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Hearth's Warming Helper

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  1. Chapter 1: A Simple Request It was a very calm and beautiful day in the village of Ponyville, and everypony was out and about and doing the best they could to make the most of the time they had throughout the day. One pony, however, was still having a very sleepy start. His name was Lee, a brown pegasus pony who had a mixture of red and black in his mane and tail, and was also the latest pony to move into Ponyville, evidenced by the boxes dotted around the house. As Lee continued to sleep peacefully, he was suddenly awoken by the sound of his doorbell ringing and somepony knocking on his door. Lee slowly raised his head to listen to the sounds more clearly and groaned as he decided to roll out of bed to answer the door. "Be right there" he said, while yawning and stretching out his still tired muscles. He opened the door and greeted the bright sun that blasted his eyes with sunlight. "Yeah, can I help y-" Lee was interrupted when he realized that there were two royal soldiers, clad in armor, stood before him. Confused and uncertain on their sudden appearance, Lee simply said nothing and waited for one of the soldiers to speak. The light-furred pony cleared his throat and spoke first, magically making a scroll appear and unrolling it to read it to Lee. "Mister Lee, you are hereby requested by the Princesses of Equestria, Celestia and Luna respectively, to appear before them in the royal castle of Canterlot at once. They await your presence in the royal throne room and request that you come within the hour" Lee could say nothing to the words he just heard at first. After a bit, he managed to muster a question to the soldiers. "Okay, that sounds... great and everything, but what do the princesses want to see ME for?" The dark furred pony then spoke and answered his question. "We do not know. We were simply ordered to deliver this message to you, nothing more. But I am certain that all will be answered once the princesses have spoken to you. Nonetheless, do we and the princesses have your word that you'll be at Canterlot within the hour?" Lee simple looked to the ground and pondered about what he should do. He has never met the princesses in person, and has never given a reason to speak with them either, so why do they wish to speak with him now? Is there more to this meeting than meets the eye? Lee decided the only way to answer these questions was to speak with them about it. "Alright, I'll be there. I just give me some time to... get ready. Is that alright?" "Very well. We shall tell the princesses to expect you and we implore you not to be late for this meeting" Both ponies bowed to Lee and quickly flew off and back towards Canterlot. Lee watched as the soldiers flew off and glanced towards the castle for a minute, wondering what he should do to prepare for this meeting. Lee then trotted off towards town when he came up with an idea and decided to consult an "expert" on this situation. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Lee came to the foot of a grand and very crystalline looking castle and knocked on the large doors in front of him. The first thing he heard when he knocked was the sound of something hitting the floor hard and somepony answering loudly. "Just a moment. Be right there!" Lee stood at the door for another minute, impatiently wondering if the pony inside was ever going to answer the door. He was ready to knock again when the door opened and a purple alicorn pony, known as Princess Twilight Sparkle to many ponies, stood before him smiling and struggling to catch her breath at the same time. "So sorry about the wait. I literally had a million other things to do at once and just needed time to tidy up. Heh heh, anyway, can I help you?" "Yes, you're Princess Twilight right? My name's Lee and I was wondering if I could ask you something?" "Hmm, Lee? I don't think I recognize your name. Are you new in town?" "Yeah, I just moved in about a week ago actually and this is a very nice town, very peaceful and tranquil... b-but enough about that. I was actually hoping you could help me with a 'situation' that I'm having" "Of course, I'd be glad to help you out. Go ahead and tell me what's troubling you." "Well you see, I just got this... summons from the princesses up at Canterlot and they said that they wish to speak with me in person within the hour. I was wondering, since you're a princess as well and all, that you could-" Lee was interrupted when he saw that Twilight had sort of frozen in place and that her jaw was hanging down, which confused Lee. " W-wait, y-you've been summoned by Princess Celestia and Luna?! What in the name of Equestria could they want? Is everything okay with them?" Twilight started pacing around and talking to herself, which only made Lee panic as he tried to calm her down. "L-look, all I know is that they want to talk to me, that's all. I was just hoping you could help me by... I don't know helping me talk with them" Twilight calmed down and looked at Lee and suddenly a nervous smile appeared on her face. "Oh, heh, right. I figured it was something simple as that, how silly of me to think otherwise. In any case, I'd be glad to assist you and, if you want, I'd even be willing to accompany you to the castle if that would help you feel better" "Wow, you'd do that for me? Well, it would definitely help to have some company while I talk with them. Thank you Princess Twilight." "Oh no worries, it's no trouble at all. Besides, I'm sure that it'll be fun to help you out and maybe I could even talk with them myself! Just give me a minute to get ready!" Twilight rushed