• Published 21st Feb 2015
  • 14,790 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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4. Twilight's Friendship

Twilight lay in their large bed, eyes wide open, looking to the ceiling, unable to fall asleep. It wasn't because she was worried about being poked by a sleeping Trixie's horn, again. And it wasn't her royally satisfying dinner, or her lack of fatigue that kept her awake. She couldn't fall asleep, because she was eagerly anticipating the morning.

Tomorrow was the dawn of the third weekend since becoming one of Luna's students, and it was going to be special for Twilight. For the first time, she was looking forward to being away from 'school'. Because, when she went back home with her family in the morning, she wasn't going alone.

Unable to fall asleep from her excitement, she quietly left the bed, hoping Trixie would be fine alone for a couple minutes. Heading to the balcony in the adjacent room, Twilight trotted past Sunset, who was sleeping soundly. Twilight then gave a small nod to Smarty Pants, and in her imagination, she saw the doll nod in reply, as it continued to keep Sunset company.

Reaching the balcony, she looked out into the night sky, breathing in the warm evening air. It bothered her, that Sunset refused to share the bed with Trixie. It bothered her, that the two of them refused to be nice to each other. It bothered Twilight, that her friends, couldn't be friends with each other. She took note of her slight annoyance, and gave the night sky a warm smile.


A word Twilight once saw no reason for. Before becoming Luna's student, she had found herself content with just reading books. The wealth of information, all the information Equestria had to offer, appeased her more then the idea of spending time with others. The only companionship she ever needed was from her parents, and big brother.

However, when Luna gave the three of them a tour of the castle, the princess had also entrusted Twilight with a task. To help Trixie and Sunset in their studies, if help was needed. Being the good student Twilight was, she did just that, and in the process, had found herself becoming attached to both of them. Now, she considered time spent with either of them to be more important than books. And that very notion was what brought the smile to her face.

However, she didn't let that stop her from reading. She still loved to read, after all. But now, if she saw either of her friends struggling with something, Twilight was eager to offer her aid. Trixie required it more often than not in these last three weeks, but the time she helped Sunset, with the teleportation spell had been precious to Twilight.

She had always seen Sunset, as Trixie put it, as a meany-flank, even before becoming Luna's student. Twilight now saw that Sunset was more than that, when Twilight helped her learn the spell. Beneath the hostility, was a proud filly trying to prove herself, thoughtlessly pushing others away in the process.

Sunset was powerful, and Twilight was in awe of that power. Her magic was so strong, that using it in small portions was difficult for Sunset, and together, they discovered that to be the cause of her difficulty with teleporting. Now, as long as it was a decent distance, Sunset could teleport with ease, though she had some difficulty with short hops. Now, because of Twilight's help in discovering this, they were friends. Thanks to Luna's task, Twilight found a whole new world before her, and she was happy for it.

A world more real than anything conjured up in a book. A world full of purpose, and friendship. Reflecting on all that, Twilight's eyes finally began to feel heavy, and in short order, she returned to bed, hoping sleep would overtake her, so she could greet the dawn with the others.


“Twilight, you sure about this?” Sunset asked sheepishly as she approached the carriage that Twilight's mother and brother were waiting in. Twilight turned to her, grinning ear to ear.

“You bet! Come on!” Twilight said as she motioned after Sunset, who did so with a small smile. Hesitating at the carriage door, Twilight pushed her inside, to Sunset's surprise, as she almost tumbled in, being spared a fall by the magic of Twilight's mother.

“Careful, Twilight!” Twilight's mother, Twilight Velvet, said in surprise as she appraised Sunset Shimmer, helping her regain her balance. “You okay dear?”

“Y-Yes!” she quickly replied, blushing as she took a seat, “Thank you for letting me stay over this weekend...”

“Think nothing of it. A friend of Twilight is a friend of ours,” Velvet replied with a motherly smile, making Sunset's blush deepen.

“Hello Sunset,” Shining Armor greeted with a grin, catching Sunset's attention as Twilight got in the carriage. Sunset looked at him, a little speechless for a moment, but the spell over her broke when the carriage lurched forward, moving away from the castle.

“H-Hi! I'm Sunset Shimmer,” she replied, adopting a bright and surprising grin towards Twilight's brother.

“I'm Shining Armor, and it's nice to meet you,” he then gave Twilight an amused smile, “Twily's said so much about you.”

“Really!?” Sunset replied, sounding very excited, prompting Twilight to raise an eyebrow to her.

