• 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 29.1 A Walk in the Everfree

The last week had gone well. Twilight never would have thought that sharing her body would actually have so many advantages. She comfortably settled into bed, putting the finishing touches on the spell she would need as Night was eating breakfast and looking after Spike. Ever since Cadance blackmailed Night and the revelation with Luna, her relationship with the ex-nightmare had been changing. Now it felt to Twilight as if it was more of a partnership.

Finishing the spell, she closed the books she was working with and let her aura send them on their way back to their homes in the well-filed library. She blew on the ink of the new scroll helping it dry.

Twilight stretched, enjoying the supple feeling of moving her Alicorn physique. She cast her eyes to the sleeping form of Dreams beside her and smiled. She was not quite sure what her relationship with her would be called officially, but she knew she liked it. Leaning over she nuzzled the mare, her first marefriend, lovingly.

She was very grateful for Night letting her hide here when she accompanied Luna to see what could be found at the Temple of the Hidden Path, it helped a lot. It had taken hours in Dreams’ loving embrace for her to finally calm down after only seeing the entrance.

A small part of her wanted to giggle, another part, one that resonated with Nova, let out a gentle purr. Twilight felt wonderful.

An ever so small seed of doubt annoyingly flitted across her mind. Did she love Dreams? She thought so, but she was so new to all of this, how could she be sure? Nova being able to overpower her emotions and even thoughts made everything all the more complex.

Twilight breathed in Dreams’ scent enjoying how much at peace that one simple thing could make her feel. The worries about how and why she loved her marefreind fading away. She thought back to when she first met Dreams, it felt so long ago, but in fact it was less than two weeks. Her entire life, her goals, even her knowledge of who she was had all changed drastically in just that short time.

Twilight kissed Dreams who started slightly, returning the kiss. “You’re insatiable,” Dreams lightheartedly complained, blinking the sleep from her perfect eyes.

Twilight smirked. “You know you love it.” The confidence that Nova lent her was almost as intoxicating as the thoughts of what she could do to Dreams. She let her hooves start to wonder, exploring the body that had become so familiar to her. Twilight knew that Celestia would be extremely disappointed in her student for letting her self-control go like this. After all, she had chosen to deliberately craft her tool completely without such desires.

Dreams’ silver aura held her still, stopping Twilight’s advances. “My Star… as much as I would very much want you to continue, there are things you have to do today.”

Twilight smiled sheepishly, considered a few things she might say, then just sighed. Dreams did have a point after all.

“Now you trot off and set your plan in motion, I can’t wait to see how Luna will react.” Dreams said with a smile.

“One more kiss?” Twilight asked, trailing her wingtip suggestively along Dreams’ body.

Something changed in her marefriend's eyes. “Buck it.” Dreams said in defeat as she rolled over pinning Twilight to the bed and needfully wrapping perfect wings around her, pulling her into a passionate kiss.

An hour later than intended, Twilight left her bedroom in the Golden Oaks, a deep feeling of contentment filling her from the tip of her horn to the end of her tail. Despite everything, she was happy. It was a marvel how easy she had found it to at least mostly move past what had happened to her.

Nearly dying on an altar just did not seem like that big of a deal currently. Was she in denial? Probably. Did she care at the moment? No.

She navigated her way to the central section. Somehow she always knew which way to turn. It did make a kind of sense. All of this was her mind after all. She could not keep a grin off her face at the memory of being carried in Dreams’ aura and almost rammed headfirst into some of the walls.

Twilight let a hoof trail across the wooden wall at one such location as she passed it, this place, her library, felt like her true home. She would bring the girls here. Perhaps they could have a sleepover.

Looking over the railing down into the central section, she decided to teleport instead of using her wings or taking the stairs. Her body just felt too relaxed to put the needed effort in.

Blinking into existence in the center of the ground floor, she trotted over to the newest doorway. “Morning, Grey,” she said, waving a wing in greeting. Opening the rich dark wood door as she passed through it, ending up on what Twilight had decided to call her doorstep.

