• Published 10th Jun 2014
  • 1,205 Views, 35 Comments

Hoe Down - Talon and Thorn

Octavia isn't finding it very easy to adjust to her new life in Ponyville. The place is full of crazy ponies! How will she cope when the inhabitants decide to throw a part in her and her fellow element bearers honour? A Cadenceverse story.

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Practice, Practice, Practice

“I hope I am not too early?” said Octavia as she walked into Medley’s music shop.

“A little,” said the blue pegasus peering out the window to examine the homemade sundial set up outside. “I’m not due to close for another ten minutes.”

“It doesn’t look like you are very busy,” said Octavia looking around the empty shop.

“Business has picked up a bit, saving the world helped, and you never know anypony could arrive in the next few minutes. I’d hate to shut early and force somepony away.”

“Very well, I will just browse for a few minutes then,” said Octavia turning to the shelves of instruments. “I must say that you do have an excellent selection given your limited space.”

“I can at least play the scales on each of them as well,” said Medley puffing her chest out with pride.

Octavia looked up and down the shelves. “That is most impressive.”

“Well there’s no point in selling an instrument you don’t understand, how else could I explain it to my customers? And I owe it to them to be able to tell them all they need to know to look after their purchase.”

“Most admirable.”

“Thanks,” said Medley giving a genuine smile for a moment before checking the clock again. “Closing up time,” she announced giving a little sigh. Octavia frowned slightly she couldn’t help but wonder how her friends business was doing. Should she purchase something? She had no need of extra supplies at the moment but Medley could no doubt use the money.

“Come on out back,” said Medley as she flipped the sign at the door around, “We’ve got a few hours of light left.”

The two ponies trotted through the back of the shop past the stairs leading up to Medley’s living space above the shop and out into the yard itself. Medley’s aeolian harp, the element of loyalty, was protected from the elements by a small tent and had been shifted to the side to open up just enough room for the two ponies to move freely. The grass was cut short and still damp from the earlier rain. Octavia feared that her friend might have been grazing from her own lawn, she hoped Medley wasn’t forced to fall back on that poor a fare. Maybe she really should purchase something from the store.

Medley looked around the area. “Yes, that should do,” she noted. “Right now the Hoe down has a range of different dances, square dances, lines dances, contra, sometimes even swing.”

Octavia nodded. She had heard of these styles although did not know much about them, come to think of it she was starting to realise how limited her understanding of different musical styles actually was. She knew almost everything about classical but very little on her friend’s styles, she would have to question them more about them later.

“Now,” continued Medley, “The main thing about the dance is that they’re controlled by a ‘caller’ it’s a bit like a conductor she announces what moves will be used and in which order. There’s not really a fixed dance just a set of moves what you carry out as the caller directs so each dance is a bit unique. Applejack is normally the caller up at the Acres, she’s good at it, always wants to be in charge I suppose. I’ve always wanted to have a go myself actually. Princess help you if Granny Smith gets a go, she uses names for the steps that noponys heard of and in orders nopony’s considered, you either end up tripping over each other or looking amazing, sometimes both at once.”

“This sounds rather complex, are you sure I will be able to master it tonight?”

“Master it? I’m hardly an expert myself, but I should be able to run through the basic steps with you and let you try them out.”

“Will that be sufficient? We will be guests of honour.”

Medley sighed, “It’s just a bit of fun, a chance to let our manes down, if you get it wrong then nopony will care.”

“Are you sure, it does not seem right to put anything less than my all into this.”

“Well if you want to practice at home you can. Look do you want to start tonight or not?” the blue pegasus sounded exasperated.

“I am sorry, thank you again for agreeing to be my teacher.”

“That’s all right, now we’ll need is some music,” said Medley. She briefly went back to her shop only to return with a record player perched on her back. She lowered it to the ground and set up a small windmill next to it before attaching the two together. She carefully adjusted the blades before rising into the air and summoning a stiff breeze with a few flaps of her wings. “Vinyl helped me make this thing,” she said with pride. “I’m sure it’ll be a big seller once I’ve ironed out all the bugs.” She picked up a record, the sleeve had a picture of a stallion with a very intricately styled mane on it, and placed it carefully in the player before starting up the device. The record began to turn, powered by the windmill, and the tinny warbling of a stallion complaining about a heart defect could be heard.

“What is that noise?” complained Octavia lowering her ears.

