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A Shimmering Burst of Sun (Bellosh & RainbowFoxxy)


Bellosh
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". . . Although I’ve got tears in my eyes
And I see rain clouds in the sky
I can’t deny the light inside
Because I’m not saying goodbye"
 🎵


.....And that was a wrap for this experimental vocal run-through. As the dawn-like radiance emanating from Sunset Shimmer subsided, she felt confident that her latest melody concept would be liked by her pals in the Rainbooms, and would become the next tune in their repertoire! A quite, heartfelt piece would be a nice change of pace from their usual high-energy rock songs.


Besides, this tune would also commemorate the inevitable day when the Rainbooms were destined to go their separate ways in life — which thanks to the structure of society Over There, was approaching all too soon. But that’s a post-graduation crisis for another day.


It was the end of the school day at the School of Friendship, and Defense Against Dark Hearts had wrapped up about 30 minutes prior. With no creature around roaming the nearby halls, Sunset Shimmer often used this time to practice her vocal cords without expectation of being eavesdropped on by anybody. There was just something magical about the act of singing... and frequently in her case, quite literally so.


That light Sunset just radiated a moment ago for example; that was very much a recent onset. Although her first study into the relationship between music and magic ended in an inconclusive bust, she had found time here and there to do some digging in this world. As it turned out, there IS a documented case in Equestria of a currently-active pop singer capable of involuntarily-triggered musical magic. Granted, it was just a single cutie mark lighting up, but it also meant that the magic that affected the Rainbooms wasn’t just some freak accident either.


For that matter, a pony lighting up as if they were the Sun itself was not a sight new to Sunset. Indeed, the unicorn mare witnessed Princess Celestia herself emitting a shine on par with sunlight on a few occasions, although the alicorn was able to control whatever powers were at work there, which didn’t seem to come from the same arcane wellspring as the unicorn spellcasting Sunset was intimately familiar with. Some other force was clearly at play.


Still, without any explanation for what was going on with her, Miss Shimmer thought it best to keep this latest “power” under wraps for the time being. In the meantime, the mare proceeded to move towards her desk, intending to scribble some notes onto a paper containing her song lyrics.....

 

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"Ahhhh..." The professor of ancient runes and archaic magics sighed as he leaned back in his office chair. Another sip from his mug of steaming tea and Sunny closed his eyes to ruminate. 

 

He'd been at the School of Friendship for a couple of seasons now. Times had been good to him. Now that he had his office jammed with books, scrolls, and parchments he could come in here to relax and unwind any time he liked. Surely the Headmistress of the school had been more than kind to offer him such accommodations. Not only did he get to pour over the research he loved but he also got to distribute his findings to students who were, mostly, willing to learn and sometimes even add their own thoughts on particular subjects. This was the perfect place for Sunburst and he knew it. Sure the Crystal Empire had been nice for a time but he didn't get the satisfaction that came with teaching eager minds there as he did here. 

 

He opened his eyes and took a other sip of fragrant tea before glancing at the desk in front of him. It, like the rest of his office, was covered with various books and documents. Off to one side was the magical orb he'd been working on. It certainly was a power source, and who knew how much power was inside but it was locked, with no key that he could reason. It was a puzzle and Sunny had always liked puzzles. 

 

There was one ting the stallion had been puzzling on for quite some time. A deeper area of his life that he seldom delved into. He was happy and fulfilled at the school but was there not...well, a small empty space somewhere inside him? The students had helped to fill in the desire he had to deliver his findings and have them be received. The faculty had become friends and so he found no need for more friendship than he'd acquired for the time being. But there was something else, loathe as he was to admit it. He took a breath and allowed himself to think on the subject for a moment. 

 

Sunny was not a young stallion anymore. There would be less of the flitting around Equestria now. He felt he had indeed settled down to his role and position at the school. He still yearned for adventure though and he yearned to share it with...somepony. Somepony that would be special to him, that he could love and have that love returned-

 

". . . Although I’ve got tears in my eyes
And I see rain clouds in the sky...

