Luna woke, once again finding herself sleeping later than she was used to. Her new friends had stayed over almost until sunset celebrating the fact that she was now officially a citizen of Ponyville. By the time she finally had some time alone, she was finding it too dark to read, and decided to watch the night sky from her deck for a bit before turning in. Sleep had been fast in coming, and for once had been uneventful, with no Nightmare Moon dream to creep her out.
Now, after a quick bath and a breakfast of most of the last of the food she had brought with her from Canterlot, Luna was once again on the deck of her house, just watching the rest of the village go about it's morning routine. After a few minutes, she decided to head into town and do some exploring. She had marked on the map where she and her friends all lived, and now she hoped to add some other important spots to her knowledge of the town. She went to empty her saddlebags so she could use them for shopping, and stopped when she saw the spell book fall out.
'That's right!' she thought as she picked up the book carefully and carried it to her table. 'I can't believe that I forgot to read up on just exactly what that spell did. I know the last day or two has been a whirlwind, but wow…' Luna found flipping through the book harder without her magic, but she was still able to find the right page without too much hassle.
Luna had just started to read when she heard a knock at her door. "Coming! One second please!" she called out as she closed the book and placed it back in her bags. She was still feeling a bit paranoid about others seeing the tome and wondering why an earth pony had a spell book. Opening the front door, she saw a pink earth pony mare with a fluffy magenta mane and a giant smile on her face. "Um, hello…" Luna started, but seeing the smile and eyes of the visiting pony getting larger froze her up.
"Hello! Are you Moonbeam?" the other pony asked excitedly. Seeing Luna nod slowly, the pink pony gave out a squeal of joy and then stepped back a couple of paces. Her demeanor becoming somewhat serious, she cleared her throat, and then started to sing while doing a little dance.
"Welcome, to Ponyville, the land of cake and sun
We hope you enjoy your stay here, and have a ton of fun!
To help you get things started off, on the right horseshoe
We're hosting a party tonight, one that's just for you!
A party for Moonbeam, it's gonna be a blast
A party for Moonbeam, the whole night it will last
So bring your friends and family, it's sure to be a sight
A party for Moonbeam, it's happening tonight!
It's being held at the library, hope you don't mind books
We would have done it elsewhere, but Twilight's such a kook!
It starting right at suppertime, food and drinks we'll provide
Just come down when you're ready, knock and come inside!
A party for Moonbeam, it's gonna be a blast
A party for Moonbeam, the whole night it will last
So bring your friends and family, it's sure to be a sight
A party for Moonbeam, it's happening tonight!
A party for Moonbeam, it hap-pen-ning to-niiiiight!"
By the end of the song, Luna was smiling as wide as the other pony was, and clapped her hooves together enthusiastically. "Wow! Well done! Thank you very much!"
"Thanks! My name is Pinkie Pie, by the way. I'm glad Twilight suggested that I sing the invitation, it sure worked out a lot better than my first idea of dressing up like a clown and giving you the invitation on a cupcake, because I would have probably eaten it then! The cupcake I mean, not the invitation. Hmm, maybe that's why Twilight gave me such a weird look when I suggested I do that. Oh well! Anyway, will you be able to make it? I hope you can, it would be weird to have a welcome party and have the pony it's for not show up, although I guess we could go out and search the town for you and then throw the party wherever you're at, but having it at the library will be much easier I think, don't you?"
Luna was overwhelmed by the enthusiastic onslaught of words. "Uh, yes, of course I'll be there, thank you so…"
A loud cheer from Pinkie Pie cut Luna off. "Yippee! Okay then, I gotta go tell Twilight that the party is a go, get to Mr. and Mrs. Cake's to get the food ready, oh, so much to do! See you and your friends there Moonbeam!" With that, Pinkie Pie hopped away down the road, humming to herself.
Luna stood in her doorway for another minute, blinking and trying to sort out what had just happened. Giving up on trying to make sense of all of it, she instead decided to focus on the important pieces: there was a party at the library being held in her honor, it was at suppertime, and she was supposed to bring her friends and family. "Well, that pretty much fills up my itinerary for the day" She said to herself. "First, read that spell book, then go visit my friends and invite them to the party, and finally get some food bought for tomorrow."
