• Published 24th Nov 2015
  • 2,300 Views, 69 Comments

Harmony's Song - pchn00



A young orphaned woman discovers family in a very unexpected place.

  • ...
9
 69
 2,300

Chapter 3: Meet the Aunt

Chapter 3: Meet the Aunt

=======Old Castle of the Royal Sisters, Ten Months and Two weeks ago======

"I think we're just about finished Spike!" Twilight was in an excellent mood. Twelve straight hours of uninterrupted cataloguing of the various books, manuscripts, and tomes filling the old castle had certainly made her cheery.

Her assistant seemed less than enthused. "Thank Celestia. My claws are killing me; we've been at this all day! The sun's been down for hours now."

"I know, Spike. And I really appreciate all the help you've given me today. How about tomorrow I whip up a stack of gem-cakes for you? I'm sure Rarity would let me borrow some from her stores."

At the mention of the mare Spike let loose an indignant huff. "You don't have to bother her."

Twilight sighed. "Spike you can't still be upset with her. You had to know it was never going to work, she's a lot older than you are . You can't be angry with her because she's started dating somepony."

"Watch me."

Twilight rolled her eyes. He'd been like this for the last two weeks after he learned the mare of his dreams had been seeing somepony she met in Canterlot. "Well finish up that shelf and then we can go home. Deal?"

"Yeah alright." The sullen dragon moved to the end of the shelf and began cataloguing the titles on the various books there. Still in the midst of a pout he loosed another huff of frustration, kicking up a sizable cloud of dust from the ancient shelves . Eyes wide, he fought to hold in the sneeze to no avail. An explosive 'CHOOO!' rang out through the hall as his flames flared into the books, incinerating them instantly.

He winced as he heard Twilight suck in her breath, and froze like she was performing her best 'Discord in the Canterlot Gardens' impression. "...what did you do?" Her voice a soft whisper.

Spike backed away horrified. "I-I-I didn't mean to Twi! Honest! I'm sorry! All the dust and I just... I just...."

Hoof to her chest. Deep breath. In and out. Sometimes these things happen . "It's alright Spike, it was an accident and..." She trailed off, staring at the shelf as the smoke cleared. "...and I think you found a hidden passage."

"What? I did?" Surprise clear in the little dragon's voice.

"You did." Stepping closer, her horn glowed as she swept the ashes carefully into a small satchel. A time rewind or mending spell might repair the books after all. It was faint but the smoke was curling inward toward the wall. Indicating a breeze. Her horn began to glow brighter as she wrapped the entire shelf in her magic, pulling it forward slowly to reveal the stone wall behind. "Spike I need you to gently breathe some flames along the base of the wall please."

Dropping to all fours Spike hurried to her side, eager to make up for his earlier mistake. He sucked in a soft breath and released the flames along the floor. Twilight could see the flames pull inward along the base of the wall. "Oh a pair of locks. Illusionary and mechanical." Her magic built up and washed over the wall removing the illusion spell . The cracks along the floor and walls visible now. "Aha, and there we are."

"Do we gotta find a candlestick or something to open it?"

"We could. Or..." Her magic intensified, the wall shuddering as she forced the ancient mechanisms to spin, corroded metal squealing in protest. Twilight set to work, forcing the door to go up and out of the way with a shuddering 'whoom'. A small mountain of dust washed over the pair. A quick magical bubble snapped into place around them as the dust settled in a few moments.

Twilight released a small globe of magic into the darkened room before them, the light hovering and bobbing this way and that.

Spike moved forward first. "This kinda looks like..."

"A bedroom." Twilight finished for him. And judging by the size of the furniture, and the sunny motifs it was clear whose room it was. They'd never found bed chambers for the Princesses, but she knew they were fond of their hidden doors and passages. No doubt Luna had a secret room somewhere around here too.

"Twi, I dunno if we should be in here. It feels a little like we're invading the Princess' privacy don't you think?"

Twilight 'did' think that. Even so... she, hay, all of ponykind knew so little about Celestia. "Just one quick look around, Spike. Then we'll go. We can even tell Celestia about this. Some of these things look personal, she may have forgotten all about it."

"Or she wanted it forgotten about." The dragon muttered.

Twilight's selective deafness kicked in as she moved around the ancient chamber. Not a speck of dust touched anything inside, she sensed a powerful preservation charm over the whole room. The silks on the bed looked freshly laundered. "Oh look..." She beckoned Spike to the vanity where a tiny, bluish steel crown sat. "This must have been one of her old crowns?"

"Kinda small don'tcha think?"

"Well she wasn't always as big as she is now, Spike."

"Oh, good point. So does that mean someday you're gonna be as big as she is? I mean you're already bigger than everypony else back home."

