• Published 8th Jun 2014
  • 9,194 Views, 800 Comments

Shadowy Love - FinnPony



King Sombra, the tyrant of Crystal Empire is back, only to be imprisoned by princesses and put through reformation with Twilight Sparkle as his teacher. Can somepony with heart as black as night be reformed? Twilight believes so.

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Chapter 28

Shadowy Love

By FinnPony

Chapter 28

“Do you think that I was too harsh on her?” Twilight Sparkle asked Spike, who stood in the doorway of her study. Twilight Sparkle was sitting in front of her desk, an empty parchment on it with a bottle of ink and a quil next to it. “Should I send a letter to her?”

“You’ve been asking that for the past four hours,” Spike said. “Are you alright Twilight?”

Twilight pouted.

“I am,” She answered. “I just feel like a terrible pony for making Celestia so upset.”

“Do you regret it?” Spike asked.

“Not really… Well maybe. I’m not so sure. I think that I just overreacted a bit,” Twilight pondered out loud. “I don’t want her to control me like she did, but she is still princess Celestia. She’s my mentor.”

She looked at Spike and asked, “Would you sent a letter to her?”

“I dunno,” Spike said with a shrug, and Twilight groaned. She looked frustratedly at the empty piece of paper in front of her. There was a moment of silence, before Spike snapped his fingers when he got an idea.

“Hey Twilight,” he said, earning the mare’s attention. “I’m your assistant, right?”

“My number one assistant,” Twilight corrected him.

“Yeah yeah… Anyway, do you think that our relationship is anywhere even near the relationship between you and Celestia?”

Twilight frowned in thought and after a second she answered, “I think so. Why?”

“Well we fight sometimes, don’t we?” Spike asked with a grin.

“We do,” Twilight answered.

Spike waited for her to see where he was going, but it didn’t happen, so he added, “We are still friends aren’t we?”

Twilight pouted again. She hadn’t even thought it like that.

“Oh my gosh,” she said and started to smile. “I think you’re right Spike!”

“Of course I’m right,” Spike said. “I know both of you, and I know that you two are closer than anypony. She isn’t mad at you.”

Twilight smiled widely at the purple dragon standing in the doorway. Spike was so very much more than he let everypony see. He was her pride. Everything seemed clearer now, thanks to Spike, there was still one question in Twilight’s mind.

“But should I write her about it?”

Spike groaned and slapped his face.

“I don’t know,” he muttered and started to walk away from her study. Twilight called after him, and he poke his head from the doorway, looking at Twilight with a waiting look.

Twilight smiled warmly at Spike and said, “You’re more important to me than anything.”

Spike gave her a confused, a bit embarrassed look and asked, “What does that have to do with anything?”

“I just wanted you to know,” Twilight chirped, still smiling at him.

Spike chuckled and said quietly, “Thanks.”

Then he left, leaving Twilight alone with her empty parchment and a lot lighter heart. She stared at the doorway for a moment, before turning towards the paper, that still mocked her by being empty. She tried to focus on writing for a moment, but nothing came out. She let out a frustrated grunt and rose up. If she didn’t feel like writing, she shouldn’t force herself anymore.

With an annoyed huff she walked to the living room and settling down on one of the sofas. She closed her eyes for a moment, almost slipping to sleep. It had been a rough week. Her slumber was interrupted by Spike calling her from the kitchen.

“Did you write to Celestia?” he asked loudly.

“No,” Twilight answered. “I just can’t think what to write.”

There was a small silence, before Spike carefully asked, “Maybe… You should write to Rainbow Dash then?”

“No,” was Twilight’s answer, her ears folding backwards. “She didn’t even stay to sort it out after Celestia left. I think that I don’t even want to see her for a while.”

“Come on Twilight,” Spike dragged out. “She’s your friend.”

“Hmph,” Twilight huffed. “Friends don’t act like she did.”

“She meant good…” Spike said.

“I don’t care,” Twilight said and crossed her hooves over her chest, lifting her nose up. She huffed again and added, “I’ll write to her when I feel like it.”

Spike appeared in the doorway and looked at her worriedly for a moment. Twilight didn’t return the stare so he sighed, “Alright.”

Then he went back to the kitchen.

