The Birthday Wish

by Hail King Sombra

The Lies, The Silence

The Lies

Luna quietly shut the door to Dawn’s room and headed back towards the balcony she always used to raise and lower the moon when in Canterlot. The night was still very young and there were many ponies dreams that required her protection, attention and care. Not caring that the guards would see her upset, she walked slowly, head and ears down, a deep, sad bitterness gnawing a hole in her heart.

Hearing her sister around the corner, she put on a brave face, the “smile and wave” face as she called it, lowering the mask in place just as she ran into Celestia.

“How did it go?”

“It went - well.” Luna’s voice was carefully even. Too even to be genuine. She knew only after hearing the tone in her own voice that her sister would catch it immediately. Seriously, how could ‘Tia even ask, she wondered in silent anger. “Perhaps it will be enough for her curiosity to spare us this awkward conversation for a few more months,” she said aloud.

Luna moved past the Sun Princess, but apparently her sister had not finished the conversation. “I did not mean her, Luna.”

“I know,” Luna said barely audibly. Lie Number Two. Please do not pursue this, sister.

“It would help if you talked, Lulu.”

She paused. There was just no letting this go, was there? “No,” she told her older sibling. “No it would not, sister.”

Celestia knew whenever Luna called her ‘sister’ in private it meant she had made up her mind and would not back down. It could also mean she was upset at Celestia. In this case, the Sun Princess knew it meant both. She came up to her. “You can’t hold this in, Luna - “

“Watch me,” she said through gritted teeth. That was probably lie number three. She didn’t want to hold it in. She wanted to scream, to vent her fury, to cry until there was no strength left in her, but damn it all, as a Princess, she was not allowed that luxury.

“Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do, ‘Tia? We aren’t allowed to feel? Isn’t that how I got Sombra corrupted and killed in the first place?” she whirled on Celestia, a flash of anger tinging her eyes green for an instant, wisps of violet expelling their dark energy at the corners. The Princess of the Sun had cantered back a step, startled at the sheer vehemence in Luna’s voice and manner and had blinked - blinked at the wrong time and thus missed the dark turn of fury so visible in her sister’s magical aura.

Celestia recovered her composure. “No! That was not your fault! He chose his path.”

“And I seem to recall you had told me this is why we must rise above their mortal ways,” Luna hissed. “Because of feelings we are not supposed to show,” she whirled around, away from her, her mask cracking ever faster. “or even have.”

“Not like this. Not towards each other! We're sisters. You can tell me. We can always tell each other how we feel!”

And every time I have, it ends in being scolded, chided or told I was wrong, she thought painfully. Finally it was too much to hold in. She spun back around to her. “And that will make it BETTER?!?” Luna yelled the last, her Canterlot voice echoing through the hallways. “Tell me - sister - “ she spat. “Will it bring him back? Will it erase what he became? Will it give my daughter back her father?!?” The Princess of the Moon paused a second, registering the guards running, turning the corner from their posts, alerted by Luna’s furious outburst. She ignored them. They and Celestia could all go straight to Tartarus for all she cared!

For a tense moment all stood frozen in place - the guards confused at what had made Luna so angry, Celestia for lack of an answer - and of course there was none - and Princess Luna wondering just how her all-knowing sister was going to answer such an unanswerable question. At last Luna spoke, breaking the silence, voice like ice, “No? I didn’t think so!”

The Silence

The routine returned back to Canterlot Castle and the Royal Family slowly the next day. Luna lowered the moon that morning, then went straight to Dawn’s room to get her ready for school. Celestia had a full schedule of meetings and appointments with no time even for meal breaks until dinner, which passed in strained silence started last night with Luna’s anger and now continued because of Dawn’s unwillingness to talk to either of them.

“I’m sorry, Dawn,” Celestia apologized, pausing between bites of food. “I was unable to make room in my schedule to speak with your teacher today. Tomorrow I will send her word to come see your mother and myself here. I think it would be easier if she - “

“S’kay,” the filly said, not looking up, playing with the remaining peas on her plate.

“Did they tease you again today, little one?” Luna asked her. Celestia had not heard Luna speak one word all day until now and it was a strange sound when her quiet voice suddenly broke the silence.

Dawn shook her head. Gathering the last of her food in one spoonful, she nearly gulped it down. “May I be excused?” she asked Luna.

“Of course, sweetheart,” Luna replied. She nodded to the guard. “No need to escort her. I will accompany her back to her rooms.” The guard bowed. She rose and nodded to Celestia. “Sister.”

It came out formal, yet civil, but Celestia also detected a hint of Luna desiring to talk to her daughter in private. “Luna,” was all she replied, adding a warm smile the Moon Princess didn’t see as she had already turned away and was guiding the filly out of the dining room. Turning back to her own plate, Celestia sighed as her own appetite fell victim to the mood as well and she pushed the meal away, lost in thought.