• Published 15th Aug 2012
  • 6,532 Views, 350 Comments

Changin' Hooves - OneTrickPon3



Vinyl and Octavia switch bodies and learn some valuable lessons in the process

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Convention Crashers

You can never truly understand a pony until you walk a mile in their horseshoes.

No no, that's too cliche...

Sometimes life can surprise you in the most unexpected ways.

No, too vague.

Ugh, come on. I'm a millenia old goddess of the moon. I have risen and fallen from darkness, won the hearts of my people, and have taken my place at my dear sister's side again. Yet here I am being bested by simple exposition?

...Figures...

Fine, I'll just start the story with some...

Oh...oh my hello there. Well, this is awkward...here you were listening to me while I prattled on like some crazy old mare. Please excuse that um, embarrassing incident. I'm not really used to having an audience with me. Well, since you are here, would you like to hear my story?

You would?

Oh excellent! I promise you won't be disappointed.

Anyway, where to begin...

Ah yes! A few months ago there was a sort of get together for all the musical talents of Equestria, held right here in Canterlot. I of course wanted to go, since I adore all things musical, but undoubtedly one of the Princesses attending such an event would just cause a stir. That is, unless said Princess was wearing a clever disguise.

So I, er I mean Lunar Lights, attended this...well festival isn't really the right word for it, as that implies some sort of planned fun and activity happening. It was supposed to be more along the lines of a meet and greet, meshing the musicians from the different genres together in hopes of making some sort of spark or collaboration happen.

Needless to say, it didn't really turn out that way. Oh my, but here I am boring you with details, let's just hop into the good part shall we?


The Canterlot Convention Center was usually abuzz with lively activity and conversation when it was used the few times out of the year. Normally the massive structure would play host to some sort of lively performance or exposition for anything and everything. Point being, usually the convention held itself with an atmosphere of fun and lightheartedness. Today however was not a normal day for the poor structure. It was quiet, reserved, and tame. Stuffy would be an adequate term to describe it. The type of get together that only the snobbiest of the snobs who had no idea what fun really was but they might remember seeing it on a scrap of paper somewhere once. A type of gathering more suited to the ballrooms of nobility than the floor of a convention center. The exact type of gathering that Octavia was used to attending.

The grey mare wore a slight smile on her lips as she glided from group to group, talking to ponies about their careers and future musical prospects. Mingling with musicians, especially those of the highest regard and fame in the classical music circle, was always something that she looked forward to. To her, the mares and stallions around her were colleagues and friends, in a loose definition of the word "friend" that is. She never really spent much time with other ponies, not when there were scales to be practiced and concerts to prepare for.

That didn't seem to bother her, no not in the slightest. One does not simply get their cutie mark in music, become the top virtuoso at their instrument, and then stop. No, they kept going, or at least she did. Smiling, she approached a new group of ponies, those that she had worked with for many concerts, and the ones she could consider out of all the stuffed shirts around her to be her real friends.

"Octavia, I was wondering if you'd show up," a tan stallion commented, his voice only slightly raised to get her attention, but not to disturb those around them. His greeting served as an announcement to the two others that he had been talking to; a light teal earth pony mare and a dark blue earth pony stallion, as they turned to face the mare who had just joined them. Both of their faces lit up in recognition when they indeed saw that their friend had arrived.

Straightening the pink bow tie around her neck, Octavia greeted them all with a smile before addressing the stallion that welcomed her. "Of course Frederic, would it be like me to miss such a delightful event?"

Frederic chuckled slightly, a very reserved laugh that suited his reserved personality perfectly. "Of course not my dear, I was just wondering how long it was going to take before you found us."

"HI OCTAVIA!" the mare next to Frederic shouted, enthusiastically waving her hoof in greeting. The simultaneous wincing of her friends and unrestrained glares from those around them caused the mare to shrink back a little from embarrassment. "Oh, uh, sorry about the volume," she said quietly, her cheeks tinted red.

"It's ok Beauty Brass, and it's wonderful to see you again," Octavia responded in earnest, offering a smile to ease the mare's worries. "And hello to you as well Harpo," Octavia said, turning to regard the last of her friends.

Harpo responded only with a nod and a smile.

"So tell me Frederic, how was your piano concerto last week?" Octavia asked, turning her attention back to the tan stallion. "I wanted to come see you perform, but I had an audition for a small cello solo in an upcoming Manehattan symphony that conflicted." Her ears drooped slightly from remorse.

"Oh it went wonderfully," Frederic beamed enthusiastically. "Standing ovation at the end, and I even had a few roses tossed at me by fans. Beauty included," he added with a none too subtle wink at the mare, who smiled in return.

