Pumpkin ran as fast as her legs would carry her, her vision hazy with rage and tears. The only thing on her mind was the word “REVENGE!”
Spike noticed Pumpkin first, but failed to notice her expression from a distance. “About time,” he said.
“Surely you weren’t worried, Spikey?” asked Rarity, rubbing his chin.
Spike went heart-eyed. “Of course not,” he replied, turning to her.
“Massssskyyy!” Pumpkin called out as she spotted him, catching his breath after his intense game with the others.
He turned to her, his eyes widening as she barreled into him, sending them flying and rolling over a few times.
“Hey!” he cried out.
At first her behavior didn’t worry the others, thinking she was just being overly excitable with her affection. That all changed when she struck him, the sound of flesh hitting flesh echoing around them. They all gasped or stared at her.
Masky clutched his cheek. “What did you do that for?”
“How could you do this to me?” she said angrily. “You traitor!”
“No, Pumpkin,” he started, but she didn’t want to hear it.
“I SAW IT!” she yelled. “I saw your conversation with Pound. You never loved me. I… I’ll never forgive you for this!”
Talking wasn’t enough anymore. She began striking everything of him she could reach, Masky trying to protect himself.
Rainbow Dash grabbed Pumpkin around her mid-section and tried to pull her away from him. She was successful, but Pumpkin simply used her magic to slip her grip and returned to her attack.
Twilight noticed things were going exactly as she feared, and left the others behind as she teleported next to Pumpkin and lifted her up in the air with her magic about ten feet.
“That’s enough, Pumpkin!”
Pumpkin was panting hard, glaring at Twilight.
Fluttershy didn’t know what was going on, how a trip to find Pound had turned into Pumpkin being angry at Masky, but she helped him up on his hooves all the same. There were hoof marks all along his face and upper body, and he seemed to be having trouble opening one of his eyes.
“Oh, my,” she said. "Are you alright?"
Masky hurt all over. Pumpkin hadn’t been gentle.
Pumpkin tried to break out of Twilight’s levitation, but was unsuccessful. She realized that she didn’t have to be free. She still had her magic.
Masky let out a cry of surprise as he was suddenly lifted into the air a few feet.
Pumpkin tried to slam him into the ground, but Twilight was one step ahead of her and formed a shield around him.
“Pumpkin, I said that’s enough!” Twilight said in a dangerous voice.
Pumpkin wasn’t going to give up that easily. She wasn’t satisfied yet. It wasn’t anywhere near enough, and she WOULD have her revenge. Using her magic she lifted Twilight’s back half up before pulling her front legs back sharply, causing Twilight to faceplant hard into the ground.
“Whoa!” called out Spike. "Pumpkin!'
The loss of concentration broke Twilight’s spells, and as Pumpkin descended she used her own levitation to steer her toward Masky, flipping around and hitting him full on with both her back hooves, sending the colt flying. He hit the ground twice before suddenly stopping mid-air.
Cup, Carrot, Pinkie, and Pound had finally caught up. Pound gasped as he saw Pumpkin knock down Twilight and then assault Masky. His heart was beating rapidly.
“Discord!” Twilight said furiously as she stood up, scowling. “Take away Pumpkins horn. NOW!” She growled as she rubbed her forehead where it had impacted the ground, feeling the beginning of a headache.
Discord had been amused by the chaos going on, but he had seldom seen Twilight this angry, and he knew better than to make a stupid joke at the moment. With a snap Pumpkin’s horn disappeared, leaving her an earth pony, then Twilight once more locked her up in a ball of energy.
Twilight took a few deep breaths to compose herself, even though she felt on the verge of losing it herself. “When I say to stop then that means STOP!”
Pumpkin was beaten now, so she didn’t bother fighting anymore. Without her horn there was nothing she could do now. However, that didn’t bother her. As Masky was helped up again she saw the beginning of a black eye forming. She hadn’t been able to go as far as she would have liked, but what she was able to accomplish was enough… for now. There would be other chances, she was sure.
