Nothing yet, but will be coming soon.
45w, 18hAn apology 3 comments · 64 views
60w, 5dYet another excuse on why the chapter is taking me so long. 1 comments · 89 views
65w, 6dFinding Inspiration 4 comments · 69 views
69w, 3dUpdates soon to come. 0 comments · 51 views
79w, 4dThe tagging game of doom. 5 comments · 83 views
79w, 6dAn ambitious Project, Part 2 1 comments · 120 views
80w, 1dAn Ambitious Project 3 comments · 87 views
82w, 1dThe Big One, or My Priority List 1 comments · 50 views
83w, 5dHappiness Levels Exceeded 4 comments · 61 views
87w, 5dAnd so it begins... 0 comments · 55 views
Chapter Seven: A Trial of Kindness
A few weeks had passed, and life at Fluttershy’s cottage had fallen into a rhythm that was both comfortable and familiar. Early in the morning, both Fluttershy and Phantom would wake up aand set about feeding the great many animals that took residence, either permanent or temporary, at the cottage. After that and their own breakfast, Fluttershy would tidy up about the cottage, and Phantom would tend the garden with his newfound love of gardening. Afternoons were spent in either peaceful enjoyment of the fading day in the plentiful grass fields around the cottage, having adventures exploring Ponyville, or hanging out with Twilight and the rest of the gang. Through their time together, both Phantom and Fluttershy had grown. While separately both were still shy and quiet, together they became confident and assertive.
Phantom had taken to being a pony rather well, and had even made a few friends on his own, such as Zecora, the mystical Zebra who lived in the Everfree forest. Together the two of them had discovered exactly what Phantom’s mask shaped cutie mark meant. Apparently his special talent was just in being able to be a pony. This didn’t bother him in the least, and it helped him to adjust more than anything, this knowledge that he was meant to be a pony here, that he was finally doing something right. He’d even started taking flying lessons with Rainbow Dash. Even after all the shock and horrors of his first
few weeks in Equestria, he’d been adjusting well, and with each passing day, it became easier and easier for him.
And while to Phantom and Fluttershy, it was an accepted and necessary fact, it boggled other ponies the speed at which their relationship grew and evolved. With how much time the two of them were spending together and their semi-dependence on each other, it was only natural that their relationship would evolve. No pony could put their hoof on exactly when that friendship evolved into a romance, but it happened with startling speed, and became an accepted part of the natural order of things in Ponyville.
Now, Phantom was still oblivious to the subtleties of body language amongst the ponies, Fluttershy was not, and her friend’s barely hidden jealousy was upsetting to her. She truly loved her friends with all of her heart, and it hurt her to see the bonds of that friendship stretched and tested by her relationship with Phantom. But, as with all things involving true love, such things will come to pass, and Fluttershy decided that she would just have to take some time and talk to her friends and set things right.
Far off in Canterlot, Princess Celestia, the ruler of all Equestria, reads yet another one of Twilight’s letters…
While Twilight Sparkle’s letters to the Princess on the lessons she had learned about friendship had slowed, the overall pace of correspondence had not, and it was not unusual for Celestia to receive letters bearing news and updates about Ponyville and those six special ponies who wielded the Elements of Harmony. Normally letters like that were routine and mundane, there was something about this latest letter that worried Celestia. She’d read through the letter once, and was now perusing it again, carefully checking the wording, and hoping she’d made a mistake or simply misunderstood as she skimmed over the worrisome lines again.
”… but as things go on I can’t help but to feel a little jealous. After all Phantom isn’t even from Equestria. Why is it that Fluttershy should get the handsome pony from another world when all she’s interested in is animals, and I could learn so much from him about where he’s from?
Well, either way, I might be jealous but I am also happy for Fluttershy that she has finally found a special somepony….”
