AN: MLP fanfic. Future fic and quite AU, since word of god says Twilight does not outlive her friends. Appearance of a World of Warcraft character and villains, but this is NOT a crossover. She's merely there to talk and the villains would make an amazing addition to a show about harmony and friendship. Anyway, one thousand years after Twilight becomes Princess of Friendship and takes over her own palace, her friends are all long dead, as are Princess Celestia and Luna. Twilight and Cadence are the only remaining princesses, with Cadence raising the sun and Twilight taking care of the night.

Shadows Of Darkness

Princess Twilight Sparkle, Princess of Friendship and the Night, stood silently on the balcony of Canterlot's palace. Since Celestia and Luna's departure from this mortal coil, the palace had been taken over by Twilight. Cadence was still needed in the Crystal Empire, although she was now Princess of Love and Light. Sunlight, in particular, but she liked the title 'Princess of Love and Light' and was known far and wide by it.

No one remembered Celestia anymore, besides Twilight and Cadence, and the two younger princesses were never compared to their departed predecessors. Cadence was loved and adored by all. Ponies came from all across Equestria to bask in her light in the Crystal Empire. Ever since Cadence had taken the Sun mantle up, the capitol of Equestria had shifted from Canterlot to the Empire. Twilight didn't care. She didn't care about much of anything, lately.

The night was silent, thoughtful, and velvety dark, just like her thoughts. The dreams of her subjects were an escape from her hated reality. There was no way she could have embraced the Light so thoroughly like Princess Cadence had.

Cadence had lost Shining Armor and most of her friends as well, but since Twilight had always been her best friend and sister-in-law, she hadn't seemed to suffer near as much as Twilight from the loss of friends through the ages.

The loss of Shining Armor had caused two weeks of night only lit by distant stars, Cadence being so lost in her depression that she had been unable to raise the sun. Twilight understood and kept the moon lowered, also mourning her brother and best friend's passing. The only light in the sky had been softly twinkling stars. No moon, no sun, just velvet darkness and pinpoints of distant light.

Shaking her head to try and rid herself of the morbid thoughts, Twilight glanced up once, quickly, at Cadence's brilliant sun. She turned and trotted back into her own palace. The Glass Hall was her favorite and most hated location in the palace. It brought back wonderful memories, and sad memories.

Twilight stopped at her favorite stained glass window. The art was a masterpiece of magic, Celestia's magic. In the magical work of art, a mare of darkness twisted in silent shock as beams of rainbow light shot from the six ponies surrounding her. The Elements of Harmony.

Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Applejack, and herself, as the Element of Magic. Her best friends. Her gaze rested on another panel, a panel showing her own palace and seven thrones, each occupied by the five Elements of Harmony, herself, and Discord, who had become a dear friend in his own right.

Despite his own immortality, she hadn't seen Discord since the last of her five friends, Fluttershy, had passed on. Cadence hadn't either. There had been no outbursts of chaos, no change in Equestria's magical balance, nothing at all to indicate that Discord was even in Equestria. Discord's loss, shockingly, had hurt as much as Fluttershy's had that day. She had seen it in his eyes. The loss of meaning, of hope, the desire to simply fold in upon himself and fade away. And so he had.

She slowly walked past the other works of glass art, tears that wouldn't come burned in her eyes. She wanted to cry, but she hadn't, not once, not even for her friends. Tears, sadness, wasn't the way of the Princess of Friendship and guardian of the Night. Tears would...make it real. Too real.

The violet alicorn princess stopped at one of the panels, the only one that still gave her hope. It was the glass art that showed Spike holding the Crystal Heart, saving the Crystal Empire and Princess Cadence from King Sombra. Spike...she missed him so, but in her heart, she knew he wasn't dead. She simply wondered why he hadn't stayed with her.

Dragons were immortal, powerful, eternal. In the thousand years since Spike's departure to, in his own words, find his dragon family and his true meaning, she knew he wasn't dead. He had become something different, however. A dragon that was over five hundred was more powerful than even an alicorn princess, perhaps even a 'defect' like Spike had thought he was, and maybe he HAD been a defect.

That was the reason Spike sought his dragon family in the first place. To find out if his lack of wings were what caused his parents to abandon him to ponies. Spike had been so upset when he'd found the dragon book and found absolutely nothing about wingless dragons.

