• Member Since 8th Dec, 2011
  • offline last seen Mar 3rd, 2022

Hoopy McGee

Hoopy's just this guy, you know?


Twilight Sparkle, personal student of Princess Celestia, is sent by her teacher to retrieve a very specific book from the Royal Library. The only problem is, she doesn't know what it's called or where to find it.

Fortunately for her, libraries are the most orderly, most mundane and certainly the safest of places one could possibly be. Or, so she thinks.

Twilight is about to find out how very strange the world of books can truly be.

This story takes place before season 1. Many thanks to Coandco and Ekevoo for editing and pre-reading.
Cover image: Old Book Bindings

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 81 )

*Chuckles softly* I knew where this was going as soon as Twily entered the library. Very well done and I think He would've been proud.

It was amazing how much improved her mood was after just a little bit of water. It was with a much more optimistic frame of mind that Twilight opened the right bag of her saddlebags, revealing something yellow inside. With a frown, Twilight levitated the contents out.

“Well, I suppose this will help with being hungry,” Twilight said to herself, “but why would Celestia make such a big deal about a bunch of bananas?”

My first thought upon reading that: "Damnnit, :trollestia: strikes again!"

Now there's a Lot of future crossover potential in L-space. Can't fathom how I didn't think of it earlier, Narrativium surely must exist on Equus

When I first read the summary I knew what this would be, and with every paragraph my smile grew. He touched many of us, and this is one of the best memorials he could have. Now I am picturing Twilight reading Erin's collection and coming across a Discworld book with The Librarian.

A pleasant little jaunt through L-space with my favorite Librarian. Very nicely done.

I would tell you how much I love this, but I'm too busy with my heart melting and all.

Therefore, I'll just put it in the undying words of the Librarian: 'Ook.'

Excellently done. I suspected what was going on, but didn't know for sure until Twilight opened that second saddlebag. I can think of no more appropriate person or universe to teach someone the value of fiction. After all, there are some very important fictions in Twilight's future. Loyalty, generosity, kindness, friendship... You're not going to find them in the Standard Model, but does that make them any less important?

Absolutely awesome. Honestly, I don't think the Librarian would have any trouble fitting in at all in Equestria. That said, I figured this one out as soon as I realized where she was lost.

Superb. Although I think explaining the concept of L-Space to Twilight might cause her to seize up with pure joy. :twilightsmile:

5766232 ditto with the figuring it out bit.

What would Celestia do if Twilight decided that, no, it had a title (if badly damaged) so must obviously not be the one Celestia was sending her for, which had no title? Tired or not, Twilight is the sort of pony who goes... overboard with things. Particularly when Celestia's theoretical displeasure is involved.
Or what if she opened the bag when things started getting impossible, and came to the conclusion that Celestia gave her rations for a multi-day search for the book?

“I could tell you that nothing worthwhile is ever easy,” the Princess said. “Or, I could tell you that adversity grows character. I could say that the journey is often more important than the destination, which is something many ponies forget.”

Celestia stepped closer to Twilight, enveloping her in one of her massive wings and bringing the unicorn into a warm hug.

“All of those have a certain truth to them. However, the reason I sent you down there, Twilight, was to show you that life can be strange and wonderful, most often when you least expect it to be. When a pony reads a work of fiction, it can remind them of that fact. There is so more to the world than what can seen from somepony's front door. And even the most incredible stories can contain elements of truth to them. Through stories, we can gain more than just facts. We can gain perspective.”

I don't think that this would have taught those very well. She didn't actually grow in character, unless learning that the zebras were wrong about the linguistic ability of apes counts, and the journey to the book consisted almost entirely of wasted time and fear, marked with a somewhat pleasant point that was almost indistinguishable from the destination.

And while she certainly learned about the strangeness and wonderfulness and unexpectedness of life, it also gives her a good reason to avoid fiction if it would remind her of that particular terrifying lesson, which didn't have anything particularly positive in it (the Librarian bit being only a neutral, if interesting, experience). There was also nothing in here about stories containing elements of the truth; no separate stories were told in it and so there were no kernels of truth for her to take from them. There was also nothing she gained new perspective on (unless reconsidering her knowledge about primates counts).

I approve entirely of what the lesson was meant to teach, but I think the only thing here that's actually beneficial to her (apart from learning more about primates), and the only thing that would give her any more appreciation for fiction, would be reading that book.

L-space is indeed a marvellous place.

As soon as Twilight pulled out the bananas, I was waiting for the monkey ape Librarian. :twilightsmile:


the journey to the book consisted almost entirely of wasted time and fear, marked with a somewhat pleasant point that was almost indistinguishable from the destination.

This could describe the plot of just about every adventure story ever told, written, or thought of :P

*applauds* Excellent work.

