• Published 14th Dec 2020
  • 3,879 Views, 163 Comments

Of Dragons and Maternity - SymphonicSync

When Twilight visits Ponyville to prepare for the summer sun celebration, her assistant Spike develops a crush.

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(11) Florilegium

Cadence jumped a little when the gilded emblems manifested in the air. She quickly unfurled her wings to envelope them, startling and awakening her companion who had been napping on her shoulder. Shining Armor whispered in the shadowed theater, not wanting to interrupt the play. "What's going on?"

Cadence raised her head out of the bundle of feathers and peeked at the stallion. "Celestia's calling me!" She hissed under her breath. In a moment, Shining Armor had barrel rolled onto the floor of their private balcony suite. She would always be amazing how he managed to do so without making a sound in so much armor. And also at the staggering number of situations he found to justify demonstrating the skill.

Cadence twisted her body, keeping the glow of the runes hidden from rest of the theater-goers.

She pulled back one wing to fix her mane and waited for Celestia's face to appear.

A second later, they vanished and left her in the dark once again.

"False alarm?" Shining asked.

"Yeah." She confirmed. As Shining returned to his seat, Cadence leaned over and rested her head on his forehoof.

It was her turn to nap.

Rarity looked down at the collection of fabrics before her. There were swatches of reds and blues and the pattern of a colt's backpack that could be fitted for a young drake, but...

It just didn't seem right. It lacked a personal touch, that extra oomph of meaning that showed was added to its creation. Any mare could buy or sew a bag, but Twilight had come to her for this.

The seamstress walked away from her sewing desk and walked down the spiral staircase to the lower floor of her boutique. She began to rummage through the drawers again, looking for that spark of inspiration.

It was a shame that she didn't know more about the whelp. She could probably learn more of his caregiver, if it were easy to engage her socially. Rarity could pretend that her little speech in the town hall had any sort of effect on these ponies, but she'd been raised in a small town, this small town. Twilight coming to town was exciting enough without the fiasco of a situation Pinkie had brought about. It would be the only thing on their minds until something more exciting happened. One would think that one of the princesses, the embodiment of the Sun no less, would have been enough but Rarity had seen the way the locales had been following Twilight through the market.

Rarity pushed aside purple and green color squares, digging through the contents of the drawer. This was her penance for having such poorly managed assorted hues of fabrics. A gold could be nice, she thought as she laid it aside. Yellow would be tacky, black a cliche.

Pink would be for a filly, like her sister. Rarity swept the drawer closed and slapped her hooves against the top of the counter.

"Celestia's sake, he didn't even really say it," Rarity objected to the empty room, "this is all just rampant rumormongering."

He hadn't said much of anything in the library, that was right. Just that Sweetie Belle had been nice to him. She was a rather kind filly, whenever she wasn't getting on Rarity's nerves. What else could you expect from sisters?

And he'd said that she'd been nice to him. Unlike other foals. She'd heard about Canterlot from some of the other adults in town. She'd worked with a few Canterlot clients prior to Twilight. She knew the attitude of the city, and the attitude of their children on the rare occasions they came along to the boutique.

That superiority was directed at other ponies. Spike had grown up there, a dragon whelp...

Rarity opened the draw again, and brushed off the top layer of bundled cloths. Beneath it sat a color she'd overlooked before. It would be perfect, she knew now.

Returning upstairs, she laid down a matte gray swatch and grabbed a fresh page of parchment.

On it, she sketched the outline of a shield.

The sound of wheels skirting over gravel crept through the old schoolhouse windows. Cheerilee's lips spread into the slightest smile.

"Finally got bored of gallivanting around Ponyville?" she asked as the door creaked. Her question was answered by a shrug of the filly's wings as they set their scooter against the wall by the door.

Scootaloo wandered past the teacher's desk and grabbed some loose paper and an eraser. "Do you have the- oh, thanks."

Cheerilee had retrieved her study book from a lower drawer and laid it on the corner of her desk. "Complete pages twenty nine through thirty two and bring it right back up," Cheerilee chastised with her best authoritative voice, "I mean it, little miss speedster."

