I awoke in the morning, finding my ward spell to still be up and my alarm untouched. I climbed out of bed and quickly galloped into the library, I forgot all about Celestia, Cadance, and Twilight because of my new discoveries and experiment.
I used my magic to cut out a crystal from the cluster in the exact shape of the Crystal Heart and analyzed the rock further, finding it to be from when Equestria was suspected to be created as I let my magic roam free all over the rock. I had already begun to write down observations in my book and decided that I could find out more if I made it the real deal. I began to pour my magic into it to enchant the object. I would permanently give some of my magic reserves to it, but I could study it further. I enchanted the object to make it able to absorb magic that comes in contact with it, the same I observed from the real Crystal Heart. I then picked the mock Crystal Heart up in my magic and knew it would take the mysterious magic behind friendship and love to become as strong at the original Heart. I teleported away, using an invisibility spell on myself and the heart. I reappeared in the throne room of the Crystal Empire, behind the throne, my magic completely silent and unable to be viewed. I casted a silence spell and trotted out from behind the throne, finding Cadence upon it with Shining Armor. I casted a telepathy spell and sent my voice into Cadence's head even though she couldn't respond. Nopony was in her court.
"This is Shadow Aura, I need to speak to you, get to a room by yourself so we can talk."
Cadence shook her head, perturbed by what I had just done. She sat on the throne, pondering what had just happened before she stood.
"I'm going to close court early today." She announced, a lot of the guards in the room filed out, leaving two guards and shining Armor in the room.
"But why close when there's still hours left, honey?" Shining Armor looked to Cadence and questioned.
"Nopony has come yet and I want to spend time with our beautiful daughter, dearest. I need to attend to one thing first. could you go down to her nursery and wait for me, Shining?" Cadence looked to him with a warm smile that quickly spread to Shining Armor.
"Of course, how could I refuse?" He left the throne room smiling, Cadence doing the same.
I followed behind Cadence and Shining Armor until the two separated, Cadence headed off into a private bathroom and I followed her into it. I revealed and unsilenced myself.
"Shadow Aura, I don't have much trust in you after what you did, but I am willing to hear you out." She spoke and turned behind to me.
"I'm creating that test copy of the Crystal Heart, but I need to imbue it with friendship and love, so-" I was cut off during my talk, my voice was rapid and it was obvious I was enjoying what I was doing.
"And you need our help. What is it you need?" Cadance asked. Her voice wasn't soft, her face didn't have a warm smile.
"I was hoping I could keep it where the real one is so it can absorb the odd kind of magic that we call friendship and love, but if I could just house it here, it would be nice. If I can properly make a Crystal Heart, I can bring better defenses to all of Equestria and I can even do more by discovering how a Crystal Heart is made and using the properties of such to further my research and develop new spells, new items to improve lives and I would be able to go-" I was cutoff again.
"Okay, okay, Shadow Aura. I see you're excited about this and really want it to be a success. I don't think I can put the Heart where the original is, but I can put it somewhere else if you have something in mind." Cadance finally reached that one voice of hers and smiled brightly. She knew research and magic development was my passion.
"Could you keep it in Flurry Heart's crib? I can cast a spell to make it undetectable to all except you and me. It'd absorb quite a lot being there." I chose this time to reveal the heart, still holding it in my magic. It was still absorbing the magic energy from my levitation spell and that made it hard to hold up.
"I don't know, Shadow Aura." Cadance was very undecided about this affair.
"Please, please. I really would like to get this done." I slowly laid the heart upon the floor.
"Okay, we'll try it out." She agreed, sighing out.
"I know Shining Armor is down there currently, but I can still do this. It's better if he also knew as well. I don't think he'll disagree when he hears about what this could do. He should also know who I am if you have yet to tell him." I spoke, concealing the Heart as she lead the way out of the bathroom with me in tow behind her. The Heart was draining a lot of my magic from both spells.
The walk there was silent with every guard glancing my way, staring at the large catalyst perched on my head. It wasn't too far to the nursery, only down a flight of stairs and through two corridors. Upon arrival, Shining Armor looked to me, mouth agape.
