• Published 9th Aug 2012
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Celestia's Daughter - The Conflicted Writer



Celestia tries to make amends with her daughter. It's not as easy as she hoped.

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The Reveal

Celestia’s Daughter
Written by The Conflicted Writer
Edited by MyLittleTimeLord
Pre-Read by LovingTolerance
Chapter 1: The Reveal

“Are you ready yet?” Luna asked.

Celestia stopped her pacing. She turned to her sister, appearing pleading. Distressed. Frustrated. She opened her mouth. Closed it. Opened it again. Closed it, resuming her pacing.

Luna let out a groan and beat her head against a pillow. “Fifty minutes, Celestia. Fifty minutes it has been since you called me in here. You’re obviously distressed to the point where you can’t even say what’s distressing you. Just spit it out so we can move on to hugging and forgiving each other.”

Celestia grimaced as she continued her steps. “Am I so transparent?”

“Like I said, fifty minutes. Whatever the problem is, it obviously has something to do with me.”

Celestia stopped again, this time sighing. “Not you. Not directly, at least.”

Luna raised a brow. “Well? What is it? I’d like to eat sometime before you raise the sun.”

Celestia opened her mouth. She again closed it and resumed pacing.

Luna groaned and flopped her face into the bed. “Celestia, I’m your sister. Your eternal sister, mind you. I’m here for you whether I want to be or not. If you ever become Nightmare Flare or some nonsense, I’ll wait one thousand years for you as you did for me. If you can’t trust your secrets with me, who are you going to trust them to?”

Celestia stopped and furrowed her brow. “Not many ponies get to see me this way.”

“And what way is that?” Luna asked while looking her sister over.

“They don’t see me being weak. Fallible. Able to care and worry. They don’t get to see this part of me.”

“Oh for the love of— get to the point!”

“I have a daughter.”

Celestia and Luna completely froze with looks of regret and shock, respectively. Were it not for the magical manes and tails the two sisters possessed that blew in a non existent wind, it might have seemed that time had stopped.

After a time of saying nothing, Luna got off of the bed and stared Celestia in the eye. It reminded Celestia of the time she had been caught eating Luna’s sweet stash, only a lot more likely to make something explode.

“I thought we were in agreement.”

“I know.”

“After the first generation, we agreed. After the dignitaries and their offspring that just love to use us as if we were a weapon. After all the time… the time. We promised we’d never do that to another pony.”

“I know.”

“Well, hurry it up. Who are they? What are they like? I want to know right now. If we have another string of Blue Bloods, I’m going to lock them away before we have another foolish, greedy pony mucking up the legal system.”

“Luna, please listen.”

“It only got worse, you know. Away for a thousand years, I read up on laws, and you know what I’ve found? Oranges. It’s illegal to have oranges in hotel rooms in Las Pegasus. Why, I beseech you? And you know what? My niece did that. Niece being a relative term, but still! Just for power. We decided to stop after they began and let them thin out until their blood was inconsequential.”

Celestia tapped a hoof on the floor. “I’m sorry.”

“Sorry!? Sorry!?” Luna screamed, her voice returning to decibels Celestia had not heard for a while. “You have broken the sacred vow made millennia ago! We are not quick to forgive such a transgression! We are- ahem. I apologize. I shouldn’t have shouted at you.”

Celestia looked at the freshly cracked windows and quickly cast a spell to shield the room from the ponies that would no doubt try to intervene. “No, I deserve it. I understand what I’ve done is wrong. For you and for… for my daughter. I may have made things worse than they already are by keeping this hidden. From everypony”

Luna blinked. “Wait a moment. They don’t know?”

Celestia shook her head sorrowfully. “No, she doesn’t. I didn’t want to put that stress on her. To be the daughter of the Princess when I understood how… unbecoming ponies can be.”

“Oh, please,” Luna said with a roll of her eyes. “Unbecoming is the nice way to put it. They would clamber all over her in an attempt to earn your favor. Ponies in power only seek more power.” Luna gave a begrudging scowl. “As such, I think you made at least one wise decision in dealing with this mess.”

