It has been a long, long time since Princess Luna had been transformed from Nightmare Moon into what she is this very moment. Back then, Luna, as she preferred to be called, had strong ties to the darkness that was portrayed and cemented into her heart. Now, thanks to the help of a specific purple unicorn named Twilight Sparkle, Luna has learned to control the dark emotions that tremble and boil inside of her. However, they still tend to show themselves from time to time, trying to convince Luna to become Nightmare Moon again. In order to calm herself from those emotions, Luna thinks about the first thousand years she spent trapped in the moon. Then, she was known as the Mare in the Moon. Everyone knew that legend, especially the ending: On the longest day of the thousandth year, the stars will help aid in her escape.
THAT was the first time Nightmare Moon had returned, which was over two hundred years ago. Now, times have changed, and so have the subjects. The ponies that defeated Nightmare Moon are long gone, except for Twilight Sparkle, who became a princess, and more importantly, an alicorn. Princess Twilight Sparkle is all that remains of the original six ponies that defeated Nightmare Moon long ago and since her friends passed on, she has lost her sense of leadership and socialism, often locking herself away from the general public.
Luna and her sister, Princess Celestia, along with Princess Cadence and Prince Shining Armor, hadn't seen or heard from Princess Twilight Sparkle in a long time now. They kept saying that they should visit her to try to cheer her up but they never could seem to find the time to do that, since royal duties always tended to call.
Now, royal duties called for Princess Celestia and Princess Luna to lower the Sun and raise the Moon, signifying the end of day and the beginning of nighttime. Luna always loved doing this because this meant she could paint the sky with her beautiful stars and other astrological signs. But, as much as she loved this, she hated the fact the everypony always slept through her gorgeous nights. Oftentimes, Luna rose the moon angrily or flew somewhere to be alone, a place nopony could ever find her at, the old castle she shared with her bigger sister, Celestia, deep within the Everfree Forest.
Today, or rather, tonight, Luna raised the moon with her magic and looked down upon her subjects. She grew angry as she noticed them returning to their homes and lights flickering off. Luna knew that everyone was going to sleep. Only a few ponies remained out on the streets to witness the picture perfect night Luna had provided them.
Luna, enraged and hurt, immediately flew away to go be alone. Celestia saw her younger sister furiously flying away and tried to stop her.
"Luna, wait!" But it was no good as Luna had already disappeared.
Luna had flown over the Everfree Forest. She noticed Zecora's hut down below at a quick glance. Hurt by all the ponies and their sleeping through her night, she continued to fly on until she reached the secluded portion of the forest that contained the remains of what used to be the castle she shared with Celestia. Hooves on the ground after a long flight, Luna marched into the old castle, to her old room. There, she collapsed on her old bed and began to cry.
Oh, Luna thought to herself, why must they sleep through our beautiful nights? Do they not see the greatness of being awake during the night? Why must they sleep through our nights? It does hurt us so...
Luna looked up and started to wipe the tears from her eyes. Her long, glowing, sparkling mane had reflected the moon's light, which hit an old statue. This statue, which originally wasn't part of the castle, was placed there by Luna herself. This statue was one of Nightmare Moon, which contained all the armor, just in case Luna wanted eternal night once more. Luna has been tempted before to pick up where she had originally left off as Nightmare Moon, but had always come to her senses before those emotions took over. She thought back to when she first returned as Nightmare Moon.
Seize her, only she knows where the Princess is!
Even worse was when she was defeated and transformed back into her current state. The Elements of Harmony, controlled by Applejack the Honest, Fluttershy the Kind, Pinkie Pie of Laughter, Rarity the Generous, Rainbow Dash the Loyal, and the Magical Twilight Sparkle, reigned down on her, destroying the armor and curse of Nightmare Moon. It was then that Luna realized what Celestia meant to her and what it meant to rule side-by-side with her.
Now, the Element Holders had all passed away, the most recent being Rainbow Dash the Loyal, with the exception of Princess Twilight Sparkle. All the Elements had mysteriously disappeared as well and, ironically, that was the last day anypony saw Princess Twilight.
Luna turned away from the statue but some voices in her head were persuading her into looking back at it. She was fed up with the ponies sleeping through the night all the time and hated how she was shunned by everypony. She curled up in the shadow of her older sister, Princess Celestia, all the time and always disliked being the Princess nopony knew about. Luna used her magic and took off the helmet that was on the statue. Bringing it closer, she heard hoofsteps from what was left of the hallway. Quickly turning around, she noticed that the hoofsteps came from Celestia.
The first thing Celestia noticed was the helmet that was floating next to her younger sister. "My dear sister, what are you doing?"
Luna looked away, not wanting to answer that question. Celestia took note of this and moved on from it.
"What's the matter, my sister?" she asked. "What has you feeling so sad?"
Still not looking at her sister, Luna quietly answered. "I'm fed up with everypony sleeping through our perfect nights!"
Celestia smiled, "Is that what this is all about?"
Luna turned around the second Celestia asked that. "What do you mean 'Is that what this is about?'"
