[MLP:FiM] Her Most Faithful Student (Twilight Sparkle, Princesses Celestia + Luna)


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Princess Twilight Sparkle receives a letter from Princess Celestia. The letter is simple and to-the-point, but shakes Twilight to the core: Princess Celestia has a new student.

Feeling a little put-out by Celestia having a new student, Twilight goes to talk with her and clear the air.

Takes place post-Season 6.


Dear Princess Twilight Sparkle,

I thought I should let you know that I have taken a new student today. I am still settling details with the foal’s parents, and going through some interviews, but it is a sure thing. Given you were my last student, I felt I should inform you so you are not surprised when you hear it from somepony else at a later date.

Yours Truly,

Princess Celestia


Twilight Sparkle looked at the letter, holding it between her hooves instead of using her magic to hold it up to her eyes. She needn’t have bothered: Twilight had already memorised every word on the parchment.

“The Princess got herself a new student? But why would she do that? How could she?” Twilight asked, her whispering voice coming out unsteady.

“Well, I dunno, maybe Princess Celestia saw a pony she thought had potential and decided to take the filly on as her own student?” Spike suggested as he put books away in the shelves.

“That’s not it, Spike,” Twilight said. She finally put her letter down, stood up, and started to pace back and forth around the table. “I thought I was her student!”

“Uh, Twi, you haven’t been her student for two years. Celestia even said so when you ascended,” Spike pointed out. “And you became her student after Sunset Shimmer ran away, and now you have Starlight.”

“I know that!” Twilight bit her lip. “It’s just, well, I would have thought she’d talk to me first before she selects another pony to mentor! She barely even mentions any details in this letter, just that she took on a new protege!”

“Like you talked to Celestia first before deciding to take Starlight in as your student?” Spike asked, shutting her argument down.

They both knew what the real issue was, but only one of them was pushing Twilight to voice her real concern out loud. Even though Twilight Sparkle had become a Princess, and Celestia had stated they were no longer teacher and pupil, but now equals, it had never quite felt final. Twilight had always kowtowed to Celestia’s requests even when they were nominally the same rank.

For Princess Celestia to finally find another student threw cold water on the illusion Twilight had built up around herself as still being Celestia’s most faithful student.

“Come on, Twilight. If it’s really bothering you, then why don’t you go talk to her?” Spike continued. “I’m sure she would be more than happy to see you, and maybe you can meet her new student and decide for yourself.”

Twilight stopped her pacing. “That’s not a bad idea, Spike,” she said. “I don’t have anything important on my schedule this evening, right?”

“Nope!” Spike said, double-checking a scroll just to make sure.

“Well then, I guess I’ll be flying off in a bit,” Twilight said, as she read through the letter one more time. She couldn't lie to herself: she knew exactly why Celestia's letter troubled her so much.


Following Princess Luna’s banishment to the moon and then her return as Nightmare Moon, before being purified by the Elements of Harmony, the two Royal Sisters had resolved to share more time together. So it was that every night, almost without fail, Celestia and Luna would retreat from the busywork of daily Princess life to have tea and a meal. Sometimes they would hold it in the castle, and sometimes they would go out to a tea parlour or coffee shop so the average pony of Canterlot could see their rulers out and about in the early evening.

Today was a little bit of an exception, as Celestia had to fill Luna in on the events of that morning. Because of the details and to keep some privacy over her latest protege, they held their chat in the castle instead of out in public.

“Your new student sounds rather ingenious, sister,” Luna said as she blew a little air over her cup to cool the tea down. Magic would have been much more efficient at getting her drink to the perfect moderate-hot temperature, but it was the little rituals in life that Luna was superstitious about keeping.

“Oh yes, that sly little rascal most certainly is,” said Celestia, a mischievous look on her face as she sipped her tea. “I foresee a number of interesting years ahead if the test today was any indicator.”

Luna shook her head. “Were I the one to have happened upon the exam committee first, I would have snapped that foal up in an instant to train myself.”

“I’m certain you will find yourself a pupil of your own, Luna. Why, Cadance sounds so bored every time I see her. The Crystal Empire runs itself too well. I suspect once Flurry Heart grows up a little, Cadance may find somepony to teach herself, perhaps alongside Flurry. Even Twilight has her student now, though those are odd circumstances.”

“Yes, ‘odd’,” Luna said, her inflection showing what she had thought of that. Still, Starlight Glimmer had helped to save Equestria from Chrysalis, so Luna did not begrudge the pony for her past. “Who was Starlight’s companion, again? You know, the mare that was with her, Thorax, and Discord, the one with the crescent moon and wand Cutie Mark?”