Cup and Carrot were afraid. No matter how they looked at it Pumpkin had attacked a princess. They could only hope that their close relationship with her would mean Pumpkin didn’t get punished too severely.
Twilight walked over to Masky, who looked stunned. Fluttershy had helped him up to a sitting position again.
“Discord!” she said sharply.
He knew what she was going to ask, and he again complied without resistance. With another snap Masky’s injuries disappeared.
Pumpkin’s satisfaction vanished on the spot. How dare Twilight undo the damage she had wrought? He deserved every one of his injuries. She almost lost herself in anger, but a strange sense of calm tempered it. She reminded herself of what had brought her joy before: there would be other chances. She could teach him just like before.
Masky put a hoof to his eye, surprised at the sudden lack of pain. He felt like he hadn’t even been attacked. Discord’s power was really something. “Thank you,” he said.
“Don’t thank me,” said Twilight flatly. “That was just what you were owed because I didn’t pay enough attention.” Lifting him up to her level with her magic she said, “I’m in quite a bad mood right now, so I would suggest you don’t lie to me. Did you deceive Pumpkin by telling her you loved her when you actually didn’t?”
Masky gulped. Twilight was making such a scary face right now he couldn’t even consider lying. “Y-yes,” he admitted.
“I already knew that from seeing Pound’s memory. I just wanted to see how you’d respond.
“Next question: why did you do that?”
“It doesn’t matter why he did it,” Pumpkin said angrily. “The point is that he did do it.”
“That’s not for you to decide!” she said coldly. “Now keep quiet over there or I’ll tell Discord to take your mouth next.”
Pumpkin scowled, crossing her hooves.
Pound gulped. He had never seen Twilight like this. He had seen her angry after he and Pumpkin were suspended from school, but she was more upset then. This was actual anger. He hoped nothing bad was going to happen to Pumpkin.
Everyone else was just watching.
“Well?” said Twilight, returning her attention to Masky.
“I… I just didn’t know how to let her down. I… I never had someone tell me they were in love with me before. I thought she’d be happier if I just pretended to love her.”
Pumpkin let out a “Hmph.” She wasn’t satisfied with that answer.
“And you didn’t suspect that eventually the truth might come out and lead to exactly what happened today? It would have paid for you to just be honest about your feelings from the start. It would have saved the both of you unnecessary pain.
“Here’s my final question for you: what happened that caused you to bring about this situation with Drill Bit?”
Pumpkin spoke up. “He told me that if I really cared for my brother that I should be doing something about his bullying problem. I can’t believe I ever listened to that jerk.”
Twilight glanced behind her. “Is that so?” She turned back to Masky. “Well?”
“That’s true," said Masky. "I’ve been having problems with my family lately, so I wanted to see what she’d do for him.”
Twilight closed her eyes, tapping a hoof. “Honestly, Pound seems like he’s the only one who has any sense between the three of you, and he used to be the most out of control colt I’ve ever seen when it came to losing his temper and acting foolish.”
She set Masky on the ground. “If you ask me, this had little to do with testing Pumpkin and more like living a rebellion against your parents through her. As for Pumpkin, I don’t believe she’s in the right state of mind for any sort of conflict resolution.” She rubbed her forehead again. “And seeing as I don’t want to spend the rest of today restraining her I think it would be for the best if you went home. Now.”
Masky didn’t move. He couldn’t go yet. He had an agreement with Mayhem. He looked towards where the draconequus was standing by Fluttershy, and he felt cold. Mayhem was giving him a dirty look, and he knew instantly that his grand plan was a failure. He had hurt Pumpkin, and, by extension, Fluttershy. His status with Mayhem was dirt now. The draconequus wouldn’t be doing him any favors now.
Though he tried not to think of it he couldn’t get it out of his mind that he had been so close to changing his life for the better. In the end, he hadn’t changed anything. His life would remain exactly the same.
