• Published 8th Jan 2018
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Equestria Girls: Reimagined - Candle Light



A rewritten and more fleshed out version of Equestria Girls

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Chapter One

Equestria Girls: Reimagined
Chapter One
by Candle light
based on a story by Meghan McCarthy

The train to the Crystal Empire was slowly decelerating into the station. It was only the third time Twilight Sparkle—Princess Twilight Sparkle—had visited this near-mythical place, but it never got old. There was magic here still foreign even to her trained mind, and so much culture to absorb. The fact that its ruler was her own brother’s wife—and one of her oldest friends—didn’t hurt either.

“Just a thought, gals, but next time, why don’t we take the royal carriage,” the cerulean pegasus in the group, Rainbow Dash, said with impatience in her voice. Indeed, Twilight had come here today with all of her friends in tow, as Princess Celestia had insisted that they, too, should sit in at the Princess Summit, seeing as they had played an important part in Twilight’s ascension to Princesshood.

“Now now, this train is a cultural heritage,” Rarity, the white unicorn with a stylish purple mane, reminded her. “Why, only half a year ago, nopony could even imagine what it would be like, dashing through the frozen tundras of the north.”

“Ah’m inclined to agree with Rare on this one,” said Applejack, the hard-working farmer earth pony with an orange hue and a hat. “I’m partial to sticking my hooves as close to the ground as possible, if ya don’t mind.”

“Who cares how we got here,” Pinkie Pie, the always hyper party pony, replied gleefully. “We’re about to attend our first ever Princess Summit! Remember when we all thought going to the Grand Galloping Gala was like ‘whoa’!” She reached a hoof around Twilight’s neck. “How far we’ve come, eh girls?”

“Well, Twi always were a bit higher up the food chain than the rest of us lowly mortals,” Applejack chuckled. “Ah always had a feeling she’d rise up to greatness.”

Greatness. Mortals. Twilight had to appreciate the fact that her friends could talk about it so casually, because in Twilight’s mind, these notions had barely had time to sink in. Two weeks. That’s how long time had passed since her wings had sprouted from her back. No time at all. It was only when she was with these five ponies, closer to her than family, that she felt like she was still the old Twilight Sparkle, librarian and student of magic. “Well,” she said, keeping the turmoil on the inside for now, “we’re about to find out how ‘great’ I am.”

The train came to a complete halt, and Fluttershy, a yellow pegasus as shy as her name implied, prodded at Twilight’s purple baby dragon assistant. “Rise and shine, Spike. We’re here.”

He sat up with a start. “Whu? Already? Man, gotta love these trains; perfect for taking a long, nice naps.” Rainbow Dash let out a snort, and then they all joined the group of ponies disembarking. Being nervous didn’t stop Twilight from smiling ear to ear as she stepped onto the platform, the great castle centering the Crystal Empire towering ahead. A city lost in time, swallowed by dark magic and only recently restored by Twilight and her friends’ heroic actions Though most of the credit went to Spike, who had been the one to save the life-giving crystal heart in the end.

“Although, I won’t lie,” Twilight added, the seven of them making their way along the walkway cutting though the field between the station and the city proper. “I’m pretty excited, too. I mean, it does feel like my stomach is being eaten by parasprites from the inside, but I can’t remember when I last felt so giddy.”

“You’re nervicited!” Pinkie chipped. “It’s when you’re over-the-moon jump-up-and-down whoopee this is gonna be great, but at the same time you just want to crawl up into a ball and roll away into the smallest, darkest hole you can find. It’s okay, we’ve all been there.”

“Made-up words aside, she’s absolutely right,” Applejack said encouragingly. “It’s okay to be nervous. Just remember, you’re the smartest, most brilliant pony any of us have ever met. You’ll make an excellent Princess.”

“That’s right, dear,” Rarity said, and the white light of her horn shone from inside Twilight’s backpack. Next moment, a golden crown floated out of it, and landed perfectly on Twilight’s head. The Element of Magic. The physical manifestation of the most elusive Element of Harmony. “So wear this crown proud and tall, Twilight Sparkle.”

Looking at these six dear friends of hers, practically beaming with support, the crown didn’t feel quite so heavy. Even if she herself wasn’t ready to wear the mark of her Princesshood, she would do it for them. “Thank you, Rarity. All of you. Alright, nervicited or not, I have a destiny to face.”

***

“Her Highness, Princess Twilight Sparkle!” one of the crystal guard ponies announced the moment Twilight and company stepped into the throne room. They were all there: Princesses Celestia, her sister Luna—the Princess of the Night—Cadence, who was the ruler of the Crystal Empire and the Princess of Love, as well as her husband Shining Armor, Twilight’s brother. There was rejoicing all around, and more than a few hugs.

“It’s been too long,” Cadance said to Twilight.

“I know,” Twilight replied, returning the embrace, “there’s always some catastrophe or another getting in the way.”

“So, when’s the shindig start?” Pinkie Pie asked, hopping back up and down. “I got the party canons raring and ready to blow.”

“One, it’s an important political discussion, not a shindig,” Rarity pointed out. “Two, when in the world did you manage to do that? We only just got here?”

“I’ve got contacts.”

“Actually,” Princess Luna said, “we agreed it would be best to start the Summit tomorrow morning instead. You do look like you could use some rest, perhaps get something to eat.”

“I hear that,” said Rainbow Dash. “I haven’t eaten anything since our last stop, and that was hours ago!”

