• Published 29th Sep 2013
  • 1,147 Views, 54 Comments

Midnight Star: The Frozen Empire - Nebula Star



Midnight Star was given a second chance to be happy without the horrors of her memories; but those memories were never truly gone. They are only the beggining of her struggles however, Equestria is about to face a new threat; The Frozen Empire

  • ...
5
 54
 1,147

Chapter 6: The Edge of Madness

Midnight Star: The Frozen Empire
By Nebula Star

Part 1: Shadows of the Past
***
Chapter 6: The Edge of Madness
***

“Oh this is exhilarating!” Midnight said as she stood up on the stone she'd been thrown into. She cast a spell as she did to encrust her body with crystals of fear and hatred to act as armor. With the crystals directly against her coat, she could feel the hatred within them seeping into her. Not that a little more hatred would make a difference in the ocean that already burned within her soul.

She looked up at her opponent, the young alicorn: Twilight Sparkle, whose body she had stolen. She had control of Twilight's body, and yet the princess had been able to extract herself and create a temporary ethereal body even without having ever done anything like it before. Even as they fought, she was learning new magic. “Finally, an opponent that actually poses a threat!”

Twilight created armor for herself as well, though without a physical body she didn't need physical armor. It was likely as ethereal as her body.

Grinning in anticipation, Midnight launched herself at Twilight, horn lighting as she cast several deadly spells at once. Then, they played.

Throughout the chaos that Ponyville had become, Midnight chased Twilight. Her horn was glowing constantly as she cast spell after deadly spell. She meant to kill Twilight, then this immortal body would forever belong to her.

Twilight was not going to go down easy however, and Midnight wouldn't have it any other way. It had been too long since she'd been challenged in battle. The last time had been in her battle with Discord and Nightmare Moon. She'd been younger then, not nearly as powerful as she was now. Luna and Discord in this world had been merely and annoyance, a delay. This was much more fun.

She laughed as Twilight evaded her again and again, She was thrilled when Twilight turned the tables on her, forcing her to run; and when Twilight managed to escape her trap, she was ecstatic. It was too bad it could not last, Twilight was already growing weary.

Seeing her chance, Midnight teleported in front of Twilight; and for a little bit of revenge for earlier, she used her magic to grab Twilight by one of her back legs, flinging her down toward the piece of the road in front of the library where her friends were watching from.

She hit hard, tumbling across the ground a ways before finally skidding to a stop. Midnight watched as all her friends cried out and ran to Twilight's side. They could do nothing to help her though and just stood by watching as she struggled to her hooves. Midnight knew she had won.

Laughing she glided down to land on one of the floating rocks across from them. “You can't win against me, Sparkles!” She cried letting her chaos loose on the world causing the nearby rocks and flames to swirl around her. “This is my world now! This is my realm of chaos!”

Twilight looked worried then, she knew she couldn't win...

Celestia stepped forward and said something to her that Midnight didn't hear. They spoke for a few moments, then Twilight stepped forward with new confidence as her friends gathered around her. Curious Midnight watched as Twilight spoke again, something that sounded like a spell, and she and her friends began to glow.

Midnight tilted her head as she watched, curious what exactly Twilight was up to. They continued to glow brighter, then multicolored ribbons of energy connected them all to Twilight. The glow continued to brighten and Midnight could feel the magic flowing into Twilight. She wasn't worried at first, but as more and more magic continued to flow into Twilight from her friends, she began to have doubts as to whether she could counter this unforeseen spell.

Then Twilight opened her eyes again and Midnight saw they were glowing pure white with the sheer amount of magic she was wielding. Finally the spell ended and the last of the magic fed into Twilight. Without a moment's hesitation, she launched herself into the air.

Midnight launched a volley of deadly bolts at her but she evaded them with ease. Then several spells erupted from her at once, arching toward Midnight. She tried to block the spells, but only managed to catch a couple of them. The rest wrapped around her, locking her in place. The spells were strong; she couldn't break them all quickly enough. Instead she attacked, casting another volley of deadly spells at Twilight as she continued to climb into the air above her.

