Emerald's Struggle

by The Zebra Hybrid

Chapter 2

Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns
Classroom B

Emerald tried to keep his eyes open as he almost banged his head on the table for the third time. He expected them to learn and test new spells, and also learn about some great wizard long ago, but instead he was hearing the backstory of his teacher, who introduced himself as Star Haze but to address him as Mr.Haze. He looked to his right and saw that Sunset was in a similar state as he was in, Sunburst to his left however was enjoying the lecture as he sat at the edge of his seat with a big smile on his face.

"Alright, class," he finally finished as Emerald and Sunset let out a breath of relief, "Before we get started it seems we have a new face joining us this semester."

Emerald mentally gulped as Mr.Haze motioned to him in that back of the classrooms as all eyes were now on the zebra colt. Emerald sulked in his chair in embarrassment, Sunset tried to pick him back up but he refused to move. "Come on, young colt. How about you stand up and introduce yourself in front of the class."

Emerald hesitantly looked to Sunset and Sunburst who both nodded, he slowly stood and walked to the front of the class. He could hear the whispers and see the stares that he got from the other students as he walked by.

"He looks weird."

"What's with the stripes?"

"That mane looks ridiculous."

He tried to tone out the other small unicorns whispers as he made it to the front of the class, he felt like he could pass out at any minute. He could see Sunburst waving in the back with an assuring grin while Sunset was giving him a comforting one. A cough from Mr.Haze snapped him from his thoughts, "How about you start with your name, young one." he said as Emerald nodded.

"U-uhm, my name is Emerald Crescent and-"

"Why do you look like that?" shouted a random colt.

Emerald flinched a little at the comment as Mr.Haze gave the student a stern look to keep quiet, "W-well I'm part zebra, and my dad is a zebra so yeah."

"But why would anypony want to be with a zebra? They're just no good troublemakers that nobody cares about." said the same colt.

Emerald was at a shock, "That's not true!" retorted Emerald, "Zebras are kind, and have been known to help others in need!"

"And where did you learn that?"

"I read it in a book!"

The colt just laughed, "You dolt! Just because it's in a book doesn't mean it's true! I bet your dad is just like the others!"

Emerald tried to say something back, but couldn't he never knew his dad. Lemon would always tell him stories about him and other zebras and he knows that she wouldn't lie to him. This colt was just being a jerk, Mr.Haze could sense the hostility and decided to step in, "Alright, Emerald I think you should go back to your seat," he announced as Emerald walked back. "and that'll be enough out of you Blueblood!"

Emerald meanwhile sat back down in his eat with a sorrowful look on his features, he could feel Sunset's and Sunburst's hooves on his shoulders. He wished he would have never went up there and just sat in his seat and kept quiet, he sniffed and wipes a tear at the corner of his eye. He could feel the colt, known as Blueblood, giving him a cocky grin as Mr.Haze started the lecture for the day.

Emerald just hope the rest of the day wouldn't be like this.

It was lunch time, Emerald wasn't as hungry after what happened in class, Sunburst ate his sandwich happily as Sunset just stared at the zebra with a worried look. "You know you don't have to listen to him right?" suddenly said Sunset.

"What?" replied Emerald with a confused expression.

"I said not to worry about that big bully, he'll go away if you'll ignore him."

"How do you know? What if he doesn't?"

Sunset put a hoof to her chin and was about to answer until Sunburst cut her off, "Why don't you just tell an adult? I'm sure they'll talk to him about it."

"Your right!" exclaimed Emerald, "Why didn't I think about that?"

"Do you even know who Blueblood is?" asked Sunset as Sunburst and Emerald shook their heads, "He's probably one of the richest ponies you'll meet excluding his parents, AND his aunt is Princess Celestia!"

Emerald and Sunburst sighed in defeat, well that plan was out of the question, the zebra colt had never faced a bullying problem before. Most of the ponies he met in Canterlot were kind to him, was it because he was just a kid? Will he get bullied even more when he get's older? All these questions ran through his head, it irritated him because he had no answers. So far Sunset and Sunburst were the only ones who were considered him as a friend.

Part of him kind of wished he never got his cutie mark so he wouldn't have to come to this school after what happened in class. Emerald let out a sad sigh as he thought what his dad would do in a situation like this. Then it hit him like a ton of bricks, his mom always told him how great of a guard his father was to the Princess of Zebrafrica, so if he could just have the courage like him he could stand up to Blueblood and maybe he'll leave him alone!

