Twilight could almost hear the echo of sadness this place brought upon her whenever her hoof touched the ground. It was empty, a dreary place. She breathed in the dust motes and started to cough, lightly, her body suddenly feeling old and ragged. How was that even possible? She was an alicorn now, after all, and there was barely a touch of old in her veins. She now understood how young and foolish she must have looked to Celestia, all those years ago. She sighed. Even 1000 years was young to a creature that could live forever. And yet she, with all her knowledge, all her beauty, all her power, had barely transcended 40 years of age. She scoffed quietly, gazing out the murky window. Small rays of sunlight peeked through the layers of dust, dirt and grime. She thought back to a time when the window was clear, and the whole of Ponyville stretched beyond it. She shook her head, trying to clear her blurred memories and endless thoughts.
Arching her back and stretching her large purple wings, the alicorn gazed around the room. It was dusty. Large tomes, smaller novels, and even slimmer newspapers littered the room in a disorganized manner. There was a nagging thought in her mind to clean, organize the books on their neglected shelves, brush away the gathered dust. And yet she could not bring herself to do so, it felt wrong in a way, to clean for that invisible part of her who no longer used this room.
Who no longer used this library.
She folded her wings on her back. She knew she would never get used to them.
She stood, her long legs shaky, the way she rose nearly to the ceiling unnerved her. Why did this feel so wrong? She had wanted to return home for many years, and could never gather enough courage to do so. And now, standing here in the study she had lived in, all she could feel was a twisting sensation digging into her very soul.
Small, unicorn Twilight Sparkle was dying.
She was acutely aware of this, and also aware that there was nothing she could possibly do about it. Things change. Ponies change. Life goes on, doesn't it? This was a question she had refused to ask herself. With one last glance around the room, Twilight left. She rushed through the rest of the library with a sense of urgency, leaping over discarded books and upsetting the settled dust. She had already asked somepony to gather the books for her own library in Canterlot, but was beginning to think against it. Her mind now a muddled mess, she rushed up the steps to the upper level, into her bedroom. She paused, glancing around almost franticly, her eyes resting on her scrapbook. In the years following her arrival in Ponyville, she had asked Spike to keep a record of pictures, letters, and other artifacts from a number of ponies. Namely her five best friends. The thought of leaving such a precious thing behind boggled her mind. Why had she left it there? It was the last thing that connected her to Ponyville, to her friends, to her old self. She lifted it in her telekinesis magic, placing it gingerly in the gold encrusted saddlebags she had brought with her. After searching the room for anything else, (a birthday card from 21 years earlier, one of Spike's scales, a candle that smelled of lavender, a snow globe of Canterlot, and one of Twilight's favorite quills) she stood by the balcony, almost feeling the chill of approaching winter through the stained glass. Ah yes, she had that installed about three years after she met her best friends, each window pane encrusted with their cutie marks. As she traced the lines of her own cutie mark, placed in the very middle, she felt a nagging sensation crawling through her body.
She didn't need to look for very long to find the book that had started it all. The book that led her along the path to meet her friends, begin to live in Ponyville, and truly discover herself. There it was, worn but usable. "The Elements of Harmony; a Reference Guide." She whispered quietly to no one but herself. Wrapping it in a glow of levitation, she was wrought by giddy memories.
She missed her friends.
She slipped the heavy book into the remaining space in her saddlebags. She knew deep down it was time to leave. Visiting the places where her friends used to reside would only pain her. It was time to go.
She opened the rusty, creaking doors to the balcony with her magic. She closed them behind her swiftly, feeling confident in the magical lock she settled upon the glass. Times had changed, and some ponies didn't have any place to live, especially with the winter fast approaching. Twilight was a kind pony, and she hated the thought of ponies in need, but she didn't want anypony to touch her library. It was a sacred place, almost. It was a place where her old, dusty dreams and goals had gone to die. A place were her younger self still rested between the shelves, her nose stuffed between the fraying, yellowed pages of books Twilight had already read. She had transcended that place, it seemed, but old Twilight still lived there, and nopony was to disturb her.
Twilight was to make sure of that.
As the tall alicorn stood on the balcony, buffeted by the cool autumn wind, she gazed around at Ponyville. It had changed in the time she had lived there, and it had changed in her absence. The tree's branches above her swayed, as if in agreement. She stretched her wings. Perhaps she would get used to them, eventually. She leaped off the balcony, flapping her wings, trying to be graceful. How did Celestia do it? Almost laughing, she tore through the air, feeling a mixture of emotions. There was freedom and there was fear.
She floated above Ponyville, the cool breeze against her face. The extra weight that came from her saddlebags reminded her, as many things began to, that she needed to read through that scrapbook. She had made Spike promise never to show it to her until she was ready. Was she ready now? She thought so, as she began to head towards the bleak mountain in the distance.
She hoped Spike was up for a visit.
She was feeling terribly lonely without a friend.