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Fruit of Transformation

by SigmasonicX

Sunset took a deep breath of clear air, the wind running through her mane. She hadn’t been sure what to make of Princess Twilight packing her things and sending her to Mount Aris as soon as she mentioned she wanted some artistic inspiration, but she had to admit, it impressed.

“And this is Harmonizing Heights!” explained one of her two guides, a white hippogriff colt with blue hair… feathers? Sunset didn’t know what to make of hippogriff manes, but felt it was a bit rude to ask about it. His name was Terramar, and he and his sister, Silverstream, were guiding Sunset during her summer stay.

“It’s wonderful!” Sunset said. “You two get to come here all the time?”

The other hippogriff, a pink mare with blue… let’s go with hair, nodded her head enthusiastically, only to twist her face then shake it. “Well, Terramar comes here a lot. I like it just fine, but you know, I’m way more excited by what’s out there! Stairs, indoor plumbing, you name it!”

While Terramar was fairly reserved, Silverstream was very excitable. She reminded Sunset of a certain other pink girl she knew.

“So, Professor Shimmer—”

Sunset blushed. “Uh, it’s just Sunset. I’m just a student like you are, not a professor.”

It was Terramar’s turn to twist his face. “Wait, really? But aren’t you, like, the same age as Silverstream’s professors?”

Sunset smiled. “It’s complicated. Don’t worry about it. Anyway, I think I’ll definitely find inspiration for a still life somewhere around here.”

They strolled through the forest for a few more minutes, Sunset rebuffing attempts to get further explanation. Eventually, something caught the unicorn’s attention from the corner of her eye.

“Oh wow, take a look at this.” Sunset levitated a strange object from out of the bushes. It resembled a large papaya, but the top bloomed into a pink and yellow flower.

Silverstream put her front hands, or rather, claws up to her cheeks. “It’s beautiful!”

Sunset examined it. “What kind of fruit is it?”

Silverstream shrugged. “I haven’t really brushed up on hippogriff surface level fruits… or stuff in general. Terramar, do you recognize it?”

The colt scratched his chin. “It looks kind of familiar. I think it was used in some old festivals, maybe? It might have been in some old wall drawings.”

Sunset grinned. “So, it’s an important fruit, then. All the better to capture it in paint, then.”

They walked out to a clearing. Sunset looked around, then placed the fruit near a stream. She then stepped away and set up the painting equipment she brought in a bag. She placed the canvas on a stand, pulled out her paint, then got to work. After a minute, she remembered her audience. “You don’t have to stay here while I paint, you know. It’ll take some time.”

Silverstream smiled. “Oh don’t worry Profess—er, Sunset. Seeing someone else paint is really interesting!”

“I’m fine staying here too,” responded Terramar.

Sunset nodded and got back to work. Thirty minutes later, she was making good progress, but the wind picked up and—

“Oh no!” Silverstream exclaimed as the fruit fell to its side and then rolled into the stream.

“I’ll get it!” Terramar said. Touching his necklace, he transformed into a seapony then dived into the water. A few seconds later, he returned. “Uh, is it just me, or does this look different now?”

Indeed, the fruit he carried in his fins couldn’t have been the one before. It was blue, for one thing. The flower had regressed to a bud, and there were yellow leaves drooping off it.

Silverstream gasped. “I know what it is! Don’t you remember, Terramar? During your last transformation ceremony?”

Terramar thought for a moment. “Oh yeah, that! It was on the walls.”

Sunset raised an eyebrow. “Transformation ceremony?”

Silverstream nodded. “When a seapony chooses their gender, Queen Novo uses the Pearl of Transformation to change their body as they like. Well, the Pearl always has a particular look for you in mind, so it’s not like you can add more feathers or anything, and—”

Sunset interrupted. “Wait, the Pearl can do that? I heard about it, like, changing ponies to seaponies, but it can change your sex too? And it’s just like a normal part of being a hippogriff? That’s crazy!”

Silverstream blinked. “Oh, huh, yeah, I guess you ponies never had the Pearl, so you don’t do that. Weird.”

Sunset wanted to ask more about that, but it was probably best to let her continue. “Anyway, about the fruit?”

“Oh, yeah. This is the fruit of transformation. It has a proper name, but I don’t remember it. Anyway, this fruit has been known to transform according to its surroundings. Or whenever it wants to, really, so it’s a symbol of hippogriff transformations. I heard these were all lost when the Storm King attacked, so it’s amazing that we found one!”

“We really need to tell the others we found one!” said Sunset.

Silverstream touched her hoof. “Sunset, finish the picture first. That’s what I’d want.”

Sunset twisted her face. “Well, most of the painting was of its previous form and…”

The fruit transformed back.

“Oh, well, I guess if the fruit wants me to finish…”

Sunset proceeded to finish her drawing.