• Published 10th May 2014
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Pound and Pumpkin Tales 1 - Never2muchpinkie

Set a few years into the future, six year old Pound and Pumpkin have a lot of growing up to do. They fight and make up, make mistakes and learn lessons, and love and protect each other as much as they get on each other's nerves.

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Happy Birthday 4: Wild and crazy

As their group hug ended Flurry felt a sense of relaxation she hadn’t felt in forever.

Pound and Pumpkin went up to Twilight. “Did you see that?” asked Pound, beaming. “We did it!”

Twilight hugged the both of them. “Yes, I did. I’m very proud of all of you. You displayed your growth magnificently.”

They hugged her back. “It’s because of everything you’ve done for us,” said Pumpkin. “You believed in us, and asked for our help instead of demanding we be friends with Flurry.”

“After what happened with Drill Bit I didn’t want to fail a second time,” said Pound

“Now that Flurry’s fears are taken care of, and she has some friends to play with, I think she’s gonna be just fine,” said Twilight, releasing the two of them. “So what are we still doing up here? This is supposed to be a party.”

“Yeah!” Pumpkin replied. “Let’s go back downstairs.”

Fluttershy got a happy surprise when she saw Mayhem among the group of children as they came downstairs.

Pinkie hopped over to them, seeing the change in Flurry’s expression. “So I guess you got everything settled then?”

Twilight nodded. “The twins and their friends did wonderfully getting Flurry to open up about her fears, most of which us adults had to help settle, but some of them only they could."

Pinkie beamed. “Oh! Mayhem, you’re back too?”

The draconequus nodded. “Yeah. Discord was listening in on their conversation with Flurry, so I got to hear everything she was going through.”

Deliberately speaking louder than necessary Twilight said, “You should have SEEN Mayhem forgiving Flurry. He really did Fluttershy proud.”

Mayhem blushed, scratching his head bashfully and twirling a lock of his hair.

Fluttershy looked at Mayhem with a dreamy expression, walking toward him. “Is that right?”

“It was exactly what I’d expect of someone that spends so much time with you,” said Twilight. “I was very impressed.”

Fluttershy hugged Mayhem to her. “I’m so happy you’re back. When Flurry insulted you like that I got really angry and upset. To also hear that you showed compassion and forgiveness despite how hurtful her words were gives me a warm feeling in my heart.”

A tear came down Mayhem’s face. “When I understood Flurry’s pain I just couldn’t stay mad at her. Like I told her I saw how Masky was a nice pony when his bad things were taken away, so when I saw all her bad things I wanted to help take them away like you did.”

She set Mayhem down, giving him a tender look. “Now that all the drama is over are you ready to start enjoying your first party?”

Mayhem gave a hearty nod.

As he started dancing Tree Leaf came up to him. “Hey!”

“What’s up?” he responded.

“Can you do some more magic? It was so awesome when you turned me into a dragon before. What else can you do?”

Mayhem could see the colt’s eyes lighting up with anticipation. He remembered when he had first got transferred to the twins, and they used their power to liven up Fluttershy’s party. They had taken things to crazy levels with the whole Changeling invasion bit. He didn’t want to go overboard, but there was no reason he couldn’t share his power if it made the colt happy.

“What do you have in mind?” asked Mayhem.

“I don’t really care. I just loved watching that power to do wild things.”

Mayhem grinned. When a snap of his claw a bouncy castle appeared in the corner of the room.

“Ooh!” Tree Leaf ran over to it.

Pinkie giggled at the appearance. If it made for a better party she didn’t mind Mayhem doing his thing.

“Hey!” said Pound, hearing Tree Leaf’s laughter and turning to see the origin. “I wanna play too!”

As Pound ran over it didn’t take long for the other children to join in, hopping up and down on the springy material.

“This is fun!” said Flurry as she did a backflip.

“You said it!” said Peppermint.

“More! More!” said Tree Leaf after a minute.

Mayhem giggled joyfully. With another snap of his claw the castle disappeared and they all landed inside a cart, being strapped in. They shrank to a quarter of their normal sizes, and then with one more snap the cart rose into the air atop a set of tracks that appeared.

