• Published 8th Feb 2016
  • 13,506 Views, 200 Comments

Raven - SaintChoc

Anyone who has sought counsel from Princess Celestia has met Raven, her most faithful aide. She has been a veritable second shadow to the princess for as long as the castle staff can remember... longer than they can remember, in fact. Much longer.

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Part 1

Morning light poured through the stained glass windows of the Canterlot castle, brilliant streaks of color flowing across Raven's white coat. She adjusted her dark-rimmed glasses and red tie with her magic as she walked down the hall, careful not to spill any drops from the two teacups she held in the air at her side; not that she needed to give it even a second's thought by this point. Suspended on her other side was a collection of paperwork and a quill.

She arrived at the door to the throne room, and after a habitual check that her dark auburn hairbun was set correctly, she entered. Far at the other end sat the two royal sisters, as well as Twilight Sparkle, chatting away in front of the throne. Raven began the long walk down the rich red carpet, past countless stained glass visages of ages past.

As she neared the three princesses, she sent out one teacup, saucer included, to Luna. "Your silver needle tea," she spoke, her tone professional. She turned to Celestia and moved the other cup towards her. "Your Keemun tea. And here is the morning's paperwork to review."

"Thank you, Raven," Celestia said with a smile, the magic surrounding the tea and paperwork turning from soft red to a light gold as she accepted it. Luna did the same, giving Raven her own warm smile.

Raven turned to Twilight. "It is good to see you here, Twilight. I apologize; if I had known you were coming, I would have prepared the Earl Grey."

Twilight laughed. "You remembered! That's perfectly alright, Raven. But thank you!"

Luna peered over at Celestia's cup. "It has been a while since I've sampled a good dark tea. May I have a taste?"

"Your bedtime is in ten minutes, young lady," said Raven with a soft smirk. "No caffeine for you. Drink your tea."

Celestia and Luna laughed. Twilight was surprised, but laughed as well. "The true power behind the throne! I had no idea," she joked.

"Yes, you haven't spent much time with Raven, have you, Twilight?" Celestia said. "Just as you have been my most faithful student, she has been my most faithful aide."

Twilight nodded. "I can believe it." She turned to Raven. "I… can't actually remember a time when I knew Celestia and didn't see you around. You just—" she searched her mind for the words. "—blend in so well. Um, I hope that doesn't sound—"

Raven chuckled. "That's perfectly alright. Such is my duty, after all. I am there only when I am needed."

"And I have needed her many times," said Celestia, almost too quiet for anyone else to hear. Twilight raised an eyebrow slightly, but said nothing.

Luna frowned at Raven. "Hmm. Are you tired, Raven? You look…"

Raven shook her head softly. "No, I feel alright. Why?"

"...It is nothing. Do not mind me. It is I who needs to get some sleep, after all." Luna smiled, and finished off the last of her tea. Raven accepted the empty cup. "Thank you, Raven." Luna began to make her way down the throne room.

Raven nodded, and turned to Celestia, who had hardly touched her tea, looking over the paperwork. "I will return shortly."

"Thank you," Celestia replied. Twilight watched as Raven carried the empty teacup away, headed for the kitchen.

"...I've hardly noticed her before, but… I'm getting the feeling there's a lot I don't know about her," Twilight said.

Celestia smiled softly, eyes still on her paperwork. She said nothing.

Raven exited the throne room and headed to the kitchen, her pace unerringly steady. Upon arrival, she placed the cup and saucer in the sink, then paused.

She walked into the connected staff restroom and closed the door. She inspected herself in the mirror, noting that, indeed, slight bags had developed under her eyes, despite having had a perfectly good sleep the night before.

Something else caught her eye. With some effort, she plucked a hair off of the front of her head and inspected it. The root had turned grey.

She nodded somberly, the slightest of smiles on her face. "Hm."

Raven stared at the hair a moment longer, rotating it slowly. The light from her magic reflected off the mirror in front of her, tinting the bathroom a soft red.

She tucked it inside her collar and began to walk back to the throne room. She passed Twilight in the hall. "Leaving already, Twilight?"

"Yep! There's a trio of fillies I have to get back in time to meet." Twilight grinned.

Raven nodded. "Take care." She turned into the throne room, seeing Celestia sitting alone at her throne, on the last of the morning paperwork. Her tea was done.

Celestia signed the last form, then turned towards the approaching Raven. "I had just been considering recently that Manehattan could use a new elementary school. I'm glad they came to the same conclusion."

Raven stopped in front of the empty teacup. Her horn glowed softly as she ran her magic over the grey hair, still hidden in her collar.

"...Have I mentioned, Princess, how honored I have been to be your aide?" Raven said. She stared into the empty cup.

Celestia's expression grew serious. "You do not need to. It has been evident with every action you take." She was lost in thought for a moment. "It is I who should be honored, Raven. I know that I did not make the years easy."

Raven shook her head. "I was always taught that there is no greater satisfaction to be had than a task well-completed, and I was proud to have such an important one under my responsibility. I would not have changed a thing."

"Surely this position cannot be summed up as just one task," Celestia said, laughing softly. When she received no response, she cocked her head. "...Are you thinking of retiring from my service? I would be quite sad to see you go, but you have more than earned it."

"No. As I've said before, I will be with you as long as I am able."

Celestia nodded. "Is there anything I can do?"

Raven said nothing for a moment, her magic still washing over the hair. Finally, the light faded from Raven's horn, and she met Celestia's eyes.

She smiled. "Just... don't blink."