• Published 11th Sep 2019
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Twilight's Nightmare - Nightsclaw



Twilight in her most desperate of moments, issues a cry for help. She was not expecting the Nightmare to be her saviour.

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CH 20 Party


Twilight’s body ached all over in such a delicious way. Each breath was filled with her lover’s scent, and Dreams' wonderful soft wings enclosed her as strong hooves held her. Most of last night was a blur, but the little she could remember was very pleasant indeed. The low rumble of Nova’s purr in her chest let her know she agreed.

She let out a contented sigh as she snuggled back against Dreams' chest.

“Twilight,” Dreams’ perfect voice whispered in her ear.

“Mmm,” Twilight answered as best as she could.

“My love, we have company.”

“That’s nice,” Twilight managed to murmur.

“It’s time to get up.”

“Too comfy,” She answered, wrapping her forelegs around Dreams’ ensuring her big spoon could not escape.

A single feather trailed warningly closer to one of Twilight ticklish spots. “This is your last warning my, Love.”

Twilight’s horn lit, a magenta aura pinned the feather in place. Having safely defeated the threat, she let the warmth around her start to lull her back to sleep.

The world exploded in silver light and horrible, terrible, annoying cold. Twilight's eyes shot open as she flailed around in the bath of cold water she had just been teleported in to.

“I did warn you, my Love.” Dream teased.

Twilight fixed her with a glare, ignoring her shivering body she lit her horn. Multiple globs of the cold water rose around her.


After the first Alicorn tier water fight in recorded history, the two sisters clearly made sure no records survived of theirs, Twilight and Dreams bathed properly, restoring the damage caused to their coats and manes by their long night together.


The pair of them galloped along the wooden corridor towards the central section of Twilight’s Library. Twilight was trying to catch the longer-legged Dreams.

“Who is it?” Twilight demanded.

“Not telling.” Dreams shot back

“Tell me!” Twilight called out, not being able to hide the playfulness in her voice.

“Never!” Dreams replied, playing along. She dodged Twilight’s tackle, putting on a burst of speed, she emerged into the central section and dived over the fifth-floor railing.

Twilight followed without a second thought. Scanning, seeking her target, but she found somepony else. Down below on the ground floor, A familiar pink Alicorn caught her eyes. “Cadance!” Twilight yelled, falling three levels before she remembered she should be using her wings for something.

Cadance looked up just in time to receive a high impact hug. Reacting fast, she wrapped her hooves around Twilight and spun her around her shedding momentum as she rotated on her back hooves.

“Twilight,” Cadance’s voice was full of relief. “You’re alright.”

“How are you here?” Twilight asked, a huge grin plastered across her face.

“That would be my doing,” Night answered from a cushion off to the side. Twilight looked over to her, taking in the new threstral like appearance.

I am so going to Nightmare Night like that this year. She thought.

“The ruler of the Crystal Empire requested an audience with you… I facilitated it.” Night said formally.

Dreams landed next to Twilight, and Cadance gave them an interested look. Twilight lifted Dreams in her aura and pulled her closer.

“Cadance, I’d like to introduce you to Sweet Dreams ...my marefriend,” Twilight said the last word so quiet it was only audible to Alicorns.

“It is nice to meet you face to face, Princess,” Dreams said bowing.

Cadance nodded, allowing Dreams to rise. “I can see there is real love here.” Cadance smiled. “I fear it is a little late to ask what your intentions are towards my sister-in-law,” She said with a knowing look.

Twilight's cheeks almost glowed with how red they were. “Cadance,” Twilight objected.

“Did you at least find my book useful?”

Twilight huddled under her wings, but it did nothing to block out Cadance’s pleased laugh.

“It’s nothing to be ashamed off, it is perfectly natural and I’m pleased for you,” Cadance said as Twilight revealed herself from under her wings. “Sweet Dreams, I must ask who and what you are?”

Dreams looked to Night, the two sharing some type of non-verbal communication. Night nodded.

