Luna poked her head furtively out of the cloud and darted to the top of the barn. Goddess she might be, but she didn’t feel like one when sneaking around Ponyville. She hadn’t even been here since her Nightmare Moon avatar was destroyed, but she had to come back. For the first time in a long time, she had hope.
A week beforehand, Luna had been sitting on her throne, reigning over the night. She was toying with an astrolabe as she considered a letter from Star Dreamer, the head astronomer of Canterlot. “A griffon constellation? But if I place it there, it will ruin the symmetry of Cetus and Draco... maybe three degrees north?” she muttered to herself as she tweaked a knob and spun the artifact forward a few centuries. “I should really fix Cancer’s drift...”
Her thoughts were interrupted by the throne room door’s slam. A red pony with a half-apple cutie mark burst in, trailed by angry guards. “Your majesty!” Big Macintosh shouted as a guard tackled him. “Ponyville... huff.. needs your help!”
“Let him up!” Luna ordered. “What’s the matter, sir?”
Big Mac got to his feet, panting heavily. “Massive... windstorm... pegasi pinned down... homes destroyed. Acres.. just outside, sent me for help.”
Luna was amazed, it was miles from here to Ponyville. To make a pony run that distance, the disaster must be awful. “I’ll do my best.” She spread her wings and flew out the window, heading for the highest point in the palace. From the pinnacle, she looked south and saw the hurricane.
How had she missed the howl of the winds before? If anything, Mac had understated the damage. Luna’s preternatural eyes caught the library tree hanging on by a root, and the schoolhouse smashed into a pile of boards. Thankfully, no ponies were visible; she hoped they had all managed to get to shelter.
While Celestia still held the lion’s share of their joint power, Luna was also a goddess of the pegasi, and could control the weather. She closed her eyes and felt the air currents sweeping the world, the massive low-pressure center of the storm, the devastating energies being released. In a real way, she was there, could feel the currents in her hooves. With a sweep of her foreleg, she blasted air into the center of the storm, equalizing the pressure around the town. With a final gust, the hurricane subsided, deprived of energy.
Exhausted, Luna flapped back into the throne room. The sky was lightening as she faced Big Macintosh and smiled. “Ponyville is safe. Many buildings are destroyed, but nopony was hurt.”
Big Mac’s eyes widened and he leapt forward to hug Luna. “Your majesty--thank you!” He blinked and jumped back, bowing. “I’m so sorry, ma’am... I--”
“No, no, it’s I who should apologize,” Luna said, blushing slightly. Nopony but her sister had ever had the temerity to hug her--and she found she liked it. “I had no idea what was happening to Ponyville. If you hadn’t come when you did, I don’t know what would have--I am a terrible princess, if my subjects can’t feel safe at night.”
Big Macintosh took her hoof and kissed it. “No, your majesty. You saved our town. You are a wonderful princess.” He bowed deeply, and walked wearily out of the throne room, nodding to the contrite guards.
Luna couldn’t remember the last time she felt so warm.
She leapt silently to the farmhouse, and edged around to the second-floor window. Peering in, she could see a figure inside, but the cloudy night hid its identity. Concentrating for a moment, Luna parted the clouds to let the bright full moon shine through.
Too bright. As moonlight touched the figure, its eyes opened and its head rose. Luna gasped and dissipated into mist as Big Macintosh blinked and shook his head.
“Somepony there?” the laconic red pony said, more curious than frightened. Getting no response, he admired the moon for a moment, and lowered his head back against his pillow. “Lovely night,” he murmured.
Luna coalesced on the roof above Big Mac’s window, blushing at the unintentional compliment. She sighed and curled up, clearing clouds from the sky. I’m not ready to talk to you yet, she thought. But I’ll make all your nights lovely until I am.