A/N Luna will NOT speak with the Canterlot voice or inflections in this story because the ponies never met her at nightmare night or otherwise and because I’m too lazy to write it. She has a big speaking role and it gets really tiresome to read/write in fanfics in my opinion. Sorry. I think little Harmony would be totally lost too. Lets just say Celestia actually got around to teaching her how to talk. This is a long chapter. It has not been edited, but has been read over several times. Thanks for everyone who waited it out!
Princess Luna stepped back as the small child ran over to the prone form of the pale yellow pegasus she had mistakenly hit with her spell. Her ire dissipated somewhat as she realized that this human was indeed nothing like the Man who had caused her so much grief so long ago. She was young, a filly in her terms, a helpless little human who she should have no reason not to trust. The little girl clutched the pegasus and was crying at her side, the other ponies gathered around them, as the night princess began to realize her error.
“Luna what have you done?” cried Celestia, galloping over to her sister and blocking her from the crying little girl and fallen Pegasus. She had never expected her sister to do that. To attack the small child who was virtually defenseless. What had been going through her younger sister’s mind to react in that way?
“I-I” Luna stammered.
“Fluttershy, are you OK? Speak to us!” Twilight cried as her and the others gathered around their stricken friend. The yellow pegasus lay on the floor of the dungeon in a heap and did not respond as Harmony held on to her. Although the unicorn was relieved to see that her friend was still breathing, albeit shallowly.
“I don’t care if you’re a princess, nopony hurts my friends!” Rainbow Dash shouted, her eyes blazing in anger as she tried to fly toward the alicorn, but Applejack gripped on to her tail with her mouth and pulled her back.
“Stop, Rainbow!” she cried through clenched teeth. She knew a fight with the princess couldn’t be won by one raging pegasus even as her own anger tried to cloud her practical judgement. What the hay was the princess doing attacking a child? And Fluttershy…
Rarity stood speechless over her unconscious friend, her eyes wide and filled with tears, and Pinkie kept looking from the princess to Fluttershy as if she couldn’t understand what had happened.
“It’s not fair! You’re a unicorn! Unicorns are supposed to heal people, not hurt them! Why’d you have to hurt Fluttershy!?” Harmony’s grief filled voice echoed throughout the chamber. “I don’t want any more of my friends to die-not here!” she sobbed, burying herself in the prone pegasus’s mane.
“No, you are mistaken---“ The lunar princess tried to say, her voice still loud and intimidating, but Celestia stepped in front of her.
“That’s enough, Luna.” She spoke sternly but without any malice in her calm tone. Then she leaned down to the crying child. “Do not worry, little one. She is merely sleeping.”
As she met the crying eyes of the little girl the princess saw that her sister may not have physically hurt the little pegasus pony, but she might have irreparably damaged the faith the human child had in magic and unicorns like herself. And from what she had seen with this little girl that was truly heart breaking.
Harmony stopped and looked at the solar princess, searching desperately for the truth in her statement with trembling lips and tear filled eyes.
“Our world is no place for humans- no matter how young they are.” The dark coated alicorn muttered, furtively. “You should know this now, Celestia.”With that the lunar princess disappeared into a bright light reminiscent of the glow of the moon she cared for.
Princess Celestia wanted to go after her sister but knew she owed it to the injured Pegasus, the human child and the other ponies to be the strong leader she should be and to set their minds at ease. She would first have to help little Fluttershy who she had been amazed to see sacrifice herself to an unknown spell for the safety of the human child. She truly did wholly embody the Element of Kindness, she thought with a sad smile to herself.
“I am sorry, my little ones.” The Princess spoke as her horn glowed and she gently picked up the Pegasus in her magic and set her across her back. “Fluttershy is OK. She will just need some rest until the spell wears off.” She paused and looked to her student and the other confused and angry ponies.
“Luna was not trying to hurt Harmony or Fluttershy. The spell she cast was a subjugation spell, meant to only put her to sleep as you have seen. The incident with the Human was much more difficult for her and because of her banishment it must still be fresh in her mind while I have had a millennium to deal with it. Please do not blame my sister.” The regal mare looked to Twilight for understanding, but found only confusion and fear in the young pony’s eyes while the human child had run to her and clutched at her fore hooves.
“I’ll take Fluttershy to my quarters where she can rest. You are all welcome to come and wait for her to regain consciousness there, but the spell is quite strong. I cannot be sure how long until she will awaken.” The princess sighed and then slowly began to walk from the cavern beckoning for the others to follow.
The moon drifted high in the sky as a group of five ponies, a heart-broken human child and the princess of the sun gathered around the bed where their dear friend slept in a magic induced coma- a slumber none of them knew when she would awake from.
Princess Celestia’s private quarters was a large room, beautifully decorated to look like the clouds in the sky. The bed was a large circular shaped mattress to support the princess’s much more substantial frame and the little Pegasus currently laying in it was lost in its massive sheets and blankets. Since the group had come to the princess’s room Harmony hadn’t left Fluttershy’s side and would not speak to the other ponies or Celestia, whom she had seemed to trust so easily only a few hours ago.
The princess looked anxiously to the door, hoping her sister would return from wherever she had broodingly wondered, to face her error and explain what had come over her. She felt at a loss of what to do, and especially regretted the trust she seemed to have lost from her subjects, the human child and especially her faithful student.
