Apr 21, 2019 2:22 AM
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Fidget. "Well, I hadn't heard of Equestria until recently either."

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"Are there unicorns near where humans live? They must not be very much like the kind of unicorn I'm used to, if there are."

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"Not near enough that I ever saw one, unless they were hiding, really really well."

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"Unicorns can be sneaky, but we'd have to be very sneaky indeed not to stand out in a country full of humans," says Blueberry. "I don't think even I'm that sneaky. Unless I learned how to shapeshift, I suppose..."

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"You can do that?"

A little quickly.
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"I could. Probably. I'm not sure if there are any spells for it in this library, and if there are they might be hard to learn. Can't hurt to check, though, I suppose." She grins. "Research project! Do you want to help me look?"

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"Okay." She starts looking at book spines.

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"That's the miscellaneous section, alphabetical by title," says Blueberry. "And nonfiction alphabetical by author starts there," she points a hoof, "and ends there. I'll go upstairs and check the unfiled books, they're always a mess."

She trots up some stairs, leaving Emily Lark with books titled things like The Elements of Harmony: A Reference Guide and The Founding of Equestria and Simple Home Remedies.
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Well, those don't sound like they're about shapeshifting. She keeps going.

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Well, there's Dictionary of Obscure Magics by Artichoke. That looks promising. The same author also wrote a series of four travel guides to interesting-sounding places, a short cookbook, and a treatise about dragons.

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She checks the dictionary of obscure magics.

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There are a lot of obscure magics in there! It doesn't directly describe any spells, but it has general notes about a wide range of different things that it's technically possible to do with magic but rarely worth the trouble.

Shape-changing gets its very own section. Here are a few references to spellbooks that deal in things like giving wings to non-pegasi, and a mention (but no title) of a spellbook which teaches you to turn innocent ponies into toads, and an anecdote about a wizard of the author's acquaintance who successfully turned himself into a lizard and then had a series of hilarious mishaps trying to turn back. Artichoke has clever turns of phrase and describes all these things very readably even for a reader who doesn't know much at all about magic.
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Well, that's interesting, then. "I found this book with a section on shape-changing."

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Blueberry pokes her small head out over the edge of the library's second level. "Ooh, Artichoke," she says. "Anything good in there? I'm looking through a book on artifact creation I ordered a while ago, since you seemed excited about shapeshifting and you probably couldn't cast unicorn spells yourself, not being a unicorn."

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"I'm not a unicorn," she agrees. "It's, um, I don't know how useful it would be to a unicorn."
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"Well, I'll take a look. Just a moment."

She pulls her head back and shortly comes trotting down the stairs again, with a small stack of books floating above her.
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Unicorn magic. Right.

She holds out the book, gripping it loosely enough that it won't hurt her fingers if it's telekinetically snatched away.
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"Thanks!"

She sets her stack down on the floor and gently tugs the book away from the human with telekinesis, then reopens the book on artifacts and puts it and the Dictionary side by side. Flip flip flip.

"Well, that's sort of the opposite of a shapeshifting artifact," she says after a few seconds, tapping the artifacts book with a hoof. "'Amulet of the True Form' - it says it turns you into whatever sort of creature you really are."
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"Is it hard to make?"
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"Moderately. But I did order a book on how to make artifacts. Would you like one?"

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Nod nod.

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"This should be fun," she says cheerfully. "Let's just see..." She starts reading the section on the Amulet of the True Form. "Oh, that's nice, it has safety features so it won't do things like turn a sea serpent back into a sea serpent while they're still on land, or an earth pony back into an earth pony while they're flying around as a bird..." Pageturn. "And it looks like it won't be too difficult to cast. I just need a necklace to cast it on. Do you have one you don't mind using? If not, I'm sure we can find one."

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"I don't have a necklace."

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"No problem, I can go find one," Blueberry assures her. "Would you like to come with me, or stay in the library?"

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"Do people come in here often?"
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