• Published 13th Sep 2013
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A Daughter and her Dragon - Level Dasher



Spike longed for years to have a family of his own. With Twilight's help, he applies for adoption. But what is it like to be raised by royalty?

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Chapter Two - How to Dine with Royalty, and Other Esoteric Subjects One Must Know

“I don’t know, Twilight.” Spike poked his head and neck through the open door frame, looking at the decorations in the bedroom. “You don’t think it might be a little too much?”

“Oh, hush!” Twilight laughed as she fussed with the quilt cover on the four-poster bed. “What would you know? This is the kind of room every filly dreams of.”

The room was decorated in subdued pinks and blues. Along the far wall stood shelves of books, including a generous collection of Twilight’s favorite foalhood stories. Spike laughed. Many of them were rare, first-print editions; he prayed silently to Celestia that Cotton wouldn’t smear chocolate or something on them, lest the filly suffer the wrath of an enraged aunt.

A diamond-latticed window opened up to a small balcony that looked out onto the manicured gardens; thick curtains of pink and blue hung like silent sentinels on each side of the window. Next to the doorway stood an antique Prench armoire, itself next to Twilight’s old writing desk. While not a classical piece, having been the desk the Princess compiled her now-famous Reports on the Magic of Friendship for publishing, it held value far in excess of the rest of the furniture in the room combined.

Twilight, Luna, and Celestia had gone a little overboard, having ordered several hundred coats, dresses, slippers, hats, scarves, and shoes. Spike had to put his claw down; while he appreciated their excitement and generosity, he would not allow them to overflow nineteen rooms for his hopefully daughter-to-be’s clothing. He forced them to select three pieces each and return the rest.

Fearing a collapse in the economy should they return the clothing, Celestia donated the excess clothing to charities around Equestria. This, of course, did not stop the three princesses from employing the ‘Royal Canterlot Pout’ against Spike at dinner every night that week.

Four dresses, one for each season, and two cloaks hung in the armoire, while two sets of slippers sat at the base of the bed. Thankfully, somepony had practical foresight, and decided to select a set of deep-blue cotton pajamas for the colder winter months.

Thick rugs covered the worn marble floor. Luna insisted they were old gifts from Stalliongrad ambassadors collected over the years, but they looked decidedly new for items that had ‘just been lying around in a storeroom for years’. Spike would forgive that slight twisting of the truth, as he was worried about the chill and would prefer Cotton’s room to be as cozy as possible.

“I’m just worried, Twilight. I mean, you girls have done so much for me, and for her.” Spike laid his head on the rugs; they really were soft. “What if she doesn’t want to stay?”

“Spike, you can’t think like that.” Twilight stopped her fussing and crossed the room. She settled herself on the floor, lying on the carpet in front of Spike. “Don’t give up before you’ve even begun. Treat her as you would if she does stay. Show her that you want to be a loving, caring father.”

“I’m just scared.” Spike closed his eyes. “I don’t know if I’ll be a good dad; I don’t even know if I can be a good dad. Dragons aren’t exactly known for great parenting; they’d sell off one of their own eggs if they think the baby will turn out weak.”

Twilight rubbed her cheek against his nose. “Spike, you’ve already proven time and time again that you’re not like other dragons. I believe in you, as do the other Princesses, and all our friends in Ponyville. Rarity believed in you, too. So please, have a little faith in yourself."

“And thou wilt always have us, Sir Spike,” a muffled voice interrupted from outside. “Though We wish thou wouldst remove thy posterior from the hallway.”

Spike extracted his head from the doorway, and shuffled around to let the two chuckling princesses pass. Celestia smiled while looking around the room as Luna embraced Twilight.

“The two of you have done a marvelous job decorating,” Celestia congratulated them. “I’m certain she will love the room.”

“Twilight’s the one who did most of it,” Spike answered, as he stuck his head through the doorway again. “Kind of hard to help from out here.” He waved his claw to indicate the hallway, even though the princesses couldn’t see.

“Oh, Spike! You helped a lot. You carried all the heavy objects for me.”