Did I bring the right filly? She's acting more like Trixie, Twilight thought, as they rode off towards her home.


“Hey, Shiny~?” Twilight asked, getting the attention of her brother, and Sunset, who were in the middle of a very passionate discussion concerning how 'real' the Power Ponies were, “Wanna play Oubliettes and Ogres?” She asked as she looked to Sunset, and Shining Armor considered that for a moment as he appraised Sunset as well.

“I don't know, Twily, isn't she a bit young for that?” he asked, raising an eyebrow to Twilight.

“I, I'm older than Twilight,” Sunset quickly, but kindly, affirmed.

“Well, I could get in trouble with your parents if they don't like that game-”

“That isn't a problem,” Sunset quickly cut off, then looked to Shining, wide-eyed at the annoyed tone she used, “I mean, it'll be fine,” She affirmed with a nod, then looked between her two hosts, a little confused, “So, what is Oubliettes and Ogres?” Twilight was quick to reply.

“It's a game where you pretend to be somepony else and go on all kinds of adventures! I like to play as Clover the Clever. Oh! And rules! It's got a lot of fun rules!” Twilight explained enthusiastically, getting a nod from her brother.

“That... sounds like it could be fun,” Sunset stated, failing to hide her skepticism. All she got in reply, was Shining and Twilight sharing a small smile.

This is going to be the best! Twilight thought, as the three of them broke into the rules and workings of the game, not a doubt in Twilight's mind that Sunset was going to enjoy O&O.


Twilight smiled as she looked over her O&O set, placing the rule books, board, and figurines away with the large number of other books she had gathered over the last three weeks in their room at the castle. Everything was organized perfectly, and Twilight was looking forward to playing with Sunset again soon. Having finished today's lesson half an hour ago, Twilight noticed Trixie approach her as she finished organizing her things.

“Hey, Twily, mind helping me again...?” Trixie asked, getting a knowing smile from Twilight as she nodded. With today's lesson over, Trixie and Twilight went over their now routine practice of reaffirming the important parts with the blue filly.

The first two weeks of helping Trixie had been rough, particularly for Twilight, who had to adopt great patience for her audience, but now, Trixie was able to become quite focused on the task, which Twilight was quietly thankful for. The practice has prompted Twilight to begin making checklists during the lessons, smoothing things over for Trixie as they covered the topics again later. After Trixie was certain she had all of today's studies down, she looked to Twilight.

“Thanks again, Twily. Trixie does not want to be a bother. And she is really, really glad that we're friends.” She then looked off, as if seeing something Twilight couldn't, an almost lonely expression on her face. Twilight could almost imagine Trixie picturing her old friends and family, and not liking that look, Twilight was quick to break her out of it.

“Don't mention it! It's what friends are for, right?” Twilight asked, half serious, half curious. Trixie looked to her, adopting a bright smile as she nodded.



Lessons on Fridays were always short, giving the fillies an early start on the weekend. Twilight was usually with Trixie or Sunset after the lesson was finished, but today, they were both occupied with their own things. Rain pattered on the library windows as Twilight contemplated on what to read. She paused as she passed a large decorated mirror nestled in a corner. Seeing her reflection reminded her that she was still a blank flank, and with that on her mind, she felt the urge to abandon studying to look into something else.

Putting the books she had grabbed back where she got them, she returned to the center of the library, where Sir Tell Tale was looking over some books with a check list, seeming to appraise their condition.

“Um, Sir Tell Tale...” Twilight began, prompting him to turn around, nodding to himself as he read her expression.

“What's bothering you, Twilight?” he asked, putting down his clipboard and giving her his attention.

“I was wondering, if you could help me get my cutie-mark.” It was something that bothered the filly every so often. She was one of Luna's students. The idea that one of Princess Luna's students didn't have her cutie-mark ate at Twilight.

“Very well,” he quickly replied, getting a smile from Twilight. She hadn't been expecting him to agree, but she did hope that he would. “This matter can wait till later anyways.” With that, he abandoned the pile of books. “So. Twilight. It would appear that you don't have your cutie-mark.” Twilight's brow furrowed slightly at his stating of the obvious.

“Well, yeah.”


Oh. That's why he said that. Twilight thought, seeing that Tell Tale was intending to use Luna's approach of having her students find the answers for themselves, not that it bothered Twilight.

“It's because I haven't found my special talent. Right?” she asked back, hopeful that her reply was correct.

“Well, maybe, but I doubt that.”


