Class Begins- Getting to Know You
After the meal had ended, Princess Cadance personally led the six fillies upstairs. The sun was already setting, and the alicorn wanted to let the girls have a chance to settle in.
"This is where you'll be staying, my little ponies," Cadance said sweetly. "I’ve had each of the rooms decorated to match your specific harmony bearer tastes."
"Thank you ever so much, Aunt Cadance!" Twilight whinnied politely. "You are far too generous!"
The pink unicorn trotted forward, and opened the door to her room. Inside were rows and rows of shelves covered with books.
"Aunt Cadance, this is amazing!" The pink unicorn trotted over to the shelves. "I've never even seen some of these titles in our library back home!"
"I'm glad you like it, my dear." Cadance beamed, happy to see a unicorn named Twilight smiling again. "I ordered books from every corner of Ponyland for this room, and they're all yours."
"I must say, there are a lot of scientific books in here, though. Not many fantasy or adventure stories." Twilight looked around at the room, noticing the purple bed and sheets. "And this room seems very practical and plain..."
"I know, isn't it great?" the alicorn asked. "I just knew you'd be into the simple and practical stuff, nothing girly or overly frilly."
But I love girly and frilly! I was hoping for a frilly room all decked out in pink and lace, a disappointed Twilight thought to herself. And I love romance and enchantment stories, not technical books!
"I-it's wonderful, thank you," Twilight told her, hiding her disappointment.
Glory trotted into the room with the symbol of generosity on the door, and suddenly let out a squeal of delight.
"Eeeee! White lace curtains! A satin canopy bed! This is simply divine." But when she looked around the room, the white unicorn's face fell. "A sewing machine? Patterns? Sheets of fabric? Your highness, what are these for?"
"I provided those so you could make clothes for yourself and your friends." Princess Cadance looked confused. "Isn't making dresses your special talent?"
"Why no, your highness! The shooting star on my flank indicates my talent at organizing shows and performances- like a fireworks display," Glory replied, slightly annoyed. “My mother's the dressmaker, I just enjoy wearing them!"
"Oh, dear..." the alicorn whinnied. She hadn't counted on this kind of a difference.
"Ohhhhhh! This place is great!" Surprise flapped into her room, and saw all of the balloons, decorations, and party favors strewn about the room. "I can really use all this stuff!"
"Well, I'm glad you like it, fair Surprise!" The princess sighed with relief, having at least gotten one harmony bearer right. "So what kind of parties will-"
"Yeah, this junk will be great for playing pranks!" The white Pegasus giggled, grabbing a party horn out of a pile in the corner. She flew up behind Posey, who was studying an embroidered tapestry of a flower garden, and blew the horn with a loud TOOT!
"Eyhahhhhhhhh!" the timid pony shrieked in terror. The yellow filly immediately galloped out of the hallway, and into her own room, slamming the door.
"Well, she went out with a high note!" Surprise giggled hysterically, falling backwards. "I'm soooo gonna love it here!"
Applejack trotted into her room, and saw the walls and furniture were all decorated to look like an apple farm. Over on the far wall, there was a large mural, depicting a farmhouse with an orange mare and her family bucking apples in a nearby orchard.
"So, how do you like it?" the princess enquired. "The artist based it on a surviving photograph of the original Applejack's family, and their farm!"
"I-it's great your highness, thank you." The orange filly leaned against the wall, staring silently at the picture of the happy family.
"Okay then, well..." Cadance shook her head, not believing how this was turning out. "I believe I will leave you girls to get to know each other, see you all in the morning!"
"Well girls, I guess we should get our things unpacked." Twilight told the other five. "After that, why don't we all get together in my room, and get to know each other?"
"Ohhh, girl talk! Sounds like fun!" Glory giggled. "Oh! I could bring my makeup kit over, and we could give each other makeovers."
"Thanks... but I think I'll pass on the girly-girl stuff," Firefly snorted. "Sorry ladies, but I think the sleepovers and tea parties aren't for me. I'm grateful to the princess for this chance, but I'm outta here!"
Firefly turned, and started to fly out the window. It was at that point that a pegasus guard-in-training came flying around the corner, on his routine patrol of the castle. He was about their age, and was extremely well built for such a small pony. All five of the teenage fillies watched the young colt flap by, their eyes carefully following his well-toned flank as he rounded the corner. After he was gone, Firefly suddenly jolted, as if waking from a trance.
"On second thought, maybe I'll stick around here for a bit," Firefly snorted. "But if we're gonna do makeovers, we’d better go get Poesy!"
Glory slowly opened the door to find the yellow earth filly cowering on her bed, hiding under the covers. The white unicorn trotted up to her.
"Why, Poesy! Are you still frightened by Surprise's little trick?" Glory peeked her head under the blanket. "I'm so sorry she did that to you, dear.”
"N-no, that's not it," the timid little filly whimpered. "I'm just scared of what's on my room wall..."
Glory looked over, and saw the painting of a fierce bear on the wall mural.
"Not a big fan of menacing creatures, are you?" Glory asked.
Poesy nodded weakly. "They're really scary, and mean."
"Then why don't you come over to Twilight's room with us, honey?" Glory smiled at her. "Nothing scary over there."
Poesy smiled, and followed her out from underneath the blanket.
"I guess Cadance shouldn't have assumed you'd be just like Fluttershy," Twilight snorted, as the two ponies came trotting out from the room. "Just like I'm starting to think she's assuming things about the rest of us!"
