• Published 11th May 2014
  • 8,288 Views, 407 Comments

The Shimmer of Magic - Hakuno



Sunset Shimmer is stuck again in the human world. Struggling with the consequences of her actions, she must redeem herself with the help of five girls and a very interested magician.

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3. The mane six

Chapter 3. The mane six.

There were so many things Sunset hated of the human world, that she even made a list. This list needed to be updated almost daily, since there was always something that made her change the order of the elements in that list. It was something tedious to do, but making lists helped Sunset keep her sanity.

Today, the thing that deserved to be moved to the first position of the list was sexism.

The workers arrived just five minutes after eight in the morning. They were three men of different ages. Sunset didn't pay much attention to how they looked like, but rather to how they acted. One of them, who Sunset assumed was the boss, told her that today they were just going to take measurements and do some calculations to estimate how much money they'd need to buy the materials and, of course, to pay the manpower.

Sunset smiled a little, if there was something she was the best, it was at doing calculations. She told the boss that she could help with that, but much to her surprise, he rejected her help and instead 'asked' her to take a broom and sweep the entrance, then to take as much dust as possible into bags and toss them into the trash containers at one side of the school. Sunset was about to kick him and possibly break his knee, but fortunately to the man, Rarity intervened and gently pushed Sunset away.

"Who does he think he is?!" Sunset barked as Rarity handed her one of the two brooms she found in the janitor's storage. "I'm clearly smarter than he can ever hope to be! Just because I'm a girl he thinks he's better!"

"Now, Sunset, he never said that, did he?" Rarity gently placed her broom in the floor, trying her best to not do something that made her sweat. "Besides, even if he did, you and I both know better."

Sunset groaned, gazing at the men working on the crater. "How can you be ok with this? Aren't we supposed to be in an era of equality or something like that?"

Rarity looked at the workers, giving them a frown on her own. "I'm not ok, but it's pointless to argue with them."

"Hmph!" Sunset decided to ignore their stupidity and just get the work done.

But, since sweeping was so boring, Sunset opted to put her body on auto-pilot and think thoroughly on more important things. Like her mental checklists and schedule. First and foremost, she needed to edit her weekly schedule. It was filled up with things concerning her rule over Equestria, like getting a royal breakfast at exactly eight-thirty-two in the morning. She completely cleared it up, since she still was in the human world, she needed to keep making a living.

It was a slow process, not because she had many things to do, but because she wanted her schedule to be perfect. Unfortunately, she didn't know how much time she was required to be in the school every day while the reparations were taking place, so her schedule wasn't as perfect as she'd like to. And that made her angry. Fortunately, she didn't have important things to take care of anyway, so she still was able to organize it with ease.

Once it was done, Sunset changed the mental image from a schedule to a to-do checklist. And again, it was filled up with things concerning her rule over Equestria. She mentally sighed and cleared her checklist. The first thing now was to decide the things she was interested in achieving. 'Finish the school's entrance repairs' was a good first option; the sooner it was over, the better. She then remembered Principal Celestia's words, why she wanted to talk with Sunset? A list of possibilities formed at one side of the checklist, but every one of them was as good a reason as any. Sunset decided that talking with Celestia needed to be on her checklist.

A few other things joined after the first two. Studying the girls the Element of Magic had chosen was one of them. There had to be a reason why they were able to use the magic of the elements. She added a note to be careful, Rarity seemed to be willing to give her an opportunity, but she wasn't sure about the other girls. Not that she cared too much on making friends, her objective was to study them. It was only an academic research.

Other small things later, Sunset made sure that her to-do checklist only had important things; that done, she sorted them in priority order. Then, she checked and double-checked the checklist to make sure she didn't miss anything. Once she was satisfied, she created a new checklist. This one, she decided, was about the possible obstacles she'd have to face the next thirty moons. She thought a little, everyone in school hated her, but they had hated her ever since she got there, the only difference was that now they were united and she wasn't going to win any coronation again. She shrugged, that didn't seem like an obstacle.

"Sunset."

Snips and Snails knew about most of her wrongdoings. Normally she would be sure that they wouldn't say anything, but since the events of last night, she couldn't risk it. Would she need to threaten them? She didn't want to do those things anymore, but she didn't want them to tell everyone about the things she had done. Even if they were partially involved in all of them, she knew they weren't exactly smart boys. She made a mental note to develop a plan of action to convince them not to say anything.

"Sunset!"

Sunset blinked, cancelling the auto-pilot of her body. Rarity was looking at her with a worried expression. "What?" She asked with a bored gaze; she even fought the urge to yawn.

