Luna the Matchmaker
Chapter 10A "Departure"
By Steven Little
My Little Pony © Hasbro
"Good afternoon Ponyville! You're listening to the number one radio show in Equestria! I'm your host, Vinyl!"
"And I'm Octavia, welcoming you all to a special live broadcast of the Vinyl Scratch from the Ponyville Town Hall."
"What's so special about it Octy?" Vinyl asked.
"Please tell me your joking. We've only been hyping the event for the last three weeks."
"Of course I'm joking. I would never forget the day some of my best friends were married!" Vinyl Scratch laughed, falling out of her chair.
"You've already been to the free bar haven't you?" Octavia sighed.
"You bet, I mean, it's free." The DJ said taking a sip from her drink.
Octavia shook her head and sighed. "While Vinyl picks herself off the floor, I'll explain why we're here today. Today is the Royal wedding of Princess Luna and Twilight Sparkle."
"But wait colts and fillies, that's not all. Along with the Princess, the other five Elements of Harmony along with a very dear friend of theirs, is also getting married. That's right, seven marriages one roof. I took almost a whole year to plan it, this is the biggest wedding I've ever been invited to!"
"Vinyl, this is not the biggest wedding you've ever been invited to." Octavia reminded her.
"Have we been forgotten already?" A lyrical voice asked.
"Sorry listeners, we forgot to mention that we have Shining Armor and Princess Cadence Mi Amore Cadenza joining us in the booth." Octavia announced.
"Just Cadence will be fine, my mother is Mi Amore Cadenza. That title always makes me feel old." The Princess said.
"No problem; I feel the same way ever time Octy uses my last name. That being said, I loved DJ'ing for your wedding but it was a little different. I wasn't so much booked for your wedding; more like my friend Pinkie shanghaied me."
"Well, booked or not, we still appreciated your work." Shining Armor told her.
"Awesome. Now, I have to ask, who's the little guy here?" Vinyl asked.
"This is our son Aiden." Shining Armor said.
"He's our little Prince." Cadence told them. "Go ahead dear, say hello to everypony."
Vinyl held a microphone down for the little colt. "Hi! My mommy's a Princess and my daddy is strong and you're really pretty miss unicorn lady."
"Oh, uhm, thanks kiddo." Vinyl said, blushing.
"He's so darling." Octavia gushed.
"Sorry about that." Shining Armor said, picking up his son.
"Quite all right." The cellist said. "I was curious though, how do you feel about your sister marrying Princess Luna?"
Shining Armor smiled. "Great minds think alike I guess. Who knew that we'd both fall for a Princess? I was shocked at how fast it was though. I knew Cadence for years, back when she foal sat Twilight but my sister only met Princess Luna a few times, years ago and only really started seeing each other about four or five years ago I think."
"For some ponies it doesn't take that long dear." Cadence told him. "I know I liked you right away but I was willing to be patient and let you come around." She said with a smile.
"That brings up another question." Vinyl said. "What's it like for you Princess, I mean you foal sat Twilight and now she's marrying your aunt. Isn't that a little creepy?"
"Oh, not at all. Princess Luna and Princess Celestia aren't really my aunts." She corrected. "Back when the Alicorn Royal Family took over governance from the three leaders of the pony tribes, the children of Princess Platinum, my ancestor, started referring to Luna and Celestia as their aunts and I guess it stuck because it's always been that way."
"So, you're not really an alicorn?" Octavia asked.
"No, of course not. My mother is a unicorn and my father is a pegasus, mother always had a weakness for them. It was a random convergence of genes. You could say I won the genetic lottery." Princess Cadence explained.
"I didn't know that was possible." Vinyl said.
"It's very rare, but it does happen. I think I'm only the third pony to ever have it."
"Wow, you heard it hear first listeners." Vinyl announced.
"That makes me wonder about Prince Blueblood's parentage. There's must be a reason he goes around calling himself a Prince when he falls woefully short of the mark." Octavia mused.
"Oh, there's a very good reason he refers to himself as Prince; he's my brother." Cadence revealed.
