• Published 15th Sep 2014
  • 10,040 Views, 243 Comments

From Darkness To Light - Pixel_Spark



When an insidious evil threatens the Crystal Empire, the Princesses must call upon the most unlikely pony; Sombra. Can he overcome his own darkness in order to save the empire from a far worse one?

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Facade & Memory

Some hours later, Sombra was awoken by the sound of somepony calling his name.



"Over there!" somepony pointed towards where Sombra was lying.



Sombra struggled to focus as he seen the Guard approach.



"We've done a sweep Sir, there have been no further reported attacks!" the Guard said. Sombra sighed softly.



"Good," he said shortly "It was just a lone attacker then."



"And I have a message from Princess Twilight Sparkle," the Guard added.



"Oh?" Sombra sighed. "What does she say?"



"Thank You," the guard said simply. Then he walked away. Sombra blinked. OK then.



He could feel a dozen gazes burning into him, and he just wanted some peace and quiet.



So he pulled the blanket over his head and drifted asleep, too weakened and tired to care about anything.

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He was awoken later on by voices not far from his bed.



"Well, it's been a long day, but I think we've finally treated the last of the serious cases..." That was the doctors voice.



"I’m glad to hear it," Celestia’s voice "but what of Sombra?"



"His fever is running dangerously high," the doctor said. "He did himself no favors by running about in the rain for so long, never mind fighting one of those things."



"I had wished to speak with him, but in these conditions, I will postpone it."

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Cadance called a meeting out in the town square.



"Citizens of the crystal empire, I am glad to say everypony is on their way to feeling all better!"



Cheers greeted this announcement;



"We narrow avoided a very serious crisis, and those that saved us deserve our thanks..."



She gestured to Flash Sentry who stood off to one side "One of our best Royal Guards, who helped gather herbs and carry medicines to ponies homes!"



An overwhelming cheer greeted this, and Flash blushed a little.



"And Healing Breeze, who so kindly assembled the tea that made us well again!"



The chemist gave a cheery wave, and another huge wave of applause swept through the crowd.



"But there is one other," Cadance said "I know many of you have had reservations about Sombra’s return here. But without his help, we would not be here now. I have pieced together the whole story of the events while I was sick;“


“When the core inside that dark creature exploded during that fight all those days ago in the market, it split into many little shards, which got under ponies coats and infected them with the sickness. As its opponent, the first to be infected was Sombra. His was a severe case, a shard the size of a small jewel was buried in his leg.”


Lots of ponies winced.


“By the time he got over the worst of it, most of the kingdom was infected. It was thanks to Healing Healing Breeze’s special tea he was well enough to get the others. These three managed to put a stop to a very nasty plague. A plague designed to keep us all weak and helpless so that thing from the sky tear could harvest the magic and energy within us all. A plan that ended after Sombra tore it to pieces.”



She shook her head “from what I have been told, that THING did not expect to encounter any resistance. We were lucky he was willing to help us, and not just abandon the empire.”



Shocked murmurs ran round the crowd, and one pony spoke up;



"So where is he?"



"He's still very sick..." Cadance explained "Running round in the rain only hours after taking the medicine, its left him in a bad state."



Surprised whispers ran round the crowd, Sombra had....helped them? The rumors were true...



"Thank you all for coming!" Cadance smiled sweetly "And I ask you all be vigilant, and be careful!"



The people cheered their Princess as she stepped down from the podium and, with Flash Sentry trotting alongside, went back to the palace.



The crystal ponies were surprised, but they knew their Princess wouldn’t lie to them. So it seemed the villain had been a sort of hero this time round...

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Having finally been allowed to return to his own room, Sombra got the peace and quiet he wanted for a further night and day. He got his appetite back a little and wobbled downstairs in search of food. And bumped into Twilight Sparkle and friends.



"Oh, Sombra!" Twilight Sparkle said brightly, looking all better "Luna told us you were the one who saved us by finding that medicine!"



"Yeah well, she lies." He grumped dismissively, unable to accept their thanks, it felt too awkward. He had no idea about the conference, and was convinced they’d all just thank Healing Breeze and Flash Sentry and leave him alone.



"I most certainly do not!" Luna’s voice bellowed from behind him, making him jump a mile. Making everypony jump.



"Geez.." he grumbled "Dial it down there!"



"Then stop lying!" Luna shot back "You helped cure an empire, what part of that bothers thou exactly?"



"That chemist is the one your looking for," he said bluntly. "Not me. Your little blue haired friend and I were just pack mules for that medicine..." he turned and walked away.



"Blue hair...ohh....Flash Sentry!" Twilight Sparkle caught on "I remember, he came to see me.."



Luna frowned "what sort of idiot doesn’t take pride in saving so many ponies? If he and the others hadn’t done all that work, wed be flank deep in severe cases of sickness by now! Or DEAD!"



"I don’t think he wants ta get his hopes up." Applejack said honestly.



"Come again?" Rainbow Dash asked her.



Applejack sighed "he aint exactly used ta ponies thankin’ him for nothin', I don’t think he wants to believe any of it happened. If it didn’t happen, he cant be blamed OR thanked for it...leastways, that how it seems to me.."



"What kinda way of thinking is THAT?!..." Rainbow Dash remarked. "I mean, he did good!"



"He should be happy...." Fluttershy squeaked "many of the ponies we treated said they wouldn’t have known if he hadn’t been knocking at their doors yelling instructions at them. I’m not sure they could believe it either..."



"Give him time..." twilight said. "I’m sure he'll come around."



Then somepony put a hoof over her eyes and she squealed in delight. She knew who it was;



"Twily!"



She hugged her big brother tightly.



"Feeling better big brother?" she asked.



"Yup, back in action!" he smiled as she hugged him again "most everypony’s been given the cure now. Celestia’s recommended to Cadance we give Healing Breeze a job as the official royal chemist!"



"She deserves it.." Fluttershy smiled.



"And apparently she’s not the only pony we need to thank, aside from Flash Sentry..." Shining Armor raised an eyebrow "I thought Cadance was pulling my leg, but it seems he really DID help us out."



“Yeah! But try telling HIM that!" Pinkie Pie said "he was just here.."



"Oh, where’d he go?" Shining Armor wondered.



"Off in a right strop," Rainbow Dash remarked "trying to thank him gets him in a bad mood it seems."



"Rainbow Dash!" Twilight Sparkle said, then looked at her brother. "He’s just not used to it, keeps trying to shift the attention away from what happened."



"Probably thinks your pulling his leg," Shining Armor mused.



"That’s what ah thought too.." Applejack pointed out.



"Ooh, I almost forgot!" Pinkie Pie waved a hoof in the air "I’m helping the school with a bake sale on Friday! Who wants to come?"



There was a whole chorus of yeses!

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Eventually, Celestia did request to speak to Sombra, who reluctantly made his way down to the throne room, which had been tidied up since his stay there.



"Ah, at last.." Celestia looked up as Sombra stopped a short distance away. "I assume you’re much better?"



