• Published 29th Mar 2019
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A Hearth's Warming Story; Limestone Daphne Pie Saves Hearth's Warming - Jay Watson

Twilight has invited her all her close friends and families to her castle for a big Hearth's Warming celebration

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Ode to My Family; No Need to Argue

“Starlight, darling!” Rarity exclaimed. “Where are you heading off to? We just got here.” She was momentarily surprised to have Starlight open the door just as she and her family got to the entrance.

“There isn’t any trouble, is there? I did want to introduce my family to you.” Fluttershy appeared from behind Rarity, fretting over Starlight’s apparent departure. Both girls had their families right behind them, all curious about who it was their daughters were speaking to. Starlight stepped back, allowing them to get inside and out of the falling snow.

“No, no. Nothing like that.” Starlight and her dad watched as eight more guests filed in through the doorway, covered in snow. Each of them shook of the fluffy whiteness, eager to get out of the cold and out of the damp jackets they wore.

“Oh, and whom might this handsome stallion be?” Rarity turned on the charm, never one to be without a quick compliment.

“Dad, these are my friends Rarity and Fluttershy, and,” Starlight looked behind them to the six other ponies unraveling themselves from their outside garb, “I guess these are their families.”

“Firelight Glimmer; a pleasure to meet my Starlight’s close friends.” He shook hooves with the two young mares, noting Rarity’s winsome manners and Fluttershy’s retiring demeanor.

“Allow me to introduce you to my father, mother and sister. Family, this is my friend Starlight Glimmer and her father.” Rarity stepped aside for her folks, getting her color-coordinated parka, hat and gloves off.

“Hondo Flanks; nice to meet you, Firelight.” Her dad was all smiles when meeting Starlight and Firelight.

“Cookie Crumbles; wonderful ta make your acquaintance. How ya doin’?” Cookie followed close on the hooves of her husband, glad to meet another party-goer. She was looking forward to impressing another pony with what she and her daughter had come up with, sure she had the best entrée for them to dine on.

“Hello!” Sweetie Belle chirped brightly, greeting Starlight’s dad for the first time with a wave and a big smile.

Firelight gave her a wide grin. “Very nice to meet you.”

“My darling baby sister, Sweetie Belle.” Rarity concluded her introductions while Fluttershy began with her family introductions.

“Mom, dad, this is my friend Starlight Glimmer and her dad, Firelight. Starlight, these are my parents and my brother Zephyr Breeze.”

Firelight went through the same motions again, shaking everypony’s hoof and trying to make sure to remember their names.

“August Shy; and this is my wife, June. We’re very glad to meet more of our daughter’s friends and their family members. We’ve been looking forward to this celebration for some weeks.” Fluttershy’s folks were very friendly when meeting the Glimmers for the first time.

“Likewise. I’ve had the opportunity to visit Cloudsdale and found it to be a most enjoyable place.” Firelight had taken Starlight’s mother there for their honeymoon, discovering the world of pegasus ponies to be unlike anything they’d seen before.

Zephyr Breeze slid right up next his parents, extending a hoof to greet both Firelight and Starlight for the first time.
“Zephyr Breeze’s the name, mane restoration and stylin’ is my game!” Zephyr’s glibness, cheesy grin and loosey-goosey deportment made Firelight and Starlight chuckle a little. He was such a stark contrast to his sister and parents. It was pretty clear to Starlight that Zephyr wasn’t the ‘demure and retiring’ type of personality like his sister.

“We don’t mean to greet and run, but I was planning on taking my dad over to the school to show him around before dinnertime.” Starlight gently pulled at her dad’s foreleg, urging him to cut the conversation short. There would be time for small talk at dinner and afterwards.

“That sounds like a marvelous idea, Starlight. Perhaps after dinner I should take my parents on a tour as well. I’ve never had the chance to.” Rarity, too, had not shown or told much to her parents about her time as a teacher at the School of Friendship.

From one of the side rooms off the main hallway came Spike, huffing and puffing his way over to where they stood. He hadn’t meant to be derelict in his appointed duty.

“Sorry! So sorry! I was caught up in a conversation with Twilight and her mom that I didn’t hear the door open.” Spike fumbled to get his clipboard upright and begin, once more, his prewritten greeting and introduction, this time with a bit more flair.

