• Published 22nd Jul 2012
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My Little Pony: Teaching is Magic Story 1- Freeze Frame - OverlordK



After several years in Ponyville learning about friendship, Twilight's in a rut. Not for long.

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Chapter 3

As they approached the school, Twilight Sparkle could see that the yard had been completely emptied of all ponies except for Bright Knight; the unicorn colt was sitting in front of the school, watching the road beside the school intently. His eyes lit up and he hopped up from his seat in the grass when he caught sight of the approaching cart and its occupants. Twilight guessed that he had been left outside to keep watch for the arrival of herself and her two companions.

Bright Knight ran forward to meet Big Mac and his cart. “I’m really glad that you’re back, Ms. Twilight, Wish was getting really freaked out!”

“Is that why you’re out here on your own?” Spike asked as he hopped down from the back of the cart.

“Yeah, as soon as you guys were out of sight, Wishing Star started hyperventilating. Then she started banging her head against the ground, screaming ‘work you stupid horn, work’!” Bright Knight held out a hoof to Twilight to help the mare out of the back of the cart. Twilight Sparkle couldn’t help but smile at the colt; he had impeccable manners, which was impressive considering his age. She accepted the outstretched hoof and stepped down from the wagon. As soon as Twilight had all four hooves on the ground, Bright Knight gave her a small bow and then walked back around to stand in front of Big Mac, “If you would follow me Sir, my frozen friends are this way.” He began to lead the red work horse around the school.

“Bright Knight, what happened to Wishing Star?” Twilight asked, catching the younger unicorn’s attention before he got further distracted from the story he had been telling her.

“Well, we were afraid she was going to hurt herself, so I tried to get her to hold still and calm down,” he rubbed his jaw with a hoof as they were walking, “but she started struggling and flailing wildly as soon as I touched her; got kicked in the jaw for my troubles. After I staggered back from the hit, I guess Compass Rose took over, because after I shook my head to clear the woozy feeling, I saw her wrestle Wishing Star to the ground and then pin her so that she couldn’t move…”

“Where is she?” Twilight Sparkle demanded, interrupting Bright Knight mid-sentence. She was normally not this rude, but something about this filly Wishing Star made the lavender coated mage feel a higher degree of concern about the little unicorn’s well-being; a level of worry that she normally reserved for close friends and family.

“After Rose got Wish pinned, Tea Leaf calmed her down enough to be led inside,” Bright Knight explained, completely unperturbed by the rude behavior of the older pony. By this time they had made it to the other side of the school, and Big Mac could see the statue like colts for himself; he began walking over to where they stood on his own and Spike followed to see if he could lend a helping hand.

“After Wishing Star was sent inside, Miss Cheerilee asked me to watch for you… so I should probably go and do what she told me to do,” the sky blue unicorn finished his story in a quick tumble of words. He blushed, and then quickly galloped inside to comply with the instructions that his teacher had initially given him.

Twilight Sparkle watched the colt dash off until he disappeared into the school and then trotted over to where Lucky Star and Shooting Star were frozen. Big Macintosh had obviously figured out that the two brothers were frozen together; Spike was in the back of the cart, using the pegasus as leverage to push both immobile colts into the cart while the red stallion pushed. The colt statue didn’t appear to be heavy, but the space between the brothers did appear to make moving them a bit cumbersome. Twilight Sparkle offered to lend a helping hoof but the boys declined, Spike saying that they had the situation handled, and Big Mac nodding his agreement. All Twilight could do for the time being was stand and wait for something more to happen.

She didn’t wait for long; just minutes after Bright Knight had first run in to go and get his teacher, Cheerilee walked out of the school house with the small group of foals that had stayed to help earlier in tow. Wishing Star was stretched across the magenta mare’s back. She wasn’t moving.

“What happened, is she alright?” Twilight asked with concern.

“Wishing Star is fine,” assured the violet maned unicorn, “she’s just sleeping.”

“When did she fall asleep?”

“Quickly after you left actually; after Tea Leaf brought her inside, she went over to the window that looks out onto the playground, sat down, and refused to move again. She had calmed down considerably since being brought inside, so I left her there and checked on the rest of the students. By the time I had a chance to check on her again she was asleep with her head on the windowsill.”

“It really didn’t take long for Wishing Star to fall asleep,” Tea Leaf added,” I sat near her to make sure that she didn’t try to hurt herself again, and almost as soon as you walked to the front of the room and started talking to everypony her head dropped and she started snoring a little.”

