Discord’s laughter broke through the two unicorn’s panic. Twilight and Trixie turned to see the draconiquis rolling around in midair, clenching his gut. “Oh, this is going better than I had hoped!” He wiped a tear from his eyes, sighing. “But truly, I must be going… this bit of chaos has been fun, but I have places to see, ponies to meet, things to get done… you understand.” He got up, turning to the crowd. “But before I go… the last part of my ‘gift’…” He cleared his throat, beginning to recite something.
Your bodies, minds, and souls have switched.
The spell shall last, I’ll have my fun…
…until you all unite, as one.
Discord made half circles using fingers from each hand, bringing them both together in order to emphasize his point. He separated his hands and snapped his fingers, making a couple suitcases appear by his sides. He picked them up, waving at the crowd. “Enjoy the festival, everypony! I know I have…” One last snap of the fingers, and he was gone, his laughter lingering for a few more seconds.
There was nothing but stunned silence. And then, a scream. The crowd began to run about as they realized they’d been thrown into somepony else’s body. Worried shouts and yells were heard as confused ponies scrambled about. Things might have gotten out of hoof, if not for a command being shouted loudly over the plaza: “SILENCE!”
All eyes turned to the stage; a light purple mare strode into view, dragging something behind her. Everypony gasped as they saw what she was carrying… Princess Celestia was being dragged onstage by her tail, spouting random words and weakly straining against her captor. The mare pulling her let her go, sighing and running a hoof through her mulberry mane. She quickly ran backstage, returning with a microphone stand in her mouth a minute later. She set it in place center stage, shooting Celestia a glance to make sure she was still there.
“We must stay calm, everypony,” the mare began. “If we let Discord’s trickery cause us to panic, then he wins. If it’s not apparent… I am Celestia. And I seem to have switched with…” Celestia turned towards her body. “Excuse me, you are?”
“Right.” She turned back to the microphone. “Apparently, I’ve switched with somepony who favors the salts just a little too much. I found her over by the Salt Shaker, guzzling the stuff… but I digress…” Celestia glanced around, looking for something. “Has anypony seen Luna?” She shot a glance to the Lunar Princesses’ body, which was currently trying to build a fort out of muffins. “Not this one, I mean.”
“Over here, sister!” Celestia stepped aside as a gray Pegasus flew in and landed beside her, its eyes spaced apart in a peculiar fashion. Luna turned to her body, watching as it conjured another batch of pastries. “You, cut that out!”
Her body glanced at her curiously. “Hey, I was just supposed to deliver festival supplies today… and now I can create all the muffins I want out of thin air? This is the best day of my life!”
Luna groaned, raising a gray hoof to her forehead. “We’ve seen this mare before; this is Derpy Hooves, one of Equestria’s finest postmares.” Derpy waved to the crowd, her mouth full of her favorite baked good.
Celestia cleared her throat. “Well, now that that’s out of the way… let’s cover some basics, everypony.” Shooting one last glance towards Berry, Celestia began to recite information. “As you all know, we’ve switched bodies with one another. This is no reason to panic; the key thing to Discord’s magic, is that there’s always a way to reverse it. We’ll have our top scholars get right to work finding a solution to this predicament, and once everypony’s back to normal, we’ll immediately send our most rigorously-trained guard platoon out in search of the fiend. Until then, first thing’s first… everypony search the crowd, and find your body. Once you’ve taken care of that, STICK TOGETHER. Go about your day as normal, and keep an ear open for an announcement when we’ve discovered a solution. Just make sure to treat your temporary bodies as if they were your own… hop to it, everypony! Luna and I shall stay here and recite a list of names; if your name is called, head onstage immediately… your efforts will be required as we search for a fix to this.”
Mumbling rose up around the plaza as Celestia began to list off the names of various knowledgeable ponies. Confused civilians began to scatter, in search of their bodies and the ponies that were now controlling them. Trixie and Twilight stood where they were, still a little shocked at the development.
Trixie cleared her throat. “First things first, Sparkle,” she warned, “Do anything with Trixie’s hair, and she will maim you.”
Despite the situation, Twilight giggled. “I‘m pretty sure that can wait.” Twilight sighed, looking around. “Let’s check on our friends, first.”
Trixie looked around, noticing her ‘friends’ were looking around in confusion. “Right, right… Trixie will check Pinkie Pie and Applejack, you check the other three.”
With a nod from both unicorns, the two split up, heading to the friends they‘d chosen. Right off the bat, Trixie knew something was up when Pinkie Pie was standing completely still for once in her life, while Applejack just looked completely confused. Deciding to try the pink pony first, Trixie stepped forward and tapped her on the shoulder.
Pinkie turned to her, her eyes shining with realization. “Twilight? Is that you?”
Trixie smiled, glad that somepony she knew had taken residence in her friend’s body. “No, it’s Trixie. She was hit with the same spell you were… but do tell, who are you?”
“It’s Mrs. Cake, dearie.” She looked down at her hooves, admiring her change in appearance. “Do you have any idea what’s going on…? One moment, me and the husband are finishing up on restocking the wares… the next, I‘m out in this crowd, and… did I see Discord?”
Trixie scratched her head. Apparently the spell didn‘t just hit the crowd… it must have enveloped all of Canterlot as well. “Afraid so… Trixie will explain later.” Trixie turned to her farmpony friend, raising an eyebrow. “Assuming you’ve been listening in… who are you?”
The orange mare was rubbing her back, feeling for something that wasn’t there. Dropping her hoof, her expression turned downcast. “I’m… well, WAS Winter Wish… a souvenir salespegasi.”
Trixie’s never seen her before, she realized. “Mrs. Cake,” she said, drawing the pink pony’s attention. “Trixie will round up Twilight and the others, and we’ll see to it you get back home… no doubt Pinkie’s there with your body. As for you…” Trixie turned to Winter Wish. “We’ll need to find your body first; quickly, what did you look like?”
