• Published 3rd Feb 2024
  • 610 Views, 77 Comments

Starlight Glimmer Regrets Her Mistakes - MagicS

Now exactly how was Starlight supposed to know that a few changes to the past could cause the space-time continuum to collapse?

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Starlight Glimmer

Starlight Glimmer stared down her alternate self. The fourth one she had met in her life and the third one she had spoken to—which on its own was already notable enough.

And of course her alternate stared right back, a mixture of anger, disappointment, and annoyance written on her face.

Starlight could feel the agitation from her friends, the worry, the hesitance about what they should do. Some (aka Rainbow Dash and Applejack) were ready to attack in an instant. Fluttershy, Rarity, and Pinkie Pie were more apprehensive. Twilight more measured, she was defensive and ready to act but she wouldn’t just try and attack this other Starlight immediately or without warning.

And Spike was on the same page that she was. It was time to talk.

She glanced over at him and he nodded, giving her a thumb’s up.

Starlight smiled and looked at Twilight. “I’ll handle this.”

“Are you sure?” Twilight asked her.

“I’m sure. Just stay here and let me talk to her. Trust me,” Starlight winked.

Twilight smiled and nodded. “Alright, good luck, Starlight.”

Starlight walked from the open front door and onto the bridge, normally, at an even pace, with a friendly smile on her face. It wasn’t just that she wasn’t showing fear or hesitation—she didn’t feel them anymore. She wanted to show this other self how genuinely friendly she wanted to be to her. So when Starlight got close enough she stopped in front of her and held out a hoof.

“Hey there! I feel like we didn’t exactly have a proper greeting last time. I’m the Starlight Glimmer from Equestria and you’re the Starlight Glimmer from the human world beyond the mirror. Right?”

The other Starlight didn’t lift her hoof in greeting. Her expression morphed into one of calm apathy as she stared at Starlight, an exact copy of her aside from the hat and Bell she wore.

“You do realize that with this magical artifact I still have the advantage. I can do anything with this,” the human Starlight said.

Starlight sighed but kept her smile on her face as she lowered her hoof. “Yeah, I know. If we tried to fight you we’d lose and you could just do this all over again. But you want to talk too, don’t you?”

“What gives you that idea?”

“The fact you didn’t blast us immediately and are holding this conversation right now?” Starlight raised an eyebrow at her. “You’re curious, aren’t you? You want to know why we would reject this and try and stop you.”

The human Starlight scoffed. “Please, I’m not an idiot. I know why you didn’t accept this world. It’s called a disagreement. A difference of opinion. I’m not deluded enough to think there’s truly a perfect world that can be made. A real utopia doesn’t exist. You and your friends didn’t think this was a better world so now here you are trying to convince me to change it back. But that isn’t going to happen. Perfect may be a lie, but it’s still the best possible world for me, and better than the life I came from. I won’t give this up. I can make this world exactly how I want it to be and finally be happy.”

“So you don’t care about all the lives you’re ruining and forcing to change against their will?” Starlight asked.

“No,” she answered resolutely.

“Well that’s a lie. It’s a lie I might’ve told myself in the past too,” Starlight frowned. “But I know myself, and I know you, enough to know you aren’t bereft of compassion and empathy. You’re just doing your best to push them down because you don’t want to feel bad about the ponies you’re hurting.”

A smirk halfway between amused and annoyed appeared on the other Starlight’s face. “Normally I’d yell and say “What do you know?” but since you’re me I can’t exactly call you out that way, can I?”

“True. But it’s also true that I don’t know everything about you. I don’t know what your situation is back home or what made you the way you are, what lead you to wanting to do this. Would you mind telling me? I’d like to get to know you better,” Starlight said.

“Oh, you want me to tell you about my trauma so you can fix me and we can all get along,” the other Starlight rolled her eyes.

Starlight only smirked. “Yeah, that’s pretty much exactly it.”

The other Starlight snorted. “There’s nothing even special to tell. There’s no real trauma. There’s not some single turning point, or some grand realization or anything, this is just how I came to be over years of being treated differently and seeing friends abandon me. You’ll be disappointed.”

“I promise I won’t judge. I don’t really have the right to judge you in the first place after how parts of my own past have been,” Starlight shrugged. “Though it sounds like we might have a couple more similarities.”

“Fine then,” the human Starlight glared at her. “I’ll tell you what lead up to this.”

