The weekend had ended on a happy note with happy goodbyes and promises to visit again, though next, they saw each other, Cresent Moon insisted they'd be the ones visiting. After the drive home, where everyone turned in for an early night, Sunset enjoyed a restful night's sleep. This is how Sunset found herself back at CHS in a cheerful mood even though is just a normal day at school. Since the conversation with Solar Wind, Sunset had an easier time moving through the day now that she feared her powers less than before thanks to Snowdrop, who is surprisingly a lot matured than her age, and her Grandma. With her Grandma's advice, she decided it'd be better to get things off soon rather than later. She stored the rest of her school books and grabbed her art supplies from her locker before moving towards her final class for the day. She met Fluttershy halfway through, who was also going to the same class.
"Sunset, you didn't talk about this weekend. Was it bad?" Fluttershy asked.
"It was great. On Saturday, we went to this lake that was surrounded by cattails. It was so calm and filled with a lot of animals. It kinda reminded me of home. You'd really like that place. Maybe we can go there one day," Sunset said happily as she moved some hair behind her ear.
"Sounds like a wonderful place," Fluttershy said before turning her voice down. "So, Sunset, what did you need to tell us?"
"Well, you already know a part of it. But you'll have to wait till the rest of us are together," Sunset said.
"I already know? Wait, is it?"
"Yup," Sunset said while popping the 'p'.
Once they all settled in, the art began a few moments later, and everybody began to draw to their heart's content. Sunset took a while before beginning her drawing as she thought of something to draw. After a few minutes and finding nothing to draw, Sunset looked back at other paintings before her eyes fell on Fluttershy. She was, as always, drawing an animal. More specifically, a fox. And Sunset finally got an idea.
After what felt like a few minutes but in reality was an entire class period, everyone finished their work and began to place the paintings and clean the class as it was the last class of the day.
"Sunset, what do you say?" Fluttershy asked, showing her drawing. Sunset looked at the painting in a practiced eye.
The picture was of two foxes in a stylized but startling realistic form. The two foxes were touching nose to nose, creating a heart-like shape with the background. While their tails were entwined and made an upside-down heart. She couldn't help but notice that the colors were very close to their own colors.
"Great. They are really cute. I love the colors, pink, yellow, and red," She said, earning a blush and Fluttershy insisting that she ran out of red despite the pencil being help in her hand. "You know what else is cute?"
"What?" Fluttershy said with a slight frown at the teasing from Sunset.
"This," Sunset said, showing her drawing, which caused Fluttershy's already flushed face to explode red at what she saw. It was a drawing of Fluttershy, drawing a picture. More specifically, a portrait of her a few minutes ago.
"O-oh my…" Fluttershy said, blushing while she tried and failed to hide her face.
"Oh man, this doesn't come even closer to how cute you are now," Sunset said jokingly.
"S-Sunset…" Fluttershy whined.
With the end of class, Sunset and Fluttershy made their way to the Music room to meet with the others. Rarity, Snowdrop, and Pinkie were already there. Pinkie was playing with Snowdrop before stopping and running, or more like teleporting next to Sunset.
"Hey, Sunset!" Pinkie shouted. "What did you want to speak to us about? Oh, oh, I know, it's a new cupcake recipe that is inspired by the magic of friendship, right? No, no, that's something I'd do. Oh, oh, is it about how you're joining a gaming team, but you have to move away and we'll never see you ever again? Or are you huuaaAHH going back to pony world?" She asked in a shocked gasp as tears gathered in her eyes.
"So it is true!!! NOOOOOO! I won't let you leave," Pinkie exclaimed as she hugged Sunset's legs, causing the confused girl to fall forward, who was luckily caught by Rarity.
"No, Pinkie, I'm staying here. How could I leave you girls and Snowdrop, not to mention Celestia and Luna?"
"Oh, that's a relief," Pinkie said, throwing a hammer and pre-nailed plank above her from where she was now standing at the door leading out.
"Geez, Pinkie, where do you come up with these ideas?" Sunset asked, dusting off her jeans.
