• Published 24th Sep 2015
  • 17,167 Views, 896 Comments

What's Your Story, Morning Glory? - Bucking Nonsense

Morning Glory has succeeded in becoming Princess Luna's personal student. But how did she get there, and where will she go afterwards?

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That Fateful Night, That Fateful Day

It wasn't a dark and stormy night.

It really should have been. A night where somepony performs a deed that will change the life of another forever really should have a few dramatic rumbles of thunder for effect, or at least a heavy rain to imply that the sky itself is saddened by events such as these. However, since this was Cloudsdale, that wasn't going to happen: The weather around the floating city was among the safest and most secure in all of Equestria. It had to be, since a storm cloud colliding with the floating city could have disastrous results. It doesn't rain in Cloudsdale, either, barring that one time where it mysteriously rained upwards for a week. Given that Discord was still in stone at the time, nopony can say for certain how that happened, although given that a grey filly with a blonde mane was born that particular day...

Well, the point is, it was a surprisingly calm and quiet night, in a city that is used to calm and quiet nights. Every pony was asleep in their beds, dreaming peacefully. All save a cloaked mare who was carefully making her way through the city. It was not the careful of a pony who was being unusually cautious in drawing attention to herself, but rather that of somepony who was carrying a delicate burden that she wanted to make sure would not be dropped accidentally. It was the careful of a pony who knew that no one would notice her being up this late, so long as she remained silent. After all, the streets of Cloudsdale were paved with clouds, not dirt or stone, so she could have broken into a flat run and not be noticed, had she wanted to.

But one does not run while carrying this kind of burden. Oh no, definitely not.

The cloaked mare quickly reached a building that was unremarkable, barring the sign which indicated that this was the local orpanage. She carefully set down her burden in front of the building's entrance, but then, the mare paused, then picked it back up, hugged it, and then set it down again. The bundle coo'ed softly as it was set back down.

The figure knocked on the door, loud enough to wake anypony within, then ran away, quickly turning to take cover behind a nearby building. A few seconds later, a plump mare opened the door, and with the sort of experience common to those who run a home for parentless children, looked down and saw the bundle, which had begun crying.

As the cloaked mare watched the crying foal be taken inside, a small sob could be heard, and a few teardrops seen to fall. When at last the foal was out of sight, the mare whispered, "I'm so, so sorry..." Then she stepped out of hiding, and fled into the night.

On a nearby rooftop, a filly watched all of this unfold. She had a coat as white as chalk, and a mane and tail as black as ink. On her flank was a cutie mark of a dark purple flower.

Behind her, a tall figure appeared in a brief flash of light. The small filly froze for moment, then asked, in a voice choked with emotion, "And all this time... you knew?"

Both figures suddenly vanished in another flash of light. It would be a long time before anyone heard the next part of that conversation...

Five years later...

It was most definitely a bright and sunny day...

Morning Glory rode the gondola down from Cloudsdale with a resolute expression, as she struggled to stifle the urge to cower and quiver with fear. It was one of Equestria's most terrible ironies, that an earth pony filly who'd been raised in Clousdale would be terrified of heights. However, the only way down was this gondola. Well, the only safe way down: There were much faster, and much more... final ways down, but Glory was not in that big a hurry. The gondola was safest, especially on a clear day like this one.

Still, it was difficult for her to ride like this, being carried in a basket by half a dozen pegasai. It was a fairly gentle ride, but back at the orphanage, the young filly had been given enough 'Flying Lessons' by her peers that even this was a nerve-wracking experience for her.

It wasn't that she hated the orphanage, really: Miss Butterbean, the mare who ran it, was a very kind, patient, and loving pony, the sort that had more than enough love for more than twenty colts and fillies. However, since there were twenty colts and fillies, and only one Miss Butterbean (And the occasional volunteer worker who came by to help out for a day or two), that meant that there wasn't a way for her to keep track of every one of her charges at all times.

And it can be a terrible thing, being the only earth pony in an orphanage that was almost completely fully of pegasai...

Glory gulped, feeling the familiar weight of her pendant against her throat as she did so. It was the only thing she had that was really and truly hers and hers alone: A small blue gemstone on a silver chain, it had been around her neck for as long as she could remember. It was also heavily enchanted, and was the reason why she could walk on clouds like any pegasus could. Perhaps most importantly, the chain had grown as she had grown, and was literally impossible to remove unless the young filly was on solid ground. Whoever had made it for her had taken every possible precaution to make certain it would keep her safe while up in the clouds.

She'd been told that it was believed to be a keepsake from her parents. She had no way of knowing for sure...

As the gondola gently came to a rest, Glory ran a mental checklist to make certain that she had everything that she'd need.

Note to Miss Butterbean explaining what was going on left thoughtfully on the kindly mare's desk where it would be easy to find when she came back from the store? Check.

Backpack with enough food to last a week, long enough to reach Canterlot on hoof? Check.

Flier detailing when and where the test would be held? Check.

Map, compass, blanket, pillow, and her teddy bear? Check, check, check, check, and check.

Her copy of 'Magic For Beginners', written by Galaxy, the principal of Princess Celestia's School for gifted unicorns, herself? Check.

Certain that she had everything that she needed, Glory exited the gondola quietly, and calmly walked off, nopony questioning where she was headed to. Which was good, since the youngster was uncertain if she could give a lie convincing enough to pass more than the most superficial interrogation. Thankfully, her seemingly nonchalant attitude was more than enough to dissuade investigation, so she was easily able to get well out of sight.

The young filly took a deep breath, looked up at the sky, and recited the sentence of Magic For Beginners, a sentence that had been the inspiration of her life's ambition to learn magic...

"Anyone can be a wizard..."

Looking back to the road, her face took on a determined expression, and she broke into a dead run.

Seven days...

Princess Luna's test for a new student would begin in just seven days. Glory had to be there in time, or all this preparation would be for nothing!

"Can you do that for me, sweetie?"

Flash Sentry nodded, and said, "Sure: Find the filly, then tail her all the way to Canterlot. If she looks to be getting into any trouble, or if she's looking like she might not make it in time, fly in and help her. Otherwise, let her make it on her own."

Miss Butterbean, his aunt, nodded and said, "Thanks, nephew. I hate to ask you this while you're on leave, but..."

The off-duty guard shrugged, and said, "It's no problem. I honestly didn't know what I'd do for a week in Cloudsdale after checking in on the family. It's actually nice to have a chance to spread my wings and do something other than just standing around in my armor and looking intimidating for once." He paused, then asked, "Are you sure you don't just want me to find her, and take her there myself, without all the hiding and spying?"

Butterbean paused, then said, "I thought about it. Honestly, I could get you and her a train ticket to Canterlot easily, and have you both there, safe and sound, but... well, I've done what I can to make it easier on her, but I know the other youngsters have bullied her when I'm not looking, and unlike most orphanages, we don't get many visitors looking to adopt. Thing is, she's an independent little darling, and she likes to try and do things on her own, so even if she never gets adopted, I don't have any worries about what she'll be like as an adult. Still, this is her first time outside of Cloudsdale, and out into the world: If she's brave enough to try and have an adventure out on her own, then why not let her have one? She's only going to be young once, and it might be a good experience for her to go out and see the world on her own... with a little supervision, of course." With a small smile, she added, "Just make sure she gets there, and gets back, safe and sound. And you, too."

"Sure thing, Aunt Beanie," Flash agreed with a smile of his own.