"What!?" Both Vinyl and Octavia gasped in unison.
"Well, he's my half brother actually. He came from my mother's first marriage to a pegasus named Marcus Blueblood. I told you my mother had a weakness for pegasi." Cadence explained.
"Sorry, I'm trying to wrap my brain around this." Vinyl said. "You're awesome, you're nice and I don't think I've ever heard of you saying a cross word about anypony. It's hard for me to believe that you're related to that, that…" The DJ pony sighed. "Octy, she's making me be nice, I can't say anything bad about Blueblood with her sitting right here."
"There, there Vinyl; I'm sure she doesn't mean it. I'm certain you'll survive until the weddings over, then you can go back to your old disrespectful self." Octavia said, patting her marefriend's hoof.
Both Cadence and Shining Armour could help but chuckle. "I'm sorry Vinyl. I know the trouble you two have had with Horace but..."
"Horace!? His name is Horace!?" Vinyl shouted laughing. "Okay, I'm over it, I can be myself again."
"My brother has some issues and I am in no way defending him, he's stepped over the line more than once but he's still my brother. I would consider it a personal favor if you would simply ignore him in the future should he try to instigate any further hostilities against you two."
"Yes, of course Princess." Octavia agreed.
"I aint' makin' any promises, but if he leaves us alone, I'll do my best to ignore him." Vinyl conceded.
"Thank you, I really do appreciate it." Cadence said, giving them both a hug. Now, this has been fun and I hope we can come back a little later, but I want to catch up with Twilight before the ceremony."
"Sure thing Princess, there's always an open mic here for you." Vinyl said.
Twilight walked away from the radio. "Well, Cadence and my brother are here. Did we do the right thing by inviting the Vinyl Scratch Show?"
"But they've been our friends for years. How could we not invite them?" Pinkie Pie asked. "And Vinyl's always so much fun."
"At least she has Octavia to keep the show from getting too low brow." Rarity commented. "And you're nephew is so cute. Pinkie, please stop moving; it's hard to do alterations when you bounce around like that." Rarity said as she tried to adjust the hem on Pinkie Pie's gown.
The fashionista was putting the last minute touches on all eight of the wedding gowns that would be used by her and her friends. Luna, Twilight, Pinkie and Rarity were using one of the offices of City Hall as a fitting room for the wedding while the stallions were utilizing an office across the hall from them. On Rarity's insistence, a divider had been set up between the doors to the offices to ensure that there would be no peaking before the ceremony. The offices themselves were very much what anypony would assume to find in city hall but, for the sake of their temporary inhabitants, all the typical furnishings were moved to other rooms. Full-length mirrors had been set up against the oak paneled walls and the intricately embroidered rugs had been removed from the green marble floors least somepony trip while dressing and hurt themselves. Normally, Twilight would have been pouring over the multitude of books on law and government finance that were held on the offices bookshelves but after quickly looking over the titles, the lavender alicorn realized that she had already read many of them. Instead Twilight's attention, as well as that of her bride to be, was focused on the gowns that they and their friends would soon be wearing. Like the dresses for the Grand Galloping Gala they wore every year, each gown was designed with respect to the personality of the pony that would be wearing it.
"Rarity, I don't think I've ever seen more beautiful gowns in my life, you should be very proud." Luna told her.
"Oh now, don't go saying things like that, you'll make me blush." Rarity said with a small giggle.
"I mean it and I can't thank you enough Rarity. The gowns are absolutely stunning." Luna praised her.
Rarity took a step back and admired her work. "Thank you, but it really wasn't that hard when you consider the inspiration all of you gave me. If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times; dressmaking is easy when you truly know your client. Applejack's gown was quite possibly the simplest. Like her, the gown was not given to be overly complicated. A Bateau neckline turning into fitted point sleeves for the front legs. The rest of the gown flows in layers over the hips and tail stopping just above the ground with a Ballet hemline. The moire fabric ensures that it will remain light and not get to heavy during the long ceremony. I know how much she loves that hat but I found a white stetson with gold band that absolutely makes this dress."