The elder sister gave a soft smile. “Thank you for that, at least.”

Luna shook her head. “Alright, the beginning. The beginning is always where one should start. How did it happen?”

“Well…” Celestia started, her face becoming slightly red, “I had too much to drink.”

Luna scratched her head. “Is this a modern term? Please remember I am not yet, how it’s said, ‘up to speed’ with expressions of this day.”

Celestia rubbed her temple with a hoof. “Yes, I’m sorry. I drank too much cider. The cider mixed with things other than apples.”

“You mean alcohol,” Luna blanched

“In a word…”

“So you were inebriated. That’s wonderful. A child born from whilst you were crazy as a fool. So, was he as drunk as you? Or did he like the idea of lying in bed with a princess?”

A book appeared as Celestia’s horn glowed. “It was a Summer Sun Celebration. You know, the holiday that I despise with every fiber of my being. Time is cruel to stories, isn’t it?”

“It’s alright, sister. They don’t remember what it means anymore.”

“But I do. And you do. That’s all that matters. One Celebration, I found myself remembering our past, worrying about your return. Thoughts of how much time I had spent trying to find ponies who would wield the Elements going through my head, thinking about failing to save you and Equestria. I couldn’t take it anymore, all the ponies staring at me as if the sun in pony form, all the memories of how I had to banish you. I wanted to let go. And I did.”

“So you went on a cider spree to calm yourself.” Luna scowled again. “I’m not sure how much I should forgive you, since I seem to have been the one to cause this.”

“You didn’t cause it. I only reacted poorly.”

“Still, it was done while worrying over my sake. I shouldn’t blame you. Too much.”

“Well, in any case,” Celestia climbed onto the bed, the book floating with her, “I found him with some hard cider and he offered me a drink. He talked so calmly with me, not bothering with formalities. I believe he might have already been wasted when we met and didn’t realize who I was.”

“Wasted?”

“Another word for inebriated.”

“Ah. Terminology, how does it work?”

“I see your sarcasm lessons are moving along well,” Celestia smiled.

“No, I’m really asking, how does it work? Back in my day, wasted meant you wasted something.” Luna had a playful smirk and Celestia giggled.

“As I was saying, he was drunk and I allowed myself to get drunk. I wake up the next morning cuddling him and we smell like animals. We were both terrified for different reasons. He was married, mind you.”

Luna shook her head as she lay down next to her sister. “That’s fantastic. No doubt, even in his drunken state, he’d be unable to say no to the Princess of the Sun.”

“I’d imagine not. We talked about what happened and realized the consequences. His wife was surprisingly understanding about the whole thing.”

“And the child?”

Celestia gave a sad sigh. “I knew what life she would lead growing up as my daughter. So I decided to… to let them raise her.” Tears began to form in her eyes as she opened the book. “I’ve been watching her from afar, making sure she was safe. It’s been hard, saying nothing about how much I wanted to love her.”

Luna took the book and gazed at the pictures within. “Goodness. She’s one of the Elements. What are the odds?”

“You remember her, right? Isn’t she sweet?”

“Yes, I met her. How strange, but now that I think about it I can notice a resemblance between you two. She certainly gives as sound advice as you do.”

The smile that adorned Celestia’s face contrasted deeply with her tears. “Hmm… she certainly is wise. I’d make her my chancellor in a heartbeat for her knowledge.”

“I get the feeling she would not enjoy the position.”

“No, she wouldn’t.” Celestia flipped the pages. “It’s been painful, not being there for her. To be sure, I watched her. I saw her when she first walked and talked and when her cutie mark appeared. But I wasn’t actually there when she needed somepony, not really. Those times when she was alone and needed a shoulder to cry on, or when she needed a guide in life. But I am proud of her for coming so far on her own.”

Luna furrowed her brow. “You love her, of course.”

“Of course,” Celestia said back, using as much conviction as when she said Discord was dangerous.

“And, judging from her age, it’s getting close to the last chance for the change to happen. If it happens at all.”

Celestia nodded. “Correct. If I could, I wouldn’t say a thing and let her live as if it weren’t true, but that’s not the case. I don’t know what I should do.”

