• Published 10th Nov 2017
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As Hard As Velvet - Stormbringer



Princess Twilight Sparkle is amazed at the revelations of her mother’s past loves and career. Do we really know who our parents were?

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PROLOGUE: Celestia’s School For Gifted Unicorns

Twilight’s mother was looking for her daughter, the train from Vanhoover was leaving for Canterlot in about an hour. She’d turned the house upside down looking for her willful daughter.

‘Why can’t she be more like her sister?’ The mother thought.

“Because her sister is just like her father was and Twilight is just like me, or how I was at her age,” answered the mother out loud. “I guess this is my punishment for that.”

Unfortunately, if Twilight didn’t want to be found, with her special talent, it was almost impossible.

“Twilight!” shouted the mother, “enough is enough young filly. No more tricks! Get your flanks out here now! You’re going to school, and you’re going today!”

Twilight walked out from a closet the mother looked in four times, she was hanging her head. There wasn’t time to scold her for doing that to her again. The mother was proud of her daughter, but she didn’t like her using her special talent on herself and especially her sister. So Twilight, the mother, would have to check to see if Twilight, the daughter, was doing her chores and not tricking her sister into doing them.

The daughter didn’t like to be called ‘Twilight’. It was a family tradition that a female from every generation was named Twilight. So as not to be confused, she liked to go by her other name. But her mother used ‘Twilight’ when she was upset at her.

“Mom,” said Twilight, “I don’t wanna go away to school. All my friends are here in Vanhoover. Why do I have to go to Canterlot?”

“Honey,” said the mother, “being selected for Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns is a great honor. Don’t you want to be taught by the princess?”

“Why can’t sissy be honored and go be taught by the princess?”

“Sweetie,” said the mother, “your sister is good at magic. But she isn’t old enough and isn’t as gifted as you. And your type of magic is rare.”

“But mom!”

“That’s enough young filly! Get your saddle bag and we’re leaving for the train now!”

Anypony else, Twilight would have continued the argument, but Twilight respected her mother so much that she’d do what she was told, even if she didn’t like it. Perhaps the fact of growing up without a father was part of the behavioral issues. But even before the accident that took her father, there was a great connection between mother and daughter.

Twilight sulked most of the trip to Canterlot. She tried to hide her enjoyment at seeing the countryside go by.

When they got to the capitol city, Twilight was amazed. It wasn’t as large as Vanhoover, but with the castle and architecture, it was breathtaking.

There at the station, was a passenger wagon with C.S.G.U. on the side. Twilight, her little sister and their mother climbed aboard. There were several other families on there already.

It didn’t take long to get to school on the castle grounds. There were several ponies there as well. They were all ushered into a classroom by several of the teachers. The perspective students were told to take a seat at the desks. The adults and siblings sat on cushions at the back.

After a few minutes, a very tall and beautiful Alicorn pony entered the room. She had a regal necklace and tiara. Her cutie mark was a large sun that covered most of her flank, Twilight had heard some adults, a little disrespectfully, refer to the princess as ‘Sun Butt’, now she knew why.

Her mane and tail flowed as if a secret breeze was blowing it. All the adults stood and bowed, the children followed their parents example.

Twilight was mesmerized with the elegant Alicorn.

“Please sit, everypony,” said the Alicorn. “for anypony who doesn’t know, I’m Princess Celestia. Yes, I’m the ruler of Equestria, and one of my duties is raising the sun and moon every day.

But my favorite duty is teaching here at the school for gifted unicorns.

You’re all here for the final entrance exam. Even if you don’t make it this time, don’t lose heart. To be chosen for testing is a great honor and speaks greatly about you. And you’ll be able to retake this next year.”

Twilight found her loophole!

She had to pass the test to stay.

So if she failed…

Twilight in her zeal to do a bad job, got every question wrong. She didn’t realize how obvious this would be.

When the scores were announced, every test participant passed except for Twilight. Her mother looked disappointed at the 0% score and didn’t like the smug look on Twilight’s face.

As the ponies were leaving, the Princess approached Twilight and her family.

“I’m sorry you didn’t pass the test,” said the princess, “I’ve heard good things about you.”

“You have?” asked Twilight.

“Yes, too bad you won’t be here. It would’ve been fun.”

Twilight never considered that this school could be fun.

“I tell you what,” said the princess, “would you do me a big favor? I know it sounds silly and I know you’re really better than your test scores. But there’s a math problem on the board as you may’ve noticed. Professor Quill over in the corner knows the answer, but he’s being sneaky and won’t tell anypony the answer. Would you see if you can solve it for me? Please?

It’d mean a lot to me.”

“Okay, ma’am,” said Twilight. Feeling honored to do a favor for the princess.

She walked to the chalk board and looked at the problem. It looked like gibberish to her. There were numbers, letters and symbols that Twilight didn’t recognize at that time. She’d no idea how she’d solve it.

The normal way.

This didn’t concern her, she looked at the professor then closed her eyes. It took a little more effort than she had to use on her family and friends, but the answer was seen in her mind.

Twilight then levitated chalk and wrote the answer on the board without even opening her eyes. Then she walked back to her mother and the princess.

“Congratulations on passing the test, Twilight,” said the princess with a smile.

“Excuse me?” said Twilight a little confused.

“Not all tests are on parchment.” Said the mother.

Twilight realized that she’d been manipulated to exercise her special talent. But she admired how sneaky this princess could be, she was liking her a lot.

“The professor is a hard nut to crack,” said the princess, “what you did was very impressive, especially that quickly and at your age.”

Professor Quill walked to the gathered ponies.

“Your Highness, she overcame mid-level shields. Very impressive for one so young. Congratulations, Twilight,” said Professor Quill, patting Twilight on the head and leaving. “I’ll be keeping an eye on you.”

“Twilight, you have a very special gift.” Continued the princess, “I don't think I've ever come across a unicorn with your raw abilities with this talent.”

“Ma’am?” said Twilight humbled at the praise.

“But you need to learn to tame these abilities through focused study.”

“Huh?!” Twilight wasn’t sure where this was going.

“Twilight I'd like to make you my own personal protégée here at the school.”

“Huh?!” Twilight wasn’t sure what exactly this meant.

“Well?”

Twilight looked at Twilight Glow, her mother, who smiled and nodded her head.

“I will on one condition, Your Highness,” said Twilight.

“What’s that, my child?” said the princess with a smile.

“Can everypony please call me Velvet?”

“How about, Twilight Velvet?”

“That’d do, ma’am. I get so confused thinking that somepony is talking to my mom.”

The ponies laughed.



Twilight would joke in later years that she got into C.S.G.U. by failing the written test worse than anypony in the school’s history.

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