"Pinkies dress was a bit more difficult. The bulk of the dress is made from damask cloth with batiste for the ballooned Juliet sleeves. The collar has a high back and sides with a flat neckline. The rest of the gown stops just below the knee. Knowing how energetic you are Pinkie, it should give you more ease of mobility."
"Thanks Rarity, it's all light and puffy, just like me!" She said bouncing around the room.
"Twilight, the gowns I made for you and Luna are identical. You're such a great couple I felt it only right you wore the same gown. I decided against the headpiece for your ensembles. Princess you always have your crown and Twilight, Princess Celestia has agreed to let us use the Elements of Harmony in the ceremony so you'll be wearing the tiara. In your dresses I used a mixture of satin and moire. I used fitted point sleeves with a pouf shoulder. The neckline is reminiscent of a square or scoop style. The gown will cover your tails and the tea hemline will fall just above your ankles to show off the silver dress shoes Princess Celestia brought for you both. The dress is meant to be worn with your wings hanging down at your sides like a short gown train. When you walk, your primary feather should begin to glow and will be reflected in the cloth."
"They're beautiful Rarity." Twilight told her.
"Oh and look what I did for Fluttershy! I used a De'colletage neckline with straight Venise-lace sleeves. The tiered skirt with high intermission hemline will nicely show her fetlocks. The whole dress except for the sleeves is made out of a jacquard-woven fabric. I decide to include a flowing train of batiste. I can't wait to see her in it."
"Where is Fluttershy anyways?" Pinkie Pie asked. "In fact where are Rainbow, Ditzy, and Applejack?"
"The last I heard, they were still at the spa." Rarity informed them. "It seams the Aloe sisters are having problems getting all the knots and split ends out of Rainbow Dash and Applejacks hair. Fluttershy and Ditzy are having there feathers oiled with their mothers. I have no idea what that means but I'm sure they know what they're doing."
"Well, I hope they don't take too long, the rest of the parents are starting to arrive." Clyde said as he walked into the room, closely followed by a light gray Inkie and Blinkie, a mare whose coat was colored a deep charcoal blue. Clyde's silver mane and tale played of his tan coat making him look old but was more of a middle-aged stallion. Pinkie practically tackled her father and sisters.
"Either way, when they finally get made presentable they're going to look fabulous. Look what I did for Rainbow Dash; this was a real challenge. With her ruff and tumble attitude I decided to go with a durable gabardine fabric for the main body of the gown with a lacy high collar neckline that will come half way up her neck. For the sleeves I decided on cap sleeves of the same material. The skirt will be short to show off her magnificent rainbow tail. I still can't believe I was actually able to convince both Rainbow Dash and Applejack to go to the spa. So while Applejack will have the hat, Rainbow Dash's mane will be expertly styled. The Aloe sisters can work miracles and I don't want to cover up her colors. They'll contrast with the white dress nicely."
"What about Ditzy's dress? You don't know her they way you know the rest of us." Twilight asked. "How did you make hers?"
"To be honest it wasn't easy. I had to talk to quite a few ponies to get an idea. I spoke with Lyra and Bonbon since they're her closest friends. I even got her parents to come all the way from Cloudsdale to talk to me. Such a nice couple, I can see why Ditzy turned out as good natured as she is." Rarity walked to a curtain and pulled it back. This is what I came up with, what do you think, and please, be honest."
"It's gorgeous Rarity." Luna said sincerely. "I can't imagine Ditzy not loving it."
"I couldn't think of where to start so I began with the skirt. I use a single layer of silk faced satin on the bottom, then staggered the next two layers of dandelion yellow velvet and the top layer as well as the rest of the dress was made of charmeuse. The neckline is a very open Bateau cut with the shoulders exposed. The sleeves are a variant of the Gauntlet style. They leave the shoulders exposed but they connect to the rest of the dress and the sides and chest."
Rarity was cut off once again when she heard a knock at the door. Clyde walked to the door and stood there in silence when the head of an emerald green dragoness poked into the room. "Hello, I'm looking for Twilight, is she in here?" She asked.
