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By No Means Perfect! (SPONSORED- Ponyville)


SteelEagle

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Fluttershy flinched back a little from the panic-y purple Princess as Twilight flew up to meet her,  Even with her crystallized appearance, Fluttershy saw bits of Twilight's magically styled mane beginning to fray.  The alicorn had already been stressed from setting up this event, and now a mistake in her spellcasting had compounded it.  

 

Fluttershy approached Twilight, placing a hoof on her shoulder.  "Easy, Twilight," she soothed.  "Remember your breathing exercises."  All of Twilight's friends had seen her in this state before, and knew the best ways to get her calmed down.  "I'm sure Princess Luna won't think any less of you for a mistake.  Besides, look around you!"  The pegasus gestured to the town square and the altered landscape.  "I've never seen Ponyville so... sparkly!"  

 

The effect on the town was striking.  Rarity was going to regret not seeing her boutique this way.  As she looked around, Fluttershy saw a little crystallized dragon running their way with mugs in his claws.  She swooped down and took one of the mugs.  "Thank you, Spike!" she said with a smile, before pressing the mug into Twilight's hooves.  "And everything at the Castle is fine... well, except for a teensy problem with the choir, but..."  Fluttershy stopped, not wanting to add to Twilight's distress.  "Now!" she said, encouragingly, "You get down there and greet all your caribou guests!"

 

Fluttershy's eyes went wide as she realized what she had just said.  "C-c-caribou??"  Instinctively, Fluttershy zipped around behind Twilight, away from the towering warriors.  She had been wary of caribou since one of their clans had attacked the Crystal Empire.  She had not been there, but Twilight's stories... and injuries, had been enough to scare Fluttershy badly.  however, as she peeked around her friend's wing, she realized that she recognized one of these caribou.  Halvard, a large blue bull, had been a representative when Fluttershy had met Empress Yù Yuè.  

 

Emerging cautiously, Fluttershy turned toward the bull, hovering to stay at eye level.  "Vakstyra Halvard," she greeted, hoping she was not mangling his title.  "I-it's good to see you again.  You and your... friends are here for the celebration?"

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Ho-Boy, what an Hearth's Warming Eve it had been so far! Somehow they managed to gather up the entire Walker clan and cram them all into their parents tiny little cottage. And while those with common sense would have bothered to book a few rooms at the nearby hotel many months ahead of time, this all was a last minute decision. Hey all, let's spend the night at mom and dad's place! It would be just like old times! Along with the red coated mare, there were the parents and nine siblings and two of those had foals of their own to bring. They at least managed to have their Hearth's Warming Eve dinner catered as not a single member of the large family had any cooking ability. This was their curse!
 
Thankfully the night had gone off without any real issues. The meal was beyond fantastic, and there had been no shortage of things to talk about and more than a few photos were shot. As the others gathered around the fireplace for a quick nap, Fire Walker decided to take a leisurely stroll. She could walk off all the Eggplant Shakshuka and get to admire the outside decorations.  She had heard there was going to be a festive party by the large building they had in the center of town. Hopefully they would be serving holiday themed drinks. She could go for a glass of hot buttered rum. Mmmm. And while things were relativity chilly, her special winter dress kept her nice and cozy. Her fiancé, Swift Squall seemed to know all the best designers in Fillydelphia.
 
The mare paused to admire the pavilion which had been festooned from top to bottom. She would have assumed it had been worked on during the last few days, but knowing how things worked here, it was probably all done up in a few seconds by Pinkie Pie and her party cannon!  Ponyville was a very silly place at times. There was town square, where the party was going on. As she turned to canter over to the growing mass of ponies, the Pegasus was smacked upside the head with magic! She had tried to close her eyes, but she was blinded by the light! Thankfully this did not last very long. And in any other town, this could have been a camera's flash going off, or even festive fireworks, but this was not any town, it was Ponyville!
 
"Ugh.", the mare groaned as the spots quickly vanished from her eyes. It had to be magic. It had to be freaking Princess fraking Twilight. The mare wanted to close her eyes and not even see what had happened to her. Last time she spent the better part of the day as a filly. What would it be this time? The mare held up her front right leg, which was now shiny and transparent, just like a Crystal Pony. That's not -too- bad. It could have been worse. She could have been turned into an old lady, or even an stallion.
 
As she neared the party, she caught sight of the purple mare and her adorable little dragon sidekick. The look on her face confirmed it. Sparkle was the clumsy caster of the spell! Typical. And while the officer still wanted to give her a piece of her mind from the previous spell-goof, she could not. It was Hearth's Warming Eve, and she could never be rude to royalty. With luck, this would at least earn the butter-hoofed unicorn a visit from the nasty ol' Sass Squash. Good little colts and fillies got Hearth's Warming Day gifts, not so good ones had their presents replaced with squashes by the Sass Squash! Ha!
 
While there were plenty of guests at the event, Fire could only recognize a few. Beyond Spike, Princess Twilight and Luna, there was also Fluttershy and was that Lady Sigrun? She had not seen the majestic caribou in ages. Curious what she was up to, the mare trotted over to see her to say hello.
 
"Princess Twilight, Queen Sigrun.", The office gave a swift, but  proper bow as she approached the royal pair.  She needed to be careful as the purple princess was looking quite stressed out. Any sudden moves would probably cause her to throw another crazy spell around. "Very interesting theme we have here.",  she held up her front right leg. "Very crystally." She silently wondered if the Crystal Ponies celebrated this holiday..
 
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“We can all learn something from her fight against her personal demons, real and imaginary alike,” Twilight responded to the detective with a hopeful note. While everypony looked up to Celestia, Twilight, and Cadence for their various roles in society, Luna didn't get the recognition she deserved. Ponies who needed to know you could come back from a fall had the role model they needed and Twilight was always proud of Luna for what she had done. “Speaking of the Princess of the Night, you can see the constellation of Libra right now- it shines all the brighter when the moon is crossing the Zodiac in the seventh sector between 180°-210°, the same location in the night sky as the constellation. Pretty interesting, right? This time of the year you see it only as it wanes. Wanning is symbolic of the transition from full to new, a cycle of rebirth- just like Luna, with the Libra constellation representing the scales of justice- rebirth and justice, the return of a Princess. Very cool stuff!”

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The Mayor had a fine eye for Ponyville parties. AT least she had a fine eye for selecting the muted, sweet aspects of the holiday. Nopony added cheer like Pinkie Pie! She'd likely want a bigger tree with a thousand magic lights. The Mayor had picked a nice, tall, strong tree with wide branches, but nothing that a well-to do family couldn't get on their own. It was symbolic of the town's rustic nature and desire for the simple. Twilight was happy with it too. So was Boulder, who helped set up the ornaments with various foals, fillies, colts, and entertained stallions and mares. He set the final one up, a single tear blazing a trail. Twilight approached from behind, eventually standing shoulder to shoulder with him. “The tree is beautiful, Boulder. I'm sure your family is very proud,” she then gently pointed at the final ornament. “That have any special meaning for you? If that isn't being impolite, anyway.”

