• Published 29th Aug 2018
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Those Forty Years - Spell Writer

After being trapped in the past by politics and new responsibilities, Twilight finds herself as the adopted mother of Luna and Celestia. This story is about those 40 years she took care of them. Sequel to My Faithful Student by me and FadFreaky

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Unity 2 - The Festival of Rainbows

"Gnh," Twilight says as she glares at the obviously disguised Alicorn before her. Celestia and Luna are on the Ferris wheel behind her, one of the few things that survived the pacification spell. Why did Unity have to pick today to show her face?!

Unity is not particularly happy either! The Alicorn spirit just wanted to have a nice vacation with her family. Now, she is stuck sharing a bench with her greatest enemy, and Celestia and Luna incidentally made friends with her kids! "For Faust's sake, at least TRY to act like we're getting along for our kids. Not my fault Celestia and Luna can't see past a simple disguising spell."

Twilight glares back. "What are you even doing in Equestria?! You're the one that self-exiled!" She grumbles a bit, the pair putting on a forced smile as they wave to their foals, who are having the time of their lives on the Ferris wheel with each other. Even though Celestia and Luna are significantly older than the other children, they have only begun to age at average speed these past few months. Effectively, Celestia was a young adult, around the same mental age as Hearthfire, while Luna was the same mental age as Repose. Gentle Light was the youngest of the group, being a small filly, but she was just happy to be along for the ride!

Unity rolls her eyes. "Like I'd tell you. Don't you have a castle to rebuild? Oh wait, you can't. Giant dangerous forests tend to prevent ponies from building in them~." She says with a grin, Unity sounding very proud of herself.

Twilight sighs and rubs her forehead with a hoof. How in Faust's name did this happen?!

Twilight, Celestia, and Luna land in Rainbow Falls with little fanfare. Sure, a crowd watched them in awe and amazement, but that was par the course for the trio. In fact, because they were in more casual clothing, the group was more or less left to their own devices. However, Twilight did spot ponies watching them and pointing in excitement at seeing the Princesses. Celestia and Luna, on the other hoof, were oblivious, due in part to their excitement of being at a festival! Not to cut ribbons or to do anything, oh no, their only goal today was to have fun as a family! Twilight idly pays for their entry fee, even though the booth worker tries to insist on a free ticket for each of them.
Meanwhile, Celestia and Luna are already scouting out the best rides to hop on. There were races, chariot rides to replace the old rollercoasters, a Ferris wheel that somehow survived the magical calamity that hit Equestria, and tons of food stalls everywhere. There were even simple festival games one could play for prizes.

"Okay, so there's some stuff mom can't come with us on, so we'll play some party games together, then we can hit the funhouse! From there, we go all the way over to the glass maze, and then we can start focusing on rides after Mom goes off to the exchange." Celestia says quickly. "Finally, we'll meet up together to watch the rainbow meteor shower! It only happens once every ten thousand years!" Luna nods excitedly, panting and huffing out of her nose in excitement!

Twilight finally meets up with Luna and Celestia. "Alright! Did you both figure out what we're doing today?" She says as she trots up, somehow already carrying a bucket of chocolate chip cookies in her magic.

Celestia and Luna nod at Twilight. "Mhm!" Celestia says with a smile. She was so excited that she felt like a filly again, back when she and Twilight were running around and having fun planning for the Gala. Those were the days. "Just remember, for all three of us. No working! We're here to have fun. Don't try to be a problem solver, don't engage any changelings, and let the guards do their jobs for once! Just don't get pony-napped and have fun!"

The trio nods, each of them taking a deep breath before they each just giggle a little. Luna said with a snicker, "We really are a mess if we have to force ourselves to not work. This will be a good break! I wanna make some new friends anyways." She nods excitedly.

Twilight stretches her neck a little. "I wouldn't mind finding someone to gush about you two at." She says cheekily as she hugs her daughters. "Now we have two hundred tickets. Let's use them all and have some fun doing so!"

