• Published 11th Oct 2015
  • 24,700 Views, 335 Comments

Finding Home - Cirrus Sky



Sunset Shimmer has to live somewhere right? But where and how did she get there?

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Chapter 3: Magic

Sunset sat amongst her friends, they had eaten plenty of their picnic as she shared the story of her time before being taken in and adopted. Now she had to tell them about the lead up to and the events surrounding her adoption.

“There is a lot involved in making up a life for someone.” Sunset explained. The embrace had ended, but the girls were still close around her. Fluttershy was clutching on to Angel bunny, having been particularly affected by hearing of Sunset's former circumstances.

“Of course there is. All kinds of paperwork and files and computer records.” Rarity listed off. “Those take a lot of doing, we had to collect all sorts of copies just to get passports.”

“Yeah, and that was for your family who were born and grew up here.” Sunset said. “I just walked in as a teenager! A lot of things had to be made for me just to get on after High School. Let alone to be adopted legally.” Sunset smiled, “Luckily, Mom knows a few people with connections and skills.”


The office was kept purposefully dark, only the glow of computer screens lit the room. The teal haired woman sat in front of the screen enjoyed the theatrical look it gave her pitch-dark skin. “Why hello Celestia, you've come to visit your dreadful bad-girl college room-mate!” Chrysalis chuckled, greeting the woman who had entered her office. Her old friend had never been nasty about it, but certain of student-Chrysalis's behaviours had been at the very least frown-worthy to the girl.

“Hello Chrys, enjoying your black-ops Government job? The men at the door were surprised I even knew this place or you existed.” Celestia took a seat in the darkened office. She was well used to the performance. Chrysalis was one of her more interesting friends.

“Oh, the boys are hired to look scary. Adds a certain je ne sais quoi to the place.” Chrysalis flicked a desk lamp on, limited lighting was great for a dramatic first impression but just plain annoying for any prolonged conversations. “Appearance is everything in this line of work.”

“So you've told me.” Celestia grinned. The woman worked in some serious deep-cover operations and in high security government departments. Once, and Celestia hadn't really been sure if it was a joke, Chrysalis had claimed even the President need clearance to know about some of her work.

“What can I do you for 'Tia m'dear? You don't come and visit me at work for a little social chat.” Chrysalis cracked her fingers, sometimes doing a few personal favours was just as fun as the official work.

“I need you to...create someone. A background for them anyway. Maybe not a passport just yet, but strong enough to be allowed one.” Celestia had a file she had copied from the school records and a number of notes she had made herself in the week since visiting Sunset's “home”. There was hopefully enough to create a solid paper-trail for the teen that wasn't difficult for the girl to take on.

“Any real reason? If it is to do with something criminal then I might not be able to do it.” Chrysalis took the file and flicked through, there was plenty of useful information to put together the kind of profile that would stand up to scrutiny. Even if there would have to be some creative efforts on her part.

“I'd say she has some past home strife she sought to escape and ended up at my school. I was able to fudge some data with believable excuses to get her registered, to at least keep an eye on her.” Celestia said, blushing at the thought of having used some of the tricks her friend had taught her.

The Sunset who had arrived those years ago was confused, a fish out of water (or a Pony out of Equestria, Celestia had mused later) but with a brilliant mind. The teacher had wanted to keep her around and had overlooked all the strangely missing data so that Sunset could attend the school.

“Ooh, mama is so proud, corrupting pure little 'Tia.” Chrysalis giggled. “What's changed now? I mean, yeah, this kid is going to need a past to get on with a future after school. But isn't there at least something to fiddle around with so family can't track her down?”

Celestia grimaced and rubbed at her forehead. “Not one word of this is a lie Chrys, but it can't leave this office. I trust that you are the only one who has bugged this place and you are the first to get the recordings?”

“Indeed. Not one dot gets out without my seal of approval.” Chrysalis promised, pressing a button or two concealed beneath her desk to kill the more awkward devices for a while. “Go on.”

