Snow Star

by Renaissance Muffins

Day II: Stars

Twilight had left after the spell was complete. Starlight was unable to sleep the entire night. The new surge of magic kept her up and active. To keep her mind busy she delved into what books she had, read them all despite their length. Her mind raced like a cheetah and her ears like hummingbirds. She cleaned up too. Washed the dishes, fixed the bed, oiled the hinges on the front door. Lastly, she read through the notes that Twilight had given her. Memorizing the first half before Snow woke up and desired a glass of water and after that, Snow fell asleep on the couch once more.

The surges of magic began to settle down once morning began to roll around. As she was making breakfast, an idea popped into her head, adoption. Something that the village hadn't quite created a system for. Circumstances for adoptions came along very rarely and were often quick. Starlight, with this thought, recalled the moment that Snow called her mom. She liked that. Before long, breakfast was finished. She left a note for Snow, telling him that she had gone out for a little while.

Her first trip was to the Town Hall. She went about there, gathering the papers that she need to push the adoption through. His age, his name, his state of health, and the reasoning behind the adoption. She then gave the papers to the clerk who looked them over. “Give us two to three days.” He said. “We also need Snow here for a photograph. Bring him in when you can.”

“I'll do that as soon as I can, thank you.”

“Glad I could help. Miss Starlight, I can put this in front of the others, if you like. Might speed things up a bit.”

“That would be fantastic, Clerky.”

“With pleasure.” He smiled.

With that task nearly completed, Starlight ran over to Sugar's bakery once more. The two chatted as Starlight waited for her to put the finishing touches on the cake. Pink frosting with little white swirls lining its circumference. Nothing too special. Just something simple enough for Snow. She had a feeling he wouldn't mind the color.

Before Starlight turned away with the cake, Sugar teased, “So, what's it like being a mommy?”

Starlight's face flushed red. “It's only been a day, Sugar. Besides the adoption papers haven't gone through-” Starlight blurted out before covering her mouth with her hooves. She looked back at Sugar who had an interrogating stare. “I filled out papers this morning.”

“That's so exiting!” Sugar squealed. “I can't wait until we hold birthday parties for him! Oh, and holiday get togethers and-”

“Sugar.” Starlight shushed, her face changing from embarrassment to stern. “Can I talk to you in the kitchen, please?” Sugar quickly complied, knowing far too well, that when Starlight was serious, she meant it. Everything about her would change, from her voice to her posture. Starlight followed Sugar in and made sure no one else could hear. “About the colt, Snow Star, he's only got a few days left to live, according to Grey Heart. I want these last few days of his to be his best. He, and his parents, have been running for far too long. Now they left Snow Star behind without a whole lot to say. Needless to say, Snow's heart can't handle it anymore.”

Sugar's eyes began to well up, “I'm so sorry Starlight. Let's make these last few days the best they can be for him.” She hugged Starlight. “Do you want me to tell everyone else or no?”

“I'd like to keep it between us. Double Diamond and Party Favor too, if it comes to that. I've told Twilight as well, but she has other matters to attend to.” Starlight left out the real issue why Twilight couldn't stay. Thinking the more important matter was Snow's heart than the magic sinkhole his body had.

“You're crystal clear, Starlight.” Sugar said, pulling away. “I'll support you and Snow all the way.”

“Thank you.”

Starlight left the bakery with the cake she had came for and headed back home. She came in to find the fire up and anew. Fresh logs had been tossed in and another few off to the side so that they could dry. She found Snow sitting at the kitchen table, eating and reading one of her books. He also had his blanket draped over his back to keep him warm. Snow may have a weak heart, but he didn't let it slow him down. Starlight, set the cake on the counter, out of sight, and then sat down at the other end of the table. “Snow, you really shouldn't exert yourself too much.”

“I'm fine, Starlight. It started getting cold, so I restarted the fire.” Snow flipped the page and took another bite of his breakfast. “Thank you for the breakfast, Starlight. It's good.”

“Thank you. Would you like to take a walk around town today?”

“Sure.. Is it okay if I ride on your back again?”

“It's fine.” Starlight assured with a endearing smile. Snow's face reddened a little bit and made Starlight giggle. “You like that, don't you?”

“It was nice... Gave my legs some rest.” He slumped down a bit and folded an ear to the page and closed the book. “My family did a lot of running...” Snow sniffed, “I fell behind a lot because I couldn't keep up. The night they left me here was the last time. I can't remember what we were running from.” Starlight listened carefully to his words. “I'm just so tired of it! I can't handle it anymore!” Snow pouted profusely. Starlight got up from the chair and approached him. “Are you going to make me run too?” He had his face buried into his hooves at this point and his sobbing intensified.

“No, I'm not.” She embraced him tightly has he cried into her shoulder. “It's not your fault, Snow. None of it is.”

