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This story is a sequel to Little Memories


After two long, painful years, Twilight Sparkle has finally regained her lost memories. Unfortunately, her remembrance has come at a terrible price...

Exiled from her home city of Canterlot and haunted by the whispering voice of Midnight Sparkle, Twilight has been tasked with opening a mysterious chest presented to her by the Tree of Harmony. To do this, she must prove to her friends - and to herself - that she is still worthy to wield the Element of Magic. But with her own mind threatening to swallow her whole at every turn, her task will be far from easy. If she is to succeed, Twilight must face her fears and come to terms with what she allowed herself to become, or fall prey to the shadow whispering in her ear...

Thankfully, she does not have to carry this burden alone.


Beware spoilers in the comments!

Edited by Chromio

The cover art was drawn by Hagalazka

This is the fifth story in the Little Flashes series. Reading through the previous stories is intensely encouraged to understand the events of this story.

Chapters (12)
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Comments ( 158 )

That was efficient. Our not-an-alicorn princess and not-a-princess alicorn are back!

And so the 5th chapter of the saga has begun...

Great start!

Could the dream be a premonition for things to come in the future?

I think the art cover for this story in this series is the best one so far!

I am SO hyped for this.

10202120

Could the dream be a premonition for things to come in the future?

Each and every one of the mainline Little Flashes stories has opened with a dream sequence, and Keys is no different. Each and every one, in some capacity (with the exception of Choices, because I hadn't consciously decided to retain this motif) is in some way indicative of the contents of the story, hinting at the overall theme and foreshadowing future events and / or ideas.

But I won't spell it out to you. I will let the audience be the detectives and piece it together as we go. More fun that way. ;)

JMP

Dreams were hard to parse at the best of times, especially without Luna’s help, and somehow, a spiteful part of Twilight felt that Luna wasn’t going to be helping her out anytime soon.

I was about to write a comment speculating on whether there would be any truth to that, but then I actually reread the chapter where Twilight was handed her punishment. Luna might be more...sympathetic in this story. But the banishment remains firm.

Missing the eqiestria girls tag

10202193
But... Equestria Girls has nothing to do with this fic.

10202275
I think they got that idea because Midnight Sparkle is in the description.

10202366
Aaah, yeah that'd make sense.

Not the same Midnight, though. Her name is really just a reference to that Midnight and nothing more.

Excellent, glad to see the next part in this story. Looking forward to more.

10202105
Well, yes, exactly. I'm looking forward to the further development.

Glad to see this latest story in the series started. The exchanges, characterizations and future chapter set-up are quite well done in all the right places. Yeah, I could see Twilight's nightmare being that rough. And, yeah, I DID love Rainbow being supportive, even if Twilight is still reluctant to talk about the nightmare.

VERY certainly looking forward to more of this.

Harmony plans to get things back on track clearly, but getting Twilight to the place where she can be Princess of Friendship like she's supposed to be isn't going to be easy.

Cool! I'm so glad to see this is finally starting up again. Love this whole series... :twilightsmile: It's five in the morning where I am, so I can't make time right now, but I'll definitely check out the first chapter tomorrow. Love the cover art, by the way!

It may be 3 AM here in England right now but that won't stop me from reading this! So happy this is coming back!

This is gonna be good, but I have to finish reading Little Memories first. XD
I really like this cover's art style. Cover arts for the earlier stories in this series are good, mind you. This, however, looks absolutely enthralling!

10202782
For a second there I misread your name, and I was so happy.

Then I checked the spelling again...

And I am still happy because another person likes my stuff. :D

Right.

Not sure why Luna would ban her. She did something horrible to family, but Luna has done the same thing. At least Twi wasn’t bad enough to literally be stuck on the moon. You’d think Luna would at least have compassion for someone going through the same things she did. Maybe that’ll change though. Maybe she has a good reason.

Why does Dash have her memories back? Did something happen after the we’re ripped from her skull? Did I miss a vital chapter at the end of the last book?

10202961
It would seem you missed a few...

Luna banished Twilight from Canterlot as a part of her punishment for turning into Midnight and stealing the memories from a lot of innocent ponies, causing them a great deal of psychological pain and potentially long-lasting damage. This sentence will be lifted upon opening of the Season 4 chest and adequately making up for her previous blunder.