Her hoof falls sounded harsher as she stepped from the homely wood of her library to the obsidian plane with the stormy sky. Like last time she was here, the real physical world was visible below in what should have been the reflection within the floor. She idly considered if this was Night’s mental space or just how the interface with her physical body looked because Night was currently the true master of it.

She would need to do more study to find out. Shaking her head and putting that aside for now, she got Night’s attention. “Morning, Night.” She said, watching her body now cleaning the dishes with Spike happily running off, holding a claw full of gems.

“Good morning, Twilight.” Night responded, directing some of her attention to the mental space, her preferred Bat-Winged Twilight form manifesting next to Twilight. “You’re late,” She said with a knowing smile.

Twilight tried to fight off a blush but was fairly sure she failed. “Sorry,” she said out of politeness but did not really feel it.

Night looked at her with a jealous edge to her expression.

“Hey, don’t be like that,” Twilight said, pulling Night into a hug with her aura.

The surprised Night froze for a moment. Then relaxed against Twilight, returning the embrace with her membraned wings. Twilight could feel Nova rumbling with interest, but she mentally pushed those thoughts away. She had things to do today and she was not in that sort of relationship with Night. At least not yet. Am I even considering this? She thought in disbelief.

To try and distract herself, she started a detailed mental list on the pros and cons of hugging a pony with thestral wings. She failed, the whole implications of being an Alicorn, having fragments and Luna, taking over her line of thought.

She knew what the law said about fragments and the host counting as one individual legally. So that meant they were all marrying Luna. Twilight was not sure how she felt about that. Each fragment, each of her newly discovered family and friends, were their own ponies. Even if they had the mild disadvantage of not having their own bodies.

How can Alicorns have normal relationships? When you can’t be sure who is looking out from their eyes? Is this why Celestia did not tell Cadance?

Thinking about it, Twilight could say she did not have her own body at the moment, as Night had the contractual claim to it. Twilight lifted a hoof and rubbed along her neck where she knew Night’s bindings were on her, even if she could not see it currently. At the moment it felt light, she was only really bound to not act against Night.

Night’s manifestation faded into shadows, all of her attention now back in the physical world. “I know you are there, watching,” Night spoke to a particularly deep shadow.

“We are arranging a surprise for Luna, a pleasant surprise. I would ask you and your kin to hold this secret. You may tell Luna that her betrothed is preparing a surprise for her if you must, but pass on my request that she do nothing to investigate it or I will be upset.”

“As you wish Princess.” A whisper-quiet voice came from the shadow.

How long have you known they were there? Twilight mentally asked.

They have been there since Luna accepted Star as her own.

Oh, Twilight answered, thinking she needed to pay more attention.

Night looked into the reflective surface of the ceiling. To Twilight to looked like Night was looking straight into her eyes out of the image in the obsidian floor of the mindscape.

"As this is your plan, you should play your part in arranging it." Night said.

Tendrils of shadow gently grabbed Twilight. She found herself feeling conflicted. She was holding back a mix of panic about what she feared they could do and a surge of excitement from Nova about what she hoped they could be used for.

She wondered if she could invent a spell that would conjure cold water over Nova. There would be plenty of times when it would be either inappropriate or undesirable to be driven by Nova’s whims. She had apparently managed to throw things behind Grey’s seal when she did not want to remember them, how much harder could it be to throw cold water past Nova’s seal?

The tendrils pulled her through the floor. The sensation of a cool and viscous liquid pressing into her coat as she sank, made her shudder.

A moment later, she was sharing the flesh of her body with Night. She lifted her physical hoof in front of her face. She knew Night could stop her at any point she wished. She was just borrowing the body, but the level of trust Night was showing her brought a bright smile to their face.

She trotted in place for a moment, noting the small differences between her mental body and her physical one, Here she was a little taller and felt stronger. For the first time since the temple, she actually took the time to really look over her form.

She stretched, studying each muscle, marvelling at how much healthier she looked compared to her mental self.

Twilight was moving her own body again. She could feel Night with her, sharing all of her senses, stopping her from walking into things whenever she was distracted. Honestly, she was finding it hard to remember how she coped by herself inside her own head.

