• Published 25th Jun 2012
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Ascension - cloudedguardian



Celestia is dying. Or at least it seems so. Afflicted with a curse that is destroying her very nature, she sets a plan in action. The Bearers of the Elements of Harmony will take the throne in her wake... Not that they know that yet...

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Part 5, Luna Ortus

Laughter filled the air as dishes were passed around, plates were heaped, and the strawberry wine was poured. Rich fragrances of lemon and orange wafted up from elegant desserts that had Pinkie positively dreaming, glasses and dishes clinking in a greedy melody that marked every new course’s arrival. Spike was eagerly digging into a sapphire and blueberry parfait that had been made just for him, as Applebloom pestered one of the chefs about his cutie mark. A giggle slipped from Twilight as Scootaloo’s attempt to sneak into the kitchen was interrupted by a soft white glow that gently pulled her back to her seat beside Rainbow Dash, the blue alicorn covering the echoing white glow around her horn by lifting a wine goblet up to her lips. Rainbow caught Twilight’s eyes, and gave her a knowing wink, before subtly lifting a hoof to plant on Scootaloo’s tail while the orange pegasus was busy pondering new plans. Rarity and Applejack were having a somewhat hissed conversation about whether simply hiring help for the farm would be a “betrayal” to the family traditions. Sweetie Belle on the other hand was ignoring conversations all together and seemed to be plotting something.

Yet, as dessert dishes passed back to the kitchen empty and bare, as the sun dipped down towards the horizon wishing to be put to bed, amusement, laughter and companionship seemed to be drained away to be replaced by a choking doubt. Twilight’s smiles grew slowly more hollow as doubt grew from a seed in her stomach to a black vine clenched tightly around her heart and throat, making it hard to breathe and see.

We’re supposed to raise the moon. Us… That was simple fact… But doubt and worry pulls a bitter echo, and the simple fact twisted into something terrifying to the lilac ex-unicorn. We’re supposed to raise the moon. Us, a group of foals whom over half of us have never used magic before tonight! It’s divine magic, how can Luna expect us to do this? She mentioned it in such… casual passing..! That for the first few raisings we would have to work together, all six of us… But how are we supposed to do that?! Rarity and I are the only two even somewhat practiced in using magic, and we’ve never, not even once, cast a spell together! We can’t do this… We can’t… There’s no way… I can’t-

Twilight stood up from the table rather abruptly, as the vine’s wrapping grew too painful to bear, and smiled apologetically to the startled ponies around her.

“Excuse me.” She muttered softly, her well-practiced fake smile out once again, and the nobles near her gave her an understanding smile as she turned and quickly walked away.

“Bit too much punch, eh, eh?” A dark brown stallion chuckled, gently elbowing his daughter beside him with a goofy grin.

“Filthy!” His wife snapped, swatting the stallion up the back of the head with a bunch of serviettes.

“It’s Rich.” He grumbled halfheartedly, looking somewhat abashed.

“Not right now it isn’t.”

Rainbow’s suppressed laughter at the conversation near her prevented her from seeing Spike’s eyes go from confused to dark and knowing as he slipped out of his seat and after Twilight.

The young dragon managed to catch up with Twilight about halfway to the castle despite her much longer stride.

“Twi-light! Wait… Up!” Spike gasped, far out of breath after the desperate dash to catch up with her.

Snapped out of her worrisome loop of thoughts, Twilight stopped rather abruptly to look behind her. Her eyes widened slightly at the sight of her assistant, but she waited for him nonetheless. Spike quickly reached her side, to lean against her leg as he tried to catch his breath again.

“Twi, what’s wrong, where are you going?” He asked hastily, while he had the air to do so.

“I-” Twilight began, unsure of what she wanted to say. “I… I just really need to talk to the Princesses…”

