For a little over a year I have been slinging words at a wall, watching to see what stuck. I'm very happy some of you enjoy those words.
90w, 16hThe Writer's Group
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She strode into his office, every bit the proud princess of the night.
"Professor Thissdens, we require thy services!"
Thissdens blushed, and pushed a stray lock of his mane back. "Princess I must admit I heard rumors of your exploits prior to your... difficulties but I never expected to be so approached."
He looked her over. "Still, we must all serve in our way, how did you wish to do this your majesty?"
Luna looked confused. "We beg thy pardon, Professor, perhaps you have misunderstood our intent-"
"Oh, I dearly hope not your majesty! Thou art the finest visage of beauty to ever cross yon threshold. Ask any boon of me and I will grant it to thee with pleasure, in all senses of the word."
Luna looked a bit flustered, but pleased. "Professor we are quite certain now our intent was not conveyed. While we would not be loathe to discuss such matters at length at a later time, for the moment the services we request involve the use of your mind. As opposed to certain other parts of thy anatomy."
Thissdens grinned. "A lady that is attracted to me for my intellect! My mother always insisted I would find one. How unfortunate to have met you so late in my life. Still, when life hoofs you lemons..."
Luna explained the situation at length, all the while trying to calm down. Nopony had been so brash with her in centuries, even prior to her... episode. She was flattered, but still a bit taken aback.
"So it's happened eh? Not quite the way either of us expected but you can't argue the end result. Two pegasi, two unicorns, and two earth pony? Interesting symmetry there."
"They are the Bearers of the Elements of Harmony. Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Twilight Sparkle, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, and Fluttershy."
Thissdens' ears perked up. "Rainbow Dash you say? Best Young Flier Award winner? Performed the Sonic Rainboom twice?"
"Rather more than twice recently, after having undergone the changes she did. Professor Cann insisted you would be needed particularly to assist Miss Dash. While he was confident in his ability to help teach spell crafting to ponies who had never used a horn in their lives, he insisted he would need thine expertise to assist them in learning how to-"
How did she put it? "-not destroy the local weather systems with massive floods and or tornadoes whenever they sneezed."
Thissdens nodded. "I told that old fool we needed to approach all the angles if we really hoped to help anypony. Still, if he asked you to find me I'll forgive him his ignorance. He has clearly realized the error of his ways."
A pop above Celestia announced her sister's return letter.
I have found your professor, he has agreed to accompany me to Ponyville.
We will join you at Twilight Sparkle's Library Tree.
P.S. He seems to be an incurable flirt. Watch your flank around him."
"Luna found Thissdens. He's coming to Ponyville."
"Good good, now we can begin to get to the bottom of this."
Six months passed, during which time life continued fairly normally.
Twilight and Rarity attended regular training sessions with Luna and Celestia. Celestia taught them to focus their power without overusing it.
For Rarity this was less of a chore, she'd never had so much power at her hooves it's true, but her interests had always led to mass projects which required multitasking. Her life was only made easier, since she now had greater energy reserves, and a much greater variety of spells at her disposal. Teleportation, for instance, allowed her to attend more events without running herself ragged.
"Yes of course I'll announce for the race dear! Party at seven you say? Wouldn't miss it!"
For Twilight this proved a far greater challenge. For months afterwards every spell she attempted felt like she was swinging a sledgehammer to swat a gnat.
"Twilight you're still using too much magic! I am running out of busts for you to test with!"
"Sorry Celestia, let me try again..."
"How did you manage to set stone on fire?"
Luna in turn taught them basic flight and weather manipulation.
Twilight took to this fairly well, and while she was no Rainbow Dash, she soon became comfortable flying, indeed if she pushed herself she could perform the Rainboom. She found with concentration she could manipulate clouds with relative ease.
"Rainbow Dash is going to be so proud!"
"Don't get cocky Twilight, now do it again, this time faster."
