• Published 28th Dec 2012
  • 1,852 Views, 64 Comments

Duet of Strings - Prosopeio

What are the true origins of the cellist Octavia? And why does a letter from her Mother bring so much grief with it?

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The Harmony

Dearest Greensleeves,

I pray this letter finds you well. I apologize I cannot be there personally to tell you this news, but you know how the Circuit goes. Every gig could be your last, and I had to do this one for personal reasons. So let me say this bluntly before I start waxing poetic on you. Your sister, Octavia, is coming to the next Reunion. Likely the confirmation hasn't been sent yet, but I have it on good accounts that she will arrive, possibly in the company of the Oranges and a friend or two. I know it has been forever since you or any Apple have seen her, but please don't harbor any ill will towards her. She suffered, same as all of us, at your father's passing and needed to go about things in her own way. I wish I could be there to see you both side by side for the first time in years, but this benefits concert should help prevent other ponies from ending up like we did.

I must confess I MIGHT have puled the Promise on her by exaggerating a few things. Which reminds me, did your cough get better? I know it was only a light cold, but you really should look after yourself a lot more. And you simply must go out and meet other ponies dear, as active as I am, I may see your Father any day now. When we do meet in the great beyond, I do hope to tell him about the kind of stallion that would take care of our grandfoals and yourself.

I love you dearly, and I know Octavia does too.

Your mother,

Jazz 'Jazz Band' Apple

Striking the latter part of the letter from her mind with the ease of years of practice, Harmony Greensleeves Apple read and re-read the letter in her hooves before letting out a loud whoop of joy that rang throughout the Apple household. "Granny Apple Rose! Grandpa Stayman! Mama has great news!" she cried, galloping through the farmhouse on hooves that seemed lighter than air. "Octavia's finally coming to a reunion!"

As she galloped into the dining room, she noticed Grandpa Stayman was sitting at his usual place, reading the latest newspaper from Cloudsdale. Letting it drop slightly, he gave Greensleeves a steady look, before letting out a snort and going back to his newspaper. The elderly stallion proved that Apples grew strong, his old body as large as cousin Big Mac, and if Granny Apple Rose was to be believed, his hide was stronger than tree bark. His coat was a dusty oak brown, while his proud mane and tail, grayed with age, still carried a few wisps of the bright red of his youth. The mark on his flank was that of a checkerboard, black on white with a crowned apple sitting in its center.

"Stayman, ya old fuddy duddy! Yer mute not deaf, give yer granddaughter a 'good mornin' or else!" shouted an older mare from the kitchen. As she did, Harmony could see her grandfather mouth the warning word for word, eyes rolling as he gently set down the newspaper. "And don't ya mock me, Stayman!"

Shaking his head, the old stallion held his forelegs wide, nodding at Greensleeves before getting tackled in a hug and kissed on the forehead. "Good morning, Grandpa Stayman." Greensleeves said with a giggle. Pulling away from her grandfather, she glanced about curiously, hearing nothing but the elderly mare in the kitchen going about her business. Frowning, she perked her ears up and strained her hearing, before looking to the elder before her in confusion. "Have you seen the girls? They weren't in their beds, so I hope they are doing their chores!"

Before Stayman could respond, Apple Rose's voice carried from the kitchen, heralding her arrival before she walked in with platter on her back, a rather tall stack of apple pancakes resting on it. "Now don't ya fret none, Greenie. I simply sent the girls out to help buck some apples. After seein that letter was from Jazzy, we decided ta have a chat with ya away pryin ears that don't know no better." Easing the stack of pancakes onto the table, Apple Rose moved to give her granddaughter a hug. "Good mornin, sweetie."

The bespectacled mare smiled as she pulled away, her mane and tail impeccably curled as always as she looked over Greensleeves. "Ya been sleepin okay? Wouldn't want ya catchin another cold before the big Reunion. Have a seat Greenie, and eat some pancakes. That is, if that pig of a husband I've got would kindly leave ya some!" Quickly, the look of kindness on her features morphed to a glare as she turned to Stayman. Already, more than half the large stack of pancakes were on his plate, drizzled with syrup and already being consumed. Hearing his name, the silent stallion perked his ears, paid Apple Rose a simple glance, before motioning to the rest that he thoughtfully did not add to his plate before eating again.

