• Published 27th Aug 2017
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The Blue Mage - Nebula Star



Gifted with extraordinary power, Apple Bloom must learn to control it and try not to lose herself in the process.

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Chapter 11: Hero

The Blue Mage
By Nebula Star

Chapter 11: Hero
***

Apple Bloom did a little hop as she and the other crusaders left the schoolhouse. They were some of the last out, most of their class was already out in the school yard. “It’s the weekend!” She cheered.

“Finally!” Scootaloo said grinning as well.

Sweetie Belle rolled her eyes. “Come on, School isn’t that bad; especially since Diamond and Silver haven’t been bothering us,” she said and Apple Bloom glanced over at the two rich fillies where they were talking for a bit before heading home. They had been avoiding her and the other crusader’s since their first day of school. “But weekends are nice.” Sweetie concluded.

Apple Bloom grinned. “And we have all evening to do whatever we want; we could go crusading!”

“Or practice magic some more.” Sweetie Belle added.

“We could do that too; maybe even both, we have time.” Apple Bloom agreed. “So, what are we going to do first?”

“You want to go to Sugarcube Corner for milkshakes?” Scootaloo suggested.

“Sounds good to me!” Sweetie Belle said with a grin.



Sugarcube Corner was always busy on Friday evenings, but with Pinkie at the counter, it didn’t take long at all for the crusaders to get their favorite milkshakes, and they talked a bit about school and some of the rumors going around while they enjoyed their treat.

“So we going to go crusading first? Or do you want to practice our magic more?” Sweetie Belle asked when they were almost done with their shakes.

“Ah don’t know, it’s too bad you’re going on a trip tomorrow, Sweetie or we’d have all weekend.” Apple Bloom said regretfully.

“Actually, Rainbow’s taking me to the wonderbolts show tomorrow and we’re going to stay in Cloudsdale overnight.” Scootaloo told them.

“Really?” Apple Bloom asked, surprised.

“Yep, she invited me after flight lessons yesterday.”

Sweetie smiled. “That sounds fun!”

“It’s going to be awesome!”

“So Ah guess that means Ah’ll be on my own for the weekend…” Apple Bloom said with a sigh.

“Guess so.” Scootaloo gave her an apologetic look.

“You’ll be alright, Bloom.” Sweetie said giving Apple Bloom a friendly jab.

She smiled. “Yeah, Ah’ll be fine. Ah’ll probably just get some practice in on my own. Or see if AJ needs help with anything.”

“So what are we going to do tonight?” Sweetie Belle asked.

“We could practice our magic,” Scootaloo suggested. “I don’t think I’ll get much chance the rest of the weekend.”

“We could do that,” Apple Bloom agreed. “We going to keep the same rules, or do we want to try using different magic?”

“Let’s just keep the same rules for now.”

“Well, let’s get going then!” Sweetie Belle said pushing away her empty glass. Having finished their shakes as well, the other two crusaders got up, and they headed out.

“Let’s go to the south park this time.” Scootaloo suggested.

“Sounds good.”



The south park was one of the largest and most open in Ponyville with several large fields on rolling hills. It also happened to be next to one of the richest neighborhoods in the town. They were almost there when they noticed a crowd gathering down one of the streets in front of a large mansion.

“Isn’t that Diamond Tiara’s house?” Scootaloo asked.

Apple Bloom nodded. Her family did business with the Rich family often enough, that she was familiar with their mansion. “Ah wonder what’s going on.”

“Let’s go see.”

They trotted toward the crowd. As they got closer, they saw something that made Apple Bloom start to worry. There was one of the hospital’s emergency carriages out front. Reaching the crowd, they made their way through to the front where they could see. Diamond Tiara was there, out by the front gate with the family’s butler. She was sitting there, in front of a crowd of ponies, crying as she clung to her butler’s leg. The sight of the prideful little filly in tears, not caring who saw was such a shock, that she almost missed the medic ponies coming out of the mansion. It was Sweetie Belle’s gasp that got her attention.

Apple Bloom glanced at her friend and saw her eyes were filling with tears as she stared in horror. She looked where Sweetie was looking and immediately understood why. The medic ponies were wheeling out a gurney; but they couldn’t tell who the pony on it was, because they were completely covered with a white shroud…

The crusaders were young, but even they knew what it meant when medic ponies covered somepony up like that.

