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14w, 1dFallen Heroes
You Can’t Hide Magic
Twilight looked on in a daze as she and Nyx sat behind the apple stand where Big Macintosh was hard at work. Big Mac, in a simple but much appreciated act of kindness, had allowed the pair to hide from the crowds after the tree incident. Nyx was still visibly upset about what had happened. She was, however, slowly recovering, thanks in part to the red apple Twilight had purchased for her as lunch.
Yet, while Nyx was recovering, Twilight’s state of panic only seemed to be growing. She kept up a calm facade for Nyx’s sake, but that didn’t stop her mind from spinning faster than Rainbow Dash could fly.
Dragon-shaped eyes could be hidden with glasses. Wings could be concealed with a vest. Magic was different. Nyx had almost blown her cover, and everypony at the Learn and Play Day had to be talking about what happened.
Sure, it was a feat of magic Twilight herself was capable of performing, especially with her years of practice and study under Princess Celestia. She had even accomplished a similar feat of magic when she was Nyx’s age; she had turned her parents into potted plants. At that time, however, it was a manifestation of magic she didn’t have full control of. Nyx, on the other hoof, had just turned a pony into a tree on purpose, something that should have been impossible for a normal filly.
A normal filly had turned a pony into a tree.
No, despite what Twilight told herself and everypony else, Nyx wasn’t entirely normal. She was an alicorn, but not an alicorn like her old foalsitter, Cadance. No, Cadance was only of partial royal blood, and thus a mortal alicorn. Yes, Cadance’s talent for love magic was unique. In terms of sheer power, however, Twilight herself was more magically gifted.
But Nyx… what if Nyx was different?
Doubts and fears, both old and new, began to rear their ugly heads in Twilight’s mind. Nyx had come from the spell meant to resurrect Nightmare Moon, and Nightmare Moon was not a mortal alicorn. She was the jealousy-twisted form of Princess Luna. She was a member of the rare breed of immortal alicorns. Nightmare Moon had the power to move the moon in the sky, an act that had become impossible to even a team of unicorns after Discord’s reign over the world.
And Nyx had been born of a spell meant to resurrect Nightmare Moon. She was likely just a young Nightmare Moon. Had she somehow inherited the gift of immortality? Would she, when she was older, be able to move the sun, the moon, or other heavenly bodies? Would she become as grand and regal as Princess Celestia?
The full weight of parenthood came crashing down on Twilight. What was she getting herself into? She was taking care of Nyx like a daughter, and she was barely an adult herself. That, and, for all she knew, she was raising a filly that could someday be like the princesses.
How long would she be able to keep the truth hidden? Dragon-shaped eyes and wings could be disguised, but that kind of magical power? How much longer would it be before Princess Celestia heard of this prodigy in Ponyville? Even if the hiccup with turning Fluttershy into a tree was a one-time thing, what would happen as Nyx got older?
Would Nyx’s magic get more powerful? How big was she going to get? Princess Luna, after all, was only a little bigger than the average pony, but she was still the younger of the royal sisters. She could easily get bigger in time, and that made Twilight think of Princess Celestia. What if Nyx grew as tall as her, and what about her mane? What if Nyx’s mane turned into a swirling cloud of indigo magic with stars like the real Nightmare Moon's mane?
What would ponies think when they realized what Nyx was? How long would it be before the torches and pitchforks came out? How long would it be before the royal guard was hunting Nyx down? How long would it be before Princess Celestia banished Nyx to the moon? Nyx didn’t deserve any of that… well, unless she was, in fact, Nightmare Moon.
“Twilight, you okay? Yer lookin’ mighty pale,” a deep voice on Twilight’s right commented.
Snapped out of her spiraling thoughts, Twilight looked up at Big Macintosh, who had a moment free from customers to check on her and Nyx. “Oh… yes, sorry… I’m fine. Just… just a little light-headed.”
“You want another apple?” he offered kindly.
