One week later
Alex slowly opened his eyes and looked around. “Yup, Still in cartoon world.” He muttered to himself. Getting himself out of bed with zero blanket trouble, he looked at the clock, it read 8:00 AM. Yawning, he shook his head trying to wake himself up. He was still feeling the effects of the party from the week before, and hadn’t adjusted to a proper sleeping schedule yet. He just hoped that he wouldn’t have to do any partying until he could get used to sleeping properly.
One thing that he hadn’t had a chance to deal with, was his little problem with Rainbow Dash. He hadn’t gotten a chance to apologize to her since he had mistaken her name, and she had stormed out of Pinkies house. But, he knew the opportunity would present itself eventually, so, he pushed it from his mind for the moment.
Grabbing a brush, he quickly fixed his bed mane, and with a quick look in the mirror, he flared his white wing and shook it, making sure the feathers weren’t messy. Then, after doing the same with his grey wing, he decided he was decent. Today was his first day of magic training, and he didn’t want to show up a mess.
Walking out of his room, he grabbed an apple from a basket next to his door with his mouth. But, He had to be careful, he wasn’t used to carrying things this way, and he didn’t want to puncture the skin on the apple. He hoped he could get used to magic quickly, so he didn’t have to hold everything this way.
Walking into the front section of the library, Alex noticed that Twilight had moved the large wooden horse head to the side, and put a wooden desk in its place. He could also see a chalk board that she had brought in and placed in front of a bookshelf. Getting the idea, Alex quickly sat himself in the desk, and waited.
After a few minutes, Twilight came in through the front door with a few bags of groceries and a couple of books, all held in the air using her magic. Seeing him waiting in the desk, she quickly focused and put all the food she had bought in its proper place, then she trotted over the chalk board and placed the books she had been holding on a small desk next to the chalk board.
“Sorry about that!” Twilight began. “I would have been back sooner, but Applejack stopped me and asked me if I could help her harvest some apples, I would have, but I have some lessons to teach you!” She said to Alex. “So… Welcome to Magic 101!” She said suddenly sounding much more professional. She then lifted a piece of chalk to the board with her magic and started writing her name. “My name is Twilight Sparkle and I’m….” She stopped when she noticed the look on Alex’s face.
“I know who you are Twilight.” Alex said smirking. “Is all this REALLY necessary?” He said lifting an eyebrow.
“Yes.” Twilight answered simply. “I read that the best way of teaching somepony, is to be professional, and maintain a consistent attitude!” She said matter-of-factly, as a creepy smile started forming on her face. “And it wouldn’t be very consistent of me if I changed my attitude right away!” She continued with a twitching eye. “So…”
“Understood!” Alex cut in, no longer wanting to question her teaching methods. “You’re the boss Twi! Forget I said anything!” Alex said half apologetically, half scared.
“Wonderful!” Twilight said returning to normal. “Now!” She began again, “I’m Twilight Sparkle, and I’ll be your teacher!” She said with a smile. “Do you have any questions before we begin today’s class?” She asked him.
Alex thought for a moment, and then shook his head.
“Alright then,” Twilight said, “today, we’re going to have a little history lesson on the origins of magic, before we officially start your training.” She said pulling out a rather large book and flipping it open to a page she had bookmarked.
“A LONG time ago,” Twilight said putting plenty of emphasis on the word ‘Long.’ “There weren’t any Unicorns. Just Pegasi and Earth Ponies.” She said, flipping a page with her magic. “And as far as those ponies were concerned, magic was something that only a few gifted species could conjure.” Twilight paused, taking a breath, then continued. “So, at this time, Ponies thought that they weren’t capable of magic. However, contrary to popular belief then, and even now, you don’t actually NEED a horn to perform magic.” She said looking up at a confused Alex.
“Really?” Alex asked, genuinely surprised. “Why wouldn’t all ponies use magic then?” He asked, but then quickly realized why. “Let me guess. It’s much more difficult without a horn, right?” He said.
“Much more” Twilight said. “I don’t think a single pony has performed any magic without a horn since the mysterious stallion did it...” She thought out loud.
