• Published 7th Oct 2020
  • 2,883 Views, 191 Comments

The Once and the Future Princess - Silvermyr

Cozy Glow was a Princess, and she has vowed to become one again. Flurry Heart is and alicorn and destined to become a Princess one day. Can they help one another grow, or are there some gaps that not even the magic of friendship can bridge?

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Chapter 1- Collision Course

"Aren't we done soon?" Cozy asked. She didn't want to whine, but this friendship lesson felt like it had dragged on forever. "I think my friends are waiting for me."

"I happen to know that Rumble is still occupied with the food for the Crystal Empire delegation, so he is not expecting you yet." Twilight said patently. "And Sweetie Belle would not come to Canterlot on Thursday. She is in school."

Cozy grumbled to herself. "Just one final question," Twilight said. "Then I'll let you leave for the day. Fair?"

"Fine," Cozy said. "Ask away."

"Think of the following: Three friends, Amber, Bluebell and Chrysanthemum, agree to meet for a movie. Chrysanthemum, however, declines at the last minute, stating that she is too tired. Amber and Bluebell go to the movie as planned, and when they are there they see Chrysanthemum coming nonetheless with a fourth pony, Dandelion, who has previously bullied both Amber and Bluebell. What do you think Amber and Bluebell should do, if anything?"

"They should confront Chrysanthemum and Dandelion," Cozy said. "They can't let Chrysanthemum go behind their backs like that with a pony they don't like! It's either them or Dandelion."

"I see. That is a natural reaction," Twilight said neutrally. "But don't you think it might be better to ask Chrysanthemum exactly why she wanted to take Dandelion there in the first place? Perhaps this could be an opportunity to get Dandelion to apologize?"

"Or she will just rub it in their faces that Chrysanthemum chose her instead," Cozy said. "That's what bullies do."

"Don't you think there is more to a pony than that?" Twilight asked. "Even a bully ought to have some reason to do what she does, don't you think?"

Cozy thought about that. "I suppose maybe they could ask Chrysanthemum when she is alone, later. Sometimes, when I'm very angry, I say stuff I should not. Maybe it's better to wait for everypony's mind to cool a little."

"That's clever," Twilight said. "It takes a lot of self-insight to suggest that. Very good, Cozy."

"Can I leave?" Cozy asked.

Twilight nodded with a small smile. "You can, even if I'd love to talk more with you. You are a good friendship student."

"'Cause I'm so good at friendship," Cozy said smugly and left the room. She went to Luna's old room, just next to Twilight's study in the Canterlot Castle. It was her own room now, and since she became Twilight's student, so she had taken to make some improvements. Mainly in going through the castle library and hauling every book she could find on the art of making artifacts. There were precious few of them. To go with it, Twilight had even provided her with a small divan made out of clouds, so the filly could comfortably read the old tomes.

Cozy had actually been reading such a book when Twilight so rudely interrupted her with the friendship lesson. The book laid overturned on her divan, but she did not really feel like reading anymore. She went up to it and put her bookmark down properly before returning the book to the shelf.

So now what should she do? She could bring out one of her puzzles, she had paper, pencils and colored crayons to draw with and she had a telescope. Finally, she had a small table with screwdrivers, tweezers, mirrors and lenses, where she could practice making artifacts. She even had a tiny soldering iron and an engraving pen with a tiny diamond tip.

She was in the process of trying to re-install the light crystal in her little rook statuette. She felt like she should be doing that, but she also didn't feel like doing it right now. Then again, she didn't feel like puzzling or drawing either, and the telescope was not of any use during the day.

Earlier though, Twilight had mentioned something about a delegation from the Crystal Empire, and Cozy had never seen a crystal pony before. She had heard of them, but she assumed the tales must be exaggerated. Ponies literally made of crystal? Such a thing could not exist, could they?

Shrugging, she left her room and went out of Twilight's private wing. She had made it a point specifically not to tell Twilight when she came and went. She didn't get a say in what Cozy did outside of her friendship lessons.

She could sense there was something going on today. Normally just about everypony stopped anything they were doing to stare (or glare) at her, but not today. Ponies were too preoccupied to pay her much mind. Even the guards seemed to stand a little straighter and their armors were even more meticulously polished than usual. Cozy stopped by one of the stoic white pegasi and looked over herself in the mirror of his armor. The guard did not move a muscle.

"Refreshments coming through!" A young voice called behind her. She heard ponies move out of the way, but she stood still, waiting for the owner of the voice to come up to her. "Oh, hi Cozy!" Rumble said, carrying a silver tray on his head.

"Hi," she said. "what have you made?"

