"Could you tell me a story, Miss Princess?"
Celestia blinked, looking back at the young purple filly standing in the doorway.
"Twilight! What are you doing out of bed?" Celestia asked, gazing at the small unicorn with a frown.
A grey royal guard gave a small cough, and motioned to the filly. "She said that she could not fall asleep, Your Highness. She would like you to tell her a 'bedtime story.'"
The small unicorn smiled, her eyes sparkling. "PLEEEAAAAASE Miss Princess? My Mommy always tells me stories before bedtime. She says it helps me to have good dreams."
Celestia stared at the young filly, whose coat suddenly changed into a purplish-blue, and mane to a light cyan. She sprouted tiny wings, and donned royal jewelry.
"Tia, could you consider telling me a tale tonight?" the Alicorn asked, her sweet smile seeming to warm the room.
"Sister, I am frightfully busy at the moment..." a white Alicorn sporting a pink mane sighed, using her magic to levitate a small purple quill and important document. She was in her room, comfortably resting on heaps of sheets and pillows, all delicately arranged by her uncanny sense of neatness.
"But TiiiiiiiiaaAAAAaa! You promised!" the foal wailed, her honeyed smile disappearing in an instant as she stormed into the room. "Yesterday you said that today you would tell me about the Elephants of Armony! You said that EVERY princess should know about them! Did I mention that you PROMISED me?"
The older Alicorn sighed, and put her quill down, patting her hoof on a spot next to her on the bed. "Well, I DO always say that ponies should keep promises..." she said, giving a small smile. "Come and sit, little moonbeam."
The smaller princess cantered over to the bed, hopping in happily. She snuggled into the soft blankets, making for herself a warm nest next to her sister's body. After she finished, she looked up at the larger Alicorn with expecting eyes.
"Well for one thing, they are not called the Elephants of Armony." The elder Alicorn explained, " They are the Elements of Harmony, and are very beautiful gemstones that hold the powers of friendship."
"Powers of friendship?" the small princess inquired, shaking her head, "How can friendship kill bad guys?"
The pink-maned princess rolled her magenta eyes with a smile. "You'd be surprised what friendship can do, little moonbeam. It brings ponies together, unites them for a greater cause. That is what 'kills the bad guys.' The Elements hold many condensed emotions and qualities from ponies who lived very long ago."
"What does condensed mean?" asked the younger Alicorn, laying her head against her sister's white wing.
"It means a whole bunch of things packed together into a small space. That was how the Elements were created. Very loyal ponies poured their qualities of trustworthiness and dependability into the ruby that now is the Element of Loyalty. Very generous ponies transferred their unselfishness and charitable qualities into the amethyst that is now the Element of Generosity. The same thing goes for all the of Elements. It's also why only ponies with those qualities can unlock the gemstone's powers."
"Ohhhh. And that's us, right? We're the only ponies who can do that magic stuff with the Elephants!"
"Elements. And yes, you are right, little moonbeam. You are Honesty, Generosity, and Laughter, and I am Kindness, Loyalty, and Magic. Together we will wield the Elements against any evil that befalls Equestria... but for now, we still must learn more about the amazing gemstones, and delve deep into the emotions and ancient memories within."
The 'little moonbeam' frowned, gazing at the fire crackling in the fireplace, wisps of orange and red dancing among the embers and tinder. "You mean I'll have to STUDY?" she groaned, putting a hoof over her face.
"Pfft, well then! I guess I'll just have to handle the Elements myself! I'll get no help from you when I defeat all the 'bad guys'!" the white Alicorn scoffed, trying to suppress a laugh as she stood up and walked towards the door, holding her head high.
"NO! Tia waaaaiiiittt!!!" cried the cyan-maned filly, jumping out of the bed and clopping after her sister on tiny hooves. "I'll study! I'll learn everything!"
The white alicorn spun around, picking up her sister with her magic and snuggling her close. "You better!" said the princess, tucking the small filly under her wing. "Now come along, it's time for bed."
The tiny alicorn struggled, moaning "But I don't want to go to bed! I am the princess of the night, am I not?!"
"Yes, you are. But even night princesses need their sleep, and you need to be up bright and early to begin studies tomorrow," the white alicorn explained, moving at a fast trot down the hall of the castle in which the two sisters lived in. Ornate stained glass windows lined the walls, depicting battles of long ago and triumphs of ages past. Reaching a large set of doors carved with the moon and stars, the sun princess opened them, walking inside to find a night-themed room littered with toys small and large.
She set the struggling filly down upon the soft, night black sheets of the filly's bed. "I told you about the Elements, just as I promised. Now you need you keep your end of the bargain and go to sleep. I promise I will make studying tomorrow as fun as I can."
"Fine..." the little moonbeam said with a yawn as her sister used her magic to pull the sheets up to her head. "Tia...?"
"Yes, little moonbeam?"
"Even though mommy and daddy are gone, I'm still happy because I have the best sister ever. I love you, Tia..."
Celestia blinked as the filly once again transformed. Her wings withered away, her mane became a dark purple, and her coat melted into a dark lavender.
The white Alicorn was once again in her own bedroom, with her quill still floating above a paper in a swath of magic.
The filly was awake, and standing expectantly at her door, along with a royal guard.
"Miss Princess? Are you going to tell me a story? Please? You're very quiet," said the unicorn.
Celestia smiled, and patted a pillow beside her. "Come and sit, Twilight. I would love to tell you a story."
The unicorn smiled in glee and cantered over to the pillow, resting her flank upon it. "What's the story about? Heroes? Adventure? Buried treasure?"
Celestia shook her head. "I'm going to tell you about the Elements of Harmony, very powerful magical stones."
The filly's eyes widened, and she smiled once again. A warm, familiar smile. Celestia's heart lurched as she looked deep into those innocent, deep eyes. Luna's eyes.
"Thank you so much, Miss Princess! It feels just like I'm at home with my mommy. She tells me stories about magic stuff too," said the unicorn.
Celestia felt a warm tear of both sadness and familiarity slide down her cheek as she smiled back at the filly. "Twilight?"
"Yes, Miss Princess?"
"Call me Tia."