• Published 28th Sep 2013
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More Than They Expected - Random_User



The Cutie Mark Crusaders find the hidden Alicorn Amulet. Each takes a turn using its powers. Two of the three are repulsed by what it allows them to do. One, however, sees it as her only chance at her dreams.

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What it Means to Fly

Chapter 3: What it Means to Fly

Sweetie had to fight with everything she had not to look over at Apple Bloom. She did not know exactly what would have happened had she made eye contact with her friend, but she was sure it would have been disastrous. To keep her eyes on something else she looked at Scootaloo’s empty seat.

Scootaloo had been late for class before, but she had never missed school.Time dragged even more slowly than the typical school day for the pair as they anticipated recess and the opportunity to speak with each other.

As soon as Cheerilee let them out for their break, Sweetie and Apple Bloom raced to the Cutie Mark Crusader’s typical spot near the playground.

“You don’t think she went and got the amulet on her own do you? I know she wants to fly and all, but that would be crazy.”

Sweetie hoped that her friend was wrong. “Maybe she wanted to take it back by herself and got into trouble with the poison joke?”

“I hope you’re right, but my gut’s tellin’ me she’s gotten herself into a real bind.” Apple Bloom looked at the other foals. Her eyes lingered on Feather Weight, who happily buzzed around the playground without a thought about his ability to fly. “Scoots really had to fight the amulet yesterday. It didn’t scare her like it did us.”

Sweetie shivered as she recalled what the amulet had allowed her to do. “She didn’t turn gems to dust on accident or kick trees so hard that it hurt them either.”

Their conversation stopped as Cheerilee approached them. “Do you know where Scootaloo is today? I’ve never known her to miss a class.”

Apple Bloom tried to show that she was concerned without revealing that she knew more about what was going on than she should. “No mam. We were just talkin’ about where she could be.”

Cheerilee sighed and looked towards Ponyville. “I hope the dear isn’t sick. I’ve heard the feather flu is going around again.”

Sweetie tried to keep her face neutral as the thought, We’re more worried she’s feeling too good right now.

*****

The young pair stepped into the clubhouse and instantly knew what had happened. The podium had been moved away from the wall, the box with the amulet was missing, and the wagon had been taken.

Sweetie closed her eyes and slowly shook her head. “I didn’t want to believe it, but I knew this is what we were going to find when Scoots' mom said she didn’t know where she was. Now what do we do?”

“We talk to Twilight. If an alicorn can’t help us nopony can.”

Sweetie winced, knowing they were going to get in trouble, but it would be worth it to make sure Scootaloo was safe. “We better get to the library quick. Who knows where is or how much the amulet has gotten hold on her.”

Apple Bloom led the way out of the clubhouse. She paused as a thought occurred to her. “We may want to get Rainbow in on this too. If Scoots will listen to anypony it would be her.”

“We can get her after we talk to Twilight. At least we know where she is this time of day. Celestia only knows where Rainbow is right now.”

Apple Bloom pointed towards Sweet Apple Acres. “She’s probably takin’ a nap in one of our trees again. You’re right though, we don’t know that for sure and we can’t waste time looking for her."

They ran to the library and quickly darted inside.

Spike looked from his shelving, surprised at the speed with which they came in. “You alright? You look like you’ve run from the other side of town.”

Apple Bloom wheezed, "We’ve got to talk to Twilight; Scootaloo may be in real trouble.”

Sweetie added, “Magical type trouble.”

Spike quickly pointed towards the library’s kitchen. “She’s talking with Rarity, Applejack, and Rainbow right now. I’m sure they’ll help too.”

The two wasted no time and dashed into the kitchen.

The four older ponies turned toward them as they entered.

“I think the answer to our questions may have just come to us.”

“Really, Applejack, how could have they made every gem in Ponyville light up? Twilight is the only unicorn, sorry darling, force of habit, alicorn that could use that much magical power for miles.”

Applejack looked at Apple Bloom with a scrutinizing eye. “Sis, you’ve been hidin’ somethin’ haven’t you?”

“Where is Scootaloo?” Rainbow asked.

