• Published 24th Jun 2016
  • 5,139 Views, 307 Comments

The Incredibly Crazy Days of a Little Sparkle - BronyWriter

Midnight Sparkle, Twilight's distant ancestor, travels forward in time.

  • ...

Forest Discovery

I groaned and pushed another tree branch aside as I trudged through the Everfree Forest with my friends. Princess Celestia had said that she had detected some anomaly a few hours ago and sent my friends and I to investigate. That was all well and good, but it happened to be raining at the moment, and the thick tree branches made it difficult to cast a shield spell to keep us all dry.

"Are we there yet?" Rainbow Dash groaned. "This is taking forever!"

"We should be, if my tracking spell is any indication," I replied. Princess Celestia had let me copy her magical signature when she gave me the assignment, so I got to find out where she sensed the anomaly. Now, what kind of anomaly was it? I had no idea. I just knew that I'd much rather be back in my library next to a fire with a good book and some strong tea.

"What do ya think it could be, Twi?" Applejack asked, looking warily around the forest. "This here forest ain't known fer havin' the nicest bein's around."

"I don't know," I admitted. "But I don't think that Princess Celestia would have sent us to find it if she thought that it would be something we couldn't handle."

"It's not as though we still possess the Elements, though," Rarity pointed out. "Our capacity for dealing with Equestria-ending abominations have become severely limited."

"True, but I think Princess Celestia would have factored that in, too."

"If Princess Celestia is so worried about this anomaly thing, why doesn't she just deal with it herself?" Rainbow Dash asked. "Then we wouldn't be out here in the rain!"

"Well, I'm the princess in Ponyville, so it makes sense that she'd send me," I said, a feeling of pride swelling up in me. "I mean, how else am I supposed to grow into an effective ruler if I can't solve problems in my own backyard?"

"I guess," Fluttershy muttered. "But I'd prefer it if the problem was literally in your backyard."

"Aw come on, Fluttershy, don't be such a scaredy-pony!" Pinkie said as she happily proinked next to me. "It's only the Everfree Forest! We've been in here tons of times and, other than the whole nasty Nightmare Moon and crazy vine stuff, nothing bad has ever happened to us!"

"Those were some pretty life-threatenin' things there, sugarcube," Applejack pointed out. "We could--"

I gasped when my horn let loose a bright flash of light, then faded away just as quickly. My friends stopped talking and looked at me with various degrees of worry. I gave them a comforting smile to let them know I was alright, but steeled myself all the same.

"It's here. Whatever Princess Celestia sensed is close."

"How close?" Fluttershy whispered, looking fearfully around the forest.

"Very close." I lit my horn and copied Princess Celestia's magical signature again. I felt a slight tugging on my horn, directing me to a bush about twenty hooves away from me. I nodded and powered my horn down. "Okay, girls, whatever it is in that bush over there." I pointed at the bush in question, and my friends gave it uneasy looks.

"It'd have to be pretty small ta be able ta fit inside a bush that size," Applejack observed.

"It could still be pretty dangerous, though," I pointed out. "Okay. Here's the plan: I'm going to check inside the bush. If whatever's in there is dangerous, we'll fall back into Attack Formation Beta."

"Uh, Twilight, we didn't actually read those attack formation plans you gave us," Rainbow Dash said, uneasily scratching the back of her neck. "They were kind of... complicated."

"I did!" Pinkie said happily.

"Fine! Just..." I took a deep breath. "Just be prepared for anything, okay?"

I gingerly walked up to the bush, my horn lit. Preparing myself for anything, I gingerly pushed aside some of the shrubs and peeked inside. My eyes widened when I found the source of the anomaly. A filly, probably no older than Dinky, lay inside. Her eyes were closed and she wasn't moving, but I could see the rising and falling of her chest, so I knew she was alive. She had a blue coat and a white and blue striped mane and a snowflake cutie mark. Something about her seemed... familiar.

"What is it, Twilight?" Rarity asked, uneasily walking up to me. "Is it dangerous?"

"I... I don't think so," I replied with a frown. "It looks like it's just a filly." My friends moved up behind me as I gently lifted the filly out of the bush. She had a few minor cuts from the branches, but otherwise seemed no worse for wear. Her ear flicked when I set her down on the ground.

"Who is that?" Pinkie asked, leaning in closer to get a better look.

"I..." I tilted my head. "I don't know for sure. She looks familiar, though. Almost like..." I brightened when I finally realized where I'd seen her before. "Midnight Sparkle! She looks exactly like my great to the nth power grandmother Midnight Sparkle!" My smile was replaced with a frown. "But I don't know what a pony who looks like Midnight Sparkle is doing all the way out here."