"Ramson said I am responsible for one of the desserts, mint-chocolate mousse. It will be topped with candied orange zest later, when they are served," Rumble said. Cozy fell in next to him. He was just about her only friend in the castle and also helped her with flying lessons, as she had never gone to flight school.

"What… what is zest?" she asked. She practically never cooked, and she most definitely never cooked something as fancy as "zest," whatever it was.

"Zest is the outermost peel of a citrus fruit, like oranges or lemons. I boil it to some softness and then add a lot of sugar. It works really well as a topping. As long as the mint taste is not too strong, the chocolate will bring out the best in both the orange and the mint at the same time! I've been working to get the ratio right all morning!"

Cozy nodded politely, even if she really did not understand all the nuances of his cooking. But she did know everything he made in the kitchen was wonderful. She cast a desirous glance at the glass bowls on top of the tray. She might not have known what zest was, but she did know what chocolate was, and she knew she wanted some.

"Well, since you have been working for so long, then there must be some extra mousse left, riiiight?" Cozy asked with an innocent smile.

She saw Rumble roll his eyes. "Maybe," he admitted.

"And it wouldn't be nice to throw it away after you worked so hard to make it, riiiight?" Cozy proceeded, her smile widening.

"I suppose it wouldn't," Rumble said, smiling too.

"Oh golly… if only there was somepony who could have some of the extra. A really good friend who could tell you what to improve before you serve it to the princess."

"Fine, I'll see if I can make some extra for you," Rumble said. "But no promises. I'll have to take them all out to the tables, and if somepony doesn't eat theirs, then you can have it."

Cozy felt her smile wash off her face. "But everypony will eat their desserts!" she protested. "Why wouldn't anypony eat their dessert?! It's the best part!"

They turned away from the corridor and proceeded through some mostly empty rooms before they came to the cold storage. Maintained by magic, this room was used to store certain dishes before they were served for castle banquets. Rumble opened the door. Cozy ruffled her wings a little on her back, as the chilly air washed over her. "I'm a castle chef now, so I'm hired to make desserts. I can't just refuse to serve them even if my friend asks me to," Rumble said and put the tray on a shelf together with three more he had made.

There were much too few for Cozy's liking. The more he could make the better chance she had at snagging one. "Do you think there are enough for me too?"

"I'll really try," Rumble said. "But today is kinda tough. I think the Crystal Empire Princess is coming too, so Ramson is even harsher today. Speaking of, I should get back to work."

"Cadance," Cozy said, as they left the cold storage. "Yeah… I think Twilight ran away to her when I conquered Canterlot. They're pretty close. And her husband, Shining Armor was the captain of the Canterlot guard before he married Cadance. He graduated really high in Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns and last time I checked he still had the record in most consecutive magic duels won in the school's duel club."

"Why do you know so much about them?" Rumble asked.

Cozy blushed a little. "I thought… maybe I'd have to battle them, when I had conquered Canterlot. So I studied them a little."

Rumble looked a little bemused. "You know, sometimes I forget that you did… all that. You're so funny to be around now."

"Well, next time you'll not forget it," Cozy huffed. "Cause then I won't fail."

"Didn't Cadance have a daughter too? The only alicorn ever born?" Rumble asked.

Cozy hid her grimace. "Yes," she said. She didn't really know much about "Flurry Heart" (Yuck, even her name was just cloyingly sweet) but she didn't care to find out more either. Her very existence irked Cozy on a fundamental level. After all Cozy had done, every risk she took, every evil she committed, it just wasn't fair that some prissy filly just got everything she had ever wished for by birth.

No, the less she saw and thought of Flurry Heart, the better.

"Didn't study her as much?" Rumble asked.

"No," Cozy huffed shortly. "It's not like she could be a threat to me." She turned her mouth to a grin. "But never mind her! Care to tell me the rest of the menu? It must be special, right?"

"You bet!" Rumble said and went into a long description of everything the kitchen had prepared. He was really passionate about good food, Cozy noted for the hundredth time. But it was never boring to listen to him. His passion was contagious, even if she could not understand exactly what it all meant.

"Hey, I just realized," Rumble said. "Aren't you going to attend the dinner? I've heard Twilight got to attend the Grand Galloping Gala when she was the Celestia's Student. So maybe Twilight will take you to the dinner if you ask."

"No thanks," Cozy said. "I don't want to spend any more time with her than I have to. And I thought we'd be going out flying when you were done."

"Well… It'd be a sure way for you to get some dessert," Rumble said. "We don't have the whole guest list yet; so it's not like you'd be a late addition if you told Twilight now. Then we'd make a whole three course meal for you."

