“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it, you will land among the stars.” Les Brown
Twilight was sleeping peacefully on her bed until she felt something was squeezing her to death, opening her eyes she saw her mom Twilight Velvet hugging her as hard as she could while crying.
Her parents were really worried, they were turned into plants during their daughter's flare and when they recovered she was gone. Princess Celestia told them what she knew but after hours of searching, nopony knew where Twilight went.
“Oh thank Celestia, you're okay.” Velvet continued to hug her, ignoring her daughter struggling for air, “You have no idea how worried we were for your safety, even Princess Celestia has no idea where you had disappeared to.”
Night Light entered the room and joined his daughter and wife, the tears still running down his cheeks. It took some time before Twilight was free from her parents wrap, but she didn't find herself free from the scolding for disappearing without a trace.
Twilight made sure to tell them that she had panicked after everything that happened during the exam and when the princess entered the room she feared for the worst. The next she knew, she was in her room safe. All of it was pretty much a lie, but she didn't want to make them worry even more, especially since she almost died during the flare.
When things calmed down in the Sparkle home Velvet went to prepare some dinner, Night accompanied his wife out of Twilight's room. The new goddess got out of her bed, looking around her room started looking for books from her collection, anything about history, myths and creatures of legend will do, maybe just maybe, Twilight hoped would help her to set her new goals from now on.
The white alicorn was in a luxury room, drinking some tea, Celestia was in her personal chambers revising all the notes and testimonies of what happened during Twilight's exam. She needed to know everything she could of the events. Everything implied that Twilight was having a hard time at the beginning of her exam, but because of the sonic rainboom that occurred during her test, she panicked and had a magic flare.
The amount of magic to hatch the dragon egg and make it grow to that size must have been immense, for a filly like her to survive on her own... Just how was she able to do so? Celestia’s train of thought was interrupted by a knock at the door.
“Please come in,” Celestia responded, leaving her notes on the table with her golden magic.
“Sorry for being late auntie Celestia,” said a friendly voice as the door opened. A pink alicorn much younger and smaller than Celestia; Princess Mi Amore Cadenza entered the room before closing that door behind her. The adopted niece of Celestia herself got closer to the table.
“Thank you for coming on such short notice Cadance,” Celestia said smiling at her niece, “I have some important matters to discuss with you.”
Cadance took a seat next to her aunt while Celestia prepared her a cup of tea and refilled hers. The young princess saw that around the table were many papers and scrolls, trying to guess the reason of her aunt’s distress, she took one of them.
Celestia smiled at her nieces curiosity, realizing she was found out. Cadance smiled at her and asked what was wrong. Sighing deeply Celestia gave Cadance her tea before sipping hers.
“Today was the admission exam of little Twilight Sparkle,” Celestia said while scanning her notes.
“Oh that’s true!” reacted Cadance, “How did it go? Did she pass? Oh, I hope she did, she was so nervous last time I saw her.”
Celestia stared at Cadance, making her stop her questions with a raise of her hoof, making her niece worry.
“Twilight Sparkle had a magic flare during the exam,” said Celestia while she stopped her niece with her hoof from interrupting and continued,“She is alright now, just when I made it to the exam room she regained control all by herself, and no harm came to anypony present. What came to my attention was the magnitude of her magic power during incident, I know you told me that she was an impressive unicorn, but what I witnessed was not even close to that.”
“What do you mean? Auntie, is there something wrong with Twilight?” asked Cadance, worried by the statement in Celestia words.
“Oh no, nothing like that,” said Celestia reassuring her niece, “She has the power to do great things with the right guidance.”
“Or do really bad ones if not,” responded Cadance with a serious voice, “Is that what you wanted to imply?”
Silence dominated the room, both alicorns kept staring at each other with no break in eye contact; Celestia knew that Cadance was attached emotionally to Twilight since she started her job as foalsitter, but she also new that a unicorn like Twilight going wrong would doom Equestria. She feared a new King Sombra at minimum but it could be even worse. Celestia had witnessed many great wizards during the centuries, many had made great things, but some took the wrong direction, causing much damage and loss.
Celestia closed her eyes and sighed then broke the silence,“I will send a letter to Twilight's parents in the morning, requesting to be their daughter's teacher.”
“Another protégé? What about Sunset?” Cadance reacted, “She will think you don't need her anymore, you know she isn't feeling well lately with the pressure you are putting on her.”
“Do not worry my dear niece. Sunset will be fine once she understands she’s got nothing to worry about.” responded Celestia somewhat annoyed by the comment, “I can have as many students as I please. In fact, you should be happy that your favorite filly will be living here with you once all is settled.”
