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  • E Scootaling

    Scootaloo's a changeling. How will her friends react?
    12,695 words · 14,399 views  ·  1,693  ·  34
  • E A Present for Octavia

    Luna works with a castle page to find the perfect birthday present for Octavia
    4,825 words · 1,003 views  ·  158  ·  2
  • E Symphony for Moon and Sun

    Lyra must help Octavia play a piece of forbidden music. Both will be ruined if she fails.
    44,097 words · 2,364 views  ·  248  ·  6
  • E Luna's Night Off

    Luna takes a vacation and plays some hoofball
    4,289 words · 1,289 views  ·  159  ·  3
  • E The Music of Ponyville

    Octavia Philharmonica and her friends must obtain the Elements of Harmony to defeat an ancient evil
    72,534 words · 3,008 views  ·  186  ·  5
  • E Greengrass's Night

    Duke Greengrass schemes to force a vote the way he wants it
    12,468 words · 1,784 views  ·  126  ·  3
  • E A Canterlot Morning

    Octavia and Fleur talk about politics
    7,649 words · 2,024 views  ·  145  ·  4
  • E Foaling Around

    The foals go to Canterlot. Chaos ensues.
    9,628 words · 2,101 views  ·  163  ·  5

Blog Posts172

  • 2w, 3d
    You Can Call Me...

    Dr. GrassAndClouds2.

    I.e., the PhD thesis defense went well. :-)

    18 comments · 67 views
  • 3w, 2d
    Rejected Video Game Titles

    Five Nights with Fluttershy

    Rainbow Dash Six

    The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Sparkle Princess

    Amnesia: A Machine for Pinkies

    Pacmare

    Luna: The Blue-ish Star

    Derpyronpa

    Dragon: The Bruce Cheerilee Story

    1 comments · 51 views
  • 13w, 1h
    Afterlife With Archie

    ...continues to be awesome.

    That is all.

    (Oh, and really looking forward to the forthcoming "Betty: RIP" arc!)

    0 comments · 105 views
  • 15w, 2d
    JULP Update

    After review by the Lunaverse Quorum, Just Us Little Ponies has been approved for Lunaverse-canon status! Woohoo!

    Thanks once again to everyone, including RDD, Emeral, and Fizzy for reviewing it, and Talon for being an incredibly helpful and supportive beta. :-)

    6 comments · 97 views
  • 18w, 4d
    I Don't Get It

    So, I listened to a couple episodes of Welcome to Night Vale. And... I'm not feeling it.

    I mean, I get that it's funny for maybe fifteen minutes to have a stereotypically deep voiced radio announcer talking about various horrible things as if it's mundane. "And, next Tuesday, the secret police will be executing citizens who failed to take out the garbage! Oh, those cads!" But after that fifteen minutes, I don't get what else there is of interest. That kind of story, to me, could use either a plotline about exploring the town and actually trying to solve its mysteries, or a plotline about fighting the various depravities of the town. As it is, there doesn't really seem to be a plotline, except for the recent 'vs Strex Corp' thing... which doesn't work for me, because they could have done a vs plotline with the Town Council or the Sheriff's Secret Police or any other of the fascist or monstrous things in town; it feels manipulative to suddenly say, "Wait, they really are heros! Look, here's some brand new bad guys whom Cecil and the others will oppose!" when they haven't really done anything heroic in the past.

    What's frustrating is they have Carlos, the scientist character, and I feel like a much better story could be told if Cecil were instead made a field reporter and permanently attached to the science team. Then you can have a consistent plot, exploring the mysteries one at a time, maybe even solving one now and then, and slowly filling out the world in spare moments. Instead, the episodes I saw were shotgun blasts full of random worldbuilding details, with no buildup to anything and no indicator that the story is progressing.

    But it's crazy popular. So I guess I'm asking, to any fans of the series... what am I not getting?