Winter Wish lifted an orange hoof to her face, scratching her cheek. “Well… I had a white coat… a light-blue mane… my cutie mark was a snowflake, and… uh… I looked sort of like that.” She pointed skyward towards a pegasus matching her description, who was whooping and hollering as she did tricks above everypony’s heads.
“Applejack?” Trixie cried out. “Applejack! Is that you?” The cheery pegasus up above broke out of a loop-de-loop, cocking her head downwards as she heard her name being called. Spotting her friends- and her body -on the ground, the pegasi swooped in for a landing.
“There ya are!” The pegasi said, folding its wings up. “Hay, it sure is easy ta find ponies in a crowd with these beauts!” The pony, her accent clearly giving away her identity as Applejack, gave a few quick flaps of her feathery wings. “Now ah can see why pegasi always have their heads in the clouds.” Applejack noticed Winter Wish shooting her a look. She bowed her head, blushing. “My apologies, miss.”
Trixie stepped between the two mares, clearing her throat. “Applejack, this is Winter Wish; Winter Wish, Applejack. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s find…”
“Twilight Sparkle, please make your way to the stage,” Celestia called out. “Next up, Violet Lily…”
Trixie felt a tap at her shoulder, turning to look into her own face. “Oh, there you are, Twilight. How’d things go with the others?”
“Not so well,” Twilight sighed, rubbing her forehead. “Rainbow Dash is an earth pony… she’s not taking losing her wings once again very well… and both Fluttershy and Rarity got switched with stallions. Fluttershy keeps tripping over her own hooves in her new body, and Rarity is… not very overjoyed with suddenly becoming a male.”
Trixie peeked over her friend’s shoulder, glancing into the crowd behind her. Two stallions lay on the ground amidst a small group; an orange one unsteadily tried to stand back up, and a green one shivered as it disbelievingly fiddled with its blue tail. A green earth pony had a sad look on her face, even as she tried to help the orange stallion get back on his hooves. The rest of Trixie’s friends- or at least, the ponies controlling their bodies -were surrounding the green stallion, trying to coax him to his feet. “Trixie sees what you mean.”
“They should be fine though… as you can see, we’ve reunited the others with their bodies… speaking of which, have you found Pinkie and Applejack?”
“Well…” Trixie began, “Yes and no. Applejack’s right here…” She pointed to the pegasus, who was busy admiring her wings. “But Pinkie ended up switching with Mrs. Cake.”
“Oh dear…” Twilight glanced to the pink mare. “The spell spread that far? Mrs. Cake’s probably horribly confused. Well… if you didn’t hear, I’m being called up to help find a solution to this insanity… Trixie, could you take Mrs. Cake back to our house? And hope Pinkie’s still there, while you’re at it…”
“As you wish.”
Twilight glanced up to the stage, noticing the group of ponies onstage increasing in number. “Can’t keep them waiting any longer…” She glanced at Trixie. “Treat my body as well as I’ll treat yours… okay?”
“Urm… okay.” Trixie smirked, sticking a tongue out. “Trixie makes no promises.”
Twilight rolled her eyes, teasingly poking Trixie with her hoof. “Just see to it that Mrs. Cake gets back home safely… and while you‘re at it, check on Spike as well, please.”
Twilight shot Trixie a thankful smile before darting into the crowd. She was quickly lost in the group of ponies, heading in the direction of the stage. Trixie watched her go for a moment before turning to Mrs. Cake. “Applejack and Winter Wish should be fine alone… come, Trixie shall get you home.”
Trixie nodded, continuing her explanation. “And once the spell had been cast, Discord took his leave… after delivering an odd riddle, of course.”
Mrs. Cake shook her head. “Maybe I should have gone to the show… things would at least make a lot more sense, then.”
“Trixie was there, and she’s still a little dazed… but speaking of staying home…” Trixie stopped in front of the yellow building her friends occupied, glad that she remembered the way back correctly. “Here we are!”
“Thank Celestia…” Mrs. Cake breathed, walking towards the front door. “I’m going to make a nice, warm cup of tea, and then settle down for a nap with Mr. Cake…” She grasped the door knob in her hoof, suddenly freezing. “Oh no! My husband! If the spell could reach me, then that means… oh dear…” Quickly throwing open the door, Mrs. Cake bolted inside, leaving Trixie to run in after her.
They ran in, finding the kitchen at their right. They entered, watching as Mrs. Cake’s energetic body tossed baking ingredients around in the air and noting a terrified Mr. Cake huddling in the corner. Mrs. Cake rushed to him, helping him up. “Oh, my dear… erm… I mean, you poor thing, what’s wrong?”
The stallion shivered. “Momma told me not to sneak away from her at the festival… I didn’t listen, and then I ended up in a strange house, next to a scary, shouting mare…”
Trixie stifled a laugh; the thought of a full grown stallion swapping bodies with a foal was too comical for her to ignore. Mrs. Cake shot her a look, making Trixie clear her throat nervously. Seeking a distraction, she focused on Pinkie Pie, watching as the mare used Mrs. Cake’s body to throw a dozen cakes into the oven at once as she sang. “Pinkie Pie, why ARE you in such a good mood? Aren’t you the least bit upset by any of this?”
Pinkie Pie hummed under her breath, kicking a couple bags of flour onto the counter. “No way, José! One second I’m watching that meanie pull out some strange lights… well, not always a meanie, his chocolate rain clouds were pretty fun… but anyway, the next thing I knew I was back home… in my role model’s body!” A smile stretched across the mare’s face as Pinkie withdrew a tray from the fridge, some cooled-off cookies resting upon it. “I just had to make a bunch of treats to celebrate! Yippie!”