Snow's voice delved into incoherency and stifled breathing. Eventually, his tears dried up. Pulling away, he dried his eyes, rubbing excessively with his hooves. “I'm just so tired...” Snow looked up to Starlight with his ice blue eyes. Beautiful things that have seen so much and held thoughts that weighed heavily on his mind. No pony his age should have eyes like that. “Thank you.” He smiled softly and hugged her once again, tighter and without the tears.

Snow quickly went back to eating his breakfast, his mood changed for the better. Starlight went over to her door, where she had a row of coat hooks. Upon one was an extremely lengthy scarf that she had found. She grabbed it and walked over to Snow. She stood behind him and carefully wrapped the scarf around his neck. “Snow.” She said softly. “This scarf, I want you to have it. When I'm away from the house, it shall remind you of me.” A half lie of sorts. In the same moment, she could his body pull her magic away from him. “After you're done eating, let's go to the town hall. I have a bit of a surprise for you.”

“Really?” Snow excitedly replied. “Let's go now!”

“Food first, silly. We don't want it to spoil.” Starlight smiled, lightly laughing.

“Right.” Snow hurried to finish his breakfast and jumped out off his chair, quickly flailing the scarf around his neck. “Comfty scarf.”

Starlight waited for him by the door, where she was slipping on her boots. Snow ran over and tried to hop up on her back. The landing threw her off balance and fell onto the floor. “Snow!” She said, laughing. “Patience, silly.” She stood back up while Snow sat like a puppy, waiting to be let out. When she was ready, she set him on her back, his forelegs wrapped around her collar once more.

The clear day set their pace. Steadily they made their way to the town hall. Snow's eyes caught more details of the town itself. The smells of kitchens and firewood, tastes of foods drifting in the breeze, and the sight of ponies of all kinds in merriment. Colts and fillies played in the snow, having snowball fights or building snow ponies. Some built igloos or sculptures taking the forms of their idols. Patches of grass were exposed from the amount of snow being moved around, making for an odd sight amongst the white plains.

They reached the town hall, a small building with a clock tower and a bell in tow. Both visible from the short flight of stairs in front of the grand entrance. Pillars of cloudy marble held an overhanging roof. The front of which bared intricate carvings of flora and a balanced scale. A place of the highest of attitudes.

Starlight ascended the stairs to find Clerky practically waiting for her to arrive. He sat by the front doors, “Starlight, welcome back.” he welcomed with a jolly smile. “That must be Snow, I presume?”

“It is.” Starlight answered as Snow peered around her neck. “Say hi to Clerky, Snow.”

“...Hi... Clerky.” Snow muttered.

Clerky hummed, “He's cute.” Turning his eyes back to Starlight, he continued, “Everything's setup, come on in and we'll get the last step of this done.”

“Last step?” Snow whispered, confused.

“You'll see, don't be afraid.” Starlight said in a promising tone. Yet, in her mind, there was still a bit of a nagging fear that Snow would reject the idea.

Clerky went inside and Starlight followed closely behind. The lobby wasn't too extravagant, it was rather ordinary but yet, it was refined and clean. Composed and professional. It was quiet and the air held no smells save for the potted ferns that filled in the corners. Clerky led them to a small area that was partially walled off and had pale white coloring. Clerky readied the camera and its associated equipment. “Starlight.”

She sat Snow down and did the same. “Snow...” She said softly. “How do you feel about adoption?”

“Adoption? I don't know what that is.”

“Oh my goodness.” Starlight brought a hoof to her lips, piecing together an explanation. “Well... it's kind of like this: a pony's parents don't want them anymore or are unable to care for them. Maybe something happens where the child is orphaned. An older pony, like me, starts taking care of them. Adopting means that you can become part of my family.”

“That... sounds nice but I don't know. Do you think my parents will come back?”

“I believe you know the answer, Snow.” Starlight placed a hoof on his shoulder.

Snow's heart dropped. He held some hope that they would return. Yet the rest of his mind knew that they wouldn't. Abandonment was something they had discussed several times, thinking that he couldn't hear them. Their ignorance lead to much of their troubles. This new life, it was already better. The feeling and needing for a better life, to break free from all of the running, it grew ever stronger the more he thought about it. Courage worked up through his voice, “Thank you, Starlight.”

The two hugged. Clerky smiled, “That looks like a yes to me. Congratulations, Starlight, you're a mother.” Clerky patiently waited for the two split until he finally patted Starlight on the head and loudly cleared his throat.

“Oh, sorry.” Starlight laughed awkwardly, her face all red. “Let's get your picture taken, Snow.”

Clerky directed Snow to the taped off section of the floor, which marked the spot where he should sit or stand. After correcting his posture and directing his attention toward the camera. Clerky leveled the camera lens with Snow's head and adjusted its field of view to capture a perfect portrait shot of Snow and nearly all of his tangled, messy mane. Starlight attempted to fix it a little bit with some magic, but she only managed to straighten out the worst part of his bangs. Snow tried to keep his cheeks from flushing red, but failed in the end when Starlight called him cute.

