• Published 7th Nov 2016
  • 3,416 Views, 232 Comments

The Alchemy of Chemistry - Novel-Idea



After a tutoring session gone wrong causes Moon Dancer to storm out on her, Sunset is forced into a decision she never wanted to make. Now with her future on the line, if her legacy doesn't get her expelled, the upcoming alchemy exam just might...

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Practical Exercises

Sunset Shimmer hated her desk in Professor Polish’s classroom.

First of all, the damn thing was small. She was constantly struggling to find space to grade the copious amount of paperwork the professor dumped on her. Especially lately, since finals week was finally upon them. Alchemical formulae and practical application essays filled up every bit of space.

Second of all, it was in a dark corner of the classroom with barely enough light to read by. For some reason, Polish always insisted on keeping the curtains beside Sunset closed. She had said it had something to do with her eyes once, but Sunset couldn’t remember if she was light-sensitive, or some other such nonsense.

There are spells to help with that, you old coot! Sunset thought fiercely at the professor. Sadly, the professor didn’t notice. She was too busy demonstrating Honest Beacon’s Second Alchemical Principle to a classroom of mostly-bored students.

But worst of all was its position. It was where everypony in the class could see her. Sunset had long ago mastered the bubble of silence—a trick she’d had to use more times than she could count in this blasted class—but a bubble of silence couldn’t protect her from the stares.

They’d gotten worse in the last few days. Everypony had heard about the incident with Cinnamon Tart. Eyes that had once shown a glimmer of respect now reflected either hate or fear. And Moon Dancer still wasn’t speaking to her.

Despite everything… despite how much she didn’t care what that dumb filly did…

She still felt a little sick every time she looked at the pale unicorn in the front row who was studiously not looking at her.

So when are you going to apologize?

The little whisper had been getting more persistent. She didn’t know if she was actually worried the dean might find some way to follow through on his threat or… Celestia forbid…

Was she actually feeling guilty?

I don’t have anything to feel guilty about! I’m Sunset Shimmer. I’m the best student who’s ever walked these halls. I’m brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and one day, I’m going to be Princess. This is just another hurdle. Another trial. And I’ll ace it like I do everything else.

Still, Sunset couldn’t shake the feeling that this might be the first test she was failing.

That’s crazy… I don’t… I don’t fail...

She shot bolt upright, catching herself before she actually dozed off.

Come on, just a few more days. I can stay awake a few more days.

Her exhaustion, coupled with the darkness, had her reaching for the only possible solution. With the hours she’d been keeping, there wasn’t enough Earl Grey in the world to wake her up. No, the only way she’d remain functional enough to keep up with her tasks was to break out her secret weapon:

Coffee.

Six letters that spelled ‘endless potential.’

She levitated her mug, which held a passable blend of coffee. As usual, it was as dark as night. She wasn’t about to push things with a sugar crash.

She rubbed her eyes as the dark concoction worked its equally dark magic, and looked back at the stack of homework. This one was from a turquoise filly named Ice Storm. On automatic, she graded it and put the score at the top. 78%.

I should have never taken that deal. I should have demanded Celestia tell me the truth. I should have found some way out of this mess! Since the tutoring plan didn’t work…

But that just brought up another question.

Why do I bother with Moon Dancer? She already aced her second-year Advanced Telekinetics exam.

Sadly, the answer was provided all too quickly by that damn little whisper.

Because you liked helping her. You had fun.

She was part of the project! Sunset shot back. Nothing more!

Then why did you take her to that book reading two weeks ago?

Sunset growled silently at the persistent little voice.

Another page of homework. Minuette. Blue, two-toned mane. Annoying smile. 87%.

Why in Tartarus did Polish make me memorize her students? Waste of time. It’s not like they would ever do anything important. At least, not at her level.

This had started with Celestia’s thrice-cursed deal. An exchange for a promise. She still hated it months later, but the only other option carried too many risks. Sunset Shimmer wasn’t one to shy away from risks, but she had known even then that there had been a growing rift between herself and the Princess. If she defied her and went after the secrets of the mirror herself…

It’s not worth it, not yet.

She took another sip of her coffee.

Now, she had Dean Slate determined to drive her not only from GU, but from Celestia herself.

Cinnamon Tart. 81%. Ugh.

Sunset’s eyes wandered back to the class. Two fillies next to Cinnamon Tart were glaring at her with pure loathing. Tart looked like she’d been crying again. This was the first class she’d attended since her run-in with Sunset. Sunset had a pretty good idea why.

