• Published 7th Sep 2013
  • 16,608 Views, 1,249 Comments

Courage - scion



Evil has come to the Everfree and Ponyville. The Elements must stand against it... but they will not be alone. The mysterious blue-eyed wolf will aid-or hamper- their efforts to bring harmony back to Equestria.

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Party!

To say the last few days had been eventful would be an understatement.

Ponyville had been magically cut off from the world (potentially even invaded, by who was not yet known to even the Princesses). They had been attacked, and a fair portion of the town taken, by possessed Diamond Dogs, forced to slave in the caves searching for gems. Two disconcerting events in as many days; the ponies who chose to make their lives next to the most dangerous forest in Equestria were tough, but even they could be worn down. The entire town was stressed, nearly to the breaking point.

As such, when Pinkie Pie had come back from the caverns that night, she knew beyond a shadow of a doubt what she had to do.

She had to throw a party.

A party for an entire town!

Just the thought got her bouncing as she brushed her teeth. Oh, this was going to be SO MUCH FUN! She knew a pony with a bouncy castle for the foals, and she knew a pony who knew a pony who could set up one of those huge carnival tents-

Pinkie smiled, her teeth squeaky clean, and bounced towards her bed.

- and she could get the Cakes to make all the pastries, and she could help, and Applejack could make pies, and Berry Punch could mix the drinks, and she knew a pony who knew a pony-

Pinkie Pie crashed face first into her pillow, simultaneously flinging a hoof out to flip the light switch and using the other to get the covers over herself. The moment her head touched soft pillow she was asleep, a gentle smile upon her muzzle, with nothing but the quiet sound of her breathing in her room above Sugarcube Corner.

---

Her eyes shot open, exposing her brilliant blue irises to the world.

-who could get balloons, and she knew a pony who's uncle can get all the streamers she would need, and-

Pinkie Pie exploded out of bed and landed on her hooves. Behind her, the sheet drifted lazily down, before coming to rest on the bed, perfectly made.

She headed down to the kitchen silently, despite the huge grin on her face, as she continued to think of everything she would need for The Party. The Cakes weren't up yet and neither were the twins, and so every sound that Pinkie made was somehow muffled, no louder than a whisper. Even the exuberant bouncing down the stairs produced no more than a slight creak; the shuffling of the pots and pans as Pinkie began to make that morning's first batch of pastries was no more than a gentle ringing as opposed to the banging one would have expected.

Flour, milk, eggs, sugar- mix em' all together, and what do you get? Delicious pastries! Confections! Treats! Baking was not her cutie mark, but one would be hard pressed to argue otherwise, what with the pink pony expertly tending to nearly seven different mixing bowls at once. She was moving so fast one could almost believe there was more than one Pinkie Pie in the kitchen.

She put the preliminary pastries in the preheated ovens and closed the doors. Euclairs, lemon bread, scones, croissants, and breakfast cupcakes of all varieties went into the ovens to bake. Okay, so they weren't really called breakfast cupcakes, they were muffins, but Pinkie liked cupcakes so much and they were the same size and shape and everything and some of them were even frosted, so they were totally breakfast cupcakes! Or maybe cupcakes were dessert muffins... hmmmm....

While they baked, Pinkie moved to the frostings and other sugary drizzles that would adorn the future yummy treats. While she continued her frantic pace, her grin never abated, nor did her internal dialogue of Party Items she would need. Parties were serious business- one did not just start a party! There. Were. Rules. Rules that needed to be followed for maximal party enjoyment for all ponies involved.

And wolves, too. Ohhhhh... but it wasn't time for that party yet.

Half way through the bake times, the door to the kitchen opened, admitting a tired looking Cup Cake. She took one look at Pinkie and bowed her head- Cup just wasn't a morning pony like she was. Of course, Pinkie was a night owl too- the Cakes had no theories as to how the pink pony who rented their room and helped them bake could function beyond an eternal sugar high.

"Hey Mrs. Cake! I need to go talk to the Mayor, can you handle the second batch?" the pink one asked quietly.

Mrs. Cake nodded with a yawn. "I think so."

"Thanks Mrs. Cake! Here!"

Mrs. Cake's eyes opened wide as a slice of lemon bread was shoved into her mouth by a pink hoof. She chewed the bread. It was delicious as always, and when the buzzer dinged for the lemon bread oven she would no doubt find a slice missing. Mrs. Cake shrugged. She didn't know how it happened, or how Pinkie did what she did, but it always worked- she was awake now.

Blinking the last few bits of sleep out of her eyes, she set about gathering the ingredients she would need for the next round of pastries.

---

Pinkie giggled as she bounced out of the room. It was time to get this party started! Pinkie stopped bouncing, took a step sideways through reality, and knocked on Mayor Mare's house door.

