• Published 8th Apr 2014
  • 6,379 Views, 509 Comments

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.

  • ...

PreviousChapters Next
30. And Then, There Were Six

"You don't mind do you?" Rarity asked as she placed down her sewing machine in the middle of the library. The alicorn who was currently pacing back and forth across the wooden floor suddenly looked over at her, just now registering her question.

"Oh. Of course not. You might as well get some work done while you're here." Twilight said as she went back to pacing. She was nervous since it was almost time for Sombra to teach her some dark magic. Rarity had volunteered to be present as her anchor and since she didn't really have to do anything to perform that task, she brought some supplies so she could work while Twilight learned.

"You seem nervous darling." The white mare said as she began to sort out her supplies, placing different kinds of fabrics on the ground as she began to make plans on how to get started.

"M-Maybe a little. It's just that this is huge. I would be the first pony to learn dark magic from a teacher, every pony else just stumbles across it and either fall into it's dark grip or reject it all together." Twilight said, recalling what she researched on unicorns who had used dark magic at one point or another.

"But didn't you say Princess Celestia used dark magic once?" Rarity asked, curious as to what the answer was. If that was the case, Celestia did not become consumed nor shun it all together.

"I-I don't know how Celestia knows dark magic. I didn't ask."

"The answer to that is simple." Sombra said as he walked in, bags under his eyes from lack of sleep. He carried some notes and other small supplies to help with the coming lecture. "That is my fault."

"You're fault?"

"Yes..." Sombra said, setting everything down. "During the fight I had with the two sisters, I managed to hit them with my dark magic and made them see their worst fear, tainting them with a stigma."

"Wait...What?" Both mares asked out, confused by his 'simple' explanation.

With a sigh, Sombra turned to them and began to make things clearer. "Sparkle, I told you about how I acquired my own dark magic right?"

"Yes. You learned from a tome."

"I made a pact. Something that made my very essence darkness. So, how come you can use dark magic?"

"Oh...I guess I never really thought about that....." Twilight said, looking down as she thought about how she was able to mimic Celestia's small demonstration of dark magic.

Using his own red colored magic, Sombra rearranged the library into a classroom like room. Sombra stood behind a large desk and a chalkboard with wheels was placed behind him. A smaller desk was placed in front of his. The tall stallion gestured his hoof to Twilight to sit down. "Lets start from the beginning shall we? After I am done with lecture, I will ask you again how you used dark magic."

Twilight nodded intently as she took out her notebook and quill, a smile upon her face. Sombra began to levitate one of the chalk-stick and drew two ponies on the board.

"Every pony knows there are two kinds of magic, light and dark." Sombra began, labeling each pony he drew as either light or dark. "The major difference between them, is where the power comes from for each. For light magic, the caster has to draw strength form within themselves to use spells." As he spoke, Sombra began to draw arrows coming out from the pony labeled 'light', showing power source extending outward. "But for dark magic, the power comes from the outside." He said as he began to draw arrows from the outside of the pony and pointed them inward.

"From the outside?"

"Yes. My dark magic comes from consuming the fear and hatred from other ponies and then converting that into power." He said, finishing his explanation on the basics of dark magic. Sombra turned around to the writing mare who was busy at work. "So I ask you again, how did you use dark magic?"

"I must have drained some pony's fear.." Twilight said, thinking as she slowly raised her head to look at her teacher, waiting for a more accurate answer. "But who could I had drained the fear from?"

"Hi Rarity!" Spike shouted as he ran to greet his crush, hearts instead of pupils in his eyes.

"Oh hello Spiky-poo!" Rarity said back, lifting her gaze from her work. "How are you this morning?"

As the two conversed, Twilight had a horrible revelation. She realized that she had used Spike's fear at the moment of the Crystal Empire crisis to fuel her dark magic enough to use a spell or two to open up Sombra's passage ways. She quickly looked back at her teacher as he gave her a silent nod.

"But...How?" She asked, concerned for her friend's well being. "I thought it was painful or something...when you drained fear and such."