Twilight blinked. It was something she'd often wondered herself. "Probably, in time. Cadance has been getting steadily bigger after all. She's taller than Shiny is now. And Pinkie and Rari-" She stopped finishing the name when she noted Spike's wings twitching. "...ahem. Right."

"Yeah I guess so. Listen, I'm gonna wait outside okay? I feel weird doing this."

Twilight waved absently as she continued her exploration. All sorts of little everyday items lay scattered atop dressers and other furniture. Really it wasn't so different from Celestia's chambers in Canterlot. "Oh..." Her eyes were drawn to an antique silver tea set sitting beside a writing desk. "Oh this would make a wonderful Hearths Warming present! She'll be so surprised!"

Giddy at the thought of finally one-upping her mentor this year she raced to the antique pot and cups, even though the last Hearths Warming wasn’t even two months in the past. "Perfect condition!" Doing a little prance of excitement in place her ear twitched at a 'thunk' sound coming from a wardrobe behind her.

Horn alight, the doors unlatched themselves as she gently opened them. Inside were more books. All identical, smallish and bound in white-gold velvet. Twilight levitated the one that had fallen over to herself and opened it curiously.

'Lulu is being a pain in my flank as per usual. I swear she and Amore sit around and concoct these nonsensical pranks just to get under my skin . I don't know what I did to be cursed with a pair of little sisters but—'

Twilight snapped the book shut, eyes wide. These weren't just books; they were journals. Princess Celestia's journals. She blinked. Sisters? She'd heard of Princess Amore of the Crystal Empire, the mare who ruled it back in its glory days but she'd never heard her referred to as Luna and Celestia's sister.

Twilight bit her lip. She should close this up and forget she saw it. This was a huge intrusion into Celestia's privacy. "Hey, Spike! Why don't you head back; I'll finish cataloguing the books out there myself."

"You sure?"

"Absolutely! I'll see you at home." Her ear trained toward the door as she heard her assistant’s claws on the stone floor. "...I'll just read one journal."

=======Nine Days Later======

'I'll never forgive him for this. Never. I don't care about Equestria . I don't care about Luna or duties or any of the rest of it . He stole my foal from me. He stole my Harmony. As far as I'm concerned he can rot in Tartarus. As long as Star Swirl rots out of Equestria and out of my sight.'

Twilight pulled in a deep shuddering breath as she closed the journal. She stared at the cover of the final book for a long time, before replacing it on the shelf. A foal. A little filly, stolen from her mother before they'd spent a full day together. Her eyes drifted again to the tiny crown. She imagined Celestia crafting it herself, fancifully for her tiny future Princess.

Her jaw set firmly as she stood. She knew what she had to do.

======Now=====

"So... this Star Swirl guy poofed me to another world?"

Twilight had another sip of her tea as she finished the story, sitting across from Harm in her reading room—the most comfortable room in her castle. The woman and mare were seated comfortably on several large cushions. "And time, yes. It's why we had so much trouble finding you. We were um... looking for your remains to be honest. It was so long ago we thought you'd be long dead but then a friend of mine felt a little ping of Equestrian magic. She's something of a human expert."

"Celestia had been to see your father, King Sombra, many times. In our world Sombra was a monster, but in the one she travelled to Sombra was a good and kind ruler. They were in love."

"So what? Mom and pop had a falling out?"

"Oh, no. Not at all. No I'm afraid it's a bit more tragic than that. You see Harm, there are hundreds, thousands, possibly millions of alternate dimensions out there. In my studies I found several alternate Equestria's, I'm even a pen pal with myself from a world where everypony's gender is reversed. It's a touch surreal but he and I get along famously and have been exchanging magical ideas."

"Fascinating." The woman sounded anything but.

"Ehe... sorry I tend to ramble when magical oddities come up. Exchanging letters with Prince Dusk isn't causing any harm. It's just scraps of paper. However Celestia spending so much time in the other world was causing rifts, the worlds were on the verge of merging. It would have either destroyed both planets, or merged them and eradicated all the inhabitants of both, creating amalgams of all of us. Neither option was very appealing. So Star Swirl hid the gateway to good Sombra's world and forbade Celestia from returning."

"How can he do that? Isn't she like God?"

"Er... not exactly, she's very powerful, yes. Nearly impossible to kill but Star Swirl was the greatest magus of all time. If they came to blows it would have devastated the world as surely as the merge would have. She complied, unhappily; she grew sullen and insular. Then she discovered she was pregnant..." Twilight sighed.

"So what was the problem?"

