A young white colt is left abandoned on Starlight's front doorstep. After discovering he only has a few days left to live, Starlight tries to make it the best of days for him. However, constellation of stars call out to him.
A year after her redemption and another year for Hearth's Warming, Starlight is awakened late at night by a knocking on her door. There, she finds Snow, a colt abandoned by his parents and left with a thick rugged blanket and a rather short note. With no names to go by, Starlight takes to caring for Snow Star and getting to know him. After getting him looked at by a doctor and coming down with a devastating diagnosis, Starlight strives to make Snow's last few days the best he's ever had.
However, a constellation of winter stars peer over the nearby mountains and call out to Snow, their meaning bound in mystery and wonder. A legend that connects the three of them together through a greater unknown.
Any OC names or events that occur in this story are coincidence and entirely unintentional. Story is subject to minor changes.
The day had left a drifting wave of snow over the village and gave way to bitter wind. Lights strung up in celebration of the upcoming holiday, Hearth's Warming. Created to remember the bond of friendship and family and their importance. The air smelled faintly of pines and holly. Ginger overpowered that, as the village baker was staying up all night to create a buffet of treats. The echo of a chorus rang out, singing a cheerful chorus.
Those weren't the only folks who were up, however. Among the shadows, a pair of ponies moved carefully, cautiously. Ensuring that eyes would not catch them sneaking about in the night. They stopped at a house, they choose it with a reason. A reason that remains unknown to this day. They left behind a colt, alone on a doorstep. Sleeping and bundled in the thickest of wool blankets. Still yet he shivered under the glimmering stars. The colt coughed, lightly. A strain for the sick colt, whose body was inherently weak and fragile. His parents stuffed a note into his mane, trapping it behind his ear.
Swiftly and quickly, then knocked on the door and fled into the night, unseen. What hope did they have in leaving their child there? Perhaps they thought they would come back or that some sort of curse was befalling their kin. The door creaked open, a mare cracked open the door, a stream of candlelight breaking through the gap. She glanced around and before turning away, she spotted the colt and brought him inside. “This cold is no good for you.” The colt coughed again, harder this time. “Oh dear.” The note thrusted out from the loose entrapment and fell onto his snout before landing on the floor. A quick flick of teal-colored magic brought the parchment up and unfolded it. Her eyes ran back and forth, scanning the letters written in rough ink.
“Dear kind and gentle stallion/mare,
We hope that you are well, as our child is not. Please take care of him.
The pink mare set the letter down and brushed aside her vivid purple mane, disheveled by her uncomfortable sleep. She brought the colt over to the couch and unfurled the blanket and placed it upon the floor, beside the couch. As it collapsed, another blanket came into the firelight, warm and soft. Gently, she tucked the blanket around the young, “That's better.” She whispered.
She carried herself lightly back to her own bed, grabbing the letter once more. Sitting on the edge, she placed the letter in the drawer of the nightstand. Without much thought, she threw herself under her own blankets. Her eyes closed and instantly her dreams came to. Introductions would have to wait.
As soon as one dream ended, her eyes flew open, meeting the fresh orange sunrise that transformed the snow into a mirror. Closing the curtains, she rolled into her daily morning routine: a shower, breakfast, stretches, and a book. She had taken after her teacher's habits after spending a year in her tutelage. After open the book, she remembered the colt whose faint breathing could still be heard. She wandered over, the fire now like a lantern instead of a warm fire. It's ashen heat still filled the room, however. Peering over the back of the couch, she saw the colt was still asleep but he appeared to struggle with that alone.
“I suppose I'll call a doctor.” She wrote a short message and sent it off with her trustworthy pet, a snowy barn owl she'd received from Fluttershy. She took to the empty chair, a companion piece to the couch. Their woodwork, cloth, and shape all the same. She read for a while, occasionally glancing up from the pages of her novel and watching the child. His breathing had not calmed, nor had it increased. It stayed at a point of weariness and aching. She surmised that the problem was with the colt's lungs but anatomy wasn't her forte.
It seemed like an eternity before the doctor arrived. Who greeted the house with three knocks on the door. A pause, then a squeaking of the hinges filled the air. “Doctor Grey Heart, thank you for coming.” She invited him in, stepping out of his way with a smile.
“It's not often I make house calls, especially from you, Miss Glimmer.” The doctor's character fit his namesake. Grey, short mane and tail, and his most striking feature, a pair of dark red eyes. “You say a colt came upon your doorstep, abandoned?”
“Correct. His breathing has me worried the most. He's on the couch.” Glimmer replied, quietly. Closing the door behind him. “I feel some strange fluctuations with his magic as well. When I'm near him, it feels as if he's being strangled.”
Grey hummed a thought, pulling off his scarf and setting it on a coat hook. He towered over the colt, blocking any light that the fire gave off. He stared a while, inspecting him. Slowly his mane raised up like wind over a plain. In a moment, a flash shattered outward from his crooked horn. The room was aglow, every corner untouched by shadow. His mane settled. “His magic is... inversed. Instead of holding, it leaks and at an alarming rate.” Grey's magic subsided and the fire was at full bloom once more. “His heart can't handle the strain. I'm sorry, Starlight.”
“There's no spell to stop it?”
“Already tried it. It simply gets eaten up. I know you understand this, Starlight.” Grey spoke sternly. Denying her any chance of rebuttal. Grey lowered his shoulders, “He's got three or four days left at least. Six at most. Make them last for him.”
Starlight lowered her head as he made his leave, helping himself out the door. “I understand, Grey.” She whispered solemnly after his departure. She sat down beside the couch, resting her head on the cushion. “Could you wake up already?”
A groan followed, “I'm up, Mom...” he yawned, stretching and snuggled back into the blankets.
She kind of liked that, so she played along. “Breakfast is ready, dear.” She nudged his chin with her hoof. “It's really good.”
The colt's eyes opened up, quickly he glance around the room before landing his eyes on Starlight. “You're... not my Mom.” He frowned. “They abandoned me...”
“They left you on my doorstep, covered in that worn out blanket. I brought you in. I don't think they'll be coming back.”
The colt's eyes dropped and sadness covered his face. He sniffed, trying to hold back his tears. Starlight reached around and lightly held him. The colt hugged her back, tightly as he cold and began to sob. She let him cry it all out; when the eyes became red and dry. After his crying stopped, he slowly fell asleep once more. She let him go slowly, his body heavy and limp. Summoning Pepper, she wrote another letter to Twilight Sparkle. Her teacher of magics and friendship. From her she seeks help in finding some sort of cure for the colt. Starlight had her doubts of a cure for this illness the colt had, but the best she could do was hope that her teacher had something in her grand library. Starlight still had a lot to learn, after all.