“Sunset Shimmer is actually from a world parallel to our own. One with some pretty powerful and dangerous energies. For whatever reason, a portal links the school with a portal in that world. Sunset came through, some of that power has followed. Long story short, she started to exist as a person here the moment she stepped through, turning up as a teenager. If she is going to have a future past high school, we need all the documents.” Celestia waited for the laughter.

Instead she found Chrysalis looking pretty thoughtful. “That explains all the odd readings our X-File guys have been picking up around here, and the theories of one or two scientists we seconded into the programme.” The teal haired woman shot her friend a glance. “Strictly confidential 'Tia dear. And we'll leave your girl alone. I may be morally questionable in some respects but I am not going to turn a teenage girl into a lab-rat so some higher ups can get their power-jollies.”

“Thank you Chrys.” Celestia said, a tension she had been carrying since entering the building dispersed. “My girl though?” She blushed a little at the mention. Luna had been teasing about her more motherly inclinations towards Sunset since she had set her pet project into motion.

“Dear, from what I've got here,” Chrysalis ruffled the papers. “And from the very fact you've come to me for this, she's your girl in your heart. Well done honey.” She put the papers on the desk to go and hug her friend.

“So you'll do it?” Celestia gladly had the hug. If things went to plan then everything would be bright for Sunset soon enough.

“Do it? Heck, I can make it so this stuff skips right over Discord's head and she's yours.” Chrysalis grinned and sat on the sofa next to Celestia. “Not going to though, you have to go talk to him if you want Sunset Shimmer to be Sunset Sonen.” Chrysalis teased. “He still carries a torch for you, you know.”

“I know. Luna reminds me often.” Celestia sighed, her friend was a little mischievous if ultimately good-natured. “It isn't fair to him though Chrys-”

“Ah ah, this isn't fair to you or him.” Chrysalis cut her off. “Now, I will fix this all up and send a packet over. Don't be surprised if it is delivered by a bland guy in a black suit, I do so enjoy tormenting Luna.” She stuck out a pierced tongue. “Once you've got that, you can go ahead and get the judge to sign it all in, if that's what you and Sunset want.”

“Thanks Chrys. Though if you are going to nag about Discord then I'm going to tell you to hurry up and wrap that tongue of yours around Luna's. I swear that girl is blind and you are too stubborn.” Celestia said, grinning, leaving her friend stumped and seeing herself out before the woman started stammering excuses.

Well, if she was going to bring up romantic mistakes...

-*-

Celestia's appointment at the court-house wasn't for a few more days, she really did need the papers and records from Chrysalis before she could do anything. She had spent a casual coffee discussing her plan with Discord, but it all hinged on Sunset as to exactly how things were arranged.

As she drove home a shop caught her eye, there was a newly opened book store on the corner she had stopped at. “I can't say no to a nose around a new book shop.” Celestia said to herself, following signs to the nearby parking lot.

-*-

It was a lot later in the evening than Luna expected when Celestia returned home. She was laden down with a large box and a bag from their favourite take-out place. “I thought your meeting was right after school.” Luna commented from the sofa, engrossed in her latest game.

“I got sidetracked. But I also got pot-stickers and egg fried rice.” Celestia balanced the take-out boxes in their bag on the large box she carried and kicked the front door closed.

“All is forgiven. As long as there is sauce.” Luna folded her game console and put it aside. Finally looking at the large box Celestia carried. “What's in the box?”

“Things.” Celestia placed it on the floor and picked up the bag of food. She went and sat beside her sister and relaxed into the soft seat. “Mm, sitting. I love you sofa.” Luna took the take-out bag and rummaged through.

“Ooo, meal boxes. You're spoiling me.” The younger woman helped herself and passed the other box to her sister. “So, what's in that box huh?”

“I went to a new bookshop and on the way down the street I passed some stores, got a few ideas and bought a few things.” Celestia said, pausing to take a bite of her food as Luna dug in.

“For the room?” Luna said around a mouthful of rice.

“Manners.” Celestia chided, “And yes, for the room. I have an idea on how she would like it and I really want to make staying here an attractive prospect to Sunset. Beyond simply a place to sleep.”

