Friendship Still is Magic

by ultronquake

Eyes on the Horizon

True to her word, Luna and Celestia we clear of the Everfree in thirty minuets, effortlessly swimming through the river, speedily galloping past the monsters and their vertical ascent of the cliff face would put even the fastest of the Wonderbolts to shame. As the two alicorns stood at the boundary catching their breath and waiting for the others, a conversation started.

"Just like old times, huh sister?" said Luna.

"Yes just like the old times," Celestia harbored a nostalgic smile. "Back then, things weren't so complicated. It was just us two, if we wanted to go off and fight monsters there was nothing to stop us, if we wanted to go exploring we'd go and find whole new civilizations."

"Celly?" Luna said addressing her sister with her pet name.

"Yes Luna?"

"I'm trying to figure out why i look like this, i know a second chance at youth is something all ponies strive for, but-" She was looking down at her hooves again.

"I could not say for certain, but i would guess that the parasite was feeding off of your life energy when i imprisoned you, I mean Nightmare Moon." Celestia double backed, trying not to pour salt in the still fresh wound.

Luna sighed, "It's alright sister, if i had been stronger then none of this would have ever happened."

Celestia vigorously shook her head, "No the fault is mine, i let our relationship get so rough that i didn't pay any attention to you until it was too late. From now on if anything is bothering either of us, let us talk to each other, I wish for our friendship to last as long as we walk this earth."

"Speaking of friends, the ponies who freed me. They wielded the Elements of Harmony in a new way, i could feel the magic healing my body. I think maybe it was coming from their leader, who is she?" asked Luna.

Celestia beamed with pride, "That my dear sister was Twilight Sparkle, my personal apprentice."

"Really? It was some stroke of luck that she was the one to free us then," said Luna.

"Actually i knew it she would be the one to save us all along," Luna looked up at her sister with a puzzled expression. "One night, arround a month before now i had a strange vision. In it i saw Twilight and five others wielding the elements,"

"The ponies she had with her you mean?" asked Luna.

Celestia thought, "That's just it, i have no idea who most of these are. I spent hours looking through census data trying to find the ponies in my vision. When i learned they all were residents of Ponyville i arranged to have the celebration take place here. I do not know what this means, but it matters not when i have you back."

Luna smiled, she knew it won't all be as easy as with Celestia but she had plenty of other relationships to rekindle. "I was thinking, perhaps some form of magic can remedy my age problem. I bet Starswirll would know something about how to fix me, i'd bet he'd be glad just to see me." Luna said remembering her elderly friend.

Celestia's face went pale, "Luna, how long do you think you've been gone?"

Luna thought the question a bit odd, "How long? Well based on the state of the castle it must have been at least a couple of years, right? I can't believe you let our home get in such a state."

Celesta took a deep breath, not sure how her sister would take this information. "Luna, it hasn't been a few years. You have been on the moon for the past thousand years."

Silence fell over the clearing, Luna swallowed hard. "How long?"

"I know this is hard to believe, but it is true." said Celestia.

Luna's thoughts were all scrambled, how could this have happened? What had she missed? A sickening thought entered her mind, everypony she knew, everyone she cared about, all long gone. Starswirll, the castle staff, even her subjects, 'Did they all die believing i was a traitor?'

"What- what did you tell them? About me, i mean," Luna hesitantly asked.

Celestia sighed with shame, "I didn't say anything. I knew it wasn't you but that monster, but i just couldn't bring myself to admit you had been lost."

"Did they.. did they hate me?"

"Some did, but those who knew you defended your name to the end," sad Celestia.

Luna was about to respond when the friends rounded the corner and joined their princesses. "*HUFF* How can you move that fast?" gasped out Berry.

"It's not fair i tell you!" Raged Cloudchaser.

Twilight shook her head, "Unfair huh, i thought we were racing against some old "fogies."

Noticing the sullen expression on Luna's face Lyra decided to speak up. "We didn't mean anything by that, just having a bit of fun. And you really did smoke us out there."

"*Hrm* Oh yes, We did 'smoke you'." Turning to her sister Luna whispered, "We were not burning foliage, of what smoke does she speak?"

Celestia smiled, "It's a modern expression, you have quite allot of catching up to do once we get back home."

"Oh Luna, you slay me," said Twilight with a laugh.

"I apologize honored disciple of my sister, shall i fetch a healer?"

Celestia put a hoof on her shoulder, "No no, it's just another expression, a very outdated expression."

"Sowing Machine!" Said Derpy bobbing her head up and down.

"And that?" Asked Luna.

"That, that i have no clue." said Celestia, just as puzzled by the absurd future slang.


At first the return was unnoticed, most everypony was busy basking in the sunlight. But as soon as the mayor and her aides caught sight of the triumphant heroes and their leader the floodgates burst. A massive celebration was quickly put together by the town's semi official party planner. Some how in a matter of minuets she had ribbons and streamers in all the trees in town, a parade with the princess riding their chariot and confetti constantly drifting through the skies.