"Emerald?" the voice of Sunburst snapped Emerald from his thoughts as he shook his head.

"Are you alright you were spacing off for a while." added Sunset.

"N-No I'm fine it's just-"

"Well, look who it is." scoffed Blueblood who cut of Emerald's statement as he walked up to the table the zebra colt and his friends were sitting at. Sunburst and Sunset both glared at the white unicorn colt as Emerald just shied away in fear. "What do you want Blueblood." spat out Sunset.

"I have no business with you!" replied Blueblood, "My business is with the dirty zebra!"

"Hey!" called out Sunburst, "There is no need to be calling names!"

"Who said I was calling names? I was just stating on what he naturally is, everypony in Canterlot thinks the same thing. I'm just stating facts."

"Just leave us alone! We don't have to listen to you!" added Sunset.

Blueblood's face went red with anger as he grit his teeth, but then grew a smirk as he glanced at Emerald who was shaking in fear, "I don't have to listen to you, I'm the nephew of Celestia herself!" he turned his attention to Emerald, "And what about you! You were all high and mighty back in class, but now here you are cowering behind your marefriend and this geek!"

Emerald flinched at the insult, as Blueblood began to grin knowing that he hit his mark. But he was far from over, "Hiding like a coward! Heh, i bet your dad wasn't even what you said! I bet he's just a coward like the rest of your kind!"

The zebra, unicorn colt eyes widened as he felt a sharp pain in his chest and something heavy drop to his stomach. Sunset and Sunburst looked back at the colt and saw the tears starting to form at the corners of his eyes, Sunset glared at the white colt and was about to say something until she felt her cousin tap her shoulder and point back to Emerald. She followed his hoof and saw that Emerald had a stern look toward Blueblood and tears streaming down his cheeks, what worried her though was the yellow glow emitting from his horn.

"E-Emerald?" softly said Sunset snapping the zebra colt from his state. He had finally noticed that his horn was glowing brightly, he dimmed it down until it was back to it's normal state. Sunburst could only stare at what he just witnessed, he never knew that Emerald was this powerful in magic, Sunset walked over to Emerald's side and pulled hi in a tight embrace as he sobbed in her shoulder.

"Freak." muttered Blueblood as he walked away from the trio as Sunburst glared as he watched him go. He turned back to Sunset embracing Emerald embracing Emerald and joined in. His and Sunset's could only feel guilt as he kept repeating one word softly as he cried on to Sunsets shoulder.


Two hours later
Emerald's and Lemon's house

Emerald sat up on his bed, as he just stared at his plate in front of him. Sunset and Sunburst had been kind enough to make him feel a little better, but every time Blueblood would look at him in class it reminded him of how small he was to the white unicorn and after what he said about his dad....he just broke down. When Lemon had picked him up she noticed his solemn expression, she was shocked to hear what happened between him and Blueblood.

But at least he still managed to make friends, she felt a little guilty about what happened though. She should've known that their were some ponies who thought that way about zebras in Canterlot. What really broke her heart was when her started to cry for her husband Zan, she gave the little colt a nuzzle and picked him up and placed him on her back and headed home.

Now Emerald just sat on his bed, with conflicting thoughts on if he should go back to that school or not. He didn't want to see Blueblood again, but at the same time he didn't want to abandon Sunset and Sunburst. Emerald's horn lit up as he levitated a book with the label, 'Zebrafrica' on the front, he opened to where he last left off and started read. After a while a knock from his door snapped him from his reading as he looked at the door and saw his mom peek her head inside.

"Hey, Emerald feeling better?" she asked softly as she walked in the room.

"Y-yeah, a little." he answered with a sad smile.

Lemon laid down next to her son on the bed as she noticed the book in front of him, "Doing a little reading I see?" she said with a smile as Emerald nodded.

"Yep, I couldn't think of anything else to do."

"What about your magic lessons? I'm sure you had homework."

"I finished already."

Lemon's eyes widened, "Really? That fast?"

Emerald nodded as he levitated the scrolls he got from class by him and Lemon, "Yeah, they were pretty easy."

Lemon looked over the scrolls with a surprised expression still plastered on her face, for a colt Emerald's age these were pretty advanced spells and he said they were easy. Well, she should've expected this since his special talent was magic and could be able t use his horn with ease. "Oh!, Emerald," piped up Lemon catching Emerald's attention, "You have a visitor and she really wants to meet you."