Giggling at the back and forth between her grandparents, Greensleeves allowed herself to sit down at the table. "Oh Granny, Mama says Octavia will finally be coming to the Reunion! I can already imagine what it will be like! When we go to the big Reunion, Apples greeting each other after so long, we'll suddenly see each other through the crowd! It would be a slight glance, after all, our mane colors are rather rare in the Apple Family. But after locking eyes, it would be as if finding an old friend again, the bond we share as not just sisters, but twins, pulling us towards each other. We would be hesitant at first, unsure what to say to each other after so long... but then, words would not be needed, would they? Tears would well up as years of unspoken feelings and missed opportunities caught up to us, and before all of our Family we would break down and cry, one clinging to the other as we wailed like fillies." Dabbing at her eyes with a napkin, Greensleeves tried to keep herself from breaking down then and there at the imagined meeting. "Oh and how we would catch up, she telling me all about her amazing life in Manehattan, me telling her all about the girls and the farm. And then she would bring out her cello, and I my violin, and we would play the song we earned our Cutie Marks with, and the Apple Family would dance about, cheering and hollering in joy as Octavia rejoins the Apple Family! Oh it's such a beautiful scene I can't help but tear up right now!"

An angry rumble from her stomach pulled Greensleeves from her daydream, reminding her she had yet to eat. Glancing at her plate, she looked at it curiously, before turning to Apple Rose, who seemed halfway done with a stack of her own pancakes. "When did my stack get so tall?" she asked, the previous stack only reaching her snout, where the one before her now seemed to go past her eyes.

"Oh, bout halfway through yer tearful reunion. Yer old stack was gettin cold, so Stayman ate it, and I had plenty o' time ta make more." Apple Rose said with a smirk. "Now eat up before yer stomach makes the neighbors think we're keepin a wild bear in here."

Chagrined, Greensleeves poured a healthy helping of syrup over her breakfast before attacking the pancake stack with a gusto. After making sure Greensleeves was dedicated to the task of eating her fill, Apple Rose slid her remaining pancakes to Stayman. The elder stallion's eyes lit up brightly at the offer and nearly inhaled the pancakes. Shaking her head at the sight, Apple Rose let out a sigh, before turning to focus on the task at hand. Namely, Greensleeves.

"Now child, I know how much ya wanna see yer twin sister again. I do, I'd give mah left kidney to see mah favorite cousin again, if just fer a day. But what ya gotta do is be realistic. Ya know what happens when ya get overworked over somethin, ya start livin in a dream. Ya get yerself all hot 'n bothered with high expectations that, if anything isn't just right, ya either deny it was supposed ta happen or break down." As Greensleeves tried to make some kind of argument, Apple Rose held up a hoof and gave a stern look that only mothers could ever truly master. "Don't talk with yer mouth full, and keep eatin, I ain't done yet!" Cowed, Greensleeves nodded and continued eating, her ears perked to listen to what the older mare wished to say.

"Now... yer twin sister ain't never been to any of the previous Reunions since yer Daddy was taken from us. Nopony blames her fer it, but who's ta say this Reunion's gonna be any different? I know how much it means ta ya, and Jazzy ain't one ta make promises she can't keep... but ya gotta promise that ya ain't gonna get too excited bout this. It'll just kill me if ya get yer hopes up only ta spend the entire Reunion constantly lookin fer somepony what ain't there! And I ain't just thinkin bout ya, but the little ones. Think of what it'll do ta them if ya spend the entire Reunion cryin and mopey bout somepony they ain't never met. Then how do ya think they'll react whenever they learn that the somepony that made ya feel sad at a Reunion is yer own sister?" Letting out a long sigh, Apple Rose shook her head, her curls bouncing slightly as she did. "I don't mean ta bring ya down, Greenie. It's juss... the last time ya got this way, ya were heartbroken for months." Glancing meaningfully at the door, Apple Rose slowly left the table. "Maybe I'm wrong and she'll come. Juss think bout what I said."

Greensleeves looked down at her empty plate and licked her chops clean of syrup, though the normally sweet taste of the apple pancakes seemed dull from the tone of the talk. Before she could come up with any kind of response, Apple Rose had pulled the door open to cause three young fillies to fall in a colorful pile. Jumping slightly at the sight, Greensleeves blinked in confusion as she glanced from the pile of fillies, to the door, then back again, as if trying to make sense of the situation. "Sweet? Spice? Cinnamon? Dearest lights of my life, brightest Apples of my orchard? Why, exactly, did you all fall through when Granny Apple Rose opened the door?" she said in an even, sweet tone. One that carried with it a hidden promise that all children knew to fear when used.

The first to pull herself free was a soft pink filly whose mane and tail were a bright lime green, disheveled from a day of playing about outside. "Um... we finished helpin the Apple Buckers and they told us to go back inside." Apple Sweet said softly, looking embarrassed for having been caught as she did.

