• Published 4th Jul 2022
  • 630 Views, 56 Comments

The Nail - Boltstrike58

In which Fizzlepop Berrytwist, the Element of Magic, must face her greatest challenge.

  • ...

Chapter One: A Day in the Life

Several Years Later...

At the blaring of her alarm clock, Fizz rolled over in bed, reaching with one leg to silence the blaring. She attempted to move back into her previous sleeping position, only for one of her new wings to accidentally spring outwards, nearly smacking her in the face in the process. Fizz groaned, trying not to get any feathers in her mouth like last time.

"Stupid princess wings," she complained. Deciding that there was no real point trying to sleep in, Fizz climbed to her hooves and yawned. She stretched out her wings, and with a flap, gently flew out of bed and landed on the floor. "Good, I didn't slam into the ceiling again." She moved into the bathroom, and fixed her messy mane back into her preferred style.

It had only been a week since Fizz managed to solve the riddle behind—what was his name, Star Swirl's—unfinished spell. Growing wings had been an unexpected result of that effort. Celestia said that she'd accomplished the task she'd been meant for all along, and unlocked the true power of the Elements of Harmony. Fizz didn't really understand what that meant, but she was proud to become the Princess of Friendship.

Sometimes, Fizz wondered why Celestia had set her up here in Ponyville, or more specifically, in this library. Even before the ursa attack, she hadn't been much of a bookworm. She was a far more hooves-on pony. Still, she had to admit the books had come in handy. In the years since she'd become Celestia's student, she'd spent whole days trying to figure out alternative ways to channel her magic. As it turned out, she wasn't the first unicorn to have her horn snapped off.

Trotting downstairs, she lit up her stump, causing a few loose sparks of magic to jump out. As more and more electricity came out, it eventually collected together, forming a long, five-fingered arm out of pure magic. The hand reached over to the cabinet, popped it open, and grabbed a box of cereal. Fizz's hooves had already procured a bowl, and she set about making herself breakfast.

As she ate, a knock at the door briefly drew her attention. "Hang on a second!" she called out after swallowing her mouthful. She created another magic hand, and sent it over to unlock the door. On the other side, she discovered her friend Rainbow Dash, hovering in the air with her wings.

"Yo, Fizz!" said the prismatic pegasus. "I'm right on time for our flying lesson! You didn't forget, did you?"

"Of course not, Dash," replied Fizz. "Congrats on getting up on time for something other than cider season."

Rainbow rolled her eyes. "Very funny. I can stop napping when it's something important."

Fizz finished off her cereal, dumping the empty bowl into the sink for later. "So are we just going over more of the same basic stuff from last time? Or is this where you start training me to be a Wonderbolt?"

The blue pegasus shrugged. "More of the basics. After all, I can't have you competing with me for the Wonderbolts until I've secured my spot."

"Gotcha." Fizz grabbed a set of saddlebags and trotted out the door of the library. She locked the door before placing the key in her bag. "I might have to leave early. Black Belt wants me back at the dojo this afternoon. Apparently, he's got some students that want to watch a pro in action."

"Sometimes, I wish I'd taken up martial arts like you," admitted Rainbow. "Not that they would've helped much against Nightmare Moon or Discord, but I could've made myself even awesomer than I already am." She scratched her ear. "Then again, I already train for racing all the time. Maybe I wouldn't be able to fit it into my schedule."

"It is a lot of work," replied Fizz. "But it's kept me in shape all this time. I doubted it when Celestia suggested I take it up, but she was totally right."

"Why'd she recommend it, anyway?" asked Rainbow. "Was it because of...um...y'know..." She paled a little, like she'd just realized she'd made a horrible mistake and was feeling the shame. Her ears turned downwards.

Fizz groaned internally. She was used to this happening, but it still annoyed her. If the others were going to talk about her horn, they should at least be upfront about it. The way they danced around it never failed to get on her nerves.

"I guess she thought it would be a good outlet." She left out the fact that it was an outlet for her anger.

Soon enough, the two were flying leisurely at a good height over Ponyville. Rainbow had instructed Fizz on how to stay airborne previously, along with things like how to use the wind to keep oneself aloft, conserving energy. Fizz wasn't the best flier, but she was a good student.

