• Published 24th Jul 2013
  • 4,212 Views, 239 Comments

Rainbow's Horn - Cerulean Swirl

Rainbow Dash gets a unicorn horn! Yet she looses the one thing that matters most to her- her wings.

  • ...

Chapter Nine

Ponies of all kinds and all colors were coming together from all over Equestria and Ponyville itself to prepare for the Summer Sun Celebration, and Princess Celestia began sending letters to Twilight daily, preventing her from research. This, in turn, both irritated and angered Rainbow Dash, who was now beginning to miss her beloved wings more than ever. True to her word, Twilight told Rainbow a cure would come soon, but with the increasing letters, Twilight's research became all but postponed. The seemingly good news was that Rainbow saw more of her friends, because they came over frequently to tell Twilight of their own preparations. They also offered Rainbow a lot of possibilities about helping them. For instance, Applejack was devising a new menu for the afterward outdoor buffet, and couldn't decide on a few things and wanted Rainbow's help. Rarity was decorating the Town Hall and all around Ponyville's main squares, and craved help. Pinkie Pie was choosing music tracks to play during the outdoor buffet and she and another pony, a unicorn named Vinyl Scratch, was helping her. Pinkie told Rainbow Dash that she could help pick.

Rainbow Dash, though thankful her friends were offering help, she still felt sort of depressed that she couldn't do much to help. Without her wings the only useful thing she could do was destroy doors and navigate a spoon sort of correctly(it went more to the side of her face than in her mouth). With Twilight busy, Rainbow felt more like a hermit than ever, and longed for the outdoors more than before. Ever since Soarin' and Scootaloo's visit, Scootaloo visited the tree even more than usual, wanting constant news of Rainbow Dash's return or condition. Soarin' did visit, but not nearly as often. Sometimes he came accompanied by Spitfire or Fleetfoot, but they mostly stayed outside and hung out.

Twilight often spoke to Rainbow about calling this whole thing off and talking to Soarin' and Scootaloo, promising that they would understand and that it wouldn't be as big a deal as Rainbow presumed. Of course, Rainbow Dash still thought they would abandon her for lying, and she refused to say anything until she was normal once more. The Celebration, however, drew nearer and nearer with each passing day, and Rainbow decided not to help anypony, but to attend the festival like a normal everyday goer. After much contradiction from her friends, Rainbow finally won them over by saying that with the large crowds, she would be hard to notice, and that she would be spotted by Soarin' or Scootaloo helping them.

Scootaloo and Soarin' would be attending the Celebration, naturally, and they had both informed Twilight that they hoped Rainbow would be there. In the meantime, the weather was said to be absolutely gorgeous; Fluttershy had rallyed the pegasi and together they all had taken care of the weather around Ponyville. Of course, the other pegasi were concerned on Rainbow's whereabouts as well, but weren't given anything but the response that Rainbow was sick somewhere. 'Get Wells' were exchanged, but not much else. Since she was working all through the day, Twilight worked through the nights on her research. She often paced, talked to herself really loud, and kept Rainbow up in the other room. And since Twilight hadn't the time to fix the door, Rainbow got to hear all of it all the time. The night before the day of the Celebration, Twilight stayed up later than she had before, and Rainbow fell into a deep, yet troubled sleep.

When Rainbow awoke the next morning, the sun was already streaming into the library, and this time, Twilight wasn't standing over her and feeding her soup. Instead, Rainbow heard soft snores coming from the other room and suspected that Twilight must be asleep there. She stretched out, and ran her hooves through her tangled bed-head mane. Her hoof found the unicorn horn in an instant, and she gave it a tap for old times sake, making sure it was still there. It hadn't been that she had woken up to find that it wasn't there and her wings were gone yet, and she was still secretly hoping that it would disappear on its own. But no, it was still there, still intact, and regrettably still attatched to her head.

