Guardian of Equestria

by Armyidiot

Hearth's Warming Preparations

Twilight was walking around town, planning her Hearth's Warming presents for everyone. She had Spike's gift already, but she couldn't quite settle on what the others would want. So, the alicorn was wandering around the market, exploring around for ideas. Unbeknownst to her, a dark grey stallion with a light gray mane and brown eyes was standing at a distance, simply paying attention to what she was looking at. He followed her around, taking note of each item her eyes wandered to. Eventually, once he had a sizable list of things, he turned around and headed deeper into Ponyville, seemingly unaffected by the snow littering the ground.

Twilight felt a strange sort of sixth sense leaving her, as if somepony just stopped spying on her. Shuddering, she brushed off the sensation, focusing more on what Applejack would be interested in. Maybe a new wagon? The farm mare would want something practical. Heaross would probably get something like that for her, she had to think a bit out of the box. Looking around some more, Twilight found the perfect gift. She bought the item, placed it in her saddlebag, and continued on. What would Fluttershy want...

Heaross arrived at his house, shaking off the snow. Smiling, he set down the list of items he was now going to get and heated up a cup of chocolate. Taking a sip, he shuddered at the warm feeling in his chest and continued on through his house, making a small list on a sheet of paper titled "Twilight's Gifts". He took a look on his desk, noting the sheet saying "Frostval Preparations".

Rarity was currently working on a new batch or orders for latest Winter line when a knock came from the front door of the store, Carousel Boutique. "The door is open!" She shouted out from her workroom. Finishing up the last part of the stitch she was working on, the fashionista walked out of her workroom to see a very large earth pony stallion adorned with a thin business suit standing in front of a ponyequin, admiring the dress upon it. "Welcome to Carousel Boutique, where everything is chic, unique, and magnifique!" Rarity greeted as her normal welcoming to any customer. "I haven't seen you around Ponyville before sir, might you be from Canterlot?" She asked.

"No, the Canterlot 'nobles' would not quite take kindly to me being there. Their own sense of horrid pride would prevent them from being reasonable ponies." He said the word 'nobles' with no small amount of disgust, as if he were talking about vermin. "I am from a land quite far from here." He explained, turning to face the shop owner. "You must be Rarity, I presume?"

"Yes I am. Might you have a request or need a suit for a formal event?"

"Well, I am in need of a suit. I do wish it to be tailored rather specifically though."

Rarity smiled, having had many specific requests before. "Anything you need made, I can do."

The stallion smiled before saying, "I certainly hope you do. I am in need a full body suit, minus hooves. I would like the suit to be entirely red, with a pure white fur lining around the edges, puffing out from the inside of the suit. I would prefer the top to be in a jacket style while the bottom to be in a simple pants design. If you wish to include some design on the suit, please limit it to being snowflakes." He pulled out a small sheet of paper with a sketch of the suit on it, to which he handed the sketch to Rarity. "I will be the first to admit that I am a poor artist, yet I hope this does provide some frame of reference."

Rarity studied the design for a moment before returning, "Your drawing isn't the worst that I have seen, by a far long shot." She set the sheet of paper on a small table before saying, "I can have this done within a week, should nothing else come to be more important."

"I only ask that it be done before Hearth's Warming."

Smiling, Heaross added to the list of things he needed for Frostval, including a sleigh, a very large tree, and several decorating ornaments. He took another sip of his hot chocolate, enjoying the warm drink. Yawning, the Guardian set down his pen and leaned back in his chair, enjoying the sound of the crackling fire coming from the living room. Getting a small idea, he gathered up his papers and pen, along with his chocolate, and made his way to the living room to continue working in front of the fireplace. Getting an idea, he wrote it down and continued brainstorming.

Pinkie Pie was currently working the cash register, happily serving folks who came for both sugary treats and the ornaments they put out for sale during the holiday season. Moving to the kitchen for a moment, the mare pulled out a tray of muffins, freshly baked, humming a tune all the while. Setting the tray onto the counter to cool, she heard the front desk bell ringing, to which she bounced out towards to the front. The source of the sound happened to be a very large dark grey stallion with a light grey mane and warm brown eyes. He wore only a single layer of clothing, barely putting up a resistance to the sheer cold of outside.

Arranged in front of the stallion were several bags of ornaments and wrapping paper, coming close to being an entire third of Sugarcube Corner's stock. "Whoa." Was all she managed to say before starting to ring up the prices of all the supplies. "Would you like anything else, sir?" She bubbly asked, dispelling the confusion and disbelief at the massive amount of supplies in front of her.

"May I purchase a cup of hot chocolate?"

Heaross continued his work in relative silence, happy to be doing something aside from wandering Ponyville and spending his time adjusting to Equestria. The warrior always enjoyed Frostval, since it gave him something more to do with his treasure trove of money. Speaking of, he brainstormed an idea of a couple presents. While only a couple would be good for the pony in question, a few would make excellent gifts for some of the other ponies. What would Celestia and Luna want, anyways?

Rainbow Dash was currently fulfilling her duty as weather manager, busting the clouds hanging around Ponyville's skies. As she quickly finished, almost setting a new record, she heard somepony calling her name from down below. Taking a glance, she saw a rather large earth pony calling up to her, bearing a warm smile. Dashing down, the rainbow maned mare quickly said, "Hey, you called me?"

"Yes I have, Rainbow Dash." The stallion's deep baritone almost beat Big Mac or Flutterguy for the deepest voice in Ponyville. "After acquiring the correct permits," He said, pulling out an envelope, "I have made an official request that on the day of Hearth's Warming, there are to be three inches of snow covering the ground around the town square. I have no preferences for the rest of Ponyville, but I simply ask that the square have only three inches covering it." He handed the letter to her, allowing her to verify the request.

