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Aunties, Assemble! (Closed, DerpRavener, Robikku Pegasus)


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Many speculations had circulated the rumor mills of Canterlot on just what the blood relationship was between the Royal House of Blueblood, and the two sisters who comprised the Diarchy.  In truth, the relationship was for the most part an honorary one, which was only sporadically acknowledged by the various heads of the aforementioned House down the centuries.  The current scion called both of them Auntie.


Granted, the familial title was adopted after the Prince had lost both his parents, and with them all his living relatives.  The Princesses were the only ponies he felt close enough to to call family, though whether all of them reciprocated the feeling was another matter.  Celestia did, at least, and Luna seemed willing to accept the idea of having a nephew.  Cadence and Twilight Sparkle had shown rather less alacrity in calling him 'cousin' though.


*Alright, yes, I've been something of a nuisance in the past, but... well, I'm pretty sure they do care for me, and in any case, they have a right to know.*  The alabaster unicorn thought as the invitation envelopes were sealed and placed in the 'out' mailbox.  It had been a while since he'd had an aunt to tea, and this was the first time both would be appearing at once; the differing diurnal rhythms of the Royal Sisters meant that only very special occasions would see them both awake and active at the same event.


Such as, for example, Equestria getting a fifth Princess...

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It was often interesting how different the lives of each princess of equestria was in comparison with the others...Twilight being an extreme surveyer of knowledge, Celestia being something of a socialite even for her roles requirements, and Cadence taking care of her life as it unfolded with Shining Armor in the crystal empire - Meanwhile, Luna was still uncertain of just what she was supposed to be doing with herself whenever she was at a loose end. Many a time, she would find herself attempting to look after small unimportant duties during the day if she was available or awake enough to do so - a lot of the time, she could either be doing some research in her room on the developments of Equestria, trying to determine if there was something she could contribute so that she wasn't merely celebrated as the princess of the Night...but as a pony who could deliver a vision of progress in much the same way she knew her sister was often revered. This time, it was not jealousy or envy that motivated the princess to action, but a desire to leave a decidedly more notable mark upon the world, beyond the realm of dreams.


As it was, her focus for the evening was the development of agricultural technologies in the landscapes beyond Canterlot and the surrounding locations - the idea being that perhaps with a fresh outlook and some insight from beyond the familiar might reward her with something that might deliver an inspirational thought for her to utilise in her pursuit of a cause...although for the moment it seemed she was more likely to acquire a collection of empty cups and fatigue before any results of true note. It wasn't something she was exactly stressing over terribly strongly, it was more that this was a task she could channel some dedication into wherever some 'free time' presented itself.


And at the moment, it seemed that other than her nightly duties and occasional meet/greets with her sister, free time was quite in abundance...a change of pace, she knew, would do some good!

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Princess Celestia was never the most available of ponies.  Even during the golden years, as the leader of Equestria her duties and responsibilities often demanded her attention.  It had taken a lot of effort to keep everything running smoothly.  And the more things change, the more they stay the same.  While she now had other princesses to share the burden, Twillight still had much to learn, Cadence had her own territory to manage, and Luna...her sister was still finding her place.  What's more, things had been accelerating, so to speak.  Around one thousand years of peace, and suddenly there were several major incidents.  Celestia needed to keep prepared...


Needless to say, the alicorn felt she did not spend as much time with family, adopted or otherwise, as she might have liked.  And it was a concern of hers.  While time, and Luna's eventual recovery centuries later had lessened the loss, Celestia still felt some responsibility for what had happened to her sister back then.  It was something she dearly wished to avoid repeating, yet even now she found herself edging toward the same pitfalls.


With these concerns in mind, it was a pleasant surprise for Celestia to find both herself and Luna invited to tea with their nephew, even if the timing seemed a little strange.  It made her all the more curious.  She had an inkling that had gone afoul at his estate, but so far it seemed he didn't wish whatever it was to be made public.  Among previously mentioned points, this might also be Celestia's best chance to find out without resorting to something...covert.