Happy reunions were taking place all over, Cloudchaser was excitedly recounting the nights events to Flitter. Lotus Blossom was showing off her element to Aloe. Derpy could be seen walking off cheek to cheek with a stallion with messy brown hair. Spike came running out of the crowd and leaped at Twilight. The two hugged it out, almost as if it were a contest who could hold on longer. Berry, who was sipping on a champagne she had been handed thought is was adorable. 'I wish i had that kind of relationship with Pinch,' she thought to herself.

Her eyes went wide, "Wheres Berry Pinch?" She ripped Spike away from Twilight and shook him vigorously, "WHERE IS BERRY PINCH?"

The little dragon stammered out, "Pa-Pinkie P-p-pie got her to help present the wreath to Princess Luna!"

Berry dropped Spike on the ground and searched for the chariot. It had just finished it's tour of town and it's occupants were disembarking onto the raised platform used by the mayor to address the town. True to his word there Pinch was carrying a wreath of red and white roses and bestowing it on Luna. Only the way in which this was done was quite disturbing to Berry.Little Pinch and the other filly were flying, instead of her horn Pinch had small wings on her back. Looking back between the odd sight in front of her and the suspicious drink in her hoof Berry decided to dump the rest.

"Are you alright Spike?" Twilight asked as she hoisted her adoptive son onto her back.

"Yeah i'm fine, getting knocked around seems to come with the territory," Spike assured her. "Right now i'm just glad your home safe. So how dangerous was it? Did you see any monsters?"

Twilight put a hoof to her chin, "So you want to know about monsters huh? Well deep in the forest, at the bottom of the deepest ravine was the most ferocious creature of them all."

"What was it? Tell me!" said Spike.

"The manticore!" Spikes eyes went wide as he listened intently to the story. "He was gigantic, twice as big as Princess Celestia! And the teeth, his upper fangs were bigger than your head,"

Lyra who was walking by, heard Twilight's embellishment of their encounter and decided to put her spin on it. "Did you tell Mr. Hands about how we beat it yet?"

"No i was still giving descriptive details, you gotta properly set up what your up against before your audience can get invested." Spike nodded in agreement.

"Oh of course, like how he turned out to be a complete softy," Lyra said with a slightly askew smile.

"Hey You ruined the surprise!" said the perturbed Twilight.

"He was a softy?" said Spike.

"Yep all it took to tame the heart of the wild beast was removing the thorn in his paw." said Lyra.

Spike thought on it, "Well i guess that's cool too, i just prefer monster stories with fights in them." He was sounding a little bit disappointed.

"Oh well if it's fights you want we did plenty of that too, it wasn't until i utilized the brilliant virtue of my observation that we could get past. Isn't that right element buddy?"said Lyra.

Twilight heaved a sigh, "Yes Lyra, you did save our butts. And so did Berry, Derpy, Lotus and Cloudchaser as well so you should probably thank them as well."

"Oh yeah, i should go do that," Lyra said, bowing off in search of the others.

Twilight became downhearted inwardly and outwardly. Seeing her student glum on such an auspicious occasion Princess Celestia decided to inquire. "What is wrong, my student? You have accomplished something with the Elements of Harmony that even i could not do. You returned my sister to me and saved all of Equestria. So tell me, what could bring a frown to your face today?"

"You promise you won't be upset?" Twilight pleaded with her eyes.

"I promise, i will listen with open ears." said Celestia.

Twilight took a deep breath, attempting to ease her nerves, "To be honest, i- i don't want to return to Canterlot."

Celestia's face was unchanging, which was almost more unnerving, At least if she were angry Twilight would know where she stood. "Go on," said Celestia.

"Well, I've always been a loner, only really opening up to the ponies I've known forever. Like my parents and you and Spike, i never wanted friends or ever thought i needed any. But now, now I've met five ponies who stood by my side and braved the harshest perils any of us had ever faced, together. I'm not the best at expressing how i feel all the time but, when i'm with them, i feel like we could take on the world and nothing could ever bring us down."

Celestia still remained silent, only nodding in understanding.

"And i feel like if i had to go away, back to Canterlot, i'd be losing something I've been missing my whole life. Something so wonderful, and i just now discovered. So if you don't want me as your student anymore, i- understand." Twilight hung her head, with a lump in her throat she forced out the words that she knew had to be said.

Celestia looked on her student, "Are you certain this is what you want?" Twilight nodded yes.

Without a word Princess Celestia walked off back towards the town, leaving Twilight and Spike alone.

"Are you crazy Twilight? Being the personal student of Princess Celestia has been your dream since- well forever, you even told me that yourself. Why would you go and throw that all away?" Spike chastised her.

"Did you ever read about the merchant and the pearl of high value?" Twilight asked of her companion.

"What does that have to do with anything?" said Spike.

"One day a traveling merchant discovered a priceless pearl, since he knew it's value he went off and sold all his possessions so that he could acquire the pearl. I think I've found my pearl Spike. My friends here are something i wouldn't trade for the world and i'd give anything to keep." Spike patted Twilight on the shoulder and pointed behind her, "What is it?"

