• Published 27th Jan 2014
  • 11,077 Views, 185 Comments

Not Another Alicorn! - LordBrony2040



Nothing to see here folks just another lousy fic combining alicorn ascension, divine parentage, and the fallout one of the episode we just don’t talk about aka Mare Do Well.

  • ...
42
 185
 11,077

Chapter 3

Chapter 3: Separation

“So, that’s why I need you to take care of Tank for the next week or so,” Rainbow Dash said as she finished explaining to Fluttershy the events of the past morning as she finished petting her turtle.

Fluttershy tried not to stare at the new headgear her friend was sporting as she was taking it all in. “My gosh Rainbow this is all so… I mean, you being a princess now-”

“Don’t call me that.”

“And related to the Princess.”

“Pffft, yeah like, from a bazillion generations ago,” Rainbow reminded Fluttershy. After all those years, half of Cloudsdale could probably claim some kind of Celestia-relation, and that was only if her great-great-however-many-times-grandparents kept to pegasi.

“Well I think it’s amazing, and I think you’ll make a wonderful princess Rainbow Dash, congratulations!” Fluttershy finished before she jumped on her hind legs to hug her friend. Although Dash had a hard time showing it, Fluttershy had seen the mare with the rainbow mane be kind as well as brave, giving of herself, honest to her friends when the chips were down, and she always did her best to help spread joy to others with her aerial performances. It made since that Celestia would pick her for a crown.

Then, something else occurred to her. Fluttershy got back down on all fours and gave Dash a worried look. “But…if you’re a princess then won’t you be living in Canterlot like Princess Celestia?” As happy as the mare was, and as bad as she felt for feeling selfish about it, she didn’t want to say goodbye to her oldest friend.

Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes. “Please. The last time I went there to watch the Wonderbolts, all I did was run into stuck-up unicorns. I’ll show up, get my stupid crown, wave a few times, eat the free food and come home so I can get back to kicking clouds between stunt practice sessions.”

“But…you’re a princess, an alicorn!” Fluttershy exclaimed in a voice .00001 decibels above her usual volume. “You-you can’t just be a weatherpony. I mean…it‘s just…not…um…”

Rainbow Dash just waved off her concerns with a hoof. “Yeah well it can’t be that important. Some other pegasus became an alicorn more than two decades ago and I’ve never heard of a Princess Cadence.”

“Hmm, well I guess wonder if she’s a relative of Princess Mi Amore Cadenza?” Fluttershy said as she tapped her chin. “She’s the kingdom’s head ambassador you know.” So, it made since that Dash would get a more important job. Although, the thought of Rainbow Dash of all ponies mediating a dispute seemed kind of silly. She was more suited for what came when the talking failed.

The comment had the blue alicorn smirking. “See, they’ve already got all the princess-level jobs filled. Twilight even said Cadence worked as her foal-sitter. I mean come on! There can’t be much for alicorn’s to do if one of them is stuck babysitting before Princess Luna even came back.”

“I suppose you have a point there,” Fluttershy replied before she brightened up at the news her oldest friend wasn‘t leaving her. “Well I guess we really will be seeing each other soon enough. Will Twilight be back by then too?”

Rainbow Dash shrugged. “No idea. I guess it depends on the time it’ll take to build a new library.”

“The birds are really going to miss that tree,” Fluttershy mumbled in disappointment over its loss. She hadn’t cared much for the library portion, but it had made a good place for nesting.

“Well, looks like I’m out of time,” Dash muttered to herself as she looked at her friend’s clock. “And hey, it’s like a ten minute flight from here to Canterlot, so I can swing by even before the weeks up if you need me to.”

Fluttershy immediately tried to put her friend as ease. “I’ll be okay.” She smiled as something came to mind. “I’m more worried about you. It’s ten days until Twilight’s birthday, so please don’t forget.”

“Meh. Ten days and we’ll be back in Ponyville.”


“So we’re moving back to Canterlot?”

Twilight shook her head at Spike's question as they watched the guards dig through the remains of her tree, looking for things that had survived behing crushed by Dash's magic. “Not forever, just until they can get a new library built here. Think of it as a vacation!” Twilight said. She couldn’t bare to tell him that their vacation might last until she graduated grade school again.

The rather poor attempt to lighten the mood, look on the bright side of things, and do something with silver lining failed to perk Spike up. “Don’t you usually go somewhere new when you go on vacation?” the dragon deadpanned before picking his expression up for a moment before dying down again. “Besides, we barely know anypony in Canterlot…which is kind of sad now that I think about it.”

“Yeah yeah, poor Twilight the shut-in,” the unicorn grumbled as she looked over to one of the larger pieces of her former home that had landed in the center of town. “Just go help the guards see what they can salvage from what’s left of the second floor before we leave.”

As soon as Spike left, Twilight let out a sigh and dropped the mask. She made her way over to the princess and waited for her to finish addressing the mayor. The unicorn was able to pick up the tail of their conversation. “The crown will pay for the damage as well for the reconstruction,” the princess assured the mare. “And I’ll send someone with experience in these matters to assess the extent of the damage to the local community as soon as I return to Canterlot.”

Once the mayor had bowed, Princess Celestia turned and walked away from the female pony. Twilight quickly followed on her heels. “Princess,” she spoke. “About your sister.”

“Hm? Oh yes! That reminds me Twilight,” Celestia gave Twilight a bright smile before continuing along Twilight at her side. “She still speaks about her time here on Nightmare Night, what was it, four weeks ago? I can’t thank you and all your friends enough for what you did for her then. The guards at the castle are even starting to become more at ease around her, and how did you talk her into putting aside the royal-” she looked over and saw Twilight’s slight frown, which prompted a dark change in her own mood. “Oh, you’re talking about the other one, aren’t you?”

Before Twilight could try and follow that rather ominous tone, they came to the carriage where Rarity was waiting for Twilight with some luggage she had decided to donate to the purple unicorn since most of her belongings were now ruined. Twilight just hoped that there was a casual dress in the donation, along with some other basic necessities.

“Twilight, I’ve got some things for you since most of your belongings are either buried or…er, crushed,” she said as her voice began to trail off a second before she switched to another topic. “Now, I’m going to be headed to Canterlot in a few days-”

“I’ll be sure to return everything to you then Rarity,” she said, hoping the other unicorn would finish so she could get back on track of trying to discuss lost Equestrian history with Princess Celestia.

