• Published 31st May 2018
  • 1,883 Views, 61 Comments

A Dragon's Hoard - Amethyst_Dawn

A forbidden child is raised in the outskirts of Equestria.

  • ...

Fires and Motherhood

“Now then,” Rarity asserted, setting the hatchling firmly on a cushion in front of her. She placed a small dish of meat in front of it, assorted by animal to see which it would prefer. She levitated a small, blank tome and a rather large cup of steaming tea. “We have to find a name for you, little one. I can’t exactly call you ‘Dragon’, can I? That’s no name for my--” she paused, and closed her eyes with an irritated sigh. “For a critter to have, now is it? Let’s see what you eat first, hmm?”

She watched the creature carefully, adjusting a small pair of spectacles on her muzzle. It eyed the large plate in front of him hungrily, as well as the dish of foal formula Rarity had found that same morning. If she was going to take care of him, she needed to know what he ate. Did Dragons prefer lamb, beef, or bear? Silently, she hoped it was the bear, ‘Beef’ was not a name she could stomach even thinking about. And Lamb was more of a nickname anyways, a petty nickname like a mother would give her child. Nothing to assign to a Drake.

She was also slightly put off that she had to talk herself into putting both cooked and uncooked meat on her anniversary dishware, it being the only unscathed set she had at the moment. It would take a fair bit of scrubbing to remove the bloodstains, especially from the embedded jewels, but she could live with a couple ruined plates if need be. It’s not like a foal his age would try to bite anything that shone like metal, not until he grew his first set of teeth.

She was interrupted from her thoughts by a scraping crunch, and her eyes went wide when she realized she had been absently watching him try to rip one of the rubies from its golden setting without comprehending that he wasn’t eating any of the meat. She stared agape as he happily crunched on his little treat, a big smile on his face as his claws were proudly set on either side of the hole ripped in the tray.

Rarity took a long time to recover from the initial shock of the event, her eyes closing slowly as she took another deep breath. Gradually, she started to giggle, and cocked her head with a click of her tongue as she drew her quill to the first page of the booklet.

“So, you have teeth mere hours after hatching,” she laughed, glancing out of the corner of her eye as the Drake rolled onto his back, clutching what was left of the stone. “I am quite relieved that we discovered that before I tried breastfeeding.”

Rarity hobbled out of her front door for the first time in what felt like months, limping slightly from an ache in her ergot. The sunlight burned into her squinting vision, making her raise a foreleg to protect her eyes. The outside was only slightly more noisy than a library, with only the odd merchant roaming the streets. Rarity was almost thankful for the lack of attention when a voice startled her from the side.

“Whoa! You haven’t been out for a while, have you?” It called. A familiar, thin leg draped over Rarity’s shoulders as she placed a hoof over her heart, taking a moment to breathe.

“I suppose it has been a long week indoors for me,” Rarity conceded, “hasn’t it, Pinks?”

“Mhmm!” Pinks nodded enthusiastically, placing her hoof on top of her own head before hovering it above Rarity’s horn. “Golly, either you’re slouching or I’ve grown a couple inches!”

“Both, I imagine.” Rarity giggled, batting the younger mare’s leg away and stretching her back. “I haven’t been taking excellent care of myself lately, preoccupied with…work.” Her voice faded as glanced around the streets again, “... where has everypony gone?”

“What, she didn’t tell you?” Pinks tilted her head, causing her mane to bounce to one side. Rarity gave a confused glance back, wondering what her old friend was on about. Pinks’ gaze shifted, poor thing was clearly uncomfortable. “Applejack’s throwing a celebration for her daughter, Rares, I thought you of all mares would’ve noticed.”

“Her… what?” Rarity blinked, her perplexion growing even further. “Applejack doesn’t have a daughter, Pinks! She’s not even courting, let alone-... oh.” Rarity stopped herself once Pinks took a couple steps back, laughing nervously.

“Rarity…” Pinks swallowed “Applejack gave birth to her foal yesterday. It’s a filly.”

“Alright, now, say ‘one’!” Rarity chirped, holding up a small stone slate etched with a symbol. The dragon-child in front of her pursed his lips with a determined squint, deliberately flexing his lips into an ‘o’ pattern before weakly enunciating.


“Fantastic!” Rarity beamed, a familiar sense of pride rising up in her core. She clapped her hooves cheerfully, giggling at the Drake visibly swelling with confidence. She shuffled the tablet back in with the others, pausing when she heard the hatchling’s stomach gurgle. Almost on instinct, she spread the slates into a shield as a burst of green flame belched out of her student. He made an apologetic squeaking noise, and Rarity laughed.