She waited patiently for nearly three minutes before a tired and stressed looking tan pony with grey hair wearing reading glasses opened the door.

"Hiya, Mayor!" Pinkie beamed.

"Pinkie, it's seven AM. Celestia hasn't even risen the sun yet-"

As if on cue, the moon and stars dropped from the sky, only to be replaced by the fiery orb of Celestia's sun at an equal pace. Mayor Mare's head drooped in exhaustion.

The next moment she was caught up in a warm, comforting hug. Mare could feel herself relaxing into the other mare.

"I'm sorry I had to get you up so early," Pinkie said with a warm, knowing smile. "But I really, really need your permission to throw a great big party for everypony in town today, because everypony in town really needs some time to have a little fun. So can I?"

The mayor had to think about that for a moment. Pinkie was scrupulous when it came to public parties. She knew that she had to get permission, or permits, or fill out all the paperwork when it was required. And it was true, after all the things that had gone on in the last few days, the town was very close to snapping- Celestia knew she was after being kidnapped by the Diamond Dogs and forced to haul a gem cart around for hours.

This town needed to take a deep breath, settle down, and have a little fun. This town needed a Pinkie Pie party.

Mayor Mare smiled a tired smile as she disengaged from the hug. Some of the sleepiness left her eyes as she looked into the bright eyes of the Element of Laughter, eagerly awaiting her response. Mare knew what was going to happen, and it was absolutely going to make Pinkie's day.

"I can do one better. We have an entertainment budget that is doing very well for itself, thanks in part to you. I want you to take as much as you need to throw this town the best party it has ever seen!"

The squeal of joy that came from the pink pony's mouth was something Mare had only ever heard from foals who had just earned their cutie mark. She then found herself wrapped in yet another hug by the exuberant Pinkie Pie.

"Ohthankyouohthankyouohthankyou! I'm going to make this the BESTEST PARTY EVER!"

And then she was gone- Mayor Mare saw a vaguely pink blur run down the street and out of sight.

She chuckled to herself. That pony was strange even at the best of times, but it was truly a privilege to know the Element of Laughter.

A frown creased her features.

Oh, I do hope she doesn't use more than the entertainment budget has allotted..

The frown disappeared. Even if Pinkie Pie went overboard and did use more than the budget, she could move some money around from some other places. This party was going to be worth it.

*YAWN* First though, I need another few hours of sleep...

---

By seven thirty, all the ponies on Pinkie's list knew what was going on. By eight thirty, Pinkie was putting the finishing touches on her decorations around town, just in time for mid-morning risers to drag themselves out of bed and stare, bleary-eyed, at the transformed town.

There were streamers and balloons of all shapes and sizes, everywhere. In the center of town was a great big carnival tent, near which a unicorn DJ with tinted glasses was setting up her equipment. The Cakes and many others were setting up tables outside their shops. All the food and drink had been paid for by Pinkie, though when told what was going on and why, most of the ponies had agreed to a lower fare than they normally would have. There was a bouncy castle, an inflatable slide, a ball pit- which of course Pinkie had to make sure was working!- a water slide, several stations of 'Pin the Tail on the Pony', a dunking tank, strategically spaced piñatas, a pie chucking game, and many, many more. The sun shined bright on a freshly cleared sky, the scheduled spring rainstorm having been cancelled.

And when every pony opened their door, they found a party hat, their favorite breakfast pastry, and a balloon attached. A balloon that read:
YOU ARE PERSONALLY INVITED TO PINKIE'S EXTRASUPER PONYVILLE PARTY!

By nine, the party was starting. DJ Scratch began playing some gentle, rather pleasant music as ponies trickled out of their doors and into the town, most ignoring the games for the moment in favor of gossiping with their friends and polishing off their delicious breakfasts. The foals looked on, wide eyed, as though Hearth's Warming had come early. Everypony began sizing up the entertainment, unconsciously planning their activities for the day.

By eleven, the party was in full swing. The murmur of the crowd was cut only by raucous cheers from ponies as they entertained themselves, or sometimes by screams as ponies of all races tried some of the more extreme activities, like cloud bungee jumping. It was undercut by the rhythm of the DJ, who had moved from gentle music to more upbeat as food vendors switched out their breakfast stock for lunch food. Ponies were up and about, laughing joyfully, dancing and drinking and feasting, their cares forgotten as they danced and sang and made merry like it was going out of style.

Except for one.

Two, if one counted the young dragon as a pony as well.

