• Published 18th Jan 2013
  • 13,939 Views, 878 Comments

The Queen of Hearts - Pumpernickel Rye

Chrysalis attempts getting her crown and her revenge by running a dating service.

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A Special Visitor

A Special Visitor

Chrysalis sighed as she tossed the book onto the floor. It was the one time of the week she could relax and do whatever she wanted, but she was completely bored out of her mind. Normally she would read something she borrowed from Twilight’s library, but after several weeks of doing so, she was too used to it. She was going stir crazy and she needed to get herself out of the house. The only problem was that she had no idea what could she do in this town. It was filled with ponies that were too friendly and too boring to ever have anything interesting happen. The Changeling Kingdom at least always had something going on. She got off the bed and headed for the front door, thinking that at least she could get some fresh air.

She quietly groaned as she aimlessly wandered through the town, realizing that walking was just as dreadfully boring as just staying at home. Ponyville, despite the spirit in its citizens, was just dull. She had heard of a lot of crazy things that had happened in the past, but she was now having doubts that any of those stories were true. The Running of the Leaves was at least something eventful, but it made her feel out of shape because of all the ponies she couldn’t keep up with. Chrysalis decided she was going to need to go to a gym as physical strength was just as important as magic for when she was going to get revenge. There was also the fact she would eventually be surrounded by so much love to consume and she would need to keep her figure.

She was happy that her business was at least doing decently, which was all that mattered. Much to her dismay, the amount of work she had done so far barely had any impact on the amount of love in the town. It didn’t help that her poor first impression gave her little customers to work with. It was going to be some time until Ponyville would be ready to feed her people, so she just needed to be patient. Chrysalis just wanted the weekend to be done so she could resume her plan.

Right as she was about to turn around and head back home, she heard a familiar voice singing. Once she had realized who it was, she wanted nothing more than to get as far away as possible. When she took the first step to flee, it was too late. “Hi, Cherub!”

Chrysalis remained motionless with the exception of her gritting her teeth. Once she took a deep breath, she turned around to face the pony intruding her personal space with a forced smile. “Hello, Pinkie, I didn’t see you there. Are you enjoying your time off?”

“I most certainly am,” she said happily while carrying several boxes and trays of sweets. She and Pinkie were making good progress in the dating business so far. Pinkie had gotten better at deciding on which ponies were the most suitable for their costumers and their amount of successes was steadily climbing. However, the cost of her success came with her daily annoyances. Pinkie would always run her mouth about the crazy stuff she and her friends had gotten into in the past or would try come up with jokes to make Chrysalis smile, which never worked. Pinkie also missed her friends since she was busy, so she had brought in little toy models of them that she would talk and play with. The worst thing she ever did was pull pranks in the office, which often resulted in Chrysalis throwing a fit at her. “I’d love to stay and talk, but I’m in a big hurry so I’ll see you Monday.” Pinkie waved goodbye and began to trot away.

Chrysalis felt relieved that she was only going to have to deal with her for only a minute, but for some reason unknown to her, she asked, “In a hurry for what?”

Pinkie turned around and began jumping in place, somehow not losing balance of the various items she carried. “I’m going to bring these sweets to Twilight’s. It’s going to be super fun because all my friends will be there and she’s even having a special visitor coming!”

Chrysalis’s curiosity was sparked. “And who’s this special visitor?”

Pinkie shook her head. “Sorry, but I made a Pinkie promise not to say who it is to anypony.”

Chrysalis pondered her current situation. On one hoof, she could just leave right now and she wouldn’t need to see her again until Monday, which was plenty of time for some peace and quiet. But on the other hoof, the peace and quiet she desired was the reason she was out here in the first place. Her time with Pinkie was often interesting, but mostly just frustrating. There was also the fact that she would be surrounded by the Elements, so it would be incredibly risky. She reluctantly picked the latter as she really had nothing else to do. “Would you be able to show me who it is instead?”

Pinkie rubbed her chin. “Well, Twilight technically said I couldn’t say who it was, not show who it was, so I guess it’s okay.” She gave her a huge grin. “Come on, Cherub, let me show you her!” said Pinkie as she skipped away. Chrysalis followed and wondered to herself what sort of mess she had just got herself into.

Pinkie threw the door to the library open. “Twilight, I brought the goodies! And I brought my own special guest!”

Twilight came out from one of the rooms and was confused by the unicorn’s presence. “Cherub? What brings you here?”

“Pinkie mentioned you were having a little get together with your friends and that you even had a special guest coming by. I hope it isn’t too much trouble if I come to see what all the fuss is about.”

Twilight turned to Pinkie, annoyed. “Pinkie, you Pinkie promised not to say anything!”

“No, you said I couldn’t say who it was, not that you were having somepony coming,” Pinkie argued.

“Yes, but-” Twilight trailed off for a moment before sighing. “I guess it’s okay if only one pony knows. You won’t say anything about this, will you, Cherub?”

“You have my word.”

Twilight nodded and motioned them towards her. “Alright, she’s in the back with the others.” Chrysalis was very curious about who could have possibly been such a big deal. It couldn’t have been Princess Celestia as she had already visited before, everypony in town always knew about it, and she always brought her guards. Also, who would want their visit to be a secret and why?

Pinkie ran ahead to the room with Twilight right behind her. “Hey girls and Spike, I’m back!”

“Wow, Pinkie! That sure is a lot of boxes.” Chrysalis recognized the voice to be Spike’s.

“She doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to a good time. Can we have some candy now?” asked Rainbow Dash.

“Yes, I believe now is a good time for the consumption of many treats!”

Chrysalis stopped dead in her tracks, eyes wide. She knew whose voice she had just heard and felt terror wash over her body. The only thing going through her mind was to get out as fast as she possibly could. Before she could turn, Pinkie ran out to her. “Why are you just standing there? Everypony is in here, silly.” She got behind Chrysalis and pushed her forward. Once she entered the room, her worst fears were confirmed.

“Hello there! Have you come to join us?” asked Princess Luna with delight.

Pinkie led Chrysalis to a seat around the table and the terrified changeling slowly sat down, never taking her eyes off the princess. She tried to form words and only achieved in producing babble. “There’s no need to be nervous,” said Rarity with a chuckle. “She may be royalty, but she is very friendly with us common folk.”

