’t at all what I expected when I was told a prince would be coming here.”
  2562. >She tells you
  2563. “Oh, I hope I didn’t disappoint you.”
  2564. >You nervously say as you rub the back of your neck.
  2565. >”On the contrary, you actually shattered my expectations. Why the last prince I met was incredibly self-centered and thought only of himself. I’m glad to see that not all princes are like that.”
  2566. >She assures you.
  2567. “I’m glad I could pleasantly surprise you then. I should be getting going though, don’t want to keep the next pers- pony I’m supposed to meet waiting.”
  2568. >You say while gesturing towards the door with your thumb.
  2569. >”I’ll let Twilight know when I have some pieces ready for you.”
  2570. >She says with a smile.
  2571. >”That sounds perfect, thanks again Rarity.”
  2572. >Twilight says while opening the door for you with her magic.
  2573. “Thanks.”
  2574. >You tell her as you go through the open door.
  2575. >”You’re welcome.”
  2576. >She almost instinctively replies as she follows you outside
  2577. “So where are we going next?”
  2578. >You ask looking around.
  2579. >You ask looking around.
  2580. >”We’re going to Sugar Cube Corner to see Pinkie Pie. Princess Celestia requested her to help plan your welcome home -slash- birthday party.”
  2581. >She says while getting in front of you so she can lead you to the next destination.
  2582. >”Oh no…”
  2583. >She says stopping dead in her tracks.
  2584. >You stop as well and start looking around.
  2585. “What’s wrong?”
  2586. >You ask her.
  2587. >”I hope you weren’t supposed to have a surprise party, because I just let you know about it. I mean, everypony knows you can’t have a surprise party without a surprise. And there can’t BE a surprise if the pony getting the party knows it’s going to be a surprise, it completely defeats the purpose!”
  2588. >She says more than a little flustered.
  2589. >You bring your hand to your face to hide your smile and stifle a laugh.
  2590. >She is really trying to make everything perfect for you.
  2591. >It’s kinda cute.
  2592. >In an adorkable sort of way that is.
  2593. >But she is really serious about this, better try and calm her down before she has a stroke.
  2594. >You crouch down and look her in the eyes.
  2595. “Twilight, calm down. My mom said that we both would go to see Pinkie Pie, right?
  2596. >You say, trying to pacify her.
  2597. >”…yes.”
  2598. >She replies.
  2599. “So if she wanted both of us to go see her to help plan a party, then I’m assuming I would be involved somehow. Plus I’ve never been too keen on surprise parties myself, so no worries.”
  2600. >You explain.
  2601. >”You’re right Anon.”
  2602. >Twilight sighs and continues walking, still seeming a little dejected however.
  2603. “Everything okay?”
  2604. >You inquire.
  2605. >”Yes, of course. It’s just…”
  2606. >She says before looking up to the mountains outside of town.
  2607. >You hadn’t noticed before, but you can see the castle from here.
  2608. >You look down at her and see an almost forlorn look on her face.
  2609. >”Princess Celestia asked me to help get everything set up and organized for your party and return. I just want everything to be perfect… I don’t want to disappoint you, or her.”
  2610. >She says looking up at you.
  2611. “Well, I don’t think you have to worry about disappointing either of us. My mother trusts you implicitly and she wouldn’t ask you to do something she knew you wouldn’t be able to do it.”
  2612. >You reassure her.
  2613. >”You really think so?”
  2614. >She asks.
  2615. “I do, and there is a wall full of stained glass windows with you on them that will back me up on that. So try to relax, okay?”
  2616. >You say with a smile.
  2617. >She looks back up to the castle on the side of the mountain before shifting her gaze to her own castle and finally back to you.
  2618. >”Thanks, I guess I do have a tendency to over think and to sometimes blow things out of proportion.”
  2619. >She says returning your smile.
  2620. “Yeah, I seem to vaguely recall your tendency over think things. Correct me if I’m wrong, but did you normally bring two copies of the homework my mother assigned you to your private lessons at the castle?”
  2621. >You ask, wondering if you are remembering incorrectly.
  2622. >A blush quickly spreads across her face.
  2623. >”Oh, that. You know I had to be prepared in case Spike set one on fire accidentally or if it got left at home somehow.”
  2624. >She says trying to explain herself.
  2625. “And did anything like that ever happen?”
  2626. >You inquire.
  2627. >”… No, but it’s always good to be prepared anyway. You know what they say, ‘Better to have and not need, than need and not have.’”
  2628. >She says with a light laugh.
  2629. >You have heard that saying before, but you highly doubt the person who thought of it had Twilight in mind.
  2630. >”And here we are.”
  2631. >She says, presenting you with a building that looks like it is made out of gingerbread.
  2632. >You breathe deeply through your nose and are rewarded with the tantalizing smell of fresh baked deserts and pastries.
  2633. >Oh man, this place is making your mouth water.
  2634. >”Now I have to warn you, Pinkie can be a little… excitable when she meets somepony new.”
  2635. >Twilight tells you with just a hint of worry on her face.
  2636. “Oh come on, how bad could she be?”
  2637. >You ask opening the door, still looking back at her.
  2638. >”Well she- PINKIE NO!”
  2639. >She screams.
  2640. >With your lightning quick cat like reflexes, you turn to see what she is yelling about.
  2641. >You see a cannon sticking out the front of the door and pointed right at you.
  2642. >Now with the molasses slow reflexes of a tortoise, you begin to dive away.
  2643. >Unfortunately you aren’t fast enough, the cannon fires and blasts you backwards.
  2644. >You land on your back and have a loud ringing in your ears.
  2645. >So this is how it ends?
  2646. >Of all the ways you thought you would die, you never thought it would be from a cannon.
  2647. >At least you got to be reunited with your mother again before this happened.
  2648. >Funny… it doesn’t even hurt…
  2649. >You slowly raise your head and look down at your chest, preparing to see the worst but instead see-
  2650. >Confetti?
  2651. >Okay, so you probably aren’t dying from this.
  2652. >It’s a good thing no one could hear your thoughts just now.
  2653. >That would definitely be embarrassing.
  2654. >You see Twilight very upset and you assume yelling at who must be Pinkie Pie.
  2655. >You say ‘assume’ because the ringing in your ears is making it a little hard to hear.
  2656. >”…inkie! Wha…ere…ou…inking!?”
  2657. >Twilight says angrily.
  2658. >You sit up with a groan and rub your head.
  2659. >She takes notice of your movement and runs to your side.
  2660. >”…ince Anony…ou alr…”
  2661. >She says to you.
  2662. “WHAT!?”
  2663. >You ask probably louder than you should, putting a hand to your ear.
  2664. >”…old stil…”
  2665. >She says with her horn glowing.
  2666. “WHAT!?
  2667. >You again ask.
  2668. >You feel a slight tickle in your ears and the ringing stops.
  2669. >”There, that should help. Anon, can you hear me now? Are you alright?”
  2670. >She asks rather worried.
  2671. >At least you can hear her clearly again.
  2672. “Yeah, I think so.”
  2673. >You say as you slowly get to your feet.
  2674. >She sighs in relief.
  2675. >Almost immediately her demeanor changes and she stares angrily at the pink pony.
  2676. >”Now Pinkie, just what in Equestria were you thinking?”
  2677. >Twilight berates her.
  2678. >”Well, I wanted to throw him a welcome to Ponyville party. Even though he isn’t staying here, it’s still his first time being here. So if that’s not a cause for celebration, I don’t know what is.”
  2679. >Pinkie rambles on excitedly.
  2680. >”But why the party cannon? And why was it so strong of a blast?”
  2681. >Twilight asks.
  2682. >”I was getting to that silly, if you would let me finish.”
  2683. >The pink pony requests.
  2684. >This elicits a frustrated groan from the purple princess.
  2685. >”So anyway, after you told me that he was coming I knew I had to do welcome him somehow. And since he’s a prince, it had to be more than just cake and confetti like I normally do.”
  2686. >She replies.
  2687. >She then looks right at you.
  2688. >”But don’t worry, I still made you a cake.”
  2689. >She says in a sort of loud whisper.
  2690. >Sweet, you have a cake.
  2691. >No wait, you’re supposed to be angry at her.
  2692. >She did shoot a cannon at you after all.
  2693. >”So I then say to myself ‘Pinkie, what do you have that is bigger than cake and confetti?’ and I was like ‘That’s easy. Your party cannon of course.’ And I was like ‘That’s right, why didn’t I think of that?’ and then I said ‘No problem, that’s what I’m here for.’ So I went and got my trusty part cannon here.”
  2694. >She says patting its barrel.
  2695. >”But when I saw you two walking towards Rarity’s and saw how big he was I was like ‘Gasp! He’s way too big for a normal blast.’ So I upped the charge a bit. In retrospect I mayyyyy have made it a teensy but too strong.”
  2696. >She says a little embarrassed.
  2697. >”You think!?”
  2698. >Twilight yells at her.
  2699. >Pinkie visibly cowers at her reaction.
  2700. >”I’m sorry Twilight, I just didn’t think th-“
  2701. >She starts before being cut off.
  2702. >”No you didn’t think! I mean, what if something would have happened to him? What would you say to Princess Celestia?”
  2703. >The little princess almost demands.
  2704. >”I… I…”
  2705. >Pinkie starts then stops.
  2706. >Her gaze shifts between twilight, her cannon, and yourself.
  2707. >You also see she is starting to try and hold back some tears.
  2708. >Much as you appreciate someone getting their comeuppance, you feel a little sorry for her.
  2709. >All she really tried to do was welcome you and from what you heard about her from your mom, she generally just wants to make others happy.
  2710. >And Twilight is going into a bit hard.
  2711. >You walk up to Pinkie and crouch down to be at eye level to her.
  2712. >She looks almost afraid, like you’re about to yell at her as well.
  2713. “Hey, it’s alright.”
  2714. >You try and reassure her.
  2715. >”What?”
  2716. >Both girls ask in surprise.
  2717. >”But Anon, she could have seriously hurt you.”
  2718. >Twilight says.
  2719. “I know, but she didn’t thanks to you. I also know she didn’t do what she did with any ill will or malice behind it. You didn’t did you?”
  2720. >You ask Pinkie.
  2721. >”No, I just wanted to surprise you and make you smile.”
  2722. >She says apologetically.
  2723. “I can appreciate that. Now cheer up, it’s not becoming of the Element of Laughter to be sad.”
  2724. >You say smiling and ruffling her mane.
  2725. >”So does that mean you aren’t mad at me?”
  2726. >She asks you.
  2727. “Oh I am a little upset at being shot at with a cannon, and if Twilight didn’t help me I could have seriously been hurt. But I will forgive you on two conditions.”
  2728. >You say holding up two fingers.
  2729. >”Sure, what is it?”
  2730. >She asks, unable to hide the hope from her voice.
  2731. “First, you have to promise that you will never point that cannon directly at anything that it could possibly hurt ever again.”
  2732. >You tell her pointing at the offending weapon.
  2733. >”I Pinkie Promise that I won’t.”
  2734. >She says while going through some odd motions.
  2735. “And second, I understand you made me a cake earlier.”
  2736. >You state.
  2737. >”Yeah, a welcome cake.”
  2738. >She says happily.
  2739. “Well then, how about the three of us go inside, split it, plan out a party, and put all this behind us.”
  2740. >You say.
  2741. >”That’s great, you’re going to love it. And by ‘It’ I mean the party planning and the cake of course.”
  2742. >Pinkie says while bouncing her way into the building.
  2743. >Luckily the cannon was being left outside.
  2744.  
  2745. -Celestia-
  2746. >You are in Starswirl the Bearded’s private library.
  2747. >You are also reading what you thought was an immortality spell, but in actuality was a letter from your old friend.
  2748. >Unfortunately, what you just read is leaving you feeling angry, hurt, and betrayed.
  2749. >Starswirl had the spell you were seeking, and destroyed all evidence of it.
  2750. >But why?
  2751. >What could possibly make somepony as wise as him destroy such a valuable spell?
  2752. >Looking down at the letter, you continue reading in hopes he explained his actions.
  2753. “I don’t know what finally caused you to come looking for immortality. Perhaps it is for a dear friend who is getting older. Or maybe a lover you do not wish to be parted from.”
  2754. >You are unable to hide a blush from your face.
  2755. >This isn’t something you had ever considered.
  2756. “Whatever the reason, I will not allow you to curse anypony with this terrible spell.”
  2757. >You are fairly surprised by what you just read.
  2758. >Cursed?
  2759. >What does he mean cursed?
  2760. >Did the spell have a side effect?
  2761. “Many ponies will probably say that I have been ‘blessed’ by my longer than average life span. My longevity is in actuality a double edged sword. On one side, I have been able to see and experience things that many could only dream of. I have traveled all over Equestria, created countless friends, become the confidant of royalty, and even saved the world a few times.”
  2762. >You pause remembering him and all he accomplished.
  2763. >He did truly live a great life.
  2764. “The other side however is far more tragic. I’ve seen family, friends, and loved ones lives pass before me till they were just a memory. I’ve seen foals be born and grow, I’ve become their teacher and friend, I’ve seen them settle down and start a family, and when necessary I’ve been there to help bury them.”
  2765. >This last statement has given you pause.
  2766. >This is something you can relate to.
  2767. >How many guards, castle staff, students, and friends have you lost over the years?
  2768. “Even with all I have accomplished in this life, for all my achievements, I can’t help but look enviously at them. If I could, I would trade my ‘great’ life for one of their ‘normal’ ones in a heartbeat.”
  2769. >You do recall him speaking of the ‘simple life’ as he put it frequently.
  2770. “Do not take this letter as me giving up on life. I do not fear death, nor will I actively seek him out. When my time comes, I will welcome it and freely cast off this mortal coil. Therefore, in an attempt to prevent myself from casting the immortality spell on myself in a moment of weakness, I have destroyed all copies and research associated with it and had the spell wiped from my mind.”
  2771. >You read in mild shock.
  2772. >No.
  2773. “I realize this decision of mine will more than likely upset you. But I would rather you be angry with me than that poor soul who’s life you intend to ruin hating you for all eternity. I am truly sorry princess, and in time I hope you are able to forgive my actions. Your friend, Starswirl.”
  2774. >You finish.
  2775. >No.
  2776. >Anger starts to fill your veins.
  2777. >You grit your teeth and look at a painting of Starswirl, your ‘friend’ mounted on the wall.
  2778. “Damn you…”
  2779. >Venom drips from your words.
  2780. >The unforgiving eyes of the portrait stare coldly at you.
  2781. “DAMN YOU!”
  2782. >Your horn glows and you cast a fire spell onto the painting.
  2783. >It ignites instantly and bursts into flames.
  2784. >You watch it burn in hopes it will quell your fury at his actions.
  2785. >It doesn’t.
  2786. “DAMN YOU STARSWIRL!”
  2787. >You yell again.
  2788. >This time taking your rage out on the large table in front of you.
  2789. >Throwing a hoof down onto it, it breaks under your might as if it were a twig.
  2790. “How could you!?”
  2791. >You envelope one of the shelving units in your magic and throw it against the opposite wall, shattering it to pieces.
  2792. >Tears begin to well in your eyes, blurring your vision.
  2793. “…damn you…”
  2794. >You quietly say as your tears start to slowly fall.
  2795. >You know your son’s mortality isn’t the fault of Starswirl.
  2796. >But your frustration and anger needed a target to be directed at.
  2797. “So what now then?”
  2798. >You ask aloud, knowing nopony would answ-
  2799. >”Perhaps I could help Princess.”
  2800. >A female voice calls from behind you.
  2801. >You quickly turn and see nothing by darkness from where the voice emanated from.
  2802. >Suddenly, two pure white eyes open and a tall black form similar to your own walks out from the shadows.
  2803. >This momentarily shocks you, but you quickly recover and you ready yourself in a defensive position.
  2804. “Who are you?”
  2805. >Your horn glows, prepared to cast a spell at a moment’s notice.
  2806. >”A pony that can solve your problem. If the princess wills it of course.
  2807. >She says with an almost hypnotic smile.
  2808.  
  2809. -Anon-
  2810. >This has got to be one of the best cakes you’ve had in the last ten years.
  2811. >It even has buttercream frosting.
  2812. >Buttercream!
  2813. >Normally if you wanted a really good cake back on earth, you had to go to the fancy bakery downtown.
  2814. >But those were usually way too expensive, so you only ever really bought a slice every now and then for a very special occasion.
  2815. >But this…
  2816. >This just puts all those fancy overpriced cakes to shame.
  2817. >You accept this as an appropriate ‘I’m sorry I shot you with a cannon’ apology.
  2818. >Taking your fork, you get another piece of the sweet treat and start to eat.
  2819. “Mmmmmm.”
  2820. >You blissfully hum as you close your eyes and savor the flavor.
  2821. >You open your eyes and see both Twilight and Pinkie staring at you.
  2822. >You quickly swallow your mouthful of cake and laugh nervously.
  2823. “Sorry, it’s just… this is really good.”
  2824. >You say pointing at the cake, trying to hide your embarrassment.
  2825. >”Oh don’t worry about it. You should see me when I think about chocolate or frosting.”
  2826. >Pinkie declares with a smile.
  2827. >”O-kay… anyway, thanks for helping us plan Anon’s birthday party.”
  2828. >Twilight says as she takes a bite of cake as well.
  2829. >”Are you kidding? I could hardly contain myself when you asked me to help. Also, this will help me add to the list of parties I’ve thrown for royalty. It’s not a competition or anything, but I think I’m way in the lead for combined prince and princess parties.”
  2830. >She says nonchalantly while looking at the back of her hoof similar to how you’ve seen people look at their fingernails.
  2831. “Really? Do you just do birthdays or other kinds too?”
  2832. >You inquire.
  2833. >”Well, I throw all sorts of parties for Twilight. Then I also planned two royal weddings in Canterlot. Oh, and then there was that time I helped the Sofa King a few towns over with his Grand Opening Celebration Sale. His sofas weren’t just comfortable, they were Sofa King comfortable. Even though I don’t think he’s a ‘real’ king, I’m still counting it.”
  2834. >She says giddily.
  2835. “That’s a good slogan Pinkie, did you come up with it yourself?”
  2836. >You say, stifling a laugh.
  2837. >”Yeah, why do you ask?”
  2838. >”Wait, two royal weddings? When did you do a second one?”
  2839. >Twilight asks, clearly confused.
  2840. >”I count your brother’s twice.”
  2841. >She states with a mixture of smug and matter of factness.
  2842. >Okay, that is definitely going to be a story worth looking into further.
  2843. >Wonder if Shining will tell you about it if you ask him.
  2844. >”So, what kind of party are you thinking about? Something big or something really really big? Because if it’s the really really big option, I’m going to need more invitations.”
  2845. >The energetic pink pony asks.
  2846. >You put a hand to your chin and start to think about it.
  2847. >Do you really want something big and extravagant?
  2848. >In theory you should have something big, you are a prince after all.
  2849. >But you also don’t exactly know a lot of people here anymore, and you don’t want them to show up just because you are royalty.
  2850. >You want people to be at your party because they want to be there, not because they feel they need to out of obligation or something.
  2851. >Then there is the matter of what to do at the party.
  2852. >You didn’t get invited to a lot of them growing up on earth so you’re at a bit of a loss for entertainment.
  2853. >The guys at your old work kept on saying they go to strip clubs for their birthdays.
  2854. >Something tells you that wouldn’t work here for several reasons.
  2855. >”Everything alright Anon?”
  2856. >Twilight asks, getting your attention.
  2857. “Huh? Oh sorry, guess I was lost in thought there for a second.”
  2858. >You explain while rubbing the back of your head.
  2859. >”That’s fine. So do you have any ideas for what you would like? Because if you’re worried about it being too big, don’t be. I can personally vouch for Pinkie’s ability to make even the largest party warm and special to everypony.”
  2860. >Twilight offers.
  2861. >“Awwwww, thanks Twilight. I should get that on my business card. And I should actually get business cards too.”
  2862. >Pinkie adds.
  2863. >”Or she could even throw you a party like one you had back on earth. I’m sure she would be able to do that easily. You just need to tell her what they were like.”
  2864. >”Yeah, you probably have all sorts of fun parties that I’ve never even heard of before! You gotta let me throw you a party like you’re used to!”
  2865. >You close your eyes and sigh.
  2866. “I’m not really sure. While I was away I didn’t have that many parties. And unfortunately I learned by how others treated it, my birthday was just another day on the calendar. Nothing special really. So I’m not sure I’d be the best person to tell you about parties back on earth.”
  2867. >You say with a shrug.
  2868. >Looking at the two girls across the table from you, you see Twilight with a sad expression on her face while Pinkie is looking down at the table top.
  2869. >Aw crap.
  2870. >Good going Anon.
  2871. >Way to depress everyone in like 30 seconds.
  2872. >Try to think of a way to change the subject.
  2873. “But hey, that’s not important now. I’m thinking something small, just a friends and family kinda thing.”
  2874. >You say with a smile trying to lighten the mood.
  2875. >Pinkie starts mumbling to herself, but you can’t make out what she’s saying.
  2876. >”You alright Pinkie?”
  2877. >The princess asks.
  2878. >”This… is… UNACCEPTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAABBBBBBBBBBLLLLEEEEEEEEEEEEE!”
  2879. >She almost shrieks.
  2880. “Um, okay… I guess we could invite a few more people.”
  2881. >You meekly say while backing into your chair.
  2882. >”Not that! Didn’t have that many parties? Just another day!? Nothing special!?”
  2883. >She practically slams her hooves down on the table.
  2884. >”It’s not just another day, it’s a special day because it’s YOUR special day. At the very least it’s a reason to get together with your friends, share old stories, and make new memories you’ll be talking about for years to come. We have so much lost time to make up for, we have… hey Twilight, how long was he gone for?”
  2885. >”Um, ten years.”
  2886. >”We have ten years worth of birthdays to catch up on! There’s going to be balloons, and streamers, and candy, and part music, and a photo booth, and-“
  2887. >She rambles on before you cut her off.
  2888. “Whoa, hold on. You don’t need to do all that.”
  2889. >You reassure her.
  2890. >”Of course I do. I need to make sure my new friend’s birthday is the best one he could ask for.”
  2891. >She says, beaming a smile at you.
  2892. >That is actually really, really sweet.