“We don’t know and we need help finding her! It’s all my fault!”

“I’ll tell them, Sweetie, just calm down.” Apple Bloom told them everything, starting from their visit to Zecora’s and finishing with the missing box at the clubhouse that afternoon.

“Now I know I wasn’t seeing things when I saw somepony flying in my training spot yesterday. I would never have guessed it was Scootaloo.” Rainbow grinned as she remembered watching the unknown flyer. “She looked pretty good for it being her first time.”

Rarity fussed, “Sweetie, you know better than to use magical artifacts that could be dangerous!”

“She wouldn’t have, if Scootaloo and I hadn’t pushed her. She stopped when she started to feel bad and she got you those gems for you too. Please don’t be mad at her.”

Applejack narrowed her eyes at her sister. “Now you don’t go gettin’ in the middle. Your tail is in enough trouble as it is.”

Sweetie bowed her head. “We knew what we were doing was wrong. We didn’t do anything bad with the amulet; we just used it to make Rarity feel better or help with the farm.”

Applejack’s expression softened a little. “That still don’t make what y’all did right.”

Rarity turned to Twilight, looking for royal support. “Twilight, say something, you have to agree that what they have done is foolish at best.”

Twilight stared at the tabletop. “I would never have guessed that the amulet could be used by any kind of pony. The ramifications of that are staggering.”

Applejack gave a short, gruff laugh. “Twi, you need to focus with us here for a moment.”

Twilight raised her eyes from the table. “What? Oh, sorry, you’re right.” She turned to the guilty duo. “I don’t know what that amulet can do. You can’t use such a thing without knowing exactly what will happen or somepony could get seriously hurt.”

Rainbow pushed back from the table. “You guys can chew on these two later. I want to know where my honorary sister is.”

Sweetie offered, “She may be back where she flew yesterday.”

“That’s good enough for me. You guys can catch up; I’ve got a squirt to talk to.” Rainbow started to head out the door, only to have her tail grabbed by Twilight’s magic. “Twilight, what gives?! We’ve got to get there in a hurry, and I’m the fastest one of us!”

“If we teleport that’s not the case.”

Rainbow’s ears drooped. “Oh, horse apples. I’m begging you, don’t…”

With a flash of magical power and light Twilight zapped them to the far western edge of the Whitetail Wood’s running path. “I was off by a pony's length. I’m still not used to having this much power.”

Rainbow’s coat was standing on end and her wings were fluffed. “Twilight, you know I hate teleporting! It feels three shades of weird!” She shook herself to get her coat and feathers to settle back down.

Applejack poked Rainbow in the side. “You don’t do too well goin’ through magical barriers either.”

Rainbow blushed as she recalled her reaction at the sensation of going through Shining Armor’s warding spell. “It was just a little more invasive than I thought it would be.”

Twilight looked towards the setting sun, guessing the general direction they would need to go. “Alright girls, where do we need to go from here?”

“This way,” Sweetie told her. She and Apple Bloom lead them to the edge of the woods.

As the canopy of leaves thinned, Sweetie pointed up. “There she is!”

Rainbow trotted just ahead of the group and stopped their progress with a gesture of wings. “Let me talk to her. I might be able to get her to come down without too much drama.”

Rarity grinned at the pegasus’ concern. “You’re going to try a chat from honorary sister to honorary sister and flyer to flyer to get her to see reason?”

Rainbow rubbed the back of her neck. “Something like that. Don’t go making a big deal about it.”

Applejack teased, “Don’t worry, we won’t tell anypony you’re gettin’ soft.”

Rainbow stuck her tongue out at Applejack and then turned and made her way past the edge of the woods. As Scootaloo flew close, she yelled, “Pretty good flying!”

Scootaloo almost fell out of the sky when Rainbow called to her. Knowing she had been discovered, she flew to where Rainbow was sitting and landed close to her. She started to cover up the amulet, but then stopped. “I guess you’ve already seen it so I don’t have to hide it.”

“It looks awesome on you. It doesn’t clash with your coat like it did with Trixie’s.” Rainbow smacked her forehead with a hoof. “I’ve been hanging around Rarity too much. That was so uncool to say.”

