The Rise of a Nation

by TwilightTheAlicorn

Chapter 3: Rise of Harmony

Harmony. What do you think of when you hear that word? Do you think of friendship among ponies, of friendship among different species? When I hear that word, I think of the universe and everything in it.
"Dearest Princess Celestia,
"I am greatly sorry to burden you, but I'm afraid my wife and I are in a magical predicament. Velvet seems to have gone insane. A filly appeared in our living room in a flash of light! I'm worried for our sanity, Princess. Please, if you can do anything, help us..."
Night Light Sparkle"
I sighed. Another day, another magical predicament befalling the citizens of Canterlot. I assumed this pattern to be the work of Eris, alicorn of life. "Sun Guard, you shall await my presence here. I have a teacher I must attend to." I gave the guard their orders.
"Princess, shouldn't we accompany you?" A unicorn stallion, barely out of the academy, spoke up.
"Shining Armor, you are right to ask. This concerns your parents. You alone shall come." I whispered to him. Raising my voice, I asked, "If any of you leave your post for but a moment, there will be consequences. I trust that you will heed these warnings?" My guard knew that the direst of punishments I could force myself to give was to wash dishes for a week.
"Yes, Princess!" The guards yelled at once, the force of all of their voices almost breaking the countless stained glass windows in the throne room.