"Luna," continued Celestia, "I understand your frustration and how you feel, but-"
Luna cut her off. "No you don't! You don't understand how we feel or our frustration!" She had accidentally slipped into using the traditional Royal Canterlot voice, intensifying her voice so that she could clearly state her point.
Celestia noticed her sister growing even more angry. "My sister, though I may never understand what you feel, I must say this: It is time to lower the moon. Everypony is soon going to be awake and ready to start the day. You must lower the moon."
Luna didn't notice how long she had been here in her old room. She looked at the helmet floating next to her and put it on. Using her magic, she grabbed the rest of Nightmare Moon's armor and put it on. "No! This night shall last forever!"
Celestia tried to calm her sister down, using her magic as a way of warning her of what would happen. Luna took notice of this very quickly.
"You're kidding, right?" she said. She stood up on her back hooves to show that she was the more dominant one as she used her magic to trap Celestia in a magic-proof force field.
"Luna," Celestia called, "don't do this! Don't you dare think about it! Snap out of it Luna! You've got to fight those emotions!" Celestia felt a tear coming down the side of her face and wiped it away with her hoof.
Luna became even more enraged than what she was earlier. Using the Royal Canterlot voice, she spoke out against her sister. "DO NOT CALL ME LUNA! I AM NIGHTMARE MOON, QUEEN OF THE ETERNAL NIGHT!" And with a huff, Nightmare Moon stormed off into the nighttime sky.
It has been quite some time since Nightmare Moon has left Celestia trapped in the anti-magic force field. Celestia grew weary of what had become of her younger sister, Luna. Oh, what happened to you, little sister? She thought to herself.
Just then, the anti-magic force field had vanished into thin air, most likely because Nightmare Moon was just too far away to keep it in tact. Anyway, with Celestia free now, she flew off into the night sky to the distant little town known as Ponyville. This place was very familiar to Celestia since this is where Twilight Sparkle lived when she was still her student. Upon arriving, she noticed at how everypony was running a muck, frightened by the eternal night.
"Look," somepony shouted, "here comes Princess Celestia! She has come to save us from this most dreadful of times!"
Everypony turned to Celestia, expecting her to raise the Sun and end the eternal night, but she looked away in shame. "I cannot do that since Nightmare Moon has returned to our fair world. My magic has been countered by hers and it forbids me from raising the Sun. I came here looking for Princess Twilight Sparkle. I need her to yield the Elements of Harmony once more. Does anypony know where she is?"
Everypony looked at one another. Nopony knew where the Princess was but Celestia thought that this may be so. When she departed from the town square, Celestia went to the library to see if Twilight was there. She knew that Twilight always loved to read books and gain knowledge. When she finally got to the library, the door was open. Making sure to be careful, Celestia put one hoof inside the door and checked to see if Twilight was inside. When she noticed that she wasn't, Celestia went to see if she was in the other room. She reached the door and tried to open it, but couldn't; it was locked. Celestia looked around to see if there was a key that could open the door but had no luck in finding one. When all hope seemed lost, the door unlocked and opened up. Out came a dark figure.
"I figured you would show up here," the figure ominously said. "I suppose it has something to do with the endless night, am I not right?"
"You are entirely right," answered Celestia. "I was hoping I could receive some assistance in helping put an end to Nightmare Moon."
The dark figure raised its head, curious by the name that was just spoken. "Did you just say 'Nightmare Moon?'"
Celestia nodded, "Yes. Nightmare Moon has returned and I need Princess Twilight's help. Do you know where she is?"
The figure stepped forward, revealing who they were. When light finally hit the pony, it was revealed that they had a black coat. Along with it, Celestia noticed that this pony had a purple horn. The unknown pony took off her coat and it was noticed that, along with the purple horn, this pony had purple wings. This pony was an alicorn; this pony was Princess Twilight Sparkle!
"I thought I defeated Nightmare Moon along with..." Twilight stopped and tears began to fall from her eyes. She missed her friends very much.
Celestia noticed Twilight's tears and walked up to her. Putting one hoof on Twilight's chest, Celestia calmed Twilight down, wiping her tears with her other hoof. "There, there, Twilight. It's all right."
Twilight eventually came to her senses and the two ponies resumed conversation. "I thought Nightmare Moon had been defeated long ago," Twilight said.
Celestia nodded, "You have. However, she has returned and I need you to yield the Elements of Harmony again. You're the only pony that has connections with them."
Twilight looked up at Celestia. "But how do I defeat Nightmare Moon when I'm the only one who can use the Elements? The other five are gone..."
Celestia didn't know how to respond but managed to do so anyway. "I'm sure that you can do it. After all, before you received them, Luna and I have yielded the Elements by ourselves against Discord."
Twilight accepted her challenge and proceeded to where the Elements of Harmony were kept. They have not been touched or seen since by Twilight since Rainbow Dash had passed on but she managed to find them and, using her magic, sync together with them. The two Princesses then left and headed on out to go find Nightmare Moon.
The night sky was darker than before and darkness has been spreading out all over Equestria. The only place that hasn't seen eternal darkness was the Crystal Empire, where Princess Cadence and Prince Shining Armor were. Twilight flew towards the Crystal Empire with the hopes that Nightmare Moon was doing the same. Once Twilight had arrived, she noticed that the streets were empty. Everypony had locked themselves inside in order to protect themselves from Nightmare Moon's wrath. Twilight proceeded to the Crystal Castle, alongside Celestia.
