Two days after their abrupt appearance, Sirius awoke to find himself in a hospital bed...and in the same form as Dawn's animagus, only with different colorings and what appeared to be a playful dog on his backside.
"Dr. Practice! One of them is awake!" yelled another unicorn. This one had a stethoscope on her rear, in the same place as his dog.
Another unicorn walked in, only this one had a red cross on her backside, the same one Poppy had on her hat.
"Where the heck are we?" asked Sirius.
"Equestria. Let's get our exam out of the way first. Princess Celestia would like to have a word with whoever wakes up first," said Dr. Practice crisply.
Sirius treated her the same way he would Poppy. That is, he was nearly terrified of her. Dr. Practice didn't seem bothered by this attitude. Contrary to that, she was rather pleased, as if he had already been trained to respect the Healer's word or else.
Once that was done, two guards showed up to escort him to Celestia.
Partly to keep an eye on him, but mostly because he had no idea where to go.
He entered a throne room which was empty of everyone but three ponies. (He had been corrected by Dr. Practice rather quick and found it easier not to argue.)
One was an armored unicorn with a shield that had a star in the center on his flank wearing a different armor than the guards escorting him. One was a unicorn with a scroll and quill, presumably to transcribe everything said.
But it was the third that caught his attention.
She (and there was little doubt this pony was female) was pure white and had a mane like a new sunrise. She had a long horn and large wings. On her flank was a sun. she wore a crown and some sort of armor on her chest and had golden covered hooves.
There was little doubt in his mind this was Celestia. It was easy to see why everyone spoke of her with reverence. He would be to, had he not been inoculated against authority figures at an early age.
"So...he woke first. Might I have your name?" asked Celestia.
"Sirius Black, ma'am," said Sirius.
"I am Princess Celestia. This is the captain of my Guard, Shining Armor. And this is Ms. Scribe. Tell me, Mr. Black, why have you and that young filly come to Equestria?"
"We were trying to find Dawn's home. I knew a long time ago that she didn't belong in my world. She was the adopted daughter of my best friend, and my goddaughter. She had just been thrown out by the farce of a government when she found a scroll that told her how to find a place she once called home. Since I wasn't about to let my goddaughter run off with no idea what was on the other side, I went with her."
"Tell me about this world of yours," said Celestia.
And so Sirius did. He explained about Dumbledore, Hogwarts, the so called 'Ministry of Magic', the war with Voldemort, the pureblood beliefs, the trial which had Dawn's wand snapped, the Order... by the time he was finished he could tell Celestia wasn't the least bit happy.
"I am curious, Mr. Black, as to why we should allow someone from a world as corrupt as yours to stay," said Celestia. Her frown had only begun when he told her about the Ministry and it's so called laws and it had gotten worse when he mentioned the war.
"To be honest miss, we had no idea where it would land us. We were just trying to find Dawn's birth family since we really had nothing to keep us in that world. She's been alone for so long that this was honestly the best option for her to find family," said Sirius honestly.
"Tell me...how old was Dawn when your friend first showed her to you?" asked Shining. He had been silent up to this point.
"About a month and a half, why?"
"Has her magic always been particularly strong, even as a child?"
"As far as I can remember, she's always been able to do the impossible. Most children can't apparate...or teleport...until they are older than five. She was able to do it at sixth months to escape her crib. Nearly gave James a heart attack when he realized. Plus she seems to have inherited some of my family's gifts when they blood adopted her. She can change her features almost with natural ease. When James first showed her to me she had red hair, but when I saw her after I escaped she had purple with two pinkish streaks."
Shining seemed to be happy about this news.
Celestia looked at her captain and reminded him that the tests were still being done. The she looked at Sirius and asked a rather odd question.
"Does this Dumbledore happen to own a phoenix by any chance?"
"Fawkes. Why?" asked Sirius.
Without warning there was an angry cry as a phoenix appeared and landed near Celestia. It looked furious.
"It appears, Sirius Black, that there has been a grave crime committed by this Albus Dumbledore. Roughly fifteen years ago, a young filly was kidnapped from her crib. Her name was Moonlight Sparkle."
