Her head was throbbing. That was all she knew. Twilight could feel from her surroundings that she was lying down on something soft, a bed perhaps. Her entire body was aching, as she struggled to even move. What happened, she asked herself. All she could remember was that dragon attacking Ponyville, Rainbow got hurt, and that made her angry. After that......nothing.
Then, out of the dark, she heard a sound. To her surprise, it was snoring. Struggling, Twilight forced herself to open her eyes, and immediately she regretted it, for there was a bright light right above her which made her wince at the sight. As her eyes began to adjust, she took stock of her surroundings. She recognised this place as being a room in the Canterlot hospital. It was white, pristine, and her bed was adjacent to a large window which looked out onto the beautiful city.
Then Twilight heard the snoring again, and she turned to face the source. Beside her, sitting on a chair, and fast asleep, was a stallion. But not just any stallion, but the most important in her life. Her brother, Shining Armour. She smiled at the sight of him. The two had seen each other only infrequently over the last few years, and since they both became royalty, their visits would probably become even less common. But she was glad he was here.
She moved from her stationary position to reach over and nudge him with her hoof. Immediately, her brother awoke, head jutting up swiftly and looking around, as though he'd forgotten where he was. His eyes then locked on Twilight, who was smiling at him, and he developed a large smile of his own as he jumped off his char and moved towards her. He took her hoof in his, clearly relieved to see her awake.
"Twily! I'm so happy you're up. How are you feeling?" He asked.
Twilight, in truth, didn't feel all that great. Fighting wasn't really in her nature, so to take on a fully-grown dragon had taken it's toll on her. But, she didn't want her brother to worry too much about her.
"I'm fine. A few scratches and bruises here and there, but nothing serious."
Shining closed his eyes and let out a sight of relief. As Twilight looked at him, a memory of the fight flashed back into hr mind, that of Rainbow collapsed on the ground by way of the dragon. Startled by this memory, she nudged her brother again, getting his attention.
"What about Rainbow?! And Ponyville! What happened!"
Shining raised both hooves, trying to calm her down.
"Easy sis! Everything's fine. Rainbow was just knocked out, that's all. She's recovering back in Ponyville General. As for the town, there was certainly a lot of damage, but no casualties. The dragon just seemed interested in causing some havoc. Princess Celestia received Spike's letter requesting reinforcement and immediately sent out a garrison to help. But by that point you'd already taken care of the dragon, so all that was left for them to do was help to clean up the mess and move the creature to a non-populated area while it was still unconscious".
Shining then leaned in closer and took Twilight's hoof in his own again.
"The Princess sent a message to the Crystal Empire, letting me know what had happened. When I found out what had happened to you, I came down immediately. I haven't left you since you've been here."
The young princess smiled. It was good to know that her brother still worried that much about her. And on top of that, Twilight breathed easy from his account of the events. Rainbow was fine, as was Ponyville. Apart from her own injuries, this days seemed to have been saved, yet something was bothering her.
"Brother, how long have I been here?" She asked.
Shining's face became something grim, clearly not comfortable in having to answer her question.
"You've been unconscious for about a week."
Twilight's eyes widened with shock.
"A week?! But how? I thought my injuries weren't that bad? And why am I here instead of the hospital in Ponyville?"
Shining shook his head.
"True, your injuries weren't bad. But you were drained by your fight with the dragon. You used so much magical power, power that your body simply wasn't used to handling, that it fatigued you in a way that took far longer than an ordinary injury to recover from. As for why you're here, being an alicorn, few doctors outside of Canterlot would know how to treat magical fatigue like yours."
Twilight suddenly remembered. She'd grown angry at the dragon. Angrier than she'd ever felt in her life when she thought she'd lose her friend to the creature. She'd tapped into something. A power within her that she didn't know she had. It was something familiar. A magic she'd felt once before, but she couldn't place where.
She suddenly felt a hoof on her shoulder, and turned to see her brother, looking somewhat stern.
"Twilight, I have to ask. How DID you defeat that dragon?"
Twilight could tell from the look on his face that he already had some suspicion of how she did it, but just needed to hear it from her.
"I......I'm not entirely sure. I was fighting him and got trapped. I saw him about to use his fire on Rainbow and....and I got angry. Then something happened. I felt my magic grow stronger, but.....after that it was all a haze. I didn't know what was going on until the fight was over, and by then I was falling unconscious."
Shining's expression was hard to read. He was clearly thinking hard about his sister's account of the events. But there was also a feeling of worry mixed in with it.
"Sister.....I have heard stories of those with great power using their anger in battle. Doing so unleashes great power, but does so with less control than other magic. It is a power fuelled by dark thoughts and desires. No doubt your anger at the beast let it loose."
Shining moved closer and took his hoof off her shoulder.
"I am happy that you defeated the beast, and happier still that you managed to survive. But I must ask that you be careful. This power you were able to call forth.....it is dangerous, both for those it is used against, and for those who use it."
Twilight looked concerned. She too had heard stories of powerful unicorns succumbing to dark emotions and letting their power take hold. Those stories never ended well. And even though she appreciated that her brother was looking out for her, his tone was one that reminded her of when she was younger, when her parents would chastise her over going someplace dangerous. She knew he had her best interests at heart, but was also slightly annoyed that he'd take this tone with her.
"Twilight....please promise me that you won't use this power again."
Twilight, in truth, had no desire to use such dark power again. The damage it had caused to that dragon horrified her, and the feeling she got when she used it, it was just.....wrong. So she had no problem whatsoever in making such a promise.
Shining sighed with relief. The two siblings smiled at each other and moved close, embracing each other in a hug.
"I really am happy you're okay Twily."
Twilight was happy also. The two were very rarely this close anymore. It comforted her to know her brother was here for her. The two parted and Shining began to move away from hr bed, moving towards the door of her room.
"I'll be sure to visit you later on. But I'm late enough as it is."
Twilight raised an eyebrow.
"Late? For what?" She asked.
"Princess Celestia informed me after my arrival to Canterlot that there was an important matter she needed to discuss with me and Cadence."
Twilight's ears perked up at that.
"Cadence? She's here too?"
"What does the Princess want to talk to you about?" Twilight asked.
Shining shrugged his shoulders.
"She did not say, only that it was important and that it was necessary for me and Cadence to attend."
The thought of something important enough to require the presence of the rulers of the Crystal Empire was not a pleasant thought. Perhaps the Princess wanted to discuss the dragon attack? or something else perhaps? Twilight could not guess. But, she could see that Shining was now looking at her, still clearly concerned. She put on a smile for her sake.
"Go. I'll be fine. And I look forward to seeing you later." She said.
Shining gave her a small smile and began to move out of the room, closing the door behind him. Twilight kept her eyes on him until he was no longer in sight. She then turned her attention to the window, and pondered the situation. It was clear that something strange was going on, but she had no doubt that Celestia would be able to deal with it. Lying back down on the soft pillow behind her, Twilight looked out of the window and simply admired the sight of the city outside, deciding to try and assure herself that things were okay.
"Whatever it is.....I'm sure it can't be too bad."