“The drain on her, both magically and emotionally, must have taken too much out of her,” Twilight mused as she used her magic to lift the snoozing filly from Cheerilee’s back and drape the little unicorn across her own. She then turned toward the teacher again. “How are the rest of your students, by the way?”

“They’re still rather excited from the events of the morning, but other than that they’re fine.”

“So, what are you going to do for the rest of the day?”

Cheerilee sighed and gave a small stretch, “I suppose that today will just be an arts and crafts day. I can’t send them home so early in the day, but I don’t think that I’ll be able to hold their attention long enough to get through any kind of lesson.”

Twilight Sparkle looked behind her to check on how the situation with placing the boys was going. The immobile colts were firmly placed in the cart, so she turned back to Cheerilee. “With the boys in place, I suppose that we should be go…”

“Uh, Twilight?”

“Spike you know that it’s rude to interrupt… what do you think you’re doing?!” As the lavender unicorn whirled around to reprimand her assistant, she saw that Bright Knight had found a place for himself in the cart, and Compass Rose was clambering in after him.

“We’re going with you, duh,” Compass Rose stated like it was obvious. With a kick of her hooves and a flutter of her wings, the lilac bodied filly tumbled into the cart. When her head reappeared, she had a hard look in her eye that made it clear that she had no intention of moving. Bright Knight had a similar look of quiet determination set upon his young features.

“No, you’re not. You need to stay in school,” Twilight Sparkle commanded, trying to sound as authoritative as possible.

“Miss Cheerilee just said that we weren’t going to be learning anything today, right? Wouldn’t we be more useful if we went with you?” Bright Knight argued, positioning himself firmly beside the statue-like forms of his two friends.

“How?” Twilight Sparkle challenged. She didn’t want to act harshly towards Bright Knight, he was a colt with good manners and seemed to have a kind heart, but she had no wish to take on a group of foals when all she wanted to do was help solve a problem and be done with the situation. She had her own troubles to deal with, and none of them involved a bunch of rambunctious little ponies.

“Well, you saw how upset Wish was earlier,” Tea Leaf reminded Twilight as she walked forward and stood between the lavender mare and her friends in the cart.

“Well, yes, but…” Twilight began.

“And Wishing Star and her family are fairly new to Ponyville; they've only been living here for about two weeks and none of them have visited the library yet.” The light green filly continued to speak as though there had been no interruptions to her speech as she paced before the older pony with an air of confidence.

“I have never seen…”

“So it would be easier if we, that is to say me, Bright Knight, and Compass Rose, came with you to reassure Wishing Star and keep her calm when she wakes up in an unfamiliar place.” Tea Leaf finished her argument and her pacing, standing directly in front of Twilight Sparkle, looking up at the pale purple unicorn with a wide grin of triumph spreading across her face.

“But I can’t just take a group of foals out of school without some kind of permission.” Twilight Sparkle looked down at the filly with her own grin of smugness at the obvious trump card she had just laid before the young earth pony.

Much to Twilight’s dismay, this statement only caused Tea Leaf’s grin to widen. “We already talked to Cheerilee about going with you; she also thought that it would be for the best if Wishing Star had some familiar faces to comfort her and keep her calm. Especially with the stress of the current situation and your plans of taking her to a place she has never been before.”

An impending feeling of dread was coming upon Twilight; she was running out of valid arguments, and she was unfortunately beginning to side with Tea Leaf despite her wanting to solve this problem alone and with as little hassle as possible. To make matters worse, Spike, her trusted friend and companion of all these years, seemed to have decided to not help her argue against the foals. “What about your parents? Won’t they be upset if they find out that you’re being taken out of school by some strange mare?” She knew that she was grasping at straws at this point, but she felt that she had to try.

“You’re not some strange pony; you’re a famous savior of Equestria many times over, and the librarian of the town. Plus, we’re going to a library; we’ll learn a lot more there than we would if we stayed in school today.”

Sighing in defeat, Twilight Sparkle turned around with the faint hope that Cheerilee did not in fact completely agree with everything that Tea Leaf was saying. As she looked over her shoulder, Twilight saw that the school teacher was no longer standing behind her- in fact she was nowhere to be seen. “Where’s Cheerilee?”

“She went inside,” Compass Rose replied, trying to sound nonchalant and failing at it.

“When?” There was an edge of irritation to Twilight’s voice; she had a sinking feeling that she had been played during the entire debate.

Now the casual expression that Compass Rose had been wrestling with completely failed her. She now grinned uncontrollably, “She went inside right as Tea Leaf stepped forward and started talking.”