"I don't know," Pinkie said bluntly. "Can you tell me or give me a hint? Pleeeaaassse."
"Now now, be patient, dear. We have to wait till the others. You know that Sunset doesn't like to repeat herself," Rarity said, stopping Pinkie.
"Sorry, Pinkie, but she's right. I have to talk to all of you together," Sunset said.
Luckily for Pinkie, they didn't have to wait for too long as Rainbow, Applejack, Celestia, and Luna arrived soon.
"Principal Celestia and Vice Principal Luna too?" Rarity asked.
"This mighty serious for all of us to be here," Applejack said.
"Sunset? Is something wrong?" Celestia asked in concern as she approached Sunset.
"Well… no… I mean… there is… um-" Sunset stopped as she felt Fluttershy holding her hand. When she looked at her, she saw Fluttershy giving her a reassuring smile. Sunset took a deep breath before calming herself down.
"Sorry. Um… I have to tell you all something. Something I have only told Grandma about, I needed an outside opinion. She and Snowdrop encouraged me to talk to you all about this," Sunset said.
"I did?" Snowdrop asked.
"Yeah, you did."
"So what is it?" Rarity asked.
Sunset let out a sigh before replying, "I guess I'll start from the beginning. It was right after the Fall Formal when you stopped me from using the element. That night, when you used the elements, I was sent into this void with just a single light. I didn't know what the light was, but I couldn't-"
"NO SUNSET! Don't walk to the light!" Pinkie shouted.
"It's not that kind of light," Sunset corrected though she was slightly annoyed at the interruption.
"Anyways, since that night, I went to that void sometimes while sleeping. The first few nights, I had nightmares. But they stopped soon after, and then, at the Battle of the Bands, something happened again. When we used the elements on the Dazzlings, I went back to that place. You didn't notice because all it took was a few seconds in your eyes. While there, I found what the light was. It was the Tree of Harmony. The source of the elements. Long story short, it gave me something. Grandma said it is a gift. The tree gave me for what I did that night."
"So what did it gave you?" Rainbow asked curiously.
"Um… well… it gave me… this," Sunset said before bringing up her palm and summoning a small flame. Everyone looked wide-eyed, sans Snowdrop, at what they saw in Sunset's palm.
"That sound..? is that fire?" Snowdrop asked.
"Indeed it is," Rarity said wide-eyed. Sunset swiped the flame away before speaking.
"So… yeah… I got some of my magic back," She said. "So what do you think?"
"What do we think?" Rainbow said in a slightly stern voice. "I think… that… was… Awesome!" And she shouted in an excited voice. "What else can you do?"
"Um… I guess I can use basic unicorn spells like teleportation and levitation when I pony-up, but I haven't tried that yet. As for why I can use fire magic is probably because my special talent is pyrokinesis."
"Pyro what?" Pinkie asked.
"Um, pyrokinesis. The ability to conjure and control fire."
"Oh, so you are like a fire bender."
"Sunset?" Sunset looked up at her mom. "Why didn't you tell any of us this before?"
"Um… because… because-"
"Because you were afraid," Snowdrop answered. "So that's what that was about."
"Yes, Snowdrop. Thanks to what you said, I opened up to Grandma. Well, She did have a suspicion, but both of you helped me to get this out. Thank you for being the best little sister for someone like me."
"You are welcome. I love being your little sister."
"Darling, you didn't have to be afraid. Were you afraid that we wouldn't like you or that we would think you are going to be evil again?" Rarity asked.
"Oh, Sunset, don't say that. You are not going to be evil again. You are such a nice girl. Even before. It was all that Princess's fault for not seeing what you needed," Celestia said with conviction in her voice.
"What?" Sunset asked, finding it strange to have Celestia bad-mouthing Celestia.