“Darn tootin’,” agreed Applejack. “Sun’s about to set, too. Feelin’ more than a bit bushed, to be honest.”

Twilight, on her end, didn’t share in the relief. She had been hoping they would get started right away, allow her to get into the discussions, give her a frame of mind. Now she wasn’t sure she’d be able to sleep at all. Not that she was going to say that. “Sounds great.”

“Let me show you to your rooms,” Shining Armor offered. “So you can unload your heavy baggage. And after that, anypony wanna see the stadium we’re setting up for the Equestrian Games?”

“Do I!” Rainbow Dash said. “You’ve no idea how long I’ve been wanting to see that thing! The end of the year can’t come fast enough!”

“Pass the time however you like,” Celestia told them. “The Summit starts tomorrow morning at nine. But before you go, Twilight, I would like a private word with you. No need to worry,” she added, seeing the expression on her former student’s face, “it’s nothing important, just a quick question.”

While the others scampered off, Celestia lead Twilight through a door to the side of the throne, into what seemed to be kitchen area. “You’re sure I didn’t do anything wrong?” Twilight asked nervously. “Is it because I’m too nervous? Is it showing on my face? Do I need to be more stoic and serious in front of the representatives?”

“You’re fine the way you are,” Celestia assured her in a calming voice. “I’d be more worried if you weren’t nervous. No, all I wanted to ask you was… did you read the newspaper this morning, before you left Ponyville?”

“Sure, I read it every morning. The front page was something about some new brew being misused in Las Pegasus.”

“Was there anything on Canterlot?”

“Just an article about some traveling caravan of magicians making their yearly visit. Why do you ask?”

Something akin to relief flashed in her face. “Like I said, it’s nothing important. I haven’t been in Canterlot for a few days now, you see, but I do like to keep up with current events, but I thought it would seem strange for the Princess of the Sun to go back to Canterlot just to grab a newspaper.”

One look into her eyes was enough for Twilight to know she wasn’t telling her the whole story. “Has something happened in Canterlot that ponies don’t know about.”

“Let’s not worry ourselves with it,” Celestia brushed it off. “It’s a silly thing, really. I’m sorry, Twilight, now is not the time to add to your worries. If you’re sure there was nothing out of the ordinary happening in Canterlot, that’s all I needed to hear.”

It might have fooled anypony else, but Twilight had been her faithful student for many years, and she could tell when something was bothering her. But before Twilight could ask, Celestia said, “Well then, I think I’ll go have a bite to eat myself. I’ve been meaning to try the new jade cakes at the café by the library,” before she walked out the kitchen.

Something important enough that she would ask me what’s in the news, Twilight considered. But not important enough that it would be worth going back too check on it herself? But there was no use thinking too deeply about it, was there. If whatever was bothering Celestia became a problem, she would tell Twilight soon enough.

***

The afternoon in the Crystal Empire passed in pleasant uneventfulness; Twilight relaxed in a pool with Rarity, while her other friends were out doing things in the city. Twilight had asked her brother if he needed help with organizing the guards, but he told her he had it all under control. It was nice catching up with him, though.

Twilight’s room was a bit too dark for her taste, but the purple colored crystal wall, matching her coat, was a nice touch. Not long after she was done neatly unpacking her belongings did Spike enter the room, carrying a bag full of gems. “Did I ever tell you how much I love the Crystal Empire?” he said, sitting down on his small bed and put a few gems in his mouth. “Everybody worships me like some kind of hero—which, y’know, I am—and they’ve got the tastiest gemstones in all of Equestria! We should move here, Twi.”

Move here, eh. Twilight stopped levitating her crown onto the desk midway, reminded of another pressing question that had been on her mind since her ascension.

“Uh, Twilight? Are you okay? I was only joking.”

“Oh! Yeah, I know...” She put the crown down gently, and stared at it for another moment. “It makes me wonder, is all. I’m a Princess now, but I’ve no clue what any of it means yet.” She sat down on the bed, facing the dragon. “I’m just… worried, I guess. Now that I’m a Princess, what if Princess Celestia expects me to take up leadership over some distant land, just like Princess Cadence?”

“Twilight,” Spike said deadpan, “that would, quite literally, be the most amazing thing ever!”

“No, it would not,” Twilight insisted. “What if I have to leave Goldenoak Library, and be forced to live in some big empty castle? Besides, just because I have a crown and these,” she flapped her wings, “it doesn’t mean I’ll be a good leader.”

“Sure it does,” Spike said comfortingly. “But if it makes you feel any better, I don’t think Celestia is gonna force you to move away from the friends who help you earn those wings in the first place.”

When put so simply, she almost felt silly. It was hard not to smile back at him. “You know what, it does. Thank you, Spike.”

“Anytime, ‘your majesty’,” he said with a light chuckle. “Now get some shut-eye. Big day tomorrow.”

“Right… big day.” What she needed now was to clear her head, and start tomorrow worry-free. She tucked herself into the sheets. “Good night.”

“G’night.” The baby dragon was asleep within a minute, judging from the snores. As for Twilight, she lay awake a while longer, taking deep breaths to clear her mind. It sure would be easier to sleep without these infernal wings, though, she thought bitterly. Two weeks, and she still hadn’t found a way to get comfortable with them. It was a miracle she had been able to sleep at all these last fourteen days.

Maybe that was why, now that she needed it, her body shut down almost immediately.

Author's Note:

Expect a new chapter every Monday.

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