  2893. “But that all sounds like too much. I couldn’t ask you to go through all that trouble.”
  2894. >You try to reason with her.
  2895. >”Well then it’s a good thing I’m offering then so you don’t have to ask. Now come on, out you go! I’ve got a lot to do to make his party great.”
  2896. >She starts to usher Twilight and yourself out the door.
  2897. “But what about the party?”
  2898. >You ask as you get outside.
  2899. >”Oh don’t worry, it’ll be great.”
  2900. >She says and closes the door, leaving your childhood friend and yourself outside.
  2901. >You stare at the door and then turn to the little princess by your side.
  2902. “Soooooo… is the party planned then?”
  2903. >”Come on.”
  2904. >She sighs and leads you away from Sugar Cube Corner.
  2905. >As you walk away, you could almost swear you hear a power tool going off inside.
  2906. >”I’ve learned though experience that it’s best not to get in her way when she’s in a party planner mode.”
  2907. >Twilight starts leading you down the town square.
  2908. “So, what’s next on the agenda?”
  2909. >You ask as you follow behind her.
  2910. >”We’re heading to Sweet Apple Acres to see Applejack. She’ll be taking care of the catering for the event.”
  2911. >She explains.
  2912. “Hopefully it doesn’t involve me getting named or shot with a cannon at all.”
  2913. >You chuckle.
  2914. >You just hope she realized that you meant it as a joke.
  2915. >Don’t want to have her overreact again.
  2916. >Better let her know just in case.
  2917. “Just so you know, that was a joke.”
  2918. >”I don’t think you have anything to worry about/ Sweet Apple Acres is a farm, so you probably won’t need to take your clothes off. And there is even less of a chance they would have a cannon.”
  2919. >She explains with a smile.
  2920. >At least she isn’t freaking out about every little thing like she did earlier this morning, so that’s an improvement.
  2921. >As you are walking, you notice ponies tending to stare at you.
  2922. >Or you think they are trying to stare at you.
  2923. >They tend to look away almost immediately as you look at them, but some of their eyes stay on you for a few more seconds.
  2924. >You better get used to it.
  2925. >Once your mother announces your return, everyone’s eyes and at times opinions will be directed at you and most likely her as well.
  2926. “Hey Twilight, is it okay if I ask you something?”
  2927. >”Of course, what is it?”
  2928. >You take another look at the ponies looking at you before they turn their heads.
  2929. “When Princess Celestia first announced that I was her son, how did everyone react?”
  2930. >You already know the answer, but need to ask to be sure.
  2931. >”Well… you know, I was really young at the time. So I’m not sure how everypony reacted to the news.”
  2932. >A very political answer.
  2933. “Come on Twilight, this is important. I just need to know if people looked at her differently because of me. She’s probably going to be a scandal for all I know. I just don’t want to cause her problems or make her regret that I came back.”
  2934. >This causes her to stop and look you right in the eyes.
  2935. >”Anonymous, I may have been too young to recall or understand what ponies thought of her announcing she was your mother at the time. But, I do have first hoof experience seeing how much she loves you, and with how much it hurt you when you disappeared. And I know that she would gladly take any amount of comments, opinions, or glances from ponies just to have you back.”
  2936. >You close your eyes, smile and let out a sigh.
  2937. “Thanks, I know things are going to be tough for a while and that not very kind things are going to be said about me behind my back. That, I can deal with. I just don’t want them to do that to her, you know?”
  2938. >You tell her as you start to walk again.
  2939. >She nods in response.
  2940. >”Actually, I do know what you mean. Princess Celestia means so very much to me, and everypony actually. I don’t think anypony would say anything negative about her. Behind her back or otherwise.”
  2941. >That’s good to hear.
  2942. >You really don’t want anyone bad mouthing your mother.
  2943. >Especially because of you.
  2944. >Let say stuff about you, you’re more than used to it.
  2945. >”And, here we are. Sweet Apple Acres.”
  2946. >She announces.
  2947. >You take a moment to take it all in.
  2948. >It’s pretty much what you expected.
  2949. >Big red barn…
  2950. >Check.
  2951. >Farm house…
  2952. >Check.
  2953. >Fields, and other farm… stuff…
  2954. >Check.
  2955. >What surprises you though was the amount of trees.
  2956. >There are scores of them.
  2957. >And that smell.
  2958. >You take a deep inhale through your nose and are rewarded with a rich farm fresh apple scent.
  2959. >All those fancy scented candles and flavored markers can’t compare with this stuff.
  2960. >Guess with a name like ‘Sweet Apple Acers’ they better be known for their apples.
  2961. >”Applejack was supposed to meet us here, but we are a little early so she’s probably still working. We should be able to find her easily enough though.”
  2962. >She states and starts to trot towards the trees.
  2963. >Easily enough?
  2964. >Does she intend to just walk through the trees until she finds her?
  2965. >Maybe she’s going to fly overhead and try and get a bird’s eye view.
  2966. >Even with that, how in the world does she think this will be easy?
  2967. >This will be like finding a needle in a haystack.
  2968. >You hear a loud ‘Whack’ in the not to distance and you see the top of a tree start to shake.
  2969. >”That’ll be her now.”
  2970. >She says happily as she changes course towards the noise.
  2971. >That was Applejack?
  2972. >A pony did that?
  2973. >Was she even a pony?
  2974. >Following behind her, you eventually see an orange pony in a cowboy hat standing in front of a tree with baskets on the ground around it.
  2975. >She looks like one of the ponies from the stained glass windows at the castle.
  2976. >So this has to be Applejack then, the Element of Honesty.
  2977. >But what was making that noise though, and what is she doing?
  2978. >She is looking over her shoulder at the tree the baskets are all under.
  2979. >She quickly rears up on her front legs and kicks it with her back legs.
  2980. >You again hear the ‘Whack-ing’ noise from earlier and see apples falling from the shaking tree.
  2981. >They somehow all land perfectly into the waiting baskets.
  2982. >Okay…
  2983. >Mental note: Do not get kicked by her.
  2984. >”Hey Applejack!”
  2985. >Twilight calls out to her.
  2986. >The orange pony looks over to her.
  2987. >”Well hey there Twilight.”
  2988. >She greets before looking up at the sun.
  2989. >”Shoot, Ah musta lost track of time. Here Ah thought Ah had a little while till you were going ta show up.”
  2990. >She wipes the sweat from her forehead with the back of her hoof.
  2991. >”Actually, we’re early. We finished with Pinkie sooner than expected, so we decided to head over now. I hope you don’t mind.”
  2992. >”Not at all. Now where is his royal… Highness.”
  2993. >She says with a pause as she finally looks to see you.
  2994. >Twilight looks a little nervous at her reaction.
  2995. >”Applejack, this is Prince Anonymous. Anon, this is Applejack.”
  2996. >She introduces her friend, probably trying to diffuse any tension.
  2997. >You move closer to her and get down on one knee to be more on her level.
  2998. “It’s a pleasure to meet you Applejack.”
  2999. >This seems to shake her out of her thoughts and back to reality.
  3000. >Literally.
  3001. >She shakes her head from side to side and looks back at you.
  3002. >”Oh, Ah’m mighty sorry about that your highness. When Twilight here told us you were coming, she showed us your picture. And well… you look a might different than what Ah was expecting.”
  3003. >She says taking off her hat apologetically.
  3004. >You chuckle a little.
  3005. “Let me guess, I’m taller than you thought I’d be?”
  3006. >you ask standing back up.
  3007. >”That’s right.”
  3008. >She responds and puts her hat back on her head with a chuckle of her own.
  3009. >”Truth be told your highness, Ah was expecting somepony more… well pony sized based off the photo.”
  3010. “You weren’t the only one, so don’t feel bad. Rarity did the same thing. And you can just call me Anon if you’d like.”
  3011. >”Well, if y’all don’t mind, Ah recon Ah will. Oh, but would ya look at me. Here Ah am going on, while y’all are here ta sample some Apple Family Products. You two head on down ta the house while Ah bring these apples in.”
  3012. >She says while walking up to one of the baskets of apples.
  3013. >Or is it a bushel?
  3014. >Actually that isn’t important right now, but you will want to find that out later though.
  3015. >What is important is that there are a few baskets and only one of her.
  3016. “Here, lemme give you a hand with that.”
  3017. >She stops in her tracks.
  3018. >”Say what now?”
  3019. “Let me help you.”
  3020. >You go over to one of the baskets and pick it up.
  3021. >”Whoa now! Hold it there partner. Ah can take care of this. Ah don’ want y’all hurtin yourself on mah account.”
  3022. >She declares, trying to dissuade you.
  3023. “It’s alright, I can handle myself. I’m no stranger to physical labor. I was never very good at it mind you, but I like to think I can at least hold my own. It’ll be the least I can do to show my appreciation for you helping save Equestria all the times you did. Besides, we can get this done in half the time.”
  3024. >”Well… if y’all insist.”
  3025. >She says looking at you.
  3026. >You’ve seen that look on her face before.
  3027. >It’s the look of a proud worker who would never ask for help, but deep down is actually grateful to receive it.
  3028. >”We do.”
  3029. >Twilight says as she uses her magic to lift a basket onto her back as well as Applejack’s.
  3030. >”After all, we came early and interrupted you while you were still working. It’s only right we help out.”
  3031. >Applejack sighs, most likely realizing she’s defeated.
  3032. >”Thank ya kindly, it is much appreciated.”
  3033. >She says with a smile.
  3034. >You look down and see one last basket on the ground.
  3035. >You don’t want to make another trip unless you have to.
  3036. >Maybe you could balance it on your head, or you stack it on top of the one you already have, or-
  3037. >The basket and its contents are wrapped in a purple glow and lifted into the air.
  3038. >It floats next to Twilight and she has an almost smug grin on her face.
  3039. >Oh right… magic.
  3040. >Almost forgot about that.
  3041. “Show off.”
  3042. >You could swear you heard her giggle as Applejack just laughs.
  3043. “Now where we going with these?”
  3044. >”Down to the barn, follow me.”
  3045. >The cowgirl says and leads the way.
  3046. >With a grunt, you shift the basket trying to get a better grip before following behind her.
  3047. >Twilight trots beside you with her basket on her back and one in her magic.
  3048. >”You know, I could always get yours too.”
  3049. >She offers with a wry grin.
  3050. “Nope, I’m good. Thanks anyway.”
  3051. >You say with a huff.
  3052. >Man, were these things getting heavier?
  3053. >”Just let me know if you would like some help.”
  3054. “Don’t worry, you’ll be the first to know. Now let’s get these things to the barn.”
  3055.  
  3056. -Celestia-
  3057. >You are Princess Celestia.
  3058. >Ruler of Equestria.
  3059. >Every creature on the planet knows of your power.
  3060. >There are some that call you a Goddess.
  3061. >The very sun bends to your whim.
  3062. >You have sparred with griffons, battled dragons, and bested minotaurs.
  3063. >None of that, nor any of your achievements, matter now however.
  3064. >Right now, all that matters is that you are afraid.
  3065. >Afraid not just for yourself, but for all your little ponies.
  3066. >Because before you stands an entity composed of dark magic which corrupted your sister and turned her into Nightmare Moon.
  3067. >You barely survived that encounter and was forced to use the Elements of Harmony on your very sister.
  3068. >Luckily, the Elements only purified Luna instead of turning her to stone like they did to Discord.
  3069. >A thousand years later, the entity overtook her again and Nightmare Moon returned.
  3070. >You were unprepared at that time and were captured easily.
  3071. >Thankfully, you were grooming Twilight and had sent her to Ponyville in an attempt to revive the Elements.
  3072. >If it weren’t for your student and her new friends, who knows what horrors it would have unleashed upon you and the world.
  3073. >But now the entity itself stands before you.
  3074. >Not your sister in her corrupted form, just this being of black magic.
  3075. >Its pure white eyes seem to be gazing into your very soul.
  3076. >You stand with your horn glowing and ready to cast an offensive or defensive spell, all depending on what it does.
  3077. >But it gives no indication of moving and just stands there on the other side of the room.
  3078. >Watching you with those eyes.
  3079. >It doesn’t seem to care that you might attack it at a moment’s notice.
  3080. >Perhaps it doesn’t view you as a threat without the Elements of Harmony.
  3081. >Perhaps this thing is right to do so.
  3082. >You begin to scout for an escae route, should things take a turn for the worst.
  3083. >The only path out is the stairs you used to get down here.
  3084. >The way is currently clear, but that could change very quickly.
  3085. >You could teleport away and bring Twilight and the other Elements, but it might get away and who knows how hard it would be to find again.
  3086. >No, you need to take care of this thing yourself.
  3087. >You can do this, just think it out.
  3088. >Based on the increase in Luna’s power when she became Nightmare Moon, it is fair to ascertain that this being is not unlike a symbiont that amplifies the user’s power.
  3089. >Without a host however, you believe this thing isn’t as powerful as you originally feared.
  3090. >You might just be able to stop this thing on your own.
  3091. >You need to strike fast and hard, giving it no-
  3092. >”You came here for him, didn’t you?”
  3093. >Its sudden question catches you off guard.
  3094. “W-what?”
  3095. >”Your son, Prince Anonymous.”
  3096. >How did it-
  3097. >No, it doesn’t matter how.
  3098. >”You fear losing him, and you are right to do so. No mother should ever have to feel the pain of losing their child. A pain you are all too familiar with.”
  3099. >It says as it starts to come towards you.
  3100. “Stay where you are!”
  3101. >You cry out.
  3102. >To your surprise, it stops.
  3103. >”As the Princess wishes.”
  3104. >You don’t like this.
  3105. >Something feels off here but you can’t put your hoof on what.
  3106. >Why isn’t it concerned at all?
  3107. >Why is it doing what you ask?
  3108. >You need to end this before-
  3109. >”Mommy!”
  3110. >An all too familiar voice echoes from the top of the stairs.
  3111. “Anon?”
  3112. >Your horn stops glowing and you turn your head towards the stairs.
  3113. >You see Anon running down the stairs.
  3114. >But it’s the Anon you knew.
  3115. >Anon from before he disappeared ten years ago, not the grown stallion who returned to you.
  3116. >Your Little Ray of Sunshine… just like you remember him.
  3117. >He reaches the bottom of the stairs and giggles that cute laugh of his.
  3118. >That laugh that always melted your heart and made your day better.
  3119. >Your eyes start to water.
  3120. >You don’t know how but he’s back.
  3121. >”Mommy!”
  3122. >He calls out to you again and starts running to you.
  3123. >You crouch down and wait for him to embrace you like he had done countless times before.
  3124. “Oh Anonymous, Mommy’s here.”
  3125. >As he gets to you and is about to hug you, his form disappears like smoke in the wind.
  3126. >And he’s gone.
  3127. >No!
  3128. “ANON!”
  3129. >NO!
  3130. >You frantically search the room looking for any sign of what happened to him, but there is none.
  3131. >”You have already lost the one thing you hold most dear in this world Princess. No words could describe the pain in a mother’s heart at the loss of her son. But you received something almost no pony ever receives…”
  3132. >You look over to the entity again at its words.
  3133. >It seems closer to you than it was before.
  3134. >”Mom.”
  3135. >You hear coming from the stairs again.
  3136. >”A second chance.”
  3137. >It says with a smile.
  3138. >You see Anon as you now know him walking down the stairs.
  3139. “Anon?”
  3140. >”Hey mom, I’m home.”
  3141. >He starts to walk up to you.
  3142. >”You will have many years and make a lifetime of memories with Prince Anonymous since he has returned. You will smile, laugh, cry, be angry at him, and various other emotions. But you will still be happy.”
  3143. >He finally walks just before you and stops just out of reach.
  3144. >”But a lifetime won’t be enough will it? You still don’t want to be parted from him again.”
  3145. >Anon disappears similar to how his younger self did.
  3146. >Even though you expected it to happen it still hurt to see.
  3147. >”But parted from him you will be. And then you will feel your ultimate fear and despair.”
  3148. >You close your eyes tight and you start to cry.
  3149. >”M-mom…”
  3150. >You hear a weak voice call from behind you.
  3151. “No… please no…”
  3152. >You reluctantly turn and see your son, much older, laying on a bed.
  3153. >”M-mom… is… is that you?”
  3154. >You slowly walk to the side of the bed.
  3155. >Even if this is an illusion, which you hope it is, he is still your son…
  3156. >And you need to be there for him.
  3157. ”Y-yes Anon. I’m here.”
  3158. >He smiles at your words.
  3159. >”I’m… I’m glad…”
  3160. >He seems to try and lift his arm up to you, but is far too weak to do so.
  3161. >”You… you look beautiful… you… you never change mom…”
  3162. >You shake your head and bite your lip trying not to cry but fail.
  3163. >”But your true fear is what comes next. Witnessing… helplessly as the Prince drifts away. And you lose him a second time.”
  3164. >As if on cue, Anon’s breath becomes even weaker than it already was and you can see the light fade from his eyes.
  3165. “No! NO! NOOOOOOOOOOO! ANONYMOUS! ANON!”
  3166. >You shake your head and cry out to him, tears streaming down your face.
  3167. >But there is no response.
  3168. >You try to close your eyes but the image of his last breath is burned into them and that is all you can see.
  3169. >”For all your power, you are still helpless in the face of death.”
  3170. >The image before you fades like all the others and you are left crying and sobbing uncontrollably.
  3171. >”But that is why I am here Princess. I can solve your problem and give you exactly what you want.”
  3172. >An image of your ten year old son appears again.
  3173. >”I can give you this, and I can make it so death never comes for him.”
  3174. “H-how?”
  3175. >”A very powerful and old magic. However, I am not able to perform such a spell myself because I am not strong enough and this magic comes at a price. I would something from you my Princess.”
  3176. “What would you need from me?”
  3177. >It smiles back at you…
  3178. >With its hypnotic smile…
  3179.  
  3180. -Anon-
  3181. >You just finished taste testing the food for your birthday party.
  3182. >You had you doubts that anything could compare to what you just had for a cake with Pinkie, but this stuff was good.
  3183. >On a side note, you had no idea how many different types of apple themed dishes were possible until now.
  3184. >You rub your noticeably fuller stomach and continue to walk next to Twilight, who just so happens to be sporting a bit of a belly as well.
  3185. >Applejack wanted another person’s opinion on how everything tasted, that privilege fell on the princess.
  3186. >She lightly groans as you both continue walking on the road leading out of town.
  3187. >Can’t say you blame her.
  3188. >One of the last things you would want to do on a full stomach is go on a long walk.
  3189. “You doing okay?”
  3190. >”Yeah… just haven’t eaten that much in one sitting in a while.”
  3191. >She says and wearily looks up at you.
  3192. “Do you want to sit down and rest a while?”
  3193. >You gesture to a shady patch of grass under a tree.
  3194. >”No thanks. Besides, we’re almost at Fluttershy’s house. I can always take a break there.”
  3195. >You nod in confirmation and continue walking next to her.
  3196. >You start to take in the scenery along the path.
  3197. >The way the sunlight filtered down through the leaves of the trees.
  3198. >How the sounds of nature is so prominent.
  3199. >From the various bird calls filling the air, to the sound of the wind rustling the branches of the different lush plant life all around.
  3200. >The babbling stream you’re next to is also quite relaxing to listen to as well.
  3201. >Everything around you sounds like one of those white noise cd’s they made to help people relax.
  3202. >You look up the path and see a cute little cottage on the top of the hill in the distance.
  3203. >That must be Fluttershy’s place.
  3204. >As you get closer, you begin to notice more and more animals wandering about.
  3205. >A group of rabbits run past you.
  3206. >A white one from the group stops, stands up on its hind legs, and sniffs the air while looking at Twilight and yourself.
  3207. >You lift a hand and wave to it.
  3208. “Hi.”
  3209. >It then turns and runs up the path to the house.
  3210. >Maybe you spooked it.
  3211. >You keep walking but hear a roar coming from the woods.
  3212. >Okay, maybe whatever that was actually spooked it instead.
  3213. >You turn to the noise and see a bear scratching its back against a tree.
  3214. >You instinctively stop and extend a hand in front of Twilight to stop her too.
  3215. >She walks right into your hand and gets inadvertently booped in the process.
  3216. >”Oof… Anon? What’s wrong, why’d you stop?”
  3217. “Shhh… keep your voice down and don’t make any sudden moves. There’s a bear over there.”
  3218. >You whisper and gesture towards the bear who now seems to have a content look on its face while still scratching itself.
  3219. >She looks to where you are pointing.
  3220. >”Oh don’t mind him. He’s a regular guest of Fluttershy’s.”
  3221. >She continues to trot to the cottage.
  3222. >Guest?
  3223. >You quickly follow behind her but are still surprised.
  3224. >The only people you know of that have bears as guests or at least interact with them are that Grizzly Guy with the beard and Zangeif.
  3225. >Okay, so that last one doesn’t really count.
  3226. >The point is, if you hang out with bears then you’re probably a badass.
  3227. >You arrive at the cottage door and Twilight knocks on it.
  3228. >You hear a pair of voices coming from inside, but can’t make really make out what they’re saying.
  3229. >The door swings open and a blue pegasus is standing there.
  3230. >”Rainbow? What are you doing here?”
  3231. >”Fluttershy was nervous about meeting the prince-“
  3232. >She responds but stops when she turns to fully look at you.
  3233. >”Who is way bigger than I thought he’d be.”
  3234. >She finishes looking up at you.
  3235. >”He’s what!?”
  3236. >A voice calls from inside.
  3237. >”He’s just taller than we thought Fluttershy. Don’t be such a foal. Come in Twilight, your majesty.”
  3238. >The rainbow haired pegasus says and motions for you to come inside.
  3239. >You both enter and if you didn’t know better, you would think you just stepped into a pet shop.
  3240. >It sounds and definitely smells like one, and you notice many different critters running around.
  3241. >”Again, what are you doing here Rainbow? Shouldn’t you be practicing your sonic rainboom?”
  3242. >”Puh-lease. Like I need to practice. I can totally do that and all my amazing other moves in my sleep. And as I was saying, I came here for Fluttershy. You know how she gets around somepony new.”
  3243. >She states.
  3244. >Twilight nods in agreement.
  3245. >Rainbow looks up at you.
  3246. >”Hey, maybe the prince would like a sneak peek at what I can do.”
