• 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 3, An Incredible Opportunity

Chapter Three
An Incredible Opportunity

Sunset awoke with a start at the sound of a sharp rapping on her door. She hadn't realized she even fell asleep and didn't feel even particularly rested. "I'm awake," she called out grumpily, as she pulled herself out of bed. Trudging over to the door, she opened the door, squinting at the contrast of the brightly lit hallway. She found herself face to face with the lady who had apologized for startling her the other day. She felt a little guilty she didn't even know her name yet, but she decided it was far too early to care. She covered her face with her hands before mumbling miserably, "Hey..."

The kindly lady did her best to mask her amusement at Sunset, and fell short. "Not a morning person, are ya dearie?" she asked sympathetically, "There's some coffee in the lounge at the end of the hall, same room you were waiting in last night." She gestured in the direction. "Would you like me to show you the way?"

"No... that's okay, I can manage," she groaned as she shambled through the entirely too large and bright hallway. Who designed this place anyways, she scowled angrily. It took only a few minutes, and a few people walking a little quicker after passing her, before she pushed through the door at the end of the hallway. Four pairs of eyes glanced her way, and seemed to understand she didn't want to be bothered at the moment. Even Pinkie was respectful of her space, which came as a surprise to her. Sunset glanced over at the corner, and noticed Rainbow slumped over on a couch, nursing a cup of coffee of her own. Pouring a cup of black coffee of her own, she went and sat next to Rainbow in the "don't bother me" zone. The two glanced at each other, a form of kinship building between them, as they continued to mind their own business.

Even in the morning Rarity was perfectly polite and presentable, hair curled, make-up applied and ready to take on the day. She was sitting with Fluttershy, each enjoying a cup of tea together. "Pinkie..." Rarity started, "you really don't need that much sugar..." She had lost track of how many cubes of sugar Pinkie had put in her small cup of cocoa. By the time Pinkie stopped adding them and began stirring, it was a sludge. She fought a strong gag reflex as Pinkie took a... drink? Is she chewing? She wondered in disgust.

"Mmmmm!" Pinkie exclaimed happily. Applejack, sitting next to Pinkie just grimaced before turning away and taking a drink of her coffee. Ignorance was bliss in this case.

"So what do y'all reckon this 'busy day' we all have ahead is gonna be?" Applejack prompted the group, trying to change the subject from Pinkie's horrible taste. Sunset briefly considered answering, but decided against it, considering it to be far too much effort than she was willing to expend at the moment.

"Oh, there's no use thinking about it now," Rarity countered lightly, "We may as well just enjoy each other's company and the lovely concessions provided to us." She glanced over at Fluttershy, whom she noticed was even quieter than usual. "But whatever happens, we'll all go through it together," she followed up, earning herself a smile from Fluttershy.

"Ah guess..." Applejack sighed. Sunset looked down at her empty cup of coffee, and sighed. She glanced over at Rainbow, and was shocked to see that she had fallen asleep sitting up. How does someone even do that? She spared a glance at Rainbow's hands, hoping she didn't end up dropping the half finished coffee, before standing up and joining the others.

"Apparently we're all going to be shopping today. Something about preparing us for some kind of special school," Sunset piped in, as she rinsed her mug and sat it in the sink, earning herself curious looks from the group. "Albus told me yesterday."

"Albus?" Rarity teased, "You're on a first name basis, now?"

"Wha-?" Sunset stammered out in surprise, "He told me to refer to him as such."

"He's just being polite, darling," she chimed.

"Surely someone else here refers to him that way too," Sunset countered, looking to the others for support, but found herself at a loss as they all stared at each other blankly, indicating otherwise. She sighed in frustration, "Well it would be weird if I stopped now..."

"Aw, well don'tcha worry about it too much, Sugar Cube." Applejack wrapped her arm around Sunset's shoulder, drawing her into a light embrace. "Ah bet he's got all sortsa others who do the same."

"Thanks Applejack," Sunset replied awkwardly to the friendly breach of personal space. It was really hard to break old habits. Perhaps she wouldn't ever get over the awkwardness of having friends. She glanced over at Pinkie in time to witness the girl pop a sugar cube in her mouth, after having apparently finished her cup of sugar. "What is wrong with you?" Sunset asked in horror.

