The Chance

This story is a sequel to The Chase
The city of Vanhoover is having the worst winter storm in generations as Mignon Croix has to make his way home from the grocery store. Along the way home, he finds something that will change his life forever, but only if he will take the chance.
Reading The Chase is helpful but not necessary to enjoy this story.


7. Chapter 7

Mignon sighed and watched Magnolia sleeping. She was dozing, happy, looking much better. The past four days had been the best four days of Mignon’s young life. The cabin was warm, snug, and the smell of maple syrup lingered in the air from breakfast earlier.

There wasn’t much to do here, other than think, and when Magnolia was asleep, like she was now, Mignon thought about his life and the choices that had led him to this point. He regretted what he had done, but had come to the conclusion that he would do it again if he had to.

He thought of Olive Warbler, Magnolia’s sister, and it was his intention to tell Buckminster of her existence, hoping she could be found and reunited with Magnolia. Mignon doubted that he would be there for this happy reunion, but that couldn’t be helped now. He was willing to face the consequences of what he had done.

Over the past few days, as Magnolia had slumbered, Mignon had rehearsed his surrender for what seemed like a thousand times, each time trying to figure out some way to inspire some sense of pity, remorse, or mercy. It was Mignon’s most sincere hope that Buckminster would help Magnolia and locate her and her sister to a good home, a worthy home, and would make sure they were cared for. Exchanging his own freedom for their wellbeing didn’t bother Mignon as much as he thought it would.

Mignon was prepared to do the right thing and let go… he just wasn’t ready to let go just yet. Lifting the coffee pot with his telekinesis, he poured a cup of coffee and then held it in front of him, secure in an olive green glow. He breathed in the fragrant steam, the strong rich scent teasing his nostrils. He poured in a little bit of condensed milk from a tin, watched it turn his coffee a creamy shade of brown, and then took a small sip.

He watched as Magnolia fidgeted in her sleep, her ears perking, her small body twitching, probably dreaming of whatever it was that pegasus foals dreamed of after an enormous breakfast of pancakes. Magnolia, who was quite the little rascal, had drank some of the maple syrup.

She was a bit more active now, able to sit up on her own, move around a bit, and take a few steps, but any sort of activity exhausted her, leading to a long nap, very much like the one she was taking right now.

Taking another sip from his cup of coffee, his eyes never leaving the foal sleeping in the bed, Mignon hoped that Magnolia would be up for a trip to Ponyville.

“What would you like for lunch?” Mignon asked, looking up from an old tattered magazine he was reading when he heard Magnolia yawn. The magazine, called Clock, was a news magazine and he had been reading an old article about the expansion of the royal family, the restoration and redemption of Sombra’s bloodline, and a need for a masculine figure in the royal family comprised entirely of mares. Mignon found the so called journalism entirely worthless, everything was buzzwords, jargon, and cultural catch phrases. It was an utterly meaningless fluff piece.

Yawning again, Magnolia rubbed her eyes and looked around. “Pudding?” Magnolia said, her voice filled with the eternal optimism that only foals seemed to possess.

“I can make pudding, but what sort of food would you like before you are allowed to have pudding?” Mignon replied, raising his eyebrow slightly. He felt that he was getting pretty good at this fatherhood thing. He had even found a cache of toothbrushes still inside of plastic wrappers and had discovered the joys of getting a foal to brush their teeth.

The foal looked thoughtful, still rubbing her eyes occasionally, yawned hugely, and then she stretched out her forelegs while flapping her stubby wings. “I want something with cheese,” Magnolia grunted as she stretched out her skinny little body.

“I could cook some macaroni noodles, some tomato soup, and melt a little cheese over it,” Mignon replied, trying to be creative as possible with what there was to work with.

“That sounds really good,” Magnolia answered as she gave her stuffy a wake up hug. “But I really want the pudding… it sounds really good… I prolly need the cal… cal… cal… see… cal… cal-see-”

“Calcium?” Magnon finished with a faint chuckle lurking in his voice.

“Yeah… that. For strong bones. My bones feel kinda weak,” Magnolia remarked. “The box of pudding mix says it is loaded with stuff that foals need for strong bones.”

“Well, we can’t have that,” Mignon stated, setting down his magazine and rising out of his chair. “A pegasus with weak bones isn’t much of a pegasus.”

