Magic Lessons

by Sun Aura

First published

Sunset Shimmer gives everyone Magic Lessons.

Those in the Human world have begun to Pony Up and use magic, just like the Rainbooms do. Sunset decided that the only option is to teach everyone how to use their newfound powers. It goes about as well as expected.

Part of the Cornerverse-MLP Universe.
Rated Teen for swearing, innuendo, and maybe a couple subjects.

Chapter 1

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Sunset took a breath, and felt herself Pony Up. Making sure she had everything she needed, she walked onstage and looked out into the crowd into Canterlot High’s students and staff. Making her way to center stage, she readjusted the microphone clipped to her jacket.

“Hello, can everyone hear me?” she asked into the crowd.

They could. Too well, in fact, as many covered their ears. She stared at Vinyl in The Pit. Vinyl adjusted a few things on her soundboard before giving a thumbs up to her.

“Apparently you can hear me,” Sunset joked, resulting in a few chuckles. “As you all know, I’m Sunset Shimmer. You know, ex-terror, Unicorn from another Dimension and all that. And you, of course, know what this assembly is for.”

There was a general murmuring throughout the crowd.

“Correct,” Sunset said. “Because everyone here is beginning to be able to use Magic, and are transforming because of it. This is just an assembly to tell you some basics of how your, erm, transformations work, and how we’re going to deal with them.”

“For the first part,” she continued. “I have a power point presentation. And, I’m borrowing a friend’s assistant.”

From the other side of the stage, a freshman popped out. He was purple, with messy green hair and eyes that were a little off. His outfit almost matched Sunset’s, being jeans and a black jacket, though he thankfully had a green shirt instead.

“Hey guys!” Spike greeted. “Guess who finally has thumbs!”

“Sunset, please tell me you didn’t turn your friend’s dog into a person,” Principal Celestia sighed from the front row.

“Well, yes, but I had a good reason,” Sunset replied. “He was a dog, but he was fully sapient. Besides, his counterpart is a Dragon. Which is, again, fully sapient. By the way, Twilight’s parents are stopping by to help work up the paperwork to make him a student.”

Principal Celestia just sighed.

“I’m mostly just working the projector today,” Spike shrugged. “Got to get used to actual hands.”

“Trust me, I know the feeling,” Sunset said, wiggling her own fingers. “Anyway, onto the first slide!”

Spike flipped on the projector. The image wasn’t the one she expected. It was a picture of Rarity, winking at the camera, with the words ‘Valentine, you’re a horse!’ around it. Naturally it got laughs from quite a few.

“Discord, no more messing with my slides!” Sunset shouted towards the backstage.

“Can’t hear you!” Discord’s voice replied. “And if I could, I would have no idea what you’re talking about!”

“Ugh, just go to the next slide,” she said, rubbing the bridge of her nose.

The slide had a picture of one of the Rainboom’s rehearsals, and a few words on the side.

“Let’s go over the overall changes first,” Sunset said. “We have more than just Ponies in our Dimension. I’ve sent a list of student and staff names to Princess Twilight to see who’s what, since it’s easier than going through individually, but she’s only gotten back to me on those she knows. So far, most of you are Ponies, but we have one Zebra, one Griffon, two Changelings, and counting Spike, a dragon.”

“Things all of you will experience is the transformation,” she continued. “It’ll be a bit different depending on what you are, but for the most part you will have different ears. Your hearing and sense of smell are also enhanced. And, of course, you’ll have magic. Also, while we’ve been calling the transformation to ‘pony up’, we’ll mostly be saying ‘transform’ instead. Trust me, as much as I love the pun, it doesn’t make sense applied to a griffon or dragon.”

She signaled for Spike to change the slide. This one had her and her friend’s “Cutie Marks”.

“I’ve explained Cutie Marks to a few of you before,” she said. “But here’s the basics. Every pony has a Special Talent, represented by an image that appears on their flank once they find your talent. Most of you, oddly enough, wear your Counterpart’s Cutie Mark on your outfits. Also, since I’m pretty sure none of you have transformed with your pants off, at least I hope not, you haven’t noticed that your Transformation includes one. Some of you Freshman might not have one yet, but don’t worry, you’ll get it soon enough. Any questions?”

No one answered, so they flipped to the next slide. This one had pictures of Sunset, Rarity, and this world’s Twilight. All transformed, all with Unicorn horns.

“Since I know Unicorns best, seeing as I am one, we’ll start there,” Sunset said. “As a Unicorn, your transformation includes a horn. It didn’t before for some reason, but it does now. Your horn is used for spellcasting. I’ll be teaching you how to do that.”

“We’ll start with Levitation,” she said, lighting up her horn and grabbing a few objects to toss around in her magic. “It’s pretty basic, and any Unicorn can do it. As we move forward, I’ll help those who can learn more spells learn what they need. Any questions?”

“Think I could turn my dog into a human too?” someone shouted.

“I wouldn’t suggest it,” she said. “Partly because even if you did, they wouldn’t necessarily be sapient. That said, transformation spells, even temporary ones, are very difficult. And if the spell backfires, well, good luck. Although a Glamour would be a good spell to teach instead. The difference being that one is an actual transformation while the other is an illusion.”

Someone else raised their hand, and she nodded for them to speak.

“What makes you qualified to teach us magic?” Trixie asked. “Sure, you’re from there, but do you have any idea what you’re doing?”

