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0-1: A Sunrise to a New Life


December 15th, 1981 Morning Edition 1 Knut

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The Daily Prophet

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Harry Potter Declared Dead!

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It is with sadness that we must announce that Harry James Potter, the boy who we hoped had somehow lived, has been declared dead and the search by the ICW has been called off. Suspicions are now raised that He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named’s last curse somehow disintegrated Harry Potter and anything referring to him at the time of casting. It then somehow bounced back and hit He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Dumbledore has taken it upon himself to pay for adding Harry’s name to his parents’ gravestone. If anyone finds any trace of Harry Potter please contact your local magical authorities. Harry Potter’s funeral service will be held where his parents were, at Godric’s Hollow Funeral Home, where he will be honored along with his parents as the people who gave their lives taking down He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and making the Wizarding World a much safer place.


(Meanwhile…)

Dumbledore grumbled as he once again held the prophecy in his hand. This time he noticed the steadily growing crack and it did nothing to ease his frustrations. The only thing keeping him hopeful was the fact that the prophecy has a spare target and that Harry’s magical records listed his status and location as unknown. There is also the fact that the day after his disappearance Harry’s magical and legal guardian auto-updated to the ever-mysterious Aletia Selicorn, location also unknown but whose birthplace and birthdate read like gibberish.

Still, he thought, even for a Chessmaster like himself, it was hard to think of a way to salvage the prophecy and he did not believe Voldemort was truly dead. No, he was probably biding his time as a spirit of some sort, and the other boy the prophecy spoke of was currently all right. Sadly it did mean he would have to cancel the charms and monitoring spells on the Dursleys. They took a lot of effort to set up. Here’s hoping he can find some way to use Neville instead. Here’s also hoping Aletia is taking good care of Harry.


(Roughly 3 years later)

Stellar Flare lit her horn as she sat at her desk, grabbing quill, parchment, and inkpot with her telekinetic aura in order to write her monthly report to Celestia on her adopted son’s progress:

Dear Princess Celestia,

Lightning Sunrise is making good progress on learning to fly. That stipend you provided is really helping pay for a Pegasus tutor you know. Learning how to preen Pegasi wings was definitely interesting although I’m glad my son can do it on his own now. In other news, not much has changed beyond he continues asking Mom! Mom!...

Shaken out of her thoughts she hears a strange yet familiar voice shouting out from her living room as he rushes into it, “Mom! Help me! I don’t know..,” and with that, both fall silent as she rushes into the room, her stunned at the yellow and black bug-like pony standing in her living room and him waiting for her to say something.

Finally breaking the silence, the creature in front of her timidly asks in a semi-familiar two-toned voice, “Mom?”

Shaken out of her silence by the question, she asks one of her own, “Lightning?” which is answered by a nod. Said nod prompts another question, “What did you do to end up like this?”

“I wished to have a horn like the Princess and you mom. I wanted to do what you can do and fire burned off my fur and feathers and left me all holey...”

She interrupted him by asking, concern in her voice at hearing about the flames, “do you hurt anywhere Lightning?”

“No, I don’t hurt anywhere Mom. What are we?” He asked, feeling confused and scared and sensing the same from her.

Pulling her son into a hug, she gently answers, “I am a Unicorn. I don’t know what you are, but you are still my son. Maybe your godmother has some idea, but no matter what, I love you and I’m sure your dad and the Princess will as well.”

Leaning into the hug, Lightning holds her back closely. He then says back, “I love you back mom. Can you hold me as you write to Princess Celestia?”

“Of course I can but do you think you can be a brave colt for me and let go long enough for me to grab my letter? Hop onto the couch and we’ll snuggle up there when I get back.”

“Ok mom,” responded Lightning with a soft sniffle before letting go of her and moving to sit on the couch.

Meanwhile, Stellar rushed into her study quickly and grabbed her half finished letter and the writing supplies she was using before rushing back into the living room, setting the telekinetically held items down on the table. She then hops up onto the couch and wraps an arm around Lightning and holds him close as she returns her attention to the letter, them not noticing the glittering look his wings had taken on.

...Mom! Mom!.

Scratch that! Something major has happened to Lightning just now and we need you here now. It has left Lightning holding onto me for comfort and I hope you can explain what happened to him. Please don’t bring any guards inside. You’ll see why.

Your Loyal Subjects and Friends,

Stellar Flare and Lightning Sunrise.

Finishing the letter up and sealing it with magic, Stellar Flare casts a spell the princess taught her to cast only in an emergency and sends the scroll straight to the princess. Continuing to hold onto Lightning she quietly says, “And now we wait my son.”


