• Published 23rd Jun 2018
  • 4,902 Views, 185 Comments

Change: Avia - tom117z



Princess Avia is looking forwards to the Summer Sun Celebration in Ponyville, what could possibly go wrong with such a fun and active event?

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3 - Equestria

Everything was so pretty up here!

It was all so green and blue! With white fluffy clouds were scattered around their carriage as the royal entourage flew through the skies. Avia had faint recollections of all the beauty while visiting her pony grandparents in Canterlot that one time, it was all so different to the black and greens of the hive! And there was so much of it all!

Seriously, how did ponies not get lost all the time?

Avia was loving the view, and every building and distant Equestrians all around and far below. Seeing it all made her wings buzz in excitement, she just wanted to jump out and fly amongst it all!

Though opening the door mid-flight might have made her parents mad, so she reined the desire in as much as she could until they reached Ponyville.

And it wouldn’t be long now, or at least that’s what her mother was assuring her every so often. They had been travelling for quite a while, so it couldn’t be too far off now. And since they were on schedule, the Bearers of Harmony were likely to meet their friend and her family on arrival. From there, Avia would finally get to see the town she had heard so much about from her mother.

Better still? They were staying in a library! How cool was that?

“Mama, what’s the library called?” Avia asked, suddenly curious. “Is it the same one from your stories?”

“Golden Oaks? Yes, it is indeed,” Twilight confirmed with a smile. “The same library I lived in when I was a, ahem, ‘regular old unicorn’.”

“Wow… So, it’s like you’re going home again!”

“In a way, I guess,” Twilight responded. “Though it’s been a while since I lived there. Still, I have a lot of fond memories of that old library…”

“Minus the one with the teeth,” Façade quipped.

Twilight groaned. “Ugh, don’t remind me. Discord…”

“Huh?” Avia said questioningly, looking between her parents in confusion.

Right, Twilight hadn’t included that part in her story. “It doesn’t matter. Point is, it’ll be nice to stay there again. It’s been far too long.”

“And it was nice of the librarian to stay with her family for the celebration,” Façade added. “Giving us use of it.”

“Oh, well…” Avia began to respond. “Will we have time to look through the books there?”

Twilight chuckled. “Most likely, though I’d expect you’d want to spend most of our time there exploring and making friends. The town is host to its fair share of fillies and colts, you know.”

“Oh, I know!” she chirped. “But if I find something cool, I can show it to them! See? I got this!”

“I’m sure you have, Avia,” Twilight replied mirthfully. “Just try not to wear yourself out too much. Especially tomorrow, you don’t want to fall asleep before the ceremony, do you?”

Avia shook her head. “Nuh-uh.”

“Hm, I didn’t think so. So go easy, but otherwise try to have a good time. The Summer Sun Celebration hasn’t been held in Ponyville since the day I myself first set eyes on the town, so it’s a very special occasion.”

“I will! I mean, everyone is going to be there! Right?”

Twilight nodded, confirming her daughter’s assertion. “Yes, though I believe your Aunt Cadance and Uncle Shining Armor are going to be arriving tomorrow.”

“Oh, so they won’t be there when we are…?”

“I’m afraid not, Avia. Your grandparents should be there though.”

Avia brightened. “Awesome! I haven’t seen them in ages.”

“And I’m sure they’ve missed you,” Façade commented to his daughter, leaning over to give her a quick noogie, much to Avia’s indignation. “Hives know how much they love to spoil you.”

Avia stuck her tongue out. “That’s because they’re the best!”

“That is a grandparent’s job,” Twilight pointed out with a smirk. “I remember my grandmother, Velvet’s mother I mean. She always did overdo the birthday gifts for me and Shiny, rest her soul…”

“Touché,” Façade conceded. “I hope we packed enough space to bring back whatever they have in store this time

“I always take into account every variable,” Twilight said smugly. “Also, I’m sure the guards wouldn’t mind carrying some saddlebags.”

Façade laughed. “You are such a tyrant.”

Twilight snorted. “Oh pish, then you’re aiding and abetting. So there, we’re both guilty.”

