Sisterhooves Social, Princess Edition

by Legal Brief

First published

Princess Luna decides that the Sisterhooves Social is the perfect opportunity for sisterly bonding

Princess Luna decides that the Sisterhooves Social is the perfect opportunity to spend some quality bonding time with Princess Celestia. Do Sweetie Belle and Applebloom stand a chance or do the princesses of Equestria have this competition in the bag?

Chapter 1


The Canterlot Castle dining room shook with the force of Princess Luna’s exclamation, Royal Canterlot Voice in full force. It wasn’t the first time the no longer newly returned princess of the night had slipped into the Royal Canterlot voice (this month), nor was it likely to be the last (this week), ever to the dismay of the royal dining staff.

Completely ignoring the shattered plates and ruined vittles now smattering the floor, Princess Luna quickly trotted across the opulent hall, past the ornate tapestries and the unoccupied mahogany chairs. She stopped next to her sister’s seat at the head of the table.

Celestia slowly levitated her teacup down to its saucer and let her golden shield fall now that the projectiles had stopped. She gave her younger sister a kind smile as she raised her eyes to meet her sister’s gaze. “Lulu, whatever has you so excited as to use the Royal Canterlot Voice in the dining hall? Have they finished installing the spider-toss court in the palace grounds?”

While she was indeed excited at the prospect of all the fun she could have with her new spider-toss court, that is not what had the lunar diarch so excited. No, this was potentially much better. “Neigh, dearest ‘Tia! We have just received news from thy faithful student from Ponyville. Once again there is fun to be had!” Princess Luna sat back on her haunches and clapped her forehooves together in excitement.

The princess of the sun beamed at her sister. Ever since Nightmare Night her sister and the Elements of Harmony would occasionally get together and engage in ‘fun’ as her sister so lovingly called it. It made her swell with pride that her faithful student and her friends were helping Lulu acclimate to modern customs.

Celestia too ignored the bustle of the kitchen staff in the background as they swept up the plates, scrubbed off the splattered food, and put up the (third) spare set of tapestries. “Oh that’s wonderful Lulu. What kind of fun is it this time?”

At this, Princess Luna seemed to revert back into the shy mare that emerged just after the Elements of Harmony had cleansed her of the Nightmare, demurely scuffing a forehoof along the ground and unrolling a poster she had until now levitated behind her and presented it to Celestia. “Well, ‘Tia, we were hoping that we, that is you and I, could have fun together this time.”

The celestial sisters did not often get to leave the palace for flights of fancy, especially not together. For Lulu to ask her to do just that the princess of the night must have really wanted to do this. Princess Celestia took hold of the poster and moved it into reading distance. The poster had a mare and filly pair at the starting line to an obstacle course and the tagline “Sisterhooves Social: come on down to Sweet Apple Acres and compete to see who the best sisters are!”

Celestia remembered Rarity and Sweetie Belle’s friendship report from the year before on how the event brought the two of them closer together. She could see why her sister would want to go watch it with her this year. It would do her heart good to see her little ponies working together in friendship. “Why Lulu, this looks like an excellent idea. I’d love to go watch our little ponies as they display the strength of their sisterly bonds.” The warm smile she gave her sister could have melted butter.

“Neigh ‘Tia! We do not wish to watch others have sisterly fun. We wish for us to participate. As sisters!”

Princess Celestia, supreme ruler of Equestria and raiser of the sun raised an inquisitive eyebrow at her sister. “Lulu, you are saying you wish for us, the princesses of Equestria, to participate in this ‘Sisterhooves Social’ against our little ponies?”

“Yes! Think of all the fun we shall have!” said Princess Luna, no longer demurely gazing down, but instead starting right into Celestia’s rich pink eyes.

Celestia kept her face passive as she mulled over whether or not this was a good idea. She didn’t like the idea of competing against her student’s friends and perhaps crushing their hopes of winning. On the other hand, she did want to find a way to spend some sisterly bonding time with Lulu, their relationship still not back to where it was before her sister’s...vacation. And Lulu did look like she really wanted this.

“Are you sure that is a good idea Lulu? I’m not sure that us competing would be entirely fair,” said Princess Celestia, stressing her last word. She’d long ago learned that participating in the competition of her subjects wasn’t always the best of ideas. Many would purposely throw their game or hold back for fear of upsetting their princess should she lose. Celestia gave a mental eyeroll at silliness of it all. Like she would be offended if she lost a game. She was more worried that her and Luna’s stature would be more than a bit of an advantage in a competition that would have school age fillies in it.

Princess Luna gave a small snort. “Nonsense ‘Tia. We are sure there will be obstacles where fillies will have an advantage. Besides, when the others see their princesses compete it will only inspire them them to try harder.”

Princess Celestia couldn’t help but give a small smile at her sister’s enthusiasm. She levitated her teacup to her muzzle and took a dainty sip before lowering it gently back down and nodding.“Alright Lulu, you win.I can see how much this means to you. We can go over to Ponyville and compete in the Sisterhooves Social,” said Celestia as she leaned over to give her sister an encouraging nuzzle.

Princess Luna, once again unable to contain herself, lapsed back into her old manner of speech. “HUZZAH! WE CAN NOW HAVE FUN. AND AS SISTERS. THE FUN HAS BEEN DOUBLED!


Sweetie Belle was excited. Really excited. Excited enough to be mistaken for Pinkie Pie if her coat and mane were the right color. She was excited enough to be bouncing along side her elder sister Rarity as they made their way through Ponyville toward Sweet Apple Acres.

Rarity couldn’t help but let the ghost of a smile touch her lips at his sister’s antics. Sweetie Belle had been absolutely ecstatic ever since Rarity had said they could participate together this year. After all, this was the first time Sweetie Belle would get to compete against Applebloom and Applejack.

Passing by Sugarcube Corner, Rarity spared a glance toward her rambunctious sister. “Sweetie, dear, shouldn’t you save your energy for the event? You don’t want to tire yourself out before we even get there, do you?”

Not slowing her bouncing in the slightest, Sweetie Belle turned her head to face her big sister, excitement radiating from her light green eyes. “But Rarity, I’m just so excited! I know we got to compete together last year, even if you tricked me, but this time we get to compete against Applebloom and her sister! I’ll show them who the best big sister ever is.” Sweetie Belle stopped her energetic bouncing just long enough to run over and give Rarity an almost bone crushing hug before starting right up again.