Reaching the apex of her climb Twilight began to dive at her. With a sneer Midnight cast one final spell using all of her magic and chaos at once, throwing it all at her in one tremendous wave. She momentarily lost sight of Twilight behind her own spell, but then a bolt of energy burst through the wave headed straight toward her. Her eyes widened in fear; she couldn't move, she couldn't block it. The spell slammed into her and she felt pain like she'd never experienced before as she felt her soul being torn from her body, Twilight's body. Such pain, but she knew the worst was yet to come. Twilight wouldn't have mercy after what she'd done to her friends; she'd be banished into darkness for all eternity...

She opened her eyes and found Twilight standing over her. With a cry she lunged at Twilight, knocking her back against the wall and pinning her there. Her horn glowed and a sword materialized by her side. She wouldn't play with her this time, this time she would end it!

“Midnight, please stop!” Twilight cried, tears in her eyes. “It's me... it's Mom.”

~~~

Twilight woke with a start, the soft glow of her mane and tail was the only light in the room. It hadn't woken her of course, she'd long since gotten use to the glow. What had woken her wasn't even in the Library. It had come from some distance; a surge of magic, familiar magic.

Raising her head she looked out the window in the direction of Midnight's small home. She couldn't see it from there, but she knew exactly where it was. She could sense her daughter's magic even now; it seemed erratic, almost out of control. Was she having another nightmare?

If so, it was far worse than last time. If Midnight didn't wake soon even some of the less attuned unicorns in town would begin to sense her power. That and if her nightmare caused her to start casting spells in her sleep, she could cause considerable damage to her home and possibly the rest of the town as well.

Twilight waited a few more minutes to see if Midnight's magic would subside. When it didn't though, she decided she'd better go try to wake Midnight herself. Maybe then she'd finally talk to her about the nightmares.

Climbing out of bed she teleported herself out to the street, not wanting to waste any more time. Midnight's out of control magic was getting stronger by the second. Twice more she teleported and she was at Midnight's small house. She knew Midnight had put security spells over her home, but she also knew that she was an exception to those spells.

Going inside she went straight to Midnight's bedroom. What she found made her breath catch. Midnight was lying in her bed, groaning as she writhed the the throws of her nightmare. Her mane and tail had transformed again, but they weren't just flowing energy; they'd become a cloud like Nightmare Moon's had often done, filling the room with an inky blackness strewn with dimly twinkling stars. But worst of all was her cutie mark. The silver star had turned black on the edges and the darkness was shifting spreading inwards, changing into the black star it had once been.

Ducking under the swirling cloud she quickly went to Midnight's side. “Midnight?” She said softly shaking her. “Midnight wake up.”

Midnight shook violently as if she were being attacked but didn't wake.

“Midnight, wake up; it's just a dream!”

Her magic surged again, stronger than ever.

“Wake up! Midnight!”

Her eyes shot open, and she looked up at Twilight; but the look in her eyes was not one of relief. Only anger and hatred were in her eyes.

She lunged at Twilight with surprising strength and Twilight felt herself slammed against the wall. Midnight held her there with one foreleg across her neck. Her horn glowed brightly and a sword materialized in the air next to her. A sword with darkened blue steel and blood red patterns on the blade. A sword Twilight hadn't seen since the night Midnight had almost killed Celestia. And now it was poised, ready to remove her head.

Had she lost her daughter?

“Midnight, please stop!” She cried with tears filling her eyes. She could defend herself easily, but she didn't want to hurt Midnight. She couldn't bring herself to fight her daughter. “It's me... it's Mom.”

Suddenly Midnight's eyes shrank down to points in horror as she came back to herself and realized what she had almost done. Her horn stopped glowing. She hadn't dematerialized her sword however. Without the spell holding it together, it exploded, the force of the explosion throwing her across the room, shattering the mirror, and slamming Twilight back into the wall again as shards of the sword tore into both of them, dissolving into nothing even as they did.

