The dream died that night. When sister turned upon sister in wrath and sought to drown the world in flame.
What might have been. What should have been.
Can now never be what it was meant to.
From the diary of Clover the Clever.
Once upon a time in the magical land of Equestria. There lived two regal sisters who ruled together and created harmony for all the land.
To do this, the eldest used her unicorn powers to raise the sun at dawn, The younger brought out the moon to begin the night. Thus, the two sisters maintained balance for their kingdom and their subjects, all the different types of ponies.
But as time went on, the younger sister became resentful. The ponies relished and played in the day her elder sister brought fourth. But shunned and slept through her beautiful night.
Princess Luna stalked through the halls of the Everfree Castle fighting back tears. Another night had passed. Another night no pony cared about.
"Why?" She asked no pony in particular. "The night is beautiful. Not something to fear." She let her tears fall now. "Why can't more see that?"
Yes. Why do they shun you? Are you not deserving of as much love as your sister?
Luna stopped. She knew that voice. It had become her constant companion over the last few weeks. Always whispering in the back of her mind. Whispering of what she wanted.
What of Celestia? If she truly cared about you, why hasn't she done something about pony's fears? Yet she sits by and does nothing.
It was true. Tia had done nothing about pony's fears. Even after Luna had brought her feelings up at breakfast the week before she had laughed them off and said that they were nothing. That ponies would come to love the night as much as the day.
She does not care about you. If she will not help you, I will. With my help, you will be loved. Ponies will come to love the night even more than the day. All you need to do is say yes.
Visions began to play before Luna's eyes. Showing ponies enjoying her night. Even more than the day. She was loved again. Never alone.
Luna waivered. "I-"
Luna jumped. A new voice had joined her. Three lights had appeared in the visions. Luna felt her connection to the Elements of Harmony flare anew.
You see what you want, a world where you are loved and the night is not scorned. But that world is a lie. Now. See the truth behind the lie.
The visions changed. Now, Luna saw herself not as a benevolent ruler. But a cruel and sadistic tyrant who ruled by fear and an iron hoof. Ponies lived in fear of their lives if they did not please her.
Luna was horrified. "No!" She shouted, banishing the visions with a wave of her hoof, choking back renewed tears. "I'm not. I'm not like that. I'm not her."
Fool! You would believe them over what your heart knows to be true?
Luna scowled. Igniting her horn, she used her Terror Sight on the voice that had been following her. And finally noticed something she had been ignoring. To her horror.
"I see you now. Corruption. Parasite. A shadow of Sombra." Her scowl deepened. "How you escaped his fall I do not know. Know this though. I will never be your slave. Be gone from my sight!"
Fool! Without me you will never have what you want.
"You would turn me against my sister, against my ponies, turn me into a monster." Luna replied, her scowl growing. "If this is what you offer, then I refuse it. I will not bow down to you." Igniting her horn once more, Luna felt the three Elements she bore lend their strength to hers. "Be gone wretched thing!"
Luna felt her magic expand. She felt the thing hiss as her magic burned it. She felt a feral smile cross her lips as the shadow fled before her magic could destroy it.
When she was sure it had gone, she cut off her magic. Exhaustion overcame her then, reminding her that she still needed to sleep. But her brief battle with the shadow had given her something to think about. If she wanted to avoid the future she saw, she needed to change, to change how ponies saw the night.
"If they will not love it now, then I will show them that the night is beautiful." She said in a whisper, her face split into a huge grin. Her spirits renewed, Luna practically pranced to her chambers plans already forming in her mind.
To remedy this, the younger began looking for ways to change pony's opinions. She went out in the day more. She began to ask ponies what could make the night better.
Soon the changes began to be noticed. More ponies became interested in astronomy; nightclubs began to open in all major cities and more. The younger even convinced the elder sister to shorten the days as the year grew on.
The elder sister praised her sister's efforts and supported them whole heartedly, but began to notice that ponies now began to grumble about the day. "Too hot." They said. "All we do is work. The night offers rest and relaxation."
The eldest paid it no mind. No harm was coming from such talk.
But in her heart, a hidden seed of resentment had been planted.
Several years later.
Luna awoke with a spring in her step. Everypony who saw her would know why. And they were glad for it. They much preferred her now to the way she once been only a few years earlier.
Her plans for helping love the night as they did the day were a resounding success. Some had even begun to love the night more than they did the day.
