• Published 18th Oct 2019
  • 11,880 Views, 600 Comments

Time Enough For Three - Valtyra

Twilight finds herself wanting to know more about Celestia and Luna. So she ends up time travelling!

  • ...

Arc 1: Chapter 1

Twilight looked up from the legislation she contemplated vaporizing and rubbed the bridge of her muzzle. There wasn’t that much for her to attend to on account of the Princesses having divided the workload of running the country between themselves, but Celestia had offloaded some document signing to the young Alicorn to keep her busy, much to her mild annoyance, considering that most of the paperwork and letters were sent from nobility trying to butter her up.

She imagined that this was what it was like for Celestia and had begun to take notes on how to deal with it more smoothly. Still, even Twilight could only handle so much paperwork before she began to lose the will to live.

Twilight pushed her chair away from her desk and stepped away, using a flick of magic to snuff out the candle that sat beside her and glanced around her room to see a mess of scattered research papers, books and cork boards which held numerous pictures of artefacts that have, or could, endanger Equestria. Her desk was practically overflowing with legislations and predominantly demands from nobles —miraculously all which were ‘of utmost importance’ and needed ‘urgent signing’. Curiously, some of said papers had found their way onto the unused side of her bed.

Ever since a brand new stone statue was added to the royal vault, Twilight had been spending more time in Canterlot. She still went back and forth between the capital and her castle, but being a Princess meant needing to look like she was ‘invested in the Equestrian triarchy’, as Celestia would often say.

Walking out, she took one last glance around the room just in case she had forgotten anything, and locked the door. It wouldn’t do if any nosy pony found her research.

Moving from Ponyville to Canterlot really hadn’t changed the mare’s proclivity to staying up till ridiculous hours of the early morning and this was just one of those occasions, as she could count how many ponies were up and about, in her section of the castle, on her hooves.

Twilight quickly made her way through the empty halls towards the outdoor gardens. She wanted a breath of fresh air to take her mind away from all the bureaucracy and nobles which were trying their best to ram their muzzles up her tail-hole. The mare really didn’t know why they were trying to get on her ‘good side’, it wasn’t as if she held any political power yet.

Letting out a relaxed sigh at the feeling of soft grass beneath her hooves, she walked over to one of her favourite benches which overlooked the valley where Ponyville sat. With each hooffall, Twilight could feel the weight of the entire day melt off her withers and leaving her at peace once she laid down on the stone bench.

Laying there, she gazed up towards the heavens, marvelling at the sight of a brand new night sky; star formations which had never existed before in the history of Equis.

“I see you’re still up again, Twilight,” Luna stated, raising an eyebrow at the younger mare.

With a startled yelp, Twilight flicked her attention to the mistress of the moon, a frown on her face. “How do you keep doing that?” she asked with a huff.

Luna smiled down at her as her hoof covered her giggle. “My apologies. I really didn't mean to startle you quite so much. Would you mind some quiet company?”

“I would love some,” Twilight said, scooting over to the side. “Though don’t you have night court now?”

Luna shook her head as she sat down next to Twilight, her wing unfurling to cover the mare.

“One would think so, but as usual it did not gain any attendees,” she replied, giving a roll of her eyes at the end. “Even after I’ve been back for so long, they still do not care.”

“They just need some time to warm up to you. Night court is still held relatively late, compared to a regular sleeping schedule, you know,” Twilight said with a reassuring smile, gently nuzzling Luna’s shoulder.

Luna glanced at Twilight for a second, before she sighed. “I know that, Twilight, but it doesn’t make it sting any less,” she said, slightly annoyed. “It doesn’t seem like it has changed much since my banishment.”

“Sorry,” Twilight whispered, resting her head on her forelegs.

Twilight snuggled closer to Luna as a cold breeze blew over them.

“Hey, Luna? What was it like growing up?”

Luna’s ears perked up. “It was... adequate, for the time. Why do you ask?”

“Oh. Well, I’ve been studying pre-Equestrian artefacts and creatures and I realised that I don’t really know anything about you or your sister other than what’s been I could find in the palace archives. I tried to ask your sister, but she seemed distracted and didn’t really help.”
She had tried asking Celestia about her early years on three separate occasions, each attempt ending with Celestia spontaneously remembering something important that needed her full attention.

