• Published 25th Aug 2019
  • 3,497 Views, 122 Comments

Post-Graduate - C_F_G

Twilight Sparkle seeks the companionship of her old friends, finally willing herself to once again step through the mirror portal.

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1 - Dripping

Twilight sat in front of the Table. The weathered stone hadn't called out to her her in... Well, she had no idea how many years. She was still the Bearer of Magic, sure, but without the others the table had little use for her. New Bearer's hadn't emerged, of course- there were hopefuls among her students, but that was scarcely anything new. Hardly a season went by when Twilight didn’t see some eager young filly or foal she could attribute an element too. But every year, the result was the same. The elemental tree stood, stony and uncaring, the great table quiet and dark.

She stared wistfully at the smooth table top, her eyes briefly flickering up to the old thrones of her friends, each dusty and lifeless and stubbornly uncovered. It had been some time since anypony had sat in those. She tried, once. Just to see if they would… she didn’t know. Liven up? As if a chair could come to life with just the brush of some ponies flank.

But she just couldn’t bring herself to sit. Those seats weren’t hers to claim. She had her own, and lately the Princess hardly left it. A couple more years, she thought, and she’d get ready to move to Canterlot. Or the Crystal Empire. She didn’t have a domain, still, though she supposed Equestria was technically still hers. It doesn’t matter where she goes. She just can’t- won’t- stay here.

But she for now, she can’t pull away from Ponyville. Not yet. A few of her friends were still around, if struggling. She’d have to wait until they… She gulped. She’d just have to wait.

Twilight stewed in silence, an unending dripping resonating from the walls. Now that she thought about it, nopony had been in the castle in a long while. If the school needed something, they had a direct firemail line. She usually travelled to Canterlot, not the other way around. Sure, she could have declared Ponyville the new Capital, but why would she? It just wouldn’t make sense.

How long had it been since she had actually seen anypony? One… two weeks? Yes, two weeks. Fluttershy had taken her little spill down her front steps and Discord was too nervous about using his own chaotic magic on her, fragile as she is.

The dripping continued. She had been listening to it for the better part of a week. This stupid trickle of water has defied every one of her most advanced tracking and investiagtion spells.

She smiled, thinking of her friends. Once, this may have been quite an adventure for her little group. Rarity would grow frazzled; Pinkie would probably dress up like an old Equish detective. Applejack would berate her for not keeping up with the maintenance. Spike surely would have it fixed before she even noticed there was a problem.

Suddenly, Twilight was wracked with inspiration.

The mirror!


Twilight stretched, emerging in chilly, clouded air just beyond the flying hooves of a familiar stallion statue. The time warp would be her salvation. She was around ‘oldness’ too much. Seeing her friends from across the portal would be a breath of fresh air- just a little shard of the old times.

She knew she couldn’t stay long- ever since this world’s Twilight had appeared, she tried to keep away. They needed to bond with their own friend, who would be there with them in their own world. Not to mention the potential magical conflicts, the danger they posed. Sunset herself had asked Twilight to close the portal. Twilight didn’t really fancy the idea of one of them accidently vaporizing the other or managing to fry the portal or somehow cancelling all magic in Equestria.

But a short visit? No problem. Maybe hang out, solve some kind of magical or friendship problem. Just like old times.

Her smile brightened, and she brushed the dirt from the hem of her skirt. She climbed to her feet, clenched her fists, and wobbled towards the door. Faust above, it had been quite a while since she had to ambulate around like this.

She swung the great doors wide, and pushed herself into the old schoolhouse.

And was immediately met by a very firm-looking, no-nonsense woman. She grasped Twilight’s arm firmly, making the girl squeak in surprise.




“What do you mean.”

The woman groaned in exasperation.

“I need to see your school ID. You’re almost an hour late and I’ve never seen you before.”

“Oh… um…

The woman blew out an exasperated sigh. “Listen, I don’t know why you’re here, but you clearly shouldn’t be. “


“I’m not done. You’re not going anywhere until the Principal has seen you.”

Twilight’s concern dissipated, her shoulders falling as the tension drained from her body. A small smile of relief crossed her face.

“Oh, perfect! Princes- I mean, Principal Celestia will be able to sort this out!”

The woman released her death grip on the purple girls arm, feeling rushing back into Twilight’s hand and pale pink finger marks appeared on her purple flesh.. Her tingling digits subconsciously twisted and bent, relieved at the receipt of the sudden rush of blood. Her eyes narrowed and lips pursed, one eyebrow slowly crawling further up her forehead.

“Principal Celestia? She retired years ago. Are you- feeling alright?”

“Retired? B-b-b-but… Oh, uh, Vice Principal Luna then. I guess she’d be the Principal now…”

Confusion grew to concern. “Vice Principal Luna left right after Celestia. She took a job as a Dean of Student Affairs up in Maressachusetts. Are you sure you’re feeling alright? Maybe… should I bring the nurse around?”

“Oh, no! I, uh… Wait, is this isn’t Crystal Prep! I must’ve gone to the wrong school, by accident, heh-heh. I’m a- I’m just gonna go.”

Before the woman could process what she had said, Twilight whirled around and power walked through the doors. She glanced back towards the glass as she crossed the courtyard, greeted by the sight of the heavy door slamming shut behind a worried and angry school employee who straddled the top step, barking quickly into a cell phone pressed firmly against her ear.

As her boots hit the sidewalk she turned towards the city and began to jog.


Twilight walked slowly, her arms wrapped around each other in the brisk air.

