• Published 11th Nov 2019
  • 856 Views, 30 Comments

Sister Solstice - Fylifa

A unicorn filly discovers a magical secret that will change the world. But her sister worries that's not all that will change.

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Chapter 1

“—Now let’s see a pirouette... half-pass… stop before you hit the wall. Piaffe for me. Now halt!”

Lumina’s legs ached from the hoofwork across the studio made out of the castle’s old storeroom. She did her best to suppress the tremble in them while she kept her eyes and head forward in what she hoped was a regal enough angle.

With the support of a cane levitated in her magic, the elderly Princess Platinum slowly stood and ambled over. More than once, Lumina had felt the gold-tipped end correct her stance nearly as much as it helped Platinum’s.

The cane hovered over Lumina’s ribs, paused, twisted, and then followed the line of her fore shoulder. Another pause, and she was sure she was going to get rapped on her fetlock, but the cane flew back to Platinum without touching her at all.

“Full marks,” Platinum intoned and added, “You’ve come a long way since we’ve started.”

Lumina couldn’t believe her ears! She broke out into a grin and turned her head. “Really? You thi—” All at once, the diamond pommel of the cane hovered under her chin.

“Full marks on movement,” Platinum clarified before stepping around to look at Lumina with those critical blue eyes. “You still need to work on your presentation.” She gathered up some of Lumina’s pink mane on the end of a hoof. “Brush your bangs more. They have a habit of falling over your eye.”

“I-I’ll try...”

Platinum rose on her tip-hooves, practically nose to nose now. “Hmph. Such a gangly legged thing you are. You could do with a little more weight on you. Eat more and fill out your figure. Your dressmaker will thank you.”

She turned away and started to walk back to the corner. “In any case, let’s have it one more time from the top—hmm? What is it, girl?”

Lumina had slipped from her stiff posture to fall into a slouch. She stared at her forehooves, self-conscious of their length in a way that she’d never considered before. “Will it ever be enough? I’ve been practicing for months... and now… there’s even more and… and...”

“I thought you’d be happy that I told you to have an extra slice of cake with dinner. Most mares have the opposite trouble,” Platinum replied sharply. When Lumina didn’t move from her slumped position, the matron’s expression and voice softened. “But to answer your question, no. It won’t ever be enough.”

That had Lumina look up. She was already struggling to blink back tears, and Platinum’s answer was hardly comforting. “W-what?”

“That’s the nature of expectations. Ponies when they remember my father talk fondly of the good old times. Nevermind how many times we unicorns had food shortages or terrible weather whenever some argument with pegasi or earth ponies stirred up.”

Platinum shook her head along with her ringlet mane, which had been once as shiny as her name. “But King Bullion is lauded as a hero while his daughter is always playing catch up to his legacy. I’m afraid you won’t get any peace from it until the end, and none at the beginning.”

“How do you get through it all?” Lumina asked quietly. “How can you have everypony watching everything you do?”

“Mmm. What do you know about theater?”

Lumina perked at the mention. “I love the theater! It’s one of my favorite things.”

“Being a noble is being a part of the largest acting troupe on a stage as big as the world.” Platinum smiled, rare for her, but Lumina thought it made years melt away from the princess’ features. “When some cur speaks some vicious rumor or insult, they are talking about Princess Platinum, not Platinum the Pony. Do you see?”

The idea held merit. In a way, Lumina had already thought like she was studying for a role with these etiquette lessons. “I think so, but I’m still not sure if I can just separate things like that.”

Platinum tapped her cane rhythmically against the floor as she considered. “Then perhaps a stage name will help. Your very own dramatis persona. Come up with a name for her. This mare who can do so much for so many.”

The cane finally gave its goading prod, floating around to nudge right at Lumina’s cutie mark. She stumbled away from it, rubbing a hoof on her flank and frowning as she did. Though her rubbing slowed as she mulled over the question. Her eyes were drawn to the window and the sky with its stationary sun.

A name. She needed a name for an important mare. Platinum’s use of the theater term set Lumina's thoughts on how characters always had lofty, old-tongue names.

“Umm… how about… Celestia?” Lumina asked.

