• Published 7th Jul 2012
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Palace Perils - Rated Ponystar



Princess Luna vs Philomeena in a prank war

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Chapter 2

Palace Perils

By The Rated Ponystar

Edited by Clavier, Fernin, Adjudicator, and tayman2037

Artwork done by ColgateFim (http://colgatefim.deviantart.com/)

***

The sounds of a quill scratching across parchment echoed in the bedroom of Twilight Sparkle. Tonight was her weekly stargazing session and normally she would be excited, but tonight things seemed rather boring. A yawn escaped her throat and she smacked her lips together tiredly.

She started to write down the new directions of a star when she felt something. A familiar aura of magic was starting to form inside her room, slowly at first but soon it's power began to increase. Rising to all fours, she searched around for any sign of the strange magical energy. Suddenly, a burst of white light appeared in the middle of her room. The wind picked up, blowing her notes and other objects around like a tornado. Bolts of lightning crackled in the air as the name of the spell finally clicked in her mind.

Somepony was using a time spell, one of the most advanced forms of magic in Equestria. Twilight stepped back as the white light grew larger. Who’s coming this time? Myself again? Somepony else? Are they from the past or the future?! The light burst, and she shut her eyes to protect herself.

When the blinding light died down, Twilight opened her eyes and gasped. Right in front of her was a pony she had studied many times, a pony she had admired for his hard work and achievements. He was less beardy and looked very young, but the white mane, the grey pelt, the night-styled cloak and hat that held his signature bells all pointed to one unicorn.

“Star Swirl the Bearded...” whispered Twilight in awe.

Hearing his name, he turned around and faced the stunned pony. “Are you Twilight Sparkle?”

Twilight gulped and nodded. “Y–yes, I–I am. A–are you... Star Swirl?”

“Indeed I am,” said Star Swirl, raising his chin up high.

In an instant, Twilight squealed and started jumping up and down. “Oh my gosh! Star Swirl the Bearded is in my library! I can’t believe this! This must be a dream! It has to be a dream! Oh, but I hope it isn’t! I have so many questions! There are so many things I need to know about you! Is it true that you defeated the great horned dragon, Nexion? What was Arcania, the lost city of magic, like? How were you able to solve the final equation to the polymorph spell?”

“Twilight,” said Star Swirl, raising his hoof. “I know you have questions, but I don’t have long. I have been searching for a unicorn like you for some time.”

Twilight stopped jumping. She turned back to the time traveler, her eyes wide like dinner plates “Me? Why me?”

Star Swirl trotted forward, his piercing yellow eyes staring deep into her own. She couldn’t help but find them very attractive. He leaned closer and gently touched her cheek, imbuing them with a rosy tint in the process. “The truth is, Twilight, that I have been searching across time for a mate worthy of giving birth to my foal. A foal that will carry great magical power. With our combined magical talent, this offspring shall become the greatest mage of all time, and help lead the world into an age of enlightenment.”

“Who better to carry my foal then the Element of Magic herself?” whispered Star Swirl in Twilight’s ear.

Twilight’s head instantly turned red. Her mouth opened and closed, but no words came out. As her brain tried to process what Star Swirl was saying to her, he leaned forward and kissed her on the cheek. “Of course... if you don’t wish to do this, I understand. It’s your choice.”

Brain kicking in, Twilight shouted, “Yes! I want it! I really do!”

As soon as she finished, Star Swirl kissed her on the lips. She was surprised at first, but she soon gave in and allowed him to continue as he pleased. Losing control of her body, she fell on her back as he kissed her neck and proceeded downward. Twilight moaned, “Oh, Star Swirl...”

“Twilight....”

“Star Swirl...” moaned Twilight as she rubbed her hooves through his smooth mane.

“Twilight!”

***

A smack on the head woke Twilight up from her fantasy. She lifted herself off her messy study desk and rubbed her noggin. Wiping the saliva dripping down her chin, she turned around and saw Spike with a book in his hands. He tossed the book away and asked, “Have a nice nap?”

“Spike, don’t wake me up like that. And don’t abuse books like that either, they’re priceless!” complained Twilight. She levitated the book and placed it next to the rest of her pile.

“Well, next time try to not to stay up so late.” Spike raised an eyebrow. “What were you dreaming about anyway? You were moaning and mumbling.”

Twilight rubbed the back of her neck and giggled. “Um... just... imagining that I met Star Swirl the Bearded.”

“Huh,” mused Spike, walking away, “must have been some meeting.”

You have no idea, thought Twilight.

She waited until her assistant was gone before opening one of her desk drawers. Pulling out a purple book titled Dream Journal, she took her quill and began to write in it. Just as she was about to finish the first paragraph, a familiar burp echoed from below. She quickly rushed downstairs just as Spike was about to open the letter. “What’s the letter say, Spike?”