“Oooh!” Pumpkin cried out as the cart took off up a long ramp. “A roller coaster ride in our own home?”

Pound felt his heart thumping with anticipation. “This is shaping up to be the best party ever.”

Twilight looked on, engrossed, at the tracks that had suddenly appeared all over Sugarcube Corner.

“Um… is this safe?” asked Cadance with some concern at all the twists and turns and loop-de-loops along the track.

“There’s nothing to worry about,” said Fluttershy. “Mayhem won’t allow any harm to come to his friends.”

“If you say so…” She wasn’t entirely convinced.

The cart had reached the top of the slope, and all of them screamed as they started quickly heading downward. Peppermint was more scared than the others, but she also felt a sense of exhilaration that tempered it.

They swung left, they swung right, they went upside-down, all the adults watching the odd spectacle of having a roller-coaster ride in a house.

The twins were having a fantastic time, but their hearts jumped as they saw the track suddenly ended in a ramp. They went careening off the ramp, flying through the air. The cart suddenly vanished and now they were freefalling before landing on a waterslide.

“Whoa!” Flurry cried out in surprise, having trouble keeping up with all the randomness going on.

The waterslide also ended in a ramp, and they landed in a body of water that didn’t have anything keeping it from dispersing. It was like they were in an invisible pool.

Tree Leaf broke the surface of the water, squealing in delight.

One by one the other child rose up, catching their breath.

Flurry eyed the edge of the water with suspicion. Though she knew about Mayhem’s ability to break reality her conscious mind couldn’t accept that there was nothing holding the water together until she put her hoof out and it met nothing solid, simply leaving the water.

A snap later, and the water vanished, all of them returning to their normal sizes.

Tree Leaf ran over to Mayhem, admiration in his eyes. He hugged the draconequus. “Oh, boy! That was the coolest thing ever! I can’t believe I ever thought you were weird. You’re just so so soooooooo awesome!”

Mayhem blushed again, his eyes alight with excitement.

Peppermint was a little wobbly on her hooves. “Are… are all your parties like this?”

“No,” said Pumpkin. “Our other birthdays haven’t been nearly as crazy… except for Fluttershy’s party, which is where we first met Mayhem.”

“Yeah,” said Pound. “Discord gave us a little bit of his power so we could freak everyone out in secret.”

“Whoa,” said Flurry. “He can really do that?”

“Sure can!”

Cup started to feel antsy. The twins exhibition at Fluttershy’s party had been bad enough. She didn’t want the whole lot of them hopped up on chaos magic.

Thankfully Mayhem shut that down right there. “I’m not doing that anymore!” he said firmly. “It led to a lot of trouble and a lot of ponies nearly getting killed. Plus my mommy said it was a bad idea, so NO! Don’t even bother asking me.”

The hungry look in Tree Leaf’s eyes faded, and he sighed. There went his chance to be like a unicorn for a little while.

Twilight let out a sigh of relief. She hadn’t forgotten how crazy things had gotten either, and she also thought it was a bad idea, but she didn’t want to seem like a spoilsport.

“I won’t be giving anyone else this power, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still have fun together,” said Mayhem. “It’s hardly fair to save all the fun stuff just for us. You kids aren’t the only guests at this party.”

“That’s true,” said Pound.

Mayhem raised both of his arms, and then with an outward motion there was suddenly two feet of snow covering the floor of Sugarcube Corner.

Pinkie let out a joyful hop. “It’s winter indoors!”

With a snap all of them were wearing mittens, scarves, and hats.

“SNOWBALL FIGHT!” Pound shouted, picking up a wad of snow and chucking it at Pumpkin, who was too slow to react.

Pumpkin picked up a ball herself, chucking it back at him. Pound was prepared, and ducked out of the way, the snowball hitting Peppermint in the face. “Oops!” she said sincerely. “Sorry!”

Peppermint couldn’t believe how versatile Mayhem’s powers were, and he looked only about their ages. She wondered how great Discord’s powers were. At any rate the randomness of her first party certainly wasn’t unwelcome. It was actually a lot of fun.