"Wow, you really zoned out there!" A cheerful voice called out from her left, an unmistakable voice with one of the most annoying high pitches a human voice could have, coming from one of the most annoying girls in any world, who also happened to have a skin, hair and a liking of the most annoying color: Pink. "What were you thinking? Oh! I know! You were thinking of the parties you can attend with us, right? Amirite?"

Sunset frowned and looked at Rarity. "I thought you were going to come one per day."

Rarity nodded. "That was the plan. But, the workers already left and it's not even nine in the morning." Sunset looked at the crater, and true to Rarity's words, they were gone. How long had she been lost in her thoughts? "We have the whole day free to ourselves, and I thought it would be nice to hang out as a group and get to know each other."

"But we already know each other! You are Rarity and you work at Carousel Boutique!" Pinkie called cheerfully, making Sunset tighten her jaw.

"That's not what I meant." Rarity said calmly. "We haven't talked to each other in years. Things changed in our lives, and since we're friends again, we should have a nice talk."

Sunset rolled her eyes, but said nothing. She'd rather just go home and gather her ideas, but she didn't know how long this new friendship of them would last. She knew that it was ridiculously easy for humans to stop being friends, why, it only took her a few text messages to break their relationship. And she needed as much information as possible if she wanted a logical explanation to the Elements' behavior.

"Oh! That's true!" Pinkie offered a big grin. "Did you call them all already?"

"Yes." Rarity answered looking at Sunset. "I hope you don't mind a little wait. Applejack lives the farthest of us all."

Sunset shrugged. "Whatever. It's not like I have better things to do."

"This is going to be so awesome!" Pinkie hugged Sunset so hard that her arms were bending in an awkward way. "We all are going to be the bestest friends ever!"

Sunset tried to free herself from the hug, but Pinkie had her arms all around Sunset's. "Pinkie, if you stop hugging me now, I won't hurt you." She hissed, glaring daggers at the pink girl.

"Sorry." Pinkie let her go and gave a few steps back, putting her hands behind her.

Moving her arms in circles, Sunset finally noticed that she had finished sweeping the dust of the entrance some time earlier, and she had been just staring at nowhere for a few minutes. She even had packed the dust in garbage bags, threw them into the trashcans at the side of the school and placed the broom against a wall. It sometimes surprised her how many things she was able to do without even noticing every time she turned on the auto-pilot.

Sunset started to walk towards the statue that held the portal to Equestria. "Well, Applejack will take at least half an hour to arrive, that gives me time to go home and change my clothes." Rarity said, following Sunset along with Pinkie. "You girls don't mind waiting here just in case Fluttershy or Rainbow arrive, right?"

"Of course not!" Pinkie answered while Sunset only shrugged. "Sunny and I'll wait here."

"Thanks, I won't be late." Rarity said as Sunset muttered a 'don't call me that'.

Rarity quickly made her way out of the girls' sight. Sunset decided to sit on the ground, leaning her back on the portal's surface. Staring at the sky and the few clouds, her mind started to wander and replayed the events of the last couple of days. She didn't want to think about that, but she knew her mind wasn't going to let it go; she had been so close to achieve her dreams, after all. She sighed and closed her eyes, trying to distract herself from those thoughts. Fortunately, Pinkie Pie was a machine of words, currently she was talking about something related with a pumpkin cake or something like that. It wasn't remotely interesting to Sunset, but it was enough to get a little distracted.

