"We'll be right back, okay?"
Storm Drop's head swung around from her staring about the amazing room they had just walked into to face the pretty gray mare who had just said something to her. "Huh?" The little gray pegasus froze as soon as the words had left her mouth, but the pretty mare didn't seem angry - she just chuckled and gave her a pat on the head, ruffling storm's already messy blue mane.
"Vinyl and I will be just over in the next room, okay?" The pretty mare - miss...Octavia! That was her name! - said as she knelt down until she was at eye-level with Storm. "We just have to take care of some papers then we can show you your new home, okay?"
"Yes Ma'am!" Storm Drop nodded energetically, which Miss Octavia must have found funny since she chuckled again. They were going to leave her alone in such a cool room - awesome!
"I told you, you don't need to be so formal." Miss Octavia chided her, but it didn't sound nearly as angry as the adults usually sounded when they told her not to do something. "Now, I'll be right back..."
"Hey, Tavi!" Miss Octavia looked up as the sorta-white unicorn mare with the crazy blue mane stuck her head around the edge of a door down a hall that Storm hadn't been allowed to go see yet. "The adoption lady's needs you over here!"
Miss Octavia sighed as she trotted toward the unicorn. "Can it wait, Vinyl? This is a new environment for Storm Drop and the books say..."
"Oh, come on." Miss Vinyl waved a hoof dismissively. "She's fine - I mean, look at that grin on her face." Miss Vinyl turned to face her before she yelled. "You alright kid?"
"Yes Miss Vinyl!" Storm yelled back. Was she really grinning? should she stop? How do you stop doing something you didn't know you were doing in the first place?
Down the hall, Miss Vinyl gave an exaggerated shutter before grinning at Storm. "ergh - don't call me 'Miss Vinyl' kid. You'll make me feel old!"
"Yes Mi-" Storm caught herself. "Vinyl." The name rolled off her tongue funny without the prefix. it just felt wrong.
Miss Vinyl seemed to be happy with it though, since her grin got even bigger. "There ya go!" She turned back to miss Octavia. "You really going to leave her in there with that creepy piano?"
"Its not creepy!" Miss Octavia defended as the two of them walked down the hall. "It was a gift from my mother."
"A creepy gift." Miss Vinyl said back. "I mean that thing is like freakishly big..." whatever else they said, Storm couldn't make out, and she found herself alone in the room.
Alone with no adults - now she could poke around all she wanted!
The first thing that caught her attention was the piano Miss Vinyl and Miss Octavia had been talking about. It was a big grand-looking black piano, way bigger then the little upright piano the orphanage had sitting in the common room. It was a lot nicer too - the one at the orphanage had been all scuffed and the painted had been faded and chipped. It also hadn't sounded too good - she had managed to get onto it a few times when nopony had been looking and the sounds it made sounded all scratchy. She never did figure out what was wrong, since one of the adults would come and shoo her off it once they heard her messing with the piano.
Well, there was nopony else here right now...
Of course, the bench was a lot higher up on this one then the one back at the orphanage. She could almost walk under it! Who needed a bench that high? Storm tried jumping up onto it a couple times, but the overstuffed bench cushion didn't giver her anything to hook a hoof around and she quickly found herself falling back onto her rump every time.
After the third time, she was almost ready to give up. Her wings twitched slightly in agitation as she tried to think of a different approach. she gave her wings an uneasy stare. Well, it wasn't like she would be trying to actually fly, and she was sort of out of ideas.
Storm Drop took another leap up, and once again found her forehooves slipping. She gave her wings a few quick flaps as she slid back, and she finally managed to get herself situated one the bench. "Well," Storm said to herself. "That wasn't too hard."
Luckily the piano keys were a lot closer to the bench then the floor was, and after getting up there getting the key cover open was easy. She nosed the hinged cover up and back, finally exposing the row of black and white keys. She leaned forward, reaching out to the keys with one hoof, before pausing.
She took another quick look around, listening intently as she tried to make sure nopony was coming. All she could hear was Miss Octavia and Miss Vinyl talking with somepony else way down the hall. Coast clear, she turned back to the piano and gave one the of the keys and experimental tap.
The single note that rang out was better then anything she had ever heard out of that dingy little piano back at the orphanage! Storm found herself tapping her hooves together excitedly. A nice piano, and she could play with it all she wanted! Well, at least until Miss Octavia came back...
Storm gave a few more keys some experimental taps. They didn't sound quite the same as the one back at the orphanage - the sound didn't jump around as much between keys. Maybe the one at the orphanage had been broken?
She tried a few more keys before deciding to actually try playing something. Storm found herself humming softly as she tried to place that first note, then the second. Slowly, Storm started to make her way through the simple melody and nowhere near its normal speed. Every time she she tried to move her hoof to play another key she would end up laying the one next to it as well. She had heard real piano players on the records they would sometimes play in the common room. She knew she wasn't very good even to her own ears.
But she was playing! Not very well, but it was something that could probably maybe be called music, and she was playing it! Storm looped back around to the beginning and started over, but this time he knew where all the key's were.
She was so engrossed in her play that she hardly noticed the two mares walk in from the hallway. "Vinyl, that was hardly an appropriate question to ask the adoption agent."
"Hey," Vinyl replied. "It can't be the first time somepony could have asked about - do you hear that?"
