Trixie's full power came back two days later, but she allowed Luna to spend her last night in Manehatten helping with her magic show anyway. Soul kept away from the backstage area for the rest of the week, and was surprised to find a letter from Trixie in his pack as he prepared to leave for Canterlot. The letter was written in Trixie's flamboyant stage persona and the meaning was hard to decipher, but Soul managed to unearth an admission of forgiveness from the midst of it. "Aw, she likes you," Heart teased him when he showed it to her. Soul just rolled his eyes and packed the letter away.
Luna arrived home to slightly less fanfare than her sister had, but she didn't mind. She and Celestia spent several hours in private telling each other of their weeks and finding much to laugh about. By the end, they agreed it had been for the best that Luna hadn't intervened with the stars, since that had allowed Celestia to learn of her Poison Joak infection. The flower was eventually traced young florist who had unwittingly picked it while ghatering inventory and added it to the bouquet Ash had swiped. Luna also talked Celestia into holding a talent night for the castle staff, to be headlined by a Stella Moon and her amazing illusions.
Ashen Blaze was allowed to return to Canterlot, although he kept himself scarce for several days out of a feeling of self-preservation. Celestia had not made any statement, official or otherwise, regarding his standing in her eyes beyond an acknowledgement that his idea to scan the Princess with PC had been right. After a while, he began to relax and go about his usual business, although he decided out of the blue to get himself an apartment in the city proper rather than continue to stay in the castle's school wing. He moved in next to Gale, whom he gave PC back to with the solemn promise to ask before borrowing it again.
One morning, a week or so after Luna's vacation, Gale emerged from her apartment to find Princess Celestia lurking by Ash's door. Swallowing her surprise, she executed a quick bow. "Stand," Celestia said off-handedly, her attention devoted to the door in front of her.
"What are you doing here Princess?" Gale asked.
Celestia shushed her and stifled a giggle. "Just wait," she whispered. Curious, Gale sat down and watched. A short time later there was a solid thud from within Ash's apartment, followed by sounds of confusion and frustration. Gale could hear something dragging on the floor and thumping occasionally in time to muffled "Ows" as Ash's hoof-steps neared the door. There was a sound of scrabbling as Ash struggled to open his door. Gale's confusion grew; why wasn't he using his magic? She got her answer as Celestia took pity on Ash and magiced the door open. Gale gasped as she saw Ash half-lying on the ground due to an enlarged head that looked quite heavy and uncomfortable. Ash's eyes rolled up and shrank as he saw Celestia, who was sitting very regally, her amusement almost totally hidden.
Ash gaped at her for several seconds before finding his voice. "You," he said, "This… Poison Joak?"
"Poison Joak," Celestia said with a sedate nod, a wicked smile crossing her face.
"Why?" Gale and Ash both asked, the former through giggles.
"Consider it payback for going against my wishes," Celestia said, "While you were right in your approach to my problem, you still went against my wishes and direct orders. I can't really punish you for being right, but I can't let you get away with defying me either. I think this is happy medium."
"You put Poison Joak pollen on my bed to teach me a lesson?" Ash looked like he was going to burst. Celestia just smiled. "Gale!" Ash pleaded, "Help."
"I'll send a letter to Zecora," Gale said, stifling her laughter.
"Thanks," Ash said grumpily, dragging himself back into his apartment and slamming the door.
"Well, that was fun," Celestia said, standing up, "I'll have some of the cure sent over right away- Zecora made more than enough for me." She walked to the window at the end of the hall and flew off toward the castle, back to her royal duties. All was right with the world.