“I was just about to open it.” He tore off the seal and started reading. “My most faithful student, Twilight. I request your help in regards to my sister, Luna. I’ll explain more when you arrive. A chariot will be waiting for you by the time you receive this letter. Please come at once. Signed, Princess Celestia.”

No sooner had Spike finished they heard somepony knocking on the door. Twilight opened it, revealing a pegasus guard, his comrades and a golden chariot across the street. The guard saluted. “Miss Sparkle? We’re here to escort you to the palace at once.”

Twilight turned to Spike. “I’ll be back as soon as possible. Watch the house, please?”

“Don’t I always?” he moaned.

Twilight shook her head and followed the guard to the chariot. Some of the residents of Ponyville were whispering as Twilight got on. She always hated this. Every time she got summoned to the castle, rumors would spread. Like the one where she was a secret agent for Equestria off to do some dangerous mission. Or the one where she was the secret lover of Princess Celestia.

Settling in her seat, Twilight announced that she was ready. The guards reared back and flew into the air, dragging her towards the capital city. As they journeyed, she started to wonder what the princess’ letter had meant. What could be wrong with Luna? Does the princess believe she’s slowly turning into Nightmare Moon again? That can’t be because she would have called for all six of us. Maybe she’s fallen ill? Or she’s been kidnapped?! Twilight shook her head. Calm down, Twilight. Don’t get worked up over something like this until you know the facts. Not like the last... seventy-three times you’ve worried yourself.

Twilight instead went back to sleep, hoping Star Swirl would be waiting for her.

***

The pegasi managed to get to Canterlot in record time. They arrived at the palace and landed on a large balcony on an upper floor, where Princess Celestia was waiting. Twilight jumped out of her seat and rushed over to her mentor, giving her a loving nuzzle. “Twilight Sparkle, I’m so glad to see you,” said Celestia, returning the gesture.

“It’s good to see you too, Princess,” replied Twilight. The two of them walked side by side into the palace, the guards close behind. Twilight waited until they had walked around the halls a bit before asking, “Um, Princess? Why did you summon me? And what’s wrong with Luna?”

Celestia came to a stop and sighed. “I’m afraid my sister is a bit... unstable, Twilight.”

“That’s putting it mildly,” mumbled one of the guards, much to Twilight’s surprise. She turned to see if the princess had heard, but there was no change to Celestia’s behavior. Not a look of disappointment or anger at the fact that a guard brazenly insulted her sister. This only made Twilight worry more.

“Well, how bad are we talking about? Like ‘we’re going to need the Elements’ unstable?” asked Twilight, nervously.

“No, nothing of that sort,” said Celestia with a smile. “Do you remember my pet, Philomena?”

“Kind of hard to forget a bird that fakes her death and makes one of your closest friends cry...” muttered Twilight.

“Yes. Well, I’m afraid Philomena’s pranks have caused my sister to become obsessed with getting revenge,” explained Celestia, worry in her eyes. “She’s been locked up in her room for the last three days planning her vengeance. She orders meals to be delivered to her and gives instructions to her night court ministers. Some of the servants swear they hear her talking to herself. The only time she’s come out in the last few days was yesterday, and that was... an interesting experience.”

“How so?” asked Twilight.

“Well...”

***

“... and so it is with a heavy heart that we must say farewell to Mr. Socko. His adventurous and gentlesockly attitude will live on in our hearts and in our minds.” said Princess Luna, holding a large photo of her dearly departed sock. In front of her was the entire puzzled staff of the castle, all dressed in black. A teary eyed Luna wailed as the Royal Night Guards prepped their trumpets.

They turned to—in their minds—the only sane princess left, who mouthed them to “go on with it”. Raising their instruments, the guards proceeded to play Taps as the coffin was lowered into the earth. Only Princess Luna sobbed, while the rest of the attendants whispered and pointed at the display.

Princess Celestia struggled to keep her hoof from meeting her face. While she was glad that Luna had finally managed to get out of her room after two days, this funeral was just plain sad.

Leaning next to Celestia, one of her own guards asked, “Permission to speak freely, majesty?”

“Permission granted,” muttered Celestia.

“With all due respect, Princess Celestia, your sister needs to get out more.”

Celestia shook her head as she watched her sister jump into the grave, shouting the name of her favorite sock over and over again. Guards struggled to help her up as she fought against their efforts. “I wholeheartedly agree.”

***

Twilight was at a loss for words. She tried to find some sort of sign that the princess was joking, but her face was emotionless. “Um... well, okay, that’s interesting.”

“Yes, and it caused some concern with the staff. If my sister really is planning some sort of revenge scheme that involves Philomena, I would prefer it not to happen.” Princess Celestia shivered. “My sister has the tendency to go... over the top, let’s say, when it comes to certain actions, and I would like it if the palace wasn’t in danger of having a prank war.”

“So how do I come in?” asked Twilight, tilting her head.

