• Published 21st Nov 2016
  • 5,158 Views, 163 Comments

I am NOT a "Bratty Daughter"...BAKA! - MythrilMoth

Princess Twilight Sparkle is asked to look after a personification of her own castle.

  • ...

It's not like I WANT to be your castle or anything...BAKA!

On an ordinary day in the ordinary pony village of Ponyville, a not-so-ordinary alicorn princess named Twilight Sparkle walked down the not-so-ordinary crystal stairs of her very not-so-ordinary crystal tree palace and into her not-so-ordinary throne room with its six and a half thrones and extremely-not-ordinary Cutie Map table.

To Twilight, of course, all of this was ordinary.

Except for the human girl sitting in her throne.

That was not ordinary.

Twilight's light trot slowed to a halt, her head tilting curiously as she examined the girl. She looked quite different from Twilight's human friends on the other side of the mirror. Her skin was pale, almost translucent, with a faint shimmer to it. Her short hair was a medium dusty purple that lay somewhere between Twilight's own coat and mane, and her eyes were a slightly lighter shade of purple than Twilight's. She wore a scowl of annoyance on an otherwise pretty young face. She was wearing a smart black blazer over a crisp white blouse; as Twilight rounded the table, she could see a matching black skirt which barely brushed the tops of the girl's thighs, black stockings which left maybe an inch of bare skin visible, and glossy black shoes.

But the most unusual thing about the girl's appearance was her hat.

She was wearing a bright purple top hat, but everything above the hatband was a small, perfect scale model of the very castle that sat high above them in the branches of the giant crystal tree. It even had the tall spire with the giant crystal representation of Twilight's Cutie Mark; all it was missing were the various balconies and banners that branched off the castle.

"Umm." Twilight stepped closer, her head tilting this way and that as she examined the strange human girl.

"It's about time you woke up," the girl said in a huffy tone. Her voice was younger-sounding than Twilight had expected and held a tone of perpetual annoyance. "Where's that stupid dragon? I'm hungry." Her scowl deepened. "I don't like being hungry. This body is stupid."

Twilight took a step back, drawing a hoof up. "Who...are you? How did you get in here?"

The girl rolled her eyes. "I've always been here! I didn't think you were THIS stupid."

"Now now," an older, more motherly voice said in a hauntingly ethereal tone. Twilight turned around, her eyes wide.

In a bright flash of silver-white light, a human woman appeared. She was tall, regal, and elegant...except for her shabby clothes and bizarre hairstyle. Her skin was clear, pale, and flawless, her cheekbones high, her eyes a bright, clear blue, and her face as striking and regal as Celestia's. Her voluminous, shining copper hair, however, had been pulled into a mass of twisted, stiff braids that stuck out at numerous improbable angles, each decorated with dozens of glowing pearls that hung in long strings. The five largest braids were fastened with bright, jeweled clasps whose shapes were unsettlingly familiar to Twilight: an apple, a butterfly, a balloon, a lightning bolt, and a diamond.

In stark contrast to her regal beauty and strange hair, she wore a shabby green sweater over a white T-shirt which bore three Cutie Marks: Twilight's own, Celestia's, and Luna's. Below that, she wore a simple blue skirt, plain socks, and blue sneakers with the laces undone.

"Please forgive my daughter," she said to Twilight in a voice that reminded her very strongly of Princess Celestia, only somehow older and wiser. "This is her first time taking such a form, and she was not entirely willing to do this in the first place."

"Why'd it have to be this form?" the girl complained. "I mean, wouldn't it make more sense to be a pony?"

The woman smiled. "Perhaps," she said, "but you just look so much more adorable this way!"

The girl let out a groan of disgust and looked away, folding her arms. Her cheeks puffed out in a perfect teenage pout.

Twilight blinked twice, then shook her head. "Who ARE you two?" she demanded. "Where did you come from and how did you get in here?"

The strange woman smiled, her eyes twinkling. "You know who I am, Element of Magic," she said. "After all, we are connected in ways beyond your mortal understanding."

Twilight started to speak, then stopped, narrowing her eyes in scrutiny. She studied the woman for a long moment.

Her eyes widened. "You're...the Tree of Harmony?!"

"That's right," the Tree said, nodding. "I have asked so much of you in such a short time, but I am afraid I must ask more of you still."

Twilight gulped. "It must be important if...if you're appearing in this form," she said. "Should I gather the girls?"

"There is no need for that...yet," the Tree said. She turned to look at the pouting girl. "Little Tree, stop sulking. It is time to introduce yourself properly, young lady!"

Twilight looked at the girl, who glared back at her. Twilight's jaw dropped. "Is she..." She pointed a hoof at the girl, then looked back at the Tree. "She's...this castle?!"

"My daughter," the Tree said with a nod. Then, with a quirk of her lips, she added, "My bratty daughter."

Little Tree stood up and stamped a foot. "I am NOT a bratty daughter!" she huffed indignantly.

"Yeah, you kind of are," Twilight said with a snort. She turned back to the Tree. "So...what exactly is this all about?"

"Little Tree needs guidance," the Tree of Harmony said. "At first, she was doing just fine, but lately she's become, well..." She shrugged. "Let's just say Starlight Glimmer never should've been able to use Little Tree to cause so much trouble, and the only reason the Map stopped working was because Little Tree was pouting after I scolded her for almost letting Equestria die."