Platinum broke into a short laugh. “Ha! Reaching right for the heavens itself, hmm? It fits. Now with this, you put your heart in your hoof and hold it away from you. Nothing anypony can say will ever hurt the true you, only the image you make for them.” She tapped the floor with the cane again. “But remember, it’s not enough to just have the persona. You must be a method actress. I want you to wear it like a fine cloak. Day and night. Here, there, and everywhere. Understand?”

Celestia made a hesitant smile and nodded. “I do.”

“That works better than putting ‘the bearded’ after her name,” remarked Star Swirl.

“Magus!” Celestia cried and fumbled over herself to face her mentor at the doorway. Suddenly all those months of practiced grace left her, and she felt every embarrassing inch of her long legs.

Platinum remained composed, only lifting an eyebrow. “Come to spy on us young filles?”

Star Swirl matched Platinum’s brow lift with a head tilt that set his hat’s bells jingling. “She was my student first. I wanted to see how she’s coming along. Besides, it’s growing late, and we need her to work her talent before questions start.”

“Oh, I suppose I can give her back to you. She’s learned the most important lesson I could teach her today. Isn’t that right?”

“I won’t forget it,” promised Celestia. After seeing Platinum without that mask ever so briefly, she found a new appreciation for the princess who armored herself in decades of etiquette and authority.

“Go off and perform your miracle then,” Platinum replied and walked to the window. Her forehooves crossed over the pommel of her cane as she sat and watched the sky. “I’ve taken a liking to watching the sunsets lately.”

Like so many times before, Celestia climbed the tower’s staircase onto the castle’s battlement. She always appreciated the expansive view it gave of the city.

Canterlot was the first city built with all three tribes working together. Great for speed of construction, but it also lent the mood of a frontier town. From her vantage, she thought it resembled a patchwork quilt with some buildings made of wood and thatch with others of brick and masonry. The juxtaposition continued down to the distant streets that started as cobblestones at one end and ended as dirt on the other.

The jingle behind her as Star Swirl reached the top step broke Celestia from her dawdling. She turned her attention skyward towards the sun. Despite having done this task before, she couldn’t help feel the same fear each time. That whatever accident of magical talent and spellcraft that allowed her ability would finally fail her.

Gently, like coaxing an animal, she applied magical pressure to the sun. A figurative stroke. Something that even Celestia knew shouldn’t be enough to move something so massive.

Yet it did.

The sun responded to her ethereal touch and obeyed, starting a descending arc towards the horizon. Usually, Celestia didn’t watch, often too nervous of slipping her mental focus. Today, Platinum’s words stuck with her. If she was going to be worthy of the name Celestia, she should be brave enough to watch.

Canterlot castle stood as the tallest building in the city, and even then they were at the foot of the Canterhorn mountain that dwarfed it. Having control of something that was higher still brought a feeling that the city itself was a toy model and she was moving a lamp across it. Seeing the dramatic shift in the sky itself from noon to evening only boosted that sense of wonder, and it left her swaying on her hooves.

When the sun dipped below the horizon, the moon on the opposite side rose and with it the curtain of the night sky and stars.

“Remarkable. Just remarkable,” Star Swirl said from beside her. “Still no drain at all?”

Celestia shifted slightly, feeling the euphoria fade and replaced with a kind of embarrassment. The old stallion watched her more than the sky during these transitions, and every day and night he couldn’t help but ask the same questions.

“No. No drain…” Celestia bit her lip and hesitated. Her answers never seemed enough for the old wizard. “If anything, it’s even easier now than when I started.” She dropped her eyes away from his and scuffed at the stone brick with a forehoof.

With a tinkling of bells, Star Swirl shook his head. “Don’t look so chastened. It’s a great thing you have been able to do. That it doesn’t hurt you only makes it easier to ask you to keep doing it every day.”

“But I wish I could explain how I do it. I feel like... like…” Celestia waggled a hoof. “Like I’m doing some kind of trick. And saying that I can move the sun like I could light a candle sounds simple and stupid.”

“If magic didn’t have mysteries, the world wouldn’t need wizards, my most special student.” Star Swirl made a wan chuckle. “I admit what happened to you and the sun has given me inspiration for a new spell.” His eyes drifted towards her flanks. “Can I see?”

Celestia tried not to blush under the scrutiny of those eyes as she turned in place. With her magic, she gently peeled the cloth patch of a candle mark covering her actual cutie mark.

Her new cutie mark.

