• Published 1st Aug 2020
  • 2,086 Views, 61 Comments

Crimson Heart - Starkeeper_Ponyfic



Discord's battle with the Elements pulls a certain determined human into Equestria. Shenanigans ensue.

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Arc 2, Part 4: Harmonic Ascent

Frisk and Asriel stared down the train tracks as they awaited the train bringing Twilight from her stay at the Crystal Empire. Frisk fidgeted with their hands, summoning a bit of magic to distract themselves.

❤︎

After Fluttershy had thoroughly chewed them out for fighting without letting her know, stoking a kind of fear Frisk hadn't felt since facing the abomination Flowey turned into after stealing the human SOULs, she'd allowed them to continue practicing as long as she or one of the Element bearers could supervise. Rainbow, having watched most of the exchange from her napping spot, instantly offered to watch as soon as Fluttershy didn't want to with stars in her eyes.

*Metaphorical ones, at least.

Fluttershy had agreed, although somewhat reluctantly, and Frisk proved themselves a quick learner under Asriel's admittedly limited tutelage. Eventually Chara suggested that Frisk ask some of the local unicorns for tips on control and uses. Since Twilight was absent, Frisk made do with befriending most of the adult unicorns and getting multiple perspectives on the uses and limits of magic. The four weeks of Twilight's absence had passed with more learning than they'd initially expected without the Element of Magic, and they were particularly excited to show their new skills off to Twilight.

Out of the corner of their eye, Frisk saw a flash of powder blue, but quickly forgot it as the train chugged into the station. Twilight and Spike leaned out the window waving their greetings while the train crawled to a stop. Spike leapt out of the train and embraced Frisk tightly. "It's finally over! Twilight's finished her studies!" he sighed in pure relief.

Twilight rolled her eyes. "We weren't there that long, Spike. I wasn't gonna make you stay while I catalogued everything," she laughed.

"You were still gone for almost a full month," Asriel pointed out. "You even missed Frisk's birthday!"

An expression of alarm crossed Twilight's face. "Wait, we did? I'm so sorry, Frisk!"

"It's alright," Frisk promised. "First of all I hadn't told you it was coming up, and also I... well, I don't actually know if a year in Equestria is longer or shorter than a year on Earth, and also also I forgot it was my birthday, and I only knew because Mom and Dad called me. Also also also it was actually the day after Asriel and Thorax and I got back from-"

Frisk was interrupted by a mass of high-pitched voices screaming "Fun! Fun! Fun!"

The pseudo-sibling group shared a very befuddled look and Asriel took them to the source on Star Blazing, to Frisk and Spike's delight. They were met with a rampaging crowd of Pinkie Pies screaming "Fun" at every nearby pony.

"Alright, who gave the pink horse a clone machine!?" Frisk exclaimed. "Discord, if you're responsible for this-"

"I swear it's not me!" the draconequus's voice cried. "Even if it was, I wouldn't have let it get this far!"

"Understood," Asriel laughed. "Now how the heck do we fix this?"

Frisk smirked and let out a shrill whistle, causing all the Pinkie Pies to look at them except, they noticed, for one. They elected to ignore it for a moment and wrapped their hand in magic. "You ponies want some balloons?" they challenged.

"YEAH!" the Pinkie Pies answered with an earsplitting shout.

Frisk summoned a few of the floaty joys and held them aloft. "Come... and... get 'em!" they cried as they summoned enough to make themselves float fairly quickly. Multiple of the Pinkies attempted to jump and grab the balloons, but the one sitting alone met Frisk's eyes with a worried expression. Suddenly, an idea came to Frisk.

*Frisk, this fall is WAY too high, and there's neither flowers nor soft dirt to break it! Chara protested.

Chara, I think that might be the real Pinkie, and if it is...

*I understand your reasoning, but I still think it's a horrible idea. Being forced to reload under these circumstances would be... well. Falling to one's death is not particularly painless, Chara murmured.

If I'm right... I won't be dying today.

Frisk held their breath, braced themselves for the fall, and dismissed the magic balloons. The lone Pinkie gasped and leapt from her position to grab Frisk, barreling through the stack of clones upset over the loss of their floaty things and splashing into the nearby river with the human...

...Only to reappear completely dry with Frisk on her back from behind a nearby building. Frisk sighed in relief as Asriel and Spike rushed up to them.

"Frisk, what were you THINKING?" Spike demanded.

"I know what you were thinking," Asriel offered, "but why were you doing that?"