Rainbow Dash rolled out of bed and stretched out her back hooves. She carefully peeked out of the open hole that used to be covered by a door and looked. The library was in complete disarray. Books were everywhere, scattered on the floor and some of their pages tossed about. The shelves were messy, and the only thing that didn't look tossed about was the walls. Twilight's desk was piled high with volumes and papers, and ink spills covered the desk. Twilight, like the room, was in disarray as well. Her mane stuck out at odd angles, and there seemed to be ink splotches on her hooves. There were large bags under her eyes, and her face was contorted in fatigue and extreme stress. She was laying on her desk in a strange position, with her front hooves draped over the front of the desk and her back hooves still in sitting position, and her face facing Rainbow Dash. Twilight's mouth was open, but there was no drool, and soft snores were coming from her. Rainbow could only assume that Twilight was up most of the night. Rainbow went softly over to where Twilight lay, and hesitated a moment before jabbing Twilight in the shoulder.

"Twilight." said Rainbow, and poked her again. Twilight did not stir.

"Twilight. Wake up. Come on, it's time to go to the Summer Sun Celebration. It's unlike you to not be prepared for something like this." said Rainbow, and Twilight still stayed motionless, the soft snores still coming from her. Just as Rainbow was about to drop a book on her sleeping friend who should come downstairs but Spike himself. He looked sleepy and bedraggled, just like Rainbow did. Seeing the mess around him, he looked at Rainbow accusingly.

"Hey, have you both been doing magic again? What did you both do this time? Destroy a wall?" he snapped, grouchily. Twilight's pacing must have kept him up during the night, as it usually did. He rubbed sleep out of his eyes and once again glared at Rainbow.

"No, we haven't done any magic, but today's the summer sun celebration, and its unlike Twilight not to be up with the sun with these things." said Rainbow, ignoring Spike's attitude.

"I can take care of it." said Spike, and walked slowly to another door in the library. He opened it, went in, and shut it behind him. Rainbow heard the faint sound of water running, and when the dragon returned he had a bucket filled with water in his claws.

"Spike, I don't really-" protested Rainbow, but before she could say anything more, the dragon overturned the bucket and let all the water run on Twilight. It must have been cold, because Twilight woke up almost instantly. She gave a small yelp and stood straight up, her back arched and she assumed a cat-like position, her eyes wide open and alert. Spike then nonchalantly threw the bucket to a corner of the library, and this time Rainbow didn't think to question. However, despite looking fully awake, the purple unicorn still was recovering from her stupor. She was babbling helplessly at Spike and Rainbow, and Rainbow could just barely make out what her friend was saying.

"Can only be reversed......that spell...." she babbled to herself, and walked over to the shelves once more. Rainbow Dash could only assume her friend had not yet come down from Research Mode.

"TWILIGHT!" yelled Spike, and the purple unicorn looked.
"What? Can't you see I'm working?" retorted the unicorn.

"The Celebration's today, strawhead! Get moving!" snapped Spike.
"Wait...the Celebration's today?" asked Twilight, her morning anger all but disappearing.

"Yeah. I'm going back to sleep." announced Spike, and immediately exited the room, going as slow as possible.

"Uh....Twilight?" asked Rainbow when Spike had left. Her friends seemed to have frozen up. Then, as if a switch turned on in Twilight's mind, Twilight's morning anger disappeared and her prim and polite self resurfaced. She galloped over to Rainbow, and grabbing the cloak, threw it on Rainbow, and opened the door with her magenta colored magic.

"Come on! The festivities will start soon. I believe they're having a apple bobbing contest this morning, and then there's the Traditional Unfurling of Celestia's Banner after that." babbled Twilight, excitedly.

"Calm down, Twilight. We're not there yet. And what was that you were saying in the library about a spell and something being reversed?" asked Rainbow, eager to know what her friend had found out. Both were galloping now alongside each other, and Rainbow was watching the rest of the town wake.

"Oh, something I found in my research last night. I think I finally have something." said Twilight, happily.

"That's awesome! I'll be getting my wings back in no time." said Rainbow, her spirits lifting. The cloak fluttered by her sides, and it felt good to gallop again.