“Greetings and salutations! Happy Hearth’s Warming everypony! My name is Spike and I am your official Hearth’s Warming celebration host-dragon for the evening. We have a wonderful evening planned ahead so if everypony will follow me upstairs, we’ll get all of you situated in your rooms and the food to the kitchen for any preparation you might need.” The entourage followed after their maître d’ up the staircase.

“We’ll catch up with you folks in a little while.” Firelight again felt his daughter pulling at his foreleg, anxious to show him whatever it was inside the school. Finally, he and Starlight got out the door with her shutting it solidly behind them.
Starlight kept her dad engaged in small talk about the various students she’d helped as they walked over to the entryway, the school now vacant as the student body were home for the holiday.

“Wow! Now this really is something.” Firelight was mightily impressed with what he could see of the school’s architecture through the snow that covered parts of it. It was quite the engineering feat. The school had been constructed into the hillside with two cascading waterfalls on each side of the entryway, each now frozen over and giving the water a crystal-like solidity. He could almost imagine how lush and green this place must look in the springtime.

Starlight cast the correct counter-spell to undo the spell Twilight had cast on the school to keep it locked up and secure when not in use. Once inside, Starlight commanded the candles to light, bringing the entire school into view. Firelight’s eyes went wide in awe upon seeing the inside for the first time.

“Impressed?” Starlight saw how her dad’s mouth fell open as he looked about the entryway’s hall.

“Boy, am I ever!” He laughed a little in wonder, looking all around. Together they slowly strode down the grand hallways of the school. Firelight listened to her explain what the school was all about and stopped along the way at the various classrooms, pictures and artifacts that hung on the hallway walls, admiring them and commenting on the many different cultures and backgrounds where they were from, and the diverse student body it represented.

“I’m so proud of you, Starlight. You know your mother would be too.” Starlight blushed a little, happy he was seeing she had turned her life around and found a better path to follow.

They stopped at a hallway intersection, a stairwell with a small side hallway and a staircase leading to the second floor.
“One last thing to show you before we head back, dad.” Down the little hallway to a pair of double doors she led him, stopping to open the doors for them both.

“Wait, what’s this?” He paused at the doorway before going in, reading her name and title aloud with pride.

“Starlight Glimmer; Student Counselor.” Using his magic, Firelight took out a handy tissue from his coat pocket and gave the brass plaque a quick hot breath or two, then proceeded to buff the nameplate.

“Da-a-a-d!” She groaned, rolling her eyes.

“Oh, you’re not going to deny your Papa a bit of parental pride, are you? Frankly, whoever is doing your building maintenance isn’t keeping up. This plaque was covered with smudges.” He gave her a cheesy grin, seeing her plant a forehoof to her forehead.

Finally, Starlight got him to go inside the office with her. Firelight was not sure what he’d see. The entire school was so richly designed and adorned that surely his daughter’s office would be the same.

But instead he thought the difference rather striking. Her office was fairly unspectacular; very businesslike with all the trappings a pony would expect to find in a guidance counselor’s office. The books and scrolls neatly and orderly put away on shelves, a large comfortable couch for her office visitors to sit on, a simple pine wood desk and leather chair for herself and a large antique nautical floor globe of the world resting in an oak tripod stand. There were several display cases as well that contained various knick-knacks and interesting tchotchkes she’d collected along with some of the posters from her former bedroom now residing on the walls. Even her old guitar was here, resting in one corner, should a student have the urge to express themselves musically about what they were feeling.

One unique and very touching keepsake Firelight discovered was the very first kite he and Starlight had ever made together as a project when she was very young. Battered and tattered as it was and no longer able to be flown, she’d nonetheless hung onto it since her foalhood and now had the kite hanging from her ceiling along with a few of her newer flying creations.

“Well, what do you think?” Starlight asked, as her father hadn’t yet said anything. Silently, he took a few more steps around the room, looking at all the various items scattered around the office space that made up parts of his daughter’s personality. It all seemed very fitting and somehow very representational at the same time. Only one word really came to mind when summing up what Firelight observed. Balanced.

“It’s wonderful, sweetie. It’s got ‘you’ written all over it.” He gave it his nod of approval. They slipped off their coats, tossing them onto a nearby chair.

