• Published 12th Dec 2018
  • 1,155 Views, 30 Comments

The Mare in the Wardrobe - semillon



Pinkie Pie travels back in time to Griffonstone under King Grover's rule.

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Advisor

Tonight was do or die.

Grover stood in front of the looking glass, peering into his own reflection like it might give him an answer to his dilemma.

The house of Blackrock was divided into two. On one side, Lady Glenda fought to maintain her position as the family’s matriarch. She was never too kind to Grover, but she was twice his age, and wise. He could count on her to tell him when he was doing something she thought was wrong.

Supporting Glenda Blackrock at tonight’s feast would be a smart choice.

On the other side of affairs was Gilroy Blackrock -- one of his own allies, from before he had discovered the Idol of Boreas. Gilroy was vying for Glenda’s position, and had a decent amount of followers behind him. But he was outnumbered, and weaker. If it got to the point where a fight was necessary, he wouldn’t win. But he would never admit to that. He’d die first.

Giving Gilroy support would win him more allies, and the house of Blackrock would be an apt reward for Gilroy’s support through the years.

Not to mention, Gilroy was a vengeful griffon. He would be displeased with Grover for years to come.

His reign still wasn’t long enough for a coup to be unthinkable, after all.

Grover saw nothing in his reflection. No epiphany. No answer staring back at him. Just a tired griffon with a crown on his head.

He reached up and took his crown off, holding it to his chest as he stared at the blood-red jewel laid into its centre before he tossed it over to his bed.

Grover closed his eyes, and then suddenly heard words. Muffled ones. From the inside of his room. He turned, wings flaring slightly, but found no one behind him.

Then Pinkie Pie fell out of his wardrobe and onto her back.

“Hi!” she greeted him, making no move to get up from the floor. “How’s things?”

Grover blinked. “I was sure that I imagined you.”

“I used to have plenty of imaginary friends, but then they all had to move away to Manehattan. As far as I know, though, I think I’m real. I mean, if cake is real, and I can bake cake, then I’m real too, right? And if cake isn’t real, I guess I don’t really want to be real either.”

For a moment, he thought about helping the mare to her feet, but she stood on her own before he could do anything about it. He cleared his throat. “Is there a spell on my furniture? Is that how you keep entering my chambers?”

Pinkie put a hoof to her chin in thought. “I don’t think so. When I first came by I just appeared here, and then appeared in a lot of other places close by. If anything, the spell is on you!”

“But there can’t be,” he said. “I get scanned for hexes and the like by our resident unicorn every week.”

“You’re friends with ponies?” Pinkie asked. “I didn’t know that! That’s so great!”

“Allies,” corrected Grover. “With one. Now, what brings you here? If you are real and not some sort of stress-induced imagination.”

Pinkie shrugged. “I dunno! Wait, why’s it so warm? Is the castle on fire? Because I can help with that.”

Grover raised a brow. “Pony, last I saw you, it was in the dead of winter. The night of my coronation.”

She tilted her head. “...And?”

“Look out the balcony. It’s springtime in Griffonstone.”

A look of bewilderment came upon her, and it wasn’t until she hopped to the balcony and saw the world outside that it disappeared, and was replaced with an expression of awe.

From the height they were at, the balcony offered a view of Griffonstone that, when the sky was clear and the sun shone in just the right way (it was shining perfectly today), perfectly illuminated every inch of the city, bathing it in a magnificent light.

The houses looked new, well-furnished and charming. The paint on each one appeared to be fresh, and even from so high up one could see the glass windows sparkling. Outside of them, griffons walked on the ground, flew through the air, sat and talked. There was an atmosphere of pride that radiated from every little thing.

“It reminds me of Ponyville,” Pinkie said, her eyes never leaving the view.

“Is that where you hail from?” Grover asked as he approached. He sat beside her, watching curiously as she fell in love with his city.

“Mmhmm! That’s where my home is. And my friends. And my pet alligator, Gummy. He’s one of my friends, too. And that’s where I was before I came here. And -- oh!” Pinkie gasped, turning to him. “Did you say that you’re king now?”

“Yes.” Grover said.

“Oh, no...we totally missed the opportunity to have a party!”

“There was a celebration,” Grover informed her. “The night of my coronation. It was...lively.”

“But not fun?”

“A fight broke out, and I had to break it up by banishing one of my most influential allies out of Griffonstone.”

Pinkie furrowed her brows. “You’re right. That doesn’t sound very fun.”

“It wasn’t,” Grover said. He stood quiet for a moment, glancing back to Griffonstone as it sparkled in the sunlight. “In all honesty, the reason I haven’t thrown you out of my chambers yet is because I’m not completely sure you’re real.”

