• Published 26th Sep 2015
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Can You Find it in Your Heart? - Ravenmane



As broken as he is. As unforgivable as he acted. Could anyone find it in their heart to care for a tyrant such as King Sombra?

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9 - What He Fears Most in Equestria

Much to both Pinkie and Sombra’s displeasure, no pony seemed to want to or care to show any sign of friendship towards him. “Perhaps I should evade the name and reputation,” he suggested to the pink mare.

“But your name is important,” she quickly replied. “Try not using that reputation you’ve got on the next pony. How about,” she waved her hoof around, quickly moving it away from the path leading to Sweet Apple Acres, and irritatingly stopping in front of a nearby building. “Ok, try there.”

Sombra followed her hoof, and looked to the large building of pink, purple, blue, and white. “Are you sure? What is this place?”

“I think it might be better to be nice and don’t say anything about the name. Rarity might be better than most ponies if you wanna find an easier one of Twilight’s friends. If you’re lucky she won’t even be in and her sister will answer it. Sweetie Belle’s super easy going and less dramatic than Rarity. If Rarity does answer then try to use that princely charm. I mean there’s no way she’ll resist it.”

“But it looks as though somepony boarded up a carousel and called it a home.”

“That’s exactly what I mean. No comments like that and use that princely charm. Remember, you’re a pony of refined tastes. I mean, no telling her you’re a prince. She’ll ask lots of questions if you do so keep to the refined pony.”

“Any other ideas then Pinkie?”

“I really like your ‘no magic’ thing so keep that up too. Be polite and make sure you don’t tell her about who you are and where you’re from. She’ll try to get you to tell her but don’t. To her, you’re La – um Lama – help me out here.”

“Lamentius?”

“Yes. That. You’re Lamentius and, if you can’t keep it secret tell her you’re from Canterlot.”

Sombra blinked. “Is that the name of the castle on yonder mountain?”

“Yes, but don’t tell her anything specific. She’s popular with some ponies up there so keep it vague. Um, say that you’re eager to see what her new designs are.”

“Alright,” Sombra said with a brief nod. “Where will you be so I can report?”

“I have to go to work now so you’ll be on your own for the rest of today. I’ll be back home late because I have a party to manage so wait for me to get back before coming in. Don’t lurk around my house later though, especially at night, no need to make anypony think you’re a stalker or thief or something. Keep up the no magic thing.”

Sombra nodded and the two parted ways. He felt like he was on eggshells as soon as he began to head towards the boutique.

*****

Sombra found his courage as soon as he stood before the purple door. As he raised his hoof to knock, the door opened to reveal the very unicorn he saw yesterday as he hid in the spa.

“Can I help you,” asked the mare quickly.

Charm you idiot, he thought, use that thing that stole a princess’ heart. “I’d be quite beside myself if I came all this way and not speak of your new designs Miss Rarity. May I?” Sombra offered her a pleasant smile and his best attempt to return to the posture he once held.

Rarity’s eyelashes fluttered as she stared at him. “Oh while I’d love to, I’m afraid I must be going.”

“I also wish to thank you for your generosity yesterday,” Sombra added.

Much to Sombra’s surprise the white unicorn smiled and backed up. “Please do come in. I suppose my friends will understand if I run a little late. I never did catch your name.”

“That would be my fault Miss Rarity,” Sombra replied pleasantly. “My name is Lamentius.”

Rarity led him deeper into her boutique. “And where are you from Lamentius?”

“I am from Canterlot, though it pains me so to have yet to meet you. Your work and name are all I’ve known so I’m quite to finally meet the beauty who’s brilliance has taken the city by storm.”

Rarity blushed as his compliments continued. “Did you hear of the incident at my new branch?”

“I’m afraid not, I’ve been out of Canterlot for a while. Surely you were able to get things back in order.”

“Naturally dear Lamentius. I’m afraid many of my designs are for mares this season, but never fear, I have something for the elegant stallion on the go.”

~~~~~

Pinkie found her shift at Sugarcube Corner somewhat boring for once in her life. Thoughts of Sombra’s ability to charm his way into another pony’s good side occupied much of her downtime. At least, until she found herself before one of her many friends, one bearing a very upset expression: Twilight Sparkle.

“Where is he Pinkie,” the alicorn asked curtly.

“Where is who,” Pinkie replied with a cheerful grin.

“Where is King Sombra?”

“What makes you think King Sombra of all ponies would be in Ponyville?”

“According to Discord, he’s here and you know what he’s up to.”

Pinkie made a quick mental note to handle the ‘traitor’ in due time. “Don’t you think Discord could be lying to you?”

“I have reason to believe him this time so where is he? He isn’t behind the counter is he? What about in the kitchen? Perhaps hiding in your house?”

“Twilight, he’s trying to be nice, can’t you give him a chance? I mean it’s like everypony isn’t even trying and he’s even admitting he’s been evil. One pony even threw rocks at him today. It also took us forever to get the tomato out of his coat from another pony who yelled at him and said they never wanna see him again.”

“For good reason,” shouted Twilight. She quickly cleared her throat and calmed down. “I know your heart is in the right place but keeping an evil pony around is just asking for trouble.”

“And letting Discord do what he wants isn’t?”

“He actually shows signs of reformation, but Sombra? I don’t think there’s any going back from what he’s done.”

“Well I think he can change. He sounds like he want to change too.” Pinkie frowned. “Nopony is giving him a chance to show it and I just asked him to lie to Rarity a little while ago. I mean, he needs a friend other than me, even if they don’t know who he really is. A friend is something he really needs and his history with Princess Celestia isn’t helping anypony.”

Twilight had turned to leave, ready to head to Carousel Boutique, but she turned to look at Pinkie with concern. “What is his history with Princess Celestia?”

“Well, I don’t know all the details but he let it slip that they were in love long ago. At least they were to some kinda degree. Well, that and something caused them to drift apart but he didn’t say what it was. Also, that he wasn’t all there when he got loose, aware but stuck in ice.”

“That would make sense, but the Crystal Heart was locked away. Did he say why he did that?”

Pinkie shook her head. “He didn’t wanna talk a lot about the past and I don’t think it’s going to make a good impression to bring it up right away. I told him a little about you an–”

“He’s afraid of alicorns isn’t he? It makes sense if Princes Celestia and Princess Luna beat him. Was he afraid of the castle?”

Pinkie nodded. “He wanted to avoid going near it as much as possible so it makes sense. He said that a castle meant an alicorn lived here. I bet you’d scare him senseless if he was here back before Tirek.”

“I don’t think he’d be the only one.”