 

He was pulled back from his thinking by a voice echoing through the mostly empty halls outside his office. Strange he hadn't heard it before but this time he did. Faintly. From somewhere not too close but not all that far. It sounded nice. He raised his eyebrows. Who? He let the mug rest on the edge of the desk, releasing it from his magical levitation. Pressing back his chair he stood and quietly opened his office door. He walked down the hallway, following his ears. After a little more walking he saw the door to the Defense Against Dark Hearts classroom ajar. A bright light was issuing from within.

 

I can’t deny the light inside
Because I’m not saying goodbye"

 

He knocked lightly on the door as the singing ended and poked his head around. Sunny pulled in a small breath. Professor Sunburst? Had she been...glowing? He shook his head to clear it and then noticed how awkward he must look. He'd entered without even waiting to be welcomed in.

 

"P-professor!" He rubbed his front leg against the other. "I uh, I-i heard you singing," 

 

Horse apples...if there was a king of awkward the crown would go to Sunburst!

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Sunset Shimmer jolted when she heard the surprise visitor, causing the mare to drop her ink quill as she turned around to face the interloper. V-Vice Headstallion!” Sunset stammered as she started glowing again... if you count the glow from blood flowing to a pony's cheeks, that is.


The unicorn had backed up against the desk by now, awkwardly rubbing the back of her neck; “I hope the sound of my uhh... singing, wasn’t disturbing you.” Sunset should have known that Sunburst liked using this time of the day to study arcane lore without distraction!

 

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He rubbed the back of his head pensively as she spoke his true role at the friendship school. He much preferred to be just the professor of ancient runes and archaic magics. Sunny did know why Twilight had appointed him to the position before she left the school but, well it all sounded so formal. He just wanted to be himself. Now that he was more comfortable with himself that is. Well, he usually was more comfortable with himself, right now however? Why did he always seem to find himself in these awkward positions? And with the lovely Professor Shimmer no less?                                         

 

The professor let out a small sigh to himself. Resigning that this was just the sort of life the fates had lined up for him. He'd been working up the courage for over two semesters to speak with Professor Shimmer on friendly terms and now this had happened in less than a heartbeat! 

 

"Oh!" He put his front hoof back on the floor. "N-no! Disturbing me?" He chuckled. "Quite the contrary! Y-you have a lovely voice," He glanced around nervously. "I'm surprised I've never heard you before now. T-that is if you sing in the hallways o-on more than just this one occasion?"

 

He cocked his head. Was she blushing? Oh horse feathers! He'd upset her! No what he'd intended at all!

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"Oh! N-no! Disturbing me? Quite the contrary! Y-you have a lovely voice."

 

“Oh, well uhhh,” Sunset slightly tripped over herself in her response to Sunburst’s complement; “Thank you!” Although she wasn’t the sort of part-time musician desperate for everybody to sing her praises, Miss Shimmer still appreciated receiving positive feedback, especially from somepony who’s only heard her vocal talents for the first time.

 

"I'm surprised I've never heard you before now. T-that is if you sing in the hallways o-on more than just this one occasion?"

 

“Eh-heh,” Sunset chuckled in embarrassment; “I usually shut the door when all the kids head out, but it looks like I may have accidentally left it open a little bit. Welp; guess today’s your lucky day!”


By now, Miss Shimmer’s blushing had mostly subsided as she felt her groove coming back. Walking up to the stallion with a friendly smile, Shimmer looked Sunburst in the eye as she politely asked; “So what brings you to this neck of the woods, Sunburst? Got any more of that tea of yours, by any chance?”

 

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He offered a small smile. "I-it does seem to be my lucky day indeed!" Then Professor Shimmer walked up and fixed him with her gaze. The stallion felt himself begin to sweat and laughed nervously. 

