Twilight Sparkle and the Elements of Bootlegs

by TheDriderPony

Chapter 1: Knockoffs Are Magic

"It's over, Nightmare Moon!" Twilight Sparkle stepped forward, her new friends flanking her on either side. "Now that we have all the Elements of Harmony-" she gave a sidelong glance to the veritable ball pit of additional unactivated Elements she'd unintentionally summoned, "Even if I did get a few too many, there's nothing you can do!"

"Curse you!" The night mare spat. "Do your worst! But I shall one day return, far stronger than you can ever possibly imagine!"

"Then we'll deal with then the same way: with the power of our friendship!" Five necklaces and one tiara began to glow as their bearers majestically rose into the air. Links of pure magic manifested between them before arcing together into a rainbow of power that crashed down onto the Nightmare Moon like a waterfall.

"Noooooooooo!" She cried, but the sound quickly devolved into: "Ow! Ow, ow, ow! Stop- stop that it stings!"

The rainbow cut off and Twilight and her friends descended to the floor. Nightmare Moon stood the same as before, though she kept shaking out each limb as though trying to rid them of a pins-and-needles sensation.

"Why didn't it work? Why aren't you purified?" Twilight removed her tiara glared at it, willing it to give up its secrets. She squinted, noticing tiny writing along the crown's rim. "Oh... Element of Harm Only. That explains it." She set it aside and levitated another stone orb from the pile. Like the previous one, it reacted to her friendship and formed into an identical tiara. "Let's try this again. Elements of Harmony Rainbow Strike Go!"

Once more they rose into the air. A magical rainbow of power arced from between them and-

"Ouch!" Fluttershy squeaked as the beam turned sharply and hit her.

"Sorry! Looks like that was the Element of Harm Lonely." Twilight grabbed another stone from the pile. "Third time's the charm!"

They rose. The rainbow formed. The rainbow dissipated. A duck waddled into the room from nowhere. A gecko riding on it's back handed Twilight a wad of cash before its ride turned and walked away. Once more Twilight squinted at her crown's label. "Oh har har. Element of Car Money."

"Do you want me to just... go?" Nightmare Moon asked awkwardly. "I can come back later when you get sorted."

"No no. You stay right there and I'll blast you in a jiffy. Liiike... now!"

The rainbow shot into the sky and vanished. They all waited for a moment for it to return before Rainbow Dash finally asked "...nothing happened?"

Twilight scrunched her muzzle in confusion at the tiara's label. "What's an Oney?"

Far away in another world, a moderately successful animator and internet personality yelped in pain.

She huffed in frustration. "Right then. You know what? I'm taking one from the bottom of the pile. There has to be an Element of Harmony in here somewhere."

This time the magic didn't even bother lifting them into the air. The rainbow manifested--though rather than a true rainbow this was only made of shades of red, pink, and white--and immediately exploded in the air above them, raining down sparkling particles of light.

Twilight blinked and sneezed as she felt it tickle her face and legs.

And then Rarity screamed.

Twilight spun around to find, much to her astonishment, that all of her friends were wearing, of all things, socks. Striped thigh-highs that complimented their colors. Their faces were done up as well in elegant, if somewhat overapplied, makeup. Scandalously red lips and long fluttery eyelashes abound. They might have been wearing rouge, but it was lost in their mutual beet-red flushes of embarrassment. Even Nightmare Moon, her lips glossy and legs silken, blushed so hard she went purple.

"Pick another one!" Rarity shrieked, half-hysterical as she tried to cover herself. "Quickly, before someone sees us! Or else my good name will be ruined!"

The tiara was cast aside and another activated even before Twilight could properly register that she had not been spared the makeover. As the new Element activated, a heavy clang of metal confirmed their thankful change in dress. Gone were the licentious leggings, replaced by sheets of solid steel. Seven lovely ladies had been replaced by warriors kitted with enough armor and weapons to solo an army singlehandedly.

Twilight set down her broadsword and lifted her helmet-tiara combo. "Huh. Element of Armory. How convenient."

"I can't move," a puddle of chainmail with Fluttershy's voice said.

"Twilight, darling, maybe we should take a bre-"

"No! We keep going! It's too late to stop now. One of these has to work!"

She fired another friendship laser at Nightmare Moon, this one with a rainbow of red and yellow. When the light faded, rather than wearing sturdy armor or skimpy garments, she boasted a fine handlebar moustache. It was complemented by a military dress uniform covered in medals and her mane bundled up beneath an ushanka.

"что это?" she asked in confusion.

"Element of Tsar Moony? What does that even mean?" Twilight tossed the tiara away in frustration, then sighed as she cast her gaze over the barely diminished multitude of remaining potential elements. "This might take a while..."

No one knew how much time had passed, as the lack of a sun was rather unhelpful in telling time. Twilight was the only one who still seemed passionately driven to find the correct Element and purify Nightmare Moon. The rest, including the villain herself, had settled down and decided to just let her wear herself out. Friendship magic still flared around them every time Twilight made a new attempt, but they were otherwise free to walk about and do as they pleased.