She returned to the den, the colt awake and sitting up, his chest in obvious strain. “What's your name, miss?” he asked.
“Starlight Glimmer. What is yours?”
“That's such a wonderful name.”
“I know...” the colt replied solemnly, lowering his head. “Would you happen to have anything to drink, Starlight?”
“How does hot chocolate sound?”
“I haven't had that in a long time. I would love it.” Snow Star replied with a faint smile. It couldn't hide his pain but the drink alone would help ease it.
“That sounds excellent. I'll have some up in a jiffy!” Starlight whipped her magic around the kitchen, tossing it to and fro. She warmed the kettle over the fire until the water was almost boiling. Then poured it into two thick mugs containing just the right amount of cocoa powder. She handed one to Snow and kept the other to herself. The colt stared into the mug, the steam warming his nose. “Say, after this, you wanna go outside and play for a bit?”
“Sure, I guess...”
“We can make igloos and snow ponies.”
“That does sound like fun.” he mumbled. “But I don't know.” He kept his eyes down, thinking that any sort of effort might make him collapse again. Something that's already happened several times before. The last time was when his parents finally decided to abandon him.
They drank their hot chocolate for a bit, silently. Waiting for the other to make a move. Starlight finally got up from the couch and set her mug down on the counter. She gathered up a scarf and a light jacket, which she dangled in front of Snow. “Come on, I can make some more after we come back in. There's something I want to show you.”
“Will these fit?”
“If they don't, I can make them.” Starlight ensured with a slight smile.
They headed outside, the cold refreshing on her cheeks. She drew a deep breath, looking around and making sure Snow was walking okay. He was having trouble with it, his legs were still to weak for walking, the most he could do was stand. Starlight lifted him up with magic and carried him upon her back. Unexpectedly light, she thought. She marched atop the hardened snow that crunched under her hooves. She came to a stop at a tree, large and withered. It's branches appeared to barely live. She turned and sat at tree's base. The colt slid off her back and sat beside her, taking in the view. From here, they could see the town in its entirety. The school's bell tower, the town hall and it's clock tower, and the thin smoke rising from the bakery. Faintly they could hear the birds and the townsfolk, the drifting smell of cookies.
It was lively, yes, but to the Colt, it felt incredibly empty. He had no say, no heart, nor thought in this village. The feeling was nothing new, his family had traveled for years, avoiding something he'll never know. But this sight, it stirred something within the colt, the desire to learn more about the village. To be welcomed by peers and family. Laugh and love as they do. “Can we take a walk to the bakery? I'd love to try some cookies.”
“Oh sure! You'll love them.” Starlight said, merrily. She stood up and wiped the snow off her legs and tail. She lifted him up and placed him on her back again. She trotted along with Snow's forelegs around her collar. “Sugar Belle was one of my first friends when I came here. Her cooking is always so good. Best stuff around, besides Pinkie Pie.”
The name rung a faint and distant bell in Snow's head, yet he couldn't recall how. “What all does she make?”
Starlight rounded a corner, heading toward an open plaza with a single building in the middle. A structure made to look like a plain, unfrosted cake with a bag of sugar at its side. The entrance was shaped like a muffin and the front door had an arched top with clear crystal windows. Starlight opened the door, carefully to keep the cold out as much as she could. She squeezed in through the door and gently closed it. She shivered as her body felt the differences in temperature.
“Sugar Belle?” Starlight called out, letting Snow climb down.
A voice called back from the kitchen, a room gated by a single two-way door. “Starlight! It's so good to see you!” A pale purple pony with darker hair came through the door, carrying a plate of cake. A slice of it was tugged out to reveal the color, a red velvet with chunks of white chocolate scattered throughout. A thin brown line divided the two layers, showing off the craftsmanship of the thing. How perfect the fluff was. Snow's eyes remained locked to it.
Starlight noticed his gaze with a quick glance and smiled. She turned her attention back to Sugar, “Sugar, dear, It's great to see you too!” Starlight relieved Sugar of the plate and hugged her. “It's been a while, I know. Would you happen to have any cookies?” She asked, setting the plate on the counter.
“Cookies? Aren't you usually a cake goer?” Sugar eyed her suspiciously. “Is there someone new?”
“Yes, but not in the way you're thinking.” Starlight answered.
“Oh?” Sugar peered around Starlight. “When did you have a colt?”
“Last night, he was abandoned on my doorstep.”
Sugar's eyes darted back and forth between the two of them, comparing their makeup. “What kind of cookies does he like?” Starlight gave a small, unknowing shrug. “Ah, I think I've just the thing, a cookie sampler. Best way to find out!” She squeaked joyously before retreating back into the kitchen.
Starlight and Snow took a seat at one of the few tables in the bakery, waiting for her return. An awkward silence befell the two. A few moments later she brought out a large platter of cookies of many flavors. Placing it upon the table, the colt reached for a cookie. Starlight grabbed his hoof, “Snow, say thank you, first.”
Snow looked up and stuttered, “T-t-thank you..” Starlight let go of his hoof and Snow reached for the most inviting cookie of the platter; a dark chocolate, chocolate chip cookie. He raised it to his mouth and took a bite. His eyes lit up and he devoured the rest of the cookie. He reached for another and tried it, enjoyed it. Eventually he had gone through the entire plate, separating what cookies he enjoyed the most and which ones left a bad taste in his mouth. Starlight was smiling the entire time, taking a cookie here and there, teasing Snow about how good they were.
Snow grew tired of eating them after a while, his jaw beginning to ache, as well as his stomach. His sugar high, however, told him to run around the bakery and play with everything. Starlight quickly put a stop to it using her magic and holding him midair. Sugar told her it was fine, but Starlight didn't want something broke because of it. Sugar understood and packed up the rest of the cookies in a simple and easy to go box. Snow kicked his legs around trying to break free of Starlight's magic until he ran out of breath and began to feel woozy.
“That cake,” Starlight whispered to Sugar, “Do you think you can put it on hold for me?”
“Snow was eyeballing it earlier. I'll pay full price.”
Sugar gave it some thought, a hoof to her chin and eyes rolled up. “I can do that. When do you want it, dear?”