“Oh, I’m well aware.”

“You’re doing the look again!” Avia moaned.

Both parents rolled their eyes, before breaking out into hearty chuckles as Avia pouted rather adorably, giving them a dismissive huff as she crossed her forehooves.

Of course, the filly’s dour mood was never to last. She quickly cheered up again as her mother began to recount some of the stories from her time in Ponyville, told down to each tiny perfected detail. Avia found particularly funny the tale of how Princess Celestia had provided two tickets to the Grand Galloping Gala and her mother had to choose which friends to provide them to, only for Celestia to provide the remaining tickets when approached about the issue.

She found her mother was a very silly ‘pony’ back then.

After that came a recounting of another of Avia’s favourites, where Twilight had tried to figure out Pinkie Pie’s… unusual abilities, of which her attempts were a complete and utter failure. The Changeling Queen had just concluded the story when the carriage began to descend from the sky, and Avia gave an excited gasp as she hopped up against the window and pressed her face against the class.

“We’re here!” came her muffled cry.

Sure enough, outside the window, the town of Ponyville was quickly coming into full view. It was as quaint as ever, if perhaps a bit larger from a few decades of new homes and general growth. Though the town was predictably far busier than usual with the advent of the Summer Sun Celebration, and the town was heavily decorated with all kinds of things that were undoubtedly the courtesy of the Element of Laughter. Banners, flags, and likely more than a few hidden party cannons. Many bore motifs of the sun and moon, and even a few tapestries that seemed more the work of Rarity had been hung around the town hall.

And of course, there was Golden Oaks Library, the great revived tree having also been decorated for the occasion.

And Twilight Sparkle was feeling a most profound sense of déjà vu.

One thing that had not been there thirty-two years ago upon landing, however, were the five mares emerging from the cluster of homes and businesses towards the landing site.

Twilight smiled as a jolt marked their landing back on the ground, the changeling guards pulling the carriage trotting to a halt while the others dropped down either side of them. They clattered to a halt, and the moment the guards opened up the door a small bubbly little filly pounced out into the sunlight. Avia took a moment to stretch her limbs and wings, getting some satisfying pops from her stiff joints, before straightening up and having a look around.

They had landed just outside of town, not too far from the local train station in fact. There were a few ponies, and even some other creatures, a short distance away who all stopped to see the landing of the royal changelings.

But while those people all kept a respectful distance, there was the group they’d seen during their descent who closed the remaining distance between them and the changelings. A group who, as Twilight emerged from the carriage with her husband, only made the Changeling Queen’s smile brighten all the more.

“Twiliiiiight!” an ecstatic pink mare with a cotton candy looking mane squealed, bouncing up to the queen as if she had all the energy in the world and giving her the deepest hug she could muster. “Where have you been you silly changeling?”

If it had been anyone else the guards might have been nervous by the sudden onslaught. But as it was, all drones had come to expect such shenanigans from the Bearer of Laughter that was Pinkie Pie.

“What are you talking about, I was on time!” Twilight light-heartedly protested, returning the hug.

Though the pink mare was then pried away in a light blue aura, Rarity giving her friend a disapproving ‘tisk’.

“Yes, darling. And do give them some space! Really now, she just landed.”

Pinkie giggled. “Actually, she was thirty-two seconds late to the time she said she’d be here! I’d think Twilight would be here on the dot! Unless she’s been replaced by a changeling! Wait, can changelings replace other changelings?”

Twilight shook her head, chuckling. “I guess I’m slipping in my old age.”

“Nonsense, you look positively fabulous,” Rarity assured the Queen, giving her a far gently embrace then their bright pink friend had. “Far more so than I, do you have any idea how much work it is to keep my mane from slipping into grey these days?”

“Ah, hooey, Rarity,” Applejack said with a snort. “Ain’t nothing wrong with a bit of grey. It shows a pony’s experience, is all!”

Now that Avia looked at the group, aside from Rarity they all did seem to have a grey hair to two beginning to crop up. But beyond that, they seemed as they always had for as long as the filly had known her aunts.

