• Published 25th Aug 2012
  • 4,644 Views, 285 Comments

The Spoon That Refused Polish - Hollyfern

Life is unfair. Sometimes even going so far as to thrust upon the young the weight of responsibility. Though, being grown up is no cake-walk either.

  • ...

The 12th Hour

The atmosphere of the Silver Mansion was as she’d remembered it from Manehattan, save for the view of the ocean. The decour of Silver Spoon’s foyer was lit by a grand glowing chandelier, as extravagant as the rest of her house. A symphony of red and gold-trimmed carpet ran throughout. Art to admire in sculptures, paintings or hedge models which were on display in the back.

Guests flooded in at a steady pace, from Rainbow Dash to Pip and luckily even the other Crusaders as well. While some guests (like Rarity and Sweetie Belle) came in elaborate dresses and mane styles, others (such as the Apple family, save for only Big Macintosh, who came in later with Cheerilee) came au naturale. Regardless of attire, everypony seemed eager to attend.

Sterling and Silver Spoon stood at the front door, greeting everyone with a smile. Silver Spoon’s father wore a classic black and white tux punctuated by a blood red bow tie while Silver Spoon herself wore a turquoise dress saddle courtesy of Rarity.

No doubt some of our guests are already in the back, Silver Spoon mentally noted, autonomously greeting with a smile and kind words, occasionally glancing up to her father only to find him getting weary of the task.

“Well, I think we should join our guests now,” Sterling suggested with a wink.

“Excuse me,” came one last voice before the doors closed. Twilight Sparkle stepped in wearing a plain but flattering yellow dress. “I’m sorry I’m late, Mr. Silver, but I was waiting on a few more guests. I hope that’s alright.”

Sterling nodded, widening the door enough for Twilight to trot in, not expecting the white hoof of royalty to follow. “Oh... my... you,” he gasped with a growing incredulous smirk. Sterling backed up and the door widened even more to a sight even Silver Spoon wasn’t prepared for.

“I do hope you won’t mind two more additions,” came an enchanting voice.

Celestia and Luna, the royal princesses of the sun and moon respectively, stepped in. While the taller of the two, Celestia, seemed to not mind the eyes of everypony in the foyer, her sister seemed to shrink behind Celestia like a filly.

After a quick exchange of glances to one another, Luna put on a more confident façade in the face of her subjects. “Good evening,” she managed to say, dipping her head in respect to Sterling.

Sterling blinked, finally able to compose himself once again with a warm smile. “C-Come in, please!” He gestured inside with a hoof, bowing as royalty passed by, flashing Silver Spoon a pleading look out of the corner of his eye.

Oh! Silver Spoon managed to kneel before Celestia and Luna, warranting a slight giggle from the eldest sister.

“Please, no need for the formalities,” Celestia shook her head. “This is a party being thrown at your home. I should be the one that’s grateful that you had my sister and I on such short notice. We are merely your guests.”

“H-How did you know?” Silver Spoon asked.

“I asked my pupil to keep an ear to the ground for festivities such as this,” Celestia explained. “You see,” she motioned with her head to Luna, “my sister still needs more exposure outside of Canterlot.”

“I’m trying, sister!” Luna protested. “Even before you know what, I never was what one would call a ‘social millipede’.”

“Butterfly,” Celestia corrected with a giggle. “A social butterfly, Luna. But, at least you’ve grown past the screaming.”

“Princess,” Twilight Sparkle spoke up. “Where’s Cadence and my brother?”

Both Luna and Celestia looked to one another and giggled. “Yes,” Celestia nodded. “Unfortunately, Cadence wasn’t feeling well, but she insisted that Luna and I attend...”

“Oh no,” Twilight Sparkle flinched, seemingly oblivious to the sly smirk on Celestia and Luna’s face. “What’s wrong with her? Is my brother okay? Is he sick too?”

“Calm down, aunt Twilight, everything is alright, I assure you.” Celestia winked.

Twilight Sparkle blinked, seemingly processing the princess’s words piece by piece in her head while wearing an unnerving and blank expression punctuated by an occasional twitch of her eye. “... A-Aunt?”

“Luna, take Twilight to sit down for a while.” Celestia giggled. “I fear I may have broken her.”

