I can’t believe I’ve fallen so far behind on my tasks, I was on time with the hem on the dress for Packet and after that, which should be now, I’d be starting the inseam on the birthday dress for that awful mare I met in Manehattan that said she was famous and showed me a fake photo of herself with Princess Celestia.
I had to take the order, against my better judgement, on the spot instead of via correspondence or over a long winded conversation full of gossip and rumor mongering. Dazzling Pearl, indeed.
Rarity caught herself frowning at the clock and nervously swatted at her mane in a practiced way that made her seem to be more superficial than she actually was. The room was a smaller square that was at the top of the second flight of stairs with a door at the end, one that she knew led to a hallway that spanned the diameter of the building. Two rooms were offset by four doors, two on each side, with a final door one would see with the mayor’s cutie mark on it.
The door was two paces from the secretary’s desk, which was three paces from the very well used and aged, but thankfully covered with a clean cloth, cushion she sat upon. The secretary sat at his desk outside the hall to the mayor’s office writing on a notepad with a pencil held in his lips with dexterity Rarity, on occasion, envied.
Her eyes watched the motions of the graphite wrapped in wood, trying to discern what was being written with such intensity with no other documents of importance around him. The pencil stopped and her eyes met his for an instant before she took a great deal of interest at a knot of wood under the surface of the desk, under where he could see.
“Have you ever noticed there’s a mark on the desk that looks like the flame of a candle in a soft breeze?”
The stallion stood up, walked to the side of the desk and looked at the mark, shrugged, and went back to sitting on the floor, curling his tail out of her sight. “No, Miss Rarity. I didn’t see what you saw, heh. See-saw.” He started scratching at the paper again, leaving a sentence hanging in her mind.
Before it took over all her mental faculties she cleared her throat. “Yes, well, excuse me. But, have you any idea when the mayor will be available to see me, since she called upon me with such urgency, I would think she’d be ready at the onset of my arrival.”
He looked up and the pencil stopped. He shrugged, then started writing again.
What is wrong with this stallion? I certainly hope that if he is a special hire that he has somepony to assist him assisting me. Perhaps she’s simply in the restroom, for ten minutes, at ten in the morning. Hm, maybe there’s something with the number ten today. A coincidence of some sort, it isn’t the tenth. It’s not the tenth month, thank Celesia. Maybe it’s just a busy day today?
In Ponyville, early in the day, in the middle of the Month of Songs, Rarity exhaled quietly, since a Lady doesn’t sigh loudly in public. Come on, come on, come on… come on!
The door clicked and opened inward, the mayor was smiling with her professional demeanor and brightened when she saw Rarity. “Ah, just the mare I was hoping to see. Rarity how have you been?”
They met just past the stallion and Rarity took the chance to glance at the paper and what was written on it when she gave a greeting nuzzle to the mayor. Well, color me impressed. He’s a writer and his penmareship is quite good, for a stallion.
“Oh, it was nothing to wait for a meeting with you. I’d drop everything just to see you for some one on one time, it’s been so very long, and I often wonder what Miss Ivory Scroll has been up to when not fetlock deep in paperwork and running a growing town.”
“It’s been busy, that’s for certain. Thankfully, we don’t have any recent monster attacks to report to the capitol, but our harvest projections are a bit low,” Ivory sighed loudly and Rarity’s smile grew slightly. “It’s a lot to talk about, but that’s not why you’re here. Come with me into my office, this is an official request, after all.”
Rarity followed Ivory Scroll, taking the personal energy and focus to close the doors behind her so she could let the writer write. “I’ll be honest, Mayor, I was and am a bit surprised to receive your summons on such short notice. This isn’t about my business, is it? If it is, I’d like to work with you to clarify anything that may seem amiss.”
“It’s nothing of the sort, Rarity,” Ivory led Rarity down the hall and towards the open door to her office where she saw the large mayorial desk that was as long as a buffet table with sets of boxes labeled in and out at both sides. An actual chair that hadn’t seen a year of use yet was where the mayor was to take her seat while two small benches indicated where she’d have to sit, if she chose to sit at all.