Dragging the spell book out of her saddlebags again, she flipped through the pages until she found the spell description. After reading through several pages, she frowned upon reaching the end. "Well, that wasn't very enlightening!" she cried out in frustration. "It doesn't mention anything about pain at all, just how it changes a unicorn into an earth pony. At least I now know how to break the disguise. I just need to break the moonstone. But if casting the spell hurt that much, I don't want to do it again anytime soon. So, I guess I'm stuck in this form unless an emergency comes up. Well, I better go put this book someplace safe." Looking around at her barely furnished room, she sighed. "Which means either I keep it in my saddlebags, or leave it here on the table? Oh, wait, I know!" Luna grabbed the book in her mouth, ran up the stairs and slid the book under her bed.
"Not the best place, but that will have to do for now." Going back downstairs, she started gathering things for her saddlebags. Her map, a bottle of ink, and a quill went in. She wasn't liking the prospect of looking like an idiot when it came time to mark something down, but it was the only way open to her. Last, she grabbed her gem pouch, to find it containing only a couple of small stones besides the moonstone the spell had created. "Either I'm going to have to leave in a week after all, or find some way to earn some money. It cost a lot more to rent a place then I thought it was going to." Slinging the saddlebags onto her back took a couple of tries, but she finally got them on properly and headed outside.
Luna's first stop was to head to Haystack's farm at the edge of town. A small side road branched off of the main route, and led to a gate with the sign 'Haystack's Hill' above it. Past it, she saw a small house next to a tall barn. Behind both buildings, a large hill rose sharply a couple of hundred feet. The hill was covered with some sort of grain. Luna couldn't tell what kind from this far out. Noticing that the gate had no lock, she cautiously opened it up and walked in. Looking around, she didn't see anypony anywhere, and started to get nervous about what she should do next. Finally, she spotted a bell with a rope hanging next to the door of the house. With nothing else to try, besides leaving and trying to figure out which inn Dewdrop worked at, she grabbed the rope with her teeth and gave the bell a good ring.
A few seconds later, she heard flapping wings, and looking up see Haystack flying in to meet her. "Moonbeam! This is a pleasant surprise. How can I help you?"
Luna smiled. "Hello Haystack! I need help with a couple of things, if you don't mind? It shouldn't take too long, I promise."
"I'll do what I can, of course. What do you need?"
"Well, first off, I guess they're holding a big welcoming party for me this evening in town at the library. I was told to bring my friends, so I would like for you to come."
Haystack shuffled his hooves and looked around nervously. "Well, um, if you really want me to, I will, Moonbeam. But it's only fair to warn you, parties and I just don't seem to get along all that well." Seeing Luna's crestfallen look, he waved a hoof at her. "No! Don't misunderstand, I'll go. I just want to warn you that I may not be the best pony to be hanging out with there."
Luna brightened up. "Thanks, Haystack! I plan to invite all my friends, so you can hang out with them at the worst, right? Which leads me to my second favor. I got you guys to mark on the map where you all lived, but you're the only one who lives where they work. Could you spare a second to mark where Dewdrop, Feather Down, and Pine Needle work for me, please?"
"I'll be glad to do that, and even do you one better, Moonbeam. Follow me for a short way." With that, Haystack turned and trotted around his house towards the hill. Wondering what her friend had in mind, Luna followed. Soon they were walking in grain shoots that came almost up to Luna's belly. She was worried that Haystack was going to have her climb the steep hill and point things out from up there, when instead he stopped at the base and yelled up, "Hey! Pine Needle! We have a guest! Get down here!"
"Wait, Pine Needle works here too? I'm surprised you guys didn't bring that up last night!"
Haystack shrugged. "It just didn't come up. After all, you were the focus last night, not us or where we worked. But this is how Pine Needle and I met. He was new in town and needed a job, and I always need more hooves to do stuff than I have available to me." The sound of galloping hooves coming from the left made the two of them turn to see Pine Needle come running up to them.
"Moonbeam!" he yelled in a happy voice as he pulled up next to them. "What brings you out here?"