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It took a few seconds for Twilight's memory to kick in. Truth be told she met so many ponies at major events it was hard for her to keep track and that was on a good day. But after a moment her memory kicked back the incident in question. “OH! Yes. Well, pardon me. How have you been? Have your manecare products taken off yet?” She said. Twilight actually followed somewhat close by to Windwright, getting some private time with the stallion-turned-mare. This was rather fortunate, actually. Windwright was one of the few ponies in Equestria she could turn to for advice and aid in this manner. She had experience and the capability. He had. She had, he had, neither mattered and both mattered at this moment. “Actually, it is really lucky you came. I might have a certain request for a friend, and you're the only pony I know who can really help now that I think of it.”

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All of this talking gave Spike time to return. Her hero had come back from his quest with his treasure and now she felt like calming down a little. He had a calming influence about him and helped curb so many of her worst impulses and compulsions. She had many neurosi that she could probably write a book. Maybe she would...that could help a lot of ponies in need. Speaking of ponies in need, she was in need of refreshment. “Thank you, Spike. I know the line was long but don't worry, so far everypony seems fine. Well, mostly. They're being nice about it. Do you think they're just being nice about it or do you think they really don't care?” She asked, leaning in and down to her assistant. One drink was carried by her hoof, another was levitating. It would help her calm down.

So would Fluttershy. She always had a knack for it. Her calm, soothing voice was relaxing to hear in almost any context regardless of what was being discussed assuming she wasn't terrified. She took several deep breaths and went through the breathing practice. It worked. Kinda. Mostly. Sorta. Enough. “Thank you, Fluttershy. I think- no, I know I'm overthinking it. But I mean, I messed up such a simple spell. Am I slipping? Could I be focusing so much-” she shook her head, “no, overthinking it again. You're right. Everything is going to be fine- wait, what about the choir?” She asked, her mind overthinking what it could be. Fluttershy wasn't freaking out which meant the animals were mostly fine. At least nothing was wrong in a major way.

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Fluttershy hid behind Twilight, and Twilight allowed it, as the Caribou began speaking with them. She would get out on her own terms- and there she went. Halvard worried Twilight initially with what he said. She panicked, her eyes going wide. She hadn't meant to be offensive! This was supposed to be a joyous occasion and her foolishness had brought back terrible memories for all. Good going Twilight, ruining the party just as it was starting up! Figures, take Rarity away and have Twilight decorate and she manages to ruin friendships and foreign relations with one simple spell. And to think she was so exci- ohh, he was kidding. Of course he was, of course! Uggh, if she hadn't messed the spell up then there wouldn't be any- okay, cool it. Everything was fine. “No, it was a mistake. It was supposed to be more like the night sky, but then the spell went haywire. I'm really very sorry about this- I don't generally make mistakes like this, hahahaha,” she trailed off, hoof at the back of her beck. She could only hope that it was all the spell had done.

Sigrun was always pleasing to have around. She was a warrior without any debate but she had a charm and tact that was lacking from many. Indeed, both her and Halvard were well known for being both trendsetters and mold-breakers amongst the caribou. If they were the prototype caribou of the new age then Equestria could breathe a sigh of relief. “I'm glad you're here, Sigrun. How's the clan? How's Limi? I heard he completed his rite of passage!” she said excitedly. She didn't know much beyond what any learned Equestrian may know about the trials of the caribou but she kept up enough with her friends to know the very basics of events in their lives. She was sure the cow was excited to talk about her adopted son.

Speaking of younger ones, she didn't know much about Calder. She knew what she had read up on via letters from friends and reports from intelligence services(all of whom focused on the war among the caribou). It wasn't much, but perhaps it would prove sufficient for now. “Hæ, Calder!” she asked, putting at least one word she had learned in play and use. “I'm so happy to meet you. I'll tell the rest of my clan about your well-wishes,” she giggled lightly. “I'm Princess Twilight Sparkle and this is my home of Ponyville! And you are Calder, if I remember correctly?”
 

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Finally she went to take a drink. The cup went to her lips when she spotted a strange dragon approaching. By the time the sip was over he had arrived, though his face told of conflicting desires. He didn't like the idea of ponies being in his way, that much was certain. Could she be sure that his intentions were pure for the ponies of Ponyville? Few dragons had come over to Equestria with the desire for harmony enshrined in their hearts. Still, he wasn't breathing fire nor was he being violent. Perhaps he just needed a taste of Equestrian values and harmony- and as the Princess of Friendship, she was more than willing to give it an honest first go. “A new face? Well, that's always a great sigh. Welcome to Ponyville! I'm Princess Twilight Sparkle. Who might you be?”

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New faces- Kojo was new. She was less than enthused with the current circumstance. Twilight gave a frustrated moan and sighed. “I'm sorry, this is my fault. I meant to do something else not...this, really. Please stay- take part in this great celebration. We have food, drinks, gifts, a party! Please enjoy it!” she said. Half pleaded. Maybe more than half.

Her worry was returning. The second glass went down.

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Bolt's eyes almost sparkled and his face lit up as Twilight noticed him, he ran his claws through his spines and cleared his throat waving back at her. "Hey there Twi, names Bolt. Nice little festive bash you and Luna have going on here. I'm not normally into these pony holidays, whats this ones deal? Something about huddling together and Windigos." The blue dragon seemed disinterested as he boiled down the holiday to a base statement. "I'll admit I don't buy all that friendship crap, it's just not my style. However defeating Tirek, outwitting Discord and sending Chrysalis packing, I respect that." He placed an arm around Twilight pull her closer using his free hand to gesture towards the stars above. "That takes real power and intelligence. You've got both in spades and I admire that." He let her go zipping off leaving only a puff of smoke returning but a second later with a book and a box wrapped in purple bows. "Like I said I'm not normally into these pony holidays but because it's in the sprit of the season, I wanted to give you this." He smiled as his tail darted from side to side as he held out the gifts. "I heard you like to read so I'd like you to have an advance copy of my latest novel, it's all written in dragon script but I'm sure somebody as smart as you won't have any trouble reading it. As for the second one well just open her up and tell me what you think." Bolt said holding out the neatly wrapped flat box towards the princess.

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Different from most ponies at the moment, Naj was lingering at the edge of Ponyville rather than joining in the festivities.  She wasn't avoiding anypony, she just... hadn't decided whether or not to join in yet.  Yeah.  A part of her wanted to, knowing a enough ponies in town that celebrating could be fun.  Another part of her felt she should, thinking spending such an evening with friends or at least cheerful acquaintances would be good for her in her current state.  At the same time, she was enjoying the quiet right now, and was worried a celebration about togetherness might remind her of what she didn't have at the moment.

 

Naj didn't so much refuse to head to the centre of town, as defer the decision.  Right now she was enjoying the quiet, and the beauty of the night sky.  She was sure the celebration would wait for her, and saw no need to rush out and-

 

A sudden flash of light from the middle of town drew Naj's attention.  There wasn't supposed to be a light show like that, and even if there was, would there be only one?  Her thoughts immediately went to another interrupted celebration that she'd been caught in the middle of.  “Not again!” she shouted, as she whirled and started running toward the middle of town, where she thought the epicentre was.  She only hoped she could make it in time.

