• Published 27th Jun 2017
  • 284 Views, 42 Comments

Requiem for a Dream - Fahrenheit


What begins as a simple experiment in spellcasting quickly spirals into obsession as a student of magic discovers an ancient legend hidden within Mage Meadowbrook's greatest enchantment.

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Epilogue

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“Sometimes,” a voice begins, the silvery sound only solid thing in the crumbling dreamscapes around me. “Sometimes we will never know what we mean to each other.”

The dust-filled room settles into focus around me. Though the gentle chorus of night has replaced the stallion’s haunting composition, I can almost feel the song lingering in the air around us.

“Your sister said as much,” I say into the air. I turn around, and the Princess of the Night comes into view, her shadow-wrought tiara perched harmlessly above her brow. It doesn’t look so formidable, even in the gloom of the unlit room. “She said Twilight would come around one day. Or at least, that’s what I think she was trying to say.”

“Celestia has always been the wiser,” Princess Luna sighs. “Though I still think she enjoys being right far more than she should.”

“I’m glad she was,” I murmur softly, thinking about the new photo hanging upon the wall downstairs.

As though she can read my thoughts, Princess Luna hums in approval. “She was indeed. And here we both are.”

I nod.

The Princess clears her throat. “Well, enough pleasantries I suppose. When might the Royal Historical Journal of Canterlot expect your paper on Meadowbrook’s unknown artifact? He called it Historian, I believe? You’ve had ample time for revisions.”

I look down, abashed. “I haven’t… actually touched the paper since you returned. I didn’t really see the point. I mean, I completely missed the window of opportunity, didn’t I? My biggest finding was that you—” I gesture at her helplessly. “Were Princess Celestia’s long-lost sister, and that’s old news. What would be the point? I couldn’t bring myself to even look at it again. Not when—”

“Not when my sister gave you such a lovely distraction?” The princess tuts disapprovingly. “‘What would be the point of it,’ hmm? That doesn’t sound like the ravenous scholar we both know you are, Miss Moondancer.”

I fidget with a thread in my sweater. “Well, the motive’s changed, too. Part of the reason I was so eager to explore Meadowbrook’s stuff was because I wanted to impress Twilight.”

“Oh?” Princess Luna prods gently.

A harsh laugh bubbles from my throat. “Well, who wouldn’t? You can’t look at Twilight Sparkle without seeing her, seeing how clever and bright and remarkable she is. Even when she was just Princess Celestia’s personal student, she was brilliant. I thought that if I untangled the magic of Historian, then maybe… Maybe she’d see the same thing when she looked at me.”

There. Let it not be said that I don’t divulge information when my immortal rulers request it.

“For what it’s worth, I think your research will still impress her, even now,” Princess Luna says, her voice unbearably gentle. Seeing the protest forming on my face, she hastily adds, “I know, I know, it isn’t the same. You expected that upending a millennium's worth of historical accounts would be the only way to earn Twilight’s respect, and now you find that you have neither the need nor materials to do so. But that does not make it any less worth doing.”

“Well, when you say it like that.” I sigh, straightening my glasses and casting an appraising glance at the ancient violin sitting upon the desk. For some reason, it amuses me. “It’s funny how things work out, isn’t it? Mage Meadowbrook expected his artifact to bring comfort to Princess Celestia, and she expected it to save you, but in the end… All it really did was mess up my expected graduation date.”

Princess Luna laughs. It really is a remarkable sound: deep and warm where Celestia’s is high and clear. “My sister is better about knowing to pursue dreams rather than expectations, I think, but yes—I sincerely doubt Meadowbrook foresaw his spell meeting its end in academic havok.”

She chuckles again, then grows solemn. For a moment, I see the Darkangel in her eyes, but it is quickly snuffed out by a more pensive expression. “But then, we all expect things, don’t we. We expect the paths to our goals to be straight and true. We expect to be able to see where we are headed. We expect ponies to love us in the same ways we love them.” She shakes her head. “Once, I expected that my sister would throw away both crown and title at my request, because I would do the same for her.”

