• Published 8th Apr 2014
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Shadow's Enigma - Note Sketch

With his dark past heavy on his mind, Sombra is put to the test as he begins a reformation process. Though his mind is no longer crowded with the influence of dark magic, his heart is none the lighter. Let the test begin.

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11. Magic Lesson

"Sombra was quite the benevolent king." Agatha began. "He led us well and even established good political ties."

"Wait, we are talking about the same stallion right? King Sombra, the unicorn tyrant that enslaved the Crystal Empire?" Twilight responded almost mockingly.

"Well, that did happen, but it was subtle, we didn't realize his transformation until it was too late."

"Uh huh..."

The crystal librarian seemed awkward as she stood in silence. Not knowing where to begin, she would fidget back and forth.

"Is everything alright?" Celestia asked as she placed a warm wing around her, calming her nerves.

"Yes, I am just having a difficult time trying to convey my thoughts."

Twilight just couldn't seem to understand what was going on. She was confused as to Sombra's involvement with changelings, and even more with Agatha's role to play right now.

"Just start form the beginning." The Sun Goddess said as she placed a gentle wing over the crystal pony to help her feel more comfortable.

"Well, as you know, I am Agatha, the librarian from the Crystal Empire, sister to Diane, Sombra's caretaker while he stayed at the Empire."

"Caretaker?" Spike asked, a little confused. "Wasn't Sombra king? Why did he need a caretaker?

"Well, Sombra wasn't when he got to the Empire. Obviously he isn't a native to the place, he originally came from here in Canterlot. He....got into some sort of accident and end up lost in a the middle of a blizzard with huge amounts of injuries. Diane found him and took him in. However, at the time the Crystal Empire was at war with the Changelings."

"You see." Celestia interrupted to help her ex student understand. "The Crystal Ponies power the Crystal heart with their love and kindness. That being said, the heart was like a beacon pointing at them saying 'I am full of love'. No Changeling would turn down such an invitation."

"At the time of his arrival, we were already thirty-three years into a losing war. Our initial response to him was that of distrust. We were afraid that he might be a changeling spy and wanted to throw him out, but my sister protested. As a result, she and him were placed at the outskirt of the empire." Agatha said as her nervousness simmered down. "He took a while to come around, and even once he regained consciousness he was rather weak and did not really fit in very well."

"So how did he go from out cast to king?"

"He single handedly changed the tide of the Changeling War and all but annihilated them."

This tid bit of information caught the purple duo by surprise. They knew Sombra was strong, but not that strong. A single unicorn capable wining a war like that is almost impossible, but then again, even at a fraction of his full strength, he was able to defeat an Ursa Major by himself. That sort of feat wasn't exactly easy, not pony had been able to do that before.

"Sombra is a very powerful unicorn." Celestia cut in again. "But I dare not remind him of this time period. As you have certainly seen, he doesn't exactly like to be reminded of times past. I would like you to head to the Crystal Empire with Agatha and get any info that can help us push back the changelings attacking us before the situation turns dire."

"Yes, of course!" Twilight responded as she and Spike began to make their way out before stopping abruptly, causing the small dragon to bump against her. "Wait, what about Sombra? If I leave for the Crystal Empire tonight no one will be home to watch him."

"Oh don't worry Twi, I can stay behind and make sure he doesn't cause any trouble." Spike said as he puffed out his chest.

"Speaking of Sombra, I was wondering if you could do me a favor." Agatha she stepped close, her nervousness back.


With a certain bounce in her step, Pinkie Pie hopped as she carried a basket full of party supplies. Nothing too fancy, but the essentials of any good party. As she made he way around town she wasn't being greeted like usual. Most ponies ignored her all together. Taking a look around, she noticed that almost every pony was walking away from the park not to far off. Sparking some curiosity in her, and of course, she went in the direction they were coming from. It wasn't too long until she realized why every pony was so tense.

Sombra was talking to Dinky who seemed to be at attention as if a Wonderbolt. It was rather cute, until Sombra pushed her over. Surprisingly, Dinky simply stood back and and continued to listen in what the dark stallion was saying.

"Oh hello Pinkie." Rarity said as she made her way over to the pink mare. "I take it you were curious as to the commotion as well?"

