Disclaimer: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is the property of Hasbro. I make no legal claims to it whatsoever.

Author's notes: This story was completed prior to posting, and has been crossposted to my account on FIMFiction Dot Net, under the author name of AnoneMouseJr . Hope you enjoy. And if all goes well, sequels will be forthcoming.

It's said that sometimes, a single act can bring friends together, even if they don't know it at the time. Such is the case with the Sonic Rainboom, a brilliant flash of light and sound that changed the lives of six young fillies and enabled them to earn their Cutie Marks.

But what if it changed other lives in a more… roundabout manner?

Two young unicorns see the light, and one then sees the other…

Two young mothers each see the light in different ways…

A sister reacts with joy, and inspires a life of kindness…

And on the path home, one young mare saves another, earning life-long loyalty…

These are not the Mane Six as you know them.

These are a different Mane Six.

And this is their story.

Chapter 1

By Anon e Mouse Jr.

Two days before the Summer Sun Celebration…

"Spike! SPI-IIIKE!" A lavender unicorn burst into the room in a panic. "Quick, where's that copy of Predictions and Prophecies we were assigned?"

"Right here, Twilight," another unicorn told her, holding up the book in her aura. "Now remember what Cadance taught you, calm down, and tell us what's going on."

Twilight Sparkle, personal student of Princess Celestia, caught herself. Taking a couple of deep breaths, she put a hoof to her chest, and then pushed it out. She did this three times before nodding. "All right, I'm calm. And thanks, Moondancer. I needed that." Smiling at her roommate, she trotted over. "Um, where's Spike, anyway?"

"He had to use the little drake's room." Moondancer smiled back. "And I'm always glad to help you, Twilight. You know that."

"Absolutely. I don't know what I'd do without you, Moondancer."

"Have a lot more panic attacks and a lot less sociability?"

Twilight gave her the stinkeye, then turned her focus to the book. "Index… E… ah! Elements of Harmony!" Then she raised an eyebrow. "See 'Mare in the Moon'? They don't have an entry of their own? Huh."

Moondancer gave her a look as she flipped to the page. "Oh-kay… Twilight, why are you looking into an old foalhood story?"

Too focused on her book to respond, Twilight read the entry aloud. "The Mare in the Moon, myth from olden pony times. A powerful pony who wanted to rule Equestria, defeated by the Elements of Harmony and imprisoned in the moon. Legend has it that on the longest day of the thousandth year, the stars will aid in her escape, and she will bring about nighttime eternal." She looked up in horror. "That's the Summer Solstice, the day after tomorrow!"

"So I see. Look, Twilight, what is this all about?"

Twilight sighed. "I was outside reading…"

"Like you always are," Moondancer noted with a smirk.

"Hush. Anyway, I was reading about a lot of old legends, including the legend of Nightmare Moon, and there was a mention of how her elder sister used the Elements of Harmony to defeat her. I was trying to find out more about them, but now I know the date when she's supposed to come back… so we have to warn Princess Celestia!" Her eyes widened again, but before she could start shouting for Spike again, Moondancer put a hoof over her friend's mouth.

"Twilight. Calm. Down. Now, why don't I write the letter, and then Spike can send it once he gets back?"

Twilight's face flushed, and she nodded. "Right. Right."

Levitating a quill and paper over to herself, Moondancer began writing. After a few minutes, she handed the note back to Twilight. "Here. What do you think?"

Twilight took the paper and read it.

Dear Princess Celestia,

Twilight's studies of old myths and legends have indicated that the Mare in the Moon, also known as Nightmare Moon, is due to escape her prison the night before the coming Summer Sun Celebration. While I'm less inclined to believe in the older stories, I do trust her instincts, and she felt you should be alerted, so here we are.

Yours truly,

Twilight smiled. The letter was pure Moondancer: straight to the point, with minimal digressions. "Sounds good. Now all we need is Spike."

"And speak of the dragon…" Moondancer noted as their other roommate walked in. "Just in time."

"Yeah… sorry about that." Spike blushed. "Found out I had a chunk of garnet caught between my teeth from lunch, and I had to go digging through a bunch of cabinets to find a package of dragon-style toothpicks."

"Uh-huh. And here I thought I had a set right on your shelf, in the front."

"I used the last of those yesterday. This was a new package I had to find. And I'm pretty sure it's also the last new one we had." He looked at her, a more serious expression on his face. "So, what's up?"

Twilight rolled up the letter and tied a ribbon around it. "We need to send this to the Princess. Can you?"

"Sure thing." Accepting the letter, he let out a breath of flame, fire-porting the scroll away, then nodded. "So, what was that all about?"

"Ancient evil possibly returning tomorrow night," Moondancer said before Twilight could even open her mouth. "Twilight thought the Princess should be warned."

"Gotcha." Spike turned to go tidy up a few other things while they waited.

It wasn't long before the young dragon belched up a reply, which he quickly handed over to the two unicorns. Unfurling the scroll, they read it together.

Dear Twilight and Moondancer,

I appreciate your concern in the matter of Nightmare Moon. Let me reassure you, I have been preparing for the Nightmare's return for quite some time. In fact, I have set up something… special for her arrival. I expect her to be caught off-guard by my little surprise, which should help to counter the powers she has undoubtedly gained from a millennium of being sealed within her own moon.

Even so, it will not be an easy fight, which is why I have been subtly encouraging as many ponies as possible to spend their Summer Sun Celebration in other parts of the country, to keep them out of range of the battle, though I have not told them exactly why I am doing so. This is in a large part because I wish to avoid causing a panic.

However, since you know the true reason, I cannot hold back in this case.

Twilight, my faithful student… I am asking you and your companions to leave Canterlot for the duration of this event. The main Summer Sun Celebration is to be held in Ponyville this year, and while it may seem frivolous to prepare for such a celebration when such a threat is looming, I would appreciate it if you would travel there and make sure the festivities are prepared - I have enclosed three train tickets for yourself, Moondancer and Spike.

It is my hope that I will be able to handle Nightmare Moon before it is time to raise the sun on that day. But if I am unsuccessful, at least the three of you, and as many other ponies (including all of your parents and siblings) as possible, will be kept safely out of her reach during this time.

I care deeply for you, Twilight. And for all of my little ponies. Please, please keep yourselves out of the Nightmare's sight. For me, if nothing else.

Your teacher,
Princess Celestia

Rolling it back up, Twilight studied the tickets that had fallen out. "Well, I guess we leave tomorrow morning…" She shook her head. "And I guess I was worried for nothing, if she's already prepared for it."

"Hey." Moondancer laid a hoof on her shoulder. "You may be more panicky than most ponies at times…"

Twilight gave an indignant snort, which Moondancer ignored. "But you mean well, and you did get an honest answer from her. That's a good thing for all of us." She smiled. "Now, let's start packing."

Twilight smiled back at her. "Thanks, Moondancer. I appreciate that."

"No problem, Twilight. No problem at all."