The presence of the Royal Princess of the Sun was not unknown in Ponyville. With the Elements of Harmony all residing there, and her personal pupil acting as town librarian, her visits had become a semi-regular occurrence, if never entirely expected. What was unusual about her current stopover was the swirl of rose blossoms which trailed after her every wingbeat and the tiny spring blossoms which sprouted wherever her gilded hooves touched the ground.
The alabaster alicorn skipped merrily through the town square, ponies all around her gawking and bowing nervously as she hummed and sang sparkling tunes. “Love is in bloom, a beautiful me, a handsome you, hmm hmm, hmm hmm hmm hmmmmmm…”
“This here ain’t right,” mumbled an orange earth pony. “Y’all know that, right?”
“Yes, dear Applejack, I am quite certain that this is far from right,” replied a white unicorn to her right. “I fear our dear Princess’s regal reputation may never recover from this… indignity.”
Behind them sat a large oaken cider barrel which rattled and shook and occasionally seemed to let out a strange muffled whimpers.
“Pinkie, y’all feelin’ anything here? Pinkie sense tellin’ y’all somethin’ useful? Any odd party urges?”
A pink-furred and pinker-maned pony to her left cocked her head and tried to speak but in what surely must have been a universal first, no words emerged. She closed her mouth and shook her head violently, as if trying to shake a clutch of nesting bats out of her mane. Again she opened her mouth and again silence reigned. She blew a raspberry and lamented, “Nope. I got nothing,” deflating somewhat.
A shivering shrub nearby, which normally answered to “Fluttershy”, would have uttered a confused and terrified “Eep!” except that she couldn’t be heard over the chorus of “Smile! Smile! Smile!” booming from a bizarrely cheerful iridescent-maned royal figure doing pirouettes in the city fountain.
Rainbow Dash, hovering overhead, was about to interject when great white wings whooshed up behind her and hugged her tightly. “Oh, Rainbow Dash! I’m so glad to see you!” The Sun Princess threw a hoof around the cyan pegasus’ waist and began a lazy airborne waltz. “My dear Element of Loyalty, I would dearly love to have you perform your trademark Rainboom. Could you do that for me?”
Dash stammered as she let her larger partner lead the waltz, “Uh, sure, I guess.. . Wait, what, now?”
“No, my silly little pony! At my wedding! It will be the perfect ending to a perfect courtship.”
“Oooookay, Princess.” She whispered to the knot of ponies gathered around the barrel, “Guys! Help me!” Twirl, twirl. “Save me!” Round-about and dip. “ ‘Bridesmaid at the wedding which doomed Equestria’ isn’t a line I want on my resume when I apply to the Wonderbolts!”
The cider barrel jumped a little, and if anypony had an ear to it, they might have heard the flapping of wings.
The apple-marked earth pony spoke behind an upraised hoof, “Well, if’n mah brother an’ Cheerilee’s experience is a good guide, we just need to keep Celestia an’ her lover-girl apart fer another, what, twenty minutes? No eye contact fer an hour an’ the effect wears off - that’s how this here Love Poison thingy works, right, Twi?”
When no answer came from the unicorn librarian, all eyes turned toward her. “Twilight?
The lavender mare’s eyes were oddly large, her pupils unusually small, and her mane appeared not have been combed for days. “Heh heh… Heh… Well, about that…” She began tapping her hooves together nervously as her eyes seemed to lose focus. “It, eh, might not be the standard formula. It might be, well, Love Poison Mark II Batch 35. Maybe. Possibly.”
Rarity kept both hooves on the hopping, vibrating barrel. “And do please tell us, dear Twilight Sparkle, how our beloved Princess came to ingest this Love Potion?”
“Love Poison. And it was an accident. Completely. I was spiking… er, showing it to her over lunch and some of it got in her tea. Accidentally. Yes! Completely accidentally.”
“And then somepony behind us said they had a package for me, and there was this huge crash, and I heard somepony say they just didn’t know what went wrong, and the Poison – hehe, er, tea in my cup may have spilled out a teensy bit. Onto the breakfast Celestia and I were sharing.”
Applejack shook her head slowly. “Twi, might yer breakfast have been, oh, I don’t know – muffins?”
Twilight nodded absentmindedly. “Her favorite, Banana Nut.”
Rainbow Dash alit by the hopping cider drum and promptly facehoofed. “Lemme guess – the first thing Celestia saw after the crash was my old walleyed flight school buddy here. Aaaand that would explain why we’re keeping Derpy locked in a cider barrel. Yeah, egghead, was AJ right? We keep Ditzy out of eye contact with Princess Loop-de-doo for another ten minutes and we’re back to normal?”
Twilight managed a few words between facial tics. “Batch 35 might have been the extended duration batch. Slightly extended. Maybe 60, 70 years, tops? I mean, how else could I ensure our love lasted forev… for… for Science! Yes, for Science!”
The barrel twitched and quivered a little and began to smell a tad like soggy muffins and envelope glue.
Behind the quavering barrel and the gathered ponies a regal figure landed on fluttering snow-white wings. “I thought I heard somepony mention Ditzy Doo. Have any of you seen my love, my sweet Derpy-werpy? I do miss her so. Especially her eyes - one can watch my sunset while the other watches Luna’s moonrise. She’s perfect! Do I smell muffins? I think I’ll call her Muffin.”
Even though this story technically has (one-sided) Twilestia in it, I’m going to let it slide, since the obvious focus is Princess Celestia’s magically-induced obsession with one derp-eyed pony we all know and love. Celestia’s behaviour on the Love Poison is hilarious; I love how she takes on an almost-Pinkie-like quality, bouncing from place to place. The Mane Six trying to reason it out and Twilight’s confession (that isn’t really a confession) were amusing, but the end leaves me fearing for the fate of Equestria. Can the ponies survive a lifetime of Celestia obsessing over Derpy, or will the Mane Six find a way to fix the problem?!