“Oh nonono, this are a gift Twilight,” Rarity insisted as she placed the bags in the chariot. “I was just hoping we could all meet up for lunch and make a day of it.”

The idea managed to turn her away from the prospect of discovering lost Equestrian history for a moment as an idea came to her. “That sounds like a great idea Rarity,” Twilight said. She knew Rainbow Dash would be happy to see another friendly face. “Oh, you could even stay in the palace! I mean, if that’s okay with you Princess?”

Twilight looked over to the large alicorn and gulped when she noticed the slight frown on the face of the goddess. She had known Celestia long enough to tell the slightest of such facial expressions were indicative of an outright scowl. “While Rarity is more than welcome within the castle anytime she wishes it, I would like to remind you the reason you’ll be in Canterlot, Twilight.”

The excitement that Rarity had managed to build within her quickly shattered, and Twilight’s ears wilted as her body slumped. She gulped at the coming humiliation she was to face. “Right.”

“Princess, please tell me you aren’t actually going to be sending her to a school meant for foals,” Rarity mumbled. Then, when Celestia’s stare focused on her, Rarity gulped, then stepped forward to help hold her ground. “And, if Twilight is going to receive a punishment, then I should too!”

“Rarity!”

The white unicorn ignored Twilight and continued on. “I made those foalish costumes after all,” she said before letting out a snort. “If anything, I’m even worse than her! Several of schoolyard fillies and colts had their parents hire me to make them costumes. Twilight had just been trying to help a friend, if in a rather odd way, but I actually profited from this whole debacle. Much to my shame.”

Celestia sighed and shook her head while Rarity’s head drooped and her ears pulled back. “Oh very well,” she mumbled before looking down at her student. “I was going to let you sweat over it during the ride Twilight, but know you will not be sent to magic kindergarten.”

“Really?!”

“That is not to say there will be no punishment!” Celestia told her sternly, killing Twilight’s new-found hope before the princess started mumbling to herself. “I just don’t know what it will be yet.” Celestia was hardly an advocate for imprisonment when the pony in question didn’t present a danger to others, but the problems that surrounded Twilight’s use of black magic also meant that such an act might not be far off. It was a complicated situation she would need some time to reflect on as she studied Twilight's mental state for adverse effects.

With that out of the way, Celestia turned her attention to Rarity. “And if you feel guilty over making money off this…event, then simply donate the money to charity or something. While I suppose some might say your actions make you an accomplice to the crime of Twilight’s lesser evil enchantment, I also can’t ignore the fact Twilight’s friends kept her spells from causing collateral damage to Ponyville.”

In truth, she was more worried about the effects of the dark magic on her student, than what the magic had caused to happen to the town. Nopony had been hurt, and the regret felt by Twilight's friends had been true. All in all, the situation was much better than Celestia had been expecting to face when they had explained the Mare Do Well plot and the events that unfolded from it.

“Uh Princess…”

“Collateral damage as in loss of life Twilight,” she said in irritation while the purple unicorn indicated the sate of her former home, and several roofs it happened to land on as well as the other damage caused by Rainbow’s mana burst.

Twilight let out a breath and shivered. Thinking about her spell had almost caused somepony to get hurt made her stomach turn. Celestia was right, she didn’t deserve magic kindergarten, she deserved worse. She deserved to be locked away in a dark dungeon and only fed moldy bread and water for the rest of her days, while the guards who also ate their lunches outside her cell were allowed the highest quality cakes made by the finest chef just to torture her! She deserved-

“A cupcake!”

The confectionery treat in question nearly made Twilight choke as it was shoved down her throat. After managing to swallow it, Twilight coughed for a few seconds and gave the pastry chef a glare. “Pinkie!”

“You were getting all frowny-downy Twilight, so I had to step in,” the pink pony interjected. She pulled out a box of cupcakes from behind her and set them on top of Twilight’s luggage. “Here’s some sweets for the road. Just a dozen-not a baker's dozen! Just the normal kind of dozen.”

Before Twilight could thank her, Pinkie zipped over to Princess Celestia and hoisted herself up to whisper in the large alicorn’s ear. “Don’t give her thirteen cupcakes, it makes her go crazy,” she said while her hooves made circling motions around her head to emphasize the point.

Twilight could only groan as the pink pony came back to the ground. “You know Pinkie, there’s something really disturbing about you calling me crazy.”

“No, I’m just have a slight bit of schizophrenia, a tiny bit of ADD, a few paranoid delusions, and I seem to be stuck in a constant manic phase of a bipolar disorder thanks to the fact that everyone in town is always happy around me,” she explained with a cheerful smile.

The barrage of information made Twilight’s legs wobble as she tried to process the fact all that just came from Pinkie Pie. “W-What?”

But Pinkie didn’t seem to hear, and looked over to her left and up into the sky. “Hey there’s Princess Dashie! Dashie, I made not-really-goodbye-but-so-long-for-now cupcakes!” the pinky pony shouted before she ran to intercept her friend.

“Sometimes, I worry about her,” Rarity mumbled as they all watched Dash take Pinkie‘s farewell girl and share a quick hug.

“Only sometimes?” Twilight deadpanned.

As soon as Rainbow Dash came over to the group, Rarity said her goodbyes to the new alicorn while Twilight did the same to Shining Armor since he was staying to assist with the cleanup.

Princess Celestia motioned for everypony to board the chariots and ordered them to take off. The newest princess lasted for about five minutes riding with Spike in the chariot a few meters to their left before she ditched her saddlebags in the transport, then took to the sky to fly alongside the chariot Twilight was sharing with Princess Celestia.

“So uh, Princess Celestia, about this whole princess coronation thing, we’re only going to be gone a week, right?” Rainbow Dash asked. “Cause I told Fluttershy that, and I don’t know if the weatherponies will like being short hoofed for longer than that. I really don’t want to hold off my Wonderbolt training longer than that either or I might start falling out of shape.”

For some reason Rainbow couldn‘t understand, Celestia gave Rainbow Dash a raised eyebrow and a look of confusion. “Weatherponies? I’m afraid I’m at a bit of a loss here Granddaughter.”