Rarity on the other hoof seemed to take to flight like a fish to water, she flew at every opportunity. She never worried about pure speed, it was all control. Canterlot and Ponyville soon found their upper stratosphere graced with delicate sculpture which slowly changed as the winds destroyed them.
"Oh but aren't they pretty Celestia?"
"Yes but they blow away nearly as soon as you make them, what's the point?"
"Something beautiful does not need to have a point!"
Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, and Rainbow Dash were split amongst the professors.
Fluttershy and Dash were were frankly a little flummoxed by Thissdens. His wings never seemed to move, in fact any time he "flew" they stayed at his side. He seemed to more... well running through at the air. His cutie mark was odd too, a horseshoe print in a cloud. They never asked, but he could see their curiosity.
One day, after a particularly grueling session teaching them, he brought it up conversationally.
"You're familiar with how a pegasi architecture works, correct? Pegasi magic alters the density of the clouds, makes them solid while at the same time retains their properties as clouds? I used to stare up at Cloudsdale longingly, until one day it occurred to me, if one can stand on a cloud, why limit it to a simple home? I traveled high into the mountains. Reaching cloud level, I began to forge two pairs of horseshoes, which I then nailed to my feet with nails formed from the same cloud. On that day I walked into Cloudsdale. Somewhere on the trip I found this on my flank. Ever since that day I have been seeking ways in which to break the basic understanding of how our magic works."
"The wings help you see, but its about more than air displacement. Moving air around you is you willing the air to part. The more effort you put into it the faster you can potentially move. The clouds are not simply pushed, they want to move for us, if you have strong enough willpower physical contact becomes unnecessary. Any pegasi can kick a cloud, but will can make it into a storm cloud, and anger can make it shoot lightning."
Applejack approached flight as she would any task, with hard work and constant effort. She never really became adept at cloud manipulation, but she could buck them into nonexistence easy enough. She became proficient in flight, and could manage to keep up with Rainbow when she chose to.
"Hey Dash, wanna redo the Iron Pony match sometime? I think we're all squared up now, you can even keep your wings untied."
"You're on A.J.!"
Neither Howe nor Thissdens could make heads or tails out of Pinkie Pie. She seemed confused at the simplest concept, and yet when asked to perform spells or shape storms she did it with eerie ease. When pressed how she was doing it she shrugged. In time they simply adopted her as a teacher's aide. She could not explain how to do something, but she could demonstrate anything. Cann shook his head and muttered. "-savant." They both pointedly chose to ignore when she did something that neither magic nor pegasi ability seemed to account for.
"How does she-"
"Don't ask Thissdens. Even I know some questions can only lead to madness."
Dash, Applejack, and Fluttershy learned basic unicorn magic from Cann. They were proficient, but not exactly noteworthy when compared to the likes of Luna, Twilight, Celestia or Rarity. Pinkie Pie, again, showed unusual adeptness with magic of any type. She seemed only limited by what hadn't yet occurred to her.
"Pinkie Pie for the last time stop turning Fluttershy into a tree!"
During this time Cann and Twilight were hard at work studying the elements. The first thing they found was... the elements had reverted to their inert stone forms. This caused great panic, and testing began immediately. Further study showed the magic was there... but somehow not.
"This is the form they were left in after I was forced to banish Luna, but why would they be this way now?"
"What worries is more is why there is chaos magic imbued in the elements, it's as if Discord touched them..." Cann looked concerned and a little frustrated that the answers were not more apparent.
Twilight rose a hoof, as if waiting to be called on, when the professor nodded she spoke. "He... did, after his escape, is that a problem?"
Cann laid a hoof to his chin. "Potentially..."
Today Dash was waiting for Applejack. She had promised her a real race to stretch both their wings. Dash spotted a figure off in the distance and flew forward to greet her friend.
Instead, she spotted a much different alicorn. She was a graceful creature, but her coat and mane were all muted gray tones. On her flank was a tornado.
"Fool! These are my skies, by what right do you trespass in them?"
"Who the hay are you lady?"
"I am Princess Tornado, ruler of all you see! Who, my pitiful little insect, are you?"