• 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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2. Trixie's Fear

Trixie the Adorable waved goodbye as the carriage carrying her parents rode off, leaving her behind in front of Canterlot Castle. The carriage now out of sight, she felt herself waver at the notion that she wouldn't see her family for at least a couple days. She then looked to the ground, feeling as though things were changing too fast, and it scared her, a little. She then shook her head, lifting it, a small fire burning in her heart.

She made a promise to her parents, one they asked of her. She was going be Great, and Powerful. She would make them happy, and she would not cry.

Her resolve then melted away as she was plagued by a simple thought. But, if Trixie's gotta cry, mama won't, she won't be there... Feeling her eyes itch, she then shook her head again, rubbing her eyes as she grabbed her bag, her fears falling a step behind as she moved to the gate. Looking past Twilight and Tell Tale, she took in what was to be her new home, for what she considered to be a long time.

Thankfully, for the little filly, her fears were dispelled by the sight before her.

It's so biiig~ she thought, her eyes opening wide as they climb the spires and towers, her mouth hanging open, her head following her gaze, almost making her lose her balance.

To Trixie, Canterlot, was a big place. Everything towered over her, buildings, plants, ponies and statues. Now she looked upon her new home, and couldn't help but feel in awe at its size, for the castle was certainly the grandest home in all of Equestria. Then, almost as an afterthought, she realized that not only was it going to be her new home, but it was also the home of Princess Luna.

She was one of Luna's students, and she was going to live in her castle. When Luna revealed herself to Trixie yesterday, she didn't understand what it meant to have her as her teacher. Thanks to her mother, she now knew a little of what that meant, and looking to the castle reminded her of that, and it brought a smile to her face.

Having taken in the castle, now feeling a little better, she looked to Tell Tale, giving him her smile, her eyes wide and full of life. Under that expression, Tell Tale couldn't help but return the smile, and Trixie moved next to Twilight, as the three of them waited for Sunset Shimmer.

“Sir Tell Tale,” Twilight began, getting the attention of her company, “I've been wondering...” she added hesitantly, getting a nod from the dark blue stallion.

“Yes? Don't be afraid to ask questions, either of you.”

“Oh, okay. I was wondering, just, um, what is Luna going to teach us?” Tell consider that for a moment, and Trixie gave him her attention. Since her mother told her that being Luna's student was very, very important, Trixie intended to spend extra special attention to class, and all things related to it.

“Well, I suppose she'll be teaching you exactly what you need to know.” He then shrugged as he looked to the fillies, “She intends to make sure that each of you are prepared to manage on your own when all of your lessons are over.” Trixie didn't understand what he was referring to, but she saw Twilight think on it for a moment, before nodding.

“I think I understand. Thanks!” Twilight proclaimed happily, then, after a moment of silence, she levitated out a book from her saddlebag, and started reading it. Trixie looked at the book's cover, and blinked.

Appli- appli-cat- Her ears dropped as she failed to understand the title, and looked from the book to Twilight. The thought that she wasn't going to be going to school where her friends were anymore struck the filly, and she suddenly felt terribly lonely. However, she chose not to dwell on the thought.

“Twily?” Trixie asked, almost making Twilight drop the book in surprise.


“Whatcha reading? Is it fun?” Trixie didn't consider books to be anything close to fun, but several of her friends loved to read, and she wondered if Twilight was the same. Twilight adopted a smile, and Trixie found a smile of her own from it.

“It's called Application of Imaginary Numbers!” Twilight answered excitedly, “I've only just started it, but it has a lot of-” Tell Tale cleared his throat, getting the fillies' attention. He was looking down the road, and following his gaze, they spotted Sunset Shimmer, galloping to the gate, a number of bags and possessions levitating to her sides.

Twilight put her book away, giving Trixie an apologetic smile, as Sunset joined the group. She took a moment to collect herself, breathing heavily from her canter.

“You okay, Sunny?” Trixie asked as she tried to pat Sunset on the back, only to get a brief glare from her, making Trixie step back in confusion.

“S-sorry, and it's Sunset,” She stated quietly, then took a deep breath, looking to Tell Tale. “I'm sorry I'm late.”

“Your father couldn't bring you?” he asked, his concern masking something Trixie couldn't quite pin down. Sunset's eyes avoided Tell Tale as she nodded. “I see.” His horn then glowed, and he wrote something down on a clipboard that Trixie has yet to see him without. He then turned to the guard at the gate, and with a small nod, the guard opened the gate, and the four of them were welcomed into the castle grounds.

