• Published 27th May 2021
  • 380 Views, 11 Comments

A Lesson in Romantics - The Red Parade



Cheerilee loves Meadowbrook. Meadowbrook loves Cheerilee. Hopefully nothing gets lost in between a thousand years of translation.

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Oh Well, Oh Well

Cheerilee stood in the hallway with a smile plastered on her face and her eyes closed, most definitely not hiding.

From behind the classroom door there was a massive ruckus, followed by arguing and a chorus of other unsettling noises more fit for a warzone than a classroom.

She wasn’t hiding: she only needed a few seconds. Really!

The classroom door slammed open and three faces piled over each other. “Miss Cheerilee!” cried a voice. “Twist isn’t letting me speak! She keeps talking over me!”

Cheerilee flinched. She only needed a few seconds. “Well, Scootaloo, I don’t—”

“And Featherweight didn’t even do the review questions!” cut in another voice. “How are we supposed to review in groups if he didn’t do anything?”

“Sweetie Belle, I’m sure—”

“Miss Cheerilee? I ain’t got any paper left. Also there ain’t any glue either.”

She only needed a few seconds. But at this point she’d take even one. “Apple Bloom, why do you need glue—”

“Cheerilee,” called another voice from around the corner. “You have a visitor!”

Cheerilee’s heart dropped at that and she swallowed heavily. “Okay, girls, go back inside and I’ll help you all out,” she said as sweetly as she could, ushering the girls back into the classroom. “Send her over, Amethyst!”

As the door shut, Cheerilee groaned, gently pressing her forehead against the wall. “Just one day where everything goes right! Why can’t I have just! One! Day!”

“Oh, I’m sorry… is this a bad time?”

Cheerilee whirled around to see a shock of blue and green standing in front of her. “O-oh, goodness! Mage Meadowbrook!”

Meadowbrook smiled politely. “Are you Miss Cheerilee?”

“Yes, I am,” Cheerilee stammered, blinking several times. What could a Pillar of Equestria want with her? Wait… a Pillar of Equestria is here, and you’re just standing there?! Her eyes bulged as the sudden realization crashed upon her, and she began to kneel, keeping her eyes on Meadowbrook.

Meadowbrook blinked at her before quickly shaking her head with a gasp. “Oh, there’s no need for that! Please, uh, I don’t believe in those kinds of formalities!”

Cheerilee froze, legs still halfway bent. Oh Celestia, you just insulted one of the most relevant figures in Equestria. Good job, Cheerilee! “I-I didn’t mean to insult you!”

“No, you haven’t,” Meadowbrook insisted, eyes darting up and down the hall.

Slowly, Cheerilee unlocked her legs standing up straight with a sigh of relief.

“I was actually hoping to ask you about something,” Meadowbrook explained. “I heard there was an ancient love poison used here, and you were one of the victims?”

Cheerilee’s cheeks began to burn bright red with humiliation. “Oh, yes,” she said, coughing into her hoof. “I… try not to think about that too much.”

Meadowbrook’s ears drooped and Cheerilee’s panic set in again.

“Er, but I’d love to discuss it with you!” Cheerilee blurted hurriedly.

Before Meadowbrook could respond, there was the shattering of glass followed by a chorus of gasps from inside the classroom.

“Just… maybe not now!”

Meadowbrook nodded hurriedly. “I can, er, come back later?”

“Please do! I would love to speak with you! About the potion! And whatever else you’d need!” Cheerilee exclaimed, sweating as she backpedaled to the door. “I… I’ll be here!”

“Okay!” Meadowbrook replied, half-raising her hoof to wave as Cheerilee kicked open the door. “I’ll come back—”

Cheerilee slammed the door closed, the blinds rattling violently.

She blinked a few times, staring at the door, before realizing she had just slammed a door on one of Equestria’s literal living legends. “Oh dear.” But before she could open the door to apologize, there was a desperate shriek from behind her. “Miss Cheerilee! Rumble’s eating glue! Make him stop!”

Cheerilee died a bit inside at that.


Meadowbrook stood in front of the schoolhouse with wide eyes and an awestruck grin plastered on her face.