Rainbow flinched. “Can you, uh, not call me that? It‘s kind of weird.”

“Very well Princess Rain-”

“On second thought, stick with granddaughter.”

Celestia smiled at the decision and got the conversation back on track. “Why do you think we’re only going to be in Canterlot a week?”

“Twilight explained the whole alicorn thing to me while you were telling all those guards what to do,” Rainbow Dash explained. “I suppose it’s cool and all. But I really don’t want to be gone longer than that. Plus, won’t Canterlot fall off its cliff if were in the same room too long or something?”

“We were together in Ponyville while a curse that would cause harm to you and those around you was in effect, and the sun did not fall out of the sky to burn everyone to death. I’m willing to risk it.” The she raised an eyebrow and looked down to Twilight. “What does she mean by alicorn thing?”

“I told her about what’s expected on an enlightened alicorn,” Twilight replied, a bit confused by Celestia’s hesitant question.

“What exactly did you tell her?” the goddess asked as she raised an eyebrow. Cadence and Twilight may have been old acquaintances, but Celestia knew they shared almost nothing in the way of correspondence since the unicorn had become her student.

“Just the stuff Cadence told me when she was my foal-sitter,” the lavender unicorn said in her own defense. “She said enlightened alicorns serve as examples to the community. They don’t have any real political power and responsibilities.”

Celestia stifled a groan and shifted her gaze back to Rainbow Dash for a moment to give her great-granddaughter a hesitant look, then moved her attention back down to her fellow passenger. “That was because Cadence was still going to school at the time Twilight,” Celestia informed her. There was also the matter of Cadence’s reasoning for wanting to take care of certain foals with good looking stallions for older brothers, but Celestia didn’t think that was her information to be giving out. “When her education was complete, she became the head ambassador to the Griffon Empire.”

“But…no, that’s supposed to be some…Me A-mor-eeee Cadenza princess,” Rainbow said weakly. “Twilight said Princess Cadence didn’t have some big job in the government.”

Oh dear, Celestia thought to herself. She looked over to Rainbow Dash, then back to Twilight.

“Princess Cadence is Princess Mi Amore Cadenza. Cadence is just the common name she goes by, like your friend Pinkie Pie,” she told Rainbow. “And I’m afraid you may be in Canterlot for a little more than a week. There’s a lot more to do than just fit you for a crown.”

Rainbow gave Celestia a wary look. “Like what?

“Well, your magic lessons for one,” Celestia informed her before her hesitance returned. “There’s some other things that we need to decide, but I think we should wait for when we are back in Canterlot.”

“Oh…okay,” Rainbow dash mumbled. She didn’t understand the wait, but didn’t see many other options if Princess Celestia wasn’t going to volunteer the information. Although, she supposed leaning how to float things around like unicorns might be nice.

They flew along in silence for another minute, with Rainbow casually speeding up, banking left, then dropping back and banking before speeding up again. She did it about three times before Twilight told her to stop flying circles around the chariot.

A few seconds more, and Twilight’s memory kick her. “I almost forgot! Princess, I was wondering if I could ask about your sister. When Rarity and Pinkie showed up I got sidetracked and completely forgot about it. But since we have some time before we get to Canterlot…I was…wondering…” she trailed off when she saw the stern expression on Celestia’s face.

“I don’t like to talk about her,” Celestia told Twilight in a tone that translated the words to: stop asking questions.

Another moment of silence overtook the group, and Rainbow Dash decided she would have to be the one to break it. “So…you are just joking about that magic kindergarten thing, right?”

Why does everyone discount that but me? Twilight asked herself.

“Yes, whatever punishment I do decide for her will fit the crime,” Celestia told her evenly.

“No! You can’t!” Rainbow pleaded, drawing both ponies undivided attention.

“Rainbow-” Twilight began wearily.

“Granddaughter,” Celestia said right on top of Twilight. “Twilight Sparkle broke the law on several separate occasions. She endangered the lives of several ponies, and even believed herself in the right while doing so.”

The rainbow alicorn flew in front of Celestia and turned her body around as she tilted up so her wings would push her backwards as they flapped. “Yeah she did something stupid,” Rainbow Dash said before she shot Twilight with a little glare to tell the lavender unicorn that she was still miffed about the whole thing. “But nopony really got hurt, and Twilight apologized. You can’t just lock her up for something she’s never going to do again anyway!”

She looked back to Twilight. “You’re not going to do that again, right?”

The mare in question shook her head, struck dumb for a moment by the fact that somepony was actually arguing with Princess Celestia!

“Good, then…I pardon you, or whatever,” Rainbow Dash said as she waved her hoof like she was knighting Twilight from long range. Then she looked over to Princess Celestia. “I can do that right? Pardon ponies? You know, being a princess and all.”

Celestia’s eye twitched at Rainbow Dash’s antics. “Not when I’m the one having them brought in, I outrank you,” she explained before her voice became harsher at the suggestion that she would imprison her student. “And I’m hardly going to send her to the dungeons!”

“Well then what’s the problem?” Dash demanded, her own voice rising as she flew a little closer to the larger alicorn.

“Twilight apparently needs to be re-taught a few lessons on patience, restraint, good judgment, and be lectured on the dangers of dark magic,” Celestia shot back before looked away from the alicorn and letting out a long sigh. “The former having not been covered enough, and the later not at all. A problem that I intend to correct once we reach Canterlot.”

With Celestia’s temper calmed down a bit, Twilight was able to find her voice. “Princess, you don’t have to worry. I know those spells are dangerous. I’d never use them on another pony.”

“I am more worried about the harm they have inflicted upon you my student,” Celestia told her with a sad expression.

Twilight’s train of thought was completely derailed. “Come again?”

“Yeah, I lost you there too,” Rainbow chipped in, back to her original position now that the threat to Twilight's freedom had been removed.

Celestia looked back and forth between the two ponies, then towards the city on the mountain. “Well, we have about ten minutes left. So I suppose I can give a brief explanation. Twilight, listen carefully, and Granddaughter, it looks like you’ll be having your first lesson on magic today.”

“Twilight, explain to Rainbow Dash the basics how magic works.”