“Well Twilight, sometimes your cutie-mark has more in common with your destiny than your talent. Still, you're very smart, Twilight. You only need to read a book once, and you memorize everything very well. Better then any pony I've ever met. So I'd say that learning is your special talent.” Twilight was a little taken aback by his words, and was now a little confused.

“Then, I don't have my cutie-mark, because I don't know my destiny?”

“Perhaps, but finding your destiny is a little harder then a special talent, and it's possible your talent hasn't been fully realized yet. So, you know your talent, maybe you simply need to know how to apply it. After all, you've learned a great deal, but what do you do with all that you learn?” That made her pause in consideration.

“Well... I do like to help Trixie and Sunset...” But, she was still a blank flank. Tell Tale considered that for a moment before nodding.

“Have you asked them how they got their cutie-marks?” Twilight shook her head, now feeling as though she should have asked them first before turning to Tell Tale.

“No. That might help.” She considered that for a moment, and found her mind running with the notion, as she appraised Tell Tale's cutie-mark, an open book looked over with a magnifying glass. “How did you get yours?”

“Heh,” He let out, adopting an amused look. “Well, you'd be surprised to find out, that books are not my special talent.” That made Twilight's face scrunch slightly as she frowned at him.

“But, you have a book as your cutie-mark. And you're Princess Luna's bookkeeper.”

“Well, I can't deny that I love to read. Though, books aren't the only thing I can read, Twilight.” The filly appraised him, unsure of what he was referring too, and before she could ask, he nodded to the door. “You should go ask your friends, as for me, perhaps I'll tell you when you're older.”

Twilight blinked. That was the first time her new teachers have ever pulled that line on her, and she had honestly never expected to hear it from them. Letting out a small sigh, she turned, and looked for the others, wondering just what Tell Tale was referring to when it came to reading more than books.

Assuming Trixie and Sunset were back at their room, she returned in quick order, teleporting to several points in the castle as shortcuts. She couldn't teleport as far as Sunset could, or with the same level of flare as Trixie, but Twilight had the easiest time with the spell. As long as it was short distances, she didn't feel particularly drained when she cast it, feeling completely fine as she reached the hall leading to their room.

If the guard was surprised when Twilight suddenly appeared out of thin air, she hid it well. She gave Twilight a small smile, and opened the door for the filly. Twilight entered with a small 'thank you', and upon entering, she found, much to her slight annoyance, Trixie and Sunset having an argument.

“So you can go from Twily's home to the castle in one go. Big deal!” Trixie proclaimed nonchalantly, “There's nothing flashy about it. It's only cool, once. But The Great and Powerful Trixie's teleport, is flashy aallll the time!”

“It's not about being 'flashy',” Sunset replied, both fillies oblivious to Twilight's arrival, “It's about being practical.”

“Wrong!” Trixie replied, making Sunset look even less amused with her. Twilight quickly stepped in, knowing that telling Sunset that she was wrong was not a good idea.

“H-Hey! Trixie, Sunset?” she began, catching the two of them off guard, their scowls being traded in for light embarrassment.

“Hihi Twily~!” Trixie replied, first to regain her composure.

“Hey Twilight, did you find what you were looking for?” Sunset asked.

“Actually, I came to ask about that,” Twilight replied, glad to have defused the situation. Trixie and Sunset shared a look, then, upon realizing that they just shared a look, focused on Twilight, trying their best to pretend the other wasn't there. “How did you get your cutie-marks?” Both of them were surprised by the question, and hesitated to reply, Trixie seeming to be lost in thought as Sunset spoke up.

“I ... don't remember too well,” She admitted, getting a wide-eyed look from the others.

“You don't remember how you got your cutie-mark?” Twilight asked, seeking some clarity, finding the notion to be completely absurd. Sunset shook her head.

“I had a strange dream,” she began, “it was bright, hot, and yet, comforting. And when I woke up, I had my cutie-mark...” she explained, looking a little apologetic to Twilight.

“The Great and Powerful Trixie admits. She doesn't remember either.”

Really!? Twilight thought, now more annoyed then surprised.

“Trixie is sorry, Twily,” she quickly added, catching Twilight's expression, “but one day, Trixie was a blank flank, and the next, she was not. She don't remember how she got her cutie-mark.” Trixie then looked to Sunset, a little interested. “A dream? Is that how Trixie got hers?” She wondered out loud, then looked to Twilight. “Is that how fillies get their cutie-mark?”

“No. Trixie.” Sunset firmly replied, “Getting a cutie-mark from a dream, is very odd.”