“I was a Fragment of Night here.” She nodded towards her creator. “Twilight took me in and accepted me, granting me freedom and allowing me to choose a name.”

Cadance’s eyes widened slightly, and Twilight did not know why. Why is choosing a name such a big deal? She thought.

“I am hers and she is mine, nothing you can say or do will change that. I will do everything in my power to keep her happy and to keep her safe.” Dreams stated.

Twilight left her current hug and embraced Dreams. “Love you too, my Dream,” Twilight said, her tone causing an excited shiver to dance along Dreams wings.

A series of knocks came from below, Cadance looked puzzled.

“I am not telling her that,” Twilight said to the floor.

Cadance raised her gaze to Twilight. “So you have more company here?”

“Oh, where are my manners, yes, I will introduce you to them.” Twilight pointed to the golden reinforced basement door. “Locked behind that seal is Nova. She is one of the surviving daughters of the original Twilight.”

“It is nice to meet you, Nova,” Cadance said,

There were another series of knocks. “No, I am still not telling her anything like that” Twilight said rebuffing Nova’s lewd comment.

Twilight flew over to the golden chains making up Grey’s Seal. Dreams moved up beside Cadance. “Nova is passionate and more than a little single-minded, she is a Fragment of the original Twilight, trapped down there by Celestia since my Twilight's creation.”

Twilight not eager to wait just teleported Cadance over to her. “And here is Grey, Grey meet Cadance, Cadance meet Grey,” Twilight said. “She can’t speak thanks to… to what happened, but she can write.”

Grey, with her expressionless face, looked to Cadance and nodded. Grey’s ash white aura lifted a scroll and passed it through the wooded tunnel. Twilight lifted it in her aura and pasted it to Cadance, unable not to read the open scroll as it when past.

One time I have welcomed you here.

Cadance bowed her head to Grey. “It is a pleasure to meet you, Grey.”

“You already know Night somehow and I introduced ever pony else. So that’s all of us in the happy little family here.” Twilight giggled. She could feel darker thoughts wanting to take her. No Cadance is here. I will be happy.

Dream wrapped Twilight in a hug and softly started humming that calming Lullaby. Twilight relaxed, pressing her face into Dreams chest doing her best to hide her tears from Cadance.

Cadance’s hoof on her shoulder added to the comfort.

“Night would you mind preparing some tea? Dreams asked.

“I remember how before you say anything.” Night said trotting off.

“The kitchens over that way,” Dreams helpfully added with only the minimum amount of giggles.

Dreams returned to her humming. To Twilight the world felt safe, it felt right. She let the words of the Lullaby play through her mind, acting as a soothing balm to her pain.

Cadance joined in her only voice, enhancing the performance. Twilight lifted her head enough to see Cadance eyes closed now singing along. Tears now traced down her face as a rapturous smile graced her muzzle.

The clink of teacups being set down broke the spell, the moment shattered. Cadance opened her eyes looking around like a lost and fearful foal. “What… what is that song?” She asked, getting her voice and apparently her emotions back under control.

“Tea is served.” Night said gesturing to cushions set around a low table.

The gathered ponies settled down with their tea, Twilight floating a cup over to Grey, who nodded before getting back to her endless scribing.

“Does it matter? It is old, and it is one of the most beautiful songs I know.” Dreams answered Cadance.

“It seems... I almost feel like I remember it.”

Twilight looked to her once foalsitter with interest. “You know it?”

“I feel I should…”

“Shall we get to why you are here, my student.” Night said.

“Wait, Student?” Twilight exclaimed.

“Yes… it appears Aunty left some important information out about being an Alicorn.” Cadance admitted.

“You mean she left you defenceless and set you up as a spare body in case her sister’s one was destroyed in an attempt to save her.” Night almost growled.

Twilight’s mane caught ablaze as she stood. “She what!” Roared out in the full Canterlot voice. Only a quick shield spell from Cadance saving everypony’s drinks.

“You don’t know that,” Dreams said, pulling Twilight back down and wrapping a wing around her.

