• Published 4th May 2016
  • 12,672 Views, 1,052 Comments

Cheer Princess - MythrilMoth

After following Sunset Shimmer through the portal and becoming stuck in the human world, Princess Celestia struggles to adapt while blocking Sunset's ambitions with her own popularity.

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Book One, Prologue (Side Celestia)

Author's Note:

This is just a little idea that popped into my head the other day, and I just had to play with a bit to see if it'll go anywhere. Mostly inspired by the cover art, of course. :heart:

She didn't think. She just jumped through the portal.

Dimly, she was aware of the guards crying out behind her. She ignored them. Her only thought was the amber unicorn with the fiery mane and the Cutie Mark which was so similar to her own. Her student. Her proudest achievement in many years.

Her greatest failure in many centuries.

*No. I will not fail you, Sunset Shimmer. I will not have another Nightmare Moon on my conscience.*

Colors swirled around her, and she felt her body shift, swirl, come apart, reassemble. It was a sensation she was familiar with from her long experience travelling from world to world with Starswirl.

She emerged from the bright tunnel of kaleidoscope colors into a dark, cool night. A light breeze brushed across her bare arms, raising goosebumps. She staggered for a moment as her body adjusted to its new center of gravity.

*Biped. Non-hooved species. Human, I think it was called? No magic, no wings.*

"Well, well, this is an interesting development," a familiar voice said from nearby.

A few feet away, a girl stood with her back to Celestia. She wore black boots, a short orange skirt, and a black jacket. Waves of copper and gold hair cascaded down her back, and her bare hands and thighs were a fair peach-amber color.

"Sunset Shimmer, please! You must come back!" Celestia called.

Sunset turned, her teal eyes wide in surprise. "So you followed me," she said. "Why bother? We're through, remember? I'm no longer your student!"

"I was angry!" Celestia cried in despair, unconsciously clenching her new hands into fists at her sides. "I made a mistake! I..." She bowed her head. "Sunset, please...I don't want it to end like this. Not...not again. I've made this mistake before, I—"

With a whoosh of wind and a flash of light, the portal closed behind her.

Celestia's eyes widened. She turned and ran to the statue, pressing her hands against its smooth marble surface. "No," she whispered. "No..."

Sunset laughed. "Looks like I won't be going back to Equestria after all!" she exclaimed. "And neither will you, Princess! Not for another thirty moons!"

Celestia slid slowly down the statue, her forehead pressed against the cold stone. "No," she repeated.

"I think I'll just leave you here to cry and whine while I see what this world has to offer," Sunset sneered.

"Sunset, wait—!" Celestia began, rising to her feet as quickly as she could and turning around, reaching out a hand.

Sunset ignored her, running away into the night. Celestia chased after her, but was forced to stop when a large metal carriage rolled to a stop in her path, roaring like an angry manticore. Celestia fell to the ground just short of the carriage, landing on all fours; the pavement stung her palms and her knees, and her breath came in heavy, ragged gasps.

"Are you alright?" a hauntingly familiar voice asked. Celestia looked up; a window had opened in the metal carriage, and a human woman with light blue skin and wavy midnight-blue hair peered out at her with dark opal eyes.

"I...I think so," Celestia said. She slowly stood up, placing a hand over her hammering heart and taking a slow, deep breath. "I need to stop her...Sunset Shimmer..."

The woman in the carriage tilted her head. "Are you talking about the girl in the leather jacket that just ran past? Is she a friend of yours?"

"She is my student. Or was."

The woman raised an eyebrow. "Student? But...you don't look any older than she is. I mean, you're both teenagers."

Celestia blinked. "Teenagers...?"

Suddenly, the woman gasped, leaning further out of her window. Her carriage lurched forward; she did something out of Celestia's sight, and it jerked to a halt. "Tia?!"

Celestia frowned. "Do I...do I know you?"

The woman shook her head. "No, I'm...I'm seeing things," she said distractedly.

Celestia studied the woman. There was something disturbingly familiar about her, like an old memory tickling at the back of her mind. She straightened the white dress she wore, then looked past the carriage. There was no sign of Sunset Shimmer. She sighed. "She's gone..."

The woman in the carriage gave her a troubled frown. "Can...can I offer you a ride anywhere?"

Celestia swallowed. "I...I don't have anywhere to go," she admitted. "I'm not from around here."

The woman frowned. "Hmm. An orphan, or perhaps a runaway?"

"A...foreigner," Celestia hedged. "I'm lost and have no way to return home."

The woman in the carriage sighed. "Well, a girl your age really shouldn't be running around in the streets this time of night. If you don't have a place to stay, I suppose I could let you spend the night at my place."

Celestia considered that. "I—"

"I assure you, it's safer and warmer than being out here in the streets," the woman said. "As hot as it gets in the daytime this time of year, the nights are still quite chilly, especially when you're dressed like that. That's to say nothing of, well..." She trailed off.

Celestia frowned. "There are...dangerous individuals who lurk in the darkness?"

"You could say that," the woman said mildly.

