• Published 3rd Apr 2018
  • 7,680 Views, 599 Comments

Sunset Shimmer and the Boy Who Lived - cullexoh

When Sunset Shimmer entered the Mirror seeking Power, she never anticipated going back to school. Well, at least this one has something actually worth teaching.

  • ...

Through The Looking Glass

Author's Note: Some of you may notice a similarity between this and the intro to my other story, Sunset Overdrive. That is because I'm essentially going by a 'The Rainboom Sent Sunset To Different Worlds' theme.

That being said, not all the worlds she's sent to will be Friendship and Hugs. If you have any suggestions/requests for a world to send Sunset to, let me know and I'll see what I can do.

Chapter 1: Through the Looking Glass.

The Multiverse is, by definition, a collection of hypothetical possible universes that together comprise everything that exists and can exist: the entirety of space, time, matter and energy, as well as the physical and meta-physical laws, variants and constants that describe them.
It should therefore go without saying that there are any number of possible universes out there, one for every decision made or otherwise forgone, be it something as insignificant as which gender or race you were born into, to more complex conundrums such as which shirt to wear or whether or not to drink Chocolate Milk with everything.

The answer to that last one, naturally, was a resounding YES, or at least it was in the opinion of a certain Lord of Chaos, who was currently reclining on what had come to be regarded as ‘His’ couch in the home he shared with his best friend/parole officer, when he wasn’t making a minor pest of himself in order to prevent himself from going insane.

Now don’t get him wrong, there was nothing wrong with indulging in a bit of dementia now and again. Indeed, he challenged anyone to spend a millennium as a decorative pigeon latrine, completely aware of their surroundings yet incapable of scratching that damned itch in the small of their back, and not go a bit loopy.

It was simply that he’d been there, done that, and had even Tie-Dyed several fashionable Shirts to advertise the fact on multiple occasions. By the end of it he’d simply gotten bored and defaulted back to his typical state of not-quite sanity that could still enjoy driving others to their wits end.

A pastime that, thankfully, continued to prove a welcome anathema in the otherwise humdrum his continued existence on this mortal plane had sadly become, now that he had allowed himself to be burdened by the oh-so-humbling shackles of ‘Friendship’.

“Stupid Writers with their stupid moral lessons…” he stage-muttered, summoning a glass of chocolate milk, which he promptly consumed, chucking the contents over his shoulder where it promptly began chasing Angel Bunny around the living room “Seriously, couldn’t they have pulled some other trick? Like the Reformation spell requiring that I eat it?”

Not that doing so would have worked, mind you. While he was content to allow Twilight Sparkle to think she'd gotten the better of him, for now at least, the truth of the matter remained that Fluttershy, once again, had proven the X-Factor required to save the day.

I mean honestly, you'd think a student of Celestia would know better than to even attempt to forcibly impose order on a being whose very existence was Chaos Incarnate. Put simply, the resulting devastation could only be likened to introducing matter to anti-matter...or the Cutie Mark Crusaders to Power Tools.

“Speaking of which…” he mused, snapping his talons to pause the channel before peering out the window to check on the fillies in question, having promised to keep an eye on them while the Fluttershy and the other Elements of Harmony attended the Princess Summit in the Crystal Empire.

While most might assume Discord would resent having to play Foalsitter, the truth of the matter was he actually preferred the company of children, finding them to be more appreciative of his talents than stuffy grown-ups. It certainly helped that these particular fillies were proving to be quite the cathartic Trifecta of Chaos, and the Unicorn couldn’t even use magic yet!

“Maybe I should take a leaf or two from Celestia’s book…” he mused, idly nibbling on one of the saucier pages from the Sun Princess’ diary as he watched Scootaloo lay out her latest plan to earn their cutie marks that was almost certain to land them in hospital, only to toss the idea aside, knocking out Angel Bunny in the process “Nah, too much effort…”

Sadly, as much as he would relish the reactions of the CMC's respective 'Big Sisters' once word got out he had taken their siblings under his wing, there was no doubt in his mind that the moment he started giving lessons on Chaos Magic, a certain recently ascended Alicorn would turn up with notebooks at the ready to suck all the fun out of it.

