• Published 11th Sep 2019
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Twilight's Nightmare - Nightsclaw

Twilight in her most desperate of moments, issues a cry for help. She was not expecting the Nightmare to be her saviour.

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CH 18 Little Star’s morning in Ponyville 

Trotting through her mother’s castle, Star made her way to the kitchen. Assuming this was real and not just the best dream ever, she had a mission. She pinched her self with her magic, it still hurt.

‘Sixteen’ times you have checked to see if you are dreaming. Grey added.

A part of her still could not believe it, she was her Princess’ daughter, she was going to get wings. Making everything just that much better she had an Aunt and Uncle. Last night was so much fun, the games, all the new ponies. Her face was starting to ache due to how much she had been smiling.

She ran a hoof along the crystal walls, the contact making her feel safe, protected despite being nearly on her own. Her mother was still asleep, as were all the good ponies she had met last night.

Focusing her attention on the incomplete group picture of all of them floating in her aura as she trotted on paying no attention to where she was going. Grey’s familiar voice counting down the steps until the next turning ensuring she could not get lost. Allowing her to keep most of her attention on the lines she inked on to the paper. Her mother seemed so happy with them, she was making sure it would be her best work. Her mother deserved a gift for being the best.

Yes, she could have just asked the spirit in the tree to take her straight there, but she did not want to wake her up in case she was also sleeping in. What would a Crystal Tree spirit want for a gift? Star wondered.

‘Zero.’ Grey announced as Star arrived in the kitchen. Her magic reached out for the tools needed to complete her mission.

‘Eight’ ponies that would appreciate having breakfast ready when they awaken. Grey’s familiar monotone voice informed her.

“Aunty, Uncle and Mummy’s friends,” Star said, applying hoof to face. “It would be mean to only cook for Mummy.”

Grey provided a numbered count of how many ponies would want what dish for breakfast.

“We make a great team, Grey,” Star said setting to work, her aura enveloping most the cookware in the kitchen.

Prancing around, she danced with the many things she was manipulating with her magic. She relished the freedom and joy that wielding her magic gave her. It was nice being able to use it when she did not have Bad Ponies to deal with.

She playfully laughed as the white glow of Grey’s aura took control of a few things, the items moving to block and chase hers. The dance rapidly becoming a game of magical tag. Items darted and weaved about, colour coded auras making it clear their allegiance. A few things got broken, smashed or dented, but it was nothing simple spells could not fix.

Breakfast took much longer to prepare than intended.

After the epic battle of the flying plates, Star had completed another mission, along with the needed clean up. She smiled, pulling some pieces of super-condensed Everfree wild heartwood from her extra-dimensional storage.

She lay everything out on the table, each chunk equally spaced. Two scrolls appeared next to them, her plans for her first pets. She lit her horn with the same modified cleaning spell use used to make an air hole in the great tree the wood had come from.

She diligently set to work, marking, measuring and cutting the pieces into the required shapes. It took time and focus. Oh, no. She thought as one disintegration beam cut too deep, rendering part of the tabletop to dust.

‘Five’ seconds until Cadance arrives. Grey’s helpfully informed Star.

“Thank you,” Star said. Her horn glowed as she twisted space, a slight clink and a plate of fresh pancakes and a cup of tea appeared. With a hoof, she pushed one of her scrolls over the mar in the table. I can fix it later.

Star was really getting to like the fact that you did not have to include the fourth dimension in extradimensional spaces. So no time would pass for anything within it. I am so going to fill one with Ice-Cream! She thought.

Perfectly in time with Grey’s countdown to zero, Star spoke, ambushing Cadance with her greeting. “Good morning Aunty Cadance,” Star said happily, lifting the prepared breakfast in her magenta aura. “Hungry?”

Cadance wings twitched, an instant later a warm smile graced her muzzle. “Good morning Little Star,” she said. She inhaled, eyes looking at the offered food in appreciation. “Oh, why thank you. Did you make them yourself.”

Star nodded. “Yep.”

“Where is yours? Little fillies need to eat to grow up big and strong,” Cadance said, moving over to the table and taking a seat.

“Right here,” Star said, moving aside her work with her aura. A twist of magic and Star’s food took its place on the table.

Cadance flinched slightly, placing a hoof to her horn.

Star looked at her in concern, her mind thinking about the medical books she read when tending to her mother. “Do you need a doctor?”

With a wave of her hoof and a smile, Cadance reassured Star. “It’s nothing, I’m still not as used to this thing as I could be.” She pointed at the Everfree wood as she started to eat her breakfast. “This is really good, thank you. What are you working on?”

“I’m making myself some pets,” Star said with pride.