 

---

 

That was a minute or so ago.  Naj was still galloping as she reached the centre of town.  She noted with some relief that there were no sounds of battle or panic, and the ponies she passed seemed alright at a glance, but she had to be sure.

 

Naj arrived, to find the ground covered with something slick and shiny, that she would have thought was ice if it had been cold.

She found her tendency to keep to the ground all of a sudden working against her.  Rushing as she was, she quickly lost her footing when she reached the slippery surface, and began to slide toward a wall.

 

The changeling finally remembered her wings, too late to stop herself from hitting the wall, but enough to slow herself a bit and make it a hard bounce off the wall rather than an outright crash.

 

Naj needed a moment to recover from the impact, but as soon as she did she shook herself off then frantically looked around.  “I saw the flash, is everyone... alright...?  uh...”  She trailed off as she finally  got a good look at everyone there.  She had been expecting the number of unusual visitors.  She had not been expecting several ponies she knew from around town, to have taken on a shiny appearance.

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Boulder Dash wiped the tear from his cheek as he nodded to Princess Twilight.  Standing back to admire both the tree and the tomato shaped Ornament he motioned to it for Princess Twilight and said, "That ornament belonged to my Pa, Twilight Ma'am.  It's an heirloom passed down from three Generations of my family.  We aren't rich naturally but what we do have we value greatly."

 

Boulder then sighed and said, "I guess you could technically call this my first Hearts Warming in a very long time....at least with my family and neighbors.  I've been at sea the past couple years....shipped out shortly after Pa passed away."  Boulder Dash then shook his head to avoid getting emotional from past memories and then gave Twilight and her dragon assistance a big country smile.

 

"But no use bringing up sadness on Hearts Warming Eve right?" He said as he then reached into the ornament box and pulled out a beautiful tree topper shaped like a bright shiny star.  "Ok every pony, who'd like the honor of topping this beautiful tree off?" he asked in loud but kind voice to get everypony's focus on the tree.

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“No one ordered it. I made a terrible mistake! Uggh. Such a simple one, too. I think it is just visual. I think,”

 

Lore Weaver had known Twilight enough over the years when she was about to reach her breaking point. True the stallion did work for her, but over time their relationship blossomed into a friendship. So when he saw her nervously downing egg nog, it was time to say something. Lore, of course, had to choose his words wisely. 

 

"Twilight, relax. Nopony was harmed, and nothing was damaged. Maybe some were surprised, but that's not a bad thing, right? Magic can go haywire, we both know this. I think every unicorn has this happen to them. I once pushed a cart full of books too hard it almost took out a bookshelf had I not quickly stopped it. You may be the most magical pony I met, but you're still a pony, and we're not flawless. I'm going to go put my ornament on the tree and say hello to some of the guests. If you need anything, just let me know."

 

Lore Weaver trotted over to the massive tree and got his ornament out. Like his profession and part of his cutie mark, this ornament was an open book about the size of a paperback one. But the ornament was special as it was enchanted. Anypony who walked by it would see a different inspiring quote appear on it's "pages" so that each pony could get a different quote. As he chose a branch to hang it so it was eye level with most ponies, he happened to see a stallion nearby place a tomato shaped ornament on the tree. Although he couldn't hear what was said the stallion was crying. 

 

"That ornament must remind you of somepony special, huh? I'm sorry to interrupt, but I couldn't help but see you were crying. I'm Lore Weaver, what's your name?" 

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Lens nods with a soft smile as he listens to Twilight's short description of Luna, knowing full well her adoration for the Princess from such a simple sentence. A theme that ran common with many ponies he talked to, perhaps Luna had more friends than even she realised. "It is obvious you have a great respect for Princess Luna, Princess. I seem to get the good fortune to keep meeting ponies who have such great tales of working alongside Princess Luna, almost makes me jealous to know so few ponies myself." he chuckles quietly, looking up again as Twilight starts to point out the constellation Libra, he quickly looks to the angle from north that Twilight stated, quickly taking note of the bright constellation hanging above them as he whistled "You know, that is actually highly interesting, the fact that everything meets so perfectly together, not a single element neglected. Makes a detective like me very happy. Though I must say, just from that knowledge you displayed there and the ease you had identifying Libra, I think you could even give me a run for my money in my own work. Kinda worrying." he laughs. "But yes, it is very cool stuff." he smiles, standing up again "Probably just as cool as turning an entire party into crystal to reflect the night sky in the sheen of the ground underneath it. When all the lights go on this is really going to make everything reflect perfectly." he speaks, trying to somewhat encourage the Princess on her spell mishap, after all, even if results were unintended, they could still be beautiful.

Now that he looked at Twilight again, he could see Fluttershy standing with her, to which he quickly gave the pegasus a gracious bow, not wanting to say anything yet as she looked like she was about to get into a conversation with some very interesting beings that Lens could not recall ever seeing before. Although speaking about things he had not seen before, there appeared to be a dragon here now with quite the interesting outlook to the holiday, considering he was at a Hearth's Warming celebration, and yet it soon became clear he was more here to see a certain Princess, and yet Lens couldn't help but wonder what stopped this dragon from meeting the Princess at any other time, rather than when everypony was distracted with festivities. Then again, with a personality like that, perhaps it was more based off ego and making a show of an entrance. Lens certainly remembered when he used to do that.

That was when his thoughts were interrupted by a thud as a pony ran into the wall near him, bouncing off the wall with an impressive speed, the pony seeming less worried about herself, and more about everypony else, Lens carefully approaches her with a smile "Hey, easy there. We're all fine, just a little bit of Hearth's Warming magic is all. Are you okay though? I've ran into enough walls to know that one looks like it stung." he comments, worried for this mare.

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Ejaz blinked, glancing left and right as he heard the several conversations going on around him at almost the same time, but he couldn’t focus on any of the interactions due to one of the others suddenly catching his attention everytime he tried. It was almost suffocating to try and listen to everything at once, and Ejaz found himself feeling trapped. A part of the mechanic knew he was being overdramatic, and that it probably wasn’t as bad as he was feeling it was. But that didn’t stop him from feeling what he felt, and after a moment of trying to calm himself and failing, Ejaz quietly opened his wings and flew straight up a couple of dozen feet into the air, putting the voices and sounds far enough that he could muffle and tune them out.

 

Taking a deep sigh and calming himself, Ejaz looked down upon the town and the group of ponies, a caribou, and a dragon with curiosity and a hint of loneliness, watching those he could while quietly wishing that he could find a way to interact with them without feeling or coming across as awkward. The pegasus rising up a little higher into the air and deciding to look at Ponyvile as a hole to see it’s transformation thanks to a certain princess.

 

It was awe-inspiring, the houses, the streets, even the trees and pedestrians, all glimmered beautifully under the light source of the current time. Some of the colors standing out, and others blending in to create outstanding hues and values that just made the sight all the more enjoyable. Ejaz could feel the uncontrollable huge smile growing on his face as he throughly fell in love with the visuals of the recently and still crystalized town.

