• Published 27th Apr 2016
  • 11,737 Views, 422 Comments

A Growing Fire In My Heart - Rated Ponystar

A series of short chapters that show the growth of Ember and Spike's feelings as time goes on

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Chapter 3

When Spike arrived for his flying lessons, both dragons had been so overjoyed in seeing each other that the first thing they did was hug. This earned a few snickers from the other dragons, but one quick death glare from their Lord silenced them. The two friends spent their first day together catching up on things while also looking at the library under construction. Spike had also managed to bring some of the printed books that Ember had requested with more to come soon in the days to follow. Thankfully, Garble wasn’t there to mess things up as she had commanded him to go to the Badlands to provide back up in dealing with the monsters she promised her dragons would handle. A few battles would make his short attention span happy for awhile.

The next day, she began training Spike on how to fly like a dragon. Spike was amazed by how much of a difference there was between a pegasus and a dragon’s flight style. For light pegasi supported by their magic, it was all about speed, while for dragons covered in heavy scales, it was about strength. The power that went into each flap was what kept a dragon from going too high or low, and there was a lot of moments when Spike flew too high in his lift off or not enough. She helped him judge his strength by giving him weights and a very narrow cave with a low ceiling. If he could take off and stop himself from reaching the ceiling by inches, he would pass his first test.

“I think I got this-OW!” shouted Spike as his head hit the ceiling for the twentieth time. He fell back down, the weights he had increasing his descent as he landed with a loud thud. “If I ever go back in time... again... I swear... I will have a long discussion the pony who discovered the rule of gravity.” He moaned as he got up and rubbed his head.

“If it helps, you’ve shown a lot of improvement since your first try,” said Ember with a smile.

“You mean when I barely got off the ground and face planted? Yeah, big improvement,” muttered Spike as he rubbed his wings. “Well, at least this isn’t as bad as the time Rainbow Dash tried to teach me with the dizzatron.”

“What’s that?” asked Ember.

“Something that would make any dragon puke for an hour,” moaned Spike.

“Really? This sounds like something my kin would like to use to challenge each other in various ways.” She chuckled. “How about we take a break?” asked Ember, getting some waterskins and emeralds from her backpack. Spike took one and a few gems quickly before feasting on them and drinking half the water in one gulp.

“Ah, that feels so much better,” said Spike before letting out a tiny burp. “Oh, excuse me.”

Ember just smirked before gobbling her own emeralds and waterskin. A few seconds later, she unleashed a belch of her own that made the cave rumble.

“Woah,” said Spike, eyes widened.

“Heh, when you're raised by my dad, you pick up such things as habits,” said Ember as she sat down on a rock.

“What happened to your mom, if you don’t mind me asking?” asked Spike, sitting next to her.

“Don’t know, never met her,” said Ember as if it was no big deal. She grew a bit disturbed by the look Spike was giving her. “What?”

“H-how could you not know who your mother is?” asked Spike in disbelief. “Did she die?”

“I don’t know, my mother was just a mate for mating season. Not like it matters, she gave my egg to my dad and he raised me,” said Ember. She saw the confused and disturbed look she was getting from Spike and raised an eyebrow. “I take it you don’t know much about dragon mating?”

“Not really, no. I mean, aren’t they married?” asked Spike.

“What’s ‘married’? A pony thing?” asked Ember.

Spike sighed and shook his head. “Okay, when two ponies, griffons, minotaurs or whoever really like each other, they take vows to be husband and wife. Anyway, they vow to be together and love each other for the rest of their lives and have kids together.”

“Oh, you mean a life mate,” said Ember, eyes widened in understanding. “We kind of have that but it’s different. When mating season comes, dragons fight for a mate and if any hatchlings come out of it, the one who was the dominating partner during the mating gets to keep them; male or female.”

“The other has no say? That seems kinda sad,” said Spike with a frown. “Don’t you ever wonder who your mother is?”

“... once or twice,” admitted Ember with a sigh, “but it wouldn't matter now.” She looked at her scales and wondered if the color came from her mother or father’s line. Did she inherit her smarts as well? She shook her head, trying to forget such things. “Anyway, a life mate is like what you said, but a dragon swears to be that other dragon’s mate now and forever. They cannot mate with another dragon and they both raise their eggs together. They can never be apart even in death.”