Meanwhile, as the royals head off, another group of ponies trot into the fairgrounds. Unity stretches a small amount as she pays for the entry fee. Unfortunately, her husband was a bit too busy with his work to join them today, so it's just her and her fillies. Not that she's complaining, really. His job is to put bits on the table. "Scheming just doesn't pay well in this era. Tis a shame." She says to no one in particular. Trotting over to her foals. "Alright. We have fifty tickets to play around with. If we need more, we can get more-." Unity tilts her head as she thinks she sees the tail end of a wavy tail turning a corner in the distance.

"Mom, are you okay?" one of her foals says to her, Hearthfire poking her side as she freezes up. Unity jerks a little as she takes a deep breath. There is no way that the royals are here. They would be in charge of something if they were anyway! Those workaholics would never take a vacation right now at all times.

"I'm alright, sweetie. Let's go have some fun on some rides. I think chariot races are right up everyone's alley, right?" Unity says with a smile, her children happily responding as they run ahead to the chariot races. A simple game, really. Everypony is strapped to a chariot, and the first one to cross the finish line by any means aside, teleportation is the winner. The catch is that you're in teams of two. One pony pulls, and the other steers. It's an intense game of teamwork! The winning teams even got a little plastic trophy. Which Unity's children were very excited to get!

However, it was after that that the vacation all went wrong.

Her children just wanted to go into the funhouse. It was harmless enough, but those places are sacred for children. No parents allowed, is what they said! So they asked her if they could solve it on their own. Unity was many things: insane, a wanted criminal, and a plotter, but she refused to be a bad mother on top of all of that. Did she believe in everything she did? Absolutely! She never does anything by half measures. That's why heroes always win in the end, after all, because of her efforts to help them!

"YOU!" is the only word she heard before quickly summoning one of her two gauntlets. Unity's entire stratagem in fighting is using the skills of heroes she's helped in the past. The issue is very few heroes fight well on the backfoot. With a loud CLUNK, the spirit slides backward as her armored foreleg blocks a borderline dangerous blast of magic. The loud noise made every pony in the area turn.

In that quick moment, Twilight and Unity are just whistling together on the two benches in front of the funhouse, neither wishing to scare such a large group of ponies. The fairgoing Ponies stared at the duo with various confused expressions. One pony smiles, however, and begins to speak to her special somepony. "Queen Twilight seems to have a new friend! How nice. It has been a while since she really went out." The random pony's comment seems to diffuse the tension entirely as all the fairgoers go back on their way.

"Put it away," Twilight says under her lip to Unity, who still has her gauntlet on her leg. Unity smiles her fake smile towards the crowd as she whispers back under her breath.

"You stop charging your horn, and I will." She says venomously to Twilight, who's still preparing another spell. The two are stuck in a deadlock for around five minutes before Twilight sighs and lowers her magic from her horn.

Course, this gives Unity a chance to flick her leg out and punch Twilight in the shoulder the moment she does. It's not hard enough to do any damage or anything, but it's enough to prove a point. "Checkmate~." Unity says with a cheeky smile before the gauntlet vanishes. "I win. That's ninety-five to eight." She says proudly and smugly.

Twilight glares a little at Unity, upset by the cheapshot and the creature's presence. "Unity, you better NOT be planning anything. It's been literally millennia since my family had a break BECAUSE of you. I swear if you ruin my vacation with them, I'll eviscerate you!" She says with a low growl, trying to keep her fake smile as she whispers. Celestia and Luna shouldn't be taking THIS long to get through a simple funhouse, right?! Well. Then again, she and her friends did get stuck in Discord's maze.

Unity scoffs. "Wha? No! I'm not here to fight you, thank you! I have a life outside of you! You and your little friends got me stranded here anyway. It's not like I can just pack up and leave." She huffs as she stomps her hoof on the bench.

Suddenly, both mothers' ears twitch as they hear something. Standing up as they each stretch. "You stay away from us, and we'll stay away from you, alright?" Twilight says aloud. Unity nods in agreement.

