• Published 3rd Jun 2014
  • 13,531 Views, 330 Comments

Lulamoon's Castle - Bookish Delight



The Great And Powerful Trixie has returned to Ponyville at last, and Twilight Sparkle doesn't stand a cha--hold on. What's this giant shiny house doing sitting in the middle of everything?

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1: Earth Bound

A stack of notebooks, messy and frayed, were magically floated into a box. A set of glasses and beakers were placed into another. Magical ingredients went into still another box.

Trixie cast a cooling spell on the ingredients box to keep its contents fresh. She wondered if it'd be possible to convince the staff to let her take some of the textbooks. Then again, given what she'd just requested, she wasn't sure the staff would listen to her ever again.

It was just as well. She needed to pack light until she could find some mode of transportation. She'd been looking at used wagons for two weeks. Most of the ones which fit her budget, and could be sold to a mare as young as herself, were rather tiny.

Still, Canterlot wasn't built in a day. She doubted anypony's first wagon was anything to write home about. She'd learn more, earn more, then buy herself a worthy home!

All in due time.

But this had to be the first step.

She sighed, sealing the boxes one by one. Once the final box was shut, Trixie heard a soft, lilting voice behind her.

"Are you sure I can't change your mind?"

Trixie turned around to see a white alicorn with flowing multicolored hair towering over her.

She knew this moment would come. She'd been trying to figure out what to say.

She decided to speak her mind -- but first, she bowed. It was not only courteous, it was custom.

Princess Celestia chuckled. "No need, my student. I simply wish to talk to you -- mare to mare, magician to magician. I must say, when your request was forwarded to me, I was rather surprised. I hadn't thought you to be unsatisfied here."

Trixie shook her head. "I'm not doing this out of dissatisfaction. You've been nothing but kind. Though heaven knows I haven't always deserved that kindness."

"Then if not dissatisfied, what are you?" Celestia asked.

Trixie looked around her learning room. Shelves of spellbooks stood against one wall, but the rest of the now-bare room commanded her attention. She remembered there being scrolls, formulas, and designs scattered across the walls. The table in the center had always been full of magical nick-nacks. Her blackboard -- and whiteboard -- had never been erased until today.

Now all that was left, anywhere, were small stains and scorch marks -- leftovers from experiments and pyrotechnic spells which hadn't gone exactly to plan.

Taking it all in, she finally whispered what she swore she never would.

"I'm scared."

Celestia stayed quiet.

"Every student here, I see doing the same thing," Trixie said. "Every student here gets told the same thing. 'Gifted.' 'Destined for greatness.' We're the cream of the crop of unicorn mages."

She looked to Celestia, silently seeking validation of her statement. Celestia returned Trixie's gaze with a straight face.

"Do you think it untrue?" Celestia asked.

"I..." Trixie struggled to find the words. "...well, no, of course not! But I see us all learning the same things, the same way, in the same place. Equestria is an immense world. There's no way I'd learn everything I could by staying here. To really know who I am, what I'm capable of? I need to be out there." She pointed to the window.

Celestia nodded. "I can sympathize with your frustration with structure and limits." Her eyes twinkled. "You should have seen me when I first took on my duties. I swore I'd never allow myself to be as stuffy as the ancient pony rulers." She gave a sardonic scoff. "And yet, here we are.

"But Trixie," Celestia continued, "you are gifted. You wouldn't be here if you were not. Nor would you have lasted this long even given your... occasional stumbles."

Trixie looked away. "Stumbles I'm not proud of."

"But stumbles we as equine beings must all make." Celestia took Trixie's hoof in hers. "I want you to know that I didn't create this school to groom ponies for predetermined destinies. I created it to give them as much preparation as needed, so that they could then choose what they wanted to do with their lives."

Celestia levitated a signed piece of paper towards Trixie.

"If you truly believe in the path you are about to take, then I will not stop you. I hereby grant your request. But I want you to remember one thing, for as long as you live."

Trixie stood at attention, staring straight up at Celestia with wide eyes. "Th-that being?" she stammered.

"Out in the 'immense' world of Equestria, there are ponies, and other things, that will test you. However, you've been here long enough for me to see that confidence is your greatest asset. Never let it falter, and you will be able to weather any storm."

Celestia looked directly into Trixie's eyes with a small smile. She levitated a blue hat which had been sitting amongst the sealed boxes -- a prop from a failed talent show act -- atop the unicorn's head. Trixie responded with a warm blush.

"You are destined for great things, Trixie," Celestia said. "Whether you like it or not."

---

"Lulamoon's Castle"

A My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Fanfiction

Chapter 1: "Earth Bound"

Bookish Delight, 2014. MLP:FiM belongs to Hasbro.

---

Her carriage's window showed a constantly-moving view of the countryside. Grass, trees, meadows... Trixie stuck her head out of the window and took a huge whiff of fresh air. She exhaled, felt the breeze in her mane, and relaxed.

Her relaxation didn't last. Memories of the past week still lingered in her mind. All too easily, all too vividly, she remembered aimlessly roaming the land, completely devoid of the very thing that made her her, a cold husk residing where an everlasting spark should have been.

Those memories still made her shudder, especially when they came to fixate, as they always did, on the source of her plight.

The dread Lord Tirek.

She'd learned of him as a foal before seeing him in person. He wasn't supposed to have come back. Then again, that could be said about a lot of villains these days.

Naturally, she had stood up to him. She had given him everything she had... and in the end, driven him off all by herself! It would make for an excellent story to tell far and wide during her performances!

