Everything was ready.
The guests had all arrived, the decorations were in place and the royal courtyard was immaculate. There was no turning back now. With her dress ready and the whole of Equestria waiting, backing out was no longer an option. Rainbow Dash was an hour away from becoming the Princess of Equestria.
She was alone in her royal make up chamber, in front of the mirror with her face being the only reflection, the lonely mirror. She was not a fan of the make up stuff and that girly princess dress was grinning at her with incredible smugness. There was no way she was going to wear that, not in a million years. So she settled for a more assertive look.
She had golden horseshoes that covered most of her hoof and were encrusted with small gems that reflected a circle of divine colour around her hooves whenever she took a step. Her wings had decorated armor sleeves, as light as the air but as strong as deepest crust of the earth. Lastly, her element hung around her neck, proud and strong. Looking back at the dress, Rainbow could see that the smugness had disappeared, replaced with a feeling of inferiority.
In what would be her last rebellious act before princess-hood, she used her fairly recent magic and placed the dress exactly where it belonged, the trash can. It was a little difficult for Rainbow to accomplish that, she was still struggling with her magic. Thinking about her new horn brought memories of the day when she was told of her destiny as she stared at the lonely mirror, it started like any normal day but that day was as far away from normal as it could get.
“Wha…what did you just say?”
Twilights library was colder than usually, cold brought by the heavy news of Princess Celestia with Rainbow's five close friends beside her. Each one of them were shocked by the decision and a slight glint of jealously could been seen in the corners of a certain unicorns eye.
Princess Celestia smiled and repeated “You, Rainbow Dash, are the new princess”. Rainbow was still having trouble deciphering what was said to her, was she really the right material for a princess?
Princess Celestia retained her regal persona “We must leave immediately to begin the Alicorn change” she said calmly “I will leave you alone for a while with your friends” and with that, she left the girls to themselves.
After a few long seconds of silence, Rainbow decided that it was her job to break the silence. After opening her mouth for a split moment of a second, the sound of a pink mares Party Cannon stole the show.
“DASHIE CONGRATULATIONS!!” screamed Pinkie Pie, her scream was so load that the dragons atop their mountains miles away were woken up.
“WE GOTTA HAVE A HUMONGOUS PARTY FOR YOU DASHIE! WE'LL INVITE EVERYPONY IN TOWN AND-”. Pinkie’s ecstatic behavior stopped when she the faces of her friends were confused than exited.
“I don’t understand…?”
Applejack knew she had to let Pinkie down, gently of course.
“Ya see Pinks, while this is a huge achievement for Dash, we need to think about the changes that could happen.”
Pinkie lips were quivering at what she meant “What changes?”
Finding the right words was more difficult than Applejack thought, “Well…urm…Dash has a big responsibility now…do you really think she can do it here?” Realization was a storm cloud on Pinkies head, “You mean…she has to go away?” Applejack simply nodded.
It was the time where everything was in the air. How they reacted could spell doom for their friendship forever but everyone of them had to show their feelings.
Fluttershy was the first to go as she pulled Rainbow into a tight hug which Rainbow gladly returned.
As they separated, Fluttershy looked Rainbow in the eye, “Promise you’ll never forget us?” Rainbow smiled, “Not a chance”. Rainbow looked outside where her carriage was waiting for her and decided to move the goodbyes outside.
When they walked outside, Rainbow was surrounded in a semi-circle of her friends each one of them hugged and cried for her. However, when Twilight’s turn came to see her friend off, the mood turned poisonous.
“Twilight, whats up with you?” Rainbow Dash asked “You've been quiet all this time”.
Twilight’s eyes could pierce rock, “You know what Rainbow? I’m quiet because I am so angry that I have worked my entire life to become something like a Princess and you just get given it for free!”
The entire circle of ponies had their eyes wide and their mouths dropped. They were shocked with Twilights sudden erupt of selfish behaviour, and at such a difficult time as this.
“Twilight!” said Rarity “How dare you behave like this! This is a difficult situation as it is without you acting up!”
Rainbow had a look of worry on her face. The last thing she wanted was a fight to break out. “Twilight, please understand.“ said Rainbow calmly to not provoke the mood “This was not something I intended to happen.”
This sentence was suppose to calm Twilight down but what it did was end her over the edge.