back inside and started gathering important items and putting them in her bags. Lee noticed that Twilight was talking to herself again and stumbled around a lot as she rushed about, but this only made Lee smile at her strange behavior. "Okay, I think I have everything I need. We should get going if you don't want to be late" "Right, let's go" Lee and Twilight flew off and soared through the endless sea of clouds as they made their way towards the royal castle of Canterlot. As the two of them were flying, Lee noticed a bunch of other pegasus ponies flying by or relaxing on the clouds, with a couple of them waving at Lee and smiling happily at him, which he happily returned. Twilight called to Lee and turned his attention to her. "Alright Lee, before we get to the castle, we should practice how you should speak to the princesses. Now tell me, how would you greet them? Your highnesses or your majesties?" "Uhh, hello princesses?" Twilight stopped dead in her tracks and faced Lee. "What?! Are you crazy?! They'll throw you into the darkest dungeon they can find for speaking so informally to them!" Twilight stopped talking when she noticed the sheer dread and nervousness in Lee's expression. She laughed nervously and stepped back from him. "Heh heh, I'm so sorry Lee. I didn't mean to frighten you" Lee sighed as they continued flying towards the castle. "I don't know if I can do this, Twilight. You and I both know that I don't belong in a place like Canterlot and I'm afraid that the princesses just... won't like me." "Oh, that's nonsense Lee. You got nothing to be afraid of, and I know Celestia and Luna like and care for everypony, so I'm certain you'll be no different. The most important thing to remember is to just be yourself... and not getting yourself thrown into the previously mentioned darkest dungeon" Twilight laughed nervously once more, which only made Lee more nervous. "Heh, I'll keep that in mind" ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Lee and Twilight finally reached Canterlot and landed next to the front gates. As Lee and Twilight approached the gates, two guards barred their way and looked down at the two of them. "Princess Twilight, how wonderful to see you again. Hmm, I don't recognize this stranger next to you, however. State your name and business here at once!" Lee cleared his throat to speak. "My name's Lee and I'm here to speak with the princesses." The two guards looked Lee over and then looked at each other... only to begin laughing. Lee was confused as to why they were laughing. "Y-you?! Well, unless you're here to apply for the court jester, I can't possibly see what they would want with YOU." The guards continued laughing until Twilight stepped forward and stood between Lee and the guards. "Hey, that's enough out of you two! He's my friend and my guest and I won't have you two making fun of him, I sure won't. Now, please apologize to my friend and let us through, or I will personally tell Celestia how poorly mannered you two are being. We'll see just how 'funny' she finds this." Twilight glared at the two guards and they quickly and nervously stood aside to let them through. "W-we apologize for our behavior, Mister Lee. Please head on inside and have a wonderful day! "That's what I thought. Come on Lee, let's not keep Celestia and Luna waiting" Lee and Twilight passed the guards and the gates and made their way inside. The entrance hall was a very busy and bustling area, with many dignified ponies dressed in formal attire going to all sorts of meetings and business arrangements. Twilight made her way to a waiting area off to the side of the hall and sat down on the couch. "Alright Lee, I think its best if you talk with Celestia and Luna alone. I'm sure they'll have a lot to discuss with you in private." "You sure I should go in alone? I really don't know what I should say to them." "Don't worry, I'm sure you'll be just fine. Just remember what I said: Be yourself. You do that and everything will be okay, I promise." "Right... Thank you Twilight. Now, can you tell me how I find the throne room?" "Oh, that's easy. You just take the main hall here, then you take a left, then a right and then take another right and it'll be the third door on the right side. The door will have a big sun painted around it so it should be easy to find. Anyway, you should get going, but don't worry, I'll be here when you're finished and you can tell me all about it." "Uhh, right. I'll see you later then" Lee made his way down the hall and came to an intersection, only to be confused by which way he should go, especially with Twilight's vague directions being of no help. He then decided to just keep going forward. After walking the halls for sometime, and passing by other ponies who were whispering things to themselves as they passed Lee, he simply stopped and became worried that he wouldn't make it to his meeting in time. "Man, how am I supposed to find anything in this castle without a map? I'm gonna be late and who knows what the princesses will do if I am" As Lee wondered where to go, he started hearing voices around him but nopony appeared to be around him. "Be careful with those books, sister. We need to get them to library as quickly as possible." "Well, it'd be easier if you helped me carry some of them. My back is killing me." Suddenly, Lee fell to the floor as something hard struck him in the head, making him hold his head in pain. Two tall ponies then dropped to the floor, one with white fur and the other with dark fur, and looked at Lee with concern. "Oh my goodness, I am so sorry. I didn't mean to drop that book on your head, honest I didn't!" Lee looked at the dark-furred pony, who had a very blue and starry