A small, petty, part of Luna was glad of it. Though her worst thoughts had been abandoned, she was still the younger sister. Some were still petty enough to rub it in her face. But it no longer rankled like it once had.
Speaking of sisters, Luna was worried about her sister. Recently, Celestia had become more and more withdrawn. Her greetings, when she did so at all, were clipped and rushed.
If Luna was being truthful with herself, and she liked to think she was (she bore the Element of Honesty by the stars above), she was scarred about what Tia was becoming. Too many memoires of what she had experienced.
As she slipped the last of her hooboots on, there came a knock at the door. "Enter." She called out.
A mare, one of the Chiroptera that made up her Night Guard, stood in the doorway, her face full of fear and a thin trickle of blood flowing out from underneath her mane.
"Your highness. It's Princess Celestia. She's…"
Luna was shocked by the mare's appearance. "What of my sister?"
"When it was time to lower the sun, she refused to do. Saying that if ponies didn't like the day, then they could all burn." The mare replied shaking. "Her guards, the servants, even some of the Night Guard… She burned them alive."
Luna coked back her bile. She of course knew her sister had that kind of power. It came with her connection to the sun. But for her to ever use it on defenseless ponies?
"Where is she now?" Luna asked through gritted teeth.
"In the Throne Room." The mare replied. "No one can get in; she's melted the door shut."
Luna smirked. "Leave my sister to me. Get everypony else out of the castle. Send word to the garrison at Canterlot. Have them be on high alert."
Luna's duties also included full command of Equestria's armies. Celestia of course would also hold command in case of emergencies, but most command duties fell to Luna.
The mare nodded and ran off. Luna meanwhile gathered her magic and slipped into her Wraith Walk form. Perfect for slipping into the Throne Room.
For even the brightest light cast a shadow. And shadow was her domain.
Luna could feel the heat even before she reached the Throne Room, which should have been impossible in her Wraith Form. But somehow she felt it.
Returning to her solid form, she felt her bile rise at what she saw. Bodies of ponies lay everywhere all burned beyond recognition. Some had been running away from something as they had been killed.
Luna felt sick. Even when they had faced Discord, they had never seen anything like this. Not even Sombra or Tirek had ever killed anypony. Only the old Berserker Legions of the Griffon Empire had ever killed like this, and they were a fading memory.
Steeling herself and refusing to back down she walked into the Throne Room. It immediately felt like she had walked into an active volcano. All the tapestries lay burned on the ground and windows lay shattered.
At the far end of the hall her throne was a pile of molten slag. And next to it was…
"Finally decided to join us I see, sister."
The creature could only vaguely be described as Celestia. Her voice was demonic. Her coat was a bright orange and her mane and ail were solid flame. The only thing that said it was Celestia was her cutie-mark of a sun.
"Sister. What have you done?" Luna asked.
The creature smirked. Luna had never seen anything uglier. "Isn't it obvious? I'm taking what's rightfully mine."
Luna was confused. "What do you mean? Tia I-"
"The name's Daybreaker now actually." She responded. "And you know what I mean Lulu." She spat with so much venom that Luna was even more shocked.
"Is this about more ponies loving the night now?" She asked. "I never-"
"Of course you never meant for it to happen." Daybreaker spat. "If that helps you sleep at night then keep telling yourself that." Her smile returned. "You know, this was once just about that. About how jealous of you I was."
Now her smile became a smirk. "But now I just want one thing: to see everything on this planet dead." Her horn ignited, its color now matching her coat.
"Starting with you!" Her magic intensified as Luna felt the temperature rise even more.
Luna barely had time to raise a spell shield in front of her before Daybreaker fired. It didn't stop the beam at all and Luna felt the full blast of magic hit her like a mountain.
She was flung back like a rag doll, crashing through who knew how many walls before coming to a crashing halt in the Hall of the Elements.
For several minutes she lay there unconscious before her eyes fluttered open.
Every part of her body hurt. She coughed up blood as she tried to focus. Her wings were broken and horn felt like it had been chipped. Her legs went in all the wrong directions. She was lucky to be alive.
But fate apparently had a cruel sense of humor. "Guess I do have some sentimentality left in me." Came a voice. Luna winced as Daybreaker landed in front of her.
"Not for much longer anyway." She continued, her smirk growing crueler by the second.