So, given Twilight's book fetish, how often will she be having tea with the Librarian at her castle?


What would Celestia do if Twilight decided that, no, it had

The possibility of failure is also present in adventure. Celestia always pointed Twilight in the right direction, but she never shielded Twilight from failure, even catastrophic failure, even failure that in turn makes Celestia herself look bad.
So I'm not sure why you think it's important to point out now, that Celestia risked Twilight getting a scraped knee.

And while she certainly learned about the strangeness and wonderfulness and unexpectedness of life, it also gives her a good reason to avoid fiction

Does it? When someone resolutely states that facts are more important than ideas, you've found someone convinced of truth only as he sees them. You've found a dogmatist. That is not the sort of pony Celestia wants Twilight to become.

Teaching her student a lesson that the world around her cannot be wholly anticipated and categorized -not even the one small world where her student was convinced it could always be- is worth a bit of scraped knees. And one thing Celestia never shielded Twilight from was Adventure.



Tea *and* bananas. Perhaps some peanuts as well.

I have been considering reading the Discworld series. This does not help me with staying with the world of ponies.

Consider nothing, read the series. Hard part is figuring out what book or sub-series to start with

Not really. Adventure stories typically involve a degree of self-discovery and character growth, and I don't really think a conversation with orangutan counts.


So I'm not sure why you think it's important to point out now, that Celestia risked Twilight getting a scraped knee.

Getting lost in an infinite extradimensional labyrinth is somewhat more severe than a scraped knee--and all the adventures we've seen Twilight go through to date have been as an adult. She's still a schoolfoal here, and L-Space isn't without its dangers.

Teaching her student a lesson that the world around her cannot be wholly anticipated and categorized -not even the one small world where her student was convinced it could always be

While I would agree that this would be worth it, it's a lesson she didn't pick up--if Feeling Pinkie Keen is anything to go by.


L-Space isn't without its dangers

I wouldn't know. If Discworld's L-Space is more like Everfree Forest than just Zecora's Hut (with an ape Zecora in it), then you have a point.

While I would agree that this would be worth it, it's a lesson she didn't pick up--if Feeling Pinkie Keen is anything to go by.

The fact that she was ready to absorb the aesop lesson of Feeling Pinkie Keen means that this little adventure had prepared her for it. Twilight will never achieve superconductivity to epistemological uncertainty.

I knew it. The moment I heard that Terry Pratchett had died, I was sure we would get a memorial story for him in the very near future. This is it, and it was well worth the wait.:twilightsmile:

That was everything I was hoping for after reading the description.

I intended for for you

You might want to fix that repeated word. :twilightsmile:

Other than that, this is as excellent as always.

Could you give me advice on how to get some Proof-Readers for my own stories?

Ah, a literally a-peeling story! :facehoof: (sorry, Ms. Sparkle--it won't happen again... today.) :scootangel:

It is a strange happenstance that, in reading a crossover with the Discworld series, I felt my desire to read the copy of The Color of Magic I've been sitting on grow exponentially. If what I've heard is correct, I am not going to regret finally reading it.

EDIT: I felt the need to say that the first sentence of the forward made me break out into laughter.

5769321 There's more of that to come, friend. There's a lot more of that to come.

Well, thanks for writing this. I enjoyed it.

5766048 Are you saying that first she has to learn the little lies?

Good story.

Very nice.

That last line is particularly poignant.

*gets to the Orangutang, screeches to a stop as realization hits her like a ton of bricks* OH MY WORD YOU DID NOT XD

*takes a break from reading to laugh maniacally to self*

Dude, this was a really fun story! I like how subtle your crossover was - nothing that screams crossover but with a delightful cameo that Discworld fans can get excited over. I finished this story feeling very pleased with what I'd read, and that is a wonderful feat to accomplish! A very nice homage to your favorite author, and a nice, relaxing, giggle-inducing read. Great job!

As soon as twilight started her trek into the literary wilderness my mind began shouting "L-Space!" over and over again.
And then she pulled out the bananas.
My first thought was "oh, lovely, a reference to the oldest most annoying meme in the fandom."
Then my brain shouted L-Space again.
Then my mind exploded.
Then I read the phrase "potato sack" and I fell in love.
Thank you, you beautiful bastard.
This is amazing.
You are amazing.
Terry Pratchett was amazing. May he rest in peace.

That was a sweet story, but now I'm annoyed at Celestia. There are a lot more dangerous places in L-space to end up than the Unseen University Library.

Is the book in question a reference to Terry Pratchett too? Is it based on a real-life book? If so, can you explain more please? I don't know much about Discworld, sorry, but I would've liked to read them, or meet Terry too, before, you know....

