• Published 24th Dec 2014
  • 842 Views, 40 Comments

Friendship Still is Magic - ultronquake



Twilight Sparkle and her new found allies, Cloudchaser, Berry Punch, Lyra Heartstrings, Lotus Blossom and Derpy hooves must confront an ancient threat in the Everfree Forest. And, you know also do that thing the princess said about making friends.

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Boast Busters: We worry about the ones we love, it's just what we do

The problem was obvious, a gigantic stellar bear stood in their way to freedom. The solution was less obvious, there seemed to be no way of sneaking around it and the only way out was beyond it. Trixianna could feel the sheer terror of the little one she was carrying, deep down she felt it too, but for her sake and her own she was trying to keep a calm head.

"What are we gonna do? There's no way we can win, If only the Great and Powerful Trixie were here." Dinky said in a hushed voice, careful not to gain the unwanted attention of the Ursa.

"I can tell you what were not going to do kid, were not going to get eaten and were not going to meet our end in this forest. I can promise you that much." said Trixianna.

"B-but how?" asked Dinky.

She had to think quickly, though it was engrossed with it's meal she knew that wouldn't be for long. 'Alright think, it's a bear right? And this cave must be it's den, so this area of the forest must be it's territory. If it attacked the timberwolf because it was intruding then... it must patrol, right?' she thought to herself.

"Here's the plan, were gonna copy your idea from before. We'll hide in the brush and wait for it to leave, once it's gone we'll make a mad dash for Ponyville. If it left you alone before then perhaps it has poor eye sight, couldn't see you, i think as long as we remain still and be really quiet it wont detect us."

"It's just like a game of hide and seek, right?" asked Dinky.

"Hmm right, except if we get found we don't join the seekers we just get eaten. So, extra incentive to win right?" Dinky nodded an affirmative and the searched for their hiding place. The two settled on a large hallowed out log, just big enough for the both of them to fit in side and out of sight. Through a knot hole they could keep watch, now the only thing left was to wait.

The seconds turned to minuets, minuets turned to hours, hours turned to days, days gave weeks a pass and went strait on into years then finally years turned back into minuets. Forty five of them, or as close to that as Trixianna could estimate, seeing as their was no sun or moon they could see to use as a visual aide. It was during these supposed forty five minuets that the Ursa continued eating it's morsel and lumbered about it's domain in a bit of a stupor.

While they whittled the time away a hushed conversation started between the two. "Can i ask you something Trixie's sister?" asked Dinky.

"Anything just as long as your quiet."

"Are any amazing at magic too?" asked Dinky

"Not particularly, i wasn't blessed with a cutie mark of magical power, and to be honest i have trouble just getting past base level spells. Why do you ask?"

"Nothing really, i'm just afraid if i don't get a magic cutie mark i wont be able to become a great and powerful unicorn like Trixie." said Dinky.

"I'll let you into a little secret... what's your name?" asked Trixianna.

"I'm Dinky Doo."

"Well that's a sweet name Dinky Doo. I'll tell you a secret if you can promise not to tell." Dinky nodded yes, she liked secrets. "Can you see my cutie mark?" She motioned to the emblem on her flank.

"Kinda, it's really dark in here." An amber glow flicked on from her horn, filling the stump with a warm light.

"Does it remind you of anypony else?" asked Trixianna.

It did look familiar, but she couldn't quite place why. Dinky looked through her memory for where she might have seen it before. "That's funny it's just the same as .. Trixie's..." She looked up away from the moon and wand mark to the face of the pony she was sharing space with, as Trixianna smiled and nodded it dawned on her. "Your the Great and Powerful Trixie!"

Trixianna immediately covered her mouth, muffling the little fillies joyful fan-girling. Outside the bear had heard the outburst, to the Ursa it sounded like the squeak of a mouse. In it's simplistic animalistic mind it thought, 'Rumbly in my tumbly, mousy mouse is not big enough.'

When it was clear the bear was not searching them out she removed her hoof, "Sorry about that, i didn't mean to alarm you."

"B-b-bu-but your the Great and Powerful Trixie. How can you be great and powerful without a magic cutie mark?" Dinky asked as her world was rocked.

"That's what i'm trying to tell you Dinky, there's allot more to magic than just raw power. There's also skill, misdirection, and when things get real down and dirty like now, there's luck. I've already come to terms with the fact that i may never be able to use powerful magic like Twilight Sparkle, but that doesn't mean i can't find new ways to get creative with the magic i can do." Trixianna finished her motivational speech then to illustrate her point repeated her rope snake trick with a vine, this time though it was nice and friendly.