“No, no thank you,” Twilight replied. “Uh, have they started the afternoon activities?”
“Don’t think so, but I reckon it’s going to start right soon,” Big Macintosh answered. The straw in his mouth twitched as he spoke. “Saw Applejack and Apple Bloom headin’ in that direction.”
“Are… are we still going to that, even after what happened?” Nyx asked.
“Yes, we are,” Twilight replied, getting to her hooves. She knew Nyx was looking forward to the afternoon activities, but the greater and unspoken reason was that Twilight was worried about what would happen if they left. After what had happened, if she and Nyx left abruptly, her friends would wonder where they went. They would then come looking for her and Nyx, and they would expect an explanation.
In truth, Twilight feared leaving would only invite more unwanted attention. If they stayed, however, they could try and act like what had happened was nothing out of the ordinary. Twilight’s family, after all, was known for being magically gifted. She could just act like what Nyx did was perfectly normal. This was far from the truth, but Twilight didn’t have a lot of options. It was either stay at the school or retreat to the library, and the former appealed to her as the best option.
“I know you’re here somewhere, Spy Spyerton McSpy,” Pinkie Pie whispered to herself while she surveyed the crowd of ponies moving about the lunch area and exhibits. Whoever had been watching her, Rainbow Dash, and Fluttershy had slipped away once, but now Pinkie Pie knew the spy was there, and she would find him or her.
Pinkie Pie sharply turned her head to the right and began looking across the crowd. Her vision eventually met with a pair of brown-gray eyes, eyes that were looking back at her. It took a moment for the other pony to realize Pinkie Pie was staring right at him, but, when he did, he ducked around a corner in the student exhibits.
“Gotcha,” Pinkie Pie whispered with a slightly devilish grin before breaking into a gallop. Creaky knee told her somepony was trying to get away from her, and the knee closest to the pony was the one that got creaky. It was what allowed Pinkie Pie to follow Rainbow Dash wherever she tried to hide, and, at the moment, it meant Pinkie Pie would be able to track the spy.
Rounding the same corner the spy had just disappeared behind, Pinkie Pie maneuvered through the crowd and student exhibits in hot pursuit. She caught small glances of somepony moving just ahead of her. The spy knew she was onto him, but that wouldn’t stop her. Nopony went about being a nasty Spy Spyerton McSpy, especially around her and her friends.
Creaky knee front left… Creaky knee front right… Creaky knee front right… Creaky knee back left… Creaky knee front right… Twingy ankle…
Pinkie Pie put all four of her hooves to the ground, braked hard, and skidded to a stop. Twingy ankle… Now the spy wasn’t running, the spy was hiding. Pinkie’s eyes narrowed, and she found herself once more on the side of the food court that had been set up for the Learn and Play Day. There were ponies at almost every table, eating their lunches while other ponies mingled about, talking and laughing.
“Oh, he’s good, but hide and seek is one of my favorite games,” Pinkie Pie whispered, before taking in a deep breath and shouting, “You hear that?! I’ll find you!”
All the ponies who had been eating their meals and chatting turned to look at Pinkie Pie, most quite startled by her sudden and very loud proclamation. Still, Pinkie Pie ignored the confused stares. She scanned the crowd and eventually spotted a pony sitting alone at a table who had not turned around. He was the only stallion that hadn’t turned to look at her. Her eyes fell on the back of his slicked-back navy blue mane.
“Gotcha… again,” Pinkie Pie hissed with a menacing grin. She moved across the food court slowly, stepping between ponies as she did her best to approach the spy from behind. She circled around chatting ponies, ducked behind a baby carriage, and even hid in a bundle of balloons. Each move brought her closer to her prey.
Yet, when she was within a few tables, a familiar face popped in front of her. “Oh, there you are, Pinkie Pie. I was worried when you ran off,” Rainbow Dash said. “It’s almost time to start the afternoon sports and games. You still want to help?”