“Making pets?” Cadance asked.

“Yes... well more like clever golems, but I’m calling them my pets.” She pointed at the Scrolls in turn. “That one is going to be Owlowiscious, and that one is going to be Spike.”

Cadance picked up both scrolls in her blue aura. “So Owlowiscious the owl and Spike, the dog?”

Little Star nodded. “Yep.”

Cadance looked thoughtful for a moment. “You might want to rename Spike, It might get a little confusing when Spike, the dragon your mother hatched, comes back.”

“Mummy lays eggs? Does that mean I will lay eggs too?” Star’s expression was a mix of confusion and worry.

Cadance’s laugh was soft and reassuring. “No, no, she just helped him hatch with her magic.”

“Does that make him like my brother?” Star asked with hopeful eyes. More family? She thought, wondering how many family members she had yet to meet,

“You will have to ask your mother,” Cadance dodged the question.

Star made a note on a scroll. “So is Thorn, all right for a name?”

‘Twenty-one’ seconds until your mother arrives. Grey informed Star.

Cadance nodded. “That should avoid confusion at least.”

Star started clearing another place on the table. “Mummy will be here soon.”

Cadance watched her, something about the look in her eyes made Star worry. What have I done wrong? She thought with panic.

Cadance expression changed in an instant, suddenly all warm concern and love. “Sorry,” she said in a soothing tone.” She pointed to her horn. “Not the best with this thing, I was trying to work out what spell your mother used to message you.”

“Oh, I have some… something that counts things for me, it let me know when she will be here. In, five, four, three, two, one.” Star teleported disappearing in a burst of light, appearing hugging a now started looking and still crystal-covered mother standing in the doorway.

“Good morning my Little Star,” her mother said, wrapping her in loving wings.

“I made everypony breakfast,” Star said, multiple flashes from her horn and both of them were sat at the table, her mother’s plate of Hay burgers in place.

Her mother smiled, hungry eyes fixing on the food as she licked her lips.

“Hay burgers for breakfast?” Cadance asked.

Star nodded, her mother did not seem to notice. Her mother’s eyes were fixed upon her prey.

“Twilight?” Cadance’s voice now held a little concern.

Twilight lowered her head and with a savage bite started to devour the food. Magenta aura and hooves held it in place, preventing any from escaping as the red sauce covered her muzzle.

Cadance laughed and nearly fell from her seat, Star joined in laughing. Mummys such a messy eater. She thought.

Pulling another scroll into the physical world with her magic, she started sketching, she would remember this forever.

Cadance leaned in close. “Never get between your mother and a hay burger.”

Star nodded in response. It really did look dangerous. Note to self, do not transmute anything or anypony I care about into a hay burger. She thought, just to be sure she also noted it down on a scroll.

Cadance let out a small laugh upon seeing what Star had written. “Twilight?” She tried again.

Twilight blinked and slowly looked around, confused. Her tongue and aura cleaned her muzzle, still leaving red splotches on her coat and in her mane. “Good morning, Cadance,” she said, sounding much more composed and respectable than her appearance would indicate.

Cadance horn lit and a plane of reflective crystal appeared before Twilight. “You missed a bit,” she said, trying her best not to laugh. She made no sound, but the shaking of her chest gave her away.

“They were… I just had to have them,” Twilight said, sounding sheepish.

“Well at least with that armour it will be easy to wash off,” Cadance said.

“About that, I would like your help to get rid of it.” Twilight said.

“But it looks pretty,” Star complained.

“Yes, it does have its charms,” Twilight said, looking at her body. “But as with all things, it has its downsides. It is tough to take a proper bath if the water can’t get to your coat.”

“Oh,” Star said.

“What do you need me to do?” Cadance asked.

Star smiled as her mother looked at her. Twilight smiled back as if to say everything will be alright before turning to Cadance.

“I require your aid in smashing this protection. I could ask Applejack, but I doubt she would agree to use enough force. After all, she is not familiar with how durable we Alicorns are.”

‘Zero’ percent chance of any lasting harm. Grey reassured Star before she could worry.

Cadance nodded.

“Will you be alright on your own for a little bit, my Little Star?” Her mother asked.

“Yes, Mummy, I can keep working on my pets.” Star pointed with her horn to the neatly laid out pieces of wood and scrolls.

“Very impressive, I look forward to seeing them once your work is complete,” Twilight said before pulling Star into a loving wing hug.

“See you soon,” Cadance said, hugging her after Twilight finished.

“Bye,” Star said, waving a hoof turning back to her pets, some assembly still required.

Both Alicorns made their way from the room. “About what you said last night…” Was the last Star heard of them before they got out of earshot.