Some had taken to guessing each Element as Twilight tried them.

There was a flash of rainbow and the hall became filled with trees.

"Element of Arbory." Applejack supplied, tossing a few kernels of puffed corn into her mouth. "Yer turn."

There was a flash of rainbow and the trees were ablaze and quickly burnt to cinders.

"Too easy. Element of Arsonry." Rainbow Dash pawed for the antique helmet full of snacks. Applejack helpfully pushed it closer.

Across the room, Fluttershy stroked a small white rabbit that had appeared after the use of the Element of High Bunny. The rabbit seemed surprisingly chill given the atmosphere of flashing lights and random things popping into existence.

Two beams of magic split from the latest attempt, one flying towards it's intended target and the other towards Twilight. When the light faded, Twilight found herself wearing a snowy white gown and veil embellished with pearls and sapphires. Across the room, Nightmare Moon sported a fetching jet black tuxedo with matching top hat and tails.

"Ooh," Applejack mused, "Ah bet you the rest of this corn that that's the Element of Matrimony."

"You're on."

Rainbow Dash caught the tiara that Twilight threw away almost as a reflex now and squinted at the inscription.

"Ha! Element of Monogamy. Pay up."

Applejack merely shrugged and passed the makeshift bowl. It was nearly empty.

"Dangit..." the pegasus muttered before raising her voice. "Twilight! If you're going to keep this up, could you use the Element of Hominy again? We're running low on snacks."

"Or the Element of Parmaroni." Pinkie added as she chomped down on a thin slice of spiced meat sprinkled with crumbled cheese. "Hey, Rarity! We're ordering food, you want anything?"

The fashionista glanced up from the patterned fabric that had been manifested by the Element of Embroidery. "What? No, I'm quite alright. But let me know if she finds an Element of Watermelony. I think these designs might look better with a pink dye."

"Could you all please take this seriously?" Twilight whined, not for the first time. "I'm trying to stop a villain here."

"Actually, I wouldn't mind another go with the Element of Havarti." Nightmare Moon supplied. "I found its flavor quite refreshing."

"You stay out of this!" Twilight shot her with the next Element. Immediately her suit transmuted into a small bag of coins which flew into the neck of Twilight's gown.

"Huh, Element of Alimony," Rarity mused, though her eyes still lingered on Twilight's dress. "Who would have thought?"

Twilight grumbled, but continued on undaunted. She activated the next Element and felt something. This one was different. A surge of power filled her like none of the others before had.

"Oh. Oh! Girls, I think this is it! I think I found it!"

"About time," Applejack said as the magic lifted her into the air. "Oh, so it's like this again."

"I'm fine," Pinkie called from the little cubbyhole she'd found. "Call me if this one works."

Magical bonds of light danced between the six of them, stronger and thicker than any before. A rainbow--a proper rainbow with all the right colors in all the right places--arced high in the air and began to descend towards the waiting Nightmare.

"Finally," she muttered, "This was getting tiresome."

The rainbow blast exploded with light, leaving them mares temporarily blind but with a contented feeling of rightness in their hearts. When their vision returned, Nightmare Moon was gone. In her place was a much smaller alicorn with a light blue coat.

"Did we do it?" Rarity asked cautiously, "Or was that just an Element that made her younger?"

Before anyone could respond, they got their answer in the form of the sun rising over the horizon. The eternal night was over and light spilled into the room through the long since shattered windows. With it, came the mare of the sun herself: Princess Celestia, in all her regal glory.

"Twilight Sparkle. My most faithful student. I knew you had it in you. That once you allowed the magic of friendship in your heart, you and your friends could unlock the power of all-" she stopped mid-sentence as she finally spotted the excessive pile of Element tiaras. And then all the other piles of miscellaneous junk. "The... Elements?"

"Yeah... that's kind of a long story," Twilight chuckled sheepishly as she rubbed the back of her head with a wing.

Celestia blinked. "Twilight... you're... an alicorn?"

"Yep," Rainbow Dash said as she lit her horn to grab some more food. "I think there was an Element of Alicornity a while back."

Pinkie Pie's wings buzzed like a hummingbird as she sailed down from the rafters to join the group.

Princess Celestia rubbed her temples. "And I thought reorganizing the government to account for one new alicorn was going to be troublesome. But seven..."

"Hold on yer maj," Applejack interjected, "Ah think Ah saw something earlier that might help." She walked away and began to dig through the discarded tiaras.

"Not that I would wish to add another complication," the restored Luna added as she nuzzled up to her sister, "But your student might also be your sister-in-law."

"She might be what now?!"

"Found 'em!" Applejack returned carrying two Element tiaras. "Okay, you want the Element of Hegemony or the Element of Octarchy?"

Celestia's mental gears spun for a few seconds, got caught on something, and finally snapped off a few teeth. "You know what? Bring both. It certainly can't make things any more complicated."

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