Of Raising Alicorn Foals

by Guardian Talon

It's nice to meet you

Twilight Velvet slowly rocked back and forth in her chair. A week ago, Princess Celestia had shown up at their front door looking for a newborn alicorn. She looked down at the tiny colt sleeping in her forelegs. The princess had been adamant that her foal was actually an immature alicorn. She had checked him over a dozen times since but couldn't find anything to suggest that he was anything but a unicorn. It was supposed to take decades before he would get stronger and grow wings.

The princess didn't stay long after meeting him but promised to return soon, once she could get more free time. Although she insisted that they don't do anything special for her, it wouldn't be right to have the ruler of Equestria sitting on the bare floor or in a chair that was too small. At the moment, Night Light was out getting a large floor cushion and some imported tea.

There was a knock at the door and Twilight got up to answer it while still carefully holding onto her baby. She opened the door and imminently recognized the pegasus mare standing there. "Princess!" She bowed and shuffled back to let her in. This time, the white and pink pegasus was followed by a pink and purple pegasus.

"I told you, you don't need to do that. Especially when you are taking care of a foal." The door closed behind them and the illusions fell from the two mares.

Casual visits from Princess Celestia were shocking enough. And while Celestia was THE princess of Equestria, there was no denying that Princess Cadance was also a very important pony. Seeing both princesses of Equestria in her house when she wasn't ready for them was the final straw and Twilight's mind froze up. She didn't start thinking clearly again until she felt herself being sat down in her rocking chair, Shining Armor still held in her foreleg.

Something pink next to her head startled her and she flinched away before identifying it as Princess Cadance leaning over her shoulder. "Oh he is adorable!" She smiled down at him as he yawned and stretched. "Can I hold him? Please."

"Hu?" Her mind was still working it's way up to full speed. "Oh, of course." She watched as the younger princess took her foal and sat down on the floor. Causing her to wince a little at the indignity she was subjecting them to by not being prepared. "Would you two like some tea? And I think a tray of brownies should be cooled down and ready by now."

Celestia nodded to her. "If you don't mind. That would be delightful. Thank you." She followed Twilight into the kitchen. "Is your husband not home?"

"He's out doing some shopping." She ran around the room, getting stuff ready. "I'm sorry but all we have is some local variety." A box was held up and the Princess pulled two packets out. "We'll make sure to have some fancier stuff for you next time." On her next time around the room she was suddenly stopped by a large hoof on her withers.

Celestia gently patted her back. "Calm down. Relax." She lowered her head so they were eye level. "I didn't come here for you to wait on me like a nervous new servant at the castle. I came here for a casual visit with a fellow alicorn and his family. Ponies that I hope I can call friends. You don't need to do anything special for me. Most ponies forget that I'm older then the modern conveniences they think I can't live without. Like indoor plumbing." She giggled at the look of shock and realization on the smaller mare's face. She let go and looked at the kettle, channeling a fire spell into it. "And honestly, I prefer earth pony grown blends over the fancy imports I get gifted."

By the time the kettle was whistling, she had calmed down and could carry on normally. Three cups with hot water and tea bags were levitated into the living room. Cream, sugar and spoons followed them while a tray of fresh baked brownies and a sharp knife came last. "Sorry I'm a bit of a mess. It's just been so much to take in."

Celestia took her cup and sat down on the floor next to the chair while watching the other two alicorns get to know each other. "It's quite alright. Take the time you need to adjust. And while I might not always be available, I'll do what I can to help."

Although uncomfortable at taking a chair while two royal guests were on the floor, she got the impression that it was expected of her and settled in. "I keep thinking about how you want to keep this quiet and my biggest worry is that somepony will try to hurt him for what he is."

Celestia started laughing. It was the kind of laugh that came from hearing something ridiculous. "I can assure you that's not something you need to worry about."

Twilight blushed in embarrassment as her ears folded back. "You're right, of course. It's silly to think about such things with how peaceful Equestria is. After all, when was the last time somepony tried to assassinate you?"

"Some pony?" She tapped her chin with a hoof as she thought about it. "Almost twenty-five years ago I believe."

The look on her face turned to one of confusion as what she was told, slowly sunk in. "Wait. What?"

Celestia nodded as she looked off into the distance. "Good with a bow. Not so good at escaping. Got me in the heart and lungs but couldn't make it to the gate when she tried to run."

She now looked afraid of what she was hearing and focused her attention on the princess. "I never heard about this! How are you so calm about it? How did you survive that?"

