Title: Sweet Valley Twins: Friendship is Magic
Summary: All the trouble started right after Lila saw the purple Unicorn in her backyard.
Dedication: For Raven and @buffywatcher23
Timeline: Factory reset, just like almost any book.
Notes: This won’t be as aggressively meta as my last NaNo, so if you were anticipating me leaning so hard on the fourth wall that it falls over, I’m sorry. This still will be a bit sassy, but honestly, I peaked with the Hunger Games crossover. Wait. No, I lied. I couldn’t get past the first page without doing my usual thing.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.
3,819 / 50,000 words. 8% done!
Note: I’m aware it’s a FiM thing to write Applejack phonetically. I’m not doing that. 50,000 words is hard enough without adding apostrophes and phonetic words to the mix. Also, this is set anywhere between the season 3 finale 5×07 (Make New Friends But Keep Discord). Shorthand: Twilight is a princess, and the map calls ponies to solve friendship problems.
Princess Twilight Sparkle was deeply involved in one of her favorite folklore tales, the story of how the Mighty May-Gahn, from Kali Fauna in the strange world of Ooh-Say, defeated the evil Smooze with a song of pure love, when she became aware that her cutie mark was tingling.
“OH MY GOSH!” She leapt to her feet in excitement. “Spike!” She called. “The map called me!” Her brain clicked into gear, switching from old folklore to the excitement of a new challenge. She would have to do research, of course, and pack the appropriate books, and take her list of friendship problems and suggested solutions…
Spike dashed into the room, quill and scroll in hand, and Twilight smiled at the baby dragon. He really was a very good assistant. “Where is the map calling you to?” he asked.
“I don’t know! It could be Appleloosa or Manehattan or the Dragon Lands! The possibilities are endless! Or maybe it’s the Crystal Empire and I could visit Shining Armor and Cadence! I should pack warmly. Oh, but what if it’s somewhere like Saddle Arabia—then warm clothes would be wrong!”
“Or you could check the map and see where it’s sending you,” Spike commented.
“Excellent plan! We’ll check the map, and then we’ll need a list of everything that I’ll need to take with me. Oh gosh, this is so exciting!” Twilight strode into the map room, and saw a representation of her cutie mark and Applejack’s dancing over… well that couldn’t be right.
“Why is it circling the castle?” Spike asked.
“Twilight! I got here as fast as I could!” Applejack charged into the room and came to a neat stop by the map. “Is the friendship problem in Ponyville?” she asked, peering at the map.
“I don’t know, the marks are very close to the castle…” Twilight reached out a hoof to gesture, but touched the castle on the map. Suddenly the map shifted. Ponyville expanded rapidly, as each area outside of Ponyville reached the edge of the map, it vanished, making space for the expansion. Eventually they were left with only the castle showing on the map. Twilight and Applejack’s cutie marks danced around one particular window of the castle, leaving little sprinkles of light as they moved.
“Woah,” Applejack said.
“I think…” Twilight began, walking around the table for a better view, “that it wants us to go to the room with the mirror that takes me to my friends in Canterlot High.”
“I seem to remember Princess Celestia warning us of all kinds of danger if anyone but you was to go through,” Applejack commented with a worried look on her face.
Twilight nodded. “That’s true, but the map wouldn’t have called you if you weren’t needed. We should at least check.”
“Well, if the map says we’re to offer our help, we can’t say no.”
The two ponies, tailed by Spike, made their way to the part of the castle where Twilight kept her magic mirror. The room itself was unchanged from her last visit. Twilight’s books lined the walls in neat shelves, organized by subject and then author. In the center of the room was the mirror, still with the modifications Twilight had made to enable her to travel between the worlds without having to wait for the thirty-moon cycle.
The only change was the actual glass of the mirror. Instead of showing their reflections, it showed the image of Twilight and Applejack’s cutie marks.
“I think that’s the kind of sign we can’t argue with, Sugarcube,” Applejack said.
Twilight couldn’t help but agree. And surely the map wouldn’t send them somewhere where it could be damaging for the world, right? “When we walk through, your body’s going to change shape—you’ll be a person. You’re going to walk upright, like Discord. You’ll be taller—not quite as tall as him, but at least twice your height now—and you’ll have ‘hands’ that look like Spike’s claws. It will be very disorienting, so just take small steps, and we can stand still as long as it takes to get your bearings.”
Applejack nodded, looking pale but determined. “I can’t say I’m looking forward to being a different shape, but if we have to do this, then we have to do it.”
