The Mirror Of Impossible Dreams starring Twilight Sparkle and Princess Celestia
Spike was out of the house for once, away on an adventure with Apple Bloom, and Twilight Sparkle was making good use of the time to get as much study done as possible. She sat on her bed reading a book called "The Ursa Major in its Natural Habitat" it was a fascinating book, and she was so deeply engrossed in it that for a long time she didn't realise there was somepony knocking on the front door of the house.
"Is that Spike back already? Why doesn't he just come in the door's unlocked for goodness sake! Oh Spike..." But when she got up and went to the door, she saw that it wasn't Spike it was one of the Pegasus ponies who took travellers between Ponyville and Canterlot. Few ponies made the journey regularly, so she was surprised to see him arrive at her house unannounced.
"Uh, yes? Can I help you?" she asked, and the Pegasus pony bowed and replied:
"Her majesty Princess Celestia would like to see you immediately to discuss a matter of great importance!" he said. "A Pegasus carriage is waiting for you as we speak."
"Of... of course!" Twilight closed the door and went with him. She would have loved a chance to have brushed her mane (it must look a sight!) and get herself presentable for the Princess, but the stern look on the Pegasus pony's face prevented her from asking.
Soon she was in the carriage, lofted up high over Ponyville and on her way to Canterlot. It had been a while since she had seen the Princess, and even longer since she had been to her old home. She looked back on Ponyville and sighed. The problem must be a serious one for her to be summoned so quickly to Canterlot. Unless maybe Twilight thought I'm in trouble? But what could I have done to make the Princess want to see me so ....
Uh. Oh no. Oh no. Not THAT. It COULDN'T be THAT.
Now the flag-topped spires and filigree towers of Canterlot filled the sky, and the carriage swept up and over the battlements, landing in the Outer Courtyard of the capital of all of Equestria. Twilight's heart beat hard in her chest. She got out and, with a nod to the Pegasus pony who had pulled the carriage, she started towards the great gate to the Inner Courtyard. She bit her lip and broke into a nervous trot. Some unicorns that knew her greeted her, but the sound of their voices was tinny and strange, like she was hearing them from far off, and she couldn't bring herself to reply to them.
The guards bowed to her as she came through the mighty archway that led from the Inner Courtyard to the throne room. Every other time previous, when she had walked under that arch, she had been filled with joy the thought of seeing Princess Celestia, her beloved teacher and mentor and... Well, now all that joy was transmuted to fear as she walked through the far end of the archway. She almost jumped out of her hide when she heard the guards at the entrance shout: "Twilight Sparkle, Unicorn Pony of Ponyville!" But somehow she kept herself together and walked into the throne room where the Princess awaited her. And there, high atop the throne itself, flanked by her Elite Guards, Princess Celestia sat in all her Unicorn Pegasus majesty. Her multicoloured mane swept about her, coursing with Rainbow Magic, and her horn glowed with her great power. But the Princess had her face turned to one side and Twilight couldn't make out her expression. But as she approached the throne, the Princess slowly turned her face, and Twilight could see that her eyes were soft, and that the warmest of smiles lit up her mouth.
It was as if a sudden load had been lifted from Twilights back. She let out her breath, which she only now realised she had been holding as she'd walked down the great red carpet, and bowed deeply to her teacher and mentor.
"Twilight Sparkle, thank you for coming to see me at such short notice!" The Princess's mighty voice filled the throne room, and it was warm and loving and seemed to Twilight to envelope her as an almost living thing. "I apologise for having caused you concern, but I could not come to Ponyville personally to see you. For you see, this is a matter of a personal and private nature."
"Personal?" Twilight asked, raising her face from the floor. "Princess, is everything alright?"
Princess Celestia shook her head. "Alas, I wish I could say that everything was alright. But come," she said, stepping down from the great throne, "Let us retreat to a less formal place to talk. I have something to show you."
She approached Twilight and as she did, her horn began to glow more and more intensely. And with a sudden flash of purple light, and a surge of heat, they were transported by the Princess's magic to a room deep in the Castle. High vaulted ceilings were lit with torches that spilled out a soft orange glow throughout the huge room. It was almost empty, except for something in the far right corner, something metallic that glittered and flashed with the orange light from the torches.
"Let me show you something, my beloved student," said Celestia, leading Twilight towards the object in the far corner. "As you know, in ancient times past, long even before the time of Meagan, many magical treasures were created."