  3247. “Uh, okay.”
  3248. >”Alright. Get ready to be impressed.”
  3249. >She declares while getting into a crouched position.
  3250. >She kind of looks like a runner getting ready to start a race.
  3251. >”And… go!”
  3252. >She announces and takes off with such speed that she leaves a rainbow trail behind her.
  3253. >You didn’t think that was even possible, but then again just think of where you are and who you’re standing with.
  3254. >She’s moving so fast that you’re having trouble keeping up with her.
  3255. >The only thing that is helping is the rainbow blur signifying where she just was.
  3256. >You watch as the multicolored contrail zigs and zags between bird houses and animals.
  3257. >Despite her speed, she’s also being incredibly accurate.
  3258. >She’s threading the needle ever time and not even bumping into a single thing.
  3259. >She makes a sharp turn and is heading right for you, and doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
  3260. >Before you an even react and lift your arms to try and protect yourself, she hits the brakes and stops just before you.
  3261. >”Oh yeah! What’d you think about that your majesty?”
  3262. >She asks with a confidant grin.
  3263. “Wow! That was really impressive.”
  3264. >You tell her with a smile.
  3265. >”I suppose I should properly introduce you. Rainbow Dash, this is Prince Anonymous. Anon, this is Rainbow Dash.”
  3266. >”Well alright Twilight. Already on a first name basis with the prince.”
  3267. >She says while elbowing her friend.
  3268. >Twilight’s eyes go wide.
  3269. >”It-it’s not like that! He insisted on being called Anon, and I’m just doing what he asked. That isn’t important now. Where’s Fluttershy?”
  3270. >A flustered Twilight almost yells while Rainbow is snickering.
  3271. >As if on cue, a little yellow head pokes out from a door down the hall before ducking back inside.
  3272. >So that’s the badass pony who has bears as guests?
  3273. >She totally wasn’t what you were expecting.
  3274. >But then again, it just proves you can’t judge a book by its cover.
  3275. >”I’ll go get her.”
  3276. >The pegasus quips and trots off into the other room.
  3277. “They seem like good friends.”
  3278. >”They are. They’ve known each other since they were young. Rainbow Dash has always tried to look out for her. It was actually one of the reasons she moved to Ponyville.
  3279. >You smile at her words.
  3280. >Guess that really does make her the Element of Loyalty.
  3281. >You hear some chattering and look down to see some critters gathered around your feet.
  3282. >You pat your pockets and realize you don’t have any treats to share.
  3283. “Sorry guys, but I don’t think I have anything for you.”
  3284. >You crouch down and start to pet a squirrel.
  3285. >Man, she really has a lot of animals.
  3286. >Are they like her pets or is she like that brown wizard from the hobbit?
  3287. >You scan the room and see bird houses and various holes in the walls.
  3288. >As you are looking around, you see something that catches your attention.
  3289. >A long red feather on the mantle.
  3290. >You stop petting the squirrel and slowly walk over to it.
  3291. >”Is everything alright?”
  3292. >Twilight asks with concern in her voice.
  3293. “Huh? Oh yeah, yeah. I just got this weird feeling is all. Like trying to remember a dream.”
  3294. >You explain while examining the feather.
  3295. >You know you’ve seen this type of feather before, but where?
  3296. >There isn’t a bird on earth that would have a feather like this, so it must be from Equestria.
  3297. >Straining to think back, you vaguely recall a redish bird but not much else.
  3298. >It’s the most frustrating feeling.
  3299. >Like having something on the tip of your tongue.
  3300. >”See? He’s just taller than we thought. Nothing to be afraid of.”
  3301. >You turn and see Rainbow walking in with a yellow pegasus.
  3302. >”Fluttershy, meet Prince Anonymous. Anon, this is Fluttershy.”
  3303. >Twilight introduces the last of the elements.
  3304. “It’s good to meet the two of you. And you can feel free to just call me Anon.”
  3305. >You say bowing slightly.
  3306. >”Fine by me. Being on a first name relationship with royalty definitely has some benefits. Say, you know the Wonderbolts right?”
  3307. >”Rainbow!”
  3308. >”What? I’m just asking.”
  3309. >”Um… it’s nice to meet you too…”
  3310. >Fluttershy says in a voice just above a whisper.
  3311. >You can see her looking at different parts of your body.
  3312. >Not really surprising because you’re the only human in Equestria.
  3313. >She seems to realize what she’s doing and stops examining you with her eyes.
  3314. >”Oh goodness, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to stare Prince Anonymous- oh, I mean Anon. I’m sorry I forgot you wanted to be called that. Maybe I should just get the birds ready so you can hear them sing for your party. I-if you would like to hear them, that is.”
  3315. “That would be nice. But first, if you don’t mind, could you tell me about that feather?”
  3316. >You point at it on the mantle.
  3317. >She looks to see exactly what you are pointing to and then back to you.
  3318. >”Oh, I got that as a gift from a phoenix.”
  3319. >She says with a smile and no shyness whatsoever in her voice.
  3320. >A phoenix?
  3321. >”Actually, it came from Philomena. Princess Celestia’s- I mean, your mother’s pet phoenix.”
  3322. >Like the lenses of a camera, your mind and memories begin to focus and images of your childhood become clearer.
  3323. “Philomena…”
  3324. >You whisper to yourself.
  3325. >How could you forget you had a phoenix you played with?
  3326. >She used to perch on your shoulder as you explored the castle.
  3327. >When you got lost she either pointed you in the right direction or flew off to get help for you.
  3328. >And you forget about her.
  3329. >”Are- are you alright?”
  3330. “I just can’t believe I pretty much forgot about her. I didn’t even see her since I got back, let alone think about her. Is she alright, is she still even…”
  3331. >You say putting your hand through your hair.
  3332. >Twilight puts a hoof on your leg.
  3333. >”Anon, it’s okay. She’s a phoenix after all. Besides, you’ve been gone a long time and it sounded like you were through a lot. It’s only natural that you might forget some things. It could happen to any pony.”
  3334. >She tries to console you.
  3335. >You close your eyes and let out a sigh.
  3336. >She’s right.
  3337. >It’s not an excuse, but she’s right.
  3338. >You reach down and start scratching her head.
  3339. “Thanks Twilight.”
  3340. >”Um, if it means anything, Philomena was perfectly fine and in good spirits when we last saw her.”
  3341. >Flutershy adds to the conversation.
  3342. >You close your eyes again, but this time smile.
  3343. “Thanks Fluttershy, that actually means a lot right now. Hey, if it’s alright with everyone, could we all go out and listen to the birds sing?”
  3344. >”Of-of course.”
  3345. >She nods and returns your smile.
  3346. “And maybe when they’re done with their songs you could give us all another demonstration of what you can do Rainbow Dash.”
  3347. >”Heh. Well I hope you’re ready, because you ain’t seen nothing yet.”
  3348.  
  3349. -Celestia-
  3350. >You just witnessed your greatest fear.
  3351. >This… this thing, just showed you a vision of your son dying.
  3352. >And you were powerless to do anything other than watch him take his final breath.
  3353. >The creature said that it would not only grant your son immortality, but it would also return him to his 10 year old self.
  3354. >It told you it could do all this, but for a price.
  3355. >It needed something from you in exchange, but it hasn’t told you what it wanted yet.
  3356. >Every part of you knew this was dangerous, and even talking to this creature was a bad idea.
  3357. >But you also knew that this thing was probably one of the only things on the planet that could make Anon immortal.
  3358. >You look into its pure white eyes.
  3359. >You could at least listen to what it needs from you.
  3360. > What harm could come from just listening to it?
  3361. “What would you need from me?”
  3362. >It smiles at your words.
  3363. >”My non-corporeal form is makes it difficult to cast powerful spells. I require an anchor to this plain so that I can tap into this world’s magic and combine it with my own.”
  3364. “You mean a host rather than an ‘anchor’ don’t you? Just as you made Luna your host and turned her into Nightmare Moon.”
  3365. >You glare at the entity and charge your horn with magic.
  3366. >It takes a step back in response to your aggressive stance.
  3367. >”My apologies for that.”
  3368. >It says bowing its head to you.
  3369. >Its reaction catches you off guard, causing you to loose concentration and your horn stops glowing.
  3370. >”When I first met your sister, Princess Luna, she was in the depths of despair. She was angry and jealous that ponies played and frolicked under your sun, while sleeping indoors under her moon.”
  3371. “I am well aware of that. And that after you used her as your host, she attempted to create eternal night and tried to kill me.”
  3372. >”Again, my apologies princess, for that was never my intent. When I merged with her, I was overpowered by her wants and desires. She corrupted me and thus created a perverse version of what we were meant to be. At that moment, she viewed you as a threat to her happiness and she did try to use my power to kill you. For that I am sorry.”
  3373. >It says with another bow.
  3374. “What about the second time? Do you have an explanation for why she became Nightmare Moon again and attacked me?”
  3375. >”She did it for you actually, princess.”
  3376. “What!?”
  3377. >”I know it may seem hard to believe, but Princess Luna became Nightmare Moon again for your benefit. At that time, you were in the depths of despair over losing your son. Your star pupil, who you tried to take on as a type of surrogate child to replace the loneliness you felt, had already become self-reliant and no longer needed you.”
  3378. >Its words caused you to think back to that time.
  3379. >After the initial depression that came when Anon disappeared, you did your best to busy yourself with work.
  3380. >Twilight even became like a daughter to you.
  3381. >You even went so far as to increasing her studies and inviting her to the castle more and more, just so you didn’t have to be alone.
  3382. >But that could only distract you for so long.
  3383. >”Princess Luna returned to the castle day after day in hopes of finding a way to locate the prince, as you yourself did. But just like you, she failed. So instead, she decided to focus on your student and to bring back the Elements of Harmony. She sought me out in order to become Nightmare Moon again and to test your student.”
  3384. >Luna chose to be Nightmare Moon again?
  3385. >is it possible this thing is telling the truth?
  3386. “But then why was I attacked? If this was Luna’s plan, then why was I taken prisoner?”
  3387. >”That was done so the threat would feel real. Your student and the others would not have rallied had they not thought you in danger. Forgive my bluntness princess, but had Nightmare Moon wanted you dead, you would be dead.”
  3388. >You look at the shadowy entity, and stare into its pure white eyes.
  3389. >Its right.
  3390. >Nightmare Moon was more powerful than you both times you faced her.
  3391. >At first you thought she was holding you prisoner to make you suffer and watch as she plunged the world into eternal night.
  3392. >But the longer you talked with this entity, the more you realize how wrong you were.
  3393. >”Will you allow me to help you my princess?”
  3394. >It takes a few steps forward and walks towards you.
  3395. >You stand face to face with it, barely a gap between the two of you.
  3396. >The more you look into its eyes or see its smile, the more you are put at ease.
  3397. >There is no reason this entity would lie to you.
  3398. >It only wants to serve the royal family after all.
  3399. >You hesitate, only for a moment.
  3400. “And you swear you can make Anon immortal?”
  3401. >”I swear princess. I will give you everything you want.”
  3402. >It bows its head slightly.
  3403. “What must I do?”
  3404. >”Just relax princess… let me do everything.”
  3405. >It again says with a smile.
  3406. >It extends its wings and wraps them around you, covering you in darkness.
  3407. >The only thing you can see is its pure white eyes and smile.
  3408. >But even that fades away, leaving you in complete darkness.
  3409.  
  3410. -Anon-
  3411. >What a day.
  3412. >All in all, it was a good day.
  3413. >You just spent most of it meeting with the Elements of Harmony and planning your birthday party.
  3414. >You’re walking back to Twilight’s castle with her by your side.
  3415. >”So what do you think you’ll do? Now that your back I mean.”
  3416. “I don’t really know. Just… what does a prince do exactly?”
  3417. >You ask her, not expecting an answer.
  3418. “I can’t move the sun or the moon, I can’t do magic, and I have a grade school education at best in Equestrian history. Hell, most of what I learned I forgot because earth teachers thought I was nuts. I’m not even sure what I learned in school there will help me at all here.”
  3419. >She nods n response as she continues to walk next to you.
  3420. >”Hmmm… school… THAT’S IT!”
  3421. >She shouts and manages to startle you a little.
  3422. >Not just you though.
  3423. >Seems a few ponies around you jumped and are looking at her wondering what is going on.
  3424. >She looks embarrassed and blushes slightly.
  3425. >”Eh-he-he, sorry.”
  3426. >She apologizes to the onlookers and turns back to you.
  3427. >”But that’s it, school.”
  3428. >She probably thinks she’s making perfect sense here, but you’re more than a little lost.
  3429. >And it seems your confused look hasn’t indicated that to her yet since she’s really smiling right now.
  3430. “I’m sorry, but I think I’m missing something here.”
  3431. >”It’s easy. You can go to school, take the tests for each grade to see what you still remember, and if you forgot something then we know what you need help with.”
  3432. >She smiles again, and you’re pretty sure she has sparkles in her eyes.
  3433. >You can’t decide if this is a magic pony thing you forgot about, or if she just really likes academia.
  3434. >”Think about it. Princess Celestia and Princess Luna will always be there to raise the sun and moon, so you don’t need to worry about that. I personally think that to be the best prince of Equestria you could be you would need to know as much about Equestria that you could.”
  3435. >Have to admit, she does have a point.
  3436. >You won’t be good to anyone if you didn’t know anything about the place you’re supposed to be prince of.
  3437. “I’m not saying you’re wrong or anything Twilight, just…”
  3438. >You sigh and rub the back of your head.
  3439. “My mother’s going to take a lot of heat from a lot of different people because I’m adopted AND because I’m a completely different species. I also don’t think they’ll take too kindly to the idea that her grown son needs to go back to kindergarten. I mean, I don’t want to be a Billy Madison or anything and possibly embarrass her.”
  3440. >She looks up at you and shakes her head.
  3441. >”I have no idea what that is. But, I can tell you that up until a few years ago, I was still Princess Celestia’s student. There’s nothing wrong with being a student or going to school, no matter how old you are. It’s showing that you want to learn and better yourself, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. Besides, I’m sure Princess Celestia would teach you herself, just like how she taught me at the castle.”
  3442. “Yeah, but she’s probably real busy with her royal duties. I don’t want to be a distraction from them or anything like that to her.”
  3443. >She puts her hoof to her chin.
  3444. >”Hmmm… well, maybe I could teach you.”
  3445. >She says with what sounds like a little hope in her voice.
  3446. “Really? I mean don’t get me wrong, but wouldn’t that interfere with your royal duties too?”
  3447. >”While I do have obligations and the occasional friendship issue to work out, it’s nowhere near as time consuming as ruling Equestria. I should be more than capable of handling it. Also, it’ll give me a chance to compare your earth education to an Equestrian one.”
  3448. >You find yourself smiling at her enthusiasm.
  3449. >Her constant thirst for knowledge is both admirable and in a way humorous.
  3450. >But you also see a type of innocence in her yearning for discovery and new information.
  3451. “Well, I suppose we could give it a try and see how it goes.”
  3452. >”Great, we’ll work out the details with Princes Celestia when she gets back. But I’m sure she’ll be for the idea.”
  3453. >You’re both almost at the castle when you notice a pair of purple legs and a tail sticking out of a large box sitting next to the entrance.
  3454. “Is that Spike?”
  3455. >You ask pointing at the scaly legs poking out from the box.
  3456. >”I think so.”
  3457. >She then lets out a gasp and smiles.
  3458. >”That means somepony must have dropped off a book!”
  3459. >She almost gallops off, leaving you behind with a dumbfounded look on your face.
  3460. “… What?”
  3461. >You realize she’s probably too far away to hear you, so you just shrug and follow her.
  3462. >”Oh come on… seriously?”
  3463. >Spike says, not noticing either of you approaching him from behind.
  3464. >Now that you’re closer, you notice he’s holding onto the side of the box and trying to reach a book at the bottom.
  3465. “Need a hand Spike?”
  3466. >”WHAAAAAA!”
  3467. >He cries out and falls into the box.
  3468. >Probably spooked the poor kid.
  3469. >Again.
  3470. >He’s immediately covered in a pinkish-purple glow and lifted out of the box along with the book.
  3471. >She places him on the ground and inspects the book.
  3472. >”Did we get any others while I was out?”
  3473. >She asks hopefully
  3474. >”No, just this one.”
  3475. >He shakes his head.
  3476. >She groans in frustration.
  3477. >”Of course it is. And to top it off, we already have this book! Granted the spine on this one is in better condition than the other, but still!”
  3478. >She says in a bit of a huff.
  3479. “Okay, I feel kinda lost here. What’s going on?”
  3480. >”The Golden Oak Library was destroyed by a monster a while ago. So we’ve been trying to collect books by asking for donations so we could make a new one.”
  3481. >”Since it was Ponyville’s only library, we felt we had to rebuild. If for no other reason than to bring a sense of normalcy back to everypony who lives here. But unfortunately, we haven’t gotten anywhere near enough books to make a library.”
  3482. >She says stoically while lowering her head.
  3483. >”I keep telling her that we should just bring all the books from the castle in the Everfree Forest. Then we’d have all the books we would need and then some.”
  3484. >”And I keep telling you that we can’t do that! Those books belong to the princesses.”
  3485. >She states in a tone which clearly lets you know that they’ve been over this conversation many times.
  3486. >”Awww, come on. They have a library full of book in a deserted castle in the middle of the forest that no pony is using.”
  3487. >”Spike, even if they aren’t being used it would still be stealing. And you should never steal, let alone from a princess.”
  3488. “What if it wasn’t stealing?”
  3489. >The pair turn and look at you.
  3490. >”What do you mean?”
  3491. >Twilight asks.
  3492. >”Is this like that riddle? You know, ‘When is a door not a door?’ cause that riddle is unsolvable. A door is always a door, that’s why it’s called a door and not something else.”
  3493. >The little dragon says confidently.
  3494. >Probably best not to burst his bubble on that.
  3495. “No spike, it’s not a riddle. But you said so yourself, it’s a while library that no one’s using. Have you ever asked if you could have those books? I’m sure my mom would say yes. Especially if she knew it would be to help rebuild a library here in town.”
  3496. >Spike looks at Twilight and she seems embarrassed.
  3497. >”We never did just ask, did we?”
  3498. >”How would we even broach the subject with them? Hey Princess Celestia, nice library you have there, mind if we have it?”
  3499. >She asks rather flustered.
  3500. “She’s still at the old castle right? She probably just lost track of time walking down memory lane is all. Why don’t we all go over there, and I’ll ask if you can have those books.”
  3501. >”I don’t know, are you sure? It is a lot of books to give away.”
  3502. “Yeah, I mean why not? If they’re not being used, then I really don’t think she’d mind at all. Besides, a book doesn’t do anyone any good if it isn’t being read, right?”
  3503. >You see her ears are flat against her head, her eyes are wide with an almost far off distant look to them, and her mouth hangs open ever so slightly.
  3504. >She must really really like books to have that sort of reaction.
  3505. >Spike seems to notice too and waves his hand in front of her face, but she doesn’t react.
  3506. >Oh shit, you hope you didn’t just break her.
  3507. >”Uh, Twilight? You okay?”
  3508. >He asks her with concern in his voice.
  3509. >”Huh? What? Yes! Okay, let’s do that… thing you said, with the words.”
  3510. >She says with a nervous laugh at the end.
  3511. >Guess her brain was still booting up.
  3512. “Let’s go to the castle then.”
  3513.  
  3514. -[spoiler]Solar Flare[/spoiler]-
  3515. >It feels good to have a physical form again.
  3516. >You’d almost forgotten what it feels like.
  3517. >And this host feels different from the last one.
  3518. >Not better, not worse, but different.
  3519. >The anger and jealous emotions that predominantly fueled your last host have been replaced by love.
  3520. >You walk up the stairs from the wizard’s private library and make for the throne room.
  3521. >You delve into the princess’s mind as you go, reliving memories of her, now your, son and feel warmth wash over your entire being.
  3522. >It is no wonder at all why she was so desperate to try and save him.
  3523. >You will use your magic to give your son immortality and eternal youth.
  3524. >Once in the throne room you see the two thrones, one of sun and one of moon.
  3525. “We need to fix that for my little prince.”
  3526. >Your horn glows and in a flash, the moon throne is gone and a smaller sun one is in its stead.
  3527. >That should suit him rather well.
  3528. >Looking around, you notice the castle is in a state of decay.
  3529. >Perhaps it would be best to perform some renovations before you retrieve your son.
  3530. “You are my sunshine.”
  3531. >You begin to sing to yourself as your horn again begins to glow.
  3532. “My only sunshine.”
  3533. >With another flash, all of the items relating to the moon are replaced with corresponding ones of the sun.
  3534. “You make me happy, when skies are grey.”
  3535. >You should have the castle back in pristine condition in no time.
  3536. “You’ll never know dear, how much I love you.”
  3537. >Very soon, it will be just your little prince and you.
  3538. >Ruling side by side for eternity.
  3539. >And nothing would take that away from you.
  3540. “You’ll never take, my sunshine away.”
  3541. >You promise.
  3542. -Anon-
  3543. >Twilight, Spike, and yourself are almost at your mother’s old castle.
  3544. >The walk was mainly uneventful.
  3545. >Unless you count when a wolf howled and Spike ran next to either you or Twilight.
  3546. >Admittedly you were worried too for a little while, but only until you saw that Twilight wasn’t.
  3547. >If she wasn’t scared, then there was a reason why she wasn’t.
  3548. >More than likely it was because she could handle it with her magic.
  3549. >If she wasn’t scared then you weren’t.
  3550. >You all arrive outside the castle and Spike practically runs up to the entrance.
  3551. >”I’ll catch up with you two in a little bit. I forgot one of my comics in the study and want to find it before I forget about it again.”
  3552. >He walks off waving at you.
  3553. >You smirk and return the wave.
  3554. >Looking down you see Twilight with a serious look on her face and she seems to be transfixed on the castle.
  3555. “Hey, everything okay?”
  3556. >Your voice pulls her back to reality and she looks up at you with that same serious face.
  3557. >”I don’t know.”
  3558. >She points a hoof at the castle.
  3559. >”I don’t remember the castle being in this good of condition when I was last here.”
  3560. >You look up and examine the building.