"Well, they're throwing a welcoming party for me tonight. They told me to bring my friends, so I'm here to invite you to come," Luna explained.
"It would be mine pleasure to be there," Pine Needle solemnly replied.
"Great! That's two of you then, only two more to go!"
Pine Needle stared at Luna in amazement. "What is this? Did you already invite Haystack?" Looking at the pegasus pony, and getting a drooped head as confirmation, he turned back to Luna. "You have just pulled off a rare feat indeed, Moonbeam! Why, I imagine that this party will be remembered almost as much for Haystack appearing as it will be for what it is intended for."
"Me going to a party isn't that rare of an event!" Haystack paused, and then looked at Pine Needle pleadingly. "Right?"
Pine Needle tilted his head in thought for a moment. "If mine memory is correct, the last time you went to a party was another welcome party. Mine. Which was almost two years ago."
Haystack sighed in defeat as Luna giggled. "Very well, I guess it is. Well, shall I mark down on your map where Dewdrop and Feather Down work? I'll make sure the two of us get done with our work in plenty of time for the party."
Pine Needle gave a quick wave goodbye to Luna, and then left to resume his work while Haystack led Luna towards his house again.
"By the way," Haystack said as they entered his house, "I don't know what you plan on doing for work, but if you have trouble finding a job, let me know. Not everything around here is back-breaking labor, but you will get dirty by the end of the day. So, just let me know whenever you may need it."
Luna was a bit taken aback. As a princess, she had never imagined getting her hooves dirty with manual labor. Furthermore, she still had no idea what she was going to do for money. Putting those concerns aside, she pulled the map out of her saddlebags and placed it on the table as Haystack brought a pencil over and started marking down spots on it.
"Thank you, Haystack. I'll definitely keep that in mind. That's very generous of you!"
Haystack did his best not to look too embarrassed over the praise. "You may not be thanking me after your first shift if you do decide to try it. Anyway, this here," he pointed at a mark he had made, "is the inn where Dewdrop works. Anytime should be a good time to visit her, as she'll most likely just be cleaning up and making beds. This," he pointed at another mark, "is where Feather Down works. I'd either go there next, before the lunch rush hits or she'll be up to her mane in work, or go an hour after that. Finally, this spot over here near the middle of town is the library. If you find yourself running late, that's where to go, but Pine Needle and I will stop by your place on the way in to walk you there if you want."
"I'd like that! If nothing else, just so I don't walk all by myself into a room full of ponies who I know nothing about," Luna said. She committed the marks to her memory as best as she could, then put the map back in her saddlebags.
"Very well then, Moonbeam. I'll see you later tonight!"
Luna spent the rest of the morning finding and telling Dewdrop and Feather Down about the party. Both mares were eager to go, especially after hearing that Haystack was going to be going too.
Luna remembered Dewdrop's expression when she had heard that especially. Dewdrop's jaw had fallen wide open, and after a few seconds she had turned her back to Luna, and quietly, but not quietly enough, muttered "Next thing you know, pianos will be falling from the sky."
Luna still giggled at the thought hours later.
After that, she had gone to the farmer's market. Spending most of her remaining funds, she purchased enough food to last her several days. After returning home, she spent the afternoon practicing setting up her telescope inside. Getting it upright was easy, she found. Gently adjusting where it was pointed, however, was an exercise in frustration without being able to use magic to minutely adjust the dials and knobs.
Eventually, she put the telescope away in her closet and did a quick wash up to make herself presentable for the party. Finding herself done before Haystack and Pine Needle showed up, and not having much else to do, she pulled out the spell book to do some reading to pass the time. Or, at least she tried to, but she found herself too excited about the party to be able to concentrate on it.
Finally, there was a knock at her door. Shoving the book back under the bed, Luna trotted downstairs to meet her two stallion friends. "Ready to go?" asked Haystack.
"Yes! Both Feather Down and Dewdrop said they will be there too, and asked us to stop by their place on the way so we could all arrive together," Luna answered as she closed the door. Pine Needle stepped to one side and motioned for Luna to walk between him and Haystack, and they walked to Dewdrop's and Feather Down's house.