Twilight was dazed for a moment, her head spinning. Finally she raised her head and looked over at Midnight, worried that she had been seriously injured. Her side was speckled with small dark splotches where the shards had sliced into her, but even as she looked Midnight was raising her head as well.

She looked over at Twilight, terror in her eyes, then, with a whimper, she scrambled to her hooves and galloped out of the room.

“Midnight, wait!” Twilight called after her, but she didn't stop. The front door slammed open and Twilight sensed Midnight galloping as quickly as she could toward the far side of town, toward the Everfree forest.

Twilight got to her hooves and ran outside intending to go after her; there was no doubt in her mind that Midnight's memories were coming back. The look in her eyes and the sword were evidence enough of that. Twilight couldn't imagine how Midnight must feel to suddenly remember the horrible things she'd done in the past. She had to be there for her, to help her see that she's not that pony anymore.

Then Twilight stopped in her tracks; Midnight needed to reminded of who she is, not who she was; but Twilight was part of her past memories. Her presence might bring those bad memories to the surface and that was the last thing Midnight needed.

Twilight closed her eyes feeling tears running down her cheeks. Midnight needed to be reminded of who she is now. She needed somepony to remind her of the life she'd led since she was cleansed. She needed somepony that cared about her... She needed her friends.

Opening her eyes again, her horn glowed as she cast a spell she'd rarely used since learning it. Reaching out with the spell she made a connection with a distant mind. She felt the other mind wake as the spell linked their thoughts. “Wind Blade, this is Twilight; come to Midnight's home immediately, she needs you.” She said through the link. As soon as she felt his mind acknowledge the order, she broke the connection. She cast the spell twice more summoning Midnight's other two friends and then waited.

She didn't have to wait long.

“What's going on!?” Wind shouted as he landed at a run just down the path from the house and skidded to a stop in front of her. His eyes widened though when he saw the dark splotches marring her coat. “Twilight, you're...”

“I'm fine,” she told him quickly as Sky landed as well. Last to arrive was Copper, who came at a run, for once without all his tools and gadgets on him.

“Thank you all for coming; Midnight needs you,” Twilight told them.

“Why? Where is she? What's wrong?” Wind asked, clearly concerned.

“She's struggling with the memories of her past life...” Twilight began then shook her head. “There's no time to explain. She needs you, she needs to be reminded of who she is now and all she has.”

“Where is she?”

“She ran out into the forest...”

Just then a flash of light lit up the sky and they all saw a column of magic energy shooting skyward from the Everfree forest.

Twilight looked at it in horror. Midnight's magic was going out of control. “Go! Quickly!” She told them. “If Midnight loses herself to those memories there's no telling what will happen!”

They didn't need anymore encouragement. Wind picked up Copper and with Sky they flew off toward the column of energy. Twilight watched them go, she knew they had no idea who Midnight had been in the past; but she also knew they would be her friends no matter what. They knew who she was now, and that was what mattered to them.

~~~

Midnight ran, she just ran. She didn't even realize where she was going. At a full gallop she ran hoping in vain that she could escape the memories, the horrors that were raging through her mind. Finally she collapsed, too exhausted to go another step.

She'd attacked her mother; she'd almost killed her. She'd wanted to kill Twilight!

Covering her face with her hooves she broke down and cried. 'Who am I!?'

Sparkle's precious daughter, it's pathetic how weak you've become! Blubbering like a foal over a few memories!

Midnight jolted in surprise. The voice had come from in her head. “Who...?”

Don't try to deny it, you know very well who I am! The voice cut her off. You've always known, ever since the nightmares began!

“No...” Midnight whimpered she didn't want to believe it, despite all the memories spinning through her head she didn't want to believe that she was that monster.

I am you! The real you! The voice of her past declared.

