Between Worlds

by Vohira


Secrets

Secrets

Somber was looking into the mirror that he and Wind Dancer bought some time ago now. It was early in the morning as the sun just began to rise. His mare was not in the house or even in the city. The blue maned pegasus mare was on border patrol duty for the last five days and she was scheduled to return in two days time. So Somber was using this alone time to get more practice with his Dark Magic.

That was the reason why he stood in front of the mirror. With fascination he looked deeply into his emerald slitted eyes, that had small tufts of dark purple smoke like magic leaking from them. Those were something that Luna quickly explained to him on their first secret lesson more than a year ago… and it still fascinated him.

Dark Magic as the Princess of the Night said, wanted to be used. It was constantly looking for an outlet. And in this case the saying that ‘eyes are windows to the soul’ was almost literal. The dark alicorn also explained that in her case it was the mane and tail that took on this ‘trait’.

“Such a long time… And not one of those fools noticed.” As he thought out loud Somber couldn’t help himself, he smiled smugly about all of this. And then frowned. “It’s a shame I can’t help them with the holes in security now…”

To be fair, the dark gray unicorn thought, the Solar Knights and even Celestia herself were in a disadvantage. They never thought that one of their own would begin using Dark Magic.

However, lately Count Blueblood was becoming a nuisance. He was too curious, too paranoid for his own good. Luna had promised to rein him in or to… take care of him permanently, if she could not bend her sister’s views about the veteran unicorn to fit their needs. And if all of those options failed, there was a backup plan ready. One that made Somber frown and curse silently when he learned of it, but he knew that he had little to no say in the matter.

With a sigh, for a moment he closed his eyes and concentrated on wanting the darkness to hide in the furthest reaches of his mind and heart. When the dark gray unicorn opened his eyes again, the tufts of Dark Magic were gone and his emerald eyes looked normally.

He had to be careful to not get too emotional, as strong emotions sometimes triggered the changes that marked a pony as a Dark Magic user. So Occlumency was something that he trained extensively in the past year under the watchful gaze of Luna.

It surprised him when she told him what they would be practicing for the better part of their meetings, although he knew it shouldn’t. The dark alicorn was a master of mind related magics… And it made him hate Snape, the self proclaimed master Occlumens, all the more. Her lessons were nothing like those of the potion’s master. Where he was trampling everything in his path, she was meticulous. While Snape was uncaring, she respected the sanctuary that was his mind. He was blind, she saw… Luna saw during their third lesson that there was a part of his mind that did not belong.

For now the odd part was contained by mental walls that made the thick castle walls of the palace look like paper sheets by comparison. And nightly Somber was adding further layers… He had a sickening feeling of what the odd part contained but he did not want to even touch it, nor did Luna without his consent.

The black maned unicorn shook his head, there was little they could do for now with this unwelcome part of him. He was just not ready to wield magics required to get rid of it. Necromancy was by far the last subject he wanted to read upon and learn, there were things that even Black Mages and Princess Luna herself labeled as forbidden among that knowledge...

A clock chimed signaling noon.

Making final adjustments Somber put on his white, gold trimmed cloak and left the house heading towards the castle. His shift as a personal guard of Princess Celestia would soon be beginning.

After less than quarter of an hour, Somber was standing beside the doors leading to Celestia’s private study. His shift partner, somepony new in the ranks, was as still and professional looking as him. Standing straight, silent and showing no emotions. In his mind Somber was counting down minutes…

The door cracked open.

“Sir Blackmane, could you come inside and assist us with the paperwork?” Celestia’s smooth voice sounded through the corridor, just as Somber’s countdown reached three minutes…

“Certainly, Princess.” His answer was as practiced as the white alicorn’s question. The second guard whose name Somber didn’t care to ask for, just blinked slowly. That was the only sign he was curious as what was going on.

The doors closed behind him, enveloped in golden aura. Without a word Somber made his way to one of the pillows laying near the fireplace. For the better part of two years he had been a frequent guest in this particular room.

“It’s been a while since we were able to talk properly, my dear Somber.” Celestia began while she prepared tea for them.

“Yes, well it’s been harder to justify me spending time with you Princess. I’m sure you heard the rumors about us?” Somber said with a scowl, as he accepted the steaming teacup, enveloping it with his emerald magic. For a second the emerald and gold magic danced around each other, creating a pleasant, warm tingling sensation in his horn. He saw the corners of Celestia’s mouth twitch as she fought down a most unbecoming giggle.    

“Yes… Nobles are always looking for an excuse to garner more attention, more power. Even if it means spreading such inappropriate rumors about me.” The white alicorn laid down on a large crimson pillow, with her forelegs crossed and her belly facing him. She took a sip of hers tea. ”They tend to forget just who and what I am.”

“I was in the temple not two days ago. The tensions are high Princess, I’ve heard that the head priest of your cult wants to start a smear campaign against Nobles who would as he put it ‘say such vile, blasphemous things about our pure Queen and one of our most gifted Knights’.” Somber said the last part with ill concealed wry amusement.

Celestia shot him a weak, scolding look as she took another sip.

“The Nobles and the priests will be reined in, they always are… They don't have the courage to stand up to me directly.” Celestia’s voice had a steel edge to it as she spoke. For a few minutes silence reigned in the room. Then the white alicorn smiled. “But enough about me, do tell how is Wind Dancer? I keep eye on her service records and lately they became one of the best. You must be proud of her.”

At those words Somber sighed deeply. For a year now they have been trying have a foal and they were less than successful. Wind Dancer was beginning to show signs of depression, but she was fighting with it by spending more and more time with her unit or on assignments. That in turn began to frustrate Somber, especially since she began to behave colder towards him… But whose fault was it, was an arguable thing... after all he had to keep a tighter check on his own emotions, he himself had became a bit colder. And he was just beginning to realize that this whole situation would probably not have a happy ending.

