Junior Speedster

by VanillaWaffle

Perplexed Purple Princess

        “So she just woke up like this?”

        “Well, that’s what she said. She seemed pretty scared about it all.”

        “But… that doesn’t make sense! You don’t just wake up a dozen or so years younger!”

        “Yes, but, um… she did.”
        “But she…that can’t be right. Is she still… herself?”

        “I think so. She seemed a little emotional, but certainly still acts like herself. Um, at least it seems like it.”
        Rainbow partially tuned out the voices as she slowly returned to consciousness. Though her senses were still hazy, she could make one thing out very clearly. She was warm. She couldn’t remember off the top of her head why that was so significant, but at the moment she didn’t care.  She was definitely bundled up under what felt like a blanket and could feel the heat of a crackling fire radiate onto her coat. It felt really, really nice. She let out a content “Mmm” and decided wakefulness wasn’t worth the effort. She shuffled around under the thick quilt that covered her to get comfortable again.

        “Was there anything unusual at her house that you noticed?”

        “Well, there was a hole in her bedroom floor,” one of the foggy voices spoke. “It was quite big too. Maybe something got in while Rainbow was sleeping?”

        The voices were getting a little more clear now, much to Rainbow’s annoyance. She just wanted to sleep again. She murmured slightly and kicked at her blanket again to keep it nice and comfy.

        “Hmm… I guess it’s possible, but seems unlikely. Did you notice any projectiles in her room when you found her?”

        “Projectiles? Uh, like what?”

        “I don’t know, something big and round that could possibly have made that hole?”

        “Well, no. But why would someone want to throw something at Rainbow Dash?”
        Rainbow Dash. Right, that was her name. Were they talking about her? Well that was rude! She was right next to them after all! Or at least she thought she was. She hadn’t really opened her eyes yet. At least she had definitely stopped shivering.
        Her eyes crashed open in an instant. Shivering! That’s what she was doing! She and Fluttershy, going to Twilight’s, the pond, the cold, it was all coming back to her. Wakefulness torrented through her like a river as her head bolted up off the pillow she was laying on. Her blanket fell down her back some as the pegasus’s sudden movement knocked it back. Her eyes scanned the room around her as she tried to get her bearings.
        The walls surrounding her were definitely crystal, meaning she had either somehow teleported to the Crystal Empire (which she thought would have been awesome) or she was at Twilight’s place. The latter seemed more likely. The fireplace beside her glowed warmly as the flames danced around the blackened wood within. She was apparently resting on the mantel close enough to feel the radiant warmth but far enough away to avoid being burned or overheated. She looked down at the fluffy white pillow she had been sleeping on and and wondered at what point she had fallen asleep. The blue pegasus then shuffled a bit to free up the blanket before pulling some of it into her view. It was definitely a quilt, and it looked homemade. It was differing shades of purple alternating with each square, the same color scheme as Twilight. It must have been one of Twilight’s blankets from back home.

        “Oh, Rainbow Dash! You’re awake!” called the soft voice that could only be Fluttershy. She turned to face the mare to see her as she hopped off of a nearby couch. For a moment Rainbow Dash wondered why she seemed so big.

        Oh, right. Filly. Hooray.

        Fluttershy immediately cantered over to the small filly with a relieved smile on her face. Rainbow Dash watched the mare as she sat down in front of her and snatched her tiny body up in a two-limbed hug. She felt herself rise off the ground as Fluttershy pulled her in. It was the kind of hug she hadn’t been given since she grew too big for her to hold. It was a… strange feeling.

        “Are you feeling better?”

        Rainbow gave a halfhearted nod and weakly replied, still a bit tired. “Uh, yeah. It feels good to be dry again.” The filly awkwardly chuckled a bit in an attempt to reassure her friend. “So… how long was I out?”

        “Only about an hour,” a new voice called from behind Fluttershy. The filly looked and saw Twilight making her way over to the two with a curious look in her eyes. Spike stood behind her, eyeing the pegasus curiously. The alicorn stopped in front of them and knelt down more to Rainbow’s eye level. She looked unsure of what to say. “Hello, Rainbow. You look… well?”

        “Yeah, you sure look… different.” The dragon awkwardly thumped the thumbs of his claws together as he stared at the filly.

        Rainbow frowned and responded by letting out a slow whine from deep within her, looking more than a little embarrassed. “Yeah. I’ve, uh, been better. Hey, Twilight. Hiya, Spike.”

        “Oh, you poor thing,” Rainbow’s lungs felt constrained as she felt her friend’s grip get tighter. Though that didn’t bother her quite as much as the strange tone in Fluttershy’s voice. “You were so cold and exhausted you passed out! We tried waking you up, but you really wanted to sleep.” Her tone was almost motherly. She tried not to let it bother her. The filly replied with bravado.

