• Published 26th Feb 2020
  • 4,713 Views, 542 Comments

Our Little Brother, Spike - Hope Caster

Finding a whelp cold and alone after hatching season, Amber Ironscale brings the poor thing back to her cave and adopts him, giving him the name Heathspike, Spike for short. Her son, Garble, vows to be the best big brother he can be, no matter what.

  • ...

Chapter 1: Heathspike

Amber let out a sigh as she flew towards the nursery. She and her friend, Lord Consort Blaze, had something of a bet earlier that day. She lost, not by a thin margin, but in every conceivable way. If the bet was that ‘the sky will be blue when I look up’, Amber was more than certain that the sky would turn itself red just so she’d lose.

She was now stuck with eggshell cleaning duty in the hatchery, or nursery as many mothers called it. A tedious job if there ever was one, but Amber tried to look on the bright side. The eggshells were essentially hers. Normally, dragons just razed the left-over shells, but Amber took the time to smash them up and compost them. She did like gardening, and eggs added an extra something to her dirt.

She began by slowly gathering piles of eggshells before stomping on them and putting them in a pouch she’d brought. For the first few hours, it was fun. She took out all of her frustrations on the shells, saw how many she could stack on top before the tower fell over and even tried seeing if she could flick an eggshell into a hole. Then it stopped being fun. She began to groan as she tidied up, playing stupid games for too long, and she even scratched funny faces on the eggshells.

“Ugh, I should have had Garble or Smolder come with me. At least I’d have an excuse to leave once they got fussy.”

She continued her labor until an odd noise caught her attention. She looked around, and saw nothing, even the noise vanished after a moment. She shrugged it off only for it to return, louder this time. She looked behind her. Nothing but eggshells. She did hear something though; she was sure of it. She remained quiet, listening to the wind blow until the sound returned for a third time. At least there was a source, a very large pile of eggshells that she didn’t make.

Amber cleared them away and her heart nearly jumped into her mouth. In the pile of broken shells laid a newly hatched dragon. His wails were now clear as day to her, and looking upon the whelp, she felt her heart start to melt. He was a light purple with green spines, a magnificent color if she said so herself. Did someone lose him? It wasn’t odd for hatchlings to take a day to find their way to their mother’s, but it was long after the hatching and he was buried in rubbish! His voice carried through the nursery, and Amber lowered her hands and scooped up the babe.

“Poor thing, you’re so cold! How long have you been all alone out here? Why-” She let out a gasp. “You must be hungry!” It didn’t take her long to find a few spare gems, even less time to chew them until they were mush and left before the babe, who happily slurped his meal. Infant dragons didn’t have the strength to chew their own gems, so it was up to their mothers or wet-nurses, a dragon that would provide food to unclaimed whelps during hatchings, to mash it for them. Every year, Amber helped out as a wet-nurse during the hatching, so this was more than normal for her. After he was well fed, Amber gently patted his back and he let out a burp before whimpering. He reached out his arms for her. His little claws flexed.

“I know, sweetie, I know. Amber’s here,” She cooed, holding the whelp close to her chest. ‘Not so unfortunate now,’ she thought to herself. ‘I get to spend time with this little sweetheart, and I get to blow off work! Let someone else take care of this mess, they can raze it like the other times while I-’ Her heart stopped, and Amber looked down at the child in her grip. “Oh, I suppose it’s fortunate that it was me sent to clean up,” She said to the whelp. “Those morons might have gotten you mixed up in all that ash, and you might have never been found! Come, let’s see the Dragon Lord. He might be able to help find your mother.”

Torch was certainly looking lazy as he lay in his cave. Amber gave him all the proper greetings, and still he refused to move from his spot, as if he was too good to talk to her.

“A bit late to be bothering me, don’t you think? Why are you even here, weren’t you sent to clean the nursery?” Torch said as he rolled over on his side.