    7 comments · 137 views
  • ...
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Source

Lyra is pleasantly surprised to find that her friend and mentor, Octavia Philharmonica, is in Ponyville. It seems that Canterlot will be having a three-month long music festival, they need a top-notch lyre player, and Octavia has recommended Lyra. Lyra is thrilled, of course, but torn as to whether she can really leave her friends for months to go play music in Canterlot. Meanwhile, Trixie is sure that this is just a political move and that one of the Canterlot factions thinks having Lyra under their hooves would be helpful. Unfortunately, Lyra is all too aware of how manipulative Trixie can be. She thinks that Trixie's warnings are just a selfish attempt to keep Lyra nearby in Ponyville, and is only driven closer to accepting Octavia's offer. Can Trixie patch things up with Lyra and expose Octavia's scheme? Lunaverse story.

First Published
18th Jun 2012
Last Modified
22nd Jun 2012
#1 · 122w, 6d ago · 1 · · Duo for strings ·

For those who aren't familiar with the Lunaverse: http://www.fimfiction.net/index.php?view=group&group=760 . It's an AU world where Celestia went evil instead of Luna. Trixie is the Element of Magic, and other background characters from the show are the other Elements. It's a shared universe started by RainbowDoubleDash, and there's plenty of other stories in it if you're interested.

Fic stuff:

Hmm. Is Trixie right, or being too suspicious? Or maybe just selfish? Only time will tell.

Octavia is fun to write. She's such a serious character in such a whimsical universe. And she has a past with Trixie, who maintains her perfect record of irritating everyone in Canterlot she meets.

Note: fic is probably inspired at least in part by all the Dvorak and Smetana I've been listening to lately. Czech classical music is freaking amazing.

#2 · 122w, 5d ago · · · Duo for strings ·

Octavia is serioues, isn't she? That's her thing, I guess.

The only complaint I have with this chapter is that I don't think Bon Bon got a single line. She was just kind of...there.

#3 · 122w, 5d ago · · · Duo for strings ·

>>766949: Well, classical music players and aficionados are all very stern. (Actually, no we aren't. :-) But Octavia is, I guess).

I was worried about letting Bonbon detract from the Octavia/Lyra scenes. But you raise a good point... I'll probably go back and add a couple of lines from Bonbon. She's fun, and she shouldn't be left out.

#4 · 122w, 5d ago · · · Duo for strings ·

I'll be reading! :D This has some nice potential!

#5 · 122w, 5d ago · · · Duo for strings ·

Loved the musical intro.  That stuff is hard to write, but you made me almost hear it.

La Fleur Rouge, eh?  Wonder if this should be the same café Trixie and Raindrops went to in my story.  Guess that depends on just how fancy it is.  Oh, wait this place has an indoors.  The one in mine was only supposed to have outdoor seating, which was why business was a little poor near noon.  So I guess not, pity though, I liked the name.

but at least they got the griffin out of town

Awfully presumptuous there.  I seem to recall once saying I was making Gilda a permanent resident of Ponyville, but no, I was only joking then and still am now. :pinkiehappy:   Nothing said in this story is untrue to what I've been writing, though I really need to get that chapter finished so folks who want to can properly reference the fallout.

“Lyra, how many ponies do you think know my last name?”

Considering she is not only Luna's personal student, but also responsible for saving the world, which probably made headlines in every paper across Equestria, I would wager the answer would be just about everpony.  Plus even as not friends, the story already made it clear that the two have met before, even if only on poor terms.

if this town has the necessary facilities --- that one weekend Scratch snuck in

Given that Ditzy named dropped Scratch in response to the former, I'm finding it hard to also reconcile the existence of the latter statement.  If both are really true, it would seem the name should have incited at least some reaction from Octavia, and would also probably make more sense if Lyra was the one that knew Vinyl rather than Ditzy.  There's no reason both lines can't be true, I just find it awkward, makes everything feel too small-world to me.  Ponyville is sorta near Canterlot, but it's also an out of the way hick-town on the edge of the wild Everfree.  We've already got both Lyra and Trixie, having too many folks that used to live in Canterlot now residing in Ponyville just doesn't feel right.  This is the town that Rarity is struggling to get out of after all.

Anyway, a those last two gripes aside, this is off to a pretty good start and looks like something I'll really be able to get into.

