Chapter Four “Magic Training Begins”
“OK Applejack, now concentrate on the apple, try and pick it up.”
“I am Twilight, it just ain't workin.”
“Remember, focus from the part of your skull were the horn is, feel your horn there and let the magic come from it.”
“I can feel the dumb thing alright,” Applejack said as she rubbed the small, but now noticeable bump on her forehead.
“You just don't want it enough, you need to want to lift the apple.”
Rarity, who had been watching and helping for the last three days (the entire time that had passed since Dr. Patella's visit) decided to step in.
“Twilight dear your absolutely right, you need to make her WANT to use her magic. You need something she actually cares about, like...” Rarity paused to think, “Idea!”
She turned to face Twilight, “Twilight be a dear and get Rainbow Dash would you.”
“OK,” Twilight said unsure of were this was going.
She teleported off to get Rainbow Dash, while Applejack was left eying the now smiling Rarity. “What are you up to,” Applejack asked suspicious of the broad and devious smile or Rarity's face.
“Oh you'll see,” Rarity said almost sing song.
A minute later Twilight and Rainbow Dash teleported in front them, Rainbow Dash looking a bit sick. “I'll never get used to that.”
“It grows on you,” Twilight said, then turned to Rarity, “Now what is this plan of yours Rarity?”
Rarity faced Rainbow Dash, “Dash come here for a moment please so I can have a word.”
“OK...” Rainbow Dash said and flew down to Rarity's side.
Rarity leaned in and began whispering to Rainbow Dash. After a moment Rainbow Dash's eyes grew wide, and she got the same mischievous smile that Rarity still had from before.
“You sure, Rarity, I mean,” Rainbow stopped and laughed, “AJ might get a little angry.”
“Go ahead, it will help her in the long run.”
Twilight looked curious but apprehensive, and Applejack began taking a few steps back.
“I don't like this one bit, one of you better tell me what y'all are plannin or get the hay outa here.”
“Whoa whoa whoa AJ, calm down, it's not that bad,” Rainbow Dash said as she gently flew towards Applejack.
Applejack didn't ease up but stopped walking backwards, “well then why don't either of ya tell me what y'all are plannin.”
Rainbow Dash, not very far away from Applejack now, said, “oh nothing really just THIS,” Rainbow yelled the word this as she made a very quick pass right over Applejack's head and then hovered a little ways up behind her.
“Now what was the point of...” Applejack stopped as she looked up and saw Rainbow Dash holding her hat. “Rainbow, get down her and give me back ma hat,” Applejack demanded.
“You'll have to take that up with one of the other Unicorns down there,” Rainbow Dash said as she waved Applejack's hat around in the air.
“Rarity tell Rainbow she better get down here this instant and gimme back ma hat.”
“I'm sorry darling, but you love that hat, and it's the only thing I could think of to get you to use your magic, well that was relatively safe.”
Applejack turned with pleading eyes to Twilight. “Twilight you don't think this is a good idea do ya?”
Twilight looked at Applejack, then at the hat in the air being held by Rainbow Dash, “well it's not my usual teaching method, but honestly Rarity is right, you need something you hold dear in danger if you are this resistant to using magic.”
“But Twilight, didn't you and the doc say that there was a chance I wouldn't even get any magic? What if I ain't got any?”
Rarity cut in, “well you better hope you do darling, I told Rainbow there to not let you have your hat until you take it from her with magic, and if you didn't to just fly away with it.”
“That's right AJ, you better get to doin some magic or I think I might just have me a new hat,” Rainbow Dash said as she slipped the stetson on her head.
Applejack got a serious expression, “all right, fine,” she said, lowering her body a bit and closing her eyes. She sat there for a moment in deep concentration and after a moment more, opened one eye to see if anything happened.
“It's just no use Twi, I ain't got no magic.”
“Well then AJ, thank you for the new hat,” Rainbow Dash said while mockingly tipping the hat to her.
“Rainbow get down here and gimme back my dern hat.”
“Make me,” Rainbow Dash said and took off in the direction of Ponyville, slowly to prevent the hat from flying off.
“Rainbow,” Applejack yelled as she took off after her in pursuit.