Pinkie Pie glowered, trying to strain her neck and look around Rainbow Dash. “No… I… don’t… because… I’m tracking… a pony and…” Eventually, she gently pushed the hovering Rainbow Dash out of the way, only to find the pony she had been creeping up on had vanished. Pinkie grunted in aggravation before turning an accusing glare onto Rainbow Dash. “And you let him get away!”
Dash put her hooves up defensively. “Whoa… sorry, I didn’t mean to mess up… whatever it is you’re doing.”
Creaky knee front right…
Pinkie Pie’s frown quickly turned back to a sinister smile. She turned her head in the direction of her creaky knee. “Don’t worry about it, Dashie; now the spy is trying to run away from me again, and nopony can run away from Pinkamena Diane Pie.”
Dash cocked an eyebrow. “Wait, you’re still chasing this imaginary spy?”
Pinkie Pie offered no answer. Instead, she broke into a gallop, leaving Rainbow Dash behind as she charged across the food court. She caught sight of a navy-blue tail ducking behind the front of the schoolhouse, and she broke into a full sprint to catch up. She leaped around the corner but saw no sign of the mysterious pony.
Creaky knee front right… Twingy ankle…
Pinkie Pie smiled triumphantly as she put a hoof on the schoolhouse’s front door. “Oh, you silly spy. You thought you could hide in the schoolhouse, but nopony can hide from me.” She pushed on the doors, throwing them open with a resounding crash. She then somersaulted once, jumped up onto her back hooves and pulled off a few karate poses as she shouted into the dark.
“Come out now, Spy Spyerton McSpy! I know you’re in here, and you’re going to tell me why you’re being a big meanie and spying on me and my friends!”
“Enough of this,” a voice snarled from the back of the room. Pinkie Pie turned, her eyes meeting the same brown-gray eyes she had seen among the exhibits. Those eyes closed, then reopened with brilliant, turquoise irises.
“All right, ponies!” Rainbow Dash hollered over the remaining crowd. “It’s time for the last event of the day: the Tug of War Tournament!”
The parents and other ponies who had come out for the Learn and Play Day cheered, having formed a sizable audience around three tug of war ropes.
“So, here’s how it’s going to happen. There are teams of four, and each team has been placed on our tournament roster. There are also three age groups, and teams will fit into the age group of its oldest member. The last team standing in each age group will get prizes, and then we’ll let the top teams tug it out to see which one is the Tug of War Champion of the day.
“Now teams, report to the rope you were assigned to and let’s get tugging.”
The fillies and colts, who had been watching near the front of the audience, all cheered and separated themselves into their age groups. At the red rope, for the youngest age group, Rarity stood with a clipboard floating gently in front of her. Cheerilee was moderating the middle age group, and Applejack was keeping the oldest of the school age ponies in line.
“All right,” Rarity said in a singsong manner above the little fillies and colts that had crowded around her. “First up are the Cutie Mark Crusaders versus the Carrot Clan. Those two teams, get to your sides of the rope, and everypony else, please stand back.”
The young ponies followed her directions. On one side of the rope were three colts and a filly, all of them with some form of a carrot themed cutie mark, who took up the rope in their teeth. On the other side of the rope, the four fillies wearing bright red Cutie Mark Crusader capes got in line. Sweetie Belle was in the front, Scootaloo behind her. Nyx, who had been officially inducted into the Cutie Mark Crusaders just after the Spring Festival, took up the third position. Apple Bloom was at the end, acting as the team’s anchor.
“Now, while I suggested that having a rope to pull across a line would have been much cleaner and safer, Rainbow Dash saw fit to use mud pits; something about it being easier to keep track of winners,” Rarity mused as she looked over the colts and fillies she would be refereeing.
“Now, the goal is to pull all members of the other team into the mud pit. The rules are simple: if your team as whole lets go of the rope or gets pulled into the mud, then you lose. Magic is not allowed, and pegasi must keep their hooves on the ground. Everypony understand?” Rarity asked. The two teams nodded their heads in agreement, already starting to pull the rope taut between them.
