An MLP: FIM Fanfiction
Chapter 1: A Collection of Friends
“I don’t get it Twilight, the princess has taken longer than this to reply before, why are you freaking out now?” The small dragon sat at the kitchen table watching his boss pace back and forth through the doorway.
“I know Spike, but her last letter said she had something important to tell me!” The unicorn froze, a scared expression creeping over her face. “Oh no, you don’t think something bad’s happened, do you Spike?”
“Twilight, relax, the princess knows how to take care of herself.” Spike had learned long ago how worked up she could get. He had found the best thing to do was roll with the punches, and do his best to assuage her fears.
Princess Celestia’s last letter had arrived without warning, and seemed hastily written. It lacked her usual formalities and flow; the short letter had been headed simply, ‘Twilight Sparkle’.
Spike was brought back to the kitchen by Twilight’s exclamation. “I just wish I knew what I was supposed to do! The letter said she needed me to do something important, but what?!”
Her body tensed as her panic rose. “Omigosh, what if I was supposed to go straight to Canterlot? What if I’m too late now because I waited?” Spike sighed loudly.
“Twilight, the princess told you to stay here, remember? At the bottom of the letter.”
At his words the purple unicorn nodded and took a few breaths to calm herself enough to maintain some composure.
“You’re right Spike. I just need to calm down and wait for her to reply.”
Spike sighed again and smiled as he got down from his chair and walked to the sink.
“Sounds good Twi. Hey, why don’t you get out of here for a little while? I mean, I don’t think Celestia will send anything this late, and what could you do tonight even if she did?”
Twilight frowned and shook her head.
“Thanks Spike, but I don’t think that’s a good idea. if it’s as urgent as she made it sound I should really be here when it shows up.” Despite her words Twilight had to admit she would like to see her friends. Her doubt must have shown because Spike began pushing her towards the door.
“Look Twilight, you’re going to drive yourself crazy just waiting here; you haven’t even read anything all night!”
Twilight resisted, but not with much enthusiasm, and actually walked herself across the threshold and into the gathering dusk. Spike closed the door behind her and moved to an open window to speak.
“I’ll see you in a little while, okay?”
“Okay Spike, I guess I’ll try at Rarity’s, if it does come I want you to come find me immediately, understand?”
Spike nodded happily as he shut the window and headed upstairs for a well-deserved night’s sleep.
As Twilight trotted through the Ponyville square in the gathering dusk, she fretted over her teacher’s cryptic note. It had stated simply that Princess Celestia, the Goddess of the sun, and Twilight’s personal teacher had a special task for her and that she would write again in the next few days with more details.
The unicorn was so lost in thought she didn’t notice a rainbow blur speeding towards her until it was too late. The next thing she knew she was on her back, some distance from where she last stood. Twilight groaned and righted herself, hearing an answering grunt she looked around; a few hooves to her left a multi-colored pegasus sat shaking her head.
“Hey, wouldya watch where you’re--Oh, hi Twilight! Sorry I didn’t see you there, had somewhere to be and was running late, you know how it goes.” Rainbow Dash stood, smiling, as Twilight gingerly flexed her limbs, testing them for damage.
“What? Oh, hey Rainbow Dash, yeah I get it.” She shook herself. “Where are you going?”
“Sugarcube Corner. Pinkie Pie said something about a batter emergency and asked if I could help. Actually, I should probably get going again. See ya later Twilight!” With that, Rainbow Dash leaped into the air, starting back on her way to help her party loving friend.
“Wait, Rainbow Dash!”
Dash stopped, hovering in mid air and turned to face her friend.
“Does Pinkie need any extra help? I was going to Rarity’s but she’s not expecting me.”
Rainbow Dash shifted awkwardly and scratched her head.
“Nah, it’s no big deal. Between me and Pinkie, it’ll be sorted out in no time!”
“Well, ok Rainbow, I’ll see you around then. Good luck with the batter.” As she turned and flew away, Rainbow Dash heaved a deep sigh of relief before speeding on to her destination.
When Twilight arrived at the Carousel Boutique, Celestia’s sun had gone beyond the horizon and Luna’s moon started its long journey across the night sky. The storefront was dark, but light spilled from the second floor windows. She brought one hoof up and rapped against a metal plate set on the door, careful to avoid any wanton damage to the finish. Her knock was answered by a voice somewhere within.