If Trixie was impressed by the castle, then the grounds left her even more awestruck. Statues of ponies, dragons, and other things Trixie couldn't recognize adorned the sides of the garden. The smell of flowers in the air helped put Trixie at ease, her eyes wandering, taking in all they could.

There were also a small number of ponies working on the grounds, each of them giving their group a respectful greeting and a warm smile as they passed. Trixie, like many a young filly, has wondered what it must be like, to be a princess. Now, she couldn't help but feel like she was being presented a taste of it, and was a little eager to take in more.

“I'd say a tour would be in order,” Tell Tale began, “but Her Highness wishes we get straight into the lesson,” he stated with a hint of amusement as he indicated to a path that led to an area near the castle, but not within it. “Right this way, everypony.”

“What about our things?” Sunset asked, still levitating her possessions. He glanced over her items, then nodded.

“As the Princess's students, there are some luxuries you're entitled to here.” With that, he flagged down a servant, who arrived before Trixie could figure out what 'luxuries' meant. “See to their belongings.” With a bow, the unicorn's horn glowed, freeing the fillies of everything but their saddlebags, taking their things to the castle.

“Sir Tell Tale,” Twilight began, “I've been wondering, why did Luna trick us yesterday, during the interview?”

“Because the turnout would have been a mess, had everypony known Luna was looking for a protégé.”

"That makes sense~!" Trixie affirmed, "Cleaning up a mess is no fun." Tell Tale nodded in agreement, adopting a small smile as they found themselves in a field caught in the castle's shadow, hidden from the front gate. There was a single small crate next to the edge of a large rectangle drawn on the ground. The large area had lines on the grass, marking distance that reminded Trixie of-

“Oh! Trixie knows this!” she proclaimed excitedly, making Tell's small smile grow, “This is a hoofball field!” Her papa did love the game; he had once taken her to a really big game, that had an amazing half-time show. Trixie remembered it well.

“Close, we don't use it for hoofball, but for exercise for the soldiers, and miscellaneous-” he then gave Trixie a glance then cleared his throat, “I mean, other things, such as your first class with Luna.” He then nodded to himself, moving to one of the crates, and peaking inside. “Looks like everything's here.” He then looked to the three fillies, “Princess Luna should be here shortly, so don't wander too far. I'll be seeing each of you later.” And with that Tell Tale left, trusting the three fillies to be fine by themselves.

The three looked to each other. Twilight gave Trixie a sheepish grin. Sunset gave both of them a very unfriendly look, putting off Twilight. Trixie wasn't going to be done in by a glare, so she gave Sunset a smile.

“This is Trixie,” she said as she put a hoof on her chest, standing tall, “Trixie the Adorab-” Her brow then furrowed as she recalled the promise she made to her mother, and smiled, “Trixie the Great and Powerful.” Her brow then furrowed again as she adopted a contemplative look, not liking the sound of it. She then nodded to herself, readopting her smile as she looked to Sunset's unamused face, “The Great and Powerful Trixie. And Trixie wants to be friends!” she then looked to Twilight, tilting her head in question. Twilight nodded, looking to introduce herself, properly, as well.

“I'm Twilight, and I'd-”

“The Great and Powerful?” Sunset interrupted in a condescending tone as she walked around Trixie, giving her a dominating glare, “Right. No, you're not.” Trixie blinked in surprise, taken aback by her forward declaration.

“S-Say's you!” she quickly replied.

“Look, Trixie,” Sunset began, “I get Twilight. I can see why Luna picked her. She's very smart. But you? You got no reason to be here. So, how about you not waste the princess's time and head on home.”

“Trixie is staying! Mama said this was best for Trixie, so Trixie stays!”

“Well, your 'mama' is wrong,” Sunset proclaimed resolutely, making Trixie flinch, and her annoyance with Sunset shifted to open anger.

“Take that back!” Trixie demanded as she stomped her hoof. Sunset simply gave her a smug grin.

Make me.”

Trixie gave Sunset a dirty look as her horn started to glow. Before she could cast anything, she found herself caught off guard by an unexpected voice.

“Looks like two of my protégées are already partaking in a heated discussion.” All three of the fillies looked to Luna, standing several paces nearby. She was giving them her majestic smile, sapping the tension in the air like a sponge.

Trixie's horn fizzled out, surprised that she had almost gotten in trouble, and tried to mask her guilt with a smile. Sunset's words still echoed in her head, reminding her that her mother was now very far away. And just like that, her fear from earlier caught up to her.