"W-who is this?" He quickly questioned. There was a tone of caution in his voice.
"This is-" Cadance began.
"Sorry, I enjoy introducing myself, Cadance. I am Shadow Aura, a master wizard, a magic researcher, and an acquaintance of Cadence's. You most likely won't see me often or participate in activities with me. I'll let Cadence explain why I am here." I spoke quickly, remaining completely silent afterwards.
"Shining, he's a friend. Do you remember the new Pegasus that showed up on the mining team or the tomatoes that fed the poor?" Cadence seemed to really be putting out for me. I guess she sees some good in me.
"Yes, it's a miracle that we got some pony to replace our old worker on the team and that the crops produced good yield." He responded, intrigued and confused by her question. Cadence trotted closer and put her hoof around him, pointing at me then. I smiled when Shining casted his gaze over me.
"That's not what happened. He grew those tomatoes in the mines, right from a single seed without dirt or water. He made one of the earth ponies on the mining team sprout wings. He did this with pure magic. He's a good pony." Her voice sounded like a plea.
"Then I sincerely thank you, Shadow Aura. The Crystal Empire has benefited from your deeds." He nodded his head.
"He wants to now put a second Crystal Heart here, to make it as strong or at least somewhat powerful as the one that is already here. He needs to keep it with Flurry Heart." Cadence finished her piece and then Shining looked me dead in the eye with the most serious face a father could have. I didn't falter, I dealt with abominations of magic scarier than Ursa majors and more threatening than a group of hydras.
"And why does it have to be with my daughter?" Shining asked and Cadence was about to pip up.
"Because, there is an unknown magic in Friendship and Love that nopony truly understands. I aim to understand it and I assumed the love surrounding Flurry Heart would be of assistance. This heart, " I revealed the close mock of the artifact, gently setting it upon the floor, "is incomplete. It lacks the magic of love. Just imagine all the spells that could come from this. I could create hearts all around Equestria, to protect all of its towns and cities. I could make stronger spells to inspire love and friendship or incorporate those elements into my own magic and do even better!" Shining Armor most certainly saw the giddiness in my face and posture during my fast spoken speech.
"Your intentions seem genuine. I think we can adhere. And if Cadence trusts you, that's enough for me," Shining calmed down some at this, "but don't try anything." He tried to sting me with his words.
"I suppose this means you have free reign of the Palace now, Aura. Feel free to visit anytime. You're a friend here now." Cadence chirped.
"I must be going now. The heart has drained so much of my magic while I kept it levitated. It can absorb all kinds of magic, Shining. So already it's a shield around your daughter." I picked the heart up from the ground and laid it to the back of Flurry Hearts mobile crib, using more magic to stretch the Crystal from around the crib to wrap it in a plus cage like container, holding it. I breathed out heavily, my magic exhausted.
"When can we expect you to take it back?" Shining Armor inquired.
"It'll be gone in about a month and I'll check up on it monthly. I'll move it to Twilight's castle next, to absorb the magic of friendship." I began to charge a powerful teleportation spell to land me back at my home.
"It was interesting meeting you, Shadow Aura." Shining armor said with some amount of friendliness.
"I hope to see you soon, Aura." Cadence waved goodbye to me.
"Until next time." I teleported away with those words and landed outside my house, finding a Twilight unable to enter my home due to my ward.
"Shadow Aura, where were you?" I knew a barrage of questions were coming.
"Doing field research." Vague answers would help.
"None of your business."
"Could you at least please come with me and give friendship a chance? That's all I'm asking for now. "
"Twilight, I'm not a pony for friends. I'm too busy with my duties and I still need to attend to some things."
"Then just take a break for the rest of the day and come with me." I sighed at her words before an idea struck me.
"If I go with you for just today, can you promise to leave me alone?"
"I can't, but-" I cut her off.
"How about if I give you Star Swirl's time travel spell?" I smirked.
"But the Royal Canterlot Library has it." She responded like an automated contraption.