Twilight huffed and fell onto her back. She stared up at the circular ceiling of the living room, where she saw the stained glass windows that surrounded the crystal chandelier. There she saw the pictures of her and her friends. The picture of Rainbow Dash made her frown.

Argh. Only thinking about her made Twilight’s blood boil. How could she have been so stupid to do something like that? Rainbow Dash had not only jeopardized Sombra’s chance to be reformed, but also Twilight’s chance to prove that she is ready to rule independently. And if that wasn’t enough, she had fled from the castle before they could sort it out.

Twilight grunted and wrapped her wings around her body. didn’t really care if Rainbow Dash was Sombra’s friend or not, but Rainbow Dash was her friend. She stared at the picture of the cyan pegasus in the window, thinking that she wouldn’t have ever done anything like that to Dash.

“Royalty my flank…” Twilight muttered and rolled to her side. She kept sulking for a moment longer, before a sound of somepony walking down the stairs was heard. She quickly sprung up and fixed her wings before turning towards the visitor.

It was Sombra. He glanced at Twilight and settled himself on the sofa opposite from her, calmly crossing his forehooves under his chest. He then turned to stare at Twilight with a waiting look on his face.

“What?” She asked more bluntly than she had intended.

“Nothing…” Sombra said and turned to look at the ceiling. “I was just wondering about some things…”

Twilight rolled her eyes. Why couldn’t he just say what he wanted?

“What were you wondering about?” Twilight sighed, making Sombra smile a little.

“I was just thinking... “ he started, holding a small, dramatic pause and turning to look at Twilight very seriously. He then asked, “When am I getting my magic back?”

Twilight got surprised for a moment. So much time had gone by without Sombra asking that question that she had almost forgotten that he still couldn’t use his magic. He had gotten so good at using his hooves to do everything that it seemed almost natural.

“Not anytime soon,” Twilight answered him, making him frown.

With that a sour look appeared on his face, Sombra asked, “Why not?”

“Because you are not done with your reformation,” Twilight said. She noticed the look that Sombra gave her, and she added, “That’s why.”

“How come?” Sombra asked confusedly. “I have learned alot from your friends, I can behave and I even got approval from the other princesses too… In a way.”

He held a small pause, snorted and asked annoyedly, “What else do you want from me, Twilight Sparkle?”

Twilight stared at him calmly, making him feel a bit unease. He returned the stare as best as he could.

“I want to trust you,” Twilight told Sombra, only fuelling his confusion.

“You can trust me,” Sombra said, a bang of guilt rushing over him. It went away quickly though.

“No I can’t,” Twilight answered with her ears drooping and her expression growing sad. “Not until I know the whole story.”

“What?” Sombra asked. “What do you mean with that?”

“Tell me about your family,” Twilight said quietly, making Sombra squint his eyes skeptically. He snorted again and looked away from her, towards one of the bookshelves. Of course. He should have seen that one coming.

“No,” he said bluntly.

“Okay…” Twilight sighed and gave a somewhat frustrated look towards him, before rising up from the sofa and heading towards her study. At the doorway she turned to look at him and said, “It’s up to you now. I can’t help you if you won’t tell me anything.”

“I do not need help with my past,” Sombra growled, not looking at Twilight. She sighed again and disappeared to her study, leaving Sombra alone.

When he was sure that Twilight nor Spike could see, he flopped down on the sofa, looking up at the stained glass windows. He stared at the pictures of the six friends with a strange look in his red eyes. The pictures stared back at him, awakening very uneasy feelings in Sombra. Mostly sad ones. He turned away from the stares of those mares, before sighing deeply and rubbing his face with his hooves, the burning returning his chest.

“Damn you Twilight Sparkle...” he muttered to himself. “Do not make me do this…”

He lifted his head so that he could see the doorway to Twilight’s study. He stared there for a short moment, his chest burning , pleading him to tell her everything. He lifted his right hoof to hold his chest, hissing a little because of the pain. Why did he feel such an sudden urge to talk to her, to bleed his heart out for her, to… to tell her what he was?

Why?

Would it make the pain of his past go away? No. That he was sure of.

Would it help him to carry out his plan? Maybe, but it wasn’t that.