mane, before him and quickly stood back up and retrieved the book. "Ah, it's okay. I should've worn a helmet is all. But I'm fine, don't worry about it." The white-furred pony beside her stepped forward and approached him, with her long and multi-colored mane blowing in the breeze. "Please forgive my sister's incident. We were simply taking these books to the library so that they'll be kept in better condition." "It's okay, no worries really. I was just trying to find my way to a meeting and I got turned around I guess." "Oh, are you lost? Well, the least we can do to make it up to you is help you find your way around. Where is this meeting supposed to be?" The white-furred pony asked politely. "I'm supposed to go to the royal throne room. You see, I'm supposed to be meeting with Princess Celestia and Luna and I'd hate to be late for such an important meeting" The two sisters then looked at each other for a second and smiled, which only confused Lee. "I suspect that they aren't far" Both of them laughed and Lee remained confused as to what was going on. And then, after a moment more of confusion, he finally realized what they meant. "W-wait a minute... What? You two are..." "Princess Celestia" The white-furred pony bowed her head. "And Princess Luna" The dark-furred pony didn't bow, however, due to the weight of the books that still occupied her back. Lee immediately bowed to them and nervously started panicking. "O-oh, p-princesses, please forgive my stupidity for not knowing who you are. I am so sorry." Celestia laughed as she looked at Lee with concern once more, trying to ease his worries. "No need to worry, heh heh besides, we should be ones apologizing to you for dropping a book on your head. You are Lee, correct? We have been expecting you, and we're so happy to finally meet you in person." Luna struggled with the books and found it difficult to speak. "Y-yes quite excited, but there is an important matter we wish to discuss with you and I recommend we go at once before my legs lose feeling. May we please?" "Of course, sister. Follow us if you would please, Lee" Celestia led the way as the three of them walked down the halls, with Lee noticing all the other ponies around him whispering and wondering why he was with Celestia and Luna. Lee then turned his attention to Princess Luna, who continued to struggle carrying the books on her back and Lee decided to help her out. "Umm, Princess Luna, I can carry some of those books for you if you want." "Oh, would you? That's so kind of you to ask, thank you. Thank you very much, Lee" Luna levitated half of the books off of her back and placed them on Lee's. The removed weight helped Luna stand up straight once more and helped her feel less in pain. "Oh, that feels so much better. Thank you for helping me Lee, I really do appreciate it. As you can probably tell, my sister here isn't too fond of heavy lifting." "Preposterous, dear sister. I'll have you know earlier today I carried a whole chocolate cake into the dining room" "Yes, which you then proceeded to devour within the hour of arrival" The two sisters laughed together, with Lee nervously smiling along with them, as he was still unsure as to why they wanted to speak with him. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Lee and the princesses entered a room with the words 'Library' written above the door. The three of them entered and Celestia closed the door behind them. It was a darkly lit room with many rows of bookshelves, a desk in the corner and a large window which overlooked the courtyard below. "Wait, why are we in the library? I thought we'd be meeting in the throne room" "Well, we thought this would be a more... casual spot to speak and where we could also speak with you without interruptions." Celestia pulled up a chair and asked Lee to sit down, which he did. "I'll go get us some food in case we get hungry. Luna, will you stay and keep him company while I'm gone?" "Of course, sister. I have to put these books away anyway, so we'll be here when you return." Celestia left the room and Luna started placing books on the shelf, which Lee helped with. "So Lee, since we have a moment to talk, tell me about yourself." "Me? Well, there's not much to tell to be honest. I've been in Ponyville for a week, don't really have any friends yet, and... I don't know, I like taking naps and walking the streets. That's all I can think of really, sorry." "Quite alright. Heh heh, I also like taking naps, since you know, I can't really sleep during the night. But what of your family? Surely you have some right?" Lee immediately stopped what he was doing and stared blankly into space. "Uhh... right. My... family" Thankfully, Celestia reentered the room before Lee could finish his sentence. Celestia sat a tray with a steaming tea kettle and several slices of donut cake on the desk and filled three teacups with the freshly brewed and still sizzling tea. Lee sat down at the desk once more and Luna stood behind him as she sipped her tea and took a bite out of her cake. Celestia slid a teacup and a piece of cake towards Lee, but he didn't touch it and simply stared at his own reflection in the tea, making Luna look at Lee with concern. "Aren't you going to eat, Lee? You must be hungry" "I'm sorry princesses, I don't mean to be rude, but could one of you tell why I'm here please?" Celestia sipped her tea and calmly sat it back down and paced the room. "Very well. Hmm, where to begin?" Luna spoke first before Celestia could begin. "The reason we summoned you here is because we were hoping you could help us with a certain... well lets say project shall we?" "Project? What project?" Lee asked. "Well, the other day, me and Luna were discussing whether