He sighed softly. "The symptoms are all gone, if that’s what you mean. So are the stitches."



"Good," Celestia said "and it seems we owe you for your assistance-"



“I already TOLD your sister regarding that!" he snapped "I’m not the one who-"



"Oh but you ARE!" she said with such force he actually stopped short.



She fixed a stern glare on him "Had you just sat around on your rear after recovering, we would all be seriously ill right now. But the facts of the matter are thusly: one) you found out what that tea could do, and two) you made the conscious decision to replicate it, with Flash Sentry and Healing Breeze’s help. Had you not drawn attention to it, nopony would’ve even noticed, not until it was too late."



Sombra stayed silent, not wanting to admit to it.



"You may not comprehend it, but you saved a lot of lives that way. What could’ve been a serious epidemic has been brought under control. There’s also the matter of this letter..." she floated it over to him;



He unfolded it and began to read;

"Dear Princesses of the royal castle;



I want to thank you for sending that medicine to me and my daughter. Without it, I would’ve been very sick, and unable to care for her. It also seems I owe Sombra a great deal of thanks. My daughter is very fond of him, and he made sure he got the medicine she needed too. Please, thank him for me, and give him this little note, from my daughter,



Signed

Shining Sea."

A mini, sealed envelope floated over, hovering in front of him until he took it.



"Now do you understand..." Celestia asked. Sombra didn’t answer, he looked a little....lost all of a sudden.



"The crystal ponies aren’t fools, they trust Cadance. And when she told them you were responsible for their recovery-"



“She did what?!" Sombra sputtered, almost dropping the envelope, catching it just in time.



"-She told them the truth." Celestia eyeballed him "that is not the only letter.."



"I don’t want to hear any more..." Sombra groaned "if that’s everything, I think I’m going back to bed..."



Celestia sighed softly, but let him go.



"You weren’t kidding sister.." she said once he’d gone, "he really is reluctant to accept anypony’s kindness..."

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Upstairs in his bedroom, Sombra opened Bright Sparks letter.

"Dear Sombra," (her writing was adorably wobbly)



"Thanks for helping mommy get better. She’s OK now, and were making cakes for the festival on Friday. Please come see us,



Bright Spark."

He couldn’t help smile a little. Sparks honesty made him feel less like the monster he knew himself to be…or did he?

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A further day in bed and he felt a little better. Sadly, his nightmares had increased lately, and he was waking up and being sick every time. The doctor seemed surprised when he came to check on Sombra, and the unicorn barely made a sound the entire check-up. He seemed listless and tired, even going so far as to doze off (sitting UP) mid way. A little concerned, the doctor went to see the Princesses in the throne room.



Luna was curled up asleep, but Celestia and Cadance were awake and alert.



"What is the matter"? Cadance asked.



"I’m concerned about that- Sombra. He’s not looking any better since he got infected by that crystal. I went to check on him today, and he was so out of it I don’t think he even noticed I was there! He fell asleep sitting up all of a sudden."



Cadance frowned "being shut up in that room isn’t helping him any, he needs to get some fresh air, I will see what I can do."



“Thank you Princess." the doctor bowed his head then left.



"Where is Twilight Sparkle?" Cadance wondered...

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Twilight Sparkle was happy to do as her sister-in-law asked, and persuade Sombra to go for a walk around the kingdom with her. But first Celestia wished to speak with him.



Shed been rummaging around in the old royal armory, and found something she figured she could trust Sombra with. It was a wrought-iron spear, very old but strong. It had a handle that hinged so it could be folded down and strapped to a pony’s side. This plus its carry pouch she presented to Sombra when he ambled in to see her the next morning.



"Where did you find this?" he asked, examining the ornate weapon. "this is from a long time ago..."



"It was in the depths of the palace, seems somepony has been keeping up the maintenance on even the OLD weapons. Its in perfect order."



He stared at it, it DID seem familiar, like he’d seen one of a similar style somewhere in his past....



"Before you ask," Celestia said "I have informed the guards you’ll be carrying this, that way they wont be surprised."



“Why are you giving me this?" he asked.



"So far you’ve managed to fight using whatever’s in hoofs reach. this should save you having to hunt for something to fight with."



Sombra nodded, and managed to lift the cloak and cinch the weapons carry pouch around his middle. Once the cloak was set back down, it perfectly hid the weapon.



"A perfect fit!" Celestia declared in amusement.



"So it seems..." Sombra murmured.



There was a knock at the door, and Twilight Sparkle stuck her head in;



"Oh, there you are Twilight Sparkle~" Celestia smiled happily at her student.



Twilight Sparkle stopped to chat a moment, then she left, and Sombra followed after her, pausing only to utter a gruff thanks in regards to the weapon. Celestia smiled, it seemed she’d misjudged Sombra, he wasn’t all bad..

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Twilight Sparkle noticed what Cadance had mentioned; Sombra seemed a bit slow to respond. He followed after her as she wandered into the centre of town. Ponies stopped to talk to her, and she cheerily replied. It all sounded like white noise to Sombra, his head aching something chronic. Last nights nightmare had been worse, it’d felt like there was an extra dimension to the darkness in his dreams, but he was too tired to puzzle it out. He was aware of the weight of the weapon strapped to his side. The special spear Celestia had found. It was a sturdy weapon, hopefully strong enough to shatter one of those spheres head on.



He stared out across the square, and felt his head ache so heavily he almost blacked out. Twilight Sparkle seen him sway slightly on his feet and ran over.



"Are you alright?" she asked, concerned "you don’t look well-"



“Its nothing, Princess." he said shortly.



Every time Sombra looked around, somepony was staring at him, or whispering to their friends whilst staring. Hadn’t they gotten over his being there by now?! He didn’t have time for this. Had he looked closer he would’ve seen they were curious looks, not hostile.



He was hovering outside a flower shop while Twilight Sparkle went in to order some centerpieces for Pinkie Pies latest dinner/party idea, when he heard a sudden cry. Blinking, he seen a pony standing over her friend, who’d suddenly collapsed according to her wailing. Sombra frowned, his head was aching, just like-



"Oh-" he swore subtly, getting the feeling he knew what had made her faint. He seen something move, a swift blur, only there for a second. He took off, running across the street, looking about. Nothing. Was he seeing things? Fatigue messing with his mind? Sparks danced around his vision as he moved a little too abruptly and almost lost his balance again. Surprisingly, somepony steadied him and waited until he got his hooves flat back on the ground.



"You don’t look well," a stallions voice remarked. "everything ok?"



“Wha..." Somrba fought to marshal his thoughts. "nothings...wrong..." but his head ached again and he groaned, a surge of frustration making him snarl softly.



"Got a headache?" The same stallion wondered.



"A massive one," Sombra sighed "where’s that purple Princess pony, I’m going back to the palace..."



The stallion wondered what he meant, purple Princess- oh, Twilight Sparkle!



"She’s right there," he pointed at where Twilight Sparkle was still deep in conversation with the owners of the flower shop.