Began her final bit of preparation.  She'd had to work fast.  The invitation was rather sudden, and it had taken some shuffling around of her schedule to make sure the time was available.  But with a little effort, everything was set in its proper order.  Just in time too, as the day was almost due to end.  She had one final duty left to perform.

Striding out onto the balcony, she sat still for a moment as she gathered her focus.  Then with a pulse of golden magic, she sent a wordless command to the sun, which in turn gently drifted below the horizon.  She lingered a moment longer.  Celestia always took this moment to enjoy the evening sky, and reflect on the events of the day and her place in them.


And then the moment concluded.  Celestia grinned as she turned away from the balcony.  Her pace remained measured as usual, but those who knew her well might notice a little extra energy in her step.  Whatever had happened to Blueblood cannot have been that serious, or she would have known.  It was clearly something he did not want to be public knowledge, yet now he was inviting Celestia and Luna to tea.  One way or another, she expected tonight to be fun.


She began to make her way toward Blueblood's estate.

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Being Princess meant you never had to wait for the butler to answer the door.  In fact, in the invitation he'd sent to both Aunts, Prince Blueblood had specifically requested that they not appear at the front door, where they might attract attention.  "I wish this meeting to be a private one, for various reasons, but most importantly because I wish to talk without fear of anypony else poking their nose in.  Royalty gets little enough privacy as it is."  Which was completely understandable, of course, though there were many who said that certain Royals stood up to publicity better than others...



The easiest way for the sisters to enter Blueblood Manor would have been from the sky down into the garden, which was lit for the evening by paper lanterns.  They illuminated just enough of the garden to make the space feel both mysteriously massive, and yet cosily domestic, as one who would use a palace for a foalhood home.  Say what you will about the current inheritor of the place, he had an eye for aesthetics.


Directly under the lanterns, a tea table was set for three, with choice sandwiches and cakes, specifically picked to be Luna and Celestia's favorites.  Evidently, the host felt some serious buttering up was necessary for the evening's revelation.


He was not currently at or beside the table, though.  There was a maid there, however, who curtseyed upon their arrival.  "Your Majesties, welcome.  The mi-master of the house is almost finished getting ready.  I'll let h-them know you've arrived."  She departed with another bow, leaving the two alicorn to wonder and discuss just what that was all about...

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Luna was mostly confused - partly at the princes sudden disappearance, but also at all this rather peculiar behaviour surrounding their visit...an impromptu desire to meet with them, a curious need for secrecy that he'd never typically displayed before. The entire setup was poking her curiosity in ways she wasn't sure she had ever expected from him overall and this was only serving to draw Luna's attention to the motivations behind this visit even more...although right now, she did not exactly have a good grasp of what would have brought this approach on so suddenly.


Luna looked towards her sister, who had arrived alongside her, and gave a small amused smile - no doubt she found this all as curiously amusing as Luna did, considering she knew the prince even better than Luna could lay a proper claim to, considering that they had spent more time together than Luna might have had. Even though that might be the case, considering all of the weirdness that was transpiring with their visit right now, Luna doubted that Celestia had any better idea of what was going on than she did.


" Well, now that we're here... " Luna begins with a small shrug and heading towards the offered delicacies. " We might as well get comfortable whilst we wait on him. "

She had never really been one to resist a good snack when available...and considering that they had no idea how long the nephew was going to be, she did not plan on letting it go to waste!

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The one thing Celestia was sure of, was that whatever was the cause of the disruption was it wasn't life-threatening.  She had contingencies in place, though not many and they were subtle, which would let her know if something truly dangerous visited her nephew.  She had received no such signal, so she was confident that whatever this was it wasn't life threatening.  There were many things that qualitifed for 'not life threatening' however, and it left her little closer to an answer.