"Trust me, I'd rather not fight you before my children. They're adorable and soft. I'd rather them be raised well. Rather than them being full of hate for you." Unity says with a wave of her hoof, shooing Twilight back. "Besides, they have school, and I doubt seeing their mother and the Queen of Equestria fighting would do well for little Gentle Light's nightmares."

Twilight sighs in relief, "I'm glad Celestia and Luna are still a little too inexperienced to be fighting you anyways, so it's best that we just avoid each other for the immediate future. I doubt I can convince you to leave and be with your family without trying to return for revenge anyway." She says as she levitates some drinks she was holding for Celestia and Luna.

Unity scoffs and laughs, mumbling back, "Of course not. I will take Equus, Your Majesty. Nothing will stop me from trying in the end. After all, I have nowhere else to go anymore, thanks to you and your daughters. This world is far too chaotic to leave as is. I will personally make sure that Equestria is in a perpetual state of true harmony forever. But as long as my kids lead me around, I can't exactly drop what I'm doing to fight you."

Twilight growls under her breath. "Entropy is not harmony, firstly. Secondly, that's fine. I want to spend time with Celestia and Luna anyway."

Unity shrugs. "Then call me the Spirit of Entropy. Not like it matters in the end." She says as she lightens up, seeing her foals exiting the funhouse. The smile is short-lived, though, as the two mothers see something that, frankly, is the one thing they were hoping to avoid. Celestia, Luna, Hearthfire, Repose, and a sleeping Gentle Light walk out of the spinning tube, representing the funhouse's exit. The group laughing and chatting about… well, nothing of substance. Celestia and Luna were happily talking about their favorite foods and places to go in Canterlot, while Unity's children were all talking about little games they've made up, what books they like to read, and even giggling a bit at Gentle Light's ability to fall asleep anywhere.

Twilight smiles awkwardly as Celestia and Luna meet up with her. "Heyyyyyyy you twooo! Uh… I see you made new." Twilight coughs a little before an idea springs in her head. "Friends! Yea!" She says with a smile. 'Friendship between Celestia and Luna might be just what we need to demoralize Unity. This is perfect!'

Unity's surprise disappears faster than Twilight's. Unity's smile became soft and motherly when she saw the group. She even seems proud. "You three made friends with the princesses?! I hope none of you said anything rude!" She says with a genuine smile. This is good for her. She initially didn't know what she would do if she LOST against Twilight in the end, but if her kids ended up being friends with Celestia and Luna, their future would be secure at the very least. Not only would her line live on, but she could actually give her foals a proper choice now. Excellent.

"We weren't Mom. Don't worry about that! In fact, they're the ones that wanted us to be a bit more natural with them." Repose says with a smile, "They're great too! Celestia wanted to see if we could hang out today with them, too? Maybe?" The filly smiles brightly as she hops in place.

Unity and Twilight both cringe a little and look at each other. Twilight takes a deep breath. "If that's what you two wan-." That's all she manages to get out before the group of young adults (And one foal) yells out in happiness. They are far too starved for fun and amusement due to their situations, so having a free pass to have fun is the best thing ever! The group of five runs off, challenging each other to various games and events around the festival, leaving their two moms in the dust. Twilight and Unity sigh simultaneously as they sit on the bench before the Ferris wheel, following their families around for about an hour before being told to 'not wait up.'

"Guess the family vacation is derailed now, not that I'm upset that they made friends," Twilight says with a sigh as she stands and trots ahead. Unity followed quietly. The spirit wasn't stupid. She knew the only thing stopping this was their respective wants to be with their families.

Unity sighs a little to herself, putting on a smug face to irritate Twilight. "Guess business always finds a way to put itself before pleasure, huh? They'll be distracted for at least a few hours. Shame, I was really looking forward to trying a chocolate-covered banana." Unity's pride prevented her from even suggesting a temporary truce. Now that their kids were off having fun with each other, nothing would stop what's coming.

Twilight sighs a little. "Yeah, well, I hate you, you hate me, and our kids are distracted." She says as they exit through the back, ending up near the waterfall's source at the top of the mountain after a short flight. "I guess I'm just too much of a workaholic to take a proper vacation."