A thousand year-old image of two battle-stained alicorns flashes across my mind. In the quiet of this time-forgotten room, I feel like an intruder in my own memory.

As if she can sense the cause of my uneasiness, Princess Luna flashes me a sheepish smile, and the feeling fades. She turns to leave the room, calling over her shoulder. “As we both know, such a thing was not in Celestia’s nature. My sister would give me her throne in an instant if I asked, but would not—could not--leave it abandoned.”

“You’ve forgiven her for not running away with you,” I observe, following her down to my less dusty (if more cluttered) sitting room.

“I should never have asked her to,” she states. “And you are free to quote me on that in your upcoming treatise.”

I watch as she steps across the space, levitating a familiar journal onto my desk. “I still think Twilight is better suited for the task.”

“Then co-author with her,” the Princess replies easily. “Twilight is certainly a formidable scholar, but better suited for researching Historian? I don’t think so. You do yourself a disservice by entertaining the notion.”

Her dust-glittered aura flips the journal open to the unknown artifact’s page.

“This is a task that will require somepony fascinated with the mysteries of the past, somepony dedicated enough to put her life on standby and abandon the present in pursuit of them. Do you know such a mare?”

On the page before us, Meadowbrook’s previously-illegible writing seems to shine, as sensible and intuitive as the spells one learns in magic kindergarten. Though her voice remains measured, Princess Luna’s words thunder around me.

“Do you know somepony with the intelligence to untangle the brilliant, brilliant madness left behind by the geniuses of yesteryear? With the desire to understand it?”

I step closer. I’ve seen the unknown artifact in its entirety, witnessed the arcane memory matrix at work. Maybe it doesn’t matter that Equestria knows the truth of the Royal Pony Sisters. Maybe their story is still worth telling.

“Your greatest wish in magic kindergarten was to become an acclaimed magical scholar, no? Or does that dream deserve to die, simply because the road leading to it has changed beneath your hooves?”

I turn to her then, sinking into a proper bow. “No, Highness. It doesn’t.”

When I rise, I find the Princess staring at me, her regal composure untarnished by the spiral notebook that flies past her head and lands upon my desk with a firm smack. She presents me with an dusk-blue quill.

"Now?" I blurt incredulously. "You want me to start right now?"

Princess Luna raises a brow.

“It's generally accepted that one must fall asleep to reach their dreams, is it not, Miss Moondancer?"

I half-nod in acknowledgement, accepting the quill from her grasp. It slips into my magical grasp as smoothly as if it were made to be there. The Darkangel places her hoof on my shoulder and turns me about to face the desk, leaning close to my ear and whispering,

"So how, pray tell, do you expect to reach that goal if you refuse to chase it?

I begin to write.

Comments ( 19 )

I love this story. I know there is very little place to go with it. It has ran its course. The narrative is complete. Still its one of those tales that one wishes did not have an ending. A story that the reader could just exist in as it continues and be content. Thank you for writing such, especially involving Moondancer. A character I very much wish had volumes more written about her and her life.

... And recommended.

Bravo, and thank you.

A beautiful, beautiful finish. You wove this story into the series in a utterly believable way, and this epilogue both wraps it up nicely and opens up Moondancer's future. And it's so fitting that Luna, the center and focus of the whole story, gets the last word so to say. Well done!

8266804
Thank you ever so much. I'm very glad to hear that you've enjoyed this story. It's always nice to find others interested in side characters like Moondancer!

8267429
:heart:
Once again, your generosity exceeds my ability to properly express gratitude for it. "Thanks" is hardly sufficient, but thank you anyway—for reading, commenting, picking up on Leonard Cohen and writing such a flattering recommendation.

8267693
Thank you thank you! This was originally written without the scholarly frame story—I'm glad to hear that it fits together. It's been a delight hearing your thoughts throughout. :twilightsmile:

Noc
Noc #5 · 2 weeks ago · · ·

Wow. Horizon’s right – this is criminally underrated, undervalued, undervoted … so on. An upvote and a fave for you, as well as my thanks for granting us such a wonderful, well thought-out and superbly written story. This would easily turn Luna into my favorite pony if she weren’t already, and your depiction of Moondancer will probably stick in my head whenever I read other stories with her or watch “Amending Fences” again.

