• Published 9th Apr 2013
  • 4,255 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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3: Responsibilites

The investigations around the attack on Luna had started quickly, but did not seem to achieve any usable results. Within a short time the palace guards had been able to identify the attacker; some of the last words of the unicorn seemed to make sense now. Helpful Stitch had been working as an assistant of a boutique in Canterlot, and did not arrive at home after leaving his workplace this evening. Not even his family had noticed anything, no change in behavior nor the kind of confusion he had shown in the throne room. It was as if he had disappeared after work and reappeared in the castle as a crazy pony with unknown intentions.

As part of the investigations, the family of Helpful Stitch had already been informed by the palace guard while the family of Warding Moon was still sleeping, unaware of the tragedy. Being not only the immediate superior of the captain but also a friend, Luna saw it as her responsibility to deliver the message in person.

A few hours after the incident, she was on the way to the center of Canterlot where Warding Moon's wife and daughter lived. An extraordinary large group of fully armed guards accompanied her. They had protested against Luna leaving the castle, concerned about her safety.

Although Twilight had protested as well, she had also joined the group, albeit for different reasons. She was not so much concerned about security, but about Luna's emotional state. The Princess of the Night had always been strongly guided by her emotions and Twilight knew Luna’s apathy would not remain without consequences.

Twilight had tried to talk her out of visiting the family because Warding Moon's death seemed to affect the blue alicorn directly, and she was sure it would not help Luna with handling the event if she took the blame on herself.

“Do you really want to do this, Luna? I’m sure that someone else could take over. If you want, I could...”

Just the thought of the upcoming conversation silenced Twilight. As much as she wanted to help Luna, it was not a task she was eager to do.

“There is no reason to leave this task to somepony else, Twilight. Warding Moon gave his life for mine. It’s the least I can do.” Quietly, as if to herself, Luna added, “I have to take the responsibility for my actions.”

Twilight was about to say something, when Luna spoke again.

“Besides, I have... some experience with delivering this kind of message. It is not the first time...”

The rest of the way they walked in silence. Only the rattling of the armor and the sound of hooves on the street broke the silence of the night while the guards nervously scanned the area for possible threats. After about a quarter of an hour they had reached their destination, a medium-sized house in the upper part of the city of Canterlot. It was placed in one of the nobler districts and while it was not overly ornate, it was still nice to look at. Presumably, Warding Moon's job as a captain of the royal guard had helped provide this house.

The guards that accompanied Luna and Twilight insisted on entering and checking the house for potential attackers first. The tension that had seized them was visible in their faces, although it was already past midnight and several hours had passed since the incident at the castle.

“Sergeant, you're overreacting. I am not in danger, especially not here. The whole city is asleep and I am quite able to take care of myself,” Luna said, a little annoyed.

“Excuse me, Your Highness, but given the events I'm not willing to take any risk,” the leader of the guards said. “The incident in the castle was unexpected too, therefore we have to look out for further attacks everywhere.”

Luna sighed and let him have his way. Twilight thought that she probably would not be able to sleep anymore, after this statement. The sergeant moved toward the door of the house and knocked loudly.

After he had knocked a second time, lights were switched on inside, and a white unicorn mare with a green mane opened the door. She looked sleepy and annoyed, but her facial expression changed to surprise when she saw the guards and eventually the two princesses behind them.

“Your Highnesses?” she said under her breath, apparently confused.

Then, as if she had just remembered something, she bowed down before Twilight and Luna, who were partly hidden by the guards between them.

Before anypony could say anything, the sergeant asked with a stern voice, “Mrs. Daisy Garden?”

“Uh, yes, that's me. What is–”

“Their Highnesses, the Princesses Luna and Twilight, would like to speak with you. I have to inform you, however, that we have to inspect your house beforehand. Otherwise, this conversation will have to take place inside the castle. I am sure, though, that it would be in everypony's best interest to stay here.”

“W-With me? I... uh, yes of course,” she stammered, opened the door widely and gestured the guards to enter. “Is something wrong?”