"Yeah, but it kinda looks like Sombrie is bullying Dinky." Pinkie said as she and her friend made their way to them.

"So...when are you going to tell him?" Rarity asked with a sly smile.

"Tell who what?" Pinkie responded just as nonchalant as ever.

"Don't play coy." The white mare said with a giggle. "I know a crush when I see one."

"I-uh...what?" Pinkie said as her face became slightly red from a blush spreading over her cheeks. "I d-don't have a crush on Sombrie!"

"Funny, I don't think I ever mentioned Sombra by name." Rarity teased only to have her friend turn a darker shade of red.

"Hey girls." Derpy said, interrupting the awkward conversation for Pinkie. Looking over, she quickly found an escape to her situation and rushed over to greet the mare.

"Hi Derpy! Whatcha doing?" She said with her usual smile. Rarity on the other hand, raised an eyebrow as she saw her friend avoid the conversation so quickly.

"Just watching this unicorn teach Dinky how to use magic...though his methods are weird. He's been doing this for a while now...."

The grey mare said as she and the others looked over at Sombra who was once again circling the filly before nudging at her. This time around, Dinky didn't budge, his gentle push only seemed to graze her.

"Good." Sombra finally said after such a long silence on his part. Using his horn, he levitated the stone that had hit his leg earlier and placed it in front of the filly. "Now I want you to get back into that rooted stance and command the stone to float."

"Like, yell at it?"

"If you must, yes."

The trio watching were even more confused than before, but sat patiently as Sombra walked her through the usage of magic.

"Come on...move." Dinky said as she closed her eyes, her legs strained under the strain she was placing on herself. Her horn began to spark here and there, but it was to no avail.

"Are you demanding it to move or asking?" Sombra asked as he walked over to her side. His brows furrowed as he screamed out. "Move!" Causing the stone to sky rocket upward. The stone soon came crashing down in front of them, and with a much more gentle magic, Sombra placed it back in front of Dinky. "Show it no mercy. Make it move because you command it and don't take no for an answer."

"Isn't that a little harsh?" Pinkie asked to no pony in particular, but Rarity took it upon herself to answer.

"Well, his choice of words might be a little...off, but there is some truth to his method. When a unicorn uses their magic to move something, they are thrusting their will over it. By doing that we are basically taking control of it and making it do our biding."

Dinky, was once again straining herself as she leaned forward in her effort to cast her magic. "Move move move!" She screamed out. Her horn shot out more and more sparks, but as she came close to have the yellow aura of her horn encase the stone, she seemed to have leaned forward too much, and ended up falling forward. As she glanced up from the ground, Sombra gave her a quick glance with a cocked eyebrow.

"What happened to your stance? Root yourself on the ground and don't let the stone dictate your movements instead of the other way around."

Though a little embarrassed, Dinky quickly got back up and dug her hooves back into the ground as she regained the stance that Sombra had all but beaten into her in the last hour or so. Again her horn would spark, but this time it maintained the yellow aura that her iris color dictated as the stone began to shake in place.

"Move!" She screamed out as the stone began to compulsively move around, but in one final burst of sparks from her horn, the stone shot out in Sombra's direction. A collective sound of gasps was heard as Sombra's head tilted back form the impact of the rock hitting him and the group remained in dead silence as the stallion slowly brought his head back into position, a large black bruise over his left brow. After a quick glance at Dinky, she squeaked as his eyes met hers. Pinkie stood to try to stop the his wrath that was sure to ensued, but what came out of his mouth was unexpected to all.

"Congratulations, you managed to move the stone, you officially used your magic....but next time try to not use so much, else you might hurt some pony....like me."

Silence continued for a moment before Dinky's brain processed Sombra's words. With a loud shout, she ran over to Derpy in a tackle hug, knocking her over.

"Did you see that mommy? Did you see it?! I used magic!"

Yes you did my little muffin." Derpy responded in kind, wrapping her arms around her daughter as she flew up to toss her up gently in a little game they would play. After a quick show of affection, the mare placed Dinky back on the ground who proceeded to run up Sombra who had already began to make his way back to the library.

"Thank you so much Mister!"

"Yes, thank you for tutoring Dinky for me." Derpy jumped in as well. "By the way, what's your name anyway?" The dark stallion kept quiet as for a moment, but before he could answer, Pinkie did it for him,

"His name is Sombrie!"

