Everypony was naturally there for the big concert. Ponyville always held one every season, and the Summer Sonata was always Lyra's favorite. An ensemble of musicians was chosen every year to play four celebratory songs. Lyra had practically earned a permanent position in it, having performed in it for most of her life. In fact, if it weren't for certain Summer Sonata, Lyra may have given up on the beautiful instrument that was her specialty entirely.
Lyra pranced around her cozy living room, her stocking awkwardly fitted on one of her front legs. A pine green unicorn stallion chuckled from the mat of the floor where he and his wife (a midnight blue Pegasus with elegantly curled hair and starry yellow eyes) lay, watching their young child foal. "Careful now, half-pint. You don't want to rip your stockings, growing so fast and all." A small comb that sat on the end table began to glow, and levitated over to Best Seller's muzzle. It stroked through his thick mustache.
"Daddy? Why do you always make yourself look all fancy-panty on Hearth's Warming eve?" Lyra said while pulling off her stocking from her leg.
Star Charter giggled. "He has to look good for Saint Nickelhooves."
"Oh! Mommy! Daddy! Can I see him tonight!" Lyra became very excited at the prospect of meeting the famous gift-giver.
"Sorry, Heartstrings. But good little foals have to sleep. And speaking of sleep, it's about time for a certain little filly to hit the hay." Her mom smiled warmly at her.
The little filly looked at the full stocking excitedly. It had something in it; but it was an odd shape. Maybe a pony on wheels with a pull-string?
"Well..." Best Seller chuckled. "Aren't you going to look inside?" Lyra nodded, and pulled her stocking off from above the fire place. She concentrated power on the tip of her horn, wondering what sort of toy would levitate out of it.
Lyra was surprised at what she found. It definitely wasn't a pony on wheels. It was gold, U-shaped, and had several nylon strings, each of different lengths. "What is it?" Lyra was very confused.
"It's a lyre." Star Charter said. " It's what we named you after."
"This... thing? You named me after it?"
"Yes. It's a pretty sight and make absolutely wonderful sounds when played right!" Her mother told her.
"But... I don't know how to play a lyre!"
Her father smiled. "Don't worry! I've signed you up for lessons in the fall. I'm sure you'll be brilliant." Her parents both gave her reassuring looks. Lyra sighed.
"Tell Saint Nickelhooves that I said thank you..."
Lyra sat on the floor plucking at the lyre's strings while her parents exchanged gifts and nuzzled each other. She was very disappointed in her gift. Lessons would just add extra stress! She struggled to hide her discomfort, praying for something to come and take her out of the situation. Then, it struck her.
"Hey! Can I go show what I got to my friends!" Lyra forced a smile.
"That's a wonderful idea!" Best Seller approved of Lyra's gesture.
"Honey, make sure to wear your coat!" Her mom was always concerned about her.
"Of course! Well, bye!" Lyra began speeding towards the door.
"Wait! Lyra, dear!"
"You forgot your lyre!"
"Oh, right." Lyra blushed, hoping they didn't think she was just trying to avoid them. Nope, they were smiling. Lyra grabbed it, flung on her coat, and was gone in a flash.
"Oww, Bon-Bon!" Lyre rubbed her flank.
"Sorry, Lyra! I didn't see you there. I came to show you what Saint Nickelhooves brought me!"
"Really? I was going to your house to show you what he brought me!"
"Cool! I can't wait! You want to go inside, or-"
"I'm kind of trying to avoid my parents. I'll explain in a minute. How about that bench over there?"
"Lyra, it's always funny the way you sit! Does it hurt to sit that way?"
"Actually, it stretches my back. So what did you-"
"I got a taffy making kit! It was so much fun! I didn't bring it with me, it's to big, but I made some taffy!"
"That's pretty cool, I-"
"But that's not the best part! Look!" Bon-Bon removed her coat to reveal three blue pieces of candy imprinted on her flank. Lyra gasped.
"You got your cutie mark! Oh my gosh!"
"I know, isn't it exciting?"
"All I got was this dumb instrument."
"Really? I don't think it looks dumb."
"But, I don't even know how to play it!"
"Don't worry. Maybe you can take lessons."
"Honestly, I don't really want anything to do with it."
Autumn came in a flash for Lyra. At first, she was reluctant to even take the dusty thing out of her closet, but eventually found it to be fun. She was a natural at it.
Autumn turned into Summer. For months, she and her teacher had been discussing the Summer Sonata. Most of these talks were happy. But, one day, her teacher, Bow Tie, had a changed attitude.
"What's the matter, Mr. Tie?"
"Lyra, it's very hard for me to tell you this, but... I've had a heart abnormality for a very long time. It has suddenly gotten a lot worse. I won't make it in time for the sonata. You will have to play for me. Now, I know this is a lot to ask of you, but I need you to do this." Bow Tie's face became softer. " This is our last lesson, Lyra. I'll try to make it long enough to watch you, but we should say our final goodbyes now."
Lyra's lips began to quiver. "Mr.Tie..." They pulled each other into an embrace that seemed to last forever.
The big concert had finally arrived. Lyra, in her best dress and a shiny polished lyre, trotted on to the stage. It looked like Mr. Tie had made it. He waved and smiled at her. She was going to make him proud.
Unfortunately, while Lyra was normally a good player, her nervousness and stage fright caused her to constantly slip up. In her embarrassment, she looked to her parents, who gave her cheesy grins. Then, she looked to Bow Tie... Only to see him in a stretcher, being put in an ambulance.
Lyra's heart gave a jolt. She knew it was it for him. She had been expecting it. But... it still took a toll on her feelings. Tears began falling around her. In her grief, she closed out everything happening around her... And her playing style changed.
Filled with emotion, the ponies were amazed at the passion in every strum and pluck. Lyra's flank began to glow, and changed in appearance, now cover by a picture of a lyre.
Lyre looked at the rows of chairs in front of her. Mr. Tie would be so proud of me if he could see me now...
"Oh, Lyra!", a voice called.
"Huh?" Lyra turned around and noticed Rarity behind her, putting up an embroidered velvet curtain.
"Get in position, dearie. The show's about to start." Rarity chirped.
Well... Here goes nothing.