“Does it bother you that I’m a pegasus and you’re a unicorn?” Magnolia asked.

“Huh?” Mignon grunted in surprise as he started to fix lunch.

“Well, I’m a pegasus, and you’re a unicorn, and I was kinda wondering,” Magnolia responded, explaining her thoughts. “I mean, my mother didn’t trust the other tribes.”

“I don’t know… I’ve never actually given it much thought. You’re a foal, a pony, and you needed my help,” Mignon muttered in a confused voice.

“In the orphanage the ponies tended to bunch together by tribe. Not all of them, just enough of them to notice,” Magnolia said, pursing her lips together thoughtfully. “Can I have some orange stuff to drink?”

“Sure Magnolia, give me a moment,” Mignon replied, moving towards the pitcher on the counter near the window, where it was rather chilly. Beside the pitcher was a few other items that needed to stay chilled, like the remains of the cheese wheel.

“My mommy said the unicorns were bad and she didn’t trust them because of what happened in Canterlot,” Magnolia continued. “She didn’t mind earth ponies too much though, and I think she was happy in Manehatten.”

“The Canterlot unicorns were very naughty,” Mignon agreed. “But that doesn’t make all unicorns bad,” he added.

“You’re a good unicorn,” Magnolia said in a worried voice. “But I’m scared that other ponies won’t see that. You were just protecting me. I’m worried that other ponies will say it was because you are a unicorn, but I think a pegasus or an earth pony might have done what you did,” she explained, trying to express her thoughts.

“I would imagine a hot blooded pegasus might have done more than I did,” Mignon said hesitantly, hoping he wouldn’t hurt Magnolia’s feelings.

The pegasus filly nodded slowly, looking up as Mignon levitated over a plastic cup full of orange drink. It floated in front of her, held in the olive green glow of Mignon’s magic. “A pegasus can get a little kicky sometimes,” Magnolia admitted. “I kicked the doctor when the nurse took Olive.”

“I bet that hurt,” Mignon replied as he filled up a saucepan with water he had melted from snow and then set it upon the wood burning stove to heat.

“I couldn’t stop them,” Magnolia said dejectedly. Frowning, she took the cup in between her front hooves, tipped it slightly, and took a drink. The cup still glowed with magic, and when Magnolia pulled away, her lips and snoot were stained orange. She smacked her lips loudly and then took another drink, this time, swallowing several times to finish the glass off.

“You must really like that awful stuff,” Mignon commented.

“I do,” Magnolia admitted, smiling a shy smile. “And you add extra orange powder to make it more extra sour because you’re perfect.”

Rolling his eyes, Mignon levitated her cup back to refill it with more orange drink.

Asleep again, Magnolia snoozed while Mignon endured the boredom. The runs had returned, but it hadn’t been as bad as the other day. It had taken a lot of effort into get enough snow into the water heater powered by burning wood. Mignon found himself on the verge of nodding off a few times now. The cabin was quite warm and cozy near the wood burning stove.

In his nearly dozing state, he thought of all of the ways that poets had tried to express the feelings of being in love, realising he felt all of those things for Magnolia. She was the center of his entire world, and it pained him greatly that he was going to have to let her go.

I suppose that is what love is though, he thought to himself. Mignon had thoroughly convinced himself that Buckminster would indeed do the right thing and look after Magnolia. I have things to answer for… perhaps when all of this is done and over, I shall see her when she is older. Perhaps she will have a loving family and a good home. She deserves better… she deserves a home… she does not deserve to be a fugitive.

Mignon awoke with a snort, realising he had dozed off for a moment. He yawned, climbed out of the chair, lifted Magnolia in his magic, scooted her over, and climbed into the bed with her. She was wrapped in a quilt, and he covered himself with a still dusty slightly musty tattered quilt. He felt the foal stirring in her sleep, her body twitching as a faint whimper escaped her lips. He could feel her settling against his back, and then Mignon felt Magnolia’s warm breath ruffling his mane.

The stallion took a deep breath, taking comfort in the feeling of another life in bed with him, so close to him, and the deep feelings he held within himself about that other life. His last thoughts as he drifted off to sleep were happy ones, he was in love, he had something he was completely unaware that he was missing, and he was happy.