 

This... is.... I-I can’t even find the words for it.. It-it’s just.... Wow...” Was the thought that went through the male’s mind as he watched it all. Inside, Ejaz could feel that loneliness building as he wished he could share this veiw with somepony, anypony. But alas, since he had almost no friends, there was no one here he could ask to partake in this experience with. Closing his eyes and sighing deeply, Ejaz watched the scenery for a moment longer before turning his gaze back down onto the same group he had temporarily -and metaphorically- taken a step back from, and lowering his hovering altitude to listen to some of their conversations with childish curiosity.

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Giving a grateful smile to Sigrun's compliment, he replied.  "I'll defer to your judgment there."  Calder he let extract himself with the minimum loss of dignity, before stepping forward.

 

While he was pleased to see that Twilight had taken his little joke in good humor, there was something he found... off-putting in her nervousness.  Some edge of anxiety that was not only at odds with the season, but didn't speak well for her confidence in the face of threat.  Not that he doubted her forthrightness in, say, facing dragons (a good thing, too, as one had just shown up), but in social situations, little mishaps could put her on the back hoof, and as Halvard had just proven, someone with an eye for that sort of thing could take advantage of her.

 

"No offense is taken; the effect is quite striking and impressive in it's own right, I could well have believed it was an intentional part of the decoration."  He gave the Princess a warm smile, which he felt would be needed to make the advice he was about to give go down better, "Just a tip, though; I have found that it is unwise to be overly generous with apologies over the unexpected, when it is neither malicious in intent or harmful in effect.  There are many, especially among the clans, who lose respect for someone who cannot carry the consequences of their acts through boldly.  I say this, because it might be relevant in the near future..."  And reaching into his cloak, he brought out what was, for a caribou, an impressive piece of tree-bark stationary.  "This is an invitation to Sigrun and my wedding!  We felt as a courtesy to you, especially for championing the cause of peaceful relations after being the direct recipient of the other sort, this was appropriate." 

 

Peeking around the Princess, he spotted a yellow pegasus, with rather more excusable grounds for nervousness, emerge from behind.  "Why, yes we are!  It's a good time of year for it, as the pollen-producing plants of the Southern lands are no longer in bloom; which is a mercy to my mate, and incidentally to everypony around her."   He chuckled, though Fluttershy hadn't yet witnessed the awesome power of one of Sigrun's sneezes.  "The invitation is extended to you too, as well.  I don't know if you've had a chance to get acquainted with the animals of the far north, but I'd be interested to see if they respond as well to you as the Equestrian ones do.  Also, there is an adopted member of my mate's clan that has admired you ever since he heard about you, and would be absolutely thrilled if you could make it."

 

That more or less took care of his business with the Princess, and he stepped back to let Sigrun and Calder have their own conversations, giving an encouraging nod to Calder.  The young bou struggled, but it was important to let him do as much as he could, just to prove to himself that he could stand in his own right.  His old clan had done a number on him, and it would be no easy task to see him upright and able to confront all the demons of his past.  So far, though, so good.

 

That left him with little to do at the moment, save to keep an eye on that Bolt fellow.  Dragons were rarely good news, wherever they happened to show up.  Hopefully Sigrun would not have to demonstrate why she was the terror of the lindwurms back home...

Edited by PrinceBlueblood
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Jeeze, it was like everyone and their uncle, aunt, and third cousin twice removed was showing up! Even ponies that Spike hadn't ever seen before. Fluttershy had the same kind of desire that the dragon himself had. For Twilight to take a few moments to breathe. But being a Princess apparently meant having to deal with. Well. Everything! It was lucky that Twi wasn't claustrophobic...at least as far as he could remember. Maybe he should have grabbed a paper bag for he to keep from hyperventilating?


Speaking of new ponies, or rather in this case dragons-wait. Dragon? Was there a new dragon that moved to Ponyville while he wasn't looking? Spike blinked in confusion and shook his head. Just a few seconds into conversation and this guy was pretty much calling Twilight's whole shtick 'crap' but acting like a buddy ol' chum. At least he seemed to at least have part of the holiday spirit in him. Though he hoped his wouldn't add onto Twilight's stress levels which were already reaching Maximum Freakout slowly but surely...Maybe he should have got her something stronger than eggnog...


"Oh cool, a caribou wedding? I get to come too right? I wanna wear a super awesome helmet and a spear!" Spike said striking a little pose when Halvard passed over the wedding invitation to Twilight. With a little cough the baby dragon blushed and composed himself. Easy there Spike, rein it in...Heh. Caribou. Rein. Reindeer. Comedy was in his blood, what could he say? Either way he was sure that a wedding in Whitescar was some sort of big spectacle of an event. Not like the tame, frankly frilly sort of weddings in Equestria. Not that there was anything really wrong with them. So long as they're not quite as exciting as Shining Armor's was. Hoo boy.

((Apologies for a somewhat short reply, and for not fitting more people in ^^; hard a rough day yesterday and still kinda recovering))

 

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Windwright turned back to the Princess...and her gaggle of other guests. She chuckled nervously and said "I'd rather not talk business when you have such a crowd to please, princess, but I'd be happy to offer any advice I can." She surveyed the group and Twilight herself, then nodded and started rifling through her satchel of medical supplies. "In fact, I think I might have something to boost your confidence a little, if you're feeling overwhelmed."

 

She pulled out a stoppered vial filled with a liquid that glowed a faint pink in the crystalline light. It was fruit punch (she kept all sorts of supplies meant for all sorts of medical emergencies, this one was for low blood sugar) but she wasn't going to divulge that just yet. Instead she offered the vial out. "Everypony needs a little help sometime, medical, alchemical or otherwise."

 

Her next thoughts went to the dragon who apparently decided to observe from afar. Another creature she could probably give a boost to when she was done on the ground, but first...

 

"Oh! Were you miss Fluttershy? A local doctor recently mentioned you in an article he wrote about Swamp Fever, he says you were instrumental in finding an alchemical cure! I'd love to swap notes sometime, and I'll be here for another week or so after the festivities. My husband and I will be spending New Years here while I work on a few business leads." she said to the yellow fellow pegasus hiding behind the Princess. 

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Sigrun chuckled warmly at the young bull, "No need to apologize, Calder. I should be apologizing for startling you. I know I'm not the most soothing caribou to be around." An awkward smile crossed her muzzle. Even after all the time had passed since she'd gained her new appearance, Sigrun was still sensitive about it. She'd already come to the conclusion her son Limi didn't wish her to meet his bride because of it and with Calder's reaction... it seemed she could probably expect more of the same. It was her burden to bear in the end, but one she would carry with a smile. A smile that turned to a stifled chuckle at Calder's introduction to the 'Princess of clan Sparkle'.

