Luna's Daughter

by KayeStar


School Fears

"Alright, Selene. Take out your math book, and we'll start from the first chapter."

Selene quietly did as Starlight asked of her, quickly finding the page of the first chapter. The title was Introduction to...

"T... r-r... ih... I don't know what it says, Starlight."

"Well," Starlight spoke harshly, "if you've been reading, it should be easy."

"But... But Starlight, it's my first day!" Selene argued weakly.

Out of nowhere, Starlight pulled out a pointer stick and slammed it on Selene's desk, making the filly jump out of her seat in fear. "That's no excuse, young lady! Now, no more arguments!"

"Y-yes, St-Starlight..."

"That is Miss Starlight to you! Now, solve the first problem in chapter one."

Selene looked over the math problem, but she had no idea what any of the numbers or symbols meant.

"I can't read it," she moaned. "I didn't learn this before."

"Then, I suppose..." Starlight came to close to Selene for her comfort, soon looming over her like a tower. "...you can sit there all day until you figure it out."

"B-B-But you're supposed to teach me! You and Sunburst!"

"How could we ever teach such a stupid little filly?"

Selene tried to contain herself, but Starlight's words hurt. Before she could try to defend herself, she heard another pony join behind her.

"I think the princess made a mistake." Selene turned around to face Sunburst. "A filly who can't read. What could we possibly do with you?" he sneered.

Selene sank into her seat. "I c-can read." The tears slowly began to slide down her face.

"Then, read this!" Sunburst plopped a huge textbook on top of the open math book. Selene couldn't read so much as the title. It was one huge word she struggled to sound out.

"We knew it! You can't read!" Sunburst chided her.

"I-I-I... can so!"

"Looks like a certain filly won't be getting recess today." Celestia stepped in, her regal appearance, for once, looking intimidating instead of welcoming as she carried a cold glare on her. She joined the two unicorns near Selene, and Selene felt like an ant as she cowered beneath the glares of the adult ponies. Selene was too scared to utter a sound.

"Well, young lady? Do you have anything to say for yourself for wasting our time?" Celestia scolded her.

After a few moments, Selene cried out for the only pony who had ever protected her from harm.

"I want Luna!"

"Luna?" Celestia scoffed. "My sister doesn't want a filly who can't be taught!"

"But... but... Luna loves me!"

The regal alicorn and the unicorns roared with laughter as the filly hid her face beneath her hooves as she sobbed. She wanted to ignore their taunts, but they were too loud. She wished she could curl up and shrink into thin air.

The older ponies rose to mid-air and swirled around her, eyes glowing, and their taunts growing even louder until her crying was drowned out. Nopony could hear her.

"Silence!"

The taunts immediately and abruptly stopped. A moment later, all three ponies vanished in puffs of smoke. Selene felt a hoof nudge her cheek. She looked up, her face still soaked with tears, but she smiled.

"Luna! You came! You didn't leave me!" She jumped into Luna's hooves and clung to the night pony like her life depended on it.

"Of course not, Selene. Forgive that I took so long. I was helping another pony, and as soon as they were okay, I saw your nightmare."

Selene began to wipe away her tears. "Luna, can't you stay with me in school? Please?"

"Selene, I know you are anxious, but I promise this nightmare is nothing more than that: a nightmare. Neither Starlight nor Sunburst, and especially not my sister, would ever treat you that way."

"But... what if I can't do it?"

"They will help you learn," Luna assured her. "And so will I."

Selene didn't seem reassured, merely sinking her face into Luna's coat as she tried to stop crying. Luna continued to soothe her until she came up with an idea. With her magic, she and Selene traveled far into the past within a few seconds. When Selene looked up, she didn't recognize where they were. Nothing was familiar.

Luna pointed toward two ponies who Selene could see weren't yet adults, but were obviously a few years older than her. The smaller of the two had a blue coat and light blue hair while the bigger one had a white coat and a pink mane with blue and green highlights. It took a few seconds, but Selene put the pieces together.

"That's you and Celestia!"

"That's right! Now, pay attention."

The younger Luna was trying to envelope herself in a bubble, but was having difficulty. The bubble began to form, but as she struggled to enlarge it, it popped. She threw out a frustrated sigh and lowered her head.

"Sister, it's no use. I will never be good with magic."

The younger Celestia picked her sister's head up. "Of course, you will! You made a portal to another dimesion! Another world! You have great power, Luna!"