“H-h-hello.” Chrysalis was ready to faint. While she had fooled the alicorn before, she now doubted herself. Luna was the head of Canterlot’s anti-changeling group and they were always on the lookout for her kind. What was worse was that she was trying to find Chrysalis specifically, wanting to severely punish the one who had attacked her sister and took her niece. If there was anypony who could catch onto her, it was the Princess of the Night. The word “escape” kept echoing in her mind. “Well, i-it was n-nice meeting you, but I just remembered I have something important that I need to do right now, so I’ll be leaving.” She got up and walked quickly towards the entrance. “See you Monday, Pinkie.”

“But you didn’t get any candy!” her employee called out from behind her.

Chrysalis made it to the door, ready to bolt the second she got outside. “Why are you so desperate to get away from me?”

She whirled around to see Luna somehow right behind her. This greatly startled Chrysalis, causing her to fall on the floor. She was in complete panic while the others were staring at her. Her fear only grew as Luna was giving her a suspicious look. “You feeling alright, Cherub?” asked Twilight. “You seemed to be really freaked.”

“You’re acting like she’s still Nightmare Moon,” Spike taunted.

Chrysalis went still, surprised that she was given a way out. She was familiar with the tale of Nightmare Moon and her return and had even heard from gossip a few ponies in town still being nervous about her. She decided to play along with it and acted as scared as possible. “W-well how do you know she still isn’t? A thousand years alone could have done wonders to her mind!”

Luna was taken aback as well as everyone else. “But I’m not like that anymore! I have been long cleansed of the darkness! Give me a chance to show you that I’ve changed!”

Chrysalis got up from the floor and took a few steps away from her. “No thanks. The only thing I want to do now is make as much distance between you and I as possible, so goodbye, Nightmare Moon.” She got back to the door and reached for the knob, not wanting to look back.

“I see. Goodbye then,” she heard Luna say gloomily.

Luna’s suddenly change in tone made her curious, so she took a quick look behind her. She saw that Luna was walking back to the other room with her head down, clearly hurt by her words. The princess’s woe gave a stroke of euphoria within Chrysalis. Not only did she throw off her suspicion, but she had also greatly offended Luna. Today turned out to be a lot of fun after all.

At least, it would have been, had Pinkie not run in front of the door, blocking the only exit. “How could you do that to her, Cherub? You were being a total jerky-jerk!”

Twilight went to her and tried to pull her away. “Let her go, Pinkie. You can’t make her stay if she doesn’t want to.”

Pinkie shook her head. “No! Everypony should know that she’s not Nightmare Moon anymore, including her!”

The others joined in as they tried to pry her from the doorway. “You can’t tell other ponies what to think, so please stop making a scene and let her go already,” insisted Rarity.

After a moment of being pulled by her friends, Pinkie gave in. “Fine,” she said angrily. She walked back to the room where Luna was, not even looking at Chrysalis.

Fluttershy looked into the room. “Wow, she’s mad. Maybe you should go apologize to both her and Luna.”

Chrysalis let out a loud groan, having just turned the knob when Fluttershy butted in. “I really just want to go home right now. I’m sure they’re both fine.” She saw they were all looking in her with various levels of disapproval, but it wasn’t like she ever cared about their opinions in the first place.

“Well it was nice seeing you, Cherub,” Twilight said blandly. “Come on, girls. Let’s see how they’re doing.” They all left her behind and walked back into the room. Rainbow Dash turned her head and blew a raspberry at Chrysalis before disappearing.

The changeling wiped the sweat off her forehead, thankful that she was done with them and she could just leave. She put her hoof on the doorknob, but she couldn’t bring herself to turn it. She started to think that maybe what she did was actually a bad thing. If the ponies really did get past the whole Nightmare Moon thing, then she just looked like a very ignorant jerk. Even worse, if Pinkie and the rest had spread the word about her through gossip, it could potentially be very damaging to her business. There was also the fact that Pinkie was clearly mad at her and she couldn’t afford to lose her or any of her effort no matter what. She had to fix the mess she made to get away and to do that, she had to go back to the presence of her enemies.

Chrysalis hit herself multiple times in the face with her hoof, very angry for getting herself in the mess in the first place. “I will never agree to do anything with Pinkie ever again, even if it is her dying wish.” She headed back into the room while slowly taking one step at a time, preparing for the inevitable. Once she had re-entered the room, she saw Pinkie in the middle of hugging Luna. Pinkie then saw her standing there and broke away.

“What are you still doing here?”

Everyone immediately looked at Chrysalis. “Did you forget something, Cherub?” queried Twilight.

Chrysalis took a deep breath. “I’m here because I think I might have acted very foolishly and I want to apologize.” She turned to Luna, who was looking at her expectantly. “Princess Luna, I am greatly sorry for offending you earlier and I hope you find it within your heart to forgive me. I’m sure you are not Nightmare Moon anymore and that you’re a nice princess like Celestia.” She wondered if she was going to be punished for insulting the princess. Chrysalis would have definitely given a beating to any changeling who had insulted her like that when she was queen.

To her surprise, Luna only smiled warmly at her, giving her immense relief. “It’s alright, Cherub. Many ponies still feel intimidated around me and I can’t blame them for it. I’m just glad you are willing to try to see me for who I am. And please, just call me Luna.”

Applejack pointed at a spot next to her. “Why don’t ya stick around for a while? Luna’s great company.”

Despite it being a risk to hang around with the alicorn, Chrysalis nodded. Perhaps befriending Celestia’s sister could prove beneficial to her in the future. As she walked around the table, Pinkie got up in her face. “Not so fast! You need to do a little more than just say you’re sorry.”

“Like what exactly?” asked Fluttershy.

Pinkie grew a huge grin as she pointed at Luna. “She should give her an apology hug for making her all saddy-waddy!”

Chrysalis felt her heart jump. “I don’t know…” She saw they were all looking at her with pleading eyes and knew there was no way out. “Alright, I’ll do it.” When she was queen again, the first thing she would do would be to make Pinkie regret everything she had ever done in her life.

She approached the princess, who had her forelegs stretched out for the hug. Chrysalis took a deep breath, went to her, and embraced her. She heard them cheering as she hugged Luna and pulled away after a few seconds. Suddenly, Pinkie jumped on her, giving her a hug herself. “I knew you could do it, Cherub!”

