A Chance Meeting of Two Moons

by Evilhumour

Chapter 16: Chapter eleven Artemis

Previous Chapter Next Chapter

Chapter Eleven - Artemis

Celestia sighed outwardly as she closed the door behind her, listening for the sound of water from the shower before opening her eyes.

Blinking, she saw the faces of her former student, and her friends, staring up at her with concern.

Celestia tried to pull on her Princess face, hide behind that mask and let them know everything was okay-

“Is everything okay, Princess- uh- Celestia?” Twilight placed a hoof on her shoulder, making Celestia mentally drop the mask completely for the first time in a very long time.

“Yes and no, Twilight.” She slumped forwards a bit, some of the properness still etched into her being prevented her from lowering her head down anymore. “Artemis is feeling better now, and he and my sister have requested that you accompany us to their private dream realm. They feel that you and Prince Dusk Shine can figure out this…” Celestia bit her lip, still trying to figure out the right way to call this whole thing. Saying it was a problem put it in a negative light, but she didn’t know of any way to better say this.

“Are you okay Pri-Celestia?” Twilight frowned at her, very obviously worried. “You’re not acting like as you normally do…”

“Twilight, my little ponies,” Celestia ushered them away from the doorway and into the private foyer. “I don’t doubt you remember what Artemis said about having different appearances in public due to politics than in private and not hiding yourselves in front of those you care deeply for?” She watched them nod in agreement, letting out a soft sigh. “It is a very valid lesson to take to heart, one that I am still learning how to do after such a long time.”

It was Rarity that picked up on how she said the word long. “Yo-you mean since you had to b-banish Princess Luna, Princess Celestia?”

Celestia picked up the tea prepared for her just in case she was in this room, and drank for a long time before speaking, “Yes.” It was so hard to let go of that mask, but if anypony deserved to know why she had it, it would be the ponies that had brought her sister back to her. “The day after I banished my sister to her moon, I was found crying by several of my ponies.” Celestia gripped her teacup tighter as she braced herself for when she had nearly lost the ability to love her ponies anymore.

“They believed I was greatly injured from my fight with Nightmare Moon.” She heard the sharp intake of air from nearly all of the ponies around her, unable to meet their faces about that horrid time. “It did not occur to them that I was mourning the terrible actions that I did to my sister and that she was gone from my side for the first time since I could remember; they were already in the processes of having a grand celebration of my victory over Her.”

She bit her lip, tears threatening to fall from her face. A thousand years of keeping her emotions at bay was probably the only reason why they stayed away this time. “I was so close to ordering them to halt that horrid celebration, to cease their inflammations of effigies of my dear sister, to halt their cheers and foul curses they wert giving to mine sister’s moon and name.” The cup was shaking in her hooves, her voice breaking and travelling back a thousand years ago. “‘Twas but just neigh before We were to give them command to cease when We saw Our little ponies truly be at ease for the first time since mine war with Nightmare Moon.”

The teacup fell onto the floor as she held her face in her hooves, crying at her greatest moments of weakness. “We, I couldn’t take that away from them. I couldn’t.” She felt somepony rub her back as she spoke, leaning into the pony for comfort. “So, I allowed them to have their fun, and that required me not to show my sadness, to be the perfect princess for them as the nation began to heal.” That was one of the hardest decisions she had ever had to make, and one that had haunted her dreams ever since, not counting when she dreamt of the night she was forced to banish her sister away for a thousand years or the dreams that altered the events for the worse.

“It was a few weeks after that I ordered the capital to be moved, I just could not stay in those halls after what I allowed to happen atop of all those good memories I had with Luna,” she cried openly for the first time in a long time, not letting out small simple tears as she did in the past. “I failed her twice there; failed to take her seriously when she needed me the most, and failed to be strong enough to protect her once she was gone.” She hated herself for letting that happen, regretting it every night she had to raise her sister’s moon, to see the prison that her sister was trapped in by her own hooves, and not being able to show any emotion in case her ponies saw and questioned her. “Only recently, just recently, have I begun to let down those shields, stop being the perfect princess everypony needed me to be, and start being the mare I was before again.”

“And this entire ordeal with Prince Artemis and Princess Luna is causing you to act unlike the self you are used to being. Because you don’t know how to act in a situation this intimate with somepony that means as much to you as Princess Luna.” Rarity dabbed her eyes with a hoofkerchief and offered the alabaster mare one as well.

