• Member Since 17th Dec, 2017
  • offline last seen November 29th

Hasty Revision

Critique of any kind is always welcome.


This story is a sequel to Leading Causes

Twilight Sparkle has more than a little anxiety about Spike's upbringing. In the wake of the Molt and the Sludge fiasco, those anxieties are clearer and stronger than ever. Like any good caretaker, she took advantage of an opportunity to learn more about dragons, including their needs and, most importantly, their vulnerabilities.

What started as a casual conversation about death for Smolder spiraled out of control into a full-fledged princess freakout, one that she is in the middle of. When it becomes clear that her teachers are completely hopeless when it comes to dragons, it's up to her to take Spike under her wing and teach him what they can't, one lesson at a time.

After a surprising number of requests for a sequel to "Leading Causes", I finally came up with something of a quasi-anthology of Smolder's lessons to Spike. While I do have a fair number of ideas, expect sizable gaps between updates.

Rated for academic descriptions (but no depictions) of death, and possible future scenes of hunting and fishing at a level slightly too mature for an E rating. Warning tags may be added later if I, or any commenters, feel they're needed.

Chapters (7)
Comments ( 293 )

“Why bother?”

Finally, someone who understands dragons

A bright, raspberry pink flash of magic flooded the hall and Professor Dash appeared flying full tilt down the hall before smashing into the wall at the end. Slowly, she slid down and settled on the floor in a heap alongside a stray feather or two.

Really Dash, what did you think was gonna happen?

Meanwhile, Professor Pie had gotten on top of the barrier and was bouncing up and down, giggling as the magical energy tickled her hooves with every landing.

Classic Pinkie :pinkiehappy:

The upper third of the wall had receded and reshaped itself into a luxurious theater balcony, complete with rich mahogany railings and curtains the color of vintage wine. The plush seats within were occupied by not one, but three Discords eating popcorn.

Statler, Waldorf, and Discord?

“Uh, yeah, about that. I was sorta winging it with that list. You'd really have to ask the Dragon Lord for the last Counting.

I dunno, seems the Dragon Lord training program also runs on the ancient academic principle of “eh, you'll figure it out”.

YES! I was so hoping you'd continue this! "Leading Causes" is a great story and I Smolder is my favorite of the Student Six. Honestly, it was her scenes with Spike in "Molt Down" that really sold me on them. The cool big sis vibe she has with Spike is just awesome and adorable. Please keep this going!

Also, minor note, in the first main paragraph you misspelled probably as "provably."

I'm glad to hear it! I hope you enjoy future installments.

I hope it doesn't disappoint as a follow-up. Also, I actually intended it to be provably as in "can be proven". That may or may not be a legitimate conjugation though. Thanks for pointing it out regardless!

The "sink or swim" mentality is a fundamental cornerstone of dragon culture. Also, I am going to claim that the Statler and Waldorf reference was entirely intentional now. Thanks for reading!

Oh sweet, wasn't expecting a sequel to Leading Causes, I totally approve! :moustache:

I love the sibling vibe between Spike & Smolder in the show so seeing it here is top notch! :pinkiehappy:

Looking forward to the next chapter! :twilightsmile:

For a while there, neither was I. Thanks for reading, and I hope you'll enjoy future chapters!

I'm game for this, even if I hadn't already read and liked the previous fic--there's a lot of untapped potential there in that mentor-ish relation between Spike and Smolder. :pinkiehappy:

Even cooler is that it can go two-way, when you really think about it. Smolder can teach Spike about dragons and living with them, while Spike can, in turn, teach Smolder about ponies and living with them. :raritywink:

I have been waiting over a year for someone to make a fully-fledged, multi-chapter story in which Smolder teaches Spike about dragons.

The long wait is finally over. Thank you, Hasty!

Have a Thumbs Up! I look forward to seeing where this goes!

I've had some thoughts in that regard. A good teacher does learn from their students, after all. We'll have to see how the actual writing pans out, of course. Thanks for reading!

Don't thank me yet! After all, I've only got the one chapter finished so far. Thanks for the thumbs up though, and I hope you'll enjoy future chapters.

i am SO EXCITED hasty you don't even know

the paragraphs leading up to Smolder's decision to teach Spike are so sweet and i trust you very much to portray dragon culture as a well-realized, unique thing

can't wait for the rest :twilightsmile:

Oh dear, it's starting to get a little intimidating seeing everyone looking forward to future chapters like this. Here's hoping they don't disappoint. Thanks for reading!