“Hah!” Trixie replied with a sly grin, “That makes you an odd-pony!”

“Better an odd-pony then a lazy idiot,” Sunset replied coolly, prompting the two fillies to share a glare.

“The Great and Powerful Trixie is not lazy!”

“But you are an idiot,” Sunset stalwartly affirmed, “And you're not great or powerful, so drop the prefix!”

“Prefix?” Trixie asked in confusion, then shook her head, “Says you! Why are you such a meany-flank!?”

“Why are you... you!?” Sunset declared in frustration, almost screaming out her question. Twilight tried to step forward, in an attempt to calm them down, but the air about them was tense, and Twilight found her body unwilling to comply with her demands.

“Trixie can't help it. Just like you can't help but be you,” Trixie replied matter-of-factly, and Sunset seemed even more frustrated by her words, and she stomped a hoof on the ground as she glared daggers at the blue filly.

“Does the 'Great and Powerful' foal wanna take this outside?” Trixie hesitated a moment before taking a step forward as well.

“Trixie isn't scared of you! The Great and Powerful Trixie could take you anyday.”

Something in Sunset snapped at that moment, and her remaining composure fell away as she charged at Trixie, her horn starting to glow. Trixie, caught off guard, toppled over as Sunset slammed into her, and they both immediately disappeared in a flash of emerald light.

Huh? Twilight thought, standing still and alone, unsure if what had happened in front of her had actually transpired. Huh!!? It then hit her, that her two friends were now somewhere else, probably fighting. Oh no! What do I do!? This wasn't in any of the books I read! Unsure how to act in this situation, she ran out of the room, her thoughts too panicked to consider teleporting, as she galloped through the castle to the first floor.

This is all my fault! she thought as she reached the main floor, heading straight to the field they had taken their first lesson in. Should I have stopped them? Was I suppose to talk to each of them alone!? Ohhhhh! she thought in desperation, Why can't my friends be friends! They're both fun ponies! As she ran, she failed to notice that she passed a dark blue stallion, who appraised her as she galloped.

Her lungs were screaming, her legs were sore. Twilight had never galloped so hard in her life, and as she reached the field, she briefly found herself marveling at the fact that Sunset had run much farther than that on their first day at the castle. Much to Twilight's confusion, there was no sign of her friends at the field.

Now already soaked in the warm summer rain, she moved around to the front of the castle, wondering if she had missed the fight, or if Sunset had taken the two of them somewhere away from the castle-

In the castle garden, were two fillies, and nopony else, which Twilight didn't take note of. Both were matted in mud and plant debris, the garden itself looking like a complete mess. It was clear that magic was used at some point in this fight, but now the two fillies were simply down to wrestling each other. Seeing the damage caused to the garden reminded Twilight of her own magic, and she teleported close to them, and tried to tell them to stop, but she was still trying to catch her breath.

“...stop it...” she breathed out, unable to hear her own words over the rain. Please! Stop it! Stop fighting each other! Twilight's eyes itched, though she didn't understand why, as she tried again. “Stop...”

Still, the two of them wrestled, small hooves getting tangled in each other's manes, neither backing down, both oblivious to the desperate filly overlooking them.

“Stop it! Stop fighting!” Twilight got out, now certain they had heard her. There was a brief hesitation in the struggle, but they both continued on. WHY!? Why won't they just-

“Stop! Fighting!” Twilight screamed out, her horn glowing fiercely as the two combatants were covered in her magic, and yanked away from the other. They both glared at each other, and Sunset's horn started to glow. “Stop!!” Sunset flinched as she looked to Twilight, and her horn fizzled out as she appraised her friend.

A quiet pause fell over the three of them, the sounds of each of them catching their breath lost in the steady patter of the rain. Trixie and Sunset hovered in the air as Twilight looked to them, unsure of what kind of look she was giving them, but she didn't think it was a kind one. As the rain washed over the three of them, bits of mud, grass, and flowers washed off of Sunset and Trixie, as the two of them cooled down. Seeing the fire in their eyes slowly burn out, Twilight put them down, and moved closer to them.

“Why?” Twilight asked, her tone piercing through her friends. They both looked like they wanted to reply with something along the lines of 'she started it', but neither indulged in that desire. Sunset looked to Trixie, who looked back, and they both shared a terribly guilty look. Sunset looked away first, taking in a deep breath, closing her eyes momentarily, before looking to Twilight.

“I envy her,” Sunset admitted, then caught the confused look Trixie gave her, “I want what she has, but it's not something I can have... And I, I can't help it. She can cast magic more easily then I can, she has a happy family, and she doesn't work as hard as we do!”