"Night Light? I brought Shining Armor with me. I hope that's all right?" I asked as the blue stallion opened the door.
"Thank you so much, Princess. I've been so worried. She's been spouting nonsense for the past hour!" Night Light's voice crescendoed.
"Is it safe for him?" I asked, gesturing to the young colt.
"Yes, it should be fine. Can you help my wife, Princess?"
"I'll need to see her, first." At that statement, I channeled my magic in a searching spell. I peered through the house, looking for anything out of place. I had a hunch that this was no ordinary magical accident. Shortly before the letter had arrived, I had felt a magical 'imbalance'. It appeared that, even encased in stone as he was, he could feel it too.
"Of course. She's in our room." Night Light said as he led me toward the stairs."
"What exactly happened?"
"Well, there was a huge flash of light in the living room, so Velvet and I went to check it out. When we entered, there was a little filly in there, about the age of Raven's filly. We don't know where she came from, and she didn't seem to know a thing about Equestria, language, or anything a filly of that age should know! We were so scared!"
"It's alright, Night Light. I believe you. Now let's see to Twilight." I soothed. I had trouble keeping my mind from wandering. I wondered where the filly could have come from, why she wouldn't know a thing about Equestria, ad if she was behind the flash of light. My mind quickly drew a conclusion. A few thousand years ago, I came to Equestria. I didn't know a thing about the world, aside from the facts that I had been providing a hospitable climate for the world to grow in, the fact that it had developed life, and the fact that this life had developed a complex society, breeding hatred and mistrust among themselves. My spirit being one of the major spirits of the universe, subordinate only to Harmony itself, my spirit took in all the knowledge it needed to survive, nothing more, nothing less. It knew that it relished a good mystery, so it left knowledge out, but not enough to hamper its development. All of this happened in seconds. If this filly was what I thought she was, she would become extremely smart, extremely fast. She would also be extremely powerful with magic. I had to know.
"Yes, Princess. Here," He said, softly opening the door.
"Here, little Harmony. Sweet little filly. Well, you aren't exactly little, are you?" a soft voice lulled.
"Was she like this when the flash happened?" I asked, my voice firm.
"Directly after, yes."
"Thank you for alerting me. It's very important to me that all of the ponies of Equestria are alright." I said as my magic reached out and entered the mind of the magic teacher. It saw a mess of raw magic that was confusing the teacher's natural magic. I quickly applied some of my natural magic to lightly burn away the excess magic, while keeping the natural magic of Twilight Velvet intact. I couldn't have any distraction while applying my magic, or else I could burn away Twilight's mind, so I applied a sound bubble around my body. It was the first sound bubble ever created, physically or theoretically. It was a minor achievement for me. Once I was done with the burning spell, I did a quick check around her mind to make sure I didn't burn anything aside from the excess magic. I didn't, so I made my escape. I never liked to be in the minds of my subjects for very long, even if it was necessary. It felt like an invasion of privacy. Before I escaped, however, I put a light sleeping spell on the teacher, to let her recover from her ordeal. As my spirit re-entered my body, I saw Night Light's shocked face go slack as he saw his wife fall to the floor, asleep. "Night Light, I put a sleeping spell on her to let her rest. A unicorn with a magic infestation can become mentally unstable if left untreated. The unicorn's body will adapt in time, but while it fights the excess magic, it becomes tired and weak. I'm glad you called me when you did. She couldn't have waited very long." I explained to the doctor.
"Thank y-you so m-much, Princess."
"It's fine, Night Light. Now, what are we going to do about this little filly?" I asked.