Luna eyed the younger Alicorn for a second, then shrugged. “As I said, it was adequate. Pre-Equestria was a harsh place, compared to now, but some aspects were worth it.”

“Like what?”

“My sister and I had travelled far and wide and met all sorts of ponies. It was a delightful experience,” Luna explained, smiling. “‘Tis a shame that we can’t do that anymore.”

Twilight’s eyes lit up at hearing this, salivating at the prospect of new knowledge.

“What sort of things did you see?” she began. “What sort of creatures were around before Discord? How old were you when you started?”

Luna blinked at the fast-fire questions Twilight was shooting off and squeezed the mare with her wing, receiving a squeak and a light blush in return.

“Twilight, please. It was a long time ago, even for me,” she said, Twilight mentally taking notes to write down later. “I’m sure that I would have trouble sufficiently describing where we travelled to.”

She then let out an airy chuckle and ruffled Twilight’s mane. “Honestly, I doubt you’d get much more out of my sister either. Even Alicorns forget stuff that happened eons ago. What I can say is that I visited places which aren’t on the map anymore.”

Twilight couldn’t help but find herself pouting ever so slightly, even if her annoyance was betrayed by the light flush coating her cheeks.

“I hate how you can do that,” she mumbled.

“Do what, dear Twilight?” Luna asked with an air of innocence.

“Make me pout,” Twilight huffed while Luna laughed.

The pair lost track of time as they talked about various small topics now and again. It wasn’t until the first few rays of light inched over the horizon and colored the castle towers in shades of fiery orange and red that Twilight had to concede and head off to bed, but not before using all of her willpower to leave the warmth and comfort of Luna’s wing.

Having coaxed herself back to her chambers, Twilight laid still in bed, staring up at the ceiling and letting out a groan at her inability to simply ‘switch off’. This was her curse; the fact that she couldn’t stop once she had an idea.

She swung her legs over the edge of the bed, her magic grabbing a mug of dark roast from her bedside table which she downed in a large swig, grimacing at the bitter taste of cold coffee going down. Slowly, caffeinated energy flowed through her as she made for her stairs, the mug placed back on the table.

Climbing up to the second floor of her suite, Twilight materialized a stack of scrolls from her private collection onto her desk. Finding the one she wanted, she pushed the rest aside, careful not to damage the parchment, then unfurled the scroll on the now clear surface, the golden cursive script at the top reading Momento del Tempo.

“If the Princesses can’t remember,” she muttered with new vigor, pulling up a fresh scroll and dipping a quill in her inkwell. “Then I will go there and find out myself.”

Levitating over a fresh, unmarred scroll, Twilight hummed in thought. Could she really do what she wanted? Was it even a good idea?

Tapping her quill against the inkwell, she wondered what sort of rules that she would need. Plenty of time had passed since Starlight had tried to destroy the world, but the Princess had never truly forgotten how close she had come to losing.

“No stopping established events,” she said to herself, as if convincing herself that it could be a good idea. “Can’t go changing the past. Anything that happened must still happen. No exceptions. But... no pony knows what happened, other than the Princesses...” Twilight crossed out the line and started fresh. “Once everything is done, the universe must go back to the same state as when I left it. There.”

Satisfied, she moved on to the next bullet point.

“As far as I know, the only Alicorns were Celestia and Luna- keep my wings hidden,” Twilight whispered over the sound of her quill scribbling. “I can go without using my wings for a little bit anyway.”

Looking out of the window that overlooked the slumbering city, Twilight wondered about what she would need to bring.

"No modern medicine," she began, listing off what would slow her down if she wound up in a thought spot. Twilight was resourceful, sure, but even she wouldn't survive very long by herself in unfamiliar territory. "Alright, I guess I'll have to pack a travel bag. But nothing that would give away where I'm from."

Twilight couldn't stop her thoughts from drifting back to Celestia and Luna. There were plenty of depictions of the princesses dating back centuries, but none that show them when they had just turned one hundred.

She knew Celestia was at least two thousand years old, but no pony knew exactly and honestly, they were probably too scared to ask at this point. But, if this was to work, Twilight would not only need to ask, but ask in a way that would not raise any suspicion.

Twilight knew for a fact that Celestia would probably try and stop her from carrying this expedition out, citing various magical theories about time travel to state why it was a bad idea. Bad things happened to those who mess with Wild Magic. Unfortunately for Celestia, Twilight was now a fully-fledged princess and she wasn't scared of anything!

