by TDarkchylde

Past Mistakes

Shylight - Chapter Three - Past Mistakes

"Wait up, Applejack!" Pinkie Pie panted as her bouncing slowed to a series of delayed hops. "Time out! I gotta catch my breath!"

Applejack slowed her frantic gallop to a slow trot. "Ah told you... proteins," she gently mocked. "That there all-sugar diet ain't good for you."

"I get it, I get it. I'll order something with soybeans next time I'm eating out," Pinkie said. "Just wait up, please..."

"'Kay," Applejack said as she stopped. "We're here anyway." They'd arrived at the Carousel Boutique. The doors were locked.

"Sweetie Belle? You home?" Pinkie Pie called out as she knocked on the door.

There was no response.

"Dang it," Applejack said. "They must be at their lil' clubhouse. Let's hoof it!" She launched back into a swift gallop.

"This isn't fun anymore," Pinkie pouted as she tried to run after her friend.


"This is bad, Rarity," Spike said as he prepared to grab a tray with two glasses of tea on it. "Even if we get Zecora, Princess Celestia or anyone else here, the poor girl is traumatized! I doubt she'll let anypony near her..."

"She let you come close, though," Rarity said, trying to reassure the young dragon. "It's a start. We can build on it."

"I just don't know," Spike said sadly. "She's so much like Twilight and yet... I can't help thinking my Twilight is gone..."

Rarity's horn glowed as she grabbed the tray out of Spike's hands and levitated it to the counter. She then beckoned for him to come closer.

Spike ran over to Rarity and hugged her as all his emotions and tears just flowed out. They were like that for several minutes.

"There, there," Rarity finally said. "Princess Celestia will be here soon and hopefully Zecora won't be far behind. We'll get to the bottom of this. We'll get them back."

As if on cue, there was a knock on the door. A weak scream could be heard from upstairs.

Spike sniffled. "I should go keep Shylight company while you fill the Princess in on what we know." He grabbed the tray.

"Are you going to be okay?" Rarity asked as she walked to the door. "This whole thing isn't exactly easy on you either."

"I'm the only one she trusts right now," Spike said, sadly. "It has to be me..." He disappeared upstairs.

Rarity opened the door. "Ah, Princess Celestia," she said, bowing as she opened the door but not looking outside. "I'm glad you could come help us." She then looked up and froze.

It was Princess Luna. "Sorry to disappoint you, but I might have more of a clue about this than my sister," she said. "May I enter?"

"Ah... ah, of course Your Highness!" Rarity said as she practically stumbled over herself to back up. "Do come in!"

Luna waved to the two Royal Guards who brought her into Ponyville. "Please, maintain your watch but stay outside," she told them. "This is a very delicate situation and your presence inside may cause a disturbance."

"Yes, Princess," they said as they pulled the chariot aside the library, then took up positions near the door.

"Princess, Rainbow Dash may be bringing Zecora here," Rarity said. "You might want to let them know to let her approach without any problems. Applejack may also return with her little sister, who happens to be Zecora's apprentice."

"Did you hear that?" Luna asked the two guards. "If you see a blue pegasus traveling with a zebra, or two earth pony fillies, one wearing a hat, please do not bar them entry."

"Understood," the guards said as they stood watch.

"There," Luna said. "We should have all the privacy we need while we try to get to the bottom of this. Where's this little alicorn at?"

"Shylight's upstairs with Spike," Rarity said. "Before you go and see her, though, I should tell you what to expect..."


"Horseapples!" Dash cried as she ran toward the outer edge of the Everfree Forest. She had Zecora riding on her back, and a small, but very angry hydra giving chase.

"Run straight and true, Rainbow Dash!" Zecora cried. "I may be able to make this beast crash!" She grabbed a potion from her saddlebag with her teeth, and in one fluid motion, uncorked it and sent it flying at the hydra.

As the glass vial shattered against the creature's hide, a cloud of steam rose up into all eight of the creature's nostrils. It continued its pursuit.

"Uh, any time now, Zecora!" Dash shouted as she tried to keep them ahead of the creature. Her endurance was at its limit. She would have lasted much longer if she could have flown away.

"Just keep your eyes ahead!" Zecora shouted as she ducked her head underneath a low-hanging branch. "This creature's chase is at an end!"

Without warning, one of the hydra's heads began to attack the others. The confusion forced the creature to halt its chase. Then another head started attacking the others. Within seconds, all four of its heads were going after each other.

"I'm glad that worked, Zee..." Dash said as her pace slowed and she fought to catch her breath. "I hit the wall..."

"That's not it! Just keep running, Dash! Poison spores drift in from the grass!" Zecora said, trying to urge Dash on.

"Poison? Oh, no..." Dash said as she started to stumble and cough. "What do I do?"

