• Published 10th Dec 2013
  • 14,935 Views, 1,836 Comments

My Family and Other Equestrians - Blade Star

A HiE fic with a twist. Our protagonist is not alone. How does one approach being in Equestria, when their family is along for the ride?

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Interlude 6 - Burning Catholics is Wrong

Note: This chapter takes place from Lizzie's perspective.

“Erm, Bonfire Night?” Fluttershy asked me as we sat at the table.

“Yeah, Fluttershy. It’s a celebration we used to have back home. Everyone gets together to light a huge bonfire and then we let off loads and loads of fireworks,” I replied earnestly. With ‘Nightmare Night’ over, next on the calendar was Bonfire Night before Christmas.

The pair of us had pretty much stayed in over Nightmare Night. Fluttershy had come a long way according to her friends in overcoming her fears, but all those spooky costumes and pranks often proved too much for her. While she agreed that one year she would have to face her fears, she was certain that it was not going to be this year.

In all honesty, I had kind of been looking forward to seeing Equestria’s take on Halloween, and I hadn’t really had much of a chance to meet the other princess that I kept hearing about. From what my brother told me, she was sort of an ex-villain, though I didn’t dare say that to his face. I don’t know why, but bro seems to have some kind of zealot-like obsession with this other princess, she was the subject of the the only internet flame war he ever got involved in back home.

Anyway, come Nightmare Night, Fluttershy insisted that I go out and have fun. Naturally, I wasn’t having that and tried to convince her to come with me. When this proved impossible, I said I would spend the night here with her. I mean sure I wanted to go, but she was my friend, and Nightmare Night came around every year. That was the whole point of the show that was based on this world after all; stick by your friends.

It had now been about a week since then. We’d had a perfectly pleasant time anyway. But I thought it might be nice to try something from back home. So, I suggested Bonfire Night, it was a fun night out usually and was a chance for everypony and everyone to get together. Quite quickly though, my brilliant idea hit a wall.

“Fireworks?” Fluttershy asked, already threatening to shy away behind her pink mane. “Aren’t they very, eep, loud?” The penny, or rather the Bit, dropped.

“Oh, right,” I answered. “Well, we don’t need to have them, the main event is the bonfire and burning the Guy, usually we all get together for that. The fireworks are just a sideshow.” It would be a shame, but we could go without them. Come to think of it, maybe some of the unicorns in town could do a light show instead.

“That would probably be better, Lizzie,” said Fluttershy. “After all, I don’t want to upset any of the animals near Ponyville. Lots of them are getting ready to hibernate soon too.” Another fair point, each time we’d gone out for Bonfire Night, we’d had to make sure our cats were inside and that the dogs weren’t in the garden. Our neighbour had lost her cat one year when the poor thing got spooked and ran into the road.

Still, we now had the beginnings of an idea. We could still have a bonfire, and if we could get enough unicorns to help out with the light show, we could have a proper Bonfire Night. Minus the hot dogs of course.

After we’d cleaned up breakfast and finished up with feeding all the animals, including that stupid rabbit, we set off for town. Fluttershy said that our first stop ought to be Twilight’s, since she knew more about magic than almost anypony. So she could certainly tell us whether it was possible.

We reached the library and found both her and Spike busy reshelving some of the recently returned books.

“Hey Twilight,” we both said, with varying degrees of volume. The princess in question looked up from the various books she had been examining and trotted over to us.

“Oh, hi Lizzie, Fluttershy,” she replied. “What can I do for you?”

“Can unicorns do light shows?” I blurted out, rather stupidly. Twilight raised an eyebrow.

“Light shows?” she repeated.

“Lizzie has an idea for a celebration from her world in two days’ time. It’s supposed to use fireworks, but since it’s so close to hibernation time for all my animal friends, we thought we might be able to do it with magic instead,” Fluttershy elaborated.

“Two days? But that’s the night when all those shooting stars are supposed to appear,” Twilight countered. “A light show would block them out.”

If there is a God, they were smiling on me right about now. I’d only seen shooting stars once before, but they were more beautiful than any light show or fireworks display. Or even a Windows screensaver.

“Why don’t we just use both then Twilight. We can have the bonfire here in town, and that’ll get everypony up for the shooting stars.”

“Err, bonfire?” the alicorn asked. We quickly explained to her the basics of Bonfire Night. She seemed quite taken with the idea.

“So what do you think, Twilight?” I asked hopefully.

“Take it to Mayor Mare’s office. If she agrees, I’ll be happy to help organise everything.” Yes! Get in! Fluttershy cheered and hugged me. We’d got our idea off the ground, once we got the Mayor’s permission; it was all good to go. And how hard could that be?

“No.” That was the answer we got.

“But why not?” I demanded. The two of us were standing in the Mayor’s office with the earth pony herself sitting behind her desk. She’d listened to our ten minute long proposal only to turn us down with one word.

“Because it violates at least half a dozen environment and public safety laws. The smoke alone would blacken half the town before sunrise, never mind the risk of fire breaking out on a thatched roof.”

