• Published 12th Mar 2013
  • 3,362 Views, 216 Comments

This is Cloudsdale! - deathtap



While doing a census of ponies in Ponyville, Twilight discovers something peculiar about pegasi. Ever the curious one, she decides to investigate and get to the bottom of it. Will what she learns change the way she views her friends? Probably not.

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Discovery

Twilight looked at her records and sighed. Taking a census of the ponies in Ponyville had been real easy with practically no problems whatsoever. Sure there were some discrepancies, usually with unicorns in town trying to make claim that they were somehow directly related to the Equestrian Royalty, but Twilight had expected that and would have to make a note in her report so those who were especially insistent could be verified by those with proper access to the right records. After all, most of the details pertaining to unicorn ancestry were stored in Canterlot anyway. All in all, everything was good.

Except when it came to the pegasi.

Every time she tried to talk to one of them about the census, they would find excuses and make themselves scarce. Even her best friend Rainbow Dash had avoided Twilight to the point where it was abundantly clear that she did not want to take part in the census at all. Not that Twilight would have minded, except the Princess had insisted that special care be taken for the Elements of Harmony. Perhaps there were some distant relationship between her and her friends that connected them to the original bearers, something that even Twilight got giddy about when she thought about it.

Not that anypony really remembers the original bearers, or who they were, or if in fact there were others apart from Princesses Celestia and Luna, and they rarely talked about that time. Still, the thought of that knowledge being available through her own hard work had bolstered her need to know more about her friends. What if they were indeed decedents of the original bearers, or if they were somehow related to the Royal Sisters? Twilight got giddy just thinking about it.

Applejack was the easiest as she had her own family tree traced back generations, almost to the time of Princess Luna's banishment to the moon. During that war a lot of records had been destroyed making it hard for families to trace back beyond that time. Rarity also had an impressive family line, although some of it seemed to be a little farfetched. Pinkie only knew her family right up to her great-great-great-great-great grandparents, and Twilight herself could trace her own family line almost as far back as Applejack's. But as for Rainbow and Fluttershy, their family and for that matter, their histories, were an utter mystery. Apart from growing up in Cloudsdale, Twilight realized she hardly knew anything about her pegasi friends' backgrounds.

She had delayed confronting her friends for as long as possible and soon she would have to insist -- something she did not like doing especially to her best friends. With a deadline quickly approaching and not wanting to be tardy, Twilight was between a rock and a hard place. She needed the pegasi in Ponyville to tell her what she needed to know, and it really bothered her that not a single one of them was being helpful. She had to get results, Princess Celestia was counting on her.

"Why is this harder than it has to be?" she moaned, muffled by being pressed against an open book in front of her. The book was a list of all the pegasi she had yet to talk to. Not a single one had a check mark next to it.

"Why not just write it from memory, Twilight?" Spike asked, laying a cup of warm cocoa next to her. "I mean, we know everypony in Ponyville."

"It's not that simple, Spike. We need more than just their names and birth dates. All sorts of missing information needs to be filled out, and I can't lie. They need to tell me so that I can get the right information." Twilight picked up another batch of notes and placed them into a large box, "So, no, we can't do that."

Spike stood aside for a moment, "What information do you need?"

"Parents details actually. Their names, and where they were born. And their grandparents if possible. Most of this is to link family lines between the cities to try and see where they all came from. It's all so exciting."

"Sure it is," Spike muttered to himself, folding a pair of woolen socks and placing them in a drawer. "Why not just ask Rainbow or Fluttershy to come over and answer your questions?"

"Already have," Twilight replied in a whiny voice, "but Rainbow just zipped away and Fluttershy hasn't responded. None of the other pegasi even humor me. They all make up one excuse up or another."

As if on cue, there came a knock on the door.

"I wonder who that could be at this time?" Spike muttered and walked to the door. It was already very late in the evening.

For the first time since the beginning of her conversation with her number one assistant, Twilight lifted her head out of her book. "Who is it, Spike?"

"Fluttershy!" Spike yelled back, and sure enough the butter colored pegasus floated in right behind the dragon landing in the middle of the library.

"H-hello, Twilight," she said smiling as Twilight beamed at her. "Um... what did you need me for?"

"I need you to help me. I need to finish this census report for the Princess," Twilight began. At the word 'census', Fluttershy's eyes began to look every else except at her, "but no pegasi will speak to me!"

"O-oh? I w-wonder why that is..." Fluttershy fidgeted.

Twilight looked at her friend, "Do you mind helping me, Fluttershy?"

The yellow mare looked at her friend, "O-okay... I'll try."

"Great!" Twilight used her magic to pull up a chair, a small table, and a comfy sofa for her friend to sit on. She did so slowly and cautiously. "So, first things first. What's your full name?"

"Fluttershy," the yellow mare smiled happily at the knowledge that she was helping her friend.

"Okay." Twilight jotted it down on a piece of paper. "Where were you born?"

"Cloudsdale."

"When were you born? No, never mind, I'll fill that one out myself," Twilight said writing her best friend's birth date in. "Okay, so... um... what's your father's name?"

There was no response.

"Um... Fluttershy?"

A nearly inaudible squeak.

"Fluttershy?"

"I... don't know..." she said quietly.

That caught Twilight off guard. She had thought she knew everything about her but this was the first time she'd ever actually asked about Fluttershy's father. She couldn't help but feel ashamed, but this subject had never really been brought up before, and Twilight mentally kicked herself for never asking.

"Okay, what about your mother's name?"

Again she was met with silence.

"Fluttershy?"

"I... don't know it..." Fluttershy stated weakly.

Twilight resisted the urge to pry, seeing that Fluttershy was visibly upset. Perhaps this wasn't the time, but discovering that your friend was an orphan... it really stunned the lavender mare.

"Um... thank you, Fluttershy," Twilight placed the completed census report into an envelope and sealed it, "that's all I need. You've been very helpful."

At those words, Fluttershy's demeanor instantly perked up, "Really? Oh, that's great! Woohoo!"

"So, I'll see you tomorrow?" Twilight asked.

There was a gathering with the girls over at the Stable Yard, their latest favorite café. Rarity had insisted they had to try it out, being a fan of new and latest things. They found the ambiance, the music, and the service exceptional. It was the perfect place to go to catch up on things.

"Of course, wouldn't miss it."

As Fluttershy left, Twilight looked at Spike, "Did you know that Fluttershy has no parents?"

Spike shrugged, "Neither do I. So what?"

Twilight didn't quite know how to respond to that.

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