“You really have made a new life for yourself here in Ponyville. I couldn’t be any happier or prouder of you then I am right now.” He meant it with all his heart; his daughter had made a successful future from her troubled past and was on the high road to happiness and contentment.

“I’m really glad you feel that way, dad. It means a lot to me to show you I’ve turned myself around. I just don’t understand why you didn’t want to see all this and meet my friends.” She sat him down on the couch, wanting to talk seriously with him.

“I… I just didn’t want to embarrass you in front of your friends by being here.” Firelight didn’t really know how to explain himself, unsure how Starlight would react.

“What, you mean how you were bowing to Twilight earlier? That’s nothing.” She couldn’t think of what could possibly cause him to be so reluctant.

Hesitantly, Firelight withdrew from a vest pocket a small folded packet of paper. “The princess, your mentor, sent me a letter along with the invitation. In it she… she told me what happened between you and her.” Starlight looked down at the folded letter in his hoof and she pulled back slightly from him, cringing at what he might have been privy to. Her dad had mentioned during her first return home that he knew something about ‘how hard things were for her when she’d left home’. But she’d never really suspected to what extent.

“How… much did she tell you?” Starlight bit her lip and hoped for the best but feared the worst. Something in her gut told her she’d best be ready for the worst.

Firelight almost couldn’t look at her. “All of it,” he confessed. “About the village, the unmarking ceremony with that phony Staff of Sameness. Even…” Firelight trailed off, unsure if he should say more, now seeing his daughter’s growing unhappy expression.

“Even that, as insane as it sounded when I read it and even more now when I think about it, the whole escapade of you traveling through time with Twilight, seeing all those terrible future outcomes of Equestria and how you were about to destroy the world! Just hearing myself telling you this, I still cannot believe it actually happened!” He was as equally astonished by the power of her magical abilities as he was upset by her misuse and abuse of such power. It was the worst thing Starlight could’ve imagined. Her dad knew every horrible truth.

“Starlight, sweetie, I didn’t know what to think when I first read the letter.” Now it was Starlight who couldn’t look him in the face, feeling disgraced and ashamed that her father knew the depths of her troubled past. “After the fourth or fifth time reading it, all I could think of was; where did I let you down? How could I have failed teaching you right from wrong? Somehow I had missed the warning signs that my daughter was lost and needed me. I am so thankful the princess was there to help you when you needed it the most and I couldn’t be.” Firelight’s head hung low, feeling terrible for what his daughter had gone through alone.

“But the truth is, I…. I guess I did a pretty poor job as a parent of raising my daughter to be a good pony, so I didn’t want you to feel ashamed by having me here.”
It shattered Starlight’s heart to hear her dad shoulder the blame of what had happened on himself. She couldn’t let him do that.
“No, dad, no! Don’t do that! It wasn’t your fault!” She buried her face in his shoulder, his forelegs holding her close as she cried. Firelight held her, gently kissing the side of her head, wanting to let her know it was alright.

“It wasn’t your fault! It was me! I did all those awful things! I have to live with the knowledge of what I did to my friends! I’m the one who’s sorry! I let you down! I let mom down! I was a horrible daughter!” Starlight tearfully confessed. She had to finally get it all out. If this poison lingered in her heart any longer, it would forever taint any chance of her and her dad moving on.

“I was angry that Sunburst got his cutie mark before me! I was angry that he got to go to magic school and I didn’t! I was angry for being the last pony in school to get her cutie mark; angry at how the others teased me relentlessly for being blank-flank. And…” Starlight paused, now at the precipice of the darkest cliff in her heart, about to leap off into the blackness.
“And I was just… so angry at mom for leaving us like that! I hated her so much and for so long because of it!” It came crashing out of her, like a dam that had been building pressure and not allowed release for a long time. Firelight wept for her, hearing how long Starlight had hid her foalhood pain. He pulled her a little tighter in his embrace, choking back his tears.

“I’m so sorry, Starlight. I’m sorry for everything! If I could go back and fix any of that for you, I would in a heartbeat.” The two of them held onto eachother for dear life, finally expelling this long-held dead weight of anger, guilt and self-doubt from their hearts. After seemingly long minutes, Starlight finally drew back from his embrace, wanting to look at him.