"Tornado, did you see those six fine fillies the Princess invited to stay at the castle?" Thundercloud asked his friend enthusiastically. "They are soooo hot!"
Taking a break from his patrol in the library, the lavender-colored pegasus colt with the pink mane had stopped by to tell his friend the news. The librarian colt, however, was less than enthused.
"Thundercloud, you get excited every time a filly shakes her tail at you." The librarian adjusted his glasses. "What makes these girls any different from all the others you've fawned over?"
Tornado, a serious blue unicorn with a pink-and-blue streaked mane, was used to his soldier friend falling head over hooves for any filly that walked through the stable. Unlike Thundercloud, Tornado preferred to keep his hooves planted firmly on the ground.
"Dude, I saw them on my patrol!" Thundercloud protested, flexing his wings. "This really cute pink one winked at me! I think I'm totally in love!"
Tornado just rolled his eyes. "Even if they are as good as you say, what does it have to do with me?"
"I've pulled a few strings with the captain of the guard, and Lighting and I will be serving as their bodyguards when they accompany Princess Cadance to Hoofkaido in a few days," the junior guard whinnied. "I also managed to pull a few strings, and arranged for you to come along to record the event! Being a historian is your special talent, after all."
"I think I'll pass." The librarian pony shook his mane. "I have better things to do than follow you on another session of chasing tail."
"Did I forget to mention they're the harmony bearer trainees?" Thundercloud flashed his friend a smile. "One of whom, I might add, resembles that purple unicorn from the history books that you had a foalhood crush on?"
"Twilight Sparkle?" Tornado's ears perked up. "When did you say you were doing guard duty for that trip, again?"
Back in Twilight's room, the six fillies were all on cushions, seated in a semicircle with their manes up in curlers. The teen ponies had started to talk amongst each other, and it had started to lower the fierce tension between them a bit.
"So Poesy, you've always been scared of... well, everything?" Twilight asked the earth filly.
"Oh, yes! The world has always been a scary place to me," the yellow pony replied, sipping the tea in front of her. "When I was a filly, everything in Bright Valley always made loud noises and looked scary. I’ve always liked plants because they’re still and quiet, and never do anything to startle me."
"Gee, I never knew that's how ya felt!" Surprise whinnied guiltily, looking away. "I'm really sorry I scared you like that, I was only trying to have some fun."
"Me too, Poesy. I was just frustrated my mom sent me along on this stupid attempt to girlify me," the pink pegasus snorted angrily. "My whole life, my parents have wanted me to be more 'feminine', and you know what? I do like stuff like this." She looked at the curlers in her mane, and the large bow tied on her tail. "But I want to be girly on my own terms. I don't want somebody telling me how I'm supposed to live."
"Wow, I had no idea," Glory whinnied. "Nobody should make you be anything you don't want to be."
"What about you, Surprise?" Twilight asked the white Pegasus. "What made you into such a 'fun-loving' pony?"
"Aw, my mom and dad were always so formal and serious," the trickster pony snorted. "My brothers and I never got to make noise and run around as foals, and all that energy just got pent up." The filly broke into a mischievous grin. "So I found my special talent in jokes and surprises, and drove the super-serious town of Hoofkaido crazy!"
"That explains a lot!" Twilight replied, nodding. All of the fillies present were starting to understand each other a little better, and it looked to the pink unicorn filly like things were turning around.
With every other pony having spoken their minds, all of their attention turned to Applejack. The orange earth pony was seated over in the corner, mulling to herself. Finally noticing all the eyes in the room on her, the earth pony finally spoke up.
"What? Ya want me to talk? Ya want me say something?" The apple-flanked filly snorted. "Want me to tell a sob story about why I'm so quiet and angry all the time? Sorry, not going to happen." Applejack stood up, and stamped her hoof angrily. "I'm here ‘cause the princess asked me to be. But my life... my past... are my business, not yours! So butt out, ya got it?"
The orange filly angrily trotted out of the room and slammed the door behind her. The mood between the other five ponies, having been positive up until this moment, suddenly turned sour.
"Aww, what are we doin' over here, anyway?" Firefly asked angrily, scowling. "I'm going back to my room, you girls can keep having your little sissy party over here!"
"Hey! Don't be so rude, you big meanie!" Surprise's face darkened to a look of anger, growling as she trotted out of the room. "I'm gonna get her with a whoopee cushion, just you wait!"
"Great, that loony will probably set all of our tail bows on fire when we're not looking," Glory snorted in frustration. She nodded towards the yellow filly. "Come on, Poesy. You can stay in my room until the princess gets yours repainted."
"Okay... thank you, Glory." The pink-maned filly looked back at the unicorn. "Good night, Twilight. Thanks for having us over."
As the last of the ponies left her room, Twilight shook her mane and sighed.
Everything was going so well. And now we're right back where we started, the pink unicorn thought to herself sadly. If something is not done soon, we'll never become friends, let alone harmony bearers!
Looking around her room for several minutes, Twilight Shine debated about how to deal with the situation. She noticed the mural in her room, depicting Twilight Sparkle and the harmony bearers standing against Discord and Queen Chrysalis, and stared at the image of the studious purple unicorn.
Now what would you do, given my situation? she thought to herself.
Sitting down at the small study desk in her room, Twilight Shine levitated a pen and paper up to write a letter.
"Dear Princess Cadenza..."