• Published 26th Jul 2015
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The Things Tavi Says - shortskirtsandexplosions

Let me tell you a few things about my roommate, Octavia. After all, she saved my life.

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Author's Note:

Octavia's music is being drowned out by the commotion of the party, to the point that it's almost indecipherable from the rest of the bedlam, and I couldn't be more proud of her.

Princess Twilight wanted us to keep this event feeling calm and manageable, and I can already tell that Tavi—at least—is accomplishing just that. Her purple strings roll soothingly through the crowd, falling on muzzles and beaks... ears and crests with just as much softness and grace as the feathers belonging to those who have blessed Ponyville with their patronage tonight.

I must admit, there's part of me that feels a bit uneasy... queasy, even. It's not that I've never seen a griffon before... it's just that I've never seen so many of them all in one place. And I do mean a lot of griffons... each with a differently shaped beak and a differently colored plumage. I suppose it's an easy sin of familiarity to assume that all griffons—far gone from equine features—would somehow look the same. I'm rather delighted to be so suddenly educated. I suppose that is the purpose of such a function as this.

My observation comes and goes—and for good reason, too. The task of providing background music has been given equally to the two of us. Octavia plays an instrumental on her cello, and then I play two songs... maybe three. I blend them together, mixing and merging tracks as is necessary, and then it's Tavi's turn again. The reason I perform for twice as long as she does is rather simple: it involves less effort on my behalf. Not even Octavia would deny that, and the poor mare needs her rest from all of that string-slicing. I also happen to know how much a venue stresses her out... much less her first venue in... in...

Dear Celestia, just how long has it been? I didn't think about it until now...

Octavia's purple strings come to a gentle conclusion. A brief lapse in music, and the entire room blushes red from a hooves and talons applauding. Then the golden voices begin once more, sprinkled with amber. I'm not quite certain how to describe the sound of griffons. Their voices are raspy, yet dignified. There's a bit of songbird in each of them, something immaculate and untainted despite the bloodied streaks of meat-scented time. Right now, if I was to pen it down, I'd say their voices spotted, like eggs.

I haven't much time to dwell on that. I see Octavia's grin from afar, and I realize it's my turn again. I'm actually quite excited to give the turntable another whirl. I try salvaging something from crystal pony lore, a track I recently made that borrows heavily from samples of northern percussion instruments and fluglehorns. If nothing else, it's guaranteed to be something that griffons haven't heard before. Already, I can see their feathered heads turning. I worry for a moment, for I don't want this to be too distracting. I soon realize I've got nothing to fear.

That's because the one center of attraction is Twilight Sparkle. I don't know who it was—Rarity, perhaps—but some interior decorator thought it was necessary to craft her a "throne" of sorts. As a result, she sits at the very... very far end of the great hall, smiling and waving and... smiling and waving at the mingling "party-goers."

At least she's not alone. I spot two elderly griffons seated next to her. Judging from the coloration of their headcrests, I suspect they're some... super important members of Griffonstone. I slip off my headphones and attempt craning an ear—past my music and past the myriad of conversations. At last, my eyes twitch to see the breaths trailing between Princess and her two esteemed guests. The elder griffons' voices are brown as a latrine, and even Twilight's gray voice dips its way into earthen tones.


Political rhetoric...

But of course...

But then, about two-thirds of the way through my track, I notice a sudden spike—followed by a color shift. One of the griffons' vocalizations ripples with orange hues, then dips briefly into pink. The one beside her nods, joining in with a matching color. Twilight Sparkle reacts with a smile, then waves a hoof invitingly in Octavia's direction.


The conversation continues, their voices like water drops in the bucket of this room. I see Twilight signal aside, and a pink figure zips in her direction. It's Pinkie Pie, and Twilight is whispering a special request into her ear.

The party planner nods, nods some more, then grins. She replies with something golden as the sun, then bounces her way across the room... and right towards Octavia's stage. My roommate is almost caught off guard, but soon she leans down to hear Pinkie Pie's words from the Princess. As Tavi listens, I see her eyes light up. I'm briefly concerned, until I denote the violet pitch in her voice. She nods, then stands up from her stool, picking her cello up again. A pair of eyes dart my way, followed by a nervous, cheekish grin.

Next thing I know, Pinkie Pie is signaling me as stealthily as possible. I nod back, then find a way to segue out of my track, even if the song isn't completely finished. I find a way to do so without too much awkwardness, and suddenly Pinkie Pie is mastering a microphone, her bubbly voice rocking the ballroom with golden vibrations.

"Fillies and Gentlecolts! Ladybirds and dudehawks!"

From across the room—a crimson moan, scarcely audible. It has to be Rarity.

Pinkie continues undaunted: "Please, enjoy the food and friendship! There's plenty more where that came from! But now, courtesy of Her Royal Highness, Twilight Sparkle, we would like to share with you tonight the special, classy—and did I mention classssssy—talent of the one and only Octavia Melody! Performing one of Equestria's finest works—Flight of the Windigos! Believe me—heeheehee—snkkkt—it's a doozy! But you don't have to take my whinny for it! Take it away, Tavi!" The microphone whines. She steps away. The spotlight falls on Tavi.

I lean forward against my turntable. I'm not the only one. Across the way, the two delegates next to Twilight Sparkle are on the edge of their seats, grinning beneath their beaks with anticipation.

I'm so busy observing this that I barely notice that Octavia has begun playing. This is precisely because I'm so used to her performing it from the comforting confines of our foyer's "studio." However, it hasn't occurred to me just how passionate, even violent the rendition is... perfect for meat eating cat birds, I suppose. This instrumental has been built into my bloodstream, and now the rest of the room is feeling it, and I'm not even sure what to think.

Instead, I focus on Tavi's strings, the indigo seriousness of the cello, the purple focus of her chords. Then—there are violet peaks—when she shows off, when she dives, when she comes back up again to swoop into our ears, much like a falcon. Half of the room has bled orange already, and it's the half that the feathers belong to. In the corner, there's a black squeal—Rainbow Dash is pumped, and I can only pray she doesn't knock over the punch bowl in her physical displays of appreciation.

But who can blame her? Octavia is losing it—in the best way possible. Her mane tosses in the air, and a sheen of sweat almost makes the straps of her gown slip. But she continues through, thrashing, gnawing her way. The cello weeps from its punishment, but the masterpiece must be finished. It knows this, and the next wave of notes are a deluge of mournful beauty, rocking every soul until even the equines amongst us have their breaths stolen away. And just when everyone thinks it's finish, Octavia shreds them apart—shredding her strings apart—daring to ride the crest once more. Her teeth are gnashing together, like a mother foaling, and when the snow is pierced, the lingering chill lulls us all back to gravity's tug. Her last few chords fall and drift like feathers, and she ends, panting, bowing, and smiling.

The resulting wave of crimson almost knocks me on my butt. There's a little bit of magenta in the middle of all that. I don't even know the word that I said, but I join the applause anyways. When the dizziness fades, I see Octavia standing and bowing again. Her eyes dart my way, a brief joining of purple locks, and she accidentally tugs at a distance—hooking me with a violet giggle, with glossy eyes.

I smile back at her, and that's enough to dry them. She sits down, catches her breath, and bows once more towards the far end of the ballroom.

The delegates seated next to Twilight return with stately salutes. The Princess smiles. She signals Pinkie who signals me, and it's my time to roll the musial credits to this climax. Which is perfectly fine.

Tavi's earned a century-long respite.

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