"I don't know. We can't take in another foal. Shining is enough as it is, and he isn't even here half the time!" he yelled. "No offense, Princess." he added as an afterthought.
"I suppose I could take her in as my student. I haven't had one since Sunset. It'll be a good experience." I offered.
"That would be very helpful, Princess. Are you sure? How will we explain to her? She's just an-" Night Light sputtered as he looked over at the filly. "Wha-Whatisthisthefilly'sgrownwingshowisthisevenpossobleWHAT!?" he screamed. I laughed quietly, quickly sobering up as he sent me a murderous look.
"The excess magic?" I asked.
"How is this even possible?" he asked as I first channeled a spell to make my magic invisible, and then created a masking spell that masked the filly's wings.
"You're seeing things, Night Light. Don't tell me you have a magic infestation, too?" I joked.
"I'm not seeing th-" he protested as he looked over at the filly again. She was, once again, a unicorn. "WHAT IS THIS?"
"I believe I should go now. Give Twilight my regards. Oh, what would you like to name this filly?" I asked, fully knowing the name he would choose. I attributed this little fact to my spirit.
"Twilight. Twilight Sparkle." he replied. "Have fun with her. She seems to have a good grasp on her magic already." He replied, his tone sardonic.
"I will." I replied, taking the filly in my magic and teleporting both of us to the throne room in the Castle.
"Princess Celestia!" A guard called. "You're back!"
"Yes, Sun Stone. I'm back. Now, if you'll excuse me, I must go to my chambers. It's almost time I lowered the sun."
"Yes, Princess." he said, making room for me to pass. I quickly took the filly back in my magic and pulled her up to my rooms with me.
"Alright, little filly. It's time to see if my hunch was correct." I told the filly as I sent my magic out to her. It was no ordinary spell. It was the one Star Swirl the Bearded was researching, the last one he ever worked on. It was his unfinished masterpiece. I had give him the idea, when I told his about the spell I used to determine friend from foe. He believed it would give him the powers of an Alicorn, and thus pursued it until his death. I used it and reached to her spirit. I recoiled as if I had been blasted by cold water. There was a barrier over her spirit, one that I could not penetrate. There was no pony in Equestria, nor was there anything on the planet, that had this barrier. There was no being stronger than I on this planet, save for the Elements of Harmony that had been destroyed. As I thought this, a spark took hold. 'The Elements of Harmony…' I thought to myself. My hunch was right. I quickly reclaimed the magic that was holding the filly and used it to lock the doors and close the windows. I knew what I would have to do.
I reached out to the placeholder sun and quickly brought it below the horizon. I compressed it down to its original matter and sent it out into space. It would require tremendous energy to remake it later, but I knew I could do it. I sent my spirit into the space that was formerly occupied by my placeholder and sent it into its natural shape. My body melted into my spirit and dissipated. I was now the sun. I could communicate with any of my sibling celestial bodies, including Harmony.
"Sun? Why art thou here?" the Moon asked.
"Oh, dearest Moon. How I've missed you these past thousand years! There has been a magical happening in Equestria that is of great importance, if my hunch is correct. I have so much to tell you, sweet Moon, but I have only a night! I wish it were longer!" I cried, slipping into the speak of the Stars.
"Sweet Sun, I wish it was longer as well, but there is only a matter of years until my power is replenished and I may rejoin you in the land once again. Do what it is you have come for and depart; you do not have long." she counseled.
"I will, dearest Moon. I miss you." I said, cutting off our communication as I opened up to Harmony.
"Sun. I've missed your presence in the sky. Must you leave?" Harmony's spirit was that of love, magic, and all of the stars in the sky. Despite being the guiding force behind us all, and being the eldest power in the entire universe, she was relatable. Her voice was that of a teenager, and her build was of a comet, one of the youngest types of planets.

