In One's Element

by AppleJack_Wack

Chapter 1: First Day Blues

Twilight Sparkle, who turned into Midnight Sparkle for mere minutes weeks prior, was now adjusting to life as a Canterlot High Student. She had formed a companionship in a group of friends well-known throughout the school as “The Elements of Harmony”. This has no doubt helped her ease into such an environment, but it has still been strenuous. Twilight easily breezes through all of her classes, being well above their required skill level, but that wasn’t the hard part for her. No, the hard part was getting along with everyone else who populated Canterlot High’s hallways. Twilight has managed, maybe even begun to renew herself in the eyes of the students, but little did she know, there were forces at work that were going to make her life tumble like a house of cards.

Twilight Sparkle was sitting down on a bench behind Canterlot High school. School didn’t start for another hour or so, but she liked being early, that way she could perform her experiments in peace and quiet. From this particular bench, Twilight could see the soccer field, the motocross track, which has still yet to be dismantled, and the lush forests that extended beyond.

Twilight wore a more customary set of clothing, in place of her uniform for her former school, Crystal Prep Academy. She donned a set of blue jeans, and a light blue jacket, whose hood currently sat atop her head as she worked contently alone.

But that solitude wasn’t made to last, as a bacon haired lass peaked around the corner of the building, and began walking towards Twilight. This girl, who went by the name Sunset Shimmer, was sporting a light blue, almost silken, blouse, as well as a short leather jacket with orange accents. She wore blue leggings and boots with similar colorings as her jacket.

Sunset Shimmer was once the mean girl around school. What she demanded was law, and she wanted an awful lot. She almost got it too, but Twilight, a different Twilight mind you, stopped her, and showed her how magical friendship could be, both literally and figuratively. So she was no stranger to this Twilight’s predicament, and in fact, new exactly how she felt.

“Hey Twilight, whatcha doing over here?” Sunset asked while taking a seat across from Twilight. Sunset set down a book, or more like a journal, with a yellow and red sun in Yin-Yang formation on the cover. Twilight payed her no mind, and continued working on some strange device. “Hey Twilight! You can’t be so focused on that, that you can’t hear me?”

“Oh!” Twilight exclaimed, “I got it.” The device Twilight was working on began glowing purple. The violet pulse moved around the device like a clock. Sunset Shimmer was not too eager to see this device in working condition.

“Why did you keep that? Do you not remember what it turned you into?” Sunset reminded Twilight. Twilight removed her hood and acknowledged her this time around.

“I know, but I couldn’t just let one of my greatest inventions go to waste. I’ve been working on it, and I think I can control when it opens now by using the magic still inside as a kind of buffer to outside magical anomalies,” Twilight said.

“Magical Anomalies? I don’t know about you, Twilight, but I hope there isn’t any more of those for a long time, or ever again really.” Sunset sighed, but gave in to Twilight. Sunset knew how stubborn intellectuals could be. After all, she was hell-bent on dethroning Celestia all those years. What a frivolous pursuit, she thought. Sunset opened up her journal, and flipped to the first empty page.

“What do you write to her?” Twilight asked, leaning over the top of the bench in curiosity.

“You mean Twilight?” Sunset asked. Twilight stared at Sunset, but she didn’t know why, until the obvious thought crossed her mind right as Twilight began to speak.

“I’m sorry, it’s just so strange to think that there’s two of me, two of everybody! A-and there’s multiple dimensions, ones filled with… ponies? I wonder what else there could be? This is just so much more than I ever thought possible. What if—”

“One step at a time there, motor-mouth. You might persuade me to start looking for wormholes too.” They both exchanged a laugh, and after a bit of contemplation, Sunset continued speaking, “I guess I just write down what happens here at Canterlot High. If I really need something, like with the Dazzlings, I also ask for help. She’s the Princess of Friendship in her world, and Celestia knows I need all the help I can get on that subject.”

