• Published 31st Oct 2016
  • 795 Views, 46 Comments

Inside the Forbidden Room - EverfreePony



What misadventures await Intern Cheerilee and her collegues behind the door of a school staffroom?

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The New School Year Starts in 3... 2...1...

"I give up!" The head of a young mare groggily hit the table, her horn nearly snapping off on the impact. Her glasses flew away, rattling over the linoleum floor.

"Coffee, Miss Cotton?" A secretary rushed to her side, a giant steaming mug, as well as the mare's runaway spectacles, floating in her telekinetic grip.

"T-Thank you," the mare sobbed, taking the thick glasses in her own magic, rubbing the lenses with her foulard. Then she blew her nose into the very same piece of fabric. She looked at bogey staining the accessory, but dismissed it with a sigh.

Miss Cotton merely winced when the door to the room burst open with a plaintive creak. Its stained glass panels vibrated wildly, nearly falling out as the door hit the wall.

"Good mornin' everyp-- Oh." A large tan unicorn stallion entered the room, his boisterous tone dying immediately at the sight of his collapsed colleague. "Fluffy, is everythin’ alright?"

The mare ignored him, her bloodshot eyes staring blankly into the Canterlot morning fog swirling just outside the window. Tears were slowly rolling down her cheeks and into the mug clutched tightly between her hooves.

"Apparently not. Coffee?" the secretary offered, sidling up to him.

He simply extended his hoof, waiting for the mug to be placed there, then emptied it in one full swig. "Thanks, now be a dear and brin' me one more." The stallion winked at her, corners of his mouth curling up for a moment.

"Of course, Mr Gauge." The secretary quickly skedaddled out of the room, leaving the two ponies alone.

"Fluffy, come on..." Gauge crossed the room and plopped down on a chair next to the sullen mare. "What’s the matter with you?” he said, leaning in slightly. Fluffy just huffed angrily. A sob then escaped her lips, rendering her previous noise rather pathetic.

Gauge looked around the empty room and at the large table in its centre, not yet covered in mountains of papers, books and broken quills. The few sandwiches there called up to his not exactly small stomach. He considered leaving Fluffy to whatever was plaguing her mind, opting for the company of daffodils and dandelions instead.

He stood up, then turned around and tried one last time, “So, how is your new class?"

Cotton's ears perked up. She slowly turned around, her eyes piercing him with a deadly glare.

He took a tentative step back. “Come on, don’t tell me it was that bad.”

Her short mane, normally painstakingly styled by the newest Photo Finish trends, started unfurling and swaying like in an invisible wind. The stallion gulped audibly, drawing back a little more.

"Ah... I thought you always wanted a class of your own." Gauge's eyes nervously twitched as his magic swept every cup and glass from the long table in the centre of the room.

The mare's coat turned a lighter shade of pink as sparks of electricity danced around in her mane. Her eyes narrowed, her stare losing some of its intensity only when a glass flew straight before her muzzle. She soon returned to boring holes through him.

"If you are not feeling well, you can skip today's meeting and go home to have some rest." Gauge forced a laugh through his gritted teeth.
Strings of steam started rising from Fluffy's ears, her coat turning a vibrant white. Droplets of sweat broke on Gauge's forehead as he worked his magic. He directed all the cups, mugs and glasses in his grip to the sink in the corner of the room.

"Deputy Headmaster Spark Gauge..." Cotton's voice was surprisingly calm. Too calm. And too formal. The addressed unicorn innocently grinned back, his magic now struggling with the sink faucets. "What made you think that I'd like my very own class? And you didn’t stop at thinking that, you assigned me one!" she shrieked, her mane catching fire with the last word, her coat radiating with searing heat.

Gauge shut his eyes tightly, turning over all the vessels trapped in his magic just above her head. A waterfall surged down, Fluffy letting out but a surprised gasp. Clouds of fog rolled from the poor mare, the flames extinguished with a sharp hiss.

"Better?" The stallion gently set the cups on the table with a sigh, walking up to the wet ball of fur on the floor.

"I--don't know." The mare sat there a little perplexed, her coat singed and soaking wet. Wisps of smoke and steam danced around her. She stood up shakily, her head hung low. “A l-little,” she sobbed.

A huge tear rolled down her cheek, followed by its brethen shortly after. All dropped into the mug she was still holding convulsively, the level of liquid inside slowly rising, miracurously not affected by Gauge’s flood.