"But I can't do something as simple as a bubble."

"Maybe it's something else. Maybe it's, uh... stress! Maybe that's it!"

"Stress?" younger Luna questioned.

"It could be." Younger Celestia frowned. "I know I probably stressed you out a lot from all the grief I gave you. I mean, you made the portal because I was getting on your nerves."

"Yes..."

Younger Celestia smiled warmly. "Maybe if you relax while you concentrate, the bubble could work. It is a hard spell, but nowhere as hard as a portal."

"Are you sure that would work?"

"It's worth a shot. I wouldn't want to practice magic if it was stressful all the time. Just breathe, think about what you want to do, and go for it."

Younger Luna closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and slowly began to perforn the spell. A small bubble formed. Luna opened one eye halfway, and closed it again as she began to enlarge the bubble.

"Relax," younger Celestia reminded her. "You can do it."

The bubble continued to enlarge and Luna opened her eyes just as it fully enveloped her. Slowly, it carried her off the ground.

"Celestia! I did it! Ahh! Get me down!"

Younger Celestia chuckled and lowered the sister to her ground. Younger Luna popped the bubble to free herself.

"See? It's not so bad. Want to make another one?"

"Yes!"

Present day Luna faded out the memory and looked down to see a seemingly bewildered filly. She couldn't help laughing a little to herself.

"Luna, was that really you and your sister?"

Luna nodded. "Yes. Do you think I'm bad at magic?"

"No way! You're amazing! You go in dreams and fight monsters and everything! And... and you can pick up the moon!"

"I can do those things now. But as you saw, I wasn't always a powerful pony. I practiced a lot. And I definitely failed a lot."

"But Celestia said you opened a portal to a world!"

"I did! But only because she annoyed me with her teasing and I wanted to prove her wrong. Just as I was once not so powerful, my sister was once not so kind."

Selene's mouth was agape. "But she's the nicest pony ever! And you too! And Sombra and Cadance and---"

"Indeed, Selene. What I'm saying is we were not always the ponies you know us as. We grew and changed, and so will you. You may struggle to read now, but if you continue to practice, you will get better. Everypony cannot be the best, but everypony can get better. As adults we are still growing and changing."

"How?"

"Well..." Luna spread her wing around Selene. "...I've learned a lot about taking care of a certain filly. And so long as she's with me, I will continue to learn."

Selene smiled and hugged Luna.

"And Selene?"

"Yes?"

"Just because I am not physically present does not mean I am not here for you. Part of growing up is taking care of yourself, but I will still be here when you need me. You must learn when you are truly in need is all, and to trust others the way you trust me. So, you can have many ponies who support you. Do you understand?"

"I do. I love you... Mama."

Luna's face blushed. She hadn't heard that correctly, had she? She looked down to see Selene leaning peacefully against her leg. She sat down and gently stroked Selene's back with her hoof for a moment before simply holding it around her. Her grin grew into a cheesy one.

Selene looked up. "Can I call you that?"

"Are you comfortable referring to me that way?"

"Yeah. You make me think of my mama. But she never came back. You did."

Luna almost shed a tear. "Oh, Selene, I'm sure she loved you until her last breath."

"Huh? Last breath?"

Luna quickly realized her mistake. "The second time I visited your dreams, you stated your mother was gone."

"She is."

"I fear I don't understand. I got the impression your mother passed."

"Oh... Oh! No! She's alive. I think."

"I apologize. I misunderstood." Luna relaxed on all four legs, but kept her head up. "Would you like to talk about it?"

"She said she loves me. She said she'll come back someday. Then, she left. Then, my dad started being mean. Then, he left."

"Did he say he'd come back?"

Selene shook her head. "No. I went to school and I went home and he wasn't there. That's all I know."

Even in the dream realm, Luna was sure all of Equestria could've heard her heart snap in two. Selene perked up and nuzzled her head under Luna's, giving that sweet smile again. Luna held her a little more tightly.

"It's okay."

"It's not," Luna insisted.

"But I have a new mama." She gazed at Luna hopefully with her innocent eyes. "Right?"

Luna's cheesy grin returned. She nodded. "Right."

Selene relaxed and rested her head on Luna's hoof. Luna finally recognized that strange warm feeling she felt around Selene, and she embraced it. She felt more at ease than she had since she first welcomed Selene into her home.

She was a mother. She had no regrets.