Princess Celestia proceeded to guide her through the halls, the servants and guards bowing to them as they passed. “I’ve tried to convince Luna to calm down, but she says that, as Philomena’s owner, I am liable to expose her plans. As such, I feel you are the only other pony who might talk some sense into her. You and her have been exchanging mail since Nightmare Night, correct?”

“Yes. She also occasionally comes by my place to help me with my stargazing or for me to teach her more about modern Equestria,” said Twilight, giggling. “You should have seen Luna when I introduced her to a radio and rock and roll. She thought it was possessed by demonic spirits.”

Princess Celestia snorted. “Yes, Luna’s early experiences with technology were quite amusing. You should have seen her when I tried teaching her how to use a modern toilet. When it flushed, she ran out screaming that it was alive and trying to eat her.”

They soon arrived at Princess Luna’s bedchambers. A large ‘Keep out!’ sign was on the door. Princess Celestia turned to her student. “I wish you luck, Twilight. Please convince Luna to put aside her revenge and try to talk with Philomena like a proper princess?”

Twilight bowed. “You can count on me, Princess Celestia.”

Celestia nodded and made her way down the hall, her guards following her. Alone, Twilight turned to the door and took a deep breath. She raised her hoof and knocked. “Princess Luna? It’s Twilight Sparkle. I was wondering if I could have a talk with you?” No response. Twilight huffed and knocked again. “Princess Luna?! Princess LunWAH!”

A force of magic reached out and dragged her into the unlit room. The door quickly shut behind her the moment she was inside. Rising to her hooves, she tried to peer into the darkness surrounding her. A simple light spell managed to solve that problem. Waving her horn around, Twilight searched the night princess’ chambers. There were tons of notes and books scattered across the floor.

Twilight lowered her head and began to read the titles. “Hmm, Phoenixes 101. Pranks for Dummies. 1001 Ways to Get Revenge. Is that Pinto’s Republic?”

“That last one is just for light reading. Quite an interesting philosopher he was. I happen to like his work,” Luna’s voice echoed in the dark. Twilight nearly jumped, and placed a hoof over her beating heart. A second later, the lights turned on, and Twilight's eyes snapped shut. Squinting, she rubbed her eyes until her vision cleared. Princess Luna walked over and said, “Twilight Sparkle, ’tis good that you have come! I was just about to summon you myself, but it seems that is not needed. I have need of your assistance.” She leaned in, eyes darting about nervously, and whispered conspiratorially into Twilight’s ear, “You are the only one I can trust.”

“Princess Luna, your room is a mess.” Besides notes and books, the room was filled with joke props and gags. It looked like a combination of her library and Pinkie Pie’s room. Twilight turned to Princess Luna and saw that her eyes were bloodshot and her mane looked like a tornado went through it. “You look a bit of a mess yourself. Are you okay?”

“No, Twilight. I am not okay. What’s not okay is the fact that I have not gotten even with that accursed bird, Philomena!” shouted Luna, stomping across the room. She then turned around and raised her hoof up in the air, a crazed smile on her face. “But I will have the last laugh! After careful planning, I have prepared my list of pranks to enact upon her. Soon, victory shall be mine!”

“Uh, yeah. See that’s why I’m here actually,” said Twilight. “Princess Celestia—and myself as well—think that maybe you're taking this a little too far.”

Luna snapped her head towards Twilight. “Too far?!” She trotted closer, forcing the unicorn to slowly step back. “Let me tell you a bit about what Philomena has done to me ever since I’ve come back from my exile. She’s been pranking me nearly every week. At first it was simple stuff, like itching powder or dying my pelt. But then she started performing more embarrassing actions. Like putting my hoof in a glass of water when I slept or taping a sign that said ‘Worship My Royal Flank’ on my backside without me noticing!”

“W–w–well, ma–maybe...” stuttered Twilight, backing up against the wall.

Luna, fury in her eyes, closed the distance between them. “But she really crossed the line when she burned my poor Mr. Socko!” Lowering her head, Luna wiped a tear from her eye before addressing Twilight again. “Too far, Twilight Sparkle? Oh no, she is the one who has gone too far! And I will do whatever is necessary to make sure she pays!”

“And how are you going to do that?”

Luna smirked and made her way to the closet, where she took out a small black box from inside. Curious, Twilight looked closer. Luna opened the box, revealing three small blue potion bottles. “What is it?” asked Twilight, levitating one of them closer.

“Poison joke potions,” answered Luna. Immediately, Twilight gasped and jumped back, her spell shutting off. Luna quickly grasped the falling potion with her own magic and glared. “Watch it!”

“Sorry! I just... have had bad experiences with poison joke.” Twilight shivered and felt her horn to make sure it was still straight and normal.

“Yes, I heard from my sister what happened that day. It’s what inspired me to create this!” Luna lifted the potion out proudly. “After I got the plants, I spent three days straight with no rest to create these little beauties. Not only will the effects appear instantaneously, instead of taking a day to kick in, but it’s so powerful, not even creatures with high immunity to magic will be able to resist it. And we’re going to make Philomena taste it.”

