The Life That Late He Led: Chapter 4

Despite the hour, highly unusual for a Castle ceremony of any kind, the Main Hall was packed; it was, after all, a Royal Wedding, and nopony ever expects to see more than one in a lifetime. Nor was anypony likely to have forgotten the previous Royal Wedding, or the sudden arrival of hundreds of uninvited guests at the behest of somepony — something? — who was not actually Princess Mi Amore Cadenza, but who had managed to persuade everypony, including Princess Celestia, that she was.

Which is not at all why Princess Luna, rather than Celestia, called the ceremony to order:

“Mares and gentlecolts, we welcome you to this evening’s celebration. It begins now, at the moment of twilight, because the groom so requested: For me, he said, everything begins with Twilight. And so it shall. My sister will arrive shortly, after performing a small favor for me.” Luna smiled. “She is raising the moon. She has assured me that she understands the procedure, and that there will be no problems.”

The crowd murmured for a moment, then broke into applause.

“We are gathered here this evening,” Luna went on, “to celebrate the union of Princess Twilight Sparkle and soon-to-be Prince Desert Brush.” She winked at Brush, who visibly winced a bit.

“From the moment of birth, everypony sets out on a journey. There are rules to learn, paths to follow, ponies to meet. No two journeys will be exactly the same, but every journey has something to make it memorable, something to make it worthwhile.”

Luna paused, glanced at one of the stained-glass windows, noticed it was definitely getting darker outside, and continued. “As we travel, the Magic of Friendship travels with us; the friendships we make along the way bring us joy in our daily lives, and sustain us in our hours of need.”

Still no Celestia. “Not all of us truly understand the Magic of Friendship. It was not so long ago that Twilight Sparkle was sent to the town of Ponyville to study it, to learn of its power. It was that power which freed your Princess of the Night from the curse of the Nightmare. And it was that power, wielded in a way never before seen, that earned her the title of Princess.”

On cue, Fluttershy’s Bird Orchestra struck a chord, and the doors opened.

The buzz from the crowd was loud and grew louder as the Princess, flanked by her parents, walked through the Great Hall. For an occasion like this, surely she would be garbed in the finest gown from the finest designer, elegance on such a scale that every filly in the room would want one for her own wedding.

But not this night. Twilight Sparkle wore a simple white dress and a short veil with a cutout to accommodate her crown, and nothing more. A reporter on the scene would comment later that she didn’t think it was even on par with Brush’s rather humdrum-looking grey suit with blue trim.

The procession arrived, and in a far corner, Princess Celestia materialized.

“Where were you?” Luna whispered as Celestia approached.

“I didn’t want to upstage the bride,” said Celestia rather loudly, and the spectators cheered.

Celestia took the podium. “My sister has spoken of journeys, and how they are all different. It would be difficult to imagine two journeys more different than the ones traveled by this mare and this stallion. Nopony could have predicted that they would ever even meet; their paths would have shown no obvious point of intersection. Yet they did meet, and tonight they vow, in the presence of all of us, that from this moment on, they travel together, side by side.”

A muted “yay” arose from the orchestra, and Fluttershy blushed as only Fluttershy can.

“Princess Twilight Sparkle,” said Celestia, “are you prepared to accept the responsibilities of this union?”

“I am,” said Twilight, and turned to Brush. “To you, my beloved, I pledge my unwavering fidelity and my eternal loyalty. I am yours, and you are mine, and we are one.”

And her white gown suddenly was white no longer, but blue with grey trim, the same colors as Brush’s suit.

Twilight Velvet and Night Light stepped forward.

“We honor my mother and my father,” said Twilight Sparkle, “whose colors we are proud to display. Without them, I would be nothing.”

The crowd roared its approval; her parents smiled, and then stepped back into place.

The young princess turned back to her groom. “No power in the universe shall separate us, so long as we shall live; for we have love, and love conquers all.”

“Desert Brush,” said Celestia, “are you prepared to accept the responsibilities of this union?”

“I am,” he said, and turned toward his bride. “To you, my one and only, I pledge my undying devotion and eternal fealty. I am yours, you are mine, and we are one.”

He turned toward the audience. “My parents, I regret to say, have long since passed from the scene. But they were always there when I needed them, and if I may, I wish to observe a moment of silence to honor them.”

Slowly, he turned back to Twilight. “We have love, and love conquers all; we will always be together.” He smiled. “Cross my heart, hope to die, stick a cupcake in my eye.”

“YES!” shouted Pinkie Pie from the sidelines, and the crowd roared in assent.

Celestia nodded, and Luna returned to the podium.

“It is done,” said the Princess of the Night. “Let these two be joined together under the laws of Equestria and the customs of all the civilized worlds, and let it be so proclaimed.” She turned to Spike. “May we have the rings, please?”

Spike promptly stepped up. Brush slid a gold band onto Twilight’s horn; she snapped another one onto his neckband, next to the locket he always wore.

And Celestia intoned: “I now pronounce you mare and colt.” Then to the audience: “Mares and gentlecolts, may I present Princess Twilight Sparkle and Prince Desert Brush.”

Neither moved for a second. Then Spike nudged Brush. “That’s your cue.”

“Oh, right,” said the groom.

The newlyweds kissed, and the crowd rose to its hooves.

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