"Ow, thanks..." Sombra winced again. He was partway across the road when something slammed into his side with no warning, sending him crashing to the pavement. His vision fuzzed, and he temporarily blacked out, unable to get up. The milling crowd came to a halt, wondering what was going on. Then another pony randomly fainted, crumpling to the pavement. Hearing screams, Twilight Sparkle ran back outside. She seen the collapsing ponies, and Sombra picking himself off the ground.



Barely had he gotten up then something darted out and slammed into him again, sending them both crashing into the pavement.



"Get, OFF!" Sombra’s fury provided the adrenaline he needed, and he threw the creature off him as he got to his feet. His head felt clearer, and he knew soon as he focused his eyes on the thing in front of him, what it was..



A shadow creature. Still mimicking a pony shape, it leered at him. He took a step forward.



"Uh-uh.." it grinned, its mouth a row of sharp teeth. "Don’t want to hurt any of these little creatures, do you? They'll really want you dead if you do that..."



Sombra faltered, his mind whirling, then he shook his head "don’t talk as if you know anything!" he spat out. He looked over at Twilight Sparkle suddenly, an idea forming;



"Create a bubble shield, now!"



She knew in a flash what he needed. She focused her magic and a transparent white bubble shield popped up around the shadow pony AND Sombra.



It began to expand, making the crowd of ponies back up, creating a big open space.



"There, room to wipe the floor with you, and your all outta batteries!" Sombra grinned.



"You-!" It snarled "What could they possibly gain by letting you live?!"



"You know WHAT," Sombra retorted "the same thing YOU fear, I can destroy you!"



"Hah!" it took in how tired he looked "what can you hope to achieve, you’re barely able to stand. Didn’t you learn your lesson with the plague?"



"Haven’t you noticed, I don’t tend to pay attention to that kind of thing..." Sombra laughed. He thought the bubble was soundproof, but sadly, it wasn’t. So everypony watching on the outside could hear them.



"You’ve sealed your own end, foolish pony. If I’m trapped here, then so are you. No gardening tools to fight with this time. Didn’t think this through did you?"



Sombra laughed loudly, and in one swift movement unlatched his cloak and threw it aside so it wouldn’t get tangled in the spear. He unfolded the weapon, the hinged shaft locking into place as he leveled the weapon in front of him.



"Wrong," he said, seeing the surprise on the shadow pony’s face.



"Graah!" it let out an animal roar and lunged at Sombra. The unicorn swung the spear round to meet it, the sharp point sweeping through its neck. having solidified its form to fight, this meant he pretty much decapitated it. It hastily swept back and reformed, only to get another swipe with the spear.



It struck out at him, but he used the spears shaft to block the bolts of dark matter it shot at him. The weapon was a perfect suit for him. heavy duty, but strong. Easy to swing around, it’d been perfectly balance by its creator.



The ponies standing at the outskirts of the fight gasped and winced as the two powerhouses went against one another. Flashes of teeth and fangs, the light glinting off the ornate spear as Sombra used it with an astonishing ease.



SLAM. the shadow pony got around Sombra’s spear and slammed him against the shield. It flickered, but Twilight Sparkle focused her magic and it reformed. Bearing in mind she couldn’t hold it forever, Sombra knew he had to end this.



He took advantage of the fact the thing was pinning him by the neck, off the ground, and swept one metal clad hoof up into it’s midsection. He felt his hoof connect with the things core, and it hastily dropped him. He landed awkwardly, his leg twisted underneath him..



"Just give up!" It screeched as he got to his feet "they don’t need YOU, just give in and die already!"



To one mare pressing her nose anxiously against the shield, she thought she seen a flicker of exhaustion, and defeat, cross Sombra’s face. He'd helped save them from these things, and by trapping himself in the shield with this creature, he was making sure he alone took the brunt of the attacks. Did he think they wanted him to die? She shook her head in response to her own question.



So she decided to speak up;



"Don’t listen to it!" she yelled, "IT’S the REAL monster here!"



“Yeah!” another yelled.


“Daddy said he saved us from YOU!” a little foal cried.



More ponies nodded, and waved their hoofs at the thing. Sombra blinked, a little surprised. They were cheering....for HIM?!



"Kick its flank!" somepony else yelled.



The mare who'd started it gave one more salvo. "You're not like that thing, not anymore!!" several inaudible cries followed this, all their anger directed at the shadow thing. Which looked momentarily confused.



Sombra looked from them to the monster, and smirked.



"You heard them..." he said shortly. "Time to buck off!"



"You wretched little-" it lunged for him again, Sombra retrieved the spear, keeping it at his side as he charged again. Distracting it by aiming the spears tip for its head, Sombra ducked under and, using the sharp tip of his horn, head butted the creatures gut. It hit the core, cracking it. It sent the shadow pony soaring into the air, then slamming into the ground. Sombra lifted the spear once more, aiming it at the core amidst the swirling mass...



"Can you really destroy me..?" it laughed. "An abomination like you?"



Its voice had changed, to one Sombra knew too well. His fathers. He felt a wave of sickness pulse through him again. The creature got to it’s feet. Its shape rippled, then to everypony’s shock, it transformed into a white pony with pale blue mane and tail. She had a crystal snowflake on her flank.



"You.." Sombra said, so softly nopony heard him..



"Stop this fighting Sombra..." the shape shifter mare said. Sombra just stared, he hadn’t seen her face in an eternity. He’d made a promise once, he hadn’t been able to keep it...



"Don’t you remember me..?" it was close enough now he could see the mock-sadness in her blue eyes "you promised-"



Sombra had aimed the spear at her, shaking his head.



"Her, not YOU." he hissed. Then, before the thing could regret using that appearance, Sombra drove the spear into its body. The image of the innocent pale mare flickered and died, showing its original shape, before the core exploded and it was erased from existence.



Sombra stared into space, at the spot where the shadow thing had stood. That form...how had it known..?



He thought back to his nightmares. It had to have linked to his mind somehow, during the sickness, while his magic was weak, his defenses downed.



He hurriedly de-assembled the spear, popping it into the pouch. Twilight Sparkle, still gawping at the spectacle she and everypony else had seen, dropped the shield. Sombra shakily replaced his cloak, hiding the weapon from view.



He felt sick, but his head no longer hurt.



Seeing the thing was gone, some ponies cheered, casting admittedly admiring glances at the oblivious Sombra.



Twilight Sparkle trotted over, noticing he seemed even more pale and shaken now then when they’d started out.



"So much for a walk helping," she said apologetically.



"Until that thing-" he indicated the sky tear "is gone, this will keep happening-" he suddenly felt the world spin, and hunched over, fighting to breathe a moment.



“Sombra..” He heard Twilight's voice, felt a hoof gently tapping his foreleg, but he couldn’t answer.



After a few seconds of battling to stay awake, the dizzy spell receded, and he opened his eyes. He got a shock when he seen not only Twilight Sparkle peering at him in concern, but a bunch of other ponies.



"…?" crud, how to get out of THIS situation. Why were they all staring at him like that?



