Broken then Healed

by Tohshi

Chapter 12: The End...for now

Chapter 12
Rays from the morning sun poured through my bedroom window waking me up gently. Returning home was a foggy mess in my head. I crept out of my bed and headed off towards the bathroom. I paused outside the door when I heard the sound of someone vomiting. Deciding not to wait I ran off down the hall to the other bathroom and found it unoccupied. Afterwards I headed towards the kitchen and found Bon Bon in there working on her sweets.

“Good morning,” I said. The aroma of chocolate and vanilla mixed nicely in the morning air. “What ever you are making smells great.”

“Thank you,” Bon Bon said. “How are you this morning?”

“Good,” I said. “Was that you in the bathroom just a minute ago?”

“You heard that, huh,” Bon Bon stated. She blushed slightly as she tried to busy herself with more candies. “Just a bit nauseas this morning, is all. Did you want some breakfast?”

“Yes, please,” I responded. My stomach growled in agreement. “Do we have plans for today? Is Lyra up yet?”

Bon Bon grabbed a danish from the oven, our traditional breakfast. She handed me it on a plate. Bon Bon said, “I don't know if Lyra is up yet. Twilight stopped by yesterday after she got home, you were away at your meeting, and she asked if you could come by her castle today for a few hours. She is expecting you in an hour or so. I want you to take a bath before then, do you think you can handle that on your own?”

“I can manage,” I stated with an air of amusement in my voice. New body or not I was still capable of basic hygiene. “Besides, I have a good grasp on levitation so that should make this easier.”

“I can imagine,” Bon Bon said bemused. She returned her focus on the candies.

I deposited my plate next to the sink and headed off to the full bath on this floor. The largest challenge of the bath was getting in and out of the tub on my own but besides that I had little trouble washing myself. I learned a few spots that were a bit more sensitive than I had thought that they would have been and noted to be careful with my magic next time. After finishing my scrub down I sat there enjoying the heat of the water for a bit.

Lyra knocked on the door which interrupted my soak. I scrambled out of the tub after I had pulled the stopper allowing it to drain. I said, “I will be out in just a second, just have to dry off.”

“Okay,” Lyra responded groggily. “Its fine I will just go use the other one.”

After a few minutes of scrubbing with the towel I managed to get myself dry. Out in the living room Lyra sat on the couch sipping from her morning coffee. I scrambled up onto the couch next to her and sat there for a bit. I said, “Good morning.”

“Morning,” Lyra responded. The grogginess had left her slightly. “Did Bon Bon tell you about visiting Twilight today?”

“Yes,” I said. “Should I bring anything with me?”

“Why don't you bring your saddle bags and some writing materials,” Lyra responded. She took a big drink from her coffee. “Twilight said she wanted to get started on your schooling. Mentioned that you have allot of history to catch up on.”

“Hopefully it will be less boring than U.S. history was in high school,” I stated dryly. My history teacher had not taught the class in a way I found engaging.

“Hopefully we will have some time this weekend for you to tell me about your world,” Lyra stated enthusiastically. “I keep forgetting to ask when we aren't busy.”

“Maybe tomorrow or later today? Speaking of this weekend, I got invited to another get together of the Cutie Mark Crusaders this Sunday. Can I go?” I asked. I tried to give Lyra my best puppy dog eyes, and quivered my bottom lip slightly.

“I don't mind, assuming that we have a quiet weekend for once. Your cute face needs a bit of work though, a bit more funny looking than cute, but nice try,” Lyra said. Mirth danced in her voice. “You should probably go get ready to leave, Okay?”

I nodded my head and rushed off to my bedroom. All of my presents from Monday had been neatly stacked in an empty corner of my room I found the saddle bag near the front of the pile. I then retrieved my drawing materials and the book Twilight gave me and put them into the saddle bag, each fitting nicely into its own pocket. Strapping the bags on proved difficult and before long I gave up. Taking the bag back out into the living room I found Lyra still on the couch.

“Can you help me put this on? Or at least show me how to?” I asked.

Lyra giggled slightly. She fastened the bag to my back with her magic making sure to go slowly so that I could watch how it was supposed to sit. She tightened the adjustable straps till they fit snuggly. Lyra said, “There you go. Make sure you say goodbye to Bon Bon before you leave, okay.”