Pushed to her limit, Chrysalis pried her off, held her over her head, and launched across the room into a shelf of books. Pinkie slammed against it and was covered by an avalanche of literature. “You and I still don’t hug!”

To her relief, everypony was laughing about what happened. Pinkie popped her head of the pile with a book in her mouth, which she spat out. “Well at least I tried,” she said happily as she trotted back to the group.

Chrysalis sat down between Applejack and Fluttershy. “So Luna, what are you doing here anyway? Don’t you have royal duties to attend to or something?”

Luna put a box of chocolate cupcakes in front of her and started eating one. “I just wanted a break from everything that is going on in Canterlot. It’s just been constant arguing and protesting these last few months. It hasn’t been the same in a long time.”

“It’s because of those dreadful changelings,” stated Rarity. “Ever since they have showed their repulsive faces at the wedding, nopony can get a good night’s rest, always worrying about them. Even I sometimes fear running into one.”

“Yeah, and after everythin’ they did, now they want to make peace and live with us?” Applejack bit into a doughnut. “Ah tell ya, Ah don’t trust them at all. Ah mean they attack us and now they want to be our friends? Ah ain’t buyin’ it.”

Twilight nodded in agreement. “I’m with you, Applejack. After what they and their queen had put me, my brother, and Cadance through, I wouldn’t mind so much if I never saw any of them ever again in my life.”

Surprisingly, Fluttershy thought differently. “But wasn’t Queen Chrysalis the reason they did it in the first place? They don’t seem to like her too much anymore. They got a new queen and she might be better. Maybe we should give them a chance.” Chrysalis snarled as she started digging through the cookies.

“The new queen seems nice,” said Pinkie. “She’s the one who wants to be our friend!”

Dash leaned across the table towards her friend. “But changelings are all about being sneaky, so they could just be saying that to fool us. Chrysalis could just be back at their kingdom, plotting with Nymph as they wait for us to put our guard down.”

Spike trembled slightly. “And Nymph’s her sister, so she could be just as bad or even worse. She’s definitely just as ugly.”

Chrysalis flared on the inside, listening them insulting her and her people. She couldn’t believe Nymph would tolerate such insolence from the lesser race. There was going to be serious retribution when she was ruler again.


She snapped out of train of thought. “Yes, Twilight?”

“What do you think about all of this?”

Chrysalis bit her lip. Given the fear of changelings in Ponyville, it would be more of the norm to be against the changelings than it would be to support them. “I think they shouldn’t be granted citizenship. They are a race of tricksters who want nothing more than to feed from us. As for that Nymph, I don’t trust her one bit. I also don’t really believe she would send her own sister into exile and it is most likely that they are conspiring against us together.”

Luna nodded as she took another cupcake for herself. “You speak the truth, Cherub. They should not be trusted. I have said something like this before, but it is a shame that my sister cannot see otherwise.”

“How can she be so trusting? They ponynapped her own niece and tried to take over Equestria,” Spike pointed out.

Luna sighed loudly as she rubbed her temples. “I really don’t know. Sometimes I think her good nature clouds her judgment.” She put her hooves down and looked at everypony. “As much as I understand their predicament, that in no way excuses what they had done. Even if they could be trusted, I will withhold my support as long as most of the nation opposes them. Having them come in at a time like this would result in something that would make Discord proud.”

“Well you just need to convince her otherwise. Just let them go back and stay in whatever hole they came out of,” Dash said aggressively as she leaned on the table. “They can just stay underground where they belong.”

“They seemed to have been doin’ fine without us, so it should just stay that way. Plus can ya imagine how confusin’ it would be since they could look like any pony? Ponies would start getting’ framed for their crimes left and right!” complained Applejack.

Luna swallowed the rest of her treat. “That is indeed another good point that has been brought up before. Although we now have magic to disrupt their disguises, it would still be chaotic. They just need to stay out of Equestria and everything will be just fine.”

“But if we don’t let them live with us, won’t they starve?” asked Fluttershy, full of concern.

The room became uncomfortably silent. Chrysalis was worried that they would change their opinions, which would’ve ruined everything. If the changelings were to be granted citizenship, not only would they be able to feed freely and not need Chrysalis anymore, ruining her chance of reclaiming her title, but they would be at the mercy of the ponies, forever robbed of their glory. Twilight broke the silence. “No, I don’t want them to. It’s just so hard to trust them. They’re capable of anything.”

Applejack was next to speak. “Maybe we could give them a chance and see how it goes. And if it doesn’t work out, we can just drive them out like we did before.”

“I don’t know, I think they kinda deserve it,” Spike admitted in a quiet voice.

“Spike! That’s a horrible thing to say!” Spike looked away while rubbing his tail, feeling ashamed that Rarity had shouted at him. “As much as I don’t like them, I believe we should be of some assistance to their dilemma. We can’t just leave them to suffer because of one bad apple. I’m sure we could form some sort of compromise that will keep us all satisfied.”

“But isn’t Celestia having ponies give them love so they could eat?” asked Pinkie.

“Yes, but it is not enough," Luna answered. "We’re having enough trouble getting ponies to give some up and their population is slightly too large to be fully sustained with what we’re giving them. It has certainly eased things for them, but the problem persists.” The princess stood up. “I do think you all have brought up a good point, however. I feel that I may have not thought things through entirely. Perhaps I should speak with Celestia and-“


They looked at Chrysalis, who had a very serious look on her face. “No?” asked Pinkie.

“No,” she said again. Chrysalis stood up as Luna sat back down. “They are a menace to us all and we cannot allow them to come here freely. I do not truly believe that they are truly sorry for what they have done and are simply taking advantage of us. If they actually wanted to be allies, they would have tried peaceful methods instead of an invasion. Giving them access to Equestria would make them too dangerous.”

“But if that’s true, then why would they be so desperate for citizenship now?” asked Twilight.

