Pony POV Series
The Third Alicorn
By Kendell2 and Alexwarlorn
WARNING! SPOILERS FOR ROYAL CANTERLOT WEDDING AND PONY POV SERIES: ORIGINS!
My sister's Night Court was just beginning. The sun had been set and the moon raised. I thank Mother and Father I have Lulu back for many reasons, including that I don't have to function on catnaps as Princess of both the Day and Night anymore. I don't physically need to sleep, but it still does wonders for my sanity. Just as a settled in to read Twilight's latest friendship letter, a knock came on my door. "Hmm, now who could that be?"
As I open the door, I am greeted, for the second time at such a late hour of the day, by my pupil. Only this time, she does not appear to be in a tizzy over discovering horrifying secrets no mortal should be forced to know from a book which shouldn't even exist, only
somewhat confused, uneasy.
"Why, hello My Faithful Student," I reply. "I didn't expect to have you visit me again so soon. Not that it isn't a pleasure to have you visit."
She shifts uneasily at my gaze. No, not at my gaze, at the thing on her mind. "Hello, Princess Celestia. And I know
I just had something on my mind. It's been on my mind for a few days, since we
had our talk."
I give her my full attention, that's something I didn't expect. Well, something I should've expected but hadn't. I had cut our conversation short due to the time after all. "And what you want to know is an answer only I can provide, correct?"
She nods slowly, looking up at me. I can see the admiration in her eyes, but also some fear, or uncertainty. But it's not of me, thank Mother and Father. "Yes."
I give a nod of my own in turn. "Come in. I'll make some tea."
Once we're set down with tea on the table, Philomena sleeping on her perch nearby, I break the ice. "Alright, My Faithful Student, I promised you there will be no secret you cannot ask me, minus the details of the war, or any war for that matter, and I will keep that promise. What is it that is on your mind?"
Twilight doesn't reply for a few minutes, I can tell whatever it is frightens her by the look in her eye. Finally, she looked up at me. "You said that one of your sisters
One that you last saw just before you came to Equestria
That her name was Cadence
" she explained, serious. "Was that Cadence my Cadence who was my foalsitter when I was a filly?"
I give a smile, finally she asks something I can happily tell her. "I wondered when you would finally get around to asking that question, Twilight, I practically gave you the answer already," I reply. "Yes, Princess Cadence is indeed my sister, Cadence, the 14th, Concept of Harmony and Music
But that idea scared you, didn't it? That's why it took you this long to decipher the truth?"
Twilight nodded, fear clearer in her eyes. "Cadence
she was one of my best friends when I was a filly
One of my only friends
She taught me a lot of really important spells
Including one that was really important
I give a small smile. "The Memory Spell you mean."
Twilight gave a small nod.
"Yes, I remember
I peaked through the door to Twilight's room. I'd had Cadence tutor Twilight when it came to emotional and mind magic, since Twilight was having difficulty with those areas. She may have been a great student, but everypony has areas they need extra help with.
"Alright, Twilight, this spell is very important," Cadence told her, still a teenager at the time. Her voice was calm and warm, like she always used to talk to the foals she watched over. "It's related to my signature spell in a way."
Twilight looked up at her with her typical excitement, both at Cadence's presence and at the prospect of learning a new spell. She took out her notebook, Smartypants beside her with "her" notebook as well. "Really? That spell? The one you use to make ponies love each other?"
Cadence shook her head. "Twilight, I don't make ponies love each other, that's not a good thing to do
trust me on that. My signature spell repairs the bonds between ponies. This Memory Spell could be considered an aspect of my spell, it reminds ponies of what's important to them."
"And what is that?" asked Twilight, taking notes as she listened.
Cadence chuckled. "That's a good question
here, let me show you
" she said, putting her horn to Twilight's head, her horn glowing blue as she cast the spell. "What do you see?"
Twilight closed her eyes as the spell did it's work. "
Me being with my mom and dad
with you and with Celestia
And with Spike
I see everypony I care about."
Cadence nodded as Twilight opened her eyes. "And that's because we're all the most important thing to you. If you lost sight of that, that's what the Memory Spell would bring to your mind, to remind you of what matters most to you. But it doesn't just do it with people, it does it with other things too. Like if somepony really loved writing, but became sidetracked by something to the point they lose sight of their passion, the Memory Spell would remind them of how much it mattered to them."
Twilight blinked, then nodded slowly. "Oh, I think I get it!
" Twilight looked down. "Do you think, maybe
Cadence pulled her close and put a wing over her shoulder. "You want to see your parents, don't you?"