"Remember to flap your wings rhythmically. Otherwise, you might not be able to keep yourself going," Rainbow reminded her.

"Got it," Fizz replied, before executing a small loop-de-loop in midair. "Seriously, you'd better watch out, Dashie. I think I'm starting to get the hang of this!" She was so busy showing off, she didn't notice the cloud in her path. Fizz flew face-first into it, and quickly yanked her head out, coughing and spitting out bits of cloud.

Rainbow chuckled. "You still have a long way to go before you're on my level, Fizzy," she laughed. Fizz was laughing as well, since they both knew it was all good-natured.

Aside from that cloud incident, Fizz performed satisfactorily to Rainbow. The two eventually descended from the skies, making their way towards the Ponyville Dojo.

"You sure you don't want to watch?" asked Fizz. "I bet you could learn something to use the next time we have to save Equestria."

Rainbow laughed again. "Thanks, but I don't think hoof-to-hoof combat beats rainbow lasers. Anyway, I have a race I need to train for. But thanks for the invite, anyway."

Fizz waved as Rainbow took off again, then stepped inside the dojo. She'd packed her gi in her saddlebags the night before, and quickly changed into it. She'd earned the black belt before she even came to Ponyville, but there was always more to learn. None of the other Element Bearers seemed to be particularly interested in taking up martial arts, but when they had free time, they came to support Fizz in her matches. Really, she didn't think she could ask for better friends.

Black Belt was demonstrating some moves to a class of fillies and colts when Fizz walked in. He turned at the sound of her hoofsteps.

"Glad to see you made it, Princess Fizz," he said, giving a small bow.

Fizz giggled. "For the last time, Belt, you don't have to call me princess. When I'm here, I'm just Fizz."

"Ooh! Can we all call you Fizz too?!" exclaimed one of the kids.

"To you, I'm Sensei Fizz," she replied. "But I won't be angry if you slip up."

The children all cheered, while Black Belt pulled Fizz aside so they could speak.

"Thanks for showing up early," he whispered to her. "Honestly, even since they found out you were coming today, they haven't been able to focus. The idea that a princess is going to be showing them some moves..."

"I'm not surprised," Fizz whispered back. "If I'd been a filly and Princess Celestia showed up to my dojo, I would've lost it."

Turning back to the foals, she continued, "Alright, so Black Belt and I are gonna do a little exhibition match for you. Hopefully you guys can learn something from it."

The foals cheered again, as Fizz and Black Belt moved to opposite sides of the mat. They gave each other a respectful bow, before moving into fighting stances.

"Remember the rules, Fizz," said Belt. "No sucker punches. First one to fall loses."

"Don't worry. I know," she answered.

Belt was the one to throw the first punch, rearing up on his hind legs. Fizz had expected a simple attack, and easily tilted her head to the side to dodge. She'd even anticipated the fact that the punch was simply a feint, and leaped upwards to avoid Belt's follow-up sweep. Then she retaliated with her own sideways blow, catching Belt on the side of his neck.

Belt stumbled a little, but he didn't let Fizz's small victory hold him back. He stood back up on his hind legs and kicked with one. While Fizz used her foreleg to deflect it, Belt used his momentum to swing around her and wrap his leg around her neck. Then he tilted backwards, pulling Fizz down with him.

Before they hit the mat, Fizz bucked with her back legs, pushing herself out of his grip. Assuming a bipedal form, Fizz bent her back legs and swept them around, kicking Belt's legs out from under him. Belt made an attempt to catch himself with his forehooves, but failed, and slammed into the mat back-first.

"Game," declared Fizz, before offering a hoof to help Belt get back up.

"Good match, Fizz," replied the stallion, before the two bowed to each other once again.

The foals, who'd been properly quiet for the duration of the match, exploded into cheers, clapping their forehooves together.

"Go, Sensei Fizz!" exclaimed a colt, who looked like he was barely holding himself back from jumping up and down.

Fizz smiled gracefully. She hadn't been a princess for very long, but if it gave her more opportunities to keep making foals happy like this, she wasn't going to complain. She knew that she'd been incredibly lucky to become Celestia's student, and she knew there were very few other ponies who'd get that luxury, so any chance to pass on knowledge made her feel good.