“Just a minute! Ah! Sweetie Belle please! Just wait there a moment, won’t you?”
A few moments later the top half of the door opened to reveal a white unicorn with a well-groomed purple mane.
“Oh why hello dear! I wasn’t expecting you. Please, do come in!” Rarity’s head disappeared for a moment before the bottom half of the door followed its counterpart. Rarity closed the door as her friend walked into the closed boutique. “Just through here dear. I was helping Sweetie Belle finish an outfit for some cutie mark adventure her and her friends are going on tomorrow... What was it you’re doing again Sweetie Belle?”
“Cutie Mark Crusader street performers!” The smaller unicorn replied with a wide grin. Rarity cringed slightly at the thought, but maintained a serene smile of encouragement.
“Yes, of course; I don’t know how it ever slipped my mind. Now, just let me finish this seam and I think you’re ready.” She snipped a final thread and stepped back to examine her works. “Oh it’s absolutely perfect! Why don’t you come over here and show Twilight?” Sweetie Belle bounced off of the podium she had been standing on and walked towards Twilight Sparkle.
“What do you think, huh?” She spun and posed to show off the metallic looking cape and leg covers.
“It’s very nice, Sweetie Belle. Uhh, what’s it for exactly?”
“I’m gonna be a living statue!” The filly exclaimed, excitement almost bursting the seams of her new outfit.
“Oh, that’s… nice?” Twilight made what she hoped was an encouraging smile, but knew it likely came off as confused as she felt. The filly was undaunted.
“Alright Sweetie, run upstairs and get ready for bed, I’ll be up in a minute to tuck you in.” Rarity turned to face her friend. “Now, what can I do for you Twilight?”
“Nothing really. I just wanted to get out of the library for a bit. I’m waiting for a letter from the Princess and, well, I guess the waiting was starting to wear on me.” She sighed as the admission left her.
“I completely understand dear. Would you like me to make a pot of tea?”
Twilight nodded enthusiastically.
“That would be great Rarity; if it’s not too much trouble that is.”
“No trouble at all Twilight; I’ll just put the kettle on and go put Sweetie Belle to bed, yes?” Twilight nodded again and watched her friend ready the teapot and head upstairs. When Rarity had passed from sight, Twilight felt the anxiety that had been pushed away by her friends’ company well up in the back of her mind. She took several deep breaths and waited. It wasn’t long before the tea began to whistle and steam, summoning Rarity back down the stairs. She lifted the pot from the stove and poured the hot water into two waiting porcelain cups. Rarity turned and began sorting through a cabinet filled with various varieties of tea.
She pulled away from the cabinet, holding a pink tin aloft in front of her.
“Well I think I have just the thing. Rose hip is always a good choice, don’t you agree?”
Twilight smiled and nodded amicably as the cup was placed in front of her.
“Thank you Rarity, that sounds perfect.”
“So, was there anything in particular you wanted to talk about? nything new at the library?”
The purple mare shook her head.
“Not really, just, felt like getting out a bit.” She smiled at her little lie, not wanting to admit she had almost literally been pushed out the door.
“Well I certainly understand that feeling. Some days when all my dress orders feel like they’re starting to get the better of me, I get the notion to just pack my things and run away, start anew under a different name! In a different place!” She brought her hoof to her head in an overly dramatic gesture; the sight made Twilight giggle. Her friend was known for her melodramatic personality, and the thought of Rarity abandoning her home on a whim was almost too much. The fashionista lowered her hoof and sipped her tea thoughtfully.
“So what’s this about waiting for a message from the princess? Isn’t it usually you doing the letter writing?”
“Oh, yes, but I do usually get letters back from her, especially when it’s important. She sent me a letter a few days ago out of the blue saying she had some urgent task for me, but she didn’t say what!” Twilight almost shouted the last words. She gave a loud huff and slumped onto the table, worry and fatigue beginning to take their toll.
“I can see how that must be frustrating dear, but really, I think she would have told you if it wasn’t something that could wait. Maybe she’s trying to find the best way to explain it to you?” Twilight admitted she had thought of this herself, but the idea that there was something the princess was having trouble putting in to words sent a chill down her spine.
