• Published 20th Nov 2013
  • 3,188 Views, 40 Comments

Many Kinds of Love - LuminoZero



Her friends never understood why Clover was unshakably loyal to the spoiled Princess Platinum. The truth was far less complicated then they imagined.

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A Heart that Shines like Platinum

My name is Clover the Clever, Royal Advisor to Princess Platinum of the Unicorn tribe. At least it was, I do not believe that title is appropriate anymore. I had kept another journal, at the recommendation of my mentor, Star Swirl the Bearded, but it was lost in the 'Endless Winter' that assailed our lands.

Since this is a new book, perhaps I should start at the beginning. I know not where I was born, or even much of my early life. I know I was a slave, as were many under the rule of the Unicorn King, Sombra. I do not even know who my parents were, though I suppose they were slaves as I was. The first memory I have is likely so because it was the first spot of color in what must have been a bleak existence. Star Swirl suggested that perhaps I am blocking the memories out as a coping mechanism, but I cannot say.

The princess claims that she found me wandering in one of the royal gardens, though I have no idea how I would have gotten there. I was just a filly at the time, and she not much older than I. What I do remember is how bright she was, how happy she seemed to be to see me. She spoke, quite a lot actually. I don't remember if I said anything, dressed in rags and covered in dirt, but the princess seemed not to care about such things. I remember shouting, from someone who must have been a guard pony, and I recall being dragged away into the darkest parts of the castle.

I remember being terrified, huddled in a corner of a stone cell with a large metal shackle around my neck. From this point on, I can never forget. Into the cell walked the stallion of nightmares, the Unicorn King. His eyes burned with sickly green flames, his tooth filled smile looking like a predator's maw. The massive armor he wore made every one of his steps seem to shake the world around him. I remember, more than anything, those eyes. Even now, when he is long since gone, those orbs haunt my nightmares.

What happened next changed my life forever. The princess bound up to me, seemingly unaffected by the aura of fear the stallion projected, and wrapped her hooves around my neck. She seemed totally unfazed by the collar around my neck, or the obvious terror I was experiencing. Her embrace was warm, an odd sensation against the cold stone and metal. I was far too scared to be insulted by the words she spoke, even though I should have been.

"Can I keep her, Daddy? Pleeeeeease?" I could not help but smile awkwardly, as the hostile aura from the king diminished. I should have been angry that she was treating me like a pet, I should have been terrified of the prospect of being a different kind of slave, but I wasn't. I was, for the first time I can recall, happy. Of course, I did not comprehend the emotion at that time, I merely knew that my body was warm and light.

The king decreed that his daughter would not associate with common rabble, and I felt my heart sink into the stone itself. Her eyes must have beaten back his own gaze, however. He then declared that her 'toy', me I suppose, would need to be formed into one worthy of a princess. He left that dark cell, and I could have sworn that it was the brightest and warmest place in all the world.

I was cleaned, dressed, and made to at least look presentable to a princess. However, I was just a filly slave, I needed more than to look the part. The king himself ordered me educated to be a powerful and worthy unicorn, so I would not be an embarrassment to his daughter. It was through this that I met my mentor, Star Swirl the Bearded. I remember his annoyed glare at the messenger as he the king’s order was relayed.

Later on in life, I learned that the king and Star Swirl had a rather precarious peace. The king did not wish to move against him, and Star Swirl wished to study the magical properties of the Crystal Empire. So, while the two did not agree, they at least agreed to stay out of each other's way. I recall Star Swirl at first compared tutoring me to 'paying rent'.

He changed his mind quickly, if his attitude was any indication. I have heard that I showed a great talent for magic with only the most basic of training. Star Swirl, noticing this, gave me my title after I managed to solve Gemini's Paradox within the first month of my training. It has been said that the mind of a foal holds a simple wisdom, but I am not sure Star Swirl believed it until he'd seen it. I will never forget the look of shock on his face as he checked his papers, nor the great pride I felt when he was the first to declare me 'Clover the Clever'.

