• Published 21st Feb 2015
  • 14,793 Views, 268 Comments

Luna's Protégé - MrAlterad

Luna needs to take up a protégé, for soon, Celestia's banishment will come to an end. The problem? Too many good choices!

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1. Luna's Choice

Luna fiddled with her false glasses as she waited for the next applicant. She sat near the left end of a long desk, her bookkeeper, Tell Tale, to her left, and five other unicorns to her right. Her wings itched under the casually formal suit she wore, which also covered her cutie-mark. Her mane and tail had also been glamored up to better match the ponies around her. Sitting at the middle of the desk was the principle for her School for Gifted Unicorns, the only other pony, besides her bookkeeper, wise to Luna's disguise. To everypony else, she was simply a teacher from Manehatten, who happened to be a little bigger than the average unicorn.

I just love wearing spectacles! Luna thought gleefully, I doubt I'd be fooling anypony without them! The glasses were the only part of her disguise she enjoyed, but that wasn't the source of her good mood.

Today was a special day for the Princess of Equestria. She was here to oversee an interview, one that would shape Equestria's future; an interview given under the pretense of becoming a renowned unicorn's apprentice, Sir Tell Tale, who was the personal bookkeeper of Princess Luna. Truthfully, today, she was going to name some promising little filly or colt her protégé. One whom she would teach, and rely upon when her sister's banishment came to an end.

At least, Luna was hoping that would be the case. The interview had started from oldest applicants, to youngest, and the applicants so far have been rather ... lackluster. Not that Luna would admit that out loud. She, of all ponies, knew how damaging it was to belittle the efforts of the young. The children were all gifted, each in their own way, but none of them simply had the radiance, spark, or flare that she was looking for. Luna was looking for somepony that really got her attention, somepony that screamed out 'Going to be a big deal! Just you wait!'.

The closest she's gotten to that was a pair of young brothers from the second year group. They insisted that two protégés were better than one, and even sang a terribly catchy, and adorable song. It was so good that their words had gotten to the princess, greatly considering the notion of multiple protégé in their regards. Unfortunately, singing and pitching good ideas seemed to be the only thing they were good at. Luna's protégé needed to be talented with magic. Still, she took note of Flim and Flam, writing a small attachment to their entry on the roster.

'Keep an eye on these two ~ destined for big things.'

Managing to keep a sigh to herself, Luna watched as the first filly of the first-years entered into the office. This filly was one of the few in her year to already have her cutie-mark, and appraising her clip-board again, she took note of the filly, already expecting big things from her.

[Sunset Shimmer: Proven to be a quick study, highest magical aptitude in her year, and the second and third years as well. Though, she doesn't play well with others.]

Sunset walked up to the raised platform set before the seven judges, a fire in her eyes and a confidence that brought a small smile to Luna's lips. Radiance, check. Luna affirmed to herself as the stallion in the middle of the desk spoke up.

“Sunset Shimmer,” the principal, a unicorn with a gray coat and mane named Silver Apple, began sternly, “why, exactly, should we pick you, to be Sir Tell Tale's apprentice?” His tone and question made the young filly falter for a moment, but pride lit up her eyes as she looked to him.

“Best in class!” She proclaimed with a smile, standing tall, with her chest puffed out. Silver Apple stared silently at her, and started writing something down. His lack of a positive reply made Sunset's smile slowly melt as she put some serious thought to his question. “U-Um, because I'm really good with magic?” she then added weakly, “I can also cast third year spells-”

“So you're saying we should pick you based on ability,” he replied, getting a hesitant nod from the filly, prompting a sigh from the old stallion. “Well, it's true that you are best in your year. Still, we'll need a demonstration of your talent.” He then looked back to her, expecting just that. Immediately. Her eyes widened as she quickly pulled over a purple dragon egg from her saddlebag. Luna's brow was furrowed as she looked to Silver Apple, and had to remind herself that the principal's job was to manage the teachers and building, not the students.

Still, after this, I intend to give him some console on how to properly talk to a first year! Luna thought, looking back to Sunset as she levitated the egg onto the platform. She adopted a weak smile as she looked to her audience. Did her parents procure that egg? she wondered as Sunset spoke up.

