• Published 15th Aug 2013
  • 4,004 Views, 168 Comments

The Minuette-ventures of Princess Twilight Sparkle - Sharp Spark


Twilight and Minuette are perfectly happy and just want to be left alone. Unfortunately, Ponyville is particularly prone to mysteries and disasters, and -somepony- has to deal with the mess.

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Pets Control

Knock knock knock knock!

It never failed. Every time Twilight Sparkle managed to set aside a clearly demarcated period of time for personal relaxation (literary), something would interrupt. It hadn’t been more than thirty seconds since she had opened her book!

Well, saying every time ignored a fair amount of confirmation bias, but it was true in principle. Twilight estimated at least thirty percent of her pre-scheduled reading periods found themselves interrupted by some—

Knock! Knock knock! Knock!

Oh, right, the door.

“Spike!” she called out, hopefully. He was nowhere in sight, but he could be in the back dusting shelves like she had asked a few days ago.

“I don’t think he’s here,” Minuette said. She was lazily sprawled out on the couch next to Twilight, an open book lying on her chest, though she seemed closer to taking a nap than reading. “I haven’t seen him all day.”

Twilight frowned. “You didn’t...”

“No, I didn’t send him out to buy liquor again,” Minuette said, rolling her eyes. “Besides, they confiscated his fake ID last time he tried.”

Knock! K-knock knock knock! Knock!

Twilight sighed and set down her book, carefully marking the page with a bookmark. She trotted to the door, already having a good idea of who was there.

You could tell a lot from a knock – there weren’t a lot of ponies who knocked so erratically, as if getting distracted halfway through, then working double-time to catch back up.

A magenta aura flared around her horn as she opened the door with her magic. “Hello, Pinkie Pie.”

Barely had the door swung open before Pinkie was in the room and inches from Twilight’s face. Her eyes were wide and round. “Twilight! It’s a disaster! An emergency! A... a... a...”

“I think we have a thesaurus somewhere,” Minuette said, not bothering to get up from the couch.

Twilight frowned. “Calamity? Catastrophe? Crisis?”

“Yes, there it is,” Minuette said, “and it talks too!”

Twilight stuck her tongue out at Minuette, but her attention was soon recaptured by a Pinkie Pie that was visibly vibrating with panicked energy. “All of those!” she shouted. “It’s Gummy!”

Taking a closer look, Twilight saw that the baby alligator was clamped onto Pinkie’s head in a manner that was pretty ordinary. “Gummy? What’s wrong with him?”

“He has... turned.” The last word was spoken in a hushed whisper, laced with meaning.

Meaning to Pinkie, perhaps. Twilight just found herself confused. “What?”

“Can’t you see?” Pinkie asked. “He’s become... a zombie!” Seeing Twilight’s blank expression, Pinkie continued on. “Look at how he’s turned green! See the vacant blankness in his eyes? And he’s clearly hungering after brains!”

Minuette snickered, eyeing the alligator who was still clamped on Pinkie’s skull. “He’s not going to find any there, at least.”

“Minuette!” Twilight said sharply. “Anyways, Pinkie... I think he’s fine, but I’ll check I guess?” With a flash of magenta, Gummy was lifted up in the air and Twilight closed her eyes to feel the flow of Gummy’s natural magic, the same magic that sustained any living creature.

After a moment, she opened her eyes, satisfied, and Gummy floated down to Pinkie’s head where he perched in her poofy fuchsia mane.

“He’s fine,” Twilight said. “Pinkie, remember how we talked about exaggerating problems?”

A big smile flashed across Pinkie Pie’s face. “Oh, that’s such a relief! I was really worried!”

“Uh-huh,” Twilight said. “Glad we took care of it. Now I have a book—”

“‘Cause when I saw all of Fluttershy’s animals marching into the Everfree Forest with swirly-twirly eyes, I thought for sure it meant they were all zombies!”

Twilight blinked. “What!?”

“Oh, you know. I’ve been watching Fluttershy’s animals for her.” Pinkie smiled cheerfully. “And I was just headed over to check on them for today when I saw them all in a single-file line headed into the Everfree, and none of them so much as squeaked at me, which probably should have told me that they weren’t zombies because zombies say ‘Braaains’ or ‘Aaaaargh’. Or was that pirates? Either way, everything is fine now, right?”

