• Member Since 15th Apr, 2012
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Twilight floated a second fritter up to her mouth when she realized the first was gone. “What is in these things?” “Mostly love. Love ‘n about three sticks of butter.”


Princess Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns is the center of magical research in Equestria. Since Apple Bloom developed a love of potion making and an interest in the theory behind magic, she recognizes what an honor it would be to study there. But that would also mean being the only non-unicorn student to ever attend, leaving her friends and family, and moving to a strange city... and that's if she can pass an entrance exam designed to select the most magically gifted unicorns.

Spike has never wanted more than to be Twilight's number one assistant. But when Twilight points out that there's a pony right in front of him who needs an experienced assistant even more than she does, it means considering a life where he's making the most of his talents... but one without Twilight by his side.

For both of them, facing hard decisions are just part of growing up.

Second place winner for the April Writeoff Association prompt "Great Expectations."

Chapters (3)
Comments ( 237 )

Oh, now this looks interesting...

This is... The story is sweet, but the last chapter basically reduces Spike to... well an assistant. And not just "you're assisting now" but "you will assist forever. That is all you're good at, making sure someone else succeeds at their thing."

I find the idea behind that depressing, and always have, that Spike's destiny of destinies is to do what he's doing now for the rest of his life because that's all he's good at: doing things for other people. Most people dream of growing out of servile positions, not into them.

That being said it's a sweet story of both of them having the courage to move into this new thing, so that's nice.

I don't see it as servile, especially not as Apple Bloom's assistant (where he's much more an equal, even almost a teacher, than with Twilight.) Yes, it means he's making sure other ponies succeed, but that's not a bad thing to do in life, and it is what he's good at.

ETA: It's servile in the same way being a teacher or a civil servant is, but those can be very noble professions.

What an interesting concept! Onwards!

Also, what exactly was implied when twilights eyes changed? Disappointment?

Yeah, that she was trying to hide it, but would be a little disappointed if Apple Bloom didn't go.

5921153 There are plans...

And of course Apple Bloom isn't getting off easy. Because what kind of story would that be :p

Yeah... but the problem is that "personal assistant" is nearly the most ignominious (although that word is actually too harsh for what I mean, I'm having trouble finding the right one) of the different roles (barring abusive or illegal ones) Spike could have that essentially involve him helping people for the rest of his life. It involves the least skill, the least equality to those he helps, the least accolades, and the least self-improvement for Spike in the course of doing that job, being nothing but gratitude for his good work and maybe a good word to his next employer. Helping someone stay organized or fetching things for them is sorta rightly not highly respected at the end of the day, and that's all that it's been implied Spike does.

Really, no part about actually getting the results? :fluttershysad:

I don't know what to tell you. This is canonically what Spike wants to do with his life and what he's good at. I just tried to put him in a position where he's not riding on his mom/sister's coat tails, but gaining respect from other ponies on his own merits.

However, he already had respect from other ponies (The crystal empire). Forcing him to wait on a younger, less renowned pony (somewhat against his will) seems very demeaning to him. It would be like forcing a Star MLP player to play in the little leagues.

He has respect as a hero in times of emergency. He can coast on his association with that for the rest of his life, or do something useful with himself. Applejack has saved Equestria a few times, and she still farms apples.

Also, I headcanon Apple Bloom as being a few months older than Spike (AJ left home after her parents were dead, therefore Apple Bloom would have to have already been born, therefore Spike was born after her.) But that's headcanon and your mileage may vary.

And where do you get the idea it's in any way against his will?

This was my favorite one to read during the contest.

Put it this way, AppleJack takes care of her family's farm, Spike assist Twilight. It would be messed up if Applejack had to start all over again on a new farm with some other family, so as to not ride on the coat-tails of the apple family.

That's funny because I always figured Spike was older than AB based on that episode, I Head-cannoned AJ's parents as being away then and haven't made AB yet.

This was a sweet story and a pairing I don't see a lot of, well done. :moustache:

Applejack takes care of her family's farm, acts as mother-figure to Apple Bloom and is moving towards being a caretaker to her elderly grandmother. Spike assists Twilight, who, as pointed out in the fic, doesn't need that much assisting a lot of the time (so Spike rarely gets to use his talents) and also frequently acts as his guardian (telling him it's time to go to bed, keeping him from eating ice cream, etc.)

This gives him the chance to help a pony who's making history, who really does need him, in a situation where he's given the responsibilities of an adult with no one looking over his shoulder. I don't see it as a step down on achievement of an adult life. It's more like if one of the Apple siblings decided to start their own farm and family. The farm would be smaller at first, but they would be the center of it.

Here's an Apple Bloom video exploding with originality.

23.33 % ponies have access to 99.99% spellcasting

Will you be writing more of this or sequel? You need to write more!

I quite like that extra scene. Spike assists. Not in a servile sense, but in an enabling sense. Both Twilight and Apple Bloom are brilliant, but both tend towards obsession and anxiety spirals that keep them from using that brilliance. Spike helps them maintain their grip on sanity and keeps them functional. Without him...
Well, I hope Twilight's friends are up to the task.