As for Rainbow's memories, Twilight was able to restore them by taking her back to the Tree of Harmony and using the Elements in combination with her Failsafe spell to return all of the memories she stole. This act was very nearly lethal, as the Tree openly rejected her in her state as a Fallen Alicorn. It granted her just enough power to undo her mistake and turn back to normal before withdrawing its power from her entirely. Twilight is not currently capable of physically approaching the Tree of Harmony, and will not be able to until she opens the chest. It will cause her physical pain if she tries.

And we know the Tree is willing to get brutal, we've seen it in the show with the Mean six, so this is in character for the old thing.

Neat, thanks for correcting me.

It’s been a while since I’ve read this series. I’m really looking forward to what happens next!

Keep up the good work, and please ignore the haters like me who can’t be bothered to remember the correct storyline

I don’t remember the end of the last book very well, so I’ll need to reread that one, at least--and probably the whole series--but this one seems off to a good start. Looking forward to it.

I did notice one thing that really threw me off for a moment, before I realized it was a typo:

Something was off about it, though. Her eyes were all wrong. Her pupils had narrowed into draconic slits, her fur had darkened considerably, and her wings had turns curved and imposing like poisoned daggers. Peeling back her lips, she saw sharpened teeth and vampiric fangs, and trails of wispy, ghostly blue magic were leaking out of her eyes.

Should be turned I believe.

And here we have another chapter in the Twilight and RainbowDash don't get to be happy series

10203183
Heh, it's sad how accurate that's wound up becoming. I swear, I did not set out with the plan to make this series as sad as it is when I first wrote Glimpses. I aimed for it to be only slightly darker than the show if it were willing to tackle darker themes like adoption, death, and being an orphan. It just kinda escalated when I did Choices, though.

Wait, what? But Little Changes ain't finished yet.

10203185

Heh, it's sad how accurate that's wound up becoming. I swear, I did not set out with the plan to make this series as sad as it is when I first wrote Glimpses. I aimed for it to be only slightly darker than the show if it were willing to tackle darker themes like adoption, death, and being an orphan. It just kinda escalated when I did Choices, though.

I don't think anything tops Consequences as far as utterly impossible situation, no light, no hope, no win scenario, Discord mind fuckery, Kobiyashi Maru, characters forced into making awful choices, suffering emotional and mental breakdowns, getting tortured to the brink of death, literally murdered and dying in each other's arms. Everything that's come after has been a cakewalk compared to that! :rainbowlaugh: But who knows what kind of tomfoolery Tirek will bring?

Embrace your shadow, Twilight. It's true; it's a part of you, and you must embrace it.

Just as Luna has embraced hers. Just as Rainbow Dash has embraced hers. Just as Celestia, even, has embraced hers.

Deny your shadow, or indulge it at your peril, for each indulgence is another crack in the fortress keeping it out.

Embrace your shadow, or ignore it at your peril, for denying your shadow exists is an invitation through fortress gate, left open wide and unguarded.











What was I talking about?

Alrighty! New "Little Flashes" entry, new mysteries and theories to dissect! The game is afoot!

There were... things by the sides of the road. Shadowy lumps and shapes that she dared not turn to look at. She didn’t want to see the bodies. She didn’t want to remember the ponies she had hurt. She couldn’t bear it.

Okay, so up to this point, I believe all of this is mostly a reference to the End of the last story and establishing Midnight Sparkle as an underlying anatagonist in this story as well. As for the "Shadowy Lumps," considering who shows up later in this dream, I'm theorizing this is either a reference to the the ponies Midnight stole memories from at the end of "Little Memories," OR it's foreshadowing for all the ponies Tirek stole magic from.

She slid to a stop by the gates, trying to open them with her magic. A spark of confusion shot through her when her horn did not respond. She lifted a hoof to rub at her forehead, only to discover that her horn was missing. Her eyes went wide, terror grabbing her already panicking heart in an iron grip. “W-what?! Where’s my horn?!”

The absence of her horn is likely foreshadowing her magic being stolen by Tirek.

“Did you forget?” the voice taunted her from behind. “You’re not welcome in this city anymore. The Princess of the Moon saw to that. They won’t help you. Nopony will. All you have is me. All you will ever have is me...”

I'm guessing this line is foreshadowing for Twilight's central character arc in this story, reckoning with the fact that Midnight Sparkle is a part of her, just like how Nightmare Moon is a part of Luna.

