All throughout Equestria, ponies were peacefully asleep on this cool autumn night. But in the Canterlot castle a white goddess tossed and turned in her bed, dreaming of a past that she would rather not remember.
Outside a dark blue figure cloaked in the soft light of the moon watched over the white alicorn with a look of worry showing on her face.
The throne room in Canterlot castle has always been a place of peace and beauty. It was always a breathtaking experience being in the presence of the throne. The marble floors shining from the rainbow light coming from the murals on the walls. A red carpet running down the center leading to the throne. Lush banners lining the walls flanking the throne depicting a glorious sun on one side and a shimmering moon on the other. It was truly a wondrous sight to behold.
But today's events would come to haunt these halls.
A loud bang as the doors burst open announced the arrival of a group of ponies as they entered the room.
“What is the meaning of this?!” Celestia called upon seeing five of her guards dragging a chained unicorn with a yellow coat and a red mane, Cyrus, into the throne room.
Leading the group was the captain of her guard, Sunshine, and what she thought was one of the professors from her school of gifted unicorns with his horn glowing keeping a lock on Cyrus's magic. Normally Celestia would not be surprised seeing her guard dragging in a prisoner into the room to be sentenced by her personally but she found herself enraged and shocked as to why the person in chains happened to be her love and soon to be husband.
Cyrus had been there for her when she was at her weakest. After she had lost her sister to banishment she had been left alone and blamed herself for what had happened. She had fallen into a depression but he had been there to take her loneliness away. They had been together for over half a year now and had just recently asked for her hoof in marriage.
As she looked closer she could see that he was bruised, bloodied, and walking with a limp. She felt a fire beginning to build inside her as she rose from her seat.
Standing up she looked at the the captain and said very heatedly, “Captain Sunshine what is going on?! And more importantly why is my beloved injured and in chains?!” spitting out the last couple of words like venom, her eyes alight with anger.
Sunshine was no fool. She knew that if she didn't explain herself quickly there would be a terrible reckoning upon her. But right now she was more worried about what would take place once she explained herself. “He has been arrested for treason and conspiracy to steal the crown!”
The alicorn's eyes went wide and she felt the fire inside her freeze over into a cold lump that settled in her stomach. “This... this has to be some sort of mistake.”
The frown the captain was already wearing deepened. “I'm sorry princess but we had found evidence that a group of ponies were planning to stage a coup sometime after the wedding. Acting on this information I and my team raided their main hideout in the early hours and found him along them with a good amount of other followers, many of which were old followers of nightmare moon.” She took a look over her own armor which was bent and distorted in several places. “Needless to say they resisted. They took out 13 of the royal guard before they surrendered.” Sunshine didn't add that among the deaths was her closest friend in the guard. “The rest of the hideouts are being raided as we speak.”
Celestia slowly turned her head to broken form of Cyrus lying on the carpet. “Cyrus. What...”
Cyrus looked up at Celestia with a expression she had never seen before. His tone cruel and full of malicious hate. “Yes Celestia, everything she said is true.”
Celestia, feeling her legs wobble sat down and looked at him, her eyes full of hurt and betrayal. “Why?”
“You don't deserve to be the ruler of Equestria. That right should be mine!” he shouted at her with nothing but hate and resentment in his eyes. “You are just a tyrant that sits on the throne and plays princess while the rest of the nobles run the court!”
Tears started to trail down her cheeks and fall onto the plush pillowed throne that she sat upon. “But... I loved you....”
“Ha! You think I wanted your love? Your love meant nothing to me!”
“But you said you wished to marry me... that you wanted... to stay by my side forever.” Celestia's voice was beginning to crack with sorrow. Her usual calm mask shattered by the torrent of tears running down her cheeks..
When an alicorn gets married to another a special bond is made between them. They give the pony of their choosing their love and with it the immortality of an alicorn, thus allowing a pony of their choosing to live by them forever. It was always thought that this was to make up for the fact that they must watch all others around them age and die. Consequently this 'bond' can only happen once in an alicorn's lifetime so it is not something that is taken lightly by the said alicorn.
