• 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 2

----Equestrian Education----

Year One: Chapter 2 – Lunchtime Fun


Friday barreled around the metaphorical corner, taking the small Twilight Sparkle by surprise as it loomed overhead. The rest of the week had passed without much incident, though the lessons were still full of less-than-elementary math and English lessons, through which she had managed to get past without much incident by doodling idly and working on small problems she had copied from her calculus book that was stashed under her bed. Her new notebook that her parents had bought her sat in her saddlebags, now filled with fun activates for her to entertain herself in the trance-inducing kindergarten class. Just the previous night, she had been staring at the pages of Calculus for Beginners and furiously copying the unsolved problems from the review sections onto the pages that sat between the purple covers.

“First week’s almost over, Twilight.” Her father nudged her shoulder and chuckled. “Nothing getting incinerated yet now, is there?” Her father’s good mood was contagious, Twilight soon finding herself unable to hide the smile that the taller unicorn returned happily.

“Yeah, Daddy, I don’t think anything is on fire… yet.” She giggled mischievously at the suddenly-wary look he directed towards her, concern and worry plain in his eyes. The world spun as she rolled her eyes at him. “I’m just joking, Daddy. You know I’d never set anything on fire. At least, intentionally.” She added as one of his eyebrows rose ever-so-slightly. Twilight and her father shared an unsteady laugh at the shared memory of the “Flaming Birthday Cake Extraordinaire Incident” as their family had come to call it.

When their laugh had faded, he suddenly looked at her sternly. “Now, Twilight, I know it’s funny to laugh at your… erm… outbursts… from the past, but it’s very important that you control yourself. We don’t want you blowing up the school or something.” Her smile, which was slightly growing at the thought of ridding Equestria of the boring place, practically fell from her face as he coughed. “Do you understand me?”

Her mane bobbed as she nodded her head. “ Mmhmm.” Her father’s strong hoof pulled her into a strong hug as he kissed the top of her forehead. She pushed him away, a flash of heat coming to her face as the sound of laughter came from the schoolyard. “Daaad! Stop it! You’re embarrassing me!” Her father merely chuckled again and pulled her closer, his hoof messing up her hair and causing her to squeal in anger. When he finally released her, she leapt a few feet away and brushed her hair with a hoof, eyes glaring daggers at her father. “Bye, Dad.”

Crescent Moon watched his filly walk past the groups of children who were all standing in groups, noting at how she didn’t talk to anypony else on her way to class. He shook his head sadly, feeling a stab of worry for his little Twilight. “Have a good day, sweetie.” His whispered words barely cut into the net of noise that hung over the area, falling far short of their intended target. Without any more words, the royal-blue unicorn turned away from the school’s red face and headed back home.

She felt something, a notion that somepony was speaking to her from afar, that made her turn around quickly and scan the crowds of colts and fillies. Nopony was behind her, but she couldn’t shake the feeling of being talked to. With a shrug, she pushed the sense into a corner of her mind and stepped into the school, taking a deep breath before her hooves crossed the threshold. She was inside the cheerfully colored building for another boring day of kindergarten, or so she thought.

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The pealing of the bell filled the classroom, cutting off every train of thought as the school children all piled out of the room. Twilight slowly looked up from her papers, over which the workings of an expert mathematician were scrawled in black ink. After a few moments of blankly staring at the bell on the wall, her teacher’s voice brought her out of the world of complex formulae and back into Equestria. “Um, Twilight, dear? Aren’t you going to lunch?”

“Huh? Oh, yes ma’am.” She hurriedly closed her notebook and stuffed it unceremoniously into her saddlebag, using her magic to pull the clasp shut as she walked towards the door. She was merely inches away from leaving as the motherly voice stopped her.

“Twilight?”

Fear, coupled with worry, flowed readily through her body as she stepped back and turned to face the stern-yet-soft face that her teacher somehow managed to hold together. “Y-yes, M-Miss Spark?” She winced as her voice made its way to her ears, guilt plainly audible on every syllable.

“Twilight, I’ve been meaning to tell you something.” A hoof waved her further back into the classroom, eventually directing her to sit in the closest chair. “When I’m teaching a lesson… erm… I see you writing in your notebook.”

“Um… I’m taking notes?” Twilight punched herself mentally as her words, tinged with false innocence, came from her mouth.

Learning Spark wasn’t fooled. “Taking notes involves looking up at the board, little filly.” The motherly teacher’s stern words scared her slightly as they seemed to fill the room, the baby-blue unicorn standing and walking back behind her desk to sit down. She looked up at her from over a sheaf of parchment. “When you come back from lunch, I expect you to be participating in class.” After a few moments of awkward silence, she looked back up. “Well go on, dear, lunch is waiting for you.”

“Yes ma’am.” Her voice sounded utterly devastated, mirroring how she felt inside. Her heart practically fell to the floor as she walked, her hooves barely lifting from the tiles as she made her way towards the courtyard to eat her packed lunch of lilies and pansies.