Twilight headed to the front door of her home, or second home, her Library felt more like a home than the crystal castle ever did. She lit her horn and opened the door stepping out into the sunlit morning.

Ponyville seemed normal. It was strange, after everything that had happened, for it to be unchanged. She knew it was silly, but that was how she felt. It felt wrong that the world has just continued on despite all the terrible things that had happened to her.

Stop being so melodramatic, Night berated Twilight.

ok, ok, Twilight replied hastily.

She began walking, noticing the many eyes on her, Nova stirred inside her with a low pleased rumble. Twilight let her eyes sweep over the ponies watching her. She could feel her stride lengthening, her body change position as she almost floated along the ground, her wings slightly spread, horn held high.

Twilight thought about how she was moving and wanted to blush, but Night would not let her.

You are a beautiful mare, others can see that. Why hide it? Night chided affectionately.

Because Nova is browsing the ponies of Ponyville like Pinkie in a candy store. Twilight embarrassingly whined.

Twilight could feel her face pull into a smile as a faint laugh escaped her. Is that such a bad thing? Night asked.

Twilight let her eyes sweep over the crowd, most were just happy to see her out and about, so she waved and smiled at them. Some though, some had a look of desire, a look of hunger, which her little display was feeding. She caught herself before she smiled invitingly at them. It did feel nice to be wanted, but between Dreams and Luna, she was unsure if she should even be looking at other ponies.

The slightly annoyed feeling bubbling up from Nova was all the evidence Twilight needed to know Nova disagreed. Twilight bristled. You won't be happy until you get a chance at everypony, will you? Twilight thought at Nova.

Relax, my Host, Night commanded.

Twilight felt the concern and worry start to lift from her. She let herself smile back to some of the ponies that showed interest in her. Not enough to invite anything just enough to show she appreciated their interest in her. Once or twice, she might have given the impression that she might be interested later, but she was unsure.

She felt a giggle wanting to escape her. She felt so out of place, but it was nice to be wanted, to be desired. Night what did you do to me?

Simply told you to relax. Night said playfully.

That does not work. Twilight half-heartedly protested, she was finding it hard to be annoyed.

Very well, I am using my emotions to influence you, like how you can send your emotions to me, I can send mine to you. In this case, I am sending you a sense of calm to help you think straight and enjoy yourself more.

How could you do that to me? Twilight demanded, trying to feel outraged and failing.

Easily, you've been doing it to me since we entered our pact. You almost drowned me last time when you went science mad. So, turnabout is fair play, and this is even for your own good.

Twilight huffed and was surprised to notice Night had let it carry over to their body. A few ponies gave her a strange look. She looked sheepish and waved off their concerns.

Twilight felt her head snap around, focusing on a black coated elegant unicorn mare with a vibrant green mane. She had no choice but to take in her appearance as Night let their eyes wander over the mare.

Oh don't tell me you are starting to act like Nova. Twilight said indignantly.

No, but there is something about her, I can almost feel her desire for us, and there is something familiar about her.

Twilight would have face hoofed if Night had not walked them over to the mare. The mare’s eyes widened for a moment before a pleasant and welcome smile shaped itself on her beautiful face.

“Not many ponies have gazes intense enough I can feel it from the other side of the street, somepony would think you’re interested in me.” Night playfully said ending with a hint of seduction.

The mare’s smile grew, “Well, I’m Emerald Shade, and it is my pleasure to meet you, Princess.” She lowered her voice to a whisper. “And it can be yours if you want.”

Your kidding, right? Twilight commented. Adding an invisible sound barrier so she did not have to worry too much about what other ponies might think.

“And if I do want?” Night purred. Twilight could feel her being amused with Twilight’s exasperation.

“I'm staying in room twelve in the inn.”

Night leaned closer, inhaling her scent. “Then I might see you later,” She whispered before moving away from Emerald, letting her tail caress along her flank.

Did you have to do that? Twilight asked.

No, but I wanted to. Night responded.

Are you actually going to take her up on her offer?

Shall we move along with your plan? Night dodged the question.

After you answer my question. Twilight replied. She most certainly wasn't going to let Night off that easily.