As she approached the manor, she spotted her sister approaching at the same time, and smiled.  Even though it had been many months now since her sister's recovery, after having been apart so long Celestia still felt some relief and joy each time she saw her sister again.  Give it a decade, and maybe she would finally be used to the change.

She withheld her greeting on the approach though, to avoid drawing too much attention while in flight, instead waiting until they had both landed and the maid said her piece.


We might as well get comfortable whilst we wait on him. "

Celestia nodded.  The treats did seem tailored to their tastes. It would have been a shame, and done a disservice to their host if they neglected them.  Celestia smiled.  It was always easy to convincer herself with that argument.  A small slice of cake was enveloped in golden magic and hovered over to her.

“It is odd though,” she said between nibbles of cake, “I don't recall the maid ever having a stutter.”  She supposed it could simply be nervousness regarding the situation, but in her curious and analytical mood she couldn't help but pick up on which words were stumbled over.  It seemed to be a clue, though nothing could be said for certain and for the moment aside from the mention of it Celestia was content to let things play out at their own, or more particularly Blueblood's pace.

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A few seconds after the maid had departed, one of the curtains on the upstairs window twitched, unnoticed by the alicorns below.  Their host was aware of his Aunties' arrival before it was announced, but there was a few minutes' delay before he was to make an appearance.  Or, depending on how one looked at the matter, considerably longer...


The garden door finally opened to admit another mare, one neither Celestia nor Luna had ever seen about the place before.  The gold of her mane and tail glowed like a sunset under the paper lamps of the garden, diffusing their colors across her pristine coat like as if they were clouds catching sunbeams.  She stood slightly taller than the average pony, though still quite a head shorter than either Princess, but with a figure that combined good genes and lifelong care into a frankly gorgeous result.


As the mysterious unicorn approached closer, they might have been able to catch a glimpse of her flank, and the compass rose thereon.






It couldn't be, could it?


Doubts were dispelled the moment she opened her mouth.  "I wish first to make this absolutely clear... this was not my fault."  Yep, that was Blueblood alright...

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Luna had taken a much enjoyed bite of her own slice of cake by the time Celestia had gone for her own...the deliciously rich and moist slice was just as succulant and delicious as the Alicorn mare had hoped, and she certainly had no trouble with wanting to give compliments to the chef for such a treat...however, Celestia's words about the servant weren't lost on her though, as she glanced over towards her sister and nodded upon finishing her mouthful. There was no point in debating with each other about the unusual situation itself...they both knew full well that there was shenanigans afoot and that they were in the midst of some grand, unexpected mystery that would no doubt shatter worlds and-


Enter the unknown pony...


" Who in Equestria is th-... " Luna begins, before the 'princess' spoke - and anything after those words is lost to the ether, as Luna finds herself stunned speechless.

However, unlike her words, she was quick to find a plentiful supply of giggles...was this really happening to Blueblood of all ponies?!

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Celestia blinked, setting aside her cake as she processed this new development.  She had picked up enough hints that this revelation was not outright shocking.  All the same, there was a wide gap between conceiving a likely theory and actually seeing the result.  This explained why he had been avoiding the rest of society, though Celestia couldn't say this was an appearance she ever expected her nephew- currently niece, she mentally corrected herself- to have.


Luna burst into a fit of giggles.  It was something Celestia felt their host would not appreciate, but she couldn't bring herself to chastise her sister, when she too found this highly emtertaining.  She restrained herself from any outright laughter, but she couldn't help an amused smile, which she could only partially conceal when she lifted a hoof to cover her mouth.


"I wish first to make this absolutely clear... this was not my fault."

“I'm sure it wasn't,” Celestia replied, though in truth she gave it a fifty percent chance of being true.  Blueblood was still learning the finer points of diplomacy, and he had a habit of occasionally treading on hooves without realizing.  She had no doubt it not intentional, but intentions alone would never change the outcome.

