• Published 20th Mar 2012
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My Choices: Twisted Tales Through Time - koolerkid



Twilight goes back in time to prevent Luna's transformation into Nightmare Moon.

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Chapter Two

Chapter Two

Meanwhile, a little less than one thousand years later...

A little purple filly stood in the doorway of the Royal Canterlot Library, staring at the shelves and shelves of books with eyes as wide as dinner plates. Today had already been overwhelming for the tiny pony, discovering immense magical talent, being accepted by the Princess as her personal student, gaining her Cutie Mark... and now this! “Is this... all for me?” she asked, amazement in her voice.

Beside her stood the majestic Princess Celestia, co-ruler of Equestria and Goddess of the Sun, smiling down at her new protégé fondly. “Not just for you, Twilight Sparkle, but yes. As my personal student, you are among a small number of privileged ponies to have access to the private section of the Canterlot Library. This library contains a copy of nearly every book relating to magic and magical phenomena in Equestria.” She didn’t mention that the truly dangerous books were kept separately, so the students and researchers allowed here wouldn’t find something they shouldn’t.

Twilight was only half-listening, though. She was busy trying comprehend the sheer number of books she now had access to. More books than she could read in a hundred thousand years! Her mind raced with the possibilities. “Can I start reading right now?” she asked excitedly.

Celestia chuckled at the eager filly. “Of course, Twilight. Just be sure not to stay up too late; your classes start tomorrow. I’ll be certain to send somepony to check on you in a little while.” The Princess realized that she was talking to the air; Twilight had already galloped off into the depths of the library, eager to discover its secrets. Celestia shook her head in amusement. “Such an energetic filly.”

Her mind flashed back to the power Twilight had shown in the testing room. The tiny filly would make an excellent student, but more importantly, she was an excellent candidate for the Element of Magic.

Celestia wondered if her sister had had any luck finding her own candidate.

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Twilight hardly knew where to begin. Everywhere she looked was another shelf stuffed with potentially fascinating books. She’d never seen so many tomes in one place before! Magic, science, nature, biology, history; any and every subject her young mind could imagine was here. It was almost enough to make her cry...

Wait. That wasn’t her crying.

Twilight stopped bouncing about excitedly and listened. Now that she was paying attention, she could distinctly hear some quiet sniffling and sobbing coming from a few aisles over. Twilight, curious filly that she was, followed the sound, hoping to investigate its source.

It only took a minute to find the source. Twilight turned a corner, and was confronted with the sight of a blue unicorn filly about Twilight’s own age, huddled in a small alcove between bookshelves, sniffling.

Twilight curiously crept forward, but before she could say anything to the other filly, she suddenly stopped crying and snapped her head up to glare at her purple counterpart. “What do you want?” she snapped, furiously rubbing at her eyes in an attempt to hide her tears.

Twilight blinked in surprise at the harsh response, but her mother had raised her to be polite no matter what. “I was just wondering why you were crying. Are you okay?”

“Trixie was not crying!” the blue filly insisted, despite her tearstained face and bloodshot eyes. “Trixie merely had something in her eye. Er, eyes. Both of them.”

“Are you sure?” Twilight asked, tilting her head. “It sure sounded like-”

“Trixie does not cry!” snapped the blue filly, Trixie, apparently. “And she doesn’t need your pity, either.”

Twilight frowned. Her interaction with other fillies her age was woefully limited, and she wasn’t quite certain how to go about comforting another pony who wouldn’t even admit to needing comforting. There was only one thing she could think of...

“I know what’ll make you feel better!” Twilight exclaimed as the answer dawned on her. “Wait right here!” She rushed off, leaving a bewildered Trixie in her wake. She retraced her steps, trying to remember where she’d seen that shelf she’d passed earlier. When Twilight finally found it, it took her several tries to get her horn to light, levitating down the book she wanted. Once she had it safely in hoof, she galloped back to Trixie at top speed.

Trixie was still sitting exactly where Twilight had left her, still looking bemused. Twilight levitated the book over to the distraught filly and placed it gently before her. “Whenever I’m upset, books always make me feel better! This is one of my favorites to read when I’m in a bad mood. Try it; I bet it’ll cheer you up!”

Trixie snorted dismissively. “Trixie does not need your charity.” Then she glanced down at the book. “Daring Do and the Quest for the Sapphire Statue?” She glanced back up at Twilight’s eager face, surprised. “You like these books too?”

“Of course!” Twilight exclaimed. “They’re my favorites!”

Trixie seemed to hesitate for a minute. “What was your name?”

Twilight extended her hoof. “I’m Twilight Sparkle! I just got accepted as Princess Celestia’s personal student! Nice to meet you, Trixie.”

“Ah... l-likewise.” Trixie said, hesitantly shaking Twilight’s hoof. “I-I was just accepted, too! I’m P-Princess Luna’s student.” She suddenly looked as though she was about to cry again. “At least... I think I am...”

