“Rock lobster and tartar sauce.”
“You heard me.”
“Canterlot is not exactly a fishing community, Mistress Demelza. We have a number of fine local dishes which you can—”
“You’d serve a visiting dignitary the food of your common folk?”
“And for that matter, who sends their kids to look over my affairs. My country’s affairs? Is this some kind of joke?”
Twilight Sparkle took a steadying breath. ‘Remember your training,’ she thought to herself. ‘Remember that book. The book said griffins are abrasive. This is expected. I’m supposed to handle this.’
“I am Princess Celestia’s…” Number one student, she wanted to say. She was supposed to say. But with the griffin lording over her… the filly, not quite a mare, stammered out a better answer. The answer that might impress the abrasive bird. “I’m her right hoof mare. I may be young, but I’m the most important mare available right now.”
“So what you’re saying is,” Demelza growled, “All your proper dignitaries are preoccupied?”
“Preoccupied with things more important than the renewal of our trade agreement?”
Twilight stared up at the griffin, trying to keep her posture. She felt her teeth grinding at her lip.
“What I am trying to say is that the Princess will be with you shortly. And I’m here to see if there’s anything we ponies can do to make your stay more accommodating.”
“And I’m saying, little hatchling.” The griffin leaned down, orange eyes narrowed, ornate beads on her headdress clicking together. “Rock lobster. Tartar sauce.” Demelza snapped her fingers around Twilight’s snout and tweaked it, nails pinching her skin. “Get it for me, you little chick!”
Twilight Sparkle seized up, bright pink blush smacking her in the face. Flushed, she raised her hoof and slapped the digging talons away.
“Or… or I’ll blast you back to your country with your feathers alight!”
Demelza recoiled, standing back and folding her arms, staring down at the little purple student. She tilted her head, making the beads click.
“Ha,” Demelza snorted, “Didn’t think you had the guts to speak up to me.”
“I swear, I will!”
The griffin grinned.
“Yeah, yeah, whatever, little hatchling. You’re alright,” she laughed with a wave of her hand. Demelza turned away, became preoccupied in unpacking her bags.
“The Princess will be with you shortly,” Twilight stated firmly.
“I’ll be here.”
“I’ll bring you some of our best cider in the meantime, see what there is down in the kitchens for you.”
“It better be Rock Lobster!” Demelza shouted over her shoulder, “Or there’ll be hell to pay!”
Twilight Sparkle excused herself and trotted out of the room with her head held high. ‘Remembered the book,’ Twilight hummed to herself. ‘Remembered the book!’
Norse Pony’s comments: Ha! I like the idea that all griffons are just complete jerks and Twilight’s got a manual that says exactly that: “Griffons are all jerks, just be a jerk back and you’re good to go.” Good stuff.