Night let out a happy little laugh. I think I might.

Just the thought of what her friends would think filed her heart with dread. You can’t, what will the ponies think?

Night shrugged their wings, Then I will ensure she stays silent.

Twilight panicked thinking of Night taking advantage of, and then killing the poor mare.

Don't be such a foal, I was merely going to get her to promise not to reveal anything and be discreet about my arrival.

Oh. Was Twilight’s only response, she felt a little silly for overreacting and a little bad for judging Night so harshly.

Now shall we be about it? We are burning the damnable daylight.

If she was going to complete her plan, she was going to need Starlight’s help. Given how it went last time, Twilight wasn't sure how that would go.

Starlight was still staying in Trixie's wagon. Was she avoiding the castle or just keeping Trixie company?

Twilight wanted to stop but Night kept her stride elegant and with a slight sexy sway to her flanks. With an effort of will, Twilight exerted control and stopped the sway. That was more than enough for her. She made her way toward where Trixie had her wagon parked.

A familiar pop of displaced air and suddenly Little Star was standing on her back hugging her neck. “Mummy, Mummy can I go and play with my friends?”

Just like that, any bad feelings Twilight had for Night were gone, she could feel Night's affection for Little Star.

“So long as you promise to only cast spells that you have mastered the counters for,” Twilight said. “And no inventing spells for the CMC.” Night added with their shared voice.

Star looked a little disappointed for a moment but then nodded. A scroll emerged from one of Star's pockets, and she noted down the new safety rules when dealing with the CMC. Star banished the scroll then smiled nuzzling Twilight.

“Now go and have fun.” Night said.

Twilight did not get the chance to add anything before Star vanished in a flash of magic.

You know I think she likes to teleport more than you do. Night playfully jabbed.

Twilight thought for a moment. You might be right. She decided to start counting Star’s and her own teleports just to check.

As the pair of them, sharing the body, got to where Trixie had parked her wagon, Twilight felt something. A hum of magic echoed in Twilight’s horn, it only took a moment to deduce that Starlight or possibly Trixie has set up a detection spell geared to detect Alicorns.

Well, that seems welcoming. Night commented dryly.

A ripple of Starlight’s magic and then the mare herself was standing in front of Twilight.

“Good morning, Starlight,” Twilight said in a friendly tone, she could only imagine what she must think of her now. By what she had been told, Starlight had the misfortune to see some of what had happened to her on the altar.

“Morning, how are you today?” Starlight asked, an edge of concern in her voice as if she was expecting Twilight to not be ok.

Twilight smiled, “I’m fine, thank you.” She did here best not to worry that she was feeling fine. She was fairly sure that feeling fine, after everything she had been through, was listed in one of her psychology books as being a very bad thing. With a mental shrug, she threw that idea away. She had things to do.

Starlight looked doubtful. Twilight could still see a slight haunted edge to her friend’s eyes. Dreams had told her that Starlight had the misfortune to have seen a little of what happened to Twilight on the Altar.

“Are you sure you’re alright? No offence but after what you went through you really shouldn't be,” Starlight pressed.

Twilight pulled Starlight into a hug with a foreleg. “Despite everything, I have never been better.”

Twilight had to do her best not to giggle at the disbelieving look that crossed Starlight's face. “Really, I have a daughter, I am probably getting married to Luna, all my friends are safe, I saved all the ponies in Manehatten. Yes, what I went through was horrible, but in the end, it was just pain.”

Starlight just stared at Twilight, not even blinking for long seconds.

I think you broke her. Night observed.

“...just pain... Just pain, I only saw it and what I saw still haunts me. I’m not sure I’m ok after that, how can you possibly be? Trixie only heard it, and she has been having nightmares every night. Princess Luna has been working overtime on just us two, and you are bucking telling me you’re fine?” The concern and worry finally bubbling forth from Starlight as she let it out was comforting even if it was vexing trying to work out how to calm her friend down.

Do you think she will explode, faint or attack us if we just say yes? Night thought to Twilight her mental tone highly amused.