“Mayor, we aren’t talking about some massive cross burning, it’s a bonfire. It can be small enough to fit in the town square with plenty of room. And it’s easy enough to keep the smoke down as long as it all burns cleanly.” The Mayor shook her head.

My answer is still no,” she said. “I won’t stop you from having a private party somewhere, but not on public property.” I huffed in irritation; clearly she was not going to move on the issue.

Leaving town hall we headed back to the cottage. The town square was the only place I could think of that was large enough to host a bonfire night party.

Wait a minute.

A party.

Pinkie Pie! The Cakes owned a large area of land around Sugarcube Corner! That would be able to hold the crowd and it was private property. While the Mayor could veto events taking place on town property, only a large amount of complaints could prevent events taking place on private property. Better yet, if we could get Pinkie and the Cakes on board, we’d have all the food sorted. I turned to Fluttershy who was also deep in thought, trying to come up with a plan.

“Fluttershy,” I said. “I have a cunning plan.”

Pinkie was looking after the shop when we arrived, though upon telling her of my scheme, she quickly placed a ‘back in five minutes’ sign on the counter. She seemed quite taken with the idea, her own need to party increased to fever pitch with the conclusion of all the Nightmare Night parties.

“Ooh, this is gonna be super-duper brilliant!” She exclaimed, bouncing around us as we continued to plan. “We can set the bonfire up in front of the shop and stay open really, really late and sell all the food for the party. And then we’ll all be able to see those shooting stars. They’ll all be like pew, pew, pew.” She fell into rambling as only Pinkie Pie can.

“That’s very nice Pinkie, but how are we going to set it all up?” Fluttershy asked. Admittedly, I expected Pinkie just to help out with getting a venue and supplying the catering. What she said next surprised me.

“Easy, I’ll just take all those planks of wood I have in the basement, set them up in a criss-cross and use a barrel of Applejack’s hard cider to set it off.” She saw our looks of surprise. “What, you don’t think I know how to make a bonfire?”

So, we now had pretty much everything set up. With the help of Ponyville’s best party planner, we had a place and, rather worryingly, a bonfire all set to go. All that was needed now was the Guy. Naturally, Lyra chose that moment to step out in front of us, an odd contraption in tow.

“Hey Lizzie, what do you want to do with the Crusaders old costume? Seems a shame to just throw it all away.” Ah yes, the human costume I’d helped Lyra and the Crusaders make. Six feet tall, arms and legs, a rudimentary head and it was all made of stuff that would burn.

“That’ll do it,” I said, clapping my hands together confusing the two mares. “This can be our Guy.” Quickly drawing Lyra into our little scheme, we appropriated the old costume to serve as the unfortunate stand in for Guy Fawkes. The unicorn took a rapid, if slightly unsettling interest in the little celebration.

With so many ponies already in on the plan, word quickly spread throughout town that there was to be a human celebration to coincide with the shooting stars display. Add in the promise of on-site catering and by early evening ponies were flocking to Sugarcube Corner. Mom and Dad turned up too, as did my older brother; he’d brought the Apple family with him as well. Of others in the crowd I picked out Lyra and Bon-Bon, Roseluck, Rarity, that clock repair pony and a few of Dash’s friends from the weather patrol. Quite a crowd in any case.

With Pinkie’s assistance, we’d set up a sort of raised marque for us to oversee proceedings. Twilight was there with us as well. As the nearest available princess, it was her job to officiate and light the fire. She just said it was a welcome change from her usual duties.

By about eight o’clock everypony had turned up and settled in. Most of the time when I went to these sort of things, I tended to ditch my parents and go hang out with my friends.


I inadvertently tugged my own heartstrings; I hadn’t really thought too much about my friends back home, I missed them a lot. I’d been planning to go on a night out with them all when we wound up here. I wonder what they think happened. Still hopefully, someday I would be able to see them again. For the moment though, there was a bonfire to be lit, and here I was with Fluttershy of all ponies about to see it all kick off.

To that end, Pinkie was as promised, bounding around the piled wood dousing it with the strongest cider Applejack said she had. At this point I really think Pinkie Pie may be a pyromaniac; no one should enjoy covering something in flammable liquid that much. It didn’t help that my Dad and my brother both kept up the tune ‘Stuck in the Middle’.

With that done Twilight came forward to start the proceedings. Advantage of being royalty I suppose, you get first dibs on the fuse. She cleared her throat and began her little speech.

“Thank you everypony for coming to Equestria’s first ever Bonfire Night. And I’m sure we’d all like to thank Lizzie, Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie for making this event possible.” She paused to allow the stamping of hooves to subside. “And with that, I guess it’s time we lit this bonfire. Tell me when Lizzie.” I grinned and nodded to her in thanks.

“Light that candle, Twi!” I shouted. And with that, Twilight let off a small spark from her horn. Instantly the whole thing caught and the Guy promptly began to roast.

The flames roared as they ate away at the high proof alcohol in the cider very quickly the wood caught and began to crackle loudly. Ponies quickly backed off a little and the odd hot splinter shot out from the inferno. If only I had been as sensible.