Or at least she was going to, but she caught the impatient look in the principal's eyes and instead started to gather her magic, wrapping the egg in its light. She then closed her eyes, her face creasing in effort as her horn glowed brighter. Luna could feel an amazing amount of power building from the filly, who was so focused that she stopped breathing. The other judges shared intrigued looks, as the egg flashed brilliantly, the shell crumbling apart, revealing a newborn purple and green dragon.

Everypony was impressed, including Luna. Everypony but Silver, that is, who fit the part of an impartial judge to the letter. Sunset slumped down, taking in a deep breath as she looked to the baby dragon, a small smile on her face.

“That was a very impressive display of power,” Silver admitted, getting a nod from the filly as she got on her hooves, “Still, Sunset Shimmer, now what? Now you have a newborn dragon in your possession. Who's to take care of it? You? Your family?” His words were not doing the filly any favors, who was looking more at a loss, her confidence falling to pieces under his barrage. “When you came here with that egg, did you think of the-”

“That's more than enough,” Luna spoke up in annoyance, getting a surprised look from Silver and Sunset. “Sunset Shimmer,” she began, giving the filly a calm, kind smile, “you did very well.” That got a smile from the filly, who was giving Luna a very thankful look. Luna then leaned close to Tell Tale, whispering to him. “See to it the dragon is looked after, if not by her house, then mine.” Her bookkeeper nodded as he wrote a note down, and Luna wrote down a note of her own as well.

'****Sunset Shimmer. Strongest applicant, determined. Also, baby dragon.****'

Luna then looked back the the filly, who was looking a little nervous for Luna's whispering. “You can expect to be hearing more from Sir Tell Tale, little one.” Her assurance brought forth a smile whose radiance put the sun to shame. “You can go now, somepony will be talking to you shortly concerning your dragon.” Sunset Shimmer nodded, levitating the baby dragon, who looked at the filly with amusement, and they both left the room, a small skip in the filly's trot. After her departure, Luna gave Silver a very disapproving look, and to his credit, he remained composed.

“Why were you so hard on her? She's a first year!” Luna asked, getting a surprised look from all but her bookkeeper, who let out a worrisome sigh. Her sentiment was shared by the others, but they were also teachers working under Silver Apple.

“I assure you, madam,” he winced when he said that, reminding Luna that she was in disguise, “the position these applicants are applying for is no game. Sunset has talent, but what of character? What of thinking of the bigger picture? Madam, I am simply making sure that only the best take up the role of … Sir Tell Tale's apprentice.” Luna looked to him, then let out a small sigh. Tell Tale spoke up, coming to his princess's aid.

“I appreciate your scrupulousness, Silver, but would you mind toning it down a little. I don't care to see anypony crying today, least of all a child, and you were awfully close to accomplishing that.” Silver looked to Luna, then nodded.

“I will. My deepest apologies.” Tell and Luna nodded in unison, then the princess looked back to the applicant roster on her clipboard.

Of the first year group, there were a total of seven applicants. The second and third failed to impress, though the teal filly with the harp had played quite a lovely tune, it wasn't what Luna was looking for. As the fourth applicant was about to enter, Luna started to feel assured that Sunset Shimmer was the only one fit to be her protégé. She then eyed her notes, and adopted a bit of surprise when she read on the next filly.

[Twilight Sparkle: Daughter of renowned Night Light and Twilight Velvet. Top of year in studies, however, shown to be below average in application.]

I wasn't aware they had a daughter too! Luna thought as she looked to see a lavender filly open the door, peeking in sheepishly before entering, a small potted plant levitated to her side. She paused for a moment, hesitating as she considered something, then nodded to herself as she stood on the platform, laying the plant next to her. Luna took note that Twilight didn't have her cutie-mark yet, as Silver cleared his throat.

“Twilight Sparkle,” Silver began, with a fond grin, which Luna caught notice of, “why do you wish to be Sir Tell Tale's apprentice?” Luna blinked as she appraised the stallion.

Why did he change his opening question? Luna wondered as Twilight looked to Tell Tale, then back to Silver.

“Because, he's Princess Luna's bookkeeper,” she said a little hesitantly, “He gets to look after books, and talk to the princess.” A small fire lit up in the filly's eyes as she looked to Silver, “I wanna be like him!”