#6 · 122w, 5d ago · · · Duo for strings ·

>>767157: Sure, Trixie did save the world. But:

1. It's strongly implied that the Night Court both dislikes her and fears her potentially gaining more influence, and wouldn't want that to happen. The papers would report it, but the nobles would probably try to limit Trixie's gains as much as they could. That would probably include trying to bury her name (or at least her last name), maybe just mentioning it once, briefly, near the beginning of the articles. Then, later, it won't be as politically hazardous to say no to 'the savior of the world,' they'd just be saying no to that brat Lulamoon, whom most ponies won't connect with the former. It was also a while ago, I think, which is plenty of time for folks to forget her last name

2. Trixie doesn't like her last name anyway, and has taken pains to ensure that no one calls her that. Others might know that a 'Trixie, student of Luna' saved the world, but not that she's a Lulamoon. At the party where she met Octavia, for instance, she would have insisted on being called just 'Trixie' as much as she could.

3. I seem to recall that the Lulamoons aren't esp. important politically anyway, so it's not like her name would trigger recognition.

In short: quite likely that someone like Octavia would know that a Trixie had saved the world. Not so likely that she'd know Trixie's last name.

As for the Scratch thing, that's a good point. I'll edit the name to be some random other pony.

#7 · 122w, 5d ago · · · Duo for strings ·

Sad's not my genre, but that cover picture is awesome.

An electric Lyre...... BRILLIANT! :rainbowlaugh:

#8 · 122w, 5d ago · · · Duo for strings ·

>>767234: As soon as I saw that picture, I knew I had to use it for this story. It was just so perfect. I love Lyra's expression too, as well as Octavia's confusion.

#9 · 122w, 5d ago · · · Duo for strings ·

>>767215

Some nobles might see Trixie as a threat but a few would also see her as an easily manipulated puppet to get themselves closer to Luna.  More Importantly though we've seen in the Boast Busted epilogue that Luna makes a big deal out of a free press, so I doubt she'd let the nobles bury Trixie's name.

Is it reasonable that Octavia wouldn't know the Lulamoon name, yes.  But it's not some big secret so I don't think it's the kind of fact that should be tripping Trixie's mental alarms, it's just far too trivial a detail.

#10 · 122w, 5d ago · · · Duo for strings ·

>>767258: I got the opposite impression from the epilogue. Luna convinced all the papers to bury the story on page 17 or whatever. She didn't totally squelch it, but she likely couldn't. The Ursa leveled a large part of Ponyville; even if no papers reported it, news would leak via word of mouth or whatever, and it could blow up into a big PR disaster if it somehow leaked that Luna asked the papers to completely hide the story.

Besides, maybe Trixie's just a little paranoid. :-)

#11 · 122w, 5d ago · · · Duo for strings ·

>>767265

I cannot – I will not – stop the story from running.

That seems a very pro-free speech statement to me.  And she certainly could have buried the whole incident completely had she wanted to.

Let me repeat, Ponyville is an out of the way hick-town on the edge of the wild Everfree.  It's a major outpost for the Apple Trust, since that family founded it, but for most of the rest of Equestria it might as well not exist.  General attitude would likely be  something like, who cares if those crazy inbreds lost home and livelihood to a giant star beast, that's what they get for being stupid enough to live anywhere near such a monster in the first place.  Sure being the daughter of a noble family makes it more of a story by Twilights involvement, but again who's word is to be more trusted, that of a bunch of inbred hicks or one of the oldest and most well respected noble clans.

Honestly I'm surprised Luna even had to take such quicksteps to knock it off the front page.  Seems to me the type of thing that should have likely taken days if not weeks to hit a reputable paper.  Especially as no one in Ponyville, including Trixie, seemed to realize that the nomad that wrecked the town was a pony of any importance.  Heck most of eye-witnesses probably didn't even know her name.

