The lights of the auditorium all came on at once, girls started to crowd over one another as they parted to make a path between Celestia and Diamond. The butterflies that were still fluttering suddenly all burst into tiny flames when Diamond tilted her head down and dawned a grin that even a snack would fear. Celestia only glared back with a straight face.
Luna made sure that Coco was ok before teleporting herself back to her sisters side. "Is she hurt?" Celestia asked her sister. "No, she appears unharmed," Luna replied, adding her own glare to the mix.
The two sisters and the self proclaimed princess began marching toward one another. Diamond's horn lit up when she got close to the end of the stage. Planks of wood moved magically to meet her hooves as she stepped down and onto the floor of the auditorium.
"I will admit, you two do have talent. Not just anypony could topple my enforcers."
Luna scoffed. "Or maybe you just roped a couple of fillies."
Celestia smirked. "Never send pups to hunt wolves, princess."
To this, Diamond flipped her mane like a model. "Wolves are you? Pah! This is my jungle. And here, I am alpha and omega." The three met in the middle and locked their horns, sparks of magic discharge flying off from the friction. "After we're done. You will be 'nothing' and 'nada'!" Luna barked. "Oh, what was that? Did I just hear a child trying to speak in the presence of adults?"
Luna clenched her teeth, her horn flaring to life and erupting with fire. Diamonds own horn followed suit with ice water, causing a billow of steam to fill the air. Celestia threw a hoof at Diamond's ribs but hit only air when Diamond slid backwards and countered with a bolt of lightning that struck her horn, causing Celestia to writhe.
Luna took advantage and threw a hoof, grazing her chin. Diamond's eyes filled with fire. She turned and bucked at Luna with her back legs, striking Luna in the chest and narrowly avoiding a ball of concentrated magic that Celestia thew at her. Celestia got in close and threw a barage of swipes at Diamond, but found that her opponent was swift.
Celestia tore a large and pointed chunk of wood off a far wall and sent it sailing at Diamond from behind, narrowly missing her but clipping several strands of her luscious mane. Diamond cringed at the lost strands and responded by inhaling deep and shooting a continuous beam of white hot magic at her, which Celestia met with a beam of her own. The two beams met and battled each other for dominance over the other, sending liquid magic onto the floor where it began eating through the wood like acid.
Celestia strained under the weight of continuing her spell. She diverted a portion to her right hoof which she stomped, sending a wave of power along the floor to knock Diamond off her balance. Diamond broke her beam, leaping away just in time to avoid both attacks.
Diamond's hooves skip on the hard floor as she cam to a stop in time to see Celestia's magic slam into a wall, sending splinters and smoke flying in wake of the crash. Luna shook off the pain in her chest and charged at a gallop, her magic taking the form of a ram's horns in front of her head. Diamond turned and constructed a shield with her magic just in time to meet Luna's assault.
The ear shattering sound of magic slamming into magic shook the ground like an explosion, causing shock waves to pulse out from the point of impact, sending skirts fluttering and causing school ponies to scream and cry out from the sudden force. Diamond gritted her teeth as she poured moor magic into her shield, but found the little unicorn's power to be greater than she had guessed. Her shield started to form cracks and chip away under the pressure of such force.
She sent magic down her hooves and through the floor under Luna where it erupted upwards in the form of a hundred blades all fused together to form one mass of edge and point. Luna used her magic to shoot herself up, dispelling her horns but using the opportunity to go into a spinning kick she aimed at her enemy. Celestia came charging from the other side. At her right she held up a lance pointed right at Diamond's side.
Both Celestia and Luna's strikes met their target at the same time, and another shock wave burst outward with more force than the last. The windows of the auditorium shattered but the glass didn't fall. The smoke cleared, revealing that Diamond had blocked both attacks by incasing herself in a diamond shaped dome.
The two sisters growled in frustration that their efforts hadn't hit home, while Diamond snickered from inside her protective case. The sound of whizzing blades cut through the air as Diamond pointed thousands of shards of glass at herself and sent them flying.
Everypony in the room looked away, not wanting to see the two as they were about to be cut to ribbons.
"YOU SHOULD'VE TAKEN ME UP ON MY OFFER, CELESTIA!"
In an instant it was over. Diamond exhaled the fire in her chest and blinked. But instead of seeing two horribly injured unicorns, all she saw was the shards of glass buried in her shield, resembling a porcupine. The two sisters were gone.
She released her spell and started panting with exhaustion. She was fatigued. She had never had to use so much magic before, and she doubted she could continue, hence her eagerness to finish the two off.
"What!? Where did they go!?" All went silent in the large room, before the sound of two mares laughing filled the air.