        “It was just a little water and snow. I’ve fought off waves of changelings, bucked a dragon in the face, and have broken who knows how many bones. This is nothing!” She plastered her face with a wide, toothy smile.

        “Oh, but you were shivering so badly. Are you sure you’re feeling okay?”

        “I’m okay, ‘Shy! I promise! It’ll take more than some cold water to take the toughest pegasus in equestria out!” Her ears deflated  a little which belied her forced smile. “Eeeeeven if I happen to be a bit… smaller than normal.”

        Spike looked incredulously at the filly. “A bit? You’re totally tiny!” Twilight sharply nudged him in the ribs and fixed him with a glare. The baby dragon decided to stay quiet after that and awkwardly shuffled back to the couch. Rainbow mumbled a bit in response but otherwise decided to ignore the remark.

 Reluctantly, Fluttershy let her grip release as she set Rainbow back on the ground. The filly took that moment to stretch her stiff limbs before facing the princess who had been watching them ever so curiously and gave a hopeful smile. “So, how about turning me back to normal, Twi?”

        Twilight looked a bit startled by the request. She quickly recovered and magicked a notebook from a nearby end table. “Well, I can’t reverse whatever happened to you just yet. First I need to find out what happened to you. If it’s a curse or an enchantment then it’s actively making you appear younger. I may be able to break it, but I’ll have to do a lot of studying to figure out what the original spell was.” The alicorn began pacing back and forth through the parlor. Her eyes focused on nothing in particular as she rambled on. “A complex hex can’t just be brute forced, assuming it was a hex, so I would need some for of thaumic blueprint to really intricately and delicately dismantle it. I’m sure I have a book somewhere in the library to help with that. It’s possible it could be an age spell, which truly reverts you to an earlier form, but the only pony I’ve seen do something like that was Trixie when she had the Alicorn Amulet. Now, perhaps we could-...”

        “Twilight?” Rainbow interrupted, looking a immensely bored. “Quit the egghead talk. You can fix it, right?” The alicorn looked back to the filly and chuckled sheepishly.

        “Oh, sorry. First I would need to do a magical scan to see what has made you younger.”

        “What would a scan do?” asked both Rainbow and Spike in unison. They stared at eachother for a moment before turning to the alicorn once more.

 “Oh, that’s simple!” Twilight answered with a cheery smile. “I have a spell that can sense other magical properties. To put it simply, it’ll tell me what kind of spell is on you and how magic is otherwise affecting you.”

        “Oh, that’s cool!” the filly said as she took in the multitude of information. If it can help Twilight fix me, then I don’t really care.

“Can I cast it now?” Twilight asked. The filly eagerly nodded.

        “Yeah, please! The sooner I get back to being myself, the better!” The blue filly was practically bouncing in impatience.

“Great! Hopefully after we find out what kind of spell it is we can find out who cast it. Let’s begin!” Twilight smiled and let her horn glow in its distinctive lavender aura. A second later, Rainbow felt her vision tint purple as the same aura surrounded her. “Okay, I just need you to stay still for a few minutes.” The filly nodded in response. Twilight closed her eyes in concentration. Another aura surrounded a quill which began scribbling on the notepad. Both Spike and Fluttershy looked on with great interest.

She sat still as she alicorn did her work. Or at least she tried to sit still. The whole ordeal seemed to take an eternity as she sat on her haunches while Twilight seemed to just stand in front of her and scribble wordlessly on her notebook with her eyes still shut. After a few long minutes she looked over to the couch to see Spike still staring at her, but with significantly less shock that earlier. He seemed simply curious now and averted his gaze when he noticed the filly looking back. She couldn’t really blame him. If she had found Fluttershy in such a spot then Rainbow would probably be staring too. Fluttershy meanwhile was laying down close to her while her line of sight alternated between Rainbow and Twilight.

As the minutes pressed on, the filly tried to avoid an almost carnal desire to fidget. Her efforts amounted to little. Instead they resulted in a good deal of squirming, a couple gentle reprimands from Twilight to stay still, and a feeling of restlessness and boredom the likes of which she hadn’t felt since the last time Rarity asked her to be a mannequin for her.

“Huh? That can’t be right…”

“What? What is it?” The filly excitedly responded with a hopeful smile and perked ears.

“What? Oh, nothing. Just thinking out loud. Just a few more minutes.”

Rainbow Dash’s ears fell flat against her head as her enthusiasm vanished. She grumbled impatiently and continued the grueling task of sitting still. As the silence pressed on, she could feel her stomach rumble lightly.

