Twilight Velvet looked at the twin unicorns she had delivered less than a month ago. Moonlight and Twilight were a sleeping peacefully, and Moonlight had already displayed some rather impressive magic ability by levitating both herself and Twilight all around the room.
Poor Shining had hidden in his room when he heard the now familiar sounds of uncontrolled magic from his twin sister's room.
She was heading into the kitchen to get some more formula for the girls when she felt a large magical buildup from their room.
She ran up the stairs in time to see a flare of red flames from under the door, and when she finally opened the door she saw a phoenix who looked very different from Princess Celestia's Philomena. For one thing it was a male.
"Moonlight! Twilight!" she cried out, running to their cradle.
The phoenix had kidnapped Moonlight!
"Momma, what's wrong?" asked Shining from around the corner of the door.
"Get your father! A phoenix has kidnapped Moonlight!" shouted Twilight Velvet.
Shining raced downstairs to where his father was and gave his mother's message.
Princess Celestia made a personal visit with the Sparkle family to get Twilight Velvet's story first hand. Hearing a phoenix had kidnapped an infant unicorn was unusual enough to warrant Royal interest. Particularly when the Princess had a vision a week after Twilight and Moonlight were born that told her that Twilight would be the next Princess in a few decades along with her sister.
Dawn Potter hated England. She hated the magical communities. But above all else she hated Grimmauld Place and the man who ruled it.
She loathed Albus Dumbledore.
It was a simple reason really. Contrary to what Granger and Ron believed, she didn't hate him because of the Dursleys, the yearly life-threatening tasks, the information ban or the fact every Defense teacher he hired had tried to kill her in one form or another.
No, there was actually a very good reason she hated him with a passion.
Albus Dumbledore had made it impossible for her to track down her birth family.
Sirius had told her, early on in her new prison sentence at Grimmauld, that Lily and James were not her birth parents. Dumbledore had appeared shortly before breakfast one morning on July 31rst with an infant in his hands and had asked if they wanted to adopt her, since James for some reason could not have children of his own. Lily had attributed this to inbreeding. Dumbledore had believed it was because of the various potions spills over the years at Hogwarts.
So the chance to have a daughter carry on the family name had been too irresistible for them. They adopted her quietly within a day and gave her the Potter family name. Because of Lily's proficiency with charms, no one disputed her claim to have hidden the child until she knew it would be healthy.
Everything might have been fine, had Dumbledore not convinced Sirius to pick Pettigrew. Black had admitted it was the old man who managed to convince him to the switch.
Now, now there was this latest atrocity that she blamed him for.
During her 'trial', which was more like an inquisition, he did nothing to help prove her innocence.
She had no idea how she summoned a patronus to get rid of the dementors, especially when her wand had been left in her trunk that day.
Fudge barely accepted this excuse, and she almost believed that she would be declared innocent when he threw out another charge.
They snapped her 13 and a half inch Sycamore wand with unicorn hair in half right in front of her.
And yet, the lack of reaction she had to the act confused them. What witch didn't react to having their wand broken in front of them? They even had her checked for a spare, believing that the reason, by some female aurors but came up clean.
So here she was, in her own room thanks to Sirius putting his foot down (and also because her nightmares about what happened to Cedric would keep the other girls awake each night).
Sirius came up with some food.
"You okay kiddo?" he asked.
"Fine. In a way, I'm glad they snapped that stupid stick. It felt...wrong."
Sirius was the only one in the house who knew Dawn could turn into a small unicorn pony. It was her animagus form, and he never told a soul.
Only Remus suspected something, because the day he forgot his potion she was the only one Moony avoided like the plague while transformed and not under potion.
Later while Sirius was crashing at the Black Keep with Remus, the werewolf admitted that she had the strong scent of unicorn on her, which was more than enough to have Moony steer clear of her.
Werewolves know very well not to attack unicorns, even feral ones.
Dawn ate her salad and apples, since it was well known since first year that meat of any kind tended to make her violently ill.
(This fact was proven when some of the meaner girls in Gryffidor tried to feed her fried chicken once while the teachers were busy dealing with some other miscreant. Dawn's stomach rebelled against the meat and she ended up throwing up all over them. She spent a full day in the Hospital Wing after being given a stomach sedative. There hadn't been a repeat performance after McGongall got through with the girl's in question. Or after how Madam Pomphrey reacted when she learned the cause of Dawn's sick stomach.)
Once she was done, Sirius shot her a look.
"Nothing...just curious why you haven't raided the Black library by now," he said calmly.
A few things he had learned about his goddaughter was that she loved to read anything, particularly if it had something to do with stars or mythology. Another was that she had the highest scores in Astronomy, often sneaking out of her dorm to go star gazing.
Professor Sinistra loved her for obvious reasons.
"You got any good books in there?"
"Just avoid the ones that give you a bad vibe and you can read anything you want. Not like I care," said Sirius. Another odd quirk of hers...she was able to not only detect magic, but also the intent. All of that without using her wand.
Dawn went into the library, bypassing Dumbledore's stupid wards which would alert who went in and for how long and dove into the stacks of books.
She sensed Hermione coming in, and hid behind the books of obscure magic until the girl left. The last thing she wanted to deal with was Granger's looks of pity because she no longer had that stupid wand.
It was because she had hid that she discovered a scroll half open.
"The Arte of Home's Return?" she read aloud. Intrigued, she picked it up and began to read.
'The arte of home's return, or the home portal spell, is a rare and relatively unused spell that will transport the witch or wizard back to the one place that they truly call home, no matter what wards or enchantments bar the way. For the spell to work, their tie to their home must be absolute, with no doubt as to it's location.
For those who have lost their memory of their home, or have had the location removed by means of magic, there is a relatively simple cantrip which can bring forth the necessary memory to provide the direction.
