Octavia sat up in her bed forcefully, ignoring how much she wanted to go back to sleep. She rubbed her eyes vigorously, counted to ten then told herself that she was awake, a ritual that became automatic for her over the months that she has lived in Canterlot. She opened her fancily embroidered purple drapes to let in the right amount of sunshine, then made her bed exactly the way she always did; pillows even above her main comforter, and below her soft treble-clef blanket that she had since she was a filly. It still looked like new, because she’s a very aware and cautious pony, and she took pride in that to some degree.
She stood in front of her hoof-carved mirror, and brushed her mane with a brush made specifically for earth ponies and Pegasi alike, with a handle that curved around the hoof for grip, much like the bow to her cello.
The grey pony started her coffee, as she always did during this daily grind of hers. She quickly picked up the newspaper from outside her door, ready to skim through as she always does. She yawned quietly as she hopped onto her large couch, which was decorated with cellos and double-basses, two instruments she has learned to master over the years. It’s only fitting that she’d have a couch covered in them.
Equestria’s biggest tea-party, now in Canterlot! Honorable Princess Celestia and Luna attending, along with the finest musicians in the land!
“Just 3 days away,” She muttered to herself, “It shall be a wonderful evening,”
She adjusted her posture slightly, now sitting on all- fours.
“I wonder why Lyra sits the way she does? It’s so much more comfortable just to be…normal,” Octavia thought aloud, “Hay, I don’t have the slightest knowledge of why she does what she does anymore, maybe that’s why I’m featured at the tea party, and not her?”
Octavia herself seemed to be the only pony not very fond of her sister’s decision to be with a mare. To her, it seemed like Lyra’s rebelliousness as a filly spilled over into her love-life. Not wanting to do what everypony else did just to be different.
Instantly, she took back her thoughts. Mentioning her sister in such a spiteful manner wasn’t something such a well-mannered pony as herself would do, even if it was just opinion.
After finishing her coffee, she put her cello inside its black synthetic leather case, with her name fittingly embroidered on the side in a fancy purple. Purple had always been her favorite color. The case had an attachment to put around her waist, so she could take it to her daily practice sessions.
Outside, once again she took the same path she always had taken. She could see her hoof-prints from hundreds and hundreds of times she repeated this trip. The earth pony lost track around fifty days straight since she’s lived in Canterlot.
The humid morning air, beautiful and colorful clouds just behind the horizon were something she had always enjoyed, and has come to get used to since moving here on this job offer. She could remember the day in Ponyville when that little green dragon delivered her the letter, the one she had strove for, the one she never though she would get; an invitation to join the Princess’ royal symphony. She still to that day didn’t know who recommended her, but was grateful all-the-same.
Reminiscing on her days in Canterlot made her quite disappointed that she had only made one single friend since her arrival; her natural quietness kept her from making more than just a small-talk with her fellow musicians. A nice and simple day with no complications was just what she Wanted. She felt her days fusing into a big blur of repetition, and it started to bother her that, even while living her dream she still felt as if she really didn’t have much of a reason to live. Octavia wasn’t suicidal, or depressed, it was more of just a simple statement that she hadn’t really made a mark on anypony’s lives, and for that, she was jealous of her sister Lyra.
With her daily self-loathing over, she waited for her friend where they usually meet, under the largest tree in the Canterlot park.
A blue unicorn opened her eyes suddenly, instantly disgusted by the light shining through the several windows she had in her room.
“What is this?” She exclaimed, kicking her blanket off the bed, “Trixie does not approve! Somepony as magnificent as myself needs more than just nine hours of beauty sleep!”
Two odd- looking colts wrestled each- other to her side in an instant, “GPT! GPT! What do you need?!” Snips called out enthusiastically, followed by a delayed response from his taller friend, “Yeah, uh, GPT what do you need, eh?”
“Don’t be lazy, you two should say Trixie’s whole name!”
Almost in unison, they responded, “OK, Trixie!,”
She shook her head, now sitting up on her bed, “No no no, that’s not how you say it. The GREAT and POWERFUL Trixie wants to be addressed as such,”
Willing to go through her punishment for the attention, they bit, “OK, Great and uh, um, Powerful Trixie! Whatever you say!”
The blue unicorn crossed her hooves, “Trixie is quite bothered by the light shining through that awful window there, can you close it for Trixie? It can’t be nearly time to leave yet!”
Snails idiotically went to the window, while Snips corrected the mare, “Um, no Great and Powerful Trixie, it’s time for you to leave now! In fact, you should have left 15 minutes ago!”
“What!?” She shouted hopping into mid-air in horror, “Why didn’t you wake the Great and Powerful Trixie fifteen minutes ago?”
Once again in an uneven unison the two lower their heads and replied, “Sorry, Great and Powerful Trixie…It won’t happen again, we promise!”
“Yeah, eh!” Snails added pointlessly.
The unicorn quickly used her magic to jump into her costume, and position her hadt just as she liked it.
“No more mistakes, you two! I-er, I meant Trixie will banish you just like I Trixie banished the Ursa Major!”
She quickly ate a pile of hay fries she had the colt duo prepare for her earlier, and drank fresh water from her in-home trough, hastily brushing her mane in the process.
“You two must never make a mistake like this again! Trixie can’t risk being late next week!”
The two colts bowed to her, “Have a good day, oh mighty and powerful one!” Snips said enthusiastically.
“Yeah! It’s aboot time you get yer break, eh?” The lanky colt added, with an oddly emphatic shaking of his head.
Hitting the ground she began trotting, leaving without thanking the two, as always. She felt it kept them in their place, making sure they knew they were the lucky ones, and not the other way around.
“Out of my way everypony, star coming through!” Trixie chanted, weaving through a group of ponies that more than likely hadn’t even heard of her. At least, they wouldn’t until next week. Then would be her time to shine, and she was ready for it already.
Trixie was born and raised in Canterlot, but until recently hadn’t ever even though about performing her “Great and Powerful Trixie” show in her hometown. She had a legitimate reason behind it too. Though she may have a very egotistical personality, the fact that the majority of Canterlot’s population are unicorns, the odds her tricks may be out-done are extremely elevated.
One of her trips to Ponyville proved that theory to be very true, where a bookworm mare absolutely dwarfed her magical abilities, and showed her up in front of a crowd giving her a reason to never return there. Trixie needed to know how she got so good at magic, and if Twilight Sparkle could teach her!
And so, after several weeks of training with the unicorn, Trixie finally believed she could pull off her biggest show ever, in her hometown of Canterlot. To top it off, the mayor of Canterlot, Oscar Goodmare would host the event in which several other ponies would participate.
The others don’t even stand a chance.
Arriving at Canterlot’s biggest park, she noticed her best-friend Octavia waiting patiently under the largest tree. The unicorn felt happy that she had a friend willing to wait for her, although she’d never admit it to anypony. Trixie never understood why her friend with such raw talent on the Cello never really used it to her advantage. Granted, she was on the Princesses’ star orchestra, but she never really told anypony about it, yet still got places in life that Trixie would never know. She’d hate to be jealous of her friend, being the almighty and smart unicorn that she is, but a hint of jealously showed up in her thoughts whenever she compared herself to her earth-pony friend.
Octavia smiled her usual tiny smile when she saw her friend, “Hello, Trixie, why’ are you late if you don’t mind me asking?”
“Late? Trixie thinks you’re just early,”
They chuckled a bit, Trixie using her magic to help the earth pony lug her Cello around.
“Well, maybe I was. Being punctual is something I pride myself on, “
“Will you be late to your practice?” The unicorn asked.
“Oh no, I’m usually an hour early every day, just so I can meet you in the morning. You don’t have to worry about a thing,”
“I, Trixie, Have some exciting news I’ve been waiting to tell you!”
Octavia smiled at the mare beside her, “And what could that be?”
“Trixie thinks that Canterlot is ready to see my special talents, the whole town will be in awe when they see the Great and Powerful Trixie, prancing gracefully, while not breaking a single bead of SWEAT as I pull of the greatest tricks they’ve ever SEEN!”
“Are you sure you’re prepared for such an event?” Octavia asked, “I mean, all of Canterlot besides maybe ME, are unicorns, somepony could be better in some way and show you up! Not that I want that to happen, of course,”
Trixie Snickered, “Not with all the training Trixie had been doing! The Great powerful Trixie knows when she needs to impress more than usual, and besides, if you wanted too, Trixie could carry your cello in mid-air all the way to your practice!”
“OK,” The grey pony replied with a sly smile.
“OK, you can carry my cello all the way to my practice area,”
Trixie eyed her down jokingly, “That was just hypothetical, ‘Tavi. See? I Trixie just used one of those big words you always use,”
“So…you can’t do it?”
While in the midst of talking, the two weaved through the common crowd of ponies they’re used to see every morning as they pass through the flea-market. The flea-market was one of the things that made Canterlot such a popular destination for tourists across Equestria, it was filled will fancy items for cheap as hay prices.
“Trixie can, but Trixie is already helping you carry it around, we can share the work like usual,” Trixie insisted, “And besides, I Trixie don’t have to help you at all,”
“Well that would be awfully mean of you,” The grey pony responded, both still traversing the crowded town- center. Paved with shiny blue bricks, tall buildings touching the sky and filled with luxurious shops, it was quite a sight to see for a pony who had just arrived there, it had overwhelmed Octavia on her first visit. It was how she met Trixie;. She was in midst of panic after being lost for several hours in the middle of the town, and had ran into the Unicorn as she was looking for somepony to help her. Reluctantly, the unicorn obliged to Octavia’s wishes, and somehow, they hit it off, quickly becoming good friends. Trixie still poked fun at her for that day, but no more than just a playful jest.
“We still on for tonight?” Trixie asked, referring to the night of rest and relaxation about the town’s richest saloons they had been planning. They had been saving up for it for weeks, nearly every bit they earned went into this night, and they really wanted it to be a truly memorable one.
“Of course, dear. I wouldn’t miss such an occasion!” Octavia mused, as they turned a corner that led to the big light-brown building where her practice sessions were held. Adorned with a bass and treble-clef, she always enjoyed going there, even if most of the practices weren’t necessary for her level of talent. The conductor of her Symphony, Bar Staff, always admired her faultless work ethic. He commonly compared her to other students as a way to punish them, not exactly giving her the best reputation with her colleagues.
“I, Trixie am looking forward to a night of being treated like a princess,” Trixie said with an excited chuckle, she spoke while adjusting her hat after it nearly fell off because of a tiny gust of wind, “Trixie thinks Octavia is the only pony she’d want to go with her, everypony else is just so, challenging,”
Octavia smiled, now at the steps to her practice studio, “Octavia thinks the exact same thing,”
Trixie used her magic to levitate the cello over the steps, helping her friend avoid a hassle, “Well, hopefully today goes by fast, Trixie has needed rest and relaxation for much too long!”
“I’m certain it will!” The grey pony said, giving her friend a meaningful hug, “Have a good day doing whatever you do!”
“I, Trixie will be sure of it!”
The two then parted ways for the day; each continuing their daily routine, doing stuff they’ve done too many times to count.
“Good morning Octavia,” Bar Staff greeted, hoof resting on the admissions counter, “You’re here later than usual,”
“…but I’m still early,”
“But you’re far from being as early as you usually are,” He responded, confusing himself in the process. The black-eyed stallion decided to play it off as a joke. He laughed awkwardly as Octavia trotted past him to set up where she routinely practices every day.
Bar Staff was a short stallion, just barely taller than Octavia. He has a clean white coat and curly green hair. To Octavia, it never seemed like he knew what he was doing, always awkwardly starting class by messing up the newest pony, Crescenda’s name. Sometimes he’d forget the name of an instrument, then played it off as if he was “Seeing if they knew what it was called” once somepony told him. If it wasn’t for them somehow being very successful across Equestria, Octavia was sure the princesses would’ve enlisted someone more suited for the job.
The first practice of the day for her went by fast. They studied their music without playing, a technique Bar Staff called “Studying your music without playing it”. He wasn’t a very creative pony despite being a musician.
They practiced their opening piece, Haythoven’s symphony number 9 until their hoofs cramped. Octavia had known the piece since she was a filly, but enjoyed the practice anyway. They practiced Haydn’s ‘Farewell’ Symphony, the exact song they’d play right before the intermission. They would close with a piece they wouldn’t learn until tomorrow. Although a good portion of the class disagreed with Bar Staff’s impulsive decision to test them with a piece the night before their performance, a higher portion accepted the challenge. We ARE the best in Equestria for a reason seemed to be the majority of the class’s motive for accepting it.
Bar Staff, when announcing the surprise piece, noted that Octavia would have a solo, on her bass and not her cello. He emphasized that she got the music beforehand, which she gladly accepted.
No need to get cocky
She understood that her abilities may allow her to learn something lickety-split, but she always thought it was better for her to underestimate herself than overestimate.
Just like usual, the first practice ended quickly. It was always the second and last practice of the day that she got bored, due to the easiness of the work presented to her. She always rose above and beyond when it came to learning, that by a filly she could out-play a majority of professional musicians without even the advantage of being a unicorn. Unicorns have the obvious advantage of being able to do more things at once because of their magic. It doesn’t mean all unicorns can play an instrument, it just means a lot more unicorns play than Pegasi and earth ponies. Instead of using magic to hold her bow, she had one specially designed to fit snug around her hoof. It surprised everypony when she showcased her talents with how good she was without the added benefit of magic. But it wasn’t just the fact she was an earth pony, Octavia actually out-performed many unicorns due to the unlimited hours she had to practice as a filly.
In the midst of reminiscing on her days as a filly, the whole symphony had finished playing a melody, while off day-dreaming she just continued until she woke up from her stupor.. Her eyes widened when she saw twenty+ ponies staring at her.
Oh Celestia, today is terrible. Tonight needs to hurry up and get here
Bar Staff chuckled intimidatingly, “Oh Octavia, first you’re late for being early, and now this? What’s the matter deary?”
The grey pony sighed, lowering her cello on its side, “Nothing,”
“Did you know that the melody stopped there, Octavia? We’ve practiced so much, it worries me that you dont know that”
“Then why did you keep playing, you’re usually my best student when it comes to playing melodies,”
There he goes embarrassing me again
“I got distracted,”
Bar Staff directed his attention to the whole class, and with one swift movement of his hooves, everypony lifted their instruments in unison.
“This is the last melody we are practicing today. I sure hope somepony who’s name starts with OCTAVIA won’t ruin the whole thing at the end... now remember there is a crescenda-er I mean a crescendo at bar twenty seven, that lasts until bar thirty two. This is only for basses however, to give that booming sound while the violins hold that high e! OK, OCTAVIA, are you ready this time?”
By the end of the second practice, the earth pony felt relieved just to know it was over. She did not have a bad day in a while, and Bar Staff’s unorthodox style of handling things didn’t help much. On days like this, she always went back to what her mother told her as a filly ‘When you don’t think you can carry on, take a deep breath and carry on’
Octavia never really though it worked until she became a musician full time. Unicorns can just play their instruments with barely any physical effort, while everything she does comes from physical effort. Despite being the most punctual, accurate, determined and,-something she’d never admit to the class,-talented, she was treated as if she was the class-clown that made mistakes daily, even if it was her first one in months.
Packing up her cello, and getting ready to head out to Trixie’s home, Octavia took a deep breath and focused her mind on the stress relieving night she had ahead of her.
Tonight better be amazing
A purple unicorn entered the big cottage that Trixie called home. At the sight of her friend, Twilight smiled warmly, and greeted her with a hug, “How are you today, Trixie? Sure is a nice day outside!”
“A nice day to stay inside and make sure Trixie doesn’t mess up her chance to impress Canterlot, Trixie thinks,”
“Of course!” The purple unicorn mused, “Only a few more days of training, do you think you’re ready?” Twilight Sparkle asked. Trixie responded with a confident nod, “We’ve practiced conjuring for the past week or two, are you sure you can conjure up that table on trick five?”
“Trixie puts the trick in…trick!” She backed up and took a deep breath.
“Welcome everypony to the GREAT and POWERFUL Trixie’s first show in Canterlot!”
In an instant, she jumped into mid-air backwards, using her magic to conjure up a table for her to land on., but when she landed, the table was missing a leg, causing her to land flat on her back, the table disappearing once the spell was broken.
Twilight Sparkle chuckled and she gave her a hoof to help her up,. “Practice makes perfect, or in your case, three out of four legs, Trixie,”
The blue unicorn got up with a scoff, “I, Trixie am NOT amused. You did that to me, huh? Tricked me to make me look bad, after ALL this time Trixie has worked on it huh?”
Twilight shook her head, “No no no, it was all you! I thought you said you were practicing it! You can’t just quit once you do something correct once! You know what they say “Good ponies practice until they get it right; GREAT ponies practice until they can’t get it wrong!” Twilight said, spawning a table with ease, “And besides, you should practice the back-flip more anyway, I doubt you would have landed nicely even if you had spawned that table perfectly,”
“Trixie would have landed perfectly, Trixie’s back-flip was flawless,” The blue unicorn said defiantly.
“Are we really going to go through this again?” The purple unicorn asked, referencing the daily disagreements they have had since she had bee been training her,. “Just listen to me, and everything will be fine! Well, at least a lot better than it would be if you would be on your own.”
“HMPH!” The blue unicorn pouted, “…So where should Trixie start,?”
Twilight moved the table behind Trixie, up against her night sky blue walls, “Practice your back-flips by jumping onto this table. Once you’re able to do that without question, you can work on the spell for spawning a table. If you get really good, you can even make the table colored with your Trixie colors”
“Trixie, already knows how to do all that! Although, I am not sure whether Trixie can do it every single time, so maybe Trixie should practice it a little,”
“A lot,” Twilight Sparkle jested with a giggle.
The blue unicorn sighed, “Okay, a LOT,”
Although Twilight has made some great head-way with the unicorn’s stubbornness, it had been a quite stressful few weeks for the two. The purple unicorn had really over-estimated Trixie’s actual magical abilities. For what the blue unicorn wanted to accomplish on her big day, Twilight had to sacrifice a lot of her time to help her improve.
Since deciding to work together, Trixie made it clear that she wanted her tricks to be impressive to everypony for being REAL, and not just her usual smoke- and- mirrors trickery that got her into trouble several months earlier.
Despite the consistent bickering between the two, they had grown close during the few weeks and have really found this in common that they never would have expected. Trixie was one of the subjects in Twilight Sparkle’s friendship reports, noting her surprising determination despite her own stubbornness throughout the time they had been training.
It took Trixie nearly two hours to master her opening trick. She planned to back-flip onto a table she spawns herself, and introduce herself from there.
She imagined a massive crowd of unicorn’s there watching her every move and she wanted them to be completely star-struck by the end of her performance. Trixie wanted the fame, she wanted the envious ponies to be begging her for her autograph by the end, most of all, she wanted to not have to travel to faraway places of so often once she has gained popularity in Canterlot.
The day felt extra- long for Trixie, now that she had something to look forward too. Of course, the blue unicorn wanted to improve, but it had been something she’d done for two weeks, and had no real time to just relax and ignore the world like she would have that night. Twilight Sparkle noticed this too. While they were practicing a teleportation trick, both just seemed tired and worn out.
Twilight stopped Trixie with a hoof on her shoulder. She floated a checklist in front of herself, “OK, so now we have the back-flip trick WITH spawning a table. We have streamers exploding from out of nowhere when you cut yourself in half,. Do you think you have the teleportation spell mastered? It’s even a little challenging for me when done the way you want to do it,“
Trixie turned to face her, “You saw Trixie do it flawlessly 5 times in a row! Trixie only messed up on the sixth try because Trixie is tired,”
“Mhmm, so after that, you pick a filly or colt from the audience, put them in a box, set the box on fire and the filly or colt ends up back with their parents in the audience? How are are you going to do that one?” Twilight chuckled despite herself, “You really think you could do that?”
“Trixie admits she is a little unsure…”
“Let’s discuss it over some hay fries in town, are you as hungry as I am?” The purple unicorn levitated several books at once into a neat corner in the Trixie’s home.
The blue unicorn grimaced, “Trixie thought you’d never ask,”
During their breaks from their vigorous practices, they always went into town for some ‘brain food’ as Twilight called it. It was the only real time they actually were able to talk as friends, although getting on each other’s nerves often enough. When they had first started training, Twilight tried to teach the blue unicorn to stop speaking in third person. Needless to say, the purple unicorn did not succeed, but hasn’t given up.
Trixie moaned when she sat in the stack of hay, she placed her hooves on the table in front of her, and rested her head on them, “Why can’t time go faster, is there a spell for speeding up TIME?”
The purple pony thought for a second, as she sat down across from the unicorn, “If there is one, I’m willing to bet that the princesses are the only ones who know it,” Twilight said, the blue unicorn responding with a sigh, “Too bad I can’t go to Sugarcube Corner when I return to Ponyville later,”
“Trixie is confused. Why can’t you?” She lifted her head up to avoid the sunlight.
“My friend Pinkie Pie told me that they’re breaking each wall and renovating, Pinkie Pie just needs to break the fourth wall, and they can start on the rebuilding process,” Twilight stated, looking over her shoulder to see Ponyville in far-off distance, “May I ask why you want time to speed up?”
“Well, you know how I, Trixie have been saving up almost all of my bits for so long?”
“Oh that’s tonight! My gosh, I hope you and your friend have a lot of fun!” Twilight Sparkle had to resist the temptation to ask to join them, “What will you two do?”
“See that boutique over there?” Trixie pointed her hoof over to an extravagant shop. The shop just emanated rich and expensive, the cursive and barely readable “Ponicures” adorned the top half of building, “I, Trixie and my best friend-I uh mean this pony I met named Octavia are going to all the most extravagant shops around and not giving a hay about how much we spend. It’ll be fabulous! I can’t wait!”
“Well I hope you two have fun,” The unicorn said, with a hint of jealously.
All I’ve been doing is trotting down to Canterlot every day, helping her learn tricks and saving her flank from another disaster on my own time and I’m not even invited?
“What’s wrong? Why are you all sad now? What did Trixie do now?”
Twilight looked away, “Nothing, it’s nothing…”
The blue unicorn took a bite out of her coriander sandwich, and then sighed loudly.
“You always bother Trixie about lying and now you just lied again, that’s kind of hypocritical, don’t ya think?”
“No, it’s nothing. I um, just get this way sometimes when I help somepony for two straight weeks, walking several miles a day just to not be invited to a relaxing night in the town,”
Trixie was taken aback by the statement. Thinking about it, the blue unicorn actually felt remorse for not being more thankful.
“As wonderful as Trixie may be, Trixie guesses that this was awful of me, “ She said, then back-tracked, “But Twilight,Trixie planned this with Octavia for MONTHS, the great and powerful Trixie can’t just add somepony else randomly!”
“Wow, usually I am not the type of pony to trot to conclusions, I’m sorry,” Twilight felt her cheeks burning with embarrassment.
“It’s OK, you can make it up to me by ending practice early today!”
Trixie smiled awkwardly at the suggestion, knowing Twilight’s answer before she said it.
“No, because that would mean more work tomorrow, and tomorrow’s is the most important! We just need to help you master your levitation abilities a bit more until you’re able to do it without fault! I’ll make a check-list for that too,”
“So what do I Trixie have to do all together?”
“Like your whole performance?”
Twilight put her hoof to her chin and thought about it for a second.
“You’re going to open up with the back-flip, table spawn and streamers, after announcing that you’re ‘The Great and Powerful Trixie’ you’ll do the easy trick, then ask the three biggest ponies in the crowd to lay side by side. Then you’ll use your magic to jump over all of them easily. Then ask for another, and um, when you jump over those 4four, remember to do a flip. Act as if it wasn’t a challenge at all. Jump over 6six and nail it. Then your next trick involves teleportation, remember not all unicorns can teleport, so you’re going to use that your advantage to fool the crowd OK? Do not worry, you seem competent enough with teleportation to be able to handle it,” The purple unicorn took the final bite out of her sandwich.
Trixie sighed, “That’s not all, is it…?”
Twilight Sparkle giggled, “Nope! Remember, for your final act, you’re not, I repeat NOT going to ask for challengers. You’ll have a hard time being popular in Canterlot if you’re rude to the crowd! Just do one of your classic tricks like we planned. You should do well, and you’re not the only pony to be on stage that night, so nopony should be too harsh on you if they don’t consider your performance great,” Twilight inhaled jokingly once she finished speaking, to emphasize how much she just said.