"Saw this one sitting alone when I made the balloon call and got the idea she was the real one, wanted to prove it," Frisk breathed.

"What was it like being part of Pinkie's warp thing?" Spike wondered.

"Dunno. One minute I was almost touching the water," Frisk shrugged, "then I blinked and was riding Pinkie as she walked from behind that building."

"Dang it, I wanted to see if anything super unusual happened," Spike mumbled.

"I think I'm done with unusual for a while," Pinkie sighed. "But... what do we do with all the, uh, clones?"

"I might have an idea," Twilight offered hesitantly, gazing at the pile of pink while biting her lip.

❤︎

"Is there really no other option?" Fluttershy murmured.

Twilight sighed. "I don't like it, but the only other option... is killing their essences and sending them back to the Mirror Pool. I might have been comfortable with it once, but... well. Frisk has been quite the influence."

"Can you explain what your idea is again?" Spike pleaded. "In regular words, please? Every other time it's gone further over my head than Rainbow during Winter Wrap Up."

Twilight sighed. "According to the multiverse theory, there are an infinite number of possible timelines. Some of them are very similar, maybe just what would have happened if Rainbow Dash ate barley instead of oats for breakfast on a random day, and some are super different, like if it was Celestia who had to be banished a thousand years ago instead of Nightmare Moon, or if you were a pony and we were dragons. The point is, when Frisk came to Equestria something in the back of my mind told me to capture a sample of the portal energy for later. I haven't figured out how to get Frisk home yet, but I have figured out a limited form. If I can get the help of the Princesses, I should be able to transfer each of the clones to a unique timeline without Pinkie Pie."

"That sounds like a lot of magic," Frisk murmured worriedly. "And really complex. Are you sure you'll be able to do it?"

"I share Frisk's sentiments, darling," Rarity added, sipping her tea. "Even with the help of the Princesses, are you absolutely certain you won't burn out? Do you even know the right spell?"

"No," Twilight admitted. "But it's the only non-murderous option I can think of other than just letting the clones rampage free through Equestria, and frankly that's not an option."

"I'll write them a letter," Spike sighed.

❤︎

"Luna, am I reading this correctly?" Celestia squeaked. Luna couldn't help a slight chuckle at the plainly undignified noise. She turned to the scroll from Twilight with the same disbelief as her sister.

Luna eventually said, "I believe so, but... it is still hard to believe. And yet... I do remember the Mirror Pool. Was it not said drinking a vial of such water would allow one to duplicate their body momentarily?"

"Correct," Celestia agreed, "but according to Twilight these clones were created as early as the last sunset, and they've not disappeared. The true Pinkie Pie, as determined by Frisk, informed them that she walked through the water to duplicate herself... and her clones repeated the process."

Luna whistled and thought a moment. "I imagine that its removal to the Everfree, the span of time it's laid concentrated, and the fact that Pinkie Pie submerged herself instead of merely sipping the water would very possibly extend the life of the clones to a point where they might not die until at least Pinkie has expended her life," she guessed.

"My thoughts exactly. But as for Twilight's request..." Celestia frowned.

Luna shrugged. "Assuming the multiverse theory she speaks of is correct- and I can't help remembering one of Starswirl's feats that proves it- the request is not strictly impossible, but it would take an absurdly enormous amount of power to do it."

"I concur, sister," Celestia chuckled softly. "But... what do we do? You can see that Twilight stated she was very firm in her decision to not use the re-pool spell, and I also can think of no other options to deal with this."

"Perhaps we should go to Ponyville ourselves," Luna suggested. "If nothing else, a differing perspective would allow us to shed some bright on-"

Celestia snickered. "Um, Luna?"

Luna sighed irritably. "How did I mess the expression up this time, sister?" she groaned.

"It's shed some light, not shed some bright."

"Oh, by Faust's crimson mane!" Luna exclaimed in frustration before letting an expletive slip under her breath.

"Lu-naaaa!" Celestia complained in a very teasing tone. "That's not proper language for a princeeeess!"

Luna smirked. "Of course, sister, and how many times, exactly, did Starswirl reprimand you for such language when you couldn't get a spell right?" she retorted

Celestia's face turned red as she tried- and failed- to mentally count the number of times the situation had happened. "...fair point..."

Luna snickered before calling for a pegasus chariot. Celestia dashed off a quick reply to Twilight and rushed after her sister.