Besides, as was the nature of Chaos, it was far more fun for him to simply sit back and watch the resulting fireworks from the trio’s latest scheme. After all, he’d only promised to keep an eye on them so they didn’t hurt themselves, at no point had he promised to keep them from getting into trouble.

“The Hospital, maybe, but certainly not trouble.” He amended, snapping his talons again to resume watching his show once it was confirmed the Crusaders weren’t in any immediate danger “Ooh, I like what Cadence has done with the place.” he applauded, pulling on a pair of 3D glasses to avoid lens flare “Always did feel it could do with a bit of touching up. Hm?”

He paused as he spotted something in the corner of the screen that actually caused him to quirk a brow. To anyone else, it would’ve simply been a pretty Unicorn mare with a fiery mane that would’ve had any bacon-lover drooling in appreciation. What made her stand out was the fact she wasn’t wearing a cloak or glaring at Twilight.

If anything, she seemed almost…hurt? Yup, those were definitely tears forming in her eyes as she glanced between Celestia and Twilight, her face a mask of emotions, mostly grief and betrayal, though he though he could make out a hint of jealousy and anger buried deep within.

“Well now…” he mused, his eyes narrowing as he watched the teary-eyed mare turn on her hooves and gallop away, followed swiftly by a concerned looking, bare-flanked Unicorn stallion with a rather iconic lightning bolt scar resting under his horn “that’s interesting…”

Canterlot Castle – Several Years Ago.

They say that pride cometh before the fall, and if ever a pony embodied that term it was Sunset Shimmer, one of the elect few to be granted the prestigious honour of not only attending Princess Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns, but also being personally selected to become the Sun Princess’ Personal Student.

From the moment she’d first walked through those gilded doors at the academy, it was clear to all that Sunset Shimmer would go far, both in terms of her magical acumen and as a pony. It wasn’t simply her raw magical skill, she simply possessed a force of will that few other ponies could match, or indeed handle.

Indeed, many a time prior to being selected by the Princess she often wound up showing up her professors, many of whom had to take sabbaticals to recover from the humiliation of being shown up in their chosen field by a mare easily half their age.

However, while no-one could doubt Sunset’s magical prowess, her social skills, while far from lacking, were not the kind Celestia approved of from those closest and dearest to her heart. To put it bluntly, despite Celestia’s many lessons in humility, Sunset’s prodigal power and skill, coupled with the praises of her instructors and position as Celestia’s student, had caused her to become boastful, arrogant and condescending towards anypony who couldn’t measure up to her ridiculously high standards.

In all fairness it wasn’t entirely Sunset’s fault. After all, while her rank as Celestia’s Student opened many doors for her, what lurked behind some of those doors was enough to turn the stomach of any decent pony. From the moment she attended her first gala, the young mare had been exposed to more potential suitors and ‘business partners’ looking to cash in on her position than many a mare could expect to meet in a lifetime.

This, as you might imagine, led to her becoming jaded on the subject of ‘friendship’, despite it being a key tenant of most of her lessons with Celestia. She grew distrustful of anyone who tried to get close to her, whether they be old classmates or the Canterlot Elite.

But why should she care for the opinions of lesser folk when she had the company of a Goddess? What need had she for friends when every day was spent pushing the bounds of magic further and further under the caring tutelage of her wise mentor? The only Alicorn in existence?

Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and for Sunset, her good times ended the day Celestia pulled her aside after a particularly boring seminar on the importance of Friendship to introduce her student to the latest addition to her family, her recently adopted niece, Princess Mi Amore Cadenza.

Now Sunset was no stranger to members of the Canterlot Elite claiming to be ‘relatives of the Princess’, as Celestia tended to step in to adopt the foals of old family friends that had fallen on hard times or were on the verge of dying out. Prince Blueblood was a prime example of the latter, his family having served the crown for years until his father passed away due to choking on an apple seed.

But while Cadence confessed to having been born to Canterlot Unicorns, she didn’t have the benefit of being from an ‘old blood family’, nor had her parents been a part of the Military. A good thing too, as Celestia would have had them exiled for abandoning their daughter in the woods simply for being born a Pegasus.

Indeed, had things simply ended there, Sunset might have been willing to humour Celestia and at least attempt a friendship with the mare, or at the very least help her find her hooves among the court. Sadly, any hopes Celestia had of cultivating a friendship between them died a fiery, agonizing death in the face of Sunset’s indignation that Cadance, a self-confessed Pegasus, had not only been adopted as Celestia’s kin, but had managed to ascend to the lofty rank of Alicorn.