"Judging by the way your phoenix reacted, I can only assume Fawkes was the culprit. This actually explains more than it doesn't about Dawn," said Sirius. It explained quite a bit...like why Dawn always said that her wand felt...off. And why she was able to turn into her animal form on the first try once she knew what it looked like.
"Moonlight...is one of my younger twin sisters," said Shining.
Now Sirius could see why the unicorn was there. He wanted to be sure his baby sister was back or not.
"I wouldn't worry about it. Knowing her luck, chances are that Dawn and Moonlight are one in the same. I know for a fact she'll be thrilled to learn she has a big brother," said Sirius.
That was putting it mildly. If Dawn really was their Moonlight, she would be doing the Snoopy dance on two hooves!
(He had seen her do it once, and that was it. It was a rather odd dance to be honest.)
Dawn woke up four days after they landed. The first thing she saw was Hedwig, her beloved owl.
"Hedwig! I'm so sorry we left you behind!" cried Dawn.
Hedwig hooted tiredly. But once her strength was back up she was giving her master a piece of her mind!
"Awake are we? Good," said a crisp female voice. Dawn wasn't too surprised to see a Pony in front of her. Having seen her animal form in the mirror dimmed any sort of shock.
Unlike her, however, this Pony had an image on her flank.
"Hmm...your magic seems a bit strained, but considering you jumped worlds with a passenger that's to be expected. It's recovery nicely, which is good. There is lingering malnutrition, which is bad. And...what in the name of Equestria is this muck?!" she said in shock.
No one had been able to do an in-depth scan of the filly because her magic still seemed to have a barrier around her. Possibly a lingering side effect from the jump.
Once she woke up, that barrier dropped.
"My dear girl, how are you still so healthy with this mess in your system? It's like someone threw a mish-mash of healing herbs with only the barest idea of what to put in it!"
Dawn blinked. Was she referring to those nutrient potions Madam Pomphrey used to force down her throat every year because she was a vegetarian?
The nurse seemed to be under the impression that because Dawn couldn't eat meat she needed something to supplement the proteins. This, in spite of the fact that Dawn was the healthiest of all the students in the entire school, because she actually cared about what she ate. She only took them to keep the woman off her case.
Hearing the Doctor fuss over her was far too familiar. However unlike Pomphrey she wasn't smothering and didn't insist on a week's worth of bed rest.
"Well, you're in better shape than I would have hoped. Then again you are a young filly and it seems you at least know the value of exercise. Now I will have to keep you here for another day or two for observation, mostly because I want to make sure that mess clears your system properly. After that you can leave and be on your way," said Dr. Practice.
A few hours later after a nice nap (she enjoyed the meal that was brought as it didn't have even the scent of meat in it) someone came to see her.
"Hey Pup. Glad to see you awake finally," said Sirius.
It was then that Dawn realized something.
"Oh my... You're like me now!" she giggled.
"Yeah about that... Why didn't you mention we were going to a world where humans are considered a myth?" asked Sirius.
As the two bantered for a bit, she learned that Sirius had found a friend in the captain of the Royal Guard, who offered him a place to stay in exchange for joining.
Considering Dr. Practice said he could train, if only lightly due to his enforced stay in that nightmarish prison, Sirius had taken him up on the offer.
Sirius left after a few hours, and Dawn enjoyed her dinner.
The next day she had even more visitors. This time from the Captain of the Royal Guard himself.
Dawn looked him right in the eye and said bluntly "If I broke some sort of Pony rule saying that you can't jump dimensions or cause destruction, sorry. I wasn't exactly in control of the spell when I cast it."
Shining Armor blinked twice, having to process that statement before he chuckled. Definitely different from Twilight. She would have been panicking at the thought of breaking any rules so easily.
"Actually I'm here for a different reason. What do you know about your past...particularly your family?"
"Not much. The only people who would even qualify were my adopted parents and they were killed rather soon so I never got to know them. The other ponies I don't even want to think about. Why?"
"Well after you were admitted, they took a sample of your blood and a small bit of magic, barely a drop, to run some tests. Yesterday we got the results... You have family here in Canterlot. According to Black, it would appear that the spell you cast dropped you as close as it could before it interfered with the spells protecting the capital."