“Well, dear, I’m flattered…” Mrs. Cake said, smirking. “But… could you tone it down a bit? You’re scaring the poor kid…”
“Okie Dokie! Here, maybe this will help…” Pinkie Pie took a cookie off the tray. Mrs. Cake reached out for it, flinching as Pinkie flipped it into the air and chomped it down. She took a different cookie off the tray and handed it over. “Try this one! It’s choooocoooolaaate…”
Mrs. Cake thanked her, holding out the treat to the scared foal. She looked uncomfortable trying to calm down her own husband, body swap or not… but the kid took the treat, his shivering calming down ever so slightly. Mrs. Cake eyed Trixie, remembering the unicorn was still there. “Thanks for the assistance, dear, and the explanation as well… but I can take things from here. I’ll take the kid around town later to find his body… and my husband, for that matter.”
Trixie nodded, bidding her good luck. She turned around, flinching when she almost walked right into Pinkie. “Got one here for you, too!” She stated, handing Trixie her own cookie. She gasped, remembering something. “Oh, and one for Spike too… I’m surprised that sleepyhead can nap through all this!”
Trixie took a bite from her treat, savoring the warm, chocolaty taste melting in her mouth. Tossing Pinkie a thanks, she levitated a second one with her, trotting across the hall to the living room. Just as she expected, she found Spike’s small figure curled up on the couch, fast asleep.
Hmmm… Trixie wondered, who’s he going to be? She gently nudged the baby dragon with her hoof, watching as he stirred out of his dreams.
Spike blinked lazily, eyeing Trixie up and down before closing his eyes once more. “C’mon, just five more minutes, Twilight…”
Twilight? So it’s somepony we know… Trixie held the cookie up to Spike’s noise, watching as he inhaled its scent. “Well, this delicious cookie from Pinkie Pie can wait, if you insist…”
Spike‘s eyes opened. “Who said anything about sleep? Nope, not me.” Spike grabbed the treat, popping it into his mouth. It wasn’t a gemstone, but treats from Pinkie Pie would always be at the top of his favorite snacks.
Trixie chuckled. “Well then, now that you’re awake… who are you?”
Spike wiped the crumbs off his face, giving Trixie a curious expression. “Uh… Spike? Your number one assistant? C’mon Twilight, there’s no way you could forget this guy!” The dragon flicked his thumbs at himself, giving a teasing grin.
“Er… yes, right, it was just a joke.” So Spike didn’t swap, huh? Trixie calculated. The spell had enough distance if it could hit the Cakes, clearly… maybe it just didn’t work on dragons? Well, less work for Trixie to match bodies back up…
“Something the matter, Twilight?” Spike asked. “You’re looking pretty thoughtful. Well… more thoughtful than usual.” The baby dragon smirked at his own joke.
And he thinks Trixie is Twilight, too. Trixie chuckled, patting the dragon on the head “Nothing’s wrong at all, just…” Trixie froze midsentence. An image floated through her mind, one of the scroll that had somehow managed to avoid her yesterday… the one Twilight was trying to hide from her. A smile spread across Trixie’s face, an idea forming in her head. “Actually, yes, there is one problem…”
Spike stood up, stretching. “Your number one assistant is at your service! Especially if we can grab another cookie in the meantime.”
“No problem at all, Spike… but you see, do you remember that scroll from yesterday? Well, do you remember where it is?”
Spike raised an eyebrow, eyeing Trixie up and down suspiciously. “Yeah, and you don’t? You never forget where you keep things, ESPECIALLY letters from Celestia.”
“Well, urm… it’s been a long day, Spike, and the whereabouts of the note must have just slipped Trixie’s mind.”
“Well… okay then.” Spike hopped off the couch, beginning to lead the way out of the living room. He suddenly froze, something clicking in his head as he whirled around. “Wait a sec… ‘Trixie’s’ mind? Wasn‘t she the pony you were trying to hide it from in the first place?”
Trixie gulped, cursing her third person speech for blowing her cover. “Well, uh, you see… um… hey, would you like another cookie?”
“I knew something was suspicious… Trixie!” Spike accused. He smirked as Trixie’s face fell, knowing he was right from the expression on her face.
“Um…well… pah, fine, you’ve won.” Trixie scowled. “It’s Trixie, happy?”
Spike strode forward, walking by her side. “Yep! Nothing slides by the old Spikester!” He paused, rubbing his chin. “But, uh… what’s with the Twilight disguise?” He poked her in the ribs, watching intently. “Illusion spell? Cloning spell? Costume?”
“No, no, and no.” Knowing full well that her cover was blown, Trixie explained to Spike what he’d missed during his nap. He tapped his foot, contemplating the new info.
“Huh… guess the spell exempted me. Probably didn’t affect dragons, huh?”
“That’s what Trixie believes.” Trixie sighed. “Sorry for the ruse…” Trixie glanced at Spike, a hopeful smile crossing her face. “But there’s no need to go telling Twilight about this, is there?”
“None at all,” Spike assured. A grin slowly spread over his face. “So long as you lead me to where I can get more of these cookies… and do a couple of my chores… oh, and take me on the Speeding Stallion roller coaster with ya! I haven‘t even gotten the chance to see it, yet…”
Trixie groaned; not only had her plan failed, she’d somehow found herself the victim of blackmailing… by a creature that hadn’t even broken out of infancy yet, no less. “Fine, fine… is that it?”
“Yeah. I’m trying not to be too greedy after a certain… ‘incident’ a couple months back. Hold up your end of the deal, and your secret is safe with me.” Spike walked to Trixie’s side, tapping her on the back. “C‘mon, time‘s a wastin‘!”
Trixie rolled her eyes, bending over to allow the dragon to climb onto her back. After he’d settled in, Trixie set off towards the kitchen in order to fulfill her first part of the agreement.