“But we’ve been over--“

“My mind hasn’t been right for a while now, Pinkie,” Grover sighed.

He lapsed back into quiet, frowning as he looked down at his subjects. From far away, they appeared to be happy. But that was simply the distance, wasn’t it?

The air beside him shifted as Pinkie moved in closer.

“You wanna talk about it?” she asked delicately. Grover was surprised that she sound so controlled. Or quiet.

“I don’t talk,” he said. “I simply think, and act.”

He turned to see her recoil in confusion.

“But there’s no stage around.”

A laugh slipped out of him. A smile came to his face. “I’ll give you this, pony--“

“Pinkie!” she corrected him quickly.

“Pinkie,” he said again. “I apologize. If I am imagining you, then I’m much more capable of humor and mirth than I originally thought.”

She smiled back, and looked towards Griffonstone again. “Everything’s so shiny and pretty here! It’s nothing like my Griffonstone.”

Grover tilted his head. “Your--“

“I mean!” Pinkie interrupted, sitting straight for a second as she seemed to remember something. “You know. I know a city that looks a whole lot like Griffonstone, and has griffons in it, but, it’s nothing like this.”

“Another griffon city?” Grover asked.

“Yeah!” Pinkie nodded. “But it’s -- it’s not near here. It’s from far, far away. Like, imagine the distance from here to Klugetown, but times it by a million.”

“I see.”

Suddenly, Pinkie’s tail twitched twice, and she turned around, focusing in on something on top of Grover’s bed. He followed her off of the balcony and back into the room as she walked to his mattress and plucked his crown off of it.

She examined it for a moment. Grover felt this was an apt time to talk.

“The forgemaster made it with bars of gold donated to me by each of the great houses. The jewel--“

“Is magic?” Pinkie asked hurriedly. “It’s magic, right? How does it work?”

“N-No,” Grover said with a shake of his head. “At least, if there is any magic imbued within, I’m not aware of it.”

“Wait, what?” Pinkie nearly screeched. She turned to him, shocked. “Really? Then -- wait, what? Really?”

Grover shook his head once more. “You’ve heard that my crown has magic?”

Pinkie stepped closer to him. “Uh-huh! I heard that you used its magic to unite the Griffon kingdom and bring happiness to the land!”

For the second time that day, Pinkie made Grover laugh.

“What united my people,” he said, his smile dropping into a hard, bitter line. “Was the promise of gold. When the heads of our great houses laid eyes on the Idol of Borreas, and they saw what griffonkind was capable of seeking and capturing together, they promised to stop murdering one another.”

Pinkie blinked, confused by his tone. “That...that sounds good! Is it not?”

“They never explicitly promised to stop fighting,” said Grover. “It seemed to be implied, but I suppose that aggression is in our nature. I sit on my throne, and I choose who wins their duels, and I give hints of my favor towards certain lords and ladies whom I want to join me as my allies, and I hear problems upon problems upon problems. That crown doesn’t have magic, Pinkie Pie. It’s merely a burden. One that I have to bear.”

Pinkie’s legs wrapped around him. She pulled him close and squeezed. She felt warm against his chest. And squishy.

After several moments, she pulled away and smiled. “There! Better?”

Grover tilted his head. “Why would that have made me feel better?”

It seemed as if that question had broken the pony. She stared up at him, focused and in another world at the same time. “Hugs don’t make you feel better?”

“N-No,” Grover reluctantly said. There was something happening behind those big, bright blue eyes.

Pinkie approached him, putting both hooves on his shoulder, looking at him straight in the eyes. “We need to have a party. Stat. Berightback!”

Grover blinked, and she had disappeared from his view until he turned to see a pink blur dash for the front door. Panic set into him instantly. What would his advisors say? His guards? That he was keeping a pony courtesan in his room? That he was plotting with Equestria to bring Griffonstone to ruin? He flared his wings, readying himself to shoot towards Pinkie and grab her before she left the room, but as soon as she touched the door, she glowed purple and was teleported to the opposite end of the room.

Her momentum kept, and her legs kept moving until she ran into his bed, flopping into the mattress with a dull thump.

Pinkie lifted her head up. “That was weird.”

She eyed the door, and leap towards it without any wind-up, managing to get close enough so her hooves could just barely graze the wood--

Before glowing purple yet again and blinking back to the bed.

“That was weirder,” she said, scratching her head.

“You are confined to this room?” Grover asked.

“I don’t know,” she squinted at nothing in particular before standing up. She turned to him with a grin. “Let’s find out!”

Grover scarcely had time to answer before she launched herself out of the room and to the railing of the balcony. Pinkie shot him a playful look over her shoulder as her hair blew in a springtime breeze, and like she was stepping into a warm bath, she stood up on the railing and stepped into the air, floating impossibly for a second before dropping down and out of his view.