Octaivia's gaze slowly shifted between the two ponies, her mouth opening and closing several times in a failed attempt at forming words. "You two...," her hoof pointed to the two ponies, "are...since when?" she finally managed to say. Beauty and Frederic smiled brightly at her disbelief.

"Oh for about a month now, right Beauty?"

"THAT'S RI- I mean, that's right."

Harpo nodded his head in confirmation.

"Well," Octavia began slowly, "I must say, this is unexpected. But I'm happy for the both of you!" she added quickly. "I have to ask though, how did it happen?"

"Well you missed quite a lot after the Gala dear," Beauty said with a smile. "Frederic and I ended up auditioning for a few of the same symphonic groups and the like. Since we were friends to begin with we of course spent time with each other before and after our practices."

"I would have to say though, our crystallizing moment was last month, when a friendly dinner of ours turned to topics of a romantic nature," Frederic added with a fond smile. "Ah, Beauty must have shouted loud enough for the entire district of Canterlot to have heard when I asked her formally to be my mare. I was happy as well, but I just don't have the lung power she does," he added with a laugh.

"Well, that's simply wonderf-"

CRASH

"ALRIGHT EVERYPONY! THE LIFE OF THE PARTY HAS ARRIVED!"

All manner of conversation stopped as eyes were turned to the double doors of the convention center, which were now hanging wide open to show a white mare with an electric blue mane standing on her back hooves. A cocky grin was on display below her eyes, which were hidden by a pair of purple sunglasses she refused to take off despite being indoors.

Oh Celestia, not her. Octavia groaned internally.

Dropping back on all fours, the mare trotted to one side, allowing the ponies accompanying her to file in as well. And by Celestia were they odd, but then again, thought Octavia, anyone who would willingly choose to accompany Vinyl Scratch would have to either be strange, insane, or some horrifying combination of the two.

"Yo Vinyl," the earth pony accompanying the crazy mare said with a raised voice, "I thought you said this was a party."

"If it wasn't before, it is now that I'm here, Tombstone," the mare responded.

Octavia examined the earth pony that spoke, along with the others that were alongside him. The earth pony himself, apparently named 'Tombstone', was a pale grey with a blue mane and tail styled in spikes. While that itself wasn't too unusual, as quite a few stallions wore the look, the unusual thing about his was the tips of each spike were dyed red in contrast to his natural blue. On top of his head he wore a pair of cerulean blue headphones that covered his ears, and was probably also the reason he was talking with a raised voice. Octavia stole a brief glance at his cutie mark, which turned into a confused stare as she tried to decipher what it meant. A tombstone wearing headphones with raised arms? That had nothing to do with music!

Shaking her glance away from the stallion, she next examined the mare standing next to him. A light tan pegasus, her two tone mane reminded Octavia of Vinyl's, although instead of the electric blue and dark blue, this mare's mane and tail were surprisingly pleasant tones of green and yellow. A convenient shifting of the mare's wings allowed Octavia a glance at her cutie mark; a toaster that was on fire. By Celestia these ponies make no sense whatsoever.

Finally turning her attention away from the pegasus, her eyes settled on a unicorn stallion that was talking to Vinyl. He had a light grey coat that was nearly the same to Tomb's, although his body was of a slightly taller stature. His mane was a pale brown color, with the very front where his horn parted being a striking red to contrast the dull look of his body. A streak of the same color red could be seen running through his tail as well. His cutie mark was a light blue pair of headphones over a microphone of the same color.

Octavia's gaze apparently lingered a little too long, as Vinyl nudged the unicorn stallion. "Ey Mic, I think that mare over there is checking you out," she snickered as she pointed a hoof directly at Octavia. "Why don't we go over and say hello."

To Octavia's horror, the trio of ponies were following Vinyl, being led directly towards Octavia and her friends. Desperately searching for a way to make a hasty escape, her plans were thwarted as Vinyl made first contact.

"Octy!" Vinyl shouted with mock enthusiasm. Prissy bitch.

"Hello again Vinyl," Octavia responded calmly, not looking the mare in the...sunglasses. Raver hussy.

"Glaze, Mic, Tombstone, it's good to see you all again."

Octavia's jaw dropped as she turned to the source of the voice. To her surprise, and simultaneous horror, Frederic was not only greeting the new arrivals, but he actually knew them too!

"Frederic! I haven't seen you since you, Mic and I collabed on Nightmare Night," the pegasus mare (apparently named Glaze) replied to Frederic with a smile. Her statement had the verbal effect akin to a brick to the face on Octavia, who could scarcely believe what she was hearing.

"Wait, Frederic, you worked with these ponies?" she asked, disbelief clear in her voice.