Twilight shook her head. “So Fluttershy’s animals... are gone?”

“Oh. Yes!” Pinkie Pie frowned. “That’s probably bad!”

Twilight looked wistfully back at her book sitting on the table. But some things took precedence.

“Don’t worry Pinkie! We’ll get to the bottom of this.” Twilight raised one hoof in the air, pointed to the sky. “Let’s go!”

They dashed out of the library, the door slamming shut behind them.

A moment passed.

Then another.

Then the library’s door flew open again, and an annoyed Twilight Sparkle glared inwards.

“Oh, you want me to come too?” Minuette asked.

---

Fluttershy’s house was indeed empty.

Twilight paced back and forth in the front room past birdhouses and doghouses and... squirrelhouses? Each was completely lacking in its normal inhabitants. Anxious for clues, she peered down at a food dish to find that it still held the remains of some carrots. A sniff showed that they were still mostly fresh – whatever had happened, Pinkie was probably telling the truth about it being recent.

She walked over to the window to peek her head out into the backyard.

“See anything, Pinkie?” she called out, hopefully.

Pinkie’s head popped out of a tiny window in the small building out there. “Nope!” she cried out. “The chickens have all flown the coop!”

Pulling back inside, Twilight called out again. “Minuette?”

“Nothing,” Minuette said, followed by the sound of a cabinet closing. “There’s nothing in this house to drink. Oh, and no animals either.”

Twilight sighed. They could be anywhere in the Everfree Forest by now! If only she had some clues!

“Hi Zecora!” Pinkie’s voice was as loud as usual as it filtered in through the window.

Perfect! Twilight hurried to gallop outside, finding the familiar zebra waiting on the road right in front of Fluttershy’s cottage, at the fork between heading to town and heading into the Everfree. If there was anypony who might know where the animals could have gone, it was Zecora.

“Twilight Sparkle! I hope you’re well,” Zecora said, her voice dark and portentous. “Because it is a dark and dreadful tale that I bear.”

Twilight frowned, momentarily confused.

Taking her silence for a sign to proceed, the zebra’s eyes flashed as she leaned forward, one hoof raised against her head. “I sense black magic. Listen well, we must act fast or the consequences will be tragic!”

“Wait a minute,” she said.

“The pegasus’s creatures, you wish to find them. Before an evil power binds them!”

Twilight bit her lip. “Okay, that’s at least a secondary...” she muttered.

“Seek out the ingredients from this list. And bring them to the center of the forest!”

Twilight grimaced as Zecora hoofed over a small scroll bound with a wax seal of a spider.

“So to my words, observe and hear. It is great fortune I found you here!” Zecora reared up and then stomped the ground, right as a peal of thunder sounded and a cloud of smoke billowed all around her.

Twilight coughed as the smoke cleared, revealing that the zebra had vanished. Behind her, Minuette poked her head out of Fluttershy’s cottage, and Pinkie trotted up, curious at the commotion.

Twilight carefully broke the seal and unrolled the scroll, finding a list of potion ingredients. The other two mares jostled for position trying to read over her shoulder.

“Hm,” Twilight said. “Black pepper is easy. And I know those herbs, this shouldn’t be hard...”

“Uh. Except for this?” Minuette pointed a hoof at the last item on the list. “The heart of an orphan (freshly harvested),” she read out loud.

Pinkie gasped. “I told you Zecora was eeeeevil!”

---

The three ponies trotted through the Everfree Forest. By the time they had managed to gather everything that they needed, it was already dark, a full moon appearing over the horizon.

The forest was eerily silent, but the Everfree was always eerie. Twilight found she preferred generic mysterious silence over the much more specific howling from dangerous predators.

They weren’t quite sure where to go, but picking the most-overgrown paths eventually led them to a glen where tendrils of mist coiled around ancient stones laid into the soft earth.

There, Zecora was waiting, shrouded in her cloak. A cauldron boiled and bubbled at the very center of the clearing, next to a wicker cage that held a small purple dragon.

“Spike?” Twilight said.