Scootaloo took off the amulet and laid it on the grass.

“It’s alright; Sweetie’s turning me into a dictionary.”

Rainbow thought Scootaloo taking off the amulet was a good sign until she noticed the filly was shivering and having trouble standing. “You know that thing is dangerous, why are you using it?”

“So I can fly. Wouldn’t you use it if it was the only way you could fly?”

“I would have done the same thing, I’ll admit, but you can’t use this thing. Look at what it’s doing to you.”

Scootaloo sat down, exhausted from using the amulet. “I’ve been really careful. I only fly for a little bit and then I take it off and rest. I can handle it.”

“How many times have you taken it off?”

“I don’t know, half a dozen at least.”

“Has each time flying and resting been the same length?”

Scootaloo’s ears folded back.

“You’ve been flying more and more and not resting as long each time.”

Scootaloo reluctantly nodded.

“Scoots, I know you want to fly. I wish there was some way we could make this work, but it’s going to make you sick like it did Trixie or worse. This thing wasn’t made for foals.” She started to get up to move towards the filly, but stopped when Scootaloo tensed up and drew back like a cornered animal.

“I want to fly with you! I want to fly with Mom and Dad! Using this thing is the only way I can.”

Rainbow slowly sat back down. “Scoots, it’s not worth the risk.”

“There’s something wrong with me. I know it. I should be able to fly by now and I can’t.” Scootaloo began to have trouble forming her words through her tears. “You understand what this means to me. Please, Rainbow, help me!”

“There is nothing wrong with you. You’re just a little late taking off.”

“Can you swear that you’re right?" She leaned towards Rainbow, daring her to break eye contact. "Can you Pinkie Promise there is nothing wrong and I’ll be able to fly?”

Rainbow licked her suddenly dry lips. “I’ve never heard of a pegasus that could not fly.”

Scootaloo shook her head. “That’s doesn’t answer my question. Am I going to be able to fly?”

“I don’t know.”

Scootaloo barely breathed, “I knew it.”

“There is no evidence that there is something wrong with you. Even if there is, we’ll help you however we can. You have to give up the amulet first though.” Twilight and the others stepped from their hiding spot. “I give you my word as a princess of Equestria that I will do all that we can to make sure that you fly again.”

Scootaloo got to her hooves and shakily stood her ground. “Are you sure, one hundred percent, that you can fix me?”

“You dodo, there’s nothing to fix!" Sweetie stomped the ground in frustration. "You’re Scootaloo! Even if you never fly, you’re one of the most awesome ponies in Ponyville! Not even Rainbow could pull off the stunts you do on your scooter!”

“Yeah, she’d just tangle herself up and end up crashin’ like she does with a new stunt!" Apple Bloom pointed down at the amulet. "You don’t need that thing to be amazing!”

“Hey, watch it! I don’t crash every time I try a new move.”

Scootaloo did not even turn in her friends' direction. She kept her eyes locked with Twilight’s. “Can you promise I’ll fly again?”

“No I can’t. I can promise I will do everything I can to help if something is wrong.” Twilight lit up her horn and started to levitate the amulet with her magic. “You have to trust me.”

Scootaloo lunged and grabbed the amulet. “I’ll find a way to make this work! I can’t take a promise that I may fly when this will let me fly!” Scootaloo frantically snapped the amulet back around her neck and shot into the sky.

Rarity and Twilight both tried to grab Scootaloo with their magic, but the amulet’s power would not allow them to get a grip. The filly raced into the air ignoring the desperate pleas of her friends for her to stop.

“I’ve got this.” Rainbow leapt into the air, blasting the others with a gust from her takeoff.

*****

Rainbow tore through the air and caught up to the straining filly. “You can’t out fly me, even with the amulet. Please, just land and we can talk this over!”

“I can’t, they’ll take the amulet!”

“We left them in the dust miles ago; it’s just you and me.”

“You’ll take the amulet!”

