Walking off to school, it feels odd without Pumpkin by my side. However, it no longer feels like it will break me. Even though Pumpkin has done things far beyond me she still looks up to me as her hero. I can’t betray that trust, not for anything in the world. I have to keep growing, for her sake.
It’s not like it was before. I don’t want to retain my hero position in her eyes out of jealousy or fear, but because I admire and respect her. If she ever starts to doubt herself and what she’s capable of I want to show her the strength inside of her by showcasing it myself.
I don’t have magic like her. I can’t create shields and magic weapons to make up for my youthful weakness. I’m still just a kid. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to save as many lives as Pumpkin did during the invasion. I may not be able to match her in ability, but I can’t lose heart. Even the strongest pony isn’t invincible. Twilight, Princess Celestia, Cadance… even the princesses have fallen sometimes, needing their friends to help save them and give them the strength to win.
I don’t know if Pumpkin is ever going to be like Twilight and get promoted to alicornhood, but even if she doesn’t I’ll always be in the shadows behind her if Pumpkin ever becomes a leader. It bothered me before, thinking of always coming in second to my sister, but just like our cutie marks our victories and our destinies are achieved together.
Now I see that being in the shadows is the best place to be, because if other ponies think I'm just a loser pegasus I can surprise them. If someone tries to hurt her I’ll stop them. If she feels afraid and unsure I’ll help give her courage. That’s the role that I can play. I can be the Auntie Pinkie to her Twilight.
I don’t need to have flashy titles and medals. I never protected Pumpkin for silly things like that. I did it to keep her safe and happy. I’m fine with just being in the background, knowing that she’s still looking up to me. There's only one pony whose opinion I truly care about, and as long as Pumpkin looks up to me that's enough.
I will always keep her safe so long as I’m around. After all… that’s my job as her big brother. Hee hee.
Twilight arrived a short while after Pound left with Auntie Pinkie. The crushing weight of fear and despair that felt like it was going to destroy me is gone. Sure, there’s still some fear and nervousness inside of me, but it’s a lot weaker than before.
She placed a necklace around my neck, explaining the special charm she placed upon it. It had a teleportation spell on it set up for two specific places, namely a room in Celestia’s School and my own bedroom. It just needed to be fueled with magical energy on a daily basis. If the object glowed red it meant that there was currently an object at the location I wanted to teleport to, and I’d have to wait a little while. It all seemed simple enough.
She put a hoof on me, telling me to close my eyes. When I complied I heard the sound of her horn’s magic before my stomach jumped.
I felt a little nauseous and weak hooved at first, but both of those quickly passed.
As I opened my eyes I saw we were in an empty classroom, Twilight explaining that she set the spell for a place that wasn’t often used.
We left the empty room, heading for my very first class here. Twilight explained things about the school as we walked, pointing out rooms and telling me short stories of memories she had had there.
When we arrived at my classroom I thought she was going to leave, but she walked in ahead of me.
There were about thirty unicorns scattered around the room. As we walked toward the front of the room by the teacher I could hear the kids murmuring about Princess Twilight being there.
Twilight had me introduce myself to my teacher, Starry Night, who introduced himself in turn.
Again I thought Twilight was about to leave, but she turned around and called the class to attention. Starry didn’t seem bothered by Twilight directing his class.
Twilight put a hoof on me, introducing me to everyone, asking them to be respectful to me like she would be to them.
I gave out a confident “Hello!” I wanted to start strong. A few looked genuinely interested, but quite a few seemed to only be nice because Twilight was right there. Once she was gone I’m sure their fake smiles would fade.
That was fine. I wasn’t expecting things to be easy. Without realizing it I put my hoof to my heart. I seemed to be doing that a lot lately. It comforted me, reminding me of my invisible bond with Pound.
When Twilight left I was given one of the empty seats.
And, so, it has begun. My new life. My new school. And, possibly, a new me. I enjoyed reading and studying. Maybe not to the extent that Twilight does, but I do still like it.
Already, I wonder what Pound is up to, and how he’s taking things. If I know him, then he’s doing just fine. A strong pony like him wouldn’t let this get him down, and because a part of him lives with me I won’t let it get me down either.
Pound’s words washed over me. 'You're a hero to Ponyville, and you've become my hero too.' As much as I looked up to him he was already looking up to me. I didn’t want to lose that respect he had for me, so I would take this as far as I could.
Maybe I had already caught up to my brother, and now we were both walking side by side. I had a bigger accomplishment than him, but like I told him before I consider that a joint victory. I was terrified at first. If Pound hadn’t shown me what true courage was I never would have been able to keep going through such a scary situation.
A long path was laid out before me. There was a high drop-out rate for non-Canterlot citizens, and even then quite a few students dropped out by the three month mark. I had no intention of adding to those numbers or bringing down Ponyville’s reputation any further in their eyes.
For now, I would just take things one day at a time. After all, no matter how bad a day I have I know that Pound is always going to be waiting for me when I get home. Pound always makes everything better. Except when we’re mad at each other. Hee hee. Then he makes things a whole lot worse.
I was still a little nervous about what was to come, but so long as my brother’s heart beats with mine I know I have nothing to be afraid of. I’ll keep walking no matter how many times I stumble along the way. After all, that’s what a true hero does.