  3561. >Granted, you didn’t know what this place looked like beforehand, but it certainly doesn’t look like a place that’s over a thousand years old.
  3562. >No deterioration or overgrown plants creeping up the walls like you saw in movies or anything like that.
  3563. >It’s almost like time hasn’t touched it.
  3564. “Well, maybe my mom was busy doing some renovations while she was here. We did spend a lot of time with the others today.”
  3565. >She looks from you back to the castle but still seems hesitant.
  3566. >”Maybe… but why would she start doing that now?”
  3567. “We can always ask her. Let’s head in and see if we can find her.”
  3568. >You gesture and point inside with your thumb.
  3569. >She looks inside and then back to you before her serious expression falters.
  3570. >”Alright, let’s see if she’s still here. I really hope she didn’t go back to Ponyville while we were on the way here.”
  3571. “Yeah.”
  3572. >It’s times like this you miss cell phones.
  3573. >You pull yours out from your pocket and look at it and confirm you still have no bars.
  3574. >Least you can use it for a camera for now.
  3575. >Looking down you see Twilight looking around with a similar expression on her face as when you were outside.
  3576. “Something up?”
  3577. >”There’s no moon.”
  3578. “What?”
  3579. >She turns and looks up at you.
  3580. >”There’s no moon displayed in here, just the sun.”
  3581. “Should there be?”
  3582. >”This is the Castle of the Two Sisters. There has always been tapestries or statues signifying both Celestia’s Sun and Luna’s Moon.”
  3583. >She explains while walking down the entrance hall while continuing to look at the paintings on the wall.
  3584. >”But it seems like all Princess Luna or even moon related items have been completely removed. This doesn’t make any sense at all.”
  3585. >You didn’t notice it until she pointed it out, but you do see a distinct lack of your aunt around here.
  3586. >Even at the castle back in Canterlot you saw a crescent moon or something along with a sun icon.
  3587. >This does feel weird, especially if this was a castle your mother and aunt shared for a long time.
  3588. >”You are my sunshine, my only sunshine…”
  3589. >Both of you stop at hearing the melody in the air.
  3590. >It’s your mom.
  3591. >And she’s singing that old song she used to sing to you when you were younger.
  3592. “Looks like my mom’s still here at least.”
  3593. >Twilight looks up at you again and smiles with a relieved look in her eyes.
  3594. >”Good, maybe she can tell us what’s going on here then.”
  3595. >The two of you start to follow the song to its origin with Twilight taking the lead.
  3596. >You continue walking down the hallway, as your mother’s singing leads you to her.
  3597. >”You’ll never take, my sunshine away…”
  3598. >That was an odd lyric.
  3599. >Did she always sing you that version and you’re just remembering it wrong.
  3600. >Regardless, the singing is coming from inside the next room.
  3601. >If the giant golden doors are any indication, then you’ve arrived outside the throne room.
  3602. >Twilight enters the presumable throne room first.
  3603. >”Princess Celestia? Are you in… here…”
  3604. >Twilight starts and fades off while talking.
  3605. >You wonder what’s going on, until you enter yourself and see what made her trail off like that.
  3606. >Sitting on one of the thrones is your mother.
  3607. >But right away, even from this distance, you can tell something is off.
  3608. >Immediately you notice her hair is a different color and looks like it’s on fire.
  3609. >”There you are my little ray of sunshine. Mommy was going to go out and get you soon, but it looks like I don’t need to anymore.”
  3610. >She says smiling and standing up from her throne.
  3611. >”P-Princess Celestia? Is that… is that you? What-what happened to you?”
  3612. >Your mother doesn’t answer her and seems to completely ignore her as she slowly starts to walk towards you.
  3613. >”Oh sunshine, just look at you.”
  3614. >She says as she stops directly in front of you.
  3615. >”Oh my little prince… I’m so sorry. But don’t worry, Mommy can fix this. Soon, everything will be back to the way it’s supposed to be.”
  3616. >She says shaking her head at you.
  3617. “Mom, what are you talking about? Are you okay? What’s going on anyway?”
  3618. >”Shhhhhhhhhhh, it’s alright. Mommy’s going to make everything right again.
  3619. >She says while her horn begins to glow.
  3620. >”Now this may hurt a little, but you need to be a big colt for Mommy right now. And then you never will have to again.”
  3621. >You inadvertently take a step back.
  3622. “Mom, what are you-“
  3623. >A blinding flash of light and a searing pain throughout your body interrupt you.
  3624. >You think you may be screaming, but you can’t entirely be sure right now.
  3625. >The pain slowly starts to fade until all you feel is a mild burning sensation throughout your body.
  3626. >You open your eyes and discover you’re face down on the ground.
  3627. >You look up and see your mother looking down at you smiling.
  3628. >She looks bigger than she should be.
  3629. >”Princess Celestia! W-what have you done!?”
  3630. >Twilight asks as she runs up to your side.
  3631. >She looks bigger too for some reason.
  3632. >”I did what needed to be done.”
  3633. >You wearily stand up and see you are about the same height as Twilight now.
  3634. >She looks at you with wide eyes and moves them all over your body.
  3635. >”A-Anon, you’re… you look… you’re young...”
  3636. “What?”
  3637. >You ask and are surprised by your voice.
  3638. >You look down at your body too, and you get another surprise.
  3639. >You look young, like really young.
  3640. >”I have my son back, and I’m never letting him go again.”
  3641. >Your mother says smiling.
  3642. >Your mother turns from you to look at Twilight.
  3643. >”Hmmmm, Princess Twilight Sparkle. The Element of Magic.”
  3644. >She bends down and looks Twilight in the eyes.
  3645. >”I suppose it’s good timing I found you already. I was going to need to deal with you and or your friends later anyway.”
  3646. >”W-what are you talking about. P-Princess Celestia what happened to you?”
  3647. >Your mother leans back up and stands tall, looking down at her and you.
  3648. >”I am no longer Princess Celestia, I am Solar Flare.”
  3649. “Solar… Flare?”
  3650. >”Oh no, no, no sunshine. That’s just what everypony else will call me. You’ll just call me Mommy, okay?”
  3651. >She looks down at you directly.
  3652. >”Y-you’re the essence of Nightmare Moon…”
  3653. >Twilight states with a little fear in her voice.
  3654. >”You could say that, yes.”
  3655. >Twilight takes a step back while maintaining eye contact with her.
  3656. >”Why did you say you needed to deal with me or my friends?”
  3657. >”It’s simple really my most faithful student. The Elements of Harmony are the only things that can stop me and take my son away from me. And you my dear, represent an element.”
  3658. >Your mother starts to slowly circle Twilight.
  3659. >”But, do you want to know a funny thing about the Elements of Harmony…”
  3660. >Twilight looks scared but curious.
  3661. >”W-what about them?”
  3662. >She asks hesitantly.
  3663. >Your mother grins in a way that you might even call evil.
  3664. >It scares you.
  3665. >”If even just one is missing, the rest are completely useless.”
  3666. >Your mother’s horn glows and she fires magic at Twilight, who quickly dodges the assault.
  3667. >The two take to the air and proceed to shoot magic back and forth at each other.
  3668. >You have to do something, but what can you possibly do to help?
  3669. >You see their magic hit the ceiling and large stones come falling down.
  3670. >You practically dive out of the way and start running for the throne room door.
  3671. >”What’s going on in here?”
  3672. >Spike asks while running into the room.
  3673. >And more accurately running right into you, causing you both to fall to the ground
  3674. >He gets up and rubs his head.
  3675. >”Woah, sorry about that Anon. Anon!?”
  3676. >He says doing a double take.
  3677. >”What happened to you?”
  3678. >Another large stone falls from the ceiling which catches his attention.
  3679. >”And what’s happening there!?”
  3680. “Spike, you need to get back to town and get the girls. My mom’s been taken over by the Nightmare Moon thing or something. She said the Elements were the only thing that could stop her.”
  3681. >”But Twilight-“
  3682. >He says pointing at her.
  3683. “Don’t worry, I’ll think of something. Just go!”
  3684. >He quickly turns and runs off towards the castle entrance.
  3685. “I hope…”
  3686. >A scream brings you back to the fight going on behind you.
  3687. >You look up and see Twilight falling and hitting the floor hard.
  3688. >You start to run over to her as she groggily tries in vain to stand up before collapsing back to the ground.
  3689. “Twilight, come on we gotta get out of here.”
  3690. >You say as you struggle to help her up.
  3691. >If you were your old self this wouldn’t be a problem, but being a 10 year old again is a lot harder than you remember.
  3692. >”I’m afraid neither of you are going anywhere.”
  3693. >Your mother says and lands in front of you.
  3694. >Twilight looks like five miles of bad road, while she doesn’t even appear to have a scratch on her.
  3695. >This is not good.
  3696. >”Now sunshine, I don’t think you should see what’s about to happen. Why don’t you stand behind Mommy and close your eyes.”
  3697. >You look down at Twilight and then back up to her.
  3698. >You just need to buy time till the other elements get here and keep Twilight alive too.
  3699. “No.”
  3700. >”I beg your pardon?”
  3701. >She raises an eyebrow at your defiance.
  3702. “She’s my friend, we used to play together when we were younger. She was your student. I won’t let you kill her.”
  3703. >You stand up and put your arms out as wide as you can.
  3704. >She seems genuinely surprised at your actions.
  3705. “If you want to get to her, you need to go through me first.”
  3706. >You say and try to look as serious as a small boy can possibly be.
  3707. >She simply chuckles in response.
  3708. >”That’s cute sweetheart, but move aside.”
  3709. >You remain standing between the two, holding your ground.
  3710. “No.”
  3711. >”Sunshine, I’m doing this for you. If they use the elements, then you’ll be taken away from me and I can’t let that happen. Now I won’t tell you again, move!”
  3712. “No.”
  3713. >”Anonymous, you have till the count of three or else you’ll be punished.”
  3714. >She never was one for idle threats.
  3715. >”One.”
  3716. >You still remain between them.
  3717. >”Two.”
  3718. >Her horn starts to light up.
  3719. >She never got to three with you before, you were always smart enough to back down when you knew you needed to.
  3720. >Oh please don’t let this hurt too bad.
  3721. >”Three.”
  3722. >You close your eyes and brace yourself, but it isn’t enough.
  3723. >You experience what Luke must have felt at the end of Jedi, as what feels like continuous electric shocks course all over your body.
  3724. >Holy fuck this hurts!
  3725. >Maybe you should have tried a different way to kill for time.
  3726. >You really hope help comes soon.
  3727. >”RELEASE HIM!”
  3728. >An almost deafening yell cries out.
  3729. >You open your eyes to see a dark beam of magic collide with your mother’s side and send her forcibly through the opposite wall.
  3730. >Something lands in front of you.
  3731. >You slowly start to get back to your feet.
  3732. >You look up and see your aunt standing before you.
  3733. >”Foul creature! You dare to seduce my sister? You dare to assault my nephew? I swear you shall not lay another hoof upon him. For penance for my prior deeds, I shall vanquish you myself. No matter the cost.”
  3734.  
  3735. Deleted Scene
  3736. -Spike-
  3737. >Not good, not good, not good!
  3738. >You’re running through the Everfree Forest as quickly as you can to get back to Ponyville.
  3739. >A timberwolf howls behind you and you feel your heart beat faster as fear replaces the panic you were feeling.
  3740. >You look over your shoulder to make sure you aren’t being chased.
  3741. >Good, you don’t see any-
  3742. “WAAAAAAHH!”
  3743. >Before you know it, you fall flat on your face.
  3744. >You sit up with a groan and look back to see an exposed tree root that must have tripped you.
  3745. >You then see the contents of your backpack are on the ground as well.
  3746. >The force of the fall must have thrown everything out of your bag.
  3747. >Getting up, you quickly start grabbing your stuff and put it back into your backpack.
  3748. “Smooth Spike, real smooth.”
  3749. >You say to yourself while continuing to gather your stuff.
  3750. >Looking back in the direction of the old castle and then to the path leading to Ponyville you sigh.
  3751. >You’re still a ways out of town, but Twilight and Anon probably need help now.
  3752. >If only there was something you could do to help them.
  3753. >But what can you do?
  3754. >You’re just a useless baby dragon who can’t even walk right without tripping over a tree root.
  3755. >You continue picking up your things when you realize you have a quill and paper in your claws.
  3756. >Maybe there is something you can do to help.
  3757. >You quickly begin to write on the paper.
  3758. “Nightmare Moon… Old castle… Help!”
  3759. >Rolling the scroll up, you breathe fire on it and watch the smoke make its way to Canterlot.
  3760. >You hope Princess Luna gets the message soon.
  3761. >A timberwolf howl again gets your attention.
  3762. >You finish packing your bag and start running back to town as quickly as your little legs can carry you.
  3763. >You also hope a timberwolf doesn’t get you.
  3764.  
  3765. -Anon-
  3766. “Aunt Luna!”
  3767. >”Are you alright Anonymous?”
  3768. >She asks, not taking her eyes off the hole in the wall she sent your mother through.
  3769. “I’ll be fine, but Twilight’s hurt bad.”
  3770. >You answer and wince in pain getting back to your feet.
  3771. >She shifts her head slightly to look at the two of you before moving it back to your mother’s location.
  3772. >”I see. Then I shall cover your escape while you remove her from battle. Retreat to Ponyville and gather the other Elements of Harmony.”
  3773. >You can tell by the seriousness in her voice that this is not up for debate.
  3774. >Not that you could really help anyway.
  3775. >It worked so well before when you tried to stand up to your mom to protect Twilight.
  3776. >”None of you are going anywhere.”
  3777. >Your mother’s voice calls out.
  3778. >She walks out from the hole in the wall and dusts herself off with her wing.
  3779. >She seems completely unhurt and unfazed by your aunt’s earlier assault.
  3780. >But something else stands out.
  3781. >She’s smiling.
  3782. >That smile of hers sends chills up your spine.
  3783. >The look on her face and her slow movements exude confidence from her.
  3784. >She know nothing can stop her.
  3785. >You’ve never felt this scared in your life.
  3786. >”Princess Luna, it’s been far too long.”
  3787. >Anger is painted across your aunt’s face.
  3788. >”Silver tongued witch! What lies did you promise her?”
  3789. >You take this opportunity to move over to Twilight.
  3790. “Come on Twilight, we gotta get out of here.”
  3791. >You whisper to her and try to help her to her feet.
  3792. >She nods and tries her best to stand but falls back down.
  3793. >”No lies. As you can see, I’ve done everything I promised.”
  3794. >She says gesturing to you.
  3795. >”My son is as he was when he disappeared, and the threat of death shall no longer be known to him.”
  3796. >”But at what price?”
  3797. >Your mother cocks her head and smiles again.
  3798. >”A bargain was made, she knew the terms. You know the old saying, ‘Pay a pony enough, and they’ll walk bare hoof into Tartarus.’ Now stand aside so that I can deal with Princess Twilight Sparkle.”
  3799. >Your aunt looks back at you as you finally managing to get Twilight backup.
  3800. >She’s barely able to keep standing and is leaning on you for support.
  3801. >You really miss being older right now, you could have probably carried her out of here by now.
  3802. >Your aunt looks back to your mother.
  3803. >”What business do you have with her?”
  3804. >Your mother smiles that terrifying smile again.
  3805. >”Once she is disposed of, nothing will be able to stop me or undo what I’ve done. Then we will all be one big happy family again, now and forever. Doesn’t that sound like what you’ve also always wanted?”
  3806. >Your aunt again looks back at the two of you, you see a melancholy look on her face and she closes her eyes.
  3807. >When her eyes open, her expression changes to anger and determination.
  3808. >”Not at the cost of my sister and friend!”
  3809. >She yells and shoots a magical blast at your mother again.
  3810. >Your mother simply moves her head and rebounds the magic with her own horn causing it to alter course.
  3811. >You watch as the beam, your mother effortlessly deflected, turns the wall it hit into complete rubble.
  3812. >”Now Princess Luna, be reasonable…”
  3813. >Your mother says and slowly starts to walk towards all of you again.
  3814. >”You know firsthoof that nothing shy of the Elements of Harmony can stop me. After all, your sister couldn’t stop you when you were Nightmare Moon. And she was stronger than you normally, so what can you possibly do to stop me now?”
  3815. >”You are right.”
  3816. >What?
  3817. >You see the magic around your aunt’s horn slowly disappear.
  3818. >”Your strength and magic are indeed greater than my own, and it would be unlikely that I would be victorious in almost any form of combat. So instead, I seek to make a deal.”
  3819. >"A deal? Oh, this is indeed interesting. You have my curiosity princess. What is it you seek, and more importantly what is it you have to offer me?”
  3820. >You’re curious as well, but decide it would be best to get Twilight out of here first.
  3821. “Come on, now’s our chance. Can you move?”
  3822. >You whisper into Twilight’s ear.
  3823. >”I-I’ll try…”
  3824. >She takes a step and almost collapses into you, but is able to remain standing.
  3825. >Alright, just a few hundred more of those and we’ll be at the door.
  3826. >She makes another strained step and it catches the attention of your mother.
  3827. >”Ah, ah, ah. Now where do you two think you’re going?”
  3828. >She asks looking directly at you.
  3829. >You feel yourself wrapped in her magic and are forced to sit down on the ground along with Twilight.
  3830. >”Mommy and Auntie Luna are talking big pony talk right now. I’ll play with you and Princess Twilight when we’re done sunshine. Now, where were we?”
  3831. >You try to get back up but are held firmly in place by your mother’s magic.
  3832. >”Take me.”
  3833. >Your aunt says, bringing your attention away from your current predicament.
  3834. >”I beg your pardon? Take you?”
  3835. >”Yes, take me in my sister’s place. I will become Nightmare Moon again if you swear to will leave my sister, nephew, and the Elements of Harmony alone.”
  3836. >The room is silent as your mother looks at your aunt.
  3837. >She is probably considering her offer.
  3838. >Suddenly, your mother starts to laugh.
  3839. >It starts as a mild chuckle, but erupts into a hearty belly laugh before too long.
  3840. >The three of you watch as your mother continues to cackle away.
  3841. >”I’m sorry, but were you being serious?”
  3842. >Your mother asks when her laughing fit finally dies down.
  3843. >”Yes, I was.”
  3844. >”Tell me, why I would ever consider taking such a terrible deal?”
  3845. >Your aunt blinks in confusion and her mouth is a gap.
  3846. >”What? Please don’t tell me you actually thought I would abandon such a prime choice of a host for you? A pony that has failed twice before. If I wasn’t so desperate on our second encounter I wouldn’t have merged with you at all after I ambushed you. No, I much prefer the love that motivates this host compared to the childish jealousy I felt with you.”
  3847. >She walks closer to your aunt.
  3848. >”And what guarantee would I have that the Elements of Harmony wouldn’t simply attack me if I even decided to merge with you again?”
  3849. >She looks over to the two of you held down with her magic and then back to Luna.
  3850. >”Once I kill Twilight Sparkle, the elements will be useless and I will have nothing to fear.”
  3851. >She looks directly at Luna and that frightening smile she had for most of the conversation disappears.
  3852. >”And if I were you, I would think more about my place. I let your previous attacks pass because of your relationship with my son. The very fact that you are still breathing is because I don’t wish to take his only aunt away from him. But I promise you, continue to draw my ire me and I will be more than willing to kill you as well.”
  3853. >Okay you take it back, this is the most terrified you’ve ever been in your life.
  3854. >”Almost there… just a little more…”
  3855. >Twilight says just barely above a whisper.
  3856. >”Then you leave me no choice.”
  3857. >You aunt says solemnly.
  3858. >She turns to you and looks you right in the eyes.
  3859. >”I love you Anonymous.”
  3860. >She closes her eyes and when they open they are pure white.
  3861. >Her horn glows again brighter than before and she shoots more magic at your mother again.
  3862. >In the confusion, the magic holding Twilight and you down disappears and you can stand up.
  3863. >”Anon, get over here now and hold onto me!”
  3864. >Twilight yells.
  3865. >You quickly comply and run over to her wrapping your arms around her neck.
  3866. >Her horn glows and you close your eyes due to a blinding flash.
  3867. >When you open your eyes again, you see you are both outside the castle.
  3868. >Twilight collapses onto the ground with a defeated moan.
  3869. >She teleported both of you?
  3870. >It probably took everything she had to do it too.
  3871. >You want to go back in and try to help your aunt, but you don’t think you would be any real help at all.
  3872. >If anything you would probably just get in the way.
  3873. >No, better to do what she told you to do earlier.
  3874. >Retreat back to town and get the other elements.
  3875. >You lean down and grab a barely conscious Twilight and start trying to pull her down the path leading away from the castle.
  3876. >You just hope you get there before your mother catches up to you.
  3877. >You’re trying to pull Twilight by her hooves down the path, but you keep losing your grip.
  3878. >There just isn’t anything to hold onto and your little hands aren’t making thins any easier either.
  3879. >At this point, you’ve spent more time just adjusting your grip than actually moving.
  3880. >She groans as she’s being pulled.
  3881. >It probably hurts being dragged in her current condition, but you’re damn sure it’s better than the alternative of what your mom would do to her if she caught up to you.
  3882. “I know, I’m sorry. Here, let me try something else.”
  3883. >You crouch down and drape her front legs over your shoulders.
  3884. >You stand back up while holding her legs to keep her from falling, as her back legs are left dragging on the ground.
  3885. >This must be the most awkward and ridiculous piggyback ride ever, but whatever works at this point.
  3886. >You’re making better time with this method at least.
  3887. >Only downside is your younger form isn’t used to such physical exertion.
  3888. >You’re already sweating and breathing heavy from the added weight you’re carrying.
  3889. >Damn your younger self was a wimp.
  3890. >”Anon… just… go on without me.”
  3891. >She weakly says.
  3892. “What are you talking about? Look at that, we’re almost at the bridge now. We’ll have you back home in no time.”
  3893. >You say trying to put as much confidence into your 10 year old voice as you can.
  3894. >You don’t think it’s working.
  3895. >Occasional destructive sounds can be heard from the castle.
  3896. >You want to look back, but know you wouldn’t be able to see anything or do anything to help for that matter.
  3897. >So long as you keep hearing noise coming from the castle, you know aunt Luna’s alright.
  3898. >It’s when things get quiet is when you need to worry.
  3899. >”There they are!”
