• Published 17th Dec 2019
  • 119 Views, 30 Comments

Hearth's Warming Helper - Team Corona - Talon and Thorn



In order to try and get her court to bond Queen Celestia, also known as Corona, decides to organise a Hearth's Warming Helper. Set in Raindbowdoubledash's Lunaverse.

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Epilogue - Hearth's Warming with the family

The tower wasn’t as large as Celestia expected, although some of that was probably from the amount of random detritus which covered much of the space not taken up by the princess sized bed or the desk and chair. Celestia could recognised at least three of Mage Medowbrook's items of power scattered amongst random trinkets from Zebrica and Naquada as well as what appeared to be a model of the palace made from macaroni. The walls had a number of portraits on them, mostly of the room’s inhabitant and a number of other ponies. She scowled as she caught sight of a younger version of the current bearer of the element of magic. Her hooves ached at the effort to stop herself trying to tidy the mess up. It seemed that ruling a country by herself for a millennia hadn't made her sister any tidier.

Turning away from the mess, she paced up and down the little free space there was. Had it been a good idea to come here? Maybe this had been a bad idea. She was so vulnerable. The forces around the castle might be enough to subdue her if it came to a fight. She nervously reached out a hoof and straightened the bed clothes while preparing a spell to escape if needs be.

She froze as the door opened with a creak.

“Good night, gentlestallions,” came Princess Luna’s voice as she nodded to the night guards stationed outside her room. “I hope you have had a pleasant Hearth’s Warming.” They saluted in response and she stepped past them into her chambers. Once the door slid shut behind her she slumped against it with a sigh. Without opening her eyes she removed the crown from her head and rubbed the latter with a hoof. Celestia frowned she hadn’t expected her sister to look so tired.

“Sister,” she said dropping the spell she had used to mask her presence. Instantly, Luna’s eyes snapped open and she sprung to her hooves, horn sparking. “Peace!” Celestia exclaimed holding up a hoof while preparing a shield against any possible attack.

“What are you doing here?” demanded Luna, her eyes flicking around the room. “Do you dare to attack me on this day of all days? How did you get in here? If you have hurt anypony I will... will...” A bemused look came over her face A bemused look came over her face, and she began to snicker. “What... what on Equestria do you have on your head?”

Frowning Celestia ran a hoof through her mane only to find the small paper hat from the cracker she had opened before her meal. She’d never taken it off! “It’s a crown!” she protested, feeling her cheeks heat up.

“A… A crown!” exclaimed Luna sinking to the ground in a paroxysm of laughter, “Ha… Ha… mine’s… bigger!” she finally managed, pointing a hoof at the one she had removed when entering the room, now discarded near the door.

Scowling, Celestia had her flaming mane incinerate the offending paper hat. “I did not come here to be laughed at,” she said houltily, which only caused her sister to giggle even more. Celestia looked aside, but could not stop the smile starting to grow across her face, or the giggle that leaked out around the edges. “Besides,” she managed after a moment, “I thought it made me look rather regal.”

Luna stared at her for a moment and blinked owlishly before collapsing in a further peal of laughter. Celestia could no longer hold back her own humour and started to laugh as well. “Maybe… maybe it will start a… start a… new fashion,” she managed

“I’ll have to… to order… one of my own, before they sell out,” guffawed Luna, causing Celesta to break out into further laughter. It was several minutes before either of the alicorns could bring themselves to talk again.

“Peace,” managed Celestia once her giggles had finally abated. It felt so good to just be able to relax. “I mean you no harm. I did not come here to fight.”

“How did you get in here?” asked Luna becoming somewhat more serious. “Why didn’t I notice you?”

“You have never been the best at wards,” noted Celestia getting to her hooves.

“And the guards?” Luna narrowed her eyes.

“None have been permanently incapacitated. Although they do deserve a commendation, I did not find it easy to deal with them. When I retake my throne I will certainly give them the option to retain their jobs, if they swear loyalty to me, of course.” She rewarded good work when possible.

Luna took a step back cautiously. “Sister, it is my throne now. My people do not want you to return. If you try to force matters, they will fight you! I will fight you!” she said forcefully.

“Only because you have twisted their minds with lies, sister!” Celestia’s horn ignited with a fiery glow. “Once I explain things to them they will...” She shook her head, trying to regain her temper. It was easier than it had been when she had first returned but she still found it harder than she once did. “Neigh, I did not come here to fight. Let us not talk ‘politics.’”

“Why did you come here?” asked Luna, eyeing her cautiously.

“I... It is Hearth’s Warming night, a time for family and reconciliation. I wished to...” She looked aside for a moment. “I wished to talk Lulu,” she said, using her personal name for her sister.

“Tia?” asked Luna quietly, hope seeming to flicker in her eyes.

Celestia sighed. “For the other nights of the year we might be enemies. You did usurp my throne and banish me, but for tonight can we not just be sisters again?”

Luna swayed on her hooves for a moment, almost looking like she was going to move to hug her sister, then she nodded. “Yes, sister. I’d like that.”