What if he wanted to be reformed so badly that it hurt? No. The urge wasn’t so bad.

What if it would please Twilight Sparkle? Surely it would. It wouldn’t only please her, it would make her happy and then she would smile that adorable smile of hers...

Sombra’s eyes went wide and his heart jumped on it’s place. He froze to his place and the world seemed to come rumbling down on him. His ears drooped and his throat felt so dry that he had to gulp.

“No…” Sombra muttered and quickly rose up. He shook his head a little and asked from himself, a little louder than he intended, “What is this? What is wrong with me!?”

He then took a last glance at the door to the study, before he trotted up the stairs and down the hall to his own room. He slammed the door closed so that the voice echoed in the hallway.

* * *

Hours had passed since Twilight Sparkle had seen Sombra. He was still in his room, and hadn’t came down for dinner. It was already late evening when Twilight couldn’t help herself anymore. The feeling of something not being right was too powerful for her to stand, so she made her way to the door of Sombra’s room.

“Sombra,” she called as she knocked on the door. “Are you alright?”

No answer.

“Can I come in?” she then asked, pressing her ear against the door. “Say something if you want to be alone.”

Nothing.

“Alright,” Twilight said sternly. “I’m coming in.”

“I want to be alone,” she heard Sombra say from inside the room, his voice muffled by the door.

“I’m still coming in,” Twilight announced and heard how Sombra groaned. She didn’t wait any longer and opened the door with her magic, stepping inside Sombra’s dim, almost dark room. The lack of light was unsettling, so Twilight’s horn started to glow a clean white light.

“Sombra?” she asked worriedly, looking around herself. She didn’t get an answer, but soon spotted the dark-coated stallion. He was sitting on the floor, in front of the window.

“Go away Twilight Sparkle,” he sighed. “I said thatI want to be alone.”

“Quit that sulking,” Twilight said, stepping closer towards him. “What’s wrong?”

Sombra didn’t answer. He just kept staring outside. Twilight huffed and said annoyedly, “I am not going anywhere before you tell me what is wrong.”

With that she sat down on the edge of Sombra’s bed, crossing her front-hooves over her chest. They both sat there, in the silent, dark room for a good fifteen minutes, before Twilight started to lose her temper.

“I am starting to get mad here,” she announced. “You are acting like a damn teenager…”

“Crystal had a dark grey mane like I do.”

Twilight fell silent when Sombra spoke in a tired, deep voice. He sighed and leaned forward, his horn scraping against the glass of the window.

“She was a pretty mare,” Sombra continued slowly. “I remember her like she would be standing right in front of me. Her big, green eyes and the long tail. She was pretty, Twilight Sparkle.”

There was a silence. Twilight didn’t know what to say. Luckily she didn’t have to, because Sombra continued to speak in a quiet, sad voice, “You have a brother. You love him, like he loves you, like I loved Crystal. We were close. We faced every single obstacle together… Until I became the obstacle.”

“What do you mean?” Twilight asked, only earning a annoyed growl from Sombra.

“What do you think, Twilight Sparkle?” he asked with venom dripping from his voice. He calmed down for a second, before he continued, “I am from a family which name I do not remember. A child of parents whose name I do not remember. Only thing I remember is my sister, and I will never forget her. She was why I became what I am today…”

Suddenly Twilight realized what was happening. Sombra was about to tell her… Everything. The shock was quickly over and enthusiasm kicked in. She leaned closer to the dark-coated stallion, almost smiling from excitement. She had waited for that moment so long and now…

Sombra turned to give her a sideways glance. A glance filled with so much pain and suffering that it caught onto Twilight too, her enthusiasm dying down, being replaced by compassion and sadness.

The feeling was so hard that she forced herself to utter, “You don’t have to tell anything if you don’t want to.”

“I do,” Sombra sighed, hanging his head down, earning a confused look from Twilight.

“Why? Nopony’s forcing you,” she said quietly, realizing that she was in a way doing just that. She didn’t add that though.

Sombra stared at her with a strange look in his red eyes. Like he would have been hesitating about something. He then muttered, “I just need to do it...”