“Indeed, my little pony.” Celestia took the offered cloth and dabbed her own eyes, forcing herself to stop her silliness- Her eyes went wide she as she felt herself being hugged. Looking around, she saw all six of them hugging her. Celestia let more of those shields down and allowed the warmth she had denied herself for so long to seep inwards. There was a period of time that Celestia was unable to recall exactly how much time had passed, as she was being hugged, during which she was able to reform her mask of control. She smiled inwards, surely her little ponies would be beside themselves with worry if they learned that she lost the ability to keep track of time. “Thank you, my little ponies. I truly needed that.” She smiled, truly smiled at these special six ponies around her.

“Think nothin’ of it, ma’am,” Applejack smiled at her, wiping away a tear. “Ain’t nothin’ Ah won’t do for a friend.”

“Yuppers!” Pinkie Pie smiled at her, beaming with joy and bouncing on the spot. “We won’t leave until everything is okie doki loki again!”

“Indeed,” Rarity nodded her agreement, with Dash’s grin and Fluttershy’s smile telling her of their resolve. “I am sure that Sweetie Belle can stay with her friends until we can get this all this sorted out.”

“Absolutely Princess!” Twilight said with such eagerness that instantly made her think of when the mare was a simple foal. “In fact, I think I remember doing some reading on the properties on dream realms and with you girls’ help, I am sure we can find some reason why Princess Luna and Prince Artemis switched places!”

Celestia saw a flicker of annoyance at being roped into doing some heavy research, but they all quickly nodded their heads in agreement.

“What’s going on now?” Celestia turned her head with the rest of the mares to see a certain stallion standing in the doorway. His mane and coat were still a bit wet, dripping onto the floor, but he had the torc that Rarity had made on him. He was biting back a yawn, clearly still tired. It seemed that his little nap hadn’t done enough to recharge his batteries.

Then again, Luna always slept longer when she was dreamwalking as her mind needed to rest at some point; Artemis should be no different.

“Nothing, Prince Artemis, we were just about to go to the archives to do some research on dream… magic...” Twilight’s eyes grew wider as she made the connections that were causing the stallion to back up in fear.

“Hey, ain’t ya’ll ’n expert in dream magic?” Applejack asked, not picking up on Prince Artemis’s fear-entrenched stance.

“Verily, but I-”

“GREAT!” Twilight smile grew, nearing the same length and size of the other earth pony in the room. “This will help out greatly!

Prince Artemis barely had a chance to react when the hooves grabbed him, dragging him out to the library, shooting Celestia a pleading face for help before he was gone from the room.

Celestia was able to keep her face composed long enough for them to leave before breaking out in laughter. She had not seen a face like that for a long time, on both Artemis and Twilight.

She knew that the poor stallion would be in for the long haul and she pitied him greatly, but she was in no desire to get stuck in that stuffy room again. Smiling, she fixed herself another cup of tea and went off to see what Spike was making for supper.

“Twi,- ‘yaaaaaaaaawn’,” that was the fourth time he had yawned, as some of the mares were counting. “I have told you all that I know at least twice over by now,” he was rubbing his eyes, waiting for the Magma Grade Coffee he had ordered to come by. “‘Tis the first time that an event of this sort has occurred and I truly know not the cause.”

“There must be something!” Twilight shouted, causing the rest of the mares to wince, and earning a loud SHHH from the librarian that had been eying the group ever since Pinkie Pie had decided to help out by getting all the books on dream magic and realms at once. In her defense, she hadn’t made a sound but it was still very obvious why the librarian was close to ordering a permanent ban on the party pony from ever stepping a hoof back in there after what she did to get them all.

As such, Dash was being very well-behaved now, reading her Daring Do book after Twilight had actually subtly told her friends that she could take charge of the research and that it was wrong of her to volunteer them like that. Applejack had her nose buried in some books and records concerning how she could both improve on the farm with different techniques and the actual legal standing of the land that her family owned after some prompting by the stallion to do so. Pinkie Pie was reading some books on cooking, baking, and whatever she could lay her hooves on. Rarity was going over the records of the different fashions in the past and in different places, copying down ideas in her own little notebook. Fluttershy was reading from a few books concerning the more exotic animals in the Everfree Forest and how to care for them.