"Why yes," he responded, turning to face the grey mare. "Last year I was approached by this talented pegasus after one of my performances, and she wanted to know if I would be interested in doing a song with her and her friend here." He gestured to the unicorn stallion standing next to Vinyl. "I was a little taken aback at the idea they presented, but nonetheless my intrigue led me to work with them. And I must say it was quite enjoyable as well."

Octavia snorted at the thought. Enjoyable? Please, you probably did all the real work while they played with buttons, calling it 'making music' or 'remixing.'

Frederic, Beauty and the others began to chat about possible future prospects, while Tombstone approached Harpo with an idea of a possible collaboration. That just left Octavia and Vinyl, and dear Celestia the tension between the two could be cut with a knife.

"So Octavia," Vinyl began, "you maybe interested in doing a collaboration with me? I was thinking something along the lines of something dark and edgy."

"Please Vinyl, the day I agree to work with you is the day that Tartarus freezes over. Us real musicians have actual work to do, we can't spend our time doing projects willy nilly."

"Riiiiiight, real work," Vinyl responded with a roll of her eyes, or what Octavia guessed was a roll of her eyes based on how her head moved. "Because standing in one spot rubbing hair on strings requires so much time and effort that you can't do it in front of a microphone."

"That's not the point. I have concerts to put on and symphonies to prepare for. Perhaps a wedding or two if the pay was high enough."

"Oh right, weddings. Speaking of Octy, I didn't see you at the royal wedding a few weeks ago." Vinyl's mouth twisted into a smug smirk. "Then again, maybe I was too busy playing at the wedding to notice a mare with so many brooms up her flank she could lean against the wall and call herself a cleaning closet."

Octavia shot Vinyl a glare that could have melted ice. Not getting to play at the royal wedding was insult to her talents enough, but knowing who was playing instead of her? That got her blood boiling.

"I'll have you know, Vinyl," the unicorn's name was practically hissed from Octavia's lips, "that I had previous engagements that day and couldn't attend." It was a lie, a pretty flimsy one at that, but Celestia be damned if Octavia was going to let the DJ get to her.

"Riiiiight," Vinyl said, not buying into her excuse for one moment. "Excuse me for doubting you Octy, but I would assume that performing at the biggest wedding in Equestria, for royalty nonetheless, would have taken priority over...whatever it was you were doing." A grin crossed her features. "Unless you're lying to me that is."

Octavia narrowed her eyes. "Well at least none of my performances end in disaster."

"What about the Gala?" Vinyl shot back.

"A fluke, nothing more," said Octavia, deflecting the statement. "My concerts are well received by the community and end without anything going wrong. Your 'gigs' however generally end up somewhere between disastrous and catastrophic."

"Name one!"

"The wedding."

"Not my fault some psychopathic bug tried to invade Equestria."

"The fashion show in Ponyville."

"How was that even a disaster?"

"For starters, I'm pretty sure nopony was listening to your 'music,' if you can even call it that. They were busy trying to keep their lunch down from the dresses being shown. Those poor souls."

Vinyl just snorted in response. "Name one more," she challenged.

"I've heard quite a few things about your big show in Manehattan."

"Hey! How was I supposed to know the fireworks would catch the roof on fire? If anything, they should have warned me."

"You're just proving my point you know," Octavia said with a satisfied grin.

The white unicorn gritted her teeth, frustrated that Octaivia was gaining the upper hoof. Octavia just smiled back sweetly, Vinyl's frustration bringing her more joy than ever before.

"At least I don't have to jump through hoops just to have a show. All I have to do is slap my name on a poster and ponies come running." Vinyl's resolve was slipping, but she was not about to go down without a fight.

"Oh please, I do not 'jump through hoops' as you call it. It's a tryout, everypony has to go through it."

"Oh everypony huh? Isn't the point of a tryout to weed out those who aren't cut out for the job?" Vinyl held back a smile as she went for her next blow.

"It is," Octavia responded flatly. "I don't see what your point is though."

"If you're really as good as you say you are, the 'greatest cello player in Equestria-"

"I do not call myself that!"

"-you sure act like it, anyways. My point being, if you're as good as you say you are, why do you have to try out for things with no guarantee that you'll get in? Shouldn't ponies be coming to you with offers instead of the other way around?"

"I..." Octavia faltered, at a loss for an appropriate response. Her words hammered home, hitting on an old insecurity that she thought she was past.

"I mean, according to you I'm a nopony, but I need an agent to keep track of all the shows and promotions and recordings that are practically being thrown at me on silver platters. If a nopony like me can get that, what about you?"

Silence.

Vinyl smiled. "Wow, no witty response? No upturning of your prissy little nose? No-"

Nopony would ever suspect Octavia of having a mean streak. A well mannered, cultured, refined mare such as her was always seen with a small smile no matter where she went. A perfect mask for publicity sake. Everything she did was calculated so that not one pony could find a flaw in the mask, unless they were to look close enough. Fractures, insecurities well masked by time, yet nonetheless still there. And if one were to put enough pressure on those fractures, they would become cracks. And with enough pressure on the cracks, the whole mask will shatter, leaving in its destruction something entirely new, yet so very familiar.