“Slow down, Spike! It isn’t helping anypony if you get lost!”
Trixie watched as the dragon skidded to a stop up ahead, stopping to wait for her right in front of the entrance to the Speeding Stallion. She glanced around the fairground, realizing her command didn’t have much to back it up; while some ponies still dotted the area here and there, the fairgrounds was- for the most part -empty. Most victims of the spell were either trying to find who they’d swapped with, waiting out the chaos back at their homes, or sticking close to their friends. In fact, most of the rides and attractions were closed down. Trixie walked past an abandoned wares cart, its pinwheels and sparklers locked behind a steel grate, as she made her way to Spike.
Spike knew how to take advantage of the situation, however. “Look, Trixie!” He pointed, excitement lacing his voice. “No lines!”
Trixie smirked. She had to admire the dragon’s enthusiasm, even if he’d forced her to bring him here. She’d gotten him to Pinkie Pie for a cookie restock while she did a few of his chores, eventually reaching the final objective on her list: a ride on the Speeding Stallion, the festival’s tallest and fastest roller coaster.
Not wasting anymore time, the duo began weaving their ways up to the ride’s entrance, walking through the miniature maze of small steel gates that came with most big rides. Moments later, they were near the ride‘s entrance, with only a few ponies in line ahead of them.
When their turn came, Spike happily stepped forward to be measured, eager to see if he was tall enough to ride. A pegasus, who’d been running the ride with aid from the pony she’d swapped with, let the dragon step up next to a measuring pole. Spike stood as tall as he could, smiling when the ride-runner announced that he just barely passed the requirements. Telling them to enjoy the ride, the pegasus let Trixie and Spike pass her into the ride’s entrance.
They found themselves in an open room, a large rail cutting through its center. On one side of the room stood a few ponies, eager to get on the ride, while the other side held ponies that had just gotten off. Seeing that the very first seats of the coaster were open, the duo stepped into the row for it. The gates blocking their path to the coaster opened up, letting the two of them pass. Not long after, they were seated up front in a bright red compartment, a burly brown stallion stepping forward to help them strap in to the ride.
Trixie felt the restraining bar fall over her head, gripping it. She noticed Spike was having trouble with his seat belt, and she magically clicked it in place for him. Let’s get this over with, she thought. Who knows… maybe it’ll even be a bit fun.
Bzzzzzzt. Trixie listened as speakers around the room sparked to life, beginning to recite basic safety protocol. Trixie half-mindedly listened, letting out a small gasp as the roller coaster lurched forward. They exited out of the ride’s entrance area, Celestia’s sun greeting them as they moved out from under the overhang.
Trixie glanced downwards off the coaster, watching as the ground fell away underneath them when they hit an incline. She looked upwards, watching as they climbed a long stretch of track up into the sky. She peeked at Spike out of the corner of her eye, smirking at the look of pure excitement crossing his face. And then, they were at the top. The coaster stopped for just one moment, the suspense rising as it slowly edged forward. Then, it fell.
The wind whipped past Trixie’s face as the coaster zoomed downhill, the screams of other excited riders reaching her ears. She found herself shouting along, enjoying the rush as the ride coasted downhill and back into a level position. Oh, my… this IS fun, she realized.
The coaster, using the speed it gained from its decline, began weaving through a maze of tracks. Joyful ponies shouted as it whirled in circles, rising into the air. Everypony quieted down as they reached another incline, rising back into the sky for one last drop. Trixie looked downwards again, wondering how much of the carnival she could see from here.
Her body froze. The ground beneath her seemed to be swimming before her eyes; she felt as if she could fall towards it any second. And yet, as much as she willed herself to return to the ground, the coaster just kept taking her higher and higher. Against her will, her mouth opened, letting out a terrified yelp.
“Trixie?” Spike said, his eyes moving away from the track to watch her. “Trixie, are you okay?”
Nonononotokaynotokayhelpmegottagettoground. Trixie began squirming in her seat, fighting against the seatbelt holding her back. It was a futile effort, and Trixie let out a shriek as she realized the ground beneath her had fallen away; the coaster had reached the top of its ascent, and was zooming down towards the finish line.
The other riders screamed along as well, not realizing that Trixie’s shrieks were of terror, not joy. Spike kept trying to calm her as they went downhill, slowly sliding back into the station. Trixie began to relax, fiercely squeezing the safety bar in front of her. She felt the bar rise as the ride officially ended, and she leapt to the safety of the exit platform.
She stood there, breathing heavily, as Spike approached. “Is everything okay? Are you afraid of heights? I’m sorry, I didn’t know…”
Trixie panted, her fear changing into a new one… a scary realization. B-but… Trixie isn’t a-afraid of heights…
Spike opened the door to the familiar yellow house, moving aside to let Trixie step in. She entered, her nose being greeted by the smell of various pastries. She glanced into the kitchen, seeing that Pinkie was still making treats. “We’re home,” the unicorn called out.
“Oo, oo, just in time!” Pinkie replied, setting a large pink cake on the kitchen table. “You have to try this! I was saving this cake recipe for a special occasion, and what’s more special than getting to be your role model for a day? Not much!”
Pinkie cut a couple pieces out of the cake, handing them to Spike and Trixie. Trixie eyed the slice, realizing that deep down, she wasn’t very hungry… the roller coaster ordeal had definitely helped with that. “Thanks, Pinkie, but Trixie thinks she’s going to go home… maybe nap for awhile.”
“No, no, no, there’s no need, silly! Just use my bed, it’s all yours! Well, for now; it wouldn’t be very nice if you took it with you when you left… but anyway, you can try out the cake when you wake up!”