“Blue-ray Citrus, of course,” she stared at Octavia’s blank face. “You’ve never heard of him?” She picked up the record sleeve and gave it a hug. “I had the biggest crush on him when I was a filly. I saved up all the money I got for chores for a whole year to be able to go to one of his concerts. It was one of the best nights of my life, it felt like he was singing to me alone. I snuck backstage after it was finished, I even managed to make it to his dressing room. Then I saw it.” She shuddered. “His mane just sitting there on his dressing table, it was a wig! I was so heart broken.”

Octavia couldn’t help chuckling. Medley glared at her for a moment then her face softened. “Well it was a long time ago, now let’s get down to work.”

“Ok, well most of the dances require partners, and from what Lyra said you’ve got one in mind.”

“I... I believe she might be mistaken, although Mr Macintosh is a fine figure of a stallion, very fine, I have no interest in becoming romantically involved,” she wondered if she should still say things like that now that she was the bearer of the element of honesty, she hadn’t been struck down so she assumed small falsehoods were allowable.

“But you would still like to dance with him?” asked Medley with a smirk.

“Well, yes,” said Octavia lowering her eyes and blushing slightly.

“The size difference might cause a few problems, he is rather large or so I’ve heard, but I’m sure you’re... accommodating enough to deal with that;”

Octavia’s eyes shot up again and narrowed, she wasn’t sure if Medley was teasing her or not.

“Anyway, I’ll act as the caller and your partner for these examples, normally they’re be four or more couples dancing at once but we can work around that. Ok, now the first move we’ll work on is the Do-si-do, you just circle your partner back to back, make sure you get far enough away to stop your flanks colliding.” Medley walked carefully around Octavia, “You can crane your neck to watch your partner if you want, but it doesn’t look as good.”

Octavia tried to copy her friend’s movements but misjudged how long her body was, bumping into her. Her second attempt was better.

“Good, now we’ll move on to the Gypsy, I’m sure you’ll enjoy that if you can get Mac to be your partner, now you rotate around your partner gazing into their eyes...”

The next few hours flew by quickly for Octavia, Medley ran through several dozen different moves explaining their names and how they might be linked together. Finally as the sun was just starting to sink beneath the horizon they ran through some sample dances putting the moves together. Here Octavia found it hard going, partially she still had difficulty remembering the names of the moves, getting her Star Through mixed up with her Box the Gnat, but mostly she had difficulty with the improvised nature of the dances. It was like playing a piece without knowing the score. She could improve in her own music, of course, but she had never been a fan of it, how can you do your best when you don’t know what is coming? And at least if she was improvising she would normally have some idea in mind, here she was in the hooves of someone else making things up as they went. Medley apparently didn’t have this problem.

“There’s always a sort of current to a dance, the caller can’t help it even if they try to mix things up,” she explained. “Ponies are just like that. It’s like a storm or a river, they might look chaotic but there’s an underlying rhythm, you just have to look closely to find it. Once you find it everything becomes easy.”

“I will try,” agreed Octavia her brow furrowing, she didn’t really understand the concept.

“I think we should call it a night,” said Medley looking up at the moon as it was raised into position in the sky. ”I have to get up early for a delivery tomorrow.”

“I am sorry for having taken up your time, but would it be possible to do this again tomorrow? I don’t think I have everything down yet.”

“The dance is only two days away now, you’re not going to be perfect.”

“Still, I do want to get as good as I can. Please!” begged Octavia.

Medley sighed, “Ok, I’ll see you again tomorrow at the same time. I’ll see if I can put together some more sample dances.”

“Thank you,” said Octavia with a bow.

“How are your dance lessons going?” asked Bon Bon. It was the next day and Octavia had returned early from her morning jog, the shop wasn’t due to open for a while.

“This style of dancing is more complicated than I’d imagined,” said Octavia. “But I have made some progress, I have another lesson tonight.” She frowned, “How do you know about that?” Was her landlady spying on her?

“Bluenote came around while you were out last night, we got talking and she mentioned it. Most of the town will be going to tomorrow’s dance, me included. I’m not very good but if you want to practice some more I’ve got some free time tomorrow.”

“Thank you, I may take you up on that offer.” She noticed a strip of cloth beneath a pile of washing. “Is that one of my bow ties?” she asked. “Have you been in my room?” she asked suspiciously.

“Well yes, they don’t get clean by themselves you know and you just leave them lying on the side,” replied Bon Bon sounding annoyed.

“That is so the servants can... can...” she closed her mouth, as her eyes widened. There were no servants here, just Bon Bon. She began to blush, “Is cleaning my room and clothes in our contract?” she asked her voice small. It hadn’t occurred to her to check the agreement before signing it, she’d never had to do that sort of thing before.