Twilight nodded. "Yeah
now that you reminded me of them
Cadence gave a warm smile. "Alright, let's go send them a letter and have them drop by."
"When you sent me those letters and reminded me of what mattered
" said Twilight, giving a small smile. "It reminded me of what Cadence said about the Memory Spell, how it reminds a pony of what's most important to them
I realized that if being reminded of what was important to me restored me, reminding my friends of what was important to them with the Memory Spell would probably free them too
I consider telling her I did not send the letters, but I don't
One revelation at a time. "And that was very smart of you, Twilight. I wish I'd thought of it three thousand years ago."
"Thanks...I just wish I'd made better use of the Want It, Need It Spell..."
"Yes, I'm certain Cadence did not teach you to use it in that fashion, but you did go temporally insane thanks to the trauma Discord inflicted on you, so you weren't exactly in your right mind," I reply, trying not to make her feel bad. Yes, she messed up, but I'd be a fool to blame her for an act committed during a momentary lose of sanity, I've seen Discord's work before, she's fortunate it was only temporary. "Please, continue, my faithful student. Why did it take you so long to ask me this question?"
She looked up at me fearfully. "Because
now I'm afraid
afraid that she was keeping something like what you told me from me all this time...She's the closest thing I had to a best friend when I was little
I was scared that
that my Cadence is a lie
That she'd just fade away and there'd be just this stranger
" Her eyes misted up.
I smiled. "Twilight, I never stopped loving Mimic as my mother on Earth, or the Paradise ponies as my family. You should have realized that."
"Twilight, Discord's case was very unique. Dissey's
Dissey's choices in Equestria, and the choices he made before he came, were so fundamentally different that neither part of him could accept the other as a part of himself. As for Cadence hiding something from you, she has hid nothing. She doesn't know any of what I told you."
Twilight just stares at me. "What? But she's-"
"Exactly like me and Luna were when we were born into your world," I explain. "Cadence has no memory of the Alicorn/Draconequus War, her stand against Havoc's Avatar, or any of it. She also has no knowledge of the events three thousand years ago, or even one thousand. Her mortal form is barely any older than Shining Armor."
Twilight blinked in confusion. "But
how is that possible? I
I thought she was the Alicorn Princess in the Hearts and Hooves Day myth
Teacher, are there
any more of your family in Equestria?"
"I'll let you know as soon as I do, my student. Or maybe you already do. Hopefully, this world will have already matured by the time waves of change begin again."
then who was the Alicorn in the Hearts and Hooves Day story?"
I can't help blushing. Of course she'd bring up one of my family's most humiliating of moments. "Well
It's a long story
" I reply, but she just looks expectantly at me. "It actually happened before Discord's reign, during the time of the three tribes."
Twilight blinks at me in confusion. "But how
it calls her a princess, but you and Luna were the first Alicorn princesses."
"Hearts and Hooves Day is one of the few holidays to have survived from the pre-Discord Era," I explain, trying not to look as embarrassed about the story as I really am. It wasn't me, of course, but talking about something humiliating a sibling did can be just as humiliating as doing it yourself. "Ponies have associated Alicorns with the princess position for nearly two thousand years. So naturally when one turned up in an ancient story, the story mutated and dubbed her a princess. It was one of my siblings
I won't tell you which, it's too embarrassing
I actually blush. "
I'm sorry, Twilight, but this is my sister we're talking about. Someone I looked up to and respected
"And you don't want to say something about them that would humiliate them if they were here?" she asked, looking up at me.
It's my turn to simply nod in response.
She nodded too. "I understand, I'd feel the same way about it if was a part of my family."
"Thank you, my Faithful Student."
"Just tell me this, please. You said the Draconequi effectively had reign over the world back then. So how could she have even come to Equestria in the first place?"
"And that was one of the reasons they were given that right to begin with
when my sister assuming a vulnerable material form
it's part of the reason we didn't do so very often at all, even if dying in material form is meaningless...in a manner of speaking."
And the dragon
"Was her Draconequus partner's mortal form. It's a long
long, humiliating story."
But back to the point, how can Cadence only be as old as Shining Armor? Everything you told me, it happened over three thousand years ago, so how did this happen?" Twilight asked me, clearly confused.
This time I sigh, I should've seen that question coming. It pains me because I can't provide an answer. "I'll tell you the honest truth Twilight, I have no idea. Neither does she
I'll tell you all I know of how the Cadence you know came to be, Twilight. This is actually one story I have no problem telling you. It's actually one of the happiest moments I had in the thousand years Luna was imprisoned."
