• Published 3rd Feb 2024
  • 540 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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None of This Makes Any Sense

Two hours later and the great ballroom of Canterlot Castle was being used as a meeting place for all the most important ponies in Equestria. It had taken a little time to discreetly get this get together to happen since it was now past midnight (despite the sun still keeping it bright) but the important meeting could finally start. Starlight and Spike were currently waiting outside the door to the gardens, waiting for Princess Luna to introduce them and usher them inside so they could avoid being glomped one at a time by the ponies that had been summoned here. They needed to be cushioned so as not to overreact to who they were about to see.

“And so that is why I ask you to calm yourselves, it is not the Starlight Glimmer you know that you will be meeting...” the words of Princess Luna drifted from the other side of the door and she opened them up for Starlight and Spike.

The two of them walked into the ballroom, and immediately gasps came from the other ponies who had been gathered. But thankfully there was no grand explosion of energy, no yelling, no fainting, plenty of shock, but still reserved.

Starlight recognized all of those she saw—even the ones who were different from how she knew them. Sunburst, Maud, and Trixie were the same. Sunburst with his jaw hanging open in surprise, Maud as expressionless as always, and Trixie glaring at her suspiciously. Then there was Sassy Saddles, a mare Starlight couldn’t even call an acquaintance back in her world but who was apparently not only one of her closest friends here but an Element of Harmony as well. Most different appearance wise though were Queen Chrysalis and Celestia. Chrysalis—who Starlight had seen briefly last time—was even more colorful than Thorax, with glossy eyes and wings and legs no longer full of holes. Celestia was short, barely taller than Starlight herself, and her mane and tail were now a mere combination of bright orange and yellow.

“Wow… this is definitely not something I was expecting to see in my lifetime,” Starlight said as she looked across them. She then glanced to her right and frowned. “Okay—I understand why everyone else is here, but why is Tirek here?”

Everyone glanced towards the towering red and black centaur who had also been silently standing in the ballroom off to the side.

“I was wondering that too,” Spike said.

“It is because he is in the same boat as the rest of us,” Princess Luna said.

“Yes. Thanks to you I can not use any of the magic I absorbed. Like this I am merely… tall,” Tirek glared in annoyance at her. “And despite my size I can not fight an entire country of ponies. Magicless or not.”

“We’ve allowed him free reign for the time being due to having no other options,” Luna shrugged. “Tartarus can not be opened regardless. And he is one of the few we could think of who might have been able to solve this situation.”

“So far my efforts have not born fruit,” Tirek folded his arms over his chest and continued to glare at Starlight.

“And despite his… past indiscretions, since he is as lost and powerless as the rest of us it seemed only right to give him a chance to help,” Sunburst said. “That’s something you taught us. Er, the real you. I mean—our you.”

Starlight smirked. “Empathy and forgiveness huh?”

Chrysalis smiled. “It worked for me.”

“Yeah… guess instead of Discord it was you who got redeemed in this world,” Starlight said.

The others looked at her in confusion.

“Discord?” Chrysalis tilted her head.

Starlight frowned. “Uh… yeah? Draconequus? Spirit of Chaos? Annoying?”

Princess Luna and Celestia both shared a look before Luna shook her head. “We know of no such creature by that name.”

“Huh,” Spike scratched his head. “I wonder if that’s why he disappeared? Maybe it’s because there isn’t supposed to be a Discord at all in this world?”

“I believe we’re getting off-topic just a bit,” Tirek said.

“Yeah—yeah, sorry, this is just a lot to take in,” Starlight rubbed her temples.

“So your world is similar but different in several key ways from ours? Princess Luna said you were traveling through various worlds to save them from collapsing?” Sunburst asked.

“Yes. And I think I probably had to come back here to fix what I messed up the first time around,” Starlight nodded.

“Trixie does not trust you!” Trixie shouted as she pushed Sunburst out of the way and trotted right up to Starlight. “You may look like Starlight, but you’re not her! The Great and Powerful Trixie does not know what you’ve done to the real Starlight but she wants answers! You even admit that all of this happened because of you—and you expect us to just listen to you now, you fake! Give us our best friend back!”