“I'll come by tomorrow morning and pick it up. I have a few short errands to run so I'll be stopping by.” Starlight answered, her thoughts weighing her down.
“Gotcha. Just don't forgot or I'll deliver it personally.” Sugar smirked evilly. “You know what happens when I do that.”
Starlight recalled a forsaken memory where Sugar had broke down her door and left a note beside a cake she ordered some time ago. All the books and rugs were rearranged.“Yes.”
“Good!” Sugar exclaimed, hopping away.
Starlight set Snow on her back once more and carried the cookies out the door. She walked a little ways before asking what kind of cookies Snow enjoyed the most. To which he pondered long and curiously, answering with “All of them.” before falling asleep once more.
Starlight walked home, keeping her steps soft to avoid waking Snow. When she reached home, she set Snow down on the couch once more, covering him up with the cozy blanket once more. She sat the box down on the kitchen counter and sat down by the couch, repeating how the morning had started. She thought over the errands that she had to run tomorrow and worried about how long it be before Twilight would arrive, if she did. In hindsight she could've easily teleported the letter. Either way, she wouldn't know if or when she would come across it.
Then a knocking came to the door. A familiar one, too. She stood and walked over to the door, opened it just enough to peek through to see Twilight Sparkle, Princess and Element of Friendship. “Hey Twilight, did you get my letter?”
“I did. What you've described, is very peculiar. Can I take a look at him?” Twilight inquired.
“He's sleeping at the moment, but you're free to stay, of course. I'd rather you take a look at him while he's awake.” Starlight opened the door completely so Twilight could get out of the cold.
“Understandable.” Twilight acknowledge as she entered, taking in the warmth and smell of the Starlight's home. “You've been keeping a fire going?”
“I have, mostly to keep this guy warm.” She smiled. “Anyways, how have you been?”
“I've been well.”
The two chatted quietly for a while, catching up on things that they've missed. It was hard for Twilight not to talk about political matters, considering her royal status. It seemed that a lot of things that she does now with her friends ties into it and has slowly become hard to avoid. No new villains wished to cause trouble and no greedy corporate figureheads wanting to take property that didn't belong to them. All the problems they have run into have been small and boring. Talks of this or that. Twilight grew tired of it.
Starlight, on the other hand, had started replaying her role as a leader type in the village. A place that still held no name to bare, primarily because no one has bothered. Everyone just kind of lived there and if anyone ever asked, they said it was just “our village.”. Starlight recalled her return after her final bout with Twilight, a frustrating event that could've been avoided had it not been for her own selfish reasons. She had taken time to find her childhood friend once more they too, caught up with each other but they'd grown so far apart now. Any communication between the two of them was rare.
Time passed and the sun had set and the moon had taken it's place. Shining as bright as it always had. Twilight's attention kept turning to the couch, the colt she had originally came to see had slowly become an aching itch at the back of her mind. “Starlight, the colt, what's his name?”
“Snow Star.” Starlight answered. “I figured out his name after I had sent the letter.”
“That's a lovely name. A doctor said there was something wrong with his heart?”
“Weak heart and that he can't use magic in any way but his body is eating it up like we breathe air. Even if we used a barrier, it wouldn't work. The only thing I can think of doing is drawing magic from him but where would we even put it?”
Twilight recalled what Tirek had done to Equestria some time ago. As much as she hated the thought, it was the only solution she could think of. “I've got just the thing, but I think I'm going to let you cast the spell.”
“Are you sure about that?”
“It might not help his heart, but it can help the magic problem.” Twilight answered her somewhat regretfully. “We don't know enough yet about those kinds of things, I'm afraid.”
“Grey Heart reinforced that earlier.”
“A bit of a stick in the mud, isn't he?”
Starlight snickered, “Yea, he is.”
Twilight pulled out a small book of notes that she kept with her. A thing filled to the brim with spells that she had created anew or were variations built atop of known spells. Starswirl the Bearded was the basis for a majority of them. She flipped to the last page which was practically untouched save for a few scratches of ink at the top. “This is something I've been working on for you, Starlight. The last page is for you to fill out.”
Starlight stared at the empty page for a moment. “I suppose you made so it would record my spell cast?” Twilight nodded. “You're always thinking ahead, Twilight. I wonder why you haven't succeeded Celestia yet.” Starlight mused.
“Because I still have a great many things to learn.” Twilight answered. “Let's see if this works.”
Starlight lead Twilight over to the couch, seeing the colt sleeping peacefully and short of breath. He appeared to be plagued by a nightmare, his hooves kicking ever so slightly. As if all he knew was running. Twilight told Starlight how to cast the spell and would guide her along. Starlight calmed her nerves and worked up a small wisp of magic from her horn that connected to Snow. Following Twilight's words, she tugged back on it and suddenly the flow of magic began to reverse. Magic of varying colors burst out from Snow's head and coursed its way up to Starlight's horn where it forced its way into her. Starlight felt as if she was burning up on the inside, feverish, and overcome with fire. Then the magic stopped, fizzling away once the spell was complete. Snow's eyes and hooves appeared rested and a faint smile showed itself.
“This is wrong, Twilight.” Starlight whispered fearfully. The new surges of magic became nearly uncontrollable. Starlight fought to calm it, as small sparks darted out from her horn and body. “How did he have this much?”
“His body is a sinkhole of magic. Anything that goes in doesn't escape and Equestria has magic flowing freely through the air. He's a time bomb.” Twilight's shoulders dropped. “If you can do this at least once a day, then he should be okay.” She closed her book and set it aside.
“About that, Twilight. Grey Heart said that he only has a few days left to live.”
Twilight gasped. “Oh no...” She held onto Starlight's jittering shoulders. “Does Snow know that?”
“I don't know. The best I can do for him now is just give him the most enjoyment he can get. I think he'll know when it's time to go. He already seems so weary.”
“Starlight...” Twilight gave her a hug. “Your heart's in the right place. Do the best you can. I'll see if I can find some sort of solution to this. ”
Twilight had left after the spell was complete. Starlight was unable to sleep the entire night. The new surge of magic kept her up and active. To keep her mind busy she delved into what books she had, read them all despite their length. Her mind raced like a cheetah and her ears like hummingbirds. She cleaned up too. Washed the dishes, fixed the bed, oiled the hinges on the front door. Lastly, she read through the notes that Twilight had given her. Memorizing the first half before Snow woke up and desired a glass of water and after that, Snow fell asleep on the couch once more.
