• Published 20th Dec 2016
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Friendship Games: Friendship Makes Magic - ImNoPony

The great epic showdown set in an alternate continuity where human Twilight must face her old school and her old "friends" and Sunset will have to face herself.

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Chapter 9- Abacus Cinch

It has been a few minutes since Crystal Prep had vacated itself off of Canterlot High's grounds. The teachers quickly found out what has happened and they soon feel the same emotions as the students; upset, somewhat frustrated and generally depressed. However, while they were concerned for the 7 students that got their life drained from them by weird experimental devices disguised as jewelry, everyone was most worried about the severely cracked mirror on the school's statue.

Outside by the front, Twilight, Sunset, Rainbow, Pinkie, Fluttershy, AJ and Rarity was resting on the school steps and were regaining their strength. They... well putting it bluntly, they feel like crap. They feel fatigued, they regret not doing anything while Principal Cinch was ruining all the process that they made and they were worried if they still can pony-up or not. But while they were recuperating, the girls can only watch as the principals in front of them are trying to fix the issue.

Principal Celestia was standing in front of the damaged mirror and closely examining it. Not once before Twilight arrived to their school that she was concerned about the old mirror that is attached to the equally old statue. But now, after finding out on what it actually is; an inter-dimensional gateway to a world parallel theirs, Celestia never felt more unsure on how to handle the current issue. She didn't know if she should consult a mirror repair company, elite theoretical scientists, supernatural occult experts or chasing up previous heads of the school. Celestia was at a total lost. It also didn't help matter that when anybody tries to get near it, scary dark lights would begin pulsing through the cracks.

Vice Principal Luna was also not faring any better. After finding out what she done to their students, she thought that she could chase her up and demand what is going through her head. However, all attempts trying to contact her via cellphone was met with silence or annoying answering machines. Luna even thought about calling other people close to her like Dean Cadence. However, even this turns out to be another fruitless endeavor.

"Ugh! Even Cadence isn't picking up her phone" Luna moaned as she turn to Celestia. "I think Cinch is making sure she doesn't answer."

Celestia frowned in sadness as she sees that as a likely possibility.

As the school principals were deep in thought, wondering how it could be possible to fix any of these messes, Twilight watch them from the distance. She saw them being utterly lost on what to do and she couldn't help but to feel responsible for all of this. Mustering up the little strength that she regained, Twilight manage to pick herself up and slowly stumble over to Celestia and Luna. When they notice her approach, Twilight woefully says to them:

"I am so sorry Principal Celestia. If it weren't for me..."

But knowing what she was going to say, Celestia stops her. "Now hold on Twilight" she sternly stated. "None of this is your fault. You did the best that you could and that is everything that we could ever asked for. You even manage to give Canterlot a win."

"Yeah But How's That Any Good For Us Now!" Twilight yelled back. "Our relations with Crystal Prep is now back to square-one, our magic gotten stolen and the mirror portal is on the verge of collapsing! If I was a even a bit more observant, then some of these things could have been prevented."

Twilight breaths heavily, not only to hold up her own body but also the huge responsibility she put on herself. Celestia was about to say something to her... until someone beat her too it.

"You shouldn't put all the blame on yourself there Twilight"

When Twilight look behind her, she saw her friends picking themselves up coming towards her. Like Twilight, there weren't in perfect, healthy conditions but they were strong enough to stand.

Sunset tells her: "You aren't the only one who feels responsible for any of this".

"You guys..." Twilight softly muttered.

As they came up to her, Fluttershy says to her: "We were responsible to make sure everyone was getting along and becoming friends."

"And I should have realized that they weren't wearing real jewelry" Rarity added.

"We all should have realize the large crack growing on the mirror" Pinkie added was also pointing towards it. "I mean seriously. We had a weeks to notice it but none of use did!?"

Sunset then nonchalantly remarks: "Yeah, I guess I should have paid a bit more attention to it, considering it's my only way back home." While everyone did say it, they concur with Sunset.