"No, they don't. It was taken during your spattle with Starlight Glimmer. I had to preserve the writing for when I had a chance to duplicate it. I may even be able to teach it to you if you show you have the magical prowess." I caught myself before I got too excited about teaching great magic to another.
She stood silent for quite a while, mulling her thoughts over and over again.
"You have a deal." She said and smiled.
"Then we shall go at once." I charged a teleportation spell once more and transported us into Twilight's castle foyer.
"I hope you at least have some interesting activities planned." I grimly said.
"Oh, I think I do." She pipped and trotted out of the castle doors, "come on!" I followed after her at a fast pace with none of the cheer she had.
"So, I had heard you contacted Cadence." She decided small talk would fill the silence as we went. She was heading to the outskirts of Ponyville.
"I have. She's told you and the other princesses about it, hasn't she?"
"Yes, she has. I had no idea your field research was involving an imitation of the Crystal Heart!" She was already getting excited at what I planned to do. From the apple trees and dirt path we now trotted upon, I now knew we were headed to Sweet Apple Acres.
"Then I suppose you now know I was serious when I said I have donated many great things to Equestria. And the goal of this research is to not make an imitation, but to make another Crystal Heart and show that it is not a one of a kind artifact. I suppose Cadence has told you that it will be moved to your castle next."
"Yes, I'm so excited to see it!" She pipped up and I sighed.
I wanted it to be moved their so the genuine friendship of Ponyville would be absorbed, not the result from forced interactions. We arrived at the farm house and barn of Sweet Apple Acres soon after I finished my thought.
"Let's get this over with." I sighed out, dreading this deal a little bit more.
"Oh, it won't be that bad." She raised her front right hoof to knock at the door.
Before she made a sound, a cream coated red maned filly bolted out from the farm house, bowled her over, and stood in front of me.
"Your horn! It's so big! Bigger than Celestia's!" She squealed in a thick country accent.
"Yes. I suppose you are the little one Applebloom."
"I'm anything but little! I got my cutie mark!" She turned to the left some to show off the pink and purple shield that held an apple.
"I see." Twilight had just dusted herself off and came over at my two words.
"Applebloom, where is your sister?" Twilight questioned.
"She's out feeding the pigs. So, what's yer name, mister?" This foal was fixated solely on my forehead catalyst.
"I'm Shadow Aura."
Twilight decided to leave me to the frivolities of thus foal. She was most likely off to retrieve Applejack.
"And why is your horn so big? Are you really good at magic?" I stood in pride at these words. Magic is my life after all.
"Can you show me?" I smiled, eager to show off my skills.
"I guess I'll show you a few tricks."
I charged my horn up and shot a stream of magic at her house, the front of it slowly changing to be a younger wood, a vibrant brown with a hint of a polish, the cracked boards fused back together. The change slowly went over her house and seemed as if I was making time itself reverse.
"Wow! That's amazing!" She squealed with delight.
"I always enjoy using my magic like this." I smiled, watching Twilight return with Applejack in tow.
"What in tarnation did you do to my family's house?!" Applejack sounded a bit ticked during her gallop to the front of it.
"Shadow Aura, this is…is impressive." Twilight trotted to my side, speaking quietly as she was still coming to terms with the new Apple family house. I held my head high at her praise.
"Applejack, I simply turned back time on the house, returning it to it's former state when it was just finished being built. Magic should be used to improve the lives of others."
I knew Applejack was still shaky on the grounds of magic, given it did cause them many issues.
"Still! Don't just go using it on others property!" Applejack steamed into my face.
"I always envisioned this. Please, Applejack. Let's start off on the right hoof."
"You are Twilight's newest friend and the cutie map is the reason why you stand here today, but I'm still gonna need time to warm up to ya," She calmed down some, stepping back away from me, " I'm sorry that I sorta got on yer case too quick."
"Don't fret about it. I hope Twilight filled in details."
"She covered all this magic stuff you can do," she leaned in close to my ear so Applebloom wouldn't overhear, "and yer immortal."
"Yes, but while I'm most likely the best at magic alive today, I spent my times watching the events of Equestria unfold around you and your friends. I know much about you, your travels, your adventures, your happy times, and your sad times."