"You chewed me out for not doing your job, Worst Mom Ever!" Little Tree shouted.

The Tree sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose. "I'm trying to teach you to do my job," she explained patiently. "And to do it better than I ever could, in a way I never could." She walked past Twilight and put a hand on Little Tree's shoulder. "I created you to work with the ponies and the other creatures. To actively shape and create Harmony in this world. That's something I could never do. Something I was never intended to do." She stepped back, sighing tiredly. "Something I'm too old to do now, even if I wanted to."

Little Tree frowned and folded her arms. "Well you're putting too much pressure on me," she said. "I'm not even three years old yet. I barely understand how I work yet!"

"And that's why I want you to work with Twilight Sparkle, in this form," the Tree explained. She turned to Twilight, putting on a patient smile. "Little Tree is more than a fancy castle," she said. "More than a way for you and your friends to learn about friendship problems across Equestria and beyond."

Twilight nodded. "I sort of figured out a while ago that this castle was...was a second Tree of Harmony."

The Tree's smile became sad and tired. "A replacement Tree of Harmony," she corrected.

Twilight blinked. "Repla—" She gasped, her eyes wide. "No," she whispered, shaking her head. "You can't possibly be—!"

"Dying?" the Tree finished kindly. "Soon, yes."

"But...! No! We returned the Elements—"

"And saved me from those horrible Plunder Vines," the Tree said. "And I thank you for that, and that is how I truly knew you were ready to receive my seed." She paused, blinked, then shook her head. "Sorry, I should've phrased that differently."

Little Tree snickered. Twilight blushed.

"Twilight Sparkle, I am very, very old," the Tree said, perching on the edge of the Cutie Map. "Not even Discord can comprehend my true age. In roughly one hundred years, I will wither and I will die. Nothing can stop that now. The remaining power of the Elements within me will disperse into the Everfree Forest and purify it of its wild, uncontrolled magic forever. That will be my final gift to Equestria." She smiled. "But it will not be my most important gift. My most important gift to Equestria is Little Tree. I gave birth to her to replace me, to succeed me as the eternal spirit of Harmony that binds, guides, and protects this world." She glanced at Little Tree. "But she is something new, something that has never existed, and in order for her to be everything I created her to be, she will need the guidance of living, breathing ponies." She turned her gaze back on Twilight. "She will need the Princess of Friendship."

Twilight shook her head in awe at the enormity of it. "But...I don't understand. Why me? I'm not as old and wise as Princess Celestia, or—"

"Because I waited thousands of years for you to arrive, Twilight Sparkle," the Tree said. "Did you not notice that your Cutie Mark was the largest upon my trunk? You were destined from the very beginning of time. Destined to bring about the next Age of Harmony."

Twilight slumped to her rump, her eyes wide and jaw slack.

"I understand it's a lot to take in," the Tree said kindly, moving from her perch to kneel in front of Twilight and place a reassuring hand on her shoulder. "But it is not a burden you must take all at once, nor is it one you will shoulder alone. You will have your friends beside you—not only your fellow Element Bearers, but the many friends you have made across Equestria and beyond—and you will have Little Tree. It will be many decades before the work that lies ahead of you both truly begins. I expect no more of you for now than to continue to live the life you have always lived. Enjoy your friendships, protect Equestria when harm arises, and spread the magic of friendship wherever you can. And in the meantime..." She glanced over at Little Tree. "Teach my bratty daughter the lessons you've learned as Celestia's student. The lessons you've shared with your friend in the other world and with that...rather misguided unicorn."

"I want her out of me!" Little Tree said suddenly. "If I see her, I'm shoving this stupid foot up her stupid butt!"

"Little Tree," the Tree warned. Little Tree crossed her arms, let out a haughty sniff, and dropped back onto Twilight's throne. The Tree sighed and turned back to Twilight with a game smile. "I'm afraid you have your work cut out for you," she said gently.

And with that, she vanished.

"Wait—!" Twilight called. As the last sparkle of the Tree's presence faded, she sighed. She looked at Little Tree, who refused to look at her. "So!" she began with false cheer. "You're...my castle!"

"I never wanted to be your castle," Little Tree said. She glanced up at the chandelier above the Map, made from the roots of the Golden Oak Library. "Your friends put that dirty thing inside me. It itches."

"Oh. Um. ...Sorry?" Twilight offered.

Little Tree sniffed. "Keep it," she said. "I guess it makes you feel better, even if it's stupid." Her stomach rumbled. "So where's that dragon? I don't like being hungry. It's stupid."

"I'll...see if he's up yet," Twilight said. As she slowly backed out of the throne room, her mind whirled. She was so lost in thought that she almost tripped over Spike.

"Hey Twilight," Spike said. "What's up? You look kinda freaked out."

Twilight sighed. "You're not gonna believe this," she said. "I just met the Tree of Harmony. And the spirit of this castle's going to be living with us for a while." She paused, then added, "And she's kind of a rude brat."

Spike stared at her. Dug in one of his ears with a claw. "It's gonna be one of those days, isn't it?" he asked.

"You have no idea," Twilight muttered, her ears pinned back.

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