or not we were doing an adequate job of being princesses and the protectors of Equestria. And then I wondered: Is there a way to know for sure?" "Yes, and then an idea came to me. What if we hired somepony to study our meetings and our duties and have them see if we were doing things right. Celestia and I could then learn from their point of view and see how we could improve upon the results." "But then we realized, it couldn't be just anypony, especially anypony who are like the dignitary and important ponies who roam this castle everyday. So I and Luna decided to hire somepony who has never interacted with us before. And that's where you came into the picture." "We looked at the records for Ponyville and saw that you were the latest pony to move in. You were a perfect fit." "So now, here we are, and all we have is a simple question for you: Will you help us?" Celestia and Luna both stood before him now and waited for him to answer. Lee took a moment to take all this information in and just sat speechless. "O-okay hold on, let me get this straight: You want me to "study" you two... to see if you're doing a good job at being princesses?" "Yes, exactly. You would be our personal guest and you would travel with us to wherever we go in the castle. You'd get your own personal room here in the castle and we'll both make sure everything stays well for your stay here." Luna answered. "But I don't get it. Why me? I'm a nobody and I don't know anything about the two of you. How in the world am I supposed to do this if I don't know what I'm doing?" "Lee, that's exactly why we chose you. There's nothing more concrete than the perspective of somepony who is simply... normal. You're not learning from us, we'd be learning from you and your experiences" Celestia assured him by nodding her head in agreement. Luna then stepped forward and placed a hoof to his side. "Lee, listen to me. If this is too much for you, just say the word and we'll call this whole thing off. There will be no grief from us if you do, we promise. Right sister?" "Of course. We will understand if you choose to say no" Lee looked to the floor and pondered on what he should do. He knew that he knew nothing about Celestia and Luna nor do they know anything about, but at the same time, couldn't bring himself to deny their request. Maybe he could indeed learn something from this job and find some enjoyment out of it by interacting with the princesses. "Alright... I do it. You can count on me" Celestia and Luna both smiled happily and both shook hooves with Lee. "Thank you Lee! Thank you for agreeing to do this for us. And don't you worry, we promise that this will all go smoothly" "Thank you both for offering me this opportunity, princesses." Lee bowed to them once more, only for Luna to tell him that he didn't need to do that anymore. "No need to be so formal with us anymore. We're going to be spending a lot of time together and we want you to be comfortable around us, so no more bowing and please call us by our names, okay?" Lee laughed as he looked at the two of them again. "Very well... Luna, Celestia." "Now that were done, we'll bring you back to the entrance hall and bid you farewell. Please return to castle tomorrow morning and we'll both be waiting for you in the dining hall" "I'll be here. You have my word" ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ The three of them returned to the entrance hall and Lee noticed that Twilight was still sitting on the couch in the waiting room... at least that's what it looked like to Lee. Upon closer inspection, Lee saw that Twilight was actually sound asleep now, complete with her sprawled out on the couch, snoring loudly and drooling onto the carpet. "Oh, Twilight's still here? I thought she would have gone back by now. How long was that meeting?" Luna consulted the clock on the wall behind her. "About two hours. She must have fallen asleep while she was waiting for you" "Heh heh, did you come here with her? I'm not surprised she decided to accompany you given the circumstances." Celestia laughed a little as she moved over to Twilight and shook her softly to make her wake up. Twilight snorted a second before she opened her eyes and bolted out of the couch to face Lee, who was standing next to her. "Oh, hey Lee. I was wondering when you were going to be done, but I just closed my eyes a bit, I swear. So tell me, how did your meeting with Celestia and Luna go?" Celestia stepped forward, making Twilight immediately bow on the spot. "I'd say it went very well. Lee here has just agreed to stay here in the castle with us and assist us with our duties." Twilight jumped about gleefully at the news and looked at Lee. "Oh wow, that's wonderful to hear, Lee. And here I was worried they were going to throw you into the darkest dungeon they could find." Twilight opened her eyes and looked around the room and saw nothing but horrified/confused looks aimed at her. "Heh heh, oh look is that the time? I should really get going" Twilight quickly rushed out the door and flew off into the skies. Celestia sighed as she saw Twilight leave. "Twilight's always the one to jump to conclusions. You didn't honestly think we would do something so horrible, did you?" she asked. "Uhh, no of course not. Heh heh" "Well, this is where we say goodbye, Lee. Remember to be here early tomorrow and to meet us in the dining hall. We really look forward to working with you" "Goodbye Lee and thank you again helping us out. I and Luna can't wait to see you tomorrow and help you settle in" Celestia then smiled happily. "Yeah, and I look forward to it as well. I'll see you two tomorrow, I guess" Lee shook hooves with Celestia and Luna one more time before they waved goodbye to him and Lee turned to the gates to leave. Lee breathed in the fresh air and looked back at the castle he was about to become a temporary occupant of. "Well, hope I don't disappoint. This'll be... interesting to say the least" Lee flew off into the clouds and back to his house, uncertain of the events that were about to unfold... ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ A/N: Well, it's finally done. My first MLP fanfic and its all about Celestia and Luna of course. Hope everypony enjoys reading it and I hope you let me know what you think of it.