“Yes, well, that’s just it, I found something while I was out there. This whelp,” She showed Torch the babe, who whimpered at the mere sight of the Dragon Lord. “I think he was lost, or maybe abandoned, but I don’t think a mother would just leave her child behind! Can you help search for who he belongs to?”

Torch let out a snort. An abandoned whelp. How irresponsible did a parent need to be?

“I won’t bother searching. If he belongs to someone, I’m sure they’ll come looking for him. Just give him here. I’ll look after him until then. You go back to cleaning the nursery!”

“Very well,” Amber said. As she went to give the whelp to Torch, the babe began to whimper and coo louder and louder the closer he got. Then, he was placed in Torch’s grasp and a sharp wail rang out. Both dragons were taken aback.

“Uh, there, there?” Torch said. The whelp paused its crying for a moment, only to let out a louder wail not a moment later. He never was good at keeping whelps calm. He was protector, a provider, but his mate was a much better care taker than he. He recalled when Ember was hatched all he could do was make sure she was safe and clean, while Blaze kept her fed and happy.

“Um, stop crying, it’s okay!” Torch said, as Amber watched him try to comfort the hatchling. The babe’s volume only seemed to increase more and more as the seconds rolled by. “Hush little whelpling, Torchy is here!” Torch began to grow more frantic and the whelp seemed to grow more desperate in proportion. Until finally, a thought, a very foolish thought, crossed Torch’s mind. He was the Dragon Lord, and his orders were absolute, even to a whelp. “I order you to be silent!” Torch snarled. The baby’s wails could be heard in Canterlot.

“That’s enough of that.” Amber very calmly took the whelp back and then whipped her claw across Torch’s muzzle. At that same moment the cries fell silent, and there was a soft whimpering. Those fell silent when Amber held the babe to her chest.

It was fortunate she was a dragoness. Torch had something of a rule regarding retaliation, and that was to hit back twice as hard save for when hit by children and dragonesses. It made him feel filthy just thinking about hitting either groups. As such the only thing he would be able to do would if struck again would be to restrain her, which would be done very easily. That was also unlikely to happen, as she was now holding and caring for the whelp in question.

“Snarling at the poor thing; shame on you! If that’s how you’ll act, I’ll look after him. If his mother comes by, just have them find me, alright?” With that Amber left and returned to her cave. Considering she needed to introduce her guest to her family, Amber figured that she’d finish cleaning tomorrow, and clasped her hands to hide the whelp. She could surprise everyone, if the children were still up. Her mate sat coiled around their hoard, which looked significantly larger than when the day had started. She was lucky to have such a wonderful mate.

“Amber, there you are, how was the hatchery?”

“Very enriching, thank you for asking. How were the children?”

“A bit fussy, but, they’re nearly down for the night. I don’t know why we had another, one was trouble enough, but two? I’m glad we’re stopping there.”

“Oh, um, Flare, my sweet mate-”

Flare grumbled a bit. If she was buttering him up, she was about to ask for something. Worse, it was probably child related.

“-there’s something that I need to talk to you about, regarding children.”

“Every time you even go near the nursery,” Flare sighed. He thought about it for a moment. “It did take us some time to have Smolder, I suppose we could have a third. I wouldn’t object to trying at least.” He gave his mate a smirk, only for her to blush a deep red. “Bahamut bless me if it comes too fast though. Bahamut protect me if it’s another girl.”

“Well, perhaps he has blessed you in a way, because I have a surprise for you!” She lifted her right hand and revealed the little hatchling. Flare’s maw fell open.

“Amber where did you find that, why did you bring it home?”

“I found him in the nursery, alone. Poor dear was lying in a pile of shells! I couldn’t just leave the him there.”

“Amber, did you steal him? Someone could be looking for him!”

“I already told Torch about him. He’ll send them to us if anyone comes looking.”

“Amber think logically!” Her mate pleaded. “You should leave him with someone else! What if you get attached? What if Garble or Smolder, or both of them get attached?”

“Flare, have a heart!” His mate whimpered. She showed him the whelp who seemed to be reaching two little arms towards him. “Look at him, he’s reaching out to you! Can you honestly tell him no?” Amber gave the whelp a small kiss before nuzzling him.

