My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
Things Will Get Better.
Silverbolt yawned loudly. He couldn't really help it, as important as his job was it was for the most part dull. He looks up the hall, nothing, no one coming. He looked down the hall, again nothing and no one. He turned and looked at the door to the chamber he was guarding, the silver white moon emblem set into the red wooden door. Not locks, no bars, the door could be opened easily, in fact he wasn't guarding the door itself. No he was here to guard the pony in the room, a princess no less. The sound of hooves caught his attention and he looked up the hall. A massive pony was plodding down the hall way, but Silverbolt didn't flinch, not did he ready his crossbow. Not the small white pegasus, with his mane of pure silver, didn't make a move. It was Thunderhoof, his partner, a enormous Earth Pony of slate grey, with a shock of yellow for a mane. All muscle was Thunderhoof, a tank of pony, an extreme contrast to the slender Silverbolt.
"Anything?" Silverbolt asked.
"Nothing as usual." Thunder replied.
"She's been in there all night again." Silverbolt said. "I think she was crying a little while ago, but she told me not to come in."
Thunder took out his halberd and leaned it against his chest, looking imposing. "As usual." he said.
Silverbolt sighed, having hoped his charge might leave her room tonight, go for a walk. Go to the garden. Got to the throne room and see her sibling. But Princess Luna never left her quarters unless she had too. Even during the Grand Galloping Gala, the biggest party in all of Equestria, she stayed in her room. Each hour during the party Princess Celestia, or someone sent by her, would try to get the allicorn to come to the party, just for a little. It hadn't worked, the despondent princess refused to leave her chambers. Every night, every day, Silverbolt grew more and more worried about the princess. At first his worries were that one night that door would burst open and Nightmare Moon would strut out and wreak havoc. That notion had left him a while ago, what ever rage had fueled the wicked mare had left the princess. Taking another chance he rapped lightly on the door with his for-hoof.
*Knock, Knock, Knock*
"What is it?" a soft voice form behind the door called.
"It's Silverbolt my lady." Silverbolt said. "I thought you might like to know Thunderhoof has returned from his rounds, So I'm going to be starting mine soon."
"Alright." was the simple reply.
"My rounds go though the royal gardens princess, I thought you might like accompany me." Silverbolt said.
"No, I'd rather stay in my rooms sir knight." the princess replayed.
Every night he tried, every night Silverbolt would tell the princess when he was going on his rounds. Every night he asked her to see the gardens, and every night she said "no, I'd rather stay in my rooms sir knight" verbatim. Silver turned to his counterpart and the massive montian of earth pony shrugged. 8 months he'd be at this, 8 months he'd be assigned to Luna's personal guard. The other members of the royal guard thought it was crazy, Silver bolt and Thunderhoof where the best of the best. That they had been assigned to "Nightmare Duty" was unthinkable. But Silver had grown to understand why Princess Celestia had chosen the best of her knights to guard her sister. The others didn't understand, the assumed Silver and Thunder where there to protect Equestria from Luna, but truthfully it was the opposite case, Luna needed protection from Equestria.
The return of Nightmare Moon had bee one of the most traumatic events Eqestria had experienced, at lest as far as the public knew. The terror of a night that lasted days had griped the entire nation. All though out Canterlot ponies panicked, the royal guard was dispatched to establish law and order as looting had begun. Primarily pacifists the normal citizens hadn't put up a fight against the guard, not surprisingly, almost none had ever seen the guards with weapons. In fact as Silver later discovered, most citizens didn't know the kingdom had any weapons at all. Silver had seen things most ponies never even though about, so the return of Nightmare Moon barely phased him, but for others, for ordinary ponies, the event traumatized them. When Celestia had returned the reaction to the small blue allicorn mare she brought with her wasn't good. A parade had been organized, and though none said it, Silver knew some citizens had though Celestia had gone insane. He had been one of them, from what he learned during the events of the "Nightmare Night" this blue allicorn was a monster who sought to overthrow the kingdom he had pledged his life, even risked his life, to protect. Time makes fools of us all it's said, but so too it makes us wiser, able to see problems before they come. Celestia was as far as any pony knew immortal, at least 2000 years old, though she wore the mask of youth her appearance provided well. Celestia was wise, and she knew exactly how some of her subjects would treat her sister. Some would be unable to not see Nightmare Moon, unable to forgive her for the terror she had inflicted on them. Celestia had 1000 years to forgive he sister, a 1000 years to find out how to save Luna from the twisted creature she'd become. Celestia had forgiven Luna centuries ago. That was what she told Silver and Thunder when she first summoned them.