He had determined that that was why his parents abandoned him. Because they could smell his birth defect from the egg and refused to raise a freak. He thought it had just been pure luck that had saved his egg from dying to the elements or to predators like Timberwolves.

As for dragons in general, there were so few of them, however, that they were not a threat. Also, many earth ponies had learned to speak to animals, and dragons, and they had become allies of a sort.

Spike was over a thousand years old, wherever he was. He was one of those inscrutable, impossibly powerful beings now. Would he even remember Twilight? Would he even CARE if he did remember her? To an ancient dragon, even the lifespan of an alicorn was considered to be a simple blink of an eye. Or was he really a freak, and therefore possibly dead, indeed?

She passed Spike's portrait and opened one of the secret side doors in Canterlot castle. A massive mirror stood on a dais in the center of the room. Twilight looked into the mirror for a long, long time. She saw not her own reflection, but her friends, everything, as it had been when she'd first come to a small town called Ponyville.

Pinkie Pie was laughing, Rainbow Dash was showing off, Fluttershy was quietly speaking to Discord in a corner, Applejack, whose honesty not even a magic mirror could erase, lay on the ground, her eyes closed and her body too still. Rarity was going through a rack of dresses, shaking her head as each one passed her harsh scrutiny. In the far background, the small group of Cutie Mark Crusaders were sailing down a zipline. Spike was mooning over Rarity.

Her eyes burned even more. Why did she come here? Why, every day, hours on end, decades and decades, did she stand in front of this mysterious mirror? She never understood what it was. Never even tried. She was afraid that if she understood the magic, it would stop. Stop showing the best days of her life. Stop showing her everything she ever wanted. Her friends back. Ponyville. Days when she had been happy.

"Twilight Sparkle..." said a soft female voice, wise and soft, so very much like Celestia's, "Tarry not in front of dreams, or you will fall into them, lost forever. Equestria needs you."

So lost in the mirror was the alicorn that it took her an extra few moments to be startled at the voice. The only voice she ever heard in this room was her own, and now this one...had someone followed her? She turned around slowly, afraid of what she might see. A strangled gasp escaped her throat.

So beautiful, the being in front of the alicorn princess. At first glance, it was a dragon, a massive dragon, except she noticed that it did not have wings and seemed to glow with an unearthly emerald light. It was floating several feet off the ground, seemingly held up by the mystical green light. It's undulating body reminded her of Discord. It's dragonlike face was so very similar to Spike's. What was this gorgeous being?

She realized that her mouth of was hanging open and closed it quickly. Twilight pulled upon the massive well of alicorn magic that boiled inside of her, readying a defense, in case this being meant harm. Futile. Twilight thought, There is no way my magic could even leave a dent on this creature.

She knew without knowing how. The creature was so powerful. She, for Twilight could tell that the being was female from her voice and her innate beauty, simply waited in front of Twilight. Her undulating body still giving off that soft jade light.

"What...what ARE you? What do you want? I don't understa-" Twilight was shouting, not in fear, but in confusion and shock.

"Be at peace, young one." The being interrupted. "I mean no harm, only aid. I came here from another world. Through the other mirror, the one that leads to other worlds. Yes, worlds. So many. Equestria, my world, Tirek's world, the world you traveled to long ago, a broken world called many. So many possibilities."

Her voice was calming, sweet, and yet impossibly powerful and ancient. "What do you mean? Are you stuck here?" Twilight realized her voice was barely above a whisper. "Did the mirror close on you? I can try to reopen it, I-"

"Shhh, child. The mirror for the world I am from will not open for a great many years to come. I am ancient. So ancient not even you could comprehend, and yes, the portal to my world is closed for what I consider to be a long time." She tilted her glorious jade head upward, toward the stars that were painted on the ceiling of the massive mirror room.

"I know this world. Of the ponies of Equestria. Of you, Princess of the Night, Twilight Sparkle. And of Princess Cadence, Princess of the Sun. I can only offer my aid and...friendship. My name is Yu'lon. On my world, it means Serpent of Jade. I was...the Element of Wisdom, to put it into terms you can comprehend. I am the mother of beings called cloud serpents. Equestria has cloud serpents, but few, so very few. Creatures of pure shadow, representations of the dark emotions within us all, stole a single clutch of my eggs, over a thousand years ago, and took them through a portal to this world."