“To keep you from getting hurt, yes I will.” Rainbow started to gain altitude on the filly. “I’m hoping I don’t have to and you’ll just give it to me.”

“I can’t!” Her frustrated tears blew back and stung her eyes. “I can’t give you the amulet! I know you’re trying to help me, but it’s not worth saving a pegasus that can’t fly!”

“We don’t know that you won’t fly! If you keep using the amulet, I know you won’t! Look what it’s done to you already! You’re addicted!”

“I’ve been careful! I’ll…” Her words were cut short as Rainbow grabbed her from above and started a steep dive towards the ground.

Rainbow angled their decent so they fell towards the ocean. “You can’t fight me right now or we’ll both end up as stains on the beach.” Rainbow pulled up sharply and completed the maneuver. “I’m going to set us down. Landing in sand at speed like this is not fun.”

They skidded down the beach and managed a tumbling landing. Rainbow lost her grip on Scootaloo and the filly was flung from her hold.

Scootaloo made one last attempt to get away as soon as she got her hooves back under her.

Rainbow pounced Scootaloo with practiced ease. “Gilda taught me that one.”

Scootaloo struggled to get free for a moment but then stopped, knowing her efforts were futile. Instead, she pounded on Rainbow’s chest with her hooves. Between the limited distance between her and her mentor and her exhaustion the only thing Scootaloo accomplished was getting some of her ragged emotions out. “Rainbow, please just let me go. If you care for me like a sister, you’ll let me go.”

Rainbow pulled Scootaloo to her chest, wrapped the filly in her wings, and gently rocked her. “Scoots, I can’t do that. It’s because you’re my little sister that I can’t let you go. That amulet is doing horrible things to you.” Rainbow kissed the top of her head. “Please, take the amulet off. Knowing it’s hurting you is killing me.”

It took a little while of Rainbow holding and rocking the filly, but Scootaloo’s tears eventually stopped.

Scootaloo gathered herself, reached up, and took the amulet off.

Rainbow all but snatched the thing from her and then slung the amulet down the beach.

Scootaloo leaned against her hero. “I just wanted to fly.”

“I know.”

*****

Twilight watched intently as Luna's spell formed around Scootaloo. "Thank you again, for coming on such short notice. I couldn't detect anything wrong with her myself, but I wanted to be sure. I don't have that much experience dealing with the magical after effects from artifacts."

"Scootaloo and I have faced adversity together before. When Celestia told me of her plight I felt compelled to render what aid I could." She turned to Scootaloo. "Hold still and hold shut your eyes. This spell is a delicate thing and I want to be certain that no harm has befallen you."

Scootaloo closed her eyes and stood still as Luna’s magic felt over her and then through her. She trembled at the strange sensation but did not move from her spot.

“Thou art a young, healthy, and lucky filly. That amulet could have done you grievous harm had it stayed around your neck.” Luna patted Scootaloo’s head. “I can find nothing that speaks of you being ill or being unable to take to wing. Worry not about taking flight, it took me longer to fly than Celestia, but I mastered my magic faster.”

Scootaloo raced up and hugged the princess. “Thank you so much!”

“You are most welcome. Now, I believe you have a penance to complete.”

Scootaloo withdrew from Luna. “Yeah, I’m helping Apple Bloom and Sweetie at Sweet Apple Acres.”

“You should not let them toil without you.” Luna suggested to the filly, “As we make our way there, try leaping and working your wings as if to take flight. I found it was a good way to practice getting aloft.”

“Just wait till I tell them I got training suggestions from a princess!” Scootaloo whooped.

Twilight raised an eyebrow at Luna. “Did you really have trouble getting the hang of flying?”

“Verily, it was most vexing. Sister taunted me viciously for it.” Luna gave Twilight a smug smile. “I got my satisfaction though; I turned her coat pink with a spell she could not reverse.”

Scootaloo grinned in appreciation of the prank. “That’s an awesome idea. I bet she freaked out.”

Twilight tried to hide her laugh behind a hoof, but failed miserably. “I wish I could have seen that.”

Luna’s smile grew. “It was a horrible color for her. Her wrath was spoken of for many years. Eventually, I did turn her coat back to its original alabaster tone.”