“I’ve gone through a library’s worth of texts, and you’re the only account of a cutie mark changing on an adult pony,” Star Swirl remarked as he examined the iconic sun on her rear. “The magic involved is a fascinating area of study that I don’t believe has ever been wholly explored before.”

“Is that what your new spell will do? Chaaaa—” Celestia yelped and scampered a step away from Star Swirl’s hoofprodding. She shot him a reproachful look as she smoothed down the cloth patch again. “Change cutie marks?” she finished.

Star Swirl, true to his typical nature, was oblivious to manners when lost in his thoughts. “Perhaps… mayhap… a cutie mark is a curious thing. We take it for granted that our life’s calling is there. Other races don’t even have them. The mystics might have the right of it when they talk of predictions and destiny. But what if a pony could alter their fate?”

Celestia glanced back at her haunch, at the candle that used to be her old cutie mark. It'd been an average mark for a mare and it had never disappointed her. She enjoyed working with light magic, and when the cutie mark changed to the sun, she’d rationalized that the sun was just like a big light… of a sort.

“So, you think that’s what happened to me?” she asked, and thought on the implications. A candle cutie mark promised a life of candlemaking or lampwork. What profession did a sun symbolize, really?

“Hmmm.” Star Swirl stroked a hoof over his beard again. After a weighty amount of time, he finally said, “I don’t know. It was actually something I was hoping you could tell me.”

Celestia stared at him. “What?”

Star Swirl lifted his cloak with a slight jangle of bells. From a saddlebag underneath, he levitated a large book over to Celestia. “While you have been dancing about with the princess, I’ve spent months trying to magically recreate the phenomena. I’m afraid I’ve come to an impasse, but I’d like your thoughts on it. You were the first this ever happened to, so there could be some insight you have.”

“I’ll try, magus.” Celestia weighed the large book in her hooves and sighed inwardly. The one fate she thought she couldn’t escape from was still getting homework.

With the shift to evening hours, most of the inhabitants of Canterlot Castle filtered back to the surrounding town or retired to their chambers. Celestia took the long way to her dorm; she needed the time to craft an excuse.

In the long stretch of hallway, hoofsteps sounded loud on the stone floor. Celestia mused on the lack of carpet when a step lightly clicked before her own forehoof touched the floor.

Startled, she turned and faced the hallway behind her. “H-hello?” she called, but the only answer she got was the quiet echo of her voice.

Was it her imagination? Celestia eyed the hall and the dim torches spaced along the wall. They almost did more to cast shadows than light the hallway itself.

On impulse, she lit her horn, and the torches bloomed in response. All at once, the hallway was magnitudes less foreboding with the stark shadows falling back.

Except for a circle of darkness in the dead center.

Frowning, Celestia flared her magic, and now the torches burned like spotlights. The circle of shadow shrunk underneath the flood of light and wavered on the edges before finally shearing away.

It revealed a pair of angry green eyes over a scrunched muzzle.

“Nocturna!” Celestia exclaimed. “What are you doing here?”

In the bright light of the enhanced torches, the unicorn filly looked small and scrawny. Celestia felt silly that her imagination conjured some looming monster when she had a head of height and five years over her sibling.

The feeling evaporated when her ‘little’ sister came at her like a cyan-maned fury.

“What am I doing?! What are you doing?” Nocturna shot back, then winced as she rubbed at her sputtering horn. “You are having secret meetings!”

“You were following me?”

“Because you’ve been lying to me!”

“It wasn’t a lie. I was getting dancing lessons like I said.”

“From Princess Platinum!”

“Well... they’re important dancing lessons.”

“You didn’t do any dancing with the Magus,” Nocturna noted before her anger broke, and worry came into her voice instead. “Lumi, you’re moving the sun? Helping with the ceremony just once risks your magic and doing it twice… y-you’ve been doing it for months? By yourself?

Celestia sighed and looked away from those imploring eyes. “Yes, and if you were listening in on us, you already know I don’t know how I do it. I just can.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

That question came quieter than any of the rest, and Celestia fidgeted on her hooves. She didn’t need to look back to know the hurt on Nocturna’s face. “I didn’t want you to talk me out of it.”

“What if it ki—” Nocturna bit her tongue at the thought. “—injures you?”

“It doesn’t. The trick with the torches was harder,” Celestia admitted before continuing, “but… even if I only did it ten times, that’s fifty unicorns, Nocturna. Fifty unicorns that didn’t have to gamble with their magic! That number is in the hundreds now, and it grows every day and night. How could I refuse to help if it’s so easy for me?”

