Luna and Celestia slowly made their way to their imprisoned brother, each with their own mixed feelings. Luna didn't know why she wanted to go through with this, and why she wasn't back at the castle, sipping some hot chocolate to warm herself on this cold night. She wondered if her sister would actually go through with this spell that she said she had for Discord. Celestia herself was wistfully thinking about the warm bed that she left behind, which was now most likely cold. Her sister concerned her, and she wondered why she would think about freeing Discord from his imprisonment now, after all these years.
Then, there was Discord himself. He was a good brother to them, once, but after the encounter with the poison joke plant, she didn't trust him. Sure, she still loved him as a family member, and that would always stay like that, but she would rather trust Nightmare Moon over Discord any day. At least she could understand how Nightmare Moon felt. Discord...Was entirely different. After thousands of years of having no contact with him other than their brief exchange of words in Canterlot, Celestia was going to have to be careful in case she accidently says the wrong thing. However, with their brother now the embodiment of chaos, just what exactly was the wrong thing? Everything Discord stood for, Celestia was against, so it was going to be a very awkward starting conversation indeed.
Luna sighed, which snapped up the attention of Celestia quickly. Perhaps her sister had second thoughts about this? She poked at Luna's side gently with a wing, curious to know what she was thinking about. "Luna, what's on your mind?" Her sister looked up at her, and hesitated slightly. Luna didn't know how to word her exact thoughts, since they were based on a rather sensitive subject, one that was never brought up by them since they were fillies. Looking at the statue of Discord, Luna decided that now would be the time to bring up their parents.
"Celly, do you think Mother Earth and Father Heaven would be proud of us, of the things we've done, of how we ruled Equestria, and how we've used our power? Would they...Approve of us?" Celestia blinked. This was a surprise, and Celestia didn't quite know how to respond. They never did talk about their parents, although the exact reason for not doing so escaped Celestia. She supposed it was an unwritten taboo that was between them, due to the painful memories that came with their parents. Finally, Celestia smiled, and nodded reassuringly at Luna, who wasn't reassured at all.
"Of course, dear sister, we may have fallen out at times, but we've ruled over Equestria in peace for uncounted millenia. We may not be ruling over the entire world, as was what they might have wanted from us, but we're happy, and I think that's what they'd want from us, Luna, to be happy, and remember them fondly. They do have to create new worlds and cross other dimensions, but sometimes, I wish they would come by to visit us." Luna smiled back at her sister, and surprised Celestia by wrapping her hooves around her neck in a tight embrace. Sighing contentedly, Celestia returned the hug, using her wings to stabilize herself. After the warm, heartfelt hug the two shared, they continued walking towards the statue of their brother.
The Elements, arranged in a circle around Discord, seemed to glow softly, as if recognizing their presence. Even after complete decades of studying them, Celestia could not fathom on what made them the powerful relics they were. As the royal princesses neared the statue, they wordlessly circled around it, checking to see if there was any tampering of the statue or the Elements. You should never be too sure of yourself. Finding nothing, Celestia beckoned Luna to her, and sat down in the middle of the circle, right in front of Discord. She began to explain what her spell was going to do to the both of them, and if Luna still wanted to go through with it.
"Luna, before we summon Discord back from his otherwise eternal cursed form to being an alicorn like us, I obviously need to tell you what it is you must do in order to revert Discord back into being an alicorn. It's simple, really, it's just that...Well, seeing as this spell has only one specific use, I've never been able to test it, so...It might backfire on us." Luna rolled her eyes. Great, they were using an untested spell that could possibly backfire on them, all for the sake of their misguided older brother.
Seriously, why was she doing this? She could call it off, saying that trying such a feat with an unstable spell would be foolhardy at best. In fact, Luna could think of quite a few excuses just to leave now, but something inside of her told her that she needed to do this, for him. Sighing, Luna accepted that the risk would be needed if she ever wanted to see her brother again, as she doubted that Celestia would ever find a way to make the spell safer. Besides, they were here now, and walking all the way through the labyrinth for nothing wouldn't sit well with her when it was her time to sleep.
"It's alright, 'Tia, I'm sure we can handle any magical whiplash that could occur while casting this spell. What is it that I need to do?" Celestia gave an inward sigh of relief. She was worried that Luna would refuse to go along with the spell, and Celestia did not like the idea of going through the labyrinth, getting rejected at the very spot where Discord was, and then having to go through the entire labyrinth again to get out, all to return to a cold bed a few hours of sleep lost for the negotiations of the aristocracy and diplomats tomorrow.