Why does she rate being in this class again?

Briefly, she glanced towards her saddlebags, then to the waterwalking flask, quietly glowing on her desk. After a moment, she shook her mane, and knocked back another gulp of her coffee.

No! I’m not letting them get to me. I’m better than this. I’m better than these brats!

Another paper graded with barely a thought, until she saw the name.

Moon Dancer. 100%

Nice job, kid. You earned it.

She looked up again, but Moon Dancer still refused to even look in her direction.

She took another drink of coffee. The taste was even more bitter than usual going down.

The stack of homework moved aside to her out tray, and she finished her summary report. Some students were improving. As usual, most of them were just average.

And two—also as usual—had aced it.

Sunset tried not to look at her again, but found herself facing the little pale unicorn.

Moon Dancer was as shy as an Everfree Squirrel around other students, but nothing could stop her when she got her hooves on a magical challenge. She was as determined as a ticked-off Ursa Minor, though with a bit more subtlety.

If nothing else, she was at least fun to tease. It was so easy to press her buttons!

Finally, her eyes slid over one chair, but that just darkened her mood.

Sitting next to Moon Dancer was that wretched Twilight Sparkle.

As Professor Polish continued to drone on about the fundamentals of alchemical composition for tomorrow’s exam, Sunset’s once again sized up the one other filly who could potentially challenge her.

Not for control of GU, no. Sparkle couldn’t run an ant farm.

I mean, look at her…

She was scribbling furiously in that little notebook of hers, just like she had been every day since the beginning of the year.

She looked harmless enough on the surface. An odd little pony who looked a lot like Moon Dancer, though without that stupid-looking topknot Moon Dancer insisted on wearing these days.

Not only that, but she was still a blank flank. Sure, she was one of the accelerated first-years, and about a year and a half younger than most of the class, but she still didn’t have her mark. Even at her age, most ponies had discovered their special talent.

Professor Polish said something and a few of the students laughed. Sunset just scowled and took another swallow of coffee.

She’d seen others tease her about it, but Twilight was completely oblivious to the intent. She always came away more confused than insulted, protected by a bubble of social ignorance.

There was a brilliant flash as Professor Polish’s magic whisked away the alchemy stations, replacing them with the typical comfortable student chairs. Everypony got resituated. Sunset had to stifle a yawn, and force her eyelids open again.

Come on, Sunset. Stay focused. Where was I… oh yeah. Her.

What really bothered her about Twilight was her magical ability. She was frankly too good. Moon Dancer had to work at it, while things just came naturally to Twilight. Her magic was at least twice as advanced as anypony else in the class. There were a few spells the filly could cast that almost rivaled Sunset’s own, both in skill and in power.

That pony could become a threat someday.

A year ago, that mere thought would have made Sunset pounce. And with somepony like Twilight, it would be an easy kill.

Damn you, Celestia. Damn you and your stupid, stupid test! Damn you and damn that mirror!

She forced herself to stare at the table and take a few deep breaths. There was no purpose in totally losing it in class. Not when she was almost rid of this place for the summer. Lost in her own thoughts, she missed Polish’s low drone turn questioning.

“Miss Shimmer? Equestria to Miss Shimmer?”

Sunset blinked in surprise, and almost dropped her half-empty mug of coffee as she peered up to realize the entire class was staring at her… including Professor Polish.

“Uh…” She hated the way her cheeks burned. “Sorry, Professor. What was that?”

“Woolgathering again?” Professor Polish clicked her tongue. “And here I thought the Princess’s prized student would have better focus.”

Sunset’s ears flicked back, but she forced herself not to snap at the teacher. It took more willpower than she wanted to admit.

“What did you need, Professor?”

“I’d like an assistant for a little demonstration.”

“Of course, Professor.”

See, Princess? I can be diplomatic too! Even when I’m royally peeved.

She put down her coffee and stood. She did take the time to stretch before trotting over to stand at the professor’s side.

“Miss Sparkle here,” Polish said, “had a wonderful question about the different applications and limitations of transfiguration magic versus illusion magic, and how they could be applied to alchemical compositions.”

Of course she did. She would ask that one question three minutes before the end of a lesson that would get Polish to drone on for another hour.

Sunset managed not to roll her eyes. Instead, she just waited for Polish to get on with it.