Rarity gave a slightly mirthful smile once again at her sister’s antics. If it wasn’t obvious just how excited the white filly was from her unusually energetic gait and the way her words ran together as if she just couldn’t get them out fast enough, the way her voice was cracking every few sentences or so was proof enough for anypony. “Just remember Sweetie, you promised we could go to the spa together this year after we finish. Even if I don’t plan on submerging myself in, eugh, mud, again this year, there is still plenty of dust in the air to warrant a relaxing soak at the spa.”

Sweetie glanced back to face Rarity just long enough to make sure her big sister saw her eye roll. “Don’t worry Rarity, I promised. But, sis, I still don’t get it. You’re just going to get covered in mud again at the spa anyway. Why does it matter if it’s Applejack’s mud or the spa sisters’ mud?”

By this time, the duo had made it to the outskirts of Sweet Apple Acres, just in time for Rarity to catch a glimpse of some of the farm’s pigs wallowing in some mud as Sweetie Belle brought up clingy substance. She gave an involuntary shudder. “Sweetie, dear, there is a big difference between the kind of filthy mud the common animal would wallow in and the exotic, cleansing mud the spa sisters specially order.”

The white filly didn’t even spare the time to face her sister for her second eye roll. This was a argument they’d had before, and she knew that Rarity wasn’t going to change her mind any time soon. It wasn’t long before the duo came upon the obstacle course and saw the throng of other contestants and spectators as they milled about, played the array of games or just killed time until the main event later that day. Sweetie Belle and Rarity had arrived early so they could hang out with Applebloom and Applejack before the race started.

It wasn’t long before the two white unicorns caught sight of the Apple sisters as they finished up chatting with Carrot Top and her little sister. “Hi Applebloom! Hi Applejack! Are you ready for the big race?” exclaimed the energetic filly as she trotted up to her fellow Cutie Mark Crusader.

“Oh heya Sweetie, glad ya could make it,” said Applebloom as she waved a forehoof at the approaching duo. “It sure it great that Rarity agreed to let ya come back this year. I can’t wait ta battle it out with ya.”

“I can’t wait Applebloom. This is going to be so much fun!” shouted Sweetie Belle, voice cracking at the end in excitement.

Applejack gave a soft chuckle as she turned from the fillies to face Rarity. “I knew Sweetie was excited. I just didn’t know she was that excited ta participate with ya again this year. Reminds me of the first time AB over there got ta give it a go.”

Rarity smiled warmly at the orange apple farmer. “I was a bit surprised as well, darling. Sweetie and I have become a lot closer since her first time competing, and I just think the little dear wants to relive the activity that brought us closer together as sisters again. Well, that and she wants to, and I quote, ‘kick the apple family’s flanks at their own game’ if I recall correctly.” Rarity just managed to keep her smile from getting too smug as she batted her eyelashes at Applejack.

“Heh. Don’t that just beat all Rares. I seem ta remember AB saying something just like that, ‘cept it was closer to ‘just wait ‘till we show those prissy ponies how we do it on the farm.” Applejack did give a good natured chuckle after that. “I’m sure whatever happens the two of them will have a darn tootin’ good time.

“On that we can agree Applejack. Why don’t we go find Twilight and let the girls chat? She is helping out after all and did say she would cheer us on this year. The least we could do is say hello before we start.”

Applejack tipped her hat to Rarity. “That sounds mighty fine ta me Rares.” Applejack turned toward where her little sister and Rarity’s were excitedly chatting. “Girls, Me and Rarity are going to go find Twilight and say hi before the race. Make sure ta be at the starting line on time.”

The two fillies nodded their assent before diving back into their conversation.

It wasn’t long before Applejack and Rarity found their studious friend, a clipboard suspended near her head and surrounded by a fuschia glow. Twilight looked up as her friends approached and spared them a hearty smile. “Hey girls. Thanks so much for letting me help out this year Applejack. It’s great that you decided to participate again this year Rarity. Sweetie Belle seemed really excited the last time I saw her.”

Applejack let out a small chuckle. “Well shoot Twi, it’s us who should be thanking you for helping out, not the other way ‘round. Thanks again for doing that. Granny Smith said that she aint never seen this here event run so smooth.”

Twilight beamed at the compliment, happy that her efforts had made a difference. She’d asked if she could help out with this year’s Sisterhooves Social when she’d found out it was coming up. The Apple family had gladly accepted her help. With her assistance, the event was more popular than ever, the number of competitors nearly doubling and a few new events being added upon her suggestion.

“No problem AJ, I’m just happy to help out. I even wrote Princess Luna about it. I was kind of hoping she could make some time to come by and watch. She seemed to really enjoy the other modern events she came to.”

“It would be simply fabulous if she could find the time. It’s always a pleasure to spend time with the princesses. Maybe she could spare the time to pay my boutique a visit this time.” Just as the fashionista was finishing up, the sound of a rather out of breath dragon could be heard running toward the group. Spike ran up to the trio and stood there panting as he clutched a scroll in his claws.

“Twilight! The princess just sent you a letter. I came as fast as I could.”

“That’s great Spike.” Twilight levitated over the scroll from the dragon’s grasp and unfurled it so she could read it out loud.”

Dear Twilight Sparkle,

We very much enjoyed our last correspondence. This ‘Sisterhooves Social’ thou spoke of seems like great fun. We do so love to have fun when our schedule permits. We have convinced our dear sister that such an event would be a most grand endeavour and so we shall shortly be arriving in Ponyville so that we may partake in the fun. We look forward to seeing thou and thy friends soon Twilight Sparkle.

Her Royal Majesty Princess Luna of Equestria

The three mares looked at each other as Twilight finished reading the letter. “Well don’t that just beat all. Luna, Princess Luna, wants to take part in our little old Sisterhooves Social.”

Rarity gave a tepid smile as she ran a hoof through her smartly styled mane. “Yes, well I certainly did not see that coming. This...complicates this slightly. I was prepared to compete against you Applejack dear, but I’m not sure about the princesses. They are the princesses of Equestria after all.”

“Wow girls. I didn’t expect this when I wrote to Princess Luna. Can they even do that Applejack?” said Twilight, as she shifted her gaze from the scroll to the orange mare.