“We are only here for security reasons tonight. Their Highnesses will explain everything to you,” replied the sergeant as he and some other guards looked around as discreetly as possible. A few moments later another guard gave him a nod, whereupon he left the house together with the others and took position at the entrance.

“It is safe. You may enter, Your Highnesses. We will keep watch out here.”

“Thank you, sergeant,” Luna said shortly.

She entered the house, followed by Twilight. Although she had said that she had 'experience' with situations like this, Twilight could see how uneasy Luna was.

“W-What’s going on? Did something happen?” Daisy Garden asked, still confused. “Oh, where are my manners? Please, have a seat, Your Highnesses. May I offer you something to drink? I assumed you want to speak to my husband, but he is at the castle at the moment. How could I of all ponies help you?”

Now that she was wide awake and two princesses were standing in her house, Daisy Garden was so nervous she did not seem to know what to say first. Luna and Twilight just wanted to sit down at the living room table together with the unicorn, when a soft voice made the three of them sit up.

“Mommy?”

A small, white pony appeared the top steps of a stair. The filly seemed to be very young; she had no cutiemark and probably would not get it in quite some time. Daisy Garden immediately went towards the stairs and tried to send her little filly back to bed.

“Did we wake you, Honeydew? We’ll be quiet, I promise. Come, I'll take you back to bed.” To the two alicorns she apologetically said, “Please forgive me, Your Highnesses. Our daughter has always been a very light sleeper when her father has to work at night.” Then she disappeared to the upper floor.

Twilight gave Luna a hesitant glance. For just a moment, Luna seemed to have lost her self-control. Twilight could clearly see fear in her face, though she was not entirely sure what her friend might be so afraid of. Some tears were building up in Luna's eyes. Twilight put a hoof on Luna's shoulder, whereupon the latter winced.

“Luna...”

“'Tis nothing, Twilight Sparkle.” The blue alicorn took a deep breath and within seconds she regained her composure.

“Luna, you really don't have to do this. Each of the guards outside would have this conversation in your place,” Twilight said again in an attempt to help her friend.

“No, Twilight. I cannot entrust the guards with this task.”

“You cannot... Do you not trust them? I am sure that each of them would give his li– … I'm sure they would be very well up to the task and you can trust them.”

“Please understand that I have to do this by myself.”

“By yourself? Should I–”

“I did not mean it that way, Twilight. Of course you can stay.”

“Luna, you've been deep in thought all night, I see it in your face. It was an awful night. Let me help, talk to me. That's what friends are for.”

“Twilight Sparkle, I do not like repeating myself. I need to–” Luna fell silent when she heard Daisy Garden’s hoofsteps on the stairs. Quietly, she said to Twilight, “Please, let me talk.”

She took another deep breath and tried to calm her mind. Twilight was absolutely right, there were all sorts of thoughts going through Luna’s head and she did not feel like she could cope with even one of them.

Daisy Garden apologized again for her brief absence and then she walked over to the other side of the living room table.

“So... what can I do for you, Your Highnesses? Your guard said you had some matter to discuss with me. Please forgive my directness, but what could be so important that couldn't wait until tomorrow morning? Not that I wouldn't appreciate your night, it is wonderful,” she added hastily, her eyes averted from Luna.

Luna ignored the last comment. With a stern, but very calm voice, she said, “Please, sit down.” After the white unicorn had obliged to her plea, she continued: “Mrs. Garden, we are here because of your husband, Warding Moon. There has been an incident in the throne room.”

“What... What does that mean? What happened? Where is my husband?”

“I am sorry. I have to tell you that Warding Moon lost his life in the line of duty.”

A few moments of silence went by; Daisy Garden did not seem to be able to respond. Finally, she brought out a few words.

“No... Warding Moon is... No, no this can't be!” She shook her head in denial while her face turned pale. “He was assigned for the night watch in the throne room. What could possibly...? No, this has to be some kind of mistake!”

“I assure you, there is no mistake. I was with him when he died.”

