Thunder rumbled outside as she made her way through the library, and the night sky was briefly lit up by a deafening crash of lightning.
‘Wow, what a horrible night,’ she thought. ‘Looks like I got back just in time. I’d hate to be outside in this kind of weather.’
‘Wait... what’s that noise?’
She paused outside one of the doors and listened carefully at the woodwork. From the other side there came a sort of sobbing noise, as if somepony were whimpering with fear.
When she opened the door there was a fearful yelp, and a light purple face disappeared underneath a quilt. Her emotions quickly transmuted from curiosity to sisterly concern.
“Dusk?” she asked in her kindest voice. “What’s the matter? Are you afraid of the storm?”
She walked into the room, closing the door behind her, and paced over to the bed in which the little colt huddled under his sheets.
“You know, it’s nothing to be afraid of,” she told him. “It’s just that the weather teams missed a scheduled drizzle last week, and now they have to have a massive storm to make up for it. You learned that at school, didn’t you?”
“I’m- I’m not s-s-scared of th-the storm, Dawn,” Dusk stuttered, without revealing his face.
“Then what are you afraid of?”
He slowly pulled the covers away from his head, brilliant green eyes almost glowing with fear, the dim light of the outside world shining upon the silver stripe in his mane.
“The scary pony,” he told her, clearly on the verge of tears.
“What scary pony?” asked Dawn.
“The fiery one,” said Dusk. “The one hiding behind the curtain. I’m scared, it’s-it’s gonna get me, Dawn!”
Dawn looked over at the window, and indeed, it did appear that somepony was there. There was the shape of a masculine, almost demonic pony’s head, and it almost seemed to be glowing.
She walked slowly over to it and yanked back the curtain to reveal...
...a street lamp, illuminating a tree branch with leaves in such a shape that it could easily pass for an evil looking pony.
“It’s okay, Dusk,” she reported. “It’s just a lamp behind a branch which looks like a pony.”
“But-but it was there!” Uncontrollable tears started dripping down the small unicorn’s cheeks. “It really was! It was hiding in the closet, but then it-it came out and it stared at me, Dawn! It stared at me for ages and ages and ages and it was sooo scary! And when you came in it hid behind the curtain! It was right here, Dawn! I was scared it was gonna hurt me!”
“Hey, hey,” Dawn whispered soothingly. She sat down on the bed and pulled her little brother into a tight, comforting hug as he sobbed with fear.
“Whatever it is, it’s gone now,” she told him. “I’ll talk to Mom in the morning and see what she knows about scary fire ponies that live in closets and come out at night. And you know, in order to haunt you it had to come out of the closet.”
Dusk started sniggering, and Dawn soon found herself laughing as well.
“How do you get that joke?” she asked. “You’re only ten!”
“Rainbow Blitz heard it from Lightning Strike,” said Dusk, with renewed chirpiness in his voice, “and Lightning Strike got it from their dad-”
They sat there in the darkness for a few moments, sister hugging brother as tightly and comfortingly as she could manage.
“I’m still scared,” Dusk whispered after a while. “It was right here, Dawn. Right here in my room! What if it comes back?”
“Well... would you like it if I stayed here tonight?” asked Dawn. “I’m sure any scary ponies would be terrified of a big tough grown-up mare like me.”
“You would do that?”
“Of course I would! I’m your sister, aren’t I? I love you!”
Dusk hugged her even tighter than he already had been.
“I love you too,” he told her.
Dawn laid them both down on the mattress and pulled the quilt over their bodies, and Dusk cuddled up to her and hugged her again.
“Dawn,” he said, “you’re the best.”
“I know, Dusk Shine,” said Dawn Shimmer, “I know.”