"That's uhhh…a bit weird." Applejack seemed unnerved.
"Hopefully you two will get along well. We're off to Fluttershy's now." Twilight began to trot off with me soon in tow.
"Take care you two!" Applejack waved at us.
"Come by and show me more of yer magic sometime!" Applebloom yelled after us.
"See, now having friends isn't so bad." Twilight began talk once we were much farther down the path.
"It's enjoyable, but not a second passed that I remembered, I'll outlive them all." I quickly deadened the mood she had.
"Well, I'll take you to someone who does have someone immortal as a friend." She smirked.
"So now we go to see Fluttershy. Hopefully I'll meet Discord as well."
"So now someone interests you?" Twilight looked to me. We were now walking the streets of Ponyville again.
I levitated a rock in front of us as we walked, putting the smoothest side to our faces. I took a metal chisel and hammer from a hardware store as we went.
"What are you doing?" Twilight asked.
I responded with silence and began to chisel a symbol that showed off flawless curves on the outside that knotted around and through each other in sharp straight lines in the center. It resembled of Discord's face, but only for those with a trained eye and superior knowledge of runes.
"Oh! A rune! That was one of the first things I read about. I heard they were expensive to buy, but they could give a pony without a horn the ability to use a certain spell with limited uses. Buuut, I haven't seen that symbol." Twilight went on a tangent that left me with a smile.
"It makes me happy to know that ponies haven't forgotten the ancient unicorn runes that were made to trade between races just before they all got hostile to each other. I know of three rune shops left in Equestria. One sells in Canterlot, a shop in Manehattan sells fake ones as souvenirs, but they could become real runes quickly. And then there used to be a great rune shop that ran out of the Crystal Empire's royal library, but nobody there contains the proper knowledge."
"I have to go to the shop in Canterlot sometime then!" Twilight perked again.
"But this rune is special. There are the basic runes that were imbued with magic to give access to certain spells. Then there were advanced runes to give access to fields of magic while the amount of magic in the rune lasted, the fields being defensive, offensive, or utility spells. Then there were the ultimate runes. Starswirl and I had made two of them, we named these types of runes ourselves."
"I've never heard of ultimate runes. They do sound really powerful." We were now on another long dirt path, this one was out to Fluttershy's cottage.
"Starswirl had made one that allowed access to all pony magic, which could be used to cast any kind of pony made spell, be it alicorn or unicorn as long as it held enough magic. I could recreate that rune."
"Wow." Twilight was taken back from this new teaching.
"I was able take the magic of Chrysalis with my wits and imbue it into a rune. I could encapsulate ponies in cocoons or I could change into a changeling or any other pony. I could wither away the land rapidly or create the same material found at the changeling's hive. It was an ultimate rune."
"Do you still have it?!"
"I know where it lies. Locked. With many warning signs. With many defenses. With many traps. With no ponies near it. I want it to stay that way."
"But what about that rune?" Twilight asked.
"This is the ancient unicorn sign for Chaos. I hope that Discord will be able to imbue it for me. I want to research his magic as well. And Sombra's, if he still lives."
"You have to let me see it after you finish with it! And I think Sombra is...dead."
"Earn my trust first, then we will talk about it. I have felt some kind of dark magic around me as I've researched the Frozen North's weather patterns, he may yet be alive." I silenced myself as we arrived at Fluttershy's door. I placed the dead rune inside my saddlebag.
Twilight knocked on the door and an eep of surprise followed.
"Twilight? What brings you and…" Fluttershy's eyes were immediately drawn to my horn when she saw it. I was getting quite used to this reaction.
"Shadow Aura, nice to meet you." I responded, giving a half-hearted smile.
"He's my newest friend, he doesn't have-." Twilight was cut short.
I felt magic behind me.
"Wait! Shadow Aura?!" A deep and sand paper like voice spoke behind me. I soon felt an arm over my shoulder.
"Oh my, Shadow Aura! Celestia talked about you a lot back in the day! I kbow we're going to be the best of friends already." Discord had that tone laced with snake fangs as I had heard he did. I teleported inside the cottage.