While normally not used, the cantrip and spell are invaluable in cases where a child has been taken illegally from their family and to give them clues to their heritage.
For the cantrip...'
Dawn read all she needed, so she started packing her things into a messenger bag she had spelled to have an infinite space and featherlight charms. The store clerk had almost tripped over himself to spell her precious bag so heavily that it was nearly impossible to break into.
As Ginny could attest when she attempted to steal back Riddle's diary second year. There was a reason she waited until Dawn locked it in her trunk...it was easier to break into!
"You want to what?" said Sirius after Hermione and the school-aged Weaslys left. He had stayed behind to keep Dawn company since they didn't really need him. Everyone else had more or less left the house for the day, even Dumbledore.
"I found a spell that will take me back to wherever Dumbledore dragged me from. From what I can tell it's magical in nature so we should fit right in! Think about it Padfoot, which would you rather do? Spend the rest of your life stuck in this...house...with that portrait or take a chance with an old spell and get away from here?" said Dawn reasonably.
"You're going through with this no matter what I say, aren't you?" said Sirius.
"You better believe it," said Dawn.
"Forget Dumbledore, we're leaving England!" said Sirius, heading to his room to grab a bag. If he was right about the feeling he had, then they wouldn't be returning unless someone dragged them back.
Best to be prepared for anything.
Dawn, on the other hand, took full advantage of her unusual ability to use magic without any foci to hit the bookstore near the Cauldron. Grimmauld was just close enough that she was able to hit it and Gringotts to empty all of her trust vault and most of her family account (what she could access anyway), then proceed to lock it down so tightly that no one else could access it without her magical signature or blood.
The goblins were very happy to help her when she explained that she planned to anger the Ministry and Dumbledore in one fell swoop, and remove their access to the vaults in question.
Sirius, under a simple muggle baseball cap and fake glasses, did the same with the Black vaults after removing a healthy portion of gold.
He also grabbed a few muggle fiction books, to kill time later.
They returned to Grimmauld place long before anyone even realize they had left. Dawn's magic detection ability worked around the wards Dumbledore had left and the ones Moody had placed without anyone knowing about it.
By the time Remus returned, it was already far too late as Dawn had cast the spell with Sirius holding her arm to insure he went with her. He found the note and debated telling Dumbledore, before he thought 'Sod it all. He doesn't need to know.'
And with that put all thought of the matter out of his mind while he tried to find the spell so he could join Sirius and Dawn.
To Remus, home was with the Marauders and his cub, even if she wasn't James' and Lily's true daughter.
It was a peaceful day in Canterlot, though that would quickly change.
With a loud crack of thunder (with no clouds it drew attention rather fast) the Royal Guard dispatched to find the source.
Many of the Guard knew what Twilight Sparkle looked like, either by association with the new Captain Shining Armor, or because she was the apprentice to Celestia herself and thus merited more attention than usual.
They wouldn't obey her orders, but if she were in any danger they would do their best to help her.
So when a pony looking identical to Twilight Sparkle and an older unicorn appeared without warning looking distinctly like they had been on the losing end of a fight, well, the Guards were rather quick to take them for medical care.
"Shining Armor sir! Twilight seems to have been attacked outside the gates!" reported the messenger of the guards who had gone to investigate.
Shining frowned. That didn't sound like Twilight at all, and he knew for a fact she was currently in the library researching a spell for class.
Nothing short of a fire would get that girl out of a library if she had an assignment. Even then it would be a real battle to remove her.
"I'll be there in a moment, let me inform my parents and the Princess," said Shining.
"Sir!" saluted the guard pony.
Shining Armor had a distinct feeling that it wasn't Twilight in the hospital. He was one of the few who remembered Moonlight, or knew why Twilight had such trouble making friends.
When she was still a baby, Moonlight was taken. Their mother was so distraught that she mothered Twilight a little too much. Since no one could find Moonlight, the knowledge of her existence was dropped for the most part. However his parents never stopped looking for her, or at least word of what happened.
Twilight didn't know about her twin, as their mother had forbidden Shining from mentioning it.
Was it possible Moonlight had somehow found her way home, after all these years?
"Come in Captain. I assume you have a report about that noise earlier?" asked Celestia.
"One of the guards told me Twilight had been injured outside the gates. But I know she's in the library for a school assignment," said Shining.
Celestia privately agreed, knowing her apprentice's little...quirk...when it came to homework.
"You think it's somepony else?"
"I do. If this pony looks enough like Twilight to fool the guards, then I believe that it is Moonlight," said Shining.
"We should investigate this first," agreed Celestia.
If it was Moonlight, then perhaps she could explain who that phoenix was that had angered Philomena so much when Celestia had brought it up.
As such, she accompanied Shining Armor to the hospital and the two managed to assure the doctors that this was not, in fact Twilight Sparkle.
That had quickly been proven when one doctor happened to notice the fact that the pony in question didn't have a cutie mark, and Twilight already had hers.
"What's the diagnosis?" asked Shining.
"Complete magical drain. Whatever these two did, it nearly wiped them entirely of magic. Not to mention that poor owl is out like a light," said Private Practice.
"Owl?" said Shining.
She pointed at the beautiful white owl out cold next to the filly. She had shown up not five minutes after the pony was put in the bed, and had passed out almost immediately.
"A familiar bond that strong?" said Celestia in surprise.
It was clear to the Princess that the owl had followed her master all the way here, which explained why she was so tired.
"So who is this filly and why was she with this older unicorn?" aske Practice. She didn't approve of it at all.
"Why don't we ask once they wake up?" suggested Celestia.
Meanwhile in the Canterlot Library Twilight sneezed three times while reading. She immediately panicked before calming down when she realized it hadn't gotten on the books.
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