"Whoa, dude, this comes straight from Cloudsdale. Did you really go all the way over there just to make a request?"

The stallion showed a hint of pride in saying, "It was truly no trouble to make the distance. A sizable enough amount of bits can earn one practically anything they desire."

"Well," Rainbow cautiously replied, "We did have snow already planned for Hearth's Warming. It shouldn't be too much trouble to arrange the clouds like that, but we'll need some time to get them in that specific order. We can fill this, definitely, but don't expect it to be perfect."

"That's all I ask."

Heaross set down the paper, massaging his hand. He had been writing for close to an hour now, and it was starting to cramp up. An almost complete list, just missing a few random ponies. Among those few still happened to be Celestia and Luna, since he was having some trouble figuring out a gift for them. The Sun Princess and the Moon Princess. What do you get for someone who is truly immortal? It would have to be something either immaterial or able to last much longer than any normal gift. Something that could withstand the ravages of time or be very easy to fix... Wait, I have an idea! I am so glad I got Warlic to teach me that recipe! Fervent with an idea, Heaross wrote down the gift on the sheet of paper.

Applejack, currently warming up inside of the farmhouse from working on the farm, was enjoying a warm mug of apple cider. Apple Family Cider, that is. After taking a sip of the piping hot beverage, a knocking came from the door astride her sitting on the couch. Sighing, she set down the mug and walked over to the door, wondering who would be out and about in this weather. Apparently, it was a large stallion, bigger than Big Mac, wearing a thin business suit. Snowflakes fell on the suit, heavily contrasting the dark cloth.

"Howdy, stranger!" AJ warmly greeted. "What reason might you be hanging around these parts? Especially in this weather?"

"Ah, dear Applejack," The stallion returned, surprising her with the deep resonance of his voice, "I have a business offer for you and your family."

"A business offer? For the last time, we ain't selling the farm!" The farm mare almost slammed the door in his face when she heard him laughing.

"My fellow earth pony, you and I both know that the Apple family roots have settled her very strongly. To remove you and your kin from this place would be as if to uproot the earth itself. Simply impossible. No, my offer is one that you won't have to pay one bit for."

"Now hold up, partner. I've gotten a good few offers in my time, but never have I heard one of you say that we won't have to pay."

The stallion grinned, showing off a set of straight, clean teeth. "On Hearth's Warming Day, set up a stall in the town center. Make sure to bring several hot beverages and confections, as a very large gathering will be present. Almost every pony in Ponyville, if my estimations are correct."

While AJ did some mental calculations, she had to wonder, how did this stallion know about the future gathering? She asked him this question, to which he simply laughed and answered, "You wouldn't believe me."

Heaross had to think for a moment on what to get Fluttershy. The timid mare was much like him, generally wishing only for others. Quite selfless, yet what would she enjoy as a Frostval present? Maybe some kind of automated feeder? Or perhaps something to help relieve the stress of her daily life... While he doubted that she would be ungrateful no matter what he got her, Heaross wanted whatever it was to have some meaning or practical use. Sentimentality is nice, but Fluttershy would likely appreciate something of a more useful nature. He drew on his Master Beastmaster training to get some idea of what she would likely want. A pooper scooper, while nice, would be overall pointless. As he continued his thought process, he suddenly had a fantastic idea for the mare. While he continued his list, Heaross finished his mug of hot chocolate.

Celestia and Luna, in a taste of rare fashion, were serving Day Court together. While Heaross' suggestions had helped them find more time and bond together after the thousand year absence, they did get bored when things somehow managed to become even more predictable. As they finished with a few of the late comers, those who simply didn't make it with the group that represented their claims, the alicorn duo took a sigh of relief and bid the guards out of the throne room. Just when they were about to rise and stretch while conversing the events, a guard called out from the doors, "Your highnesses, a stallion here requests to see both of you in a private audience."

"A private audience?" Celestia questioned aloud, with a glance to her sister. "Very few have requested those over the years."

"Send him in." Luna commanded, curious.

The guard did so, letting a very large stallion with a dark grey coat and light grey mane, matched with warm brown eyes and a very formal business suit through. While he spared a token thanks to the guard, the stallion did not bow to either princesses, instead opting to greet them warmly as a friend. "Ah, Celestia, Luna, it has been a fair couple months since we have last seen each other. You may not recognize me, but that is for a reason. I promise to both of you, on my honor, I come here bearing no ill will or foolhardy attack."

Both Princesses visibly relaxed upon hearing the promise, though Luna asked him, "I do not recall us ever meeting, noble stallion. I think I would remember if thou had ever met us."

"That, Luna, is for a very good reason. Even the best of friends require secrecy at some point, and here is mine. But let's not dwell upon my true identity." The stallion exclaimed. "I instead come here bearing tidings of a gathering in Ponyville. Upon Hearth's Warming day, the near entire population of Ponyville will be meeting in town center for a new event. If you would have the time, can you both make an appearance that day?"

"We have already made plans to appear in Ponyville for Hearth's Warming." Celestia answered. "If what you say is true, we will likely be in the area at the time of the event."

"Ah, my apologies, then." The stallion said. "I had no knowledge that both of you would already be there. Well, still, if you are able to come, that would make for a fantastic arrangement of events."

"We shall make an appearance there, friend." Celestia promised.

As the stallion turned to leave the chamber, Luna called out from behind him, "Wait, fair stallion, we never learned of at least a name."

Turning, he regarded the Princess of the Moon with a cheeky grin, before answering, "Just call me Awethur."