  2. Chapter 2: Fitting In Lee woke up very early the following morning, to the point where he refused to even move from his bed for the first few minutes, but after awhile he decided to slowly but smoothly get up from the bed. Lee stretched out and went to the bathroom to brush his teeth and brush his mane and as he finished, he looked himself in the mirror and simply gazed at his own reflection and observed every detail on his face. He lowered his head down and sighed as he looked away from the mirror. "Well, if it has to be anypony, I can't think of anypony else worse than me" Lee laughed a little as he exited the bathroom. Lee entered the kitchen and was prepared to make himself some breakfast before he realized that Celestia and Luna were probably waiting for him at Canterlot already and he, of course, didn't want to keep the princesses waiting for him. Lee felt his stomach growling as he went to his room to pack some essential items for his stay at the castle. He grabbed a bag from his closet and started packing things like snacks for snacking on, a pillow and blanket to sleep with and a few books in case he got bored. As Lee reached to the top shelf for more items, he made something suddenly fall off the shelf and onto the floor, which luckily didn't make its contents fall out. It was a white box with the words "For Lee" on the front of it, but Lee was confused as to where he got this box from and had realized that he had never seen it before now. Before Lee decided to reach over and open the box, he suddenly heard knocking at his door and quickly placed the box back in the closet and closed it. "Be right there" he said as he went to the door. A familiar sight greeted Lee as he opened the door and saw the same royal guards from yesterday standing at his door. "Oh, it's you guys again! How're you two doing?" "Good morning Mister Lee, we were told by Princess Celestia and Luna to escort you to the castle for the first day of your "assignment". I trust you are all set to depart?" "Yeah, I'm all ready to go! Just let me go and get my bag, alright? Won't be long, promise!" Lee went back inside and retrieved his bag from his bed. Before he left the room, he glanced toward the closet and thought about that white box he found, and slowly took a step towards the closet. But his thoughts were broken by the sound of the guards yelling for him and quickly went back outside and locked his front door. "Alright, I'm good to go! Let's get going" Lee and the guards quickly took off from the ground and made their way toward Canterlot. Lee attempted to make conversation with the guards but they ignored all of his attempts to get their attention. He then decided to give up trying and just flew with them in silence. Sigh... Twilight was a better companion than these two... Lee and the two guards landed next to the main castle gates and made their way inside and back into the long and winding corridors that Lee was still unfamiliar with. Lee continued walking behind the guards until they came to a large door decorated with torches and a sun painted around the top of the door. The guards stood at each side of the door and held their position there. "The princesses await for you within, Mister Lee. If you would leave your bag with us, we'll make sure that it's delivered to your room" Lee did as he said and handed his bag to the guard and bowed to them in respect. "We hope you have a wonderful rest of your day, sir!" One of the guards actually glanced at him and smiled a little, which made Lee surprised and smile in return. "Uhh, yeah. You too! Thanks you guys!" Lee went past the guards and opened the large door. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Lee entered a very large chamber, which was also very well decorated and made Lee look around at the room in awe. Large drapes emblazoned with a sun and moon hung down the large windows, Multiple chandeliers and torches brightly lit the room, and in front of him was a very long table decorated with candles, bowls of apples and a long cloth that spread out the entire table. Lee continued to be awestruck by the scenery until he heard somepony in the room call his name and realized that Princess Celestia was walking towards him. "Lee, it's so wonderful to see you again! I trust all is well for you on this fine morning?" "Yes, everything is just fine, Princess! Thank you again for having me here. So uhh... when do I start?" "Oh no no no, we're not having you do anything yet, Lee. There's no way were going to have you perform your duties on an empty stomach. Come, follow me!" Celestia pushed him towards the table with her wing and saw Princess Luna setting the table with three sets of plates, napkins and silverware. She turned to Lee and greeted him with a happy smile. "Hello again, Lee! How are you doing this morning?" "Princess Luna! I'm doing just wonderful, thank you." "That's so good to hear, my friend. Come, come sit with us and breakfast will be ready shortly!" Celestia and Luna both took their seats and Lee slowly seated himself next to Celestia, but this only made him nervous as he found himself constantly looking back and forth between