Somehow, Selene finally got herself to sleep amidst her excitement about tomorrow. For a while, she slept soundly as she usually did. Only when a small voice called for her was she disturbed from her sleep.
She drowsily pulled from her sleep and rubbed her eyes. When she noticed morning hadn't yet arrived, she tried to go back to sleep.
The voice continued to call her name and she tried harder to ignore it, assuming it was only her imagination.
"Selene... Answer me... Selene..."
The voice didn't become louder, but it did become more haunting as it continued to call for Selene to reply. Selene hid beneath her blanket, trying desperately to cover her ears.
"Why, Selene? Why did you betray me?"
Selene curled herself into a ball, squeezing her blanket more tightly, as she kept wishing desperately to herself the voice would go away. She closed her eyes, fighting to restrain herself from crying. She didn't want to cry in front of it, wherever the voice's source was. She heard something begin to circle around her, but she didn't dare take a peek. The voice only continued to taunt her.
"Why did you betray me? Why, my sweet baby?"
Selene's fear briefly became anger, and she may have finally responded if that anger lasted longer than a second.
"Why, my sweet baby? Why did you betray me?" The voice suddenly became distorted. "Come to me."
Fierce winds suddenly picked up and Selene found herself shivering in the midst of an uprising tornado. She tried to plant her hooves firmly on the ground, but the winds were too strong. The furious funnel yanked her off the ground and swirled her upward as she screamed in terror, clutching her blanket, the only thing she could hold, for dear life.
At the sound of that shout, Selene's screams were silenced as she found herself shielded in a protective blue bubble. The tornado blew out and the distorted voice ceased. Selene gently, but quickly, floated to the ground, the bubble bursting as she landed. Another pair of hooves softly landed in front of her seconds after she did.
Selene wasted no time, immediately running into Luna's hooves and letting her tears run loose. It took only a few seconds for her to calm, but after the tears were gone, she smiled.
"Luna! I thought it would it hurt me."
"I would never allow harm to come your way."
Luna set Selene back on her feet, and the filly's natural excitement returned to her.
"Guess what Melodía and Ivory told me?"
"Hmm." Luna put her hoof to her chin, pretending to wonder. "I can't guess. What did they tell you?"
"They told me..." Selene smiled widely "...you're going to be my mommy! Is it true?! Is it?"
Luna nodded. "It is, dear Selene. I am adopting you. Though, you are still welcome to call me Luna."
"I have a secret to tell you!"
"Before I met you, I wished on a star. I wished for a mother. And you came in my dreams later! The star granted my wish! It was you!"
Luna couldn't help being charmed by her innocence. "I consider myself fortunate. I hadn't known either. But there is something important I must tell you about that. Walk with me."
Selene walked forward with Luna as the scene of her dream changed to a more vague environment, one with a violet night sky where the stars passed along.
"Selene, I have also kept a secret from you all this time."
"Is it a little secret?" Selene asked with an innocent giggle. "Or a big secret?"
"A very big secret," Luna replied, briefly looking away. "Now that you are coming into our home, I must tell you."
An astral wave of stars passed around them, obscuring Luna from Selene's view for several seconds. When Selene could see her clearly again, a black crown with a green gem had materialized atop Luna's head. Beneath, Luna wore a black neck plate with the same green gemstone, and on her feet, Selene saw she now wore tall, light purple shoes. The young filly gazed at the accessories in awe.
"Luna, you look like a princess!" Selene exclaimed, still admiring the attire. "Can I try on your crown?"
Luna took her crown off and gently lowered it onto Selene's head. The large piece of jewelry blinded her.
"It's too big!" Selene laughed as Luna took it back. "Are you a princess, Luna?"
Luna quietly nodded.
"What?" Selene sputtered. "You... you're a real princess?!"
"I am Princess Luna, the princess of the night and moon."
Luna watched carefully for Selene's reaction. She saw the filly's face slowly change from surprise to wonder to confusion.
"Young one, I kept this secret because I feared were you to know, you would feel guilt."
