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Chapter 2: Weather You Like It Or Not...
The inch-deep blanket of snow covering Ponyville glittered brilliantly in the early morning sun. Confused, curious ponies gawked at the freak weather. Twilight Sparkle emerged from the library, gazing around wonderingly.
Above and behind her, Rainbow Dash beat her wings, tail flicking and ears twitching in annoyance. "Weather Control got me up at two this morning," she said archly. "Two. This. Morning. We've been tryin' to fix this mess for four hours, but it just keeps snowing. We can't stop it. We've totally lost control of the weather."
"That...shouldn't be possible," Twilight said.
"NO DUH!" Rainbow retorted. "We've already sent a message to Canterlot, but--"
"Wait a minute," Twilight interrupted as a thought occurred. She charged out into the snowy streets, heedless of the cold. Rainbow Dash followed her.
They came to a stop in front of a house two blocks from Sugarcube Corner. Twilight was about to knock when the door opened and Sable Star trotted out, ears flat and wings rustling at his sides. "Oh, Twilight Sparkle, thank Celestia," he said. "Something's going on with Vel..." He blinked as he got a good look at the snow covering the unicorn's head. "Is...that...?"
"It's snowing all over Ponyville," Twilight said, shaking her head to dislodge the powdery snow from her mane. "I had a hunch, so I came right over..." Pushing past the stallion, she trotted inside, Rainbow Dash following her. Sable frowned in confusion, then joined in behind them.
"Did Cloudsdale try to get in touch with me?" Sable asked the younger pegasus. "I was kind of out of it last night...Lav needed sleep yesterday so I was looking after Vel all day..."
"No idea," Rainbow said. "I was kinda busy tryin' to herd this snowstorm. Since two in the morning."
Sable winced. "Ouch."
They reached the nursery, and both pegasi stopped at the door. "Whoa," Rainbow breathed.
"Yeah, that's been going on since I woke up to check on her," Sable said.
Velvet Frost was hovering three feet in the air, her wings beating very slowly, one beat every five seconds. Her eyes were open and glowing; a wave of brilliant ice-blue light was pouring out of her tiny horn. Lavender Rose was trembling in the corner, ears flat and eyes wide. Twilight approached the foal and tilted her head, brow furrowed.
"Well, that explains the snow," Twilight said after a moment.
"WHAT?!" Rainbow shrieked. "You mean--"
"Yep," Twilight affirmed. "Velvet's magic is making it snow. That's why you can't stop it. It won't stop until she settles down."
"You're kidding," the blue pegasus said flatly. "You mean this little brat can--"
"Control the weather? Apparently." Twilight shook her head, smiling. "Could you fly back to the library and get Spike to send a message to Princess Celestia?"
"Sure," Rainbow replied, staring at the alicorn foal for a long moment before shaking her head and flying off.
Lavender approached the younger unicorn on unsteady hooves, still staring at her glowing, hovering daughter. "Weather control?" she asked softly.
"I'm afraid the two of you won't be very popular with the pegasi for a while," Twilight said ruefully.
Sable's ears flattened. "Great. There goes my job."
"I'm sure they'll understand it isn't your fault," Twilight said soothingly. "This is just one of those things..."
Princess Celestia appeared in a burst of sunlight, startling everypony.
"That was fast," Twilight said.
"All things considered, I didn't want to waste any time," Celestia replied primly, studying the foal with a wry smirk. "Well, this certainly explains all the agitated pegasi I've seen today..."
"How do we calm her down?" Twilight asked.
"Did anypony try singing her a lullaby?" Celestia suggested.
Lavender Rose facehoofed.
"She's a powerful alicorn foal whose magic just woke up, but she IS still a foal," Celestia continued. "Just get her to go back to sleep."
Twilight sighed. "It's always something obvious..."
Fifteen minutes later, it stopped snowing. An hour later, the pegasi had turned a cold, wet summer morning into a bright, warm, somewhat muggy summer morning. Everypony did their best to try to forget the freak snowstorm, but rumors were flying all over Ponyville. Twilight had decided it would be a bad idea to tell everypony exactly what had caused the snow in the first place, but in her heart, she knew it was a moot point--sooner or later, everypony would know about Velvet Frost's weather-control magic.
The next few weeks were bizarre, to say the least. Although Velvet had not managed to reproduce her first feat of weather magic, or performed any magic that affected Ponyville, she had become prolific in performing small-scale feats of weather, usually confined to the vicinity of her home--and occasionally, to Twilight's dismay, INSIDE the house. More than once, Twilight came home from supervising the little alicorn completely soaked to the bone.
Then, one afternoon, almost a month after the snow incident, Velvet managed to make it rain milk all over Ponyville.
Panic ran amok in the streets; ponies stampeded wildly all over town, freaking out at the sudden milkstorm.
"DISCORD'S BACK!" somepony shrieked.
"HIDE YOUR FOALS!"
"HIDE YOUR LAUNDRY!"
"HIDE YOUR PETS!"
"HIDE YOUR PETS AND YOUR FOALS IN THE LAUNDRY!"
"Calm down, everypony!" Pinkie Pie shouted over the din. "It isn't Discord! See? It isn't chocolate! If it was Discord, it'd be chocolate! But it's not! It's..." She tasted the rain, and spat it out, making a face. "Formula?!"
A few other curious ponies tasted the milky rain, making similarly disgusted faces. "Ugh!" somepony groused. "Why would Discord make it rain foal formula?"
"Discord isn't back, and has nothing to do with this," a magically amplified voice filled the town square. Everypony looked up to see Twilight Sparkle, being held aloft by Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy and looking rather serious. "I have something important to tell everypony, so please pay attention and above all DON'T PANIC, okay?"
The crowd waited expectantly.
"Velvet Frost can control the weather. Since she's just a foal right now, her magic is acting out randomly. She made it snow a month ago and somehow she's causing this. I think she's just hungry right now--"
The rain suddenly stopped.
"--and that would be Lavender Rose feeding her," Twilight finished.
The crowd began whispering excitedly amongst themselves.
"Now, this is important," Twilight said. "We all need to be supportive of Lavender Rose and Sable Star through all this. I know Velvet's magic might...inconvenience us from time to time, especially if she pulls off another stunt like this, but please understand, this isn't anypony's fault. A lot of you are unicorns; you were foals once, or you have foals, or you know a foal...you know what happens when foals' magic acts up."
A ripple of assent from the crowd, punctuated by Pinkie Pie's loud yell of "Boy, DO I!"
"So okay then," Twilight said in a hopeful, cheerful voice. "Please just put up with any weird weather we have until Velvet is old enough that we can teach her how to use her magic properly. Okay?"
General assent rose from the crowd, which began calmly dispersing, groups of ponies whispering amongst themselves.
As the two pegasi lowered Twilight to the ground, the unicorn sighed, wiping her brow. "Whew," she exhaled. "That went better than I expected..."
"Everypony understands the situation," Fluttershy assured her. "I'm certain absolutely nothing will go wrong..."
And that was precisely when it started raining manure.
TO BE CONTINUED...