“And remember, there is a wash station set up if you lose, but… Well, everypony just try their best and have fun, okay?”
The two teams both stared at each other, ready to begin, and Rarity didn’t waste another moment.
“Ready… Set… Go!”
With tightened jaws, the two teams pulled on the rope and began their struggle to drag the other team into the mud pit. For a moment, the Carrot Clan team had the advantage and managed to pull the Crusaders a few steps forward. Yet, the tide soon turned when Scootaloo began flapping her wings while keeping her hooves on the ground. The added force let the Crusaders regain their footing, and, soon, with a few hard pulls and four splashes from the other team, they had won the first match.
“Yay! Cutie Mark Crusader Tug of War Champions!” the four cheered in unison before they stepped away from the rope and let the next two teams approach.
The Cutie Mark Crusaders won two more rounds before they reached their age group’s final match, and the Crusaders couldn’t be happier with whom they were facing.
Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon had gotten two of the strongest colts in the age group on their team, and they reached the final match by relying on those two colts. Still, the Crusaders weren’t about to lose to the fillies who regularly called them blank flanks, and Nyx still had a score to settle with Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon for the Everfree Forest prank.
“Ready… Set… Go!” Rarity shouted, and the two teams pulled the rope taut. Almost immediately the two colts on the other team began dragging the Cutie Mark Crusaders forward. They were colts just barely in the youngest age group, which gave them a noticeable physical advantage over the Crusaders.
“Come on!” Apple Bloom grunted through the rope in her mouth. “Pull!”
“We are!” Scootaloo grunted back. “But our hooves are slipping!”
“Looks like you four are going to be losers and blank flanks,” Diamond Tiara heckled with a laugh. She even took her mouth off the rope since the two older colts on her team were doing all the work.
“We are not losers!” Sweetie Belle shouted. She dug her hooves into the ground and halted her team’s slow defeat just before she would have fallen into the waiting mud pit.
“Everypony,” Apple Bloom said through the rope in her teeth, “pull hard together. Ready… Pull!”
The four Crusaders put their weight into their unified tug and managed to regain some ground, each taking a single step back. Once more, Apple Bloom called “Ready… Pull!” and again the fillies were able to reclaim a single step, slowly dragging back the older stallions.
For the first time in the tournament, Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon had to do what little they could to help the two colts on their team. It was enough to stop the Crusaders, but not before they had regained the ground they’d lost.
It was then that the two teams entered into a tense stalemate. Neither team was able to gain an inch. Even Apple Bloom’s tactic was soon rendered useless. Diamond Tiara’s team had figured out the counter-strategy of pulling on the rope whenever Apple Bloom shouted “pull”. Soon, both teams broke down to just pulling on the rope with all their strength, hoping to win the competition through brute force alone. That strategy, however, began to take its toll.
“My jaw is starting to hurt,” Sweetie Belle mumbled out.
“Just hold on, we can win this,” Scootaloo said, trying to pep up the team as she flapped her wings as quickly as she could.
Apple Bloom nodded, huffing through her nostrils. “Yeah, we just got to keep pullin’.”
“No, we don’t,” Nyx grunted as the Crusaders began to lose a little of their hard earned ground.
“You better not be sayin’ we should give up, Nyx!” Apple Bloom grumbled.
“I’m not,” Nyx stressed. “I’m just saying we can’t overpower them. We have to out-think them.”
“And just how are we supposed to do that?” Apple Bloom asked.
“Hey, I think I got an idea!” Scootaloo called out, before she began whispering. Her voice was just loud enough for her friends to hear, and soon her idea had been formed into a plan by Apple Bloom. It was a gamble, but the four fillies got ready as Apple Bloom began to count.