Slowly she lowered her eyes to the floor “I thought you were a kinder pony.”
“Who needs kindness? The only thing I wanted from marrying you was the immortality that came with it. I thought it made a nice bonus on top of having the throne.”
“You're a monster!” Sunshine shouted.
“Monster?” he said, turning to the pony, his voice laced with false hurt. “I came into her life and took all the hurt away after she banished her own sister.” Turning back to Celestia “And you just sucked it up, anything to take the pain away.”
Another heartbreaking sob escaped the alicorn's lips.
“And thats why you don't deserve to be ruler! Eight months together and you never even suspected that I was just after your throne.” he said like he was bragging.
“Just like how you never noticed how your sister felt unappreciated and unloved! Who's the real monster here?!” A wicked grin slowly began to form on his face. “It's your fault she changed!”
At this the white goddess stared at him in pure shock in hearing his words.
But as much as they hurt. He was right.
If she had payed more attention to Luna and helped her sooner she could have showed her that ponies still did appreciate her night, but she didn't, she ignorantly kept taking all of the attention away from Luna.
“No” she croaked out. Tears now flowing freely from her eyes, the goddess not caring who saw them.
Seeing the princess in this state was heartbreaking but Sunshine had to have the truth out in the open if she was going to be able to imprison him. But there was no reason to be cruel and lengthen this talk.
“Okay, that’s enough, take him away.” she called out to the two guards holding him, both of which all too happy to lock him up.
The Princess lay sobbing as the guards dragged the ranting unicorn from the throne room.
“You will never find real love! The only ponies that will court you will only ever be after your power!” He cried out hysterically.
It's not true
“Because you are cursed! Cursed by your own power!”
“And that is why-”
“- you will always be alone!”
The first thing that the white princess notices when she wakes up is that there are tears in her eyes.
Even now, nearly a thousand years later, she still has the dreams.
'You will always be alone'
Sighing, she wipes the tears away and climbs out of bed using her horn to illuminate the room in order to see more clearly.
Even though she was the princess she kept her room fairly simple. A study for reading in at her leisure along with her desk, a fireplace which was very useful on cold days with a mat laying in front of it, a large bed fitted against the wall and along that a dresser, a door to her private bathroom, and her balcony. It was simple but it was as much as she needed.
Slowly she walked out onto the balcony and stretched, extending each leg and fluttering her wings a bit. It always helped her wake up and prepare for the day's tasks.
Facing the east she lowered her head and her horn began to glow with a golden hue. As she raised her head she was greeted the the gentle rays of morning sun, it always felt like the greeting of an old friend.
An old friend.
It had been five years since she had first sent her 'most faithful student' to Ponyville in order to learn more about friendship. She always enjoyed receiving her friendship reports and hearing about her experiences with her friends. She was glad that the bookish pony had opened herself up to the world and friendship.
But as the months went by the amount of reports slowly decreased. At first they were diligent and on time but as she learned there became less and less new material to report on. Now she is lucky if she gets one report a month.
She missed Twilight.
She missed the days when she taught Twilight magic. She missed the way her face lit up when she got a new book. She missed how the filly's eyes would get huge when she began to talk about Starswirl the Bearded. But mostly she missed the way that Twilight always tried to make her happy and strove to gain her approval in all that she did. Not because she was sucking up to a princess but because she genuinely cared about her opinion.
But eventually that little filly grew up into a young mare. She became a scholar for the Equestrian Magic Academy and is well known as one of the greatest unicorns of her time, though she always denies it if asked. She was beautiful, smart, kind. Celestia truly cared for her protege, one could say that she really...
Letting out a long sigh the princess walked back into her room.
She was glad that Twilight had found her own happiness in life.
But then why did that thought leave her sad?
After the sun had risen over the horizon, Luna, flanked by two of her personal guards, found herself walking down the corridors towards the dining hall for breakfast.
Seeing her sister in pain from her dreams had worried Luna, even more so because this was not the first time that Celestia's dreams had bothered her.
The blue alicorn secretly wondered if it was her fault that her sister had bad dreams. That Celestia still didn't trust her and was afraid of what she once became and feared that she would become again.