“Why else would she possibly not teach her niece about her Bastion? What other possible reason makes sense.” Night bit back.

“Ladies.” Cadance interrupted. “We will sit and have our tea like civilised ponies. Now there are many things I need to talk about with my Aunties, but that is for another time.” She looked at Twilight who by now only had a few sparks of fire dancing in her mane. “Twilight, what happened to you after Manehatten?”

Twilight paled. “It is not pretty, are you sure you want to know?”

Cadance nodded. “I have to know, both as a Princess and as your Sister.”

“Dreams do you know where that scroll went?” Twilight asked.

Dreams looked up at Grey who had already floated a familiar-looking medical report over. Twilight took it and offered it to Cadance.

“The whole attack was a trap, I don’t know if it was for me or just for any Alicorn that responded.” Twilight said.

Cadance’s expression became horrified as she looked over the report.

Twilight continued. “To them, I was to be only ritual components and finally, a sacrifice.”

“How did you survive?” Cadance asked.

“I had help.” Twilight looked warmly at Night and them lovingly at Dreams.

“My Little Star even protected us and teleported us home.” Night added.

Cadance looked at the three of them before asking. “Do you know who was responsible?”

“Our opponent is a male unicorn warlock of formidable power, they were a master of mental domination and harm redirection magic.” Night spoke.

Twilight could see Cadance haunted by her memories. “Cadance?” Twilight softly asked, resting a wing over her.

Cadance’s eyes snapped to Twilight's, a smile slide into place. She is still bothered by the wedding. Twilight thought.

“Harm redirection? Is that like a reflective shield?” Cadance asked.

Night shook her head. “No, it is far more effective and ruthless. Any harm you inflict upon him is passed on to one of his thralls.”

“So to stop him?” Cadance asked.

“You may need to kill many enslaved victims.” Night stated coldly.

Cadance blanched at that and desperately asked. “Can we free them?”

“With his level of skill… unlikely, any attempts would kill them as surely as just attacking the Warlock himself.” Night said unbothered about what might be necessary.

“What if we sent him to another world, one where he would have no magic?” Twilight asked.

“You mean the mirror?” Dreams said.

Twilight nodded.

“That could work.” Night smiled showing her fangs. “We would need to check one of his thralls and see if the enchantment on them has any effect if they lose contact with him.”

“So you have a plan to deal with him?” Cadance asked.

“The start of one,” Twilight said. “We will need to set an anchor rune with a movement redirector right in front of the mirror.” A grin crept on to her muzzle.

“Then one Teleport trap and he is ours.” Night purred, licking her fangs.

“Turnabout is fair play.” Dreams smiled.

“We would have to warn Sunset,” Twilight said.

“And have somepony there ready to deal with him.” Night added darkly.

Twilight smiled nodding, then calmly took a sip from her tea.

“Do you know about the flames burning around the Temple of the Hidden Path?” Cadance asked, giving Twilight a strange look.

Twilight shook her head and look around her strange family.

“Soulfire.” Night stated coldly.

A tapping sound came from the direction of Grey. Her white aura was tapping a scroll against the inside of the wooden tunnel.

Cadance took the offered scroll in her blue aura and opened it. Her eyes widened in horror as she read it.

Ten-point three seconds of wellspring meltdown before the burning section was removed and used to power a long-ranged Teleport.

Twilight shivered clinging to Dreams. “I thought the flames were just a Nightmare.”

“No, they were quite real.” Night said with a grimace. “And painful.”

“Do you know anything more than that?” Cadance asked softly.

Night shook her head. “Little Star was the only witness and even talking about it is too painful for her.” She looked at Cadance in challenge.

Cadance held up her hooves. “I’m not going to question a filly about something that traumatic.”

“When Starlight gets back from her trip with Trixie, we can get her to help on a past viewing spell,” Twilight said.

“There is Zecora’s potion…” Night mentioned.

“No thank you, that would be a bit too… intense.” Twilight said in no uncertain terms.

“So now all that unpleasantness is out of the way are you ready to attend your daughter’s party?” Candace asked, smiling.