The second to pull herself free from the tangle of limbs was a golden orange filly, her mane a darker shade of green than her sister's and just as messy as Sweet's was. "Yeah, Granny said she wanted to talk to ya all private like, so we decided to stay outside til she finished!" Apple Spice smiled brightly, whether to show pride in how grown up a decision they made or pride from coming up with that on the spot, it was unclear.

The last filly, Apple Cinnamon, was a crimson red filly whose mane and tail were the brightest shade of green of the triplets. She also had the hardest time getting up, having been at the bottom of the pile. "Y'all are heavy..." she groaned, slowly pulling herself back up to her hooves to stand by her sisters. "And we didn't hear nothin bout no sister Mama, nope!" Spice groaned at her sister's choice of words, while Sweet decided to make her displeasure known with a swift hoof to the back of the head. "OW!"

Standing up from the table, Greensleeves closed her eyes and took long, deep breaths, doing her best to keep calm. "Kids are kids, let them play and learn..." she muttered to herself. The words of wisdom from her father were a mantra to her, calming her nerves before she dared open her eyes again. "Girls, eavesdropping is wrong. You can't listen to other pony's conversations like that! If I ever catch you doing it again, all of you will have matching flanks, and I am NOT talking cutie marks. You get me?"

The girls all swallowed and nodded in unison. "Yes Mama!"

Nodding, Greensleeves smiled, before moving to her girls, pulling them in a big hug. "Good! Now, since you all are curious, I guess it's high time I tell you about my twin sister. Your Grandma Jazzy told me she might be coming, so you should hear some stories about your Auntie Octavia, right?"

With the danger of punishment passed, the three fillies started to fire off question after question. Smiling softly, Greensleeves lead them off to the sitting room to tell tales of her youth. Despite Granny Apple Rose's warning, Greensleeves couldn't help but keep her hopes up. After all, no Apple would break the Promise.

Author's Note:

Finally, we get a glimpse of Harmony Greensleeves Apple and her current situation and personality. It took me a while, since I had to build a completely new computer and wait even longer for replacement RAM sticks. In the end, I finally got this out.

What's that? Where did the triplets come from? Well, when I decided that I wanted to use Granny Apple Rose, I rewatched the Reunion episode a few times to try and catch any mannerisms (which thankfully, she has few). I noticed, as she was leaving the carriage, that three similar looking blank flanked fillies collapsed out of the carriage first, followed by Apple Rose. Grandchildren (or in this case, Great-Grandchildren) and so we have three young fillies, born of Greensleeves, sired by an as of yet unrevealed stallion.

Sorry for the wait, and to all of you who waited and all who are just joining us, thank you for giving me a chance ^^ C&C, as always, is appreciated!

Comments ( 20 )

So she's a romantic eh? Well this should be an interesting reunion. :twilightsmile:

Commence read.

Harmony Greensleeves Apple. Alright.

i am just imagining octavia's reaction when she finds out that she has three nieces and that her twin sister is actually a mother

loo0ked over Greensleeves.

"And we didn't hear nothin bout no sister Mama, nope!" Cinnamon groaned at her sister's choice of words, while Sweet decided to make her displeasure known with a swift hoof to the back of the head. "OW!"

I may have been misreading somewhere, but wasn't it Cinnamon that was talking at that point?

Great chapter. Was asking the universe when this would update yesterday and what do ya know! Hope your new computer is good. Can't wait for more of this amazing story. I was kinda expecting it to be third-person limited focused on Octavia for some reason. Don't know why. O vell. Keep it up.

P.S. Have my eye.:ajbemused:

Fixed, thanks for catching it!

Hmm... Greensleeves' a mother, eh?
Octavia, you're slow :P

celestia, luna if your hearing this, for greensleves sake please let vinyl not do something stupid!

Wanderer D

Yes! I'm very pleased to see this! :pinkiehappy:

Greeny's a mommeee!

You better be, cause it's ALL YOUR FAULT!
I mean, thank you.
But seriously, it's your fault she's a mother, TAKE RESPONSIBILITY!

Wanderer D

1982875 Hey, if you want to make them half-griffons I'm fine with that! I like her personality!

But then they wouldn't be ponies, they'd be Hippogriffs.
Nothing WRONG with Hippogriffs, mind, but they are already obviously earth pony fillies. So sorry mate.

but then it wouldn't be much of a fun read, would it? :derpytongue2::rainbowlaugh::pinkiehappy:

so, Tavi's an auntie to triplets, eh? i love it; ANOTHER :flutterrage::yay:

Sure, go ahead. Sorry for the late reply, RL has been.... difficult

2588097No prob. Already did. And know how that is bro:pinkiesad2:

This is REALLY good :D hope you will be able to upload more chapters soon :>

3591418 you don't have to rage about it, you know. It is just a fan fic, nothing that important to your life.

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