• Published 9th Apr 2013
  • 4,256 Views, 78 Comments

Reliving Memories - Brilorodion

After Twilight has not only lost memories but also starts acting strange, ancient forces begin their devastating power games.

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1: One of These Days...

“You can't simply reject this request!”

“What I can and can't do is not your decision. You greatly overestimate your position.”

“This is outrag–”

“Enough!” Twilight shouted. Her voice echoed through the throne room of Canterlot and made her wince. Whoops! For a short moment, she feared the volume might shatter the stained glass windows. Glancing around, she silently sighed; not a single one had so much as cracked. Keep it together, Twilight! Nopony noticed your outburst. Don’t be afraid of your position.

The discussion with the noblepony in front of her, a stallion named Radiant Topaz, had now lasted almost an hour. He requested a grant for a research trip, but Twilight could see through his depictions in the first few minutes. His request was nothing more than a planned vacation at the expense of the crown. The fact that he was still encroaching on her time made her think that he was either incredibly arrogant or didn’t realize she unveiled his true intention in the first few minutes. Probably both.

In the course of the conversation, Twilight had more than once given him the opportunity to withdraw and let the tall tale rest, but now she reached a point where she only wanted to get rid of him. It was one of these days that didn’t seem to end. Although Twilight was slowly growing accustomed to her role as a princess, she felt extremely uncomfortable in imposing her authority; she always worried about her decision for days afterwards. However, today it was probably her only chance to go to bed without a headache.

“Your request is hereby rejected. This is my last word.”

“We'll see about that,” Radiant Topaz grumbled. “This isn't over yet.”

He turned around without another word and walked out of the throne room, holding his head high. Twilight leaned against the back of the throne and rubbed her temple with a hoof. She had been close to letting that noblepony get thrown out by the guards, but she wanted to avoid a scandal – especially since she had not had her new post for a long time. She took a deep breath and turned towards the guard standing at the bottom of the throne’s pedestal.

“Please tell me he was the last one.”

“No more visitors today, Your Highness,” the guard responded.

“Oh thank Celestia and Lu– I mean, it’s certainly great to hear nopony else has a problem I can help with,” Twilight corrected herself, glancing back at Stiff Britches. She blushed and hoped the seasoned royal advisor didn’t notice her minor slip in formality, but she was sure he had: he had overseen her court sessions for months and knew her quite well. He raised an eyebrow and scribbled down a note on his clipboard; she knew what that meant. There goes the chance of not getting a headache. Good job, Twilight.

She slowly rose from the throne, and another guard’s voice echoed through the hall, announcing the closing of today’s court. She sighed and recalled why she had agreed to take over this task in the first place. A year ago, after Twilight's coronation, Princess Celestia had talked for hours with her about the founding of the Twilit Court.

“It is a wonderful opportunity, and I know you are more than able to lead your own court, Twilight,” Celestia said with a smile. “You wouldn’t have the responsibility that comes with ruling. You would just help.”

“But Princess Celestia, I'm just a regular uni–” She cut herself off, rolling her eyes. “Okay, you have a point there, but I still can't decide somepony's fate. I don't have any experience!” Twilight answered. “I haven't even read all the books on how to be a princess,” she added, blushing.

“I told you, you do not have to address me as ‘princess’ anymore, Twilight. You have all the knowledge you need. Every time you helped your friends with their problems, you did the same you would do in court. You will help other ponies.”

“I...” Twilight looked down in resignation. “You're right, of course. I will do it. I really want to help as much as I can, but I'm afraid of failing you,” she said, her head hanging low.

“You won't fail anypony, Twilight. Have faith in yourself.” Celestia put a hoof under Twilight’s muzzle and gently pushed her head up. “I am glad you finally agreed, and I'm sure Luna will be happy, too. Between you and me, she really likes to sleep late, that's why her court isn't tied to fixed times. Although I hope it will be once we set up yours.”

“Speaking of organization, how could all of this work at all? I can't move to Canterlot and leave my friends! And I can't spend all day sitting in the train. It’s far too slow.” Twilight was already creating checklists in her head.

“I’m sure your friend Rainbow Dash can come up with something,” Celestia said with a knowing smile.

