• Published 27th Nov 2014
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The Little Pony Legend: Rainbow Rocks - MaggiesHeartLove

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Shadows of the past

*(~)*

Romans 5:3 ~

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance

*(~)*

Shadows of the past

The young girl tossed and turned in her sleep, beams of sweat dripping from her furrowed brows as the images appeared vividly in her mind. She could hear the creature's sinister and cruel laughter, her bloody red eyes burning with so much evil, her sharp teeth bare and her long fork tongue sticking out. Her giant bat-like wings flapped as the crown on her head glowed in a dark aura, matching the darkness in her heart. Her eyes feel on the group of six helpless girls before her. Five of them were beaten, their clothing torn and their hairs a mess. If she looked closer, she could even see small drops of blood near their lips. One girl, their leader, stood up tall and bravely before the she-beast, who only laughed maliciously at the girl's foolishness. Without a second thought, or even the slightest bit of sympathy or remorse, she unleashed a powerful dark beam from her hand, aimed directly onto the young girl with midnight hair and purple and pink streaks. She screamed in agony from the impact.

The girl woke up in a cold sweat. She tried to sooth her racing heart by taking in slow deep breaths. It had been almost a year since the events at the Fall Formal, and yet the moment still haunted her nightmares. Even when she was awake. It was never finished. The guilt from that moment took a real toll on her spirit. She had changed dramatically from it. In a lot of ways, they were good changes, but she was still terrified of that evil persona she had become. If she had not been such a monster back then she never would have actually turned into one. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn't erase the images from her mind.

It was like a permanent tattoo in her brain.

The young girl walked down the street, tightening her grip on her grey colored hood. Her apartment home wasn't too far off from the school, and it was near five a.m in the morning, so people who had to come into work early were already driving to get there. The girl's red and yellow streaked hair bellowed in the cold morning wind as her hood fell off. She couldn't shake the memory away from her mind.

She stopped before the large statue of the horse that stood in the quad of her high school and sat near the large stone square-shaped pedestal where the majestic creature stood. Then, just for the heck of it, she got on her knees and began walking down on all fours. She had already forgotten what it was like to do this back in her old home.

A home she would never again return to. Even if she wanted. Everyone there would have hatted what she became. She tried her best to allow her new friends (the word was still pretty new to her) to help her with her dilemma. They have said hundreds of times they forgave her, that she was welcome to their group and fully accepted her. But even so, she did not entirely feel welcome. She did not wish to be alone and she did want to learn more about friendship, but for some reason she continued to feel blocked.

While she may not be that monster anymore…she feared she might return one day.

She sighed and buried her face into her arms as she weeped. Then, suddenly, something unimaginable happened.

The pedestal of the statue began to glow, and on one side appeared a ripple-like effect. The girl was shocked. She wondered, was the portal opening again? No, that could not be. It would still take a long time for that to happen. As the ripple stabilized, an image appeared. The girl's cyan eyes sparkled as she watched the borealis lights dance in the image. She had never seen such beauty in all of her life. Suddenly, the lights looked as if they were aiming towards her. She got up on her feet when the colors emitted from the pedestal and swirled around her body like a rainbow twister, causing her hair to bellow against the rapid winds before vaporizing into sparkles. The girl took in slow deep breaths as she lowered her arms. Nothing had happened and the image in the pedestal disappeared, as did the lights. She arched an eyebrow and examined her body. There didn't appear to be any change in her whatsoev---

"AH!"

The girls shrieked and fell on her behind when suddenly a flame in the color of light brilliant amber suddenly appeared on her palm! She rapidly shook her hand to diminish the flame and looked at her hand in complete shock. Smoke emitted from her finger tips.

Did she just do….magic?

No, that couldn't be possible. It didn't feel like magic. She placed both hands on the grass, trying her best to calm her nerves. When suddenly, the grass she touched had caught fire. The flames danced in the moonlight, shimmering like a brilliant dance. The girl quickly began stomping on the flames, causing them to stop, but the burned grass remained. Those lights did something to her. It gave her these new powers.