"Discord…I've actually wanted to see you with my own eyes. You are definitely an interesting creature.
"I'm flattered. Twilight you really do know how to pick your friends!" He elbowed her shoulder, "So, what is this immortal business I heard about."
"Fine then, we'll get this out of the way," I sighed out and turned toward Fluttershy, "Fluttershy, Discord and Twilight already know this, but I come from a distant place, from far back in time. I no longer count my birthdays as important, but I am around 50,000 moons old. I have greater magic than anypony in Equestria, excluding Discord. I think we are on equal ground. I had casted a spell when I was much younger and I gave myself the gift of immortality, this spell is not written down anywhere as it is forbidden and will stay my secret."
"Um…that's quite…a story." Fluttershy pipped out.
"And you, I swear if you ever go to Celestia, I'll enchant her royal adornments to be anti-Discord." I glared at the draconequis.
"She's no fun anyways. But since I've finally met you and you seem fun already," Discord quickly cheered the mood up and teleported inside, hugging me, "we'll be best immortal buddies!" I teleported outside of his arms.
"So, Twilight, would you like to come in and have some tea with us?" Fluttershy asked.
"I suppose I could stay a while." She trotted on in.
After some more brewing, we were all sitting down about the living room, scattered and comfortable. Discord laidback in a recliner he summoned with the logo 'Eaz-E-Nap' on the side, Twilight and Fluttershy sat on the couch while I took a beanbag chair. I sipped at my tea every now and then, an activity that I hadn't participated in many years.
"Wait, he's making another Crystal Heart?!" Fluttershy beamed and smiled to me.
"Yep, I found the original crystal hunk it was chiseled from. I guess while I zoned into my tea, Twilight was explaining my research."
"Shadow Aura…I guess you really must be just as if not more knowledgeable in magic. Why do you even do all this?" Discord chimed in. This seemed like an odd behavior for him.
"It's my passion, why I still live today, and my part to help Equestria."
"Then why do you live in seclusion?" Fluttershy asked a third question in the series.
"So that other ponies don't interrupt my research and I enjoy the quiet open area to conduct experiments and to test new spells."
"Then how are you helping Equestria?" A fifth.
"The research I do and the spells I create get snuck into books and scrolls in the Canterlot Royal Library, the Crystal Empire's legendary library, and Twilight's library inside the castle. They end up there only if I deem them safe for ponies to know." I smiled and sipped at my tea.
"It's true. There have been a few times where I find a book or spell that wasn't in the archive. It contains his name and cutie mark stamped upon it." Twilight began to get giddy.
I soon zoned back out of the convo and into my tea, my thoughts elsewhere.
"Ah, well Fluttershy, I do believe I must be going now." Discord stretched and snapped his fingers, his tea cup disappeared along with his recliner and he was left sitting on nothing.
"Same time next week?" Fluttershy asked.
"Of course! Toodles!"
"Wait! Discord, I have a favor to ask." I stopped his fingers where they were.
"Annnnd?" He smiled to me a bit mischievously.
"I was hoping I could get you to put some of your magic into this. I want to research it's nature." I brought the rune out of my saddlebag that laid on the floor next to me.
"Oh, it has been a while since I've seen this symbol! You weren't lying when you said you were immortal, only Starswirl or Celestia could remember what this is!" He chipped and I winced.
"So, how about it?" I asked again.
"Mmmm, under one condition. If you make a book on it and decide to put it out into Equestria, I get to name it." He smiled.
The room went silent for a couple moments with all eyes on me.
"In the name of research and knowledge, yes." Discord then grabbed the rune from my levitation and pressed his finger to it.
The entire room lit up yellow as the rune and Discord's finger radiated light. I could feel the raw magic being poured into the rune and soon Discord breathed out, panting.
"Thank you, Discord." I nodded to him and put the filled rune into my saddlebag.
"You…you enchant well, even for your background." Discord was quite visibly tired.
"Thank you. I can't wait to work on this, send Twilight a letter to send to me so I can get tips on how to use your magic, basics and advanced." I was smiling, giddy.