"Yes, Harmony. I wish it were not so, Your Grace." I said. "I have not come for pleasure, however much I wish it were so. Dost thou have an avatar in Equestria?" I asked, cutting to the point as Stars were known to do.
"You haven't forgotten the language of the Stars, despite not speaking it for thousands of years? You have a good memory!" She laughed at her own joke.
"Harmony, I appreciate the gesture, but I am still as accustomed to the rituals of the Stars as I was three thousand years ago. Dost thou have an avatar or not?" I asked, my impatience showing as I reverted back to the speech I knew three thousand years ago. It was nearing Dawn already, and I hadn't gotten any of the information I required.
"Alright, Sun. Yes, I have an avatar in Equestria. I have sensed you growing weaker and weaker, little Sun, and I want you to get some rest. Maintaining an avatar is simple for us, but even a being such as you needs her magic. Your post has been taken care of, but you have only been weakening as your magic is sapped. You need to get back to your post as the True Sun. I hear the ponies call you 'Celestia'. 'Tis a good name. Fit for a Princess. How much have you been using your powers as a Princess of Equestria, when there has been a simpler remedy right before you?" the teenage tone morphed into that of a mother looking after her daughter.
"Too often, Harmony." I replied.
"Yes, Sun. You must rest, recharge your magic. It is strong, but it will fall, one age."
"I will, Harmony, but the ponies of Equestria need me!" I cried.
"Can they live without you?" Harmony asked.
"Well, yes, I suppose-"
"Can they live without my Elements?"
"It is the Elements that protect Equestria from danger. Or let my sister rest…" I replied, my mind creating a plan. "Harmony, how would it work if, when Moon came back, my 'guilt and anger' manifested and 'turned' me into a monster, so that she could rule Equestria while I replenished my magic?" I asked.
"That would not work. Moon has been gone for a thousand years. There have been many changes in Equestria since then. She would not be fit for the throne."
"Legends in Equestria are not on her side."
"Neither are the tides. Sun, you need to phase out your rule. You will raise my avatar until I am of legal age to take the throne. You will remove the glamour on my wings at once! I do not appreciate this! Now go. Sun, you must leave. Create your placeholder. I shall talk to you in Equestria." Harmony said as she withdrew her presence.
I took a bit of dark matter from nearby, thanked Harmony for it, and slowly began to meld it into a placeholder sun. As the ball of gas began to grow, I withdrew my spirit from space and formed a body for it to inhabit. I became more aware of my surroundings as more and more of my spirit withdrew to Equestria. As soon as I could, I looked over at the unicorn filly. She started to channel her magic towards my horn, lending me a part of her infinite magic so I could finish creating my placeholder before I moved it.
"Thank you, Harmony." I replied once the task was done.
"Don't thank me, Sun. Get this glamour off me!" the filly with Harmony's voice smiled.
"Sorry, Harmony." I said. My magic burned the seal on the glamour off. That seemed to be all I could do lately. Burn things.
"It's because you've-"
"It's because I've spent too much time away from my post." I pouted. "I know." 'If a guard came in here right now…' I thought.
"Princess Celestia?" a guard knocked. I didn't respond until the filly hissed at me.
"Oh!" I started. "Sorry. Yes? What did you need?" I asked, opening the door of my chambers.
"Today's a Court day."
"I'm sorry, but I'm afraid I have to cancel. I have an important… guest I must attend to. Please tell the ponies that have come that I am very sorry." I replied, having thoroughly forgotten that today was supposed to have been devoted to Court.
"Yes, Princess."
"Thank you." I replied, closing the door. "Oh, Harmony, what do I do? I can't just drop everything!" I cried, the bottled emotions of the last few days catching up with me.
"Oh, Sun. This is why-"
"Please, your Grace, stop mentioning that!" I yelled.
"Sorry, Sun. I don't mean to hurt you."
"It's fine. I've just been so busy lately, and so worried…"
"Oh, Sun. If I had known it was this hard for you, I would have come earlier." She consoled me as tears started to stream down my face. Her form slowly grew as it matched mine in stature, just so that she could hug me and hold me tight. "Shh, Sun. It'll be ok. You'll be fine." I trusted her. I trusted her as much as a foal trusts it's mother. Harmony truly was my mother. I often wondered why I felt such responsibility for the ponies. Now I realized why. Harmony had been showing me, showing all of us Stars, how to care. Before we truly knew her, we were all balls of gas and heat and light, but when Harmony came, she gave us spirits. She showed us how to have emotions, how to create Harmony between spirits, how to laugh, how to love. She showed us how to live. Harmony was the only thing many of us had, the only thing anywhere close to a mother or a father. For many of us, the Stars, asteroids, or comets we were made up of had already decayed into Dark Matter or Energy, and that was, for Stars, the equivalent of death. Living things, ponies, had an Alicorn of Death, while we had Dark Matter. Harmony had made us see that we were not alone. We had her.
"Oh, Harmony. Thank you. Thank you for everything." I sobbed.
"Excuse me? Princess?" another knock came at my door.
"Yes?" Harmony answered for me, her voice a perfect facsimile of mine. I mouthed a silent 'thank you' at her. She winked as her body started to glow and regain its former stature.
"Prince Blueblood wishes to see you. He wants to know about something he saw yesterday." a guard answered.
"Alright. Tell him I'll meet him in the gardens." I replied.
"Yes, Princess." I heard the guard trot away.
"I'll be fine, Sun. I'm Harmony, remember?" the lavender alicorn was quickly becoming a unicorn again. I smiled.
"Hello, Twilight Sparkle. Nice to meet you. I'm Princess Celestia."