"Any better?" Twilight Sparkle asked. He did feel a bit less likely to pass out or throw up. He nodded mutely.



"You both look like you need a rest.." they glanced at the pony standing by Twilight Sparkle "my cafe is just across the street, you’re welcome to take a rest there!"



Sombra’s instincts said to refuse and clear out ASAP, but by the time his brain told him to say something, Twilight Sparkle had already accepted. Figuring it was more trouble then it was worth to kick up a fuss, he reluctantly followed her.

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The cafe was quiet, and cool, away from the heat of the sunlight. Sombra almost felt like he could doze off sitting there...



Twilight Sparkle noticed the owner seemed to want to say something to Sombra, but the unicorns sullen silence made him nervous. On her way to the little mares room she whispered "just come right out with it, he wont bite your head off..."



Trusting her, the pony approached Sombra.



"You probably don’t remember it, but, you helped save my wife..."



Sombra opened his eyes, vaguely recognizing the pony now he got a good look at him.



"Anyway,” finding the silence unnerving the stallion babbled a bit. "You came to the house, told us to look for splinters. I know my family and I didn’t take kindly to you being there, W-well, id like to say I’m sorry if we didn’t listen at first. You were right, she WAS infected." he looked sacred. "She’s pregnant, but the doctors say the sickness hasn’t harmed her baby..."



"That’s good," Sombra said bluntly.



"My point is; we owe you for what you did. You could’ve left after we shouted at you, not stood out in the rain trying to argue." he gave a bob of his head. "Thank you."



Sombra fidgeted, unused to being thanked.



"Yes. Right.." he managed at last "it’s good to hear they all recovered."



The cafe owner noted how unused he seemed to ponies thanking him. Twilight Sparkle returned form the bathroom, and asked for some drinks..



A cup of some type of herbal tea, and Sombra felt a little better. Although Twilight Sparkle ordered some food, he found himself unable to eat much.



More ponies wandered into the cafe. Seeing Sombra in conversation with Twilight Sparkle they felt brave enough to approach.



Twilight Sparkle had to suppress a smile as another two ponies blurted out a thanks to the surprised Sombra, for helping them with the crystal plague. He’d seen so many faces he couldn’t recall them all. But one he did recognize-



"You stopped that thing from attacking me," the stallion said. Sombra recognized him as the one who pulled his tail and yelled at him. "if it you hadn’t come along...that thing would’ve destroyed us all."



"It’s gone now," Sombra said softly "there is nothing further to be concerned about."



"And that’s thanks to you," the stallion said bluntly. "My wife and I are extremely grateful." then he left.



Sombra stared at the second cup of tea, watching the steam rising from the cup.



"They don’t seem so frightened anymore.." he said dryly.



"You saved a great many ponies, you, Healing Breeze, and Flash. They are grateful to you all," Twilight Sparkle said "and rightly so. We ALL owe you-"



"I’m the only one that can fight them," Sombra said bluntly "they’re just happy to have something to fight back with."



“They have somePONY," Twilight Sparkle said "not a THING."



Sombra just drank his tea, not replying.



After that, they left, and Twilight Sparkle continued on her trip. Sombra looked a little better for the rest he’d had. A faint breeze was kicking up, and its coolness made him feel a little more alert.

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"Where are we GOING?!" he asked at last. Twilight Sparkle beamed, pulling a letter from her bag. "Cadance wrote this for the teacher at the preschool, we're delivering it."



"Oh," Sombra said softly.



Soon enough they reached the Crystal School. It was a big school, spacious and open. Twilight Sparkle remarked how big it was compared to Ponyville schoolhouse, which had a down home country feel, with its cosy little classrooms.



They asked a passing student where miss Petalbloom was. Sombra thought he knew that name somehow.



The somewhat nervous student directed them down the hall. The kids were running around the indoor gym hall, doing some sort of obstacle course.



"Miss Petalbloom?" Twilight Sparkle asked. the mare turned round, and seen the two ponies standing by the door.



"Princess! Sombra!" she trotted over "how can I help?"



“I have a letter from Princess Cadance," Twilight Sparkle handed it over. Petalbloom read it over, and smiled in delight;



"Tell her highness thank you so much, this is excellent!" she beamed. She glanced at Sombra "Are you feeling better? Princess Cadance said you were very ill for awhile..."



Sombra shifted on his hooves “Its fine now,” he said shortly.



“That’s a relief,” she smiled “I heard the tale of your fighting that THING. We’re all grateful you were able to stop it.”



“It was going to kill everypony” Sombra said softly “I wasn’t going to let it.”



"Well we're glad you’re here," the teacher said solemnly "Thank you.”



"SOMBWA!" Bright Spark, bouncing on a trampoline, spotted her friend mid bounce, and flung herself in his general direction. Twilight Sparkle chuckled as she bounded over and skidded to a halt in front of him.



"Ah, little one...." Sombra smiled softly. "IS your mother back on her hooves?"



“Yep!" Bright Spark nodded "she got better weal fast after you helped remove the spwinter!"



The rest of the class had noticed, after hearing Bright Spark bellow his name, that they had an odd visitor. They wandered over, watching Bright Spark admiring her reflection in his shoes, pulling faces and overall being goofy.



They were surprised to see Sombra laugh, and shake his head slightly.



Sombra seen one tiny foal gawking up at him, and when he caught the foals gaze, the startled kid blurted out;



"Good grief you’re TALL."



Twilight Sparkle giggled. It was true Sombra was a little taller then the average pony, but to the kids he must seem like a giant!



"Ooh, did you get my letter?" Spark beamed.



"Yes I did little one, and thank you." he said softly.



"Does that mean you'll come see us?" she asked hopefully. Sombra hesitated but seeing the puppy dog face she was pulling, coughed and finally relented.



"YAY!" she said.



"Ok, class!" Petalbloom smiled "back to your lesson!"



"Bye bye!" Spark waved at Sombra before bounding away.



"What that little filly runs on is beyond me.." Sombra murmured as he and Twilight Sparkle left the building. By now, the first student they’d met had told his class who he’d seen in the hall, so a lot of little ponies were peering out of classroom doors as the unicorn and Alicorn walked by.



"She’s full of beans alright..." Twilight Sparkle giggled "somehow she puts me in mind of Pinkie Pie.."



"Ah, cotton candy, right..."



Twilight Sparkle wanted to ask who the mare was that the shadow creature had imitated, but got the feeling Sombra didn’t want to talk about it. But the way he’d reacted to seeing her...

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They shared the latest attack with Celestia and Cadance. When they heard the thing was now shape shifting they were concerned. But Sombra refused to explain WHO it’d turned into, only muttering about it being a mare. Twilight Sparkle glanced at him, noticing how walled up he was acting again.



At last he returned to bed, and it was an easier sleep then before. But he still felt the reverberations of seeing her face again. For a short moment, he’d felt like that little colt again...how she’d cried when he left…

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Twilight Sparkle, her brother and Cadance remained in the library the rest of that evening, catching up on the latest regarding the sky tear.