“I’m sure you’re right,” She took a sip of the tea and was relieved to find Rarity had told the truth about its calming effect. “but I just can’t shake the feeling something’s off.”
The two talked for a time until, half an hour later Twilight headed back out of the darkened store space. With a tone approaching cheerful, she bid her friend goodbye as she walked towards her library home.
Light seeped unbidden through her closed eyelids as the purple unicorn groaned herself awake. It had to be at least a few hours later than she intended to wake, but anxiety had apparently taken more out of her than she thought. She hoped, without much conviction, that Spike had woken up before her for once and opened the library in her absence.
A loud clatter from downstairs cleared whatever holdout pockets of sleep still clung to her mind as she raced to investigate. To her surprise, Spike was indeed awake and working the library, or had been until very recently. He was on the ground next to an overturned stepping stool, surrounded by fallen books.
“Spike, are you alright, what happened?”
He rubbed his head and gestured towards a scroll lying half-crushed by one of the wayward books. Twilight dashed forward to retrieve the scroll. Her horn glowed as she haphazardly stacked the books into a pile and brought the scroll to hover in front of her face.
To my most faithful student Twilight Sparkle,
It was in some excitement that I last wrote you; I apologize for the abrupt nature of my last letter as well as the somewhat delayed follow up and any undue concern I may have caused. You no doubt wonder what task I wrote of in my last message and, after some deliberation between my sister and myself, I have decided it would be better for you to hear the details straight from the pony’s mouth as it were. My sister, Princess Luna should be arriving within a few minutes of this letter reaching you to explain the situation in full.
Your caring teacher,
Princess Celestia of Equestria
Twilight’s embarrassment at her teacher’s apology was quickly overshadowed by frantic worry. What was it that warranted a personal visit from a princess to explain? Why Princess Luna and not Celestia? A few minutes? But that would mean… her thoughts were interrupted by a knock at the front door. Twilight jumped at the sound and spun on the spot, rushing to the door. It opened before she could reach it, in the open frame stood a pair of stone faced, armor clad pegasus, they spoke in unison as Twilight screeched to a halt inches from their snouts.
“Announcing Princess Luna, mistress of the night skies and co-ruler of Equestria.”
Twilight gaped, mouth wide as the guards stood aside to allow the princess of Equestria entrance.
“Thank you sirs, that will be all.” Her tone was firm, but held the same serene benevolence of her sister as she spoke. “Oh, please Miss Sparkle, there’s no need for any formalities from you of all ponies.”
Twilight had regained some composure and was bowing at the hoof of the princess. At Luna’s words she rose with a blush and nodded. They stood for a moment before a small cough from Luna brought the smaller unicorn to attention.
“Oh, yes, please come in; welcome to the Ponyville Public Library your majesty.” She mentally chided herself for her words; of course the princess knew where she was. “The Princess’s, er- Celestia’s letter, said you were coming to tell me more about the task you have for me, right?” Luna nodded, smiling softly. She was smaller than her sister, but in some ways her movements carried a weight that her sister lacked.
“That is right, Twilight Sparkle, though I wonder if it could wait for us gather your friends, as I wish to request their aid as well as yours.”
“Oh, yes, of course Princess. Did you want to wait here, or come with me? It won’t take long if you want to wait.”
The princess smiled and gestured with a hoof for Twilight to lead the way out the door. The unicorn’s cheeks flushed at the idea of leading royalty, well, anywhere, but trotted forward all the same. She called back through the door for Spike to keep working and, as Luna closed the door behind them Twilight could feel her tension ease somewhat.
The errand was a short one for the most part. They found both Rarity and Pinkie Pie at the Carousel Boutique; the former had been working on a costume for a giveaway Pinkie was throwing at her work. Rarity, who had not seen the princess since the defeat of Nightmare Moon, was perhaps a little more than willing to show her reverence, but Luna took the fussing in stride, politely refusing the offer for a brand new dress and instead asking that he two accompany them on the core at hand. Both ponies were more than willing to drop their work to join the princess and Twilight.
After a brief stop at the bakery where Pinkie Pie worked the group moved on down the road to their next destination, a sprawling apple farm on the edge of the town.
Upon reaching the farmhouse, Twilight called out a greeting to an orange pony with a straw colored mane, wearing a weather beaten cowpony hat.