Trixie felt her heart flutter lightly, after realizing how much she needed to do flawlessly in a few nights, and usually she supplemented actual skill with arrogance and just telling the crowd how amazing she was.
“Trixie thinks we should get back to training,” She said under a nervous chuckle. The rest of day would be very stressful for her and she knew it.
Tonight better be amazing
“What a marvelous start to such a wonderful night!’” Octavia said, cucumbers covering her eyes, her face lathered with an herbal enhanced muddy substance, “I can feel all my stress just going away, Celestia herself couldn't have picked a better way to start this night!"
“Yeah, Trixie loves being pampered like a queen, that’s for sure-WATCH IT, MISTER, THAT'S MY MANE- who would've known mud could be so good for a pony's complexion?"
In the middle of their first session of rest and relaxation, the two friends immersed themselves in the rich lifestyle they usually could only dream of. Insisting upon the most expensive of spa-treatments, indulging on top-of-the-line hats and shoes they’d probably never wear, with limitless pockets of bits ready to be spent. Well, they weren’t limitless, but the freedom of the being able to spend a large quantity of bits was a stress reliever for them both, and a perfect way for them to escape the real world, if only for a night.
The spa relaxed them and put them in the right mood to enjoy the night fully. Immediately after the spa, Octavia purchased a new bow which was encrusted with light-purple jewels that matched her eyes. Trixie had her cape and hat re-embroidered with a fashionable baby-blue sapphire at the tip, matching her coat's tone. It was the right touch of elegance they had desired for months.
“You know ‘Tavi?” Trixie said, while they combed through another luxurious shop, “When we met, Trixie thought you were somewhat of an odd pony,”
“Now why is that?” The grey pony responded, eying another bow that caught her eye.
“You were so quiet. I wouldn’t say shy-OH MY GOSH, TRIXIE MUST HAVE THIS HORSESHOE- Trixie wouldn’t say you were shy, but you seemed like you just didn’t want to talk to me, even though Trixie had graciously offered to help you find your way through town,”
“I’ve always found that when I didn’t get distracted by how bothersome the world outside could be, I could focus on my musicianship, hone my skills and become brilliant at my instrument. I’ve mastered several instruments just because I have taken on a less social role in society, and I did not have a problem with my past choices,”
“Well I'm sorry that I changed that,” The blue unicorn said, jesting at her friend.
Octavia responded with a funny look at her friend, “I think that’s the first time I’ve witnessed you say ‘I’ instead of speaking in third-person,”
The blue pony shook her head, “Trixie has done it plenty of times, Twilight Sparkle has attempted to change me, and I think she’s succeeding,”
The two shared a laugh as they continued sifting through the shops wares. It was called Wares for extravagant mares after all.
“So, Trixie wants to know. How do you play that big guitar without being a unicorn? It sounds absolutely challenging using your…HOOVES!”
“Practice makes better,” Octavia said modestly, “I wasn’t going to let my limitations prevent me from persevering! I had a treble-clef cutie mark for a reason, but I was the one who decided to be the best I could possibly be, speaking of my cutie- mark, isn’t it ironic that my cutie-mark is a treble clef, but the music for the instruments I play are written in bass-clef?”
Trixie stared blankly back at her, “Um, yeah?”
The grey pony giggled at the unicorn’s reaction, “Maybe someday I’ll teach you how to play an instrument,”
“HA!” The blue pony exclaimed, “Once Trixie is done training with Twilight, I, Trixie am going to live a comfortable life without all the hassles of…learning,”
“My sister thinks the same way you do!” Octavia mused, as they trotted out of the store, greeted with the chilly night air, “She’s always been the lazy one,”
“Now hold it one minute, Tavi! Trixie is not lazy, Trixie just knows when to stop doing stuff…” Trixie glanced over at the giggling grey pony, “OK, I’m lazy...”
“First step to curing your problem, is admitting you have one!”
"The Great and Powerful Trixie does so many jaw-dropping tricks, it should be expected that Trixie would need a break quite often! And besides, Trixie is sure your sister is worse than Trixie. Hey! You’ve never even told Trixie about YOUR family,”
The grey pony sighed, “Do I have to? My family is quite different in contrast with me,”
“Yes,” Trixie answered simply.
“Well, uh, where must I begin? Well, my sister, Lyra is the only sibling I have, while we both have the same parents. My sister…well, she’s different I’ll leave it at that,”
“Trixie is curious, does Lyra not play an instrument?”
They turned a corner onto another elaborate and exquisite street, lined with the fanciest of shops. Octavia tried to maneuver the conversation's topic away from her sister, but was failing. Her unwillingness to discuss her sister only made the intrusive Trixie want to know more.
“Do you really want to know?” Octavia asked with a sigh, knowing the answer before she asked it.
Octavia sighed once more, “Lyra, is, um, different because she’s married-“
The blue unicorn cut her off, “What’s wrong with being married?”
“…to a mare,”
Trixie squinted at the mare beside her, “Trixie thinks that's different but why does it bother you?”
The question agitated the grey pony. She hadn’t actually ever said it bothered her, but her friend assumed it right off of the bat. Her reluctance to answer the blue pony must have given it away that she wasn’t exactly fond of her sister’s choices.
“Bothered? No, I most certainly am not. I’d say, I am just moderately disagreeable with the idea of a mare with a mare, to be true,” She lied.
“Trixie thinks there is no reason to hate somepony for their choices, especially when it doesn’t affect you personally,”
Taken back by the oddly mature and accepting nature of the unicorn’s statement, Octavia looked at her friend inquisitively.
“Since when did you actually start being so open-minded?”
Knowing the grey pony’s obvious distaste for mare-couples influenced Trixie’s response, “Oh, Me and Twilight Sparkle train so much, that when we take breaks, and we eat at the sandwich shop in town, She’s always trying to make me a nicer pony and being as perfect and flawless as Trixie is, turning nicer is something that will be good for my performances, no matter how hard it is to be nice…”
“Oh right…” Octavia laughed awkwardly in the silence that followed. Her wondering eyes quickly spotted a store in the distance that met her tastes, “Mr.Ed! I haven’t even dreamt of seeing that store in real life! We must go!” She exclaimed, hopping in the air jubilantly.
“Trixie will go as long as you don’t…“
“A store is a store, of course, of course, UNLESS IT’S THE FAMOUS MR.ED’S” The earth pony sang off-pitched with a wide smile, enjoying the anguish it put her friend through when she sang the catchy jingle.
“…Oh come on! Trixie always tells you how much Trixie hates that song!” The blue unicorn responded, but seeing her friend laugh only caused her to laugh, despite trying to be serious.
They trotted happily towards their next destination. It was one stop of many more that they would make that evening. They seemingly non-stop invaded nearly every shop they saw, from fashion apparel for the fanciest of ponies, to the most expensive pets in Equestria, although neither felt the need to acquire one for themselves.
When the off-grey moon shined bright in the middle of the sky, illuminating the trees and tall buildings below, where the two friends found themselves walking in the center of town where they first met. Under a suddenly cloud filled sky, the two contemplated ending the night before they intended, because the possibility of rain didn’t seem worth ruining their freshly cleaned coats.
Octavia peered up into the sky and grimaced, “So, honestly, I can’t believe I haven’t asked you this before…How is like, to perform in front of so many ponies so often?”
“Trixie is confused; you do the same thing in your concert-things, right?”
The grey pony shook her head, “No, this is not what you do. You talk to the crowd, you do tricks by yourself, you only work with one other pony to train and you’re magnificent at it! I could never do something like that,”
“But you play an instrument despite the fact that you are not a unicorn, even though Trixie is so very undeniably talented, Trixie would stop eating hay for a month for those abilities! Having an instrumental talent to complete all my unicorn-y stuff would be perfect!”
“I wish I was a unicorn or a Pegasus! I’m just a bland, run-of-the-stable earth pony, nothing special,”
As they turned a corner, exiting the main part of town, they entered a pathway that led to Trixie’s home. Just like any fulfilling and fun night, it went by fast. The stars were only out-shined by the brilliant moon.
The unicorn arched an eyebrow at her friend, “If you were a unicorn, you’d be the best musician to ever live,” She said with a chuckle, “And besides, you’re not bland at all. I, Trixie may be perfect, and flawless, but Trixie can admit when somepony is almost as perfect as Trixie, ALMOST,”
Octavia poked her friend in the side playfully, “You jest! If I was perfect, I’d have your social skills, and confidence,”
“I, Trixie have to admit, if Trixie had your determination, and your willingness to work all the time, Trixie could probably be a little bit more perfect, if that’s possible of course…”
“You don’t mean that,” Octavia said with a smile.
“Sure Trixie does! If we were combined we’d be the perfect pony…not that I’m Trixie is not perfect already…”
The two friends shared one last laugh. Standing below the darkest and largest cloud in the sky, they continued going back and forth with their wishes to improve themselves by inheriting certain qualities from each other. After another moment of silence, the two friends exclaimed in unison, “I wish I could just be you!”
Resting on the cloud directly above the two, a certain blue princess was busy enjoying her night when she looked down upon the unknowing ponies below her. Their statement intrigued her as she searched for a way to help the two.
Doth thine know a spell to fulfill their wishes?
Now distracted from her meditative state from enjoying her night, the princess contemplated whether she should try a spell she hasn’t used in thousands of years on two unsuspecting ponies she’s never even met. For Princess Celestia, the thought wouldn’t even come into consideration, but a princess lacking knowledge of when and when not to do something, considered it fully.
If thy ponies below wish it, is it not my duty as a princess to fulfill their wants?
She put her hoof on her chin as the contemplated what she should do. Princess Luna saw two ponies wishing for each- other’s lives. A thousand years ago, nopony would make a statement like that unless they truly meant it. She didn’t consider that things may have changed since then, or even bothered to consider it.
Taking a minute to hug each other before Trixie entered her home, the two friends failed to notice that the large black cloud had been slowly following them. Octavia wished her friend the best, Trixie doing her best to return the compliment without being smug, meanwhile a tiny flickering light emanated from the princesses royal horn as she cast the spell on the two.
The unicorn stopped suddenly before entering her home, turning around to once again face her friend, “Tavi, wait-“
The grey pony turned around to face her friend once more, “Yes?”
“Did you just feel something...weird right now?”
“No, not really,” Octavia said, looking around her, “I just think Trixie needs some rest,”
By dawn, the two ponies shall have taken each other’s bodies and therefore: their lives! Just one more way I, Princess Luna have bestowed my all-benevolent presence upon Equestria
A blue unicorn rested comfortably in a blue bed, dreaming her regular dreams, waiting for her alarm to go off. She put the pillow over her head, a pillow that smelled quite odd to her, to block out the light from hitting her face. The light came not from the direction it used to and If it wasn’t for her being half-asleep, an alarm should have went off in her head just then.
Octavia, now blissfully unaware of the changes that have taken place, was about to be woken up by two clumsy colts trotting awkwardly into the room.
“Do you think she’ll notice that we we're late again today Snails?” Snails whispered obnoxiously loudly.
What was that noise…
Octavia turned over in the bed to face Snips and Snails with a grumble.
The blue pony blinked a few times trying to grasp what she saw.
The colts lowered their heads sheepishly, “We-we’ve came to wake you up, Trixie..”
“Trixie? What? Where-“
Octavia could feel her heart pounding in her chest as she lifted her sky blue hoofs to where she could see them.
“W-WHAT’S GOING ON HERE!” She yelled, getting even more scared by the fact Trixie’s voice resounded.
In a panic, she slid back, falling off the side of her bed. She had assumed there would be a wall there to stop her from falling, just like at her house.
She looked up awkwardly, breathing heavy from the shock, “WHY ARE YOU TWO IN MY HOUSE?”
“We’re awfully sorry GPT! We’ll give you time to wake up, eh?” Snails stammered, the two darting out of room in a second.
“WHY AM I BLUE! I’M B-BLUE, WHAT HAPPENED TO MY GREY?! I MISS MY GREY” She exclaimed jumping around frantically, “WHY IS MY VOICE SO…NOT MINE!”
Octavia leaped up to find a mirror, causing Trixie’s massive blue blankets to fall off of the bed.
This can’t be happening
Her eyes widened as she saw the mangled blue mane hanging in front of Trixie’s face. She saw the unicorn horn, and was petrified at what she saw. The image of Trixie was looking right back at Octavia, who was now shocked and speechless.
Calm down, Octavia, calm down. This is clearly a dream
She paced her breathing, and looked at herself in the mirror until the shock wore off.
“Clearly this is a dream, clearly! Such events do not happen to regular pony-folk unless it’s in a play!”
She looked around herself, studying the details of the unicorn’s room. Light- blue walls, a massive mirror a few feet from the feet of the bed, posters from Trixie’s past performances scattered about the wall.
Quite the detailed dream…
She trotted around, looking at things close-up, studying all the details she could find. She picked up Trixie’s hat off of her massive dresser along with her cloak
She giggled as she put them on, “I’m Trixie…”
Octavia pranced about, mindlessly mocking the blue pony living up the assumption that she was in the midst of a dream.
I, the Powerful and Great Trixie am going to do something magnificent just to show off!
During her ‘performance’ of awkwardly prancing about imitating her best friend, Snails peaked his head through the unicorn’s door, “I-uh Trixie?”
With a scream, Octavia landed flat on her back.
“A-are you OK, oh great and powerful one?” Snips questioned, a frightened tone causing his voice to shake.
She looked at them in pure confusion, “Why are you still in my dream! I don’t even know who you two colts are! It’s my dream and I don’t want to be bothered,”
The two colts, now standing a few feet from the upside down unicorn, tilted their heads at her last statement.
“I uh, Trixie are you OK?”
Octavia rolled over and stood up, “Why do you keep calling me Trixie, I am clearly Octavia, and since this is a dream, I shall morph myself into myself, ready?”
She closed her eyes and strained for a bit, then looked at her right hoof, “See-!” She said breathlessly. Her eyes widened in horror as she started to grasp reality, “Oh my Celestia, what in the hay is happening?” She shook her head frantically, the frizzled blue mane getting caught in front of her face, “What in the hay is happening right now?! This cannot be real, it just CANNOT! I-I…”
Snips stepped a little closer, “Trixie are you um, uh back from your crazy dream, your friend is probably waiting for you maybe,” He said, submissively lowering his head to her.
“My friend…?“ Octavia stopped mid-sentence as the gears finally clicked into place in her mind, “OH MY CELESTIA. Trixie is me! I’m Trixie! My oh my oh my oh my… I need to go now!” She exclaimed, in the midst of a second wave of panic. Disregarding the two colts wishes to stop her, Octavia darted out of Trixie’s home.
Behind her own door, the blue Octavia walked into her own home breathing heavily. She was still unable to comprehend her own situation, and knowing it was real and not some crazy dream just made things impossible for her to understand. After not finding Trixie at the park where they usually met, Octavia hoped to find the pony in her own apartment.
Every second or two, Octavia would look down just to see if she still inhabits her friend’s body. The whole situation didn’t come to terms in her mind until she saw herself, lying in her bed, completely asleep.
She stopped, just a few feet from her whole bed and stared in amazement at her own body lying just a feet or two in front of her. It was an out-of-body experience, while being in somepony else’s body.
I-I-I can’t believe this is happening…nor can I understand why I just stuttered in my thoughts…
Octavia cautiously tip-hooved towards her own bed, only stopping when she heard a mumble from…who she presumed was Trixie.
The blue unicorn craned her neck above the sleeping earth pony silently.
My goodness, I hope it’s Trixie that sleeps like this and not me…I always presumed I slept much more…gracefully
Even in the midst of the most hectic situation she’s ever been in, Octavia’s own thought made her giggle out loud.
“Snips!? Snails?! Where are you when I-EW! Why does my voice sound like this?” Trixie turned over to the sight of a petrified blue unicorn, who was completely at a loss of words.
Trixie rubbed her eyes, unable to comprehend what she saw. She then saw the grey hooves she now possessed. Octavia didn't know how loud her voice could get until she heard Trixie find out for her in a bloodcurdling scream.
The grey pony leaped up and clutched Octavia’s blue face in her hooves, “TAVI WHY ARE YOU ME, WHY AM I, THE GREAT AND POWERFUL TRIXIE, YOU!? WHAT IS GOING ON!? W-W-W…” Her stutters led to another panicked screech, shoving the speechless unicorn out of her way to find a mirror.
Now seeing her friend staring back at her in the mirror, she collapsed on the ground throwing a terrible fit. In the midst of her murmurs, muffled by her hooves, a dam burst and Trixie was crying profusely.
“I-I have no clue what could possibly be going on Trixie…!”
“M-my H-horn!” The grey pony said in the midst of sobs, “T-Trixie c-can’t d-do m-magic a-anymore! HOW CAN TRIXIE LIVE WITHOUT MAGIC…!”
Now standing next to the grey pony, Octavia took a deep breath. She tried her best to banish thoughts of what could happen if their situation was permanent.
“Look, please…before we do anything we may regret, we need to think about why this could have happened…” Octavia let out a frustrated sigh, now sitting on all fours,.“Last night…we were talking about what we admired about each other, remember?,”
“Trixie remembers quite clearly that you wanted everything that Trixie had and Trixie didn’t want to give any of it to you!” The grey pony exclaimed.
The unicorn shot a mad look at the grey pony, “Don’t even start that, Trixie…We need to focus! It’s imperative that we fix this before anything bad can happen, do you know of any spells like this, that switch bodies?”
Octavia walked hastily in a circle as she contemplated their options, Trixie on the other hoof just stared at the pony the she saw in the mirror. It hurt her own brain to comprehend the fact she had magically switched bodies with her best friend.
“T-Trixie doesn’t remember any spell, and besides, YOU’RE the unicorn now,”
Octavia instantly lifted a blue hoof to feel the horn on her head, “Having a horn is rather odd, I must say…Can I do magic? I’m going to levitate my bed!”
In an instant, she closed her eyes and took a stressed stance. Her limbs locked, and she was physically growing redder by each second. She bit her lip and closed her eye-lids so hard it almost hurt her brain.
“O-Octavia, you should breathe…” The grey pony said, jaw lowering at the unicorn’s feeble magic attempt.
Obviously too focused to head In her friends warning, Octavia’s blue face was now reddening, a slight squeak escaping her as a tiny spark escaped the horn on her head.
Trixie darted up and pushed the unicorn, who eventually flopped onto the ground from being light headed.
Trixie’s appalled look embarrassed the exhausted unicorn, “WHAT THE HAY WAS THAT, TAVI!?”
The unicorn’s face now reddened from embarrassment, “…I attempted to do magic,”
Trixie slapped a grey hoof to her own face in disappointment, shaking her head for a moment before speaking again.
“Trixie just needs to ask you one thing, Tavi…”
“…Yes?” She responded meekly.
“When have you EVER seen a unicorn SPUTTERING, STRAINING and holding her breath until she nearly PASSED OUT just to do a magic trick…?”
“Please, Trixie, we have much more important things on our hooves right now,”
The grey pony giggled, “Trixie means, imagine if Trixie had to do that at my performa-“ Trixie cut herself off mid-sentence Oh my Celestia, my performances!
“OK, Trixie agrees, we need to fix this now! What are we going to do…!?”
The blue unicorn sat up with a frustrated sigh, “Well, first and foremost we need more time… we’re going to have to go to my work and tell the conductor of my orchestra that I won’t be able to go in today…”
“S-So Trixie is going to have to talk to him…”
“What do you think? You ARE me!” The blue pony sighed, “Never in Equestria would I have thought something this bizarre would ever happen…”
“What does Trixie tell her when I get there?”
Octavia put a hoof to her chin, “Well, for starters, the conductor is a stallion. But, all you have to do it say ‘Bar Staff, I am going to be taking a day off today for personal reasons’ OK?” That’s ALL you have to do, and we can get this FIXED before anything else can happen!”
Trixie sighed for confidence as she stood up, “Trixie can do this, it shouldn’t be too hard anyway. Trixie will do this, then we can go everywhere we went last night and find out what we-WAIT A MINUTE TAVI, when we said ‘I wish I could just be you’, where in the hay were we?”
The blue unicorn’s eyes widened at the revelation, “I almost certain we were outside of your’s home, or somewhere near!”
“Trixie, let’s go tell Bar Staff NOW, then we can go to your home, wow, it’s so weird speaking your voice! AHHHHHHH EEUUUOOIOIOEIOEIIE EEUEUEIEUOEUEOE I’M TRIXIE IOWIEOEIOIWOEIEO” The unicorn made random weird faces as she ‘experimented’ with her new voice.
“Tavi stop messing around and let’s just go!”
In front of the big and brown building where Octavia practices, the two friends quickly rehearsed what they planned for Trixie to say. They didn’t have much time, though Octavia regularly arrived much earlier than a lot of the ponies.
“OK, repeat after me Trixie! Hello Bar Staff, I’m just coming in to request that I have today off for personal reasons,”
Trixie sighed, “Hello, Bar Staff, I am just coming in to request that I have today off because of personal reasons,”
“Good enough! I’m confident you can pull this off, I’ll be right by your side the whole time, just remember to say ‘I’ and not ‘Trixie’ or even my name! That would just make ME look quite odd!”
“Trixie has this down, Tavi! Now, let’s go!” Trixie said with her usual confidence.
Octavia sighed as she trotted next to the grey pony Celestia save me…
They pushed open the clear doors where they immediately saw Bar Staff using his mouth to write something. Upon noticing their arrival, he lifted his head to reveal a straight face, “My oh my, Octavia, you’re even later than you were yesterday,”
Trixie’s eyes widened with horror, and quickly looked to the mare beside her to give her direction.
“Oh, U-Um, sorry um, Bar Graph! I just needed to ask you something…”
Bar GRAPH? She said bar GRAPH?!
Neither mare could describe a point in their lives in which they went through a more awkward silence than at that exact moment.
Octavia was speechless, and couldn’t bear to even look at her friend.
“What was that, Octavia?” Bar Staff questioned, breaking the silence while arching his brow inquisitively.
It took a few seconds for Trixie to realize her mistake, then her eyes widened in horror, “I uh mean um, Bar Staff! I-uh, I came here to um…I need a day off for personal reasons?” Her voice cracked awkwardly, and only made the awkwardness of the situation worse.
Bar Staff smacked his lips as if he had caught somepony stealing, “Better remember to study your solo, okay?”
With an awkward smile and a nod, the grey pony ran outside followed by shell shocked Octavia. Closing the big glass door behind them, Trixie looked at the blue unicorn with an embarrassed smile, “Bar Graph, Bar Staff? Trixie doesn’t see a difference…”
“If I wasn’t a more civilized pony, I’d seek revenge for embarrassing me like that. I mean, we practiced you saying Bar STAFF like a hundred times on the way here. I thought you were the one pony in Manehatten I could trust to NOT to get stage fright!”
“Well Trixie is sorry alright! It’s a lot different when Trixie is talking to her friend’s BOSS and remember, I’M YOU right now! Grey …I WANT MY BLUE BACK, AND MY HORN!”
“Well, we certainly need to go change that,”
It was a quick trot to where they estimated they were the night before. They had absolutely no plan on what to do, they were just hoping to find something to explain the situation they found themselves in.
“OK we’re here,” Trixie noted, craning her neck to spot anything that could shed the dimmest of light on their situation.
They looked at each other once more, getting chills down their spines once more seeing their own faces staring back at them.
Octavia held a blue hoof over her head, to shade herself from the peaking sun. Though she was trying her best to find anything that could help them, her thoughts drifted to how soon her performance was, and the idea of her friend having to pretend to be her during one of the most important days of her life was something she forced herself not to think about up until then. She could imagine it happening right before her eyes.
”BOO OCTAVIA IS THE WORST CELLIST EVER!” shouted one crowd member after the end of a pitiful performance, “SHE’S A TERRIBLE INSTRUMENT PLAYER, SHE SHOULD BE FIRED FROM THIS ORCHESTRA AND HAVE HER CELLO BURNED!” Said another overly enthusiastic critic, “I CONCUR, SHE SHOULD BE BANISHED FROM EQUESTRIA FOR SUCH A PERFORMANCE” Shouted a third random pony
She physically shook at the thought, although she knew it was over-dramatic and barbaric.
I need to be more rational about this situation, it is not very smart to let it get to my head!
Expecting to return to work, she turned around and saw the grey earth pony sitting down, staring off into space. She could tell somepony else had let their situation finally get to their head, as she trotted over to the earth pony.