Starlight felt herself backing up, truthfully she felt this Trixie was mostly right to be angry and suspicious. And though she didn’t know why the Starlight of this world had disappeared when she came here she had a gut feeling she was indeed to blame for it. “I-I’m sorry, Trixie.”

“I don’t want an apology, I want Starlight!” Trixie nearly lunged for her before Maud and Sassy grabbed her.

“Stop it, Trixie! This isn’t right, Starlight wouldn’t want this,” Sassy said.

“And she’s telling the truth. She may not be our Starlight, but she’s a Starlight, And she wants to help,” Maud said.

Trixie was breathing a bit heavily and still glaring at Starlight, but in the hooves of her friends she managed to calm down. After a moment she shut her eyes tight and whipped her head away. “Humph!”

“I can’t say I blame her for her anger,” Celestia said, narrowing her eyes at Starlight. “I myself am quite distressed knowing the wonderful mare who saved me is still missing. Our Starlight managed to discover and join the Elements of Unity together after a thousand years and soon became a Princess afterwards. It seems you hardly match up.”

Starlight ignored the barb—fully used to putting herself down in the past anyways. She was far more interested in what else this version of Celestia had just said. “Elements of… Unity?”

“Are they referred to in a different manner in your world?” Sunburst raised an eyebrow.

“Yeah-” Spike interjected. “Where we’re from it’s the Elements of Harmony, and there are six of them, not five. And uh, none of you or Starlight are the Elements. Sorry.”

“That’s very curious...” Sunburst stroked his beard. “Knowing that and what else you’ve said… I can’t begin to imagine how our worlds could have diverged so much.”

“What are your Elements?” Starlight asked, very curious.

“Ah, well, I’m the Element of Compassion,” Sunburst said.

Sassy Saddles smiled. “The Element of Hope.”

“The Element of Sincerity,” Maud said.

“And I’m the Element of Fun,” Trixie said through an annoyed pout. “Sorry if I’m not exactly living up to it right now.”

“And what am I—what is she?” Starlight asked.

“Well you’re the Element of Magic of course,” Sunburst answered.

Starlight snorted and rolled her eyes. “Oh of course.”

“And you became the Princess of Friendship when you became an Alicorn as well.”

This time a horribly uncomfortable shiver worked its way down Starlight’s spine. “Please never call me that while I’m here.”

“Yeah. Please,” Spike agreed.

“Excuse me, but I still believe we’ve been going very off-topic,” an impatient Tirek said as he tapped one of his hooves against the floor. “You say you want to fix this—so can you?”

Starlight craned her neck up to look at him. The imposing centaur staring back down at her. She had an answer for him—for everyone—but she wasn’t sure about the long-term effects of it. “Yes. I think I can fix this easily enough. I know my magic best.”

“What will you do then?” Princess Luna asked.

“I can remove the spell from Tirek that equalized him. That will return him to normal and then he and he alone will be able to return all the magic he originally stole,” Starlight said.

Tirek’s eyes, along with all the others in the ballroom, widened.

“Would you do that, Tirek?” Starlight asked.

“But of course,” Tirek answered calmly. “I have become quite attached to the ponies of Equestria through this shared disaster. I am sympathetic to their plight and understand their suffering now that I am without my magic as well. I would not wish this existence on them anymore—if you return me to normal I would gladly give back the magic I unjustly stole.”

There were several looks shared between the denizens of this world. Several very uncertain looks.

Tirek of course noticed them and stared down at the others. “Do you not trust me? You said you would give me a chance to help—am I not owed a chance to change my ways like the changeling here? You forgave her and showed her empathy under the leadership of the true Starlight Glimmer. Are those words meaningless to you?”

“Of course they are not,” Princess Luna frowned. “We just… perhaps do not trust you fully after you were the one to steal all of our magic in the first place.”

“You ponies who prattle on about being so nice should give me the benefit of the doubt. Sounds like hypocrisy,” Tirek huffed.

“What guarantee can you give us that after being turned back to normal you will return the magic to all the ponies of Equestria?” Celestia asked.

“My word,” Tirek’s reply was simple.

The atmosphere in the ballroom was growing decidedly unfriendlier.

“Um, everyone?” Starlight raised her hoof to get their attention. “If it’s alright, can Spike and I talk to Tirek alone for a moment?”