"Then I really need to find Sunset Shimmer without delay," Celestia said.

The woman grimaced. "Do you even know where she might have gone?"

Celestia blinked, then sighed. "No," she admitted. "She is as lost here as I am."

"Then the best thing you can do right now is take care of yourself," the woman said. "I'm more than happy to let you spend the night at my house, but tomorrow I'll need to take you to the police so they can try to help you. They can also find your friend, if they haven't already found her by morning. Come on, get in."

Celestia eyed the carriage warily. The woman watched her. After a moment, she frowned, jerking her head to the opposite side of the carriage. "You getting in or what?" she asked impatiently.

Celestia walked around the carriage, examining it curiously, feeling a hot wind from its rear stir the hem of her dress as she passed behind it. When she reached the opposite side, she studied the metal wall of the vehicle. There was a handle set into the door. She tried lifting it, and the door opened. Mentally taking note of this, she slid into the plush seat, pulling the door closed behind her.

"Seat belt," the woman said.


The woman tugged at the fabric strap which lay across her own chest, then motioned to something over her left shoulder. "This can't be your first time in a car," she said disbelievingly.

"Actually, it is." Celestia looked to her right and found a shiny bit of metal, which she took hold of and pulled. A similar fabric strap pulled loose from the wall of the carriage; she fumbled around with her left hand until she found something that felt like it probably connected to the strap. After a bit of effort, she heard a sharp click, and the strap secured in place.

"Good, all buckled up!" The woman chuckled; the carriage began to move. "By the way, my name is Luna. I'm the Vice Principal of Canterlot High School."

Celestia's heart nearly stopped. "L-LUNA?!"

"That's Miss Luna to you, young lady," Luna said. She glanced to her right...then nearly ran the carriage off the road. The vehicle jerked to a sudden stop, and Luna turned to fully face Celestia. "Oh my god," she breathed. "You...you really do look exactly like my sister Celestia."

"Sister...?" Celestia said slowly, eyes wide.

"What's your name?" Luna asked insistently.

"My name is...my name is Celestia," Celestia said numbly.

"No, seriously, what's your name?" Luna asked again.

"I'm telling you, my name is Celestia!" She looked away. "And...and I had a sister named Luna...a very long time ago."

"What happened to her?"

Celestia shook her head. "I'd...rather not talk about it."

Luna pursed her lips, her brow furrowed in thought. With a small grunt, she set the carriage in motion again. "So, why were you chasing that other girl? Did she steal something from you?"

"Huh? Oh...no," Celestia said. "I...I made a mistake. I was angry with her for disobeying me, and I banished her from my castle."

"Castle?" Luna asked with a chuckle. "What, are you a princess or something?"

"Actually, yes," Celestia said.

Luna glanced at her for a moment, then laughed. "Oh, I get it," she said. "You're talking about an online game. She's in your guild or something and you had a fight and you kicked her out, right?"

Celestia blinked. "Umm..." *I didn't understand a single word of that.*

"Yeah, I've had that happen a few times," Luna said, her eyes back on the road. "Internet drama, it's a real bitch." After a moment, she asked, "So what school do you go to?"

"School?" Celestia asked. "No, I—I don't go to school."

Luna frowned. "A dropout, huh? Can't say I approve of that."

"No, I—" Celestia paused. *If I try to tell her I'm the ruler of an entire nation, she'll probably think I'm insane.* "I, umm...finished school a long time ago."

Luna groaned. "Ugh. One of those. Kid prodigies...never liked 'em. They make me feel stupid. We had a kid come into CHS a few years ago who was nine. Nine! Graduated before he turned twelve. Little brat."

"May I ask a question?" At Luna's nod, Celestia said, "This place...what is it? This city."

Luna snorted. "You don't even know what city you're in? Seriously?" She glanced at Celestia, whose eyes were sincere and upset. She sighed. "Canterlot. This is Canterlot. The Ponyville suburb, specifically."

*Canterlot...Ponyville.* Celestia's brow furrowed as her mind began racing. "So Baltimare would be northeast, Las Pegasus far to the west, and Seaddle on the northwest coast? And Manehattan on the northeast coast, by the sea?"

"That's right," Luna said. "Congratulations, you know basic geography."

"And...and the name of this kingdom. What is it?"

Luna barked out a laugh. "Kingdom?!" She shook her head, chuckling. "This is the United States of Cavallonia. We haven't had a king in over two hundred years."

Celestia tilted her head. "A republic?"

"Democratic republic, yes," Luna said. She coasted to a stop at a red light and spared Celestia another glance. "You sound surprised. You're...you're not kidding about not being from around here, are you?"

Celestia decided to take a risk. "No. I'm from the Kingdom of Equestria."

"Never heard of it," Luna said. "Is it in Ewerope?"

"No, it's—nevermind. It's not important." Celestia's mind raced as she sorted the bits of information she'd gleaned from Luna.