“T-Trixie? Are you OK?”
Trixie sat on her backside, with her front legs sitting in between her back legs. She held her head low, as if to admit she was already defeated by the situation.
“Trixie told you, yesterday morning that Trixie has a performance coming up soon, right?”
“T-Trixie don’t worry, I’m an exceptional learner, I could memorize what spells I need to learn in order to perform them,” Octavia said that without the slightest intention of Trixie taking her seriously.
“Trixie doesn’t even want to respond to that…” The grey pony replied followed by a loud sigh, :I could see it now! ‘BOO TRIXIE IS THE WORST PERFORMER EVER” One would shout then: ‘SHE’S A TERRIBLE PERFORMER, SHE SHOULD BE BANNED FROM PERFORMING AND HAVE HER HORN CUT OFF’ another would say then ‘I CONQUER! SHE SHOULD BE BANISHED FROM EQUESTRIA FOR SUCH A PERFORMANCE! And Trixie’s life would be over! I don’t want either of us to go through that since you’d be on the stage!”
Octavia stepped back in surprise, intrigued and amazed by what she just heard.
“T-that was so weird!” The blue unicorn said, eyes widened as she replayed the moment back in her head.
“What? Why? Trixie is confused!”
Octavia focused her attention back on her friend, “Because… you said conquer instead of concur!”
“You scared Trixie there for a second,” Trixie said, glaring at her friend, “I thought something weird happened, like us switching bodies or something…”
Surprised by this, Octavia started laughing, which in turn caused the grey pony to laugh with her.
Wiping her eye with a hoof, Octavia back tracked, “I think I could do this, Trixie. I believe I’m quite adept at learning…I could learn what I could and try my best when the time comes, I suppose,”
“What choice does Trixie have right now? Trixie can’t just tell you that you can’t since you’re ME. Maybe we could just tell somepony! Somepony that could believe us!”
“NO, Trixie are you crazy? Everypony would think we’re jesting them or that we are just plain psychos. We need to decide what do right now, OK? Practice and hope we SOMEHOW not ruin each other’s lives, OR keep searching, fail and DEFINITELY ruin each other’s lives. What do you think? Do we even have a choice?”
“Trixie thinks we should get started immediately then…”
“What are we going to do, Trixie?” The blue unicorn asked, as she set foot in what she considered her home.
They had taken a break from magical training and the day was nearly over. Octavia was now barely able to levitate something of light weight. Though it was quite a small accomplishment, it was a step in the right direction to getting what she needed to get accomplished. “How are we going to DO this? Is it even possible for this to work?”
The grey pony followed behind Octavia. After a few unsuccessful attempts at closing the door with her mind, she quickly realized that she had no such ability and closed the door with a buck in frustration.
“Trixie doesn’t know! Trixie doesn’t even want to think about it! You just need to learn magic so we can get on with our lives!”
Octavia snapped her head back towards Trixie, “OH, nononono. Did you forget that I have a life too, that surely requires more work than magic?”
“More work than magic huh?” The grey pony shot back, arching an eyebrow.
“Yes, most definitely! I can play hundreds of symphonies on two different instruments! I play each and every one of them flawlessly, better than most ponies that only play a single instrument! I have practiced since I was a filly to master every note of every song I have ever learned! That’s certainly much more challenging than doing tricks with magic just for fame!”
“Trixie doesn’t like it when you talk down to her profession, Octavia, take that back!”
The blue unicorn slouched onto what she considers ‘her’ couch, “OK, I’m sorry Trixie, you just don’t know how hard it is for me to imagine you, struggling to play my cello, with the bow backwards, facing the wrong way, trying to hum the notes because you’re not actually playing the right ones…”
“OK, Trixie gets it! Let’s hurry, grab your guitar and let’s start, can’t be too hard!”
Octavia sighed, “You can’t hurry…nopony can hurry when it comes to playing, learning and MASTERING an instrument, especially when you call a CELLO a guitar. Now, rosin up that bow and let’s get learning!”
“What is a rosin?” The bewildered grey pony asked.
“OK, that’s a valid question considering your experience. Rosin helps the strings on the bow from breaking when gliding them across the cello’s strings…here; let me show you how,”
After unpacking it from its case, Octavia put her cello on its side. She pulled out the bow and the rosin from a pocket within the case.
“OK? Watch, all you need to do it glide the rosin across the bow; you don’t even have to do it more than once or twice. Do you understand so far?”
“Trixie thinks this is a little too hard,”
Octavia tilted her head, with her mouth slightly ajar. It was her only reaction for what the earth pony had just said.
“Kidding, kidding!” Trixie grumbled, followed by an inpatient sigh, “Now what?”
It took Octavia almost half an hour just to show Trixie how to position the cello to where she could play without looking awkward and uncomfortable.
Of course, the grey pony didn’t have a clue what she was doing, but looking like she did could help. Well, at least that’s what Octavia thought.
Octavia painstakingly went through all the essential details that an earth pony must know if they want to play an instrument, especially a stringed one. The blue pony showed Trixie how to position her hoof to where she could move from string to string hastily and not sound sloppy. She taught her how to slide the bow across the cello’s strings without making it sound like nails on a chalkboard. This was all before she even got to notes and actual songs.
“OK,OK, I think you’ve got the rudiments down…at least the basics…finally,” The blue unicorn said with a sigh, after painstakingly teaching Trixie her instrument.
“Yes, Trixie does believe Trixie is a fast learner! I can almost play like five notes without missing the line things!”
As Trixie continued to awkwardly attempt a symphony on the cello, Octavia decided it was due time for a break. The blue pony, with a stressed sigh, hopped onto her couch landing on the newspaper she read a few days ago. Something ticked inside of her head when she pulled it out from under her.
“OH MY CELESTIA, THE TEA PARTY…!”
Octavia hopped up and quickly turned around to face the bewildered grey pony.
“Trixie! Put the cello away now, there is something much more important I need to you do for me tomorrow!”
The grey pony sloppily let the cello down on its side and lazily covered half of it with its case. In response, Octavia hopped over, zipped up the case correctly after reinserting the rosin in its rightful case, then stared at Trixie with big eyes.
“OK, Trixie, how good are you at pretending to be formal, polite and lady-like?” Octavia asked, her voice rushed and suddenly worried.
“The great and powerful Trixie is always elegant when she is needed to be,”
Octavia tried to use her magic to lift the newspaper over to her, but barely managed to make a page turn in it. Trixie laughed as the embarrassed blue unicorn went to pick up the newspaper.
“Yes ma’am!” Trixie responded sarcastically, clutching the newspaper with her hooves awkwardly.
“Equestria’s biggest tea party, now in Canterlot! Honorable Princess Celestia and Princess Luna attending, along with the finest musicians in the land!”
Trixie dropped the newspaper on the floor; caused by her forgetting that she isn’t a unicorn anymore. However, she returned the frantic unicorn’s statement with a sly smile, “’Finest musicians in the land’, huh? At least Trixie knows you weren’t invited,"
“Do you really think this is a good time to jest, Trixie? YOU’RE going to have to attend the tea party, YOU’RE going to have to meet both of the princesses! And YOU’RE not going to mess this up for me!”
Trixie waved her hoof dismissively, “Trixie won’t! It’s not as hard as you think to be all fancy-smancy and polite, Trixie is a mare of all trades!”
“I don’t think you understand…very few ponies in Equestria were invited…even more, I was invited because of my instrumental talents! They may ask you to play something!”
Thoughts bolted in their heads about a disastrous evening caused by Trixie’s lack of ability on the cello. The princesses staring at the grey pony as she fails to produce a coherent note. The glaring, high-class ponies watch as she sputters through a song she doesn’t even know. The Princesses’ jaws dropping at the sight of her pathetic performance. Octavia felt light headed at the thought of something that could ruin her whole life so much. Trixie on the other hand snapped out of her premature vision of the events of the next day, and let an air of confidence take over, as she has done many times before.
“Trixie can handle it…Trixie can do this, all YOU need to do is LEARN AS MUCH MAGIC AS POSSIBLE, so you don’t ruin MY life,”
“Are you sure can be lady-like, polite and sophisticated like I am? I can’t even IMAGINE you speaking so…posh,”
“Trixie has this in the bag. Acting is a thing that comes with preforming, Trixie will just view this as a challenging performance, you don’t have to worry about a thing, Tavi’”
Octavia was sitting on the ground, her hooves restlessly moving through her mane in frustration, “What could I learn? HOW do I learn magic?” She looked up at the grey pony with watery eyes, “How are we even going to be EACH OTHER successfully? How are we going to fix this without telling anypony? How are…I don’t even want to think about this, I just want this horrific nightmare to end!”
“Tavi, the last thing we should be doing right now is panicking, no matter how much Trixie wants to join you, we should REALLY get some rest and make sure we don’t mess anything up tomorrow,”
The blue unicorn slowly got up, with a grimace, she accepted what her friend said, “I never saw you as the voice of reason, Trixie, what’s gotten into you lately?”
“Maybe I’m becoming you completely!” The grey pony said, half-jokingly until it hit her that it was a possibility.
The blue unicorn’s eyes widened in horror, “Please, don’t even mention that ever again, Trixie,” Octavia chided, looking at her own blue hoof as if somehow she could have returned to being herself again.
Despite Octavia’s objections, the grey pony continued, “What if…Trixie dies in your body? Would you be me forever?”
Octavia physically shook at the thought, “Oh Celestia, you better stay alive or I might just have to kill you myself,”
“That didn’t make sense, Tavi,” The grey pony said with a chuckle.
“I AM YOU AND YOU ARE ME, NOTHING MAKES SENSE RIGHT NOW,”
”You better go back to my home and get some rest…maybe things will change overnight? Trixie can’t let you have a mental breakdown right BEFORE you have to learn a lot of magic…we can do this Tavi,”
“If you’re going to be that confident about this, I might as well too…just please, no more mind-boggling ‘what ifs’ because those questions are the last things we should be focusing on,”
“But what if I have a foa’-“
“Alright! Sheesh! These questions have to be asked some day,”
Each exchanged detailed instructions on how the next day would go for them. They gave each other every single detail they thought was necessary for them to not mess everything up.
At Trixie’s house, there were some basic spell books that Octavia would have to study, so when Twilight Sparkle came over, she could claim she wanted to study easy spells to not give away that she has no clue how to perform the tricks Twilight assumed she knew. She would practice those until she was decent enough at them to move on to more challenging tricks. It was the only way Trixie could think of to hopefully NOT be suspicious. It was only a matter of whether Twilight Sparkle would be ok with practicing simple spells instead of the hard ones they had been studying.
Octavia made sure that Trixie promised to progressively learn harder songs to work up to the ones she needed to know. The blue unicorn claimed it was what she had done as a filly to improve so fast at every instrument she played. If Trixie listened and did what she was told, Octavia predicted that Trixie would be able to perform a symphony incognito and not give away that she wasn’t Octavia. She wouldn’t lay most of the notes correctly, and probably get a lot of weird looks from the other ponies in the orchestra, but she wouldn’t ruin it for everypony else. She wasn’t even going to attempt the solo, and would pass it off to a fellow bass player. Octavia trusted Trixie's acting skills enough to trust her to go to the tea party. It all came down to 'What choice do we have?' so they would have to trust each other more than they'd ever want to, and hopefully find a way to survive this crisis.
At least, that’s how they hoped things would go.
“Trixie we’re here on time this time! Is time to wake up, have breakfast and meet your friend!”
Octavia turned over in Trixie’s bed with a mumble, “Thank you, Snakes, but she’s going to a tea party today, I don’t need to meet her,”
“My name is Snips, b-but you can call me whatever you like, oh great and powerful one! Sorry for disturbing you!”
“Oh, right, sorry”
Hearing the unicorn actually apologize for something surprised the two colts.
After climbing out of bed, and promptly making it, Octavia gracefully trotted over to a mirror where she struggled to use her magic to comb her mane. It sent a shiver down her spine to see Trixie staring back at her.
Well, just like I expected, I’m still Trixie…how wonderful is that! I have a long day ahead of me, but at least I can finally see what my potential with magic really is…I bet I can become better than Trixie in a day or two!
The unicorn shook her head at the thought. A pang of guilt caused her to grimace. She hates being anything but respectful to ponies, even her loudmouth and arrogant friend whose body she is currently occupying. The idea stuck in her head though, the thought of shocking her friend with some undeniably great magic tricks would be wonderful for the ego she rarely even admits she has.
Octavia considered herself the ONE pony you’d want in a situation where you need to learn something from scratch and master it in a few days, considering that she has always has an urge to learn something new, take it in and move on to something else.
Trixie on the other hoof, seemed like a pony that would succumb to the pressure and give up. Forcefully, Octavia tried to keep the tea party out of her mind to just focus on being Trixie and learning magic. She had no other choice.
“Is there anything we can, uh um, get you oh powerful and great Trixie?” Snails sputtered, with his shorter friend by his side.
“No thanks, but it’s awfully nice for you to ask,” The blue pony responded, once again surprising the colts with her kindness.
Snails squinted in confusion, still standing by the door, “I uh, Trixie why are you, um er-being so nice? If you don’t mind me asking, eh”
Don’t tell me Trixie treats these two like slaves! They certainly deserve better than this if they do this for her every day!
“Oh it’s, um uh…Trixie is just in a wonderful mood today, you two can go do something else, Trixie is giving you the day off,” Octavia said with a slight smile, now finished combing her mane.
“Wow, thanks Trixie! You sure are the best pony to ever grace Equestria!” Snips exclaimed, both bowing happily.
After the colts ran off to do their own thing, Octavia decided it was time for her to inspect her friend’s home. She had been in the home many times before, but now that it was hers for the time being, she needed to bump it up to her standards.
“Trixie has so many pictures of…herself, it’s almost creepy,” Octavia noted as she exited Trixie’s room and entered the hallway, “Can somepony stalk themselves? Is that even possible? If it is, Trixie would be the first to do it,”
When she entered Trixie’s living room, she saw the books she had studied the night before. The sight sent a chill down her spine in anticipation of the day ahead. Octavia could barely levitate a comb after a night of back-breaking studying and that wasn’t going to be enough to convince Twilight Sparkle that that was all she wanted to study.
Hopefully this Twilight mare is a nice pony, or just gullible, because convincing somepony that has been training “me” that I just want to practice the easy tricks is going to be a hassle.
Sifting through the cabinets in Trixie’s kitchen she found ingredients for a hay sandwich and starting making one. In the process, she noticed a little blue journal with an embroidered “Trixie’s Diary” on it.
Needless to say, this piqued Octavia’s interest. She put the bread she had been holding down, and trotted over the counter that the diary was on.
“Should I…?” She asked aloud, though the question was only to be answered by herself.
Her hoof was on top of the journal and she was fighting the urge to snoop through her friend’s most private thoughts. She opened it to its first page before feeling guilty about spying on her own friend’s most private thoughts.
“I must not ruin a friendship! I can’t! Trixie is my only true friend in Canterlot, I cannot betray her in such a way. I just need to get back to my breakfast!”
Forcefully, she puts the journal in a drawer, then made her way back to her breakfast.
Out of sight, out of mind…
Octavia decided to distract herself with her breakfast in hope that the temptation to peek on her friend’s diary would go away.
“Lady Octavia is much too lady-like to do something as pathetic as peeping in her friend’s private business! I am too good of a friend to do such a thing!” She said aloud, as if it would help her resist the temptation.
After she finished making her sandwich, filled with fresh hay and lily flowers, she used her magic to pick it up. After a moment of wavering and nervousness, she found an equilibrium that let her move while continuing to keep it in her magic’s grasp. Octavia walked slower to keep her attention on the sandwich, while walking around Trixie’s odd house setup to relax at her breakfast table. Such a simple task, but she felt accomplished by it.
Octavia failed to notice the other times she had been in Trixie’s home that her friend had such a small one. It was basically a room, kitchen and living area. It was about the size of a small apartment. Octavia had assumed that there was more to Trixie’s home. The way she had described it seemed to just make it look like it was much better than it really was.
Trixie was probably too proud to admit she lived in such a small place and this thought made Octavia feel a little guilty for even considering the place bad. The whole interior of the home was sky-blue, much like the unicorn’s coat, and it looked very nice to Octavia’s discerning eye. She made herself a mental note to tell Trixie how much she enjoyed her home, even if it was a slight stretch of the truth. Octavia knows Trixie well enough to understand that working her ego a little bit goes a long way with somepony like her.
After finishing her breakfast in just a few bites, Octavia decided to make herself useful until Twilight arrived, by doing chores that clearly Trixie never felt inclined to do herself. Using her magic, she was able to remove several cups from the coffee tables next to her friend’s dark-blue couch and transport them to the kitchen without dropping them. She gathered trash that had been lazily ignored and swiftly discarded them in her wastebasket in her tiny kitchen.
This magic thing is quite useful, if I do say so myself! It’s a mystery why Trixie’s home is still so unkempt!
She adjusted Trixie’s portraits of herself on the wall making them even. A clear layer of dust behind them showed that they had been in that slanted position for quite some time. Though it took her a couple tries, Octavia was able to open each drape with magic to invite in the morning sun and reveal a delightful view of the Canterlot castle.
She quickly turned Trixie’s home into quite a comfortable space to live; to her it looked like a completely different home and she knew she would have to do it again when Trixie’s laziness causes her own home to become a mess. Octavia made herself another mental note to tell Trixie to clean up after herself.
Soon she heard a voice from behind the door, the blue unicorn’s heart sinking at the idea of having to finagle her way through her friend’s training session, but it had to be done.
“Trixie, it’s me, Twilight Sparkle, are you here today,”
With an awkward voice crack, Tavi spoke up, “Ye-AH, Trixie is here, come in!” She still needed to get used to using her friends voice.
In an instant she saw the warming smile of the purple unicorn as she entered the tiny home. Not expecting for Twilight to give her a hug, when she came in closer, Octavia backed up awkwardly and received an almost forced hug from Twilight Sparkle, quickly thrusting them into an awkward silence.
“Oh, Uh sorry about that, I…I mean Trixie wasn’t expecting a hug,”
Twilight blushed slightly out of embarrassment, but kept her cool “I understand, even though we hug every time we see each other…may I ask why you weren’t here yesterday…?”
Octavia’s mind worked fast to generate an excuse, “Oh, Trixie was out with her friend Octavia again and had a delightful time not doing anything life changing…!” The blue pony couldn’t help but cringe when she said her own name while referring to a different pony.
“Oh…” Twilight responded, clearly saddened that she was once again left out of Trixie’s plans, but ignored the thought once more.
“Well, that’s OK, what shall we study today? The backflip? Let me see what you’ve got,”
The blue unicorn hesitated, “Oh Well, Trixie was thinking, how about we study the basics, you know? Studying the easy tricks will help Trixie get better at the challenging ones!”
Twilight arched an eyebrow, “So you want to study levitating…? Or what did you have in mind? Because on my calculations, you only have 2 days until your show, but you haven’t even mastered the back-flip on to the table! Please tell me when you went out with this “Octavia” that you at least studied a little!” Twilight enunciated Octavia’s name to show spite at the grey pony that ‘Trixie’ hung out with, and Octavia didn’t like it.
“Now wait a minute, Twilight, Trixie happens to study every day!” Tavi responded, unsure whether she was lying or not, “You don’t have to speak of my best friend in such a way!”
“Well then, you shouldn’t be messing around when you have such an important event coming up, now, show me what you have done on the back-flip, it’s an essential part of your performance!”
Oh Celestia, today is going to be dreadful
Trixie dropped the brush on the floor again, causing her to shout random nonsense in frustration. Even with a hook on the handle for her hoof, it kept slipping as she glided it halfway down her coal-black mane. She already had put on the dress Octavia told her about. The light-purple dress adorned with light-grey stripes made her feel quite glamorous, which is something she wouldn’t expect from being a pony that was as boring as her coat’s color.
In desperation, Trixie awkwardly laid on her side, just to grasp the brush with her two front hooves. Her mane got caught under her body, which thoroughly thwarted all her efforts to make it straight and nice. Not to mention she looked like a disabled pony awkwardly trying to pull her hair out from under herself instead of just getting up.
The grey pony hopped up in frustration, tossing the brush behind her carelessly.
“Trixie swears to Luna if today goes as bad as it seems it will, Trixie is going to buck somepony in the gut!” She exclaimed as she exited Octavia’s room and walked down Octavia’s bedroom hallway, into her living room.
“This house is too BIG!” She exclaimed as she trotted into Octavia’s large and spotless kitchen.
Her mood was lifted when she saw that Octavia had carrots in her collection of food, “OH MY CELESTIA, I LO-OVE CARROTS!”
Greedily grabbing a hoof full of carrots, she once again forgot she wasn’t a unicorn and the carrots splattered onto the shiny white tile in Octavia’s kitchen. With a frustrated sigh, she sloppily picked most of them up and hobbled over to Octavia’s couch on three legs.
“Graceful…Trixie should practice being polite,” She reminded herself. Octavia had stressed this numerous times to where it almost annoyed Trixie the night before.
She took one single carrot, about 4 inches long and ate it slowly, trying to imagine herself being regal and posh.
“Quite, I dare say this is a marvelous tea party, quite, yes, quite,” She said after slowly chewing the carrot trying not to make any distracting noise.
“Hello Princess Celestia, it's AWFULLY nice for Trixie-I mean Octav- I mean for ME to meet you, and hello there Princess Luna, you’re sure looking…blue?”
Trixie shook her head in disapproval, “ I! I! Trixie needs to say I! I!”
“Hello Princess Celestia, Princess Luna! What a marvelous tea party, I think it’s quite wonderful,”
Oh Celestia, Trixie is DOOMED!
Octavia made it apparent that Trixie needs her to arrive early to the party, because she is an honored guest as a musician. They would meet Celestia and Luna at that time before the other guests arrived which were mostly upper class citizens of Canterlot and places like Stalliongrad and Hoofington. Octavia told Trixie that it wasn’t necessary for her to mingle with other ponies there and that she was already known as the quiet pony in her orchestra. However Trixie had other things in mind.
After finishing the carrots in the most regal way she could, Trixie reluctantly got off the couch. Once again forgetting she wasn’t a unicorn, she walked straight into the door, a loud thud reminding her that it was the third time that day she had forgotten she wasn’t a unicorn. Quickly recovering from her own naiveté, she opened the door with her hoof and made sure she closed it.
HOW DOES OCTAVIA LIVE WITHOUT MAGIC?
The thought about Octavia got her a little worried. Twilight Sparkle was most likely there now and she was hoping that Octavia wasn’t failing too terribly, though the inevitable embarrassment was bound to happen.
Gotta keep my mind off Tavi, need to focus on the tea party
Octavia lived within a mile from the Castle, clearly for convenience purposes when lugging her cello to the nearby studio where they practiced. Trotting by the park where they usually met, Trixie half expected to see Octavia, but quickly noticed that she wasn’t there.
As the castle quickly grew larger in her sight, Trixie suddenly felt anxious at her first time ever entering the castle. Up until this day she had only imagined what it had looked like. Not being invited to Grand Galloping Gala only made her dislike the Princesses, although that spite disappeared with the opportunity to finally meet them today.
The closer she got the more regal and fancy things seemed. The cool morning air and dew from overnight rain made everything almost surreal. The gigantic trees that towered over everypony shined from the light of the rising sun. The streets paved in a blue brick glistened from the mist on them. Trixie was fully taking in the magnificent sight before her, understanding it’ll probably be her only chance to enjoy such an occasion.
She saw two stallions guarding the entrance, which she assumed was the entrance to where the tea party would be held. Rows of gorgeous white flowers led up to the guards, who stood side by side blocking the way to the inside.
Trixie approached cautiously, until she stood a few feet before them.
“Hello, my name is Octavia and I am here for the tea party,” Trixie said calmly, looking up at the taller unicorn stallions.
Without saying a word, they moved to the side letting her pass through. Tall ivory pillars with lush green morning glories spiraling to the top of them led her to the entrance. Her eyes widened, as she slowly got more nervous. She could hear each of her steps echo as she climbed a short set of white steps that led up to a massive and decoratively carved door made out of what seemed like some sort of shiny white stone.
Before she could make an effort to open it herself, several more guards from behind open the doors for her using their magic. They opened inward to reveal the fanciest ballroom Trixie had ever seen in her life. She nodded awkwardly at the guards, who didn’t even acknowledge her. Trixie just considered that part of their job and ignored it.