“But I intended it to happen for ME!” her screams made the ponies around her tilt their ears in pain. “I was the one who filled my head with books upon books about magic! I was the one who practiced until my horn cracked! This was my DESTINY!”
The Equestria shaking scream from Princess Celestia caused the sky to darken if only for a moment and also stopped Twilight, now a frightened foul. Celestia turned to Rainbow and gestured her to get on the carriage, she walked on with her head hung low, like she was asked to walk up to a Guillotine. It was not becoming a princess that upset her, it was what becoming a princess did to her old life.
Rainbow sulked in front of the lonely make up mirror, her glorious outfit was now a reminder of what being a princess could do to her friends. She hasn't spoken to Twilight since. Rainbow was gliding through her recent memories, the ironic thing was that ponies she had not met or knew little about were thrilled with her becoming princess but the ones she cared for deeply were the ones that ended up hurt.
And Twilight was not even the worst of it.
Two days after going with Celestia, she had returned to Ponyville to collect her stuff. Being turned into an Alicorn did not feel strange at the time. It felt like the start of a new life, as if her life up till that point was covered by a layer of wool and clay. Her physical appearance had changed as well, she was slightly taller; her hair was longer and slightly more kept; here horn was longer than the average unicorn with a huge amount of power coursing through it even without using magic.
Some of the guards assigned to her were more than glad to help her move to her new castle in Canterlot and luckily they managed to come to Rainbows house without drawing attention. However nothing can stop the unexpected.
A orange filly was galloping as fast as she could to see her idol but froze when she saw two royal guards carrying boxes of items.
“Wait a minute?” questioned the little filly, “Those are Rainbow Dash’s things where do you think you’re taking them!?”
The royal guards looked at each other. They knew about this little filly and they knew what she thought of Rainbow Dash.
“You see Scootaloo, the thing is that-”
Scootaloo did not let him even finish before becoming impatient, “You shouldn’t even be touching that stuff, did Rainbow give you permission?”
“Well yes,” said one of the guards “Royalty can’t stay in Ponyville.”
Scootaloo could only let out a whimpering, quiet moan.
The guard put his hoof on the filly’s shoulder, “Yeah, its decided, the new princess has been chosen Scootaloo.”
Scootaloo tried to form words but the shock became a wall in her head. She bowed her head and muttered something under her breath just barely audible.
“Pardon?” questioned the guard.
“No, no way, its too soon for a new princess!”
“RAINBOW DASH MEANT EVERYTHING TO PONYVILLE!” Scootaoo’s scream caused birds from miles away flee their nests, “and to me…”.
Just then the presence of another could be sensed and Scootloo looked behind her to see the new princess appear.
“I’m sorry Squirt but this is out of my control.”
Rainbow wanted this to work, if she upset up Scootaloo because of this she would never forgive herself. Scootaloo just looked at the ground for a few seconds before looking up with her eyes barely visable past her low hanging mane.
“Rainbow…why don’t you do what’s best for you.”
The acid tripping of the end of that sentence burned Rainbow to her core, it hurt her more than any blade ever could.
“Just forget it alright!” Scootaloo pushed past her used-to-be adopted sister, leaving a trail of tears.
“There’s no room for anypony else in Rainbow’s world.”
Rainbow remembered the look of sadness of Scootaloo’s face, and what made her feel even worse was that she was the one that did it to her.
Rainbow was alone with her thoughts in the empty make up room, with the rest of Equestria ready and she had only one thought. Is it worth it?
This princess stuff has brought nothing but anger to everyone around me, ponies that have stuck by me since the beginning are turning on me…is it worth it?
A flicker of light reflected from the lonely mirror onto her eye. The lonely mirror had revealed the darkest desire of Rainbow, an open window, an escape, she could leave if she wanted to. The opportunity was right there in front of her and for only a second it seemed like the best choice.
“Don’t do it Dash”.
Rainbow could tell who the rough, gritty voice belonged to within the minute but it was surprising to see her here.
“Gilda!? What are you doing back here!”
Gilda was extremely relaxed, considering that she is currently trespassing on royal territory which is punishable by a five year incarceration minimal.
“I know we haven’t got along great recently but I’m not gonna miss this, you were my best friend after all.”
Rainbow knew she was right, though she would never want to admit it.
“Anyway Dash I can tell somethings up, since you are about ten minutes from stepping out that door to become a princess and none of your friends are here.”