Celestia blinked. She sliced a piece of cake off the velvet raspberry cake the chefs had made for them, and took her time nibbling it before finally swallowing. At last, Celestia said, “I believe her name was Trixie, self-proclaimed ‘The Great and Powerful’. If I recall correctly, she went to my School for Gifted Unicorns, but never stood out from the class as a whole. Twilight Sparkle encountered her in Ponyville on a few occasions over the years.”

“And where is she now?”

“I believe she is a nomad, a travelling performer or something of that ilk.” Celestia slyly narrowed her eyes. “Why, are you thinking about making her your own student?”

Luna snorted. “That remains to be seen. For a mare her age, if she lacks the right temperament we would be coming to blows within the week. At the very least, however, I would not mind teaching her on a short-term basis. Miss Trixie, if that is her name, did help save us after all, and I would not leave my debt unpaid. But enough about her, what do you intend to do with your student?”

“Well—” What Celestia had to say was interrupted by a knock on the door. Celestia curled her lip. The sisters didn’t like being interrupted at this hour, so it had to be something important. “Come in.”

The pony who was standing guard from outside their room came in. He wearing the enchantments that gave him the appearance of a pony with vespertilian characteristics, something Luna had revived as a tradition for the night watch upon her return. “Princess Luna, Princess Celestia,” he gave a quick bow to each of them, paying his respects in the proper order given his post. “I apologise for the intrusion. Princess Twilight Sparkle has arrived in Canterlot and wishes for an audience.”

“Ah. I was expecting her to come, just not this soon. Do you mind, Luna?” Celestia asked her sister.

Luna shook her head. “Of course not. She is a fellow Princess and has been for well over a year. Any Princess of Equestria is welcome. Grant her entrance, guard.”

The guardspony gave each Princess another quick bow in turn, before departing the room.

Luna turned around. “You were expecting her?”

“Oh, of course,” Celestia said, setting aside another slice of cake. “I did send her a letter this morning informing her of my new student.”

“Ah.” That was all Luna needed to hear. Though she had only interacted with Princess Twilight on a few occasions, that hoofful of encounters was all Luna needed to understand just how much Twilight Sparkle adored Princess Celestia.

The two Princesses enjoyed some more of the cake for a few minutes, and sampled from a platter of random pastries, before at last the night guard came back with Twilight in tow.

“Presenting Princess Twilight Sparkle,” the guard announced.

Celestia rolled her eyes at the guardspony’s insistence on custom even for what was a laid-back sojourn of theirs, but Luna took it in grace. “Thank you for your hard work, guard. Please take Princess Twilight Sparkle back when we are finished.”

The guard nodded, and then he was out, closing the door behind him.

Celestia looked Twilight over. The purple alicorn seemed a little out-of-sorts. Well, she likely flew here, given her windswept mane, but she looks too frazzled just for it to have been turbulence on the way. Still, Celestia saw it as a conversation starter. “Rough winds flying here?” She asked.

Twilight sighed, sounding tired. “Yes. A little cool, too, no nice warm thermals. I wish we could control the winds as well as we can the rest of the weather.”

“Well, not all weather is controlled by the Weather Corps pegasi. It’s thanks to the Earth ponies we haven’t had a major earthquake in several centuries, but yes, I can see what you mean,” Celestia replied. “Why don’t you take a seat, Twilight?”

Twilight’s eyes opened wide as she took in the sight of the food on the table. “Is that velvet raspberry?” She asked. Though Twilight kept herself composed, Luna and Celestia both could practically hear the implied drooling that followed.

“Yes, it is. Here, have some,” Luna said, setting out a third plate and cutting a slice off for Twilight to have.

The third pony in the room sat down to the table. Using a fork, Twilight put a piece in her mouth. “Mmmm.” Her moan was audible, and then Twilight sagged back in her chair, looking content.

“So what brings you to Canterlot, Princess Twilight?” Celestia asked, her eyes twinkling.

“You know why,” Twilight said. She wanted to muster up some snark, but Twilight had trouble deploying it against her former mentor.

“I see. Apparently I’ve become a mind-reader in the last few days, Luna,” Celestia said to her sister.

“Mayhaps we should take a vacation and go down to Las Pegasus in disguise then, sister? With your mind-reading powers, we can clean the house with all the foals who play poker,” Luna suggested, continuing the jest.

“That’s not it!” Twilight said, not taking kindly to the teasing. She took a deep breath and then exhaled to calm down. “I came to talk to you about your new student, Princess Celestia.”

“Oh, that. Yes, it was a rather impressive thing. Beat your marks on the tests, even. Got the absolute highest marks possible.”