Sombra turned to look out of the window again. He took a deep breath before starting his tragic story, “Like I told you, my family was a wealthy one. King Halite arrested us for “treason”. What happened after that, you do not know.”

He sighed and swept a hoof through his black mane.

“I was young, while Crystal was even younger. We were not taken in front of The Crystal Council, but our parents were. Meanwhile me and Crystal were afraid, in a dark cell under the city… It was a wet and cold place. Crystal kept crying and no matter how much I tried to tell her that “there was nothing to be afraid” of or that “everything was going to be alright”… She just kept crying.”

“That’s terrible,” Twilight said with her ears hanging downwards.

“It gets worse,” Sombra guaranteed. “After the Council had come to conclusion, we were retrieved from the dungeons. We were filthy and both of us cried… It was humiliating for me, scary too of course. I had to carry Crystal on my back after she refused to walk. Guards pushed us forward with the back of their spears, and soon we were in the throne room of the Castle. Our parents were there. I don’t remember what they said to us. Probably something about me taking care of Crystal or something like that... But I remember what King Halite, the little stallion on the throne with his bushy beard and that golden gem around his neck...”

Twilight was now sitting on the floor, closer to Sombra. She could see the clear disgust radiating from Sombra as he spoke of King Halite. Twilight listened with her face serious and her ears folded. The tension was unbearable.

“D-did he k-ki…” she muttered, not able to control her lips properly.

“No…” Sombra sighed. “He… He sentenced my parents and us to a life in prison.”

Twilight gulped. She then said with a shaking voice, “Y-y-you were children!”

“From that moment our childhood was over,” Sombra corrected her.


“But your family had done nothing wrong, right?” Twilight asked with a sad look in her purple eyes.

“Of course they had!” Sombra suddenly snapped at her, startling Twilight Sparkle. Sombra stared angrily at her and shouted, “Don’t be naive Twilight Sparkle! Do you think that when a rich family hears that their wealth is handed out to some commoners, they would not start to act against the pony who decided so?”

“B-but…” Twilight muttered, covering herself with her front-hooves. Sombra just grunted and backed away, returning to stare out of the window.

“I was young, not stupid. I knew what was going on,” Sombra spoke quietly. “But it changes nothing…”

There was a long silence between them. Only their breathing was heard in the room, and Sombra was staring outside with a blank look in his red eyes. Twilight was leaning against Sombra’s bed, her ears drooped and her wings limply hanging on her sides. Even looking at the stallion in front of her made her feel melancholy wash over her. Slave King or not, his story was tragic.

“Eight years we spent in that same cell, not seeing sunlight even once,” Sombra continued, pressing his forehead against the window again, his voice turning cold. “Crystal grew into a mare and I became a stallion while our parents got older, so very much weaker… We both knew what was going to happen. It was just a matter of time until they would leave us all alone, but still Crystal kept hoping that everything would sort out…”

Somba looked at Twilight with an icy stare and growled, “But hope didn’t hear her. Our parents died eventually. I don’t remember when exactly, but I remember how devastated Crystal was… She cried nonstop through the nights, stopped eating and she lost weight fast. I could see her bones through her skin and her eyes sank to their sockets. I feared that I would lost her… just like my parents.”

Twilight felt how a tear started to form in the corner of her eye. No matter how much she tried, she could stop it. Hearing something like that would make even Rainbow Dash cry.

“That was when I realized that I had to act,” Sombra said. “We had to escape before Crystal would suffer the same fate as my parents did. She had maybe given up, but not me. ”

“How did you do that? How did you escape?” Twilight asked as clearly as she could, but there was still a hint of sniffles in her voice.

Sombra frowned and told her, “There was this one guard. He felt sorry for us, and so he sometimes smuggled a couple of books into the cell. I think that he had some kind of feelings towards Crystal…”

Suddenly he exhaled deeply and rubbed his face with his hoof. The voice he spoke in was filled with something like regret as he continued, “One day he brought us a book that should not have been there. It was ‘The Magic Studies of Star Swirl the Bearded’ volume…”

“...Six,” Twilight finished his sentence, seeing where he was going.