“You might not believe this, but in spite of all these moons since and all the tremendous help Twilight and her friends have given me, I still feel like I’ve lived through the worst kind of self-inflicted tragedy. I have to look at myself in that mirror over my dresser every day and tell myself it’s in the past; that it doesn’t rule my future.”

“But it’s something that’s haunting; it’s something that’s always on my mind. Even being a counselor here at the school and helping the students or Twilight with the various activities when I can, it’s always in the back of my mind. It’s the last thing I think of when I go to bed at night and it’s the first thing I think of when I get up in the morning. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be that way for the rest of my life.”

“I only wish you didn’t have to. I always knew how much the loss of your mother hurt but never knew what to say it to make it hurt less.” Firelight remembered the silent meals sitting together at the dining table, watching his child silently struggle with the loss of a parent and the teasing from the other classmates who antagonized her daily.

“Then I pushed you away when you did try to talk. I made it so hard for you. It just took me so long to figure out that you were trying to help.” Starlight was getting it all out of her. The more she let go the freer of her past she felt. Speaking of her mom still elicited the same look of anguish on her dad’s face.

“I know you’re still missing her too, dad. And I know it hurt you just as much as me when she left us. But… it’s been a number of moons since and I don’t want to see you alone forever.” For Firelight, it was as if the pain of his wife’s death was only yesterday.

Starlight gently insisted. “You’re not disgracing or dishonoring mom’s memory if you want to go out and date again; I remember mom and she wouldn’t want you to be lonely.”

This was not necessarily what he had wanted to spend their alone time talking about. His expression hardened a bit at how his daughter seemed to be able to see through to his heart, getting to the root of his pain.

“Don’t think I can’t tell you’ve been using the Sire’s Hollow Historical Preservation Society as another distraction for yourself from missing mom. I know how you operate when unhappy; pile on more work and diversions so you don’t think about it.”
“Starlight,” he groaned, turning his head away from her, uncomfortable by her insistence at discussing this. They’d already made a major step forward in clearing up old feelings. Why would she want to continue this conversation if it bothered him so much?

“There’s something else I want to share with you; something Twilight told me about one of her friends from school.” He sighed but listened. He had respect for his daughter’s words; she was responsible for helping others through their tough moments in life. He turned back to look at her again.

“Twilight had a classmate when she first was at Princess Celestia’s school of magic. Her name was Moondancer. She was kinda’ shy and quiet. She’d tried making friends with her peers but gave up when she thought it was just too hard and not worth the effort. Instead, she just withdrew from everypony around her and lived for her reading and studying. She stopped trying to make friends. It took a lot of effort from Twilight to convince Moondancer to reconnect with her old friends again. Once she did, she became so much happier and open for new friendships too.” She looked into his eyes, wanting him to truly understand what she was trying to tell him.

“I just don’t want to see you burying yourself in the endless books and scrolls and ledgers of running the print shop so much. It’s not the same as making new friends and interacting with other ponies. Putting down the books and trying new things is a good way of maybe finding a new special somepony to be with.”

Firelight had to explain to her that love is not so clear cut as she might think. He decided to play a bit of tough love with her for a moment. “Let me ask you this,” he said.

“I see you and Sunburst have reconnected after all this time. I remember how inseparable you two were when you were little, playing that board game you two loved so much. He seems to have made good for himself. You two any closer to dating anytime soon? I thought he would’ve made some sort of hint about his interest by now.”

He got the reaction he wanted from her, a touch of scarlet appearing on her cheeks and a sudden look of discomfort as she rolled her eyes again.

“Da-a-a-a-d!” Starlight groaned.

“Does he make you feel all fluttery inside when you’re with him?” he persisted, talking in his teasing voice.

“Quit it!” she insisted. He had made his point.

“It’s because you can’t talk about it with me, sweetheart, is why it’s so hard for you to understand. More than anything, Starlight, I want you to find yourself a stallion that makes you feel the way a mare like your mother made me feel.” Firelight hoped he could get her to understand, this being a topic they’ve never discussed before.

“I remember how you and mom were crazy for each other and watching how you always seemed to make her laugh. I always thought you two really were soul-mates.” Starlight remembered more of the innocent times from her youth, recalling her mom and dad happily together.