He should have known it was too good to be true. He turned around and began walking away, tears shining on his eyes.
“That’s right!” Pumpkin called out. “Get out of here!”
As he walked Twilight said, “Rainbow Dash, he’s a child and shouldn’t be walking home alone. Go with him. I know loyalty is a big deal to you, but don’t get involved emotionally in this situation. Just follow him and make sure he gets home safely. Don’t do anything else. This situation is already a giant mess and I haven’t decided how I want to deal with it yet, so just say as little to him as possible.”
She nodded. “Right.”
It was quiet after the two of them left. Everyone seemed to be waiting for what Twilight would do next.
After a few minutes Twilight finally turned to Pumpkin. “So now what should I do with you?”
Pound was feeling scared again. Twilight still looked furious at Pumpkin’s attack, though it was mainly in the eyes.
He slowly walked in front of Pumpkin, realizing just how outclassed he really was. He had really been a fool to threaten Twilight back then. Being intimidating wasn’t going to work on her.
In an unusual act for the colt he bowed deeply before her. “Please, Princess Twilight, don’t do anything too bad to her. She just lost control. If anything, this is my fault. If I had just waited until Masky went home to tell Pumpkin the truth then she wouldn’t have gone crazy like she did and she wouldn’t have hurt you. So I’m asking for mercy for my sister. I-If you can’t let it go… then…” He looked up at her, remaining in his bowing position. “Well, I’m responsible for this too, so I’ll take on her punishment.”
Cup, Carrot, and Pinkie weren’t surprised by Pound’s proclamation, but they all wondered what Twilight was going to do.
Pumpkin’s frustration leaked out of her. Again Pound was trying to protect her, trying to take the blame for something that wasn’t even his fault to get her out of trouble. Even after she had attacked him several times and threatened to do worse to him when she didn’t want to hear what he had to say he didn’t hesitate to put himself in front of her.
Twilight felt disturbed as she saw the fear in Pound’s eyes. He was trembling slightly. She hadn’t failed to notice that he had dropped all familiarity with her and addressed her like a distant princess, just like the ordinary citizens of Ponyville usually did. That wouldn’t do.
She dropped her spell holding Pumpkin. Once freed of her bonds Pumpkin calmly walked over to Pound and hugged him. “Stop it, Pound,” she said sadly. “It’s not your fault, and I’m not going to just stand there and let you get in trouble for something I did.”
Pumpkin, at least, had seemed to settle down. Twilight didn’t feel she was there herself. “I’m sorry, everyone, but I’m no longer in the mood for a social call. Seeing as Pumpkin isn’t going berserk anymore you can return her horn.” After Discord did so she continued, “I don’t feel I can handle this matter with a clear head at this point in time, so I’m going to return home and curl up with a good book. Don’t let that stop the rest of you from enjoying yourselves.”
She could see that Pound looked uncertain, and she knew she couldn’t leave until she cleared things up with him, otherwise he would spend the whole day envisioning horrible scenarios. “Don’t be afraid, Pound. I am displeased with Pumpkin’s behavior, but I understand the cause of it. She wasn’t herself in her anger, and I’m not going to inflict some horrible punishment on her because of what she did to me.
"Please don’t talk to me as if I was a total stranger. I’m the same Twilight you’ve always known.”
Pound let out a sigh of relief. “Sorry, Twilight, but… you were being scary.”
“And that’s why I’m not going to deal with this matter today. I don’t want to be scary. I want to be a fair disciplinarian.” She rubbed his head, managing a small smile. “I don’t want to bog down your victory with fear, so don’t be concerned.”
Pound smiled back, hugging her leg. “Thank you, Twilight.”
Her eyes moved to Pumpkin, and her smile faded. “I think it would be best if you took some time to reflect on what you’ve learned today.”
Pumpkin nodded. “Yes, Twilight,” she said in a small voice.
Twilight bid everyone farewell, and then with a flash she was gone.