The suites in Canterlot Castle were simply marvelous. Usually they contained one bed, sometimes two if needed. One particular suite was of the basics, but still quite a room fit for an elite. Despite that this room was meant for different purposes.
In it housed a double bed, a canopy with gossamer curtains held back against the four posters. Along with that, a plush carpet surrounded it of pure white, contrasting nicely against the dark blue glass tiles of the flooring. A desk sat at one side, below a window overlooking the city. On the desk were some papers, pencils, and even some crayons. A trunk sat at the foot of the bed, containing fillyhood toys and other belongings. A small couch sat next an expansive bookcase, filled to the rim with all kinds of books.
But on this night, the first night spent in this suite, there was trouble ahoof.
The little filly on the much-bigger-by-contrast double bed, was squirming and crying in her sleep. At least, until she then woke up, trying not to wail and scream, but it was too late. Her nightmares, coupled with waking up in an unfamiliar room, without her parents or her brother coming in to comfort her was too much.
Twilight Sparkle, a little Unicorn, was so lonely and scared. It was her first night away from her parents, as she now stayed in the palace in the heart of Canterlot. She had only just become Princess Celestia's student, with the arrangement being that she would stay in the palace for her studies. During the day, she had been very excited at the prospect of living in the grand palace! Something everypony only ever dreamed of. To be closer to her idol, to explore the library and all the history within the palace walls! She was excited! Even her bed chambers were far beyond what she could have imagined! Not that her family's home wasn't nice, of course.
Now, in the middle of the night, the little filly was scared and alone in a room that wasn't her own. In this instant, she just wanted to go home. With her mother and father, and her awesome big brother. She even would have loved for her foalsitter, Cadance, to be there with her.
Unable to help herself, Twilight sat up in bed and began to sob. “Mommy! Mommy!! Mommy!” she cried, despite knowing that it was useless.
For some time, not sure how long, she was crying or calling for her mother, father, and even her brother. It was all she could think of to do. Going back to sleep was too scary for her right now, but being awake all alone without her parents and brother wasn't inviting, either. Her only company was the baby dragon she had hatched that day, whom she named Spike. But he was fast asleep in his basket, as if she weren't even making noise.
After a while, Twilight jolted and even squealed in fright when the doors of her room opened, with a large, looming shadowy figure in the doorway.
“Twilight Sparkle?” A gentle, female voice sounded in the darkness.
Light illuminated the room dimly when a long horn emitted magic, revealing to be Princess Celestia. Only without her royal accessories, even on her hooves. She was even wearing a simple yellow robe, looking a lot more relaxed and down-to-earth, despite her magnificent mane and tail still flowing.
“P-Princess Celestia?” Twilight managed, sniffling a bit.
“Dear Twilight, what is the matter?” Celestia queried with concern, approaching her student's bed. “I had heard you crying and screaming, I came as soon as I could. Are you all right?”
“I...I....just...I had a bad...dream.” Twilight confessed, looking a little afraid. “I-I'm sorry...I didn't mean to wake you.”
Smiling in understanding, Celestia lit the candle on Twilight's bedside table with her magic, before sitting next to her bed. “Twilight, you didn't wake me. And having nightmares is normal, but I can understand you may have been scared. Don't you worry.”
Sniffling, Twilight looked at her with gratitude, but still had tears in her eyes.
Not one to miss things, Celestia immediately caught in. “Twilight...do you miss your family and your home?”
“I...I...I'm sorry, Princess Celestia...it's only been one night and you were so generous to take me on as your student and let me live here...I'm so sorry!” Twilight cried, her eyes watering all the more. This time, in shame and guilt. “I don't deserve to be your student, Princess...I'm so sorry...”
Her response surprised the Princess, but she smiled gently and placed her hoof on the filly's shoulder. “My dear Twilight...there's nothing to be ashamed of. I can understand you feel homesick. But that is why you are more than welcome to visit your family, or have them visit here, anytime that you would like. Just because you are living here does not mean you can never see them.”
A tear fell down the Unicorn filly's cheek. Celestia used a handkerchief produced from her pocket, levitating it toward Twilight to wipe her cheeks.