“Can’t you do something, Princess?” the aforementioned unicorn spoke up. “Fluttershy’s been out for hours and I’m worried about Harmony. She’s so sad.” Twilight turned to the child sympathetically, her heart aching to just see her lying beside her Pegasus friend as if she too had been put to sleep.
“I cannot, Twilight. If I wake her too soon she will be too weak to function. She just needs to sleep as long as it takes for the spell to wear off.” Princess Celestia replied, distractedly as she continued to worry about her sister’s disappearance.
“Uh, shouldn’t we do something about Harmony then? That’s why we came here, and Ah think that’s what Fluttershy would want us to do.” Applejack said hesitantly, stepping out from her position beside Pinkie by the side of the bed.
“We can’t do that! Fluttershy cares for Harmony. We can’t just send her home without letting her say goodbye.” Rarity vehemently protested. “We’ll just have to wait until she wakes up and is recovered.” She stomped a hoof, determined to have the others agree with her. She cared too much for her kind and shy friend to let this horrible experience end without her even getting to say goodbye to the child from another world who she loved. It was bad enough that she had been attacked by the princess no less.
“Perhaps I can help with that.” The group turned to see Princess Luna suddenly step out of the darkness, her posture much less foreboding, her dark eyes now showing the guilt she felt for what she had done.
“Luna!” Celestia cried, galloping over to her.
“Don’t you come near Harmony or Fluttershy!” Rainbow Dash shouted as she bolted up in front of the bed where the two lay. Her rose coloured eyes burned with determination in her resolve to protect her Pegasus friend and her human charge and she fluttered in front of them creating a small shield as best she could.
“Please, calm yourself.” The moon princess spoke, composedly, but her voice shook a little with unshed emotion. “I do not blame you for fearing me. I attacked one of your own and I apologize for that.” She looked over to the bed where now Harmony was up and trying to shield her sleeping friend with pillows and her own small body, and sighed, sadly.
“Sister, bearers of the elements of Harmony, small human… please let me explain my actions before you cast your judgement upon me.” she continued, looking over each pony and Harmony as well as her older sister.
“Oh Luna, why do you have to be so impulsive? If you had just come to me…” Celestia tried to say, but her sister interrupted her.
“No, Celestia, this is not something I could have explained to you. Yes, I acted impulsively and for that I am truly sorry, but I had my reasons and I have not fully shared them with you or anypony. Perhaps if I explain them now you can all understand my actions and… forgive me.” She looked down, guiltily, much as she had done when she had first been healed by the elements only months ago.
Rarity looked over to Rainbow Dash who joined her in frowning, doubtfully. Applejack also looked uncertain, but Pinkie Pie stood beside Twilight who stepped toward the princess, confidently.
“I believe that everypony deserves the benefit of the doubt. You made a mistake but you’re willing to atone for it. Please tell us your side of the story, Princess Luna.” She offered.
“I thank you Twilight Sparkle. I see that all my sister has told me of your virtues is true.” The moon princess gave a small smile to the lavender unicorn who smiled solemnly in return. Princess Celestia put a hoof on her sister’s back, comfortingly.
“I told you she was my most trustworthy student.” She added.
“Um, sorry to interrupt, but what do you plan to do about Fluttershy?” Rainbow Dash cut in defensively, her words bitter cold. It seemed that not every pony was as quick to forgive as Twilight was, and that was clear with the stern looks on the rainbow-maned pegasus and white unicorn’s face.
“Yes. I realize you are a princess, but I can’t just forget that you willingly attacked my best friend.” Rarity added, relentlessly.
“Rainbow, Rarity…” Twilight tried to reason.
“No, Twilight, they are right to be angry with me. I did attack your friend and I am truly sorry about that. I ask for your forgiveness.” The moon princess looked to the doubtful ponies somberly.
“You didn’t attack our friend.” Rainbow Dash spoke up, darkly, but Princess Luna suffered a shred of hope that she was forgiven. “You attacked a little kid. A child. Our friend was just trying to protect her.” The Pegasus glared at the much larger alicorn princess who, despite the difference in size and power felt the intimidation the rainbow pony was radiating from her angry and hurt filled heart.
“Rainbow, I don’t believe you!” Twilight angrily cried, disappointed in her friends’ unwillingness to forgive. She hopefully looked over to Applejack who had stood silent but observant through most of the confrontation. Surely she could see that the princess had meant no harm and just wanted to be forgiven.
“Applejack, you agree, don’t you?”
The orange pony looked a little shaken and turned away as her friend put her on the spot. “Well, Ah’m not one to usually hold a grudge but… it was a little harsh, Twi…” she muttered, meeting her green, doubt-filled eyes with the unicorn’s wide, unbelieving ones.
“Ugh, why won’t anypony do the right thing here? The princess has asked for forgiveness. That should be enough!” Twilight shouted.
“I agree with you, Twilight.” Came the excitable voice of Pinkie Pie from right beside the unicorn, startling her. “I think everypony deserves a second chance too. And Princess Luna isn’t Black Snooty anymore, we should listen to what she has to say.” She added with her usual wide grin.
“Thank you, Pinkie.” Twilight muttered, and then the small room seemed to explode into a cacophony of angry voices as the group’s frustration and anger over their differences of opinion and from the stress of the past few hours over boiled.
