"I'm not talking until you get me a lawyer," Rainbow Dash said stubbornly.
"I told you we're working on it," the interrogator explained.
"If you can't supply me with a lawyer, you can't prosecute me and you'll have to let me go," Rainbow Dash said simply.
"We'll find you one, don't worry."
Again, on cue the door burst open. In the door was a pink pony in a suit and tie. The party pony was actually wearing serious formal attire. It was so different from her usual attire and attitude, it was nearly as funny to see as her jokes were regularly.
"Pinkie? What are you doing here?" Rainbow Dash exclaimed.
"I'm here to act as your lawyer," Pinkie said. "I spent all night memorizing Equestrian and Cloudsdale law. I'll have this all cleared up in no time."
"Are you even certified?" the interrogator asked. "I'm not losing this case because I let an untrained lawyer in here."
"Dashie, how many times have you been interrogated?" Pinkie asked.
"What does that have to do with anything?" Rainbow Dash asked.
"According to Cloudsdale law, if a suspect is interrogated more than two times without a lawyer present, that is grounds for automatic case dismissal. Chapter 14, section 97, subsection R, line six, of the Cloudsdale law book, A.B. 997 edition."
"Miss Dash, will she represent you?" the interrogator asked.
"Yeah," Rainbow Dash replied. “I think she knows her stuff.”
"I ask that you leave. According to Equestrian law, I am allowed thirty minutes with my client upon arrival, in private," Pinkie said. "Also I ask you refer to my client by her name, Miss Qnak. Rainbow Dash is her first and middle name." Reluctantly, the interrogator left.
"Pinkie, what are you doing here?" Rainbow Dash asked.
"I wasn't going to abandon my friend. You stuck up for me, and I'm sticking up for you. That's what friends do," Pinkie replied.
"Even though I kill helpless animals and eat them?" Rainbow Dash asked.
"You're just doing what griffons do," Pinkie replied. "Turning my back on you for something like that wouldn’t be right."
Rainbow Dash smiled. "Do you really think you can get me off the hook?"
"You're off the hook already, just not formally. The charges against Scootaloo were dropped, meaning you didn't do anything wrong."
"I didn't know the charges were dropped," Rainbow Dash said.
"You're not going to like what Twilight did," Pinkie said sadly.
“I know. She told me last night."
"At least she was mare enough to say it to your face," Pinkie said, frowning.
"If I'm as good as free, and she is already out, why are you here?" Rainbow Dash asked.
"I'm here to help you win back Scootaloo," Pinkie Pie said. "Now, I need you to tell me everything you two did together."
"Good morning, Comette," the mare claiming to be her mother, Star Dust, said.
The filly glared as she entered the boring brown-painted kitchen and took a seat on an empty chair. Everything about the room screamed ‘normal family’. Scootaloo hated it. On either side were her sisters while her 'parents' prepared breakfast. She was still unconvinced these could be her parents; the ones who abandoned her nearly seven years ago now, but it had been enough for Twilight. She'd break that unicorn's horn in half for this!
"Eat up. You have a big day ahead at your new school!" Star Dust sang.
Scootaloo stared at the meal. Eggs. And no bacon. Reluctantly she picked up a fork and began eating.
"Is the collar bothering you?" her father, Reflection, asked.
"No," Scootaloo said simply. With the collar on she couldn't use her magic, and since she couldn't fly, she was as helpless as an earth pony. A weak earth pony, that is. She couldn't remove it without magic. Magic she couldn't use with it while it was on. What a vicious cycle.
"How do you feel, Comette?" Star Dust asked. Scootaloo just kept eating.
"Answer your mother," Reflection grunted.
"My name is Scootaloo," Scootaloo said simply, not looking up from her food.
"Oh, why do you insist on such a name. Comette is such a pretty name," Star Dust begged.
"It's my name," Scootaloo said simply.
"So, uh, Scootaloo, do you really have magic?" Sunspot, asked.
"Sure do," Scootaloo said, her demeanor changing dramatically in response to her name. "If you take this collar off, I can show you."
"Nice try, but Ms.Sparkle said not to take it off until the psychiatrist says so," Reflection said.
"Figured I'd try anyway," Scootaloo replied.
"What's it like flying?" Star Dust asked.
"I can't fly. Doctor said I’ll be lucky if I’m not totally clipped," Scootaloo said. "Because I grew up in an orphanage, my growth was stunted. I should have been flying years ago but because I WAS ABANDONED I can't."