“It’s obvious: they plan on ruling over us, wanting to take our land for themselves. Think about it. They have lived underground their entire lives and they blame the other races of the world for it. The changelings are just getting payback by taking what is ours. Chrysalis alone was powerful enough to defeat Celestia herself. Can you imagine how dangerous they would be if a whole army was able to gain that much power?” She felt pleased with herself as she watched them exchange worried looks with each other. “And don’t forget, Twilight, they left Cadance in the mines to die.” This wasn’t actually part of her plan, but she found it to be really helpful with the argument. Killing off a pony who was essentially the Princess of Food to the hungry changelings would have been incredibly stupid and she was surprised none of the ponies had caught on to that. “Not one of them took pity on her and came to her aid. Not one. Do you really want such heartless beasts living in this town, using you as a way to grow stronger?”

Fluttershy hid under the table. “Please make them go away, Luna. They’re too scary!”

Pinkie developed a large frown. “Yeah, changelings don’t sound like fun anymore. I think I like living with just other ponies.”

“I take it you all feel the same?” Luna saw that they all nodded. “Very well, I will stick to my position. I don’t care anymore of what my sister thinks. They can just stay out for all I care. They are a problem I do not wish to deal with.”

“You’ll still feed them, right?”

They looked at Chrysalis in confusion as they heard the mild desperation in her voice. “But I thought you said they couldn’t be trusted,” said Rarity.

“Well yes, but they still need love to survive. I don’t think I can sleep well while knowing that there is a nation that is starving.”

“We will continue to try,” informed Luna. “I’m certain with enough volunteers, we can keep their hunger in check. They will certainly grow stronger, but we can keep a close eye on them. I am sure they wouldn’t dare bite the hoof that feeds them.”

Chrysalis sighed with relief. “That’s good to hear.”

“Now Cherub, since you are so caring about the changelings, would you like to help feed them?” Luna offered in a friendly voice.

“I would, but I’m afraid I don’t have much love to give,” she admitted.

“No argument here.” Chrysalis magically took a large cupcake and shoved it in Spike’s mouth, causing a chuckle from the other ponies.

“You have certainly proven your case,” commented Luna, “but I think that’s enough about that. I came here to get away from this sort of discussion.”

“Let’s talk about something else. How is the lovely couple doing?” asked Rarity with interest.

“They are doing very well,” Luna answered happily. “However, I’ve been working Shining Armor fulltime because of the security needed in Canterlot. I’m really sorry, Twilight.”

Twilight giggled. “It’s okay. I’m sure he’s happy to do his duty. Although, I wish they would visit me more often.”

“As for Cadance, she’s been attending several public events while under heavy protection. I believe she is now over what had happened and it’s good to see her so happy again. They still do not like being apart after the incident and I tend to let Shining Armor to have a lot of time off so he can be with his wife. He will do anything to keep the princess happy and I think it is very sweet.” Luna faintly blushed. “Sometimes I can’t help but feel jealous of her, having such a loving pony like him.”

“Has the stork come yet?” asked Pinkie.

Luna blushed even deeper. “Excuse me?”

“The stork, silly. Did he bring them a baby yet? If he did, can I babysit for them!? I’m really good at that kind of stuff!”

All of the ponies cracked up, which confused her. Even Chrysalis joined along, finding it amusing that Pinkie could be so dense. “Pinkie, I don’t think the ‘stork’ may be coming for a long time,” said Twilight as she tried to control herself.

Pinkie frowned from her response. “But why not? Don’t you want to be an aunt, Twilight?”

Twilight’s face flushed as the laughter redirected towards her. “I do, but it might be a while until that happens. They might not be ready for one yet.”

“How come? He should give them one right now!” demanded Pinkie.

“I’m sure the ‘stork’ will eventually want a foal and will work Shining Armor over harder than Luna is right now in more ways you can imagine.” While everypony but Pinkie, Twilight, and Spike burst out in hysterics, Chrysalis shuddered. She immediately regretted saying that as she now had the image in her head of the couple doing some baby making.

Twilight was now completely flustered and could feel her face burning. “I-I think we’ve said enough about that!” she stammered. “Any of you girls got something you want to share? Please!”

Eventually, Luna managed to contain herself. “I think I have something,” she said as she looked at their latest guest. “Cherub.”

Chrysalis slightly jumped when Luna said her name. “Yes, Luna?”

To her relief, Luna was giving her a friendly look. “This is our first time meeting, so I’d like to know more about you.”

Chrysalis cleared her throat and spoke in a friendly tone. “I moved here a while ago from Manehatten in order to set up my dating service. I help lonely ponies find true love as it is a part of my talent.” She stood up and showed off her cutie mark.

“That sounds very nice. I take it that is why you feel strongly about the changelings?”

“You are indeed a sharp one, Princess,” Chrysalis complemented as she sat back down. “Love is something that should be felt between lovers, not used as a source of power.”

“And from what I understand, you have employed Pinkie Pie,” Luna said while looking at the party pony.

“Regrettably, yes.” She groaned as they all giggled at her. “While her knowledge has certainly been of great help, she can be quite a burden.”

Pinkie stood up. “I’m not that bad!” she protested. “In fact, I think I’m getting better.”

Chrysalis leaned across the table and glared at her. “Does that include putting a whoopee-cushion on my seat while dealing with a client?”

“But he thought it was pretty funny!” Pinkie countered.

Rainbow Dash smirked at Chrysalis. “Everypony loves a good Pinkie prank. You just need to loosen up.”

Chrysalis ignored her and resumed her charm. “Anyway, business has been rather slow, but with all my recent success, I think that should be ending soon. With enough time, I guarantee that this town will be just flooding with romance.”

Applejack grabbed her and pulled her towards her. “Take it from me; she’s really good at what she does.”

“Thank you for the complement. How has it been going with you and Caramel? I heard he’s been dropping by Sweet Apple Acres a lot. Getting that friendly with him already?”

Applejack blushed. “No, but he’s a real sweetheart. After that first date, he can’t get enough of me and we see each other all the time. I just wish Granny would come around. She thinks he’s no good and she keeps hitting him with her cane. Oh, and the weird thing is after Caramel and I started officially datin’, Bonbon came by to personally thank me and even gave me money.”

“I believe it’s because he hasn’t been giving away anymore candy.” Rarity let out a sigh. “It’s a shame he also stopped his sweet talk. He really knows how to make a girl feel great about herself.”

“Well I can do that, Rarity.” Spike stammered for a moment. “You’re the most beautiful pony in all of Equestria.”

She giggled while blushing. “That was a little corny, but I really appreciate it.” She brought him in for a hug, causing Spike to have hearts in his eyes.

