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The tiny pony waited impatiently outside her parents bedroom. She had been told to stay out there, a task made harder by hearing her mother's cries from within. They had thought ahead and locked the door so it would not budge, even when she threw herself against it to get in. Why should she have to wait. She was fifty now! She was a big girl! Even though it was the shortest day of the year, it felt like the longest. Finally it creaked open and a horned head poked out.
"Celestia, you can come in now," the alicorn maid informed the filly. The tiny filly cheered and galloped in.
On the four-poster bed sat her mother and beside it, her father. In her mother’s hooves was a bundle of blankets. Her mother's face was covered with sweat and her mane was impossibly messy. Unlike her father's, her mother's did not move on it's own. Excited, Celestia jumped onto the bed and trotted over.
"Are you ready to see the foal?" her mother asked. Before getting a reply, she turned the bundle towards her daughter and pulled back a loose corner.
Inside slept a blue foal. Curious, Celestia leaned in and stared at the darker foal curiously. The foal opened it's eyes and stared back with bright blue eyes.
"I'm Celestia. And you are?" Celestia said, remembering her manners. She stuck out a hoof, but the foal just looked back.
"Celestia, this is your little sister Luna."
"Welcome to Alicornia, Woona!" Celestia said with a smile. The foal blinked.
And then she woke up.
The Princess of the day awoke in a cold sweat. Breathing heavily she wiped her brow with a hoof. Another dream from the past. She looked around her dark bedroom. Philomena was sleeping on her perch, and from the light streaming through the pink curtains.
"Sister? Are you awake?" came a voice from outside.
"Yes, Luna. I am awake," Celestia called.
"You sound troubled. Is everything okay?" Princess Luna asked through the door.
"Nothing has been right for a long time," Celestia replied, "but I will take over control just as I always have."
Scootaloo yawned as she awoke. Rubbing the sleep from her eyes, she looked around confused by her white surroundings. She wasn't in the clubhouse, that was for sure. Everything was white; the walls, the floor, the couch she was laying on; everything. It must all be hardcloud. Despite the unfamiliarity, something about the white made her feel oddly at home. Pegasi do prefer clouds. What was going on?
"Morning, squirt," Rainbow Dash said, entering the room.
"Rainbow Dash?" Scootaloo gasped, not believing what was happening. She was actually in the home of her hero! But how did she get here? And why?
"I'm not used to cooking for anypony but me, but I did make some pancakes if you want some," Rainbow Dash said. The white flour caked on her blue hooves proved her statement.
"How? What?" she stammered.
"I brought you back here, since nopony seemed to know where you live," Rainbow Dash explained. "We can talk over breakfast."
"Okay," Scootaloo said, very confused. She climbed out of the blankets that had somehow been wrapped around her, and stood up. She looked at herself to make sure everything was as it should be. She flexed her wings, though why she did so was a mystery to her. Why worry about two useless clumps of feathers? Then she saw what was different. Her eyes widened when she noticed her right flank had changed from the familiar orange to a white that reminded her of Sweetie Belle. She turned her head and saw the opposite flank was Apple Bloom yellow. Slowly she reached back with a hoof and felt the discolored patch. Again with the changing colors. Just pick one and stay with it already!
"Come on, it's getting cold, and I am not cooking again today," Rainbow Dash said, while turning and leaving the room. Scootaloo jumped to follow her idol. Presently they entered the kitchen. In the middle stood a small white hardcloud table with two white chairs. It was clear from the state of the counters, that Rainbow Dash's cooking ability was only slightly above Apple Bloom's, but two stacks of pancakes sat proudly on the table.
Rainbow Dash took a seat at one of the two chairs and motioned for Scootaloo to join her.
"Syrup?" She asked. Scootaloo nodded while staring blankly, and Rainbow poured the sweet liquid over their breakfasts. Hungry from their adventures Rainbow Dash dug in but Scootaloo hesitated, unused to such treatment. "What, don't you like pancakes?"
"I- uh-" Scootaloo stammered.
"Go ahead," Rainbow Dash said, trying to encourage the nervous filly. Slowly Scootaloo began eating. After a few bites she looked at Rainbow Dash.