“As if we’re going to do that!” Trixie scoffed.

“Yes. We are,” Sunburst said. He glanced at the Princesses for confirmation. “If that’s okay?”

“It is,” Luna nodded. “Come, everyone, we shall leave these three to talk amongst themselves.” She took a long look at Starlight. “I trust you, Starlight Glimmer.”

“Thank you,” Starlight said.

After that, everyone besides Tirek, Spike, and Starlight left the ballroom. Trixie was glaring at her the whole way and even Celestia and Chrysalis didn’t look entirely happy with what was happening either. But Starlight was certain a private talk with Tirek would go far better. She wanted to be able to talk to him and tell him things that she thought the others probably shouldn’t know about her world—or that Tirek wouldn’t want them to for his own well-being. She wanted him to trust her as well, and keeping some things between just the three of them was a good way to build rapport like that.

Once the doors were closed, Tirek peered down at her and raised an eyebrow. “So what would you like to talk about?”

“The fact that I know you’re not being genuine right now. Not at the moment at least,” Starlight said to him.

“We know you,” Spike folded his arms and nodded along.

“How dare you accuse me of being dishonest!” Tirek pointed at them. “And besides, you still have your magic to try and stop me if you turn me back to normal. And together with your “friends” you’d be able to use the Elements of Unity on me as well.”

“No. We wouldn’t be able to do that,” Starlight shook her head. “Trixie is right, I’m not the correct Starlight for this world and I’d never be able to use the Element of Magic with them. Unless the real Princess Starlight comes back the Elements will never be able to be used again. You wouldn’t have to worry about anything if she’s still gone when Spike and I leave. You’d be unstoppable and able to steal all the magic again.”

Tirek paused for a moment as he took in her words, gazing curiously into her eyes. “And you’re telling me this why?”

Starlight smirked. “Because I believe in honesty. Along with kindness, generosity, loyalty, and laughter. All things that could help you out and give you a much happier life than stealing the magic from Equestria.”

“You know something about me from your world, don’t you?” Tirek surmised.

“That’s right,” Starlight nodded. “The you from our world is pretty similar. He tried to steal all the magic from Equestria but was stopped by our Princess of Friendship and her friends. Then he tried again. And again. And finally he ended up with a punishment worse than just staying in Tartarus because you can only be lenient so many times. I think my friends would’ve liked to have redeemed you but you never once showed the capability for it. And that’s how it’s going to end for you here if you don’t honestly change your ways too.”

“But you said-”

“You’d still lose eventually. It doesn’t matter if the Elements can’t stop you. It doesn’t matter if you take all the magic back. Someone like you never gets their way in the end. Someone would stop you. And after throwing all their trust and sympathy back in their faces? You wouldn’t get off so easy,” Starlight shook her head.

Tirek huffed in annoyance. “So you’re telling me to stop being myself? To go against everything I know and give up what I’ve desired for millennia?”

“Yep,” Starlight answered plainly.

“Being nice and having friends really isn’t so bad, you know?” Spike shrugged.

“It seems quite overrated in my opinion,” Tirek folded his arms disinterestedly.

“But is it better than being petrified and left all alone?” Starlight raised an eyebrow. “Maybe forever?”

“That sounds… quite specific,” Tirek said.

“It’s just one possible outcome if you don’t change your ways. And seriously—unless you really are a complete monster do you honestly not feel different at all after being put in the horseshoes of the ponies here? Do you really want all of them to keep suffering like this, the same way you are right now without any of your power? And won’t you get bored down the road being the only one who can do anything? How about you show some genuine empathy! Your brother got it right, didn’t he?” Starlight said.

Tirek glared at her. “You didn’t need to bring him up.”

“Yes I did because he’s proof that you can get it too,” Starlight frowned right back at him. “Forget about sucking up all the magic just for the sake of having it all and find something truly fulfilling instead!”

“Make friends with all the ponies here, how fulfilling,” Tirek rolled his eyes.

“I’m telling you it’s better than your other options,” Starlight pointed at him. “I know things. I’ve seen your future, Tirek. And is it really so bad to not have everything you want? I had to make that sacrifice too—everyone does. And if you want something to sweeten the deal? I promise I won’t let you go back to being scrawny and weak. After you give everyone’s magic back I’ll give you some of my own to at least bring you back to a healthy appearance. I’ve got plenty to spare after all. And you know what? If Chrysalis has been reformed here you should try becoming friends with her, she’ll have a lot to teach you.”