"You'll get it sometime after…a long nap." Discord snapped his fingers, disappearing in a tuft of clouds.
"That was eventful…" Fluttershy commented.
"I agree. So Shadow, why haven't you talked much besides just then? You seem bothered." Twilight looked to me.
"No hiding from you, huh?" I laughed a little.
"Twilight's gotten a sense for this kind of stuff." Fluttershy added.
"Well," I sighed, "I used to drink tea while I discussed notes, magic, research, and life with some fellow scholars. This reminded me of them." I had a face void of emotion.
"Oh, I'm sorry that I…um…-" Fluttershy couldn't find words.
"It's fine, Fluttershy. I haven't had tea in a millenia and you brew it quite well." I smiled.
"Do you mean Starswirl and Dingy Coat?" Twilight asked.
"As a fellow scholar, yes. I suppose Celestia told you that." I sighed, I really wanted Celestia to stop speaking about me. I kept Dingy Coat out of my stories so my life would more private and I would be found as disinteresting.
"She did and-" I quickly interrupted.
"Do not read anymore of her letters about me once you find out it is about me. I will share my life with you as I wish to. Some things are better left to be told straight from me. Also, tell her that I will address her on my own time." I spoke quickly and in a very firm tone as I stood.
"O…kay…" Twilight was frightened by my sudden change in tone.
I slowly trotted out of the cottage, levitating my saddlebag on and washing ny teacup on the way out, Twilight in hoof behind me.
"Where to next?" I asked, calm once more.
"Rarity's. She might help you get that mane in check." Twilight laughed half-heartedly.
"I personally prefer my rugged but kempt style. Buuut a new lab coat would be nice for when I work with reagents again." I smiled to her as we reentered Ponyville.
"You should mention the Crystal Heart yourself to her."
"Perhaps." We arrived shortly after I finished our conversation. I knew Rarity's home wasn't too far from Fluttershy's, but I didn't think it would take such a short time.
Twilight knocked on the door and it opened promptly.
"Oh hello, Twilight. Who is this? A new friend?" She had a trademark cheeriness just as I had thought she did.
"Shadow?" Twilight posed an inquisitive tone and looked to me.
"Hello, Rarity. I am Shadow Aura. I've heard you are quite the designer when it comes to clothes." I decided I'd go straight to a topic she likes.
"Well, you heard right!" Rarity pipped, "and do come in!" Twilight entered, focusing on Rarity while I entered with a head turning about the room.
It was decorated nicely in a kind of odd Victorian fashion, a design I didn't enjoy myself, yet I knew that it definitely was well done. The ceiling was high up and the molding to the walls looked like an outcropping of perfectly clean white painted wood, a single curve accentuating it. The ceiling held nothing special, a simple white canvas. The walls were painted a rich shade of purple, one that I remember all the mages who flaunted their status used before I casted that spell.
Mannequins dotted the room, some blank, other had simple outfits on them that looked like a bit more high class than a casual wear, but not something you'd wear to a dance. Rarity, of course, kept the best things on small pods of made of the white wood that ran along the bottom of the floor and a hardwood floor of a light shade, I didn't study much carpentry so I didn't know what wood it was or how to even tell it apart from other woods.
"A lab coat, please." I stated. I was still trying to take in the atmosphere of the boutique.
"Shadow Aura, a lab coat, hmm? Definitely not the most simple thing somepony asked me to make for them, but I'll make is the most smashing lab coat you'll ever own!" Rarity definitely knew how to stay chipper.
I trotted over slowly and stood near her as she levitated a tap measure over to me. Twilight waved and went to the door.
"You're leaving me here? That's odd of you." Twilight didn't seem to be one to trust me so well, but her departure seemed like she had something up her sleeve.
"You have a promise to uphold, so I can count on that. And, Rarity won't let you leave until she sees that the lab coat suits you and your wants perfectly! If anyone can be more stubborn than me, it's her when it comes to making an outfit for somepony." She continued on her way out in silence. Rarity remained very absorbed, measuring the lengths of my legs, hooves, and neck.