Diamond turned her head fast to see the two sitting against a wall, both looking fresh as daisies. "I say, Diamond, that was an impressive display," Celestia cooed in a mocking tone. "What did you think, Luna?" The younger unicorn nodded affirmatively. "Indeed, sister. I found it quite…amusing," she purred.
Diamond stomped her hoof as she started hyperventilating. "But!…You!...I!…HOW!?"
To this Celestia stood up and daintily brushed some dust from her black skirt, flashing a smug smile at the confused pony. "Come now, Diamond. You didn't expect us to just throw down in a fight with you before seeing what we were up against, did you?"
~Before the fight~
"I-i-it's Coco," Luna hissed. Celestia put a foreleg in front of her sister to stop her from charging the stage. "Easy, little sister. What do we do when up against an opponent who's abilities we don't yet fully know?" Luna paused in her anger, a thoughtful look coming to her face as she contemplated her sisters question.
A sly grin formed, and she looked up at Celestia with a wink. Nopony noticed when they replaced their forms with magic copies and teleported to the back of the room. Celestia sent her consciousness to her copy, and they were ready.
"IT WAS ME!"
Celestia and luna both stood together now, moving their necks from side to side, popping their joints as they moved to form a 'V' together.
"So, ready for the real thing, sow?" Luna asked with a smirk. The pure shock faded from Diamond's face and turned to fiery rage. She didn't look, but she could feel the stares from the other girls. Their fear of her was getting smaller and smaller, and being replaced by contempt and courage. She had ruled the school since the first day she set hoof on the first stone, and in one day these two had made her look weaker than a dry leaf on a dying tree.
"You think this is it? You think you can just walk in and take what is mine!?" Celestia only rolled her eyes, bringing a hoof to her mouth as she yawned. "My daddy built this school for ME! And I will see it in a crumpled heap with you two in its rubble before I let you both win!"
Luna brought her own hoof up and made a motion with it to match the mock movements of her mouth. "Yes yes, we've heard it all before. Revenge this, pay back that. Don't any of you slime sucking low lives know how to loose with grace?"
Diamond took a deep breath, regaining some of her composure. She ran a hoof over her frazzled mane in an attempt to tidy it up a bit. "Enjoy your victory, girls. Next time, I guaranty one of you will be in tears." Using what little magic she had left, Diamond vanished in a flash of light.
"Well, that wasn't so hard, was it?" Luna sighed. Celestia however, was not so comforted by Diamond's retreat. "Hubris is the foundation of many great failings, Luna. A beheaded snake can still bite." Luna gave her overly cautious sister a deadpan stare. "Tia, can we ever just be glad in victory?"
"When there are none left to fight, little sister." They both went silent in thoughtful contemplation, before they remembered that they were not alone in the large room. The jack hoofed security guards had all taken off, leaving only their fellow class mates to look on at them with new found reverence. Celestia and Luna felt surrounded, and they wondered for a moment if they were going to have to fight their way out. One by one, the girls lowered their heads to the ground out of respect for the two who had defeated the princess.
"Luna!" The sound of a familiar voice caused Luna to turn her head and see Coco as she galloped up to her. "Coco, what are you still doing here? I told you to flee." Coco threw her hooves around Luna, hugging her warmly. "I couldn't leave. I was so worried that you…that you." Luna patted Coco on the back. "I am very grateful for your concern, but you need not fear. I am not so easily defeated."
Coco peered up at the tall and somewhat imposing unicorn next to her friend. Luna broke their embrace and turned to Celestia. "How rude of me. Coco, this is my sister, Celestia. Tia, this is my new friend, Coco." Celestia smiled at the cute little pony who looked a little intimidated at the sight of her.
"It is very nice to meet you, Ms. Coco. I can see why my sister is so…smitten with you." A furious blush consumed Coco's face, while Luna shot her sister a sideways glare.
"I-it's nice to meet you too, Cel-I mean, ma'am." Celestia giggled at the respect the young mare showed her. "Oh now. There is no need for such formality. You may just call me Celestia." Coco seemed to relax a bit when she saw the warm smile on Celestia's face. The other girls still in the auditorium seemed to relax as well. They didn't see the two as vicious beasts, but more as honorable warriors. Celestia looked up at the sun through a shattered window, and saw that dark would be upon them soon. She tapped Luna's shoulder, breaking her from her chat with Coco.
"We must be going if we hope to find a place to sleep tonight." Coco's ears perked up. Her cheeks turned pink as she began twiddling a lock of hair. "Um…if you like. I can let you two stay at my house."