“I’m not ready to forgive a pony who last I saw was trying to plunge us into eternal darkness and now she attacks a little girl, hurting Fluttershy in the process!” Rainbow Dash argued with the unicorn.
“I don’t see why there is any argument here at all. Anypony who would viciously attack a defenseless child leaving my best friend comatose does not deserve my forgiveness.” Rarity added.
“She didn’t hurt them!” Returned Twilight.
“She could have done it some other way.” Applejack scoffed.
“She was upset, she acted impulsively. It was a mistake!”
“You’re just taking the princesses’ side because you’re Princess Celestia’s student.” Came about Rainbow Dash, harshly.
“Aw come on, guys stop fighting…“ Pinkie tried to reason.
“Well you’re not being loyal to the right pony!” Twilight growled.
“I’m being loyal to my friends. You should try it sometime, egghead.” Rainbow’s silly insult was said with more malice then her usual teasing and made the lavender unicorn’s blood boil in anger.
“You try saying that again, Rainbow Crash, the element of disloyalty!”
“STOP IT!” The two feuding ponies were interrupted as suddenly Harmony cried out. “Stop fighting, you guys!” the little girl stood by the bed, breathing heavily, determination glinting in her deep blue eyes.
“Fluttershy wouldn’t want you all to be fighting like this. You’re friends. She told me you were the best of friends!” the five ceased their bickering as they turned to Harmony along with the two alicorn princesses, shocked to see this small child lamenting them.
“Mommy always told me to forgive and forget. I want to forgive. I don’t want to be angry at a princess unicorn.” She paused, her voice calmer now, but still filled with immense sadness that tore at the equines’ heart.
“I know humans like me did bad things. I know you’re scared. But I promise I won’t hurt you, I won’t do anything bad. I just want to see Fluttershy. I know you didn’t mean to hurt us…..I’ve been put to sleep before too…it doesn’t hurt….” Her soft voice trailed off as she addressed the midnight blue alicorn who had tears in her eyes.
“Please, just wake up Fluttershy. Just let me see her again. Then I’ll forgive you. I won’t be mad or scared anymore.”
Princess Luna slowly walked over to Harmony and bowed her head to her. “Little human…No…” she paused, and revised her statement. “…Harmony… to have your forgiveness is more then I deserve. I am sorry to have attacked you. I am sorry I didn’t give you the chance to show me that humans are not all evil. I apologize.” She held out a hoof and the child hesitated at first, confused that a unicorn would do such a thing, then offered her small hand with a lilting smile on her face.
“I forgive you, princess.”
In the quietness of the bed-chambers, as this tender scene unfolded, there came the sound of a pony’s sniffling. Then the solitude was interrupted by a loud honking noise as that same pink pony blew her nose breaking off into loud sobs. She was not alone, as Twilight struggled with tears along with the usually unyielding Pegasus she had been arguing with minutes before. Rarity’s stern expression wilted into eyes filled with tears, and Applejack wiped her eyes with a hoof. And although no other pony saw it, Princess Celestia blinked back her own tears as she watched her sister receive the forgiveness she so desperately craved.
“Well, I think Harmony has a lot to teach us about forgiveness.” Twilight recovered from her tears first to address the others.
“Yeah… I’m sorry, Twilight. I guess I just got kinda carried away.” Rainbow Dash mumbled contritely, rubbing a hoof through the back of her mane.
“I’m sorry too, Rainbow. I shouldn’t have said all those mean things.” Twilight relented.
“I’m sorry, girls. This whole experience has just been so dreadful and I’ve been so worried over Fluttershy. I must have lost my head. Forgive me.” Rarity added.
“And Ah’m sorry too. We shouldn’t fight when we need ta be sticking together. For Harmony and Fluttershy.” Applejack said, smiling at the little girl who smiled back.
“Yes. And Princess Luna…” Twilight started.
“We forgive you.” Chorused the other ponies, as they bowed their heads.
Suddenly, four of the friends, the human child and even the princesses were pulled into a gigantic hug by the fifth currently conscious pink pony.
“That’s the spirit, everypony! Forgiveness and forgetfulness! Now let’s get Fluttershy to rise and shine and we can have a party to celebrate our new friends, Princess Luna and Harmony!” Pinkie Pie cried joyfully as she held everyone in her impossibly large embrace. The four friends who had already been subject to a Pinkie hug before smiled and embraced her back, Harmony giggled and Princess Celestia looked a little confused but smiled, sheepishly.
“Welcome to the magic of friendship.” She told her sister beside her who was so shocked and embarrassed she was trying to get away.
“H-how is this little pony holding us all like this?” Princess Luna cried, struggling against Pinkie’s strong grip.
“I have never questioned Pinkie Pie.” Replied Celestia.
“While I appreciate all of your forgiveness and friendship, perhaps we could have our own personal space?” the midnight alicorn asked of the group.
“Sure, Princess, why didn’t you just say so?” Pinkie Pie said and then promptly let all seven drop to the floor. “Hmm, that hug seemed to be lacking something…. We need Fluttershy!” she continued, thoughtfully and then bounded over to the bed. “Wake up, sleepy head!” But as exuberant and chaotic as the past few minutes had been the yellow Pegasus slept on and the pink pony’s ears wilted against her head as she realized she couldn’t do anything for her. “Aww…”
Princess Luna walked over to Pinkie and gingerly nuzzled her. “Do not worry, Pinkie. I can help her wake up just like I promised the little human.”