“No, I'm Midnight Star,” she whimpered back. “The daughter of Twilight Sparkle. I'd never hurt anypony. I love to help others. I love to learn new things, to develop new spells...”

You can deny it all you want, it won't change the truth! You are a monster!

“No...”

Countless have suffered and died under your rule! Ponies trembled at the very sound of your name!

“No...”

You betrayed Twilight, took her body, tortured her friends, and tried to murder Celestia. And then you tried to murder her as well!

“NO!” Midnight screamed as all the memories came flooding back and the chaos and torment of her past erupted within her. She couldn't control it; it exploded outwards cracking the ground around her and swirling up into the night sky as a column of emerald flames.

You cannot deny the truth! The voice shouted over her protests. Twilight lied to you! She's been lying to you your entire life!

“She only wanted to protect me,” she reasoned.

She wanted to control you! To keep you docile and weak! She doesn't love you! How could she, after all you've done?

Tears filled Midnight's eyes as doubt began to tear at her heart. Could the voice be right? Had Twilight only taken her in so that she could make sure she never became a threat again? She teetered on the edge, anger, hatred, and madness waiting should she fall. She struggled to hold on to her sanity while the storm of her past memories threatened to push her over. She grasped at her memories, her good memories, those of the past eleven years. Were they lies? Was it all just to keep her under control? “No! It can't be. She could have banished me but she didn't! She chose to take me in!”

She knew that being banished wouldn't stop me! She knew that I would find a way to escape. She had no choice!

Midnight shook her head thinking of all those years growing up in the library. “No, she's my mother! She loves me! I know she does!”

It doesn't matter anyway! You don't deserve to be loved! You don't deserve to be happy!

Midnight couldn't dispute that; she cried knowing all too well now how true it was. She didn't deserve a happy life; she didn't deserve anything but a slow and painful death. She'd caused too much pain, too much suffering. The memories made that clear. Countless had died because of her; nothing could wash those terrible crimes from her soul.

“Midnight!”

She was barely aware of Wind calling her name as he landed nearby with Copper and Sky. The turmoil of her mind was far too great.

Your precious friends... They will only bring you pain in the end. They will leave you or they will die and all you'll be left with is pain! All good things end!

“That's not true!”

It would be best just to get rid of them now; you don't deserve them anyway! You don't deserve a happy life, not after all you've done!

Midnight closed her eyes trying to maintain control of herself thinking of her friends, of all the good times they'd had together; all the good things they'd done. She thought of all that they'd done for her and all that she'd done for them. As she did, the chaos around her began to subside. Wind, Sky, and Copper; they'd always been there for her since they were all in school together. Even now, they'd come to find her, wanting to help her.

They wouldn't if they knew the truth about you!

She shook her head in denial. “No... NO!” She shouted at the voice then pushed herself to her hooves as the chaos around her died completely. She'd just realized how her friends would have known to come find her; Twilight must have sent them. Despite her own injuries, she was worried about Midnight, and knew her well enough to send her exactly what she needed. That was proof enough for her that Twilight loved her.

“I know I've done horrible things! I know I don't deserve this life! But Twilight gave it to me all the same! She gave me a second chance! And I am not going to turn my back on her now! I am not going to just throw away the happiness I've been given!” She shouted at the voice then raising her head high she declared; “I CHOOSE HARMONY!”

At that moment she understood like never before all that Twilight had tried to teach her about friendship, about harmony. Because she knew chaos and had suffered its wrath, she understood harmony and knew its value, knew it was what she wanted. She wanted it with all her heart.

Magical auras suddenly surrounded her and her three friends as her heart's pure desire for harmony called forth the power of the Elements. Then three beams of light shot upwards from her friends arching toward her. They all converged on her at once and she felt magic like she'd never felt before swirling around her. She didn't know what was happening but she wasn't afraid. It was the Elements of Harmony after all; and with their power came such a sense of peace and comfort that all her troubles were washed away in an instant.