“I don’t rightly see why not. Nothin’ in the rules says they can’t. Sure it’s a might unusual, but I ain’t about to say no to the princesses if they want to try their hooves at it.” Applejack gave a mirthful snort. “Heck, they might even spice things up like we did with the gala that one time. Nothing’s ever dull when Princess Luna gets involved.”

“Yes darling, that is precisely why I am worried.”

“We may as well head on over to where the chariot will land and get ready to meet the princesses,” said Twilight.

A short time later found the three Elements of Harmony attending the Sisterhooves Social standing in a line as a gleaming chariot pulled by a pair of royal guards touched down in front of them. A rather excited princess of the night gaily trotted over to the gathered mares with a more sedate Princess Celestia trailing behind. The Elements each gave a short bow as the princesses approached.

“Greetings friends. We are very excited to have more fun this day.”

Princess Celestia slowly trotted over to Twilight and gave the lavender mare an affectionate nuzzle as Twilight smiled up at the princess. “Twilight Sparkle, it’s so good to see you and your friends. I’m sorry this was on such short notice, but Lulu really wanted for us to come.”

“It’s alright princess. I’m just happy you could come, although I was a bit surprised that you actually wanted to compete and not just watch,” said Twilight as she tilted her head slightly and gave Princess Celestia a quizzical look.

Princess Celestia’s mouth twisted into the tiniest bit of a smirk. “That’s what I originally thought we were going to do when Lulu brought up this event, my faithful student. I agreed to participate after she convinced me that she really wanted to do this for some sisterly bonding time, something that we sadly don’t get enough of these days.”

“Indeed Twilight Sparkle! Rarely do we get to leave the castle and enjoy fun with our sister. This is an event we simply couldn’t pass up.”

Applejack gave the princesses a genuine smile at their enthusiasm. “Well shucks Your Majesties, I’m real honored that you want to participate in our little event. It isn’t every day the princesses of Equestria want to be a part of something a regular old pony like myself puts on.”

Princess Celestia walked over to Applejack and put a gentle hoof on her withers. “Nonsense Applejack. You’ve done much for Equestria and I’m honored to call you a citizen and even more so a good friend.”

Applejack gave a shy grin at the solar princess. “Thank ya kindly princess. It’s an honor ta call you a friend as well.”

“Darlings, as much as I’d love to stay and chat, we really ought to get ready for the main event. We wouldn’t want to be late.”

Twilight spared a glance at her clipboard once again reaffirming the start time of the event. “Rarity’s right. You should meet up with Applebloom and Sweetie Belle and, eh heh, let them know that the princesses are going to compete as well. I’m sure they’ll be surprised.”

The group wandered through the crowd of ponies that were heading to the stands, the later bowing when they caught sight of the princesses. Applebloom and Sweetie Belle sat at the starting line and were facing the opposite direction of their incoming sisters and didn’t notice their approach until they were almost upon the fillies.

“Heya AJ. Hi Twilight. Howdy princesses. Everypony ready for the big race?” said Applebloom as the group approached.

“Oh Sweetie Belle, we’re back. And we, uh, we’ve brought some more competition for the race.”

“Hiya big sis!” Sweetie Belle trotted over and gave Rarity a big hug. “Hey Princess Celestia, Princess Luna. And what do you mean more competition? All I see are the princesses and Twilight. And we all know that Twilight only has a brother.”

“Yeah, I don’t see anypony but Twi and the princesses,” said Appblebloom.

“Yes, about that dear, the princesses are, well, they’re going to be competing as well. They are sisters after all.” Rarity gave a sheepish smile to Sweetie Belle as she finished explaining.

“Um, Rarity, these are the princesses we’re talking about. Besides, can they even do that? Aren’t the princesses, you know, too old to participate?”

Twilight gave a chuckle that may have just slightly bordered on nervous. “There’s actually nothing in the rules that says they can’t Sweetie. So as long as the princesses want to enter there is not stopping them.” Twilight gave the princesses an encouraging smile. “It’s not like being a princess means you can’t have fun Sweetie. They just, uh, are a bit busy running the kingdom most of the time.”

Princess Luna and Princess Celestia shared a slightly pained look. Being a princess did have its perks and the respect of their loving subjects was always nice, but Twilight was right. The princesses rarely got the opportunity to let their manes down and just have fun like the regular ponies did.

Princess Luna gave a small sigh. “What Rarity said tis true Sweetie Belle. We are indeed participating this year. As Twilight Sparkle said, even if we are a bit old,” the princess gave a rather unprincess-like eye roll, “that is no bar for our participation.” The midnight blue alicorn directed a small smile at the white filly. “Besides, one is never too old to have fun.”

Sweetie Belle gave a small giggle and beamed up at Princess Luna. “If you say so princess.” The white filly narrowed her eyes and her smile slipped into a pointed smirk. “But if you think we’re going easy on you then you’ve got another thing coming! Rarity and I’ll show you who the best sisters are. We’re going to win this year, isn’t that right big sis?”

Rarity gave a nervous laugh as she glanced at the two alicorns towering over her little sister. “I’ll do my best Sweetie, but I cannot guarantee anything.” The alabaster unicorn directed a critical gaze at the two alicorns, noting their significantly taller stature and long legs. “The competition seems to a bit more...stiff this year.”

“I’m sure we’ll all do great my little ponies.” Princess Celestia leaned over and gave her sister a light nuzzle. “Just remember, we are all here to have fun.”

“Well I’ll leave you girls to get ready,”said Twilight as she turned around. “Good luck and have fun.” She gave the assembled ponies all a small smile before trotting off to join the other ponies gathered in the stands.

Granny Smith came on over a megaphone and gave her pre-race speech. The audience in the stands all cheered and stomped their hooves when she was done and the contestants had all lined up.

Chapter 2

Princess Luna, more than anypony else in the competition, appreciated the warm welcome she and her sister received for their presence. Last year’s Nightmare Night had been a whirlwind introduction to the town of Ponyville. Ponies had at first cowered at her presence and bowed out of fear rather than respect as they would have for her sister. With a generous dose of friendship from Twilight Sparkle and her friends, by the end of the night the lunar diarch had successfully won over the town, small foals included. So it was with great pleasure that she took in the thunderous applause and encouraging cheers, sparing a small wave to her number one admirer Pipsqueak in the stands.