“Who? Alex asked, interrupting her thought process.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to fall off track there.” Twilight apologized, finding her place in her book again. “Well, at some point, a large community of ponies, who lived rather far away from the main population, somehow figured out how to use magic.” She said, unhappy she couldn’t explain the original discovery of magic in more detail. “Nopony really knows how they did it, but they did. And, as time passed, their foals eventually started being born with larger and larger bumps on their heads, until, much later, they were full horns.”
“But… if those ponies were so secluded, how have horns become such a normal thing in this world?” Alex asked.
Twilight smiled, happy he was interested. She had been worried he’d be bored. “Well, as the largest colonies of ponies started expanding their territories, they eventually came across the unicorns, and they integrated into the mass population. This is when the true documentation of the unicorns began. Everything before then, we know from stories that had been passed down from generation to generation.” She frowned, “So, we’ll never know one hundred percent how unicorns came about, but, we have a general idea from the stories they told us. Pretty much, one pony somehow came across it, and taught everyone else.”
“Okay…” Alex said, “So… what about that ‘stallion’ you mentioned?” He asked.
“Well,” Twilight said, sorting her thoughts, deciding a slight deviation from the lesson couldn’t hurt, “He came along far beyond the discovery of Unicorns… And, after what he did, he was considered to be one of the single most powerful conjurers of all time.” She explained to Alex, as he listened intently. “When the very first King of Manehattan started to get the idea that Unicorns were better than earth ponies and Pegasi because of their ability to use magic, a lot of unicorns started to agree with him, and started thinking they deserved better treatment than the ‘lesser ponies’” Twilight explained, disgusted that anypony could think such a way,
Hearing this was genuinely surprising for Alex. He never thought that kind of bigotry could exist in a world like this. However, corrupt rulers had brainwashed people in his world. So, it made sense that it could happen in this world too.
“So,” Twilight continued, “One day, a stallion appeared… no one had ever seen him before…” She explained. “But, when he confronted the King about this mistreatment, the king tricked him, and used a spell that is now forbidden, which removed his horn. Normally that spell had only been used as punishment for unicorns that were guilty of magic related crimes, but, the King used it to make an example out of the stallion, so that other unicorns wouldn’t try to stand up against him.” Twilight said pausing momentarily to take a breath.
Alex simply sat quietly, eagerly waiting the next part of the story.
“So, after that happened,” Twilight began again, “Many of ponies started to question the King, after seeing him treat a fellow Unicorn in such a way. The Stallion knew he could use this, so, he disappeared for a short while, hoping to convince everypony that he had run away.” Twilight smiled as she continued, coming to her favorite part of the story. “Then, during a rather bloody public assembly by the King, the stallion came back, and gave the King one chance to apologize, and stop what he had been doing. But…” Twilight said slowly, purposely driving Alex crazy. “He refused, and told him that he was nothing now that he was an Earth Pony.”
Alex gritted his teeth. Even though this King guy was long gone, he still hated the guy. Nopony should be treated that way.
“So when the King refused to stop, the Stallion simply apologized to him... confusing everyone, including the King.” Twilight said. “Then the Stallion cast a spell, and a powerful one at that. Something nopony thought would be possible. But he did it, without a horn. The spell turned the king and his most loyal followers into stone, proving that power didn’t just belong to Unicorns, but the Earth Ponies, and Pegasi as well.” Twilight said smiling at the thought. “However, the spell he had cast was too powerful... And without a horn, a pony can really hurt themselves using magic.” She stopped, and explained this, “A horn focuses the magic energy away from the pony, and concentrates it. But, without a horn, casting a spell that powerful would not only be difficult, but… fatal.” Twilight said.
“And that’s why Earth Ponies don’t want to use magic?” Alex asked.
“Exactly,” She answered. “Without a horn to focus the energy, magic is nearly impossible. And the fact that using it can seriously injure a pony puts it out of the question.” Twilight explained. “So, basically, only Unicorns are safe performing magic.” She finished.