“Luna,” Trixie began, her forwardness surprising the other fillies, getting a quizzical look from the princess, “Why we-” her brow furrowed as she corrected herself, “Why do we gotta live in your house?” Luna appraised Trixie, her cheeks flushing slightly from Trixie's somber expression.

“You don't want to?” she asked, surprising the filly.

“N-no. A- Trixie means yes. But, well...” she frowned, uncertain on the words to choose to get her feelings across.

“In life,” Luna began serenely, her change in tone catching her students' attention, “there are many tests. Living away from your family is one such test. You are young, but don't you worry, Trixie, your family is a lot closer than you think.” Trixie thought on that a moment, putting faith in Luna's words before nodding. “And,” Luna continued, “when they are unable to be there, that is when you look to your friends.” That affirmation made Trixie smile, which she shared with Twilight, while Trixie ignored Sunset.

Twilight reciprocated Trixie's smile, while Sunset simply frowned at Luna's words. Trixie's friends were just as far away as her family now, but, nothing stopped her from making new ones, and she wouldn't shy from how smart Twilight was.

“Princess Luna,” Sunset began as she took a step towards Luna.

“Just Luna, please,” the princess asked, getting a slightly surprised look from Sunset and Twilight.

“Oh, um, Luna. About the baby dragon...”

“Yes, I talked to your father about him.” Luna's words prompted Sunset to look at the ground, her ears falling as the princess continued, “After the lesson, we'll talk about the hatchling.” She then gave Sunset an appraising look. “You're worried about him? I can assure you, he's quite fine, and lively.”

“I, I see,” Sunset replied, adopting a small smile as she looked to the princess, who gave a satisfied nod.

“Now, from what I understand,” Luna began as she walked onto the field, motioning her students to follow, “orientation and greeting each other is what's done first. As Princess, I declare that we're going to skip that, and move right into the lesson.” She then looked to the fillies. “If you wish to master everything I aim to teach you, it only requires one thing from all of you.”

They looked to her, eager for clarification. “There is a bond, between student and teacher, called trust. You should trust that my lessons will better you, as I trust that you will listen.” She then nodded to herself, “However, it doesn't go one way. I expect you to speak your mind, and just as I expect you to listen, you can expect me to listen in turn. Understand?” Trixie didn't understand what she meant about trust and bonds. What she did understand, was that she promised her mother she was going to give this her all, so if the princess wants Trixie to listen, that's what she's going to do.

“Yes Ma'am!” Trixie replied, her words mirrored by Twilight, then by Sunset. Smiling to her students, Luna then looked to the crate nearby, her horn glowing as she levitated out a smooth, polished black rock, as big as the fillies were, in front of them.

“Trixie, Sunset, can you tell me what kind of rock this is?”

“A round one!” Trixie quickly answered, getting a small giggle from Twilight.

“Well, Trixie, you're not wrong,” Luna affirmed, “But it's not the answer I'm looking for.” She then looked to Sunset, who had a ponderous look on her face. Twilight looked like she wanted to shout something, like she had the answer, but the teacher refused to call on her.

“I-” Sunset began, looking a little downcast as she eyed the ground, “I don't know.”

“Pick your head up, Sunset,” Luna stated, “While you don't have the answer, what you gave me wasn't wrong. Never be afraid to admit you don't know. Nopony knows everything, and sometimes, we may simply forget the answer when we need it most.”

“Even you, Luna?” Twilight asked, a little skeptical, getting a sly smile from the princess.

“Yes. In fact, until yesterday, I didn't know what a Taraxacum was.” Trixie tilted her head at that word, seeing Twilight's eyes open wide at it. “Speaking of which. Twilight, what is this rock?”

“Huh? Oh! That's obsidian. It's formed from active volcanoes and is quite sharp when in pieces. It's more like volcanic glass than a rock-”

“That's more than enough, thank you Twilight.” Luna affirmed, then dropped the rock, letting it fall into the ground unceremoniously. “Now, could you shatter it for me, without picking it, or anything else, up?” Twilight looked to the rock, then to Luna, a little put off with the request.

“I, I'll try, but, I don't think I can.”

“What's important is that you try. Unless you're completely certain you can't do it, you shouldn't let the odds of failure stay your hoof.” Twilight looked to Luna, and a fire burned in her eyes as she grasped the rock in her magic. Her horn started to glow brighter, and brighter, sweat beaded down her head as Twilight- “That will do, Twilight.” Luna declared, surprising Twilight, causing her magic to fizzle out, and she took several deep breaths as she looked to Luna, confused. “You did well, however, I don't really want any of my pupils passing out during my lesson.” That got a blush from the filly as Luna looked to Trixie. “Your turn, Trixie.” Trixie eyed the rock, resting on the ground without a care in the world.