“I will,” I said. I dashed off into the kitchen, finding Bon Bon still hard at work making her namesake. I startled Bon Bon slightly when I hugged her suddenly. “I am leaving now. See you later. Have a good day.”

Releasing me from our hug, Bon Bon nuzzled my head. She said, “Have a good day. I will see you around diner time okay.”

I nodded my head and headed for the front door. Pausing for a second in the doorway, I said, “Goodbye.”

The walk to Twilight's castle proved how sore my legs were from yesterday. Twilight was sitting at her desk again still reading a book. I could tell that a delivery of books had come in while we were in Canterlot because another self had been halfway filled. Nothing else had changed about the castle since I had last visited.

“Hello,” I said. Leaning against the desk, I stood up on my back legs to see Twilight better. She looked better rested than yesterday. The book she was reading was entitled: Tips and Tricks to Homeschooling. In two orderly stacks were a number of other books whose titles indicated they were all books about teaching. One of the pile was much smaller than the other one.

Twilight placed a bookmark into the book on the page she was reading, about halfway through the book, and placed the whole book onto the smaller pile of books. She smiled at me as she did so. Twilight said, “Good morning. Did you have fun with the crusaders last night?”

“Yeah, though I must admit the best part of it was Applejack's pie. She made one for dessert after diner,” I stated enthusiastically. Memories of the night flashed through my head and the images of Sweetie Belle's reaction to my magic stood out. My voice lost its happiness. “Um, Twilight, why would Sweetie Belle be unhappy at me doing magic? All I did was levitate our diner dishes to the sink, I grabbed all four of ours.”

“Sweetie Belle is having some difficulties with her magic,” Twilight stated. “I suspect that she might be a bit jealous of your progress, which to be honest has been pretty amazing. You have picked up Telekinesis faster than most ponies do. Faster than I did. Which isn't all to unusual if you ask me, at least based on your particular circumstances.”

“Lyra's dad said I had allot of magic for a little filly,” I said. “He thought it was because you were my mom. I know you said that it may have been from the spell you cast on me on Monday, but is that all that rare for a filly to have a big pool of magic?”

“Exceptionally so. I don't know enough about this to be certain but out of all of the ponies around my age those that have as large or larger pool, than you, is only around four of them, counting myself. Rarity, Sunset Shimmer, and Trixie Lunatune are the other three,” Twilight ranted. She barely paused to take a deeper breath. “Rarity is an element of harmony, so her magic may be simply do to that, but both Trixie and Sunset Shimmer come from exceptional bloodlines, at least when it comes to magic and both attended Princess Celestia's School of Gifted Unicorns. Lyra is a bit older than me, almost a decade or so, and she has a fairly large, though not unusually so, magic pool. I can feel your magic fairly easily from here and I would say you are at least on par with Lyra. I would say it is likely a combination of factors, both the spells and genetics.”

“So my magic is really only because of your gifts to me, not of any merit from me, or at least Alex?” I asked. Doubt and shame ate greedily at me. I didn't deserve to have such gifts. I didn't earn them.

“Not entirely,” Twilight responded. Her voice was calm and gentle. “Let me tell you a bit of a story. When I first ascended, became an alicorn, I asked Princess Celestia why me of all ponies had become a princess. Princess Celestia responded that part of it was her own machinations, that she had been trying for a long time to find someone worthy of being an alicorn, which admittedly Cadence was a surprise but I princess Celestia had intended for my ascension. At first with this revelation I was both a bit disgusted but also a bit ashamed. To think that my gifts had simply been the maneuvering of a several thousand year old being was a bit hurtful. However Princess Celestia continued she said that I had not been her first attempt, that Sunset Shimmer had been one and that countless others, most of those who pass through the doors of her school all were attempts, and yet I was the only one who had succeeded.”

Twilight paused for a second and took a deep breath. The princesses actions seemed suspect to me, why would she try to foster that upon others?

