• Published 23rd Apr 2012
  • 11,354 Views, 299 Comments

Diary of a Foalsitter - Hivemind



Princess Cadence's well kept diary entries of her time as Twilight Sparkle's foalsitter.

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Magical Dismastery

It’s strange really; almost uncanny to be foalsitting somepony like Twilight. I know that I’ve never done this before, but there is something a little...special about Twilight. A hidden charm that can’t be matched. She’s interesting, but it’s that special kind of interesting. That kind of interesting that just...well, it doesn’t keep you hooked, but it sticks to you, in a good way, like frosting on a cupcake...

“Cadance?”

“Yes, Twilight?” Cadance replied as she gave another gentle push to Twilight’s back, restarting the swing cycle.

“What made you want to be a foalsitter?” Twilight asked, looking over her shoulder.

“Well...” Cadance started, looking elsewhere for inspiration on what she should say. “To be honest, Twilight, there’s not much I could tell you. I was just another noble in the eyes of Canterlot, bored to tears like everypony else,” The pink princess playfully rolled her eyes to emphasize, rewarding her with a short round of giggles from Twilight.

“And? What else?”

“Auntie Celly heard that she was getting a new student in her school, and a rather talented one at that.”

“It was me, wasn’t it?” Twilight asked with a smile.

Cadance nodded. “Mhmm. She told me a few good things about you too.”

“What’d she say?”

“Well, what didn’t she say? You’re smart, energetic, at the top of your class...”

“Don’t forget assiduous!” Twilight proudly added in.

“Where did you learn that word?” Cadance giggled. “That’s an awfully complex word for a little filly like you,” The pink princess already expected her to know such a word. Going into Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorn you are certainly not going to come out dimwitted.

“Princess Celestia taught me that word, but I did the reading part. She just gave me the book. I finished the whole thing in just two days!” Twilight loudly proclaimed. “She couldn’t believe it! Of course, whenever I start a new book, I don’t stop until it’s finished, but this book was huge! Bigger than my head!”

“And you say you finished it in two days?” Cadance asked with a smile.

“I said that already, didn’t I?” Twilight snapped, oblivious to her sudden change in behavior.

“There’s no need to be rude, Twilight,” Cadance scolded.

The arrogant filly grinned sheepishly, her grin soon forced to darken into a frown when Cadance brought the swing to a stop, glaring down at her like an unamused dictator. If there was any sort of trait inherited from the royal family, then Cadance was certainly the one to receive Celestia’s impatient side. The look in her down-facing eyes practically shouted ‘Obey me or be punished!’ from the highest rooftops. Twilight was starting to get scared, even resorting to hiding one side of her face behind her mane so she wouldn’t have to look up at Cadance’s daunting composure.

Having realized that her stare was striking fear into the filly’s heart, Cadance shook her head to free herself from such a terrifying state. Her inherited cold stare was a potent one indeed, for Twilight had retreated into herself so deeply that it looked like she was about to fall off of her seat, and in tears too. Feeling immensely guilty, Cadance wrapped the somber filly in a hug, being careful as not to squeeze too hard.

“Sorry about that, Twilight. I guess I took a little too much after Celestia,” Cadance giggled timidly, hoping for a forgiving response, but perhaps she was taking something so little, a little too far.

“Uhh...Cadance? What’re you hugging me for?” asked Twilight, deeply embarrassed and red hot with blush.

“W-wha-?” Cadance stammered, backing out of the hug. “What do you mean? You aren’t upset?”

“Why would I be upset?” asked Twilight, cocking her head.

“Did...did Celestia ever look at you like that?” Cadance asked with a worried frown. “This is the first time this has happened to me, and I don’t know--”

“Cadance, it’s fine!” said Twilight, now giggling all of a sudden. “It’s not like I’m sad or anything. It’s just a bit of discipline, right? I knew it would have happened sooner or later.”

“Discipline?”

“I was rude, unknowingly, and I didn’t apologize for it. So for that...”

As quick as a flash, Twilight slammed into Cadance’s chest and tried her best to wrap her foalsitter in a hug, only getting so far as getting her legs around her neck.

“Sorry!” Twilight giggled.

