• Published 8th Mar 2018
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Pound and Pumpkin Tales: The finale - Never2muchpinkie

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10: My hero

Pumpkin had spent the past hour styling and restyling her mane. Today was her first day at her new school, and she was desperate to fit in and make a good first impression. Being from Ponyville was already going to sour some ponies against her. She didn’t want to make it worse by fulfilling their low expectations of her. The slightest hair out of place was all it would take. Everyone was already expecting her to fail.

She looked at the scared face staring back at her in the mirror, and she felt like a physical weight was placed on her. Her head slumped, tears brimming around her eyes. There was so much pressure on her now. She didn’t know if she could take it.

Her mind flashed back to the examiner telling her that most ponies didn’t make it past three months. Right now she felt like she wasn’t going to make it past a single day.

Maybe he was right. Maybe she was just talking big. Ponies like her were probably a bit a dozen.

She slumped off the stool she was standing on, curling up into a ball as she cried.

Pound has just set his saddlebag by the front door, feeling uncertain. This was it. He and Pumpkin would no longer be going to school together. Pinkie would only be walking him from now on. Twilight would be the one to help Pumpkin get to her school.

He sat down by the door, feeling a sense of loneliness as he put his head on his knees, hugging his legs. He hadn’t even left yet, and he already felt a giant gap in himself. It felt weird not to have Pumpkin by his side.

He and his sister often complained about being treated like children. They always wanted to grow up and be seen as mature, but this felt like too big of a leap. He didn’t know if he was mature enough to be without his sister. He didn’t know if he was ready for such a big shift in his life.

His stomach hurt and his body shook. Maybe he wasn’t as strong as he thought he was. It felt like too much to bear.

He put his hooves to his face and began crying.

Pinkie let out a sigh as she sat down next to him, putting a hoof over him. He looked up at her, teary-eyed, before hopping into her lap sideways. She began rubbing his back. “Pound, I know it hurts, but you’re stronger than this.”

“M-maybe I don’t think I am.”

“That cutie mark of yours says differently.”

Pound looked up at her, then down at his flank. He stared at it, thinking back to when he got it and the pledge he made with Pumpkin. The both of them had said they would become stronger to help others. He couldn’t just sit here moping or he wouldn’t be worthy of his cutie mark.

Pound wiped his face of his tears, grinning up at her. “Thank you, Auntie Pinkie, for reminding me who I am.”

Pinkie smiled back at him. “You’re welcome, Pound.”

He hopped off her lap. “I’m going to go check on Pumpkin, to see if she needs to be reminded too.”

As he headed for the stairs Pinkie couldn’t help but feel proud. She had hardly had to do anything at all to cheer him up this time. Just a little nudge was all it took to remind him of what was important to him.

Pumpkin was leaning against the wall of the bathroom, a dead look on her face. Her tears had stopped, but it felt like everything else had stopped too. Even her emotions were numb. The edges of despair were cutting into her.

She closed her eyes, forcing her hoof up. It felt like it weighed a hundred pounds, but she persisted until she placed it on her chest by her heart. “Pound,” she croaked out. She let out a heavy breath. “Your heart is with me.”

Her horn lit up, and she made a Pound of energy, the same way it had appeared the very first time she discovered her magical talent. Already the weight on her felt diminished.

Her taut body loosened up a bit. That was right. Her brother was never far from her heart. A part of him lived inside of her, and so long as it was she could be strong and brave and cool like him.

She forced herself up. The two of them had made a promise to each other. Pound had pledged to become stronger so she’d have someone worthwhile to look up to, but if she ever hoped to one day catch up to him she had to stand on her own four hooves. Maybe then he’d start to look up to her and feel inspired by her as well.

The two of them had the same cutie mark. If Pound was going to do his part in living up to it then she had to too. Still, she felt like she could use just a little dash of courage.

“Pumpkin?” came the voice of her brother as he walked in. “Whoa! It seems I have a twin.” He let out a little laugh.

Pumpkin dropped her spell. Her legs wobbled a bit at first, but she made it over to him and hugged him. “I need a hug,” she said in a weary tone.

Pound quickly obliged. “I know what you’re going through, Pumpkin. Auntie Pinkie just reminded me to be stronger when I was feeling down.”

She squeezed tighter, all her pain and fear vanishing. “I… I was starting to get there myself. I was feeling scared and thinking I wasn’t worthy of going to Princess Celestia’s school, but I remembered I didn’t have anything to fear because you’re always with me. As long as you’re there in my heart I know I can be strong and take all the hardship.”

“So that’s why you made the fake me? To remind yourself of that?”

Pumpkin nodded. Pulling back from him she looked him in the eyes, her own shimmering. “I don’t care what anyone else says, Pound. I don’t care that you’re not a unicorn, or that the only pony you saved is me. I still think you’re the most powerful and amazing pony in Equestria.”

Pound blushed. “Oh, come on…”

“No!” she said strongly. “I mean it! Fluttershy and Twilight and our parents and Auntie Pinkie are all amazing ponies, but not a single one of them compares to you. The only thing I want is to one day be as amazing as you are.”

Pound’s eyes grew misty. “For a while I was really jealous of you, you know. It felt like you could do everything. You were smart and could use magic, while I couldn’t fly and felt dumb. Now I can fly though, and I’m doing better in school.

“I’m not jealous of you anymore. I already know that I’m probably never going to do something as incredible as protecting all of Ponyville like you did, and that’s okay.” He put his hoof to his heart. “A part of you lives in me too, and it’s enough to know that I helped you discover just how amazing and awesome you really are.

“Just like I inspire you to be brave and strong, I feel just as inspired by you. I think you’re an amazing pony already, Pumpkin, and you’re only gonna be more amazing once you master your magic.” Warm tears came down his eyes. “You’re a real hero to Ponyville, Pumpkin, and you’ve become my hero too.”

Pumpkin’s eyes clenched shut as she let out a sob and hugged him again. “T-t-thank you! Thank you, Pound!”

Pound hugged her back, crying along with her. "You're welcome, Pumpkin," he said quietly.

Author's Note:

Pumpkin gets her wish granted. Pound DOES look up to her, putting aside his former jealousy of her talents to genuinely admire her for her feats.

I didn't show the cutecenera since I couldn't think of anything interesting to happen there, besides just their friends oohing and aahing.

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