Prince Blueblood made his way through the halls of Canterlot Castle, looking around as he did. It was odd. Every time he visited, something about it seemed different. Yet at the same time, everything was exactly as he remembered it. Perhaps it was simply nostalgia. A golden glow of memory coloring the way he saw it as opposed to how it truly was. He missed the place that he had once called home.
He even missed Rainbow Burst.
It was odd. Their whole lives, the two of them had never gotten along. He always looked down on her as a commoner who was reaching too far beyond her station, and she saw him as a stuffy and uptight noble who cared only about himself. Still, knowing that she was gone made him feel rather sad.
Not for the pranks, of course. He was grateful that he would never have to deal with them again. The fact that she had actually kept them up well into old age was an irritating surprise. There was never any regularity to it, of course. That would have made it too predictable, which would have taken the surprise out of it.
Still, even if it had been as a nuisance, Rainbow Burst had been a part of his life or years. Decades even. It was hard to accept the loss of somepony that he knew for most of his life, even if he never actually got along with her.
Perhaps it was something he could speak with Celestia about. She had been around for over a millenia, which means she would have lost a great many ponies she loved and disliked (although that second one was always hard to imagine, given her demeanor). At the same time, he could see how she is coping and offer his condolences and comfort as well. After all, Celestia had been Rainbow Burst's friend, teacher, and adoptive mother for the most part.
The word student stuck out at him as he slowed down his walk for a moment. That reminded him: Princess Celestia had said that she was taking on her next personal student today. It actually gave him all the more reason to check on her. That way he could check to be sure that she was still feeling up to starting the new student's lessons, and he could meet them as well in the hopes of having things get off to a better start than with Rainbow.
Quite honestly, he was far too old and tired to be going through something like that again.
Although it had been a while since he had gone there, it seemed that he could still recall perfectly how to get to Princess Celestia's quarters from his own. He was not actually certain if it was where she would be at this time. She could just as easily be in the throne room, dealing with last minute matters, the foyer waiting for her student, the kitchen getting a snack, or even the garden. Still, her quarters seemed as good a place to start as any other.
Reaching the doors, he knocked.
"Enter!" Princess Celestia's voice called out.
"Good evening, Aunt Celestia," Blueblood stated as he stepped inside. "I thought that I would see if youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu.................."
What Prince Blueblood was going to say was forgotten as he stared, mouth hanging open and eyes wide.
Standing beside Princess Celestia was a unicorn with bright, rainbow colored mane. The small mare turned in his direction, looking up at him with dark rose colored eyes.
"Hi," she said in a familiar, scratchy, yet feminine voice.
Everything after that was a blank for the prince. Somewhat fortunate for him considering what happened next.
The white coated unicorn with rainbow mane, looked up at the prince, who stared at her with eyes wide and mouth hanging open. It was enough to make her uncomfortable.
"Are you okay?" she asked, taking a step forward.
"Stay back!" Blueblood suddenly shouted, taking a step back. "Keep away from me! You're dead."
"What are you--"
"Help!" Turning, Blueblood ran out of the room and down the hall as fast as he could. "Help! A ghost! It's after me!" The sound of his hooves against the stone floor echoed through the air as he fled as fast as he could.
"...what was that about?" the filly finally managed to ask.
"I'm sorry, Aurora," Celestia said as she moved to nuzzle the unicorn. "Prince Blueblood was a friend of your grandmother's since she was about your age. He must be taking her death harder than I expected. I guess seeing you -- looking so much like her -- brought his grief to the surface."
"Oh," Aurora Arcanum said, looking back and forth between. "Wait. If he thought I was Nana Rainbow, why did he run screaming about ghosts?"
He probably thought you were the ghost of Rainbow Burst come back to haunt him for some reason, Celestia thought.
"Sometimes ponies do strange things when they are caught up in their grief," she said. "He knows that she's gone and misses her so badly, he wishes that she were back. At the same time, he is trying to put it behind him and move on."
Aurora sagged, tail going limp as her ears drooped.
"I miss her too," she whispered, tears filling her eyes.
"As do I," Celestia said, wrapping a wing around her new student. "But I am certain that wherever she may be, she is looking down and smiling."
Actually, I bet she's laughing. She would have found the way Blueblood reacted hilarious.
"Now come along," she said with a smile. "How about we get a snack from the kitchen? While there, we can discuss your education, and you can ask anything about your grandmother that you like."
"Alright!" Aurora shouted as she bolted for the door. "Race you!"
With a grin, Princess Celestia used her magic to teleport from her room to the kitchen.