• Published 1st May 2014
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Friendship is Shining: The Gala - Hopeful_Ink_Hoof



The night of The Grand Galloping Gala arrives at last. Unfortunately, things do not go as any pony was hoping.

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Shining: Anti-climatic

Once upon a time, in the magical land of Equestria, there was a little colt by the name of Shining Armor. Shining Armor was a unicorn who lived in the capital known as Canterlot with his mother and father.

One day, Shining Armor's mother -- Twilight Velvet -- took him to the park to play. Things had been going well at first, until Shining Armor got mad at one colt and bit him. Twilight Velvet saw what her son did, scolded him and forced him to apologize. Afterward, she did not let him continue to play, nor did she take him home.

Instead, Shining Armor's mother made the young colt sit next to her while she continued to read. He had nothing to play with, nothing to do. All he could do was sit, wait, and watch other foals play and have fun. Shining had no idea how long it had actually been, but it felt like it had been for-ev-er! Once it was over, he never bit another pony. That last thing Shining Armor ever wanted was to have to go through something like that ever again.

Yet here it was, years later, and he found himself kind of feeling the same way.

After arriving at The Grand Galloping Gala together, the six of them had each gone their own ways. Fluttershy had immediately headed for the gardens to try and see the animals. Applejack set up her booth on the grounds and almost immediately sold a pie. Turned out it was to a Wonderbolt, which let Rainbow Dash meet and hang out with the group. Shining Armor came in with Pinkie Pie and Rarity, but neither came with him to see Princess Celestia. Pinkie Pie wanted to check the refreshments right away (Shining got the feeling that something about her seemed... less poofy?) and Rarity wished to find a fine stallion -- hopefully a prince -- to begin a romantic evening with.

Shining Armor had managed to see Princess Celestia, who then asked him to stand beside her. At first he was excited. He would get to spend some time with his mentor. Although they had written back and forth to each other, the two had not talked face to face since the event with Sunset Shimmer.

Unfortunately, talking was not something the two of them had gotten much of an opportunity to do. Instead, Shining Armor was stuck standing beside the princess. As they and several others stood there, various guests walked up to meet and be greeted by Princess Celestia. Shining did not know the name of any of them. He did recognize a few of them -- including one or two that were more interested in sounding and seeming important than actually doing anything of value -- but most of them were ponies he had never seen before. To be fair, none really seemed to care who he was either. They stood long enough to accept his greeting, but it seemed like most were more interested in keep their nose in the air than making eye contact.

It kind of made him feel like he was stuck sitting beside his mother while watching the other foals play all over again. He had hoped to see the princess and talk to her a while, but he had also wanted to spend time with his friends. He was also hoping to get to dance a few times. Instead, he was stuck here, greeting ponies he did not know and who did not care about him. Was this what many of the less affluent ponies had to put up with? Was this what it was like to be a guard?

Maybe Princess Celestia would give him an opportunity to leave. Or maybe he could excuse himself, saying he required refreshment. Actually, maybe there was no need to do that. Maybe instead he could get one of his friends to come to him and save him from this. Pinkie Pie did do all sort of weird things, so it was possible that if he tried, she would show up with a snack or something.

Although he was busy saying hello to each pony that came up to him, Shining Armor tried his best to concentrate. He focused on Pinkie Pie and his appetite. If it worked, Pinkie Pie would get the feeling that there was a friend who was hungry and miraculously show up with something to eat or drink.

After a full minute of trying with no Pinkie Pie, he gave up. It would have been nice but-

Was the orchestra playing the Pony Pokey? That's not the type of music normally-

"That is it!" Rarity bellowed. She must have been furious if her yelling was reaching them all the way up here.

"Excuse me," Shining said as he slipped out of the line. He moved run toward the stairs. Numerous heavy thuds reached his ears. He had never heard anything like this before.

Reaching the main hall, Shining stopped, jaw hanging loose and eyes wide. Tables were overturned, food was everywhere, the main sculpture was shattered, pylons were toppled, and ponies everywhere were panicking.

Well, Shining Armor thought as he studied the disaster before him, at least it can't get any worse.

A loud banging echoed through the previously silent halls. Many of the ponies, Shining Armor included, looked around for the source.

The doors to the gardens burst open as numerous animals -- squirrels, rabbits, birds, and who knew what else -- came stampeding into the main hall. Behind them stood a deranged looking yellow pegasus with a pink mane and tail. If Shining Armor had not seen it himself, he would never have believed that Fluttershy of all ponies could like that.

"Get back here!" the normally mare bellowed. "You ARE GOING TO LOVE ME!"

Shining Armor continued to stare on as he tried to process all that he was seeing. What had happened? How did it happen? What would Princess Celestia have to say about The Grand Galloping Gala ending up like this?

He tensed as he suddenly felt a hoof touching his shoulder through his suit. Turning, he found himself eye to eye with Princess Celestia. What should he say? What should he do? What... was she smiling?

"Run," the princess said in her usual calm and gentle voice, as if this was something that was perfectly normal and she was not surprised in the slightest.

With a quick nod, Shining Armor turned and started running for the door. His horn lit up as he used his magic. Soon each of his five friends were surrounded by an orb of magic as they were levitated and quickly pulled after the rapidly fleeing unicorn.