“Hi Twilight! Spike cheerfully replied. “Sorry I haven’t been around all day. I’ve been hypnotized!”

The trio trotted forwards, and Twilight set down the burlap sack she had been carrying.

“You’re hypnotized,” Minuette said, skeptically.

“Yeah,” Spike smiled. “There was this big ruby on a string, and then I started drooling and my stomach felt all funny and Zecora said I was hypnotized and had to listen to her.”

Twilight sighed. “That’s not hypnosis. That’s you being hungry.”

“Oh.” Spike frowned. “Well, I’m in a cage now!” He shook the bars to helpfully demonstrate.

“I can see that,” Twilight said. “Zecora, what’s the meaning of— Hey!”

The zebra had snuck around the cauldron and trotted off with the burlap sack they had brought. “Thanks for this, you foalish fools! Now I shall be the one to make the rules!”

Pinkie gasped loudly. “Eeeevil!

“The pink one has got it right. You’ve given me what I need to rule the night!” Zecora raised the bag high in one hoof, the moonlight framing her menacing figure.

Oh no!” Pinkie cried out, biting her hooves.

Oh no!” Twilight said, eyes wide.

...

Twilight elbowed Minuette in the side.

“Oh no,” Minuette said in a tremendously bored tone.

“For you see...” Zecora’s grin took on a menacing and malicious shape. “I am not Zecora!”

A brief silence fell.

“Yep! We know!” Pinkie said.

Zecora paused, her hoof lowering. “Wait, really? But my disguise was perfect. It took me forever to paint on a new cutie mark.”

Twilight coughed nervously. “Well, visually, it’s spot on, but there were certain irregularities in—”

“You suck at rhyming,” Minuette said.

The zebra’s mouth fell open. “What? No, I’m certain I—”

Twilight cut in. “To be precise, couplets take more than just matching the last syllable. Zecora does occasionally play fast and loose with the rules, but she at least makes an attempt at harmonizing. Your meter on the other hand has been completely lacking in terms of stressed and unstressed—”

“Basically you suck at rhyming,” Minuette repeated. “Twilight can do the long version but we’ll be here all night.”

“She rhymed ‘hear’ with ‘here’,” Twilight muttered. “That’s... you can’t do that!”

“No matter!” The zebra regained her booming voice. “For I am Zomera, Zecora’s long-forsaken sister, here to take my vengeance! And I shall do so with the materials you have unwittingly brought to me!”

“Or, y’know, not,” Minuette said. “There’s three of us and one of you.”

“You wish to defy me?” Zomera flicked her head haughtily. “Very well! Minions! To me!”

The forest all around them erupted into a sudden cacophony of noise. Twilight, Pinkie, and Minuette turned back-to-back in a circle, trying to keep an eye on every inch of the forest as they awaited the arrival of a new enemy.

Then a rabbit hopped out from behind a tree. Followed by a squirrel. They kept coming, until the three ponies were ringed by a huge assortment of woodland critters, including chickens, songbirds, chipmunks, and a confused-looking housecat.

“This is your army of evil?” Twilight said, doubtfully.

Zomera flushed. “This is just the beginning! Once I have created and consumed the concoction of ultimate power, I will be able to rule the minds of ponies across all of Equestria!”

“Okay, but still,” Minuette said. “There’s still three of us and one of you. And the Princess over here could probably toast half the forest with magic if she wanted to.”

“Yes! Kerpow!” Pinkie said. She grinned gleefully for a moment before a thought arrived, causing her eyes to grow huge. "Wait, no! Twilight, please don’t blow up Fluttershy’s animals. I don’t think she’ll let me pet-sit anymore.”

Twilight frowned. “Pinkie’s right. I can’t risk harming any innocent critters.”

“Aw,” Minuette scowled at the small bunny who was at the head of the pack. “What if you just exploded the rabbit, and maybe that’d scare the rest off?”

“What?!” Twilight said. “No!”

“No,” Pinkie rubbed her chin. “Minuette might be onto something.” Twilight glared fiercely at her. “Hey, I’ve been pet-sitting Angel for three whole days now. Do you know what that’s been like?”

“I kept Opalescence while Rarity was in Canterlot for that fashion show last month.” Twilight closed her eyes, suppressing certain memories. “For a week.”

