The chariot banked slightly as it began its descent towards the quaint town of ponyville. Luna watched the world fly by, looking over the edge of the flying vehicle at the rolling orchard of Sweet Apple Acres, and the wide carrot fields of Top Farms. She extended her wings and felt the wind rush through the feathers. She closed her eyes and opened them a few seconds later. She needed to stretch her wings. She had to fly.
But, for now she was stuck in an infernal chariot, unable to do anything but spread her wings and close her eyes as her trip came to an end.
The guards gently slowed themselves down and landed on the cobbles. A few ponies watched her with a mixture of shock and awe, some even bowing, as she stepped off of the golden chariot and onto the ground. She searched the faces of the crowd for a familiar purple unicorn, brown Stetson, rainbow mane or pink frizzy hair, but she found nothing, only more unfamiliar faces filled with awe and some even a hint of fear. She began to grow uncomfortable.
She turned back to the guards who were still latched up to the chariot. Their reptilian wings glistened in the sunlight and their faces held the stoic expression all guards wore. Sometimes they seemed just a bit too hostile for her liking.
"You may leave" she said to them simply, and they nodded and flew away, most likely to a place nearby to rest before they made the long journey back to Canterlot. She turned back to the crowd which had now grown in size to almost double what it was when she landed, and she sighed. She didn't like attention any more than the next pony, sure she wanted a bit of praise now and then for her work, but not this kind of attention.
She knew the general direction of the library, and she really didn't want to crowd to be hounding her for the rest of the day, so she did something she hadn't done in a long, long time, she spread her wings and took to the sky, a graceful take off with barely even a flicker of dust to mark where she had been. Her powerful wings propelled her towards the large tree that served as the town's library and amateur observation centre. A flicker of mischief played on her face.
She was early, too early to be fashionable, what was the harm in taking a few exploratory laps around the town? t felt good to fly again, it felt really good to let herself go and feel the air rushing through her mane and feathers. She turned away from the library at the last minute, going into a roll.
Luna willed her wings to propel her faster, she was nearly going her top speed, the town, the ponies, the fields, they all sped past in a monotonous, yet colourful haze.
She opened her mouth and let out a shrill yell of happiness, heard by everypony around. Anypony looking up at the sky would have seen a blue line that trailed starlight in its wake. Luna eventually slowed down and looked back towards the library, halting and turning in a perfect arch. She came close to the library and executed a barrel roll, landing at the door to the large tree, knocking on the wooden door three times as she tried to re-style her mane. A goofy smile was still on her face and her breath came in shallow pants, her wings ached slightly and her heart was hammering in her chest.
"Twilight Sparkle? Are you home?" she asked, but received no answer. She slowly knocked again and the door sprung open ever so slightly. Luna pushed open the door and found the lavender unicorn lying on the floor snoring. A brief flash of fear that she might be injured, then Luna stepped through the doorway and surveyed the sleeping unicorn. Luna watched her with shock that soon turned to mirth, light giggles escaping her as Twilight huddled on the floor with her head resting on her hooves.
She had seen the unicorn rushing out of Sugarcube corner early in the morning, maybe she had stayed up all night. It would explain why she was now so completely gone that not even the Royal Canterlot Voice could wake her. She looked absolutely adorable sleeping there but it wouldn't do much good for her if she stayed on the hard floor like this.
She gently picked up the sleeping unicorn with her magic and trotted up the stairs, carefully keeping the young unicorn out of harm's way before walking into what she assumed was the bedroom. She saw a sleeping dragon in a bed at the foot of a relatively large bed adorned with purple and blue sheets. Luna pulled back the covers and gently lay the unicorn down, Twilight stirred and groped around for the covers until Luna slid them up the bed and around her. Twilight's face broke out into a smile.
Luna smiled as well. She did look so cute, if Luna didn't get out of that room then and there she would have been seriously tempted to stay there and watch her sleep, the way her eyelids flickered, her nose twitched and her mane fell about her face gracefully, it almost made Luna envious of her. Such a normal unicorn, living a normal life, with magic to rival that of her and Celestia.
Luna sighed and turned, leaving the bed chambers of the Unicorn. She glanced at a clock on the far wall and noticed it was only 10am. Twilight may be sleeping for the rest of the day, and Spike didn't seem that inclined to begin the day either.
Luna decided she would just wait. She trotted over to where a chair sat alone in the main section of the library, quaintly situated next to a fireplace. That's new she thought to herself. She would have to ask Twilight about it. She picked up a book and allowed herself to sink into the plush faux-leather. She flicked open the first few pages and began to read.