"Uhm, One moment please." He said shakily. Clyde walked away from the door and tapped Twilight on the shoulder. "Excuse me but there's a dragon at the door, she said she's looking for you."
"She? Oh, that must be Emerald; excuse me please." Twilight ran over to the door, opening it wide. "Emerald, it's been so long, how have you been?" She asked. Hugging the dragon.
"Oh, I've been doing fine but look at you, I go away for a few years and here you are getting married. All my friends here in Ponyville are tying the knot, I feel so left out.
"I'm sure you'll find some nice drake to settle down with, you're still young." Twilight reassured her.
"From your lips to his ears." She said with a chuckle. "Do you know where Spike is, I wanted to wish him well before the ceremony."
"Yes, of course; he's across the hall with the other grooms." Twilight hesitated for a moment. "Have you spoken or written to your brother since your last visit?"
"Now that you mention it, he wrote to me two weeks ago and said he had something important to tell me. You wouldn't happen to know what that is would you?"
Twilight smiled. "I think I'll let him tell you, I'll just stay here out of the line of fire."
Sweetie Belle walked past the dragoness into the room. "Hi aunt Emerald, daddy's next door if you want to say hi."
"Ooookay. And who would your 'daddy' be?" She asked the smiling unicorn.
"Spike of course… He didn't tell you did he?" She asked. "Mom, daddy's keeping secrets again!" Sweetie Belle shouted into the room.
Rarity left off fitting Pinkie into her dress and walked over to the door. "What has that dragon done now?" She asked.
"He didn't tell aunt Emerald about, you know, me being your daughter instead of your sister."
"Really?" The dragonesses asked.
"Yes," Rarity confirmed. "It's a long story and I think Spike is the one who should explain it as I'm sure there's much he hasn't told you."
"I see; well then I'm happy to know that I have such a pretty mare as a niece." She said smiling down at Sweetie Belle. Emerald left the room and headed for the other side of Town Hall.
Rarity started walking back to the dressing table to help Pinkie when the rest of the brides and their mothers arrived. Applejack was messing with her hair. "It's weird but it just don't feel natural and all without my hair being tied back." She complained,
"How do you think I feel?" Rainbow Dash asked. " I hate it when ponies mess with my hair."
"Now dear, I think you look beautiful." Honeyhue, Rainbow Dash's mother, told her. "This is your special day, you should look your best." Honeyhue was very much like her daughter in appearance, her rainbow mane was expertly styled and shown brightly against her tan coat.
Sweetie Belle tapped her mother's shoulder. "Sorry Mom, we couldn't find Apple Bloom anywhere." She turned her head and noticed Princess Luna in the room. Throwing a salute she came to attention. "Your majesty. Captain Apple Bloom is nowhere to be found. I'm sorry to report we may have to continue without her."
"Thank you Belle. I have an idea where she might be. I'll go and see what's keeping her." Luna walked out the changing room and flew over to the announcing stand where Vinyl and Octavia were talking during a musical break.
"Princess, how are you today? Shouldn't you be getting ready?" Octavia asked her.
"I'm fine Octavia, thank you for asking. Where did my soon to be in-laws get off to?" She asked.
"Oh, they said they were going to get ready." Vinyl told her.
"I see. It seems that one of my crusaders is missing; I'm on my way to locate her but the wedding may start a little late so if you can, drag things out a bit okay?"
"Trust me Princess, if there's one thing Octy can do, it's drag things out." Vinyl said smiling. The Princess smiled and flew out one of the skylights and off towards Sweet Apple Acres.
Emerald knocked on the door to the groom's dressing room none too gently. "Spike, this is your sister, if you do not open up this door right now, I'll open it for you."
Caramel answered the door, dressed in a tuxedo with a golden yellow bowtie. "You must be Emerald."
"If I must, then I must." She said with a smirk. "Is my brother in there, I need to talk to him."
"Yeah, I think he's in the back. It's weird, you'd think it would be hard to loose a guy that big." Caramel mused.