“Don’t be so hard on yourself. It’s because of you I learned there was more to life than learning. I was about to go to an independent study course. I would have missed out on all this.”

Twilight smiled, and Sunset couldn’t help but return a smirk. “I guess so. I’m glad you decided to stay, Twilight.” With that, Sunset got up, and Twilight looked up at her, who was eyeing the device in her hands. “But Twilight, seriously, be careful with that. I trust you, but… accidents happen.”

“Thanks for the concern, but you forget who you’re talking to.” Twilight said.

“Trust me, I do, that’s what I’m afraid of. Come on, the bells gonna ring in a few minutes.” Sunset said. Twilight nodded, and rose from the bench. She put her hair in a makeshift bun, and stuck a pencil through it. They both took one last glance at the device, before Twilight stuffed it in her jacket pockets. They both began the short trek to the front doors of the school.

*        *        *

The hallways of Canterlot High were always filled with controlled chaos. Adolescents roamed the halls, bumping into each other, socializing with cliques, or frantically searching for the right books in their black hole of a locker. Yet, each student knew exactly what they were doing, where they were supposed to be, and when.

Twilight, unfortunately, had not yet gotten used to this system. She did have to admit, the students at Canterlot High were leagues politer than anyone at Crystal Prep, but it seemed so much more confusing here. Luckily, she had a few friends to give her a leg up.

“Soooo, Twilight,” Rainbow Dash asked excitedly, “What classes are you taking?” Rainbow Dash walked with a bit of pep in her step this particular morning. She walked alongside her newfound friend Twilight, and not-so-newfound, but equally as friendly, Rarity.

“Well, I’m taking AP calculus BC, AP physics, Literature 104, Economi—”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa, hold on there Miss Perfect,” Rainbow interrupted, “when do you take P.E.?” she asked. Rarity shook her head, and rolled her eyes, but remained silent as they all walked through the hallway.

“I –uh– don’t take Physical Education,” Twilight said. Rainbow Dash stopped moving instantly, causing Rarity to bump into her. Twilight stopped walking as well, and turned around.

“Come now, Rainbow Dash, let’s have some sense shall we?” Rarity regained her composure, and wiped off the dirt that attracted onto her garment from Rainbow’s sports outfit.

Rainbow Dash ignored Rarity completely, “How can you not take P.E., that’s like, the class I live for.” Rainbow Dash looked at Twilight in utter disgust, mouth wide open.

Twilight couldn’t find the words to say, and Rarity stepped in for her, “Not everyone needs to be an unhygienic brute like you, Rainbow. Twilight just prefers more refined classes. Isn’t that right dear?” It was Rainbow Dash’s turn to roll her eyes at Rairty.

“I guess so. I just chose classes that are more… me,” Twilight said. They began walking again in silence. None of them really knew where they were going. They were just wandering, but not lost.

Suddenly Rainbow Dash shouted out, “Hey! I am not unhygienic.”

“This again?” Rarity complained. “Have you seen yourself lately? You got dirt all over my vêtements.”

“Your what?”

“My garments, my attire, my clothes! You got dirt all over them! I just finished making this one too.”

“I’m sorry? I guess.” Rainbow said. Twilight couldn’t help but let out a snicker when Rarity got in a huff at Rainbow’s response.

“Hmph,” Rarity let out. She turned around and began marching the other direction, away from Twilight and Rainbow Dash.

“Oh come one Rares, don’t take it so personally,” Rainbow said, trying to hold back a laugh, but failing to contain it.

“Don’t you feel kinda bad?” Twilight asked.

Rainbow Dash quit laughing out loud and answered, “Nah, Rares and me go way back.”

“Rares and I.”


“Uh, Nothing, where are we going anyway?” Twilight asked the big question, and Rainbow Dash didn’t have an answer. She looked around, trying to come up with an answer, so it looked like she knew what she was doing. Meanwhile, a jock type upperclassman walked by, purposefully moving over to bump into Twilight’s shoulder.