The princesses had taken up position at the center of the starting line, Rarity and Applejack on each side. Truth be told, the two mares were a bit worried about going head to head with the alicorn duo. This was hardly the first time a couple of sisters who didn’t share the same age difference as Rarity and Sweetie Belle or the Apple sisters had entered, but this was the first time any alicorns had done so. Rarity and Applejack spared each other a somewhat concerned glance as the two royal sisters waved to the audience as the cheering slowly died down.

Rarity felt a hoof prod her flank and looked down to see Sweetie’s enthusiastic grin. “Ready, big sis? We’ll show the others who the best sisters are. I can’t wait to stick it to Applebloom.” Sweetie Bell gave the most enthusiastic roll of her eyes yet, somewhat at odds with the playful grin on her face. “Can you believe she thinks she can actually beat us Rarity?”

Rarity raised a hoof and gently stroked the luscious pink and purple curls of her sister’s mane. She gave a small smile as she reminisced upon what an adventure last year’s race had been. “I’ll certainly do my best, Sweetie dear. And Applejack has another thing coming if she thinks we’ll go down that easily.”

Rarity spared another glance at the royal sisters as they made themselves ready, removing their royal regalia and adjusting their bandanas. She let a tiny frown of worry touch her lips. “I’m more worried about the princesses, dear. They are a good deal...taller than we are, and I dare say that might make it hard for the two of us to keep up if we can’t trounce them in the other obstacles.” She gave another warm smile and reached over to embrace her sister. “Regardless, let’s do our best and have a good time Sweetie Belle. We’re here to have fun as sisters.” The alabaster unicorn reached over and gave a small boop to the filly’s nose. “Winning is just a bonus.”

Sweetie belle gave a small giggle at her sister’s antics, glad that whatever happened Rarity was there to see her smile. “Thanks sis, I know we’ll have fun.” The filly looked over the two alicorns and rubbed the back of her neck as she took in their form. “It’s just, uh, sis, have you ever seen Princess Celestia run?”

Rarity was about to answer with an immediate, “Of course Sweetie, why ponies run all the time,” when it hit her. Other than seeing Princess Celestia fly a few times, Rarity had never actually seen the graceful alicorn move any faster than a regal trott, form utterly radiating grace and poise when she moved.

“And besides Rarity, Princess Luna’s not that tall anyway. I bet she’s not that much faster than you if at all.” Sweetie took a moment to tap her chin as her face scrunched just the tiniest bit. “And didn’t we write an article for Gabby Gums about Princess Celestia stuffing herself with cake? Just because she’s thin doesn’t mean she’s fast, right sis?” Confident in her logic, Sweetie turned and gave a huge and innocent grin to her elder sibling, totally oblivious to how rude it would come across to call her princesses slow and unathletic.

Rarity’s eye popped wide open in shock, the only thing that kept her from yelling her sister’s name being the proximity of the princesses. She quickly tore her gaze from Sweetie Belle to see if either had heard the filly’s rather uncouth remarks. She thanked the stars that neither seemed to have taken notice, both quietly chatting amongst themselves.

Rarity took a few calming breaths. “Sweetie, dear, it is not becoming of a lady to insult other ponies, doubly so in their presence.” She leaned down to whisper rather forcefully in her little sister’s ear. “Especially when those ponies are the princesses of Equestria.”

Sweetie gave a small “hmph” before sitting on her haunches and crossing her forehooves. “But sis, it’s still true!”

As much as she wanted to argue the point with the filly, Rarity just couldn’t find anything untrue with what Sweetie Belle had said after a moment of pondering. She heaved a small sigh and gave her head a small shake of defeat, her shock and agitation at hearing her sister’s words finally fading as she realized she had nothing to say to the contrary. She gave a small and very ladylike titter into her hoof. “Wouldn’t it just be scandalous if Princess Celestia, ruler of Equestria, stuffed herself with cake when she thought nopony was looking,” she whispered, a small smirk breaking out.

“You say something, sis?” asked Sweetie Belle.

“Oh, no, nothing at all dear. Let’s just focus on the race now Sweetie. It’s just about time to start.”

Applejack took one last look over toward Rarity and Sweetie Belle as Granny Smith prepared to announce the start. “Good luck you two. Make sure ya have a good time and keep in mind it’s about havin’ fun while ya play, not who wins in tha end.”

“Yeah, you tell ‘em AJ,” shouted Applebloom. She gave a cocky smirk at Sweetie Belle. “But we’re still gonna kick yer flank Sweetie.”

Princess Celestia gave her sister a gentle nudge with her flank. “It’s show time Lulu. I hope you’re ready.”

Princess Luna gave a confident smirk. “We are always ready to engage in fun, dear sister.”

A harsh coughing sound echoed throughout the stadium as Granny Smith cleared her throat into the megaphone, once again rocking back and forth on her rocking chair on the podium. “On yer marks...Get set...Goooooo!” she shouted, trailing off as she somehow got her whole head stuck in the megaphone instead of just her eye this year.

The gathered racers all tensed their muscles and prepared to shoot off the starting line as the elder mare finished her countdown. A huge inhale was nearly drowned out as the first groups began shooting off the starting line.


A tremendous blast of air exploded forth from Princess Luna’s muzzle as the Royal Canterlot Voice erupted forth. The wave of sound crashed into the other racegoers at almost point blank. An amethyst unicorn mare and a light purple unicorn filly that had burst ahead right at the start took the full brunt of the thunderous shout, being blown forward straight into the large mud pit. A second later and their heads popped out, the pair’s eyes now as wall-eyed as the local mailmare’s.

A pair of yellow earth ponies to Rarity and Sweetie Belle’s right fared slightly better, only stumbling and lightly tripping as the sudden, shocking volume washed over them. Only those two teams directly next to the princess of the night had heard her intake of breath and had the sense to realize what was coming. They had just enough time to hang back sufficiently to avoid anything worse than some ringing ear drums.

With the other racers either covered in mud, hauling themselves off the ground, or clearing their heads from Princess Luna’s outburst, the three center teams took the lead and tackled the mud pit. It was long enough that an athletic filly could just make it, and just short enough to lull an adult into a false sense of security and jump too weakly. The princesses approached it first, their tall stature and wings allowing them to easily clear the pit in a single bound.