"I don't understand, Spike's just a child, he's not all that big." She said.
"Oh, oh uhm; I guess you don't know then. Well, let me escort you to the back room. I'm sure Spike will be happy to see you." Carmel said, smiling. As the moved to the larger changing room Carmel got the attention of the other stallions. "Hey guys, I'd like you all to meet Emerald, this is Spike's older sister."
"Howdy Ma'am, nice to meet you." Braeburn said, before going back to brushing out his mane.
"Indeed, a pleasure to see you again." Julian told her.
"It's good to see you too sir. I assume you finally got around to talking to that gray filly about how you feel." She surmised.
"Indeed, but how did you know?"
"She told me back when I was hauling those gems to the rock farm. She knew you wanted to talk to her about something very important. She told me that she was very curious but was willing to wait until you were ready to tell her. From what I can see, it looks like it turned out for the best, congratulations, to all of you. I'm very happy for you all.
"Thanks Emerald. Don't mind the rest of the guys, we're all kind of nervous; none of us have done anything this important before." Saorin explained.
"That's completely understandable, marriage is a big step for anyone, even dragons. Speaking of which, I really need to talk to Spike before the ceremony."
"Spike's in the other room talkin' to himself like he's a couple apples short of a bushel." Macintosh told her. "You can get in through that door." He said, pointing to the door against the far wall.
"Thank you." The dragoness walked through the room and knocked on the door.
There was a crash of metal and the uneasy voice of a mature drake. "Who is it?
"My name's Emerald, is my brother Spike in there?"
The door opened suddenly and the head of a purple drake emerged. "Emmy?!"
"Oh my goodness; Spike, is that you?!" She said, shocked at her little brother's appearance. "Spike what happened to you, you look as old I am. How did you go from nineteen to sixty so quickly, or rather why would you?"
Spike was unsure what to say but he knew he couldn't lie to his own sister. "Come on in Emmy and I'll try to explain."
The green dragoness walked into the small room and closed the door behind her. The office the stallions were utilizing as a dressing room was almost exactly like the room the mares were using except this one had a sitting room attached. Spike lounged on a plush couch while Emerald rested on an identical couch. "Okay Spike, I know this is a big day for you but what happened? How did you grow up so fast?"
Spike sighed and began telling his sister everything that had happened since she left Ponyville. He told her about Luna and everything she'd been doing since arriving in town. He told her about Nightmare Moon, which took a little more doing since the dragoness had never heard of her before. The drake told his sister everything that had happened from Twilight giving birth to twins to Discords gift of immortality. During the story, Emerald decided to help her brother dress for the wedding. "Are you disappointed?" He asked her.
"I'm only disappointed that you lied to your friends and that you waited so long before telling me about all this." She said, buckling on his right spaulder. "I'm your sister too Spike, I think I have a right to know when a member of my family is having problems. I wish you felt comfortable enough to talk to me about these things."
"That's almost exactly what Twilight told me. I'm sorry Emmy, you're right; I should have written to you and explained everything, I just didn't know what to say, I never know what to say. I was afraid of what Garnet would think of me when he grew up and what ponies would say about Rarity, being with someone who would always be a child. I was scared." Spike confessed.
Emerald hugged her bother tightly. "I understand Spike but please, promise me that you'll think about me the next time you have a problem." She said. The dragoness stepped back to admire her brother in full plate armor. "I must say though, Rarity is certainly getting her knight in shining armor."
"Now, where is my nephew? I wanted to say hi before the start of the ceremony." Emerald asked.
"I think he's in the main hall with Princess Celestia; she volunteered to watch the foals before the wedding." Spike told her, sheathing his sword in the scabbard that hung from his left side.
Soaring over the apple orchard, Luna turned north as she passed the home of the Apple family. In the distance, just passed the north edge of the apple orchard, the Princess saw a placid pond whose west bank was covered in water lilies and shaded by several willow trees. Luna had visited their only once before when Macintosh, Applejack and Apple Bloom buried their grandmother. During the funeral, Applejack told her that whenever a member of the Apple family had a problem, this pond was always a favorite sanctuary.