her and Luna. He looked and saw multiple royal chef ponies coming into the dining hall and wheeling in a cart full of delicious choices for breakfast. Celestia looked at Lee and noticed how he was eyeballing the food, which only made her laugh a little. "I can assume you're quite hungry, correct?" "Y-yeah, I'm starving! All that food looks... so delicious!" As Lee continued to look over the food, he made very careful he wasn't drooling onto the table before he straightened himself out. The chefs made their way around the table and took the princesses' orders for their breakfast. Celestia had asked for pancakes (extra syrup and butter) and some tea to drink, while Luna had simply asked for some toast with grape jelly on the side and had some orange juice to drink. When the chef reached Lee, he actually had a hard time deciding what he wanted to eat, which made the chef impatient. "Uhh, yeah... I'll have... some scrambled eggs with some juice on the side... I guess" Lee looked at the chef and saw a very baffling look on his face as he walked away in a huff. "Was it something I said? D-did I offend him?" Lee asked. Celestia laughed as she tried to calm Lee's worries. "Don't worry about that, Lee. We'll be sure to speak with him if he decides to... do something drastic! He usually does." The chefs returned with the food and sat each plate next to the corresponding recipient. Lee carefully examined his food to make sure nothing was wrong with it, as he could see the angry chef silently judging him nearby and then decided to taste it, which only made his eyes light up in amazement. "W-wow! This is so delicious! This is incredible!" The chef who was "offended" heard this and actually smiled a bit at the comment as he and the other chefs bowed to the princesses and returned to the kitchens. As Lee and the princesses finished their food and the chefs returned to take the dirty plates away, Lee thanked the princesses for the delicious breakfast. "Oh, it's no trouble at all really! We want you to feel comfortable on your first day, and what better way than such a fantastic meal with the two of us?" Lee laughed a little as Celestia and Luna both smiled happily at him. The two of them then stood up and asked Lee to follow them out into the hall, making their way down the corridors together and Luna conversing with Lee as they walked. "Your room is right down the hall here, Lee. We made sure you had the proper commodities in place and make you feel more at home" Celestia and Luna entered the room and Lee noticed how spacious it was. The bed was fairly large, a large window which actually opened up onto a balcony and a large collection of paintings of the Royal Sisters. "Well, here we are! We hope that the arrangements are fine" "It's perfect! Thank you princesses for offering me this opportunity and I'm happy to be at your service, but aren't you at all worried that I might... mess this up?" "No, absolutely not. We have faith that you will do your best to perform your duties, so you will not hear any grief from us." Luna nodded in agreement to her sister's words, but Lee remained to look worried. "And... what about everypony else? All those fancy dressed up fops? I'm fairly certain they won't be as generous as you two are" Lee started pacing the room nervously and started talking to himself. Celestia and Luna looked towards each other with a worried look for a second, only for them to nod at each other a moment later. Celestia placed a wing around Lee as she brought her face closer to his. "Lee, listen to me. Yes, some of these ponies may try to dissuade you from doing your job, some may even take to insulting your well-being, and with this in mind, it is your duty to take these "insults" and clear them your mind to the best of your abilities. And, should that not be enough to turn them, you need not worry, because I and Luna will be there and we'll know when somepony tries to do you wrong." "Be yourself, Lee. That's all you need remember!" Luna smiled once more, which made Lee lift his head and smile at the two of them. "Yeah, you're right! I'm not going to be brought down by them! Celestia, Luna, I promise that I will not fail you" Lee had a determined look on his face now. "That's wonderful to hear, Lee. Now that you're settled in and had a delicious start to the day, I believe it's time for you to begin your first task." Celestia then looked toward the clock on the wall. "We will be having our morning meeting with the ponies of Ponyville in about thirty minutes. All you need do is make your way there when the time comes, find your way inside and try your best to place yourself closest to the thrones as possible, that way we can keep an eye on you... just in case, you know." "I'll be there, don't worry! I'll see you two there!" Celestia and Luna waved goodbye to him and left the room, leaving Lee by himself finally. Lee walked to the window and opened it to go out onto the balcony, which he could see overlooked a large courtyard that had many ponies roaming around and sitting next to the giant fountain in the middle of the courtyard. Lee walked back inside and started unpacking his bag. He placed the books he brought onto the desk and laid his pillow and blanket on the bed, then decided to start pacing around the room as he tried to figure out what to do next. "Hmm, I'm sure that it wouldn't hurt to get there early" Lee gathered a notepad and a quill from the desk and walked outside into the hallway. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Lee made his way to the throne room and saw a large group of sharply dressed ponies conversing near a window, which Lee did his best to avoid due to the nature of these kind of ponies and not wanting to start anything with them. As Lee came closer to the group, and trying to move as quickly as possible in the process, one of the ponies saw him go by and called to him. Lee sighed in regret as he faced the ponies. The one with a mustache started examining him and scratched his chin in confusion. "You there, who are you? I don't think we've ever seen you here before" "My name's Lee. I'm here to help the princesses with a task" Lee heard the pony laughing at him, as well as the other ponies around him, and then cleared his throat again. "Well, if the princesses know anything, it's that they know how to have a sense of humor. I can't honestly believe that they'd ever even speak to... well somepony like you." Lee looked at himself as if something was wrong with him, but he immediately became irritated by the pony's comment. "S-somepony like me? What's that supposed to mean?" Before Lee got an answered, the group left the area as they continued laughing at him. Lee decided to just forget about it and continue making his way to the throne room. When he finally reached the door, all he could see was a very long line ponies that stretched all the way down the hall. "Oh geez, look at all these ponies! How am I supposed to get in there with all of them in the way?" Lee knew that the only way was to go through them and he knew that they probably wouldn't take to kindly to him cutting in line. He breathed in and out and quickly made his way through the long line of ponies, apologizing to every pony he cut in front of. And of course, many of them were cursing at him and calling for the guards, but he managed to squeeze through the door and finally enter the room. He looked around the large sea of ponies that occupied every tile on the floor and tried to figure out how to get closest to the thrones, which were at the very back of the room. Lee continued to push through everypony and made his way to the farthest corner of the room, where he could easily see the thrones now. Celestia and Luna were talking with one another, until Luna nudged her sister and pointed toward Lee. Celestia and Luna both waved at him and he happily waved back, but he still had a very nervous look on his face as he looked around at all the other ponies in the room. As he started to write things down on the notepad, he heard somepony talking to him. "Must be nice, huh?" "Excuse me? What are you talking about?" "The princesses. You must be here to apply for the new butler if they have YOU here. What a joke..." The pony walked away laughing as Lee's anger started to grow at the comments. Another pony went past him and wondered why "somepony like you" was here, and Lee started getting more worried. Lee started frantically panicking as everypony around him ridiculed and called him horrible names. "Peasant. Nopony. Jester" These were only a few of the words Lee heard as he looked around at everypony in disbelief. He held his ears as he tried to block the noise, but he could still hear the laughter, the embarrassment, the absolute horror of what was going on around him. Lee fell to the ground as he held his head in agony and screamed into the stone. Celestia and Luna immediately heard this commotion and Celestia quickly made her way to Lee's side, telling everypony around him to step aside at once. Celestia knelt down next to Lee and tried to get his attention. "Lee... Lee, can you hear me? What's happened?" Lee could not answer her, for his whole being started to shake with fear and started breathing heavily trying to hold back the tears welling up in his eyes. Everypony in the room had their eyes on Lee now, and many were whispering to themselves about what happened. "Come, come with me. I'm getting you away from here" Celestia magically lifted Lee onto his feet and helped lead him out of the room, but Lee stayed speechless and continued shaking in fear. Celestia looked toward Luna and she nodded as Celestia left the room with Lee. "Alright, everypony, let's not discuss this matter any longer. Let's postpone this meeting until we say otherwise, shall we?" A/N: Chapter 2 is finally completed! Lee's first day on the job starts with a delicious breakfast and ends in disaster! Will Celestia and Luna be able to set things right? Find out next time.
  3. Description: Smolder and Ocellus are sent on a friendship mission to Somnambula to find there's more to things than meets the eye. Contains trace amounts of Smolderbuse. Author: Semillon Length: 92:30 minutes Reader(s): Quinch Original story: Download link:!AkCbmKmmPRt8kh1-4RCSz2Fg-YdC Reader notes: So far, this is the biggest project I've undertaken and I'm proud of how it turned out. Most of the voices still sound kinda similar, there's not much I can do there just yet. I wouldn't mind making another version with others voicing as well, but that's hypothetical right now.
  4. THE TWILIGHT OUT OF TIME The initial rush of panic gave way to an eerie shortness of breath. It felt like she was drowning in cold, thin air that pervaded the tenebrous emptiness she found herself in after the defeat. Twilight's perturbed mind was searching for lost memories in the muck of confusion. Was that a game they were playing? She furrowed her brow in a futile attempt to forcefully remember the events that led her to this place. "Hello there." A stranger's voice shattered the unfinished puzzle in her mind. She jumped. Her body felt sluggish, unresponsive. "Who's there?!" She managed to conjure a wavering glow on the very tip of her horn. It was not much help at illuminating the darkness. "Over here." Her head followed the whispers and spotted an otherworldly visage of a shadow pony. A jagged slit of emptiness appeared beneath two pale orbs: "Took you