Luna knocked on the door, and Feather Down opened it. "Hello Moonbeam! Hey guys!" Feather Down then turned around and yelled back into the house, "Ha! He DID show up! You have to do the dishes for the rest of the week!"
Luna was surprised to hear Dewdrop squawk in protest, and shocked when some unladylike words followed that up. She never would have expected to hear such things come come from her friend's mouth!
A disbelieving Dewdrop stuck her head out the door. With a sigh and a small smile, she shrugged. "Oh well, the extra chores will be worth it just to see Haystack actually being sociable." For his part, Haystack tried to take it all in stride but still had a little bit of a droop to his posture.
"Ah, don't worry, Haystack," consoled Feather Down as she and Dewdrop joined the others and they started to walk towards the library. "At the worst, think of it as the price to pay for what's sure to be an excellent spread of food, right?"
Haystack slowly nodded. "That's a good way to look at it. I mean, it's just a bunch of ponies that I don't know all that well, right? What's the worst that can happen?"
"Twilight!" yelled Spike from upstairs. "I see them coming now, they should be here in just a minute!"
"Great!" Twilight called back up. She looked around the main floor of the library. There were already a couple dozen ponies present, and the rest of her friends hadn't shown up yet either. 'It'll be a bit crowded,' she thought as she walked towards the door, 'but that should actually help me pull off my tests without arousing any suspicions.' She heard Spike yelp in surprise, and then a crashing noise from upstairs. 'What's he doing up there?' she wondered before a knock at the door returned her attention back downstairs.
The door opened, and Luna and her friends entered the library. "Welcome!" said Twilight. "I'm glad you could make it. You must be Moonbeam?" she asked, holding out a hoof to shake. 'Test number one,' she thought, 'physical contact can often disrupt weak illusions. It's a long shot, especially for someone to use at a party, but better safe than sorry.' A quick hoofshake later, Twilight motioned for them to wait a moment.
Twilight climbed up on a stool to get a view of the room and used her magic to ring a bell to get everyone's attention. "Attention, everypony!" she said, as conversation died down. "The mare of honor has arrived! Let's all give a big Ponyville welcome to Moonbeam!" The room erupted into a chorus of cheers and joyful clops of hooves hitting the floor in applause. For her part, Luna blushed, not used to being the center of so much positive attention. "Now," continued Twilight after the noise once again quieted, "don't everypony rush her at once, but sometime tonight make sure to at least say 'Hello'!"
'Now, time for test number two,' Twilight thought as she levitated a party hat over to Luna's head. 'Coming in contact with another spell can disrupt some illusions. I'll find out if that's what she is using when I put this hat on her.'
Luna smiled at the red and white party hat as it was placed gently on her head and then patiently stood still while Twilight tied it off. "I didn't get that too tight, did I?" Twilight asked.
"Oh, no, not at all! And thank you very much for the party! I was looking forward to it all day today." Luna looked around. Many of the ponies were in small circles of conversations, and a few looked like they were waiting for her to finish with Twilight before coming up to introduce themselves. "I don't see the pony that sang me the invitation. I wanted to thank her again for going to the trouble of doing that."
Twilight chuckled. "Oh, she'll be here soon. I believe she and some other ponies are bringing in the last of the food. We put this together on a bit of short notice, I'm afraid, but they should be along any moment now." Some motion out of the corner of her eye caught Twilight's attention. Spike was standing at the top of the stairs, gesturing for her to come up. "Well, I have to go take care of something really quick, I'll be back down shortly. You go ahead and mingle and have some fun!"
"I will, thank you!" Luna watched as the purple unicorn walked up the stairs, and then turned to greet several ponies who came up to her to offer introductions.
Twilight got to the top of the stairs to find Spike with a bump on his head, holding a book. "What happened, Spike, and why aren't you down there helping me with the tests?"
"I was on my way, but I fell off the ladder. But while I was down on the ground, look what I found under your dresser!" In Spike's hand was the book 'Teakettle's Tome of Transformations.'
Twilight blinked in surprise. "Under my dresser? Why was it there? Oh well, that will have to wait until after the party, I'm afraid. She's passed the first two tests, but I didn't think they would work anyway. Time to get through the rest of the list!"