"Just keep going, my friend. We're almost at the patch's end," Zecora said. She hopped off of Dash's back, hoping that lightening her load would let her go just a few extra steps.

Dash continued to run on as she and Zecora reached the end of the Everfree Forest. "I gotta stop for a sec," she panted. "That was too much..."

"Take a second to breathe, just make it brief," Zecora warned. "Time is short for your friends, indeed."

"Ugh," Dash spat. "I guess rest can wait for a few minutes." She struggled back to her hooves, then started running toward the Library.


Shylight was hiding in the upstairs closet, sipping her tea. "Th-thank you, Spike... You didn't have to do this for me," she timidly said.

"I'd do the same for any of my friends," Spike said. He was trying to keep his own emotions hidden.

"Spike? Shylight?" a voice called from downstairs. "It's Princess Luna. May I come upstairs?"

Shylight squeaked as her horn began to glow weakly. She started to become transparent.

"It's going to be okay, Shylight," Spike said as he held her gently. "Luna's a good friend of ours. She came to try to see what happened to you, but she has to take a look at you first, okay?"

"I... I..." Shylight tried to say, but she was too scared to speak. She nodded her head as she wished for the whole ordeal to be over.

"Come up, it's okay," Spike said at a normal tone of voice. He opened the door to the closet slightly so Princess Luna could find them. As Luna came closer, he called out to her. "Wasn't Princess Celestia supposed to come?"

"She will be by after sunset if she's still needed," Luna said softly. "I fear I may have an idea of what did this. Can you come out for a second so I can see you in the light, Shylight?"

"It's okay," Spike said as Shylight unconsciously tried to become invisible again.

"I'm scared," Shylight said almost silently.

"Please," Spike said. "Do it for me?"

Shylight squeaked as she got up and took a couple of steps into the light. She was indeed an alicorn, at least in the physical sense, though unlike the Princesses her horn was of a normal size. She had a coat that appeared to sit at a point in coloring between Fluttershy's yellow and Twilight Sparkle's lavender. Her eyes were the same way, an alluring cobalt blue. Her mane and tail were mostly pink, with an indigo stripe. While her mane was styled like Fluttershy's, her tail was a dead ringer for Twilight's. Even her cutie mark was a combination of the two, a single pink butterfly encircled by several small stars.

"Thank you, Shylight, I've seen what I needed to see," Luna said, smiling as she backed away.

Shylight sank back into the closet and became semi-invisible again.

"Spike, would you mind staying with Shylight while I talk with Rarity and send my sister a message?" Luna asked quietly.

Spike just nodded as he held the transparent Shylight.

Luna headed back downstairs. Just as she turned into the kitchen, there was knocking on the door. "It's definitely the spell I was thinking of," she said to Rarity who was opening the door. "I gave it to a zebra mage over a thousand years ago to help them grow hardier plants. I think his name was Sandstone..."

Zecora spoke up as she came in the door. "I know what caused this if Sandstone's involved. After you met him, his hate evolved."

"How do you mean, Zecora?" Rarity asked, puzzled.

"The book Twilight borrowed from my home, a curse was placed upon that tome" Zecora began. "Sandstone blamed your kind for his poisoned corn, so the curse twists the magic from a pony's horn. When Twilight used her transit spell, it trapped her in an imaginative hell."

"Wait... he cursed the book Twilight borrowed, and her spell triggered it?" Luna said, trying to understand. "Why? You mentioned poisoned corn, but the spell itself was harmless!"

"Indeed it was, but that's not the point," Zecora said. "His folly left the result spoiled. Yet instead of taking his rightful blame, his hatred grew instead of his shame."

"What did the spell do in the first place?" Rarity asked.

"It was a spell meant to combine two things and create a hybrid that had the best traits of both," Luna said. "A long time back, the zebra lands were struggling against a great drought. They came to us for help. I gave them the spell and an ear of corn... but Sandstone must have used the spell to combine the corn with a poisonous plant!"

"And he blamed ponies for it instead of himself, so when he wrote that book, he wove a curse into it that would trigger whenever unicorn magic was used near it..." Rarity said. "Zecora, why would you keep such a vile thing in your possession?"

"I honestly hoped the tale was a lie," Zecora said. "Obviously, the blame is mine. Through space, I told her not to blink, but in a panic, one does not think."

"We don't blame you, Zecora... we just need you to help figure out a way to fix it," Rainbow Dash said.

"That I shall do, but we must work fast - the time for reversal will not long last," Zecora said regretfully as she coughed.

"I'll help you, Zecora. You're obviously ill and this whole mess is my fault as well," Luna said. "I gave that spell to him in the first place."

Zecora and Luna walked together into the main part of the library as Rainbow Dash went upstairs to deliver the news.