"Sombra." He corrected, though it seemed to remain mostly unnoticed.

"He used to be a tyrant, and I was tasked by Princess Celestia to reform him into a good guy now." She finished with a smile. This caused a small sense of distress in Derpy as she suddenly realized who he was.

"You mean you're the unicorn who appeared on the newspaper a few months back?" She began to say. As her words left her mouth, Sombra's eyes began to spark out in flames, Derpy clearly afraid of him for his reputation. Dinky, however, had a different opinion on the matter.

"I can't wait to tell every pony in my class that the unicorn that saved Ponyville taught me how to use magic!" She shouted, her smile glimmering from side to side.

Sombra himself had mixed reactions about the situation. On one hand, he was happy there was some fear he could drain, but he some how felt unpleased that Ditzy had shifted her attitude of him so easily. With a soft sigh, he patted Dinky on her head to quiet her down a little as he turned his gaze the mares.

"It was a pleasure to meet you Ditzy Do. Pinkamena, Rarity, I trust I'll see you both at tomorrow's 'welcome party'?"

"Of course."

"You betcha!"

And with that, Sombra was off to his 'home' at Golden Oaks library. The mares too said their goodbyes and began to go their separate ways, but before leaving, Rarity made sure to say something.

"I won't tell you how to live you're life, but I wouldn't wait too long before telling him. After all, he is a very attractive stallion. You might get some competition if you wait too long." With that, she ran off, leaving Pinkie behind.

"Hey! I said it isn't like that!"


Sombra had not noticed how late it had actually gotten. With the picnic and this tutor session, it was very near dusk, with the sun barely above the horizon giving off just enough light for him to see. The sunset gave off an orange tone to the structures in town.

All in all, it had been a rather eventful day. A new outfit along with some dark power to leech, but more over, Sombra could not stop replaying the scene of him tutoring Dinky out of his head. That filly reminded him so much of his colt days in ways he couldn't explain. Whether it was the difficulty of getting the hang of magic or simply the hard time to learn how to use magic on his own, it was all too much for the melancholy stallion.

Once he finally reached the door to the library, he took a moment to regain his stoic composure before opening the door. He certainly did not want Twilight Sparkle of all ponies to see him in his moment of weakness, but as the door creaked open, his expression became anything but stoic.

"H-Hello Sombra." Agatha said as his haze met hers. The old mare seemed happy to him, but the feeling wasn't mutual. With a sudden step backwards he replied.

"Agatha....what are you doing here?"

"I was brought by Twilight. I wanted to see you, see how you were doing."

"You shouldn't have come here." He replied coldly. However, his tone did not seem to phase the old librarian at all.

"I know, but I couldn't help myself. Besides, I'm also here on political terms. I am to...assist Princess Twilight with some research. We are to leave tonight for the Crystal Empire."

"How wonderful...send my regards to the new princess of the empire." Sombra said as she walked right past Agatha. As he reached the staircase, he was met by yet another unwanted face.

"Oh hello Sombra." Twilight said as she walked down with a saddle full of supplies for the brief trip. "I presume you know that I'll be leaving town for a day or two. I do hope you'll be on your best behavior."

"Don't you worry Twi!" Spike said as he slid down the rail of the stairs and landed in the middle of the library. "I'll make sure to keep him in check. Sombra's nose twitched for a second as something foul caught his sense of smell, something familiar. He did not have much time to find out what that strange scent was before Twilight's voice brought him back.

"Thank you Spike." She said as she walked towards Agatha. "Oh and Sombra, I was wondering if I could ask you about the Changeling War you took part of."

Sombra's eyes turned dull as his turned to face Agatha, the one he assumed told her about his involvement in such an old memory he wished to forget.

"You can ask all you want, but I won't answer." He said as he began to walk to the front door.

"And where do you think you're going?"

"To get a drink in this forsaken town."

"I know some ponies have taken a liking to you since the Ursa incident, but I still don't feel comfortable with you walking around on your own."

"I'll get the pink mare on the way!" Sombra shouted before slamming the door as he exited, not waiting for a response. Agatha laughed softly as he watched him go from the window.

"Oh Sombra, you haven't changed one bit."

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