❤︎

Twilight strained as her horn blazed with magenta light from the barrier spell she was having to hold to keep all the clones from spilling out and wreaking havoc upon Ponyville and possibly beyond, a job that the clones had made much more difficult by starting a game to see who could launch herself against the barrier hardest. Frisk and Rarity were... attempting to help, but it was clear that they weren't particularly skilled in barrier or shield magic. The best Rarity could do was patch the holes with gemlike constructs and Frisk forced any opportunistic clones back in with their magically summoned shield. Thankfully, Celestia and Luna arrived and reinforced the barrier, giving Twilight a moment to rest her mana.

"Thank you, Princesses," Twilight sighed. "We were having trouble holding them in."

"Well, she was not lying," Luna chuckled weakly. "Still, it is... disconcerting to see. Especially because it is the ever-hyper Pinkie Pie, and... well, and not one of your calmer friends."

"You're tellin' me," Frisk mumbled.

"So... is my idea feasible?" Twilight asked as she massaged the base of her horn. "Or do you have any other ideas?"

Luna sighed and looked to Celestia, who answered, "Well... the idea is technically feasible, but it would require an inordinate amount of power..."

"How much?" Frisk suddenly asked.

"Should we want to keep ourselves from burning out and still have enough magic to change day to night," Celestia explained, "the three of us wouldn't be enough. Cadance and Shining Armor are probably too busy in the Crystal Empire to come down for such a... well, in the grand scheme of nation-running, such a small problem, and... well, there just aren't that many experienced and powerful unicorns in Equestria-"

A boastful laugh interrupted Celestia. "Oh, is that so?" the laugher's voice mocked. "You obviously have not heard of the Grrreat and Powerful Trrrrrrixie!!!"

Twilight put her hoof to her face. "Trixie... unless you've been taking magic lessons since the Ursa Minor, I don't think..." Twilight trailed off as she faced the powder-blue unicorn mare. "Trixie. What are you wearing," she demanded coldly.

"Oh, this?" Trixie scoffed. "Just a little trinket called the Alicorn Amulet."

"What's an Alicorn Amulet?" Frisk asked suddenly.

"What are you?" Trixie countered in surprised disgust.

"I'm a human. Name's Frisk, I'm guessing you're Trixie?" Frisk replied coolly. They could handle an entitled snob if they needed to.

"Ha! I'm no ordinary Trixie, I'm the-" Trixie began proclaiming before Frisk cut her off.

"Yeah, I know, Great and Powerful, whatever, I've met the coolest dude in existence, so this isn't anything new, but you didn't answer my question," Frisk pointed out. "So what's an Alicorn Amulet? I mean I know what an alicorn is, and I know what an amulet is, but... I dunno. Are you feeling happy right now?"

Trixie was taken aback. "Uh... Trixie... supposes she does?"

"Ah, good. Wasn't sure because you seemed a little... blue..." Frisk punned. Trixie's face contorted in rage and her eyes flashed red for a heartbeat.

"Oh, so you're a punny little one?" Trixie spat.

"Trixie... maybe lay off the anger..." Twilight warned. "Maybe don't use magic either?"

"SHUT UP!" Trixie screamed, a ray of crimson light erupting from her horn in Twilight's direction. Twilight easily dodged as Trixie ranted, "You do not get to tell Trixie what to do! Not after what you did to me!"

"...What did she do?" Frisk asked.

"She! She humiliated me! Nopony would even let me in their town after they heard what happened with the Ursa Minor, and they all laughed at me!" Trixie cried, tears of rage streaking her face. "I had to work day and night on a stupid rock farm just to survive!"

"Hey!" Fluttershy protested. "Rock farms are quite lovely places!"

"And rocks are cool. I've met a few," Frisk grinned. "Like Sans's pet rock, Rocky McStoneface, and the rock monsters in the RUINS, and... a couple others I've met..."

Trixie glared. "The point is... It's all Twilight's fault! If she hadn't embarrassed me then I-"

"So this entire thing is a grudge match because Twilight... saved your life? When you didn't want it saved by her? I've already heard the story," Frisk admitted. "And nobody placed... really any blame on you, they just expressed pity that you got so trapped in your own boasting."

Trixie froze. "They didn't blame me?" she said in a small voice. Her reddened eyes grew a stab of pink. "They... But... They were all laughing at me!"

"Were they laughing at you when you failed against the Ursa Minor? Or were they laughing at you at a different time?" Frisk asked calmly, stepping toward Trixie slowly.