 

"Limi's Trial was a bit .. rough, but he pulled through. He's grown up a lot since you last saw him, currently he's been making his home in Long Guo. Apparently he's been making a good impression in most of the east. Hopefully it will make any trade dealings with them easier. As for my clan it has been recovering steadily from the attack by the Wraith organization and so far things have been alright. The only troubles we've been having is dealing with an increase in aggression from the Troll population." Sigrun smiled as Halvard finally offered up the invitation to the princess, "... and on the bright side Halvard and myself have decided to tie to the knot." Seeing the small dragon at the princess's side she leaned forward slightly to get a better look at spike after he spoke up, "As Halvard said, the invitation is for your princess and any who she would wish to invite. I hear that you're never far from her side, Little one. It would be a shame to rob Whitescar of your combined presence."

 

As Halvard spoke to Fluttershy about his mate's allergies he received a gentle nudge to his side, "Just for that remark, the next time my nose starts to tickle I'll be aiming it right at you, My love." She scrunched up her muzzle a moment before she would nuzzle up against his cheek with a playful grin. Her head again lowered in greeting to another hero of Equestria, "It's a pleasure to meet you, Miss Fluttershy. I've heard tales of your bravery and empathy, it is an honor to be in your presence."

 

Sigrun blinked as a familiar face drew near through a crowd. It was growing difficult to keep track of so many when all they were doing was talking and offering gifts. The face she saw was definitely one she was pleased to see once again. She was beat to the punch in greeting the army mare, Fire Walker... and a with a title she definitely didn't expect to be called. She gave Her mate another nudge and smiled, "Did you hear that, Halvard? Queen Sigrun... it has a nice ring to it." She said with a playul smirk before she bowed her head in greeting to Fire, "It's good to see you again, Miss Fire. THank you again for your help in my clan's time of need... seeing as you're here: Would you be interested in attending the wedding between Halvard and Myself?"

 

Edited by Pretzelparty
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*OOC: Hoooo boy...so many posts... I'm sorry if I miss anypony, it will be an accident if I do...

 

BIC:

The Princess' eyes lit up in surprise as the spell took hold of the area. It was an accident to be sure. However, she couldn't have planned it to be any more of a happy accident. Everywhere she looked the town shimmered and sparkled. And, it seemed all the ponies and others in the area had the same affect. Sparkle and glimmer everywhere she looked.

 

"Oh Twilight," She paused. "No need to fret, I think the affect is lovely indeed. Thou need not worry, tis a happy mistake!" Luna smiled. So many ponies, dragons, and even caribou were arriving! This certainly was going to be a party!

 

As Spike greeted her, Luna smiled and spread her wings. "Hello to you Spike! It looks as though thou hast everything under control tonight. Thank you for your help as always. Twilight is lucky to have thee to assist her!"

 

As Boulder Dash greeted her, Luna nodded her head in greeting. "Tis a pleasure to meet you Boulder Dash!" She smiled. "My sister and I are always there to watch over thou and those like yourself. The tree is beautiful as Princess Twilight has said," She thought for a moment. She knew she had seen Boulder in one of his dreams recently. "I am pleased to have such a kind and generous pony with us here tonight." She regarded Boulder warmly.

 

"Twilight," She motioned to the purple Princess when she had the chance. "There is no need to apologize," She waved a wing over the scene. "Everything seems to be going fine... Though I too could do with some of this 'eggnog' of which you speak. It sounds refreshing."

 

"Queen Sigrun!" Luna bowed. "Tis certainly a pleasure to have you in our fair town tonight! Happy Hearth's Warming!" She didn't know Sigrun all that well and the greeting may have seemed a bit odd. Luna was still learning how to deal with formalities. Twilight was so much better at making friends...she was after all the Princess of such matters.

 

She watched the rest of the interaction with the caribou, interested in their ways and happy to meet them all.

 

"Fluttershy!" Luna greeting the kind pony with a smile. "What seems to be the trouble with your choir? Perhaps I could help?"

 

 

 

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"Oh, no need tah worry, Twilight, Ah was just wonderin' what was goin' on." Kojo reassured, giving the alicorn a friendly smile. She seemed to have enough to take her attention right now, including another dragon that didn't seem to care much for ponies in general but was still being friendly with Twilight. Huh, that was strange... Kojo moved to the side, ending up next to Spike as he stratched his head a bit in confusion. 

 

"Whaddya reckon is his problem?" Kojo asked of the other small dragon, blinking a bit. After a little bit, another guest arrived that took his attention, a changeling that bounced off a wall and slid across the ground a bit. He smiled a bit as he realized she was more worried about others than she was about herself.

 

"Are ya hurt, miss? Ah could help if ya need it." He asked, staying back for now since she already had a stallion there to help her up.

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Luna's encouragement did help to some degree. It put to rest the notion that Luna would hold this harshly against her. At least publicly. Twilight's innate worry was still in play and she couldn't help but feel that even if Luna didn't consciously think this decision poor, the fact it was an unwanted impact would spoil further Twilight's reputation as highly skilled in the magical arts in Luna's eyes. “I guess so. Still can't feel like there might be something more. It would be unusual if all our magical power and a mistake results in just some visual change though, right?” She shrugged. “A happy accident is still an accident, but if its happy- does anypony care?” She asked rhetorically, then shook her head. Who knew how this night would be remembered but she was happy to have played a part in making it bright for others.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It took a big heart to be so free with one's emotions and Boulder had the heart to match his stature. Twilight had an idea that something of that sort could be attached to the ornament, though the story behind it was enriching to say the least. You always grew yourself when somepony else shared a story that was near and dear to them and it showed great strength for Boulder to be free and open while also being able to keep it together and turn to her and Spike with a big smile and refocus himself on the holiday. Twilight was proud of anypony who could do so. “Well I hope tonight's festivities help you feel the light and love of family near and far, Boulder. Happy Hearthswarming,” she said, sharing wisdom that her good friend Applejack was always happy to share. He wanted to focus on the tree-topper, and she made herself scarce and friendly so he could take center stage.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So he was a detective? Hmm. The pieces were starting to come together. The memory of who he was started to knock around her skull with a bit more ferocity, the answer starting to bubble itself up in due time. On a more immediate note, his comment on how it would look when reflecting the night sky was appreciated, but perhaps incorrect. “Well, I hope so. Fact is since the ground is currently composed of faux magical crystal and not actual crystal, when contacting a light source in greater intensity not present during its creation means it is unlikely to reflect much, if any, of the stars and moon. Of course it also means it will leave an after-image long after the light has faded, so there are some advantages to it,” she responded, pawing at the ground lightly.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Twilight lifted the vial up in the air with a trained eye. She was not a professional chemist, at least by trade, but she knew more than most. She used her magic to scan the vial for various chemical properties. After a moment or four she lowered it with a smile. “Well, maybe I'm missing something, but I think if I wanted some fruit punch I'd just get some from inside,” she whispered so nopony else could hear. “Thanks for the advice, trying to cheer me up. But actually, I think you've got some stuff that could help out a friend of mine. Well, less of a friend and more like a cousin of a friend, but he's a nice enough colt,” she brought her voice lower again. “Do you have any of that potion that promotes...feminine change?” She asked, being very careful. She could use a spell but that could bring unwanted aetheric changes.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

He gave some great advice for dealing with the clans. She knew she was apologizing too much but this was such a simple mistake that she felt humiliated. If she had been trying something difficult and made a mistake she could understand it a lot more. But this was so...simple. She should have been able to do this without any real problem. Plus it wasn't like the caribou were experts on apologies. Historically or currently, really. She wasn't about to say anything except try to change the topic when Halvard did it for her, making the occasion change tone dramatically.

