So thou hast finally arrived. Tis finally time that ye spoke with us. Verily, we are Her Nightjesty of Dreams and Nightmares Princess Luna Nyx Selena Equestria.
We are fully aware of thine interviews with the Elements of Harmony.
Thou wishes to know how the Elements were split between Our sister and ourselves when we imprisoned Discord? That would be meaningless. Laughter? Kindness? Generosity? Magic? Loyalty? Honesty? The Elements went by completely different names when our sister and ourself used them. Or to be more precise, they took on a different iteration. Just know it was half and half and allow that to be that.
The rumor that Princess Gaia personally harmed the Element of Generosity in retribution for dosing her cat in hot water to add credence to a lie Generosity told? We can assure you that while fair Fluttershy would have been upset at this coming to light, she tis enlightened enough now to see no true harm was done.
Honesty upset over Generosity telling multiple lies? Honesty has become perhaps the second most enlightened of all the Elements in their recent spurt of growth. She would admonish Miss Rarity for not thinking of a more reasonable response to her situation, but she would not verbally abuse her. NOR think less of her for being a flawed mortal pony! For Miss Applejack to do so would be to contradict her Element by turning a blind eye to the truth.
Also, one of ye ripped several pages from our personal royal diary. Yes. That one. We do not appreciate our private thoughts being documented without our royal permission. Our Night Guard would like to have a word with thou. No no no, the rest of you are free to stay.
We will admit. we were rather shocked to learn the little town outside of our sister's new castle was founded by the descendants of the Earth Pony who won our respect a thousand years ago where his two brothers, ahem, did not. It was even more surprising to learn the produce that had kicked started Ponyville into existence was actually one of many random creations of . . . well, maybe it is best ponies of Ponyville do NOT know who brought into existence magic apples that grow after a series of ominous dark signs and only last a day and to bring out their true flavor require a plethora of absurd antics and arcane rituals that do not make any sense. Their market value would drop like a rock. Do not think about it.
My opera? Much like The Hearth Warming's Eve Pageant, it is better you do not know how much of my play The Three Pony Brothers is fact and much is fiction. Because that is not the point.
We feel ashamed in that we think perhaps our sister should have let all of Equestria's aristocrats and elites experience Princess Gaia's 'play day', instead of simply our Nephew and his poor poor bodyguards. It seems to have done the impossible and granted the foolish foal of a stallion a smidgen of decency. He even tolerated Generosity during her visit in Canterlot, something we admit we believed impossible prior to this, given their history at the Gala.
Why did we allow there to remain a holiday in honor of our time as a slave to our own jealousy and rage? It was a personal favor to a friend of mine.
No, not Twilight Sparkle. Though we are quite grateful to her for being one of the only ponies who never once demonstrated fear towards us on that night.
Our sister has actually suggested that when we were Nightmare Moon that we were subconsciously putting Twilight and her companions through situations that left them no alternative but for their Element to rise to the surface. Yes, we remember everything we did as Nightmare Moon. Does thou think we bawled for forgiveness to our sister for blacking out for a thousand years after a tantrum?
Yes, wanting attention and respect and our form of Nightmare Moon being a fearsome fully adult mare was not coincidence.
If ye wish to speak more of our time as Nightmare Moon then we shall disappoint thou. We, I, have more pressing things to think about! Now if you will excuse me.
A thousand years, a thousand years, I had gotten so used to the slow pace at which ponies' civilization evolved that it was dizzying to see how much things had changed.
You think I mean technology? Pfft. After the, er, 'incident' involving some kitchen appliances I dove into learning the progress ponies had made in craftsmanship and various 'technology' . . . That word is as strange to me as the word 'fun.'
No. I shall settle that right now! The word 'fun' is only three hundred years old, I was imprisoned for a thousand years! I certainly know what it is to be merry thank you very much! 'Technology' is only a slightly older word. And even with it I have a good deal of confusion, it's meaning has changed a great deal since I was imprisoned. The meaning you know of it now is only 200 years old.
I won't bore you with the many 'learning experiences' I had in my year of recovery. But suffice to say, I've learned much, but Nightmare Night showed that I still had much to learn. For a goddess this is rather infuriating.
Technology? I've gotten a grasp on the improvements in magic, science, and alchemy in my absence. It's a tiny bit surprising how exponential progress has become.
What still catches me off guard? It's the way ponies speak to one another, what they can say, what they can't say. It's the way ponies treat their parents and family. How ponies can express their feelings, and how they can't. What feelings are proper, and what feelings are not. Some spheres have expanded, while others have shrunk.
If my nephew was not a spoiled narcissist, I would find his royal manner rather comforting.
My original scheme was to make the day when ponies rested and the night when they labored. After Celly got down on her hooves and begged me to end this insanity, dared to make requests when during night she was to be submissive to me, I decided she hadn't learned her lesson and need to have her day gone completely! Already I imagined mushrooms and nocturnal plants that would -somehow- feed off my reflected moonlight. The insanity of this plan did not occur to me until after I was cured.
Even though I was free and sane, a thousand years of fearful tales ran deep. Instead of Discord, I had become the boogy-mare. Is it any wonder they didn't think I could be what I appeared to be at my second-advent as Nightmare Moon?
They all so readily embraced me again as a filly. I was seen as a victim, the Night Guard willingly and knowingly became mine. My new court accepted me like a newly ascended heir, but they were loyal.