"I'm sorry you had to go through all that, but it was your cousins that abandoned you, not us. You have to understand, we thought it was best for you," Star Dust said.
"If you wanted what was best for me, I would be with my mom," Scootaloo said. She had finished eating and was staring at her empty plate.
"Are you still hungry, Comette?" Reflection asked. Scootaloo remained silent. Her father grunted. "Scootaloo?" he said finally.
"I like bacon with my eggs," Scootaloo said.
"What's bacon?" Sunspot asked.
"Nothing. Never mind," Scootaloo said. "Um... could you take me to Blood Crest in a couple days?"
"Where?" Reflection asked.
"Blood Crest. I can show you where it is on a map. There's a cloudboarding tournament happening there the day after tomorrow," Scootaloo explained.
"What's cloudboarding?" Star Dust asked.
"It's like skateboarding, but done on clouds," Scootaloo answered. “It’s my special talent.”
"You're the only one here who can walk on clouds, and not with that collar on," Star Dust pointed out.
“Yeah, but we could take a balloon or something and there are spells that let regular ponies walk on clouds, you know that. Plus I don't think it'll be a problem. From what my friend Rriz told me, the Blood Crest stadium is made of stone with just the arena part being cloud."
"What an odd name for a city," Star Dush stated.
"Griffons name a lot of cities like that. Shattered Beak, Keen Eye, Still Tail..." Scootaloo rattled off.
"What was that about griffons?" Reflection asked abruptly.
"Well cloudboarding is a griffon sport, so the tournament is in a griffon city."
"You are a pony, not a griffon. I don't know what garbage that pegasus filled your head with, but griffons are savage creatures. We will not endorse such behavior in this house," Reflection roared.
"Griffon are not! They just act a bit differently than us! Most of them are really nice," Scootaloo shouted back.
"Don't talk back to your parents. Now go get ready for school," Reflection ordered.
“Look, I know it’s hard leaving your home behind. Why don’t we spend the day bonding after you get home from school,” Star Dust suggested.
“Sounds like fun,” Scootaloo said expressionless.
“What would you like to do?” her ‘mother’ asked.
“Okay, what did you and your foster mom do?”
Scootaloo thought for a moment. Should I lie? They won’t like it, and I’d rather not do anything I did with Rainbow Dash with them... If I’m honest maybe they’ll realize what they’re taking me away from. “Sometimes we’d race around Ponyville. She got me to read too, so we’ve been doing that the past few nights when we’re not out hunting.”
“Yes, I saw about your horrific diet in the paper,” Star Dust said.
“You won’t have to ever do that again,” Reflection added.
“Are you kidding? It’s one of the most exciting things I’ve ever done! Stalking a herd of deer through the Everfree Forest for four hours, waiting for just one to stray from the group. Then Mom goes in from above while I cut off it’s escape! There’s nothing like it and I love it.”
“Mom, what’s hunting?” Starflare asked.
Star Dust paused. “It’s not something fillies need to be concerned with,” she said finally.
“She means she’s afraid to talk about it because you either will get scared of me, or she’s so afraid of the idea she doesn’t want to say it herself,” Scootaloo said with a smirk. She just smiled innocently at the two adults now glaring at her. “I best be getting ready for school!” she added quickly, scampering from the room.
Twilight felt very good that morning. Everything felt right with the world. She’s saved a filly from a horrible life, reunited a family, and even now, she could hear Princess Celestia’s praise for her actions in her imagination.
“Good morning, Applejack,” She greeted, approaching the farmstand.
“Hi,” Applejack said without looking at her.
Twilight paused. Normally Applejack was so friendly and cheerful, especially on a morning like this one. Everypony can have a bad day once in awhile she decided. “Can I have two apples, please?”
“Sure,” Applejack said placing two apples on the counter. “Eight bits.”
“Eight bits?” Twilight exclaimed. “They were just one bit a week ago!”
“Taxes,” Applejack replied.
“But Princess Celestia hasn’t raised taxes in years. And inflation can’t be to blame, this is way too fast.”
“It’s jerk tax,” Applejack said.
Twilight stared at her.
“Ah charge more tah bad ponies, ponies Ah don’t care for, that sorta thing.”
“What? Because I save Scootaloo from becoming a blood thirsty carnivore and refuse to let one roam our streets, that makes me a bad pony?” Twilight shouted.