“What?!” Twilight raised her eyebrows, before her eyes suddenly shone with excitement. “Ohmygosh, really? Where is she, then? I want to meet the lucky filly, ohmygosh ohmygosh ohmygosh, I hope she’s even smarter than I was at her age!”

Celestia was amused. “That ‘lucky filly’ as you put it, is past ‘her’ bedtime, and I'm not waking 'her' up so you two can meet one another. But then, he might be annoyed if you insist on calling him a filly. He’s rather a little sensitive too, he might take it especially hard if he thinks a Princess is making fun of him by calling him a filly.”

Twilight nearly dropped the piece of cake that was headed straight for her mouth. She hemmed and hawed, looking between Celestia and her food, then decided to go for the food first. Chewing the cake quickly, she swallowed, and then asked, “Really? A colt? When was the last time you took a colt as your student?”

“Three hundred and twelve years ago, with Radiant Dawn. I had to check the records this afternoon, because I honestly forgot myself,” Celestia admitted.

“Radiant Dawn? He was the one who came up with the magical cures for both hoof rot and horn rot, right? I wonder what your new student will do, then. Oooh, this is so exciting, maybe I can come and help tutor him in magic. Er, eheh, heh,” Twilight chuckled nervously, looking abashed. “Not that Starlight doesn’t need tutoring herself, but she could teach me in several fields.”

Luna and Celestia traded looks. “I don’t think you’ll be of much help in teaching Earth Shatter in spells, Twilight,” said Celestia.

“Well, magical theory then!” Twilight said, before she paused, wrinkling her muzzle. “Earth Shatter? That doesn’t sound like a common unicorn name.”

“That’s because he isn’t. Earth Shatter is an Earth pony.”

This time, one could have heard a pin drop if there was a pin in the room. As it was, Luna was quick with her magic to keep Twilight’s fork from clattering on the floor.

“Careful, Princess Twilight. We do not have any extra forks, and I believe there is a, what do the civilians call it, a five-second rule?” Princess Luna teased.

“There isn’t any such thing, that’s just a myth,” Twilight said automatically. Then she shook her head to snap out of her reverie. “An Earth pony? But wait, I thought you said he got the absolute highest marks possible on the entrance test!”

“He did,” Princess Celestia confirmed.

“But he’s an Earth pony. I mean sure, he could pass the theoretical tests, but how could he even get close to a passing grade on the practical? You need to be able to use externally-applied magic for that!”

“Oh, that was easy. He cheated.”

Twilight opened her mouth to ask another question, only for Celestia’s words to catch up with the rest of her brain. “Bwa-buh?”

Deciding she had finally had enough of teasing her former student, Celestia decided to answer Twilight fully. “Oh yes. Instead of passing the tests on the merit every unicorn needs to pass, he instead manipulated the parameters of the exam before he took it so he got perfect scores in every category.”

Celestia could practically see the metaphorical gears turning inside of Twilight’s head. “How?” Twilight asked. Then her jaw dropped as Celestia explained exactly what Earth Shatter had done.

It took Twilight over a full minute to fully regain composure, with the grins on Luna and Celestia’s faces both growing wider with every second. Then Twilight said, “That’s ingenious! But-but that’s also cheating, isn’t it?! Getting outside help on the test like that, even if it’s your own doing, is grounds for disqualification! You should have kicked him out for that!”

“Just like a Sonic Rainboom triggering a magic surge in an applicant so she could hatch a dragon's egg, wouldn’t you say?” Celestia asked.

That shut up Twilight for a good few seconds. “But that was different,” she insisted. “I had no idea that would happen.”

“Yes, and you are right. Whether it was luck or destiny, and I am certain it was destiny, the Sonic Rainboom allowed you to do what was impossible,” Celestia said. “And I decided to make you my student when I came in. Today, the examiners did call me in when the colt passed with perfect marks. Earth Shatter refused to tell them how he did it, but, well...his facade folded quickly before his princess as he admitted to what he did. Do you know what I found though, Twilight?”

Twilight shook her head. She actually had an inkling of what Celestia had seen, but thought it a rhetorical question.

Celestia’s eyes shone. “I found a pony with enthusiasm, sheer, unbridled passion! Certainly, he cheated, but to do so, he had to pull off such daring tricks that nearly no other filly or colt his age could even think of, let alone contemplate if they did think of such things, let alone actually pull off. The learning and knowledge he had to put in to get to that stage was as much as any unicorn foal might have devoted towards magic. I took him off to the side, and I interviewed him, along with his parents. He is a sly, irascible little tramp, but his was a star that I couldn’t see go out on its own. So I made him my student.”

