Luna and Celestia were flying across the starry night, gracefully flapping their majestic wings, leaving some few sparkles behind them with each of their flaps. They looked like two shooting stars across the sky. The kind of spectacle that somepony with as much love for star-gazing as Twilight would enjoy to see any time with her telescope.
Princess Luna was carefully flying behind her sister, glancing at her sparkly mane waving along with the night air. “Tia?”
“Yes, Luna? What is it?” Celestia asked, without looking back at her sister.
“It’s about Lauren,” Luna said, gulping after the mention of the alicorn’s name.
“What about her?”
“Well, you said we’ve met her before, didn’t you?” Luna asked, quickly flying next to her sister to look at her eyes.
“Indeed we did, dear sister.” Celestia flew a bit faster, but Luna managed to keep up with her.
“But you never told me who she was,” Luna said, looking at her sister. “You said she was an old friend of yours.”
“Yes, she was,” Celestia replied, still without looking at her sister.
Luna was feeling a weird sensation coming from Celestia, as if she didn’t want to talk about the matter. But she had to know, she had to know who Lauren really is. “So, who is she?”
“Why do you want to know?” Celestia asked.
“What do you mean why I want to know?” Luna indignantly. “I also deserve to know what’s going on!”
“I know, Luna. You’re right, sorry,” Celestia sighed. “I’ll tell you tomorrow. Right now I’m exhausted, so I just want to close my eyes and rest.”
“Very well then,” Luna answered. Of course, she was expecting an immediate answer, but an answer until tomorrow was good enough for her, due the circumstances. ’Tia has been hiding information from me all day long. I’m not even sure if she will tell me the truth or not.
With that last response, both alicorns kept flying across Luna’s beautiful night sky until they arrived back at Canterlot Castle.
“Finally! I’ve been waiting ages to try this vanilla ice cream!” Lauren chirped, looking at her ice cream. She was sitting in front of a table. Children running everywhere, balloons, music; it was an amusement park. Some children were playing on the mechanical games, such as the bump cars and the merry-go-round. Some others were playing in common carnival games like popping balloons with darts or knock the bottles with a ball.
Lauren was just enjoying herself, staring at her delicious ice cream in front of her. “Time to eat you!” she giggled, extending her arm to grab the little spoon that was in the plate. “What?” she said, as she looked at a hoof where her hand should be. She tried to grab the spoon with her hoof, but it was pointless. “Come on, you dumb hoof!” she cursed, as she tried grabbing the spoon this time with both of her hooves.
“Lauren,” some voice called, but Lauren ignored it, focusing on grabbing the spoon.
“Come on! I just want to eat my ice cream!” she yelled at her hooves, while she desperately tried to grab the spoon. She tried pressing her hooves together to hold it, but the little spoon would fall in a matter of seconds.
“Lauren,” the same voice called, but Lauren still ignored the voice.
“I’ve been waiting ages to try this ice cream! Forget the spoon!” she yelled, as she threw the spoon away, opening her mouth, ready to chomp on her ice cream.
“Lauren!” the voice yelled this time.
“Whoa!” Lauren exclaimed, jumping on her bed and suddenly waking up, staring at Twilight who was sitting right in front of her. She shook her head to quickly come back to her senses. “T-Twilight? What- uh…” she said, rubbing her eyes with her hooves.
“Heh, sorry,” Twilight chuckled. “It’s just that you were waving your hooves around in the air, and I thought you were having a nightmare.”
Lauren finally managed to fully wake up, remembering the dream she just had a few seconds ago. “Ah! My ice cream!”
“Uh, what?” Twilight asked, tilting her head.
“Eh, nothing,” Lauren giggled, with a blush on her cheeks. She stared at Twilight, who shrugged and climbed down her bed. “What time is it?” she asked, stretching her body with a groan. She looked at the morning sunlight beams shining from outside the window.
“It’s seven o’clock,” Twilight replied, levitating her brush from her makeup table and gently stroking it against her mane. “I know, I know, it’s a bit late,” she added, looking at her dark blue mane with purple and pink streaks. They were a bit messier than usual, but nothing a good brush couldn’t fix.