(Later that same day in the same room.)

*Knock. Knock. Knock.*

“Is that you Sunspot or Princess Celestia?” asked Stellar Flare upon hearing those knocks.

She then heard muffled through the door her husband answering with, “It is indeed both of us. May we come in?”

“You may indeed come in but do close the door behind you. We don’t need anyone else seeing Lightning right now.”

“And why is that my dear Stellar?” asked Sunspot as he let himself and Princess Celestia into the house before closing the door behind them quickly.

“You’ll see, just, please don’t panic at what you’ll see. We’re in the study, isn’t that right Lightning?” She says as they start up the stairs to the study.

“Yes mom, dad, and Princess Celestia,” Lightning finishes as they arrive at the doorway.

Gasping in shock at seeing Lightning, Sunspot rushes in and picks Lightning up into a hug while asking, “What happened to you!?”

Meanwhile, Celestia has a different reaction, almost lighting up her horn with an attack spell as her first thoughts scream CHANGELING!? Where is Lightning!? before managing to calm down and ask out loud in a controlled voice, “Yes, wht happened to you Lightning?”

Looking nervous, Lightning answers, “I wished really really hard I could cast magic like mom, dad, and you and poof I looked like this. Why do I look like this? Am I a freak? Do you still love me?”

Well, this wasn’t what I ever expected to happen when Lightning showed up in my quarters. Now how do I teach a Changeling how to shapeshift? Well, first things first, Celestia thought before joining Sunspot in hugging Lightning while saying, “I love you still my godson and you aren’t a freak.”

Stellar joined the hug as she and Sunspot also voiced their assurances that they loved him and that he wasn’t a freak. Lightning opened his mouth to say something back when he admitted a blinding light, shocking them when they finally regained their sight.

Princess Celestia was the first to open her mouth, “What...What just happened!?” as they stared at the changes wrought upon Lightning by the light that had removed the holes in his limbs and changed his chitin and mane/tail to match the colors and patterns of the pegasus they all thought he was until today.

Edit: added art below I made of reformed changeling Harry Potter aka Lightning Sunrise using a character creator. Please note that due to limitations there are a few issues with the below pic:
The horn should be smaller, whole, and the grooves should be yellow.
The tail should be longer.
The yellow patch around his middle should be a royal changeling saddle of the same color.

Lightning then says, “I don’t know,” before asking, “What am I?”

Princess Celestia then blinks and shakes her head, attempting to get rid of the shock as she answers, “I don’t know. You were a changeling, a shapeshifter. Actually, I want you to try something for me Lightning. Is that ok?”

Looking a bit nervous, Lightning nods and says, “ok.”

“You remember how you looked as a pegasus? I want you to imagine yourself being that. Can you do that?”

Nodding gently, Lightning closes his eyes and screws uphis face in concentration for a few seconds before fitfully and slowly flames encase his form, replacing chitin with fur and feathers before going out, leaving him once again a pegasus.

“Good job, Lightning,” Princess Celestia congratulated before continuing, “Now try letting go of the mask.”

Nodding again, Lightning focuses and manages to let go, the flames revealing his new uncursed form.

“Huh, I guess that is your true form now. I guess you will get to go to Magic Kindergarten after all, just imagine yourself with a unicorn horn instead of pegasus wings. Now how about you resume your pegasus form and go play downstairs.”

“Ok Princess Celestia,” Lightning says before concentrating as he walks downstairs, the flames overtaking him faster this time.

Closing the door behind him, Stellar then asks, “changelings? I’ve never heard of them.”

Sighing, Princess Celestia replies, “Of course you wouldn’t have. They are shapeshifters that must consume the positive emotions of other sapient species. All the ones that have been found replaced others, stealing the love meant for the replaced person and leaving the lover weaker over time. Or at least, that’s how I thought they worked. The fact Lightning has been here almost 3 years and none of us have suffered any ill effects turns that assumption on its head. The long and short of it is, just make sure you keep loving him and make sure to reinforce that replacing people for more than a prank is not something he should do without good reason. Also keep on feeding him as you have been, the few changeling prisoners we’ve ever caught survived perfectly fine off of pony food.”

“That...that’s a lot to take in, but thank you for explaining things Princess Celestia. So, Magic Kindergarten then?” asked Sunspot.

Princess Celestia responds, “He has a horn and changelings can use magic like unicorns.”

“Ahh, that makes sense….”


Meanwhile, as the conversation fades off to the minutiae of schooling, a disguised changeling drone who looked in the window and caught the transformation flies off to tell her queen what she saw.