"Don't try to change the-" Octavia stopped mid-sentence as she finally heard what Vinyl had. The soft sound of a slowly played piano echoing through the room, centered on the little pegasus filly currently seated at the oversized black grand piano that dominated a corner of the room. Octavia padded across the room as silently as she could, but she doubted it would have mattered - the gray filly seemed utterly engrossed in her music. That, at least, was something Octavia was familiar with. "Enjoying yourself?"
The poor filly seemed to nearly jump out of her skin as she spun around to face Octavia. "M-Miss Octavia! I-I'm sorry, I was just looking and..."
Octavia simply smiled as she took a seat on the bench next to the filly. "It is quite alright, Storm Drop."
"I was just-" Whatever Storm Drop was about to say died as she looked up at Octavia. "...Really?"
"It is a piano, sweetie." Octavia replied. "It's entire purpose is to create music." she reached around with one hoof and turned the filly back around to face the keys. "Now, why don't you continue?"
"Uh..O-okay..." Storm Drop replied nervously as she started to play again. She found herself cringing slightly at every bad note, but Octavia didn't seem to mind.
"Try it like this," Octavia suggested as Storm Drop played another bad note. She reached over with one hoof, gently guiding Storm's with her own to another key. It still didn't sound very good. "Or was it...oh dear - I do apologize, it seems my time around Fredric hasn't done as much for my piano skills as I had thought." Storm looked at her, confused for a moment. Why was Miss Octavia apologizing?
"Stick to the Cello, Tavi." Vinyl rolled her eyes as she hopped up onto the bench on Storm Drop's other side. "Alright kid. Try tilting your hoof a little - That should help." Storm did as she was told, and sure enough the only note that played was the one she had wanted.
"Where in Equestria did you learn the piano, Vinyl?" Octavia asked as she quirked an eyebrow. Storm Drop giggled a little. Miss Octavia looked kind of funny like that.
"I didn't always play the turntables, filly." Vinyl replied with a smirk before turning back to Storm. "Want to learn some more kid?"
Storm Drop's face lit up. "Really!?"
"I wouldn't have offered if I didn't mean it." Vinyl replied and turned to Octavia. "What do ya say, Tavi - up for a little teaching?"
"Well," Octavia answered. "It is nice to see my mother's gift actually see some use..."
"That settles it then!" Vinyl proclaimed. "Make yourself comfortable young Storm Drop, and prepare to receive the wisdom of the greatest musicians in Equestria!"
"We still need to show her her room, Vinyl." Octavia pointed out halfheartedly. Next to her, Storm Drop was practically bouncing with excitement.
"So she only gets half of our awesome knowledge today." Vinyl shrugged. "That work for you kid?"
"I get to come here tomorrow?" Storm asked eagerly. Nopony had ever offered to actually teach her piano!
"Well, duh." Vinyl replied. "You live here now. What do you think all that paperwork we were doing was for?"
"Vinyl," Octavia began. "She probably doesn't even realize what that paperwork is..."
"Nopony ever wants me." Storm replied softly, and Vinyl and Octavia grew quiet. "They think I'm too old, or too noisy." Storm Drop could feel her eyes growing damp - and everything had been going so well today too! "O-Or they end up not liking me. They send me back. They always send me back."
"Oh, sweetie..." Octavia pulled the filly into a hug. "We would never do that!"
"But that's what they always say!" Storm replied, tears now streaming down her face. "They always say that they'd never send me back, that I was home - but then they send me back!"
"That was in her file, you know." Vinyl pointed out. "You saw the one where she took out a dinner with a chandelier?"
"It was an accident!" Storm cried. "It's always an accident, but it never matters. I...I...I don't..." Storm Drop broke down completely, burying her face into Octavia's coat. The Cellist, for her part, did her best to comfort the filly but even Vinyl could tell Octavia had no clue what to do now.
"...wah?" Storm Drop managed to stop crying at the sudden change in Miss Vinyl's tone.
"They were fools, every one of them." Vinyl leapt onto her hindlegs, standing atop the bench and looking down at Octavia and the filly still in her forelegs. "Stuffy Canterlot prigs who do not realize when greatness is before them!" she pointed down at Storm Drop with one hoof. "I chose you because of those reports - every pet, every attempt to gain your cutie mark, every broken rule!"
"I thought you choose her because of her mane." Octavia replied flatly.
"That too." Vinyl shrugged before slipping back into character. "Hear me now, Storm Drop - You are now the daughter of Vinyl Scratch and Octavia Melody. I refuse to have a normal daughter. My child shall be the stuff of legends! Ponies will write plays of your exploits, and then adapt them into Applewood blockbusters! your legend sha-Woah!"
Vinyl waved her forelegs about in a vain attempt to regain her balance but, alas, it was a lost cause. Octavia and Storm cringed at the crash, but Storm was the first to reply, the little filly jumping out of Octavia's embrace and over to the edge of the bench to peer down at the off-white unicorn still splayed out on her back. "Um... are you alright, Vinyl?"
"Ugh..."Vinyl groaned. "Never better kid."
Octavia peered over Storm Drop and down at Vinyl, her look of displeasure marred by the small smile on her face. "You are a massive idiot."
"It worked, didn't it?" Vinyl replied, gesturing at Storm Drop. Vinyl got her hooves back under her and hopped back onto the bench. "So, how about that piano lesson?"
Seated there, between the DJ and the Cellist as they showed her how to play piano, Storm Drop felt something for that narrow little spot on the piano bench that she had never felt for the Orphanage, or any of those other places she had lived in briefly, or anywhere else she had ever been as long as she could remember.
It felt like home.