She picked up a snowball herself and threw it back at Pumpkin.

Cup Cake sighed good-naturedly. “Those other children are certainly getting spoiled rotten at their first parties. Nothing will ever match up for them again if this keeps up.”

“Probably not!” Pound said as he threw a snowball at his mother.

She sputtered a bit, wiping it away. She walked toward him with a frown. “Did you just hit me in the face with a snowball?” she asked dangerously.

Pound gulped. Had he gone too far? As he started to apologize she just threw one back at him. “Gotcha!” she said with a laugh.

“You ready to play, Rarity?” asked Rainbow Dash.

“Don’t you da-” Rarity fumed as Rainbow hit her. “Oh, IT… IS… ON!”

“I gotcha, Rarity!” said Applejack, pelting Rainbow from behind.

“Hey!” Rainbow cried out. “Cheater!”

Tree Leaf teamed up with Pound, taking on Pumpkin and Peppermint.

Fluttershy was off to the side, humming to herself as she started creating a snowpony.

Mayhem walked up to her. “Hi, Mommy!”

“Hello, Mayhem.”

“Would you be upset if I hit you with a snowball?”

“I don’t know. Would you?”


“Good.” She picked up the second layer of her snowpony and dropped it on his head with a giggle.

“Hey,” Mayhem complained, but he quickly started laughing too.

Masky put a hoof on Flurry’s shoulder. “You look like you need a partner too. Let’s go show them who’s boss.”

Flurry gave a big nod, throwing herself into the fray. She hit everyone she could see, giggling and shrieking all the while.

Cadance and Shining felt so joyful. It had been so long since Flurry had laughed like that. She sounded innocent and pure like she was supposed to.

“It’s so great to see her finally just acting like a kid,” said Shining.

Flurry dodged a snowball from Pound, before decking him in the face with one hard enough to knock him on his back.

“Oh, yeah!” she cried out, turning around and smacking her backside. “Kiss my royal flank!”

Now they both had embarrassed looks on their faces. “Maybe… too much like a kid,” Cadance said, letting out an awkward laugh.

Twilight let out a gentle sigh. “If there’s one thing I’ve learned from interacting with the twins, it’s that it’s more beneficial to ignore their less savory behavior when it comes to post-conflict resolution if it’s not upsetting anyone. When Pound and Tree Leaf got over their fight it ended with the two of them playfully insulting each other and wrestling. Scolding them for it would have only drawn attention to me and disrupted their growing happiness and bonding.

“Sometimes… you just have to let kids be kids, and allow them to be immature. Pound certainly wasn’t bothered by her trash talk.” She put a hoof around Cadence. “You can always address your expectations for her behavior another day.”

Cadance nodded. “Well, my fellow princess, I trust your judgment.”

Twilight jerked as a snowball hit her in the back of the head.

“Bullseye!” said Pinkie, pumping her hoof. “Stop talking and join in on the fun already!”

Twilight got a sly grin on her face, levitating ten snowballs. “And sometimes… you just have to be a kid yourself!” With that she joined the fray.

Flurry ran up to her parents, panting, but with a sense of exhilaration. “Come on! You’re, like, the only ones sitting it out. Come play with us!”

Neither of them wanted to be the one to tell Flurry no, so they began to scoop up some snow as well. The entire household descended into utter chaos, snow flying every which way.

Fluttershy was having a blast, mainly because Mayhem was having such a great time. Flurry wasn’t the only one that had trouble fitting in with her peers.

She noticed Discord over by himself, which seemed highly unusual to her.

Dodging a snowball she flew up to him. “Something wrong, Discord? I thought wild and crazy was your thing. How could you not be participating in this?”

“Oh, but I am participating,” he replied, pointing at Mayhem.

“I guess,” she replied, putting a hoof to her chin. “But there’s no reason you can’t play too.”

“I’m just keeping an eye on Mayhem so he doesn’t go too far, that’s all. He already had to leave the party once, and he was pretty torn up about it. As much as he dislikes me I care for my little magic spawn, so I don’t want there to be a second time. It would destroy him.”

Fluttershy hugged him. “Aw, Discord, I love you! Thank you so much for thinking of Mayhem!”