Then a thousand years caught up with me and I entered the flux between filly and mare. As my power restored itself my coat darkened and my mane became ethereal like Celly's.
Ponies' looks at me changed. Now they saw the object of their foalhood fears made real.
Nightmare Night. Prove them wrong. Only make things worse. Try to change. Things get worse. Begone this mockery of my sins. Twilight Sparkle. Slip into my Nightmare form. Play their game by their rules on their terms.
And the colt who was more terrified of me than any other after I saved his life, declared that -I- was his favorite Princess.
You have no idea of my joy. For the first time in a thousand years, a pony had chosen me over my sister.
A thousand years since Appledancer, Fate Bell, and Far Sigh.
Of course I told Celly everything about that night. Though I might have left out Pipsqueak. Why? No. It was not a secret. Celly and I promised there would be no secrets between us ever again.
She laughed when I said how I had taught Rainbow Dash some manners on inappropriate pranks. Celly had always possessed a great sense of humor.
Events that happened during the day while I slept were shared with me by Celestia and my court when I awakened at night. Thankfully I had centuries of experience catching up on daily events before I went about my nightly business. Of course, Celestia's chats would center around her student. It was stunning to hear Celestia always talk so highly of her, save for the bone-headed disaster with the Want It Need It spell.
With the new activity in my court, finding time for my artistic pursuits had become a luxury rather than a distraction from empty nights with empty rooms. (No I didn't mean Pip dofus! I mean my plays, poems, and paintings).
I didn't try to hide my personal project of helping Pipsqueak from Celly.
It was the same magic I used to change myself into the Shadow Bolts really: my avatars would protect him during the day, and I would guard him during his sleep. And occasionally give some of his bullies their just desserts in their dreams.
And I think I finally began to understand why Celestia was always so merry when she talked about Twilight.
Then the fog appeared. And I felt what I thought I'd never feel again. The power of a new Alicorn. It was like an Alicorn with all the experience of a newborn brought into the world with the magic of a full-grown mare! The magic reflected its master, naïve and well meaning and blinded by tears.
Celly woke me barely after sunrise. I hadn't yet gone to sleep while feeling the impossible.
She could only tell me what she sensed, a change that had been familiar but she had turned a blind eye to when she had felt it a thousand years ago.
She promised that Twilight and her friends would deal with it, while Celly on the other hoof dealt with everything ELSE.
As the misty feelings of happiness and foalhood spread across Equestria, Celly of course maintained her control. Philomena kept the fog from touching Canterlot. Celly duped our nephew into getting himself exposed along with his guards. And with my sister's absolute authority during the day, I was made babysitter of Blueblood's guards while Celly took care of business elsewhere in Equestria along with the now much more agreeable colt that was Blueblood.
We both sensed no ill-will from this new source of magic, but it was childish, irrational with grief, and inexperienced. It was like seeing a foal with a crossbow. Celestia showed her unbreakable faith in one little mortal mare and promised me Twilight would take the cross bow away from the foal, while Celestia made sure nopony got shot.
Celly and I plan when sunrise and sunset is months in advance to avoid squabbles. I was very vexed when I realized Celly was keeping the sun up past due. Well two could play that game! No! No! Not like that! Not literally! I sincerely hope you don't allow that to get to the tabloids, they say enough about me and my sister as it is!... But I also sensed something that belonged to me, with its seal broken, which was supposed to be impossible.
But I sensed something that -felt- much more important to me. Another Alicorn's magic was trying to invade past the wards I had placed around Pipsqueak. Trying to make him its own. An Arctic storm exploded inside me without warning. I poured my will and consciousness into keeping him safe without hesitation. My 'charges' momentarily cowered behind me in awe.
Leaving the foals in the hooves of two of my own guards and taking two more, I retrieved my property after Twilight and her friends had, as Celly assured me they would, dealt with the problem, and learned much of the full truth of what had transpired: a little filly who barely understood how things worked wanted to rewrite the rules.
No. So we can settle this. My property did NOT make Fluttershy a goddess. It did not. Understood? She already had power akin to that of an Alicorn in order to break the seal on my property.
And I came in the presence of a pony who would be an Alicorn who became a pony again: an Alicorn who had wanted to turn the world upside down because she was drowning her own sorrow.
And I made sure one pony would never forget the full scale of her foalishness. And she would never ever forget that she had trespassed on the sacred ground of another goddess. I didn't resist the feeling of sweet satisfaction as I saw her cower before me in guilt and sorrow.
Her friends were ready to throw themselves like the tide against boulders at my guards and myself. But I had been awake for an entire day, and didn't have time to humor them. I took us back to Canterlot: I wasn't all that surprised to see Celly already waiting for us.
She sensed the new Elements as quickly I had. I knew this meant much. But I didn't care. Pip was safe. I was tired. I had punished the transgression committed against me. I looked at my defaced Guards and told them I appreciated their service and loyalty and barely took the time to raise my other self into the sky before finally crashing to sleep.
"Why was I so angry?" When I became Nightmare Moon, the anger was like being in a desert. When I watched our family die, it was like I had been gutted like a fish. When Nightmare Night degenerated into a disaster, it was a buck in the face. I had never known this. All I knew was, was to lose Pip, to have anyone touch him, to harm him, to have him, was a crime I would pardon to none.
A filly with power she had never been taught how to properly use, driven mad by her darker emotions, and decided to rewrite the rules of the world to suit her own taste. My gut twisted inside.