"That's right, thank Sensei Fizz," said Black Belt. "You sure you don't want to stay around and watch the rest of the class? I'm sure you could give them some better pointers."

"I'd love to, but I promised the others I'd meet them at Sugar Cube Corner in a little while," replied Fizz. "I'll let you know when my schedule opens up, and we can discuss another visit."

The children looked sad to see Fizz go, but nopony complained, and they all thoughtfully waved good-bye as she headed towards the changing rooms.

Fizz, having changed out of her gi, strolled back out onto the Ponyville road, waving to everypony she passed by. When Princess Celestia had suggested she stay in this town permanently following the Nightmare Moon fiasco, Fizz harbored some doubts. Sure, she liked the other five Element Bearers, but it reminded her a little too much of home, as well as Glitter Drops and Spring Rain. She hadn't seen those two since before becoming Celestia's pupil, but even if they'd made it into the school like they'd planned, she doubted they were happy she'd become the protege to the princess herself.

However, as time had gone on, Fizz had discovered that most ponies in Ponyville (barring, perhaps, Spoiled Rich) were actually good deep down, and didn't treat her any differently because of her horn. It was certainly better than the snobs in Canterlot. Fizz suppressed a shiver, wondering why Rarity was so obsessed with that place.

Eventually, Sugar Cube Corner entered Fizz's field of vision. She smiled fondly, recalling the memories she'd formed at this place. While she wasn't as sweet crazy as Pinkie Pie, she did enjoy one on occasion. Plus, it gave her the chance to hang out with the others.

Fizz reached up with one hoof to push open the door, and was greeted with the sound of a ringing bell. Glancing around at the interior, she noticed that, with the exception of Rainbow Dash, who was likely still training, Fizz's best friends were all gathered. Pinkie was behind the counter, while Rarity, Fluttershy, and Applejack were all gathered at a table.

"FIZZLEPOP BERRYTWIST!" shouted Pinkie, jumping up and down with excitement. "So glad you could make it!"

"Again, you don't have to say the whole name every time you see me," Fizz replied, but she was laughing all the same.

"But it's such a fun name to say!" Pinkie whined. "It's like the best combination of words ever!" The earth pony stepped out from behind the counter to give Fizz a hug. Fizz eagerly returned the gesture.

"At least you're not calling me 'Princess Fizzlepop Berrytwist,'" she continued. "That's a mouthful, even for you. Plus, I'm still not used to the princess thing."

"You're better than I am, darling," said Rarity. "I don't know if I could keep myself from correcting ponies if they didn't call me princess. Speaking of which, how come you never wear your crown? It would look fabulous with your mane!"

"I told you, Rares, that crown has the Element of Magic in it. Walking around wearing it everywhere would be a huge security risk. Besides, I don't want to go everywhere with a status symbol like that."

"I don't blame you, Fizz," added Applejack. "Personally, I think it's mighty kind of you to not flaunt your new princess-hood. It shows you don't think you're better than other ponies."

"Well, at least you wore the coronation gown I made for you," Rarity said with a sigh. "I guess that's all I can ask. Honestly, you and Rainbow Dash are the two most stubborn ponies I've ever met. Who refuses to make themselves look pretty? Even Applejack understands the importance of appearances once in a while."

"I think they just don't care about looks as much as you do, Rarity," replied Fluttershy. "I'm not saying either of you are wrong, it's just that ponies have different tastes from each other."

"Yes yes, you're right," admitted Rarity.

Fizz ordered her usual from Pinkie (a red velvet cupcake), and sat down with the others.

"Anything new on your ends?" she asked. "I've been trying to get used to these," she gestured to her wings, "and that's about it for me."

"Well, apple-bucking season just wrapped up," said Applejack. "Thanks again for helping out with that, by the way. Had to talk Apple Bloom and the others out of trying to get their Cutie Marks in cave exploration."

Fizz giggled a little at the thought of the Cutie Mark Crusaders. Sure, maybe they were going about getting their Cutie Marks the wrong way, but they were just kids. They might as well have all the fun they could while they had the chance.

