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Inner Demons

by Azure Sandora

Chapter 1

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Chapter 1

Chapter 1: The Most Important Day of your Life!

"Twilight, get up!" Spike called out from downstairs.

Boy, since when did Spike get up before her, Twilight Sparkle thought with a yawn. Usually this was the other way around; Twilight would be up at six o'clock or so, do a little reading for herself, and then call Spike down at around nine. Spike waking her up? Either she slept in longer than she ever did, or there was something else going on.

But for Spike to wake up... and to do so without any effort...

She got out of her bed and looked at her clock, getting the shock of a lifetime. It was already nine-thirty! Spike let her sleep in that late? Now in a state of panic, Twilight ran out of her room and rushed over to the bathroom.

"LATE! I'm late!" Twilight cried out before pulling out her tooth brush. While brushing her teeth, she used her magic to turn on the water in the shower. Even if her schedule was thrown off, she had to maintain a sense of cleanliness, and that only added to her frustration.

After her shower, she rushed downstairs with a list floating next to her.

"Why didn't you wake me up?" Twilight asked.

"Um... well Twilight-"

"You were up all this time and you didn't bother to wake me?"

"You see, what happened was-"

"You know I run on a tight schedule, Spike. I wake up at six o'clock so I can get to work on cleaning the library after a little pleasure studying."

"If you'd let me-"

"Now my whole day is thrown off! God Spike, I expect better from you."

"TWILIGHT!" Spike finally shouted, stopping Twilight in her tracks, "I took care of all of that," he explained.

"Um, excuse me?" Twilight asked.

"Yeah, I sorted all the books, dusted the shelves, and I even made breakfast," Spike explained, actually making Twilight look

around. Sure enough, the library hadn't looked so clean. Her books were organized in alphabetic order, the shelves, desks, everything was sparkling, it looked like Spike even mopped.

"Oh... uh... Wait, did you say you also made breakfast?" Twilight asked now raising an eyebrow.

Spike chuckled, "Come with me," he said walking into the kitchen. Twilight shrugged and followed him. When she got into the kitchen she saw a plate of food, nicely prepared with pancakes and orange juice. Looking at this surprised Twilight. It was touching that Spike went so far, but there had to be a reason.

"Okay, what's up?" Twilight said with an edge of suspicion, "Did you break something?"

Spike laughed, "No Twilight."

"So you want something and you're afraid I'm going to say no, right?" Twilight asked, making Spike laugh again.

"No Twilight. I can't believe you of all people would forget today."

"What?" Twilight asked, now a little frustrated, "So what's going on? And why the heck are you laughing so hard?"

"Twilight, I did this as a present for you."

"A... present?"

"Yeah, a birthday present!"

"Huh?" Twilight asked, now looking at the calendar. Sure enough, not only was it her birthday, but an important one.

She turned twenty-one today.

Looking at the calendar made Twilight's excitement rise higher and higher, until she was laughing happily. She then ran over to Spike, used her magic to put him on her back, and then began dancing and spinning around in happiness, laughing the whole time.

"I take it you're happy?" Spike asked.

"Of course!" Twilight set Spike down, "Today I'm twenty-one! Do you realize what this means?"

"That you're finally legal? That you can finally go drinking with the others? That you can go into all the cool clubs now?"

"Well, technically," even Twilight had to admit, she was curious about what went on in those clubs, "But that's not what I'm talking about!" she used her magic to bring a golden chest into the kitchen, "Princess Celestia put a number of books in this

chest, but there's a special lock on it. It will only open for me when I'm twenty-one. Spike, I can finally learn magic on the Princess' level!"

"Right, I remember when she gave you that chest," Spike said looking at the chest, and the strange lock keeping it closed.

Like the door that sealed the Elements of Harmony, this chest had a lock that would only open up when a specified unicorn inserted their horn in the center where the keyhole usually was. This particular lock was made to only open for Twilight Sparkle, but it was charmed to only open when she turned twenty-one. Twilight had no idea what kind of magic and knowledge she would find, but it had to be major. Why else would Twilight have to wait so long to open it?

"I've perfected every other spell she taught me," Twilight said walking up to her breakfast, "and I've learned every single spell in the books I could access before. All that's left is for me to learn about the spells in that chest."

"So are you going to open it right away?" Spike asked going to the sink.