"Ask Fluttershy if she felt any pain during my encounters with her. That mare is a walking power source for my dark magic, but she never realized. Fear is an instinct, nothing more."

"Well, that still doesn't explain how you needed to read a tome to begin using dark magic and I only needed to see Princess Celestia use it."

"Remember what I said about a stigma? Well, for starters, what is a stigma?"

"A mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or pony." Twilight said, perfectly reciting the dictionary definition.

"Now tell me, why are foals afraid of Nightmare Moon?"

"Uhh..." The mare said to herself as she thought about the question. "Because she's scary?"

"Wrong." Sombra said, the word stabbing at Twilight's chest as if pierced by a dagger. "A foal isn't afraid of any pony unless given a reason. Sure, a 'scary' appearance may help, but lets say a filly who heard of the old pony tale of Nightmare Moon were to meet her. Surely she could run and scream no? But what of a filly who lived their who life surrounded by similar looking ponies, dark and with pointed teeth. Meeting Nightmare Moon would be nothing to be frightened about."

"So what you're saying is...."

"That fear is something passed on from one to another. If one pony is scared, others will follow suit. The stigma, is that once one knows of dark magic, it is easy for the darkness to enter them."

"So the Princess could use dark magic after seeing you, and me after seeing Celestia?"

"Correct, but unlike me, you two can only use simple kind of dark magic. I am an embodiment of darkness, meaning that my control over the dark arts are many times greater than any normal pony can do over three life times."

Twilight quickly began to jot things down in her notebook as Sombra began to erase the board. As the teacher and student began to go back to their 'class' structure, Rarity turned to the dragon as a sudden question popped into her head.

"Say, I thought Sombra was going to actually teach her dark magic, not give lectures about it."

"Oh, he was until he asked me about Twilight. He wanted to know what kinda of mare she was when it came to study. I told him that lecture and note cards were her best method of learning, so he stayed up all night preparing them for her lesson." Spike said as he reached for broom to start sweeping nearby. "That guy, I gotta tell ya. Sombra is a really cool stallion when you get to know him."

"Indeed." She said as she returned her gaze at the stallion. But as her eyes began to drift from Sombra to his clothing, a sudden sense of dread began to befall the poor mare. "WHAT HAPPENED!?" Rarity screamed as she dashed over to Sombra who was shocked at the sudden outburst.

"Is something the matter?" He asked as Rarity grabbed him by his vest...or what was left of it. To his own obliviousness, Sombra's outfit had taken quite a beating during the Test of Courage. His current attire was riddled with holes and tears, not to mention the blood stains from Sombra's healed wounds. The Jacket was barely together at all, it was a miracle it could sustain itself over Sombra's shoulders, let alone keep the sleeves in place.

"Your outfit! What happened to it?!" Rarity shouted out as the clothes she had worked so hard on were in shambles right in front of her.

"Umm....You lot happened.." He said as his eyes gave an annoyed glace at the mares. "I have been in more life threatening situations since I moved to Ponyville than in all my years as King in the Crystal Empire."

"Oh, this just won't do!" The white mare said as she began to take Sombra's outfit off him. "This is all beyond repair!"

"Ahem." Twilight cleared her throat, trying to get her friend's attention. It was no use, however, Rarity was much too devastated to hear her. "Ahem!"

Hearing his student's rather annoyance of Rarity's actions, Sombra decided to simple take off his outfit to give to the white mare. Without another word, she took it right to her spot of supplies as she rapidly looked for ways or any method at all to restore the cloth she now held.

"Now, where was I?" Sombra said as he tried to return to his lecture, but as he spoke, he noticed he didn't exactly have his student's attention. "Sparkle?" He asked as the mare stared blankly at him. "Sparkle? Are you alright?"

"Huh? Yeah! It's just..." She said, almost blushing as she turned away. "You look really strange without any clothes on."

"Says the mare who walks around without any clothes on a regular basis."

"But you don't! Pinkie said you specifically did not want to be without an outfit because you didn't want to walk around like a commoner."