And Twilight had the formation of a book fortress in the works, both with countless books on the subject matter and scrolls having nearly everything that Artemis knew about dream realms and dream magic written down around her. Probably the only reason that Twilight hadn’t actually created her famous fortress was because the librarian had told her that one more time and, Princess or not, she would be placed on the dreaded banned for life list.

Artemis himself had one large book standing upright, nose buried into it, eyes flicking upwards towards Twilight and the setting sun. He sighed, muttering a curse under his breath which caused the mares to recoil a bit, and rubbed his eyes. “I do not know what else to tell; you have more or less probed my mind for all its wealth.”

“Well darling, what was that you told us about two minds sharing a dream?” Rarity asked, causing the mares to look up at the suddenly blushing stallion.

“As I have said, two soul mates could share a dream but it does not make any sense as I have never seen anything more than their subconsciousness reaching out to each other when asleep.“

“Well, maybe it’s ‘cause ya’ll are a bit more learned in dream magic that caused you two to meet?” Applejack said, looking up from her books, noticing how wide the eyes of the stallion became at that, with a smirk on her face now. Rarity, on the other hoof, had a very predatory grin on her face.

“Maybe… but it would not explain how we were able to meet the day before all of the sudden.” He rubbed his chin, eyelids very heavy, and turned his head to see a pony entering the library with a cup that literally seemed to be smoking with a magical glow around it. “Ah thank Faust, some wondrous coffee at long last!” He took the cup in his bare hooves, thanking the servant who was staring at him with wide eyes as he held it close to his mouth. Artemis proceeded to take a long sip, shaking himself awake a bit. He let out a contented sigh, which caused a few of the mares to giggle.

“Maybe I should go over that book while you have your coffee.” Twilight offered, lifting the thick tome before Artemis could protest. Instantly the other mares could see why as a small book fell out of it.

“Is that Daring Do and the Quest for the Golden Sword?” Twilight’s eye twitched, shocked that somepony would actually slack off when doing research!


“Did ya get to the part where Daring Do finds out that Check Mark was faking to change sides? That was so cool, I totally didn’t see it coming!” Rainbow Dash grinned, eager to talk to another fan of the book.

“Well, nor I until now,” Artemis huffed, closing the book with an annoyed glare. “Thanks for spoiling the surprise portion of this grand tale.”

“Sorry ‘bout that, Arty,” Dash blushed, rubbing the back of her head. “Say, what are the books called over there?”

“Dashing Dare,” Artemis picked up the book again, looking over it. “I must say that the slight changes really do- Oh please Twilight, stop glaring at me. I have told you everything I know and was taught by Starswirl the Bearded. There is simply nothi-”

“Wait, there was a Starswirl the Bearded in your world too?” Twilight leaned over the table, nearly bumping the coffee mug over. Artemis grabbed it in his magic aura, protecting it close to his chest. He then frowned, thinking over what she had said.

“That’s weird, if he were to have the same gender when all others have been switched so far…” He tapped his chin, taking a long sip of his coffee. He sighed, and looked straight at the librarian turned princess. “Twilight, I truly do not know more. Part of the problem is that I have had years of thinking of one way, perhaps I am missing something from how I think. That is why I wish for you to accompany us tonight, as both yours and Prince Dusk Shine’s special talents are Magic itself. With your youth, you might find the cause to why Luna and I are in the other’s realm.” He yawned again and placed his head on the desk, feeling very tired despite that the amount of caffeine in the mug he was drinking could put Pinkie Pie on a near permanent sugar rush.

He nearly jumped when he felt a hoof pat him on the back, cracking an eye open to see Twilight standing over him.

“There, there, I am sure everything will be okay, and I am sure we’ll have everypony back where they are suppose to be!” Twilight smiled. “Don’t you worry!”

“Yuppers!” Pinkie Pie bounced over, arms opening wide for a hug. “Gr-”

“As much as that sounds nice Pinkie Pie, I do believe it’s nearly time for the moon to be raised.” He quickly backed away, taking a final sip of his coffee before trotting off with the mares around the table following him out. Twilight was the last to leave, putting away all the books and grabbing all her notes.

“Ah, greetings, Prince Artemis, my little ponies.” Celestia smiled from the Celestial Balcony, a place where Celestia or Luna could raise their celestial bodies together as opposed to their private balconies. “Have you any luck finding out as to why Prince Artemis and Princess Luna have switched places?”