Quickly she lifted the scrolls and cast a mending spell on the table.

‘One’ time you have gotten away with that. Star smiled at Grey’s words. Even with her mother off with Cadance, everything would be fine.

Finishing cutting the pieces did not take long, with all the rune work pre-planned she burned them into the surface with happy abandon.

Grey’s counting of every cut, every mark, how many times she had used each rune. All the numbers were just the normal background sounds of her life now. It was nice being able to tell the difference between the important numbers and the background numbers.

Picking up a single golden fork and a silver spoon she levitated them in the air, a simple shield spell forming around them. A ring of heat-reflecting wards appeared on the inside.

The glow around her horn changed from a steady light to a roiling magenta flame. Leaning forward, she pressed her horn against the shield, willing the flames to pass through it. The flames dripping through the magical barrier, reforming into an orb in the centre. One by one, the runes ringing the inner surface of the shield lit up, reflecting the heat and slightly amplifying the temperature.

“All components cut, check. Runes carved, check. Metal inlays, pending, still waiting on the metal to liquify. Create blood gems, I can do that instead of just waiting.”

Hopping up, she headed over to the kitchen side, grabbing a large bowl and the sharpest knife she could find. A small flash of magic and she and her tools were back at the table.

The knife hung in the air held in her aura. She only needed a little blood, but it was the most important component in crafting her golem cores. I could cast a numbing spell… Star thought before shaking her head. No that might contaminate the blood.

She placed two hoof sized diamonds in the bowl and held her lower-leg over it. Star trembled, the knife looked sharp, she knew this would hurt.

Blood magic can be used for good, and I’ll show you! The forceful thought pushed through her mind. Like the words she had spoken when saving her mother, she did not know where they came from. She only knew it strengthened her resolve.

The blade came down, and in a precise surgical strike, pain flared. Her body loyally reporting it had just been damaged. She closed her eyes, letting out a quiet whimper. Her body shook, but her foreleg held perfectly still.

Reaching into her wellspring, she grabbed a hoof full of her magic and directed it into her blood. Focusing internally the pain lessened.

A red glow breached her closed eyelids, slowly she opened them looking into the bowl. The two gems drank hungrily of the pooling blood, taking on an inner red radiance.

Despite the stinging pain, she smiled. There, not so bad. She thought.

The dripping blood slowed and stopped. Star blinked glancing at her foreleg. Her eyes widened as the wound finished closing. Well, that’s useful. She thought happily before looking at the bowl only being half full. Great now I have to do that again.

Gritting her teeth, she let the blade cut into her flesh, this time with no hesitation. The sounds of dripping blood seemed very familiar, almost soothing like Grey’s counting. The urge to count each drop herself and record it on a scroll nagged at the back of her mind. She ignored it, instead watching the wound and how it healed before her eyes. In less than a minute it was as if it was never there and she had a few sketches of her wound in various states of healing.

Star thought back to saving her mother, looking over her body, she could see no indications of where she had pressed against the searing hot armour. Her coat looked intact. Is this because of who my Mummy is? She thought.

‘Ninety-two’ seconds until you have company. Grey let her know, somehow she knew that meant all the other guests were turning up soon.

Star looked at the bowl, the gems were glowing a brilliant red now. She trusted Cadance and maybe Rarity to not mess with her work. The thought of what Pinkie Pie might do... Better safe than sorry. She thought, sending all the components, the now molten metal, the freshly created blood gems, and even the bowl and knife she used into her pocket.

Another flash of magic and food started appearing on the table, each one with a little note saying who it was for. She looked at her somewhat messy appearance. I need to make sure I’m all clean. No blood or any traces of the epic battle of the flying plates are to be left. She thought.

Quietly, so as not to wake her if she was asleep. Star asked the Tree Spirit to take her back to her room. Luckily the Tree was awake.

Not that long later, Star returned and was almost at the kitchen.

“Pinkie!” Rainbows annoyed voice made Star stop.

“Yes?” Pinkie answered, by the sound of it, she was bouncing around the room. The strange sound she made still making Star’s eyes twitch at the impossibility of it.

“Darling, I think what Rainbow is trying to express, is that somepony clearly went to the trouble of preparing a personalised meal plan for each of us…”

“And you ate all of it,” Rainbow grumbled.

“But it looked so tasty.”

All that work for nothing. Star’s heart fell.

‘One’ time Princess Cadance has enjoyed your cooking. Grey interjected into Star’s gloomy thoughts.

‘One’ time your mother looked silly, eating your hay burgers. Grey continued, Star laughed remembering it.

“Ok, so not a complete waste of time.”