It had been a shocking development for the normally confident Sunset Shimmer. And could you honestly blame her? Here she was, the most powerful Unicorn of her generation, the prodigal student of Princess Celestia herself, arguably the closest thing the Sun Princess had to a daughter, and yet some random Pegasus raised by Earth Ponies from the sticks had managed overnight something that, to date, had eluded even the legendary Starswirl the Bearded.

Needless to say, Sunset had made it clear from the outset that she thought very little of the so-called ‘Princess of Love’ and wanted even less to do with her, going out of her way to purposefully avoid the mare where possible, though she limited herself to being excessively formal whenever in Celestia’s presence.

To be fair, it wasn’t as if Cadence was a bad pony. Indeed, unlike many of Celestia’s adopted family she was actually rather down to earth, no doubt a result of being raised by Earth Ponies, even going so far as to insist she enrol at Canterlot Academy instead of simply waltzing into Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns.

Truth be told, Sunset’s actually respected her for that, as she highly doubted the naïve mare would’ve survived one minute among her former colleagues. However, at the end of the day she couldn't deny that the primary reason she chose to distance herself from Cadence was jealousy, plain and simple.

And could you honestly blame her? She’d worked her flanks off for years to get where she was, had devoted herself entirely to her studies to impress the Mare she saw as a second mother, only to be shown up by some random mare from the middle of nowhere who wasn't even a unicorn at the time.

And so, in a rather interesting turn of events, Celestia’s gambit to convince Sunset Shimmer to make friends wound up making her student even more of a recluse, pushing away any and all attempts from her peers to get to know her in favour of bridging the gap she believed had formed between her and the Princess.

Desperate to reach out to her disciple before it was too-late, Celestia found herself with no choice but to bend one of her own rules, whilst simultaneously breaking one of the many, MANY rules laid down by Starswirl prior to his disappearance, and unearthed one of her mentor’s magical mirrors.

Normally she would never dream of doing such a thing, not after the falling out that occurred between the two of them due to her abusing his trust, but Celestia remained confident that if anything could get Sunset back on the right track, it would be to see how happy she could be surrounded by the friends she was so sorely lacking.

Alas, however, it seemed Starswirl’s warnings had been well placed, for while whatever Sunset had seen within the depths of the mirror had indeed lit a fire within her, it was a fire that hungered for power, power Celestia did not believe her once erstwhile student was ready to handle in her current state of mind.

Now Celestia had made many mistakes in her lifetime, chief among them the events that culminated in Luna’s fall to the Nightmare and subsequent banishment, but unlike then she recognized the signs for what they were, and she would be damned before she failed Sunset Shimmer as she had her sister.

And so she had sealed the mirror away, hoping that, in time, she could wear down her student’s patience with knowledge. Alas, while Sunset hadn’t inherited Celestia’s desire for companionship, her hunger for knowledge was just as voracious as the Alicorn’s had been during her own tutelage under Starswirl. If nothing else, she was certainly just as stubborn.

It was at times like this that Celestia had to concede that Starswirl had been the better instructor. For while the old Stallion might not have fully comprehended the Power of Friendship, he had possessed the patience of a saint and the knowledge of how to reign in overbearing foals who thought they knew everything.

For Faust’s sake he had not only managed to keep two inexperienced Alicorn Fillies under control, all while maintaining his duties as one of the Pillars of Equestria, and here Celestia was, having lived far longer than he ever had, struggling to reign in a single, admittedly brilliant, unicorn.

In the end, after countless days, weeks and months of dodging the issue, Celestia’s millennia spanning patience finally ran thin, the Solar Princess making it clear, in no uncertain terms, that she had no intention of discussing the mirror and whatever Sunset had seen within its crystalline depths until she deemed her student ready.

While the look of betrayal and anger in Sunset’s eyes as she laid down her ultimatum had cut her to the core, she knew in her heart that it was for her own good. In time, once she was certain Sunset had matured physically and mentally, she would be more inclined to discuss what her student had seen, but until then she still had some growing up to do.

It was only after the events that followed that she would recall how that very mind-set had cost her another figure close to her heart. But unlike her sister, who was scheduled to return within the next few years, there was no guarantee that she’d ever see Sunset Shimmer again.

