• Published 19th May 2018
  • 13,950 Views, 508 Comments

Child of the Tree - GStarshine

A lost filly finds her way to the Tree of Harmony. How does our story change when one pony is so in tune with the Harmonic forces?

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1 - Harmony's Chosen

Eighteen Years Later

Princess Celestia, Goddess of the Sun, was panicking.

Not that her demeanor showed it and not that she would ever admit it, even if her precious cake was threatened with a trash bin.

That didn't change the fact that she was indeed panicking, screaming internally as she put on her calm, benevolent front for the dignitaries and Canterlot elite who were gathered before her.

Tonight was the night. The one a thousand years in the making. The night her sister was due to return. Had things gone to plan, Celestia would be rejoicing. She wanted her sister back with her more than anything in Equestria.

But things hadn't gone to plan. Not entirely at least. She had tried to locate ponies who would be able to wield the Elements of Harmony, ponies who could use them to their full potential and wash away the darkness that held he sister in its thrall. It had worked well for the first five ponies and subtle nudges had brought the five all to live in the cozy little town near the old castle. Those five were results of luck and good planning, plans that had come together like they were supposed to under the watchful eye of Celestia herself.

It was the most important piece that had evaded her. The glue to it all. The Element of Magic.

Her former student, Sunset Shimmer, would have been ideal for the position had she not become power hungry. Since her, however, there had been none with the type of raw potential needed to take over the most important Element. Celestia had searched far and wide, even going to the hippogriff Kingdom to see if Queen Novo had any up and coming sorcerers who might fill the position, but that too had failed.

It left her with very few options. So few that she had canceled the official Summer Sun Celebration, the one where she would publically raise her sun. It had caused a large outcry and Celestia had been forced to come up with a story that would hold no matter what came to pass tonight. She had said that she had sensed an overwhelming magic that could potentially be very dangerous to the citizens of Equestria, she had stressed that this could not be put off and thankfully everypony had understood.

That still didn't leave her a cohesive plan. The Elements would be useless without Magic.

Celestia had briefly contemplated collecting the potential bearers to bring with her, hoping that their presence would create the spark that would bring Magic, and perhaps it's bearer, to them. She had quickly thrown out that idea. Celestia wouldn't be able to live with herself if some of her little ponies were hurt because of her carelessness.

As terrible as it sounded, Celestia had resigned herself to having to fight her sister seriously, with an aim to kill. She could not allow Nightmare Moon to take over Equestria, her ponies would suffer. There was a slight chance that she would be able to wield the five lesser Elements to a weakened effect but that chance was a rare as, apparently, a truly gifted unicorn was.

Trumpets knocked Celestia from her spiraling thoughts and she focused on the throne room doors. She gave a subtle nod and all rose as the doors were pulled wide.

In the doorway, a pink alicorn stood with her wings flared and her head held high. The pink alicorn made eye contact with Celestia and she sent her an encouraging smile. That was all it took for the younger to stride forward elegantly, not breaking eye contact with the older mare until she reached the steps of the dais and bowed her head.

"I, Princess Mi Amore Cadenza, have arrived as summoned," she said respectfully.

Celestia got to her hooves and looked down on the younger Princess seriously, "I have need to go and protect this country and its citizens. This mission is expected to be dangerous and has no known time frame. Therefore I appoint you, Princess Mi Amore Cadenza, to take this throne and to watch over the ponies of Equestria until such time I am fit and able to take up my position again. Do you agree to take up this responsibility and all it entails?"

"I do." Mi Amore answered solemnly.

"Then take your place," Celestia ordered, she stepped down and to the left as Mi Amore ascended to sit on the throne. Once she had taken her seat, the ponies all dropped into bows and the guards saluted her. Seeing that Mi Amore was slightly frozen, Celestia gave her a magical nudge, "Address them." she whispered.