And before she knew it, she was silently sleeping.

~~~~~~~~

"Get up get up get up get up get up!"

Sunset found herself being shaken by Pinkie, right in front of her, with her stupid grin dangerously close to her face. "Shut up!" She shouted, pushing the annoying girl away from her. "The heck is wrong with you?!"

Pinkie bounced backwards, still smiling. "My left wrist makes funny sounds." She answered lifting her left arm, making a fist and rotating her wrist clockwise, producing multiple pops that resembled bubble wrap. "Mum says it's because I fell from my baby crib when I was two."

Making her best effort not to comment about that, Sunset stood up, using the statue as support. "You woke me up just to tell me that?" She asked, doing her best to stab Pinkie with her gaze alone.

"No, silly! I just wanted to tell you that the girls are here already!"

Right then, Sunset could hear four voices coming from behind. She casually turned around, and there they were, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Applejack and Rarity. While Rarity, who now was using a purple skirt and a white blouse, offered her a friendly smile, the other three girls were progressively less friendly. Applejack was smiling too, but it was way too forced, not that Sunset could blame her, she had insulted the Apple family hundreds of times. Then there was Fluttershy, trying to hide behind the three girls, she was clearly afraid of Sunset. And at last, Rainbow Dash.

If looks could kill, Sunset would be dead right now.

That was strange, to say the least. Sunset could understand Fluttershy's fear and Applejack's forced smile, but Rainbow Dash hating her was unexpected, why, the only thing she did to her was send a single text message, and in two years she didn't even cross words with her. And it was even stranger since she had been smiling at her last night. Had that smile been an effect of the Elements of Harmony?

Sunset wanted answers, and for now, the only way to get them was going to be by hanging out with these girls. Even if Rainbow would most likely try to initiate a fight with her. No, if Rainbow wanted to fight, Sunset would be only too happy to comply; she wasn't exactly a fighter, but she wasn't going to be intimidated by a girl with the gay flag in her hair. And thinking about that, she didn't understand why gay people chose a rainbow to represent them; she didn't even understand why humans had the need to tell the world who they liked to sleep with. In Equestria nopony cares for your 'sexual orientation', as humans like to call it.

Ah, why am I thinking about that? The Elements of Harmony. Focus, girl! Sunset mentally shook her head to clear her mind, now's not the time to point out how better Equestria was compared to the human world.

"So, where are we going? Oh, I know! I know!" Pinkie raised her hand, as if trying to answer one of the teacher's pop quizzes. "The Karaoke! No! The Gotcha! No! No! The Bingo! Please say bingo, please say bingo."

"Actually, why don't we go to Sugar Cube Corner?" Rarity offered. "We used to go there all the time, I can't think of a better place to have a nice girls' talk, don't you agree?"

Sunset fought the urge to gag. "That's a nice idea, Rares" Applejack said, giving the fashionista a true smile. "And since school's cancelled fer a week, we ain't hafta worry 'bout stayin' late."

"Yeah! And with my coupons we get free cupcakes!" Pinkie excitedly jumped on her tiptoes.

"That sounds… nice…" Fluttershy said, but nobody seemed to hear her.

"Well then, let's get going!" Rarity called, walking away from the school grounds, leading the way as the leader she very often liked to believe she was.

All the girls complied and followed her.

They quickly formed a pattern of pairs. Rarity and Applejack were at the front, talking about their respective little sisters. Fluttershy and Pinkie were in the middle, in a one-sided conversation about animals, surprisingly leaded by the shy girl. And finally, Sunset and Rainbow were at the end, in a tacit, though very intense silent duel of ignoring each other.

After a few minutes, the six girls finally arrived to Sugar Cube Corner and quickly made their way to one of the seats near the windows. Pinkie produced a few coupons out of her hair and used them to order a few trays of various pastries, all of them with free cupcakes.

"So, Pinkie." Rarity said after all the girls ordered what they wanted to eat. "I heard you're babysitting the Cakes' twins?"

Pinkie gave her a smile from ear to ear. "Yes! It's super fun! The babies are sooooooooooo cute! Two days ago Pumpkin said her first word! And it was 'Cupcake'!"

"Heh, if ya keep babysittin' them, they'll learn the whole kitchen layout before they can say 'mom' or 'dad'" Applejack said with a laugh before eating a piece of her pear pie.

"I know, right?"

Fortunately for Sunset, no one saw her rolling her eyes. She knew that nothing they were saying was important, but she just couldn't just ignore them, her brain wouldn't allow that. She took the blue cupcake from the tray and bit it. It was a blueberry cupcake, not exactly her favorite, but the others were of different shades of pink, and she wasn't going to eat anything pink.

The conversation went on and forth, with the five girls updating each other about the things they had been up to the past years, their plans for the future, and they even went in a round of apologies for being separated the whole time. Sunset had been patiently sitting there, succeeding in her quest of watching through the window and not paying attention to what they were saying.

That is, until it was Rainbow's turn to apologize.

"Yeah, and I'm sorry for letting Sunset drive us apart."

At the mention of her name, Sunset's attention had been called, and she unconsciously turned her head to the girls. They all were looking at her. "What?"

"It's your turn, silly!" Pinkie answered, completely oblivious of the sudden change of mood.