Pinkie gasped happily and jumped onto the table. “Oh! Why don’t you girls come down sometime? Cherub can find you the best special somepony ever!”

The former queen took deep breathes, trying to keep her cool. However, as much as she wanted to say no, she realized that there was no real harm in helping the ones she hated. The more love she could produce, the better. “I think that is a splendid idea, Pinkie,” she said cheerfully. “What would you say if we were to start Monday?” She then noticed something odd. The three single mares did not look very excited with the idea. She saw Spike was just about to say something, but then he noticed Twilight looking at him, which caused him to remain quiet.

“It’s a really lovely idea but…” Rarity fidgeted nervously, but then became happy. “…but I’m just too busy! Yes, with all my business trips to Canterlot, so perhaps another time.” She put on an innocent grin, which Chrysalis immediately saw right through as bullmanure. However, she decided not to push the issue any further as she was not that interested.

“I’d like to find one, but I haven’t done much research on dating, so maybe later.”

“Oh come on, Twilight,” complained Rainbow Dash. “I didn’t know all that much about dating either, but I’m doing great now. You totally have to try it.”

“She’s right, Twilight. You should really get out of those books of yours and get into the dating world.” While Chrysalis hated her more than anything, she would have liked for her to accept her offer so she could leave Ponyville sooner. Maybe she could even put Twilight through a bad breakup as a goodbye present.

Twilight shook her head. “Nope. I’d rather maximize my chances of a successful relationship. I’ve seen what rejection has done to ponies and I would rather avoid such an experience.”

Dash crossed her forelegs and huffed. “Whatever, egghead.”

Pinkie ran onto the table and stood over Fluttershy. “What about you? Don’t you want a special somepony?”

Fluttershy was clearly flustered and she hid her face behind her hair. “Oh, um, that’s sounds really nice, but I’m not sure if I’m ready yet. I’m sorry, please don’t be mad.”

“What’s wrong, Fluttershy? Don’t you like boys?” Dash said mockingly.

“O-of course I do! It’s just that…I…um…err…”

Chrysalis decided to cut in, feeling some pity for the yellow pegasus. “It’s alright, Fluttershy. There’s no need to feel pressured.” For some reason, she was unsure why she disliked the shy pony. She never did anything that ever got on her nerves and was usually quiet and friendly. Dash was a bragger, Rarity was a drama queen, Applejack was all about honesty and pride, and she hated Pinkie and Twilight for obvious reasons. She assumed she didn’t like her by default for being a friend of Twilight.

Pinkie sat back in her seat, clearly disappointed by none of her friends agreeing to her offer. She suddenly jumped back up. “I almost forgot!” Spike smiled. “Luna!” Spike slumped his shoulders and stared at the floor. “Do you want a special somepony?”

Luna shook her head. “I thank you for the offer, but I’m afraid I’m going to have to pass. I would rather find one on my own and I’m not sure if I’m ready to start dating again. I hope I don’t offend you, Cherub.”

“Not at all, I’m perfectly fine with you decision.” She was actually disappointed that the Princess of the Night said no. Had Luna accepted and she managed to find a good match for her, her business would have skyrocketed and she’d be queen again in no time.

“What about you, Pinkie?” asked Dash. “Haven’t you been looking for one at all?”

“I am, but there are just too many stallions to choose from.” She pulled on her own hair. “I like them all and that makes it really difficult for me. I don’t know who to choose!”

“What a shock,” stated the changeling blandly, causing the others to laugh.

“How about you, Cherub?” questioned Twilight. “Surely a pony with your talent would be interested in one.”

Chrysalis sighed, thinking about how her false relationship with Shining Armor had led her to where she was now. Perhaps she could somehow spin a similar story to help explain why she got upset when ponies hit on her. It already looked strange that a pony who was all about finding love for others would not be interested in finding it for herself. “Not exactly, Twilight. My last ‘relationship’ was a rather painful one and I don’t think I will be finding myself in another for quite a while.”

All of the laughter from earlier ceased and they looked at her with concern. “Was it really that bad?” Fluttershy asked with empathy.

Chrysalis laid her head on the table. “I was practically at the altar when everything fell apart.” She heard some of them gasp. “In the end, things just didn’t work out the way I had planned.”

Pinkie pulled on her hair more while her eyes became moist. “That’s just so horrible!”

“I agree. You have my deepest condolences,” said Rarity sympathetically.

“Is that why you are such a grouch?” asked Rainbow Dash, followed by a grunt as Applejack elbowed her in the stomach.

“Sadly, that is partially true. It was a rather bad break up and has really turned my world around. I think I can easily say it is the worst thing to have ever happened in my life.”

“Why didn’t you tell me this before!?” Pinkie cried.

“Because I felt like it was none of your business,” she responded, slightly annoyed.

“But if you told me, I would have thrown you a party to help make you feel better!”

The changeling merely rolled her eyes. “I would have probably passed on that. It’s going to take more than a party to fix anything that has gone wrong for me.”

“So what happened between you two?” asked Luna.

Chrysalis raised her head back up and just rested it on a hoof as she looked at Luna. “I don’t like talking about it. I prefer to just get things back together in my life and just move on. And if it’s alright with all of you, I would like to drop this subject. It's just too painful for me to discuss.”

The princess nodded. “Very well. Do any of you have anything else you want to discuss?”

Pinkie shot up. “I do! My parents sent me a letter about the annual boulder migration!” She pulled out several sheets of paper, cleared her throat, and began reading. “Dear Pinkamena Diane Pie…”

After the long and thrilling tale of the rock farm family, the meetup became something Chrysalis absolutely dreaded: a party. Remembering how much she had “enjoyed” the last one she took part in, she thought the smart thing to do was to avoid it all together. She told Twilight that she had a bad headache and went to go lie down in Twilight’s bed upstairs. She laid on the bed with a smirk on her face, loving how easy it was to enter Twilight’s home without that girl suspecting a single thing.

While she was alone in the unicorn’s bedroom, gears began to turn in her head. Chrysalis got off the bed and began looking around the room. She was curious about whether or not Twilight had kept a diary around. She was not expecting anything too juicy from the unicorn who loved studying more than anything, but she decided to check anyway. Any embarrassing secrets would help make her feel better about her life. She looked in drawers, the closet, and even the shelves, but she was so far unsuccessful. As she lifted the mattress to look under, she heard somepony come up the stairs. “I see you’re feeling better, Cherub.”

