43w, 2dTwilight's Library
After a long day of helping spike with his chores at the library, it was time for Sweetie Belle to return home. She hoped that her sister would have forgotten about the fight they had had that morning, or at least calmed down since then. Knowing her sister’s dramatic nature and tendency to overreact to things, her hopes weren’t high. As she walked towards the Carousel Boutique, she looked forward to tomorrow when she would not only have another enjoyable day at the library, but she would also get to tell her friends Apple Bloom and Scootaloo about her new occupation. “Who knows?” she thought, “it might even help me discover my special talent and get my cutie mark!” with that, she arrived outside of her sister’s shop, and braced herself for the worst as she quietly opened the door and stepped inside.
“Oh! Sweetie Belle is that you darling? Oh I’ve been ever so worried! I thought you had run into trouble, perhaps in the Everfree Forest! What if you had been gobbled up by a manticore?”
“Sheesh! Calm down Rarity! I’m just fine. Besides, if you thought I was in danger, what are you doing sitting inside? Why didn’t you come looking for me?”
“Well, I was just about to of course, but you know, the Everfree Forest; such a dirty, drab sort of place. I had just decided to go out and look for you after all, but I couldn’t find the hat that went with my scarf!”
Exasperated, and quite annoyed, Sweetie Belle just managed to stop herself from saying that it was a good thing that she wasn’t in trouble, because if she were, she’d be done for because of Rarity’s craziness. Instead, she simply rolled her eyes, and went upstairs to get ready for dinner.
From her room upstairs, Sweetie Belle could hear the sounds of her sister bustling about in the kitchen, and she was beginning to smell the aroma of her cooking. She knew better than to ask to help her sister when she was cooking. She did not want a repeat of the fiasco from last time. Besides, she was tired from her work. She wished that she were better at magic so that she could levitate Twilight’s books rather than carrying them. While she waited for dinner, she decided to practice her magic the way Rarity had shown her. She selected the stuffed animal on her bed to practice on, and taking a deep breath, she closed her eyes. She mentally focused on the tip of her horn, as she had been instructed to do, and then directed the power she found there towards the stuffed animal. Within a few moments, she could feel the magical energy pulsating around her horn. She imagined the magic lifting the animal off of the bed, and sure enough she could feel it struggling to accomplish the task. Eventually, she could feel it rising off of the bed, and cautiously opened one eye then the other. To her delight, her stuffed animal was floating towards the ceiling! She found that she could make it move in any direction she wished. Pleased with her discovery, she continued to experiment.
“Sweetie Belle! Dinner is ready!” came Rarity’s voice from downstairs.
This interruption caused Sweetie Belle’s concentration to falter, and the stuffed animal fell back onto the bed once again. Tired from her mental exertion, and quite hungry, she left her room and headed down the stairs for dinner. When she arrived in the kitchen, Rarity was busy ladling soup into bowls, the steam causing her hairstyle to droop noticeably.
“Ah! Here you are. Could you carry these bowls to the table? Without magic please. I don’t want to clean up any more messes today!”
Sweetie Belle said nothing, but carried them to the table, somewhat grudgingly. I wish I were better at magic She thought dejectedly. Sweetie Belle pulled a stool from under the table and sat to eat her soup. A few minutes later, Rarity finally came to eat as well.
“So, what were you doing today? I thought you would be playing with your friends, but I couldn’t find you anywhere. I asked Applejack as well, and she said she hadn’t seen you all day.”
“I tried to tell you this morning, Scootaloo and Apple Bloom were both busy today. Don’t you ever listen to me?”
“Well of course I do Sweetie Belle! It’s just that, well, I was very stressed this morning to say the least.”
“If you must know, I went to visit Fluttershy, and then I helped Spike organize books down at the library. In fact, I promised I would go back and help again tomorrow.”
Blushing the tiniest amount and trying not to sound too interested, Rarity asked, “How is Spike these days?”
“Well, when I got there he seemed really overworked. That’s why I tried to help out. He said that with my help, his chores took only half the time that they usually do!”