Though I cherished the time I spent with my mentor, not a day has passed where I do not recall the one who gave my life meaning, who gave me a future. I was the faithful servant to Princess Platinum from the moment I arrived in that world. Willingly, I served her every whim. I weathered her tantrums, and cleaned up after them with not a word of complaint. I yielded to her every command, even if it interrupted my studies or would serve to get me into trouble. She was my everything, and even at that age I knew I owed all I was to her kindness. Not to say that she was perfect, far from it. I pray she will forgive me for my indiscretion, but her spoiled nature did win through very often. Pampered with everything she could want from a young age, she was the very picture of entitlement. Still, I stood by her, never wavering in my support.

Star Swirl told me, before he departed from the kingdom, that I would be the one to guide the princess. We were both grown mares by that point, but just barely. He knew something was coming; he always was two steps ahead of everypony else. Not long after, Princess Platinum was sent away by her father to rule an offset of the empire on her own. She was delighted with the prospect, and I recall the elation in her voice when she declared what she would do for her people. It was then that I realized how ignorant the princess truly was. She knew what slaves were, but she did not understand what truly heart-wrenching lives they lived. I will never forget the look in her eyes when she saw what her father's empire had done to the realms he had subjugated.

Just as Star Swirl predicted, the princess confided in me. She knew I had been a slave, and asked me what I thought. Ever her faithful servant, I answered honestly. She then asked a question that I had never been expecting from her.

"Clover," she asked, "do you hate me?"

"Never, my princess," I had answered her. Still she continued with her questions.

"Why not? What my father has done is unforgivable. Look at how everypony suffers, we owe our subjects better than this. No unicorn should be forced to live as such."

"Because," I said, "you gave light into my life, princess. Everything I have done was possible because of you. I will serve you faithfully, all the days of my life." For the first time in many years, she embraced me. She was warm, as I remembered well.

The following years were difficult on her. Princess Platinum was the first to stand up against the mad reign of her father. The small slice of the kingdom she controlled was nothing compared to the might of the Crystal Empire. Were it not for the appearance of a miracle, I am certain that I would not be here to write this page. Two ponies, I call them this because I lack a better word, flew down from the sky. One glowed like the sun, the other shimmered like star light. I can only speculate what happened, because when the light cleared, the entire Crystal Empire had vanished.

I have never seen Princess Platinum cry as hard as she did that night. She had long since accepted that she would have to fight her father, but the way the issue resolved left her without any closure. The two mysterious ponies looked down upon us, and then left. I have no idea why they left, or where they went, but I feel confident that we will see them again some day.

There was peace, for a time, until something occurred that I am quite sure the history books will record in great detail, for such major events are usually well documented. The 'Endless Winter' began. I will not go into specifics here, as the story is far too long and complicated, but it will help to give a time frame for this writing.

I write now as Clover the Clever of Equestria, it still feels so foreign to write that. Upon the 'Great Thaw', myself and the princess returned to the castle we had erected in this new land. I have made many new friends, and great strides have been made for all of pony kind. Still, it is now that I think about what one of my new friends, an earth pony named Smart Cookie, asked of me.

While we were telling tales of our lives and keeping our spirit's bright in that forsaken cave, we learned quite a bit about each other. I suppose the reverence in the way I spoke of the princess confused them, because of how her actions can appear.

"Why do you follow her?" she asked me, and I could tell by her tone that she intended no offense. My answer was clear and honest. "Because she saved my life. She is the reason I am anything at all."

I continued, and I pray the princess will forgive me for the words I spoke. "Because she is vain and prideful. Because she is haughty and arrogant. Because she is blind to the plights of those who are not before her gaze. She needs me, and if this allows me to repay the debt of life I owe to her, I will gladly spend all of my days to help guide her."

Star Swirl had been right, just as he always was. I was the one who would help and guide her. I would help her to be an enlightened ruler, and to put aside her own self-importance for the good of all ponies. The next question was what truly shocked me.

"Do you love her?"

My answer came practiced and cold, despite how I felt. "There are many kinds of love." Thankfully, she dropped the topic. Still, I repeated it to myself quite often in the coming days.

After we returned to the castle, I could see that her attitude around me had changed. She did not claim that she had saved the land. She pushed me to the front, declaring that I had saved us all, and her. She confided privately in me that she believed I would be a better ruler than she. I refuted her, saying that a powerful leader like her was needed in these troubled times. The pony who had stood up to her vastly superior father without an ounce of fear in her being.