“I do, actually,” Sunset replied. “Not only did I grow up learning spells, but I am one of the most magically gifted Unicorns to ever exist, and I spent several years being personal student to a two thousand year old sort-of-goddess studying Magic that most adult Unicorns can’t even perform. The only thing I can’t use is Dark Magic, and even if I could I’m not teaching any of you. And as for everyone else teaching you, I’ve personally picked them for their skills, so they’re on the level too.”

That seemed a good enough response. As they muttered to themselves, she went to the next slide. This one had Rainbow, Fluttershy, Flash, and Scootaloo. It was a lot less posed than the others, being from their hangout over the weekend, but all four had transformed.

“Pegasai are next,” Sunset said. “Obviously, you have wings and the ability to fly. You also get weather manipulation powers. Rainbow Dash will be teaching you to fly. While we’re here, Griffons also get wings, along with the Lion tail, and have similar abilities. So she’ll be taught by Rainbow as well. That said, I’m calling in a teacher from Equestria to help you with weather manipulation, and teach you how to take care of your wings.”

“Also, I’m sort of obligated to tell you this,” she sighed. “Wings, while they work like any other limb and can take a hit, are very ‘sensitive’ to being touched. In the, you know, more intimate way? I mean, it’s not always like that, but it easily can be. Like, ears or wrists or a back massage or something where you can touch it normally or in that way. I mean, can you imagine wing care if it was just like ‘I’m going to remove this feather and whoops!’. So, yeah, I know you're trying to test out your wings and all, but just know when to not.”

There was snickering and embarrassment from everyone. Sunset just gave an awkward cough before having Spike go to the next slide, one with an overexcited Pinkie Pie practically hugging Applejack to death.

“Anyway, onto Earth Ponies,” Sunset said. “Your magic is mostly passive, so you’ll only get the ears. You’re stronger, sturdier, and have a lot more endurance than other ponies. You’ll also have an easy time getting plants to grow. I know it’s not as ‘cool’ as spellcasting or flight, but being able to lift a lot is still pretty good.”

“On the bright side,” she went on, “you don’t really need the extra classes like everyone else. Just learn to watch your strength.”

The pictures for the next slide were a few of the students she’s pulled aside for pictures. All of them were translucent, like gemstones.

“Crystal Ponies, I know the least about,” she admitted. “They sort of disappeared for a thousand years, which is a very long story that I am not telling today. Physically, you’ll look like a walking crystal, though you’re still made of flesh. Wow that word sounds gross. Again, I’m calling in a teacher from Equestria for this because I don't know much.”

“We can cover the Changelings, Zebra, and Dragons now,” she said. “Changelings will get horns and translucent wings, as well as slightly different ears. They have transformation powers, and can mimic the abilities of the other ponies. Zebras will only have ears like the Earth Ponies, but their magic is in potion making. Dragons, well, we haven’t tested out the transformation fully, but they do have firebreath. Don’t worry though. Even though he’ll shoot flames when he sneezes, Dragon Fire is magic, and won’t burn unless it wants to. They can also do some spellcasting. Since we only have one Dragon right now, his Counterpart is enough for personal lessons, but we’re getting Zebra and Changeling teachers as well.”

“Any questions?” she asked into the crowd again.

There were a few hands. She picked one and let them talk.

“What about the ones with a horn and wings?” they asked.

“Those are Alicorns,” Sunset answered. “They have traits of various Ponies, and will be taking the classes with everyone else. However, in Equestria, there are only four Alicorns. For the most part, their counterparts are as well. The Alicorns here are Principal Celestia, Vice Principal Luna, and Crystal Prep’s Dean Cadence”

She chose another hand.

“If there’s four Alicorns over there, why are there only three here?”

“Because of Princess Twilight,” she replied. “Princess Twilight is a ‘Crafted Alicorn’, meaning she was born something else and became an Alicorn through a whole bunch of hickory dickory. In specific, she was born a Unicorn, so since this world’s Twilight hasn’t ‘Ascended’, she’s still a Unicorn.”

She picked another hand.

“What is Discord?” they shouted.

“Good question,” she replied to a round of laughter. “Discord is a Draconeqqus, also known as an embodiment of Chaos Magic. Since there’s only one, his Counterpart will be teaching him. Well, he’s been doing it already because as an embodiment of Chaos Magic, he does what he wants.”

“That’s not fair, Shim Sham!” Discord’s voice blasted out of the sound booth’s microphones. “I have Princess Twilight’s express permission to be here! Or I will. After all, she probably doesn’t want to keep chasing me through the portal every time!”

“She could always lock the door,” she retorted. “And she has a Guard now.”

“Yeah, because they’ve stopped me the last three times,” he scoffed.

“Three times?!” She heard Twilight’s voice shout through the speakers.

“Whoops!” he chuckled. “Said too much!”

There was a sound of a scuffle and some swearing before silence. Sunset gave a snort of laughter into her microphone before facing everyone else.

“Sorry about that, technical difficulties,” she gave them a moment to laugh. “Anyway, magic lessons start today after class. Monday is Unicorns, Tuesday is Pegasai, Wednesday will be Crystal Ponies, and Thursday will be everyone else. I’d usually have them all at once, but I want to supervise all classes. And I can’t teach if I’m splitting myself between all of you. Literally. There’s a spell for that. Any questions?”

There were no hands.

“Good, because I have to give this speech again,” she sighed. “Twice at Crystal Prep, who knows how many times at Town Hall, and to an Apartment building in Hollow Shades. If you think of anything, ask me at lessons or we’ll have extra lessons on Friday if you want them.”