Luna started to tell her of the events that took place that evening. Slowly, but surely the sad news seemed to get through to the white unicorn. Finally, when Luna came to an end with her story, Daisy Garden burst into tears.

Luna gave her some time; when the mare did not calm down, she walked over to her and tried to put a hoof on her shoulder. Daisy Garden shook it off, jumped to her hooves and started to shout at Luna.

“Don't touch me! It's your fault my husband is dead! He died to defend you. Where was your powerful alicorn-magic everypony is talking of? You can move the moon but you can't even fend off the spell of a madpony? Without you, Warding Moon would still be alive! Celestia should never have let you come back from the moon! You are not welcome here, not in Canterlot, not in Equestria and certainly not here, in my house! Get out!”

Step by step, she had pushed Luna towards the door while she was yelling at her. Luna had remained silent all the time, but Twilight could see the words did not leave her friend unaffected; the pain was written all over her face. The young princess had watched the scene with an open mouth, but now she jumped to her hooves. She wanted to support Luna and defuse the situation.

“Mrs. Garden, I'm sure Princess Luna did her best to–”

“Oh, did she? Then why is my husband dead? Was it too difficult for the oh-so-mighty Princess of the Night to stop a few stones from falling? Or was she too busy saving herself? She escaped unscathed, after all. What do you want here, anyway? You didn't say a word the whole time. Are you the 'amazing' new guard for the crazy princess? Are you the foalsitter, appointed by Celestia so she can take care of something else but her mad sister? I told her and I’ll tell you, get out of my house!”

“Mrs. Garden, I ...”

“OUT!”

Twilight looked worried at her friend; Luna gestured her to leave. The blue alicorn went over to a nearby desk without a word, grabbed a sheet of parchment and a quill and wrote down a few words. Finally she put the scroll back on the desk and turned towards the crying unicorn.

“I am sorry,” Luna said with a trembling voice.

Then she bowed her head respectfully and left the house. When she was outside, she turned around one last time and cast a spell that seemed to surround the whole building for a moment. The glowing blue magic faded as fast as it appeared. After she was done, she went over to the guards and signaled them to leave without a single word.

On the way back to the castle Twilight tried several times to speak to Luna, but she stayed quiet the whole time; her hanging head and the grim facial expression told Twilight that the words of Warding Moon's wife had left deep traces. She wanted to help Luna, hug and comfort her, but she knew that Luna would not allow any of it at the moment.

When they arrived at the castle, the group of guards that had accompanied them were dismissed and the two princesses silently went on their way to their respective rooms. They shared the same way for some time, but after a while they had to go in different directions. Both stopped for a moment and Twilight sighed. Luna's expression had not changed a bit and there was probably no point in offering help again, even if Twilight could hardly stand to see her friend like that. Maybe Luna just needed some time to get over the events. With a lump in her throat, Twilight said goodbye.

“Good night, Luna.”

Luna continued to gaze into space, but finally she nodded in Twilight's direction and then walked slowly toward her room. Twilight gazed after her for a moment before she also started to make her way to her bed.

She had barely gone a few steps when she heard a muffled noise from Luna's direction. The tension of the evening still in her limbs, she cantered back and took a careful look around the corner. What she saw upset her deeply, although it was not surprising at all.

Luna had collapsed and lay sunk down on the floor, crying and sobbing in the light of her moon that fell through a window. Twilight trotted over to her, sat down beside her and put a hoof and a wing around Luna.

“I'm here, Luna. I'm here for you.”

Luna moved a little closer to Twilight, who took this as a good sign. No pony, not even a princess with millennia of life experience, could simply get over the recent events from the attack in the throne room to irrational accusations, and certainly not the emotional Luna who quarreled with her past every single night. It was foreseeable that her tactic of repression merely delayed the inevitable. The two ponies spent a long time in the empty corridor of the castle, Luna crying, Twilight whispering comforting words and caressing Luna's mane.

Finally, the sobs slowly stopped and Luna seemed to calm down a little. She looked at Twilight and spoke probably her first words since they had left Warding Moon’s home,

“I cannot do this alone, Twilight. Please... stay with me.”

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.