Both sisters turned their attention to Coco. "That is very kind of you, but we are not unaccustomed to sleeping under the stars," Celestia reassured the young pony. "Yes, as wonderful as your offer is, I'm sure your parents would not approve of having a couple miscreants sleeping under their roof." Coco waved a hoof. "Well, actually, my mother left when I was a filly, and my daddy is overseas most of the time with work. So…if you both like…"
Luna looked at Celestia with a pouty lip and those big puppy eyes. She could feel her mental wall crumble under that adorable face. "Ohhhhhhh…Very well then." The two young mares started hopping up and down like they were fillies. Their squeals of delight ringing in Celestia's ears. Oh well, at least they didn't have to sleep outside tonight.
~The Dust family mansion~
Diamond stormed through the torch lit halls of the underground passages under her families' estate. A small army of her body guards followed closely behind. "Mistress, your father forbid you from entering the inner sanctum without him," one of her guards warned. Diamond turned her head and sneered at the guard. "My father is as powerless as the rest of you. He knows nothing outside of his imaginary power." She approached the large stone doors and flung them open, her guards blinded by the brilliant blue light from within.
Diamond's eyes glossed as they fell on the stone pedestal, atop which rested a large crystal heart that spun around slowly. Diamond smiled at the gem, licking her lips as she steadily walked up the steps. "The crystal heart. Once a beacon of hope and light, now…a vault, holding all the magic in the world."
The guards all looked at the heart like it was a holy relic, they could feel the power emanating from it.
"With this, I will show those two what real power is, and I shan't be alone." She cautiously touched her torn to the heart, and immediately she was overwhelmed with its power. Like a conduit, the magic spread through her and transferred to one guard, and soon the others. If she alone couldn't defeat two unicorns, then she would rain magic down on them from all angles. And when they were bruised and weary from battle, she would finish them off and re-assert herself.
The flow of magic stopped, her guards all groaning from the strain of being overloaded. Diamond turned to one. "Check them out. Find out whatever you can about them." The guard nodded and limped off.
"I'm coming for you, Celestia. Before this is all over, I will stand victorious as you weep."
~Elsewhere in town~
Celestia and Luna looked up at the tall apartment building as they followed Coco up to the third floor. The three stood before a door that read 32. "It isn't much, but please, make yourselves at home." She opened the door and revealed a beautiful art deco decorated apartment. Celestia and Luna hadn't seen such a lovely home in many years. "Wow, Coco. You have wonderful taste," Luna complemented. Coco blushed as she showed the two her home. The furnishings were tasteful and comfortable, and everywhere they looked were Coco's scrapbook projects. Something about Coco's art hobby didn't seem right to Luna. There were scrapbook pages, but all of them were with pictures of landscapes or flowers.
"Pardon me for asking, Coco, but why aren't you in any of these pages? Aren't scrapbooks meant to remember fun one had with friends or family?" Coco seemed to clam up at the question, and Celestia saw that this was likely a time for her to part for a moment.
"Oh, Coco? May I use your restroom?" Celestia asked. "Yes, of course. It's the first door on the right." Celestia nodded before giving Luna a confident smile.
Luna looked back at Coco, who was very interested in her carpet. "Well…my daddy is busy with work, and….I don't like having my picture taken." Luna couldn't understand that. "But why, Coco?" Coco drew circles in her carpet with her hoof. "I…I'm not pretty, so I don't see the need to have my picture taken."
Coco let out a little squeak when she felt Luna's hoof gently lift her chin to look at her. "What are you talking about, Coco? I think that you're very beautiful-Uh! I mean…" Luna trailed off when she noticed the romantic look in Coco's eyes. The two young mares slowly closed the distance between them and closed their eyes. Luna gulped. She had never kissed anypony before, and her heart was racing at the thought that a pony as pretty as Coco would be her first.
"I'm not interrupting, am I?"
Both girls leapt a good foot in the air. "Tia! We weren't…I mean! We were just--!" Celestia tried her best to stifle her giggling as she looked at the two little fillies blush.
"Um, why don't you both relax while I make us some dinner? I hope you both like pasta." At the word "pasta" Luna's mouth began to drool. Beautiful, sweet, and can cook pasta. Luna hit the jackpot.
The three ate and traded stories as they laughed and enjoyed each others company. After dinner, they agreed that they had had a long day, and that sleep was needed. Coco showed them the guest room, and Celestia practically had to drag Luna away when she saw Coco in her silky pink night gown.
"Come now, Luna. You wouldn't even know what to do with it," Celestia whispered after shutting their bedroom door. "I could think of a couple things I could do." Luna retorted, garnering a scolding look from Celestia.
The two curled up in bed together like they had since they were fillies. It had been many years since they has slept in a soft bed in a warm house. Celestia wrapped her hooves around Luna and held her warmly, while Luna held her sister's legs and cooed.
"Sweet dreams, little sister."