They were followed closely by the Apple sisters, their farm work-hardened bodies easily strong enough to propel them over.

Trailing slightly behind Applebloom were Rarity and Sweetie Belle. Rarity, while no pushover, was not quite the athlete that Applejack was and had one rear hoof scrape the mud as she came in for a landing. She grit her teeth as she noted the blemish on her pristine coat but steeled her determination as she kept running. This was for her sister after all. Not even being entirely covered in mud would stop her.

As Luna looked back to see the competition, she thought she saw the white filly...inexplicably bounce across the surface of the mud as if it were a cloud and she a pegasus. She was sure she imagined that, as ponies did not float on mud...she thought.

The royal duo approached the second obstacle in a flash, a long row of barrel bottoms placed in a zigzagging pattern designed to make ponies stretch as they ran, increasing the risk of tripping. Enlarging their lead, the princesses easily cleared the barrel bottoms, their long legs making the distance an easy reach instead of the harsh stretch for ponies of smaller stature. Luna was already flush with the sense of victory as her and her sister kept the Apple siblings at bay. The now audible panting noise coming from her sister earned Princess Celestia a raised eyebrow and a small frown.

“I’m fine...sister...we’ve got...this,” said a slightly panting Celestia.

Applejack made quick work of the barrels, years of rodeo experience making her light on her hooves. Applebloom, second only to Twilight Sparkle in the four left hooves department, stumbled on the final barrel but managed to prevent a fall. She put on an extra burst of speed to catch up to Applejack who had forged ahead a smidge but held back from leaving her sister completely behind toward the crate jump.

Taking the opportunity to examine the competition, Princess Luna spared another glance back to see Sweetie Belle approaching the start of the barrels....before she somehow hopped perfectly through them...without slowing down at all. The midnight blue alicorn was almost sure she saw it that time.

Still out in front, the princesses soon approached the crate jump, a pyramid stack of three large shipping crates that the apple family used to send apples to faraway customers. The sisters easily cleared the crates, jumping over the entire thing in one giant leap. Applejack and Applebloom were still going strong with Rarity and Sweetie Belle pulling up a couple strides behind, having made up the distance during Applebloom’s stumble on the barrels. One after another they each leaped up onto the crates and back down as they raced to close the increasing lead of the two princesses.

The alicorn sisters quickly reached the pie eating station, a simple collection of picnic tables with a white cloth adorned with 20 pies. Wasting no time, Princess Celestia reached a hoof up, smacked the nearest tin, and in an impressive impersonation of a particular pink party pony gobbled up the entire pie in a single, gigantic bite before rubbing her stomach appreciatively. “Oh the pie is simply divine Lulu, we should pick some up for later.”

Not hearing anything, she looked over and saw her sister making a distasteful grimace at the lack of silverware on the table. Giving in, Princess Luna daintily reached her muzzle down and took a bite. A very small bite.

Celestia heaved a huge sigh. “Lulu, this is no time for exercising the royal table manners. Try to show a little less restraint with your eating habits and more for your vocal cords or we won’t be leading much longer.”

Princess Luna glanced at her sister while her muzzle was still firmly entrenched in her pie. She gave a prime example of the Royal Eye Roll before opening wide and stuffing the rest of her pie in her muzzle just as the second place contenders showed up.

The royal sisters sped away as Rarity, Sweetie Belle, Applejack and Applebloom positioned themselves in front of their pies, reached out and smacked the tins to launch the pies upward. All four ate their pies in one go, although one pair managed to do so in a slightly more ladylike manner, if stuffing an entire pie into one’s muzzle could ever be said to be ladylike.

Meanwhile, the royal alicorn sisters were ploughing forward with the hay bail push competition, their considerable strength as alicorns making short work of the task. Princess Luna gave a laugh of joy as she saw them widening their lead, their main competition still battling it out for second place. Princess Celestia saw the cocky smirk forming on her younger sister’s face. “It’s not...over yet...Lulu. Don’t...let your guard...down,” she panted out between breaths.

Grape juice making was up next. Ten huge tubs with piles of grapes in front and a glass jar below each tub’s spigot were arrayed in a straight line perpendicular to the track. Behind these, a matching set of ten stools were placed for the filled glass jars to be placed upon. Being the first to arrive, the princess made a straight line for the centermost. A light smile graced Princess Celestia’s lips as she remembered an old trick of her sister’s. As Princess Luna easily climbed up the barrel, Princess Celestia’s ethereal mane began to change shape and began to reach out toward the pile of grapes as she stood next to them. It slowly encircled the pile, and then it snaked over and gently deposited the whole lot before flowing back down and returning to it’s pristine shape.

“Sister, now is not the time to show off. We have a race to win,” said Princess Luna with mock severity, even if she did fail to hide the nostalgic smile on her face at the display of one of her older tricks. Just as Princess Celestia was putting the jar on the stool, AJ’s pair and Rarity’s pair were approaching the grapes.

Leaving the sound of squishing grapes behind, the royal sisters approached a set of ten benches with a pile of apples sitting atop each; a bucket to catch the apples was placed 25 feet further down the course from its paired bench. As with the grape juice, this event had specific roles for each sister to play. The younger had to catch the apples and the older get them to the younger. Luna ran past the crates and quickly set the basket on her head, the rather unprincess like action not lost on the crowd, a few sniggers mixing in with the constant cheering.

While no longer how she conducted herself every day, Princess Celestia still remembered what it was like when her sister had ruled a thousand years ago. She stopped in front of her bench and inhaled a giant breath and braced herself. “LULU, CATCH!” bellowed the princess of the sun in the Royal Canterlot Voice, the sheer power of her shout sending the apples, bench and all, rocketing toward the princess of the night’s head.

The bench started flagging as its broad surface caught the air and stopped just short of Princess Luna as the apples cleanly shot into the awaiting basket on her head, knocking it neatly off to rest on the ground. Princess Luna glared down the basket and directed the Royal Scowl right at her approaching sister. “Sister, dear, while it was impressive in it’s own right, we are not amused by your projectile bench, even if done from the Royal Canterlot Voice.” The ringing in her ears was a clear reminder that still today Princess Celestia was the undisputed master of the voice, even if she never used it.