“Yes, sister.” Luna nodded and coaxed Twilight through the foyer, cooing to her in an attempt to snap her back to reality.

“Now.” Celestia turned to Sterling. “Mr. Silver, was it? Do you have any menus detailing what will be prepared?”

Sterling shook his head. “No menu,” he frankly stated. “Everything here is made by my chefs; I don’t pry. As such that is a rule that even you must abide by. No one will give you a satisfactory answer.”

“I see.” Celestia nodded approvingly. “Best to tell time by looking at a clock and not the gears, then?”

“Exactly!” Sterling winked. “Some you may recognize while others are more mysterious. Oh, a word of caution: the food out back is to be served to our adult company only. Wines and such I don’t think little fillies and colts should have.” He blew a raspberry to Silver Spoon.

Silver Spoon giggled. Still hard to believe the princesses are here. She admired Celestia’s presence in the room. Though they are nothing like what I thought... but, Celestia is as beautiful as I thought she’d be.

“Alright,” Celestia giggled. “I might have to start holding little gatherings like this back at home. It would no doubt liven up and hopefully loosen up the residents of Canterlot.”

“They’ll be a hit.” Sterling earnestly smiled. “The less your guests know outside of the fact you’re hosting a party, the more fun they will have!”

“I’ll keep that in mind.” Celestia smiled. “I will join the others in the dining hall. I look forward to an enchanting evening.” She dipped her head then turned, making her way to the dining hall.

“That was a pleasant surprise!” Sterling remarked with a nod. “I’m willing to bet your mother is doing her best to keep up appearances right now.”

Silver Spoon rolled her eyes. “You say that as if she does anything else.”

“You’d be surprised,” Sterling thoughtfully said. “Come on, it’d be rude not to mingle with our guests.” He motioned with his head for his daughter to follow.

In the dining hall butlers served small delicacies to everypony as they passed, accompanied by soft piano music. The guests chatted amongst themselves as they enjoyed chocolate- or caramel-dipped apples. In addition to that, cherries filled with creams, chocolates or liqueurs complemented cakes of impossible heights and rock sugar blown into the shapes of flowers attracted the guests’ immediate attention, Some of which would occasionally comment that the food simply appeared too pretty to eat, though after a sample of the icing, their mind was quickly swayed.

Immediately Silver Spoon spotted her mother chatting with Princess Celestia. Her mane was artfully knotted into braids upon her head. Next to Celestia her mother appeared to be a complimentary gradient to the Princess’s neapolitan colors.

As Silver Spoon and her father approached, Celestia nibbled on one of the decorative pastries; her eyes widened for a moment. "I taste honey," she said after swallowing. "Nuts and... and something I cannot quite put my hoof on." She examined what was left of the food thoughtfully. "I heard from Mr. Sterling that it would be pointless to question what it is I'm eating."

"My husband is quite eccentric." Sunset giggled, motioning to him just behind Celestia.

"Variety is the spice of life!" Sterling exclaimed. "Life is to be enjoyed, and I enjoy life."

"Silver Spoon!" Sweetie Belle's voice rang.

The group turned at the sound and saw Sweetie Belle bounding over with the rest of the Crusaders around her. Sweetie Belle’s attire (no doubt an influence of her sister) was elaborate yet elegant, much like her sister’s. Her mane flowed in a cascade of curls as her rich blue and violet dress trailed behind her.

Twist’s appearance was equally as surprising. She sported a simple yet sleek little black dress. The more Silver Spoon attempted, the more futile it became to recall if she had ever seen Twist in a dress before. In addition to that, her normally frizzy red mane was tamed into a long crimson streak nearly reaching her hooves.

She nearly looks like a different pony! Silver Spoon silently remarked. Thank goodness for the glasses!

“Dad!” Silver Spoon looked to her father pleadingly. “Can I go?”

“Sure.” Sterling shrugged. “You didn’t need to ask my permission; by all means enjoy yourself!” He gestured with a hoof.

Without having to be told anymore, Silver Spoon moved across the room, grinning from ear to ear. “I’m glad you all could make it tonight! Though. I still didn’t expect Twist to be so... wow!”