“Oh no…” Apple Bloom said softly, her eyes going back to Diamond Tiara. She’d been too young when her own parents had passed to really remember them, but even so, she knew the pain of losing them, at least second hoof. She knew it from the way Applejack and Big Mac spoke about them. By what they said, the look in their eyes. And more recently she’d experienced a more firsthoof taste of that pain, when she’d watched Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo be killed by a hydra. She knew it wasn’t quite the same as losing a parent, and it hadn't been permanent, but it was enough to understand… She had a sinking feeling just who was under that shroud.

She pushed forward past the rest of the crowd, slowly approaching the rich filly. Though they’d been enemies for some time, Apple Bloom still remembered a time when they were younger, when Applejack and Big Mac would take her to the Rich’s estate on business, a time that they’d been friends. It was part of what made Diamond’s insults and slights hurt so much; that they came from a former friend. But no matter how much they may have drifted apart; Apple Bloom couldn’t stand seeing her in such pain. “Diamond Tiara?” She said softly when she was a few short paces away.

Diamond Tiara looked up. Anger joining the unspeakable pain in her eyes. “What do you want!?” She demanded, her voice raw.

“Diamond… I just… I’m sorry…”

“Sorry!? Sorry isn’t going to bring my daddy back! He’s dead, my Daddy’s dead!” Diamond screamed, then took off galloping toward the mansion, the butler followed as quickly as he could. Dr. Scalpel was almost knocked over by Diamond and the butler, barely managing to step aside as he exited the mansion. He looked after the filly for a moment with a sad expression on his face, then with a heavy sigh and a shake of his head, he made his way to the gate, where Apple Bloom still stood.

Seeing her, he gave her a sad smile and went to stand next to her. “I really hate this part of the job.” He said softly as he watched the medic ponies finish loading the emergency carriage. He glanced back at the mansion. “Having to tell little colts or fillies that they’ll never see their daddy again…” He sighed.

Apple Bloom looked down, tears coming to her own eyes.

“The worst part is: If I had gotten here a little sooner, I probably could have saved him.”

Eyes widening, Apple Bloom’s head snapped up. “What did you say?”

“Nothing, just a futile what-if.” He said, and seeing the medics were done, he trotted off after them following the carriage, most of the crowd dispersing with them.

Apple Bloom didn’t move. Dr. Scalpel’s words repeating in her head. ‘If I had gotten here a little sooner…’ A plan began to take shape.

“Apple Bloom, you okay?” Sweetie Belle asked softly, her eyes red from tears.

“I’ve got to talk to Diamond!” Apple Bloom said suddenly and without waiting for a response, galloped through the gate toward the mansion. It might work, but she’d need to know exactly what happened as well as when; and she wanted to bring Diamond along as well.

They hadn’t taken the time to lock the door, so Apple Bloom went right in. She’d only been inside the mansion a few times, mostly when she was younger; but she did recall seeing Diamond’s room back then and thought she could find her way. She galloped through the halls, and soon found that she didn’t have to rely just on memory. Diamond’s cries were more than enough to guide her way.

Pausing at the door, she knocked. A moment later the door was opened by the butler.

“What are you doing in here!?”

“Ah need to talk to Diamond!” Apple Bloom told him, urgently.

His eyes narrowed. “Miss Tiara doesn’t wish to see anypony. I suggest you leave before I call the guard.”

“Please, you have to let me talk to her!”

“I said no.”

Apple Bloom clenched her jaw. “Fine… Ah’m really sorry about this.” She said and her shoulder lit up as she conjured a steel box around him, then slipped past into the room.

“Why are you here!? Get out!” Diamond Tiara screamed.

“Diamond, Ah just want to help.”

“I don’t want your help!”

“But Ah think Ah can save your pa!”

That got Diamond’s attention and she looked up in shock; shock that turned to anger in an instant. “Don’t lie to me! You’re just getting revenge for all the times I made fun of you and your loser friends!”

“No Ah’m not.” Apple Bloom said as gently as she could. “Please, just tell me what happened.”

