"Alright, so even though I can't perform magic, you want me to learn about it?" Alex asked
"Yes, you just seemed so enthusiastic, I figured it would be good for you to understand it, and then maybe understand our world a bit more." Celestia replied.
"Well, alright then. Let's get started! It's been killing me not knowing how it works."
Taking out a book on basic magic, they began to study.
"Okay, so, magic exists as a field, and in the field, there are waves that come in pulses, and each wave is made of particles. So the unicorn horn acts like an antenna, tapping the field, While possible to simply force it to do what you want, it's most effective to work my manipulating already existing fields. Going WITH the flow of a river, or the tides of the ocean. I see. By imprinting desire on the field, going with the flow of the wave instead of against it, it allows manipulation of the world. While difficult, it is possible to go against the flow, which is why unicorns who haven't learned control of their magic are able to do many things that adults can't, such as self levitation, or turning their parent's into a cactus."
"Exactly right. You are grasping this much better than most, considering you won't be able to use it." Celestia praised his efforts. Learning something that would be completely useless to you and staying committed to it takes a lot of dedication.
"So, the horn picks up on the waves which are a natural representation of the world, then alters them to alter the world. Each object has it's physical form, and it's wave. Like an object and it's shadow, except that when the shadow is changed, the object is as well. Interesting. Celestia, is there any way to store magic, like a battery?" Alex mused.
"What do you mean?"
"I mean, find an object that when a spell is cast on it, instead of happening, it's delayed until there is a trigger event. For example, cast a spell on an amulet that will let the wearer walk on clouds for a day, but it only actually activates when they're touching a cloud? Perhaps an amulet that automatically shields when it detects danger, but does nothing the rest of the time? You could even make it recharge when it's not active, although that would require casting two spells on it. If you could enchant objects with passive effects like cloud walking or shields, it would go great lengths to assist non unicorn ponies. Or even just to tap into the field like a horn does, it would allow much easier investigation into magic."
"Hmm, I'll have them look into that. When did you come up with this?"
"Well, I was just thinking, I can't use magic, but I CAN sense it, something most aren't able to do without training. If I maybe had a medium I could use as a replacement for a horn, I might be able to tap into the field. I guess, well, I seem to think differently than the ponies. I think of things they don't. Magic is basically limited only to your understanding of it and your imagination, but all the unicorns don't seem to have that second quality. They like to operate within convention. I suppose it's because everyone is just trying so hard to find a way to send me home, I want to help out in any way I can. In fact, if I could learn how to use the summoning magic in that book, I'd be able to bring something I recognize from my world into this one, then send it back."
"I see, you really miss them, don't you?" Celestia asked.
"I do. I know you can only bring things you recognize. I recognize my family, MY phone, MY notebook. If you tried to bring something like that here, you'd just get a random one. I know MY things specifically, so I'd be able to bring the one I wanted, and just maybe, send my family a message telling them I'm okay. I've been gone over a month. I know they're worried about me. It hurts! It hurts so much! I miss them with all my heart. What's more, I wish I could show them this world. Show them where I've been. What I've been up to. Maybe, in time, we could open our worlds to each other. We could improve yours greatly, and we both know you could improve mine." Alex replied sorrowfully. Having been gone from those he loved was weighing on him greatly. As always, Celestia was there to comfort, laying her head on his shoulder.
"We'll find a way."
"Hi Alex! Twilight's got everything set up here! So we're ready to bring you over! This is gonna be fun!" Pinkie exclaimed as she popped up in the crystal.
"Sure, just give me about 10 minutes to finish up my rounds, then call me back."
After getting changed from his janitorial attire, Alex put on his Edgeworth suit. It was just Ponyville, but he figured he might as well show up in style. Twilight called him, he said goodbye to Celestia, then disappeared from Canterlot castle and appeared back in the library basement.
"Well Alex, how have you been?" The lavender mare asked.
"Pretty good. Celestia and Luna are teaching me magic theory. I kind of hoped that my unbiased look at it would bring new insights, maybe find a way to send me back. Apparently, I'm picking it up as fast as you did, although I can't put it to practical use." Twilight became a little flustered, quite jealous that he was able to spend so much time with the princess.
"Oh, before I forget, take this." He passed her the crystal. Soon, the familiar tingle he felt when he was in his summoned state dissipated, and he knew he was unbound. Then, she gave him back his communication stone.
"There. Now, I can just pop back and forth frequently. Kind of convenient. I wonder if we could send other stuff that way, besides letters of course."
"Well, I'll have to look into it a little more. The institute made a copy of the book for me to look over. Of course, I won't go bringing stuff from other worlds here, and I won't abuse it. The princess has complete confidence in me, and I won't let her down!" Twilight said with a fire in her heart. The unicorn literally lived to impress Celestia.
"Oh, by the way Spike, I got you a sky sapphire. Celestia gave me an allowance, and I thought I'd get you something you might like. I heard that you specifically enjoy sapphires and rubies, so I wanted to show you my gratitude." Alex said handing the dragon the blue stone, looking as though it was made of air frozen in a spiral. The gem sparkled with an inner gleam, beautiful to behold, right up until Spike tossed it in his mouth. He seemed to savour the taste before he crushed it in his jaws and chewed slowly. Finally, he swallowed it and a warm smile came over his face.