*This world...it's clearly a parallel Equestria. That would explain why the humans living here have such...ungulate names for their nations and cities. Then this must truly be the parallel of my own sister. But there's so many things that don't make sense...*

"How about some music?" Luna fiddled with something on the console in front of her, and a wall of noise assaulted Celestia. It sounded similar to the rock and roll she'd heard a few times in Equestria, only harder and louder.

Several minutes later, the vehicle slowed, turning into a shorter stretch of pavement that led up to a medium-sized house whose outside lights were on. Celestia studied the house absently; in the dark, she couldn't make out many details, but there were trees in the yard and hedges here and there. The rumbling of the carriage ceased, as did the loud music.

"Alright, this is the house my sister and I share...and she does not appear to be home yet." Luna's lips thinned. "You'll be staying with us tonight at the very least, but...I find myself very curious as to why you have the same name as my sister, not to mention why you look so much like she did when we were teenagers."

"Ahh..." Celestia hedged. "I'm...starting to get an idea of what's going on here, but I don't think you'd believe me if I told you."

Luna grunted, but got out of the carriage; Celestia removed her seat belt and did likewise. She followed the woman who bore her sister's name—but looked so very little like her—to the side of the house, where Luna unlatched a simple wooden gate and opened it before unlocking a small door set into the back of the house. Celestia followed her in, looking curiously around as a series of overhead lights flickered on.

The house was full of things Celestia didn't recognize, as well as some she did. There were large, boxy chunks of metal in the room they'd entered, over which sat wooden cupboards. Through a door, they walked into a room full of countertops, steel sinks, and more chunky metal things—one of which Celestia recognized as an oven, and another which looked like a refrigerator. There were others she couldn't place, but it was obvious to her this was the kitchen.

More lights came on, and Celestia followed Luna into what had to be the living room. The floor had a dark wine carpet, and tastefully upholstered furniture was arranged in a semicircle at the center of the room; there were shelves full of photos and knick-knacks and more things Celestia didn't recognize, mostly piled up on a large piece of furniture that covered most of one wall.

"I don't suppose you have a cell phone?" Luna asked as she walked through the living room toward a hall on the other side.

"I have no idea what that is," Celestia answered absently, following her.

Luna stopped and stared at her. "How can a teenage girl in this day and age not know what a cell phone is?"

"I...I'm sorry," Celestia said with a nervous laugh. "There are a lot of things here I've never seen or even heard of before."

Luna looked her up and down, a thoughtful frown on her face. "Good lord, the resemblance is uncanny," she said, shaking her head. "You really do look exactly like Tia." She sighed. "Well, let me show you the guest room. If Tia isn't home yet, that means she's probably bringing dinner. I hope she picked up pizza." She paused, then pulled something small, flat, and shiny out of her pocket. Her hand moved across it for a moment; after staring at it intently, she sighed. "She's bringing home fried chicken," Luna announced. "That should feed all three of us; she usually gets enough so she can have cold chicken later."

Luna started walking again; Celestia followed her. She was led into a small, sparsely decorated room with a plain wooden dresser, a soft-looking bed with a lavender comforter, and a tall mirror with a wooden frame. She stepped in front of the mirror and looked herself up and down.

Celestia had only vague knowledge of humans, having seen this world only once before, centuries earlier. At the time, she had never seen herself as a human. She could easily tell that she was much younger than the woman who claimed to be Luna. Her hair retained its vibrant hues, but was pulled back in a high ponytail and held in place by a scrunchie with two glittery golden beads. Tiny sun-shaped gold earrings graced her absurdly small earlobes, and a thin gold chain necklace with a rhombus-cut amethyst pendant hung around her neck. Her hairless skin was a milky pinkish-white and unblemished, save for tiny scratches and specks of dirt on her hands and knees. She wore a loose, diaphanous white sundress and matching sandals. She tilted her head as she studied herself in the mirror, turning this way and that.

"If I didn't know better, I'd say you've never seen your own reflection before," Luna quipped.

"I haven't," Celestia said without thinking. "I mean...not recently."

"Hmm." Luna shook her head. "You're a strange girl..."

The sound of a door opening and closing filled the house, followed by Celestia's own voice calling out, "Luna! I'm back! Come on into the kitchen, I'm starving!"

Luna sighed. "We'll be there in a minute, Tia," she replied. "Come on, let's get you washed up and then we'll eat."

Celestia followed Luna to the bathroom, where both women washed their hands. They then returned to the kitchen; as they drew closer, Celestia heard her own voice say, "Do we have a guest?"

"We do indeed," Luna said with an amused chuckle. They entered the kitchen, and Celestia was brought up short by the woman standing there.

"I...I thought I knew what to expect, but this is incredible," she breathed as she looked at the tall woman. "You're...you're me."

The adult Celestia looked at her in stark disbelief, eyes wide and mouth slack. She blinked twice. "Luna? Who...what..."

"Celestia," Luna said in a dry tone, "meet Celestia."

Princess Celestia slumped down into one of the chairs at the kitchen table, her eyes never leaving her doppelganger. The taller Celestia mirrored her actions, eyes equally wide with disbelief. "What...the...hell?"

"My thoughts exactly," Luna said. "Now, how about that chicken?"