“Sorry, Princess,” Twilight’s eyes fell to the floor, ashamed that she failed her former mentor in this very important task. “We couldn’t find any-”

“Twilight, you need not apologize, for you have not failed anything within your control.” Artemis placed his mug on the railing, eyeing the lavender alicorn with a frown. “This is a first of its kind, and to expect anypony to correctly guess why it is so would be simply ludicrous.”

“I guess…” Twilight pouted, but she still flashed a smile towards the stallion.

“Would I be correct to assume you are here to raise the moon, Prince Artemis?” Celestia smiled softly, curious to see his take on the night sky.

“Indeed, Celestia,” Artemis responded, flapping his wings to warm them up and frowned as he noticed a feather out of place in his left wing. “Once you have set your sun, I shall raise Luna’s moon.” His horn glowed, fixing the misplaced feather with mild success.

Celestia snickered, as it was cute to see him struggle to fix the feather without his mouth. But she guessed that he wouldn’t do something as private as preening in public. Shaking her head, she flapped her wings and threw herself into the sky, gathering her alicorn magic to push her heavenly body downwards, to set it on its path for the other side of the world. It was simple enough for her to do, in fact she was almost certain she could do it in her sleep by this point with the centuries of practice she’d had.

Landing back on the balcony, she flashed her eyes towards the awed group, with Twilight’s eyes wide at seeing her magic at work. Artemis had a small frown on his face, as if in deep thought.

She lowered her head for a moment, signaling Artemis it was his turn to fly.

Flapping his wings, his eyes glowed white with alicorn magic as he began to lift her sister’s moon, while the stars started to flash into existence from one end of the horizon to the other end behind the heavenly body. It was stunning to see, watching the stars that Luna usually brought in by their constellations come to life in this fashion.

With a light thud and, Artemis landed back on the balcony, eyes still fluttering with exhaustion. Celestia frowned; she might be the only pony to notice this and regardless of how things played out tonight, she was going to make sure that this stallion slept properly no matter where he was after this.

“That was breathtaking to watch,” Rarity said as she stepped closer to the blinking stallion, who flared his wings in surprise. She was clearly in awe, with the rest of ponies around her staring slack-jawed up at the night sky he’d brought in. “It was like the blackness of the night sky was being chased away, with the moon leading the charge.” Rarity ruffled herself upwards, biting her lip as she took another step closer to the nervously blushing alicorn that was quickly finding his tail pressed against the railing.

“Whoa there, sugarcube,” Applejack placed a hoof on her shoulder, stopping the white unicorn in her tracks. “This Prince is taken, remember?” She grinned, elbowing her friend. Rarity blushed, trying to hide behind her mane like a certain pegasus mare. Rainbow Dash started to laugh, which was quickly caught up by everypony on the balcony.

“Well, I was told by my nephew Bolero that some of the mares did favour my Night…” Artemis tapped his chin.

“I can see why, Prince Artemis,” Celestia chuckled a bit, tapping Artemis forwards with her wing. “Ladies, if you will excuse us, I think it is time for us to meet Luna, Prince Dusk Shine, and,” Celestia paused, biting her lip to prepare herself to say that name. “Prince Solaris, as I think a certain pony is nearly falling asleep on his hooves.”

“I am not that tired, Celestia,” he frowned, pouting a bit as his wings twitched and sagged, incriminating himself. “I am far-”

“You have been running on fumes and been drinking the strongest blend of coffee to try and stay awake,” Celestia frowned, poking his nose as he stumbled a bit. “Even if we cannot get you back where you belong tonight, tomorrow you are going to sleep without going into your dream realm. Agreed?”

He huffed, shaking his mane and let out an annoyed yawn. “Very well, Celestia,” he said, shaking his mane again. “I suppose I was overtaxing myself a bit.”

“We all need time to rest and recoup ourselves.” Celestia smiled, ushering the stallion and mares into the hallway. “Girls; Twilight, Artemis and I shall go speak with the others. I insist you go ahead and eat; we shall meet up with you once we are done.” She turned her head back to the stallion. “And you shall sleep.”

“You made your point Celestia,” Artemis grumbled as he walked through the crowd of giggling mares. “Let it go.”

“Just making sure as I know my sister is a bit stubborn at times, and-”

“Yes, yes,” Artemis spinned on his hooves and faced Celestia. “I believe it is, ‘cross my heart, hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye’,” Artemis did all the motions correctly, glaring at her. “I promise that I will get to sleep after this meeting is done.”