“Do?” Luna asked. “Do? What sort of foolishness is this? You go and tell her, of course!”

“I know that,” Celestia said. “But how should I do it? A letter? Face-to-face? Tell her friends?”

Luna grabbed Celestia’s face and pulled so they were looking at each other. “You came to me for advice, so here it is; you go to Ponyville, you find her, and you tell her. Don’t plan this, don’t calculate it like you do with everything. Get her in a room and tell her that you gave birth to her and tell her why it’s relevant now. Don’t let anything get in the way. Do I make myself clear?”

Celestia nodded and Luna let her face go. “Alright then,” Celestia said as a scroll and a quill came before her. “I’m going to write first. Get them all gathered together and tell all six of them. Her closest friends will want to know.”

“Excellent to hear,” Luna said, smiling. “As said of bandages these days, just get it over with.”

“Do you think she will be happy to hear this?” Celestia said as it the scroll vanished in a puff of smoke.

“… It’s not my place to say. The workings of another pony’s mind are difficult to see. You’ll simply have to wait until it has happened.”

“If you were to guess, though?”

“I’m not going to do that,” Luna said with conviction. “Should I say no, you will be far too careful. If I say yes, you could be filled with false hope. Hope is a precious thing, but false hope is worse than being hopeless. Understood?”

“Alright, I understand. It’s starts tomorrow, then.” Celestia got off of the bed and made her way towards to door. “I will approach this as I’ve done with everything else; with calm, grace, and dignity. Goodnight, Luna.”

Celestia left the room and Luna giggled. “One… two… three… four… five… six…” Then Celestia stuck her head back in, a sheepish smile on her face.

“Heh, heh. This is my room, isn’t it?”

Luna got up and elbowed her sister as she passed by. “Are we nervous, Celestia?”

Celestia smiled back. “Out of my mind.”

“Oh, and one other thing.”

“What?”

Luna turned and wrapped her forelegs around Celestia’s neck. “I forgive you.”



A quick flash was all it took for Celestia to get to her most faithful student’s library in Ponyville. It was a forty minute train ride, had she felt inclined. By flight, it would take half that time.

If she had been given twenty years, she would still say it wasn’t enough time to prepare.

When she finally had to leave, Celestia decided to fly to her destination. At least this way she would have some time to think to herself, though she found little to think about. Like Luna had told her, it seemed quite simple. Go there and say what had to be said. It was simple, but certainly not easy.

She landed on the balcony of Ponyville Library and knocked on the door. When it opened, a tired looking dragon that barely reached her knees met her.

“Thank goodness you’re here,” Spike yawned. “I haven’t gotten any sleep since you sent that letter.”

Celestia blinked. “Sleep?” she asked. “What does my letter have to- oh no.”

“Oh, yes. You know it’s stupid, and I know it’s stupid, but Twilight still gets panic attacks, especially when all the letter says is I’d like to have a meeting with you and the other elements tomorrow morning. She’s been up all night worrying about some disaster.”

After what happened at the wedding, I don’t blame her, Celestia thought. “I’m sorry Spike, this is my fault. Go to bed and I’ll handle it from here.”

“Thank goodness, an order from the Princess. Twilight can’t stop me now.” Spike jumped into the basket that was next to the proper bed. “Good morning, Princess.”

“Good morning, Spike,” Celestia said with a chuckle. The Princess regarded the many overturned books in room with a sigh and poked her head down the stairs. As she had predicted, Twilight was a disheveled mess. Her mane was wild and the tea she was trying to sip spilled in her magical grip.

Her other friends were there with varying degrees of calm. Rarity was fine on her seat, as was Applejack on her own, if a little more bored. Pinkie Pie was coming to and fro with sweets and refills for Twilight’s drink. Rainbow Dash appeared calm as she performed some simple exercises, but over a thousand years of insight let Celestia know that Dash was scared almost as much as Twilight was. Fluttershy was lying on a pillow, but looked like she’d rather be under it.

“Hello, my little ponies,” Celestia said as she stepped down the stairs.