Anyway I agree that Trixie is quite capable of being paranoid, but having somepony's use of your last name setting off that paranoia though is way too extreme.  She is the personal student  of the royal Princess, official liaison to the Night Court even if only for a small town nowheresville, and most importantly savior of all Equestria.  Trixie is a celebrity of a more than reasonable caliber and she has the kind of ego that revels in it.  She might hate ponies using her full name but the fact that they know it should fill her with boundless pride, not half-backed paranoia.

#12 · 122w, 5d ago · · · Duo for strings ·

>>767369

Luna believes in a free press, but the nature of Equestria is such that the noble families (or Luna herself) can still manipulate when something gets released and where it gets released.

Ponyville may have been a hick town, and it still is to some extent, but the six saviors of Equestria live there, one of whom is also personally conntected to Luna. Information in general probably doesn't travel to or from Ponyville fast, but information directly concerning the L-6 would.

#13 · 122w, 4d ago · · · Duo for strings ·

Total isolation of the Element of Loyalty from her friends for a period of three months?

Yeah, I think Trixie's paranoia sense is on to something here.

#14 · 122w, 4d ago · · · Duo for strings ·

>>770110: Indeed. Seems a bit suspicious that this particular, uh, opportunity would come up for this particular Element...

#15 · 122w, 4d ago · · · Duo for strings ·

>>770114

In all honesty, if it weren't for the whole 'no outside contact whatsoever for three months' part, I'd be of the mind that Trixie was probably over-analyzing the whole thing and the offer was on the level.

While I understand that certain sacrifices have to be made to meet obligations in life, deals that require you to give up everything you had to get something you want tend to sit poorly with me. I don't like to burn my bridges so readily.

#16 · 122w, 4d ago · · · Duo for strings ·

>>770164: Well, to be fair, Octavia didn't quite say she couldn't talk to anyone. She said that Lyra would have to stay in Canterlot for three months, but not that no one from Ponyville could visit her.

Granted, visitors would be at the discretion of whoever would be in charge of Lyra's lodgings (and also, to an extent, the orchestra). We'll be learning more about Lyra's prospective host next chapter.

#17 · 122w, 4d ago · · · Duo for strings ·

>>770207

Exactly. Being able to control where she stays for three months is just a step away from being able to control who she interacts with in that same time frame.

Octavia says 'no going to Ponyville for three months' and my inner paranoia hears 'no talking to any of your friends for three months'. I'm willing to bet my inner paranoia is more accurate than Lyra would like at the moment.

#18 · 122w, 4d ago · · · Duo for strings ·

>>770273: Well, hopefully Trixie will be smart enough and savvy enough to think of these things and communicate them to Lyra in a calm, respectful, yet persuasive manner. Surely Trixie Lulamoon can manage that! :-)

#19 · 122w, 4d ago · 1 · · Duo for strings ·

>>770336

I almost read that with a straight face! :rainbowlaugh:

#20 · 122w, 4d ago · · · Duo for strings ·

The only problem I had was the chapter name. It's not properly capitalized. i know that's small, but it's such a pet peeve for me.

#22 · 122w, 4d ago · · · Dissonance ·

Way to handle things, Trixie. Maybe you're not doing as well with this 'friendship' thing as you thought.

I like the interplay between Octavia and Lyra. I play music myself (as an amateur) and really like reading/writing about musical characters, especially when they have the opportunity to just play music and lose themselves in it.

Greengrass is mentioned! He probably won't show up in this fic, but when/if we start writing out the Night Court, I hope he shows up. Quite the villainous politician, that one.

#23 · 122w, 4d ago · · · Dissonance ·

>>774622

This is a pony who gave Ditzy an in-universe version of "The Prince" so we can't expect her to be any more competent at this whole friendship thing as M!Twilight. Trixie's royal road to failure is, as has been mentioned, being an abrasive loudmouth; adding in her legitimate fear of the Great Game into the mix makes her a different sort of inept friend.

#24 · 122w, 4d ago · · · Dissonance ·

Dayum. Poor Trixie, poor Lyra. I hope this ends well for them, but somehow I know it won't...

#25 · 122w, 4d ago · · · Dissonance ·

The devil is, as they say, in the details. And details happen to be what both sides of the equation are sorely lacking. Trixie doesn't have them and Octavia either doesn't have them either or isn't volunteering them.