Sunset cocked an eyebrow. "My turn for what?"

"To apologize." Rainbow snapped, glaring daggers at her.

Sunset decided to play a game. "Apologize for what?"

Rainbow narrowed her eyes. "Don't play fool with me, Sunset." She growled.

Sunset smirked. "Yeah, I'd totally lose."

There was a small pause before Rainbow smacked her palm on the table and stood up. Fearing the worst, Applejack, who fortunately was sitting between the two girls, stood a little and placed her hand on Rainbow's shoulder.

"Calm down, Dash, this ain't the place to start a fight."

"There shouldn't be places to start fights." Pinkie muttered, poking a slice of pie with a fork.

"Girls, everyone's looking." Fluttershy said, trying her best to hide behind her hair.

Rainbow looked around the restaurant, and true to Fluttershy's words, all the customers were looking to them. "Besides," Rarity interrupted with a soft cough. "We can't force Sunset to apologize."

"Yeah," Sunset said, looking directly at Rarity's eyes. "Especially when I already apologized. Y'know, right after the pony princess show."

Rainbow looked at her, finally relaxing her muscles and sitting again, making Applejack sigh in relief. "An apology isn't enough for all she's done." Rainbow said to no one in particular.

Sunset rolled her eyes. In other circumstances, she'd push Rainbow to her limits, but she was still a little tired, and not exactly in the mood. "I have to agree with Rainbow Dash there, Sunset." Rarity said with a serious expression. "Though, while I think repairing the school's entrance and a month of detention is punishment enough, I'd like you to do something for us, too."

Everyone looked at Rarity, then at Sunset, then at Rarity again. "What is it?" Sunset asked, already preparing to bark a 'No' to whatever Rarity was going to say.

"Tell us more about yourself." Rarity said, offering a warm smile.

Everyone turned to look at Sunset.

"What?" She asked, completely taken aback. She had been expecting Rarity to tell her to redeem herself by helping everyone at school or something as stupid as that. But before she could say anything else, Pinkie leaned closer to her.

"Yeah! Now that I think about it, we only know your name!"

Sunset looked at the girls, all of them were looking at her, and even Rainbow had a spark of curiosity in her eyes. She sighed in defeat. "Fine, I'll play along." She leaned against the wall and rested her arm on the table, giving her some comfort to face the five girls. "Ask away."

Rarity smiled in satisfaction. "You told me you are from the other world too…"

"You are?!" Pinkie yelled, almost leaning on the table.

"Tell us more about it." Rarity continued, using her arm to gently return Pinkie to her seat. "I noticed that three of us had wings when we had the… Transformation."

Sunset closed her eyes, thinking on the best way to explain herself. "In my world, Equestria, in the nation of Equestria…" She started, unable to hide a melancholic tone in her voice. "There are three kinds of ponies. Earth Ponies, which are like the ponies of this world, just, you know, with the ability to speak and physically stronger. And then there are Pegasi and Unicorns. Then, there's a fourth kind of ponies. They are called alicorns, and they have the three traits of the other races." She opened her eyes and looked at the girls. "Twilight Sparkle is an alicorn."

"That explains why she grew wings." Applejack said. "But then, why did Rainbow and Fluttershy grew wings too? They're humans, not ponies"

Sunset accommodated in her seat. "I don't know why you transformed in the first place, but if I'm correct, and I think I am, when you transformed, you were partially linked to your counterparts in Equestria."

"Wait, counterparts? There is a me in your world?" Rainbow asked, her anger completely vanished.

"Yes." Sunset answered. "As far as I can tell, all of you have pony counterparts. The Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy of Equestria are pegasi." She made a little pause. "Applejack and Pinkie Pie are Earth Ponies, and Rarity is a unicorn."

"And you?" Rarity asked. "You are from that world too, what are you?"

Sunset breathed and looked at Rarity with a bored expression. "I'm a unicorn. One of the most powerful there are, by the way."

"Wait a second!" Pinkie yelled, dragging all the attention to her. "I'm sure I saw Twilight once! I mean, this world's Twilight!" Now all the eyes were upon her. "Though it was like a year ago, but still!" She made a pause to breathe. "If there's a human version of Twilight, then it means there must be a human version of Sunset!"

The five girls then looked again at Sunset, who only shrugged. "It's possible."

"If that's true, then she must be in prison by now." Rainbow said, and Applejack hit her in the shoulder. "Hey!"

"That's just bein' plain rude."

"Whatever." Sunset said. "It's not like I care."

"I have another question." Rarity said, rubbing her chin with a thumb. "You told me that the crown was part of a set of six magical devices retrieved a year ago. But you've been in this world for over two years. How did you know that?"

Sunset smirked. "That, I won't tell"

Rarity arched an eyebrow. "Why not?"

"Listen, you can ask me anything about Equestria, magic and all that stuff. But I won't tell you how I know what happens there even if I'm here. It's the only thing I have to keep my sanity."

"Ok, ok, you don't have to be so rude." Rarity said.

"Hey! I just had the most brilliant idea in the world!" Pinkie said excitedly. "Now that we're all friends again, and Sunset is our newest member, we should be called 'The mane six'!"

There were several seconds of silence before Rainbow spoke up. "Why?"

Pinkie offered her a big grin. "Making names is fun!"

Sunset took a sip of her chocolate milkshake. "That's a stupid name."

Author's Note:

It's been a long time, right? Well, I hope to be able to write a little more often.

Things will start to happen since the next chapter!