"Sunset, I know you think that you are at fault for what happened with her. But I run an institute. Yes, the Princess also has an institute, but she is a ruler. She doesn't have time to spend time with kids as I do. You said that she only visits the school for inspections and for exams, right? And again, she is a ruler. So she didn't act as a mentor that night. But as a ruler. She didn't see what was actually happening with you," Celestia released a sigh before continuing. "Listen, I'm not going to talk about this more. What you need to know is that you are not a monster and never will be. Okay?"
Sunset contemplated what she said before hugging her, "Yes, mom."
That evening, Sunset found herself in the living room with Snowdrop. Luna was probably in the basement playing one of her online matches. Sunset tried to play a MOBA, but she couldn't quite get the hang of it. So she sticks with FPS from e-sport games. Celestia was having a phone call with someone before she hung up and walked over to the living room. Sunset was in the middle of a story when she called them.
"… they have a lion's head and body, with dragon wings and a scorpion's tail. When everyone was panicking over what to do, Flu-"
"Girls? Sorry to interrupt, but we are going to have a guest tonight. Can you help me to prepare something?" Celestia said, pointedly looking away from Snowdrop's pout.
"A guest?" Sunset asked.
"Mmhm. You know her. Or at least her counterpart,"
"I know her? Who could- Cadence?"
"Yes, exactly. She's a niece of mine, as you know, but not adopted as the one in Equestria. Another difference between the two worlds,"
"Not adopted?" Sunset asked.
"Yes. We are related by blood. So no need for any adoptions."
"Um… she's that Princess that your mentor adopted, right?" Snowdrop asked.
"Yes, she is," Celestia said. "And she is very excited to meeting her new cousins."
"Yes, now along. Sunset, can you call Luna?" Celestia asked.
"On it," Sunset said before making her way to the basement.
She could already hear the angry shouts of her aunt from halfway through the stairs.
"…what are you doing? Why don't you have any items? Buy some items we are going to lose. Come on, we can't carry the whole team you piece of- oh come on!" Sunset entered just in time to see the big defeat sign in the middle of the screen while the base tower got exploded from behind. "Okay, Chrys, looks like we got some people to report," She finally said to her game buddy Chrysalis on the headphone.
"Is… this a bad time?" Sunset carefully asked.
"Oh, Sunset, can you believe it. We got teamed up with the worst people we've played in a long time. And they weren't even rookies," Luna said in annoyance.
"Yeah, I imagined as much from the colorful words you used. Anyway, mom said Cadence is going to visit us today. I came to get you."
"Cadence? At last something good. You head on up, I'll be along," Luna said before turning back to the game to message Chrysalis.
Sunset got back to her mom and helped her to prepare dinner. Luna emerged about ten minutes into making dinner and joined them. Before long, the dinner was ready and simmering on the stove to keep warm. It was as they were placing the plates and silverware that they heard the doorbell ring.
"I'll get it," Luna said before going to the door.
"Luna!" Cadence said from the other side when Luna opened the door and hugged her.
"Hey Cadi," Luna said, hugging back.
"I heard you had a bad time with one of your games," Cadence said, having talked to her step-sister Chrysalis before she left the house.
"Ugh, tell me about it. Come in," Luna said.
They walked back into the living room, where everyone was waiting for them. Celestia came forward to meet with Cadence.
"Hey, Cadence," Celestia said, hugging Cadence.
"Hey Auntie," Cadence hugged back before looking over at the two girls behind her aunt. "Ohh! Are these my little sisters?" She asked excitedly.
"Hehe, yes, Cadence, they are. Cadence, meet Sunset and Snowdrop. Girls, this is Cadence," Celestia said, introducing each other.
"Nice to meet you," Sunset said awkwardly, waving, having fallen back into greeting people formerly.
"Hi!!" Snowdrop said excitedly.
"Hey, you two. I'm so happy I finally met you two." Cadence said. "And you are so cute!" she said, holding Snowdrop's face.
"Hehe, I like her already," Snowdrop said with a cheeky smile.
"So Cadence, you said you have something to say to us?" Celestia asked.
"Oh yes. But can we eat first? I'm so hungry," She said.
"Yes, of course. We have something big to tell you too," Celesta said before moving to the dinner table with everyone else following her.