"Twilight? What are you doing?" Her mother asked looking down at the little filly who seemed to be nestled on a pillow surrounded by a fort made out of books.
"The munsters can't get me while I read now!" Filly Twilight spoke up in her young cheerful voice before sticking her nose back into the book and happily read away at her latest adventure.
Celestia stifled a giggle as the more adult Twilight who stood next to her blushed.
"I forgot how adorable you had been." Celestia commented.
" Twilight said trying to laugh her blush away. The ghostly image of that memory seemed to fade away and was replaced with another, this one a scene of Twilight's mother reading a book to filly Twilight.
This had been the scene since they had entered the building that looked just like her old home in Canterlot. Various images of memories past blinked in and out of existence, all of them Twilight's. Most in this house were just of her as a little filly, interacting with her parents, having birthday parties and of course lots of studying. Most of her active memories of her youth involved her nose deep in some kind of book.
Celestia looked around the house curiously, watching each memory come and fade before her eyes fell on a chest that seemed to somehow stand out from the rest of the scenery objects. Twilight looked at her curiously as her mentor began to walk forward, before looking at what her eyes were drawn to, her heart almost stopping.
"Oh, hey Princess, w-what're you looking at?" Twilight asked quickly zipping in front of the Princess, standing between her and the chest.
"This chest seems to stand out as something different from the rest of the room. I was just going to check what was inside it." Celestia explained with a smile.
"Oh, what, this chest?" Twilight said awkwardly placing her body against the chest as if protecting it, "Oh there's nothing inside of here, haha, don't be silly, it's just an ordinary chest! It's not like anything would be kept inside of here." She laughed trying to grin away the Princess's curiosity. Celestia opened her mouth to question this, when suddenly a voice interrupted them both as if answering her question.
"What're you writing Twilight?" The supportive voice of her father came, looking over the filly sitting at a desk who was happily writing away.
"Oh, I just finished reading The Adventures of Captain Roger! I was sad to see the story end, so I'm writing what happened next!" Filly Twilight giggled happily.
"And what happens in your story?" Her father asked curiously.
"So far Captain Roger has fallen in love with the pretty mare Midnight Sparkle! They're currently seeking to find a cure to the curse placed on Midnight to restore her broken heart!" Filly Twilight giggled as she went back to writing.
"My, a romance story? How bold." Her father chuckled.
"It's the bestest story ever!" Filly Twilight gave a wide grin.
Celestia did everything she could to keep herself from falling over with laughter, as Twilight's face became a deep red as she clutched the chest harder.
"It's not funny!" Twilight said trying to bury her face against the trunk now.
oh my faithful student
I had no idea you were such
such a romantic." Celestia let out another set of giggles, covering her mouth with her hoof as she was failing, miserably, to not laugh at this revelation.
curse my mind
this is so embarrassing." Twilight groaned at Celestia's laughing.
Twilight and Celestia walked down the dirt road heading for the depiction of the castle. Twilight's ears were folded back as she walked, still trying to get over the embarrassment of having been caught writing her silly fanfiction as a foal.
"Come now Twilight, you should relax. I'm not going to tell anyone about your daring adventures as a child." Celestia chuckled soflty walking beside her student.
"It's STILL embarrassing." Twilight grumbled softly, "I haven't told anyone I used to write those
things when I was younger. They're so poorly written!" Twilight said letting loose her inner critic, "The established characters were all acting out of character, everything was focused around my original character, a poorly written one I might add, who was the admiration and affection of every other character. Captain Roger was a swinging bachelor, he would never settle down with a single mare so easily! Not to mention the physics of their adventures, oh they broke physics so often just because I wanted to." Twilight rubbed her forehead as they walked.
"But that sounds like such fun." Celestia laughed, "Everypony has written something like that at least once in their life. It's fun to write silly things for the sake of it. Even I've written some in my days." Celestia smiled.
"W-what? Really?" Twilight asked surprised having heard the Princess had written fanfiction in the past.
"Of course. Though it has been many years since I wrote anything that wasn't a letter or a political paper." Celestia mused with herself, "I've been so very busy with all my work as of late. Perhaps when I get a break I'll write something new." She smiled softly.
would it be okay if I could read it?" Twilight asked now very curious as to the kind of literature the Princess would write. Surely anything that she graced would be filled with an exhilarating prose, one that would keep her enthralled for quite some time.
"Only if I can read some of your old work." Celestia gave a sly smile to her student. Twilight felt her ears go back again as she groaned looking up at the sky, eliciting another chuckle from the Princess.
Inside the castle Celestia and Twilight were greeted with a very similar scene as they had upon entering Twilight's house. Only now the scenes were of an older Twilight, learning and studying magic.
"I don't get it Princess
" Twilight said watching the ghostly images of her younger self struggling to learn spells. "It seems that everything here is just showing us my memories. It's helping me remember these events more clearly
but how is this terrifying?" Twilight looked up at Celestia looking for an answer.