“Wait, what?” Twilight shook her head. “I think I misheard you. You’re asking me to help you with your pranks?”

“Yes. There is no other pony I trust other than you. If I remember correctly, you yourself had a little run-in with Philomena’s mischievous ways some time ago.”

“Well, yes, but she apologized for it. Anyway, as much I understand your anger, Princess Luna, I promised your sister that I would help you see reason and stop this foalish nonsense.” Twilight walked over and put her hoof on Luna’s shoulder. “Why not just talk to Philomena? I’m sure she’ll understand if you just give her a chance.”

Twilight held her breath as Luna looked at her and then at the potions. With a heavy sigh, Luna gently put the potion back into its case. “You are right, Twilight Sparkle. I guess I have let my anger get the best of me.” She smiled and nodded. “Very well, we shall talk with Philomena.”

Twilight turned around and made her way towards the door with a grin on her face. She almost felt the need to pat herself on the back for a job well done. Princess Celestia was going to be very pleased with her. Was there anything she couldn’t do?

Just as Twilight was about to reach for the doorknob, she heard Princess Luna say something that made her entire body freeze. “My beloved Star Swirl then began to lick the top of my horn as I rubbed my hooves gently over his sexy flank. Our fiery lust was so outgoing that not even the dungeons of the witches from the Volcano of Gloom could ruin it. Even if this was to be our last night together, it shall be one of no regrets.”

Twilight slowly turned around, filled with fear, as she saw a smirking Princess Luna with a familiar purple book levitating next to her. “I must say, Twilight, I never thought you were quite the pervert. But I guess that it’s true what they say about the smart ones. They always tend to surprise you with their fantasies.”

A billion questions erupted from Twilight’s mind, most of which were how the hay Princess Luna managed to get her dream journal. As if reading her mind, Luna closed the book and answered, “I found it one night when I visited your place. Forgive me, but I found your dreams to be quite… amusing. So I made a copy.” Her smile curved even more. “And I have more copies ready to be sent out to all of Equestria unless you help me.”

Silence filled the room as Twilight glared at her blackmailer, who remained calm and collected. The tension was almost as thick as the first time they met. Twilight growled, “This is extortion.”

“I prefer the term alternate persuasion,” said Princess Luna. “Just help me get one prank, just one prank, on Philomena and I’ll give you all the copies. That’s all I ask.”

Twilight glanced at the copy of her written secret desires and tried to think of some way to get the books back. Maybe if I...

“Should I also mention that two copies will be sent to a certain famous pair of newlyweds in the Crystal Empir—”

“Okay! I’ll help!” shouted Twilight. The last thing she needed was her brother and sister-in-law of all ponies looking at those books.

Princess Luna clapped her hooves. “Excellent. We shall begin at once!” She turned around, grabbed a saddlebag and strapped it on. She put one of the potion bottles inside while leaving the remaining ones on her desk. Luna then grabbed Twilight by the tail and dragged her outside. “Tally ho!”

As she was carried by the eager princess, Twilight thought, I can already tell this isn’t going to end well...

***

After convincing Luna to let go of her, Twilight unwillingly followed the princess until they reached the entrance of the private gardens. Once inside, they passed through the trees without incident. A few of the animals that were around took one look at them before running away. Twilight wasn’t surprised, considering Fluttershy’s experience at last year’s Gala. “So Philomena is hiding somewhere around here?”

“I’ve had a few of my guards stalk her so I can get a grasp of her schedule,” whispered Luna. She kept glancing at a different tree every second, her body tensing up from even the smallest of sounds. “If their information is correct, she likes to hang out with the other birds in this very section of the gardens.”

“And when we find her, what are you going to do?”.

Luna turned to her saddlebag and levitated a small glass bottle containing birdseed from inside. “This is what I’m going to do to here.” Her ears rose as a soft tune of a nearby bird sang through the air. Bringing her hoof to her lips, Luna motioned for Twilight to follow her. They silently stepped into a nearby bush next to a small clearing. Luna pointed up towards a tree across from them. Up in the tree was a blue jay, tweeting without a care to the world.

“Allow me to demonstrate,” whispered Luna. She took the cap off the bottle and then took out the poison joke potion. Removing the cork, she poured the potion into the birdseed and tossed some into the clearing.

The blue jay stopped singing. It turned around and saw the birdseed lying below for the taking. Twilight and Luna held their breaths as it looked around from its branch. When it saw that the coast was clear, it swooped down and began to eat the birdseed one by one.

Luna grinned mischievously. “Three… two… one…”

Twilight gasped as the bird’s feathers began to change. They started changing from sky blue to neon green with pink polka dots. The blue jay—or rather, spotted green jay—noticed the change in its appearance and squawked in horror. Luna couldn’t hold it in anymore and raised herself out of her hiding spot, laughing at the bird’s new look. The jay saw this and angrily shrieked at the princess before flying off.