“Well no, but I don’t mind really,” the flicking of her tail showed the lie in the statement.

Octavia thought about her room, each day she’d found it cleaned and the bed clothes made. She’d just taken it for granted, it was just something that happened by itself. In her family estates and at the princess’s school there had been servants for such menial tasks. She had prided herself in her tidiness compared to many of the students, but still she had expected her rooms to be cleaned for her. And without payment, without agreement, Bon Bon had just taken on that role, she felt shame welling up in her belly. “Bon Bon, I am... I am truly sorry I did not think, I...”

“Hey that’s alright, I know this must all be different to what you’re used to, right? Look if you want me to keep cleaning your things we can work something out, increase your rent by a bit.”

“No! No, I must learn how to do things like this for myself. All my life I have expected others to look after me. Now I am supposed to be making friends and part of that should include learning how other ponies live and how to help them. I have taken advantage of you and I need to make amends, I will... I will clean my own things and your things as well,” she looked around the room blankly.

Bon Bon waited for a moment. “You don’t know how to do you?” she asked with a gentle smile.

“No,” squeaked Octavia, she didn’t think she had ever felt so embarrassed.

“I’ve got a while before I have to open up so I’ll show you. You’re in luck, it’s only last week that we stopped using rocks down at the stream...” she joked.

After Bon Bon showed her how Octavia spent the morning doing the laundry, it was harder than she expected, she gained a certain appreciation for the servants who had previously had to clean up behind her. It took several attempts until she had reached her own exacting standards of cleanliness. She was just about to head out into the garden to get some further dance practice in when she passed Bon Bon coming out of the back of the shop front.

“I’m going downstairs to work on a new recipe, the early afternoon’s normally quite quiet so I’ve closed up for a few hours,” she explained.

“Why not use this kitchen?” asked Octavia looking confused.

“I do most of my experimental work downstairs, it’s got some more specialised equipment,” she said mysteriously. “I’ll see you in a bit.”

Shrugging Octavia went into the garden to carry out her practice.

The next few hours passed quickly and Octavia found the day to be unexpectedly hot, the weather patrol having used up their cloud supply in yesterday’s downpour. Or possibly in playing games with each other, though Octavia. She found she had worked up quite a lather and returned to the house in search of a cooling drink. She had just finished when she heard a rhythmic hammering sound from the shop. Frowning Octavia tracked the sound towards the front door, there was still no sign of Bon Bon. Opening the door she looked down to see a light blue unicorn filly with a yellow mane. “I am afraid the shop...” began Octavia.

The filly zig zagged past Octavia’s legs and into the shop before looking excitedly from jar to jar.

“DO YOU HAVE ANY LEMON DROPS?” yelled the foal almost shocking Octavia off her hooves.

“Err, I think so,” said Octavia spotting a container of the yellow treat, her ears ringing.


“If you give me a moment I will get Bon Bon,” she turned to the door then stopped. The mare must still be busy if she had not returned and probably didn’t want to be disturbed, Octavia herself hated being interrupted when practising and Bon Bon was probably the same. Besides how hard could it be to serve sweets? Bon Bon had been tidying up behind her all week, maybe she should return the favour. “Actually I will be able to help you,” she said reaching for the jar, it had the price per ounce on the front. Octavia started to run through the maths as she started to measure out the sweets when a further two foals entered, a grey filly with glasses and her pink friend with tiara on her head. Octavia cursed herself she had forgotten to close the door again. Both of the filly’s blinked at the grey mare for a moment, obviously expecting Bon Bon.

“I’ll have a box of chocolates, my daddy says I can have anything I want because I aced yesterday’s test,” announced the pink filly.

“Just a moment, I am serving this customer,” said Octavia starting to sweat, she had only expected a single customer.

The filly opened her mouth to reply when the door opened again and a white filly entered, then an orange pegasus, then a pale grey pegasus colt and finally a grey unicorn with a blond mane. Octavia’s eye widened as more and more foals started to fill up the shop, the local school must have just turned out for the day. The door opened again and even more foals spilled into the room. They all started to talk at once demanding various treats and calling to each other. One reached up to a jar over balancing to, Octavia rushed over and just caught it before it could spill onto the floor. “Be more careful,” she admonished but the child was already sticking his snout into another jar.

The door opened once more and to Octavia’s joy her friend Lyra entered carefully stepping past the heaving mass of foals. “Octy what are you doing here?”