Sombra nodded sadly and continued, “The moment I opened that book, I knew that it was our key to escape. I studied it hard, reading it day and night, only to fail everytime when I tried to do the simplest of spells that the book had. I started to get desperate as I saw how Crystal started to sleep more than she was awake. She was getting weaker by the day, so I knew that I had to act.”

“What did you do?” Twilight asked quietly´, almost afraid to hear what Sombra would tell her. It couldn’t be anything good.

“Nothing,” Sombra answered her, making Twilight look at him confusedly.

“What do you mean ‘nothing’?” she asked with a frown on her face. “Surely you did something!”

“Well of course I did something, but I did not trigger it…” Sombra explained slowly. “You see, I didn’t find the powers of dark magic by myself.”

“Then how did you find them?” Twilight asked inching closer to Sombra, whose expression was turning darker again.

“One day I realized that Crystal was not moving…” he told Twilight, whose ears drooped again. He sighed and continued, “She was alive, but just barely. I called for the guards, and when they came, I thought that they would help her and I told them that she was dying…”

There was a long silence that felt heavy on the two ponies sitting in the dark. Twilight didn’t want to ask what happened next, but she had to.

“What did they do?” she asked carefully.

Sombra snorted and answered coldly, “They said ‘what are we supposed to do about it’ and left her there, to die.”

Sombra’s voice grew as he continued to speak with an angry tone, “That’s when everything turned red. I felt how hatred towards those ponies filled me. I had learned every single spell in that book by heart, but only now I knew how to cast them. It was strange and terrifying… But I felt so powerful...”

He went silent, so Twilight asked with shaky voice and her eyes wide, “And then you escaped?”

“Yes,” Sombra said. “I don’t remember anything about it. After that I remember how to cast all the spells in the book, but they weren’t too powerful compared to what I can do now... Anyway, what I remember is waking up in the snow with Crystal in my hooves… Which were covered in blood…”

Twilight winced backwards from Sombra, who sighed sadly.

“I tried to protect her from the cold… But she was in such a fragile state. I knew that she would not last for long,” he spoke in a raspy voice, and Twilight lifted her hooves over her muzzle. The way he spoke made the tears reappear in her eyes.

“I cursed in the wind and swore that I would revenge to King Halite for what he had done. Crystal kept telling me that she did not want that, and that our parents would be very disappointed about me. She kept repeating those things until she closed her eyes…”

Twilight sniffled a little.

“She was alive… but she was getting colder. I protected her from the wind with my own body, but I knew what was going to happen… I promised myself that King Halite would get to suffer the same fate as my sister was about to, and if anypony was to get in my way, I would tear them in half. I screamed my promise to the wind, my heart filled with hatred, anger, fear and at the same time… sadness,” Sombra said, his voice shaking just a little bit.

Twilight swept a tear from her cheek.

“It was then when I heard it,” Sombra said. “Clattering of hooves and ghostly neighing.”

Twilight perked up. What did he just say?

“Then they came… Three tall, icy horses with their manes like snowstorm and their eyes like frozen starts. They were like angels… But angels do not chill you to the bone when you look at them.”

“Windigos!?” Twilight exclaimed, shocked by what Sombra was telling her.

He just shrugged and said, “I don’t know what they were, but they offered me a deal.”

“A deal?” Twilight asked. “And you accepted it!? A deal from Windigos and you accepted it? What were you thi…”

Sombra rose up from the floor quickly, towering over Twilight. His red eyes stared right at her and his fangs were exposed. Twilight let out a scared yelp when he hissed, “My sister was dying and I couldn’t do anything to help her! What would you do if Shining Armor would be freezing to death in your own hooves!?”

Twilight sniffled and covered herself with her hooves and wings, making Sombra’s chest burn. He exclaimed angrily and turned around, staring out of the window.

“They told me that they could save Crystal. I would have agreed to do whatever they wanted in return at that very moment, but then they gave me even more. They asked me if saving Crystal was enough? They told me that they could give me so much more than just that… The Crystal Empire…”

He held a small pause.

“...Power for revenge.”

Twilight Sparkle just kept sniffling, so Sombra continued, “All I had to do was to feed them. That was my part of the deal.”

“F-f-feed?” Twilight uttered from the floor.