On the day of Hearth Warming, the day after the pageant in Canterlot (my adopted pets providing lovely special effects), I spent the morning with my Sister. Our second Hearth Warming Day together, and this time I wasn't trapped in the castle by doctor's orders. You have no idea how wonderful it was! We exchanged gifts: I showed Celestia my new constellation and Celly showed me the new species of 'moon flowers' she had created for me.
The Elements, all of them, spent the day with their families, as they should. I swear I heard the guards say that they Fluttershy putting a ring of flowers around Discord's petrified neck.
My nightingales were my eyes in Ponyville. Rarity for the first time in years apparently spent the day with her family. The Apples were much the same. Twilight, trying to make up for seeing none of them on her birthday, spent the entire day with her parents and Spike. Rainbow spent the day with her pet and ward but made time to visit the Flutters as well.
The Flutters spent the rest of the day in the Everfree Forest bringing gifts for the damned. The mournful neighs of the dead crying out for what their patron goddess could no longer give them. Though I'm certain the Flutters would tell me otherwise.
Pinkie Diane would spend the day with the Cakes and their children. But then went up to her room, and held a one pony celebration for a very similar holiday that wasn't supposed to exist in this universe, with socks by the fireplace with the names of ponies who had never been born.
You wish more details? Like spoken words that give stories meaning? I am sorry. Much happens in Equestria, and there is so much to cover, and it feels like things are changing only faster and faster. So so very much. I hope you can forgive me for being so abrupt. I know it is not the Alicorn way, but I feel so tired.
"It's time Lulu," Celly said at dusk, that point between night and day where we were equals.
"Right 'Tia." I said dragging myself from bed. I raised the moon almost robotically and followed behind like a good little sister as we teleported to a room that had been moved from our castle in Everfree stone block by stone block. The room was in one of Canterlot's many tall towers. It had several long thin windows but no doors. It was spartan, but Celly and I took a little time out of each year to clean it ourselves.
Only a handful of ponies besides ourselves knew this room existed. It wasn't a secret. We simply didn't speak of it often.
Neither of us said anything.
In the room was six statues, all life-size on equally sized pillars. They surrounded us in a circle. There was a stone imitation of an Earth Pony, a Pegasus, an Unicorn, an Alicorn, a Hippocampus, and a Flutterpony with tiny stone feelers. We removed the rainbow colored bouquets from last year and placed fresh ones at the base of the statues of the hippocampus and flutterpony.
Ringed along the round room's wall below the windows were gold engraved symbols, twenty two to be precise. These symbols included a pony skull, the sun and the moon, a globe, a jester's hat, and musical note. Together we each said a prayer to most of them. Nuzzling each other, the statues, the symbol, then each other again, we teleported out. We restored the protective seals on the room for another year.
As my loyal stars filled the sky, a snap decision occurred to me. I nuzzled my sister again and teleported straight to the kitchens.
"YOUR PRINCESS COMMANDS YOU! COOK ONE OF EVERY POSSIBLE HEARTH WARMING TREAT AND DELICACY IMAGINABLE AT ONCE! CROSS OFF ANYTHING ALREADY MADE IN STORAGE AND HAVE THEM ALL WRAPED FOR PRESENTATION AND TRAVEL!"
They likely would have gotten it done faster if they hadn't spent ten minutes cleaning up everything they dropped hearing my Royal Canterlot Voice.
Assembling my Night Guard and servers who had drawn the short straw for being on duty this night, I made a royal procession straight to Ponyville. This one didn't end with everypony running from me in terror.
We stopped at a very modest dwelling. I knocked on the door myself. "OPEN IN THE NAME OF PRINCESS LUNA!"
I had never met them in person, but I knew their names. A mare named Mouse Squeak peaked out the upper half of the door with her husband Quick Squeak right behind her.
"Y-yes . .. your Majesty? Er, Darkesty, Nightmaresty, uh, Nicesty? What may we do for you?"
"WE ARE . . . I am here to visit with my subjects. Is Pipsqueak home?"
Mouse Squeak fainted, Quick Squeak broke her fall with his own fainted body.
"Mom? Dad? PRINCESS LUNA!" Pipsqueak cheered, now wearing a winter cap and a scarf rather than his pirate costume.
The foal ran through the kitchen and over his unconscious parents into my forelegs. "It's great to see you!"
"AND WE, and I you."
"Uh . . . what's wrong with mom and dad?"
"They're just . . . napping. Do you mind if I have Hearth Warming Day dinner with you?"
"Uh . . . no?"
"Royal Procession, enter."
They moved like a swarm of Parasprites, dressing up the Squeak's modest dwelling in minutes. I rather liked it as it was. It felt nostalgic.
After fainting once more and finally staying conscious the second time, the Squeaks were gracious 'hosts.' They were actually happy to meet the Princess who their son had spent so long talking about. It felt . . . I believe the term is 'nice' for my conversation with them, I felt no heaviness, and even with my Night Guard at every door and my servers running to and throe, I felt I could forget my troubles for a minute. I can see why my sister cherishes moments such as these with our subjects.
"It is . . . a very wonderful meal Princess Luna. Very wonderful." Mouse Squeak said choosing her words carefully around her goddess.
"I'm glad you like it. You'll be keeping the leftovers." They nearly fainted again.
Pipsqueak ate until his belly was a ball.
I then asked, "Pipsqueak, is there anything you want for Hearth Warming Night? Anything at all?" Tongue slip.