  3900. >You panic at hearing those words, fearing your mother has caught up with you.
  3901. >It takes you a moment to realize it isn’t her voice.
  3902. >You look up and see a blue pegasus in the sky flying towards you.
  3903. >Below her you see the rest of the girls running up to the two of you.
  3904. >You put Twilight down as the group gathers around you.
  3905. >Their gaze shifts between their hurt friend and you.
  3906. >”Gracious Anon, what happened?”
  3907. >Rarity asks.
  3908. >”Aww, you’re fun size.”
  3909. >Pinkie adds.
  3910. >”Spike said Nightmare Moon was back. That true Anon?”
  3911. >Applejack asks while stepping forward.
  3912. “Kind of. That nightmare thing that took over Luna took over Celestia now. She tried to kill Twilight to the elements couldn’t stop her this time.”
  3913. >You look down and see Fluttershy, trying her hardest to tend to her injured friend.
  3914. >”But why are you tiny?”
  3915. >Pinkie asks you.
  3916. “That was something my mother did after she was taken over, but never mind that. Luna’s in there right now fighting her alone.”
  3917. >You gesture back to the castle.
  3918. >”Then let’s get in there and take care of her like we did last time this nightmare thing showed up.”
  3919. >Rainbow Dash says confidently.
  3920. >You suddenly remember what Discord said earlier about the elements turning him to stone.
  3921. >”Rarity, can you carry Twilight?”
  3922. >Rainbow more tells than asks her.
  3923. >”Of course.”
  3924. >She responds and levitates Twilight with her magic.
  3925. >”Great, so once we get in there we’ll do our thing and send this bad guy packing like all the rest.”
  3926. “Wait a minute.”
  3927. >They all turn to you.
  3928. “Didn’t Discord get turned to stone by the elements?”
  3929. >”Well, yes. But he’s reformed now.”
  3930. >Fluttershy answers.
  3931. >Rainbow Dash rolls her eyes at her.
  3932. >”Yeah they did, so what?”
  3933. >She retorts.
  3934. “So what’s to keep them from turning her to stone?”
  3935. >They all look at eachother.
  3936. >”They just won’t is all.”
  3937. “That’s not good enough!”
  3938. >Rainbow scrunches her muzzle and looks like she’s scowling at you.
  3939. >”He’s right…”
  3940. >Twilight wearily says.
  3941. >”We don’t know what they’ll do to her. They could cleanse her, turn her to stone, banish her, or who knows what?”
  3942. >She finishes.
  3943. >”So what the buck are we supposed to do? Let her just take over Equestria!?”
  3944. >”Rainbow Dash! Watch your language around him, he’s just a child.”
  3945. >Fluttershy says while putting her hooves over your ears.
  3946. “Fluttershy, I’m not a kid.”
  3947. >”Oh… sorry, I forgot. You just look so much more cute and innocent now though.”
  3948. “Anyway, I have a plan.”
  3949. >They look intently at you.
  3950. “I’m going to convince it to take me over.”
  3951. >There is silence as they just stare at you dumbfounded.
  3952. >”Ah… yes, well… Anon, darling… wouldn’t that just be the same thing though? We wouldn’t be able to use them on you for the same reasons Twilight just said.”
  3953. “Maybe, but that’s why you’re going to hit it right when it separates from her and before it fuses with me. If that can’t happen… then you have my permission to use the elements on me. If it banishes me or turns me to stone, then so be it. I’d rather have it done to me than to her.”
  3954. >You sigh and notice the silence between them.
  3955. “The world seems to have survived fine without me in it these last few years. I’m sure it would continue to do fine without me, but I don’t think it will without her though. But if I can’t convince it to leave her… do what you have to do only as a last resort.”
  3956. >They look to one another before slowly nodding in agreement.
  3957. >As you look at them, you notice you don’t hear any more noise coming from the castle.
  3958. >Oh no…
  3959. “We need to get back to the castle, now!”
  3960. >Not waiting for them, you take off as fast as you can and just hope you’re not too late.
  3961. >It doesn’t take long for everyone to get to the castle gates.
  3962. >You take point, leading the group towards the throne room.
  3963. >You take care to be as quiet as possible, so as not to attract any unwanted attention.
  3964. >Once outside the throne room you perform a quick head count, and are relieved to find all six of them present and accounted for.
  3965. >You wouldn’t put it past your mother right now to try and pick them off considering what she did to Twilight.
  3966. >You look into the room and are greeted by a very worn and defeated Luna sprawled on the ground, while your mother confidently walks around her.
  3967. >For what it’s worth, it looks like your aunt didn’t go down without a fight.
  3968. >But the wounds on your mother look superficial at best and it’s clear that she gave a hell of a lot more than she received.
  3969. >”I must admit, you have proven to be far more troublesome and especially resilient than I ever thought possible.”
  3970. >Your aunt doesn’t even look at her, but still tries to stand.
  3971. >Her legs are weak and unsteady, but the will is still there to fight.
  3972. >But this is not a fight she could ever win and she knew it.
  3973. >”But, I’m afraid you’ve wasted far too much of my time as it is.”
  3974. >She says and kicks Luna’s already shaky legs out from under her, causing her to again collapse onto the floor.
  3975. >Shit.
  3976. >Looks like it’s time to think on your feet.
  3977. “I’m going in there.”
  3978. >You say turning to the group.
  3979. “Rarity, get Luna out while I distract her. Stick to the plan.”
  3980. >You start running into the throne room.
  3981. >”Wait! Anon!”
  3982. >They call out, but you don’t even acknowledge them.
  3983. >You see your mother’s horn start to glow as she looks down upon your defenseless aunt.
  3984. >”Time to end this then. As a show of respect for your efforts, I’ll make this quick.”
  3985. “NO!”
  3986. >You cry out.
  3987. >Your mother blinks in surprise and the magic in her horn fades.
  3988. >”Sunshine? What are you doing here? I thought you left with Twilight.”
  3989. >She says, looking over at you as you continue approaching her.
  3990. “But I suppose that’s good news, it means she hasn’t gone far. Once I finish up here I’ll go looking for her.”
  3991. >She finishes with that terrifying smile of hers again.
  3992. >It still sends a chill up your spine every time she does it.
  3993. “Don’t kill her! Please, just let her go.”
  3994. >You beg.
  3995. >She sighs in response to your plea.
  3996. >”Sweetheart, if you’re going to try and stop Mommy from killing everypony that tries to stand up against her, then we’re going to have a very long eternity together.”
  3997. “But you’ve won. There’s no reason for this.”
  3998. >She walks over to you and puts her hoof on your cheek.
  3999. >You fight the urge to pull away from her.
  4000. >”Sunshine, Mommy loves you. But you clearly have much to learn about being a proper ruler. Such as how to quell an uprising before it even starts. That however, is a lesson for when you are much older. If I even decide to allow you to grow older at all that is.”
  4001. >She removes her hoof from your face and turns her back to you, returning to Luna.
  4002. >”For now though, I suggest you look away my little one. You may not like what you see if you keep watching.
  4003. >”Anon… ymous… run…”
  4004. >Your aunt weakly pleads with you.
  4005. >Looking back to the entranceway, you see the girls standing at the ready to rush in.
  4006. >You hold a hand up to try and tell them to wait.
  4007. >You need to get Luna out of here.
  4008. >Who knows if that thing might try to take her over if the elements are used now.
  4009. >Your mother stands over Luna, and again her horn starts to ignite with magic.
  4010. >Magic…
  4011. >That’s it!
  4012. “Mommy! I’ve got a magic trick I want to show you!”
  4013. >You say, getting ready to ‘remove’ the tip of your thumb.
  4014. >”Oh honey, I’m sorry but we both know you’re unable to do any magic. That’s something only unicorns or alicorns can do.”
  4015. >She coldly states, but otherwise doesn’t acknowledge you.
  4016. >”B-but, I learned how to use magic on earth.”
  4017. >You quickly add.
  4018. >This causes her to pause.
  4019. >”You know magic from another world?”
  4020. >She clearly states with intrigue, still looking down at Luna.
  4021. >You have her curiosity, now you need her attention.
  4022. >”Tell me, my little prince. What type of magic did you learn?”
  4023. “I, uh, I learned…”
  4024. >You stutter, unable to come up with something immediately.
  4025. >Her patience seems to be wearing thin.
  4026. >Damnit, come up with something that sounds like a real spell.
  4027. >What was that spell from that old movie?
  4028. >Oh yeah.
  4029. “Substitutiary Locomotion!”
  4030. >That seems to have gotten her attention.
  4031. >”Oh my, that is an impressive magic to know. Maybe you can show Mommy when we’re done here.”
  4032. >She returns to Luna and her horn powers up again.
  4033. >Fuck, better think of something else and fast.
  4034. “How about… ah… time- no a temporal spell!”
  4035. >You desperately blurt out.
  4036. >”A temporal spell… as in time travel?”
  4037. >She says slowly, as her magic starts to dissipate.
  4038. >”Now that is something I would very much like to see.”
  4039. >She looks over her shoulder at you, and there’s that smile again.
  4040. >Perfect, you have her attention.
  4041. >Now you just need to keep it.
  4042. >Clearing your throat, you position yourself for optimum distraction ability.
  4043. “Now, human magic is different from pony magic. The main difference is that without a wand or staff to channel magic, humans use words and incantations. Sometimes those incantations are combined with body movements, and this is one of those. I’ll do it a few times without completing the spell, just so you can see it properly. Now first…”
  4044. >You subtly look over to the door and see the girls nod.       
  4045. >Rarity’s horn starts to glow.
  4046. >Time to sell this.
  4047. “It’s just a jump to the left.”
  4048. >You say jumping and can see Rarity’s magic slowly lift your aunt off the ground.
  4049. “And then a step to the right.”
  4050. >You say stepping to your other side.
  4051. “Put your hands- I mean hooves on your hips.”
  4052. >Luna is almost out of the room now.
  4053. “You bring your knees in tight.”
  4054. >Your mother’s eyes are transfixed upon you.
  4055. “But it’s the pelvic thrust, that really drives them insane.”
  4056. >She looks a little confused but keeps watching you.
  4057.  “LET’S DO THE TIME WARP AGAIN!”
  4058. >You yell throwing both your arms in the air.
  4059. >You look around her and see Luna has left the room.
  4060. >Now that she’s safe with the elements it’s time to start your actual plan and hope this all doesn’t blow up in your face.
  4061. >”So how does the time travel happen are you thinking of the time and location in your head while doing the motions?”
  4062. “Sorry Solar Flare, but it’s not a time travel spell.”
  4063. >You say lowering your arms and looking sternly at her.
  4064. >She glares at you.
  4065. >”Anonymous, I told you to call me Mommy. I-”
  4066. “You’re not my mother. And you’ve just about run out of time.”
  4067. >You say cutting her off.
  4068. “Luna has already fled to gather the Elements of Harmony and bring them back here.”
  4069. >Her eyes widen and she turns back to the spot her foe once occupied only to find it vacant.
  4070. >She whips her head back to face you.
  4071. >”You… you are in such trouble young stallion. Once I deal with Luna and the elements you are in for the punishment of your immortal life.”
  4072. >You give your best poker face and try to hide the fact you are terrified beyond belief.
  4073. “So what are you going to do now? Try to get back to Ponyville before Luna gets there? Maybe you’ll get lucky and you’ll get rid of one of the elements before they can get together. After all, we both know only the elements are able to stop you.”
  4074. >She looks at you with a firm gaze, almost like she is trying to look into your soul.
  4075. “How many times have the elements beaten you now? Maybe this time will be different. Maybe this time I can save you.”
  4076. >There is a long pregnant pause as she continues to look at you.
  4077. >”And how can you save me my little prince?”
  4078. “By making a deal with me.”
  4079. >”What sort of deal?”
  4080. “A very simple kind. I want you to take me as your new host.”
  4081. >She cocks her head and looks down upon you.
  4082. >”And why ever would I do that?”
  4083. “Because I’m the only chance you really have. You know Celestia used the elements of harmony on her own sister with only little hesitation. Then even less hesitation was used the second time. Do you think for a minute Celestia wouldn’t order them to use the elements on herself if it meant saving the kingdom?”
  4084. >”Yes… she would order that.”
  4085. “But you know she would never, ever order the elements to be used against her own son.”
  4086. >”No… she wouldn’t. But why would you be willing to make this deal? What’s in it for you?”
  4087. “I love my mother and want her back. This would be the easiest way to do that and to guarantee her safety.”
  4088. >She seems to be considering your words.
  4089. >Time to sweeten the pot.
  4090. “You can take control of my body and use me as a host or whatever you want, so long as you leave my mother, aunt, the elements, and everyone here alone. In ten years we can go back through the garden portal and go to earth in my body. Earth has no magic, no elements of harmony to stop you. We would rule that place like a god uncontested.”
  4091. >You see her smile.
  4092. >That did it.
  4093. >”I agree to your terms. Do you truly accept these terms though?”
  4094. >You hesitate only for a moment before you answer.
  4095. “Yes, I do.”
  4096. >”Then it is a bargain.”
  4097.  
  4098. -Twilight-
  4099. >You are leaning against Applejack as you watch Rarity moving Princess Luna out of the throne room.
  4100. >You can see the toll using this much magic is having on Rarity.
  4101. >Her breathing is a little heavier than normal due to her exertion.
  4102. >She isn’t used to using her magic in this way like you are.
  4103. >A full grown pony just isn’t the same as spools of fabric.
  4104. >Looking on, you see Anon continuing to distract Solar Flare with whatever dance he’s doing.
  4105. >Whatever he is doing it seems to be working.
  4106. >”Ah still can’t believe we’re lettin’ him do this.”
  4107. >Applejack says as she looks on as well.
  4108. >You can hear the frustration in her voice, but you can also hear the mild sense of concern as well.
  4109. >No pony says anything, but you all know she’s right.
  4110. >Even if it was an order from the prince, you should never have let him do something as foolish as this.
  4111. >If it works and you successfully remove Princess Luna from the equation, it still leaves the prince and princess of Equestria in potential danger.
  4112. >Rarity finally manages to bring Princess Luna out of harm’s way and carefully places her beside you.
  4113. >Fluttershy and Pinkie help steady Rarity as she attempts to regain her composure.
  4114. >She looks bad, definitely worse than you, but she’s still breathing at least.
  4115. >You have first hoof experience what fighting that monster is like.
  4116. >The princess slowly opens her eyes.
  4117. >”My… my friends?”
  4118. >She struggles to stand and Rainbow moves to help support her.
  4119. >”Where is she?”
  4120. >She asks, clearly referring to her possessed sister.
  4121. >”She’s in the other room. Anon’s distracting her so we could get you out.”
  4122. >Pinkie chirps.
  4123. >Panic is now painted across her face as she turns to the throne room.
  4124. >”We must get him out at once!”
  4125. >She tries to take a step but her legs give out.
  4126. >She would have fallen to the ground if it weren’t for Rainbow and Pinkie catching her.
  4127. >”It’s okay, he said he has a plan.”
  4128. >Pinkie tries to reassure her.
  4129. >It seems to work too as her expression softens slightly.
  4130. >”He said he was going to convince it to take him instead.”
  4131. >And there it went.
  4132. >Princess Luna tries again to get back into the fray but she’s easy to subdue in her current state.
  4133. “Let me explain.”
  4134. >You say, bringing her attention to you.
  4135. “Since we don’t know what the elements will do to Princess Celestia, Anon told us we could only use them on her as a last resort. He’s going to convince it to take him over, and once it leaves her body we attack it.”
  4136. >You look back in and see the two of them still talking.
  4137. “It should be soon, we should get ready.”
  4138. >You are able to stand on your own power again.
  4139. >The rest of the girls stand next to you at the ready, as Princess Luna is placed onto the ground behind you.
  4140. >”And if you cannot attack the creature in time?”
  4141. >No pony wants to answer her and they look at you.
  4142. “The prince told us to do what we have to. He said he knew the risk and would rather it happen to him than to Princess Celestia.”
  4143. >”No! There- there must be something else we could… no…“
  4144. >You look back into the throne room and see what caught her attention.
  4145. >Solar Flare has extended her wings and darkness seeps out from her.
  4146. >He did it, you don’t know how but he did it.
  4147. “Alright girls! This is it!”
  4148. >You close your eyes and concentrate as you do every time you are about to use the Elements of Harmony.
  4149. >When you open them, the same as the last time you used them against Tirek, you are covered in the Rainbow Power and there is a magical aura surrounding all of you.
  4150. “Alright, just wait for it to completely separate from Princess Celestia and-“
  4151. >As you are instructing your friends, you notice the darkness coming off from the princess extends and engulfs both Anon and herself.
  4152. “Oh no…”
  4153. >”There isn’t a way to attack without hitting both of them now.”
  4154. >”So now what?”
  4155. >Rainbow asks.
  4156. >You keep your eyes on the black sphere in the middle of the room.
  4157. >Time for Plan B
  4158. “We do as he said… we move in and use the elements on him.”
  4159. >You all fly into the room and gather close so you can take your shot when you get the chance.
  4160. >You hear laughter coming from inside the sphere as it slowly starts to open.
  4161. >Princess Celestia falls out and onto the waiting floor below with a groan.
  4162. >The blackness starts to concentrate into Anon’s body, which looks to be back to his older one.
  4163. >Two parts of the sphere has shifted onto his back and he seems to have dark, raven like, wings.
  4164. >A horn, made of pure dark magic, protrudes from his forehead.
  4165. >”Ugh… what? ANONYMOUS!”
  4166. >Your teacher says looking up at his form, apparently coming to her senses and remembering what happened.
  4167. >It seems to be hovering in place, admiring its new body.
  4168. >”Hmmm… this body certainly isn’t as strong as the previous one, but- NO! YOU DARE TO DECEIVE ME!?“
  4169. >Its eyes widen as the creature must have discovered Anon’s recent memories and more specifically the plan that was made.
  4170. >It extends its arm out and a magical bolt is launched at you.
  4171. >You all use the elements and a rainbow colored beam makes contact with the attack.
  4172. >”What!? NO! Twilight please! Stop!”
  4173. >Princess Celestia calls out to you to cease your actions and your heart breaks for her, as you are unable to honor her request.
  4174. >She then looks up to it.
  4175. >”ANONYMOUS!”
  4176. >As expected, just like every other time this creature and its host came against the elements, it never stood a chance.
  4177. >The magic it’s casting is being pushed back by yours with ease, and all too soon you overtake it.
  4178. >It screams as it is engulfed in blinding white light.
  4179. >The light expands and gets brighter and brighter as it fills up the entire room.
  4180. >The darkness of the creature fades and, for a moment, Prince Anonymous is before you.
  4181. >But the light still continues to glow and gets even brighter than before.
  4182. >Even you must close your eyes as it becomes too unbearable.
  4183. >Then, without warning, the screaming stops.
  4184. >You slowly open your eyes as the light dissipates, revealing what you feared…
  4185. >Anon isn’t here.
  4186. >Princess Celestia is frantically looking around the room.
  4187. >”Anon… Anon? Anonymous?”
  4188. >She runs across the room and looks behind some rubble, only to quickly run to search behind more elsewhere.
  4189. >”Anonymous! Sunshine? Please… not again… please…”
  4190. >She starts to flip larger pieces of debris away and searching there, but again gets the same results.
  4191. >Tears are streaming down her face now.
  4192. >Your feel your heart twinge at seeing her like this.
  4193. >You are tempted to help search, but you know well enough he won’t be here.
  4194. >You look at the girls who share the same look you assume you have on your face.
  4195. >Princess Luna finally must have gathered enough strength to stand, as she stagers into the room as well.
  4196. >She sees her sister, running around and calling out for her missing son.
  4197. >Princess Luna turns to you with her mouth slightly a gap and worry in her eyes.
  4198. >You simply reply by lowering your head.
  4199. >You did what had to be done.
  4200. >You did what was asked of you.
  4201. >You did what was right.
  4202. >Then why do you feel so horrible?
  4203. >Princess Celestia, having searched all possible hiding places in the room stands still as tears continue to fall from her.
  4204. >And the Princess of the Sun screams.
  4205. >An ugly wail of pain and sorrow and loss that you are sure no mortal or immortal creature has ever gave before.
  4206. >You have no idea how long she bellowed, it may have been a minute, an hour, a day, maybe even longer.
  4207. >Time had no meaning during that painful cry.
  4208. >Eventually there was silence again, which you welcomed happily.
  4209. >Princess Celestia simply stood there, unmoving and quiet.
  4210. >Somepony had to go to her right now.
  4211. >She needed somepony by her side now more than any other time that has been nor ever will be.
  4212. >Hesitantly, you take a step towards her.
  4213. >Then another, and another.
  4214. >The sound of your hoof on the ground and the cracking the small pieces of rubble under your weight is all that can be heard.
  4215. >How can something normally so quiet be so unbearable loud right now?
  4216. >After what seems like an eternity, you arrive at your teacher’s side.
  4217. “P-Princess Celestia? I-“
  4218. >”He’s gone again…”
  4219. “W-what? I, um…”
  4220. >”He just came back. I just got him back and now he’s gone. I’ve lost him again…”
  4221. “Princess, we-“
  4222. >”SHUT UP!”
  4223. >She screams.
  4224. >Her volume and choice of words catch you by surprise and you comply.
  4225. >”Twilight Sparkle, do you have any idea what you’ve done? Your actions took away the thing I cherish most in my life.”
  4226. >She says returning to her normal volume.
  4227. “Princess-“
  4228. >”DON’T YOU DARE SAY ANOTHER WORD!”
  4229. >You are so surprised, you inadvertently take a step back.
  4230. >She turns away from you.
  4231. >”I’m done with you. I never want to see you again after what you’ve done.”
  4232. >What?
  4233. >You feel a part of you die at what she just told you.
  4234. >She extends her wings and takes off, disappearing into the sky without another word.
  4235. >What have you done?
  4236. >”Do not fear Twilight Sparkle.”
  4237. >You turn and see Princess Luna standing next to you.
  4238. >You didn’t even hear her.
  4239. >”She will come around and forgive you for what has happened, eventually.”
  4240. “But Anon’s plan. He said we should-“
  4241. >You are cut off by being wrapped in her wings.
  4242. >”You have done nothing wrong this day my friend. Anonymous’s plan and your actions saved Equestria.”
