Chapter 125: Princess Practice

Luna walked into the throne room with her parents. As soon as they reached the stairs Luna immediately saw lots of ponies decorating for her birthday.
"Come on," Stardust told her.
Luna continued down the stairs quickly catching up to them. They walked on the red carpet, past the water fountain and approached the thrones. Luna noticed a red book on her father's throne, she figured he was going to read while sitting there.
Stardust walked up to his chair and took the book, what surprised Luna was he didn't sit down to read it.
"Luna, today your just going to practice walking," Stardust told her, "You are to walk to the water fountain and back with this book on your head. Do not touch the book while it's on your head and if it falls let it fall. Once you return to us, I want you to bow without dropping the book."
"Why?" Luna asked.
"It's for good balance and posture. It'll also teach you to walk right," Stardust replied.
"What's wrong with the way I walk?" Luna asked curiously, "I walk like everyone else."
"That is the problem, you are not like everyone else. Your Princess of Ponyland and you will also be sixteen in a few days which means you will no longer be a little pony, you'll be a young pony," Stardust answered. He carefully placed the book on her head, "Now go on. We'll be here watching you."
Luna turned and dropped the book. She picked it up and placed it on her head, then she continued walking towards the water fountain. Stardust and Royal Heart sat down on their thrones watching her as she continued to drop the book.
"I can see this could be awhile," Royal Heart commented.
"Hopefully her lessons will be over before dinner," Stardust replied.
Luna turned from the water fountain and dropped the book again. She picked it up and placed it on her head, then she continued walking. She dropped the book several times before standing before her parents. She bent her legs to bow and the red book off of her head.
"I can't bow without moving my head," Luna complained.
"Luna, you don't bow that low," Stardust told her.
Royal Heart stood up and approached her, "Watch me." She bent one leg half closing her eyes, then she stood up straight, "now you try."
Luna did the same but the book fell off when she stood up straight.
"I can't," Luna complained.
"Yes you can Luna. You just need practice," Stardust told her.
"How am I suppose to walk without dropping the book?" Luna asked.
"Carefully, Luna," Stardust replied.
"Am I suppose to tip toe?" Luna asked feeling frustrated that she would never be able to walk without dropping the book.
"No Luna, you don't tip toe. Watch me," Royal Heart replied.
Luna watched her mother's legs as she walked around her. Royal Heart stopped and faced her, "Do you understand now?"
"Not really. You walk like I do," Luna replied.
"No Luna, I'm not walking like you at all," Royal Heart replied.
Luna looked at her with a very confused look. She didn't understand what her mother said.
"Luna, don't stand there, keep practicing," Stardust told her.
Luna turned and began walking while dropping the book every now and then. She thought her mother walking, it looked like a normal walk so what was so different about her walk?
Half the morning had gone by when Luna decided to try walking differently than trying to balance the book. Her parents giggled at the different ways she walked but it was not helping her keep the book on her head. She walked to the water fountain and stopped, she looked at how other ponies walked and remembered how her mother walked. There was a difference but what was it?
"Luna!" Stardust called to her.
Luna turned and walked carefully, lightly placing each hoof to the floor. The book stayed on her head till she approached the thrones.
"Your getting close, Luna," Royal Heart commented, smiling at her.
Luna looked at the ponies walking back and forth, placing tables on the floor and ribbons on each pillar. Luna finally understood how to walk carefully.
She placed the book on her head and walked taking small careful steps. She turned from the fountain and walked back to her parents. Then she stopped and bowed but the book fell off.
"Oh, Luna. That was so close," Royal Heart exclaimed.
"Now all you go to do is bow without dropping the book," Stardust said.
Luna placed the book on her head and smiled at her parents, "I get it now. It's not how long you get here but how you get here."
Her parents smiled greatly.
"Yes, Luna. Your finally got it. Now walk again and bow without dropping the book," Stardust replied.
Luna walked to the water fountain and back again, then slightly bent one leg without moving her head down but half closed her eyes instead. Then she stood up straight and smiled.
Stardust and Royal Heart got off their thrones and hugged her.
"You did it," Royal Heart exclaimed happily.
"And you said you couldn't do it," Stardust reminded her.
Luna smiled, "I only needed practice."
"Now that's done there's one more thing you need to do. It's not to hard," Stardust told her.
"What is it?" Luna asked curiously hoping it wasn't as hard as balancing a book on her head.
"See everyone working in the throne room?" Stardust asked.
Luna turned and saw how busy they looked, "Yes. It's not hard to miss them."
"Well I want you to go to the top of the stairs and walk to me, then bow. What ever you do, don't look at the workers. If I catch you peaking at them, I'll have you walk over again," Stardust told her.
Luna knew this was going to be easy. She winked out and appeared at the stairs. She looked at everyone and saw that they too were looking at her.
"Alright everyone, try to distract her," Stardust ordered.
"Maybe this won't be so easy," Luna thought.
She walked down the stairs following the rug while trying her best not to look. She walked to the water fountain listening to other ponies whisper her name. Then suddenly she heard something hit the floor. She looked which was her normal reaction.
"Luna," Stardust called to her, "You are suppose to look at us and no one else. It doesn't concern you what they're saying or doing. Now go walk over again."
Luna winked to the top of the stairs. She waited a few minutes then she began walking as she continued to remind herself not to look. Ponies whispered her name, some tried making noises. Luna felt the urge to look but she continued to stare at her parents. She did her best to ignore the other ponies and at one time she almost gave in and looked but she didn't. She approached her parents and bowed.
Stardust smiled greatly, "You did it. Now that wasn't hard...was it?"
"Sort of," Luna replied smiling.
"Alright back to work everyone!" Stardust ordered.
Royal Heart nuzzled Luna, "I can't wait for your ceremony."
Luna smiled, she too was excited but worried at the same time.
"Have you picked who I'm going to marry?" Luna asked.
"Yes and you'll find out who it is at the ceremony," Stardust answered, "Luna on your birthday, you'll walk down the stairs and approach me as you have just done. You'll bow and don't turn around till I tell you to. I'll give a Princess speech. I'll ask you a question or two and you're to answer yes. Then I will place the Princess crown on your head. After that, I will tell you to turn around and I'll announce who your going to marry. You will meet your future husband and will dance with him. Later we'll have your birthday cake and party," Stardust told her.
"Do you understand it now?" Royal Heart asked.
"Yes," Luna answered.
"Don't forget what you have learned today. You'll practice it for the next few days till your birthday. now, lets go eat. I'm hungry," Stardust told her.
Luna smiled and followed her parents towards the stairs.