“How long was ‘eventually?’”

“A couple of moons,” Luna casually answered.

Twilight’s mouth dropped open at the mental image of Celestia sitting on her throne attempting to be regal and gracious while ponies snickered at her new and horrible coloring. “She had to hold court while she was pink?!”

“No, neither of use held court at the time. We were too young for such things. Taunting or no, I would not have put her through such humiliation.” Luna waved a hoof for Twilight to follow her and led them out of the library.

Scootaloo immediately tried Luna’s suggestion and took running leaps into the air as she flapped her wings with all her might.

Twilight shook her head at the filly’s practicing. “I’ll give her this, she’s determined.”

“How go your own attempts to fly?”

Twilight blushed. “Horribly, to sum it up, I can’t seem to get off the ground. I guess my flight at the coronation was some kind of fluke.”

“Most likely you are overthinking the act. If you relax and let your instincts direct you, you will fly without difficulty.”

They made their way to Sweet Apple Acres where Applejack, Apple Bloom, Rarity, and Sweetie waited anxiously at the gate.

Rarity bluntly asked, “Princess, is she alright?”

“Are you concerned for her due to the amulet’s power or due to a more physical malady?”

“Both.”

“That is not for me to tell.” Luna prodded Scootaloo with a wing. “It is for this young one to speak of.”

“I’m fine! I’ll be able to fly!”

Sweetie and Apple Bloom promptly tackled her to the ground in a euphoric hug.

Rarity let out the breath she had been holding. “Thank Celestia and you both.”

Luna gently shook her head. “Neither I nor my sister had anything to do with this. However, there is another matter that has been brought to my attention that needs addressing.” Luna looked skyward, towards an oddly and conveniently placed cloud. “Rainbow Dash, I would speak to you. Come down.”

Rainbow knew she was caught and reluctantly flew down and lit before Luna. Rainbow rubbed her face in a vain attempt to hide the fact that she had been crying.

“Got yourself a little worried over your ‘sister’ didn’t you?” Rarity asked kindly.

“A little,” Rainbow admitted.

Scootaloo untangled herself from her friends’ hug and ran over to embrace Rainbow. “Everything is fine. We’ll get to fly together.”

“You’ll soon be flying with somepony else as well. Rainbow, I’m putting another ward in your care so that you may teach her to fly.” Luna tilted her head towards Twilight. “It has come to my attention that Twilight is in need of your training.”

Scootaloo looked back and forth between Luna and Rainbow in disbelief. “I get to train with a princess?”

Rainbow shrugged. “I’m not going to argue with her and I can’t think of a reason why not.”

“Let’s start right now!”

“Nope, you’ve got some chores to do. Trainin' comes after you get them done.”

“Aw, come on!”

Luna had to work to keep from grinning. “Go little one. You must make amends for your misdeeds first. You can train at another hour.”

Applejack led the Cutie Mark Crusaders towards the barn, giving them instructions as they went.

Luna asked, “What of the gems they amassed?”

Rarity cleared her throat politely. “The girls agreed to split the gems and put them away to help pay for their education. What about the Alicorn Amulet?”

“It shall remain with Twilight for the time being. She has voiced a desire to examine it more thoroughly.” Luna gave Twilight an approving look. “She desires to use its properties to creating something with the potential to greatly help those in need.”

Rainbow looked at Twilight. “What does she mean?”

“If I can isolate the properties that allow the amulet to enhance a pony’s magic I might be able to create copies that help injured or disabled ponies without the horrible side effects.” Twilight smiled with self-determination. “It will take a while, but I’m sure I can do it.”

Rainbow looked towards where Scootaloo and the others were working to put out buckets around trees for Applejack. “So she will be able to fly one way or the other.”

“You doubt my ability to determine her state of health?”

Rainbow quickly faced Luna and waved her hooves. “It’s not that. I’m just worried for the squirt. It’s always good to have a backup on things like this.”

Rarity teased, “Darling, you're getting soft.”