“I see. You transfer the potion from the bird seed by smothering them with the poison joke. It’s not brewed to be permanent I hope?” asked Twilight, watching the bird fly away with sympathy.

“Of course not. Lasts only a few hours, but long enough for Philomena to be seen flying around in a different color. Oh, I can just picture her embarrassed face,” giggled Luna. With the initial testing done, Luna poured half the bird seed into one big pile and handed the rest to Twilight. “I’ll take watch over this pile here since this is most likely where Philomena will arrive. You start spreading the seeds nearby just in case.”

Twilight took the jar and nodded. “What happens if other birds eat it?”

Luna scoffed and shrugged. “Who cares? What are a bunch of birds going to do? Now time’s wasting. Get going.”

Once Twilight was gone, Princess Luna sat back down in the bushes and watched the pile of trick seed with anticipation. Time passed as birds from eagles to robins came and tried out the free birdseed. Sometimes their colors would change, other times their feathers would completely come off, some even managed to have their voices change to sound like various instruments. There was even a bald eagle who grew a full mullet of hair and a mustache. Luna held in her laughter as best as she could, but she was spotted a few times by the pranked avians. The birds angrily chirped at her, but she brushed them off until they left in a fury.

Half an hour later, Luna felt her legs getting tired, so she got up for a stretch. As she trotted around, wiggling her hooves, she looked up and gasped. In the distance, coming towards the clearing, was a red and orange bird that looked like living fire. Luna searched for a hiding spot. Thinking quickly, she flew up into a tree and attached herself to the highest branch.

Just as she got comfortable, Philomena glided in and started walking around the pile of birdseed. She tilted her head and sniffed it occasionally. Luna leaned in closer from her branch for a better look, shifting more weight upfront.

Philomena turned her head left and right, occasionally giving a tweet, and waited for a reply. When she heard none, the phoenix shrugged her shoulders and began to lean towards the bird seed. With a wide grin stretched across her muzzle, Princess Luna shifted herself forward towards the very tip of the branch. As she did this, her ears started to pick up the sound of something cracking. Turning around, her eyes widen as she saw her branch ready to break in two from the weight. “Oh, dear…”

SNAP!

Luna screamed as she fell towards the ground. Philomena looked up and quickly flew away just in time as the princess crashed into the birdseed, face first. It took her a few seconds to realize what had happened. She lifted herself out of the pile and spat out as many of the seeds as she could, but she could already feel the magic working inside her.

She watched in horror as her wings started to change first, the feathers on the left side turning mint green while the ones on the right turned purple. She tried to lift them up for a clearer look, but they began to grow heavier, like some weight was pressed against them. Her starry mane was no longer dark blue but orange with yellow stars. Her tail turned pink with white dots as the rest of her pelt became a swirl of red, blue, and maroon. Finally, her horn began to shrink. It got smaller and smaller until it was no bigger than a needle. Upon seeing such a sight, Philomena fell to her back and started laughing at the multi-colored princess.

Enraged, Princess Luna dived for the phoenix, but she was too slow. Philomena laughed and teleported away in a flash of flames. Luna let out every curse she knew in all the tongues she learned over millennia as Twilight Sparkle rushed to her side. “Princess?! I heard you and WOAH!” Twilight, flabbergasted, nervously raised her hoof. “Y-you…”

“I look like the lovechild between a hippie and a rainbow do I not?” asked Luna, sarcastically. “I was so close! So close to getting that infernal bird! Ugh, it can’t get any worse than this! I’m so angry I can hear screeches in my head!”

Twilight’s eyes widened. “That’s strange. So can I.”

The two of them stood silent as the growing disharmonic cries drew closer and closer. They nervously looked behind them and gulped. Up in the air was a small army of angry birds, affected by the poison joke seeds, who were eyeing at them with one intention: revenge.

“Princess Luna...” whispered Twilight, slowly stepping back.

“Yes?”

“... run.”

Twilight and Luna galloped just as the flock dived, their screeches echoing across the entire garden. The two ponies attempted to lose them by weaving through the trees, but the birds easily kept up. Struggling to keep up her pace, Twilight shouted, “Split up! Maybe we can confuse them!”

Luna nodded and quickly ran left while Twilight went right. Luna turned around to see if their plan succeeded. To her horror, the entire flock changed their focus on her alone. Okay, maybe testing the seeds on the other birds wasn’t a good idea! she thought, running as fast as she could, the colorful bird army right behind her.

Luna started to feel the stamina in her legs wane, so she prepared her wings for lift off. When she tried to flap her wings, it felt like she was moving an entire dragon’s horde. Determined, she clenched her teeth and flapped with all her might. Despite the magical weight, she managed to fly a few feet in the air.