"Wow, no wonder your great and powerful Trixie." Dinky said with awe.

"Hey Dinky can you do me a favor?" asked her elder.

"Anything! Oop, I mean anything." Dinky replied as she caught herself.

"Can we drop the Great and Powerful thing, it's fine on stage but it get's kind of grading after a while. Besides my friends shouldn't have to call me anything but my name." said Trixianna.

"Y-you mean i'm your friend?" This was more than Dinky could have ever asked for, aw who am i kidding she was asking for this earlier today.

"Sure Dinky, your foolish as all Tartarus for coming in here alone, but i can tell your a good kid."

"Okay from now on i'll call you Trixie. Oooh this is awesome wait till Snips and Snails hear i'm friends with Trixie." Dinky enthused. Trixianna smiled, well close enough.

Dinky unexpectedly jumped up and wrapped her hooves around Trixianna hugging her tightly. "*OOF* This is the second time I've had a pony try and hug me today. I guess Ponyville's just a hugging kind of town." She reciprocated the gesture and hugged her back, as she did she could feel the scratches caused by the thorns, some of them were already scabbing up. "Do they hurt?"

"Yeah a bit, but it's not too bad, i get cut and scraped up all the time when i play outside." Dinky said as she left the embrace.

"Alright hold still and i'll show you something neat even the lowest level unicorn can do." Dinky obliged and held still, A subtle flow of magic left Trixianna and into Dinky. Her body gave off a slight glow and she felt all tingly.

"What was that? It feels like i'm getting butterfly kisses allover and my cuts don't hurt anymore." said Dinky.

"I shared some of my excess magical energy with you, it's technically not even a spell, more like a natural ability. You loose your grip on your inner power and let it flow freely, mostly it's used in treating unicorns suffering magic depletion but in your case it can also help speed up the healing process." Explained Trixianna.

"Wow that's soo cool, can i try?" Dinky asked.

Trixianna thought on it but decided to advise against it, "You should probably wait a few years before you try, this ability uses your own well of power, I'm guessing your just starting to use magic, am i right?" Dinky nodded yes. "When your just starting out your reserves are pretty small, but they grow the more you use magic. Give it some time and it'll be easy." As she said that Trixianna's legs gave out underneath her.

"Are you alright? Is there something wrong? Did i do something wrong?" Dinky fussed over her fallen teacher.

Trixianna propped herself up, "No you didn't do anything wrong, it's just releasing your magic tends to drain your strength. That and the fact i was already tired before coming out here.. i'll be fine is what i'm saying. I just need to rest for a while, do you think you can watch for the both of us while i get some shut eye?"

"You can count on me Trixie! I mean you can count on me.." Dinky caught herself again, and dutifully took her spot at the knot hole. Confident in her abilities and too tired to care otherwise Trixianna shut her weary eyes and drifted off into sleep. Her dream was odd, prophetic even. She was on stage in the forest, and the audience was comprised of nothing but ponies with miniature Ursa heads topping them, all roaring and cheering on the show.

As she stirred in her sleep Dinky kept up the watch, ever vigilant. If she were in uniform she'd have the look and poise of a royal guardsmen down pat. The minuets dragged on for what seemed like an eternity, but eventually the Ursa finally decided it was done with whatever business an Ursa occupies itself with. It was when it started lumbering off back into the deeper parts of the forest that Dinky decided to wake her companion.

"Trixie... Trixieeeeee.. Trixie! Wake up." Dinky took to jumping on her inert body like a trampoline, the response was immediate.

"Gah! Ursas, there all over me!" the startled mare was swatting away at the imagined pony-bear dream abominations, when she opened her eyes however she was reassured to find the cramped comfort of the hallow and happy to see the youngster standing on her ribs. Wait scratch that she was not glad, just in pain, lots of pain. "Dinky i know it's tight in here but do you mind not standing on me? Please?"

"Sure thing Trixie." Dinky said with childlike glee, hopping off.

Trixianna rubbed the sore spot, 'Ow, that's going to bruise.' "Is their some reason you decided to wake me up, or did you just want to practice the spring board on my bones?" Said Trixianna, letting the pain speak for her.

Trixie's hurtful speech flew strait over Dinky's head thankfully so she replied in earnest. "Yeah the Ursa Major is finally leaving, we can go home now!"