A tip of the hat given to her pristine sense of balance, Cadance did not stumble when the excited ball of student slammed into her midsection. Blushing fiercely, she feared that somepony could have been watching them. A quick check of her surroundings reassured her of that. Not wanting to feel left out, Cadance snaked one foreleg around Twilight’s midsection, drawing the filly into a much-needed hug.

“Cadance,” Twilight started, pulling out of the hug, looking up at to the sky before looking back at the pink princess. “It’s that time.”

“What time?” Cadance asked.

“You know. Your promise?”

“Oh! Right.”

Cadance grabbed Twilight by her sides and gently lowered her to the ground, brushing away the dirt from her hooves. She went to her saddlebags and procured a large, untitled book of spells, the only graphic on the tome being an elaborately drawn hourglass with red and blue stars streaming off the cover. She cantered across the playground to a shadow-covered patch of grass underneath a trimmed oak tree, where Twilight was laying flat on her stomach, watching Cadance come closer, eagerly awaiting the moment when the book would be placed in her hooves.

While Twilight buried her nose deep in the walls of text, Cadance buried her eyes high in the sky, laying flat on her back, watching the clouds go by. She had little to no interest in reading, seeing how she has to both read and sign page after page of boring, monotone petitions each day when Celestia wasn’t around, but why read when you can just kick back and enjoy the weather? No setting could have been more perfect than this; albeit a little boring, but tranquil nonetheless. It was truly a shame to know that so many ponies have to miss out on an experience like this. Fillies and colts have school, parents had jobs to do, and the royals could care less about having fun unless it was something that they themselves like doing, which usually translated to four simple, easy to understand words:

Bored, bored, bored, eyestrain.

Cadance quickly pushed those thoughts out of her mind and returned to staring up at the beautiful afternoon sky. Much to the filly’s annoyance, Twilight was given only one hour to read. While the time was minimal, Twilight should have been fortunate enough to receive just thirty minutes the last time they took a reading break. She wasn’t even supposed to be reading while Cadance was looking after her. Cadance’s goal was to bring Twilight out of her antisocial shell, as per Princess Celestia’s request. The only reason that she was given an hour was because she wouldn’t stop begging about it, but lo, like anypony else would have done when confronted with teary eyes, Cadance had to give in to her pleas. How could you ignore an adorable face like that?

From behind, Cadance could hear grunts and groans, rising and falling as if somepony was hard at work. She felt a slight tingling sensation on the tip of her horn as the sounds of sparks and whistlers joined in on the sepulchral tone. She hoisted herself to her hooves and turned to see Twilight struggling under the force of what must have been a very powerful spell. The filly tried to cast the spell again, but failed and collapsed to the ground, tongue lolled out and panting like a dog.

As if her conscious flipped the emergency switch, Cadance’s caretaking senses kicked into overdrive. Fearing for the filly’s state, she quickly nudged Twilight onto her side and brushed away stray locks of hair over her face.

“T-Twilight? What in the name of Celestia are you doing?!” Cadance asked, deeply worried. Twilight sluggishly rose to her hooves and wiped the sweat from her brow with a shaky hoof.

“S-sorry, Cadance...” Twilight moaned, shaking her head free of headache. “I just wanted to impress Celestia with this new spell I’m trying to learn,” Twilight fell to her haunches and closed the book, feeling both ashamed and angry at herself for attempting such a high-grade spell. Only the elite students of the academy, not counting private students, were taught such magics, and even then they still have problems with getting it right. She could recall one such instance of her time at the academy when she heard that one student was taken to the hospital with several third-degree burns covering his body. A grim outcome for a spell with a success rate lower than one’s chances for winning a game of chocolate limbo while playing on a hot summer’s day.

Twilight wasn’t exactly Star Swirl the Bearded, but she should have never tried to cast such a immensely powerful spell. The physical readings that Cadance’s horn received were off-the-charts dangerous, and the air still smelled faintly of fizzy smoke; a bad sign that could have lead to trouble had Cadance not stopped her at the last minute.

“If you wanted to learn the spell, then why didn’t you ask me to help you?” Cadance asked, scooting closer to the book before opening it to the page where Twilight had closed it on.