Trixie smirked, sliding the pastry across the table towards Spike. “If you insist. Feel free to wake Trixie if there’s an update on this Discord fiasc-”
A jet of green flame burst from Spike’s mouth, interrupting Trixie. A scroll appeared in the fire, and the three of them watched as the letter settled on the table. Trixie reached forward to claim it, flinching as Spike grabbed it first. “Sorry, Trixie, but it might be for Twilight.” Spike unraveled the scroll, eyeing it up and down. Satisfied, he rolled it back up, handing it to Trixie. “Nope, it’s for you.”
A letter? For Trixie? Yesterday’s scroll passed through her mind again, the image seeming to taunt her. She shook it off and unraveled the letter on the table, bending over it to read. It was from her bookworm friend, and she scanned the scroll curiously:
Bad news on the body switch business… we considered using the Elements of Harmony to just reverse the spell, but as it turns out, they’ll only work if the pony who controls them is in their own body. I tried to wield my own element… but, nothing. The princesses aren’t worried though… well, Luna’s a little irked about the mountain of muffins she found stacked in her bedroom… but, they believe the solution to this problem can be found in Discord’s riddle. Something about ‘uniting as one…’ I think we’re onto something, so keep an ear open for any announcements. If you’re with any of the others, please pass this info on.
Also, a curious discovery you should be warned about… it seems that some of the researchers here are taking on personality traits- and sometimes, even memories -of the pony they swapped with. One of the stallions working with us seemed perfectly fine with drinking some herbal tea, only to end up spitting it out in disgust not long after… turns out, the mare he swapped with hates tea. Once again, pass on to anypony you’re hanging around with.
I assume you got Mrs. Cake home okay, and thank you for that. If possible, could you send me an update on Spike? I’m a little worried about him… it’d ease my mind to know he’s all right. Thanks in advance, Trixie… and just so you know, your body’s just the same as you left it.
Finished with the letter, Trixie rolled it back up. Pinkie and Spike glanced at her curiously, eager to know if the contents were something to be shared. Trixie levitated the scroll across the table, dropping it in front of them. “There’s some info in here Pinkie’s free to read, and to pass on if anypony comes back home. Spike, feel free to write Twilight a letter to show you’re okay.” Trixie yawned, turning to go. “Trixie’s going to take that nap now…”
Trixie headed upstairs, listening as her friends bid her a good rest. She walked down the hall to the room her pink and purple friends shared, her thoughts following along with her. Shared personality traits… she mused, could that explain the episode back on that roller coaster?
She shook her head. While it was almost certainly true, she was too tired to think about it. Her panic attack on the coaster had taken it out of her, and she was already a little tired to begin with. She nudged open the door to her friends room, spotting Pinkie’s bed still seated in its center. Letting magic course through her, she lifted the bed up and moved it back to its original spot.
She glanced out the window, sneaking a peek at the sun. Judging from the position… it’s about three. With another yawn, Trixie trotted to Pinkie’s bed and got in. Pulling the covers over herself, Trixie settled in, nuzzling into the pillow.
Finding the pillow lumpy, Trixie lifted it up to fluff it. She stifled a laugh as she saw the cause; underneath the pillow sat at least five small cakes, among numerous other pastries. Wondering how her friend could ever sleep with so much sugar under her pillow, let alone in her veins, Trixie hovered the treats over to the dresser.
With nothing else to bother her, Trixie laid down and closed her eyes. Moments later, she was breathing gently, a dream already running through her head.
Trixie rolled over, groaning as she bumped into something. She opened an eye, finding herself staring at a coat of blue fur. She leapt back out of bed, finding herself looking at Pinkie, the mare staring at the ceiling and humming. “Pinkie! What are you doing?”
Pinkie looked over at her. “You’re awake, goodie!” She sat up and bounced out of bed, smiling at her unicorn friend. “You were sleeping so soundly, and I was thinking it’d be kinda rude to just wake you up, so I just sat there for awhile and waited for you to wake up, and I got a little bored, so I started humming, and then you woke up, and…”
“Trixie gets the picture.” Trixie rubbed her eyes, blinking away sleep. “But why wake her up?”
“That’s easy! Spike just got a letter from Twilight… they’ve found a solution! Everypony’s supposed to head back to the plaza outside the stage, ASA-now!”
Trixie’s eye twitched. “They found a way to switch us all back, and you waited until I woke up?!”
Pinkie nodded. “Duh, silly filly!”
Trixie groaned, rubbing her forehead. Trixie is starting to think Pinkie has cake where a normal pony would have a brain… A small smile lit her face. Well, she did let Trixie get some rest. She can’t complain. “Alright… give Trixie a minute to get ready, and she’ll be good to go.”
“Okie dokie!” Pinkie shot her a smile before bouncing out the door, closing it behind her. Left alone, Trixie walked to the window and glanced out. The sun was heading towards the horizon; Trixie wagered it was around six or so. She crossed the room to the dresser, looking at herself in the mirror seated atop it. She ran her hooves through her mane… Well, technically Twilight’s mane, she corrected herself. She leaned in close, making sure she looked presentable; for some reason, she found herself wanting to make sure her friend looked fine for her return to her body.
But then, a short flash of pain rushed through her head. She leaned on the dresser, cupping her head in her hooves. What was tha-… she began, flinching as another stab of pain arced through her mind. A cloud fell over her thoughts, and she felt the pain slowly ease away as images began to flow freely and clearly through her mind‘s eye. She closed her eyes, finding herself able to see through Twilight’s eyes… into her very memories.