Celestia didn't answer straight away. She had to ponder that question herself.
let me ask you Twilight, you haven't been having nightmares correct?" Celestia watched with a bit of amusement as a filly Twilight was bouncing around in a circle cheerfully at having succeeded in casting a spell.
"No, I haven't
and I don't think I have memories I've suppressed from my childhood
I just wasn't very social as a child. I read books and studied primarily but
that was always of my own choice, not because I was afraid of friends." Twilight spoke softly, remembering back to her focus on studying and bettering herself over getting to know anyone she knew.
"Tell me Twilight, do you think that it would make a difference?" Celestia asked in a curious manner.
it's the only thing I can think of that would
" Twilight murmured slowly to herself.
"Well, now that I have seen this spell for myself I can give you a proper analysis of what I think of it." Celestia said closing her eyes, her horn flaring up with magic. Twilight looked at her teacher curious, wondering what exactly it was she was doing when she suddenly felt the world begin to crumble away around her.
The wind returned as everything crumbled away. She closed her eyes trying to orientate herself quickly before she felt solid ground underneath her once again. The warm touch of her teacher's horn pulled away from her forehead as she blinked open her eyes, realizing she was sitting at the table once more, looking at Celestia.
you ended the spell on purpose?" Twilight said astonished rubbing her forehead.
"I did. It's in the casting instructions." Celestia explained with a soft smile.
I knew that but
" Twilight was just kind of at a loss for words. She was used to the spell ending on its own...she scoffed at herself for thinking it was possible to get 'used' to that spell.
"This has certainly been an interesting discovery." Celestia said closing the book and levitating it back over to Twilight, who carefully took it in her hooves, "It's a spell I believe I'll have use for in the future. However I'm still worried that it was released in a book available to the public."
"I...I can understand your worries Princess
" Twilight said looking at the book.
"Regardless though, here are my thoughts on what I saw." Celestia said taking a quick breath to gather her thoughts, "The spell does exactly what it says it does. It lets the caster delve into the patients mind so that they can view memories better. I'm sure if we had dug deeper we would've found more
embarrassing things that you'd rather keep secret." Twilight could only blush, knowing it was true, there were somethings she did on quiet days while alone that she didn't exactly want the Princess to see.
"However, your experience seems to differ. We used the spell as intended and it reacted exactly how it's supposed to as it's written down. The spell allows me access to your mind and together we unravel what might be ailing you. That's why it's so effective as a cure for Nightmares. It takes you directly to the problem of the Nightmares and makes you deal with them." Celestia pondered again, "However
you should still have been with your friends the entire time. There's no explanation for you to have been separated as you said you were."
do you think I screwed up in casting the spell?" Twilight asked a little worried.
"No, I don't think you did." Celestia pondered, "I think there's more going on than meets the eye." She grew quiet after that, the gears in her mind turning. Twilight opened her mouth to speak up; however Celestia was the next to speak.
"Well, this is as good a place as any to end our time for the day." Celestia smiled, "I have business to attend to and I'm sure you would like to get started on studying for your evaluation."
"Y-Yea, I guess I do need to start studying." Twilight said thinking to herself, there was only a few days left till she would be evaluated; though now that she had talked with the Princess she was feeling better about it all. "Would it be alright if I had access to the Canterlot Archives for my studies Princess?"
"But of course Twilight. I'll see you again soon." Celestia bowed softly to Twilight, Twilight bowing back before the two of them went their separate ways.
'Okay, I'm only more confused now
' Twilight thought taking several mental notes of everything she saw during her experience with the Princess, 'I have to find out more though.' She thought while looking at the book she was levitating by her side before placing it back into the suitcase as she made her way to the archives, 'For the sake of my friends I have to learn more about this spell
The Canterlot archives were a vast network of book shelves that seemed to stretch as far as the eye could see. It was the single place in all of Equestria where all known knowledge was stored. Every book that was published had a copy placed inside its lengths, every finished research paper, every official document, anything written that was deemed important for Equestria.
The archives were a well-guarded resource. Only those who had direct permission from the Princesses were allowed access to them. At any time there could be found at least two or three researchers browsing the archives for information, however the size of the archives often meant you'd find solitude more often than running into another soul.
This wasn't Twilight's first time stepping into the hallowed chambers. She'd been there several times, the first few with the Princess teaching her how to access the resources available, then how to study details on new spells she was studying, then she'd been there on several personal trips looking for books that were not available in the normal Canterlot Library.
Twilight found herself now staring at the many long pathways before her, books filled from one end to the other. It was one of her dreams to have all the time she could ever want to just simply browse through the literature here, learn everything that was possible to learn from the hidden depths of this amazing collection of knowledge.
However, she was here for a very specific purpose and she didn't have the luxury of idling for too long.