Dreams... Her dreams were funny, they weren't particularly exciting, nor where they boring. In fact, most of the time they just had two ponies, herself, and one whom she could never truly place. She knew who it was of course, the blue coat and sparkling mane, even the eyes, the most piercing blue she had ever seen, were hard to place on anypony except Princess Luna, but, this was a Luna she had never seen before, a thoughtful and deep Luna, with no royal duties to weigh her down, no responsibilities, just plain Luna, as if she was, she dare not say normal, so settled on 'subdued'.
It was as if she was seeing her for the first time. It was just them, lounging in front of a fireplace Twilight had installed recently, it had been agony to get permission from Town Hall to have a fireplace in a TREE, but after lengthy assurances that she would be careful they had let her. Now, her and Luna were sitting in front of it sipping cocoa and talking about events that had not happened yet.
They were talking, yes, something about the meteor shower, the moon tonight, even something else about magic, but Twilight wasn't listening. Confusing thoughts chased each other through her head and her emotions played a constant game of ping pong with her heart, knocking it too and fro, making her feel fear, then guilt, then onto something she couldn't place. It felt like friendship, only stronger.
Suddenly she was snapped back into the dream version of reality by her name being spoken, Luna was regarding her curiously.
"Twilight? Are you okay?" she asked, and Twilight nodded.
"Oh, yes, I'm sorry, I was just, uh, thinking" she covered, a blush forming under her coat. Luna put it down to the heat of the fire.
"If I was boring you, you only had to say so" she said, and Twilight shook her head.
"Oh no, it wasn't like that, I was just thinking, that's all" she lamely spoke, and Luna raised her eyebrows.
"Very well, what were you thinking of?" she asked, and Twilight looked down at the carpet, mumbling something incoherent.
"I'm sorry what? I did not hear you" Luna said, straining to hear. Twilight repeated what she said.
"I was, well, thinking of you" she admitted, and Luna backed up on her chair. Twilight looked up to see shock in her eyes, then something Twilight did not expect; a smile.
"Why Twilight, you only had to say so, I was thinking of you too" she said with a smile and half-lidded eyes. Twilight blushed harder.
"Really?" she asked hopefully, and Luna set her mug down on the floor.
"Really" she said, before moving closer and embracing Twilight with her wings and hooves, drawing her face in to rest mere inches from hers, before closing te distance with agonizing slowness, lips parted to steal a kiss...
Twilight jolted awake violently, then sighed as her heart calmed down. She reached behind her head and pulled the pillow out from under it, then slamming it onto her face and letting out a wail. She shook her head from side to side.
Leave me alone! she mentally screamed, then threw the pillow to one side.
She then sat up, remembering where she had fallen asleep, compared to where she was now. Somepony had either placed her here, or she had slept walked up to her bed, if that were even possible.
She glanced over to Spike's bed and found it to be empty, a glance at the clock beside her bed said it was midday. She jolted upright, she hadn't slept in this late in a long time, Luna would be coming soon, if she wasn't already here, it would explain why she was suddenly in her bed at least, but that meant she had seen her passed out on the floor! Her cheeks coloured with embarrassment as she pulled back the covers and got off her bed, making sure to re-make it before she left the room. It was a habit she had gotten into as a filly, and one she was loathe to break.
She sighed to herself as she tucked the corner of he bed sheet under the mattress and surveyed the neat purple linen. Satisfied with her work, she walked towards her door and pushed it open, beginning to walk down the stairs. When she was halfway down, she glanced around and saw, sitting in the faux-leather chair, not inches away from a purple fire and reading a large hardback book, was the Princess of the Night herself. Mane flowing gracefully on a breeze that didn't exist, and eyes flitting over the words imprinted on the page.
A page was turned, a step was stepped upon, an ear twitched, a throat was cleared. Luna whirled around rather quickly with a start and Twilight raised an eyebrow.
Luna placed a hoof on her chest and sighed.
"Thou shouldst not do that Twilight Sparkle, thou, I mean, you gave me quite a start!" she said and Twilight supressed a giggle, both at the Princess's reaction and the way she almost slipped into her signature archaic language.
"Sorry Princess, I didn't mean to startle you. What are you reading?" she asked and descended the final stairs towards where the Princess was sitting. She turned the book over and showed the title.