Only question is; were they for good….or evil?

(~)

She fluttered her eyes open, revealing two electric blue orbs that sparkled in the light. The alicorn queen lowered her head, giving the young girl enough time and space to sit upright on the bed she was in. A second bed was just across the room, where the queen's youngest daughter, the princess of the night, tended to the newly appointed Princess of Friendship.

Avatar Korra and her best friend Twilight Sparkle have been seeing the alicorn Queen Leilani for the past three weeks. The two were still pretty scarred from their encounter with the mad-man Zaheer from not too long ago.

Korra sat in a lotus position as her forehead glowed, causing the flower pedals to move gently and slowly around her body, while the alicorn queen also sat a few feet beside her. Her front hooves pressed together.

With her magic, Korra gently moved her hands around, levitating a few flower petals before her in an elegant manner while Leilani sat on a pillow on the floor. Korra too sat on the floor in a lotus position as the queen spoke. This was one of Korra's mental exercises; the meditation would help calm her nerves, and using her magic would distract her mind from her negative memories. However, unlike how she usually meditates, Korra kept her eyes open. Leilani called this exercise; Grounding.

"Name the flowers of the petals you are levitating." she instructed.

Korra began listing the names of the petals she levitated before her. "Fire Lilly. Daisy. Red Rose. Orchid. Pansy. Peony. Aster. Azalea. Larkspur. Lilac. Snowdrop."

"Good. Now, take in slow deep breaths." Korra did as the queen instructed, the breathing relaxed her muscles and the levitation of flowers as keeping her mind occupied. "Now get up and do a few power punches."

Korra did as the Queen instructed, and practiced her stances and punches. She may have fought against Tirek, but the great amount of magic from the alicorn was what helped stabilize her, and she didn't even need to fight in order to permanently stop him in the end. She was physically fit and healthy now, but her fighting was pretty rusty and her flashbacks prevented her from focusing on fighting and sparing. Leilani urged her to take baby steps, which wasn't easy for the adventurous Korra. As she did her punches, while levitating the flowers, she suddenly gasped!

She saw it again.

Zaheer moving his arms swiftly as he created a circle of air around Korra, suffocating her with the hair from her lungs while her body was fighting off the poison within her.

The magic stopped, the flower petals fell and the Avatar got down on her feet. "That's it! I'm done for today." she said in frustration. As she reached to pick up her bag, Leilani stopped her by levitating the bag away. "Hey! Leilani, if you don't mind I would like to go home, please."

"Korra, you were making such great progress."

"What's the point of all of these therapy exercises anyway?"

"I told you, they can help you cope with what happened."

"I don't want to cope with it, I want it gone!"

"Korra, there can not always be a magical solution to every problem." said the queen. But the Avatar was still pretty frustrated.

"Why not? Isn't magic what got the poison out of me in the first place?" Korra then realized the way she was speaking to the queen. It was the same tone of voice she used on Katara back at the south pole while she was still in the wheelchair. She lowered her gaze and covered her face with her hands in shame. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to--"

"It's all right." Leilani said gently as she placed her hoof on Korra's shoulder, "I understand how awful it is to go through a traumatic experience and the road to healing won't happen overnight. But that doesn't mean it won't happen at all."

"Why?" Korra asked, her voice lowering in volume, "I managed to face Tirek just fine and I can walk, run, fly and fight just like I used to...well, kind of… why can't I forget what happened? Why are those memories still haunting me?"

"That's one of the side effects. I should know, I've been there."

Korra looked at her in curiosity. "What do you mean?"

Leilani backed away and stood in the very center of the room. Her horn glowed a bright white color as a snowy white ring emitted from her horn, expanding and surrounding the room. Korra shielded herself from the impact, but she did not feel anything. She looked around the room. Nothing had changed…except for the multiple chains and shackles that surrounded her and the alicorn. Around the alicorn there were chains, but they were completely transparent, almost ghost-like, and when they moved they made no sound whatsoever. There were also various shackles on the ground, all broken into pieces. Korra then found that she too had shackles around her, only hers were not transparent or broken, but a bright white. Around her edges they shimmered in a white color, but in other aspects they were still gray. She did manage to find a few broken chains bellow her feet, but they were few compared to the ones she had around her.