Pinkie Pie frowned at the untouched party invitation in front of the Library. Twilight should be here- after all, the Elements were the Very Important Ponies for this party, having personally saved most of the town! Spike doubly so, he had saved Rarity all by himself! She had even baked him a great big cake with crushed emeralds and sapphires she had gotten from Rarity, with diamonds and rubies on the inside and frosting that read Best Dragon Ever! on it with a frosting doodle of him holding his sword and shield, but she wasn't going to be able to give it to him if he didn't come out of the Library!

"They've been in there all day, haven't they?" Rarity asked from beside Pinkie.

"Eeyep," Applejack said. "Ah've seen bunch'a flashin' lights, too. Think Twi's experimentn' again, don't know with what but Ah don't wanna find out neither."

"Uhm... maybe we shouldn't bother her then?" Fluttershy asked weakly.

Pinkie shook her head. "No," she said decisively. “We promised the Princess we weren’t going to let Twilight lock herself in her library, and I won’t break that even if it wasn’t a Pinkie promise! Come on!”

With that Pinkie marched up to the door, threw it open, and went into the library.

To say it was a mess was an understatement, and Pinkie Pie had seen messes before. The shelves were almost completely bare, and the books that were supposed to be on them were scattered across the floor in disorganized piles with more than a few outliers. But there was no pony to be found, nor any little dragon.

Pinkie's eyes narrowed as a pinkish burst of light filled the central library, coming from the cellar.

In the cellar, Spike sat in a chair in the center of the room, little arms crossed as he glared angrily at nothing in particular. Pinkie guessed it might have to do with the fact that he was currently wearing a pasta strainer on his head, connected to a bunch of wires leading to the ceiling.

Twilight Sparkle paced around him, and she looked terrible. Large bags under her eyes, mane sticking out wildly in all directions, her coat smudged and stained. Her eyes twitched as she muttered under her breath, a quill and parchment floating around after her.

"Hey," Spike grunted by way of greeting, then resumed scowling. Twilight's head whipped around at that.

"Oh, hi girls," she started. "Listen, now isn't really the time, I have to have this report completed by tonight and I just can't seem to make any headway-"

She was cut off by a pink hoof.

"Twilight, did you even get my party invite?" Pinkie asked softly.

"Pinkie, I don't have time for parties, the Princesses are counting on me to tell them all about this Shadow Magic, and I need to-"

“Twilight dear, you are working yourself to pieces. Why, just look at yourself!” Rarity cut off.

“But-”

“No ‘buts’ about it, sugarcube. Y’ need to take a break,” Applejack told her.

Desperately, Twilight looked to Fluttershy. There was sympathy in those big eyes… but the concern in them was just as palpable. Twilight hung her head in defeat.

“Okay,” she said in small voice.

Pinkie gave Twilight a big hug.

“It’s okay, Twilight. Leave this to Auntie Pinkie Pie, I know juuuusst what you need!”

---

Pinkie Pie, psychologist extraordinaire, plopped a tub of fudge chocolate ice cream down on the kitchen table, along with three spoons.

“Ice cream?!” Spike shouted. “Oh boy, thanks Pinkie!”

The young drake proceeded to chow down at a pace only a foal could achieve. Pinkie smiled- that had sure got the little drake out of his grumpy-mcgrumperpants mood!

Twilight looked up despondently, before taking a spoon in her telekinetic grip and lethargically taking a few bites.

“Better?” Pinkie asked.

“A little,” Twilight sighed. “Pinkie…. I just…”

“It’s okay, Twilight. Take your time,” Pinkie encouraged.

Twilight took a deep breath and another bite of fudge chocolate ice cream. Then another deep breath.

“Okay. Okay! In… in the last two days, we’ve been attacked and exposed to a completely new form of magic. But… I can’t study it!” she wailed. “I’ve seen it, I got to study it for a few hours, I’ve seen and felt that wolf USE it- but all I have is more questions and now I can’t answer any of them because it’s all gone!”

Pinkie nodded sympathetically as she pushed another big scoop of chocolate fudge ice cream towards the mare. She took it and shoved it in her mouth, and had another few scoops for good measure, before she spoke again.

“There’s nothing. Not a scrap. The wall is gone, and even when we were in it, we couldn’t use magic. And there’s no trace of the magic left! NONE! How can I study something that isn’t there? How?!” she demanded of Pinkie desperately. Pinkie used the opportunity shove another mouthful of ice cream into her friend’s mouth.

“I thought I had another opportunity in the caves. There was a lot of it there, when we were there. I even examined it! Then when Rarity appeared, we had to go. I wanted to study it some more, but surely it couldn’t just disappear when I turned my back, right?” she asked. A bit of mane sprung out from her already disheveled hair.