Twist blushed, pushing her glasses up on her face. “It’th nothing... Bon-Bon ‘thaid I ‘thould wear ‘thomething ni’the. Thi’th wa’th all I had.”

“You do look good, Twist.” Scootaloo nodded. “I can’t wrap my head around dressing up.”

“Ah just don’t do dresses.” Apple Bloom shook her head. “Most Ah’ll wear willingly is a saddle. Though Rarity does look awful pretty in her getup.”

Silver Spoon nodded eagerly. “I know, right? The way she wears that necklace makes it almost look like she’s bleeding. It’s kinda... hm, what’s the word...?”

“Rarity said she wanted something that would stand out without her being seen, but be modest while flashy,” Sweetie Belle explained.

The group looked across the room to Rarity. For the second time that night Silver Spoon marveled at the mare. The veritable fiend for aesthetics wore a black silk dress adorned with eye-fetching red flowers. Her violet mane was piled atop her head with one strand tastefully lingering down from the rest. A deep red necklace cradled her neck giving the impression blood ran from her throat.

Upon seeing the fillies, Rarity waved and smiled before returning to her conversation.

“I kinda expected this party to be stuffy,” Scootaloo observed, her eyes wandering around the room. “It’s almost like... a haunted mansion.”

“I’ll take that as a compliment.” Silver Spoon leered, quirking an eyebrow.

“It is! Your dad seems... well, not what I thought he’d be like; nothing like you!” Scootaloo teased, sticking her tongue out.

“When will the party be over?” Twist inquired, looking to the clock on the wall at the far end of the room..

Silver Spoon shrugged. “I’m not sure.” She shook her head. “Sometimes these things go on until the sun starts to rise, so it varies.”

“Look!” Sweetie Belle pointed with a hoof. “Pinkie’s talking with your dad.

“They like partie’th,” Twist giggled. “Probably talking about that. It kinda feel’th... like a my’thery in here. Like a ma’thquerade, but without the ma’thh’th.”

“Hey, you should all follow me to the back!” Silver Spoon chirped. “I don’t think you’ve all seen what the gardeners do with the hedges and stuff out back.”

Silver Spoon lead her party through the kitchen with chefs diligently preparing more food, skillfully avoiding the little fillies as they moved from pan to pan, dish to dish with a few butlers and maids exiting with serving trays.

“Where does yer dad get his chefs?” Apple Bloom asked as one of the culinary artists weaved around her.

“I don’t know.” Silver Spoon shrugged. “I only got to know Emerald. He and daddy are close friends. The rest come on occasions like this, then leave. I don’t even know if these are the same ones that used to cook for him back in Manehattan.”

“I’ll bet your old man calls in the best of the best from around the world!” Scootaloo said, pausing to marvel at a dish before it was whisked away by a maid.

“I kinda expect this is the kind of food the princesses eat everyday,” Sweetie Belle noted. “You hardly ever see banana leaves in food outside of Canterlot.”

“That remind’th me,” Twist blinked, tipping her head to the side and closing her eyes in thought. “One of the cherrie’th I ate wa’th filled with ‘thomething weird, I liked it, but... it made the throat burn.”

Silver Spoon laughed, shaking her head. “Twist, I think you might have eaten a rum cherry. How did you even get one? The butlers and maids are told not to serve those kinds of food to us.”

“And you said you LIKED it?” Scootaloo grinned. “Oh Celestia, I hope you don’t turn into what Berry is. Though, that would be funny to see.”

Twist froze. “I... That... alcohol?!” She reeled, nearly bumping into a chef. “I-I didn’t know! I ju’tht kinda took one from Bon-Bon’th plate!” She suddenly gasped. “Oh no! You CAN’T tell her! None of you! Plea’the!

“Yer secret’s safe with us, Twist.” Apple Bloom smiled reassuringly. “If it makes ya feel better, ah used t’ taste some of the hard cider when AJ wasn’t lookin’.”

“Girls, I think we should keep moving.” Silver Spoon gestured towards the door at the back of the kitchen. “Some of the chefs look like they are getting tired of walking around us.”


Sunset stood off in a corner of the dining hall, idly watching the festivities of the hour play by with a faint smile. Sterling, who was talking with an energetic pink mare, paused and with a few words, he ended the conversation and began to move towards his wife.