Celestia sighed. She hadn’t misread or misunderstood Twilight, and it wasn’t likely that Spike who wrote the letters for Twilight had made a mistake either. So now it appeared that there was definitely a pony in Equestria who was not originally a pony, or at least not from their world. She wondered if this had anything to do with the flash of magics that she and her sister Luna had felt a couple of months back. A chill ran down Celestia’s spine as she remembered the last time a creature not of Equestria had come. That creature had caused endless problems and chaos, and even though he was now encased in stone, seemingly forever, he still remained a credible threat to her kingdom.
Celestia sat alone in her throne room, thinking of the best course of action to follow at the moment. She came to her conclusion and as she walked out of the throne room, she asked her Captain of the Guard to summon her sister Luna to her. It wasn’t something she wanted to do, but this Phantom would have to be returned to his world, by any means necessary. It was for the good of the Kingdom.
Twilight was in a panic. No letter had arrived telling her of the Princesses visit, and so she felt completely unprepared. It was most unusual of Celestia not to write ahead and give the ponies some warning that she would be there. Most of the day after Twilight had realized that the Princesses’ carriage was headed to Ponyville was spent in gathering her friends, plus Phantom to the library so they could properly greet their Princesses.
Phantom paced nervously in a corner as the other six chatted amiably. He’d never met royalty before, and he had no Idea how to ask. He normally would have asked Fluttershy, but she was in a rather animated conversation with Rarity, and he didn’t want to interrupt her. He wondered if he should bow, or curtsey, or whatever it was you did when meeting the Queen of England, or if he would have to say something…. That train of thought was brought to an abrupt halt as the door to the Library opened and two ponies with Pegasus wings and Unicorn horns walked in. Phantom assumed that these must be the Princesses, and seeing the other six bowing deeply, scrambled to do so himself.
“Now now Twilight, there is no need for such formality amongst friends,” Celestia said with a smile.
“Indeed, we are thy friend good Twilight,” chimed in Luna, who was surprisingly not using her rather loud and forceful “royal” voice. A slight giggle escaped Spike at the odd way Princess Luna had of speaking.
“As much as I would like to talk and chat with you, it is a rather unfortunate duty that brings both myself and Luna here today.” Celestia’s smile fell and her face became rather grim in demeanor. As Celestia looked around the room, her eyes landed on a deep blue pony who had some interestingly darker splotches in his coat that matched his dark blue mane. “I can assume that this is the Phantom Mask that I have heard about?”
Phantom gulped and nodded, and wondered where the princess got her information. He hoped that he hadn’t done anything wrong, and that if he had, she would be kind and not sentence him to death or banishment or whatever they did with ponies who broke the law.
“Ah. Well, I have come to understand, Phantom, that you are not originally from here?”
Phantom nodded again, doing his best to look tall and proud, but under the grim gaze of Celestia, and the penetrating, heavy stare from Princess Luna, he failed miserably.
“As you have guessed by now, I am Princess Celestia,” the Princess began. She didn’t want to do this to a pony she hardly knew, but as she’d discovered on the way down to Ponyville, it was a requirement of the law that any pony not from Equestria or one of her allied kingdoms be returned to the lands from which they came. It was an old law, but one that hadn’t been overturned, and one that would require a great many years to rewrite. This was a problem that she had to deal with immediately, not in a few years. “…and I am the ruler of all Equestria with my sister here,” the Princess continued, pointing at Luna, “and together we are charged with keeping peace and order throughout our kingdom.”
Phantom nodded again, too afraid to speak at this point. He didn’t know what to say, or how you should say things when addressing the ruler of Equestria. He wondered where this was going, and why the Princess looked so grim. He was about to find out.
“It is an unfortunate thing, but I’m afraid that I can’t allow you to stay here. I’m going to have to return you to the world you came from.” The look on the Princess’ face was not a happy one, and anypony who knew her could tell that she wasn’t happy about having to do this.
“You can’t!” Fluttershy yelled. The fact that it was Fluttershy yelling caught Celestia off guard, and she jumped a little bit. Fluttershy advanced almost menacingly towards the Princess, her eyes locked into their most penetrating Stare. “Phantom is a good and kind pony who hasn’t hurt anyone, and he does not deserve to be thrown away like yesterday’s garbage.” Fluttershy’s voice was filled with cold iron, and if her former mentor Iron Will had been there, he would have been singing her praises for all eternity as the Champion of being assertive.