Twilight smiled, thinking of the flying lessons Rainbow Dash had given her. Twilight had indeed been given wings, but that didn't mean she had become a strong flyer. At first, she couldn't fly more than a few hundred meters without having to land. Even though Twilight had managed to talk her way out of Rainbow's exercises for all kinds of stunts, she had taken some speed and endurance lessons, and she had improved considerably. Despite the long-lasting muscle soreness after the intense training, she was grateful to her friend – after the lessons, she was able to travel daily between Ponyville and Canterlot.

Today, however, she was too tired to fly to Ponyville. As she passed the small door on the side of the throne room, Stiff Britches joined her. She laid back her ears and rolled her eyes. Here we go.

“Your Highness, even though your popularity is obviously growing since you seem to get more and more visitors during these court sessions, I simply must point out some issues with your etiquette that are not becoming of a princess.”

“You really need to do that?”

“I insist.”

“If you insist...” Twilight said, waving a hoof to make him go on.

“Firstly, even if somepony puts your royal patience to the test, you mustn’t show your fatigue in court. I suggest a reduction of whatever it is Your Highness does before the court sessions to a minimum.”

“You want me to reduce my studying? What do you think enabled me to uncover those lies Radiant Topaz just told?” Twilight asked. Don’t argue with him, Twilight, it leads only to more headaches. Just agree and get rid of him.

Stiff Britches continued, “Although a good preparation is certainly desirable, I’m sure there are other activities that have an impact on your schedule. Please refrain from wasting time on those in the future. Secondly...”

He spoke more as they were walking down the corridors towards Twilight’s rooms. She yawned and realized that she could barely keep her eyes open. She had taught herself several new spells in the afternoon before attending the sitting of the Twilit Court. Radiant Topaz had not been the only pony who had caused that much trouble this evening. Instead of arguing with Stiff Britches, she switched to nodding now and then while pursuing her own thoughts and staring into space.

Twilight shook her head, trying to get rid off the negative memories of today's meeting. It was over, and she only had to get rid of Stiff Britches before she could get something to eat. After that, she would send a note to Spike telling him not to wait for her and go to sleep. Oh, maybe I’ll meet Luna on the way! Just the thought created a smile on her face – it always made her happy when she could meet the Princess of the Night in the evening. After they had started seeing each other frequently due to Twilight's new duties, they quickly became close friends. Their evening meetings – due to Luna's random sleeping patterns – had been irregular, much to Twilight's dismay. She has been waiting for me almost every day lately. I wonder if… No, it’s just a coincidence. Although it would be nice… Stop these thoughts, Twilight! It’s Luna, for Pete’s sake!

“...and it is important to always take into account the influence a rejection will have on the relations between the nobility and…”

While the royal adviser continued lecturing her, Twilight turned around a corner before a thunderbolt made her cry out. Eyes opened wide and her horn already glowing, she looked around, searching for the source of the disturbance. Seconds later, when she couldn’t find anything in her immediate surroundings, a suppressed laugh called her attention to a dark storm cloud above her with a midnight blue alicorn on it. Luna couldn’t hold back any longer while sitting on the cloud, and Twilight went from heavily panting to bursting out in a hearty laugh that made her pat her chest and sit down; the Princess of the Night loved to play pranks on her friend. How did she get that cloud in here?

“Luna! You nearly gave me a heart attack! Good trick,” Twilight said, still laughing. “What are you doing here? Aren't your chambers in the other direction?”

“We could... I mean, I just could not pass up the opportunity to scare my best friend,” Luna said.

Twilight covered her mouth with a hoof to stifle her chuckle as the Lunar Princess almost fell back to the royal 'We'. “Still can’t get rid of old habits?” she asked.

“‘Tis not something one could overcome quickly after using it for millennia. How was your day?”


The two princesses both raised an eyebrow and turned to look at Stiff Britches, who now took a step towards them to attract their attention.

“If I may interfere, I was just talking with Princess Twilight about her behavior during the Twilit Court,” Stiff Britches said. “Princess Celestia ordered me to improve the manners of our young princess.”

Luna gave him a stern look. "As it happens, I tend to be quite familiar with the orders given. In case it had eluded you, there are some who would consider me part of the diarchy, after all,” she said, emphasizing every word. “Though, granted, I may have missed a note, so one can never be too sure.

“On another note, I know my sister ordered you to help Princess Twilight with any problems she might encounter, not to lecture her, as I have repeatedly reminded you. Lastly, be assured that she will keep your advice in mind. That will be all.”