“Friends with the bug? I suppose there are more pathetic entities out there than her,” Tirek said.

“That’s the spirit!” Starlight grinned.

“Is it?” Spike looked at her.

“Baby steps.”

Tirek thought for a moment before sighing and dragging a palm down his face. “Ridiculous… that I am actually considering all this. But I suppose that what you’re suggesting isn’t quite so terrible of a life. Maybe I can even come to enjoy it.”

“So after I remove my spell from you…?” Starlight pushed.

“I will give the ponies back their magic. I was only half sarcastic earlier when I said I was sympathetic to their suffering now anyways. And… I’ve had nothing to eat but cupcakes for the last two weeks. They are quite tasty and I’ve become addicted. As long as I get more of those I’ll be fine,” Tirek shrugged.

“Fantastic!” Starlight cheered and did a little hop. “I think we’ve got this place fixed up, Spike!”

“Yeah and it looks like it’ll be done without violence too. So I’ll chalk that up as a double-win,” Spike said.

“Mhm. Spike? Can you get the others back in here? I’m going to remove my spell from Tirek,” Starlight said. Spike saluted and flew to the ballroom’s doors that the others had filed through minutes ago.

“If you think it won’t bother them at least,” Tirek said.

“They’ll be okay. Maybe not all of them at first, maybe they won’t totally trust you or view as a friend right from the start, but these things take time. And giving them back their magic and Cutie Marks? Turning Equestria back to normal? Making it so the sun can actually go down? That’s pretty much the best place to start,” Starlight grinned.

A second later and Spike and the others emerged back into the ballroom, Princess Luna leading the group as they once more came to stand before Starlight and Tirek. Trixie and Celestia in particular still had annoyed and rather suspicious looks on their faces, but Sunburst, Sassy, and Chrysalis seemed far more positive. Maud was Maud. At least most of her friends here seemed to believe in her. Tirek as well was doing his best not to glower at any of them, a single lingering look at Chrysalis was the most he gave.

“I take it we have come to an accord?” Luna surmised.

“Yep,” Starlight nodded.

“I will be returning your magic—I promise. After that… I suppose live and let live can suffice for now,” Tirek said.

A huge grin split across Luna’s face. “That is truly wonderful news! Equestria will be saved!”

“We’ll be able to lower the sun and get farming and weather teams right back on track,” Sunburst said.

“I can’t wait to see ponies happy and smiling again. I knew we couldn’t ever give up!” Sassy Saddles said.

“Mhm,” Maud grunted.

“I guess it’s going to be nice,” Trixie allowed. “I suppose getting to throw magic shows again to spread joy throughout Equestria is a good thing.”

“And there’s no more time to waste when it comes down to it. I’m fixing this problem I started right now,” Starlight said and charged up her horn. The others watched with bated breath as Starlight took aim at Tirek and fired a turquoise beam of magic at him. It enveloped his large body and caused him to glow brightly—the barely visible equal sign on his body getting pulled off like a piece of sticky tape. As soon as it had been detached it started to disintegrate in Starlight’s magic until it vanished completely.

The glow from her magic disappeared from Tirek and he stood tall in the middle of the ballroom. Flexing his arms he grinned and charged up his body—a spark of magic running up and down his horns. The others from this world stood their ground, though you could see that some of them were perhaps slightly concerned.

Tirek saw this as well and chuckled before looking at Starlight. “Well, I suppose I might as well keep my promise.”

Without another word he gathered up all the magic in him and created a powerful glowing sphere of rainbow magic between his horns. Clenching his fists—the sphere grew in both size and power—bolts of lightning arcing off it as it slowly expanded to reach even the ballroom’s ceiling. The outer limits of the sphere wildly spun and sparked while the middle became a white light so bright it seemed like it would be able to overcome a black hole. Tirek grunted in exertion while everyone watched in an array of fear, excitement, and joy before he finally spread his arms wide and the sphere of magic exploded outwards into an intangible, unstoppable, wave…