The surges of magic began to settle down once morning began to roll around. As she was making breakfast, an idea popped into her head, adoption. Something that the village hadn't quite created a system for. Circumstances for adoptions came along very rarely and were often quick. Starlight, with this thought, recalled the moment that Snow called her mom. She liked that. Before long, breakfast was finished. She left a note for Snow, telling him that she had gone out for a little while.
Her first trip was to the Town Hall. She went about there, gathering the papers that she need to push the adoption through. His age, his name, his state of health, and the reasoning behind the adoption. She then gave the papers to the clerk who looked them over. “Give us two to three days.” He said. “We also need Snow here for a photograph. Bring him in when you can.”
“I'll do that as soon as I can, thank you.”
“Glad I could help. Miss Starlight, I can put this in front of the others, if you like. Might speed things up a bit.”
“That would be fantastic, Clerky.”
“With pleasure.” He smiled.
With that task nearly completed, Starlight ran over to Sugar's bakery once more. The two chatted as Starlight waited for her to put the finishing touches on the cake. Pink frosting with little white swirls lining its circumference. Nothing too special. Just something simple enough for Snow. She had a feeling he wouldn't mind the color.
Before Starlight turned away with the cake, Sugar teased, “So, what's it like being a mommy?”
Starlight's face flushed red. “It's only been a day, Sugar. Besides the adoption papers haven't gone through-” Starlight blurted out before covering her mouth with her hooves. She looked back at Sugar who had an interrogating stare. “I filled out papers this morning.”
“That's so exiting!” Sugar squealed. “I can't wait until we hold birthday parties for him! Oh, and holiday get togethers and-”
“Sugar.” Starlight shushed, her face changing from embarrassment to stern. “Can I talk to you in the kitchen, please?” Sugar quickly complied, knowing far too well, that when Starlight was serious, she meant it. Everything about her would change, from her voice to her posture. Starlight followed Sugar in and made sure no one else could hear. “About the colt, Snow Star, he's only got a few days left to live, according to Grey Heart. I want these last few days of his to be his best. He, and his parents, have been running for far too long. Now they left Snow Star behind without a whole lot to say. Needless to say, Snow's heart can't handle it anymore.”
Sugar's eyes began to well up, “I'm so sorry Starlight. Let's make these last few days the best they can be for him.” She hugged Starlight. “Do you want me to tell everyone else or no?”
“I'd like to keep it between us. Double Diamond and Party Favor too, if it comes to that. I've told Twilight as well, but she has other matters to attend to.” Starlight left out the real issue why Twilight couldn't stay. Thinking the more important matter was Snow's heart than the magic sinkhole his body had.
“You're crystal clear, Starlight.” Sugar said, pulling away. “I'll support you and Snow all the way.”
Starlight left the bakery with the cake she had came for and headed back home. She came in to find the fire up and anew. Fresh logs had been tossed in and another few off to the side so that they could dry. She found Snow sitting at the kitchen table, eating and reading one of her books. He also had his blanket draped over his back to keep him warm. Snow may have a weak heart, but he didn't let it slow him down. Starlight, set the cake on the counter, out of sight, and then sat down at the other end of the table. “Snow, you really shouldn't exert yourself too much.”
“I'm fine, Starlight. It started getting cold, so I restarted the fire.” Snow flipped the page and took another bite of his breakfast. “Thank you for the breakfast, Starlight. It's good.”
“Thank you. Would you like to take a walk around town today?”
“Sure.. Is it okay if I ride on your back again?”
“It's fine.” Starlight assured with a endearing smile. Snow's face reddened a little bit and made Starlight giggle. “You like that, don't you?”
“It was nice... Gave my legs some rest.” He slumped down a bit and folded an ear to the page and closed the book. “My family did a lot of running...” Snow sniffed, “I fell behind a lot because I couldn't keep up. The night they left me here was the last time. I can't remember what we were running from.” Starlight listened carefully to his words. “I'm just so tired of it! I can't handle it anymore!” Snow pouted profusely. Starlight got up from the chair and approached him. “Are you going to make me run too?” He had his face buried into his hooves at this point and his sobbing intensified.
“No, I'm not.” She embraced him tightly has he cried into her shoulder. “It's not your fault, Snow. None of it is.”
Snow's voice delved into incoherency and stifled breathing. Eventually, his tears dried up. Pulling away, he dried his eyes, rubbing excessively with his hooves. “I'm just so tired...” Snow looked up to Starlight with his ice blue eyes. Beautiful things that have seen so much and held thoughts that weighed heavily on his mind. No pony his age should have eyes like that. “Thank you.” He smiled softly and hugged her once again, tighter and without the tears.
Snow quickly went back to eating his breakfast, his mood changed for the better. Starlight went over to her door, where she had a row of coat hooks. Upon one was an extremely lengthy scarf that she had found. She grabbed it and walked over to Snow. She stood behind him and carefully wrapped the scarf around his neck. “Snow.” She said softly. “This scarf, I want you to have it. When I'm away from the house, it shall remind you of me.” A half lie of sorts. In the same moment, she could his body pull her magic away from him. “After you're done eating, let's go to the town hall. I have a bit of a surprise for you.”
“Really?” Snow excitedly replied. “Let's go now!”
“Food first, silly. We don't want it to spoil.” Starlight smiled, lightly laughing.
“Right.” Snow hurried to finish his breakfast and jumped out off his chair, quickly flailing the scarf around his neck. “Comfty scarf.”
Starlight waited for him by the door, where she was slipping on her boots. Snow ran over and tried to hop up on her back. The landing threw her off balance and fell onto the floor. “Snow!” She said, laughing. “Patience, silly.” She stood back up while Snow sat like a puppy, waiting to be let out. When she was ready, she set him on her back, his forelegs wrapped around her collar once more.
The clear day set their pace. Steadily they made their way to the town hall. Snow's eyes caught more details of the town itself. The smells of kitchens and firewood, tastes of foods drifting in the breeze, and the sight of ponies of all kinds in merriment. Colts and fillies played in the snow, having snowball fights or building snow ponies. Some built igloos or sculptures taking the forms of their idols. Patches of grass were exposed from the amount of snow being moved around, making for an odd sight amongst the white plains.
They reached the town hall, a small building with a clock tower and a bell in tow. Both visible from the short flight of stairs in front of the grand entrance. Pillars of cloudy marble held an overhanging roof. The front of which bared intricate carvings of flora and a balanced scale. A place of the highest of attitudes.