A story involving the two best librarians ever? Automatic fave! :pinkiehappy:

And, just thinking about it....

It's too bad filly Twilight didn't catch a glimpse of the rules posted in the UU library, particularly #4.* It might have saved her all that bother with the time-travel scroll, later on.

* "Please do not interfere with the nature of causality."

A very fun, touching and enjoyable story overall! Though I will second the other commenters who mention that Celestia comes off as kind of a jerkass here. It felt that way to me as well.

The moral she aims to teach certainly isn't a bad one, but teaching it via sending a little schoolfilly on a quest that's A) frightening, B) not particularly necessary for the conveyance of the moral, C) honestly quite dangerous, and D) doesn't really even come with enough information to reliably succeed... eh, not exactly what I'd personally consider the greatest teaching methods. Felt like a bit of an overreaction on her part, to me.

That aside, though, the actual meat of the story was brilliant, and the slow build up and execution of the stealth crossover was a thing of beauty. Thanks very much for sharing this; it's really a great read!

Thank you for such a wonderful story.
Like most Pratchet fans here, I found myself expecting the librarian as soon as the bananas appeared and I must say I was not disappointed.
Thank you again.

5774243 And this is different to her normal teaching methods how, exactly? Princess Celestia has always been of the 'throw your student off the cliff in order to see if they learn to fly before they hit the bottom.' school of instruction. Though at least she doesn't throw boulders down after them.

The whole Mare in the Moon thing is a perfect example. Twilight has to learn the value of friendship? Let's dump here in a strange town where she's knows no-pony, and let her learn by doing. Oh, and blow off her concerns, so she'll be more interested in finding out more info on the Elements than making friends. If the rest of the mane six hadn't done pretty much all the work, the Elements would never have been reactivated.

The Crystal Empire, however, was the crowning example of this sort of thinking. Give her a 30 second info dump and kick her out the door. And let's activate all her neuroses by making it a test, and better yet one that she'll fail if she actually obeys the rules. And if that dooms a nation of ponies to being re-enslaved by a ruthless tyrant, well, thems the breaks.

Seriously, where do you think Twilight's OCD comes from, as well as her obsessive need to please the Princess, and imagining dire fates for the most minor failure? Celestia's probably been testing her this way ever since she started teaching her. Her checklists and crazy prepared attitude is from never knowing when she's going to have to deal with some pop quiz with no warning. See Realitycheck's deconstruction of how poor a teacher Celestia really is, 'Parting Words' for a far better and more detailed explanation of this point of view.

Nicely done, though I was expecting the Book to be 'The Color of Magic'. Wonder hoe Twilight would have reacted to Rincewind or the Trunk.

Well one difference is that Twilight's at least an adult in those. Sending a young child into danger (especially when it's portrayed in a way that highlights her vulnerability) can sometimes twist the feels of the readers much more noticeably, which can in turn make it more difficult for readers to deploy the MST3K mantra like they might be able to do for some of the more adventure-y instances in the show proper.

More to the point, though, I just thought it was worth a mention since the larger, overall thematic arc of the fic didn't seem (to me) to be aiming for a "jerk Celestia" vibe with this particular incident, which was why I thought it might be helpful reader feedback to note that--for better or worse--I got that vibe from it anyway. (Granted, I suppose I could be misreading the author's intent, and that's totally the vibe they were aiming for all along. If so, then I guess my comment should just be taken as confirmation that they succeeded in that.)

I think I know why Discord likes Celestia, this could easily have been his plan instead of hers.

I liked how eloquent the orangutang could be with only one noise.

I have to admit, I don't read much outside of fimfiction (hell, the only reason I even read this much IS this website), so I haven't had the pleasure of reading anything from Terry. However I've heard all sorts of good about his works, so it must be a good read.
Might give them a read one day.

Nevertheless, this was an enjoyable little story :twilightsmile:

Thank you so much for writing this. I am also a huge fan of Terry's work and you have paid him a great compliment with this crossover. The Librarian is one of my favorite characters and you have certainly done him and L-space justice. :pinkiehappy:


*waggles finger*

He's an orangutan. C'mon, man. We've been over this.

5777146 I managed to forget this over the course of the tiny period of time between reading the story and posting my response. I find myself unsurprised.

I think everyone should own a old loved and battered Pratchett book.

Eamonn Mccabe's quote from the day he died really stuck with me;

Whereas all my beloved P G Wodehouses and Philip Pullmans are neatly arranged on the bookshelves, my Pratchetts are strewn under the beds, in the bathrooms, the glove compartments. They have shopping lists, takeaway orders and Scrabble scores scribbled on the fly leaves. They were part of life.

Ahhh, Twilight in L-Space. I may just make this fic canon in the timeline of A Wizzard Abroad if you don't mind.

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