• 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 4

----Equestrian Education----

Year One: Chapter 4 – The Second Week Begins


Just like every morning last week, Twilight Sparkle was awakened by the blaring sound of her alarm clock. Also like every morning the previous week, she had to peel her face away from the book that she had spent her hours of moonlight reading, groaning as she stretched to rid her muscles of the vestiges of sleep that hung on them. As the sounds of hooves drifted into her room from the hallway, she snapped out of her trance and threw the book, Pony Psychology Series: Book One this time, hastily into the folds of darkness under her bed. “Twilight?” Her brother’s voice came from the other side of the door, still laced with grogginess.

“I’m awake, Shiny. What is it?” She was frantically brushing through her mane as she yelled over her shoulder, suppressing the cries of pain that came as her brush cut mercilessly through the tangles.

“I’m supposed to take you to school today, so hurry up. We have to leave earlier so I have enough time to get home and then go to school.” She could hear a hint of annoyance creep into her brother’s tone, urging her to quickly finish her routine. Shining’s hoof banged on her door impatiently. “Come on, Twili, we don’t have all da—“ She opened the door before it could get broken down and stepped down the hallway towards the kitchen. A white hoof stopped her and steered her towards the front door instead. “I’ve got your breakfast; we can eat it on the way. Does that sound good?”

“Sure, Shiny. Let’s go!” She bounded out the door and stopped on the sidewalk outside. “Cmon, big brother!”

Shining Armor rubbed sleepily at his eyes as he looked out the door to where is sister was waiting with an eager smile on her face. “Wish I could be so excited about school.” He muttered, then raised his voice. “Goin’ to take Twili to school, be back soon!” Without waiting for his mother’s reply, he lifted Twilight’s forgotten saddlebags and nearly fell down the steps to the sidewalk from the surprising weight that was enveloped in his magic. Twilight simply leapt up and grabbed her bags from him, tossing them onto her back with ease. He decided not to bring up how a filly was stronger than his magic, deciding to use said magic to grab a slice of bread from his saddlebag and levitate it in front of his sister, who took a large bite from it and giggled.

“Phranks, Shiny!” Small crumbs fell out of her mouth and peppered the ground as she giggled again, stopping the sound only to take another chunk of bread from the slice. “Mmmmm.” She groaned as she chewed, smiling up at him as he looked down to raise an eyebrow at her before smiling as well.

After a few minutes of silence, in which Twilight finished off the doomed slice of bread, her brother spoke up. “So, what book were you reading last night?” Shock passed through her body and was quickly replaced by fear coupled with anger. How could Shining Armor have known? He noticed her look of apprehension. “Oh come on, Twili, you think that I didn’t know my sister was an egghead who would rather read than sleep?” He chuckled at the sour expression that crossed her face. “How else are you smart enough to be in a competition for smart ponies?” He affectionately nudged her head with a hoof and smiled proudly at his sister as she glared a few daggers at him.

She swatted at his hoof and walked faster, trying to leave her brother and the ensuing conversation behind. Of course, for a much larger pony keeping pace was hardly a difficulty and soon Twilight found herself slowing down to the point where Shining could nudge her again. “So? What book was it, Twili?”

She squeaked as his magic ticked her sides and nearly coaxed the answer from her before she could put a hoof to her mouth to halt its escape. Of course, Shining didn’t really want to know what book it was; he was merely using the opportunity to tease his sister. After trying to walk while being tickled and failing terrifically, Twilight gave into the torture. “I-I-I was r-reading P-p-p-pony Psychology!” She managed to get out through the laughter that filled her throat, relief flooding her body as the tendrils of blue magic receded. She grabbed the hoof her brother held out to her and pulled herself to her hooves, immediately letting go of her brother and angrily setting off down the street.

After the rest of the walk, which was spent by Shining attempting to beg for forgiveness and Twilight ignoring his pleas, they stood silently staring at the deserted schoolyard. “Wow, we got here really early didn’t we.” Shining backed away slightly and waved her forward. “Go on then, go to school.” She stood there and looked at him expectantly, her eyes wide in a silently dangerous form of begging; the dreaded filly-eyes. His public-school-hardened heart melted in the face of such an attack, his hooves moving involuntarily into hugging position. The little filly squealed and leapt into his hooves with a hug that nearly toppled him. “Have a good day, Twili.” He managed to detach himself from his sister and back away a few steps.