"Anyway Twilight, you shouldn't feel that all the weight should be on your shoulders" Applejack tells her. "We all had a part to play we all should share the blame in all of this."

Touched that all of her friends would come to comfort, Twilight felt a small tear dripping drown her face. Pulling them all on for a hug, she says: "Thanks you guys" and show how much she loves them.

"Aww" Rarity and Pinkie sounded as they appreciated the hug. And while they all were hugging, Celestia was enjoying the heartwarming scene that she is witnessing.

However, once their group hug was over, Rainbow Dash then loudly states: "However, the person who is mostly to blame for all of this is Principal Cinch fellow."

"Yeah!" Pinkie angrily agreed. "If it weren't for her, everyone would be friends by now."

Rarity says: "I have to agree. She seems like an awful woman who like to freeze over everything."

All the teenage girls were voicing the agreement. For people like Twilight who sort of know her and Fluttershy who like to think there's good in everybody, they were hesitant to call Cinch anything really nasty. However, with everyone coming into agreement and the way she just behaved, they couldn't but to go along with them.

But then, Celestia tells: "Now hold on a minute girls. Don't be too hasty."

Shocked, Rainbow yells out loud: "Why the heck not!?"

"Yeah. It's like she hate friendship or something" Pinkie Pie bluntly remarks.

Keeping a cool and collected head, Luna tells the girls: "Well if you knew Cinch as long as we have, you'd know that isn't exactly true."

"Wait, what!" AJ reacted. "You two had a history with her?"

"Yes, we do" Celestia replied. "We all knew each other, along with Dean Cadence, back when we were in school."

All the girls were blown away when they heard such revelation. Twilight was too

As the group of girls were on them, Celestia and Luna could see that they have an old story to tell. Even though the story was a bit personal and embarrassing, they feel like that they have to know. After taking a deep breath, Celestia says to them:

"It all started in our final year of highschool..."

And as she begins her story, Celestia begin to reminisce and flashback to her school days with her sister, Cadence and Cinch.

"... Cinch, Cadence and Luna and I were top honor students. We excel in all of our subjects and we all were planned to go into teaching together."

And within the resurfacing memories, Celestia could recall them all sitting around a school bench during lunch and planning the Friendship Games.

"Ok, so in the first round, it would be an academic triathlon. And in the second, it would be a sporting event" said a young and enthused Abacus Cinch.

"Ok but what are we gunna have in the sporting?" asked a young Cadence.

After giving some thought, a young Luna suggests: "Hmm... How about making it all a race where the students have to do a different physical event along the way."

"Kind of like a relay race?" Cadence acquire.

"Yes, exactly!"

Then in the present, Luna add: "But while we were all bright students, some were brighter then others."

Young Celestia suggests: "I could see stuff like bicycles and roller-blades being really popular in the future. So why not have one be a bike race, an other would be a Rollerblade derby and the last one... any suggestions?"

Cinch replies: "Actually, I was sort of thinking on having archery be the first event."


"Well, if an none-athletic student got put on the team, they would have a better chance at archery then any other sport."

"Hey yeah, I could see how that would work."

When she could see all of her friends agreeing and liking her idea, Cinch made a massive smile across her face, temporally forgetting that she has braces on.

"Cinch wasn't like how she is now. She was nicer, more optimistic and she was the top contender to be valedictorian. She wasn't quite popular, but she already had all the friends that she wanted."

"But then came the party."

"Hey, guess what everyone?"

"What Cadence?"

"We all just got invited to Regal Pants Party!"

"Regal Pants! The wealthiest person in school?" Luna enquire.

Back in the present, Rarity interrupt the story so she could ask: "Regal Pants? Is he by any chance related to..."

But before she could finish, Rainbow shushed her so Celestia and Luna could continue.

"The very same!" Cadence replied.

While Celestia was rather happy with this delightful news (she is one for parties after all), Luna and Cinch was rather skeptical about the thing.

