• Published 22nd Sep 2016
  • 5,561 Views, 146 Comments

Princess Celestia: A Brief History - Amber Spark



Despite some serious misgivings, Sunset makes good on her promise to introduce the terrified Twilight Sparkle to Princess Celestia. Twilight probably could have handled it better.

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Panic in the Parlor

“Awkward doesn’t even begin to describe the events of last night.”

Sunset stared at the swirling painted stars on her ceiling. The morning sun swept through the enormous bay windows of her personal apartment. It glinted off the magnificent hourglass dominating the main level and added a few extra sparkles of light to the dome. Despite the comforting aroma of old books, scrolls and parchment, Sunset wished she could just hide from the rising sunlight.

“It wasn’t that bad, Sunny,” Minuette said from the chair beside Sunset’s bed. “Sure, it wasn’t the most fun time we’ve ever had, but it could have been a lot worse.”

Sunset adjusted the pillow behind her head with a casual application of magic.

Still not comfortable. Just like last night.

She sighed.

I have got to be out of my mind.

“I know that sigh, Sunny,” Minuette chided.

“And which sigh is that?” she asked absently.

“It’s the ‘I’ve got to be out of my mind’ sigh. Ever since I met you, you’ve used it a lot.”

Sunset flopped over to her side to stare at her friend.

“Since when can you tell me what I’m thinking just because of a sigh?”

“Uh, duh?” Minuette laughed. “Because I’ve known you for years now. It’s what happens when you have friends, Sunny.”

“If you’re so talented, then what am I thinking about?”

Minuette didn’t miss a beat. “That you may have made a huge mistake by inviting Twilight Sparkle to see Princess Celestia after how awkward you think last night was for all of us.”

Sunset sat up and jumped to the floor, dodging the small fort of books lined up on the side of the bed.

“For the first hour she barely says three words!” Sunset groaned. “Then Moon Dancer asks her about Morari the Maneless—which honestly I should have seen coming—and all of the sudden she won’t shut up!

Minuette’s grin shifted to her ‘I-don’t-want-to-agree-with-you-even-if-you’re-right’ smile.

“She goes on for the next two hours about how Dewey Decimal was a hack who just outright stole everything Morari did and they end up yelling at each other back and forth for ten minutes before I have to jump in and separate them!

Minuette spread her hooves. “Librarians, eh?”

Sunset groaned and flopped facedown onto her bed again.

“This is such a bad idea,” she moaned, her voice muffled through her pillow. “Such a stupidly bad idea.”

“She made up with Moon Dancer at the end. Moony even used one of those weird librarian cataloguing jokes and Twilight almost fell over laughing.”

“Only after the manager came over and told us if we didn’t shut up, they would kick us out! You can’t tell me you weren’t utterly mortified! Lemon Hearts looked like she was ready to move to Tall Tale!”

“That wouldn’t make any sense, silly,” Minuette chirped. “She’s up for a promotion at the Castle soon! Assistant Events Coordinator. It’s a good job.”

Sunset lifted her head just enough to shoot the eternally-cheerful Minuette a baleful glare.

“You know what I mean.”

“Yup!” Minuette nodded, the smile never leaving her face.

“You’re almost as bad as they are.”

“Thank you!”

Sunset rolled her eyes and flopped back onto her side.

“What am I going to do, Minuette? I can’t bring her into the Princess like that! She’ll totally freak out and…“

“…and what?” Minuette prompted.

Sunset opened her mouth, but nothing came out. She didn’t want to say what she was thinking. It wasn’t a nice thought. It wasn’t the thought of a friend.

“You’re worried she’ll embarrass you.”

“Gah!” Sunset flailed for a few seconds, then sat up on the bed, this time facing Minuette. “How do you do that?”

“Right time, right place, remember?” The size of Minuette’s smile bordered on the geographically impossible. “It’s a knack.”

“Freaky time-based special talent,” Sunset muttered as she ran her hooves over her face.

“Yep!”

“Hey, weren’t you here for something?” Sunset asked. “You said something about needing to borrow a book.”

“I lied.” Minuette shrugged. She didn’t look even remotely repentant. “I was worried about you after last night. You looked like you were ready to pull your mane out.”