Spike wanted to correct her in her use of now outdated titles, but quickly decided against it. Instead, he nodded with a soft smile, and Twilight shakily returned it before resuming her walk towards the Solar Tower. As she reached the base of it, however, patience found no place to grow as the black vine grew even tighter, and lilac wings unfurled in anxious fear, leaving an exasperated dragon to take the stairs.

~~~

Golden clad hooves gently clicked against white marble as Twilight landed on the ornate balcony that marked Celestia’s bedroom patio doors. The soft pink drapes surrounding the windows were half-drawn, as if they had been hastily pulled shut to block offending light. With a whisper of sorrowful magic, the doors swung open, pushing the drapes aside to reveal an empty room.

“C-Celestia?” Twilight called out gently, her ears swinging back to lay flat against her head in a mixture of anxiety and embarrassment.

I know she’s probably just getting over that curse now, and I’m probably being a nuisance, but… Surely she would forgive me for that… She’ll pull me close and reassure me, and tell me what to do like she always has! Twilight told herself quickly, letting hope grow to push away the black doubt that was hurting her so. However, as she quietly searched the suite that Celestia used to call her bedroom, it became increasingly apparent that she simply wasn’t there. It was the sight of a single book that caused Twilight to realize that Celestia had already left for good.

An ancient tome with a white leather cover, that Twilight had desperately wanted to read since the moment she had laid eyes on it as a filly, laid peaceably on the bed-side table. Whenever she had asked Celestia about it, she would always laugh and say that she was far too young to read it… Even as a questioning curious mare, Celestia would laugh, hug Twilight, and say those words. Yet, there was the book, waiting for her in the gentle way books did, with the pink steel bookmark that Twilight always used during her studies in Canterlot laying delicately atop the white leather.

“I have complete faith that they aren’t just going to toss six new rulers on the throne and say “Ok, we’re gone, good luck!” and not give them any help!”

Cadence’s confident words seemed hollow as Twilight gently picked the white tome up in her magic to hold it close to her chest. Hope was choked by the growing weeds of worry, and tears began to make their dark tracks in her pale fur. The door to the staircase opened with a creak, and her ears picked up on the breathed out words that escaped Spike’s lips as he entered the room.

“Oh Twilight…”

“Hey, Spike?” Twilight began softly, her watery eyes still resting on the bookmark before her. “Do you remember when I was a filly, and I would ask Celestia when I would grow wings like hers?”

To be honest, Spike could barely remember anything of Twilight’s childhood, as he was far too young himself… For now though, he would play along. “Yeah.”

“And do you remember how disappointed I was when she finally broke it to me that I was a Unicorn, and therefore would never get wings?”

Something stirred in the back of Spike’s mind. “Yeah, and you threw a big temper-tantrum and said you wanted them anyway, and… It was all you talked about for a good while too…”

Twilight finally lifted her head to look at him with tear filled eyes. “Well… I finally got them.”

Spike’s eyes threatened to fill up with tears as well, and he ran forward to hug her side before they had the chance.

“It’ll work out Twi, it has to…” Spike offered, and although his voice was muffled by her fur, she heard them anyway.

“I don’t know if it will this time, Spike…” Twilight muttered, as two more tears made their way down her cheeks.

“Well, at least don’t keep bearing it all yourself!” Spike said, suddenly letting go of her to look at her with a hint of anger. “You and I both know that the other girls would want nothing more than to help you!”

“But they aren’t thinking, Spike! And I can’t-” Twilight cut herself off as the vine tightened around her throat once more.

“Aren’t thinking? About what?” He asked, brow furrowing in confusion as he tried to figure out what she could mean.

“And I can’t burst their happy bubbles just to make myself feel better… I won’t…”

“Oh. About that.” Spike sighed, as he put two and two together, and he flopped down to sit beside her.

Silence hung in the air for a moment.

“Spike… Ever since this all started, you’ve seemed so… Happy… And it’s not that I mind, or that it’s wrong or-“

“Twilight, stop.”

“I just can’t help but wonder why… That maybe I’m missing something…”

“You’re not…” Spike sighed, and he leaned back to rest his head against her side. “It’s selfish really.”

Twilight looked down at him with a hint of bemusement. Spike sighed before completing his thought.

“I’m happy for the same reason you’re freaked out… You’re immortal now. You all are… All my dearest and most precious friends are going to live forever… And no matter how many years pass, I’m not going to get left behind… I’m not going to outlive all of my friends anymore.”

“Oh Spike…” Twilight breathed, unfolding a wing to hug the small dragon close.

Silence retook the room as the two sat close together, spoken words unneeded for the time being. As sounds of the rambunctious dinner outside faded away to the laughter of dancing, and the sun’s gold orb slowly turned red as it brushed the horizon, the silence between them was broken softly by Twilight.

“I never would have guessed…” She began, and Spike looked up at her questioningly at the distant look in her eyes.

“I never would have guessed that you had thought about that already…”

“Sleepless nights leave a lot of time for thinking, you know?”

“Sorry…”

“It’s not your fault, Twi.” Spike assured her quietly. Even if it was, he would never let her know.

The tome slipped an inch as Twilight’s magic wavered, allowing something to catch the young dragon’s eye.

“Hey, Twilight, what’s that little piece of paper sticking out of the bottom there?”

“H-huh?” The tome was quickly lifted up to eye level, causing a folded piece of blue parchment to slip out a little farther.

Twilight’s eyes widened as she recognized the signature at the very bottom of it. The book was quickly flipped open to reveal the note, as well as the chapter it marked.

“Divine Magic… An Overview?” Spike read aloud, squinting to try and make heads or tails of the archaic writings. “But what does the note say, Twilight?”


Don’t you dare doubt yourself, Twilight. You are brilliant, brave, and my pride and joy. We have complete faith in you. So don’t you dare, not even for a second, doubt yourself and your friends.

-Celestia

Courage and hope rose up in a blazing fire, and the vine crumbled to ash in the heart beat it took to re-read the short note. Twilight took a slow deep breath, and found that she could breathe normally once more. She gently lifted the note out of the way of the chapter, and passed it to Spike for him to read. Then, she carefully read through the ancient words, as well as the bountiful amount of notes on divine magic that Luna had left her in the margins.