The false unicorn dropped the mattress and looked behind her, finding Luna on the lower level. Chrysalis laughed nervously, worried about why Luna was coming to her alone. “Yeah, I just suddenly felt better. I’ll go down to the party right now.”

Luna smirked as she stepped in. “That’s a shame. I just brought some medicine for you.” She took out a bottle of brandy and two glasses from her bag with magic.

Chrysalis looked at her with surprise and then placed the back of her hoof on her forehead. “Actually, I think it’s coming back. Do you think you can help me, Dr. Luna?”

The pony found humor in her joke. “I think I can. Have a seat.” They sat the table in the room and Luna poured her a glass. “You are quite a clever one, aren’t you?”

The changeling shifted her eyes around. “I don’t know what you mean.”

The princess’s quiet chuckling made her gulp. “I know you were lying. I’ve been taught to read ponies since the invasion. You seemed to have been rather annoyed when Pinkie said it was time to party.”

Chrysalis was relieved she was only interested in that. She let out a sigh and decided to tell her something that was actually true. Lying anymore to Luna could lead her to trouble. “Fine, you caught me. I just think I’m a little too old for some childish party, but I didn’t want to say anything. I’m pretty sure Pinkie Pie would have hounded me until I gave in.”

Luna took a sip of her drink. “I sort of feel the same way.”

“You do?” asked Chrysalis with slight surprise and confusion.

The pony gave a light but firm nod. “Yes. I admit they can be fun at times, but sometimes I just feel a little embarrassed in taking part in these sorts of parties. It is usually little filly stuff and I am a grown adult. It’s fun to let loose once in a while, but I do not wish to make it a habit.”

Chrysalis’s interest in the princess suddenly rose. “Is that why you wanted your visit to be a big secret?”

Luna gave out a hearty laugh as she shook her head. “No, I just wanted some alone time with my friends and not be bothered by the other citizens. They have taken a much larger interest in politics since the invasion and they are restless to learn anything new. Poor Celestia is often harassed by journalists who want to get the latest on the negotiations and I just want to avoid going through that.”

Chrysalis chuckled. “I see your point. Why did you even come here if you don’t want to participate in their little party?”

“Because they are all my friends. They are certainly a fun group and I do like to keep a close eye on the Bearers of Harmony. It’s just they like to do things that I sometimes have no interest in. I enjoyed our discussions and jokes from earlier and I was a little disappointed when they wanted to party.”

“I completely understand. I take it that is why you came to see me?” asked Chrysalis as she stared at her glass.

“That and I wanted to get to know you better. You certainly stick out from the bunch.”

The changeling smirked. “Because I’m older?”

“I meant your sour personality,” Luna jested.

Annoyance appeared on Chrysalis’s face. “Wow. Thanks, Princess.”

Luna put a hoof over her mouth to cover her smile. “Sorry. I just happened to notice you were nowhere as cheery as any of us.”

Chrysalis finished her drink and wiped her mouth. “I think you already know why that is.”

“I understand. I can tell you are going through some difficult things and I just wanted to see if I could be any help.”

“Of course you can help.” She raised her empty glass towards the alicorn.

The princess chuckled as she understood what she was referring to and refilled it. “I don’t think more alcohol will solve anything.”

“Works for me pretty well,” commented the changeling right before drinking some of it.

Faint chuckling could be heard from the princess. Once she stopped, she said, “So tell me more about yourself, Cherub.”

Chrysalis merely shrugged. “Not much to say; I’m just your average pony. I’m sure Twilight and her friends go through more interesting things in a week than I have in my life.”

“I suppose that’s true, but what about that dating service of yours?”

“It’s doing pretty well and I guess it’s all thanks to Pinkie.”

“She certainly saved you from closing,” Luna added.

“No kidding. I’m glad that…” Chrysalis looked at her with surprise. “How do you know about that?”

“Pinkie told me through a letter,” said Luna as she poured herself another round. “She was so happy to get a job from you and she seems to be really into what you do.”

“I honestly wish I only had to deal with Pinkie through letters. Her presence can be rather overwhelming,” said Chrysalis with slight annoyance.

“You’ll warm up to her, given how you’ve already lasted this long.” She gave out a sigh. “Shame I lost twenty bits.”

“What do you mean?”

“I should have mentioned since I am often awake during the night, the ponies and I communicate mostly through letters and they usually tell me anything of interest. When I heard a pony actually hired Pinkie Pie for helping ponies find love, I wagered with Celestia that it would take a week before she got fired or drove the pony into insanity.”

Chrysalis was surprised by how Luna also thought that Pinkie would one day drive somepony over the edge, which made her more comfortable with her. “Well I’ve certainly proved you wrong. I have to admit, I had never expected you to say such mean things about Pinkie, or any of the other ponies for that matter.”

Luna blushed. “I’m not trying to be mean; I just like to poke fun. Celestia and I like to gossip too, you know.”

“Now that I think about it, why aren’t you spending time with her? I’m sure you would much rather be with her than be here.”

Luna rested her head on her hoof and sighed deeply. “I am afraid she is much too busy as of late. The issues with the changelings are still around and she tries tirelessly to resolve them. We barely have time for each other anymore.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.” Much to Chrysalis's surprise, she sort of meant it.

“It’s all right. I still have a few other friends that I can spend time with in the night. Of course, it eventually becomes too late for them to stay up and I am left by myself.”

“How do you handle being alone in the night?”

“A lot better than you think.” Luna answered in a more upbeat tone. “I have many ways I can take up my time.” She looked around and motioned Chrysalis closer. “There’s also a benefit to being the Princess of the Night,” she whispered.

“Oh yeah?” she asked with great interest. “What’s that?”

“Almost nopony ever comes to night court, so every day is almost like a day off.” They both laughed.

“I suppose that is a plus to leave your sister to do all that boring stuff.”

“I still lend a hoof in certain matters. As a princess, I have many duties that I must attend to.” Luna decided to put her glass aside. “Enough about me, let’s get back to you.”

The outcast just shrugged again. “Not much to really say about me.” She did not take much time developing a background for herself as she felt it was unneeded. If she gave away too much information, ponies would become suspicious if they found something in her fabricated life that didn’t hold water.