“Luna, should you really do that?” Princess Celestia asked, concernedly, causing both Pinkie and Harmony to go teary eyed.
“I think it is only right, sister. Fluttershy should hear what I have to say. Although I regret it, this has affected her the most.”
“All right. If you think it’s for the best.”
“Yay! Thank you, princess!” Harmony cried and hugged onto Princess Luna’s leg causing the wary regal mare to blush. She recovered and then made her way over to the bed where Fluttershy slept. Her horn glowed as she cast the awakening spell and she whispered to herself.
“I am sorry to have wronged you, little one. Forgive me.” Then she bent her head over the sleeping form so her horn touched the other’s forehead and enveloped the Pegasus in a soft blue glow. The others watched as the glow grew brighter and then suddenly gave out and the Princess straightened.
Then they waited. Nothing seemed to have happened as the group watched their friend continue to lay still, her long eyelashes still closed over her eyes. But then, ever so slowly she began to stir, and her eyelids started to flutter open.
“Fluttershy!” the group cried as the yellow Pegasus’s eyes opened fully and she blinked as she tried to focus on what was in front of her.
“Oh…w-what happened…?” Fluttershy’s familiar soft voice said, blearily as she continued to lay on the pillow. “Oh no!” she suddenly cried and sat straight up. “Harmony!”
“Hi~” the little girl waved as she stepped into view of the suddenly panicky Pegasus. She looked at the child and then abruptly collapsed back onto the pillow.
“Fluttershy?” Harmony asked, worriedly.
“It’s like I said, child. She’s not ready to be woken up yet.” Princess Celestia explained, solemnly.
“I-Is everyone OK? You’re not hurt are you, Harmony?” Fluttershy weakly managed, turning her head to face the child.
“No, I’m OK. Thanks to you!” Harmony exclaimed and then threw her arms around the unsuspecting Pegasus, but she smiled and weakly returned the embrace.
“I’m glad you’re all alright.” She whispered.
“Oh Fluttershy… I thought that… we thought that…”Rarity stammered out, eyes glistening.
“We’re glad to have you back, Fluttershy.” Twilight spoke up before Rarity could start everypony crying again.
“Yeah, you were really brave.” Rainbow Dash added, a fitting compliment from the daring fellow Pegasus and it made Fluttershy blush again.
“Ya did great, sugercube.” Applejack smiled.
“Fluttershy, you missed the biggest hug ever! We even had the princesses too! But Princess Luna was all shy like you…” Pinkie Pie started, and then looked around. “Hey, where did Princess Luna go?”
“Princess Luna?” Fluttershy asked, and her eyes widened. “But she-“
“Please, do not fear, little one.” The midnight princess stepped into view of Fluttershy, who blinked and tightened her weak hold on Harmony. “I apologize for attacking your friend, and regret that you had to suffer through my spell. I did not mean to hurt you or the human child. I was just….scared…” Princess Luna bowed her head as her voice broke off at the end.
“It’s OK, Fluttershy. Princess Luna didn’t mean it. She apologized to all of us. Then your friends all got into a big fight, but they made up and…and it’s all ok now.” Harmony explained in her quick and confusing way. The weakened Pegasus looked back at the princess, having trouble comprehending all she was hearing. Her mind was still hazy and her muscles were refusing to move without great effort that left her even more tired. She didn’t understand what had happened to her, but she remembered seeing the midnight alicorn princess suddenly attack Harmony, and how she had known she needed to protect her no matter what, taking the spell in her stead.
“You were put to sleep by a strong subjugation spell. The effects have not yet worn off and that is why you may be feeling weak now and have trouble moving.” The princess explained, seeing that Fluttershy was experiencing trouble with the after effects from her spell.
“I awoke you because I think that you need to hear from me why I felt I had to attack your human friend and why I fear a human in Equestria.” She continued. “Perhaps then you can find it in your heart to forgive me, my child.” Princess Luna looked into Fluttershy’s eyes, her own dark eyes so full of guilt and pain that the compassionate pegasus couldn’t bare to look anymore.
“Um…OK…”Fluttershy said a little shakily, as she looked over at Harmony beside her, who gave her an encouraging grin.
“When my sister found the human I was always repulsed by him. He was a huge, beastly creature and there was something more intangible about him that frightened me. I couldn’t see past that to want to help him like my sister did, and really, I wished I could. Still, my curiosity got the better of me and I approached him to demand to know where he’d come from and what he was doing in our world. When he said he didn’t know why he was there but that he knew of our kind as legends and fairytales I was really suspicious of him. It was just so preposterous to me that unicorns and pegasi were mere legends to him and I disliked the way he was acting as if he were superior over us. And I doubt Celestia mentioned the smell. How the creature refused to bathe from some fear of becoming ill.” Princess Luna grimaced and looked to her sister.
“Oh, I got him to bathe. Even I wasn’t going to put up with that.” Celestia responded.
“Mommy gave me a bath every night. And sometimes I had special baths that made me really, really, clean! So clean that no germs could get in at all!” Harmony exclaimed.
“That’s good, child.” Celestia smiled at her.
“Anyway, those are just trivial things that would never have left me as frightened and hateful of the human as I have become. It wasn’t until he used that horrible weapon to attack my sister and killed Sir Lancer that I realized that I had been right about him all along and I knew I should have done something earlier.” Princess Luna continued.