* * *

“So, what is Tea Leaf’s special talent?” Twilight Sparkle asked the two conscious and non-frozen foals that were sitting in Big Macintosh’s cart as she walked alongside it. Because of Tea Leaf’s nearly flawless argument, and the lack of support that Twilight had gotten from any of the adults present, the foals had won the battle of who got to go to the library. After Twilight Sparkle had relented, agreeing to let Compass Rose, Bright Knight, and Tea Leaf come with her to the library, the filly that had won the debate had departed from the group. She had said that she had some important supplies to gather before she went to the library, and she had promised to join everypony at the library as soon as possible.

This left Bright Knight and Compass Rose to steady the statues in the back of the cart alone. They had also taken up the responsibility of watching over Wishing Star, who was still asleep and now tucked into a corner of the cart. The two foals seemed to have divided the two duties with little argument; Compass Rose was sitting near Wishing Star with a steadying foreleg wrapped around one of Shooting Star’s hind legs, while Bright Knight stood between the two brothers, keeping them both steady.

The lilac colored pegasus looked over the edge of the cart at Twilight Sparkle. “Tea Leaf’s special talent? Well, her cutie mark is a medicine jar, and her special talent involves medicine and taking care of other ponies.”

“From the way she argued the case for you ponies, I’m surprised she doesn't have her cutie mark in debate,” Twilight huffed.

“She won because she felt that she had to,” Bright Knight replied cryptically. Twilight Sparkle strained her neck to stare at the sky blue colt in the cart, willing him to further elaborate upon the mysterious comment that he had just made. When the plum eyed unicorn looked up from his self-appointed task of shifting his two friends into a more stable position, he saw the lavender mare watching him with an expectant expression painted across her face. He smiled awkwardly at his own blunder and proceeded to explain himself. “What I mean is that if somepony is hurt or in trouble, Tea Leaf feels like she has to step in and take care of them. She can and will do whatever she can to take care of an injured pony or one in need. This goes double for when anypony she personally cares about is the one that needs a helping hoof.”

“Yeah, once Lucky and S.S. and Wish needed help, nopony stood a chance against Tea Leaf,” Compass Rose added with a giggle.

“I believe that I would be interested in hearing the story of how she earned such a cutie mark,” Twilight Sparkle commented.

Compass Rose was now hanging half way out of the cart, with her wings spread for balance, looking the indigo-haired unicorn in the eyes as best she could. “Oh, you really should, it’s a great story. You see, we were playing in the woods…”

The pegasus filly was cut short from her reminiscence by an unexpected tug that pulled her backwards. Bright Knight had pulled Compass Rose forcefully back into the cart with a firm yank on her choppy, hot pink tail. Bright Knight spat the chunk of tail that he had latched onto out of his mouth and gave his friend an annoyed look. “It is Tea Leaf’s story to tell, and it would be rude for anypony else to tell it.” He poked her with a reprimanding hoof. “You also shouldn’t lean out of a moving vehicle like that; you could fall out and get hurt.” The calm, stern demeanor that the unicorn colt was using was made less effective by the burning color that had settled into his cheeks. Now Twilight really wanted to hear the story, but decided to leave it alone for the time being.

After that, the group descended into an awkward silence. Both foals were concentrating on their self-assigned tasks and Twilight Sparkle was now deep in thought over the morning’s events and how she might be able to help the living statues that were riding in the cart. The silence would have continued, if not for a question that had been nagging at Spike’s mind. “So what’s the deal with Wishing Star? I mean, I know she and her brothers aren't from around here, but that filly acts like nopony in Ponyville that I've ever met.” Everypony looked at the purple dragon in bewilderment; even Big Macintosh had paused in his quiet plodding towards the library to look back with interest and confusion draped across his own face. Spike scratched at one on the ridges on the back of his neck as he attempted to clarify what he was trying to ask. “Well, I know that anypony that thought that they might have just killed their siblings would be pretty upset, but the way she acts seems to be more, I don’t know, more frantic, cagey than any foal should be.” Big Macintosh began walking again.

Bright Knight and Compass Rose glanced over at the sleeping filly in the corner of the cart, and then at each other. A silent war was now being waged between the two foals, presumably over who would be the one to respond to Spikes's question. After a few moments of intense staring, Bright Knight looked away with a sigh. “Fine, I’ll talk.”