"Celestia, the nobles are roaring! How could you take in a common filly with no known origins instead of one of the nobles?" Blueblood yelled.
"It was a special case. Anyway, Blueblood, she is noble. Nobler than you, I would imagine. She my adopted daughter." at this statement, the faces of both ponies went slack.
"Yes, you heard me. Adopted daughter." I smiled at Harmony, secretly laughing.
"Sun, that is the LAST time you will ever be able to use that without repercussions." Harmony said in my mind.
"What about the press? The other nobles? Princess Cadance?" I asked.
"You can use it then, too, but nothing more after that!" She yelled. I laughed.
"What is so funny, Tia? Are you joking?" Blueblood asked, aghast.
"No, I'm not joking. Go ask the guard, if you wish. Or my secretary." I replied. "Now, if you need me, I'll be in the Old Castle, along with my daughter."

"Sun, that was a risky move. Why in the Universe would you do that?!" Harmony asked as her form grew and her hair gained an ethereal quality.
"I felt that it was the best excuse for keeping you close all the time."
"I must admit, that does make sense."
"Sun, what are you going to do about Moon coming back here? You said you would phase yourself out with me taking over. I hold my Stars to their promises."
"I'll tell her not to come back, then."
"Sun, you know as well as I do that that won't work. Moon is stubborn. She'll want to help you, even if you're leaving soon. What if you did this instead…" Her horn flared, and with the resulting explosion came a series of visions. Visions of the town we were close to, Ponyville. Visions of the living embodiments of the five known Elements of Harmony: Generosity, Honesty, Laughter, Loyalty, and Kindness. The avatar of Harmony among them, traveling with them through the forest around us, to this very room, to discover the lost Elements to defeat an evil avatar of Harmony. This avatar would be controlled by Harmony, but relinquished when the Elements united to defeat the perceived evil. Visions of the five ponies and the avatar of Harmony overcoming obstacles to defeat the spirit of Chaos. Visions of the ponies and Harmony uniting to banish another avatar. Princess Cadance making the avatar of Harmony a princess because she created new magic after turning an entire town into ruins. Visions of me, safe in space, back in my old post. Regaining my strong magic. Visiting Equestria from time to time.
I awoke from the visions to see Harmony.
"What dost thou say?" She asked in the Old Language of the Stars.
"Thou art Harmony. Thou gavest me love. Thou gavest me True Life. Thou art correct in everything." I answered, lapsing into the Old Language.
"Sun, I only want what's best for you. I'm glad you finally listened."
"Harmony, grace me with acceptance so I may live with love. Grace me with love so I may give unto others. Grace me with gifts so I may show you to others. These things I ask, for the rest of my life here, so I may live in peace." I asked.
"Why do you invoke my blessing? You are the one I'm closest to. You know, you were the first one I gave True Life to."
"Really?" I asked. My memory didn't stretch back for infinity. I was like my placeholder for a while: cold and lifeless, without a spirit, but then, Harmony gave me True Life. I had a spirit, could think, had my own powerful magic.
"Truly. Honesty doesn't lie." She said one of her favorite sayings. She smiled. "Sun, don't be sad! I'll always be here, and you can always come and visit Equestria!" Her smile wavered when I still didn't smile. "You're honestly a better candidate for Harmony than I am. You're loyal to a world you've known for a long time, yet you're still loyal to us." She failed to get me to smile, even sadly. "Come now, sweet Sun. You still have your memories of this world, right?" I sobbed. "Come here." She said as she hugged me. "My sweet little Sun doesn't need to be sad anymore. You can come back here whenever you want, my little sweetheart."
"It's not that, Harmony. It's just- it's just that I've noticed my powers becoming even weaker lately, and I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that I've been gone. I would love to go back on a permanent basis! I just… I think I'm becoming more of a pony than I am me!" I cried.
"Oh, sweet Sun, it's not that at all! Being away from your post, its power drop starts to pick up after a while. It's been three thousand years, and you're lucky it didn't start to pick up earlier! That's why I've been telling you to go back!"
"Ho-How are you not losing your power?" I asked, my sobbing stopped and my fears allayed.
"Well, my spirit inhabits basically everything. Well, everything but celestial bodies. But because it does so, I create an avatar anywhere and still have as much power as I did before." Harmony explained. "Now come on. You need to go say goodbye to your friends. I want you to get better as soon as you can."
"I will, Harmony. Thank you." I said as her form began to glow. She became a mare of a young age, just out of school. She was a unicorn with a blue mane with purple and pink streaks. She quickly teleported herself to the castle, along with myself. I cringed as we arrived in the chariot yards.
"Go on, Sun. Tell the guards what I showed you you had to say." Harmony whispered.
"Sun Stone, Ember, please take Miss Sparkle to Ponyville. Do not wait for her. Thank you." I gave my last order as a Princess of Equestria.
"I will miss you, my faithful student.
"And I you, Princess." She smiled sadly. "I hope to see you soon, Princess." That line, more than anything else, meant the most to me.
I teleported to Cadance's room in the Castle. "Cadance? I need you to take over for me as Princess of Equestria."
"What?" She asked, bewlidered.
"I have to return to my post as the Sun. I'll come visit soon. For now, though, here is what you must do." I gave her the vision that Harmony had given me. When it was over, tears were streaming down my cheeks. "I will miss you, my little filly. Goodbye."
I wept as I teleported to my room in the palace. I took one last look at my things, searing them into my mind as if I would never see them again. I likely never would.
"This is for you, Equestria. This is for you."
My inner magic flared, and my spirit returned to its natural form, burning its placeholder as it did. As unnatural as it was for a being of fire to weep, I wept until my inner core was filled with steam.

When I think of Harmony, I think of honesty, of laughter, of loyalty, of generosity, of kindness. I think of True Life. I think of hellos and goodbyes. I think of Twilight Sparkle, avatar of Harmony. It is my greatest wish that these notes will unlock your true knowledge, Harmony. Every time I visit Equestria and see you, you only remember me as Princess Celestia, your mentor that disappeared after you moved to Ponyville. You don't remember me as Sun, your first child. You don't remember me as me. I'm very glad that you are only an extension of Harmony, only one outlet for her existence, but at the same time, I want the Twilight Sparkle that is Harmony back. She was the first being to listen to me, to know my fears, and to reassure me using something other than words. Physical contact can be the most reassuring thing in the Universe, and gives even immortal beings like us some sort of reassurance that words cannot bring. Twilight Sparkle who is Harmony brought forth a new form of communication between the Stars: she brought forth a plane of communication that allows us to create avatars and see each other across light years. She has brought forth changes.
Harmony, if you are there, I want you to know this. Your daughter is here. Your daughter wants to know that you're there, too. You give me a reason to visit Equestria. Without you, my existence would be meaningless. Thank you.