The sun outside beat down on her neck and back as she pushed open the door to the courtyard, a gust of wind pushing against her efforts to move forward and nearly blowing away the little filly. She plopped down on a hot bench and set her saddlebags in front of her, opening their clasps and drawing out her lunch that had been packed earlier that morning by her mother. The wind tugged at the small flowers before she placed a ball of magic around the meal, stopping the small petals’ efforts at escape. “Oh no you don’t. You’re my lunch you flowers!” With a giggle, she plunged her muzzle into the ball of energy and took a large bite from the pile of plants.

Something collided painfully with her side and knocked her from the bench, the ground rushing up to meet her as she fell. Raucous laughter filled the courtyard, which was silent save for the occasional howl of wind. “Oops, sorry, little filly.” She looked up to see three unicorn colts, nearly stallions at their age, standing over her with mean grins on their faces. “Here… let me help you up.” The pony who had knocked her over reached out with a hoof, which she took gladly. The back of her head hit the ground again as the bully let go of her halfway, stars dancing across her vision as she shook her head. Another round of laughter issued from the other two colts as the one who had dropped her smiled at her coldly. “My bad, must be my butterhooves.”

She pushed herself up and dusted away the dirt that had found its way onto her body. Not knowing what to do, she merely smiled shyly at the colts as she used her magic to lift her plate of food and saddlebags into the air. A flash of pain came from her forehead as a hoof poked it. Hard. The shattering of dishware echoed in the silence that oppressively rested itself over the gathered ponies. From the ground she could see her former-lunch resting in a pile on the ground, her saddlebags in the dirt next to them. “Where do you think you’re going?” Another face pushed into hers angrily, the eyes full of anger that seemed to be teetering on the edge of release.

“I-I uh… I was… going to…” She stammered, trying to push herself up on shaking legs but succeeding in only falling back onto the ground. “Th-that is… I-I am g-go—“

“Ha! Look at this boys, she can’t even talk right.” The third stallion poked her nose and leaned in to look at her, the smell of unwashed pony blowing in the wind into her face. She could count the teeth that were missing from his mouth as he laughed right in her face. “What’s wrong, filly? Are you scared?”

Her vision misted as tears began to build up in her eyes, the bullies’ cruel laughter throwing her further into the depths of sadness and fear. “P-pl-please g-go away!” She covered her face with her front hooves, sobs wracking her body as she lay there.

The leader clicked his tongue. “Awww, does the little pony not like us? What do you say boys? Should we go dunk her in the toilet?” Grunts of ascent came from the other two colts, followed by raucous laughter. She found herself lifted into the air by an invisible force, her hair falling down away from her face as she floated further from the ground. The pair of doors that lead back inside grew closer and closer as the group of bullies approached them with her in tow. Panic mixing with a feeling of complete helplessness, ate away at the edge of her mind, her tears falling to the ground as she struggled against the magical grip that clutched her hoof.

The dirt was underneath her body once more as a blur of silvery-grey tackled the colt whose horn was glowing. Sounds of struggle came from somewhere beside her, but she couldn’t see anything other than faint outlines through the tears that filled her eyes. The three darker ones that were the colts all grouped around the silver one, each jumping in a separate times and leaping back quickly. Her hooves rubbed away the tears and her vision focused in time to see the silver filly leap away from the group and run past a tree only to turn around to confront the confused colts.

“Come on, you big dummies!” She shook her tail at them and giggled. “Betcha’ can’t catch me!” Twilight’s mouth dropped as she watched the filly continue to shake her flanks at the ponies, even when they were galloping towards her with ill-intent in their every move. She tried to scream, to warn the silver pony to run away, but her mouth couldn’t form the words. The small hooves of the filly sounded almost non-existent to the positively thundering hooves of the bullies. She closed her eyes and cringed, expecting a pained cry to fill the courtyard, but nothing came except three similar grunts of pain.

When she slowly opened her eyes, the three colts were impacted face-first into the tree that the filly had stood in front of, all pushing themselves away and rubbing at their heads stupidly. Suddenly the branches of the tree glowed silver and seemingly came to life, reaching down to tickle the helpless ponies that had collided with its trunk. The pleading laughter filled the courtyard and mingled with the giggles of the other school ponies, all laughing at the bullies’ expense. “No! Please stop it! I’m ticklish!!!” After a few moments of attack, the bullies all leapt up and ran way, tears that had come from the torturous leaves falling away from the their faces and peppering the ground behind them.

A calm and astounded moment later, the courtyard exploded into shouts of delight and glee at seeing the bullies finally beaten. Twilight cringed in fright as all of the ponies began chattering and shouting out thanks to the silver unicorn filly. “Hey… are you okay?” She looked up from the ground into the face of the pony that had saved her from her wet fate. “I have your saddlebags.” She held out the dark-blue bags that glowed with a silver aura. “I tried to use a cleaning spell on it, but I don’t think I did very good.”

She took her bags and put them onto her back, standing up on her shaky legs and kicking the dirt hesitantly. “Th-that’s all right.”