“Ah ain’t gonna discuss this with yah. Now pay or leave. Ah got other customers.”
“Fine! Maybe I’ll just buy other fruits from now on!” Twilight stormed off. As soon as she turned a corner she had to stop. Why are you defending her? She’s the one who’s wrong!
Her perfect day slipping from her hooves, Twilight decided to just head home. She had to dry her face off, and quickly worked up a spell that wisked away her tears. It was almost time to open up the library and with Spike in school, she would have to be there all day. As the tree came into sight, she saw somepony waiting outside.
“Fluttershy? What are you doing?” Twilight asked.
“Um... I’m waiting for you to open. I hope I’m not rushing you or anything.”
“I was just about to do that,” Twilight said with a smile. I can handle Applejack being weird. She’ll just have to get over it. “You don’t have anything on loan, do you need a particular book?”
“Yes, I need some maps of Equestria.”
“Okay,” Twilight said. She unlocked the door and led Fluttershy inside. “Maps are over here.”
“Thank you,” Fluttershy said. She flew over to the correct section and began looking at the various titles.
“How are you doing?” Twilight asked casually, putting her things away.
“Okay.” Fluttershy had removed a couple books and was looking at the large pages. “Oh! Perfect!” She flew over to Twilight and showed her the map she was looking at. “Do you know if you have a bigger map of this area?”
“Let’s see,” Twilight said. She examined where Fluttershy was pointing more closely. “That’s Griffon territory. Why would you want to go there?”
“Because I’m going to help Rainbow Dash,” Fluttershy said quietly.
“What?” Twilight exclaimed.
“Twilight, I knew Rainbow Dash was an omnivore long before we were friends, and that never once stopped me from wanting to be her friend. If you don’t like it, that’s your problem, not hers.”
“So then why are you even here? If it’s my problem, then it’s not yours,” Twilight grumbled.
“But you made it my problem by...um...”
“Yes?” Twilight said, glaring.
Fluttershy shook her head.
“Fluttershy, I promise that no matter what you say, I won’t get mad.”
Fluttershy took a deep breath. “You are acting like a spoiled, sheltered little filly who rather than, like a mature pony, would simply break ties with a friend they no longer agreed with, instead you decided to kick her while she was down and took away one of the two things she really cares about. Your actions were petty and foalish and you’ve alienated a lot of ponies who used to respect you.
“To be fair, it’s probably because you’re a unicorn. You tend to be more uptight about things, just look at Rarity. She’s a great friend, but we both know she can be a bit picky at times. I don’t mind Rainbow Dash because griffons and pegasus ponies have been close for longer than the pony tribes have. Both Applejack and Pinkie Pie are able to look past any apprehensions they have because Rainbow Dash is their friend. All you’re showing is you still don’t understand what it truly means to be a friend.”
Twilight just stood there, stunned.
“Um... I’ll just look around and see if you have the books I need myself.”
"So what do we do, Pinkie?" Rainbow Dash asked as the pair walked out of the Cloudsdale police station.
"It's all taken care of. I have a court order for Scootaloo to be returned, and if that doesn't work, I already have a court date so you can win her back," Pinkie Pie explained.
"You really thought of everything. I didn't think you could be so..."
"Serious. I mean you're usually all parties and candy, but you haven't smiled once, all day."
"There's nothing to smile about," Pinkie said.
“When Applejack said you were doing something to help, I assumed you were going to try and break me out or something,” Rainbow Dash said.
“That was plan C.”
“Then what was plan B?”
“This is plan B.”
“Oh,” Rainbow Dash said. “So what was plan A?”
“It doesn’t matter,” Pinkie said. “Plan A always fails, so I skipped it.”
“So isn’t this still plan A?”
Pinkie held a hoof to Rainbow Dash’s lips. “Shhh!” she hissed. “Do you want the universe to hear you, then ruin it?”
Rainbow Dash just rolled her eyes.
Apple Bloom, returning from school, walked into her familiar hospital wing to find Big Macintosh waiting for her.
"Hey, Big Mac," she greeted. The stallion nodded. Somepony must have seen her enter the hospital because her regular doctor came in just then.
"Ah good, you're back," he said. "Are you her father?" he asked Big Macintosh.
"Brother," the red pony replied simply.
