Chapter 32: Peace Time
Fowl Manor shone brightly in the night as lights of all sorts shone from its windows, sides, and boundaries. People, ponies, and creatures of all walks of life were there. Several tables were scattered throughout the grassy yards surrounding the manor. Artemis was sitting at a large circular table with Harry, Twilight, Leonardo, Peter, Robin, Po, and Sonic.
"Pinkie sure knows how to throw some great parties!" said Sonic. They looked towards the manor and saw a large DJ booth where Pinkie Pie was dancing to a song being played by Vinyl Scratch.
"At least we kept our promise to Ginny," said Twilight as she turned to Artemis.
"What promise?" Leonardo asked.
"When Twilight and I were looking for Harry before the whole Opal complication came along, we made a promise to Ginny to have a huge get-together with all of us once peace time rolled around," Artemis replied.
"Well I wouldn't consider this a completely peaceful time," said Robin.
"It's close enough in our opinion," said Twilight.
"This is nice. Just us and our friends having a massive party," said Po. Artemis nodded and suddenly found himself covered in pink hair.
"Don't strangle him, Pinkie!" said Harry. The pink mare let go of Artemis and he desperately gasped for air.
"Arty! You've got to remember to thank your parents for me for allowing us to throw the party here!" she said gleefully.
"No...problem," Artemis choked.
Pinkie Pie then jumped away to join several others in the dancing area.
"I don't think I'm ever going to get used to her," said Artemis.
"I think only one out of all of us who will be able to do that is Twilight," Peter chuckled. A slow song began to play and Gwen approached Peter from the crowd.
"Would you care to dance?" she asked in an overly fancy accent.
"Why, I would be honored, madame."
Peter stood up and walked off with Gwen towards the dance floor. Harry, Robin, and Sonic also stood up.
"Where are you all off to?" Po asked.
"We might as well ask our girls to dance before they ask us," said Robin as they walked off into the crowd.
"I'm going to go and find Tigress," said Leonardo. "She told me earlier that she'd teach me an incredibly rare fighting trick."
"I'll come with you!" said Po as he grabbed his bowl of noodles. Leonardo and Po then disappeared into the crowd. Artemis and Twilight turned around to see Princess Celestia talking to Artemis's mother.
"Go talk to her," said Artemis as he nodded towards Celestia. "I know it's been a while since the two of you had a nice friendly talk."
Twilight nodded and stood up. She patted Artemis on the shoulder with her hoof and walked off. Artemis gave a long sigh as he found himself alone at the table.
"Need some company?" asked a familiar voice. Artemis turned around to see Holly standing with Princess Luna, Luna Lovegood, Donatello, and Tails.
"Sure," said Artemis. They proceeded to sit down in the empty seats at the table.
"How was the Muggle hospital?" Luna asked. "I've never been in one."
"Me neither. Though I probably wouldn't be able to fit in," said Princess Luna.
"Yeah. Muggles would find you terrifying. I don't understand what they find frightening about a large alicorn princess with the power to control the Moon."
Princess Luna laughed and began to enter a conversation with Luna about articles in the Quibbler. Donatello and Tails began to talk about the various inventions that they had each worked on.
"You okay, Artemis?" Holly asked.
"Just fine. I'm just enjoying the aura of this get-together," Artemis replied.
"Something's off with you."
"It's Opalline isn't it?"
"If it makes you feel better, after the battle we found her body and gave her a proper burial near the manor."
"Celestia also gave a memorial to her and the others who died in the battle. Does that make you feel better?"
"Somewhat. How did Orion take it?"
"He's doing well. Have you not talked to him since you got back from the hospital?"
"I haven't seen him around the manor a lot these past few days. It's almost as if he's a ghost. I can only assume he's busy helping father, mother, and the twins with various tasks."
"You're probably right. Still, I'd give him some comfort and company if I were you. I believe he needs it. He may look like and be a part of you but he's definitely more...fragile."
"Yeah. That's a definite."
Holly chuckled and they fell silent for a few minutes.
"I'm glad that you're okay," she continued. "If something had happened to you...I don't know what I would have done."
"You would have continued on, Captain Short," said Artemis with a slight smile. "Besides, you have Commander Kelp now to keep you company."
"Shut up! We're not a couple!"
"Sure. So the snogging is just a friendly gesture."
"You've seen the snogging?"
"I haven't intentionally been looking for it but I've seen it occasionally. If you two are trying to hide your relationship then you both are incredibly poor at it."
"Everything's going to change now...isn't it?"
"I believe so."
"Are there going to be drastic changes?"
"More fights and battles?"
"More League-related situations?"
"That's a definite."
Holly turned Artemis's face towards her and she slowly drew in close.
"Don't tell Trouble," she breathed as she proceeded to kiss him. It was only a few seconds but it felt like an eternity of happy bliss for Artemis and Holly. They slowly drew apart and turned to see that Princess Luna, Luna, Donatello, and Tails were staring at them with satisfied smiles.
"Well it looks like you've just had the highlight of your night," said Donatello. Artemis and Holly blushed slightly and turned away from each other.
"I don't see anything wrong with it. You two look good together," said Luna.
"Oh shove off!" said Holly with an embarrassed smile. She stood up from the table and walked off into the crowd, only glancing back at Artemis once.
"So...did you like it?" Tails asked.
"I...well...it was...nice," Artemis choked.
"At least you enjoyed it," Princess Luna chuckled. Artemis turned away from the Princess and stood up. He walked away from the table and off into the crowd of partying allies and friends. Artemis watched as the other members of the League and their friends proceeded to dance, eat, and talk the night away. He smiled at the sight of his friends having fun and continued to walk off towards the boundary of Fowl Manor. Yes. Everything was certainly changing.
Author's Note: I hope you all enjoyed reading this story as much as I enjoyed writing it. I plan to write more LIH-related stories in the future but, probably, none of them will be as long as this one was. I won't write an LIH story for a little while, though, because I have other stories in mind. Still, I hope you all enjoyed this story and I look forward to writing more stories in the future.