Twilight blinked, then looked over to her friend. Looks like I’ll be going through a magic kindergarten class after all. “Well, magic works by drawing in the energy of the world around us into our bodies. Although all ponies can use magic, unicorns are the only ones that can consciously focus it to create a variety of active effects, in exchange for the passive abilities possessed by the other two kinds.”

“And how do you focus that magic?” Celestia asked to guide the lesson along.

“… well, there are several ways,” Twilight replied after pausing to think about it.

Celestia nodded. “True. But let’s go with the most basic shall we?” she asked. “And I suppose I’ll take over from here Twilight.

“At is core, unicorn magic runs on desire and belief,” the goddess explained to Rainbow. “No matter how complex or fancy a spell is, a pony’s deepest desires are the driving force. For example, if I were to use my magic as a weapon, its effectiveness would be greatly determined by my desire to injure my opponent. However, as Luna would tell you given half the chance, any offensive spell I were to cast would be meager in power compared to hers because harming others is so against my nature.

“On the other hoof, if a pony who can use magic is overcome with a great deal of fright and an intense desire to get away from danger, she might find herself able to teleport thanks to the situation when such a spell might normally be outside her ability.”

“Think about it in terms of me and Rarity,” Twilight added when she saw confusion blossom on Rainbow Dash’s face. “Normally, I’m better at magic than her in every way. But, I’ve seen her when she’s making dresses and let me tell you, if I tried to move that many things at once with that amount of precision, I’d have a headache inside ten minutes.”

Rainbow cocked her head. “Yeah but isn’t that because of her special talent?”

“You mean the special thing about her that she’s so passionate about and desires to do so much?” Twilight asked with a smirk. She had read several articles when it came to unicorn cutie marks on whether their magic worked so well because of the cutie mark itself, or because it was just something they were so into. It was a debate that had raged long before anypony but Celestia had been alive.

Then Celestia picked up the conversation. “To use healing magic, a unicorn has to genuinely want their patient to get better, they have to be sympathetic and kind. A pony who has defense magic must believe his shield cannot be broken, they must be steadfast and resolute,” she said before her face darkened. “However, black magic is…different.

“Black magic requires emotions such as anger and jealousy, and therein lies the danger. While kindness and resolve must be nurtured, emotions like anger and jealousy can fester inside a pony’s heart. The more you draw on them, the worse it gets, and in a very short amount of time emotions like anger turn to hatred.”

Rainbow Dash frowned at the explanation. “Yeah…not really buying that Princess,” she said. “Twilight cast plenty of those spells, but she’s not some dark empress of the apocalypse.”

“It was three spells, with one cast several times Rainbow,” Twilight grumbled. She could understand where the princess was coming from. In order to use that magic, Twilight had gone to a dark place inside her heart. She had pictured Rainbow failing, focused on her annoyance of the then blue pegasus to get what she wanted. The same with the costumes, and those had been disturbingly easy towards the end.

The realization that she had thought like that, that she had wanted Rainbow Dash to look like a failure in front of everypony and think it was a good thing... It was a blow to her self-image that made Twilight need to steady herself for. Am I really a...bad pony? Twilight asked herself.

“Oh yeah? Well then why haven’t we heard of any super evil pony that went all crazy…with…jealousy and…” Dash slowly stopped talking as something dawned on her. “This happened with Princess Luna, didn’t it?”

Sadness crept onto Celestia’s face. “Yes, although she is the most extreme case. Her level of power and some extraordinary circumstances actually gave life to the darkness inside her heart.”

Twilight gulped. “Princess Luna uses black magic?”

“You have to understand something Twilight,” Celestia said. “Our land wasn’t always so peaceful. While I governed the day, Luna had no love for politics and took up the duty to defend Equestria. To do that, she sometimes had to call upon violent magic to drive away threats. By the time we no longer faced danger of invasion from other powers, the seeds that would turn Luna into Nightmare Moon had already been sewn. They took thousands of years to grow, but black magic was the root cause of Nightmare Moon.

“After I banished Nightmare Moon, I went about ensuring another pony would never fall prey to black magic. I made the study of it illegal and had nearly all the copies of dark magic books destroyed, save for the copies I kept in the restricted section of the Canterlot Archives. To make sure I wouldn’t be corrupted, I also created the prison of Tartarus to deal with threats in a way that wouldn’t damage my soul. I even had to hide the truth of my sister’s downfall. I made everyone think her corruption came solely from the fact that she was angry and jealous over being shunned when in fact that was just what the anger of her magic latched onto.”

Twilight rubbed her chin in thought. “And a thousand years later, everyone’s forgotten about it.” However, Twilight found a major hole in Celestia’s logic. “But that doesn’t mean a pony can’t come up with a spell that falls under the classification of dark magic.”

“True,” Celestia admitted. “But Twilight, when was the last time your heard of a unicorn deliberately killing or seriusly injuring another pony using magic?”

The question immediately had Twilight running through her rather vast historical knowledge, followed by the information gained from years of arcane study. “Well, never. All the textbooks say that unicorn magic can’t be used…that…way,” she mumbled towards the end. “But, from what you’ve just said…that’s a lie, isn’t it?”

“Desire and belief, remember?” Celestia reminded Twilight with a tiny smile.

Twilight’s eyes widened at the implications of her words.

Rainbow Dash on the other hand, wasn’t as observant. “Um, somepony want to clue me in here? I kind of lost you girls about five minutes ago.”

“Magic works because the pony using it has to want something to happen, and believe they can make it happen,” Twilight explained half in awe over the implications, and half excited that she had just learned something about the foundation of all magic in Equestria. “And because unicorns don’t think they can really hurt another pony with their magic, they, well…they can’t!” The most offensive spell Twilight knew of only knocked other ponies out or stunned them. She supposed a hard enough telekinetic burst might have been able to do something, but if the unicorn using the magic didn’t think it could actually kill her opponent, then it wouldn’t matter how much energy was applied to the spell, it would only do as intended.

She turned to Celestia and tried to contain her excitement. “You lied to all the unicorns for a thousand years, and that made the lie come true! This is…wow…just, wow.”

“But its hardly a perfect solution,” Celestia said. “The problem is if another unicorn should come across a spell that says otherwise. Like you did Twilight. Luckily for your friends, I think those were extremely weakened versions because you didn’t want to do any real harm.”