Turns out, the city was a lot further away than she remembered. Those ‘cars’ her friends had really cut down the travel time, and these gangly bodies gave out way before even the weakest of unicorns. Of course, if she was home she could just teleport. But given this world’s troubles with magic, it was best she avoided pulling any mana.

The last thing she needed, with the portal at least temporarily barred from use, was to accidently cause some sort of interdimensional rift when she tried to pick up a book without crossing a room.

Especially given that Principal Celestia and her friends were Faust-knows-where, she had no place to stay, and hadn’t even thought to bring some bits in the hopes that they’d convert to match this world’s currency.

And now she couldn’t even try to hide near the school.
And it must have been a different season than the other times she had come to visit. The sky was darker, and the wind carried a biting chill. There wasn’t any snow on the ground, but Twilight certainly wouldn’t be surprised to feel icy flecks brushing against her fur-less face.

Oh, why couldn’t the portal have adjusted her clothes for the season! These human bodies could not possibly be meant for this.

She shivered, subconsciously rubbing her hands against her bare arms. Her breath caught, caught again, and she sneezed. Sticky slime ran down and across her lips, and she recoiled at the unexpected salty taste. The empty street whistled, the steady breeze suddenly incorporating slashing gusts of wind as the sky grew even darker.

Well, this was going to suck.

And suck it had. She walked for another half hour as the city lights somehow seemed to move even further away.

Suddenly, her pupils narrowed and she clasped her eyes snapped shut, the frozen girl raising her arms to shield her face as an intense light seared through her eyelids. An awful squealing filled the way between the trees. A gentle rumbling settled a few dozen feet from where Twilight stood paralyzed and blinded. She lowered her arms and blinked, vision slowly returning. Her whole body began to shake as the cold fully pierced her bones. She barely processed the gentle ‘honk honk’ that rose above the gentle grumbling, barely processed the long blare that followed.

A door fell open, tall boots crinkling through the brittle grass and kicking gravel down the shoulder of the road as someone approached. Twilight felt a caring, firm grip on her shoulders, and allowed herself to be led to the groaning truck.

She slumped low in the soft seat, revelling in the steaming warmth spilling from the cab’s vents, as her rescuer walked around to the driver’s side. The door pulled open, the warmth rushing out, as the portly figure of a well-lived woman quickly slammed the metal seal shut behind her. The woman tore off her hat, eyes wide with surprise, as blonde hair spilled down her back.

“Princess Twilight?!” A thick, southern drawl. “So, uh, how are ya’ll doin?”

Twilight blinked, the cold forgotten. Without thinking, she flashed across the transmission and squeezed. “Oh, thank Celestia! It’s so good to see you, Applejack!”

“Now, what’re ya’ doin way out here? First blizzard o’ the season s’posed to blow in tonight.”

“Well, I- I went looking for you guys, but I couldn’t find you, and they say Celestia went somewhere, and Luna’s gone too…”

Applejack threw her head back, nearly bumping the roof of the old truck, and howled with laughter.

“You-you went looking at our high school?! Oh, oh lord, that is… that is a hoot! Heh heh. Twilight, it’s been near 20 years since we graduated!” Her demeanor calmed, and her voice took on a distinct edge. “That’s ‘bout when you stopped comin’ round, too.”

Twilight stared at the steadily sharpening incline of the snow beyond the idling vehicle.

“Applejack… I’m sorry I had to leave. I just got really busy back home, Princess stuff started piling up… I’m trying a whole new thing with the government. And after I found out that your Twilight had appeared…”

Applejacked sighed. “Twilight, I can’t blame ya’. And it aint like ya jus’ dropped us cold turkey. Ya’ visited a few times, always responded when someone wrote. We jus’... stopped writin’, an ya’ stopped comin’. Friends drift apart.” She stared a thousand feet into the darkening evening, focusing on nothing. “It happens.”

“Applejack, I’d just really… really like to catch up.” She sneezed, and her cheeks glowed with embarrassment. Sounding more like Fluttershy than her usual royal self, she mumbled “so I was wondering if I could maybe stay with you for a little while?”

A bit of life filled Applejack’s face as the woman chuckled. “Coarse ya’ can, sugarcube. I’d never turn away an ol’ friend.”

Applejack stretched her left foot forward below the dash, pressed hard against a hidden pedal, and quickly spun the shifter across its track. With a thunk and a jolt, the old truck locked into gear. “But if ya don’t wanna get stuck out here, we’d best be gettin’ along.”

Gravel crunched and spit as the truck merged slowly back onto the empty road, travelling well-below the posted speed limit in the gathering flurry as it ambled back away from the city. As they passed Canterlot High, Twilight scrunched down in her seat, eager to avoid the prying eyes of anyone who may still be looking for her.

Author's Note:

Howdy everyone.

I hope this chapter captured somebody’s interest. 

I’m trying a few new things with this story; most notably being dialogue. I have historically shied away from dialogue because I really don’t talk to that many people, so I don’t really know how people interact and I have a really difficult time imagining it. 

The other big thing I’m trying with this story stems from the fact that it’s actually already done. Well, the rough draft. After how badly my last story bombed (56 reads, 2 likes) I’ve decided to give this ‘scheduled update’ thing a shot. I haven’t decided if it’ll be daily, weekly, or maybe Saturday-Wednesday. No matter the schedule, it will either be five or six more installments. 

Another new thing I’m trying is working with an editor/proofreader. All of my stories so far have been ‘edited’ by my reading them two or three times and then hitting post. That’s how you get stories like “Transplant” (which, while one of my favorite things I’ve ever written, is still a mess that needs further work). I wanted to get a second set of eyes on these next chapters, and see how that helps. So for that I’d like to thank leeroy_gIBZ, for helping get this thing out.