Luna found a smile on her face, and from the corner of her eye, she could see that Tell Tale was a little taken aback. Becoming his apprentice, as the children were told, would provide them with the knowledge and influence to make whatever they wanted with their lives. Twilight was the first one to openly aspire to be like him. He scribbled a small note on Luna's clipboard, and the princess had to resist a small chuckle as she read it.

'Best pick. I choose Twilight Sparkle.'

“Well, Twilight,” Silver continued, “as pleased as Sir Tell Tale is to hear that,” that comment made the dark blue stallion blush slightly, “we still need to test your talent.”

“R-Right,” Twilight replied, eyeing the potted plant with dread. “T-This is a Myosotis, of the Boraginaceae family, known as a Forget-Me-Not. I'm gonna use an alteration spell. Changing it to a Lavandula of the Lamiaceae family-”

“Twilight,” Tell Tale interrupted, getting the fillies attention almost instantly, “Instead of lavender, could you change it into a Taraxacum?” Twilight looked to him, considering it for a moment before nodding.

“I'll try,” she replied hesitantly as Luna looked to Tell Tale, a little lost. He quickly wrote on his board another message for her.

'Dandelion. Also, she looks like a real keeper.'

Luna couldn't help but agree, Twilight knew some very big words for a first year. But, is her magic up to snuff? Luna considered as she watched Twilight take several steps back from the Forget-Me-Nots.

Her horn started to glow as she focused her will on the plant, and it started to shake from the magic being forced upon it. The pot danced, the plant shimmered, but the flower remained the same. Twilight put more effort into her spell, exerting herself just has Sunset had. Luna let out a small sigh, as changing a flower to a different kind wasn't supposed to be as difficult as it appeared to be for the little filly. Her horn glowed even brighter, and Luna's disappointment was shifting towards worry, as there were tears in the filly's eyes. Her horn's glow proved to increase further, casting the room in its light, before it all winked out, and Twilight slumped to the ground, unconscious. Looking to the pot, Luna let out a sigh of relief, the pot of Forget-Me-Nots was now a pot of Dandelions.

It would have been crushing, had she failed... Luna thought as Tell Tale, as dependable as ever, was the first to act. He got up and rushed to the filly's side, looking over her while the others simply looked on in surprise. Seeing Twilight pass out from her spell reminded Luna of the very first time she raised the sun. She had given it her all, and passed out just as Twilight did. That kind of determination was rare, and Luna found another smile on her lips as Twilight stirred from Tell Tale's aid.

“Did, did I fail-” she asked, then saw the dandelions, and couldn't believe her eyes. “I, I-” she was cut off by Tell Tale, as he helped her to her hooves.

“I think you can look forward to hearing from me, young lady.” Twilight's mouth hung open as she looked to him, blushing slightly before giving him a smile. “Now, move along, there are others still waiting for their chance.” At that, Twilight nodded, and picking the plant up with her hoof, left the room, almost staggering straight into the door. “Make sure you head to the nurses office!” the stallion added as the filly left, an aide assisting her to her destination.

“So, meets your standards, Sir Tell Tale?” Silver asked as the dark blue stallion returned to Luna's side. “She's very popular with the teachers; she's quite the model student.”

“I noticed, she may be our strongest applicant yet!” Tell replied, then noticed the amused look his princess was giving him, and the stallion cleared his throat as he washed his face of emotions. “I suppose she may do,” he added, regaining his composure as he wrote another letter to the princess.

***'Very strongly recommend, Your Highness.'***

Luna nodded as she took note of Twilight, now torn between her and Sunset Shimmer. Still, having two promising candidates is better than one, Luna affirmed. Twilight's still quite young, her magic likely isn't finished being developed. With how hard she appears to work, it's quite possible she could surpass Sunset. Luna was then distracted from her thoughts as the next applicant entered.

Having been surprised by Twilight's addition to her list of truly potential protégé, she kept an open mind for the remaining applicants. Though, the fifth and sixth failed to impress her. Stewing on who she should choose between the two, she found herself leaning towards taking up Sunset as her protégé, while Tell Tale took up Twilight as his apprentice, as was advertised.