It was before you were born, Twilight, but I remember it perfectly. Alicorn memories do not fade, something that is both a blessing and a curse. Since my sister was still imprisoned, I stayed up both day and night, catching only catnaps in-between when I could manage. It was honestly lucky the stress this caused me didn't drive me insane. I don't need to sleep, my body can function without it entirely, it's my mind that needs sleep's embrace.
It was a winter night when I heard the news, the day before Hearts and Hooves Day. I had just risen the moon and lowered the sun like I did everyday, and was taking my coffee break before Night Court began its session when I heard a knock on the door. "Come in," I called, having been used to such happenings day and night. When one rules both day and night for nearly one-thousand years, you become used to it. Believe it or not, there were assassins who were polite enough to knock, I'll have to tell you that story later, my faithful student. It's actually quite humorous.
My Earth Pony guard entered. Despite what some racist Earth Ponies think, there are a large number of their tribe in my Royal Guard, it's just mostly they remain at the castle when I travel, so they're not often seen.
"Your Majesty," he said, bowing.
I bid him to rise. "Hello, isn't about time for you to be heading home for Hearts and Hooves Day?" I ask. Obviously, the entire Royal Guard couldn't leave for the holidays, but I was fair to those who had good reason to leave.
He nods. "Yes, I was just getting ready to end my shift, but an important message arrived for you."
"Oh, I see. In that case, please tell me the message so you may get home to your wife, I'm certain she misses you."
"Yes, I'm sure she does
I've received word from Blue Song, she had her foal a short while ago."
Blue Song was one of my nieces, well, technically speaking, my multiple times great niece. After the eighth great, I just dropped the greats altogether with my realitives. I knew she'd been expecting a foal, so I wasn't really surprised, yet.
"Oh, that's very good news, is it a colt or a filly?" I was quite excited though, after all, no matter how far the line, that child was still family.
"A little filly."
"Ah, and I suppose it's a unicorn."
That surprised me, but I knew her bloodline had both the other tribes in it, so it was possible. "Oh
"Oh, then it must be an Earth Pony."
My guard looked to be trying to make himself as small as possible. "
It's all three."
Of course, I had chosen that moment to take a drink of my coffee, which I promptly spat in a random direction. "WHAT?!" I used the Royal Canterlot Voice in my surprise, then calmed down enough to realize it
and that I'd spat my coffee on Philomena as she sat on her perch. "S-sorry
Philomena merely sighed and heated herself off to evaporate the coffee.
He took my reaction surprisingly well. "It's fine, your majesty
As I said, the filly is
like you, an Alicorn."
I was, for lack of a better word, speechless. Twilight, that should've been impossible. And that's coming from someone who witnessed Destruction blow up a black hole from the inside out. Even if there were still other Alicorns, they'd have been born as one of the other tribes, but most certainly not an Alicorn. It was only Galaxia's intervention that allowed myself and Luna to be born Alicorns on the mortal plane. A mortal pony, under very rare conditions, can become an Alicorn, but that was something I'd only seen in the Truth, and never in a newborn foal. It wasn't just not possible, it was so impossible that it escaped all the possibilities I'd imagined happening, and you know how many I have.
I didn't manage to form a centuries old plan to redeem my sister by only planning along one path. I certainly didn't only plan for at least half the Elements of Harmony to already be living in Ponyville. Or rely on Nightmare Moon subconsciously helping fire forge your friendships. I dared not expose Cadence to The Truth when she was old enough and I'm not Rota Fortuna, I cannot see the future. And yet, this impossibility had just happened. I hadn't been so shell shocked in over a thousand years.
" I finally stuttered out. "Blue Song's daughter is an Alicorn?"
He nodded. "I couldn't believe it myself, Your Highness, but that's what the message said."
I nodded slowly, finally coming out of my daze. "P-please s-send a letter to them, telling them I'll be coming to see my new niece tonight," I replied, in a distant voice. I had so many thoughts running through my head. Twilight, at that point, I was the only Alicorn on Earth. Galaxia had been
had been murdered by Discord and Luna was a Nightmare imprisoned in the moon. And then I'm told there was a new Alicorn! My mind was going through every possibility from a mutation who wasn't a true Alicorn to a new sibling of mine. "Then please get home to Silver Platter, Silver Axe
My chariot descended through the snowy night, the Pegasi drawing it looking straight ahead, a unicorn standing directly in front of me, using her horn as a light to guide us through the night and the snow. My guards and I would normally have simply flown ourselves, but the storm required a unicorn to light the way for us. I didn't blame anyone for the snow storm, I had known it was scheduled in advanced. Normally, winter is over before Hearts and Hooves Day, but that year there were bad insect infestations, so a brief run of winter weather was put in place to drive them off. In retrospect, I find it fitting that the beginning of the end for my family had begun in snow and ice, and the occasion of that day would as well.