Learning that your civilization exists because it's too much trouble to burn it down is something of a cold comfort.

That is literally the only reason that any civilization has ever existed.

Smolder teaches Spike how to dragon. Discord, scoot over and pass the popcorn.

I'd argue that's debatable. "Too much trouble" implies a level of indifference at play alongside any sort of logistical or safety issues. Anyone taking on the Roman Empire in it's prime, for example, would likely find "too much trouble" to be an understatement. Either way, thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it!

If Smolder is very, very lucky, Discord won't have too much cause to conjure up any more popcorn because of her. Thanks for reading!

I am certain I won't be disappointed in the least! I have considerable respect for your manifest abilities as a writer.

Very well made and tied in nicely with the first. Twilight being paranoid/overworked and Spike wanting to know more about himself was all very much in line with their characters as were all the others. The jokes and situation as a whole were pretty funny and everything flowed perfectly.

Thank you for the feedback! I'm glad to hear that the flow was good. I was a little concerned about the transition from the stage-setting about dragons into the actual plot. And it's always a big relief to hear I'm not butchering the characters. I was really worried I was going overboard with Twilight.

Thanks for reading!

I can only hope. There's nothing more intimidating than high expectations.


Ooof, sorry, I know that feeling. It was meant to be more encouraging than intimidating. Just do your best!

If it was about any other pony maybe she would seem a bit over reactionary but seeing that it was Spike and that she was stressed and tired, Twilight made sense in the story and her behavior was logical even when she stopped when she realized she was entertaining Discord.

Oh, I know it's all meant well, and I appreciate it. It's really nice to get positive feedback. But, yeah, a liiiittle intimidating. Especially since I just realized I never added this story to any groups. Always so nerve-racking.

I'm glad that worked. I'll be honest, I've had that image of Discord eating popcorn being the thing that snaps somepony back to their senses lurking in the back of my head for months now, just waiting for the right scene. So happy to finally use it.

I'm actually very pleasantly surprised. I expected a story with a simple premise (Smoulder teaches Spike something and it goes wrong one way or another) being repeated over and over in every chapter. But because of the freakout there was a lot more depth. Not only from Twilight freaking out and realising it, but also from everyone reacting to it. The snippet of insight in Smoulders past at the end was nice too. Well done. I hope you can keep that up for other chapters.

I'm glad you weren't disappointed! I do plan to have Smolder trying to teach Spike something every chapter but I'm trying to avoid it just turning into a sitcom. And I'm definitely planning to work more of Smolder's past into future chapters. As for keeping it up... so do I.


I can imagine why Discord is so supportive of Twilight taking over the throne.

She can't even open a school without causing an international incident. The first few years of her reign are going to be one heck of a transition period.

Well now, wasn't this a surprise. I did want a sequel to that one shot, as the idea of it does include a lot of cool ideas, ones that can now blossom forever, given the show itself has left us for those hallowed halls where dreams are not just made, but met as well. Satisfying though the finale was, it is nice to create and read creations that won't become outmoded by the onward march of progress to the series itself, and tales like this get my excited.

Will we meet dragon slayers? Can Smolder deal with Manticores, Hydras, and Rocs herself? What about her own family, will they play a part in this? Will we ever find out why kids love the taste of cinnamon toast crunch? Who is the Batman? All questions that this fic might eventually answer, and I look forward to it.

It'll take a wiser being than I to unravel the mysteries of cinnamon toast crunch. I can say that at least one of your other questions will be answered in the very next chapter. Gotham City may never be the same.

In all seriousness, thanks for reading. I hope you'll enjoy what I come up with in future chapters.

Then the expression on the headmare's face caught her eye. She'd put one hoof against her chest and she was just smiling at her and Spike. It actually kinda reminded her of how her--

My tragedy senses are tingling

Hm, looks like my aim was a little off then. We're all "slice of life" around these parts. I don't think I could write good tragedy.

Smolder teaching Spike to dig gems.

But it appears he is facing serious competition.

The enormous talons pulled free of the floor and swept overhead, hanging in the air over the stunned youth for just a moment before coming down again. Yet instead of a second thunderous impact with all four mighty talons, the thumb and third finger of the claw curled in. Talons that could rend steel like paper delicately pinched the tip of the hatchling's tail between their smooth sides to lift her high off the cavern floor. The would-be-thief's eyes went as round as the bits that littered the hoard below when the adult began to draw in a long, slow breath…

…And blew a tiny flicker of flame no hotter than a match.