“I'm sorry if I disrespected you in anyway,” responded Cadance, bowing slightly to Celestia.
“It’s okay, I appreciate your concern for both my student and your little friend,” said Celestia smiling softly at Cadance, “Now, would you be so kind as to tell me how things are going in your life while I set the sun and raise the moon? And by the way, I have a little guy that needs a foalsitter right now.”
Celestia parted from the table and went to the balcony to proceed with her daily duty of more than a thousand years now.
“Of course! That sounds good to me. My studies as princess are going well, as is my control of my power over emotions,” said Cadance as Celestia moved, “School is going really well, Shining Armor is helping me with...”
Celestia lowered her sun and rose the moon while the mark on it reminded her of her actions almost a thousand years ago, giving sadness to her heart, but soon it disappeared to be replaced with fear and panic as she looked at the night sky.
“Impossible...” Celestia said with a widened expression as her body trembled.
“What is it auntie?” asked Cadance, realizing the panic in Celestia words, moving closer to her, “Is something wrong?”
The moment Cadance got to the balcony and looked up to the sky, she shared the same expression as the panicked Celestia. The night sky that always showed the beauty of the moon and the stars was in complete darkness save for the moon shining like it always did, not a single star could be seen.
Twilight read all the books she could find in her house, about ancient history, legends and myths of old times, but instead of answers she had found more questions. The history of Equestria had a lot of holes in it. It was impossible for a single alicorn to rule for so long alone, 3 races of ponies fighting each other was a good example of that. There had been no order or control within the kingdom, mortal royalty had shared control over the nation. That alone was a source of corruption, thought Twilight. Over the ages great figures were born but none had ascended to godhood as Cadance or herself, she couldn't find a reason why.
But what give Twilight the biggest headache was the Equestrian flag, the symbol of unity for the 3 races under the rule of Celestia herself, was a clear proof of a lie hidden in plain sight. Two alicorns one white, the other dark; day and night. Celestia had a sister and she had made sure that nopony would remember her, but why, and since when? Those questions were killing her inside, it was obvious that she didn't fear sharing her rule since she had Cadance, but that could change over the centuries of loneliness. Did she kill her sister? Did her sister get sick or killed by another?
Celestia also controlled the sun and the moon by herself, probably since she got rid of her sister. Could this secret sister have been her love counterpart on this world. She needed answers and she need them fast. Too many secrets, and too many questions and she was just starting her first night.
She Sighed deeply while moving to the window, looking through the window to the night sky she froze for a second. Her stars where not to be found, but then she remembered she hadn't called for them yet; but before she did she saw the moon for the first time since her ascension.
A sealing spell on the moon itself? How? Why? Twilight's train of thought was going wild until it hit her; the missing sister, the one in command of the night was sealed on her moon itself. Now she knew where to start looking. But how could her own sister do that? And showing to the whole world her sister’s misery like that for stars know how long.
“Mmm...what a headache..” murmured Twilight, pressing her head on her forehooves.
When she was about to call her stars to paint the night sky she stopped, this was probably the first time ever that the night sky had nothing in it, thought Twilight. Soon a devilish smile appeared on her muzzle, showing her little fangs.
“Consider this a welcoming gift from a Goddess of the Night to you, Celestia of the Sun,” said Twilight as her eyes shone violet before returning to her studies on her bed.
The following morning the courtroom was in chaos, hundreds of ponies were there asking for answers as to why the stars had disappeared from the sky the night before. Princess Celestia was still in her chambers, completely exhausted, trying to find answers of her own. She thought it was her sister’s doing, but it was not near enough to the time for her thousand year sentence to end. There was also the possibly that she had made a mistake calling that night, since it was not her domain to begin with, but with her power the stars simply ignored her completely last night.
Cadance left soon after the night started to the Canterlot Archives to find some answers together with Celestia’s protégé, but by sunrise they still hadn't left the place, which means that they're still looking, thought Celestia.
Leaving her chambers Celestia gave her secretary the letter for Twilight's parents requesting it to be sent by today. While trotting through the hallways of the castle to the courtroom she was reminded of her duties for the day, the idea of hundreds of her little ponies panicking over the stars was a headache she wished she never had to deal with.
“Please summon everypony, I would like to reassure my subjects that everything is alright.” said Celestia as she trotted through the hallways.
Once she communicated to the her ponies that the stars were not gone, or that it wasn’t a prophecy of some evil coming to destroy them, she returned to her regular schedule. Though, with the matter still in her mind, she lost no small amount of sleep. As well as a matching headache.