“This is Princess Celestia we’re talking about, Minuette!” Sunset wailed. “You know, the demigoddess who controls day and night while overseeing the entire nation of Equestria? Kind of a big deal!”

“And you’ve been her student for how long?”

Sunset stopped and stared at her friend. “Huh?”

“It’s a simple enough question.”

“Uh… a while? Like… around twelve years?”

“And how many times have you royally screwed up?

“How can you ask me something like that?” Sunset squeaked. “And I’m choosing to ignore that little pun of yours!”

“Aw, but it was such a good one!” Minuette giggled. “Despite your past mistakes, has the Princess ever treated you with anything but kindness and love?”

“Well… no, but—”

“Now you’ve made a new friend, right? Why do you think she’d act any differently around your new friend?

Sunset didn’t miss the emphasis on the last three words. Is that what she was with Twilight now?

Was Twilight her friend?

A pony with the same dreams as her, just as lost and confused as Sunset often felt. The same reverence and love of Princess Celestia, though in a different texture and a different manner. The same obsession with learning and magic. The same raw magical talent and power.

That moment in the depths of the Canterlot Royal Archives would be forever burned into her memory.

After she’d walked Twilight back to her home in one of the nicer suburbs of Canterlot—trying to calm the poor lavender unicorn down the entire way—Sunset had come back here. She hadn’t been able to sleep. The day’s events sprinted around her mind like Minuette on three shots of espresso.

The only thing that had settled her was cracking open The Application of Unified Harmony Magics and trying to read. While she may not be the same level of bibliophile Moon Dancer and Twilight were—Sunset probably wasn’t even in the same galaxy as those two—she loved to read anything and everything she could get her hooves on. Sometimes, reading was the only thing that could calm her down.

The book hadn’t contained any major surprises. However, she had only gotten a halfway through before she had collapsed into the book from sheer mental exhaustion. It was pretty much the same principles Moon Dancer had lectured Minuette on yesterday.

“When proper harmony is found between the two ponies, the result of said spell connects them on a deeply fundamental level.”

Sunset shook her head and tried to get her thoughts in place, but they refused to coalesce into anything resembling coherence.

However, one thought did bubble up from the cauldron of conflicts.

Yes. Twilight Sparkle is my friend.

It must have been the strangest start to a friendship ever. Twilight had hated her. She resented her very existence. Without knowing it, Sunset had stolen almost everything from Twilight. A few confessions later, and somehow the two of them were in such a deep level of harmony the principle of unified harmony magic kicks in completely unintentionally?

There was something very strange about that unicorn.

“Uh, Sunny?” Minuette said, waving a hoof in front of her face. “Anypony home?”

“Huh? Wha?” Sunset blinked and finally escaped from her brain. “What’s going on? It was on fire when I got there.”

“Nothing’s on fire, Sunny.” Minuette giggled, and then paused thoughtfully. “Well, at least this time.”

Sunset winced.

Light a rug on fire one time when you were zoned out, and you never hear the end of it.

“I asked if you thought the Princess would treat you—or your new friend—any differently than she had before.”

Sunset sighed and rubbed her eyes. “No.”

“Then why are you freaking out?”

“Minuette, you can be obnoxiously single-minded.”

“Nope! You’re not getting away from this!” Minuette chided. “You need to say it.”

Sunset let out a huff, but finally gave in.

“Because I don’t want her to make me look bad in front of the Princess.” Sunset had to almost physically pull each word out.

“See? Now was that so hard?”

“Yes,” Sunset grumbled. “Yes, it was.”

“You’re a grouch today.”

“I didn’t sleep well.”

“Sunny, I’ve never met anypony who sleeps less than you.”

“Then I have a good reason to be a grouch. See? That’s called logic.”

Minuette giggled again, this time rolling her eyes.

“Sunny, I know you don’t like talking about it, but it’s not easy to just shake off years of thinking certain ways.”

“Don’t you dare, Minuette—” Sunset warned.

Minuette smiled and plowed on, ignoring Sunset’s warning entirely, just as Sunset knew she would.

“Princess Celestia is not your parents!”

Sunset felt her eye twitch. Actually, both of them twitched.