They’d been talking so long they hadn’t realized it was evening time. And everypony was starving.



"Food time!" Pinkie Pie declared "lets go!" So they all headed down to the kitchen;

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Several minutes earlier, Sombra had snuck down for a drink.



Drawn by the faint hoof steps, the palace cook had left her living quarters and drifted down the hall to see who it was.



Sombra got a fright when the light snapped on, temporarily blinding him;



"Dangit!" he cursed.



"Oh!" the cook took a moment to recognize who ti was "sorry 'bout that.." she was a plump, cheerful pony with a big heart. Whilst she found Sombra intimidating like most everypony else, she didn’t see the harm in giving the guy benefit of the doubt for the time being.



"Why didn’t ya turn the lights on? Cant cook in the dark!"



"I am darkness, trust me, I’m used to it." Sombra said bluntly. ÒAnd I have no intention of "cooking" anything, so you needn’t be concerned."



She couldn’t reply to that. Sombra sighed, walking past her to get out of the massive kitchen. As he did so, his (unfed) stomach chose that moment to let out the loudest growl it’d ever done. He froze mid-step, one hoof in mid-air as the cook burst out laughing.



"Well that’s not what your stomachs saying!" she chuckled, walking over to the stove "my foods not that bad, stay and give it a try!"



Sombra hesitated, he knew he’d probably be sick the next morning, and this put him off food, his stomach was so unsteady…



But he was about to accept her offer anyway, when he heard voices approaching. He recognized Twilight Sparkles voice, then that of her big brother and her friends.



"I must go," he said bluntly. He was in no mood to face them right now.



Left behind, the cook frowned. Something odd had just gone on.



Then she was interrupted by the two Princesses and their group apologizing for not sending for dinner earlier. She promised to whip them up something delicious in no time!

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"You are so awesome!" Pinkie Pie told the cook. She chuckled, loving the pink ponies enthusiasm.



"Aw man, ah am so stuffed..." Applejack groaned "worth it!"



"Uh huh.." Shining Armor seconded. Cadance had to chuckle at her husbands appetite, he literally ate like a horse!



“Good to see you’re all eating well," the cook said kindly "maybe you could get that reclusive guy to eat.."



"Huh? who? OH, you mean grumpy pants!" Pinkie Pie giggled.



The cook chuckled at the nickname. "He does seem very abrupt, doesn’t he? I ran into him just before you guys came down!"



“Really?" Twilight Sparkle asked "Where’d he go?"



"I offered to make him some food. His stomach was giving off a blatant “I haven’t eaten since forever“ vibe! I’ve noticed he’s barely eating anything lately. But he suddenly got cold hooves and booked it out of here literally seconds before you..."



Cadance frowned "Its true he doesn’t leave that room unless he has to...but I didn’t realize he wasn’t eating.."



"But why’d he leg it?" Shining Armor asked.



"Well, if you get the chance, try and get him to come down here if he wants something. What else am I employed for if not to cook at all hours?" the cook chuckled.



"Word!" Shining Armor said, then burped.



"Big brother!" Twilight Sparkle scolded, but she couldn’t help laughing at his face.



"I get used to it..." Cadance laughed.



"Yeah, when he was little, him and his friends tried to form an acapella belching group!" Twilight Sparkle revealed.



"Twily!" Shining Armor tossed a balled up napkin at her, which she caught and threw back. This just made them all crease up laughing.

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Mid way back to his room, Sombra seen the library and figured he’d grab something new to read. But once he was inside, the warmth of the massive fireplace drew him over, then his stomach gurgled again and he passed out.

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They were walking past the library to get to the stairs leading to their respective rooms, when Twilight Sparkle noticed the open door and remembered she’d left her notes on the crystal Sombra had given her in there. They bumbled in, Pinkie Pie pausing to grab the cookery book shed been reading, then noticed somepony asleep by the fire.



"Aw, grumpy pants is taking a nap!" she giggled.



Sure enough, they noticed the dozing Sombra, his cloak wrapped around him.



Shining Armor cocked his head, taking in the suspiciously "collapse-y" angle he’d fallen asleep in. "I don’t think he’s napping, looks more like he passed out."



"OH," Pinkie Pie frowned, then bounded over and shook Sombra’s shoulder "wakey wakey, eggs and bakey!"



She jumped back a second later as the startled Sombra bolted to his feet, struggling to regain his balance for a few seconds.



"Wha..?" he grumbled, shaking his head.



"Ya feeling OK?" Applejack asked.



"Fine," Sombra said blankly "its noth-"



However, his stomach wasn’t letting him of so easily. It grumbled again, louder then the first time, if that was possible. He smacked a hoof into his forehead.



"Wow, the cook wasn’t joking...you are hungry!" Pinkie Pie said.



"You need ta eat somethin', that sickness did a number on ya, and the food here’s darn good.." Applejack thought back to dessert "hmm...I want some pie.."



"Its settled! Lets go get more pie, and you need dinner!" Pinkie Pie grinned at Sombra with her usual energy.



"There isn’t any need," he said bluntly. But the dizziness was getting worse. Since the sickness, he’d had little appetite, he looked exhausted and pale, the fighting fury behind those ruby eyes, dulled. As if on cue, it happened again, his vision fuzzed and he banged right into the edge of the open door, stumbling back a foot.



"Suuuree.." Shining Armor said "your just fine!"



Sombra snarled irritably at him.



"You GOTTA eat! Its important!" Pinkie Pie tried again, bounding up beside him. This made Sombra twitch and he whirled on her, annoyance on his face as he snapped;



"Where’s the point in eating, you ball of candy fluff, when these nightmares of the darkness have me throwing up all the time!" Then he seemed to realize he’d let slip too much and clammed up, backing up a step.



Silence reigned.



"Oh" Pinkie Pie looked sympathetically at him. "Still...maybe soup? My auntie always made me soup when I got sick, it never fails!"



Sombra hesitated. He WAS hungry for something that’d stay down, but he knew his dreams;



"NO," he said and strode out of there as fast as he could.



"Aw, party pooper!" Pinkie Pie sulked.



"I think we need to talk to Princess Luna," Twilight Sparkle said.



A poof of magic and a second later;



"You called?" Luna asked.



"Yes, can you see if you can somehow suppress whatever nightmares Sombra’s having?" Cadance frowned "he’s no good to us if he’s sick, he’s already sustained serious injuries, we cant afford to have him get any worse..."



Luna nodded "that would be the best course of action. Hath he said what they detail?"



"He just mentioned something about darkness" Shining Armor said. Luna nodded;



"Then we can assume they’re about the sky tear."



"Can I come with you?" Twilight Sparkle asked "it’ll save you having to report it all back to us later.."



"That makes sense.."




And so, once they were sure Sombra was asleep, they stood in a circle in the library. Luna closed her eyes. There was a flare of light, a feeling of dizziness, then they were-

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-All cramped into a little attic room inside a cottage.



"This doesn’t look like the empire," Rainbow Dash said to fill the silence.



"Cobwebs!" Rarity shuddered "please say the spiders have left!"