More confident than ever, Princess Luna gave a confident grin to her sister as they leveled out with each other. The race was nearing its conclusion, only three more events remaining. Rarity and Applejack were still finishing up the grape juice station while the princesses approached the chicken coup. The two alicorns slowed to a brisk trot as they neared the entrance.

Princess Luna turned toward her sister and gave a wolfish grin. “This shall be a piece of cake, Tia.” She gave a playful roll of her eyes. “With all the parading you do I’m sure balancing a simple egg on your nose will be of no concern for the regal Princess Celestia.”

Celestia gave a small snort. “You know as well as I all the practice we did to get where we are today, sister dearest. If we fail today, it will not be because of an egg on my face.”

Princess Luna eyed the small doorway warily as she squeezed through it, her wings just brushing the sides. Right behind followed her slightly more plus sized elder sister. Until her flanks hit the door. Literally. Princess Celestia grunted as her flanks were squeezed by the doorway. She tried to squeeze herself inside a second time. And a third.

Princess Luna, focused intently on maintaining her royal poise and not dropping her egg, didn’t notice the absence of her fellow sovereign until she deposited her egg in the provided basket outside. She looked around and saw no sight of her sister. “Tia, where are you? Our competition is gaining.” A small frown blossomed on her face.

A grunt could be heard from the inside of the chicken coup. Princess Luna trotted over to investigate why her sister was making such noises in a coup full of eggs, surely none too heavy to lift. She walked up the ramp and into the doorway. And she stopped dead in her tracks. In the other doorway, head lowered in embarrassment and cheeks burning, Princess Celestia, supreme ruler of all of Equestria, bringer of the sun, and mare renowned for her poise and grace, was stuck in the doorway, her ample flanks squeezed between the door frame. “You’re kidding? You’re kidding, right?”

Celestia expelled a resigned sigh, mouth twisting into a thin line. “No, sister. Just, just help me out so we can keep going.” The alicorn of the night couldn’t fully repress her snigger at seeing her ever regal and graceful sister with her bum stuck in a doorway.

“Fine, Tia. But do not think the royal chefs won’t be hearing about your fat flank the next time we discuss the royal menu.”

It was a bemused foursome of ponies that stopped outside the entrance to the chicken coup, still blocked by the royal backside, shortly thereafter. “Uh, Rarity, is that what I think it is?” asked Sweetie Belle as she gave the royal tush a once over.

“I am afraid it is exactly what it looks like, if not somewhat...larger than expected,” offered Rarity, attempting to be tactful about the whole ordeal.

“So, uh, what do we do now AJ? I Aint never seen this happen before.”

“Only one thing to do, AB. We’re all gonna have ta go in tha other side and come out it as well.” Applejack gave a quick glance behind and saw the other competitors quickly closing the gap. “Might wanna make that double time, ya’ll. Looks like the others are gainin’ on us.”

Following the farm pony’s lead, the others quickly scampered after her and grabbed their eggs and carefully brought them to the awaiting basket.”

An increasingly frazzled pair of alicorns were still grunting and shoving in the chicken coup. “Tia, we are going to have a serious discussion about these cake eating rumons I keep hearing about as soon as we get back,” hissed a now peeved blue alicorn as she witnessed her lead vanish out the exit. With a final giant push, the two alicorns toppled back out the entranceway, a rather frazzled-looking Princess Luna resting atop a still embarrassed Princess Celestia.

They quickly righted themselves and took after the two mares and fillies who were rapidly approaching the hurdles section. “Come on Tia, we’re almost there,” said Princess Luna as she put on a burst of speed to catch up. Celestia, albeit somewhat more labored, followed suit, the princesses successfully closing the gap to a hoof full of lengths by the start of the first hurdles.

One hurdle down, then two. Another length closer to the younger mares who were neck and neck. Three hurdles down. Applejack and Applebloom pulled a pony length ahead of Rarity and Sweetie Belle. Another two hurdles down. The royal sisters were now neck and neck with Rarity and Sweetie Belle, now a length and a half separating them from Applejack and Applebloom. One more hurdle cleared. Princess Celestia and Princess Luna were now neck and neck with the Apple siblings.

The three front runners thundered toward the finish line, the alicorn sisters a head length separating them from the others just behind them.

“Come on...Sweetie, we’re...almost there. We can...do this,” panted a spent Rarity.

“We’ve got...this...big sis. I just know it!” shouted Applebloom as she gave her all, face clenched in steely determination.

“No cake for...an ENTIRE MONTH if you...don’t get your FAT FLANK in gear,” roared the princess of the night.

Princess Celestia’s pupils shrank to the size of pin pricks as she took in what her sister had just promised. The alicorn sisters put on a final, desperate burst of speed as they approached the new ending obstacle specially made for this year.

In front of the three pairs was the same hurtle from last year, but now a second, longer mud pit followed just a few strides after.

With a shout of, “FOR CAKE!” Princess Celestia leaped like she had never leaped before, sailing over the last hurdle with feet to spare. And landed straight in the middle of the mud pit, her last herculean effort just a little too strong. Lost in her intense desire to win, Princess Luna also gave a tremendous leap, overshooting the landing and plunging face first into the mud, her royal plot sticking up from the side it had landed on as her head became one with the mud.

Team Apple made a synchronized leap over the last hurdle, took a couple steps and once again leaped as they neared the mud pit. The loud cry of “Yeehaw” drowned out a much weaker “Woah” as the siblings made their final jump. Applejack started to sail right over the middle until something small and filly-shaped smacked her straight in the skull, dazing her. Applejack was left dazed just past the mud pit, a comatose filly lying on her upturned flank, stars in her eyes.

Sweetie Belle and Rarity were just trailing the Apple sisters. They had just enough time to see the head-on collision and wince before they needed to jump themselves. The distraction was just enough that they leaped a second too late and their hind hooves nicked the top of the hurtle, sending them spinning end over end into the mud pit, joining the royal sisters.

As the various casualties came to, a deafening cheering assaulted their ears. The three teams looked toward the finish line to see Amethyst Star and Dinky Doo, both covered in mud from the neck down being hoisted up and given three boisterous cheers. The first casualties of Princess Luna’s Royal Canterlot voice had made an amazing comeback, passing teams at each station, never giving up, and had taken the lead for the win when the three leading teams had somehow all failed on the last obstacle.

