Fluttershy looked down, her mind not wanting to come to grips with what she was seeing.
The trip to Sweet Apple Acres had taken next to no time. That being said, it still did her heart no favors, everything had seemed to rush past her far faster than she was comfortable with.
She had arrived to see Pinkie's pet chewing on a tall Granny Smith tree. He looked approximately fifty hooves in length, and stood about 15 hooves tall. She could just make out Applebloom smacking Gummy's foot with a broom. "Get off there Gummy! Those're our trees!"
Gummy paid no attention to the broom, his scales barely conveyed any real sensation from it. He was far more interested in the taste of this object in his mouth, it was leafy and sweet, very unlike the spongy things the pink one fed him.
Fluttershy was very upset with Pinkie seeing this. She had heard of the pranks Pinkie and Rainbow had pulled on Rarity (She had never experienced them herself) however she was always assured by Rarity they had made a point not to hurt anypony. She could perhaps see how a giant alligator would be deemed funny but this was very unfair to Gummy. He had no idea what was going on and was clearly just acting on instinct, hunting for things to bite. More to the point, despite the lack of teeth, a giant alligator could do real damage just by wandering around!
She dove and hovered before the large lumbering lizard. His eyes swiveled about, but one faced her. She stared, saying nothing. He opened his mouth and stopped gumming the tree.
There, that was one problem solved, for the moment anyway. A bigger problem remained however, how to get him back to Sugarcube Corner. If only he were smaller...She wondered how Pinkie Pie had done this to begin with.
Gummy was surrounded by a soft yellow glow, and within moments he was back to normal size. Having broken eye contact with Fluttershy he was now attempting to eat Applebloom's broom.
Taking this development in stride (it was hardly the oddest thing to happen today and certainly the most welcome) Fluttershy landed beside the foal. Applebloom had gone from staring at the shrinking alligator to staring at the yellow pegasus with the giant wings and the tiny little horn growing from her forehead.
"T-thank you Fluttershy, you stopped him cold! Stare master strahkes agin!" She looked up admiringly.
"You're welcome, I have to get this little one home, he clearly needs a nap. Oh, and Applejack said to tell you she would be late for dinner. You should run to your home now, its getting late for little foals to be out."
"Yes ma'am, tell mah sis dinner will be waitin'." Applebloom ran off.
Professor Cann arrived at Celestia's private chariot dock. The guards allowed him pass when they were shown the royal summons. He spotted Celestia... and was that really Twilight Sparkle next to her? This was an interesting development...
The other pony he recognized as the Element of Honesty... Applejack he believed her name was. He had not had the pleasure of meeting her in person but had been present at the celebration which had taken place after the "Discord Incident." He had also watched the Elements' excellent performance of the "Tale of Hearth's Warming Eve." He knew for a fact Applejack was an earth pony, but those were clearly wings at her side... It seemed Twilight had acquired the same affliction... Curiouser and curiouser...
So, two of the Element bearers had become alicorns on the same day? It seemed the Elements themselves needed study.
He spoke up in a stentorian voice. "Ms. Sparkle! Name the three components of teleportation!"
Twilight panicked as if she had been caught passing notes. "Compression, Sending, Reconstitution! It's an advanced form of the scrollfire spell developed by Clover the Clever fifty years after the founding!"
The professor chuckled. "Always quick with the answer Twilight! Now let's see if we can't find the right questions to be asking eh?"
Celestia had brought him up to speed on the way. He asked the occasional pointed question and nodded in satisfaction when the answers were given.
He tapped his hoof to his chin thoughtfully. "This explains so much Celestia!" (The princess had long ago asked him to dispense with titles while investigating Alicornication.) "I do wish you'd been more forthcoming about this when Thisdenns and I were researching it in the first place, at your request I might add."
Celestia winced a bit. "I hardly could have predicted what the Elements would do to ordinary ponies Professor!"
Cann nodded. "True, but we may have been able to study the Elements, see what kind of magic we were dealing with. Then again they were inert at the time Ms. Sparkle retrieved them during the Nightmare Moon incident... I suppose I can forgive you your secrets Celestia. Please, in the future, full disclosure when you wish me to research something? I cannot be expected to find the answers when the best source of information is a closed locked book."
Celestia nodded. "Again, I apologize for the omission. We will be arriving in Ponyville shortly. Three of your remaining tests subjects will be at the party, that leaves only Rainbow Dash to account for."
Just then, a streak of chromatic light could be made out in the distance, the sky tearing open in its path and snapping shut in turbulent waves in it's wake. A sound followed three seconds later.
Applejack looked annoyed. Twilight seemed excited.
Cann raised one eyebrow. "I believe that's your missing pony?"
Celestia tapped the carriage front, the pegasi guards slowed to a hover. "Excuse me a moment." With that her wings flared up and she streaked after the trail of light.
Sergeant Swift Arrow whispered to Captain Agile Race as both of them watched their charge flying off. "Why does she need us again?"
The Captain muttered something that made the Sergeant's ears burn.