She continued.  “But please, do tell us how it happened.”  This seemed the best way to gather information.  Blueblood didn't seem particularly happy with this change, so if there was a way Celestia could help without jeopardizing her other duties, she would.  This was the fastest way to get there.  And besides, this was a story she just HAD to hear.

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At the sound of his- or her Auntie Luna's giggles, Bluebelle's face soured and scrunched up, just as if she had bitten into an unripe persimmon.  It was unfair, of course, to fully expect anypony now privy to the secret of Blueblood's transformation not to be amused, but really, was it polite to so display it?  No, it was not.  At least Celestia had the decency to be discrete enough to suppress her laughter, but the alicorn was laughing on the inside, of that the hostess was sure!


With a sigh, the new Princess took her seat by her fellow title-holders, and poured a cup of tea, still directing a disapproving look towards Luna.  "Honestly, I'm holding you partially responsible for this, Auntie.  It was in Los Pegasus that the whole trouble began."  Bluebelle wasn't actually sure how much Celestia knew about her sister's ill-fated attempt to 'mix with the common ponies.'  Had they ever figured out exactly what had happened that night?  Probably not, given that the only photographic evidence had been burned sight unseen once they'd caught that reporter.


"I will admit,"  She conceded with a sip of tea, with no sugar, "That I was intemperate.  I chalk that up to a host of bad influences and good drinks.  In any case, I paid a high enough toll for that, not only in the hangover, but in the, hm, subsequent weakness in my immune system."  The unicorn stated that last phrase with some care, as one reciting an explanation.  "I was laid up with a severe influenza, or was meningitis?  Dreadfully ill, either way.  Well, I couldn't be having with that, so I politely requested Princess Twilight Sparkle to assist my recovery, and to her great credit, she did!  Unfortunately, an ill-timed sneeze on my part, um, put rather a hitch in the magical proceedings, to say the least."


The alabaster mare drained her teacup, placing it with something more than polite force down upon her saucer.  "The rest, you can see for yourselves."

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  • 3 weeks later...

Luna had attempted to regain composure - she knew it was unfair to simply allow herself to be so utterly insensitive of the Prince's feelings in this way, but she could not quite help see it in an amusing light...she was, afterall, used to seeing him in his usually 'royal' self...this kind of physical change had come fully out of left field and rendered her a little taken aback and amused at the whole affair. Still, the moment he stated that it had been partly her fault, her giggling ceased and she coughs lightly into a hoof, the very thought of her being partly responsible for this situation putting a slight damper on her mood.

" Mayhaps I am of some blame, Blueblood... " she stated, sipping at her tea and exhaling sharply as she attempted to remain detached from the remnants of light amusement within. " But I did not directly cause your...current appearance, I merely 'helped', somewhat, to bring it into being - you cannot possibly say that I could have had any idea that this was something that would happen as a result of everything that transpired, surely? " 
Still, she wasn't going to pretend that she didn't have a part to play in all of this, and thus decided that it was better she didn't poke too much at Blueblood for that particular allegation, 'lest her sister start to ask too many questions that she wasn't, at this time, sure she could truly answer with any degree of clarity. No, it would simply not do to compromise herself in this little situation, which is why the younger Alicorn sister shakes away the remaining desires to giggle and focuses on taking bites of her cake slice...deciding to let the older sister take stock of the situation and handle it as appropriate. 
However, she couldn't exactly rule herself out of the equation - she knew that it would probably only be a matter of time before she had a few queries posed by her sister about what had happened on that ill fated trip - the thing was that Luna wasn't entirely sure she could sufficiantly explain or even recall the events to the exact last detail, it was all so out of left field that even SHE wasn't sure she believed it, and she'd been there!
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Celestia regarded her sister for a moment, her expression unreadable.  She'd had at most the vague information that Luna had gone to Las Pegasus, and nothing more.  Celestia had to wonder just how concerned she should be.  She trusted Luna of course, and regardless her sister should be able to make her own decisions.  At the same time Luna had only had a few years to adapt to modern Equestria, against the thousands she spent...otherwise indisposed.  Would this be a problem, or was it simply part of her reintegration?  Perhaps both.