"As much as I want to, I think I want to wait until later. Knowing Pinkie Pie, she probably has something really big planned for this day."

"Yeah, probably," Spike said laughing silently. Twilight took note, but left it alone. I mean, why stop Spike with another question? He was doing the dishes! Twilight began wishing everyday were her twenty-first birthday.

* * * *

Although she said she wouldn't read them, she was still curious about them. After breakfast, she decided to spend some time getting to know the new books while she waited for the visit she knew was coming. The books themselves had really interesting titles: Dark Artes and their Origins, The Secrets of Necromancy, Prophesies of the Old World, there were so many different books, and all of them had weird names. Why would Princess Celestia give her these kind of books. She then looked at the bottom of the chest and saw a letter from the Princess.

Dear Twilight Sparkle,

For you to read this means you have finally reached the age appropriate for the knowledge in these books. You may be wondering why I would give you such books after I forbade you long ago to ingest such knowledge. I feel that now that you are twenty-one, you are mature enough to learn about this side of magic and not use it for evil. Rather, I hope that it will aid in your personal growth and you will use this knowledge to maintain order between light and darkness.

Finally, happy birthday Twilight.

Your beloved teacher, Celestia

Okay, so that made sense, Twilight thought. Princess Celestia always trusted Twilight, and once she became her personal student, Twilight knew she was meant for something big.

They met when Twilight was only six. She had always been gifted in the art of magic, so her parents, Twilight Velvet (mom) and Nightlight (dad) wanted to enroll her into Princess Celestia's Magic School for Gifted Unicorns. She passed the written exam, but her final test was for her to hatch a dragon egg. She was so nervous though, that she wasn't able to perform at her best, and couldn't muster enough magic to hatch the egg. As she tried to unleash all of the magic she could, a magical explosion in the sky startled her, causing her magic to go out of control (she later on in life learned that this was Rainbow Dash's Sonic Rainboom.)

With her magic going crazy, she turned her parents into plants, accidentally enchanted the judges, and although she hatched the dragon's egg, she also instantly grew him to full size. Princess Celestia came just in time, and calmed Twilight down, which also reversed the magic. It was then that Princess Celestia offered to teach Twilight herself as a personal student. That was also the day Twilight got her Cutie Mark.

After that day, Princess Celestia and Twilight began to form a powerful bond, one that to some degrees emulated sisterly love. Not only had Princess Celestia made sure all of her studies were taken care of, but she also taught her many joys in Equestria, never letting her spend all day studying (which she would have done had she been given the chance). Twilight knew that Princess Celestia had major plans for her, so keeping the balance of magic seemed ideal. This meant she wanted Twilight by her side not just as a student, but as an equal, maybe even a friend.

At that moment, there was a knock on the door. Twilight figured this was one of her friends, so she put the books aside resolving to get to work reading them later, and decided to open the door.

"Hello?" Twilight asked opening the door.

"Twilight! Darling!" the high and proper tone voice of her friend Rarity cried out, followed by a hug.

"Rarity, this is a surprise," and it was. Twilight was expecting to see Pinkie Pie first.

"Well, I don't see how," Rarity said, "Especially considering what day it is."

"Well yeah, true," Twilight said with a smile.

"Now, are you going to force me to stand outside or am I allowed to come in?" Rarity asked.

"Of course, come in," Twilight said ushering Rarity inside. As Rarity elegantly walked in, Twilight felt a bit of envy looking at the white unicorn's saunter. If only she could be as beautiful as Rarity.

"Spike," Twilight called out, "Rarity is here."

Upstairs, both unicorns heard loud shuffling, followed by a loud SLAM and really fast foot steps. A second later, Spike appeared at the top of the stairs.

"Hi Rarity!" Spike said happily.

"Hello Spike," Rarity said, "Did you give Twilight your present yet?"

"I'm still doing that," Spike stated.

"Spike has been doing all of the chores to give me the day off," Twilight explained.

"Oh how lovely," Rarity said as Spike walked down the stairs over to her, "You know, my birthday is coming up soon. Just saying," Rarity said giving Spike a sweet, yet slightly sultry look.

"Oh, uh..." Spike looked away, his face bright red. It was no secret that Spike had a monster crush on Rarity. Last year Spike had apparently tried to confess his feelings to her, but he never told anyone what her response was, and Rarity wasn't talking either. Twilight noticed, though, that after that day they seemed more comfortable with each other, and Rarity was suddenly a lot more affectionate around him.