“You do deserve to be my student, Twilight. Missing your family, feeling homesick and feeling afraid from nightmares don't make you any less of a pony. I certainly do not think any less of you,” Celestia assured her sweetly. “I completely understand how you're feeling. Adjusting to living in a new place, especially away from your family, can take time.”
Touched, as well as feeling relieved, Twilight reveled in the sweet kindness of her teacher. She seemed so different. While still the same regal and very kind ruler, there was just something so soft and motherly about her at this moment. She felt luckier than ever, to see this side of her teacher. She smiled then, feeling so much better. Even the scares of her nightmare were slowly fading away from her mind.
The feeling of warmth and relief was coursing over Twilight, as if her heart was lighting, just as the candle was.
“Thank....Thank you, Princess...” Twilight looked down a bit at her bedcovers. “I feel better now...”
“I'm glad,” Celestia smiled more. “Do you need me to bring you anything?”
“...My...my mommy sings me a lullaby when I go to bed...” Twilight confessed.
“Oh, really?” Celestia smiled curiously. “Would you like me to sing one for you?”
“I...I couldn't ask you to do that, Princess.... You don't hafve to...”
Celestia smiled warmly in assurance before giggling a bit. “I know I don't have to, Twilight. But I would love to. Why don't you tell me what your mother sings to you, then?”
“Well...often she sings Hush Now.” Twilight replied, looking at her teacher.
“All right, then. I will sing that for you, Twilight.” Celestia said, and waited for the little filly to get comfortable in her bed. Once she was, she sat up straighter and then began to sing.
“Hush now, quiet now
It's time to lay your sleepy head
Hush now, quiet now
It's time to go to bed...”
Twilight was amazed then, her eyes growing wide. She had never heard Princess Celestia sing before, but wished that she had. Her singing voice was just as lyrical and beautiful as her speaking voice, if not more so. Very soft, whimsical, and just soothing to the ears. She could listen to her sing all day.
“Hush now, quiet now
It's time to lay your sleepy head
Hush now, quiet now
It's time to go to bed
Drifting off to sleep
The exciting day behind you
Drifting off to sleep
Let the joy of dream land find you
Hush now, quiet now
It's time to lay your sleepy head
Hush now, quiet now
It's time to go to bed...”
Feeling her eyelids grow heavy, Twilight smiled fondly at her teacher with utmost gratitude and appreciation. She yawned a bit, sinking further back into her pillow.
“Thank you, Princess....that was wonderful...”
Chuckling a bit, Celestia smiled more and then kissed Twilight on the forehead in a motherly way. “You're very welcome, my dear Twilight. Once again, I bid you a good night, and pleasant dreams.”
The alicorn then reached for something on the floor, placing it next to the filly. It was a plush dragon doll that her mother had made for her.
“Your little friend was wondering where you were,” Celestia giggled. “I think he wants to sleep in bed with you.”
Twilight happily took hold of her toy, snuggling it in her hooves. “Thank you...Goodnight, Princess....”
Celestia smiled as she could see her student slowly falling asleep. She blew out the candle, then exited the bedroom, using her magic to close the door behind her.
As the alicorn headed toward her chambers, the very thoughts of these events filled her mind. In all of her lifetime, Celestia never did end up married, let alone ever having a filly or a colt of her own. She had certainly been around her little relatives all this time, especially her young niece, Cadance. This however, was one of the few times she was close to a filly or a colt.
Seeing Twilight Sparkle's display of magic was astounding to her. Celestia could immediately see the potential in her, that she was truly meant for great things if just given the chance.
For her first day, now her first night, Celestia expected nothing less.
It will take time. She thought to herself. I don't expect her to suddenly develop and adjust to all of this in an instant. No, that wouldn't be realistic. She still is a young filly, after all. But that's fine. I promised her, and her family, that I would do all I can in my power to make this accomplishing for her...as well as comfortable as possible. Twilight deserves that much.
The Princess returned to her private bedroom chambers, coming to her bed. She relaxed herself, removing her robe with her magic. She levitated it to hang onto a hook, while her gaze drifted to the window.
Celestia hoped with all of her heart, that her efforts to make this as worthwhile and comfortable for her new student would come through. For the sake of the little filly in her charge.