Blueblood could make his own decisions as well, of course, which raised the question: how exaclty could Luna be to blame?  Presumably at some point Blueblood must have agreed to the whole affair.  He may have come to regret it, but it would be indisputable that he had a hoof in his own situation.  The alternative, taking his words at face value, was that Luna had coerced him into join her...

And all of a sudden the giggles returned, as Celestia considered that particular mental image.  She contained them after just a moment, shaking her head, and set that particular issue aside.  It was a discussion that could wait for another time.


There was a more pressing concern.  Celestia looked back to Blueblood, an amused smile still on her face.  But her words were caring.  “How are you feeling?”  As afflictions went, this one seemed far more humorous than dangerous, but it could still be a disorienting experience among other things.  “And is there anything we can do to help?”  She didn't feel the need to add that both of them would be limited to what they could do around their royal duties.  Blueblood of course would recognize that.

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"Mayhaps I am of some blame, Blueblood... But I did not directly cause your...current appearance, I merely 'helped', somewhat, to bring it into being - you cannot possibly say that I could have had any idea that this was something that would happen as a result of everything that transpired, surely?


As Princess Bluebelle looked across the tea table, the intensity of her expression matched the force of the giggles that Auntie Luna was forcing to stay down.  "All I can say is the last thing I remember from that night was you saying, 'Thou canst stop now!  We have had seven already and am feeling fine!'"  Her voice cracked in imitation of the alicorn's, causing the unicorn to cough for a minute.  


After stopping to soothe her throat with tea, Bluebelle continued.  "Among the results of your exhortations was the gender-swapping of two of my friends; I cannot think that was a coincidence."  It probably was, but who knows by what strange influences magic worked?  After all, they had never figured out what exactly caused Java and Pressy's transformations, so maybe it was contagious, in a way.  In that case, perhaps Equestria would soon wake up to find a Prince Artemis on the throne...


She shook her head.  This was starting to get out of hoof.  After all, she hadn't called her Aunties here to bicker, but to let them know what had happened, and perhaps get a little advice and help.  This was, after all, hardly a usual event, and having more than 1,000 years of experience and wisdom on your team was nothing to be sneezed at.  "Well... I'm not feeling sick anymore, just... strange.  Not traumatized mind you, but... shocked that I'm not more shocked, honestly.  I would have thought that this change would have shaken me more than it has.  As for help... well, you two have more experience in being Princesses than I do.  What in Equestria have I gotten myself into?"

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  • 2 weeks later...
Oh dear, this just wasn't going to be an easy situation, was it? Blueblood had a habit of being something of an attractor of personal dramas at times, and Luna knew that this little event was only going to bring him...her...much unrest and dismay until something was done about it. Luna looked over at the unsettled mare, and shook her head gently...it wasn't clear to her just how this situation had truly played out the way it had, and with no immediate clue as to the particular level of magical energies at play, Luna found herself a little unsure as to just what should be done to reverse it.


" I feel as though we need to ascertain the level of this particular spell - afterall, whilst it may be a simple transformation in appearance, the level of the enchantment itself may well prevent an easy solution. " she says, giving both Celestia and Blueblood a small glance each. " Perhaps it would be prudent for us to get his current form analysed - it should be easy enough to understand what type of conjuration was used - attempting to reverse this condition without first gaining understanding of what type of spell it is may well create further unintended...disruptions for Blueblood.