Starlight smiled and sat down, giving her a small nod. “Alright, I’m listening.”

“What do you know about my world’s education system?” Human Starlight asked her.

“Um… not too much. It’s a little more uniform and regulated than the schooling and education system of Equestria, I know that,” Starlight said.

“I suppose that’s enough. You’re correct, my world isn’t as happy and fantastic as yours, there’s no magic and no pegasi that take care of the weather or ponies magically better suited for growing food. Things work differently and the average person goes to school from a young age until they’re a young adult. Some go for a longer or shorter amount of time depending on what they’re studying and what they want out of life,” she explained.

“Following along so far,” Starlight nodded.

The human Starlight smirked. “Well there’s also something called “Gifted” classes and courses, accelerated learning, elite schools, things like that. I had a friend who was taking a test to get onto that accelerated program and my parents thought it would be a good idea if I took it too to see if I could get into the program as well.”

“Sunburst...” Starlight said.

“Correct. He’s your friend here too, I’m sure. Either way we both took the test for the program-”

“And you failed,” Starlight finished.

But the human Starlight just slowly shook her head with that same smirk on her face. “Wrong. I passed with flying colors.”

Starlight’s eyes opened a bit wider. “I see… I’m beginning to think that maybe we had the opposite experience actually… did Sunburst fail?”

“No, he passed too. But he didn’t get the marks I did despite studying and preparing for it while I just took it at last minute notice,” human Starlight shrugged. “I guess that was the start of it all.”

“What happened from there?”

“My life changed as I was happily brought into the gifted program, much more enthusiastically than Sunburst, by the heads of the school and organization behind it all. Schooling became different, my parents pushed me to study harder, there were so many new expectations. But that wasn’t the issue. After all, I passed every test and became the top student in no time. I was the apple of the administration’s eye. All the lavish praise they gave me, telling me I was the smartest and most gifted student they had ever had. At first I thought it was a good thing...” she frowned and sadly looked down. “But it never gave me anything I cared about. So what if I was a genius? So what if I could do math that was years ahead of me? The downsides were… I lost my friend. I lost any ability to make other friends.”

“Why?” Starlight asked.

“Sunburst was never a bad student but he was never more than middle of the pack. Seeing me, me being at the top without even wanting it or trying for it at first made him resent me. He ended up dropping out of the program in just a few years. My parents and teachers said to not mind, that I shouldn’t care, that any other friends like that would just drag me down and distract me. I should focus on my studies. Studies that I never once cared about or wanted for myself. But at this point my parents didn’t even listen anymore. They were too proud of their little genius,” she scoffed. “They didn’t care about me or how I felt—just that I could be shown off and bragged about.”

“And it didn’t matter anymore anyways. The other students in the program resented me just as much. The lower placing ones didn’t think they could even talk to me like normal and the higher placing ones were envious of my ability to place first without putting in as much effort as them. Being the best, being special, all it did was separate me from others and cause everyone to be miserable.”

“I understand you a little better now...” Starlight said. “You didn’t want to drag everyone down out of jealousy, you wanted to make sure no one would ever feel the alienation you felt. You didn’t want anyone to suffer that sort of jealousy and misplaced anger directed at them...”

The human Starlight shrugged. “But I guess even with magic things don’t go perfectly. I was completely resigned to never having the life I wanted or having any peers back home, I felt like I had missed out on the best part of my life. All the genius and scholarly success I had never brought me any happiness. When I became a legal adult I quit it all and have been drifting around doing nothing ever since.”

“And let me guess: a little while ago some weird guy with really colorful clothes appeared before you and told you all about Equestria and how you could pull this off,” Starlight sighed.

“Bingo. I’m assuming he wasn’t a friend of yours?” The human Starlight sarcastically asked.

“Nope,” Starlight shook her head.

“Whoever he was—when he told me about this world, its inhabitants, and magic, it was like I suddenly had an opportunity again. A dream that I actually cared about,” the human Starlight continued. “I never saw a way to make the world I came from better, or find my place there, but here? Here I could do so much. Help so much. I actually had the tools to make the perfect world—or at the very least the best possible one. And I always had the goal to somehow spread this magic back to my home as well, so I could fix that world too.”

“You really wanted to make your perfect world that badly? That’s what drove you to do all of this?” Starlight asked.

Human Starlight frowned. “Of course, why else?”