#26 · 122w, 4d ago · · · Dissonance ·

Chapter 2 already?  I don't have time for this; have to finish GOtL.  Will come back later.

PS: your writing speed makes me feel both jealous and ashamed.

#27 · 122w, 4d ago · · · Duo for strings ·

An excellent beginning. I got swept away a bit.

And yeah, color me suspicious too about the whole 'three months' thing. I ponder that... something's going down, methinks.

#28 · 122w, 4d ago · · · Dissonance ·

Ouch... best of intentions for Trixie, but it blew up in her face like a nuke. Sad part is, for her, she's legit trying her best to be a friend. Damned Night Court. Wacky Hijinks, you're fired! ;)

#29 · 122w, 3d ago · · · Dissonance ·

>>775417: Indeed. She's trying very hard. She's just kind of bad at it. :-)

>>775100: Octavia is a bit taciturn, isn't she? Guess we'll have to see if Trixie can do something about that.

#30 · 122w, 3d ago · · · Dissonance ·

>>775606

Unfortunately for Trixie, there is such a thing as trying too hard. Looking out for your friends is a good thing. Trying to control their lives is a bad thing. She's leaning just a little too far towards the latter for Lyra's comfort level it seems.

#31 · 122w, 3d ago · · · Dissonance ·

>>775642: Yep. Politics, it is a tricky thing, and Trixie doesn't seem to be doing very well at it right now.

#32 · 122w, 3d ago · · · Dissonance ·

>>775105

That makes two of us...

#33 · 122w, 3d ago · · · Duo for strings ·

Oh wow, this is really tough for Lyra! It's like the usual Element of Loyalty getting an offer to join the Wonderbolts :rainbowkiss: but finding out she has to spend three months in Cloudsdale, away from Ponyville. :rainbowderp:

#34 · 122w, 3d ago · · · Dissonance ·

>>776377

Make it three....

#35 · 122w, 3d ago · · · Dissonance ·

Trixie you idiot, just get her a room at the palace or something. Heck I bet you still have a room over you could lend her! :facehoof: then you can be a good friend and still protect her from Greengrass!

#36 · 122w, 3d ago · · · Variations ·

There's another pony that needs rescuing from Greengrass: Octavia herself. Trixie should remember that and use it to her advantage, don't you think?

#37 · 122w, 3d ago · · · Variations ·

>>780665: That could be very easily construed as refusing Greengrass's hospitality. It's an option, but it would give Greengrass an opening to be 'offended' and retaliate in a more direct capacity.

>>780680: Well, she doesn't really have any way of knowing if Octavia is being forced into this or if she was just all, 'betray my friend for the sake of my career? Score!' But perhaps more to the point, Trixie barely understands how to care about her friends; she's got little hope of caring about somepony she's barely met like Octavia.

#38 · 122w, 3d ago · · · Variations ·

Aw, buck. Octavia hypnotized Lyra, didn't she?

#39 · 122w, 3d ago · · · Variations ·

"Would You Kindly play the festivial with me, Lyra Heartstrings?"

Yeah, just music at the magic school my plot.

#40 · 122w, 3d ago · · · Variations ·

>>780845, >>780904: Well, Octavia is an earth pony, so she can't cast magic. And her cello's not magic either. Octavia takes great pride in being able to perform without needing 'assistance,' of that sort. She doesn't object to others that do it, but it's not for her.

So she's not a magician. But she is a phenomenal musician. And Lyra herself is very sensitive to music. I imagine part of her talent is being able to 'get' music at a deeper, more instinctive level. It's more real to her and affects her more deeply than most ponies. And Octavia knows that.

So Octavia didn't use magic... but she did, perhaps, if Trixie's suspicions are right, play a particular song with an eye towards inducing a particular emotion -- a sort of fuzzy, warm, pleasant agreeability -- in a pony who would be the most vulnerable to it. Which is still a form of hypnotism, I suppose.

