Princess Luna was walking through the castle on her way to the royal gardens. She had a book floating in front of her face, which she was utterly engrossed in. She didn't have to worry about running into anypony in the castle. The guards made their presence known or simply moved out of the way, as did the maids or any other servants.
Luna had noticed that Celestia kept a pair of guards with her at all times, but she did not think that was necessary for herself. She never left the castle except to go to the garden, which was walled in anyway. Not all the guards seemed fond of her, though, probably due to her close relation with Nightmare Moon. So it was better for all if Luna went without an escort.
She was paying particular attention to a certain paragraph when she fell over a brown Earth pony in her path. She stumbled back, dropping the book onto the his head as she lost her concentration. Luna shook her head, snapping herself back to reality and out of the world in her book. She gasped, covering her mouth with both hooves.
"Perhaps you could expand on what you've told us. If they're not spider webs, then what could they possibly—" Celestia had barely begun to speak before she was abruptly interrupted.
"Oh my goodness, I'm so sorry! Are you alright?" Luna said worriedly.
The collision had caught even Celestia off guard, and she blinked as her sister tripped over the intruder. Celestia moved over with a sense of urgency, tentatively nuzzling her sister's cheek in concern as she looked over the dark blue filly.
"Luna, dear, are you alright?"
Luna nodded. "Yes, I am unharmed." She quickly glanced over the brown pony, subconsciously catching a glimpse of his hourglass Cutie Mark. What in the world was he doing here anyway? Perhaps he just had some business to discuss with her sister Princess Celestia.
Doctor Whooves righted himself and shook his head. "Well, there was a perfectly good exit ruined," he said distantly. He casually grabbed the book from his head with one hoof, and and then flipped through the pages curiously. He nodded as he handed the book back to Princess Luna. "Interesting ethical code," he mused to himself.
Then he turned around to look at Princess Celestia. "And what, you ask? There are many things, from the early days before Equestria was civilized. Things locked away for ages... some things cute and adorable... some things dangerous..." He looked Luna in the eyes. "And some things very, very both..." he whispered to her.
He turned to look at Celestia again. "With the stars aligning recently, ancient cages all across Equestria sprung open, darkness freed from centuries of imprisonment... who knows what could be lurking under your castle?"
Then he perked up. "I certainly don't! That's what makes it so fun!"
The princess blinked slightly at the brown stallion, mind flickering over the thought. Cages opening with the stars aligning? Glancing up to the direction of the sky briefly, she let out a small, thoughtful 'hmm..' and then looked back to the Doctor with a faint, growing curiosity.
He could have been lying, easily. In fact, the body language of her guards suggested that he could be, and the fact he'd just accidentally tripped up Princess Luna didn't seem to calm the armored stallions any further. They snorted indignantly to the strange ponies' words.
Celestia, however, always wanted to give her subject's the benefit of the doubt. Though she briefly glanced over Luna worriedly to make absolutely sure she was alright, she still approached a step or two closer to her sister and the stallion.
“Who, pray tell, is our guest?" Luna said, when there was a pause in conversation. She suddenly noticed that the guards seemed to regard him with a slight hostility, as if they were irritated, but the Earth pony did not appear to be dangerous...
The brown pony looked from Celestia to Luna, then looked one of the guards in the eyes. "Oh, of course! I'm Doctor Whooves! Well, just the Doctor, really. I'm a simple archeologist, a real interest in history. So I travel around finding ... interesting things." He smiled at Celestia, an eager grin on his face, and a wild light in his eyes.
The Doctor? Blinking in a perplexed manner at the pony, the Princess had to watch him closely for a moment or two. Something definitely sparked in her mind with that name, but whether it was a good memory or a bad one, she was uncertain. Still, the mare remained vigilant to give the pony the benefit of the doubt.
Doctor Whooves? Luna had never heard of a pony by that name before. But, there were many ponies in Equestria, many that Luna still did not know. She did look a bit concerned when the Doctor turned to Celestia, seeming to have an almost crazy gleam in his eyes.