Also, I find myself greatly intrigued by the prospect of unlocking earth pony magic resonance access. Plus, it's a great piece of magical technobabble.

Good story. I'm glad to see it on Fimfiction.

Fun story, with a very original concept. Applejack was great; Twilight felt like she was pushing a little too much, which is quite OOC. I would definitely read a sequel.


this could be interesting

5921177 It's just a title, and while it might not be the best title to have, it is the broadest title. Spike could take up teaching, if he wanted, or even psychology, if he wanted, or really anything involving assistance of any kind, and he'd still be within the bounds of his special talent as established by Twilight. Assisting could mean a lot of things, and in this particular case it does mean a lot of things. He won't necessarily get a lot of attention for what he does, even though he actually might, but he's going to be guiding Apple Bloom through her studies, keeping her organized, giving her in depth knowledge of the city, and probably both using his preexisting knowledge of potion making and getting a lot more of it. There's a lot for him to do, and a lot of ways for him to improve, because if that weren't the case then he wouldn't be going.

Anyway, I really liked the story. Taking educational integration to a pony place gives it a weird depth. This is a world I'd be interested in seeing more of, if you have any intent along those lines, and if you don't then what you have is very good.

Wanderer D

Yes. This is beautiful.

5921534 I always like seeing Moderators on comment sections. It's like joining a TF2 server and seeing a rare Spycrab migration.

5921433 5921441
I do hope to write a sequel one day, and if I do it'll move towards SpikeBloom.

In terms of Twilight, the way I see it is that she sees from the start what Apple Bloom came to realize, that there probably isn't another non-unicorn in Equestria who has all of the support Apple Bloom has to do this, and in terms of Spike that there probably wouldn't be an opportunity for a long time where he'd be so comfortable and in his element. So if she's a little pushy, it' coming from a place of optimism for both of them and for an integrated school of magic.

5921557 I can understand her motivations, but I think she'd be sensitive enough to realize just how susceptible Spike might be to suggestions that she doesn't need him anymore, and how important their bond is to him. Especially the repeated "she needs you more than I do" toes the line. I just think Twilight would be more diplomatic.

Wanderer D

5921555 I'll take that as a compliment!

5921045 There is going to be a sequel. Is there not?

I haven't even started reading this, but I have to admit this is already one of the most interesting story concepts I've come across since joining the site. Expect a review later, because this is going in my "Read Later" shelf. :pinkiehappy:


Seriously this only has 70 likes!

Why doesn't this have more!

5921177 Speaking as someone who works in an Administrative Support role, your opinion about my vocation can go hang.

I would love to write a sequel to this (with your permission of course) but set it in a very slightly alternate universe where there is just a touch more prejudice against mudpo- ah.. earthponies. Heh. Anyways, great fic!

Thank you much for pointing out this story to us. Gems like this are hard to find in the heap of incoming stuff :pinkiehappy:

I too would be interested to see where this would go in a sequel.

I enjoyed this as much as I did in the writeoff, and the adjustment to the scene ordering helped.

WHAT?! A dirt pony sullying the hallowed halls of unicorn supremacy?!


Clearly they must be oppressed much more harshly! They're getting uppity!


5921623 And you should. Being compared to a spycrab is like being compared to god. Flattering but blasphemous.

Twilight wants him to make the right decision and is steering him towards it. A lot of the time, that's kind of how it goes with kids; you want them to make up their minds, but you also want them to make the right choice for the right reasons.

Plus it means Spike won't be around when she shacks up with Applejack.

I couldn't think of a story more worthy to finally kick me out of the goddamned featured box.

This was my favorite story during the Write-off. Glad to see it back again!

I feel like you're really good at getting into the characters' heads and knowing exactly what they would say and do
It's something I definitely envy!
This is a joy to read, I've always thought about where Apple Bloom would go with her potion making skill.

Potion of Open/Close? Seriously... give the potion maker a test about opening a chest without damaging it... Maybe the loophole is in the fact that the lock technically isn't the chest?

This is posilutely adorable! I love the way you portray the characters, and the whole flow of the story is beautiful. Their lines were in the proper voices in my head, so you nailed the diction as far as I'm concerned. Simply delightful! I too also would be interested in reading more of this, it's an intriguing premise.

Please keep writing, I'll keep reading!

hi hi

This is so incredibly sweet, I don't even know what else to say. I think my favorite parts are the interactions between Apple Bloom and Applejack, cause they actually make it feel like there's an honest connection that Apple Bloom is going to have to leave behind.

I said it before, but good job, was a nice story.

What an excellent concept, and so entertainingly executed! I, for one, really like the idea that Spike might have his calling in finding exceptional ponies and helping them to reach their full potential. Very nice characterization from all involved, and I especially liked AJ and Twilight for their roles in this. It was also fun to see another entrance exam, and I enjoyed seeing Apple Bloom solve the problem presented to her in a very Earth Pony way.

All in all, a great little story to find! I look forward to anything more you might do with this concept!

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