Darn it, I forgot I didn’t get breakfast.

It was quiet for a minute longer until Rainbow’s stomach growled out again, louder this time. The feeling of hunger provoked a quiet whine from the filly as she fought harder to keep still. If Twilight heard it, she didn’t react. Fluttershy heard it clearly, however, and spoke up.

“Oh, dear, you haven’t eaten yet have you?”

“My mind was on other things this morning,” the pegasus tersely replied. “Do you think maybe we can get some grub after this?” Fluttershy opened her mouth to answer, but was cut off by Twilight.

“I had Spike make some soup earlier, but you were still asleep. It just needs to be reheated. Spike, could you please do that for us?”

The baby dragon quickly hopped off the couch. “Sure thing, Twilight!” he exclaimed with a smile as he walked out towards the kitchen. Just as he was leaving Rainbow could barely make out “I was afraid I’d made all that soup for nothing.”

 The princess closed her eyes again and let the notepad continue it’s scribbling. “I just need you to be still and quiet for another minute while I finish this up.” Rainbow grumbled indignantly, but said nothing else.


That doesn’t make sense, Twilight thought to herself. But it has to be that. There is no other explanation.

At last, the purple alicorn cut off her magic and allowed her aura to fade. She opened her eyes to see the blue filly looking up at her with eager rose-colored eyes, evidently happy to no longer be sitting still. She was bouncing on her hooves slightly, much like a normal filly would after being told to sit still for so long. Twilight could not return the enthusiasm though and instead met the filly’s gaze with utter confusion. She glanced to her notebook and scanned her notes for confirmation. More silence ensued much to Rainbow’s chagrin.


“It’s strange,” the alicorn responded after a moment of contemplation. “Everything about you seems normal.”

“What?” Rainbow’s squeaky voice cracked as she exclaimed her opinion of that idea. She stopped bouncing and instead through her little hooves into the air. “Normal? Does this look normal to you!? I’m supposed to be twenty!” the filly shouted as she gestured to the rest of her body. Twilight was about to clarify when Fluttershy wrapped a wing around the fuming filly and assertively pulled her in close.

“Rainbow Dash!” she sharply reprimanded with a stern look on her face. “It’s rude to raise your voice like that!” Rainbow Dash couldn’t help but shrink under her friend’s withering gaze.

“But she said-!” she tried to protest.

“She’s trying to help. Say you're sorry and let her finish.”

“But…” Fluttershy continued to fix her with a look that made the filly’s words catch in her mouth like a hoof snagged on a root. It wasn’t nearly at the same level as “The Stare,” but it was enough to keep her subdued nonetheless. Instead of continuing her argument, the cyan pegasus slunk her shoulders sheepishly and let out a muttered “sorry” as she averted her eyes to the floor beneath her.

Twilight, meanwhile, looked to be in a trace at what she had just witnessed. Her mouth hung open and one of her eyebrows piqued.

Did Fluttershy just… scold Rainbow Dash? She blinked slowly in confusion as she continued to stare at the two ponies. What was even stranger to the princess was that Rainbow didn’t pick up on it. The usually stubborn mare instead took it like a real filly would take their mother’s admonishment. It was surreal.

She quickly realized that the two ponies were staring at her, waiting for Twilight to continue. She shook her head of the stray thought and filed it in her memory for later.

“What I was going to say, Rainbow Dash, was that nothing is actively keeping you younger. My scan couldn’t find any sign of curses, enchantments, or hexes. As such, well, there is no spell to break. Whatever spell it was that changed you has actually changed you into a filly.”

Twilight’s heart sank as she watched the filly’s rosey eyes widen in disbelief. She fell down to her haunches and stared at Twilight with mouth agape, her visage the epitome of shock. “So… does that mean I-I’m… stuck like this?” Twilight could hear the sputter in the filly’s voice. It was obvious she was starting to panic. She knew what that was like all too well.

“I didn’t say that!” Twilight quickly rebutted. “I’m just saying the only thing it could possibly be is a very complex age spell. But that doesn’t make any sense! Not even I could do an age spell. It’s one of the hardest spells to learn and would take days if not weeks of constant practice to perform. It would have to have been an absolutely gifted magic user who….” the mare trailed off and her eyes slowly opened up more and more until they were like saucers.

“Um, Twilight?” asked Fluttershy. Twilight just sat there on her haunches, seemingly frozen.

Spike walked through the door at that moment carrying two bowls of tomato soup. Rainbow, also confused but still functional, stared at the steaming bowl as the dragon brought it closer.