Luna mentally shook herself. No, she knew Celestia was a very gentle and forgiving pony. Ever since the younger alicorn returned to her sister's side she has been nothing but forgiving and kind to her restored sister.
But then what was troubling her sister so?
Well whatever it was she would have to either get it out of her now or much later. She would be leaving for a diplomatic trip to Griffinia, the griffins’ homeland, later that day and it would take a few days due to travel.
Her two guards held the doors open as she walked through the archway leading to the dining area. They always stood guard outside the doors waiting on their princess to finish her meals so as to give her some space. It was a mutual understanding between them.
Luna sat down in her respective seat and one end of the table as one of the servants, wearing a pleasant smile, walked to greet her. “Hello Princess Luna. I suppose you'll be having the usual this morning?”
“Ah yes, that would be wonderful.” The dark blue alicorn spoke gently. “Also would you be so kind as to bring some blackberry jam as well?” She had taken a few speaking classes with one of the Elements of Harmony, Fluttershy. Because of her she was now able to speak more commonly and control her use of the 'Royal Canterlot voice'. She was finally able to kick the habit.
“Of course your majesty.” The servant bowed deeply and left.
A few moments later she returned with tea and a plate of toast. Luna, picking up a piece of toast with her magic, spread some jam on it and began happily munching away at the said wheat product. Out of all the new inventions that had been made in the past thousand years this 'toast' was by far the most ingenious. She had wanted to make a national toast appreciation day but her sister had shot the idea down as soon as she got to 'toast parade floats'.
After a couple of minutes she had finished her meal and was quietly sipping tea when her sister made her appearance. Her guards closing the door behind her so that they could talk in peace.
“Hello sister, We have been waiting for thou to join us.” Luna said mentally facehoofing as she realized that her old manner of speech had surfaced once again.
How does that saying go again? Old habits die hard? Well no matter. Celestia is family and she would never want Luna to pretend to be somepony she wasn’t by talking in a way she was uncomfortable with.
Luna had known her sister for a long time and even though they had been apart for a thousand years, she still knew how to see past her sister's calm outer mask that she wore around others.
“Good morning Luna.” Celestia said wearing a pleasant smile. “I trust you had a nice night.” She took a seat down at the table facing her sister. The servant that had served her earlier came and set out some tea for her before hurrying back of to the kitchen once more. Celestia was on a diet recently, it would seem that over the last thousand years she had acquired a bit of a sweet-tooth.
“It was quite uneventful actually, though it did give us time to work on the stars” Luna replied after taking another sip of tea. “Did you sleep well Celly?”
If there was any doubt that Celestia was hurting behind her fake smile it was now gone after seeing the pain in her sister's eyes. She almost thought she could see Celestia shudder a little. Of course she was quick to cover it up with a yawn.
“Why yes sister. Thanks for asking.”
Luna's eyes narrowed slightly at the white alicorn.
“Is something bothering thou sister?”
Luna locked eyes with her sister knowing that this was the only way to force it from her.
“What are you talking about Luna?” Celestia said lightly.
“Nothing is bothering me.”
Celestia was the first to look away.
“Something is bothering you!” Luna said upset as Celestia looked away from her. “Why won't you tell us?” Her voice rising slightly. “Can thou not confide in us?”
Luna looked down at her tea sadly. All the anger ran out of her and she spoke quietly.“Does thou not trust me anymore?” She made sure to say 'me' and not 'us'. She knew that to some degree her sister would never trust her like she use to. She just couldn't tell by how much.
“Of course I trust you Luna. You are dear to me sister. This is just... something I need to deal with on my own.” Celestia quickly reassured her. “I should have known better than to try to hide things from you Lulu.”
'Thou shouldn't have to sister.' Luna desperately wanted to tell her but settled for. “But sister, it’s just... you have seemed so lonely recently.”
Luna couldn't help but notice a look of pain cross her sister's face
“Don’t worry Lulu, it's just past feelings catching up with me.”
Unfortunately Luna still persisted, not willing to let it go. “We just wish to help sister.”
