TW: child abuse
“Now, Princess, if you’re not careful to control your emotions you might do something you’ll regret. Remember that your magic is the strongest in the land except for your mother’s.”
Princess Honey Hooves snorted and gave her mane a toss, stomping in a small circle and glowering at the stringed instrument in front of her. She allowed herself the luxury of nursing some dark thoughts and tasting the satisfaction of tossing it or somepony out the window of the castle for them to shatter on the rocks below, and soon enough she felt her head clear. It was always as if she was sinking below deep water and churning her hooves in the hatred and disgust she couldn’t help but feel in all but the brightest of times only to churn them long enough to bring her head bursting above the surface to gasp in breaths of fresh air that invigorated her lungs once more. Her father disapproved vocally about her mood swings, and her mother was constantly giving her gentle reminders that there was only danger to be found in the mire of rage.
But she could not change who she was, and she often sat smugly in that fact, especially when her father was concerned.
“I’m done,” she announced, frightening the small unicorn that clutched his own harp to his chest.
“Um, your highness, I don’t want to overstep my bounds, but your father-”
“If you do not wish to overstep your bounds,” she retorted, “do not presume to tell me what to do. You’re dismissed.”
This story. You must read it.
Once they’d ducked inside the cave, Twilight knew the first task was to get a fire going. She took a deep breath and smiled. Fire. She could do that herself. Just a pile of wood and a spark from her horn and she was done.
But for the same reason it was done quickly, and she grimaced as she looked back at her friends. She briefly entertained the idea of trying to do everything herself, but even if she could do it all she knew they wouldn’t let her. They’d want to help.
“R-Rainbow Dash?” Twilight asked, putting a smile on her face. “Could you give us some rain to cover our tracks? I don’t want us being followed.”
Rainbow raised an eyebrow and stared at Twilight before glancing at Rarity, who scowled a bit and stepped in between them, her nose lifted just enough to let her look down at Twilight. “Excuse me, darling, but wouldn’t that be my job?”
Twilight shut her eyes and sighed. It was the same every time. “Yes. Of course. Thank you, Rarity.”
Rarity walked out to to cave entrance and her horn lit. Twilight heard the beginnings of a muttered curse and she decided she didn’t need to see Rarity struggle with the clouds again. She turned and faced Applejack, who sat by the fire next to Fluttershy and Pinkie. All of them wore frowns, looking frustrated but resigned, like ponies who’d never seen anything go right in all their lives.
“Applejack, you think you could get some food started?” Twilight asked. “I’m starved after all that walking.”
Applejack cocked her head and looked at Twilight for a moment before blushing and looking back down at the fire. Twilight tried to ignore the hoof-made cloak Applejack wore, its edges lined with loose threads and covered in patches of brown and green and orange. It wasn’t pleasant to look at.
“Uh, I ain’t much of a cook, sugarcube,” Applejack said.
This is the best thing.
The. Best. Thing.