• Published 28th Jun 2017
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Comparing Notes - Rose Quill

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That's how it could have happened prt 1: Rose Quill

I sighed as I walked down the halls of the school, my hooves making little noise on the carpeted surface. I had just finished up my first series of classes, and I have to say that I had never imagined teaching to be as much fun as it could be. I wished that the high could have continued a little longer, but no.

As always, the depressive side rose up. It had been almost a year since that fateful day on the beach of Hello Tropics. We had tried to keep in contact, but slowly the magic of the books just depleted until they couldn't even send a single character through. And now, without some sort of signature from his home dimension, I couldn't repower them even with the help of my aunt, the Princess Twilight Sparkle. It had been silent for four months now.

I entered my room and levitated my glasses off and set them on the end table. My chambers were on the interior wall, where sunlight couldn't filter in. As I had gotten older, my affliction had changed a little, sunlight now only irritated my eyes on the bright of the moon, but it was still where I had to wear ruby glasses. I still wore the ones I had received almost three years ago since I was used to their constant shifting effect.

And there it was, on a book stand in the corner. The journal I had been given, open to a particular page, one where I could always feel better after reading his words.

No matter what happens, I have faith in you. Even without magic, you'd rip open the gates just to spite them.

You can do anything, Middy.


"He always did believe, didn't he?" a voice from behind me spoke up.

I turned to see Starlight Glimmer behind me, her glasses perched just above her horn, her greying mane tied up in a loose tail.

I nodded. "Yeah," I whispered. "Yeah, he did."

She came over and gave me a brief hug. “You’ll figure it out,” she whispered.

I shrugged, my mind who knew how many miles away. “Yeah, someday maybe.”

"Well, before I forget, the headmistress wants to see you," she continued and turned to leave. "And she wants you to bring the journal."

I blinked. The journal?

"So, as I understand it," I hear my Aunt Sparky saying. "It's merely a matter of funding, of which I have no issues with. The Ponyville School for Unicorns will remain open and tuition-free for as long as I see it should be."

"I'm not saying we need to charge an outrageous tuition, Your Highness, just..."

"Diamond Tiara," Twilight spoke. "You know I hate that title."

"Sorry, Headmistress."

"Secondly, I understand that you want to expand the school," I heard hoofsteps on the floor. "But I know plenty of Unicorns that could never afford Celestia's school that would have shone brighter even than myself or Professor Glimmer. Now, I believe Professor Sky is here to see me."

I glanced at the Earth Pony as she left, the conservative clothing she wore a complete opposite to the stories I had heard from my fellow professor Sweetie Belle and her friends. I sat the journal down and sat before the desk.

"You wanted to see me, Headmistress?"

The Princess Twilight turned, her multi-hued tail floating in its own breeze, much like how Mom's did on this side of the portal. Her horn lit up and the door swung shut behind me.

"No need for titles in here, Middy," she said and walked around the desk. As opposed to Luna, Celestia, and Cadence, she didn't wear the royal regalia. She and Mom both found them rather restricting and not really their style. She had her luminescent mane up in a bun today, reminding me very much of Mother. She hugged me, her wings coming out as she leaned down for balance. Luna's Moon, she was tall.

"So, I understand the book is still out of magic?" she asked as we separated.

I nodded, tossing my horn at my journal. "But it's full of a lot of upliting memories."

She nodded, then her horn lit again. "Come with me," she said quietly.

She teleported us to the chamber that we kept the mirror in and I looked at her in confusion.

"Why are we here?" I asked.

Instead of answering, she levitated her own copy of the journal into a bracket at the top, activating the portal.

"Starlight and I have a theory," she said, horn remaining lit as she pulled a dusty key with intricate wardings from a high shelf. "This key was..."

"A final gift from Star Swirl the Bearded," I said. "Mom told me the story."

"Yes, well..." she said, a little flustered. She hated it when I interrupted her, it threw off her speeches. "In any event, I never did figure out what it's supposed to open. But, if you look closely at the shield, it's vaguely shaped like the mirror."

I eyed the end of the key, suspiciously. It did bear a passing resemblance.

"That's a bit of a stretch, Aunt Sparky."

"Bear with me," she said, taking my journal from my grip and settling it on the bracket with the journal that powered the portal. The vortex took on a slight orange hue and she nodded.

"If what I think is right, this might bear fruit," she said and stretched the key out to the portal. It touched the surface and started to glow with a multicolored light before it died to a muted pink, very similar to the streak of Lighty's hair. Star Swirl's cutie mark faded from the shield, muted light still standing there.

Twilight offered the key over to me. "Off you go, then," she said, indicating the portal.

"Do you even know where it goes now?" I asked. "I could be eaten by Timberwolves."

"Which is why you have the key and I'm going to keep the portal open for five minutes," she replied. "Either you can open another rift with the key, or you return however you wound up there. But if my hypothesis is right, the residual magic from your journal might be too weak to cross the threshold, but it might have enough for the portal to pick up the frequency..."

"Of the harmony of the other world," I finished, heart beating as I snatched the key from her aura with mine and wrapped her in a tight hug. "Thanks so much, Aunt Sparky!"

She smiled as she returned the hug. "Thank me after you figure it out. And then, the two of you have been commanded to appear for dinner by Fluttershy."

I smirked. "I doubt it's a command," I said.

"It was," my aunt said with a grave look. "She said 'Very much.' when she said that she hopes it works."

"Wow," I said. "Then I better hope we find out."

I turned and raced for the portal.

Sunlight was swapping out the blades on the lawnmower when he heard the car pull up. He was pretty good about recognizing the regular visitors to the house by engine noise, but this one was soft, almost inaudible. An electric, so that meant either Fluttershy or one of the newer cabs. Seeing as how Fluttershy was inside with his parents at the moment, that left cab. He went back to working on the blades until he heard a quiet footstep.

He looked, but all he could see was a pair of dark-washed jeans and the sort of generic boot that a lot of women wore this time of year. As he started to wriggle out from under the mower on the small lift, he started to speak.

"Can I help you?"

"I sure hope so," the voice said, causing him to freeze for a second. He scrambled out, and there she was, the smirk the same as he remembered it, and so were the tears.

"Middy?" he whispered.

The girl in front of him ponied up, tail swishing softly. "Hiya, Lighty," she whispered before she leaped forward and hugged him. The sudden sense of another mind in his triggered his own pony form, and as he held her tightly, he could only laugh through some tears of his own.

"Took you long enough," he whispered.

She slapped him gently on the arm as she pulled away a little, keeping her hands on his shoulders. "I just broke a few laws of physics, here," she said incredulously. "And the best you got is 'Took you long enough'? Give me a..."

Her words were cut off as he pulled her in and kissed her. When time resumed, she brushed a few silver locks from her face and looked at him, her cheeks bright red.

"That's...that's better," she breathed.

"So, how?" he said.

She held up a pink key. "This is for you. It will alter the destination of the portal to my dimension and from my world to yours."

Light held the key, seeing that on the shield it had his cutie mark on one side and hers on the other.

"You do have a standing dinner invitation, by the way," Midnight said, linking her arm through his. "And we got to get you used to walking on hooves."

"Sounds fun, Professor," he teased. "When's the test?"

She slapped her hand against his stomach before reaching up and taking his face in her hands.

"Just hold me, you silly, silly boy."

He laughed, pulling her into a hug.

"All day,” he said softly. “Every day."