"My people will need more time to understand Luna is not Nightmare Moon." Celestia told them. "Nightmare Moon was nothing more than a illness Luna was suffering from, and illness that has been expunged from her body by the Elements of Harmony. My people are peaceful, but, fear is a powerful emotion, and what ponies fear they hate. A weakness we share with- Some maybe compelled to take actions against Luna. I can not spare a full squad as you know, but I fear my sister needs constant protection. She has the power to protect herself, but her will has been sapped, until it returns she will not act to defend herself, for fear of harming others. Nightmare Moon is no longer part of Luna but still she torments my sister. SilverBolt the Arrow of Light, and Thunderhoof Shield of Honor, you have both earned your titles. You've risked life and limb to protect the ponies of Equestria, even in the knowledge that most of them will never know of your service. You have served the Kingdom in bravery and Honor. I ask you now, will you continue to serve Equestria? Will you take upon yourselves the task of protecting the Crown Princess, Luna Starlight of Equestria, from all forces that seek to harm her in body, mind and spirit?"
The two Knights had needed little time to decide, each declaring his personal oath.
"I, Silverbolt, The Arrow of Light, Element of Honesty, do swear my oath." Silverbolt had said. "I shall do all within my ability to protect the Crown Princess, Luna Starlight of Eqestria. I swear to be her sword, to cut down all treats to her body, all treats to her mind, and all threats to her spirit."
"I, Thunderhoof, the Shield of Honor, Element of Kindness, do swear my oath." Thunderhoof followed. "Shall do all within my ability to protect the Crown Princess, Luna Starlight of Eqestria. I swear to be her shield, to repel all treats to her body, all treats to her mind, and all threats to her spirit."
"As Knights of Equestria, we swear this oath on our lives!" the two said in unison.
"So it shall be." Celestia said. "I decree that Silverbolt the Arrow of Light, and Thunderhoof the Shield of Honor, you are now the guardian knights of Crown Princess Luna Starlight, so say I Celestia Dawnstar, Crown Princess and Regent of Equestria."
At first things had gone smoothly, as Celestia showed he sister Canterlot, a few sour looks where all that assaulted the moon princess. But gradually Celestia's duties took her from her younger sibling. Though Celestia intended to return control of the night, and the power of co-regency, Luna wasn't physically capable of reclaiming her divine power, or mentally ready to actively rule her subjects. Few outside the highest ranking senators of Equestria's congress, and the knight captains of the Equestrian military knew how much had actually been stripped from Luna. Even the bearers of the elements of Harmony, know only by the element each bore to the masses, didn't know how powerless they had left the princess when Nightmare Moon was destroyed. Once Luna began to walk around Canterlot, flanked only by her new guardians, had those ponies who let their fear become hate acted. Sour looks evolved into threatening whispers, shops "mysteriously" ran out of goods when Luna tried to purchase them, restaurants had no available seating for her. Fillies and colts where rushed away by their parents when Luna appeared. Luna at first did her best to be the regal noble her sister was. But Silver saw it in her eyes, she KNEW that the "coincidences" where just a smoke screen. He could feel citizens starring daggers not only at Luna, but Thunder and himself. Luna left the castle less and less, retreated to her room, took meals their. Until one incident drove her to not leave her rooms, unless Celestia absolutely needed her.
It had been a sunny day in Canterlot, one of Celestia's most beautiful days. Everyone in the city noticed, despite having thousands of years practice a day this perfect was an accomplishment for Celestia. Oh such a fine day Silver and Thunder had convinced Luna to visit the city square. She had protested, she was a night time pony, but the day was just too beautiful to refuse her protectors. Passing though the halls was incident free, in fact the castle staff had real smiles, not the normal fake smiles the usually gave Luna. For once they seemed to treat her like a Princess, not someone that Celestia insisted they treat well. The walk to the city square was as well incident free, when ever she traveled around Canterlot Celestia insisted to do so under her own power, and Luna had taken her sister's policy to heart. Silverbolt had really thought it was going to be a good day.