“Just shut up alright!”
Gilda knew she crossed a line. “I’m sorry, I haven’t earned the right.”
Rainbow simply stared into the lonely mirror, happy with the addition of Gilda’s reflection.
“You see Dash, I know about the stuff that’s happened to you, word travels fast, but if you leave now that won’t make anything any easier, you’ll just hurt them more.”
“Then what should I do Gilda?”
“I can’t answer that,” Gilda sighed “You need to know what to do by yourself.”
The click of the door opening broke the staring contest between Rainbow and the lonely mirror and Rainbow could hardly believe her eyes with who was there. All of friends came in and congratulated her with hugs and hoof bumps.
Rainbow counted her friends.
But before Rainbow could even say a word, Applejack butted in.
“We have one last present to give and I think she has something she wants to say.”
Applejack stepped aside to reveal Twilight Sparkle, smiling and bright eyed.
Rainbow did not know how to react. She could try apologizing again but would that make her angry again? Or maybe she should talk about the implications?
Twilight answered her questions with an honest hug.
“I’m so sorry for what I did Rainbow, I did not know what came over me I just…it doesn’t matter, what matters is that I’m happy for you and I want to be standing beside you when that crown goes on your head.”
Rainbow could feel her eyes well up. For the past few days she was worried sick about what to do and now they can finally start being friends again, and there’s room for Gilda too.
“You guys will really stick with me?”
Twilight brought Rainbow to the lonely mirror.
“Your friends, will stick by you till whatever end meets us.”
The reflection of all of the ponies in the room circled Rainbow in a gathering of companionship. The lonely mirror was not so lonely anymore.
As Rainbow witnessed the relationships she had made over her life surrounding her. Some that she had known forever, some that were given new life and some that were ready to begin again, only one thing was left.
“Five minutes,” said Rarity “Its time to go.”
The courtyard was arranged into a path made out of the finest, golden silk that Equestria could offer. Hundreds of ponies were on either side, ready to hurl their confetti at the new princess. At the end of the path was a pedestal and atop it were the three current princesses of the land, dressed in clothes that only the royal could possess.
A simple glow of Celestia’s horn managed to capture the attention of the hundreds of ponies in the courtyard and silence the thousands of ponies around Canterlot, eagerly awaiting the new royal blood.
“Welcome all, to the coronation of the fourth princess of Equestria!” Though Celestia was not necessarily shouting, her magic amplified her voice so that everypony can hear her without yelling.
“As many of you know, Rainbow Dash has saved Equestria three times, she graduated the Wonderbolt Academy with praise for her leadership skills. It is for these reasons that we three princesses decided on Rainbow to be the new leader, and so without further wait, welcome Rainbow Dash!”
Rainbow turned round the hedge and walked up the golden silk pathway, her friends close at either side. Cheers and songs could be heard as Rainbow came closer to the pedestal. Rainbow also heard a wolf whistle!
Rainbow would not deny it. Having all these ponies cheer and praise her did feel nice for her ego, but the absence of an certain orange filly made the all the praise she got feel empty.
Rainbow reached the pedestal and waited for the crowd to silence. Celestia was about to officially crown Rainbow.
“Mares and Gentlecolts, friends of all, you have been gathered here to bare witness to the coronation of Rainbow Dash, daughter of Rainbow Spectrum!”
A very passionate cheer could be heard from Rainbow’s father, dressed with a RD cap, Rainbow cape and a “RD #1” foam finger.
Celestia giggled as she continued her speech.
“Do the rest of the Bearers of Harmony have anything to say?”
Twilight turned round and faced the crowd.
“For as long as I have known Rainbow Dash, she has been a loyal friend that would drop the most important things in her life if one of her friends needed her. Some call her egotistical and obnoxious but to that I say your wrong. Rainbow might blow her own trumpet but that’s only because she knows that she can defeat any opponent, complete any challenge and climb any obstacle. She does not boast to show she is better than others, she boasts to improve herself.”
The crowd was silent, completely absorbed into Twilights speech.
“I can think of no other pony, myself included, that possesses such a natural charisma and potential for a leader. She is a leader…with a heart that loves all and a gut that won’t quit!”
The cheers erupted and turned into a tsunami of positive sound.
Celestia simply raised her hoof and the crowd fell silent once again.