Much as a flower in bloom, Twilight was but a little seed planted into the ground. Grown into a seedling, a bud. In time, with the right combination of care and maintenance, she would bloom into a prosperous flower. In both magic, and as the promising young unicorn she truly was.
It was a dark and stormy night.
Roused by her slumber due to thunder, as well as soft knocking, Celestia blinked her sleepy eyes. Who could that have been at this hour? It was late at night, stormy as it may have been, it didn't seem like an emergency. There would be far more urgency if that were the case. Instead, all she could hear was light knocking that despite harried, were small. As if somepony with small hooves were knocking.
Celestia paused, realizing it could only have been her student. This concerned her, and she immediately opened the doors for her.
Sure enough, the little filly in question was at the door, slowly sauntering inside the room nervously.
Celestia smiled, beckoning her student to come closer. “My dear Twilight. Is something the matter?” Her smile melted into a look of concern once more.
Twilight looked at her teacher before slowly approaching her, as if afraid. “Princess Celestia...storms...they...they...s-scare me.”
“Do they?” Celestia queried, though she was unsurprised.
Thunderstorms could often be scary to some ponies, especially if they were young. Seeing her student feeling scared and shaken up did indeed concern her, she didn't want to see Twilight upset.
“Y-Yes....I just...well I...I'm sorry...” Twilight looked down at the floor hopelessly. “Really...”
“Twilight, there is nothing to apologize for,” Celestia assured her. “You do remember what I said the first night you were here?”
“...Of course I remember,” Twilight looked at her then, the hopefulness returning to her purple eyes.
“It does still stand. As well as that, my faithful student, it's all right to be scared. Everypony gets scared sometimes. Even I myself get scared at times,” Celestia admitted, beckoning her student to come sit with her.
“...You do?” Twilight trotted slowly over to her teacher's bed, climbing up onto it. She looked up at her with wonder, blinking. Could it really have been true, that the Princess of all ponies got scared? She felt really curious, wanting to know more. If anything, it helped her to get to know her mentor better.
“Absolutely. I do have fears, and worries of my own, just as anypony else would.”
“Really? ...Like what, Princess?”
Celestia thought for a moment before answering. “The endangerment of my subjects...all of Equestria, for one. That I suppose is my deepest fear...” Then she smiled, looking amused. “But I suppose for something small...it would have to be...spiders.”
“Spiders?” Twilight looked at her with surprise. “You're afraid of spiders?”
“Yes. I have been ever since I was a filly...” Celestia admitted, chuckling a bit. “Oh, it is silly, isn't it? I wouldn't say I have a phobia against them, oh no. I just am not fond of them, and would prefer they didn't come near me.”
“Oh...” the little Unicorn filly mulled this over, and giggled a bit. “I guess even the Princess can be afraid of things like that.”
“Absolutely, Twilight. Fears can be irrational, that much is true. But it also is a part of what makes us all ponies. Having courage...isn't just about being brave and saving the land, it's about having the strength to admit your fears in order to overcome them,” Celestia gently nuzzled her student.
“Do you think, then...I could get over being scared of thunderstorms?” Twilight queried softly.
Celestia smiled, nodding. “I know you can, Twilight. Thunderstorms, while dangerous if you are near a tree, water or some kind of metallic matter, really are just a part of the weather the pegasi create for us. In fact...why don't I tell you a story that my mother told me?”
“A story?” Twilight brightened at the idea.
“That's right,” Celestia nodded, smiling more. “She told me a story of how thunder and lightning work in order to make it seem less scary. In the storm clouds, there exist little ponies. Smaller than you and I, but still very strong. Within those clouds, they use the magic of electricity, bringing forth a bolt of lightning. For the stimulation and amazing sights. Many come to be fascinated with the sight of a bolt of lightning, to be sure.”
“Are they nice ponies?” Twilight lay down in front of her teacher, making herself comfortable.
“Oh yes, they certainly are. They just are very shy, you see. That's why they live in a cloud. But they use the power of lightning in order to create a spectacle for all to see. They do not mean any harm, of course. It is just how lightning works. The thunder...oh, now that's a lovely one,” Celestia leaned her head toward Twilight. “When a pony passes on, they go to a wondrous place in the heavens. Much like Cloudsdale, or any city in the sky. Only you can walk on the clouds even if you're an Earth pony or a Unicorn. They become angels, frollicking in the paradise before them. During storms, all of the angel ponies get together to play some games. Such as heavenly bowling. All of these games are to create the loud, rumbling sound of thunder that we hear.”
