Chapter One: A Teacher and Student’s Dialogue

Sitting on her cushions before her fireplace in her violet bedroom, Princess Celestia was busy penning an entry in her diary. It was one of the white, nebula-maned Alicorn’s favorite hobbies; it was relaxing, uneventful, and allowed her to contemplate and reflect upon the world and her vast collection of many memories.

Celestia’s private bookshelves lining her bedroom walls were filled almost exclusively with her diaries; aside from a handful of her absolute favorite novels and poetry collections, the shelves were stacked with thousands and thousands of beautiful, hand-bound volumes of some of the most breathtaking calligraphy ever written.

Celestia had written, published, and released many other books to her citizens of an impressive diversity of categories and genres; they included essays on magical theory, biographies of historical figures she’d personally known, insightful yet impenetrably cryptic philosophical discourses, novels in several genres, and collections of her own poetry, of which her favorite subjects were nature and the pondering of life’s deepest mysteries. Through the books she published, Celestia became regarded by literary scholars the world over as a nigh-unequaled master and sage of creative writing, though it was generally agreed that her works were among the most infamously inaccessible.

Because of the tremendous renown of her books, Celestia’s diaries were among the most intensely-desired compositions in the literary world; every great scholar or famed book collector would gladly have given their right hoof for even a single volume to glimpse the secrets of the Princess of the Sun’s nuanced and beautiful mind.

However, the diaries were for the eyes of Celestia, and Celestia alone. The Princess was so fiercely protective of these precious tomes that many criminals considered attempting to successfully obtain one to be a surpassingly, laughably foolish idea. Indeed, the first command every new Royal Guard received from her was: “You are to prioritize your duties in this order exactly: first, defending my citizens; second, defending your own lives; third, defending my diaries; fourth, defending me.”

Celestia’s diaries were her most treasured possessions. They held the deepest desires and secrets of her heart, expressed in heartbreakingly esquisite poetry and prose. What the diaries held varied with the passage of time; sometimes they were bitter meditations on the tragedies of immortality, other times they were stories and sonnets of too deep a personal meaning to share with the world.

For the millennium that her sister was banished to the moon, Celestia’s diaries had been largely devoted to the most beautifully sorrowful songs and lamentations of longing ever composed. When her sister returned, the author of pieces that could make the most stoic weep with sadness immediately penned celebratory odes that would cause the most world-weary to weep with joy.

There was a knock on Celestia’s door. Celestia turned to it and called, “A moment, please,” then closed the diary she had been writing in and levitated it to its empty space on her only partially-filled shelf. After levitating her quill and ink bottle to the top of the shelf, she said, “Come in.”

The door opened, and Celestia smiled. It was Luna.

Celestia’s sister was a blue Alicorn whose mane seemed to hold the night sky. As the Princess of the Sun had a sun on her flank, the Princess of the Moon likewise had a crescent moon over an inky, splash-like black patch of fur on her flank. Without smiling back, Princess Luna announced, “Sister, I must speak to you.”

Celestia nodded and cheerfully replied, “Of course. Come in.”

Once Luna had entered Celestia’s room and closed the door, she walked to her sister’s side and laid on her stomach beside her. “What is it, Luna?” Celestia asked curiously.

“I have several questions about what has transpired in my absence,” Luna replied.

Celestia nodded. “Alright. What is your first one?”

“Sister, how have the ways of courtship and romance been transformed?”

“In some ways, it has remained largely the same. Many nobility and a few commoners still marry for political or monetary gain. However, the ideal of romantic love has taken a strong foothold, and over time has largely become the norm; many marry those they fall in love with. Many also no longer consider marriage to be an obligatory prerequisite for more intimate relationships.”

“Do some eschew marriage entirely?”

“Yes, but most marry eventually.”

Luna hummed to herself thoughtfully. “Very well. What state is polyamory in at this time?”

“Well, it is still largely stigmatized, though not to the extent it once was. It is generally frowned upon to be promiscuous, and infidelity is still considered be many to be nothing short of despicable, though nowhere is it a crime any longer.”

“What of homosexuality?”

“The attitudes towards homosexuality vary by the community. In most places there is still ostracism for it, but in a few towns and cities- such as Manehattan, Ponyville, and here in Canterlot- homosexuality is widely accepted and even welcomed.”

Luna shuffled her hooves nervously. “How might one go about making queries of homosexuality in modern times?”

Celestia’s brow furrowed in thought. “If one’s romantic interest hasn’t made such information generally known, such lines of query should usually be treaded very carefully.”

Luna nodded. “So, how might one go about actually courting someone?”

Celestia smiled. “There is actually a great deal of flexibility regarding that now. You can usually court someone by doing nearly any activity with them. Some of the more popular activities are eating in a restaurant together or attending a play together.”

Luna nodded. “Is there anything one should avoid?”

“Almost nothing is absolute, but you should usually avoid discussing previous courtships or other very personal subjects, at least at first. Incest is also still extremely taboo, so you should probably avoid discussing the nature of our relationship until you’re certain it’s safe to.”

Luna smirked. “Thanks. I’ll keep that in mind.”

Luna stood up. “Celestia, I would like to take a month of leave from my Royal duties to court your student, Twilight Sparkle. Would you allow me to do so and take up my duties while I’m away?”

Celestia gazed surprisedly at Luna. “Twilight? What has caused you to take an interest in her?”

Luna smiled. “She is beautiful, intelligent, and very talented and powerful. But more than that- she has demonstrated great kindness and sympathy to my plight when I visited Ponyville’s Nightmare Night festival last Autumn. She has demonstrated herself to be a true friend, and I would like to pursue a romance with her.”

Celestia smiled. “Very well. You may take your leave, and I shall take up your duties ruling Equestria in your absence.”

“A thousand thanks, sister.” Luna embraced Celestia, they shared a quick kiss, then Luna went to the door. As she opened it, Celestia said, “Good luck, Luna. Farewell.”

Luna smiled back at her sister. “Farewell, Celestia,” she said, and she exited, closing the door behind her.