They were getting married, and she was invited! Of course this was expected. Anypony(or bou) who had followed knew this was a likely route for them. There had been some rumblings from those itching to begin peace talks that Sigrun may be given to a rebel in a sort of arranged marriage situation as one of the many conditions, but with her officially betrothed there was nothing that could be done. Which was just as good- Twilight didn't really have a place of hate in her heart for the Rebels, but she didn't want them to get anything out of any talks that they didn't have to get!

She lost herself for a second and pulled both of them off the ground with her magic in a big hug, bringing them in close as easily as a stallion may pick up a flower. “Congratulations! I'm so happy for you two. So much to think about- I'll be excited to experience a real caribou wedding. I mean I read about the wedding rituals of your kind and I studied the post-aetheric wave theory about the effects of love emanating from clans after the wedding season,” she clapped her hooves together, eyes closed, “Oooh, I'm so excited. I am absolutely going! And Spike- you're coming with me, of course,” she giggled. Then realized she was holding all of them- Sigrun, Calder, Halvard, herself, and Spike- up in her magic. “Ooops. Well, I just got excited there,” she nervously laid out, lowering them all to the ground and releasing them. “When's the date, exactly?”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Bolt was...a creature, to be sure. He was abrasive and rude, sad hallmarks of his species. Many bucked the trend but he apparently was not one of them. He was fast- one of the fastest she had seen, though she'd still bet on Rainbow in any race- and seemed unconcerned with anything other than his immediate interest. His base disinterest in the holiday was palpable as was his lack of knowledge regarding how Equestria functioned. Heck, how magic even worked. Nonetheless, she believed he was at least trying and while his efforts had yet to endear him to the Princess they equally had not earned her ire. That was a good enough start to most friendships. He gave her a copy of his...novel? Well, somepony certainly didn't waste their time. “An unexpected gift. Thank you, Bolt. An unexpected gift from an unexpected source. I haven't seen you around here before. Where do you call home?” She asked, wanting to know more about the guest before she launched into any defense of the holiday. That'd come at her own pace.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Naj came in, though not really in the way she would have wanted. She snapped to it just well enough to assuage any concerns Twilight may have had about the one changeling in all of Ponyville managing to harm herself during Equestria's friendliest and most welcoming of holidays. She was indeed the only one anypony knew about and while it had taken longer than Twilight would have wanted, she had eventually become accepted by the townsponies. Hopefully nothing was broken and she could enjoy the night- something she had done perilously little of since a close friend had left. “Naj? I'm so happy you could make. I must admit I was worried you might not, but I'm so happy you chose to attend the party. As for all this,” she waved around town, “it was my mistake. Messed up a spell. At least it was a pretty mistake?”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Lore was right to a degree. Nopony had been really upset with her but it wasn't as if her actions were entirely without consequence. “Some ponies were hurt. Nopony seriously, nothing even really all that noteworthy. Maybe only a few bloody snouts. But if I hadn't messed up up such a simple spell then nothing would have happened negatively for anypony. Still, you're right. Everything will be fine,” she said, finally having time to survey the crowd. Most everypony was happy. Soon they would start to form their own smaller circles, and when the time was right, the Mayor would arrive and kick off the major events of the evening.

Everything was going to be just fine.

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Bolt opened one eye wide as she hadn't even attempted to opened his second gift yet to see whats inside, after all everybody loves presents right? He clutched the box in his claws before spinning it atop his fingers as he spoke taking any chance he could to show off. "Oh I have a cave in the mountains up north but when you're as fast as I am you don't really call one place home. I'm kind of a drifter, Ponyville one moment Cloudsdale the next. I've been trying to settle in Canterlot recently you know stay in one place for a while make a name for myself. But this guys been making it very hard for me. Don't you worry about that though, I'm going to fix his wagon." Bolt said punching his closed fist into an open palm before remembering who he was talking to. He looked the princess up and down and she was even cuter up close, if scales could blush Bolt would be a perfect pink at the moment, fortunately for him his race allowed him to keep his cool. He went back to wondering why Twilight wouldn't open the box containing the expensive necklace from his horde it almost killed him to give up. Not only was he smitten with Twilight he also respected her, to him she stood as a reminder not all ponies we're insects. Given he wanted to make a good impression he decided to offer a hand in anyway he could. "Hey listen I know you've already got a dragon that helps you out but if you ever need a lift somewhere or a package run to a location in no time feel free to shoot me a scroll. Hell I wouldn't even mind hanging out with your brother or butler whatever he is to you and teaching him about dragon stuff. What I'm trying to say is I'm here to help. I know this Princess gig probably has you up to your eyes in other peoples trouble so I'd like to help lighten the load. I've seen how many people want to talk to you at this party, if you wanted a moment alone with Luna or your..." Bolt chocked out the next word feeling sick as he said it. "Friends I can draw the crowds attention with some stunts if you need a moment." Bolt held out the box once more his eyes wide with hope. "Before I bounce I'd at least like to know what you think, come on open it." 

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As a young filly stepped forward excitedly to answer Boulder's call for the tree topper, the big stallion bent down and gave it to her.  He then placed the young one on his shoulders and lifted her up to the tree by standing on his hand legs, allowing her to place the star on top of the tree much to her happiness.  As he set the young one down he turned to the pony that had addressed him about his father's tomato ornament.  "Oh yes you could say just that Suh, it has great sentimental value to me and my family.  It belonged to my Pa, and this being the first Hearts Warming I will be celebrating with my family since we lost him.  I will be ok, just a little nostalgia popping up like a country bull frog.  My name is Boulder Dash and it's an honor to make yer acquaintance" he explained.

 

He then turned to Princess Luna and smiled as he explained, "It's not just your ability to watch our dreams that I am thankful for Ma'am.  You see Princess Luna we sailors have a saying that goes, while the wind moves our sails, it is your gift of the Moon that controls the waves." 

 

Motioning to the Moon, Boulder Dash walked up to Luna and felt a red blush creep into his cheeks as he said, "Wether I was a mere cook or even the Captain of my own vessel, every night I would lead the crew in prayer to you that you would watch over us and grant us safe passage of Equestria's seas.  By doing this I was put more at ease thinking your protection helped steer our ships to safety....and I can say we never lost a ship or sailor under my watch.  For that alone you have my thanks."

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Ejaz sighed as he slowly flew off a little distance from the group of chatting acquaintances and friends and landed next to the library. Try as he might, the stallion just couldn’t fit in, or really even talk to anypony. The reason was always either Ejaz couldn’t bring himself to say anything without feeling awkward, or did and was just accidentally ignored. Whichever did the most social damage was a toss up, but in the end here Ejaz was, once again alone for the Heartswarming holiday without a friend. 