We landed near my niece's house, she and her husband, Bright Blood, lived not far from the palace, but I'm required to have an escort most everywhere I publicly go. It's a burden, but necessary. I'd much rather have my guards have to disable an assassin than do so myself, not because I can't protect myself, but because I'd protect myself too well. I'm a goddess, sometimes even I'm afraid of how powerful I really am. And I never want to kill one of my little ponies, even one who seeks to do me harm.
I disembarked my chariot, flanked by the two guards who would guard the door, leaving them there as Bright Blood let me in. He was a white unicorn stallion, a little uptight, but goodhearted. At the time, he looked tired, but proud and relieved, which was understandable, considering the situation. "Hello, Aunt Celestia, it is good to see you. We didn't expect you tonight," he replied, giving a light bow. Sometimes it feels so good to have family that actually sees me as family.
"Hello, Bright Blood, and I understand that. Normally I would come tomorrow, but
is it true? Is your daughter an Alicorn?" I ask, trying to keep the disbelief out of my voice.
"Well, she certainly looks the part," he replied, I could hear pride in his voice. The pride of any new father. Twilight, I know it doesn't seem like much, but to hear a father describe his newborn daughter as an Alicorn, but not behave any differently than a normal father warmed my heart. He loved her no matter what she was. "But you're the closest thing we've got to an expert on that
"I'll be able to tell
" I reply, but could already feel it. The energy radiating from Blue Song's bedroom, it felt
familiar, but I couldn't put where I'd felt it before. Due to the snow, she'd had to have her child at home, so the energy still hung in the air from the magical pulses the birth had given off.
"It was surreal," Bright Blood told me. "Blue Song absolutely demanded to be alone to have the baby. She said she had to. She looked ready to headbutt me! She actually attacked the doctor when he wouldn't leave! She tried to leave the house, and wouldn't stay in with all of us for nothing. Obviously, we couldn't let her have the foal out in the snow, so we all ended up standing out there while she had it in the room. Thankfully, we'd already sent all the workers home for the night before the storm came in. And now the doctor says her magic has been completely drained. I could feel the magic pulses she gave off clear outside
well, normal? I mean, you're the only Alicorn I know, so I don't know
I gasped lightly. Yes, Twilight, it IS just like when I and Luna were born to Mimic. It was the energy given off when an Alicorn is born, but it's significantly less than when a pony evolves into an Alicorn, that's the only reason I can think that I didn't sense it happening when it did. "Y-yes, if she is truly an Alicorn, that is perfectly normal, at least by my knowledge. It happened when I was born, my mother was compelled to be away from everypony to have the baby, it's just how it is
May I see the foal?"
"Well, Blue Song is really tired, I mean really tired, but let me check with her."
Yes, Twilight, he didn't say "Yes, Princess Celestia", he put it in his wife's hooves. Unlike with most ponies, who respect me too much for it, I try to have some degree of personal relationship with my blood family who live in Canterlot. Not nearly as close as I would like, but close enough that they know I don't expect them to treat me differently when I make a personal visit. I'm family to them. Besides, if Blue Song was as exhausted as I was told my mother was giving birth to me and Luna, then he had every right to deny me access if she wasn't up to it. I didn't tell him, but giving birth to an Alicorn or Draconequi in their true form is incredibly strenuous to a mortal, Shady nearly died having Discord and Mimic, a unicorn with far more magical reserves than Blue Song, was left completely drained by mine and Luna's birth. I found out later it took nearly a year for Blue Song to be able to use even rudimentary telekinesis again, and the doctor had had to do some emergency care to save her life that night. Meanwhile, I think Bright Blood absorbed some of the excess energy gave off. He's always been much more powerful after that day.
While Bright Blood went in to get his wife's permission to enter, I thought about the energy I felt. It felt so familiar. I just couldn't put it together
I'm pretty sure it was just my mind trying to avoid dividing one by zero and telling me a supposedly impossible truth. You know how hard your mind sometimes fights against something you've believed was impossible Twilight, and this was something I had thought was impossible for three thousand years.
Bright Blood emerged from the room after what seemed like an eternity. "Alright, come in please."
I enter the room, the feeling increases. The room felt like friendships forming, like the entire room was in perfect harmony. Like the harmonic bonds between everything were being pulled closer together and strengthened. You may have felt it around Cadence when you were a filly, but this was far more intense. I could tell by how they looked at each other that Blue Song and Bright Blood were more understanding of each other than I had ever seen them.