 

"Uh heh heh," He continued to smile awkwardly and fumbled over his hooves a bit. "Oh the uh tea?" He seemed to have lost all track of his thoughts as she focused on him. "Yes yes! The uh tea! I-I've always got more tea," He reached up and pressed his glasses up on the bridge of his nose. "It's uh in my office."

 

Sunburst gulped. He'd day dreamed about something like this for at least two semesters now. It was happening without any time for him to rehearse. Act cool. Act natural. Just be yourself. Well, a cool version of yourself.

 

"Would you like to join me in my office for a mug?" There that was pretty natural right? He blew his forelocks out of his face.

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Was it just Sunset Shimmer’s memory being selective, or did Sunburst not change one bit from their days at Princess Celestia’s School of Magic? Not that Sunset ever interacted much with Sunburst at all (or any other classmates for that matter) back then, but she DID have vague recollections early on of a nerdy colt who may or may not have been Sunburst who always jumbled up his words when getting called on by professors, even if he always did have the right answer. For her part, Celestia’s ex-apprentice dismissed that dork as a mere fluke who could barely cast spells at all.


Come to think of it, that colt seemed to disappear from school entirely during Sunny’s final year there, with the title of Resident Fluke seemingly passed down to the infamous lavender filly who only passed her entrance exam thanks to a conveniently-timed Sonic Rainboom. But that’s a tale for another day.....


Sunset Shimmer held back a giggle as the jittery Sunburst made a lame last-second attempt to look suave. Although the vice headstallion could use a ton of work still on his social skills, Sunny wasn’t the type to humiliate him over it. “Sure!” Sunset replied with a big smile; “I’m pretty much done packing up my stuff, and I won’t be expected back home for a couple more hours.” The mare leaned in a couple inches closer to her visitor out of excitement; “...It’ll be great to catch up on your magical research!”

 

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She was leaning in...she was leaning in! He felt himself start the sweat as his nostrils picked up the provocative scent of mare. Ah geez he needed to get a grip on himself... right now! What had she just said? The stallion shook his head and took a step back, trying to right his topsy turvey brain. This was his chance to develop a friendship that somewhere in the back of his mind he dared to hope might blossom into something more.

 

"O-oh!" He glanced at the door suddenly wishing he could just rush right out and disappear forever. But no, was was working on his pony skills. If he need to force himself to interact with this lovely mare he would do so. For the sake of learning of course. Yes yes! Learning, that was it! Nothing was more dear to him or able to sway him from his natural tendencies. 

 

"Ah y-yes! I-it will be uhhhh, great," He swallowed and let out a small breath. "Great to uh fill you in on my recent findings!"

 

He took a step backwards again, pivoting on a hind leg to to hold the door open for her. "Right this way Professor Shimmer!"

 

There that was pretty normal right? Who was he kidding, he'd never get over his awkward ways he just hoped perhaps Sunset would be able to keep taking him in stride. 

 

The archaic arts professor trotted down the hallway to catch up with Sunset. His eye hadn't missed her flank as he passed by. Focus. He needed to focus. Get to know her, impress her with his knowledge and findings!

 

"So uh," They were soon upon the door to his office. He pressed it inwards and allowed her entry. "I-i've found something quite intriguing today."

 

As they entered the smell of herbs brewing was not to be missed. He'd left a pot of soothing remedies simmering, the steam of which wafted through the air of the office. He loved that smell. Of anypony Sunburst could do with some relaxation. 

 

"Please, sit where ever you're comfortable!"

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A couple minutes later, and Sunset Shimmer found herself in Sunburst’s office. On the walk there, she idly wondered to herself that the stallion’s extreme nervousness issues could be coming from. He clearly wasn’t the sort of person who preferred being alone, but you had to figure that an accomplished Vice Headstallion and arcane scholar would be more adjusted to social interaction by now. A curious mystery, to be sure.....