“We’re not talking about them, Minuette,” Sunset declared. “I’m a grown mare now. I don’t get to claim that Mommy and Daddy messed me up. Besides, I stopped living with them almost ten years ago.”

“You haven’t even seen them in five.”

Sunset growled. It was an actual growl, though she hadn’t intended it to be. There was enough menace in it to make Minuette frown and her ears go flat.

“I’m sorry,” Sunset sighed. “I’m sorry, Minuette. That was out of line. You were just trying to… help.”

“You do know…” Minuette said quietly, not meeting Sunset’s eyes. “You’ll have to face them eventually.”

Sunset felt the ice in her chest at the thought. She pulled it up and shoved it into the back of her head. It landed beside the cell where her little angry pony was currently chained up.

“I know,” Sunset whispered. “But… can we please stop talking about this now? I think dealing with two massive confessions in one week is more than enough emotional trauma, don’t you?”

“Well, when you put it that way.” Minuette’s smile returned in force. “Yowza, you have had a busy week.”

“I am the personal student of the Princess of the Sun!” Sunset spread her hooves, trying to go for the maximum potential dramatic effect. “Heavy is the yoke that… wait, that’s not how that goes…”

Minuette let out a snort.

Sunset waved away both the snort and her own words. “Okay, it sounded better in my head.”

“Most things do,” Minuette chirped.

“Har har.” Sunset stuck out her tongue at her.

“So, you still planning on going through with this little get together?”

“And here I had hoped I had escaped that little question.”

“You should know better, Sunny.”

“Yeah.” Sunset laughed despite herself. “Yeah, I should. As for Twilight… I have to. I made a promise. And intentionally or not, I did kind of wreck the poor mare’s life.”

“You can’t take all the blame for it!” Minuette insisted. “You’re the one who decided you wanted friends. It’s not your fault Twilight was so scared of you, she stopped hanging out with us because you became our friend. That was her choice. We talked about this. We’d tried to reach out, but she always said no.”

“Princess Celestia said pretty much the same thing last night,” Sunset admitted.

As expected, the planned curriculum had been thrown out the window once Sunset had told the Princess what had happened after leaving for lunch. Sunset wasn’t ready for the Princess of the Sun to literally throw it out the window, but occasionally Princess Celestia liked to make big gestures.

Though usually only around Sunset.

And usually with that particularly impish smile.

Anyway, she found the paperwork on a table just before she headed off to get doughnuts with Twilight and the girls. In hindsight, Celestia had just teleported the papers back into the room when Sunset hadn’t been looking.

Gee, I wonder where Philomena got her showboating skills.

“It doesn’t matter. Doesn’t change the guilt. I still need to make it up to her, even if it will almost certainly be a disaster.”

Minuette suddenly moved closer to Sunset, staring her square in the eye. Sunset scooted back on her bed, unable to look away from her unexpectedly very intense friend.

“Minuette?” Sunset asked nervously. “What’s wrong?”

Long seconds passed. The blue unicorn stared hard at Sunset, so hard she wondered if her friend was trying to read her thoughts or find something in her soul. Sunset was on the edge of almost nearly maybe freaking out when Minuette jerked backward with a gigantic smile on her face.

“Ah, okay!” Minuette chirped. “That’s what I thought.”

Sunset blinked and said nothing for several long moments.

“You’re not going to tell me why you just did that, are you?”

“Nope!”

“Has anypony ever told you you’re evil?”

Minuette tapped her hoof on her chin. “Pretty sure you have before. I think the last time was was Tuesday at 2:57 in the afternoon.”

“Wow, what a surprise,” Sunset deadpanned.

“So, what are you going to do?”

“I already told you, Minuette. I’m going to take her to see the Princess.”

“No, silly, how are you going to handle it?”

Sunset glanced out the window and toward the Castle. The shadows were shifting. Noon was coming. Well, she could also tell from the enormous hourglass in the middle of her apartment.

The Princess never did say why the gigantic thing is there. She loves her little secret games too much for my own good.

A full minute slid down the hourglass before Sunset finally answered.

“I have no idea.”

Author's Note:

Hmmm... where have we seen that hourglass before... :pinkiehappy:


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