“Though she was asking in an alchemical context, I decided a bit more of a direct demonstration was in order. To be precise, a practical demonstration.”

Oh wonderful. It’s going to be one of those days.

Now,” Professor Polish began, turning to the classroom. “I first must stress that transfiguration magic is an extremely difficult field of study. It requires a tremendous amount of raw energy, a precise attention to detail and an intrinsic knowledge of the original form and the altered form simultaneously. Nopony here should ever attempt to perform a transfiguration spell until they have reached the fourth year and only then with strict supervision. Ponies who break this rule are dealt with very harshly.”

Polish continued on with her warnings and Sunset watched the classroom. It only took a few moments to realize that even Twilight Sparkle—who was usually too clueless to react to any social situation—wasn’t meeting her eyes. They were all looking at Professor Polish, though Sunset could tell most of them were doing it just to avoid looking at her.

Fine by me. Twits.

She glanced briefly at Moon Dancer, then back to her desk.

She felt slightly woozy for a moment before she caught herself.

Okay, might be doing a bit much on the caffeine...

Finally, the old professor finished her ‘Don’t Do This At Home’ rant, took a deep breath and nodded. “I can see you all get the gist of my warning. What I’m demonstrating today is a master-class variant of a transfiguration spell. I should also mention that it is likely none of you will ever be able to cast this particular version of the spell.”

Polish’s magic ignited as she lifted up a small crystal shard, about the size of a pony’s hoof. It glittered a gentle green in the light of the classroom.

“Can anypony tell me what this is?”

Of course, Twilight Sparkle’s little hoof shot straight up. Moon Dancer was a second slower.

Apparently, the professor decided to have a little mercy on her—intentional or not—and called on Moon Dancer instead of Twilight Sparkle.

“It’s a Imprint Core,” Moon Dancer answered. “Usually they’re used for medicinal purposes for the treatment of other races. They contain ‘copies’ of a creature’s ‘essence,’ imprinted on the core. They can store all sorts of anatomical data.”

“Very good.” Polish nodded approvingly. “I see somepony’s been reading ahead once more.”

Moon Dancer blushed.

Good girl. You were paying attention during the Mystical Artifacts section last month.

“Imprint cores are rare and difficult to maintain. This particular one was given to the school by the Griffon Ambassador and contains an imprint of the Ambassador, her Chief of Staff and several other griffon volunteers. I’ll be using it later today for a lecture on the differences between griffon and pegasi anatomy, but I believe it will suit our needs quite well.”

Polish turned and cocked an eyebrow at Sunset.

“Are you ready, Miss Shimmer?”

No. Sunset thought. But it’s not like you’re giving me much choice. I can’t back out now.

“Of course, Professor.”

“Excellent. Then please hold still. This shouldn’t take long.”

Polish’s magic began to glow, lifting the core into the air. Despite her best effort, Sunset closed her eyes as felt the magic pulse around her as the second part of the spell took hold. There were gasps from the students and then Sunset… twisted.

It was the only word she could come up for such a bizarre sensation. Alien feelings pulsed through her body. Her hooves felt wrong. Her muzzle was wrong. Her back itched. Even her tail twitched under the effects of the magic.

Then the sensation was gone. It had lasted less than a minute, but Sunset still couldn’t bring herself to open her eyes.

“And there you have transfiguration magic at it’s most powerful!” Polish proclaimed. The entire classroom burst into applause—with the addition of a few snorts and giggles—and Sunset finally opened her eyes.

Great. I’m a bloody bird.

And she was. After a fashion.

Sunset Shimmer was now a griffon. The front of her coat had been replaced by a mass of soft, downy amber feathers. The same coloration ran through the transition from feathers to fur on her flanks. She could actually feel the talons at the end of each leg. And her eyes were far sharper than they had been. Where before, she had struggled to see any fine details beyond her desk, she could now read the notes of everypony in the class. Upside-down.

Plus, there was the whole wings thing.

The worst part was feeling mostly cut off from her magic. She could still feel it there, but she let the professor teach her little lesson. After all, being subjected to the spell, she could see the faint violet thread of magic connecting her to Polish, though it would be invisible to anypony else. She could shatter the spell and restore herself in an instant if she focused.

“Now, Miss Shimmer,” Polish said. “I’d like you to fly twice around the room and return.”

Sunset stared at the professor. Still, she wasn’t about to refuse. Sunset Shimmer didn’t refuse a challenge. So she concentrated, bringing up everything she knew about griffon anatomy and leapt into the air, snapping her wings out.