“She told me that the magic that transformed me would not have worked without another element besides my in born talents. That it wouldn't have if I had not the soul for it. That deep in my soul there had been a spark of greatness, that with coaxing had come to the forefront,” Twilight said. Pride forged her voice and it rang true and honest. “While Princess Celestia and I were performing Sombra's Soul Binding on you, I could feel your soul. On some level I got to touch it, on a much deeper level than I had when I first bound your soul to your current body. Your magic comes from your soul, we only gave you a vessel that can channel that properly. All magic comes from just beyond the physical, I can feel it everywhere, in small amounts there is some in the air, in the stones beneath our feet, and in every cell of our bodies, but the soul it burns brightly with magic. I suspect part of your magic comes not from what happened to you after you ended up here but instead from the first piece of you, from a world where only the soul contains magic.”

“Still feels like cheating,” I said dejectedly.

“Remember it's not how you came across your talents but what you do with them that matters,” Twilight said mater of factually. “So unless you have a more deep and soul searching questions why don't we get started on your lessons?”

“Nothing that I have the right words for yet, so okay,” I said. I smiled cheaply at Twilight. “So what is first? Lyra mentioned history lessons.”

“Don't like history?” Twilight asked. She had walked around the table towards me. Her horn glowed for a second and a table appeared out of thin air near us complete with two chairs and some writing material.

“It isn't my favorite subject. Also my last teacher wasn't very good at it,” I said quietly. “Well my last official teacher. Miss Cheerilee went over some basics, before my outburst, and she seemed like a good teacher to me.”

“Don't worry. History is probably going to be mostly a homework class, in that I have a few books on it you have to read, and a few more you can if you are interested in it,” Twilight said. “Right now I have mostly magic lessons planed. But today I need to gauge how much you have already been taught so I have made up some small quizzes for you today, in arithmetic, history and writing. Don't worry about getting them all right these have questions on them that are meant to be hard, and some are meant to be very simple.”

I nodded my head and looked down the quizzes she had provided for me. They were all hand well magic writing and each of them. The quizzes must have taken her all night to make, each quiz had at least twenty questions. I asked, “When did you make these? This must have taken all night?”

“Oh no. I only made them up this morning, might have taken maybe an hour at most. I took the questions from some old tests from my own schooling. I kept all the tests,” Twilight said dismissively.

I spent a good two hours trying to finish the quizzes. The history one was mostly a wash and I think Twilight knew it when she made it the number of simple questions that I could at least guess at were much higher than the other two. The arithmetic quiz contain a number of math problems that I could not recognize the symbols used in it. Asking Twilight for explanations on the symbols, I figured out several of them but some of the symbols were quite foreign to me, mostly dealing with magical constants. The writing quiz was fairly simple and was the one I was most confident in.

Twilight graded them quickly. Especially the writing quiz which she read through my work faster than I had thought possible. Twilight said, “You have a good base to work on. For the most part, in arithmetic, I think you are probably more than competent enough in that field, excluding magical mathematical theorems. As I figured you don't have much of a grasp on any history and your writing is technically adequate, though you lack a voice in your writing.”

“To what end?” I asked. “Not that I am trying to get out of schooling but what does it lead to? How am I going to use this later?”

“Sociology is one of the subjects I was planing on getting to eventually,” Twilight stated. Her enjoyment rang through her voice. “Some of this is considered mostly a necessary thing for all citizens to know, basic math, reading, writing and history. Some of this is subjects you may need as a unicorn. Considering your aptitude in that regard you could easily get into Princess Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns, though such a thing may be slightly redundant depending on how much I teach you. Though to be honest some of this may be frivolous depending on your cutie mark and special talent.”

“Can you explain those more? That is Cutie Marks?” I asked. I had noticed everypony had one though I had not spent much time paying attention to them or what they could mean.

“A cutie mark is a visual and physical representation of your innate talent,” Twilight stated. “Though admittedly they are fairly unspecific most of the time. Mine represents magic itself. Each pony has a bit of magic in them that lets them do special things. This magic manifests as your cutie mark. Everypony has to discover what that magic is for themselves and normally do so shortly before puberty or during puberty. It is somewhat of a coming of age mark, the physical representation of you growing up.”

“That explains allot, especially about the Cutie Mark Crusaders,” I stated. My interested had shifted. “Can you teach me more magic? Or at least what not to try? Applejack told the others not to pressure me into any fancy spellwork but to be honest I don't know what is fancy and what is not.”