"What happened?" she asked.
"What do you remember?" Rainbow Dash mumbled around a mouthful of food.
"We went into the mixer thing then I woke up here. How did I get here?"
"I told you, I brought you here last night," Rainbow Dash repeated.
"But why?" Scootaloo asked.
"I wasn't going to just dump you in the middle of town. I figured you might as well stay at my place, and I can take you home when you wake up," Rainbow Dash answered. "Eat up. I don't want your parents thinking I starved you when I bring you home later." She said, but there was something off about the way she said it. Something that put Scootaloo on edge.
"They're.... out of town," Scootaloo lied.
"Well I can still swing by and drop you off. Where do you live?"
"You can just drop me off in town or something. It's fine."
"I don't mind Squirt. After what happened, I want to make sure you get home alright."
Scootaloo squirmed uncomfortably. "It's really hard to find. I'm better off walking,” She said. She knew it sounded pathetic, but anything was better then the truth.
"Scootaloo," Rainbow Dash said simply. The filly stiffened at the sound of her full name. "I went in the clubhouse."
Scootaloo immediately jumped off the chair and ran for the doorway, but was foolish to think she could outrun a race pony. Rainbow Dash blocked the doorway easily.
"Where do you think you're going? We're a thousand feet in the air. You leave, and you'll fall," Rainbow Dash said pointedly, "now just sit back down, and chill out."
Scootaloo reluctantly shuffled back to the table, and climbed onto the chair. She didn't want anypony to know. Things were great, why did they have to turn out like this? Why did Rainbow Dash, my idol for all things cool have to find out? Maybe I should jump. It beats going back.
"Why haven't you told anypony?" Rainbow Dash asked. She already knew the answer, but felt she should ask anyway.
"I can take care of myself. I don't want ponies thinking they need to take care of me all the time." Scootaloo replied. While true, it wasn't the real reason.
"A filly needs friends."
"I have friends."
"But you're not honest with them," Rainbow Dash stated. "I know you're afraid they might find out you're an orphan, and take you away to some orphanage."
Scootaloo stared at her half eaten food.
"I don't want to go back," she said.
"I can make sure that doesn't happen, but only on one condition," Rainbow Dash said calmly.
"I don't want them to know. Not just yet," Scootaloo said into her food.
"I want you to live here with me. Everypony needs a home."
Scootaloo's looked at the older pony in surprise.
"I'm just giving you a place to crash at night with food." Rainbow Dash tried explaining. "I'm not going to be your parent or anything. Think of it as being a roommate that doesn't owe rent."
"If I'm not being a burden...."
"Please. Nothing could slow down the great Rainbow Dash."
Scootaloo giggled a bit, relaxing.
"Mornin'," Apple Bloom mumbled as she entered the Apple family kitchen. She had quite the shock earlier, discovering her orange right flank and white left flank, but let it be as just a leftover from the adventure.
"Good mornin' to you too sugarcube," Applejack said merrily. "How do yah feel?"
"Ahlright Ah guess. Just tired," Apple Bloom grabbed a bowl, a spoon and some cereal from the cupboards and placed them on the table. Sleepily she poured out some cereal, and shoved the spoon into the bowl. The milk carton sat nearby, and she reached to grab it, but couldn't quite reach. Frustrated she closed her eyes, gritted her teeth, and reached harder. Suddenly she felt the cold container meet her hoof. Surprised, she opened her eyes, but Applejack was busy cleaning on the other side of the room.
She pushed the carton out of reach again, and repeated what she had done before. Again the carton met her hoof. This time when she tried she kept her eyes open. As she reached for the carton this time she saw a small green glow erupt around her outstretched hoof that extended to the carton. The carton then moved on it's own accord into her waiting hoof, and the glow vanished.
She glanced quickly to see if her sister had noticed, but Applejack was still looking the other way.
"Uh, Applejack?" Apple Bloom called nervously. Her sister turned around with a concerned expression. Wordlessly the filly pushed the carton away and repeated the feat a fourth time.
"Uhhhh...." the older pony stammered. She trotted over and ruffled the filly's mane. "Yah ain't hindin' a horn in here?"
"No," Apple Bloom said confused.