Twilight was in front of her parents in the living room of her home, they were upset, again... She was up all night researching, and had gone to sleep at sunrise. Her mom found out when she tried to wake her up for breakfast, now she had to deal with their lecture, but she was saved by the sound of a knock at the door.
A messenger from the castle had delivered a letter from the Princess herself, Velvet and Night were now deciding how to reply since it was not the apology they were expecting.
The Princess want to make us her new protégé? This could complicate our plans, although it is something we thought we only dream of happening... thought Twilight. Though, her parents were having their own discussion about it.
“Twilight, honey, what do you want to do?” asked Velvet to her daughter that was lost in thought, “We know this is something you always wanted, the same reason we let you take the exam for Her Highness's school.”
“But we want you to tell us if this is something you could take, since it will be more difficult. Plus the responsibilities will be larger than those of just going to the gifted unicorns school.” contributed Night Light standing next to his wife.
Twilight was having a hard time, her options were few and she really didn't want to give up her dreams just because of Celestia's secrets.
“We know, that was our dream,” said Twilight, as her parents already gotten used to Twilight’s new way of talking and referring to herself that started since she had recovered from her flare, “Is it alright if we decide to do this?”
“But of course honey, we don't want to stop you from going. All we want is the best Canterlot can offer you, ” responded Velvet.
“Also, being the Princess’s personal student will give you access to the biggest library Equestria can offer,” said Night winking at her, “maybe you can find more information about ancient history there.”
That's true! The Canterlot Archives are at the castle! thought Twilight, “Alright we will give it a try, but if it’s too much can we return home?” Twilight asked with a smile.
“This will always be your home honey, no matter where you go.” responded Velvet, hugging her daughter.
“You will be spending the weekends here at home anyway” Night comforted her.
They gave their reply to the messenger who returned the castle, Twilight's parents helped their daughter to pack her stuff since the next day she would be living in the castle under Princess Celestia's care.
“Mom can you make us a cloak like that one Clover the Clever used?” asked Twilight, giving the cutest puppy eyes she could make.
“Of course honey, but it will not be ready by tomorrow. Maybe some time next week?” replied Velvet with a smile.
“Sure! Thanks mom, we love you!” responded Twilight with a hug.
“We love you too honey” said Velvet hugging her back.
It was almost sundown and Celestia was doing her best to concentrate while rising the moon, she needed to make sure it wasn't some bad premonition of evil, or that her sister wasn’t going to be free sooner than she should. The day had been awful. Tons of ponies, many of them nobles, had come to her requesting answers and reassurance, even after her proclamation before court.
By her side stood Cadance, waiting patiently while keeping her eyes on the sky, just as her aunt she hoped for the best. Her eyes were bloodshot and tired, she had been up all day researching with Celestia's student Sunset, looking for answers or prophecies.
The sun disappeared on the horizon together with the beautiful colors of the sky. The twilight sky called for the night, soon after, the moon began to rise as an ocean of stars welcomed it, but unlike any other night, the stars shone even brighter than normal, an incredibly gorgeous starry ocean covered the sky. Many ponies and astronomers around Equestria were astonished by the view, it didn't matter if the streets or the cities were full of light, if you looked up to the sky you could see every single constellation shining bright next to the moon, even competing with it for attention.
“Well the night is back to normal, it even looks better than before.” said Cadance next to Celestia, enchanted by the view.
“Yeah it’s gorgeous...” responded Celestia lowering her gaze to meet Cadance, “But I didn't do it.”
Cadance looked at Celestia and could only responded with a very unladylike sound.
Up in the skies above Canterlot a beautiful melody sounded as the stars shined brighter, a single alicorn spread her wings as she flew around the moon. Twilight danced in the sky under the moonlight, keeping her altitude as high as possible, enough to not be seen or heard as she called for her loving children to fill the night sky, while being showered by the light of the moon. Her tears fell as they shone brighter, welcoming their goddess, happy for her return, happy for her melody calling to them, happy for her.
She didn't hide her appearance at all, her ethereal mane and tail almost mixed in with her starry ocean sky, like a colorful nebula of space, her slitted eyes shined a gorgeous violet, showing as bright as her stars. Her wings were majestic and beautiful, even with her filly size, they were still those of a goddess. The performance was not for mortal eyes to enjoy, they were not worthy enough to even appreciate it.
At the end of her melody, while keeping her eyes glued to the moon she teleported back to her room, back to wearing her disguise. Even if she didn't like to sleep at night anymore, her parents would be mad again. Besides they needed the sleep to be in the presence of the Princess by the morning, and receive her mentor.
The morning was supposed to be like any other, but unfortunately not everything can go to plan. For Celestia, it was clear it was not going to be a good day. Up in the blue sky anypony could still see the stars, not all of them, but some were still visible, and were competing with her sun for attention.