"Well, there WAS this one toy I think I saw these well-off foals had and-"
"SAY NO MORE! Mr. and Mrs. Squeak, I will be borrowing your son for a moment."
They didn't dare protest.
In my black chariot and with Pip holding onto me, my night guards flew us to Manehatten in record time. Pip for his part was star struck at the city that looked to be as big as a country to him. And the flying, heh, oh yes the flying.
"LUNA I'M SCARED!" And three seconds later, "LUNA DON'T STOP THIS IS SO COOL!"
On a whim and knowing Pip's love of fearful tales I whispered, "Would you like to know how I got this chariot?"
"It began once upon a time, about fifteen hundred years ago I'd say-" I started.
"-and so the half-demon centaur Tirek fell, As all have fallen who had attempted to rob the Throne of the Night from me. With their lord gone, his creatures of the night swiftly bowed to their new Princess. And while the Chariot of Darkness no longer had ponies turned into dragons to pull it, I fancied the color and took it as my trophy." I finished as we touched down. Pip's eyes had never left me the entire story.
Yes, the Princess of the Night arriving in the middle of a major city's square on a major holiday did cause a stir. But I wasn't paying attention.
With my guards and Pip as my guest, I entered one of the nearby building. They found the toy Pip wanted rather quickly. I then bought out half the store for him for good measure. "Uh, Princess Luna? I don't think I could fit all this in my room," Pip said VERY reluctantly.
"I understand." I immediately ordered one of my attendants to buy one of the warehouses in Ponyville with the deed legally to me but Pip given the keys.
Pip looked about nervously, "Miss Luna? Er, everyone's looking at us."
"Really?" I realized my mistake. Pip was underdressed. I nuzzled him, "Don't worry we'll fix that!"
I then took him to one of the city's major tailors and had a dress suit customized to his size. He looked absolute adorable on it. I tore it to shreds and orders a new one made when he got out the hundred bit fabric was making him itch.
"Where would you like to do next Pip?" I asked, I couldn't keep the excitement out of my voice.
Pip said, "I'm feeling a little tired." My heart sank. "But I've never gotten to stay up this late before! What do you wanna do-?!"
I squealed in delight. By good chance there was a theater showing Deadpony's Chest which Pip was delighted at seeing.
The theater staff were sure they were dreaming when I stepped in. I noticed my guards were giving each other nervous glances but I didn't care. If my sister could enjoy a day with her beloved Twilight during Gaia's festival, why shouldn't I do the same? And I had no intention of disguising myself, Princess Luna was here and everypony was going to know it!
Finally I showed Pip Equestria's largest ice rink.
"I . . dunno how to skate." Pip confessed.
"I don't know either! Come on! We'll learn!" I shouted like any excitable teenage filly. "How hard can it be?"
Pip got the hang of it enough to stay on his hoof screaming as he sped uncontrolled along on the ice while I kept falling on my royal plot.
It was now after midnight back in Ponyville.
I wanted to end the evening on a bang, but I was coming up blank. I saw a mall pony dressed up in a fake white beard and red robes. I asked Pip if he'd like to meet Santa Hooves. And like any innocent faithful foal of course he said yes.
Let me tell you trips to the North Pole are a lot more complicated then they used to be.
On the top of the world, performing the grandest display of magic I could remember, I created the largest aurora borealis in a thousand years. A private light show, just for us. Pip was mesmerized by the shifting colors in the sky blanketing my stars. The heavens dancing just for him. Pip fell asleep on my side.
I wanted to wake him, to have my constellations themselves perform for him. But, he looked so peaceful. So beautiful. So innocent. It was like some holy perfection I didn't dare disturb. I only watched his slow rhythmic breath.
With a pegasus truck full of toys behind me, I took Pip back to the Squeaks. Like the loving parents they were they were wide awake and took back their son with a heartfelt thank you. Quick Squeak saw the mountain of toys outside, thanked me for showing his son a good evening, and fainted. Mouse Squeak put her son to bed, carefully taking off the dress suit, kissing him on the cheek, and then fainted.
I returned home smiling, lowered the moon, and fell asleep with the dawn.
The Next Night
"Lulu! Have you read the tabloids tonight?" Celly called out. I was surprised. I figured she'd be in bed by now.
"What? Did I miss one of Sunny Day's articles? I know how much you love me reading them. I promise I'll get to it," I said with a smile on my face and a spring in my step.
"Luna, I'm serious." Celestia floated the yellow rag over to me.
I was surprised to find myself and Pip on the cover. I read aloud, "'Princess Luna Likes Foals?' So?"
Celestia let out a cry of frustration that startled me. She looked ready to bang her head against the throne room floor. "LUNA! I! AGH! LOOK! THAT DOES NOT MEAN WHAT YOU THINK IT MEANS!"
"What? I know what they mean. Big deal. We've had it legal for all ponies to love each other even before my sentence."
"Luna ... LUNA! THAT has not been considered proper for over seven hundred years! Not since the noble ponies ceased arranged marriages! Foal marriages don't exist in Equestria anymore!"
"But foal marriages were always so adorable."
"Luna, Luna, LUNA! Listen to your big sister very carefully! YOU KNOW those kinds of marriages aren't physical! But when ANYPONY thinks of the word 'loves' these days they think of one thing first!"
I stared at her silent for several seconds. Then my eyes widened, "BUT THAT'S INSANE! Just because . .. just because . . . AGH! Don't they think ponies have free will!? Love is not an illness! And ponies CHOOSE how they act on their feelings!"