While levitating a chair closer to Sunburst’s desk, Sunset gave the air a sniff, noticing it wasn’t the same aroma as the allium flower from her last visit. She cheerfully remarked; “Hmmm, is that a new fragrance I smell today, Sunburst? It smells nice!”

 

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Sunburst smiled as she commented on the fragrance. "O-oh yes! It's an herbal mix really. Just some mint, chamomile, while sage... For relaxation! It helps with headaches too... i-if you were to have one," He laughed awkwardly.

 

The stallion put the kettle on, waiting until the water was piping hot before pouring tea for two. "I-I'll select the flavor for you if that's ok?" Sunburst selected a delicious brew mix he'd brought back with him from his last visit to Canterlot. There were tea shops there that sourced from all over Equestria and he always purchased an interesting mix when he was in town. 

 

Sunburst made his way to his desk, levitating two mugs. These he set down in front of Sunset. Steam rose in wafts as the stallion took a seat. "This is from Unyasi actually! It's cinnamon, cardamon, and a bunch of spices from the zebra lands." He blew the steam off his and took a tentative sip. "Invigorating!" He nodded and let the mug rest on the desk. 

 

"S-so! My recent discovery!" He pulled a rather large tome towards himself. "I was leafing through this tome from the royal Canterlot library and came across," He gently pulled a delicately folded scrap of parchment from between two page. "this!" 

 

He used his magic to unfold the parchment. It contained the sketches of a circular style rune and an incantation. "I-i've looked up the rune and though I've found similar, none exactly the same. I'm not sure who left this but I'm quite intrigued as to what it's use might be." He allowed her to look over the parchment and tried not to stare at the mare for too long in the process.

 

Figuring out a rune would give them something to do together. Perhaps he could win her over with his intellect and joviality?  He'd dreamed for far too long for an encounter like this with Professor Shimmer, hopefully he wouldn't blow it...

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Following Sunburst’s lead, Sunset took a sip of the Unyasian tea. “Hmmm..... pretty good!” She set the cup down on the desk; “You know Sunburst, you should consider tracking down Mage Meadowbrook one of these days. She’s quite the expert on tea too, and I betcha’ she’s got knowledge of some special ingredients that have never been written down anywhere!” While Miss Shimmer didn’t know this for sure, it did seem highl to hery likely considering the special gift she received from the legendary healer some time ago.


The unicorn mare let out an “Ooooooh” as the other stallion revealed his latest find. “A rune, huh?” Sunset gazed intently at the parchment; “I remember from my World Arcana class that the Viking Caribou rely heavily on runes for their magic rituals.” She briefly looked back at Sunburst; “You don’t think this rune is of caribou origin?”

 

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"Mage Meadowbrook!" He sipped his tea thoughtfully. "Y-you're right! I should seek her out at some point. A true master at her trade. An excellent healer." He mulled over the idea of asking a pillar to instruct him on tea brewing. "Y-yes, that's a great idea!"

 

Good! She was interested in the rune and already adding her thought into it. Sunset Shimmer was on point with her intellect, one of Sunburst's favorite aspects of the lovely mare. 

 

"Yes, I was thinking possibly caribou, or perhaps even yak. From my recent studies I've come to find out the the yak mages also lean towards runes."  He sighed. "I looked through all the tomes I have on caribou arcane magic and no matches yet." 

 

Sunburst glanced towards a space on the floor he'd cleared out down to the stone floor. "I-i was thinking of perhaps working the rune out onto the floor? Thought I'm not sure it's that great of an idea since I'm not sure what it does or even it's origin." He rubbed behind his head with a fore hoof. It certainly would be interesting to try to invoke the rune with Sunset's help. There was a little risk involved, but he was trying to impress her and this could perhaps do the trick!

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Sunburst was going to mess around with an unidentified rune? ...Sunset Shimmer had a bad feeling about this. On a couple of occasions, Princess Celestia had harped about the dangers of casting mystery incantations without proper safeguards in place, which Sunset failed to truly appreciate at the time. Nowadays ironically, the amber unicorn believed this was one department where her friend and former teacher's pet, Twilight Sparkle, was kinda reckless at times.