Around noon they had arrived, a huge farmer's market was in the city square. Vendors from Fillydephia, Stalliongrad, Dream Valley and even Ponyville were set up. Fruits and veg tables of all kinds, fresh baked goods, and even meats, something reserved for pampered house pets, where there. Local vendors of every sort had set up around the edges of the city square, and jugglers, aerobatic performs, musicians, and even a magician had set up around the massive fountain of Celestia in the middle of the square. Unlike usual the crowds didn't stop and stare at Luna. Silver had thought that at long last Luna was connecting with the average pony, that maybe today was the day she started down the path to Princess-hood in the eyes of citizens. The SHE appeared. A smug looking blue unicorn mare, wearing a magician's hat and cape.
"What a glorious day, and made even more glorious by the GREAT and POWERFUL Trixie!" She declared. "What a fine treat for everypony, to get to see ME, in person!"
Something about this Trixie rubbed Silver the wrong way. Something screamed "show off" to him. But he'd find even more to dislike about her once she spotted Luna.
"And whom pray tell have we here?" Trixie said with a evil grin. "Could it be her? The oh so scary Nightmare Moon?"
Luna flinched at the name, and Silver winched as the whispers began. The people had finally started to see Luna as Luna, not Nightmare Moon, and this loud mouth had to remind them of it?
"Though not quite so scary now are you." Trixie teased. "No, not scary at all. of course I, the Great and Powerful Trixie wasn't afraid of you to start with. I could of easily defeated you Nightmare Moon, and unlike those silly "Bearers of the Elements" I wouldn't have been so kind! Where it I who defeated you, back to the moon you'd go, and I'd make sure you didn't get out again!"
"Please... I..." Luna said, tears starting to form.
"Oh your sorry?" Trixie sneered. "I suppose that makes it all better then, eh Nightmare Moon?"
Each time Trixie called Luna Nightmare Moon Silver saw how it hurt the princess. How could the unicorn be so cruel? Surely she saw that every time she called Luna by the name it made the princess wince?
"Your lucky the Princess if so forgiving, Nightmare Moon." Trixie said. "I mean it's not like she NEEDS you is it? What is it you do that Celestia doesn't do now? She raises the moon at night, she rules all of Equestria. I'm surprised you've got the guts to show your face in Canterlot! With someone like me around, to fight off all the nasty monsters, Equestria is in good hooves!"
"P-please... I didn't mean.." Luna was now sobbing.
"Why don't you get out of Canterlot, we don't need you Nightmare Moon!" Trixie sneered. "In fact why don't you just go back to the moon? Equestria doesn't need you!"
The crowd started to turn ugly at that point. Whispers became jeers.
"Leave Princess Luna ALONE!" Silver said, steeping in front of the sobbing Allicorn.
"Oh, now the little toy solider is standing up for Nightmare Moon?" Trixie said smirking. "Thinks he can stand up to the great and powerful Trixie?"
Before he knew it Silver had a bucket on his head, Trixie was laughing at him. The Unicorn had jammed a bucket onto his head with her telekinesis. He tried to yank it off with his horns, but the nasty magician had managed to hook it onto his helmet. Then he felt something hit him, something soft and squishy. It was a tomato, somepony threw a tomato at him! He could hear Luna really crying now. Ponies shouted at her, "Go Away" "Leave our Kingdom" and they kept calling her Nightmare Moon, over and over. It was like a nightmare, it was humiliating, he was a royal knight, to be embarrassed like this, and to have such verbal abuse piled onto his princess. But Luna had TWO protectors, and in a second everyone would know why his counterpart was called Thunderhoof. A single stomp of Thunder's hooves shook the entire City Square.
"ENOUGH!" Thunder bellowed. "You will stop this at ONCE!"
"Who are you to.." Trixie started.
"SILENCE MAGICIAN!" Thunder said. "You have a right to speak your mind, but if you continue to harass the princess and try to incite a riot I WILL throw you in the castle dungeon! That is a PROMISE!"
"Well I never!" Trixie said "I'll have you know..."
Another massive stomp, Silver was sure he felt the whole of Equestria shake this time.
"LAST WARNING MAGE!" Thunderhoof said. "LEAVE CANTERLOT NOW! OR SEE INSIDE OF THE DUNGEON!"