Chapter 2

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Sunset looked out to the crowd standing in the grassy CHS soccer field, all of them Counterparts to a Unicorn. All of them transformed. It was a thankfully small group. Most were from Canterlot High, since a lot of Adults couldn’t schedule time off work and a lot of Crystal Prep was being stubborn about ‘learning from Canter-not’.

Still, there were a few more than just CHS students and staff, like Twilight’s brother, Sunset’s Counterpart(Shimmer), Lance , Shimmer’s cousin Sunburst, Twilight’s friend Obsidian, Sunny Flare, Starlight Glimmer, and two friends of Rarity’s named Fancy Pants and Fleur. They also had three Alicorns joining them, as Principal Celestia, Vice Principal Luna, and Dean Cadence had to go to all the lessons.

“Everyone, grab a ball,” Sunset instructed, only to be met with a few giggles.

“Teenagers,” Starlight muttered.

Thankfully, everyone did as instructed, and grabbed a ball with little fighting over colors. The balls were about the size of a softball, and about as weighted, though made of an actual soft material. They were on loan from Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns. They were good for practicing spells on, without much risk.

“First, let’s go with the basics,” Sunset said, lighting her horn. “Accessing your magic. Obviously, this is essential to spellcasting. It feels like a constant thrumming within you, but quiet enough to ignore. Try and grab onto it. You’ll know you’ve done it right when your horn lights up like mine has.”

She watched them struggle for a bit. Twilight and Rarity got it first, having used magic before. After them, it seemed like a certain group got it at once. Then another group, followed one by one by the rest of them. She waited until all their horns were lit in various colors.

“Interesting,” she mused. “Next, try and grab the ball in front of you with your magic, and lift it to your face.”

She demonstrated with her own ball. Watching them try it out, she noticed something. They managed to do it in almost the exact same order. Sure there were differences, but the same ‘groups’ got it first.

“Very interesting,” Sunset mused.

“What’s interesting?” Twilight asked.

“A lot of things,” she said. “Mostly, is that some of you are having an easier time than others.”

“And that’s different because?” Starlight asked.

“Because it matches your Counterpart’s skills and power,” she said. “Keeping Twilight and Rarity out since they’ve done some of this before, we seem to have groups. Celestia and Luna are the most powerful in Equestria, being Immortal Alicorns. Shining, Lance, Starlight, and myself are all highly gifted, and while I haven’t met Obsidian’s Counterpart, I bet he is as well considering what I’ve heard of him. All of you seemed to get it almost immediately.”

“So the more powerful the easier you’ll have it?” Sunny Flare asked.

“Yes and no,” she said. “It also seems to go along with the learned skill your Counterparts had. After that group, was Lyra, Minuette, Sunburst, Sweetie Belle, Moondancer, Cadence, and Trixie. There’s a range of power levels and age there. In Equestria you have a one in Minuette to a two-point-five in Cadence, but all of your Counterparts have had some kind of Magic Schooling past what normal ponies learn. For everyone else, adults went first, then kids.

“This suggests that some of your skill followed over,” she continued. “I suspected it when Rainbow Dash was able to fly as soon as she got wings. This will also make it easier when we move on to group exercises, and eventually to more powerful spells. For now, try moving the ball around. Get a hold of how it moves. Be as extra as you want, go at different speeds and try abrupt stops sometimes, but try not to hit anyone. If you feel really confident, try to move it around you while you walk or talk.”

She made her own ball do loops as she spoke. As expected, the groups got a hang of it in the same orders. Still, she allowed herself to chuckle when she watched them weave their heads around to watch the ball. Some were more graceful than others, and as expected a few balls did go flying. Then again, that’s what Sunset’s magic was for.

She made rounds, suggesting exercises for people as she went. She held a conversation with a few of those who wanted to try levitation without thinking. She especially gave attention to those who weren’t quite getting it. Once everyone had gotten a chance to play around with it, and they had stopped bobbing their heads around, she decided they’d gotten it down enough to move on.

To stop them, she reached out her magic and grabbed all of the balls out of the air. Most of them jumped at the connection being broken. More than a few swore.

“Yeah, having someone interrupt your Magic always feels weird,” Sunset said. “But that’s where our next lesson is going. I’m going to pair you off, and you and your partner will pass the ball back and forth for a while. As before, once you get a handle on this, you can try being extra and tossing it around or playing keep away.”

“Are we allowed to choose our partners?” Sweetie Belle asked.

“No,” she said. “Sorry, but I know your skills here and I think it’s best to practice with someone on your own skill level. I mean, if I pair someone who’s doing good with someone who’s still struggling, they could get frustrated and blame the ‘lesser’ partner. Or someone could over help and then they won’t get what they need.”

“I’m still going to try and pair you up with someone you’ll get along with,” she continued. “First up, Shimmer can be my partner.”

“Wow, because you get along best with yourself,” Shimmer laughed, walking over to her counterpart.”

“That, and your ‘Group’ has an odd number,” she replied. “Okay, Lance and Shining pair up. Twilight, you get Obsidian. I think Celestia and Luna can handle themselves, and Rarity-“

“I’ll pair up with Fancy!” Rarity cut her off, already clinging to the man’s arm.

“I was going to say Starlight,” Sunset said. “She’s a better match for you in magic power, while he’s a lot lower.”

“True,” Rarity smiled. “But if you pair me with Starlight, you can’t let her talk with Sunburst. And we wouldn’t want that, would we?”

