• Published 25th Aug 2012
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Equestrian Education: Year One - ChaoticHarmony



Twilight Sparkle gets schooled... literally

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Year One: Chapter 1

----Equestrian Education----

Year One: Chapter One – First Day of School


Her face came away from the page of her book with a comical peeling sound, her hooves rubbing at her eyes as she attempted to fully resurface from unconsciousness. “Wha… What time is it?” She let out a yawn and turned to look at the aged clock that hung on her wall. The inlays of silver and lapis lazuli failed to mystify her today as shock coursed through her body.

The hour-hoof was pointing to the seven and the minute-hoof to the nine. Kindergarten started at eight o’ clock. “Oh no, I overslept!” She jumped onto the floor, grabbing her brush with her teeth and hurriedly brushing through her sleep-tangled hair. Her mane now a semblance of order, she threw the brush back onto the wooden stand and nearly galloped out of the doorway, but not before remembering to throw her book back into the dark cage that was the underside of her bed.

She stopped outside of the kitchen to take a deep breath in an attempt to calm herself. Her hooves still trembled despite her effort, but she hoped that her parent’s would shove it off on first-day excitement. The door creaked as she pushed against it, signaling her entry into the abode of nourishment. Her brother, Shining Armor, was the first one to notice her as she hesitantly walked into the room. “Hiya Twili!” His smile was some form of contagious disease as she found herself returning the show of affection. “I thought you died or somethin’ in there.” He laughed before returning to his toast, taking a seemingly-impossible bite from the morsel.

“Oh dearie, here’s a slice of toast for you too.” Her mother’s face beamed down at her as she placed the bread on the table in front of her. “We wouldn’t want you to be hungry for your first day would we?” Twilight grunted in response, her mouth too full of food to properly articulate a sentence. “I was just about to get you too. You usually get up a lot earlier than this.” Fear consumed her as her mother tapped her chin thoughtfully, retreating only after her mother shrugged and turned back to her cooking.

She looked nerviously up at the clock again, her eyes widening as she watched the minute-hoof moving forward with a small click. “Oh don’t worry, Twilight, you’ll get to school on time. It doesn’t start until eight thirty anyway.” Her father, the epitome of fathers, popped out his newspaper and continued reading.

Her brother saved her from certain doom and humiliation. “Um, dad? School starts at eight for her, it’s at eight thirty for me.” Both of their parents froze in shock, their head jerking as one to look back at the ticking device of time telling that hung on the wall. The only sound was that of the hay fries that were sizzling in the frying pan that sat on the stove, which were very subtly starting to cook past edibility. “It looks like it’d be a good time for you to go right?” Her parents quickly glanced at her brother, who was smirking at them, and then to her.

Her world vibrated as her father threw her up onto his back. “Twilight, hold on!” He snorted as he pawed the ground, taking off at a gallop that easily put her own to shame. Wind rushed past her ears as they practically flew down the street, the crowds that were on the sidewalks parting to make way for them. She looked up to see a blue glow fill her vision. “Hold on, Twilight! I’m gonna get us there quick!” She wrapped her hooves around her father tightly, dreading what was about to happen.

Up and down disappeared, becoming lost in the void that was the spell. Her eyes were shut tightly, but her vision was still filled with a blinding white light. It pushed into her from everywhere, filling her with warmth and distorting the images that had once been there. Sounds were inseparable, meshing together into a roar that howled in her ears. All the sensations grew, pushing at her harder and harder, driving her back into herself. As suddenly as it had all started, it had ended, and she was merely the little unicorn filly who was sitting on her father’s back.

When her senses finally returned, she felt as if something was… wrong. Her intuition was further reinforced by her father’s nervous chuckle as he pulled her from his back to set her on the ground. “What is it, daddy?” Her question sparked something in his eyes as he stepped away from her and pointed to a puddle of water. She looked at the surface of the lightly-waving water and screamed shrilly. “My face! My hair! Daddy what did you do?!”

The blue stallion backed away from her quickly, holding up his hooves innocently. “I’m sorry sweetheart! I didn’t think that would happen again!” He held her flailing hooves carefully, reaching into his saddlebag to pull out a handkerchief. He wiped it across her face quickly, messing up her hair further and causing her to sputter angrily. When he pulled the cloth away, it was nearly black with the amount of soot that had been on her face. “There… all better!” She looked at him skeptically, coaxing another nervous laugh from the older unicorn. She felt a scream build up in her chest again and was about to release it until the first bell cut across her anger, replacing it with anxiety. “Better get going, Twilight! Have a good day at school!” Her father’s large hoof waved excitedly, faltering only slightly as she looked over her shoulder to glare a few daggers at him.