"Why would Regal Pants invite all of us?" Luna curiously asked.

Cadence explains: "Well... he sort of invited me and he would let me bring all of you."

"Ok, but still why?"

But while Luna had a confused expression on her face, Celestia sort of laughs to her sister's lack of perception. "Isn't it obvious?" Celestia remark. "Regal is trying to get onto Cadence's "good side", if you know that I mean."

After having it explained to her, Luna could finally see why. Out of all of them, Cadence was by far the cutest one in their group and much more sort after by the guys. Cadence herself was little bit embarrassed that she didn't realize it sooner. But once she done feeling that way, Cadence ask them:

"So... do you all still want to go."

In no later then a short pause that Celestia quickly says: "Well I know I definitely want to go."

And after giving a huff, Luna then remarks: "Well if you're going, I better come along so you won't stay there all night."

But then, while Cadence was happy to see two of her friends are coming along, she notice that Cinch was a bit more reserve with the idea.

"I don't know you guys. I would just prefer if we just stay home and study."

But Celestia then protests: "Oh come on Abacus! We already finish all of out studying. This might be out last chance to party as high-schoolers. Don't you want to have your first party experience."

Cinch was still unsure. However, with all the yearning gazes from her friends begging her to come, she might have felt a little bit pressured.

As she had expected, Cinch was a total wallflower. Looking at the wild teenagers partying and chatting their lives away, Cinch was standing by near the food table, too nervous to do anything fun.

She knew that she won't find anything fun here. Or at least, nothing fun for her. Meanwhile, all of her friends were easily fitting in with the other groups. A bunch of guys were chatting it up with Cadence and Luna was talking with a group nerds who were fans of the supernatural. And Celestia...

"Little did we know that the dean of our school was also attending that party. He was Regal Pant's uncle and I got into a conversation with him. I can't remember what we talk about, but I think Abacus must have thought I was trying to get into his good graces.

And then..."

While Cinch was feeling envious of Celestia, she suddenly heard a teen shout out: "Dog On The Loose!"


And just then, Cinch suddenly spotted a brown greyhound running towards her. Before she could do anything, the greyhound jump up to her and try to give her kisses. Very quickly, Cinch's nose begins to burn up and her allergies was raising through the roof.

"Ah... Ha... ACHOO!!!"

A sound of a large sneeze echoed through out the room and caught everyone off guard. The next thing they heard was a large crash sound coming from the food table. Celestia, Luna and Cadence instantly became worried for Cinch and slow begin to panic for her well being.

Everyone crowd around the food table and notice the whole thing was in a total mess. Food and drinks was splattered about (and was being eaten by the dog), the table itself was broken and a person who was literally covered head-to-toe in food and mush slump over on the floor. It took everyone a minute to recognize her but they could see that it was Cinch. When Cinch finally get the goop off of her glasses, one teen cries out...

"Well I Guess We Know That "Dog Walker" Won't Be A Career In Her Future!"

"Ah Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!"

At that moment, everyone in the room burst out laughing. Even the dean couldn't stop himself from chuckling. The only people who weren't laughing at Cinch was her friends who could see the shock expression on her face. Cinch, the person who didn't wanted to come, was now the laughingstock of the party. The scene of people laughing at her was forever ingrain into her head."

"And unfortunately, that wasn't the end to the young Principal Cinch's torment" Celestia regretfully informed. "ages after the party had ended, people still made fun of her for what had happened at the party. It was so bad, she even tempted to skip school a couple of times.
She only didn't because she thought it would jeopardize her position for valedictorian."

"However, that was all in vain." Luna added. "When it was time for our graduation, Celestia was pick for valedictorian and not Cinch. This despite the fact that Cinch had far better grades than Celestia. The only explanation was that the dean must have been influenced by the party and mess with his opinions a bit."

And with a heavy heart, Celestia then states: "At that moment, Cinch must have come up with the conclusion that if you want to get far in life,
you mustn't show any weaknesses and get people's opinions to be in your favor. To have... a reputation."