"Truly?" Trixianna took a peek through the peephole just in time to see the Ursa jaunt out of sight. She pulled herself up and pushed back an errant strand of hair. "Good job Dinky. And i'm sorry i got angry at you."

"Yay i did a good job! Wait you were angry with me?" a frown took over Dinky's face.

"It's nothing to trouble yourself over kiddo, come on let's get out of this Celestia forsaken forest."

"Yay!" said Dinky.

With some effort the two squeezed out of their hiding place and into the open air, both glad to be free of the dank stagnant air that inhabited the hallow log. Before they went too far out they were sure to carefully look and listen for the Ursa, but it truly seemed as if he had gone away. The sounds from the cave also were encouraging, still the steady rhythmic breathing indicating whatever was in there was still asleep.

They were almost home free, nearing the boundary of the forest, both relived and a bit proud of their accomplishment of surviving relatively unscathed. As they rounded the corner they saw two figures bathed in moonlight they were both surprised and overjoyed to find.

*****

For Twilight and Derpy the surroundings they found themselves in were familiar, they even passed by the cliff that gave out underneath them back during their first visit to the Everfree. Not that they were paying much attention to little details like that, Their focus was singular, find Dinky and bring her out of this Tartarus hole. She wasn't super hard to track mind you, her little hoof prints dotted the muddy floor all around. The story they told however was getting more and more dire.

First she pauses, runs up to something then is running even faster, more wild. Along side her tracks is a second set, based on the distance it must be much larger than her and heavier. The tracks ended at a patch of thorns, and most troubling of all, dried blood covers the spines. It was here that the brave face Derpy wore cracked, "This can't be right, this can't be Dinky's b-bu-bu-b-" She was unable to say it.

"I'm sure it was just a pig or something else that got stuck, take heart we'll find her." Twilight squeezed Derpy's hoof tight, she could feel her tremble uncontrollably.

"I just don't- i just don't know what went wrong. Why would she do something this reckless?" said Derpy.

"Does she do this kind of thing often?" asked Twilight.

"Only all the time, it seems like every time i turn my back she's off scaling a tree or getting lost in a crowd. One time she decided to play hide and seek without telling anypony, once we realized she was gone it took everypony three hours of searching to find her, she had been hiding inside the school house bell the entire time, and the only reason we found her was she came running out when Ms. Cheerilee rang for the end of class." Derpy's throat had a huge lump in it making it hard to express herself.

Twilight decided to use this as a point of encouragement, "So if she could stay hidden that long, do you think she can keep herself safe until we find her?"

"A-alright," Derpy said with a little sniffle.

"In the meantime we should keep looking, let's try retracing the path we took to the castle. If she found her way there she would at least be relatively safe." said Twilight.

This possible ray of hope brightened up Derpy's face, "Yeah and we can try asking that magnetic guy if he's seen her anywhere. Let's go!" And with renewed vigor the two set out again, recreating the pilgrim path that changed their destinies those months past.

Along the way they came across the clearing where they faced the unbelievably scary trees. On a second viewing and in sufficient lighting the trees didn't seem nearly as disturbing as they once did. This only furthered their inward sense of hope, that they would find Dinky unharmed.

When they came to the shallow river Twilight called upon the river dragon, "Steven Magnet are you there? Were in distress! Were signaling an S.O.S."

The waters parted and revealed the aquanaut, "Wrong species, but yes i am here. Hello ladies, what brings you to my door- er riverbank?"

"What'da mean wrong species?" asked the puzzled Derpy.

"You mean you don't know? You were using the traditional call for another water dwelling sapient species. But they tend to stay in the seas, not going upriver-" He leaned in resting his chin on his hands, "-Ah such majestic creatures the sea ponies. The have a certain natural beauty, rivaled only by moi of course." Steven ran his clawed hands through his hair, he was feeling pretty confident in his looks today.

"Well.. whatever, we don't have time to waste talking about sea monkeys. I need to know if you've seen my sister anywhere here in the forest!" Derpy said getting back on focus.

"Hmm is she the equine with the black and white stripes i see walking about every once and a while?" Suggested Steven.

"No, Dinky looks like a tiny version of me.. except she's a unicorn." said Derpy, Twilight on the other hoof was curious about this other pony he mentioned but decided to leave that for another time.

"She looks just like you? Then surly i would have taken notice of such a vision." He gave Derpy a coy wink. Unsure how to take that, as a compliment to her or creeping on her very underage sister, Derpy decided to play it safe and assume the best of Steven.

"Well were plum out of luck then," said Twilight. "We've wasted this much time coming all the way out here and there's no sign she ever came this way."