“That sounds like a good idea,” Twilight said. Her eyes were ablaze with happiness. “If you want to be extra safe it is fine to say no to any non levitation magic, I feel you have a good enough grasp on that one. Hmmm, until you can read magical theorems you probably shouldn't be trying anything that requires more energy than levitation, which pretty much means everything. I can teach you a few basic spells, such as a light spell, that should help you out with more day to day stuff.”

“What about teleportation? How hard is that?” I asked. Being able to teleport places sounded quite fun.

“Definitely don't try that one, at least not yet or without me there,” Twilight exclaimed. “Teleportation has a large number of possible failures in the spell matrix that can cause injuries, which can be lethal. Have you read the book I gave you yet?”

“No, I haven't had the time to sit down and read yet,” I said. I pulled it out of my saddlebag with my magic. “I brought it with though.”

“Good thinking,” Twilight stated. “Why don't we start there? Would you prefer to read it to yourself or have me lecture from it?”

“I think I can manage it by myself,” I said. Twilight's ability to ramble slightly scared me, and at least with reading it to myself I could dictate the pace.

For the next couple of hours I read my book. The first chapter was an introduction to terms which was tremendously helpful. It explained spell matrixes and how when casting if you don't form the right mental structures for the spell you can cause failures and magical mishaps. Several of the symbols from the earlier math problems were defined though frequently not quantified. This was especially so for magical resistance constant. Apparently each type of molecule and atom had its own resistance constant that could change depending on what type of enchantment or magic you were trying to cast on it.

Thankfully the second chapter got past much of the technical jargon and moved into techniques for basic levitation. Much of that chapter seemed pointless seeing as a large number of its focal points were based on those who were having issues with any form of levitation or telekinesis. The second chapter got into more meaty spells and started with a light spell. The goal and trick to a light spell is to just radiate your magic out your horn. A few times I tried to cast it, to varying degrees of success. The basic concept proved simple to execute, however getting the right flow of magic proved highly difficult and much of the time I couldn't get my horn to not glow like magnesium. Thankfully this spellwork was less draining that levitation was and I didn't tire out because of it.

Twilight had been reading her own books while I was doing this. She had manifested sunglasses when I started to attempt the light spell and had continued to read through them while I was practicing. When ever I ended my light spell I could see her eyes glowing through her sunglasses. After she finished the second book, Twilight got out of her chair and stretched for a bit.

“I think it's about lunch time. Are you hungry?” Twilight asked me.

As if on cue my stomach rumbled slightly. I said, “Food sounds good.”

“Well lets go upstairs and see if Spike wants to cook something and if not we can go out to eat,” Twilight said.

I climbed down from my chair leaving my book on the table. Twilight lead us up the stair into a slightly smaller throne room. Six thrones surrounded a large table. One of the thrones had Twilight's cutie mark emblazoned on its back. The other five similar marks though I couldn't remember whose they were.

Six archways lead out of the large round room into a well lit hallway. Twelve doors lined the circular hallway, each an ornate twelve foot tall door. The lights on the ceiling seemed to be glowing lotuses that were in full bloom.

Opening one of the doors, Twilight led us into a large dining room. A large formal dining table took up most of the room which could seat at least forty. The table was an unusual pyramid shape with six chairs on one end and only two on the other end. The chairs on the larger end bore the symbols that were on the thrones in the previous room while the two on the other end depicted the moon and sun respectively.

“Why don't you wait here,” Twilight stated. Her kind smile shone on her face. “I am going to teleport around to find Spike, he won't let me use the kitchen anymore. I don't see why he is so worried about it but I don't mind too much. Either way he could be in a number of places and I will be teleporting in rapid succession, which can be a bit disorienting for those who aren't used to it.”

My head nodding triggered a pop and Twilight disappeared. There was a set of double doors near the larger end of the room, each made out of a strange crystal, similar to that of the tree itself. The rest of the room seemed to be made out of a white stone and the table itself some sort of dark wood.

I selected a chair near the larger end of the table, and sat down on it. The seat had a wonderful cushion and a well placed cross bar beneath the seat that made climbing into it easy. However the chair was a bit to low for me to properly eat from the table. As if on command the chair raised it self to be the perfect height for me. I love magic.

The room was lit by another blooming lotus which was beautiful to behold. Its many petals slightly pulsing with magic giving the impression of life. Maybe the whole castle was alive.

