• Published 4th Apr 2017
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A World Divided By Magic - Ocerra

Magic is introduced into the world from Equestria, drawing the attention of those who would seek to keep it secret.

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Chapter 2, A Difficult Reunion

Chapter Two
A Difficult Reunion

After Albus had left Sunset alone in the room, she looked around the room for the first time. She was still a little anxious about what was happening, even if she wasn't to be punished for what had happened. Breathing a deep breath, she tried to relax slightly, and occupied herself with looking around the room for the first time since she was sat in the chair she just stood up from. Tucking her hands in her leather jacket, she glanced around the room casually.

It really was a comfortable little room, off to the side was two chairs on either side of a nice wooden table of good oak where she had been sitting at. It felt slightly like an interrogation room were it not for a comfortable looking lounge area off to the other side of the room with it appeared to be a kitchenette across from it. The lounge consisted of a few comfortable looking blue couches, and two matching cushioned chairs, all circled around a simple coffee table, of the same oak as the other furniture. She found herself wandering over to the lounge in favor of a more comfortable seat, even if she weren't tired in the slightest, she could at least try and relax.

Why would those fools defend me? She thought to herself in wonder. I literally spent the last three years breaking their hearts and spirits. Even bringing a few of them to tears in a regular occurrence. And then... the first time I slip up, and they have an opportunity for revenge... She grimaced and hid her face behind her hands. It would have been preferable to her had they enacted revenge on her. She felt so dirty now. She had spent the last three years treating the inhabitants of this world like objects. As pawns she could use for her eventual return to Equestria. But now she wasn't even going home, and all she had done was sabotage any relationship she ever had in this foreign world. The only solace she had was that everyone she had wronged had their memory of her erased completely, except for six people, one of which had went back to Equestria, leaving five. She sighed, leaning back into the couch. Obliviate... She thought idly, how terrifying it was that these humans had memory altering magic and use it so casually. If I had that spell, how easy it would have been for-... No, I should focus on atoning for my actions and building a new life for me to live.

Her mind wandered back to Albus Dumbledore. His presence was so calming, yet when it came down to it, she knew nothing about him. It was difficult to know how much was hidden behind those mysterious blue eyes. He really did remind her of Celestia; they both had the kind of eyes that exuded wisdom without any effort. He offered me a new life. Had he noticed that I had no family, or was it simply coincidence? She sighed again as she rubbed her weary eyes. Too much had happened within the last few hours, it was as overwhelming for her as the moment she first entered this world through the mirror. She used another breathing exercise to help her calm down, but nothing could calm her beating heart.

A sudden thought made her sit up uncomfortably. Am I being watched? She glanced nervously at the door, curious if there was an auror standing by on the other side. Her curiosity urged her to check, but fear kept her rooted to the couch. Glancing over to the clock, she realized only about an hour had passed by. Now is about the time when Twilight is heading back home. Back to spend time with 'her' teacher. She frowned bitterly thinking about it, before relaxing again. She had her chance with Celestia, and she ruined it, just like she ruined everything. As much as she wanted to throw the blame at someone else, it wasn't Twilight's fault. She had to start owning up to her own failures, as difficult as that was.

A sudden noise burst into the otherwise completely silent room, as the door was roughly opened, causing Sunset to jump to her feet with a yelp. There were several women entering the room with an array of different platters that made Sunset's jaw drop. One of the ladies looked over to her. "Sorry we startled you, dear," one apologized as they began laying out the food across the table she had been sitting at previously.

"I... that's... there has to be some mistake, that's enough food for ten people," she remarked incredulously.

The lady just smiled back at her as two others brought in a few more chairs, bringing the total chairs around the table up to six. Sunset realized the implications immediately, causing her heart to drop a little. I'm not ready to meet with them so soon. She thought fearfully. She had expected another day before seeing them all. She mentally prepared herself as best she could, as the various people finished their job and exited the room politely. What do I even say to them? Hey! Sorry I tried my hardest to make your life a living hell, forgive me? She scoffed at herself. Even more anxious than before, she began pacing back and forth in the room, providing a small amount of comfort to her. Oh, hey guys! Sorry I- She turned around to see a girl with poofy bright pink hair not even a foot from her her, grinning widely at her.

"AAAAAH!" Sunset shrieked, jumping back away from the sudden breach of personal space.

"AAAAAH!" the girl mimicked, somehow making a flying tackle toward Sunset look like a natural reaction. She collided with Sunset, wrapping her arms warmly around Sunset, her momentum carrying the two of them onto the couch. Sunset was too startled to know how to react, just staring at the girl sprawled out on top of her.

"Pinkie Pie!" Rarity scolded, "You scared her half to death!"

"Then that means she's still half alive!" Pinkie retorted, climbing off of Sunset and giving her a wide smile.

"Oh my," Rarity continued, catching sight of Sunset, "You look positively awful." She approached suddenly, being the second person to breach Sunset's personal space. Sunset was still in shock as to what was happening, as Rarity pulled out some cleansing wipes and started cleaning up Sunset's face. Sunset decided it would be best not to protest, any way she could postpone saying anything to this group was time well spent. She wasn't usually one for procrastination, but there was a first for everything...