So that’s why, Twilight thought. She had come here to talk to Celestia and own up to her own insecurities about being replaced, but the sheer energy with which her old teacher spoke was making her a believer.

“In fact, he reminded me rather a lot of a filly I met so many years ago, one who brimmed with a desire to learn magic,” Celestia suddenly added, turning to face Twilight again. “Every student I ever teach is always an adventure and a joy. Some of them struggle, some of them burn out, but every time they learn their first thing, the sense of wonderment in their eyes...that’s when I know it’s worth it. There are no regrets I hold, not even for those rare few who fall.”

“Even me?” Twilight asked, needing confirmation.

“Yes, Twilight, even you,” Celestia said, beaming at her former pupil. “Now, you came to visit me and Luna today. I suspect there was more to it than just wanting to find out about my new student, but I would like to hear it in your own words.”

Twilight swallowed. “I know it’s foolish, but...even though it’s been two years since I became a Princess, and nearly a year since I took on my own student, it still feels like we’re student and teacher. Maybe I’m just kidding myself, since it’s been so long since I had to send you a report, but this just feels more...final, than even becoming a Princess did. Am I not your faithful student anymore?”

“Would you like me to leave?” Luna suddenly asked, feeling a little awkward in a conversation that had just become intimate.

“No, that will be alright, sister. This, too, is one of the many things I went through over the last thousand years,” Celestia said. “I know I said you were no longer my student, Twilight, even as you became a fellow Princess. But perhaps I was a little hasty in saying that. The relationship between a teacher and her pupil always lasts a lifetime. Even after the student moves on, they can still teach one another. It is you, after all, who taught me just how powerful a force friendship can be. Consider this another ‘last’ lesson, Twilight. You will always be my faithful student. You were maybe even my most successful. More than just saving my sister from the darkness that claimed her, you alone ascended amongst all my students.”

Twilight looked down at the table. She had been given a lot to chew on and think about. Twilight looked at Celestia. Then her eyes trailed down to Celestia’s Cutie Mark. Then she glanced back at the Princess. “You know, Princess, I think I may be able to teach you another lesson of my own.”

“Oh? What’s that?” Celestia asked, interested.

“I taught these three fillies some on-and-off lessons, you’ve heard of them, the Cutie Mark Crusaders. Since then, they’ve gone around helping ponies who struggle with realising their Cutie Marks, and reinterpreting them,” said Twilight. “You may have gotten your Mark for raising the sun, but I wonder if your true passion these days isn’t casting light on a potential student’s new talent, and helping them shine.”

Luna and Celestia traded looks. “That...is a fair appraisal,” Celestia admitted, surprised at how much sense it made. “I lost the passion I had for raising the sun some time ago.”

“I myself find far more joy in redecorating the night sky with the layout of the constellations than I do in lowering and raising the moon nightly,” Luna added.

Twilight looked down at her own Cutie Mark. “You remember a filly you met so many years ago who brimmed with a desire to learn magic. The last lesson you taught me before I left to live in Ponyville, even as convoluted of a lesson as it was, was to go out and make friends. Over the years that followed, I learned how friendship is magic, and so I try to teach that to my own student.”

“It is incredible how things can come full circle, is it not?” Celestia mused aloud.

Twilight nodded. “Thank you, Princess. I feel a lot better now.”

She rose to leave the table, only for Luna to cut her off. “You are here now, Princess Twilight! Why not sit and talk with us a while longer?”

Twilight looked between the two sisters. “Are you certain? I wouldn’t want to intrude upon your private time together.”

“You are more than welcome to stay longer, Twilight. Luna and I will have more than enough time to chat on our own” said Celestia. “Besides, while Earth Shatter may be many things, such as a rambunctious troublemaker with a mischievous streak a thousand hoofsteps long, at least I will not have to wake up in the middle of the night to restore a couple of guards who got turned into potted plants after being caught reading in the library after-hours.”

“That was one time!” Twilight said, blushing.

Still, it was a good talk to have, Twilight felt. She had felt a little miserable before coming, but now that the air was cleared, she was looking forward to what the future had in store.


So I've had the idea kicking around in my head for a while of 'Celestia gets a new student, Twilight feels a little put-off'. That's the main gist of the story. Then there was an announcement of a voice guest star in Season 7, which made me modify the set-up for the story idea.

Spoilers for a voice actor guest star in Season 7

After William Shatner announced he was voice-acting a pony in Season 7, I decided to write in a cameo reference to what that pony might be like. Well, it's doubtful that this is what Shatner's actual role would be like, but it would be the perfect homage to his role as Kirk if they did such a thing. I deliberated about actually writing in a solution to how Earth Shatter cheats the test, but nothing I came up was very satisfying, so I just left it out.