“Well…” Twilight continued, slowly, “The magic did enough damage to seriously hurt him… So, the Ponies got him to the hospital as fast as they could, but it was too late.” Twilight said sadly.
“So… He died.” Alex said, now understanding Twilights unhappiness.
“Yes” Twilight answered, sadly. “He had one final request though, that he be left alone in his last moments.” She said, sadly. “So… everypony left the hospital, respecting his final wish. But, then the strangest thing happened…” She said, stopping purposely, pausing for a few moments.
“What?!” Alex asked finally, sick of waiting, “What happened next?”
Twilight couldn’t help but giggle at his reaction to her teasing, “Well,” She finally began, “After the ponies left him in the hospital, there was a bright gold light that seemed to explode out of all the windows… And when they ran back inside, he was gone.”
Alex cocked an eyebrow. “What do you mean gone?” He asked confused. “Is that something ponies do? Return to the force?”
“No.” Twilight answered, not understanding the reference. “Something like that had never happened before. So, the ponies went back into the hospital to investigate, there was only one other pony there, but when they asked him what he was doing there, he told them that he was The Doctor and that they were in a hospital. So, after that, they gave up.” She explained “If he had been alive, somepony would have recognized him” Twilight said. “So the only way he could have survived, is if he had changed his face.” Twilight said laughing. “But let’s be serious, like that could ever happen!”
Alex laughed, then quickly realized something. “So… What does that have to do with my studies exactly?” He asked.
Twilight paused, and looked up. “I… Don’t really know… I think we got sidetracked a bit.” She giggled.
“Okay… Interesting story though!” Alex said, starting to laugh a bit himself.
“Hey! You’re the one who asked!” Twilight said, still laughing, starting to tear up.
Alex wasn’t sure what the two had found so funny, but they couldn’t stop laughing. It was just one of those moments he figured. After a few minutes of laughter between them, the two calmed down enough to talk again.
“Alright, I think it’s time to move on!” Twilight said wiping a tear from her eye. “I wanted to get you practicing magic right away so you can get home as quickly as possible.” She said smiling.
“Alright!” Alex said excitedly. “What are we doing?”
“I’m going to start you off just doing exercises.” Twilight began. “Performing magic is incredibly difficult, it requires a certain state of mind. So, you need to have all of your focus on what it is that you’re trying to do.” Twilight turned her head to the chalk board, and started copying down everything that she was saying.
Alex leaned forward and started trying his best to follow her instructions.
“When performing magic, it’s essential that you know exactly what it is that you want to do,” Twilight began, “You need all of your focus on the spell you want to cast.” She continued, as she wrote down everything on the chalk board. “Some spells require little effort, and are really nothing more than imagining a hand reaching out of you, and lifting something up. Spells like this are simple compared to the teleport spell you want to cast, but they still require months of practice to do.” She continued. “So, you don’t need to worry about ACTUALLY casting any spells today. It’s going to be a LONG time before…”
“Hey! I’m doin’ it!” Alex cheered, amazed that he was actually using magic. It felt surreal to be doing something that he had been told wasn’t real since he was a child.
Twilight turned around, and almost fainted when she saw Alex levitating his apple off of his desk.
This was impossible. He hadn’t ever used magic before, and yet here he was, using the magic that had taken her so much time to learn back when she was a filly. “I… I…” She stuttered, completely at a loss for words.
After a few seconds of this, Alex fumbled the spell, and dropped the apple. “Aw!” He said turning to Twilight and smiling. “How was that?” His smiling face turned into one of confusion as she stood there, with the same twitching eye he had seen at the beginning of class. “Uh… Twilight?” He asked, now slightly concerned.
“How… how… I… But…” Twilight continued to stutter. “How… How did you do that?”
“Lift the apple?” Alex asked, confused. “I just did what you said.”
“But, it takes some ponies YEARS to get their magic to that level!” Twilight managed to say. “You just…” She said searching for the right words, “Do you know what this means?” She asked him, wide eyed.
“Uh… no?” Alex said, scratching his head again.
“Alex, this means that you’re not going to have to train for anywhere NEAR as long as I thought!” Twilight explained, still a little shaken by all of this.