~~~~~

Sombra set his cup of tea down on its coaster. “Rarity, my dear, is that normal?” He tried to point towards her flank as politely as he could.

She followed his hinting and looked at the movement of her cutiemark. “I’m afraid I need to go Lamentius.”

“Do you mind if I clean things up? I don’t want to be a bad guest but–”

“No, no, I’ll take care of it when I get back.”

“Please, I can tell you’re in a hurry and I have little to do today.”

“Well,” Rarity rubbed her chin, “I suppose if you don’t mind housesitting until my sister comes home.”

Sombra looked at her with an alarmed expression. “You would trust me so easily? What if I were here merely to charm you then rob you blind?”

“Lamentius, charming as you are, I trust you to stay here and watch my home until my sister comes home. Now please, I do have something to attend to.”

As soon as Sombra heard the door close and lock, leaving him alone in the boutique, he smiled broadly. “She trusts me,” he said to the emptiness.

At least until she knows the truth, harped the voice in his head.

“Shut up,” Sombra hissed as he began to clean up after the small talk he enjoyed with the unicorn he now considered a friend. “Rarity trusts me, Pinkie has faith in me, yes I could ask for more but it will come in time. The difference between you and I is simple. I have found some peace and you remain a voice in my head that only fears this progress.”

As Sombra began to wash the dishes he and Rarity used, a knock on the door gave him pause.

“Rarity,” called a voice from the other side of the door. “Can we talk?”

Sombra idly flipped the lock’s latch with his magic, finding it far simpler to use when left alone. Magic invited ‘the voice’ but it was far easier to silence like this.

“It’s about your new guest,” called the voice after the door opened. “You need to know it’s King Sombra and… Rarity? Are you here?”

“To whom may I ask is inquiring about my person,” called Sombra from the kitchen.

“Somepony who you might not enjoy seeing,” replied the voice as it grew closer to the former king.

“I’m busy highness,” he replied. “These dishes need to be cleaned and I’d rather not face you.”

Twilight waited in the doorway. “I can understand why. Can you answer a few questions for me?” Even watching the supposed tyrant cleaning dishes couldn’t deter the alicorn from seeking the truth.

“If I feel comfortable then I will.” Sombra squinted his eyes and rubbed a stain on one of the teacups harder. He smiled as it faded and he dried it carefully. “You understand why I wish to avoid some things do you not?”

“It still hurts to talk about some topics right?”

“I also suspect you will not trust what I have to say in regards to certain things. Perhaps my closeness to your mentor would leave you skeptical. I doubt you would believe other topics due to their fanciful nature. Perhaps who was once my mentor would make your skin crawl?”

“I doubt it would.”

“No, what Pinkie has told me makes me consider that such a topic would be one better suited for a later date. Perhaps one that would be in favor of speaking to you face-to-face.”

Even Princess Luna wasn’t like this, thought Twilight. “Why are you so content to speak with me like this?”

“I still remember the fury I saw in her eyes and I have no doubt I would see that expression upon your face regardless of your attempts to disprove this notion. I fear you, not because of who you are. Rather, I fear you because of what you are. A thought has come to me if you care to think of my musing as well.”

“Only if you answer one thing for me. Why did you hide the Crystal Heart?”

“Would you trust any with an ancient artifact such as the Heart? More importantly, could you trust yourself?”

Twilight was silent, whatever she expected to hear was lost. In her head it made sense, but hearing it so brazenly spoken by a pony ignoring her seemed improbable.

“I still wonder why the sisters did not confront me and instead sent others to contend with a foe they defeated easily before. Any thoughts?”

“Well, Princess Celestia wanted to test my magical abilities so naturally she sent me in her stead.”

“And so many other ponies in place of her sister? Can you be so sure that she thought more of you than her own abilities?”

Twilight’s eyes darted back and forth as her mind raced. “She couldn’t bear to see you again,” she hurriedly replied.

Sombra turned to look at her, a broad, toothy grin on his muzzle. “Exactly my dear princess. As unnerving as it would be for me, so too would it be for her.” Getting his point across managed to keep him composed enough to ignore the fact that he was looking at an alicorn.

~~~~~

Meanwhile in the castle…

“What in Equestria does this mean,” mused Rarity. Just moments ago she witnessed her cutiemark travel across the map to the Crystal Empire, only to return to Ponyville and turn black. “I should ask Twilight if she has any ideas…”