That is, if that last part was at all true.

What had actually happened? She was sucked dry of her magic, drop by drop, with not a single way to stop it. He didn't even have the courtesy to leave her with her cutie mark as he walked off in cackling triumph! Never had she felt so embarrassed, so humiliated, so... violated.

Trixie refused to let such a crime go unpunished. She set about devising ways to take back what was hers.

Her planning only lasted a day. In almost as little time as it had taken to lose her magic and identity, both were restored. Tirek disappeared entirely. And she had a pretty good hunch as to who might have been responsible.

Which was why it was time.

The carriage left the grass and went back onto smooth, paved road. Trixie walked to the other side of her room, and stood in front of her dresser mirror. She flipped her mane, striking a pose.

"Twilight Sparkle! Prepare yourself, for today is the day that we finally settle things! You may be good, but I'm still better... and it's time the world finally knew!"

Trixie paused and frowned. Too plain. She struck another pose, this one a guarded stance on her hind hooves.

"Hello. My name is Trixie Lulamoon. You bruised my ego. Prepare to lose."

She paused to let it sink in. Still not enough. Perhaps, she thought, just a little more zing. A little more... magic.

She tried once more, pointing at her reflection in defiance, and casting a spell that lit the entire room in golden brilliance.

Her voice rose, loud and proclaiming. "Do you see, Twilight Sparkle? The Great Trixie radiates with an awesome power! This burning strength tells me to defeat-"

Gah! Too much! Far, far too much. She stopped where she was, recoiling and embarrassed. The golden light dissipated in an instant.

Trixie sighed. "None of these sound right." She snorted in dismissal. "Pah, fine then. The Great And Powerful Trixie will simply have to wing it."

The view outside of her window suddenly became static, and a bell sounded. This was it. The spell she'd set on the carriage was fashioned to take her straight to Ponyville, following all valid roads, and stop a fair distance away from Twilight Sparkle's house.

She went to her door, opened it, and stepped out.

Indeed, this was Ponyville as she remembered it. Rural and rustic, with only the tiniest snippets of civilization. Then again, earth ponies were never fond of change.

Change, however, was a sentiment that Trixie fully embraced. She took a look back towards what some pony passersby were already staring at -- a grand, freshly painted blue carriage bearing her cutie mark.

And three times larger than the piddly wagon she'd previously owned.

Her heart swelled. It had taken her a long time before she could afford the carriage, and she was more than proud to call it home. She couldn't wait to show Twilight Sparkle all she'd learned, and all she'd gained. This would be where she would start.

As soon as Trixie managed to find Twilight Sparkle, that was.

Had her spell gone wrong? She couldn't find that old treehouse anywhere. Moreover, there was an odd, ever-present brightness, the source of which she just couldn't place.

She spun around, trying to find it. Had they installed a reflective light source she wasn't aware of? Such a prospect seemed to be just a little advanced for this town-

Then, she found it.

And she found herself unable to stop looking at it.

Nor could she stop gaping.

"You there!" She pulled a nearby aquamarine pony to her side. "Excuse me, but-"

"Whoa, hey!" Lyra recoiled after seeing who had grabbed her. "Aren't you... yeah! You're that magician that tried to take over our town last time you were here!"

Trixie huffed. "First off, The Great And Powerful Trixie did take over your town. Second, it wasn't one of her finest moments. And finally, none of that's important right now!" She gestured with her right hoof towards the crystalline tree-castle that stood prominently in the distance. "Now tell Trixie, who does this... this grandiose monstrosity belong to?"

Lyra gave a challenging smile. "None other than Twilight Sparkle herself."

Trixie nearly choked. "Twilight?"

"That's right! So if you try anything this time, you're not going to last long! Enjoy your stay in Ponyville!" Lyra trotted off, her head held high with pride.

Trixie looked back at the castle, gaping again.

"Twi... light," she just barely managed to utter, unable to fight back the rising tide of frustration.

---

"Spike? Spiiiiiiike?" Twilight called.

"Spike? Spiiiiiiike?" the halls called back.

Twilight sighed. It was easy to get tired of this. Only a few days living in the castle, and she'd had to train herself to both walk and speak more softly in order to avoid confusion -- or worse, earaches.

Did Princess Celestia have to put up with this? Had she come up with some sort of magical soundproofing solution? She made a note to ask these questions the next time they met.

In the meantime, she had a dragon to find.

"Spike, talk to me so I can stop talking to myself! Where are you?"

Silence responded at first, then... "Uh, a room?"

He sounded close. Twilight poked her head into a nearby room, finding nothing. She repeated this three more times, her face etched in an annoyed frown. "Which room?"

"A... big one?" Spike said.

Twilight rolled her eyes and shook her head. All the rooms were big. "I'm gonna need more than that, Spike."

"Marco!" Pinkie Pie's voice echoed across the halls.

"Pinkie?" a surprised Spike called out.

"You're supposed to say 'Polo', Spike!" Pinkie replied.

Twilight threw up her hooves, then hunched. She shook her head again as she walked down the hall. "How many floors did the library have? Three. How many times did we get lost in it? Zero. This is ridiculous."

Twilight's tirade was interrupted by a bloodcurdling scream. She gasped, running toward the sound. Along the way, she found Spike.

"Twilight," Spike said, "Did you hear that?"

"I think Celestia heard that!" Twilight replied.

"SPAR-KLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLE!" the same voice cried out.

The two looked at each other, then located a window. Looking outside, they saw The Great And Powerful Trixie laying at the front of the castle doors, unconscious.

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