Sunset sighed. Rarity was almost as stubborn as Rainbow or AJ, so she knew it would take a while to convince her.

“Fine,” Sunset agreed. “But everyone else still has to go with what I say.”

There was a murmur of agreement. She used her magic to pass back their balls.

“Alright,” Sunset continued. “Starlight and Sunburst, like she said. Lyra and Minuette, Trixie and Moondancer, Sweetie Belle with Cadence…”

Once she paired everyone up, she began passing a ball back and forth with her Counterpart. While she was still unsure of why her Magic had changed color, it was helpful to see when Shimmer took the ball from her, as it changed from orange to turquoise.

After a while, they began walking and passing the ball. Sunset watched everyone else’s colors change too, since she couldn’t feel for herself if they were doing it right. Pink to silver, magenta to red, gold to silver, violet to yellow, turquoise to yellow-orange, purple to a gray-pink, and green to blue.

Then she added an extra element to it. She had everyone stop and pick up a second ball. They were to hold the second ball in place while passing their original back and forth. It went wild, as she’d expected. Nearly all of them forgot which ball to hold and which to move and ended up shooting them all over the place.

She soon moved them up to passing one ball and moving the other. Then the next step was to pass both back and forth. It was shaky at best, and even the quicker group began to have trouble with it. A part of her wanted to keep them going, but she saw how some of them were getting tired.

“Okay, that’s enough for today,” Sunset called, grabbing all of the balls again.

“Really?” Trixie whined. “I could keep going with that.”

Don’t push yourself,” Sunset said. “Here’s your next spellcasting lesson! Magic takes energy, just like any physical activity. You can keep up any spell as long as you’re conscious and you have the energy to maintain it. Like physical activity, you’ll regain energy by eating and resting.”

“You sound like a video game tutorial!” Flare shouted.

“Think of it like one then,” she replied. “Levitation is a spell that slowly drains your energy as you use it, and you wouldn’t notice it unless you, oh I don’t know, did nothing but that for a few hours. Something like Teleportation, on the other hand, will take a chunk of your energy. And again like a video game, your level determines how much energy you have to use. That’s why Fancy and Fleur are tired while Shining and Lance look like they could run a marathon.”

“Which is why, our lesson is over for today,” she continued. “But you do have some ‘homework’.”

There was a loud groan. Mostly from the teenagers.

“Come on, guys, it’s Magic homework!” she laughed. “Whenever you can, practice levitating objects and moving them around. Get as complicated as you’re comfortable with, but remember that I’m not there to keep things from flying around. So don’t levitate knives.”

That got a chuckle out of everyone.

“No, seriously, don’t do it,” she repeated. “But next week, I’ll want you to show your skills. Then we might start with Hammerspace spells. Now go home and get something to eat.”

Chapter 3

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This time, instead of the field, Sunset was waiting by the statue portal in front of Canterlot High. With her were the Pegasai Counterparts, and one Griffon Counterpart. They had a few more Crystal Prep students this time, including Indigo Zap and Sour Sweet. Though the tradeoff was that none of the Alicorns could come today due to their respective work schedules.

“What are we waiting for?” Rainbow asked, playing with the zipper on her dark blue tracksuit.

“The teacher for the day,” Sunset said. “While you’re the best flier here and could teach the basics, you are technically going mostly on instinct. You can still teach that, but I wanted a Pegasus to help you with the fine-tuning. Don’t worry, I’ll make sure she sticks mostly to weather manipulation.”

“So, who is the teacher?” Flash asked.

“We were waiting for everyone to get here,” she shrugged. “She wanted to make an entrance, but considering she hasn’t been here before I don’t think it’ll work. Confidence does wonders, but it only does so much to help you figure a different body.”

With that, she stuck her arm into the portal to signal the teacher. It was weird to have only part of her in the mirror. Especially considering that the other end of her arm was now a hoof.

As soon as she took her arm out of the portal, someone came barreling through. The girl who came through had multicolored hair, and a red tracksuit. Sunset just leaned against the statue and watched her tumble over, not knowing how to work her two legs. Thankfully she came through already ‘Transformed’, so they wouldn’t have to wait for that.

“Hello, Rainbow Dash,” Sunset greeted.

“More like Rainbow Crash!” one of the students shouted.

“Shut the fuck up, Dumbell!” Rainbow shouted, scrambling up. “I can still kick your ass from here to next Hearth’s Warming!”

Sunset had prepared her for what humans look like compared to ponies, so it was easy for Rainbow to pick out the person she was yelling at and march right up to him.

“Remember, you’re here to teach them,” Sunset said, holding her back by the shoulders.

“Fine, but no more comments like that,” she huffed.

She stopped glaring at everyone long enough to look at them. There was a difference between seeing what Humans look like, and actually seeing a Human. Eventually her eyes settled on Fluttershy, Flash, Scootaloo, and her Counterpart. Said Counterpart looked particularly stunned.

“You know, I always knew I’d be awesome in any dimension!” both Rainbows laughed.

“Before we continue,” Flash asked. “Can we do something so I don’t end up in a loop of ‘this Rainbow and that Rainbow’?”

“Pinkie already decided,” Sunset said. “This World’s Rainbow will be called ‘Rainbow’, and Equestria’s Rainbow will be called ‘Dash’.”

“Lame,” Dash half-jeered. “I’d fight for my name, but honestly Pinkie started on a long rant about some kind of Universe in a Corner with its own Princess, and stars do I not want to listen to that speech again. I’m still not sure when she breathes.”