The floor was so shiny and white; she could see her reflection in the tiles which amused her for a few moments.
“Oh, Lady Octavia, how wonderful that you could make it!” A voice said from behind her, causing her to jump just a little.
When he came into her sight, she was met with a stallion clearly there as a servant.
“Oh hello there…Uh, I apologize, but I have forgotten your name!” Trixie said, quickly grimacing at her own statement.
“We haven’t met before, Miss,” The stallion said causing the grey mare to blush slightly, “However, I am sure you meet so many of us, that you may have met one of my relatives. The name is Reginald Winsterford the 7th, my family has been serving the royal family and all of Equestria for many generations, I am glad to meet you,”
“Cool…” Trixie said instinctively, quickly correcting herself, “I mean, that’s certainly a wonderful occupation for one to have, I am delighted to meet you too,”
Reginald nodded politely, straitening his bowtie before he responded, “Anything I can acquire for you before the Princesses’ arrive? They should be here any minute now!”
“Oh, I am fine. Am I the first to arrive?”
“No Ma’am, several of your fellow orchestra members had arrived minutes before you and they’re now gathered in the hall where the tea party shall be held, do you want me to show you there?"
After admiring the room she was currently in, she nodded with a smile. The grey pony felt accomplished to have a conversation with somepony else without totally ruining it with her natural uncouthness.
The waiter led her though another large artistically engraved pair of doors to reveal a large garden filled with every type of plant and animal one could find across Equestria. As they passed each patch of the flowers, the scent changed almost every second, with some fragrant smells Trixie had never even smelled before. It was an illuminating experience that she knew that she would never forget, and it was before the Tea Party even started!
Her thoughts about the situation she was in were now changing into the feeling of happiness. This was the event of a lifetime and something she would never get a chance to experience as her regular self. Trixie thoroughly enjoyed everything she saw in and was relaxing quickly.
Maybe, just maybe, things won’t go as bad as expected…
They walked on a cobblestone pathway that led past a pond filled with frogs and cluster of fish. She took the time to marvel at them as they trotted over them. As they passed some trees that had blocked her vision, they finally saw the large dome shaped building in which the tea party would be held. The details in the carvings were so intricate that it amazed Trixie that somepony could have carved that by hoof. Each tall window told a story in the painted glass, depicting heroic ponies from centuries of Equestria’s existence. In one pane, she saw a pony that looked suspiciously like Twilight Sparkle,. The pane looked so much like Twilight Sparkle that Trixie felt obligated to asked Twilight once the situation she was in was fixed.
After passing several more pillars that appeared older than the Princess herself, they walked up to the entrance.
“We have arrived, Lady Octavia, I’m sure you will have a wonderful time. As I said before, the Princesses shall be arriving soon to meet everypony in the orchestra. Please, do enter,”
Reginald backed away as the doors seemingly opened by themselves, revealing another stunningly fancy hall. Lined with colorful windows, the walls all slowly curved up fitting the structure of the dome. Right in the middle was a massive chandelier that took Trixie’s breath away.
There were two silky red thrones clearly in place for the Princesses. Just a few feet away stood the group of ponies Trixie assumed were Octavia’s fellow orchestra members.
After snapping out of her day dream, she trotted over the group of ponies with a smile. Before she even reached them, an announcement was made from behind her.
“Ladies and Gentlecolts, please welcome Princess Celestia and Princess Luna!” Reginald’s voiced echoed throughout the ivory room.
Should I bow yet? Should I bow now? Oh my Celestia, when should I bow! I can’t NOT bow, I’ll look disrespectful! OH MY CELESTIA, there they are! Everypony else is bowing, I need to bow!
Thrusting herself into a bow along with Octavia’s orchestral peers, she squinted her eyes to see the two Princesses arrive through the door she had just entered from.
They’re more amazing up close! I can’t believe I am so close to the PRINCESSES! Oh my gosh!
“Hello? You can get up now,” A colt said from behind her.
Trixie hopped up and felt her cheeks blazing with redness in embarrassment. However, those feelings quickly faded away as she saw both tall and majestic Princesses in all their glory, just feet away from her for the first time in her life.
“Don’t you think you have studied levitating enough for today, Trixie? You have repeated lifting that cup for the past hour and a half.” Letting the plastic cup fall to the ground, Octavia turned around pretending not to be so elated that she can levitate a cup so easily, “I think Trixie still needs more practice.” Twilight Sparkle sighed in frustration, “Then why am I even here, if you’re just going to practice juvenile abilities?” Octavia gasped dramatically, assuming that is what Trixie would do.
“Juvenile? Everypony knows practicing simple, yet essential abilities is the foundation of being the best and I intend to be the best, Twilight.” Though she liked her own argument; Octavia knocked herself for forgetting to speak in third-person.
“Well, as true as that may be, it doesn’t help your back-flipping abilities. Mastering that trick is imperative to wow the crowd and you won’t wow the crowd, full of UNICORNS, by lifting a cup up and down,”
“Just trust me, Twilight, you can leave if you want, I know what I’m doing,” Octavia insisted.
The purple unicorn’s heart sank. First she didn’t want to give her a hug, now she doesn’t even want her to stay. Twilight had assumed that she had a much more profound existence in Trixie’s life and it made her feel terrible to think that she may just be her teacher and nothing more.
“Can I ask you something, Trixie?” She said her tone now serious. She was bothered by Trixie’s ignorance.
“Sure,” The blue unicorn responded, dropping the cup to return her attention to Twilight Sparkle.
“Am I even your friend, at all, or are you just going to forget about me once this performance is over?” Twilight said with a hint of sadness.
“What?” Octavia responded, genuinely bewildered, “Of course you’re Trixie’s friend, you help Trixie a lot!”
Twilight shook her head as if to shake away her thoughts once more, “Yeah…well, never mind…just tell me when you’re ready to practice something more challenging, Trixie,” She said, trying to ignore the reoccurring feelings she felt for the blue unicorn and how hurt she felt when Trixie disregarded her. Twilight always tried to rationalize it, because she reacted so dramatically and assumed the worst when Trixie said something a little offending. However she rationalized it, every now and then the purple unicorn wished she never even met Trixie because in a sense, that would be better for her. The stress of these confusing feelings brought an unbearable weight upon her shoulders. Twilight knew however, that she wouldn’t have met Trixie in the first place if she didn’t have some minuscule importance in her life.
This situation was different for her because she didn’t have a book to help her through it. Usually if she spent a night curled up in her bed just studying could solve anything, but not a single book in her library discussed love. This situation confused the purple unicorn because Trixie was basically the exact opposite of her besides the fact she was a mare, which the one thing she would have preferred to be different. She heard the saying “opposites attract” but there was no saying whether Trixie even remotely had mutual feelings for the lavender pony. The feeling of being so unsure about something bothered Twilight to no end.
It wasn’t long after finally making friends for the first time that Twilight Sparkle delves into the subject of love. It was when this idea of love was just an idea for her, not something she had to live with on a daily basis. During this time she found that she couldn’t learn how to love unless she experienced it for herself. No book warned her about the feelings she felt for Trixie, no book warned her how scared she felt. No book acknowledged feelings a mare may have for a mare. No book warned her about how much it hurt to be disregarded too often.
Twilight could remember the exact moment when she started feeling different around Trixie. On the third day she had come to help Trixie train, less than two weeks before, Trixie legitimately smiled when she saw Twilight. No matter how many times friends have smiled when they saw her before, there was something special to Twilight when such an egotistical and arrogant pony smiled warmly when seeing her.
It made Trixie’s disregard for her feelings hurt more. It didn’t help when Trixie went out with other friends, forgetting about Twilight.
Am I not cool enough? Maybe it’s because we’ve only been friends just a few weeks…Maybe she only invests time with fellow performers?
These were the thoughts that bounced around in her head relentlessly.
The one thought that scared Twilight the most was the idea that Trixie may know about her infatuation with her, simply from the times where she has blushed just from seeing the blue unicorn. Twilight considered this the reason Trixie may push Twilight out of her life when her performance is over.
Why in the hay can’t love be as easy as Mr. and Ms. Cake make it? Twilight thought, thrust back into the present after daydreaming about the recent past, which she found herself doing a lot since meeting Trixie.
Octavia tried to hide her jubilation when she was able to levitate three cups at one time, without having to struggle to keep control of them. She couldn’t help smiling, the fact that she could hold three things without using a single hoof was mind-blowing to her, and she felt proud. Through focus and practice, the blue unicorn found that she didn’t need to focus on the objects she was controlling, but keep them In the back of her mind as she focused on other things. Despite the purple unicorn being bored to tears, Octavia was just thrilled she was able to levitate something, boosting her confidence tremendously.
“Twilight?” Octavia said suddenly, startling the purple unicorn that was clearly lost in thought, “Trixie thinks Trixie is ready to practice some harder spells,"
“Finally!” Twilight elated, hopping up with a smile, “I think we should practice that back-flip and then some spells, don’t you agree?”
“Is there some sort of spell for that?” The blue unicorn asked dumbly. Only receiving a laugh in response, Tavi played it off as if it was a joke laughing along nervously.
She remembered Trixie telling her that she needed to spawn a table while doing a back-flip. Octavia laughed at the idea, but Trixie INSISTED for her to at least try the back-flip, to which the blue unicorn begrudgingly agreed to do. Octavia wasn’t one to lie to friend, so now that Twilight suggested her to try the back-flip, she was going to.
Twilight stood several feet to Tavi’s side; while Octavia gave herself what she thought would be enough room for a back-flip.
All I have to do is jump and pull back, right? My oh my, why didn’t I attempt this before now!?
“Any day now, Trixie,” Twilight said with a giggle.
Well, here goes absolutely nothing!
With one swift movement, Octavia launched herself in the air. She started turning back in mid-air but the floor was approaching too fast. Before she could react, she landed flat on her back, hitting her head on the ground and instantly causing her to grimace.
She looked up at the laughing Twilight and blushed from pure embarrassment.
“Looks like Trixie slipped; yeah that’s what happened…” Octavia said as she got up, groaning from pain she felt in her back.
That couldn’t have gone worse!
“Trixie, it’s time to be serious, do the back-flip so we can move on the table! it’s almost like you have seemingly FORGOT about how important that trick is! On my calculations, if you’re unable to complete this trick successfully, you’ll have a 70% chance of being “booed” off the stage!”
How do you calculate something like that…?
“OK, OK, Trixie will try to do another back-flip, let’s just hope Trixie hasn’t randomly forgotten how to do it for no reason…”
Back in position, Octavia took another deep breath, trying to focus on how she could do this. She was never an athletic pony and now all of a sudden being thrust into a situation where athleticism was imperative, caused her confidence to waver slightly.
Despite this, her second try was much closer. She was able to complete the flip but wasn’t able to stick the landing. The improvement was great for Octavia, but in Twilight’s eyes, that was Trixie barely able to perform a back-flip for a second time.
“Trixie, what’s wrong with you today? You seem to have forgotten how to do everything!” The purple unicorn chided in response to Octavia’s sloppy back-flip.
“Nothing, Trixie is just having…an off day, I’ll be back to normal soon, hopefully”
Twilight put down the spell book that detailed how to spawn the table.
“I think it’s time for a break, Trixie. I think your nerves are getting to you just a little!”
“Yes, Trixie agrees!” Octavia exclaimed. A break was EXACTLY what she needed, because she could use the time to think of how she was going to pull this off. Her newly gained confidence was already wearing thin and her nerves really were getting to her.
It wasn’t just that she had to learn magic at an astonishing pace; it wasn’t that she would have to perform those in front of a crowd, Octavia had to do all of this while hoping that Trixie wasn’t ruining her life at the same time. It was hard for her to focus on magic when she had her whole life in her friend’s hooves. Octavia needed to pull off a miracle while not knowing whether she’d have a life to return to. Even worse, she didn’t know if she’d ever be herself again! Those were thoughts she banished away before they could get to her.
Behind Octavia’s ensemble members, Trixie lined up waiting for her chance to meet the Princesses. She couldn’t believe it was happening and the whole situation felt completely surreal for her. She made mental notes of what ponies in front of her were doing, so she wouldn’t do anything awkward.
They were lined completely straight facing the Princesses who were perched on their thrones. While they were in line, the waiters set up several tables where they would have their tea. The extravagance was perfect for Trixie, which sort of made her feel guilty. She couldn’t imagine how bad it probably was going for Octavia. Granted, once this tea party was over, she was going to have to work on her infantile skills on the cello, but right now she was enjoying her time, while Octavia was already thrust into learning skills she can’t possibly learn in time.
This thought caused Trixie to grimace, just thinking about the next few days nearly made her sick to her stomach. The grey pony distracted herself by noticing Luna looking towards her every once in a while. Clearly, Luna was looking for something in particular and it confused Trixie as she waited in the line.
The pony in front of her, a large stallion, was next. After him it was her turn to greet the Princesses. Her heart beat faster than she expected, but it didn’t surprise her. Unlike everypony in the room, this was her first time ever being so close to the Princesses and it was a moment she would never forget.
The stallion in front walked away and soon Trixie was graced with the presence of the two Princesses.
“Hello there, my star cellist Octavia! It’s wonderful to see you again!”
Trixie bowed as the other mares had done, then spoke trying not to sound so nervous, “Hello, Princess Celestia and of course, Princess Luna, It’s wonderful to see you both!”
Just speaking to them made Trixie feel more important than in any of her many shows and as quick as it happened, it was over and the few ponies behind her had their chance to meet the royal sisters.
“Wow…” Trixie whispered to herself, reliving the past few moments in her head.
Standing on the opposite side of the magnificent room, Octavia’s ensemble members completely disregarded who they considered was Octavia. This bothered Trixie, because usually when somepony attends a tea party, they have friends to talk to. Trixie liked talking and she wasn’t going to attend a prestigious tea without talking SOMEPONY’s ears off.
Has Octavia been too shy to even make friends at her own practice place? I don’t think it is possible to be more closed-off than Tavi is. Time to make some friends for her
“Hello ladies and gentlecolts, what a wonderful evening we have in store, if I do say so myself,” Trixie said in her most regal voice.
The initial reaction of the group of Octavia’s peers was too look around to who said that, because Octavia talking wasn’t something any of them expected.
An all blue stallion spoke up first, “Goodness gracious, she actually speaks!”
His response provoked the group to laugh almost in unison, which Trixie took in stride.
“Oh, I just thought that this tea party would be a wonderful time to come out of my shell, you know. I’m assuming I was quite a bore before! I’m confident that you all know my name, but I’d love to learn yours now,”
I think should consider taking up acting as my next profession! The great and powerful ACTRESS Trixie!
The group seemed to accept what she said, the blue stallion went first, “Well, although you have played next to me since you’ve come to perform with us, I’ll start! My name is Windsong, it’s awfully nice to finally meet the pony I’ve played with for such a long time!”
Trixie awkwardly offered her hoof for a hoofshake when all that was required was a curtsy.
This fanciness is going to take some getting used to She thought as she played off her offering as a joke.
It didn’t take much for her to feel right at home with the upper class orchestral ponies, no matter how arrogant she could usually be, it still surprised her how well she fit in with Octavia’s ensemble members. Rarely did anything surprise Trixie because she always had such high expectations for herself and whether she accomplished it or not, she’d just say she did anyway and feel good about it. But this was different for her; she wasn’t used to accomplishing things that didn’t involve magic. So, instead of arrogantly expressing her fondness of herself, she actually felt prideful without the need to tell the world about it. This made Trixie feel really good. Confidence high, she knew this night wouldn’t be as bad as she had initially expected.
“…and so I said, OATMEAL, are you crazy!?”
Many other high class ponies had just arrived and Trixie was on a roll. Immediately followed by laughter, she had pulled off another successful joke and felt right at home. She would have to thank her pink Ponyville friend for telling her that joke in the first place.
Making friends wasn’t exactly the hardest thing for Trixie to do, even with her arrogance, but it did surprise her that she could make friends with high class instrument playing ponies. Then again, her best friend IS a high class, instrument playing pony.
On a long table where all the ponies would sit, waiters were setting up the china that held the delicious tea. The waiter had told them before-hoof that the tea was the finest somepony could find in Equestria, and had the most unique taste they could even imagine.
The two princesses would sit at the end of the table, while everypony else sits on the sides. The china that the tea was in was decorated with gold drawings of the two princesses, and the detail once again impressed Trixie. Trixie definitely wasn’t somepony known to actually be impressed by somepony or something else, but she couldn’t help herself. The party was just so perfect.
Sitting at a random seat next to Quaver, one of Trixie’s new friends, Trixie found herself with a dilemma. As a unicorn, she had no need to use her hooves to pick something up, because she always had magic. Now in front of her was a freshly poured cup of tea that she was contemplating on how to pick up.
After using her magic to take a sip of her cup of tea, Quaver looked towards Trixie who was intensely focusing on the white teacup in front of her, “Are you going to drink that Octavia, or just stare at it?” She remarked with a quiet chuckle.
“Trix- I mean, I am going to drink it, I just love the designs on the cup,”
Despite being surrounded by the richest and smartest ponies in all of Equestria, Trixie lowered her head, and took a loud, obnoxious slurp of the tea. Instantly all eyes were on her.
She darted up, “Just kidding everypony..!”
WHY DID I DO THAT?
“What was that, Octavia? That was quite uncouth for a pony like you,” Quaver remarked, squinting at the grey pony in confusion.
Think fast, Trixie!
“I-I, I was just, I needed to test how hot it was,” Trixie stammered, smiling awkwardly.
I was doing so good for so long, why’d I have to mess up now…! That was pure idiotic of me!
“You have just touched your hoof to the cup,” The earth pony said, erasing Trixie’s excuse and making her feel stupid.
“I guess I should have, but it got the job done,”
“OK then,” Quaver said with another quiet chuckle.
How is Trixie going to do this? The cup is so small! Maybe wrap my hoof around it like….no, maybe grab it with both? Oh my Celestia, this is the weirdest dilemma Trixie thinks she has ever been in…
Placing both hooves firmly on the sides of the cup, she lifted it up slowly and shakily, once again gathering the attention the other ponies as she did. Their stared pierced her soul, causing her to shake more. After another loud sip, something she couldn’t help, she slowly lowered the cup back down.
Then it slipped.
“So what do you want to work on now, Trixie?” The purple unicorn asked, her nose in another spell book, sifting through the pages for a suggestion.
“Trixie wants to practice spawning, maybe like a cup or a plate or something,” Octavia said, more confident than she probably should be.
How hard could that be? Can’t be as hard as playing a cello…or a back-flip in that case
Twilight sparkle closed the book as she looked up towards the blue unicorn, “You still want to practice spells you already know?”
“Yes, now hand me the spell book that I need in order to spawn a cup, or whatever is necessary for me to do so,”
“It’s right there,” Twilight said pointing to a blue book that was sitting on a shelf.
Twilight squinted in confusion when she saw Trixie go to pick it up with hooves, when she could easily use her magic.
After a minute of studying a plate spawning spell, Octavia focused as hard as she could. However, only a fragment of the plate appeared, fell to the ground, and disappeared.
In frustration, Octavia tossed the book on the ground, ignoring the look she was getting from Twilight Sparkle.
“Trixie, are you OK? That plate spell is quite easy, if you ask me,”
“TRIXIE IS FINE!” Octavia exclaimed out of pure frustration, “I thought for sure I was going to do that spell correctly and then once again I fail! Trixie is so tired of this!”
The purple unicorn was completely lost, “Tired of what? You’re confusing me, Trixie, You’ve spawned a table before and now you can barely do intermediate tricks, I think you’re just having an off day. You’ll be fine in 2 days when the show is, just focus and you’ll do fine,”
Twilight decided on being supportive instead of critical over Trixie relapse in abilities. To her, Trixie was having some sort of meltdown due to how soon the show was. In a way, Twilight Sparkle was correct.
The agitated Octavia took a deep breath just too calm herself down. Nothing she had ever done on the cello was as frustrating as magic has been for her. Her opinion on Trixie was quickly changing, but in no way was she willing to give up any time soon.
Octavia walked over and picked up the spell book she had thrown, hay-bent on learning that spell before the practice was over.
Pretending not to be flustered by her own clumsiness, Trixie stood several feet away as the waiters cleaned up her mess caused by dropping the tea cup on the floor. As the other ponies continued mingling and drinking their tea, Trixie sat out awkwardly frantically searching for a way to mend the awkwardness of the situation.
At least that one single sip of tea tasted good
The waiters finally finished, with a new fresh cup of tea waiting for her. Trixie sat down gingerly, trying to ignore the rude looks she was receiving from some regal ponies she hadn’t even met yet.
“Well that sure was unlucky of me!” The grey pony commented trying to re-break the ice between the ponies around her, “I-I sure apologize for that,”
“Oh it’s fine, my young subject, everypony makes mistakes every now and then, and it’s fixed now, so let’s have some more tea!” Celestia’s voice mused from the end of the table.
“Thank you Princess,” Trixie said with a tiny voice crack. Instantly the Princess saved Trixie’s night, for the time being. A wave of relief went through Trixie’s body; she had just escaped ruining a party with her own lack of focus to what she was doing. This bothered her, because focus is everything when it comes to performing in front of crowds, and yet she couldn’t drink tea without causing an accident.
Trixie thinks she may have underestimated how hard it is to be Octavia…
The grey pony played it cool from then on out. She didn’t touch the tea in front of her, which nopony felt the need to point out after her earlier accident. Slowly, Trixie was able to get back into a grove with talking with other ponies again, once she felt comfortable again. She got along with Quaver the best, both sharing similar aspirations to perform in front of the largest crowds in Equestria.
She found that Arpeggio had two fillies of his own that were learning how to play instruments at a very young age. Trixie found out that Ledger Line was Bar Staff’s young nephew. All of these things Octavia would have never found out, and now Trixie feels obligated to relay this info to ‘Tavi once they find a way to return to their normal lives.
Trixie is such a good friend!
As the tea party slowly came to an end, Trixie breathed a sigh of relief. It may not have gone as well as she hoped it would, but making friends motivated her to work on her abilities on the cello when she went back to Octavia’s house.
Trixie sure hopes Twilight Sparkle didn’t ruin anything for TRIXIE! Trixie bets she did ten times worse than I did!
As she walked about, conversing with the other ponies who had seemingly forgotten about her earlier mishap, it started to hit Trixie that now that she has the member’s respect. At first, this seemed good, until Trixie realized that she didn’t have as much room for error as she had before. They expect the best out of her and they wouldn’t settle for less. Though, they may forgive her easier if she messes up just a little. Trixie had somehow gotten herself into quite a conundrum, within an already dumbfounding situation she was in. Trixie was knocked out of yet another daydream once she noticed that Princess Celestia was about to speak.
“Before everypony leaves, I would just like to thank each and every one of you for a truly wonderful time. I look forward to next year’s tea party, and seeing all of you once more,” Celestia said, in all her glory, with her shorter sister by her side.
“Thine subjects have pleased Princess Luna!”
Everypony besides the Princesses themselves bowed in respect as they left the room.
Now that the Princesses were gone, Trixie realized that she would have to go back and learn several practice symphonies in one night. That made her just a little nervous.
As if that wasn’t enough stress, Trixie also needed to know whether Octavia had successfully fooled Twilight Sparkle into thinking she only wanted to practice juvenile magic tricks. These thoughts sent a chill down her spine, as the blissful state of being around the Princesses left her. She temporarily ignored these thoughts, because she was surprised to see Octavia’s ensemble members walking with her purposefully, instead of naturally avoiding her do to Tavi’s shyness.
Trixie really can do anything! Octavia shall be amazed! She doesn’t have to know about the tea cup, though…! Trixie thought as she exited the castle with a whole new group of friends.
One more try, I am sure I can do this!
Still working on the same spell, an exhausted Octavia gave it yet another try. She felt it was imperative for her to complete this spell if she wanted any chance to wow a crowd in 2 days. The unicorn had tried countless times all while Twilight Sparkle fell into a deep sleep out of pure boredom.
Then it happened, a full plate falling out of midair, breaking on the floor and waking the purple unicorn up. If the breaking of plate didn’t wake Twilight Sparkle, Octavia’s joyous yell would have for sure. This only confused her more, to see Trixie so excited about a simple trick.
Octavia then used her magic to sweep up the broken pieces which was like a cherry on top of the cake of success.