Shatter? That means break it! Oh! But Trixie can't lift it, or hit it with something else! Her brow then furrowed. But, then how does Trixie break it? She looked to Twilight, who was giving her a weak smile. Twily was trying to squeeze it. Trixie will try that!

“Princess Luna,” Sunset began, distracting Trixie from her task, “We all know I'm the only one that can break the rock, so why are you having Trixie waste our time.”

Huh? Trixie wondered as she looked to Sunset, mouth hanging open. Sunset gave her a small, smug grin, which got a glare from the blue filly.

“Oh?” Luna began, her smile unchanging, her kind aura still radiating, “Do you already know today's lesson?” Sunset hesitated at the question, looking to the rock, then Luna, who was looking at Trixie. “Trixie, do you want to try?” Trixie considered that for a moment, tapping the rock with her hoof as she looked to Luna.

Can Trixie break it?”

“I'm afraid not, dear.” Luna then gave Trixie an apologetic look, “This task is beyond you at the moment.” Trixie nodded, not bothered by her words. Trixie didn't find the notion of breaking a rock to be important, that it wasn't a worthy display of her dazzling, spectacular magic.

Luna then smiled, looking to Twilight, “I'm certain you would have broken it, Twilight, had I not stopped you.” She then looked back to Sunset, “If you would...” Sunset nodded, suddenly looking like she had been caught taking from the cookie jar. Shaking her head, she focused her magic, and in short order, the rock crumbled with a loud crunch, scattering pieces of the rock in all directions a short distance away. Trixie's eyes widened at the ease Sunset had at the task, and looked to her, masking a moment of fear from the others.

She's strong! Trixie affirmed to herself, hoping that she never ended up on the receiving end of Sunset's magic.

“So,” Luna said, pulling Trixie from her thoughts, “What's the lesson?” Sunset let out a slightly annoyed sigh as she spoke up.

“That I'm strong with magic, but Twilight is smarter.”

“Is that so?” Luna asked as she turned to Trixie, “Would you mind putting that back together for me, and bring it over when you're finished?” Trixie looked to the broken rock's pieces, smashed into well over twenty of them, and nodded as she watched Luna approach Sunset.

“Is that the lesson then? What am I trying to teach, if that's the lesson? What's its importance?” As she addressed Sunset, Trixie gave the pieces a cursory glance, and started to reform the rock, as she moved to the others.

“That...” Sunset began, feeling as though she had made a grave error, trying to reason out an answer for Luna's questions. Her ears then fell, as well as her head, “That's not the lesson, is it?”

“Not all of it,” Luna affirmed as Trixie brought the reformed rock around to the princess, who grabbed it in her magic, giving Trixie a thankful smile. “Here's the rest of it,” She proclaimed as she presented the reformed rock to Sunset and Twilight. The rock was still broken, but the pieces were brought back together, fitting snugly, like a puzzle.

In Luna's grasp, the pieces separated, spun in the air, then fell on the ground. “Can either of you piece it together, as fast as Trixie had?” Trixie's eyes widened at her words, and she looked to her classmates, who looked to each other, then the pieces of the obsidian rock.

Twilight grabbed the fragments with her magic, catching Sunset off guard, as the shards swirled into the air, Twilight's eyes darting between the pieces, trying to figure out what went where. All she had after a minute was half of a reformed rock. Twilight gave out a defeated sigh, seeing it take too long for her to reform, and gave the fragments to Sunset, who simply shook her head. Sunset then looked to Trixie, completely shocked, prompting Trixie to stick her tongue out at her.

How?” Sunset asked, “I mean, Twilight is smarter then her!” Luna adopted a slightly amused smile as she took the fragments, closed her eyes, and effortlessly reformed the rock. With the rock whole, she opened her eyes, and ushered Trixie to the others side.

“It's a little something called intuition,” Luna explained, “When you look at the pieces, they all look strikingly similar, using your eyes only confuses the picture. Trixie wasn't using her eyes to put it back together, she let her magic do the work for her.” Trixie gave the others a proud smile as Luna nodded. “So, what's the lesson?” The three fillies considered her question for several moments, before Sunset spoke up.

“Is it that each of us are better at one thing then the others?” Twilight looked to Sunset, then Luna, who seemed to be waiting for the lavender filly's thoughts on the matter.

“Um, that we're all different?” Twilight suggested, prompting Luna to turn to Trixie, who was looking between Twilight and Sunset, a strange notion coming to mind. She grabbed onto that notion and turned to Luna.

