49w, 3dTwilight's Library
Luna and Sweetie Belle sat still for a moment dwelling in the beauty off Luna´s work.
Luna turned to Sweetie Belle and in a playful voice said “now I believe I promised a certain filly a lesson on magic.”
The filly in question was quickly on her hoofs, eager to learn.
Even though Rarity had strictly instructed her to stash her cutie mark crusading, when around the princess, Sweetie Belle couldn't help but silently hope that a magic related cutie mark, might be within her grasp. She visibly smiled at the thought.
Luna noticed her wide smile and said “It seems, somepony is eager to get started.”
Sweetie Belle looked into the ground, a small embarrassed blush forming on her cheeks.
The princess chuckled and smiled, “don't be embarrassed, your eagerness to learn is admirable, ponies' thirst for knowledge is what has made Equestria into what it is today.” Luna looked in to Sweetie Belle´s eyes and gave her a warm and gentle smile, “learning is important, and don't let anypony tell you any different.” Luna gave Sweetie Belle a short nuzzle, which the filly quickly returned.
“Now, let's get started.” The night princess said, sitting herself down on a pillow she had levitated from the bed. “Before I start teaching you new, I want to see what you can do already.”
The white unicorn filly looked nervously upon the princess, and said “It's not much, I usually practise by lifting a little rubber ball I have.” Sweetie Belle used her hoofs to show the approximate size of her 'practise ball'.
The princess smiled, and used her magic to conjure a ball fitting Sweetie´s description. “Show me” Luna said.
Sweetie Belle gulped and focused on the task at hoof. She lowered her head, pointing her horn at the ball, she extended her magic, feeling for the desired object. After about 20 seconds of searching she finally found her target. Directing all her attention to the ball, she clenched her eyes in concentration, and just like last time she tried, the ball was slowly lifted of the floor.
Sweetie Belle had only held the ball suspended for a few seconds before Luna interrupted her saying. “Very well, you may stop.” Sweetie Belle anxiously looked up to see the princess' reaction to her performance. The night princess looked pleased.
“Very good Sweetie Belle, I see that you already have a basic understanding of the application of your own magic.” Luna said whilst smiling at the filly in front of her. What you lack is not the ability to use magic as much as it is the understanding of its inner workings.” Luna paused to allow Sweetie Belle to process what she had been told, she then continued by asking “Tell me Sweetie Belle, has anypony ever told what magic is and how it works?”
Sweetie Belle just shook her head.
“Then allow me to explain.” Luna mentally prepared her lecture on the inner workings of magic, she had never actually taught this to anypony before. “I guess I will just have to go with it then.” Luna thought. Now having an idea what to say in her lecture Luna started out.
“Now listen carefully, for it is a complicated subject and I do not expect you to understand all of it.”
Sweetie Belle had positioned in a sitting position in front of Luna. Luna continued the lesson.
“To understand magic, you must understand energy. Energy is a universal constant, there is a finite amount of energy in the universe. As you may or may not be aware, all actions are effected by energy in one form or another, energy comes in many forms, for example, thermal- and kinetic energy. All forms of life are dependent of energy to survive, if the energy contained in a life form - whether it be a plant or a pony -, is removed, the life form will wither and die”
Sweetie Belle nodded, silently confirming that she understood, what she was being told. Pleased that her student was following, Luna went on.
“Magic is – just like heat, a physical manifestation of energy. Contrary to common belief a unicorn does not create energy to conjure spells or use levitation. Since energy is, as I said before a constant, it is impossible to create, so instead the unicorn manipulates existing energy, far most magic users are – partially due to lack of the knowledge of an alternative – limited to the application of the energy stored within themselves. However it is possible for the capable practitioner to extract energy from ones surroundings, even other life forms, this method is generally frowned upon, as it is considered immoral to take the life force of another being. None the less this method is still taught to the best in the field, as it is also possible to store energy in inanimate objects, ponies typically use gemstones for this purpose since they are the best material for storage of energy.”
Sweetie Belle had raised a hoof, to indicate her desire to ask a question. Luna couldn't help but smile, as she stopped and said. “Yes Sweetie, do you have a question?”
“But if you are limited to using the energy stored in yourself, will you not at some point run out of power?”