The left one didn’t respond at all. The right one extended to about half of its normal wingspan.

She landed with a thump and groan a couple feet away. There were a few malicious cackles from the back of the room and a few lighter giggles from closer. When Sunset looked up, Twilight Sparkle was staring at with an expression bordering on terrified, but she had the audacity to look vaguely concerned underneath the terror.

Moon Dancer was looking out the window.

“Now, why can’t Sunset fly?” Polish asked the class. “Anypony?”

The usual suspects’ hooves went up, but Professor Polish pointed to another pony one row back as Sunset got back to her… talons and paws.

This is just weird.

“Miss Minuette, please,” Polish called. “Why do you think she can’t fly?”

The blue unicorn filly named Minuette glanced at Sunset without any real fear. She actually smiled at her. Which was even weirder.

“Because she’s not actually a griffon.”

“Oh? At the moment, she is physically a griffon,” Polish proclaimed. “Allow me to prove it.”

Sunset yelped as Polish plucked a feather from one of her wings with her magic. “Ow! That hurt!”

The professor ignored her outburst and lifted then feather up for everypony to see. “As you can see, the feather is indeed quite real.”

“That’s…” Minuette blushed a little. “That’s not what I meant, Professor. I meant her brain isn’t a griffon’s brain. She’s never been a griffon before—probably—so her brain doesn’t know how to work her wings.”

Professor Polish’s normally dour expression lit up like a Hearth’s Warming tree.

“I could not have said it better myself, my dear. Utter perfection. Indeed, while Sunset now has the physical traits of a griffon, she does not have the experience of one. In addition, she would have difficulty manipulating her talons or using any inherent griffon magic, which is quite similar to pegasus magic, as we discussed three weeks ago.”

I’m pretty sure I can use my talons enough to thwack you upside the head, Polish.

Sunset glared at the old nag, and growled under her breath. Sadly, the professor didn’t seem to notice.

“Can anypony else tell me another drawback to this particular form of magic?”

This time, Twilight’s hoof shot into the air so quickly she almost fell out of her seat. Beside her, Moon Dancer rolled her eyes.

“Yes, Miss Sparkle?”

“It requires a constant magical link between the caster and the subject.”

“Excellent,” Professor Polish said with a nod. “Indeed, if I intended to keep Sunset a griffon for the rest of the day, I’m afraid I would be unable to move by the final bell. Casting this on actual ponies is tremendously difficult, as one must ‘overwhelm’ the innate magic of the subject. In comparison, illusion magic this detailed would require a similar link, though it would not require nearly as much energy. What’s another drawback?”

There was silence. The third major drawback was a well-known fact Polish had covered about a month ago. She knew the students knew it.

Nopony wanted to say it. Nopony wanted to remember who the professor’s guinea pig really was.

“Moon Dancer? Do you remember the third rule?”

Moon Dancer met Sunset’s eyes for a split second.

“‘Any unicorn with basic training can easily break a ‘forced’ transfiguration spell with a minimum of mental effort.’”

“A direct quote from the textbook.” Polish nodded. “Quite so. In fact, because Sunset Shimmer here is one of the strongest students at Gifted Unicorns, I am having to use double the amount of energy I would normally use for the same spell. Miss Shimmer could shatter this transfiguration with but a thought.”

I guess that counts as a compliment? Sunset huffed quietly. Not that it makes up for this at all. Not with everypony in the room gawking at me like I’m an exhibit at the zoo or just trying to hate me to death.

“Finally, what are the benefits to a spell such as this? Let’s see, somepony who hasn’t answered yet… ah, Miss Tart? Could you enlighten us?”

The brown filly with a purple mane sitting in the second-to-last row jumped in surprise as the professor interrupted whatever she was doing.

Sunset just stared at the professor. There was no way Polish could not have heard about the incident a few days ago. Yet, she didn’t seem to care.

“Uh… well… I don’t know.”

“Come, my dear, you have to have some idea. You’re quite bright, and your sister was a master at transfiguration magic and its applications. I’m sure she taught you a few things.”

“Uh, well, there’s the part where she is actually a griffon?”

This got a giggle out of the class, and a patient smile from the professor.

“Simplistic, yet accurate. For example, this feather would actually suffice for potions that require stirring with a griffon feather.”

Polish held the feather aloft and smiled.