Mi Amore cleared her throat subtly and tilted her chin up a little, "Rise." she called regally, once everyone stood she continued. "Though I pray for Princess Celestia's swift and safe return to us and her rightful place on the throne, I swear to the ponies here today and Equestria as a whole that I will do my level best to lead and protect our citizens in turn." she glanced at the Royal Guard Captain who stood to the right of dais.

He quickly took over, "Long live the Princesses! Long live Equestria!" the crowd chanted it back enthusiastically.

"Auntie, please! You have to take some guards with you!"

Celestia sighed as she packed her saddlebags carefully, "Cadence, I understand you are worried, you have a right to be, but I can't bring more ponies into the fight between my sister and I." she snapped her bags shut and looked over to the young pink alicorn. "Nightmare Moon would view their presence as an insult and she would kill them." she draped a large white wing over the younger princess, "It is best I go alone. Without all the Elements, this will be much too dangerous. Sending in regular ponies into a fight between alicorns is a recipe for disaster."

Cadence looked up at Celestia with big blue eyes, "Please, don't go alone." she tried once more, "Even if you make them wait outside the castle. What if you are hurt?"

"Then Ponyville is close enough for me to teleport to even if my magic is low." Celestia said, "However, you know as well as I that we alicorns heal much faster than regular ponies. It will take my sister much to kill me, even in her dark state."

"Kill!" Cadence squeaked, "Auntie don't even say that!"

Celestia gave Cadence a sad smile before walking over to her closet and pulling out a large trunk, "It is an unfortunate possibility Cadence. Though my consciousness would rise back to the sun, this body could perish if Nightmare Moon puts in enough effort." she opened the trunk and sighed at its contents, "Though I will not be simply allowing her to do so." She used her magic to pull free the first piece of her gold and white armor, her crinet, she pulled her mane through it and strapped it in place followed quickly by her peytrel.

"Your armor." Cadence said worriedly, "You really think the fight will go that badly?"

"She was vicious a thousand years ago. If I had not used the Elements it would have been a long and bloody battle the more serious we got." Celestia said, "With no Elements this time, I hold little hope that this can be resolved without violence."

"I see." Cadence replied haltingly. She lent her magic to bringing Celestia's shimmering mane into a tight braid so that it would stay still while Celestia moved on to putting on her shoes that were specifically made for battle, made with edges sharp and unforgiving. Her shin guards were next before she took her crupper and fit it over her flank and upper back until it was right at the base of her wings.

Celestia let out a little huff as she wiggled her flank a bit, "It's tighter than I remember."

Cadence let out a little giggle, "It's all that cake you eat Auntie."

"Are you saying I have a big flank, dear?" Celestia asked in amusement as she fit her gold-plated bracers along the vulnerable bones of her wings.

"I'm saying perhaps you should exercise more." Cadence teased, moving to braid Celestia's tail.

"Yes, you and my doctor both." Celestia huffed as she clipped her chanfron into place over her face. Celestia grabbed her saddlebags and settled them on her back before looking at Cadence with a kind smile. "Watch over Equestria for me." she nuzzled Cadence's cheek, "No wild parties." she teased lightly.

Cadence stepped back, fighting tears, "If you don't come back in a week I'm running the place into the ground."

Celestia chuckled, "Then I better finish then quickly huh?" she looked down into the trunk for the last bit she needed, she used her magic to heft the large golden ax from the bottom of the trunk and rested it against her shoulder.

Cadence gave a short nod, "I command it, as the ruling Princess of Equestria."

"As you command," Celestia responded with a little tip of her head and a smile.

Celestia arrived at the old castle just as the moon was reaching its peak. She could already see the stars moving closer to power the escape. She kept a wary eye on the sky as she entered the castle, idly following a curious path of flowers that seem to have entered the castle grounds.

They led her into the all too familiar throne room, still crumbling from the last fight and furthered weathered by its exposure to the outside elements. Celestia followed the line of blooms with her eyes while she pulled her saddlebags off and set them by the door for easy access. It wasn't until the flower line split in two to wrap around the base of an ornate marble stand, that she knew so very well, that she looked up.