“Three… Two… One… PULL!” Apple Bloom shouted through the rope in her teeth. Diamond Tiara’s team, hearing this, quickly pulled, trying to counteract the rallied tug the Crusaders were about to perform. The Crusaders, however, did not pull back. They instead let Diamond Tiara’s team have some slack.
The sudden lack of opposition threw Diamond Tiara’s team off, causing the colt they had in the back to trip over his own hooves and fall to the side. This was what the Crusaders had been hoping for. Apple Bloom shouted out another “PULL,” and with one of the two big colts off his hooves, the four fillies were able to pull the rest of team into the mud puddle with a resounding splash.
“Match over; the Cutie Mark Crusaders win!” Rarity sung out to the cheers of the crowd.
“No!” Diamond Tiara cried out in anger as she tried to stand up in the mud pit. “We were supposed to win!” Diamond Tiara then tried to stomp her hoof in protest, but the slick ground beneath her caused her to lose her balance and fall back into the mud.
Diamond Tiara's minor tantrum, however, only made the victory sweeter for the four Cutie Mark Crusaders. The fillies shared a victory high-hoof and went to where Rainbow Dash was hovering so they could wait for the other age groups to finish.
“All right, it’s time for our awesome championship round,” Dash announced to the applause of the crowd. The crowd had gathered around the one remaining tug of war rope, which Rainbow Dash was hovering above. “It’s going to be between the Cutie Mark Crusaders and The Boulders.”
Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo, and Nyx all looked wide-eyed at their opponents. By some luck they had managed to beat the middle age group champion team, but now the four little fillies were facing The Boulders, a team of four colts that were very close to being considered young adults.
“Now, since one team has an obvious advantage,” Dash said, motioning towards the four earth ponies of the other team, “we’ll allow the Cutie Mark Crusaders to have an advantage as well: They can either add another pony to their team, have one unicorn be allowed to use magic, or they can pick a pony from The Boulders to sit out.”
The Crusaders huddled up, and Apple Bloom quickly offered her opinion. “We should ask my big sister to join our team. No! Wait! We should ask Big Macintosh to be on our team! I bet he could beat those four big ponies all by himself.”
“No, I want to beat these colts ourselves,” Scootaloo argued, taking a moment to poke her head out of the huddle and glared at the other team before looking back at her friends. “I say we take the biggest and make him sit out. It'll be four versus three.”
“What about magic?” asked Sweetie Belle, “I’m not that good, but Nyx knows some magic. She turned Fluttershy into a tree!”
“You heard about that?” Nyx asked, a bit embarrassed.
“Hard not to, considering everypony here saw the tree,” Scootaloo pointed out. “Still, I think Sweetie Belle is right.”
“I don’t know,” Apple Bloom said hesitantly. “Nyx, do you think you have enough magic?”
“I… I don’t know… Maybe, I guess.”
“Come on, Apple Bloom, just think about it,” Scootaloo said as she nudged her friend. “The four of us beating the four of them without any help. It would be so awesome.”
Apple Bloom smiled a little. “Well, I guess it would be cool, and it’s not like we’ve got anything to lose. We already beat Diamond Tiara, and seeing her fall in the mud was all I really wanted to get out of this here tug of war tournament.”
“All right, it’s decided. Nyx will be our anchor and use her magic,” Scootaloo concluded. The Crusaders ended their huddle and told Rainbow Dash their choice. Rainbow echoed their choice to the crowd, and most of the ponies cheered at the team’s courage, though Twilight looked with a forced, anxious smile.
The four nearly full-grown stallions on the other team took the rope in their mouths, smiling like they had already won. Sweetie Belle, Apple Bloom, and Scootaloo took the rope up as well, biting down hard as they prepared for what was going to be a very hard match to win. Nyx stood at the end, gripping the very end of the rope with her teeth. Her horn was also glowing as she used her magic to try and keep the team’s hooves from sliding.
“All right, is everypony ready?” Dash asked, looking at the two teams. They all gave a nod, and with a smile, Dash lifted a hoof high into the air.
“Ready… Set… GO!”