“Look at that!” She boasted, puffing her chest out. “I’m learning, too!”

Rarity jerked forward, sitting up in her bed as her breath rushed out in panicked heaves. A chill ran across her body in spite of the thick blanket she had buried herself under, cold sweat soaking her sheets for the fifth night in a row. Her eyes scanned the room, everything was as it was when she left it. There was no fire, everything was fine.

She held a hoof to her chest, her heart racing so fast that it ached like an anvil had been tied to it. Deep breaths, in and out. No danger, Rarity. There was no danger. Her free hoof pawed around for the edge of the bed, but slipped off too soon for her to gain support. She fell to the floor with a cry of fear, the loud smack of her smashing against the floor echoing down the halls of her home.

Almost in an instant, a fierce stomping raced through the house, approaching with the speed of a hunter. Rarity’s eyes shot open, and by instinct her magic lit. Within a second, her longbow was before her, arrow nocked and aiming for the doorway as it burst open. In peered the massive head of a dragon, red as blood and trimmed with sapphire plates. It peered at her with hatred in its eyes, and opened its maw with a spark in its throat. Rarity loosed the arrow, and it stuck true into the beast’s uvula. Its mouth closed with a cry of fear, and its head receded like a massive python only to be replaced by a massive claw. Rarity knew she wouldn’t have time to fire another arrow, and the beast’s hide was too firm. She grabbed her knife in preparation to dismember the monster as soon as it ceased her, only for a finger to slap the blade into the wall. She opened her mouth to scream, only to feel the embrace of a foal.

Rarity closed her eyes as a searing pain ran through her head, opening them to see her bedroom. Intact as it had always been, save for a pattern of slashes in the wall beside her, and a shivering, crying drake-child clutched to her side. Her heart sank into her stomach, and her mind scrambled to make sense of whatever had just happened. She looked to the doorway, seeing an arrow lodged firmly into the opposite wall.

“Oh, Spike…” She choked, holding her charge closely and burying him in her embrace. “I’m so sorry… I’m so… so very sorry.”

She held him there for a long time, refusing to let him go again until he knew he was safe. Until they both knew that they were safe.

“Pick up those claws, Spike!” Rarity cheered enthusiastically, between paced breaths. She was jogging in place, working up a sweat as the small Drake tried his best to copy her movements, falling on his face for the fifth time that day as he awkwardly balanced on four legs. He made a chirping noise that was now starting to resemble speech.

“Tiewd,” he babbled, staying with his face buried in the floor. Rarity giggled, stopping her exercise and stretching down with a groan until her back popped. She scooped up the little guy with her hooves, spinning him around with a playful whoop until he joined her in the laughter. She carefully sat him on a large cushion, trotting off towards the kitchen.

“That’s enough for today, then!” She chirped, opening one of the cold cabinets and pulling out a hunk of meat. “I’ll fry up some bear for dinner while you get a nap in, sound good?”

She felt her heart glow as a happy squeak rang in her ears, and she quickly set to work. She paused for a second to sniff the air, before wrinkling her nose with a chuckle.

“... And after dinner, we need a bath.” Rarity winced as she heard the telltale thumps of a certain little dragon hitting the wood floor and racing away to hide. She smirked, and threw the meat on a skillet. “After dinner, you little skink! Get back here so I can teach you how to cook!”

“I’m home!” Rarity called as gently as she could, limping inside and rubbing her eyes sleepily. “Sorry it’s so late, but that Apple child was keeping poor Applejack from her work, someone needed to watch--” She was cut off from her apology, tripping over a warm body.

She prepared herself to shout at Opal for sleeping in the doorway again as soon as she turned, only to have her voice snag in her throat. Spike was stirring on the floor, a broom held firmly in his grasp. Rarity stared at the broom in confusion for a second before her eyes were drawn to a particularly large pile of dust and dirt on the floor. She blinked, and looked around her home. Her hoof raised to her chest as she beheld the house in a condition she hadn’t seen in years.

The floors were swept and mopped until they almost shone like polished concrete, the walls and shelves in her immediate vision meticulously dusted. Not a trace of mud by the door, aside from what she had just accidentally brought in. Everything was so carefully cleaned that she could only imagine what the rest of the house looked like.