"Wait...I have family? Living, non-psychotic family?!" Dawn said in shock.
Shining would have asked what she meant by that last part, except he remembered what Sirius said about his own family.
"You have parents, a brother and twin sister, according to the test."
"Twin?" said Dawn in shock.
"Dr. Practice said you can meet them once she's cleared you from the hospital. Something about not wanting to worry about shock causing any more damage," said Shining.
Well, that and it gave him time to inform his parents and younger sibling about the fact Moonlight was back for good.
With that shock in her system, Dawn passed out.
Twilight Velvet dropped the glass she had full of tea, only for her daughter to catch it before it broke. Spike, her dragon companion, was just as confused as Twilight was about why her mother would be so shocked to hear someone like Moonlight had returned to them.
Next to her mother, Night Light was also in shock. It had taken years for Velvet to stop crying over the loss of Moonlight. Even then she tended to hover around Twilight when she was in eyesight.
There was a reason Twilight Sparkle was a major bookworm. Or why she had trouble making friends. By the time Velvet was able to let her daughter make any it was too late for her personality to be anything but grating.
Shining only got out of that because he took lessons so he could join the Royal Guard.
"Who exactly is Moonlight?" asked Spike, voicing the same question Twilight didn't dare ask.
"Moonlight is your twin sister Twilight. She was taken by a phoenix when you were both a month and a half old," explained Shining Armor.
"I have a twin sister?" said Twilight in shock.
"Moonlight Sparkle. The two of you were identical in every way, though her magic was more obvious than yours. Mom was putting you two to bed one night when a ball of fire appeared and took her from the crib. I only remember it because I had looked in your room a few minutes before it vanished," said Shining.
"Why didn't anyone tell me I have a twin?!"
"We didn't want to alarm or worry you. We had just lost Moonlight, we couldn't bear to loose you too," said Velvet.
"Where is she?" asked Night Light.
"She's in the Canterlot hospital. She had to do a dimensional jump to get home, and she brought someone with her. Dr. Practice said she can leave in a few days," said Shining.
"So what does this Moonlight look like?" asked Spike. Twilight was still too much in shock finding out she had a twin to react.
"She looks exactly like Twilight, only she doesn't have a cutie mark just yet. She also has an overprotective white owl named Hedwig," said Shining.
The next morning Twilight managed to convince Shining to bring her and Spike to the hospital to meet her apparent twin before their mother got her hooves on her.
She loved her mother, but there was only so much smothering a girl could take. At least now she had a reason for it.
"Hey Shining Armor! Guess I'm not the only one to see the little troublemaker!" said Sirius cheerfully. He had visited her every day since she woke up. Dr. Practice said that having a familiar face had sped up the recovery.
"Black you hound dog! Tell me, was that your dog that woke everyone up yesterday?" grinned Shining.
"Who said I owned a dog?" smirked Sirius. The two laughed on their way to the hospital.
"Excuse me, but who are you?" asked Twilight.
"Hmm? You sneak out of the hospital again Dawn?"
"This is Twilight," said Shining quickly.
"And the lizard?"
"HEY! I'm a ferocious fire-breathing dragon!" complained Spike.
"Sorry, but I just don't see dragon when I look at you. Then again most dragons I've seen have wings," said Sirius.
"Anyway... Twilly, Spike, meet Sirius Black. He's a new addition to the unicorn guards. He's also the one Moonlight brought with her when she jumped worlds," said Shining.
"It's a pleasure to meet you Mr. Black. I am Twilight Sparkle," said Twilight.
Sirius shook her hoof.
"The similarities between you and Dawn are uncanny..."
"Who's Dawn?" asked Spike.
"Dawn was the name Moonlight was given when she was adopted by my best friend and brother in all but blood James. They had no idea what her birth name was, so they just called her Dawn," said Sirius.
"What's she like?"
"Stubborn, loyal and self sacrificing. If her friends were in danger she would be the first to try and save them. She hates liars and people who think that just because of her age that she can't handle the truth. She loves books, animals, and she has the highest grade in Astronomy that the school had ever seen. She also tends to be in the thick of any mystery within five miles of her, whether intentional or not," said Sirius.
The other three sweatdropped. She couldn't be that bad...could she?