Blue Song was curled up on her bed, looking up at me with that tired, but happy smile a mother who just had her foal always has. But I could see her muscles struggling just to keep her head up to look at me, and the bandages covering her lower body from the doctor's emergency operations to save her life. Blue Song was a sweet, blue furred unicorn mare, had a heart of gold. That's something I really liked about her. And she could sing like an angel too. "Hello, Auntie," she said in a hushed voice. I could tell from her voice she struggled to have the energy just to say that. Bright Blood trotted in and stood by his wife's side.
I gave her a genuine smile. "Hello, Blue Song," I replied, keeping my voice down in case the filly was sleeping. I waited for her permission to come closer. No matter how much I wanted to see the newborn, a mother's right to decide the affairs surrounding her child was one I refused to trample upon.
Please, come closer, but please be quiet, she's sleeping."
I slowly approached the bedside, looking down at the bundled little foal next to her. When I got up next to her, Bright Blood followed me and uncovered the filly
And I think my heart skipped a beat.
There laid a newborn filly, with wings and a unicorn horn, her pale fur pink, her little tuff of a mane multiple colors, purple, magenta, and cream, her wings having a gradient to them. Her Cutie Mark, yes, her Cutie Mark that she already had at close to birth, just like me and Luna, a heart shaped jewel with golden trim. My brain finally divided by zero.
" I whispered, eyes wide as I stared down at the sleeping little filly before me. The filly who was once a mare that I had last seen locked in mortal combat with Havoc's Avatar. You have to realize something Twilight, if Havoc had won that fight, he'd have utterly annihilated her. There was no way, as insane as he was at the time, that she could've challenged his power, lost, and been spared. I had given up hope of ever seeing her again. Now she was right in front of me, a newborn. I can't describe how that moment felt
Imagine the feeling one has when their baby sister is born, then combine that with the feeling a pony would have when their older sister comes home after they disappeared for a long time. Multiply that by a thousand. It didn't even enter my mind to think of the hows or the whys. My sister was alive! But I did manage to restrain myself, but only barely.
"Auntie, you're crying," I heard Blue Song say, sounding shocked.
I wiped the tears from my eyes as best I could. "It's alright
It's just been a very long time since I've seen another of my kind
She is an Alicorn, there's no doubt about it
What's her name?"
"Mi Amore Cadenza, Cadence for short
it just came to me
" Blue Song said, looking down at Cadence and weakly nuzzling her to keep the foal content and reassure her that mother was nearby. She didn't even react to her foal's impossible cutie mark, as natural as her wings and horn.
And that confirmed it. "That's a beautiful name
" I reply. "And she's beautiful
Bright Blood nodded, leaning down and nuzzling Cadence, then looked thoughtful. "So
will she be able to move the sun and moon like you when she's older?"
I shook my head. "No, I am the personification of the day
there are reasons I now rule the night, but she is not Day. At present, there's no way to tell what she'll be
But I know it will be amazing," I reply, telling only a half truth. After all, even if I knew what powers Cadence would most certainly manifest, I couldn't tell them without revealing things about their daughter they needn't know.
Now that my mind caught up with itself, I began thinking of what it could mean. Twilight, there's only one conclusion I could draw; the only way Cadence could've escaped that battle with her life is if she had won. And Havoc's Avatar would not have lost the battle unless he was mortally wounded. I couldn't fathom that until I connected it with what he did with Discord. Even insane, Havoc wouldn't have just allowed his Avatar to be devoured, he was too prideful for that. He must have not needed it anymore, or couldn't use it anymore. Since Cadence evidently survived and he'd cut off all paths to his own realm from the battlefield, meaning his Avatar was the only way he could physically interact with his remaining children, the latter was the only logical conclusion I could draw. This made something else make sense as well, that Discord was not stronger than he was. Havoc's Avatar couldn't even manifest on our plane due to the power contained in it, meaning Discord wouldn't have been able to either. But if it was weakening, dying at time, then Discord only got a fraction of a fraction of Havoc's power. No matter how much my mind fought it, the only logical outcome was that my sister had mortally wounded Havoc's Avatar! And I still believe that to this very day.
My thoughts were broken by a tiny yawn. I looked down to see the little Alicorn blinking sleep from her eyes. Then those little purple eyes looked up at me. Our eyes met
and I realized something I had known all along. That those eyes were my sister's, but they weren't. They had her spirit in them, but they had an innocence. They were the innocent eyes of a foal who hadn't yet seen the world, who was curious and interested in everything she saw. I felt my heart sink a little. I knew then that, while my sister was inside that little body, she wasn't the same. She was like me and Luna were three thousand years ago.