She held her head low to the ground in embarrassment, not wanting anypony else to see her with a blacked over face that had only been half-heartedly cleaned and with hair that fared no better. Despite her efforts, a blush made its way into her cheeks that could have been seen a few miles away, even with all the soot that still covered her. The silence irked her, mainly because she was expecting laughter or taunts, but also because it meant that something else was wrong. She looked up, her gaze scanning the hallways before lifting to stare at the clock. It was nine-fifteen. The first class of the day had already started.

Her hooves clicked on the smooth floor as she ran down the passage, knocking aside the rolling trashcans that occasionally found their way into her path. She stopped outside her classroom, taking only a moment to attempt brushing her hair into something resembling neatness before giving up entirely. Her hoof seemed to weigh tons as she lifted it from the ground to slowly turn the knob on the suddenly-looming door. A deep, calming breath did nothing to halt the tremors that went up and down her leg. Come on, Sparkle, you can do this!

The floor squeaked as she walked into the classroom with her head facing low to the ground. Each of the students’ stares felt like little needles on her body, causing her to flinch as the roved over her. She staggered forward and landed on the ground, a hoof somehow being held out under her own. She glared back at whoever had tripped her, but she only saw the students looking forward, with no hints as to who she should direct her anger to. She pushed herself up and walked to an empty desk, setting her saddlebags down on its surface with a loud thunk. Tears misted her vision as the silence continued, broken by the occasional cough or shift of a body.

“Uh, can I help you miss?” The sudden voice beside her made her jump, a squeak escaping her mouth and setting the rest of the room into raucous laughter. Her face flushed as she looked over to the source of her reaction, more heat rising quickly as she looked into the teacher’s confused face.

“Um… I’m here for… class?” Her whisper sounded weak and pathetic, sending the room into more laughter as she shrunk backwards into her chair, whishing she could just become the wood that it was composed of.

“Quiet down, class.” The stallion looked over the groups of ponies, his stern glare plunging the room into a silence somehow quieter than before. He gave the room one last glare before nodding to himself and turning back to her. “Little filly, this is the sixth grade class.” He motioned for her to follow him to the front of the room and pointed a hoof at the map that hung on the wall beside the door. “I believe you’re looking for kindergarten, correct?” Her eager nod was her only response as she held up her saddlebags to hide from the still-staring colts and mares in the room. “Well then you want to go… here.” He jabbed a place on the map with his hoof, still smiling kindly at her.

“Oh, thank you sir!” She squeaked again as his hoof patted her hair.

“It was no trouble… er…”

“Twilight, Twilight Sparkle.”

“It was not a problem, little Twilight. However, you should hurry to class now.” The teacher opened the door with his hoof, waving goodbye to her with the other as she walked slowly to her actual class. “Have a good day at school!” The door closed with a click that echoed in the empty hallway.

Her smile faded as her hoof touched the ground again. “That’s the second time somepony has told me that so far.” She muttered the words angrily to herself, kicking a hoof angrily into the floor before setting off towards her class. It took longer than she had expected to reach the kindergarten classroom, mostly due to the fact that she ended up in the third and second grade rooms before finally stumbling into the correct hallway.

She stood outside the door, her hooves trembling as she reached out to turn the gleaming knob that hung slightly above her head. The metal was cold as she gripped and turned it. A loud, ringing noise filled the hallway as she worked up the courage to finally open the door, causing her to jump again and back away from the door, from which a sea of other fillies and colts emerged. Her flank touched the wall as the crowd pushed her further and further backward. Soon, the flood of ponies slowed to a trickle and allowed her to peel herself from the wall.

A kindly-looking mare looked out from the doorway, watching the running crowd of small ponies turn the corner with a motherly expression. Twilight peeked out from the plant that she had managed to hide herself behind, shivering slightly as the teacher sighed. “Another year, another class full of lovely children.” Her white-streaked, pink mane bobbed as she shook her head. “I wonder where that Twilight Sparkle is though.” The baby-blue hooves trotted in place nervously as the pony’s head swiveled as if she would find Twilight in the hallway with her. “Her parents didn’t call her in sick or anything. Oh, I should go tell the pri—“

Twilight squeaked for the umpteenth time that day as the worried eyes locked with her own. “Um… hi.” She tried to shrink away, but the teacher’s hooves pulled the plant off to one side.