“Princess!” Twilight practically screamed, her cup shooting into the ceiling. “You’re here! At last! I had no idea when you were going to show up, so I had the girls here since last night so we’d be here when you raised the sun since ‘in the morning’ could be anytime after that. We had fun! It was like a sleep over.”

“Minus the sleep,” Applejack grunted.

“And now you’re here and you can make your super important announcement!” Twilight’s smile threatened to break her face.

Celestia looked at her student and tried to hide the worry she was feeling. “Twilight Sparkle, I must ask you to forgive me. There is no problem. At least, not one that threatens the state of Equestria’s well being.”

Twilight blinked and her jaw went slack. “It- there isn’t?”

“Told ya so,” Dash said as she rolled her eyes. Celestia didn’t mention how relieved Dash actually was.

“And also, if you don’t mind, give Spike the day off.”

Twilight chuckled nervously. “O-of course, Princess.”

Pinkie Pie jumped into Celestia field of vision and bounced up and down to reach eye level. “So, what is the super important news that you wanted to share with us, uh? Is it about the elements? Or do you need a party planned? Oh no, today isn’t your birthday and everypony forgot, is it? Don’t worry, I can whip up a party faster than you can say-”

Celestia placed a hoof on Pinkie’s back, “It’s not my birthday, Pinkie Pie. But I promise I’ll let you know what kind I want when it comes around.”

Pinkie squealed and opened her mouth.

“But right now I need you to be silent for my announcement, alright?”

Pinkie nodded and made a motion as if zipping her mouth closed. She sat on a pillow, patient as could be.

“We’re ready, Princess,” Rarity said after setting the cup she had been holding down. “What’s the news?”

Celestia took a deep breath. “What I’m about to tell you doesn’t change Equestria. Well, it might, but not really. This has to do with me…” She paused, seeing the six ponies in the room were all paying attention, “And my daughter.”

Rarity spit out the tea that had been drinking, while the others collectively gasped.

“Ya’ll got a daughter?” Appjejack cheered. “Boy, howdy, Ah hadn’t a clue. Who’s the gal?”

“I didn’t know the Princess had a daughter,” Fluttershy said. As was normally the case with Fluttershy, it was actually closer to a whisper, so nopony seemed to have heard.

“I had no idea,” Twilight said. “I never met her at the palace or heard about her.”

“I know I’ve never heard of this fact,” Rarity proclaimed. “I know about anypony who is anypony in Canterlot.”

Pinkie clapped her hooves together. “Wow, the Princess has a daughter! Would that make her a princess? Would she be a Princess’s princess, or does she get another name? I need to know so I can give the party I want to throw the right name.”

Celestia raised a hoof and all became peaceful again.

“Now, there’s a problem with this. You see, she… she doesn’t know she’s my daughter.”

They all blinked.

“Princess,” Rarity began, “Whatever is it that you are saying?”

“I’m saying what I said. I have a daughter and she does not know she’s my daughter. I gave birth to her and she does not know. I wanted- no, I need to talk to her.”

Twilight looked astonished as she spoke. “Princess, are you saying that you have offspring somewhere in Ponyville and she has no idea that you’re their mom? How does that happen?”

“It’s a long story, my student. I will tell it when I can. But first, I must speak with her.” Celestia stood up. “Something important could happen, and she needs to be aware in case it does.”

“Soooo,” Applejack drawled out. “Who is it?”

Before Celestia could answer, an orange blur zipped through the library’s front door and crashed into a bookcase. Peeling herself from the spine of a book titled Velocity and You: Physics for Beginners, the filly jumped off her scooter and began to babble incoherently.

“Squirt?” Dash asked. “What the heck’s wrong with you?”

“Hold on, everypony,” Pinkie said as she trotted up to the filly. “I speak panicking pony.”

“Ah bada, vroom, and sploosh!”

“Uh huh, uh huh.”

“Wham, eerrrr, boom!”

“Yep, yep.”

“Vagga doo, shaboopy!”

“Hmm hmm.”

“Bippity, boppity, boo!”

“Alrighty then.” Pinkie turned

A pause.

