As Aqua Pen walked, the town known as Ponyville came into view. Aqua was a writer by trade and a unicorn by birth. Her coat was as her name would suggest: a delicate Aqua color, and her eyes were a rose pink. Her mane and tail were black with pink streaks. Her mane was styled in an updo that resembled a bow, and her tail was half the length of a normal mare's tail and was styled in an "S" shape. Her cutie mark was of a closed purple book with a red pen on top of it. She wore only her favorite lilac scarf and two matching saddlebags, each bearing a book on the clasps. As she walked into Ponyville she used her magic to pull a map from her right bag. She levitated the map in front of her face. Out of her left bag a pair of black rimmed reading glasses appeared and settled on her nose.
"Let's see here," Aqua said as she studied the map of Ponyville, pointing her forehoof at the red "X" marked on it. "They said the house was right here."
Aqua knew that she talked to herself sometimes, it was a silly habit of hers. She was so caught up in studying the map in front of her that she didn't even notice the pink earth pony sneaking up on her. Aqua rubbed her chin with her forehoof and let out a quiet "hmmm". She looked to the left, trying to get her bearings, but when she looked right she came face to face with a pink muzzle.
Aqua jumped back from the earth pony and stared at her in shock. Where had she come from?
"I've never seen you before, so you must be new and if you're new it means you don't know anypony," the earth pony said. "So let me be the first to welcome you to Ponyville. I'm Pinkie Pie!"
Aqua studied the strange earth pony for a moment before clearing her throat in a regal manner.
"I'm Aqua Pen and yes, I'm new to town. I was just trying to find the house where I'll be staying."
Pinkie pushed her face close to Aqua's and looked at the map.
"Why, that's right by Sugarcube Corner. I can show you the way."
Aqua looked from Pinkie to the map and back again. Not sure if she should trust this strange pony to lead her anywhere. Not having much choice, Aqua rolled up the map and placed it along with her glasses back in her bags.
"I would appreciate that, thank you."
Pinkie smiled the biggest smile Aqua had ever seen and started to hop off in one direction. Aqua struggled to keep up with the energetic pony and had to canter just to keep her in sight. When Pinkie Pie finally stopped, Aqua had to catch her breath. Aqua looked up to see that they were in front of a cute cottage that was painted white with yellow accents. She turned to look at Pinkie who sat just to the side of her.
"If you need anything, Sugarcube Corner is right over there. Be sure to swing by later and I'll have a special 'Welcome to Ponyville' cupcake waiting for you," Pinkie told her, pointing to a shop not far from the cottage. "See you then!"
Pinkie was off, bouncing towards the shop with the same gusto as before. Aqua shook her head slightly and walked up to the door of the cottage. Raising her forehoof she gave a delicate knock and waited. Soon the door opened to reveal a green unicorn. The unicorn gave her a questioning look.
"Hi, I'm Aqua Pen. I arranged to stay here for a few months."
The unicorn's eyes lit up, and she smiled.
"You have the right place! I'm Lyra Heartstrings. It's nice to finally meet you."
"It's lovely to meet you as well, Lyra," Aqua replied.
Lyra stepped back from the doorway and raised a hoof.
"Come on in. I just made tea you're welcome to a cup."
Aqua walked in and was greeted with an interior that matched the cute exterior of the cottage. Lyra led Aqua to the kitchen where she set her saddlebags on a chair back. Lyra looked at them quizzically.
"Is that all you brought?" Lyra asked.
"I travel light as much as I can. It's a much more free way to travel."
Lyra shrugged and made three cups of tea. She levitated them onto the table and then looked to the ceiling.
"Bon Bon! Tea is ready," Lyra called.
Aqua heard the clip clop of hooves above and shortly thereafter a pale yellow earth pony entered the kitchen. When she saw Aqua she stopped in her tracks.
"Bon Bon, this is Aqua Pen... our new roommate. Remember?"
"Oh, of course, it's nice to meet you," Bon Bon said.
"Same to you."
Aqua settled down at the table and levitated her tea to her mouth and took a sip. The tea was quite good and Aqua let out a contented sigh as her long journey seemed to slowly wash away from her bones. Lyra watched her for a moment and then broke the silence that lingered over the three.
"So I hear you're a writer," Lyra stated.
Aqua blushed and set her tea back on the table.
"Yes, though you've probably never heard of me."
Bon Bon took a sip of her tea and then looked to Aqua.
"What do you write?"
Aqua turned to Bon Bon and played with her cup between her front hooves.
"Mainly fantasy. I wrote the series called The Alicorn Prince."
Lyra perked up instantly and her mouth fell open.