Sweetie Belle was down within moments of the match starting. All it had taken was a sound tug from the big stallions on the other team to send her falling into the mud pit. The rest of the Crusaders tried their best to pull back, but from the first moment, the match had become one-sided. Even with Nyx doing her best to use her magic, The Boulders were able to drag them forward with little difficulty.
Scootaloo crashed face-first into the mud pit right beside Sweetie Belle, who had just barely managed to get out of the way.
The older colts were grinning, finding some perverse joy in sending four little fillies crashing into the mud. With that third splash Apple Bloom had joined Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle, leaving Nyx alone on the rope. Her hooves were sliding across the ground, the other team dragging her closer and closer to the mud. Nyx, for a moment, considered just letting go and giving up. After all, what hope did she have to beat the four big colts?
“Come on, Nyx!” Apple Bloom called out as she clambered out of the mud. “Use more magic!”
“Yeah, don’t let them beat you!” Scootaloo shouted. She also stomped her hoof, but soon regretted the action as it splashed more mud onto her face.
Nyx began to panic. With her friends cheering, letting go of the rope wasn’t an option. Still, how in Equestria was she supposed to beat four colts by herself? They were bigger, stronger, the only advantage she had was her magic, and it hadn’t been enough to keep Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo, and Apple Bloom out of the mud. She just didn’t know what to do.
“Come on, dig your hooves in and pull!” Apple Bloom shouted as Nyx was pulled inch by inch closer to the mud pit.
Nyx whined and tried to do that, but her hooves were being pulled across the ground. She couldn’t pull if she couldn’t get a grip on the ground, and she didn’t have the strength to pull the older colts even if she managed to get traction. That was what she needed, traction and strength! Maybe she could do that with her magic. One of the spells would need to be something she could cast and forget, but maybe she could pull that off.
The mud pit was drawing closer. The older colts on the other team were all wearing smiles, playing with Nyx as they inched her closer and closer to the pit. Most of the crowd had given up cheering and was now just waiting for the inevitable. The only ones still cheering were supporters of The Boulders. The only cheers that still rang out for Nyx came from Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo, and Apple Bloom.
Nyx tightened her grip on the rope, despite the tightness already present in her jaw. Traction and strength, that’s what she needed. First, traction, to stop the other team from pulling her closer to the pit. Shutting her eyes, Nyx cast her first spell with a flash from her horn, and a moment later her hooves became rooted to the ground. This stopped The Boulders from pulling her closer to the mud pit, but stopping them alone wouldn’t win the match.
With the first spell cast, Nyx began to pour the mystical energy into herself, bending the magic from her horn down into her legs and jaw. Nyx could feel it working almost immediately; she could feel herself getting just a little stronger as her body became fueled by the magic. Her jaw no longer hurt, and, with her grip on the rope secured, she lifted one of her hooves and revealed the effect of her first spell. She had transfigured some of the dirt on the ground into horseshoes with long cleats, which kept her from sliding.
With magic coursing through her body and her eyes shut tight in concentration, Nyx took a step back and began to pull. The rope gave a little, just enough to let Nyx know that what she was doing was working and all she needed was more magic.
Calling on her horn, Nyx poured as much magic as she could into her little body, and she felt it giving her strength. It also made her mane and tail tingle, as if they had fallen asleep, but she couldn’t focus on that. She had to focus on her legs, taking one step after another. She pulled with her neck, then used the slack to take a step. Slack, step. Slack, step. She kept up that pattern, repeating it over and over until her ears were greeted with four sounds.
SPLASH… SPLASH… SPLASH… SPLASH…
The moment Nyx heard the fourth splash, she dropped the rope, released the magic, and collapsed on the ground as she panted heavily. The magic she had poured into her body began to evaporate, and she began to feel sore all over, her jaw especially tender. Still, despite her exhaustion, Nyx smiled.