There was frost coating the windows and the wind made the cabin creak, the timbers flexing when the freezing storm gusted. Snow whirled outside, the night had succumbed to a terrible storm, making the coziness and the warmth of the indoors somehow more pronounced. Mignon had piled extra wood in the corner, filled several buckets with snow, and felt prepared enough to be snowed in, which he suspected might happen if this storm was a big one. He would still probably be able to make it to the mess hall, but he suspected his planned trip to Ponyville might be delayed for a few days, maybe longer.

“Smart Cookie says the storm is going to be a doozer,” Magnolia announced, her eyes wide and fearful as the wind roared suddenly outside, making the cabin groan from the strain.

The stuffy pony, named ‘Smart Cookie,’ made all kinds of announcements. The orange drink needed more powder, growing foals needed more pistachio pudding, and now, the warning about the storm as it escalated towards howling intensity.

“Nothing to be afraid of, this cabin is sturdy and solid. Just because it creaks doesn’t mean it is going to fall over,” Mignon said in a reassuring voice.

“Fall over?” Magnolia squeaked.

“It won’t,” Mignon stated, his voice soothing.

The wind wailed around the corners and the entire cabin shook from the sudden force of the wind. Magnolia squealed in alarm and buried her face into Smart Cookie, squeezing the stuffed toy tightly.

“Smart Cookie, one of the earth ponies who founded Equestria, she survived a storm like this, in a cave, with the ponies that would eventually become her best friends. It was a trying time for them, the tribes were fighting, windigos were attacking, and it seemed the entire world was going to freeze over. They clung to one another through what seemed to be an endless night, singing songs to one another, telling jokes, and if certain stories are to be believed, Clover the Clever lit her farts on fire to keep them amused and laughing,” Mignon said, his voice loud enough to be heard clearly over the howling wind and the crackle of the fire.

Much to his relief, Magnolia began to giggle, as he had hoped that she would.

Clearing his throat, Mignon, a deep baritone, began to sing.

“The fire of friendship lives in our hearts,
As long as it burns we cannot drift apart.
Though quarrels arise, their numbers are few,
Laughter and singing will see us through. 
We are a circle of pony friends,
A circle of friends we'll be to the very end.”

Lifting her face away from Smart Cookie, Magnolia offered up a weak fearful smile, looking over at Mignon, her eyes wide and glimmering in the lamplight. Something blazed within her heart, something she had no words for, but she felt it, suddenly the world didn’t feel quite so scary. She knew that Mignon would keep her safe.

Mignon took a sip of his coffee, cleared his throat again, and looked at Magnolia. “Would you like a bit more pudding before going to bed?” he asked.

“Yes please,” Magnolia replied, still hugging Smart Cookie tightly.

“I will get it for you. You can lick the bowl clean if you would like. It needs to be clean so I can make more tomorrow,” Mignon stated, rising up out of his chair. He stuffed another log into the pot bellied stove, crossed the room, and went to the cool corner where the bowl was sitting on the counter, feeling the chill of the air away from the stove.

His blood froze completely when there was a solid rapping upon the door.

“No!” Magnolia cried, her voice a fearful frightened whine.

“Mignon Croix?”

The voice was loud and commanding, easily heard over the wind, and it chilled Mignon to the bone to hear it. There would be no running, not in this weather.

“Mignon, please, open the door, make this easier,” the voice commanded. “If I have to open the door, I assure you, things will be unpleasant.”

Biting his lip, Mignon made his way to the door, each of Magnolia’s whimpering cries stabbing painfully into his heart. Standing at the door, he took a deep breath and pulled the door open, backing away as he did so.

Standing in the winter storm, wearing a heavy black cloak that did not move, did not ripple, it somehow remained completely unaffected by the howling wind, was him. The long terrible bladed jagged horn. The emerald eye embedded in a plug of black glass. The scarred withered face. His hood was back, leaving his features visible.

Magnolia fell silent, ducking her head behind her stuffy, trembling with fear.

Beside him, on his left, was an orange-yellow unicorn, slightly taller than he was, also wearing a black cloak. Strands of crimson mane spilled out from beneath her covering, and her opal coloured eyes seemed to glow within the shadowy confines of her hood.

To his right was a lunar pegasus, a colt, his eyes wide and curious, his rust coloured mane blowing in the wind. The colt looked solemn, serious, and rather sad.