“Well about your fiancé?” asked Luna.

Chrysalis placed a hoof on her face and groaned loudly, actually upset. “No, I really don’t want to talk about that at all.” She slightly regretted saying that she had a poor relationship before, but it would at least give her an excuse to be more like herself. Being nice and friendly all the time was definitely not her thing.

“I take it he did something horrible to you?”

She sipped her glass. “Yes, everything is his fault. I hope to get back at him someday for all the trouble he has put me through.” She could feel her anger rising as she thought about her defeat by the hooves of Shining Armor and his wife.

Luna reached over and patted her hoof sympathetically, which helped calm her down. “Don’t be so hung up about it. He must be a fool to lose a beautiful mare like yourself.”

Chrysalis smirked. “Thanks. Speaking of marriage, you sure you don’t want a special somepony?”

The alicorn gave a devious smile. “Oh, I see how it is. You just want to help me so you can boost your own reputation,” Luna teased.

Chrysalis gave an innocent grin. “So is that a yes?”

“I’m afraid not.”

It wasn’t the answer she had hoped for, but Chrysalis was still in a good mood. “That’s a shame. I’m sure I could find you a real boy toy who could satisfy you in many ways.”

Luna tilted her head. “Oh? I thought you wanted to help me find love.”

“Well who doesn’t love sex?” asked Chrysalis playfully.

They both laughed once again. “You have a point, but I think it would be unfitting of me to just take in a stallion like that.”

“You’re a princess. You can do whatever you want.”

“But I would rather do it with somepony I have feelings for.”

“I think it’s very silly to save yourself for such a thing. You shouldn’t bother waiting to get married before having fun with him,” commented the changeling.

“It’s not silly,” Luna protested with mild anger. “I waited for my first marriage before getting intimate and it was well worth the wait.”

“Wow, you actually saved yourself for the honeymoon? That was a terrible idea.” She laughed a little when she saw Luna frowning at her. Chrysalis took the bottle and began pouring herself more alcohol. “I don’t get what the big deal is. It is very natural for us to have urges. We don’t need some holy ceremony to permit us to do it.” Chrysalis emptied her glass and rolled her eyes up as she thought some more. “Now that I think about it, marriage might be a little overrated.”

“Well at least I got married,” Luna countered in a non-serious tone.

Chrysalis slammed the glass onto the table, causing Luna to jump. The changeling looked into Luna’s eyes with a cold glare. “That was a low blow, Luna.”

“Sorry,” said the princess with guilt in her voice, “I should have never said that.”

“No, you shouldn’t have.” She immediately lost all her respect for Luna. She had the nerve to rub in her massive failure and she felt worse than she had in a long time. She just could not bear being around the alicorn anymore.

Chrysalis stood up and walked past her. “Where are you going?”

“Home. I think I’ve had enough for the day and I’ll be sure to mention our conversation to Twilight on the way out. See you later, Princess.”

Luna ran in front of the stairway. “Wait! I’m really sorry about what I said, please don’t go.”

“I don’t care. I’m done with you,” she spat.

As she tried to leave, Luna placed a hoof on her shoulder. “Please stay. I really like spending time with you and I don’t want you to be upset. Just stay,” she begged.

As Chrysalis looked into her pleading eyes, she thought about how fun it would be to just go home and leave the princess to her misery. However, she decided against it. She already had Pinkie make her give one apology hug already and she was in no mood for another. There was also the fun they had prior to her comment, which there was plenty of. If she just stayed mad at Luna, she would be back to only having Pinkie and her little friends to socialize with, which was already sad enough. She sighed loudly, knowing that she was going to have to stay with her. “Fine.”

Luna faintly smiled. “Thank you, Cherub. I hope you can forgive me for upsetting you.”

Chrysalis just turned away and walked towards her seat. “Just never say such a thing to my face again.”

“It’s a deal.”

Chrysalis sat herself back down and just turned herself away from Luna. She was very angry about how Luna had killed the mood with her comment. She was actually having a good time until then. She knew that she was going to have to say that she forgave her, but she just couldn’t bring herself to. Thinking about her failure left her bitter. She couldn’t wait for the day where she would kick her flank like she had done with her sister.

“Are you still mad at me?” asked Luna worriedly.

“Yes,” Chrysalis replied harshly.

The princess’s ears flopped. “I’m really sorry, I just thought it would have been funny, but I clearly wasn’t thinking straight. I did not mean any offense, Cherub.” Chrysalis just remained silent. “Is there any way I can make it up to you?”

“Nope.” Security plans and potential weaknesses of the alicorns did come to mind, but now was not the best time to attempt in extracting such information.

Luna sighed gloomily. “I am really sorry about what I said and I am also sorry about what happened between you two. I do hope you find another that you will enjoy the rest of your life with.”

“Me too. That jerk hurt me in more ways you can imagine.”

“How are you doing now with your life?”

“Horrible,” Chrysalis answered with complete honesty. “I feel like I’ve hit rock bottom and I am trying to dig my way out. If anypony dares get in my way, I will drag them down with me.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.” Luna got up from her seat and sat next to her. “Are you sure there isn’t any way I can help? I’m sure there must be something.”

Chrysalis merely shook her head while still not looking at her. “No, not really. It is something that I have to deal with alone. It will be a while until I fix all the damage he has caused. After that, I’m getting payback on him.”

“That sounds like a good plan. You should let me know when you’re ready as I would like to join you.”

Chrysalis faced her with a raised eyebrow. “Oh?”

“He sounds like a terrible stallion for breaking your heart like that and I do not wish to see such an act go unpunished,” the alicorn commented deviously.

The outcast smirked. “How very noble of you, I will gladly take you on my conquest for vengeance. I’m just a little surprised you would be up for such a thing.”

“I just feel that sometimes if you want something done right, you have to get your hooves dirty.” Luna rubbed her hooves together, grinning.

Chrysalis smiled mischievously. “I think I’m beginning to like you, Luna.”

They heard hoofsteps approaching and saw Pinkie standing there. “Hey, you’re all better now, Cherub! Come on down and party with us! We're having a blast!” Pinkie then hopped away towards the source of the loud music.

The red unicorn groaned as she slowly stood up. “Looks like I don’t have much of a choice.”