Bit… late? Lauren couldn’t believe that Twilight considered seven in the morning as ‘late’. “Eek! It’s still way too early!” she complained, covering herself back with her blanket and burying her face against the pillow.
Twilight let out a short chuckle, finishing brushing her mane, leaving it with her usual straight fashion. “Come on, Lauren, don’t be lazy!” she exclaimed in giggles, enveloping Lauren’s blanket with her magic and gently pulling it away from her.
Lauren grumped, turning her head towards Twilight with an angry look, suddenly giggling. “I’m just kidding!” she laughed, climbing down from the bed. I’m not. It IS really too early…
Twilight placed the blanket back on the bed and levitated her brush towards Lauren. “Well, brush your mane! It’s a mess,” she said, waiting for Lauren to accept the brush with her magic. However, it took her a few seconds to realize.
“Oh, right.” Lauren focused on the levitating brush before her and surrounded her with her pearly white aura, replacing Twilight’s magenta one.
“I’ll go make us breakfast,” Twilight commented, trotting downstairs and stopping right before leaving the room, turning her head back to Lauren. “Daisy sandwiches, I’m guessing?” she chuckled.
“You bet!” Lauren chirped with a smile on her face. Twilight sure is fast to notice the little details about people… or ponies… or whatever. She looked at the makeup table mirror and stared at herself. Her straight, red mane wasn’t as messy as the first time she saw it yesterday, however, it did need a good brush.
“Alright then, come downstairs when you’re ready,” Twilight added and walked downstairs to the kitchen. She was still a bit tired, since she and Lauren slept for at least four or five hours. However, she was already used to stay awake until late in the night; studying, of course.
A few minutes later, Lauren was done brushing her mane. She was still not used to have a horn on her forehead, so she constantly brushed it along with her hair. “Good enough,” she said to herself, placing back the brush on the makeup table. I still feel weird in this body, but I think I’m getting used to it. She stared at herself one last time, before realizing what she had to do next. “Oh, that’s right,” she giggled, as she turned herself and walked downstairs to meet with her friend.
Luna kept trotting around in circles in her room. It had been a while since she and her sister arrived at the castle. Celestia immediately went to sleep right after arriving, promising her sister that she would talk about Lauren with her after raising the sun.
“Well, where is she?” Luna asked herself, impatiently waiting for her sister to show up at her room. She was starting to get a little bit tired, since she was awake the whole night, as usual. However, the anxiety to know what her sister was hiding was keeping her awake and energetic. She laid down on her bed, stared through her window, brushed her sparkly mane, and all sort of things to distract herself.
The night Princess was also thinking about those mysterious noises that came from Celestia yesterday. What were they? What did they mean? Why were they coming out from her sister? All those questions were running inside Luna’s mind, who couldn’t figure out an answer yet. She was hoping to receive a letter from Twilight and Lauren as soon as possible, to investigate further into the whole matter. After a few minutes, somepony knocked at the door.
“Come in,” Luna commanded, staring right at the door. Finally, her sister was going to show up and tell her about whom Lauren was. Or so, that’s what she was expecting.
“Good morning, Luna,” Celestia greeted her sister as she opened the door and walked inside the room.
“Good morning, Tia,” Luna replied, walking back to her bed. “Did you sleep well?” she asked.
Celestia nodded, walking closer to her sister with her usual cheerful smile. “Yes, it was a pleasant night, thank you.”
“So, about that thing you were going to tell me,” Luna commented, climbing on her bed, really anxious to hear what her sister had to say.
“Yes, I know,” Celestia sighed, looking at her sister who tapped her hoof on the bed, inviting her to join her. She climbed on Luna’s bed and sat next to her, staring at the floor with a blank expression on her face.
“So, are there other ponies in your world?” Twilight asked, biting on her apple salad. It was a bit dry, but even if she wasn’t a very good cook, she had at least some common cooking knowledge from several books she used to read back in Canterlot.