“NO! It did! Whatever that stupid wolf did got rid of all the Shadow! Nothing was left! Nothing! All I got out of it was a bunch of notes on what doesn’t work! What am I supposed to tell Princess Celestia? I promised her a full report tonight! What am I supposed to tell the Princess?!” she demanded. Her eyes wild, her mane popping hairs all over the place, she opened her mouth for the tortured laugh of a madpony- only to be cut off by a scoop of ice cream.

"Silly Twilight!" Pinkie bopped her on the nose.

"The Princess isn't going to be mad at you for something you can't control," she said softly.

Twilight flattened her ears as she finished her bite of ice cream. Her head bowed in shame.

"I know, I know, she isn't going to send me back to magic kindergarten. But... it still feels like I've failed her."

"It's okay, Twilight. You'll figure it out. Just give yourself a little more time," Pinkie reassured her. Twilight smiled weakly took another few bites of ice cream, her expression brightening a little with each bite.

"Thanks, Pinkie. I…I needed this," she said with a ghost of a smile.

"Mmmhmmm. Now, you need to go get cleaned up so you can go to the party!"

Twilight gave herself a quick look over before shooting Pinkie a wry smile.

"I suppose so, Pinkie. Now..."

A pink glow lifted the tub of ice cream into the air, away from the chocolate-smeared little dragon.

"Hey! Aw, come on, Twilight!" he complained.

"Nuh uh, you've had enough for now," Twilight told him. "We'll save the rest for later."

Twilight made a quick stop at the kitchen fridge for the ice cream, then headed around all the bookpiles towards the private part of the library, where a quick shower awaited her. After all, she had a party to get to!

Pinkie turned a sly smile towards the little dragon, who was currently holding his belly as he laid on his back across the chair.

"Now, why were you such a grumpy-mcgrumperpants?” she asked with a sly smile.

The young drake crossed his arms. His chocolate covered muzzle did nothing to help his pout.

“The wolf stole my sword and shield!” he said petulantly.

“Oh, you mean the sword and shield he gave you in the first place to rescue ponies with?” Pinkie asked.

“Uhhh… huh…”

“Well, don’t worry about it! I’m sure Wolfy will give them back when he’s done with them!”

“But why does he need them in the first place?” the young drake protested as he attempted to right himself on his chair.

“Letter opener! That’s totally what I’d use a sword for!”

“Pinkie, it’s a wolf. It doesn’t get letters,” Spike told her.

“GGAAASSSPPP! No wonder he didn’t RSVP to my party invite!”

Spike facepalmed. “Pinkie, it’s a wolf. It doesn’t need a sword. It doesn’t need a shield.”

“Well, maybe somepony else does! Maybe its like, a timeshare sword and shield, so he had to go give it back to whoever is next in line,” Pinkie said aloud. “Or maybe he's a super awesome wolf that magically uses swords to fight evil or maybe it’s a minotaur-like creature that was cursed to turn into a wolf and it really is his sword and shield but he let you borrow them so you could help fight those meanie-pants possessed dogs and eels but then he needed them back because they were really his to begin with.”

Pinkie adopted a thoughtful pose as Spike tried to work his brain through that last run on sentence. He didn’t get to finish that line of thought before she interrupted again.

“I’m prreeeetttyyy sure I just made that last one up,” Pinkie told him. “But I really, REALLY don’t think Wolfy would be such a meanie pants as to steal your sword and shield without a REALLY good reason. So he must need it!”

“Well, I guess that’s alright,” he grumbled. “So long as he brings it back!”

Clip-clopping down the stairs directed their attention towards Twilight, who, after a quick rinse and brushing, was now looking merely sleep-deprived instead of full on madpony. She levitated a dishrag over as she approached the table and began using it to clean chocolate off of the little dragon’s purple scales.

“TTTwwwwiilllliigght!” he complained, squirming and batting at the rag.

“Come on now, Spike. You want to look your best for Rarity, don’t you?” she told him with a chuckle.

Spike instantly stopped squirming, though annoyance was still clear in his eyes. With one final swipe, she finished her ministrations and levitated the little dragon onto her back.

“Well Pinkie, I think it’s time I went to this party I was invited to, don’t you?”

“Oh Twilight, you’re going to love it!” Pinkie said, bouncing out the door, her purple unicorn friend following close behind. “There’s pin the tail on the pony and a water slide and eating and drinking and music and…”

Author's Note:

Here we are. I held on to this one a little longer, trying to get it right in my eyes, and while I don't think it's perfect, I'm at least satisfied.

For my running tally, 144 upvotes, no downvotes, and 174 favorites as of this posting..

As of the posting of this chapter, I am going to go back through the story over the next few days and cut down the authors notes and make some minor corrections on various chapters. Nothing major, just minor spelling issues and such.

Next chapter's coming out tomorrow at 11.