*Author's note* I had not originally thought of this idea, I had merely copied (if you might say I did) the concept from a clopfic by Starkie called 'The Seven Spikes' and asked him to use his idea to which he agreed happily.
As many stories begin we shall start on a usual day in Ponyville, where Twilight Sparkle the long time protege of Princess Celestia and bearer of the Element of Magic was studying spells in her library home; researching a way to magically sort things in a matter of instances, recalling the time she and her friends worked on a cherry orchard where they had much trouble with that very task. "Hmmm... mhm... yes!" She said with a smile, putting down the book still glowing with her magic. "All I have to do now is try it... Spike! Spike! Can you get the bucket I have in the hall?"
"You mean the one filled with rocks?"
"Yes I need you to get it and bring it over here."
"You could at least say please." He replied under his breath while walking towards the bucket, having just got down from the step ladder.
It took Spike only a few seconds to bring her the bucket, but she still gave him a sour look while waiting for him to place it down. "There's fine..." A slight silence waited on her as Spike stood next to the bucket, waiting for any gratitude. "I think the shelf over there is getting dusty, can you go dust it?" With a deep sigh he mumbled to himself and made his way to the shelf in question, grabbing the duster on the way. "Now I'm going to need to concentrate very hard to get this spell right so could you keep silent for just a little bit, Number One Assistant?"
It calmed him a bit to hear her say that, "Okay Twi, but you know I'm usually very good at that."
She turned back at him with a glare, "Yes but you remember what happened last week!"
His face flushed briefly, looking down at the floor. "Oh... Well at least we got it all cleaned up..."
"Yes, but it took the whole week... and this experiment may be even more dangerous. Nopony has ever tried a spell like this before. Who knows what might happen!"
"Alright, alright, just let me know when you're done." He replied hastefully as he continued to dust the shelves.
"Okay, now let's see..." Twilight stated, looking back over her notes. She seemed to have everything she needed for her experiment: Something inanimate to test, enough magical power to preform the spell, as well as many notes and data on the subject (though most are sketchy at best). So with one last look at the bucket of lifeless stones she shut her eyes in concentration, feeling for the power needed for the spell as she imbued the magic onto it. As her horn glowed brightly, a beam of magic short forth and covered the bucket, seemingly ready for the spell to work. But something happened... A spark flew from her horn and threw off her already dwindling concentration, she tightend her closed eyes in an attempt to bring back control, but a burst threw her back.
It wasn't until an hour later that Twilight awoke, shoving books off her as she stumbled to her hooves. "Ugh... what happened?" The entire library was littered in books, huge piles were in front of every book shelf, but one in particular had well over twice the number, maybe even four times the size by her estimate. "Spike? Are you okay?"
A grunting noise bellowed from the pile, it sounded like it wasn't Spike under the books until he actually said something. "Twi?" "What happened?" "Are you okay?" "I'm fine." "So am I." "Me too."
She shook herself off, thinking she heard something strange. "Spike? Are you alright? Can you get up?" Her horn shined again, this time tossing off all the books impeeding her from moving, then once she could get up she managed her way to Spike, tossing text after text off of him. She gasped at what she saw. Not one Spike- but six. All dazed and barely conscious. But she could not pause, she knew she had to make sure that he was fine. She pushed all the books away and lifted them each, inspecting for anything that could be wrong with them.
She took note of each Spike, all just barely different, only noticeable if you stare at them next to each other long enough. The one that was still awake and standing next to her, above the other unconscious Spikes, was the closest to the original Spike, maybe a bit more purple. The others, still unconscious, were slightly off hue. One was slightly closer to yellow, another slightly pink, while another was closer to white, there was one slightly orange, and the last was even stranger than the others. Not because his body's light blue but because he'd grown wings (Albiet barely distinguishable, they were still very much present). "Wh- What do you think happened?" Spike asked, looking down to the other hims. "Do you think the spell might've fractured off the metallic bucket due to the combination of it's properties offset by your material concentrate and a fluxation in power from a possible attention fault?"
Twilight was stunned! She didn't know Spike even knew all those words, let alone how to use them to form a hypothesis as to why her experimental spell failed. It took a few moments for her to regain composure and notice his words held a possible truth. "Maybe Spike, but what gave you that conclusion?"
"Well I did read Starswirl the Bearded's book "Intricate study of the magic of magic" that magic affects different materials at different rates and at different intencities..."
"But...I haven't read that book since you were just a hatchling, barely a year old..."
"Actually I've read it a few times, as well as other books you used to read to me as a hatchling, for... nostalgic purposes."
"Well that explains that but, what are we going to do about these... um... yous?"
"Well it's not so much as what we're going to do to them, as it's where are we going to keep them?"
"I know... it's not like we can just afford to house five more of you... no offense."
"Actually, I'm on your side on this one. But we can't just leave them, we need to study them and make sure that they're alright, you know what I mean?"
"I doubt they'll be much different from you but... I have been wrong before..."