“But Princess Celestia said–”

Luna took a quick step towards him and stamped her right hoof, her eyes narrowing as she stared at him. Twilight wasn’t sure if Luna used magic to intimidate him; her horn wasn’t glowing, but the room still seemed to darken while she was towering above the adviser. Knowing he had gone too far, Stiff Britches’ eyes widened. He caved in, bowed deeply and left as fast as he could. As soon as he turned around, Luna’s appearance changed again; she looked as cheerful as before.

“Wow, thank you! I thought he was never going to shut up. How did you do that? Looks like you have a version of Fluttershy’s Stare for nobles,” Twilight said.

“I may not be up to date with some things, but I do know some tricks ponies have not seen in centuries. Anyway, where was I? How was your day?”

“Until a few hours ago, great. I've read three chapters of 'History of Griffica', and then I decrypted some spells from the book of Starswirl the Bearded. I probably forgot half of everything because of Radiant Topaz and all the other nobleponies.” I definitely need to reread those chapters tomorrow. “He cost me a whole hour! I could have worked through a complete chapter in my current book! All the nobleponies in this city are crazy! How can anypony be so…”

“...arrogant and unbearable?” Luna finished her sentence. “Believe me, Twilight Spa... Twilight: although Radiant Topaz is a very stressful contemporary, he cannot keep up with the nobles of a millennium ago. I would at all times prefer ten of his kind over one from those days. Shall we go eat?”

“Sure. Hoping to meet you was the only bright spot during the last few hours,” Twilight said, whereupon Luna smiled sheepishly. That has to be the cutest smi– Woah, where did that come from? Twilight thought. She quickly turned her head and pretended to look through the nearby window to hide her blushing face. Luna landed next to her friend and, with a short glow of her horn, banished the cloud.

“You have to show me how that works,” Twilight said. “Is it possible with every type of cloud? Does it need a lot of preparation? How much energy does it cost?”

Her interest awakened and, despite her obvious fatigue, she had almost instantly fallen into her 'learning mode', as Spike called it. Luna, however, noticed the dark circles that were building up around Twilight’s eyes and didn't make any effort to respond to the questions.

“Another time, perhaps. You look quite tired. Did Spike wake you too early, again?”

“No, this time it was Pinkie Pie's Singing Telegram. That pony always finds a reason to throw a party. I can't attend… again,” Twilight said with a sigh, her good mood dwindling. “Since I'm spending so much time in Canterlot, I just don't have as much time for my friends in Ponyville anymore.”

They had arrived at a smaller dining room. In contrast to her sister, Luna didn't put much emphasis on representation – also most ponies still didn't see Equestria as diarchy, so it seemed unnecessary to her to spend all her time in public. It also had the advantage of providing a place where she could talk to Twilight without any disturbance. She was Luna's only close friend, even if she was reluctant to admit it. It was easy for her to to speak with Twilight about everything that came to her mind, and it was similar vice versa.

When they finished eating, they continued talking for a bit until Twilight’s yawning became more and more frequent.

“Twilight, forgive me, but you look terrible. I should not have kept you awake,” Luna said.

“I’m not that tired; it’s the headache I got from the court and Stiff Britches,” Twilight answered. “I hope I can get to sleep with that at all.”

“Well, I cannot...” Luna trailed off. “Ah, to the sun with that! Stand still and relax for a moment,” she said, walking over to Twilight. Luna closed her teal eyes and her horn began to glow. The blue aura enveloped Twilight for a few seconds, caused a shiver to run down her spine, then faded out while Luna opened her eyes again.

“What did you do? My headache is gone! And I feel incredibly recovered!” Twilight said. “I’ve never even heard of that spell, can you teach me? Oh, what I could learn without getting exhausted!” Just the thought made her eyes widen in anticipation. That’s already the third spell I didn’t know. And that Stiff Britches wanted me to reduce my studying time!

Luna chuckled. “‘Tis for this reason, Twilight, that this spell is not taught anymore. A pony’s body and mind will always require sleep, and no spell can change that. What I cast was merely an illusion to befool your mind. You are still tired and your headache is not gone,” Luna said. She continued and now looked directly into Twilight’s eyes. “The spell will wear off once you are asleep, since I limited the duration. Promise me to not use the effects to stay up late. It will do you no good.”

“I promise. Oh, and thank you.”