That did get Cozy's mouth to water. Rumble's cooking was the best she had ever tasted, and to have not one but three courses made by him and his peers would be quite a treat for a pony who almost never got to eat fancy food. Growing up in an orphanage did that to a filly. And It's not like she'd have to stay around Twilight for too long. She could probably just slink back to her room after dinner. "I guess I'll think about it," Cozy said. "But it's not friendly of you to tempt a filly into doing something she doesn't really want to like this."

"I suppose you are rubbing off on me," Rumble grinned.

"I'm an amazing friend though," Cozy said confidently. "Oh! I just realized; since you will be making Twilight's dessert, that means you will spike it for me, right? Like with really spicy peppers or something?"

"No," he deadpanned. "No, that's not what me cooking for her means."

"Awww…" Cozy pouted.

"Cozy, come on," Rumble said, just a little seriousness in his voice.

"Fiiiine," Cozy said and rolled her eyes. "You're no fun."

Tearing her glassy eyes from the landscape rushing by outside the window, Flurry Heart flopped over from her stomach to her back, letting out a long sigh of boredom. Sure, it was nice to leave the Empire at times and see the greater Equestria beyond the seemingly endless tundra that surrounded her home, but oh how she hated the travels. Half a day stuck in a train with only a fraction of her many toys from her castle home. And of course, none of her friends were with her either.

That was the worst part. She was almost never alone. Either she was surrounded by her friends in school, or she had her parents near. Or Sunburst, her Crystaller and caretaker since she was born.

But Sunburst had recently left for a work at aunt Twilight's Friendship School, her friends had not been allowed to travel with her, and her parents were locked in with the rest of the delegates, going through a list of economical issues, social issues, cultural issues and at least fifty more adjectives (she was pretty sure those words were adjectives) that also ended with "-al". Because for some reason those old boors did not understand that Twilight was a friend to Flurry and her parents, rather than a Princess.

So thanks to that, her parents' time was being wasted and Flurry was left bored. She laid still on her back, majestic wings splayed out around her and looked up into the roof for lack of anything better to do.

The roof in the wagon was a lacquered wood with embossed gold leaves running along the edges. There were lamps too, likewise made of gold and powered by magical crystals. Much more expensive than normal firefly lanterns, and also with a much harsher light that Flurry did not even really like. Why would anypony waste money installing lamps that were both more expensive than normal and also worse?

Flurry Heart groaned in exasperation, flopped over again and buried her head in the seat. SHE WAS BORED!

But then, the door opened and both her parents stepped into the train car. As always, when they had been apart for more than an hour or so, her mother came up and hugged her. Flurry was a bit self-conscious about it, especially at school, but when somepony's mother is the very Princess of Love, it was to be expected. At least that's what ponies told her.

"Hey, Flurry. Sorry for leaving you for so long," Shining Armor said. "I'd much rather have stayed with you here, but the delegates wanted us both."

"Aren't we there soon? This train ride only gets longer every time I have to take it!" Flurry asked. She didnt want to whine, but she also really wanted to know.

"Just half an hour or so, dear," Cadance soothed, nuzzling her daughter's cheek and mane.

"Mommy, stop that!" Flurry said and scooted away a small distance. She wanted to ask something that had been gnawing in the back of her mind for weeks now. "Are… are you really sure I can actually study with Aunt Twilight?" She asked for what must be the hundredth time now. She knew the answer by heart, but she never quite managed to convince herself of it.

"Sure you are," Shining Armor said, ever patient. "Your ability surpasses that of every other foal ever born! You have the best starting position anypony ever had with learning magic! It only makes sense that your teacher should also be the best mage in the land! I know you will do fine."

Cadance smiled and put a hoof around Flurry's shoulders. "You know how the very first time you saw Twilight, when you were just born, you already shocked her with your powers. And with Sunburst having already taught you the basics, I have no doubt you will impress her greatly again."

"But… I'm a bit nervous living with her, in Canterlot. It's nothing like the Empire," Flurry admitted. Not to mention she would not get to see her friends back home very often now.

"But you always like visiting Twilight," Cadance said mildly. "This is just a little longer visit. Besides, it's not like mommy and papa is going to just up and leave you! We will send you letters every day if you want, and we will come to visit. And Sunburst will be in Ponyville, just a short train ride away."

"And all your favorite clothes and toys were made in Canterlot too," Shining Armor pitched in. "It's the capital of Equestria. Everything that's the best in Equestria is from there." He booped her nose with a goofy smile. "It's just fair that they also have the best daughter in Equestria."

Flurry blushed a little. Everypony had always said she was special, even if Flurry could never really grasp why it was special to have both wings and a horn. She knew it was rare, but just because it was rare didn't make it better. Everypony else, barring mommy and Twilight, had one or neither, and they all did just fine. Still, she liked the praise.