Emerald tilted his head in confusion, "Really? Who?," he asked as Lemon just giggled. She hopped of the bed and opened the door as the zebra colt's eyes widened at who was standing in the door way. There standing was a tall alabaster alicorn mare with a rainbow mane and tail flowing in a nonexistent wind, and wearing golden royal garments and crown.

Princess Celestia smiled at the little colt's expression at her arrival, she watch as Lemon bow and give a little cough motioning Emerald to do the same. "You may rise my little pony," said Celestia as Lemon and Emerald rose, "Mrs.Pine would you mind if I spoke to your son alone?"

"Of course not Princess, take all the time you need." replied Lemon before giving Emerald one last nuzzle and heading out the door, leaving the alicorn princess and zebra colt alone in the room.

"Hello, and what might your name be little one?" she asked, although she already knew the answer from Lemon.

"I-I'm Emerald C-Crescent." replied Emerald a bit nervous.

"There is no need to be nervous, just think of me as any other pony," Emerald nodded, "I heard you didn't have a great first experience at my school."

Emerald flinched a bit, "Y-yeah, it was fun at first but...one colt just said really mean things about me."

"And what were these things, if it is okay to ask."

"W-well, he said that zebras was dirty, trouble makers and," Emerald eyes widened at who he was talking to, "You've met Zebras have you!"

Celestia flinched a bit at the sudden change of Emerald's tone but smile at his curiosity, "Yes, I have and they are one of the nicest creatures you'll meet, especially you father."

"You knew my dad?"

Celestia nodded, "I didn't know him personally, but from what I saw he was a selfless zebra who desperately cared for his family. I'm sure if he had the choice he would still be with us today."

Emerald tried to fight tears,"I-I just wished I knew what he was like, I h-heard stories from Mom but.."

"It's okay, Emerald I understand what you are trying to say, we all miss him and I'm sure whatever Blueblood said I can assure you that none of it is true."

Emerald looked at her with a confused expression as he still tried to fight tears, "H-how did you know?"

"A little filly named Sunset Shimmer was brave enough and inform me of the situation," Celestia says with a smile as Emerald's ears perked up at the mention of Sunset's name, "It seems you made a very strong friendship with her and her cousin for her to come all the way to my throne room."

"She really did that?"

"Mmmhmm, and because of that I have made her my personal student."

"Really! That's awesome! But if she's your student.."

"Don't worry she'll still be in your class, Mrs.Shimmer will just have private lessons with me from time to time."

Emerald let out a breath of relief, he didn't expect Sunset to do this for him, they just met. He's going to have to thank her when he goes back tomorrow. He stopped his train of thought, when he went back? Why would he go back when he knows he'll be picked on again, but then again....at least Sunset and Sunburst would be there with him and who knows maybe he'll make some more friends.

"You seem to be in a good mood." teased Celestia as Emerald blushed in embarrassment as he didn't even know that he was smiling to himself.

"Princess?" he asked.

"Yes, Emerald?"

"Do you think I'll be able to make friends?"

Celestia just smiled, "It is not up to me I'm afraid, that Emerald is something you must do for yourself."

Emerald nodded, "A-alright, I'll try to make as many friends as I can! A-and..and..if they don't want to be my friend I'll just find more!"

The alicorn giggled at the colts enthusiasm, it was cute and could tell that he inherited it from Zan. He looked just like him as well excluding the mane horn and color of his fur, she would have to keep an eye on him more as he grew up. She knew that ponies tend to be prejudice to things that are different and it saddened her that there wasn't much she could do about it.

"You are a very special child Emerald, I'm sure you'll be able to make more friends," smiled Celestia as she headed towards the door, "I'm afraid I have to be departing, but before I go I want to say one last thing."

"What is it?"

"It's not ponies who tell you what you are, it's you. You choose who you want to be."

"I-I think I understand, thank you Princess."

"You are very welcomed Emerald, and I hope we meet again."

Emerald watched the Princess leave his room leaving him alone, bur he wasn't feeling sorrow or remorse any more. He felt relieved and happy, the princess was right after all, only he can say who he truly is and nopony else. He levitated his book back over and continued his reading on Zebrafrica and then moving on with some extra studies on unicorn magic.

After a few hours he let out a small yawn and retired to his bed, he didn't even notice Lemon coming n his room as he was fast asleep. She smiled at the colt and gave him a peck on his forehead as his cute little snores filled her ears. She blew out the light and exited the room as Emerald laid in his bed with his eyes closed and a smile across his mussel.