“This is so cool!” Rainbow shouted.

“Two Rainbow Dashes!” Scootaloo exclaimed, her head swiveling between the two.

“That’s right, Scoots,” Dash chuckled, ruffling Scootaloo’s hair. “Just give me a few minutes to figure out how a ‘Human’ body works in the air, and we’ll be good to go!”

“So, any questions?” Sunset asked.

“So we’ve heard how you’re qualified, but how is she qualified to teach us?” someone asked.

“Hey Gilda,” Dash greeted, easily finding the tallest in the crowd.

“You know me?” Gilda frowned, crossing her arms.

“Well, your Counterpart,” she said. “I know most of your Counterparts, actually. It’s kinda weird. I’ll try to keep you guys separate from them, but yeah I’m probably going to slip up and think of you guys as them. That’s weird to say but you know what I mean.

“As for qualifications,” she grinned, almost maniacally. “I’m probably the best flier in Equestria, and I’ve done flying lessons before, teaching my world’s Scootaloo and Princess Twilight. And I’m also Ponyville’s weather manager.”

“Is that true, or just her ego?” Someone shouted.

“It’s pretty true, actually,” Sunset answered, holding Dash’s mouth shut. “In Equestria, we have the Wonderbolts, a ‘Best of the Best’ flight team that is technically military but mostly does flight shows. Dash is one of the youngest Wonderbolts ever. She’s also the only pony to ever perform a Sonic Rainboom. Literally, they were purely theoretical before she actually pulled it off. On accident. At age eleven.”

“Did I ever hear you or Twi say ‘Rainboom’ before I named the band?” Rainbow asked. “If so, what is it?”

“I’ll show you!” Dash grinned, breaking out of Sunset’s grip. “It’ll be a good way to test out the body differences. Watch closely, this is going to be awesome!”

Dash spread her wings and jumped into the air. As she climbed higher and higher, Sunset wondered if this was a good idea. It’d be quite visible, and could attract some unwanted attention. Then again, the Fall Formal, the Battle of the Bands, and the Friendship Games already got the attention of everyone and their oddly sapient dog, so this couldn’t hurt.

When Dash was just a speck in the sky, she flipped into a dive. She went faster and faster. A few students murmured concern, wondering if she’d remember to pull up in time. It didn’t take long for her to hit the limit.

A blast of multi-colored light radiated from the sky, quickly followed by a loud boom and shockwaves, both literal and magical. Dash was still flying, a rainbow trailing behind her. Sunset could tell that Dash was basking in the admiration before slowing down to come back around.

“And that, is a Sonic Rainboom!” Dash stated, setting down on the ground.

“Okay, screw me teaching!” Rainbow shouted. “She knows what she’s doing.”

“Are you actually admitting that someone is more ‘Awesome’ than you?” Sunset asked.

“Okay, but she is me,” she defended. “Also, she’s only more awesome because she’s had seventeen years of being magic, and I’ve had only a few months. Still, I’m totally going to catch up pretty quick!”

“It’s Dash’s call then,” she said.

“Sure,” Dash said. “We can do it in tandem, but remember you’re wingpony here.”

“Second in command,” Sunset clarified.

“Whatever,” she shrugged. “Everyone, make sure you can see me. That’s not an ego thing, either. I’m going to be explaining things about wings first, so let’s go!”

Everyone shuffled around. They ened up mostly in a semi-circle, and taller behind shorter. Sunset and Dash stayed in front.

“So, what all has Sunset told you about how your wings work?” Dash asked.

“Not much,” Sunset answered. “I figured you’d have your own methods. Besides, I can’t tell them how to work something I never had.”

“She did tell us about the wing sensitivity thing!” Cloud Chaser shouted.

“Wait, really?” Dash asked, looking back at Sunset. “I would’ve expected, like, naming all the different feathers or something. I mean, I get it, it’s something that you’ll need to say, even if it’s awkward as hell. But that’s the only thing?”

“Well I kind of had to tell them that,” Sunset defended.

“Okay, I need more of an explanation for that,” she said.

“Well, uh,” she glanced away, her face heating up. “When Flash first transformed, Rainbow and Rarity brought me in, and Pinkie appeared from nowhere. And you know how Pinkie likes to touch things, so that happened. And then the next time Rainbow Transformed, Pinkie shouted about the ‘wing trick’ in front of a bunch of students, so they were asking.”

“Kill me now!” Flash shouted, trying to sink into the ground.

Dash was doubled over in laughter. It took her a few minutes to be able to stand again.

“Okay, after learning that, how many of you went home and tested it out?” Dash asked, once she got her breath.

About half of the group tentatively raised their hands.

“Interesting,” Dash mused. “Half of you are fucking liars, but I’m the Element of Loyalty, not Honesty, so I don’t care! Let’s start the actual lesson with the boring part: different parts of the wing and different feathers. Because there’s a few. Seriously, how many of you know what an ‘Alula’ is?”

“I think there’s a freshman with that name?” Flitter said.

Dash smacked her hand to her face, as did said freshman.

Sunset droned out the lesson a bit. She remembered the different feathers from various books on both Pegasai and birds, and she had no use for how to take care of wings, so she didn’t listen. Of course, she wasn’t the only one skipping the lesson, as both Rainbow and Flash side-stepped their way over to her.

“So why me, I mean her, I mean-you know what I mean?” Rainbow asked.

“She’s qualified,” Flash added, “but I know you and Rainbow enough to tell there’s something going on.”