A lump formed in Celestia's throat when she looked up at the stand that used to hold the Elements' inert forms and found them empty.

"No..." she exhaled harshly, trotting over to the Elements' stand, "No, no, no." Celestia had made peace with the fact that using the five other Elements when the Element of Magic was lost to her would be a long shot but it had been the only shot she had had to potentially save her sister. She had clung to the slim possibility her entire flight here and now...now it was crushed completely before Nightmare Moon had even arrived. It was a crushing blow, the first in a battle that hadn't even begun yet.

Celestia backed away from the stand as she tried to calm herself, her hooves dragging through the flowers on the ground and leaving wide divets in the path. She closed her eyes to block out the devastating sight and forced herself to breathe. She pulled her magic into a tight ball in her center on the inhale before allowing it to naturally extend out to her extremities on the exhale. This was all she could manage for several minutes while she forced her returning internal panic down into the dark place in her mind that held her simmering rage at the Canterlot Elite's entitled views and her aspirations of sass. None of the three could see the light of day if she was to keep her reputation of the calm, cool, collected Princess.

Turning away from the Element stand, she opened her eyes and looked down at her ax.

Now all that she could do was prepare for the hard time ahead. The Element of Magic had disappeared completely when she had used it against her sister and visiting the Tree of Harmony had easily shown that it had not returned there. Celestia held no illusions that the other Elements had returned there with their disappearance. She knew that there was no putting this off, even to chase a dead lead.

She must stand her ground, for the sake of her little ponies.

Celestia looked back up at the moon in just enough time to see the stars converge on the moon and the silhouette disappear; she swallowed hard and steeled herself for the inevitable.

Shimmering blue mist swept into the far side of the throne room where the thrones sat on a dais; the mist swirled in on itself and grew larger until it coalesced into the form of an alicorn the same height as Celestia. This alicorn had a coat as black as pitch, her wings were distorted with angry looking edges, her mouth was filled with vicious fangs, and her eyes held slitted pupils that seemed to suck light into them unforgivingly. Those harsh eyes easily found Celestia and a smirk formed on the second alicorn's face, "Celestia."

"Nightmare Moon." the white alicorn returned seriously.

The dark mare let out a little sound of amusement and ruffled her wings a little, "What a familiar picture we paint. Shall I throw out a challenge for the throne for nostalgia's sake?"

Celestia didn't rise to the bait, "Please sister, can't we stop this? Can't this be the end of our separation? I don't want to fight you. We could resolve this peacefully. We were meant to rule together, can't we go back to the way we were?"

Nightmare Moon drew her head back sharply and bared her fangs, "Back to me hiding in the shadows as you are praised you mean? Back to me being shunned as you are revered? Forgive me if I am not overjoyed at the prospect! No, I shall have my eternal night! Even if it means killing you!" she roared her final words as she materialized a large silver sword of pure moonlight and held it in her magic. Nightmare Moon dashed forward with speed that only another alicorn could match.

Celestia didn't disappoint.

She swept her ax up and deflected the first sword strike, quickly jumping out of the way of the beam of magic that followed close after it. Celestia batted the sword second strike back and drove her fore hooves into the ground with all her strength, making it buckle in a huge line of destruction before her. Nightmare Moon flew up to avoid the damage and dove around to land a heavy kick on Celestia's flank, only managing to dent the crupper before Celestia teleported above the dark alicorn to unleash a beam of magic down on her. The two flew apart to regroup before flying at each other head-on once more, their magic and weapons met in mid-air, both beating their wings to remain aloft as they struggled to overcome each other.

Celestia gritted her teeth, "Please sister," she tried again, "things have changed!"

"It only took a thousand years!" Nightmare snarled, she let herself drop slightly before coming back full force from below.

Celestia let out a cry of pain as the beam of magic managed to strike her in the stomach just seconds before Nightmare Moon herself rammed her in her side. Celestia teleported once more and landed safely on the ground but Nightmare Moon's sword slashed through her left wing seconds later, bloodying the pure white feathers before Celestia had a chance to defend against the strike. Tucking her wings close to her body, Celestia ducked Nightmare Moon's dive at her and met the sword with her ax again as her sister landed on the ground.