“Ouch!” I exclaimed as I felt a hot, stinging sensation on my arm. Looking at it, I saw a small splinter had landed on the exposed skin and left a nasty looking, if relatively small, burn. Still, it was enough for Fluttershy to notice and all of a sudden she was hovering around me, checking me over.

“Oh my goodness,” she exclaimed as she caught sight of the mark. She hurriedly dashed into Sugarcube Corner and promptly returned with a small first aid box. The wound, minor as it was, was quickly sterilised and dressed. She continued however, to hover around me.

“Fluttershy, it’s okay, I’m fine,” I said laughing a little. Her display was just so cute, she was doting on me like…

Like a mother.

I’d tried not to notice it, but more and more, Fluttershy had been acting like Mom used to when I was younger. She always had one eye on me and at the first sign of trouble would turn up with whatever remedy might be needed. She even used her infamous stare on one of her chickens once after the little bugger pecked me.

I wasn’t really sure what to make of it all. I mean, there was no harm in it really, plus she acted like that around the animals she cared for too. I figured it was probably just a result of the way she lived her life. She’d never mentioned much about relationships, and given her shy nature I can guess why. Maybe she just treated whoever she took in as her own by instinct, a way to make up for the fact she had no children of her own. My train of thought was interrupted as a hoof waved itself back and forth in front of my face.

“Lizzie, are you okay?” said a soft demure voice. I looked down and saw Fluttershy had a worried expression on her face. I had zoned out a bit.

“Oh, sorry Fluttershy, I kinda spaced out for a minute,” I answered shaking my head to remove the cobwebs. “What is it?”

“Twilight was just saying that the shooting stars are about to start. I think that little burn should be alright ‘till we get home, so I thought we might go and see the show,” Fluttershy replied.

Not a moment later we heard a chorus of ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ go up from the hushed crowd that had gathered in front of the dying fire. Guy Fawkes had gone up quite rapidly and all that remained was the glowing embers. Above our heads, brilliant streaks of light began to flash across the sky. The last time I’d seen this, I was pretty young and we’d only caught a couple. Now though, the sky was filled with them, all appearing for a fleeting moment before vanishing back into the dark.

A quiet awe settled over us all as we looked up into the sky. The only sounds to be heard were the crackling of the fire and the scribbling of a quill on parchment as Twilight took down notes on the display. I simply sat down next to Fluttershy; though I was certain I felt a comforting wing wrap around me in a sort of hug.

The shooting stars finally came to a halt about half an hour later. The fire was now well and truly out. Twilight did however, insist on having Rainbow Dash and a few of the other pegasi dump a few rain clouds on the remains. Better safe than sorry I suppose. With the fire doused down, Pinkie quickly took down the marque and steadily transported it back down to the basement in Sugarcube Corner. Twilight also stopped by before turning in, thanking us for setting the event up and getting everypony out to see the stellar display.

But the best however, was saved for last when we were approached by none other than Mayor Mare herself. If it were possible to walk at the same time, she would have trotted over to us with a cap in her front hooves.

“Lizzie, Fluttershy, I’m really sorry about earlier,” she began hesitantly, “After you left I realized that I came across a just a little unkind. While I am still a little worried about safety at this event, I think I’d be more than happy to let you have this ‘Bonfire Night’ in the town square next year.”

“Thank you, Mayor.” Fluttershy said, pre-empting my own reply, which may have been a bit snarky in any case. The older mare nodded and headed off, leaving just the two of us outside Sugarcube Corner. The sudden silence and relative darkness of the area got Fluttershy moving at a pretty brisk pace.

We quickly reached the cottage and got ourselves inside. Angel was sitting on the sofa waiting for us. Instantly, he began yammering something to Fluttershy in Lapine. Based on his tone, I’d say he wasn’t pleased by the fact that we’d been out so late.

“Now, now, Angel Bunny,” Fluttershy admonished. “We haven’t been gone that long, and you should be in bed yourself.” The rabbit folded his paws and huffed irritably before hopping off. The pair of us headed upstairs.

Since it had become pretty clear me and my family were going to be in Equestria for a while, I’d refused to continue turning Fluttershy out of her own bed. Instead, borrowing some of the money Princess Celestia gave Mom and Dad, I managed to get my own bed made. It wasn’t much larger than a normal pony bed really, and I’d set it up in Fluttershy’s room, since unlike Applejack’s home, she lacked a spare room. Fluttershy didn’t seem to mind the amount of room it took up and we’d pretty well divided up the room to keep our stuff separate. Clambering into our respective beds, we bid each other a good night and turned the lights off.

Author's Note:

Proofread by Sidetrack.

Every Bonfire Night, the local church minister would put out a large placard displaying this chapter's title. Discuss.

Up next, snow, beavers and debates on the definition of an animal.

On a side note, Sidetrack has just published his new fic. Having read it myself, I encourage you all to go take a look at it. Show a free Changeling some love.


Also, this fic now has over 50,000 views total.

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