"We best get yah over tah Twahlight's," Applejack suggested.
"Whah? Is this bad?" Apple Bloom asked, getting worried.
"Fer you? Ah don't think so, but that's probably Sweetie Belle's magic. We gotta get it back tah her and Twahlight'll know what to do. Now eat up quick like and we'll head out."
"Okay," Apple Bloom said.
"Can I go see my friends?" Scootaloo asked, the two having finished breakfast now.
"Well yeah," Rainbow Dash said. "I'm not your mom remember?"
"And can I keep my job?"
"You have a job?" Rainbow Dash asked, surprised.
"I run deliveries for the Cakes. How do you think I bought all my stuff?"
"I assumed you'd found it somewhere," Rainbow Dash replied.
"Um, where is my scooter?" Scootaloo asked, changing the subject.
"Probably back at the clubhouse, where we left it to come find you."
"Now how am I going to get anywhere?" Scootaloo whined.
"I have an idea," Rainbow Dash said, heading out the door to the outside of her home. She picked up a piece of the cloud lawn and moved it to the young pony. It was large enough for a pair of full grown pegasus to sit on. "Try this."
Scootaloo jumped onto the cloud and looked at the older pony.
"Pretend it's your scooter."
Scootaloo nodded and grabbed the cloud tightly. Buzzing her wings like she usually did, she managed to maneuver the cloud around. It was clumsy at first, but soon she figured out how to move around just like it was her scooter, and even how to go up and down. It wasn't perfect but it would do. She smirked and began buzzing towards Ponyville and her friends.
"Be back by dark!" Rainbow Dash called after the filly. “Geeze, I already sound like a mom.” She didn't have time to fool around, she had renovations to make. But first there was a pony she needed to see in Cloudsdale.
Sweetie Belle woke up feeling refreshed and confused. Sunlight was peeking in from behind a lacy curtain. She was in a soft bed with faintly purple sheets.
She was back in her room. How did she get there? Deciding that was a mystery for another time, she got out of bed, her stomach barking orders at her.
"Yeah be quiet," she snapped back. She looked down to see if she was herself again. Pleased to have her white feet back, she noticed her flanks. She smiled at the sight of her friends colors adorning her flanks.
She stepped out into the hallway, then she went over to her sister's room. Nudging the door open, she saw her sister like she had never seen her before: Lying on top of the blankets, without even her nightgown on. Still, excited to see her sister again, Sweetie Belle jumped onto the bed.
"Morning, Rarity!" she sang loudly.
The voice woke the elder unicorn. She moved to take off her eye mask that wasn't there, and couldn't think where it had gone to for a moment. Rarity looked down at the foot of her bed to see her little sister smiling at her.
"Sweetie Belle! You're awake!" Rarity said surprised. "That is you in there? Just you?" she asked nervously.
"Ah think so," Sweetie Belle replied, doing her best to imitate Apple Bloom, but it didn't fool Rarity who embraced her.
"I'm glad you're alright," Rarity said simply, tears in her eyes.
"I'm not going to be if you keep crushing me!" Sweetie Belle protested. Rarity released her sheepishly.
Hearing Sweetie Belle's stomach growl again, she got out of bed.
"How about some breakfast?"
"After you can pack your bags," Rarity instructed as the pair walked through the hall and down the stairs.
"Aww. Do I still have to see mom and dad?" Sweetie Belle protested.
"I've already informed them you'll be staying with me this week."
"Then why do we have to pack?"
"We're taking the next train to Prance," Rarity explained as they entered the kitchen.
"Yes. I've read about a stylist there that can do permanent hair dyeing," Rarity said, pulling out some cereal to speed things up. Normally this is the kind of meal she would only eat if under a deadline, but she was too sore to cook anything fancy that morning. Being hit with another pony tended to do that.
"Why do we need that?"
"So you can have proper white flanks again."
"But I like them this way," Sweetie Belle said. Rarity turned and looked at her sister.
"But they're an eyesore. Don't you want a nice white coat like me and dad?”
"Not really. I think it's cool."
"Sweetie Belle this is not up for discussion. What would mom and dad think about this?"