Starlight ascended the stairs to find Clerky practically waiting for her to arrive. He sat by the front doors, “Starlight, welcome back.” he welcomed with a jolly smile. “That must be Snow, I presume?”
“It is.” Starlight answered as Snow peered around her neck. “Say hi to Clerky, Snow.”
“...Hi... Clerky.” Snow muttered.
Clerky hummed, “He's cute.” Turning his eyes back to Starlight, he continued, “Everything's setup, come on in and we'll get the last step of this done.”
“Last step?” Snow whispered, confused.
“You'll see, don't be afraid.” Starlight said in a promising tone. Yet, in her mind, there was still a bit of a nagging fear that Snow would reject the idea.
Clerky went inside and Starlight followed closely behind. The lobby wasn't too extravagant, it was rather ordinary but yet, it was refined and clean. Composed and professional. It was quiet and the air held no smells save for the potted ferns that filled in the corners. Clerky led them to a small area that was partially walled off and had pale white coloring. Clerky readied the camera and its associated equipment. “Starlight.”
She sat Snow down and did the same. “Snow...” She said softly. “How do you feel about adoption?”
“Adoption? I don't know what that is.”
“Oh my goodness.” Starlight brought a hoof to her lips, piecing together an explanation. “Well... it's kind of like this: a pony's parents don't want them anymore or are unable to care for them. Maybe something happens where the child is orphaned. An older pony, like me, starts taking care of them. Adopting means that you can become part of my family.”
“That... sounds nice but I don't know. Do you think my parents will come back?”
“I believe you know the answer, Snow.” Starlight placed a hoof on his shoulder.
Snow's heart dropped. He held some hope that they would return. Yet the rest of his mind knew that they wouldn't. Abandonment was something they had discussed several times, thinking that he couldn't hear them. Their ignorance lead to much of their troubles. This new life, it was already better. The feeling and needing for a better life, to break free from all of the running, it grew ever stronger the more he thought about it. Courage worked up through his voice, “Thank you, Starlight.”
The two hugged. Clerky smiled, “That looks like a yes to me. Congratulations, Starlight, you're a mother.” Clerky patiently waited for the two split until he finally patted Starlight on the head and loudly cleared his throat.
“Oh, sorry.” Starlight laughed awkwardly, her face all red. “Let's get your picture taken, Snow.”
Clerky directed Snow to the taped off section of the floor, which marked the spot where he should sit or stand. After correcting his posture and directing his attention toward the camera. Clerky leveled the camera lens with Snow's head and adjusted its field of view to capture a perfect portrait shot of Snow and nearly all of his tangled, messy mane. Starlight attempted to fix it a little bit with some magic, but she only managed to straighten out the worst part of his bangs. Snow tried to keep his cheeks from flushing red, but failed in the end when Starlight called him cute.
When Snow was ready, Clerky snapped a few quick pictures and glanced over to a small screen. “All right, a couple hours and the photos should be fully developed. I'll put the official statement in your mailbox later.” Clerky shifted a few files around and finished, “Go have fun, you two. It's a good day for it.”
Starlight hastily let Snow climb onto her back and the two quickly walked out the main doors. “What do you want to do first, Snow?” Starlight asked while the two overlooked the plaza.
“Let's make an igloo, but can we do it by that tree you took we went to yesterday?” Snow said. “I liked it there.”
Starlight listened and saw through his words that he was scared of being around so many others. So she lightly trotted outside the village and headed to the tree once more. With the wind picking up, she casted a shield to block it. It relieved the burning the wind which was giving their cheeks and eyes a rosy shade of pinks and reds. They made it to the tree once more, and sat by its trunk a while to watch the smoke rise from chimneys. Starlight expanded the shield to cover the tree and the area around it.
Then the two proceeded to build igloos through some trail and error. The snow was still rather soft, not quite hard enough for packing yet, easily solved by a small cast of magic. She taught him how to build with the snow. How to form the blocks and how they should be placed in the structure. Slowly and surely they assembled the domed portion. Then came the arched entry way that reached out from it. From within the entrance, Starlight carefully punched out the wall that would lead into the dome. She ensured that there was space enough for the two of them to comfortably lay by each other. The final touch was a small carving of their names into the foundations of the igloo. As unneeded as it was, the sentiment was grand.
Enough time passed for the sun to drop below the horizon. Snow had exhausted himself, doing a fair bit of work he wasn't quite used to. To Starlight's surprised, Snow didn't collapse on her. Perhaps the magic drain spell she had used alleviated some strain on his heart. It was a passing thought as she watched Snow lied on his back, staring up at the stars. Snow stared in wonder and Starlight joined him. “Do you like the stars, Snow?”
“What do you think about them.”
“I think... I think they're great. I feel like I could be with them. Up there in the sky, forever and ever. Could you remove the shield?” Starlight did so, the light blue twinkled away in a flash. “That one there, the brightest one.” Snow pointed.
“The blue one?”
“Yea. I keep looking for that one, no matter where I've been. It calms me, I think.” His foreleg fell back onto the snow.
“Maybe when you were born, that star shined on you. Now it watches over you.”
Snow laughed, “You think so? My mom never told me much about the stars. Only that I shouldn't look at them any more. I don't know why.”
“Maybe your mother never saw them like you do.” Starlight comforted.
“Dad never did much but feed us.” Snow frowned.
“Snow... I'm your parent now and I will do whatever it takes to make you happy, I promise you that.”
“Look, the star, it's shining!” Snow smiled, his eyes alight. Joy springing from his voice.
Starlight squinted and saw that it was. Though it was faint, she saw the twinkling that it made. Suddenly, more lights around it appeared and shined just as brightly. They made a peculiar pattern too but the shape was something Starlight couldn't quite figure out. Snow sat up with his mouth open in awe. Starlight continued to watch him, his eyes dazzled until his attention turned to other stars. Trying to find more like it.
Eventually Snow gave in to sleep, and Starlight pulled him into the igloo with her. She closed off the entry to it and made a small in the ceiling. Just enough for the moon to light up the inside. With a bit of luck and memory, Starlight teleported her largest and heaviest blanket into the igloo. It's size was big enough for three and its weight made it rather durable. Starlight looked over him and prepared to cast the drain spell once more. The spell turned it to day in the igloo, the excess light shot through the small hole and remained there until the transfer was complete.