“Twilight,” Spike deadpanned, “you have magic enough to move celestial bodies. We both know the only reason you had me move the furniture was so I could feel useful.”

“Actually, that was Our suggestion, Spike,” Luna interjected. “We thought thou were getting a little pudgy from all those gems and desk work. Thou needst to exercise more, unless you desire a plot like Our sister’s.”

What?” Celestia and Spike bellowed, each as loud as the other.

Twilight and Luna fell to the floor, laughing. Celestia once again employed the Royal Canterlot Pout, which halted Twilight’s laughter.

“Oh, I’m sorry Celestia, I wasn’t laughing at you, I was—”

“Oh, Tia.” Luna interrupted Twilight’s mortified response by grabbing Celestia’s muzzle in her magic, and gently squishing her face. “That has not worked on Us in two thousand years. Thou wilt always be Our beautiful, chubby-wubby sister.”

Celestia’s pout disappeared as the two sisters laughed.

“So why are you two troublemakers here?” Spike asked, pointing his long, reptilian tongue at Luna. “Isn’t Day Court still open, Celestia?”

“I resent being called a troublemaker, Spike.” Celestia held her head high, though he could see the corners of her mouth upturned. “I closed Court early; I have matters to attend to.” Celestia opened the armoire, and frowned. “This is woefully understocked. I would even dare to call this a national emergen—”

“No more dresses,” Spike growled.

Celestia chuckled. “Fine, spoilsport! Luna and I actually came to collect you both for dinner. It’s been too long since we all dined together; we were hoping you would join us.”

Spike raised an eyebrow. “You could have sent somepony to fetch us.”

“‘Tis because Our sister wished to see the room. She has been as excited as a school-filly that another foal will be coming to live in the castle with us.” Luna smirked, looking at her sister. “Why, if Tia’s old seneschal is to be believed, Our sister was dancing like a madmare when young Sparkle came to live here.”

Celestia had the grace, poise, and dignity of several millennia to mask her embarrassment. Twilight Sparkle, a mere ninety-three years old, just buried her head in her hooves and groaned. Spike laughed at the thought of Celestia dancing; he remembered she was just as bad as Twilight. There was a reason those two spent each Gala greeting the guests, and not out on the dance floor.

“Well, before my sister decides to embarrass anypony further,” Celestia remarked, as she glared daggers at Luna, “shall we make our way to the dining hall?”

“I don’t know; besides getting called fat, this is kind of funny.” Spike smirked. “In fact, Shiny shared some stories with me the two of you might not have heard yet.”

Luna’s eyes lit up, while Twilight’s darkened. “You say anything, and I bring out the album.” Twilight glowered at him.

“You wouldn’t!

“Try me, dragon boy,” she answered, a self-satisfied smirk spreading across her muzzle. “Just try me.”

“Yes! Try her!” Luna shouted, jumping next to Twilight. “The fun will be doubled!”

Twilight swatted Luna’s face away with a flick of her wing.

Spike coughed. “So… dinner sounds good!”

Ж

Spike’s mouth watered as the chefs brought in the meal.

As with any time he dined with the Princesses, the chefs had prepared him something special for his draconic palate. Tonight, it was a lettuce and bleu-cheese salad with shaved fluorspar and vinaigrette dressing, served in what he always suspected was a crystal punch bowl.

Twilight and Celestia were each poured a glass of sauvignon blanc with their meals, while Spike’s wine arrived in a large carafe. Luna was served a cup of espresso, some toast, and a bowl of cinnamon oat cereal.

They shared polite dinner conversation as the servants tended to them. Spike listened as they discussed recent matters of state, and contributed his own opinions when asked. The staff continued to clear dishes and refresh wine (and coffee) without asking.

During the meal, Celestia and Luna turned to the window, their horns glowing as each lowered and raised their respective celestial bodies, before continuing.

When dessert was served, Celestia dismissed the staff with a polite nod. “Thank you, please give our compliments to the chef.”

“Ugh,” Twilight groaned once the staff had shuffled out. “I thought they’d never leave.”