"I don't care!" Sweetie Belle shouted. "I like it and if you try and make me go, I'll, I'll, run away!"
"But what if you realize how silly you've been later? Why not take care of it now?"
"Because I like them now! And if I do change my mind, why can't I do it then?" Sweetie Belle protested. Rarity sighed.
"Fine. You can look ridiculous if you want, but you have to tell mom and dad it was your decision," Rarity resigned.
"Okay;" Sweetie Belle smiled. "Now about that food?"
The smell of smoke entered the young dragons nostrils, but he just turned over in his sleep.
"So Rarity, what do you think of my hoard now?" he mumbled in the sleep.
The smell grew strong enough to rouse him. Startled by the black smoke wafting up the stairs, he panicked and ran to the source. Fire couldn't hurt him so he had nothing to fear from any flames. The smoke came from the kitchen. He ran inside to see his violet unicorn sister dashing about like a mad pony. The stove had caught fire.
"Ohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh!" Twilight shouted, unable to think of something to put the fire out, despite knowing several spells to conjure water, and a few more to just move it around.
"I got it," Spike yelled over her. He pulled out one of the tree house's many fire extinguishers, and quickly put out the flames. When you're a dragon living in a wooden house, you learn quick how to put out any accidental fires.
"What to do, what to do?" Twilight said thinking, not noticing the danger had passed. Spike calmly opened a few windows to let the smoke escape.
"When did you get back, Twilight? What happened?" the dragon asked, nudging the panicking mare.
"Huh?" she looked around startled. "Oh! Spike. I didn't hear you come in. I mean into the kitchen."
"It's okay. I put the fire out,"
"When did you get home?" Spike asked again.
"I don't know. Late? You were asleep already and I didn't want to wake you up," Twilight said smiling.
"Okay so what happened in here?" Spike pointed to the burnt stove.
"Oh, I just tried to make myself some toast. I never appreciated how hard you work cooking until I tried it myself."
"So can you tell me what happened after you left? Did Princess Celestia find you?"
"She found us. Thank you for sending the letter Spike. I'm not sure we would have made it without her," Twilight said hugging her assistant. "So what happened was-"
After the meal Sweetie Belle set about cleaning her room. She hoped she had convinced Rarity to let her keep her yellow and orange spots. She didn't want to wake up in the middle of the night halfway to Prance. As she made the bed, Rarity called her.
"Sweetie Belle, one of your friends is here to see you!" the fashionista called up the stairs.
"Coming!" She called back, racing down to see who it was.
"Hey, Sweetie Belle," Scootaloo greeted.
"Hi, Scootaloo!" Sweetie Belle replied looking her friend over. "You too?"
"Yup," Scootaloo answered, showing off her white flank. "Let's go see if Apple Bloom matches!"
Sweetie Belle joined her friend in walking outside.
"Be careful," Rarity said worried.
"I promise I will," Sweetie Belle answered sincerely.
When they got outside she noticed the absence of the group's wagon. All that was there was a cloud at ground level.
"Where's your scooter?"
"Back at the clubhouse," Scootaloo answered, jumping onto the cloud. "Isn't this cool? Rainbow Dash made it for me. I can ride it just like my scooter only in the air."
"Cool!" Sweetie Belle replied, jumping onto the cloud. Scootaloo started to smile as she imagined her friend falling right through, but her jaw dropped when the unicorn's feet stayed on top of the condensed moisture.
"How are you doing that?" Scootaloo said confused.
"Doing what?" Sweetie Belle asked. "You're standing on a cloud too."
"Yeah but I'm a pegasus! Only we can walk on clouds. Other ponies just fall right through! Why do you think there are no unicorns or earth ponies in Cloudsdale?"
"I thought that was because it's too high up," Sweetie Belle said deep in thought. "Maybe this is a side-effect of us being all mixed up."
"Let's see if Apple Bloom can walk on clouds too," Scootaloo suggested. Gripping the cloud she flew off towards Sweet Apple Acres.
"Twahlight!" Applejack called, knocking on the door of the library. After a minute a tired looking unicorn opened the door. "Shucks, Twah, Ah didn't mean tah wake yah."