"Well, Apple Bloom, today's the big day," the doctor said to the filly. "Today you're getting discharged."
"Already?" Apple Bloom said, surprised.
"Yup. You've healed much faster than we expected. That siren magic is pretty powerful stuff," the doctor replied. "We just have to remove these bandages for good and you're all set."
With a deft movement, he tore the end of the bandages around her midriff and began peeling them away. At once the smell hit Apple Bloom. How could she be surprised? She hadn't had a proper bath in a while. Finally, the last strip was pulled away, and she got a clear view of her body.
It was a grizzly sight. What hair was left, was heavily matted from weeks of being constrained. The rest would have to grow back in time. Her once smooth torso was now covered in jagged scars and scabs. But everything was closed up. She'd passed through death's door and come back. No pony else could claim that. This seemed small apples compared to what had almost been.
"Now make sure she takes it easy," the doctor instructed Big Macintosh. "Most of the injuries are fine, but any strenuous activity could cause them to open back up. When she gets back home, make sure she is cleaned thoroughly. The hair will grow back, but I don't think the scars will get any better. She's a very lucky filly. If they do open back up, but nothing too big, just treat them as you would any cut. Anything too big and bring her back so we can patch her back up."
"Will do," Big Macintosh said simply. "Ready to go?"
"Eeyup!" Apple Bloom replied, rubbing a hoof gently down her bumpy stomach. Together the two walked out of the hospital and back home to Sweet Apple Acres. "Hey, Big Mac?"
"Is it okay if Ah go see Zecora later? Ah haven’t seen her in a while."
"Better ask yer sister," Big Macintosh said.
Scootaloo lazily chased peas around her lunch tray with a spoon. The day was only half over and she already hated every pony in the class. They treated her like a freak, but at least she didn’t have to put up with any of them sitting at her table, they gave her a wide bearth when she walked in the halls. She missed Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle. Everything else would be bearable if they were here. She wasn't sure how they were taking all this, but she just wanted to see them, regardless of how they felt.
"I heard she killed a bunch of foals," somepony whispered at the next table.
Of course they were talking about her. Her face was plastered on every newspaper she had seen.
"I heard some colt pissed her off, so she ate his parents," another said.
"I heard she ate her own parents."
“Why is she wearing that collar?”
“Probably to stop her from swallowing ponies whole!” one foal said, though from his tone, it was clear he was joking a bit.
"You're all wrong. My father said she was foalnapped by griffons and forced to eat ponies," At this Scootaloo looked up and glared.
"Griffons do not eat ponies," she snapped. The ponies all jumped back in fear. She glared at them for a moment, then returned to her food. Soon the whispering started again.
"That has to be it."
"Don't you read the paper? She was foalnapped by some pony named Rain Crash or something. She made her kill and eat other ponies."
"Naw it has to be a griffon. It said she was in the paper."
"Her name is Rainbow Dash and she is my mother," Scootaloo snarled.
"Your mom was a griffon?" a colt asked.
"My mom is just a blood-sister," Scootaloo said. "Don't you know anything? She just joined a griffon clan; she's a pegasus like me."
"So your mom is a blood thirsty lunatic who joined a bunch of savage monsters, then made you do it too," a filly said. Scootaloo lunged at her with a yell and began beating the other foal. The filly screamed but barely fought back despite the furious barrage of kicks.
"DO. NOT. TALK. ABOUT. MY. MOM. LIKE. THAT!" Scootaloo shouted in between blows. A cafeteria monitor grabbed her by the mane and pulled her off the other filly.
"Get your hooves off of her!" the monitor yelled. Scootaloo flailed in his jaws, trying to get back to the filly to continue. "You're going to the headmaster's office right now."
"I'll take her to the nurse," another monitor said scooping up the beaten and wailing filly. She had several nasty cuts and a black eye was beginning to form. One leg was bent at an odd angle. Her crying did not abate as she was carried away.
“Howdy, Applejack!” Apple Bloom greeted, seeing her sister managing the farmstand in the market.
“Apple Bloom!” Applejack cheered, embracing Apple Bloom.
“Careful,” Big Macintosh said.
Applejack lessened her hold. “Sorry, Sugarcube.”
“Ah’m okay,” Apple Bloom said. “Ah’m just glad tah be goin’ home.”
“Granny Smith’ll be glad tah see yah,” Applejack said.
“Say, can Ah visit Zecora later? Ah haven’t seen her since Ah’ve been in the hospital.”