“Oh? Who is this little filly?” Her motherly voice barely covered the worry that still burned in her eyes.

“Oh. Um… I’m Twi… Twilight… Spar—“ She cut off as a pair of hooves wrapped around her suddenly.

“Oh I’m so glad you’re all right! I was worried because you weren’t here!” The now-relieved mare placed her back on the ground and huffed a sigh. “Whatever did you do to be so late? And what happened to your head?” She added as she looked her over. Before Twilight could answer, the older unicorn shook her head and gestured to her classroom. “Never mind that, let’s just get you cleaned up. Luckily I’m still here, so I can still teach you what you missed.” When she didn’t move, the mare gestured again. “Come on dearie, I don’t bite. My name’s Learning Spark, but you can call me ‘Miss Spark.’”

“T-thank you, Miss Spark.” Her timid whisper barely made it past her mouth as she walked into the ominously-empty classroom. She slowly walked in front of the desks, all of them seemingly leering at her as she looked at them. “Um… Miss Spark?”

“Yes, Twilight?” Learning Spark was writing on the chalkboard, preparing to teach Twilight the few things that they had gone over that day.

“Where do I sit?”

“Oh just pick any empty seat.” The mare said it without turning around, her attention still focused on her lesson. Twilight sighed as she took the only available seat in the class, near the back corner and farthest from the teacher as possible. “If you’re wondering where the rest of the class went, its snack time right now. Oh don’t worry; you can eat after I go over what we learned.” She added as Twilight’s hoof attentively went into the air and casted a shadow over the chalkboard.

“Yes, Miss Spark.” She reached into her saddlebag, her hoof hesitating before shifting aside the packed lunch her mother had made her, and pulled out her supplies. All right, it should be fine now. I’ll eat in a bit, it’s all right. Learning. Yes. She ignored the loud rumbling noises that came from her stomach as she looked up to see what her new teacher was chalking into the board. I’m ready!

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The bell’s ear-splitting ringing pulled her from the trance she had been in, the world coming into focus as she resurfaced. She looked around the classroom with bleary eyes, rubbing a hoof into them in an attempt to regain focus. She gazed at her notes that she had taken, attempting to remember what her teacher had gone over with her during the snack period. She gasped as she looked at the drawings that ringed around the words ”This class is too easy! It’s BORING!” Her quill had even pressed hard enough into the paper that it had punched through.

“Oh, and that’s the end of snacktime! Will you be fine, Twilight, without having any food for now?” Her teacher looked at her uncertainly, guilt edging into her voice and eyes. It tore into her heart as she looked at her new teacher’s face, guilt of her own pouring into its wounds. She couldn’t just make her teacher sad like that.

She found herself nodding eagerly. “Mmhmm! I’ll be fine, Miss Spark. After all, a pony can survive for three whole days without food!”

The motherly eyes widened in shock. “Y-yes, that’s correct, but wherever did you hear such a thing, Twilight?”

She shook her head, smiling a little at how her knowledge had impressed her teacher. “Oh no, Miss Spark. I didn’t hear it from anypony; I read about it in my copy of Pony Science: Academy Level.” She bounced eagerly in her seat, and was just about to show off more of her repertoire of facts until the door slammed open to admit a host of colts and fillies who were all chattering excitedly amongst themselves. The class was comprised of all unicorns, typical of Canterlot schools in their area. Separating the ponies based on race made it easier to teach them all their respective skill sets that they would use later in life.

Learning Spark shook herself from a trance of her own, snapping her jaw shut as she smiled at the returning ponies. “Hello class! Please come in and sit down again! We’re going to talk about math now! Isn’t that exciting!?” The rest of the ponies in the room besides Twilight groaned, but the mare let the moans pass over her head. “Oh, and we have a new classmate joining us!”

Twilight shuddered as she felt the focus of the class suddenly concentrate on the teacher as they waited for her to announce who the new pony was. Once again she sunk down in her chair, eager to become nothing more than a speck of dust or dirt. Oh please don’t! She squinted her eyes shut as the dreaded words fell over the room.