Those two had displayed what it meant to be true sisters: to trust in each other to do their best and to never give up, even when it looks like you don’t stand a chance.

Chapter 3

That evening found Twilight Sparkle, Rarity and Applejack once again relaxing in the comfort of Twilight’s treehouse, preparations well underway for another sleepover. Slumber 101: All You’ve Ever Wanted To Know But Were Afraid To Ask had been unshelved, consulted and lay open on a reading lectern, sleepover essentials neatly piled on the floor next to it. The three mares rested on a trio of plush red cushions, Twilight and Rarity with curlers in their manes. Applejack had opted instead for a facial, cucumber slices resting on her eyes as she rested her head on her forelegs. After all the excitement of the race, the three had decided it was time to spend some quality time together and catch up as they enjoyed some well earned rest.

Rarity gave Applejack’s side a light nudge. “Applejack, dear, are you sure you won’t let me style your mane? It would be ever so lovely if you just let me have a moment with it. Please?” she asked with a hopeful ring in her voice.

Applejack removed one cucumber slice long enough to open an eye and give Rarity a small glance, before reapplying it, the corners of her mouth rising just slightly. “Nah. Thanks for offering Rares. I really do appreciate tha gesture an’ all, but I just aint into that frou frou mane care stuff. ‘Sides, it’ll just get messed up again tomorrow when I get back to workin’ tha farm.”

Rarity directed a small pout at the apple farmer even if she couldn’t see it. “Well if you’re sure, Applejack. Just let me know if you change your mind.”

“Uh huh, sure thing sugar.” Applejack gave a big yawn and stretched, her back giving several satisfying pops. “Hoowee, I sure am beat after today’s race, girls. Thanks for helping out Twi, and thanks for joinin’ Rares, wouldn’t have been the same without ya.”

Twilight gave an excited clap of her hooves and beamed at her friends. “You girls were amazing! It was so intense from the start. I couldn’t tell who would win at all. I’m so happy I got to see everypony this year. Gosh, we even had the princesses join in.” Twilight levitated over three tea cups filled with a rich blend of camomile tea as she talked, the tantalizing aroma slowly filling the room as the cups neared the mares. “But especially you, Rarity. You were incredible. I know you told me you got second place last year, but wow. You were really impressive out there today.”

Rarity graciously took her teacup from Twilight’s magic with a small nod at her lavender hostess, giving the aromatic tea a generous sniff. Her cheeks colored with just a hint of pink as she stared at her reflection in the amber liquid. “Thank you, dear. It’s just that ever since last year Sweetie Belle has been looking forward to this year’s race. She’s had it marked on her calendar for months. And I couldn’t bear to let her down, so I just had to give it my all.” The alabaster unicorn gave a ghost of a smile as she turned to stare at Applejack, now with the cucumber slices on the floor as she sipped her tea. “And I might have, eh heh, practiced a little, in secret, so as not to let her down. I wanted to at least give her a chance at beating Applebloom if I could, even if it meant donating some extra time and effort.”

Applejack turned to look at her fashionista friend, a genuine smile on her lips. “Well I’ll be, Rarity. That’s mighty kind of ya, and a fair bit more than I expected out of ya, being completely honest. No offense, but going the extra mile when you’d end up dirty just doesn’t seem like somthin’ you’d do lightly.”

Putting down her teacup, Rarity gave a small titter. “Oh, I assure you Applejack, none taken. Why, I’d be surprised myself a year ago.” She shifted her gaze to Twilight, straightening a curler in the lavender mare’s mane before she continued. “It’s just that, after last year’s race, the royal wedding, all these family moments that keep happening, I’ve just come to realize how much my little sister means to me. I’ve realized that I’ve not always been the best big sister I could be, and that from here on out I plan to fix that, even if it involves more dirt, mud, and outdoor activities than I’d prefer.” She once more turned to Applejack with a big smile. “The magic of friendship isn’t only for the friends you make. Your family deserves it as well.”

“I’m so proud of you, Rarity. You sound just like My BBBFF when he talks about my childhood.” Twilight gave a small giggle while her orange guest gave a mirthful snort at the abbreviation. “Having a big brother or sister who really cares about you makes you feel more loved than you can imagine.”

Twilight got up and walked over to a long maple table next to the big south-facing window before picking up two ornate mahogany picture frames with her magic. The first showed her with Princess Celestia upon being accepted into her School for Gifted Unicorns, a huge grin plastered on the filly’s face. The second was a picture of Shining armor embracing a smiling filly Twilight in front of their house on a clear summer day. She walked over to the cushions and levitated the pictures in front of her guests. “The only thing I loved more growing up than being Princess Celestia’s personal protege was being my BBBFF’s little sister.”

After briefly sharing her treasured memories, Twilight trotted back toward her pillow to finish her tea. A loud belch suddenly echoed from the basement before Spike came running in grasping two letters held in his claws. “Twilight! The princesses each just sent you a letter. You want me to read ‘em?”

Twilight took hold of the letters in her magic and levitated them over. “No thanks, Spike. It’s getting late. You can just go to bed. I’ll just send a response in the morning if I need to.”

Spike gave a small wave to Applejack and a much longer one to Rarity, eyes turning into hearts as he did. “Sure thing Twi. I’ll see you tomorrow.” He quickly made his way back downstairs, glad he wasn’t needed for anything and that he could hit the sack.

Twilight’s two guests both got up and walked over to the lavender mare as she unrolled the first scroll, breaking the royal seal of Princess Celestia before reading it aloud.

Dear my most faithful student,

Today, I learned that one is never too old to be taught about the magic of friendship. The magic of friendship does not only exist between the friends you make in your lifetime, but also between the friends you are born with: your family. It was the magic of friendship that gave me my sister back , as you well know. I can never thank you and your friends enough for that, but that won’t stop me from trying.