The birds weren’t going to let her get off easy, though, as a few of them flew ahead and intercept her. They began to peck at her from all sides, from her head to her flank. She whipped her tail and hooves back and forth in an effort to shoo them away, but they were resilient.

Charging her horn, Princess Luna prepared to teleport herself to safety, but all she got was a small spark from the tip. No magic. No wings. And I’m getting attacked all over! Can this get any worse!

As if on cue, a green and yellow striped robin managed to land on her face and start pecking her forehead. Her vision blocked, Luna flew around blind as she struggled to shake the bird off. When the robin finally flew away, Luna’s eyes widened upon seeing a tree right in front of her. She tried to slow down, but it was too late. Smacking face first into the wood, the dazed princess slowly pulled herself off, bounced off a few branches, and crashed into the earth.

Groaning, Princess Luna tried to get up, only to feel something smash against the top of her head. A yellow, thick yet sticky substance began to ooze down her mane and pelt. Luna licked some of it off her nose.

“Honey?” She looked around and saw the remains of honeycombs around her. Wait… if this is honey… and those are combs… then that means...

A loud series of buzzes echoed above Luna’s head as she fearfully looked up...

***

On the other side of the gardens, Groundskeeper Greenhooves was busy raking up all the leaves while whistling his favorite tune. It wasn’t easy taking care of the royal gardens, but it was a job he loved and felt honored to do. As he finished up raking the pile, he scratched his head. Now I’ve watered the plants. Fed the monkeys. Made sure the fox dens were clean. There’s something I’m missing...

BEES!” shouted a voice so loud it spooked Greenhooves into jumping into his leaf pile. The leaves scattered all over the ground as the old stallion struggled to make sense of what had just happened.

A thought occurred to him and he smiled. That’s right! Get honey from the bees! Thanks, voices in my head! You always tell me what to do!

He took his rake and went back to cleaning up the leaves again.

***

Having now angered an entire swarm of bees, Luna began to wonder if some cosmic force hated her. A few of them managed to sting her before she ran, giving her colorful coat some bright red welts. Her wings were completely useless thanks to the honey sticking them to her back. Her magic wasn’t working thanks to her tiny horn. And to make matters worse, the birds soon returned to the fray as well.

With both the birds and the bees right behind her tail, Princess Luna only prayed she would be coming out of this mess in one piece. She had just turned around again to see how far she was from the flying swarms when she felt her hooves trip over a root. Rolling around in the dirt, she came to a stop after bumping into something furry. As she struggled to get up, she felt warm water splatter down on her mane. Looking up, she saw two big, brown, furry legs. Luna whimpered. Life can’t be this cruel, can it?

She glanced up further and saw, standing on its hind legs, a big brown bear, with nearly a dozen of its comrades behind it. They took one look at Luna’s honey-covered body and licked their lips greedily. Luna, wasting no time, jumped to her hooves and ran away screaming. The bears rushed after her, roaring as they followed the sweet smell of honey.

Why do we even have bears in these gardens?! questioned Luna as she ran for her life from three sets of animals who wanted to maul her. She galloped through flowers, bushes and more, collecting leaves, dead branches and debris that stuck to her honey-covered coat.

At last, she saw the garden’s exit and rushed through it, but the beasts still followed her. Up ahead, she recognized the windows of the inner palace and jumped forward with all her remaining strength.

***

“... and that’s why, for the sake of our children, we should limit the amount of information our schools teach about The Great Breezie Ethnic Cleansing of 1657,” finished an academically dressed unicorn.

It was soon time for Day Court to end, and Princess Celestia was relieved that this was the last pony. Unfortunately, he was one of those types that wasted her time explaining his request in plentiful details and informational charts instead of just saying it. She glanced around the room and saw that the ministers, guards, and the rest of her waiting audience were just as bored as she was. A few of of her guards were even snoring as they stood up.

It won’t be Changelings that will take over this city’s guard, but long, boring speeches… thought Celestia with a yawn. I just wish something exciting would happen once and awhile.

Seeing the pony was finished, Celestia cleared her throat. “Well, I see your opinion, sir. And after some careful thought I’ve decided that—”

Her speech was interrupted when a figure crashed through one of the windows. The guards immediately woke up and drew their weapons while everypony else gasped. Princess Celestia rose off the throne, stunned by what she saw. Everypony stepped back as they stared at the intruder, horrified by its strange appearance. It was a large, multi-colored creature oozing with yellow slime and growing trees out of its body. It almost looked like a pony, but Celestia had never seen anything like it in all the years she lived. It rose to its feet, moaning and stumbling around, its yellow ooze dripping everywhere.

Everypony screamed and began to run away from the creature. Somepony cried out, “Everypony run! It’s some kind of evil nature demon! Here to suck out our brains and turn us into living vegetables so its kind can feast on us!”

The creature stepped forward and raised one of its legs. “No, wait, I’m UGH!