The two alicorn's continued to spin around each other in a vicious dance. Celestia's ax met Nightmare's sword, again and again, the metal clanging and the magic holding each weapon flaring as the went at it. This was interspaced with the occasional lashing out of hooves or beam of magic but nothing seemed to truly gain either of them any ground. Celestia had managed to get in a kick or two to Nightmare Moon, the second actual making a sickening crunch sound as her armored hoof landed on Nightmare's side, and she had managed a large gaping wound along Nightmare's front leg with her ax. Nightmare Moon had gotten in similarly intermittent strikes but most only ended with dented or scratched armor, though she had managed to get in a hit with her sword that left Celestia with a heavily bleeding wound on her stomach.

These two alicorns, sides heaving and magic roiling, never expected to be interrupted.

And yet...

"Excuse me." a polite voice rang out over the sounds of battle. It was so unexpected, both alicorns paused mid-strike, leaning into each other's blades.

Standing at the entrance to the old throne room was a lavender unicorn mare. She was taller than what was considered normal, her withers easily coming up to Celestia's stomach. To go along with her height, she was slim and graceful looking with discreet muscle under her coat that none would expect from a unicorn. Her horn was longer than an average mare's, with the slightest curve in it. Her untrimmed mane, a dark indigo with a pink and purple strip through it, was pulled up in a messy bun that was tied in place with a glowing blue vine. Her tail was wrapped with another glowing vine. Though her appearance was quite startling, it was her expression that was the biggest surprise. She looked entirely unimpressed with the spectacle before her. In fact, she looked more bored and vaguely irritated.

Finally moving past her shock, Celestia tossed her head at the mare, "Please, my little pony, leave before you are hurt. Leave this to me."

"Yes," Nightmare Moon drawled, "I would hate for one of my future subjects to be hurt. Leave and I shall spare you."

The mare huffed and rolled her large purple eyes, "I've come to see what the disturbance in my forest was. I'm sure your little spat is very important but I will not have corrupting magics in my forest. Please leave." Celestia and Nightmare Moon couldn't help but gape at the pony who said this, but that only seemed to irritate the mare more. She stomped a hoof, "Leave my forest now or I will remove you myself!"

Nightmare Moon was the first to recover this time, she batted Celestia backward several feet with her sword and faced the mysterious mare. "You'll remove us? Little pony you are no match for the likes of us. We are alicorns." she gave a raspy chuckle and let her sword drift to the side, "But with confidence like that I can tell it will be amusing for you to try. Give it a shot little filly."

The mare rolled her eyes, "All I wanted to do was go check on the Ursas." she muttered darkly. She closed her eyes and her horn lit with a pink glow, the same pink magic circled her hooves for a second before a large serpentine wingless dragon sprung forth from the swirling energy, surprising both alicorns. The dragon was dark purple with pink highlights and eyes that glowed pure white with power; it curled above the mare, ready to strike.

"Magic projections." Celestia murmured in awe, "One of the lost arts."

"Impossible!" Nightmare Moon snapped, "That was lost even before my banishment!"

The mare's eyes snapped open, glowing the same white as the dragon's. "This is your last chance to leave my forest peacefully," she said icily.

In response, Nightmare Moon charged at the mare, sword at the ready. The mare didn't move, she just closed her eyes again and the dragon shot forward. It blocked two hits from the sword before circling around the alicorn and wrapping its tail around her back leg. One pull had the mare stumbling, the dragon lunged forward and sunk pink fangs into Nightmare's neck, eliciting a howl of pain from her. She bucked frantically, trying to throw the dragon off but it curled its long body around hers, tightening more and more until she couldn't move. With a scream of rage, Nightmare Moon magically threw her sword at the mare only for it to be wrestled from her magic and brought to the mare's side. Nightmare Moon began to disintegrate her body into the blue mist she had formed from but the dragon arched itself up and clamped its mouth around the tip of Nightmare Moon's horn, making her corporeal again.