long enough." She yelped and fired her magic at the shadow. The blast dissolved into an unspectacular spurt of sparks that faded away before the creature's simple face. "Feisty, aren't we," he commented in an unbothered voice. It sounded patronizing. He was powerful. Or was she weakened? Perhaps both. She began backing off: "What do you want?" "For starters, you can stop embarrassing yourself with that magic peashooter of yours, then you can stop moving around with your butt cheeks first and listen to what I have to say." She stopped, perplexed. He was clearly mocking her, yet he didn't feel nearly as menacing as the Pony of Shadows. His speech was indeed distorted but it wasn't all that booming or scary, and his face did look a bit like a Nightmare Night pumpkin. She decided to hear him out, but kept her head close to the ground, ready to fight. A shadow was still a shadow. Was there a pony trapped inside? Could she free him on her own? "Who are you?" "Just your friendly underworld shadow pony." "Huh?" His grin eased into a smug smile: "You think I'm evil don't you. That I'm keeping some poor pony trapped inside their own nightmare." The shadow flickered and appeared looming before her, the wide grin once again adorning the pitch black of his pony features. A chilling, prickling sensation enveloped her body and made her magic shrink even further before the encroaching darkness. "Are you going to save me, Princess?!" he unleashed a facetious roar and burst into pale flames. Like a faltering candle in a breeze, her light went out. Panicked, she started running away from her hidden foe. Every move of her body felt like an eternity. Was she even moving? "Dear Twilight Sparkle, have you learned anything today? Care to write a letter?" His voice was coming from everywhere. It was a loud, hissing whisper full of glee. Twilight's horn suddenly reignited and revealed the shadow pony blocking her path. She tried to wink away but she could not muster enough magic. It took all of her will just to stop her unresponsive body to a halt. The shadow lowered his head, his void holes peering into her wide open eyes, and chuckled: "I will let you in on a little secret that's reserved for only the naughtiest of faithful students, but for that I'll need to tuck you in like a good little filly you are. I'm sure your big brother wouldn't mind." He raised his burning hoof and gently placed it on her muzzle: "Boop!" An unbearable cold overtook her as she sank out of consciousness. ... Twilight opened her eyes. She tried to move, but to no avail. She couldn't even feel her own body. Yet there was warmth coming from deep inside, its pulsating sensation dominated her confused senses. She tried to look around the twilight that was bathing in golden light. Her eyes would not obey her. She tried to focus and noticed an overwhelming collection of blurred images swirling around inside her head. She concentrated on something that looked like a lamp and an image revealed a transparent bean containing tendrils made out of light. Their glow was the only thing illuminating the vast darkness littered by giant orbs of pale fire. She found out that the tendrils were leading away from the strange bean and into an orifice of swirling shadows. Right as she has potted the exit it began to close. The contracting walls mashed all the tendrils together and cut them clean like a dark saw. They began to disintegrate into a flurry of tiny golden sparks. As they vanished, the cold returned along with the numbing fear. Once more she was drowning in a frigid, black sea, gasping for consciousness that was steadily fading away. Suddenly, the darkness retreated before the light of two opaque membranes. Beyond the left one, there was a storm of writhing tendrils pressing violently against the shadowy barrier. They were like worms seeking entry into a foreign body. The scene made her feel uneasy. Despite the warm light seeping through, she did not want that membrane to break. The right one was bordering on a formless space of light. With no warning, its membrane retreated and a single tendril sprouted into the gloom, inserted a shining seed inside the bean, and retreated back to its domain. Without a sound, the swirling tendrils came tearing through the left membrane. ... Twilight opened her eyes. The initial rush of panic left behind an eerie sensation of weight inside her chest. It felt like being suffocated under an invisible boulder. Her perturbed mind was searching for lost memories in the muck of confusion. Was that a game they were playing? She furrowed her brow in a futile attempt to forcefully remember the events that led her to this murky field of white flowers. --- The shadow pony was loitering inside the twilight of a barren dream. "She's gone. You can come out now." A platinum alicorn mare materialized beside him. Her flowing, honey mane was radiating light, yet her golden eyes seemed gloomy. "You think this'll work?" "Let's wait and see," she mumbled. He nodded. "This dream team thing could take a while. Wanna go grab something to eat?" "Joe's place?" "It's past midnight, so it'll be fine." "Your treat," she proclaimed and winked away. He grumbled into the aether: "I may have the bits but I'm not gonna let you freeload forever. I'm keeping tabs!" Then a mischievous smile gushing with balefire stretched across his muzzle. Everypony was asleep anyway so why not go and have something from the royal kitchen instead? And then there was also that secret cellar. Maybe he should spend the given time stealing stuff instead of filling the belly of his sparkly sloth of a partner. Exhilarated by the prospects of this new revelation he too left the dream to the devices of its puffed up hosts.