"So, how would you like this coat done?" She asked in a very opposite tone of what I had heard upon my arrival. She really did take this as serious as I had watched.
"It may look odd, but I'd like it to cover my entire back as well as my front. Lab coats are meant for protection and I still don't know what the future holds for my research."
"Research? I was thinking doctor or something medical, but that sounds exciting. What do you do then?" Rarity had moved to my back upon hearing my request, measuring the curve of my neck, my sides, and my back.
"Mostly magic and spell crafting, but every now and then, it makes me go into alchemy to research properties of new items I have come across. I've done a lot." She knew my number, and she would keep calling it since she knew I would answer every time.
"And what have you done?" She began to measure around my tail and my haunches.
"I mostly make spells that will benefit Equestria and discretely put them in great troves of libraries and spell storages. It's how Celestia seems to find new spells for Twilight to try or the mysterious tomes you've heard about. And I'm working on field research right now, that's how you're getting to talk to me now actually." I decided maybe I would be open and try to make friends.
"And what is that research?" She finished, trotting into her work room. I decided to follow in tow. She began to really put her magic to work and levitate a white fabric out and off a roll, cutting into it and beginning to start many machines as well, stitching together the fabric to start with what seemed to be the sleeves of the coat.
"Well, I came a cross a particular gem in the crystal mines when I had commandeered it for a bit, and it seems to be the gem that the Crystal Heart was originally cut from. With that in mind, I'm currently working to make Equestria an even safe place."
"You simply must let me see that gem!" Rarity beamed, happy, but serious.
"I was actually thinking on it since it is your cutie mark talent. You'd probably be able to tell me a lot by just looking at it without me having to run any tests." I smiled. Twilight may be right about needing to make friends and saying that it wouldn't be a bad thing.
"She's told us all about the...bad blood between you and Celestia. And I'd love to see the gem!" She started her sentence with a sad tone and then chirped up.
"I'll definitely bring some of it by then," her words did strike something, "I suppose I shall see her then."
I quickly teleported away and reformed in front of Canterlot's Castle main doors. The guards immediately pointed their spears at me.
"State your name." One of them spoke, dressed in the normal gold guard armor with a grey coat. They both were stuck staring at my large horn.
"Shadow Aura, I'd like to see Celestia." I stated with an uninterested voice. I hated how these guards were so formal with everything and not more relaxed.
They rose their spears back up and one entered into the castle. He shortly returned.
"Her Highness will see you now." He spoke and opened the large double doors, guiding me into the foyer before opening the doors to the throne room.
"This was an unexpected visit, Aura. Please, come with me." Celestia said and trotted off from her platform and through a door in the throne room that lead to an immediate portal. I followed her through the portal and found myself in her own room, she already took a seat in one of her chairs. I took the one across from her, a table in between us.
"Would you like some tea, Aura?" She was rather calm, even when I made it quite clear that I was nervous about meeting her on my own accord. I always felt like she was a true pretentious being.
"Yes. Are we alone?"
"Indeed we are." Celestia lit up her horn and shortly after, a pony came in, carrying a platter of three teapots, two steaming and the other not. A small bowl of sugar was also present with some spoons and empty cups. Teabags were close to one of the teapots. She quickly set the platter down on the table and left after bowing and sneaking a glance at my horn.
"Anyway, I came to explain myself of course. And be...friendly. It's something Twilight's doing." I spoke, staring at the tea as I opened a teabag packet and laid it in an empty cup. She had an assortment of different teas and me being me, I grabbed a chamomile bag. I poured in hot water from the third teapot and looked up to Celestia.
"I already know from where, or more rather, when you came. But I don't know the details," she smiled warmly at me. I still didn't trust this princess as much as I trust Cadence or would trust Luna. I doubt Luna even knows of me.
"Does Luna know who I am?" I inquired my own thought.
"She does not. I thought you wouldn't come here if you spent so many moons alone. Your visit does make me happy."
"I thought it would. Send for Luna, I wish to explain myself to her as well," at the end of my sentence, Celestia's horn let off a golden aura and Luna soon appeared from a blast of deep blue magic. She stood at the door.