Luna and her friends had dispersed throughout the crowd, and she was already having trouble remembering the name of everypony who had already come up to her to say hello. The door opened again, and another group of ponies entered, carrying baskets filled with apples and a couple of cakes too. 'Those must be the ponies Twilight mentioned.' Sure enough, the last one to enter was the pink pony from that morning. 'What did she say her name was again…' Luna tried to remember.
A short ways away, Haystack gasped. "Oh burrs and nettles," he swore, "it's Pinkie Pie!"
'Pinkie Pie, that's it!' Luna thought triumphantly. 'Wait, why does Haystack seem so upset by her being here?' Luna watched as Haystack tried edging away from the door without calling too much attention to himself, but after just a few seconds, Pinkie Pie's eye fell on the pegasus pony. Luna watched as Pinkie Pie's face went through a very visible series of emotions, from shock to disbelief to joy, all in a matter of a couple of seconds.
"HAYSTACK!" Pinkie Pie yelled as she leaped across the crowded room in just a couple of bounds. "Oh my gosh! Did Moonbeam actually drag you in here? I can't believe it, I've been trying to get you to show up to parties for AGES, you really need to get out more, have a chance to meet some mare, oh this is the greatest party ever!" Haystack slowly tried to back away from the hyperactive pink pony, only to feel his rear end hit the wall behind him. He looked back and forth, looking for a way free, only to have his eyes start to glaze over when he discovered there was no escape.
"Oh dear." Dewdrop walked over to Luna to get a better view of what was happening. "This was my biggest worry about Haystack showing up. I guess they grew up across the street from each other, and Pinkie Pie has always found Haystack to be a prime target for her pranks and schemes. Quite the duo, when you think about it. The earth pony who always has her head in the clouds, and the pegasus pony who always has his hooves on the ground. By the way, have you seen Feather Down anywhere, Moonbeam?"
Meanwhile, Spike carried a tall mirror past Luna and into the kitchen, as Twilight watched from the stairs. 'Test number three,' she thought, 'Many illusions affect the eyes directly, but if you look at the subject indirectly the spell loses its power. A mirror is an excellent tool for this test!' Spike paused a few seconds to give Twilight a chance to examine Luna's reflection in the mirror before he moved into the next room. 'Nope, that test didn't work out either.'
The other ponies that had just walked in carried the food to various tables. Pine Needle helped them unburden an orange earth pony with a cowboy hat of the many boxes she had carried on her back. When he was done, the orange pony said to him, "Thanks, sugar, that was quite a load, glad ta be free of it." She turned around and started talking to another pony, not noticing that behind her, as she stood and chatted away, Pine Needle's eyes had changed into little pink hearts and a small trail of drool was starting to trickle from his mouth.
"I don't believe it!" Dewdrop exclaimed. "She Who Must Not Be Named! Right next to Pine Needle! Can this get any worse?"
"Umm, just who is that?" asked Luna.
Dewdrop sighed. "That's Applejack. Her family owns a large apple farm outside of town, and Pine Needle has a monster crush on her like you wouldn't believe. I still don't know if Applejack is oblivious to it, or just does her best to ignore it. But Pine Needle will be happy to talk about how wonderful her mane is, or how cute her freckles are, or how she's the epitome of earth pony beauty for hours if you really want to hear it. Ugh!" Dewdrop stuck a hoof into her mouth in a gag motion. "The only thing left now is for us to find Feather Down taking a nap somewhere and refusing to wake up!"
Luna felt a trickle of sweat start to form as she saw Feather Down curled up in what looked like a pet basket near the base of the stairs. "You mean, like over there?" she pointed out to Dewdrop.
Dewdrop smacked her forehead with a hoof several times in a row with more force than Luna thought was healthy. Muttering to herself something about tempting the fates by speaking of bad things, she stomped over to her roommate and tried unsuccessfully to wake Feather Down up.
Twilight still stood at the top of the stairs watching with worry as, one by one, Moonbeam's friends were rendered incompetent. Twilight was just about to head down the stairs to help out, tests forgotten, but something made her stop and keep watching instead.