“No!” the thief begged, “No no no nooah-hahahahaha!” The thief wriggled and kicked desperately as the tongue of flames tickled her belly just enough to send her into hysterics. “St-ahahaha-op!”

That was an adorable flashback into little Smolder's childhood, I loved it! :pinkiehappy:

“Relax, most big monsters don't usually climb up past the treeline. We shouldn't run into any diamond dogs up that high either.”

Spike heaved a sigh. “That's a relief. I don't know if Twilight can whine like Rarity.”

Smolder raised a brow ridge at the younger dragon. “Uh… what?”

“A pack of them foalnapped Rarity once to try to make her use her magic to find gems for them. It turns out that diamond dogs can't stand high pitched sounds. By the time we rescued her, they were begging us to take her back.”

lol oh yeah, nice callback to *A Dog & Pony Show*, whinny Rarity is a scary thing to withstand!

Also even though he was no match for them on his own Spike wasn't afraid to take them on, he's tough like that! :moustache:

Smolder has proven to be quite the teacher here on their first outing, looking forward to see some more dragon lessons! :twilightsmile:

I like how well thought out the gem-searching was.

I am curious about Smolder's reaction at the end there and what that will lead to.

Dragons are all about competition. Something I hope to cover in later chapters.

I'm glad that little flashback worked. As for the callback, it just struck me as the sort of thing that might come up when they're talking about gem digging. A nice, lighthearted conversation point to break up all the matter-of-fact teaching. Thanks for the feedback!

I actually did a little bit of googling about any gem mining that goes on at the tops of mountains. This dig was inspired by Mount Antero in Colorado, one of the richest sources of aquamarine in the U.S.

As for Smolder's reaction, I'd intended it to be a touch more innocent than it seems to be coming across. I might have to rework it a little.


Their society seems to pride independence. And, inevitably, a social Darwinist outlook on life.

Thanks for the new chapter, I'm really liking this so far. One question to anyone who knows but did it ever come up to smolder that Spike was Dragon lord(if only for a moment lol) or saved the crystal empire? cuz if not i think someone should tell smolder (as in the series she doesnt seem to know, or just dont care. maybe a dragon thing lol), little spikey may not know much about being a dragon but he's one hell of a friend/hero hahaha

I know this story is about him learning how to be a dragon (& I'm liking it) I just got a thing for spike being bad ass hahaha

Thanks for the story so far, look forward to seeing whats to come :twilightsmile:

Thanks for reading, I'm glad you're liking it. I can't recall if Smolder ever directly heard about Spike's past exploits on screen. She might have learned about them in Friendship school though. I may or may not end up touching that stuff in future chapters, we'll just have to see where things go.

I think it would be funny to see how smolder would react to hearing just what spike has done lol but i look forward to seeing whats to come either way & thanks for replying :pinkiehappy:

I wonder how long it took for Smolder to learn that the whole situation was a total setup from looking back at it, not just because she was caught and admonished.

I mean, your target item is right in front of an experienced elder that can hunt by smell? I bet she was trying at least a bit not to sneeze due to the irritation in her nose caused by the air displacement. :rainbowderp:

Get yer rockface nice and clear, and one day, if youre really lucky, you will be facing an entire vein of pure food?

I wonder how long a hydrothermal vent, hotspring lasts before mineral deposits choke it and become an ore vein instead?

Spikes first own hunt, catch and eat. Thats one for the baby picture book? :twilightsmile:

Twilight is almost certainly regretting not bringing a camera. And Smolder's mother was probably well trained in handling this sort of thing when Garble was that age. It's a universal truth that kids will always make an attempt on the cookie jar.

Thanks for reading!

This is helluva heartwarming. Not to mention cute and bound to have some hilarious moments with momma Twiggles. Can't wait for more :twilightsmile:

I would think Smolder's at least heard whisper of these events by now. After all, Spike's a great kid and all, but he does have a small ego, and he's not above pandering to it with flaunting tales of his past exploits. And what better to tell than his past adventures as the hero? That, and I'd feel like he'd have the occasional need to prove himself still a capable dragon despite growing up among ponies around other dragons like Smolder from time to time, and telling of these events would be a good way to do that.

Besides, the Dragon Lord incident was a fairly public event, and Smolder knows Ember fairly well too, so it's hard to see how she wouldn't have heard of that particular event by now. :twilightsmile:

Thank you, I'm glad you like it so far. I hope you'll enjoy future chapters as well.

I can't really argue with any of that. I have one or two places in mind where a conversation about Spike's exploits might fit in. We'll just have to see where things go.

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