Friendship can spring up suddenly, fade in an instant, and return when you least expect it. You and your brave friends may have saved my sister from the evils of Nightmare Moon, but merely cleansing her of that did not restore our friendship to what it once was. Today, Lulu had the opportunity to shirk off the chains of formality and decorum that shackle us as princesses. Instead, she acted with the freedom that can only come when addressing family, unburdened by what others might think of her, even if it was just to stuff her face with a pie and call me a ‘fat flank.’ I assure you, my flank is perfectly normal for an alicorn my size. Ever since the race she has been more open, casual, no longer standing on decorum or ceremony when she may be criticized for not acting the part, even if she still breaks into the Royal Canterlot Voice as much as ever. For her renewed trust and sincerity, I am truly grateful. While Amethyst Star and Dinky Doo may have taken the gold, I think Lulu and I are the real winners this day. Sweetie Belle put it best when she said, “Having a sister is just about the bestest thing in the world.”

In friendship,
Princess Celestia

P.S. Today, I learned that Tia is a fat flank and needs to go on a royal diet. ~Luna

Twilight’s two guests directed a quizzical gaze at the lavender mare. “Uh, sugarcube, did Princess Celestia just write you a friendship report?”

Twilight continued starting at the scroll for several moments before answering. “Well I never thought I’d see the day this happened. But to answer your question Applejack, it sure looks like she did.” She nodded once and her countenance slowly brightened.

After a moment, Twilight gave a beaming smile at Rarity as she hugged the white unicorn. “Isn’t that great Rarity? Both you and Princess Celestia became closer to your little sisters because of the Sisterhooves Social.”

Rarity gave a strong squeeze back before stepping back from her lavender friend. “Indeed, Twilight. I’m ever so glad the Sisterhooves Social could help the princesses’ relationship as much as it did Sweetie Belle’s and mine. A little sisterly bonding can go a long way it seems, even if you are a princess.”

Applejack let out a short whistle. “Well don’t that just beat all. I was mighty glad our little shindig could help ya out Rares, but boy howdy I did not expect it to go as far as to help the princesses. Maybe the Sisterhooves Social is a might more powerful than I’ve been givin’ it credit for.”

“That’s for sure, Applejack. Well, we might as well see what Princess Luna has to say. It looks like it did a lot of good for both her and Princess Celestia.” Twilight levitated the second scroll in front of herself and her two guests, broke Princess Luna’s royal seal, and read it aloud.

Dear Twilight Sparkle,

You have done more than we can list to help us since our return. Not only did you save us from the Nightmare and become our first friend in Ponyville, but now you have helped us reconnect with dearest Tia on a deeper level absent from our relationship for so long. Know that it is our sincerest hope to one day repay you fully for your kindness. It was thanks to your kindness and through your friends’ help that today we arrived in Ponyville to cheers of adoration instead of shouts of fright. Truly, it was today that really proved that Equestria loves both its princesses.

Today’s event may have seemed about simply eating pie, pushing bushels of hay, or jumping mud pits for fun, but we know better. No, the Sisterhooves Social is about the magic of friendship. Not just any friendship, but the friendship of sisters. The kind we are glad to say we know about better than ever. To be able to get lost in the moment, to let your mane down, even to call your sister a fat flank when she gets herself stuck in the door, the magic of friendship is about expressing who you truly are no matter what title you hold and no matter who is watching.

In friendship,
Princess Luna

P.S. Is there any truth to the rumors that Celestia enjoys gorging on cake when nopony is watching?

P.P.S. Don’t answer that! ~Celestia

Twilight Sparkle slowly rolled up the scroll once again before giving Rarity and in turn Applejack a grin that would make Pinkie Pie Proud. “I’m proud of you girls. It really looks like your friendship has made a big difference for Princess Luna.”

Applejack reached up and gave a slow rub to the back of her neck with a forehoof, an embarrassed smile on her face. “Shucks Twi, wernt nothin’. I’m just glad ta see the princesses are as close as sisters should be again. Makes me proud ta say I was a part of that.”

“I agree darling. It’s the least we could do. There really is nothing more important than family and friends. I can’t wait for the next time we get to do something together,” said Rarity as she levitated a pillow over from the stack by the lectern. “Be that as it may,” she began, her smile turning wolfish,“I do believe we have some unfinished business from last time.”


Several weeks later found the princesses of Equestria enjoying the last hours of daylight in the royal gardens, a practice that had become increasingly more common after their bonding during the Sisterhooves Social. A small circular table with a white decorative tablecloth was by their side, covered by a large crimson parasol. Two glasses of mostly empty iced tea sparkled in the sunlight, a half-eaten bowl of assorted fruits on the side opposite the princesses.

Occasionally a soft twang could be heard when a game piece landed. Whoops of delight intermingled with the sounds of tongues clicking in annoyance as the two players traded off turns. The stakes were high and beads of sweat dripped down the competitors’ foreheads as their brows furrowed in concentration. The competition had been fierce, neither side giving nor asking for quarter over the course of the last hour.

Princess Luna turned to face her elder sister, a cocky grin plastered on her face. “Give up now Tia and we shall be merciful. We shall only make you forgo cake for three days instead of a whole week should you concede. We both know you stand no chance.”

Princess Celestia narrowed her eyes. “I don’t think so, little sister. Not with these stakes. I shall have both our desserts for an entire week. Besides, we both know that I will be the victor.”

Princess Luna rolled her eyes even as her mouth turned up into a small smile. “Oh please Tia, you think you can best me at the spider-toss?

The princess of the sun gave a small snort as she telekinetically picked up her spiders and levitated them over to the ground next to her. “I don’t just think so Lulu, I know so.” Despite the intensity of their conversation, Princess Celestia was beaming on the inside. She didn’t really care about the cake, not that she would have minded extra. The royal chefs had become increasingly stingy with it ever since Princess Luna’s little chat with the kitchen staff.

Princess Celestia was so, so proud of her little sister. The midnight blue alicorn occasionally still lapsed into the Royal Canterlot Voice, was still a stickler about table manners, and was still old fashioned at times, but no longer was the little sister inside shackled behind her station. Princess Luna would now openly display her affection toward her big sister even in public, and the two felt closer than ever. What had started out as a simple request in Ponyville on Nightmare Night to drop princess from her name had now blossomed into a real closeness with her subjects and her sister. Both sisters had truly meant what they had said in their letters to Twilight Sparkle. Princess Celestia and Princess Luna felt more than ever that they were now sisters who happened to be princesses, not princesses who happened to be sisters.

The Sisterhooves Social had helped bring many sisters closer over the years, from the lowliest of farm hands to the rulers of Equestria, and in the years to come would bring many more.

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