Rainbow Dash frowned. “Uh, you saw the whole town fighting over a stupid doll, remember? That spell didn’t look all that weak to me.”

“At full power, that spell would have had ponies killing each other for that stupid doll, then doing all they could to make sure no one else claimed it,” Celestia informed Rainbow before her expression darkened and she addressed them both. “Before Twilight used it, the last victim of the spell had been a pony who found a cursed leg band while fishing. He murdered his best friend for it, then ran into the mountain caves so that no one would take his ‘precious’ away from him.”

The revelation had both Twilight and Rainbow cringing.

“Twilight?”

“Yes Rainbow?”

“Princess order, you’re never casting that spell ever again.”

“I think you mean royal decree…and, yeah.”


As soon as they landed at Canterlot Castle, Twilight met up with the chariot carrying Spike and they collected their things while Rainbow put her saddlebags back on before she looked up and around. “Is it me, or does this place look bigger in the daytime?”

A minute later, the chariots were being pulled back into the sky and the door opened to admit a pair of white unicorn guards in their trademark golden armor and another unicorn wearing a dark coat that still showed his pocket watch cutie mark with a large mustache covering a good deal of his muzzle. The unicorn in the tights took a look around and then trotted up to Princess Celestia before giving a slight bow of his head. “Princess, where have you been? Your return from Ponyville was scheduled hours ago!”

While Princess Celestia spoke with the old pony, Rainbow Dash leaned over to Twilight. “Who's this geezer?”

Twilight groaned at the sight of the old pony. “His name’s Kibitz,” she mumbled. “He’s Princess Celestia’s…scheduling manager.” Although that was his official title, some pony’s referred to the old stallion as her boss. Twilight couldn’t remember just how many times her lessons had been interrupted by the old stallion when he came in to drag Celestia to some stupid meeting or other appointment.

“B-but Princess! The day’s court has yet to begin, and with so few hours left in the day I still have to reschedule many of your meetings and…and…we might just have to cancel a few!”

“Excellent idea!” Princess Celestia agreed with the pony. “Cancel all my Head of State appointments for the day.”

Old stallion Kibitz stood there gaping. “But…it…you haven’t broken from your schedule in twenty years!”

“Oh, and cancel all my appointments for tomorrow as well, including court,” she added as an afterthought.

Kibitz stood there silently for a moment. Then, his body began to shake and he dropped to the floor before curling up into a little ball. “This isn’t happening, this isn’t happening, it’s all a bad dream.”

“Guards, take Twilight Sparkle-”

“Hey!” Rainbow Dash exclaimed before she flew over to hover in front of Celestia’s face. “You said you weren’t throwing Twilight in jail!” The blue alicorn’s face was scrunched in anger, and her hooves were also shaking.

Celestia gave Rainbow Dash a warm, yet reassuring smile. “And I have no intention to,” she said before looking past the other alicorn. “Now, please take my student to the southern tower, where she will remain until lunch, at which time she will escorted to the dinning hall.”

“You’re still locking her up!”

“Rainbow that’s enough!” Twilight shouted. She gave her friend a displeased frown over her actions, then turned back to Princess Celestia. “Sorry, she’s-”

Celestia cut in before Twilight could finish. “Protecting her friend. I would expect nothing less from the bearer of Loyalty.”

Rainbow still didn’t move.

“I’m going to the tower anyway, it’s where I lived while I was in the palace,” Twilight told her. “And I haven’t got anything to do till lunch. So it's okay Rainbow.”

Finally, the former pegasus dropped to the ground. “Fine, then I’m coming with you.”

“No,” Celestia told her firmly. “I need to speak with you privately.” When that didn’t make her move, she added, “about that raised voice you used earlier today.”

Rainbow Dash looked back up to Princess Celestia for a moment, then dropped her head and sighed. “Oh…you, um...saw that?”

“Come along now Granddaughter. And leave your bags, I‘ll send a servant to collect them,” the goddess told the other alicorn before she headed through the doors.

As soon as Rainbow Dash dropped off her stuff and caught up to Celestia, the larger alicorn checked her over with a discerning eye. She could tell the mare was tense, angry and confused, and more than a little bit frightened. The way she had nearly exploded on the flight over, and just now in front of the castle, Celestia could tell she was struggling with a great many emotions.

“How are you feeling Rainbow?” she asked the shorter mare.

Rainbow Dash looked over to Celestia, then back around at the empty hallway before she refocused on the princess and frowned. “How do you think I’m feeling? I woke up a whole different species this morning! Then I scared my friends half to death! What the hay was that anyway? I felt so angry and then everything just got all hurricane-like, and now Twilight’s getting taken away from Ponyville, and-”

“Would it help you to know whatever punishment I do decide for Twilight, it will only be beneficial to her?” Celestia asked as she tried to diffuse some of Rainbow’s tension.

Rainbow cocked an eyebrow back up at the princess. “You trying to make Twilight’s deal one of those, ‘you’ll thank me later’ type of things my mom used to say before she grounded me?”

“Something like that,” Celestia assured her with a disarming smile. “And as for your…hurricane, that’s what happens when an alicorn looses her temper. Our powers are much closer to the surface than a regular unicorn’s.”

The smaller alicorn looked away form Celestia. Remembering how Rarity had been looking at her during those moments was…painful. Rainbow Dash hung her head in shame at the fact she had frightened her friend like that. The fact she been so wrapped up in herself she hadn’t even noticed until it was early over made Rainbow feel even worse. “I scared her so much.”

Celestia reached down and picked the mare‘s head up so their eyes met. “But that was all,” she said. “When Luna and I were able to achieve that state, our magic would react to our desires without the need of focus. Petrifaction, transmutation, translocation, I’ve done all this and more to ponies who were simply in the room with me after I entered a foul mood. All in all, you‘re lucky she didn‘t simply burst into flames.”

For a moment, the information rolled around in Rainbow Dash’s mind, then she glared back at the princess for her accusation for even suggesting something so horrible. “I would never hurt my friends!”

“If you believe that so strongly, then there’s no need for you to be so afraid of yourself, is there?” Celestia asked with a smirk.

Rainbow Dash opened her mouth to argue with the princess again, cause she was in that type of mood, then closed it when she realized what Celestia had just done while memories of the ride over played in her mind. “Oh…you’re good.”