"So where are everyone else?" Twilight asked, silently asking where Pinkie Pie was. Pinkie Pie was usually the first one to wish her a happy birthday. Seeing Rarity first was... odd.

"Oh, they're preparing the second half of your birthday," Rarity explained, "I'm here to get you ready for the next chapter of your life."

"Next... chapter? What?" Twilight asked.

"You'll see," Rarity said with a smile, "Come along, darling. My present is actually elsewhere."

"Alright. Um, can you take care of things here, Spike?" Twilight asked.

"Don't worry. You guys have your fun," Spike said.

"We'll see you later then Spike," Rarity said. Spike blushed and went back upstairs as Twilight followed Rarity out of the library.

"So, what do you mean by the next chapter of my life?" Twilight asked as they walked.

"Well, you're twenty-one now," Rarity explained, "Meaning you've become a real mare now. So it's time you... looked... the part, if you catch my drift."

"I... don't get it," Twilight stated.

Rarity giggled to herself and escorted Twilight into a fancy building, which turned out to be the spa that Rarity and Fluttershy spent their weekends in. This was her present?

"Aloe, Lotus," Rarity called out. A second later, the twin owners of the spa walked over to them, "This is the pony I told you about."

"Ah, so zis is Twilight Sparkle," the blue one, Lotus (she thought) said in a European accent.

"She is pretty, but we make her much prettier," Aloe, the pink one, said, same strong accent.

"Excellent," Rarity said, scaring Twilight a bit.

"Huh?"

"I'll meet you at the entrance," Rarity called out, as Lotus and Aloe dragged Twilight away.

They gave her the full treatment. Mud bath, pedicure, manicure, they even did work on her hair and make-up. When she was done a few hours later, she looked in the mirror and was actually taken aback. She was now wearing dark purple eye shadow, her purple coat had a bit of a shimmer to it, and her mane and tail both had sparkles in them, actually looking like stars.

"That's amazing," Twilight said, "I barely recognize myself." She turned to Lotus and Aloe and smiled at them. Both spa ponies began jumping up and down happily, clearly proud of their work.

Twilight stepped out to where Rarity was waiting for her. Even Rarity looked shocked.

"Oh my god," Rarity said softly, "Twilight, you're gorgeous!"

"I even feel different," Twilight said, taking note that she actually felt like standing up straighter.

"That's called confidence, honey," Rarity stated, "Now that you're twenty-one, it's time you looked more mature, not that you didn't look good before, but..."

"No, it's fine," Twilight said nodding, "I love it."

"And that's not all," Rarity said, now using her magic to make a box float over to them. Twilight looked at it and saw it was a make-up kit, "This way, you can maintain your new look."

"Thank you Rarity," Twilight said.

"Oh, it's nothing," Rarity said, "My friend is having the most important day of her life. There isn't an amount I'm not willing to spend for that occasion."

"So, what's next?" Twilight said as she and Rarity walked out of the spa (Aloe and Lotus waving to them as they walked out).

"Well, it's about three now," Rarity said looking up at the clock tower nearby, "I think they're ready."

"Ready?" Twilight asked.

Rarity sighed, "Come on, Twilight," Rarity said walking off. As Twilight watched Rarity walk, she felt a sudden boost of confidence. She held her head up high, and tried a bit of a saunter herself. It wasn't a much as Rarity's walk, but judging by the looks she was getting, it was still pretty impressive.

This time, Rarity took Twilight to what looked like a bar. One more look and Twilight saw that it was a bar. Oh boy, why here?

"Um, Rarity?" Twilight asked.

"It was Rainbow Dash's idea," Rarity said with an edge of contempt. Clearly she didn't agree with this.

They went inside, Twilight going in first, and suddenly...

"HAPPY BIRTHDAY TWILIGHT SPARKLE!" Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, and even Fluttershy shouted, shocking Twilight.

"Uh... uh..." Twilight was lost for words. Pinkie Pie ran over to Twilight and began jumping up and down in excitement.

"Were you surprised? You were surprised, weren't you? I could tell! You know how? Cause you walked in, and then we shouted HAPPY BIRTHDAY, and then you were all, *gasp*, and after that, you were like, 'uh... uh...' yeah! Like right now!"