“Pinkie Pie!” Grover yelled. He was over the railing faster than he could think, looking down and scanning frantically for the mare so he knew exactly where to fly and catch her, but he couldn’t see anything.

“Yes?”

Grover yelped in surprise, spinning backwards but falling off of the balcony in his haste.

He tumbled through the air for a few seconds before he spread his wings and forced them to stay completely straight, eventually settling into a lazy glide as he righted himself and flew back up to his room.

Pinkie Pie was waiting patiently for him on his bed when he arrived.

“Looks like I’m supposed to stay here!” she said cheerfully.

“Yes,” he panted. “I can see that.”

The door to his room opened. In came a guard.

“Sire?” he called, looking around frantically before noticing Pinkie. A look of surprise came upon his face. “A pony?”

“So you aren’t imaginary,” Grover said. A warmth rose in his chest. He recognized it as excitement.

“Sire--“

“Out. Now,” he spat, looking at the guard and flaring his wings. “And tell no one of this lest I personally dash your head against the peak of Mount Griff.”

The guard left without another word, leaving him alone with Pinkie.

Grover stared at the mare, who stared back in turn.

“So, what are you?” he asked.

“I--“

He swiped at her neck, aiming to slit her throat. But she merely blinked purple and appeared a few feet beside him.

“What was that for?”

Grover turned to face her. “I apologize. I just...had to make sure.”

He mulled over his words, gathering his memories and observations. “I can’t hurt you. You cannot leave this room. You talk as if the last time you saw me was mere hours ago. You...” he paused. “You talk as if you’ve leaped through time. Somehow, with you, I cannot find that unbelievable.”

Pinkie merely smiled again, but differently that the other, many times she had smiled that day. She smiled gently, but discretely. There was a secret behind her smile. “I’m sorry. I promised something to somepony, and I can’t say if that’s true.”

Grover blinked. He had expected as much. “At the very least, you are not from here?”

Pinkie chewed her lip before shaking her head.

He nodded, and walked away, towards the mirror. He stood in front of his reflection, looking over his feathers and his form, finding signs of his youth but also of stress and of age that he didn’t possess.

He watched as a pony bounced over to him and stood at his side. There was something pleasing about how her pastel coat contrasted against his.

Pinkie wrapped a leg around his neck and stared into their reflections. “Are you having a staring contest with your reflection? Can I join? I used to do them all the time but then my reflection actually blinked back at me once and Gummy asked me not to do them anymore, so now I try not to stare at myself for more than an hour.”

Grover turned his head. “Look at me.”

She did. Her eyes were full of laughter and nothing else. Nothing that could hurt him.

“You aren’t a spy.”

She shook her head.

“Or an assassin.”

She snorted like he had said a funny joke.

“You’re simply a pony,” Grover observed. “And you have, somehow, magically wandered into my room, and you cannot leave it even if you tried save for when you’re magically taken out.”

“Yep!”

“Hit me,” Grover said.

“What?”

“Please attempt to hit me.”

“Why would I do that?” Pinkie asked, backing away.

“Please,” Grover begged. “Just try.”

Pinkie looked away, biting her lip. “I’m not sure I want to play this game.”

“Pinkie Pie,” he said. She looked back at him. “I promise you won’t hurt me. I just need to make sure. Again.”

The pony began to say something -- but instead shut her eyes tight and attempted to strike at his face.

Grover forced himself to stay still, and before the hoof reached him, she was teleported away, back on top of the bed.

The warmth returned to his chest. He allowed himself to embrace it, and approached Pinkie with a gentle grin.

“As I thought. You couldn’t hurt me even if you tried. Which you barely did, by the way. I saw how slow you were going.”

“I’d never want to hurt you!” Pinkie protested.

“And, strangely enough, I believe you. This will be sufficient.”

He stopped just shy of the bed, gesturing for Pinkie to take a seat before offering her his claw. “I will not lie, Pinkie Pie. Laying my sorrows unto you was a...relaxing experience. This may result in my death or the end of my reign, but I would like to do it again. Would you become my advisor?”

Pinkie stared wide-eyed at his claw before shaking it vigorously with both hooves, beaming at him with the light of two suns. “Of course I’ll be your friend!”

“Advisor,” he corrected with a chuckle.

“Same thing!”

“If you would like to believe that.”

“I would!”

“Then I’ll accept that label.”

“Yay!” she cheered, dashing off of the bed and hugging him from the side.

Grover wrapped a wing around her, cordially embracing her like he would his mother. Or a consort.

“What now?” Pinkie asked, pulling away.

“Well, I would value your listening skills,” he said.

“I can listen!”

“Good. You may want to take a seat again.”