“That I am, but things are not as great as they once were between us.” Saying those words pained Somber, but he could count on Celestia to keep his secrets or to give him a good advice… at least when it come to majority of things.

Interestingly enough he saw a glint of something in her pale magenta eyes.

“But I see you both are holding up remarkably good.”

“Well, we do have things to do that help us… not think about our issues.” The dark gray unicorn said looking curiously at Celestia as her body moved slightly.

He had seen such a pose, relaxed yet expecting. Rear legs moved slightly apart to show him all of her belly, promising something hidden. Luna always tried to tempt him during their lessons and she did it with far more open displays most of the time. Still, seeing Celestia try to subtly seduce him, if the look she was giving him now was anything to go by was shocking.

“You can’t say that all you two have been focusing on lately is just working yourself to exhaustion?” The white alicorn took a slow sip of the now lukewarm tea, looking at the stallion before her with half lidded eyes.

The dark gray unicorn Knight was not certain what prompted the Princess to behave in such a way… Maybe she thought that he would be more accepting now, that he revealed he had problems with Wind Dancer? Somber closed his eyes. As if having one demigod mare trying to seduce him was not a problem big enough…

“Princess…” Somber looked at her with a small measure of uncertainty. Before he sat a bit straighter and put aside his tea. “Celestia, you know I don’t like to be lead around. If you could get to the point of what you want to tell me?”

“Let’s just say, that those rumors have some merit in them.” She leaned forward, which made Somber realize how close they were from the beginning. He could feel her breath on his lower jaw, as she nibbled gently on it from the downside. “Being a Demigod Princess is a lonely life, dear Somber. And everypony has their needs...”                      

An hour later, Somber left the study. For a moment he stopped, turned and looked at the other guard on the shift. He was a regular Guard not a Knight, as his golden armor didn’t have Celestia’s Sun anywhere on it, he outranked him.

“You’re taking over, I need to take care of a private matter.” Somber’s voice only slightly betrayed his tiredness. Without further words or even a thought, as he dared not to think about the last hour he moved down the corridor. As he was passing a mirror, he quickly checked himself over for any lasting evidences of his recent... activity. A crooked piece of armor, a loose pin in his cloak, everything pointing to him hastily putting on his armor was corrected. His hair was a bit of a mess but no one would point it out. It was more or less a mess everyday anyway. He was acting a bit paranoid he knew… but he just wanted to be sure nothing was out of place.

He left the castle grounds, he left the Everfree city and went to the nearby forest that stretched as far as the eye could see. To sit at a river bank and look at his reflection.

“What the hell did you allow yourself to do Somber?” He asked his own reflection, but it stayed silent as he contemplated what to do now. If word got out that the rumors about him and Celestia were now made true… He would be finished.

However a small part of him, the darker more egotistical part, was wondering… if he went half the way, why not go all the way? So to speak. His next lesson with Luna was tomorrow, he had some time to decide.

After all, nopony had to know anything. They were all entitled to having secrets.

**********

Somber looked at the city sprawling below him as he stood at the balcony of the highest castle tower. He was wearing nothing. The night was a windy one and a bit cold, but it only helped to keep the sleepiness at bay. The moon was high in the starlit sky as it was well past midnight. Normally he would not have stayed to this hour in the tower, but things have changed.

Tufts of Dark Magic of about two hooves length, wavered around his eyes. And with the slitted emerald eyes that glowed with inner power he was looking at the sleeping city. For the first time since the death of Lightning Flash, he felt Dark Magic coursing freely in his veins.

A steady clop of hooves on stone made him look slightly behind him, before he returned to looking at the world blanketed by the darkness of the night. Warm, soft body nuzzled into his right side.

“Beautiful isn't it? And to think so many shun it… fools all of them.” Luna’s silent, cold but seductive voice whispered into his ear.

“In time they all will learn to appreciate the Night.” Somber answered with warmth in his voice, he turned his head to look at the dark alicorn and place a gentle kiss.

“I may be immortal, but my patience is not everlasting.” She answered, smirking. She turned away and started to move inside again just a high pitched scream reached their ears from the city below. “Hmmm… It seems my Guards will have a busy night after all.”

Luna returned inside, while Somber sighed and looked up at the stars. Not for the first time in this life, he wondered if one of those was his Earth.  

However, as he looked down again at Equestria, he couldn’t help the smug smile that showed itself on his muzzle. He missed Hogwarts and knew that someday he would return there, he felt it somehow now that he managed to create a deeper bond with Dark Magic, but he couldn’t complain at his life now.

His smile widened... by day Celestia, by night Luna. Both royal sisters... he would be the object of envy of every stallion, if they knew that is. Somber chuckled with deep amusement and just a bit of disbelief at his fate.

“Queen of the Day and Queen of the Night... and me. Maybe I should proclaim myself a King?” He continued to chuckle as he decided he had enough of star gazing and headed inside. After all he had come to Luna for knowledge, that they were… distracted, should not change that.

**********

As it turned out that day Wind Dancer returned first, so when Somber returned home the smell of a homemade breakfast greeted him. That, and a soft kiss from the cream pegasus. He was a bit surprised but he smiled returned the kiss and hugged her tightly.

“How was the week Somber? You didn't get bored to death without me, did you?” Wind asked with a cheery voice.

“Had a lot to do or to read.” He answered while they both walked to the table.

“Typical you.” She said as she began to eat a fruit salad.

“And how are things on the border with Griffons?” Somber asked between the chews of a bread with raisins.

“Peaceful, boring even.”

And so it went for the morning, both of them exchanging tales. And if they both smelled other stallions or mares on each other they, didn't talk about it...