"I know that sister! You know that sister! Most ponies know that! But when they see someone innocent with someone who has power, they naturally assume the person with power is going to exploit the one who does not! They jumped on me like a pack of wolves when I took Twilight as my personal student!"
" . . . I see." I whispered lowly.
"Even now that she's a mare, some won't let that go! When they saw how young you were when you were returned from being Nightmare Moon, some of them even assumed I was..." I see the pain this thought causes my sister, I decide to end that train of thought as soon as possible.
"Celly, is this a good time to mention I already gave Pip's family invites to our next banquet?"
Big sister fall down go boom.
Big sister said she had no intention of me being inflicted by the tabloid's 'Molestia curse.' Sunny Day produced a horde of articles. Everything from Pip being a cancer patient I was giving a good time to as part of the Sky Wishes foundation to Pip being a midget.
Celestia's seating arrangements at the banquet also put Pip's family as far away from me as possible. I sighed.
"Don't worry Lulu." Celestia whispered, "In a few short years Pip is going to be a stallion and no one will blink an eye at you being his benefactor. . . I've managed to repair the damage, but on this subject there is something else you greatly need to think about. You lost your friends on the night I sealed Nightmare Moon. But you've ... you've never had to see them . . . see a friend grow old. It's different than watching Discord kill... kill her as he did. It's even different from watching what he did to Mimic. Shock numbs the pain of that kind of death, but it's not the same as what I'm describing. You need to be prepared to accept that Pip isn't going to be with you forever, he's a mortal pony, not an immortal Alicorn. It's easy when it's a pony whose a 'subject,' a 'servant' or even an 'ally,' but for a genuine friend it's... it's very different. You aren't USED to such feelings Luna, you have to be prepared."
As I munched down mindlessly on some expensive food imported from half way around the world not even tasting it, the wheels in my head turned dully. Then lighting struck my brain and I spat out the small kingdom's worth of greenery. "OH MOTHER FATHER! PIP!" I felt fear welling up inside me. Everyone suddenly looked at me. "PIP IS GOING TO DIE!"
Celestia looked about like she was watching the castle burst into flames. "Luna! Calm down! Yes, Pip is going to die of old age someday and--"
That was when I heard the faint crying of Pip. And I realized I had spoken in the Royal Canterlot voice, I didn't feel so well.
"Sister . . ." I whispered sickly.
Celestia glared at me and said to all, "Princess Luna was merely referring to what awaits us all. Life is short! Drink and be merry!" This calmed down most. But it did barely any help for Pip. My little friend.
"Celestia . . ."
"Luna, don't start. Please! For your big sister. Twilight and the others will be gone one day too! But we have to live for the precious time they do have! Eternity is our burden!"
I saw a deep blackness, I saw a candle finally light the darkness, and then the candle was snuffed out before I could even fully see it was there.
"No," I said lowly.
"Luna," She said sternly.
I gritted my teeth. I would not. Would not permit. Would not allow. "I, am a goddess! What I say is, is what is! What I say is not, is what is not! I can do anything I want! If I say Pipsqueak is never going to die! Then he is never going to die!"
"Luna! Listen to yourself!"
I didn't care who was staring anymore. Let these vermin stare. "How about YOU listen for once! A thousand years and you never could listen to anyone but yourself Celly! You wanted me to make friends! You wanted me to connect with our ponies! You wanted me to form bonds with them! But when I finally do, you tell me they're not the right kind, or not with the right ponies, and that I should just happily let them go away! Friends don't let friends die right?! I AM NEVER LETTING PIP DIE! EVER! I'll bring him back from death as many times as I WANT!"
"THAT'S ENOUGH! CALM DOWN! WE'LL SPEAK OF THIS LATER! You are causing a scene!"
"I'm an Alicorn! A goddess! What should I care what they think! There's only one pony I care the opinion of! And he'll always be with me!"
"LUNA! This is what I MEANT! Mortality is Mortis' domain, eternal life can be as much a curse as it is a gift, and if we went and did it for this ONE mortal, eventually, they'd hate us for not doing it to ALL mortals!"
"And you'd know all about that, right sister?"
"LUNA! I was going to tell you! You can't baby Pipsqueak like you were his parent! Keeping him from even getting so much as a scrapped flank or even a paper cut just turns him into a pet!"
I roared, "YOU WOULD KNOW RIGHT CELLY-!? WHO DOES TWILIGHT SEE MORE OF? HER MOTHER?! OR YOU!"
Celly backed away like I had lanced her through the heart. Her eyes wobbled. For a moment, she looked so old. "Luna . . ." she gasped out. Now everypony was looking only at us. "You think you're the only pony who knows what it's like to be alone? Do you think anyone offered me comfort after I had to seal you sister? That I had to imprison in her own domain my own flesh and blood after she went mad? That I had to imprison the other surviving member of my kind? They made a festival out of it! Your loyalists were ostracized and your royal guard were turned into pariahs! It didn't matter how many actually knew you were Nightmare Moon! And I had to just smile and nod at it when I tried to help innocent victims of paranoia behind their backs."
I twisted the knife. "And whose fault was that big sister?"
She snapped back, "MINE! If we hadn't been busy rebuilding an entire country that was still getting used to the idea of their ruler, now being two Alicorns with their best interests at heart, instead of one whimsical monster and that their efforts WEREN'T going to be wiped clean the next moment for the amusement of a tyrant, I might have noticed the warning signs. If She had still been with us, she could have taught and guided us through both our foolish and foalish mistakes, but we only had each other and we were forced to learn lessons the hard way unlike all other Alicorns, who were taught by our family!"