The door was suddenly flung open and a small blur was flung inside. It landed amongst a heap of blankets, and the door was slammed unceremoniously behind it. There was the sound of a padlock clicking shut just as the tiny creature untangled itself and flung itself at the door.



"Lemme out!" he wailed desperately.



"Shut your trap!" an angry male voice snarled "or you'll get another smack!"



The tiny pony sat on his haunches as the hoof steps receded, tears welling up. Creeping closer the audience seen one of the tiny foals eyes was swollen shut by a painful bruise. He was a small little thing, dark grey coat, jet black mane and tail, and when they got a look at the un-bruised eye, RED eyes. A unicorn horn could just be seen under the mop of mane.



"Could this be...?" Twilight Sparkle asked.



"Aww!” Pinkie Pie squealed loudly "he’s so cute!" she bounded over to peer at the tiny foal "poor little guy.."



"This must be his home..." Luna said. Rarity looked at the desolate attic, a cold and unfriendly place "well it’s hardly suited for a child!" she declared "its dank and awful!"



"Why is he being locked in here?" Twilight Sparkle wondered. As she spoke the pint sized Sombra got up at last, swiping a hoof over his damp eyes, then sniffling.



He cast about him for something, then seemed to spot it. He stared intently at something on a shelf above where they were all crowded. He closed the un-bruised eye and, with obvious effort, a dark purple aura began to swirl around his horn.



"His magic.." Luna said at last, shock lining her voice "Its already....dark?"



Above them, a small ball atop the shelf wobbled, and teetered over the edge, bouncing across the floor to land at Sombra’s hooves. This seemed to cheer the tiny unicorn, who batted absently at it with one hoof.



"How is that possible?" Twilight Sparkle asked "I’ve never read of anypony being able to use dark magic this young..."



"Maybe he was BORN with it!" Pinkie Pie blurted "he’s only a baby, he cant have mastered it already!"



"You’ve got a point there..." Luna nodded "even for a fully trained Alicorn, dark magic is a risky business..."



Tiny Sombra had ceased playing with the ball, and was now burrowing around under the blankets. After some moments he pulled out a battered book.



Twilight Sparkle snuck over to look. The little foal was looking at a sketch on the most recent page of the book, which seemed to be a diary of some sort. It showed a sketch of a mare with a tiny foal lying by her side atop a bed. The tiny little thing was curled up in the crook of it smothers foreleg, and she looked at it with an expression of motherly adoration.



"Sun Feather and baby Sombra" was written underneath it.



"That’s his mother...?" Cadance mused, looking over Twilight Sparkles shoulder. "She must’ve loved him very much, why would she, or his father for that matter, suddenly start hurting him?"



"Because of his magic.." Twilight Sparkle said softly. Little Sombra suddenly seemed to grow angry, and flung the book across the room. It hit the wall and landed on the floor with a thud.



"Quiet you brat!!" a voice roared from below. Little Sombra jumped and tensed fearfully. But after no hoof steps came thundering up the stairs, he relaxed.



"Well his fathers a real jerk," Rainbow Dash said at last. Little Sombra sighed and burrowed under the pile of blankets that seemed to serve as a hiding place.



The scene blurred, and refocused in the middle of a meeting in a storeroom.



Sombra’s parents were there, and six older ponies, three unicorns, one earth and two pegasi.



"We must drive the evil from this child," the oldest said, "then our village will be prosperous once more!"



The group of ponies led by Luna crept forward, and seen Sombra was there. Collared and tied to a stake that’d been buried into the hard packed earth floor. He was squirming and trying to get the collar off him, but he couldn’t escape. He was gnawing on the rope even now. He was sporting a fresh set of bruises, which were added to when the father stepped forward and cuffed him across the head, stunning him.



“Quit being a brat!” The midnight black earth pony snarled.



The unicorns took up places around Sombra, in a triangle formation. A strange chanting started. Sombra flipped about, trying to get free more vigorously then ever. But it was no use. Then a sharp bolt of magic hit him, and he let out a desperate cry.



"What’re they DOING?!" Twilight Sparkle yelped.



"Trying to change his magic, so far as I can tell..." Luna said.



The glow faded and Sombra collapsed to the floor, panting and whimpering.



Those around him stared in silence as the shivering child got to his hooves, looking thoroughly freaked out.



"Try your magic now, brat." the father, a massive midnight black stallion with dark grey hair and cold blue eyes commanded. His mother, a dark red mare with red and orange hair winced, just for a second, then the mask fell back down, and she looked as uncaring as her husband.



Sombra tried, and nothing happened.



"Success!" one of the elders cheered. But they were too cocky. They turned their backs on Sombra to talk to his parents and didn’t realise little Sombra was still trying to work his magic. At last something DID happen. There was a flash, a bang, and a sizzling sound. The next second, a stack of (luckily) empty wooden shelves burst into purple flames.



"What-" the elders looked at Sombra, who looked as confused as they felt.



"Put it out!" another yelled but it was spreading fast. It latched onto the rope restraining sombre and it fell to ashes. Little Sombra took the opportunity to bolt past the gaping crowd and out into the night.



"Everypony OUT NOW!" the lead elder shouted, and the scene faded..

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Now they were standing in the middle of a snowy field.



They heard a cry of pain, coming from the small farmhouse nestled amidst the snow. They raced over, crowding around an open window.



Inside, a slightly older Sombra was curled up on the floor, trying to shield his head. his father loomed above him, one hoof raised to strike. Through the open window they heard his words;



"What have I told you, you miserable little freak? You don’t use that power of yours where anypony might see it! We should’ve kept you locked in your room!"



"Stop.." the little unicorn gasped.



"You’re an abomination. NO pony on your mothers side OR mine has magic like that, you’re a freak! Our neighbors are suspicious of us because of YOU, they say you’re cursed, that you’re bad luck to this village. Elder Light Leaf is being too soft on you!"



More blows rained down on the poor unicorn, who curled up as best he could to shield his face.



"You are no son of mine!" the father roared, and reared up to deliver another blow;



"Just leave me alone!" the victim finally snapped. A dark aura swelled around him, then expanded outwards, knocking his father backwards into the wall, shattering the glass in the windows along with anything that wasn’t tied down. The door was flung off its hinges into the snow, along with the bricks the hinges were attached to.



Silence rang for a good many seconds. Then, at last, the unicorn uncurled himself from the floor, looking at the chaos with tear-filled eyes.



He got to his hooves and stumbled out into the snow, shivering from the cold. He got a few paces away from the stunned group of watchers, when a female voice called out;



"Sombra? Oh my goodness...what happened?!" a pale white mare ran up. She looked about his age, with blue hair. Twilight Sparkle stared, she was the mare from the market fight!



The young Sombra didn’t respond, just stood there shivering.



"This all must’ve been long before his transformation," Cadance murmured "his age is far from what it is now, he’s only a colt..."



"He hasn’t his cutie mark yet..." Shining Armor noted "wait, what IS his cutie mark, does he even have one?"



