(REMADE AND RE MASTERED CHAPTER ENJOY!)
The night was young and the air was clean as Luna's moon began its ascent over the Canterlot skyline. The capital city was beginning it's nightly routines and Luna's guard replaced Celestia's thus starting the night shift, the noise of the cities elite and common ponies began to die down as they all made way towards their homes, and all was silent, well not quite.
In the cover of night a lone unicorn moved through the gardens of Castle Canterlot, the pony moved slowly through the garden, making their way towards one of the many open windows that the guards left open to allow the Night princesses' bats free reign to come and go as they please. The unicorn jumped through the window, landing on her hooves and stepping into the dim light of the castle halls revealing the unicorn to be a filly, which looked as if she hadn't eaten in days, her eyes filled with sadness and hunger. The filly’s eyes scanned the hall and after making sure nopony saw her entry she began searching for her goal, the Kitchens.
At the other end of the castle that housed Celestia's quarters, light filtered from the goddess’s room revealing that the princess of the sun was still awake, Celestia had begun reading late at night as a way to calm herself and relax from the stress of royal life. But tonight she wasn’t reading a novel or exploring the world of fiction and adventure; she was simply sitting in her rooms study, trying to think of anything, anything at all that she could teach her faithful student, Twilight Sparkle.
The lavender mare was getting to the point where she had nothing left to learn from her teacher, and in the princesses mind Twilight was more than ready to step out on her own and prove herself. The unicorn was more than good enough to be promoted to the rank of Archmage but Celestia knew Twilight would deny the promotion, she loved Ponyville, and the friends she had made over the past two years, and Celestia had no intention of taking that away from her student. But how would the princess test her apprentice, without requiring her to move away from all that she loved? Magic was out of the question, since Twilight was the embodiment of magic itself and made almost any magical endeavor, save raising the sun, impossibly easy for the unicorn.
The unicorn filly was busy digging through the royal kitchen looking for anything that she could easily drag out with her and not be noticed by the night guard. The sound of hoof steps startled the child, causing her to rip a bag of flower and run to the nearest hiding spot. She tried her best to stay quiet as a unicorn guard passed by her hiding spot, stopping at the ripped flower bag and narrowing his eyes, he noticed the hoof prints that led to the pantry that the filly had hidden in and began moving towards it. The filly closed her eyes and began to pray that she wouldn’t be found; the guard opened the door and looked directly at the filly for a split second, then closed the pantry door and turned to leave the kitchen. The filly couldn’t believe her luck, and silently thanked whatever power had spared her as she stepped out of her hiding spot. But just when she thought she was in the clear a single can fell from its place.
Celestia had spent the past twenty minutes writing and rewriting her letter the Twilight Sparkle, she wanted to let her know that her time as a student was coming to an end, but each time she would sign the letter the princess would begin to tear up and smudge the ink. Celestia hated the idea of losing Twilight as her student; sure the two could share letters and see each other anytime Celestia so wished, but the sun goddess had found that she had grown attached to the unicorn in ways that she had never foreseen. Celestia was just about to start on a new letter when a large crashing sound interrupted her. She stood in shock, was the castle under attack? she had moved towards her door to find out what was causing the noise when the sound of yelling guards intensified, Celestia quickly ran out the door to investigate.
“STOP RIGHT THEIR CRIMINAL SCUM!” the unicorn guard shouted, he and his companion we’re running after a young filly who had managed to sneak onto castle grounds.
Celestia was tempted to intervene, but she remembered that she had promised her Captains that she would let the guards fix their own mistakes, or they’d never let her hear the end of it. She walked back into her room and picked up where she left off on her letter.
The filly was surprised at how easy it is to get out away from the guards, who were supposed to be the best service ponies Canterlot had to offer. She turned another corner and bumped right into a tall unicorn guard, he looked down on her with surprise and then annoyance. The guard stepped on her tail and waited for the two he had been chasing her.
The Two guards skidded to a grinding halt and salute at the unicorn who had managed to capture the child, he narrowed his eyes at them “You care to explain this to me Sargent Light brigade” he said pointing to the filly with his free hoof.
“Yes sir Captain Shining Armor sir!” the taller of the Two guards spoke, “This child managed to get into the kitchen and was caught stealing from the pantry.” He finished in a shaky voice.
The Captain continued to glare at them and levitated the filly and giving her to the Sergent, lifting his hoof off of her tail, He glared daggers into them “bring her to the Princess, I'm pretty sure she'd want to know why her peaceful sleep was disturbed and she'd know what to do with this one" he said looking at the filly "and then when your done with that go clean up the kitchen, I’m sure Soufflé would hate to see that his kitchen has been ruined because of a few guards incompetence.” He made an about face and trotted away shaking his head disappointed in his guards.
The guards looked at the now crying filly and then began their trek down to the Princesses room.
Celestia still hadn't finished her letter and was dosing off at her desk, not used to staying up late after Luna's return, she was just about to descend into the dream world when a Knock on her door roused her from her trance.