Uncle Shiny leaned around the corner. “Hey good morning...” He was cut off by Star’s Teleport hug.

“Morning Uncle Sleepy Shiny,” She said.

Shining smiled and ruffled her mane as he returned the hug. “Not everypony has your youthful energy, do you know where Aunty Cadance is.”

Star struggled playfully. “She’s helping Mummy stop being all shiny.”

Pink filled her vision. “Don’t be silly, he’s Shiny, your Mummy’s all Sparkly.”

Star jumped before recovering. Her eyes narrowed as she stomped her little hoof. “And you’re a meany pants who ate everyponies’ food.”

“But it was so tasty.” Pinkie pleaded with puppy eyes and a quivering lip.

Star’s expression shifted to thoughtful. “Are you a foal that somepony used an age spell on?” She asked, entirely serious.

Rainbows laughter exploded from inside the kitchen.

“Pinkie’s just Pinkie, Sugercube.” Applejack said, coming round the corner.

‘Four’ seconds until your mother comes around the corner.

Forewarned by Grey, Star looked down the corridor. “Mummy!” she said before launching into another Teleport hug.

Twilight laughed and wrapped both wings around her. “So, how have you been my Little Star,” she asked, leaning down and nuzzling her.

Star had to admit the hugs felt much warmer with the pretty crystal gone. “Fine… I got a lot of work done on my pets. The only bad thing was that Pinkie ate all the food I made for everypony else.”

Fluttershy looked to Star with interest at the mention of pets.

“That mare…” Twilight growled almost inaudibly.

“Then we shall just have to eat out, my treat,” Cadance spoke from slightly behind Twilight.

Walking outside without the Notice-Me-Not spell made Star want to hide. She did not, she would be brave. Mummy is right here and so is Aunty Cadance. She thought taking comfort in the Alicorns looking after her. She teleported, sheltering on her mother’s back.

Uncle Shiny seemed like he would try to protect me, but like me, he is only a unicorn.

Star waved and smiled at everypony, showing that she was nice. But not many were paying attention to her. Nearly all eyes were on Twilight. It seemed like everypony in town wanted to personally greet her mother. They were all glad to see her, all overjoyed she was still alive. Mummy is the best, who would not be happy she is alive? She thought, trying not to think about the Bad Ponies.

As their progress was slow, Star teleported away. Her goal, to do some of the food shopping for the next few days.

Arriving in the shop in a burst of magic, she set straight to work. Lifting her intended purchases in her aura. “Hello, nice day. Can I have these, please?” The merchant jumped at her sudden appearance and just looked at her, stunned. “OK… Here are the bits, thank you, bye.” She said, and then in another burst of light was gone.

This is so much easier when I don’t need to hide. She thought. Putting her new purchases in her pocket. Blinking back to the group, she caught the end of a conversation.

“Just how powerful is she?” Shining asked.

“About twice as powerful as I was, before these,” Her mother waved her wings, then glanced to Star smiling.

Her mother’s friends were giving her a strange look, she was unsure whether to feel proud or hide. Another teleport and Star was back on her mother’s back.

“Definitely part of the family then,” Shining said, with a goofy grin.

“And what can you do that’s that awesome then?” Rainbow asked with a wink.

“Not much, just put a shield over all of Canterlot for days,” Shining answered.

“Unless a Cha…” Pinkie started.

“We don’t want to spoil breakfast, now do we, darling?” Rarity interrupted.

Cadance gave a grateful nod to Rarity. Pinkie looked at Rarity with deadly seriousness. “This is brunch, silly.”

Rainbow groaned. “Maybe for you,” she muttered.

As the group approached and their destination became clear to the ponies around them, a commotion started up ahead. Star watched as the restaurant’s staff fussed and ran around like mad. They clearly had not expected such a group to descend upon their establishment. Two princesses, maybe three if she counted as one. A prince, the Elements of Harmony, whatever they were.

All the staff directed them to their seats while three new ponies joined them, Applejacks and Raritys sisters, Applebloom and Sweetie Bell respectively. The last new pony was Scootaloo, she seemed to be Rainbow’s almost-sister.

The younger ponies were all to be seated together. Star Teleported to claim the seat that also put her beside her mother before anypony else could.

“You can teleport?” Sweetie asked.

Star nodded, “It’s easy.”

“Can you teach me?” Sweetie enthused.

Star looked at her, “Do you know what your magic is aspected with?”

Sweetie’s face looked blank. “What?”

“To be able to teleport, you need to be able to cast Astral Aspected magic.” Star helpfully explained.

“Oh, can I?” Sweetie still sounded confused.

Little Star straightened her pose and got ready to start a magic lesson, she got as far as opening her mother before she was cut off.