"So where are we going now?" asked Rainbow, still following Twilight.

"To the apple bobbing. You can follow me, if you like. I'm overseeing it, and then I'm busy almost all the rest of the day. You can hang around Ponyville, if not." said Twilight, panting slightly.

"That sounds okay to me. You go, I'll catch up with you later." said Rainbow, and stopped galloping.

"Remember to be in Town Hall at the right time so Princess Celestia can raise the sun!" yelled Twilight, and disappeared behind a nearby cottage, on her way to Sweet Apple Acres. Normally Rainbow wouldn't have passed up an opportunity to be with her friends, but it felt so good to be outside with lots of time to herself. She was always flying somewhere to be with them, and she never really got relaxing time, so this break was nice.

The town was almost fully awake by now, and Rainbow saw lots of faces that she recognized. It was a chilly morning, so Rainbow wasn't the only one that wore a cloak, so it didn't look abnormal. Rainbow didn't see Scootaloo or Soarin' from where she was, so she was good for now. But she knew that sometime in the day Soarin' would perform with the rest of the Wonderbolts, and she would probably go to see that. If she was spotted by either of them, she would have to explain that she cut her trip early, and didn't tell Twilight she was returning so early. Hopefully when she told them the entire story they'd all have a good laugh about it later, but she was smarter than that. She figured Soarin' and Scootaloo would be upset, and she had lied herself into this. She was determined to get out, though. She would at least try to be honest like her good friend Applejack, but until then, she was stuck. She began a slow trot, and followed the crowds to wherever they were going.

Her thoughts drifted to Twilight and her lead. She could barely hold her anxiety in, and she couldn't wait. Would she be taking another potion? They had reversal potions, didn't they? Would she be eating a plant or something of that nature? Or would she be magicked back to the way she was? Would Twilight take her to the princesses so they could reverse it? Or would Twilight do it herself? Or.....Rainbow couldn't bare the thought....but....would Rainbow herself have to reverse the effect and fix herself? That would take a lot of work; Rainbow wasn't even sure she could do it....But that couldn't be what would fix her. Surely a spell that Twilight could do or even another potion would fix her. She'd be normal again, soon. She knew it.

Rainbow continued to walk through the waking Ponyville, and she found an overwhelming sense of peace. She was about to completely let her guard down when she heard voices behind her. Young voices; voices that certainly didn't belong to a grown pony. They were filly voices. Quick as a wink, Rainbow sprang into action and galloped behind a nearby cottage. She peeked one cautious dark magenta eye around the cottage, and her heart jumped up into her throat. The CMC were passing innocently by Rainbow's hiding place. Applebloom and Sweetie Belle were walking on either side of Scootaloo, who looked pretty upset. Rainbow assumed they were trying to make her feel better, from the looks of it. Rainbow kept quiet, and watched as they passed by slowly.

"Aren't you excited to see Soarin' and the rest of the Wonderbolts perform today, Scootaloo?" asked Sweetie Belle, concerndedly.

"Yeah, but it's not the same since Rainbow Dash isn't here." replied Scootaloo, dejectedly.

"But it's okay, right? Applejack told me that Rainbow was sick." said Applebloom, trying to be reassuring.

"She must be all better, because she went to visit her uncle in the Crystal Empire." said Scootaloo.

"How'd you know that?" asked Sweetie Belle.
"Soarin' took me to see Twilight the other day and Twilight said she left."

"Without even saying goodbye? That's not like her."
"Twilight said that the uncle was close to her father, and that's why."

"Oh. Well, cheer up, Scootaloo. I'm sure she's fine." said Applebloom, and the three turned and disappeared down another street. When the coast was clear, Rainbow came out in the open once more, pulling the cloak tighter around herself. She sighed, and began to walk further into the awakening Ponyville.