Even more so for her mother, who could never perceive her friends in any other way than she always had, grey hairs or no.

The best mares any Changeling Queen could hope to call her best friends.

The Queen greeted the rest of her friends, Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash, in much the same manner as she had Rarity. And after the quick embrace, the former of the two mares looked over towards the nearby nymph.

“Hi there, Avia,” Fluttershy said sweetly down to the filly, who gave her a beaming smile in return. “And to you, Façade.”

“Mrs Fluttershy,” Façade greeted in turn. “How’s the family?”

Fluttershy gave a small smile. “Well. They’re out at the market right now, gathering some supplies for the animals while we’re at the celebration.”

“All our families are hard at work getting ready for this thing,” Applejack added in. “I’d say the whole town is caught in the excitement.”

“You’re telling me, I’ve had the weather team keeping every single cloud exactly where we want them,” Rainbow Dash remarked. “Nothing like showing those young hotshots exactly how the Captain of the Wonderbolts does it!”

“You were one of them once, you know,” Applejack pointed out with a raised eyebrow.

“Yeah, but I was always awesome too!”

“Uh-huh…”

“Everything is going well then,” Twilight noted with a laugh.

“You know you can always count on us, Twi,” Rainbow Dash confirmed. “Your library is all set too, when you’re ready to head on up.”

“Book Cover made certain it was fit for a Queen,” Rarity said in praise of the said librarian. “And I can certainly appreciate the generous gesture of returning the old thing to you. At least for a couple days.”

“It was really nice of her,” Fluttershy supported.

“I’ll have to give her something in thanks,” Twilight mused. “I know she probably isn’t expecting anything, but that’s just all the more reason.”

“Are grandma and grandpa here?” Avia suddenly asked, hopping forwards a step and asking generally towards the group of mares.

“Why yes, they arrived this morning, dear,” Rarity said softly to the filly. “I’m sure you will run into them soon enough. And I know Sapphire also wants to meet you.”

Avia tilted her head. “Sapphire?”

“Sapphire is Rarity’s daughter, Avia,” Twilight informed her child.

“Oh! Apple Surprise and Awesome Blitz will probably want in on that meeting too!” Pinkie chirped in addition. “And we all know those three are glued to the hip, so it’ll probably happen all at once anyway!”

“Are… they my age?” Avia asked.

“More or less,” Twilight assured. “Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll all get along just fine.”

“And get into as much delicious chaos as their little club’s predecessors, no doubt,” a new voice mockingly said from behind the changeling, and all eyes turned around and up to the roof of the royal carriage.

Avia’s eyes widened as she saw what could only be described as a monster.

“GAH!” Avia shrieked, immediately hiding beneath the safety of her mother’s legs.

The creature rolled its eyes. “Your spawn is a charming little thing isn’t it, Sparkle Butt?”

“Discord…” Twilight deadpanned. “I wasn’t sure you were going to show.”

“As many a millennial has said: You Only Live Once,” Discord dismissed, and in a flash of light he moved from the top of the carriage to the middle of the group. “Besides, you all really need me if you want to make something like this actually fun.”

“Hey, I think I did a pretty good job!” Pinkie protested.

“In pony terms. But chaos always adds that... pizzazz that you ponies always miss out on with your wretched obsession with ‘harmony’,” he retorted. “And I get to hang with Fluttershy, so it’s a double win for me.”

“T-that’s Discord…?” Avia muttered, slowly poking her head from her safe spot. She’d known he was… odd. But nothing had really prepared her for the reality of it. “He’s really… um…”

“Handsome? Dashing?” Discord suggested, pulling a pose. Though he deflated a bit when Avia shook her head in denial. “Pfft. As I said, charming.”

“Now now, Discord. She’s just a filly,” Fluttershy gently chided. “He’s staying with us for the celebration.”

“But of course, where else would I stay?” Discord interjected. “With the Queen of Books?”

“Not on your life,” Twilight shot back. “I’m never letting you touch that library again!”