She became magic, her body seemed to vanish leaving nothing but her consciousness floating a midst the magic of the Elements of Harmony. Then another body formed around her; one that felt different but at the same time familiar. She felt her hooves on the ground again and with a final flash of light the magic faded from the forest, leaving it calm, truly at peace.

Perhaps the harmony in you is stronger than I thought, daughter of Sparkles. But is it strong enough? We shall see... The voice of her past said as it faded away. Midnight didn't care, in that moment she was sure the harmony in her heart was strong enough for anything that may come.

“Midnight?” Wind said softly, clearly wondering what had just happened.

Slowly, Midnight opened her eyes. She knew what was different about her body; she'd had a body like this once before. With a smile, she opened her own wings for the first time.

She saw their stunned expressions as they realized what had happened. Like Twilight before her, Midnight had become an alicorn. She smiled looking at each of them in turn. “Thank you,” she said softly. “For always being there for me.”

“Midnight...” Wind gasped, stepping forward. He looked at her wings again, but then looked up into her eyes. “What's going on? What was all that you were saying? That you don't deserve this life!?”

“Twilight said you were struggling with memories of your past?” Sky added sounding concerned.

Midnight nodded sadly. “Yes... you all deserve to know the truth of who I am,” she said softly then looked up at them and smiled. “So that you can understand just how much you've done for me.”

“What do you mean?” Wind asked.

“I'll tell you everything,” she told them then took a deep breath knowing there was a lot to tell. “But, why don't we go to the falls. I'll tell you there.”

Wind looked back at Sky and Copper and they both shrugged. “Alright.” He said shrugging as well. “I just want to know what's going on.”

Midnight stepped forward toward him, reaching out one wing to gently touch his cheek. “I'll tell you everything,” she repeated softly with a smile.

He slowly smiled as well, seeing that she was alright now.

She gave his cheek a pat, then stretched her wings. The sky was just starting to lighten with the coming sunrise, there was just enough light now. “If you get Copper, it will be faster to fly.”

He raised an eyebrow at that. “You just got your wings...”

Midnight grinned. “I've had wings before,” she told him simply, giving him a wink. Then she launched herself into the air quickly climbing above the trees. “And I may not be an expert, but I do remember how to use them!” She called back.

Wind was clearly surprised, but soon recovered from the shock and picked up Copper again to follow, though Copper wasn't too thrilled. He'd let Wind carry him when he had to, but hanging by his fore-hooves wasn't exactly his favorite way to travel.

It wasn't far to the falls though and Midnight glided down to land easily by the small pool. She laid down near the water's edge and gestured for her friends to do the same. “You better get comfortable, this will take some time to explain.”

Wind, Sky and Copper laid down side by side facing her. It was clear they wanted to know the truth of what had happened.

Midnight smiled, she was worried about what they would think still, at the same time though, she knew they deserved to know the truth. But how to begin...

“Do you remember the incident eleven years ago, just before we met; where Twilight was possessed by a powerful evil spirit that tried to destroy Equestria?” She asked finally.

“I remember that,” Sky said nodding. “Twilight said that it was her own fault, that's she'd accidentally brought the spirit to our world. A lot of ponies were mad at her about that.”

“Yeah,” Copper agreed. “My mom was going on for weeks about reckless magic experiments.”

Midnight took a deep breath bracing herself. “That evil spirit... was me.”

“What?” Wind gasped while the other two's eyes went wide.

“I was the one that took over Twilight's body; I was the one that attacked all of Twilight's friends; I was the one that engulfed Ponyville in chaos; and I was the one that tried to murder princess Celestia as well as Twilight herself.”

The silence that followed was painfully tense as she waited for her friends' reactions. Finally she couldn't take it anymore. She stood up and turned taking a few steps away. “I'm not from this world;” she told them. “I came from another Equestria, an alternate universe.

