The repercussions of the attempted kidnapping were felt for months. First it was the guard around Moonlight and Twilight, on Celestia's orders. She wasn't about to let her subject be taken from their family twice.
Then there was the fact Velvet began to hover even more around her daughters.
It finally lead to this.
"Harder training?" said Shield.
"I don't want to feel that helpless again. Those two nearly dragged me back into their war."
"Yes, this war that Mr. Black mentioned. To be blunt, I originally thought you wanted to learn how to fight in order to finish it."
"I'm not going back. Not if I have any say about it," said Moonlight firmly.
"So you learn how to fight to destroy the weakness in your heart. That is not a very healthy thing," said Shield.
"I know how to face my fears. The problem is that I fear for my family. If I am taken again, they will break."
"That fear can be met with strength," said Shield.
"Fear is something that can be met with courage," said Moonlight.
"Good. There is a warrior spirit in you, unlike your sister, the scholar. Unlike your enemy, you do not fight out of anger, or hatred, but out of peace. I can see why Celestia was originally worried when told of the world you were left in," said Shield.
Rain Dancer showed up near him.
"That spirit is why we agreed to train you in how to fight. You do not fight out of greed, or revenge, but in order to protect. And after this incident, I do believe we need to step up your training."
Moonlight passed out on her bed. Ever since she found the spell to give a unicorn fake wings, Rain Dancer had been training her how to fight in mid air.
The problem was that she could barely do the spell more than once a week, and her magic was rather low afterwords. Fortunately Sirius reminded her of an alternate way to fly.
And so her Firebolt came back into commission. Shining nearly had a heart attack when he saw his sister balancing on what he thought was an odd twig.
Twilight looked at Spike.
"Her training is harder than mine!" she said in shock.
Sure, she sometimes had the worst migraine after a session with Celestia, but most of the times her twin came home from her special training she usually ended passed out from exhaustion.
"Her training isn't harder than yours Twilly, it's just different," said Shining. He had been the one to bring her home.
"How so?" asked Spike.
"Twilight's studies are mostly magical in origin, so the worst she could get from over-training is a massive headache. Moonlight's training is both magical and physical, which means her body needs to rest as well as her mind," explained Shining.
"So if I ever took on martial arts I would end up in the same state as her?" asked Twilight.
"If you ever took up martial arts I would get you easier instructors. Princess Celestia picked out the best and most loyal to train Moonlight."
Shining didn't add that it was mostly to keep an eye on Moonlight just in case. Since then the only reports about Moonlight were about her progress as a fighter.
They left her upstairs to sleep.
After the third time she came back from training out cold, Dr. Practice ordered her to have a two week reprieve from the lessons in order to let her magic recover.
Considering she had been using her broom during most of those, she could only guess that her mother was behind this idea.
Though even she would admit she needed a break.
Which was why she planned to use this time to test a spell she had made a few months ago.
In an effort to combine wizard and unicorn magic, Moonlight tried many things. It wasn't until she thought of the possibilities of her cutie mark that an idea so bizarre that it might work came to her.
She was going to try to split her magic into two beings, one of light and one of dark.
In order to test this, she went into one of the guards training fields with several Pegasus watching discreetly.
Moonlight double checked her calculations, then focused her magic on what she wanted to do.
When it reached the point she had found would split her magic, she said the activating words.
"All is One, One is All."
Her eyes glowed white, as most unicorns did whenever they were casting a rather powerful spell normally beyond them. The magic took full effect as she felt herself split into two.
She blinked and heard a snort of amusement beside her.
Standing next to her was an identical unicorn that wasn't Twilight. On Moonlight's flank was the dusk half of her cutie mark. On the pony was the dawn.
"Well that was interesting," said the other pony.
"You do realize we'll need a new nickname otherwise people will confuse us," said Moonlight.
"Dusk," said Moonlight, deciding to just use her cutie mark as a nickname.
"So how are we going to reverse this?" asked Dawn.
"I have an idea about that," said Dusk.
"The World is the All and I am the One," they chanted. Twin flashes of magic from their horns reversed the spell.
Moonlight grinned. This would be fun...plus it meant she could do twice as many tasks as before!
"Uh, Moonlight, why are there now three of you?" asked Shining carefully. Moonlight was an odd duck.
Twilight seemed to be ignoring the third Moonlight.
"Her name is Dawn. Since there are now three of us, we figured it would be easier to give both of us nicknames," said Moonlight/Dusk.
"Can it be reversed?" asked Shining.
"Of course it can be reversed. The first thing we tested after the initial split was if it could be reversed," said Dawn annoyed.
Shining looked at Dusk.
"She's the darker half of my personality."
"Shouldn't it be the other way around?" said Remus.
"And make it predictable?" asked Dusk.
"So what exactly does the split do?" asked Shining.
"It allows me to be in two places at once. Dawn has more physical power than I do, and her muscle memory is better. I have more magical power and my healing spells are amplified. In addition, whatever she learns, I will learn once we return to being one pony," said Dusk.
"Princess Celestia was fascinated by her spell," admitted Twilight.
"So can any pony use it?" asked Shining curiously.
"Possibly Remus and Sirius. From what I can tell, it requires the pony using it to be used to wizard and unicorn magic. Twilight has tried to use it, but so far her results are less than satisfactory."
"I keep creating a filly instead of an exact copy," said Twilight sourly.
"Yes, but if you recall Princess Celestia couldn't make one at all," Dusk reminded her.
"She also said that if Dawn tried to become warmongering you weren't allowed to use it anymore," said Twilight.
"Just because she is the more militant of my personality does not make her a warmonger," said Dusk annoyed.
"FYI, the only time I would be violent is if those idiots try another kidnapping attempt or if the need arose. Just because I am more of a fighter does not make me any less of a pony," said Dawn irritated.