It was a week later when she revealed the great secret she had been keeping from me. She had heard everything, even frozen in the magical ice. She knew every word I had spoken, and knew they were true. She relieved me from her service, she said I was no longer bound to serve her.

And I asked how things would change. She still thought I served her because of some debt, some obligation. That ceased being true many years ago. I serve Princess Platinum because I wish to. Because she is kind and, in spite of all her faults, because I love her. She is the one who brought light and happiness into my life. Without the light she gave to me, I could not have passed it on to the other ponies. I cannot imagine a life without her, as her mere presence fills my heart with joy.

Even when she is spoiled. Even when she whines and complains. Even when she fails, the light of her heart shines brightly.


Clover pulled the quill back as she looked over the freshly-written pages. She hadn't intended it to be quite so... gushing. Still, it was good to write things like this out, though if Star Swirl ever saw this book he would chastise her for being an emotional little filly. She thought for a moment longer as she held the quill aloft.

A voice broke through the darkness of the room, as the candle on her desk flickered. "Clover, are you there?"

"Yes, my princess," came the dutiful answer as Clover placed the quill back into the inkwell and set the book out to dry.

"Cloverrrrr..." she whined, "it is still so cold outside."

Clover rolled her eyes as a smile tugged at the corner of her lips. "I will put on a fire for you, my princess," she said.

"No, that will not be needed. Please keep me warm?" she spoke in such a sweet and innocent tone. Clover knew it to be one of her many tricks to get her way, but she also knew that such things were useless against her. She needed only to ask.

"Of course, my Platinum," she finished, blowing out the candle and slipping into the large, warm bed.

Many kinds of love indeed.

Author's Note:

Reading Familiarity the other day started the cogs turning for this story. It was actually given form by this great picture that FanOfMostEverything posted in the comments.

I hope you enjoy;
-Lumino

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Comments ( 40 )

This was a pleasure to assist with, my friend.

~Skeeter The Lurker

3515565

I'M NOT YOUR FRIEND!

...

Oh wait, yes I am. Sorry! False alarm.
-Lumino

That was nice.

It's rare to see a fic about pre-equestria, and even more so when it resolves around only a single character.
Well done!:twilightsmile:

3515594

Thank you very much! I am really glad so many people seem to be enjoying this. It makes the time spent on it feel well spent if others enjoy your work.

Thanks again;
-Lumino

Aah, fantastic read!

3515662

Glad you enjoyed it!
-Lumino

This was awesome

3515677

Always nice to hear that your work was enjoyed. :twilightsheepish:

-Lumino

This, I like this.

3515701

Glad to hear it! :twilightsmile:

-Lumino

A nice story that leaves a fuzzy feeling. I couldn't ask for more. Thank you!:raritystarry:

Nicely done indeed. I am glad to see more stories about the founders of Equestria.

3515753

Yay for warm fuzzies!

Glad you enjoyed it;
-Lumino

Not bad. It was a nice tale and there was some interesting ideas backing it. I quite liked it.

My problems with it were some rather dodgy wordings that stem from the intentionally prosey language. There's a point where it stops being whimsical and starts being irritating. But apparently you don't agree with that, so moving on...

I can't really say that the characters really grabbed me that much, but then, the diary entries seemed to be focused more on extrapolating on what happened previously, rather than really developing the characters or relationship, so I guess that's not a big problem. I think the ending could have been built on, too, just to show how these two characters love each other. It was definitely cute, but it didn't really sell it to me, y'know?

But anyway, these are just a few nitpicks in an otherwise solid story. Great work.

Does anyone know where I can find a sexual story of this pairing? Like Twi and Rare's in character for the roles in the picture?

3515828
Called it. RariTwi roleplay, anyone? :trollestia:

Also, great story! :yay:

Loved it. It was a great story considering the idea came from the picture.

~RDT

That's it. Time to spam the mods for not featuring this.

...also, was I the only one getting The Princess Bride feels from this story? >_>

3516218

Yeah, after reading that story, the picture just made the entire story come together in my mind. It spawned from the question 'Why is Clover so loyal to Princess Platinum, despite how needy and rude she is shown to be?' I hope the story gave a good answer to the question.