“Well?” Rarity asked.

“Oh, Scootaloo said that the Cutie Mark Crusaders were trying to get their downhill derby cutie marks and they crashed horribly and that Applebloom and Sweetie Belle twisted their ankles.” Pinkie’s smile vanished. “Wait, this is really bad, isn’t it?”

“Ah’ll say!” Applejack said as she jumped up. “Beg yer pardon, but we gotta go.”

Celestia nodded. “Of course, family is important. I will summon you again later, just go about your day.”

“Terribly sorry, Princess, but our sisters need us,” Rarity said with a wave as she and Applejack ran out the door.

“I’m gonna go and help,” Rainbow said as she grabbed Scootaloo and flew as fast as she could.

“I’ll get some emergency first-aid cake!” Pinkie shouted before bouncing after them.

Celestia sighed and turned to the last two ponies in the room. Both of them looked flustered.

“I assume you know what I was getting at,” Celestia said softly.

Twilight gulped. Much to Celestia’s surprise, it was Fluttershy who spoke up.

“Y-you were going t-to say that one of us is y-your daughter, weren’t you?” Fluttershy looked ready to pass out. From what, Celestia wasn’t sure.

“Yes, I was. I was hoping that you all would hear it at once so there would be no secrets.”

Fluttershy gulped. “It isn’t m-me, is it? I mean, I don’t want it to be m-me, but if it is me, it’ll be o-okay…”

Celestia placed a hoof on Fluttershy’s shoulder. “Don’t worry, Fluttershy, it isn’t you.”

Fluttershy visibly relaxed, her wings drooping at her sides and her head lowering. “Oh, thank goodness. I wouldn’t want to deal with all that attention. Uh, I mean, not that I couldn’t since you’d be there, but I don’t like other ponies looking at me. Is that okay? You’d be a great mom, I’m sure, but I couldn’t handle the stress of being royalty. Rarity would like that much more than me.”

Celestia turned to Twilight. “And you, my faithful student? How would you like to be my daughter?”

Celestia froze when she saw Twilight. She looked far more rattled than she had when Celestia first arrived. Her eyes were shrunk to pinpricks and she was pulling at her tail in a way that could be described as hysterical.

“Fluttershy,” Celestia said, “Could you leave and let me and Twilight to speak privately? I think this is a matter for the two of us.”

Fluttershy murmured something and hovered out a window. She turned back to Twilight. “No matter what happens, we’ll be here for you.” She then hopped out and away.

For a little while, Celestia allowed the silence to surround them and hoped that this would give Twilight the courage to speak. When it became apparent that Twilight was only going to shiver, Celestia made the first move. “Twilight, can you tell me what is distressing you? Is there anything I can do to make you feel better?”

“It’s me, isn’t it?” Twilight blurted. Silence once more.

Celestia only smiled. “Would that please you, my student?”

Twilight shivered and picked at her tail, not seeming to notice as she looked up at her mentor. “I… I don’t…”

“Please. Be honest. You can’t be punished for being honest.”

Twilight gulped and shut her eyes. “I… I wouldn’t want you to be my mother, Princess.”

Celestia told herself not to feel saddened by this as she tried not to frown. “Why is this? Can you tell me?”

“It’s just… I’ve spent so much of my fillyhood with you. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. You were there for me when I needed you.” Twilight let her tail fall to the floor. “You taught me about magic and many other things. But at the time, I viewed you as my teacher and nothing more. I was Twilight, the student, not Twilight, the daughter. To be your daughter now changes all those memories and gives them a meaning I didn’t know about. I don’t want that sort of change in our relationship, I’d rather it stay as it is. Not to mention, of course, I thought I already had a mom. I wouldn’t want to think any less of her.” She took a deep breath and let it out. “But if that’s how it is, then I’m willing to accept my fate.”

Celestia smiled down at Twilight, her normally cool expression cracking and allowing some pride to show. “How very wise of you, Twilight. I’m proud to call you my student.”

Twilight nodded. “Thank you, moth-”

“But you’ll be happy to know that you aren’t my child.”