"Pinkie Pie, why don't we let Twilight step inside," Applejack said pushing Pinkie Pie away. Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy flew over to Twilight.

"Well, don't you look like a model," Rainbow Dash said.

"Are you having a happy birthday so far?" Fluttershy asked sweetly.

"Actually, I am," Twilight said stepping in and sitting down at a table, "Spike is taking care of the library, Rarity took me to the spa, oh, and I'm finally able to take a look at those books I told you guys about.

"You mean the ones in the gold chest?" Rarity asked.

"Did ya look at any of 'em yet?" Applejack asked.

"No, not yet," Twilight explained, "I figured I would wait until later on tonight to read any of them."

"That's assuming you're not too tired after this kick-ass party!" Rainbow Dash said, "And as such, it's time for the birthday girl to have her very first drink."

"Not to steal one of Applejack's lines, but come again?" Twilight asked.

"Come on, you're the last one! This is major!" Rainbow Dash stated.

"Yeah, one of the reasons why this is such a big deal is because with you, we're all finally legal!" Pinkie Pie said, making Twilight embarrassed.

Twilight was actually the youngest of the six of them. After her was Pinkie Pie by a few months, and Fluttershy who was a whole year older than Pinkie Pie. Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy were close to the same age, but Rainbow Dash's birthday was before Fluttershy's. Rarity and Applejack were both the oldest, Rarity being a year older than Rainbow Dash, and Applejack being two. Their current ages from youngest to oldest were: 21, 21, 22, 23, 24, and 25.

"Oh god..." Twilight said with a sigh.

"Hey bartender, glass of scotch!" Rainbow Dash shouted.

"Um, Dash," Rarity said, "Don't you think that's a little..."

"Strong?" Applejack finished.

"It'll be fine, trust me," Rainbow Dash said putting her arms around the concerned ponies.

The bartender set the drink down in front of Twilight, who stared at it for a long time.

"So, what now?" Twilight asked.

"You do the same thing that you do with a glass of juice," Rainbow Dash said, "Take a drink."

Twilight was hesitant, but she slowly raised the glass to her mouth, took a sip, and...

...immediately spit it out.

"GOD!" Twilight said, "That is strong! Ugh!"

"Huh, more for me," Rainbow Dash said taking the scotch and drinking it herself.

"If we're goin' in that route, Ah think Ah got jus' the thing," Applejack said walking up to the bartender, a second later coming back with the bartender, who set a pink and bubbly drink in front of Twilight.

"This isn't going to kill me, is it?" Twilight asked.

"This has only a little bit of alcohol in it, not enough to make ya overly drunk, but it'll give ya a taste of what alcohol is like," Applejack explained, "Essentially, it's jus' soda for grown ups."

Twilight took a small sip of it, shocked at how good it was. She then took another sip, getting claps from everypony around her.

"Congratulations Twilight!" Pinkie Pie said, "Now all that's left is for you to lose your vi--"

Fluttershy suddenly put her hoof over Pinkie Pie's mouth and smiled sweetly at Twilight, "Let's not get ahead of ourselves," she said in a soft yet slightly assertive tone, then shooting a sharp look at Pinkie Pie, who smiled sheepishly.

From there, the party began. It was just the six of them in the beginning, but ponies actually started walking into the bar at around four. Apparently Pinkie Pie invited the whole town. Normally Twilight would have been uncomfortable, but she was getting a lot of positive attention.

Not only that, but her friends all had other gifts for her. Twilight thought the party was Pinkie Pie's present, but sure enough, she gave Twilight a scrap book filled with pictures of them together. Some of those pictures Twilight didn't even know Pinkie Pie had taken. Rainbow Dash gave Twilight a key chain with a symbol like her Cutie Mark. Twilight knew it was her silent way of bragging about herself, but it was also so she could always have something of Rainbow Dash's that was always close. It was actually a sweet gesture, since none of them would have gotten their Cutie Marks or even met had it not been for Rainbow Dash getting her's. Fluttershy was last, giving Twilight a nice necklace made of fancy rocks (probably found by Rarity). Twilight knew Fluttershy would give her something homemade, and this was really pretty. All in all, it was a great party.

It was getting late, and everyone was at least a little tipsy (even Fluttershy, who seemed to get really bubbly and perky when she was drunk). Twilight and Applejack started making their way back to the library, since Twilight still wanted to read those books.