’Celestia was still pretty scary when someone wakes her up after the Summer Festival.’

She shook her head and placed her quill down, cleaning it so it didn't scratch the parchment.

The situation did raise an interesting thought. If she was going to the past to, hopefully, spend time with the princesses, why haven't either of them mentioned, or remembered it.

She had three theories. Either she won't go back, in which case they wouldn't have ever met her; she did go back and disguised herself enough for them not to remember her; or Luna was honest and they really didn't remember her.

"I hate time travel," she grumbled with an aggravated huff, making towards the door and using her magic to scoop her up saddlebag.

The Princess's focus was on collecting the equipment she'd need to survive in a less advanced society. Just by virtue of society advancing to the point that living to see the next day was a given, she had taken everything she knew for granted and could scarcely imagine what a world would be like without the luxuries of the modern age. Maybe something out of her fantasy novels perhaps?

Trotting through the halls with her former mentor's sun slowly rising to brighten a new day, Twilight made sure to keep a close eye around her for any would be Alicorns messing her plans, giving respectful nods of acknowledgment to the guards that saluted her as she walked past.

Rounding the corner, Twilight pushed the door to the infirmary open and peeked inside with a smile forming on her face.

"Clean Break!" Twilight called, trotting towards the castle’s resident physician. "It's good to see you!"

Clean Break was a unicorn stallion with a smaller stature than most, only as tall as her withers, but easily as old as Twilight's father. Aside from a few grey hairs, his brown mane was brushed to the side. A well-maintained doctor coat blocked what Twilight knew was a stethoscope and clipboard cutie mark.

His ears perked up upon hearing Twilight's voice and he turned around to reveal his trademark smile.

"Princess Twilight!" he replied, moving in to meet her. "I don't have you scheduled down for, oh let's see," he paused to rifle through his paper, "another six weeks?"

"I'm actually looking for some advice and I was wondering if you could help?"

"I'll try my best to answer anything you ask, Princess,” he replied, tilting his head.

Twilight sat down on one of the chairs next to the patient bed. Levitating her saddlebag off her back, and onto the floor in front of her, she opened the bag and gave the doctor a sheepish look. "What do you know of old Equestrian medicine?"

Twilight felt terrible about having to lie to Clean, but she knew the stallion wouldn't help her if she told him the truth. Still, he did leave with one side of her saddlebag filled with supplies that could last her a couple of weeks, if necessary.

The good doctor had scrounged up plenty of gauze, bandages, antibiotics, a few scalpels and even some painkillers for the young Princess, alongside a reference book detailing the synthesizing of said painkillers . As far as he knew, Twilight was preparing a thesis on the evolution of the medical society over the ages.

With one thing checked from her me tail checklist, Twilight was starting to gain a little pep in her trot. Next thing she imagined she'd need would be currency!

The modern bit had first been minted a few years after Luna’s banishment. Unfortunately for her, there were barely any left in circulation after such a long time. But if there were any left, they'd be in the Royal vault.

Turning her focus there, she trotted through the halls, like normal, until she turned a corner and bumped into somepony. Falling onto her rump with a grunt, Twilight opened her eyes and squeaked.

"Oh, Twilight. Sorry about that," Celestia said, holding out a hoof for the mare with a motherly smile that promised everything was going to be okay. "Somewhere to be so early?"

"Uh, I was actually doing some," she froze for a split second, her brain coming up with an excuse, "research. Into money."


"Yeah! It's really useful in everyday life, and I don’t know much about it."

Celestia's brow raised at that. "Anything specific?"

Twilight's eyes widened and she shook her head, taking a sidestep around the mare and slowly backing away.

"It's a super niche topic that you'd find really boring. More boring than those tea parties the nobles keep inviting you to," Twilight added.

"Well, alright. But I imagine you'll have plenty of time to study old age currency soon," Celestia said over her shoulder, as she began to wander off, leaving Twilight staring at her.

Once Twilight was sure Celestia was gone, she relaxed her posture and placed a hoof on her chest before taking a deep breath. She held it for a few seconds then released, just like Cadence had taught her..

Heart rate back under control, she continued on her way to the Vault, glancing back every now and then. She surmised that if Celestia wasn't stopping her, then either she didn't know, or didn't care. Either way she didn't look angry, which was good enough for Twilight.