Canterlot Archives – Restricted Section.

“If we cannot get past this, your studies end here.” Celestia intoned as she glared imperiously down at her now former student, a glare that Sunset returned, as if daring the Princess to do her worst “You are welcome to stay in Canterlot, but you are no longer welcome in the castle.”

“This is the biggest mistake you’ll make in your entire life.” Sunset vowed, her pride and anger overpowering the crippling fear and shame that were practically begging her to throw themselves at her mentor’s hooves, turning on her hooves and marched out of the library, flanked on either side by the two Royal Guards Celestia had brought with her.

‘She never even intended to hear me out.’ She growled, glaring heatedly at the normally taciturn stallions, who simply returned her glare with equal venom, as if they were looking down on the scum of Equestria instead of a mare who had more power in her horn than they would ever possess in their entire lives.

A mare that, had she not let her pride get in the way, could have been their next Princess.

There was no doubt in Sunset Shimmer’s mind that she was the most powerful Unicorn in Canterlot, if not all of Equestria. While Cadence had the advantage of being an Alicorn, her Pegasus origins meant her control over magic was even weaker than a newborn filly’s.

This had done little to soothe Sunset’s ego however, and so when the chance arose for her to close the gap, to learn how to ascend to Alicorn-hood, she had leapt at it, confident that between her skills and Celestia’s guidance, she would finally achieve her destiny.

Instead, her Mentor had betrayed her, lied and avoided the issue before outright denying her access to the knowledge she needed to make that next step, and now seeing fit to cast her aside for the ‘crime’ of refusing to dance to her tune for a second longer.

It went without saying that she wasn’t about to take this lying down. Make no mistake, the only reason she had gone along quietly was to give the Stallions escorting her a belated sense of security, as anyone who’d lived in Canterlot for any amount of time knew that the Royal Guard were essentially there to look pretty.

And could you blame them? Celestia had ruled over Equestria for well over a thousand years and in that time no other country had ever so much as sneered in their general direction. And why would they? Only an idiot would purposefully make an enemy of the immortal demi-goddess who controlled the cycle of the sun and moon.

Now the Wonderbolts, those she might have taken seriously, as only the best of the best were accepted to even try out for the squad. But as it stood the two Pegasus Stallions assigned to escort her out of the castle were most likely from the countless failures who just couldn’t cut it and figured guarding the palace was a cushy job.

Sadly, it seemed they had forgotten a key fact about their supposed escort, one that Sunset was all too willing to remind them of as they drew close to the room she recalled the mirror being stored in. And the remedial lesson for the day is: Never send a Pegasus to guard a Unicorn, especially when that Unicorn is Sunset Shimmer.

‘You’d think Celestia would’ve known better.’ She scoffed, glaring down at the drooling, concussed forms of the Stallions in disgust ‘Or did she simply think so little of me that she thought these overblown bookends would be enough to keep me in line?’

If even one of the guards had been a unicorn he might have put up more of a fight, or at the very least tried to get a flare spell off before she took him down. The fact Celestia hadn’t deemed her enough of a threat to warrant such concern simply proved to Sunset that her former mentor was underestimating her.

‘Yet another mistake she’ll live to regret.’ Sunset vowed, the fiery haired mare turning her back on the downed guards in favour of striding towards the current source of her dilemma and supposed answer to all of her problems, namely Starswirl’s Crystal Mirror.

A part of her wanted to smash the damned thing, partially for ruining her reputation and to spite Celestia by destroying one of the few ties to her beloved mentor. However, that part was greatly overshadowed by her desire to delve deeper into her vision, to learn the secrets that would grant her the power and status that were rightfully hers.

While she hadn't learnt much beyond the bare basics before Celestia’s arrival, she’d learnt enough to know that the portal seemed to rely on the phases of the moon, an odd trait given Celestia’s preference for the sun, and would only activate once every thirty moons, which just so happened to be tonight.

Obviously she couldn’t sneak the damn thing out of the castle, and while it wouldn’t be hard to sneak back in given the ineptitude of the Guard there was no guarantee that Celestia would leave the mirror in the same place once Sunset left. In other words, this was the only chance Sunset had to use the mirror.