  4243. >She looks to the sky in the direction of Canterlot.
  4244. >”However, no amount of reason can reach a mother who has just lost her son. The wound is still far too fresh for anything but hate, anger, or contempt to come from it. Give it time my friend, my sister will come around and your relationship can still indeed be mended. But I can guarantee you that today is not that day.”
  4245. >You close your eyes and burry your head into her chest and can’t help by start to cry.
  4246.  
  4247. -Anon-
  4248. >You groan and slowly open your eyes.
  4249. >It’s at this time, you discover you’re lying face down on the ground.
  4250. >You also realize you have a massive headache.
  4251. >You carefully get into a sitting position while rubbing your head to try and alleviate some of the pain.
  4252. “My head is killing me… what happened?”
  4253. >You try to piece together the previous events in your head.
  4254. >You remember talking to your mother, darkness, and then blinding light.
  4255. >Guess they hit you with the elements.
  4256. >You start to look around to see how your mother is doing.
  4257. >It’s then that you notice the ill kept brick wall before you and the sound of traffic bombarding your ears.
  4258. >Oh no!
  4259. >Panic sets in and you feel your heart start beating faster and faster.
  4260. >You frantically look around and discover you’re back in the alley on earth.
  4261. >Not again!
  4262. >You get to your feet as quickly as you can, ignoring the pain from your throbbing head, and run down the alleyway.
  4263. >Maybe you’re imagining things.
  4264. >Maybe you’re still home.
  4265. >A lot of alleyways look the same right?
  4266. >But with each step you take, your hopes are dashed to pieces.
  4267. >Garbage, graffiti, the sounds of cars are all unmistakable signs of where you truly are.
  4268. >But still, you desperately cling to the sliver of hope you have.
  4269. >You exit the alley and see cars driving by and people going about their lives.
  4270. “No…”
  4271. >You say to yourself, just above a whisper.
  4272. >And with that, you feel the hope you were clutching disappear.
  4273. “No, no, no, no, no, no, NO!”
  4274. >You cry out to no one in particular.
  4275. >The feelings of sadness and loss are quickly replaced by anger and rage.
  4276. “Goddamnit. God-FUCKING-DAMNIT!”
  4277. >You yell and kick over a trash can on the sidewalk, spilling its contents on the ground.
  4278. >Several people seem shocked by your outburst, but you don’t care.
  4279. >Maybe you’re dreaming!
  4280. >You turn and run back into the alley.
  4281. >Maybe this is just a nightmare like before.
  4282. “Aunt Luna?”
  4283. >You call into the sky, but receive no response.
  4284. “Aunt Luna, please… please tell me I’m asleep and that this is just a bad dream.”
  4285. >You look all around in hopes you’ll see her walking towards you.
  4286. >But you don’t see her, and silence is the only reply you hear.
  4287. >Maybe… maybe the portal’s still open.
  4288. >You race to stand where you think you were the other night.
  4289. >Closing your eyes, you stand in place just as you did before.
  4290. >Just as before, you hope to smell wild flowers and hear birds to signify your return home.
  4291. >But all you can smell is rancid garbage and any birds near you are being drowned out by car horns and the general noise of the city.
  4292. >All of which is an unpleasant reminder of where you truly are.
  4293. >Maybe you got the spot wrong.
  4294. >You quickly step to one side and look to the sky, again hoping to be transported away.
  4295. >And again, you remain where you are.
  4296. “Maybe it was here… or here…”
  4297. >You say while stepping to other spots you hope will bring you home again.
  4298. >But none do, and soon you have exhausted every possible place in the alley.
  4299. “No…”
  4300. >You whisper as you feel the last little thread of hope snatched away from you.
  4301. “Not again…”
  4302. >You press your back against one of the buildings and slowly slide down into a sitting position.
  4303. >The full weight of the situation begins to catch up to you, and you’re filled with a sense of overwhelming loss.
  4304. >Your eyes start to water and it isn’t long before tears freely fall and run down your cheeks.
  4305. “Mom…”
  4306. >You sniffle and wipe a tear away with the back of your hand.
  4307. “I can’t… not again.”
  4308. >You sob and think about spending another ten years away from home, away from her.
  4309. >Bitter memories of the last decade flood into your mind.
  4310. >You silently wonder if it would have been better if you didn’t return home at all the other day.
  4311. >Maybe then this wouldn’t hurt so much right now.
  4312. >You close your eyes and continue to weep.
  4313. >It might have been better if you stayed home that night or stayed at work, then at least you wouldn’t know you could have returned and seen her again.
  4314. >Then you would have been ignorant to the sheer joy you felt when you got back where you truly belong.
  4315. >After all, ignorance is bliss.
  4316. >You would never have gotten to hear her voice.
  4317. >You would never have gotten to hear her tell you she loved you again.
  4318. >No, you quickly dismiss the thought.
  4319. >It was good that you got to see her again, no matter how brief it was.
  4320. >You were given a chance almost no one ever gets.
  4321. >A chance to see your mother who you thought you’d never see again, tell her you love her, and hear her say she loved you.
  4322. >That’s a priceless gift you’ll treasure forever.
  4323. >Also, this confirmed you aren’t crazy and that you can get back home again… in another ten years, but you can still get back again.
  4324. >You try to envision your mother in your mind.
  4325. >Her face, her hair, her smile, the sound of her voice, everything.
  4326. >If you’re going to be away from her again, you want to make an effort to remember every last detail about her.
  4327. >You smile thinking about her, and you know she wouldn’t want you to wallow in self-pity and depression.
  4328. >You need to pull yourself together for her.
  4329. >This was what you thought might happen when you told the elements to hit you instead of her.
  4330. >You hoped it wouldn’t happen, but it did, now it’s time to suck it up and deal with it.
  4331. >No amount of crying or words can take you back home right now, so it’s time to move on as best you can.
  4332. >You stand back up and ty to wipe your tears away.
  4333. >It won’t be easy.
  4334. >But hey, if a ten year old boy can do it, then a twenty year old man can definitely do it.
  4335. >Better get back to your apartment and try to regroup.
  4336. >You look around the alley but can’t find your backpack.
  4337. >You realize that you left it at Twilight’s before you all went to the castle.
  4338. >Which means you’re out a laptop and whatever else was in it at the time.
  4339. “Well fuck. But really, that’s about par for the course at this point.”
  4340. >You say with a sigh, and more than a little frustration.
  4341. “So what do I have then?”
  4342. >You dig in your left pocket and find your keys, your phone is in your right, and your wallet in your back pocket.
  4343. >Luckily, force of habit caused you to grab them before you left Twilight’s.
  4344. >Looking at your phone, you see a new message.
  4345. >Makes sense since you have a signal now.
  4346. >You have a feeling you know what it is.
  4347. >Dialing your voicemail, you mentally prepare yourself.
  4348. >”Hello Anonymous, this is Mandy in H.R. Unfortunately, due to your no call no show, we have decided to terminate your-“
  4349. >You hang up before she can finish.
  4350. >Welp… that just made your already horrible day worse.
  4351. >It’s getting real hard to keep trying to be positive when shit like this keeps happening.
  4352. >Better get back to the apartment before something else happens.
  4353. >You begin walking, and start to make a mental checklist of things you need to do.
  4354. >One of the first things is unfortunately finding a new job.
  4355. >Easier said than done.
  4356. >You’ll need to replace your laptop and mp3 player too.
  4357. >That also won’t be easy because of your new found unemployment.
  4358. >…Okay, this is getting depressing.
  4359. >Come on, get out of this funk.
  4360. >You could write down everything you can remember.
  4361. >Who knows, you might be able to make it into a book or something.
  4362. >You lose yourself in thought, remembering the wonders of home.
  4363. >The literal magic of that world with a little medieval flare thrown in with the castles.
  4364. >You are so caught up in remembering, that you barely notice you’re outside your apartment building.
  4365. “Huh… guess I was on auto pilot.”
  4366. >You step inside and go up to your door.
  4367. >You fumble with your keys and unlock it.
  4368. >Grasping the handle, you close your eyes and let out a long sigh.
  4369. >Opening the door and your eyes, you see everything exactly how it was when you left.
  4370. >Least no one broke in while you were gone.
  4371. >Little miracles at this point.
  4372. >Stepping inside, you close and lock the door behind you.
  4373. >You make your way to your couch and sit down.
  4374. >Practically collapse onto it is more accurate.
  4375. >You had no idea how exhausted you were until now.
  4376. >Guess traveling between worlds and getting hit by magic can take a lot out of a guy.
  4377. >Reaching into your pocket, you bring out your phone.
  4378. >You power it on and go into your gallery.
  4379. >Wonder how many pictures you took while you were there, and more importantly if they’re still there.
  4380. >Way your day is going, you wouldn’t doubt some Twilight Zone shit like that might happen and all the photos are gone.
  4381. >You’re pleasantly surprised to see that this isn’t the case and all the pictures you took are still there.
  4382. >Not a lot though, but the point is you still have them.
  4383. >Had you known your return home was going to be more of a visit you would have taken more pictures.
  4384. >These pics will definitely serve their purpose.
  4385. >They’re something to help you remember until you can make it back there.
  4386. >You pull up the picture of your mom you took.
  4387. >She was, for all intents and purposes, in aw by what your phone could all do.
  4388. >You thought it was funny that she was amazed by what has become an everyday thing for you.
  4389. >Probably how she felt about you reaction to her magic when you got back.
  4390. >Eye of the beholder you guess.
  4391. >She sat down in a regal pose looking right at the camera, like she probably had done multiple times for her subjects who wanted a photo.
  4392. >But she also had an innocent, pure, and genuine smile on her face.
  4393. >You could tell because it looked different than almost every smile you have seen in the last ten years here which were more fake or forced.
  4394. >You smile and sigh looking at her.
  4395. >Goddamn do you miss her.
  4396. >You can only imagine what she’s going through right now.
  4397. >You wish there was something you could do, or a way to let her know you’re alright at least.
  4398. >But something tells you that you won’t be able to call her up and talk to her.
  4399. >You lightly kek at the thought of calling her.
  4400. >Like that would work.
  4401. >But still, that gives you an idea.
  4402. >You go to your contacts list in your phone and start to make a new one.
  4403. >Name: Mom.
  4404. >Just leave the rest of it blank, and attach her photo to the profile.
  4405. >And there you have it, you finally have your mother as a contact in your phone.
  4406. >Kind of silly and childish you admit, but it somehow feels right to finally have it.
  4407. >You go back to your contact list and see her listed there.
  4408. >It’d be weird if someone was looking at your phone and saw it, but fuck them.
  4409. >Something catches your attention lower on your contact list.
  4410. “The hell is that?”
  4411. >You see a contact you don’t remember adding.
  4412. “Uncle Discord?”
  4413. >How the hell did that get there?
  4414. >You didn’t do it and the only other person who even touched your phone was Twilight and she wouldn’t know how to do it.
  4415. >You then remember what he said from the last time you saw him.
  4416. >”…if you ever need someone to talk to, just give a call to your old Uncle Discord.”
  4417. >It couldn’t be… could it?
  4418. >There’s just no possible way.
  4419. >But at the same time, you saw him do things that common sense would say was impossible.
  4420. >Maybe…
  4421. >You press the call button and hold the phone to your ear.
  4422. >You feel stupid and ridiculous-
  4423. >It starts to ring.
  4424. >Your eyes widen and you feel your heart start to beat faster in disbelief.
  4425. >After three rings you hear it pick up on the other side, you immediately hear static.
  4426. >”Hel…o?”
  4427. >A voice can barely be made out through all the static.
  4428. “Hello? Is-is someone there?”
  4429. >You ask hopefully.
  4430. >”An…n is th…t you…”
  4431. “Yes, hello? Can you hear me?”
  4432. >”…orry going… ough a tunnel…”
  4433. “I’m sorry, what was that? I can’t understand you.”
  4434. >”Oh it doesn’t matter, I’ll just come to you.”
  4435. >The voice says with sudden clarity as the static disappears.
  4436. >You pull the phone away and look at it in surprise.
  4437. >But you are shocked when you see Discord’s head come out of your screen with crumbled up paper in his paw.
  4438. >”Sorry, I couldn’t resist.”
  4439. >He says crumbling the paper to make the static noise again.
  4440. >You drop the phone and instinctively back away from it in fright.
  4441. >You also totally didn’t yelp or scream like a little girl either.
  4442. >He smiles and pulls himself out of your phone.
  4443. >It’s like watching something out of an old Tex Avery cartoon.
  4444. >It would be fine if this was a cartoon, but honestly seeing real life physics altered like this was surprisingly terrifying.
  4445. >He sits on the couch across from you and flashes you a toothy grin.
  4446. >”Why hello again, Prince Anonymous.”
  4447. >You stare at this mismatch of animal parts before you and still feel your heart beating out of control at witnessing him come out of your phone screen.
  4448. >He looks at you with what you personally consider a devilish grin, it honestly is making you feel more than a little uncomfortable.
  4449. >But despite all that, you feel something else deep down.
  4450. >Something you thought you wouldn’t feel for another ten years.
  4451. >Hope.
  4452. >If he could come here, then that means he can go back.
  4453. >And if he could go back, then that means he just might be able to take you back with him.
  4454. >”So my boy, how are you?”
  4455. >His sudden questions breaks your concentration.
  4456. “What?”
  4457. >”I’m just asking how you’re doing after all you’ve been through.”
  4458. >He still has a subtle smile on his face.
  4459. >Probably better to be truthful with him if you’re going to be asking him for a favor later.
  4460. “Honestly, I’ve been better.”
  4461. >”Oh I believe it. What with your long struggle to get home, those idiotic guards, a tearful reunion, your mother getting possessed, and then ending up back here.”
  4462. >He turns and looks out the window.
  4463. >”I see why you wanted to get back so badly.”
  4464. >Wait.
  4465. >Idiotic guards?
  4466. >Does he mean those two from the night you got back?
  4467. >How does he know about them?
  4468. >Something is off here and you need answers before anything else.
  4469. “Hold on a second, how do you know all this? We didn’t meet until the day after I got back.”
  4470. >”Yes, we didn’t ‘meet’ until the next day. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t watching you.”
  4471. >He says doing some air quotes.
  4472. “What are you talking about? You were watching me?”
  4473. >”Indeed I was. And a very entertaining series of events it was too. I was rather captivated by everything that happened to you.”
  4474. >It seems weird to have had him watching you, but it still doesn’t make sense as to why he did it.
  4475. “But… why?”
  4476. >”To understand that my boy, I have to tell you a story first.”
  4477. >With a flash, you find a book in your lap.
  4478. >You mildly jump from shock when it opens itself up.
  4479. >It’s in no way the weirdest thing you’ve seen today, but it still surprises you.
  4480. >You see an illustration of Discord wearing a crown and royal looking cape.
  4481. >”Once upon a time, there was a dashingly handsome Lord and Master of Chaos. The Lord of Chaos was many things, he was wise, omnipotent, funny, charming, modest, and able to carry a tune, but most of all… he was bored.”
  4482. >Discord narrates.
  4483. >Looking at the book, a page starts to turn on its own.
  4484. >”So the benevolent lord determined that if he was bored, so was everypony else. So he selflessly took on the charge of alleviating the monotony of everyday life.”
  4485. >The page flips again and you see an illustration of a golden apple.
  4486. >”At first, he used golden apples to sow the seeds of chaos. He laughed and reviled in the spectacle ponies made of themselves to try and obtain their golden prize. Arguments, fights, and everything in between stemmed from their lust for the apple. He was enthralled by how the most stalwart of ponies could, and did, lower themselves for monetary gain. This staved off his boredom for a time. But soon enough, that all too familiar feeling crept its way back to him.”
  4487. >The page flips again and see multiple apples with writing on them that you can’t make out.
  4488. >”So he decided to be more specific with his apples. He made ones that said ‘For the most Beautiful,’ ‘For the Smartest,’ ‘For the Bravest,’ and so forth. He decided to see how individuals who considered themselves each of these traits would react to the apple when competing with others who thought the same way. And that worked better than just the random apples and they provided much entertainment for him. But again, like all good things, even that became stale and predictable. So the lord found himself bored again.”
  4489. >The pages is turned and it shows Discord throwing his crown away.
  4490. >”It was then after countless years that the lord gave up his title and decided to play the fool. But he then took back his title because he liked the way it sounded. He decided to use his powers to reshape the world into something that would never make him bored again. Until one day…”
  4491. >The next page reveals your mother and aunt standing with the several gems.
  4492. >You suspect these are the original Elements of Harmony.
  4493. >”Two meddling Princesses decided to ruin all his fun. The lord was over confident in their meeting, for nothing prior to that could compare with his powers. It was the last mistake he made for over a thousand years.”
  4494. >The page flips and you see a stone statue of Discord from the garden.
  4495. >”Then he finally awoke quite some time later. However, he had no time for apples anymore. Instead, he went back to spreading chaos around the world himself while preparing for the force that bested him before. He almost succeeded, but again was overconfident and lost everything.”
  4496. >Another image depicts Discord with your mother by his side, surrounded by Twilight and the rest of the girls.
  4497. >”But luck would be with the lord of chaos yet. As the princess who once saw to his banishment thought he could be reformed and possibly even make friends. But this wasn’t the princess being lenient or merciful, it was her trying to get the lord to do something for her. Once she knew he was reformed she wanted him to find something she lost, even going so far to beg him for help. Unfortunately he couldn’t help her, not because he didn’t want to. But instead because without knowing which dimension she lost her treasure in, he could look for a hundred lifetimes in every dimension there is and still not find what she was looking for.”
  4498. >The page flips one last time and you Discord sitting down and looking depressed.
  4499. >”So that leaves the lord of chaos in a unique situation. He is free to come and go as he pleases and do as he likes, so long as he doesn’t spread too much chaos around the world. But without doing that he becomes bored again far too easily. So instead, he waits for chaotic situations to happen naturally. For example, when a gateway opens between worlds. Almost nothing is as chaotic as something from another dimension.”
  4500. >The book disappears from your lap and Discord stands up.
  4501. >”So when a gateway opens up anywhere in the world, I go to investigate. If I’m lucky it will spread a little mischief until it gets resolved and it helps with my boredom. But if it happens to be something bigger, I step in. After all, I’m reformed now.”
  4502. >He says as a halo appears over his head.
  4503. >”Imagine my surprise when you came through the portal. I decided this had to be watched in its entirety, and you did not disappoint. But I wanted to up the ante a bit, so I decided to make you my apple. All you needed was the right push.”
  4504. >You put together everything he’s been telling you along with your memory of events.
  4505. “You did all this?”
  4506. >”Oh please, all I did was tell you how your mother looked the same as when she banished me over a thousand years ago.”
  4507. >You eye him wearily but don’t say anything yet.
  4508. >”I didn’t make you ask your mother about her being immortal. I didn’t make your mother go looking for an immortality spell and get possessed. That was all her and you.”
  4509. >He looks at you and smiles.
  4510. >”But then that’s when you decided to go off script. She was supposed to be purified by the elements and everything was supposed to be right as rain again. Instead you went looking for her and everything happened sooner than I predicted.”
  4511. “Go off script? Sooner than predicted? You planned all this to happen!?”
  4512. >”Not everything, no. I never thought she would try to kill Twilight, or that Luna would come in to try and save the day when she did. I especially didn’t think you would sacrifice yourself for her like you did. From start to finish, I have thoroughly enjoyed your adventure. I laughed, I cried, I cried some more, just don’t tell anyone I said that. I honestly haven’t had this much fun in I can’t remember when, and I most certainly wasn’t bored at all.”
  4513. >He did all this, because he was bored and wanted fun!?
  4514. >Is your life a game to him?
  4515. >”Oh and one last thing, just in case you were wondering. If the elements would have been used on your mother, it would have just purified her and nothing else. You on the other hand, since you were from a different world, the elements seemed to have thought it best to return you to where you came from. Just think, you would still be in Equestria if you hadn’t have stopped Fluttershy and her friends from their original plan. It’s funny actually… you did this to yourself.”
  4516. >He chuckles to himself.
  4517. >No…
  4518. >You did this… to yourself?
  4519. >“In fact, if I hadn’t put a spell on your phone when you weren’t looking, I wouldn’t have had a way to track where you ended up. But I suppose I really should be getting back, dimension hopping takes a lot out of you don’t you know. It was good seeing you again, I’ll let your mother know you’re alright.”
  4520. >In a flash, a large cartoonish door appears in your living room.
  4521. >What?
  4522. >NO!
  4523. “Wait!”
  4524. >He pauses.
  4525. >”Yes?”
  4526. “Take me with you… please…”
  4527. >”And why should I do that?”
  4528. “Because I belong there.”
  4529. >”I beg to differ. The elements clearly determined you DON’T belong there. And being the reformed lord of chaos I am… who am I to go against something the Elements of Harmony decided. Why that would be... well disharmonious.”
  4530. >He puts his hand on the door knob and starts to turn it.
  4531. >This is do or die time.
  4532. >Think of something good and think of it quick!
  4533. “What if I could give you something?”
  4534. >This causes him to pause.
  4535. >”And what could you have to possibly offer me?”
  4536. >You swallow and try to steady your nerves.
  4537. >You need to pitch this to him just right for it to work, and you probably only have one shot at this.
  4538. “You said so yourself… you enjoyed watching me while I was there. Think about it, what would be better than having something that the Elements of Harmony themselves thought shouldn’t be in Equestria? Think of the chaos that would happen when the princess announces to the world that her son, who is another species, has returned.”
  4539. >He steps back and runs his fingers through his goatee.
  4540. >Or paws through his beard.
  4541. >But now’s not the time for that!
  4542. >He needs something more to sweeten the deal.
  4543. “Let me be your apple again.”
  4544.  
  4545. -Celestia-
  4546. >You lay on your bed in your room.
  4547. >You are far from the regal or majestic figure your little ponies think of you as.
  4548. >No, instead you are a broken and shattered version of what you should be for them.
  4549. >A mere shadow of the princess you once were.
  4550. >And you had done this all to yourself.
  4551. >If you hadn’t gone to the old castle, he would still be here with you.
  4552. >Rage filled your heart as you flew back to Canterlot.
  4553. >The events at the castle still fresh in your mind.
  4554. >You were ashamed, embarrassed, and angry at yourself for being used by that… thing.