"I do not mourn them, nor will I seek them out, my lost children. Cloud Serpents are resilient, and inextricably attached to magic. I know, if my hatchlings were not killed in the egg, that they were cared for by the powerful unicorns of your race. That is why I do not worry. You, too, should not worry about things you cannot control. You should not cry for your friends, for surely they would be greatly saddened to see you the way you are this day."

Something in Yu'lon's voice seemed to grab Twilight's heart and twist it, fiercely, and yet gently. The princess felt wetness in her fur, streaking down her face. She tasted salt. Tears. Real tears. What was it about Yu'lon that had caused her to finally, finally, break down into the wracking sobs she'd held inside of her for so long?

Was it because she spoke the truth? That her friends would indeed be very sad to see her a cold, depressed mess of a pony? Yes. It was. She could almost hear Pinkie Pie's voice, telling her 'turn that sad frown upside down!' and to smile. Thick, wet sobs escaped her. She sank to her knees, curling her legs under her and continued to let out great gasping sobs, healing tears, at long last grieving for her friends. True grief, of loss, sadness, and in the end, acceptance.

Twilight felt a soft paw touch the top of her mane. The tiny paw stroked softly, murmuring words of comfort. Twilight raised her tear stained face and found herself looking into the startling jade eyes of a tiny bear cub, standing upright on two legs, white with black markings and a tiny puffed tail. Another unfamiliar creature, but Twilight didn't need magic to know that it was Yu'lon, in a small, more comforting form.

"I come to you, to aid you, because Equestria is in grave danger, young princess. You and Cadence...and perhaps others...are the only ones capable of fighting them. The...Sha." Yu'lon's new voice was high-pitched and sounded like a filly's.

The mention of another great danger to Equestria almost broke through Twilight's finally released grief, but she shook her head in the end, tucking her legs beneath her and lying down.

"Yu'lon, find someone else. Go to Cadence, she will be happy to participate in your...whatever it is you want to accomplish. I'm just so...tired. So tired. I want it to be over." Tears streaked down her face again.

"There is no one else, young one. Dear Princess." Yu'lon ran one of her soft, furry paws down Twilight's sparkling mane. "The Sha prey on negative emotions. The Sha of Despair will find your sadness to be a feast. You must understand. Every other threat against Equestria you've faced will be as nothing compared to what the Sha can bring."

The tiny bear-like creature that was Yu'lon sighed. "They are every negative emotion ever experienced. They feed off negativity and conflict. And-"

"You want me and Cadence to use the Power of Friendship, the Power of Harmony, to send them away, right?" The alicorn princess spat. "No. You're more powerful than I am. YOU defeat them!"

Yu'lon tilted her head to the side, and, to Twilight's shock, smiled. "I cannot. One Element Of Harmony has no power alone. I am only the Element of Wisdom. The Elements of Strength, Fortitude, and Hope are no longer with me. They protect my home world. Now, I come here to offer my Element, my power, my aid, to the new Elements of Strength, Fortitude, and Hope. Together, they can end the Sha in this world. Forever."

"The true Elements of Harmony on this world are no more, you pathetic excuse for a dragon. No wings, turns into a fluffy baby bear...I don't know how you even became powerful at all. I'm tired, I'm bitter. I just want everything to GO AWAY!" She shouted, she covered her tear stained eyes with her hooves.

Twilight's eyes were squeezed shut as tight as she could get them. Again, she felt the tiny paw beneath her chin, tilted it up with an odd amount of strength for a creature so small.

"Please, Twilight Sparkle, Princess of Friendship and the Night. All I ask is that you consider it. A great darkness is already beginning to sweep the land. Cadence has already noticed it. Do not let despair enter your heart, or you are lost. The essence of despair will overcome you. The Sha will control the greatest Princess Equestria has ever known. Don't let that happen."

Yu'lon leaned over and pressed her furry little mouth against Twilight's cheek, a soft kiss, and transformed back into the glorious, beautiful Mother of Serpents that she really was.

Her voice was again ethereal and every word she spoke sounded of the utmost importance. "I will leave you to decide. I must speak with Princess Cadence now. She knows of my impending visit. Think, Princess. Think hard. Do you really want the Equestria you and your friends fought so hard for to fall under shadow and darkness once more?"

A soft whisper of magic and Yu'lon had vanished.

R/R. Yes, there are likely errors. As I always say, I'm writing fanfiction, not novels! Still, constructive criticism is appreciated! The Sha are an amazing villain and would make for a great season finale in MLP if they toned down the violence, suicides, and gore that the Sha produce in their source material.