As the last applicant, the youngest member of the school, walked into the room, Luna noted the filly's wand and apparent crescent moon cutie-mark, and adopted a smile. Having the moon on your flank was a good start to earning bonus points with the princess. The light blue filly held her head tall as she entered, carrying nothing with her, unlike all the other applicants. Being the youngest, it was no surprise she was also the smallest, but the fact that she had her cutie-mark already was impressive.

[Trixie Lulamoon: Takes to magic like a Shadowbolt takes to flying. Her aptitude and studies are average, but has shown to be very creative with her application, especially considering her age.]

Luna nodded to herself, looking up from her notes, wondering how this final applicant intended to impress her audience.

“Trixie the Adorable is ready~!” she stated with a proud grin, as she gave the judges a small bow, the act alone making Luna flush.

So cute!! A crime, I say! Luna thought gleefully, being reminded of her secret motivation behind opening this school. Silver Apple, heart as hard as coal, and just as dark, wasn't phased, as he began with his opening question.

“Trixie Lulamoon, why should we pick you, to be Sir Tell Tale's apprentice?”

“Because mama said so~!” she quickly replied, not faltering under his glower, making the old stallion roll his eyes.

“So, you don't care about the position then?” Trixie looked at him, a little confused.


“You don't want to be his apprentice?” Silver clarified, with surprising patience. The filly's brow furrowed as she thought on it.

“Mama said it best for Trixie. Trixie wants to be apprentiss.” Silver let out a sigh as he nodded, writing something down as he looked to her. He then seemed to consider his next words carefully as he replied.

“Well, you need to show us you're good at magic, if you want that.” That made the filly's smile grow, and she gave an eager, excited bow.

“A show!? Trixie loves shows!” And with that, her horn started to glow, and with a pop, all sorts of flashy lights and fireworks appeared around the filly, catching Luna, Silver, and Tell Tale off guard. Trixie let out a hearty giggle as she continued to present all kinds of tricks with her magic, from simple illusions to fireworks, even a disappearing act. It went on for several minutes, and when it was over, Trixie stood on the platform, looking quite tired, but terribly happy with herself. Luna was quite sure the filly had forgotten the fact that she was here for more than to have fun.

Luna's cheeks ached from the smile the performance had brought on, and looking to her notes, she was surprised to see that she had already written her thoughts on the filly, and quickly scratched off the incriminating portion of it.

***'Big potential! Super cute! Must adopt as protégé.'***

“Yes, that was...” Silver Apple began as the filly picked herself up, “something. We'll let you know of your candidacy after some consideration.” Trixie looked at him, confused by his big words, but seeing the small smiles the others were giving her, assumed it was a good thing, and nodded.

“Trixie is happy!” With that, she slowly trotted out of the room, despite her fatigue, there was a slight bounce in her step. As the door closed behind her, Silver looked to Tell, as well as the other teachers.

“Yes, that was quite the turnout,” Tell began, giving Luna a brief glance, “I'll need some time to come to a decision, so how about we reconvene in an hour?” He asked, catching the small nod Luna gave from the corner of his eye.

“Very well,” Silver Apple added, also catching Luna's nod, “we'll return in an hour to decide on whom will be your apprentice.”


“Have you decided, Your Highness?” Tell asked of Luna in the privacy of a nearby classroom. “I do hope it's Twilight that's caught your eye.”

“Confound it all, that's the problem!” Luna declared, glaring at nopony in particular. “I thought it fortunate to find a single candidate. But that isn't what we found. Not one, not two, but three!” she then looked to Tell with a troubled expression, “I cannot simply choose one of them!” She then let out a long sigh.

One of those fillies is going to reform the Elements of Harmony and save my sister, but what if I choose wrong? That notion echoing in her thoughts, she then considered the three fillies, their strengths, and the potential each had.

Sunset Shimmer definitely has radiance; her power is clearly strong enough to back that up. I mean, she hatched a dragon's egg! Only a small number of adults can do that! But then, there's Twilight Sparkle. She has the spark of a real genius! And she's got determination, a great deal of it, enough to make up for her lacking magic! And then there's Trixie Lulamoon! So. CUTE. Luna then faltered in embarrassment, I, I mean- So much raw talent! She cast those spells with finesse, weaving together three or four at a time! She may not be as smart as the other two right now, but she makes up for it with her smile! Er, I mean, her flare! And she's the youngest, who knows what she'll be capable of as she grows!