“I’m not sure what you can call it. It’s just something that’s not quantifiable by any logical measure. You just feel it between you and the one you love. When you have that feeling in your heart, when you feel it from the one you can’t be without, then maybe you could understand the feeling I had for your mother.”

Starlight tried to understand what he meant. It’d been so long since she’d seen her mom and dad together and perhaps she’d not really given enough thought to how intimate their relationship was.

“She never did get the chance to tell how we met, did she?”

“No, she had only hinted about it when I was little but never really said much. I remember she used to write a lot.” It was still something Starlight had wondered about from time to time.

“That was before she helped me so much at the office. When I first met your mother, she was just one of the innumerable struggling poets and writers attending classes at the local secondary school. She and her classmates were all trying to create that next great work or play while I, in the meantime, was apprenticing with your grandfather in the printing shop.”

“One day, I got to read her poetry when she stopped in to have a small selection printed so she could give them out to her fellow writers. We started talking when she came to pick up her order a day or so later.” Firelight could see Starlight was intrigued by this small piece of their family’s history.

“I was so smitten that purely as a way to impress her, I would secretly print her poetry so she could have copies made for free. It was like she had a personal printing press to share her works with. Every time she came in to pick up an order, we got to talk more. It was the only way I could see her, at first. Your grandmother knew what I was doing but kept quiet about it. She would always shuffle the money around in the accounts when ordering supplies to cover for me.”

“Dad, you total sneak! That’s so romantic! Was mom curious about you and what you did? I mean, she couldn’t just waltz into the shop and start looking around and ask questions.” Starlight could only imagine how her dad must have been so head over hooves for her mom way back when.

“Believe it or not, on one of our earliest dates she actually helped me set up a press for one of her single page poems. She thought it was ‘neat’ that I could set the lettering right-to-left with the typeset backwards correctly. It took her nearly half-hour to do one paragraph. I did the other three in about ten minutes. She called me a showoff.” Starlight laughed a little at the love story her dad was retelling. Firelight was glad to share this with her, letting Starlight know more about her mother.

“Oh, sure, everything was going great until one day your grandfather checks the books, finds the petty cashbox was again empty and the amount of supplies being used up was notably more than the work coming in. I’d been dipping into the cashbox in order to take you mother out on some small dates to a local eatery or to a show. I wasn’t earning enough to treat her the way I wanted to. When your grandfather caught me, I got a good earful of how I was wasting the shop’s paper and ink to print some foolish girl’s nonsensical poetry that wasn’t going to amount to anything.”

Starlight laughed more, clapping her front hooves together at hearing about her dad getting in trouble. Firelight didn’t mind looking a little foolish for her, revealing a side of himself that might be reflected in his daughter.

“So busted!” She couldn’t imagine her dad stepping out of line for any reason. He was so level-headed. But love does make fools of anypony so it wasn’t a total surprise.

“Geez, you should have heard him yell at me, but I didn’t care. Once I got to understand your mother’s writing and the way she saw things, I could see how wonderful it was to read.”

“So what happened afterwards? Did he kick you out of the house or something?” She wanted to hear more of this story
“Fortunately no. But he did cut off my pay to prevent me from helping your mother out. He felt that the learning of the trade was ‘payment’ enough for a while, until I had ‘smartened up’ as he put it.” Starlight was enjoying the tale. She’d never knew of the drama he had in courting her mom.

“But you should have heard him change his tune about your mom when he learned one of the collections of her poetry I printed found its way to an editor at Royal Publications in Canterlot.”

“I remember her showing me the new first-edition copy she kept for herself.” Starlight recalled how proud her mom was when showing it to her, as if it were a trophy of some kind. She could even recollect that signature smell of residual benzene from the binding process still lingering on the new pages.

“They wanted to reprint them in a collection of new artists. Your mom said yes but it came with a request. She asked for our family’s printing shop to get a percentage of the printing contract to make the books, so as to keep the print presses running and to reimburse your grandfather for the ink and paper when making her first run of collections.”

Hearing how her mom had gone to such lengths to help her dad was something truly unexpected and wonderful to learn. “So, did grandpa finally grow to like mom?”