Twilight glanced at Night, who nodded. Looking back to Cadance, she spoke. “I would love to.”


Twilight blinked her eyes, not the eyes of her mental self in her Library. No, she was in control of her body again. She was in her bed in her castle.

Thank you for this, Night. Twilight thought.

You are welcome, but you have your Sister-in-Law’s blackmail to thank for this. Night responded.

She is blackmailing you? Twilight thought in alarm.

Cadance knows who I am, her domain lets her tell us apart. She insisted that I leave you in control for this event as a show of good faith.

In other words, you do what she says, or she tells Celestia?

Yes.

Do you trust her?

Given what Celestia did not tell her… I trust she will keep our secret. Add the fact she can sense our emotions; she knows something of our intent and want to protect her.

Good.

Twilight rolled out of bed and stood, stretching like a cat. Trotting out of her room, she met up with Cadance and Shining coming out of the guest room.

Cadance looked into her eyes, it felt like she was looking right through her. “Everything alright Cadance?” Twilight asked.

Smiling and nodding Cadance’s expression softened. “Yes, I’m just glad you are back with us, Twilight.” With a wing, she pulled twilight in close beside her and started them walking to where the party would be held.

“We all are,” Shining added.

“Now I’m going to need you both to be ready with shield spells.”

“Whatever for?” Asked Cadance.

“Pinkie is running a surprise party. There is a chance my daughter” Twilight paused smiling. Still, the thought of having her own little filly made her happy. All the things I am going to teach you, all the fun things we are going to do.

“A chance of what?” Shining interrupted her thoughts.

“The last few surprises she had were not good ones,” Twilight said giving Cadance a look.

“Well now's the time to start making good memories,” Shining said.

Twilight nodded. “Yes, but she might overreact, I don’t want Pinkie being hit with a panicked force blast that could level this building.

“She would do that?” Cadance asked doubtfully.

“I don’t think so, but why take unnecessary risks. With all of us ready, we should catch anything she might accidentally do before anypony can get hurt.”

A mental ping announced to Twilight that somepony was at the door. A quick scrying spell and she knew it was not Little Star. “What are two Nightguards doing at my door?” She asked Cadance.

Cadance shrugged her wings.

“Well, it would be rude to keep them waiting.” Twilight lit her horn.

Wait, move away from her before Teleporting. Night told her.

Why?

Her horn reacts badly to higher dimensional magic.

Leyline residue?

Yes.

Twilight trotted off, rounding the corner before she released her spell.


A moment later she arrived at the main doors to her castle. With the simplest effort of her aura, she pulled open the door. She kept her aura around the door, it gave her a good reason to have her horn lit in case this was trouble.

“Hello,” She said in seeming good cheer,

Both bowed respectfully. “Princess Twilight, the Sovereign of the Night requests your presence immediately in Canterlot.”

Her eyes narrowed. “And did Luna say why?”

They gave no answer. “Well you can tell her no, It is my daughters welcome to Ponyville party, so unless the world is ending, I am staying here.”

Twilight slammed closed the door. What am I doing? She thought. Night’s longing to see Luna again seeped into her awareness. Twilight had an idea that might be able to tell her if she could trust Luna.

A moment later, she opened the door again. “On second thought, extend her my invitation to this event. Inform her that if she could arrange for my mother, father and Spike to attend as well, I would take it as a personal favour.”

“Your message will be relayed, your Highness.”

Twilight smiled. “Have a pleasant trip.”

The sound of a pony’s breath next to her, where moments ago there was not one, did not startle her. “Yes, Pinkie, I did invite Luna to the party.” The scent of candyfloss confirming the identity before she even spoke.

“You’re good…” Pinkie said.

Twilight shrugged. “You smell like candy floss, a bit hard to miss. So are we all set for the party?”

“Yepperoni”


Pinkie got everypony ready, Star was just outside the door. Twilight, Cadance and Shining got ready just in case. Stars magic opened the door.

“Surprise!” A mass of voices called out.

