"What has happened to your friends?" Luna asked while trying to console the sad filly.
"Cinnamon Sweets, and Winter Gale, and Charm Key," Selene muttered. "They're gone because they found new families. I should be happy, but... I really miss them. We were going to be best friends. I never had best friends before. Do you know what that's like, Luna?"
Luna's heart tore a little and she had to look away from Selene for a moment. That question had an answer too painful to give.
"You cannot keep contact with them?" Luna asked.
"They promised they'd call Melodía and Ivory to talk to me," Selene answered "But their new families live really far. And what if the other fillies get new families that live far away too? What if none of us can be friends anymore?"
Luna sighed. "I'm sure they are all thinking the same. Sometimes, we grow apart from our friends and we can't change that."
Selene continued to cry, burying her face in the wing Luna spread as comfort. "So, I'll lose all my friends someday? Even you?"
"Dear Selene, I didn't say that," Luna told her, trying to sound assuring. "I'm certain you will find a friend someday you keep for a long time. Please don't worry about me. As long as you dream, I will be here."
That calmed Selene a little. She stopped crying and Luna gently wiped her eyes with her wing. "Luna?"
"I'll always be your friend. Even if I find a new family too. I promise."
And there was that feeling in Luna's heart again. Why did she feel like crying?
"You are a delightful young filly," Luna assured her. "There is a family out there for you. I do not know where, but I have no doubt."
Selene finally smiled and until Luna had to leave to call it a morning, they sat quietly together, Luna letting Selene get settled in her comfort. Somehow, at the same time, the small one's presence was equally comforting to Luna.
"Sister! You have mail!" Celestia called, carrying a package in her magic's grasp. "Twilight sent it, but she says it's from Melodía and Ivory's home. They requested a visit to ask her to send it to you."
Luna paused from her task of lining the halls with aromatic flowers as she'd done for years, though it'd been reduced to a weekly task now, to take the package from her sister. She opened it to find a hoof-made picture book and a letter inside. She tore open the envelope with her horn and held up the letter with her own telekinesis to read it out loud.
To Princess Luna:
Thank you so much for helping Selene. She became close to the other fillies in our home not long after you brought her, so she was very sad when three of them moved far away. We have gotten some postcards from them to let us know they are settling well into their new homes. Selene speaks a lot of you. She is a very happy, hyper chatterbox much of the time. She asked Ivory and I to help her make this book for you. Would you be able to visit her outside of her dreams any time soon? We don't doubt you are very busy as a princess, so we understand if you must say no, but if it's possible, it would mean a lot to Selene. Thank you.
Luna placed the letter back in the box and picked up the book. On its cover was a crayon-drawn picture of her and Selene, and the book was titled "Selene and Luna's Adventures". Every left page had a picture of a dream Luna entered, and the right ones described what the picture was. Luna's facial expression became more and more tender with every page. On the back of the book, a crescent moon was drawn with hearts in it and beneath, it was captioned "I like this "Luna" too" with a small happy face next to it. Luna placed the book back in the box and carried the box away in her magic grasp.
"Seems you've made a strong impact on this young one," Celestia said, following her. "Where are you going?"
"I can't frame this since it's a book, but I'm going to place it below my rose garland in my chambers."
"The red and white one I received when I was first seen as Princess Luna on the morning I was freed from Nightmare Moon. It has hung in my room all these years. The roses are artificial, so they never died."
In Luna's room, she moved the small table she had to sit beneath the rose garland, which hung next to her bed. She carefully placed the book on upright, wanting it to stand, but not wanting to damage its pages even the slightest. "I'll see about getting a glass box for it sometime. That'll have to do for now."
Luna returned to the hall where she left her flowers to continue lining the hall with them. "Are you going to send her some of your flowers in return?" Celestia asked. "I know you're thinking of something."
"I am thinking I will find a way to make time for that visit," Luna replied. She then sighed in frustration. "Although, I am uncertain how I could do so without other ponies making an event of it. I do not enjoy going into Ponyville during day hours. I would do it for Selene if I knew my visit would stay casual, but I know that is wishful thinking. I would not have a moment of peace with the little filly. Even an evening visit would attract attention."
"We can teleport over great distances, sister," Celestia said. "If you sent notice and explained to her caretakers, they may understand and allow you entrance that way. They do mention in the letter they know you're a princess."
"She does not."
"Selene does not know you're one of our princesses?"
"I introduced myself as Luna to her, and never more," Luna explained. "Either she is still unaware or she doesn't care for the fact. I truly hope they haven't told her. I would not want her to feel she's keeping me from other duties."
Celestia mumbled to herself for a moment before speaking again. "Luna, how do you feel between her and your duties?"
"If anything, I feel the opposite," Luna answered. "I have wanted to visit her here in the waking world for some time, yet it seems something pops up when I find even a short amount of time and I can't continually push my duties back. It was different when she was in need. That was urgent. But with her in good hooves, I can't use the reason of urgency anymore."
Celestia was quiet for a few moments as she observed the sad expression on her sister's face. She felt like she was looking in a mirror.
"I understand, Luna." She rested a comforting hoof over Luna's side. "Again, it's how I felt with Twilight. When she was still my young student, I could not always give her the attention I wanted because my other responsibilities had to take priority for the time being. Your feelings reflect mine. I also felt that way with you, so long ago when you were recovering after you returned to us. It's written all over your face. I understand very well."
"What did you do about it, if anything?"
"As you said, I found a way to make time. After all, when I made Twilight my student, I took on a responsibility, and she was every bit as important as the others I had. In the end, if it was not urgent, if it did not have to happen right now, Twilight came first. I'm not certain what you view Selene as, but I can tell you I have no regrets."
Luna smiled again. "The answers feel obvious, yet it still helps to hear them from you. Thank you, sister."
"Sometimes, we simply need to hear things. Even I need assurance at times. We are still ponies, after all."
A short time later, Luna was resting in her quarters with a scroll and quill in front of her, held in her telekinetic grasp. She took a deep breath as she considered her words before she began to write.
To the home of Melodía and Ivory:
I have received your letter. Thank you. Though, I cannot give a date, I can assure you I will plan a visit for Selene within the coming month. However, I must ask a favor of you. When I first met Selene in her dreams, I introduced myself to her only as "Luna". To my knowledge, she still remains unaware I am a princess. I am asking you to please refrain from informing her of this fact. I fear should she know, she'll believe she is preventing me from other duties. That is not case. I do not want her to concern herself with my duties. I am glad to know she remains well and is happy in your care.
Luna set down the scroll and took hold of a second one to write out another letter. Before considering it done, she made a special note on the back. She rolled up the scrolls and tried to fit them into two separate envelopes before she remembered letters had to be folded to fit into these rectangular seals, not rolled up to be sent plainly by a shot of magic. For a brief moment, she pondered what she'd say if Selene ever got the idea to ask Luna her age. And here, she thought she'd broken out of most of her old habits.