“I was trying to learn it by myself!” replied Twilight, putting a hoof to her chest to emphasize.

“There is no shame in asking for help, Twilight,” replied Cadance as she scanned the page, her eyes widening after reading the difficulty rating of the spell, along with the list of potential side effects, some of which made her cringe.

“Besides--oh my...” Her stomach churned after reading the final side effect on the list. Nightmares were on the rise. Not wanting Twilight to see, she quickly flipped the pages until her hoof stopped on an easy spell she recognized.

“Besides, that spell’s a little too...difficult for you to handle. Let’s try this one!” Cadance scooted the book across the grass over to Twilight. The lavender filly took hold of the book and scanned her hoof across the page, slowly deciphering the meager difficulty.

“Levitation?” Twilight asked, raising an eyebrow. “But I already know this spell!”

“I knew you would, but we’re gonna try something a teensy bit more difficult involving levitation.”

“Like what?”

When the appetent filly wasn’t looking, Cadance magically swept the book out from underneath Twilight’s hooves, bringing it to float over her pink head.

She guided Twilight over to the big red sandbox in the corner of the playground. A childhood classic when it comes to playtime, but a joke to use as a magical proving grounds. It would have to do for now.

Setting the book aside, Cadance magically conjured a red bucket and spade from the air. Digging the spade deep into the loose sand, she shoveled load after load of sand into the bucket, humming a catchy tune while she worked. Twilight watched with wonder as her foalsitter filled the bucket to the brim with sand, stopping occasionally to compact the granules with her hoof. Eventually, they had a full bucket of tightly compacted, freshly-shoveled white sand. Cadance brought the bucket into the air and slammed it down into the sandbox, giving it a good twist before slowly lifting the bucket again, leaving behind a perfectly molded tower of sand.

“And this is supposed to help me...how?” Twilight asked, staring closely at the monotone structure.

“You’ll see,” said Cadance, taking a seat behind the tower. “Now, I want you to make an exact replica of this tower using nothing but your own magic.”

Twilight could have never looked more confused even if she tried.

“You want me to...” Twilight started, questionably sneering as she nervously scrutinized every part of the tower.

“I want you, Twilight Sparkle, to make an exact replica of this sand tower, using nothing but your own magic.”

“B-but how--”

“Twilight,” Cadance interrupted. “Nothing, but your own magic,” The foalsitter jabbed the tip of her hoof thrice up close to Twilight’s face, making her instructions perfectly clear in the filly’s eyes.

Twilight cringed and bit her lower lip, staring nervously at the challenge which was presented to her. “H’oh boy. Umm...alright. How would I do this?” She leaned forward and gently gripped both sides of the tower, sticking her tongue out anxiously. She didn’t know why she was doing it. You don’t pet a kitty to find out what it looks like, so why risk failing the challenge? She decided to keep the look to make herself appear smarter and more focused.

Even though she was going at snails pace, Twilight was starting to get a good feel for the shape of the tower. No edges, pristine mold-work. A sculpture artist’s cloud-nine. She took mental notes of the tower’s dimensions and stepped back a few feet to make some room for her to work.

“OK, here goes...” said Twilight, poising herself in preparation for her next big magical trial.

Sparks flew from the tip of Twilight’s horn, and short streams of dark, purple energy whizzed and whistled into the air before dissipating. The strain was minimal, but the power was nonetheless increasing. In just a few short seconds, Twilight had mustered a bright ball of purple and white energy, glowing softly at the tip of her horn. Nothing too difficult. She drew her attention to the sand tower, referring back to her mental notes for guidance, which all seemed to just pop right into her head. This was too easy. Why was she doing this again?

But when she tried to lift a patch of sand in front of her, the strain increased ten-fold. She grunted under the invisible weight being forced down on her skull. The sandbox was barely shaking, making tiny grains of sand shift around like they were part of a miniature earthquake. She was starting to get a headache, so she doused her magic and backed away, rubbing her forehead in agony.

“C-Cadance?” Twilight moaned.

“Harder than it looks, isn’t it?” Cadance giggled.

“You’re laughing at this?” Twilight gasped, angrily stamping her hoof in the sand.