I’m only sad that Twilight seemed so cold about their friendship … though given what we saw on the show, how it took six seasons for her to even remember she had friends in Canterlot, I can’t imagine writing this any differently and still have it stick to the show’s canon. (Also, am I mistaken in interpreting Moondancer’s relationship with Twilight as having the beginnings of a crush on her, given her particular prevalence in MD’s thoughts?)

Edited to add: Forgot to mention – thanks to 8267429 for pointing me and the rest of his readers here in the first place. I likely wouldn’t have found this story otherwise.

Enjoyable story, I particularly liked the ending. Thanks for the recommendation, horizon.

I already thought this story felt complete with chapter 5. All the story threads wrapping together beautifully, everything I wanted to see was delivered. It was perfect.

Then somehow the epilogue goes one step further, adding in something new I wasn't even expecting. And it made the story just a little bit better than perfect.

Reading this was a magical experience. :twilightsmile:

*Dies of amazingness*

^Basically all I can think of to say.

8276055 8276079 8276440 8277517 8277547
Coming back to the story and seeing these sorts of comments makes me really happy to have passed on the recommendation. :twistnerd:

That was quite a bit more incredible than I was expecting, even with horizon's glowing recommendation. Also kudos for portraying a Moondancer that would believably have had the meltdown she did in the episode without her being in love with Twilight. (Don't misunderstand, I still totally ship it. :pinkiecrazy: But it is nice to see well executed alternatives :twilightsmile:)

Honestly, I think this is the single best written piece of pony fiction on this entire site.
I have to thank Horizon for sharing it, and will be sure to share it with the few friends of mine who also read pony fiction.

You have an amazing grasp of the English language and how to draw emotion from the reader.
From the first paragraph you have the reader in the mind of Moondancer, and keep them there to the very end.

I will be sure to follow and read anything you write, for if it is even a tenth as marvelous as this, it'll be worth any number of late nights spent reading.

Thank you for this magestic story.
Please, please write more.

This story was well written, but I just never really enjoy stories where the main character is insane. Given that Moondancer has given up rational thought for most of the story and is losing track of where she is and what she is doing, it's a hard sell for me. However, the underlying ideas are great (I love Moondancer's lists) and the closing scenes are really poignant. I can't personally give it top marks, but I'll definitely remember it. Thank you.

The history, the mystery, the nature of magic and its genii who can never do enough, the principal and her target chosen too early to effectively strike, and the rhyme of Luna and Moondancer across the millennium between them.

So much woven together.

And what a tapestry it forms.

8276055
Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

Also, am I mistaken in interpreting Moondancer’s relationship with Twilight as having the beginnings of a crush on her...

Could be! :raritywink:

8276079
Thanks for reading!

8276440

Reading this was a magical experience.

Writing this was most certainly not, 😆 but reading reactions like yours makes it worth it. Thank you!

8277517
Aw gosh :twilightblush:
Love your profile pic, btw. Gloriously epic.

8278190

I still totally ship it.

The readers deserve options! So very glad you enjoyed this one.

8278639
You honor me greatly with such praise. Thank you ever so much for your kind words; I'll strive to ensure that this isn't my last story.

8281201

stories where the main character is insane

They definitely aren't for everyone! Regardless, I'm very glad you were able to glean some amount of enjoyment out of this; thanks for reading!

This is great! Love your interpretation of who Moondancer is. Including her silly mental lists. I featured it on my podcast, Pony 411.

You are the unnamed musician, and we are the court. You step forward bearing nervously a work of art, just one of dozens that litter the dais below the throne, anonymous amid a surfeit of beauty. But then you raise your bow, and instantly we are seized from the first note to the last by something so crystalline, so heartfelt, so expert and astonishing, that everything else is swept away and we are left only with grief and anguish and wonder and gratitude above all.

Who are you, and how have I not found you sooner?

This was beautifully written
Moondancers story was so well woven around Twilights.

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