“Oh Luna, there was nothing you could do…” Princess Celestia tried to assure her younger sister, but the other shook her head.
“No Celestia, I saw the evil in his heart, I should have helped you deal with him instead of just ignoring the situation like I did. You have a pure heart that I can’t hope to match, and your desire to help him just made me jealous.” The lunar princess bowed her head in shame and sighed. Princess Celestia came closer and nuzzled her so she raised her head again.
“Please don’t fret so, dear sister. Your heart is just as pure as mine. Some pony needed to be wary of him, and I’m glad you were so I didn’t let him lead us into an even worse situation. That’s how we work together- in perfect balance.”
This didn’t seem to make Princess Luna feel any better and Celestia looked dejected.
“I still haven’t told you the whole story. Any of you. It’s not just the guilt, it’s not just the fear, it’s what happened after. In the dungeons when I confronted the human alone after what he had done. Listen, all of you” Luna cried, emphatically, not looking to receive comfort or any type of comment anymore as she began to tell about what really happened between her and Equestria's first human.
“So now the little sister monarch comes to see me. I really thought you were dispensable since you didn’t seem to care about your royal duties to what could potentially be a delegate from another world. But here you are.” The human muttered as he stood in his cell, incomprehensible hooves or paws or whatever they were, gripping the bars crafted from magic resistant metal.
“Shut up, human.” growled the princess of the night, violently, as she stood breathlessly outside his prison, fury evident in her dark eyes, her chest heaving with anger as she glared at the creature who had almost killed her sister and successfully murdered one of the royal guard.
The dungeons were dark and cool, a dampness spreading throughout from water seepage in the underground caverns. The only lights were torch lights perched on the walls beside every other cell. Hay lined the cell floors, along with tattered blankets and a removable waste bucket. It was a last resort prison for ponies of the kingdom who had committed unspeakable acts. Princess Luna shivered, not from the cold, but from the extent of her rage.
“Fine. But to what do I owe the pleasure of your visit? Does Celestia not want to be my friend anymore?” The human asked, grinning, arrogantly. He didn’t seem to hold any remorse for what he had done, and that made the lunar princess’s blood boil.
“You tried to kill her with your horrible fire stick from hell. I’m not even going to answer your absurd question. Just know that you are not getting out of this dungeon!” she yelled at him, bristling and stomping a hoof.
“What do magical horses like you do with prisoners? Are you going to turn me into pixie dust?” the human laughed.
“You wish that was all we’ll do to you!”
The human man narrowed his eyes, laughter gone from them. “You horses can’t hope to continue like this. One day more of my people will come and you’ll be put to work for them, your horns ground to dust for medicines, your wings clipped. We’ll ride your pegasi, we’ll work your unicorn’s magic to the death and the little ponies will be livestock. We are stronger then you.”
The words he spoke struck fear into the princess’s heart but she remained composed, refusing to show any weakness in front of this dangerous enemy.
“We’ll never let anymore of you into our world, and you are without your weapon. My sister’s and my magic are stronger then you could ever hope to be.” She growled back at him.
“True. Your witchcraft magic and pagan ritual of raising the sun and moon are not things humans can do.” He paused. “But then, we don’t need to. The sun and moon rise on their own. You unicorn-pegasus hybrids would not be needed. But you know all about that, don’t you, moon princess?” his tone became dangerously challenging, and made Luna’s fur on her back bristle.
“What are you implying, demon?”
“While I recovered and pretended to submit to your ridiculously naïve sister I had a chance to observe some things. Namely, your subjects don’t respect you. In fact, night princess, I think they resent you and the night you bring, only embracing Celestia’s daytime.”
Princess Luna had considered this for herself many times before before. She’d witnessed it in her subjects and had Celestia constantly assure her otherwise. She knew her ponies needed the sunlight to grow their crops and could only do so in the day, that they only played then, that more of them came to see Celestia during the day court and they slept during her night. Of course it upset her, but she knew it was not something she could change and she certainly didn’t resent the ponies or her sister. She was just as respected as Celestia. Her subjects just showed it in different ways. This human was just trying to twist her emotions toward some perverted goal of turning her against her sister and that just made her angrier.
“Where I come from you couldn’t hope to rule as princesses together as you do. I don’t know where your king and queen are but your older sister would automatically become successor to the throne when they passed and you would be left little more than a duchess. The only hope you would have of ruling would be to murder your elder sister and take her place. Without anyone else finding out, of course. Its surprisingly common in my world, you should try it.” The human’s menacing smile returned to his face as he spoke, and Luna was shocked into submission, her knees buckling at the thought of what he was proposing to her.
“How dare you even suggest such a thing!” The princess shouted, vehemently. “I would never- no pony would ever- why are you even telling me this?!” she stammered in rage.
“Because, princess, you need to hear it. And you’re my last chance to try to make the most of coming to this pony world. I’ll be damned if I’m going to be demeaned by fairytale creatures anymore!” the human had suddenly become just as enraged as the alicorn, and she stepped back as she felt his sudden frustration and pure hatred wash over her. This type of power had not been evident before. In fact she had never sensed any type of power from the human. Celestia had found him benign of magic and he had even said himself that he feared it. Luna didn’t understand where the sudden energy was coming from, but the negativity of it was starting to seep into her such as the strongest magic and she shook her head to clear it.