Luna took in the scenes one last time. Pinkie Pie was still talking and hopping around a paralyzed Haystack, Dewdrop was trying in vain to prod Feather Down awake with a hoof, and Pine Needle was still mooning over Applejack. 'What do I do?' She asked herself, feeling completely unable to influence things as they stood. She walked over to Pine Needle and waved a hoof in front of his eyes to no visible effect. 'What I need is some way to move Applejack out of his sight, but I don't want to embarrass him too much either. Maybe Feather Down could do that?' She walked over to her dozing friend, and added her efforts to Dewdrop's to try to wake Feather Down without actually hurting her. 'No, she's out like a light! How can a pony fall asleep at a time and place like this anyways?'
Luna walked back to the middle of the room, and greeted some other ponies that had come up to her. She could only pay them half a mind though, and soon they drifted away, leaving her alone again. 'This is terrible! I just wish that, after all they've done for me, that I could somehow return the favor. But how?' She looked back and forth between her friends a few times, drawing a blank. She was about to give up in despair when suddenly, inspiration struck and a plan fell into place. Quickly double-checking it in her head, she smiled and trotted over to Haystack.
"Pinkie Pie!" Luna exclaimed, getting the pink pony's attention. "I just wanted to thank you again for the wonderful invitation. It sure was a wonderful way to wake up and start the day."
"Why, thank you Moonbeam!" Pinkie Pie turned to her as she replied. "Do you want me to do that for you again tomorrow? Not that we would be throwing another party, but it sure is fun to have a good reason to go and sing."
"Actually, I was thinking that there's another pony here who could use a wake up call from you." She pointed over at Dewdrop and Feather Down.
"Ooooh! I know just the thing too! Watch!" Pinkie Pie headed over to the dessert table. Instead of watching, Luna turned to Haystack, who was quickly recovering now that Pinkie Pie had left his immediate vicinity.
"Thank you ever so much Moonbeam, I owe you big for that." Haystack said, his voice filled with relief. "Now, time for me to get out of here!"
"Actually," said Luna, "I think if you just talked to the right pony, you might have a much more enjoyable time." She pointed over to the area where Pine Needle was. "I was told that Applejack was a farmer too. Maybe you two could compare notes and stories?"
Haystack slowly nodded. "You know, I've been wanting to ask her how she manages to keep up such a good yield year after year. I think I'll do that, thanks for the suggestion Moonbeam." Luna watched as Haystack went and introduced himself, and the two broke away from the food tables, leaving Pine Needle behind. She switched her view to the other side of the room, and saw Pinkie Pie shove a pastry covered in something red into Feather Down's mouth. Luna guessed it might be hot sauce from the bottle with a red pepper now lying empty on the food table Pinkie Pie had just left.
Well, that and the fact that Feather Down levitated several feet in the air, turning bright red as a small stream of flame flew out of her mouth and smoke erupted from her ears and nostrils. "It's all in the timing," Pinkie Pie explained to Dewdrop. "Just wait for them to be inhale, that's when you put in in their mouth."
Luna then walked over to Pine Needle, and gave him a nudge to break him from his reverie. Wiping his chin free of drool, he apologized to Luna. "I am so terribly sorry. I have acted like a fool! I hope I did not ruin the party for you"
"Don't worry about it, Pine Needle. I was wondering, since you've had one of these held for you a short while ago, if you could help me with getting through the rest of the night without coming across like a silly filly?"
Pine Needle smiled. "It would be mine honor, Moonbeam. Have you met Rainbow Dash yet? She's over this way." The two wandered over to talk to the blue pegasus.
From her vantage point at the top of the stairs, Twilight beamed with pride. "I still don't know whether you're Luna or really are Moonbeam, but either way, job well done!" She looked at the remaining tests on her list. A couple of them, such as getting the subject wet, seemed like buzzkill now. "I'll go tell Spike we're done for tonight. We'll look through that book after this party is done if it isn't too late, but for now?" she said as she descended down the stairs, "That cake sure looks good, I'm going to have a piece!"