When the principals was finish telling their story, Twilight and the other girls were in total silence. None of them thought that Cinch would have such a experience like that in school and never question where she got that attitude from. But now that they heard about it, they just got a new perspective on thing.

"Now do you see why Principal Cinch acts like the way she does?" asked Principal Celestia to her students.

After a moment of pause, Twilight softly replies: "Yes."

"Jeez. After an experience like that, isn't it any wonder that she acts so... so... distantly" said Fluttershy who wanted her thoughts to be spoken.

Pinkie Pie adds: "Yeah and it was all because of a party. Parties aren't meant to make people feel sad. They are meant to make people happy."

Rainbow Dash then responds by saying: "Yeah, but does that give her a right to steal our magic?"

"I have to agree" Applejack responded. "No matter what her reason is, what she did in the hall was too far."

However, Rarity tries to argues: "But still. If things were a little bit different for her, she might not have done it."

"Yeah, but we can't delve into what "might have happened" and focus what did" Twilight replied, even though she still feel sorry for Cinch.

But while everyone was still discussing about Principal Cinch, Sunset was still transfixed on something else. "Um guys. I know you are having a deep conversation and everything, but what do you think we're gunna do with the portal."

And when she said that, everyone then remembered about the mirror portal and how it currently crack. Looking at it now, with scary dark mists leaking out of it, they all were left wondering what they were going to do.

"Hmmm?" Pinkie sounded.

And then light a lightning bolt, Pinkie suddenly grab a large piece of plywood and a roll of duct tape (almost out of nowhere). She cover the whole mirror with the plywood then use the duct tape to make it stuck to the statue. She then tape pieces of paper on to it that says "Danger! Don't Touch!" or "Broken Glass! Don't Come Near!"

Once she was done, Pinkie tell her friends: "Ok! Until we know how to fix it, no one is allowed to come near it!"

Everyone wasn't sure if this is a good idea. It wasn't really a solution. At best, she was just covering it up. However, this might be the best action to take until they are safely sure on how to handle it properly. At least it is made clear that you aren't suppose to come near it.

But with that out of the way (for now), everyone was now left to wonder how they are gunna handle the Friendship Games this point forward. The Crystal Prep students now have their magic, but do they know how to use it? Better yet, do they know the right way to use it? Sunset, Twilight and their friends all now the dangers of using magic selfishly, how dark desires can corrupt it. And will Principal Cinch will force them to use it? And even though this isn't high on the priority list, but could they still get Canterlot it's victory.

But whatever happens, all they know it that things will come to it's head next week, during the last round of the Friendship Games.

Author's Note:

Well, this is longer then I wanted it to be, but at least it wasn't 4000 words or longer.

Do you know what I was trying to do in the chapter? I was trying to give a sympathetic backstory for Abacus Cinch! After the last chapter, I notice all the comments about how the readers love to hate her and can't wait to get her just deserts. Imagine my expression for when I flip all their expectations on their heads. The best part was that I plan this all along. Make everyone feel anger towards Cinch and then try to make them feel sorry for her.

Actually, it's kind of funny. Bronies like to make headcanons and reasons for why were should feel sorry for certain villains. Nightmare Moon, Queen Chrysalis, The Dazzlings. But so far, I haven't heard anything for Abacus Cinch? Hm?

Anyway, I was hoping to get the beginning of the last round in this chapter. The part where everybody no longer feel excited for the games, Cadence explaining the rules and the teams racing into the school to find their flags. However, once I found out that it reached 3000 words, I decided to leave of here.

So now, I gunna leave you all off with a question. What will be the main source of the magical conflict during the final round of the games? Will it be Crystal Prep using the magic that they stole or will it be whatever the dark force that is leaking out the cracked mirror?

Anyway, I hope that you enjoyed reading this chapter and feel free to tell me the mistakes that I made so I can fix them.