But then, the little one giggled and clapped her little hooves together. Cadence looked up at me happily, but curiously, as if she was trying to figure me out. Twilight, the reason me and Discord's infant self got along so well was that a part of me remembered and missed the friendship I once believed I had with him, even if I wasn't consciously aware of it. I recognized the look in Cadence's eyes at that moment as the same I saw in Luna's eyes when we first laid eyes on Discord's infant self after we were brought to Paradise Estate following our birth. Eyes of someone who remembered something we just couldn't truly remember, full of curiosity and a vague confusion. As I said, Alicorn memories never fade, even if parts of it are buried so deep we can't consciously remember them.
I lowered my head to be eye level to her, so she wouldn't be scared. She gently put her tiny hooves on my muzzle, feeling me. She then backed up a little, against her mother's belly to get a better view of me. I couldn't help but chuckle a little bit. "Hello, Cadence, I'm your aunt, Celestia," I said in a warm tone, as warm as I could manage. I was sorely tempted to say "sister" but I decided against it. All things considering, the less Blue Song and Bright Blood knew about their daughter's past, the better.
Cadence giggled and smiled, hugging my muzzle with her little hooves, then yawning widely, being only a newborn after all.
I decided it was best to let her get back to her dreams. I had much to think about myself as it was. But still, I decided to check one last thing. "Blue Song, may I sing her a lullaby?"
Blue Song gave a nod. "Sure, that would be wonderful."
I nodded, then begin to sing.
"My Little Pony, My Little Pony,
Isn't it time we started home?
My Little Pony, My Little Pony,
Who ever dreamed how far we'd roam?
Crickets are calling, evening is falling,
Over the meadow and glen.
My Little Pony, My Little Pony,
When will I see you again?"
I sung it several times, looking down at the little foal's eyes. I saw a spark. I saw something in her reach out as I sang. Naturally it would, after all, she had wrote that song several millennia ago, during the First Age. If I sung you a song Minty had sung in the time that never was, you'd probably react the same way because she's a part of you. She smiled brightly, as I always did feeling the sun's warm rays as a foal here in your world, and slowly sunk off to sleep.
I didn't take Cadence away from her parents, I didn't exert much control over her life in her early years outside of spending precious time with her. But I did make sure to deeply ingrain the responsibility her powers would come with in her mind. How vital it would be not to abuse them for selfish or stupid reasons. I did tell her of some of the times my stupidity had harmed those I cared about, though mainly ones since I came to Equestria. As you know from Nightmare Whisper, a child having the power of a goddess is a very dangerous thing if they don't know how to use it properly. But most importantly, I and her parents made certain she would have a kind heart to not misuse her abilities selfishly.
I don't know if you've read of it, My Faithful Student, but Cadence's birth causes another shockwave. We tried to keep her secret, but most of the unicorns in the surrounding buildings had felt the magical overflow released when she was born. By the time I'd arrived to confirm it, half the city already knew. The tabloids had a 'gold rush' with it, but I couldn't bring myself to let "Sunny Day" fan the rumor that she was a mutation, a foal who had absorbed a twin in the womb and grown wings as a result. I just couldn't make my niece, and sister, a freak Twilight, I just couldn't do it. We did try to hide her wings at first, but that didn't last long, unfortunately.
So, I finally publicly announced that, yes, there was another Alicorn. Reaction was
not what I hoped it would be. Remember, not everypony thinks the best of me. Some wondered if I was going to drown the newborn Alicorn in her sleep or send her to spend her life in a convent. Others suggested I was just going to make her lifetime ambassador to Neighpon. Cadence did indeed end up spending much time abroad, but for very different reasons. Not that it mattered to the paparazzi and tabloids. What your three little friends, "Gabby Gums" wrote about me was the nicest thing any tabloid generalist had ever said about me, so you know they jumped on me with this fact for all it was worth.
I dreaded to think what Nightmare Moon would have done to her if she had found her, or Discord had discovered he now had three Alicorns to torture again, let alone one of them being the one who mortally wounded the being a sizeable portion of his power came from. She may be a mare among ponies, My Faithful Student, but she's still young among the beings who would see her harmed if they got the chance. Someday, she will be a goddess with great power, but for now she's a child who doesn't know the power she truly wields. She is mature enough to be considered an adult, but still young as far as my race goes.
I also had to make sure the nature of Cadence's magic was revealed gradually, least she be swamped by desperate ponies begging her to make somepony else fall in love with them. Not that she could.