“Twilight, magic is much more complex than you think. It is by no means easy, but it by no means difficult either.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Twilight huffed through her nose, back hunched over with her forelegs hanging limp like wet jungle vines.

“When using magic, especially for levitation spells, you must take into account exactly what it is you’re using it for.”

“I’m using it for this stupid levitation challenge. So what?” Twilight crossed her forelegs over her chest, unamused with the pink princess’s philosophical notation.

“Could you lift this book if you tried?”

“Of course I could!” exclaimed Twilight, flailing her forelegs into the air. “Or did you know that too? What am I even doing this for?”

“You didn’t take into account how much many objects you were lifting. That’s why it felt so painful. You focused on recreating the tower, but your mind thought that it was going to lift just one object, the patch of sand, but the patch is made up of thousands if not millions of smaller, separate objects.”

Twilight was too busy scratching her head to understand what Cadance was trying to get across with her.

Cadance released a pent up sigh, her impatient side peeking over the horizon again. “In other words, Twilight, you didn’t spread your magic out. Do you sometimes wonder why Cloudsdale uses pegasus ponies to get the water it needs from the ground to make rainclouds, why it seems like a much better idea to just use magic instead to just pick up the water and move it? Well, there’s your answer.”

A tiny, mental light bulb lit up above her head, and Twilight’s little world was lit aflame with sudden realization. Whatever anger and frustration that was leftover was washed away with a flood of questions and ideals. What if an experiment like this were to be put to good use? Why has nopony thought of this before? This would most assuredly be a great topic to bring up with her mentor the next day.

Her confidence levels rising and her aptitude for magic reaching beyond the furthest stars, Twilight slapped a look of seriousness on her determined face and poised herself for a second try. With very little effort, she channeled a great deal of her body’s newfound strength into her horn, producing a bigger and brighter ball of gleaming, purple energy. Having learned from her previous mistake, she turned away from the sand tower and focused a beam of radiant energy into the sand pit behind her, causing the sand around it to shift and swirl like a miniature maelstrom.

“Come on, Twilight, you can do it!” Cadance loudly whispered encouragement, shaking her hooves to the beat.

Twilight’s magic was finally starting to take effect. The struggle was a great one, but her efforts were soon rewarded with the formation of a small sand tornado, slowly building up in strength. Pushing herself even further, she increased the intensity of her beam of magic, orchestrating her display without fear.

“That’s it, Twilight. You’re nearly there. Keep trying!” Cadance leaned forward to observe Twilight’s spell up close, grinning like a schoolgirl.

Time to bring it on home. Countering the physical strain with heaps of confidence, Twilight injected her horn with whatever tidbits of strength she had left. Never before had the little filly put herself under such pressure. It was only when the sand beneath her hooves started to shift that she considered releasing control and giving up. But she was a brave filly; a confident filly! And she wasn’t about to let a simple levitation spell get in her way! She was going to make it!

But just as quickly as they were erected, the confidence barriers that blocked out the strain crumbled like wet desert rock. Her magic stuttered and faltered, her horn flickering as the magic slowly died down to a candlelight, vanishing into the ether with a tiny spark only seconds later. The spell was no more.

Twilight fell to her haunches, ashamed and out of breath. She couldn’t see what was happening behind her, so maybe some portion of spell did work after all! A simple glance over her shoulder crushed that sliver of hope. Her ears fell flat in disappointment after she turned around and saw that her spell had no effect on the sand at all. The only thing that her spell succeeded in doing was knocking over Cadance’s sand tower; the sandbox practically giving her the middle finger.

“It’s alright Twilight,” Cadance cooed softly, slowly walking to the somber filly’s side and patting her on the back. “It took me a quite a while to learn how to do this. It just takes a little practice. I’m sure you’ll get it eventually.”

“Emphasis on eventually...” Twilight mumbled. “Can we just go back to the swings, please?”

“A little tired, are we?” Cadance slyly asked as she and Twilight stepped out of the sandbox.

“Let’s just play on the swings until the guards pick me up...” Twilight mumbled.

Cadance playfully shrugged her shoulders, rolling her eyes to Twilight’s obvious embarrassment, kept poorly hidden behind an angry look of disapproval.