“-er… Oh. Uh. Well… okay.” Twilight chuckled unsteadily, but was obviously relieved.

Celestia sighed. “Still, I’m glad you told me the truth about our relationship. It made me realize a few things.”

Twilight gulped at the implications of that. “Heh, heh, anyway. If I’m not your daughter, who is?”

“I want her to be here when I tell her,” Celestia replied. “Until then, why don’t you get some sleep? You look like you could use it.”

“Sleep?” Twilight said with a somewhat manic grin. “It’s alright, I promise you. I’m perfectly fine. I’m here for anything you need.”

“Twilight,” Celestia said with the same knowing look she had been using since they first met. “Take a nap.”

Twilight opened her mouth to argue more, but closed it. Her whole body dropped as she smiled. “Yes, Princess. Naptime it is.” She allowed herself a yawn and slowly walked towards the stairs. “Sleep sounds pretty good right now, actually. I think Spike had the right idea last night, remind me to give him a promotion.”

“Certainly,” Celestia said with a playful smile before she turned to the door. She found herself half relieved and half frustrated that she had been forced to have more time to ponder the situation. It allowed her to think more about what she would say, but on the other hoof it gave her time to worry. With a sigh, she opened the door and started walking.

She wished she had some cake.



“Isn’t it amazing girls?” Rarity said as Lotus applied some facial mud. “Somewhere in Ponyville is royalty that never knew she was! It’s like something out of a Fairy Tale. I wonder who the lucky girl is.”

Applejack sighed in content as Aloe gently kneaded her back. “Hold on now, Rarity,” she began, trying to put an edge on her voice and failing, “Don’t get all starry eyed jus’ ‘cause the Princess has a daughter.”

Fluttershy looked at the ground as Lotus walked over to brush her mane.

“But just imagine! We could have been friends with royalty and never have known! If we happen to know her, we’ll be in the elite of the elite just by proxy.” Rarity gasped. “What if it’s one of us?”

Fluttershy mumbled something, but nopony seemed to hear.

“Ah seriously doubt that,” Applejack said. "Ooh, that's the spot. Gotta tell ya, all this time buckin' apples, Twilight bein' crazy? Thank goodness ya'll booked this trip 'fore hoof."

"I'm just glad Sweetie and Applebloom only had sprains," Rarity replied. "I was worried they had broken something with how frantic Scootaloo was. Anyway, back on topic. It could explain so much, though, if one were to think about it. It could be why Dash’s mane is such an array of colors and why she’s so fast; she got it from her mother. Or Twilight’s stunning magical skill. Or Fluttershy’s amazing kindness and way with animals. Celestia is known for her kindness and grace, is she not?”

Fluttershy squeaked.

“Pinkie Pie’s happy nature fits perfectly with the Princess’s playful attitude and desire to play tricks. Not to mention all the magic from an Alicorn could easily bleed over to an Earth Pony and explain how Pinkie does the things she does. And then you, Applejack.”

“Me?” Applejack said incredulously, and maybe with a little blush. “Ya’ll think Ah could be Celestia’s kin?”

“Of course,” Rarity said, trying to look towards Applejack and being impeded by the cucumbers over her eyes, thus subsequently facing the wrong direction. “That tenacity? That desire to make ponies happy? Your dependability? You could practically be Celestia’s double with how hard you work.”

“Well, shucks, yer jus’ sweet talkin’ me. What about you? What with how fancy you are.”

“Thank you, darling, but I think I’m least likely to be Celestia’s daughter. Let’s face it; The Princess is not exactly as ‘prissy’ as I am. I watch the trends and the fashions, and Celestia obviously couldn’t care any less if she tried. The closest thing we have in common is my white coat, and that’s hardly anything to go by.”

“What about yer generosity?” Applejack replied.

“Going by that logic, any of us could be the one. She used the Elements before, so she obviously must have a little bit of each of them in her.”

Fluttershy said something again, but nopony heard her.

“Hey, y’know, maybe this isn’t the best place ta be talkin’ about this.” Applejack looked around the spa, noticing a few other ponies. “Ah don’t think the Princess would want anypony ta know yet.”