Twilight stood before the ferris wheel, her knees buckling under her. Can’t do this, can’t do this, can’t do this nono… she thought, thinking of just running away. A hoof laid itself gently on her shoulder, and she turned to see the blue unicorn looking at her with concern. That familiar pang in her chest returned, and she found herself with an odd sense of bravery she’d never felt before. I’ve gotta be strong… I can’t look weak, not in front of her…
The scene changed to a rooftop, the moon’s glow illuminating Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy at the opposite end of the roof. She looked to her side to see Trixie sitting there, glancing at her curiously. Trixie asked her why she’d brought them up here. “I saw how you and Rainbow Dash weren’t getting along, so I guess I wanted to help you get to know her better… and, well, I guess I thought the scene would be a little…” Twilight replied, cutting herself off at the end. She just couldn’t bring herself to say the last word… ‘romantic‘.
Another scene change, this time showing Twilight in a town all-too-familiar to Trixie… Ponyville. The purple unicorn was standing over the remains of Trixie’s carriage, magically moving debris around. She moved a heavy beam, gasping as she saw something buried underneath it. She held the beam aloft as she pulled the items out, inspecting them. She held a purple cape and hat in her hooves, stars patterned along both of them. She sighed, wishing she knew some way to get them back to who they truly belonged… and maybe even get a chance to see the mare who’d made her feel so mysteriously over the past few days.
One last change of scenery, this time to the very room Trixie had been in before the wave of memories. Twilight sat on her bed, reciting information to Spike. She was writing a letter to Celestia, asking the princess a very important question. “Dear Princess Celestia,” Twilight began, “I hope this letter finds you well, and not overburdened with festival activities. I know I said I was planning on sending a summary of what I’d learned at the end of the event, but, well… something’s come up. You see, princess, I’ve found somepony I’ve been in search of for awhile, and… well… I’ve come to ask if maybe, just maybe, you could tell me what you know about…”
The memories ended as quickly as they began. Trixie cursed under her breath, not able to believe she’d been kept from the letter’s knowledge yet again. But the other stuff she’d discovered… she just couldn’t believe them. And yet, she knew, they were true.
Twilight had always been friendly to Trixie since their reunion, putting up with behavior that would probably irritate others. Twilight had gone out of her way to do things that had either terrified her, or used up time and resources. And for what?
“Trixie knows what…” The unicorn breathed, holding a hoof to her chest. Somewhere deep within her sat an odd sensation, a heat that was desperate to mingle with another pony’s, a spark that only appeared when a pony thought of somepony special to them. Trixie couldn‘t tell if the feeling was Twilight‘s… or if it was hers. She glanced into the mirror, staring intently as Twilight‘s eyes looked back. “…she did it because she loves Trixie.”
Trixie followed behind Pinkie, letting the bouncing mare lead her towards the stage. The unicorn glanced behind her, making sure Spike was still on her back, and that Mister and Missus Cake were still following. Mrs. Cake was holding a foal on her back; Trixie reminded herself that this foal was, hopefully for not much longer, Mr. Cake. The foal itself was occupying Mr. Cake’s body, and the yellow pony was glancing around nervously.
Trixie set her gaze forward again, letting her thoughts wander as she saw the stage appear in the distance. On their entire walk to the stage, Trixie’s mind had been focused on one thing… her fear of seeing her bookworm friend again. Trixie sighed. The Great and Powerful Trixie, nervous about seeing a friend. This is what she’s been reduced to? She bit her lip as the word friend crossed her mind. IS she just a friend? Or…
“We’re here everypony!” Pinkie called out, breaching Trixie’s thoughts. Trixie peeked around her friend, noting the large crowd that stood in front of the stage. Somepony had drawn a large chalk circle in the plaza, and ponies were all standing within it. Oddly enough, unicorns were staying outside the line. Trixie flinched as a familiar voice reached her ears, a voice she wasn’t sure if she wanted to hear or not.
“Pinkie! Trixie! The Cakes! Thank Celestia, I was starting to get worried…” Twilight ran up to them, stopping short. “There’s no time to waste; everypony’s just about been rounded up… Pinkie and the Cakes, get inside the circle, and we’ll get this spell reversed. And Trixie, you’re due onstage!”
Trixie blinked. “Wait, what? Onstage? Why?”
Twilight shrugged. “The princesses asked for you, specifically. Well… they asked for whoever has my body, to be precise. But nonetheless… go, go, they’re waiting on you!”
Deciding not to question further, Trixie let Spike down and stepped forward to go to the stage. She walked by Twilight, freezing as the unicorn placed a hoof on her shoulder. “And Trixie… when this is all over… could… could I speak with you?”
Trixie thought for a moment. Deciding on what she wanted, she nodded. “Yes. Find me after we’re back to normal.”
Twilight smiled softly. “Good luck up there.”
Trixie nodded, moving forward as Twilight let her go. She moved her way around the big crowd, heading into the backstage area. She passed through it, noting its emptiness, as she went onstage.
Four ponies awaited her; the two princesses stood there, barking orders from inside their temporary bodies. Derpy and Berry Punch sat behind them, chatting quietly amongst themselves. Unsure on what to do, Trixie went and stood next to the two civilians, feeling a tad bit uncomfortable being so close to royalty.
Celestia turned, noticing the new arrival. “Ah, so you’ve arrived. Trixie, I presume?” Trixie nodded. “It’s a pleasure to meet you. But we don’t have time for many pleasantries… we need this spell reversed as soon as possible.”
“Sister is right,” Luna agreed. “Let us explain to you how we’ll fix this…”
Derpy sighed. “But we were having fun with our new muffin powers…”
“We’ll have you sent a shipment of our finest pastries for your help,” Celestia stated. She turned to her own body. “We hope you don’t mind accepting nothing, Berry, but we believe that you draining out all the salt in the royal kitchen more than makes up for whatever we could give you.”
Berry Punch groaned, and Trixie found herself snickering. “Moving on…” Celestia said. “We analyzed Discord’s riddle for the cure to this ailment. He talked of everypony uniting as one, and that’s how we figured it out…” Celestia pointed a hoof over the crowd, pointing out the ponies clustered both within and outside the circle. “The Elements of Harmony are one of the strongest magical forces in the land, it’s magic almost unparalleled… but we can achieve a power close enough to reverse Discord’s trickery if we get everypony working together.