"You didn't. I've just been up... never mind. What do you need?" Twilight asked.
"It's about Apple Bloom," Applejack said dragging the filly inside.
"What is it?" Twilight asked, scared something had gone wrong with the reversal process.
"Show her," Applejack commanded.
At once the filly lifted one hoof and focused on the far wall, on a random book on the bookshelf. Nothing happened right away, but she kept willing the book to come to her. Finally, her face scrunched up in concentration, the book flew across the room and smacked into her face.
"Ow!" she cried, rubbing her muzzle.
"Oh my!" Twilight exclaimed.
"Twilight, how can mah sister, an earth pony, be doin' magic? She ain't got a horn!"
"I'm not sure. I'd better run some tests."
"Did Ah end up with Sweetie Belle's magic bah accident?" Apple Bloom asked.
"I don't think so," Twilight replied. "Magic doesn't work like that, and besides, Sweetie's magic is red, not green."
"What does color matter?" Applejack asked.
"Next to nothing, it's just every pony's magic is a certain color. It's pretty random but never changes once they're born," Twilight explained. The discussion continued as they made their way downstairs.
"See her?" Scootaloo whispered.
"No," Sweetie Belle whispered back. "And why are we whispering?"
"We could totally surprise her!" Scootaloo hissed back. She looked over the edge to scan the ground of her friend. In the back of her mind was a tugging sensation in the direction of town, but she ignored it.
"Let's just ask Big Mac if he's seen her," Sweetie Belle suggested.
"Fine," Scootaloo agreed unhappily. Carefully she lowered the cloud down near the large earth pony.
"Hi, Big Mac!" Sweetie Belle greeted.
"Hi," the red stallion returned.
"Is Apple Bloom here?" she asked.
"Nnnope. Aay Jay took her to see Ms. Sparkle."
“Thanks!" Sweetie Belle said.
"Great," Scootaloo grumbled. Her wings were already getting tired from the extra work moving a cloud involved, and now they had to fly all the way back to Ponyville. If only the wind was blowing, but instead the air was still. She could almost feel a breeze blowing through her mane just thinking about it.
"Uh, Scoots?" Sweetie Belle asked nervously, poking her quiet friend. Scootaloo looked at her confused. Sweetie Belle was looking at her in shock.
Thinking about it, she did feel strange. Her mane! It was actually blowing in the breeze! But there was something more. A feeling she had never felt before. It was as if she was tapping a pool of energy deep inside herself she'd always had but had never before been aware of. The feeling was exhilarating. Like adrenaline times a hundred. But this was so different. She could feel the energy there. She could feel it bending to her will, but what it was doing and how it got there was a mystery.
"Scootaloo!" Sweetie Belle shouted, shocking the pegasus out of her stupor. All at once the wind stopped.
"Huh? What?" Scootaloo mumbled, confused.
"Your wings were glowing!" Sweetie Belle exclaimed.
"My what?" Scootaloo exclaimed.
"Wings! Glowing! How?"
Scootaloo paused and felt around for that pool she had felt earlier. It was even easier to sense this time, and she pulled it forth.
"They're glowing again!" Sweetie Belle exclaimed.
The pegasus turned and saw her normally orange wings had a dark blue aura of light around them. She let the energy go and the glow vanished. Curious now, she repeated pulling the energy forward and letting it go, each time her wings glowed in response.
"That's magic!" Sweetie Belle said in awe.
"Magic? Really?" Scootaloo asked confused. Then her eyes went wide in shock. "Is this yours? Did I steal it?"
"No, see?" Sweetie Belle replied, her horn glowing red. "My magic isn't blue and I still have mine."
"We'd better go see Twilight." Scootaloo said. Once more she called forth the strange power and willed a breeze to carry them. She was quite pleased to feel the air blowing through her mane. "This is pretty neat," she said as the cloud moved slowly into town.
Rainbow Dashed walked into the all too familiar building in Cloudsdale. On the front of the building were large letters that read "Cloudsdale Town Hall". She walked inside and headed for the foster services desk. There was nopony in line so she marched straight up to the desk.
"Hey, Afterburn," she greeted the stallion going through some papers. A familiar face, he was a bright red pegasus with very dark blue mane that contrasted heavily. He looked up.