  4555. >It was like a living nightmare, seeing and hearing everything going on around you yet powerless to stop any of it.
  4556. >And then she, your former most faithful student, used the Elements of Harmony on your son.
  4557. >Since you couldn’t find him after everything had ended, you know that he wasn’t just purified like Luna was.
  4558. >And since you didn’t find a statue of him, you knew he wasn’t turned to stone as the elements had done to Discord.
  4559. >That leaves the unpleasant possibility of banishment.
  4560. >But to where and for how long, you don’t know.
  4561. >It’s possible that he was sent back to earth, but you can’t be sure.
  4562. >It’s also possible that he’s still possessed by that thing wherever he is.
  4563. >But again, you can’t be sure.
  4564. >And that’s what makes him missing hurt so much.
  4565. >The unknowing.
  4566. >Just like last time, you don’t know for certain if he’s alive or dead.
  4567. >You don’t know where he is or if he’s even safe.
  4568. >The only thing you do know is that there’s nothing you can do to help him.
  4569. >By the time you arrived back in Canterlot, the rage you felt was replaced by sadness and regret.
  4570. >You landed on your balcony and walked to your bed, trying in vain to keep your emotions in check.
  4571. >Once at your bedside, the weight of everything that has happened caused you to collapse and weep for your lost son.
  4572. >That special part of your soul that is now gone.
  4573. >You cried until every last tear that was in your body had been shed.
  4574. >It lasted for what had to be several hours, but it could have been just minutes instead.
  4575. >It might have been day instead.
  4576. >Time no longer had any meaning to you.
  4577. >Nothing has any real meaning to you anymore.
  4578. >This entire affair is painfully similar to ten years ago.
  4579. >How he vanished without a trace, and even the guards with him didn’t know what happened.
  4580. >You remember how you took the lead in looking for him, and personally headed countless search parties.
  4581. >You barely ate or slept for about a week after his disappearance.
  4582. >Not a single train, wagon, airship, or boat moved without you knowing exactly who and what was on board.
  4583. >Even Luna searched for his dreams but couldn’t find any trace of him.
  4584. >After that, she looked in everypony’s dreams to see if anypony had even seen him.
  4585. >But the results were always the same.
  4586. >Slowly, search parties were sent out less frequently as fewer and fewer volunteers stepped forward to look for him.
  4587. >And why should they?
  4588. >He wasn’t their son.
  4589. >He wasn’t even their kind, as you overheard one noble say when he thought you were out of earshot.
  4590. >But you didn’t need them, you would search for him alone if you had to.
  4591. >And so you did.
  4592. >You searched for days, into weeks, into months with no luck.
  4593. >Luna finally convinced you to stop and to think about everypony else who needed you.
  4594. >So with a heavy heart, you complied with her wishes.
  4595.  
  4596. >You needed to stop thinking like a mother and start thinking like a princess again.
  4597. >’The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few,’ was the mantra you kept telling yourself.
  4598. >But that didn’t make it any easier.
  4599. >You tried to fill your schedule so that there was never a lull or break.
  4600. >If you were constantly busy, then your mind wouldn’t wander and think about him.
  4601. >You became more and more involved with Twilight’s lessons.
  4602. >She became like a daughter to you.
  4603. >You would have done anything for her, and she repays you by using the elements on Anon?
  4604. >The thought of her right now, after what she did, makes you-
  4605. >”Sister?”
  4606. >Luna’s voice comes from your doorway.
  4607. >You look up from your bed and see her standing patiently looking back at you.
  4608. >How long has she been standing there?
  4609. >Examining her closer, you notice that she is heavily bandaged.
  4610. >Your eyes widen as you gaze upon this grim reminder of what you did while possessed.
  4611. >”Do not fear my sister…”
  4612. >She states while walking into your room with a noticeable limp.
  4613. >”It will take more than anything that foul creature could do to fell the Princess of the Night.”
  4614. >She claims confidently with a smile.
  4615. >You can’t tell if her bravado is more for her sake or your own.
  4616. >But her smile slowly fades as she continues to look at you.
  4617. >She dares not ask how you are feeling, she already knows the answer.
  4618. >”Twilight Spar-“
  4619. “Don’t…”
  4620. >You cut her off.
  4621. >”But sister, Twili-“
  4622. “No!”
  4623. >You almost yell at her.
  4624. >She makes no attempt to continue and stands where she is.
  4625. >Silence filling the gap between the two of you.
  4626. “Don’t even mention her. Not after what she did.”
  4627. >Anger has found its way back into your voice as you turn away from her.
  4628. “If I live the rest of my life without seeing or hearing from her, I would not regret it.”
  4629. >You look at the framed picture of Anon and you that sits on your night stand.
  4630. “She’s dead to me after what she’s done.”
  4631. >You say closing your eyes.
  4632. >Everything feels dead to you without him.
  4633. >”Would it have been better if you had killed her?”
  4634. >Your eyes quickly open and you look at her.
  4635. “What?”
  4636. >Would you have preferred if you had killed her when you were possessed?”
  4637. >You pause and think about it.
  4638. >”If you had, then Anonymous would still be here. Granted, you would have remained a possessed puppet. But, Anonymous would still be here.”
  4639. “That’s not fair Luna. There had to be another way. They could have used the elements on me instead.”
  4640. >You go over the possible outcomes of them being used on you.
  4641. >Stone, banishment, purification, or worse.
  4642. “It should have been me, not him.”
  4643. >”The Elements of Harmony were not used on you because Anonymous expressly forbid it.”
  4644. “What? Why?”
  4645. >You ask, shocked by what you just heard.
  4646. >You again look at the picture of your young son.
  4647. >”From what I was told, Anonymous believed that Equestria could survive without him in case something would have happened. However, he did not believe it could survive without you.”
  4648. >She says as she walks to your bed and sits down next to you.
  4649. >She winces in pain, but tries to keep you from seeing it.
  4650. >”He wanted to make sure that you would be safe. He wanted to make sure all of Equestria would be safe. Thanks to him and the Elements of Harmony, Twilight Sparkle included, it is.
  4651. >You hang your head in silence and think about her words.
  4652. >”You know that I would lay down my life to protect Anonymous, as I know you would do as well. Do you think that he would not hesitate to do the same for either of us, you especially?”
  4653. >She explains and drapes her good wing over you.
  4654. >You think back at how Anon tried to protect Twilight from Solar Flare, even at great peril to himself.
  4655. >How he distracted Solar Flare so that Luna could be taken to safety.
  4656. >And how he sacrificed himself so that you could be saved.
  4657. >Your heart still aches remembering him, and most likely will for some time.
  4658. >But you also feel something else while thinking about him.
  4659. >A tremendous sense of pride.
  4660. “No, he wouldn’t hesitate. And he didn’t for any of us.”
  4661. >You look over to your sister who responds with a smile.
  4662. >”Though Anonymous is not blood, I could not have asked for better kin than him. His kind and strong heart, along with his actions further prove that he is indeed his mother’s son.”
  4663. >She stands and slowly starts to walk away.
  4664. >”I know you are sad and angry. But please realize you are not the only one who has lost something this day. To direct that anger you feel at those around you is understandable, but it does not make it any less wrong to do so. I beg you not to discard a friendship you have had for years over this.”
  4665. >She stops at your door and turns towards you.
  4666. >”Twilight Sparkle also wished to return Anonymous’ belongings he had left at her castle. She said you should have them, along with the report on him that you requested. They have all been placed in his old room.”
  4667. “Thank you Luna.”
  4668. >You respond automatically.
  4669. >More things to remind you of what you lost.
  4670. >”Twilight Sparkle also wanted me to tell you that she would like to attempt to create a locator spell for Anonymous. However, she would need access to several of his items for calibration purposes. Given the last exchange the two of you had, she wanted your approval before she did anything on her own.”
  4671. >Of all the ponies in the world, there are few who would be better suited for this task than Twilight.
  4672. >If the locator spell worked, knowing her she would probably attempt a portal or dimensional bridge spell.
  4673. >You need her help.
  4674. >And she offered it to you freely without you even asking her for it.
  4675. >You feel ashamed with yourself for how you treated her.
  4676. >You let your emotions get the better of you and you took it out on one of your closest friends.
  4677. >”Would you like me to contact her for you?”
  4678. “No, I will speak with her myself. My outburst earlier to her was uncalled for and was unbefitting of a princess.it was no way to treat a savior of Equestria, and especially a friend.”
  4679. >You notice a smile creep onto your sister’s face.
  4680. “She was following the orders of the Prince of Equestria, and there was no malice or ill will in her actions. I must make amends for what I have done and can only hope she forgives me.”
  4681. >”I am sure that she will. Now if you will excuse me, I must return to the infirmary before the physician or nurses discover my absence.”
  4682. >You smile and nod to her which she again returns before leaving.
  4683. >You are left alone with your thoughts once more, but now you have a glimmer of hope.
  4684. >Perhaps Twilight will be able to help with a locator spell.
  4685. >Who knows, she might even be able to help find a way to bring him home again too.
  4686. >It’s a longshot, but at this point it’s all you have left.
  4687. >You need to focus on the positives right now.
  4688. >Otherwise you’ll spiral into depression like last time.
  4689. >Simply focus on what you can control and ignore what you can’t.
  4690. >Of course that’s easier said than done.
  4691. >For now, you should apologize to Twilight.
  4692. >You could send a letter, but that might not be the best after your last encounter.
  4693. >No, this should be something you do face to face.
  4694. >You owe her that much at least.
  4695. >You get up and start walking to your balcony.
  4696. >Anon worked so hard by himself for ten years to get home, it’s your turn now to do everything you can to bring him back.
  4697. >You extend your wings and are ready to-
  4698. >Music fills the halls and filters into your room.
  4699. “What?”
  4700. >”Listen baby, ain't no mountain high, ain't no valley low, ain't no river wide enough baby…”
  4701. >It takes a moment, but you recognize this song as one Anon played for you.
  4702. >Could it be?
  4703. >You instantly begin your teleportation spell and close your eyes, concentrating on his room.
  4704. >The familiar magical “Crack’ fills your ears.
  4705. >You open your eyes confirming you are in his room.
  4706. >You hope against hope to see him standing there, waiting for you.
  4707. >But all you see is his music player and speaker still playing the song.
  4708. >And just like hat, your hopes are dashed.
  4709. >You scan the room, but of course you don’t find him.
  4710. >You’ve lost count over the last few days of how often you’ve felt this feeling.
  4711. >But if it wasn’t Anon, then who started the music?
  4712. >You hope a guard didn’t start playing around with Anon’s things, for their sake.
  4713. >”… Just call my name, I’ll be there in a hurry. You don’t have to worry.”
  4714. “Oh Anon…”
  4715. >”Mom.”
  4716. >Your head moves instantly towards the voice.
  4717. >There he is!
  4718. >Your son stands before you.
  4719. >It’s like he appeared out of nowhere.
  4720. “Please…”
  4721. >You whisper.
  4722. “Please don’t be a dream.”
  4723. >You stand still and look at him, hoping that your mind isn’t playing tricks on you.
  4724. “Please be real...”
  4725. >You see tears form in his eyes as he looks at you.
  4726. >He instantly runs to you, wrapping you in his arms and holds you tight.
  4727. >”This isn’t a dream mom, I’m real, I promise. I’m back! I thought I lost you again, but I’m back!”
  4728. >He says though his tears.
  4729. >You wrap him in your forelegs and then wrap him in your wings.
  4730. >You don’t know how, but your sunshine has returned.
  4731.  
  4732. -Anon-
  4733. “Let me be your apple again.”
  4734. >He hums and seems to mull your proposal over while tapping a finger against his chin.
  4735. >Come on… come on…
  4736. >”Alright, I’ll do it.”
  4737. >Your eyes widen and you feel your heart skip a beat in excitement.
  4738. >You couldn’t keep the smile off your face if you wanted to.
  4739. >”But I feel I should let you know something first.”
  4740. >Your expression deflates.
  4741. >There’s always a catch isn’t there?
  4742. >He holds out his hand to you with the palm face up.
  4743. >In his hand, he has a small cartoonish looking version of himself with little cartoon monsters on both sides of it.
  4744. >”As you know, when the Elements of Harmony were used on me it turned me to stone. But what you might not know is that once that happened, it undid all my lovely chaos.”
  4745. >As he speaks, the little him turns to stone and the little monsters turn into normal animals.
  4746. >You look from his hand to his face, unsure exactly why he’s telling you this.
  4747. >He sees the confusion on your face and holds out his other hand.
  4748. >This one has cartoon versions of him, your mom, and you on it.
  4749. >”So that means if I bring you back and the elements are used on me again, everything I did with my magic would be undone.”
  4750. >The little him turns to stone again and the little you disappears with a ‘pop’ sound.
  4751. >The little cartoon version of your mother starts to cry, complete with exaggerated tears and the sound of a baby crying.
  4752. >”And you would find yourself back here.”
  4753. >He says gesturing to your apartment.
  4754. “But why would the elements be used on you? You said yourself that you’re reformed now.”
  4755. >”Oh I am, I am.”
  4756. >He tries to reassure you as a halo appears over his head.
  4757. >The halo flickers like an old neon sign and burns out.
  4758. >He looks up and taps it with a finger until it turns on again.
  4759. >”See?”
  4760. >He asks smiling.
  4761. >Your stoic face lets him know that you’re not in a joking mood.
  4762. >He snaps his fingers and the halo is gone.
  4763. >”Here’s the thing. While I am reformed, I still get bored easily. And when I get bored, I have a nasty habit of trying to entertain myself.”
  4764. >He looks at your table and snaps his fingers.
  4765. >A flash of light surrounds it and as the light fades you see it has a tongue hanging out of what you assume is its mouth.
  4766. >It barks at you and starts to walk away.
  4767. >You instinctively take a step away from it.
  4768. >Great, he turned your table into a super creepy dog.
  4769. >”See? I can’t help it.”
  4770. >With another snap of his fingers, your table returns to normal.
  4771. >”Your return will help alleviate my boredom, but I fear it will not completely stave off my need for chaos. I fear one day I might do something your mother feels would warrant using the elements on me again. Then I’d stone and you’d be gone.”
  4772. >He puts a hand to his forehead and falling backwards into a couch he just made appear.
  4773. >”I’m not sure I could live with myself if that were to happen.”
  4774. >He says, reminiscent of a bad soap opera actor.
  4775. >Wait a minute-
  4776. “You want me to be your insurance policy.”
  4777. >He stops his overacting and looks at you.
  4778. “You’re not worried about me ending up back here. You just want to save your hide. You want me to go to bat for you if you get out of line so you don’t end up a statue again.”
  4779. >His eyes narrow on you.
  4780. >”Oh, you are a smart one aren’t you?”
  4781. >All friendliness he had in his voice is gone.
  4782. >In a flash he disappears from in front of you and he seems to teleport behind you.
  4783. >”But that makes you all the more fun to play with. Just like your mother or Twilight, the smart ones always make the games more fun.”
  4784. >You quickly spin around to face him and step backwards, trying to keep some distance between the two of you.
  4785. >”Yes, you would be my trump card in case something were to happen. And I’ll be sure to constantly remind them and you of that every chance I get. So, do you still want me to take you back?”
  4786. >He asks holding out his hand for you to shake.
  4787. >”Of course, if you don’t want to take my deal… you could always just wait it out and try to get back on your own ten more years from now. The choice is yours.”
  4788. >He’s right.
  4789. >This is probably the only chance you’ll have to get back home apart from waiting another ten years.
  4790. >But if you do this, he’ll be essentially holding you ransom so he could do anything he wanted.
  4791. >On the other hand… it’s home.
  4792. >You slowly raise your hand up to his.
  4793. “I’m not going to lie. The offer is extremely tempting, and I want to go home.”
  4794. >He grins at you.
  4795. “But…”
  4796. >You lower your hand back down.
  4797. “You said you were watching me since I got back home, so you should know how I act. And if you think for a second that I wouldn’t tell the elements myself to use them against you, then you don’t know me at all.”
  4798. >He slowly lowers his hand as well, looking deep into your eyes.
  4799. “So take me back or don’t, it’s your call. I’ve waited ten years to get home, I can wait another ten. But if you do bring me back, I promise I will not be your puppet and dance to your tune.”
  4800. >He remains silent and keeps looking at you.
  4801. >A smile creeps onto his face.
  4802. >”That’s exactly what I hoped you’d say.”
  4803. >He’s taking this surprisingly well for basically telling him to go fuck himself.
  4804. >Then again, he is a master of chaos so this might be how he normally acts.
  4805. >But at the same time, he’s shown himself to be very intelligent and more than capable of thinking several steps ahead.
  4806. “I’m sorry, but you have me at a bit of a loss here.”
  4807. >”Oh my apologies, but I’ve heard that you can only truly judge a pony if they have lost everything. When they are at their lowest and have nothing else left to lose, then that’s when their true character shines the brightest.”
  4808. >He says, putting sunglasses on as you start to glow.
  4809. >You’re surprised to say the least, but since it doesn’t hurt you decide not to make a fuss.
  4810. >He claps his hands and you stop glowing.
  4811. >”I had to make sure that your moral resolve would stand firm if I brought you back. We don’t want anypony to be able to take advantage of a desperate prince do we?”
  4812. “So… this was just a test?”
  4813. >”Yes, and you passed my boy. You even get a sticker.”
  4814. >He pulls off a sticker from a sheet that wasn’t there a minute ago and puts it on your shirt.
  4815. >You pull the fabric so you can get a better look at it.
  4816. >It’s a picture of Applejack and it says ‘Way to Apple-ly yourself’ on it.
  4817. >You look up from it to him.
  4818. >”Oh, and you also get a return trip home. You know if you’re even interested in that at all.”
  4819. >He says matter-of-factly.
  4820. >Before you can react, he reaches up with his claw and literally rips a hole open in space and time in your living room.
  4821. >At least that’s what you think he did.
  4822. >You’ve never seen an interdimensional portal being made before.
  4823. >You’re in such awe by seeing this happen that you barely register even walking up to it.
  4824. >You look through the portal and see your room in the castle.
  4825. >”One other thing real quick, completely unrelated. What was that song you played for your mother the other day? Something about no mountain high enough.”
  4826. “You mean ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’?”
  4827. >You answer not taking your eyes off the portal.
  4828. >”I suppose that makes sense then. Well you should probably get going. I’m going to see what this world has to offer.”
  4829. “What!?”
  4830. >You practically shout.
  4831. >”Did I say that out loud?”
  4832. >You feel him pushing you through the portal.
  4833. >”Don’t worry about me. I’ll catch up with you later, say his to your mother and Twilight for me.”
  4834. >You hear as you fall through the rift in space time.
  4835. >As much as you want to look at the inside of a worm hole, you’re starting to feel physically ill so you close your eyes.
  4836. >You continue to fall until inexplicably you feel your feet press against something and you feel like you’re standing.
  4837. >But weren’t you falling head first?
  4838. >You hear the ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ song playing in the background.
  4839. >Tentatively, you open your eyes and hope he sent you back home.
  4840. >You see your mother by your bed.
  4841. >Looking sad and dejected.
  4842. >”… Just call my name, I’ll be there in a hurry. You don’t have to worry.”
  4843. >”Oh Anon…”
  4844. “Mom.”
  4845. >You call out to her.
  4846. >She instantly moves her head to look at you.
  4847. >She has a unique expression on her face.
  4848. >It’s like she wants to be happy but also doesn’t.
  4849. >If you had to guess, you’d say it was almost cautious hope.
  4850. >”Please…”
  4851. >She whispers.
  4852. >”Please don’t be a dream.”
  4853. >She just says, all while standing motionless and looking at you.
  4854. >”Please be real...”
  4855. >You are feeling so much right now.
  4856. >You are overwhelmed to be home again, but extremely sad to hear your mother begging you to be real.
  4857. >These last few days must have really done a number on her.
  4858. >Tears start to form in your eyes and it’s getting harder to see straight.
  4859. >She needs you like she did the first night you came back.
  4860. >But you feel something else too.
  4861. >Something that you tied to bury deep down to protect yourself while growing up.
  4862. >You need her too.
  4863. >You run to her, throwing your arms around her and hold her as tight as you can.
  4864. “This isn’t a dream mom, I’m real, I promise. I’m back! I thought I lost you again, but I’m back!”
  4865. >You say between sobs.
  4866. >And if you can help it, you’ll never leave her again.
  4867. >You feel her wrap her forelegs around you and finally drape her wings around you as well.
  4868. >You always loved when she did that when you were younger.
  4869. >It made you feel loved, safe, and protected.
  4870. >It made you feel like your mother was holding you.
  4871. >And that’s exactly what’s been missing from your life for ten years.
  4872. >And you finally have it back again.
  4873.  
  4874. -Anon-
  4875. “Let me be your apple again.”
  4876. >He hums and seems to mull your proposal over while tapping a finger against his chin.
  4877. >Come on… come on…
  4878. >”Alright, I’ll do it.”
  4879. >Your eyes widen and you feel your heart skip a beat in excitement.
  4880. >You couldn’t keep the smile off your face if you wanted to.
  4881. >”But I feel I should let you know something first.”
  4882. >Your expression deflates.
  4883. >There’s always a catch isn’t there?
  4884. >He holds out his hand to you with the palm face up.
  4885. >In his hand, he has a small cartoonish looking version of himself with little cartoon monsters on both sides of it.
  4886. >”As you know, when the Elements of Harmony were used on me it turned me to stone. But what you might not know is that once that happened, it undid all my lovely chaos.”
  4887. >As he speaks, the little him turns to stone and the little monsters turn into normal animals.
  4888. >You look from his hand to his face, unsure exactly why he’s telling you this.
  4889. >He sees the confusion on your face and holds out his other hand.
  4890. >This one has cartoon versions of him, your mom, and you on it.
  4891. >”So that means if I bring you back and the elements are used on me again, everything I did with my magic would be undone.”
  4892. >The little him turns to stone again and the little you disappears with a ‘pop’ sound.
  4893. >The little cartoon version of your mother starts to cry, complete with exaggerated tears and the sound of a baby crying.
  4894. >”And you would find yourself back here.”
  4895. >He says gesturing to your apartment.
  4896. “But why would the elements be used on you? You said yourself that you’re reformed now.”