“Its a trio of red crystals.." Twilight Sparkle filled him in.



Back to the scene and the mare took a look at the wreckage and her eyes widened.



"It was my fault...I couldn’t control it..." he turned and started to stumble away.



"Where are you going?" she cried;



"I don’t know..." he whispered "but I cant stay here....I’ll end up hurting somebody I care about next time...what if its you.."



"This shouldn’t be happening...your magic’s just a little different. I’ll try talking to my father again, make him see sense about you.."



Sombra stopped, turning to face her. He gently nudged her damp cheek with his own "No, he'll come down to hard on you, I wont have it." he sighed "Maybe my fathers right, maybe I am evil...this is dark magic...its all in those books you gave me..."



"You cant believe everything you read. Dark magic it...its like a myth, nopony knows anything about it. I’m sure there’s somepony.?"



But the young Sombra shook his head. "Once they see its dark magic I’ll be hunted again. I’m sorry..."



She looked across the snowy field "Why are YOU the one suffering for this?!" she suddenly screamed at the sky "it isn’t YOUR fault! You cant blame a foal for being born with different magic!"



Sombra didn’t answer, just stared at the wrecked wall of his house. His father wouldn’t stay unconscious for much longer, he had to go. He turned to leave, and felt a sudden warmth as she hugged him.



"If this is what you need..." she let him go, then took her scarf off and wrapped it around his neck, and put a kiss on his cheek "promise you wont give up, OK? There'll be somepony out there that'll see you for who you really are...my friend..."



"Im sorry..." he said softly "for everything...."



"NO, the ones who should be sorry are the decrepit elders that run this village!" she shook her head "my father wants me to take over from him someday...until now I hated the idea. But maybe I can change this place, make people see sense!"



"If anyone can do it, it’ll be you..." Sombra managed a weak smile "goodbye..."



He took off running across the snow. The mare watched him go, tears in her eyes, the she turned and headed towards home.



Rainbow Dash was standing with her jaw hanging open, twitching.



"This is jerktown!" she bellowed. Then the scene changed.

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The scenes shifted again, through various quick flashbacks of him accidentally using his magic. Ponies reactions, the shouting, the fear, the harsh treatment. At last the memory came to the crystal kingdom, where a beaten, hungry Sombra stumbled into the middle of a wake being held in the empire’s centre.



Now they were in a plush room they recognized as being the hospital room now. A battered, shivering Sombra had just woken up in the warm, comfy room and looked thoroughly lost.



"Ah, awake at last.." a male voice broke the silence. Sombra tensed up, preparing to bolt..



"Its quite alright, you’re safe now. You were in quite the rough state my boy, what on earth happened?" It was the newly crowned King.



Sombra didn’t answer, just turned his head away.



"You’re not in trouble lad, you’ve done nothing wrong. Can I at least get your name..?"



Sombra regarded him for a few sullen moments, before relaxing a tiny iota.



"Sombra." he said at last.



"My, that’s an unusual name." the King chuckled "you look awfully young to be traveling alone...are you far from home?"



"I don’t have a home," Sombra said stiffly "I...had to leave.."



"Why on earth would THAT be?" the King asked, genuinely curious.



Sombra sighed, got up and padded over to the window. He looked out across the sparkling city "I suppose it doesn’t make any difference.." he murmured, then turned to face the King. Closing his eyes he summoned as much magic as he had. The dark aura swirled around his horn, and the bed he’d been lying on lifted up a few inches, before returning to the floor with a thud.



"Wha..." the King stared "that‘s dark magic. How on earth did you learn THAT, it is forbidden-"



“I didn’t learn it!" Sombra yelled, panic rising "I was BORN with it!!"



"Born.."? the King asked.



Sombra began to shake, weakness exacerbated by the magic display "yes, born! Since I was little, my magic has always been this way. That’s what got me into this mess in the first place! You have to believe me, I’m not a monster!!" He was on the verge of either crying or collapsing again, and the King could see the raw fear and pain in his eyes.



"I see...so you were running FROM something, not TO somewhere.." the King studied the young unicorns fearful expression.



Sombra began to pace, looking for a way out, he was trapped!



The King thought the poor kid looked famished so he made to move towards the door, to tell the guard to fetch some food. Sombra mistook this for a potential arrest and panicked, trying to scramble out onto the balcony underneath the window. the King ran over and wrapped his hooves around his middle, hauling him back.



"Lemme go!" Sombra flailed.



"Its alright, you’re not in trouble!" the King flapped his wings and pulled him away from the window and plonked him on his rear, looking down at him.



"I knew that window thing wasn’t a first.." Rainbow Dash said "he has a dangerous taste in escape plans!"



Sombra glowered defiantly up at the King. To his surprise, the Pegasus chuckled.



"You haven’t had much of a fair chance in life have you? How would you like to stay here? I could use an extra assistant..."



"Are you serious..." Sombra said at last, looking hopeful yet still guarded. "You don’t even know me!"



"I’m serious. You’re clearly a bright young thing, you just need a steady goal. And if you really were as bad as you seem to think yourself to be, I’d be out cold and you’d be long gone, am I right? Why waste time if you truly didn’t care about harming somepony?"



Sombra admitted he had him there "but, my magic....I’m..."



"I will have Scrollwork look into dark magic occurrences, see what I can find out. Somepony somewhere must know!"



Sombra still didn’t look like he trusted him, "why would you help me?"



"I believe everypony deserves a chance," the King said, which made Fluttershy smile, she thought so too!



"Even a freak...?" Sombra said darkly.



"You shouldn’t talk that way. I can tell you have a good heart under all that sulking," the King chuckled softly "give it a chance? You’re free to go if you want to."



Sombra stared at him a few moments, before reluctantly nodding.



"Good!" the King held out a hoof to the colt "welcome to the crystal empire, Sombra.."

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The next shard of memory was a slightly happier one. It showed Sombra studying a book on the various gems of the crystal empire. Then a little later, the King showing him various crystals, asking him to identify them. Sombra not only did that, but he was able to sense the magical properties of each one, even ones that weren’t in the books!



"Excellent!" the King congratulated him "you have quiet the talent!"



"I guess I do..." Sombra looked down at the crystal.



"Most ponies would have to hone their skills for years before knowing all that..."



Sombra couldn’t help feel a little surge of pride.



The viewing audience all watched as there was a little shimmer of light, and the red crystals cutie mark appeared.



"Well would you look at that!" the ruler chuckled "this is cause for a celebration.."



"What does it mean?" Sombra wondered "I can identify crystals...seems a little simplistic.."



"You’ll figure it out in time..." the King chuckled "Now let us see what we can get from the kitchens..."

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But it wasn’t to the perfect home Sombra had dreamed of. Pony after pony recoiled or turned away when they seen the taint of his magic. The King didn’t care, he did his best to teach Sombra how to become an advisor. But his right hand stallion didn’t trust Sombra, and told the King the colt was unstable.