"Hello, Rainbow Dash. I never expected to see you here," he said smiling. "I haven't seen you since I quit the Ponyville weather team. How have you been?"
"Pretty good. Did you have to work during the Best Young Flyers competition?" she asked, making an attempt at small talk. What she had to ask wasn't going to be easy for him.
"I was working, but I heard a certain blue pegasus won the prize and saved the Wonderbolts," he said, "so what brings you to foster services?"
"I need adoption papers," Rainbow Dash explained, "and a huge favor."
"Alright, but the child in question will need to be present to sign them. We've had too many ponies try to make up fake foals for the tax benefits," Afterburn explained while pulling the requested forms out.
"I can't bring her here," Rainbow Dash said bluntly.
"Then I can't give you the papers."
"Look do you remember that story a few years back about the orphan who ran away from the Church of Celestia Orphanage?" Rainbow Dash asked leaning close to him.
"Of course," he replied raising an eyebrow.
"I think I found her," Rainbow Dash said simply and quietly, "but there is no way I can bring her back here."
"If you found her we have to tell somepony!" Afterburn hissed. "She's a wanted pony! She nearly killed three ponies!"
"You know how the conditions were like in there. Can you honestly blame her?" Rainbow Dash whispered back. "Please, I need those papers. I promise this isn't for anything stupid like money. Do I look like I need bits?"
"It's illegal! I'd lose my job if anypony found out! Or worse," Afterburn answered, crossing his front legs.
"Please," Rainbow Dash begged, "you owe me."
"I may owe you a favor here and there, but this is too big," Afterburn shook his head.
"Remember when you caused that tornado and I took the blame?"
“Yes I remember-"
"And that whole week I covered for you when you had to visit your family?"
"That was only because they wouldn't give me time off."
"And the time I caught you after you flew into that storm cloud and got hit by lightning?"
"Okay I owe you a lot, but this is serious stuff," he said, still shaking his head.
Rainbow Dash stared him in the eye and raised her front left hoof exposing a mark on the inside of the leg. A mark she rarely ever showed but he knew what it meant at a glance
"I swear on my life, as a blood-sister of the Qnak family, and as the element of loyalty that I am doing this to keep a little filly safe and nothing more," Rainbow Dash said clearly and calmly.
Afterburn looked at her for a moment and sighed. "I'll do it," he said finally. "You'll still need to take her to a doctor within 60 days. Nothing I can do about that."
“I'm sure I can get that taken care of."
"Have you named her? I can fill in the rest from her old records. They should be around."
"Her name is Scootaloo now," Rainbow Dash said. "Thank you," she added.
"This better not bite me in the plot," he grumbled. "I'll make sure this gets filed where it should be. John Hoofcock here, and here."
Rainbow Dash signed where he pointed.
"That's it. You'll get the official stuff in the mail soon."
"Thank you," Rainbow Dash repeated before turning to leave.
"You know, you're the last pony I expected to want to take care of a foal. What made you want to take this one in?" he asked as she walked away.
"I guess she just reminds me of myself."
"Twilight!" Scootaloo called as she and Sweetie Belle entered the library. The unicorn was nowhere to be seen.
"I wonder where Apple Bloom is," Sweetie Belle said out loud.
As the pair walked around the library, they both became aware of a nagging feeling. Something in their minds tugging in a certain direction that seemed to change as they moved. Finally they gave in and began moving the way the feeling indicated, then they collided with each other.
"OW!" they both cried.
"Do you feel it too?" Scootaloo asked.
"Like something's telling me to go this way?" Sweetie Belle replied. Scootaloo nodded. "Okay, this is weird."
"This is weird. Not me controlling the wind, or our mixed up flanks, but this," Scootaloo said sarcastically.
"Hmm..." Sweetie Belle said, thinking. "It feels like we need to go down."
"Where is every pony? Twilight!" Scootaloo called again.
"We're downstairs!" came Twilight's voice drifting up from the basement. The two fillies looked at eachother then continued into the roots of the tree.
"Hey, girls," Apple Bloom said miserably, sitting on a cold metal table with a strange cullender on her head.