Laughter abruptly filled the short silence as Rainbow Dash caught a good look at Sunset. "Baaahahaha! You're still all messed up when we made you eat dirt." Sunset scowled at Rainbow, accomplishing nothing other than a, "Stop moving, darling," from Rarity, which prompted Rainbow to laugh even harder. Sunset sighed and resigned herself to her fate, it could be worse, she supposed. A few minutes passed, as Rarity continued from cleaning, to brushing Sunset's hair, while the others talked and bantered among themselves, knowing better than to interrupt Rarity. Sunset spent that time observing the others, noticing Applejack and Fluttershy join in with the others when she was preoccupied. She could almost thank Rarity for the extra time to think.

Finally after Sunset thought there was no more Rarity could do with her, she noticed her pull out her make-up, and decided she needed to draw the line, "Uh, no. I don't need make-up," she denied adamantly.

"If you're sure," Rarity sounded doubtful, but thankfully seemed to accept Sunset's preference, putting away her make-up and scooting over on the couch to an acceptable distance from Sunset.

Sunset gathered her courage before speaking up in what seemed a suitable gap in conversation, "Hey everyone," she froze up when all five of them stared at her at once, but forced herself to continue, "I wanted to say... I'm so sorry, I've been-"

"A bitch?" Rainbow finished for her.

"Rainbow!" Applejack growled.

"No..." Sunset interrupted, "She's right, I have been. I spent the last three years making your lives miserable. I never expected to stay here, so I treated everyone like an object to further my goals before I left. I was afraid to form connections with others, because I knew I would eventually leave." She bit her lip, trying to figure out what to say next. "But... now that I've been offered a future here, I've decided to stay, and my actions have come back to bite me. I never deserved your kindness when you all defended me, and I just hope that I can eventually make all of my mistakes up to you."

"Well Ah'll be," Applejack said in wonder, "That was a mighty fine apology."

"Everyone deserves kindness, Sunset." Fluttershy finally joined in, stepping toward Sunset, seeming emboldened by her apology.

If there was one of five here Sunset didn't know if she could confront. It was the one she had been able to bring to tears on a daily occurrence. "Fluttershy..."

"Up up!" Rarity interrupted, "We don't want to hear anything of it. You've made your apology, and we all accept." She smiled warmly at Sunset. It was probably the context of it, but Sunset decided it was the most beautiful smile she had ever seen. Do I really have friends now? Just now noticing the delicious smells of the food across the room, her stomach let out an long growl of protest, drawing laughs from the girls gathered around her. "Come now, darling, we can talk more when we all get a bite to eat," Rarity toned in lightly as she led Sunset over to the table with little protest.

Sunset spent the next few hours in the room, eating delicious food, and laughing with her new friends. When she thought about it, she decided this was the best moment of her life.

Six heads turned toward the entrance of the small room, when the door opened, revealing Dumbledore smiling warmly at them. "I see you have all gotten along quite nicely while I was away," he jested coyly.

"Yup!" Pinkie blurted out before the others could respond, followed by a semblance of similar responses. Sunset merely arched an eyebrow at him, getting a small chuckle in response.

"Come," the man continued, "We have a long day ahead of us tomorrow, and you'll all be needing your sleep." The six girls followed him out into the hallway where they greeted with the same group who delivered the food earlier. He sent each girl off with a different person to show them to a room to sleep in, leaving Sunset with him. Giving her a strange look out of the side of his eyes, he gestured down the hallway as they began walking together. "She misses you, you know," he said, once there were none in earshot.

"You talked with her?" she hissed in vexation, before curiosity got the best of her, "Does she really?"

"I had quite a thorough conversation with her after I got Twilight back safely," he chuckled to himself, "Did you know there was another version of me in your world that went by the name of Starswirl the bearded? Quite a mouthful of a name, if I may say," he jested, noting her same shocked reaction as the others across the portal, causing a small smile to reach his wrinkled face. "Our conversation covered many topics, but it always found itself returning to you. She truly does care for you."

"I..." she choked out, trying not to cry in front of him again.

"It's not too late for you to go back to her. I can lead you back home, just as I have done for Twilight."

The reminder of Twilight taking her former position of Celestia's student brought a wave of bitterness that she dismissed immediately. Celestia is capable of having more than one student, but... I don't know if I want to leave when I've finally made friends. She really was grateful to Twilight. If it hadn't have been for her, Sunset would have led her life down a road there was no coming back from. "I... think I'd still like to stay." She looked up at Albus again, with hopeful eyes, getting a chuckle and a warm smile in return.

"You are welcome to lead your life in whatever direction you would like. I will even be able to arrange visits for you, if you would like to keep in touch."

"I would like that," Sunset smiled warmly at him.

Dumbledore stopped abruptly in front of a door on the right side of the hallway, opening it for Sunset. It was a nice room, if a small one. "Now get some rest, we have a long day ahead of us."

"You said that earlier, what is happening tomorrow?"

"Tomorrow we're preparing you and your friends for school."

"School?" she asked incredulously, "After everything that has happened, we're just... going back to school?"

"I think you'll find this school a much different experience," he voiced mysteriously, "Rest well."

Sunset watched him as he walked down the hallway for a few seconds, before entering the room and shutting the door. She lay sprawled out on the bed, staring at the ceiling, just thinking. After everything that happened today, she was far too worked up to be sleepy. Starswirl the bearded? Did I seriously just go from being tutored by Celestia to being under Starswirl's care? There was a point where things became so unlikely that it had to be some kind of elaborate joke. There was no way that someone with no home could end up in situations like this. She sighed to herself in frustration. Staring at the ceiling lost in her thoughts, she didn't even realize when sleep had taken hold of her.