“Umm, it doesn't matter?” Trixie pitched, and Luna remained silent as she looked between her students, who were also looking to each other.

“It ... doesn't matter?” Twilight repeated, “It doesn't matter that we're all different?” she asked as she looked to Trixie.

“Noo silly!" she replied energetically, happy that Twilight had asked. "It doesn't matter, because we're all the same!”

“How?” Sunset asked, giving Trixie and incredulous look. Her eyes then widened as she looked to Luna. “Oh.”

“We're all Luna's students,” Twilight affirmed.

“We're all fillies,” Trixie stated with a big smile.

“We're all unicorns,” Sunset said, looking back to Twilight and Trixie, “We each have our own strengths-”

“And together,” Luna interjected, “you found some answers. So the question is, what am I trying to teach you.” The three fillies looked to each other, before Sunset spoke up.

“That we should work together?” she asked, doubt laced in her words. Luna's nod dispelled Sunset's doubt, making her take up a small, proud grin.

“Indeed. The three of you are my students, my protégées. You will work together, learn together, live together, and succeed together.” Luna nodded, then looked to Sunset, “Nopony has all the answers, that's why it's okay to admit you don't know. Surely, somepony else has the answer you're looking for.” She then looked to Twilight and Trixie, “If there's a task you can't do, don't be ashamed to look to others. And when others look to you, don't be afraid to share your strength.”

“Luna,” Twilight began, looking to her, awe in her eyes, “is that what you do? You share your strength, with all of Equestria?” Luna looked to her students, and she beckoned them over.

“That's right. Come, gather close. Twilight, Trixie, Sunset, let me show you something, amazing.” The three of them did so, in wonder of what was in store. Luna's horn flashed brilliantly, and for a moment, Trixie was blinded, as she felt a spell wash over her and the others.

The first thing that came to her attention was the chilly breeze. She then realized she wasn't standing on grass anymore, and assumed they were now somewhere else. And as her vision returned, her eyes widened, her mouth hanging open. She was not alone in this gesture, as she, Sunset, and Twilight approached the rail before them, looking out, into the vast horizon.


In her short life, Trixie has never seen it like this. Upon the highest tower, a landing with no roof, the mountain to their backs, they could see for miles around. The late day sun, casting it's light on the land. Canterlot city below, bustling with activity. A village to the west, nestled in the hills, the faint smell of apples carried on the breeze. A formation of clouds to the north, rainbows falling from it like waterfalls. Far, far away, on the edge of the horizon, a single, lonely mountain standing amongst the heavens. Far to the south, an ancient forest of wonder and danger.

“Earth Ponies, Pegasi, Unicorns,” Luna stated, pride radiating from her, “We are all children of Equestria, including me. We look out for each other, we count on each other, we laugh, we cry, and we live with each other.” Luna then flew, moving before her students, her majesty billowing with pride for all ponydom. “We all play our part, and the three of you, have just started on the path to discovering yours.”

“Our part?” Sunset asked, looking to Luna in a new light, reverence and respect in her eyes. “And what is it?”

“That, my little filly,” Luna let out, giving her students a warm smile, “is the question. Hopefully, when all my lessons are learned, you'll find the answer for yourself.” She then landed back on the platform, the fillies moving close to her. “And now, it's time for the next lesson, a very important one, so make sure you're paying extra attention.”

The three nodded, eager to partake in her wisdom.

“Now, I'll teach you how to not lose your way, in your new home.” And with that, she moved to the staircase leading down, Trixie half a step behind her, the others following in hoof. As their trots echoed against the stone floors, climbing down the tower, Trixie found that something she had brought with her was now missing, which surprised her, and the realization summoned a smile so fierce that her cheeks ached.

Seeing Equestria before her, the vast distance, the rolling hills, lakes, rivers, made her realize how big the world was. Now, the halls of the castle seemed small compared to that view. Her eyes had been opened to the scope that is Equestria. Now, she truly understood how close her family was. Compared to the size of Equestria, her family, in the same city as the castle, wasn't as far from her as she had feared.

The notion she felt earlier came back, but this time, its power was lost on the filly. If Trixie has to cry, mama isn't that far. She affirmed to herself, then looked to Luna, then Twilight. Maybe, Trixie can go to them, if she needs to. Nodding to herself, her eyes fell to Sunset, and she resisted the urge to frown. Deciding not to let the filly bother her, she let out a happy sigh. The Great and Powerful Trixie had a promise to keep, and in the halls of her new home, she knew she would never break it. And so she walked behind the princess, her head held high as she took in Luna's words, Trixie's heart, free of fear.