“Only if yah take a bath,” Applejack said. “Yah smell worse than the sty on ah good day.”
“So, Comette, why are you in my office on your first day of school?" the headmaster asked from his desk. The filly remained silent, but fiddled with the metal band around her neck. "I can stay quiet too. You're not leaving until you talk, and I can wait a very long time."
"My name is Scootaloo," Scootaloo snapped.
“That’s not what it says here,” he replied, holding up a paper she assumed was part of her permenant record.
“Look, I don’t care what my parents named me, I gave myself this name, and I will not respond to anything but.”
"Okay, why are you in my office, Scootaloo?" the headmaster grumbled.
"She was making fun of my mom. I told her not to," Scootaloo said, staring at the desk, burning a hole in it with her glare.
"You broke one of Oak Skips legs," the headmaster said. Scootaloo looked up, shocked. She hadn't been trying to break anything, she just kicked the other filly. Breaking a pony's leg with just a stomp should be impossible for her.
I would think that earth pony strength has also been shared. Not fully, but I'd guess you're all probably stronger than you used to be.
Twilight's words flashed in her mind. She'd have to be more careful.
"There is no reason to resort to violence."
"I'm not about to sit there while some hinny says things about my family," Scootaloo growled.
"Language, Comette," the headmaster grunted.
"That's not my name," Scootaloo said simply. "Can you just get to the punishment already?"
"Fine, since you're so eager: three weeks detention, two months of probation, and you have to apologize to Oak Skips."
"What?" Scootaloo shouted. "She calls my mom a mad pony and I have to say I'm sorry? I didn't intend to break anything, but I meant every kick. You'll have to send me to the moon before I'll do that!"
"You will or-"
"Or what? Words won't change my mind, you need magic to force me, and you can't threaten me. There is nothing you can threaten me with that I haven’t already been through. Are you going to give me more detention? Fine. I really don't care," Scootaloo said.
"Okay then. You have daily detention until further notice, and you are on probation. If you are caught fighting again, you're suspended."
"Whatever," Scootaloo said, getting down from the chair.
"Hah, Zecora," Apple Bloom greeted when the Zebra opened her door. At once the zebra noticed the patchy coat.
"What has happened to my friend Apple Bloom, that has caused such a nasty wound?" Zecora asked frowning.
"Applejack didn't tell you? Shoot, no wonder yah never visited," Apple Bloom said, frowning as well. "Ah got attacked bah a shark in that sea pony city."
"Attacked by a shark? But you survived with such a little mark!"
"Well Ah didn't make it. The thing killed me bahfore they could get it off me," Apple Bloom said smiling. The zebra looked more and more confused.
"Then are you a spirit?" Zecora said, rubbing her eyes. "Surely my fears have no merit!"
"Ah’m okay now. Sweetie Belle brought me back to life and now Ah’m all better. Ah just wanted to stop bah and say hah. Ah haven't seen ya in a while," Apple Bloom explained. "Say, are yah goin' on a trip?" Apple Bloom asked, noticing the saddle backs on the zebra's back.
"I must head into town; I need the help of a unicorn," Zecora said. "To finish my latest potion, I need a bit of magic from their horn."
"Do you need unicorn magic or will any magic work?" Apple Bloom asked. She scrunched up her face and got her hoof glowing. She held it up to show her zebra friend.
"Such a sight I have never seen. An earth pony hoof with a glow of green."
"Ah learned this after me and mah friends got stuck togeth-" Apple Bloom stopped. She hadn't told Zecora that story yet. "It has been a while. How about Ah fix up the potion and Ah’ll tell yah all about it. What do yah need?”
"A simple charge of raw magic will do. Just enough to change the hue," Zecora instructed, pointing to the large cauldron in the room.
Apple Bloom scrunched up her face and forced her magic to some forth. It built up rapidly, but she couldn't work out how to discharge it. Finally she just dipped her hoof into the liquid. Finally she felt the energy leave her hoof. She had barely given it any before the bubbling blue mixture turned yellow.
"Is that good?” Apple Bloom asked.
“That magic was enough, thank you very much.”
“Ah might as well tell yah everythin' now."
And so Apple Bloom explained everything. Beginning with being foalnapped, what it felt like sharing a body with two other ponies. Discovering her magical abilities and what she could do. Then the events in Barrier City where she remembered being attacked, then woke up in the hospital days later. She finished with Scootaloo being taken away. Zecora listened intently and didn't ask too many questions.