Twilight nodded to the two stallions standing guard outside of the practically impenetrable Royal Vault. The Vault was carved into the side of the mountain half a hoof thick, and lined with magic nullifying crystals mined from the Badlands to stop ponies from just teleporting in and out.

The door itself was rather unassuming, a circular metal frame with a slot for an alicorn's horn. Not even a seal for the frame could be seen when the door was closed.

Taking a deep breath, Twilight moved closer and bowed down. She leaned forwards, slid her horn into the hole and winced as she felt the magically enchanted tumblers activate with a number of clicks.

Once inside, she focused her magic, allowing the tumblers to assess her. Within seconds, she felt a hum as the door resonated with her magical signature.

With a heavy clunk, the door opened to reveal shelves upon shelves that seemed to go on ad infinitum, each level filled with crates of varying sizes. Each crate had a number burned into the side, as well as the date when it was stored.

The pair of guards fell in line with the Princess as the Vault door closed behind her, leaving chills down Twilight’s back.

Twilight had heard many a pony wonder what was inside the Vault, and while it was a closely guarded secret of what exactly was in each crate, it wasn't a secret that most of what got stored never saw the light of day again.

It had taken the Princess a whole ten minutes of walking to find the region of the Vault that contained the date she needed. Using her magic to pry open a box nearest to her she tilted her head at seeing a lone toaster sitting at the bottom of the crate.

She took another look at the date, then back at the toaster.

'I’ll personally see to it that whichever archivist put this here gets fired,' she thought, placing the top back on and forcing herself to not go down that path.

It took another minute of searching, and four more open crates, to find one filled with old Equestrian bits. Scooping one out with her magic, Twilight held up the thin nickel coin and slowly mumbled the Olde Equestrian writing that ran around the edge of the coin.

'In the tribes we trust. Let none stand against.'

The bits seemed in a slightly used condition, but usable, nonetheless. Opening her bag, Twilight took out what seemed felt was reasonable without coming off as rich.

'I could pretend to be a trader from a far-off land. It might explain some of the exotic items I’m carrying,' she reasoned, closing her bag then glancing at the guards. "Time to head back."

The two guards nodded and fell back to their spots on either side of her as they made for the exit.

It didn't take them long to reach it and Twilight gave her thanks as she left, checking another task off on her mental checklist.

"Alright," she mumbled to herself, once again lost in thought. "Now for clothes."

At this point, Twilight was a little weirded out at how easy it had been to collect things. Usually for an adventure like this, some calamity would befall her, but it had been exceedingly calm. For once, she could blame it on all of the adventure books she had read.

"Clothes," she muttered, "where can I find clo- Rarity."

With a crack of magic and flash of purple light, Twilight was gone, leaving a scent of burning ozone in her wake.

The mare felt as if her body was being pulled in every direction at once as reality warped around her, depositing her in the middle of Ponyville. Twilight pulled herself off the ground and began the short trek over to Carousel Boutique as she dusted herself off.

The town of Ponyville was relatively quiet this time in the morning, but the few ponies that were out and about bowed to the Princess as she passed by, receiving still rather awkward waves and smiles.

'I guess I have plenty of time,' she thought, rolling her eyes at her own pun.

Finding a soft patch of grass to sit down on, Twilight pulled off her saddlebag and watched the ponies go about their daily rituals. She could see Pinkie bounce around, moving from house to house delivering orders for hungry ponies.

A smile adorned her face as she laid down under the shade of an oak tree. All at once, Twilight’s exhaustion made itself known with a loud yawn. . Closing her eyes, she could feel herself drift off and barely a minute later, she was asleep.

Twilight was awoken by the sound of a soft thump next to her ear. A quick peek reassured her that it was Rainbow Dash landing next to her and kicking up a cloud of loose dirt..
"Oh, come on!" Rainbow huffed, flapping her wings to waft the dirt cloud away.

Twilight pulled her head off her hooves and smirked when Rainbow had settled down. The mare hadn't changed much since Twilight's coronation. Instead of her old tomboyish style, her hair was longer and shaggier, with a curl or two, which she hid expertly, but anyone looking close could see them.

"Look who dropped by," Twilight laughed, as Rainbow gasped and jumped in fright.