"How..." Nightmare started before the dragon tightened again, cutting her off and aggravating the rib that Celestia had most likely broken.

The mysterious mare opened her eyes, the white glow now absent, and walked gracefully over to the alicorn she had captured, "Practice." she said shortly, "Don't try to cast, it will only feed my projection." she looked over to the shell-shocked Celestia, "You are not the one with corrupted magic but I would still like you out of my forest. Will you go willingly or do I need to incapacitate you as well?"

"N-no I-" Celestia started before she shook her head, "No, wait." she very carefully set her ax down, keeping eye contact with the mysterious mare, "I am Princess Celestia. I thank you for your assistance in capturing Nightmare Moon."

The mare blinked and she cocked her head, "Celestia? Of the Sun? As in Starswirl's student, Celestia?"

Celestia blinked, it had been a long time since anyone had referred to her as Starswirl's student, it definitely wasn't common knowledge these days. Even 'Celestia of the Sun' was a relic, she had been addressed as 'princess' for the last couple thousand years. "Yes..." she hedged.

Instantly the mare's demeanor changed, her face brightened as she dropped to her rump and clapped her hooves together. "Really? I'm so excited to meet you! Starswirl has told me all about you! Though he didn't say you were quite this tall and he told me your mane was pink." she giggled, "Oh I can't believe this! To think you were the one causing the disturbance in my forest!"

"Starswirl...told you?" Celestia asked hesitantly, she walked closer and sat near the mare, still tense and ready for anything. The mare did not seem mentally ill, yet she spoke to the dead?

"Oh yes, he speaks about you quite often. Well, you and Luna." the mare stopped and gasped, big eyes focusing on Celestia, "Is Luna with you?! I hope she is! I wanted to ask her so much about the stars! I have a list! And the moon! And the dream realm! I-"

Celestia reached out and put a hoof on the mare's shoulder even as Nightmare Moon sent her a smug look over the mare's head. "How about you start by telling me your name?"

The mare blushed and dropped her head, "Sorry, I get excited sometimes." she looked up and blew her bangs away from her eyes before smiling up at Celestia, "My name is Tally Reed, but you can just call me Tally! Nice to meet you!"

"It's a pleasure to meet you as well Tally Reed," Celestia replied with a smile, "Luna is here in a way, but not the way I would assume you're thinking." she waved a hoof to where Nightmare Moon was still wrapped up in Tally's magic dragon. "Luna has been taken over by dark magic and corruption." Tally gasped again and turned to have all of her focus on the trapped alicorn.

That was when Celestia got her first full view of Tally's cutie mark. It was enough to stop her dead in her tracks.

Tally's cutie mark was a set of six silver circles arranged with one in the center and the other five evenly spaced around it. In the center of each circle was a star-shaped gem. The center circle held a dark pink gem. In the circle above that was a red gem. In the upper left circle, there was a light pink gem. The lower left held a sky blue gem. The upper right circle held an orange gem. The lower right, a purple gem. Each of the outer circles connected to the center circle by a line of silver.

Celestia's mind sputtered, scrambling for purchase with this new information.

Meanwhile, Tally Reed was studying Nightmare Moon, much to the alicorn's displeasure. "It's rude to stare filly." she snapped.

Tally cocked her head as was, apparently, her habit. "Your magic is steeped in corruption," Tally stated matter-of-factly.

"It's definitely rude to stare at someone's magic!" Nightmare Moon shrieked, wiggling slightly only for the dragon to tighten around her again like an anaconda strangling its food into submission.

"You want your magic corrupted?" Tally asked.

"My magic is dark." Nightmare Moon hissed, "I cannot and will not change it! It-"

Tally waved a hoof in front of her, "I said corrupt. Not dark. Magic is magic. It's the intent that counts. You control the moon and stars, you guard against nightmares. It is only logical that your magic is dark. Dark like the night."