Blood pumped through my brain till I felt it was going to burst. "You've always been a fool big sister! You never had what it takes to change things! You just bend over backwards for everyone else!"
"I once promised, no matter how black one of my little pony's hearts turned, no matter how much they closed themselves off from everypony else, I would not give up on them. That is why I did not obliterate Sunnytown out of existence. It's why I didn't kill you when you became Nightmare Moon. Because I want to believe! I don't exert my power because I don't want to become another tyrant!"
"Luna, PLEASE stop! Family doesn't fight!"
I knocked the annoyance away. I heard a small shape hit the floor, then the walls, then the floor again, with a sickening crack. I turned my head. I saw Pipsqueak. He wasn't moving. My insides twisted into a black hole.
I teleported along side him. Parts of his skull were caved him, he was bleeding internally. A small light nopony else could see began to float away from him. I CHAINED IT to his body as it was struggling to escape.
A wall of blackness prevents his parents from getting close.
I dump a mountain worth of magic into his small body. Pip blinks his eyes open and he pushes himself up. Celestia glares at me like fire. She can see he still isn't breathing. I dropped the barrier and let his parents push me out of their way; hugging their son, not noticing his cooling touch. He looks at me, he isn't scared, he isn't hateful, he looks, worried? "Luna? I feel weird."
"Don't talk to that mare!" Her mother said hugging him.
"Luna . . ." Celestia hissed in my ear teleporting right along side me.
I looked at her rudely. "What?" I asked like she had the idea to be angry at me for eating breakfast with the wrong spoon.
"Luna . . . Luna, agh!" She commanded to everyone, "The banquet is over now! Everyone leave! Except you!" She pointed at the Squeaks.
"Shut up." My forehead burned, I felt like my body was covered in sweet.
"I said shut up, Tia! WHAT DO YOU KNOW! YOU HAVE NEVER KNOWN ANYTHING! YOU'VE NEVER CARED ABOUT WHAT I NEED OR WHAT I WANT! IT'S ALWAYS ABOUT CELESTIA! YOU COULD NEVER ALLOW ME TO SHINE ON MY OWN!" Hell erupted inside me. I welcomed the devils with their pitch forks with open arms. It felt good. Familiar. Proper.
I blasted her through a wall, then another, and finally outside. I may have vaporized a couple of guards and guests while I was at it. Oh well, line of duty. I'd write a letter to their families. I put a barrier around the Squeak just to be on the safe side.
"Luna don't hurt her."
"Don't worry Pip." I smiled back at him reassuringly, "I'm just going to make sure my big sister can't tell us we can't be friends ever again."
I flew out after her.
She was on the mountain side. She magically repaired her broken bones and torn muscles. Everything in a ten hoof diameter of her had been reduced to its component atoms.
She stood up. And glared at me. She shouted at me boldly, in the Royal Canterlot Voice. "LUNA! STOP! PLEASE! RIGHT NOW! THIS INSANITY HAS GONE ON LONG ENOUGH! You are NOT THINKING STRAIGHT! DO NOT MAKE IT ALL REPEAT! WE BEG YOU!"
"DURING THE DAY YOU'RE ABSOLUTE! DURING THE NIGHT I AM TRUTH! DON'T YOU DARE SAY WHAT I CAN AND CAN'T DO!"
"NOT AS A GODDESS BUT AS YOUR ELDER SISTER!" She pleaded.
"I'M SICK OF YOU SWINGING THAT WORD LIKE IT WAS A SCEPTER!"
Celestia looked at me like I had gone mad. "What-?! Luna you're not well! You need help!"
'I could not assign form or substance to the bubbling raging storm of emotions inside me that blasted up my throat. "HURT PIP AND I'LL GRIND YOU INTO DUST!"
"YOU did that yourself already! You're so obsessed with having him with you forever that you haven't thought about what this will do to him or his family! All you're thinking of is yourse-"
"WE COMMAND YOU TO BE SILENT!" A thousand black threads of darkness came from me and speared towards sister. They completely covered her like a cocoon and impaled her inside from a hundred different ways like an iron maiden. "Now stay in there! I'll fix Pip with or without your help! NOTHING is going to stand in my way!"
Release me right now Lulu. I won't stand by and watch you go mad a second time. If I have to put you down before you kill anymore of our ponies I will. I heard her voice in my mind. Her mouth was currently wrapped closed tight and full of her own blood after all.
"You'd threaten your little sister over her keeping her best friend from dying? Now whose the tyrant?"
I'm not dictating when my ponies live or die! Don't make me fight you! What you did first was unspeakable but only thoughtless! What you did next was a crime against not only the natural cycle but to Pip himself! Slaughtering ponies who have sworn to protect us with their lives? THERE IS NO WAY YOU ARE YOURSELF LUNA!
If you force me...Only one of us will survive, Luna! And I can't afford it to be you! You've already shown you're willing to trample our ponies underhoof to get what you want! And if you kill me, even if the Elements Of Harmony stop you, controlling the sun and moon is a lost art only the two of us know! If we're both gone, the world dies! Stop this before it's too late! Not again please! I won't warn you again.
"You? Warn me?" I asked drolly. "You're not exactly in a position to tell me what to do anymore, are you, Celly?" I made the threads close in tighter to crack bones. "You say you love them, but you just let them die, one after another. It's time that was fixed. With or without you."