“We’re talking about a filly’s dreams here!” Rainbow pointed towards Scootaloo. "I know what it’s like to want to fly so bad that I could taste it. I don’t want her to face that for the rest of her life.”

Luna smiled at Rainbow’s words. “Dreams are something that I understand intimately. I assure you, given some training; she will soar when the time is right.”

Twilight hugged Rainbow around the shoulders. “Now will you relax? She’ll be able to fly soon enough.”

“I’ll make sure of it. It might even been sooner than you think. That goes for you too.” Rainbow poked Twilight in the shoulder.

Seeing the determined look in Rainbow’s eye, Twilight worried about what she had been signed up for.

*****

“I haven’t been training you two for three months for nothing. You can give me ten more! Push those wings! They’re not there just to attract colts you know.”

Twilight gasped for air. “I can’t do ten more!”

“What I have told you about using that word? You don’t say that word while training!”

Scootaloo counted the last of her wing ups and got back to her hooves. “I’m ready for another try!”

“Stretch out a little first. You’re going to have to wait for your buddy here to catch up.” Rainbow leaned down and looked Twilight in the eye. “If she can finish these last five wing ups, that is.”

Twilight ground her teeth at the taunt, dug deep, and finished her last wingups.

“I knew you had it in you.” Rainbow raced them to the top of the hill to where Apple Bloom and Sweetie were seated.

Applebloom asked, “How far you think she’ll make it this time?”

“She’ll do better than Twilight at least.”

Rainbow raised an eyebrow at the two fillies. “Enough comments from the peanut gallery. Making snide remarks is my job right now. Twilight, go!”

Twilight took a running start and leapt. Her wing beats were clumsy, out of rhythm, and her form was horrible. Despite her miscues, she managed to remain in the air until she reached the bottom of the hill.

Twilight did a small jig. “I did it!”

Rainbow yelled down the hill to her, “You were supposed to glide, not try to take off!” Rainbow whispered to Scootaloo, “You glide well enough and run back up her before she makes it back, and you can try to take off.”

Scootaloo needed no more encouragement and raced down the hill. She leapt, formed her wings into perfect shape, and gracefully glided to the bottom of the hill.

Twilight smiled as the filly ran past her. “That was great Scootaloo! You make that look so easy!”

“Thanks Twilight!” Scootaloo made it back to the top of the hill and quickly stood beside Rainbow.

Rainbow noted how tired Scootaloo was. “You sure you want to try right now? I’ll let you go when Twilight gets back up the hill if you want to wait.”

Scootaloo looked down the hill and tried to envision what she needed to do. “You said so long as we didn’t put ourselves or others in danger, we could push ourselves. I want to push.”

Rainbow nodded. “Good to hear, but this is the last time today. I don’t want you getting hurt trying to do too much. You’re pretty washed out right now.”

“Just one more time.”

Sweetie leaned forward.

Apple Bloom looked at Sweetie, noticing how focused she was. “You’re gettin’ a little tense there. Is there somethin’ wrong?”

“She’s going to do it.”

Apple Bloom looked back to Scootaloo. “You think so?”

Sweetie nodded.

“Go!”

At Rainbow’s signal, Scootaloo raced down the hill. She flung herself into the air, flapped her wings in sync, seemed to gain a little height, and then struggled for a moment.

Rainbow yelled, “Don’t give up!”

Scootaloo stopped fighting herself and went higher into the air.

“She did it! She took off!” Apple Bloom hugged Sweetie. “You were right, she made it!”

Rainbow’s eyes filled with tears as she watched Scootaloo. “Sorry gals, but I have to go. I’ve got a friend to go flying with.” Rainbow took off and joined Scootaloo in air for their promised flight.

Author's Note:

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Comments ( 27 )

that was beautiful... :fluttercry:

Great story is all I can say, well worth the read. :twilightsmile:

Holy peanuts, this was good... not just the chapters alone, but the story as a whole. There's the whole punctuation/grammar/sentencing mistake making thing, but that's practically mandatory for this site, so I'd have to say you did pretty well overall. I loved the elements of not only Sweetie Belle's section of the story (which seems to be larger than the others', though who can blame you? SB is my favorite pony), but AB's' n' Scoots' as well. It would be fun to see expansion on this universe's CMC, as there's all kinds of different outcomes to be associated with them!