Luna looked to the side, hiding her face and quietly said, “I would be grateful if you would refrain from telling anyone. My sister and I chose to not use it anymore, and you can look upon this as a one time only exception.”

“You can count on me, Luna,” Twilight said with a smile. “So I better get to bed then, I guess.”

“Indeed. Sleep well, Twilight Sparkle,” Luna said. She took a step closer and gave Twilight a hug.

“I wish you a peaceful court session, not like mine,” Twilight said, hugging Luna back. For a moment, it seemed like neither of them wanted to part. What am I thinking? Oh, I shouldn’t have done this! Twilight withdrew and looked down sheepishly, her ears laid back and her wings rustling; even a year after her 'promotion' she didn't have her new limbs under enough control to hide her emotions.

“Good night, Luna.”

“Good night, Twilight.”

Some minutes later, Twilight had sent a note to Spike, and arrived at her bedroom. Putting away her diadem and regalia, she set the alarm on her clock and laid down on the bed. Even with Luna’s spell still active, she fell asleep almost immediately.

Despite the busy day, it was a restless sleep. Twilight had a confusing dream, which somehow mixed up all the events and feelings of her day. Cloudy images of nobles were followed by the feeling of a heavy burden pushing her down while her friends in Ponyville slowly disappeared in a dark mist.

After a while, the overwhelming darkness around her changed. It was still dark, but now she was at ease. Memories of her time with Luna came up, and her sleep got calmer. Twilight remembered how Luna used forbidden spells just to make her feel better, how she stood up for her against the adviser, and how they laughed together. That smile...


Despite her fatigue, Twilight woke up abruptly. “What in...” she mumbled. Was that Luna’s voice? She quickly got up to check what was going on. She had only taken a few steps, when the entire castle seemed to shake and made her trip. I must still be half-asle– Wait, it doesn’t stop shaking!

“Wha-a-a-at i-i-is go-o-i-i-ng o-on?” she stuttered.

As quick as it started, the shaking stopped. Twilight stood up, hastily put her diadem and regalia back on – the royal advisers had 'suggested' more than once that she had to wear both, even in a crisis, which she had only accepted under protest – and set out in search of the next guard to get information about the situation.

On the way to the castle courtyard, from where voices originated, she felt Celestia's now-familiar magic in the back of her mind, a simple but seemingly urgent nudge sent to wake her, should she still be sleeping. All the corridors she came through were swept empty, causing a strange feeling in her stomach.

Where is everypony? Where are the guards? And what requires three princesses to be present in the middle of the night? These thoughts only worsened the already unpleasant feeling in her stomach. Almost panicking, Twilight ran now, looking left and right into every corridor she came along in search for other ponies, her wings rustling at her side.

It wasn't until she had almost arrived at the courtyard that she met a squad of guards galloping hastily in her direction. It was led by Stainless Blade, a young and dedicated sergeant, whom she knew through her brother. He had a terrified but determined expression, which changed at least partly to relief as he recognized her. Once he stopped, the other guards took positions around Twilight and shot glances in every direction, apparently searching for anything suspicious.

“Sergeant, what's going on?” Twilight asked him and took a deep breath, trying to steady her nerves.

“Princess! Thank Celestia, you're unharmed,” he sighed with relief. “We were just on the way to you to provide protection. We were ordered to accompany you to the throne room. There was an attack on Princess Luna.”

Twilight's heart skipped a beat and her knees seemed to stop holding her weight. “I-is Luna...”

“I don't know anything specific,” he continued. “According to my first information, there have been several injuries... and two deaths.”

“My Lord, we have gained access to another section. This one looks promising.” She bowed deeply while giving the report.

“What about the safeguards?” a stern voice demanded.

“I believe we were able to lift the alarm spell.”

“You believe?” The voice started to sound angry. “Do I need to remind you of what happens when she is notified?”

“Forgive me, my Lord,” she said, her voice trembling. “I am sure the alarm was neutralized in time. There is no danger. In addition, we have obtained enough knowledge on the seal to fix it. In case of an emergency, there would be no trace.”

“Did you uncover any clues through which we can find it?”

“Unfortunately nothing so far, my lord. However, we expect the discovery in this section.”

“Do not waste time. It will begin soon.”

Author's Note:

I would like to thank my proofreaders and every user of the IRC channel of 'The Writer's Group' who helped me.