The Kindness of Strangers
My dearest pupil: Twilight Sparkle-
I hope this letter finds you well and I have a favour to ask of you. My sister, Luna is struggling to make friends here at home, just as you were nearly a year ago to the day. I'm sending her to live in Ponyville alongside yourself, where hopefully she too can make friends as you did.
Hope this letter finds you well.
Twilight Sparkle set down the letter and looked at the clock in her library. She was nervous; Princess Luna was coming here, to live! Twilight had only seen the younger princess three or four times in her entire life, the first two had been when she was the evil Nightmare Moon.
Nightmare Moon, Twilight was a little worried by that, it really hadn't been that long since she and her friends had defeated the evil within her, and reunited the god-princess sisters together. The other ponies still remembered what she had done. Twilight was sure that her own friends would help in welcoming the Princess; the other ponies however...
Twilight looked at the clock again; it was almost time to go. There was a knock at the Library door. "Come in!" Twilight called out to her visitors.
It was Fluttershy and Applejack, two of her best friends. Twilight smiled at the duo as they stepped in.
"Howdy Twi' how ya doin' on this here mighty fine day?" Applejack asked, returning a smile.
"Hey girls, I'm all right, just waiting for Princess Luna to arrive," Twilight said.
"'Bout that. Ya sure this here's a good idea?" Applejack asked, a concerned look forming on her face. "Ah mean, Ah don't think too many ponies 'ave forgotten what she did 'n all."
Fluttershy looked at her friend, and spoke in her usual quiet voice. "Oh Applejack, I'm sure everything will be just fine. All we have to do is show her a little kindness."
Twilight smiled at her friends. This was exactly what she wanted to hear. "Exactly, A little kindness goes a long way! And the Princess is going to need it. Going to a new place can be overwhelming sometimes. I remember how I felt when I first came here."
"You talkin' bout before or after ya actually wanted to be 'ere?" Applejack asked, with a small smile forming on her face.
Twilight laughed a little in return. "Before, Well come on girls, let's go. We don't want to miss her highness' arrival!"
Her friends nodded and the trio walked out into the open summer air. It was a beautiful day. Not a cloud to be seen, the pegasi in Cloudsdale had wanted to make Ponyville's weather nice and beautiful for Princess Luna's arrival. One wanted to make a good first impression.
"See Applejack? Everybody is ready and willing to welcome the Princess, otherwise they wouldn't go to all the trouble to make everything look perfect."
"Ah suppose," Applejack said as her voice trailed off a bit as their other friends rounded the corner.
Rarity, Pinkie Pie, and Rainbow Dash we're having a conversation about something that Twilight wasn't able to hear fully, but the other girls quickly stopped talking to each other upon noticing their friends and giving them a good wave while they walked over. Pinkie even tripped over herself trying to wave and step at the same time, incurring a round of giggling from the six ponies.
"Hey girls," Rainbow Dash said, "hope we're not late?"
"Nope!" Twilight said. "Her highness is due to arrive at any moment though, so..."
Twilight was unable to finish her sentence before being interrupted by Pinkie, "There she is!"
Pinkie Pie raised her hoof and pointed up at the sky, the royal carriage, being pulled by two pegasi guards landed not three metres from where the ponies were standing. Princess Luna exited the carriage, bid the guards farewell, quietly thanking them for the trip.
Princess Luna turned around and saw the group of six looking at her and smiling.
Twilight and her friends bowed respectfully. "Your highness," Twilight said greeting the new arrival.
Luna gingerly kicked a rock that had been lying on the ground next to her, and spoke softly. "You really don't have to do that..."
Twilight and her friends walked closer to Ponyville's newest resident.
"Hello your highness!" Twilight said with a beaming smile on her face. "Do you remember us? I'm Twilight Sparkle, and these are my friends Applejack, Fluttershy, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, and Rainbow Dash."
"Hello..." Luna said shyly, without being able to look up from the ground. "Um, will you excuse me? I need to..." Luna's voice trailed off a little, and she walked away quietly.
The six ponies continued to look on at the Princess, unsure of what had happened.
"Did we do something wrong?" Pinkie Pie asked.
"Maybe we overwhelmed her by being here all at once," Rainbow Dash said. "I mean, I know, it's hard to meet someone as cool as me."
Twilight and Applejack gave Rainbow Dash a side long look of annoyance, to which she gave a nervous chuckle.
"I'm going to go try and talk to her myself. See if we can't get her to warm up to us without feeling overwhelmed by everypony," Twilight said.
"Good idea sugar cube. We'll be 'round when ya need us," Applejack said.
The other five ponies departed, and Twilight Sparkle gingerly approached the shy god-princess, who was kicking rocks absent-mindedly in the street next to the library.
"Your highness?" Twilight asked with a warm smile.
Luna shut her eyes tightly and groaned softly, as if in pain. She mumbled something that Twilight was unable to hear properly.
Twilight looked at the Princess with confusion. "I'm sorry; I didn't hear what you said."
Luna shut her eyes again, and spoke somewhat louder. "Why are you, of all ponies, talking to me? You have every reason to ignore me. You should hate me."
Twilight felt a tear form in her eye, to think that any creature could continue to feel such pain for something that wasn't even entirely her fault. Twilight was normally oblivious to other's emotions, but she could tell what was troubling the god-princess, guilt, fear, anxiety, Twilight understood these emotions, she'd felt them many times herself. She walked closer to the Princess, who instinctively took a step back, giving a quiet whimper of fear.
"It's okay. I don't hate you. We don't hate you! All my friends and I have been looking forward to seeing you! We didn't get to know you very well and we want to be your friend! If you'll let us," Twilight said smiling at the shy mare before her.
"You... you don't really mean that, do you?" Luna asked worriedly.
"I DO mean it. I want to be your friend, and I'm sure other ponies do to. So come on! Let's be friends!" Twilight said. She giggled at the irony in her own statement, a year ago; she'd have never said anything like that. She was far too busy studying to be concerned with making friends.
Princess Luna gingerly kicked the last rock she could see. She nodded, and after a moment of silence that seemed to last a year, she finally said the word that Twilight Sparkle wished to hear. "Okay..."
Twilight smiled brightly. "Great! Come on; let's go find my other friends. They're going to love you! I promise."
The two ponies walked off towards Sugarcube Corner, where the group was likely to gather, it was after all the place to hang out. As they walked, Twilight asked the Princess about herself, while difficult to get speaking at first. She slowly began to open up.
It was just enough to start a friendship, the friendship that they needed above all else.