“What Twilight told everypony was true; she brought me here on accident. She'd developed a spell that would let her see visions of the infinite worlds, but she got carried away and exhausted herself. She lost control of the spell and somehow it pulled me out of my world and into her; merging us.”

Midnight began pacing as her friends continued to listen in silence. “My world, it was a nightmare; Discord and Nightmare Moon had ruled over Equestria for centuries. I grew up in a colony deep in the forest. The monsters weren't as bad as living under Discord, but life was still hard... I was orphaned at six, and there was nopony to take me in. I grew up on my own after that.

“I lost so many, so many friends...” She paused a moment then, there were tears in her eyes... how long had it been since she'd let herself show the emotions of those memories. “Considering all that I went through, it's not surprising that my heart turned to bitterness and hatred. Eventually the pain drove me mad.

“But in my madness I found my strength. I discovered my talent for magic, and from that point on I spent every waking moment developing my abilities. Finally, when I was strong enough, I challenged and defeated both Discord and Nightmare Moon.”

She expected a surprised reaction, or perhaps at least one of them to snort in disbelief, but they all just continued to listen. “Then I took their place... I ruled over that world for three years, causing even greater suffering than they had ever known before.” She shook her head. “I was such a Tyrant. I can only imagine how they celebrated when they found I had died there... My body in that world couldn't have lived on without my soul after all.”

With a sigh she began pacing again. “Twilight's spell brought me here. It was a shock of course, but it wasn't long before I began plotting against her and this land. Then... well, you know enough of what happened that night.

“After I was defeated, Twilight,” she smiled thinking of what her mother had done for her. “Even with all I'd done, she still didn't want to banish me... I don't know what she did then. If I had to guess; I think she used the Elements of Harmony on me. I don't know of anything else that could have given me my own body, and that would probably explain why I was reduced back to a filly, just like Luna was reduced in age when she was purified by the Elements. In addition though Twilight also locked away my memories. When I woke, I knew nothing of my past. And that was how I came to be in Twilight's care.”

Finished, she turned back to her friends and waited for them to say something. It was Sky who broke the silence. “But your memories came back?”

Midnight nodded. “Any lock can be broken with enough force,” she said softly. “During the hydra attack, I pushed my magic further than I ever had before. I think I must have inadvertently broken the lock on my memories. Ever since then they've been coming back. At first it was just nightmares that I couldn't remember clearly when I woke. Then I started to remember the dreams... and now, I remember everything.”

She looked up sadly focusing on Wind. “I'm afraid you were wrong, Wind... I was a villain...”

“NO!” Wind objected standing up. “I wasn't wrong!”

Midnight was surprised by his reaction and looked at him curiously.

“Those memories, that other life; it's not you! It never was!” He went on. “As far as I'm concerned that pony doesn't even exist anymore. You may have her memories, but you are not her. You're our friend; that's who you've always been and always will be.”

Slowly Midnight smiled. “Thanks, Wind. You're wrong, but thanks.”

He shook his head firmly. “I'm not wrong.”

Midnight gave him another smile but then thought of one other fact about her past. Considering how well they had taken the rest, she decided to just go ahead and tell them. “There's one more thing about who I was. There's a reason Twilight's spell brought me to this world and not some other pony. Her spell was designed to find and show her visions of each world's version of her...” She paused for a moment watching as they realized what that meant. “I was my world's version of Twilight. That's why our cutie marks are almost the same, and why we have the same talent for magic.”

Wind raised an eyebrow at that. “You're another version of Twilight?”

She nodded.

“You're not really much alike,” he said with a snort.

Midnight laughed. “No, we're not, but it's true, when she first brought me here we looked identical except for our colors and mane cut.” She said then looked over at the other two. “Sky, Copper, you haven't said much.”

Copper shrugged. “It's a lot to think about. Being another version of Twilight is interesting, but I don't see that it matters any more than the memories. They don't have to change who you are now.”