Daring Doo and the Secret of the Siren's Song
"'Tis an interesting novel, about a one Miss Daring Doo and her various escapades all across ancient sites around Equestria, although it is clearly intended for, well, not my age group, I find it rather enthralling none the less" she said, flipping the book back over and marking her place with a paper bookmark rather than dog-earing the page. A fact Twilight was grateful for, she couldn't count how many pages of how many books had their corners turned and torn. Well, she probably could have, but it didn't seem a very productive use of her time.
She suddenly noticed the distinct lack of her number 1 assistant.
"Where's Spike?" she asked, and Luna shrugged unbecomingly.
"I haven't the faintest idea, he said something about 'Pinkie Pie' wanting him to hand out invites to, how did he put it again? Oh yes, A 'super fundiful fantastical party" she said, and Twilight giggled.
"What's so funny?" she asked, and Twilight giggled again.
"The way you said that, it didn't suit you princess, no offence of course" she quickly added so as to soften the blow. Luna smiled at her warmly though, accepting the humour.
"No, I am in the wrong century Twilight Sparkle" she quipped, earning a giggle.
"And please, call me Luna" she said, and Twilight smiled at her.
"Only if you call me Twilight instead of Twilight Sparkle" she gently ordered, and Luna nodded.
"Very well Twilight" she said, and looked over to the chair next to hers.
"Woud you like to sit with me for a while?" she asked and Twilight nodded.
"Of course Luna" she said before walking over to the chair and sitting in it. Luna glanced at her with a smile.
"So, Twilight, what art thy plans for the day?" she asked and Twilight shrugged.
"I don't know, hopefully I'll get a bit of studying done, I'm really close to mastering Starswirl the Bearded's Seventh Transformation Spell, and I really want to learn it, if only to further my own knowledge on Transformation, then maybe I'll go for a stroll in the woods, go around my friend's to see if they can make it tonight, then back here to relax before we head to the meteor shower" she sad, and Luna blinked.
"Did you make a schedule, Twilight?" She asked with a raised eyebrow and Twilight shook her head.
"No, not until just now, Oh my, I need my quill and parchment!" she all but scrambled out of the chair and into one of the adjacent rooms to grab her quill and write down the day's schedule. Luna scoffed and shook her head a smile on her face. She was so adorable at times, the way she wanted to be able to control and nearly meticulously plan everything, it was endearing to some extent.
Luna had long since given up on dispelling the thoughts about her sister's student and her only friend. Which is why when she walked back towards her with her librarian glasses on, quill and parchment suspended in the air with her purple aura, she did not try and quell her racing heart. If Luna hadn't thought she was adorable before, seeing her with red horn-rimmed glasses around her eyes cemented that thought in her head.
Twilight was scribbling something down on the parchment, then, with a smile, satisfied with her work, she rolled up the parchment and set it down on the coffee table. The purple fire sparked and crackled, drawing Twilight's attention. She furrowed her brow.
"Luna, why is the fire purple?" she asked and Luna turned to it and smiled.
"It's a magic fire. It gives off all the warmth of a normal fire, but it's harmless to the surroundings. Watch" she said, moving from her spot and dipping her hoof into the fire. It consumed the hoof and Twilight gasped in fear, until it came back out with a hooffull of the purple flames, dancing gracefully around Luna's fur in thin purple tendrils.
"Ponies can also manipulate it with their hooves. Ancient unicorns used to use it in magical duels when they didn't want to harm the other pony" she explained, and saw Twilight's eyes filled with rapture like she was in class and Luna was the teacher.
"Could you teach it to me?" she asked, and Luna smiled, then had a look of confusion.
"I'm not sure, it's very difficult, even for an Alicorn. That is why the flame is so small. Ironically, it took more magical discipline to perform this spell then it did to actually cast harmful spells" she explained, and Twilight's face fell. It was almost heart wrenching, until Luna spoke next.
"But, from my sister, I hear you are an exceptionally talented unicorn, with magic to rival even my own, so, I think you could learn it" se said with her mischievous smile, she knew how much the unicorn disliked compliments, and revelled in the blush that now appeared on her cheeks.
"I really don't think of myself as that special" she said sheepishly, and Luna raised an eyebrow.
"Seriously Twilight?" she asked incredulously, and Twilight nodded, keeping her eyes cast down.
Luna shook her head and shifted in her seat.
"Very well, close your eyes, and block everything out except the sound of my voice" she instructed, and Twilight did so, which was easy because, well, she loved to hear Luna's voice, when it wasn't at Royal Canterlot volume that is. She closed her eyes and drowned the noise of the fire, she drowned her worries, and drowned her fears with the soothing balm that was Luna's silky voice.
