• Published 20th Aug 2016
  • 5,667 Views, 22 Comments

The Twilight Before the Sunset - Diamond_Emblem

Princess Luna enlists Twilight Sparkle to help her in getting Sunset Shimmer to stay in Equestria so Princess Celestia and Sunset can reunite. The situation turns out to be much more complicated.

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Swirling Skies

Dear Princess Twilight Sparkle,

I require your presence at the Canterlot Castle as soon as possible. I would have written sooner, but I was not entirely sure of Celestia's plans. Now that I am aware on what she intends on not doing, I am in need of your help.

I hate to be vague, but there is too much to explain in a letter. I will explain when you get here.

~Princess Luna

"What does it say, Twilight?" Spike asked eagerly, jumping up to get a glance at the letter.

Twilight Sparkle moved the letter out of Spike's reach. "Sorry, Spike," she said, "but it's a letter from Princess Luna, and she asks that I tell nopony."

Spike grinned. "But I'm not a pony!" he pointed out.

"You know what I mean!" Twilight said, rolling her eyes.

He looked at Twilight with an irritated expression. "Did she really write that?" he asked, reaching up to grab the scroll.

"No, but Princess Luna is being vague," Twilight said. "Evidence shows Princess Luna wants me to know as little as possible because if I were to tell somepony else, there would be little to tell. However, if she has written very little, it means there is something bigger she is keeping from me, so what she intends to say is only for my ears."

Spike rolled his eyes. "You're basing this off a short letter," he said.

"It doesn't matter," Twilight said, exiting the castle library. "What matters is that Princess Luna needs me in Canterlot. And I'm afraid you can't come with me."

"What?" Spike demanded, following. "Why not?"

"Let me see," Twilight said, lowering the scroll to her eye level. "Princess Luna states 'I am in need of your help,' and also states, 'Dear Princess Twilight Sparkle,' and there's quite a long list, should I go on?"

Spike sighed as Twilight entered her bedroom. "Alright, alright, I get it," he said. "I won't come with you. But how long are you gonna be gone?"

"Not very long, I suppose," Twilight said, reaching into her office closet for a few scrolls of parchment, ink, and quills. "I'll write you a letter if I'm going to be gone for longer than a day." She also brought out her saddlebag and started packing.

"What am I gonna do while you're gone?" Spike asked, watching Twilight stuff several books into her left saddlebag. "What do I tell Starlight?"

"Tell her I'm due in Canterlot for an important meeting," Twilight said. "Let's see, it's almost one, which means the train from Manehattan should be arriving in about fifteen minutes, and then five minutes later, the train leaves to Canterlot."

"You're leaving now?' Spike asked in disbelief.

"I have to," Twilight explained. "I have to be there as soon as possible. Princess Luna needs me at once. Any more questions before I leave?" Twilight strapped on her saddlebag and was ready to head out.

"Yeah," Spike said. "Why do you have to take the train to Canterlot? Can't you just fly there? You did that when we had to get Pinkie Pie to Canterlot for Moondancer's party.

Twilight paused to answer. She beamed. "Why didn't I think of that before?" she asked herself. She ran over to her bedroom window and unlocked it, throwing it open.

A burst of wind made Twilight's mane fly in the air. "See you soon, Spike!" Twilight said. She opened her wings and ran out, and as soon as her hooves left the group, she started flying.

"Whoa!" Spike exclaimed. He watched as Twilight soared towards Canterlot, and he yelled, "Bye, Twilight!"


Princess Luna slammed her sister's bedroom door open. The room was neat and clean, the fireplace unlit. A stack of wood stood next to it, the room dimly lit. No sign of Celestia, but Luna had seen somepony, most likely her sister, come in.

"Sister, I know you're in here!" Luna yelled. She entered the room, locking the door behind her. Luna glared, looking around. The way to Celestia's bed was clear, but her flower pot with hydrangeas was cracked, dirt spilling out of it and onto the floor.

"Tia, you can't hide from me forever!" Luna shouted. She headed into Celestia's actual bedroom and saw a pegasus Royal Guard looking for something, determined to find it.

"Excuse me!" Luna yelled. "What business do you have here in my sister's room?!"

"Princess Celestia ordered me to enter and stay in her room and wait until you arrived," the Royal Guard replied, straightening himself out at once. "She has also ordered me to find out if you are...distressed."

"Distressed?" Princess Luna glared at the Royal Guard. "She knows very well I am distressed. Where is she?"

"The princess has ordered me not to tell you her current location until you are calm," the Royal Guard said. "She said she is worried about you."

Luna scoffed but calmed herself down. Worried about ME?! she thought in outrage. She's the one who I'm worried about! Three months into the plan, and now she's changed her mind? What is going on in that brain of hers?

"Alright," Princess Luna said. "Can you tell me now where my sister is? I have calmed down, so there's no reason why I shouldn't be able to know where she is."

The Royal Guard nodded. "She is currently in the basement," he replied.

"The basement?" Princess Luna said suspiciously, her eyebrows narrowing.