"Never fear ladies, hop aboard and i shall carry you safely to the the entrance. The waterways are much swifter than any old trail anyhow." The leviathan pulled more of his snakelike body out of the river, just large enough to fit Twilight and Derpy comfortably.

"Why thank you, that's very kind of you to offer." Twilight said as she took her seat. Derpy on the other hoof nervously prated around. "Come on take a seat, it's clear she didn't come this way."

"If it's alright with you i'll fly, maybe i can see her from up top." Derpy spread her wings and took off, the leaves on the ground all swirled about in the wake she made.

"Well then we best be off," said Steven. And with that they cast off shore, Twilight and her ride swiftly snaking through the river and Derpy keeping in pace while eyeing all her surroundings like an eagle. Unfortunately her laser point vision didn't allow her to see the low hanging branch just in front of her.

"*KA-THUD* *KER-SPLOOSH*" Before either of them could warn her Derpy's head collided with the errant tree and she plummeted into the waters below. Thankfully just as soon as she was in, she was out. Twilight had a firm hold of Derpy with her levitation and safely brought her to dry land, or dry back in their case.

Twilight immediately was looking for a concussion, moving her hoof in front of Derpy's eyes. They sort of followed the movement, but she was unsure if it was just her wall eyes or a sign of something wrong. "Are you alright Derpy? You took a nasty fall there,"

Placing her hooves to her head she railed, "Ooh, i'll be fine, everything's just a bit spinny. That's why i don't multitask while flying very often. Stuff tends to pop up in front of me when i'm not looking." Derpy said excusing herself.

"Just try and be more careful, we wouldn't wan't Dinky to have to worry about her sister if she's in the hospital." said Twilight.

"If i may ask, just what does this sister of yours mean to you?" asked the dragon who had remained mostly silent until now.

This question caught Derpy off guard, it's not that she couldn't answer, it's just you tend to take for granted the ponies who are a part of your life every day. "Dinky's like my annoying little doppelganger, she's hyper, always butting into my business, and never knows when to leave me alone. But she's also my best friend in the whole world, i can tell her anything and know she'll keep it a secret. Go anyplace with her and have fun. And now i'm terrified that i'll never see her again." Derpy gave way to sobbing once more, and Twilight provided a shoulder to cry on.

"Hey, there there, what'd we d agree on? Were gonna find her and she's gonna be fine, alright?" Twilight said in her most reassuring way.

Her friend's love and attention was enough to stop the well of tears, "*Sniff* T-thanks Twi-l-light, your so k-kind." Derpy said in between sobs.

Watching her display seemed to affect Steven some to. "I wonder if he's even still alive, i suppose he could be a she. I never did get to meet them...." The water dragon drew silent and somber.

Something about what he was saying reminded Twilight of their first encounter, "Steven, I hope you don't think i'm being a nosy old mare, but who are you talking about? Is it a lost love?"

This raised his luxuriant eyebrows, "A lost love? Yes i suppose that's an apt way of describing it. After all what greater love is there than that of a parent for his child? Or at least i assume so, i never did get the chance."

"You were a father?!" gasped Twilight and Derpy.

He seemed a bit offended by that, "Is the notion that ridiculous, you think a handsome rouge like me couldn't find a dragoness willing to ..." He was about to graphically describe dragon mating rituals, but decided that present company was probably not ready to hear all the gory details. "-Ahem, have my children. Nay i say, they were practically clawing at my feet, back then i was known as Handsome Magnet."

Derpy and Twilight couldn't help but imagine what a female dragon fawning over a younger Steven Magnet would look like. "Of course the one i chose was special, and the egg we made was special too. But one day it disappeared and soon after she left, after that i took to living here in the river where i can focus on the only thing i have left, my good looks." He ran his claws through his hair once more, but this time it was less self congratulatory and more sad realization of the truth of his statement.

"Oh Steven that's so awful, i shouldn't have asked you about that, i brought up so many painful memories." said Twilight.

Steven brought himself out of his funk to reply, "No no, i wouldn't have answered you if it was painful. Three years isn't enough to forget, no amount of time is enough to forget. But it does lesson the grief," He gave his wispy mustache a little twirl, "It is i who should apologize, i should not have distracted you from your important task with my woes. We have arrived ladies"

He pulled alongside the back and sank low to allow them to exit. "Thank you again for the ride, would you possibly be able to help us search?" inquired Twilight.