She was glad she had already been blushing from Luna's compliment, because the thoughts now racing through her mind would not leave her face un-flushed.
"Focus on the feelings inside you, like most other spells, this one comes from within, it's manifested from the thing that brings us the greatest joy, the thing which is our greatest passion, for me, it is the blue velvet of night, which is why my flame is blue or purple, or, on some occasions, it has been as bright as the moon" she explained, and leant forward, taking Twilight's hooves in hers.
If Twilight was bothered by the action, she did not say, mostly because she was focussing so hard she didn't notice it. She dug around in her mind for the thing that granted her joy. The obvious answer was studying, which allowed her to gain knowledge, she loved sitting and reading either a good research book, or flip the pages of an old novel. She loved learning.
She felt something for the briefest of instances, but it then dwindled. She looked for it again, but found nothing, what had Luna said? The thing that brings her the most joy, right? The thing that inspired her, the thing that...
Her eyes shot open.
The thing I love the most...
A slight smile graced her face as she gazed into Luna's turquoise eyes.
"Have you found it?" she asked, and Twilight nodded.
"Yes, yes I believe I have" she said with her smile growing, Luna returned it and shifted to get closer in her seat. Twilight was now aware of Luna's hooves closed over her own, and she felt the joy swell to something that physically burned inside her.
"Now, I want you to siphon a tiny part of your magic into your horn, then focus on that thing, speak its name out loud if you must, then think of fire, the spell should do the rest" she said, and Twilight nodded, powering her horn and going through images of Luna in her head, the magic in her horn swelled of its own accord, she felt suddenly warm, then unbearably hot.
"Now dispel the magic! Quick!" Luna instructed, and Twilight let go of the spell, a flash of blue to rival that of the ocean spread around the room, and then a crackling sound followed, like waves lashing the shore.
Luna jumped back as she saw Twilight controlling several strands of blue fire at once, all erupting from her horn and spreading around the small library. After a time, Twilight opened her eyes and surveyed the scene. Her jaw dropped as the tendrils of fire danced around with all the poise of synchronized ballet dancers.
She experimentally thought about combining them, and they all started flying towards one spot in the room, joining together in a large ball of blue flame.
"Wow" she uttered simply as the ball slowly settled to the floor.
"Wow indeed" Luna echoed as she placed a hoof into the large flame, drawing it back out. A thin sliver of fire danced gracefully around her hoof before climbing to the top and leaping off to return to the fire burning in the centre of the library.
The fire pulsed with an ethereal glow, and Twilight, mischievous in learning, willed it to expand, to which it did, violently so, it exploded with the force of Applejack kicking a tree, and pushed the princess and Twilight back, the fire danced around the room and lit every single lamp and light before rushing back to the center.
Twilight dispelled the magic and looked in wonder at the lamps burning merrily with her blue flame, she was idly aware of a dull throbbing in her skull which signified a magic spell was still active, but she didn't know how to shut it off.
Luna recovered quickly and looked at Twilight, who was looking around in wonder. Luna took in the lamps, then looked back at the unicorn smiling at her widely.
"I think I learned the spell" she said and Luna scoffed.
"Oh geez, you think?" she asked with a dabble of humour, with which Twilight giggled. Luna stepped closer and smiled warmly, feeling only the slightest hint of jealousy at the unicorn's prowess and magical ability. "Congratulations Twilight, you are officially more powerful than me" she said, taking a bow of humility. Twilight blushed hard.
"Oh, princess, there is absolutely no way I'm more powerful than you" she said, and Luna looked up at her and stepped closer.
"When I first tried that spell I passed out, and I created a flame the same size as the one still in the fireplace, in fact, I'm feeling drowsy from just keeping it up now" she said, then closed her eyes and dispelled the flame from the fireplace.
"When I awoke I found that the flame had lasted for all of three seconds before I passed out. Accept the compliment Twilight" she gently ordered, and Twilight smiled at her.
"Thank you for teaching it to me Luna" she said sheepishly, then threw her hooves around the princess in a warm, friendly embrace. Luna was shocked, and took a step back, but soon melted into the embrace, unable to resist a discreet sniff of the mare's mane. Parchment and cinnamon. An odd combination, but one that suited her perfectly.
The hug broke and Twilight stepped back rather too awkwardly for Luna's taste, she decided to break the tension.
"So, Twilight, you said you was going for a walk in the woods, why don't you show me where it s you'll be meeting your friends for tonight's meteor shower?"