After hours and hours of flank breaking work, Octavia could use magic at a somewhat intermediate level.
On the way to the train station where Twilight sparkle would return to Ponyville, Octavia couldn’t hide her elation at the fact she had been successful with a spawning spell.
“I can’t believe I was able to spawn a plate! Er, I mean Er- TRIXIE MEANS Trixie can’t believe that Trixie spawned that plate!” Octavia sputtered, causing Twilight to laugh.
“Why are you NOW so impressed you could do this? We practiced spawning the plate two weeks ago and you did it easily,”
I really am awful at being Trixie…
“Oh, um, that’s because Trixie all of a sudden had problems completing that trick yesterday…and Trixie is happy to see she could it today!”
“Mhmm…” Twilight said inquisitively, knowing the blue unicorn was lying. She decided against calling her out on it.
“Trixie is just glad practice for today is over, Trixie can finally go find Octavia and do something RELAXING,” Octavia said with an enthusiastic sigh.
There was an awful silence as Twilight debated whether to ask to tag along. Once again she was being left out of plans; the pony she has feelings for, disregarding her as a friend once more. Twilight Sparkle now knew her place and it made her feel terrible.
She bit her lip and responded like she assumed Trixie would expect her to.
“Don’t tell me you’re just not going to study now that I’m going back to Ponyville!”
Octavia shrugged, “Trixie will study, she just needs some relaxation before she continues,” She said, as the two entered the train station where Twilight was to leave.
Twilight sighed, but Octavia was too distracted to notice. All ‘Tavi could think of was how Trixie did at the tea party. Images of her friend insulting the Princesses with some sort of unwarranted arrogance caused her heart so skip a beat.
The purple unicorn didn’t dare to try and hug the blue unicorn again, so she did some awkward hoofshake instead.
“Before I go Trixie, I’m not going to be at your house until probably an hour later than I usually am, I have something to do tomorrow morning,”
“Alright! Trixie says bye,”
I need to get my flank to the castle!
It wasn’t an unusual sight to see the blue unicorn running frantically about town, which was something Trixie usually did. Now that Octavia was in her body, she was doing the exact same thing as Trixie as she made a beeline towards the castle. She was able to fend off thoughts of what Trixie’s day may have been like while she studied with Twilight, but now it was imperative that she should know what happened as soon as possible. If things went decently, she’d gain confidence in Trixie’s ability to be her, but if it went terribly Octavia considered herself hay out of luck.
Octavia spotted her quickly in the midst of a crowd exiting the castle. She galloped over to her friend who had a silly smile on her face.
“Trixie! Tell me how it went! Tell me how you treated the Princesses, did you buck anyone? Did you have to play the cello and why are you smiling?!”
Though her friend was breathing fast and panicking, Trixie responded with a dismissive wave of her hoof.
“Trixie NAILED IT! Was there ever any doubt that I would? Meeting the Princesses was amazing; Princess Celestia is so…out of this world when you’re so close to her! Princess Luna spoke…weirdly though and for some reason she kept looking at me. I don’t know why, but the best I did was for YOU! I made you some friends!”
“You, what? I-I…with who?”
“With your own ensemble members! None of them knew you, so Trixie made them know you! Quaver is cool, I think you’d like her! Arpeggio is amazingly smart! Though Trixie is undeniably genius, he sometimes, every once in a while, made Trixie feel a little un-genius!”
“I don’t even know who those ponies are..” Tavi responded, blushing slightly, “I didn’t really want friends in my ensemble, it would distract me from playing the cello,”
“That’s really ridiculous Tavi,” Trixie said with a slight chuckle, but then a thought hit her, which she immediately vocalized.
“Trixie thought you were joking when you said Trixie was your only friend, is that actually true…?”
“No!” Octavia responded without thinking, “Well…maybe, but that doesn’t matter right now, you need to learn how to play the cello and FAST!”
The grey pony sighed loudly, expressing her disliking for that idea.
“OKAY, OKAY! We’re almost at your house. This is really going to be the most annoyingly hard thing that Trixie has ever done….!”
Taking one last look at her friend, Octavia’s eyes widened in fear.
My life as I know it is over…
“Open the d-door! Derpy mail delivery!” An odd voice yelled from behind Trixie’s front door.
Octavia slid out of Trixie’s bed with a loud sigh. She used her improving magical ability to comb her hair quickly and went to the door to see a wall-eyed Pegasus flying upside down in front of her. It made her feel odd still waking up in her friend’s house and seeing this strange pony just continued the trend of waking up to barbaric things.
“Derpy delivery!” The greyish Pegasus said loudly, “Here’s your muffin!”
What? A muffin…?
“Don’t just look at the muffin, take it!” Derpy exclaimed, eyes darting off in conflicting directions.
Taking Trixie’s mail from the derpy pony, plus a muffin, Octavia smiled forcefully before the off-grey Pegasus flew away, upside down. The blue unicorn couldn’t help but wonder how the muffins stayed in her bag as she flew upside down. The bag didn’t even have a top to hold them in. However, Tavi knew she had no time to bother herself with physics defying the derpy Pegasus.
“Trixie is going to be here soon, I shouldn’t open her mail.”
Why did I say out loud?
“I’m quite weird, If I do say so myself.”
I DID IT AGAIN!
“At least I don’t tend to refer to myself in third person.”
Octavia caused herself to giggle at her own antics. She used her magic to set the letter and the muffin down on a coffee table next to Trixie’s couch. She levitated a random book over just to study it. Octavia devoured the muffin while she studied a more challenging spell. She might as well get to work before either Twilight Sparkle or Trixie arrived.
Though the idea seemed quite barbaric, if she could spawn a table before the end of the day, this could possibly motivate Trixie to get better on the cello. All that Octavia wanted was to see her life not go up in flames because of her arrogant friend.
The idea that things are more possible than she had expected kind of excited Octavia. When this whole situation first started, she didn’t think she had a chance to perform the required stunts to wow a crowd. Though she did not know for sure, maybe the tricks she was learning aren’t exactly the hardest a unicorn could learn, maybe Trixie isn’t as good of a unicorn as Octavia had assumed and maybe that it why she is able to learn these tricks. However, making assumptions didn’t help her, so she got back to reading the spell book.
Trixie knew the second she woke up, that she didn’t sleep very well. Octavia’s bed was firm, her blanket was thin and the window let in sunlight that shone right into her eyes to wake her up.
The grey pony hopped out of her bed with a groan, knowing she had a lot of cello work in the day ahead of her. She also knew that she was supposed to arrive at her own house with Octavia’s cello to work on some symphonies for Octavia’s upcoming performance.
In the corner of her vision, she saw an envelope slide through a slit in Octavia’s door. This startled her for a second because she was still in a morning daze from a terrible night of sleep.
“Does Octavia not get a morning muffin with her mail?” She said aloud, clearing her throat after hearing how hoarse her voice had become.
Trixie picked the envelope up and put it on Octavia’s counter before the temptation to open it got the better of her. Also, she was quite disappointed that she didn’t receive a muffin like she did regularly at her home, but assumed that a different pony besides Derpy must deliver Octavia’s mail.
Trixie looked at Octavia’s cello, lying on its side in the corner of the room, and sighed. Though she had a day longer than Octavia to learn how to play the cello, Trixie wasn’t exactly confident in her abilities, or at least her ability to learn. She had the rudiments and posture down. It really bothered her back, so much that she was impressed that Octavia could stay in that position for more than 5 minutes. Trixie would never call Octavia not athletic again.
After finishing off Octavia’s bag of hay fries, Trixie picked up the cello, put the harness around her waist and with an annoyed sigh, set off on her way to her own home, which was currently occupied by Octavia.
After just two days, seeing life through Octavia’s eyes has really changed her perspective on other ponies. The tea party taught her that just because some pony may seem snooty because they’re high class, when really they’re just as easy to get along with as other ponies if you just try to get to know them. The tea party also taught her to learn how to hold a tea cup with her hooves.
As she walked through the center of Canterlot, still lugging Octavia’s heavy cello behind her through the tiny crowd of ponies, Trixie could swear she heard somepony call Octavia’s name.
Trixie stopped and focused her hearing to see if she would hear it again, until she turned her head around and saw Twilight Sparkle trotting towards her, with an embarrassed smile on her face.
Why in the hay is Twilight Sparkle looking for Octavia?
Once Twilight approached the pony she thought was Octavia, Trixie reminded herself to BE Octavia and to react as how she’d assume Octavia would.
“Um, Who are you?” Trixie asked, raising an eyebrow inquisitively.
“OH!, um, my name is Twilight Sparkle. You’re Octavia, right?”
Trixie nodded, “How can I help you?”
“Well, I don’t know how to say this, but I need to ask you a few questions about Trixie, if you don’t mind.”
She wants to ask a few questions about ME? Oh my Celestia, Octavia better not have been rude to Twilight yesterday!
“U-um, sure, go ahead,” Trixie replied, interested in what the unicorn would say about her. Nopony is more honest about somepony when they don’t think they’re talking to them.
“I’m assuming you’re going to Trixie’s home right now, I’ll go with you, OK? Just don’t tell her what I’m about to say, OK?”
Sheesh, is it really that bad?
“Go ahead,” The grey pony insisted.
“W-Well, I need to ask you…how have you and Trixie become such good friends? I-I mean, all I do is help her learn magic, which I have been doing for the past two and a half weeks, yet she still ignores me and disregards me. She doesn’t ever consider me when goes out with friends, she just…I just think she’s going to forget about me once she does her performance tomorrow…”
Trixie is going to kill Octavia for treating Twilight like this!
“TRIXIE DOES NO- I mean, I’m sure this is just a temporary thing, in fact, VERY temporary, you shouldn’t take anything she says seriously for now,” Trixie insisted, guessing that Octavia had treated Twilight quite rudely during the past few days.
”What do you mean recently? She’s done this since I met her…” Twilight said, voice saddened.
Her words immediately sent pangs of guilt down Trixie’s body, now that she knew that it wasn’t Octavia that had been treating Twilight badly, it was her. Trixie felt worse as she went through it in her mind, every time she could have invited Twilight, every time the unicorn was sad because of Trixie, every time Twilight made a hint that she wanted to tag along and Trixie had ignored her. It takes a lot to bother an arrogant pony like Trixie so much, but when realizing that she had treated a unicorn that had been training her so rudely and dismissively, it shook Trixie to her soul.
It bothered Trixie even more when she saw that Twilight Sparkle was more bothered than she thought. Unless Octavia’s eyes saw things different than they really were, Trixie could have sworn it looked like the purple unicorn was crying at that very instant. Trixie needed to think and fast.
“W-Well, Trixie is hard to become friends with, u-um, we only became friends because of my guitar-I mean CELLO and the fact that we both like to perform in front of crowds.”
“I-I shouldn’t feel this way though…nopony has ever bothered me like this when treating me badly, I usually can just let it go,” Twilight Sparkle ventured further.
She didn’t necessarily think it was the smartest thing to do, to slowly admit feelings about somepony to their best friend, but she didn’t want to tell it to a pony whose opinion she really cares about. She could tell one of her friends about the feelings she has for Trixie, but the fear of rejection prevents her from working up the courage to do so.
Granted, telling Trixie’s best friend about her feelings for Trixie pretty much guarantees that Trixie will find out sooner or later, but Twilight would rather indirectly tell her, than tell her and be made fun of, ignored and forgotten.
Trixie found Twilight’s last statement quite odd. What Twilight had said so far, wouldn’t have really bothered Trixie if Twilight had told her before switching bodies with Octavia, and doubted that Octavia would have been bothered by it either.
“What do you mean?” Trixie asked, still trying to decipher why Twilight was so dramatically upset over something with such a simple solution. Considering how smart she was, it surprised Trixie that she didn’t just confess it to Trixie in the first place.
Twilight bit her lip. She was at a point of no return.
“I-I…I don’t know…I really don’t understand anything that I’m feeling right now for…for Trixie,”
“What are you saying, Twilight?” Trixie asked, eyes widening as the gears clicked into place in her mind.
“Please don’t tell Trixie…I’m sure I have some book I can read that’ll help me get over these feelings, but right now they’re real a-and it only makes me feel worse when she treats me badly, I mean, I shouldn’t be surprised, right? She’s arrogant and self-centered, the exact OPPOSITE of me, but it’s not like somepony can choose who they have feelings for, right? At least I can’t,”
Twilight Sparkle has a crush on me…?
A flurry of thoughts came over Trixie as she put together what she just heard. She didn’t have time to think, however, and spoke before the silence led to awkwardness.
“I’m sure Trixie considers you a good friend,Twilight,” Trixie said, which was the truth at that moment. It was all she could think to say, she had too much going on to even consider her situation with Twilight Sparkle. It was imperative that she learned the cello and she knew she had to phase out all distractions, no matter how sudden and unexpected.
The purple unicorn sighed, with a hint of sadness over her breath, “I know…”
Twilight Sparkle knew that what she just admitted was either a huge mistake or something she’ll be glad that she had done in the future. Dreams come true for other ponies, maybe this time around, could they come true for her?
Trixie had assumed, since she didn’t have to go to Octavia’s practice, which Octavia would have told Twilight not to come, JUST so she and Trixie could work with each other. However, now knowing Twilight’s feelings, Octavia may not have had the courage to tell Twilight not to come, assuming that Octavia had noticed the purple unicorn’s feelings in the first place.
Oh joy, just more stress for Trixie as she tries to learn how to play a cello and to perform a symphony in front of a large crowd! Oh Celestia help me…
When they arrived, the blue unicorn greeted them with a surprised smile. She assumed that Trixie would be there earlier, because Twilight had told her that she would be an hour late. Octavia came to the conclusion that Twilight must have went to her home to talk to Octavia, without knowing that Trixie was actually Octavia.
“Well, finally you’re here,” Octavia said in a snotty tone, impersonating Trixie, “Trixie has been waiting for 20 minutes,”
So this is how Octavia has portraying me?
“Sorry, I was MUCH too busy doing pointless things because I have to be all smart and stuff,” Trixie attempted, but realized her attempt to mock Octavia only make her laugh.
“I’m sorry if I am here earlier than expected,” The purple unicorn said, “However this means we can get more practice done. Hopefully you’re out of that funk you were in yesterday,”
Trixie was actually pleasantly surprised that Octavia was able to fool Twilight into thinking that her lack of ability was temporary. However, the chance to mess with her friend was something she felt she had to do.
“So, Trixie,” Trixie said to gain Octavia’s attention.
“Yes?” Octavia asked, cocking her head as she tried to figure out why the grey pony had a sly look on her face.
“Didn’t you say you could do a back-flip onto a table you spawned, I’d really like to see that,”
Octavia’s eyes widened as she gave her friend a ‘I know what you’re trying to do’ type of look.
“Oh, Trixie has showed you many times before, you don’t need to see it again,” Octavia was trying to avoid another painful flop onto her back.
“Oh, but I heard you were much better at it now, I feel you must show me,” Trixie pestered with a sinister grin.
“Trixie, you need to be able to do that trick, can you please show us so we can move on? Your performance is tomorrow!” Twilight Sparkle added, sending a shiver down the two other ponies’ spines with her last statement.
“Oc-I mean Trixie, can I speak with you in the other room please?” Trixie said, receiving a confused look for Twilight, “We’ll be back in a second, Twi’.”
It confused the purple unicorn even more that the pony she assumed was Octavia called her ‘Twi’.
Trotting away from the living and Into Trixie’s bedroom, the two frantically tried to decide what they needed to do and/or say to the waiting Twilight Sparkle in the living room.
“Can you do back-flip, Tavi? CAN YOU?” Trixie asked, her hooves on the blue unicorn’s shoulders.
“What do you think? When I tried yesterday, I landed on my back and Twilight laughed at me! I don’t even want to attempt it with her there. I find her quite annoying,”
“She’s not annoying!” Trixie said, oddly defensive of the purple unicorn, “U-Uh…try a back-flip right now!”
“YOU HAVE TO! THIS IS TRIXIE’S LIFE AND SHE DOESN’T WANT IT TO BE RUINED!” The grey pony exclaimed and then took a deep breath, knowing that she didn’t want Twilight to hear her.
“I know what to do, I’m tired of hiding our situation, we need to tell her,” Octavia chided, stomping her blue hoof on the carpet for emphasis.
“N-NO!” The grey pony once again exclaimed, surprising Octavia.
“Why not Trixie? I mean really, WHY NOT? Do you like the stress we are going through? Do you like all this pressure? I certainly do not. I am going to tell her now if you do not have a legitimate reason I shouldn’t.”
If Twilight knows she confessed her feelings to me, she won’t be of any help...
Trixie opened her mouth, but no words came out as she watch the blue unicorn trot out of her bedroom. She followed her, unsure of what to think, unsure of how Twilight will react, unsure of how SHE HERSELF will react.
“Twilight, we need to talk,” Tavi said, sitting on Trixie’s couch in front of the purple unicorn. Trixie hopped up next to her, avoiding eye contact with the purple unicorn.
“W-What do you need Trixie?” The purple unicorn asked, slightly intimidated by the alarmist tone to Trixie’s voice.
Octavia was only worried about getting her own life back, while Trixie on the other hoof, had a much different dilemma she was facing. The way Twilight Sparkle reacts to this news, will determine whether they get can possibly their lives back or not.
Please message me any mistakes found in this chapter. My pre-readers have been busy, and this was only edited by me. Thanks, and sorry for the long wait!
“Ok, Twi, I need you follow me here, ok?” Trixie said, but in the purple unicorn’s eyes, it was Octavia who was speaking. Though the circumstances make telling Twilight Sparkle about their situation risky, she felt it was time to admit their situation to somepony. They couldn’t keep on hiding their secret when both of their performances are within 2 days, Trixie’s being the next day.
“Okay, I’m listening,” Twilight said, suspect by seeing Octavia speaking to her as if she was Trixie.
“So, Um…UGH! How is Trixie going to say this? Trixie will just cut to the chase…a few nights ago, me and Octavia wished to have each other’s lives, and unfortunately, the next day, IT CAME TRUE! A-and we were shocked, and didn’t know what to do, and please believe me, Trixie isn’t lying!” Trixie confessed her and Octavia’s eyes begging for the purple unicorn to believe her.
Twilight just laughed, “What? Really? You think you’re just going to fool me like that? I just met you, Octavia, but just so you know, somepony can’t get a lie past me THAT easily,”
Octavia and Trixie looked at each other in frustration, “Twi, Trixie is serious. I’m Trixie! I have been training with you the past two weeks until this happened! Uh, you may have thought Trixie was having an off day yesterday, that was Octavia, not Trixie!”
“Trixie is telling the truth,” Octavia added with a nod, though since Trixie usually referred to herself in third person, it confused the purple unicorn even more, “We don’t know how this happened, and you don’t even know how stressful this is for us…I mean... YOU HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO CLUE HOW HARD IT IS TO BE TRIXIE! I even considered myself up to the challenge when this first happened…b-but I just don’t know! We need your help!”
Twilight shook her head, not wanting to believe them, “No, No, No. That’s not even possible! How could you switch bodies, but keep your own thoughts and memories, all while still using the same brain? That just defies all science, even MAGIC! There’s just no way…”
“WE DON’T KNOW!” Octavia exclaimed, “We’re not lying, and we need your help, please help us, because I really don’t think I’m good enough at magic to even come close to impressing a crowd! Let alone some bookworm like you,”
Taking a slow look at the two ponies in front of her, Twilight Sparkle knew they were telling the truth. She knew when somepony was telling the truth or not, and it was evident that the ponies before her were truthful.
She took a second to recap the conversation she had with ‘Octavia’, where she admitted all of her feelings to Trixie, without even knowing.
The saddened expression on Twilight’s face provoked Trixie to speak up, “Please, Twilight, Trixie needs your help, w-we can talk about other stuff later,”
Twilight lifted her head to look at the grey Trixie, “W-why didn’t you stop me earlier? Why didn’t you just tell me then I-I…” The purple unicorn didn’t want to believe them. She didn’t want to believe that her feelings were now known by the pony she had held them for. She didn’t want to believe this was possible. However, she knew magic could do almost anything.
“What are you talking about?” The blue unicorn questioned, “What have you two not told me? In the situation that we are in, I feel I deserve to know,”
“It’s personal, Tavi,” The grey mare said, then shifted her attention to Twilight again, “We have nowhere else to go, Twilight…we need your help, your connections to the princesses, anything!”
No need to dwell on this now, I need to be strong. They need my help, I can’t think about me and Trixie right now, I just can’t… Twilight thought, regaining her composure before she lost it, for the time being.
“I think the princesses are the only ponies I can go to too help you two, in all of the books at my house, I don’t think none of the ones on clairvoyance even mention fully switching bodies while keeping memories and your own personalities and such. Some mention magic giving ponies the ability to see through each other’s eyes, but not being able to control what they do,”
“Should we go with?” Octavia asked, though Trixie shook her head.
“I’m going to assume that you two were here to practice magic and playing Octavia’s instrument, I mean, that’s what I think you two were going to do,”
“Yes, but that doesn’t matter if we can go with you and get our lives back!” Trixie exclaimed.
“Look Trixie, we need to work as much as we can just in case we can’t switch bodies before our performances. I think Twilight Sparkle should find the princesses and ask them about this. They’re thousands of years old; they must have seen this at some point in their lives. I still think it’d be better for us to study until Twilight finds out and decide what to do from there,” Octavia said, though she too didn’t exactly want to study.
The grey pony sighed loudly, knowing that Octavia was right, “Ok, Twi, go to the princesses and we’ll stay here and practice…more…”
Twilight nodded, “Okay, I just have to ask though. Please tell me you two aren’t messing me with me…”
Trixie, in her grey-coated body, answered first, “We swear to Celestia we aren’t, Twi,”
With one last saddened glance towards Trixie, Twilight galloped out of her home intending on going to the castle. That one single glance was enough to shake Trixie down to her soul.
Trixie doesn’t care what most ponies think about her. Trixie doesn’t care what happens to most ponies around her, excluding her friends and family. However, seeing Twilight so sad bothered her, knowing the reason for why she was sad. It was different for her to feel this way about somepony, and it made her sad to know she may just feel the same way about the purple unicorn. It also made her mad. Her parents as she was growing up were always against two ponies of the same gender being together. So much so, that it seemed quite ridiculous to Trixie how far they went to prevent couples of the same gender from being together. They didn’t attack anypony beyond just verbal insults, but it still bothered Trixie enough to make her feel regret simple feelings for the purple unicorn.
“Trixie, what did she tell you that made her nearly cry?” Octavia asked, as she pulled out her cello and set it up for Trixie to practice.
“Nothing, ‘Tavi” The earth pony chided, “Just between me and her, none of your business,”
“Well if she told it to you, thinking that it was me, I think I deserve to know what she said,” The blue Octavia persisted.
“’Tavi, it’s nothing, alright? I think she’d prefer for me not to tell you. Now, what is Trixie going to be learning on your big guitar thing?”
“We’re not learning anything until you tell me what she said,” Octavia put bluntly.
“Look, Trixie knows how you feel about this certain subject, and Trixie is glad Twilight told it to Trixie instead of you, even if she didn’t know it. It’s not even important right now. She could be fixing our whole situation for us right now,” Trixie changed her tone as an idea popped in her head, “We COULD decide not to work and take a break. Trixie needs a break, being you isn’t fun or easy…”
Octavia shook her head, even though the idea was tempting, “Trixie, we have a lot of work to do. We’ll have plenty of time to rest once the performances are over. The orchestra’s performance is tomorrow, and I am not going to let you ruin a single thing for me. I just want you to go out there, not do too terrible, then leave and we can find out how to fix this. I’m not going to let you take a break when there’s so much at stake. I can’t get kicked from the Princess’ royal orchestra. I’ve worked tirelessly all of my life to ascend to this position, so you’re going to have to do what you can to not ruin this for me,”
“Okay, okay. Just don’t bother me about the Twilight thing for now, okay?”
“Oh, thanks for reminding me, Trixie. What did she say?”
Trixie face-hooved, “Do you really want to know?”
“I feel entitled to since she was meaning to talk to me in the first place,” The blue unicorn responded simply.
The grey-coated Trixie sighed, “Well…You know that one thing you hate about your sister?”
“That she’s married to a mare?”
“Yeah…” Trixie responded with a frown.
“So Twilight is like Lyra? Wow, it’s like an epidemic,” Octavia said, shaking her head, “Wait, then why would she have wanted to tell me that?”