“I don’t know what you think you can do, but you’ll never get away with it. My sister and I have defeated much more powerful foes than you.” She retorted, noticing that the human had suddenly gone quiet and the energy she felt was gone.
“If you say so.” He muttered.
“I’ve had enough of consorting with you. You will stay here under heavy guard until my sister and I decide what to do with you. I just wanted to see that you were properly imprisoned.” The princess snarled and turned her back on him as she walked out of the dungeons and back to the court where her royal duties awaited her- including the burial of the brave soldier who had protected her dear sister’s life.
“So you see the human made a much more malicious impression on me, and he even tried to turn me against you, sister. By my own will power alone I would never had fallen to him, but as I said there was more to this creature from another world then we previously believed.” Princess Luna stopped her story to explain, leaving most of the ponies shell shocked, but none so much as Princess Celestia who had tears glistening in her eyes.
“So you’re saying the human had magic, princess?” Twilight asked, inquisitively.
“Yes Twilight Sparkle, I believe he had a type of magic none of us could comprehend.” The midnight princess replied, solemnly.
“But that’s impossible. He didn’t…I-I never knew…” the usually composed voice of Princess Celestia stammered out.
“I know, Tia.” Luna said, sadly as she nuzzled her distraught sister.
“But you can’t mean that…it can’t be…” Celestia tried to say, but her younger sister put a hoof to her lips and shook her head sadly, telling her with her eyes to stop. At that the elder sister’s eyes spilled over with tears as she realized the conclusion to Luna’s story before it had passed through the other’s lips.
“For the next few days I did not see the human again. I left the guard to watch him, because with Celestia indisposed in her grief I had both the day and night court to run and had no time to deal with him, nor did I want to. I feared him to my very core, and wished he would just disappear. But for those next few days strange things happened. I would have at least three members of the guard a day come to me and renounce their positions with excuses of everything from fear of what happened to Sir Lancer to unrest over Celestia’s absence, to complete terror of guarding the human creature in the dungeons. All had been there, all successfully relinquished their knighthood and fled the kingdom. I couldn’t let that go on, so I steeled myself and went to his cell again.” Princess Luna continued her story as her sister hung her head and silently wept, her mane ceasing its ethereal flowing and hanging over her face to hide her tears.
“What did you do to my guards?” Princess Luna demanded as she stepped into the cold dungeons and approached the cell where the human was imprisoned. He was a little worse for the wear then she had last seen him, his beard longer and unkempt, his strange clothing dusty and dirty, and his small eyes were bloodshot and puffy, a type of gauntness spreading across his sharp features. It momentarily gave her a sick pleasure to see him suffering, but that appalled her and she took the thoughts back, shaking her head from the strange emotions that seemed to waft off the human creature like a malignant smoke.
“Nothing. I just talked to them.” He mumbled, not even bothering to grip the bars, fatigue evident in his apathetic tone.
“You must have done something. And what has brought you to such a state?” the princess growled, but her emotions turned to sympathy as she inquired about his wretched appearance.
“I don’t think that really interests you, princess.” His nonchalant attitude brought Luna’s anger back to the surface and she stepped closer to the barred door.
“You’re right it doesn’t. I want to know what you did to my guards so they are so frightened they have quit and fled the country!” she cried, receiving a soft chuckle from the antagonistic creature.
“You have some dutiful soldiers, princess.” He muttered.
“I merely gave them something to think about.” The human turned to her, his tired eyes suddenly bright again. “Like I did with you.” He added.
“I’m giving you five seconds to give me a straight answer.” The princess threatened.
“I told them what I told you and they proved my point. Those ponies not only don’t respect you, they’re afraid of you. Without Celestia around, they’re completely lost. None of them know you, except your own night guard, and they resent that you sent them to guard me. They think it’s your fault Celestia is out of commission and they fear you’ll usurp the throne.” The human man’s suddenly clearer eyes continued to grow bright as if from an internal glow and Luna could feel his strange power starting to shift again. He had no horn for her to control the power so she was at a loss of what to do to stop it and she backed away from him.
“I would never, ever-“ she paused, not wanting to show him how distraught his words and unassuming power was making her. The smoke of hatred, resentment and despair continued to float up to her and she put up a shield to try to block it but to no avail, frustrating her to no end.
“You have tried to corrupt me, you are corrupting my ponies, and you are in possession of some sort of dark magic. I will lock you away where only I can guard you and you won’t be able to use any magic!”
“I don’t have any magic-“ the human tried to protest, but in a flash of light Luna teleported him and herself to a room she conjured from her strongest magic. It was the only way she thought she could deal with the human’s own strange power and the fact that the guards would not guard him anymore. It took a great deal of magic for her to create and she was weakened when they both showed up in a pure white space of nothingness. The room was really an invisible place in the palace underground, much like the dungeons, but only she would know of it and be able to gain access. She struggled to formulate bars around him and then collapsed to the ground, panting to try and get her breath as she felt her magic almost drained from her.
“What in God’s name did you do, witch?!” The human cried, struggling to his feet, blearily. A human was not meant to be teleported by an alicorn. His bulk was too great, and his body type too different. He was left with vertigo and residual sparks of lightning flickering across his body. He was so discombobulated with trying to navigate his new surroundings the princess might have found it comical if she had any energy herself.