She booped his nose with a hoof, giggling as he snorted. “You too, Shiny!” With that, she turned around and bounded towards the large front doors of the school. She pulled at the handle and felt her heart drop. It was locked, keeping her stuck outside. When she turned around to find her brother, he was already gone.

She was alone, or at least she thought she was before she heard the sounds of muffled sobs coming from the playground. Her muscles stiffened at the sound, her emotions switching between fear and a sadness of her own. Twilight leaned up against one of the stone pillars that flanked the school’s entryway, shivering lightly from more than just the feel of the frigid stone on her coat. After a few minutes of standing there awkwardly, her curiosity got the better of her as it did to most young ponies and she slowly stepped down the steps into the grass, which crunched slightly under her hooves.

The soft sobs faltered for a moment as she got closer to their source, causing her own hooves to stop their advance. “H-h-hello?” A small gasp issued from underneath the platform she was looking at, a small shuffling coming from below. She poked her head under the small opening and saw a pony whose coat was pure white with a mane of silver. “Silver Streak!” She exclaimed suddenly, bringing another jolt of fear from the mentioned pony. The hiding unicorn, upon recognizing the purple filly, came out from her hiding place and stood hesitantly.

“H-hey there, Twilight.” The silver unicorn looked around nervously before turning her attention back to her. “How’s it goin’?” Twilight frowned slightly, noting the tear tracks that trailed down the silver-maned filly’s face.

“I’m all right…” She trailed off, looking over the pony in front of her. “But are you okay Silver Streak? You sounded like you were crying and you have tears in your eyes and what were you doing under this thing?” She couldn’t contain her naïve curiosity as she leaned in to hear her friend’s answers.

“Y-yeah, I’m fine, Twilight. It’s… it’s nothing. Don’t worry about me.” Silver Streak averted her eyes and stared at a spot in the ground, fighting off a fresh wave of tears. After a few moments of silence, she looked up to see Twilight gazing at her with her head tilted to one side. “I said I’m fi—“ Her angry words were cut off as Twilight pulled the white pony into a comforting hug. Silver Streak, taken aback by this show of affection, buried her muzzle into the small mane of her friend, allowing a few tears to escape that eventually turned into quiet sobs. The purple filly patted her back and sniffed loudly, smiling sadly as the silver pony quieted her sobs. After a few moments of silence, they pulled apart. “Thanks, Twilight, I needed that.”

Twilight smiled proudly. “My brother says that hugs make everypony feel better!”

Silver Streak nodded in reply. “They sure do, Twilight. Your brother seems nice.”

“Yeah, not really. He’s a big pony pooper.” They giggled at the immature joke, smiling at each other as the laughter subsided. “I’m just joking, he is really nice. He’s the best brother ever. He’s my Big Brother Best Friend Forever!” She spread her hooves in the air. “I love him this much!” The purple filly was overcome with giggles as she tried to reach farther and farther, succeeding only in nearly falling over. Silver Streak found herself smiling at the staggering pony as she pushed the reasons for her sadness away.

“Hey, Silver Streak!” Said pony turned around to see some of her other friends standing a small distance away. “Come over here!”

The snow-white filly turned to the purple one, who was watching her with happy eyes. “Hey… uh, Twilight, I’ve got to go.” She waved a hoof weakly in the direction of her waiting friends.

Twilight looked to them and back to Silver Streak before nodding. “All right then, go ahead PFF!”

“PFF?”

Twilight rolled her eyes. “Pony Friend Forever, duh!” She bounced into the air before trotting away from the confused Silver Streak, who watched her as she departed.

“Pony Friend Forever huh?” Silver Streak turned away and walked over to her other friends with a small smile on her face. Okay then, Sparkle, Pony Friends Forever.

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Twilight Sparkle walked down the crowded hallways at school, which were filled with students of all ages as they chattered away on various topics that an elementary school pony would be interested in. The small snippets of conversation that drifted into her ears were ignored as she walked towards her classroom with a smile on her face, which remained until the bell sounded its cry throughout the building. By the time she reached her class, which she only did so by fighting through the masses of other ponies attempting to do the same, it was nearly five minutes after the tardy-bell. She pushed the door open with her head and stepped quietly into the room, trying to make herself as unobtrusive as possible. Of course, her efforts were for naught, the tell-tale pricks of the class’ stares coming to rest upon her neck and back.