“Honey, what’s wrong?” Sterling inquired with a frown. “You’re usually one of the chattiest ponies at these parties! If I’m doing more talking than you, I know something’s up.”

Sunset shook her head. “Don’t worry about me.” She smiled. “Just observing everypony.”

“You’re a horrible liar. You know that, right?” Sterling chuckled, nuzzling her gently. “I can tell what you’re thinking, and the mare August Hoof told you about—” he pointed with a hoof to Rarity on the other side of the room. “Why not talk to her, See if you can get a few cliff-notes on what your daughter likes?”

“I don’t know,” Sunset sighed. “Our daughter is smart; she will know something is amiss if I suddenly turn up knowing her favorite things.”

“Point taken.” Nodded Sterling. “Still, I’ve spoken a bit with her; she’s nice. Talk to her!”

“Maybe I should just leave it be.” Sunset shook her head. “Maybe it’s good that Silver Spoon found a nice ro—”

“Stop right there!” Sterling groaned heavily before moving behind her and pushing her. “Go. Talk. Now! Not another word.”

“H-Hey! Fine!” Sunset huffed. She took a deep breath, moving over to Rarity’s side, beaming a soft smile. “E-Excuse me.” Sunset lightly tapped Rarity’s shoulder.

“Yes?” Rarity turned. “Oh, you must be Ms. Sunset. Mr. Sterling has told be a bit about you this evening... or morning? I’m not quite sure.” She paused and giggled. “Look at me, I sound like my sister.”

Sunset giggled, “It is nice to meet you, Ms. Rarity.”

Rarity giggled into her hoof and smiled. “Your daughter takes after you, I see. So very formal. I’m not old enough to be called ‘Miss’ yet. I had just recently broken Silver Spoon of that horrible habit.”

Those words stung Sunset; pain flickered in her eyes for a brief moment. "I hear Silver Spoon is quite fond of you.” She weakly smiled.

“The dear is.” Rarity nodded, oblivious to Sunset's pain. “This past year alone she’s spent the better of it at my home with my younger sister. The two are a hooffull, but it is nice to have somepony else to distract Sweetie Belle.” She giggled.

"Y-Your outfit." Sunset gestured to Rarity, now keen to change the subject. "I cannot say I've seen anything like it."

"Oh, this?" Rarity brushed the stray strand of her mane aside. "If I may say, this was quite the challenge to make. The design is based on a dress Silver Spoon got for me, though I've no clue as to where she acquired my measurements. She is quite the resourceful one, isn't she? You should feel very proud."

Pain made itself unbearably known once again, this time boring into Sunset's heart. "It was nice speaking with you, Ms. Rarity," she flatly said, dipping her head to Rarity then turning away before the mare could say her farewells.
Outside in the verdant garden as soft violin music played, the Cutie Mark Crusaders marveled at the artwork that was beautifully bathed in the moonlight and skillfully created from what would be unsightly hedges. Butlers and maids served trays as in the dining room to the adult ponies outside while keeping a wary eye on the younger crowd.

“Why are the butlers and stuff staring?” Sweetie Belle quirked a brow. “It’s kinda... weird.”

“They are told not to serve us the foods that are prepared for the adults,” Silver Spoon explained.

“Yeah, Twist.” Scootaloo turned and smiled slyly to the filly, a blush apparent on Twist’s face.

“Ah think it’s finally hit her head.” Apple Bloom giggled, shaking her head. “This is gonna be interestin’.”

“We better keep a close watch on her.” Silver Spoon sighed. “I can only imagine how much trouble we could get into if somepony finds out.”

“Well, at least she didn’t have much,” Scootaloo noted. “She’s already acting like a goofball.”

“You’re right, though, she didn’t have much, and this is how she acts?” Sweetie Belle giggled.

“If Princess Shelestia... can move the sun,” Twist abruptly spoke up, “and Luna raises the moon... then is that for the whole world? Or ju’tht Eque’thtriria?”

“Aaaaaand she’s a lost cause.” Scootaloo shook her head. “Now we gotta keep her from giving herself away. I just know we’re in for a real fun night.”

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