“Surely you’ve noticed the earth ponies and pegasi corralled in the center. Since they can’t channel their inner magic, the unicorns that surround them shall try and draw out this inner power. The unicorns have been instructed on how to do so, and they’ve been instructed to channel this magic to you three. Which is where you all come in…” Celestia’s expression hardened. “It’s up to you to set things right.”
Trixie’s eyes widened. “How are we three going to solve this?”
“Because, as of now, you three are the most powerful ponies in Canterlot,” Luna stated. “Since you’re in our bodies… and Trixie’s in Twilight Sparkle’s, a rather powerful student of ours… you three are the only ones that can handle all the magic that will be channeled. You’re to gather up all this raw power, and use it to swap everypony back to normal.”
Derpy raised a hoof, waving it wildly. “Yes, Derpy?” Celestia called.
“But how are we going to flip everypony back to normal, your highness?”
“I was getting to that. When the unicorns channel everypony’s magic to you, you’ll be able to see all these streams of magical essence. While we could have you manually put everything back to normal, we feel it’d be easier if you just put Twilight, my sister, and I back into our bodies. We’ll take over from there, making sure all is put back to normal.”
The three ponies nodded, the princesses smiling as they understood their directions. “We’ll show you how to handle this energy, and how to get us back into our bodies…” Luna began. “And then, we can get this show on the road.”
Quiet filled the air as all eyes focused on the stage. There the two princesses stood- with Derpy, Berry, and Trixie behind them -looking out over the crowd. Celestia raised a hoof, asking a question in a booming voice: “Is everypony ready?!”
The crowd cheered in response. Satisfied with the answer, the two princesses jumped off the stage and into the circle of ponies. “Then let’s begin!”
Trixie watched as the princesses blended into the crowd, listening as a silence fell over everypony. All the ponies in the circle closed their eyes, focusing. Trixie looked on in awe as the ring of unicorns surrounding them began to form a collective glow, gathering the magic of all the citizens of Canterlot. Trixie spotted a certain unicorn bookworm near the back of the crowd, her blue coat shining with the glow of magic. Trixie sighed, wondering exactly how things would go down after all was returned to normal. She still wasn’t even sure how she felt…
She felt a wing wrap around her, and she looked to see Derpy holding her in a comforting gesture. “Is everything okay? It’s almost time for us to go on… are ya hungry? Want a muffin?”
Trixie shook her head. “Thanks, but no. It’s just…” She looked out over the crowd, once again finding her eyes settled on the pony inhabiting her body.
“Someone you care for, eh?” Derpy said.
Trixie flinched. “Erm… kind of… well… ”
“Trixie… just doesn’t know. Trixie doesn‘t know how to feel…”
Derpy smiled. “We don’t know you, and you don’t know us, but let us tell you this… if you found out this pony cares for you, and you’re open to that, then what’s stopping you from returning the favor?”
Trixie blinked, pondering what the mare had just said. “That… makes a lot of sense.”
Derpy pulled her wing back, patting Trixie on the head. “Glad we could help. Now come…” Trixie gasped as she found herself getting lifted into the air, the other two mares rising as well. “Let’s get this over with.”
The three ponies rose into the sky, moving out over the crowd. They were high in the air, slowly gliding until they reached the center of the circle. All was silent for a moment as they hovered in place. And then, a burst of light hit them, enveloping them in a white glow.
Trixie opened her eyes. All around her was white, the glow interrupted in various places by streams of multicolored light. She looked to her sides, seeing Derpy and Berry floating alongside with her. Derpy winked at her. “Come on, we have a job to do.”
Derpy hovered towards the streams of lines, seeking a certain one. Soon enough, she found it: a long, glowing black line, floating horizontally in space. Derpy grasped it gently, pulling it back towards the others. She passed them, seeking out another line. Finding what she was looking for, she removed a gray line from its place and replaced it with the black one. She passed by the two others once more, whispering a message to Trixie: “Good luck.” Derpy replaced the gray line where the black one once was, and she was gone. A ball of light wrapped around her; a moment later, Luna‘s body hovered where the ball was, its occupant now the correct pony. Luna checked herself over, smiling happily.
“Ah, we are happy to be back where we belong,” Luna cooed. Spotting the other two mares, she waved. “That’s one down, my little ponies… come, come, let’s get my sister put back next.”
Luna joined Berry, the two mares picking out a golden line and replacing it with a dark-pink one. “I’m going to *hic* miss the free salts…” Berry sighed. And with that, she was gone; a glow surrounded her, depositing Celestia herself as it left.
Celestia spread out her wings, smiling. “It’s good to be back… now then.” She eyed Trixie. “Let’s get you settled, and then Twilight, Luna, and I shall work hard to fix everything. But first…”
“Huh? What’s first?” Trixie asked. The princesses said nothing as they hovered towards her. Trixie gasped as they placed their hooves on her head, a cloud falling over her mind. “What… are you doing…”
“We just wish to see something, and this orb around us allows us to,” Celestia stated. She rubbed her chin. “Ah, sister, it seems she knows about Twilight.”
Luna nodded. “Yes, Celestia, she does. But the question is, how does she feel herself?”
“What…” Trixie began… “What are… you talking about…”
“Nothing, my little pony,” Celestia assured. With that, the princesses let her go. “Come, let’s get you back into your rightful body.” Celestia turned to her sister, whispering something that sounded vaguely like ‘we’ll have to discuss this later’.