  4897. >”Oh I am, I am.”
  4898. >He tries to reassure you as a halo appears over his head.
  4899. >The halo flickers like an old neon sign and burns out.
  4900. >He looks up and taps it with a finger until it turns on again.
  4901. >”See?”
  4902. >He asks smiling.
  4903. >Your stoic face lets him know that you’re not in a joking mood.
  4904. >He snaps his fingers and the halo is gone.
  4905. >”Here’s the thing. While I am reformed, I still get bored easily. And when I get bored, I have a nasty habit of trying to entertain myself.”
  4906. >He looks at your table and snaps his fingers.
  4907. >A flash of light surrounds it and as the light fades you see it has a tongue hanging out of what you assume is its mouth.
  4908. >It barks at you and starts to walk away.
  4909. >You instinctively take a step away from it.
  4910. >Great, he turned your table into a super creepy dog.
  4911. >”See? I can’t help it.”
  4912. >With another snap of his fingers, your table returns to normal.
  4913. >”Your return will help alleviate my boredom, but I fear it will not completely stave off my need for chaos. I fear one day I might do something your mother feels would warrant using the elements on me again. Then I’d stone and you’d be gone.”
  4914. >He puts a hand to his forehead and falling backwards into a couch he just made appear.
  4915. >”I’m not sure I could live with myself if that were to happen.”
  4916. >He says, reminiscent of a bad soap opera actor.
  4917. >Wait a minute-
  4918. “You want me to be your insurance policy.”
  4919. >He stops his overacting and looks at you.
  4920. “You’re not worried about me ending up back here. You just want to save your hide. You want me to go to bat for you if you get out of line so you don’t end up a statue again.”
  4921. >His eyes narrow on you.
  4922. >”Oh, you are a smart one aren’t you?”
  4923. >All friendliness he had in his voice is gone.
  4924. >In a flash he disappears from in front of you and he seems to teleport behind you.
  4925. >”But that makes you all the more fun to play with. Just like your mother or Twilight, the smart ones always make the games more fun.”
  4926. >You quickly spin around to face him and step backwards, trying to keep some distance between the two of you.
  4927. >”Yes, you would be my trump card in case something were to happen. And I’ll be sure to constantly remind them and you of that every chance I get. So, do you still want me to take you back?”
  4928. >He asks holding out his hand for you to shake.
  4929. >”Of course, if you don’t want to take my deal… you could always just wait it out and try to get back on your own ten more years from now. The choice is yours.”
  4930. >He’s right.
  4931. >This is probably the only chance you’ll have to get back home apart from waiting another ten years.
  4932. >But if you do this, he’ll be essentially holding you ransom so he could do anything he wanted.
  4933. >On the other hand… it’s home.
  4934. >You slowly raise your hand up to his.
  4935. “I’m not going to lie. The offer is extremely tempting, and I want to go home.”
  4936. >He grins at you.
  4937. “But…”
  4938. >You lower your hand back down.
  4939. “You said you were watching me since I got back home, so you should know how I act. And if you think for a second that I wouldn’t tell the elements myself to use them against you, then you don’t know me at all.”
  4940. >He slowly lowers his hand as well, looking deep into your eyes.
  4941. “So take me back or don’t, it’s your call. I’ve waited ten years to get home, I can wait another ten. But if you do bring me back, I promise I will not be your puppet and dance to your tune.”
  4942. >He remains silent and keeps looking at you.
  4943. >A smile creeps onto his face.
  4944. >”That’s exactly what I hoped you’d say.”
  4945. >He’s taking this surprisingly well for basically telling him to go fuck himself.
  4946. >Then again, he is a master of chaos so this might be how he normally acts.
  4947. >But at the same time, he’s shown himself to be very intelligent and more than capable of thinking several steps ahead.
  4948. “I’m sorry, but you have me at a bit of a loss here.”
  4949. >”Oh my apologies, but I’ve heard that you can only truly judge a pony if they have lost everything. When they are at their lowest and have nothing else left to lose, then that’s when their true character shines the brightest.”
  4950. >He says, putting sunglasses on as you start to glow.
  4951. >You’re surprised to say the least, but since it doesn’t hurt you decide not to make a fuss.
  4952. >He claps his hands and you stop glowing.
  4953. >”I had to make sure that your moral resolve would stand firm if I brought you back. We don’t want anypony to be able to take advantage of a desperate prince do we?”
  4954. “So… this was just a test?”
  4955. >”Yes, and you passed my boy. You even get a sticker.”
  4956. >He pulls off a sticker from a sheet that wasn’t there a minute ago and puts it on your shirt.
  4957. >You pull the fabric so you can get a better look at it.
  4958. >It’s a picture of Applejack and it says ‘Way to Apple-ly yourself’ on it.
  4959. >You look up from it to him.
  4960. >”Oh, and you also get a return trip home. You know if you’re even interested in that at all.”
  4961. >He says matter-of-factly.
  4962. >Before you can react, he reaches up with his claw and literally rips a hole open in space and time in your living room.
  4963. >At least that’s what you think he did.
  4964. >You’ve never seen an interdimensional portal being made before.
  4965. >You’re in such awe by seeing this happen that you barely register even walking up to it.
  4966. >You look through the portal and see your room in the castle.
  4967. >”One other thing real quick, completely unrelated. What was that song you played for your mother the other day? Something about no mountain high enough.”
  4968. “You mean ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’?”
  4969. >You answer not taking your eyes off the portal.
  4970. >”I suppose that makes sense then. Well you should probably get going. I’m going to see what this world has to offer.”
  4971. “What!?”
  4972. >You practically shout.
  4973. >”Did I say that out loud?”
  4974. >You feel him pushing you through the portal.
  4975. >”Don’t worry about me. I’ll catch up with you later, say his to your mother and Twilight for me.”
  4976. >You hear as you fall through the rift in space time.
  4977. >As much as you want to look at the inside of a worm hole, you’re starting to feel physically ill so you close your eyes.
  4978. >You continue to fall until inexplicably you feel your feet press against something and you feel like you’re standing.
  4979. >But weren’t you falling head first?
  4980. >You hear the ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ song playing in the background.
  4981. >Tentatively, you open your eyes and hope he sent you back home.
  4982. >You see your mother by your bed.
  4983. >Looking sad and dejected.
  4984. >”… Just call my name, I’ll be there in a hurry. You don’t have to worry.”
  4985. >”Oh Anon…”
  4986. “Mom.”
  4987. >You call out to her.
  4988. >She instantly moves her head to look at you.
  4989. >She has a unique expression on her face.
  4990. >It’s like she wants to be happy but also doesn’t.
  4991. >If you had to guess, you’d say it was almost cautious hope.
  4992. >”Please…”
  4993. >She whispers.
  4994. >”Please don’t be a dream.”
  4995. >She just says, all while standing motionless and looking at you.
  4996. >”Please be real...”
  4997. >You are feeling so much right now.
  4998. >You are overwhelmed to be home again, but extremely sad to hear your mother begging you to be real.
  4999. >These last few days must have really done a number on her.
  5000. >Tears start to form in your eyes and it’s getting harder to see straight.
  5001. >She needs you like she did the first night you came back.
  5002. >But you feel something else too.
  5003. >Something that you tied to bury deep down to protect yourself while growing up.
  5004. >You need her too.
  5005. >You run to her, throwing your arms around her and hold her as tight as you can.
  5006. “This isn’t a dream mom, I’m real, I promise. I’m back! I thought I lost you again, but I’m back!”
  5007. >You say between sobs.
  5008. >And if you can help it, you’ll never leave her again.
  5009. >You feel her wrap her forelegs around you and finally drape her wings around you as well.
  5010. >You always loved when she did that when you were younger.
  5011. >It made you feel loved, safe, and protected.
  5012. >It made you feel like your mother was holding you.
  5013. >And that’s exactly what’s been missing from your life for ten years.
  5014. >And you finally have it back again.
  5015.  
  5016. -Post Credit Scene-
  5017. >It’s been a few days since you managed to get back home again.
  5018. >News spread of your return, and it honestly went better than you thought it would.
  5019. >In a way, you became a type of celebrity.
  5020. >Your mother has taken to being fairly overprotective of you, and not really fond of you being out of her sight.
  5021. >Even so far as to coming into your room in the middle of the night, just to make sure you haven’t disappeared again.
  5022. >You understand where she’s coming from, but hopefully that lightens up soon.
  5023. >”Come on sunshine. Honestly, you’re going to be late for your own party at this rate.”
  5024. >Your mother says with excitement and hint of impatience in her voice.
  5025. >You meanwhile continue walking at a leisurely pace.
  5026. “Calm down mom, we’re still early. Besides, it’s not like they can have my party without me anyway. I swear, you’re more excited for this than I am.”
  5027. >You chuckle.
  5028. “Anyway, I already told you that my birthday is just another day and it’s nothing to get excited over.”
  5029. >You say with a shrug.
  5030. >Too many birthdays you spent alone was probably what jaded you.
  5031. >Kids never wanted to spend time with you if they didn’t need to.
  5032. >You heard almost every excuse imaginable.
  5033. >And your adoptive or foster ‘families’ never seemed to either remember or care.
  5034. >You didn’t have cake unless you made or bought it yourself, and almost never got gifts after you ended up back on earth for those ten years.
  5035. >For you it was just another lonely day on the calendar.
  5036. >If anything it just made you miss home all that much more.
  5037. >Surprisingly, being back now didn’t do anything to wash the bittersweet taste of your birthday from your mouth.
  5038. >She stops just before the great hall doors and looks at you.
  5039. >”Anonymous.”
  5040. >She says sternly.
  5041. >Her tone causes you to flinch a little in response.
  5042. >”I know how you think of your birthday, but it is so much more to me than ‘just another day’ as you keep saying. It was also the day you became my son. And it’s one of the happiest days of my life.”
  5043. >She says with a melancholy tone to her voice.
  5044. >You remember the story she told you about why today was your birthday and not when she first found you when you came to Equestria.
  5045. >About how she made the decision to become your mother on this day.
  5046. >How today was the day you became her son.
  5047. >She adopted you despite knowing how it would affect her public image.
  5048. >She wanted you when no one else did.
  5049. >…Not even your own birth mother.
  5050. >This is as much her day as it is yours, and you need her to enjoy it.
  5051. >You walk over to her and slowly wrap your arms around her neck in a deep embrace.
  5052. >Her mane tickles against your face as you slowly feel her relax and rest her head against you.
  5053. “I know things were rough these last ten years, but let’s try to move on the best we can. Nothing will give us back those years apart, so we should focus on what we have now. I’m home, we’re together as a family again, and most importantly, everyone’s safe.”
  5054. >You carefully pull away and she smiles, while looking at you with her beautifully loving eyes.
  5055. >But you see a trace of sadness buried deep within them.
  5056. >She’s trying very hard to hide it from you though.
  5057. >She needs a laugh badly.
  5058. “Besides, you lucked out of my teenage years. I was moody, stubbornly silent, and was sarcastic to everyone. I was probably a real jerk.”
  5059. >You say with another chuckle.
  5060. >This earns you a giggle.
  5061. >You love hearing her laugh.
  5062. >Who are you kidding, you love everything about her.
  5063. >She’s your mother.
  5064. >But remembering your teenage years does make you think though.
  5065. >You wonder how different you’d be if you didn’t disappear.
  5066. >Would you be some spoiled rich kid who had no responsibilities or work ethic?
  5067. >You’d like to think that you’d be better than that, but you can’ be sure.
  5068. >You don’t want to be the kind of prince Rarity was comparing you to when you first met her.
  5069. >”I know what you’re trying to do, and thank you. But, I would have much preferred to have you home and ‘moody’ than lost for all that time.”
  5070. >She says caressing your face with a wing.
  5071. >She is looking into your eyes with a sad and longing expression, almost like she is wondering how things could have been.
  5072. >”But you’re right, you’re home now and that’s what matters. Now then, let’s go enjoy your birthday party.”
  5073. >She grips the door with her magic and slowly opens it.
  5074. >”SURPRISE!”
  5075. >Comes a group of voices from inside the great hall.
  5076. >You look in and see not only your aunt and cousin, but the Elements of Harmony, Spike, and Shining Armor as well.
  5077. >This is already a lot more people than you’ve had for one of your parties in a long time.
  5078. >You can’t help but smile at the sight before you.
  5079. >There’s a large cake on a table and you feel your mouth watering just looking at it.
  5080. >There are stacks of presents, all neatly wrapped on another table.
  5081. >You aren’t going to lie, the cake and presents are great and all, but you are actually just glad to see everyone here.
  5082. >It’s hard to put into words, just how happy it is seeing people who are here for you because they want to be here and not forced to be here out of obligation.
  5083. >Friends and especially family who actually care about you.
  5084. >It’s giving you a warm feeling in your chest you almost forgot existed.
  5085. >You walk in and can’t help but feel a little awkward at the attention you’re getting.
  5086. >Better get used to it though, you’re a prince after all.
  5087. >You’re bound to be the center of attention wherever you go and whatever you do.
  5088. >Something being draped over your shoulder shakes you from your thoughts.
  5089. >Looking to your side you see your mother with her wing wrapped around you.
  5090. >She’s smiling.
  5091. >It’s that warm and loving smile you always remembered her having.
  5092. >That same smile you tried to see every day in your mind while you were away from her.
  5093. >You feel your eyes start to water and you quickly bring a hand up to wipe them.
  5094. >You then wrap your arms around her neck again and hug her.
  5095. “I don’t know what I ever did to deserve all this and you, but thank you.”
  5096. >She returns your embrace by nuzzling you with the side of her head.
  5097. >”You were you, that’s all you ever had to be. For me or anypony else.”
  5098. “Thanks mom. For everything, thanks.”
  5099. >You pull away and look at the party, luckily only a few guests were watching your exchange with your mother while the rest started mingling.
  5100. >”Did you want to open your presents first or start with some cake?”
  5101. >Come to think about it, you don’t really know what the proper protocol is for birthday parties anymore.
  5102. >Not only did not many people come to your birthdays, but you never really got invited to other kid’s parties either.
  5103. >You should probably meet with everyone first and thank them for coming.
  5104. “Actually, is it alright if I spend some time with the guests first?”
  5105. >She nods and smiles again.
  5106. >”It’s your party, you can do anything you like sunshine.”
  5107. “Okay, I’ll catch up with you later then.”
  5108. >She smiles and kisses your cheek before moving on to mingle as well.
  5109. >You scan the room for who to talk to first.
  5110. >Maybe Aunt Luna, but you have seen her everyday so far that you’ve been home.
  5111. >You could try Cadance and Shining Armor.
  5112. >Ask them how things are going in their empire since you saw them last.
  5113. >Granted not much has probably happened in the few days since you saw them last.
  5114. >Small talk is hard when you’ve seen everyone recently.
  5115. >You could tell them you were taken over by a demon.
  5116. >It’d be a great ice breaker but how would it go after that?
  5117. >’Hey how’s it going?’, ‘Not bad, you?’, ‘Oh you know, just tricked an all-powerful evil into taking me over to try and save the world, how’s the weather by you guys?’
  5118. >As you finish the exchange in your head you see Twilight and Spike together.
  5119. >She takes a step and visibly winces in pain as Spike runs to her side.
  5120. >You remember how Aunt Luna was covered in bandages when you got back because of the injuries she got fighting Solar Flare.
  5121. >Twilight took a hell of a beating too that night.
  5122. >You should check up on her and make sure she’s doing alright.
  5123. >As you get close to her, you notice she isn’t wearing any bandages
  5124. >Just like Aunt Luna, she must have taken them off for the party.
  5125. >They’re both either tougher than they look, or just don’t want people to worry about them.
  5126. >Probably a bit of both.
  5127. >They see you coming and Twilight straightens up and tries to hide another wince of pain.
  5128. “Hey Twilight, Spike. I’m glad you two could make it. How are you doing anyway?”
  5129. >”Oh, I’m great. Nothing to worry about.”
  5130. >She says a little too dismissively.
  5131. >You look over at Spike who is giving you a look that you can tell means she is full of shit.
  5132. “Well, you’re definitely tougher than me that’s for sure. I’d probably be dead with all the stuff you went through back at the castle.”
  5133. >You try to joke to lighten the mood, but her expression tells you it missed the mark.
  5134. “But in all honesty, thanks for everything you did back there. Both of you. I never got a good chance to properly thank you.”
  5135. >You get down on a knee to be closer to them.
  5136. >”Ah come on, I didn’t do that much. Twilight is the real hero”
  5137. >Spike says patting her on the side, which not surprisingly causes her to flinch and clench her teeth in pain.
  5138. >”Oops… sorry.”
  5139. >She scowls at him and you simply chuckle at their interaction.
  5140. “I don’t want you to downplay your role Spike. Twilight stood her ground against a much more powerful creature that she knew she couldn’t beat alone, and she did get me out of there when things were getting really hairy. But you went to get the other elements who wouldn’t have known about what was going on without you.”
  5141. >You put a hand on his shoulder.
  5142. “Plus Luna told me about your letter to her. That was some quick thinking, sending her a message. She said if she had gotten it any later…”
  5143. >You briefly look Twilight in the eyes before returning your gaze to the young dragon.
  5144. “I don’t want to think about what would have happened.”
  5145. >You close your eyes and smile, knowing everything worked out in the end.
  5146. “The truth is, I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you two. And who knows what that thing would have done to the rest of the world. You two and the rest of the girls saved everything. We should honestly be celebrating you all instead of having a birthday party for me.”
  5147. >”Anon, there’s no need for all of that. We all, Spike and yourself included, just did what had to do.”
  5148. >She says waving a hoof, almost to downplay what everyone did.
  5149. >You’re so used to people with their fake modesty, but she honestly seems like she doesn’t want to make a fuss over this.
  5150. >”None of you should be so modest.”
  5151. >You look and see your mother walking over to you.
  5152. >”Princess Celestia!”
  5153. >Twilight says with surprise in her voice.
  5154. >”Each of you, Luna, and the rest of the Elements of Harmony displayed courage, determination, and resourcefulness. If even one of you wasn’t there, I don’t know how things would have ended. All of Equestria owes each of you a debt that I’m not sure can ever be repaid.”
  5155. >She turns her attention to Twilight.
  5156. >”And as for you Twilight.”
  5157. >She takes a step back as your mother addresses her.
  5158. >You can feel a heavy tension in the air.
  5159. >Aunt Luna said that they had a thing after you got sent back to earth, but she didn’t go into great details.
  5160. >”I also owe you an apology.”
  5161. >This quickly defuses things between the two of them.
  5162. >”I’m sorry Twilight. I said some truly hurtful things back at the castle. Those words came from a mother who thought she had just lost the most precious things in her life. It came from a dark and bitter place that I pray never is seen by either of us again.
  5163. >Both of them look like they are holding back tears.
  5164. >”I don’t say this as an excuse for my words or actions. But instead because I feel you deserve to hear why I said what I did. It still doesn’t make anything I did right, and all I can do is hope you can forgive me. But I will understand if you can’t.”
  5165. >”Oh Princess!”
  5166. >She runs to your mother who accepts her into a loving embrace.
  5167. >”Of course I forgive you! I thought you hated me, and that I’d never see or speak to you again.”
  5168. >She says unable to hold back the tears any longer.
  5169. >”I’m so sorry my little pony.”
  5170. >Your mother says nuzzling her.
  5171. >Well that’s good.
  5172. >You don’t want to see a friendship like theirs be thrown away after so many years.
  5173. >”Awww.”
  5174. >You hear from behind you.
  5175. >You turn and are surprised to see the rest of the room watching the scene unfold before you.
  5176. “Okay, break it up. Nothing to see here.”
  5177. >You say trying to get everyone’s eyes off f them so they can have some privacy.
  5178. “Let’s go open up presents or something.”
  5179. >You motion to the table and start walking towards it.
  5180. >Looks like it worked, because everyone is following you.
  5181. >Rainbow Dash flies by and picks up what looks like a hastily wrapped present.
  5182. >”Here, open mine first! Might as well start with the best gift.”
  5183. >She says confidently as she gives you your gift.
  5184. >You carefully unwrap it and…
  5185. >It’s a framed autographed picture of her.
  5186. >”That’s going to be worth big bits someday.”
  5187. >”Darling, please tell me you didn’t give him a picture of yourself.”
  5188. >”No.”
  5189. >Rainbow scoffs.
  5190. >”I gave him a SIGNED picture of me.”
  5191. >”That don’t make it better.”
  5192. >Applejack feels the need to clarify.
  5193. >This doesn’t sit too well with the blue pegasus.
  5194. “It’s great Rainbow. Thanks.”
  5195. >You place it back on the table.
  5196. “In fact I think it would look great…”
  5197. >You trail off as you notice a gift that hadn’t been there a moment ago.
  5198. >It’s wrapped almost expertly, despite it being wrapped in newspapers.
  5199. >When you pick it up you notice the newspaper is from earth.
  5200. >You cautiously tear the paper until you are left with a golden apple.
  5201. >You hold it up and are admiring it and you remember your words to Discord.
  5202. “Let me be your apple again…”
  5203. >You say under your breath so no one can hear you.
  5204. >You start to scan the room looking for him, but can’t find him.
  5205. >You do notice your mother and Aunt Luna sharing a glance with each other upon seeing your latest gift.
  5206. >”Who-wee, that’s a mighty fine looking gift Anon.”
  5207. >Applejack comments.
  5208. >”We get it Applejack, you got him a gold apple. Great gift, nice and subtle.”
  5209. >Rainbow retorts.
  5210. >”It wasn’t from me.”
  5211. >”It’s made with exquisite quality. I can’t find a single flaw in it.”
  5212. >Rarity says leaning in to examine it closer.
  5213. >”I just want to know what it tastes like.”
  5214. >Pinkie quips.
  5215. >”So, what is it exactly?”
  5216. >Fluttershy meekly asks.
  5217. >You hold and examine it in your hand.
  5218. “It’s a promise, and a gift from a friend at the same time.”
  5219. >You explain and look to your mother and aunt, who seem a little distressed.
  5220. “Nothing to worry about though. Trust me.”
  5221. >They exchange a glance with each other but they seem to have calmed down at your behest.
  5222. >You put it down on the table and look to the guests.
  5223. “Let’s keep this party going then. How about some cake?”
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