"Unfortunately no, while i can traverse dry land if i need to, my legs aren't good for much more than swimming. Thou i would be happy to search the river bottom for the child." As he finished saying that Derpy gave way to tears once more. "Oh- oh dear, um i didn't mean to look for a body. For all we know she could be trapped in a clam shell, or a bubble. Crazy stuff happens under the water."

"You mean it?" Derpy halfheartedly asked.

"Oh yes, in fact i should start looking right away. Bye bye, tell that lovely stylist i said hello." With that said, Steven disappeared bellow the water surface, leaving no trace that he was there in the first place.

That left Twilight and Derpy alone once more. As they stood on the shore they contemplated where to go from here. Try going deeper into the forest, into uncharted territory or leave and return with a well equipped search party. The choice was a difficult one, time was of the essence and neither of them wanted to leave the other alone in this dank hole, lest they get lost themselves.

But fortune smiled on the would be rescuers, cautiously walking around the bend came two ponies. One they were overjoyed to see alive and well and the other surprised to find in this place. "Dinkums!" shouted Derpy as she ran over and scooped up her little sister. She held her tight, and let her tears loose once more.

Dinky could feel the wet fur of her sister, feel the anguish she had caused her. "I'm so sorry sister, i never should have left. I didn't want to make you worry, i didn't wanna-" Dinky started hyperventilating, getting to worked up to express how sorry she was.

Derpy cut her off, gently stroking her mane, "Shush, hush, Your safe that's all that maters. You had me worried sick but that doesn't mater, your alive and your safe."

As the two continued hugging it out Twilight and Trixianna were left looking on at the touching scene. "Well i wasn't expecting to find you here, i thought you were still at the spa." said Twilight.

"I wasn't expecting to find anypony, we've been hiding outside the Ursa den for so long i figured our chances of rescue were slim to none." Trixianna said with a flat tone. "I take that's Dinky's older sister?"

"Yes, she's been worried sick ever since she realized Dinky was missing. I'm guessing you had something to do with her being safe, am i right?" asked Twilight.

"Right after i got home i found the notice she left on my door, then i ran off here. As soon as i found her we've been playing hide and seek with the monsters. Did i mention there was an Ursa Major yet?"

"This isn't part of your stage act, is it?" Twilight needed to confirm.

"Unfortunately no. And if i'm not mistaken, i believe were still standing in his territory, and you don't want to see what he did to the last thing it caught in it's turf." Trixianna shuddered thinking about the Timberwolf and the pile of bones outside it's cave.

"Then let's get a move on, Derpy i hate to interrupt your reunion but this place isn't safe." Twilight said with authority, assuming the role of party leader.

Derpy snapped to attention, "R-right, come on Dinky you must be tired out. I'll let you ride on my back the whole way out, alright?"

"Yay piggyback rides!" Dinky squealed with glee, you almost couldn't tell the awful experiences she had gone through tonight. She jumped aboard and landed on Derpy's back with a thud, but she was used to the abuse on her poor back. Anything if it meant getting home safe and sound.

"So which way out Twilight? You've been in here before right?" Inquired Trixianna.

Twilight closed her eyes and formulated their plan, using the approximate time and the position of Luna's moon in the sky she could use it as a compass. "Let's see, if i'm right and i'm fairly sure i am east Ponyville should be that way." Twilight said while pointing in a direction. She was about to head out when something struck her, "Um the moon is looking awful blue tonight, isn't it?"

This drew the attention of the other three, they all looked and all had to agree. The normally bright white rock in the sky had a definite tinge of blue to it. "Is this what a blue moon is?" asked Dinky.

"No, a blue moon is a name for an extra full moon during a month. This is- is... Sweet Celestia!" Twilight exclaimed.

And the reason for her outburst became apparent to the rest very quickly. As the blue moon they were seeing was not really blue at all, they were only looking at it though a filter. That filter being the simi transparent body of the Ursa, the Ursa who was now facing them head on and baring it's fangs at them.

There was no where to hide.

No place to run.

For the last time, these four ponies stood face to face with the dreaded Ursa Major.

Author's Note:

I bet everyone reading this is tired of me pushing back the climax, to be honest i am as well. Next chapter for sure. I just wanted to make sure i had time to properly set up the relationships before the giant kaiju bear fight.
You likely wont see anymore development on Steven Magnet's situation for some time, i just wanted to have it set up well ahead of time.
I like to think that Trixie's cutie mark isn't one for magic potential like Twilight's but more represents her love of the limelight and desire to wow crowds with her shows.

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