“You’re half right,” Sunset said. “I was going to ask her anyway. But once she figured out that there was another Scootaloo in this Dimension, she was practically begging me.”

“What’s Scoots have to do with it?” Rainbow asked. “I mean, if it’s the family connection, Flash’s here too.”

“From what Dash’s told me,” she said, making sure she was even quieter. “Equestria’s Scootaloo has a lot of trouble flying. After what she learned about Scootaloo’s parents, she’s pretty sure it’s because she was born prematurely. Equestria’s Scootaloo was crushed by the fact that she might not ever be able to fly. How do you think this world’s Scootaloo will react to getting magic and being so excited to fly with her siblings, then learning she might not be able to?”

“Fuck,” Flash sighed, looking over to where Scootaloo stood. “Are you sure it’ll be the same here?”

“Completely,” she nodded. “She was born early because your mother died. If someone’s dead in this world, they’re dead in the other world too. I’ve already had people ask me about it. Even if I wasn’t sure about the death, the Unicorns showed skill relative to their Counterpart’s, so that should carry over.”

“Is-is Equestria’s Scootaloo able to fly at all?” Rainbow asked.

“Dash could give a more in-depth answer,” she said. “But from what she said, Scootaloo can fly somewhat. Her speed and endurance are way down, but she can make it to the skies now. Dash volunteered not just to comfort her when she’s scared she’ll never get it, but because she knows how to teach her. I fully expect that once the normal lesson’s over she’ll be spending extra time helping Scootaloo.”

“I’m going to help too,” she said. “Sure, I’m not miss ‘Sonic Rainboom’, but whenever she’s not here, I can help instead.”

“Me too,” Flash said. “After-after everyone else leaves we should tell her.”

The two of them went back to the lesson, which Dash had knowingly dragged on a little to let them catch up. It was a little strange to hear Dash talk in technical, almost scientific, terms. She had them practice a few movements first, showing them how to get off the ground without doing it yet.

“Okay, now that you know the movements, try to get in the air,” Dash commanded. “Just try and hover for a few minutes. On three, okay? One. Two. Three!”

Everyone pushed off. As what had happened with the Unicorns, some managed, others fell flat on their butts. Sunset snickered a little at them.

“Kind of expected that,” Dash sighed.

“And I expected you to laugh at us,” Indigo Zap said.

“Hey, I’m being the teacher,” she defended. “Right now, I’m Rainbow ‘Professionalism’ Dash!”

“I thought your middle name was ‘Fight Me’,” Sunset teased.

“Point taken,” she pouted. “Anyway, everyone hovering, keep hovering! Everyone else, try again! One. Two. Three!”

It took a few more tries, but eventually everyone was able to maintain a hover. Even, thankfully, Scootaloo managed. Though she seemed to be struggling a bit. Dash made sure to help her keep it up.

After that, they tried moving around in the air. Scootaloo still had trouble, but she did well enough that no one would have noticed unless they were looking for it. Some were swooping around easily, while a others clumsily made their way along. Eventually, Rainbow had them all set back down.

“Okay while I’d love to have you guys swooping around everywhere,” Dash began, “This is enough to get you guys started. You can practice more on your own and I’ll come back next week to see how you’re doing. For now, let’s move on to Weather Manipulation.”

Dash leapt into the air, climbing into the sky again. She spun around until she got quite a few clouds together. Dragging it with her, she brought the whole thing to the ground.

“Usually you’d do this in the sky,” Dash said, pulling off chunks of cloud. “But you’re all still new to flying, so it’ll be hard for you to focus on both flying and weather manipulation. Don’t want you to fall.”

“So how are we starting this?” Flash asked.

“We’ll start with grabbing the clouds,” she said. “This’ll be a bit one at a time, since I’m going to pass them out and you’ll have to grab it. Be a bit gentle here, because, you know, clouds.”

It took everyone a couple tries to touch their cloud. Some even burst their cloud, but thankfully Dash had thought of that and grabbed way more than needed.

“First, just try reshaping the cloud,” Dash instructed. “Don’t worry about making it a sculpture or anything special. It’s still a cloud. Just make it cloud shaped or something. Sunset, you want to try a cloudwalking spell?”

“Sure,” Sunset answered. “Don’t think I can do the other stuff though.
She cast the spell on herself and grabbed a cloud. Dash relaxed on the large pile of extra clouds. This part of the lesson was pretty self-explanitory, and soon enough everyone was making various little ‘cloud castles’.

“Now that you’ve got that down,” Dash said, sitting back up. “We can work on changing the weather. Let’s start with rain.”

“Didn’t Sunset mention a weather factory?” Rainbow asked.

“True,” she agreed. “It’s the difference between making a table yourself and having a table factory. They can make more clouds in a short amount of time, and with better accuracy.”

“What else gets made at the weather factory?” Thunderlane asked.

“Pretty much everything,” she said. “Clouds of course, in all their forms, Snow and Lightning, even rainbows. Rainbows are really cool because they start out as liquid.”

Aren’t rainbows made of light?” Alula asked. “How do you make them liquid?”

“There’s a section called the ‘Rainbow Factory’,” she said. “Do you want the real version of what goes on, or the horror story we’d tell at flight camp to scare the hell out of the newbies?”

“Real version,” Fluttershy asked, her face turning pale.

“Horror story!” Rainbow and Scootaloo shouted.

“Or both?” Flash suggested.