Twilight returned a short few minutes later, I was still observing the pulses of in the lotus light. Spike was riding on Twilight's back. He smiled gently at me when they appeared in the room near the door that we entered.

Spike slipped from Twilight's back and walked over to a blank section of wall, which opened to reveal another door. This new door had opened like a curtain leading into what looked to be kitchen nearly the size of the dining room. The entire kitchen seemed to be Spike size as if made for him.

“Anything in particular you guys want?” Spike asked from the other room.

“Anything is fine with me Spike, something simple though we have allot of work to do still,” Twilight responded. She sat in the chair marked with her cutie mark.

“What about you Lilac?” Spike inquired gently.

“I am fine with anything as well. Though can it be something small I don't eat that much,” I said quietly. “Um Twilight, are the chairs magical?”

“Probably. Why do you ask?” Twilight responded. Her curiosity shone through her voice, as she smiled at me.

“Well the chair was too small for me to reach the table comfortably and when I thought that it grew taller to make it so,” I explained. “Are there types of magic that respond to thoughts like that?”

“A few though I think its more the castle it self responding,” Twilight said. “I think the castle is alive and at least partially sentient, or at least aware of its inhabitants wants. It just made the door there for Spike after he complained about having to walk around through two doors with our food.”

“Oh, well that makes it the coolest castle then,” I said joyously.

“I agree,” Twilight said.

Spike joined us with a plater of food in his hands. He set a small bowl of salad before me. It contained a number of different vegetables, few of which I recognized. Spike gave Twilight a similar though larger salad, and had a small bowl of salad with gems sprinkled in it for himself.

Our lunch went by quickly and quietly as twilight set to eating as if it was an order not something that she wanted to do. Despite having over twice the amount I had she finished well before I did. Twilight asked, “Lilac would you rather work on some art after lunch or continue on magic studies?”

“I get to do art as part of school?” I asked, happiness dancing in my voice. I was shaking a bit from excitement.

“You are very good at it, and I want you to continue to grow in that field. So yes,” Twilight explained. “I assume that means you want to do art after lunch then.”

“I don't mind either way. Though if we go back to magic, can we do something a bit more hands on than just reading?” I asked.

“That is fine. I feel like we should stretch your magical muscles as it is.”

I finished the rest of my salad quickly. I levitated my now empty bowl and started towards the kitchen door, which had been left open.

Spike grabbed my bowl out of my grasp. He said, “I take care of that. You guys go ahead and get back to work, besides this place keeps itself pretty clean. I don't have nearly as many chores as I used to.”

“Thank you,” I said. I bowed my head slightly in Spikes direction.

“Yes, thank you Spike, lunch was delicious today, as it always is,” Twilight stated.

We returned to downstairs. Twilight cleared off the table before making it disappear with her magic. She then concentrated for a few seconds before a set of blocks appeared before us. Each one was of incrementally larger size. The largest one had a one on it and each block was numbered a bigger number all the way up to twelve.

“These blocks are each made of a special material that resists magic, the largest one has the least amount of this material in it and by extension has the least amount of resistance,” Twilight explained. “I want you to levitate each one in turn, starting with the number one block.”

“Okay,” I responded.

The number one block proved to be a difficult foe. Not only was it the heaviest object I had ever tried to lift with my magic it was slippery. I could lift it upwards but if I didn't concentrate intently it would slip and fall to the ground, making a large thump each time. After about ten minutes I could feel a slight burn in my horn, similar to that of a muscle. My grip had tightened though and I felt far more comfortable with holding the block.

“Why don't you try the number two block?” Twilight instructed. “Ten more minutes and we can move on to another subject, either art or more theoretical magic.”

I nodded my head. I engulfed block number two in my magic. It took twice the amount just to hold the block. After ten minutes I had barely manage to lift the block, my horn was burning and I could feel the exhaustion spreading to the rest of my body.

“Okay that's enough,” Twilight said looking up from her third book that day.

I let my magic fade from the block. The exhaustion took its full toll on me and I sat there panting for a little while. Twilight walked over and started to rub my shoulders.

“Here hold still for a second,” Twilight stated. Her magic spread through me chasing away the fatigue and revitalizing me, even my depleted magic reservoirs were filled up to the brim.

“Thank you,” I said. I turned and hugged Twilight closely. “Can we do some art now?”