"Because princesses have lots of respon... respon... grown-up stuff to do, right?" Selene asked sadly. "Does that mean I kept you from doing important stuff? That's why you couldn't always visit me?"
Luna set herself down, making the regal accessories vanish. "Selene, you have never prevented me from doing anything. You are also important to me. These past weeks I've not visited your dreams were spent preparing to welcome you into what will be your new home. I will explain more when you arrive."
"Okay, Luna. Princess Luna."
"Luna is enough," the night princess assured her again. Selene smiled at this, though still did a little bow out of respect. Luna bid her farewell, and she waved as Luna exited her dream.
Selene waited excitedly at the train station, her blanket neatly folded and placed into a saddlebag, with Melodía and Ivory by her side. She was also nervous, unsure of what to expect, particularly after her dream the previous night, but her excitement about living with Luna remained stronger. She'd been thinking about what Luna told her since she woke up. To know she was going to be the daughter of a princess was thrilling, but at the same time, she really only wanted to spend lots of time with Luna.
Selene stared down the track, ever impatient for the train to finally arrive. Having never ridden a train before, she envisioned the trip as a small adventure. Or it would be if her desperate wishes could make the train arrive faster.
"This train is taking forever!" Selene whined. "Is it late?"
Ivory checked the nearby clock in the station. "Seems so. It was supposed to arrive five minutes ago. Sometimes, trains are delayed."
"Delayed? What does that mean?"
"It means the train is late because something is slowing it down," Ivory answered.
"Like a... pirate?" Selene asked. "An evil pirate who wants to steal the train treasure?"
Ivory and Melodía chuckled and rolled their eyes in amusement at how Ivory's simple answer had sparked Selene's imagination.
"Yeah, pirates! Argh!" She put on a mock gruff voice and mimicked a storybook pirate. "Search the train and find their treasure! Take all their gems! And their... candy!"
"Candy?" Melodía questioned teasingly.
"We need this candy for energy to soar the skies! Give us your candy or walk the track! Grrrrr!" She finished her improvised display of acting with a low growl through gritted teeth. Then, she laughed to herself as she fell over, but was startled a moment later when she heard a loud whistle.
"All aboard, our fierce pirate," Melodía joked as she pointed to the oncoming train. Selene immediately jumped upright, staring at the large, long vehicle in pure shock as it began to slow down to allow them to board. She'd seen trains in storybooks, of course, but she never pictured them to be so big. The popping colors and loud noise only drew in her attention further. To her, the train looked like oversized, rectangular cakes linked together. And she was going to ride it!
Ivory and Melodía led her aboard, keeping her close to prevent her from getting lost in the crowd of passengers boarding on and off the train. Once they were on, Selene made a beeline for an empty seat so she could sit near the window. Her caregivers sat next to her, but she didn't notice when they sat down, as she had her hooves pressed firmly against the window to avoid missing a moment of scenery when the train departed.
"All aboard!" The loud announcement shocked Selene and for the few seconds the conductor spoke, she looked up toward a speaker on the ceiling. "Our next stop will be Canterlot station! Canterlot station will be next!" The train's whistle bellowed once more and Selene quickly returned her attention to the other side of the glass as the train rode away to its next destination.
The train ride was long one, but the passing scenery was enough to keep Selene entertained and in wonder. Melodía and Ivory envied her bliss. They were so happy for her, yet so sad at the same time. She had come into their home, fit herself nicely into their lives, and would take a small piece of their hearts with her when they finally passed her on to Luna for the last time. Though they'd see and hear from her again, that assurance just couldn't do enough to fade away the sadness of losing yet another beloved filly who came into their home.
But their job with this particular filly was done. And like all those who left before her, and who would leave after her, they'd do it all over again.
"Melodía?" Ivory whispered, catching a few tears in her friend's eyes that hadn't fallen.
"I know," Melodía whispered in response, catching sight of Ivory's own nearly inconspicuous tears. For a few seconds, they seemed to have a silent conversation before they finally let their sight remain on the still blissfully oblivious filly next to them trying to count the trees as the train rode by.