Lauren hummed, a bit puzzled about the sudden question, holding her daisy sandwich with her mouth. She levitated it back to its plate and swallowed the small bit she had in her mouth. “Uh, yes, sort of,” she said, rolling her eyes.
“Sort of? What do you mean?” Twilight confusedly asked, eating another piece of apple from her salad.
“Well, there are ponies, but they… uh… don’t speak,” Lauren said, biting a little more of her daisy sandwich. It wasn’t as good as the sandwiches she had yesterday, since Twilight claimed Spike made those.
“That’s weird,” Twilight commented, eating the last pieces of her meal.
Yes, my real non-talking ponies are the weird ones… Lauren was about to bite her sandwich once again when somepony knocked at the door. “I got it,” she said, offering herself to open the door and standing up from her seat. She began walking towards the door, opening it with her magic.
“Oh, hello, darling,” Rarity greeted Lauren. She was not expecting her to be the first pony she would greet. She was carrying a pair of saddlebags on her back.
“Hi, Rarity,” Lauren replied, noticing the little dragon behind her. “Oh, and hi, Spike,” she added, only receiving a big yawn from him as an answer. “Sleepy today, aren’t we?”
Twilight stood up from her seat and went to greet her friends. Why would Rarity show up so early in the morning anyways? “Hello, Rarity. How are you?” she asked and quickly noticed the sleepy dragon just behind her.
“I’m fine, dear,” she replied, looking at Spike who could barely stand on his two legs. “I just came to bring back Spike, he felt asleep last night at my boutique.”
“Yeah yeah, thank you, Rarity… I’ll just go upstairs and…” he yawned, walking inside the library, suddenly feeling his tail being pulled by Twilight’s magic.
“Oh no, you won’t, mister,” Twilight said, looking at the sleepy dragon. “You’ve got a lot to do around here!” And it was true, thanks to his absence, he missed his usual morning chores, such as sorting and re-shelving books and making breakfast; which was no longer a problem anyway.
“Aww, but Twilight, I-”
“I don’t want to hear excuses, now get on it,” Twilight ordered. Spike just sighed in submission. It wasn’t fair, but he couldn’t say no to her. His tail got free of Twilight’s magic and he proceeded to fulfill his chores.
Well, Twilight can be a bit bossy, but she loves him. Lauren giggled, looking at Spike who opened the closet door and withdrew a mop and a bucket from it.
“Oh, yes, I almost forgot!” Rarity exclaimed, enveloping one of her saddlebags with her blue magical aura and withdrawing a very familiar dress.
“Oh, right, were you able to make it?” Twilight asked, looking curiously at the dress. Last night, during the party, she told Rarity if she could design a dress for Lauren to hide her wings for whenever she went outside. It was the same plain yellow dress with a pink ribbon.
“Why, of course I made it!” Rarity claimed, levitating the dress in front of Lauren. “Twilight told me that you loved its design, so I made another one.”
“Wow, it’s pretty nice!” Lauren said.
“And not only that,” Rarity added. “I’ve designed this dress specially for hiding your wings, so nopony will be able to find out as long as you’re wearing this.”
“Well, that’s really useful,” Lauren commented, accepting the dress with her magical aura. “Thank you.”
“It was nothing, really, just a little ‘welcome’ gift,” Rarity chuckled. “So, what do you two have planned for today?”
“Well, I really didn’t think of it… I was planning a study session!” Twilight happily exclaimed, but she didn’t get a very positive answer from Rarity or Lauren. “Or… uh… something else,” she awkwardly chuckled.
“Well, how about if you two come with me and Fluttershy to the spa?” Rarity proposed. It was her usual get-together day with Fluttershy, and even if they always did it alone, she was sure her pegasus friend wouldn’t mind having extra company.
“Sounds good, but I don’t know,” Twilight said, looking at Lauren. “If we went, you’d have to take off your dress, and it would expose your wings.”
