Magic Lessons

by Sun Aura

Chapter 1

Sunset took a breath, and felt herself Pony Up. Making sure she had everything she needed, she walked onstage and looked out into the crowd into Canterlot High’s students and staff. Making her way to center stage, she readjusted the microphone clipped to her jacket.
“Hello, can everyone hear me?” she asked into the crowd.
They could. Too well, in fact, as many covered their ears. She stared at Vinyl in The Pit. Vinyl adjusted a few things on her soundboard before giving a thumbs up to her.
“Apparently you can hear me,” Sunset joked, resulting in a few chuckles. “As you all know, I’m Sunset Shimmer. You know, ex-terror, Unicorn from another Dimension and all that. And you, of course, know what this assembly is for.”
There was a general murmuring throughout the crowd.
“Correct,” Sunset said. “Because everyone here is beginning to be able to use Magic, and are transforming because of it. This is just an assembly to tell you some basics of how your, erm, transformations work, and how we’re going to deal with them.”
“For the first part,” she continued. “I have a power point presentation. And, I’m borrowing a friend’s assistant.”
From the other side of the stage, a freshman popped out. He was purple, with messy green hair and eyes that were a little off. His outfit almost matched Sunset’s, being jeans and a black jacket, though he thankfully had a green shirt instead.
“Hey guys!” Spike greeted. “Guess who finally has thumbs!”
“Sunset, please tell me you didn’t turn your friend’s dog into a person,” Principal Celestia sighed from the front row.
“Well, yes, but I had a good reason,” Sunset replied. “He was a dog, but he was fully sapient. Besides, his counterpart is a Dragon. Which is, again, fully sapient. By the way, Twilight’s parents are stopping by to help work up the paperwork to make him a student.”
Principal Celestia just sighed.
“I’m mostly just working the projector today,” Spike shrugged. “Got to get used to actual hands.”
“Trust me, I know the feeling,” Sunset said, wiggling her own fingers. “Anyway, onto the first slide!”
Spike flipped on the projector. The image wasn’t the one she expected. It was a picture of Rarity, winking at the camera, with the words ‘Valentine, you’re a horse!’ around it. Naturally it got laughs from quite a few.
“Discord, no more messing with my slides!” Sunset shouted towards the backstage.
“Can’t hear you!” Discord’s voice replied. “And if I could, I would have no idea what you’re talking about!”
“Ugh, just go to the next slide,” she said, rubbing the bridge of her nose.
The slide had a picture of one of the Rainboom’s rehearsals, and a few words on the side.
“Let’s go over the overall changes first,” Sunset said. “We have more than just Ponies in our Dimension. I’ve sent a list of student and staff names to Princess Twilight to see who’s what, since it’s easier than going through individually, but she’s only gotten back to me on those she knows. So far, most of you are Ponies, but we have one Zebra, one Griffon, two Changelings, and counting Spike, a dragon.”
“Things all of you will experience is the transformation,” she continued. “It’ll be a bit different depending on what you are, but for the most part you will have different ears. Your hearing and sense of smell are also enhanced. And, of course, you’ll have magic. Also, while we’ve been calling the transformation to ‘pony up’, we’ll mostly be saying ‘transform’ instead. Trust me, as much as I love the pun, it doesn’t make sense applied to a griffon or dragon.”
She signaled for Spike to change the slide. This one had her and her friend’s “Cutie Marks”.
“I’ve explained Cutie Marks to a few of you before,” she said. “But here’s the basics. Every pony has a Special Talent, represented by an image that appears on their flank once they find your talent. Most of you, oddly enough, wear your Counterpart’s Cutie Mark on your outfits. Also, since I’m pretty sure none of you have transformed with your pants off, at least I hope not, you haven’t noticed that your Transformation includes one. Some of you Freshman might not have one yet, but don’t worry, you’ll get it soon enough. Any questions?”
No one answered, so they flipped to the next slide. This one had pictures of Sunset, Rarity, and this world’s Twilight. All transformed, all with Unicorn horns.
“Since I know Unicorns best, seeing as I am one, we’ll start there,” Sunset said. “As a Unicorn, your transformation includes a horn. It didn’t before for some reason, but it does now. Your horn is used for spellcasting. I’ll be teaching you how to do that.”
“We’ll start with Levitation,” she said, lighting up her horn and grabbing a few objects to toss around in her magic. “It’s pretty basic, and any Unicorn can do it. As we move forward, I’ll help those who can learn more spells learn what they need. Any questions?”
“Think I could turn my dog into a human too?” someone shouted.
“I wouldn’t suggest it,” she said. “Partly because even if you did, they wouldn’t necessarily be sapient. That said, transformation spells, even temporary ones, are very difficult. And if the spell backfires, well, good luck. Although a Glamour would be a good spell to teach instead. The difference being that one is an actual transformation while the other is an illusion.”
Someone else raised their hand, and she nodded for them to speak.
“What makes you qualified to teach us magic?” Trixie asked. “Sure, you’re from there, but do you have any idea what you’re doing?”
“I do, actually,” Sunset replied. “Not only did I grow up learning spells, but I am one of the most magically gifted Unicorns to ever exist, and I spent several years being personal student to a two thousand year old sort-of-goddess studying Magic that most adult Unicorns can’t even perform. The only thing I can’t use is Dark Magic, and even if I could I’m not teaching any of you. And as for everyone else teaching you, I’ve personally picked them for their skills, so they’re on the level too.”