“Sure,” Twilight said gently. Her horn glowed and a new smaller table appeared next to us along with an easel and a stool large enough to stand on. The table had a number of paints and brushes on it as well as several canvases. “I want you to try your hoof at painting today.”

“What should I paint?” I asked. The blank canvas was somewhat scary though also very exciting. There were so many things it could become.

“Hmmm, why don't you paint a portrait of me or one of the guards?” Twilight suggested. “That way you have a model. I want you to try to get it as realistic as possible for this painting. After you have shown mastery of the brush you can move on to stylistic paintings.”

I nodded. I started with a simple sketch of Twilight reading her book. After wards I tried to add over the top of the sketch. Each brush stroke seemed wrong and many I tried to cover up, which lead to smearing and more issues. The now brown smear on the canvas sat as a scar on the picture. I wanted it gone. My magic engulfed the paint and I pulled it slowly from the canvas, which removed most of the paint though left the canvas stained brown there. Starting a new I took much smaller strokes and a much slower pace at attempted corrections, letting my first stroke dry before returning to fix the picture. Though slow, the picture finally came together and I felt satisfied with the end result Twilight's fur in the picture had not turned out quiet the right color but besides other color matching issues the painting was fairly photo-realistic.

“Very good, Lilac,” Twilight commented. “I think that is enough for today. If you want to go home now you can.”

“What time is it?” I asked. I had lost track of time while painting.

“Three-ish, you have been here longer than a normal school day at this point,” Twilight said.

“I don't really have anything to do at home, is it alright if we continue for the mean while, at least till near diner time?” I asked.

“If you want to, I don't mind,” Twilight said cheerfully. “Do you want to continue painting or return to more scholastic endeavors?”

“Can we work on magic some more?” I asked quietly. “Maybe more on spellwork, less on lifting blocks?”

Twilight's smile grew larger, and her eyes sparkled with happy tears. Twilight said, “Okay. Lets start easy with a color change spell.”

Twilight levitated the easel out of the way but banished the rest of the art supplies. In their place a medium size red ball appeared. Twilight walked over to the ball.

“Okay so far every use of your magic I have seen, save for in the cafeteria yesterday, has been reflexively. This is a simple spell but requires you to form a proper spell matrix. Do you understand those?” Twilight asked.

“I guess in theory. Spell matrix are mental constructs that you use to form the spell in the right way,” I said. As for what mental construct was, I had no clue.

“That is a textbook answer, though correct. A spell matrix is a collection of mental constructs used to shape and change the mana, magical energy, that you are using to cast the spell. This spell only requires one mental construct. Imagine a crystal that you are pushing your magic through. As it passes through the crystal it changes color into the color that you intend to turn the ball into. Here let me demonstrate,” Twilight said.

Twilight's horn glowed for a second and the red ball turned blue. With a second glow the ball turned back to red.

“Okay so I want you to try now. Don't get too discouraged this is actually allot harder than it would seem,” Twilight said gently.

Nodding my head, I gathered my magic and tried to create imagine a crystal through which my magic shone through. The image of the crystal was firmly planted in my mind but getting my magic to pass through the crystal seemed impossible. I pushed the magic through and for all my efforts all I got was a bright glow on my horn. Great at least I have the light spell down now.

I sat there straining against this block for a while. A headache which started in my horn slowly creep through my body. I let my magic release, most of which sank back into my reservoir. A portion of it shot outward causing a blinding light to fill the room for a few seconds.

“Why don't you take a break?” Twilight asked. “This is a delicate task not one that you can just force. Getting your first spell matrix down is just something that will click one day. Or not. There are very few unicorns that can actually perform spells that require matrices.”

I nodded my head then let it fall. The ache in my head had receded though not disappeared. I stared at the red ball, a manifestation of my frustration.

Twilight closed the distance between us and engulfed my back in a hug. Her gentle nuzzle along my head helped wash away the pain in my head. Twilight said, “Don't worry about it. Everypony is good at different things. We can try again tomorrow. It is nearing diner time why don't I walk you home, Okay?”

I leaned into Twilight for a while just basking in her warmth. After a few moments I said, “Okay. Thanks for teaching me today. I had fun.”

“I am glad that you did,” Twilight said. Twilight engulfed me in her magic and placed me on her back as we left the castle. “Thank you for letting me.”