Dazed from whatever mind-reading trick the princesses had pulled, Trixie could only watch as the two alicorns each took hold of a light stream; Celestia held a glowing purple one, and Luna held a blue one. The princesses passed each other, the two lines bumping as they crossed. Trixie felt a jolt run through her as the lines bumped together, that strange longing in her chest returning. The princesses put the lines in the other’s location, and with that, Trixie felt her mind exiting the glowing bubble.
Trixie blinked. She looked down, eyeing her hooves… her BLUE hooves. A smile lit her face as she sighed contentedly; she was back in the right body.
She was also on the edge of the crowd. She looked up, seeing a glowing white ball hanging high over the heads of everypony. Within it sat the two princesses… and Twilight. Trixie felt that sensation in her chest again… and was surprised to realize that she still felt it, even in her normal body.
Before she could dwell on it, the glowing ball dissipated. What had taken minutes in the ball had taken mere milliseconds out in the real world, and the three ponies had already completed their task. The crowd made way for the three ponies to land as they slowly hovered back to the ground. They stood silent for a moment, smiling as their eyes opened up. The crowd went wild.
Ponies all around were stomping the ground, hugging their friends, and were overall glad to be back to normal. Trixie found herself applauding as well, watching as a familiar purple face leapt out of the crowd. Trixie gasped as Twilight ran to her, wrapping her arms around her in a fierce hug.
“You did amazing, Trixie,” Twilight praised, leaning back with a smile. Trixie looked at her face and bit her lip, that feeling dredging itself up from inside her body again.
“Thank you. And… you wished to speak to Trixie?”
A blush rose over Twilight’s face. “Oh… yes… well, I wanted to say…”
“Trixie saw how you felt.”
Twilight’s blush rose higher. “O-oh… u-uh… w-well…”
“Shush,” Trixie commanded, placing a hoof against her friend’s mouth. She leaned forward, until their noses were touching. “Trixie still isn’t sure how to feel about all this… but… she isn’t exactly opposed to what she saw.”
If it were possible, Twilight was blushing even harder. “I… well… really?”
“Really. Trixie must have been blind to not see how you felt, and she had to look into your very memories to realize it.” She looked deep into Twilight’s eyes, that feeling inside her stronger than ever. “Can you forgive her?”
“There’s nothing to forgive,” Twilight said, smiling. “I… should have been a little more open. Especially after what happened to you so long ago… I can see why you’d be a little less able to see what I was saying…”
“I suppose you’re ri- wait, what?” Trixie pulled back, breaking out of Twilight’s grasp. “What do you mean, ‘what happened to Trixie so long ago’?”
Twilight waved her hooves in front of her, motioning for her friend to calm down. “I-I meant that, well, seeing as you saw my memories, logic would state that I’d see a few of yours as well. Except, well, I didn’t-”
Trixie placed her head in her hooves, blocking out her friends chatter. Nonono nopony’s supposed to know… not even I think about it anymore… no… gotta go… “You had no right, Twilight, no right…” Trixie stood up, bolting away in the direction of Pegasus Plaza.
Twilight held a hoof out, pointing towards her friend. “No, wait, Trixie! Don’t go! I didn’t…”
“…see anything.” Twilight sighed as Trixie either ignored or didn’t hear her, bounding out of sight. But Trixie… I didn’t see your memories… only felt them. You’ve repressed them so hard, all I could see was how badly they’d affected you…
Twilight lowered her head, shutting her eyes. She sat there, wondering what to do next as she half-heartedly listened to snippets of Celestia speaking in the background… ’Tonight’s performances cancelled‘… ’Best guards we have are being sent out as we speak‘… ’Festival shall continue as scheduled‘… Twilight felt a hoof rest on her shoulder, turning to look into Applejack’s face.
“Howdy there, Twilight. Ya did a good job of gettin’ us back to normal.” Applejack gestured over her shoulder, pointing towards the rest of her friends. “Say, why the long face? What’s botherin’ ya? If anypony should be sad, it should be me…” Applejack joked, chuckling. “Ah already miss those wings.” Applejack leaned forward, whispering in Twilight’s ears: “Did Trixie do anything to ya?”
Twilight shook her head, watching as her friends surrounded her. “No, no, I’m fine…” Twilight wiped her nose with an arm. “Perfectly fine.”
“We truly wish we could believe you, darling,” Rarity said, “But you look far from okay. You can tell us, we won‘t judge.”
“Well… I had an argument with Trixie… somewhat.”
Pinkie Pie wrapped an arm around her. “That’s no reason to be all frowny, Twilight! Remember when she was a moody mare after that one show? She cheered up the next day; she’ll come around by tomorrow, at the latest!”
“Or not,” Rainbow Dash interjected. She grunted as Applejack roughly elbowed her in the side.
“Come on, Twilight, let’s get you home,” Pinkie stated. “I made so many treats today, and you’re all welcome to have some! Nothing like a perfect pastry and a glass of juice to cheer ya up! And if ya want, we can go see Trixie tomorrow.”
Twilight bit her lip, glancing back and forth. But… I can’t just let Trixie go off all upset like that… “You’re right, Pinkie. But before that… I have to make a stop.”
“Whatever you want, silly filly! C’mon, girls!” Pinkie let Twilight go and bounced away towards their house, the rest of Twilight’s friends following after her. Twilight waited until they were out of sight, before running off in the direction of Pegasus Plaza.
Trixie held the pillow over her head, blocking out all outside noise as she dealt with her innermost thoughts. Her feelings, romantic or not, for Twilight… having to be reminded of her past, and knowing that somepony else knew it now, too… and of course, snippets of her past itself were floating in her mind, thoughts she’d cut off very, very long ago.
She was so wrapped up in her thoughts, her ears covered by the pillow, she didn’t hear somepony knock at her door. Didn’t hear the shouting as somepony called for her to let them in. Didn’t hear the miserable sigh as the pony gave up and left, heading back home for the night.