"Delicious. Anytime you want to thank me for something, you just let me know!"
"I will." Twilight was about to scold Spike for his lack of manners, but Alex didn't mind and actually seemed to get the joke. They had a quick laugh as they walked out of the library basement.
"Ah, right! I was going to help Applejack on the farm today. I've got to drop by Rarity's first to have my measurements taken, then I'll come back here and change into work attire. Spike, you wanna come with?"
"Well, he does have to help me reorganize the library... and then we have to make a list of the lists we need to make, and then....."
"Come on Twilight, let him come along. I promised I'd hang out with him a bit. Besides, you're only young once. Live a little. Don't you have a new book to read? You know, the one on conjuration that I took great pains to convince Celestia to give you a copy of? I mean, it was considered to be forbidden knowledge for who knows how long. Only yourself, the princess, and the institute have seen what's inside. What I do know is that it's got 400 pages, and small writing."
Seemingly having forgotten all her other chores, the purple unicorn quickly shooed the two guys from the library to be alone with her new best friend. They walked slowly down the streets of Ponyville, not in a rush at all.
"So, you have your eyes set on a special somepony?" Spike broke the awkward silence.
"I have a certain someone in mind, yeah, but, it's really too early to say. I mean, I HAVE only been here for a month, and, I'm still hoping on being able to go home you know? If I ended up falling in love, then found a way to go home, it would just be more heartache then I can take. Being torn between the one I love and my family. I don't think I could handle that. What about you?" Alex replied, curious about the dragon's own romance life.
"Well, you promise not to tell anyone?" Spike had him promise then lean in close.
"I've got a crush on Rarity."
"Rarity eh? Yeah, I could see that. Well, after I get to know everyone better, maybe I could help you set up a little something. No guarantees though."
They entered the dress store, spotting the white unicorn right away. She had known they were coming, and decided to forgo her usual greeting.
"Alex! Spike! Oh, so good to see you both! Now, the princess has given me sketches as examples for your attire, but I must take your measurements to get started. If you would kindly remove your garments so I could get started then..."
"Sorry Rarity, I'm afraid that's not going to happen." Alex interrupted her.
"Why ever not dear?" Rarity asked, genuinely confused.
"Well, you see, I've noticed ponies walking around, most of them don't wear clothes. It's optional. For humans, it's NOT optional. Sometimes, in the summer months, we go without a shirt, but NEVER without pants in public. Being naked is something reserved only for private moments among lovers. While you are quite beautiful, we just met, and that's taking things a little too fast. By the way, you should see the look on your face right about now." Alex and Spike chuckled slightly as Rarity's expression turned to a mixture of embarrassment and insult.
"Don't worry Rarity. I know you're not like that. Was it a little too much? I mean, I guess what I'm saying is I try to diffuse awkward situations with humor, and I'm not very good at it, so I'm sorry if I offended you." Last thing Alex wanted to do was make a bad impression.
"Ah yes, well, I'll forgive it this time. Pinkie and Rainbow may enjoy such buffoonery, but I ask that you leave such things at the door when speaking to me." She stated sternly.
"Got it! Won't happen again."
"Still, it is intriguing. Your entire species wears clothing ALL the time. Oh, the fashions you must have developed! The culture!" The unicorn mused. I held my arms wide to show off my Edgeworth suit.
"Right. What I'm wearing now would have been a common sight about 200-400 years ago among nobility. Modern style tends to either be tight cut or extremely loose. Most tight fits are used to show off muscle tone while still covering up, while the more baggy style is meant to hide flaws and make the wearer look more illustrious as their clothing follows after them. Middle of the road, not to tight and not too loose, isn't very popular, although can work well in spring and summer seasons with thin, breathable cloth as a more relaxed look, although it's usually paired with a tight fitting muscle shirt underneath. I can't sketch it for you, since I'm no artist, but perhaps later I can come back and give you pointers on what you've drawn up. Also, NO frills. They're out of style and considered tacky. And go easy on the gems. above all, the clothing must be comfortable. Think about if you were making something for Fluttershy. She wouldn't want all eyes to be on her, she'd just want to look nice when someone happens to look, not blind them."
After Alex's lengthly explanation of human attire, and Rarity taking his measurements with clothes on, he and Spike left the boutique and began to walk back to the library.
"So.. um... that pony you had your eyes on....."
"No Spike, it's not Rarity. I won't be competing with you for her. She's not really my type. And a tip, if you want her, play her suit. She likes making clothing, ask her to make some for you. Don't be afraid to be demanding on that front. She'll enjoy the challenge. Besides, needing new clothes is a really good excuse for you to go over and talk to her. It sets up an event. Just make sure you leave the romance out of it. Let her make the first move. If she can't stop thinking about the clothes she's making you, it means she's thinking about you. It lets you sneak yourself into her thoughts without her noticing. Next thing you know, she's asking you to come over more often. Girls THINK they want a knight in shining armor, dashing heroics, romance, public displays of affection. What they really want is for you to be there day after day, and catch them when they fall. Be there when they need you. Dedication is worth a whole lot more than a single moment."