"What did you do?" she asked the calm and composed alicorn queen.

"This is a spell I learned during my travels around Equestria. See the broken shackles bellow me? These are the pains of my past." Korra's eyes shifted to the shackles around Leilani's hooves, the one that were broken. "Those are the shackles I learned to let go of. My guilt, sadness and anger over the loss of my husband. I had to remind myself that his death was not my fault, but the more I denied this, the more I remained in the past…and neglected my children. I realized I needed to let go, and once I did I felt an incredible wave of release. I was lighter. I accepted what happened, but that did not make my love for White any less strong. He would have wanted me to continue on with life, not wallow in the past."

"Okay, I understand that." Korra said, "But what about the shackles around your neck? And why are they transparent like that?"

The alicorn smiled at the shackles that were around her neck, which were so see through that they practically faded before her eyes. "These are merely the shadow of the shackles I once carried. I can never truly forget them, but they do not weigh on me, nor do they subdue me. Some things you can never truly forget, Korra and the past can hurt. But, you have a choice. You can either run from it, or learn from it. We need to stop running and face the situation head on and accept things as they are. Only then can we truly learn to move on."

Korra understood where the queen was going. We can't change the past and some memories will always remain with us. However, no matter how bad they might have been, memories shouldn't prevent you from moving on. Korra understood this perfectly.

"I understand but…but why is it so hard for me? Why do these thoughts keep on scaring me?"

"Look at your shackles, my dear."

Korra looked at her wrists. Unlike Leilani, Korra's chains were still very solid, but slowly turning white. She also noticed the chains around her that were broken apart. They were much darker in color, but rusty almost as if they were growing old or disappearing.

"The broken ones are those which were tied to your "Avatar" identity. The other, your pride. However, the shackles around your wrists and ankles are your anger, fear and guilt. Your fear of getting hurt again, as well as your anger towards those who hurt you, and the guilt over what happened. But, one day, you will break each and every one of these chains, and when that happens, all that will remain will be merely a shadow that can never harm you."

Korra realized that those were the two 'shackles' which remained with her. And it was true. She still felt angry over what happened and also afraid. The fear from her experience still haunted her mind.

"Then, how exactly do I break them?"

"Letting go is a long, hard process, and for you that process isn't over yet. In some ways, it's just the beginning. It is important that we put that time and effort to heal ourselves, because if we live in the past, we will never discover our destiny."

"I do want to get better. Not just for me, but for Twilight." Korra said. It was true, both she and Twilight had experienced the same terrible event. They both hoped that facing off Tirek would have helped erase those memories…but they still remained. And that frustrated them. Leilani once stated that they managed to face Tirek because they knew what was at stake, placing their own problems before the needs of others.

"You will Korra. You've already let go of your false identity, now you just need to learn to let go of fear of the future, and in the process you might just realize there was a much deeper meaning in your suffering. But remember one more, very important thing. You can't do this on your own. You need your faith now more than ever."

"I know…I know…"

(~)

Korra exited Leilani's office and spotted her alicorn friend waiting for her. "That took longer than last time." said Twilight.

"Yeah, no kidding."

The two princesses made their way down the walls, Korra with her bag over her shoulder and Twilight with her saddle bag. "So, how was the section with Luna?"

"Pretty good."

"Had a flashback again."

"Yep. You too?"

"Ah, hu."

"What did she say?"

"She said I can find a purpose from my suffering."

"Really? Luna said the exact same thing to me."

Korra immediately stopped on her tracks. "She did?"

"Yeah."

Korra shook her head from the thought. "You know what? I'm not going to question it. Let's just get moving. I've still got some packing to do."

(~)

Author's Note:

Hey, I'm trying to stay true to Korra's cannon PTSD, while remaining in the rules of this AU fanfic. Please let me know what you think.

I would appreciate it. Thank you.