• Published 14th Dec 2020
  • 3,888 Views, 163 Comments

Of Dragons and Maternity - SymphonicSync

When Twilight visits Ponyville to prepare for the summer sun celebration, her assistant Spike develops a crush.

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(7) Enrollment

Cheerilee could hear a hoof rap against the front door. She looked up from the papers and files scattered atop her desk and beckoned across the schoolhouse "Come in!" Pony might like to call it a schoolhouse, but she could still remember the days when it was Pollopdrop's grody hog shed. A dull coat of half-dried barn paint and a creaky bell tower Cheerilee bribed out of that Apple family colt could only do so much. She sighed as a purple hoof wrapped around the side of the door, inviting in the rest of the mare's form.

Her time in Canterlot had ruined Cheerilee's expectation of a school. Before seeking her accreditation, she'd have marveled at how much larger this was than Mrs. Spice's old shack. The patience that mare must have had...

"You finally come." Cheerilee greeted the burgeoning scholar, as Ivory Scroll had put it. She pursed her lips. It had slipped out, more or less, revealing her frustration with the day.

The mare halted in her stride, taken aback. "Were you expecting me?" Twilight asked.

"Word spreads when somepony new moves to town. How can I help you?" It seemed that she hadn't seen Cheerilee that morning after all.

Twilight let out a nervous chuckle, saying "Oh, right, small towns. I'm not used to everypony knowing everything."

Cheerilee sent a small thanks to Celestia for her dark coat; Ponies couldn't tell when she blushed, as she was at the memory of standing in the shadows of the Golden Oak the night before.

"Yeah, I know how you feel," Cheerilee agreed, tapping a stack of papers on the desk to align them, "it was jarring when I first moved back to town."

"Moved back?"

"I got my teaching degree up in Canterlot," Cheerilee rose from her chair before trotting over to the blackboard, "now what was it you needed?"

"Oh, right," the mare's face flushed, "I wanted to see if you would take Spike as a student." Twilight watched as Cheerilee erased the various notes and began to sketch the outline of a wing.

Cheerilee hesitated before she affirmed "Of course, I accept any and all here."

"Well, he's a dr-"

"A dragon?" Cheerilee interjected. "Word travels- Miss?" She set down the chalk and turned to offer her chair to the unicorn. Behind her was the rough sketch of just such a creature, drawn for an upcoming lecture planned weeks prior. The question was a formality, she'd heard Twilight's name many times over the course of the last twenty-four hours.

"Sparkle, Twilight Sparkle." Her horn lit and the chair glowed in a faint purple light. Cheerilee couldn't remember the last time telekinesis was used so effortlessly within the schoolhouse. It rolled behind the mare as she sat down. "I should have introduced myself earlier."

"Don't worry about it." Cheerilee leaned back against the board, careful to not brush against any of the occupied space. "I'm not partial to teaching anycreature, miss Sparkle. I'm not sure how the students will react at first," her mind drifted to the two fillies that always seemed involved in the issues of her younger class, "but I won't tolerate any sort of disruptions for very long. Most of the kids are pretty nice, especially those in the summer courses."

"Summer courses?" Twilight inquired. She had a confused look on her face.

"It's the off season, so to speak. Normal classes don't start until the end of the month. Right now I have a smaller session every couple of days for some of the children with nothing else to do around town," She saw a small Pegasus scootering down the street of her memory, "or those that need a little more help than usual. Where is Spike in his curriculum?"

"I'm, uh," Twilight mumbled, "Not exactly sure..."

"You're not sure?" Cheerilee asked spinning a piece of chalk against the lip of the trough. "You don't talk to him about his school work?" It rumbled against the wooden curve, slowing to friction before she flicked it again. Unconcerned caregivers were the most significant annoyance of her job. Had the engaged, supportive mare at the failed surprise party been a fluke?

Twilight was looking at her hooves, resting in her lap. "We do talk, there's just no school work to talk about."

"He doesn't have trouble with his assignments?" Cheerilee probed.

"There are no assignments. He's never gone to a school-" Twilight confessed before cutting off Cheerilee's gasp, "Well, he's been to school plenty. He'd come with me back in Canterlot. He's just never attended one on his own."