As Luna considered the fillies, she found herself being distracted by a song Tell was humming, a song she had heard earlier. The song the Flim and Flam colts recounted. She recalled what the brothers had pitched, and adopted a sly smile. Wait, who says I need limit myself to one protégé?


Luna tried to conceal her smile as the three fillies looked to each other. Sunset looked worried, Twilight confused, and Trixie, oblivious. They were back in the office, each of them standing on the platform, with only Tell Tale and Luna in the room with them. Twilight looked to the stallion hopefully, while Sunset glared to the other two standing next to her.

“Sunset Shimmer,” Tell Tale began, with a small smile, “Twilight Sparkle, and Trixie Lulamoon,” hearing her name, Trixie looked to him, her head tilted in confusion, “All three of you have been found as favorable candidates to be my apprentice. Unfortunately, none of you will be such.” Before his words could hit them, he quickly added, “That is because you'll be taken under somepony else's wing.” With that, he bowed to Luna, and with a simple spell, she removed her disguise, de-glamoured her mane and tail, and carefully levitated the glasses onto the desk, giving the three fillies her majestic smile.

“Princess Luna!?”

“P-Princess Luna!?”

“Princess Luna...”

The three fillies proclaimed in different ways. Sunset in surprise, shortly before adopting a proud grin. Twilight in unexpected happiness, almost bowing to the princess out of reverence, and Trixie out of wonder.

“S-So,” Sunset began as she took a step forward, bowing to Luna, “It's me, right?” Twilight looked to Sunset, then Luna, and started to look crestfallen, while Trixie appeared confused by the events occurring before her. Luna shook her head, popping Sunset's balloon, prompting the light orange filly to frown at the two behind her.

“All three of you, will be my protégés,” Luna declared. Sunset, still looking to Twilight and Trixie, let her mouth fall open as she slowly turned to the princess, who continued to give the three fillies her smile. Twilight's reaction was much more impressionable.

“EEEEeeee~” she squealed out as she started bouncing around the room. “Yes yes yes yes yes! Oh just think of all the books!” she proclaimed as she landed in front of Luna, then remembering herself, tried to regain her composure- nope, she stayed happy, and continued bouncing around the room in pure mirth. Seeing Twilight bounce around, Trixie let out a giggle as she started following her.

“Trixie the Adorable likes!” she proclaimed as Tell Tale gave Luna an amused look.

“Well, Your Highness, looks like you've taken up quite the undertaking.” Luna nodded to him, but wasn't worried. She had managed Equestria without her older sister for almost a whole millennium, teaching three fillies shouldn't be that much trouble. After all, there are plenty of normal ponies that teach whole classrooms of them.

“Princess Luna,” Sunset began, looking up to the princess, a little sheepishly, “Why all three of us? Am I not good enough?” And already the first hurdle presented itself to Luna. She shook her head as she kneeled down to Sunset, to speak on the same level.

“It's not about being good enough. Each of you have your spark, your flare, and your radiance. It's not about being better then the others, it's about the others making you better.” Sunset's face scrunched as she tried to understand that play on words, then frowned to Luna. “Consider that your first lesson, I expect you to take it in quickly.” Sunset's eyes widened at that, and she nodded. “You're the oldest here, you know what that means, right?”

“...that I'm in charge?” she said meekly, suspecting that was the wrong answer, Luna shaking her head only proving that notion.

“It means that you need to set a good example.” Luna then nodded to herself. “Twilight, Trixie.” Both fillies stopped. Well, Twilight did, causing Trixie to crash into her, causing both of them to roll into a tangled ball of purple and blue at Luna's hooves. She felt her heart skip a beat as they both looked to her with their big, apologetic eyes. Luna's face flushed as she let out an awkward cough. “Both of you, play time is over.” Luna then nodded to herself, adopting her authoritative tone, “It's time for class.” The fillies separated themselves and stood next to Sunset, who looked to both of them, unsure of how to act.

Luna looked to Tell Tale, who gave her a reassuring nod as he got an aide, preparing things for the three fillies before her. She then looked to them, each of them with their own strengths and weaknesses, and she nodded to herself.

These, were her students. And she had little doubt, she would teach them well. And, with any luck, the three fillies before her will each prove to be what Equestria needed, when the time comes for them to truly shine.