"I remember, Princess," Twilight replied, "Unicorn magic was even stronger then, and many Princes and Princesses of Canterlot channelled their magic into objects, to help pony-kind and to protect Equestria."
"You remember all my lessons well, Twilight Sparkle," Celestia smiled and nodded. "Many objects were made, some with abilities that even now we are unable to identify. Some of the objects were made for personal reasons as well, for even Princes and Princesses are not immune from the everyday problems of pony-kind. This is one such item."
They were close enough now that Twilight could discern behind the bright light flowing from it the shape of a standing mirror. It was burnished gold, intricately decorated, and in the shape of a heart. As they got closer, she could feel waves of magic flowing from it. The mirrored surface seemed to move and ripple with a life of its own, and soon it went flat, and Celestia and Twilight were looking at their reflections in the mirror's glistening surface.
"Is this the Mirror of Imp...?"
"So you have already guessed, Twilight Sparkle? Yes, this is it. The Mirror of Impossible Dreams. Do you remember the story behind its creation?" the Princess asked. Her eyes grew sad, but Twilight was delving into the memory of her studies for the information and she didn't notice.
"Long ago," began Twilight, "A Prince of Canterlot fell in love with an Earth Pony. He brought her to Canterlot to be with him, and they lived happily for a long time together."
"Yes." Celestia said, "That's the story. They lived happily for a long time but..."
"But soon the Prince became obsessed with his lover. He spent all of his time thinking of her, of entertaining her and making her life perfect, so much so that he forgot about his duties as ruler of Equestria."
"That is right," said Celestia. "And even though he knew he was doing the wrong thing, even though he knew he should have been dedicating his time and energy to protecting Equestria, he couldn't stop thinking about her. He tried sending her far away, but that just made the situation worse. He found he had lost the will to do anything, and his days and nights were filled with pining for her."
"And so he created the Mirror of Impossible Dreams," continued Twilight. "But, I don't understand what all of this is about..."
Celestia came closer to Twilight, arching her neck over the smaller pony's and nuzzling her withers. There were tears in her eyes, but Twilight could not see them she was in bliss, the warmth and sweet scent of Celestia washing over her, making her feel safe and happy, and filling her heart to bursting with a strange, burning joy that threatened to explode out of her chest.
"My beloved student... my beloved Twilight Sparkle," Celestia mutter, her voice soft and deep with emotion, "I know how you feel about me. I know about the letter that you wrote..."
Twilight's eyes flashed open. "The letter?" she gasped. "But I gave the letter to Derpy Hooves to keep... Did that Derpy actually deliver it to you? That air-headed pony! Princess Celestia, I never meant..."
"Derpy did not bring me the letter," said Celestia, stroking Twilight's neck with her lips. "So please don't blame her. The blame is all mine. There is another Mirror, the Mirror of Eternal Vigilance, that is only known to the ruler of Equestria. Whenever any pony writes my name anywhere, it reports the information directly to me. Some of the cruel rulers of old used to have trouble with rebellion, and used it to spy on their subjects. But I have found the Mirror useful in the past for learning about the needs and concerns of all the ponies of Equestria. And when I saw you writing a letter to me, rather than a scroll to send through Spike, I was worried that something was terribly wrong...."
Twilight broke away. "You read the letter I wrote?"
"Yes, I am ashamed to say I did. I'm sorry, Twilight..."
"All of it?" Twilight slumped down on the ground. "You ... you must think I'm sick, Princess. Crazy and deranged..."
Celestia shook her head, "Never. Never, my dear, sweet Twilight Sparkle. I would never think that about you. Those words you wrote were so beautiful, and honest, and true to your heart that I could not stop reading them as you wrote them. And as I read them, I realised I had not been true to myself. For you see, my sweet Twilight Sparkle, I love you too."
Twilight's eyes filled with tears, and she almost couldn't raise her face to look at Celestia's. But she found the will somehow, and she saw that her teacher's eyes were also tearful.
"Can it be... true?" Twilight whispered. "Do you.. truly love me... that way?"
Celestia brought her face next to Twilight's and kissed her, once, quickly, on the lips. "I do. For a long time I have. And because of your letter, I understand that now..." And she kissed the tears that fell from Twilight's eyes as the unicorn pony heard the words of the one she loved, and believed them.