"What is this?" Star Dust asked the pink pony in a suit at her door. Despite her mane resembling a lump of cotton candy, the pony looked more serious than a Royal Guard.
"This is a court order for the return of Scootaloo to rightful custody. She was taken from it by someone without the authority to do so. You have to give her back," Pinkie said.
"I'm not doing anything until I speak with my lawyer," Reflection said.
"Then I'll see you in court. I've already filed papers. We'll see you, and your lawyer in royal court in two days," Pinkie said.
"How could you get a royal court date so fast?"
"I know Princess Celestia personally. She agreed to help me as soon as I said I needed royal court time," Pinkie replied.
“Bah, Zecora,” Apple Bloom said, walking along the faintly beaten path.
“Farewell, my little friend,” Zecora replied. “I hope your companion’s story has a happy end.”
Apple Bloom wandered back towards home to find Sweetie Belle sulking by the clubhouse.
“Apple Bloom?” Sweetie Belle exclaimed.
“Hey, Sweetie Belle,” she replied.
Sweetie Belle rushed over and hugged her. “What are you doing out?”
“They just let me out today!” Apple Bloom announced. “All thanks tah you and yer singin’, Ah’m all better.”
“Well I’m glad you’re okay,” Sweetie Belle said quietly.
“What’s up?” she asked.
“I miss Scootaloo,” Sweetie Belle replied.
“Me too. Ah hope Twahlight gets her outta jail soon.”
“She is,” Sweetie Belle said. Apple Bloom stared at her with a look of bewilderment. “Rarity told me a little while ago she saw Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash come back from Cloudsdale, but Scootaloo wasn’t with them.”
“So where is she?”
Sweetie Belle looked back glumly. “I don’t know. Her scooter is still here. I don’t think she came back at all.”
“Well Ah’m gonna find out!” Apple Bloom declared. She stormed off into town with Sweetie Belle following to see what she did.
"Fighting with other foals!" her father roared. “Daily detention! I hope you’re happy!”
"She insulted my mom," Scootaloo grumbled, her face expressionless. “She called Rainbow Dash a savage!”
"Rainbow Dash is not your mother," Reflection shouted.
"This was your first day and already you're picking fights! Go to your room, Comette, and stay there until I or your mother come and get you!" Reflection ordered. Scootaloo glared, but stormed off, stopping by the kitchen on her way.
Twilight ignored whoever was calling. The library was closed and she had far too much work to do to entertain any late visitor or another friend come to yell at her. Star Dust and Reflection had just informed her that a pink pony had come to their door with a court order to relinquish Comette, and said there was already a royal court date set if they refused.
Now Twilight had to figure out what Pinkie Pie was doing and how to counter it.
*KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK*
Twilight sighed. “Spike, could you-”
*KNOCK KNOCK BAM*
The door fell inward, snapping off its hinges. On the other side stood a small yellow earth pony, rear hooves still glowing from the magic assisted door bucking.
“You didn’t have to knock the door down!” Sweetie Belle said.
“Ah didn’t mean tah. Ah just wanted tah make a louder noise. Ah wasn’t plannin’ on blastin’ it down, mah magic did it on its own,” Apple Bloom replied, turning around.
“Girls? What are you doing here?” Twilight demanded.
“We wanna know where Scootaloo is!” Apple Bloom replied.
“She’s in Hoofington, only about twenty minutes away by train. I’m sure your sisters can take you to visit,” Twilight replied.
“What is she doing there?” Sweetie Belle asked angrily.
“She’s gone home to live with her real parents.”
“What?” Apple Bloom cried.
“How can they just take her?” Sweetie Belle cried. “Rainbow Dash adopted her!”
“I undid that,” Twilight said. The two fillies stared at her. “I am well aware my decision is not very popular, but it was the right thing to do, and in time, you’ll-”
“Get her back!” Apple Bloom shouted.
“You big meanie!” Sweetie Belle yelled with her.
“Yah got no right tah take our friend!” Apple Bloom shouted over Twilight.
“Why would you let them near her after what they did?” Sweetie Belle cried.
“GIRLS!” Twilight shouted. They kept going, so she used magic to hold their muzzles shut. “Girls, I know you don’t understand why I did what I did, but you have to understand it was for Scootaloo’s own good. Rainbow Dash was having her do very bad things. I made it so Rainbow Dash can never make her do those bad things again.”