“Real version is ‘magic’,” Dash said. “Twilight could explain it scientifically probably. The horror story version is that if you suck at flying, they’ll kidnap you, and drain you of color in a torturous process that ends up killing you.”

“And you’re sure that it’s not real?” Flitter asked.

“Maybe I’d be skeptical,” she shrugged. “But the mare who runs the red orange and yellow sections of the factory is Flutter’s mom, Daybreak, who faints at the sight of blood. Literally. Last week we were making dinner and I caught a falling knife with my wing. It barely needed a bandage but she was out. That kind of mare couldn’t run a murder hut.”

“Are rainbows edible?” Derpy asked.

“Yeah, oddly enough,” she continued. “They’re spicy. But we’re getting off topic. It’s time to make it rain. Now, this actually uses emotional magic.”

“Really?” Sunset asked. “That never came up before. I thought it was just Dragons, Changelings, and Sirens.”

“Probably because it’s not our ‘main magic’,” she said. “Twi said you Unicorns use emotions in spells sometimes, and so do Crystal Ponies.”

“Fair enough,” she agreed.

“So, how do we make it rain?” Flash asked.

“Sadness,” she said. “Touch the cloud, feel your magic, and think sad thoughts. The sadder you get, the more rain. Once you get it raining, use Joy to turn them back to normal.”

It seemed more difficult than anything else. Some, like Fluttershy and Derpy, got their cloud to fill up with water and start a small downpour. Sour Sweet seemed to get it, but would something would derail it into a normal cloud. Rainbow seemed to be unable to change her cloud past a barely silver.

Then there was Flash. He took his time thinking. He frowned and touched the cloud. It turned black, thunder and lightning jumping everywhere, making everyone around scramble for cover.

“Don’t panic!” Dash shouted.

She leapt toward the cloud anyway. A few lightning bolts made her tracksuit start smoking, but it didn’t stop her. She put her hands on the cloud, and almost immediately the thunder stopped roaring in their ears.

She breathed a sigh of relief at the pale gray cloud. Sunset dropped the shield she didn’t know she’d made. Once everyone could breathe a bit better, Dash turned to Flash.

“What were you thinking of?” Dash asked.

“Something sad,” Flash answered.

“I know I said I’m not ‘Honesty’, but please don’t give half-truths,” she sighed.

“I-I was thinking about my dad,” he admitted crossing his arms and looking away. “Sorry.”

“Well fuck, that explains it,” she said.

She took a breath to calm herself before hopping back onto her cloud pile. Getting comfortable again, she looked over the crowd.

“So that’s two lessons there,” Dash said. “First, lightning won’t hurt you that much because of your magic. It’ll still sting like a bitch, and you’ll smell like burning for a few days, but you’ll be fine within a minute or two.

“The second lesson,” she continued, “is that while Sadness makes Rain, Anger makes Thunderstorms. I probably should’ve been more specific. But yeah, you thinking of your assmunch of a dad isnt’ the best for ‘Sadness’.”

“I’ll try something else then,” Flash said.

“Take a minute to cool off first,” she said. “Then think of, I don’t know, a sad book maybe?”

She sat back and let them go back to making rain clouds. Dash frowned, her own cloud turning a bit grayer. Sunset took the chance and climbed up next to her. Clouds were always a bit unstable, sort of like walking on jello, but she sat down and put a hand on her shoulder.

“Hey, you okay?” Sunset asked.

“Yeah, fine,” Dash grumbled.

“Dash, your cloud is turning gray,” she said. “What’d you say? ‘I’m not ‘Honesty’ but don’t give me half-truths’.”

“Fair enough,” she said. “But I’m Loyalty. And Flash and Scoots’ dad was the least Loyal pony I’ve ever met. Like maybe Tirek or Chrysalis are worse, but he’s up there on the list of Ponies I want to punch.”

“I probably would’ve,” she said. “Usually I’d suggest we talk this out, but for the next little bit you need to be teaching. I promise we can do this later.”

“Thanks,” she said.

Dash took a calming breath and ran her hand over the cloud. It turned back to fluffy white. She hopped off once more.

“Okay, you seem to have rain down,” Dash announced. “Now we’re going to purposely make storms. This is tricky. Sunset, do you think you could make a shield that lets things in but not out?”

“Yeah,” Sunset answered.

She lit her horn and created a sphere of energy in the air between them. Shields were usually easy, as all you were doing was making a wall. It was harder to make it so one side of the ‘wall’ would let ponies through it, and even harder to keep things in instead of out. Still, she managed. The shield expanded into a good size ball of energy.

“Okay, I don’t want you guys getting zapped,” Dash said. “So once you’ve made your Storm start up, shove it into the shield. Remember, Stormclouds are anger, and the angrier you get, the worse the storm will be. Try not to overdo it. You ready Sunset?”

“I’ve got it,” Sunset replied, keeping her focus on the shield.

“Alright, then go!” she exclaimed.

Flash and Scootaloo were first, having already picked what to draw the emotion from. Next were Rainbow and Sour Sweet. Oddly enough, Derpy was fifth to turn her could an inky black, but she had trouble getting the cloud to go where she wanted.

Luckily Dash was faster, taking the lightning for her as the cloud all but exploded. She calmed it and let her try again. She did the same for another a few other students, but unfortunately, she wasn’t quick enough to notice Indigo Zap.

Indigo let out a scream and a string of swears as a bolt hit her. She fell backwards to the ground. Everyone stopped their clouds, but Dash was the first there. She calmed the cloud before kneeling beside her.

“Stars are you okay?” Dash asked, helping her sit up a bit.