“Well… just from hearing you talk, it sounds like you cared way more about making friends than anything. You even said that a real perfect world is impossible. Maybe you were embarrassed to do something so big for such a personal reason, but I think you just want some friends. You were given the opportunity to do something huge and use magic you never even knew existed before now—and I think you temporarily lost sight of what you really wanted,” Starlight said.

“I don’t...” the human Starlight bit her lip. “It’s true I always wanted friends but I can do so much more now. I don’t want to have traveled through dimensions for such a petty reason. I’m doing something bigger for the sake of everyone now.”

“There’s nothing petty about making friends. It’s a big deal,” Starlight admonished. “And you didn’t have to do any of this at all. You learned about another world that was different from your own—and you let some weird psycho plant a grandiose idea in your head instead of doing what deep down you really wanted. You could have just come here to become friends with us from the start. Instead you tried to force your will on the world and wouldn’t listen.” She smiled. “That part of you is very similar to myself.”

The human Starlight sadly looked back at her, no more fight was left in her body. “So what happens now?”

“Well I’ll tell you something else—it’s never too late to start making friends. And if you want, I’ll gladly be your very first,” Starlight said.

“Friends in two different dimensions?”

“I already have a couple like that, one more wouldn’t be too difficult,” Starlight shrugged.

“Is it really that easy for you? Are you saying that all would be forgiven—that we could just start off on a new page as if none of this had happened?” The human Starlight frowned.

“Believe me—this is practically just a normal day in Equestria. You haven’t done anything that can’t be fixed with a little time,” Starlight told her. “Thankfully we weren’t stuck like that for too long. My friends and I will all be willing to forgive you for this, and they might want to become friends with you too. And I’m pretty sure I know a few people back where you come from that will gladly become your friends. So if you want to be friends, if you want to put all this behind you and get the same kind of life of friendship and fulfillment that I have, you’ve gotta take that first step now.”

A joyless smile pulled up the human Starlight’s lips. “I guess it was silly to not just talk things over first.”

She pulled off Grogar’s Bell and dropped it on the ground. A few small tears dripped on it after.

“I’m sorry for what I’ve done,” the human Starlight said and reached up a hoof towards Starlight. “Can we be friends?”

Starlight grabbed her hoof and shook it before pulling her into a tight and unexpected hug. “Yes.”

“So I’ll see you again soon?” The human Starlight Glimmer asked as she stood in front of the mirror portal, prepared to go home.

“I promise I’ll come visit you real soon, don’t worry,” Starlight Glimmer answered her.

She was standing with her friends as they saw her off together—the other mare more or less forgiven by all of them except a slightly grumpy Rainbow Dash. And Discord too, who after being unstatued was pretty much just flatly staring at the other Starlight. But he’d come around eventually. Things had been put back to normal easily enough, as was often the case in Equestria, and ponies were back to enjoying their normal lives. Lives that might have some sadness, disappointment, and disagreement in them, but their chosen lives nonetheless.

“I’ll come too,” Spike said. “Although not sure how much you’ll like being friends with a dog.”

“Thank you,” the human Starlight said, chuckling. “I think I’ll be fine with that.”

Starlight walked up and hugged her once more. “And don’t be afraid to try and make friends on your own and improve things over there. I think you’re the type who can do anything she sets her mind to.”

“I’ll try,” the human Starlight said and detached from Starlight’s hug, she turned around to face the portal, taking a deep breath and getting ready to step through it. She looked over her shoulder to smile and wave at the others. “Time to go then. Goodbye, Starlight. Goodbye everyone else, and thank you for everything!”

“Goodbye!” Starlight said and waved after her.

“We’ll see you soon!” Spike waved as well.

The others gave their own goodbyes and farewells as the Starlight Glimmer from the human world stepped into the mirror portal and went back to her home.

As soon as the mirror had gone back to normal, Twilight walked up to Starlight and placed a hoof on her.

“I’m proud of you, Starlight. You’ve made me even more certain that I’ve left the school and Ponyville in good hooves.”

“And you’ve made me certain that the rest of Equestria is in good hooves when you take over,” Starlight smiled to her. She sighed and took a deep breath, smiling over at Spike and Discord too. “And now I think we can finally relax. I think after this things are finally going to be fine. Just fine.”

Author's Note:

Just one more epilogue chapter to go. Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed the story.