‘Just you wait.’ She preened, smirking confidently to herself even as she heard the familiar dainty hoof steps of her mentor drawing closer to the chamber, either having realized something was wrong or simply coming to secure the mirror ‘When I come back with the power I deserve, I’ll make you regret the day you cast me out!’

And with nary a look back, Sunset Shimmer turned to face her destiny, gathered all the strength she could into her hind legs and launched herself towards the mirror, closing her eyes instinctively as she neared the glass surface, only to gasp in surprise when instead of slamming into it her hooves passed through as if diving into a pool of ice-cold water.

At that moment, an explosion of colour caught the corner of her eye, the former student of Celestia turning as if in slow motion to gape at the rainbow-colored shockwave that was bearing down on Canterlot Castle, her eyes widening in alarm as she sensed the sheer magical power of the field just before her head was consumed by the portal.

What happened next, Sunset still isn’t sure to this day, but if pressed to recall anything about her passage through the mirror portal, the only thing she could confidently recall was the mind-numbing pain before everything went white.

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry – Headmaster’s Office, July 30th, 1991

Albus Dumbledore sighed, the aged headmaster reclining in his chair as he watched the rain patter against his office window.

It was always raining this time of year in Scotland, a fact that many a Muggle and Wizard alike considered a right pain in the arse, as it would universally force them to reconsider their plans unless it involved suspending a football or Quidditch match, in which case they displayed an almost admirable level of stubborn solidarity.

Another added benefit of the heavy rainfall was that it pulled double duty in keeping muggle researchers and tourists from the various magical sites that littered the highlands, most notably the Hogwarts grounds and Hogsmeade Village. True the muggle-repelling charms helped, especially on those annoying hikers that just wouldn't take a bloody hint, but nothing kept nosy parkers away better than Mother Nature having a strop.

However, as calming as he found the sound of rainfall, it was clear to anyone who knew the Headmaster that something was bothering him, as evidenced from the absence of the normally ever-present twinkle in his blue eyes as he continued to gaze out the window with an unreadable expression.

It was not the first time that Dumbledore found himself lost in thought. After all, in addition to his duties as Headmaster of Hogwarts, he was also the Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot and the Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards, so it wasn’t as if he was lacking in responsibilities.

Hell, the only reason he wasn’t also the Minister for Magic was because he’d turned the position down, refusing to accept the reigns of power he’d once coveted in his youth in favour of devoting himself entirely to guiding the next generation of Witches and Wizards.

Then again, considering how the current Minister apparently lacked the mental fortitude to wipe his own arse without badgering the Supreme Mugwump for advice at all hours of the day, he might as well have accepted the damned post and saved himself the trouble.

Thankfully, the Headmaster’s current melancholy had nothing to do with Cornelius Fudge’s ineptitude. No, the cause of his concern was a missive of a different sort, one that had gone out, like clockwork, along with hundreds of it’s kin on July 24th, informing this year’s crop of First Years that they would be attending Hogwarts come September.

However, unlike it’s myriad brethren, this particular Acceptance Letter had yet to reach it's intended recipient, and while Dumbledore was no stranger to parents being sceptical of their children’s magical ability, such cases typically only occurred in Muggleborns, where their magical heritage had lain dormant only to resurface due to a quirk in genealogy.

Even in cases where Wizarding parents decided not to send their children to Hogwarts, it was usually because they had opted to send their offspring to one of the other, 'Lesser' Magical Academies for whatever reason. However, such was not the case for the intended recipient of the letter currently resting on his desk.

Indeed, not only were the intended’s relatives fully aware of the existence of magic, a rarity given their status as Muggles, he had explicitly left instructions with them to ensure they cared for the boy as best they could. And yet, despite said instructions, they appeared to be actively preventing the letter from reaching the child in question.

Now normally Dumbledore would have respected the wishes of parents that wanted nothing to do with the wizarding world, though he would have stressed hiring a tutor to ensure the child didn’t abuse their abilities. However, in the case of one Harry James Potter, he could not afford to simply let the matter go.

It was imperative the boy attend Hogwarts not only for his protection, but for the Greater Good of both worlds. While Dumbledore could understand Petunia Dursley’s reluctance to allow her nephew to attend, for jealousy was a formidable foe, her actions and those of her husband, had done little to endear them to the Headmaster’s sense of pity.