Unity giggles. "Since when was being a hero work for you? Hmmm, Twilight~? In fact, when was the Princess of Friendship the one that initiated these altercations~?" She says teasingly as she takes her position on the other side of the small lake. "I thought you found being a hero fun! All the friendships, relationships, the difficulty. Oh, wait. You don't have any friends here, do you?"

Twilight winces. The comment made Twilight feel physically ill, her stomach twisting as she walked to the lake's edge. Unity was correct. Usually, these fights would be done surrounded by her friends, but here she is. Alone. Taking the time out of a vacation to handle business AND being the one that initiated it. "What am I even doing? Cadence would be horrified if she saw me acting like this." Twilight says with a grim look on her face. Even then, though, her horn glows as she prepares for the fight. She has some armor for combat, but it's just collecting dust in the basement of her destroyed castle. It's not like she would have brought it to a festival anyway.

Unity stands up straight and sighs a little. Rolling her eyes a little. She would then look down at the same rainbow water before saying, "Sometimes you just gotta play with the cards you were dealt in life, Twilight. Let's get this done quickly so whoever loses doesn't have to miss out on the rest of the day with their kids." Unity winces a little. She doesn't particularly want to fight right now either, but as far as that goes, she doesn't feel like she has a choice. "It's a beautiful day today, isn't it Twilight?"

Twilight closes her eyes and just smiles a little. "Yeah, I wish we could enjoy it. Birds are singing, ponies are cheering. Not to mention, the rainbow meteor shower will start in an hour." Twilight's spell finishes casting. Her limited abilities with her new magic really hamstring her here. Twilight's magic reinforces her body with a soft pop, a shiny gleam running across her coat.

"Not swapping to Eternal for this, I see. Brave." Unity mumbles, the spirit trying to extend this as long as she can. "I will restore harmony to Equestria, and then I'll finally have a place to call home."

"We both know you have too much power over her. This is something I have to do. I'm not gonna let you off by just knocking me out with one magic spell." Twilight says with a giggle. The tension in the air was thick, but the two combatants were just talking like old friends. However, Twilight and Unity are too proud to back off, no matter how dearly they want to be with their families. "I will protect my ponies and my daughters from you."

This is the lot they drew in life, after all. The hero versus the villain. But neither predicted what would happen next.

As the two charged forward, they would each suddenly clash into shields. Twilight smashes into a golden and blue hue barrier while Unity crashes into a teal one. Unity's hoof strikes right through it but is quickly caught by a purple hoof.

"MOM! You promised!" Both groups of disgruntled ponies yell out. Celestia and Luna glare at Twilight while Repose struggles to hold onto his mom's hoof. He inherited her strength, sure, but Unity is still a monster in her own right.

Twilight and Unity sputter as they quickly try to find an excuse for their actions. Celestia and Luna snort as they start pushing Twilight away. "Alright, Mom. That's enough. I don't care if you're fighting Unity, Discord, or the ghost of Grogar. We're going to have FUN today! We'll have to drag you around if you can't behave!" Luna says with a pout. Upset that Twilight was about to break their promise.

Twilight blinks. "But that was-" Celestia cuts her off.

"Yes, it was Unity, but she's here to enjoy the festival too. So LET her. You always said that ponies need to be forgiving and gentle. Well, be that way. Stop trying to act like something you're not, Mother. You aren't Eternal. You don't need to act this way." Celestia says as she pushes Twilight far enough to where they aren't in danger.

Unity, to her credit, is less confused about this than Twilight. The Alicorn spirit seems a bit more embarrassed. "Sorry, sweeties. Mommy got carried away." She giggles a little bit. "It's just, you know, Mommy and Queen Twilight don't really like each other."

Hearthfire sighs a little. "It's alright, Mom, but you promised us a family vacation. Fighting against the crown is not part of that. We all have our purposes. Today, we just want to enjoy being with our mother and not see her end up in a duel to the death. What would Gentle Light think if she was awake."