“I’m truly sorry Fluttershy, but there is nothing that I can do, the law is the law.” The other five ponies looked sadly at Fluttershy, wishing that they could do something to help. Twilight had a sudden idea, and started whispering conspiratorially to Spike. In an instant Fluttershy’s assertiveness ended and her eyes filled with tears. Phantom, who had been quiet this entire time, took that moment to step forward and say something for the first time since the Princesses had arrived.
“I guess I understand. Maybe I just don’t belong here either.” Phantom’s voice was full of a dejected resignation. He couldn’t argue with the ruler of Equestria. If he’d been a lawyer on Earth, or even watched one of those T.V. court shows, he might have had a chance to pull some sort of brilliant legal maneuver, but he hadn’t, and he wasn’t sure that the same rules applied in Equesria that applied in the USA.
“We are truly sorry about this, loyal subject,” Luna said, her voice cool and calm. Luna didn’t want to do this either, and she felt more like Nightmare moon at the moment, destroying the happiness of a pony who’d helped her adjust to the modern world after a thousand years of exile.
“If I may, before you send be back to Earth, could I share my story with you and the rest of Fluttershy’s friends? I know Twilight has heard it, but I’d like for the rest of them to hear it as well. Call it my last request if you want. As soon as I’m done, I’ll let you send me home, peacefully.”
Princess Celestia thought about this for a moment, and didn’t think that any harm could come of it. Once she’d told Phantom that it was okay, he started in on a slightly abbreviated version of the story he’d told Twilight and Fluttershy a few weeks ago. He added what had happened during his time so far in Equestria, and that back on Earth he’d been shunned by his peers for fear that he was unlucky or at best incompetent, and that he really didn’t have anything to go back to. He told them how much he’d enjoyed his time here, and that he really didn’t want to go back anyways, how much better his life had been here. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room when he’d finished. Princess Luna seemed especially upset by his tale, but that may have had something to do with the fact that she too had been exiled, and even since her return had been shunned as recently as Nightmare Night two years past.
Phantom’s story had bought Twilight the time she needed to do the quick bit of research that might give Phantom a chance. As Celestia dried her eyes and stepped forward to start casting the spell with her sister that would return Phantom to Earth, Twilight called out in her loudest voice, “WAIT!!!”
Celestia stopped as did Luna, and they and all the other ponies in the room looked at Twilight, dumbstruck. Twilight blushed slightly at the nine pairs of eyes staring at her.
“You said that the Law is the Law, right?” Celestia just nodded, interested to see where this was going. “Well, it says here that the extradition law does not apply to ponies from non allied kingdoms that have been adopted by a pony in Equestria.” Twilight was proud of herself.
“You’re right, but the pony who adopts must be at least twenty years older than the pony they are adopting, and while I understand that you are trying to help your friend, I’m afraid that none of you are eligible to make that happen.” Celestia truly did look as if she wished that she didn’t have to do this. There was a moment of silence that was only punctuated by the sniffles of a very upset Fluttershy. What happened next, Nopony in that room would ever forget.
“Sister, draw up the papers.” Luna had a rather determined look upon her face. Everypony started at Luna, dumbfounded. As Luna looked around the room, a smile crept up on her face, as she finally turned to face her sister again, speaking not as a Royal Canterlot pony, but rather as an individual, as Luna. “I believe that I would meet those requirements. And as long as Phantom is not opposed, I see no problems with this. Draw up the papers.”
Celestia just stared at her younger sister, feeling rather in awe. She’d never even thought that Luna of all people would be willing to do something like this to help another pony. “You realize that this would mean you are partially responsible for him as long as he stays in Equestria, and that he also becomes partially responsible for you?”