“However, transfiguration spells can have odd side effects. Unless a transfigured item is prepared properly—a process that usually takes at least two days—it can have unexpected results if used as a reagent. Can somepony tell me why that is?”

This time, she got only blank stares. Sunset knew the answer, of course, but it was something that wasn’t handled at the second-level.

“I’ll give you a hint. What school of magic is transfiguration under? Speak up. Anypony.”

“Alteration magic,” Twilight Sparkle shouted, earning a round of giggles at the little know-it-all.

“Good. And all alteration magic requires at least some small piece of…”

Moon Dancer raised her hoof and Polish pointed at her.

“Chaos magic.”

“Precisely!” Polish cried. “In fact, combining anything under the alteration magic umbrella with any other school will often cause severe side effects, unless one uses specific Harmony-based countermeasures.

“However, Sunset is indeed effectively a griffon at the present. If she had a mind to, she could learn to fly like one. Indeed, I suspect she could attend the Feathered Formal this Friday as a griffon’s date and nopony—or griffon—would be the wiser. Some might appreciate it. From their standards, I believe you make a rather comely griffon, Miss Shimmer.”

She had to bite on her tongue to keep from snapping back to that particular comment. Which hurt a lot more since she had a beak now.

“For extra credit, I want somepony to come up with a method in which Miss Shimmer could use her gryphon abilities by the end of class. However, let’s put that aside for the moment.”

There was a sudden rush of light and sound around Sunset and in a moment, she was once more back in her familiar pony form. Then another flash erupted around her. She blinked in surprise and looked down to see her as a griffon again… only this time she didn’t feel different.

“Now, who can tell me the difference from illusion magic?”

Twilight Sparkle was so eager she actually started speaking without raising her hoof. “Unlike transfiguration magic, illusion is most effective using magical catalysts.”

“You and that fancy green dust again,” Moon Dancer snorted.

“I think it’s fascinating!” Twilight replied.

“Before we go too off-topic,” Polish said with a smile. “Miss Sparkle is correct. However, it is a bit more complicated than that…”

The lesson dragged on for another hour before Professor Polish started to wrap up using Sunset as her personal test subject. Sunset did her best to grin and bear it, but she really wanted to smash something toward the end. Twilight Sparkle’s perfect answers didn’t help, but Moon Dancer occasionally rolling her eyes did.

Through the haze of her annoyance, Sunset heard Moon Dancer raise her voice.

“It doesn’t work that way! She couldn’t possibly be a griffon, no matter how much she—”

“Well… Yes, I think she could,” Twilight Sparkle said in her obnoxious little voice. “With the right spell.”

“Dream State’s Collective Unconsciousness hypothesis is just that: an unproven hypothesis. It’s highly unlikely that it could…” Moon Dancer paused and shook her head. “Oh... Seriously? You’re talking about memory spells?”

Polish didn’t seem eager to interrupt the conversation. If anything, she looked intrigued by their little argument.

“Yes! If she augmented her own memories with the experience of a griffon with something like Starswirl’s experience cores, then she’d have everything she’d need to fly, hunt, or cloudshape! She’d have been doing it all her life!”

Sunset followed Twilight’s train of thought to its logical end even as she tuned the two out.

Experience cores gave ponies a glimpse of another’s life, essentially just a physical form of a standard memory recording spell. They were relatively rare, but she knew they were studied in-depth during senior year, usually used for testing memory magic and differentiation between implanted and natural memory. One lived them as if they were undergoing the experience firsthoof. Musicians used them to recall the emotions that inspired a piece, authors used them to store particularly good stories, and…

...There were cores just like that in the same chamber as that damn mirror!

Pieces started to float together through the haze of annoyance and exhaustion. They were nebulous and half-baked, hidden behind a nagging sensation that she was missing a key concept. It was buried in something somepony had said just a few days ago. She couldn’t remember the exact words right now, but still, the potential of the cores was undeniable.

With her mind's eye, she traced the concept she’d fashioned out of possibilites. In seconds, the wonders that might be contained within the cores branched out in front of her, like watching a tree sprout from a single seed. Moments later, it had grown to full size, yet the ideas didn’t stop there.

A few minutes before the end of class, Sunset sat back down at her desk and stared into the new forest of concepts in her head. She had plenty of time to ponder them. After all, she’d been scheduled for a final study session with Moon Dancer this afternoon. She doubted the filly wanted anything to do with her right now.