Twilight just ignored Night and hugged Starlight tighter. “I’m an Alicorn, we are kinda made to deal with things like that and just bounce back. I will be fine, I’m more worried about you and Trixie.” she pulled back and offered Starlight a warm smile.

“It will be fine,” Night said.

Twilight could feel her channeling some of her Alicorn magic as she spoke. Starlight seemed to calm down, her tense muscles loosening and she allowed herself to warmly return Twilight’s hug.

Mind control? Really? Twilight mentally almost shouted at Night.

You know it is not. It’s simply the influence Alicorns have over normal ponies. You have been doing it to all of Ponyville every day since your ascension. In fact, thanks to me, you are doing it less than normal.

I never do that intentionally, and that felt different than just seeming impressive or terrifying.

So your friend is now calm, get on with it.

Twilight took a breath, grateful that at least Nova was behaving. Perhaps it was just a rule that she had to have one fragment misbehaving at any given time. She would need to get more data to check.

“Starlight if you are feeling up for it, I have a favour to ask.” Twilight softly said.

“Hmm” Starlight cooed leaning into the hug.

What did you do? Twilight asked patiently.

Nothing you don't know of, I am guessing she just had not been sleeping properly with her marefriend waking up with nightmares all the time.

She does not have a marefriend.

Really? Those two are too close to be anything else.

“Starlight? Trixie is...” Trixie’s voice called out from inside the wagon. A moment later, the blue mare’s head poked out of the wagon. “Why are you hugging Starlight?” She asked, leaving the wagon and approaching.

“The Great and Powerful Trixie is most disappointed with you simply teleporting away.” Trixie directed at Starlight. Upon getting no response, she poked her with a hoof.

“Morning, Trixie,” Twilight said, offering a smile.

“Trixie demands to know what the hay did you do to her?” Trixie demanded.

“She was just freaking out, I helped her calm down… I was not expecting it to be so effective.” Night offered in her defence.

Twilight could feel Night stirring their Alicorn power, likely considering how to use it to solve the problem Trixie was going to be.

You will never learn if you just keep relying on that. Twilight berated Night. Now try and use what you have learned, from watching me, to solve this problem with words alone. Twilight instructed Night. She knew she should feel a little guilty about using Trixie as a lesson like this, but… it was Trixie, and as much as she disliked the fact, that made it easier not to be.

Fine… I will give you your sport. Night mentally huffed.

“The Grouchy and Annoyed Trixie demands to know what you are going to do to fix it, or is she going to be forced to turn you into a teacup?”

Twilight sensed Night forming a mental projection in their doorstep just to fall over laughing.

Night did her best to smile warmly and hide her annoyance at the mare. “Starlight will be fine, the only reason she is having this reaction is due to how tired she is.”

Night channelled some unicorn magic but not through her horn. Twilight wanted to shudder and giggle at the same time. The familiar energy infusing her body in a way she had never felt before. The power took shape. Twilight guessed it was a strange version of a Transmutation ward, to stop Trixie from turning them into a teacup.

Trixie raised a disbelieving eyebrow.

Twilight locked down their Alicorn magic, yes she knew that Night could override it, but it made her point.

“What do you want me to do, or are you jealous that she is hugging me?” Night snarked.

Trixie stuttered for a moment. Twilight wanted to facehoof, that was not how you deescalate a situation.

With her aura, Night pulled Trixie over, forcing her to join in the hug. “There, is that not better?” Night asked

“Whher...?” Starlight blearily asked as she tiredly nuzzled against Trixie.

Night carefully stepped back from the hug, letting the currently clingy feeling Starlight, embrace Trixie. There, solved. Night mentally stated to Twilight.

That's not what I meant. Twilight’s mental voice was exasperated.

Night let their body smile happily at the two mares. Is there a problem? Starlight seems comfortable, and we are not currently a teacup.

After a moment of enjoying the surprise hug, Trixie blushed and pulled away. Starlight was slowly recovering. Trixie checked to see if she was alright. She was watching Twilight warily.

After coming to her senses, Starlight spoke. “Twilight you told me I should not use mind magic on my friends.”