Nightmare Moon stared at her, eyes wide with vulnerable emotions that she quickly tried to bury under her usual bluster. "I will have eternal night! I won't be deterred!"

Tally snorted, "There's the corruption. Festering emotions taking away your common sense. Negative emotions powerful enough to twist your magic in on itself and cause madness in the host."

Celestia took hold of Tally in her magic and turned the mare toward her, a little too quickly in her haste it seems as Tally forced Celestia's magic off of her with a huff. "Tally, this is important." Celestia began, "Have you found those gems on your cutie mark?" Tally frowned but Celestia pushed on, setting a hoof on Tally's shoulder, "If we had them we could get ponies who personify them to wield them together and clear the darkness and corruption from Luna!"

Tally gave an exasperated huff and pushed Celestia's hoof off of her, "Alright, first of all, Luna's problem is the corruption. Her dark magic is natural. Second of all, what makes you think other ponies can wield the gems. And third, why do you need all of them? For the corruption, we would need maybe two, tops."

Celestia's mouth opened and shut uselessly for a moment before she stuttered out, "T-two?"

"Yeah, two. Using them as a set for this is a huge waste of power." Tally pointed out.

Again, Celestia was stunned speechless, this little mare was a bundle of surprises. Celestia had not had any such surprises in hundreds of years and she didn't know if she liked it. "Could you...could you bring me the two that can help?"

"No." Tally deadpanned, walking back to Nightmare Moon.

"Tally please!" Celestia begged, it was undignified but so far this pony seemed powerful and entirely unimpressed by any of Celestia's titles. Even using an old title that had been all but lost to the ages that painted her in a much more humble light. Besides, a little begging never hurt anypony. "If we can use them we can get Luna back!"

"That's what I'm doing!" Tally huffed, not looking away from Nightmare Moon, "I've got to sift through the corruption to find the offending emotions. No need for shortcuts, I don't know about you but I've got nowhere to be and I don't need props for my special talent." she blinked and grinned, "Ah ha!"

Nightmare Moon twitched violently in the dragon's grasp, "Strange filly, I know not what you are babbling about but let me free and I will still answer your questions. I may even give you a place of honor in my new kingdom."

"Wouldn't it be Queendom?" Tally giggled, directing the dragon absentmindedly until it moved Nightmare Moon into position with her legs tucked under her and her head arched back slightly, the dragon released the alicorn's horn from its mouth. "Anyway, I'd rather talk to your non-corrupted self, thanks." Her horn and eyes began to glow white as she sat back down and wrapped her forelegs around Nightmare Moon's neck in a tight hug, completely unafraid.

Tally tilted her head back until the tip of her horn touched Nightmare Moon's, the alicorn froze under the touch, her own eyes taking on a shine as the magic forced its way inside of her.

"I understand." Tally murmured for only Nightmare Moon to hear, it caused the dark mare to freeze, "You felt unappreciated. You felt unloved. You felt alone. You were shunned by the very ponies you helped protect. You let the negative emotions become your shield until you forged yourself into a sword to cut them all down to size, to make them bleed for hurting you and making you vulnerable." Nightmare Moon began to tremble under the weight of the words, the magic simply clearing her mind for them to be heard without the interference of the corruption. "But you aren't unloved. It is obvious that your sister loves you very much, however misguided and blind she can be at times. And I know Starswirl loved you like his own daughter. You aren't alone and you don't have to be. Make friends and build relationships, surround yourself with those who will support you and don't let anyone tell you that you are unworthy of friendship. I know I for one would love to be your friend." tears were starting to gather in Nightmare Moon's eyes and she could do nothing to stop them.

"You were unappreciated but that is long past. I've been told by reliable sources that there are now those who study and love the stars. Whole groups of ponies who've dedicated their lives to looking up at your night sky and comprehending the beauty you've created. Some of them have their special talent solely to do with the night." Nightmare Moon was fully crying now and Celestia could only stand looking bewildered, she couldn't hear what was being said but obviously, it had an effect.