"Uh, what's going on?" Sweetie Belle asked.
"Apple Bloom seems to be able to use magic, and I'm trying to figure out exactly why," Twilight explained.
"You too?" Scootaloo asked.
"Huh?" Apple Bloom said surprised. With now practiced ease, the pegasus filly got her wings glowing. "Oh cool!"
"You can do magic too? Huh," Applejack said surprised.
"This has to be because they were blended together," Twilight reasoned.
"It don't make much sense tah me," Applejack said. "Neither of them got horns like a unicorn.
"Well a unicorn's magic isn't in the horn, its just channeled through it, you knew that right? Sweetie Belle?" Twilight replied. All the other ponies present just stared at her blankly. "Right. So there's a special organ inside a pony's body that generates magic. It's called the mana gland. All ponies have one, even you Applejack. However in earth ponies it's inactive. With pegasi, it's partially active so they can walk on and manipulate clouds. My magic isn't in my horn, it just comes out there.
“All the tribes have some residual traits of the others. I mean we’re not pegasi, but we still have certain muscles in our backs for wings if we had them.”
"Ah think ah get it," Apple Bloom said getting off the table.
"Somehow being together started the mana gland working fully in Apple Bloom and Scootaloo," Twilight added.
"What about Sweetie Belle?" Scootaloo asked. "She can walk on clouds now."
"That probably ties into the whole being together thing. Again it's a kind of magic pegasi use without realizing it, and it works without their will. Apple Bloom can probably do it too."
"Well that sounds nifty," Applejack said. "But is this gonna end up hurtin' them?"
"Apple Bloom just has to be careful moving books," Twilight said with a smile.
"What's that about?" Sweetie Belle asked.
"Don't ask," Apple Bloom grumbled.
"If I had known this was going to happen, I would have examined Sweetie Belle before hoof. I would guess the cloud walking has permanently lowered how much magic her body effectively generates as the spell can't be turned off and constantly consumes magic. It's not much, but you should be aware."
"I stink at magic anyway," Sweetie Belle said with a shrug.
"Also, seeing as the pegasi and unicorn traits have spread, 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."
"So mah sister's gunna be okay?" Applejack asked, wanted to be sure about this.
"Yes," Twilight said.
"Well maybe someday Apple Bloom can just magic all the apples instead of buckin' them," Applejack said with a smile, "save us ah lotta time."
"I wouldn't go that far," Twilight interrupted. "She's not very strong, even by unicorn standards. Just take it slow and find your limits. When you find them, be aware of just what you can and can't do," she said to Apple Bloom.
"What about me?" Scootaloo asked.
"Same goes for you," Twilight said. A curious expression came across her face, and she tapped her horn to Scootaloo's wing. "Okay, you're even weaker."
"Hey!" Scootaloo protested.
"Sorry, I was just curious how strong you girls were," Twilight said sheepishly.
"Oh," Scootaloo said dully.
"So can Ah keep mah magic?" Apple Bloom asked.
"If Twahlight says it's safe then alright. Just don't go abusin' it, yah hear?" Applejack replied.
"We promise!" the three fillies said together.
"Wow," Scootaloo said. "I didn't know this was actually magic," she said, tapping the cloud.
"I don't feel any stronger," Sweetie Belle added.
"Girls we do have serious business to take care of," Scootaloo said. She whipped up a light wind and guided them over the town. "We need to plan for show and tell."
"We could show off our flanks!" Apple Bloom suggested.
"Yes but how?" Scootaloo replied. "It's not much of a show and tell if everypony sees them before our turn."
"We could hide them under our crusader capes," Sweetie Belle suggested.
"Great idea!" Scootaloo agreed.
"Enough talk. Let's get crusadin'," Apple Bloom declared.
"Cutie Mark Crusaders, friend forever!" The shouted together. The three friends drifted off together to a day of adventures.
What Apple Bloom was doing was not strictly speaking levitation but a subset of that branch of magic known as object summoning. While it is a form of levitation it does nothing more then bring the object to the caster via the most direct route that is not blocked. If no route exists it will just attempt to make the most direct route and collide with the obstruction. This type of magic is common among infant unicorns.
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.