For Vinyl, she had put enough pressure on Octavia's past insecurities that she managed to not only crack the mask, but shatter it completely for a moment.

With a yell that both caused the DJ to freeze in her tracks and draw every eye in the convention center to the pair, Octavia lunged at Vinyl, the only thought in her mind being to cause as much bodily harm to the cocky unicorn as possible. Maybe break a bone or two to drive the point home.

"AAAAH!" Vinyl yelled as Octavia landed on her, wildly swinging her front hooves at Vinyl's face but never managing to land more than a glancing blow. Rolling off to the side, Vinyl managed to dislodge herself from underneath the crazed mare long enough to get to her hooves.

"OH IS THAT HOW YOU WANNA PLAY!? THEN THAT'S HOW WE'LL PLAY!"

"BRING IT ON RAVER TRASH!"

Several ponies around them gasped, partially out of shock due to the unexpected development, and partially to Octavia's behavior. Musicians from the classical circle could only watch in shock as the two mares rolled, swung and bit each other in a flurry of what could only be called a cat fight, while some of the more 'modern' musicians began to cheer, even going as far as exchanging bits to bet on winners.

Half a minute of fighting passed before the two broke apart, ready to lunge at each other again, before they were snatched up in a blue aura of magic.

"Hey, let me go!" Vinyl protested, hooves flailing in the air trying to shake off the magical influence.

"Unhoof me this instant!" Octavia demanded, hooves flailing in a similar fashion to Vinyl's.

"THAT'S ENOUGH OUT OF YOU TWO!" came a bellowing voice.

Immediately the two struggling ponies ceased moving and turned to the source of the powerful voice. A very stern looking Royal Guard Captain, flanked by two unicorn guards whose horns were aglow, was staring them down with a look that could have made a cockatrice flinch. The captain gave a wave of his hoof to the guards at his side, telling them to release the captive mares.

The two unicorn guards lowered the mares back to the floor before releasing them from their magical hold. Their commanding officer took several steps forward until he towered over the pair, causing them to shrink back from intimidation. He examined each mare with a critical eye. Both were bruised on the body, with Octavia receiving quite a nice black eye courtesy of Vinyl. Several small cuts trickled blood from their scuffs on the floor, and teeth marks could be seen around the shoulders. Finally, after a lengthy silence, the Captain spoke.

"Now I'm only going to ask this once, and I expect an answer, got it?" he asked in a stern voice. Both mares nodded meekly in response. "Good. Now, tell me. What. Happened."

"W-w-wwell," Octavia stammered, trying to formulate a response. Vinyl's mouth just opened and closed wordlessly, far too scared to even begin formulating a sentence.

"Answer me!" the Captain shouted, causing both mares to squeak in surprise.

"She made me do it!" Octavia shouted, pointing an accusatory hoof at Vinyl.

"What!? I did not!" responded Vinyl, shooting an angry look at the cellist.

"Oh like Tartarus you did! You pushed me past my breaking point!"

"You insulted my line of work!"

"You called me a prude!"

"You called me trash!"

"Is it my fault you are?"

"THAT'S IT!"

Vinyl was about to make another swing at Octavia, and Octavia was likewise going to meet her blow before they were yanked apart by the guard's magic yet again.

"Enough of this nonsense! Both of you, OUT!"

And with those words, both mares found themselves flying through the air, through the double doors of the convention center, and finally skidding to a halt on the unforgiving pavement outside in a heap.

Groaning from their unwelcome introduction to the ground, both mares shakily got to their hooves, unexpectedly coming face to face with one another. Giving each other a final glare, they angrily trotted away in different directions.

Vinyl snorted as she walked back to her apartment. Bitch

Octavia seethed as she trotted back to her home. Slut

Meanwhile, in the convention center, an inconspicuous light grey mare had watched the entire thing unfold. Sigh, why can't those two ever get along like normal ponies? They'd make great friends for each other, and who knows what they could accomplish professionally. But I can't make them be friends.

...Or can I?

A mischievous grin spread across the mare's lips before somepony tore her away from her thoughts.

"Hey Lunar Lights, did you catch all that?"

Turning to the pony, the mare responded.

"Yeah I did, crazy huh?"


Oh my it was such an unexpected thing to see, but it gave me an idea. Perhaps they just needed to get to know one another better. Walk a mile in each others horseshoes so to speak, in perhaps a more literal sense. Needless to say, they were both in for a very big surprise come morning.

Also needless to say, this is where things get interesting.