“Yes,” Sombra answered. “They needed hatred and fear for them to consume. And I knew how to get it. Or where to get it from…”

“T-The Crystal Empire…” Twilight Sparkle said quietly, seeing all the pieces now. She had one question in her mind though.

“But why all that crystal? Where did you need it for?” she asked, making Sombra chuckle.

“Why not?” he asked. “I had always loved crystals. Besides, all those slaves looked so boring just sitting in the cells all day.”

“Oh…” Twilight sighed.

Sombra got back to his story, “I agreed to their terms, and they gave me everything I wanted. They saved Crystal from death, and gave me so much power that you cannot even imagine it. Suddenly I knew all that a pony can know about dark magic and even more! It was overwhelming! Of course there were some cons in it too, some physical -” he glanced up at his horn “- and some mental... But that meant nothing to me. All I wanted was revenge.”

“What happened to Crystal?” Twilight asked, seeing how Sombra’s posture slumped down a little bit.

“She said that I had become a monster,” he said. “She said that she would rather die in the snow than see me like this. In a way I cannot judge her. I do not feel too proud about myself nowadays, but at the time I was so blinded by the power I felt that I did not care about her anymore.”

For a moment he did not say anything. Then he turned towards Twilight Sparkle and his gaze was filled with sadness.

“What a fool I was. She left me all alone, disappearing into the tundra. I lost the last thing that I loved… That loved me, getting nothing good in return. Then I lost myself completely, losing control over everything. My own body and soul. I got what I had asked, and I had to give them what they wanted. A simple deal.” he told and sat down in front of Twilight Sparkle. He looked her in those purple eyes of hers and said, “And the rest you already know.”

Twilight Sparkle returned his gaze, her purple eyes glossy, glimmering in the white light of her horn. She then began to sniffle again, a couple of tears rolling down her cheeks.

“Why are you crying, Twilight Sparkle?” Sombra asked with a tired voice. “I did not scare you now did I?”

“No,” Twilight sniffled. “I am just feeling so bad for you!”

“What?” Sombra asked, almost amused, yet tired. “Why would you feel bad for me, the Slave King? I don't need your pity Twilight Sparkle, nor do I want it.”

Then he was closed into a tight hug, surprising him completely. He lifted his eyes back up at the purple mare that was clinging onto him, her hooves wrapped around his lower body, the side of her face resting against his chest, the light coming from her horn almost making him blind.

“Turn that off,” Sombra commanded, covering his eyes with his hoof.

Twilight did so and said a bit sheepishly, “Sorry…”

After the light was off, Sombra scolded her, “Twilight Sparkle, you are making a fool out of yourself.”

He tried to push her off, but she did not let him do that.

“I am sorry, “ Twilight said. “For everything that has happened to you.”

Sombra grunted and rolled his eyes. He then said quite annoyedly, “Why would you be sorry for something that you have not done!? Why does everypony always keep saying that they are sorry for something that they have not caus...”

He was cut off by Twilight Sparkle’s horn coming to life, glowing a purple light. He didn’t know what she was doing, but soon he felt like his head would have become lighter, his thoughts much clearer. He winced when he heard a loud clang from next to him as something metallic dropped to the floor. It took a moment before he understood what it was. He let out a small, unbelieving gasp and lifted his hoof to touch his horn.

It wasn’t there. The cuff was gone.

“You told me everything,” Twilight said quietly. “Like I asked.”

Her horn started to glow a white light again, only that time it was dimmer. The light revealed her face to Sombra, who saw a wide, warm smile on her face and pure happiness in her purple, wet eyes. The sight made Sombra remember his earlier feelings from that day, but that time they did not feel strange or wrong in any way. There was also an odd sensation in his chest again, but not pain. No. It was far from it. He cherished it.

“I trust you,” Twilight said and rested her head against his chest again. She then repeated “I trust you, Sombra”

Sombra opened and closed his mouth a couple of times, unable to say anything. What could he even say in a situation like that? After a moment he realized that there was only one thing to say.

“Thank you, Twilight Sparkle” he said quietly, lifting his hooves behind Twilight’s neck, pulling her even closer to himself. She winced a little, but let him press herself against his chest. Sombra then rested his chin carefully atop of her head, returning a hug for the first time in more than a millenium.

“Thank you.”

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