"I thought you were asleep!" Dash squeaked, now facing Twilight. "But I should be asking you that. You do have a bed in the castle, right? Or did they throw it out after you kept sleeping in your laboratory?"

"No, they didn't," Twilight replied, shaking her head. "I was just passing by on my way to Rarity's and found myself a little tired."

"Late night studying again?"

Nodding, Twilight shrugged. "How could you guess."

Dash shrugged her withers and gestured to Twilight's saddlebag. "What'cha got in there?" she asked, trying to pick it up and letting out a grunt as she struggled to lift the bag off the ground. "What the hay do you even have here?!"

Twilight smiled as she watched, a hint of playfulness emerging. "Oh, you know. Just some loose change. I'd have expected a Wonderbolt to be able to lift it."

Using a hoof to pick up the saddlebag, Twilight rose off the ground and placed it on her back, grinning.

"Stupid Alicorn strength," Dash grumbled with a small pout.

Twilight chuckled to herself and fluffed up her wings. "Coming?" she asked, Gesturing to the town.

Dash shrugged. "Sure."

With that, the pair began their walk, with Dash hovering beside Twilight.

"I like the new mane. How did Rarity finally convince you?"

Rainbow's cheeks flushed slightly at Twilight's question and she looked away. "We, uh, dateandstuff," she mumbled.

"Sorry, I couldn't quite catch that?"

"We're dating, alright!"

Twilight blinked at the answer.

"Wait, you and Rarity? I can't say I saw that coming," she said, a wide smile forming. "I'm happy for you both!"

"I-It's embarrassing, okay."

Twilight frowned ever so slightly. "Dating Rarity is embarrassing?"

Dash's eyes shot open. "No, of course not!" she retorted, shaking her head. "It's just," Dash sighed and lowered herself to the ground, "it's embarrassing that I'm dating at all."

"Why?" Twi asked bluntly as she slowed to a stop. "I wouldn’t have thought that the great Rainbow Dash would be embarrassed by ‘mushy feelings’ ".

Twilight struck a pose, her wings flared as she tried a, poor, imitation of Dash's voice. "I'm Rainbow Dash! Wonderbolt extraordinaire! Fastest flier in all of Equestria!"

Dash rolled her eyes as she let out a 'blugh' at the imitation. "That was awful," she said, nudging her friend.

"I can do a sonic rainboom and clear the skies in ten seconds flat!" Twilight teased..

Ducking to dodge a hoof, Twilight let out a snort and a laugh as Dash tried to tackle her. She jumped off to the side and began to gallop into town, Rainbow Dash on her tail.

"Get back here, nerd!"

Screeching to a halt outside of Rarity's boutique, Twilight used her magic to turn the handle and move inside, ringing a bell that signaled a customer.

“Be right there,” Rarity said from around the corner.

Dash swooped in, passing Twilight to see her marefriend first, a wide smile on her face.

"Rarity! Guess who I found," Dash said, turning the corner and disappearing from view.

"Dashie!" Rarity replied, sounding much happier than a few seconds ago.

Twilight rolled her eyes, then trotted around the corner. She saw Rarity nuzzling Dash affectionately, the latter slightly squirming from the attention.

"Looks like you two are having fun."

Letting out a gasp, Rarity rushed up to Twilight and hugged her. "Darling! It's been a while!"

"It's good to see you too, Rarity," Twilight said, hugging her back.

"This is a pleasant surprise, but why are you here?" she asked, pulling back. "There's not another invasion is there? It won't do to push back even more commissions. "

Twilight shook her head as Rarity pulled her over to the couch. "No, nothing of the sort. It's been extremely quiet. Besides, all the girls would get a formal summons to Canterlot if that happened."

"Oh. I hope you'll excuse my jumping to that. But those sorts of things do happen quite often when you’re involved."

"It's fine, really," Twi replied, waving a hoof. 'I'm actually here to have some clothes made."

Rarity's eyes sparkled. "My dear, tell me more!" she ordered, magically pulling a measuring tape over. "A dress? Casual clothes? Maybe something a little more...intimate?"

The Princess shook her head. "I'm afraid I'll have to disappoint. I'm actually studying old Equestria and I've just made it to fashion." She ignored Rarity’s look of disappointment. "I know it's short notice, but I was hoping to show off some authentic designs."