“He did. It took a bit of time but he eventually came around to her. I continued to date her while learning the printing business. Soon I took over the shop’s daily running and that allowed your grandfather to retire. Now I was on my own running the shop, I could provide a life for myself and your mom. Within six months after taking over the business, I popped the question to your mom.”

“After we got married, she got to write a little more poetry and had a small second collection published with another book compilation. But she was spending more time helping me run the business and being a mom for you than being a poet. So her writing sort of fell by the wayside to manage the bookkeeping at the shop.”

Starlight loved hearing that story, she’d never known of how they met. She could see how her dad’s love for her mom was deep and a bit more complex than maybe she’d initially believed or understood.

“I’m really touched you shared that with me. I never knew any of that. There was real magic between the both of you. I believe with all my heart you have that magic still. As my Hearth’s Warming present, I want you to promise me you’ll at least try to go out and meet new ponies. You have so much potential to offer that any mare would be lucky to date you.”
She could see by the look in his eyes that he was teetering at whether to make her holiday wish come true or not. Wanting to please her by saying yes and giving in but still hesitating after telling her the story of her parent’s courtship and the lingering ache when remembering his beloved wife.

Starlight made a final plea. “Do this for your pumpky-wumpkin, daddy. Please?” She did it. She had used the most intimate pet name from her foalhood her dad had made up for her. The one he used when he comforted her when she was sick or when she was upset over some bad incident at school.

For Firelight, it was strange to be in this situation; being on the receiving end of guidance from his daughter. He was used to being the one giving the advice.

“How could I say no to my little silly-filly?” He also went to the vault of pet names to call her, choosing one of his favorites.
“You’ll try?” Starlight was so happy to hear him finally be willing to give friendship a chance again.

“I’ll try. I give my word.” She gave him a super-tight hug, knowing her dad was going to make an effort to grow beyond his self-imposed bounds. Seeing her smile again was the best gift she could give him.

“Well,” he cleared his throat, choked up from all this emotional blathering and now trying to regain a bit of dignity. “If my word was all you were asking for this year, sweetie, then perhaps you didn’t want this.” From his coat pocket he presented to her a small rectangular gift box. She took the gift from him, incredibly curious as to what it could be. He always had a good sense of her likes and she couldn’t honestly remember ever getting a bad gift from him.

“What is it?” Her eyes went wide, like any child on Hearth’s Warming morning when they were opening gifts.

He winked at her. “You’ll see.” Excitedly, Starlight slid off the small red bow from around the box and opened the lid, finding a small weathered-looking black book inside. She flipped it out of the tray and opened the cover.

Firelight watched with a bit of joy at seeing his daughter’s reaction to his present. She drew a long breath, surprised and even a bit shocked to find this in her hooves now. She reread the title page, staring at the author’s name. Light From Above; a collection of poems by Starshine Glimmer.

“I thought you’d like to have it. I found this stored upstairs in the attic while packing away the stuff you’d left behind from your old bedroom. This was in a box marked ‘mom’s office stuff’.” He had wanted to give her this gift but had decided it was better given in private.

“It’s… it’s… it’s moms poetry book.” Starlight almost couldn’t say it. It seemed too unbelievable to see. It was the original book her mom had written the first drafts of her poems in that she had sold.

“Read the dedication page.” He hoped she was ready for what she would find.

Quickly, Starlight flipped to the correct page. She read the words of the dedication and thought she was going to lose it. She could imagine her mother’s voice speaking the words: This collection is dedicated to my beloved newborn daughter, Starlight. May she shine as brightly as her name and share her heart with all those whom she loves.
Starlight was overwhelmed by the gift. It was like having a piece of her mom back and in her hooves. It brought Starlight instantly to tears, hugging her dad for giving her this precious reminder to hold onto.

“Thank you for this gift! I love you so much, dad!”

“Happy Hearth’s Warming, Starlight. I love you too.” He held her again, feeling her tremble a little from the feeling of reconnecting with her mother after so many years. Both father and daughter were filled with the holiday spirit of love for family. Starlight felt closer than ever to her parents, even if her mom wasn’t there to celebrate with them.

“We’d best head on back to the castle. I’m sure the bread is almost done and we really should be proper guests of the princess.” From off her desk he took the box of tissues, passing some to Starlight. It wouldn’t look good if they should return to the festivities with teary eyes. Starlight gave a huge blow of her nose, getting the grossness out. The loud honk made her dad chuckle.