She stood there for a moment, waiting for her punishment to befall her. Silence reigned in the classroom, broken only by the occasional shuffle or cough from the ponies in the room. The few moments that passed seemed to stretch on for hours, eventually ending when her teacher cleared her throat. Twilight looked up, confusion floating across her mind as she looked at the baby-blue pony who stood with a piece of chalk in her hoof, still held up to the chalkboard. A few more seconds passed before her teacher spoke. “Um, Twilight, you can go sit now. I’m trying to teach the lesson.”

Mutters buzzed amongst the classroom louder than bees in a nest, silenced by a glare from Learning Spark only to buzz up again when she turned away. Twilight shook her head, trying to recall each word from the teacher and checking if they were real. Her results were, as usual, inconclusive. “Huh?”

“I said to go sit down, Twilight. I can’t continue until you do so.” She waved to the board again, indicating her unfinished problem that stood out white from the grayish-green slate.

“Y-yes, Miss Spark.” Without further argument, she trudged to the back of the room, enduring the stares and whispers from her confused classmates that stared at her with incredulity. When she sat down, the clicks of the chalk returned their attentions to the front, sparing her from further looks. Of course, the ponies around her couldn’t contain their obvious excitement that was coupled with their natural curiosity. She found herself besieged in questions from all angles, whispered attacks that invaded her privacy.

“Why were you so late?”

“How did you get out of trouble?”

“Is it because you’re a smart pony?”

How did you get out of trouble?!”

She shrunk back in her chair, halfway reaching towards her saddlebags to pull them in front of her face and hide behind them. “I-I-I don’t know!” Her squeak cut across the lesson that Learning Spark was teaching, producing a cough from front. The ponies that had been barraging her with questions snapped their head back around to the front, leaving Twilight leaning halfway out of her seat.

“If you are quite finished, Miss Sparkle, I would really like to finish this lesson.” Her teacher’s stern voice made her shrink back further against the wood of her chair, shame rushing to her face in the form of a blazing heat.

“Sorry, Miss Spark.”

“Thank you. Now, as I was saying class…”

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After the usual chaos that the ringing of the lunchtime bell brought, Twilight found herself in the courtyard once more, happily chewing her chrysanthemum sandwich and humming a tuneless song. Her gaze rested lightly on each group of ponies in the yard, her mind analyzing and categorizing them into separate lists based on gender, colors, and age. Of course, she didn’t know of the vast database that her mind maintained, for it often fell away from the grasp of her conscious mind, but that didn’t stop her from doing it anyway. After she had scanned the open area, she threw the rest of her sandwich into her mouth and stood up to throw away her garbage. As she threw the trash away, three shadows cast themselves over her.

Fear was the first emotion to make itself known, as was to be expected of a small filly such as Twilight. Her hooves began trembling as she slowly turned to confront the ponies that were standing behind her. As their faces came into view, she tried to back away, only to have her path of escape blocked by the garbage can she had sought before. The leader of the group leaned in to look into her eyes, like he had a week before. “Hey, you’re that little filly from last week, aren’t ya?”

She shivered with a sudden chill, her hooves trembling with the rest of her body. “Y-yes, I-I a-am.” She squeaked, bringing a round of laughter from the bullies again, but somehow it sounded less cruel than before. The courtyard fell silent once more, all of the ponies present watching the events unfold. “W-w-what do you w-want?” They chuckled amongst themselves at her feeble attempt at sounding brave.

“Listen to her, boys, she sounds so brave!” More laughter followed the lead colt’s remark, still somehow coming off more good-natured than before. He turned his attention back to her and the rest of them followed suit. “Well, what I want, little filly,” He kneeled down and patted her on the shoulder with his heavy hoof. “Is forgiveness.” The other two ponies nodded eagerly in agreement. “We’re sorry about how we acted the other day. It was wrong of us to do it. Will you ever forgive us?”

She kicked at the dirt and looked around the silent yard, the fillies and colts all gazing right back. She backed away from the three ponies in front of her, nodding slightly and stammering. “Y-y-yes, I forg-g-give you.” Immediately their expressions brightened and they all stood, nodding at the still-terrified filly before quickly walking away, as if they were eager to leave. The courtyard slowly filled with mutters, which were replaced with quiet words until the entire place was buzzing with conversation again. She sat on her bench amongst this organized chaos, continuing her unconscious sorting of the students until the process was interrupted by a mane of silver crossing her vision. She looked up to see her friend looking past her to where the once-bullies had retreated into the building. “Silver Streak!”