Celestia chuckled at the comment. “Thank you,” she said before her face became more serious. “But please try and keep your temper in check from now on Rainbow. I know some things in Canterlot will be aggravating for you…the heavens know I run into at least four a day while another one follows me around all the time with a list of things to do, but I would appreciate not having most of the city’s population panicking over a mana storm.”

“I’ll try,” she mumbled. “I don’t wanna turn anypony into stone or nothin.”

Celestia nodded her head in thanks as they reached the doorway to their destination, and Rainbow Dash spoke up again. “So uh, can I go see Twilight now?”

“No.”

“Why not?” Rainbow Dashed whined. “We had our little…family chat thing, and you got me all calmed down. I’m not going to go all super rainbow on anypony, promise!”

“Because you need to see the workings of our government,” Celestia informed her, “you are a princess after all. You need to know how your country runs.”

The news didn’t sit well with the rainbow alicorn. “Yeah…about that. I thought I was just going to learn a few magic tricks. I mean, what the hay am I supposed to do now that I got this thing?” she asked while pointing to her horn.

“That all depends on your deific portfolio,” Celestia told her simply.

“My what?”

“We’ll discuss it later.”


“Ugh, didn’t anypony clean this place while we were gone?”

Twilight had to agree with her assistant’s displeasure. From the looks of things, nopony had even bee in her old tower since she left it. Everything was covered in dust. Her desk on the far end of the circular room still had the old inkwell that she had left the day she’d gone to supervise the Summer Sun Celebration in Ponyville months ago, and most of the other things that Twilight hadn’t ordered brought over.

“Well Spike, looks like I know what we’re going to be doing until lunch,” she said.

“Yeah, I’m going to clean the place and you’re going to help until you find some book you’ve only read twice instead of ten times,” he deadpanned.

“Spike, don’t be silly, I-oh my gosh!” Twilight exclaimed as she noticed a book halfway under her old bed. “Look Spike, this is Twinkle Star’s study on the life and reproductive habits of celestial beasts!”

The purple dragon rolled his eyes when Twilight just plopped down on the floor and started reading. “Yeah huh. Called it.”

Spike’s comment made Twilight frown at him. “Hey, I’ll have you know I’ve only read this book once!”

“So uh, you do know that Celestia isn’t going to be sending you to magic kindergarten, right?” Spike asked as he ran a feather duster over the lowest self of books.

And that makes everybody who figured it out before I did, Twilight told in a huff. However, as his chariot was ahead of hers during the flight over, she doubted he had heard anymore about the dangers of dark magic. “Yes, she hasn’t actually decided on a punishment yet though.”

“Are you worried?”

Was she?

Twilight sat up and thought about it for a moment. From Celestia’s reaction, use of black magic was a pretty big deal. In fact, it was probably the biggest big deal that had happened in the past 500 years! What kind of punishment would fit that sort of crime?

Banishment?

Imprisonment in Tartarus?

Execution?

“GAAAAAAAAHHHHHH! The princess is going to kill me!”

Spike groaned and shook his head. “Oh come on, stuff like that hasn’t happened in over a thousand years.”

“That’s because Luna wasn’t around!” Twilight shouted in a panic. “But now that she’s back, she’ll execute me! Then Luna will get mad at Celestia because we’re friends, the darkness will take over Luna again and she’ll turn into Nightmare Moon 2.0 and bring eternal night and nopony will be able to stop her because the Element of Magic won’t have a Bearer!”

The speech had Spike rolling his eyes halfway through and looking for a solution to Twilight's comming panic attack beforr it could begin. He dug through a pile of books and pulled out a pulled one out before handing it to Twilight. “Here, read this.”

She blinked and looked down at the hardback. “Cognitive Disorders & You, the Reason Why Everypony Says You’re Nuts. Spike! This is that book that says the cure for all my problems is getting married!”

“Actually it said the solution was the stuff that came after getting married,” the dragon corrected her.

“…just get back to dusting,” Twilight grumbled before tossing the book aside.


“So that’s what you do all day, listen to ponies whine?” Rainbow Dash asked as she followed the larger alicorn down the large hallway and into the room where the food was going to be served. At the last second, she stopped to look around at the hallway as they made their way towards the dinning room.

“Well listening to her subjects concerns is the responsibility of every ruler,” Celestia told her granddaughter.

Brought out of her inspection of her surroundings, Rainbow Dash just rolled her eyes at the comment. Okay, some of those things ponies brought up I can understand, she told herself as she remembered the open court that Celestia finished holding a few minutes ago.

Rainbow Dash’s appearance had caused a huge stir, and Celestia had made a short speech about how another pony had joined the ranks of the royalty. She also said there would be a full press conference later in the day to discuss the matter, but told everypony inside her throne room to let the matter rest for the moment as they had come to see her about concerns closer to home. Surprisingly, that seemed to satisfy nearly everypony there, and only a handful asked a few parting questions to Rainbow Dash before the Sun Court ended.

As for the activities of the court itself, although it looked like over a hundred ponies came to see the princess, only a handful had any real time to talk to her about anything. A few ponies came looking for permits to open shops in Canterlot had to get her personal approval, a responsibility Rainbow Dash thought could be delegated to another pony like the Cloudsdale Weather Office did with each individual city’s weather. Then there was that group of miners who thought Canterlot had some precious gems in the mountain it was attached to, Celestia had turned down their request for funding and mining rights. There was also some kind of land dispute between some farmers who had been related over who got what when their grandparents passed on without a will. Those things Rainbow could more or less understand Celestia needing to solve, even if some of them could be handed off to another pony.

It was the less…sensible disputes that made Rainbow scratch her head. There had been two mares who dragged a stallion they had both been dating at the same time and demanded Celestia make him marry one of them. Another case involved the Ponyville resident Lyra Heartstrings on her weekly visit to Canterlot, who demanded Celestia released the truth about something called humans. There was also this one unicorn who had his mane all twisted about an increase in the number of batponies in Canterlot.

The two mares fighting over the stallion got escorted out of court for wasting everypony’s time. The refusal of Lyra’s proposal was met with an insistence that she would be back next week, followed by a short conversation with Dash about what Bon-Bon had been up to recently. The unicorn who had a problem about the batponies was told to bring the matter up with Luna, and then he got extremely pale before saying it wouldn’t be a problem and taking off like his tail was on fire.