"But I am awake." Gentle says from Repose's back, peeking out and looking curiously. Repose gently boops Gentle Light's nose, beginning to tease her sister a little bit while Hearthfire and Unity have their conversation.

Hearthfire smiles at his mother. "We didn't become friends with the Princesses for nothing after all. We came to an agreement with each other. We are permitted to come and go from Equestria as we please."

Celestia continues from where Hearthfire left off. The group has settled around two ponies worth of distance away from each other. "However, in exchange for this deal." She points at Unity with a thick glare on her face. "You may not attack Equestria until Canterlot's construction is complete. On the other hoof, we will allow you and your family to live within the borders and their everyday lives. Gentle Light has told us how much you care about your children after all, and we would all prefer if, regardless of you and your husband, they would have a chance to make their own decisions as they grow up. Of course, this is only possible if BOTH of you agree." Celestia says to Twilight and Unity.

Unity is the first to speak. "Yes. I agree. As long as you and your family understand, this will NOT sway me off track. This is for my family, not for you." Unity says as she takes a floating paper that was given to her by Luna. Signing it quietly. "I also never intended on indoctrinating my children to believe the same way I do. They've always been encouraged to think what they wish. Whether it's my harmony or yours."

Twilight takes the paper next, reading it over and glaring at Unity. Every fiber of her being is telling her to not do this. Every bit of her is dripping venom to attack Unity. But... why? Twilight shakes her head. This isn't who she is. She is NOT Eternal. She does not want to think like her. But even then.

'You know what we should do. She hurt us. She will do it again.' Eternal says to Twilight, who shakes her head. 'You're a Queen! Think of your ponies!'

Twilight mumbles to herself. Looking up at Unity and then towards Celestia and Luna. "I'm trusting you two here. I'm the Princess of Friendship, not forgiveness." She says simply as she signs the paper. "But in honor of what we once had Unity. Consider this your severance pay. I hope your children make the right choice in the future."

Unity smiles warmly as she hugs her family. "Whatever they choose, I'll be proud of them. Even if they side with you and your fillies in the final battle." Grinning at Twilight a little. "That's what differs between you and me, Twilight. I don't delude myself into thinking that I'm 100% right." She says with a giggle. "Or do I?" Unity gives Twilight a wink, cheekily smiling as she stands up. "Come, sweethearts. Let us go get dinner before the meteor shower. Oo and a chocolate-coated banana."

Unity's family leaves without an extra word aside from Hearthfire, who bows and says, "Till we meet on the battlefield, Princesses. Oh, Queen Twilight, I'll join your school in the spring. I'd appreciate some material to catch me up on classes." With an insincere smile, he says, "Send it along when you can." He then trots off to catch up with his family.

Twilight just falls back and groans. "Can one of you be Queen now?" She says with a mumble. "I miss just being a do-nothing Princess so badly."

Luna raises her hoof. "I'll do it!" Which only gets looks from Celestia and Twilight. "Ohhhh right. Yeah, that'd be a bad idea." She giggles a little with a blush.

"I'll think about it if you can actually pass the policies test with higher than an eighty-eight. You always get fooled by the trick questions." Twilight says with a smile as she lays back on the ground. Celestia and Luna joined her after a moment.

"Guess we aren't going back to the festival," Celestia says with a stretch. "It was fun, but I've had my fill of crowds looking at me so much. I should look for something that lets me disguise myself as a normal pony."

Twilight smiles as she glows her horn gently. A little cloud appears with a basket with food, a folded blanket, and a telescope, all neatly packed on top of it. "Well, we may as well stake our claim up here for the meteor shower then. It does start in an hour or two." With a HUMPH, Twilight sits up and starts unpacking everything, setting out the blanket and food, the three sitting and eating together. Ponies of all types, including Unity and her family, trotted up the hill to find a spot to sit.

'You don't seriously think Unity will give up, do you?' Eternal says to Twilight. Twilight is idly eating her daisy sandwich as she watches the sky with Celestia and Luna.