“Well, um…” Trixie had the choice to be truthful, or to be cool about what she said next.
“Twilight seems to have had a crush on me, the great and powerful Trixie, and Trixie thinks that she wanted to go to you to see how Trixie felt,”
“T-That’s just plain gross,” Octavia chided, “I guess she should feel lucky that she didn’t actually talk to me, I probably would have made her cry,”
Wow, even for Trixie’s standards, that would have been mean of Tavi to do
“Yeah!” Trixie falsely agreed, “Trixie thinks that it is gross that a mare has a crush on Trixie she should know that Trixie doesn’t swing that way,”
“Thank Celestia you don’t!” Octavia said with a chuckle, “When I heard Lyra was going to marry a mare, I almost passed out. I didn’t even attend their wedding. How can a couple of mares create a foal? Isn’t that the whole point of love, too make a foal to carry on your family? It’s absurd. She’s adamant that it’s real love, however, and I guess I cannot stop her”
“Do you two even talk anymore?”
Octavia thought for a second, “Not really, to be true. At least, not in person. We send letters every once in a while since she lives in Ponyville, but whenever we see each other in person, she doesn’t come with BonBon,”
“That’s who she is married too. I could swear I have told you before,”
“Trixie must have forgot. Trixie thinks it only makes sense to love a colt when you’re a mare, it’s just natural!” The grey Trixie said, not believing a single word that came from her own mouth.
“Exactly! Now, enough talking about that, here’s the cello, here’s the sheet music, it’s time for you to learn some Haytoo-“ Before Octavia could finish, A door behind Trixie opened to reveal a saddened Twilight Sparkle, who had clearly just heard the conversation they had.
Trixie jumped when she saw the unicorn, who seemed oddly neutral about what she had just heard.
I just made the worst mistake in my life Trixie immediately thought.
“Oh my-Twilight, why are you still here?” The grey pony said with a terrible poker face.
Twilight gave Trixie the most disappointed look that she had ever received from anypony. Not any of the reactions from the audience during a failed performance, could shake Trixie as much as the look that Twilight Sparkle gave her. Trixie was sick to her stomach.
“I stayed to make sure you two weren’t just trying to prank me, or just keep me out of your manes,” The earth pony said in a slightly saddened tone, “I guess I was right about the second part…”
Octavia stayed silent as the grey pony responded to Twilight, “Trixie is awfully sorry, Twilight, I-I,”
“Don’t, Trixie. Just don’t. I’m going to go the princesses, tell them about your situation, then you can forget about me, because I think it’s clear that I have wasted my time training you, and even more-so, training Octavia,” Twilight Sparkle was putting on a tough front to hide the heartbreak, from not only having her secret admitted minutes after her leaving, but made fun of and insulted.
“I’m sorry, Twilight,” Octavia finally said, “However I stand by my stance. I shouldn’t have been so crass about my views, though,”
“I’ll come back when I hear from the princesses,” The purple unicorn said, ignoring Octavia purposefully, “You two should probably get back to work,”
Twilight Sparkle then left, leaving Trixie feelings ashamed of herself. She wasn’t used to such a feeling and it hurt. There’s nothing more that Trixie would want than to go back in time 5 minutes and tell Octavia the truth.
Octavia however, was already over the dramatic return of the purple pony and was ready to continue on with their practicing, “Trixie, here’s my cello. Show me your stance, so I know you know it by heart now, because you’d look like a foal if you did the performance without even doing the stance right,” Octavia gave Trixie an odd look when she didn’t respond, “Trixie, are you alright?”
“Trixie just lost a good friend, what do you think?”
“Since when were you so normal? Usually you could care less about anypony else,” Octavia said with a chuckle, “However, I do feel sorry for being a little careless with my words. We can apologize to her later. Now, though, we practice,”
“Okay, what do I learn first?” Trixie asked begrudgingly, knowing the next few hours would be ruthless.
Practice was grueling for the two ponies. Each had such high expectations for each other that it almost brought upon an extra stress to their learning. I the first hour, Octavia finally was able to get Trixie to stand correctly. Since the performance where Trixie would be performing is was the best, Octavia made sure the grey pony knew what to do once she arrived at the practice hall where the whole orchestra would meet up with Bar Staff before they went to the town square to perform for the Princesses, amongst many other ponies. On the other hoof, Trixie taught Octavia how to focus with her magic to where she wouldn’t have to keep reading a spell over and over until she was able to perform the magic from it. The magician herself claimed this was imperative to pulling off the show in general. Since this was more of an acquired skill, it took Octavia the whole first hour before she was even decent at it.
Hour two started off badly. Octavia nearly hurt herself when trying to back-flip on a table. She was barely able to complete a regular back-flip, and they both admitted it was dumb for her to try so early anyway. However, Trixie was able to play a simplified version of the main orchestral piece that they would be playing the next day. Though she was a long way from playing the whole song in its original form, it was a pleasant surprise to Octavia who had almost had a mental breakdown due to Trixie’s infantile ability on the cello. Though the idea of them actually pulling this whole situation off without a hitch was clearly a long-shot, they were going to give it their all, despite the feeling of being doomed to fail that lingered while they practiced.
Hour three started and they decided to not take a break. Twilight Sparkle had not returned from her trip to the castle, and they started to worry that she may not come back. It was understandable for what they had said about her, but they didn’t like the idea. So, they started practicing again while keeping a lookout for the purple unicorn all the time. This was the hour that after many unsuccessful attempts, Octavia was finally able to spawn a table. It was weak, flimsy and the spell broke a few seconds after it was spawned, but it was a success, and heightened Trixie’s hopes on salvaging her own reputation if and when they returned. In order to keep focus, they ignored the possibility of them never returning to being each other again, because it was a frightening that neither of them wanted to discuss. After continued encouragement from a tiring Octavia, Trixie was able to play the first half of the song she was supposed to play. It was sloppy and out of time, but she didn’t sound like she was brutally slaughtering a pig anymore, and for that, the blue Octavia was thankful.
By hour four, which was 1pm for them, they were both exhausted, especially Octavia. Magic drains the energy of the pony that uses it and it had taken the Cellist to her breaking point. There was still no sign of Twilight Sparkle, and this bothered them both. They seemingly had ruined their chances of getting aid from the princesses by insulting the smart unicorn for no good reason. Trixie forced herself to pretend what had happened between her and Twilight wasn’t affecting her. To Trixie, she was too cool to have been bothered by the bookworm pony who had accidentally admitted to having feeling for her. Octavia however felt regret for treating the unicorn so badly when assuming she wasn’t listening. The musician considered herself too classy to stoop down to insulting somepony else for their choices. Like it or not, she had made the decision to insult her, and it’s clear that she wasn’t as nice and mature as she had once thought she was.
The ponies still found themselves proud of their accomplishments so far. Considering that they have had only a few days to learn a plethora of new abilities, it hadn’t turned out as bad as they expected. Octavia still found herself mesmerized by the ability to float things in mid-air without lifting a hoof. Spawning something in front of her was crazy for her to even comprehend. Later this day, they planned to practice teleporting. Exhausted and all, she was still looking forward to learning such an ability.
Trixie enjoyed that she now could play an instrument decently. She looked forward to including that ability in her future shows, if and when they returned. She could brag to everypony how multi-talented she was, and it would be perfect for her ego.
Though still nervous about their situation, they were excited to imagine the looks on ponies’ faces when they told this story, especially if they could be successful when they do each other’s performances. That was a matter of time though, and they couldn’t get too far ahead of themselves.
While they took a minute to rest and recover from the vigorous training they had done the past few hours, they heard the knocks on the door they had been waiting for. Thoughts races, but they didn’t come to any conclusions.
Trixie was closest to the door and opened it to reveal Twilight Sparkle, with an apathetic expression of her face.
“D-Did you find out, you know, if we can switch back…?” The grey mare asked tentatively, her own heart fluttering between the seconds it took for Twilight to answer.
“Yes I did, Trixie. In fact, Princess Luna told me that she recognized Octavia at a tea party yesterday, which I presume was you. She told me that she had cast the spell upon you and Octavia a few nights ago. Also, she had sent you both a letter that should have arrived this morning, I suggest you read them. Happy?”
“Yes, Twilight, Trixie is very thankful!” the grey pony said, while Octavia immediately started searching for the letter around her.
The purple unicorn turned around and started to leave. However, the grey pony stopped her with an awkward voice crack, from attempting to say something without any words coming out.
“T-trixie is awfully sorry about earlier, Twi…Trixie didn’t mean what she was saying, Trixie was just trying to be cool,” It didn’t hurt Trixie as much as she expected to say that, because she meant it.
The purple unicorn didn’t believe her and turned around and walked off without saying a thing.
No matter how Trixie wanted to, she knew she couldn’t go after the purple unicorn. Trixie finally found herself regretting her need to feel cool around everypony else, her need to be cooler than everypony else. It caused to her lie, and burn bridges between friends and special ponies like Twilight Sparkle.
Octavia had just found the letter that could change their whole situation, and had been waving in front of a spaced-out Trixie for several seconds, “I found the letter! Now, Should we go get your letter too, just to make sure they’re the same? I mean, what if they say we can’t return to being ourselves?”
“No, let’s read yours now,” The grey pony chided, “Open it,”
To either Octavia or Trixie,
It has come to my attention that my younger sister Luna has performed an ancient spell causing you both to have seemingly taken each other’s bodies overnight, just a few nights ago. It is unfortunate that she did this, for it is clearly not a Princess’ duty to play with the future two unsuspecting citizens on Equestria without your knowledge or my own. Fortunately, she recognized one of you at the tea party held just a few days ago, and confessed to me about the spell she had cast. Imagining myself in the same situation, I could imagine that you would gladly want to retrieve your old lives back and return to living them, and not each other’s. It is my understanding that Octavia has an orchestral performance tomorrow, and the next day would be the Great and Powerful Trixie’s performance. I’ll be expecting you two at the castle when you’re ready for me to reverse the spell. The spell only works overnight, so hopefully you arrive in time to have the effects revered by dawn tomorrow.
“Whoa,” The grey pony said first. She wasn’t expecting good news.
This letter put them in an awkward silence and neither of them wanted to say what they wanted too. After hours and hours of practice, and slowly but surely improving at being what they never would have expected to be able to do, the challenge to go through with each performance was tempting.
At first, they were frantic about the situation and only wanted to change back as soon as they possibly could. However, they have learned more about each other in the past few days as they ever had since becoming friends. Trixie pulled off a trip to a royal tea party, while Octavia was able to somehow convince Twilight Sparkle that she was Trixie, even though she was terrible at magic. The learned to be each other decently, which neither pony expected the other to be able to do. If they changed back…it would mean lots of hard work for nothing.
Half the stress was gone once they read the letter. The idea of being forever trapped in each other’s bodies was gone, and now they were faced with an option.
Should we go through with this anyway?
The grey pony brought it up first, “Trixie wants to propose something,”
Octavia nodded in return, knowing what her friend was going to say before she said it.
“What if, and stay with me here, Tavi, we did our shows anyway, then changed back?”
“Yes,” The cellist responded bluntly.
“So, you’re ok with this?”
“Yes, Trixie. I-I have found that being a unicorn is quite fun, though exhausting. I-I’ve worked harder than I ever had on the cello, and I feel that, if I didn’t go through with this, I would be burdened by the ‘what if’ factor…you know? What if I performed the concert successfully, in front of a crowd…”
“Trixie agrees. Trixie is actually making music come from something, it’s awesome! Trixie never would’ve thought of learning an instrument if this didn’t happen…”
“We should get back to training then,” Tavi said with a sigh.
“Yeah, Trixie wants to be the best cellist she can be, even if the Great and Powerful Trixie isn’t a Great and Powerful Cellist,”
The decision was made for the time being. The stress lifted off of their shoulders motivated them. It wasn’t where they’d do this, while hoping to someday have their problem solved, they had a sure fix now for when they felt it was time to switch back. So, with the rest of the day to train, they did what they could with their time. Octavia made Trixie remember what she would do the next day, which was the day of the orchestra’s performance. The blue unicorn couldn’t have Trixie going on stage looking idiotic, after all the time they spent with her just learning how to play her cello!
Now that they had made the choice to go through with everything, it was only a matter of hours before they’d know whether it was a mistake or not.
It was the day of Trixie’s performance with Octavia’s orchestra. Everything she had worked for the past few days was now going to be showcased to ponies that have no clue of the situation she was in. They had made the bold decision to go through with performing each other’s performances, which only made it more stressful. They had no excuse if they failed because they could have just switched back in time to return to each other’s bodies.
“Great, a sleepless night. Just what Trixie needs when she’s going to perform on the cello in front of a crowd in an ensemble…for the first time ever,” Ten seconds after waking up, the grey pony already psyched herself out, “Tavi…Tavi! Wake up! We should get ready,”
“I’m already up, Trixie,” The blue unicorn called from the bedroom where she slept. They walked to meet each other in the middle of the hallway. It was apparent that neither of them got a good amount of sleep during the night.
“We should get ready,” Trixie reiterated, “Trixie doesn’t want to mess anything up,”
“Well…you’ve put a lot of work into your playing these past few days. When the performance starts, just stay calm and you won’t stick out as much. Now go and eat some breakfast, I’ll pack my cello for you. Then we’ll go meet Bar Staff and everypony else. You’re the third performance today, after the band and choir,”
“Trixie knows that already,” The grey pony said with a huff, “Trixie is just nervous,” The grey pony went and grabbed some hay fries as Octavia continued.
“Of course you are, but that should go away when the time comes. You remember what the time signature is for every piece right?”
“Yes, yes. The first is 4/4 and the rest are 3/4. One, two, three, four…one, two, three, four…” Trixie recanted, showing that she remembered what her friend had taught her.
“Good…that was one part I didn’t expect you to understand,” Octavia said, using her magic to swiftly put the cello in its case, then zipping it shut.
“That part wasn’t even hard for the Great and Powerful Trixie to learn. It was the note name…A B C D E F G, then the sharps and flat. Why does music have to be so overly complicated, Tavi?” The earth pony questioned with a sigh.
“If music was simple, symphonies wouldn’t sound as extravagant and amazing. Complicated symphony require complicated structure although not all songs are challenging in respect to your skills,”
“Well, for Trixie they are,” The grey pony said, then took a bite out of a hay sandwich, “Trixie just hopes we didn’t make a mistake by not switching,”
“Don’t even think about it, Trixie. Don’t think negatively, or I will think negatively, then we’ll both have mental breakdowns and nothing will go right. I believe we can do this, though it may be challenging,”
“You better not mess up my performance tomorrow,” Trixie chided, “Will you watch my performance today or stay here and practice magic?”
“I couldn’t stay here, the anticipation of how you did would kill me, I guess I’ll bring a book with me to study some of the spells I am supposed to perform tomorrow. Oh Celestia, I’m now starting to feel quite nervous, why’d you have to say such mean things about Twilight? She could have helped me yesterday and today!”
Trixie was taken aback, “Whoa, Tavi, Trixie didn’t even mean what she said, it was just unlucky that she overheard us…” The grey pony said, oddly offended.
“I know, I know, sorry,” The blue unicorn said, “I just wish WE hadn’t have done that…that wasn’t very smart, It doesn’t matter that she’s a filly fooler.”
“Don’t call her that, that’s mean,” Trixie chided, surprising Octavia once more.
“Why are so defensive about her? I didn’t know somepony like you would care about what’s nice and what’s not.”
“Maybe it’s because she was my friend, Tavi, and she isn’t anymore because Trixie actually said some things she regrets,” Trixie felt her face redden in embarrassment just from admitting her own regret from the day before.
“Look, we have no time for this, Trixie. Let’s go. Being early is something I was known for anyway,” Octavia said, using her magic to roll her cello case towards the door. She was really starting to enjoy using magic in her daily life, everything just seemed much easier for her.
When constantly thinking about the upcoming events, things always seem to go much faster. Leaving Trixie’s home, the two reversed friends walked towards the practice building where the orchestra would meet. They would meet there, tune their instruments, then walk to the center of town where the performance would take place.
They would wait behind a curtain until the band and choir were finished, then enter the stage, in front of hundreds and hundreds of ponies. This was the same stage that Octavia, in her new unicorn body, would perform Trixie’s tricks upon.
They went over their plan carefully, considering that Trixie had a tendency to not pay as much attention she probably could due to her own cockiness. While on their way, they made sure that Trixie remembered the symphony order, which was something she had trouble remembering when practicing. The pieces she was supposed to play weren’t the most challenging in the library of symphonies her class could have chosen to play. This is the sole reason why Trixie has been able to learn them, whether they be slightly dumbed down to her level or not.
It was on oddly cold morning on their walk to the practice studio. They could see the mist forming with each breath, which is odd for this time of season. They arrived at the studio quickly and Octavia could see the nervousness in the grey pony’s eyes.
“Look,” Octavia said with a sigh, “We decided to not go to the Princesses to have our situation reversed and I was thinking that…well, it was my decision to let you stay as me, so if something goes wrong, well, I guess it’s okay.”
“Really?” Trixie questioned, cocking her head to side.
“Just try your best, okay?”
“Trixie will, Tavi…Trixie won’t let you down.”
Standing in front of the practice studio, the friends gave each other a hug before parting ways. Octavia reminded Trixie that the conductor’s name was Bar STAFF not Bar Graph and, with a chuckle, the grey pony entered Octavia’s practice area.
The blue unicorn sighed.
Whether that was a mistake or not, I’ll only know with time.
The first performance which was the band’s, was due to start in an hour. Bar Staff had told Octavia that the performances were earlier in the morning to prevent getting in the way of the mid-day shoppers who flock the town square and most likely would have just gotten in the way during a performance
So with the spell book she brought to study, Octavia trotted off in the short walk to the center of town where show would be played. There was a small group of ponies already there, mostly the fancier tier of ponies in Canterlot, who were probably there just for the orchestra. The spots where each pony would stand while playing their instrument was denoted by numbered markers. Octavia knew that Trixie would be told her number by Bar Staff before they head up onto the stage.
Octavia found a decent spot in the crowd, towards the middle, where she could see her whole orchestra and Trixie without a problem. The band, which was the first act of the day, was setting up first and was about to begin. With a natural rivalry with the band, Octavia would only less than enthusiastically study during their whole performance.
Not many ponies where there once Trixie arrived at the practice studio. Bar Staff was in the back prepping some of the other instruments for the performance. Windsong and Quaver were the only two other ponies that Trixie could spot in the first room. Trixie remembered them both because she had gotten along with them well at the tea party, even though Octavia had asked her not to converse with her ensemble members.
“Hello Octavia, early as ever, I see,” Bar Staff commented as he exited the back room with a bass that he was tuning, “You’re ready for today right?”
“Yes I am,” Trixie said, entering her ‘polite’ mode now that she was around such ponies.
“Hello Octavia, how are you?” Quaver asked, while tuning her violin, “Haven’t seen you since the tea party,”
“Oh, hello Quaver. Um, I was practicing for this concert with a friend, it’s all,”
“Let’s make sure we show the band how it’s really done,” Windsong added with a chuckle, “They surely haven’t a clue on how real music is played,” He said with a grin, while taking his bass out of a massive locker that he had it in.
“Windsong, you’re always so brash, no need to bring in a competition where there is none,” Quaver jested, “The band is first up anyway, I’m sure they won’t even see ours, or the choir’s performances,”
“I think the band wouldn’t even want to see our performance knowing how much better we are,” Trixie said, surprising the musician ponies in front of her, who weren’t used to such confident words coming from the grey pony.
“Octavia, you certainly have come out of a figurative shell recently!” Bar Staff commented as he dragged another bass from the back room in preparation for other students to arrive.
“Well, I guess it was just time I wasn’t such an outcast, I mean, I guess I was pretty boring and such.”
“Well that’s a sure thing,” Quaver added, her violin now in it’s case.
A few others arrived then and started unpacking their instruments and tuning them. Octavia had already done the tuning in the cello, so Trixie had nothing to worry about since she couldn’t tune a cello to save her own life.
Things went fast. She didn’t like it. Trixie compared it to her first performance in front of a crowd when she was a filly. She didn’t have the magical abilities to wow a crowd and she didn’t have the confidence to fool the crowd into believing her powers were better than they really were. Needless to say, her first performance was embarrassing. She felt the same tingle down her spine, the same subconscious doubting of herself and the same obviousness to what she was getting herself into. This could be one of the worst mistakes of her life, and she wouldn’t know until after the performance.
Get it together, Trixie. You know what ‘Tavi taught you. Don’t forget it.
“Is everypony here yet?” Bar Staff asked after waving his hoof wildly for attention, “Say not here if you’re not!”
The class laughed in response and once he realized what he said, Bar Staff joined in awkwardly.
“It appears that everyone is here. Ready, everypony?” After a mixture of nods and yes’s, he continued, “Just relax, we’ve played much bigger venues before, this is just a quick set in town square. I’ll meet everypony behind the stage, where you can fine-tune your instruments and prepare your music,”
It wasn’t a far walk from the practice studio to the center of town. The class walked together, everypony except Trixie calm and collected, because the idea of ruining her best friend’s life was something she couldn’t bear. It also felt odd to her to even care about such a thing considering how just the idea of caring about something, or somepony would have been a laughable idea to her a week before.
Twilight Sparkle changed me.
It didn’t make her feel better when she realized that she may never see the purple unicorn again. If there was anything she may regret more from this experience, if she ends up messing up on stage, is that she looses a good friend in the process, over something as trivial as the fact the purple unicorn had feelings for her.
Soon she was standing quietly behind the curtain, waiting the royal choir to finish their set in front of a crowd of several hundred ponies. The sound of the crowd made Trixie nervous, knowing they were much more posh than any pony she had performed for before switching bodied with Octavia.
...And then it was their turn. The violinists and viola players went to the front, the cellists in the middle and the bassists in the back. They were all under a wall that curved forward over them to project their sound more.
Bar Staff, without saying a word, instructed the class to lift their instruments and start playing.
Trixie made her bow slide slowly across the cello’s large strings, causing them to vibrate and make sound. Her technique was iffy, but it worked. She was able to stay in time with her orchestral teammates for the most part. She kept she eyes looking forward into the crowd of dozens of ponies and focused on not messing up. The nervousness gave her an icy feeling in her chest and time was going by slower than anything she had ever done before in her life.
One two three four, one two three four, one two three four, crescendo, rest rest, one, two, three, four, vibrato, two three four…
She paced herself in her mind, making sure to remember every single thing she had been taught by Octavia. The grey pony kept her expression clam, but she was mortified inside. Luckily, the hours of practice seemed to worked, from what she could tell so far.
She followed Bar Staff’s hoof movements, which swayed back and forth to keep the symphony in time, while using sudden movements to denote changes in tempo and sudden loud bursts in the piece they were performing. It was a fast piece, and the most challenging of the three they were to perform, though her ensemble members clearly could play it in their sleep.
The sun shone bright as it climbed over the distant mountains. It cast a warming glow over everything she could see, and it calmed her considerably.
One two three four, move hoof up, slide, one two three four
Her first mistake came halfway through the first piece, where she accidentaly played a note during a rest. Nopony noticed, and despite that anxious feeling in her chest, Trixie pressed on, knowing she needed to focus more.
She dismissed her mistake and pressed on. Unfortunately, she made a second mistake, a little more blaring, when the piece was within a minute of being over. Her hoof slipped off of the cello’s neck while playing a note, and caused a discordant ring for the second it took for her to recover.
That’s okay, Trixie, the piece is almost over!
Nopony had noticed from what Trixie had seen. Not even Bar Staff, who kept conducting the orchestra as usual, with no glances towards the grey pony to show disapproval for her mistake. However, she had no way of knowing whether he had actually noticed it.
The song then ended, and a light sound of clopping hooves came from the audience. The ponies with cellos next to her remained silent, and the grey pony felt that they had to have heard her mistakes. The whole ensemble lowered their instruments in unison, Trixie lucky enough not to miss the small cue by Bar Staff to do so.
During the short break in between their pieces, Trixie found herself eying the crowds for a certain lavender unicorn. Trixie didn’t like that even when her life is back to normal, she’ll have to mend her relationship with Twilight Sparkle. The grey pony didn’t know how to feel about Twilight’s feelings towards her, but all the grey unicorn knew is that she felt something back, and she may have just ruined a friendship, or even something more.