The midnight blue alicorn landed gracefully at the ponds bank. Taking a quick drink, she began to look around for any sign of her missing captain. It slowly dawned on her that Apple Bloom was not there. On the west side of the pond, beneath one of the large spreading willows was the final resting place of Granny Smith next to the grave of her husband, and that of her daughter and son-in-law. All around the graves were carefully placed apple blossoms, covering the earth in front of the headstones. The alicorn instinctively knew who it was that decorated the gravesite. Sitting down before Granny Smiths headstone, Princess Luna bowed her head in respect to the recently deceased matriarch. "Mrs. Apple, you were always there for your family and when I was having problems with Twilight, what you said helped me more than you could ever know. Now I fear that your youngest granddaughter may be in some trouble. I don't know what it is just yet but I could really use you're advice right now."
A stiff wind blew through the apple orchard. As the strong breeze washed over Luna and the small family cemetery, the apple blossoms decorating the graves were caught and lifted into the air. Luna watched as the blossoms spun and played across the surface of the water then whisked off to the southeast, back into the orchard. 'The clubhouse.' She thought to herself. 'Thank you, I'll do whatever I can for her.'
Luna took off into the air once again, flying quickly through the apple trees, dodging trunks on her way to the Cutie Mark Crusader Clubhouse. The Princess came to an abrupt halt as the clubhouse came into view. She slowly walked up the stairs and gently knocked on the door. The door creaked open revealing a room that had been ransacked. Furniture, posters, and pillows were all destroyed. A poster with a picture of all the crusaders was ruined. The portion with Apple Bloom had been torn out. In one corner, it appeared that somepony had attempted to set the clubhouse on fire but only a small portion of the wood had been charred, telling her that this pony thought twice about it. On a barn nail in the far wall was a note along with Apple Bloom's Cutie Mark Crusader bandana, her red hair ribbon, and the necklace Luna had given her. Luna carefully took down the letter and read it quietly to herself.
"Princess Luna. I imagine you are the one reading this. If anypony would come after me I assumed you would be the first. I'm leaving. I've spoke with Zecora and she has agreed to let me live in a shack deep in the Everfree Forest that she uses for extra storage for all her herbs and other potion ingredients. It's only for a little while and I've asked her not to tell any of you where it is, she assures me that she will not.
I'm sorry to leave like this but I honestly can't look at any of you anymore without feeling some degree of hatred for all of you. Every time I see you or any of the others I start feeling jealous and bitter. I hate myself for feeling this way but I just can't help it anymore. I even hate my dearest friends. They've found love and their cutie marks while I remain a nothing.
I lost Granny Smith; the same way I lost my parents. Now I've lost my brother and sister to other ponies the same way I lost my friends. I feel like I'm adrift on a river by myself while all around me, the banks are filled with ponies happily living their lives without a second thought to the pony they've left behind. I've tried to not let it bother me for so long but I can't ignore it anymore. With that being said; give my bandana to the girls. If they find a young colt of filly that has the same problem we had, tell them to give it to that little one. I'd like you to give my ribbon to Applejack. Our father gave it to me and if she ever has a little filly of her own, I want it to go to her. As for the necklace that you gave me; I am hereby resigning my commission as Captain of your personal guard. I'm sure you can find someone better suited for it than I.
If you have ever had any respect for me, please do not tell the others until after the wedding. This is their day and I don't want my actions to ruin what should be the best day of their lives. Don't bother to look for me; I don't plan to stay in the forest too long. I want to travel and see what Equestria has to offer. I couldn't get my cutie mark here so maybe out there, somewhere, I can find what I'm supposed to do with my life. I will return one day, when I've worked though my problems. This is something I need to do on my own. In the past few years I've gotten used to being alone and I see no need to change that now.
Goodbye Princess Luna. I hope your life with Twilight and your children is happier than mine.
Luna let the letter fall from her hooves. "Apple Bloom, why didn't you come talk to me?" She asked, crying to herself.