my arms were roped tightly around me as I cried pitifully. No being should eat that much food. Celestia, Luna and Mora were levitating me to the hospice. I didn't argue, something was violating my very essence. What could change my leg into another species?
"There's no doubt about this." Mora protested. "This is dark magics..."
"I'm afraid Somber has done something to prince Norm."Luna protested.
"Somber?!" Mora's eyes shined momentarily. "Are you sure, positive that he did this?" her voice waivered, the first time I had heard her honeyed cords dull in seriousness.
I shook my head, as did Luna.
"I witnessed a rather despairing dream last night... one any normal pony would call a nightmare." Luna admitted. "There's is no doubt that he is among us. I would not doubt his intentions pure of malice."
"Then we shall find him!" Celestia boomed. "If only to figure his intentions." she reasoned.
I gingerly drifted down to one of the beds. Luna give a firm tug to the supply room's door. "What do you need Mora?"
"For this type of affliction... Pegasus feathers, Aether root, Lover's Lily... and one of my crystals." Mora lamented.
"Aether... root?" I weakly moaned.
"It's a special plant that grows in the mountains, where the clouds cover... The griffon's gift is Aether root." Celestia said. She called for some nurses to me as she left in a half gallop. The nurses tightened a tourniquet around my leg, until now I hadn't felt the pain of my thorn-punctured leg.
The very nature of my wounds baffled the mares. Soon all of the nurses were throwing back and forth ideas for how to clean scales, how to cast my leg, and what solution of salve would be most likely to seep into reptilian skin. Then the room grew silent. A slow clop echoed on the stone.
"Pardon me... pardon, pardon ol' me." mumbled through the crowd. The nurses broke away in a line for the pony to shuffled through. I winced, trying to make out a face within the pony's curled facial hairs. He reminded me more of a saint bernard than any pony,in fact the only reason I could tell that he was a pony was his ears sticking out from his eerily pointed hat. "Crystal Empress... would you please lend me your dark purple crystal?"
"O... of course." she stammered. Who was he to make the most tranquil pony I had known shake? The air felt so familiar around him, it felt of home. It felt... like father. His voice was cordial yet rang with authority. This was a pony?
"I haven't seen a goat since colthood. Judging by your horn... you're someone important. I'm pleased to meet you."
"Norm... Normalcy De Parnce."I fumbled.
"Interesting ekename." He mused. "I am going to be your healer today, you may call me Star Swirl." The hairless valley on his muzzle curled, but with my, and the rest of the rooms stillness he let out a lax bellowing chuckle to break through the tension. Cupping the dark purple stone from Mora's unweaved braid, he laid it on my leg.
My eyelids pressed firmly together as the crystal gave a hissing crack. "Norm." He whispered haphazardly. "You are the victim of a curse. A very powerful one." He leaned in closer "This curse aims to change your nature, and in the process... reinvent you."
He shot back up as he exclaimed "But there is no need for worry, this curse is self contained."
Luna pressed through the nurses next to Mora. "Are you sure of this?"
"Has there been other symptoms?" Star Swirl inquired.
"Night terrors." I spat. "My-my memories are getting distorted." I bit my lip, as I bottled in my pain. Luna levitated the crystal off of my leg.
"Why is crystal hurting him?!" She pressed.
"The crystal embodies the opposing force." Mora stated. Star Swirl gave a content nod. "He acted with greed, so the curse reflected this. This crystal holds the energy of Generosity. I do not know whom you angered Normalcy, but they've taken an interest in your emotions." He extended his hoof to Luna "The effects can be hindered though." Luna slowly placed the jewel onto me.
His magic flared wildly. Streams of purple ribbon bound to my leg vicing to the scales like tacky sap. With a quick flash the gem disappeared, and so did my dragon hide.
more steps headed our way as the nurses went back to their other patients. Celestia had arrived with a wispy thin leafed plant floating in a glass bottle. "Do we. still need... the aether root?" Celestia panted.
Star Swirl turned curiously around to her. "Aether root? Why in shining stars would we need that?" As his eye met hers he chuckled softly. "No princess, He should be fine now."
Celestia floated her wild hairs back into her mane. "oh." She sighed, panting softer. "Thank you Star Swirl, I did not know you would be back from your expedition." The two of them shared a smile. "Care to explain everything over lunch?"
"I would be honored dear princess." Star Swirl mused. Mora joined them as well.
I awoke to see Luna reading beside me.The room was faintly lit with candles and Luna's magic atop her horn. "What time is it Luna?" I sighed.
She smiled eagerly at me. "Do not worry over the time. Are you feeling better?"
"I will once we sign that treaty." I mumbled.
"...you're rather eager to leave." She sighed.
"My country is without a leader... and the closest thing to an advisor are relatives that can not use magic."
"Is magic so important to rule?" Luna asked.
"It is how it been done for ages, even before Parnce was name so. My uncle, father, and their father before them. My other relatives... they come from my mother's side." I explained.
"What is wrong with your mother's side?"
"She wasn't native to Parnce... or even pre-Parnce. My uncle brought her back with him during the chaos wars. Father didn't trust her at first,but-"
"Norm..." She softly hushed me. "I'm asking why you don't like her."
I pressed my head deep into my pillow. I wanted to pretend to be awake, to mask the ire I harbored for my own mother. Luna out of all the ponies I had met, why did I confide solely to you?
"She doesn't believe in the sacred tree. She thinks every being is born with good and bad in them, and only they can make themselves purely good." I felt my skin hotten as I held back my tears. "She doesn't believe you, or me or even Celestia can achieve such purity though... Because we are all flawed, we will always give in to our darkest needs because our darkness needs stem from just that. What we need. I needed answers, and I was too greedy with my power it seems. I treasured everything my father whispered, only see his memories fade away." Luna's eyelids were on the brink of overflowing her sympathies. She clung to me tightly humming a calming melody.
"Night will be kind to thee, rock like the endless sea. Dream off into the fields, flowing with golden reeds. Sun shining peacefully, as stars fade out blissfully. Welcome the new day here~ With. Me."
My mind rocked comfortably back into serenity. "My mother always sang that to my sister and I." Luna said.
This moment of peace wouldn't last of course. Mora would peek in and tell us they were gathering in another hour. Luna and I went about our business. The following hour was nothing but the most grueling hour of my princedom.