She had beat the big ponies all by herself, and maybe now everypony wouldn’t just think of her as the coward, the crybaby, or the teacher’s pet. Maybe they would start cheering her and wouldn’t think she was a loser anymore. She'd get a first place ribbon, just like her friends, and…
It was then Nyx noticed the crowd’s silence.
Crawling back to her hooves and looking around, Nyx was surprised to see that everypony was staring at her, many with their jaws hanging open. Nyx even caught sight of Twilight, and she looked like she was about to faint. Her eyes kept darting around the crowd, as if she was expecting something bad to happen.
The unpleasant silence sank into Nyx, and she wondered if she had done something wrong. She shrank back, trying to make herself as small as possible. Everypony was staring at her—just staring—and she didn’t like it. She looked around desperately, hoping to find somepony, anypony, who was actually happy she had won the match.
Thankfully, Nyx found three such ponies: her friends. While it had taken them a moment to process what she had done, the realization soon hit the other Cutie Mark Crusaders. The three other fillies raced towards their friend with wide, excited grins on their faces.
Scootaloo, the first to reach Nyx, cheered at the top of her lungs. “That was awesome!”
“You did it! You did it!” Sweetie Belle added as she bounced excitedly up and down.
The cheers and admiration from the Crusaders snapped the crowd out of their stupor. Some of them applauded and offered sincere cheers while others just stomped their hooves on the ground to be polite. The rest didn’t applaud at all and instead whispered to each other quietly.
Amongst those who applauded was one pony with brown-gray eyes and a blue, slicked back mane. He applauded with a gentle smile on his lips while his eyes remained focused on Nyx.
“Boy, that was crazy,” Rainbow Dash stated as she fluttered through the air with a box in her hooves. “I mean, can you believe little Nyx beating that whole team of older colts? I didn’t think the crybaby had it in her. What are the chances?”
“It really was amazing,” Fluttershy replied as she walked along the ground with a box on her back. The pair was taking some of the leftover prizes and other things into the schoolhouse as part of the effort to clean up the Learn and Play Day. “I wonder if everypony in Twilight’s family is that good at magic.”
“I wouldn’t be surprised,” Rainbow Dash replied as she put a hoof on the door. “I mean, Shining Armor can cast that huge shield spell, and Twilight is like a one unicorn army with all the magic she can do.” She entered the darkened schoolhouse, but, before she could get two feet into the door, she ran into something. Caught off guard by the sudden collision, Rainbow quickly flew backwards and tried to register what she had run into.
“Pi… Pinkie Pie?” Rainbow Dash mumbled. She and Fluttershy set the boxes they were carrying down and moved around in front of Pinkie Pie. Pinkie was standing still as a statue on her hind legs in a karate pose, and her eyes were focused on a point on the far side of the room.
“Is… is she even breathing?” Dash asked, noticing how very still Pinkie Pie was standing.
Fluttershy looked Pinkie Pie over, only for a panicked frown to form on her face. “Oh no! She’s been Stared!”
Rainbow Dash couldn’t help but cock an eyebrow as she waved a hoof in front of Pinkie Pie’s eyes. “What does that mean?”
Fluttershy turned her gaze on Dash, and motioned towards her own eyes. “You know, The Stare.”
“Oooooh, yeah,” Rainbow Dash replied, “It’s what you do when you want to make some animal do something, right?”
“Well, not exactly… but… yeah, sort of,” Fluttershy replied as she gingerly poked Pinkie Pie’s hoof. “Anyway… sometimes, when I use The Stare I can… well… I can make the pony or animal I’m staring at just freeze up.”
“Wait, so you did this to Pinkie Pie?”
“Oh no, it wasn’t me,” Fluttershy quickly clarified. “I haven’t done this to anypony in years. It was only when I first found out I had The Stare that I accidentally did this once in a while, but I’d never do it on purpose to another pony. No, some other pony did this.”
Rainbow Dash turned her attention back to Pinkie Pie. “Okay, but how do we fix it?”