"Plus this means she can learn from Magic Shield and Rain Dancer while I'm at school. Whatever she learns, I learn. And since we're split apart it means the muscle memory gets transferred as well."
"But we aren't going to leave it active for longer than a few days. The chance of memory feedback going wrong is too high," said Dawn.
Dawn was running along the perimeter of the wards, well inside of them to avoid any repeats of last time. Two Pegasus guards were watching her from the clouds, well out of sight for any fake unicorns coming past the barrier between worlds.
There was a crack of thunder followed by phoenix song. Apparently they had recovered sufficiently enough to try again.
Above her, the Pegasus guards tensed and readied for a fight. Dawn called Dusk and warned her of the threat.
If they tried to force her back, she would cast the return spell and reunite with Dusk who was in the library with their twin sister.
Because Dusk had the majority of the magic, by reversing the spell she was reintegrated with her.
Standing in front of the portal was a filly with the cutie mark of an open book with a wand as the bookmark. It didn't take a genius to figure out this was Hermione.
"Granger," said Dawn. She was fully prepared to pound the bookworm into the ground.
"Are you aware that we have books here so rare you will never find them anywhere else, and that the only forbidden knowledge is that which causes actual harm?" said Dawn. She was going to play off Hermione's love of rare books.
"What?" said Hermione.
"They don't care about restricting knowledge unless it causes actual harm. For example, the killing curse isn't considered illegal unless it's used outside self-preservation. Tell me, Hermione, what would the Ministry do if it were possible to clone yourself temporarily and return all the knowledge the clone had gained into yourself without damage?"
"Restrict it as a dark art," said Hermione flatly.
"And if Dumbledore learned there was a way to safely duplicate yourself, thus removing the need for Snape?"
"He would sit on it, and never really use it," sighed Hermione, "Dawn, I hate it when you use logic against me."
"So what do you plan to do Hermione? Stay here away from the war and meet someone who is very much like you in terms of being a bookworm, or go back and deal with idiots all day and restricted from certain areas of research?" asked Dawn with a smirk. She knew Hermione. Hermione Granger hated being told not to read something.
Hermione didn't think twice about the offer.
"Forget England...my parents are safely out of the way and they won't remember me anyway. I'm staying here!" said Hermione.
"Good...now to deal with that featherbrained fiery chicken...HEDWIG!"
With a cry like a warhawk, Hedwig appeared in a flash of blue flame and hit Fawkes like a comet. The impact was painful enough that it forced him to going through a burning day prematurely. With the attack was the destruction of the bond between him and Dumbledore.
His rebirth turned him into a phoenix much like Philomena.
Hedwig glared at the chick, and looked ready to toss him back through the portal.
"Hold on Hedwig...wouldn't it be funnier to see Philomena chew him out and make it harder for Dumbledore to lock back onto this world?" grinned Dawn viciously. Hedwig hooted in agreement.
Dawn was about to leave, but spun around and focused her magic to her horn. She blasted the portal, causing it to collapse in on itself...and if she was lucky do quite a bit of damage to the other side.
"Really Dawn, was that necessary?"
"It's actually Moonlight. Dawn was my human name," she explained.
"I was taken from this world before I was even two months old, and forced to look human in order to fulfill some prophecy Dumbledore has heard. I found a spell that would send me to the place I call home, no matter what barriers are in the way. I ended up in the hospital for a week from magical drain, but as a result I found my family."
"You have living family?"
"A mother almost as bad as Molly, only she at least lets her children go without a fuss. My older brother is Captain of the Royal Guard and my sister is just as big a bookworm as you are. Same compulsion to do homework and freak outs if she thinks she's going to fail a test and everything," said Dawn.
"What's her name?"
"Twilight Sparkle. My name here is Moonlight Sparkle. The best way to tell us apart is to check our flanks. Twilight has a pink and white set of stars and I have a rather odd Chinese Yin and Yang circle on mine."
"You only have half," Hermione pointed out.
"That's because I am currently split into two. Dusk is with Twilight, and I took a run around the ward perimeter."
"You have to teach me that spell...think of how many books I could read!" said Hermione with religious fervor.
"Wait until you get used to unicorn magic. Once you do, you should have the same luck as Sirius and Remus had with the spell. Apparently you need wizard and unicorn magic for it to work."
Hermione couldn't wait to learn.
"So we have another recruit from England?" said Celestia.
"It helps I knew exactly what buttons to push. She's the witch version of Twilight, with all her bad traits and no one to act as a friend during her growing years. At least until that incident with the troll a few years ago..." said Moonlight.
"Is she a threat?"
"Only if you attempt to remove her book while she's reading. Other than that, just toss her into a library full of rare and impossible to find books and she's harmless."
Celestia chuckled. That did sound like a more studious version of Twilight.
"What would you recommend?"
"Show her how to use unicorn magic and toss her into the same class as Twilight. They'll either get along perfectly or become rivals. Either way she won't be much trouble to handle."
True to her prediction, all Celestia had to do to keep Hermione out of trouble was let her in the Archives. The girl would vanish for days just reading... the only indication she was still alive was the food dishes left by Moonlight tended to be left empty.
Eventually Celestia appointed her the junior librarian. Hermione didn't like taking time out of her reading to help others, but it worked out.
Of course that was nothing compared to the way Philomena acted around Fawkes.
The former familiar of Dumbledore was having a rough time of it, as Philomena was not happy with his presence in her turf. Most phoenixes weren't territorial and could live in groups. Philomena, however, couldn't stand Fawkes despite being the same species.
As a result, every time he tried to escape back to his world, she attacked him.
To be fair, the longer he was stuck in Equestria, the harder it was for Dumbledore to get a new lock on the world. As far as Celestia could tell he had been depending on Fawkes to lock onto their world.