One of the guards managed to quickly snap out of his stupor and attack the monster with the blunt end of his spear. The creature went down for the count, a large red bump decorating its head. Everypony held their breath as the creature moaned, struggling to get on all fours. The guard raised his spear in triumph. “Take that you demonic nature powered abomination!”

Princess Celestia, however, recognized the voice and gasped, “No! Wait! That’s my—”

For the second time in a short time period, she was interrupted. This time the remaining windows were smashed as birds, bees, and bears all stormed the palace. The room erupted into chaos as Princess Celestia sat back on the throne, her confused and stupefied face looking over her once quiet throne room. She had asked for excitement, but this was too much.

Birds swooped down and attacked, ripping off wigs from the high class ponies while tearing up their suits and dresses. Others had the unfortunate fate of having white surprises land on their groomed fur. The swarms of bees stung anypony they could get their stingers on. Welts and sting marks appeared by the dozens, followed by cries of pain. The bears knocked over furniture, statues, and paintings while guards tried to push them back. Their angry roars were almost as loud as the screams her subjects.

“Where did they all come from?!”

“Somepony get an exterminator!”

“3rd Squad! Form up on me! Push these overgrown teddy bears back!”

“My dress is ruined!”

“The demon has summoned its army to destroy us all! Nopony is safe! All is doomed! Flee for your pathetic miserable lives!”

“I want my mommy!”

Finally, Celestia could take no more. “ENOUGH!

Her horn glowed as bright as the sun she commanded. Every one of the animals soon froze; a white energy cone surrounded them. In a flash, they were gone and sent back to the gardens from whence they came. As the other ponies tried to get back on their hooves and make sense of what had happened, Princess Celestia rushed over to her sister and helped her up.

As she held Luna in her hooves, Princess Celestia asked, “Luna?! What happened?!”

With a weak moan, Luna raised her head and whispered, “The wrath of nature, Celestia… the wrath of nature…”

***

It had taken three bubble baths, but Luna finally managed to get clean and rid herself of the poison joke she digested. She was just lucky that Twilight Sparkle had managed to find a copy of Supernaturals in the palace library. Celestia was, of course, demanding answers, but Luna simply said that it a series of unfortunate events, which wasn’t a complete lie.

Now back in her room, Luna winced as Twilight put the last of the bandages on her sore body. Putting away the first-aid kid, Twilight scolded, “You really have nopony but yourself to blame for this.”

Princess Luna huffed and jumped off the bed. She raised her hoof and declared, “It doesn’t matter. I may have failed in my attempts to prank Philomena today! But that doesn’t mean I can’t try tomorrow!”

Twilight shook her head. “Whatever you say, Princess Luna.”

Luna took off her regalia and tossed the priceless jewelry onto the floor, proceeding to her desk. “Well, it’s a good thing I still have those… other… two potions?”

Luna snapped her head back and forth, searching every corner of her desk both on top and underneath. “Where is it? Where is it?!”

“Where’s what?” asked Twilight, walking towards the princess.

“The box containing the other potions! I put them right here!” shouted Luna. Her hoof connected to her forehead. “One of the maids must have taken it and put it somewhere while they were cleaning. Or worse, they put it in the castle’s potions and ingredients room.”

Twilight put her hoof on Luna’s shoulder. “Well, let’s not worry about it now. You’re tired, you’ve had a bad day—”

“That’s putting it mildly…”

“—and really, so what if you didn’t get your prank today,” said Twilight. “Maybe this is a sign saying you should cease this and just make up with Philomena normally.”

Luna didn’t answer at first. Lowering her head, she whispered, “Do you really think so?”

Twilight smiled. “Absolutely! Why don’t you sleep on it and we’ll talk about it more in the morning.”

“Alright, I guess I could use some sleep. But how about a drink first?” asked Princess Luna, walking over to a cabinet. She opened it, revealing that it was filled with bottles of expensive taste. “I always enjoy a good drink before I raise the moon. Hmm?” Luna spotted something in the corner. It was a red and orange bottle she didn’t remember having. On it was a blank envelope. She shrugged and took the bottle and two glasses before settling on the bed with Twilight.

“What’s that?” asked Twilight, pointing to the bottle.

“I don’t know. Maybe it’s from a fan or my sister. She sometimes likes to surprise me with interesting wines and ciders,” said Luna, popping the cork and pouring the cool light blue drink into two glasses. They toasted and drank the sweet, tasty drink. “Ooh, frosty. Kind of familiar though.”

“Now that you mention it… it feels like I’ve had this before,” mumbled Twilight, as she scratched her horn.

The two of them took two more drinks, feeling more relaxed with each glass. However, Twilight still kept scratching her horn like crazy. Luna looked at her, concerned. “Are you alright?”

“I don’t know… my horn is just so… itchy!” Twilight continued starching her horn with both hooves.