“I did not…” Night started. Seeing the disbelieving look on Starlight and Trixie’s faces, she raised a hoof in placation. Very well, I will tell you a secret, but you have to Pinkie Promise not to tell another soul.”

Starlight looked doubtful but complied, Trixie needed a bit more encouragement form Starlight.

“It was not mind control, it was simply part of what it means to be an Alicorn.”

“What do you mean?” Trixie demanded.

Night sighed. “Alicorns are literally made to rule ponies. Because of this, it’s hard for me not to influence the ponies around me, my words are more convincing, my ideas sound like they are wiser than they might be. If an Alicorn shows up on a battlefield, all their allies are inspired and their foes quake in fear.”

“So are you saying just being an Alicorn means you have some sort of mind control aura?” Trixie asked

“Not mind control more like … an inspiring presence?” Night explained.

“So, what happened to me?” Starlight asked.

“I just commented you should relax…. Unfortunately, you relaxed a little too much.”

“How can you do this to the ponies you call your friends?” Starlight questioned with reproach evident in her voice.

“Look, do you think being an Alicorn comes with an instruction manual? It’s been happening since these things turned up,” Night said, flaring her wings. “Unfortunately, Celestia did nothing to tell her ‘Faithful Student’ anything about this.”

The whole thing seemed surreal to Twilight, Night was aggressively trying to be reasonable, it was strange, but at least she was not trying to compel her friends.

“That’s still mind control, but considering you lack practice, I forgive you.” Starlight said. It pleased Twilight that her student had come so far.

“Thank you. Unfortunately, I can’t really turn it off yet,” Night said.

“Trixie expects some sort of reimbursement for this violation of her being,” The showmare said, looking at Twilight.

Twilight had a sinking feeling in her stomach, Night was feeling like she had a wonderful idea, a slight hint of glee radiating from her.

Twilight felt Night quickly break off a fragment and dispatch it on a mission to the library.

What are you doing? Twilight asked suspiciously.

“I know how I can repay you.” Night used her horn to create a flash that looked like a teleportation effect as a book was hoofed up by the fragment from her shadow. “Here,” Night said, offering the book to Trixie.

You can’t I haven't finished reading that one yet… and it’s illegal for ponies to know some of those spells. Twilight frantically responded.

Trixie’s awed look made Twilight almost want to cry. It was a first edition book, a compilation of all illusions spells known five hundred years ago, including more than a few that were illegal for ponies to know. She was going to read that later today if she had a chance.

Night made a thoughtful noise. “There are a few spells I can’t let you learn in there… unless you want to join the guard.”

So Sparks, which ones are illegal?

Twilight’s aura snatched the book back, she felt a hint of glee for a moment at having the book back in her hooves.

This one. Twilight thought about the page containing the first of the forbidden spells.

Night reached to tear the page out.

No! Twilight cried out in her mind, panic and rage building. A few motes of fire forming on their body's mane.

Ok, ok calm down that was a joke. Night mentally placated, her own concern obvious to Twilight.

Twilight’s mental tone was full of annoyance. You are nowhere near as funny as you think you are!

Sorry if I am a little low on experience on being funny, I thought sharing jokes were what friends and family were meant to do. Night replied.

Leave the poor innocent books out of it. Twilight threatened.

Twilight realised she was stroking the book lovingly. Looking up, she noticed the strange looks both Starlight and Trixie were giving her.

“Do you think she's lost it again?” Trixie whispered to Starlight, but to Twilight’s Alicorn senses, she might as well have shouted it.

Twilight quickly lit her horn conjuring blank pages out of nothing but raw magic itself. She was too rattled to concentrate enough to open one of her pockets, so she just threw power at the problem. Using a copying spell to move the legal parts of the book to the fresh pages, she then bound them all together with a cover the colour of Trixie’s coat. She even used a quick burst from the ‘cleaning spell turned disintegration spell’ to etch in an image of Trixie's Cutiemark on the cover.

“There you go, am I forgiven now?” Twilight said, spinning the new book and presenting it with a flourish.

“Trixie will admit, it’s a start,” Trixie said not able to hide the smile and look of hunger she directed at the new tome.