Celestia's tone completely changed. It became grim, but somehow proud. I have had a thousand years to prepare for another rogue Alicorn little sister. I hoped and prayed it would not be you. But I am more than ready. ORION!
The Black Death Coffin exploded, the dark threads vaporized. Celestia repaired her earthly vessel with a thought. The ball of fire around her expanded in the blink of an eye. Her royal attire melted off her. I brought up a shield of darkness from the explosion.
My sister floated, not even using her wings. I stared with a gasp.
"Behold the true and terrible power of the Daymare, baby sister." Celestia now floated in a giant flame figure. It was the size of the castle of the Royal Pony Sisters.
Its upper body was shaped like that of Orion The Hunter, in one hand a spear, and the other a shield, the lower half was that of a centaur. The flames turned night into day and I heard the distant cries of alarm and panic of ponies. She grunted out at the strain of power she was letting out.
My sister had said she would not warn me again, and she always kept her word.
The giant flaming centaur stomped one of its hooves down almost on top of me. I turned to night and went in several directions at once before reforming. It left a crater where it stomped. Canterlot herself shook.
I wouldn't surrender. I wouldn't give up! Never again! I let out a scream. A blast of sheer destructive magic aimed right at Celestia. The giant's shield blocked it.
"So be it, you've made your choice, sister," said Celestia, I unable to see her face clearly within her fiery titan. "I'm sorry, Luna. All I ever do is fail you."
Its spear dove at me, but I teleported away only to be blindsided as the pillar of flames whacked me in the side, burning away fur and flesh. I healed myself with a thought.
I couldn't exponentially manipulate my mass or I would shape changed into three giant snakes to crush the giant. So instead I dove down INTO solid rock mountain side, slicing through it like a Quarray Eel, causing it to collapse under the giant.
As the titan fell to its four hooves I levitated several boulders and threw them right at Celly. The giant brought up its shield to protect her, but it couldn't defend her and itself from the second volley aimed at one of its back legs, disrupting the construct.
The spear vanished, and its hand free the giant tried to gasp me. I summoned a trio of Windigos who formed a sphere of solid ice around me that exploded into mist as the flaming hand came into contact.
In that moment, I fire another blast of magic, teleporting behind the giant in that moment of obscurity aiming at Celly in its body. She gasped out as my spell speared through her titan and herself and she bled like a river from her back and belly. The giant flickered, its lower body falling apart.
I grinned in triumph and was backhand away like a fly by the giant's shield.
I landed hard against the mountain side. The spear formed in the giant's hand again, and I barely had time to come to my senses as the spear bisected me.
Or what Celly thought was me. I thanked my loyal pet for her sacrifice. Our spiritual essence similar enough to fool even Celly.
A tower of black ice speared through the damage Orion construct, lasting just enough for me to crush my big sister.
"Don't worry Celly, our ponies are in good hooves," I whispered, "I'll make sure none of them need to be separated again, or need to die again. Pip shall only be the first."
I gasped out loud. I saw my beautiful northern lights. I felt someone close to me. I looked down to see Pip smiling, snuggled close to me, breathing slowly in contrast to my now rapid breathing and racing heartbeat, his body feeling warm against mine. The silence of the Arctic North surrounded us, the only sound being that of cold winds of frost. My two Night Guards wide awake looked at me asking together. "Your Nightesty are you alright?"
"I . . . I am going to be. Let us head back to Ponyville."
"Yes, Your Nightesty." They said together as they began to carry my personal chariot away. I folded a wing tightly around Pip and kissed him on the forehead.
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
Pony POV Series
Healing Pony POV Side tale: Nights "Luna's Nightmare"
By Alex Warlorn
I hold Pip close with one wing, and I feel my forehead with another. Do I have a fever? Or have I caught something that wouldn't manifest until tomorrow night?
The vaporized dust that had been loyal guards flashed in my mind.
I whispered, "Dust Wind, Dusk Wings."
The startle at me saying their personal names but they somehow manage to keep their voices mostly in sync, "Y-yes,Your Nightesty-y?"
"I would never harm either of you. I swear as an Alicorn, and your Princess. I would never harm either of you. You have always been loyal and true to me in your year and half of service, and I will always repay that loyalty in kind."
"O-o-of course/w-we know, Princess/Your Nightesty."
"Thank you," I breath out.
I arrived at the Squeak's house. I ordered the giant cart of toys out of sight. Of course they'd be awake. They were parents who loved their child. Of course they'd stay up waiting for his return after their ruler had taken him from them for a night on the town. I had no right to keep him from them.
Mouse Squeak asked first as mothers will, "Your Nightesty, is Pip alright? Did he behave himself?"
"Your son was a perfect gentlecolt, Miss Squeak. He is more a knight than most noble ponies several times his age. You should be proud of him. He is the bravest, curious, and most noble foal I know. If your family ever enters dark times, but send a word to Castle Canterlot, and I'll personally see to it after sunset. You've raised him well, continue to do so please." I bow my head at them. "You are better parents than many other ponies with far greater wealth or power. Take strength from that. Your son is a wonderful colt. I am honored and humbled to be his friend."
The Squeaks and my Guards look at each other.
"It's . . it's an honor Princess Luna! An honor!" Said Quick Squeak.
"Again. If your family ever has troubles. Do not hesitate to ask for my help. It's the least I can do for the family of a friend. And tell your son, when he is a stallion, he will be welcome as a member of my court."