“Well, I have to raise the moon. Would you care to join me?” asked Luna, walking over to her balcony. Twilight nodded and accompanied her.

Facing the sky, Luna closed her eyes and felt her precious moon in her grasp. Her horn shined like a star as she floated in the air, the wind kicking around her. The sun soon faded into the distance, the sky above changing its color from red to black. A minute later, Luna felt the full moon rise from its slumber and take its rightful place in the sky. She heard a gasp from Twilight and smiled. Obviously, she’s impressed.

When she was finished, Luna turned back towards Twilight. “Well, now that that is done. Shall… we find… um… Twilight? Why are you making such a face?” Twilight didn’t answer. She was too busy staring into the sky with her jaw so open, Luna could have sworn it was ready to drop to the floor. Her eyes as wide as can be with pupils so small you would need a microscope to see them.

“Twilight?” Luna waved her hooves in front of Twilight’s eyes for a reaction, but she was still staring behind the night princess. Luna was about to ask what was wrong when she noticed Twilight’s horn and gasped. “Twilight, your horn!”

This managed to wake Twilight from her stupor. She nervously felt for her horn only to shriek. “Oh, no! I need a mirror!”

They rushed back inside, where Twilight summoned a small mirror and gasped. Her horn was flimsy, wobbly, and covered in blue spots. “Not again! How did this happen?! I never touched poison… joke…”

In synchronization, the two ponies turned to their cups and the mysterious wine bottle. Horrified, the two began to realize where the two missing potions went as Luna wrapped her hooves around her throat. “Oh, socks. I drank it too! Do I look like a kindergarten finger painting again?!”

“Um, I think the potion worked a bit… differently on you this time, Princess Luna, “ said Twilight, nervously pointing to the balcony.

Luna’s eyes widen. “No...” She rushed over to her window and looked outside to see what had become of her precious moon. “No! No! No!” Stepping back in horror, Luna started to stutter, eyes twitching as her body cramped up. “But… that… how… is that even… impossible… that’s… joke… magic… love… clouds… in… why… I don’t….” She turned to Twilight and tried to say something, but all that came out was a whimper.

Meanwhile, Twilight took the envelope attached to the bottle and opened it. What came out immediately turned all of Luna’s confusion and despair into boiling rage. In Twilight’s hooves was a red and orange feather.

PHILOMENA!

***

It had been quite a stressful day at Rarity’s boutique. Sweet sixteen dresses, tuxedos and a wedding gown for a newly engaged couple, and then there was that strange but handsome Doctor accompanied by Derpy. He spent at least an hour trying on ridiculous clothes ’til he found the right set; he seemed to have a thing for question marks. Whoever he was, Derpy certainly got herself quite a stud.

Now all she wanted to do was sit on her sofa, read a good romance story, and sip some tea as the night moved on. Unfortunately, fate wasn’t on her side that night, as her door slammed open, causing her to spill tea onto her book. She was ready to give the intruder a piece of her mind, until she saw who it was.

“Pinkie Pie! What are you doing in my house?! And… what in heaven’s name are you wearing?! What the hay did you do to your mane?!” shrieked Rarity in horror.

Pinkie’s mane was no longer it’s normal pouffy style, but had been turned a hideous ball shaped look. In the part of her mind where she kept a mental file system of horrible mane styles, Rarity managed to remember the name of the hideous look: afro. But that wasn’t the worst. Pinkie was wearing a white jacket with an attached black vest, along with white pants that almost seemed too big for her. All her horrid clothes were sparkling and she had a golden letter chain that spelled ‘Party’ wrapped around her neck.

“Oh, Rarity! You have to come outside! The most amazing spectacular thing has happened! I’ve done some surprises before, but Princess Luna really has outshined even me! I never saw this coming!” shouted Pinkie, jumping up and down.

“What are you talking about?” asked Rarity, worriedly eyeing her friend.

“Come outside and see!” Pinkie grabbed Rarity by the hooves and dragged her outside.

What Rarity saw only made her wonder if Discord had come back. Everypony was out dressed just as ridiculously as Pinkie Pie, as upbeat and funky music played across the town from various speakers. As the music played, everypony danced the strangest moves Rarity had ever seen.

Rarity rubbed her eyes to make sure this insanity wasn’t a dream. It seemed everpony had just decided to get down and act crazy. Lyra was standing on her back legs, throwing one hoof up in the air before retreating it to her side over and over again. Rainbow Dash and Thunderlane were doing quite an interesting synchronized dance routine. Even Cheerliee, who was always calm and collected, was running around, shaking her plot in front of everypony and screaming “It’s back!” and “It really can never die!”

“Pinkie, what madness is this?!” cried out Rarity.

“Look up, silly,” said Pinkie as she went to join the rest of the townsfolk.

Rarity did look up. She gasped. Instead of the moon, there was a giant, rotating disco ball for the entire world to see.

That night would be forever known as “Luna’s World Disco Party”.

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