That seemed a good enough response. As they muttered to themselves, she went to the next slide. This one had Rainbow, Fluttershy, Flash, and Scootaloo. It was a lot less posed than the others, being from their hangout over the weekend, but all four had transformed.
“Pegasai are next,” Sunset said. “Obviously, you have wings and the ability to fly. You also get weather manipulation powers. Rainbow Dash will be teaching you to fly. While we’re here, Griffons also get wings, along with the Lion tail, and have similar abilities. So she’ll be taught by Rainbow as well. That said, I’m calling in a teacher from Equestria to help you with weather manipulation, and teach you how to take care of your wings.”
“Also, I’m sort of obligated to tell you this,” she sighed. “Wings, while they work like any other limb and can take a hit, are very ‘sensitive’ to being touched. In the, you know, more intimate way? I mean, it’s not always like that, but it easily can be. Like, ears or wrists or a back massage or something where you can touch it normally or in that way. I mean, can you imagine wing care if it was just like ‘I’m going to remove this feather and whoops!’. So, yeah, I know you're trying to test out your wings and all, but just know when to not.”
There was snickering and embarrassment from everyone. Sunset just gave an awkward cough before having Spike go to the next slide, one with an overexcited Pinkie Pie practically hugging Applejack to death.
“Anyway, onto Earth Ponies,” Sunset said. “Your magic is mostly passive, so you’ll only get the ears. You’re stronger, sturdier, and have a lot more endurance than other ponies. You’ll also have an easy time getting plants to grow. I know it’s not as ‘cool’ as spellcasting or flight, but being able to lift a lot is still pretty good.”
“On the bright side,” she went on, “you don’t really need the extra classes like everyone else. Just learn to watch your strength.”
The pictures for the next slide were a few of the students she’s pulled aside for pictures. All of them were translucent, like gemstones.
“Crystal Ponies, I know the least about,” she admitted. “They sort of disappeared for a thousand years, which is a very long story that I am not telling today. Physically, you’ll look like a walking crystal, though you’re still made of flesh. Wow that word sounds gross. Again, I’m calling in a teacher from Equestria for this because I don't know much.”
“We can cover the Changelings, Zebra, and Dragons now,” she said. “Changelings will get horns and translucent wings, as well as slightly different ears. They have transformation powers, and can mimic the abilities of the other ponies. Zebras will only have ears like the Earth Ponies, but their magic is in potion making. Dragons, well, we haven’t tested out the transformation fully, but they do have firebreath. Don’t worry though. Even though he’ll shoot flames when he sneezes, Dragon Fire is magic, and won’t burn unless it wants to. They can also do some spellcasting. Since we only have one Dragon right now, his Counterpart is enough for personal lessons, but we’re getting Zebra and Changeling teachers as well.”
“Any questions?” she asked into the crowd again.
There were a few hands. She picked one and let them talk.
“What about the ones with a horn and wings?” they asked.
“Those are Alicorns,” Sunset answered. “They have traits of various Ponies, and will be taking the classes with everyone else. However, in Equestria, there are only four Alicorns. For the most part, their counterparts are as well. The Alicorns here are Principal Celestia, Vice Principal Luna, and Crystal Prep’s Dean Cadence”
She chose another hand.
“If there’s four Alicorns over there, why are there only three here?”
“Because of Princess Twilight,” she replied. “Princess Twilight is a ‘Crafted Alicorn’, meaning she was born something else and became an Alicorn through a whole bunch of hickory dickory. In specific, she was born a Unicorn, so since this world’s Twilight hasn’t ‘Ascended’, she’s still a Unicorn.”
She picked another hand.
“What is Discord?” they shouted.
“Good question,” she replied to a round of laughter. “Discord is a Draconeqqus, also known as an embodiment of Chaos Magic. Since there’s only one, his Counterpart will be teaching him. Well, he’s been doing it already because as an embodiment of Chaos Magic, he does what he wants.”
“That’s not fair, Shim Sham!” Discord’s voice blasted out of the sound booth’s microphones. “I have Princess Twilight’s express permission to be here! Or I will. After all, she probably doesn’t want to keep chasing me through the portal every time!”
“She could always lock the door,” she retorted. “And she has a Guard now.”
“Yeah, because they’ve stopped me the last three times,” he scoffed.
“Three times?!” She heard Twilight’s voice shout through the speakers.
“Whoops!” he chuckled. “Said too much!”
There was a sound of a scuffle and some swearing before silence. Sunset gave a snort of laughter into her microphone before facing everyone else.
“Sorry about that, technical difficulties,” she gave them a moment to laugh. “Anyway, magic lessons start today after class. Monday is Unicorns, Tuesday is Pegasai, Wednesday will be Crystal Ponies, and Thursday will be everyone else. I’d usually have them all at once, but I want to supervise all classes. And I can’t teach if I’m splitting myself between all of you. Literally. There’s a spell for that. Any questions?”
There were no hands.
“Good, because I have to give this speech again,” she sighed. “Twice at Crystal Prep, who knows how many times at Town Hall, and to an Apartment building in Hollow Shades. If you think of anything, ask me at lessons or we’ll have extra lessons on Friday if you want them.”