Rarity's mood shot right back up. "So you came to me to create old Equestrian fashion to show off to Canterlot."

"Of course. Where else would I go?"

Twilight watched as Rarity began to think of ideas.

Sighing, Twilight waved her hoof in front of Rarity's eyes, snapping her out of it. "Rarity. They have to be old Equestrian. That means no frills, no fancy techniques, and no jewels!"

Gazing up at Twilight, Rarity grew more and more despondent upon hearing the rules. "But, but-"

"And they have to fit my old unicorn size. I assume you still have my measurements?"

Despite her personal qualms on the theme, Rarity nodded.

"Great. I know it’s not the Grand Galloping Gala, but it would really mean a lot to me."

Twilight didn't want to lie, but it was the easiest way of diverting the risk of worrying her friends, even though she would be gone for barely a nanosecond, from their perspective.

"Oh don’t be ridiculous, darling. It may not be avant-garde, but it’s still for a friend. When and how many do you need? I can start work straight away."

Twilight rubbed her chin in thought. "Well, ideally I need something that could be used in winter and one for summer. Then a couple of replacements in case anything is torn."

"That shouldn't take me too long to create. Though it sounds like you want them to be function than form?"

The Princess nodded. "They're old Equestrian garments. Everything was harsher back then, and ponies made due with what they had," she said, her voice having taken a more lecturing tone.

It was Dash's turn to speak up as she moved closer to Rarity and wrapped a wing around her. "Sorry, Twi, but it might have to take a little longer than usual," she said, turning to Rarity. "Don't you remember? We have our date night tomorrow."

Rarity gasped. "I got so wrapped up. Sorry, Dashie," she replied, nuzzling Rainbow.

"I guess I can get started on one tonight, if you can get the books to me quickly? I would think the summer outfit. From what I remember, the outfits weren't quite as elaborate as some ponies would imagine."

Twilight nodded. "That's alright, Rarity. Do what you can. You and Dash are more important," she replied, grinning. "What have you got planned, if you don't mind me asking?"

"Dash promised to take me to the opera in Manehattan; so romantic, " she sighed, leaning against her marefriend and fluttering her lashes.

Giggling at Dash's awkwardness, Twi asked, "How long have you two been dating? Also, how come no pony told me?"

The pair stiffened and averted their gaze.

"Well, you were so busy in Canterlot after your coronation that we didn't want to bother you," Dash replied, rubbing her neck.

Rarity continued for her. "We spent some time together that night. One week later, she invited me on a dinner date, and it spiraled from there. She was so cute the first time we kissed."

Twilight did her best to hold a straight face as Dash's cheeks were set ablaze. "I- I can still refund the tickets!"

The mare placed a hoof on her chest in her best ‘I-am-offended’ look. "You would do such a thing?! Maybe I won't make that new flying suit you want!"

Dash looked away, a playful huff leaving her. "It's a good thing I'd never actually resort to such under-hoofed tactics."

Rarity rolled her eyes and nuzzled Dash's neck.

"Thanks, Rare. I owe you a big one, but I should really get going. Plenty to plan!"

Reappearing in her room, the mare took a few seconds to reorient herself and place her bag down. Looking out the window showed it was just past midday; plenty of time to go about collecting the items needed to create a stable portal into the past.

Twilight looked around at her massive collection of books, eyes drifting critically over the spines for all the ones that Rarity could use for reference, and teleported a small stack over to the boutique.

Quickly, she levitated a box of chalk over from her blackboard and began to draw out a ritual circle on the floor, having dragged her tables to the edges of the room. Her chalk ran over the smooth wood effortlessly and she drew a triquetra that span across several hooves.

Levitating the scroll from her desk over, she unfurled and copied the contents down, making sure not to disturb the symbols. She did add a few additional symbols, so that anyone looking in the room wouldn’t notice the exit portal, as well as one of her own design that would not allow anypony except herself to pass through.

Nodding in satisfaction, Twilight rolled the scroll up and placed it on the table.

Gazing down at her work, Twilight couldn't help but grin. Not a single mark out of place; her best work yet. She would, however, need one additional item if she was to activate the portal; a living relic that exist before the jump in time, and continues to exist unto the present. Anything non-living would cause the ritual to fail. Fortunately for Twilight, there were two princesses in the castle that fit the description.