Luan tried to move, to defend herself, but her body refused to move. Even her magic refused to respond. She felt tears begin to fall as she watched Daybreaker's horn light up again.
"Tia please, don't." Luna pleaded hoping it would have an effect on the monster her sister had become.
But it only seemed to increase her rage. "Say hello to our parents in the afterlife Lulu. And good riddance." And fired.
Luna closed her eyes as she waited for the attack that would end her life.
But the searing pain and the release of death never came.
All Luna could hear was a shout of shock from the creature her sister had become and the feeling of being teleported. How she didn't know for her magic still refused to listen to her.
When she could see again, she found herself in a place she never expected to see again: the Astral Plane. She and Celestia had been here years earlier when they had first found the Elements of Harmony. From what little they knew of them, only they could bring a pony hear, or if that pony had done something truly extraordinary.
"How? Why am I here?" She asked aloud to no pony in particular.
"Because our world is facing its darkest hour." Came a voice from everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Luna watched as six lights soon floated over to her. Their forms soon became the six Elements of Harmony.
Luna's head fell. "But what can I do? My sister-"
"That thing is not your sister." Came the voice of the Element of Honesty. "It is a flesh-puppet being controlled by another. One who would see this world destroyed."
Luna blinked, confused. "How?" She asked. She trusted Honesty was telling the truth, but the statement didn't make any sense.
"Do you remember the dark force that almost turned you against her?" The Element of Magic spoke up. Luna nodded. "It found another. Celestia had grown jealous and envious of your growing popularity. It came to her offering her a chance to regain hers."
"And she accepted." Came the voice of the Element of Kindness. "But…" Luna could hear the tears Kindness was shedding.
"But the darkness made sure it could never be rejected again." Came the voice of the Element of Generosity. "It destroyed her soul and claimed her body for itself."
Luna felt new heart stop, for she knew what would come next, yet hoping that she was wrong. "Then?"
"The pony known as Princess Celestia no longer exists in any way. Not even a fragment to send on to Elysium remains of her now." Came Magic once more also letting unseen tears fall. Luna understood why. Tia had been its bearer, and the connection between them had been strong.
Luna felt her tears fall too. "But what can I do? She is still stronger than me. I only still live thanks to you."
"Wield us." The Elements replied together. "Become our sole bearer. Then you will have the chance to stop her and bring peace to what remains of Celestia."
Luna was shocked, and confused. "How? I don't know how. Or have the strength."
"Not like this you don't." Came Laughter. "But we can help with that."
"And as for how." Came Magic. "By right, we all now belong to you. When Celestia fell, our bond was severed for all time." There was a short pause. "A time may come when other arise to bear us. But that time is not for many years yet."
Luna suddenly felt six new presences around her. In her heart she knew who they were:
The shades of ponies yet to be born. Even as shades, Luna felt the strong bond of friendship between them. One that reminded her of the one that once existed between her and Tia.
"Are you ready?" The Elements asked once more together. Luna didn't hesitate.
Luna felt her magic join that of the Elements as they were engulfed in a bright light. It stayed like this for several moments before the light faded and Luna took a look at herself as the Elements of Harmony began to circle.
And blinked in shock at what she saw.
Meanwhile, not knowing where her troublesome sister had gone off to, Daybreaker had resumed her search of the castle. Most of the servants and guards had fled, but a few stood defiantly against her.
Their deaths were the most sweet. It was always fun if your toys fought back before you broke them. In her prowling, she had finally come to the Entrance Hall of the castle. Now that she had thought about it, of course the Elements of Harmony would save Luna. That's what they did.
Not matter. Their time would come soon enough as well.
As if thinking of them had been a signal, a light soon filled the room near the ceiling and began to float to the ground. Daybreaker rolled her eyes as it began to fade. "You always did enjoy a grand entrance Lulu."
"That is not my name. And you have no right to use it creature."
Daybreaker rolled her eyes again. But her brows shot up as she finally got a clear look at Luna's new form.
Luna had grown, nearly as tall as Daybreaker now. Her coat had turned a deep black. A purple splotch now surrounded her cutie-mark. Armor now covered her head leaving room for her mane to flow freely. Her eyes had taken on a draconian aspect. Despite all this, in her eyes she was still Luna.
Around her orbited the Elements of Harmony.