The day had been pretty nice so far. Rainbow Dash had gotten to observe a few events without being noticed, and she was enjoying herself. After the CMC scare, she returned to Sweet Apple Acres and watched the apple bobbing competition. The day was turning out to be chilly like the morning, so Rainbow wasn't the only pony with a cloak. Applejack and Twilight recognized Rainbow right away, but they didn't watch her long. Rainbow watched as her fellow Ponyvillians bobbed for as many apples as they could before Applejack stopped a stopwatch. Twilight levitated a clipboard and quill close to her to record everypony's progress. In the end it was Roseluck against Derpy, and Derpy ended up winning.

After that Rainbow went to Fluttershy's, where it wasn't nearly as crowded, and watched her rehearse with her bird choir. Fluttershy was very pleased to see Rainbow, as Rainbow was her, and the two enjoyed quality time together over cinnamon tea. After that, Rainbow went straight to Sugarcube Corner to visit Pinkie Pie. Pinkie, of course, was planning the festivities that would commence through the night and evening. She was writing a huge list of things that everypony was going to do, and Rainbow took a peek at the list to see what Pinkie had put so far, and saw nothing but cutesy doodles. Rainbow, who knew better than to question, decided to just roll with it.

Rainbow's more recent stop included going off to Town Hall, to see if Rarity needed help hanging decorations. She didn't really need that much help(as Rainbow wasn't much help without her wings), but Rainbow found it nice to talk with the Element of Generosity, and the two had a nice chat until the Mayor came in and took Rarity to decorate Town Square. Now Rainbow walked farther and farther away from Town Hall, back to the library. There wasn't much else to do, unless she went to the puppet show that was being held at the Flower Shop, which she didn't want to do.

She passed through Ponyville, and the sun warmed her face. A lot of ponies were around her now, and she suspected the entire town was up. In fact, they were moving faster than Rainbow Dash was, which was saying something on a regular basis. It was then that Rainbow snapped out of her Lovely-Day-In-The-Neighborhood attitude and finally realized what exactly was going on. The ponies around her were moving around quite frantically now, and the crowd was pushing her one way. A strange and horribly familiar scent clouded her nostrils, and she began to worry. There was talking everywhere, and Rainbow could only hear snippets of what everypony was saying:

"How did it happen?"
"I'm not sure. Somepony left something in the oven?"

"....can't believe...."
"On a day like today?"

That's when the crowds propelled her around a corner and Rainbow Dash saw it. Smoke billowed up into the clear blue sky, and ponies were everywhere, running this way and that. Fire swirled and burned through a cottage that Rainbow didn't recognize, and firefighters galloped haphazardly around along with all the other ponies, spraying water at the burning cottage. From where she stood, Rainbow could see that the water was just barely helping the burning, and now regular bystanders were attempting to put out the flames as well. Rainbow looked around and tried to figure out something to do. Ponies around her were beginning to notice Rainbow's frozen demeanor, and some yelled at her as they passed by.

"What are you doing?"
"Help us, help us!"

"....crazy unicorns..."
"OMYGOSH! THERE'S SOMEPONY IN THERE!!!" a female voice screeched, piercing the air. As if on cue, a scream pierced the air, and Rainbow Dash recognized it at once. It was a young scream, one that Rainbow rarely heard, but she had still heard it before. There was movement at one of the windows, a second story window, and a shadow appeared. The window burst open, letting loose another burst of flame. A small filly appeared, coughing up a storm. Rainbow's heart lurched when she recognized who it was. With her purple mane charred and black streaks all over her sunset orange coat, Scootaloo was coughing violently. Her violet eyes swept across the crowd, and they locked on Rainbow's instantly, and then what Rainbow had worked so hard for was gone. Scootaloo had seen her, and her face contorted with fear, anger, and sadness. The firefighters yelled at Scootaloo to move, or to look at them so that she could jump from where she stood, but she paid them no mind. The rest of the firefighters and bystanders continued hurling water at the burning structure. Through all the movement, though, the only thing Rainbow could concentrate on was Scootaloo watching her intently.