Phantom sat there silently not believing that any of this was happening. It may have been partially that he was very confused over whether or not he was going to be sent back to Earth. Fluttershy had drifted over to his side, and was also sitting silently, however she was thinking. She was thinking back to when Luna had been Nightmare Moon, back to the very first Nightmare Night when all Luna had wanted was for the other ponies to accept her. It seemed that things came full circle, and now Luna was helping another pony become fully accepted in Equestria.
“Sister, I know this. I may have been exiled for a thousand years, but that still doesn’t change Discord’s Law.” The silence in the room was deafening. Neither Twilight nor any of her friends could believe that Luna had just said that. Discord’s Law? That made about as much sense as saying that Discord was a pony. Twilight vowed silently to find out why there was a law named after the Draconiquis that had caused so much trouble. “Phantom, would you have a problem with this?”
Phantom cringed back, partially in fear of the princess, partially because he was startled that she was addressing him so directly. “I…L… Not at all… Um… Just a question though…”
“Yes, go on?” Luna looked intrigued.
“Would that mean you would become my mother?”
“Yes she would,” Celestia answered for her sister. A small bundle of papers floated down between Luna and Phantom. “It would also make you a Prince.” While she wouldn’t say it out loud, Celestia was not displeased with this course of action. It let her avoid doing something that she definitely didn’t want to do, and it gave Luna someone that she could talk to and rely on much as Celestia had Prince Blueblood. “It would also make me your Aunt, and my son Prince Blueblood your cousin.”
Phantom sat there stunned. In a matter of minutes, he’d gone from facing exile and banishment, to becoming a member of the Royal family. He simply couldn’t comprehend this. None of the other ponies in the room, excepting the Princesses, could believe it either. Celestia showed him and Luna where to sign and after a few minutes of signing and explanations of all the different clauses and what they meant, it was done. Everypony let loose a great sigh of relief.
“Twilight, now that this is done, I need to talk to you separately…” Celestia motioned for Twilight to join her in another adjoining room of the library. Rarity, Applejack, and Rainbow Dash started to talk amongst themselves, discussing what had just happened, and with Rarity complaining about how now there was another Prince, and one she’d never get her hooves on. Pinkie Pie, Luna, Fluttershy, and Phantom were also talking together, but their conversation was rather different.
“Phantom, if you would like, you could join us in Canterlot.” Luna said, her manner of speech returning back to her slightly outdated style. Pinkie Pie looked back and forth from the rather obvious couple and the Princess, waiting to see what would happen.
“I appreciate the offer, I really do, but… Umm…. If it is alright, I’d rather stay here in Ponyville. I mean I still have a lot to learn about being a proper pony…” Phantom was halfway between assertive and shy, and it was quite adorable.
“We understand. Well, we will just have to come and visit with you, to learn more about you now that you are our son.” Luna smiled at him. She couldn’t believe it either. Ever since she’d started to learn more about the modern Equestria, and she spent time with PipSqueak, she’d wanted to be a mother, and that was something she’d never tell her sister.
Phantom smiled too. “I’d like that. I have to learn about you too, since you are my mother and all now.” Fluttershy giggled, and Phantom threw a mock glare in her direction. “Problem?”
“Not at all. Although if the Princess is going to be staying, I guess we’ll have to build another guest room.” Fluttershy smiled back at Phantom, a wide grin spreading on her face.
Pinkie pie jumped “We need a PARTY!!! This is definitely a celebratory event!” Pinkie dashed out of the Library, presumably to get things ready for a very impromptu party.
Luna grinned slyly at Phantom, suddenly understanding the real reason he wanted to stay in Ponyville. “So you are staying with this gentle soul. Hmmm…” Luna and Fluttershy laughed as Phantom looked off to the side, embarrassed…
In all of Twilight’s studies, there was a phrase on that spell she and her friends had cast that she had missed. ”For all ye
shall receive, there shall be a trial for each. The trial is based not upon the pony ye find, but rather on thyself, and thy strongest attributes.” The first Trial had been passed, and so things would continue, much in the way of the spell. It was only just the beginning.
And far off in the Canterlot Sculpture Garden, as the discord and disharmony between friends grew slowly, so too did the numerous cracks in the statue of Discord.
The end of Part I.