Everypony stopped, the Dungeon hadn't been used in anypony's life time, and as such being thrown in the dungeon was considered an empty threat. This time though, Thunderhoof was not making an idle threat, everypony could see he really would send Trixie to the dungeon. Some witnesses said that Trixie packed up her cart and fled the city in less than a minute. An exaggeration of course but the damage had been done. Once everypony stopped Luna few as fast as she could back to the palace and shut herself in her chambers. Silver had never felt so low in his life, he'd sworn and oath to protect Luna, and some mean spirited mare had destroyed her self esteem on his watch. When Celestia had asked what happened, Silverbolt couldn't even speak, in his whole carrier he'd never experienced a loss of Honor this terrible. For weeks he blamed himself for the whole thing, even though Celestia herself had said it wasn't his fault. It didn't matter, he'd promised to protect Luna body, mind and spirit, and he had let this Trixie verbally assault her.
Now every night Silverbolt desperately tried to cheer Luna up, a sharp pain in the bit of his stomach grew as he began his patrol. His besmirched Honor was no long his concern, he only thought of Luna. The good times, though few, always filled his thoughts. The day, a week into his assignment, he'd watched her in the royal gardens. Birds and animals frolicking around her, the sunlight shining off her mane. The night Celestia had asked Luna to help her craft the night sky, he remembered the joy on the faces of princesses, and the beautiful starry night and it's silver sliver of a moon. Celestia crafted glorious days, but that night had been so wonderful, had Luna her powers he knew every night could be that beautiful. Her remembered the night she had nuzzled against him, her sweet breath on his neck. Silverbolt flew to a balcony that over looked the garden and stared down, he felt warm, and tried to tell himself he was not feeling what he felt in the pit of his stomach.
"Steed preserve me..." Silverblot whisper to himself. "I love her..."
That was what made the whole Trixie business sting has much now as when it happened. It wasn't that he'd let down Celestia, or damaged his honor, or even let A princess be so wounded by the cruel mare. He'd let someone he loved be hurt, when ever he though of it in his mind it wasn't "the" princess who was hurt, it was HIS princess! His Luna had been hurt. The part of him that was a solider tried to convince him he didn't love her, she was just an assignment! But each moment the other voice grew stronger, he loved this mare, not because she was a princess, no he loved Luna for who she was. Celestia had been right, Nightmare Moon WAS like and illness, Luna had been so lonely, felt like no one loved her, and even though the bearers of harmony had banished Nightmare Moon, that feeling, that she wasn't loved, it tore her up. Worse Luna now though she didn't deserve love. He had to go to her, go to his Luna, to let her know, she not only deserved tobe loved, but he loved her.
Thunderhoof was nearly bowled over by Silverbolt, the smaller pegasus looked like something was wrong with him. He watched his friend shed his armor, his eyes wild.
"So you realized it then?" Thunderhoof asked.
"Huh? What are you talking about?" Silver said fumbling with the back catch to his chest plate.
"That you love her stupid." Thunder replied, popping open the catch with a tap of his for-hoof.
"You knew and didn't say anything?" Silver said confused. "I though you had the element of Kindness!"
"I do you silly colt." Thunder said starting to chuckle. "But you wouldn't of believed me. You wouldn't of been honest with yourself, I couldn't do that to poor Luna."
Silverbolt smiled at his large friend and carefully pushed the door to Luna's room open. The inside was much as he expected, piles of hankies, dishes with dried up bits of food scattered around. And Luna, lying on her bed, muzzle streaked by tears, tail and mane a mess, her crown and chest medallion laying on the floor beside her bed.. He couldn't understand how anyone would mistake this mare for Nightmare Moon, the only thing he saw was Luna.
"What? Who is it?" Luna said as the door opened.
"It's Silverbolt." Silverbolt said. "I've come for you."
"Oh Sir Knight I..." Luna stammered. "I'll get ready so see my sister."
"I didn't say I came to get you." Silverbolt said. "I said I've come FOR you."
"What do you mean?" Luna blinked. "Why... why aren't you in your armor?"
"I'm not here as a Knight." Silverbolt said moving closer. "I'm not here for Princess Luna. It's just Silverbolt, here to see the mare he loves, Luna."
Luna blinked in confusion. "The mare... you love?"
"Here to show you, you are worthy of love." Silver said. "And hoping I'm worthy of your love."
"This can't be real.." Luna said.
"My Element of Harmony is Honesty." Silver smirked "I would never deceive you."
The door to Luna's room began to close, thanks to Thunderhoof. Luna began to blush, she had a funny feeling, a feeling things would start getting better.