The two ponies arrived and were greeted warmly and kindly by Princess Cadence and Prince Shining Armor. Twilight hadn't seen either one of them since Rainbow Dash's funeral in Canterlot. Everypony noticed the sky getting darker and all turned around; flying through the air was Nightmare Moon.
Nightmare Moon noticed everypony standing in the streets and had touched her hooves to the ground. "Well, isn't this a nice surprise! All of you are here to see me spread eternal night! How kind of you to join us!"
Twilight stepped forward. "Nightmare Moon," she started, "why have you returned?"
"I want eternal night all over Equestria, is that not clear?"
Twilight raised her eyebrow, almost knowing that that wasn't the true reason for her return. "What is your real answer?"
Nightmare Moon scoffed at the question and started to charge at Twilight. Without any hesitation, Twilight attempted to use the Elements of Harmony once more. With hers still operational, she tried to use the other five, not having any luck unfortunately. Noticing that the Elements couldn't function without the other five ponies, Nightmare Moon used her magic to send Twilight flying away.
Now in a magic fight with Nightmare Moon, Twilight got back up and sent out a beam from her horn over to Nightmare Moon. Nightmare Moon did the same to Twilight and both beams were even. Nightmare Moon noticed the evenly matched beams and sent another one towards Twilight, sending Twilight's straight back to her. When the beams touched Twilight, she instantly vanished. Celestia, Cadence, and Shining Armor all saw this and were petrified at what Nightmare Moon had just done. Twilight Sparkle has been sent away and nopony knew where she was now.
Twilight Sparkle had reappeared in the Canterlot cemetery, where ponies who had put their mark on history were laid to rest. Twilight looked up at the tombstone that was in front of her. On it read, "Here lies Fluttershy the Kind. May the angels guide you to a softer, more gentler place." Twilight looked around and noticed the other tombstones near her had each of her friends. Twilight broke down into tears once more as she remembered the adventures she once had with each of these ponies. Without noticing, a spark from Twilight's horn had jumped off and separated into five pieces, each hitting the ground in front of each tombstone. The spark worked its way through the ground and managed to touch each pony.
Twilight stopped crying when she began to hear a pounding noise. She flapped her wings and began to hover in mid-air. When the ground below her started shaking, the five tombstones had fallen over. Holes began to appear thereafter and the tombstones had fallen into them. Twilight became even more frightened than she ever was. Once the ground stopped shaking, Twilight peered her head above each of the holes, noticing the coffins in each of them. When they began to move by themselves, Twilight jumped back, unsure of what would happen. Suddenly, all five coffins opened up and inside each of them were her friends. They began to move and all crawled out of their coffins and onto the ground. Once each of the five ponies were standing firmly on the ground, they returned back to how they originally looked back before Twilight had become a Princess, almost like magic.
"Girls? Is it really you?"
Back in the Crystal Empire, Nightmare Moon had successfully take over and spread eternal darkness all around. Cadence, Shining Armor, and Celestia were all trapped in a magic-proof bubble and had no way of escaping. All they could do was watch Nightmare Moon rule over all of Equestria with her eternal darkness. They were all helpless and had no idea as to how they could put a stop to Nightmare Moon and her evil plot, especially since Twilight has disappeared and they don't know where she is.
All of a sudden, a blinding white light appeared next to the magic-proof bubble Celestia, Cadence, and Shining Armor were in. When the light finally dimmed, out stood six different ponies, two pegasi, a unicorn, two Earth ponies, and what appeared to be an alicorn. It was Twilight and all her friends! Everypony was shocked, but none more than Nightmare Moon.
"But, but how is this possible?" she exclaimed. "They died almost 150 years ago! This is not possible!"
"Nothing can stop the magic of friendship, Nightmare Moon!" Twilight responded. Using the Elements of Harmony that were attached to the respective pony, Nightmare Moon had once again been defeated. The armor that surrounded Nightmare Moon shattered, and Luna reappeared as her old self. The magic-proof bubble also vanished and Celestia walked over to her defeated and helpless younger sister. Twilight and the others eagerly watched.
"My sister," started Celestia, "if you want everypony to know you, this is not the way to go."
Luna started tearing up. "Oh, big sis, I'm sorry..."
Celestia wrapped her hoof around her younger sister and held her tightly against her. Luna wiped away the tears from her eyes with her hoof and, together, left with Celestia to go lower the Moon and raise the Sun. Twilight and the others watched over as the two sisters calmly did this. When it was all over, Celestia returned to Canterlot, Cadence and Shining Armor returned to the Crystal Castle, and Twilight and her friends returned to Ponyville. Everypony was moved by these events, especially Twilight, since she could once again see her friends.
Luna was left alone and returned to the old, abandoned castle. There, she used her magic to make new armor and put it on the statue of Nightmare Moon. She knew she had been defeated, but she was a far ways off from giving up.
"Next time, I won't be defeated so easily! Those Elements must be destroyed."