~~~

“Twilight?”

Applejack’s voice snapped the lilac alicorn out of her reading. The tome was fascinating, and Twilight had quickly became entranced by the ancient writings. She looked up at the clock, and realized that she had been in the Solar tower for nearly two hours. Spike was curled up under her wing, fast asleep. With a full stomach and a sleepless night, it was no wonder that he had dozed off, really.

The door swung open gently to reveal her perplexed friend. “Twilight? We need your help raising the moon… Hoo boy that feels freaky to say…. Whatcha doin’ up here anyway?”

Twilight smiled apologetically as she carefully stood up. Her horn lit up as her bookmark slid into its place in the tome, the tome onto its place on the desk, and Spike under the covers of her bed as she tucked him in with gentle care.

“Just a little research.” She replied cheerfully, giving Applejack an honest and confident smile as she turned towards the door. “Let’s go.”


In the middle of the Royal Canterlot Gardens, there stood six alicorns, each looking more than a little nervous and excited. Twilight took a step forward, and the others looked at her with an obvious hope for guidance.

Without a word, Twilight turned around, so that she was facing where the sun hung, wishing to be set for the night. Although pulling the moon to the sky would provide the push the sun needs to set… The tome said that lowering the sun first will make our job far easier… As the sun is, for the most part, connected to Celestia’s now-faded magic, this hopefully won’t be as difficult as it normally would be, but I won’t know till I try…

Applejack looked at her friend with a hint of confusion as Twilight closed her eyes and reached for the threads of ancient magic that were growing strong around her. Her magic traced them, faded and tired, until she found the thick chain of magic that she had felt Luna use that morning. Oddly enough, it seemed to recognize her, and with a half-conscious thought, she gently tapped Applejack’s and Fluttershy’s minds, drawing their attention to what she was doing. As their minds joined in curiosity, the magic stirred, and reached for them as well. It was such a startling feeling really; a rich, fiery, golden magic that seemed to have life and love all its own, embracing them in a lonely and tired whisper.

Twilight gently unhooked and pulled on the chain before letting it go, and the magic seemed to almost hum sleepily as it fell to a living silence, much like how a unicorn foal’s magic would as its holder fell asleep.

She opened her eyes to see the sky shift to vibrant colors as the sun set for the night. A proud smile graced her lips as she turned to face the East, where the moon would soon rise from. She reached for Pinkie’s mind, which was buzzing in frantic and nervous excitement, and caught her attention.

Pinkie, Luna drew her magic to a close with yours, so the Lunar magic will recognize you. Reach for it.

I don’t know how! Pinkie replied, sounding surprisingly scared.

Twilight had suspected that might be the case, and gave her a quick reassuring thought that settled Pinkie's growing panic, before reaching for Rarity and Rainbow Dash. She drew the three of them together before instructing Rarity to guide Pinkie to the chain of magic once Twilight found it for them… She would have rather had Rarity do it, but she could tell by the violent clash of emotions in Rarity’s mind that the poor mare was only an inch away from panic herself.

Closing her eyes, Twilight searched once more for the threads of magic that should be awakening by now. It surprised her when she found them, for they were not like the fiery threads that the sun held, but almost cold and silken chains that seemed to dislike her touch. She followed them until she found it, not quite a chain itself, but something more… Yet, it was undeniably what she was looking for. She pulled Rarity’s mind towards it, and before she even consciously noted the three reaching for it, she felt the magic react. It was soft and silver, and felt as if it was filled to the brim with icy and haunting music. It recognized her friends as its new master, and Twilight carefully withdrew to avoid upsetting it.

Rainbow quickly grabbed her mind before she could fully withdraw. Twilight, we still-

No, you don’t. Twilight assured her softly, giving a mental nod towards their friend, and Rainbow turned in slight surprise to look at Pinkie, whose wings had unfurled as if by their own will, her head turned upwards as if she was listening to some far off and distant music.

Go on. Twilight said softly, pushing Rainbow closer to the silvery magic that was reaching for its mistress. Even as Twilight withdrew her consciousness from her friend’s, as Rainbow connected with the Lunar magic- For just a split second, Twilight could hear the saddest and most beautiful music she had ever heard, whispering of freedom and ancient tales, desperate to instruct and be free.

Wholly in her own mind, Twilight found herself blinking back tears at what she had heard. She looked up at her friends with a proud grin, Applejack and Fluttershy withholding a cheer from where they stood beside her, as Pinkie, Rarity and Rainbow Dash took to the sky. All around them the air was humming with powerful and incomprehensible riddles of magic, as the sky deepened and darkened, the silvery glow of the moon rising up from its place in the east with every wing-beat of her friends.

Rarity and Rainbow Dash landed gently before her, as the moon took its place high in the sky… Pinkie was just a moment longer, as she stayed in the air to bring each glimmering star out with a bright and encouraging smile and laugh. When she finally landed, her pink feathers fluttering in the evening wind, she was leaving Luna’s tapestry of ancient tales and myths for all to admire in her wake.