The white pony tore her attention away from the bullies with visible effort, smiling down at the purple filly in front of her. “They didn’t give you any trouble did they?”

Twilight’s mane flapped around her face as she shook her head. “Nu uh, they just wanted to say they were sorry.” She tapped her chin, thinking to herself. “Isn’t it silly? I mean, how they wanted to apologize just a few days after they did it?” After a few more moments of silent thought, she shrugged. “I guess they just felt bad about it and wanted to be nice from now on and be good ponies! What do you think Silver Streak?” Her friend remained silent, looking once more at where the colts had made their escape. “Silver Streak?”

The silver-maned pony shook herself lightly, focusing back onto Twilight. “Uh, yeah, good ponies. I think you’re right on that one, Twilight.” She returned the satisfied smile that the purple unicorn flashed her way. “Hey, uh… Twilight?” She looked over at her shoulder at nothing in particular. “I’ve got to… um… go. See you around!”

“Bye, PFF!” Twilight couldn’t hide the slightly disappointed tone that leaked into her voice, her ears drooping slightly as she watched her friend walk away.

The white pony absently waved a hoof in the air as she walked, pushing the doors open with her magic and stepping inside the building, quickly turning a corner and exiting Twilight’s sight. A harsh ringing filled the courtyard, sending the gathered ponies into a flurry of motion. Twilight slowly turned away and walked back inside, pushing through the halls once more to reach her classroom.

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` The day had passed much faster than she could have ever thought, the boring lesson that her teacher had unleashed upon the classroom somehow failing to send her into a stupor, but perhaps that was due to the occasional question of difficulty that Miss Spark had directed towards her. Every time one of these questions was thrown into the air, she managed to answer within parts of a second after the words had reached her ears.

She sat on the soft couch in the living room, smiling at her brother who sat across from her. Her excited voice seemed to fill the room and her smile was contagious, as Shining Armor found himself with a happy smile on his face. “And then, I gave her a hug, just like you told me to, and we became friends!” She finished her story with a wave of her hooves, grinning at the fond memory from merely hours ago.

“Wow, Twili, you’re making friends already, huh?” Shining Armor put on an over-dramatic pout and kicked at the cushions sullenly. “Guess you won’t need me anymore, I’ll just go to my room now…” His attempt to leave was pulled to a hard stop by the purple hooves that clung to his leg.

“Nu uh, Shiny! I still need you to help me read my books!” She sang, giggling madly as she was gently tossed side to side, Shining Armor’s hoof moving with her still on it. “I’m. Not. Letting. Go!” She squeezed her hooves for emphasis, smiling up at her brother with a playful light in her eyes.

His own eyes shone brightly. “Oh yes you will!” He laughed aloud before renewing his efforts to shake her off. She squealed as her brother’s hoof disappeared from between her hooves, the rushing air filling her ears with its sound as she flew. Her world grew blue as Shining’s magic caught her and suspended her upside down in front of him, both of them panting heavily. “All… right… Twilight Sparkle… now… I get to pick… the book.” She couldn’t suppress the groan that bubbled up in her chest, dreading what was to come. Her fears were confirmed as her brother pulled a thin book from under the couch, Hoofball Ponies of the World stamped across its front in flaming red letters.

She struggled to free herself from the prison of blue, crying out in frustrations when the bonds held fast. Her cage fell down onto the couch with a soft thump, bouncing slightly as Shining Armor leapt up to lay beside her. “I don’t wanna read that, Shiny! It’s boring!”

“Well, too bady, Twili!” Her brother merely smiled as she screamed in rage at him, her hooves punching in futility against the blue wall that separated the siblings. “Pony Romo was the best hoofball quarterback in all of Equestria, that is, until he…”

Twilight’s pained groan drowned out her brother’s next words, but still he kept reading to her, a mischievous smile on his face the entire time.

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Important!!! Author's Note Time (Again): All right, I've recently gotten a comment on this fiction that has really opened my eyes as to what I'm doing wrong with this fic, or at least a few things that I SHOULD fix and the other thing I'm keeping the same for the sole purpose of stuff. As such, I'm going to be re-writing the chapters I have released currently. It shouldn't change too terribly much and, if anything, increase the word count as well as the quality of character development. I will post a new chapter stating that aforementioned re-writes are finished when I complete them. As always, thanks for reading!