“Did you already get attached?”

“Oh, I fell in love with him the moment I saw him. The more I think about it, the more I think he might not have parents anymore. I had Garble in our cave the moment he hatched; you wouldn’t put Smolder down for almost a week when you saw her. He was alone, he needs us, Flare. Besides, wouldn’t you boys like to outnumber us girls?”

Flare sat deep in thought for a moment, and then he locked eyes with the little whelp. ‘Damn it,’ he thought to himself, ‘he’s adorable.’

“Very well, I’ll start gathering more food for us then. Don’t get too attached, you never know if someone will come looking. Have you decided on a name yet?”

“Not yet, but I have a few listed. Now, where’s my little boy?” She moved deeper into the cave and let out a call, after hiding the babe once again. “Garble, Garble! I need you to come here.”

A small, little drake came walking out of the back of the cave, rubbing his eyes. He was no more than six, a few years away from the molt.

“Garble, there you are! How’s mommy’s little drake?”

“Good, I put Smolder to sleep. She was cranky most of the day.”

“What a good big brother!” His mother praised. “Your father and I are very lucky to have such a wonderful son.”

Garble beamed at the complement.

Amber’s smile widened. He was going to love this. “Garble, I need to ask you something, how would you feel about having another sibling?”

“Can I get a brother!?” Garble said, beaming with excitement.

“I don’t know, what if it was a girl? Wouldn’t you want another sister?”

Garble’s smile faltered. “I guess it’d be okay. I want a brother though! Someone to help me train for when I get to become Dragon Lord! Someone I can make my general!”

She laughed at her son’s bravado, even more when he puffed out his chest and flexed his arms. He likely just heard the word general recently and thought that, if he became dragon lord, he’d need one. It didn’t matter what a general actually was, he would just need one.

“Well I have good news for you Garble,” She lowered her cupped hands and revealed to her son the newly hatched whelp. “Meet your new baby brother.”

Garble’s eyes widened as a smile grew on his face. He climbed into his mother’s hands and picked up the babe, careful to support his head. Amber was about to say something, but he seemed calm as he gawked at Garble, before putting his fist in his mouth.

Garble seemed over the moon. His new brother was small, like Smolder was when she was his age, but leaner. Not to mention that his colors didn’t match theirs. His eyes were green, his spines were green, and his scales were purple. Garble didn’t mind though, not one bit. “Hi, I’m Garble, I’m your big brother!” He said excitedly, but in a low voice. Smolder could wait until tomorrow to find out. “What’s your name? What’s his name?” He asked his mother.

“I haven’t thought of a name yet. Hmm, I know! What about Heathspike? Heathspike Ironscale. Spike for short. Do you like it?” She asked the whelp.

“Beh!” Spike said.

“I like it too!” Garble said. He sat cross legged and put Spike on his lap. Spike shifted some but simply cooed a little as he took hold of Garble’s tail and began to gum it.

“It’s just like what Smolder used to do,” Garble said. “You’re lucky Spike, you have me as an older brother! You know what that means? It means you’re basically the coolest drake there is! And if anyone says different, I’ma punch them! Then, you’ll punch them! Then Smolder! Then me again!”

Spike let his new brother’s tail fall from his mouth, and he shook his fists.

“Yeah, just like that! Only hatched a few days ago, and you’re already learning to fight!” He could scarcely believe it; he actually had a little brother. The grin on his face only grew. “You, Smolder, and me, Spike. The three of us are going to be unstoppable! And if anyone is dumb enough to mess with you, you just let me know, and I’ll set them straight! That’s a promise!”

Author's Note:

And so, Garble vows to be a good big brother to Heathspike, but what will that entail? Will Garble corrupt little Spike, or will the addition of Spike help change Garble, hopefully for the better?

only Time will tell in tHis nEw story, which shockingLy, no one hAs ever aTTemptEd to wRite yet, except one guy a long time ago.