“You make it sound like if one dies, the other has to die with them,” said Spike with a laugh. When Ember wasn’t laughing, his jaw dropped. “No way...”

“They eat a certain rock called Stibnite. The surviving spouse lives his or her life for one more week before eating it and dies, but the method is painless. After that they are buried beside their life mate,” answered Ember.

“But... why would they kill themselves? I mean, some spouses who lose their loved ones find another,” said Spike.

“Because the bonding ritual used for a life mate connects the souls of the two dragons,” answered Ember. “One can feel what the other feels, even hear what they think if the bond is strong. It’s magical, and to have it shattered upon death is like slowly dying anyway. It’s more merciful to die and join your loved one then live without them and feeling half dead.”

Spike was quiet as Ember ate the rest of her gems. She didn’t think he would be bothered by such a thing, but she had to remember that he was raised by ponies. The thought that you didn’t have to die when your life mate died was weird in her mind.

“I guess I can understand, but it sounds a bit scary,” said Spike, shivering.

“I guess to anybody not raised the dragon way it would be,” said Ember as she brushed the crumbs of the gems off her chest. “So shall we continue?”

Spike nodded and soon got back into position. While he continued to practice, Ember couldn’t help but think back to his earlier question about her mother. She would admit that there were times when she wanted to ask her dad about who her mother was, but she never bothered. Did it even matter at this point? She was the Dragon Lord now. Yet...

“I did it!” Ember broke out of her thoughts as she looked up and saw Spike floating inches below the ceiling. She smiled and clapped her hands. “Great job, Spike. Lesson one complete! We’ll start lesson two tomorrow.”

He glided down to her side and hugged her. Even though he was a little taller to the point where he could reach her chest, she still felt like she was hugging a hatching. Again she felt her cheeks blush, but she didn’t mind it so often. She liked these hugs, it made her feel special for some reason.

“Hey, Ember?” asked Spike as he broke the hug. “I think you really should consider knowing who your mother is.”

“Why? It’s not a big deal,” said Ember but this made Spike frown as he rubbed his arm.

“... because I’ve always wondered who mine was,” said Spike, admittedly.

Ember’s eyes widened as she remembered that Spike was never raised by dragon parents. Princess Twilight raised him after hatching him from an egg. She felt her heart crushed by this as she at least had her own father to have raise her. To have neither of your parents? That must have hurt.

“I’m sorry,” said Ember, looking down in shame. “I... guess I kinda acted a bit insensitive with my comments.”

“No, I’m not insulted. Twilight’s the one who raised me. I mean, I never call her ‘mom’ but she is like my guardian I guess,” said Spike with a small smile.

“Well, according to dragon tradition, since she hatched you that means she is your mother,” said Ember with a smile. Even with just their one meeting she could tell that Princess Twilight cared about Spike a great deal and visa versa. “You don’t know anything about your parents?”

“No, the only thing I know is that Princess Celestia’s guards found my egg in a smuggling operation,” said Spike, but this made Ember’s jaw dropped.

“You... you were stolen?!” shouted Ember as rage burned in her eyes. To steal a dragon egg was punishable by death in their lands, be it done by a dragon or not. Allowing your egg to be raised by a different dragon was fine provided it was with permission, and was practiced often if the mother or father believed their hatching would be better raised under a different parent. Sometimes it was even done as peace agreements between clans or if a dragon egg lost both their parents and another had to raise it. No dragon egg was to be left alone in their lands, it was almost a sacred law among all dragons.

However, outright stealing an egg was one of the worst crimes you can do as the eggs were more important than anything a dragon had in his or her horde. Dragons would burn the world for their young and make sure the thieves were melted to the bone.

Seeing her anger, Spike quickly put his claws up. “It was over two hundred years ago, Ember! The ponies who did this died in prison a long time ago!”

Ember took a deep breath and calmed down. “Sorry, but the idea that some greedy pony outright took you away from your mother and father just...” she closed her eyes and began to think. After careful debate, she opened her eyes and nodded. “I’ll find them.”

“W-who?” asked Spike.

“You’re parents. I’m going to find out who your parents are.”

Author's Note:

Yup, bringing in the Spike's Parents card early. I'm sure as Dragon Lord she could actually find information about them in the show as well.