Daybreaker laughed. "So what. You got a makeover, big deal. Though you do look more like me now." She waived a hoof airily. "I still look better though."
"We make look similar creature, but I am nothing like you." Luna responded as she stepped forward, the Elements keeping pace with her. Even Luna's voice had changed. "I still remember who I am, and I will protect my subjects from you."
She rolled her eyes. "So what do I call you then? Not that it matters in the long run."
Luna stopped. "Call me, the Night Mare." She might have said more but Daybreaker never gave her the chance. Quick as lightning she shot forward and threw her to the ground.
The Night Mare grunted. Even with her new form, she had to remind herself that it was still Celestia's body the infection was in, and she had always been stronger than her.
"Like it matters what you look like or call yourself now. This world will burn regardless!" She snapped.
The Night Mare grimaced. Even with the protection the Elements of Harmony had given her, the heat given off was almost too much for her.
End this. Give her peace. We cannot maintain this form for long like this.
The voices of the Elements in her head broke through her struggles. Their calming voices helped her refocus. She was no longer fighting for herself; she was fighting for all beings that lived on Equus.
"I am Princess Luna Selena Nyx. I am the Night Mare. I will defend my ponies from you. And you. Are not." Her eyes began to glow as the Elements of Harmony began to spin faster and faster.
"Welcome here!" She bellowed. The Elements aligned themselves into the shape of a six pointed star as Night Mare lowered her horn to the Element of Magic. She felt her magic bond with the Element's. Her horn began to glow in all the colors of the rainbow before connecting to Magic even as the other 5 also joined their magic to the beam.
Daybreaker watched in mute shock and horror as the beam finally launched at her. She tried to move, but her body refused to listen
The Night Mare watched as the magic of the Elements of Harmony washed over her. Soon she began to resemble Celestia as she once was. She watched in shock as an image of Celestia's smiling face appeared in the haze. Her eyes were full of pride and joy. But most of all.
Luna. Thank you.
Luna heard the words as clear as day, even as the room was engulfed in a bright light.
When it faded, Princess Celestia lay before her, returned to the sister Luna knew and loved. Luna herself felt the magic she had born from the Elements begin to dissipate as she resumed her normal form.
Fighting back tears, Luna walked up to her sister's body and placed an ear next to her barrel, and heard what she feared.
No pulse. No heartbeat.
Even as she pulled her head back and felt her tears fall now, Celestia's cutie-mark began to glow before it vanished from Celestia's flank.
Even as she watched in stunned silence, her own cutie-mark began to glow as well. Luna looked on even more shocked as the sun symbol appeared on her flanks, with the moon behind it, but larger still.
"How?" She asked.
The sun needs a Sheppard. By right, the sun now belongs to you as well as the moon. The voice of the Elements in her head did little to ease Luna's nerves. But something else was nagging at her as well.
With a start, she realized what time it was. Gulping harder than she ever thought she would, she ignited her horn. Reaching out gently to the sun, she coaxed it to set for the day. To her surprise, the sun offered no resistance to her mental urging and set like it had for Celestia for so many years as the moon began to rise as well.
Once she was sure all was as it was meant to be, Luna cut off her magic. Looking down at her sister, she felt new tears begin to form. Not caring who saw her, she lay down next to Celestia's body and did the only thing she could.
Luna wept like she never had before.
On that, the Longest Day, Equestria lost so much. The eldest was laid to rest in a grand state funeral leaders from all over the world attended.
The youngest took on sole ruler ship of Equestria. The old capitol was abandoned and Canterlot was made the new seat of government.
Though she had hoped that she would never again need to become her, the Night Mare was seen less than a century later during the darkest hours of the Changeling Siege of Canterlot.
With the breaking of the Siege and the signing of the Harmonic Accords, peace returned to the land.
"And has been maintained ever since."
Drying her eyes with a hoof, Twilight Sparkle, personal student of Princess Luna, closed the book she had been reading.
She knew the story of the Longest Day. Everypony in Equestria knew the story.
But this. This was how it really happened. Not the watered down tale every filly and colt knew. And now Twilight could see why. She made herself promise that she would hold onto this story for as long as she lived.
She also made herself promise to give her BBBFF Shinning Armor, Spike and Princess Luna the biggest hugs she could when she next saw them. And to visit her parents as soon as possible. She never spent enough time with them.
Twilight would make sure to remedy that.