“There’s no need to fret,” Rarity said as she waved Applejack off. “It’s not like anypony would believe it second hoof, anyway.”



“Citizens of Ponyville!” Mayor Mare shouted to the crowd of ponies before City Hall. “It is my pleasure to announce that Celestia will soon reveal to us who her daughter is, the Envoy of the Sun!”

The crowd cheered and stomped their hooves in excitement.

Off to the side, Applejack was giving Rarity a death glare to rival a stab to the heart. “Nopony would believe them, huh?”

Rarity blushed. “Well, the thing about that is… they didn’t exactly hear it second hoof. I may or may not have told the mayor personally.”

“Hey, ‘may or’ sounds like mayor!” Pinkie interjected. “Wouldn’t it be funny if there was a mayor called Mayor Maynot? That’d be a really funny name to say. Mayor Maynot may or may not.” She repeated this a few times as her friends continued without her.

Applejack made a noise like a scoff and a sigh put together. “Jeez, Rares, if I were the Princess, Ah’d hate all this attention. Ah’d jus’ want ta talk to mah daughter by mahself.” She’d also probably tell the ponies to go home and leave the matter alone, but Applejack didn’t bother to say that out loud.

“Where is Celestia, anyway?” Dash said, poking her head slightly out of the curtain that concealed them. “These ponies are getting pretty antsy.”

“Ah hope this is done with soon,” Applejack said. “Ah got work ta do at the farm, what with nopony comin’ ta help with Applebuck Season and Applebloom off her hooves for a few weeks.”

“I’m sure she’ll be here soon,” Rarity said. She hoped she would be there soon. All the fillies and mares out there looked ready to explode.

Meanwhile, behind Town Hall, Celestia was sitting still. To anypony looking, she merely seemed to be deep in thought. In a sense, this was true. Celestia was severely frustrated and thought about how far gone her original intention had gone that day. Still, she concentrated on what her sister had told her; let nothing get in her way.

“Are you sure you want to do this?” Fluttershy said at long last. “I mean, you can if you want to, but I wouldn’t want to.”

“I have to do this,” Celestia said. “The ponies want to know, so I might as well. They would have found out at some point, I suppose.”

“And you’re not going to have a speech or anything. Are you sure you don’t want me to wake up Twilight so she can write one for you? She’s good at organizing things really fast.”

Celestia shook her head. “Thank you, Fluttershy, but I’m going to keep this as short as I can. I’ll just say what comes to mind.” She took a deep breath. “I admit that I didn’t want all this attention on the matter. I had hoped that it would between me and my daughter.”

“Why don’t you?” Fluttershy asked. “It’s just, you seem like you really, really don’t want to do this. I know I hate getting in front of ponies, but this seems really, really important to just tell a bunch of ponies.”

Celestia smiled gently down at Fluttershy. “I thank you for listening to the troubles of a ruler, my dear. If I could, I would just tell them to go home and leave the matter alone. But I’ve found that it’s best to give ponies what they want when you can.” Celestia took another breath. “Alright. This is it. Wish me luck.”

“Good luck, Princess.”

Celestia made the journey around the building, her body on autopilot and her mind running a marathon while going nowhere. Doubt and fear consumed her heart as the chatter of her ponies filled her ears. They would be disappointed, she knew, but it would be for the best. Just get it done with, like a bandage.

Before she knew it, she was standing on the platform, a good deal of Ponyville waiting for Mayor Mare to finish a small speech about how wonderful Celestia was, or something like that. She wasn’t paying much attention.

She suddenly noticed that it had gone silent. Ponyville held its breath.

Just get it over with.

“My ponies,” Celestia began, “You’ve come out here because you wish to welcome my daughter as a new member of my lineage. For this, I thank you. I hope you are all willing to accept her.”

One last breath. A breath that Ponyville held with Celestia.

“Applejack.”

The breath was released, but the tension was not. Silence only held.

Behind the curtains, three ponies gazed intently at the one whose name had been called. Her eyes had become pinpricks.

“Beg yer pardon?”