“So you didn’t send for me because I was tardy?”
I shook my head, “Of course I didn’t.”
I walked around the desk and sat back down. This was too much to process all at once. I couldn’t just take that guy’s word, could I? For all I knew he could be some sinister villain and I an unknowing accomplice. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that if he had been a villain he would have spent more time trying to convince me. Maybe be less rude and more charismatic?
Also, I couldn’t imagine anything in Equestria powerful enough to stop time. If he could do that why not just take on Celestia and skip the convoluted plan?
Twilight visibly relaxed and scooted closer to the desk. “That’s a relief. I realized I hadn’t sent my weekly letter on the train and I actually managed to convince myself that I was about to get sent back magic kindergarten.”
I chuckled, “Well, I’m glad we could get that misunderstanding out of the way.”
My expression turned neutral as I went back to considering my options. I obviously couldn’t tell Twilight what was going on or the same thing would happen again, wouldn’t it? But maybe that’s exactly what I wanted, if it was that easy to call his ass over here than maybe I should and drill him for more information.
It turned out that time had frozen the moment I’d tried to refer to Celestia in the third person. I’m kinda glad it did. All that stuff that came tumbling out of my mouth, it was embarrassing.
Just like before Twilight seemed to go rigid and I tried to look over at the door, but, I couldn’t. My entire body had locked into place and the only things I could move were my eyes. I couldn’t even draw breath. Then after a few frenzied moments.
I sighed and it was pure relief to feel the air going in and out of my lungs again. What I needed was more time to think this over. “Would you care for some tea?”
Twilight nodded her approval and servants were called. It turned out that Twilight hadn’t eaten yet today so we also arranged for something to be brought up from the kitchen. I couldn’t help smiling as I watched her eating, she really was cute, but of course she was. But I supposed she was cute even among other ponies.
I didn’t think I could go the amnesia route but then again there was partial amnesia wasn’t there? But if the real Celestia had gotten partial amnesia I’m pretty sure she would have told someone by this point. It wasn’t as if I could just let things go though. I needed to tell them something to explain why I couldn’t do magic and… Just as importantly, why I was suddenly an incompetent politician. Princess Celestia lead her ponies into a thousand year long golden age. Even if I chose to believe this world was made from scratch there was still a legacy I was going to have to live up to. Surely they’d notice something was wrong eventually. I might have ad-libbed my way through today without completely screwing everything up, but for all I knew there were already rumors going around.
When Twilight finished eating she wiped her mouth with a napkin and look up at me expectantly. “So if that wasn’t the reason Princess Luna summoned me here, what was?”
My gaze shifted uneasily around the room. “Something rather difficult to explain happened when I woke up this morning.” I waited half expecting time to freeze again, it didn’t. So I could say at least that much. “But, I really think we should wait for Luna before I say anything more about it.”
I supposed that was the most I could do to buy more time for myself. Somehow I got the feeling that Luna might buy a story about a mental break down causing partial amnesia after the little show I put on for her. If I had her backing me up it might be more believable.
I took a sip of tea. It was chamomile with blueberries, very relaxing. I needed that.
She looked away and scuffled nervously for a moment. “This wouldn’t happen to have anything to do with your magic, would it?”
“Um.. What makes you think that?”
She cocked her head to one side looking thoughtful, “It’s just, I’ve never seen you drink your tea like an earth pony before… and, well, you practically raised me so...”
My jaw dropped.
“Also, a lot of ponies on the train were talking about the sun coming up late today.”
My jaw had already dropped so I kind of just left it there. I really shouldn’t have been surprised about the second one though, the sun comes up twenty minutes late and ponies are bound to notice something’s off.
“Are ponies… upset about that?”
Her expression straightened, “Not for the most part, mostly they just seemed confused. But there was one stallion here in Canterlot who was late for work… He seemed to think I could pass on a complaint to you.”
“What was the complaint?”
She blushed, “I’d rather not say.”
Well, that was wonderful. I had a perfectly valid excuse too, I couldn’t tell ponies about it, but it existed. I’d seen Celestia’s bedroom too. No alarm clock in sight. But who am I kidding? Had there been an alarm clock I would have just been in there dazed, confused, and alone. Maybe it was better in the long run that Luna had woken me up.
Her eyes widened, “So it really is your magic? It’s not completely gone, is it?”
I thought about that for a moment. I could feel something, it was almost like my horn could pick up threads of magical energy in the room. If I moved my head it almost felt like my horn was catching on spiders webs. Not to mention the fact that my horn seemed to be faintly buzzing with energy.
I shook my head, “It’s not gone, I just can’t seem to remember how to use it.”
She suddenly jumped up, both fore-hooves planted firmly on the desk. Her face split into a wide grin, “That’s great!”
I deadpanned, “You’re really choked up about this.”
She blushed again her grin turning awkward before she returned to her seat on the floor. It didn’t take her long to recover. She straightened back up and her smiling face returned full force, “Don’t worry, Princess. I have contingency plans for everything.”
She pulled a check list from the void. So was this only weird when Pinkie Pie did it or…?
“So,” Twilight began, “Do you feel your difficulty with magic stems from a problem with thaumic manipulation or is it simple spell casting?”
“I suppose it’s both.”
She grabbed a quill and ink pot from the desk in her magic and began scribbling.
“Twilight, can I see that list for a second?” She passed it over to me and I smoothed it out on the desk top being careful of the wet ink. My eyes honed in on the title. Princess Celestia goes senile. Okay, that was mean.
“You really planned for me going senile?”
“Well, you are over a thousand years old.”
I’m not though. I really wished I could say that. Instead, I looked back down at the list. “The first check point is scream and panic.”
She took the list back, “I can do that one later if it would make you feel more comfortable.”
Then after a moment of thought she said, “Wait, how did you teleport earlier?”
I thought about that for a moment, “I was trying to lift my tea cup.”
“This is more serious than I thought,” she went back to scribbling. After several moments of that she got to her hooves. She beamed at me, “Time for some practice.”