Celestia sighed, she knew her sister was just trying to help her feel better and the thought did touch her. But then again did she really deserve to be helped? Everything that had happened was by her own doing in the end.
'It's your fault she changed'
Celestia frowned and looked down into her own cup of liquid. “I guess I have been feeling a little lonely lately.” she said finally.
Luna, glad that her sister was confiding in her, smiled lightly and inclined for her to continue.
“I've been thinking of my faithful student lately.” Celestia admitted, 'which is partially true' she amended to herself. She did miss her precious student dearly.
“Ah yes. Twilight Sparkle. We hear that she is now a Scholar for the Magic Academy.” Luna's smile widened at the thought of the purple unicorn that brought her back from her insanity. “We also hear she has been holding up to her title as the Element of Magic. But then again we would expect nothing less from your personal student.”
“She has become quite advanced in the use of magic and is very diligent in her studies.” Celestia's smile grew a bit “though she does tend to overwork herself from time to time.”
“Its only natural that a teacher should care about how their student is doing.” Luna stated simply.
“Her friendship reports used to be the thing that would brighten up my days. But now I'm lucky to get a letter from her once a month.” The white alicorn seemed to deflate at this. “I guess I miss the way we used to be so close.”
Celestia had to fight off the rush of precious memories she shared together with her student. Twilight was the closest thing to someone she cared about for nearly a thousand years. She even gave her sister back to her, she would never be able to show her Twilight how much that meant to her.
“But enough about me, I'm more worried about what you are planning to do about the peace talks with the griffons.” Celestia said collecting herself.
“But sister! You-”
“Will be fine, Luna.” Celestia finished for her. “I didn't live over a thousand years by not being able to handle my emotions.” she assured. With a light chuckle, she continued. “Now come, surely you don't plan to demand candy from them and scare their children until you get some.”
Luna was still unconvinced and looked like she was ready to pursue their conversation but decided against it knowing that doing so would get her nowhere. Not to mention she had to stifle a few giggles at the thought. She enjoyed Nightmare Night greatly each year. She had fun scaring the children and them not truly fearing her, yet another thing she was grateful to Twilight for.
“Well we were planning on leaving around noon this day.” she replied giving up. “It will be a three day trip and we would like to not be late for our meeting with the griffin ambassador.”
“Yes, griffins have been known to be rather quick tempered.” Celestia once again regaining her calm outer appearance.
“Don't worry Celly, We will behave Our-self. Promise.” Luna replied smirking.
The white princess looked at her younger sister for a couple moments.
“Well I need to start the day-court and I'd hate to keep you from your preparations any longer.” The white alicorn announced getting up. A couple of servants came in and started cleaning the table. “I hope that your talk with the griffins goes well, it would benefit Equestria greatly to have their trust and be at peace with them.” She started off out of the room.
Luna, also getting up, replied “We will do our best sister.”
Celestia stopped a little before at the doors and turned to face Luna with a look of genuine worry etched on her face. She looked like she was choosing her next word carefully. “Also, please be careful Luna.” After that being said she continued on to give day-court.
The warning was vague but Luna understood. The griffins were not the most peaceful of nations and the fact that they wanted to initiate a peace talk was nothing more than a first for them. Celestia was telling her to be cautious but to still ultimately strive for peace.
Luna stood up and started back down the hall to her room passing through the courtyard by the garden, once again flanked by her two guards.
“I may not be able to help her feel better but I might know someone who can.” She looked at the sun as it started slowly rising on it's journey across the sky. “There is still a bit of time before I have to leave.”
“I think I will pay Twilight Sparkle a visit.”
*Author's note* : This is my first fanfiction I've ever written. I have read quite a lot of stories here on fimfiction and finally decided to try my hand at one and I hope you enjoy it. Comments are welcome as well as critiquing if you feel compelled to do so. Celestia knows I could use some :/ also I appologise for the lack of Twilight Sparkle in this chapter but fear not we will be seeing more of her in the coming chapters.
by the way 'AB' ,if you didn't figure it out, stands for "After Banishment".