Cheerilee stood there, stunned, for a few seconds. "So, what does he know?"

"About as much as I do, I'd reckon."

"What do you mean?"

"He's been helping me for as long as he can remember. He might forget how to spell some words but he can write for royalty." The mare paused, seemingly in thought. "He'll sometimes handle intermediary equations for longer problems I am working on, or go through the library for research."

The library, Cheerilee thought, but hadn't they only just moved to town? And she said through, not to. Did she live in a library up in Canterlot as well?

"-it's probably related to magical history more than anything else, and I don't know how much he'll remember, but-"

Cheerilee tapped the chalk tray once with her hoof, then a second time. "It's alright, I can see where he stands if you're okay putting him in the summer course, then decide the age group he'll study with from there."

"If you could," Twilight gave a sheepish look as she requested, "could you see if Spike makes friends in the next few weeks and keep him with them?"

Cheerilee considered the idea for a few seconds, along with wondering why. "I could, yes." She took a few steps towards the desk and reached inside a drawer. Hoofing through the files inside, she pulled out a form and set it before the unicorn. Twilight took the quill from the inkwell and begin filling in the paperwork.

Good, normally Cheerilee had to do this part herself or suffer through a lengthy explanation.

To the sound of scribbling against the resistance of the hardwood desk, punctuated by the occasional clink as the writer returned to the inkwell, Cheerilee continued to write out her next lecture upon the board.

The two wrote in a muted silence to the sound of nature sneaking in through the aging walls. At least until Cheerilee caught a stall in the work of her company as she finished her own. She pulled down the curtain that hung over the chalkboard and covered her scrawls. The lesson could wait until Spike was properly introduced.

Turning around and peering over their shoulder, she read the line that had given Twilight pause.

Parent(s): __________

"The 'or Guardian' is assumed; I should have ordered new forms a while ago." Cheerilee mused off-hoof, trying to hide the hint of... Concern? Curiosity? She wasn't sure how to respond to the moment. Twilight obviously wasn't Spike's mother, but how did she see herself?

"Oh, yes, right!" Twilight chimed, returning the quill to and from the well once again. Cheerilee watched as she wrote out her signature at the same time as she ignited her horn, the aura seeping into the page where a blotch of ink had fallen out of line. It rose an inch above the paper, erasing the blemish, where she swept it into the path of the quill.

"Ms. Sparkle, if I may ask a favor?" Cheerilee questioned as Twilight spun in the chair to hold out the completed form.


"It's been some time since the school had anypony to tutor magic. The ponies who could help are rather too," Cheerilee suppressed the urge to say many words, such as posh or insufferable, and settled for a kinder substitute as she took the page and laid it on the edge of the desk, "busy with their daily lives to help and I can only do so much with old instructional booklets."

"I've never taught anyone other than myself," Twilight explained, "but I can certainly give it a try."

"That would be much appreciated."

Twilight stood from the chair and asked "Is there anything else I need to do?"

Cheerilee took her seat and riffled through another drawer, pulling out a flier and hoofing it to her. She answered, "Buy him a backpack."

Twilight accepted the paper and looked over it. It showed her the time of the summer classes and if they met somewhere other than the schoolhouse. Glancing up, she said, "Thank you for all of this, I'll go see about having one made." Cheerilee caught a nervous glance as the mare spook, unsure of why. She slipped the page into her saddlebag and turned to leave. Cheerilee focused again on her desk. There was much work to be done, she thought, as she began to assemble more papers needed for enrolling a new student. It was a bloated mess that the EEA only made worse with each passing year.

Cheerilee paused on a line herself as she was copying Spike's paperwork for the official record.

Race: _______

She knew that griffons had recently started being accepted into schools and training camps in the past few years without much fuss, but dragons?

She penned in the word "Unicorn" and moved on to other details. It wasn't like the EEA would notice anytime soon.

Sliding open a drawer, she began to flip through the folders inside. Each one represented a class in the school and held the forms for foals in them. The entire discussion of class placement and waiting until the end of summer had been gratuitous.

Cheerilee cracked a smile as she dropped the collected paperwork, now stapled together, in a folder for one of her younger classes. She'd known where she would place Spike long before Twilight stepped through the door to the schoolhouse.

This was shaping up to be an interesting year.