As Sombra heard her speak, his eyes lost the reflective shine, dulling at the remembrance of his words. "I did say that...didn't I?" He asked out to no pony in particular. He turned and took a moment of thought, causing a small amount of distress for the alicorn.

"Sombra?" Twilight asked out, but he was too deep in his thoughts. Sombra had forgotten about his previous attitude towards people below his own rank. The dark influence his magic had on him had made him forget his humble beginnings in the Crystal Empire. He sighed and turned to Twilight.

"Now, lets go over the history of dark magic, as far as I can recall anyway." He said as he placed the chalk back on the board. Twilight wasn't sure what to think of his sudden change of mood, but shrugged it off and began to take notes once again.

The first day of teaching darkness, Sombra took Spike's advice and only lectured. Twilight sure was into it at least. It was a familiar environment to her, one she could easily fall into as an introduction of dark magic. She learned a lot, the basics anyway. The how's and why's or dark magic. The next day, however, was the big try out of dark magic. This time, the two met out in the same clearing in the outskirt of Ponyville.

"So ya'll gonna practice out here?" Applejack asked as she placed a hoof to her forehead, shielding her eyes from the sun as she glanced around the clearing. Not a soul for miles, just a quiet almost serene atmosphere.

"Yes. This place is perfect. Cut away from distractions and other ponies whose emotions can sway dark magic easily." Sombra said as he walked out a few meters, gesturing his student to come close as well white the farm pony only watched. "Now, I don't believe you should begin to drain fear from ponies just yet, so I will give you some of my own dark magic."

"You can do that?" Twilight asked, her eyes open wide.

"I can do anything." He said with a smile, almost teasingly.

"Very funny."

"No, I'm quite serious. Like I said, when it comes to dark magic, the fact that I am mostly made of a dark essence gives me domain over most aspects of dark magic. So if I wanted to, I can take and give as I pleased." He said as he stepped close to the mare who gulped as she noticed their close proximity. "Now close your eyes." Sombra said as he leaned close.

Twilight did as she was told, closing her eyes tightly and tensing up as she felt something touch her horn. Sombra had gently placed his own spiked horn against hers as his eyes erupted in purple flames; his dark magic began to drain out of him, and into her. The process continued for little over a minute, and though that is technically not very much, it felt like an eternity to Twilight since a chilling sensation spread across her body as the dark magic surged through her.

"Should Ah go? Ya'll seem like ya need a moment alone." Applejack said with a grin upon her face as Twilight's own face flushed red.


"Ah don't blame ya Twi, Sombra has saved your neck a couple of times. It's only natural to develop feelings fer him."

"He only saved me once!" She shouted back.

Sombra simply stood still as his eyes began to look annoyed at the mares arguing in front of him. He emitted a sigh as he waited for them to calm down so he could proceed with his class. Something that took surprisingly longer than he expected. It became apparent that if he didn't put a stop to it himself, they would never end. They had some how branched of into different topics.

"...And that's why you don't plant trees in the fall!" Twilight finished as her friend began to ponder over what she had said.

"Ahem." Sombra said rather loudly. "I could start a new class about apple trees if this is too boring for you." He said as he looked down at the embarrassed mares.

"Sorry." Twilight said as she quickly went back to standing in front of him.

"Now, let's start with something simple shall we?" He said as he raised a crystal pillar a few yards away from them. "Shoot it down."

Twilight looked back and forth between the black crystal and Sombra, confused as to why her first lesson was that of a magic bolt. It was much too simple, even if they were starting from the bottom. She brushed off her thoughts and did as she was told, pointing her horn at the pillar before sending out a blast of energy, quickly breaking it into pieces.

"Done." Twilight said as she looked back at her teacher, but his face did not seem to agree with her.

"So, what did you do exactly?" Sombra asked her.

"I uh...blasted the pillar with the dark magic you gave me?" She said, though a little unsure of she had said the right answer or not, but it was quickly made clear.