“At least I will be there with you, and trust me when I say her parties are a little better when you’re tipsy.”

Chrysalis cocked her head. “Are you saying you’ve intoxicated yourself before because of these parties?”

Luna blushed. “Maybe.”

“Is that why you had brandy in the first place?” The princess gave an innocent grin as she shrugged, causing Chrysalis to crack up. “Now that I think about it, I wonder what these parties will be like when Pinkie becomes old enough to drink.”

“Now that would be a sight to behold.”

They broke into a fit of laughter as they descended the stairway.

Chrysalis stayed in Twilight’s home until it was nightfall. Despite being forced to participate in some of the games they played, she actually felt that it was nice to have a change of things, rather than sitting at home and reading. Even though she was surrounded by those who she despised, she didn’t have that bad of a time, except for whenever Pinkie tried to bring up her non-existent lover. Once it was time to leave, she said her goodbyes and thanked Twilight and Pinkie for having her over while actually being sincere. Luna was leaving as well, so they both walked out together.

“This has certainly been a wonderful day,” Luna said cheerfully as she looked at her stars above.

“Surprisingly, I have to agree. Normally I only find misfortune whenever I’m with Pinkie, but I think you helped in preventing that.”

“Glad I could help, but Pinkie Pie is not that bad. She’s a really sweet pony if you get to know her. Everypony likes her and I am sure you will too.”

“I suppose, but I think I really need to work on telling Pinkie that I don’t want to be a part of any of her parties.” Chrysalis turned her head to examine her hind legs. “I swear that cake has already gone to my thighs.”

They stopped walking and faced each other. “It’s been nice meeting you, Cherub.”

“Likewise. It’s not every day I get to spend time with a princess. You’re a lot different than I expected. I never thought you would be so fun.” She still found it strange that Luna was the highest of royalty and could just act like how she did.

Luna giggled. “Just because I’m royalty doesn’t mean I can’t be both fun and friendly.”

Chrysalis smiled and nodded. However, there was something she was very curious about and wanted to ask in private. “Hey, can I ask you something personal?”

“You can ask me anything.”

“Let me first just say that I’m once again sorry about how I acted earlier, thinking you were Nightmare Moon.” Chrysalis stuck a hoof out. She thought this would be a good idea before going through with her question in order to put any hard feelings behind them.

Luna took her hoof and firmly shook it. “Apology accepted. It’s amusing how you were so much like Fluttershy when she thought the same thing now that I think about it.”

“Gee, thanks,” said Chrysalis while rolling her eyes.

Luna chuckled at her. “Sorry. So what is it you wanted to ask?”

Chrysalis was hesitant. “After you came back from the moon and got defeated, how did you get your sister and everypony else to forgive you for what you did?”

Luna’s smile disappeared and was replaced with an uncomfortable look. “When I first returned to Canterlot after my long imprisonment, the only thing I wanted to do was lock myself away from it all. I couldn’t bear to face anypony because I just felt so ashamed of what I did. After a day, my sister managed to get inside and I just wanted to hide.”

“Was she mad at you?”

Luna shook her head. “I thought she was, but she was actually worried about me. She told me that I needed to get out, but I just didn’t want to leave. I couldn’t even look at her. Every time I did, I couldn’t stop thinking about what I had done. She knew what I was thinking and just held me, telling me I shouldn’t worry about the past and that she would always love me. I’m so lucky to have a sister like her.”

“So what did you do after?”

“Once I had returned to my original form, I started raising the moon like I used to back then. And when Celestia had given me a brief lesson about the history I was not present for, I was allowed to do other things like creating treaties and laws.”

Chrysalis quietly huffed as Luna wasn’t answering the question that she was interested in. “What about your subjects? How did they feel about you?” she tried asking politely.

“At first, they were terrified of me, thinking I was still the evil Nightmare Moon, but thanks to Twilight, she helped me change that. Now I am looked at as highly as my sister.”

“They accepted you? Just like that?” she questioned in disbelief.

“When I was Nightmare Moon, all I felt was jealousy and anger, but after I had been restored, all I wanted was forgiveness. I was able to be forgiven because I had changed. I wasn’t the pony they all feared anymore as I was one who was kind, friendly, and understanding. They eventually learned that I no longer had evil intentions and they felt safe around me. There are still many who feel like I am still the same from before and I hope to prove them wrong.”

Chrysalis nodded. “I see. Thank you for allowing me to take your time, Princess Luna.”

“It’s no problem. It has always been a difficult subject for me to talk about, but I appreciate that you are willing to listen.”

“I’m sorry for bringing it up. I was just curious.”

“Don’t worry about it.” Chrysalis could see a mischievous look on her face and became worried. “But now you have to do something for me.”

“Like what exactly?”

“You now have to tell me about your last relationship.”

Chrysalis stared at her, mouth agape. She wasn’t sure how she was going to come up with a convincing story on the spot and she didn’t think she could turn down her demand after what she asked. “Well, it’s a long story, and, well, you see…”

Luna started laughing. “I was merely pulling your leg. You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to.”

“Oh, well that’s a relief.” She couldn’t believe the alicorn princess had just pulled a fast one on her.

“I need to get going now. It has been fun talking with you and I hope we see each other soon.”

Chrysalis nodded in agreement. “I would like that. Goodbye, Luna.”

“Goodbye, Cherub. Have a good night.”

She watched as Luna flew off the ground. Her horn glowed brightly and after several seconds, she completely vanished. Once she was gone, Chrysalis started heading home. She wasn’t sure why, but she had found a lot of enjoyment in her company. She was much more interesting than she had thought and wouldn’t mind having her as a friend. Luna had even given her some advice that she thought about following for her return to her kingdom.

Chrysalis suddenly stopped and gagged loudly. She couldn’t believe what she was thinking. Being in this town was making her soft, actually considering making friends with her enemy. She didn’t need to change herself in any way. She was fine the way she was. It was just a setback that had put her in this position in the first place. She wasn’t even sure why she was even listening to Luna, who only tried to take over Equestria because of a temper tantrum. Chrysalis’s determination and vision would lead her people into the golden age they deserved and she would never get there by playing nice. She saw it as her sworn duty to stop Nymph from leading the changelings into losing their superiority in the world. They needed Chrysalis and she would not rest until it was done.