“I was trying to help Bon Bon, but this has gotten...” she began trying to make herself heard over the sound off all the foals.

“QUIET DOWN!” came a cry from the back of the shop. Octavia turned to see that Bon Bon had returned. The herd of foals seemed to freeze for a moment and all eyes turned to the shop keeper.

“Good, now line up and you can all get what you want quicker,” she continued commandingly.

Suddenly the chaos abated and the children, and Lyra, formed a reasonably straight line stretching from the counter to the door with only the minimum of shoving, mostly from Lyra as she tried to position herself closer to Bon Bon.

“What were you going?” whispered Bon Bon.

“I was hoping to help you out as you had been helping me,” muttered Octavia eyes downcast.

“Well that was nice of you, but retail work isn’t as easy as it seems, you just can’t take over like this,” she hissed then her face softened. “I suppose it’s not all your fault I lost track of the time. Now,” she turned to the crowd of foals, and Lyra who was trying unsuccessfully to push past the pink filly, who was apparently stronger than she looked, “Who’s first?” she asked out loud.

With Bon Bon’s organisation the foals, and Lyra, were soon dealt with and the shop closed for the day, the shopkeeper did a quick count of the daily takings and popped the money into the small safe at the back of the shop before turning to Octavia. “You really didn’t need to try and do that you know.”

“I am sorry I was trying to help you...” then she thought back to the time in the Everfree when she had tried to guide her friends despite her lack of skill. “No, that is not correct. I was trying to make myself feel better. I apologize, I tried to make this all about me rather than thinking about what you would truly want. I am sorry for having been such a pain.”

Bon Bon looked at her strangely for a moment. “That’s all right, no harm done I suppose. You’re actually better than some of the lodgers I’ve had.”

“No, I do not take into account others feelings, I put myself first. That has recently cost me the friendship of somepony close to me.” Her thoughts turned to Pageturner, she wondered where the mare was now, she hoped she was well.

“Don’t be so hard on yourself. If you were that bad you wouldn’t have cared that I was cleaning up after you.”

“Why didn’t you tell me you were cleaning up after me?”

“Well I knew you were just settling in and you probably aren't used to things like this and it just seemed such a little thing, I didn’t mind.”

“You are too kind.”

“That’s what mum always says, that I let ponies walk all over me. But you know what? You saved the world last week, I think you deserve a break.”

Octavia smiled at the statement then looked up at the clock. “It is time for my dance lesson,” she said. “Thank you again for all the help you’ve given me.”

“That’s all right, I hope it goes well.”

“Right, so have you had much of a chance to practise since yesterday?” asked Medley. She and Octavia were once again in her yard after she had shut up her shop.

“A little,” said Octavia shuffling her hooves. “But not enough. I am afraid I have been busy today.”

“Doing what?” asked Medley a little harshly.

“I had some cleaning to do and I took it upon myself to help Bon Bon in her shop, it did not turn out that well.” For a moment she thought Medley might be angry she had wasted her time.

“Fair enough,” said the greenish mare. “I’m glad to see you’re not obsessing about this dance. Now what shall we try this evening?”

“I was having some difficulty remembering the names of the moves, maybe we should go through those again and then maybe we could try a complete dance or two?”

“Very well, let me just set up this thing again,” she started to prod the record player and its windmill power source. She flapped her wings a few times but the blades remained obstinately immobile. “Still a few kinks to work out,” she growled before picking up a screwdriver in her mouth and started to adjuster something.

Octavia looked on with incomprehension, she hadn’t a clue how the device worked. “How did you get into dancing?” she asked to have something to say.

Medley spat out the tool and prodded the blades with a hoof. “It was just something my family did for fun. We were never very well off. Not that we were poor,” she said defensively, “We just didn’t have many spare bits. We couldn’t afford to go to the theatre or the like, but dancing is cheap so the whole estate would gather together, everypony would bring some food to share and we’d have a dance and a sing song.” She sat back, lost in her remembrance for a moment. “That’s what dancing always means to me, community, being part of something greater than yourself. Like I said yesterday dancing has rhythms and flows of its own. So many ponies moving together all becoming part of something bigger, I like it. Plus I find it a good way to blow off steam and have a laugh,” she looked up at Octavia, “With my friends. I entered a few competitions back then but it wasn’t for me.” She twiddled the windmill again, this time it moved freely. “Ah, success! Right let’s get down to work.”