"No, you blasted the pillar with your own magic." He said as he levitated the crystal shards that had dispersed over to them, showing her the purple stains from her magic. "Dark magic is black and green," He said to clarify.

"Then how come yer eyes are green, red, and purple? Not to mention the red aura you use to levitate stuff." Applejack asked as she came close to have a look at shard they were holding.

"My eyes turned red and my pupils thinned out when I made the contract with the tome of dark magic, magical aura is the color of one's eyes." Sombra said, answer one of her questions. "As for why the flame and sclera color, that I do not know the answer to. I suppose it would be same as asking why the sky is blue. It just is, even if there is a scientific reason." He said, adding in that last part as he saw Twilight open her mouth, no doubt to tell them all why the sky is blue.

"So what color eyes did ya have before?"


"Really!? That's kinda hard to picture..." Applejack said as she took a step back to try to imagine him with different colored eyes.

"Now..." Sombra said, redirecting his attention back to his student. "Sparkle, you need to learn how to switch from the light based magic you are used to, to using to dark."

"O-Okay...I'll try." Twilight said as she saw another pillar extend form the ground. She dug her hooves into the ground as she tried to bring out her dark magic within her. She grunted as sweat began to run down her forehead from how much she was exerting herself. Slowly, a small flame began to spark from the corner of her eyes. A small smile perked at the sides of Sombra's lips as he saw her beginning to bring out dark magic. Twilight slowly opened her eyes, her eyes flashing from purple and white to red and green, going back and forth as she tried to gain control of the dark magic. But to the stallion's concern, Twilight's pupils were beginning to thin out like his.

Sombra furrowed his brows as he waved his hoof over at Applejack, telling her to come closer. Once there, he gently pushed her close enough to Twilight so she could be in her field of vision. Still struggling, Twilight looked over at Applejack who was a little worried about her.

"Come on sugarcube, you can do it!" The orange mare cheered her on. Seeing her friend filled Twilight with a new kind of strength, her pupils going back to circled, no longer thinned and her eyes staying now green and red without much more struggle of which scheme dominated. She began to pant as she began to rest from forcing her magic out like so. Sombra nodded at her and then pointed at the pillar. With a weak smile, Twilight felt proud of herself and proceeded to send out a bolt of energy, this time a black and green blast.

"Woohooo!" Twilight screamed out as she jumped around Sombra and Applejack. "Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes!" She shouted out repeatedly. "I did it!"

"Yes Sparkle, you did very well." Sombra said as he looked over at what was left of the crystal pillar....which was very little. He had transferred over a very small amount of dark magic to the mare, yet she was able to use such a strong blast of energy, much more than he could have expected from her. "You are indeed a natural..." He whispered to himself.

"Okay! So what's next?" Twilight asks excitedly.

"Now we go home and rest."

"What!? But we just begun!"

"Yes, and you took in dark magic. This was not magic you yourself drained and transferred to yourself, it is foreign magic, and it could have complicated effects on you if you're not careful, it can be really dangerous." He said as he began to make his way back.

"So why didn't you just teach me how to drain magic for myself?" She asked out, almost accusingly.

"Because then you could get as much dark magic as you wanted....and train in secret." Sombra said, throwing her sharp look. She gulped as their eyes made contact.

"I-I wouldn't use dark magic without you around." She tried to say calmly.

"Thing is Sparkle, I don't trust you when it comes to stuff like this. I had a chat with Celestia. She told me of how you would sneak off into the royal library at night to read books about magic. How you would become obsessed with learning and if she wasn't careful and almost forceful with your breaks, you would collapse from lack of food or sleep."

"I was filly back then, I didn't know any better!"

"I'm not taking any chances." He said, looking forward as he walked, the mare following him though not happy. "That's the exact reason you wanted me to teach you. So we would be 100% sure things would not go wrong, and so I will continue to give you lessons each day in moderation until I believe you are ready to drain your own magic."

"That isn't fair."

"Nor is having your only form of salvation become your own downfall, becoming a tyrant, then encased in ice for a thousand years. Do you wish to meet the same fate I did?"