"There is Canterlot now," Shining Armor said and nodded to the window. Flurry shrugged her mother's hoof off of her and sat down by the window. She had seen it before, but the mighty castle and mountainside city still took her breath away. She knew the old castle had been destroyed by three really bad… ponies? Creatures? Yes, creatures, but the new one had been built to look as similar as it could. She really could not see much of a difference from here.

The rest of the ride passed easily. With her parents near and the end in sight, things were a lot more bearable. She also picked up a coloring book she had brought and started to fill in a picture of Aunt Twilight and her friends. One of the earth ponies was all pink, and the other one was orange. Rarity was white with a very purple mane. The brash-looking pegasus was blue and had a rainbow mane and tail. Flurry had already given up trying to remember what order the colors were in. She just added them randomly. The last though was always the one she had trouble remembering. Was she sunny yellow? Flurry decided she was. She just finished up coloring in her tail when the train finally pulled to a stop.

"Let's go, Flurry," Cadance said. "I'm sure Twilight wants to see you."

Flurry stashed her coloring book back into her saddlebags and went with her parents. She was still nervous, but it was still Aunt Twilight she was going to study with. How bad could it really be?

It took about three hours, but in the end Twilight could invite Cadance, Shining Armor and by proxy little Flurry Heart to her castle wing for "private deliberations", while the rest of the delegation could be sent away to freshen up before the dinner in the evening.

"Oh sweet Celestia…" Twilight sighed, as she and her family had retreated into her library. "I thought this would be just like when we usually meet! Do they always bicker that much?" She tried not to sound accusing, but even her patience had its limits, and some of the old coots in the Crystal Empire delegation had worn it thin.

Cadance snickered. "These were the most agreeable ponies I could invite. Most are worse."

"How do you manage?!" Twilight asked, horrified by the mere idea.

"I've been asking her that ever since she took the Crystal Throne," Shining Armor said. "Just another of her many talents, I guess."

Cadance nuzzled Shining Armor quickly for the compliment. "Anyway, let's not talk more about that now. How are you holding up with being acting regent of Equestria?" Cadance asked.

"It's… not that bad," Twilight said and sat down. "Most cities run themselves, and any overarching laws are mostly debated by the experts before they pitch the suggestions to me. I don't need to do more than officiate their advice if I don't want to. And until I've settled in a bit more, I'm content just keeping an eye on things.”

"Like your student?" Cadance asked. "I imagine she is quite a hooffull."

"You'd be surprised," Twilight said. "She is still cross with me, but her friendship with Sweetie Belle and Rumble is really genuine, even if she still has a hard time expressing it in a clear way. But they are understanding, and I'm working to help her too. It's… very rewarding to see her try, considering where she started."

"Good," Cadance said. "I will admit I was a bit worried when I heard of your choice of student… No offense to you or her, but… I suppose an old foalsitter never fully stops worrying about her foals."

"I don't think she would take offense to you worrying she will overthrow me," Twilight said with a small smile. "But I don't think she is the student you are the most interested in talking about." Twilight looked at Flurry, who looked back from between her parents. Her face was open and earnest. A far cry from Cozy's suspicious glare. "Is it, Flurry?"

"My mom said that I should study magic with you, since I'm a big pony now," Flurry said, standing up to show just how big she was. The tip of her horn reached about up to Cadance's cheeks. She really was an adorable little pony.

"I suppose it's about the time to start with that," Twilight said. "Your mom sent me a letter some weeks ago, and if you want to, I'm sure I can teach you to handle your magic safely and efficiently. And if you would like to join my friendship lessons too, then that'd be all the better."

"I have friends already though," Flurry Heart said. "Do I need lessons?"

"It never hurts," Twilight said patiently. "And who knows? Maybe this way you could get a new friend?"

Flurry's face brightened. "I'd like that! All my other friends are back in the Crystal Empire."

"Then it's decided," Twilight said. "I look forward to teaching you, Flurry. In both forms of magic, friendship and arcane."

"I look forward to being taught," Flurry said. Twilight heard how she tried to use an "adult" voice.

"Will she live in the castle then?" Shining Armor asked.

"I planned for that," Twilight said sheepishly, "but then our mom practically demanded that Flurry stayed with them."

"Would you be okay with that?" Cadance asked her filly. "Staying with granny and grandpa?"

Flurry nodded energetically. "It was really long since I saw them!"

"Perfect," Twilight said. "Let me go through what I think could be some fitting subjects to start with, and then we can go down to the banquet after."

"I suppose we have to," Shining Armor sighed.

Author's Note:

Back with the sequel as promised! For the next few months at least I can have a chapter out every week, as usual. Hopefully I can keep the schedule for the entire story.

I hope you stick around. I am really happy with how this one is shaping up.

If you have any questions or corrections, I will be happy to answer down below.