Pinkie silently leaned over to lay a consoling hoof on Twilight's back.

Ahem,” Zomera said. “If you three are finished, I have an ancient ritual to complete?”

“Yeah, go ahead,” Minuette said, waving a hoof.

Zomera nodded, and reached down into the burlap sack. She began chanting as she added herbs to the cauldron.

Thistleweed and Seed of Oak, Angel’s Tear and Poison Joke!”

With a plop, flowers, blossoms, and seeds fell into the boiling liquid.

Add a silenced Mandrake Root!

A brownish oblong tuber fell in with a big splash.

Complement with Eye of Newt!

A jar of small greenish orbs emptied into the cauldron.

And last, with darkness coalesce, the heart of one who’s fatherless!

Reaching into the bag, Zomera raised a squishy object high overhead, red liquid leaking onto her hooves. With a roar, she flung it into the cauldron.

“And now,” she said, breathing heavily, “We heat with dragonfire.”

“Huh?” Spike said. “Actually, I don’t really want to, and maybe Twilight’s right about me not being hypnotized...”

Grumbling, Zomera reached into the bag to grab the shaker of black pepper and emptied it over Spike’s cage.

“—Aaaachooo!” A gout of flame burst from Spike’s mouth and swirled around the black cauldron.

“Sorry Twilight,” he said morosely.

Twilight smiled. “You tried. I’m still proud of you.”

“Silence,” Zomera cried out. “Now, I will partake in this brew and gain that which I deserve!”

She retrieved a ladle from her cloak and slowly brought a spoonful to her lips.

Everypony in the clearing was silent, attentively watching as Zomera drank deeply.

“I can feel it!” she cried out. “Mystical power! Finally! Muah-hah-hah-hah!”

Minuette looked at Twilight Sparkle and shrugged.

“Now all shall tremble before—” Zomera smacked her lips. “Wait a minute, this doesn’t taste right.” She stared at the three ponies still being carefully guarded by a platoon of critters. “What did you do?”

Twilight smiled. “Oh, we made a few adjustments in the recipe.”

“What?!” Zomera clenched her teeth. “What did you... No! The mandrake root?”

“Was a potato, yes,” Twilight said.

“And we didn’t have any available newts, so they claimed my emergency martini olives,” Minuette grumbled.

Zomera gulped. A bright red dot appeared on her face. “A-and the heart of an orphan?”

“Oh, me me me!” Pinkie said cheerfully. “So a couple of days ago I got this great idea to have open mic comedy night at Sugarcube Corner! Only no one really wanted to go first, so I did, and I’ve been practicing super hard for the baby Cakes, so I’m pretty great, but then I think everyone was still uncertain because no one was laughing even though it was amazingly funny! I mean, don’t you think that—”

Twilight nudged her gently.

“Oh, right! Anyways, then somepony threw a tomato at me and I caught it because hey! Free tomato! Only it was a little bit rotten and that was a couple of days ago so...”

Zomera took a step back. “S-so then, my concoction of ultimate power was... was...”

“Vegetable stew,” Twilight said.

“But... but...” Another bright red spot broke out on Zomera’s coat, followed soon by a third and fourth. “But I’m allergic to tomatoes!”

All across Zomera’s body, bright red dots blossomed and she fell backwards with a groan. As she lost consciousness, the swirly eyes of the many forest critters faded away, leaving them to blink in confusion before scampering away into the woods.

“Good job, Twilight!” Pinkie said. “Hey, this gives me a great idea for a joke! What’s black and white and red all over?”

Minuette opened her mouth, but Twilight raised a hoof, shaking her head. “What, Pinkie?”

“A penguin with a sunburn! Hey, do you think Zomera will mind if I eat some of this stew?”

“No, wait, there’s poison jo—”

Before Twilight could say anything further, Pinkie had stuck her hoof in the liquid and licked at it. “Needs more salt! And less rotten tomato. And maybe somppbhth blpppbth! Blpppth!

Twilight sighed. “Well, looks like everything’s back to normal.”

“Could somepony let me out of this cage?” Spike asked.

“Bbbbpttth!” Pinkie exclaimed.

“Better than normal!” Minuette said.