"Good." He said, bringing the conversation to a close. Both of them continued to walk side by side, but as they did, Applejack shouted at them from where they were before.

"So does this mean Ah can go home now?"


Twilight didn't say anything as they walked into town, whether that was out of frustration or agreement with him, Sombra did not know, nor did he exactly care. He did not want her using any more dark magic until he was sure she would be alright, and no matter how angry she got with him, that was not going to change.

"He lives here?! With Twilight?!" They heard a far off voice shout out followed by some sort of struggle. The duo traded glances for a second before continuing their way to their home, and they prepared to turn the corner to the library, they witnessed a rather strange and peculiar sight.

Pinkie was currently trying to pull back a pegasus, her hooves slipping on the ground and leaving holes in the dirt as she continued to back pedal against the pony flapping her wings to move forward. Both were struggling to move in either direction as Pinkie bit onto a rainbow colored tail which by the looks of it, was never properly groomed.

"Rainbow Dash!" Twilight screamed out as she flew towards her friend. Being at a stand still made her a sitting duck for the sudden tackle the purple mare gave her as they both rolled on the ground a little before Twilight finally got her in a hug. "It's so good to see you!"

Pinkie, who had let go of Rainbow's tail just in time so she wouldn't be tossed around, sat as she saw the two interact, though quickly shifted her eyes to Sombra who walked up to her.

"I take it that is the sixth element that was missing yesterday?" He asked as he helped the mare to her hooves.

"Yeah, that's Rainbow Dash, I'm pretty sure you can guess why." Pinkie said with a giggle as her pegasus friend suddenly dashed out of Twilight's grip on her.

"Woah woah, easy on the hugs." She said as she came back down to ground level. "But it's nice to see you too!" She said with a smile.

"How was the WonderBolt Academy?" Twilight asked as she got back to her hooves to properly greet her friend.

"It was awesome, but then again, anything is awesome when I'm around. But enough about that!" Rainbow Dash said as she grabbed onto the purple mare's shoulders. "I heard that he is here."


"You know, that tyrant unicorn guy that wanted to take over the Crystal Empire but we stopped him! I heard he's back and plotting revenge! Pinkie said he even made the library his home, so that means he kicked you out right? Where is he? I'll kick his butt and get your house back!"

"That 'unicorn guy' is right here." Sombra said as Pinkie fell to the ground laughing. He himself wanted to at least chuckle, after all, this mare proclaimed she could 'kick his butt'.

"So it you huh?" Rainbow Dash said as she flew over to him in a flash, now face to face with him. Though Sombra's expression remained stoic, Rainbow was with serious eyes and a deep frown. "Give Twilight her house back right now!"

Sombra's only response was to lean to the side and look at Twilight before asking, "Sparkle, who's home is this?"

"Uh, well, I suppose it mine, Spike's, and for the last month or so, your's too."

"What?!" Rainbow shouted out in shock. "Are you telling me you've allowed him to live with you?!"

"Well, yeah. He came to Ponyville to be reformed. Princess Celestia wanted him to stay with me since I could be close by in case anything happened."

"And you just agreed? Just like that?!"


Rainbow Dash was dumbfounded, her mouth wide open as she tried to comprehend what she had just said. "Wait wait wait, did you say 'last month?"

"Yeah. Sombra has been living here in Ponyville for a while now."

"And I wasn't told about this why?!"

"You were at the WonderBolt Academy."

"Oh oh oh oh oh oh!" Pinkie said as she jumped up and down, holding her hoof up in the air. "Ask who is in charge of reforming him! Go ahead, ask!"

Rainbow Dash slapped her hoof to her forehead as she let out a sigh. "Who Pinkie..."


Sombra looked at the three mares and wasn't sure if he should be enjoying their almost comical interactions, or angry that they are taking his reformation process as child's play. Still, if there was one thing he knew about this sixth element of harmony, was that now that she had returned to Ponyville, his life was about to become much more interesting. For better or for worse.

PreviousChapters Next