However, a Lady doesn’t stand during important personal meetings, so as she closed the door behind herself she was choosing her seat based on several factors she felt mattered she was surprised when the door was tugged back open. She looked back at what had disrupted her magical grip.
A candy apple red colt, just old enough to be out of his initial training in his talent, stumbled into the room with a disarray of papers under his wing. “Hi, sorry about that. I’m Seven, I come from a large family and I work for EMF, it’s nice to meet you, Miss Rarity.”
Alarm bells rang in her mind as she habitually met the colt’s hoof about what the issue could be. She wasn’t neglectful of Sweetie Belle, she wouldn’t comment on any other foals without a neutral Ministry representative present, she wouldn’t comment on her parents’ lack of attention to their parental responsibilities. In the second it took her to worry she had begun the rote greetings and came back to reality when she was offered to take a seat after the colt rudely took the seat she was considering slightly more than the one she was left with.
“Good, now that everypony is here, we can begin. As Seven mentioned, he represents the Equestria Ministry of Families, Foals, and Mental Health, and he’s here to discuss with you the fostering program you signed up for last year after there were a series of arsons attacking orphanages and specific sock factories.”
“They are still reported as being unrelated, as far as inspectors can tell, but it is a little suspicious.”
Ivory narrowed her eyes slightly at the colt that was the same as a mother telling their child to stop being disrespectful and to let the adults talk. “Yes, rumors and allegations of outland foal labor aside, we have something concrete to discuss.” Her demeanor relaxed and she gestured to Seven.
“Y-yes, well, as Miss Mayor Ivory Scroll said, you’re here because we have a foal for you to foster.” Rarity resisted the desire to wave her forelegs at the colt and deny everything, but she recalled signing the documents with the intent of following through, but that was then.
“Yes, I recall quite well. Orphans were at risk, now they are not, unless there’s another rash of dangers across the nation I should be concerned about.”
“No, nothing of the sort, Miss Rarity.”
“Please, just call me Rarity,” she interjected and Seven nodded, taking papers from under his wing and lying them on the desk in a haphazard pile he grimaced at. “And what might these be?”
“Yeah, uhm, you signed the documents, but like many ponies that acted in a time of crisis, I don’t think you thought about the far reaching nature of these documents.” He said as she quickly sorted the papers into piles that were thankfully much more orderly.
“And what are you saying, Seven?” she asked with implied criticism at the colt.
“The documents are standing for five years under any and all reasons that protect a foal, child, or offspring of any sapient creature that resides within the lands of Equestria at the time of signing; unless you are found guilty of a crime against the nation at large, fall into poverty and are unable to take care of the foster, or your life permanently ends in all forms recognizable by the Equestria Ministry of Families, Foals, and Mental Health, after its council decrees as such in your individual case.”
Rarity and Ivory looked at him with impressment. “That was certainly quite the mouthful,” Rarity complimented him.
“I practice a lot,” he answered and took his seat. “So, you’re going to foster a colt with special circumstances that we will help you work with until you decide or are deemed unable to supervise his mental and physical growth and wellbeing.”
“Wait, I apologize, but did you say I am to foster a colt? As in,” she hesitated to gesture at the male’s frame.
“Yes, I won’t patronize you so please understand that not only females fall into the dangers or risks of the hardships of life. I have a little more information on the colt, but here’s the paperwork I have gone over with Miss Mayor Ivory Scroll and we can go over it together if you’d like.
Rarity looked at the folder in her magic, reluctantly accepting her responsibility. She looked it over and over the next hour went over the document, what was known about the colt, and assistance that could be offered within five minutes at the crack of a special gem used by Rarity.
At the end, she was holding the folder to her chest with her forelegs while the colt stood awkwardly by the closed door and Ivory Scroll held a quietly crying Rarity in a gentle hug.