Twilight looked after them hopelessly and turned to Rarity, “still think this was a good idea?”
Rarity looked after them, and still confident said, “give Applejack a minute, she will get there soon enough.”
“I suppose,” Twilight said, once again looking out at the quickly fading Rainbow Dash and Applejack.
Applejack was keeping up with Rainbow Dash easily due to the slow pace she was flying, “Rainbow get down here.”
“I already told you AJ you gotta get this hat off my head with magic.”
“I ain't got no magic Dash just drop my hat so I can get on home, I'm already getting hungry again.”
“Well the eggheads think you got magic but if you don't really think you do,” Rainbow Dash flew over a small pond and got dead center, “you did say you wanted me to DROP your hat right?”
“Rainbow I'm warning you,” Applejack said stating to get angry, “don't you dare drop my hat in that pond.”
Rainbow Dash got an evil smile and took off the hat and held it as low as she could from her current position, about ten feet above the center of the pond. “Come on AJ it's just a little water.”
“Ah mean it, don't do it.”
“Oops,” Rainbow Dash said a bit sarcastically, as she purposelessly dropped Applejack's hat.
“No,” Applejack said as her hat fell towards the pond.
Just before it hit her hat glowed softly orange, and hovered just above the ponds surface.
“Huh,” both Applejack and Rainbow Dash said at the same time.
After siting there for a few seconds the hat fell, but Rainbow Dash swooped down and grabbed it. She flew over and placed the hat on Applejacks head, “I think you earned your hat back, congratulations you're officially a Unicorn,” Rainbow Dash said smiling as Applejack stared at the pond for a while.
Rainbow Dash hovered there for a moment letting Applejack take in the last few minutes. Then she said, “OK come on AJ, your hungry, remember?”
Shaking her head and coming out of her trance Applejack said, “oh yeah I'm starved, let's get back.”
They both took off in the direction of Applejack's house, when they got there Applejack went straight inside to eat, while Rainbow stayed outside to talk to Rarity and Twilight about what had happened.
“So she actually levitated her hat,” Twilight asked curious and regretting not following them when they left.
“Yeah, it was only for a second, but I'm sure it was hovering, and the orange glow was unmistakeable, that was definitely Unicorn magic, and I know neither one of you could have kept up with us, and there wasn't any one else around, so... yeah.”
Rarity looking a bit vindicated turned to Twilight with a wide smile, “you see darling, all she needed was a little motivation.”
“Well it worked, so I guess I can't complain, but I would think just using magic for the first time would be motivation enough. I mean I remember the first time I did magic on purpose, I was so excited. I just thought AJ would be as excited as I was.”
Rarity walked up and put her hoof on Twilight’s back, “you know a lot about magic dear, but you still have a thing or two to learn about other ponies. You can't just expect them to be motivated the same way you were. Let me handle getting Applejack interested in magic, then you can handle actually teaching it to her, OK?”
“Yeah OK,” Twilight said a little disappointed, but understanding what Rarity meant.
The next day the two Unicorns were ready to take things up a notch in training their up and rising Unicorn student.
“OK Applejack dear, now that we established that you do indeed have magic, we can show you how to use it practically,” Rarity said as she and Twilight approached Applejack.
“Alrighty, but what da ya have in mind?”
“Well I could show you how to...” Twilight began but was cut off by Rarity giving her a bit of a warning look.
“We thought we would let you decide dear. What do you think would be useful for you in your daily life.”
“Well,” Applejack paused for a moment, “I s'pose it would be helpful if you could show me how you picked all them apple's when you helped me last season.”
“Oh that is just easy levitation with multiple objects, all you need to do is focus on each object as a type, in this case apples and...” Twilight was once again cut off by a look from Rarity.
“Listen Applejack, before you can do something like that you need to learn simple levitation, so to start you need to pick up an apple, that sound fun?”
“I reckon it could be some fun.”
At that Rarity turned and telepathically picked an apple from the nearest tree, and set it down between her and Applejack, “now take as much time as you need dear, the better you are at this, the more apples you will be able to pick at once later on.”
“Alright,” Applejack said and laid down in front of the apple and shut her eyes and began focusing on it. After a few moments the apple began to glow, and slowly lifted into the air.