“Now Rainbow, do you accept your place as princess of Equestria?”
The answer was obvious. Rainbow was more sure about her decision than anything else in her life, however there was still something left to do.
The entire crowd unified in a giant gasp, talk and whispers could be heard about what was going on, like chattering school foals whispering about rumors. Luna was having none of it.
“You insolent little-”
Celestia raised her hoof and gestured her sister to quiet down. Even though Luna was too proud to simply shut up when her sister commands it, she knew that blowing this out of proportion could make everything worse. With thought in mind, she un-gritted her teeth and reformed her regal posture, not entirely sincerely.
Celestia turned to Rainbow with a gentle smile, she had a faint idea of what she wanted.
“Name your condition Rainbow.”
Rainbow turned to face the crowd, all of which were leaning in to listen to her. The anticipation was palpable.
“My friends have stood by me through thick and thin. Everything that we went through, we went through together. However there is one pony that, for long time, I have pushed to the side when she was nothing but nice to me. She is the foul that never lost faith in me.”
The crowd were listening intently. The sound of a pin drop could be heard for miles.
“So I will become princess but the condition is…”
The crowd couldn’t take it. Who was this foal and what did she have to do with the condition?
“Scootaloo lives with me!”
The crowd chattered about gossiped about who this Scootaloo could be, until a little orange ball squiggled her way past the crowds and was standing right in the centre of the golden silk path.
“Well Scoots…” Rainbow held out her wings “What do you say?”
Scootaloo’s slowly took a few steps forward. Then in a sudden outburst of joy, became a speeding orange bullet right into the wings of her adopted sister.
Rainbow could feel her wings getting soaked in happy tears and she thought how little she cared.
Celestia smiled, she knew that there was something between those two.
“The condition is accepted, from now on Rainbow Dash, you stand princess!”
The cheers could create waves of sound powerful enough to know roof tiles and the stomping of hooves created a mild earthquake. The sky rained hats, flowers and confetti which became a blanket of colour.
In amidst all of the commotion, Rainbow turned to Scootaloo who still had tears in her eyes.
“Are you ok with this? You will need to move to the palace ya’know?”
Scootaloo jumped onto her sister with the widest smile she could offer.
“As long as I’m with you, I don’t care if we live under a rock.”
The festivities were over and the courtyard cleaned. The guests were sent home and the royals now retired to the palace.
“Excuse me Rainbow,” said Princess Celestia “Could you come with me please? There is still one thing we need to show you.”
Rainbow sent Scootaloo into her room and followed the three princesses onto a balcony, far above Equestria where all its beauty could shine. It was night now and the little pigments of lights in houses reflected the sky and its stars. It was a sky on world.
Celestia was in front of Rainbow with Cadence and Luna at her sides.
"Our time in this world has ended." Said Celestia "It is time for us to retire and become one with the world around us."
Cadence pointed to the glorious sight of life below Canterlot’s castle.
“All those ponies are part of me just as I am apart of them, let you be a princess that that shines to all as a princess to be looked up to and admired.”
When the sentence left her lips, the cells of her body separated in a spectacle of pink and purple magic. The magic dust left behind got caught on the wind a flowed north to the Crystal Empire.
Rainbow turned to Luna, not in the slightest shocked by the image she just witnessed.
“The ponies of this land will look to you to be the one to help them through troubled times. Do not let the hopes of these ponies decay or degrade but show use that hope to keep them content when evil seems to surround them.”
Luna too became magic cells except with blue and white. The wind brought her up into the full blue moon, to watch her beloved land forever more.
Rainbow looked up to Celestia and awaited her last command as princess.
“The ponies of Equestria, love them and cherish them because its from among them, you will choose to succeed you when your time has come. As of this moment, you…are the light of this world.”
Celestia finally let go of herself and flouted among the winds, as her magic seeped into the ground, becoming one with Equestria itself.
Rainbow now left alone on the balcony, began to create her own promise to the world.
As long as there is a pony in this world that will put their friends ahead of themselves then I shall continue to protect them with everything I have. This is the promise of the princess.
She let her horn glow and released a magic spike into the sky. The spike separated into a web of limitless color, becoming an Aurora Borealis.
The Aurora spread and divided across all of Equestria, connecting every single pony that lives their life to each other in a intricate system of compassion and unity.
Equestria lived on, with Rainbow as its grand protector.