3283973 Thank you for your kind words. It was difficult to try to balance out the amount of coverage each of the CMC would get. I'm glad you liked the way I divided the story up, it proved to be a real challenge.

If you don't mind, could you give me a little more detail about the grammar mistake I've made? I like to improve my stories as I get feedback, and I would like to know a little more about what you're catching so I can iron out my errors.

3283770 Thank you! The CMC are fun to write about. This was just a wild idea of mine that suddenly took a life of it's own. I'm glad you liked it.

Although the ending felt rushed and the characters' reactions in the library felt awkward, it was a good, enjoyable read.

Scoot’s mom

+1 for not using the generic cliche orphan!Scootaloo

Grammatically, you appear to have some issues with the split quote construction: "speech" text "speech"

If each quoted section is an independent clause, then

1.) Capitalize the first letter of the second quoted section.
2.) End the text section with a period.

If each quoted section is not an independent clause, then

1.) Do not capitalize the first letter of the second quoted section.
2.) Do end the first quoted section with a comma.

You also have some minor issues such as:

“She’s probably takin’ a nap in one of our trees again. You’re right though, we don’t know that for sure and we can’t waste time looking for her.

Here you are missing ending quotation marks.

I don't know if that is the only one, but that would be an editor or proofreader's job to catch those. Nevertheless, any more errors (should they exist) are likely to be minor since at no point was the flow of the story interrupted when I was reading it.

3286904 Thank you! I need all the grammar help I can get. Dialog in particular tends to give me fits. Thanks you for taking the time to explain my mistakes, it certainly has helped me get a better grip on what I am doing wrong.

"Rainbow’s resolve waivered" -> should be "wavered"

After the first two chapters, I was certain I was going to love the rest of the story, but I am a bit... disappointed in the ending. The story started off nice and focussed, intense in parts, clean, and well-paced. The ending, though, if I had to describe it in one word, feels cluttered.

Most of the tale was just the CMC, but suddenly we have the entire mane cast involved - plus Luna, which is such a bizarre addition that I'm still scratching my head over it. She really doesn't fit. The entire ending could have been tightened if Sweetie and Apple Bloom had simply found Rainbow, and not involved anypony else. The interaction between Scoots and RD was good, but everypony else just felt like a ninth wheel.

I'm also not so crazy about ending the tale with Scoots flying... this story really screams to me for less sappy finish. Leaving some uncertainty would have been perfect, in my opinion. The flying lessons with Twilight don't fit with the tone set by the rest of the story. It's also pretty rushed.

Now, don't get me wrong, I don't think it's bad, but the tone and pacing of the ending is substantially different, to the point where it feels like it was ripped out of a different story and grafted onto this one. It really threw me, and so I didn't enjoy it as much as the rest.

All that said, this story deserves an upvote, if nothing else. It's certainly solid enough. It's just the ending that, for me, personally, keeps it at "good" and shy of "excellent".

3284195

Thankfully, the grammar mistakes you made in this story are mainly typos and spelling, though I did notice instances where the words you used didn't exactly make sense. I'll have to read through the story again in order to properly point out what i am talking about, but you might want to look at how you write out your sentences. This applies mainly to non-dialogue text, but keep in mind that there are parts of dialogue that need fixing too.

As far as punctuation goes, this story is probably in need of some modifications. I continually found myself thinking of how a different punctuation mark would have made a sentence or paragraph better, though I'd say it happened less often here than in most other stories I've taken to giving critique for. I'll probably re-read this at a later time and point out what needs to change, so don't worry too much about that. The way you handle sentences does play a part in this, so try to keep that in mind when you decide to edit this.