Celestia and Luna smiled, happily dropping out of their royal façade. “I must agree,” Celestia chuckled. “It is good to let our hair down.”

“We always enjoyed getting waited upon wing and hoof,” Luna scoffed.

“Oh, is that why you outlawed the royal ablution attendants?” Celestia quirked an eyebrow towards her sister.

“Royal ablution attendants?” Twilight asked in confusion, spying the look of horror on Luna’s face.

“Oh, that was long before your time, Twilight,” Celestia laughed. “When Luna and I were first crowned Princesses of Equestria, the old royal families had servants specifically for dealing with their morning, well, ablutions. They would take care of everything.”

Twilight’s eyes went wide.

“Lulu wasn’t aware of this, and when her attendant arrived to help, she reacted… poorly,” Celestia chuckled. “The poor pegasus was traumatized by heights for years after Lulu teleported her into the stratosphere.”

“Then she shouldst not have, to use the youthful parlance, freshened Us.”

Twilight and Spike burst out laughing, while Celestia looked confused over Luna’s turn of phrase. “I believe the term is ‘getting fresh’ with you, not freshened.” Twilight chuckled. “Freshening you was actually her job.”

Luna stomped her hoof on the table. “We can wash Our own plot, thank you!”

It was at this moment that the attendant who was bringing in the tea and coffee dropped her tray, scattering drinks and cookies across the floor.

Ж

After the giggling subsided, bribes were placed to certain staff members by certain princesses of the night, spills were cleaned, and attendants were informed they need not return, conversation resumed amongst the four.

“So, everything is ready for tomorrow, Spike?” Celestia asked, sipping her tea.

“Yeah, I think we’re ready. I can’t thank the three of you enough.” Spike smiled, blinking away the moisture in his eyes. “Without you girls, I don’t know where I’d be. Not many ponies would open their home to a dragon, and even fewer would let him raise a family there.”

Twilight walked around the table, then draped a wing over his neck and nuzzled his cheek. “Hey, we would never throw family out into the cold, just because they put on a little weight… fatty.” She playfully bumped him with her flank, and then teleported back to her seat.

Everypony chuckled, even Spike.

“Twilight, do you think—” Spike paused. “Could you be with me tomorrow when she arrives? I know you probably have court…”

Celestia cut in. “Luna and I have already divided Twilight’s court petitioners amongst our own. She will be free whenever you need her.”

“Thank you, all of you.”

“You don’t need to keep thanking us, Spike.” Twilight beamed. “It’s what families do.”

Celestia stifled a yawn. “I must apologize, it’s getting late.” She stood and gave each pony a hug in turn. “Have a good night. Sister, please don’t do anything in Court that I will have to deal with tomorrow.” Smiling, she left the room.

Twilight and Luna stood as well, to ready themselves for court and mischief, respectively.

Spike bade them good night, and returned to his room.

Ж

The old event-hall-turned-bedroom was lit with a dull green glow from the dragonflame sconces. Over the years, Spike had experimented with his magical fire, with the help of Twilight and Celestia. Ever-Burning Flame had been one of his prouder achievements; the fire would not spread, nor would they ever burn out. They had the glass windows removed, and stone masons had closed up the holes seamlessly with the older stones of the castle. There was a reason dragons tended to live in caves, beyond just having a place to store their hoard.

Plush carpets spread across the floor and large velvet cushions scattered about the room. There was no real designated sleeping space. Celestia had gifted him with a fifteen-foot writing desk for his fiftieth birthday, the day he moved to the castle permanently. Bookshelves spanned the walls, reaching the forty-foot ceilings. Most of the books had been enchanted with enlarging transfiguration spells, so he could read with greater ease.

In a world made for ponies, this was the one space made for him—the place where he fit.

He curled himself on the floor, lounging on a large pillow. He picked up the book Twilight had given him earlier that week, and opened up to where he left off.

So You’re Going to be a Father: A Stallion’s Guide to Parenting.

Author's Note:

No Cotton in this update. Don't worry, she'll be back in chapter three.


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