"Come in, Hagrid." he called out at the sound of a creaking floorboard, sending a wandless alohomora to open the door, revealing the giant form of Rubeus Hagrid, the Hogwarts groundskeeper dressed in his usual moleskin overcoat, one hand raised in the act of knocking on the door.

"I'll never figure out 'ow you do that professor." The half-giant marvelled, his face, what little was visible behind his mane of black hair and beard, lined with shocked awe as he stooped under the archway to lumber into the room "Didn't even 'ave ter say the password."

"My dear Hagrid," Dumbledore chuckled, smiling at the good natured, if socially inept groundskeeper with the air of an amused grandparent even as he watched the floorboard from earlier settle back into place "Have I not always said my door is always open for those I trust?"

Hagrid blushed behind his beard, nodding his head in agreement in a manner reminiscent of when he'd been a student himself. Dumbledore had been looking out for Hagrid ever since Tom Riddle had framed the Half-Giant for the death of Myrtle Warren, resulting in his unfair expulsion.

It had been Dumbledore who had convinced the previous groundskeeper to take the former student on as an apprentice, even going so far as to have the remains of his wand concealed within his ever-present umbrella despite ministry protocol demanding they be burnt.

"So, beggin’ yer pardon Professor Dumbledore, but wha’ was it ye needed of me?” Hagrid asked, looking his benefactor over curiously after taking a few moments to offer Fawkes a few treats from his pockets “It must be pretty important if yer didn’t wanna talk through the fire.”

“Indeed, Hagrid, the matter is most important.” Dumbledore confirmed, schooling his features into a grave frown “It seems that a…clerical error has resulted in Harry Potter failing to receive his Hogwarts letter.” He elaborated, Hagrid’s back straightening in alarm “Normally I would entrust the matter to one of the other professors, but they are currently occupied with their duties…”

“Say no more Professor.” Hagrid cut in, the half-giant striding toward the desk with a look of determination, reaching down to scoop up the letter with a gentleness that belied his imposing size “You jus' leave it ter me, I’ll have it delivered right an’ proper!”

“I’m certain you will.” Dumbledore acknowledged with a smile, fully confident that Hagrid would ensure the message was delivered. Of course, it went without saying that said message was not limited to Harry’s Hogwarts Acceptance Letter, but also a reminder to Petunia that he was watching them “Do wish Harry a Happy Birthday for me, won’t you?”

“Cor blimey I’d almost forgotten!” Hagrid exclaimed, his massive hand slapping his brow with enough force to down a Clydesdale, cart and all, with a clap like thunder “I’ll just nip down to the kitchen and have th' elves whip up a cake for ‘im, he’ll love that.”

“I’m certain he will.” Dumbledore mused sadly. Indeed, if Arabella’s reports were to be believed, this would be the first cake Harry received since the death of his parents “Oh, and Hagrid? While I agree time is of the essence, I would prefer you didn’t use the Motorcycle. Harry’s relatives have likely raised him as a muggle, it would be best to ease him into our world.”

“Righ’, gotcha Professor…” Hagrid began, only to pause uncertainly “Err…beggin’ yer pardon Professor Dumbledore Sir, but ‘ow am I supposed to get ter Harry then?”

“I have asked Fawkes to escort you to his current location.” Dumbledore assured the Half-Giant, nodding his head towards the corner of the office, where his iconic Phoenix Familiar Fawkes stood perched and waiting to carry out this undertaking “I am also entrusting you with the key to young Harry’s family Vault, once you have purchased his necessary school things, and retrieved the item we discussed from Gringotts, I shall send him to escort you back to Hogwarts once Harry is returned to his relatives.”

“You can count on me Professor!” Hagrid beamed, the half-giant somehow managing to stand a little taller, honoured that the venerable headmaster trusted him enough to not only introduce Harry Potter to their world, but to also permit him to travel via Phoenix Fire “I’ll just nip down to the kitchen to grab that cake then…”

“By all means.” Dumbledore acknowledged with his trademark twinkle in his eyes as the half-giant lumbered out of his office, more than confident that things would soon be back on track, allowing him to turn his attention to other concerns, namely the trap he was currently devising for Tom.