"What?" Pinkie asked, looking legitimately confused, somehow. "Want some?" she asked, pushing the basket of sugar toward her.

"No... I'm good," she grimaced, filtering the thought out of her mind. Sunset had been used to drinking her coffee black for years now. She never really had much of a sweet tooth, and her... circumstances... led to her to cut out as much unnecessary components in her life as possible. Coffee was rather expensive in the first place.

A loud snore cut through their conversation, causing each of them to look back at Rainbow. A few of them shared a small chuckle of amusement. "I better wake her up again," Fluttershy said softly, walking over to Rainbow, gently prodding her, and urging her with her soft voice. Sunset looked over with envy, of all the ways to wake up, that seemed like a pretty good way. What am I even thinking? Luckily she never had think about it too long before the door opened, revealing a small group, led by Dumbledore. She glanced over to Rainbow again, noticing that she was awake again, looking now at the new group they had in the room curiously.

"Good morning, ladies," Dumbledore began to the group, "This is rather late-coming, and somewhat unconventional, but I would like to personally extend the invitation for each of you to attend Hogwarts, School of Witchcraft and Wizardry." The group was keenly interested, but only Rainbow was shocked. He gestured to his left to a tall, stereo-typically dressed, witch, "This is Hogwarts' professor of transfiguration, Minerva McGonagall."

"It's a pleasure to meet you all," McGonagall greeted them politely yet succinctly. She had a business like manner, that gave the impression of being strict.

Dumbledore then gestured to his other side, toward a taller, goofy looking, red headed man. "And this is Arthur Weasley, a leading member of London's Ministry of Magic, with an explicit interest in magical muggle relations. I feel his expertise in the area may provide comfort."

Arthur gave an embarrassed laugh, "Oh you give me too much credit, I'm not nearly as important as you make me sound. I'd be happy to lend any of you my assistance." He smiled jovially at them. Sunset gaped at the difference between the introduced man and woman, they couldn't have been more different than one another.

"Assistance with what?" Rainbow blurted out, still having trouble following.

"London?" Rarity stammered at the same time. "Why, that's half the world away."

Arthur looked between them, looking somewhat confused as to which to answer first, before settling on one, "Why... shopping, we need to get you ready to attend school if you're to attend Hogwarts in a few days." After deciding that question he turned his attention to Rarity. "Well yes, we'll be shopping for your supplies in London, you'll find that the wizarding world has much more convenient forms of transportation, as interesting as the former methods are," he replied excitedly, giving a small wink to accent his enthusiasm. Even coming from a world filled with magic, Sunset had no idea how they could cross most of the world in less than a day. She could only imagine what the other girls were thinking right now.

Dumbledore took this moment to continue, "Each student attending Hogwarts may optionally bring a familiar, which you may think of as a pet. Any of you who already have a pet are welcome to bring them."

McGonagall gasped, sounding scandalized at the implication, "First years are only permitted-"

"Which I choose to ignore," he said lightly. McGonagall just glared at him for a few moments before dismissing the subject, returning her attention to the rest of them again. "Before we get started, I have something for you all," he said suddenly, pulling a small bag out of his pocket and handing it to Sunset.

Sunset looked inside the bag curiously, noticing six identical crystal pendants. "What are they?"

"Consider them a gift from your old mentor," Dumbledore responded as Sunset took one of the pendants from the bag. She turned the diamond shaped crystal dangling from a silver chain curiously in her hands. "It is common for children to show their affinity for magic at a young age. Usually the latest a child ends up showing signs of magic is around the age of ten to twelve. While it's not unheard of for our school to receive first year students of your age, they are extremely rare, and the few cases we have had were isolated throughout their schooling." He looked around at the group, fixing each of them with a calculating stare. "I know not what caused so many of you to suddenly show signs of magic so late, but we luckily have been presented with an alternative. My recent visit with Equestria has proven to be bountiful to our knowledge of magic, even with the distinctive differences."