In unison, the orchestra raised their instruments again. The second piece was the easiest for Trixie, she even felt somewhat confident, and most of all, competent, when playing this song. It was a slow piece composed by Haythooven many, many years before.
Four flicks of his hooves and the symphony started. It caught the attention of the crowd quickly, because the intro was dark and mysterious.
Slowly slide the bow across the lowest string…
As the orchestra continued to play this piece, Trixie finally felt the revelation of how she was performing complicated pieces of music with other ponies. It was a sensation that she could not describe, especially with the crowd’s positive reaction. Her technique seemed more natural that her nerves started going away. The notes she played were stronger, and her timing was fairly decent for somepony who had no experience just four days before. Trixie was enthralled by this experience, and adrenaline took over for the rest of the piece.
No mistakes. Though her face was calm, her mind was ecstatic. It was a feeling she only could compare to her first successful performance as a showmare, when she was in Stalliongrad. The whole crowd had doubted her magical abilities, yet she soon proved them wrong with her story about the Ursa Major. Twilight was able to convince her to stop fabricating stories and encouraged her to use actual skill for performances in her next shows, but it was still amazing to her, barely older than a filly, to leave a crowd in awe. In some sense, she had done the same thing with Octavia’s ensemble members, and she hadn’t faked a thing.
Once again, the class lowered their instruments in unison, and Trixie didn’t miss a beat. She scanned the crowd again and finally saw Octavia. Even after so many days of having switched bodies with her friend, it still took Trixie a few seconds to comprehend that she was essentially looking at herself in the crowd.
She was glad to see the blue unicorn studying the spell-book. She would need to do well the next day.
I seriously doubt that Octavia will be able to do Trixie’s performance tomorrow…she doesn’t have the confidence, or well…ANYTHING besides mediocre magic skills that could amaze a crowd of gullible ponies!
Trixie sighed as she waited for Bar Staff’s next cue.
We’re going to have to practice….even more….after Trixie is finished here, oh Celestia…Trixie just doesn’t want tomorrow to ruin her career
Though she was having second thoughts about agreeing to go through with performing each other’s performances, Trixie promised herself to not be regretful over the decision, no matter what happened the next day. She just had to focus on her cello, do her best for Octavia, and focus on teaching her friend later.
Just then, Bar Staff cued everypony to lift their instruments. Trixie noticed just a second later than the rest of the ensemble and Bar Staff noticed. He glanced over at her with a blank expression on his face, and then swung his hooves back and forth to lead the ensemble into their third and final piece.
I can’t let my thoughts distract me!
The third piece was a serene and calming piece that showed off the talent of the of violin section. This piece, though not the hardest, took Trixie the longest to learn. She had to dumb down parts that were much too hard for her perform with her experience and basically just had to hope that she wouldn’t be caught dumbing it down.
The talent of the violin section was daunting to Trixie; she didn’t know how much work went into such performances and now that she did, she couldn’t comprehend the talent it took.
Her first mess up came quickly. Another time she should have rested instead of playing a note, and she got a glance from Bar Staff.
That’s okay, Trixie! Just keep focusing!
Octavia had stressed a time-signature change half-way through that could really throw her and the ensemble off if she forgot about it. Trixie’s friend had basically drilled it into her brain because it would be a disaster if she forgot about it.
The cellos played more of a background role in support of the violins and violas, a reason why the song wasn’t as challenging. Simply put, Trixie easily would have been doomed if Octavia had decided to play the violin instead of the cello.
Trixie found herself excited for the audience’s reaction to a part of the piece that was simply amazing. The violins and violas entered a wonderfully harmonious part while the cellos played the same part several octaves lower. It sent a chill down her spine.
The part came up and her heartbeat once again sped up. The vibrato of the higher section was perfect, entering the slow harmonic part. Trixie couldn’t fend off a smile, seeing the crowd’s faces light up once the part arrived, she even spotted the blue unicorn smiling from hearing the part in the audience. She was able to do this while playing her part as well as she possibly could. Her nerves were there, but they weren’t bothering her as much.
One two three four, one two three four, one two three four, TIME SIGNATURE CHANGE! One two three, one two three, one two three…
The grey pony breathed a sigh of relief once the time signature changed and she hadn’t messed it up. She kept her pitch as equal to her fellow cello played as even as she could. She didn’t have much memory in her hoof to remember where the exact note was, and a cello being fret-less made this harder. However, she considered herself decent at remembering where to place her hoof.
Suddenly, the piece was over. It took Trixie’s brain a few seconds to even register that it was over. It went so fast. After so many hours of training under such circumstances, after training for so long even though she had expected to fail miserably, the performance was over. Trixie was astonished. The grey pony soaked in the light applause she received from the crowd. She saw Octavia smiling towards her, which caused her to smile just from being proud of herself.
Bar Staff smiled at his ensemble, and then turned around, bowing in unison with his orchestra. The grey pony could barely hold back her urge to jump joyfully over her accomplishment. Each pony left their rows in a straight line, while carrying their instruments. Trixie was very used to being an earth pony.
“Trixie! Trixie! You did absolutely amazingly!” Octavia quickly corrected herself, once realizing that several of her classmates were around “I mean, Octavia! You did great! I didn’t even hear a mistake! I cannot believe you pulled it off, I’m ecstatic!”
“Oh, I’m just doing what I always do, Trixie,” Trixie said, notably awkward when saying her own name, “Just went up there, and you know, played my cello,” Trixie lost what she was saying in the middle of the sentence, but it didn’t matter since Bar Staff had called for everypony’s attention.
“Everypony, I need your attention for a little while, and then I’ll get out of your manes. In two days there will be a ceremony for everypony to attend. The mayor will be announcing everypony’s names from each act from today and tomorrow. I expect all to be in attendance. Nice job today,”
The groups split up, Octavia and Trixie quickly made their way out of the practice area. They started trotting on their way back, because they both knew that they didn’t have much time left to practice. Even with a whole day left, neither expected for it to be enough for Octavia to pull of her performance the next day.
“No time to celebrate, Trixie, we need to practice,” The blue unicorn said, “I hate to admit it, but tomorrow is scaring me beyond words!”
“What did you study in the book?”
“Teleportation, I memorized the spell,”
Trixie chuckled obnoxiously, “Yeah, right, you just began doing magic. Trixie may have been able to do something crazy today by playing a show with your class or whatever, but teleportation is hard for most unicorns,”
“Well, most unicorns don’t really practice it,” The blue unicorn persisted, “Which is why it would make my performance tomorrow better,”
“You don’t even know what it feels like to fail at teleportation spell. It hurts like hay and wouldn’t be worth it in front of a crowd, Tavi. UGH! Now Trixie knows you wasted your time studying a trick that you shouldn’t have been,”
“I’m going to do it, Trixie. I’ve worked so hard, and I only have one more day as a unicorn. I might as well go out with a bang,”
“Octavia, Trixie would let you if Trixie’s life didn’t depend on you doing good or not. If you fail, nopony would want to see my performances. Trixie would be the laughing-stalk of Equestria!”
“We’re going to at least try!” Octavia said, “I really want to be able to do this…”
“Alright, ‘Tavi. We will try for a little bit. But if you fail too much, we’re going to move on and forget about it, deal?”
Trixie couldn’t believe that she had just pulled off what she considered impossible. Though the pieces they were playing were the easiest in comparison to other pieces that Octavia knew, it was still an accomplishment. However, the time to relish in her accomplishment was short lived, and she had to teach her friend more magic skills for her performance tomorrow.
At first, it seemed like Octavia’s magic skills had relapsed, but she quickly remembered the skills she had learned in the past few days. The practicing was grueling for both of them. The blue unicorn may consider herself a fast learner, but this was a struggle. Nervousness affected her focus, and lack of confidence led her to believe she wouldn’t do well the next day.
However, they kept calm and pony’d on, and it eventually became apparent that her skills may just be able to wow a crowd the next day. Her first few teleportation attempts were unsuccessful, however, on her 4th and final try, she was able to transport three feet from where she was standing and it left Trixie in dismay.
The practicing felt like it’d go on forever. They had seemingly worked their flanks off day after day and it seemed like it would never end. They had the whole day to practice since the performance was in the morning. They took no breaks because it would be worth it in the long run.
Towards the end of the last day they could practice, Trixie drilled in the schedule of what Octavia was supposed to do on stage. She couldn’t forget it, because it was imperative for the show. The blue unicorn was able to spawn the table for the beginning of the show, along with some other abilities, but neither was sure about the teleportation trick. However, when Octavia practiced her whole performance from start to finish, she was able to perform the teleportation spell quite well.
Trixie sat on the ground and watched as Octavia finished what would be her performance the next day. The ending trick was the teleportation trick where she would disappear into thin air when the crowd was least expecting it. Octavia collapsed on the ground in the kitchen, where she had transported to, with a sigh. She was completely exhausted.
“Trixie has to say, that was surprising. You were able to do everything in the show…you even remembered how to do the backflip even though we hadn’t practiced that as much as we should have,”
“I need to rest! This magic thing is absolutely draining my energy, I just want this thing to be over…”
“We’re not done yet, ‘Tavi! You still need to work on your…your crowd interaction! You sounded weak and not confident; the crowd can’t be impressed if you don’t give them good expectations from the beginning,” The grey pony say while going through the book that her friend had studied, “You have to sound powerful that’s why you’re the great and powerful Trixie!”
“I-I’m just not good at that stuff! I hate talking to ponies, I probably couldn’t even talk to more than three ponies at a time without feeling uncomfortable before this happened before … maybe we should just switch back tonight so you can do your performance tomorrow?”
The idea was tempting, and Trixie definitely considered it, but she knew her answer, “Octavia, there’s no way Trixie could do that, Trixie doesn’t even know if she’ll still have her abilities if we switched back tonight…”
“D-Do we still have more to practice?” Octavia called, finally getting up from kitchen and walking into the living room.
“You know the answer already, ‘Tavi,”
Her friend had already successfully performed with her orchestra, and this brought upon more stress for Octavia. She had to perform well, be confident and slightly arrogant in front of a crowd of hundreds, while also knowing her friend had already been Octavia and succeeded.
After all the work, after all of the tiresome hours of studying magic, Octavia couldn’t bear the idea of ruining her friend’s career, after her friend had saved her own.
Once she woke up, there wasn’t much Octavia had to do to prepare. Trixie made her practice with the majestic hat and cape, just so she could get used to wearing them. Her teleportation trick was iffy but her backflip looked pretty good. She would call valunteers up from the crowd and make them stand on he stage and jump over them and make it look like she didn’t break a sweat. Octavia had the ability to jump far because of the many years of standing and playing her cello that had strengthened her hind legs. It was possible that she could jump farther than Trixie, so that trick was probably the one she could bank on to impress the crowd since she was best at that trick in particular.
What she had worked on a lot was her stage presence, and the ability to interest the crowd just by talking dramatically. Trixie knew this was imperative to a successful show, and it seemed after many frustrating hours, that Octavia could do that.
Trixie prepared her on how to react if she made a mistake. It wouldn’t be surprising at all to her if Octavia would make a mistake, and despite her own conscious, she promised to Octavia that she wouldn’t hate her forever if things went downhill in her performance.
They had woken up especially early to prepare themselves. Trixie was brushing the blue unicorn’s mane to look great for the performance, while Octavia levitated a book in front of herself to study the spells she would perform.
“Trixie knows you can do this, Tavi. Just be confident! Make sure the audience knows how good you are before a single trick! Intimidate them with your confidence, all while performing fantastic feats they wouldn’t believe you’d be able to do. Trixie hates to admit this, but the tricks they’re to think are impossible, are some of the easier tricks you can find in spell-books. This is why you’re actually able to do them,”
“If they’re the easy tricks, why have some of them taken you hours to master?” Octavia questioned, “I feel like you’re patronizing me,”
“To learn a trick and to master it are two different things, Tavi. Many times Trixie performed tricks that she had only learned, and did well, while other times I performed tricks that she mastered. Mastering a trick just makes them easier to perform I suppose,”
“You’re starting to speak in third person,” Octavia mentioned with a chuckle and she flipped the page in her book, “Which is good, because that should only be a stage thing anyway,”
“Why is that?” Trixie asked, while styling the blue unicorn’s mane to perfection, “Trixie likes speaking in third person,”
“Speaking in third person is just arrogant, and you’re not as arrogant as you used to be before this crazy switch happened,”
“I’m just as arrogant as ever, Tavi!” Trixie stated, “Trixie means, Trixie is just as arrogant as ever!”
“No, you’ve softened, just like I have gotten more confident,” The blue unicorn said with a smile, “I feel as if, when I’m back to being myself, I’ll be able to talk to my ensemble members and maybe even make a friend or two,”
“I’ve already done that for you,” Trixie said, once again noticing that she spoke in first person. She disregarded that and continued, “Trixie made friends with plenty of your ensemble ponies at the tea party. They’re not as snooty as I expected them to be. Quaver is hilarious! You and her will get along fine,”
“Really…? You made friends for me? That’s actually quite touching. And surprising! I thought you’d be too brash for their tasting,”
“Well I was being you, remember. Just a better you,”
In the kitchen of Trixie’s home, the two started up a large breakfast of mostly hay and rosebuds, something they mutually enjoyed. Trixie didn’t want her friend to be hungry during a performance.
“A better me, huh?” Octavia questioned while she prepared her meal. “Maybe better socially,”
“You say that like being social isn’t a big part of your life. I’m surprised that you even got into the Princesses’ orchestra being so quiet! Who even recommended you?”
“Well, I guess it will be now that I’m more confident abilities…and I was never told which pony recommended me, it’s kind of a mystery. I think it was my mom, she was also so proud of me and Lyra’s musical talents,”
“We should probably get going, the first performance starts in nearly thirty minutes,”
Octavia sat on Trixie’s couch anyway, “How many other ponies are performing?”
“Like five others are performing, but you’re the only magic act that Trixie knows of,” The grey pony trotted over the living room and sat next to Octavia, “So, do you think you can do this?”
Octavia ignored the rest of her rosebud sandwich to considered her friend’s question, “Well…I have no choice but to be ready, you know? I’ll do my best and see what happens,”
“Trixie thinks you can do it. We’ve practiced so much; I believe we could do anything if we put our minds to it,”
Octavia said to her grey-coated friend, “You’re oddly inspirational today, Trixie,” She said with a chuckle, “It’s helping too, I guess,”
The grey pony had put forth an effort to be confident for her friends, because she knew Octavia wouldn’t do too well if Trixie was a nervous wreck.
“Well…maybe, just maybe, I believe I’d be able to reform my career if you do terrible today,”
“That’s nice to hear,” Octavia chided, though letting her friend continue.
“No, let me continue. Trixie doesn’t want you to feel bad if you don’t do to well. The situation we’re in made it kind of impossible to do perfect, or even good, but If I was able to play an instrument with a top-class orchestra, you could do anything,”
“There you go talking in first person again,” Octavia mused, avoiding Trixie’s words of advice.
I can’t believe she thinks I could do well today…
Octavia tried not to let her nervousness get to her and dismissed her last though entirely. Confidence would get her places as long as she stuck to it. She’s gone by that mantra since she was a filly.
“Trixie just doesn’t want you to think that she’s holding you up to any standards. And Trixie’s sure there’ll be a much worse performance…Trixie was looking forward to this because she knew that she could do better than all the performers,” Trixie sighed, then continued, “Try your best and you should at least do better than somepony else, I promise you that,”
Both about to exit, Octavia sighed, “Okay, Trixie. I’ll try my best…I think I can do this, I know I can…I-I just need to not get stage fright,”
Now walking towards town square, it took them a few seconds for their eyes to adjust to bright light of the sun as is peeked over the distant mountains. This day was going to be warmer than the day before, unfortunately for Octavia.
She kept adjusting the tall hat she was wearing because it felt uncomfortable. However, she enjoyed the cape she was wearing.
In the somewhat short walk to the town square where a stage was set up, Octavia thought of a hundred different ways her performance could go wrong. She imagined the jeers from the crowd, the audience leaving in the middle of her mediocre performance, her own self running off the stage, crying.
Trixie caught on once she saw the petrified look in the blue unicorn’s eyes.
“Octavia! Calm down, it’s okay, did you even listen to me earlier?”
The blue unicorn sighed, “I’m just really nervous. “What if’s are really getting to me right now…”
“Look, it’s okay. It won’t be the end of the world…just do your best with what we have done, I’ll take the heat tomorrow for whatever happens, good or bad,”
“Are you sure? I…”
Trixie sighed, “Yes, Tavi. Don’t worry. Take a deep breath,” She waited until the blue unicorn did what she instructed her to do, then continued, “Just be as confident as you were with the cello…if you mess up, play it off, don’t be discouraged. Audiences, from Trixie’s experiences, respond better if you just play it off as if it was supposed to happen,”
“Okay…I will…I can! I can do this,” The blue unicorn said, “I will do this,” They both then turned the corner into town square where Trixie had performed yesterday.
The stage had already been set up with tall, red velvet curtains and a wooden stage ready for the day’s performances. The crowd was quite smaller than the crowd of the day before, since there were a lot less chairs set up for these performances. Octavia felt slightly better at that revelation though she still didn’t know who else would be performing, and if they’d be much better than her. Though she didn’t want to admit it, she couldn’t help but hope that they didn’t do well, which made herself feel quite awful. Spiting others to make herself look better was something she’d never expect herself to do. She took it back in order to avoid any bad karma.
Trixie, once again went over the plan for the blue unicorn. Her magical abilities were decent enough to where she could fool a crowd, but not good enough to completely stun them with some never before seen magical tricks. The grey pony was fine with this, because she knew Octavia had the potential to pull this whole show off.
They both walked up to behind the stage, as the other performers prepared their acts. Octavia gazed around her, getting used to where she was and calming herself down with optimistic thoughts. This was something she had done as a filly during her earliest performances.
“So, is there anything you want to go over before it’s your turn?” Trixie asked, looking around to see any sign of the first performance, “You can’t go up there and just completely forget a part of the act,”
Octavia understood this and went over the whole performance in her mind if it were to go perfectly. She visualized each step to a different part of the performance in order, and how she would transition between them smoothly and efficiently. Her performance would only take five-ten minutes at most, but it would be somewhat packed with tricks and displays of her so-called ‘talent’.
“I’ll do my best…do you think I should do the teleportation trick? I just don’t know if I can perform it while under such stress,”
“Trixie thinks you should go for it. You did it correctly enough times, Trixie thinks you can do it one more time,”
Octavia was moved by her friend’s effort into being a nice pony for once. She had expected Trixie to threaten to chastise her if she made a single mistake, considering that this would have been her first show ever in Canterlot. It was hard for Trixie to be optimistic when she was such a pessimistic pony at heart, but if she was able to her friends perform better by doing so, she knew it would be worth it in the end.
The first act was a singing act. The young mare who had gone up to the stage looked extremely frightened, but when she sang, everypony was taken aback by her talent. Though she wasn’t the best in Equestria, it would be hard for an experienced Octavia to be received better by the crowd with her magical skills. However, she promised herself that she wouldn’t wish anypony, before her act, to do bad.
Octavia always imagined that the time before her act would go fast, and she would be on the stage before she knew it. However, it was taking a long time and it was hard for her to stay confident. However, she felt an odd calmness as she waited, and watched the first pony return from a loud applause, crying tears of joy. She wanted to feel the same joy when her act was finished.
Octavia was going to perform fourth in the show. In a matter of minutes, she'll know if all the work she has put into the performance will pay off or not.
The applause for the act before Octavia’s was loud and went on for almost a minute. Whoever went before her must have done good. With a plethora of other performers, the blue unicorn waited with Trixie until they told her to go up on stage. The sun was out and it was quite warm, but wasn’t too hot to where it would bother her performance. The crowd was clearly willing to clop their hooves if a performance was at least decent, judging by the previous performances. The worst thing that could happen, in Octavia’s mind, was a crowd that thought her act wasn’t good and didn’t applaud her performance.
Octavia’s feelings were all over the place. One moment she was nervous, terrified and regretful, another moment she was confident in her abilities and ready. She tried to keep herself as calm as possible by repeating everything she would do in her head so she wouldn’t get stage fright and forget it.
It was going to take a few minutes to take off the props on the stage, that the performer before had used, giving the blue unicorn a few more minutes to calm herself down.
“Focus, Tavi. Trixie believes in you. Here let Trixie adjust your hat, you’re wearing it wrong,” The grey pony adjusted the hat, then continued, “You have all the spells memorized, right?”
“Yes,” Was Octavia’s only response.
“Do you have the order of the tricks memorized?”
“Do you remember how to speak confidently in order to get the crowd involved?”
“Yes, I’ll make sure I get them involved…do you think the ponies here are too posh to even be interested in a magic performance?”
“Well, Trixie thinks that because they cheered for the pony that covered the Sapphire Shores song, you’ll have no problem getting the crowd involved,
“But she was really good!” Octavia said, patting her hooves on the ground idly as she tried not to let her nervousness get to her.
“Octavia…just remember this. Nopony in the crowd is a performer. They won’t know if you’re not that good if you can play it off. You’re actually pretty good considering the time we’ve had. Trixie admits she is a little impressed by your ability to learn magic…”
Before Octavia could respond, she could hear the announcers address the crowd and notify them that she would be up next. Time wasn’t going slow anymore for Octavia.
“Good luck Tavi!” Trixie said, with a half-hearted smile, though her mind was racing like crazy.
In her hat and cape, Octavia climbed several steps and waited for the organizer to tell her when to walk through the curtains and onto the stage. There were several tall curtains, through which she would jump through and land on the stage, with fireworks blasting out from both sides. Then, she would walk onto the stage and her performance would begin.
She stood on a platform behind the stage, waiting for the tough-looking stallion with a headset on to give her the cue to enter the stage.
Octavia took a few deep breaths before her chance to perform. After all of the work they had done, after all of the challenges, she couldn’t let herself fail.
“Alright, you’re up,” The stallion said, snapping her back into reality.
She used her muzzle to push through the curtains until she jumped onto the stage, and faced a massive crowd. This time, however, she was alone on stage and had no more time to think about what she could do. It was time for her to execute.
Instantly, the world flew around her as she jumped backwards. She bent her back and focused and she performed the spell she had memorized. It was intense and for a faction of a second, she felt her heart flutter at the idea of landing flat on her flank and starting her performance with an embarrassing fail. However, . Her eyes widened as she realized she had performed her first trick successfully.
“Welcome everypony, to the Magnificent Trixie’s dazzling performance,” Octavia said loudly, and confidently, “Prepare to have your minds blown!”
Her own confidence surprised herself, and she went with it. The crowd surrounded the stage, and all eyes were on her.
She jumped off the table, landing with a thump on the wooden stage.
“Hello everypony!” She repeated, “Are you ready to be amazed?!”
She received a decent response of some cheers and the clopping of hooves. Octavia knew that she would have to earn the audience’s interest in her performance. Trixie had prepared her for that.
“Alright! Can I have three tall stallions out there?” She said, the audience looked around to see which ponies would be willing to come up on the stage.
“Just three, come on!” Octavia said with a chuckle, getting a little laughter from the crowd.
Once the three stallions, all around the same height, climbed up the short steps and onto the stage, Octavia had them lay head to hoof on the ground.
“Alright! So what are your names?”
“U-uh I’m Buckley,”
“Everypony, you’re about to witness, with no magic used, me jump over three full-sized stallions!” Octavia exclaimed, receiving another decent applause from the crowd.
Standing on the edge of the platform, which was about 5 feet off of the ground and about 20 feet from the stallions, the blue unicorn took a few deep breaths. She focused, she had practiced this trick with Trixie several times. She started running as fast as she could. With a forceful jump, she launched, and remained airborne for a few seconds. After that she landed easily beyond the third stallion, who had his eyes closed from fear. Octavia grinned as if it was easy for her to do and the crowd ate it up. She received louder applause from the crowd, and had somewhat gained their interest. When the scared stallion tried to get up, she motioned with her hoof for him to stay laying down.
Octavia looked out into the crowd. There were a mixture of Canterlot socialites and Ponyville ruffians So, she motioned a Ponyville mare that had an orange coat to come up on stage.
“Me?” The orange pony said, all the crowd’s eyes on her.
“Yeah, you!” The blue unicorn responded concisely.
The orange mare quickly hopped onto to the stage, and blushed in embarrassment from looking at the large crowd before her.