“'Tia, be careful.” Luna said, this time a little more politely. “You've set your heart on looking after her and you love so hard, so fast... It will hurt you if she says no, if she would prefer you as a useful adult until she is of age.” She paused and placed a hand on her sister's knee. “The more you invest into this, the harder it could hurt.”

“I know Lu, but... I see so much potential in her, even when she ruled the student body through fear. Now that she has changed, given all that up, I see a girl shaping up to be a wonderful young woman. I have a hand in shaping that simply as her teacher, but I want... I want to nurture her more.” Celestia leaned back in the seat, resigned to the fact that Sunset had settled into her heart deeper than any other student before her. “There is this... oh, a look like she is just lost. Bereft of something, ever since the formal. She needs something, she knows she needs it and I can see that.” Celestia trailed off and sighed.

“So be it if my instincts are misplaced. That I am maybe seeing something that isn't there... That all those wishes to be a mother are blinkering me onto one path... But I have to at least try.” She settled into her seat, talking over her concerns for Sunset had tensed her a little. As had the emotions surrounding the underlying issue.

It had been illness that had robbed her a chance to have a child, that set into motion her decision to end things with the love of her life. That drove her to see one defiant, stubborn, but so caring, so intelligent and driven teen as a daughter. Of course, the little hints of personality that seemed so like Luna or herself had prompted the wish to adopt her, after finding out the girl really was all alone in the world.

“I know. I don't just live here for my health, I worry about you too 'Tia.” Luna sighed. “If you're set on trying to convince her this is the best option, it can't hurt to have done out one of the rooms for her.”

It had started as Celestia simply clearing one of the spare rooms of their shared house. Taking the accumulated junk to the loft or basement and refreshing the paint. Before long, Celestia had put up a bed and placed a new mattress. Furnished the room with plenty of bookshelves, a wardrobe, dresser and a desk. This had been even before Sunset's true living conditions had come to light. Princess Twilight's mention that Sunset had changed after the fall formal had not only prompted her friends to action. The teacher, now certain that Sunset Shimmer was not living with family, had started taking a closer watch.

Celestia had maintained that she just wanted to make the room into a guest bedroom, but the new guitar amp and stand had clued Luna in. From there, books, little trinkets and toys had arrived, Luna guilty of picking up things on impulse when out shopping and being reminded of the red-headed teen by certain items just as often as her sister.

After Celestia had related, a little more than upset, to Luna what space Sunset called home. Both women had set about making the room as homely as possible. In preparation of asking the teen to consider the elder as her guardian at the very least.

“I am guessing your meeting was also regarding Sunset?” Luna asked, there were many steps to take before offering their home to Sunset. Not least talking to the girl about the idea.

“I had to go and see a friend about some paperwork.” Celestia replied nonchalantly, finishing off her meal. “After all, Sunset is practically an undocumented minor. Those few details I could pass off to keep her in school and the usefully ridiculous happenings involving magic are what she's getting by on at the moment.”

“Paperwork as in government papers?” Luna narrowed her eyes briefly. “A friend?”

“Oh yes, Chrysalis is such a laugh to be around and with her skills and position, it will be easy to give Sunset every bit of past she needs for a future.” Celestia smiled innocently.

“Alright...” Luna seemed unfocused a little. “Did she say anything about Friday to you?”

“Friday? No, Chrys didn't mention anything.” Celestia wondered if it was worth pressing, but decided her sister was due one or two passes. “Do you want to see what I ended up buying?”

“Of course!” Luna dropped her empty take-out box into the bag and watched Celestia pull over and open the larger box she had brought in. If anything, preparing for Sunset's potential arrival gave both women plenty of excuses to indulge in a little retail therapy.