"So...?" The stallion leaned forward, raising her chin with a hoof. Her yellow eyes were drawn to his shifty greyish blue gaze, not noticing a sugarcube being hissed into her tear-filled drink.

"I... t-they... the foals chose Pin the tail on the pony as the 'get to know your classmates' game." Another huge tear sloshed into the mug.

"And what’s wrong with that?" He furrowed his brows. Another sugarcube found its way into the salty coffee.

Without a word, Fluffy Cotton straightened up, turning around to reveal her backside.

Her flanks were adorned by at least a dozen colorful tails, all seemingly growing from the right spot.

"Ouch. Did they use--" Gauge craned his neck and brought his muzzle forth for closer inspection.

"Pins? No, if you wanted to ask that." She extended a hoof, pushing the intruder out of her personal space. "They used... Superglue," the word left her lips as if she couldn't get her teeth apart. A hoofful of sugarcubes splashed into the mug. Fluffy didn’t seem to notice, her ear just twitching at the sound.

"At least they paid you attention. Everypony can't achieve that, as you sure know." He gave her a weak fatherly smile, his hoof fidgeting with the collar of his plaid shirt.

The door opened again, seemingly revealing nopony. The staccato of hooves brought the two teachers to look down. A grey filly with purple mane as straight as a board stepped inside. "Good morning. Is Ms. Heron here? She promised me some books for my geology research project," the small filly said, her voice rather dry and monotonous.

"Good mornin'. No, she isn't. Miss... uh?"

"Pie. Maud Pie."

"I think she is still with her class. You can wait for her outside, Miss Pie. Or wait, I think she said to me something about them..." Gauge tapped his chin. Then he lit up his horn, his magic rummaging through the cabinets and a few already forming piles of papers on the table. "Ah, here are they." A few tomes, each easily larger than the filly herself, flew up, trapped in his telekinetic grip.

"Thank you." Still completely unamused, the filly took them from his magic and, balancing them on her back, turned to leave.

“Miss Pie?” She turned around, facing the deputy head again. “Please knock on the door the next time.”

She blinked, her expression a mere stoic mask. “I believe I am forbidden to knock ever since I accidentally put a hole through Ms. Parallel's door.” She turned again without another word, trotting away as if the books on her back weighed no more than a cloud would.

Upon the filly's departure, the deputy head turned back to his colleague, both slightly taken aback.

Fluffy Cotton blushed a little. "The offer to go home still stands? I don't want others to see me like this." She polished her glasses again and took a big sip of her beverage.

"Yes... though I'm afraid that somepony else will have to sort the new books in the library then." He shrugged as if he couldn't care less. “Ruby will surely be up for the job.” He trotted to his seat at the head of the table, slowly counting the seconds in his head.

"Wait." Cotton's eyes widened as the sugar and caffeine finally kicked in as Gauge came to the number three. “Wait, wait, wait!” She stared at him over the green smear of bogey on her spectacles. "We received a new book delivery and nopony told me? I won't let Rubicon sort them this time, he always makes corrections in the historical ones!" She dashed out the door, leaving a trail of wet hoofprints and at least dozen colors flying behind her.

"Whoa." A grey unicorn stallion barely dodged the excited linguist in the doorway. Given his larger stature and the narrow doorframe, it was quite a feat. "Your work, Spark?" He smirked at Gauge, who sat lazily reclined in his chair.

He just hummed back and raised a hoof to greet his collegue, cracking a satisfied grin.

The newcomer circled the lake on the floor, striding to his chair. "Another first grade issue?"

"Yep." Gauge laughed a little.

The other stallion cocked and eyebrow at the singed spots on the table. "And a fiery rage shift?" He made a futile attempt to scrub off the burnt wood.

"Is there any doubt?"

"Celestia-tier coffee?"

Spark Gauge levitated Fluffy’s mug to his mouth, dipping his tongue into the remaining drink. "Nearly." He laughed, his collegue following suit.

They quieted down a little when the secretary returned, a tray laden with a good dozen cups by her side. She set a few before Spark Gauge, then turned to the newcomer. "Ah, Mr Globe-Trotter! I haven't noticed you. Coffee?"

Author's Note:

I hope you enjoyed the beginning of my little experiment. Just to clarify, this is not Celestia's S.f.G.U. Furthermore, it takes place in past, a good few years back before the first episode of the show.

To any teacher out there, I admire you that you are able to survive and retain (at least some of) your wits!

Questions, comments, remarks?
Please report typos in the form of PM.
My earnest thanks go to Boulder for editing.