The land around the building was peaceful and placid, filled with birds chirping in the air and squirrels darting in and out of the low bushes. The entire scene was serene, and Meadowbrook could almost picture the eager faces of the schoolchildren inside, ready to learn and play.

The thought almost had her prancing in place. Though perhaps it was also the nerves.

Meadowbrook was responsible! Princess Twilight just… didn’t see it that way. It had only been one experiment gone wrong, but the Princess had put her hoof down and ordered that Meadowbrook carry out her next ‘experiment’ under her guidance.

And so, Meadowbrook reluctantly left her pharmacy in the care of Cattail and her junior apothecaries and ventured to Ponyville: to research the abrupt and accidental resurgence of the fabled Prince’s Poison.

That search had led her here: to Ponyville’s Schoolhouse. The teacher from the stories had to have been powerful: why else would her students attempt such an endeavor?

Meadowbrook took a deep breath to steady herself. She was starting to wish she had brushed up on her diplomacy skills, but it was too late now.

With a confident nod, the healer trotted into the building. The first thing she saw was a desk manned by a busy unicorn. “Excuse me?”

The unicorn looked up expectantly.

“I’m looking to speak with a Miss Cheerilee?”

“She’s a bit busy at the moment with her class,” the unicorn said, standing up. “But I’ll see if she has a second for you.”

After a moment, the unicorn waved her through the hall. “She’s right over there.”

Meadowbrook thanked the aide and trotted down the hall, finally laying eyes…

...on a purple mare banging her head into the wall, silently muttering to herself.

“Oh, I’m sorry… is this a bad time?”

The mare whipped her head around to stare at her, eyes nearly bulging from her skull, and Meadowbrook instantly regretted speaking.

Oh, stupid Meadow! Is banging on the wall something ponies do nowadays? Is what you just said disrespectful? Why didn’t you read Twilight’s book on custom changes?!
“O-Oh goodness! Mage Meadowbrook!”

Meadowbrook swallowed hard. Oh, she recognizes me? Oh dear. “Are you Miss Cheerilee?” she asked, hoping she hadn’t stammered.

“Yes, I am,” the mare answered, blinking rapidly.

Meadwbrook stood and smiled, but inside her brain began sparking. Why is she staring at me like that? Is there something on my face?

As thoughts flew through Meadowbrook’s mind, she vaguely picked up Cheerilee’s form dropping to the ground.

“Oh, there’s no need for that,” Meadow blurted before she could bite her tongue. “Please, uh, I don’t believe in those kinds of formalities!” Instantly, Meadowbrook regretted the words. Cheerilee was a schoolteacher, an epitome of etiquette and pride!

And to her horror, Cheerilee’s eyes bulged wider as she uncertainly rose to full height, staring down at her with violently violet eyes. It was then that Meadowbrook became painfully aware of their height difference and she shrunk back further in fear. Cheerilee sighed softly… was that in disappointment?

Meadowbrook was well and truly butchering this.

“I was actually hoping to ask you about something,” Meadowbrook stuttered, trying to catch her reeling mind. “I heard there was an ancient love poison used here, and you were one of the victims?”

At that Cheerilee’s face took on a shade of red: likely born of rage or anger. “Oh, yes,” she said, muttering from behind her hoof. “I… try not to think about that too much.”

That did it. Meadowbrook dropped in humiliation. Her first encounter with a modern, respected academic was a total, irreparable failure.

“Er, but I’d love to discuss it with you!” Cheerilee suddenly remarked.

Meadowbrook blinked at that, a glimmer of hope filling her body. But before she could speak, there was a loud crashing from within the classroom and her eyes flicked to the shut door.

“Just… maybe not now!”

Once those words were processed Meadowbrook nodded rapidly. “I can, er, come back later?”she offered.

“Please do,” Cheerilee chirped. “I would love to speak with you! About the potion! And whatever else you’d need!” She began backing to the door while holding a smile. “I… I’ll be here!”

“Okay!” Meadowbrook replied, half-raising her hoof to wave. “I’ll come back—”

The door slamming shut cut her off.

“—later.”

It took Meadowbrook a few seconds to fully come to terms with what had happened. “Well!” she said, lowering her hoof to the ground. “...well.” Her ears drooped and she sighed. “Well,” she muttered. “You sure screwed that one up.”