When Snow was ready, Clerky snapped a few quick pictures and glanced over to a small screen. “All right, a couple hours and the photos should be fully developed. I'll put the official statement in your mailbox later.” Clerky shifted a few files around and finished, “Go have fun, you two. It's a good day for it.”

Starlight hastily let Snow climb onto her back and the two quickly walked out the main doors. “What do you want to do first, Snow?” Starlight asked while the two overlooked the plaza.

“Let's make an igloo, but can we do it by that tree you took we went to yesterday?” Snow said. “I liked it there.”

Starlight listened and saw through his words that he was scared of being around so many others. So she lightly trotted outside the village and headed to the tree once more. With the wind picking up, she casted a shield to block it. It relieved the burning the wind which was giving their cheeks and eyes a rosy shade of pinks and reds. They made it to the tree once more, and sat by its trunk a while to watch the smoke rise from chimneys. Starlight expanded the shield to cover the tree and the area around it.

Then the two proceeded to build igloos through some trail and error. The snow was still rather soft, not quite hard enough for packing yet, easily solved by a small cast of magic. She taught him how to build with the snow. How to form the blocks and how they should be placed in the structure. Slowly and surely they assembled the domed portion. Then came the arched entry way that reached out from it. From within the entrance, Starlight carefully punched out the wall that would lead into the dome. She ensured that there was space enough for the two of them to comfortably lay by each other. The final touch was a small carving of their names into the foundations of the igloo. As unneeded as it was, the sentiment was grand.

Enough time passed for the sun to drop below the horizon. Snow had exhausted himself, doing a fair bit of work he wasn't quite used to. To Starlight's surprised, Snow didn't collapse on her. Perhaps the magic drain spell she had used alleviated some strain on his heart. It was a passing thought as she watched Snow lied on his back, staring up at the stars. Snow stared in wonder and Starlight joined him. “Do you like the stars, Snow?”

“I do.”

“What do you think about them.”

“I think... I think they're great. I feel like I could be with them. Up there in the sky, forever and ever. Could you remove the shield?” Starlight did so, the light blue twinkled away in a flash. “That one there, the brightest one.” Snow pointed.

“The blue one?”

“Yea. I keep looking for that one, no matter where I've been. It calms me, I think.” His foreleg fell back onto the snow.

“Maybe when you were born, that star shined on you. Now it watches over you.”

Snow laughed, “You think so? My mom never told me much about the stars. Only that I shouldn't look at them any more. I don't know why.”

“Maybe your mother never saw them like you do.” Starlight comforted.

“Dad never did much but feed us.” Snow frowned.

“Snow... I'm your parent now and I will do whatever it takes to make you happy, I promise you that.”

“Look, the star, it's shining!” Snow smiled, his eyes alight. Joy springing from his voice.

Starlight squinted and saw that it was. Though it was faint, she saw the twinkling that it made. Suddenly, more lights around it appeared and shined just as brightly. They made a peculiar pattern too but the shape was something Starlight couldn't quite figure out. Snow sat up with his mouth open in awe. Starlight continued to watch him, his eyes dazzled until his attention turned to other stars. Trying to find more like it.

Eventually Snow gave in to sleep, and Starlight pulled him into the igloo with her. She closed off the entry to it and made a small in the ceiling. Just enough for the moon to light up the inside. With a bit of luck and memory, Starlight teleported her largest and heaviest blanket into the igloo. It's size was big enough for three and its weight made it rather durable. Starlight looked over him and prepared to cast the drain spell once more. The spell turned it to day in the igloo, the excess light shot through the small hole and remained there until the transfer was complete.

Starlight did not feel the same as before, when the magic kept her awake and wired without any signs of stopping. Now it felt more natural, more serene. As if she had basked in a soft waterfall and could float like a feather in the wind. Starlight recalled Twilight mentioning that the spell would change one's appearances, but Snow's refused to. Even his breath remained steady.

Starlight went back outside and looked for the stars again, they were still and unmoving as a mountain. She thought with her magic and pointed it to just one of them, it glimmered. She aimed at the other ones, they did the same. There was a connection between Snow and those stars, but she wasn't quite sure what. With that, she sent another letter to Twilight, confiding in her knowledge once more.

The cold began to chill her bones as she stood there and when she turned, a fading white light made its presence clear. It was a familiar one too, everyone knew it. Starlight went back inside the igloo and lifted the blanket enough to see his flank. His cutie mark had appeared, taking the shape of a five pointed snowflake resembling a star. Her feelings suddenly became mixed. Overjoyed in that he had gotten his, but at the same time a gnawing sadness ate at the back of her mind.

Her dissonance could wait, sleep was calling her. The stars, however, could not. They will not.