“You called?” the horrendously scarred unicorn said in a voice that seemed to quiet the wind. “I mean, you told me to come myself…”

Mignon could see two large figures looming just behind Prince Buckminster, enormous figures, giants, lunar pegasi wearing heavy plate mail. They moved around, shuffling in the snow, their faces unseen behind helmets.

“How did you find me?” Mignon whimpered.

“You dream,” Buckminster replied. “And I must say, your dreams have been most troubling. Are you going to invite us in?”

“Oh… yes, of course, I’m sorry…” Mignon stammered, stepping back from the door.

“Thank you,” the lunar pegasus colt said in a friendly sounding voice. “Ladies first,” he remarked to the taller figure beside his father.

“Why thank you,” the tall yellow orange unicorn responded, stepping indoors and allowing her hood to fall away from her head as she entered. She moved through the room, looking around, her horn glowing.

“Father,” the colt stated, making a gesture to encourage his father to enter.

“Why thank you Sentinel,” Buckminster replied, entering the room. He moved near Mignon and stood there, wordlessly looking around as Sentinel came in behind him and shut the door.

“This is Sunset Shimmer, and I am Squire Sentinel. I suspect you know my father,” Sentinel said with a fanged smile.

“I do,” Mignon replied, fearful, now trembling. He stumbled backwards and nearly fell, standing near the bed, looming protectively over Magnolia, who was nearly at the verge of tears. “I couldn’t let them take her… I saw something-”

“You saw something behind the door,” Buckminster interrupted. “I know what you saw behind the door. We will get to that later,” he said in low sonorous voice.

“I surrender,” Mignon said in a low pleading voice.

“I accept,” Buckminster replied.

“I only ask for one thing,” Mignon begged.

“And that is?” Buckminster inquired.

“Have mercy on Magnolia. See that she does not go back there. I am begging you,” Mignon whimpered, his head dropping low. He towered over the unicorn covered in a heavy black cloak and he tried to make himself look as small and unassuming as possible.

“I have been in the orphanage,” Buckminster said in a low strained voice, emotion creeping in and making his voice waver. “There are no longer any foals there. I requisitioned a hotel and they are staying there until something can be done. Two of my wives are with them right now, Bon Bon and Lyra are busy trying to help sort things out on that end. Which leaves me to deal with you.”

“I’m sorry… I couldn’t let them take her back to that place,” Mignon whined, his head dropping ever lower. “I know what I did was wrong, I will confess to anything you ask for me to if you will just give me your word that you will look after Magnolia until she is better or make arrangements to have her cared for… she is still very weak.”

“Two officers of the law were assaulted. This upsets me. Sparkler, my beloved Sparkler, is an officer of the law, and if somepony was to hurt her, I would be most upset. You also went and robbed a grocery store… I have spoken with Vino Veritas, she told me quite a story,” Buckminster said, turning his horrible Taint filled eye upon Mignon.

“I panicked, I was desperate, I didn’t know what else to do, I was looking after my foal,” Mignon whimpered, tears now coming down his cheeks.

“Please, don’t punish him,” Magnolia begged. “He’s a good pony.”

“I am sorry little Magnolia, but punishment must happen. When you do certain things, there are consequences. A lesson must be learned here,” Buckminster said in a soft sad voice. “Minion?”

“Yes Master?” Sunset Shimmer replied.

“Minion, I want you to correct Mignon Croix for harming other ponies with his magic,” Buckminster commanded.

A fearful cry lept out of Mignon’s throat, and Magnolia buried her face down into her stuffy again. Mignon watched as Sunset Shimmer moved towards him, his breathing now a panting whimper.

Each step she took caused her to shimmer, to move oddly, as though she was moving through short bursts of teleportation. Her outline fuzzed over and warped slightly, and she did not walk like other ponies. She walked with one hoof in front of the other, as though she was walking on an invisible tightrope. He closed his eyes and fell down to the floor, prostrating himself before the black cloaked figure about to deliver judgment. He could hear her coming closer and closer.

Finally, he could sense her standing before him, and everything in his body tensed. Mignon waited for whatever terrible fate was coming next, his breathing ragged with fear. He heard Magnolia crying, heard a rustle, a creak of the bedsprings, and a soft voice trying to comfort her.