Somepony must be messing with me, or someone up there hates me for some reason... thought Celestia, already tired of the mess the stars had been causing lately. How was all this possible? She didn't know, but she also didn't care anymore, not for now at least. Her new student would be here soon to meet her after all.
Finishing her tea, Princess Celestia trotted through the hallways, her secretary right next to her, and rattling off the different appointments that needed to be attended today before arriving in the courtroom. She still had some work to do before Twilight arrived today.
Nopony dared mention the stars in the sky, at least until court started when some nobles started asking the reason behind it, and like a miracle for Celestia’s well being the stars disappeared later that morning. The day skies finally returned back to normal.
Right after noon Twilight and her parents were in presence of Princess Celestia herself. They were in the middle of the royal gardens having lunch, Velvet and Night were doing very little to hide their nervousness, not even able to even eat at all. Unlike her parents, Twilight was eating normally, recovering from the mess of emotions she felt when she met the Princess personally.
Celestia was used to seeing many kinds of emotions in the eyes of those around her, but never expected to experience so many from the filly staring her in the eyes. Fear, joy, love, anger, hate and respect just to mention some of the most obvious ones. Why would she feel all of that for her? Did she blame her for the magic flare? Of the starless sky? Princess Celestia had no idea what to predict from her new student.
But the most important part of their meeting was the filly’s cutie mark, Twilight Sparkle's cutie mark was an exact representation of the Element of Magic itself. Celestia didn't know what to think, she had been so certain that her current student, Sunset Shimmer was to be the holder of the Element of Harmony, but now she wasn’t so sure. Could both of them could be the holder with the right preparation?
“Well, it’s really a pleasure to be able to speak with you Twilight Sparkle,” said Celestia with a soft smile, “and both you Twilight Velvet and Night Light of course.”
“But of course. It’s an honor for us too Your Highness,” responded Night Light, bowing his head in unison with his wife.
“Please, there is no need for that here,” said Celestia rising her hoof, “I will be your daughter's mentor from today onward, she will be under my wing, and I will care for her as such.”
“Jeez, thanks Princess Celestia. It will be an honor.” responded Twilight with the most innocent smile but the sarcasm in her tone was not lost to Celestia.
“The honor will be all mine Twilight, I know you will become a great pony someday,” said Celestia, keeping her smile, and ignoring the tone in the filly’s voice, “and I will make sure you do.”
The rest of the lunch went without any issues, Twilight's parents left to go home soon after, leaving their daughter at the castle. Celestia took Twilight to her new room, she wanted to have both students living together, but Cadance thought it would be bad for both of them. So Celestia brought Twilight to a small library in one of the wings of the castle where her personal chambers were. She knew Twilight loved books, so it would be the perfect place for the filly and make it easier for her to grow.
On the way to the library and Twilight's new room Princess Celestia was giving the filly a brief tour of the castle, like where her personal chambers were, the kitchen location, etc. Twilight listened to Celestia while carefully studying the castle’s structure and guard locations, if she wanted to have some privacy, or leave the castle without being seen it was necessary to know the best place to do so.
Luckily for Twilight, Princess Celestia had her duties to take care of pretty much everyday, so she would have enough privacy to keep her personal research going. She would study under Celestia, there were some things she could probably find useful, although many were probably already given to her by Asteria's knowledge.
When they enter Twilight's new room the lavender filly's eyes widened seeing the amount of books in the room, Celestia felt she had achieved her goal to get on the good side of the filly.
“Welcome to your new room Twilight Sparkle,” Celestia said as she closed the door behind them with a smile, “all the books in here will be useful for your studies from today onward, I personally selected them for you.”
Celestia thought this will give her some more points on the filly’s good side, but inside Twilight's mind she only got half of those points. So that means everything she doesn't want to be seen or found of the past, ancient history, forbidden spell or so on is no longer here, Twilight thought as she sighed. She hadn’t assumed it would be easy but, this complicated her research plans a little.
“Can I read other books too, like those in the Archives for example?” Twilight asked as she contemplated her room and some of the book's names around the closest bookshelf.
“Of course, being my student will grant you access to the Archives any time you want to go, as long as it’s open that is. Or is not a restricted area, granted you finish your assignments, of course.” Celestia responded with a smile.
“Great!” said Twilight with a smile, “Thank you Princess.”
“You are very welcome Twilight Sparkle,” Celestia responded. “Now, I will let you set up in your new room while I finish my duties for the day,” said Celestia as she left the room, “We will meet again during dinner and I will introduce you to my other student.”
Alone in the room the only sound Twilight could make was, “Eh?”