And then, all at once, he understood. “Just… how much time do you think this is going to save me..?” Alex asked slowly.
“Well, you already know the basics… You know how to clear your mind, focus the energy, and manipulate it to do what you want.” Twilight answered, “It took me almost 2 years to learn everything to the point that you’re at. And on top of that, Princess Celestia and I honestly thought it would take you LONGER to learn this much, on account of you only being a pony for such a short period of time!” She finished, allowing herself to breath.
Alex beamed. He had gotten so used to the idea of being stuck in this world for a long time. But now it was sounding like he would be getting home much sooner than he thought. Unable to contain himself, Alex lunged over his desk, and wrapped his arms around Twilight. “This is great!” He said releasing her, then starting to jump up and down, and cheer.
Twilight smiled at his excitement. She may have been shocked by his amazing magical ability, but this was GOOD news. She wasn’t sure how long it would take before he was able to use the spell to go home, but it was now a fraction of what it had been. “Well!” Twilight said, interrupting Alex’s cheering, “You still have some ways to go! But, I think we can end our first class a little early, since you went and pretty much made my current curriculum useless” She laughing.
“You know what Alex deserves for being so great at magic?” A voice came from the window.
Alex and Twilight turned to the open window next to them.
“A Party!” Pinkie said poking her head inside, however, she pulled her head out again, and started trying to lift something in through the opening. “Hey Alex, can you help me get my party cannon in through the window?” She asked poking her head back inside.
“You know Pinkie…” Alex started slowly, “I don’t think I’ve recovered after the party last week… how about a rain check?” He said apologetically, and slightly worried about this ‘party cannon’ of hers.
“Sure thing!” Pinkie smiled. “Here! Have this though!” She said placing a cake on the windowsill. “I was working on it all day for this party, and I wouldn’t want it to go to waste!” She beamed.
“But… if this is a party for Alex because he’s good at magic… How could you have known this morning?” Twilight asked, not understanding how she had known.
“Oh, I had a combo!” Pinkie explained with a smile, “Anyway, you two enjoy the rest of the day!” She said pushing her cannon away.
“That pony is really…” Alex began
“Random.” Twilight finished.
The two nodded, agreeing with each other.
“Well, let’s not let this cake go to waste!” Alex said, carefully using two hooves to lift the base that the cake sat on, placing it on the table in the middle of the room.
The two sat down at the table and Twilight cut them each a piece with her magic.
For the next while, Twilight and Alex simply talked about different things. They talked about the class, Ponyville, their hometowns, their families, (with Alex still skipping his parent’s deaths.) Then before they knew it, hours had passed, and they had eaten most of the cake. The two were interrupted from their friendly conversation when Spike suddenly ran through the front door.
“Twilight!” Spike shouted running across the room toward the table, “I just got a letter from the Princess!”
“What does it say?” Twilight asked, curious at what the Princess would want to write to her about.
Spike opened the scroll and started reading it out loud. “Hear ye, hear ye, Her Grand Royal Highness Princess Celestia of Equestria, is pleased to announce The Grand Galloping Gala to be held in the magnificent capital city of Canterlot, on the 21st day of, uh, blah blah” He said skipping over the little details. “Cordially extends an invitation to Twilight Sparkle plus on guest!” Spike took the two tickets from the page, and put them on the table.
“The Grand Galloping Gala!” Twilight said excitedly.
“What’s that…?” Alex asked looking back and forth between Spike and Twilight.
“The Grand Galloping Gala is the most prestigious ball in Equestria!” Twilight explained. “It’s something that anypony would die for a chance to go to!” She said, giddy with excitement.
“It’s really girly.” Spike said. “Too much dancing and… other girly stuff” He said not able to think of anything else that was really ‘girly’ about it.
“But… I only got two tickets… Who should I invite?” Twilight said, suddenly realizing the choice she had to make.
“Well, don’t worry about me.” Alex said “I was never one for a dance. But, I’m sure one of your other friends would be happy to go”
“…That’s what I’m afraid of…” Twilight said slowly, know this would be a problem.
A BIG problem.