Starlight did not feel the same as before, when the magic kept her awake and wired without any signs of stopping. Now it felt more natural, more serene. As if she had basked in a soft waterfall and could float like a feather in the wind. Starlight recalled Twilight mentioning that the spell would change one's appearances, but Snow's refused to. Even his breath remained steady.
Starlight went back outside and looked for the stars again, they were still and unmoving as a mountain. She thought with her magic and pointed it to just one of them, it glimmered. She aimed at the other ones, they did the same. There was a connection between Snow and those stars, but she wasn't quite sure what. With that, she sent another letter to Twilight, confiding in her knowledge once more.
The cold began to chill her bones as she stood there and when she turned, a fading white light made its presence clear. It was a familiar one too, everyone knew it. Starlight went back inside the igloo and lifted the blanket enough to see his flank. His cutie mark had appeared, taking the shape of a five pointed snowflake resembling a star. Her feelings suddenly became mixed. Overjoyed in that he had gotten his, but at the same time a gnawing sadness ate at the back of her mind.
Her dissonance could wait, sleep was calling her. The stars, however, could not. They will not.
Starlight woke first, bright and early as she always does. She stretched out her legs and found that Snow was still sleeping beside her. Starlight tucks him in a bit more and wanders outside to find the village in a dim orange haze from the sunrise. It looked beautiful and peaceful, like the starry skies had done for her when she journeyed out from her home. The sight was a marvel to behold, despite not being a city of wonder or a mountain of glorious geographies. This simple pleasure of a sunrise on her new home, made her heart flutter. It was an ineffable thing.
She smiled for a moment. Then her mind became overwhelmed by thoughts of raising Snow here. The friends he could make and the life he could live. The life he should've lived. Snow's time was coming up. Either today or the next, he would pass away and Starlight lost hope that he would live any longer than that. Her feelings were becoming desperate and nagging. All she wanted was for Snow to live longer.
She sighed and looked toward the roadway that lead into the village. She spotted an all too familiar face, Twilight Sparkle, whose walking was brisk and careful. Starlight called her over, pushing away her depressing thoughts. They merrily greeted one another, before moving into the igloo to keep out of the wind. Starlight blocks off Snow's ears with a bit of magic and asks Twilight what she found out about Snow's illness and the stars that seemed to communicate with him.
Twilight begins with issue of his magic well and his heart. A charm that pushes, or nullifies magic from reaching him in the first place would solve the magic problem. However, it wouldn't get rid of whatever latent magic was still in his body and instead, it would backfire if he tried doing anything with it. Starlight described her experience with the magic drain spell, how it kept her fired up throughout the night, unable to contain it. The second time, it was like it had embraced her. Coddled and wrapped her like a mother and child. Twilight ensured her that the first time was normal, but the second was not. A perplexing thing that many would be opposed to testing.
Snow's heart on the other hand, was a problem that couldn't be solved to their knowledge. Surgeries had taken place to try a heart transplant, but the idea was new and their understanding of how ponies and how their hearts worked was still something being heavily studied. The topic was up in the air and wildly undetermined. The procedure itself is a high risk. Starlight understood her explanation but had the itching thought that Grey Heart may have had a shot at it once. May be it was a reason for his bitterness.
As for the stars, Twilight said she had to dig through her books for a long while. She compared many other legends that told tales of a small constellation of stars that would appear and disappear some years later. Eventually, the legends turned into a mythos about death and rebirth and celebrations were held on their behalf for when they came and for when they left. The mythos faded away with the cultures that held to it, as they all slowly began to forget the reason. Some believed that stars were waiting for someone, others thought it was purely magic. Why they were starting to glimmer now was still a mystery.
Finally, Starlight asked Twilight, her voice troubled. “Do you think there may still be a way to save him?” She had the sinking feeling that if his heart didn't quit first, the stars would.
“I'm sorry, Starlight. I know you wanted this to last longer, I do too. I believe everyone did. I'm truly, truly sorry.” Twilight answered regrettably. The truth was better than lying or making excuses to get around a problem.
Starlight hugged Twilight as tight as she could, her sadness unbearable. “Starlight...” Twilight whispered. “I...” Twilight's voice trailed off as she hugged Starlight back. “If it helps, I can stay.”
“No, Twilight.” Starlight refused. “I'll come to you when this is over. I think it'll be for the best and... I'll tell him about his heart.”
“I understand, Starlight, but please don't abandon him. Show him what his life can be like.”
“I'll figure something out, Twilight. Go, I know you have more important matters to tend to.” Starlight spoke harshly, and coldly.
Taken aback, Twilight answered, “Very well, Starlight. Stop by Ponyville sometime, there's been something we've wanted to show you.”
Starlight simply nodded and watched Twilight crawl her way out of the igloo. Starlight sighed as she removed the spell from Snow's ears. Then she nestled under the blanket with Snow, his oddly warm body becoming more and more like a hearth. She held onto him, tightly, refusing to let him go.
“Starlight...” Snow grumbled through his teeth. “she's the best..” His voice trailed away in a mumble. Starlight wondered who he could be possibly talking to in his sleep. She found it cute and silly. One day she could use it to embarrass him if she really wanted to. Only, that moment may never come like all of the others she's dreamt of. Then, with a heavy gasp, Snow twisted around and shot up, breaking free of her grasp. He took a moment to drink the newest interior of snow bricks, then put a hoof to his head. “Starlight,” he groaned, “I know why the stars were... talking to me.” Confusion and a sense of despair began to settle in for him. “I don't want to leave, Starlight. I don't want to run anymore.”
“What did they say?”
Snow kept silent, thinking deeply, trying make sense of everything that was in his dream-like conversation. “I'm not sure...” Snow answered wearily. All the words he thought he could remember, became muddled and distant. There was one thing that remained, that he felt deep within his heart that sprung out into his throat, “Tonight... They're taking me tonight.” Snow stared down at the blanket and his hooves began to shake. “Starlight, I don't want to go.”
“I don't want you to go either, Snow. There's still so much for you here.” Starlight reached over and hugged him, pulling him in closer. “There, there.” Snow didn't realize that he had started to cry. What began as a quiet sobbing grew into a loud cry and drifted away into stifled sniffling. “Let's get some breakfast, dear Snow.”
“Yea.” Snow pulled away lightly and found his way outside the igloo. Soon he was followed by Starlight, who had the blanket folded twice, draped over her back. “So, what's for breakfast, Mom?”