The pony held out a hoof. “I’m Silver Streak.” An awkward silence fell over them as Twilight looked at the hoof apprehensively and backed away subtly. “What’s your name?”

“I’m… um… I’m Twilight Sparkle.” Another moment of silence passed between them.

“Um… all right, Sparkle, I’ve got to get going. It was nice to meet you.” The silver filly turned around and galloped towards a group of ponies, who were all looking at her and waving for her to join them.

A feeling of unease settled over Twilight’s heart, driving her to follow Silver Streak. Suddenly a pealing bell filled the air, cutting through conversations and the noise of moving bodies. The paths soon filled with the bodies of fillies and colts on the way back to their classes, blocking her attempts to follow her savior. Dust blocked out the sun as it was kicked up, coating the sky with a light brown and driving away the beating sun. As suddenly as the courtyard had filled, it emptied. Nopony else was there with her as the dust slowly fell back towards the ground it had been resting on only moments before. “Um… thank you… Silver Streak.” She turned away from where she had last seen the light-colored filly and walked back into the building.

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“Twilight Sparkle?” The sound of her name pulled her from the compound fraction that she was currently attacking. When her head rose to face her teacher, she felt the eyes of all the class on her once again. “Twilight, what’s the answer to the problem?”

“Wh-what problem, Miss Spark?” Her cheeks burned brightly as the entire class descended into snickers which, only with the help of Learning Spark, eventually faded away. The mocking looks remained however, each set of eyes pointed directly at her as if she were a freak. “C-could y-you r-r-repeat the question for me?” Another wave of laughter, quieter this time, passed over the room before it fell silent again, an air of expectancy hanging over the crowd as they looked back and forth between teacher and student.

“Twilight… didn’t I tell you something before you left for lunch?” Twilight cringed as the Learning Spark’s words fell over the classroom, expecting something in terms of outright anger. However, the words held only a strong disappointment that cut deeper than anger would have. When somepony yelled at her, she could yell back, but when their voice is only full of disappointment, there was nothing the filly could respond with.

Her eyes filled with tears as she nodded and squeaked. “Yes… you did, Miss Spark.” Her whisper died several times in her throat before she could finally force it out. She studied her desktop, her eyes tracing the grains as a moment of silence filled the room, dragging far beyond a moment and becoming what seemed like hours. She looked up from her study of the wood after the nagging feeling had buried itself deep inside her mind. “I’m sorry, Miss Spark.”

The blue mare waited a few moments, staring back at her tearful eyes with that disappointed look before nodding. “Then, Twilight, I trust you will do what I asked you to do. The question I had asked you was: ‘What is five plus one?’”

Normally, such a high number problem such as that would have been daunting for many of the ponies that were sitting in the room, some of them even beginning to whisper amongst themselves to figure it out in case the teacher asked it to one of them should the purple filly fail to answer correctly. “The answer is six.” Of course, Twilight’s clear and eager response merely a second later shut off their whispers as they looked upon the nervously-smiling filly with awe.

Learning Spark was no exception, her eyes widened slightly and her mouth open. She shook herself out of her trance and rubbed a hoof over her face. “Y-yes, Twilight. That’s correct. Good job.”

Twilight felt her spirits fall to the ground at her teacher’s slight frown. “What’s wrong, Miss Spark?”

Almost as if she could feel the frown herself, Learning Spark put visible effort into hitching the corners of her mouth into a large, proud smile. “N-nothing, Twilight. You just did it so… fast.” Her eyes brightened as she looked at the filly with a new air of excitement. “Tell me… how do you spell ‘excitement’?”

“E-X-C-I-T-E-M-E-N-T.” Twilight recited in an instant, her eyes closed as she focused on her answer. A buzzing filled the room as the voices of twenty-five or so fillies and colts began whispering to each other, some of them shocked and others with ill intent. She opened her eyes to see the red-streaked mane of her teacher bobbing by the desk next to her, slowly looking up into the eager eyes of the pony. “W-what is it, Miss Spark?”

Her heart dropped as her teacher’s words passed over her. “Twilight, meet me in the principal’s office after school.” The whispers stopped as if they collided with a brick wall, the worried faces of the students peering back at her with pity. Shock and anger were the most prominent of emotions that she felt, warring with each other inside her mind.

“Yes, Miss Spark.” Her downtrodden reply was lost to the clicks of her teacher’s hooves as she walked back up to the front of the class, picking up a stick of the white chalk and drawing another simple math problem on the board. While Twilight’s eyes were focused on the board, her mind was going through multiple scenarios of what could possibly happen in the principal’s office, each new one growing more and more unpleasant until she had to blink away tears.

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Author's Note: Once again, not sure at how often these updates will be coming. Some may take a few days, while others may take a whole week to do. It depends both on my "feeling" the chapter as well as the time I have to write after I factor in schoolwork. Also, feel free to tell me what I'm doing wrong here. Spelling errors, stuff that doesn't sound right, things you liked as well. I wanna hear from you (try to keep the spoilers in the comments to a minimum please.