“Howdy Twilight, everypony, what brings y’all out here?” She bowed politely to the Princess, who smiled and spoke, her tone friendly.
"Hello again, Applejack, if you have a moment, would you mind accompanying us?”
“Of course princess, if yer happy with waiting another minute or two, Rainbow Dash oughta be back soon too. Ah asked her to pick up some extra nails a while ago; actually thought she’d be back by now to tell ya the truth.” As soon as the words left her mouth Rainbow Dash was among them. Setting down a bucket of nails, she turned to greet her friends, giving a cursory bow upon noticing the princess in their midst.
“Hey everyone, what’s up? why’s she here?” The pegasus emphasized her words by jabbing a hoof at the alicorn, only barely hiding the accusation in her voice.
“Rainbow Dash, be nice! The Princess is here to discuss some special mission she and Celestia would like us to do.” Rarity shook her head slightly as she spoke.
“How special? Y’know, last time she was here, it caused a whole lot trouble for everypony.” Twilight sighed at her friend’s coarse words, and looking up imagined she saw a look of hurt cross the stony face of the Princess. It was gone as quickly as it had come and the group moved on down the road to make their last stop.
Fluttershy’s home radiated comfort as the ponies approached. Twilight Sparkle, still heading the group moved forward and rapped her hoof against the hardwood knocking plate secured to the door. When no answer came she motioned for the other to wait as she moved around the outside of the house to check for the timid pegasus in her backyard garden.
As Twilight rounded the hill she could see her yellow friend resting in the shade of a tall, leafy tree.
Twilight quietly announced her arrival to Fluttershy, who in turn jumped, letting out a squeak of surprise as she turned to bring the new arrival into view.
“Sorry Fluttershy, we knocked on the door but I guess you couldn’t hear it back here. Anyway, are you busy? Everyone’s waiting for us.”
Fluttershy who, in her surprise, had mostly hidden herself in her mane, slowly drew forward again.
“Oh, hello Twilight, what brings you here, and um, why is everyone else here too?”
Twilight explained the situation for the third time that day. A few minutes later the two began to head back to the front of the house, only to be met by the rest of the group coming to meet them.
“We figured you were takin’ so long you must have found her, so we just decided to come on back ourselves.” Applejack announced as they drew up to where the two were standing. Fluttershy made a meeping sound upon seeing the princess, she scrambled, and seemed to be trying to bow as low as she could while simultaneously hiding herself as much as possible behind her tree.
“Oh, Princess Luna, it’s an honor.”
Luna smiled softly and gestured for Fluttershy to rise.
“Well, now that we’re all here, I suppose you’d all like to know why.” The princess gazed at the assembled ponies.
“Finally!” Exclaimed Rainbow Dash.
Twilight nudged Rainbow Dash in the side to quiet her.
“Yes well,” Luna continued. “first things first, I’d appreciate it very much if you’d all stop bowing to me. I find it slightly embarrassing to be shown reverence by one’s saviors.” She chuckled. “If you’d all like to sit, I think this is as fine a place as any to discuss the matter at hoof.” She sat back on her haunches beside the tree, the others quickly following suit. “Now then, before we get into the task before us, you all will need some back story I suppose.” She paused, and not for the first time, Twilight Sparkle noticed that there was a stilted feeling to the goddess’s formal wording, unlike her sister who seemed naturally eloquent; Luna’s tone seemed forced at best.
“Long ago, before my jealousy and hate had fully poisoned my mind, when I was still somewhere between worlds, I conceived the idea of a city of night. I intended it to be a place of wonder that would teach our subjects of the joys of night time; a beautiful place that the day never touched, where ponies would live happily and willingly in beautiful darkness. In secret I began its construction, slowly and painstakingly building the city into the very core of a great mountain far to the East. Tirelessly I worked, sinking deeper into my personal madness with every stone I shaped, until the skeleton was built, the city all but finished. I looked upon my creation with pride for a brief time. But with the haze of anger swirling before my thoughts I deemed the metropolis too grand to give to the ungrateful inhabitants of Equestria. I began to build again, but now it was not structures I raised but creatures, made from clay, and water, and the bitterness in my heart. I built my monstrosities to populate the city, beings that flopped and writhed wildly in the darkness and would never want for the light of day.” The Princess paused and Twilight felt a chill slither down her spine, the pleasant summer day all but forgotten to the group as the story unraveled before them. When the Princess spoke again, everyone listened with strained ears and rapt attention.