"You're THAT Aqua Pen?!" Lyra asked in disbelief. Aqua nodded and she began to blush. "I love that series! Tell me... are you working on another story for it?"
Aqua nodded and looked to her saddlebags.
"I have the manuscript with me in fact."
Lyra's eyes went wide and she jumped up from the table. She walked around to where Aqua was and sat on the floor beside her. She slowly reached out a hoof and shook Aqua's.
"I can't wait! Does Prince Permafrost finally find his true love?"
Aqua thought for a moment and then finally sighed. "You'll just have to wait and see."
Lyra groaned but nodded. She trotted back around to the other side of the table and slowly sipped her tea. Aqua finished her tea quickly and picked up her saddlebags. Bon Bon stood and addressed the blue unicorn.
"Your room is at the end of the hall with the orange door."
Aqua nodded and headed up the stairs. She walked to the end of the hall and opened the orange door with her hoof. Inside was a four poster bed, a dresser, and a desk. It had a cute little window right over the desk.
Aqua walked in and pulled some things from her bags. She set her manuscript in a desk drawer and magically sealed it shut. She placed a pink scarf in the top dresser drawer along with her black shoes. She placed her glasses on the desk and her map next to them. Finally she drew out her lucky set of pens in all different color inks and placed them in another desk drawer, being careful to seal that one as well. She placed her saddlebags in the bottom drawer of the dresser and nodded her own approval at her set up. She exited the room and trotted down the stairs to the kitchen. Lyra and Bon Bon were still sitting there drinking their tea. Aqua cleared her throat and they both turned to look at her.
"I remember seeing a library on the map so, I'm gonna head that way." Aqua told them, pointing out the window with a hoof.
"You can't miss it. It's the big tree in the center of town." Lyra informed her.
Aqua nodded her gratitude and walked out of the cottage. It wasn't hard to find the library, she could see the huge tree from almost anywhere in town. When she finally made it to the base she was amazed at just how big the tree was up close. She approached and grabbed the doorknob with light pink magic. Slowly she opened the door and entered. As soon as she stepped in, she was knocked to the ground by a speeding pony. Her scarf flew off as she fell and landed on the floor. The pony who ran into her gasped. Aqua looked up at the white unicorn and slowly got back to her feet.
"Oh, darling, are you okay?" the pony asked. Aqua nodded and looked down at her scarf. "Oh! Let me get that."
The unicorn's blue magic enveloped Aqua's scarf and started to pull it off the ground. After only the first second a heart wrenching tearing sounded from the precious scarf.
"No!" Aqua picked up the scarf in her forehooves and could feel tears forming in her eyes. The white unicorn gasped again when she saw what she had done.
"Oh my! I'm so sorry!" She levitated the scarf out of Aqua's hooves and examined it. "You have to let me fix this, darling." Aqua shrugged and the white unicorn placed a hoof on her shoulder. "It's alright. I'll have it fixed up in no time."
She walked out of the library and Aqua followed her with her head down. The loss of the scarf was really hitting Aqua and she barely registered what was going on as they walked into a shop. After they entered, Aqua sat down, still in distress. She sat there mourning the loss of the scarf for a while until suddenly she felt something around her neck. She looked down and was surprised to see her treasured scarf, looking as good as new.
"My scarf!" Aqua looked up at the white unicorn and smiled. "How?"
"It's my job."
That's when Aqua finally got a good look at the shop she was in: it was a boutique filled with all kinds of dresses and outfits. Aqua looked back at the white unicorn and smiled again.
"Thank you. Let me pay you for this."
The white unicorn just shook her head and smiled.
"Nonsense! It was my fault that it was ripped in the first place. It's only right that I fix it for you."
"Well at least let me do something to thank you," Aqua pleaded.
"Oh, sweetheart, just remember Carousel Boutique whenever you need something new to wear. That will be thanks enough!"
Aqua nodded with a smile on her face.
"Rarity," the white unicorn replied.
"Thank you, Rarity." Aqua said, sticking her hoof out to Rarity. "I'm Aqua Pen."
Rarity shook her hoof gently and smiled at her. Aqua looked out the window at the sun and jumped up.
"Oh, I really should get going if I want to make it to both the places I have left to visit."
Rarity opened the door as Aqua headed out.
"Come again," Rarity said.
Aqua nodded as she headed back to the library. She opened the door and walked in, this time without incident. She looked around the library and spotted something she had never expected to see. A baby dragon was putting books up on the shelf as if it was simply normal routine. When Aqua walked into the center of the library the baby dragon turned around and smiled at her.
"Hello. Can I help you with anything?" the dragon asked.
"Do you happen to have the new 'Daring Do' book?"
The baby dragon climbed up a ladder, pulled a book from the shelf and climbed back down. He walked over to her and held up the book she was looking for.
