No matter what happened, a simple fact would always be thus: fact.
The Everfree was never quiet. No matter what Luna did, it would remain full of shrieks, hisses and whimpers.
Luna had no control over such a place, of course. If it wanted to be quiet, it would be quiet.
But it never was. Not even when the Princess of the Night herself walked within, down a thin path clearly not previously trodden by pony hooves.
The forest didn’t respect her. Nor did it respect Celestia. Not even Discord could truly tame this angry wood.
If the Everfree respected anypony, it was…that.
Luna shuddered. Nightmare Moon had understood this place so well.
Not Luna, though. She’d forgotten the Everfree’s secrets. Perhaps deliberately.
But Luna had a visit to pay to an old friend. She needed to do this. Though the Everfree unnerved her, as severely as it had when her eyes were still bright and her mane still plain, she had little choice in the matter.
It had been a thousand years. Only a few weeks ago, she’d been released. The shadow that had gripped her was gone—though not even Celestia’s most imaginative and self-assured philosophers had any idea where it had gone—and Luna had to visit the only friend she had left.
Was Celestia her friend?
She looked up. Her stars were obscured by the thick branches above her, but she didn’t really want to see them anyway. Not now. Celestia did not place them with the same pride Luna did. It was a chore for her. A burden taken from her foalish sister.
Luna wasn’t sure she’d ever have Celestia’s trust again. They’d been through so much.
She looked back to the ground. The ponies she knew were long dead. She would have to memorize new names. Learn to recognize new faces.
She wasn’t ready for that. Not yet. So she would hide. She’d stave off what she knew would soon be inevitable.
She would delay her recovery a bit. She would talk to the last friend she had. Perhaps that would help.
What would she say?
She chuckled hollowly. ‘Sorry, friend. We did not mean any harm. T’was just a slight error. All is repaired. The damage we wrought is no more.’
Really, she doubted this friend cared about that.
She tilted her head. Does care lie within this friend for even the fate of Princess Luna? Has mine absence even been noticed?
But she kept walking.
She would talk to her friend about what mattered. About how she felt.
Would it really make her feel better? Hard to say. This friend wasn’t really the sort to give advice. Certainly not the sort to give condolences.
It was the presence Luna needed. It was the knowledge that, in this strange, bright world, something remained of the old days. Though the body of Starswirl the Bearded had long since been weathered to dust, and the old castle had crumbled amid the growing influence of the ancient natural laws represented by the Everfree Forest, Luna had one ally left. An ally who would never turn against her.
Perhaps even a friend that would fight on Luna’s side, if it came up.
Luna looked straight ahead, at the dark cave she’d come to.
It would not.
Either way, Luna had someone.
She dipped her head—not for a low ceiling, as the cavern was quite large, but for the reverence she always felt in this place—and entered.
The cave was completely dark.
Luna could see, of course. Even the faintest glimmer was light enough, and the Everfree Forest was only truly pitch black when it wanted to be.
She looked up at the massive beast lying before her. It was easily the size of Canterlot Castle. Long and sharp teeth shone silver. Golden eyes glittered, half-shut. The constellation on the forehead of Luna’s final ally was as proud and bright as ever.
The Ursa Major was asleep. Luna noticed another form further back in the cave—perhaps a cub?
“Thou sleeps as late as this?” Luna snapped.
The Ursa Major ignored her, rolling over on its side.
“Lazy as ever.”
Hmm. I like that. I like that the beasts that are named after constellations would be allies or friends to Luna, the princess of the night. The introspect here was well done, and you masked the identity of the thing Luna was going to see really well. I also liked your choice of ending lines. I feel like it sets a precedent and just wraps it up really nicely: Luna is lonely after a thousand years has stripped her of what she knows, she will seek solace in a place that really offers her nothing in return but an odd kind of companionship, as always. Well done!