A couple of hours later, the party was finished. Twilight was cleaning up the last of the mess, using her magic, while Spike read through the newly found book. "Um, Twilight? I've read through this whole thing, and this may just be what she used. It actually turns the unicorn casting the spell into an earth pony."
"Any way to test if that actually is the spell that was used, Spike?" Twilight asked, focusing on levitating a pile of apple cores into a garbage bag.
"No. The spell takes away all of their unicorn properties and seals it away into a gemstone. The spell is broken by breaking the gemstone."
Twilight paused, then lowered the garbage bag to the floor. Turning towards Spike, she asked, "Wait. Unicorn properties? What about pegasus properties, like wings and being able to walk on clouds?"
Spike shook his head. "It doesn't say."
Twilight came over and started to read over Spike's shoulder. "I see, the spell only works on the caster, it can't be used on other ponies." Twilight's eyes widened in shock. "Oh my gosh, Spike! That disturbance a couple of days ago! That had to have been the spell somehow trying to work Luna's wings into the effect! Teakettle only had unicorns in mind when he made this spell, he probably didn't think an alicorn like Princess Celestia, a unicorn with wings, would ever want to cast it, and when he wrote this, he probably wasn't even considering Luna either, because she was still trapped in the moon! Well, at least we can write to Princess Celestia and give her some good news, that we found the book and are pretty sure that we know where Luna is."
"It's not all good news though, Twilight." Spike flipped back to a page near the beginning of the book. "Teakettle talks a lot about how his spells work in the first part. It's a really boring read, but this part really stuck out at me."
Twilight read the words aloud. "The danger inherent in using any kind of complete transformation spell, like the ones I outline later in this volume, is that the body can forget its original shape over time. I have discovered that after a year and a day, even if the spell is canceled, the target of the spell will not be able to change back! Oh no, Spike, we need to get this news to Celestia right away!" Spike ran upstairs to grab a pen and a piece of parchment, while Twilight wondered how to present it all to the Princess. 'No sugar coating at all would be the best. It may be a bit harsh, but she needs to know all of it.'
Happy and full, Luna slipped under the covers in her bed and fell promptly asleep. Once again, she found herself in the strange moonscape dream, with Nightmare Moon waiting for her.
"Well, well, well. So, did you have fun telling lies to the entire town tonight?" Nightmare Moon chuckled at the pained grimace that came over Luna's face. "That's right, don't forget, every day you stay like this, the longer you go on, the deeper the hole will be for you to dig out of. I imagine that if you were to reveal yourself tomorrow, you might be able to not have them all hate you forever."
Luna started to shrink before her dark half, when suddenly she stopped, and slowly stood back up. "You know what, Nightmare Moon? I think I'm on to you."
"Oh, pray tell, just what exactly are you talking about?"
Luna stared Nightmare Moon right in the eye. "I think you want to take control again."
Oh, please." Nightmare Moon rolled her eyes. "Why would I? The moment I show myself, Celestia and her pet Elements of Harmony will just come rushing in again. No, what I really want to do is guide you into making the right choices. Be the power behind the throne, so to speak." She leaned down so she could whisper into Luna's ear. "Think of what we could do together."
"No." Luna stated. "In fact, while my memory isn't the best, I seem to recall that this is how it started a thousand years ago. So, you know what? I'm going to make sure you never get a chance to abuse my magic again!"
Nightmare Moon laughed. "Oh, and how can you do that?"
Luna smiled, and then closed her eyes and concentrated. 'This is a dream,' she thought, 'all in my mind. All I should have to do is concentrate and…' A loud gasp of shock let her know that she had succeeded. Opening her eyes again, she looked at herself to make certain. Sure enough, she was now looking just like she did awake, a grey earth pony with a silver mane and tail.
"I can do this!" She proclaimed loudly. "I can stay as an earth pony, and make it so there is no magic for you to steal and corrupt! I have a place of my own here now! Friends, a possible job waiting for me… I don't need magic anymore! I'll just stay like this, and be happy for the rest of my life!" With that, Luna closed her eyes again, and willed herself to wake up.
Luna lay there for a while, happy to have a plan in place now. She was happy, she kept on telling herself over and over. "But if things are going my way, and I'm happy," she quietly wondered, "where are these tears coming from?"