Twilight tilted her head to the side. “You think so? Didn’t the Princess tell you?”

“Yes...” Trixie said slowly. “But that was... before I messed up the spell she wanted me to show her, after the test...” She stared down at her hooves. “I spilled maple syrup all over her mane.”

Twilight winced in sympathy. Then she smiled at her fellow student. “I’m sure it’s okay! I mean, I tore a hole in the ceiling and almost turned my parents into plants, and Princess Celestia still wanted me as her student. I’m sure Princess Luna isn’t that mad.”

Trixie perked up. “Maybe you’re right, Twilight! Thanks a lot.” She straightened up again, and her voice regained it’s haughty tone. “Not that Trixie needed comforting, of course. She merely appreciates the attempt.”

Twilight giggled. “Of course not, Trixie.” She gestured to the book that still lay at their hooves. “Want to read together?”

“Sure!” Trixie exclaimed excitedly, forgetting her affected voice again.Then she glanced around at the cramped alcove she was sitting in. “Uh... maybe we should find a table first.”

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“Maple syrup,” grumbled Luna as she vigorously scrubbed at her sticky hair with a sponge. “Why did it have to be maple syrup? This stuff is an absolute nightmare to get out of your mane, I should know.”

Celestia lounged on a large cushion in the private study she and her sister shared, watching with amusement as her sister attempted to clean her mess of a mane in the adjoining bathroom. She and her sister both had magical powers so great that their very manes partially became etherial clouds of pure magic, but the rest of it was still hair, and maple syrup was sticky stuff. “You must admit, it was rather impressive,” the elder princess remarked cheerfully. “Considering you gave a filly who’d just earned her Cutie Mark a spell too complicated for anypony below fourth year.”

“It was supposed to teach her to deal with failure, like that fake dragon egg test of yours.” Luna sighed. “Though I suppose that backfired on you as well.”

“Indeed.” Celestia glanced down at the baby dragon playing at her hooves. “To think, a little filly with enough power to turn a fake dragon egg into a real, living baby dragon - and then have enough power left over to require my help to control it!” She shook her head in disbelief, absentmindedly stroking the baby dragon with a hoof.

“It almost makes my candidate seem insignificant,” Luna agreed. She telekinetically flung the sponge down. “Ugh, Celly, can you help me? This stuff simply will not come out!”

Celestia chuckled and lit her horn. A bright flash of light later, Luna’s mane was completely clean. Luna grumbled something under her breath about ‘showing off’. “I’d hardly call Trixie insignificant,” Celestia mollified. “She might lack Twilight’s raw power, but she was able to grasp the basics of a fourth-year spell enough to produce an effect, even if that effect was maple syrup.” She giggled as Luna trotted back into the room. “Considering her complete lack of formal training, that’s very impressive.”

Luna nodded her agreement, curling up on another nearby cushion. “As far as I saw, the orphanage I found her at had barely the basics of education, much less any magic training. We really must do something about the shelters in Manehatten, Tia. It’s awful. Poor Trixie was so thin when I found her...”

Celestia nodded, her horn lighting up as she brought a scroll and quill over to her. “I’ll make a note of it, and bring it up at the next meeting with the mayor of Manehatten.”

“Good,” Luna said with a sigh. She gazed out the window, up into the sky. The North Star burned as brightly as ever - perhaps even more so than before. Celestia followed her gaze.

“Thinking about her?” Celestia asked quietly.

Luna nodded slowly. “It’s just... this is exactly the kind of thing she’d have found funny. Princess Luna, with maple syrup in her hair. She w-would’ve laughed at that...” Luna’s voice cracked a little, and she turned away before her sister could see her cry. “I miss her, Celly.”

“Just a few years left, Lulu.” Celestia said quietly, extending a wing to drape over her younger sister. “The spell is unwinding; we can both feel it. One thousand years, that’s what the prophecy said. The longest day of the thousandth year; it’s coming, Lulu. She’s coming back.”

“Except it won’t really be her, will it?” Luna asked, sadly. “It’ll be that... that thing again. The monster she became. Darklight Star.”

Celestia’s face grew hard. “She made her choice,” she said sternly.

“I’m not so certain.” Luna said, quietly. “What could’ve driven her to do what she did? The pony I knew had a kind, gentle heart... Darklight Star is nothing but coldness.” She shook her head sadly. “I just can’t help but imagine her trapped in there...”

Celestia’s face softened again, snuggling close to her sister. “If there is anything good left in her, we’ll find it. The Elements will save her if anything can.”

“Assuming the plan works.”

“The plan will work” Celestia insisted. “All those years of planning... encouraging matches between just the right ponies, to produce the perfect bearers; establishing a town near the old castle; scheduling the Summer Sun Celebration in Ponyville; we’ve planned too long and hard for it to fail. With Twilight or Trixie as the sixth element, we’ll be ready when she returns.”

“I hope so.” Luna whispered. “I hope so...”