“What kinda bad things?” Apple Bloom asked.
“Like bad touching?” Sweetie Belle asked.
“She was hurting animals,” Twilight said, not wanting them to hear the whole story. They were innocent foals, no need to trouble their mind with what was surely tormenting Scootaloo.
“Ah don’t believe it,” Apple Bloom declared.
“Yeah! Do you-”
“Apple Bloom, are you in here?” came a voice. They all looked and saw Applejack standing in the doorway, looking at the broken door. “Ah heard ah crash and assumed yah were involved.”
“Whah would you assume that?” Apple Bloom asked.
Applejack gave her a look. “Call it sisterly intuition,” she said dully. “Come on, Ah’m headin’ back home, yah should come too if yah want supper.”
“Okay,” Apple Bloom said reluctantly. She walked over to the doorway. “Sorry bout the door, Ah guess Ah don’t know mah own strength.”
“Send me ah bill,” Applejack said, pointing to the damage.
“It’s... it’s okay,” Twilight replied. “I can just fix it with my magic. Apple Bloom just needs some magic training so accidents like this don’t happen.”
“Ah’ll think about it,” Applejack answered. She left, with Apple Bloom tailing close behind.
Sweetie Belle left right after them.
“Spike, why can’t they see I’m right?” Twilight asked.
“Oh no, I’m not getting involved with this,” Spike said.
"Scootaloo?" Sunspot asked as she nudged open the bedroom door.
"Hey, Sunspot," Scootaloo greeted, lying on the bed.
"I snuck you some carrots from dinner," she said, placing them on the bed.
"Thanks, but I already got something," Scootaloo said, pulling a package of crackers from her tail.
Sunspot looked in amazement. "How did you do that?"
"I lived on the streets. You learn how to hide things quickly there."
"Plus, I already hid some snacks in my scooter. They were for when I was out practicing, but now..." Scootaloo said. She pulled out a black strip and vigorously tore off a piece. It was a lot harder without magic, but she managed. “It’s all I have of home...”
"The foals at school are saying you tried to eat Oak Skips," Sunspot said.
"Really? What idiots."
"Still-" Sunspot stopped, and put her ear to the door. "Somepony's coming. You'd better-" she said, turning around. Already the crackers and carrots had vanished. Quickly, she backed away as the door opened. In walked Reflection and Star Dust.
"Well, what do you have to say for yourself?" Reflection asked sternly.
"I didn't mean to break her leg, just beat the snot out of her?" Scootaloo answered. She was being honest. She hadn't intended to break anything, but this earth pony strength was something else.
"Try again," Star Dust said.
"If I didn't have this stupid collar on, I probably would have just knocked her over with some wind?"
"That's strike two," Reflection said.
"I probably hurt any chance I had of going back with mom?"
"Strike three," Reflection growled.
"You're going to stay here until you come up with a better answer. And wash that dye out of your hair," Star Dust ordered.
"What dye?" Scootaloo asked, genuinely confused. "This is my normal hair color."
"Really? The friendship flanks are natural? And I suppose your coat just naturally changed from tan to orange," Reflection said in a snide tone.
"I got these by accident and I can't make them go away," Scootaloo said, poking her flanks, "and yes, my coat changed colors. I don't know exactly why, I just fell asleep on a grave covered in blood and woke up another color. That was the same day I got my name."
"Covered in-" Star Dust murmured.
"From when I ran away from the orphanage YOU PUT ME IN!"
“That wasn’t us!” Reflection shouted.
“I don’t care!” Scootaloo shouted back.
“Look, I know the past few days have been hard,” Star Dust said calmly, “but we care about you, and we want to be a family again.”
“If you cared about me, I’d be on my way to Blood Crest by now,” Scootaloo said, grumbling. “As it is, I’d have to go all out to get there in time. Cloudboarding is my special talent! Who cares if it’s a griffon sport, they’re really nice.”
“You are a pony, not a griffon!” Reflection shouted. He stomped down. He hadn’t been paying attention, and his hoof slammed down on a certain hardcloud object lying on the floor. The board shattered like a stale cookie.
Scootaloo’s ears drooped and her mouth hung wide open. “My cloudboarding scooter!”