“Aww, that’s a bummer,” Lauren sighed. Shame, and I really wanted to know how would it feel to have my body covered in seaweed inside a mud pool. I also deserve some grooming.
“I think you’re right, that’s too bad,” Rarity said, thinking of a solution for the problem.
“Thanks for your invitation though, but we’re expecting a letter from the Princess, so we can’t afford to get distracted. It’s a very important matter,” Twilight explained, without revealing more details about it. Her mentor had asked her to keep silent about what they discussed last night. She hated keeping secrets to her friends, but if it was for her beloved mentor, she would even take them to the grave with her.
“Oh, don’t worry, darling, I do understand,” Rarity said, looking at Spike who was slowly mopping the floor. He was still tired, and all he wanted to do was to sleep. “I guess I’ll see you girls later.”
“Okay then, see you later, Rarity,” Twilight said. “And thanks again for the dress.”
“See ya,” Lauren chirped, with a smile on her face.
Rarity nodded and looked at Spike. “Goodbye, Spikey!”
Spike stopped mopping and waved his arm at Rarity. “Uh, goodbye,” he said, a bit disappointed that Rarity was leaving, but he had chores to do. The usual, boring chores he had to do anyways.
Rarity walked away from the library as Twilight closed the door and looked at Lauren. “Well, what do you want to do now?” she asked.
I really feel like playing Animal Crossing, she thought, immediately realizing there was no such thing in Equestria. “I don’t know, whatever you want to do is fine.”
“How about reading!?” She happily exclaimed once again, receiving an awkward nod from Lauren. She started bouncing on her hooves and looked around at all her bookshelves. “Hooray! What do you want to read? I’ve got so many books that I-”
“On second thought, how about if we just chill and talk?” Lauren proposed. She did like reading, but she just wasn’t feeling like reading a book so early in the morning.
“Eh… sure, that could work too,” Twilight said, a bit disappointed that she was not going to read. “Actually...” She glanced at Spike, who kept on mopping the library floor. He was almost done, however, he had to mop the kitchen floor as well. Twilight tilted her head towards the staircase. “Come.” She began walking towards the staircase, being followed immediately by Lauren.
Both mares finally arrived back at their bedroom. “What’s up?”
“I just don’t want Spike to hear us,” Twilight said, moving upstairs to her bed. “I want to talk to you about Princess Luna.”
“Oh, right,” Lauren replied, walking towards her own bed. What would she like to talk about? she sighed, placing her dress on her bed and sitting on it to get a more comfortable position. “Well, what about her?”
“Well, uh…” Twilight rubbed her hooves, trying to come up with her answer. “Well, it’s just like… I feel that something is going on with her,” she said.
“With her?” But, isn’t Celestia the one that has been acting weird? At least that’s what Luna claims. “I thought she said something was wrong with Princess Celestia.”
“That’s the thing,” Twilight said. She was a bit puzzled about the whole matter. “I just can’t believe how she can make those terrible accusations to Princess Celestia, her own sister!” she exclaimed, waving a hoof in the air.
“But, she said that-”
“I know the Princess very well. She’s kind, gentle and would never do something evil! I don’t know how Princess Luna is making all these claims.”
Lauren tilted her head. On one side, she agreed with Twilight. Princess Celestia was the most noble and kind of all ponies, and she would never harm anypony. However, Princess Luna was really convinced that something was wrong with her sister. She just didn’t know what do believe anymore.
“And then she tells us to write her before telling anything to Celestia… I just… don’t know,” Twilight said, lowering her head to think about the messy situation.
I know that it must be hard for Twilight to believe it, but I know that deep inside her, she knows that Princess Luna is right. Something is definitely odd with Princess Celestia. Lauren looked at Twilight, trying to come up with some words to cheer her up. “Uh, don’t worry, Twilight,” she said. Twilight raised her head and looked at the alicorn. “I know that Celestia would never do that, but… but you have to admit that something is definitely odd with her.”
Twilight sighed, realizing Lauren was right. There was no point in denying it. “I guess you’re right… but I still can’t believe it,” she mumbled, looking at the stars and moons on her bed sheet. “For now, I guess we should wait for the Princess letter to arrive and then we’ll ask her what’s going on.”