“I have… brought you somewhere you can’t escape…” Luna struggled to explain between gasps for breath. “I’ll guard you from now on…. You won’t get the best of me or my ponies anymore.”
“But he continued to do so.” Princess Luna said, solemnly. “I couldn’t do anything against his strange magic and I was powerless to stop him from poisoning my mind. I don’t know how he did it; I never had the chance to find out. Every time I would go to the jail I had created for him to offer food or water he would unwittingly destroy me more. I say unwittingly because I believe he was truly scared of his fate in our world and not in control of the power he somehow had over me.”
“With my spirit broken I began to realize that the things he had told me about our subjects being afraid of me were true, and so I wondered if he weren’t wrong about what else he had said. I’d experienced these jealous and self-deprecating emotions before; I cannot fully blame him for what became of me. But he broke me down, and because of him I could not go to Celestia, his presence had upset our balance and by the time she recovered and returned to the throne it was too late.” The night princess bowed her head.
“I could barely face her with how broken inside I felt and because of the dark, envious emotions I carried. It was made worse when I saw how joyous all the ponies were to have her back and not deal with me anymore. I only approached her to explain about the prison I had constructed for the human and how I could continue to guard him if she wasn’t ready to face him yet. She commended me for it but I just continued to feel more bitter and resentful. I even felt reluctant to raise the moon and begin the night, because nopony seemed to care either way. The last night I went to check on the human I just didn’t care anymore. I didn’t care about him and the terrible things he said, or that his magic was somehow taking away my free will, or that there would be no end to his torture short of actually killing him, which I would never have considered before, and was too apathetic to try even if I had. He didn’t have much left to say himself anymore. I suppose he was also weakening from being imprisoned and from the use of magic he didn’t even know he was using. I pushed him his food and then turned to leave without speaking, but he called out to me.”
“Wait….” The man’s fatigued voice called out and Princess Luna turned to him, her eyes cold and dark as she glared at the prisoner.
“What?” she growled.
“I just…” he paused, gathering himself. “I just wondered if it wouldn’t be possible to go back to the dungeons. I’ll cease frightening your guards.” His arrogance seemed to be gone and he seemed just as drained as her, which only made the princess angrier.
“Why should I honour such a request from you?” Luna muttered.
“Well, as I am sure you’d agree, your majesty, it’s not very healthy to be isolated from everyone as I have been, and I would appreciate even your ponies’ company, or at least to see the light of day again.”
At that, the midnight princess turned on him, her anger replacing her apathy with a vengeance. “Well you can forget it! You and the rest of these ungrateful whelps are not going to see the light of day again!” she shouted, glaring daggers into the human’s eyes, and not completely realizing the gravity of what she had just said.
“I don’t see why not. You can’t just keep me in this blank space forever. You’re starting to lose it, princess, and without you I’m just going to be left here to starve to death. You ponies are supposed to be merciful.” He shot back, gaining some more strength in his words as he confronted the angry alicorn princess.
“Merciful?! Merciful! Were you merciful when you tried to kill my sister with your fire stick? Do you expect me to show you any mercy after you’ve almost caused my complete downfall with your demonic magic? You’re lucky I don’t just strike you down with my own magic.” Princess Luna stomped at the ground with a hoof continuing to stare the human down. She had had enough of him, her subjects’ resentment and her sister and her beloved sunlight.
“For God’s sake, woman, how many times must I tell you I don’t have any magic!” he shouted in exasperation.
“You’ll never convince me, demon. Your magic is the darkest of power and you’re too ignorant to even know how to use it. But I will figure it out, and I’ll rip it away from you so you can never hurt anypony else with it!” Luna’s eyes glowed with anger and in response so did the human’s. She stepped closer to the bars, something she tried not to do usually, but her rage and hopelessness overshadowed her common sense as she glared menacingly at this creature who had somehow taken so much from her.
Again that same frustrated, hopeless and angry energy flared up from the human’s mere presence and the princess in her weakened and broken state was overwhelmed by it with how close she had let herself come to the prison door. It had been too much, she had been exposed to his hate filled power for too long now and with both of them in this state it took over. She reared up, and tried to back away, her hoofs just barely missing the bars as the dark energy seemed to seep into her brain, her own magic in her horn reacting in a defense spell of pure lightning.
“What demon magic do you possess?!” The night princess cried as she struggled to control herself and the lightning she had released from killing the human who was backed up against the cell in fright. She did not want to kill him, not for her own vengeance, nor for her sister and the slain unicorn soldier. She wasn’t the one to make that decision, but as it were, it seemed she had little choice in the matter, and the lightning magic spread to him, engulfing him in its blinding glow as the alicorn’s eyes shined white hot with the power she unwittingly poured into it.
The dark energy that had caused the initial frenzy continued to spread through the paralyzed princess’s floating body. The human too could not escape his own dark magic along with the lightning that left his large body dazzling bright and floating without the aid of any type of wings over the floor in his cell. As the overwhelmingly strong light spread throughout the magically constructed cell its walls began to crumble and dissipate back into the layout of the real dungeons behind the façade. In terror and not understanding what he was doing the human tried to flee the cell as the walls opened up into the dark cavern he had originally been imprisoned in, but he was paralyzed from the power and with its final dark breath the energy and blinding light seemed to disintegrate the large form of the human creature into thin air, and then, he was gone.