Diamond glared at her.

“Please Diamond…”

New tears filled her eyes and she looked away. She was silent a moment more, then finally spoke. “I got home from school, and was working on my homework. Then I heard daddy yell and went to see what was wrong. I found him in the study, just lying there… We sent for the Doctor, but by the time he got here… Dr. Scalpel said it was a heart attack.”

Apple Bloom nodded. “What time did it happen?”

“I don’t know! Maybe an hour after I got home! Why do you care!?”

Apple Bloom didn’t answer, she was going over the timing in her head. It might just work. “Diamond, Ah’m going to cast a spell; a spell that will turn back time. When Ah do, you’ll see everything happening in reverse really fast. Ah’ll take us back to when we were just leaving school; then we’ll go strait to the hospital and bring the doctor here so he’ll be here in time to save your pa…”

Anger filled Diamonds eyes along with more tears. “THIS IS NO TIME TO PLAY PRETEND!” She screamed.

Apple Bloom just looked back, calmly. “Ah’m not.” She said in such a gentle caring tone, that Diamond could only stare at her unsure how to respond. “Ah’m casting the spell in three… two… one.”

Her shoulder glowed brightly and she watched as the events of the afternoon reversed themselves. Entering the mansion. Finding out what was going on. Seeing the crowd on their way to the park. Having shakes and talking to the crusaders at Sugarcube Corner. – Eating in reverse was certainly a strange experience, especially sped up as it was; she could literally feel the shake leaving her body and going back down the straw – Finally, the walk from the schoolhouse flashed by.

She ended the spell just after they’d left the building when she was mid hop. Time resumed its normal flow and nearby she heard a gasp of fear. Everypony in the schoolyard looked over as Diamond Tiara looked around in wide eyed shock, while Silver Spoon tried in vain to calm her.

Apple Bloom wasted no time. “Sorry, crusaders; something came up! Got to go!” She said quickly and hurried over to Diamond Tiara. “Diamond?” She said to get the other filly’s attention.

She looked over sharply, recognizing her voice. Surprise and realization filled her eyes.

“Let’s go.” Apple Bloom said simply, nodding in the general direction of the Ponyville hospital.

For a moment, disbelief crossed her expression, then hope shone through and she gave a sharp nod as new tears fell from her eyes. And together they galloped of toward the hospital, leaving behind a schoolyard full of confused friends and classmates.



“How do we convince the doctor to come with us!?” Diamond asked as she galloped alongside Apple Bloom, barely managing to keep up. Apple Bloom slowed down a bit, knowing the other filly wasn’t nearly as physically fit as she was.

“We’ll just tell him that your pa’s having a heart attack; we don’t have to say when.” Apple Bloom told her. It wasn’t lying… not really.

“But if we get there before it happens, won’t he be mad?”

“Probably; but we’ll probably be cutting it close; the hospital ain’t exactly close to your house. And even if we get there early, so long as we can keep him there long enough, everything will be fine. Besides, it’s not like my magic is a secret; if we need to we can just explain it to him, but Ah don’t thing we should waist time tryin’ to convince him if we can avoid it.”

Diamond nodded in agreement already getting out of breath. They still had a ways to go, so she decided to concentrate on her galloping. Even so, her pace slowed before they reached the hospital, so it was more than twenty minutes after they’d left the school that they finally arrived.

They rushed in the front entrance going strait to the reception desk.

“We need a doctor!” Apple Bloom told her, being less out of breath.

The nurse behind the desk looked up at them surprised and concerned. She could tell that they’d galloped some distance and Diamond’s eyes were still red from the tears she’d shed on the way. She knew fillies could sometimes overreact, but she wasn’t about to take any chances. Recalling which doctor was available to handle emergencies; she pushed the intercom button. “Paging Doctor Scalpel, please come to the front reception desk. Doctor Scalpel to the front reception desk,” she said, her voice echoing over the intercom system.

“I’m right here, nurse Gentle Hooves.” Dr. Scalpel said stepping out from an office just down the hall. “What’s the emergency, girls?” He asked having heard them.

“You have to come with us to Diamond’s house! And bring whatever you need to treat a heart attack!” Apple Bloom told him.