They fainted together. Mouse Squeak still safely and gently holding up her boy in unconsciousness.
As they blinked back to consciousness, I said simply, "Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Squeak. And thank you Pip. For everything."
Myself and my entourage returned to the castle, leaving the giant box of toys with a note outside with a giant bow.
I didn't think it was possible for an Alicorn to get sick, but I took some preventive medicine the royal physician recommended. Just in case. He strongly suggested against me magically cleansing my body of pathogens least I accidentally wiped out my digestive bacteria. I was asleep on my hooves when I lowered the moon and crashed onto my bed.
I had never been so happy to have the dream of playing legos on the moon as a foal with a blond human.
I did not order my server to send three invites to Ponyville that evening.
I wasn't surprised when Celly spoke to me the next evening holding a tabloid with her telekinesis. She was normally asleep by now. "Lulu! Have you read the tabloids tonight?"
"Yes I have. Don't worry Celly . . . I've . . . as of tonight I've stopped torturing Pip's bullies in their sleep. And I've removed the protective geasa on him. You're right. If Pip is to become a stallion, he needs to experience scraps and bumps like any foal. I can't treat him as he was my property. I-I don't have that right. I was the one acting like a foal... I just . . . Celly it's so wonderful to finally have a friend. Someone who sees just Luna instead of Princess Luna or Nightmare Moon. You understand, don't you?"
"Yes, I do Luna. I feel the same way about Twilight. But I'm not her mother. I love her like the foal I never had. . . . Maybe that's why I visit Starlight ever year."
"But Luna, you need to know that when Ponies see you and Pip together-"
"I know, Celly, I know. They'll see what they want to see or are scared to see. And they'll see something that can break the trust we have with our people. I know. But Pip IS my friend, Celly. I won't break off that friendship just because of what others say or think, understand? Please?"
" . . . I understand. Seems Sunny Day has some work to do."
Using a huge amount of my own power, I forged a small light and dark blue bird with white spots like the stars in my sky. As much a part of me as a separate entity. She chirped as she looked at me. "Be there for Pip when I can't be. We'll protect him, but we won't smoother him." I nuzzled her and sent her flying on her way.
"Celly, how do you deal with knowing they'll all go away someday?"
"I treasure the memories. I enjoy the time I do have with them. And I remember, just because this vessel's eyes can't always see them, doesn't mean they won't be waiting for us when this world runs its course. They are no more truly creatures of flesh than us sister. Their spirits will always endure. Even if we have to wait for creation's lifespan before we are allowed to join them."
"I think I understand . . . maybe."
Celly put a hoof on my shoulder as she trotted next to my throne, "I can help you understand little sister."
"Big sister. Thank you." I hugged her.
"You're welcome Lulu." She hugged me back. "And Luna, I was tempted to let Princess Gaia create her kingdom of foals, just to see them all so happy, to have just the joy of discovery and the mirth of being with others. It reminded me of kinder times. But I couldn't go through with it. There's something transcendent, about seeing a wonderful foal become a wonderful pony. Like I have seen you become Luna."
You have no idea how much effort I put into not shedding one tear at those seven words.
"Tia', do visions always show what can be?"
Of course she was confused but she whispered, "They never show lies. Nor is what they show incomplete. But sometimes, what they show us is a reflection of what we need to see to grow."
"I think I see. 'Tia. I, want you to know. I don't think I ever thanked you."
"For stopping me. When you sealed me. And for still believing I was still good pony somewhere in there. And for putting Twilight on the path to save me from myself, and Equestria from me. I promise. I'll never try to hurt you again."
"You don't need to promise me that Luna, I know you never would."
I kiss my big sister on the cheek.
Dear Princess Luna
I just want you know I really had a great time last night. It was scary but fun! And I hope we get play together again! You're my favorite Princess! I'm gonna remember last night for the rest of my life! Thanks a lot! I can't wait to fly again!
P.S. Mom said not to tell you this. But we've had to give away most of what you left us. It won't fit in our fridge.
P.P.S. Dad says not to tell you. But I think I'd have been happy with just the first toy. I just wanna spend time with you.
--Pipsqueak The Pirate First Class Pirate of the First Pirate Fleet of Trottingham
Yes I know it is rather silly to write you a letter instead of saying this to your face. But I'd like something to remind me of this lesson myself.
I recently had a chance to look at myself from the outside. I have been reminded that I am not a perfect goddess. While I have been wronged, this does not mean I am flawless. Just because I can love does not mean I can not be avaricious. I am not Our Parents. I only hope that Their wisdom continues to guide me.
And I've realized, I can be selfish. I can mask something and call it love when I was possessive. To truly love a friend, you think about what they want and what's best for them, not what you want, but more important, it's not just WHAT they want. Friendship is not about giving them things. It's about being together. To share. To learn. To Experience. And to get to know each other.
And I think the first thing you need to do is see things from their point of view.
--Your sister, Luna.
There was a knock on the door. Pips parents were busy so he opened the it. He came face to face with a small earth pony filly with light purple coat and a light blue mane. Her cutie mark was a crescent moon with a star.
"Hi," Pip said simply to the smiling filly.
"Hi," The filly yawned even though it was just after school, "I'm Moonlight. I'm new around here, wanna play Pirates and Cowponies?" She grinned. "I hear you have a super-size Jack Stallion plush doll from the best Princess ever."
Pip startled, then smiled and nodded. "Okay! Let's play!"