Standing behind her, was all her Ponyville friends. Derpy was wiping tears from her eyes, Lotus admiring her courage, Cloudchaser smiling ear to ear, Berry thinking her decision foolish and finally Lyra, visually upset.

"You would do that for us?" said Derpy.

"Such a huge change, do you think you can live with the consequences?" said Lotus.

"I'm just glad i won't be the only pony who likes astronomy in this town anymore! And don't worry i can help you find a new job if you like," said Cloudchaser.

"While it is commendable wanting to stick with your friends, being taught by the wisest pony in all of Equestria is a once in a lifetime opportunity," said Berry.

"I can't believe you're just going to throw away your whole future! Go out there and maybe you can get the princess to take you back if you plead temporary insanity," said Lyra.

Taking in all their responses Twilight was a bit overwhelmed, "I know none of this will be easy but i'm sure i can make it through with all of your help, but first i'm going to need some help moving here. You know any good moving companies?"

Derpy was quick to speak up, "You lucked out my friend, i just so happen to work for the best movers this side of Fillydelphia! I can even use my employee discount,"

All the others were quick to volunteer their help in packing and unpacking, "I don't know why i'm so upset, it is your decision after all. And i'm sure having a pony like you around will brighten things up allot," said Lyra.

"Sorry to ask but do you think i could stay with one of you? At least until i can find a place of my own." said Twilight.

Before any of them could respond the voice of the mayor spoke up, "I don't think that will be necessary." By her side was Princess Celestia.

"I've just been speaking with the mayor here, and it seems Ponyville is in desperate need of a new librarian. I'll admit i'd much prefer my student living in better accommodations than a tree, but-" the princess was stopped short when Twilight gave her a massive hug.

"I thought you wouldn't want me as your student anymore," said Twilight.

"Heavens no, i'll admit i will miss our one on one studies together but i know at some point you need spread your wings and fly. But your still not graduated in my books, so well call this independent studies. I'm expecting a report on how your studies are progressing say, every week. Does that sound reasonable?" said Princess Celestia.

"Yes it does, thank you Thank you! I promise i'll study harder than I've ever before, i won't let you down." Twilight assured her.

"Well don't forget to have fun now and again." Celestia counseled her student. She then condescended to the small dragon, "Spike please take a letter and send it to the retainer in Canterlot, we must make this official."

Producing a quill and scroll he stood at the ready, awaiting the decree. "Let it be known that from this day forth, the unicorn Twilight Sparkle shall continue her studies into the properties of magic and also expand her studies into the magic of friendship. She will be supplied a monthly stipend and residence at the Golden Oaks Library on the condition that she reports her findings to the princess in a timely manner. This is the decree of Princess Celestia." With that she marked the letter with a hoof print and sealed it, giving it back to Spike he used his unique ability once more and the ashes flitted through the skies off to Canterlot.

"Make me proud Twilight, i am expecting great things from you," said Celestia.

Soon after Celestia, Luna, the guards and most of the visitors exited Ponyville. The streets littered with dusty confetti were being swept up by the grounds keepers, others took down the banners welcoming 'Princess Celest'. Twilight was standing in front of the library, the lights all off, apparently the lantern ran out of oil somewhere through the night. In her hoof she held the key she received from Mayor Mare, she hesitantly inserted the key into the hole and turned.

As Spike and Twilight stumbled into the darkness they heard something rustling around. Suddenly the room was filled bright electric light and a loud unanimous shout, "SURPRISE!" Spike and Twilight stood with mouth agape, as a bouncy pink pony came up to them.

"Hi i'm Pinkie Pie and i thew this party just for you! So tell me were you surprised, cause i bet you were!" Pinkie Pie excitedly said at a million miles an hour.

Shaking herself loose from the shackles of unadulterated shock Twilight said, "Well yes i am surprised, however did you put together a second party this soon after the impromptu town wide celebration?"

"Look Twilight i may only be one pony, but i'm the super duper party pony. Aint' nopony got nothin' on my skillz," Pinkie said posing like she was in a decade old music video.

"Alright-" Twilight said with apprehension. "- But how are their lights here? We looked forever but could't find any."

"Duh your friends over their came in and did a whole lot of renovations. It's totally rude of you to not notice that-" She continued talking unaware that Twilight had left the conversation. Walking over to the table holding the drinks she found all her Ponyville friends assembled sporting party hats and enjoying each others company.

"Did you guys do all this?" Twilight asked.

"Yepers, we wired lights, dusted the whole place. Lotus got you new linens for your bed and i filled your fridge." Said Derpy.

Twilight smiled widely, "I don't know what to say, this is all amazing. Thank you, everyone." She pulled them all in for a big hug. The party raged on into the night, dancing, karaoke, pin the tail on the pony. All reflections of the bright future ahead, so a new chapter opened up in the life of Twilight Sparkle and the many adventures still ahead they would all share.