I jerked back. 'I'm immortal?' was my first thought, followed by, 'I'm an immortal being?', 'I'm an immortal being, namely the essence of Harmony?', 'I'm HARMONY? THE SAME THING FOR WHICH I HAVE FOUGHT FOR COUNTLESS TIMES? THE SAME THING WHICH ELEVATED ME TO ALICORN STATUS?', and, 'I'M TECHNICALLY PRINCESS CELESTIA'S MOTHER?!". I screamed as my brain overloaded.

"Twilight?" a concerned voice asked.
"Ugh. Spike? Why are you so small?" I asked.
"I'm not smaller. You're… taller." He said.
"What? Spike, you're joking!" I said as I looked down at myself. "Spike, what IS this?" I yelled.
"I don't know!" he yelled back. I promptly became dizzy and fell over as memories flooded over me.

The universe was really empty. I decided to try my spirit at creating something. I failed. I created Dark Matter instead!
I bestowed True Life upon a star. I loved this one, and grew really close to it. I decided to bestow True Life on some others, to make them the Guardians of the Universe.
I nurtured my Stars as they learned to love, to feel, to live.
I felt a surge in magic. Two of my Stars were trying to communicate with me!
I accepted their decision to help the newest life forms on Equestria. They would create placeholders and move them as they usually did.
Moon and Sun moved. They seemed sad about leaving their posts.
Moon came back. She said she had to replenish her magic. Even immortals do not have infinite magic.
Sun came back. She said she left Equestria at its best. It should be fine.
Sun left again. She said something about her kingdom needing her. I'm worried about her.
Sun needs to come back and replenish her magic! She's getting weaker!
Sun came back!
Sun came back for good. She left my avatar there. She'll be fine. She's me, after all!
I gave my avatar freedom. She won't be controlled by me directly unless she's wearing the Element of she unlocks the box of memories I gave her.
I told Sun to give her the box. She needs me.
Sun gave her the box. I can feel it. Here. Twilight, can you hear me?
Yeah… where am I?
You're with me. In space. Sun and Moon say hi to little Twilight.
Who are… sun and moon?
Oh, sorry! Celestia and… Lune? Luna? Luna!
Um… Ok? Another question. WHAT am I? If those were letters from the Princess, who I haven't seen in a while, and they were true, does that make me…
It makes you me. You're my avatar.
What? And who are you, anyway?
You're me, but you have a body. I'm everywhere, so it doesn't work as well, but normally, when one of my stars need to go to a planet such as Equestria, they create an avatar for themselves, usually taking the form of an alicorn. Because I'm Harmony, I am everywhere, but I never have a form, so, if I create an avatar, there are two simultaneous 'copies', if you will, of me. One is everywhere at once, and one is the distilled essence of me. If I were to dissolve my avatar right now, I'd be dissolving you, but you would still remain, because you are me. Get it?
Not really…
Well, basically, I'm you and you're me.
That makes sense, I guess…
Here. Let me give you all of my memories and powers. This might hurt…

"TWILIGHT!" a purple and green dragon yelled.
"Spike, I'm fine." I said, sitting up. My head was throbbing, but I felt better than I ever had. I felt like I had the power I was born with back.
"Spike! I have to test something!" I cried.
"Well, go ahead, Princess."
"Give me some privacy, Spike!" I yelled, forcing him out the door with my magic. I quickly closed and locked the door. My spirit reached out toward the stars. With a quick breath, I rejoined the spirit of Harmony.
"Welcome back, Twilight! I missed you, my faithful student!" one of my Stars, Sun, joked.
"Hello, Sun. I missed you, too. I missed my memories even more!"
"You've been unusually absent these past ages." Moon chimed in.
"Yes, I know. I've been sorting out the whole thing with my avatar. You know, that was the first time I've ever used one?"
"The logistics of you using an avatar are really confusing. How'd you manage it?" Sun asked.
"I'm Harmony. Literally, the creator of the Universe and everything in it? Including logistics? I made it so that, if I were to have to use an avatar, my power wouldn't be stuck in one place. With so much power, the magic could literally clog." I replied.
"Oh. See, this is why we need you, Harmony." Sun responded.
"Oh, quit it with the emotions already! We all know you're her favorite, Sun. Don't rub it in our spirits!" Moon cried.
"Moon, don't be jealous. You're all my favorites." I said, with a secret wink at Sun.
"I missed you." Moon said.