-*-

In an old and derelict tram-house a teenager was sat wrapped in blankets, writing by candle light. The flickering flames were comforting to her, she had always had an affinity to fire and the dancing light reminded her of home. The harsh electrical lights of the human world were practical, but mage-lights and candles had always been so much better. She had been very happy to discover that a number of stores sold bulk bags of candles, from tea-lights to great thick “Wizard” candles, even sticks in different colours. Those kind had become a birthday treat, one coloured candle for each year she had been in the human world. This years three were unlit, she wanted to save them for special occasions, for times she needed cheering up or to celebrate something.

Again, Sunset focused on the flames, her favourite magic had been pyromancy; to create little dancing licks of yellow fire to balls of dripping blue flames. The candles let her have this link, at least a little bit of fire she could still hold in her hands. The thoughts of magic and Equestria cheered her.

Smiling, Sunset decided to write to Princess Twilight and share the happy thought, making friends needed two way communication. She had learned a lot about the princess, now it was time to tell the princess about herself.

It also meant she could avoid putting out the candles and the small amount of heat they provided on the cold winter's night.

Everything had been easier before; not knowing of real care, what love and comfort a family and friends brought. Sunset had found her living conditions adequate, servicing her needs as somewhere to be after school hours. Then light had come into her life, forcefully. Her friends had shown her what living should be in this world by their example and from their families.

A gust blew outside, a breeze working its way into Sunset's room. She shivered and pulled another blanket closer. This winter was colder than others before it, she'd caught a weather-cast saying as much. It was alright though, she had school for the next four days and maybe some time with friends at the weekend.

Dropping the final dot on her message, Sunset closed the book. It was late and she had to catch an early bus to reach the school on time. All the activities with friends and the colder weather meant she also had to do some chores before school too. Sunset put her journal away and lifted a hand. Since the battle with the bands a little spark had ignited in her and sometimes, many sometimes, there was a little bit of magic left.

Looking at the burning candles, Sunset held out her open hand. Putting all her focus, pushing all the energy that one little spark gave, she closed her hand into a fist.

Dozens of little smoke trails were the only sign that a second ago the candles had been lit. Not one still burned.

“Magic.” Sunset smiled, her talent had been returned to her, pure and good instead of the painful darkness at the first instance. Hopefully with practice she would be able to do more than just stop the flames.

It had taken daily practice to get so far as snuffing out all the candles at once, she had started with just one. The tiniest spark inside that had been burning in her soul since the magic had swept into her had grown over time. After a few nights and with determination Sunset had tried to snuff a candle.

She had done it.

Now, weeks on, all the candles ceased to burn. Next Sunset would try igniting them. To have magic once more, untainted by her hunger for power, was like having a missing piece returned to her soul.

Feeling a little better, Sunset snuggled into her sleeping bag and blankets to sleep.


“Wait, you can do magic?” Pinkie interrupted, jumping up and down in excitement.

“Uh, Pinks, Sunset showed us remember? That trick with the flame she twiddles around her fingers?” Rainbow rolled her eyes. They had all seen Sunset play about with her magic once she was confident it was safe, under control and visually impressive. “Not to mention the whole unicorn-horn angel thing she did just yesterday?”

“Oh yeah! You just never told us how you practised it.” Pinkie stopped bouncing.

“Impressive as magic is though, I must ask. Your mother is friends with deep level government espionage agents who can whole-cloth create a person's past?” Rarity had an eyebrow raised. “Just who is she?”

“I'm getting to that. I kind of like keeping you all in suspense.” Sunset chuckled at the indignant sniff and other protests. “What? It makes the story better!”

Author's Note:

So a few things here. I like Chrysalis, but as a normal lady in the human world I thought spying was cool. I also decided she was Celestia's wicked college roommate so we could have the "connection" that royal titles gave us. The Luna/Chrysalis thing is cute IMO...

Sonen is a surname that means Sun, one that actually exists. I like to use real names from time to time.

Sunset has magic again. If it sticks around enough for the girls to get some while they play then imagine someone who was a prodigy having access to the power again? It also gives her one bright spot besides her friends, in the life she has given herself.

Just a reminder: Flashbacks between the lines, Sunset had not named her adoptive mother yet. Vauge details of the story are what she is relating to her friends.

As ever: Comments etc are always welcome.

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