She smiled. “Don't worry, I have every intention of staying your friend. They're just bad memories as far as I'm concerned,” she told them then shrugged. “If anything, it gives me even more reason to always do all I can to help others... I do have a lot to make up for.”

“Well you'll have plenty of time for that,” Sky said grinning. “If anything about this changes you I would think it would be becoming an Alicorn!”

Midnight smiled and nodded. “Yes, that will definitely change a few things.”

“Yeah, it means I'm the only one that will be left behind when you all fly off.” Copper said with an exaggerated sigh.

She laughed. “Sorry about that Copper,” she said then looked around at her three friends and saw them all smiling back at her. She should have known that they wouldn't let her past life change anything between them. “Thanks, all of you.” She said smiling with tears coming to her eyes. “I don't know if I could have overcome those memories without all the good memories I have thanks to you. Thank you for always being there for me.”

“I'll always be there for you, Midnight.” Wind said sincerely, touching her shoulder with his wing.

Then Sky and Copper stood up stepping beside Wind. “We all will,” Sky said with a smile.

Midnight couldn't hold back then, she jumped forward, wrapping her fore-hooves around Wind's neck and one wing each around Copper and Sky, hugging them all tightly as they returned the embrace. Finally though, she released them again and stepped back smiling as she wiped the tears from her eyes. “Well I'd better get back; Twilight is probably worried sick about me,” she told them then looked up worried as she remembered what had happened. “She wasn't too badly injured was she?”

“She had a few gashes, but she seemed fine,” Wind assured her.

“Oh good... there was an explosion, a spell I didn't end properly.” She shook her head. “Anyway, there's a few things I need to talk to Twilight about. For now, I think it would be best to continue keeping my past a secret...”

Wind nodded. “Of course, we won't tell anypony,” he said and Sky and Copper nodded in agreement.

Midnight smiled. “And for now, it would probably be best to keep quite about my becoming an Alicorn as well. At least until I talk to Twilight.”

“Alright...” Sky nodded though it was clear she wasn't quite sure why.

“But... Midnight, are your mane and tail going to stay like that?” Wind asked sounding concerned. “Because it will be kind of hard to hide that you're an alicorn with those...”

“My mane and tail?” Midnight asked wondering what he meant, then she realized what he must mean and looked up to see the front edge of her mane had become an almost black star-field once again. After struggling against her memories she hadn't even noticed the flow of magic to her mane and tail had been released again. “Oh!” She cut off the flow and they returned to normal. “Yeah, I've actually had those since the hydra attack... I've just been keeping them hidden.” She told them grinning.

“But you weren't an alicorn then!?” Sky objected.

“You don't have to be an alicorn; a pony gains a magical mane and tail when they push their magic so far that their body begins producing far more magic than they naturally use. The excess flows out through the mane and tail, transforming them,” she explained. “All I have to do is cut off that flow and they go back to normal.”

“Okay, I take it back, you are like Twilight when you're lecturing about magic.” Wind said with a grin.

Midnight blushed. “That's just because I've lived with her for years,”

“So are you as strong as the princesses then?”

She grinned; “I've been stronger than Celestia and Luna for some time,” she told them. “Only Twilight is still stronger than me in magic, but that also should be kept secret. Now that I'm an alicorn, it won't be as big of a deal if ponies find out that I'm stronger than Celestia and Luna, but if they find out I was stronger when I was just a Unicorn, it might make them doubt Celestia and Luna's ability to protect Equestria.”

“I guess you're right... but you're really stronger than Celestia!?” Sky asked, clearly surprised.

“Yeah, and now that I'm an alicorn I'm even stronger,” she said with a wink. It felt good to tell somepony the truth about her power, but then she looked up at the sky that was now bright with the light of early morning. “Well I'd better get back. Hopefully if I hurry, I can get back without being seen by anypony.”

“Midnight, if you ever need anything, just ask. We're always here for you.” Wind told her sincerely.

Midnight smiled. “I know.”