“Heart attack? Who’s having a heart attack?”

“My daddy!” Diamond Tiara cried.

That was all he needed to hear. “Gentle, have First Response, and Quick Patch ready the carriage. We’re heading out there.” She nodded and got on the intercom again. Dr. Scalpel gestured for the fillies to follow and headed toward a side entrance where the carriage was waiting. “Everything I need is already in the carriage,” he explained. The two stallions Apple Bloom had seen earlier were already hitching themselves up when they arrived.

“Where to?” One of them asked as Dr. Scalpel help the fillies into the carriage.

“The Rich estate.” Dr. Scalpel told them, climbing into the carriage as well. As soon as he was in, they took off at a gallop. There was no need to tell them to hurry; they knew their jobs. Though the stallions were faster than the fillies; even while pulling the carriage, the distance to the estate was farther than the trip from the school had been so it was nearly another thirty minutes before they finally arrived. Time that Diamond Tiara spent in silent worry, watching the town pass by outside the carriage.

Not knowing what to say. Apple Bloom remained silent as well.

“You’re certain it was a heart attack?” Dr. Scalpel asked as the carriage came to a stop.

Apple Bloom nodded. “Yes.”

“How long ago did it happen?”

“Uh, well…” She blushed, rubbing the back of her neck with one hoof.

“Hurry!” Diamond insisted jumping out of the carriage and galloping toward the door.

Distracted from his question, Dr. Scalpel followed, grabbing a medical bag as he did. Apple Bloom was only a few steps behind, the two medic ponies following as soon as they’d unhitched themselves. The door being locked, Diamond had to ring the bell when she got there. A moment later it was opened by their butler.

“Miss Tiara, where have you been? Miss Spoon said you ran off after school,” he said in a mildly scolding tone then looked up at the others on the front step. “Dr. Scalpel? Whatever are you doing here?” He asked, clearly confused by the doctor’s presence.

Dr. Scalpel was taken back. “What do you mean…?” he started but at that moment they all heard a loud pained yell from inside the mansion.

“DADDY!” Diamond cried, recognizing that yell all too well.

Dr. Scalpel and the butler exchanged glances, then both hurried toward the source of the sound.



Nearly two hours later, Apple Bloom and Diamond Tiara were waiting in the hall outside her father’s bedroom. Dr. Scalpel was still in with Filthy Rich; and though the two medic ponies had come and gone a few times to retrieve things from the carriage; they hadn’t said anything about his condition.

“What if it doesn’t work…?” Diamond said softly, voicing a fear that had been plaguing her for some time. “What if my daddy still dies?”

“Then we go back again and try something else. And if that doesn’t work we try again and again until we find something that does!” Apple Bloom said resolutely.

Diamond looked at her, surprised and confused. “Why are you doing this for me?” she asked. “I’ve been horrible to you… why would you want to help me?”

Apple Bloom smiled sadly. “Ah don’t really remember my ma and pa… but Ah have Applejack and Big Mac, and Ah can’t imagine what it would be like to lose one of them… But over the summer, there was an incident a little after Ah got this magic, where Ah watched Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle die…”

Diamond’s eyes went wide.

“A safety spell that Ah had cast turned back time to before it happened, but Ah still remember watching it… still remember what it was like to watch my best friends die. That’s a pain Ah wouldn’t wish on anypony…” She looked up into Diamonds eyes. “Not even you, Diamond.”

Diamond stared at her a moment more, then slowly looked down falling silent again.



It was still another hour before the bedroom door finally opened and Dr. Scalpel came out. Diamond and Apple Bloom both looked up, Diamond looking scared. The doctor gave her a reassuring smile. “Your father is going to be just fine.”

Relief hit her hard and she nearly collapsed as she began crying again, this time for joy.

“He’ll need to take it easy for the next little while, but he’ll be back to his old self before you know it.” The doctor went on while Diamond cried out the tension of the last few hours.

Finally, with one last sniff, Diamond looked up. “Can I see him?” she asked softly, in one of the meekest voices Apple Bloom had ever heard from her.

“Of course.” Dr. Scalpel said with a smile and stepped aside to let Diamond enter the room. “Just be careful.”