"The problem, was that you were a blend of both worlds. Your birth caused the rifts to form once again. You couldn't be on your father's world, in fact you couldn't be in any Equestria without threatening to do the same. So Star Swirl sent you to a world without magic. I can tell by looking you over he placed powerful spells of health and good fortune on you. You've never been sick a day in your life, and things tend to work out in your favor when you attempt them?"

Harm crossed her arms under her chest as she listened. "Yeah to both I guess. I'm kinda lucky."

"Well, Celestia banished Star Swirl from Equestria in response. She shut out her sister, and basked in the adoration of her subjects which led to... other problems."

Harm grunted softly in thought. "I see. So isn't my being here going to smash the world's together again?"

"No. I thought of that. It took some research in the royal Canterlot archives, but I located the mirror and permanently severed the connection. After that it was simply a matter of scanning all the alternate universes my friends and I could looking for that one point of magic amidst a world without."

"You talk like it was no big deal, but that sounds like a big fucking deal." Harm didn't miss the way Twilight's ear twitched when she swore. She supposed while she was here she could try and clamp down on it a bit.

"Ah... yes well, it was I suppose. It was some effort but I genuinely believe it will be worth it in the end. Reuniting you with your mother is going to be wonderful. I owe her everything. She's been like a second mother to me, to be honest."

Harm settled back and ran her fingers over the tiny tea cup she was offered. "So what now?"

"Well! Now I'll show you around Ponyville."

"You don't think I might stand out a little? It might spoil the big surprise if word about a furless giant wandering around your city gets back to Celestia."

"Ehe, yes. I thought of that. I'm going to cast an illusion over you to make you appear to everypony else as a pony. Just don't touch anypony and it will hold up fine."

"Fair enough." Her eyes went over Twilight's shoulder. "Is that normal?"

"Is wha—" her words choked in her throat as she turned to find a thestral stallion stepping out of a shimmering gateway into the room. His coat was slate gray, mane and tail a deep purple so dark it was almost black . Most of his face save the glowing eyes obscured by his mask. "...aaaat?"

"Good afternoon, Princess. I apologize for this unexpected intrusion." His voice was rich and smooth, it carried an unusual tone that put the listener at ease.

"Ahhh..." Twilight blinked several times, recovering quickly. "It's... alright. Though I typically prefer visitors to use the front door. You're a Starlight Knight aren't you? I thought members of your order never came to the surface?"

"We do not, less ordered by the Queen. She has requested an audience with you."

For the second time in as many minutes Twilight was speechless for a long moment. "...the Queen? As in your Queen? Queen Radiant Darkness? Wants to meet me?"

Harm noted the Princess' voice rose in pitch as she spoke. "Who's Radiant Darkness?"

"Queen Radiant Darkness." The stallion put forth forcefully, taking a step forward, the batlike wings at his sides flaring open.

"She ain't my queen buddy. I didn't vote for her and you better put those wings down and step back before you get a slap."

Twilight hastily interposed herself between the two. "Please forgive her, sir knight. She's visiting from... very far away and has no idea who your queen is, she's barely aware of who our princesses are."

This seemed to calm the stallion, though he didn't remove his eyes from the foreigner. "Will you come before her?"

"Yes, yes of course. Give me just a moment and I'll join you of course. Do you have any idea how long I'll be away?"

The thestral shrugged. "Chambers have not been prepared so I do not expect long, your highness. I do not question the Queen's orders, merely follow them."

Twilight turned her attention back to Harm, who was glaring down the stallion just as much as he was her. "Harm, I'm going to join Sir..."

"Dark, Argent Dark." Harm snorted softly at his name.

"Sir Dark. Queen Radiant Darkness never takes audiences from the surface so far as I know. If she's asking for me it must be very important. I'll explain more when I get back. For now please stay on this floor of the castle . Spike should be back soon. He was told to expect a guest so he shouldn't be surprised to see you. I know it's a lot to ask but..."

"No prob. I'll poke through some of your books or something. Have fun I guess."

"Oh I expect I will! Well, Sir Argent! Shall we?"

He dipped his head in a polite nod, standing aside for the alicorn to enter the portal first. A brief snort in Harm's direction, then he followed her through.

Harm watched the portal slowly close before climbing to her feet. "Charming dude."

======= ??? ======

The crowd was silent as the little girl strummed the final note. Parents and kids alike were gathered in the small amphitheater of Camp Weemotonya. She blinked large blue eyes and looked out as they all stared for a moment. Before pandemonium erupted.

"More! Play more!"

"Again! Another song!"

The screams blended together as the mass surged toward the stage, the girl shrieking and covering her head, huddled into a little ball. When the noise very abruptly... stopped.

"It's alright, little one. You're safe now." The voice was feminine, warm, and had an otherworldly quaility to it.