“Yeah but…seems to me some of those things the ponies were yakking about were just a waste of time,” Rainbow Dash grumbled.

Celestia chuckled. “Perhaps some were a bit foolish, but hearing them and letting my subjects see me holding court wasn’t,” she replied as they made it to the dinning hall. “Ah, we’re here.” The white alicorn’s horn lit up with a golden glow, and the double doors opened to admit the royal pair.

“Announcing Princess Celestia!” an earth pony guard next to the doors said in a loud voice that was just a tiny bit short of a shout. “Ruler of Equestria! Bringer of the Sun! Conqueror of Discord! Defender of Harmony! She who did unite the tribes under her divine wings and guides us towards a brighter tomorrow!”

After the weirdo fell silent, Rainbow Dash cocked her head to the side at the pony standing next to her. “Uh, what’re you doing?”

“Oh, right,” he said before clearing his throat and taking in another deep breath, “and Princess Rainbow Dash! Uh…also, sort of ruler of Equestria? And um…she of the rainbow hair who…yeah sorry, I haven’t gotten the memo with all your titles and stuff.”

“What? No, wait, I don’t care,” Rainbow Dash mumbled before going back to her previous question. “What the buck are you doing?”

The guard’s nervous look at Rainbow’s displeasure turned to confusion. “I’m announcing you Highness.”

As Celestia giggled at Rainbow Dash’s confusion, she looked around the chamber. The dinning hall looked a lot like the court to the rainbow-haired mare. In other words, the ceiling was too high, the windows were too decorative, and the table looked as if could fit about two hundred ponies if they squeezed together. In short, it was too big and gaudy for her tastes.

There was also the other thing Rainbow noticed. “There’s nopony here! Why is there a guy just standing here yelling stuff when-”

Rainbow’s rant to nopony in particular was cut off when the door on the far end of the dinning room opened and the loud guard pony started up again when they saw who was coming into the room. “Announcing Twilight Sparkle! Personal student of Princess Celestia! Trusted Keeper of Knowledge!”

“Trusted Keeper of Knowledge?” Rainbow Dash asked the older alicorn with laden eyes that told Celestia what she thought of the thing.

The other alicorn raised her shoulders in a shrug. “She is a librarian now. I thought her profile needed an update.”

And how come my intro was so lame? Rainbow Dash asked herself. Then again, if it did reflect my awesomeness, it would probably take me thirty minutes to get into a room around here. The fact that actually being a little humble might just serve a purpose made Rainbow’s hackles rise since it brought up the events of the day before. Still, those memories were quickly tempered by everyone’s actions from earlier in the day.

How long does this forgiveness stuff take to make my gut stop feeling twisted every time I think of them? Rainbow asked herself before she and Twilight met up on opposite sides of the table and took their seats near the end where Celestia sat.

The appearance of the purple unicorn combined with the reminder from just a moment earlier made Rainbow frown. As much as she tried to stop herself, the blue alicorn couldn’t help but bring her thoughts towards Twilight’s actions of the previous week. She also couldn’t help but wonder just how far Twilight would have been willing to take that stupid spell. Rainbow had lost her fans, become a laughing stock, nearly…

Okay that’s enough, Rainbow told herself. She had made up her mind to forgive her friends for that stuff before they even apologized for it. The fact that they had…

But they didn’t really apologize, did they? Dash’s less than forgiving side asked. They had said they were sorry about not trusting her friendship, but not for their actions that came from it or the pain it caused her. Then there was Twilight’s ‘bad luck’ spell. Rainbow had only found out about that after everypony had their make-up session. So, did it really count?

Twilight and Rainbow shared a look, the hesitant look on the unicorn’s face told Rainbow she was unsure of how to continue, while the blue alicorn was in the same boat. But Rainbow wasn’t about to let Twilight be the one to break the silence. “Hey.”

“Hey Rainbow.”

…GAH! What the hay? We were fine next to each other all morning! What’s up with all the hesitation now?

Was it the curse? Twilight had apologized for that…sorta. She had apologized before Dash had known what she was apologizing for, but still counted.

Right?

Was it the fear of another explosion like she’d had at the boutique? Rainbow knew about that stuff now. She knew she couldn’t go off the handle like that again. Even if she didn’t turn anypony to stone it still… The realization hit her like a ton of bricks.

Twilight wasn't hesitating, she was afraid. She was afraid... Of me, the alicorn told herself. The thought made the alicorn feel as if sh had been bucked in the gut by twenty Applejacks and ran a chill through her body that went to the core of Rainbow's very soul.

“I’m sorry,” Rainbow Dash told Twilight, catching the purple unicorn’s attention. “I’m sorry about what happened in the boutique. I’m sorry I scared you.”

Twilight’s eyes widened a bit, then a reassuring smile “It’s okay Rainbow. I forgive-”

“Introducing Princess Cadence! First of the Enlightened! Alicorn of Love! Head Ambassador of Equestria! She who speaks with the voice of the sun!”

“Oh for crying out loud,” Rainbow grumbled. Although, she did make a mental note to see if The Alicorn of Awesomeness was a title she could put on the introduction whenever it came time to make hers.

Rainbow looked around to catch sight of Princess Cadence as she entered the dinning room. The alicorn of love pretty much looked like Rainbow had expected. She was pink, but it was a stylish pink that mixed with a bit of purple around her wings and hair. Like Rainbow, her mane was a multicolored mix of pink, lavender, and a soft yellow. She was also quite a bit taller than the average pony, although still a bit shorter than Luna.

“Oh my gosh, Cadence!” Twilight exclaimed.

“Twilight?” Cadence before the purple unicorn teleported across the table and run up to her. “Twilight!”

Then, Rainbow Dash had the opportunity to watch something that had been occurring with disturbing frequency lately. Namely: Twilight just completely going off the deep end. This time she even took somepony else down with her.

“Sunshine sunshine! Ladybugs awake! Clap your hooves,” both Twilight and Cadence said before turning around and sticking their flanks in the air. “And do a little shake!”

“…you got to be kidding me,” Rainbow mumbled as the two of them broke into laughter and hugged.

