The capital of Equestria was caught in the snowfall due to the skillful work of pegasi's weather crews. The snow was sparkling in the moonlight, falling softly on the roofs of the buildings, clinging to the lanterns. It covered the streets like a white carpet and resembled an ornate lace, sticking to the windows of the houses and the showcases, which were shimmering with bright garlands of holiday lights. Having been enchanted by the magic of winter, Canterlot looked majestic and solemn.
The fire of friendship lives in our hearts
As long as it burns, we cannot drift apart
The play, which was telling the story about reconciliation and unification of three pony races, was coming to an end in the main hall of the royal palace. Hundreds of viewers were singing the Anthem of Friendship together with the actors, being inspired with cohesion and harmony.
"Honorable mares and gentleponies, for the first time we present you "Two Cats" - the host announced.
Two plump cats appeared from the different sides of the stage, walking leisurely. One was red, the other was white and black. Having met in the centre, those cats lay down on large satin pillows and began telling short interesting stories. Sometimes there were monologues and the gleaming yellow eyes were staring intently at the auditorium in semi-darkness, the other times they switched to dialogues. Some of the cats' stories were met with an ecstatic neighing of the ponies, the others made them fall silent and exchange glances musingly. Eventually the cats went away, followed by the approving clatter of hooves, the curtain fell. The host pony appeared again, looking noticeably worried.
"Mares and gentleponies, there are slight changes in the holiday program. Her Majesty Princess Luna of Equestria has honored us with her presence, and we give the floor to our Night Ruler with pleasure"
The host left hesitatingly, with his legs tangled in each other. Luna poked her cautious muzzle around the curtain and looked over the crowded hall and the viewers, who had quieted down. The ponies could not believe their eyes. Did the Moon Princess herself come to present her congratulations to them? The curtain rose, showing the Ruler to her nation.
Having drawn a long breath, the alicorn spread her wings majestically and approached the microphone, which was waiting for her lonely, with resolute step. Imprisonment in the Moon, which had been lasting for thousand years, left an ineradicable trace in the dark mare's heart. She was uncomfortable, feeling hundreds of curious eyes looking at her.
"MY DEAR SUBJECTS, WE..."
The loud speakers magnified the Night Princess' "Royal Canterlot Voice" enormously and it rolled under the arched ceiling like a thundering avalanche, echoing amid the walls. Luna paused, having noticed that the ponies, who were sitting in the front rows, put the hooves over their ears with painful grimaces on their muzzles.
"Princess," - somepony called out to Luna from the backstage - "Your Majesty, please, could you speak quieter?"
Having cleared her throat awkwardly, the alicorn looked around the hall. The ponies started to relax hesitantly. The microphone, loud speakers and other technologies were still unusual to Luna.
"Cough, quieter?.." - Luna muttered under her breath and went on in a normal voice - "My dear subjects, We greet you"
In the corner of her eye Luna noticed pony, who was standing backstage. His approving nod boosted her confidence.
"Since Princess Celestia is a bit out of sorts today, We congratulate you on Hearth's Warming Eve on her behalf. We wish you luck, health and prosperity, let the harmony be in everything around you"
Many hooves clattered against the floor enthusiastically.
"And We have a special wish for the sister" - Luna grinned - "Celestia, dear, do not devote yourself to the holiday cakes so much, otherwise your sun-bearing croup may obscure the Sun and you will bring an Eternal Night without Our consent and participation, which We greatly disapprove of. Goodbye, everypony, see you in dreams"
"Lu-una-a-a!" - a muffled cry of rage could be heard from one of the towers of the palace.
But, having winked at parting, the dark alicorn disappeared in a flash of the magical teleportation.