“Well that’s simply marvellous! I’m glad you’ve found something to do!”
“Yeah I had fun, but I’m pretty tired. I’m going to bed.” With that, Sweetie Belle pushed in her stool and walked up the stairs to her bedroom. Sh planned to stay awake for a while reading, but once she was in bed she found it difficult to keep her eyes open. With a sigh, she shut her eyes and drifted off to sleep.
The next morning, Sweetie Belle awoke to the sound of a rooster crowing from the barn of Sweet Apple Acres. A warm ray of sunlight from the window gently caressed her bedspread, making it difficult for her to leave its cozy confines. However, she had promised that she would be at the library by eight - o’clock to help Spike with his chores. According to the clock hanging on the wall, it was about seven - thirty. Quickly, Sweetie Belle hopped out of bed, and taking a hair brush from the nightstand, began to attack the multi-colored curls of her mane, which during the night had been thrown into wild disarray. After rushing, she trotted downstairs to the kitchen. To her surprise, her sister was not there, but if she strained her ears, she could hear the muffled mumbling of her sleeping sister from the bedroom. It sounded something like “Ice cream house” but it was all nonsense as usual. She knew that her sister would not want her to use the stove without her supervision, so she fixed herself a bowl of oats and honey. As she ate, she mentally planned out her day. She knew that Spike was counting on her, so she would be at the library until at least three, but this still left plenty of time for other things. She decided that after her work was done she would meet up with the other Cutie Mark Crusaders for the evening. After finishing her breakfast, and cleaning her dish in the sink, she was left with ten minutes. She quickly scribbled a note to Rarity explaining what she was doing, and walked out the door into the warm sunshine.
The main street of Ponyville is usually alive with the hustle and bustle of ponies going about their daily business, and today was no exception. Sweetie Belle carefully navigated her way through the crush of ponies on either side of the street. She stopped briefly to say hello to Applejack who was setting up the apple stand.
“Good morning Applejack!”
“Oh, hi there sugarcube. Apple Bloom told me that if I saw you I should give you a message. She says that you should go to the clubhouse this afternoon for a meeting.”
“Thanks Applejack! Tell her that I’ll be there for sure. I have to meet Twilight and Spike at the library now. Bye!” With that, Sweetie Belle turned and trotted towards the library.
She arrived on the doorstep of the Ponyville Library at eight o’clock sharp according to the bells chiming in the tower of the town hall. She knocked on the door, and it was quickly opened by spike.
“Hey Sweetie Belle, you ready for some chores?”
“Sure Spike! How can I help?”
“Well, Twilight is studying pretty hard again today, so rule number one is to stay out of her way. She can get pretty stressed, and we don’t need her bursting into flames. The last time that happened, she nearly burned the whole library down!”
“Yikes! sounds pretty dangerous. Anything else I should know before we get started?”
“I think that’s it. First, why don’t you help me clean up the kitchen from breakfast?”
Happily, Sweetie Belle followed Spike into the kitchen. There she could see the remains of what looked like delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs and haycakes. It reminded her of a breakfast she had had with her sister before she was so busy with her fashion business.
“Wow Spike, did you cook all of this?”
“Well yeah, you might say I’m a bit of a budding chef. There are so many great cookbooks in the library, and Twilight never seemed interested in them. I picked some up, and discovered that I have a real knack for cooking. Not quite as good as Pinkie Pie or Applejack of course, but not too shabby.” As he said this he made a motion as if he were stroking a moustache, though his upper lip was bare as ever. Sweetie Belle found this quite funny, and failed to stifle a giggle.
“What’s so funny?” Spike asked.
“Oh, I was just picturing you with a moustache. It was so funny!”
Spike began to blush ever so slightly. “It’s been a bit of a habit since Twilight gave me a moustache with magic.”
Once again, Sweetie Belle burst into a fit of giggles.
“Anyway, why don’t I wash the dishes and you can dry them.”