“Yes!” Compass Rose cheered and attempted a victory dance. She only made it as far as a leap and a twirl before she spun into the frozen Shooting Star, causing both colts to begin wobbling dangerously. Bright Knight dived through the gap between the two immobile brothers to hold up the side that was tipping dangerously towards the edge of the cart. Spike almost jumped into the cart to help, but Compass Rose and Bright Knight managed to pull the statues of their friends back into the center of the wagon and force them into a stable position.

“You need to be more careful,” Bright Knight scolded his friend as he stepped away from Shooting Star, checking to make sure that he was not going to have to make any more harrowing leaps or dives to keep the living statues from crashing. When he saw that there would be no need for such heroics, the sky blue colt turned towards the pegasus filly that had caused the near mishap. “We don’t know how this spell works at all. If Lucky Star and Shooting Star are turning into real statues or something like that, any kind of fall could be really harmful to them.”

Compass Rose’s cheeks stained red with shame, she tried to cover the embarrassment with a snarky bluster. “Don-don’t you have a story to tell?”

Bright Knight sighed and walked back over to Twilight Sparkle’s side of the cart. “I’m sorry about all of this. Can you please give me a moment to collect my thoughts?”

Twilight Sparkle was still surprised by how polite this colt could be; she would be interested to know where he learned to have such excellent manners. “Of course, is it a difficult story to tell?”

“Sort of difficult… I don’t even know the whole story. But what I do know, I don’t like.” There was a bitter tone to the young unicorn’s voice. He inhaled deeply and began, “So what Tea Leaf was saying about Shooting, Lucky, and Wish moving here recently is true. Their family moved here from Manehatten a couple of weeks ago. Wish won’t talk about it, and Shooting and Lucky haven’t said much about what happened to them there; but Tea, Compy, and I have made some guesses from what we’ve heard.”

“What sort of guesses?” Spike asked.

“Well…” Bright Knight leaned out of the cart, and getting as close to Twilight and Spike as possible, whispered, “If you haven’t noticed, Wish doesn’t seem to be very good as using her magic.”

Twilight furrowed her brows in confusion, “there are plenty of young ponies that can’t use magic properly until they get older.”

“Yes, but the problem doesn't seem to be that she can’t use it, it’s that she can’t seem to control the magic that she is using.”

“So she can use magic?” She wasn't sure if it was the sparse information that she was receiving to work with, or if it truly was such an unusual case, but Twilight was finding that it was a challenge to even guess at this new puzzle.

The sky blue colt leaned back in the cart, no longer hanging out at a precarious angle. “I think so, but not in a normal way.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, you know how most unicorns around my age can use that spell that lets you use magic to pick up different stuff?”

“Yes, it’s a simple levitation spell that all unicorns possess,” Twilight confirmed. “Most other spells that a unicorn learns are based on their special talent.”

“Right, but Wish can’t use levitation when she wants to; I’ve seen her try.”

“She can use other spells though?”

“It sounds like the other kinds of spells happen to her instead.”

“That sounds like a sign that her special talent is coming to light,” Twilight mused. “Do you know what kinds of spells she’s performed or affected?”

The spiky haired colt shrugged, “Sorry, but no. Besides today, I’ve never seen Wish actually use her magic at all, and she won’t talk about the times that she has. Most of what I’ve just told you is guesses that I’ve made with Tea and Compy from what Shooting and Lucky have been willing to share with us.” Compass Rose nodded her agreement when Twilight looked to her for confirmation. The group fell into silence after that, leaving everypony wrapped in their own thoughts.

The quiet was broken by Spike asking, “So is that why Wishing Star is so nervous?” Everypony stared at Spike with varying degrees of confusion. “I mean, I know that thinking that you killed your brothers would probably put anypony on edge, but even after Twi calmed her down she was still pretty anxious,” the dragon explained.

“Well, as Knight said, Wish and her family just moved here from Manehatten.” Compass Rose nudged Bright Knight over, clearly deciding to be the new spokespony. “From what we’ve gathered, the foals that they all went to school with are pretty judgy.”

“You mean ‘judgmental’,” Twilight corrected.

“Yeah, sure, that.” The pegasus filly waved a hoof as if to dismiss her own grammatical error.

“So, Wishing Star probably has low self-esteem because she can’t use basic magic, and that most likely got her teased a lot at her previous school in Manehatten?” Twilight Sparkle’s face contorted into a knot of confusion and displeasure. She knew it happened, but she hated the idea of anypony being bullied.

“That’s the best that we can figure,” Compass Rose confirmed.