Something lightly struck his snoot once, twice, and then a third time, tapping him lightly. Something about the snoot-tap was terrifying and he opened his eyes. Inches way from him was Sunset Shimmer’s face, her opal eyes were certainly glowing, Mignon could see it now, they blazed like furnaces. He could feel her hot breath upon his nasal bridge.

“Bad pony!” Sunset scolded in a harsh voice. “Harming another pony with your magic! Shame on you! You should be ASHAMED of what you’ve done!”

“I am,” Mignon moaned, closing his eyes again, unable to look into the blazing opal orbs of Sunset Shimmer.

“Master, I do believe he has been sufficiently chastised. Shall I continue?” Sunset inquired in a low voice.

“No Minion, I do believe that is enough,” Buckminster replied.

“So that’s it? That’s my punishment?” Mignon asked.

“Hahahahmwahahahah… oh… ah… that’s funny, you think your punishment is over,” Buckminster chuckled. “No. Your punishment is only beginning.”

Swallowing with a painful gulp, Mignon opened his eyes and looked up at Buckminster. “I suppose that was foolish of me.”

“You are going to spend your whole life paying for what you’ve done,” Buckminster said in a flat monotone. “Sentinel, wipe her face or something, she’s a mess.”

“Yes father,” Sentinel replied, lifting the corner of a blanket and wiping Magnolia’s face as he spoke. He wrapped his wing a little tighter around the smaller pegasus and tried to comfort her.

“For your crime, you are going to pay restitution,” Buckminster deadpanned. “A lifetime of restitution. I am sentencing you to the guardianship of Magnolia Warbler, effective immediately-”

“Oh thank you sir,” Mignon gasped, interrupting Buckminster.

“I am not finished!” Buckminster bellowed.

“Sorry sir,” Mignon whimpered.

“However, you assaulted two officers and robbed a grocery store. So, I am also sentencing you to the guardianship of one Olive Warbler, sister of Magnolia Warbler. You will care for these two pegasi, you will attend to their every need, and long after they have grown, you will continue to provide for their care. I think a lifetime of knowing a father’s anguish is suitable punishment," Bucky said as he pulled off his cloak.

From beneath the voluminous black folds that spilled away, two foals became visible, both wrapped in bunting. Both were sitting in saddlebag slings on Buckminster’s side. Wrapped in the blue-green glow of Buckminster’s magic, the soft pale orange foal was lifted free of her sling and floated over to the bed, where she was carefully set down before a very shocked and crying Magnolia.

The other foal, bright pink with a nubby little horn protruding from her forehead, began to cry after being uncovered.

Mignon lifted his head, sitting up, and looked at the foal on the bed beside him, his breathing ragged in his throat, it was tiny and small, and he had no idea how to care for it. He watched Magnolia kissing her sister, crying, tears running down her cheeks, and he felt a peculiar unknown sensation in his heart. He looked at Buckminster, who was trying to console the crying pink foal.

“Is that… her?” Minion inquired, lifting his head to get a better look.

“Yes,” Buckminster replied. “My precious little filly is such a pain in my backside,” he grumbled. “But I love her.”

“You gave up so much for her,” Mignon whispered. “I mean, I’ve heard a few stories… but only what I have read in the paper.”

“She is my reward,” Buckminster cooed, still trying to get the pink foal to stop squalling. “Minion, make funny faces until the Empress is appeased! Do as I command this instant!”

“Yes Master!” Sunset Shimmer replied, sticking her tongue out and crossing her eyes to obey her Master’s command. Sunset blew a raspberry, which did nothing to calm the foal’s crying, and she tried waggling her ears instead.

“I don’t know how to take care of a foal,” Mignon admitted.

“Oh, it’s easy,” Buckminster responded. “You feed one end and wipe the other.”

“That doesn’t sound so hard,” Mignon said, looking concerned.

“Olive is a few months old. Still in diapers. Still needs to be nursed. But don’t worry, you will have help,” Buckminster said in a cheerful voice as Sunset Shimmer stood at his side blowing raspberries and looking ridiculous.

“Help?” Mignon asked, raising his eyebrow.

“Yes, I’ve secured some help for you. I know it is kinda late, but we need to get going. Bundle Magnolia up so we can be leaving. We need to return to the hotel. There is going to be a Hearth’s Warming Eve party tomorrow, and then I really must be getting home because Thistle is going to pop any day now and give me something special for the holidays,” Buckminster said.