Trixie huffed in anger. "I... I don't... remember... I was so certain that they laughed me out of town, but... now I'm... it's so fuzzy..." Trixie's eyes slowly and jaggedly lost their red before her head snapped up and she glared at Frisk, horn sparking and irises nearly crimson. "N-No! No, you're just trying to TRICK ME!" she screamed, her amulet shining bright as her horn. "I KNOW WHAT HAPPENED!" she cried, hurling a bolt of rage-fueled magic at Frisk.

Before Frisk could make an attempt to dodge, Twilight cried out and rolled in front of Frisk, raising a shield to absorb the blast. Tears of fury lined her eyes as she sent a blast back at Trixie. Celestia and Luna stood to the side awkwardly, debating quietly if they should join or allow Twilight to handle the situation. Trixie dove to the side and sent another blast at Frisk, which Twilight blocked again. Twilight spat, "Trixie, I don't know what you think you're doing, but let me make one thing clear. You might think you have a grudge with me, and honestly, that's fine. Factually incorrect, but fine. Duel with me all you like. But you do not, under any circumstances..."

Twilight trailed off as the sound of shattering glass noised from a far-off window and a rainbow light came from Canterlot. The Element Bearers hurried forward as their magic jewelry descended from the skies, coated in Twilight's magic glow. They received their necklaces with grins on their faces and Twilight adorned herself in the crown with a solemn, angry expression and lifted off the ground. "Attack. My. FAMILY!" Twilight screamed, collecting a rainbow blast from the Elements and laser-focusing on the Alicorn Amulet before releasing the magic into it. Trixie, bathed in the light, groaned in pain as the Alicorn Amulet was shattered. Twilight's friends descended to ground level but she remained airborne, turning to Pinkie's clones and smiling gently as she wrapped each in magic before gently pushing them through unique portals. When the clones were all gone, Twilight joined her friends as an ethereal voice gently called,

"All of us together,

Together we're friends.

Our souls all united,

Until our world ends..."

Twilight was suddenly encased in gentle white light before vanishing. Celestia smiled and her horn flashed before she too vanished. Frisk bit their lip and walked over to Trixie's groaning body.

❤︎

Twilight opened her eyes with a sharp breath in. The Element of Magic's familiar weight adorned her head, calming her startled nerves slightly. She was surrounded by teal and golden light, floating in a seemingly infinite void. Her hooves suddenly hit solid ground, or this void's equivalent, as a much brighter light flashed to her left, revealing a very pride-filled Celestia.

"Princess!" Twilight murmured, walking over to hug her mentor before gesturing out. "Where are we? What... what happened?"

Celestia smiled gently and nudged Twilight down the suddenly-formed path of light. "This is... well, I've elected to call it the Realm of Tranquility. It's the realm of mana, fueling our world with its ambient magic and serving as a place for very special works of magic."

Twilight gasped and her eyes widened as she looked around. "So... why am I here?" she murmured.

"In spreading Pinkie Pie's clones across the multiverse, you did something very special, Twilight," Celestia intoned. "The last time the walls between dimensions were broken, Cadance entered a pony's heart- as in, the space in the void their soul occupied- and the time before, it was Luna and I, breaching the barriers into the dream realm and this one respectively."

"So... why am I here?" Twilight wondered as student and mentor ambled down the path, a serenely nostalgic expression gracing Celestia's face.

"Twilight... what's the single common thread between Cadance, Luna, and myself?" Celestia murmured.

Twilight pondered the question a moment. Eventually, she guessed, "You all did that whole dimension-traveling thing?"

Celestia giggled. "Well, yes, but other than that," she corrected.

Twilight thought for a few more minutes before replying hesitantly, "You're all princesses?"

Celestia shrugged. "Well, close enough. All three of us are alicorns is the answer I was going for."

Twilight took in this information before her eyes widened. "Wait, does that mean..."

Celestia nodded before taking the lead. Images flashed beside the path, pieces of Twilight's memories. Twilight looked around in wonder as the faintest hint of violin drifted through the realm. She galloped up to her teacher's side as Celestia began to sing softly yet powerfully.

"Twilight, you've come so, so far...

Since your first test you've been my shining star...

And you've conquered all through

Friendship I never knew

You're like my daughter, I'm so unbelievably proud of you

It's time for you to make your mark

With your family, and your friends you're gonna start

To go where you will go,

To see what your heart sees,

To find who you must be,

For it's time for you to create your destiny!"