"That is where I found her," he said.

"Thank you," Luna said cautiously. "You may return to your tasks of the day."

The Royal Guard watched as Luna walked out of the room. He sighed in relief. A sudden glowing ball erupted from his chest and in a bright flash, Princess Celestia stood in his place.

"Thank goodness," she said to herself. "Now that Luna's going in the wrong direction "


Princess Luna suddenly appeared in the doorway and pointed an accusing hoof at her sister. "Thought you could fool me with a disguise like that, didn't you?" she asked.

Celestia folded her wings and glared at her sister. "There was no way possible you could have figured that out!" she said.

Luna raised an eyebrow. "You said you were in the basement," she said. "You've never been in the basement in your entire life ever since Mother said it was mine."

Celestia sighed in defeat. "Luna "

"How long has it been since you told me the truth about Sunset Shimmer being your daughter?" Luna demanded, unfurling her wings like she always did when she was livid.

Her sister faced the wall, not daring to look at Luna. "Three months," she mumbled.

"And when is Sunset Shimmer's birthday?" Luna asked, narrowing her eyes.

"December 21," Celestia murmured. "Three months from today."

"And what did you decide to do when we had that long conversation, three months ago?" Luna asked through gritted teeth. "What did you say you would do?"

"I said I would tell Sunset the truth," Celestia sighed.

"It's certainly a strange story," Luna said, chuckling darkly. "Given that you told me last night you weren't going to tell her. That you had changed your mind because there wasn't going to be a perfect time to tell her. But Sunset Shimmer can come home for her birthday! She can finally spend an actual Hearth's Warming Eve with her family! She can have the family she never truly had!"

"Luna, you don't understand," Celestia said bitterly. "Tell my daughter I had to give her away and I had to expel her? What kind of mother would she think I am?"

"A mother who had her own methods of protecting her child," Luna said, trying to comfort her sister.

"A mother who allowed her child to cross worlds and not even leave a hint of who she was!" Celestia was beginning to raise her face. Inch by inch, she began to face Luna.

"You know as well as I do that Sunset Shimmer would not blame you!" Luna said.

"As if you would know," Celestia scoffed. "You haven't had a child. You don't know what it feels like to learn you're expecting a baby, and knowing ever since that day, you'd have to give them away. You don't know how it feels to let go of a baby you just gave birth to, in the dark, not at a proper hospital, only one mare to help you, knowing your sister should be there, knowing you have to let her go, not once, but TWICE!"

Celestia was yelling. Tears were streaming down her face, a broken expression on her face. Luna had backed up, her ears flopped down, her expression revealing she was nervous.

Tia swallowed with difficulty. She passed Luna and entered the first room, glancing up at the clock. "I have a meeting with my advisers in a few minutes. I think it's best we stay out of each other's ways for now."

Luna found her voice again. "Sister "

"I'm not changing my mind about it," Celestia said quietly. She left the room, leaving Luna ashamed, guilty, but furious.

From her watch tower, Luna watched all the activity that occurred during the day. Canterlotians were shopping, walking around, or preparing for a busy day. At the height Luna was at, they looked like the size of toy trains. The afternoon sun was blocked by clouds, though not many, so the day was still bright.

Imagine if one of those stallions were my lover, Luna mused. Imagine if I was pregnant, and I could not tell even my sister. She tried to grasp onto the feelings Celestia had described, but they seemed far deeper and complex than she could imagine.

But imagine what Sunset Shimmer must feel, not knowing who her mother was. Growing up with only a father, and had abandoned him. Luna's eyebrows furrowed. Neither my sister nor my niece deserves to be suffering. I will reunite our family. I don't care what Tia says. Sunset Shimmer will finally know her mother and Tia will finally get to know her daughter


Luna had a second to glance up at the sky and ducked as Twilight Sparkle came crashing into the tower at a high velocity. There was a loud Crash! and she turned.

Princess Twilight had flown into the wall. She slid down the wall, mumbling, "Owwww," on her way down. Her saddlebag had been thrown down the staircase.

"Twilight Sparkle, are you alright?" Luna asked, rushing onto the staircase.

Twilight finally hit a stair and pulled herself off the wall. "Yes," she said, her mane a slight disaster. She shook her head. "When I got your letter, Princess Luna, I immediately came to Canterlot. I hope it's alright since you might be busy, but you did say to meet you in Canterlot as soon as possible. It's been over an hour, so I presume now is a good time to talk."

"Now is actually the perfect time," Luna said. There was a sudden heaviness on her chest that she couldn't get rid of. She knew why, but actually going along with her plan made her feel like crawling into a ball. "Twilight Sparkle, I need to have a very important discussion with you."

Twilight raised an eyebrow. "You mentioned it, but you didn't tell me what the topic is," she said.

Luna looked at her with a very stern expression. "That is because what I will tell you is not to be heard in anypony else's ears," she said darkly. "Come, Twilight Sparkle."

Author's Note:

A long overdue sequel, which will be split up into three parts:
Swirling Skies
Encountering the Twilight
Next Comes the Sunset