“But what about the storm…” Mignon said, his words trailing off when he realised he could no longer hear the storm outside.

“I had to make sure you didn’t do anything stupid, like running away in panic,” Buckminster explained, looking over at Mignon. “Minion is lazy and insolent, she hates running and taking the stairs.”

“Master!” Sunset Shimmer protested, still making funny faces to the pink foal. “Your stairs are cruel and my quarters are at the top of the tower just under your office!”

“Insolent Minion! She speaks when not spoken to!” Buckminster growled.

Sticking out her tongue yet again, Sunset Shimmer blew a raspberry at Bucky, the sound long and lingering, her cheeks puffing out from the extra effort.

“It is so hard to get good help,” Buckminster grumbled, smiling faintly when he heard a giggle from the pink foal slung to his side. “Now hurry up. We need to return. Bon Bon and Lyra are going to give you a crash course in foal care, and I promised Vino that I would get you back safely and securely. She’s been worried sick about you and Magnolia. Now GET MOVING!”

Bowing his head, Mignon began to gather up Magnolia’s coat, her medicines, his saddlebags, and his cloak. He watched Sentinel help Magnolia get her coat on and then watched as Olive was whisked away to be tucked back into the sling on Buckminster’s side.

“Master, wait,” Sunset Shimmer said, turning around to face Magnolia. She leaned down close and got snoot to snoot with Magnolia as Sentinel was buttoning her coat.

“Are you happy with Mignon?” Sunset Shimmer asked, her eyes blinking slowly. “We were so busy trying to resolve this that nopony asked you what you wanted.”

“I want to stay with him!” Magnolia cried, her eyes still teary. “I have my sister again… we can be a family.”

“Yes you can… so you are happy with Mignon? You feel safe? Secure? You trust him?” Sunset Shimmer questioned.

“Yes,” Magnolia murmured.

“Does he do anything that makes you uncomfortable?” Sunset asked.

“I know what you are asking, and no, he’s not like that,” Magnolia replied, the pace of her breathing increasing.

“I have to ask these things,” Sunset Shimmer said in a soft gentle voice. “Is there anything he does that you don’t like? It is okay to be honest, you can tell me anything, and you won’t get in trouble.”

“Well, he swears a bit, but he’s a good pony,” Magnolia said, averting her gaze away from Sunset Shimmer, her cheeks flushing crimson. “He has a potty mouth.”

Turning away from Magnolia, Sunset Shimmer looked at Mignon. “No more potty mouth!” she barked. “I have ways of knowing! You don’t want my shadow darkening your door!” The unicorn’s eyes blazed with a furious intensity, and the room became quite warm.

“Yes ma’am,” Mignon replied, bowing his head low.

“Master has a terrible potty mouth!” Sunset Shimmer snapped, daring to turn and look at Buckminster with an accusing glare.

“MINION WILL BE SILENT!” Bucky snarled.

“Yes Master,” Sunset Shimmer meekly replied, her lip curling back in reproach.

“Are they always like this?” Mignon asked Sentinel in a low voice.

“Minion is quite insolent and she continues to test Master’s patience,” Sentinel explained in a polite voice. “They bring out the worst in one another,” the colt grumbled.

“Squire, I want that foal ready to go,” Buckminster commanded.

“Aye aye,” Sentinel responded, pulling the hood over Magnolia’s head.

“Thank you,” Mignon said in an emotional raspy voice.

“Oh save it until we get back to the hotel. We need to lock this place up and secure it for the winter months. Hurry up… if there are no Hearth’s Warming cookies with the little bits of peppermint left when we return, I will be very cross,” Buckminster grumbled.

“Yes, Master is cross when he doesn’t have his cookies,” Sunset Shimmer teased.

“Urgh, Minion! Silence!”

“How will we return?” Mignon asked.

“Heated sky carriage,” Sentinel replied. “It’s parked outside and waiting for us.”

“So that’s it then? It’s over? This is my fate?” Mignon questioned.

“Sentencing you to the agony of fatherhood was pretty much the worst thing I could think of as far as punishments go,” Buckminster replied.

“Thank you… for everything,” Mignon Croix said in a voice strangled with emotion.

Join MovellasFind out what all the buzz is about. Join now to start sharing your creativity and passion
Loading ...