"We simply gather our magic, augmented by the Elements of Harmony, and let our two waves of magic flow into one large sphere, enveloping Discord, assuming he wants to return to his former self. Then I need you to let go of your memories of Discord." Luna was confused. Let go of her memories of her older brother? What did that even mean, and why was it important to bringing Discord back?
"Why do I need to let go of the memories of my brother? Is there any specific reason why?" Celestia nodded, and tapped the side of her head gently.
"You've retained the memories of your brother much, much easier and much more of them than I have. When you were exiled to the moon, you were dreaming the whole time, were you not?" Luna nodded slowly, although not saying the fact that most of her 'dreams' were nightmares, but her older sister didn't need to know about that. Celestia, satisfied, continued her explanation. "You were diving through your memories, sister, and relived them. I'm assuming that you lived through most, if not all your memories, and there are certain things I want to make sure are right."
Luna tilted her head. What could Celestia have possibly forgotten about her older brother that would have made it necessary for her to part with her memories? Surely it was something important, if her sister was asking her to give up a memory, but what could it be? "Celly, what's so important about my memories of Discord?" Her sister hesitated, then gave a few giggles of embarrassment.
"Well, Luna, I...Err...Forgot what Discord looked like as an alicorn. Countless aristocrats do that to you when they get in your mane. So if we want him back to his true former self, we'll take the version that you saw him as from your memories, and hope everything goes well!" Luna stared at her sister, then slowly shook her head in disbelief.
"Well...Okay then, Celestia. After I give up a memory of what Discord looked like, what do I have to do?" Celestia looked up at the statue of Discord, and Luna saw a spark of hesitation burn through her sister's eyes.
"That's when the Elements of Harmony combine powers to remove the curse...In theory. It depends, Luna. Discord has to want to become an alicorn again, and without a part of him that wants to cause malice to me, you, or anypony else. If the Elements detect disharmony inside of him, they will either turn him into stone again, or something worse. In theory, of course." Luna sighed. So even after all this, there was a chance that the spell might fail.
"Well, we'll get there when we get there. So how do we...Uh, unstone Discord?" Celestia thought for a brief minute, grinned, and bopped Luna on the nose again. Luna recoiled, and with a very inappropriate language selection that she learned from the royal guards, swore at Celestia. "'Tia, don't DO that!" Celestia got up, and playfully ran around in circles in Luna, calling her by the nickname she's always hated and made Celestia swear to never call her by again.
"Oh, what's wrong, loony Lunatic~? Are you mad~? Is little loony Lunatic gonna cry~?" Celestia sang in a mocking tone of voice, which both confused and angered Luna. She stood up, and hesitated. Was she really going to use it on her sister? Maybe this was all a ruse, taking her all the way here, so that nopony could see Celestia send Luna to the moon again. However, when Celestia bopped her on the nose again, Luna decided that her sister was going a little too far with this.
"CELESTIA, I COMMAND THEE TO STOP THOU TROLLING." She screamed in the Royal Canterlot Voice. While talking in the Voice was bad enough, if Luna was screaming with it, all ponies within a miles radius of the princess was usually sent to the floor, hooves covering their ears. The ponies near her when she screamed sometimes even had cases of permanent ear damage, but thankfully, Luna only screamed with the Voice twice, once at Prince Blueblood, who was acting quite the spoiled pony that particular day, and right now, at her sister. An unfazed Celestia simply smiled, and pointed behind Luna.
Despite the fact that Celestia had just upset her, Luna couldn't help but turn her head around. What greeted her sight was rather surprising. Chips and fissures started to appear on Discord, and Luna turned around to look at an apologetic Celestia, who smiled sheepishly.
"If I told you what I was going to do, it wouldn't have worked." Luna gave an exasperated sigh at her sister, and frowned. She supposed it was necessary for Celestia to have done that, but that was a little too much for her, and it upset Luna greatly. Celestia draped a wing on Luna's back, and watched as cracking was now audibly heard from the statue. Then, with an explosive ending, the last of the stone burst, leaving behind a very dazed Discord. He slowly got up, and looked around to check his bearings. He gave a wave at the two alicorns sitting there, and muttered a greeting to them.
"Hello, Celestia, Luna." With that, he continued to look around. Realizing what he just said, his gaze rapidly returned back to his sisters. "What, come to finish me off, once and for all, in the very labyrinth that I used for my own purposes? Very well, a fitting end for me." He then sat down in a chair that wasn't there recently, and started to chew on a fried cupcake. Discord was surprised when Celestia got up, walked towards him with a smile, and offered him her hoof.
"Discord, older brother of mine and Luna's, draconequus, former alicorn of neutrality...Would you like to hear my proposition out?"