"And if that doesn't work?" The dragon asked.
"Then she's not right for you. Trust me, you're young. I've had six ex-girlfriends. With each one, I thought that they'd be right for me, and they weren't. It might hurt, but that's life. I can recognize the friend zone. You're in it pal. The thing is, it might suck for a bit, but they eventually realize that you've been there for them the whole time, through the ups and downs, and that you are the one who truly matters to them." The human explained.
"What if she doesn't notice me?"
"If they can't see that, then they aren't worth your time. You gotta remember though, you're still a baby dragon. Nobody sees you as relationship material.... yet. It's going to be a long time before you're ready for that. In the mean time, try focusing on someone other than Rarity. Maybe go help Fluttershy feed the animals once in a while, watch Rainbow Dash do some tricks, or help Applejack on the farm. You might fall for one of them, or they might fall for you. Even if they don't notice you, someone will. It just takes time is all."
"So, instead of following Rarity like a puppy, follow someone else around for a bit, and when she notices I'm not there, she'll come looking for me?"
"If she feels for you, she will."
"Hey, yeah. That makes sense. I've been trying to get her to notice me without any luck. A change of pace. I need to stop trying so hard and let just let it happen. Thanks Alex!"
"Ah, don't mention it. Seriously, don't tell anyone. I've got enough to do as it is, I can't go around playing match maker."
After getting changed into work clothes in Twilight's bathroom, Alex headed off to meet Applejack. She had the same idea, meeting him as soon as he got out of the library.
"Hey thar Alex, you ready to work?" She asked.
"Ready as I'll ever be."
She showed him the way to the farm, and he made a mental map of it so he wouldn't get lost. He had only been to Ponyville once before, and the town layout was confusing, to say the least. He didn't think wandering around without a clue where to go would be much fun.
"Geez, big enough orchard? There must be at least ten thousand trees in there!"
"Fifteen thousand, four hundred and seventy six, if you don't count the saplings we just planted." Alex just glared at Applejack, praying that he didn't have to do ALL of them.
"How the heck do you care for so many trees?"
"Well, I have Rainbow Dash take care of watering em. Every year, when we get to applebucking, we check the tree over. If it's sick, we mark it off and deal with it in the fall. It's applebuck season right now, so I'll have you set the baskets up and pick up any apples that fall out of em, then help carry em back to the barn. Job should be mighty easy with those hands of yours. Today, we're doing the east-south-east-south group. On the north-west side. Only seven hundred trees in that one. Should be easy."
'Why did I agree to this? I gotta stop helping everyone.'
"Yeehaw! All done. Thanks fer the help Alex. How ya feelin?" Applejack asked.
"Just cut off my arms, then I'll be fine." "Alex replied sorely.
"Aww, it waddn't that bad was it?"
"Well, I suppose I can't blame ya since yer not an earth pony, you ain't got our strength. Or pegasus speed, or unicorn magic for that matter. Still, you stuck with with it till the job was done. I'm proud of ya." She gave him a punch in the arm, which caused him to let out a soft scream in pain. Applejack quickly lifted his sleeves to take a look. She knew muscle tears when she saw them.
"Well hayseed, if ya couldn't handle it, why didn'tcha say so sugarcube?"
"Cuz I'm more stubborn than you are?"
"Not quite, but close. You head back to the library. I'll tell Fluttershy to bring some of that ointment she uses whenever I push myself too hard." Alex tried to walk, but fell over, Applejack catching him over her back.
"Make that a lot of it. I'll get ya home."
The door to the library opened, Alex groaning in pain as he was flopped on the couch. The orange earth pony left to go get the pegasus medic, while Twilight and Spike looked in shock at the state their human friend was in.
"Holy Celestia, what happened to you?"
"Applejack killed me. She's gone to get Fluttershy to fix me up. Spike, remember how I told ya to maybe help AJ out once in a while?"
"Yeah?" The dragon replied cautiously.
Spike and Twilight giggled, followed by Alex joining in. They entered a full laugh, with the human suddenly stopping because of the pain.
"Oh dear. You pushed yourself too hard. Here, lay down. Take that shirt off. No buts mister! Doctor Fluttershy won't have any of that." The yellow pegasus then carefully removed his shirt, thankfully leaving the pants on, and proceeded to apply the ointment all on his arms and back.
"Oh! Look at all that tension! Your knots have knots! We need to get you to the spa right away!"
"But, I told Rarity that I'd be back and help her with her designs......"
"Oh, don't worry, the two of us go to the spa all the time, I'm sure she won't turn down a visit. Then you can go over the designs there."
Alex was about to argue, but Fluttershy slumped him across her back and began walking to the boutique. Not having the strength to move on his own, he sighed in defeat as he let the unusually unshy pegasus haul him off. Twilight and Spike just laughed at his plight as he was dragged all over town by their friends.