• Published 16th Dec 2020
  • 395 Views, 15 Comments

24k Lush - The Red Parade

Sweetie Belle believes in magic. She hopes that'll be enough.

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Starswirl the Bearded and dozens of other unicorn scholars have written extensive articles about the functionality of unicorn magic, and other researchers have since expanded their work to the magic inherent in earth ponies and pegasi as well. But still, I wasn’t satisfied. Because I believed that magic was something far greater than what Starswirl defined, and something much broader than anyone originally thought.

If we can take the example of emotions, for example. There is a certain way that we feel when we are happy, and a way that we feel when we are sad. But yet, no matter what we feel, emotion seems to be a spell cast upon our memories, so that we remember each one within a context. Whether it be joy or sorrow, every memory, I believe, is drenched in this magic, so that it is nearly inseparable from the feeling itself.

Perhaps I’m wrong to call emotionality itself magic, but I do assert that there is a magic there. There is some strange force that we feel that drives us to love and to hate, and that pumps stronger than blood through every pony in this world. And that, I believe, is a force stronger than anything Starswirl could have thought of.

A pair of foals dotted in front of Sweetie, giggling and screaming as they chased each other. Sweetie wavered a bit, but didn’t drop the bags from her magic.

To her right, her sister laughed. “My, my, how time sure has flown. I remember when you were as young as they were,” Rarity declared, pulling her own bags a little bit higher.

“You’re telling me,” Sweetie muttered.

If Rarity noticed this remark she didn’t address it. “Thank you for taking the time to greet me, by the way. I’m sure you have plenty to do.”

“Yeah, it’s no problem,” Sweetie replied. “Are you staying in Ponyville for long?”

“I’m afraid not,” Rarity replied. “I’ll only be able to stay for a few days, Sassy needs me back in Canterlot to help manage the new line.”

“Yeah, I suspected as much,” Sweetie sighed.

Rarity shot her a weary glance. “Oh, darling, are you alright?”

“Yeah, I’m fine,” Sweetie affirmed, glancing up at the sky. The sun was beginning to set over the horizon, and a team of pegasi were puttering below the clouds, setting up the evening landscape.

“Sweetie, I know you a bit better than that,” Rarity said, placing her hoof on Sweetie’s shoulder. “What’s the matter?”

Sweetie sighed, turning her eyes down to the ground. “I just… miss them.”

“Ah.” Rarity nodded in understanding, squeezing her sister’s shoulder. “I miss my friends too, dear.”

“It’s different, Rarity,” Sweetie protested. “You guys are famous for your friendship.”

“Well that may be true, but that doesn’t mean we see each other as often,” Rarity replied with a toss of her mane. “I believe I last properly spoke to Twilight… oh dear, it must have been at least half a year ago. And it was on a Friendship Mission, no less. Not as much time for catching up as either of us would have liked.”

Sweetie furrowed her eyebrows. “That… that can’t be right! Didn’t you talk to her at your Fall Line Debut?”

“Twilight couldn’t make it, darling,” Rarity replied with a chuckle. “But can you blame her? Her duties have only increased in recent times. I suppose it’s a shame, but if she’s happy then I’m in no place to complain.”

“But… that’s the thing,” Sweetie replied. She kicked at the dirt gently, watching as a small cloud of dust spun off into the air. “I feel like you guys have a right to complain. It just… it feels like everyone I’ve talked to lately has been having these problems. I mean, you guys are Equestrian heroes! But… I don’t know, it’s like you all forgot how to be yourselves or something.”

Rarity was silent for a moment, but Sweetie still felt her sister’s hoof on her shoulder. “You do raise a very good point,” Rarity began. “And you know I love you, but I don’t know what you can do for us at the moment.”

Sweetie frowned, her ears pressing down against the side of her head. “I… I wish there was, Rarity.”

“Enough about us, Sweetie, I want to know how you are doing,” Rarity declared.

“I don’t know,” Sweetie began. “I’ve been lonely, I guess. Living alone, without Scoots or Apple Bloom around… it’s been weird. And we’ve been sending letters and stuff, but it isn’t the same. I feel so… useless. I just… I don’t know where I’m going. I want to tell them I still care, but I don’t know how. ” Her voice wavered as she spoke, shaking in small, subtle ways that were almost indecipherable. But Rarity never missed a single detail.

Her sister pulled into a tight hug. “You most definitely are going somewhere,” she whispered. “Even if you move at your own pace. I promise you that much. And you’re not useless. In fact, you’re golden, darling. Golden. Besides, you’re working hard on the Friendship Festival, aren’t you? You said that you have a marvelous spell planned for the grand finale.”

“If I can pull it off,” Sweetie replied, swiping at her eyes. She was surprised when her hoof came up wet. “I still have a lot to figure out.”

“Then why don’t you do it for them?” Rarity suggested. “Use it as a sign, perhaps. Something that they can see no matter where they are in Equestria. Something so big and grand they can’t possibly miss it.”

Sweetie smiled, leaning into her sister’s side. “That sounds like a great idea. Thanks. But speaking of the spell, I was going to ask you to help me with the colorations of it.”

“Why of course,” Rarity replied, ruffling Sweetie’s mane. “Now, what say you join me for supper tonight? I have a new recipe that I am just dying to try.”

Sweetie giggled, and the two set off back down the road.