“Easy now,” he said, gently pushing her away. “You don’t have to be all sappy about it.”

Mayhem paused as he looked toward Fluttershy and Discord, but his distraction only got him hit with another snowball, and he quickly got back into things.

Ten minutes later all of them were totally soaked and panting, feeling played out.

Mayhem was on the floor, looking at the ceiling with a giddy expression. He lifted up his claw and snapped, and all the snow disappeared. Then he dried all of them off.

“Oh, boy!” said Tree Leaf, huffing, “that was great.”

“You said it!” said Pound.

Flurry was beaming. “I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun!” She ran up to her parents and hugged them. “I’m so happy you brought me today.”

Both of them got teary-eyed. When Twilight had invited them to the party, confidently telling them that Pound and Pumpkin could definitely take care of Flurry’s troubles, they had initially been a little skeptical. Not that they didn’t have faith in Twilight, but they felt like the path to Flurry’s healing was going to be a long and arduous process. It surely wasn’t something that was going to be settled in one afternoon.

And yet here they were, only an hour after they had talked to Flurry. Flurry had a zestful look to her again, with friends that didn’t treat her negatively just because she was a little different. It was all they could have asked for.

Shining wiped a tear from his eye. “Pound, Pumpkin!” he called out to the twins. “Can you come over here?”

When they walked over Flurry hugged them too. “Thank you for inviting me and for being my friends.”

They hugged her back. “No problem, Flurry. We’re glad to have you.”

Cadance walked up and hugged them too. “In the wake of trying to take care of Flurry’s wounded heart I don’t think either me or my husband properly thanked you for all you did for us.”

Shining joined in on the hug. “That’s right. Being unable to help your child through their pain is one of the worst feelings as a parent, and because of you we finally know the secret she was holding inside and took care of her fears. It’s a huge burden off our shoulders. Thank you so much.”

“You’re welcome,” they said joyfully.

“Let’s hear it for Pound and Pumpkin!” Twilight said loudly, and started clapping her hooves. In seconds everyone else was joining in.

The twins sniffed, feeling overwhelmed and crying happy tears as they looked around at all the ponies supporting them. Even though they were just little kids Twilight had given them her vote of confidence that they would succeed. They thought of Twilight bowing to them and begging them to help her family, because all of them were suffering watching each other suffering. Just by helping Flurry they had helped brighten the lives of four ponies at once, and it might even snowball from there. If the four of them were in better moods maybe it would let them help even more ponies.

“Hold it!” Pound suddenly said. “This isn’t right!”

“What’s not right about it?” asked Twilight.

Pound walked over and grabbed Tree Leaf. “Because this wasn’t just OUR victory.”

Pumpkin immediately got what he was going for, and walked over to stand next to Pound, levitating Masky and Peppermint next to her. “That’s right! ALL of us helped. We ALL invited Flurry to be a friend, and Peppermint probably did the most out of all of us to win Flurry over, because of the talk she had with Twilight.”

“So if you’re going to clap then it’s going to be for all five of us, because we can’t take all the credit.”

Masky, Peppermint, and Tree Leaf were clearly pleased about being included.

“What about me?” asked Mayhem, pouting. “I helped too. Flurry’s fears were already settled before I came out again, but I still gave her another friend.”

“Oops,” said Pound. “I guess you’re right. Come over here, Mayhem!”

He perked up instantly, joining them.

“Well, you heard them,” said Twilight. “Each of these children played a part in helping Flurry, so each of them deserves some applause.”

For the second time everyone clapped their hooves together, all of them looking proud.

Twilight couldn’t put into words how proud she felt of them. As the Princess of Friendship, seeing them be humble and share the credit of their accomplishment, as well as stick up for their friends, only made her look forward that much more to their future.

If this was just a taste of what they would be like when they were grown up then she already knew she had nothing to fear once she died. She could entrust the future of friendship to them without hesitation.

‘Yes,’ she thought warmly, ‘the next generation of friendship is coming along just fine.’

Author's Note:

Almost there! Just one more chapter and a small epilogue before the end of part 1.

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