Sunset looked at the pendant with newfound interest, "These are enchanted?"

"It was not too difficult a request for the two I had met, one of which was particularly outgoing with completing them," he mentioned, smiling at Sunset warmly.

The entire group was deathly silent, intently staring at the pendant Sunset had held in her hands. She looked around to each of them, before sighing and slipping the chain around her neck. A strange feeling washed over Sunset as she did. She had a vast experience with magic, but the feeling was new even to her. She looked around curiously. Did everything else get... bigger? The group stared at her in shock. Her clothes sagged on her noticeably, her blouse hanging almost to her knees. She awkwardly held her skirt up to keep it from falling to the ground.

Fluttershy was the first to break the silence, "Oh my goodness! You're so cute!" She jumped up from her seat and threw her arms around a younger and completely stunned Sunset Shimmer. Sunset struggled to free herself from the grip of the fanatical girl. She had never seen Fluttershy act this way, especially around her. A part of her was a little happy, but it was still extremely embarrassing.

"Huh..." Dumbledore commented idly, "It appears that the clothes won't quite work anymore." He turned to McGonagall, "Minerva, would you mind helping them with their clothes?"

"Certainly," she replied calmly, taking her wand from her robe and pointing it at Sunset's clothes, "Reducio." Almost instantly Sunset felt her clothes tighten on her once more. She still had to adjust them slightly, but otherwise felt her clothes fitting much better.

"I... thanks..." Sunset said, still somewhat in shock at the situation unfolding before her.

"Now us! Now us!" Pinkie shouted excitedly, grabbing the bag and passing the pendants out to the rest of them, and throwing hers enthusiastically around her neck, shrinking down in size substantially. "Wow! I'm an itty bitty twinkie Pinkie!" Sunset gaped at the change in her, assuming how it must of looked on her now. The rest of the group followed suit, each putting on their pendants on. An excited bubble of laughter and joking passed around as McGonagall adjusted the sizing of each of their outfits. After their excitement had died down somewhat, Dumbledore continued his explanation.

"Now that we've finished with that, we'll divide you up into pairs, one of us taking a pair to guide you through preparations for school," he paused slightly to make sure they were following the plan, and to make sure there wasn't any objections. "Furthermore, I will be fully funding each of these young women's supplies, along with a stipend to cover some unforeseen purchases in the future." It was Arthur's turn to stare at Dumbledore with wide eyes, but unlike McGonagall, he said nothing. "Given the circumstances, it would be difficult for them to be able to afford supplies without a sponsor, and I won't let my personal guests to the school enter shorthanded." He looked around at each of them consideringly. They stared back silently, at a loss of words to say, figuring it would be best to just let the situation play out and follow along. "Arthur," Dumbledore turned to him, "Would you mind helping Applejack and dear Fluttershy gather their supplies?"

"Of course, of course!" He nodded enthusiastically, looking between the two girls with a warm smile. Fluttershy breathed a large sigh of relief, tension visibly draining from her as she was paired with the most comforting presence of the three mentors. Applejack put her arm around Fluttershy comfortingly, sharing a small nervous smile before they both stepped up to Arthur. "Come, come," he said comfortingly, leading them out of the room, "Let's go grab your things." The three disappeared from the room, leaving the tension that lingered in the room behind.

Dumbledore remained passive, looking between the rest of the girls, causing the rest of them to look between themselves awkwardly. "Minerva," he finally said, smiling widely, his eyes twinkling mischievously, "Would you be a dear and help Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie with their shopping?" She glared at him suspiciously, noticing something was off with his tone. "Come Sunset, Rarity. We have a busy day ahead of us," he began, leading the other two out of the room.

"Oh my gosh, we're going to have so much FUN!" Pinkie shrieked happily, clinging onto the poor woman's arm. "Do they have joke shops?!" She gasped loudly as a new idea occurred to her, "MAAAGIC joke shops?! Candy? Magical candy?! EXPLOSIVE HATS!" Pinkie rambled excitedly of all the things she wanted to shop for, leaving McGonagall staring at Dumbledore with wide eyes as he walked calmly out of the room.