“You got it Applejack,” Twilight yelled in excitement.
“Wha,” Applejack said, her eyes bolting wide open, causing her concentration to break and the apple to fall.
“That was pretty good dear, you got it a little quicker than I expected, but this time try with your eyes open, you will need to see the apples your picking won't you?”
“OK here I go.”
Applejack stared hard at the apple and once more it slowly lifted in the air surrounded by the soft orange glow. “Ye haw,” Applejack shouted as the apple continued to float, “ya see that girls, I'm doin it!”
Twilight and Rarity both smiled broadly at their friend’s enthusiasm. “Good job Applejack,” said Twilight.
“Yes, well done, once again much quicker than expected, are you ready to move on?”
After a moment of smiling, Applejack let the apple slowly sink to the ground, and nodded with a smile still on her face.
“Alright then, now you need something a bit more difficult, moving an apple is one thing, picking it is another, you have to actually pull it from the tree. So do you think you would be up to pulling an apple from a tree dear?”
Applejack looked at the nearest tree and spotted a big apple from it.
“OK, I'ma get that there apple.”
Seeing her enthusiasm, Twilight couldn't help but cheer her on, “go Applejack, you can do it.”
Rarity, catching the contagious enthusiasm, joined in with Twilight in a chant, “Applejack, Applejack, Applejack!”
Staring at the apple for a moment it began to glow, then a few seconds later it slowly turned as if being pulled towards Applejack, then started to move towards her. After just a few moments the apple came off and flew towards her. Stopping just before her, Applejack took a large bite out of the apple, and they all three cheered.
The next day they began to try multiple apples.
“Do you think your ready to try multiple apples,” Rarity asked, fully knowing that Applejack was already dead set on doing just that today.
“I'm ready, let's do this.”
Twilight finally had her shot at chiming in again, “remember AJ, think about the apples as a group, don't concentrate on them individually, or the tree as a whole, otherwise you'll end up either sending them in different directions, or trying to pull the whole tree down.”
“When your ready,” Rarity said.
Applejack stared at the tree she had just yesterday picked a single apple from. Almost instantly all the apples began to glow, excitedly Applejack tuned her head up, as if she was using a lasso to manipulate the apples, and they all went flying in the air.
“Uh oh, INCOMING,” Applejack shouted, just before the volley of apples began to rain down on the Unicorns.
After about five seconds the apple rain had stopped, Twilight and Rarity had shielded themselves, Applejack on the other hand had been pummeled by the falling apples.
“Applejack all you alright?”
Applejack chuckled and stood up, “oh believe you me, I've been hit by a lot worse than that.”
They all three began laughing at the situation. After a minute or two Rarity said, “well you certainty catch on quickly, now we just have to teach you some control.”
Twilight was staring at Applejack's forehead, “hey Applejack, your horn seems to be coming in rather quickly.
“Really,” Applejack asked as she attempted to look at her forehead to no avail.
“Here darling, take this,” Rarity said as she levitated over a mirror.
Applejack began reaching out to take it when Rarity pulled it back, “Not like that, use your magic, you can use the practice.
“Right,” Applejack said and began to levitate the mirror herself. She took the mirror and examined her horn closely. Indeed it had grown a lot since just yesterday. It was a lot more than just a bump on her head. It was nearly an inch long now.
“I may need to recalculate how long before it reaches full length if that keeps up,” Twilight said, examining the rapidly growing horn.
“Well for now do you want to go eat something, or give that one more go dear,” Rarity asked Applejack.
“Well why not both,” Applejack said and turned her attention to the apples all around. She picked them all up and slowly moved them over then into a nearby basket. She then promptly went over and began eating from the basket.
Twilight looked at the scene for a moment, and laughed and said, “Applejack what are you doing, you can't eat all those apples.”
Applejack taking this as a challenge said, “forget you, I can eat all these apples,” and began to eat them all at a blinding pace. When she was done she sat there for a minute then fell on her back.
“Ah got a stomach ache,” Applejack said, almost smiling seeing how funny the situation was.
Half smiling Twilight said, “well you proved me wrong, I guess you CAN eat all those apples.”
They all three laughed, and Rarity and Twilight helped their friend up to her room for some sleep.