Star sat smiling at everypony, not a hint of shock, panic or even surprise on her face. “Hi, everypony,” she said, waving a hoof.

Pinkie fell over sideways. “You weren’t surprised?”

Star shook her head, “Sorry Pinkie, you do still host the best parties,” she said before launching into a teleport hug, arriving and embracing Twilight.

“Mummy!”

Twilight returned the hug, nuzzling Star. It was cute just watching her, it is so much more so in pony. She thought.

“How was your day?”

“We had lots of fun… even if I’m not letting them help with my spells again…”

Twilight laughed softly remembering all the chaos the CMC caused over her years in Ponyville. Wait a moment where has Discord been? She thought glancing around and looking for Fluttershy. There she is hiding in the corner.

“My Little Star,” Twilight said, trying her best not to think of all the time’s Dreams called her that. “I need to go talk to Fluttershy for a moment do you want to go and keep your friends company?” She said, pointing with a wingtip to where the CMC were just entering the party.

After Star happily teleport tackled her friends, Twilight teleported herself to Fluttershy.

“Fluttershy have you…”

“Eep.”

“Sorry, it is just me Fluttershy, no need to worry.”

She would if she knew we were all in here too. Night thought.

Fluttershy visibly calmed down. “Oh, Twilight.”

“Do you know where Discord is?”

“Umm, he is out of town… he said something was going on that he was not allowed to interfere with.”

“Did he say what?”

“Well… he said even telling us that would be interfering.”

So he’s no help, as usual. She thought her mind going back to his ‘help’ with his Plunder vines.

Keeping her voice pleasant, she went on. “So when did he head off?”

“Err.. well about a day before Manehatten was… attacked.”

He knew … somehow he knew. Twilight thought, starting to feel betrayed.

The question is, is it the attempted murder of you or the attempted ascension that he can not interfere with? Dreams added in her mind

Twilight’s anger faded. That did sound like something the Celestia might use her seals on him to enforce. Make sure that he could not interfere with anypony becoming an Alicorn. So I am right, that Warlock wants to become an Alicorn. And because of that prevented Discord form even attempting to save me. If he could, he would save me from that, right.

Are you sure? Night mentally asked.

Nodding, Twilight answered. He may sometimes be annoying but… I don’t think he would want any of us to die. Not enough chaos that way.

And if he knew you would survive? Night asked.

Twilight hummed thoughtfully. Discord the once evil overlord of chaos and Discord her chaotic friend, competing in her mind as she tried to work out which one she was dealing with here. Both she and Discord were immortal. What are a few days of suffering to one of us?

The party went on around her, everypony wanting to meet Little Star, congratulating Twilight on having such a lovely young daughter. A few begging her to keep Star away from the CMC.

Twilight smiled, the CMC would have none of that and dragged Star off to play with the other younger ponies. With an effort of will, Twilight made sure all the protection and fail-safe spells were in place on her books, her labs and everything else she cared about. She was confident any problem the CMC caused she could at least clean up after no harm done or lasting consequences in the end.

She let herself relax, she was here, she was with her friends, her ponies were all around her. “It’s a nice feeling, isn't it?” Cadance asked, walking up beside her, aura offering her a drink.

“What is?” Twilight asked, looking to Cadance as she accepted the drink. It was colourful and fizzed. One of Pinkie’s creations. She thought as she took a sip of the fruity concoction.

“Having ponies that care about you,” Cadance answered, placing a wing over Twilight back.

“Yes… yes, it is,” Twilight said, nuzzling Cadance.

She felt Cadance stiffen beside her, a moment later, her horn sensed a powerful teleport from just outside her castle.

“I guess that must be Luna,” Twilight said, trying not to let her hopes or fears get the better of her.

They both made their way to the main doors. “If you want, when the party's over, I can help you with your horn,” Twilight said.

“Twilight, if it is you doing it, I will trust you. But I will see what Luna’s answer is first. It might tell us something about what Celestia has been hiding.”