“Ummm,” the mare asked nervously; “You uhhh, HAVE worked with runes before..... right, Sunburst?”

 

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Sunset seemed...excited? Yeah Excited, that had to be it! Excited at his reckless abandon and bravery in working this unknown rune. Perhaps she liked the bad boy? Sunburst had never at all fit that bill but maybe he could if he tried!

 

"Oh y-yes! I've worked with lots of runes and read about even more of them! This room has safeguards cast over it too!" He glanced around. "One of the safest chamber sin the school I'd say." He smiled, trying his best to play the part. 

 

A chunk of chalk levitated from a box by an easel and came to hover in front of Sunburst. "So, I was thinking of just drawing it out onto the floor. We can test it without actually working it...I-i'm not sure it could be worked even if we tried. There's usually words to be spoken or s-some sort of artifacts that need to be placed inside it..."

 

He trotted over to where the parchment was on the desktop and squinted at the rune. "Circle within three circles, double triangle. That's the inside. Then there's a script on the outside. I-i haven't seem this writing before, it's what made me so curious as to it's origin. Might be passed down from ancients of the culture that used it."

 

He glanced at Sunset. She was really quite fetching. He could have just told her that but a mare liked to be impressed right? Sure. "Ready?"

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Sunset Shimmer didn’t feel completely confident of Sunburst’s assurances, remember that the stallion wasn't exactly on the top end of practicing spellcasters out there. But at least he wasn’t being an absolute reckless dummy about this, so... yay? In a worst-case scenario, Sunset at least knew the Fail-Safe spell well enough to put a swift end to any potential magical disturbances before they had a chance to attempt breaking through Sunburst’s safeguards.


When the vice headstallion finished drawing the rune, he turned towards Sunset. Without speaking a word, the mare replied with a stoic nod of her head. Hopefully, nothing bad would come of what they were about to do.....

 

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Hmmm, well she hadn't actually said anything buuuut that was ok right? He was sure he was impressing her! Being reckless and carefree! Mares liked that right? 

 

"Ok great!" As he finished the rune and dropped the chalk Sunburst noticed a small wind had picked up from somewhere. He glanced around. 

 

"I closed the fireplace flue didn't I?" Yes, he'd done that already. There wasn't any breezes coming in from outside. "Uh," He glanced at the gorund, noticing the rune he'd drawn had begun to glow. "That's odd. usually words have to be spoken to enact a rune." He mused as he stared at the drawing on the ground. The wind had picked up and his forelocks swirled in front of him as he tried to figure out what to do next.

 

"I-i didn't think it would be this easy," He tried to play off his nervousness. This had to come out well, he was trying to impress here. 

 

"Well a bit of wind and a bit of glow," He smiled at Sunset as he stood in the middle of the rune. "Interesting but not that impressive," He raised a brow wondering if Sunset had any speculations to make. 

 

The rune was in fact from the ancients of the perytons. Sunburst was unaware that a rather proud set of antlers had sprouted from behind his ears...

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When all was said and done, Sunset Shimmer would confess she had seen her former mentor perform more impressive rune castings than this attempt by Sunburst. Compared to the awe-inspiring feats of Princess Celestia, this felt little more than a prestidigitation-grade parlor trick. Still though, it was probably a good thing that all Sunburst accomplished not much besides a brief wind gust and a moderate glow; that meant the magical results won’t be too unmanageable, whatever those happened to be.


...And then Sunburst waltzed right into the rune circle. Yeaaaah.....


What had been a look of mild concern on Miss Shimmer’s face during the rune casting transformed into a gasp of horror as she saw the transformation occur. “Uhhhhhhhh, Sunburst?” The astonished mare took one nervous step backward; “The back of your head.....”

 

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