There wasn’t much else to say, so the group once again fell into silence. Shortly afterwards, they arrived at the library. Big Macintosh deftly unhooked himself from his harness and circled around to the back of the cart to retrieve the frozen colts. With the help of Bright Knight and Compass Rose, with the three of them working together as a team, they got the two frozen colts over to the library door. While that was being dealt with, Spike climbed into the back of the cart, and then lifted Wishing Star’s unconscious form out of her corner. He then carried her to the door, waiting for Twilight to let everypony in.

Twilight opened the door for everypony and immediately made her way over to the bookshelves. She levitated several volumes to rest at her hooves, her mind already focused on which books could be used to solve this challenging puzzle. She must have lost track of time, because the next thing that she knew, Spike was snapping his claws in her face. “Twilight, aren't you forgetting something?”

The lavender unicorn looked away from the shelf of books and the pile that she had created to analyze what was happening behind her. She was slightly surprised to see the flurry of organized activities that was happening without her notice. While she had been distracted with her resources and the intellectual side of the dilemma, Tea Leaf had waltzed into the library and taken charge. The tea green earth filly was directing Big Mac in moving the immobile brothers where she wanted. She was directing the stallion from where she sat on a large cushion in the middle of the room, Wishing Star curled up asleep next to her.

If she weren’t so embarrassed about her own lack of attention to the important things that the filly was seeing to, things that she herself should have been seeing to herself, Twilight would have been giggling over her large friend being ordered about by the younger pony. She walked over to stand beside Tea Leaf right as she was informing Big Mac that Lucky Star and Shooting Star had been positioned into the perfect place. The red stallion nodded, and then looked to Twilight for further directions. The lavender unicorn smiled at her friend, “Thank you for all of your help, I think that I can take it from here.”

“Eeyup.”

“Thank you so much for your help, Mr. Macintosh,” Tea Leaf chimed in.

Big Macintosh nodded again, and then turned and left the library. The wavy maned filly turned to the unicorn mare beside her and announced, “I sent Bright Knight and Compass Rose to your kitchen and I had Big Macintosh put Shoot and Lucky Star in the best place for you to study them and look at your books.”

“Thank you, that was very helpful of you.” Twilight said, smiling down at the filly. After a brief pause, she then asked, “Why would you send anypony into my kitchen?”

“To make tea and find some plates,” Tea Leaf explained. When Twilight looked at the filly uncomprehendingly and said nothing, the earth filly began to blush and stammer, “I’m really sorry that I didn't ask you first. When I walked into the library it was chaos: Rosie was pestering Big Mac and Knight was arguing with Spike about where to put Wish. I couldn't let all that craziness go on, so I gave Knight and Rosie my bags and sent them to find the kitchen and prepare the snacks that I brought with me. Then I had Spike put Wish on this cushion so that I could keep an eye on her. Then I showed Big Macintosh where to put the boys so that they were in the best place for you to work with.”

“You did that all on your own?” Twilight marveled at the filly; this girl had a truly amazing talent.

Tea Leaf flushed at the awe in the mare’s voice and looked down. “Well… you were busy trying to find a way to help my friends, so I just wanted to do what I could to help you.”

Twilight Sparkle smiled down at the filly and gently placed a hoof on her head, but before she could say anything, the amethyst mare heard the telltale belch of her draconic friend magically receiving a letter. She turned around to see that Spike was indeed snatching a scroll with the royal crest of the sun upon it from the air. He unrolled the message and began to read aloud:

To My Faithful Student Twilight Sparkle,

I wish that I could be of more help to you, but the information that you have supplied is too little for me to even hazard a guess as to what spell was cast. Though the problem that you have presented to me is an interesting conundrum and does indeed sound like a powerful sort of magic, there is still not enough information to narrow down my knowledge and give you any help. Even an educated guess from me at this point would more likely do harm instead of good. I am afraid that I must leave this in your hooves to gather more information on. Write to me again if you need more advice when you have gathered more information, and I will help if I can. Please keep me well informed of the situation, in any event.

Best of luck,

Princess Celestia

“What does that mean?” Tea Leaf looked up at Twilight expectantly.

The sorceress walked over to Spike to read the letter herself. As she scanned the message, she offered Tea Leaf a brief summary. “It means that we’re going to have to get more information about what happened when Lucky Star and Shooting Star were rendered immobile.”

“How do we do that?” Tea Leaf had followed Twilight to where she was currently standing, and had crawled onto her back to read the message herself.

Twilight looked back at the slumbering Wishing Star. “We need to wake up the pony that cast the spell.”