Starlight smiled, “Have you ever had pancakes?” Snow shook his head. “C'mon, let's head home and I'll fix some up.”
The two didn't talk much on the way back, only commenting on how still the wind was that day. Only the winter birds desired to make any sort of noise. However, in the distance, Twilight remained to watch over Starlight and Snow. She wanted an answer for the legends her books spoke of. She had time, more than Starlight could know.
Snow and Starlight entered their home and took their roles. Snow sat at the dining table and waited patiently for Starlight to make breakfast. She tossed her magic about, grabbing the things she needed and tossed a small amount of wood into the stove and began the fire. She mixed the flour, eggs, milk, sugar, and the baking powder, muddying it with water. Threw a wide frying pan on to the stove top and let it warm. While she waited, she asked Snow grab a few pieces of firewood and throw them into the fire and get it started. Snow complained for a moment, but realized that conflict wasn't the best idea now. He tinkered with a starter and a small bit of wool until the fire began to slowly cook the logs. The popping of the flames ensured that it was there to stay.
The smell drifted throughout the house and the sizzling sound of the butter once it was thrown on the pan almost echoed. “Starl- Mom, so... what happens when I go?”
“There's a lot of theories about that. In your case, I think you'll actually be living amongst the stars. And that would be great, but I'd rather have you here, with me.” Starlight placed a pancake onto a large plate. Then poured the batter into the pan for another.
“I wonder what it's like.” Snow commented.
“Vast and endless. You'd have all the space in the world to fly around. You could explore so much more than we ever could.”
“That sounds like fun.” Snow said with mild joy.
The conversation awkwardly ended there until Starlight finished cooking the pancakes. She grabbed the syrup and the butter, placing them on the center of the table; the pancakes beside them. Starlight then called Snow over to the table, who leaped off the couch and trotted over to the table and took a seat in the other chair. Starlight handed him a plate and waited for him to grab as many as he thought he could eat. He grabbed three pancakes and doused them lightly in syrup. With a fork, he sectioned off a piece, pierced it and then slowly, he placed it in his mouth. He let the flavor set in, his mind deciding whether or not it was good. His eyes closed and a soft smile drew across his face. He happily took another bite. Starlight joined in, taking the remaining two.
Their quiet breakfast drew to a close and as luck would have it, a knock came at the front door. Starlight hopped from the chair, curious as to who it might be. She hadn't invited anyone nor had she told anyone that the adoption went through. Then it clicked, maybe it was Clerky. She opened the door slightly and peered through. It was Sugar Belle, Clerky, Party Favor, Double Diamond, and Night Glider. Starlight gently smiled and threw the door open. All of her friends, save for Clerky walked inside and shook what snow they could off their hooves and backs.
“I only told Sugar Belle.” Clerky whispered to Starlight.
“And she told those three, right?” Starlight jested. Clerky simply nodded. “I figured.” Her eyes shifted from Snow and back to Clerky, “Thank you, he needs this.”
“I think you both do, Starlight.” Clerky walked in and closed the door behind him. “You've been spacing out ever since Snow got here, are you okay?”
“Maybe later, Clerky. Now is really not the best time to be discussing it.”
Starlight went over to the table as Clerky stayed by the door, watching from afar, though there wasn't much distance. Sugar Belle sneaked a question into Starlight's ear and with a quick answer and stepping away, Starlight walked over to the counter. Sugar Belle continued to entertain Snow and the others with silly, nonsense stories that sounded almost unbelievable. She almost mirrored Pinkie Pie to an extent, which at times, was rather amusing. Snow was quiet but listened intensely. Stories meant something to him, it seems. He asked questions about what happened until Sugar ran out of things to say which was a rarity.
Starlight prepared the cake and set candles into the frosting, their wicks upright and ready to burn. She then made her way to the table and set the cake down, while removing all the wares that their breakfast had entailed. With another flick of magic, she grabbed a spark from the fireplace and set it to the candles, holding it to each one until their wicks ignited in a soft golden glow. Today, however, all of them noticed how Starlight's magic seemed to sparkle and shimmer as she cast it. As if little stars had taken refuge in it.
Starlight sat down and everybody stared at her. “What?” she said as her face turned red.
“Has your magic always done that?” Sugar piped up.
Starlight took a look at it and saw what they were bewildered by. “I... honestly don't know.” She pulled her magic away from the spark as it caught the final candle. “Anyways, Snow, since the adoption went through, this is a cake celebrating your first day as my new son.”
“Um, what do I do?” Snow asked innocently.
Sugar Belle snorted a laugh and delightfully answered, “You blow out the candles and make a wish, silly! Were your raised in a barn?”
“Several.” He answered quickly and matter-of-factly. Sugar immediately hushed.
Starlight smiled while Party favor softly snickered. “Go ahead, Snow. Make a wish and blow out the candles. Remember, just don't tell anyone.” Snow nodded.
Snow thoughts rambled for a moment, his eyes shifting side to side and then back to the candles. His eyes became determined, he inhaled and softly blew out the small flames. Their orange glow snuffed out. The reward was a light applause by the party and the candles pulled from the frosting. Then the cake was cute into eight equal pieces, enough if someone wanted seconds. Something that might be difficult with the delicious ice cream Party brought along. He always knew which kind to get, vanilla and fudge swirled.
The party went on for a while, Snow enjoyed as much as he could. The balloon animals from Party Favor, a small set of skis from Double Diamond, a delicious chocolate candy bar from Sugar Belle, and a Wonderbolts calendar from Night Glider. Clerky had pretty much already given him the gift of family, the adoption certificate was proof of that.
Tuckered out, Sugar Belle collapsed into one of her usual sugar comas and had to be carried out by Party Favor. Double Diamond soon followed suit, leaving for a ski lesson he had to teach. Night Glider had a few cloud duties to attend to and Clerky stayed. Snow took to sleeping on Starlight's bed with her permission and lightly snored. “Well, Starlight?”
“Tonight might be his final night here.” Starlight answered briskly.
“Starlight! You can't just leave him-” Clerky's mouth was forced shut by Starlight's hoof.
“I'm not leaving him!” She cut in boldly. “I'm not like that anymore.” She let her hoof down. “There's a constellation of stars that have apparently chosen him. There's something more to it, I'm sure, but I have no idea. Snow's not even sure what's going to happen. All I wanted was for him to have something before he left. Something in his mind to hold on to. He's done enough running as it is and his parents left him on my doorstep”
Starlight continued to babble on until Clerky shushed her with his hoof. “I understand. It's okay, just don't blame yourself, okay?”
