The night in Canterlot is always very calm. Almost every pony in the city is asleep by ten, leaving next to none on the streets. ‘Parties’, if they could be called such, were always low-key gatherings involving quiet conversation in fine dress and wines older than most elementary schoolers.
Luna loved it; the cool night air blowing serenely across her balcony, the way her perfectly arranged stars glittered in the sky, the lights that sometimes lay out across the countryside below. She lived for it, for bringing such quiet beauty. The night did not call for attention as the day did. It simply was, and if someone should happen across it, then so be it.
Luna treasured these times. She had never been as social as her sister, not even when she had demanded attention in the past. She preferred the company of a select few ponies, those she could trust completely. When you made friends with the Princess of the Night, you could be assured that she would be there for you if you needed her. So it used to go, anyway.
Luna’s friends had not fared well in her fall and absence. They fell prey to the vengeful, the hurt and the betrayed, and without their nighttime guardian, they were quick work. No monuments had been erected, no gravestones engraved. They were cast out, down to the fields at the base of the mountain, for nature to bury as she buried all things.
All but one. Luna herself had crafted a grave for the first of her victims. A great and beautiful stone slab now rested deep in the heart of Canterlot, where Luna had made her decision so long ago.
My lady, forgive me, but I must protest! This course will surely lead to your downfall! You are surely powerful, but you are not as powerful as your sister. Please, I beg you, reconsider!
Luna’s head hung low before the gravestone. Tears marked the floor as she remembered her grand betrayal.
We do not need the advice of a commoner! You would do well to stand down, lest We be forced to take action against you!
She could hear her voice still echoing in the crystal caverns, cracking the great pillars that held the roof.
No, Princess, I cannot let you go. This will not end well for you. Know that I do this only for your well-being and safety.
She remembered that she had extinguished the pale light he had summoned to stop her. It had been effortless, a casual flick of the wrist for her, and he lay still forevermore. Her rage quelled, just for a moment, just for him. She erected his memorial, alone for weeks with only his now-preserved corpse for company. She wrote on stone until her horn was dull and jagged, her words calling tribute for those who had tried to stop her, to help her so long ago.
But rage is a tricky beast. It returned, stronger and hotter, burning darkly in her very soul; rage at her sister, at her life, at herself for her weakness. It changed her to a beast of power and armor, of anger and hatred, quick and cunning and ruthless and defeated, cast aside easily by the very thing she had shunned.
Every day she thought about him; if she had listened, if she had considered his words, he would have lived normally, with the night at his side, until he left naturally. But hindsight is 20/20, as they say these days.
Luna felt the moon falling in the sky. Her duties had to be attended to, as much as she would like to stay in the cavern for all eternity to pay for her sins. She had been forgiven, but not punished as she felt fit. But how could one punish the murder of a best friend? Of something maybe more? It was unpunishable by the living, mortal or no.
Luna ascended into the twilight. Her night would give way to day soon, as gracefully and peacefully as it had taken its place, and she would be there to guide it forevermore, for him and everyone she had hurt.
How very sad. It’s always interesting to reflect on what life had been like for Luna before the fall, and it makes sense that she would have at least some friends who cared for her. It’s tragic that her best friend attempted to stop her from making the biggest mistake of her life, and in her rage she snuffed his out. That’s something that she’ll have to live with for a long time. Well done.