“Trixie works hard,” Trixie quickly replied, a little taken aback by Sunset's words. “Trixie isn't as smart as you, or Twily, so Twily helps Trixie. It's boring, but it's also a big deal, so Trixie tries hard.” She looked at Sunset, a little bashfully, “Trixie admits, she is a scaredy pony. She's a little scared of the meany-flank that could break the rock. Trixie's scared she'll make mama or Twily or Luna sad. So Trixie tries hard, she really does.” She looked to the others, a fire now burning in her eyes. “Trixie doesn't wanna lose what she has.” Now it was Sunset who was taken aback, and the two fillies appraised the other, as if truly seeing each other for the first time.

“So, you were trying hard too,” Sunset said, looking even more guilty than before. “I see.” Sunset looked like she was trying to take something in, like she was trying to swallow something difficult, as an uncomfortable expression adorned her face. “Trixie... I'm ... sorry. About, well, a lot of things. Twilight is your friend, and she's my friend too. I should have seen that there was more to you than I first thought.” Sunset then eyed the ground as Twilight moved to her side, giving her a small smile, and Sunset took strength from that smile. “I guess, I just didn't want to see, that you were working hard too.” Trixie moved up to Sunset, hesitating, before bringing her head low to look Sunset in the eyes.

“Trixie accepts your sorriness,” Trixie replied, “And, Trixie admits, she's kinda wanted to make you smile since the first day,” she then adopted a small frown, “but Trixie didn't like what you said about mama. Trixie couldn't forget that. So, Trixie also is sorry, and a little happy.” Her frown then turned to a smile as Sunset's eyes met hers. “Sunset, wanna be friends?” Sunset looked uncertain, glancing to Twilight, who gave her a very happy, and eager nod. Sunset knew the happiness of having a friend, thanks to Twilight, and now, despite the fight, and her original hostility, Trixie was offering her friendship to Sunset.

“Eh heh heh,” Sunset let out, looking to Trixie bashfully, “I think we got off on a terribly wrong hoof, no thanks to me. Trixie, I think I'd like it, if we could be friends. And... If you want, you can call me Sunny,” she finished, blushing lightly as Trixie gave a happy nod. "A-As long as it's just us around. Okay?" she quickly added, getting another nod from her new friend.

Twilight's heart felt like it wanted to burst out of her chest at the turn of events. Or maybe it was because of the run. Still, she couldn't keep the joy in her heart to herself, so she wrapped a foreleg around each of them, pulling them close in a tight hug, causing them both to wince in pain as they looked to her in surprise, causing Twilight to giggle. Caught in the warm embrace, Trixie followed Twilight's lead, and wrapped her own forelegs around Sunset and Twilight, and after hesitating for a moment, Sunset did the same. In short order, Trixie, and then Sunset, adopted Twilight's giggling.

And for several moments, the three of them stood there, in the rain, in each other's embrace. Despite the fight, Sunset had washed away her animosity towards Trixie, the source of her envy cast under a new light. Despite the mean words, Trixie was quick to accept a new friend to fill in the fear in her heart. And, for Twilight's efforts, the three of them became friends. And, at that moment, unbeknownst to the lavender filly, her cutie-mark appeared. A pink six pointed star, along with five smaller white stars around it.

“Are the three of you quite finished?” Tell Tale asked, ending the moment, his tone neutral and un-informing, causing the three of them to flinch in surprise, breaking the hug as they all shared a look, the same thought coming to mind as they looked to the bookkeeper. “The Princess's students fighting each other,” he said as he shook his head, “You can rest assured, she'll be having some choice words with you,” he added, confirming their suspicions.

They were in trouble.

“Come along, let's get the three of you cleaned off first,” He ordered, prompting the three to follow him in hoof. Before reaching the interior of the castle, Twilight felt as though something was watching her. And looking back to the garden, all she saw were statues, her eyes momentarily falling on one of a draconequus. Feeling the sensation pass, Twilight hurried after her friends and mentor, worry starting to bubble up in her mind.

We had a fight! Not! Good!! Students that get into fights get suspended!! Twilight's step faltered as she looked to her friends. I. Fought. My. Friends! We're Luna's students, that's even worse than fighting in school! As they returned to their room, getting cleaned up, Twilight couldn't help but lose herself in worry. And by the time the three of them were brought to the library, she was on the edge of a nervous breakdown, as she learned that each of them were going to be questioned individually, by Luna.