“There you go! Two bowls of my special tomato soup! It’s, uh, been out for a bit. But it’s still good!” He handed one bowl to Fluttershy who graciously accepted it with both hooves. The second bowl was handed to Rainbow, who greedily snatched it away and began slurping it down with haste. Spike watched with a mixture of curiosity and horror. Watching the small pegasus slurp down soup was almost as bad as watching Twilight eat hayburgers. “Well glad you’re enjo-”

“Spike!” Twilight cried out. The startled dragon turned to face her only to see the mare standing very close to him. He jumped back in surprise, but the mare gave his reaction little heed. “What was Starlight practicing last night?”

        “You mean her magic practice?” he asked, unsure of what she meant. “Just a few spells she had been learning. Something about ripening fruit and making plants grow and shrink. It seemed really neat, but she didn’t really say much else. She did seem to be putting a lot of effort into it, which I thought was strange since she’s usually so good with magic. Why, what’s up?”

        Twilight stared at the dragon wordlessly with eyes even wider. Her right eye twitched slightly and Spike could see a few strands of the mare’s mane spring out of place. He felt very uncomfortable at the sight and instead looked at the yellow mare and cyan filly near the fireplace. The filly’s fur around her mouth was dripping in red soup as she abandoned her meal for the moment. Both pegasi stared at him in stunned surprise.

        “What did I say?”


        “Hey, Starlight?” Twilight called from the library doorway, effectively grabbing the pink unicorn’s attention. Starlight looked up from her magical theory book to face the alicorn, who was wearing a sweet and inviting smile. Starlight Glimmer returned the gesture as she placed a bookmark into the thick tome and closed it.

        “Hello, Twilight. What’s up?” she asked as she trotted over to her mentor. Her eyes were momentarily drawn to the mare’s mane, which upon closer examination seemed oddly more frizzy than it did an hour or two ago.

        “Oh, nothing much. I was just, you know, wondering if I could… uh… borrow you for a moment. Right now.” Her eyes jumped around the room, struggling to stay on Starlight for more than a moment. Starlight recognized it as a nervous tick the both of them shared. Usually it was a sign the other was hiding something. Nevertheless the alicorn carried a toothy smile with her. The unicorn couldn’t help but raise an eyebrow.

        “Uh, yeah. Sure. Is something wrong?”

        “Oh, nothing really. Just follow me down to the parlor. There’s something there that, well, you should see. Right this way!” Starlight watched as the suspiciously friendly princess pranced out the door, beckoning her to follow with a wave of her hoof. Starlight shrugged and cantered to catch up.

        “You don’t look so good, Twilight. What happened that needs me there?”

        The princess kept her grin firmly in place as they walked side by side. “Weeeeell, there’s somepony downstairs who wants to… er… know more about certain forms of advanced magic. You’ve been studying really hard with advanced magic, so I figured maybe you could help her?”

        Starlight felt intrigued. “Okay, but why me? You’re the real master of magic. Can’t you help her?”

        “I tried. I actually don’t know the specific spell she’s looking for.” The door to the parlor entered their view as they walked down the winding crystal hallway. “After all, I’ve never had success with really dangerous advanced magic that I’ve warned you about and told you before to avoid.”

        Starlight froze mid-step with a hoof hovering before her as Twilight’s hoof reached the door and began to push it open. Her pupils shrank to pinpricks. She looked to her mentor again only to see the alicorn was no longer smiling. The pink mare chuckled nervously as Twilight gave her a rigid glare.

“Uh, heh heh. What do you mean, Twilight?” One hoof reached around her front to anxiously rub her other foreleg. She gave the mare what she was sure had to be the world’s least convincing smile.

        “Why don’t you see for yourself?” the purple mare dangerously offered. She pushed the door open all the way and moved to the side to allow Starlight in first. Starlight gulped in fear and stepped into the parlor.

Immediately the mare’s eyes were drawn to the group resting near the fireplace. She recognized Spike and Fluttershy instantly and was about to give an awkward wave hello when she noticed the other pony in the room. She was a young filly with a cyan coat and a very, very, familiar rainbow-colored mane. In fact, the filly looked almost exactly like Rainbow Dash had all those times she went back in time to stop her from performing the Sonic Rainboom. The filly watched her sheepishly in return and rubbed one foreleg with another just as she had been doing earlier. It was evident that the filly was embarrassed about being watched..

“Uh, hey Starlight. How’s it hanging?”

It was the same voice as the young Rainbow Dash’s as well. Starlight froze in place, absolutely unable to move as the situation worked its way into her head. That filly was Rainbow Dash. She stared at the filly wordlessly until she noticed her mentor walk in front of her with a very angry look on her face. She gulped as they made eye contact once again.

“Starlight, you’ve been staying up late trying out age magic, haven’t you?”

Oh dear.