Celestia leaned over to Rainbow’s ear. “I seem to remember a certain group of fillies at a flight contest having their own little dance not too long ago.”

The comment made Rainbow slump in her seat to hide her blush. Not too long ago for Celestia might have been a good decade in Rainbow Dash terms, but she had actually repeated that same chant when she had met her old friend Gilda despite it being so many years later.

After the pink alicorn and Twilight had laughed, shed a few tears at their reunion and hugged for a solid minute, they both took places at the banquette table across from Dash, with Twilight sitting closest to Celestia. Rainbow stared at the other alicorn for a moment, and was studied in return. Cadence was the one to break the stalemate with a tiny smirk. “So you’re Rainbow Dash. Twilight’s written a lot about you and her other friends,” she said before leaning in closer. “Thanks for finally dragging her away from those books. I was afraid she’d spend her whole life with her muzzle buried in them.”

The comment made Twilight cry out in protest while Rainbow Dash laughed. “Well, thanks.”

“And what do you mean I’ve written a lot about my friends?” Twilight demanded. “I haven’t written you in…well, forever! Are you reading my friendship reports to Princess Celestia?” She supposed that Cadence would have access to them, and being academic in nature they were meant to be shared.

Cadence laughed and waved the question away with her hoof. “Oh no! I’ve read some of those letters you sent to Shiny.”

“Shiny?”

“Shining Armor, my brother, the stallion you met this morning?” Twilight half-explained, half-asked Rainbow Dash. It took a few seconds before the blue alicorn nodded.

“Oh yeah. Gotta say Twilight, I’m still kinda shocked anypony related to you isn’t some kind of ultra nerd.”

Cadence let out a tiny laugh at the comment when Twilight groaned and slumped forward. As much as she hated to bring up the fact even to herself, Shinning was a little out there on the dweeb scale. He might have been one of the most fit and powerful unicorns around, but he still played those table top RPGs while trying to rationalize them in a way that didn‘t tarnish his image. Battle simulations my flank.

“So Rainbow Dash, tell me about yourself,” Cadence asked.

The chance to talk about her favorite subject perked Rainbow Dash’s enthusiasm up a bit. “Oh well I’m-” But then the alicorn cut herself off when she saw Twilight out of the corner of her eye. Despite the way her friends went about it, Rainbow Dash supposed that Twilight and the others might have had a point about her being a braggart. The last thing Rainbow wanted was to be seen as another Trixie by the ponies she cared most about in the world. “I’m…nopony special.”

WHAT?”

Twilight’ outburst drew everypony’s attention. The lavender unicorn stared at Rainbow Dash for a moment. “Are you kidding me?”

“What happened to wanting me to stop being a braggart?” Rainbow Dash accused Twilight, her tone becoming slightly annoyed. “If its so important to you Twilight that you start throwing curses around, then I’ll stop!”

The purple unicorn gaped at her friend’s response. “I never said you should stop…” her mind trained off, unable to complete the thought. Twilight had only wanted Dash to stop being so annoying in her bragging, not give it up completely. If she were to do that, then the mare in front of her might as well not be Rainbow Dash at all!

“I just…”

“That’s exactly what you wanted!” Rainbow Dash accused. “You wanted me to lie about who I am, so it would be easier to get along!”

“What do you mean lie? I’ve wanted anything from you or any of my friends but the truth!” Twilight replied. It wasn’t until the words left her mouth that she realized she had been shouting.

“Give me a break Twilight! We lie to each other all the time! It may not be about facts, but we sure as hay do it about who we are!” Rainbow Dash replied in a huff.

“Fluttershy would barely leave her cottage without us dragging her out to go do something, and we have to walk on eggshells whenever she‘s around. Applejack has to keep her mouth shut half the time to suppress her million and one ‘I told you so’s from getting out while the rest of us have to smile and nod whenever she can‘t. Rarity has to bite her tongue every time she sees my hair, and everypony else has to put up with her whole frou-frou act. Pinkie has to tone it down around everypony she sees and the rest of us have to just roll with her being Pinkie when she can’t; and don’t try and deny that didn’t drive you nuts when you first met her. That it still doesn’t make you wonder from time to time. And then there's you!

"We all have to bend over backwards and plan stuff two weeks in advance if we want to do anything with you at all! Do you have any idea how insulting it is to have to take a backseat to you reading a bucking stack of paper because it’s what you scheduled for that day weeks ago? It’s like you’re telling me a bunch of stupid words scribbled on some pages that will be there tomorrow are more important than your friends of right now!”

Twilight’s ears drooped. “I…I had no idea you felt that way.” She looked over to Celestia for a moment to try and ask for some kind of forgiveness or guidance, but didn’t wait for a response before breaking eye contact. What could Celestia give her? It was Rainbow who was angry with her, and this time Twilight didn’t even really understand why.

The fact she couldn’t understand her friend’s feelings only made Twilight’s mood worse. If friends were supposed to be able to understand one another with minimal explanations, then what did it say about her inability to give meaning to Dash’s anger?

Seeing her friend’s expression a second before she looked away made Rainbow clench her teeth. Oh buck… “Look, Twilight…” Rainbow tried to think of something to say to make her friend feel better, but her stupid tongue couldn’t find the words.

Yeah well maybe she needs to hear it after what happened with that stupid curse of hers, a tiny part of Rainbow Dash’s mind spoke up before she crushed it for sounding smug over the sight of Twilight being so sad.

“I’m not hungry anymore. If somepony needs me, I’ll be in my tower.”

Rainbow Dash raised a hoof and say something to try and get her to stop, but Twilight was already gone before she could utter the first syllable. With Twilight gone, the words died before they left her throat. She saw Cadence was giving her a well deserved glare while Celestia looked upset over the whole situation.

Stupid! Some Princess of Friendship I am. Applejack isn’t the only one who needs to keep her mouth shut sometimes.

Author's Note:

Next chapter, Rainbow Dash's first day as an alicorn FINALLY comes to an end.

Can Equestria survive that long?
Will Twilight ever eat lunch?
Will someone ever ask why Cadence's name is also spelled Cadance later on in the show while her real name is Cadenza with an E?

Tune in next time when Luna makes her present day debut and we learn absolutely nothing about about how Pinkie Pie can do the things she does!