"I love your sky." Tally continued. "It's one of my favorite things in the world. Just looking up into the night sky makes me choke on emotion. I always feel safest when the moon is full and I can see it just above me. I cry for stars who fall from the sky and dance when a new one is born." Tally finally let the dragon pull away from the larger mare but hugged the alicorn tighter, "Your night brings me so much joy. Thank you Luna."

That was all it took for the last barrier to break.

Nightmare Moon surged forward to wrap her hooves around Tally and sob openly into her lavender fur, both allowing their heads to drop to the other's shoulders.

Tally held her tight, accepting her tears and giving her the firm support she needed as her emotions ran wild. "There you go." she murmured quietly, "Let it out. Bottling it up hasn't helped a bit." she ran her hoof down the large alicorn's back soothingly.

Celestia walked over to them hesitantly, unsure if she would be welcome but stepped out of her sharp shoes to set a gentle hoof on her sister's shoulder.

Nightmare Moon looked up at her with teary eyes for only a moment before her eyes went white and she screamed. A heavy shadow pulled free from Nightmare Moon and drug her into the air violently.

Celestia startled backward but Tally jumped to her hooves and walked toward the frightening scene.

"Fight it Luna! The corrupted parted of your magic doesn't want to be let go!" Tally yelled, "Push it out! You don't need it anymore!" The shadow persisted, wrapping an oily tentacle around Nightmare's neck. "You have to fight so I can help!"

"Please sister!" Celestia added her voice, her hope coming surging back, "Please come home to me! I love you Luna!"

Another scream tore from the night alicorn's throat but the shadow seemed to double as Nightmare Moon's body shrank until she was about the same size as Tally. Her fur lightened to midnight blue and her fangs disappeared, even her wings softened from the harsh edges they had been.

"Yes!" Tally called, "That's it!" her horn lit with pink magic once more and her dragon surged forward.

The shadow let out a shrill shriek as the pink dragon made a dive for it, snapping at it viciously until the dragon caught a large chunk of shadow in its mouth. The dragon pulled the shadow further from Luna's reemerging body before it swung it's tail unerringly through the base of the shadow, severing it from Luna completely. Luna dropped to the ground, landing harshly on shaky hooves. Tally rushed forward to steady the night alicorn while Celestia blasted the shadow with a beam of her golden magic, effectively destroying it.

"Steady." Tally murmured to Luna gently as she finally let her dragon dissipate.

Luna looked at Tally, her face stained with tears and her body shaking, "Thank you." she rasped hoarsely before her eyes rolled back in her head and she passed out.

Author's Note:

Celestia and Luna have met Tally Reed! Yay! What's wrong with Luna though?

For those of you wondering, I don't think that the canon hippogriffs are able to use magic directly (haven't been able to watch the newest season so maybe) but since they have a magical artifact I assume they must have someone who made said artifact. So for me, they have internal magic like most intelligent species in MLP but they are able to channel and use that internal magic with the help of focus tools (staves, wands, etc.).

Armor based on medieval horse armors: crinet is the neck piece, peytrel the chest plate of sorts, the crupper seems to be a large piece that fits over the flank but in this I extended it up the back since Celestia doesn't need a saddle. Chanfron or sometimes shaffron apparently, is sort of like a mask, it guards the face. All of this is from Googling! I don't claim to be an expert in this stuff!

Again, I hate to play too fast and loose with the cannon but when the show's cannon can't even keep itself straight I have to make decisions. Placement of the element pedestal in the castle, colors of the original element gems, etc.

Twi's cutie mark is a mash up between her original one and the reference guide's picture of them.

I also want to thank you guys for the support I am already getting for this story! Seriously! It's been great! Don't be afraid to message me if you have questions. I would also like to point out that while this is my first pony fanfiction, I have written others (particularly Harry Potter and MCU) so this is not my first story by any means. I did not want to discourage any new writers by making them think I've always been this polished, it's been a process.

Tell me what you think!