As they worked, Spike told stories about what his life had been like in Canterlot, before he and Twilight had been sent to Ponyville. In return, Sweetie Belle answered Spike’s questions about her own life, many of which seemed to pertain to Rarity for some reason. She didn’t mind though, as she was always glad of someone to talk to. Rarity was usually too busy with her work to pay her much attention.
In what seemed like no time at all, not only had all of the dishes been washed, dried, and put away, but the countertops had been cleaned, the floor was mopped, and the entire kitchen sparkled.
“Wow! I had no idea that an assistant could be so helpful!” A resentful sounding hoot came from the corner where Sweetie Belle noticed Owlowicious to be sitting. “Normally cleaning the kitchen takes me a few hours.” Spike stood looking dumbstruck by the sight of the spotless kitchen.
“Oh, I’m just glad I could help,” replied Sweetie Belle honestly, “After all, helping you out might just help me find my special talent and earn me my cutie mark!”
“Maybe, but I don’t see what the big deal is about cutie marks. I mean, it’s just a little picture. Why is it so important?”
“To tell you the truth, I’m not sure why they’re so important either. I kind of like the idea that I can be whatever I want to be since I don’t know my special talent yet. I mean, there are so many cool things to try out. One time, Rainbow Dash even tried to help me learn to hang glide! That didn’t turn out so great though.” Sweetie Belle sighed. “If Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon weren’t so mean to us blank-flanks, I wouldn’t be so worried about my cutie mark.”
“Maybe you will get your cutie mark by helping me out, but what would it be? It could be a stack of books, or maybe a feather duster...”
“I don’t know, but I probably won’t get it by sitting on my flank talking about it. What’s next on the agenda?”
“Since Twilight is using so many of the books for her studying, now would be a good time to dust the bookshelves. I think I have an extra duster lying around. Let me go find it so we can work together.”
While Spike was searching for the duster, Sweetie Belle took the opurtunity to do some poking around the library. Until today, she had only ever seen the main room with the bookshelves. She peeked around a dividing wall and saw Twilight in the middle of a large ring comprised of stacks of books. She was feverishly turning this way and that, flipping through pages of many different books, and writing things down in a small notebook she kept by her side. She wondered what she could possibly be studying, but decided against asking because of her frenzied state.
“Found it!” yelled Spike from the other room.
As the pair dusted the bookshelves, they continued to speculate about what Sweetie Belle’s cutie mark might turn out to be. When they had thoroughly exhausted that topic, they got to discussing what Spike’s cutie mark would be if he were a pony. By the time that the last shelf had been dusted, they felt that they had exhausted all of their options for cutie marks.
For their final task of the day, Spike and Sweetie Belle set to work tidying up after Twilight’s studying. Her room looked as if a tornado had ransacked it. piles of books formed a miniature city which was arrayed in a circle around a writing desk littered with papers, quills, and a bottle of ink that looked in imminent danger of spilling. Twilight was laying in the nearby bed, totally exhausted from her studying.
“Well, we might as well get started,” Spike said.
With that, the filly and the dragon began the tiresome work of organizing. Books were stacked, papers were piled, and the ink bottle was carefully corked. The stacks of books then had to be carried into the main room and shelved. The heavy stacks of books that Spike were able to carry were too much for Sweetie Belle, and silently she cursed her feeble magic. She closed her eyes and focused all of her might on the stack of books, but only managed to knock it over in the process. This startled Twilight out of her nap, who blinked a bleary eye at Sweetie Belle.
“Oh hoof,” Groaned Sweetie Belle, “I’m sorry Twilight, I didn’t mean to wake you up. I was just trying to use magic to lift this stack of books, but my stupid magic never works!” She collapsed to the floor in a sullen heap.
Suddenly snapping back to full alertness, Twilight perked up and said “That’s it! To repay you for helping Spike, I can help you practice your magic!”
“That sounds like a great idea!” exclaimed Sweetie Belle, jumping back up. “When can we start?”
“Well I’m pretty tired now, but if you stop by tomorrow, we can get right to work.”
“Great! See you tomorrow!”