“It’s ok, Applejack. Just you wait until you meet the other versions of yourselves—they’ll help you through,” Spike said.
Applejack took a deep breath. “I’m ready. Let’s do this.”
The three of them stepped forward and one by one, they moved through the mirror.
Twilight was surprised to arrive on the other side still in pony form. She took a look round, and saw that she was in some very neatly maintained grounds, and some distance away was a large imposing building. She was not at Canterlot High. This was somewhere completely different. She felt panic and excitement rise in her chest. She wasn’t prepared for anywhere other than Canterlot. She hadn’t packed! She hadn’t brought any books, or made her lists. She didn’t even have her friendship flash cards!
“I thought I was going to be a—what do you call them?—a person?” Applejack said from beside her.
“This isn’t where my friends are from. We’re somewhere else,” Twilight said. She turned to Spike. “You should go back, Spike, and tell our friends where we are.”
Spike looked disappointed. “But I always come with you when you go through the mirror.”
“Not this time, Spike. This is someplace new, and if the map didn’t call you, perhaps it’s best you go back and wait.”
“But what if you need me?”
Twilight gave the dragon a hug. “I always need you. And right now I need you at home, telling the others where we are, and keeping on top of anything that comes up in my absence.”
Reluctantly, Spike turned around. The portal seemed to be attached to some kind of large marble plinth, not unlike the one at Canterlot High, though this one was topped by a single pegasus rearing on its hind legs. The pegasus was unlike any pegasus Twilight had ever seen—the features were blockier, the limbs were wider and the head was heavier than what she was used to.
Spike gave the two ponies a final wave before heading back through the portal.
“Where do you think we are?” Applejack asked as they started out towards the building.
“I don’t know. That mirror has only ever taken me to Canterlot High. There are old folk tales of ponies visiting other worlds and inviting people back, but nopony has ever found them to be anything more than fairy tales.” Twilight paused and thought for a moment—theories always made her feel better. “Although Starswirl the Bearded wrote a fascinating paper theorizing that the Rainbow of Light actually existed and was a created as a protector for the Tree of Harmony, which, if you think about it, would be very interesting. Who knows what would have happened to Discord’s plunder vines if this Rainbow protector had been there to deal with them. Actually, it could conceivably have changed everything that we’ve experienced. Had the Rainbow been present, would—”
Twilight turned to her friend questioningly.
“I’m nervous too,” Applejack said with a smile. “What do you think we should do?”
“Well, I doubt the map sent us anywhere that’s outright dangerous. Maybe we should just introduce ourselves to the next ponies we see, and go from there?” “Go from there” was not exactly the best plan Twilight had ever formed, but landing in a different world to the one she had expected had thrown her a little. “We should try this building. I think it’s a palace of some kind. Maybe the map has sent us to meet dignitaries and forge friendships that span worlds. Wouldn’t that be something?” The last word came out a little high, but the excitement of a new place was starting to erase her worry.
“I didn’t hear anything!”
Twilight and Applejack looked up at the sound of a new voice.
On the patio of the palace were two girls in human form much like Twilight’s Canterlot High friends, but unlike them, these girls were both a pinkish color, and their manes were not as brightly colored—one had a brown mane, the other was a reddish-brown.
The reddish-brown maned girl spoke. “I’m serious, Lila. I think I heard something out here. Are you sure your friends aren’t dropping by?”
Her friend replied, “Don’t creep me out, Melissa. Nobody’s coming over. Let’s go back inside.”
“They seem friendly enough,” Twilight whispered to Applejack. “Maybe we should introduce ourselves?”
Applejack nodded, then raised her voice to the girls. “That was us, I’m afraid! Sorry, didn’t mean to scare you.”
The reddish-brown maned girl gasped and took a step back. “Is that…?”
Twilight and Applejack closed the gap between themselves and the girls.
“Hello,” said Twilight. “My name is Twilight Sparkle and this is my good friend Applejack, and we’re—”
“Oh my gosh,” said the brown-maned girl. “A purple unicorn.” There was a moment when it looked like a serious possibility that she might faint. Then she pulled herself together, straightened up and announced, “I have to call everyone I know right this second.”
Bonus Note: This is the pegasus that tops the marble plinth in Lila’s garden. Only in marble. And probably moderately classier. But still as 80s.
This is Firefly, the Italian variant (photo and pony from my collection). In the G1 cartoon, she was the pony who first crossed the worlds and fetched “May-Gahn” to save Ponyland. How she crossed the worlds is completely unexplained. She just flew and landed in our world.