Nocturna gritted her teeth, caught for an answer.

“What’s with the dancing?” she asked instead.

Celestia smiled. “They said they’re going to give me a title. Probably ‘Royal Sun Raiser’ or something. I have to learn how to be around aristocrats.” She shrugged. “If it comes with some money, then maybe I can help us a little, too. Better than making candles or casting bit-store cantrips.”

Nocturna inclined her head. “And have you talked with Mother?”

“Ahh... erm… well.” Celestia glanced around the hallway, trying to find a physical escape from the question.


“I was going to tell her… eventually. Maybe when we visit this weekend?”

Eventually?” Nocturna’s eyes were back to glaring again. “Are you waiting for your horn to fall off or… or... for them to crown you Princess Sunshine? Whichever comes first, I wonder!”

Celestia rolled her own eyes. “Me, a princess? Really. Do you have to be so ridiculous?”

“If you don’t tell her, I will.”

“You’d tattle on me? Your sister?”

“Better to tattle on a sister than keep secrets from them,” Nocturna answered before flicking her tail and stalking down the hall.

“Fine! We’ll go together,” Celestia grumbled and hurried after her.

With Canterlot built so quickly by the three tribes, it lent more to passion than civic planning. Buildings cropped up together by function and class, with the stone mansions of the nobility the closest to the castle while the commoners grouped up by the river and road. The markets made a middle ground between rich and poor, where trade and craft ponies could afford homes or have homes-as-shops.

Down one of the smaller alleyways alongside the city’s theater sat a little cottage that leaned against the bigger building.

Nocturna trotted ahead as they approached the front door and knocked on it with a forehoof.

“Maybe she isn’t home,” Celestia offered as a minute ticked by with no response. “It’s a work night, isn’t it?”

“Then we wait for her.” Nocturna knocked more pointedly a second time.

Faintly, there was the sound of clattering, and on the second floor a window opened. A white unicorn with her red mane disheveled from sleep leaned out the window and asked, “Who is it?” She puffed up at her bangs to get them out of her eyes and answered herself with a gasp. “Lumina! Nocturna!”

There came another round of muffled thumping when she disappeared from the window, and a moment later the front door opened. Immediately, she had a hoof around them both in a tight hug.

“Hello, Mother,” Nocturna said.

“Hi, Mom,” Celestia chorused.

“You two are home early! Wait, let me get the kettle on,” Inkpot said and turned back inside.

Celestia eyed Nocturna, who’d taken a position behind like a miniature sentry to block off any retreat.

“You know I could probably jump over you,” whispered Celestia.

Nocturna shrugged with a single shoulder and didn’t move.

Sighing, Celestia took five steps forward and promptly face planted on the entryway rug when she tripped over the saddlebags left there.

“Sorry for the mess!” Inkpot called from the kitchen. “I was so tired today that I just left everything at the door. I didn’t think I’d be getting visitors. Lumina, could you get the rest of the lights while I’m making the tea?”

“Sure,” Celestia mumbled into the rug and scattered papers from the saddlebags. She threw Nocturna a glare when her sister leapt over her sprawled body like a hurdle, grinning all the while.

Fortunately, lighting lamps was something Celestia could do at any elevation, and soon the cottage was illuminated fully. The sight of Mother’s messy habit in keeping various knickknacks, theater props, and secondhoof furniture was as familiar as a well-worn hoofshoe. It stood out all the more in contrast after living in the castle’s dorms where everything was neat and orderly.

Celestia stuffed the tumbled scrolls, manuscripts, quills, and stoppered ink bottles back into the saddlebags just as Inkpot herself came in from the kitchen, levitating a tray.

“So what brings you two in the middle of the week? How have your classes been?” Inkpot asked while she set the tray on the table and poured for three cups.

“They’re going good. They told me to eat some cake,” Celestia said with a half-smile.

“Cake? Well, I could help you with that.” Inkpot smiled back.

A long, loud slurp came from Nocturna, and Celestia felt the chill of her sister’s gaze on her neck. “Err… but more seriously, I… umm… they’re going to give me a title. I’ll be working in the royal court soon.”