“Twilight Sparkle, would you like to come down and introduce yourself?” Twilight shook her head frantically, hoping to get out of the torturous task, but her teacher merely chuckled. “Oh don’t be silly, come on!” Something in the motherly tone told her that she wouldn’t get out of this short of running out of the door and screaming in fright. Her hooves dragged on the floor as she slowly made her way towards the chalkboard, the crowd of students looking at her with curious eyes. Her skin crawled with the prickles of the ponies’ stares, causing her to shudder and tremble uncontrollably.

She stopped, taking a deep breath and looking up at the teacher, who smiled reassuringly. She gulped and turned, looking over the ponies who stared back at her. “H-hi… m-my name is Tw-Twilight… Twilight Sp-sparkle.”

“Her hair is weird!” One of the fillies shouted into the room, pointing at her and laughing, the rest of the class joining in. Heat flooded into her face as she slowly walked back to her seat, Learning Spark working behind her to restore order to the room. She plopped down on her chair, crumpling the used paper and pulling out a fresh sheet, small drops of tears falling onto the white surface.

“All right class, get out your notes! We are going to talk about math!” The blue pony whipped around and pointed at the board, a simple math equation written in white chalk on its black face. “Can somepony tell me what this is?” Already on Twilight’s paper was a rough drawing of her mixing chemicals with a pair of goggles over her eyes. She groaned softly as her stomach painfully grumbled again. Her vision grew misty as more tears welled up in her eyes, which swiftly closed to shut them away. She shook her head and looked up, putting on the show of being the focused student as her mind drifted longingly to the books that hid in the darkness under her bed.

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“Heya, Twili! How’d school go?” Her brother’s smiling face greeted her as she walked through the front door, his smile quickly faded as he saw the sad look on her face. She shook her head and sniffed loudly, her mind going over how horribly her day had been. Her brother silently gathered her into a hug, slowly rocking her side to side as she nuzzled into his mane. “It’s fine, Twili. Shhh.” It was only then she realized that she had been shaking with silent sobs, her anguish that had built up over the course of the day letting itself out all at once. Soon her cries quieted and her tears dried, her hooves reaching up to hug her brother back tightly.

“Thanks, Shiny.” She pulled away after a few more moments in his embrace, walking down the hall and stepping into her bedroom. He poked his head around the corner hesitantly, making sure she was all right. In her lap sat the calculus book, its large pages open and inviting her to dive into it once more. She looked up and smiled at him, her sadness forgotten and replaced with the joy of truly learning. “Wanna join my, Shiny?” He nodded, his hooves producing small squeaks from the mattress as he pulled himself up on top of her bed. “All right, math time!” She giggled at her brother’s grimace as he looked over the page that she had shoved under his nose. “What’s this?”

“Uh… um…” Her brother scratched at his mane embarrassedly, his face flushing as he furiously thought. She giggled again at her brother’s confusion; it was almost as if she could hear the gears turning in his head. Finally he groaned, pushing the book away and holding a hoof to his temple. “Ugh, Twili, can’t you pick something a little easier?”

She giggled mischiviously, reaching under her bed to pull out another heavy volume, this one bearing the name Pony Science: Academy Edition stamped in golden letters along the top. “Okay, Shiny, this one then!” She shoved the book under his nose so that he could read the title. His groan vibrated the springs of the bed as he fell backwards in mock agony.

“The smarts! They burn!” She giggled and jumped on top of him, reciting random math formulae into his ear as he fought to push her off. “Nooooooo!”

After a few minutes’ struggle, Twilight found herself held against the bed by a single heavy hoof. “No fair! You cheated!” Her brother raised an eyebrow at her, giving him quite the comical look. She giggled as he used another tickling spell on her. “Magic… is… cheating!” She choked out through her laughter. Suddenly the spell dissipated and her brother removed his hoof that held her down. She snuggled into his side, her sadness completely forgotten.

He looked over at her, messing up her hair with a hoof. “Don’t worry, Twili, tomorrow will be fine.”

She pulled away from her brother to look him in the eye, searching for any hint of a lie in his words. “Promise?”

He chuckled and pulled her into a hug. “Promise.”

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Author's Note: Well, this is something new for me to write. Just a warning, I won't be updating this very often due to schoolwork starting. So no promises on the next update.