-----------------

Over in Cloudsdale, a clerical error was made. The wrong mark was made on the wrong form, and as a result a large storm was headed towards Canterlot. Rather than send some pegasi on a dangerous storm-wrangling mission, it was determined that the storm was tame enough to let it run out of steam on its own. It was not a threat to anypony.

This was of little comfort to Twilight, who hid under the sheets of the too-large bed in the too-large private room the Princess had granted her. Secretly, Twilight wished she had a roommate, if only to have somepony to talk to while the storm raged on outside. The room, so much larger than what she was used to at home, felt empty and lonely with just her in it. The sounds of the storm echoed through the huge chamber, making it seem even louder then it was.

All in all, it had been an amazing day. All day long, Twilight had been worried she would suddenly awaken to discover it had all been a dream. Her Cutie Mark, her magic, her acceptance into the Academy, the Princess, her new best friend Trixie. It had seemed that everywhere Twilight looked a new wonderful event was unfolding before her. But no matter how many times she tried to console herself with memories of that wondrous day, at the end of the day Twilight was just a tiny filly in an unfamiliar room, hiding under a blanket from a storm.

There was only one cure to such loneliness and fear, books! Twilight peeked her head out cautiously, before concentrating briefly on her horn. It only took a moment for her horn to light up, levitating the book on her nightstand into her waiting hooves. Twilight pulled the book under the covers with her, using her horn for illumination as she hid herself beneath the warm blanket once again. The book was her current favorite, Daring Do and the Quest for the Golden Horseshoes. If anything could banish her fear, it was the exciting adventures of Daring Do and her friends.

Twilight opened on the book and leapt into the fantastic world of her favorite hero. Within mere moments, the empty room and angry storm outside faded away, to be replaced with the high-speed world of Daring Do. She was so engrossed in her reading, in fact, that she failed to notice when the door to her room creaked slowly open. She kept reading, oblivious to the sound of hooves slowly approaching her bed. As immersed in the book as she was, she didn’t even notice when the intruding pony called her name. It wasn’t until the third time her name was called that Twilight finally poked her head from the covers to behold her newest best friend.

“Trixie?” Twilight asked, surprised. “What are you doing here? Can’t sleep?”

Trixie looked about nervously, pawing anxiously at the floor. “T-Trixie is fine,” she mumbled. “Trixie merely... wished to check on you.”

Twilight’s brow furrowed in confusion. “Check on me? Why?”

“Trixie simply thought that... p-perhaps you were frightened of the storm.” Trixie was an awful liar. Twilight could tell by the way Trixie kept glancing nervously at the window that it wasn’t Twilight that Trixie was worrying about. “Besides, since you were all alone... Trixie thought you could use the company.”

Twilight grinned. “Trixie... are you afraid of the storm?”

“Don’t be ridiculous!” Trixie snapped. “I’m fine! Trixie was merely worried for you, is all.” As if in answer, the sky outside the window flashed bright white, followed by a loud rumbling. With a frightened squeak, Trixie dove into Twilight’s bed, hiding under the covers.

A few minutes passed before Trixie stuck her head out of the covers. “Don’t you dare tell anypony about this,” she said severely.

“Of course not.” Twilight chuckled. There was more than enough room for both fillies in the bed. “It’s okay to be scared, Trixie. I was scared too. I’m glad you’re here.”

Trixie was silent for a while. Then, finally, she spoke. “Until now, I lived with a lot of other ponies,” she whispered. “We all slept in a real big room all together. Whenever there was a storm, we’d all drag our beds together and all the older ponies would cuddle with the younger ones all night.” She fidgeted about uncomfortably. “I’ve never slept alone before... I don’t like it.”

Twilight frowned upon hearing her friend’s story. “It’s okay, Trixie. You can sleep here if you want. There’s more than enough room for us both.” Twilight cuddled close to the cowering filly.

Trixie stiffened as Twilight put her hooves around her, but after a moment she relaxed. “Thanks, Twilight,” she murmured. “I’m glad I met you.”

The girls huddled together in the oversized bed for some time, listening to the storm outside. Oddly, it no longer seemed quite as frightening anymore.

Finally, Twilight spoke. “Trixie... why were you living with so many other ponies? Did you have a lot of brothers and sisters?”

Trixie looked away. “No... we weren’t related. They were all... like me. We all...” She fell silent.

Twilight peered curiously at her friend. “You all what?”

Trixie hesitated. “We... all have no parents.”

Twilight’s eyes went wide, and she hugged the blue filly tightly. Trixie silently hugged her back. “I’m so sorry, Trixie.”

“It’s okay,” Trixie said gruffly. “Trixie doesn’t care. Trixie d-doesn’t need a-anypony...” She sniffled, holding back tears.

Twilight fell silent for a bit, before pulling her book towards the pair of them again. “Want to read Daring Do with me again?”

Trixie shook her head. “I just want to go to sleep.”

“Alright.” Twilight said reluctantly. “Good night, Trixie.”

“Good night, Twilight.”

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