Luna sat in the chair by the desk and gestured to the bed which Celestia cautiously sat on. “So, Hearth’s Warming,” said Celestia somewhat awkwardly. “How did your day go?”

“Oh, you know, much shaking of hooves, a big feast where everypony ate too much and some members of court made a fool of themselves.” She smiled. “The usual. I’m sure many enjoy the holiday but it can just seem so much effort sometimes.”

“I recall once feeling much the same. Still it is good to see your ponies enjoying themselves, is it not?”

“True, but sometimes I wish I could have more time to myself. This time of year it seems the night lasts forever. No sooner has the sun risen than it is time to get up again,” she complained. Celestia nodded, she felt the same about the midsummer.

“My day was similar to yours. My court held a celebration, I took part in what I believe is called a ‘Hearth’s Warming Helper’. It was... interesting, I had to get a present for one of my court, I had an intricate cake made for one of my allies."

"You? giving away cake? Now I know you are not truly my sister. You must be some sort of doppelganger!" exclaimed Luna with a smile.

Celestia pouted. "You make me sound like some sort of addict." Luna winced a little, but Celestia continued in a less grouchy tone, "I am fully capable of giving up cake when need be, although—” she licked her lips “—I do have to admit on the rare occasions I indulged myself, it was solely because our cook was so exceptionally skilled. Anyway, getting back to more important matters. In our exchange, I received a rather clever clock, which tells the time by way of gears and a wound spring. Most intriguing. Artificers have advanced their skills considerably in my abeyance.”

“Quite true. They never seem to stop. I’m still surprised by some of the things inventors come up with. The castle hot water system is a wonder! Remember when we needed servants to bring pitchers of hot water when we wanted to bathe?”

“That was less of a problem for me,” noted Celestia, igniting her horn.

“It’s not quite the same when you need to cast the spells yourself,” said Luna. “The castle’s system is much more convenient. As for gifts, well I always end up with far too many. Everypony seems to want to give me something this time of year. I have whole galleries full to bursting with trinkets that I don’t want, and that are too important to get rid of.”

Raising an eyebrow, Celestia gestured at the various objects filling most of the available space in the room.

"Those are different!" exclaimed Luna. "These all have real sentimental value to me."

Celestia had to admit that most of the official gifts she had received meant little to her. “Do you remember, what was his name... King Grover I think,” said Celestia. It was easier to remember his actions than his name, to be honest. He was short for his species, and always felt so dominated by Celestia's presence that he constantly fluffed his feathers until he looked much like a pillow. "The Griffin who gave us that awful tapestry."

Luna grinned. “The one with his face on it? It just clashed with everything. We had it hung behind the guards barracks, and the archers used it for target practice.”

“Then he came for a visit and asked to see it,” said Celestia joining in. “I could have talked him out of it, but you had to go and send somepony to get it.”

“There was no way you were going to get him to shut up. I just didn’t realize how damaged it was.”

“What was it that you ended up telling him?” said Celestia with a laugh.

“Well, everygriff knows it is an Equestria custom to cut small holes in the images of great warriors!”

“For Luck!” cried Celestia copying her sister's voice. “I don’t believe how brazen you were! I was mortified!”

“He fell for it didn’t he?” cried Luna with a laugh. Then she paused. “Those were good times, sister. What ever happened to those?”

Celestia’s face turned hard. “You abdicated your role and turned to dark magic, leaving me to run the country by myself.”

Luna shyed back a little. “Tia, you know it wasn’t like that. You went too far, you...”

Celestia held up a hoof. “I apologize, we agreed no politics. I... I have a present for you, we used to have a tradition did we not. We would share a drink for the holiday. Here.” Her horn glowed and a small bottle appeared in front of her.

Luna took it in her aura and examined it. “Ambrosia?!” she breathed. “How did you?”

“Some among the fey courts remember me, and tried to court my patronage. I assume it is still as potent as I remember, or at least as much as I remembered after the last time we shared a bottle.”

“Yes, I... I remember,” said Luna her eyes locked on the bottle. With some apparent effort she looked away. “I don’t indulge often, but thank you. I... I think I have something for you as well. Where did I put it?” Her horn glowed for a moment and a large box appeared in front of her, caked in dust. “I intended to give these to you for Hearth’s Warming before you went...”

“Before I was banished?” She narrowed her eyes. “I was not very welcoming that year.” Celestia had literally thrown her sister from her quarters that day. She had been so busy at the time, planning for the great relocation. “You have kept it all this time?”

“I didn’t know if you would return, but I... I couldn’t bring myself to throw them away.” Celestia took the box and opened it, revealing a set of boots made out of some sort of soft velvet, with tiny solar symbols picked out around the sides. Despite the boxes apparent age, the shoes themselves were immaculate with the warm sensation of preservation spells imbued in them. Despite her sisters casualness about the gift, the enchantment would have needed some effort every few years to renew. “I know how hard you find it to get the right size, given how big your hooves are,” Luna said with a smile.

“I have told you, proportionally I have very dainty hooves!” exclaimed Celestia. It was an old jest between them. She glanced down at Luna’s legs. “And talking about hooves, have unshorn fetlocks come back into fashion? You never did like the clippers, sister,” she joked.