“Ow, excuse me,” Twilight winched, but let the guy through. Rainbow Dash was having none of it.

“Don’t worry Twilight, I got this guy. Just ask around or something for your homeroom.” Rainbow Dash parkoured over objects in the hallway to try to catch up with the jock. She disappeared behind a hallway to the left after a water fountain.

“Well, great.” Twilight sighed. She hated conversing with strangers. She might say the wrong thing, or offend somebody. Rubbing her shoulder, she began walking around. She glanced at her schedule. Her homeroom was room 107, wherever that was.

It had been a couple weeks since the Friendship Games, but the school transfer took some time, and she didn’t start going to school at Canterlot High until today. So she was still a newbie in the pond already filled to the brim with experienced fish.

She walked up and down some of the hallways, but couldn’t find the room she was looking for. She began to panic when students started clearing out of the hallways, and she had yet to locate her homeroom. She was on the second floor of the school now, but still couldn’t find her homeroom. To her delight, a familiar face walked down a different hallway nearby. She ran towards the girl with a leather jacket, and bacon-colored hair.

“Sunset, Sunset Shimmer!” Twilight yelled down the hall. Sunset turned around, and smiled when she saw it was Twilight. “I’m soooo glad I found you. I really need help finding my homeroom.”

“Did you think to use that big brain of yours, and ask for help?” Sunset mocked, while knocking on the top of her own head.

“Well, um…”

“It’s okay. It’s what friends are for after all. Let me see the schedule.” Twilight eagerly handed Sunset the flimsy piece of paper, and Sunset eagerly pursued its contents. “Oh, you take Calculus too?”

“Yeah, math is one of my favorite things to do.”

“I don’t want to sound that nerdy.” Sunset said. She bent over and whispered to Twilight, “But it’s one of my favorites too.” They both grinned as they locked eyes. “Well, you’re in luck. I was just heading to that class myself. Follow me.” They both began walking the now sparsely populated hallways.

“I use to learn math all the time back when I was Princess Celestia’s student,” Sunset began.

“Why do ponies need math?” Twilight asked with intent curiosity, as she cocked her head.

“We don’t need it for the same things people use it for, and you don’t need it to cast magic,” said Sunset, “But if you know exactly how much energy is being converted to magic over a set period of time, you can cast some wicked spells.” Sunset laughed at her own terminology, but Twilight just stared in fascination.

“Oh, your world intrigues me very much, you’ll have to tell me more later.” Twilight insisted as they rounded a corner.

“Yeah, well, knowing what I know now… I mean, I wouldn’t change what I have now for anything, but if I could go back in time I… just wonder what things I would have done differently.” Sunset said. She stopped in the middle of the hallway, staring blankly at the floor.

Twilight didn’t want to interrupt Sunset’s deep thought, but she was afraid they’d be late for first period. “Sunset Shimmer?” Twilight said.

Sunset looked up quickly, “Yeah, sorry about that. Don’t mean to bore you. But –uh we’re here.” Sunset motioned Twilight towards a door labeled room 107, with a sign on it saying AP Calculus. Sunset returned a smile to her face, “Your prince awaits,” she said as she opened the door for Twilight. They both entered and took the two remaining seats in the back corner closest to the window, just as the bell to start class rang.

Class was nothing special, especially for Twilight and Sunset, who have used the stuff being taught for years. But there’s never a dull moment at Canterlot High, and Twilight’s house of cards began its fall as an ear-shattering screech sounded through the room when the loudspeakers came on.

Principal Celestia began speaking in an authoritative manner, with an obvious displeasure in her voice, “Sunset Shimmer and Twilight Sparkle, please report to the Principal’s office immediately.” The loudspeaker clicked off, and the entire class was staring at Sunset and Twilight. They both looked at each other, equally worried and confused, before gathering their things, and exiting the room.