Inkpot's ears lifted, and she clopped her hooves together. “That’s fantastic news! Oh, honey, I’m so proud.” She drew Celestia in for another hug. “My little Lumina! A lady? Little Lady Lumina.” She laughed. “Isn’t that catchy?”

Nocturna snorted into her teacup and muttered, “Not exactly. They want her to change her name. Being ‘Lumina’ isn’t good enough.”

“The princess didn’t say that! It was just a suggestion,” Celestia protested.

Inkpot tousled Celestia’s mane with a hoof and looked over at Nocturna. “It’s not such a big thing to change your name. Why, it even happened to me!”

When that earned her a surprised look from them both, Inkpot continued, “What? Did you think your grandmother was so on the nose? It was after I got my cutie mark. Nowadays, ponies see the inkpot on my flank and use my nickname more than my real one.”

Nocturna shared a glance with Celestia at this revelation and spoke up, “Mother! We’ve been dishonoring you this entire time?”

“Dishonoring? Oh, my little night of a daughter,” Inkpot punned ruthlessly before adding, “a name tends to grow on a pony, dear. I’m fond of it now. I’ll let you two in on another secret, though.” She raised a hoof beside her muzzle and spoke in a conspirator’s tone. “I’m thinking about changing it again.”

That prompted the obvious question from Celestia and Nocturna both at the same time. “To what?”

Inkpot spun a spoonful of sugar into her tea with her magic and took a moment to savor the aroma, wholly exercising her theatrical sense of drama. “Mmm! You aren’t the only ones who work with nobles. They always want a little mystery in their playwrights. So I’m going to start signing my work as ‘Shakespony’.” She grinned at them and waited.

Celestia and Nocturna shared another glance. This time Celestia was the one to speak up and take the bait. “Why Shakespony?”

“Because—” Inkpot hugged herself with her forehooves and shook hard enough to make her voice warble. “—I just shake the ideas out when I write!” She then pouted at their twin facehoof. “Oh, come now. It’s a good one! Nopony is ever going to guess what it means.”

Nocturna sighed from behind her hoof. “I suppose it’s not as bad as what Lumi came up with.”

“Oh?” Inkpot asked, lifting a brow.

Celestia glared at Nocturna before she sheepishly turned back to their Mother. “I... told them I wanted to use the name Celestia.”

Inkpot blinked and let out a surprised laugh. “Celestia? You mean the winged unicorn character I drop on strings whenever I’ve written myself into a corner? That Celestia?”

Celestia gazed into her own teacup, trying not to let the blush on her cheeks reach her ears. “She was always my favorite because she makes everypony happy.”

“Ponies love heroines who can make a hard life just a little bit easier. She’s my favorite too, my problem-solver mare,” Inkpot agreed and lifted her teacup to her muzzle for another sip. Her eyes, often so full of mirth, looked at Celestia with azure clarity now. “So tell me, my love. What problem was so big that they want to give you a title over?”

“I’ve been raising and lowering the sun.”

Inkpot spat out her tea.

“I still can’t believe she actually baked you the cake,” Nocturna grumbled.

“Mom understands that it’s important. She supports me,” Celestia pointed out, and merrily gathered a big spoonful of what remained of the large wedge. She took her time in loading up the spoon with a wobbly tower of frosting before opening her mouth in an exaggerated ‘aah’.

Nocturna rolled eyes at the display and looked away.

As soon as she did, Celestia floated the cake-laden spoon from her mouth into Nocturna’s and giggled at the surprise on her sister’s face. “Gotcha! But you can have the rest of it if you’d like. It was your idea to talk to her after all.”

Nocturna grunted, but her dour expression softened as she ate.

Whenever the sisters visited home, they had a small tradition of spending time on the rooftop at night. Celestia enjoyed it because with the house built next to the theater, she could sometimes catch the late shows. Nocturna liked it because it gave her a chance to look up at the stars.

With their Mother at home and in bed, there weren’t any current performances going on, so Celestia occupied herself with Star Swirl’s notebook instead. She leaned back against the thatch of the roof and floated the book in front of her while using her lit horn tip for a light.

Eventually, Nocturna finished the cake and settled beside Celestia. “Did the magus make any progress in understanding what happened to you?”

Celestia sighed as she rotated the notebook to read her mentor’s scrawl that took a right-angle turn and went around the edge of the page. “The thaumatic equations are all there and are like our usual spellwork. But the pages about magical theory just go on and on.” She shrugged.