“Good enough for me!” Pinkie Pie smiled and bounced her way out of the hallway and towards the dining room.

“Come, Twilight, I think we should move quickly if we are to get any of Spike’s cooking.” Celestia giggled, licking her lips. It felt wonderful to let her mane down, as it were. “I will be sure to save you some, Artemis.”

“Thank you, Celestia,” Artemis blushed as he heard his stomach rumble. “Barbs is an excellent cook, and her pancakes are divine…” He smiled, licking his lips.

“I strongly doubt that, as I have eaten Spike’s pancakes before and I have been unable to meet anypony’s pancakes that were as good as his,” Celestia teased as they entered Luna’s bedroom.

Once inside, she lifted the vial up from the nightstand and shook it, hearing a tiny splash from within. Only enough for two tonight, and then she would need to go out and get more if this were to be a common occurrence.

“So how does this work, Celestia?” Twilight looked at her with the same eager eyes that she’d seen when the mare was just a small filly. “Is it a spell or a poti-”

“Twilight, whatever are you asking me for?” Celestia smiled gently, causing the new alicorn to blush and the stallion to nod slightly. Twilight still had a long way to go it seemed, and part of the problem was her own fault in how she’d taught the mare.

“Sorry, Prince Artemis…” Twilight rubbed her hooves against each other, looking at the floor instead of the stallion. “I just, I mean, I didn’t mean to-”

“It’s okay, Twilight,” Artemis lied, patting her on the shoulder. “I know that Dusk Shine is deeply enthralled by my brother, and it would make sense that you are the same to Celestia.”

“HEY!” Twilight blushed and pointed a hoof at him. Artemis ducked away from the hoof and moved to get onto the bed. “I am not enthralled by Celestia!”

Celestia clicked her tongue, holding back her laughter as she saw Artemis roll his eyes. She placed a mental note that Artemis didn’t remove the torc from his chest, despite knowing how uncomfortable it must be, and it was to be examined later.

“In any case Twilight, it is simple enough,” Artemis yawned, resting his head on the pillow. “You and Celestia will need take some of the potion in your hooves and let out a strand of your own mental magic.” He blinked and turned his head towards Twilight who was standing beside the bed. “You need to focus your mind on a single point and let your magic surround that point and push outwards.” It was the laypony term, but Celestia hoped that it would be enough for Twilight to do tonight.

Twilight frowned in focus, and a short period of time later, a feeble magic strand floated out of her horn.

“Like this?” she panted, swaying on her hooves.

“Ye-yes,” Artemis’s eyes went wide, before lighting his own horn and lifting the mare onto the bed. “It took Cel-I mean, Solaris and I a long time before we could get the fundamentals of this down, but you have managed to get out a strand out on your first try.” He licked his lips and darted his eyes to the other side as Celestia lay down next to him, causing the bed to dip a bit. “Truly, you are the alicorn of magic…”

“Than-thank you,” Twilight stuttered, more than likely as suffering from the strain of using her magic in this fashion for the first time. “So, what now?”

“Here Twilight, drink.” Celestia took a small sip of the potion, her own glowing as she let out her own magic strand with Artemis’s flying above it, waiting to grab them. “Once you drink, you will become tired, and yet retain your full mental faculties. Prince Artemis will then take our magic strands and place them inside his own mind so we can visit his dream realm.”

“Okay Pr-Celestia,” Twilight smiled, taking her own sip of the potion, finishing it off. “I would love to know more about thi-this…” She yawned, watching her strand of magic and Celestia’s being gently lifted by Artemis and brought into his own mind.

With a loud yawn, Artemis pulled them and himself into his dream realm.

Blinking, Celestia found herself in the same dream realm that she was in last night. Turning her head to the side, she saw that Artemis had already seen her sister, walking over to her and blushing horribly. As was her sister, looking at Artemis with hopeful eyes. It was truly adorable, and she was resisting every urge she had to tease her little sister. In front of her was him, and she was in no mood to even go there.

Turning her head to the other side, she saw Twilight had walked up to this Dusk Shine, who was doing the same, and then everything became silent.

Both of them opened their mouths, and then they would know the answer.

Author's Notes:

Enjoy this cliffhanger!


Next Chapter: Chapter eleven Luna Estimated time remaining: 1 Hour, 7 Minutes
Return to Story Description


Login with