Lauren nodded, laying her back on the bed. She wasn’t sleepy anymore, but the bed was really comfortable; almost like her own bed, back at her home. “I guess you’re right,” she said.
Celestia had stared at the floor for several minutes now, and Luna was growing tired of her sister’s silence. She wanted to know already, but she couldn’t rush her sister to spit it out. What was it? What was so important about Lauren? Why was Celestia holding information? She wanted to know already.
“Uh, ‘Tia?” she finally spoke, breaking the silence that had dominated the room for minutes. “Will you tell me?”
“Oh, yes, sorry, my mind just drifted away for a second,” Celestia chuckled, moving herself closer to her sister and stretching her wing to hug her. “This is very delicate.”
Luna felt her sister’s warm wing against her back. It was soothing and relaxing, just as expected from somepony as the Princess. However, that didn’t distract her from the main issue. “Delicate, you say?” she asked.
“Well, it’s something like that,” Celestia said, lowering her head. “Remember what she told us that night, several years ago?”
Luna thought about that question for a second, recalling the event. “Yes, she said ‘I love you, girls. Never forget that.’ Didn’t she?” She glanced at her sister, who nodded in agreement.
“Yes, indeed,” the Sun Princess replied, looking at Luna. “This is something I didn’t tell Lauren or Twilight last night at the library.”
I don’t understand. How does that relate to this? Luna tilted her head for a second, deciding to ask her sister about it. “But, how does that relate to who she is?” she asked.
Celestia took a deep breath, hugging her sister tighter with her wing. “It is precisely that,” she said. “Don’t you understand?”
Oh no, not with her rhetorical questions again. Luna shook her head. “No, ‘Tia, I do not understand what you mean.”
“That night, she said those words because…” Celestia stopped, looking once again at the floor and taking another deep breath.
“Why? Why did she say that? Who is she?” Luna asked, staring at her sister who finally raised her head.
“I told you, this is not easy for me to say,” Celestia commented. Luna gulped, realizing maybe she was pressing her sister too hard. No, she had to know, and she had to know right now what Celestia was hiding.
“I apologize, sister.”
Celestia closed her eyes and meditated about the situation. She opened them and cleared her throat. “This is all because… Lauren is very close to us,” she finally said.
“Close… to us?” Luna questioned, tilting her head in confusion. Close? How?
Celestia leaned her head against Luna, moving her mouth close to her ear. “It’s because Lauren is our…” she softly whispered, taking one last breath.
Luna’s eyes went wide open. She tried to reply, but she felt a knot in her throat. Suddenly, she heard yet another noise coming from inside her sister. This time it was not a crack or anything like that. This time, she heard a glass shattering. The same noise a window would make if it were broken with a rock.
She was still trying to process what her sister just said, but she couldn’t react. She couldn’t speak or move her body; instead, she felt her eyes and body were getting heavier. W-what? What did s-she just s-say!? W-what was that noise!? Those were her final thoughts. She couldn’t hold it anymore, and suddenly, everything went black.
Celestia chuckled, raising her wing from her sister and climbing down her bed. She carefully levitated her motionless sister with her faint golden magical aura, carefully placing her below her bed sheet. She placed a pillow below her head and levitated her black crown from her head, placing it on the nightstand just next to her bed. Just like when she used to put Twilight in bed whenever she felt asleep in the castle library when she was a filly.
She closed the window curtains with her magic, stopping the sunlight from entering the room. She glanced back at Luna with a grimace on her face, leaning against her and giving her a kiss on her forehead. “Sweet dreams, my dear sister,” she giggled. Walking away from her and leaving the room, closing the door on her way out.
A loud burp noise echoed through the library. Twilight swiftly raised her head, realizing the only thing that noise could mean. Finally, she was going to get the answers she wanted.
“Hey, Twilight!” Spike yelled from the library foyer. “I’ve just received a letter from the Princess!”