The pair of them once again ran through the various moves, this time Octavia was more confident. Her experience with holding her instrument meant that she was used to moving about on her hind legs which helped her with some of the more difficult moves, although she found it difficult to loosen up in some of the quicker and closer moves. However, her real problems were not in the individual moves but in putting them together into a full dance.

“You keep trying to second guess the caller,” said Medley grinding her teeth in annoyance.

“I thought that was what I was supposed to be doing? Sensing patterns?” replied Octavia her cheeks colouring a bit.

“Yes, to an extent, but you keep doing what you think is best rather than what you’re being told. Look the caller is like the conductor, you’d do what you were told as part of an orchestra wouldn’t you?”

“Well yes but I would still know what I was going to play, the tempo or timing might be changed a little but not the whole score.”

“What about cadenzas? They’re improvised, and if they’re good enough to be named after the princess...”

“That is not the same, they are solo sections. I can improvise by myself, it is guessing what somepony else will do that I find difficult. I do not know their capabilities and preferences in the same way as I know my own.”

“You’re trying to think it through too much, don’t think about what’s going to happen just keep loose and go with the flow,” suggested the shopkeeper gracefully leaping into the air with a flap of her wings before landing and converting the movement into a pirouette past Octavia.

“I will try, should we start again?”

Medley looked up, the sun had set and the moon was high in the sky. “I think we’ve had enough for tonight.”

“But the dance is tomorrow, and you yourself have said I still have problems.”

“You’re good enough, it’s only a social dance, it’s not like you’re be scored on your skills or anything.”

“There is no such thing as ‘good enough’” she stamped her hoof. “You must always strive to be the best.”

“Octavia!” growled Medley warningly.

“I am sorry,” said Octavia her ears drooping, “It is just, this is important to me.”

“I know, and I understand your sentiments. Ponies say I take things too seriously sometimes, but this is just a dance, you’ll do fine.”

For a moment it looked like Octavia would keep arguing but she stood down. “Thank you for your training.”

“That’s alright. I’ll see you tomorrow, Lyra popped around earlier she and the other girls thought we’d come round to your place before the dance so we could go together as it’s all in our honour.”

“That would be very nice I will see you there.”

“Yeah, and stop worrying, everything will work out.”

“I am sure it will,” said Octavia, but she didn’t sound convinced.

The sweet shop was dark by the time Octavia got home, it appeared that Bon Bon had already gone to bed. To her surprise there was a note from her landlady noting that she had put aside some food for her in the panty. Expecting to find something piled high with calories Octavia was surprised to find a light salad that would near perfectly match her diet. She felt her eyes mist a little as she eyed it, whatever had she done to deserve Bon Bon’s friendship? This small act of kindness was perfect and matched her needs whereas when she tried to help Bon Bon she couldn’t help but mess it up. Why couldn’t she be better at this?

Quickly chewing her way through the greens Octavia crept up to her room and prepared for bed, but sleep was not forthcoming. She lay awake for several hours tossing and turning. Her mind refused to quiet, visions of how the whole town, and a certain red stallion in particular, would see her humiliation at tomorrow’s dance, how they would know that she did not fit in. That she did not deserve to live among them. She had treated them all so badly at the equinox, had put her needs above theirs and assumed that she was right and they were wrong. And despite all that she had found friends, true friends, willing to forgive her and now it seemed the whole town was willing to put her slights behind her. How could she accept such gratitude if she couldn’t even put her all into their dance?

She couldn’t! Throwing aside her sheets she rolled off of the bed landing on the floor with a slight thud. She had to perfect her dancing even if it took all night, and she couldn’t do it alone. She would need help.

“Medley!” hissed Octavia as she hammered on the music shop door. She looked around to see if she was disturbing anypony else but the town seemed quiet, nopony was in sight.

“Medley!” she repeated.

With a scraping sound the window above her head opened and the pegasus’s sleepy head popped out covered by an old fashioned sleeping cap. “Whaz’it?” slurred Medley with a yawn.

“I need your help.”

“What? Did the sisters turn bad again or something?”

“No I need more dancing lessons, I have to get it all right!”

“This again! What time is it?”

“It is about midnight.”

“Go talk to Vinyl then, she’s probably up.”

“Can she teach me how to dance?” asked Octavia hopefully.

“I’ve never seen her at a hoe down but she dances at her raves, well throws herself about in a rhythmic fashion, which is almost the same thing.”

“No I need to be able to dance at the hoe down. Please!”

Medley heard the desperation in her friend’s voice and with a sigh flew through the window and landed next to her. “Why are you taking this all so seriously?” she asked.