At that moment, thunder rumbled loudly outside.
“Wow...” Twilight murmured, her eyes wide as she took in the little stories. “Those are great stories, Princess... I never would've thought....”
“It certainly is one way of looking at it,” Celestia told her. “My father then taught me a little trick to make the storms go away. Would you like to learn it?”
The filly nodded eagerly. “Oh, would I ever!”
“Well, it's a little game, you see. When the lightning flashes, we start counting. Then when the thunder booms, we stop. As we count higher, that means the storm is going further away. Would you like to try?” Celestia suggested, smiling.
Thinking it over for a moment, Twilight nodded. She liked games, and this sounded like a good way to feel less scared about thunder even more. “Sure! Let's try it!”
They both looked out the window. In a few moments, the lightning flashed, briefly illuminating the outside.
“One, two, three-” The two counted, and were cut off by the loud sound of thunder.
“You see? Now, perhaps the next time we count, we may get to four, or even five,” Celestia told her student, glad to see she was feeling better.
“Okay!” Twilight gave a little excited wiggle, her smile growing.
The lightning flashed again. Twilight and Celestia then began to count once more, this time getting to four.
“One, two, three, four, five, six-” They counted, cut off by another loud crash of thunder.
“Well, now we made it to six,” Celestia smiled. “The storm seems to be moving further away.”
“Oh, that's good,” Twilight looked even more relieved, smiling. But then she looked nervous all over again, though this time, as if she were about to ask something she was afraid to. “Um...Princess...I....well I....was wondering...”
“Yes, my dear Twilight?” Celestia prompted gently.
“Could I...if it's...I mean....could I stay with you...tonight? Please?” Twilight looked at her pleadingly.
This made Celestia's eyes widen slightly with surprise, but then she smiled serenely and nodded. “Of course you can. If you would rather stay with me tonight through the storm, I would love your company,” she lifted one wing then. “Come here, Twilight.”
Eager at the invitation, Twilight got up and trotted over to her teacher, snuggling up against her. Celestia smiled, lowering her wing to gently close over the little filly.
It was such a nice feeling, to just be there for someone who looked up to you, and to take care of them. Celestia felt honoured that Twilight, nervous as she could be sometimes, looked to her for comfort when she needed it. She was all too happy to offer it, to make her feel a lot better in this situation.
“Thank you, Princess...you've been so kind to me,” Twilight murmured, nuzzling into the Princess' soft, pure white coat. “Thank you...”
“You're very welcome, my dear Twilight,” Celestia's smile grew as she gently nuzzled the filly. “I would never try to replace your mother...but I want you to know that I am here for you. If you need help with anything, or even just want to talk, I would be more than happy to be of that kind of help to you. You are my faithful student, but I am also here for you in many other ways.”
Touched, Twilight looked up at her teacher with bright happiness and gratitude. Celestia really was becoming something of a second mother to her, or a favourite aunt-like figure. It felt great to be able to turn to her for things other than just related to her studies. She felt a lot better, and a lot less scared of the storm, now that she was here with her.
“I'd like that a lot, Princess,” the Unicorn murmured. “I feel better now...”
Celestia looked touched as well, and kissed her student on the forehead. “I'm glad, Twilight. That makes me very happy. Thank you,” she then heard a little yawn escape Twilight, and giggled. “Are you tired? Would you like to go back to sleep?”
“Yes, please...” Twilight yawned a little.
“All right, then,” Celestia blew out the candle at her bedside.
She looked down at her student, before then singing a lullaby to her. In moments, the little filly was sleeping again. The Princess then whispered a soft goodnight to her before going to sleep herself, keeping her student close and protected the entire night. The storm went on, but the peaceful warmth between them remained.
On some nights, either when Twilight had a terrible nightmare, or was scared of a storm, or was even just homesick, Princess Celestia was there for her. Sometimes, all you needed was a motherly touch to make someone you cared about feel better in moments of fear.