Instead of the owner of the voice, she instead saw a tree made of blue crystals staring back at her, the Elements of Harmony set into its branches with hers set into the trunk. It glowed brilliantly at her, almost blinding. At the base of its trunk, rising from its roots, was a pedestal that opened like a flower to reveal a six-sided crystal chest. Each face was host to a keyhole.

This is a reference to the central plot of this story and Twilight's goal. HOWEVER, I do think that since the "voice" was replaced by the Tree of Harmony, I have to think it's possible Twilight's relationship with the tree, on her end, will get a bit rocky through this story.

Twilight swallowed heavily. “The… the Tree of Harmony?” she asked, looking up at the tree with her ears drooping. A hoof subconsciously lifted up to rub at her throat. A phantom pain danced across it, and she shuddered at the memory of having the literal life crushed out of her by its will when she had come back to it, Rainbow’s limp form in tow.

Flashback to the end of the last story to establish Twilight's relationship with the Tree of Harmony, but considering who is coming, I have to wonder if this may happen again.

Illuminated by the firelight, Twilight could make out the prone forms of five mares and a baby dragon: Spike, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, and Applejack. All of them were unconscious and the flames were drawing closer to them. Twilight’s heart skipped a beat when she saw something moving in those flames. It was enormous; moving slowly and deliberately with malevolent confidence. Thunderous steps rocked the earth as it went, betraying the raw physical power of the owner.

It's motherbucking Tirek, baby! I can only imagine the fire is also a reference to Tirek as well, metaphorically representing him while not revealing him outright, but considering the state of the Mane 5 and Spike, I have to think this is either a worst-case scenario type thing so that Twilight will be spooked into paranoia OR, Tirek will actually gain the upper hand. Twilight doesn't have all the magic of the alicorns like she did last time.

“Gah!” Twilight gasped and fell back to her haunches as she ran face-first into an invisible wall. She rubbed a hoof over her nose before looking up in confusion. The air before her shimmered, rippling like the surface of a pond before a mirror materialized before her. She could see her reflection in its surface.

Something was off about it, though. Her eyes were all wrong. Her pupils had narrowed into draconic slits, her fur had darkened considerably, and her wings had turned curved and imposing like poisoned daggers. Peeling back her lips, she saw sharpened teeth and vampiric fangs, and trails of wispy, ghostly blue magic were leaking out of her eyes.

Okay, this is where I think I have the basic premise of the story down. Season 4 plays out roughly the same as the show, with the added parts of Twilight struggling with Midnight Sparkle being a part of her. MAYBE we might get a DIscord return again. That's a possibility. However, considering Twilight ran into an invisible wall (Just like one of Triek's bubbles he used in the S4 finale), I'm theorizing that Tirek will actually WIN at first, since Twilight doesn't have the alicorn magic as last time (I could EASILY see somepony getting a Flash of Twilight getting all the alicorn magic and Luna shoots the idea down of doing it again, due to Twilight being volataile becuase of Midnight Sparkle, which could lead to Tirek getting the upper hand). So, while Tirek has her captive, Midnight Sparkle takes advatage of Twilight being alone with her thoughts to convince her to let her out, considering that Midnight Sparkle is the only way to give Twilight enough power to escape Tirek's capture and defeat him and save everypony.

She screamed in a mixture of pain and fear as she felt her horn growing out again. It wasn’t right, however., being pale blue and aglow with ghostly magic. She could feel her wings contorting and teeth sharpening in her mouth. “No! NO! STOP!”

The fact that her horn grows out again is MAJOR evidence for my previous theory. The horn growing out again represents Twilight gaining magic now that Midnight Sparkle has taken over. However, it's STILL Midnight Sparkle, a Fallen Alicorn that uses Dark magic, so the horn being pale blue and aglow with ghostly magic is used to represent how different Midnight's Sparkle's Dark magic is to Twilight's reguler magic that Tirek stole.

“You cannot run from who you are.”

Twilight threw her head back, a long, guttural scream tearing past her lips. Her vision was flooded with darkness, and her soul went dark.

And this is basically the central theme of the story, and also representative of the moment of the story where Twilight finally lets go and lets Midnight Sparkle take control to defeat Tirek, for better or for worse, well, we'll just have to wait and see.

I'll likely be making new theories as new information comes to light, but this is what I have right now.

10203586
I'll have to agree. Consequences was such a gut-punch that I'm kind of ready for anything now for this series. Now that I know Ski is willing to go there, then I was better prepared for it when Midnight Sparkle came out the first time.

I'm ready for whatever this story's got.