Along the wall next to the door she had just entered were several pendants that hung loosely by strings on the wall. She levitated one over to herself and looked at it. The pendant was a simple point cut crystal wrapped with a decorative silver frame. The pendants were simple yet shined with a complex beauty. Twilight was sure Rarity would love to get her hands on one.
"I'm looking for the works of Magus V. Darkarts." Twilight said concentrating her magic on the pendant. The pendant lit up with a soft white glow and Twilight let go of the pendant as it now floated before her on its own. The pendant then began to move, creating a path through the massive lengths of archives for Twilight to follow.
The pendant was like a small star leading her through the dimly lit hallways of the archives. She had once asked why the lights were kept dimmed and the answer she had received was that it helped preserve the documents. It was an answer that made sense to her, but it made looking for what you wanted a little more difficult.
She turned and wove through several archives following the light as it guided her through the maze of knowledge. It was always hard to tell just how far you would have to travel, for all she knew his section could have been at the very back of the archives.
However the pendant made one final turn down a length of the archives and came to a stop, illuminating the area.
"Ah-hah, so here's the section." Twilight said aloud to herself smiling as she drew closer, when she noticed movement. She quickly shifted her eyes in the direction and saw a dark colored pony that seemed to be just slightly taller than her, "Oh, I didn't expect to meet someone else here." Twilight said surprised, trying to adjust her eyes to see who it was.
I didn't either
my apologies, I-I'll just go somewhere else." The voice of a quiet mare replied to her as the pony turned and began to walk off, her own pendant following her.
"There's nothing to apologize for." Twilight explained causing the mare to stop, "I don't mind having someone else around while I study. My name's Twilight Sparkle, what's yours?" Twilight smiled giving her guest a friendly greeting.
The other mare was quiet for a moment before turning around and walked closer before her pendant raised up and glowed brighter, giving Twilight a proper look at the mare before her. She had grayish purple coat with light blue hair that seemed to frame her face just right. Her teal eyes seemed to pierce strongly through the dim light as Twilight could now make out the large size of her horn accentuated by a small dark crown. Her body was adorned with small pieces of royal regalia the same color as her crown and hair. Her chest and flank bore the shape of the crescent moon.
"I-It's me Twilight
" Luna said quietly not wanting to look Twilight in the eyes.
"Oh, I'm sorry Princess; I didn't mean to intrude upon your studies." Twilight said giving her a quick bow before smiling, "I must admit I wasn't expecting to see you here of all places."
I-I've been spending
a lot of time studying here
much to Tia's dismay. She keeps saying I should go out and be social
" Luna turned her head away from Twilight, "But
I just want to study right now."
we haven't seen you since
" Twilight said not wanting to bring up bad memories, "Since Pinkie threw you that party. Is this where you've been the whole time?" Twilight asked surprised, eliciting a nod from Luna. "Well, Princess
if I may
I think you should make some time for friends."
I have no friends
" Luna mumbled quietly lowering her head, "Not
after what I did
"Oh come now, everypony already forgave you." Twilight smiled, "No one holds it against you, and you just need to work up the courage to make some friends." Twilight felt weird giving this advice to Princess Luna. Not just a year ago she wouldn't have said a word of it; surprising what can change in such a short amount of time.
Are you sure?" Luna asked looking at Twilight with a curious look, not sure whether she was being told the truth or not, "You
you were one of the ones that freed me from my evil intentions
you don't hold any ill will against me?"
"Of course not, don't be silly." Twilight chuckled, "What were you currently studying anyway?"
I was studying dreams at the moment." Luna looked towards the book shelves, "It was always a topic of fascination to me since ponies dream while they sleep through my night
I was wondering what kind of things they'd been dreaming about for the last thousand years
"What a coincidence, I'm here studying dreams too." Twilight grinned, walking up to the shelves her pendant point to indicating the section that was labeled as the works of Magus V. Darkarts. Twilight scanned through the selection and frowned a little. There were only four books released by this author which disappointed her. She grabbed all four of them with her magic and levitated them to her side before levitating one of the books over to Luna. "I think you'll find this one particularly interesting."
"Dreams: A Psychological Understanding?" Luna said curiously reading the cover of the book.
"Why don't we study together Luna? If we compare notes I'm sure we can learn a lot more about this subject than either of us could alone." Twilight grinned happily.
You'd like me as your study partner?" Luna perked up, a smile forming on her face at Twilight's proposal.
"Of course! Plus I'm sort of on a time limit, so having the help would be greatly appreciated." Twilight beamed happily before looking around and finding one of the nearby study tables, "Lets study!" She exclaimed walking over to the table and placing the three books down onto it.
lets." Luna said happily walking over to the table with her book and sat down across from Twilight, looking curiously at the book before her. Luna wondered what kind of knowledge would be gained from this book that delved into the psychology of dreams.
"Everything happens for a reason. From the wind blowing to the very movements of the sun and stars. There is only one thing to do with knowing this
and that is to seize the knowledge! To let the answers slip away is...as criminal as theft." Magus V. Darkarts.