"Maybe she is Midnight Sparkle?" Rainbow offered.

I shook my head. "Don't be silly, Rainbow. Midnight Sparkle died hundreds of years ago. She's buried in my family crypt in Canterlot. I visited the grave for a report once. There were... a lot of ravens hanging around, actually." I knelt down to get a closer look at the filly, performing a few spells to make sure she was actually okay and not under the influence of some kind of magic. She didn't seem to be. "The question is why she's out here. The fact that she looks a lot like my ancestor is weird... really weird, but I'm not sure if it means anything."

Before my friends could respond, the filly began stirring. We all took a small step back as if she might magically surge, or something. Which was kind of ridiculous in hindsight. She was just waking up. Her horn wasn't powering up. Still, Princess Celestia called us out here to investigate this, so who knows what was truly going on?

The filly opened her eyes and frowned when she saw what I could only guess were unfamiliar surroundings. She raised her head and spotted Fluttershy, who shrank away at the attention, which only made the filly's frown deeper. She looked over to Rarity and tilted her head. Rarity gave her a weak smile.

"Hello, darling. Are... are you alright?"

Instead of answering, the filly pushed herself onto her haunches and looked at each one of us in turn. When she stared at me, I saw that she had blue eyes, a shade or two lighter than her coat. They matched the eye color Midnight Sparkle was supposed to have, but that still didn't mean that this was her! A nagging voice in the back of my head began offering objections to that hypothesis, Occam's Razor, and all that, but it still wouldn't make any sense! Pushing those thoughts aside, I gave her a warm smile.

"H-hello. Um... my name is Twilight."

The filly blinked once. "Good day," she responded cautiously. She blinked again and looked around the forest. "Pray tell, where are we?"

"We're in the Everfree Forest, sugarcube," Applejack said, causing the filly to look over at her. "Do you remember how you got here?" The filly shook her head. "That's alright, sugarcube," Applejack said warmly. "Do you remember yer name?"

"I am Midnight Sparkle, daughter of Sunbeam Sparkle, Archmagus of Canterlot, Grand Vizier of United Equestria, Savior of the City of Canterlot, Malleus Maleficarum, Countess of Maresidia, and Defender of the Realm."

My eyes widened as Rainbow Dash shot me a "told you so" look. No no no, that couldn't be right. Midnight Sparkle lived during the Lunar Rebellion, nearly a millennia ago! I mean, I know that time travel is technically possible, given that I'd done it myself, but I'd only gone back a week! Traveling forward nine hundred years would require an insane amount of magic, or at the very least, a spell that I hadn't been told about yet.

"Are... are you sure about that?" I asked.

"As certain as I can be about my own name," she responded, frowning at me. "Dost thou think that I am attempting to fool thee?"

"No, no, it's not that," I insisted. "It's just that... well, I don't know if you can be Midnight Sparkle. I mean, the Midnight Sparkle!"

"I am. If there is another Midnight Sparkle in the world, I am not aware of that pony."

I weakly chuckled. I could press the issue, but I realized that we were still in the rain in the middle of the Everfree Forest. My magic might be deflecting most of the rain, but my friends and I were still more soaked than we wanted to be. It would be far easier to figure all of this out when we were back home drying off.

"Okay, um, Midnight, we're going to go back to my house to figure all of this out." I took a step toward her. "Are you okay with riding on my back?"

"I suppose." Midnight looked around the forest again. "It would be best if we hurried, though. If we linger too long then some fearsome monster may come and feed upon our flesh while we still live, leaving little remains to be found before taking a single survivor back to its grisly cave for future feedings. I would rather not experience the feeling of teeth biting into me, severing tendons and snapping bones and causing what I'm certain would be immense pain."

My jaw dropped and my eyes widened. Not for the same reason as my friends, I'm sure. I just... I couldn't believe it!

"Holy Celestia, you're Midnight Sparkle!"

Midnight frowned at me again. "I have already stated as such." She turned to look at Rarity. "Has thy friend recently suffered from some manner of brain injury?"

"No, but I wouldn't rule out shock," Rarity said. She trotted over to me and put a hoof on my shoulder, which didn't do a lot to calm down my imminent hyperventilating. "Twilight, darling, are you okay?"

I put a hoof up to my forehead, and my breathing became a little heavier. "I... I..."

"I think she's just about to lose it," Rainbow Dash said to Applejack.