3516230

Hmm, The Princess Bride? Well I didn't see the connection, that is for sure. I'd be curious as to where you saw the parallels, because I assure you it was not intentional.

Thank you both for the reviews;
-Lumino

3516251
Indeed it did. Looking forward to more. :pinkiehappy:

Loved it. It was subtle and in character. I can't find a single fault. The timeline necessary for Platinum to be Sombra's daughter still doesn't make sense to me, but I'll look passed it.

3516458

Ehhh, Wibbly-Wobbly, Timey-Wimey.... <.<

Thanks for your review, I am glad you enjoyed it;
-Lumino

Dude, the feels.
I really liked this story for the warm fuzzies it gave me, as other commenters have said. It's a cute story about a cute pairing that we almost never see, and thus is all the more interesting for its rarity... ahem.

3518103

Nrgh! Puns, my one weakness.

Yeah, as I was writing the story I actually did a little searching on FimFic. Could you believe that this is the first shipping story with the two of them? At least that I saw, I really would have imagined that the fandom would have hit this note by now.

Thanks for the review;
-Lumino

3518110
I have seen it done before
Revisionist History.
However your way is just as good, and it's given me some ideas to work with.

3518128

Glad I have inspired you! Revisionist History was...certainly interesting! The title made me chuckle, and it was an interesting take on it. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

-Lumino

Platinum as Sombra's daughter is now accepted into my headcanon.

This story was quite sweet, and I liked the implications at the end. Subtle, but not the main focus of the story, just like a little extra information to enrich it.

3519516

Thanks a lot for the review! And yes, that is exactly what I was going for. Dramatic declarations of love can be nice, but usually I prefer something more slow and subtle. After all, love isn't really a change, it is just a new word to apply to those already existing feelings.

An old web comic that helped me develop this view. :twilightsheepish:

ozyandmillie.org/comics/2008-05-30-Ozy-and-Millie.gif

-Lumino

That was some unexpected headcanon. Nice story, though.

Daww!! This was sooo sweet!!:pinkiehappy:

I think I got a toothache, but it was worth it:twilightblush:

This doesn't fit my headcannon at all but it was still a sweet story. Also is this your first non-sparity story?

3540576

Glad to hear you enjoyed it! I really had a lot of fun writing it.

3541044

Nope! I also have a ButtonBelle called 'Drama King' as well as a Celestia/Luna fic called 'The Longest Day'. All of my other fics are Sparity, however.

Kind of a one trick pony, I guess. :P

-Lumino

Featured on my page, and now in a group. :heart:
tinyurl.com/llaz5ct

The thing that stood out to me the most was an overwhelming sense of "what?" as I read the history being laid out. This story pulls heavily from both the Hearthswarming Eve episode and the Crystal Empire episode. It mingles the two and makes a valiant attempt at doing so. Valiant, but ultimately futile I feel.

Granted, a lot of the history presented in canon is not terribly clear about sequence or exact dates. I won't put my own timeline down and attempt to say this story is wrong for not following it, and instead will focus on some of the key points that stood out as wrong and why.

First, while it isn't explicitly stated in this story, Unicornia is not the Crystal Empire and vice versa. It also wasn't some colony of the Crystal Empire. Princess Platinum wasn't the first monarch of Unicornia, or even it's monarch during the time period of the Hearthswarming story. To support these statements, consider the role of Unicornia in that play. The unicorns were responsible for raising the sun and moon. This role had been established as a long-standing relationship with the other two tribes. Many generations. In order to reconcile that with this story, the raising of the sun and the moon would have had to have been done prior to Platinum's birth, adulthood, and eventual betrayal of her father. It would have had to have been done by the Crystal Empire, which really doesn't fit with the Hearthswarming story in any easy to grasp way. Furthermore, why would Sombra, having enslaved all his own people, adopt a trade relationship with the earth ponies? He'd just enslave them, or make his slaves grow food. He certainly wouldn't leave the option of starving open. If control of the sun and moon where under his domain how/why did he let that perk slip away with his daughter? I remain open to the idea that somehow this works in this story, but it isn't explained and remains a source of confusion.