“Sounds like an elephant’s call in here,” he joked with her, getting Starlight to smile once more. Both of them felt so much better after this heavy but most-important talk of theirs. Getting it all out now made them feel freer to enjoy the holiday without the burdens of the past weighing them down. As Starlight and her dad slipped their coats back on, something caught Firelight’s eye in a display case he must have missed the first time. He took a closer look through the glass, not really sure if the object he was looking at was genuine.

“What in all of Equestria…?” Firelight couldn’t believe what he was seeing. On the back wall of the display case hung the medal of his country’s highest award for bravery with a picture of the medal being awarded to his daughter and her friends by the two princesses. Right below the picture was a personal letter of thanks from the princesses as well.

“Oh, that. It’s nothing, really.” Starlight tried to downplay its magnitude but her dad was just flabbergasted by it. His daughter had been holding out on him.

“Nothing? Nothing? Are you kidding me?” He could not believe how nonchalant she was being about it. This was epic! He recited the message off the letter.

“I, Princess Celestia, do hereby award to Starlight Glimmer Ponykind’s highest award for bravery. For having defeated Queen Chrysalis, freeing the captured princesses and releasing the Changelings from the queen’s control, Starlight Glimmer shall henceforth be recognized as a heroine of our land with the receiving of Equestria’s Pink Heart of Courage medal.”

He actually laughed with joy when seeing this, overwhelmed with knowing his daughter was a hero pony of their country.
“Starlight, when did you get this? I mean, I remember reading about the emergency in the local paper afterwards but didn’t know you were caught up in it. What happened? Who else was with you? How did you do it?” He peppered her with questions. Out of all the stories she’d told him about when she visited home, not once had she mentioned anything about this.

“It’s, uh,” she rolled her eyes up and away, not really sure how to answer that so off-the-hoof like he was asking. “Kinda complicated, dad. It might take some help explaining all the details and stuff.”

Upon a closer look, there were two others in the picture he did not recognize. He squinted more, trying to discern more details. “Starlight, who are those…. I’m not sure what to call them… Beings? Creatures? Individuals? That are standing next to you and Trixie?”

“Umm, like I said, it might take some help explaining the details.” Starlight could only imagine what his reaction to hearing the story would be.

“Before this evening is over, you are going to tell me all about it.” He insisted, trying to assert a little fatherly authority.

“Oh, I’m sure it’ll make for real interesting dinner conversation.” She was being a little sarcastic, as if all the things to talk about at dinner her dad would want to hear about the most terrifying thing she’d ever been through.

Author's Note:

Well, here's the latest chapter and I must confess that this is, so far for this story, my most favorite part. I always knew that from the moment Starlight reconciled with Twilight there was still one scene of reconciliation that had to be done; that of Starlight and her family. It absolutely broke my heart to learn Starlight had been a 'latchkey kid' and had lost her mom when she was young (possibly, we don't know for sure since its not come up yet). I could only guess how hard it must be for single parents to raise kids these days and Starlight's story allowed be to explore that angle a tiny bit.
I really wanted this to be a deeply emotional scene for father and daughter; that moment of each sharing their inner feelings and fears they'd held back on. With the sharing can come the healing; the strengthening of family ties and better understanding of those whom the characters called their family. Forgiveness is divine, I once heard somepony say.
I also wanted to come up with some kind of background and/or family history about Starlight's mom and dad. Since her dad seemed to be into the history of Sire's Hollow and was an avid reader as well, I thought it would nice to have him have a small business related to his interests. Like many other writers on this site, I was deeply influenced by a favorite song of mine that seemed to fit this part; having the right mood and enhancing the drama (well, at least I thought it did). The 'No Prize' for figuring out the song is part of this chapter's title.
Please leave any comments you have about this part and what you thought of my take on such a moment in the MLP timeline. Thanks!:twilightsheepish:

Comments ( 2 )

Sunspot was/is seen in the season 5 finale when Starlight takes Spike and Twilight back in time to show them Sire's Hollow and she and Sunburst as foals. Nova, my OC for this story, looks something like a mini version of her mom except the hair is long and she wears it in two pigtails.

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