The child peeked out from between her arms. Seeing the dark blue fur covered forelegs in front of her. Slowly she raised her eyes to the face of the mare looking down at her. Gentle teal colored eyes regarded her in a mix of concern and curiosity. A mane filled with stars wafted gently from her head. "You are human, yes?"

"Y-yes ma'am."

"What is your name, little filly?"

"H-Harmony, ma'am."

"I see. Well Harmony, that was quite a nightmare you had. But it's over now. You may return to your night's rest. If you like. If not, perhaps we could keep one another company."

Sniffling the girl slowly relaxed. Looking about nervously. The camp ground was empty. Just her and the mare. "Who are you?"

A warm smile. "I am Luna, Princess of the moon. Diarch of Equestria, younger sister to Celestia."

"Oh."

"I admit I am intensely curious as to who 'you' are Harmony. You are not the only dreamer in Equestria with humans in her dreams, but you are the only one who appears human in them."

"I'm... I'm nobody, ma'am."

"Oh I doubt that very much, Harmony." Luna took note of how the child very faintly frowned at the sound of her name, every time she said it, it drew an unhappy flinch from the girl. A girl who was aging before her eyes. From child to teenager. A very large teenager.

"I'm... visiting. Where... where are we? Is this my mind? My dreams? I don't understand."

"Indeed, Harmony. We are in your dreams. One of my duties as Equestria's night time protector is to ensure my subjects are not preyed upon in their dreams. Nightmares are at times created by unkind creatures seeking to prey upon the psyches of unsuspecting ponies."

"I see." The skinny teen was filling out to a fit young woman, the childlike fear and wonder replaced by adult skepticism and suspicion. "Were my nightmares caused by a monster?"

"I do not believe so, no. A past trauma it would seem. Would you like to talk about it Harmony?"

"No. And it's Harm." The human appeared to be fully grown now, her fears forgotten as she reasserted her proper self. "So what, you just creep around spying on peoples dreams? That's kinda creepy."

Luna frowned slightly. "I do not spy, Harm. A pony suffering under the torments of a nightmare must be relieved lest the problem compound exponentially and create a monster."

"Whatever." She regarded Luna silently now, scrutinizing her. "You're Celestia's little sister then?"

"I am. Where are you, Harm? How did you come to Equestria?"

"I was invited. I think I'd like you to leave, please."

Luna's frown deepened . "I cannot. I must know how you came to my kingdom, Harmony. You may be in danger, or a danger to my subjects. I would like to speak face to face and get to the root of this. There are many dark powers who would prey upon you."

"I said it's Harm. I'm fine. And I'd like you to very much get the fuck out!"

Luna braced herself, but was unprepared for the power of the onslaught of the humans sudden turn in mood. She found herself rather violently flung out of the dreamscape back into her own body so forcefully she was flung onto her back.

"....ow." With a grimace, the lunar princess sat up rubbing the back of her head, frowning thoughtfully. She roses to her hooves and left her tower, making for the Castle Observatory. Its occupant was naturally wide awake even at the late hour. "Good evening, Sunset Shimmer."

The unicorn looked up from the book in front of her. "Good evening, Princess Luna. What can I do for you?"

Luna liked the young mare. She was more forth coming than the typical pony, and tended not to beat about the bush. "Do you have any knowledge of any humans in Equestria?"

Sunset's eyebrows rose. "No, Princess. I have my phone and keep in touch with my friends but none of them have visited. Why?"

"Because one is in Equestria, I just banished a rather intense nightmare. I believe she did not care for me witnessing it and violently forced me from her mind."

"She forced you from her mind? She must be very powerful."

"More so than I expected, but not as strong as you may think. Anypone can force me from their dream scape if they wish. It's just never really happened before and took me by surprise."

Luna could see Sunset filing this information away. "I wish I could help but the only humans I know are through a mirror and I've never brought anyone back with me except..."

"Yes, of course, your assistant. The young woman claimed she was invited. If not you...."

Sunset came to the same conclusion. "Would you like me to head to Ponyville?"

"Please and thank you Sunset. I know you are Celestia's student and I do not mean to impose on your studies."

Sunset flashed a small smile. "It's no intrusion Princess, really. I'm happy to help. I'll leave right away."

Luna looked to the slumbering mare, snoring obnoxiously on the floor. "You will be bringing her?"

"She never leaves my side, as promised."

"Very good, Sunset Shimmer. Take heed if you discover this human in Twilight's castle, she seems volatile."

Sunset chuckled as she closed her book. "I can handle volatile humans, Princess. Don't worry."

Author's Note:

Here's Chapter 3. I kinda struggled for a bit on how Harm and Luna's first meeting would go. Ultimately I imagined no one would be fond of someone intruding on their dreams. Sort of the ultimate violation of privacy.