"So, ya sure ya gonna be alright?" Applejack asked.

"Oh yeah, I'll be fine," Twilight said cheerfully, "I'm probably going to go right to be after I read at least one of them."

"Well, Ah hope ya had a good birthday," Applejack said.

"I did, and it's all thanks you guys," Twilight said with a smile, "Thank you. I would thank everyone else, but..."

"Yeah, Ah never did agree with Rainbow Dash's drinking," Applejack said, "Ya have a good night, Twilight."

"You too Applejack," Twilight said. She watched Applejack walk off, and then went inside.

The snoring she heard when she got inside let her know that Spike was dead tired. In the dark she could tell that the library was spotless, so Spike had been working really hard while she was gone.

"Oh Spike..." Twilight said looking at Spike as she slept on the floor. She used her magic to lift him up, and slowly began escorting him to his bed, which she then set him down and put the covers on him. Sometimes with how expressive he was, it was easy to forget that he was a baby dragon. This wasn't one of those times. He looked so cute and peaceful, Twilight couldn't help but smile.

"I'll have to show him my new look in the morning," Twilight said. She then made her way to her room.

Once there, she fell on her bed and laughed to herself. It was too good to be true. She was twenty-one now, a full grown mare in both mind and body. Even the Princess recognized her as an adult.

The Princess... right! The books! Twilight had forgotten all about those. She ran over to the chest, inserted her horn, and opened it. It was late, and she was still a little buzzed from the drinks she had, so it probably wasn't a good idea for her to do anything extensive tonight, but she could at least skim through one of them. Give her something to look forward to.

She searched the chest for a book that wouldn't require any real critical thinking (which she found was hard to do with alcohol in her system). Her eyes stopped on Prophesies of the Old World. They were just stories, like really dark bedtime stories that ponies thought were true. This would be a great introduction to the knowledge that Princess Celestia wanted her to ingest.

She took the book to her bed, and using light from her horn, began to look through the table of contents. All of the stories sounded really scary, but there was one that caught her attention.

~Equestria's Darkest Hour

"Hmm..." Twilight thought to herself. There might be something here that Twilight needed to know. Her thoughts went back to two years ago, when she discovered the return of Night Mare Moon in a book. That turned out to be something, and since Equestria hadn't really had a serious disaster since Discord, maybe there was something here. She opened the book to that page and began reading.

"It's prophesied that on the last day of the twentieth millennium, the Queen of Darkness will be born," Twilight read aloud, "The twentieth millennium? That would be the nineteen hundreds on the current calendar," she thought to herself, and then remembered that she was born in the year 2000... and the day right before the new year...

"Huh," Twilight thought to herself. It was probably a coincidence. Lots of ponies were born on that day. She decided to keep reading.

"In her youth, she will be a natural at all things magical. She will be a pony with a dark coat, and possess powers unlike any other," as she read, her heart was racing a bit, "On the day she comes of age, she'll begin to awaken to her true nature. The darkness in her heart will consume her, and she will use her powers to not only usurp the current rule of Equestria, but plunge the world in an eternal twilight..."

"Huh?!" she realized what she just read. Twilight? That was too strange not to mean something. She was getting scared now. She was a natural at all things magical. She was a pony with a dark coat. She possessed powers unlike any unicorn in her generation. And she had just come of age... today...

She looked further in the chapter, until she saw an entry that spoke of her symbol. She turned to the next page hoping to see the symbol, but immediately wished she hadn't. The symbol looked like a giant star, almost an explosion, and there were smaller stars around it. She looked in the mirror, at the symbol on her flank that let everyone know what she was best at...

Her Cutie Mark... was the same as the symbol in the book...

There was no way it was talking about her, but then again, there was no way it wasn't. She didn't feel like taking over Equestria though, nor did she want to usurp the rule of Princess Celestia. She wasn't a bad pony. But based off of what she read...

"It's... just an old story," Twilight said with an awkward laugh, "I shouldn't take everything I read so seriously," Twilight tried to convince herself. She closed the book and set it back in the chest. She then went to bed to try and get some sleep, still convincing that it was all a coincidence.

But Twilight was a pony who didn't usually believe in coincidences...

Next Chapter: Chapter 2 Estimated time remaining: 9 Hours, 38 Minutes
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