A hair from one of the Princesses. Either would do, but Twilight guessed she'd have better luck from Luna as she imagined she would be asleep, giving Twilight a chance to slip in and out undisturbed.

Nodding in acceptance of her plan, Twilight left the room and travelled towards Luna's wing of the palace, whistling a jovial tune.

Nearing Luna's chamber, she saw two ponies guarding the entrance and slipped behind a nearby pillar. She wondered if she could silently teleport directly into the room, but realised the flash would no doubt wake the Princess up and alert the guards. After mulling it over, Twilight realised that with the midday sun out, the Princess would most likely have her curtains closed.

Grinning at her idea, she closed her eyes and felt the pull of her short-range teleport. With an instant, she was standing outside on Luna's balcony, the wind rushing past and knocking her off balance. Thinking fast, Twilight expanded her wings stabilise, and moved close to the balcony door, nudging it open with a silent creak.

Luna’s bedchambers were rather spartan. The floor tiles were crafted from smooth obsidian slates, upon which sat several rugs of varying sizes from animals which Twilight couldn't identify. Inevitably, the domed design of the room pushed the eye upward towards the ceiling, where lay a dizzying depiction of the night sky; stars and constellations swirling in orbit as if stolen from space by the mare that designed them. Pushed up against the wall opposite to the balcony doors, Princess Luna was sleeping soundly. Off to the right, there was a long oak writing desk, as well as a fireplace stacked with logs.

Wincing as her hoof rapped against the obsidian black tile of Luna's bedroom with a harsh thud, Twilight looked over to the Princess to see if she had woken up. Thankfully for her, Luna was a heavy sleeper—a handy trait if one was traveling between dreams.

Chastising herself for not being more careful, Twilight cast a silencing spell and moved inside. Once over to the bed, Twilight froze, finding Luna to be mesmerising.

The low light seemed to enhance the Princess's natural beauty, bringing out the stars and galaxies in her mane, and letting Twilight see another, calmer side of the mare.

Closing her eyes, Twilight shook her head upon feeling the beginnings of a blush form on her cheeks.

'Calm yourself, Twilight. It’s just Luna,' she mentally chastised herself, looking away from the sleeping form.

With ease, she reached out with her magic into Luna's ethereal mane and gripped the middle of it with two individual auras of magic.

Pulling in opposite directions, she snapped part of it off and gently drifted it over to herself before moving back towards the balcony, the ethereal material solidifying into a dark blue lock of hair. Making sure to keep the silencing spell active, Twilight inched her way back towards the balcony, closing the door behind her with a soft click.

Finally, outside, Twilight let out the breath she had been holding and charged her horn. With a ’snap’ she was gone, teleported away into her room! Levitating Luna’s ethereal strand of hair over to the center of the pentagram, the chalk lines began to glow a soft azure.

She let go of the hair, letting it hover in the center and began to chant, her mind focusing on the point in time she would be travelling back to.

Astra, mistra, caltro

Astra, baltra, castra

Astra, chrono, crista!

Her horn flared with a blinding purple light as she leaned forward and pressed her tip against the suspended strand of ethereal mane. In a split second, Twilight was pushed back as a blast of magical energy was released, knocking over desks and vaporising some scrolls closest to it.

Hovering in front of her, half a meter off the ground, was a tear in the fabric of reality, showing an image of grassy plains, with a towering mountain spread out into the distance.

Twilight rubbed her eyes and reached out to push a hoof through. She could feel the warm sunlight cover her hoof and shivered, her room suddenly feeling chilly.

She pulled her hoof back through, noting a soft ripple cascading over the surface and began to take notes on the other side. She noted that the other side didn’t particularly seem dangerous, but she had come to understand that looks can be deceiving.

Twilight paced back and forth inside Rarity’s boutique, waiting for the clothes to be finished. Of course, she felt impatient, what with the ‘time portal’ sitting in her chambers back in Canterlot. She had given very strict orders for several guards to stand outside and stop anyone that might want to be a little nosy.

The sound of Rarity working hard could be heard from behind her door, leading Twilight to worry that it wouldn't actually disguise her. Though, she surmised, anything would be better than nothing, especially if she was to go with the identity of a trader.

And yet, she stopped, frozen in place for a second as her brain reminded her that she could have made a glaring error.