While it had taken a lot of effort for him to convince Nicholas to part with his magnum opus, given the likelihood of Harry getting involved, it was necessary to ensure the obstacles guarding the Stone were not beyond the capabilities of a typical First Year, whilst also ensuring they weren’t so redundantly easy as to arouse the suspicion of whoever the Dark Lord sent to retrieve the Stone.

‘In that regard, Severus’ logic puzzle certainly has merit, though I’ll have to insist he replace the poisons with paralytic potions.’ He mused. After all, there was no point in capturing the Dark Lord’s servants if they couldn’t be interrogated afterwards.

He was just going over Professor Trelawney’s amusing suggestion when he sensed a sudden surge in the Hogwarts wards, his eyes widening as he shot to his feet, the various magical instruments adorning his desk going haywire even as he focused on the apparent source of the surge, a tall, cloth-covered object standing in the opposite corner to Fawkes’ perch.

One of the few Magical devices whose origins eluded even the brightest of minds, the Mirror of Erised had made its way to Hogwarts centuries ago and had remained an object of curiosity for many a scholar, including Dumbledore himself before he’d turned his attention to more productive pursuits, such as which socks to wear with his new robes.

However, while he’d long since given up on determining the mirror’s origins, by no means did this mean he’d forgotten it entirely. Indeed, the Mirror was to be the lynchpin of his trap for Tom, the last line of defense that would both ensure The Stone’s protection and stymie its would-be thief long enough for Dumbledore to confront them.

It was therefore rather alarming to see the wards reacting in such a fashion to the Mirror’s presence, especially given how it had spent centuries within the walls of Hogwarts without so much as a hint of trouble. With this in mind, Dumbledore stepped from behind his desk and, drawing his wand as a precaution, removed the cloth covering the mirror with a flick of his wrist, only to be forced to shield his eyes from the ensuing prismatic display that had replaced his heart’s desire.

“Remarkable…” he marveled, fascinated by this current turn of events, his caution giving way to curiosity when it quickly became apparent that, whatever was going on with the mirror, it wasn’t particularly malignant. Indeed, if Dumbledore had to put the feeling he got from the Magic coming off the Mirror into words, he could not help but describe it as far too benign to be the work of the Dark Arts.

Sadly, his musings were soon to be cut short, the Headmaster’s eyes widening as, with a final flash of prismatic light, a shadow was flung from the mirror, crashing into his desk with a sickening crack, the Hogwarts wards finally calming as the mirror returned to its original state.

Blinking the light out of his eyes, Dumbledore turned to investigate his desk, only to stiffen, a sudden chill racing down his spine at the sight of what lay sprawled before him.

“Albus!” a familiar voice called out, the door to his office swinging open to admit the concerned features of Minerva McGonagall, the Deputy Headmistress accompanied by her fellow heads of house, who had likewise sensed the change in the wards and come to investigate “What on earth-GOOD LORD!”

“Minerva, would you kindly inform Poppy to prepare the Medical Wing?” Dumbledore instructed calmly as he knelt down to cover the naked form of a young girl with his own cloak “Fillius, Pomona, would you be so kind as to help escort her up?”

“Of course, Albus.” The Ravenclaw head acknowledged, his normally excitable nature replaced with an unusual sense of calm as he summoned up a stretcher that Professor Sprout deposited the girl onto, the normally cheerful head of Hufflepuff looking decidedly distraught as she accompanied her smaller colleague out of the office, leaving Dumbledore alone with his Potions Master.

“What happened, Albus?” Severus demanded, not out of any particular care for the girl’s well-being, but out of a desire to get a clearer picture of the events so as to run damage control. Things had been bad enough when all he had to worry about was protecting The Boy, a task that would not be made any easier due to Albus’ insistence on bringing the Philosopher’s Stone into Hogwarts, the last thing they needed was for those vultures at the Daily Prophet to catch wind of Albus Dumbledore being found standing over an injured, naked child in his office.

“I’m not certain myself, Severus…” Dumbledore admitted, reaching down to pick up a backpack that Severus suspected belonged to Madam Pomfrey’s latest patient “However, I do believe I may have found a clue.”

Author's Note:

And we'll leave off there for now.
So yeah, Sunset's at Hogwarts. Let's see if Dumbledore can pull off what Celestia couldn't eh?
Again, you have any suggestions on worlds to send Sunset, let me know and I'll see what I can do.