Twilight nodded as the door spell pinged her mind. A quick scrying spell later and Twilight hesitated. “She actually brought them.” Twilight’s walk became a gallop as she raced to the door, aura nearly ripping it off its hinges in her haste to open it.

“Mum, Dad, Spike!” Twilight cried out, her aura pulling the three to her as she embraced them. A few tears falling from her eyes. Her heart completely ignoring any annoying facts about her not being the real Twilight at that moment.

“I see my contribution to this event is appreciated.” The ignored Luna said with a smile.

Twilight nodded her thanks to Luna and gestured her inside with a wing. Luna nodded back and headed off into the party, taking Cadance with her.

The three trapped in Twilight’s powerful hug all spoke at once.

“Air would be nice.” Her father struggled out.

“I was so worried,” Spike said.

“What’s this I hear about a little filly,” Her mother asked in a fake stern tone.

Twilight remembering her Earthpony strength loosened her hold. “I missed you.” She said.

“Shall we go in, instead of staying out here.” Her father asked, ever the sensible one.

Twilight nodded. “There is somepony very important for you to meet.” Her aura levitating spike to her back and a wing around each of her parents Twilight headed into the party, not paying attention as Dreams reached out with her magic and closed the door behind them,

“Little Star,” Twilight called out.

A moment later, Star appeared in a burst of magenta light. “Yes, Mummy?” She asked clearly curious about who the new ponies were.

“Dear Celestia, she can already teleport,” Her father said under his breath. That did not hide it from Twilight’s or Star’s hearing.

“It’s easy, can you? Do you want me to try and teach you too?” Star rambled on.

Who is she… It’s Sweetie Belle. Twilight thought. Dreading what the CMC with ready access to teleportation could do.

“Little Star,” Twilight spoke.

Star looked attentively up at her.

“I would like you to meet your grandparents, Night Light and Twilight Velvet.”

Star teleported to each, hugging them in turn. “Hi, Granny Velvet and Grandad Light.”

“And this…” Twilight Started using her wing to point at Spike.

“Hi, I’m Spike. Twilight’s Number One Assistant.”

“Hi, my name is Little Star. You’re the dragon Mummy hatched. Nopony would tell me, does that mean your my brother or not?” Star said, tilting her head with interest.

“Err…” Spike said.

Is he my child? No, he’s older than I am. Twilight thought almost giggling at the fact that Spike was older than she was. Maybe he is my brother? Am I even old enough to drink this? She thought, glancing at the Drink she had been enjoying.

Let him decide. Dreams answered.

“Well that all depends on if he wants to be,” Twilight said before looking to Spike a loving smile on her face. “Do you want a little sister?”

Spike looked uncertain.

Star teleported, joining Spike on Twilight's back. “No need to pick right now let’s go play.” With another flash of magenta, both the filly and the dragon were gone.

“She’s energetic.” Her father said.

Twilight nodded.

“She’ll go far, now how do you have a filly, where have you been hiding her all of these years miss? And where is my soon to be son-in-law?” Her mother said with a little too much eagerness.

“It is not that simple, Mum,” Twilight replied.

“Of course it is dear unless you’re ashamed of them.”

“I’m not, that’s not… Oh, look Shining and Cadance.” Twilight said copying her daughters favourite trick and teleporting all three of them over to the couple.

‘Help’ Twilight mouthed to Cadance.

Cadance subtly nodded and got Shining talking to the parents with the currently most dreaded question in Equestria buying her at least some time to think.

You have to tell them something. Dreams sent.

Well, I can’t tell them the Elements gave me a foal with Nightmare moon as the father. That I just happened to carry her around with me in my wellspring until I nearly got sacrificed. Twilight thought panicking.

We both agreed to be mothers. Night chipped in.

Cadance’s wing slid around her in a comforting hug. “Thank you, what do I tell them?” Twilight asked in their silent speech.

“You can’t tell them anything about Alicorns, so…” Cadance replied in the same.

“I know, I know, Celestia would just imprison them for the rest of their lives if I told them, right?” Twilight said to Cadance before answering her own question. “No, she would just alter their minds so they would not remember, that’s more her style.” She finished in a darker tone.