Twilight frowned, lost in thought. She would need a name that she could quickly recognise and respond to; an alias so that the Princesses wouldn’t draw a connection between past Twilight and present Twilighta name similar enough to her own but not similar enough for the Princesses to remember.

Of course, the mare had several ideas almost instantly, many of which were owned by ponies she knew, but none that really stood out as something that she could use. But suddenly, a name called to her: Moon Light.

Yes, it encompassed everything she loved. Luna’s Moon and Celestia’s light. She knew it was a bit clichéd, but she doubted that anypony back then would really notice anything wrong.

With a ’click’, Rarity’s door swung open with a practically glowing mare bouncing out. Rarity seemed more like a sugar-rushed Pinkie Pie than her normal self and Twilight turned to her with a hint of worry. At least, until the clothing she had asked Rarity to craft floated out afterwards.

Every part was made out of materials that would wouldn’t look out of place in some sort of fantasy movie, but Twilight knew that Rarity wouldn’t embellish the final product without her blessing, and thus only made Twilight’s excitement grow.

“Darling, I outdo myself every time I try something new!” Rarity laughed, levitating the garment over to Twilight.

Circling the clothing, Twilight gave it a critical eye, causing Rarity to sweat under the pressure. The piece itself was well made, as expected. Layers of leather covered up and wrapped around the midsection, with a thin layer of cotton acting as additional padding from the elements.giving protection as well as warmth due to being interlaced with thin cotton to protect from the elements.

The leather extended forwards to cover the chest and front legs, ending at just above the fetlocks.

“This is,” Twilight whispered, before turning to Rarity, “incredible!”

Rarity found herself beaming with pride.

“I- I’m so happy you think so. Once I saw how intricate parts of the clothing were, I put my other orders on hold.”

Twilight smiled as she wrapped her magic around the clothing and took it from her friend. "I can’t express how grateful I am for this. I’ll make it up to you, promise.”

Rarity shook her head, cheeks darkening. “Stop it, Twilight,” she replied, waving her hoof. “You know I don’t charge friends. .”

Twilight went to retort, but Rarity cut her off. “Don’t you dare. Now, get out of here alright,” she ordered, shaking her head. “You have research to do!"

Twilight sat on the edge of her bed; the old-equestrian clothes laid out behind her as she looked into the mirror she had dragged over from the corner of her chambers. With a sigh, she stood up and glanced to each of her wings. As much as she loved them, she knew she wouldn’t be able to keep them when she went back if she wanted any chance at blending in.

Closing her eyes, she pushed her magic into her horn, ready to cast her spell. She felt a little anxious about this, though, and took another quick glance at her wings, before casting her spell.

With a groan of discomfort, Twilight dropped to her knees and gasped in pain. Her wings shrunk down and faded from view until there was nothing to indicate that she had been an Alicorn at all!

Twilight pulled herself up off the floor with a grunt of exertion. The room spun, but she kept it up and was quickly on her hooves. She felt the effects of magical exhaustion but fought herself not to pass out once more; she had things to do and it wouldn’t last long anyway.

Nearing her bed, she picked up the first piece of her costume, her silk undervest. Sliding it on, she buttoned it up slowly, taking pleasure in the fact that it fit so well.

Her hoof slid across the cotton shirt and pulled it on, then her leather padding which held everything down tightly against her body. Looking into the mirror, she could see bags under her eyes had formed and her mane was out of place, causing her to groan.

She ran her hoof down her outfit and took a few experimental breaths in and out, making sure that everything would move correctly and cracked a smile as she smoothed her mane back. With a grunt, she struck a pose strikingly similar to something Daring Do would make, grinning to herself in the mirror.

“Wow,” the mare mumbled, finding herself looking like she had just jumped out of a fantasy novel, what with leather wrapped up around her neck and half-way down her forelegs.

She took another, slower, deep breath and pulled herself out of her bedroom. Walking up to the portal, she levitated her saddlebag over and placed it onto her back, finding solace in its weight.

With one last check to see if she had missed anything, and one last look around her room, Twilight nodded then stepped into the portal, feeling the liquid surface resist her for but a moment, before splitting open and depositing her on the other side!

Author's Note:

Heya! <3

I'm so glad you decided to click on and read this first chapter. Please place any criticisms in the comment section.
Also, I'd love to know what sort of things that you'd think Twilight would enjoy about the younger Princesses!

Thanks for reading!