“I thought you said lightning wouldn’t hurt?” Indigo croaked out.

“I said it wouldn’t hurt as much,” she said. “It still hurts a lot though. It’s magic lightning, but it’s still lightning.”

“Dash,” Sunset frowned. “How many bolts did you take today?”

“Uh, just a couple?” she answered quickly.

“Dash,” she warned.

“Five or six,” she muttered under her breath. “Maybe seven. I lost count. ”

“You’re more badass than I thought,” Indigo said. “I wouldn’t want to jump into one more of those, let alone five or seven.”

“You guys might not be ‘my friends’ but you’re still my friends, you know?” she said. “I’m not going to let you guys get zapped if you don’t have to. Which is why I’ll leave directing lightning to next week’s lesson instead. It makes a really cool effect for Nightmare Night if you do it right.”

“Halloween,” Sunset corrected. “And Dash, no more taking lightning for others.”

“Do you want them to get zapped?” she frowned.

“No, but you taking any more bolts is still a bad idea,” she said. “You don’t have to be the self-sacrificing type.”

“I know,” she sighed. “But hey, I’m fine. It hurts a bit, okay quite a bit, but I’m fine. Twi compared it to a spell backfire, so it’s not too bad. But yeah, once everyone’s done with making a Stormcloud we can wait until next week before working with lightning again.”

Sunset frowned. She knelt down beside her and moved her magic over Dash. She’d barely started a spell before Dash jumped up and moved further.

“Come back here,” Sunset ordered, flinching from the magic disruption.

“No way!” Dash shouted from a good couple feet away. “Twi told me about healing spells too. If I’m not allowed to be self-sacrificing then neither are you!”

“I was just checking you over to see if you needed anything,” she said. “I’m not going to use up my magic while still holding a pile of clouds in a shield.”

“Well then, let’s finish up with everyone else’s storms so I can fix them,” she said.

She gave a nod to the last few people who hadn’t yet made their Stormclouds. With quite a bit of hesitation, they eventually all put their clouds into the shield. Dash went in from the top, calming all the clouds at once.

“Okay, now for something calmer,” Dash said, giving everyone clouds again. “Literally. You’re going to make snow clouds now, which means you need calm. This is tricky, but if you screw it up you won’t have as bad reactions. The worst you can do is mix up Calm and Joy, which would make a normal cloud.”

“Would that even work?” Flitter asked. “I mean, it’s like, spring?”

“Magic,” Dash shrugged. “The snow’ll melt pretty quickly on the ground, but we can still get it to fall. Just think calm. You know, ‘chill out’?”

Everyone groaned at the joke. Still, once their annoyance stopped, very few of them had trouble making snowclouds. Despite the pun, slowly falling snow was quite calming to watch. Even if it only fell a few feet.
Sunset used the distraction to check Dash over with her magic, but thankfully found only some singed hair and blackened patches of her tracksuit. After that, they had a bit of fun bursting the clouds.
“There’s one more thing I want to teach you guys,” Dash announced as the last few clouds burst.

“You didn’t mention anything,” Sunset said, tilting her head.

“Yeah, but I didn’t notice it until I got here,” she said. “What you need to learn is body language. Specifically, what you’re doing with your ears and wings.”

“What we’re doing with ears and wings?” Scootaloo said.

“Perfect example,” she said, pointing to her. “Everyone see how Scoot’s ears go lopsided like that? When combined with a frown and head tilt, it’s confusion or thinking. A smile instead would be a teasing playfulness.”

“Huh,” Rainbow said, her own ears tilting to match. “That oddly makes sense.”

“Yeah, it’s like a whole ‘nother language altogether,” she said. “It shouldn’t be too hard, since the wings and ears are part of the overall body language. But you’re new to it, so you should be aware of it if you want to read someone or even control your own body language. Can’t play poker if your ears tell your cards.”

“We could probably go over basics,” she continued. “Excitement and joy will be ears at attention, and wings flapping in short bursts.”

She happily demonstrated, her ears straight up and wings moving enough to make a few breezes, but not enough to get liftoff. After that, she quickly dropped it, letting her ears lay back and her wings fall slightly lower than a resting position.

“This one is ‘sad’,” she said, before lightly shuffling her wings. “And the small wing movements movements mean ‘awkwardness’ or ‘embarassment’.

Dash switched again. Her ears were still back, but they weren’t ‘laying’ so much as purposely turned. Her wings were flared forward, a little in front of her.

“This is for anger,” she said. “See how my wings are forward? I’m ready to fight or defend myself from something with them. Speaking of…”

She shifted again. Her ears were straight up, and her wings flared out fully. As she stood there, she looked almost frozen, except for her ears twitching with every sound.

“Fear,” she explained. “Your ears are scanning for sounds to know where the ‘attack’ is coming from, and your wings are ready for the ‘flight’ response of ‘fight or flight’. But there is one more thing, which isn’t really a ‘body language’ thing, since it’s a motion you chose to do.

“So your wings are have a good amount of dexterity,” she continued. “More than bird wings. You can use them similar to another hand, apparently, so some gestures will follow over.”

“Dash if you’re thinking what I think you’re thinking, you’d better not be,” Sunset warned, despite smiling.

Dash didn’t answer. Instead she brought her wing forward and in front of her. She adjusted her primaries so that only the second one was still fully up. Without thinking, everyone followed.

“Congratulations!” Dash laughed. “You have successfully learned how a Pegasus will ‘flip the bird’!”