Apple Bloom watched as Diamond crossed the room to where her father laid on the large bed, covered by a soft looking quilt. His eyes were open and he gave a weak smile as Diamond approached. “Hey, princess,” he said sounding almost breathless.

Diamond almost broke down crying again just from the sound of his voice. She jumped up on the bed and nuzzled her father, crying for joy the whole time.

Apple Bloom and Dr. Scalpel watched the scene from the doorway, both smiling, both blinking back tears of their own.

“You know, I’ve had ponies ask me before why I decided to become a doctor.” Dr. Scalpel said softly. “It’s for times like this.”

“Yeah; times like this…” Apple Bloom agreed. They watched a moment more as Diamond curled up against her father’s side, then Dr. Scalpel quietly closed the door.

“You two got me here just in time. It wasn’t the worst heart attack I’ve seen, but it would have likely been fatal if I hadn’t been here to treat it right away. But I’m a little confused: Filthy’s heart attack occurred just as we arrived here. So how did you know?”

Apple Bloom smiled. “You remember when Princess Twilight had you examine me when my friend gave me his magic?” He nodded and Apple Bloom went on. “One of the things that magic allows me to do is turn back time.”

His eyes widened a bit as he realized the implication of what she was saying. “So then…”

She nodded. “The first time you didn’t get here soon enough and he died.” Apple Bloom gave a sniff as new tears filled her eyes. “Ah couldn’t stand seein’ Diamond like that… and then Ah heard you say that you could have saved him if you’d gotten here sooner. So Ah went to Diamond, found out when it happened, and took us back far enough so that we could get you here in time.”

The doctor stared at her for a few moments as if he couldn't decide if she were being truthful or not. The Apple family's reputation wasn't for nothing, though. “Well, I’ll be. In that case, young lady, you are just as responsible for saving that stallion’s life as I am.”

Apple Bloom looked back at the door with a small smile. “Like you said… it’s times like these that make it all worth it…”

“Indeed.”

After a few moments more, Apple Bloom gave a content sigh and glanced toward the window at the end of the hall. “Well, Ah better get goin’ it’s after suppertime and my family is probably wondering where Ah am.” she said. “Tell Diamond that if anything happens, just to come get me, and Ah’ll do everything in my power to help.”

“I’ll do that.” He agreed. “But hopefully she won’t need to. I’m going to be staying overnight just to keep an eye on him, but the worst is already passed.”

“Alright, Ah’ll see you around, Dr. Scalpel.” Apple Bloom said giving him a wave.

“It’s always a pleasure, Apple Bloom.” He said, waving back.

Apple Bloom let herself out of the mansion, and headed home feeling tired, but happier than she’d felt in a long while; thinking back to the sight of Diamond Tiara gently nuzzling her father that she’d thought gone for good. “It’s worth it…” she said softly to herself, thinking of everything that had come with Rekaj’s power so far. That one moment made it all worth it.

Lost in thought, it wasn’t long before she was climbing the steps to her family’s home. Pushing the door open, she stepped inside.

“There you are, sugarcube!” Applejack said from where she was standing by the sink, doing some dishes. “Where have you been? You missed supper; we were starting to get a little worried.”

Without a word, Apple Bloom walked over to her and wrapped her hooves around her in a hug. “Ah don’t ever want to lose you, sis… Ah know Ah’ll have to one day… but Ah hope it will be a long long time from now…”

“Bloom? Did something happen today?” Applejack asked, concerned about her little sister’s strange behavior.

Apple Bloom nodded. “Yes…” she said, then looked up at her and smiled. “Something horrible, that became something wonderful.”

Author's Note:

In case anyone forgot, this series diverged from Canon just before the Season 4 finale, so no crusaders of the lost mark. I also, like a lot of people, thought Diamond had a single parent, just her father. Since I planned this story a ways back I decided to just leave Spoiled Rich out of it.

Some of you may have realized, that Apple Bloom could have just acted herself and spared Diamond Tiara those memories of her father dying. In this case she just didn't think of it, and instead thought that Diamond would want to help.

This is an important step for Apple Bloom, experiencing the true reward of being a hero. She's going to need these positive memories.

Anyway, I'm already a ways into the next chapter so hopefully it won't be too long.

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