As the music soared and Celestia finished her singing, Twilight was lifted into the air by magic a shade lighter than her own, her mane flapping in a sudden wind. The magic swirled around her as Celestia gave a reassuring nod and Twilight allowed herself to be taken in by the magic as it exploded around her.

❤︎

Frisk and Spike were alerted from their worried search for Twilight by a light to rival the sun itself spilling from the skies in the shape of Twilight's cutie mark. The pair gasped and raced to the point where it was descending to- in front of the door to the library- as the other Element bearers plus Asriel and Thorax joined them.

When they reached the library, they found Twilight in a graceful pose, eyes serenely closed, shining with light. Frisk flicked their eyes to her sides and noticed a small growth on Twilight's sides. Before they could ask, Twilight opened a pair of beautiful feathered purple wings and opened her eyes.

"H-hey, everypony," she murmured.

"Twilight!" Spike cried, racing up to Twilight and gripping her tightly. "I was so worried!"

Celestia entered with a flash and a smile as the ponies, dragon, human, monster, and changeling bowed to her. "My apologies. It took a bit longer than I thought it would to find her."

Rarity sputtered in awe. "She's... she's an alicorn!"

Celestia chuckled softly. "Indeed she is, and soon a princess should she wish to take the crown," she explained.

Twilight gasped. "M-me? A... a princess? B-but why should I be-"

Frisk laughed. "Technically you already were... maybe a duchess, actually, put my point stands since your brother is married to a princess. This'd just be affirming it!" they reasoned.

"W-well, technically, yes, but... why?" Twilight stammered. "What makes me deserve it?"

"Why wouldn't ya!?" Rainbow encouraged. "You've got a ton of leadership skills, you're really good at making friends when you try, so that's got the diplomacy box checked, you're super smart, and now that you're an alicorn there's no more boxes to tick!"

"Well, I don't really suppose I could add anything to Rainbow Dash's analysis," Celestia mused teasingly. "But I don't want you to feel pressured into doing this..." Celestia trailed off with a sorrowful expression. Frisk heard an unspoken I've already made that mistake in Celestia's tone and from their perspective, Twilight had as well.

"You know what, let's put it to a vote," Twilight suggested. "My friends- and my family- got me this far, and I think the ones here should be the ones to get me further."

Frisk grinned. "All in favor of Twilight becoming Princess Twilight, say 'Aye!'"

The vote was unanimous in favor and Twilight blushed at the noise. Celestia smiled more broadly than Twilight had ever seen her before she asked for the Elements to refurbish them. The ponies nodded and Celestia left them to celebrate, and with Pinkie in charge she knew it would be quite a celebration indeed.

So the mage has ascended, hm? Very... very... interesting. I must contact my friend held by the stars... This will be fun. Rest well, little princess... you will need it in the times ahead.

Author's Note:

Before you hit the small wall of text below I do have a question: Should I do Equestria Girls? And if so, should I include it in this story or create a separate one for it? I personally can't decide and I figure this is something I should leave to you awesome guys, gals, and enbies ❤︎

So. This... Freaking... Chapter.

I'll be honest, I had this chapter originally done Thursday, but I was proofreading it Friday and just... did not like it. I figured out that I was basically just following canon beat-for-beat and I was super unsatisfied. The first change was based off a question I asked myself when rereading my novelization of "Too Many Pinkie Pies"- why would Frisk, an established believer in not letting other people die even if they've done horrible things, be like "I mean sure" with the re-pool spell (I don't actually know if it has a name that one just sounded cool)- and I figured Frisk's pacifistic ways would've rubbed off on Twilight somehow and from there it was changed bit by bit. First I got the incorporation of the multiverse thing, and then I remembered Trixie and figured "Hey, if Twilight's been gone Trixie probably would have been waiting for her a la Starlight in the Season 5 Finale" and eventually I decided, "Okay, but what if Twilight gets her wings now?"

I struggled for a while (i.e. most of Saturday in my timezone) on how to effectively accomplish this and then was like "Screw it, I'm gonna use Trixie as a laser gun" and the rest just wrote itself, Twilight's princess scene especially. As for the last bit? Well. I won't spoil it for you ;)

Maybe this is lesser quality than the original version but I like it better, so I honestly don't really care. I'm proud of it, and being genuinely proud of my writing is a rare enough occurrence that I won't be changing it.

seriously you guys are amazing 130 bookshelves and 53 tracking I love you allllllll