"Thank you," Aqua said, gratefully.
She levitated the book out of his claws and hugged it to her chest. She started to leave and opened the door to the library. She stopped short when she saw who was on the other side of the door. In her prencese stood none other than Princess Twilight Sparkle. Aqua bowed low to the princess, who giggled.
"It's okay you don't have to bow," the Princess said.
Aqua stood up slowly and the Princess walked past her into the library. Aqua quickly exited and galloped away from the tree. She stopped and caught her breath. She couldn't believe what had just happened! She had lived in Canterlot before but had never been so close to a real princess. She shook herself and started to trot towards Sugarcube Corner. She got a little lost along the way but eventually found it. As she stood in front of the shop, she wondered if she should really go through with it. She stood silently thinking for a minute before making up her mind and entering the shop.
She was greeted by a torrent of streamers, balloons and food. The shop was filled with ponies... some she recognized and some she had never seen before. But what really threw her for a loop was that the Princess was there.
She looked to Pinkie who was staring at her with a smile on her face.
"Welcome to Ponyville!"
A pony placed a hoof on her shoulder and she turned to see Lyra.
"Don't worry. You'll get used to Pinkie."
Pinkie, meanwhile, was bouncing up and down. Aqua sighed and held the book to her chest a little tighter.
"Thank you for the party, Pinkie, but I'm not really a party kind of pony," Aqua said. Pinkie's smile deflated ever so slightly. "But why is the Princess here?"
Pinkie looked over to where Twilight was talking with the baby dragon from before. Pinkie giggled and looked back to Aqua.
"Twilight wanted to welcome you to Ponyville like everypony else!"
Hearing her name, Twilight looked up and walked over to the them. Aqua had to fight not to bow so she wouldn't offend the Princess. Twilight smiled at her and held out her hoof.
"It's great to meet another new face!"
Aqua slowly shook the Princess's offered hoof and gave her a confused look.
"Another new face?" Aqua asked, just a little confused.
"Yes, about a month ago another mare moved in with Vinyl Scratch and Octavia." Twilight looked around quickly and then frowned. "I thought she'd be here."
Pinkie bounced up to them and smiled. "She went to get Rainbow Dash."
Just then the door behind Aqua opened and she turned to see who it was. Two pegasi entered. One was obviously Rainbow Dash from her rainbow mane. The other was light brown with blond hair. She had her mane styled to frame her face on one side and her tail was wavey. Her eyes were a grass green and her cutie mark was of a paintbrush with a rainbow splat behind it. The oddest thing about this mare was that she was covered in paint, from her hair to the smock she was wearing, in all shades of color. When she saw Aqua she walked over and held out a hoof.
"Hi, I'm Squiddles." Aqua shook the odd pony's hoof and smiled. "And this is Rainbow Dash."
Rainbow walked over and immediately noticed the book Aqua was holding.
"Oh my gosh, you're a fan of 'Daring Do' as well?" Rainbow asked, excitedly.
Aqua nodded and blushed a little bit. "Reading A.K. Yearling's work is what made me realize I wanted to be a writer, too."
Twilight's ears perked up at that and she took a step closer to Aqua. "You're a writer?"
Aqua nodded, the blush on her cheeks deepening.
"You should do a book signing! I'm sure everypony would love to have your autograph."
Lyra, who had been standing there the whole time, nearly collapsed with glee. She nudged Aqua until eventually she nodded.
Twilight smiled at her. "I'll set everything up. You enjoy your party."
With that the Princess left the shop followed closely by the baby dragon. Aqua sighed and turned back to the inside of the shop. There Pinkie stood with a big smile on her face, and it only grew when Aqua turned around.
"Let me introduce you to some ponies," Pinkie said.
Pinkie led her around the room and introduced her to all the ponies that were there. She introduced her to the Cakes and the Apples. She was introduced to Vinyl and Octavia. Finally she was introduced to Fluttershy.
After all of the introductions, Pinkie offered her a cupcake. Aqua took it gently and bit into it. The icing was super sweet and the cake itself was perfectly soft. As she was eating, a filly she recognized as Apple Bloom walked up.
Aqua swallowed the bite of cupcake and set it down on a nearby table. Apple Bloom smiled up at her.
"I was wondering if you could teach me and my friends how to be writers," Apple Bloom asked.
Aqua was taken back and blushed at the request. "You guys want to be writers?"
"Well you see we're trying to earn our cutie marks and so we're trying out all kinds of things. So I figured since you're a writer we could learn from you to see if we get our cutie marks from it."
Aqua rubbed her chin with a forehoof. She figured the little filly was being sincere but it seemed like an odd way to go about getting your cutie mark. She thought the idea itself was harmless so she smiled. "Sure. How many friends are we talking about?"