“That is a valid question Sweetie Belle. There are of course more conventional means of acquiring magical energy, magic users who are unfamiliar or simply not powerful enough to access external energy sources, regain power by ingesting substances containing energy, mostly in the form of food but there are also some potions with the same properties.”
“Can I take any form of energy and use it for myself?” Sweetie Belle asked.
“Well there are forms such as kinetic energy, you can't absorb directly, due to the nature of them, telekinetically catching a falling object will not let you absorb the kinetic energy it contains. All energy can be utilized, it just has to be in the right form.”
“Aaaa...” was all Sweetie Belle said as she understood what the princess was talking about.
“She is a clever one. This is not easy stuff for a filly.” Luna thought. Her new friend/pupil was all she could wish for, she was bright, kind and downright adorable, Luna hadn't been this happy, in a very long time. It had been eons since she had last found joy in socialising with another living being, who would have thought this new found happiness, would come in the form of a little white filly.
Luna smiled down at a dear friend and said. “That is the basic workings of magic and energy, there is much more to learn, but that is for another time. Because now we are moving on to the more exiting part of the lecture.” Luna´s smile grew, she knew this was what Sweetie Belle had been waiting for all along, so she moved on. “It is time to practise the practical application of magic.”
Sweetie Belle wore a smile that could rival Pinkie Pie´s, she stood on her hoofs and eagerly waved her tail, her eyes glimmering with anticipation. Even though the theory lesson had been fascinating, this was what she had really been waiting for.
Luna remained sitting on her pillow as she was already much taller than Sweetie Belle. The princess of the night lit up her horn and brought over the rubber ball from earlier and dropped it at the filly´s hoofs and said, “Let's try the levitation exercise again.”
Sweetie Belle´s smile dropped a little “This again?” She thought. Her train of thought was interrupted when Luna continued.
“But this time, I want you to look inside yourself and find the place where you store your magical energy.”
“huh..?” Sweetie Belle looked questioningly at her.
“To find the direct path to your magic, you have to search your mind, and find the source within.” Luna elaborated.
“I think I get it” Sweetie Belle said.
“Just. Free your mind.” Luna dramatically added.
Sweetie Belle closed her eyes and ignored the world around her. “Okay, free your mind. How hard can it be?” she thought. Sweetie Belle dived deep into her own thoughts. After seaching here and there she at last she found what she was looking for. A bubble in the same light blue colour as her magic, but as she consciously tried to enter the bubble it resisted, it felt like a wall was set up around her magical deposit. “Free your mind” Luna´s words echoed in her head. Sweetie Belle´s consciousness slammed into the wall as hard as she could muster. She could feel the wall budge under the force of her attacks, and she slammed into the wall again and again and again. Eventually the mental wall gave in and the power behind it was set free like a storm flood.
Sweetie Belle could feel the surge of power in her entire body, as she returned to the real world. She reached out and found the ball, she commanded it to rise, and with incredible ease it did so. Sweetie Belle opened her eyes and saw a proud looking princess staring down at her. That's when she realised that she was still holding the ball, she barely had to concentrate.
“Very well done Sweetie” the proud princess said, “I take it you found the source?”
“Yes!! This is amazing.” Sweetie Belle said triumphantly. Her excitement broke the last of her concentration and the ball fell to the ground, “ups..” Sweetie Belle said sheepishly with a small embarrassed blush on her cheeks.
Luna just chuckled, “You may be more powerful than before, but you still have to concentrate.”
Sweetie Belle was about to say something, but the only thing that came out was a long yawn.
The princess giggled, “I suppose it is getting rather late, we should get to bed.”
Sweetie Belle did not object, the 'exploration' of her own mind, had taken it's toll on her. She quickly found her guest bed and dived under the covers.
Luna walked over to her own bed and was about to lay down, when Sweetie Belle looked up at her with shiny puppy dog eyes and asked “Luna. Can you tell me a story before I go to sleep?” Not being particularly tired Luna agreed and sat down next to Sweetie Belle´s bed.
“So what kind of story would you like to hear?” Luna asked.
Sweetie Belle contemplated this for a while, and then said “how about the story of how you got your cutie mark?”
The night princess thought for a moment before answering. “I suppose I could tell you that story.” Luna paused thinking of a way to begin the tale. Satisfied that she had found the best way to describe the events leading to her acquisition of a cutie mark, she started telling the story.