• Published 8th Feb 2016
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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 8

Raven stepped through the cracked entrance to the ancient castle's throne room, tattered banners hanging near shattered windows. Her eyes were drawn up to the damage to the roof, appearing as if a scythe had ripped through it, the sun's rays streaming through. "Goodness…" she breathed.

She stepped around the debris littering the ground, as well as what she knew must be the stone housing for the Elements of Harmony. She swallowed nervously as Celestia came into view, curled up between the twin thrones, facing away from Raven. Only one throne still stood.

As Raven's hoofbeats grew closer, Celestia's head snapped up. "What are thou—I made it clear to all that I desired to be alone."

"I-I know, but—" Raven babbled for a moment, then gritted her teeth and offered forward the cup magically floating at her side. "I… I made tea."

Celestia's expression softened some, her eyes red and worn. She accepted the tea and looked into the cup. Hesitantly, she took a small sip.

Raven walked closer to Celestia and sat a few feet away from her. "My… my mother spent her life gathering and tasting teas. 'Tis something of a hobby of mine now." She paused. "'Tis chamomile. My mother found it helped with… well, everything."

Celestia took another sip. Her expression didn't change, and she stared into the cup.

Raven tried to ignore her own racing pulse. "'Tis… about time to lower the sun. I believe the residents are beginning to grow concerned." In truth, it was quite overdue.

Celestia sighed deeply, closing her eyes. She nodded. "I shall. Soon."

They sat in silence. Celestia lowered the cup until it was on the ground.

"I do not think I have… accepted it yet." Celestia's eyes opened. "It does not seem real..."

Her gaze was far away. "...I can only imagine what shall happen on the morrow when I awaken and she is not there."

Raven thought for a moment. "Well, I shall be there, then. Every morrow that thou needest me. With fresh tea." She smiled softly. "I do not know what thou likest, but… I have many flavors to try."

Celestia's eyes met Raven's briefly, then returned to the tea. She made no movements.

Raven sat in place for a few more minutes, trying to control her burning question.

She closed her eyes, inwardly cursing herself. "Princess… I do not want to ask this question, but I… I must know." She swallowed. "How long… how long will she be…"

"...A millennium," Celestia answered. "It will be a thousand years before she returns."

Raven's mouth fell open, her eyes widening. She surreptitiously turned away, hoping Celestia wouldn't notice her reaction. "Th-thank thee, Princess." Her mind raced, and she tried to control her breathing.

Steam still rose off the chamomile tea as the princess and her aide sat alone amongst the wreckage of her golden throne