“You’re just jealous of my primal femanine allure,” said Luna running a hoof sensuously down a leg.

“Alluring or not, these are exquisite.” She carefully put on one of the shoes. It fit perfectly, and was soft as duckling down. “I love them. Thank you, sister!” She quickly slipped on the other three.

“They were nothing. I just wish...” Luna let out a sigh. “I wish we could have done this then. Maybe things would have worked out differently if we had.”

“Maybe,” said Celestia looking down. “I cannot stay much longer. Before I go,can we share a drink? For old times sake?” She nodded towards the bottle of Ambrosia.

“If you wish, I have... I have just the thing.” A moment later, a further bottle popped into existence. “A present from the Apple Trust, fresh apple juice. They’ve worked out a way to grow the fruit even in the middle of winter.” She popped the cork and poured the amber liquid into a goblet.

“But the ambrosia?” asked Celestia. She lifted her gift in her aura before catching the rather longing gaze that her sister gave the Ambrosia. She had heard some worrying rumours about her sister since she had returned. She had discounted them at the time, but now she feared they might be true. It was probably safer to err on the side of caution. “Actually I think I will have the juice as well. It looks appetizing.”

For a moment, Luna's aura gripped the smaller bottle. Then it blinked out and she lifted the juice instead. “It does, doesn’t it,” she said brightly as she poured a second glass.

Celestia took the glass and took a long sip savoring the taste. “Sister,” she said after a moment, “if you ever need to talk to somepony... If the pressures of rulership seem too much...”

Luna scowled. “You’re hoping I will just step down,” she said coldly. “That I am unworthy?”

“No! No, I mean if you need to talk, I am here, I... I understand. Maybe more than anypony else, I understand what it is like to be relied on, the pressure.” She reached out a hoof towards her sister for a moment but couldn’t quite bring herself to make contact.

“I... I...” managed Luna after a moment, “I thank you sister, and if you ever need somepony, I am here as well.”

Celestia sighed. “We may be enemies for most of the year but I am glad that for this one day we can still be family.”

“Does it have to only be one day?” asked Luna pleadingly. “If you would just accept the will of Equestria, stop trying to unthrone me. I’m sure something could be worked out.”

Celestia looked at her and for a moment wished that she could accept the offer, that this night could last forever, but knew in her heart that it could not. Until she retook her throne she would never know true peace, but for the moment at least, she could pretend. “No sister. I cannot. It is my right to rule. But while it is still Hearth’s Warming we can be sisters.” She raised her glass.

Luna sighed and smiled sadly. “Sisters,” she agreed tapping the glasses together.

Author's Note:

Thanks to Georg for his editing of this chapter.

And here we are at the end.

I had the idea early on to have Celestia and Luna exchange gifts for the holidays and I hope it's turned out all right.

Hopefully in 2020 I'll managed to write something other than just a Christmas story. Mountain has hit a bit of a block, it's not so much I don't feel like writing anything it more than I don't feel like writing the next chapter even though it is needed for other stuff down the road. Well hopefully I'll get over that bump and hopefully my health will also be better.

Comments are always welcome.

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Comments ( 4 )

A good ending, overall. Celestia, I side with Luna. You fucked up.

...

What? It's me! :p

I do like that we've moved to Luna and Celestia being able to talk to one another on occasion, moved them to an almost Professor X/Magneto relationship where both really want to get along, but can't.

Now I'm home again I actually have access to a keyboard so it's a bit easier to answer things

9996990

Sacred Hospitality is a really wide spread idea found throughout Europe, Asia and Africa. Everybody need to have somewhen that that they know they're going to be safe and it shows the rest of the community that you're a good guy if you can protect anyone who stays in your home.


10002196

I don’t suppose you’d settle for a giant griffin instead?”
First of all, I do love me genie stories, as you know, so I like this send-up to Aladdin right away. But second, I actually really like Yangin trying to set up Terry for some reason, especially when contrasted against her internally claiming that such things don’t really interest her.

My take is that Yangin tried out the whole sex thing early on probably in various forms and quite liked it but as she's part of an artificial species which doesn't reproduce she's lacking a procreative urge so that from her point of view all the meat based species seem to be oddly obsessed about the whole thing.

Of course that doesn't stop her being a rampant shipper.

You’ve studied jinn for years and yet
Don’t know that they can’t do all that stuff you were wishing form, and
You still choose to dress like that?

I did try to see if I could find a term like Weeboo which would apply to middle eastern culture so that I could have Yangin accuse Jaffa of being one. Basically the guys just grabbed everything he could about Jinn without actually fact checking anything, plus he thinks he's dealing with a normal Jinn rather than Yangin.

D48

10000752
Yeah, he's a monster and fucking Smoke up big time. At this point, I'm honestly not seeing a good path for her without killing him off because I can't see anything less shaking her considering being afraid Corona would kill her didn't do the job. She'll still be messed up bad, but provided it's something she can't really blame anyone relevant for (e.g. eaten by Solrath) and is near the L6 she'll come out all right in the end.

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