I didn't dignify that with a response. I just pointed at Midnight. "You're Midnight Sparkle!"

Midnight’s ear flicked in irritation. "Mayhaps she has some sort of flesh-eating insect in her brain that is causing her to forget things she learned mere moments ago?" Midnight guessed. “The Everfree Forest is filled with many strange and unique creatures.”

"No. No this can't be happening," I muttered to myself as I began pacing back and forth. "You've been dead for almost eight hundred years!"

"I have not," Midnight grumbled, crossing her forelegs and glaring at me. "I have not yet finished my magus training. I think I would be made aware of my own death, and ‘tis rather easy to notice. So unless I am some evil spectre that is about to rip thy souls screaming from thy bodies into eternal damnation, and am not aware of it, I can safely say I am quite alive."

"Twilight, darling, I'm sure this is all very shocking to you, but wouldn't it be best if we continued this discussion back at the library?" Rarity pointed out. "The longer we stay here, the more soaked we are going to get, and the higher chance of..." Rarity glanced at Midnight. "Of something untoward coming for us."

"And snapping our bones like weak tree branches in its powerful jaws," Midnight helpfully supplied. “Or being dragged through the mud to our doom. The mud would make it infinitely worse.”

"Y-yes, I assumed that was a given," Rarity replied.

I took a deep breath using the calming technique that Cadance taught me. It helped enough that I could begin thinking clearly. "Okay. You're right. Let's get out of here."

* * * *

The seven of us reached Ponyville and went straight to my library. Midnight didn't say anything else while she sat on my back during the return journey. Pinkie Pie tried to start up a conversation with the group, but none of us really felt like talking. I suppose we were all trying to register the fact that one of my ancestors, one of the greatest magi and a pony who was probably history's greatest cryomancer, sat on my back as a filly. Something was very wrong here. Did Princess Celestia know that this was the anomaly? If so, why did she send me out there to get it, princess or no? Midnight already knew Princess Celestia, so I would have thought that she would prefer to deal with this herself.

Ugh. That was all too much to think about right now. I was rather tired, and I couldn't make my best judgement calls in this state. That tended to end... poorly, if past experiences were anything to go by.

We entered the library and I used a spell to dry all of us off. Spike was asleep in his basket upstairs, so I didn't want to wake him. I could send the letter to Princess Celestia tomorrow.

Midnight tilted her head and looked around my home. Given who she was, I could imagine that living in a library would certainly appeal to her, even if it wasn't so grandiose as the tower in Canterlot Castle that she was used to. According to the history books, Sunbeam Sparkle had a personal library that rivaled the one I was currently living in.

"So... um, Midnight, how are you doing?" I asked.

Midnight continued her examination of my house for a few more seconds before turning back to me.

"Thou does live in a tree," she stated.

I weakly chuckled. "Yeah, I guess I do."

"Why dost thou live in a tree?" she asked. "Dost thou not have the means to live in a proper home?"

I frowned at that. "I think this is a very nice home."

"Perhaps thou art on the run, then?" Midnight guessed. "Princess Celestia would certainly come to disintegrate thee with her magic if she discovered a false alicorn living among innocent ponies."

"What?!" I cried, fluttering my wings angrily. "I... I am not a false alicorn!"

Midnight blinked owlishly at me. "Hast thou assumed the mantle of the moon, then? I did not think it was something so easily given."

"No!" I insisted. "I'm the Princess of Ponyville! Princess Celestia herself gave me that title, and these wings!"

Rainbow Dash and Applejack didn't even try to hide their amusement as Midnight stared blankly at me.

"The Princess of Ponyville," she repeated. "And thou livest in a tree." Midnight turned her head to look at Pinkie Pie. "Is this some form of jest, or is Ponyville some outlying protectorate of Equestria that demanded its own ceremonial figurehead monarch?"

"Nope!" Pinkie said happily. "We live in Equestria proper! In case you didn't know, you're waaayyy far into the future! A lot has changed since you were a filly." Pinkie frowned and tapped her jaw. "I think so, anyway. We don't have a lot of bad magic ponies running around!"

"So even though you are supposedly a princess, thou dost not have any experience hunting warlocks?" Midnight asked me.

"Well, there aren't really warlocks around Ponyville for me to hunt," I admitted.

“Indeed? Then how many terrible monsters hast thou slain?”

“None! Monsters don’t really come out of the Everfree Forest into Ponyville that often.”

"Ponyville," she replied as if testing the name on her tongue. "I have never heard of such a place."