“I need to show Ponyville that I’m willing to change, willing to put in the effort to fit in with it. To be part of its community.”

“Community, eh,” sighed Medley. She stood there for a few moments looking Octavia up and down. “I must be mad,” she mumbled. “Fine, let me get some coffee and I’ll meet you out back.”

“Thank you, thank you!” cried Octavia joyously as she rushed towards the back of the shop.

“Crazy, totally crazy,” muttered Medley as she watch Octavia go.

Medley met up with Octavia in her back garden a short time later, clutching a steaming mug of coffee, she almost wished she could borrow some of Vinyl’s wake up juice but she knew from previous experience when she’d tried to finish a rush order that that stuff gave her the runs. The grey mare was already working on some of the moves she had been taught. Medley started to set up a few firefly lanterns around the area to they could see what they were doing, she decided against music this time, she didn’t want to wake her neighbours, she’d just have to count out the beat instead. She looked up longingly towards her bedroom and the rapidly cooling bed within then gave a sigh. “Ok, let’s try to keep this short. We’ll run through a version of the Neighdon Races first, so we start by chasseying...”

The night drew on and Octavia continued to insist that they practice the dance moves again and again to make sure she could do them perfectly. Although she did improve slightly fatigue quickly ate away at her gains and her moves became sloppier and sloppier finally the inevitable happened as she and Medley were do-si-doing their hindquarters collided and Octavia stumbled landing painfully on one of her knees, she let out a cry of pain.

“Are you alright?” asked Medley worriedly.

“Stupid dance!” shouted Octavia before clapping a hoof to her mouth. “It’s hopeless, I can’t get this right. I’m going to go to the dance and get it all wrong and everypony will laugh and say how I don’t fit in and how I behaved atrociously when I first got here and the Princess will send me away and I won’t have any friends anymore,” she began to sob.

Medley paced on the spot for a moment her face a picture of awkwardness. Hesitantly she stretched out a wing and gently rested it on Octavia’s back. “Look I’m not very good at this sort of thing, back home we’re not big on sharing our feelings, maybe I should get Lyra or Fluttershy?”

Octavia leaned against her friend tears starting to fall. “It’s just all so different, I don’t know how anything works and the ponies are so strange and I don’t know how to wash clothes or make beds or anything.”

Medley frowned for a moment then smiled. “You’re home sick, I understand that. I’m from Lancantershire its half way across Equestria;”

“I thought I recognised the accent, my mother knows your count,” sniffed Octavia.

“Well, when I first came to Ponyville it all seemed so odd to me as well, I didn’t know anypony, they did things differently. When I came to get my small business licence I was in a queue for hours and I got so worked up by the time I got to the front. Now in Lancashire mayors assistants normally wear cravats for some reason, tradition or something,” she waved a hoof in the air vaguely, “And you know how the mayor likes those things. So anyway I got into the office and she and Red Tape were there so I stomped up to Red and began to rant about how hard it was to get anything done, Ivory tried to get a word in but I yelled at her to get me some coffee. You know what she did?”

Octavia shook her head.

“She got me some coffee, then politely told me I was talking to the wrong pony. I was so embarrassed, I just wanted the air to open up and suck me away, but you know what happens when I meet her now? She always gets me coffee. Ponyville is a really friendly place, a little too friendly sometimes, but most of them don’t hold grudges.”

“But I could humiliate myself at the dance,” said Octavia getting to her hooves and drying her eyes.

“Then you’ll humiliate yourself, like I said nopony will care. Even if they do laugh then you’ve got me and Lyra and Vinyl and Fluttershy and Bluenote to have your back. When I first arrived here I went to a dance, I didn’t know anypony and most of the moves turned out to be different to what I was used to, but they took me in and showed me how it’s all done. Like I’m showing you now. Don’t worry.”

“Thank.. thank you Medley. I am sorry for being so silly, I am rather tired and distraught.”

“Don’t mention it. Really don’t, I’m not very comfortable with this sort of ‘emotional’ thing.” She stuck out her tongue for a moment. “It’s probably a good idea if we both get some sleep, the dance is tomorrow, well today now.”

“Yes, that is probably a plan, but can we please go over the moves one last time?”

Medley sighed, but held out an arm to Octavia. “Ok, let’s try the Lucky Seven again.”

Author's Note:

I guessed Octavia probably never had to do housework before, she's always had somepony else to do it so it all comes as a bit of a shock.

I also like the idea of Medley being a dancer and quite a party mare when she gets into it, but that'll come up again in a bit

As always comments are appreciated