“Enough magic talk, why do you look like a smaller Twilight?” Scootaloo declared.

“She’s my Mummy,” Star said, sitting taller with pride.

“You sure your not some sort of clone here to take her place?” Scootaloo leaned in, only to be pushed back by Sweetie Bell’s aura.

“I don’t think…” Star started.

“So Twilight’s your mother… whos your father?” Sweetie Bell chimed in.

“Father…” Star said thinking. Who is my father? She did not know, Star’s expression started to turn sad, her eyes began to shimmer slightly.

“How did you get your cutiemark?” Applebloom asked quickly changing the subject.

Star looked at her flank. “I have always had it.” She shrugged, still sounding a little hollow.

“How is that fair,” Scootaloo mumbled. Star thought she sounded very much like Rainbow.

“So you don't got a cutiemark story?” Applebloom asked.

Star shook her head, “No.”

Applebloom piped up with excitement. “Do you know what it means? Us three started the Cutie Mark Crusaders to discover our marks. Now that we have them, we going round helping ponies find theirs.”

“Or help ponies that are in need of advice about what their Mark means.” Sweetie added.

“Can you help me?” Star’s voice was small. She had no father, did not know how she got her mark. It felt like there was a hollow deep inside of her, empty and yearning to be filled.

“Sure can,” Applebloom said,

“So What’re you good at?” Scootaloo asked.

“Magic?” Star asked hesitantly, she could feel something building in her wellspring. “My special talent is magic,” Star said with pride, pushing her chest out. She grinned as the fact slid home in her mind. Unbidden words came to her. “My name is Little Star, and my special talent is Magic. I’m going to prove there is no such thing as bad magic.”

A strange ripple of magic emanated from both Cadance and her mother. It was odd, she did not feel it in her horn, it was like her entire body vibrated. Star looked up from her food, now ignoring the banter between the other ponies. Did I cause that? No, it came from them. She thought.

Cadance eyes were wide and looking straight at Twilight. Quickly she schooled her expression back to normal.

“Welcome to a little of the truth,” Twilight said so quietly no pony else seemed to react. Her mother’s lips seemed to not move.

“You really wanted to?” Cadance asked. Now Star was paying attention she could sense the air magic being used to make the sound. It was almost entirely concealed by the strengths of their wellsprings.

Twilight nodded the slightest amount.

Cadance looked at Star with just the smallest motion of her eyes. “You can hear us?” she said for only the three of them to hear.

Star copied her mother’s stealth nod. This is just like being in a spy comic. She thought. It only took her moments to work out how to duplicate their method of talking. “What was that spell?” she asked nearly silently.

Cadance raised an eyebrow, it was enough to get Shining’s attention.

Her mother gave her that special proud smile Star loved seeing so much, draping a wing around her in a one wing hug. “Something I will teach you once you have your wings, my Little Star.”

A new spell! Star’s mind exclaimed. It was not just any new spell, it was a super-secret Alicorn spell.

Speaking again at normal volume, her mother asked. “So have you been making new friends?”

Star looked at the three ponies she had been talking to. “Maybe?” She said to her mother. “Would you like to be friends?” She asked the Crusaders.

A mix of loud positive responses blended together. Star smiled. I have more friends. Star thought. “Can we go play?” She asked.

“Do you have your helmet?” Her mother asked.

In a flash of magic said item was upon her head.

“That’s cool, not as cool as Rainbow Dash, but still cool,” Scootaloo said.

Twilight looked around her friends, Star watched the responses of the older ponies.

“Be careful, and make sure you are all home before dark,” Rarity said.

Star nodded “Will do, Bye, everypony,” She said with cheer. She lit her horn and in a flash of magic, Star and her three new friends were gone.

Star lost the rest of the day spending time with her new friends. She was told teleporting was cheating when playing tag. Apparently so was using shields or turning invisible. Star was really going to have to teach Sweetie more spells so they could play Magic tag.

She found out how much fun could be had with creative uses of the Come-To-Life spell. Unfortunately she also found out how hard it was to get things back under control when you follow the CMC’s suggestions on what instructions to give them. Now she had added a new scroll to her collection containing a long list of things not to do with that spell. First on the list is anything the CMC suggests will be fun.

Her last lesson was how hard it was to wash tree-sap out of your coat. That was not a fun lesson.

On her way home, she very carefully avoided the crowd petitioning the mayor to ban her favourite spell within Ponyville.

She smiled at the ink drawing she hand created of all for of them smiling in a group hug, everypony’s names signed along the bottom.

Today was a great day. She thought, her aura opening the door to the Crystal Tree Castle.

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