The filly scoffed and took the bundle back to the desk she'd claimed over the course of the past few months. Cheerilee could recall from cleaning that the window looked out over the open field on the edge of the town. It was a Monday afternoon with fair weather; Cheerilee didn't have to look to see the source of the distant popping noises.

No doubt, Dash was out there 'practicing' her new routine on some unsuspecting clouds.

Scootaloo might stick around the rest of the day as long as that mare kept it up. Cheerilee stood from her chair and addressed the distracted filly, "I'm going to fetch dinner. What would you like?"

A few seconds later, she heard the usual "Pear and a slice of pumpkin pie, please."

Cheerilee left the school house and proceeded down the dusty road to the town square.

As per tradition, the day court dragged on into the late evening hours. Celestia drew a long gulp of water from the pitcher beside her throne and beckoned for one of the court scribes. Pulling a note from her throne-side table, a levitating quill inked down her name and an antiquated series of numbers. Her aura surrounded the letter and thrust it over to the pony as they approached the princess. "Could you please go to the First Equestrian Bank and ask for the sum of this account?" Celestia requested to the mare's frantically bobbing head. As the pony hurried off, the note passed under a waning ray of sunlight. Even through the folded paper, Celestia could make out the radiant glow of the royal ink penned within. It normally sufficed for regal business even without her signature.

The recess was closed and court resumed. The dreary business of noblepony squabbles carried out for what seemed like an eternity even to a being as long-lived as she was. Her greatest feats of strength in this age was surpressing the urge to groan with each new height of trite her subjects reached each day.

Granted, it probably seemed that way because given how she avoided committing most of these hearings to memory and had started doing so several centuries ago.

On the topic of centuries, how long had it been since she'd last checked on the "Goose's Gold", as the bank attendants of old had referred to one of the oldest accounts in Equestrian history. Years? Decades? There were so few situations to justify her snooping in on the amount.

She could never quite shake off the feeling that it didn't belong to her.

She'd told the children that morning that she was paid thirty bits a year but that was only half true. The law itself allotted a royal stipend of sixty...

'Sixty bits for the ruling sisters' she recalled the exact line from the ancient memorandum on the national budget.

As the current pompous speaker blabbered on, Celestia saw the scribe from earlier enter the room and shakily make their way back to the throne, avoiding the watchful eyes of the audience as she clutched the note tightly to her chest.
"Mah-" the mare stammered as she presented the note to the princess, "Ma'am..." Her eyes darted back and forth, as if at any moment she would be beset by some marauding griffon or drake, or highwaypony.

Celestia took the note and thanked the scribe, "You have my gratitude, as you were..."

She unfolded the note and scanned the amount.

She flipped the missive over to glance at the backside, and then spun it top to bottom.

The pony who hoofed that transaction when she withdrew it for the rightful recipient was going to make quite the commission...

Celestia sighed. They would just be another addition to the day court.

Mayor Mare emptied out the last of her inbox onto the table. There were several envelopes with the familiar clunk of bits, no doubt for fines or licenses, some correspondence from others in her line of work and finally a pamphlet of papers that she recognized from the night before. She hadn't that application those for at least another few days. Celestia had told her that Twilight would be punctual.

The mare stood and walked to the side of the room. She readjusted her tea set and started a new pot. She had a secretary for a reason but while she trusted the colt with many things, her beverages were not one of them.

She thought back on the conversation she'd had with Celestia...

The princess had told her that Spike was Twilight's assistant.

She couldn't recall ever having any heartfelt conversations with Rimonim in a moonlit library.

Mayor Mare filled a teacup and returned to her desk. She moved the application to the completed pile. It was always just a formality, anyways.

Author's Note:

Think of this as some sort of intermission or season finale. It's a collection of some short scenes I wanted to write that didn't entirely justify their own slots as a chapter or a spin off.

Up next, we have the first days for Twilight and Spike. Not sure who is having their turn first.