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"Nonsense, Scrollwork," the King waved a hoof. The group of dream-watchers were stood a short way away from the partially open doors, where Sombra was eavesdropping on a conference between Scrollwork and the King!



"That magic is evil...you let that loose on your subjects, there’s no telling what he'll do!"



At the door, Sombra stepped back, his expression blank.



"He’s a little volatile, but he’s got a good mind. That he uses dark magic isn’t from teaching himself. I believe him when eh said he was born this way.."



"You cant be serious sire, we all know books on dark magic exist in the forbidden section of even the library in THIS castle...dark magic needs a dark heart!"



"No heart is entirely black. But his biggest enemy will be fear and suspicion,. he must learn to fight them before he can truly govern the kingdom!"



"Please heed my warning sire, he WILL put us all in danger.."



"They’re just the same.." Sombra muttered, eyes filled with bitterness. "everypony is afraid of me. What I am." a sudden burst of fury raged through him, and he glared at the door.



He stamped a hoof on the crystal floor. An aura of darkness swirled up around him. He grinned "in fact, they should ALL disappear!"



By now the advisor and the King heard his ranting, and ran to the doors.



"Sombra? Child, what’re you doing?" the King stared in shock at the blazing aura.



"You’re all just liars, you need to learn a lesson..."



“See your highness.." Scrollwork sneered "unstable and a threat!"



"SHUT UP!" Sombra closed his eyes. A ball of swirling dark magic appeared in the air above him. It drew itself in, then exploded. Everypony it touched disappeared.



"Just go, far away from me!" Sombra screamed.



At last the halls rang empty. Sombra stood alone in the empty castle, sides heaving, most of his magic spent it seemed.



"They’re no different.." he hiccupped, "they’re just the same." he ran into the now empty throne room, glaring at the kings throne.



"You were a liar too old man.." he said, anger entering his voice "you never intended to let me help you...you were scared of me too..."



On impulse he fired a bolt of dark energy from his horn, shattering the crystal throne to bits.



A bundle of scrolls fell to the floor. He leaned down to read one that rolled open. It was one of Scrollwork’s, recommending he, Sombra, be refused a spot on the council, stating he was violent and unstable. He read this out loud, his voice cracking a she reached the end all the fury seemed to vacate him, and he slumped to the floor.



"I give up.." he lay down amidst the wreckage and buried his head on his forelegs "I’m tired of fighting..."

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For a few moments, there was no sound save the muffled, heart wrenching cries from the angry, upset unicorn.



Then, abruptly, dark magic suddenly sparked along his horn. He sat up a little, looking freaked out



"W-what’s happening?" he panicked.



A pool of darkness opened up under his feet. He tried to get to his hooves, but dark coils lashed out and tied themselves around his legs and midsection, pulling him to the floor again. He panicked, thrashing desperately about trying to get free. But the darkness wouldn’t be stopped. Soon the dark ties had all but cocooned him. He tried to use his magic, but nothing happened.



The darkness wrapped around him completely. He reared in fright, but it flowed too thickly, surrounding him in seconds.



All watching shared winces as they heard a cry of pure fear and pain from the dark pony-shaped mass. For a moment it retained his original, lithe shape, then it seemed to grow, shifting and moving.



The darkness flowed down in one swift move. The pony that now stood there resembled the Sombra they all knew. Taller, more grown up, with the flowing mane and curved horn.



But the darkness wasn’t done yet. After waiting a moment, it split into different bits, all of them flowing over the pony’s body, forming the armor and cloak he wore.



Sombra opened his eyes, now a far darker red then they started, taking in his new appearance and letting out a laugh of mad enjoyment.



"Lets see them destroy me now.." he cackled "they want a reason to fear me, then let them have it!" his voice was different, more like how it was now, under-layered by darkness.



The darkness swirled in and they all snapped back to consciousness...

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For a moment they all just stood there. Digesting everything they’d seen.



Twilight Sparkle had tears in her eyes. "It just...took over him, completely!"



"That was.." Shining Armor shook his head "no wonder he went crazy. He was only young, and that darkness accelerated his age!"



"It granted his wish to be strong enough nopony could hurt him again.." Twilight Sparkle said softly.



"He must have been heartbroken when he thought the one pony that believed in him was gonna turn on him, but what was that darkness?" Applejack asked Luna.



Luna thought about it "Starswirl the Bearded did once say not everypony’s magic comes from the light. Dark magic was forbidden for a reason, its extremely powerful, and dangerous in the wrong hooves. It can be almost impossible to control. All of us subconsciously keep a barrier around our magic, stopping it from running rampant and destroying us, only letting it out when we need it. When his faith in the world shattered, it meant the barrier around his own magic faltered, and that was enough to allow the darkness to take over!"



She paused a moment "Much like how my jealousy got the better of me the night I became Nightmare Moon, so too did his despair overwhelm him..."



"He was born that way, it wasn’t his fault..." Pinkie Pie bawled sympathetically "but everypony was so mean!!"



"His own FATHER?!" Rarity shuddered "that’s just..heartless!"



"Perhaps if he HAD met the right pony that would have trained him, he may have grown to cope with it. So far as I know, he is the only pony to have been BORN with dark magic." Luna replied.



"No wonder he turned to cruelty to lead the empire, its what he was taught. Hurting ponies got him what he wanted..." Cadance shook her head "this could’ve been avoided had somepony just shown a bit of kindness..."



"He’s been seeing this every night?" Twilight Sparkle asked.



"Possibly..." Luna said. "The night I walked the dream about the sky tear, his mind was focuses on that incident, so I did not see these images..."



"Is there something we can do?" Rainbow Dash asked "I kinda feel bad for 'im...I mean, his childhood SUCKED!"



"Give him a chance..." Twilight Sparkle brushed a tear away with one hoof, and looked at her brother.



"Ok Twily...I’ll trust what you think. Maybe he DOES want a second chance at his life. Can’t say I’d blame him after all THAT happened!"



"I’m surprised he wasn’t alerted to our presence.." Luna mused "then again, such a nightmare would be all consuming, he probably wasn’t aware.."



"I wonder if the royal libraries special collection has any info we can use..." Cadance looked at Twilight Sparkle "There must be some information we can find out.."



Twilight nodded “He needs our help before he self-destructs completely!”



“When that shard of the crystal heart took up home in his own, it must’ve unearthed those memories,” Luna wondered “I’m guessing he’d suppressed them since the change.”



“That was…s-so horrible..” Fluttershy, like Pinkie Pie, was very saddened by what she’d seen “Nopony deserved that! No wonder he cant trust anypony, he‘s never had reason to!”



“Then lets find a way to show him the world isn’t so cruel anymore!” Twilight said, determination in her eyes.



“Yeah!” Rainbow whooped. The others all nodded, and the began discussing a way to help Sombra..

Author's Note:

Sorry this took so long, been getting used to my new job! But ive also had a big problem to deal with (see blog u__u).

Ive done some doodles and whatnot for this fic, if you wanna take a peek just click the deviantart button on my main profile box. I hope you'll like them~ ^^

As always, kindly edited by DreamSeeker!