What we know of the Crystal Empire is that it is populated by a fourth tribe of ponies, the crystal ponies. While Sombra himself is a unicorn and it is not unreasonable to think he had an heir/family, it does seem rather odd that no unicorns are present at all in the Crystal Empire in the show; the idea that all the unicorns (except Sombra himself) and no crystal ponies made the exodus with Platinum to found Unicornia is itself really strange. Again, I remain open to an answer to this, but the story provides none.

The worldbuilding side of the story is found to be somewhat lacking. On the plus side, the presentation of Starswirl, Sombra, and Clover is fairly believable if we can accept the setting. I can imagine an uneasy truce between two powerful unicorns like Sombra and Starswirl existing. Other little details like sighting the, at the time unknown, alicorn sisters prior to the founding of Equestria could explain the flag used.

The main focus of the story, as implied by the title, is the romance side however. I feel that the worldbuilding side of things is poorly executed in this context. The attempt is clearly made to try and present the personality of Clover and Platinum. Instead of giving us scenes with them interacting with each other and letting the story show us this relationship as it develops, the journal-entry and history lesson narration of the story renders this romance distant and heartless. In this it doesn't really matter how good, smooth, believable, or coherent the history is, the method of storytelling used to convey this romance story is hamstrung by the fact that we're essentially reading about it in a historical record.

Since the story is primarily told from Clover's perspective, we get a decent level of insight as to her side of the story, and her personality. Despite this, it fails to be really distinct. It is still too easy to just imagine Twilight's face from the play, imagine her voice, and see some slight variations to it. Again, this is mostly due to the journal-style presentation and an abundance of historical facts rather than actual scenes of her interacting. It is her telling about herself to a book rather than her being herself in front of us.

Platinum is even more bland.

In the end, the romance itself is treated in a more philosophical manner. It is presented just as another historical fact, dictated to us take it or leave it. While I don't ascribe to the "rule" of "show don't tell" as something that must be obeyed as if it were on par with capitalization rules of grammar, this entire story is basically an example of why that rule is ever a good idea.

The underlying premise of different sorts of love, including the love of a slave/former slave for her master is lost in the abysmal execution. It would be interesting to explore the psychology behind that relationship were it presented in some meaningful way. Instead we have a bunch of words thrown together that simply tell us some ponies had that sort of relationship, oh and some history things happened too.

I won't call this a waste of time to read. If nothing else it serves as a great example of how to write a story that on the surface appears decently well written. The premise alone of reconciling some disparate canon history probably resonates with some readers. While on the surface it appears decently written, it falls apart under closer inspection and it ends up being a really poor piece of work. Perhaps someone will be inspired by some of the elements presented here and actually tell a real story.

3985080

I had to read through your comment a few times, just to be certain I wasn't reacting to the wrong part of it. While you make many valid points in your critique, I cannot help but feel that your execution was just as flawed as my own, if not more.

Your review had a few thoughts of value inside of it, I won't deny this. This story had a good deal of holes and issues that cannot easily be reconciled with the canon. If I may, however, how accurate is a Thanksgiving play to what happened in history? Take the Hearthswarming Eve story with a grain of salt. I didn't want to delve so deeply into the history because that wasn't the point of the story. I was trying to explore the other kinds of emotional ties that can bind people other than just pure romantic love.

It was downplayed for most of the story, certainly, but that is because the romance was never really the big part. Hence why it is only really mentioned in the last few lines of the story. It is the implied connection between the characters that I find makes it enjoyable, and I found leaving it vague and undefined was more appropriate for what I was aiming for.

Now then, if you disagree with that, that is perfectly fine. I have no objection to anyone liking or disliking my works for whatever reason they desire. What I do take issue with is you insulting my works, as you did in the end of your review.

If you don't like it, fine. Say so, explain why, and move on. I, and most other sensible authors here, will not take kindly to the last two paragraphs of your comment.

I'm sorry you feel like this story was a waste of your valuable time, but perhaps your time would be better spent not sitting on your throne and casting down judgment.

-Lumino

Comment posted by Star Flank deleted May 15th, 2014

This is an interesting headcanon, I don't personally see the unicorn tribes splitting off from the Crystal Empire but that's just me. I personally love the narration style and it supports very well the transition from pure devotion to actual affection and love.

There's a tag for Clover, Platinum, and Starswirl now. There's also been one for Sombra. I'd suggest adding them because this clearly isn't a story about Rarity or Twilight.

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