“I had created my world, and filled it with my monsters, but still it was not enough, my jealousy only enhanced by the feeling that I had somehow been trapped in my city, I wanted the darkness to expand, I wanted the world to know my love and would do anything to spread it. It was then that I refused to lower the moon to make way for the sun.” She paused, breathing hard, then continued. “The rest of this story is familiar to you I believe, I faced my sister, nearly defeating her before she summoned the Elements of Harmony and imprisoned me in the moon for those cold thousand years.”
Silence weighed heavy upon the circle, and a collectively held breath was released.
“Well, so what? There was a city of monsters a thousand years ago, big deal! What’s that got to do with us now?”
Rainbow received a few reproachful glances but nothing more, she had asked what the rest were thinking as they turned again to face the storyteller. When Luna began to speak again, there was some strain beneath her stoic persona.
“Sometime after my banishment, Celestia discovered my abomination and sealed the entrance, but she did not know the depths of my madness, or the depths of the city. True, she closed the largest entrance, but it was also the one farthest from the actual construction. She did not look inside, and she did not know the extent of the underground passages and plazas dug deep into Equestria.
“While I was present I held dominion over the city and controlled it’s inhabitants, keeping them docile and young. Once banished however, my control broke, releasing them of control and leaving them to crawl, rot, and reproduce for millennia, descending into such depravity that even as Nightmare Moon I would have been repulsed. Over time the city grew dormant and still, its horrid inhabitants sleeping and decaying from within, but with Nightmare Moon’s brief return I believe the necropolis to have been revived. I am afraid I cannot speak with certainty, for nearly all of her terrible knowledge has been locked away from me, deep in the darkness of my soul by some fail-safe I set in my insanity. Almost all of my knowledge of the city comes from logs kept by me during the time.” She finished with a deep sigh as silence fell over the hillside like a thick fog. There was a long time when no one spoke. It was Twilight who found her voice first.
“So, what you’re saying is that this city has been made active after a thousand years, and you have no control over it anymore?” The goddess nodded, her head hung slightly in shame. “Do you at least know where it is?” Luna shook her head.
“As I said, almost all of my knowledge of the place comes from my own notes from a thousand years ago, I don’t remember where it is nor did I ever write down any more than what I have told you already. It is in a great mountain to the far East, I do not believe it even had a name yet when I was banished.”
The ponies’ thoughts were almost audible in the quiet of the moment; even the wind seemed hesitant to interrupt their pondering.
“So just what is it yer asking of us princess, if you don’t mind saying.” The farm pony asked, though it was clear she feared the answer. The alicorn sighed and paused a moment before responding.
“I would ask you all to join me in seeking out, and destroying this city, I make no demands, and any of you are free to refuse, I’ll give you some time to think on it but please decide quickly as I will be departing first thing tomorrow morning. Time is of the essence I fear.” With those words Luna stood and turned to face Twilight. “I hate to impose upon you any further but would you have a spare bed for me to sleep in tonight? I don’t want to cause any undue fuss staying at the inn.”
Twilight Sparkle nodded dumbly, still working over the princess’s words in her mind. She already knew that she had to go, if not for Equestria’s sake, then for her teacher, who had trusted her enough to give this task. She looked around and saw that all of her friends had similarly dumbfounded expressions and dully wondered what they were each thinking. When she looked back to where Luna had stood she saw that the alicorn was already on her way back around the hill to the road leading into town. Recovering her wits, she quickly followed after the goddess.
When she came around to the front of the house, Twilight found Luna waiting by the front door as if expecting to be let in. The Princess watched quietly as Twilight approached.
“I expected you to follow. Celestia always says you are a pony for asking questions.” There was a tone of amusement underlying her words. Twilight blushed and looked away at the words she wasn’t sure were a compliment or a critique. When she looked back there was a hint of a smile at the edge of the alicorn’s mouth.
“Why us Princess? What good are we going to be against whatever it is we have to face?”
“You and your friends have more power to you than you know Twilight Sparkle; you especially. Besides,” The Princess allowed a tint of pride to enter her voice. “I may have been gone a thousand years but I still don’t think there are many dangers in Equestria that I cannot handle. No, the main reason I request your company is that, as the living embodiments of the Elements of Harmony, you are the best suited to combat the dark things made by a lonely, bitter soul.”