#41 · 122w, 3d ago · · · Variations ·

Incidentally, now we know how that Trixie will occasionally do the right thing. She simply has to try and fail at doing all the wrong things first.

I like the contrast between the scheming Trixie, whose plans just get worse and worse (and end up causing her some injury), compared to Octavia, who appears to be so kind and considerate of Lyra's feelings. Octavia might not be a politician, but she seems to be better at persuading others than Trixie, at least so far. Hopefully Trixie will find some way to even the score.

The link is an explanation of the 'forcing a choice' trick that Trixie used against the mayor. Hopefully it's clear enough; if not, I can explain it in more detail.

#42 · 122w, 3d ago · · · Variations ·

>>780994

I've actually read that hypnotism is primarily about rhythm, particularly in how you modulate your voice when speaking to a suggestible subject. So, yes, I have little difficulty believing that a musician of Octavia's caliber could induce a mild hypnotic state which would allow her to 'suggest' to Lyra something that Lyra already wants to do. All the better because Lyra trusts her completely, which is often another thing needed to make real life hypnotism work properly.

#43 · 122w, 3d ago · · · Variations ·

>>781041: Exactly. Octavia's sense of rhythm and tone is extremely advanced. She could easily replicate a particular rhythm in her voice. And all those other things -- Lyra being tired, Lyra having had a couple glasses of wine, Lyra trusting Octavia -- only help. :-)

#44 · 122w, 3d ago · · · Variations ·

>>781074

And don't forget the part about Lyra wanting to do what Octavia's suggesting. Pretty much every single problem with the success of hypnotism, magical or otherwise, comes from trying to make an individual do something they don't want to.

If I try and make water run uphill, it's going to fight me every step of the way. If I try to make it run downhill on the other hand, it's all too ready to comply.

#45 · 122w, 3d ago · · · Variations ·

I'm reminded somewhat of the first half of Lesson Zero here in how Trixie's somewhat missing the point. On the other hand, that last bit does bode ill for Lyra if she goes, so...

Yeah, no matter what, this will probably have some bad consequence. :rainbowderp:

#46 · 122w, 2d ago · · · Variations ·

>>780830 it's not a matter of whether Trixie cares about Octavia really. As someone who tends to look at an argument from any angle I can, including the other person's side, I can confidently say that you don't have to actually care about someone at all to invoke their personal interest as a reason to do something. There's a difference between Trixie really caring about making sure Octavia doesn't take a fall for Greengrass and Trixie convincing Octavia to withdraw from the plan before she does take the fall for him. The first one is caring about Octavia, the second is just using Octavia's own interests to convince her to do stuff.

#47 · 122w, 2d ago · · · Variations ·

>>782083: Fair enough, although Trixie still doesn't really think like that. That's part of her problem; she sees Octavia as an obstacle to maneuver around, not another pony with her own motivations. Hence her not really being good at politics yet.

#48 · 122w, 2d ago · · · Variations ·

This raises a rather obvious irony: a pony we know who has no interest in playing The Game would be better at it than Trixie...as evidenced by Ditzy's constant asking of armor-piercing questions. This also means that when the crossover happens, both sides can compare notes about their incompetent leaders.

#49 · 122w, 2d ago · · · Call and response ·

Trixie finally beats someone at politics! Sure, she beats a cellist with literally no political training, and only after getting beaten up, but still. Progress!

Poor Lyra. It probably sucks to know that your mentor betrayed you for her own gain.

For those wondering why Lyra can hear Octavia and Trixie over the tin-can telephone, but not vice versa -- if you've used a tin-can phone like this (yes, they do work in real life), you'll note that it distorts the sounds going through it. This is because the medium that the sound is traveling through is different (a string, instead of the air) than we're used to hearing. Octavia can probably hear something from the other end, but it's distorted enough that even she can't recognize Lyra's breathing patterns or heartbeat, so she doesn't notice the green mare.

#50 · 122w, 2d ago · · · Variations ·

Damn, Octy, you're good... I love her hearing and how she used it against Trixie, there. Nice touch! And Trixie... the right reasons, wrong methods. So close, so far.

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