“Oh it wasn’t so bad, bonding and life advice was had all around,” Discord dismissed, before casting an eye of towards Avia. Literally, it detached and wandered over, only causing the filly to retreat further. “Speaking of…”

Avia yelped as she was engulphed by a bright flash, and the petrified nymph suddenly found herself directly in front of the Spirit of Chaos. A second flash overtook Discord himself, and a doctor’s coat formed around his body. He then leaned towards the filly, examining her as if she were a patient before summoning an otoscope and peering into her ear.

“Yes yes, much like her mother she definitely has books and nerd stuff affecting the brain,” Discord commented. “Oh, but a bit more of a fire than the plump purple horse I met all those years ago. Likely cause: being raised by changelings over the ponies. Heh, she’ll be a hoofful in her teenage years.”

“Discord!” Twilight shouted, snatching the otoscope and giving him a withering glare. “What are you doing?”

“Just making sure my investment is well taken care of,” Discord dismissed, sending his coat back into the aether.

“Your what?”

“Well, I did give you that push all those years ago. I’d say she owes her existence to me,” Discord said with a cocky grin.

Twilight blushed, her wings bristling as she began to get a little mad. “That’s- That’s not why Façade and I… Shut up!”

Discord gave a hearty chuckle, noting the Queen’s agitated state as well as the glares he was receiving from the guards. “Well, I see we’ve almost returned to the ‘threatening my life’ stage of things. So I’d better be off. Though I will be seeing you around, we’ve got this whole dumb celebration ahead of us after all! Ta ta!”

And then in another flash of bright white light, he was gone again.

Twilight’s eye twitched, while her husband coughed awkwardly into his hoof.

“Well, that’s one way to start things,” he commented.

“I can feel a migraine, and we’ve only been here for five minutes…” Twilight muttered, rubbing her temples. “Ugh, Fluttershy please tell me you’ll keep an eye on him?”

Fluttershy tittered behind a hoof. “You know he’s only playing around. But I will ask him to tone it down a little.”

Twilight sighed. “Alright, thank you.”

“My Queen, perhaps we should endeavour to reach the library, and unpack for the celebration,” one of the changelings in the escort suggested.

“Yes, I do think that would be best,” Twilight agreed, turning towards the guards. “Please, bring everything to the library. I will be along shortly with my friends.”

“Yes, Queen Twilight!” The guards all saluted at once, before loyally and professionally getting to work.

“I suppose we had better move ourselves, then,” Façade stated, before trotting over to his daughter. “Are you alright, sweetie?”

“I don’t like him, he’s mean,” Avia muttered. “And kinda scary.”

“Oh, don’t worry about him,” Fluttershy assured the filly as she walked up next to Façade. “I know he can be… overwhelming sometimes. But he’s just eccentric, he didn’t mean to scare you.”

“Oh… OK.”

“But if he does do anything to scare you, you come and tell us alright?” Façade asked of her. “Us or Fluttershy here, OK?”

Avia nodded. “Alright.”

“Once you get to know him, you’ll see he’s more of an eccentric, and even protective, uncle,” Fluttershy assured, before humming in thought. “At least he is to my foals…”

“Come on ya’ll,” Applejack said to the group, interrupting any further deliberation on the matter. “We still got some catching up to do, and we can walk and talk on our way to the library.”

“I agree, I have plenty of gossip to share,” Rarity concurred.

Twilight smiled again, her mood raising back up. “Alright then. Façade, would you take Avia?”

He nodded. “On it.”

He turned back to Avia, motioning for his daughter to hop up onto his back. She did so without question, wishing to be somewhere safe and comfortable after her… strange encounter with the Spirit of Chaos.

Once the filly was secured on his back, Façade made to trot back to the rest of the group. They then got underway, taking a more scenic route around Ponyville back to the library. This was probably both for Avia’s sake, so she could see some of the town, and to allow the Element Bearers time to properly catch up.

And as they progressed into the town, Avia was happy to put the meeting with the odd draconequus into the back of her mind. He still made the filly uneasy, but if the others vouched for him then she just had to brave up and get to know him!

Who knows? Maybe he would end up one of the many new friends Avia was hoping to make…