Apple Bloom perked up and her smile grew.
"Just me, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo."
"That sounds reasonable. You guys could swing by tomorrow," Aqua replied.
Apple Bloom started to bounce in place. "We'll be there."
Aqua started to look up and noticed Applejack walking over. She looked down at her bouncing sister and sighed. She looked back at Aqua and gave her a sympathetic look."I hope she's not bothering you."
Aqua giggled and shook her head. "I don't mind her at all. She reminds me of when I was a little filly." Aqua picked up the cupcake again and let it hover next to her. "In fact, she just asked if she and her friends could learn to be writers from me. I said yes."
Applejack looked taken aback. "Well that's mighty kind of you but you're new and she shouldn't bug you."
"It's fine, I have nothing to do tomorrow. I'm way ahead on my manuscript."
Applejack smiled and tipped her hat with her hoof. "Well, you're alright in my book!"
Aqua nodded and took another bite of her cupcake. Applejack and Apple Bloom left her alone to enjoy her treat. She mingled with the crowd for a while and enjoyed the other treats that were laid out. She held the 'Daring Do' book throughout the entire party and Rainbow Dash seemed to notice. She approached Aqua but this time she was flying just a foot off the ground.
"You really like that book, huh?"
Aqua looked down at the book and blushed. "Oh! I almost forgot that I still had it. But I respect books and think they should be treated with care."
Rainbow landed on the floor and curled up her wings.
"What do you write? I might have to try it."
"The first book is called A Shift in Time," Aqua explained. "The whole series is about an alicorn prince and how he deals with life and chaos."
"An alicorn prince?"
Aqua nodded and levitated a cookie off a nearby tray.
"His name is Prince Permafrost. He rules over the frozen north," Aqua said, taking a bite of the chocolate chip cookie. "I think the library might have copies of my books but I can't be sure."
"I'll have to ask Twilight," Rainbow responded.
Aqua almost choked on her bite of cookie. "Why would you ask the Princess?"
"Because she's the librarian... duh."
"I thought that baby dragon was the librarian."
Rainbow gave her a confused look and chuckled. "Spike? No, he's Twilight's assistant. She's the one who lives in and runs the library."
Aqua was suddenly very nervous about returning her book to the library. Rainbow seemed to sense this and placed a hoof on her shoulder.
"Twilight is a great friend if you get to know her. Regardless if she's a princess or not, she likes to be treated like a normal pony."
Aqua nodded but was still unsure. Treating the princess like she was an everyday pony was going to be hard but she decided to give it a try. If the princess wanted to be treated like everypony else she would treat her like everypony else. Squiddles approached and smiled at Rainbow Dash.
"Don't the weather ponies have a downpour scheduled for this evening?" Rainbow glanced out the window.
"Oh, I should get going. It was nice meeting you Aqua." And with that Rainbow took off out the door. Squiddles giggled as the door swung shut behind her.
"Aren't you on the weather team?" Aqua asked.
Squiddles looked at Aqua and giggled again. "Not all pegasi are on the weather team here. I'm a painter. I do my best work on the ground." Aqua also noted that Fluttershy didn't rush off either. Pinkie stood in the middle of the room and cleared her throat loudly. Everypony turned to her and went silent.
"The weather ponies are starting to get the clouds ready for the rain, so everypony should head home before you get soaked. Thank you all for coming."
Ponies started to leave and soon there were only a few left. The Cakes headed upstairs with their fillies and Pinkie started to clean up. The only other ponies were Aqua, Bon Bon and Lyra. Bon Bon walked up to Aqua and Lyra stood by the door.
"Ready to go home?"
Home. This was her home now, at least until she moved again. She had never felt so at home right away anywhere else. It was a nice town filled with wonderful ponies.
"Yeah let's go home."
The three ponies walked out of the shop and took the short walk back to the cottage. The weather ponies were hard at work overhead getting the clouds together for the rain. When they reached the cottage Lyra went in first, followed closely by Bon Bon and Aqua. Once inside Lyra turned back to them.
"Well today was a nice day but it's time to hit the hay." Bon Bon nodded and turned to Aqua.
"Sleep well." Aqua nodded and climbed the stairs closely followed by Lyra and Bon Bon. As she came to her room she turned to see Lyra and Bon Bon enter their room with a final wave of their hooves. Aqua waved back and walked into her own room. She placed the 'Daring Do' book on her desk promising herself that she would start it tomorrow. She used her magic to pull back the sheets and slipped into the comfy bed. She laid her head down. Just as she was dozing off she heard the sounds of rain on her window. She was going to like living here.