 

Most of the time it didn’t bother the mechanic, he knew this was going to be part of the result from living a primarily solitary life, and not having very thoroughly developed social competence (save for a few specific situations), so for most of his lonely years the pegasus didn’t mind. But this year, Ejaz could feel the stinging loneliness, not just in his mind, but in his heart, and it wasn’t like how he read it in books, which describes loneliness as a hole in one’s heart that can’t be filled or anything. What did he feel then? He felt cold, cold in his chest combined with a painful longing, one that just grew stronger the more he thought about it, added on top was a crushing feeling, almost as if the knowledge that he was alone was not only flattening his chest and making it uncomfortable to breathe, but also trapping the pegasus in an invisible cage that seemed to keep any possible companions out, and the stallion himself in.

 

What bothered Ejaz the most is that he knew he felt lonely because he had tried to interact with others to no sucess, and seeing how much those others were having fun with their friends, family, and loved ones seemed to have sparked this bitter and damaging feeling that was unwelcomed by the mechanic who felt it.

 

Was the day over? No it just started, and Ejaz’s mind was being overdramatic and he knew it, but that didn’t stop his heart from sending signals of a phantom pain that couldn’t be healed by any conventional medical means. Which didn’t really encourage Ejaz to try and socialize some more, the most he could do was just listen and observe; take in the word choices, the body language, and the attitudes of those who were socializing, and hope that he could find either an opportunity to enter any of the conversations without feeling awkward, or some social cues and tips that would make him less uncomfortable when it came to face-to-face interactions. So, after pushing his unwarented emotion of loneliness down and locking it up Ejaz hovered back nearby the princesses just to observe, listen, and learn.

 

But then it was at this moment that the mechanic realized how beautiful both alicorns looked, Ejaz could tell that the two looked magnificent even without the crystalization (which only seemed to have enhanced their already majestic appearences). The beige pegasus could feel his cheeks heat up and turn a shade of red as he looked at both Princesses Twilight and Luna, his cheeks reddening the more he looked before Ejaz finally looked away to calm himself. Cursing inside as his newfound interest in the two was going to make it ten times harder to socialize, especially if he ended up talking to either one of those two specifically. Taking yet, another deep breath, Ejaz returned his attention to the conversations happening in front of him, his cheeks turning a tint of red everytime his gaze and attention passed over Luna or Twilight.

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Lens nods quietly as Twilight explains the nuances of the spell, knowing he made a mistake by suggesting something logical being applied to magical changes. "Oh, sorry. Magic never really was my strong suit." He chuckles slightly, rubbing his head nervously from the mistake, not a fan of making mistakes in word or action, so somewhat understanding Twilight's feelings here. "It still looks beautiful though." he comments casually "Just means I'm going to have to look up to keep an eye on Libra, eh?" he grins as he sits down again, letting himself relax again.

He listens to the dragon talk again, the more he heard from this dragon's mouth, the more Lens was convinced that Twilight was his second love, only dwarfed by his love for himself, the dragon either talking about himself, his exploits, his personality, or the 'name' he was making for himself. Though this part interested the detective greatly; the name this dragon was creating could be one of two ways, and Lens had a sinking feeling that this dragon probably did not work with a care for the ponies that his actions may impact upon. He would have to take a trip to the city sometime to investigate this matter, see what he could learn about this sudden new arrival, and what he was capable of, perhaps work with Ice for this one, as there would be no issues of pay split as this was off his own back. But for now, just observe and relax, his two main priorities for the evening. Drop by the boutique on the way out to deliver Rarity's present if she was in.

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Calder had to say this was somewhat overwhelming! Well he was not shy with talking, far from it as he  loved doing so this was just… So much! He was having a hard time keeping up with it all and his lack of skill in how ponys speak did not help. He understand most of it but some parts did go over his head, not helped from all the sound around him. But he must push on and keep a smile, only way to get better is to face the forge after all and judging from the look from Halvard there will be no backing out of this.

 

“No no, i’m sorry Sigrun. It’s just reflex for me to try to get away from something rushing at me… Most of all a big and powerful thing. You did not mean it, my falt for acting like I did.” He says back to her in their native tongue  with a nervous chuckle, he felt bad he did that now. He must have really hurt her feelings and that was not something he wanted to do here.  But with so much going on he has to move on swiftly, he shall make up for that later. Maybe get some drinks and just talk with her. She did seem like a sweet cow and did mean well.

 

The next problem was… How they reacted to his greeting. She was not in clan Sparkle was she? Was there even a clan Sparkle? … Was the the daughter of Sparkle? No, pony names did not work like that! How did he forget that? What do so many races have weird naming? Same for writing and speaking. It was just a pain. “Greeting strong to you Princess Twilight Sparkle.” He was taken back that she knew his name, maybe Hal sent her a letter at some point? Maybe. “Calder Stormur, nice meetings. Shocked know of me, clanless bull matter not.” He says back, leaving out the last part of his name. Carrson was something he wanted dead and forgotten much like the clan he hails from. He took no pride in being the son of Carr and wished he can replace it for something better like Halvardson. Not that he wanted that big blue bull to be his dad of course not! It’s just one was FAR better to be linked to than the other was.

 

So lost in his thinking he overlooked the passing out of the wedding invitation, he knew about some time ago and was not as shocked as others may be but what did snap him out of his thinking was the odd feeling of his hooves leaving the ground. When he looked down and saw they WERE off the road and snow… Well he panicked! Flying is NOT a thing a bull or cow is ever meant to do and so he let off a scared and startled yelling cry for help even as he was put back down on the road where he stayed still as a rock looking mortified for a few moments. He never, EVER wanted to be picked up like that again. Magic is terrible, horrible and the fact she picked up all three of them so easy made his stomach do back flips. He was honestly terrified of her now and the tall blue thing pulling up the rare was NOT helping. When did that thing get here? Why was her mane stars? Was she the moon god thing he heard about? That was real? What can that THING do? Did it really move the moon? All of this was just to much as Calder moves behind Sigrun for safety without thinking. Never again will he think magic is weak and silly. If that was just an accident… It almost made him go white thinking on what they can do if they meant it. Whatrver the cost he was to never get on grudge list of one of them. 

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Was... was that dragon trying to court Princess Twilight?  That was what it looked like to Halvard, though the technique of accompanying a declaration of affection with copious bragging about one's own capabilities seemed a novel tactic.  It might work among the caribou, he supposed, provided the courter was prepared to face the courtee in the arena to cash the check their mouth wrote.  

 

...Though if Princess Twilight's sudden embrace was any indication as to her power, the poor flying lizard wouldn't stand a chance.  "Whoa!  Easy there!"  He tried to keep up a smile, but that had really taken him off-guard.  "None of us ever had wings, you know.  Not quite used to the whole personal flight thing."  He chuckled, to signify that he wasn't going to lose his humor over this, though he could well understand Calder seeking shelter behind Sigrun.  "Now you know why we decided to seek the path of peace."  He spoke in low tones to Calder in northern tongue.  He hadn't intended the lesson to be quite so dramatic, but it was valuable nonetheless.