For a long time they lay there, the smaller Twilight surrounded by Celestia's body, nuzzling and kissing each other, Celestia's mane swirling about them with its many colours, as if they were floating above some magical rainbow sea. And to both of them, it seemed that it would stay that way forever, a sweet and beautiful dream, here, alone, down deep in Canterlot Castle, far from everypony else, in a universe only populated by the two lovers.
At last Twilight opened her eyes. Next to her, Celestia was waking up as well. But something was different. Twilight looked about her and realised that they were no longer in the high-vaulted room. Instead, the two of them were lying on a green meadow, sunshine dappling over their backs, with an endless blue summer sky arching over them. And another thing was different. Celestia...
"Princess Celestia! You've shrunk!"
Celestia looked at Twilight with sleepy eyes, then surveyed their two bodies nestled together. Twilight was right! They were exactly the same size. And that wasn't all.
"I've lost my wings!" Celestia exclaimed. "Oh, I should have used them more. But now I suppose I'll never get the chance the magic of the Mirror must have stripped them away. Oh well."
As the two of them stood up, Twilight rubbed her eyes with her hooves. "I don't understand, Princess! What just happened?"
Celestia put a foreleg over Twilight's neck, and gently directed her gaze to the right. Not far away was the mirror but it had lost all of its glow and magic now longer coursed through it. In fact, as they watched it seemed to slowly lose its shape, becoming fainter and fainter. But on the mirror's face they saw themselves not as reflections, but as if looking through a window. Celestia was her old self still tall and regal, with her Pegasus wings, which were covering Twilight Sparkle as she cried into their pink feathers. Celestia was crying too as she held Twilight, the mighty tears wetting her nose, while behind them the glowing torches still filled the huge room with fitful light.
"Don't you remember the rest of the story of the Mirror of Impossible Dreams, my dearest one?" asked Celestia, as they watched their old selves in the dying mirror-image.
Twilight looked on at amazement. "The Prince took his Earth Pony lover to look into the Mirror of Impossible Dreams and from that day ever after, they no longer loved each other. Their love faded away, and the Prince was no longer obsessed, and the Earth Pony returned home to her own people, and Equestria was saved. Their love had been captured by the mirror..."
"More than just their love," Celestia explained. "The part of them that loved each other was caught in the mirror's glass, and split off from them. The destructive fire of their love, the obsession that had threatened to overthrow peace and order, was contained. But it wasn't extinguished. It lived on in the mirror, in a different world where the Prince and his Earth Pony lover were permitted to love each other as they wished, for no matter what happened, it would not bring destruction upon anyone else."
In the fading mirror, Princess Celestia was slowly walking away with Twilight Sparkle. Suddenly, she turned back and seemed to be looking straight through the mirror at the two of them in the sunny meadow. And a sad smile played over her lips, and stayed there as the image finally drifted away into mist on the soft summer breeze.
Twilight looked at Celestia. "So, my old self will no longer love you?"
Celestia shook her head. "She will love me as a teacher and a friend and as a mother, but the passionate love of a lover will already be starting to fade, just as my original's love will return to that of a teacher for her favourite student."
"I feel sorry for them," said Twilight, and she lowered her face.
"As do I, Twilight but things are better this way. Somewhere there will always be a home for our love, and that somewhere is here." She looked about the meadow that surrounded them. Far in the distance she could see a wisp of smoke rising a town! "Wherever here is." She turned to Twilight, lifting the pony's sorrowful face with her own head and kissing her eyes. "Would you like to find out about our new home?"
Twilight smiled, and kissed Celestia back. "Of course. But Princess, is this world the same as ours, or is it completely different? Will all our friends be here?"
"I think it resembles our own, and I have no doubt that our friends will all be here in one shape or another, but I'm sure everything will be different in many strange ways. And please, Twilight," She leaned over and rubbed her lips along her beloved student's neck as she muttered "My name is just Celestia from now on no more being a Princess for me."
"OK... C-Celestia." The name felt strange on Twilight's lips, but as she said it, the realisation of what had happened struck her, and joy ran up through her heart, a joy so fiery and resplendent that it felt as if all the magic in the world was coursing through her. And she leapt up and galloped away through the meadow, looking back at Celestia, shouting "Catch me if you can, Celestia!" And Celestia galloped after her, laughing and leaping through the green grass.