10203698

Embrace your shadow, Twilight. It's true; it's a part of you, and you must embrace it.

Carl Jung called it "owning your own shadow."

10203842
I will say: Some of your predictions are right, some of them are wrong.

10203474
It doesn't need to be. Changes is a crossover spinoff I co-write with Tom117z and we only ever write it on Mondays. It's not canon to my main series, and it's not really all that time consuming to work on.

10203933
Looking forward to seeing which is which.

10203905
Well, thank God someone knows what I'm talking about. I sound a little bit less pretentious now.

This is a good setup for what's to come.

Great chapter!

Questions-

Are we going to see Rainbow in Canterlot with her family?

Are we going to see more of Rainbow Dash in “Princess Mode” (taking charge, going political, being serious) in this story?

Is Rainbow going to point out to her mother that it may not be a good idea to report to her about Twilight’s behavior all the time?

Is Twilight going to reveal to Rainbow, Spike, and maybe the others about her darker side early on in the story?

Is Twilight going to have a flash the moment she’s tearing apart hamburgers?

I still wanna see Twi punching Luna in the face. Luna's half the reason Twi fell.

VERY good job on this latest chapter. Love the work that went into the exchanges, characterizations and future chapter set-up in all the right places. I particularly liked the detail of Twilight sending Spike out basically as an excuse so she wouldn't be taking her frustrations out on him as well as the set-up for this universe's version of "Castle-Mania", the letter from Twilight's folks AND Twilight reminding HERSELF that students are SUPPOSED TO ask their teachers for help when they have a problem they can't figure out on their own.

All in all, very certainly looking forward to more of this.

JMP
JMP #40 · May 4th · · 1 · Clueless ·

Twi's bursts of anger are....concerning, to say the least. It's gonna be a long road for her. While I hope she'll take some time to relax at some point, I doubt that's in the cards.
10216029
That would not only accomplish nothing, but also likely actively hinder Twilight's progress. Luna has owned up to her mistakes

10216115
I admit, I had to re-read that chapter where Luna apologized to remember that she did. Though, to me, her apology felt off, like her heart wasn't truly in it.

I guess I just trust Luna to always assume the worst out of Twilight now, and that bothers me for some reason.

JMP
JMP #42 · May 4th · · · Clueless ·

10216133
I disagree with that conclusion. Luna was like that for most of Memories, yes, but Rainbow towards the end was able to get Luna to lay off a bit on that. And Luna can empathize with being driven to a corner like that and Falling.

I'm getting the feeling that Twilight's anger issues is going to hurt someone soon enough, as in she will end up hurting Rainbow similarly to how Rainbow hurt her when she was trying to attack Starlight in Little Choices.

Wonder if there going to be something more to unlocking the chest then finding books like say helping rebuilding Ponyville and doing things to help people sort of how the Mane 6 get their key items in the show.

10216133
I'm just surprised Twilight's parents didn't know about the amnesia. I mean, it's been two years. They had every right to know what happened. Wasn't it odd that they didn't hear from her in all that time? Nobody, not even Celestia or Shinning Armor ever bothered to tell them? They could have helped her cope with the memory loss and alicorn transformation (and perhaps prevent the Midnight affair). I blame everyone involved for dragging their asses and just letting the situation fester for two years. That seems to be the issue with a lot of characters in this story, it's all cloak and daggers all the time until something goes wrong.

Okay I am going to call out Luna on this. She should KNOW Twilight us going to have nightmares about this and yet is not monitoring her dreams. Not only hypocritical. Not to mention this will also hurt her niece. The more this story goes on the less I like Luna

10216536
No, they did know about the amnesia! Twilight's mother was saying that they didn't know that Twilight was the one taking ponies' memories.
Check the chapter Fillyhood Home in Little Memories.
Also yes, they could have helped more down the road by writing letters, but they could only support her since they only know so much about Twilight when she lived in Canterlot. Once she moved to Ponyville, Rainbow knew more about her, especially since they both lived in Ponyville and dealt with Nightmare Moon, Discord, and Queen Chrysalis together. When Twilight did have the amnesia, she trusted Rainbow more than anyone else, so she didn't think to ask her parents to visit, or for her to visit them after the first time.

Still think Sunset should show up here. Starlight's mess up did not effect her. And would be interesting because Twilight replaced her as a student and Rainbow as a daughter

10216772
If I ever cover Sunset stuff, it will be in a spin-off side story that would probably take place sometime during memories.

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