"Alright Twilight, they're all on the spare bed. Did you finish the letter you're going to send to the Princess?"
"Thank you Spike, and yes I have. Plus we need to see if you can still send letters, if not I do have a spell that can do it."
"Just give it here." Spike said with his hand out as Twilight levitated the letter into his hand. He quickly blew his normal green flame and the letter burned off to the Princess, noticing it was a bit faster and with a slight humm.
"Looks like that still works... Let's just hope Celestia knows something."
Just as Spike opened his mouth to reply he started to choke on an incomming message, where just coughing it up a bright light flashed the whole room and Princess Celestia appeared in front of the two. "I came as soon as I read your message. Where are they?"
Twilight pointed towards their bedroom. "Most of them in there but one is right here."
"I can see that, and I think I know why he's the only one conscious but I need to make sure." And with that the princess with into the bedroom, stopping either of them from entering as she investigated.
The Princess took nearly half an hour with the other Spikes, running tests and confirming her theories. "Twilight, Spike, it seems as though you have accidentally split Spike into the six Elements of Harmony."
"Wh- What do you mean?" Both Twilight and Spike said in unison.
"Because Spike was hatched from pure magic that came from the bearer of magic, the most mysterious element, it appears that he has... become part of the Elements of Harmony..."
"But what about when Spike grew from greed?" Twilight interrupted.
"He is still a dragon, that fact will never change. But because he is a dragon he absorbs magic very easily, especially as a hatchling."
"So, why didn't the other Spikes wake up?" Spike asked, concerned for his other selves.
"That is because they aren't near the Elements that they represent."
"So... why didn't I need to have Twilight or any of the others near me at all times? Like when I got captured by the buffalo?"
"I can only guess that because you had all of the Elements in you, so you did not need to be near any of the actual bearers. And in case you are wondering, they all have the same knowledge that Spike did before this incident, but their personalities will be different.
"And you know this how?"
"Because I had simulated the presence of the other Elements, confirming everything I am telling you. But there is some thing that surprised me..."
"It was the Rainbow Dash one right?" Twilight interrupted again.
Celestia paused in a daze before coughing back to her normal composure. "Well yes but, it was because his wings grew to become adequate for flight when I had the Element of Loyalty near him."
"And how far doe it have to be to affect him that way?"
"I can't be too sure, it is almost all new information to me as well. So I shall return to my study and find all the information I have on the matter, in the meantime I want you to take each Spike to his Element and have them raise him."
"And that's why I need you all to take care of them, so can you?"
"Well I don't really see much of a choice in the matter darling, but what are we going to do about their accommodations?" Rarity asked.
"Yeah, ya'll expect us to give him a bed most of us don't got?" Applejack interjected.
"I've got that all covered." Twilight responded as she levitated five bed-baskets towards them. "And I made sure yours can sit on clouds Rainbow."
"Thanks Twi... But how do you even know if HE can walk on clouds?" Rainbow replied.
"Well I guess we'll find out now won't we?" RD's Spike replied, flapping his wings and flying towards the nearest cloud over head, landing without a hitch. "Well? Any problem now?"
"I guess not." Rainbow answered, not liking being proved wrong like that.
"Now I know that this will be a major adjustment for most of you but the Princess assured that they will be your assistant just like the old Spike was to me."
"Hey! I still am!" Twilight's Spike interjected.
"Oh, sorry... Yes you still are..."
"Well that's all well and good but how do you know if he's good enough to be my helper?" Applejeck asked with good reason.
"If I may" Rarity intervened. "Every time he comes over to assist me he's not only a darling little helper but pulls more than his fair share around."
"That's all well and good too..." Applejack replied. "But I don't really think his weight is nearly enough to pull his own on the farm."
"A...And I don't think he's able to help me either..." Fluttershy said as politely as she could.
"I know, I know you all have your doubts but like I said, the Princess asked me to ask you to take care of them...please?"
After a moment of silence between them, Applejack spoke up. "Well looks like we've got no choice then... With the princess asking us and all..."
"Oh thank you! Thank you! I guarantee that they will not be a burden to any of you!"
"Yep! You can count on us!" The five Spikes replied in unison, each facing their Element Bearers.
"But... Something has been bothering me... Pinkie, you've been unusually quiet..." Twilight pointed out.
"Oh! Sorry if I freaked anypony out Twi..." Pinkie Pie said in her usually fast manner. "I was just thinking of some hilariously funny pranks me and my new assistant can do! And what parties we can throw with his help!"
"Ooh! That sounds like fun! I've already got a few pranks in mind that we can pull..." Pinkie's Spike began to say to her as they both turned and walked away, leaning against each other and whispering their plans, giggling at the ideas.
"I guess we should all get home... and let the Spikes know the routines you all have." Twilight remarked.
And with that, the four others and their respective dragons ventured towards their homes. "I guess we should get going too Twilight."
"Yeah..." She responded, rather down on herself. "I just hope they don't think of it as too much of a burden..."