The last words were nearly lost to Twilight as Luna’s voice became quiet and sad with memory both remembered and not. When she spoke again, it was with the carefully formal tone that Twilight knew would sound almost silly under different circumstances.
“Now then, I do not wishto keep you from your friends and what I am sure is, by now a lively discussion, but would it be any trouble to ask you show me where exactly I will be staying?”
Twilight felt a tinge of embarrassment. The Library did indeed have a spare room for guests, but at the moment in was almost entirely filled with books, even the bed had been stripped of its mattress and moved to one side to make room. She shook herself and decided to address that problem when she came to it, Twilight gave the Princess what she hoped was a warm smile and started again down the road to town.
“Of course, Princess. it would be my pleasure, and it will be good to let the others talk among themselves a bit and decide what they’re going to do.” Twilight saw Luna raise an eyebrow out of the corner of her vision.
“You speak as if you had already made up your mind Twilight Sparkle, are you so eager to abandon your home for places unknown?” Luna’s smirk was betrayed by a hollowness in her voice. Twilight thought for a time before responding.
“No, of course I don’t want to leave, but if my friends are going it won’t be so bad, right? Besides, you and Princess Celestia asked me to do this, and it’s my duty to accept.”
The princess bowed her head but said nothing as the pair reached the front door of the library. Inside, the library looked as it had when they left, books neatly placed on shelves and organized appropriately, Twilight gave her home a happy smile and began to lead the way upstairs. “I don’t actually have a spare room, or, I do but right now it’s more of a storage space, so you’re welcome to stay in my room, and I can sleep downstairs, if that’s ok with you I mean.” The alicorn considered for a moment before nodding.
“Thank you Twilight Sparkle, I’ll do my best to keep it clean for you. You had better go find your friends now and see what they’re thinking. I’ll take a short rest here.” With that she entered the purple unicorn’s bedroom and closed the door behind her.
Sometime later the six friends sat around a table at Sugarcube Corner discussing what it was they intended to do.
“I’m telling ya it’s trouble! It was trouble last time she showed up too, remember?”
“Oh, hush Rainbow, and remember last time was partly yer fault.” Applejack tugged at her pegasus friend’s leg, pulling her back to the ground. Rainbow Dash landed with a huff, she was the only pony in the group who had outright refused to go, Applejack and Rarity had voiced concerns, but for the most part had been convinced. Applejack didn’t have too many responsibilities at Sweet Apple Acres; applebuck season was still three months away and the only thing happening at the farm was the chore of seasonal repairs that she swore Big Mac could handle on his own. Fluttershy, on the other hand had no pony to take over her responsibilities in caring for the local wildlife, but after some persuading she was convinced that, between Angel and Spike, the animals would be well looked after.
Pinkie Pie turned out to be more than ready to drop everything and head off with them, saying that the Cakes had been offering her vacation time for weeks that she just hadn’t seen any reason to use. After some discussion it was decided that Rarity would ask Scootaloo’s family to care for Sweetie Belle and simply close up shop for the time being, hopefully increasing demand for when she got back. Twilight knew that Spike was fully capable of taking care of himself, but just to err on the side of caution she intended to ask Derpy Hooves, the town mailmare to stop in and check on Spike when she had the chance.
With all the others in agreement, Rainbow Dash was still a holdout; the group had spent the better part of the afternoon convincing the multi-chromatic pony who stubbornly refused to join because of some personal distrust of the princess that none of the gathered ponies could understand.
“There’s just something fishy about it ok?” Rainbow glowered and crossed her arms. “First Princess Celestia sends Twilight a letter without actually telling her anything, and then when she finally gets around to it, she sends Luna here to drag us off the edge of Equestria!” Her words hung in the air as everyone quietly acknowledged the somewhat bizarre circumstance they were in. No one spoke for a long time, it was again Rainbow Dash who broke the silence. “So you all are really gonna do this, huh?”
Twilight and the rest nodded and Rainbow Dash Sighed heavily. “Well then I guess I better come along too. Somepony has to keep you all out of trouble.” That was all it took to break the tension, Pinkie Pie, who had been sitting across the table, seemed to instantaneously rearrange herself around Rainbow Dash, hugging her friend tight.