“Oh, Spike…” She breathed, looking back to the sleeping Drake. A warm smile spread across her face as she gently lifted him with her magic. “What would I do without you?”

Rarity held the child in her forehooves, just as gently as she had when he first hatched. Her smile unrepressed and graceful as she hummed a soothing tune. Her magic held a small box filled with notes and sketches, setting it gently on the highest shelf . She had no idea what she was going to do to keep him hidden, but the hatchling’s peaceful expression as he slept filled her with content.

Slowly, Rarity lifted her voice as she cradled it, allowing old lyrics to flow freely from her lips for the first time in years.

Hey there, little one
I see thee, I see thine smile
Hey there, little one
I see thy heart and I’m beguiled

I see thine eyes so curious to see the world
Thine mind so wide with much to learn
Thine ears so open to a thousand thoughts
Thine youthful emotions yet to churn

I see thy little hooves waiting to walk
In a path fore’er borne to thee
I see thine jaws at work for to grow and spread
Thine wisdom gained for all to see

Thou art mine, son, dearest child of mine.
Thine blood is mine forevermore
And if pony or plight tries to bring thee pain
‘Tis but Hell I will bring to their door

Hey there, little one
I see thee, I see thine smile
Hey there, little one
I see thy heart, and I’m beguiled...

Rarity blinked, and behind her eyelids, she saw a little white foal barely old enough to eat solids cradled in her hooves. Their elegantly curly mane flowing around their head like a falling mist on a mountain peak. When she opened her eyes again, Rarity still saw her child.

Rarity glanced around nervously, hugging her cloak tightly against her in the chill winter wind. Timberwolves and Icetrotters howled in competitive songs, daring each other to fight under the fading daylight. She held a bundle tightly to her stomach, stepping towards the end of town. Her attention darted from building to building, each window aglow with warm fire and absent of peering eyes. Once she was close enough to the last houses, she raced along the path towards the woods, the swaddled hatchling mewling quietly at the cold.

She ducked her head against the frozen gusts, listening to the wind and thunder of the storm as she bolted for the shelter of the trees. The shape of the path was a constant memory, nearly unchanged for years. Every curve and twist was tucked into her mind, guiding her into the foliage without difficulty. She ducked through the first wall of shrubbery, gliding through branches and thistles with near silence. She emerged on the other side, only a little worse for wear as she carefully approached a lone lantern hanging from the side of a black tree. It flickered with an orange glow, lighting the entrance to a small thatched shelter.

Another rustling through the hedge caused her head to snap back, and she scanned the brush intently. Aside from nesting finches and the odd hare, no creature disrubed the branches. She let out a sigh of relief, letting her muscles relax.

“An interesting place to set up such a primitive arrangement, don’t you think?” Rarity’s blood ran cold as the voice spoke out from behind her. She turned her attention to the shelter, and was shocked to see a tall, orchid mare casually flipping through a journal. The mare looked past her spectacles at Rarity, a strange light in her eyes as she stepped out of the hovel. “No need to look so nervous, Rarity! I’ve heard a lot about you around town, the Lady who shot the town-killer!” The tone of the mare’s voice was high and jovial, but Rarity felt her heart beating out of her chest.

“I’ve heard of y-you, as well.” She swallowed, hugging the small dragon tighter against her belly with her magic. “Word was around that there was an assistant to the Queen in town, and I-”

“And your first instinct was to take your little pet, and run.” Twilight chuckled to herself, closing her book with a loud snap. Their eyes linked across the small clearing, not a sound to be heard behind the whistling winds, Rarity’s heart stopping altogether as it sank into her stomach. She lowered her head, and dropped her flanks onto the ground. Her forehooves wrapped around the child, holding him protectively as she started to cry.

Twilight watched the display, her expression unshifting. A small, mischievous smile decorating her face like a devilish jewel. She stared at the weeping mare for a long time, waiting patiently until the tears were nearly done, and Rarity looked up to her in concerned confusion. The silence prevailed until a third, smaller, terrified voice spoke up.

“Mom? What’s going on?”

Author's Note:

And the long-overdue update is here! Sorry it took so long to add to this, it's been weird and I hit a lot of roadblocks with this one, mostly due to my phenomenally limited experience as a parent. Still, I hope I captured it well enough! This chapter is an experiment of expanding the story during a drastic time skip, which is something I've never really done before.

As always, let me know any thoughts, comments, critiques or what-have-you below! I look forward to any and all feedback.

Until Next Time, God Bless You!
~Amethyst Dawn