Celestia was met at her door by two of the Lunar guard, not Luna's personal body guards that had the distinct draconic eyes or bat wings, but normal Lunar Guard, who where carrying a lone filly in their magical clutches, Celestia recognized her as the same child that had caused the disturbance a few moments earlier. She had a gray coat with a beautiful blue mane that was unkempt and uncleaned, Celestia could tell that the child hadn't eaten in days.
Celestia looked back to the Sergent, "Light Brigade what brings you to my door this fine evening" she asked, eying the filly.
Your Highness, private Moonshine found her while on patrol in the royal pantry, we chased her half way across the castle before Captain Shinning Armor apprehended her, He said you'd decide what to do with her?" Light Brigade answered.
The Princess tried not to chuckle at the prospect of two of Equestria's finest chasing a child around the castle, she then looked at the child for a moment and then knew what to do.
"Go and rouse the chef to prepare a soup and have it delivered to my room. I'll take the child and decide what to do with her after she gets fed, after all a child should never be punished for being hungry." the princess commanded winking at the still frightened unicorn filly.
The two guards looked at each other and let out a held breath, they had expected to be punished more likely than not and relinquished the child to the princesses care and went to the kitchen to wake the chef.
Celestia giggled at the guards as they left, 'they must be new' she said in her head as she guided the filly into her room with a wing.
The young filly looked in amazement at the solar princesses room as Celestia wrapped the girl in a blanket and looked at her.
"Child what you did was very reckless I hope you know that" she scolded the filly, who's ears flattened back in fear, Celestia noticed this and sighed "I understand that you are hungry little one, and I know what that is like, do not fret you are in no trouble, could you tell me your name?" the princess' voice was gentle and soothing; she didn't want to scare the child even more.
The filly was silent for a few seconds but then she finally answered. "I... I'm Stardust."
Celestia smiled. "Stardust is a beautiful name." She noticed how her comment had made the filly perk up a bit. After a few more questions and answers the soup finally arrived and Celestia noticed the chef had added in crackers and a sandwich. he must have been informed of the filly's condition by the guards, Celestia thought nodding to Stardust to indicate that she could eat as much as she wanted.
the filly dug into her food eating it ravenously while Celestia thought about what she should do with the child. I can't punish her for wanting to eat, and I can't keep her here, royal life would prevent me from teaching and caring for her, so what should I... Celestia's thoughts trailed off and she smiled.
She pulled out a quill and scroll and began to write to her student Twilight Sparkle, she had finally figured out what she was going to say to her faithful student. Stardust had finished eating and had fallen asleep by the time Celestia sent the letter away, and the sun princess turned to her and smiled.Tomorrow will be a busy day for you, my little pony. Celestia chuckled in her mind, walking to her bed and entering the world of dreams with the filly.
Down the mountain and through the forest lay the sleeping town of Ponyville, the only lights apparent was that of the library that Twilight Sparkle called home,
Twilight Sparkle was sitting in her room trying to figure out the spell she was finally about to perfect, the art of invisibility, when a loud burp interrupted her concentration, the spell backfired and launched Twilight back into a bookshelf, she stood up and shook her head an angry expression on present on face, Twilight looked at the disturbance, Spike the dragon, whom she was about to scold for interrupting her spell when he rudely threw a scroll at her and went back up to his bed to sleep.
Twilight sighed, she'd let Spike get off easy this time, opening the letter and began to read it to herself.
My dearest, most faithful student, Twilight Sparkle,
It has come to my attention that their is nothing left to teach you about magic or friendship, and that you have become a much wiser pony than I ever could have hoped. You have passed all the trials that have been thrown your way and for that I am sincerely proud of you, It is now my duty as your princess and your teacher to move you up into the ranks of the Magi, do not worry you won't have to leave Ponyville, since they are in need of a Magi anyway, You will be given all the rights and privileges of a mage, being able to order level 4 and 5 ranked spell tomes and books for your use and study, you will also be able to teach a student.
That brings me to the next topic of discussion, Earlier tonight a little filly named Stardust was caught sneaking into the castle,trying to steal food from the royal kitchen. She is in my room sleeping at the moment after a good meal from the kitchen. She requires the a guardian, a mentor, and a friend and I am afraid that I cannot fulfill the role because of my duties to Equestria, and Luna is still too culture shocked to help at all.
I am sending Stardust to Ponyville to be put under your care. I know this is all shocking to you Twilight, but she is young and needs the power of friendship more than ever. I have full faith that you will be able to take this young unicorn under your wing and allow her to shine. She will arrive by chariot in the morning.
Your mentor Friend,
P.S. Tell Spike I'm sorry for the late letter
P.P.S. Also, tell Pinkie Pie not to throw Stardust a party, she is still to fragile and shy for such things.
Twilight's mouth was agape and her face was strewn with shock. Celestia not only said she was no longer a student, she also was sending Twilight a student to teach the ways of friendship! Twilight had no idea what to do, how would she teach her? how would Spike react? these thoughts raced through Twilight's mind before she managed to get to sleep, and had nightmares about the days to come.