And it was, for the most part, a true statement - it was all well and good casting a generic reversal spell at Blueblood, but this was a spell somepony else had put in place...or, rather, something else. There was no way to know if this was a magic spell via unicorn or some other means, which meant the reversal of such could well take a little more than just a simple spell in itself. Hopefully, however, there was a solution out there that wouldn't take too long to find, as Luna could see how uncomfortable Blueblood was and regardless of how much it had amused her, she knew that this was something that needed fixing with expediency - As much as he could be a pain in the royal rump, he still deserved better than to be caused undue suffering and misery by being confined to a form that was neither his choice, nor something he had known was coming!

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Celestia nodded, in agreement with everything her sister recommended, even if she wasn't sure Luna's assessment was correct.  She wasn't sure how simple it would be to analyze or solve.  Going by Blueblood's account, what should have been a straightforward curative spell was interfered with due to a cold and other distractions, and the result was something entirely unexpected.  Who could tell how the resultant spell would be constructed?  “I completely agree, it would be pointless and possibly dangerous to try to remove the spell without analyzing it first.”  She looked to Blueblood.  “Discomforting though your current form may be, there are far worse fates that could arise from errant magic.”


Celestia looked to the side, and thought for a moment.  “Hmm.  Ordinarily I might suggest speaking to my former student, she is an expert on such things.  But by the sound of things you've already tried.”  Celestia didn't think it should be ruled out completely, but she doubted Blueblood would be too fond of the idea at this point in time.

And it wasn't as though they lacked options.  “I am sure Luna or I could perform a quick examination here.”  She indicated to her sister and herself in turn, as she spoke.  “Though perhaps it would be best to entrust the task to somepony who could devote the whole of their time to it.”


Celestia smiled softly, as she finally addressed Blueblood's question.  “In the meantime, I suspect the largest difficulty will come from simply adjusting.  Merely changing genders should not change one's overall duties.”  Buried in that phrase was a declaration: Celestia would not have spent centuries building a nation where the three pony tribes would be treated equally, only to allow favouring one gender over the other.  “Although,” and now her smile grew a little playful, “if you would like more responsibilities, I am sure that could be arranged.”

She very much doubted Blueblood would, he had several of his own even before having to adjust to a new appearance, but the notion was amusing and a little intriguing.

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Bluebelle had to admit, it was comforting, in a way, to have the Aunties around, throwing out ideas for a solution to his/her problem.  Granted, she wasn't sure what they'd be able to do, really; but just knowing that they were looking out for her was enough for now.  The Prince had long been used to simply being an object of amusement that being a matter of concern was something of an improvement.  Though, Auntie Celestia always had thought him a matter of concern...


"Well, Twilight's already working on it, in a way.  She took a sample of my... I think she called it an aetheric essence?  Aura?  I forget which."  The unicorn mare shook her golden-maned head in confusion; the finer points of magical theory and practice had always alluded the scion of House Blueblood.  "Apparently, the analysis is going to take a while.  She said she'd have something ready in a month."  She shrugged, sipping her tea.  "Although I won't turn down a second opinion, if you're offering..."


The new Princess almost rolled her eyes at Celestia's suggestion that she take on even more duties, but paused only a quarter of the way through.  IMAGINE brought a large workload, true, but having more legitimate work to do might make for a handy excuse for eluding some of the more onerous "social duties" that came with one's station as a high-born unicorn.  Plus, actual respect from ponies with actual power.  That wasn't to be sneezed at.  "Well... I'll think about that.  I still need to find my hooves with this whole thing."


And that was the odd thing; the way in which the Prince had taken his/her new role of Princess in more or less stride.  Sure, it was disturbing to pretty much every one of his routines, but it was more of an aggravation to be dealt with than a trauma to be suffered.  It was as if he'd been through so much, that this was barely phasing him.  Perhaps the change from jerk to non-jerk was really more drastic than male to female for him...

"I'm curious, actually.  How many times has this sort of thing come up?  Changes between genders, I mean.  It seems to happen by accident quite a bit, but I've never met anypony who wanted it done on purpose.  Or one who had it done at all, frankly, before that Los Pegasus trip."

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