“Maybe this will end this nonsense,” Reflection said, huffing. “We’ll be back in the morning to see if you’ve come up with something better to say for yourself.”
With that, he left the room. Star Dust stayed for a minute before leaving as well. Neither seemed to notice Sunspot had been in the room.
Scootaloo slowly crawled off the bed and made her way to the remains of her hoof made scooter. She picked up one of the pieces and turned it over in her hoof.
“Scootaloo?” Starflare asked. Scootaloo nearly jumped when she heard the quiet voice coming from so close. She hadn’t even noticed the other filly entering the room.
“Just... just go away,” Scootaloo said quietly.
She didn’t know what to do. The past two years of her life had been spent almost exclusively on her scooter, and now it was no more. It was hardcloud, it could be repaired or replaced easily, but... how could she get it replaced? She couldn’t use magic or her wings to get herself to a cloud city to buy more. She didn’t even have any bits to pay for it! Her cloudboarding career was effectively dead and she hadn’t even started it.
“I want to go home,” she cried.
Suddenly, she felt a weight on her back. Then another.
“It’ll be okay.”
“We’ll help you get home.”
Scootaloo just sat there in her sisters’ embrace. She had known them all of one day, and already they were trying to help her. Trying to make things right. She didn’t want to admit it, but she began to feel just a tiny bit better.
The rhythmic sound of rolling wheels on dirt. It was very calming to the filly. The source was getting closer so March stopped her aimless wandering and looked over. A bigger filly was gliding along on some sort of wooden board with wheels on the bottom; her hooves on a set of handles. Every couple seconds the filly would lean over and give herself a push.
March watched in mild interest. It seemed like a neat way to get around. If I ever have money, I'm going to buy one of those, whatever it is.
As the older pony rolled past, it became clear to March something was wrong. The smooth sound was steadily becoming offbeat. Then, all at once, something happened and the scooter fell to one side, taking the older filly with it. She grunted as she hit the ground, and March watched on with little real interest. One of the wheels seemed to have fallen off.
"You broke my scooter!" the older filly yelled at March. March looked at her with surprised. So that's what it was.
"I what? I'm all the way over here," March pointed out, waving her hoof to emphasize the distance between them.
"You just don't get it. Everything is your fault, street rat!" the filly shouted.
She picked up the detached wheel and threw it at March. March instinctively ducked and covered her head with her hooves, but the plastic simply landed nearby.
"Stupid piece of junk!" the older filly spat, kicking the scooter before stomping off in a huff.
When she was sure she was gone, March got up and examined the wheel. Carefully she picked it up and walked over to the scooter. She wanted to know what had broken and if she could fix it. Since the older filly had so generously left it behind, it might as well belong to somepony. It only took her a second to realize the wheel had simply fallen off so March looked around and spotted a glint of metal in the dirt. She easily picked up the screw and went about trying to reattach the wheel. It wasn't easy without tools but soon the wheel was once again attached to March's satisfaction.
March then righted the scooter and climbed onto it to see if her repairs would hold. Now how had the other filly moved this? Awkwardly, March stuck one leg out and kicked at the ground. Agonizingly slowly she felt it roll forward. Now emboldened, she kicked a few more times, each time going progressively faster, but it was hard work pushing that hard. The scooter was a bit big for her and that didn't help. Tired, she let the scooter grind to a halt. Her wings twitched in annoyance. Then her eyes went wide as she felt herself move.
Excited, March began flapping her wings rapidly. In response, the scooter moved forward. The filly grinned widely for the first time in a very long time. She beat her wings harder and harder, trying to see how fast she could go, and colt was it fast! She quickly worked out how to turn and she practiced doing a few loops around the street.
"Hey!" shouted a voice. March coasted to a halt, unsure how to stop, and turned to see the older filly glaring at her, a much larger pony beside her. "What do you think you're doing with my scooter?"
"Finders keepers!" March shouted back. She beat her wings as hard as she could. The two ponies chased after but couldn't keep up. Soon March was speeding out of the town, and on to a new one.
Zecora dialogue is hard.
If you like this story, you should check out some of my other works:
My tumblr, an alternate universe mixing MLP and Cyborg 009.
Forever a Changeling, my new story starring Rainbow Dash as a changeling.
Samurai Applejack, a drastically different kind of story. It’s rated mature for violence and some suggestive lines.
Night of the Werepony, what I consider to be my worst story, but it’s my most popular. It’s just one chapter long.