I loved the openness of how each CMC member ended up within the story, but for character development, they and Rainbow Dash are about the only ones to really get screen time. May I suggest keeping it down to the minimum when dealing with characters? Comparing this story to the other story of which you wrote that I have read, 'Between a Rock Farm and a New Place', I'd say the latter had much better character development. Not too many characters in that story are just random throw-ins to fill space, whereas I seem to recall Fluttershy being in this one with absolutely no development, and Luna's bit could have been condensed to a letter to Celestia, which then could have been given a reply shortly thereafter.

I hope to see more from this story's line of events, so keep writing!

3289328 Thank you so much for your help. I try to improve with each story. I've found that feedback from readers like you has allowed me to improve more than anything else.

I appreciate the offer, but you do not have to look over my story again. I have not the faintest clue when I will have time to edit this. LIfe has grabbed me by the belt and is kicking me in the arse right now.

Character development is something that I have mixed success with on the best of days. I agree with you. I tried to do too much with too many characters in this story. Your comment, along with one made earlier, me look at my inclusion of Luna into the mix. I realize now I did not give a real explanation about why she was there at the end. When I edit this, I'll fix that. Perhaps with a whole new chapter to fill in some of the gaps I left.

Thank you again for your help and your time.

dat ending so beautiful :fluttercry:

3296748 I'm glad you enjoyed the ending. It was the part that I struggled with the most.

3310382 you did a great job making this story

Oh lordy, tears of joy!

Goddamnit. Ninjas cutting onions.

3397374 Thank you! I did not intend for this story to get so heavy. As I wrote it, it turned into something much different than what I had planned. I'm glad you liked it.

3439199 Thanks! It was quite a departure from my typical shiping stories. I had not done an adventure story / slice of life story in a while, and decided to give one a shot. This started out as a fluffy piece, and then got heavier as I wrote. By the end, it was something entirely different than what I set out to do.

I do not know how this story managed to elude me for so long, but I have finally read it. :rainbowderp:

This story is just plain good. I do not mean good as in could have been better. I mean good as in good. A stronger good-like word, such as great or awesome, would probably better describe my feelings though. My only complaint is that it leaves me with nothing to complain about. :pinkiegasp:

I cannot wait to read your next story when it is done. :twilightblush:

5606802 Thank you! I did not know if I could pull off a CMC centered story, but I am glad I gave it a shot. Writing for them turned out to be a lot easier than I thought. I did feel a little nasty writing the scenes when each of the CMCs were under the amulet's influence and feeling so ill. I do not like doing nasty things to characters, much less to foals.

My latest story should be done in a week or two. I hope that you will like it as well.

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I do not like doing nasty things to characters, much less to foals.

That's one of the reasons why I find your stories so pleasant to read. You really did manage to pull off the CMC well though. I could really see them doing something like that in the show, especially if they keep to Lauren Faust's initial plans for Scootaloo.

My latest story should be done in a week or two. I hope that you will like it as well.

Awesome! I'm sure I will. I have been looking forward to reading that ever since you released the first chapter. :twilightsmile:

This last chapter is great stuff, but I honestly think it would have been even better as an expanded one-shot. Scootaloo's dreams of flying and struggles in that direction, and the fears she holds of potentially never being able to fly have yet to be exhaustively explored by works of the fandom, and this is certainly one of the more touching works I've read. One can feel her frustration at not being able to get a concrete, one hundred percent certain answer from Twilight or Rainbow Dash.

Of course, I would think that the Alicorn Amulet being able to let her fly means she is capable of flying on her own unaided, as I doubt the Amulet would outright be able to bypass biological defects that would ground a pegasus. Of course, wearing the Amulet, Scootaloo would not exactly be in her right mind to think of such a thing :scootangel:

Nice callback with Princess Luna to the Sleepless in Ponyville episode, too.

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Thank you for the comments! I love feedback, and you have provided a generous amount of it. I am glad you liked the story. I tried to make it serious without the story line getting too heavy or overly dramatic. Writing for the CMC is always an interesting challenge, but it's one that I enjoy.

Aww, what a cute ending. Just need some minor editing.

8000791 Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed the story. For some odd reason, no matter how many times I look over it, I cannot seem to get all the errors ironed out. I will take another pass at it and try to catch everything that I missed.

This would be a spectacular series finale for Scoots.

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