Starlight nodded and lowered his hoof. “Thank you. I think all this has been getting to me.”
“It has, but you'll be fine. You're strong, you know that.” He hugged her and then glanced at his watch, “I'd stay longer, but I have some paperwork to finish up before the Hall closes. I'll see you around, Star.” He pulled away after slyly sneaking the adoption certificate onto the table. Then he headed for the door.
“See you later, Clerky.” Star replied as he headed out, his response a short stare and a wave goodbye. There was one thing missing around his front ankle, a watch to be looked at. Star huffed, knowing that he was leaving her to talk to Snow alone. That the two of them needed all the space in the world to be alone together.
By the time she got her thoughts together, night had rolled around. Starlight went to her small room and hefted Snow onto her back once more. She put out the fire and headed outside, locking the door as she did so. She found that Snow was still wearing the scarf that she'd given him. Without much thought, they wound up by the tree. Gently, she set Snow up against its gnarled roots and she sat beside him. She looked at the sky and saw the constellation peeking over the mountains on the other side of town.
Suddenly, she could feel her magic begin to move without her command, twitching and fluttering about. Snow woke up to this and instinctively knew that it was almost time. “Snow,” Starlight spoke softly. “There's a reason I've been taking you to this tree.” She sighed, “It was the first real party I've ever had with friends of my own. So every now and then I come back here and reminisce about it. Mostly during the night, of course.”
Snow yawned and stretched out. “If I come back, let's meet here.” He faintly smiled.
“I'll be waiting.” She looked at him, bittersweet feelings setting in.
“You look better when you smile.” Starlight silently thanked him with a playful nudge. Snow rubbed his nose and looked at the starry sky. “The stars, in the dream I had last night, they spoke to me. Said I belong with them, to help guide the stars across the winter sky. They said I could keep the scarf.” he giggled.
“That's good. Do they let you take breaks?” Starlight humored.
Snow paused, tilting his head as if he was already hearing their voices again. “They do. They... work on a rotation, I guess?”
“Good, good.” Starlight pulled him in closely. “I wish you could've stayed longer, Snow.”
“I wish I could've to.” Snow replied quickly. After a moment of silence, Snow had a thought pop into his head and reached at something tied around the base of his tail. He unraveled the bandage-like wrapping to reveal a large amber stone with an engraving that dimly glowed a yellow hue. “Here, there's this stone that my dad gave to me. Had it since the day I was born.” Snow set it on her outstretched hoof, “Said it was to keep bad omens away.”
Starlight knew the engraving, it wasn't a good luck charm. It was to nullifying magic and the power to make one last this long is immense. The fact that Snow's body was still a sinkhole for magic meant that the stone wasn't strong enough. There were so many questions now, yet no answers for them. Snow wouldn't know anything about it after being kept in the dark for so long. His heritage, might be rather frightening if she ever finds out. “Snow... are you sure?”
“It'll be fine, I won't be needing it, it seems.” Snow ensured her.
Starlight pulled the stone to her chest and looked at it for a bit, “Thank you.”
“Starlight, the stars, use your magic on them. Make them brighter.”
Starlight, confused, did as he said. The spell came with ease and the stars shined brighter. Lines of light connected the stars together and showed the snowflake constellation in full. Snow's cutie mark began to glow. “I guess this is goodbye.” Starlight frowned.
“It won't be forever, Starlight.”
“I really hope so.” She embraced him in a tight hug and gave him a kiss on the cheek. “I love you, son. Don't you forget that.”
Snow's cheeks turned red, “I won't forget. I love you too, Mom.” He hugged just as tightly as she did. A single tear leaked from his eye as he smiled.
Then all of the magic that Starlight had pulled out from Snow, returned to him like a waterfall. The air around them crackled and shined a myriad of colors and melted the snow all around them. The leaves on the tree even sprung back to life, things that should've waited until Winter Wrap-up. In the next instant, a blinding light, followed by her forelegs collapsing to her stomach. The constellations glimmered in a variety of colors before returning back to normal. Starlight felt her eyes begin to shake and well up. She wiped the tears away and sniffled as she looked at the stars. Now her heart sank violently, a feeling she had hoped would never return.
Little did she notice, that her cutie mark was glowing as well. She peered over her shoulder, looking at the pulsing glow which slowly died out. With a final effort of her magic, through grief and tears, she made all the stars in the night sky glimmer beautifully. Their colors bright and vivid. When her initial sobbing rage finished, she withdrew her magic only to have it surround her and comforted her. As she continued her crying, the stars dimmed one by one. Save for Snow's constellation.
When her eyes dried, she rose from the roots of the tree and her magic seeped back into her. With her first step, the snow beneath her hoof melted and her second step did the same. In the midst of the coldest night thus far, Starlight felt comfortably warm. Forward she marched on home, knowing that staying under the tree wouldn't bring him back. She kept her eyes on the stars and understood why Snow's birth mother never wanted him to look at them. If he never looked, then he may have never left, but his weak heart would've taken him away.
Once inside her home, Starlight took to the couch and reignited the fireplace like wind through a field. The house felt empty now, more so now than before. Certainly, she had the house to herself before Snow's arrival but now, in the short amount of time she had spent with the colt showed her how lively it had made her. A feeling stirred within her heart and with it, she decided to add a room for Snow onto the house. He was her son now, after all.
Though she wondered, how long would it be before he would return? 5, 10, 20, or 40 years. Perhaps he'll tell her sometime. She watched the fire crack and burst, listened to its snapping.
Suddenly, the front door swung open, “Starlight,” a voice called out. “What in the world just happened to you and Snow?” Starlight explained that stars had taken Snow and that some day, they would let him visit. She showed her the engraved stone too, which had caught them both by surprise. “So what are you going to now?” Twilight asked.
“Give him a room to sleep in, at least.” Starlight jested “It's a start.”
Twilight agreed and talked with her a bit longer about what else she could do to help. Starlight ensured her that she would be okay and only that she visit more often. When the conversation ran dry, Twilight said her farewell and departed for Ponyville once again. The fire took Starlight's attention once more, holding her gaze until the flames died down.
When drowsiness finally struck her, Starlight snuffed out the fire and went to her room. A before rolling into bed, she looked out the window, giving Snow's constellation one last look for the night. Suddenly, she was reminded of an old lullaby meant to put children to bed, and so she sang, lowly and sweetly: