In the middle of the night, as Luna's moon shone down on the little town of Ponyville, everything seemed so peaceful. And for the most part that was true. However, a dark figure was standing on the Carousel Boutique, a dark red glow shining from his horn.
However, this was no unicorn. Even though this pony had a horn, there was something more to him than what meets the eye. And being as dark as he is, and in the shadows, and being the middle of the night with everypony asleep, (and being on top of the boutique where nopony can see him), nopony could get a good look at him...
...Well, almost nopony.
Suddenly, the glow from his horn stopped as if a connection was broken.
“R-Rarity? Can I sleep in here with you?” Sweetie Belle said, waking up the fashionista.
“Sweetie Belle?” Rarity said groggily, “What's the matter?”
When Rarity got up and looked at Sweetie Belle, the said filly screamed in terror at what she saw. Rarity had her bluish green face mask on, one of her many nightly beauty rituals.
“Oh Sweetie Belle, relax. It's just me,” Rarity said in an aggravated tone, not from being woken up...which didn't help her mood, but from the fact that Sweetie Belle has seen her like this 1,000 times and she still screams in terror, “Now, what's the matter, Sweetie Belle?”
“Can...Can I sleep in here with you?” Sweetie Belle asked reluctantly, “I...I think I had a nightmare.”
“You think you had a nightmare?” Rarity asked skeptically, “You either know you had a nightmare or you don't. There is no 'think'.”
“But I don't know if I had a nightmare because I don't remember even dreaming,” Sweetie Belle explained, trying to get her point across, “But I do remember waking up scared, like I woke up from a nightmare.”
Rarity was still skeptical. But she was also too tired to argue with her little sister. And if she did have a nightmare, then they were one step closer to knowing what was causing her sleeping trouble, “Alright, come on,” Rarity yawned as she patted the bed next to her, “I'll talk to Twilight tomorrow. And after school, maybe we can have you cured of your sleeping issues.”
Sweetie Belle climbed into bed and snuggled up with her big sister. Rarity couldn't help but smile at how affectionate her little sister was with her. But it was a short lived experience as they both quickly fell asleep.
Luna was once again doing her nightly search. This time, she had been focusing her magic through the dark red horn that she kept in hopes of helping her to hone in on her target easier...if her target was in fact out there.
As Luna searched, she suddenly gasped in surprise when she had apparently found who she was looking for. She was about to leave to go meet up with who she found before she was stopped by her sister's voice, “Luna, where are you going?” Celestia asked.
“I have to go! I think I found him!” Luna exclaimed frantically.
This sudden news shocked Celestia, “You...When did...How is that...” Celestia stuttered.
“I used this to help hone in on him,” Luna said, showing her sister the horn, “Please, I've got to go see him! I've finally found him, and I don't want to lose him again!”
“Alright. But I just want to warn you that it's possible that your search could've been incorrect,” Celestia said, making sure that her little sister was prepared for the worst, “And if it's true and you did find him, remember that there's the possibility that he may not be the same. For all we know, he could've even become a supporter of Nightmare Moon, or even Discord.”
“NO! WE REFUSE TO BELIEVE THAT HE WOULD BECOME A FOLLOWER OF AN EVIL OF THAT KIND!” Luna shouted in her royal Canterlot voice.
“I understand that it's hard to believe,” Celestia said calmly, “I just want you to be prepared for the worst...just in case. Now go.” Celestia then let Luna go to find the one that she had sensed with her magic.
'Is it possible? Could he still be alive?' Celestia thought to herself.
Luna flew off toward Ponyville where she sensed the presence. To travel quicker, she also used her teleportation ability. She hated using it because it still resembles the teleportation ability that Nightmare Moon used. But she wanted to get to her destination as fast as she could. Thankfully, she only had to use it once. The rest of the trip was a short flight.
When Luna arrived in Ponyville, she softly landed on the rooftop of the Carousel Boutique. It was where she sensed the presence. But to her dismay, there was nopony else there. She used her magic to track where he might've went. But it failed. However, it did allow her to sense that somepony else was there recently. And it was the same presence that she sensed before.
Luna had also found a large black feather that was proof that who she was looking for was there. It bothered her that she had missed her chance to see him again. But there was something else in the back of her mind that was troubling her. Although she had no doubt that the presence she sensed was who she was looking for, there just seemed to be something...darker about his presence. It was an unsettling darkness, and a familiar one at that. It was a similar darkness to that of the cause of her own nightmares...Nightmare Moon, “I refuse to believe it. You are not evil. You cannot be evil...can you?” Luna asked out loud, unsure about herself.
Luna then picked up the black feather and headed back to Canterlot. But not before letting a tear escape her eye. She didn't even try to use her teleportation for two reasons. The first being that she felt uncomfortable with it. The second being that she just wanted some time to herself...to be alone with her thoughts.
Once Luna had left Ponyville, a dark figure, the same one who was on top of Carousel Boutique earlier, had walked out of the shadows. “Ah, Luna. The lunar princess,” the dark figure began to speak in his dark voice, “And also the creator and previous host of the entity known as Nightmare Moon. Your will was strong enough to weaken Nightmare Moon to the point where the elements of harmony were able to defeat her. However, Nightmare Moon was not destroyed. And if she gets her way, she is going to return not only stronger than before, but in a host body who's will is weaker, making her that much stronger.”
Luna's trip back to Canterlot castle was a long slow one. However, she only stopped once to focus on lowering the moon so that Celestia could raise the sun. By the time she finally reached Canterlot, the sun had been up for three hours already.
Luna had returned to the castle to find a worried Celestia waiting for her, “Luna, where have you been?!” Celestia exclaimed in a tone that was a combination of worry and anger. But then she saw that her little sister's eyes were red and puffy, revealing that she had been crying. Celestia's expression soften and she went to give Luna a nuzzle to help lift her spirits, “You didn't find what you were looking for, did you?” Celestia asked in a soft tone.
“No. But I am certain that he was there,” Luna said, surprising Celestia, “I sensed that he was there not long before I had arrived. And I even have proof that he was there.” Luna then presented the black feather that she had found.
Celestia saw the feather and gasped. The feather had a unique design to it that she recognized as matching their friend's wings, “Only he had these kind of wings! Nopony else in Equestria has had wings as unique as his!” Celestia exclaimed, “And this is certainly an alicorn feather!” Celestia then got the box with the dark red horn inside of it. It gave off a gentle glow as Celestia brought the feather toward it. The leftover magic that was still in the horn was reacting to the black alicorn feather.
However, Celestia looked at Luna questioningly as this news didn't seem to cheer her up. “I'm worried that you may have been correct about him possibly turned evil,” Luna said, her head still slumped, “The presence I felt was most definitely his. But it had a darkness that resembled that of Nightmare Moon.”
“When I said that, I only wanted to make sure that you were prepared for the worst,” Celestia said, “I never believed that the worst would actually be true.” Celestia then hugged Luna to help comfort her. While in the embrace, she could feel just how exhausted her sister really was, “Luna, why don't you go to bed and get some rest.”
“Alright,” Luna simply said. She then trotted off to her room to get some much desired sleep.