Cadance tightened the hug. “Everything is going to be alright.” She said, nuzzling her. Before heading back to Twilight's parents to suggest some topics of conversation should be saved for later and when in private.

Twilight nodded to her sister-in-law in gratitude, sitting on her haunches and just taking in the party around her. Friends, family, voices in my head. What more do I need? She thought with a smile.

What am I going to do without you girls? Twilight thought as she contemplated the endless march of time. How long do I have to work out how to save you… and will you even want to be saved?

Just take a few breaths and calm yourself, my love. Dreams sent.

A few deep breaths to clear her mind, and she smiled. This is Star’s party, I can’t be sad here. She thought, moving into the crowd to interact with the ponies. Turned out there was more than a few she did not know. I few of them seemed like reporters, but Pinkie let them in so they must be ok.

There were laughs, hugs and tears. She heard how only hours after Manehatten she had been reported dead by the Canterlot Times. How they praised her sacrifice and saying she represented all the ideals of Harmony. It would be so easy to just close her eyes and listen to the sounds of the ponies around her and pretend the last week did not happen.

Taking a moment to herself, she retreated to an out of the way spot. She let her eyes close, only paying attention to her remaining senses. Even now they amazed her, she could feel the vibrations through the floor, like ripples on a pond. The air danced around her, letting her sense every breath, every wing beat. Even with the music, focused like this, she could hear all the conversations in the room.

As normal Pinkie was everywhere, offering food and drinks, running games and keeping the party going.

Applejack was there whenever anypony needed a solid base to fall back to, or a few words of honest advice.

Rainbow was showing off and trying to hold the attention of that one reporter over there. Is she trying to keep them away from Star and me? Thank you, Rainbow. Twilight thought.

Fluttershy was hiding behind that pillar, talking to some of her animal friends.

Rarity had found some ponies that sounded like they were from Canterlot, it seemed like they were here to get into Twilight's good books for political gain.

She focused in on her family using the little things she remembered about them to filter out everypony else. Star was playing with the CMC talking about how many ponies they could make glow.

Spike was off to one side, watching her with concern as he ate gems. With a pulse to her horn, she teleported a box from the kitchen full of them to him. She waved and smiled at him without even opening her eyes.

Shining and Cadance were snuggled in the corner over there.

Her parents were at the food table that way, murmuring about her and how to ask her about what happened. They had been warned by Luna to be careful as she had been through a challenging time. Twilight looked up, opening her eyes.

She made her way over to her mother and father. Night channelled a little of her Alicorn power. Using just enough to help the crowd part around her instead of drawing her into their conversations.

Without saying anything, she pulled them both into another hug and just held them. The dark thought that she was stealing the original Twilight's place making her feel guilty for the ‘stolen’ contact. What can I tell them? What should I tell them?

They seemed to understand that she just needed to feel them close, needed the reassurance they were there. She did not know how long she had just been holding her parents, with her mother stroking her mane before they were interrupted.

“Twilight, why are we glowing?” Shining asked waving a faintly glowing hoof before her eyes.

Twilight looked to him, yes Shining was glowing, so were her parents. A moment later, she noticed she was glowing as well only far brighter.

Letting her sight shift to the magical, she examined the effect. Then she entered lecture mode. “It’s just a lineage spell, this one dates back to before Luna’s banishment. You can tell what relation somepony is to the target by how they glow. Looking at this I guess somepony cast it on Star. You know they banned this version in Canterlot, made it too hard to disown unwanted foals.”

“Mummy, Mummy, I found another Mummy!” Star’s joyful voice called out in a good reproduction of the Canterlot Voice.

The room fell completely silent, everypony turning to see what the commotion was about. Twilight turned, seeking Star. She was currently at the other side of the room forelegs wrapped around Luna’s neck. The same Luna, who was glowing bright just like Twilight. Ponyfeathers. She thought, as Luna’s dumbstruck eyes met her own.


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