“Oh you guys know what this means right? We gotta have an adventure party tonight! It’ll be sooo great, we can make a cake that looks like a mountain and sing songs and play hide-and-go-seek, which is kinda like a mini adventure in itself if you think about it and we can all make adventure necklaces! Oh it’s gonna be so much fun you guys!”
As the rest of the ponies made noises indicating various levels of agreement Twilight Sparkle stood up and began to make her way to the door.
“I’ll be right back guys. I’m going to let the princess know that we’re all on board. And remember, we also need to pack tonight and make sure we get plenty of rest, so don’t get too wild while I’m gone.”
Twilight smiled the entire way back to her tree, glad that her friends were all coming and that she had good news to relay back to the Princess. The library was quite when she entered; she called for Spike, who quickly emerged from the kitchen holding a half washed dish.
“Oh hey Twilight, I thought you were up in your room, what’s going on?”
“Hi Spike, actually I was down at Sugarcube Corner; Princess Luna is taking a nap up in my room I think. Anyway I’ve got some things I need to do, and I’ll need you to take care of the library for me while I’m gone, ok?” Twilight quickly told Spike about the princess, relaying as much of their quest to him as she felt comfortable, leaving out the implied danger and grim specifics of what she thought they would be facing. When she was done, the young dragon gave her a skeptical look before rolling his eyes and shrugging.
“Do what you gotta do I guess. I’ll just be here, as usual.”
“I’m sorry Spike but this just isn’t the kind of thing I should be taking a baby dragon with me for, it might be dangerous.” She gave him a reassuring squeeze.“I’m going to ask Derpy to drop in on you from time to time and make sure everything’s going alright.” She patted the dragon reassuringly and started up the stairs to her room.
She had reached the door to her room and had almost brought her hoof forward to knock, but stopped just short as thoughts on etiquette rushed to the surface of her mind. Was it rude to wake royalty? Should she just wait downstairs for her to wake up? What if she wasn’t going to wake up until it was time to leave? The unicorn had turned back down the stairs with the intention of heading back to meet her friends when a noise came from the other side of the closed door that made formalities seem trivial, Twilight froze stiff, her ears raised to attention, listening for seconds that passed like hours before turning around once more and bursting into the room. She was sure she had heard a cry from beyond the wooden barrier, but once she had entered the room the only sight to greet her was a wide-eyed Luna, who Twilight saw had likely just been startled awake by her brash entrance. The Two locked eyes for a moment before Twilight blushed and hung her head.
“Um, sorry Princess, I thought I heard something and I didn’t think really, so I just barged in here and…I’m going to be quiet now.”
It took Luna another moment to compose herself, when she spoke it was with particularly strained formality, her words falling back into old habit.
“It is no trouble Twilight Sparkle, we had only intended to rest for a brief time and it would seem that our sleep has been anything but ‘brief.’ But tell us, what is it that you heard that would make you strain the hinges of your own doors?”
Twilight grimaced, there was a coldness in the words that had not been there earlier. It made her afraid to tell the truth, but she had never been a good liar, and felt sure the princess would have little trouble seeing through any deception she tried.
“Well, your highness, I mean it wasn’t really anything I’m sure but I er- I thought I heard somepony in pain.”
The princess eyed her with such intensity that Twilight felt sure Luna could see her soul. Her next words were very deliberate, and Twilight winced as they were spoken.
“Twilight Sparkle, we want you to make no mistake about what you heard, or thought you heard. It was nothing, a bird outside the window maybe, but we promise you nothing in this room made any noise whatsoever.” Her expression softened as she looked down upon the startled unicorn. “Now, I assume you have news, have your friends made their decisions?”
Twilight nodded, relieved that the princess had returned to a modern dialect.
“They all agreed to come, they’re throwing a party right now actually, I’m um, sure that you’d be welcome to join us if you want, you are going to be our leader after all.”
Luna sighed, thinking for a long moment.
“I suppose that it would be best for moral purposes if I were to join you. Besides, royal life is somewhat lacking in fun. Lead the way Twilight Sparkle.”
Twilight nodded sheepishly as she began the descent to the main floor of the library, the moon goddess quietly collected herself and followed suit.