"Well it's not like anything bad happened." She finally noticed the distress the other mare was in. "Now that I think about it, I suppose I should have mentioned this the first time I was here." She started cutting up the brownies. "Most creatures forget that 'immortal' doesn't just mean a long life."

"What else does it mean?"

Celestia glanced at her. She turned her attention back to the knife and used a bit of magic to clean the blade. She looked at the other mare and held up the knife. A flick of magic sent it flying across the room and Twilight gasped in horror as she watched it hit it's mark.

Cadance looked up from Shining and then down at her side and found a handle sticking out. She frowned at Celestia. "What was that for?"

She smiled back. "Just a demonstration to help alleviate some fears."

She rolled her eyes and turned back to the colt she was holding. "This is why you have to be careful when she's feeling playful or mischievous. She doesn't like to see her ponies upset, but she does have some crazy ideas for pranks." She booped him on the nose and he giggled at having the new pony pay attention to him.

She pulled the knife out, wiped most of the blood off on her coat and then held it there. She concentrated for a moment and the blood started flowing back into the cut before it closed up. A clean knife was set on the coffee table and a patch of her coat that was cut short was the only evidence that anything had happened.

Celestia tapped Twilight on the shoulder to get her attention. "I don't think your heart could take a demonstration but I can assure you that things would have been about the same if it had been him."

"I- That-" She looked at the other two and pointed a hoof at where the knife had been. She took a moment to think about what she saw and tried to imagine pulling a knife out of her baby while he ignored it. She slowly turned back to Princess Celestia. "Are you sure?"

She finished a sip of tea and nodded. "The blade would do more damage to his smaller body, and a lack of familiarity means it would take him longer to recover. By the time we leave here however, nopony would believe it had ever happened."

She settled into her chair and quietly sipped her tea while her overworked mind tried to process this latest bit of information. A faint whiff of odor made her vaguely aware of Princess Cadance leaving the room with Shining for a few minutes. Sipping from an empty cup finally broke her trance. "If he can't get hurt, then why do you want to keep quiet about him?"

"Aside from the excessive amount of, no doubt unwanted, attention that it would draw to your family?" Celestia frowned at the floor. "As you may have noticed, or at least will soon enough, we can have a... an odd way of perceiving the world and interacting with those around us.

Twilight glanced at Princess Cadance. "Like stabbing each other for fun?"

"Exactly." She nodded to the mare with a small smile before frowning at the floor again. "My own foalhood was... unique. Cadance was born with her pegasus aspect and next was unicorn. The time she could spend blending in with others was cut short." She looked at Shining Armor and saw the other two alicorns laying on the floor, playing some sort of simple game. "I believe that if your's have the opportunity to live as close to a normal life as possible, for as long as possible, it will give them a better understanding of what life is like for the average pony." She looked at Twilight. "They will have a closer connection to their future subjects. And they will be all the better for it."

She nodded in agreement. "I think understand, Princess. They... " She frowned in confusion. "They?" She turned to look directly at the Princess.

"Oh, yes!" She set her teacup down. "I don't know how many you planed to have, but don't be surprised if you have another soon enough."

She blinked at the princess, looked over at her foal, and turned back. "Another alicorn?"

Celestia nodded. She spent a moment looking at the distressed mare. "I'm sorry for telling you so much all at once. I've just been so excited that I didn't stop to think that you might need more time to take everything in." Twilight responded by half nodding half rocking in her chair. "Lets talk about something else to help get your mind off of this. So tell me, what kind of hobbies do you have?"

A disguised Princess Celestia and Princess Cadance were taking a leisurely flight back to the castle.

Celestia glanced to the side. "So did you two have fun?"

Cadance nodded and smiled. "He is such a little cutie. And so aware of what's going on. I swear there were a few times he wanted to go protect his mother but couldn't figure out what was wrong."

"It's good to hear that he already has the desire to protect others."

"Should we..." Cadance looked back at where they had came from. "Should we have told her what happens to half of us?"

"No." Celestia's look hardened as the happiness from a moment ago faded. "I've already overwhelmed her too much with everything that I've told her. They don't need to know about that anytime soon." They flew onward in silence for a moment. "And if the plan works, it won't be an issue anyway."

Cadance's mood had also fallen. "It didn't work for Crystal."

"That may be true, but I refuse to believe that half of our kind are destined to turn evil." She flew in front of Cadance and put a hoof on her shoulder. "We need to keep trying. We will find a way around it. And we may yet get our sisters back."

She grabbed the hoof on her shoulder. "I hope you're right auntie Tia."

She nodded and turned around. "Now come on, it's almost lunch. Those brownies were good but I could really go for some cake."