"I came as quickly as I could, sister. What seems to be the emergency of which you spoke?" She trotted over, I could feel her eyes on my large horn, my body and head concealed by the back of the loveseat.
"We have a guest, a very important one."
"I wouldn't say I'm that-," I was quickly hushed when Luna tightly hugged me.
"I'm sorry I couldn't help you more. You're Shadow Aura, aren't you?" I sat silent, patting her back with my hoof.
"Yes, how do you know me?"
"I've been to your dreams many times." She squeezed me tight again before letting me go and sitting next to her sister.
"That makes sense, I just haven't met you outside of my dreams. But when this is all over, can I ask that you come with me back to my home? I wish to study your dream magic."
"I shall accompany you there then."
I picked up my tea and removed the bag, my drink now steeped well. I took a sip from it and memories of Starswirl and Dingy Coat came flooding back.
"Many, many moons ago, before you two were monarchs, maybe even before the knowledge of Discord. I was friends with two scholar unicorns, before the pony races came to hate each other. They were Dingy Coat and Starwirl. Yes, that Starswirl. I think Dingy Coat died and I have no clue what happened to Starswirl, I think he may no longer be living as well."
"I've seen you three in your dreams." Luna commented.
"Continuing, there came a day in which Starswirl recommended I not cast a spell that I had created and I hid away all the notes I had for that spell. The spell made me immortal," I released my sacred info to even them.
"I thought you had just used Starswirl's time travel spell to come here. I had no idea you casted such a powerful spell." Celestia commented.
"Well, now you do know. I spend my days researching and watching history from afar. I've donated many spells to Equestria and volumes of rare knowledge, it's how all the strange new tomes appear in your library."
"Shadow Aura, is it? I must compliment you on your outstanding magical prowess. It must succeed even us and maybe even rival Flurry Heart." Luna smiled.
I sipped from my tea once more.
"My current research required the help of Cadence. I assure you, Equestria will become a more safe land for every town."
"Shadow...in your dreams, you must know that you constantly berate yourself because casting that spell made you lose your greatest friend." Luna stopped my small talk of my research quite quickly.
I sat silent for quite a while before I worked a small nerve up.
"Aura, you must know, that casting a spell like that didn't make you lose your friend, your actions afterwards did. He would have stayed by your side even if he thought of it as a mistake." Celestia was piecing everything together.
"Then why was he so fervent on making sure I didn't cast it?"
"So you wouldn't live life in seclusion and you can still live happily with friends."
I stood, finishing my tea in a gulp. I trotted to the open center of the room.
"I don't know what to think anymore. But I'll try to visit, maybe. Luna, if you would stand next to me," Lna quietly trotted next to me, "until later, Celestia." She waved me goodbye as I casted a teleportation spell over Luna and I, making us appear in my large library where I also conducted magical experiments.
I trotted to the large section that housed all my runes and picked up and empty stone one, chiseling the symbol for dream into it, which often looked like craters of the moon.
"Please, pour your magic into this, Luna. It shall not harm you, but will leave you rather tired." I handed her the rune and she looked up at me before down at it.
Her horn lit up and strands of magic connected from it to the rune. They moved quickly, but gently. Luna soon stopped and handed the rune back to me, swaying slightly.
"I wasn't expecting it to leave me...this exhausted," she commented. I trotted back to my collection and laid the rune next to Discord's.
"I'll take you back to Canterlot and to your bedroom so you can rest. It left Discord just the same. Enchanting is a skill I've become very good at." I moved back to her and laid my frame against her's so she could steady.
"That's a talent that nopony these days seem to have. Well done, Aura. I'd love to talk old magics with you sometime,"
Oh, how I would love to as well.
I casted the teleportation spell over us again, reappearing on her bed, standing atop it.
"Just lay down." Luna was already in the process of doing so before I finished speaking.
"I hope you future brings you more peace, Shadow." Luna said before weakly waving me off.
I waved back and teleported home. I was done for the day.
And I had many things to think about.