As he explained the situation with Glenda and Gilroy Blackrock, the light in the room slowly changed, growing dimmer and more orange as the sun ambled down from its zenith. Pinkie Pie, surprisingly, was telling the truth. She sat, and she listened like she were a student in class, making no interjections or quips as Grover revealed to her one of the most delicate political situations of his reign so far.

“--and that is why I’m considering cancelling the dinner tonight on account of illness,” Grover said at the tail end of his explanation.

Pinkie took the opportunity to say her first words in a long while. “But that wouldn’t solve anything!”

“It would give me more time.”

“But there’s a super duper easy way to fix all of this, silly griffy!”

“I doubt that, but say your piece.”

“You could just have them share!” suggested Pinkie, throwing her legs up.

Grover shook his head. “Griffons do not share. It pains us to.”

“Well, if they don’t want to, all you have to do is--“

“Then whoever is unhappy with my decision can resign their claim on the house’s leadership, and then I’d receive partially less blame,” Grover said, ideas running wild through his mind. “Pinkie Pie, you’re a genius.”

“I was gonna say that we could just teach them...”

“And am I to assume you have a legendary power of persuasion?”

“Yeah!” Pinkie winked at him. “I can sing a great song when I need to. Or want to. Any time, really, even when I’m super sad.”

“I have no doubt you can,” Grover smiled, bittersweet. “But still, it appears that you cannot leave this room.”

“Then both sides could have an apple pie war! That’s how me and my friends got the Appaloosans to stop fighting back in the day,” she suggested. “Wow, ‘back in the day,’ that was almost nine years ago, now!”

“So, a duel?” Grover said, considering the idea. “I thought about that initially, but Lady Blackrock is temporarily in poor physical condition after an attempted poisoning some months ago. It wouldn’t be a fair fight.”

Pinkie exhaled, and for a second Grover had thought her defeated, but as soon as her posture slouched it shot back up again. “Grovie--“

“Don’t call me that, please.”

“You keep talking like everything’s been told to you, but you never say anything like ‘Glenda says,’ or ‘Gilroy said to me after we had a cake to talk everything out.’ “

Grover flapped his feathers idly, straightening them out. “Talk? To them? You are correct. I only know what my informants tell me. To ask Gilroy to stop directly...” he snorted. “What good would that do? I must look at this objectively.”

Pinkie’s jaw dropped.

“You--“ she stopped herself, and instead began to chortle. “You have to talk to your friends, silly! It’s like, rule number--“

Purple light engulfed her entirely, muffling her next words in an ethereal tone that grew louder and louder, filling the room with its sound until it, and the light, and Pinkie Pie disappeared.

Grover snorted, looking around him sullenly, hoping for the slightest chance that she had stayed, but found no signs of her.

“Damn it,” he muttered.

Talk to Gilroy. Really. What a ridiculous notion.

He walked to his mirror, and stared into his troubled frown.

Ridiculous.

What kind of a King needed to talk to his subjects?

Insane.

His mind turned blank for a moment.

Then he sighed.

He had to find his crown.

Comments ( 15 )

I'm liking this more and more...

Insane? Perhaps.

You’re king of all griffons, Grover, a burden that will surely kill you and yet you bear it willingly. The canvas is already painted; what’s one more stroke of madness on top?

oh man I like this story and the interactions between pinkie pie and grover

“Wow, ‘back in the day,’ that was almost nine years ago, now!”

Or more accurately, away however many years between here and now with Grover and Pinkie's present...minus nine. :rainbowlaugh:

I wonder if the reason Pinkie's getting thrown back into the past like this is so to maintain a chain of events...you know, Novikov self-consistency principle and all that...:rainbowhuh:

s1

“There was a celebration,” Grover informed her. “The night of my coronation. It was...lively.”

“But not fun?”

“A fight broke out, and I had to break it up by banishing one of my most influential allies out of Griffonstone.”

I imagined it being something like this:
derpicdn.net/img/view/2013/3/2/260093.png

When pinkie mentioned singing I kid of imagined that I’d the reasons giggind banned singing. Lol

Alright, I'm interested.

I'm interested in this story but, ah will read it lat'er.

More please

I’m enjoying the weirdness done seriously here. Keep it up!

I wonder if King Grover reincarnated into cheese sandwich

10731808

Somehow, I would not be surprised.

10220203

Ditto.

9359319

Besides, when the going gets weird, the weird turn professional.

9360228

…I think I’ve an idea where the whole ‘magic crown helped King Grover unite the griffons’ thing came from. Namely that it wasn’t the crown that helped him, at least not directly, but Pinkie Pie as sent back in time via the crown! So, technically the crown, but merely by a multi-century-long-delayed-at-minimum proxy.

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