Starlight bumped Trixie and whispered, “Don't push your luck with the Alicorn who admitted to having unconscious mind control whose mane was on fire a moment ago.”

Twilight did her best to not smile and pretended she did not hear the whispered comment.

There was a long, painful silence which Starlight broke. “So what did you need my help with?”

“Cooking, or more precisely finding a recipe,” Twilight said.

“Twilight, you’re the one with the library, why do you need Starlight to find a recipe?” Trixie asked.

“Well… the recipe is... “ Twilight began, “Kinda lost in time.”

“WHAT!” Both Trixie and Starlight shouted.

Twilight felt at ease walking through the Everfree forest, she was an Alicorn. She had enough power to destroy the whole forest, nothing in it could be a threat to her, as long as she saw it coming. With Night here as well, Twilight did not have a worry in the world.

It had taken only a few minutes to explain that there would be no danger, no evil altars and nothing objectionable to Starlight. Trying to leave Trixie behind took ten minutes before Night just gave up on the idea and brought her along as well.

A book floated in front of her as she trotted along. Many years doing so around Canterlot have given her a seventh sense for avoiding objects when reading. Well, ok, it was a navigation spell, but she kept that little secret to herself.

Twilight glanced over to the two other ponies with her. Starlight was cautious but fine, she was powerful and knew it. She could use her magic to overcome almost anything. Add being able to teleport almost as well as Twilight herself, and anything she could not defeat she could flee with no issue.

Trixie on the other hoof was paranoid at every little sound, every motion of the trees a possible threat. Trixie was no coward, at least when she was not facing an Ursa. Her horn radiated a hint of power, she was clearly keeping it ready having her magic available at a moment's notice. She had it just below the level where it would start to glow.

Twilight could not help but notice the few times Night used their eyes to observe Trixie. She seemed to have an appreciation of the more physical unicorn. Clearly pulling her wagon all across Equestria had done something to her body that Night appreciated. After consideration, Twilight found herself possibly agreeing with the assessment.

Do you think she would be capable of doing veiled casting? Night asked with interest.

Twilight almost missed a step. Shaking her head and extending her magical sense towards Trixie, she examined her ley lines.

Trixie had weak earthpony ley lines as well as the expected unicorn one, all connected to a powerful wellspring. She’s a hybrid?

Could you not tell by how developed her legs are? Night asked.

A quiet rumble from Nova added her approval. Twilight would have to really set some time aside to work on the ‘apply cold water to Nova’ spell soon. She did her best to ignore Nova. She must have put a lot of work into strengthening her unicorn ley line.

She noticed her companions were looking at her again. Twilight wondered how long it would be before they tried to get her into a padded cell.

Night was laughing in her mind again. You are staring at them and haven't said anything for the past ten seconds.

Twilight smiled. “Sorry, I was just thinking,” she said aloud.

Trixie pressed closer to Starlight. Twilight could see the concern for, and fear of, her in their eyes. It hurt a little bit to see it, but she could understand it.

Night turned from them and started walking again. You can ogle your mini-Dreams later. Night thought at her. Gesturing with an elegant flick of the wing, for them to follow.

A low growl and the sound of rustling leaves caught Twilight's attention, she felt her ears twitch, rotating to locate the threat.

Night took full control of their body, her hooves taking a fiercer stance as she turned to face the sound, horn alight.

Starlight's eyes widened for a second, a moment later she lit her horn, teleporting herself and Trixie to the other side of Twilight.

The glowing eyes of multiple timberwolves crept in to view, Twilight felt a spike of worry even as Night relaxed her body language.

Three powerful kinetic bolts tore from Twilight’s horn. Night’s aim was perfect. The ‘low’ powered siege spells slammed into the wolves, sending them flying. Their forms smashing through multiple trees as their bodies came to pieces with the forces imparted upon them.

Twilight could feel Night’s grin. This was all just a game to her. The dust cleared to a large swath of destruction and a few scattered remains of the timberwolves.

“Good reflexes, Starlight,” Night praised the unicorn, looking over her shoulder.