“And what is your name?” Octavia asked, still facing the crowd.
“C-Carrot top!” She replied with a sheepish smile.
While directing where Carrot Top should go, Octavia spoke to the crowd, “So you think that last jump was impressive? Just watch as I add a fourth pony!”
Once again, Octavia walked about 20 feet away from the row of ponies she was to jump over. She took a few deep breaths.
So far, so good…don’t mess this up.
Running faster than she did the first time, her hooves clopping loudly on wooden stage as she ran, she leapt into the air. The seconds seemed extended as she was in midair, and with a loud thump, she landed again, barely missing the last pony. The crowd gasped, then cheered a little louder once she landed safely. Oddly enough, the stallion at the end had been crying in fear. Octavia wasn’t one to judge, but she found it quite funny.
Oh my Celestia, I haven’t failed yet!
She quickly scanned the crowd for any signs of Trixie. The blue unicorn hadn’t expected Trixie to watch, just because this performance will have a major impact on her career, and she thought that Trixie would be scared. However, while preparing for her next trick, she spotted a certain lavender colored unicorn in the crowd. Twilight Sparkle quickly averted her sight to avoid eye contact and slowly exited the crowd. Octavia was surprised, and felt a pang of sadness for how she had treated her. She didn’t have time to focus on that, however, so she addressed the crowd once more.
“Are you having a good time, Canterlot?” She exclaimed, replying once their cheering and clopping of hooves died down, “It’s only going to get better from here! Too bad I don’t have time to do more tricks today,” Octavia lied, she couldn’t be happier that she had already performed several tricks successfully.
A box was brought upon the stag by a burly stallion that stood by to assist the performers when they needed it. The box was big enough for her fit in. Though Trixie wasn’t sure whether Octavia could perform this trick or not, the blue unicorn was determined to do it, even in front a massive crowd.
“Can I have a volunteer that can perform a simple fire spell?” Octavia asked, once she realized the volunteers from earlier had returned to their spots in the audience.
Octavia gazed across the crowd, her heart beat fastening. She could feel it thumping in her chest as she contemplated whether or not she should do the trick she was about to do next.
“I can do it!” Octavia hears somepony yell.
The blue unicorn turned her head to see Derpy Hooves in the back of the crowd waving her hooves at her, “No Derpy, you’re not unicorn remember?”
Octavia knew Derpy, but Trixie didn’t, so the wall-eyed Pegasus was confused that the blue unicorn even knew her name, but realizing she wasn’t a unicorn she decided to sit back down. Soon, a white-coated unicorn with a light-blue mane made her way on the stage.
“So, what’s your name?”
“It’s Skye,” The mare said with a soft voice.
“Are you able to do a simple fire spell on this box?” Octavia asked.
Octavia turned her head and spoke to the crowd, “How about with ME in it?”
The crowd gasped collectively, Skye looking around a little nervously, “I-I guess, I don’t know, I wouldn’t want to hurt you…”
“Oh don’t worry!” Octavia said, though with a nervous quiver in her voice.
Octavia had the mare turn around so she could tell her the details of the spell and how Skye would have to perform it without completely endangering Octavia. The blue unicorn could only tell her once, so the crowd wouldn’t have to wait long.
After Skye gave her a nod to show that she had understood the instructions clearly, Octavia once again faced the crowd, “Watch in AWE as the Great and Powerful Oct- I mean- Trixie disappears right before your very own eyes!”
Horsefeathers! I said my real name!
Octavia climbed into the box and closed it to where she was completely inside and it was almost pitch black. She prepared the spell in her mind and needed to focus on it for it to work when she needed it to.
She waited for the white coated mare to count down from five to signify when she was going to set the box on fire.
Every second seemed like an eternity. This would be her final trick if they didn’t work a little faster.
The ‘what if’s’ started sinking in. What if I don’t do this correctly? What if I injure Trixie’s body? What if…
Instantly she could feel the warmth near her flank as a tiny fire started slowly spreading over the box. The crowd mumbled mixtures of worry and excitement as they waited to see Octavia somehow survive this trick.
She mustered up all of her resolve, a glow from her horn lighting up the heated box. Every second she waited felt like an eternity, her horn growing brighter and brighter. With one forceful push, she finally was able to use the trick and teleported out of the box into the middle of the crowd. On her side. Her mane singed from the force of the spell and her hat fell off. Only a few ponies around her noticed and were shocked to see her there.
She couldn’t have felt more relieved that her trick went successfully. Her awkward appearance didn’t stop the crowd from cheering around her as she got up. She wiped her light blue mane with her hoof and put on her hat. She quickly trotted back onto the stage, right as the box fell apart from the fire in front of the whole gathering of ponies. Quickly, the firefighting ponies put the flame out and Octavia prepared for her next trick. Her last trick.
As the crowd cheered in amazement and surprise, Octavia found herself trying to remember what the last trick was. She searched the inner depths of her mind, and as she stood on a stage in front of a large group of ponies, but she couldn’t remember. She tried to keep calm, though she was shaky from her previous feat.
“U-uh…” She started, though beads of sweat dripping down her forehead had obstructed her vision, so she rubbed her eye with her hoof, “T-That’s all of today!” The blue unicorn exclaimed suddenly, nervously adjusting her massive hat, “Trixie will be performing many other performances across Equestria, and they’ll surely be better than this one!”
Oddly enough, she still received a large applause though it would be obvious to even the dumbest pony that she had forgotten her last trick. She trotted off the stage as if nothing happened and was met with the confused facial expression of Trixie waiting for her.
The immediate relief of her ordeal being over was very worth whatever chastisement she would receive from Trixie for such a mediocre performance. Hours and hours of practice, spells that seemed impossible to learn, being in front of a whole crowd with her cello, and it was finally over.
“Wow, Octavia, you did better than I expected!” Were the first words from the grey earth pony’s mouth, “I can’t believe you got the crowd to cheer for you!”
Octavia was met with the embrace of her longtime friend, which felt even more relieving to her. She held on to the hug as much as she could, because they didn’t have much time to wait.
“I-I-I can’t believe I was able to do that!” Octavia said, “I-I’m sorry about forgetting the last trick…”
“That’s okay!” Trixie responded quickly, “The crowd cheered! Trixie can’t believe you did this! You saved Trixie!”
“You saved me too!” Octavia mused, finally letting go the embrace.
As the next pony went up on stage and the crowd prepared for the next act, Octavia and Trixie knew what to do. It was time for them to go to the castle and have their spell reversed.
“Let’s go. Let’s get this done and over with. Trixie has a lot to do once she’s back in her own body,” Trixie said, with a grimace.
“Octavia agrees,” Octavia said with a smile.
Exiting the center of town they galloped quickly, eager to return to being themselves, eager to get their old lives back. They passed ponies quickly, with little regard to stopping to do anything else.
Trixie had performed with Equestria’s most prestigious orchestra and had somehow performed each song successfully, with a minimal amount of mistakes. Trixie had never considered herself a musician, she didn’t even have a good singing voice, yet she somehow did what anypony else would consider impossible.
Octavia performed a magic show in front of hundreds of Canterlot socialites and many ponies from all across Equestria. Despite a few mistakes, she was able to end the show with the crowd cheering, a cheer she’d never forget.
As they approached the large, breath-taking castle, there was a bittersweet moment between the two.
“You know what, Trixie?” Octavia said as they trotted through the row of ivory pillars that led to the entrance of the castle.
“W-when this is over and we’re back to normal…I’m not going to have my magical skills, yet you’re going to keep your ability to play the cello…”
Trixie felt saddened at this realization, knowing how much her friend had worked on her magical abilities, “Well, Tavi, I guess that’s just how things are going to have to go…”
“Yeah…” The blue unicorn replied, lifting her hat off of her head with magic as if to enjoy the remaining time she had left.
“Maybe you could be my assistant when I perform in Canterlot?” The grey pony brought up with a smile, “You could help me address the crowd and help me perform harder tricks,”
“I’d like that,” Octavia said with a smile.
Once they approached the two guards standing in from the entrance, they stood still and waited for the two stallions to address them. They just stood there, seemingly ignoring the two mares, so Trixie addressed them first, “Hi..um, I am Trixie and we were requested by the Princesses to reverse a spell that Princess Luna had cast upon us,”
Without a word, the stallions moved to their sides to let the two walk in. It revealed a marvelous inside of the castle, where in the distance they could spot Princess Celestia and Princess Luna walking towards them from a stained-glass windowed hallway.
Both of their eyes widened in amazement. Even for Octavia who had met the Princess several times before. To be in their presence was special for the two.
“Hello!” Princess Celestia greeted the two bowing mares before her, “You two must be Octavia and Trixie,”
“We are sorry we hath performed such a spell on thee,” Luna added, “I had only good intentions,”
“It’s... okay,” The blue Unicorn said, finding it odd that she just told a Princess that her actions were okay, as if Luna needed her approval of them, “We’re just ready to return to our normal lives…”
Before they could say anything else, a bright glow from Luna’s horn burst and then ended in a matter of seconds, “By dawn you two shall have returned to thy original bodies,”
And that was it. Their troubles were going to be over once they could get to their homes and wait for the day to end to fall asleep. After all of the stress and tests of their own perseverance, they had somehow survived being each other and were ready to return to being themselves. Octavia and Trixie would have to attend an award ceremony the next day where they would receive some sort of prize for their performances over the past few days.
However, they just wanted to go to sleep and let their lives finally return to normal.
Octavia kept her eyes closed when she finally woke up. She didn’t want to look, she was so used to having a blue coat and light-blue mane and tail that she didn’t believe Luna’s spell from the day before could have worked. However, the familiar scent of her own room coaxed her eyes to open to see her ceiling. She slowly moved her hoof over her chest, gulped, and rapidly moved it in front of her face. To her immediate relief, they were grey.
The grey pony jumped out of her bed in excitement, prancing around ecstatically.
“I’m finally back to being myself!” She repeated over and over, which was even odd for herself, considering she had always been one to hold in her feelings inside instead of expressing them.
She saw a brush, and automatically tried to lift it using magic. Her heart sank once she realized she wasn’t a unicorn anymore. It was a very bittersweet moment, but the fact she was back to being herself made her feel much better. Octavia picked up the brush and slid it down her mane making it was nice and smooth as she always had done. She quickly made her bed and picked up what Trixie had left behind in her laziness, to make her room look generally clean again.
“I missed you, couch!” Octavia said with glee, “And you too, cello! MY cello!”
She instinctively cleaned everything she could in sight to bring it back up to her standards. She put on her bow on, something Trixie had forgotten to do the whole time they had switched bodies, and put on the slightest amount of makeup in preparation for the award ceremony, where she would be told what pony had recommended her to be in the Princesses’ royal Orchestra.
Octavia didn’t have a clue what pony could have recommended her, she didn’t know that many ponies to begin with, so she was excited to find out who could have done it, so she could thank whoever it could be. The only way anypony could get into the Orchestra is if somepony had sent out a recommendation letter for the pony who wanted to join it. Trixie couldn’t have been the pony to do it because they met after Octavia joined the Orchestra.
“If I could only see the look on Trixie’s face right now!” The grey earth pony said with a grin, “She’s probably going crazy with her magic!”
Once Trixie would arrive, they would go to the awards ceremony together, so as she waited, Octavia reminisced on the past few days. They had been the most stressful, frustrating challenging days she had ever gone through. A smile spread across her face as she remembered her successful performance the day before. She once again had to check her hooves to make sure she was truly back to her normal self. Octavia sighed and relaxed just a little bit and enjoyed the few minutes before her friend arrived.
“Trixie is not a very clean pony…” She remarked to herself, with a chuckle, “She needs to make haste so we can go soon!”
Octavia couldn’t go more than a few minutes without looking at herself to make sure she was still herself. It was almost surreal that the past events had actually happened in the first place.
Then the loud knocks resounded at the door that she had been waiting for. The grey pony hopped out of her couch jubilantly and opened the door to reveal her blue unicorn friend with a wide grin on her face.
“You’re not me anymore!” Octavia said with a laugh.
“And you’re not Trixie anymore!”
The two friends embraced each other, as if they needed more assurance that things had returned to normal.
“I honestly can’t even believe we were able to pull that off…I mean, you played a cello with my orchestra! That’s just amazing!”
“Yeah, Trixie is pretty amazing…OH, and yeah, you performing magic in front a whole crowd was pretty amazing too, Tavi!”
Closing the door behind her, the two friends started their trot to the center of town to receive their awards. It took a few minutes for the two to get used to seeing each other instead of themselves. They were back in their own bodies, yet it was very weird for the two and they needed time to get used to it.
“Is it weird that I miss having your mane?” Octavia asked with a smile.
“No. It’d be weird if you didn’t,” Trixie responded sharply causing them both to laugh.
They rounded the same corner that they had many times before to reach the same stage on which other ponies had already been. Different performers were currently on the stage where they were accepting their awards, in front of a crowd that was most likely family and friends. When they arrived, they stood at the back of the rows of seats as they scanned for the groups of ponies they would go with onto the stage to receive their awards. Octavia was to go with her ensemble and Trixie was to go with the other performers of the day before.
“So, you see your class yet?” Trixie asked, right as she noticed the group she was to go up with standing near the crowd.
“Yes. They’re behind the stage with Bar Staff. Or should I say Bar GRAPH!”
Trixie poked her friend in her side playfully, “Hey! Trixie still did good being you, you have to admit. Anypony else would have been terrible!”
“Yeah, hehe, I see your point. See you after the ceremony!”
The two friends then split up, Octavia walking over to her group behind the stage, quietly as she always had been. She stood behind the group, who were chatting amongst each other and waited for their turn to go upon the stage. However, something different happened as she stood behind her ensemble members.
“Hello Octavia! How are you today?” Quaver questioned once she noticed the grey mare standing behind them.
“Yeah, what’s going on, Octavia?” Another pony added.
They’re talking to me? Why?
“Oh…hi,” She responded shyly.
“Come on, get in the group with us! We were just discussing the plethora of music we have to learn for this upcoming concert in Baltimare, we’d value your input on it!”
They care about what I have to say…?
Octavia felt overwhelmed. She had never expected to make friends in her ensemble, and suddenly they didn’t just know her name, she was accepted, and it was a wonderful feeling for her.
“Oh, I guess that would be nice,” Octavia replied with a sheepish smile, “That’d be really nice,”
Amongst the other performers from the day before, Trixie started walking up the steps behind the other ponies. They walked up onto the wooden stage greeted by the light applause from the crowd of ponies. They lined up in two lines of four, and Trixie was in the back. The mayor of Canterlot, an elder blue stallion named Ron Stall, did the announcements for each performer. He started down from the first pony in the lane in front of Trixie.
“A-and out first performer, a wonderful singer named Vibrato! Give her a round of applause!” The wavy-maned mayor said.
In the crowd Trixie could hear the mare’s family cheering in delight. For the next few ponies, it seemed there were always somepony cheering for them from family or not, the rest of the crowd just went with a light applause.
I have no friends or family to cheer for me
Though the blue unicorn understood that she probably was being selfish by expecting somepony in the crowd to cheer for her as if she were their best friend, the idea of nopony being in the crowd to cheer for her suddenly made her unusually saddened. The next pony was announced, a juggling pony from Stalliongrad, and received applause from what was his wife and fillies. The mare after him, another singer from Manehatten received applause from her Coltfriend and other friends.
Trixie’s eyes widened in the last few seconds before her name was called.
“Over here, we have the G-great and Powerful Trixie, who won over the crowd with magical abilities!”
There was a moderate applause in reaction as Trixie gazed across the audience, though no particular excited cheers just for her at first. However, as she looked towards the left side of the audience, she could hear somepony cheering for her. It was a voice she recognized, but couldn’t place, though it had quickly relieved her fear of having nopony there cheering for her.
Who could that be?
She scanned more as the mayor moved on to the stallion beside her. As Trixie’s eyes moved and meticulously went through what seemed like an endless amount of ponies, a lavender blur caught her attention.
Trixie’s heart skipped a beat as she locked eyes with Twilight Sparkle, who was in the midst of the crowd. Twilight gave her a tiny smile, sending chills down the blue unicorn’s back.
Suddenly, Trixie didn’t care about her award, Trixie didn’t care that she was on the stage in front a massive crowd, she only cared about Twilight Sparkle making sure they made up.
The blue unicorn looked to her right and left. There were still a few ponies to be announced. However, Trixie didn’t care. Without the Mayor even noticing, Trixie walked back through the curtains. She walked down the steps until she was behind the stage. She knew what she wanted to do and nothing was going to stop her.
She walked around the stage and to the crowd. Trixie quickly found Twilight in her eyesight and started walking through the crowd straight towards her.
Once she was face to face with the lavender Unicorn, she found herself at a loss for words. She didn’t know what she was going to say to Twilight Sparkle. She hadn’t been so nervous since playing with Octavia’s orchestra.
“Hello, Trixie…” Twilight Sparkle said.
Just the fact that Twilight Sparkle was even there made Trixie elated and it showed through her blundering speech and awkward smiles, which was quite the opposite of her usual arrogant self.
“Trixie’s…I…I’m glad you’re her, Twi,” The blue unicorn admitted, still facing the lavender pony while trying to avoid bumping into anypony else, “I-I’m so sorry for…you know…”
Twilight though for a second, but she knew her answer, “It’s alright. You’re forgiven…I-I-I can’t blame you for feeling the way you feel…I guess…I guess I’m just going through a phase…I still would like to be friends,”
At that, Trixie surprised Twilight with a loving embrace, which Twilight was only very happy to return.
After the hug, Trixie, face reddened from nervousness, asked Twilight a question.
“Twilight, would you like to go and get something to eat...?”
Behind the rest of her classmates, Bar Staff led his ensemble onto the stage where he would announce their names and other facts about each ensemble member. She was on the far end of the front row and glanced through the through the crowd to see anypony she knew. She immediately noticed Trixie talking with Twilight Sparkle, and watched as they left the crowd.
Hmmm, I guess they’re friends again…
Octavia didn’t let her thoughts go out of control and quickly noticed her turquoise sister Lyra sitting by herself in the crowd. She gave Lyra a forced smile, as Bar Staff started announcing the names of each member.
Why is Lyra even here? That BonBon must be doing something else… Octavia chided in her thoughts about her sister’s relationship.
Each pony announced was met by a respectful applause as the stallion read off their names.
“H-here I have our lead Violinist and Viola player, Quaver. She was recommended to this orchestra by her best friend Alula,”
Judging by Quaver’s reaction, she had never known that it was her friend who had recommended for her to be in the orchestra. This reminded Octavia that she had never found out who had recommended her either.
I wonder who it could have been…
Octavia hadn’t had told many ponies about her aspirations to be in the Princesses’ royal orchestra. She hadn’t talked to many ponies at all because of how much she focuses on learning instead of being social. She had no idea who could have done this for her, but Octavia wanted to know so she could thank them for making her dream true.
There was an odd, anxious feeling that Octavia felt as she waited for Bar Staff to announce her name. The day was heating up as the sun crept above the distant mountains and clouds to signify that it was later in the morning that she had thought. She scanned the crowd as she waited, all of the happy ponies and family members of other ponies made her slightly regretful that she hadn’t put more time into making more friends. She made a promise to herself to go out and converse with other ponies more often instead of being so antisocial from her dedication to her cello.
“Over here is our lead-cellist Octavia,” The stallion said to the crowd, causing Octavia’s heart to skip a beat.
Here it comes!
“She was recommended for the Orchestra by her sister Lyra,”
The grey pony’s jaw dropped as Bar Staff’s words repeated in her head.
Octavia saw the embarrassment on Lyra’s face as the crowd finished its applause for her. The grey pony felt like crying and tears welling up behind her eyes only threatened to make that come true. She couldn’t believe Lyra had done this for her.
Lyra…my only sister recommended me to be in this orchestra?
Instantly, her thoughts regressed to her recent past with her sister. They had barely spoken since she refused to go to wedding with BonBon. Every time they had spoken in person, she had never come with BonBon. Just to talk to Octavia, her own sister, she had BonBon not go with her in respect to Octavia’s views on her their marriage. Seeing it from Lyra’s perspective, Octavia was sickened by her own bigoted attitude towards her own sister’s choices.
Octavia felt disgusted with herself. She could remember when she and Lyra were fillies, Lyra had wanted to join the orchestra. She had worked her whole teenage years to join to the orchestra, just to be rejected because they already had a Lyre playing section.
I can’t believe I’ve treated her so badly…
Even though Lyra had failed to make it into the orchestra, she still recommended that her sister join it.
Lyra recommended me even after I had told her I wouldn’t go to her wedding…I can’t imagine how she felt when I was accepted…
A tear streamed down Octavia’s cheeks as thought about how awful she had been to her sister in recent years, and how insulting she had been to her sister’s wife the past year.
The ceremony for her class had just finished. The crowd had finished cheering and they were exiting the stage through the layers of tall velvet curtains to where they would receive their award certificates. Behind Quaver, Octavia walked down the steps, but went in a different direction than the rest over her class.
“Octavia, where are you going?” Bar Staff asked, causing her to stop in her steps.
“I’ll return later. I need to do something right now,”
Ignoring the questions being asked, she left her ensemble behind her to find the crowd and more importantly, find her sister.
The grey pony found Lyra quickly, though the teal mare hadn’t noticed her yet. She edged through the crowd off ponies until she approached her sister from behind, her heart beating her heart urging her to apologize.
“L-Lyra…” She stammered, voice cracking a little.
The teal mare turned around to face her sister, but before she could respond, Lyra was met with a tight loving hug from her older sister, “H-Hi Octavia…”
“Where’s BonBon?” Octavia asked, Lyra backing away from the hug, slightly surprised.
“She’s not here…I tell her not to come with me when I go to see you…because you don’t like that….you know…” It was right then when Lyra noticed that her sister was crying, “What’s wrong?”
“Me…everything I’ve said…everything I’ve done to avoid you and BonBon…and yet you still recommended me for this orchestra…I didn’t even deserve it…”
“Octavia, you deserved everything…I couldn’t let you not get into the orchestra,”
“I’m sorry, Lyra,” The grey pony confessed, hanging her head low, “I’ve said some rude things before, I really regret…everything I-I-I really wish I could have gone to your wedding, instead of being so…so hateful,”
Lyra smiled, “You don’t know how good it makes me feel to hear you say this…Octavia, I wish you were at my wedding too…but I really just missed having my sister in my life…”
A tear streamed down Lyra’s cheek as they embraced each other again, “I promise I’ll be in your life from now on, Lyra…I’ll never treat you differently for being with BonBon...I never should have in the first place…I really wish I could have changed sooner,”
It was a defining moment in Octavia’s life. To finally make amends with her sister and accept her for all of the things she had condemned her for. Maybe it took the realization of all that her sister had done for her, but Octavia felt much better being able to talk to her sister without judging her.
“It’s okay, Tavi…I’m just glad we can talk again…You don’t have to worry about me and BonBon flaunting our relationship around you or anything, we won’t do anything that could make you uncomfortable, I would just like for my wife and sister to get along…you know?”
“Don’t change anything, Lyra,”
“Hmm?” The teal mare responded with her head cocked to the side.
“Don’t act differently around me…I-If I am going to get over this , you and BonBon shouldn’t change anything…I do have one question though, and I really need for you to answer me truthfully,”
“Okay,” Lyra responded.
“Do you really and I mean REALLY love her?”
Instead off responding sarcastically like Octavia expected, the teal mare responded concisely, “Yes. It’s not a phase, it’s not me trying to rebel against the family…I love her, Octavia, and I really really am sorry...”
“Okay. I just needed to know,” The grey mare said, “I really am sorry for everything…I can’t imagine how BonBon feels, I bet she hates me,”
“Well…yeah, but maybe we could change that now?”
“I’d love too,”
Without even caring that she would be ditching her ensemble, Octavia and Lyra exited the crowd, immediately catching up and talking about their lives since they had stopped visiting each other. It was a breath of fresh air for Octavia, to not care about such a simple fact that her sister was married to mare. It made them both happier to know it didn’t bother her. It made them both closer as sisters and revived a friendship they hadn’t had since they were little fillies.
Octavia and Trixie had been two completely different ponies before their body-switching debacle. They had been narrow minded and set in their ways, with no motivation to change or improve themselves. They came out of their situation with new talents, new friends, new perspectives, and new outlook on their lives.
Sometimes, all it takes is just a change of venue to change your life forever.