The next morning Twilight called her friends to the library to explain what had transpired that night. As soon as she finished telling them about Stardust and her elevated rank as Magi, Pinkie began drawing up party plans.
"Ok, I will need balloons and food and mmmph!" Pinkie was cut off by Rainbow Dash putting a hoof in her mouth.
"Didn't you listen to Twilight? Princess Celestia said not to throw her a party!" Rainbow Dash shouted at her pink friend
Pinkie Pie frowned. "N..no party?" she looked down sad at the prospect of not being able to throw a party for a new pony.
"Ah know you want to throw a party for this youngin, Pinkie, but we need to let her set in and get comfortable with the folks of Ponyville first, Maybe you can throw her a party when she's been here for a few days?" Applejack suggested with a smile.
Pinkie Pie seemed to cheer up at her friend's. suggestion. "Okie dokie lokie!" She jumped up and down with a smile.
Spike ran into the room, a big smile plastered on his face. "She's here!" He shouted. He was more excited about Stardust than anypony else in the building; he enjoyed the aspect of having somepony to help around the Library.
All of them rushed outside of the library, the carriage landing. There stood princess Celestia, with a little filly cowering under her wing. Celestia looked at Twilight and smiled.
"Hello, my faithful student, oh wait silly me, Hello Magi Sparkle," Celestia said with a smile and a wink at Twilight, who blushed, she looked down at the child hiding behind her. "Come on out, Stardust, we are here, their is nothing to be afraid of these ponies will be good to you." she spoke in the same calming tone she was known for having.
Stardust hesitated, but she trusted Celestia and came out from behind the sun princess. She looked around the place that she was going to be living at. It was as beautiful as Celestia had described, bringing a smile to Stardust's face.
Celestia allowed Stardust to leave the carriage before turning back to Twilight. "I would stay and catch up, but I have an important meeting to attend with the Ambassador of the Griffin Empire today." She then looked to Stardust and knelled down to be at eye level with the little unicorn. "That's Twilight Sparkle, the unicorn I told you about. You're in good hooves little one, she will keep you safe and teach you a great many things, you like I promised." She smiled.
Stardust hugged Celestia and whispered a thank you to the princess. Twilight had never seen anypony who could become so close to the sun princess in such a short time. What Celestia and Stardust had wasn't a teacher/student relationship like the one Twilight had with the princess, but it was more like a friend saying goodbye to a friend.
With her goodbyes settled and a cupcake from Pinkie Pie, Celestia waved goodbye to the town of Ponyville and took off back towards Canterlot.
Twilight let out a breath as she tried not to let her nervousness show, "Hello Stardust, I'm Twilight Sparkle and it seems like you're going to be living with me from now on. This is Spike, he's my number one assistant."
Stardust looked at the baby dragon with a sense of wonder. She had never seen a dragon before, and she ran over and hugged him. "You're so cute!" she exclaimed, while Spike just blushed.
Twilight chuckled at the scene, Stardust was going to do just fine here.
Applejack laughed, which startled Stardust as she let go of Spike and hid behind Twilight, returning to her meek personality.
Applejack frowned "Oh, I'm sorry Stardust, where are my manners? ahm Applejack." She grinned as she tipped her stetson, but Stardust just looked at her, her eyes showing a little fear. Applejack sighed "Yer just like a certain shy pony Ah know. Ah run Sweet Apple Acres. If you want an apple, you can just come by with Twilight and a'll get you one. Ask anypony here, and they'll say we have the best apples in Equestria." she bragged with a smile.
Stardust ears perked up at this. "Really?" She asked her stomach overriding her fear and shyness.
Applejack chuckled. "Really." She said, which made the filly smile.
Stardust was introduced to the others, and she liked all of them immediately. Well, except Rainbow Dash, who was incredibly loud with her introduction, which ended up making Stardust look almost as scared as Fluttershy when they had to get that dragon to leave. After the introductions, Twilight said her goodbyes and took Stardust in order to settle her into her new home.
Twilight led Stardust into the Library, and gave her the grand tour. Unlike most other ponies that came to the library, Stardust looked around with great interest and awe. She was asking questions and listening to everything Twilight told her.
Twilight already knew that Stardust would make a great student, and couldn't wait to teach her about magic, but she needed to know more about the filly first. She looked at her new apprentice with a smile.
"Well, that was the tour." Twilight said. "How about we go get some lunch, and then we can decide what you'll be learning, maybe you can tell me more about yourself on the way." She offered.
Stardust smiled at the idea of getting lunch, but had to ask Twilight something first. "If you're teaching me, then why do I get to decide what I learn? Isn't that your job as a teacher, even I know that"
Twilight chuckled. "Maybe I should have clarified, I'm going to see what kind of magic your best at and ask you questions, so I can decide what you like and how to teach you, and once we figure that out you can decide what field of expertise you want to start studying." She explained.
Stardust nodded at her. "Oh OK." She said, with a shy smile at her new teacher.
Twilight walked towards the door and looked at Stardust. "Let's go eat. On the way there I can show you around Ponyville."
Stardust's smile widened and she raced towards the door to see the town she would live in.