Trixie lifted a hoof and pointed, Night followed the hoof seeing the broken fragments of the timberwolves, as well as the fragments of the trees from the destruction she caused, drag themselves across the ground. They reassembled into one creature. A huge timberwolf Alpha was coming to play.

Night clapped their hooves together in glee. “Perhaps you might prove to be a challenge.”

Would you at least TRY to pretend to be me? Twilight’s mental voice practically shouted at Night.

“Are we sure we want to be in this forest with the crazy mare?” Trixie whispered again.

“We can’t just leave her here on her own, not in this state.” Starlight returned the whisper.

Can’t a mare go monster hunting anymore? Night thought loudly.

I hunt books, Twilight commented with pride.

It's made from wood, we could turn it into a book. Night playfully insisted.

Night was too slow to stop the earthpony strength enhanced face hoof that Twilight delivered to herself.

Owch Night mentally exclaimed.

The timberwolf roared.

Night glared at the wolf and bellowed back in the full Royal Canterlot Voice, “YOU STAY OUT OF THIS!” The wolf was knocked back several body lengths.

“...the buck?” With the ringing in her ears, Twilight could not tell if it was Starlight or Trixie that said that, but she agreed.

Now do you know a spell to turn that thing into a book, or do I get to do things the old fashioned way?

Why would I have a spell to turn a creature into a book?

Well, at one point, you preferred books over ponies, so it could have been an elegant solution.

Twilight felt Starlight’s magic surge, a moment later and she was somewhere else.

“We’re safe!” Trixie exclaimed, now hugging Starlight.

“Twilight…” Starlight started in a calm tone. “What was that all about?”

Night focused on Starlight, Twilight kept her jaw closed. Night taking the hint, only ranted at her, Do you know how hard it is to find a sparring partner as an Alicorn? I was hoping for at least a small challenge there, but noooooo, somepony had to teleport us away instead of just watching the show.

Twilight felt very much put on the spot as Night seemed to take a mental step back. “A lot has changed since I went through was you saw and what you heard. I know I'm in denial, but I'm dealing with it in the only way I know how. A chance to vent like that would have been useful. As an Alicorn, if I don't find a way to get rid of my darker feelings, they might act on their own.”

“After all, just look what happened to Luna some thousand years ago.” Night added for Twilight.

Trixie gulped. Starlight took a few steps towards Twilight. “If you need anything…”

“Thank you.” Twilight sighed, “I think I am going to be a little bit out of sorts until the individual that attacked me is either in Tartarus or Celestia’s garden.”

“Aren't you going to try and reform them?” Starlight enquired.

Twilight growled, Nova’s influence breaking though before she could catch it as flames billowed from her mane. The pair of mares backoff from the wave of heat. Terror appeared on Trixie’s face as Starlight started preparing spells.

Night grabbed her mental collar and dragged her from the body, dumping her back in the mental doorstep.

“Sorry,” Night said in a tone that was anything but, as the flames died.

Twilight just lay on the obsidian floor in the mindscape breathing heavily.

“Sorry,” Night said again in a much kinder tone,

“Trixie thinks it would best if she went back to town now.”

Night’s attention fell to Twilight, Are you calm enough to grant that?

Twilight lit her horn in the mindscape, reaching down into the reflection and enveloped Trixie in her magic. One flash of magenta light, and the showmare was gone.

An expression of fear crossed Starlight’s face. She quickly cast a few scanning spells, looking more and more at ease with each one.

“Do you doubt my ability to teleport a single pony back to Ponyville from here?” Night spoke.

“Your ability no, but I didn’t see your horn light up.”

oops Twilight thought, pressing herself though the floor, once more moving to shared the body with Night. As there was no objection or resistance, she figured it was alright.

“It’s something I’m practicing, called veiled casting. Once I get it down, I might be able to teach you.” Night said.

“I see. I would like to learn that when you figure it out. I’m still worried about you, but you seem to at least be able to get yourself under control. If you ever need anything, though…”

“Thank you. So about that time viewing spell?” Twilight asked eagerly.

Starlight nodded

Night grinned, picking up Starlight with her hooves and flying off. “To the kitchen!”

Author's Note:

Thank you for all the comments, it is amazing reading them.

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