I did make her a Princess, like myself and Luna, because I knew it she had as much a right to it as we did, after all, if she hadn't held off Havoc, we'd never have made it to Equestria at all. And she had mortally wounded his avatar, which had it's own benefits. Even if it lead to Discord's reign, as insane as Havoc's Avatar had become, and as much influence he had over the universe, she may have simply left us with the lesser of two evils with Discord.
The main problem was to think of a way to explain it to the masses without making myself seem to be showing favoritism based on her sharing my species. Thankfully, she had plenty of right to the title by blood, as she was descended from my sister's blood. I was also able to convince them as her power grew that she had a similar dominion over something in our world as I had over the sun and moon, which was the truth. So the elites agreed to make her my fellow Princess.
I'd be lying if I said Cadence wasn't the envy of her cousins, Twilight. I imagine she connected more with me, and the foals she oversaw along with their familes, than she did many of her own relative. Of course, many of Galaxia's descendants have claimed the title of 'Prince' or 'Princess'. And I've done nothing to stop them. Few ever do anything with their authority other than use it to boss others around in childish ways that ultimately harm no pony but themselves. Some actually do good with it, I'm truly proud of them, but for many, it's simply a way to elevate themselves. But Cadence, Cadence was the first pony I had actually GIVEN the title to. Something about that simply made it a bitter pill for them to swallow.
Once her true powers began to awaken, I did have her come to live in the castle so I could instruct her more closely, having the same set up you had with your parents when staying with me.
I should point out, Twilight, that Cadence's power isn't exactly love, that was Venus' territory, Cadence's domain is Harmony. She can repair the bonds between ponies, not create them, at least not with a wave of her horn. And it isn't just love she can repair, but all types of bonds. Sadly, at first she didn't understand this. She actually "invented" the Want It, Need It Spell all on her own, I had to tell her it already existed, that disappointed her. Still, she managed to find some good uses for it. Yes, believe it or not, that spell does have positive uses.
One thing that didn't, however, was her attempt at creating a love potion, she ended up recreating the Love Poison from the Hearts and Hooves Day tale, and spiking the punch with it at a royal event. She was a filly at the time, she didn't know she was doing something so wrong. She thought it'd spread love, not cause mass hysteria, or leave me in love with a zebra ambassador until Cadence managed to teleport him so far away that I couldn't find him in an hour. And unlike everypony else, I could clearly remember everything I had done, as I said, Alicorn memories don't fade. I didn't think such a curse could affect me like it did my sister, but I didn't count on it being empowered by Cadence's magic or that she would think to do this during an eclipse. I had to spend the next three days curing all the victims and finding that ambassador. It was lucky he was understanding enough of the situation not to ruin our relations with his homeland.
The amount of trouble I had to go through to make sure other nations and the Canterlot elite didn't think I'd brainwashed their dignitaries left me was a pounding headache, and don't get me started on the one what the tabloids gave me when they had a field day with it."
"I thought you didn't get headaches, teacher."
"So did I."
That said, Cadence was still punished so she wouldn't dare do it again. She also dared not sit on her royal rump for a week
still, it was the only way she'd learn.
I looked down at the filly before me, after her mother had given her a proper spanking for her misdeed. I was not smiling. She had her head down, sniffling, scared. I looked at her sadly, disappointed. "Cadence
Do you understand the trouble you've caused? How much more you could have caused?" I asked simply. She nodded, not lifting her head to meet my gaze, ears pinned. "And you know that was a very bad thing to do, a very bad thing, and an abuse of your powers, correct?" I asked, another nod.
I just wanted to help, Auntie Celestia
" she responded, finally breaking down crying. "It
it's just, I see you raise the sun and moon everyday
you do what you are
But I don't even know what to do
I'm love, aren't I? So what am I supposed to do? I don't know
I tried doing something I thought would spread love, not
not cause what happened
I'm so sorry
" she sobbed, tears streaming down her face.
I sighed, resisting the urge to put a wing over her back. "Cadence, you are not love. You've repaired the bonds between friends. You're harmony. You are to bring ponies together, repair the bonds between them when they're damaged, rather it be mother and daughter, brother and sister, best friends, or lovers. But you have to realize, you can't force a bond on anypony, you have to let it grow naturally. You can help ponies do that, but you can't force them to. And you can't force yourself to learn what you're meant to do, that will come with time. You have to learn how to use your gift, the responsibility that comes with it, before you can even think about spreading that gift to the world. Do you understand?"