“Well, um… I usually just throw a bit of water on them, but anything that gives the pony a little shock is enough to snap them out of it.”
“Oh, I got an idea,” Rainbow Dash said, hovering up near Pinkie Pie’s ear and beginning to whisper. “Hey Pinkie Pie! Twilight just got a letter from Princess Celestia. She wants you to plan the next Grand Galloping Gala.”
Pinkie Pie’s eyes, which had been narrow and transfixed on a spot on the far side of the room, grew wide, and, in a flash, Pinkie was bouncing off the walls and ceiling, her giggles filling the air.
“Oh, that is so super-duper amazing! I am going to make it the best party ever! I’ll make it the most amazing incredible tremendous wonderfully terrifically humongous fun party in all of Equestria! Oh the Grand Galloping Gala will be the greatest party. Oh the Grand Galloping Gala will be the greatest party. Hip hip, Hooray, It will be the best, all thanks to me, to Pinkie!”
“Yeah, Pinkie Pie,” Rainbow said, wearing an apologetic grin. “About that… I was lying.”
Pinkie Pie froze up mid-jump, defying gravity for a moment before dropping down to the ground. She then trotted over to Dash with a cold glare in her eyes. “That was not an okay prank, Rainbow Dash.”
Rainbow rubbed the back of her neck while she glanced away, unable to meet Pinkie Pie’s disappointed stare. “Yeah, I’m sorry about that, but it wasn’t meant to be a prank. I needed to say something to snap you out of being Stared.”
Pinkie’s expression shifted from irritation to confusion. “Wait, I was Stared?”
Rainbow looked back at Pinkie Pie, since it was now her turn to be confused. “You actually know what that is?”
“Oh… um, yes,” Fluttershy admitted sheepishly. “When… well, when I first met Pinkie Pie she kind of, well… scared me and, I didn’t mean to but… I used The Stare on her, and she got Stared.”
“It was the last time she ever did it,” Pinkie Pie pointed out, “unless you count today.”
“But Pinkie, I wasn’t the one who used The Stare on you,” Fluttershy corrected.
“You weren’t? But then who…” Pinkie Pie began, only for her eyes to narrow. She turned to look at the far end of the room, intending to glare at a pony that was no longer there. “It was him!”
“Him who, Pinkie?” Dash asked.
“The spy!” she seethed as she trotted across the room and pointed to a spot on the floor. “I followed him in here, and he was standing right here. Right here! I had him cornered, but then he opened his eyes, and they had changed color. The next thing I remember is you telling me Princess Celestia wants me to plan the next Grand Galloping Gala, which, by the way, is still a mean prank, Rainbow Dash!”
“Look, Pinkie, I said I was sorry!” Dash countered as she flew over to her friend. “But, I guess you weren’t kidding about the spy. I mean, it’s not like an imaginary pony could have Stared you.”
“But why would anypony spy on us?” Fluttershy asked as she made her way across the room, walking between the desks.
“I don’t know, but I’m going to find out,” Pinkie Pie assured firmly, only for her normal, happy, bubbly attitude to return a moment later as she bounced towards the schoolhouse door. “Well, after all the fun afternoon games; I would hate to miss the six-legged race and watching the tug of war. Oh, and I just have to play Pin the Tail on the Pony!”
“Uh, Pinkie Pie, you did miss all that.”
Pinkie Pie froze up half way through the schoolhouse door before she spun around on her hooves to look at the two pegasi. “What!?”
“Yeah, you’ve been in here all afternoon,” Rainbow Dash informed her friend. “We’re actually cleaning up right now.”
“Oh… oh now I am going to find that spy!” Pinkie Pie declared, her eyes dark with resolve. “Not just because he was being a Spy Spyerton McSpy. No, now it’s personal. Nopony makes Pinkie Pie miss Pin the Tail on the Pony!”
Questions, Comments, Concerns?
I do not own the intellectual properties this fan-fiction is based on.