“I’m sure you’ll figure it out, you’ve always done well on the tests."

“Tests usually have answers,” Celestia replied. She soon scrunched her muzzle when a page of Star Swirl’s notebook turned out to be a folded napkin with scribbles on either side.

“There must be one if it happened at all. You have the proof right there,” Nocturna noted with a hoofbump against Celestia’s covered cutie mark. “It must be nice to get an upgrade. I wish I could.”

Celestia squirmed under the press and swatted the offending hoof with her tail. The wistful tone, however, had her look towards Nocturna’s flank where the powder-blue coat darkened with a splash of black. “What do you mean? I like your cutie. It’s unique.”

“It doesn’t have a symbol. Half of the time, ponies think I’m a blank flank.”

“Oh, I don’t know. It fits your name and your talent.” Celestia rocked slightly to brush her hip against Nocturna’s. “Besides, look at what happened to Mom. Stupid ponies will always try to find a way to tease and come up with nicknames.”

Nocturna smiled. “Maybe you’re right. Thank you, Candlestick.”

Celestia playfully stuck her tongue out.

For a little while they reclined in companionable silence, with Celestia studying and Nocturna stargazing. Distantly, a trio of late-working pegasi cleared a large sweep of clouds, and the moon took sudden prominence.

Nocturna sat up and nudged Celestia’s shoulder. “Hey, can you control the moon too? It looks like it’s moving.”

Celestia blinked and considered the question. “Yes and no.”

“Yes and no?” Nocturna frowned.

“It’s kinda hard to explain.” Celestia drew a circle in the air with her forehoof. “Try to imagine a giant wheel with the sun on one side and the moon on the other. I can grab it at the sun part and make it turn, but the moon part is only going up because I pushed the sun part down. It keeps going until it needs another push.”

“You sound so knowledgeable! Is this something the magus wrote?”

“No, it’s something you can only figure out if you move the whole thing yourself.” Celestia shut the book and sighed. “I guess that makes me an expert? I’m sure I’m right, though. I’ve read every astronomy book in the library since this started, and nopony ever mentions the moon and sun in the sky at the same time.”

“Are there any other mysteries you’ve discovered? Anything about the stars?” Nocturna asked, eyes big and bright as she looked up to Celestia.

Celestia found herself put on the spot after her bragging. She searched the night sky above, trying to find something, anything. Providence came when she spotted a star moving independently from the rest. She pointed. “Ah ha! Lucky star! Quick, make a wish.”

Nocturna followed her hoof and blinked at the star as it sped past. “What?”

“It’s an old Zebra folklore thing. The Starkatteri tribe say if you make a wish on a star it’ll come true.”

For a quiet moment, they both watched the star as it continued its streak across the sky.

“What did you wish for?” Celestia asked once it had fallen out of sight over the horizon.

“I thought we weren’t supposed to tell.”

“You’re thinking of birthday candles.”

“Well, what did you wish for?”

Celestia giggled. “A pair of wings like Mom’s character. Without the strings.”

“Oh,” Nocturna said, fidgeting.

“Come on, your turn to tell now.”

“It doesn’t matter,” Nocturna said with a small blush. “It’s silly.”

“Sillier than a flying unicorn?” Celestia challenged and put a hoof around her sister’s barrel. “You better tell. Or eeeelse!” She lit her horn and formed her telekinesis into feathers made of light.

“Lumi, no!” Nocturna cried and flailed with both sets of hooves as the feathers assaulted her. “S-stop! Ahhhahhahhhah!”

“To stop, you just have to tell!” Celestia sing-songed before lowering her muzzle threateningly over Nocturna’s middle. “It’s only going to get worse!”

“Hahhaha-ohnnononohaaa!” Nocturna squealed when Celestia blew into her belly. “O-okay! I-hah-will tell! Auntie! Auntie!”

“Well what is it?”

Nocturna’s muzzle was flushed a dark shade of purple that ran up to her ears and down to her chest. She didn’t quite meet Celestia’s eyes and mumbled her response into the thatch. “I wished… that I would never lose you.”

Celestia had been poised with her magic feathers and lips to give Nocturna a tickling no matter what she said. The sincerity in her voice made Celestia banish the feathers and turn the grip into a strong hug instead.

“You never will,” Celestia promised.

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