"I've spent the last few days working on new commissions," chimed in Rarity. "Oh, and we've got Fashion Week coming up in Manehattan in a few months! Mustn't forget that!"

"Angel's been behaving a little better recently," added Fluttershy. "I guess I've finally learned to be more assertive around him. I've started weekly tea meetings up with—"

A sudden popping sound reverberated throughout the building. Fizz groaned, knowing exactly what was coming. A long, snaking form materialized around their table, wrapping itself around the necks of the four ponies.

"Did somepony say my name?" asked Discord. "My ears are burning!" He showed off his ears, which were literally on fire.

"Actually, no," said Fizz. "She was just about to say your name, but didn't get to it."

Discord made a shocked face. "Oh, Fizzy, you are no fun! Don't friends appreciate each other's dumb jokes? Fluttershy told me they do!"

Fizz shot a small glare at Fluttershy, who blushed and covered herself up with her wings.

"Could you please remember to use the front door next time?" demanded Fizz. "Not gonna lie, it's even more irritating when you just pop in unannounced."

Discord rolled his eyes so far back the pupils actually disappeared under his eyelids. "Honestly, why Celestia would choose to make such a stick in the mud a princess is beyond me. Fluttershy is the most worthy of all you. Then again, she's the most worthy of everything."

Fluttershy laughed a little behind her hoof. "Thank you, Discord, but there's no need for flattery."

"And for the record, I'm way less of a stick in the mud when I'm not annoyed," Fizz snapped.

"Fizz! Come on, we discussed this!" Fluttershy implored her.

"I know, I know. I still don't trust him, though," replied Fizz. "Especially after he brainwashed all of you into being your worst selves."

"I said I was sorry! Geez!" complained Discord. "You try to take over Equestria one time—"


"Okay, twice. And you'll never hear the end of it! I bet you're not this snippy with Princess Luna."

"I was at first," said Fizz. "Luna's earned my trust by now. You have not."

"Fizz," Fluttershy said again. She didn't have to warn about the Stare, the implication was there.

"Oh, fine. I'm sorry, Discord. I'll try to be more civil with you," said Fizz, albeit with a degree of reluctance.

"Alright, I'll accept your apology for now, Princess Fizzlepop," said Discord. "I know when to make my exit. See you for our next tea time, Fluttershy!" With that, he snapped his fingers and disappeared.

Applejack turned back to Fizz. "Maybe it ain't the best idea to antagonize him, Fizz."

Fizz shrugged. "I still don't get why Celestia wanted to reform him so much. All he's done so far is annoy us, except maybe Fluttershy. Sure, he hasn't tried to take over again, but he shouldn't get a prize for basic decency." At the looks her friends were shooting her, she continued, "I know, the Princess of Friendship is supposed to offer it to everyone, but I don't think it would kill him to tone down the random chaos a little."

"One step at a time, darling," insisted Rarity. "I'm certain the rest of us will get through to him in due time."

"I agree," added Fluttershy. "He's really sweet once you get close enough to him."

"Plus, he can make it rain chocolate milk!" exclaimed Pinkie. "What could be cooler than that?!"

"If you say so," said Fizz. Part of her thought maybe her friends were being a little too naive for their own good, but the rest of her knew they were smarter than that.

A knock at the door suddenly drew everypony's attention. The door opened, revealing a familiar gray pegasus with mismatched eyes and a blond mane. She trotted into Sugar Cube Corner, before pulling a letter out of her saddlebags.

"Express delivery for Princess Fizzlepop Berrytwist!" she said in a sing-song voice.

"Thanks, Derpy," said Fizz.

She took the offered letter, before pulling a few bits out of her own bag and passing them over. Derpy took the money with a smile before spreading her wings and flying out of the bakery. Fizz, meanwhile, looked down at the letter, discovering it was marked with Princess Celestia's royal seal.

"A letter from the princess?" asked Fluttershy.

"Yeah. Must be important if she sent it through the express," said Fizz.

She created her magic arm from her horn again, and used it to rip open the envelope. It only took her a few seconds to read the message inside.

"Somepony get Rainbow Dash," she said. "They want us back in Canterlot."