"Well that's because it ain't that old, strictly speaking," Applejack said, a hint of pride in her voice. "Mah family started it a few hundred years ago. We're just south of Canterlot. We ain't a big town, but we're all friendly here."

"And thou livest on the edge of a forest full of dangerous creatures that could murder thee at any moment." Midnight tilted her head. "I confess I do not see the logic in it."

"Well, the land here is real fertile," Applejack insisted. "Ah own an apple farm not too far from here."

"I see." Midnight turned her attention back to me. I guess she figured I was the only one who could give her real information, being an alicorn and all that. Maybe she was just naturally drawn to that, given that her family was close to Princess Celestia. "Is it possible that I can speak to Princess Celestia, Miss False Alicorn? Perhaps she could give me the truth of the matter."

"I am not a false alicorn!" I insisted. "I didn't use any dark magic to get like this!"

"I express my doubts that 'Princess of Ponyville' is a real thing. From what I have seen, this town is of little importance, sits on no rare natural resources, is of little strategic significance, and is but a little bit south of Canterlot, where Princess Celestia herself reigns. A ‘Princess of Ponyville’ seems... unnecessary. Unless there is some information I am not privy to yet that would shed light on the situation."

"No! It’s just... I... the Princess of Ponyville is a real thing, okay?" I groaned and ran a hoof down my face. This was getting us nowhere. "Princess Celestia can explain when you see her. For the moment, it's too late at night to send her a letter. We'll talk to her in the morning, okay?"

"I suppose I can wait until then."

"Come on, Middy!" Pinkie said happily. "Cheer up! You're gonna love Ponyville! Applejack is right: all of the ponies here are really friendly! So turn that frown upside down!" When Midnight did nothing of the sort, Pinkie nudged her a little bit. "Come on. Just one little smile for Pinkie Pie, ple-- wow... okay, never mind!"

“Indeed? But didst thou not just ask me to smile for thee?” Midnight asked.

I had read the stories that Midnight Sparkle's smile was... scary, but even I wasn't prepared to actually see it in front of me. Fluttershy whimpered and hid her face behind her wings, while Rarity, Applejack and Rainbow all pointedly looked away. I uneasily rubbed the back of my neck. This was not going to be easy.

"Um... maybe we should all go to bed," I said. "We can figure out what to do in the morning."

"I suppose that is wise," Midnight said. "Where shall I stay for the night?"

"Well, since you're already here, you could use my guest room," I offered. "I'm sure it's not as... grand as you're used to, but the bed is comfy, and there's a bathroom across the hall that you could use."

"I have never stayed in a tree before." Midnight tilted her head. "Perhaps it will be a fine experience. One I never thought I'd endure." Midnight nodded. "Very well. I shall stay in the false alicorn's tree," she said, mostly to herself. I groaned, but decided not to push the issue again. Princess Celestia would come and explain that I was not a false alicorn! Those are the kind of ponies that got their wings by doing some black magic ritual, and it always ended in a painful death for them, either because Princess Celestia would take them down, or the black magic in them would eat them from the inside out. I got my wings by finishing that spell!

Although, now that I think about it, in Midnight's time, a spell that changed the cutie marks and destinies of another pony could be considered black magic.

I'd think about that later.

I said goodbye to all of my friends, who all promised to help me through this. Hopefully that would be unnecessary. Princess Celestia would come down to Ponyville tomorrow and sort this all out. Send Midnight back to her own time. Then we'd put this all behind us and add another thing to the list of weird things that happened to me since I came to Ponyville.

I got Midnight settled in her room, and I liked that she didn't really complain about the conditions. She called them 'passable'. I'd take it at this point. Maybe if she stayed longer than tonight I could do some things for her to make it more like her room back in her time. I wanted to make her as comfortable as I could while she was here.

Even if she kept calling me a false alicorn.

Once Midnight was settled, I went to my room and collapsed on my bed, the stress and strain of the day starting to wear on me a bit. I mean, I was talking to my great, great, etc. grandmother! She was sleeping in my guest room right now! My mind thought of all of the things I could ask her. She'd be a treasure trove of information about her time, even if she was too young to know about all of the really interesting things she did as a magus. She seemed old enough to have lived through the Lunar Rebellion. That could be fun.

Overall, though, one thought kept popping into my brain: this was going to be interesting.

Author's Note:

Chapter one of my Midnight/Dinky/possibly Kukri crossover. I hope you all enjoy!

Also, this is, as far as I know, the first time I have ever written Twilight as an alicorn.

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