The princess was no longer visible except for a slender winged shadow against the lights and then she too was released from the tendrils of the dark and light magic spell and the small group of onlookers who had seen the fabricated room open up into the dungeons they guarded revealing their night princess, were terrified to see that in her place was a larger, black coated alicorn mare wearing shining blue armour, her mane a dark milky way of stars. Princess Luna and the human creature were gone and in their place now stood Nightmare Moon.
“I do not really know what happened then. I am not even entirely sure what happened to the human, and I fear as the Nightmare I may have done something….regrettable to him.” Princess Luna turned away from the ponies as she concluded her story. She was filled with shame from the mention of her tumultuous past which she had only just informed her sister of after having returned months earlier. She just couldn’t bring herself to share the story- the true story of what had brought her to such a dark state. Not until another human- the catalyst of her tragic down fall- had somehow shown up in her world again. And then she had acted without thought and had almost caused another tragedy of her own.
“I don’t have memories of being her, at least, not clear ones. I cannot tell you what happened next, but you all know. The dark magic, along with my own bitterness took me, and even Celestia, the most powerful of ponies could not defeat it. That is why I acted on impulse the way I did. I couldn’t let that happen again, no matter how innocent a human this child was. I’m truly sorry.” As she bent her head in apology and unimaginable grief, Fluttershy could now comprehend the pain she had seen in the night princess’s eyes that had been too unbearable for her to look at before. She had listened to her tragic story even as she struggled against fatigue with her own sweet little human child friend sitting with her. She knew in her heart that little Harmony was completely different from the evil human who had tortured her princesses so many years ago, but she grieved for what had happened to Princess Luna and understood her great fear of hearing another had been found.
“Sister, if I had known any of this I would have done something. He wouldn’t have ever gotten to use his dark magic on any pony. I-I would have struck him down before he could ever have done that to you.” Princess Celestia had somewhat recovered, but her tears had turned to anger as she spoke of the human’s terrible actions. Her voice shook with the amount of hate she felt toward the creature that had destroyed her dear sister and made her have to make the ultimate sacrifice to free her.
“Celestia, please, if I’ve learned anything from this it’s not to give into your hatred. I don’t want to ever hear you say such a terrible thing. You are my gentle, kind and trusting sister and I love you for it.” Princess Luna nuzzled the elder alicorn and her anger turned to tears as she returned the embrace.
“I’m so sorry, Luna.” Celestia murmured.
“Shhh, it’s alright now, it’s in the past. We can talk alone later, my sister, but there are things that need to be taken care of now.” The younger princess turned to the little yellow pegasus who lay somewhat dazedly in her sister’s bed, and the small human child who sat right beside her as if to protect her the same way the pony had protected her only hours ago.
“Brave Fluttershy, who sacrificed herself for this little human child, I have done you wrong and I apologize. Please, forgive me.” Luna asked, somberly, and Fluttershy looked down as she remembered all that had happened before she awoke. She remembered the fear she felt, how her heart had pounded in her chest and how she had broken out into a sweat. She remembered the disbelief that one of the princesses was about to attack a small child, the adrenaline that coursed through her blood and gave her the desire to run away while at the same time telling her to stay, as the unavoidable voice in her head told her to take the hit of the spell, to jump in the way and protect little Harmony from danger, no matter what happened to her. She remembered the warmth that had spread through her when she was enveloped in the light of the spell, the tingling in her body causing her muscles to stop responding, and then the all-encompassing blackness that brought her to this very moment. The fear had been great, there had been pain; she hadn’t known what had happened, if she had even managed to protect Harmony, or if she would ever see her friends again. Now she felt weaker then she’d ever felt before, her muscles still refused to move without great effort, and it seemed her ordeal had caused everypony to fight and cry.
She had been wronged. Her friends had been hurt, the human child she cared for had been hurt, and she was still not recovered. But the princess had asked for her forgiveness, she had confronted a human before, one who killed another pony, one she never trusted, and who attacked her sister. Her tragic story had pulled at the empathetic pegasus’s kind heart and she knew there had been little choice for Princess Luna but to try to stop that type of evil from returning to their world. She understood that fear, she sympathized with the pain of having someone she loved be hurt, and she could understand why she had acted so impulsively. Harmony was OK and so were her friends. Some of it had been difficult, some of it had been scary, but the little girl sat beside her now with a smile on her face, her innocent heart already offering the forgiveness the night princess she had never known until now needed. A pony of royalty who had lost everything because of the evilness in one human’s heart, and who she herself had helped restore to good with her friends; the elements of Harmony. She could never deny another who had suffered so much and apologized so profusely their reprieve, and so the weakened pegasus struggled to sit up and offered her somewhat shaky hoof to the waiting princess of the night.
“I…. forgive you, princess.” Fluttershy said softly, bowing her head and accepting Princess Luna’s hoof in return who smiled with tears in her eyes, the first time the pegasus had seen the princess finally release what must have been heavy and torturous unshed emotion. Still, she looked back up to the now crying regal mare with determination in her deep cyan eyes. She still had one last thing to say before she could let the princess give in to her unimaginable grief.
“Just promise me one thing,” she started and Princess Luna looked up at her.
“Of course. Anything, my child.” she responded.
“Please, whatever it takes, with all the magic you can create, find a way to send Harmony home.”