 

Looking up at Sigrun, he smiled at her, hugging her briefly during the nuzzle.  "Well, if I'm to serve as a protective shield, it's no more than my duty as Vakstyra."  Speaking of guarding duty, here came Fire Walker!  Halvard wasn't sure if they had been introduced, but any aid to his mate's clan was a friend of his, and of course welcome to the wedding.  "Queen Sigrun?  Well, I do rather like the sound of that, should we manage it."  Best not to go further than that; politics ruins a party.

 

Not quite so much as loneliness, though, as he couldn't help but notice a hovering pegasus that had so far not really interacted with anypony.  In too good a mood to let that stand, Halvard undertook the time honored tradition of calling out the loner at a feast: "Hey you up there!"  He called up Ejaz.  "Want to bet that you can't drink more eggnog than a caribou bull?"

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Ejaz continued to watch the group with curiosity, their interactions piquing his interest the more he watched. He continued this before his ears perked up as he heard someone suddenly yelling in his direction. The mechanic glanced around at the source of the voice before noticing the one person staring directly up at him. Blinking in surprise and a tint of happiness, Ejaz hovered down and silently landed in front of Halvard, curiosity and happiness briming in the pegasus’ bright red pupils.

 

“Eggnog? I-I haven’t tried Eggnog before so um... I, I’m not sure...” Ejaz admits softly as he approaches Halvard, his ears slightly lowered in a form of shyness.

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Fluttershy began to notice how many ponies... beings, rather, that were all gathering around the two Princesses.  Consequentially, she also found herself as a focus of attention.  An old, but powerful impulse prompted her to run away and hide!  Too many eyes!!  Fluttershy pushed down hard on the impulse.  She could handle this.  With friends around her, she could handle this!  She might need to hyperventilate later, but she could handle this!!

 

She was glad to see at least a bit of the tension drain out of Twilight.  The Alicorn tended to put too much pressure on herself.  Luckily, she had friends to keep her grounded.  Already, Twilight was sliding back into her role;  As the Princess of Friendship, Twilight could find a way to make friends with nearly anyone, and, indeed, seemed to know many of the beings addressing her already. 

 

When Halvard announced his impending marriage to the large cow beside him, Fluttershy was delighted,  She did not know the bull well, but any marriage was a thing to be celebrated.  "That's wonderful!  Congratulations!" she said sweetly, while looking over the unique invitation that had been hoofed to Twilight.  The bull's next offer got more of a response.  "Oh!  I would love to meet creatures from the arctic!" she gushed.  "Maybe I could meet an arctic fox, or a snowshoe hare.  Maybe a polar bear, or a sasquatch!"  Calming a bit, Fluttershy cleared her throat daintily before she addressed the couple, adding, "Um, Thank you.  It wold be my pleasure to accept your generous invitation."

 

Fluttershy was a bit taken aback, both by Halvard's declaration that a member of Sigrun's clan not only knew about her, but wanted to meet her, and the cow's declaration that she had heard of Fluttershy's 'bravery.'  She blushed a little as she waved off the claim.  She didn't know Sigrun's title, but, had Fire Walker just called her 'Queen?'  "Oh, I'm not brave... Your Highness?" she said, uncertainly.  "I could never have done the things I've done without Twilight and our friends."  

 

One of that mares Twilight had greeted, a teal pegasus with unusual markings on her coat, came up to Fluttershy.  When she asked about the cure for Swamp Fever, Fluttershy was quick to correct her.  "Oh, I'm not sure how much help I could be.  I found the cure, but I didn't discover the cure," Fluttershy told her.  "The pony you should talk to is Mage Meadowbrook!  I think she has gone back to the Hayseed Swamp to help her get used to the new World!  After being trapped in Limbo for over a thousand years I mean..."

 

Fluttershy looked at both Princesses as Twilight and Luna both asked about her birds.  "Really, it's nothing to worry about," she assured Twilight.  Turning to Luna, Fluttershy saw that the darker Princess seemed to be enjoying herself, despite the magical mix up.  Once, Fluttershy had been frightened of the Princess of the moon.  Now, she looked up to her in the same way that she would to Celestia.  "Thank you for your offer, Princess Luna, but it's nothing I can't take care of myself.  I'll just need a little bird seed!"  Fluttershy's eyes widened a bit as she came to a realization.  Looking down at Spike and Twilight. she asked, "Um, is there any bird seed in the castle?"

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The officer really really wanted to give the purple princess of bungling magic a good glare after she mentioned that she 'did not generally make mistakes like this'. But once again, that would be very unbecoming of an officer to do so. The recently minted Alicorn was still young and really needed somepony to remind her that with great magical powers comes an equally great obligation to make sure you don't fry anypony with that great magic! After a rather big snub from the sparkly spell-caster, Fire Walker considered just snatching a drink and moving on. Maybe she could sneak over to the farm and see what sort of awesome party that was going on there.
 
But there were a few more familiar faces in the crowd. "Miss Naj!", she waved a hoof at the changeling. She had not seen the shape-shifter since the little incident in the new daycare-center. A crazy youth spell went amuck once again and turned more than a few ponies into kids. Oddly enough Twilight had nothing to do with this magical mishap. "Erm." She sure was moving fast....And she crashed. Oh dear.
 
Fearing for her friend's safety, the officer quickly made her way towards the crashed changeling. "Yes, we're fine. Just rather shiny." She gave the girl a quick lookover to make sure there was no damage. The Pegasus pony looked just like an Crystal Pony! "There was a slight magical-mishap and we're all crystal-ish. I would be annoyed, but as as the potion-makers say, 'You should never cry over a spilled cauldron.'" While her tone was positive, there was a hint of old irritation in her voice.
 
There was also Sigrun who acknowledged her bow. "Aiding your brave and noble people is an honor in itself." Fire Walker replied as respectable as a pony who had a couple of festive Hearth's Warming drinks before her walk, could. A marriage? Hokey Smokes! "Of course, I would be honored." Halvard? The same sounded familiar, and before she could even say another word, an impressive looking caribou scooted up next to his wife to be and oh feathers, he was kind of a hunk. Thankfully, as a trained officer, her wings did not betray and stayed at her side, but her jaw did drop just a little. "Oh. Hello.", she nodded her head in respect. "J-just name the place and time and I will be there.", she hoped there would be some sort of wedding registry as she would never know what to get a caribou couple for their special day.
 
The red mare overheard the yellow Pegasus mention someone speaking to an Mage Meadowbrook...Did the poor girl accidentally  drink all the eggnog with the rum? The old healer was dead and buried a zillion years ago. Or was it lost? Lost and dead!
 
"By the way.", she scooted closer to the two caribou, "Sir Swift Squall and I will soon be tying the old knot together as well.", she whispered, "There is no date announced yet, but I'm hoping sometime next year. Expect an invite as well."
 
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