'No. Unity won't, but she also won't endanger her family.' Twilight mumbles to her other half. 'Before you say something incredibly terrible, though, we aren't doing anything to them. We have an agreement.'

Eternal scoffs 'Involving innocents in our plans would be a bit much, even for me. Besides, as a fellow mother, I know how she feels.'

Twilight looks over to Unity. 'Yeah. We do.' Twilight hugs Celestia and Luna closely. Giggling a little as she wipes Luna's face. "Eat more cleanly, silly." Twilight doesn't even turn as her ear twitches, saying, "Celestia, no eating dessert before your sandwich! I did not give you bits to only eat fried ice cream and cake all day!" Celestia sheepishly puts the fried dough balls down as she eats her healthy sandwich.

Unity sighs as she sits with her family, watching the sky and ignoring Twilight entirely. The Alicorn not even hiding herself anymore, which draws much attention and even some anger from the ponies surrounding her. Unity just closes her eyes and sighs a little.

Hearthfire leans against his mother. "I got your back, mom. Don't worry. Sorry about stringing you along, though. We had a feeling that if you heard about the plan, you'd sorta ruin it."

Unity scoffs in response to that, "Excuse me! I strung along the Queen for literally millennia. How could I ruin a plan?" She huffs at Hearthfire, who chuckles.

"Probably because you're a bit of a total control freak, mom. We can help out sometimes, too, ya know. We may not. Agree with all your actions and ideas, but you're still our mom. At the very least, you can trust us to help you when it counts." Hearthfire's eyes twinkle as he watches the first meteor pass. "It's starting."

"I dunno what you're talking about, brother! I'll always follow Mom. Sides, the world could do with a touchup." Repose says as she pushes him a little on the shoulder. Giggling a small amount. "Also, being a Princess seems fun."

Unity smiles as she watches her children bicker momentarily before waving for them to quiet down. As all the ponies on the mountain and even down at the festival look towards the sky, several streams of Meteors swish by through the sky. Across most of Northern Equestria, streaks of rainbows ignite the sky and give off a lovely rainbow hue. Both Unity and Twilight smiled softly. This was worth it.

Author's Note:

Being a leader is hard, eh? Luckily, Twilight is more of a mom than she is a Queen. Either way, next is the Schoooool episode! Anyway, I do have a question for those of you who read this. For Unity's fight, there are two outlines I have for it. Unity battles a lot with references to games, movies, and pop culture since all her abilities and magic are based on abilities that heroes have. Would you guys prefer a chapter with ALLLLL the references? Or just have them be more ambiguous? Up to you all. I'm writing both anyway, lol.

Bio for today. Hearthfire

Name: Hearthfire
Title: Great Ancestor of the Student

Hearthfire is the middle child of Unity's family and the most mature of the three. His alignment settles perfectly in the middle, being willing to help his mother through things as she needs it but not being radical enough actually to believe 'her drivel about harmony and such.' Growing up in a house that respects and encourages free thinking resulted in rapid growth when it came to magic and theory. To the point where he and Star Swirl the Bearded were often found tossing ideas off of each other as the era went on. Unfortunately for him, however, he is terrible in the face of danger, being easily scared by nearly any form of danger. As such his knowledge of combat spells is basically just a simple shield, which he uses to protect himself from his sisters' pranks.

Celestia's Notes:
Hearthfire is a really interesting guy. Really smart but about as cowardly as you can get. We found him freaking out because he got lost inside of the fun house after being separated from his older sister. Once I poked him, though, I could feel how much magic he had in him. He'll be a great student at my Mom's school once he's allowed to join.

Luna's Notes:
Hearthfire is a fairly tall, neatly groomed unicorn. Purple coat, blue mane, and a fairly good smile. He'd probably be a marekiller if he weren't so nerdy and cowardly. It's kinda cute, though, and I think he might have a tiny crush on me. Shame I have like zero intention of going that route with anypony. Luna is a free mare, and nothing will hold her down! Except dinner! Either way, Celestia says his magic stores are massive, so I might have a good rival when school starts up!

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