She sniffled, looking up at me with tears in her eyes. She gave a small nod. "I-I'm sorry
I smiled and kissed the top of her head. "I know
And I forgive you. But you're going to have to earn forgiveness from the ponies you geassed. Okay? And as punishment, the maids are getting the day off tomorrow, you're going to scrub the entire castle, top to bottom. Inside and out." I was tempted to add that she had to use a toothbrush, but I decided that'd be overkill.
"I understand, Auntie Celestia, and I'll make it up to those ponies
And she did
but she still had trouble knowing how to help bonds grow naturally. She needed to be taught, and experience was the best teacher. I had her begin foalsitting, both to give her experience building bonds with new ponies, and to teach her some humility. You've been informed of how my sister once acted due to hubris, I did not want our niece to go the same route. She loved the job. She was very good with foals, and learned how to use her natural powers to settle fights between them, but she still didn't click with anyone
until she came back one day, talking about a certain shy, socially awkward purple unicorn filly she'd set for that day.
Cadence grew up, and began working as a dignitary, her powers being useful in cooling hotheads when talking with our allies, and potential enemies. It's not a permanent position for her, but until she's old enough, by Alicorn years, to rule next to me and my sister, it's what she will do. She's done a lot of good for Equestria, and our allies. She's spread friendships among the world, between us and a large number of foreign powers. She's done more than enough good to make up for her mistake, at least in my eyes
When you and your friends liberated my sister, it got a little confusing. The problem wasn't so much explaining there were three Alicorns as it was confirming to everypony that I was truly over 1000 years old and the two of us were an old pony's tale come to life. Luna was, as you can surmise, as shocked as I was to discover our sister had survived. I had to convince her that keeping Cadence ignorant of her past was in Cadence's best interests by reminding her why Galaxia didn't awaken us until she had no choice. While you were in Appleloosa, I had Cadence make a quick return trip to Canterlot just for Luna's sake while Luna was still recovering from her purification. And Cadence had her first meeting with her long lost Auntie.
"Aunt Luna, why are you crying?"
it tis nothing, dear niece
It hath just been so long since our eyes have beheld yet another of our own race at all
let alone a new one
Could you really restore her memories if you really wanted to?" Twilight asked, looking up at me.
I simply nod. "Yes
Then why haven't you? It'd make you feel better, wouldn't it? You and Luna?"
I sigh, of course she'd ask that. "Yes, it would
but I won't do it. Because, Twilight Sparkle, I don't want to steal her earthly life from her," I explain, trying to explain it in a way she'll understand. "Galaxia didn't take mine and Luna's from us until it was absolutely necessary, and for good reason. She wanted us to live, to enjoy life with our family and friends. I think if the good Discord had triumphed over the original, she'd never have restored our memories at all
Twilight, none of this changes a thing about your relationship with Cadence. The Cadence you remember so fondly was not an illusion. Even if I did restore her memories, she'd still remember you. Just like I remember all of my old friends. It would change nothing. Even before I took you as my apprentice, Cadence talked about you. She was elated when she found out you'd be coming to live in the palace. You were her favorite foal to sit for, because you were the one who she bonded with. You were, are, her best friend, and nothing will change that."
Twilight smiled up to me. "I understand
Thank you, Princess
I smile back and put a wing across her back. "Any time, Twilight Sparkle. Anytime
And thank you."
She blinks at me. "Thank me? What did I do?"
"I want to show you something," I said, looking over to a book shelf and taking out a letter, with a crystal heart as it's seal, Cadence's personal seal. "Cadence sent me this not long after she heard I sent you to Ponyville to learn about friendship."
I open the scroll and begin to read. "'Dear Aunt Celestia; Zebrafica is lovely this time of year, the diplomatic mission is going well. Thank you for sending Shining Armor to be my bodyguard, it's nice to have a very dear somepony here with me. He's been strangely looking over his shoulder lately but won't tell me why. Do you know? I hear Twilight is staying in Ponyville, that you've given her an assignment studying friendship. To think, that little filly saved the entire world, I'm so proud of her
Twilight studying friendship, are you sure she needs to study it? When I was little, when I didn't have anyone I really connected to except you and my parents
She was the first one I really clicked with. That I really came to think of as my friend. I think she was the one who taught me an important lesson; how it feels to actually form a real friendship
And that's a lesson I use a lot out here on this trips, forming friendships between Equestria and these other places
I owe Twilight a lot
Love, Princess Cadence'."
I look up at Twilight, who has tears running down her face, but a smile on her muzzle. "That wasn't so long ago, Twilight
Still worried Cadence will suddenly become a stranger?"
My student shook her head. She looked at me through tears of joy. "No
No I don't
Thank you, Princess..."
I give her a smile. "It was a pleasure, My Faithful Student."