She was less than surprised when Moon Dancer didn’t even look her way when she walked out of the classroom beside Twilight Sparkle and Cinnamon Tart.

Probably all out to make the official anti-Sunset club. Well, it doesn’t matter. Unwittingly, Twilight just gave me something I need to think about. Something that could change everything.

Other students were staying, forming small study groups for the alchemy exam tomorrow. Sunset caught plenty of annoyed looks in her direction, but after all the glares, being ignored by Moon Dancer and all the whispers she’d heard throughout the day… she realized she was just too distracted and tired to get angry.

That made her somehow feel even worse.

“Miss Shimmer, I do hope you didn’t mind the practical exercise this afternoon,” Professor Polish said as she bustled up to her.

“Huh? Oh. No,” Sunset muttered. “Well, except you pulling a feather out of me. That hurt.”

“Well, it was the most efficient way to make a demonstration of the principles.” Professor Polish watched her as Sunset packed her bags. “Though I admit there’s another reason I did it.”

Sunset floated her bags on her back and stared at the gray-haired mare.

A feather hovered in front of her. Sunset blinked. It was brilliant amber, the same color as her coat. Soft and downy, at least twice the size of her hoof.

“I hope you don’t mind, but I placed a stasis spell on it. It will keep the transfiguration magic intact for at least another couple of weeks.”

Sunset took it in her magic and stared at the feather.

“Why?”

“I am aware of what occurred a few days ago, Miss Shimmer. I also know you should be tutoring Moon Dancer right now.”

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Indeed. I wasn’t planning on a psychology lesson. That’s not my field of expertise. If you wanted that, you would have undoubtedly sought out a counselor.”

“Then what’s the point?” Sunset glared at Polish. “What sort of game are you playing?”

“Games are a matter of perspective and experience, Miss Shimmer. What seems to be a game to you is notI assure youa game to me.”

“That doesn’t answer my question.”

Polish sighed. “I’ve heard some rumors in the last few months. I’m hoping that they are simply that: rumors. If not, perhaps this will remind you that anypony can change.”

Sunset wasn’t impressed.

“Change can’t be forced, Professor. Falling Apple’s First Law.”

Professor Polish cocked an eyebrow. “Untrue. With chemistry, as in alchemy, change often requires a catalyst to force the reaction. The results can still be beneficial.”

With that, the professor turned around and headed toward her desk.

Sunset cocked an eyebrow of her own. “That almost sounded like encouragement, Professor.”

“A simple natural law, Miss Shimmer. What you decide to take from it is your decision.”

Sunset stared at the feather for a few more moments, then floated it beside her as she headed up the stairs for the door. As she walked, a few words from Slate’s rant at her a few days ago floated back into her thoughts.

“Even if you somehow gained the arcane knowledge to rival Celestia herself, you’d still be a monster.”

Ignoring the monster bit, Slate’s observation dovetailed nicely into Polish’s comment.

“Games are a matter of perspective and experience.”

Perspective, knowledge and experience… Perspective, knowledge and experience...

Just as she arrived, the door opened and she found herself staring into the suddenly huge eyes of Cinnamon Tart.

Sunset tried to say something, but the filly squealed in terror and bolted past her, knocking her over as she darted back down to her seat. She started to snap something at the idiot girl, only to remember herself just in time.

For once.

She looked up to see Moon Dancer standing in the hall. The filly was staring right at her, looking at Sunset as if she were some sort of science exhibit. Examining her intensely. Sunset tried to come up with something to say.

Just apologize, you dumb mare! The whisper was a lot louder all of a sudden.

I don’t have anything—

Moon Dancer turned away and started talking to Twilight Sparkle as Professor Inkwell approached the girls from the other side.

Sunset just took one last look at the filly she was supposed to be helping, tried to glare at her and then plodded off down the hallway.

I won’t let these brats get to me. I’m Sunset Shimmer. I can handle anything.

That damn voice asked a question about that particular statement. Sunset did her best to ignore it even as another part of her kept repeating those same three words over and over again.

She realized her bag felt a little heavier than it should and listened to the clinking of the last flask of waterwalking potion. Every faint tap echoed one of the words.

Perspective. Knowledge. Experience.

Even as she mulled over the potential, she still wished she could find some part of her that was still angry. It would have made the long walk out of the school easier.

Author's Note:

Two weeks later, the headline of Equestria Daily reads as follows:

"Princess Celestia's Prized Student Becomes Griffonstone's Latest Fashion Sensation!"


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