Something snapped inside Rainbow, and her adrenaline surged. She knew what she had to do. It may not be the best decision, but it was the right one. She had to save Scootaloo. But then the voice of doubt came. She knew she was powerless without her wings; she couldn't fly up and save Scootaloo, and from what she could see, there weren't many pegasi flying by. Rainbow pushed the voice away and knew what she had to do immediately.

In one swift movement, Rainbow Dash flung off the cape, and it fluttered to the ground. At this, Scootaloo's eyes widened in shock, but Rainbow didn't care. What was done was done. She concentrated on the building, and galloped closer to it, much to the protest of those around her. But her fellow Ponyvillians were starting to recognize the former pegasus now too, and as they did, they began to stop what they were doing momentarily. Once she was a good distance away from harm, she found Scootaloo again(who was still being demanded to jump), and concentrated like she hadn't ever before.

She focused all her energy into one image: levitating Scootaloo off the building. She put the image of Scootaloo levitating safely off the building firmly in her mind, and swallowed all feelings of doubt and fear. The energy of magic surged through her, and she could feel it all the way in her bone marrow. Rainbow shut her eyes so tight it felt like her eyelids would rip, and clenched her teeth in concentration. Peeking ever so slightly, she saw deep magenta hued magic ignite her horn. Her eyes drifted to the building where Scootaloo was, and saw magic form on Scootaloo's charred hooves.

Rainbow concentrated more, keeping the image of Scootaloo being safely levitated off the burning building, and felt the energy pump through her. She squeezed her eyes shut harder, and let the energy surge and churn. She peeked once more, and saw that Scootaloo's entire body was now covered in Rainbow's magic and was slowly coming off the place where she stood.

It's working!!! I'm doing it! I can't believe it!!! I'm actually doing unicorn magic!, her mind screamed in happiness.

Shoving these thoughts away momentarily, Rainbow knew she was almost done. Scootaloo was almost safe. With this thought and the image of Scootaloo levitating safely off the building, Rainbow dug her hooves in the dirt road, pushed everything else out of her vision and mind, and let the magic flow. It was painful, and felt like Rainbow was attempting to throw up her own heart, but at the same time it felt rewarding. Like something that was hiding inside her all along was finally pushing out of Rainbow and into the sky like a trapped pegasus. She let out groans and yelps because of the pain, but opened one careful eye and saw Scootaloo in the air, with a look of pure shock on her face. And out of the corner of her eye, she could have sworn she saw a certain pegasus come and join the now gathering crowd. The firefighter's and bystander's work was beginning to work, and the flames were beginning to slowly wane.

Rainbow then shut her eyes, and put the image of Scootaloo safely landing in her head. She began to feel fatigued, but she kept letting the magic flow. Then, with one final peek and one final surge, Rainbow saw the image she had been trying to achieve. Scootaloo, now overwhelmed beyond anything, slowly began her descent onto the dirt road, and in one little blast of magic, Rainbow set her on the ground, where the magenta magic left as quickly as it had come.

Finally opening her eyes and using what little energy left, Rainbow took in her surroundings. She was in the center of a very large crowd, and all eyes were trained on her. Most faces' expressions held shock, awe, excitement, and disbelief. She saw Soarin's face in the crowd, along with, strangely, all her friends'. She hadn't seen them arrive, and she was no too fatigued to even question. The once burning cottage was now just a wet, charred mess, with a few miniscule embers still burning. The firefighters were now staring at Rainbow as well, and the only sound that could be heard was a drip drip drip of water coming off a piece of charred cottage. Rainbow herself was not doing very well, despite the feeling of happiness and relief that she saved Scootaloo. With UNICORN magic. She had unbelievable fatigue, fatigue unlike any she had felt before, and she felt squeezed out and deflated. She felt so fatigued, that slowly, but surely, she was feeling herself loosing consciousness. She stumbled in her place, and lost her energy completely.

The last thing she remembered before the dark embraced her was Soarin's, Scootaloo's, and all her friends faces. She fell in the dirt from where she was and there was silence.

Author's Note:

It's not over yet!

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