• Published 13th Nov 2012
  • 4,448 Views, 207 Comments

Zapfilly - a3V

Sweetie Belle gains a wholly useless magical ability.

  • ...

Great Responsibility

Edited on November 13, 2012 for continuity errors.

"Rarity, I don't feel so good."

"Oh, hush now, Sweetie. You've been saying that all day and I've already taken your temperature. You're completely fine. Now go out crusading or whatever it is you and your friends do."

"But, Rarity, I'm serious! I don't feel good at all!"

"Well, perhaps I shouldn't dismiss this so easily, so let's do it the way Doctor Stable does." Rarity cleared her throat. "Have you had any previous incidents which ended in physical injury or trauma?"

"Huh?" Sweetie Belle squeaked.

"Have you gotten hurt recently?"

"Well... I kicked one of the apple trees during the Zap Apple harvest last week, and I haven't been feeling good since then."

"I'm sure it will subside, Sweetie. If it worsens, please come tell me so I can take you to the hospital. I don't want you to get sick, especially in the middle of the week. Think of all the classes you'll miss!" Rarity patted Sweetie Bell on the head before trotting back over to her fabrics, perusing them with a critical eye to bring about winter's fashion line-up.

Sweetie Belle sighed and walked back over to her coloring books, raising a blue crayon with her hoof and shading in her Rarity drawing's mane. The last week had been very odd for her, particularly after kicking "that dumb tree", as she so eloquently put it in her mind. What had the tree done to her? Was the shock something more than... well, a shock? She know there was only one pony in town who could help her, but she hadn't enough evidence to help research it, other than an ill-fated kick to an apple tree.

"Ugh!" She tossed her crayon onto the table before laying her head on the ground and using her hind legs to push her across the boutique's flooring, continuing her inquisitive thought process. What would she need to do in order to solve this ailment plaguing her? At least, she thought it was an ailment; she actually had only one clue to support her argument, and that was a "weird, icky feeling inside."

As she tottered across the floor lost in her mind, she careened straight into one of Rarity's pony mannequins, sending a tuft of dust into the air. The filly poked her head out from below a pile of the mannequins, where the dusts settled straight onto her little nose, causing her to sneeze.

However, as she did so, Sweetie Belle felt a spark of magic leave her horn, followed by a sense of relief similar to a receding cold. She was happy that whatever had happened relieved her of the ailment and its associated head pressure, although to where it went, she was not sure.

That question was consequently solved as she laid her eyes on all the mannequins covered in Rarity's clothing line... or rather, what was Rarity's clothing line. She almost had an urge to scream when she saw what she had done, but thought better of it and walked over to Rarity's inspiration room, gently knocking on the door.

"Yes, Sweetie?" Rarity called from inside.

"Um... I think something happened to your mannequins out here. I don't know what happened."

The door opened suddenly, causing the filly to move backwards in surprise as she looked up at her sister. "Well, Sweetie Belle. I suppose it can't be that bad." She began to trot back into the boutique proper. "It's not like you could have—"

"Um..." Sweetie Belle stood next to her sister, the latter's mouth open in shock, looking at the pile of mannequins.

The pile of rainbow-colored mannequins.

"W-w-w-what have you done?" Rarity managed to speak.

"I don't know! I just sneezed and then all of... this," she said as she waved a hoof at the pile, "happened."

"That doesn't even make any sense! All of these—oh my. I think I have an idea! Thank you for this opportunity, Sweetie Belle, but I must... create!" Rarity levitated the mannequins into her room and shut the door swiftly, leaving the little filly alone yet again.

"Dumb sneezing," Sweetie Belle muttered.

"So, why do we need all of this stuff?"

"I already told you, Scootaloo. We're trying to figure out how my magic turned all the mannequins into... rainbow stuff!"

"Your magic? Rainbow stuff? I thought you couldn't even do basic levitation yet?" Scootaloo arched a brow in confusion.

Sweetie Belle dumped the contents of the wagon onto the table inside the Cutie Mark Crusader clubhouse. The group was sans one Apple Bloom, who was busy with chores on the farm, but promised to show up later in the day. Today was a most unusual endeavor: to find the source of Sweetie Belle's unusual disturbances, and figure out why they cause things to spontaneously turn rainbow colored.

"I don't know, Scoots. That's why I'm trying to figure this out! It doesn't seem like I'm sick, and I managed to sneak out while Rarity was doing her fashion-y things." Sweetie rolled her eyes at Scootaloo. "I can do some stuff with levitation, by the way. It's not like I'm totally inept at this age, you know."

"Hey, do you think you could turn my mane into rainbow colors? It'll be just like Rainbow Dash!"

"Scoots, how about we try to find out how this works, first?" Sweetie Belle picked up a jar of pepper and placed it onto the wagon, motioning Scootaloo to move it outside the clubhouse, where they had assembled a temporary shooting range. "Alright. So here's the deal: we're going to keep track of this stuff here, and see which one works and which doesn't. I know sneezing causes the magic to work up, and we'll see if anything else can, too."

"Sure, but..." Scootaloo picked up a muffin. "Why a muffin?"

"I brought it along in case we get hungry."

"Didn't you say you knew how to cook? What happened to that?"

"I burnt toast, Scoots. Turned it into a fine paste."

"Eugh. Forget I ever asked," Scootaloo said as she picked up the notepad in her hooves and the pencil in her mouth. "H'okay, let 'er rip!"

Sweetie Belle meticulously measured out a minute portion of the pepper, placing it on her hoof and bringing it up to her face. She eyed the small black pile on her hoof uneasily. "I don't know if this is safe or not..."

"Since when has anything we've done ever been safe?"

"You have a point. Okay, here goes..." Sweetie sprinkled the pepper onto her nose, and she could feel the familiar sensations of an oncoming sneeze... and something else. Whatever the other sensation was, it went straight to her forehead and she could feel her horn emanate with energy.

And then the sneeze happened.

The test object in question, Scootaloo's helmet, was shrouded by what appeared to be a bright, semi-transparent aura that periodically reflected the colors of the rainbow. Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle stared on in wonder as the aura worked, changing the shades on the helmet into a uniform rainbow shift of colors, before it fizzed out and dropped the helmet back onto stool with a soft thud.

"No WAY!" Scootaloo immediately dashed forward, snatching the helmet from its perch and placing it on her head. "This is perfect! The colors don't even bleed, it's like somepony custom-made it for me!"

"Huh... so that's what it does... I guess that's... neat?" Sweetie Belle took up the notepad and pencil Scootaloo had dropped and jotted down some notes. "It looks like sneezing can trigger it, but I think that's purely coincidental."


"Happened by chance, Scoots."

"No, I mean how is it coincidental?"

"Well..." Sweetie tapped the pencil on her chin. "it's obviously some form of magic. It uses my horn to shoot out, and I could feel it working like the magic when I levitate things. So it has to be a type of magic!"

"Wow. Think you can control it? Think of all the bits we can make if we could change the colors on anything we wanted!"

"Hey, that sounds pretty cool! Maybe I can get my cutie mark from this!"

"And maybe I can get my scooter a new paint job!"

"Scoots, I think we're thinking too far ahead. Now help me get this book out!" Sweetie attempt to heft a thick book onto the small table outside their clubhouse, straining from the weight. "Some... help... here!"

Scootaloo laughed and grabbed the other side of the book with her hooves, dropping it with a loud thud that echoed through the treeline. "Yeesh, where'd you get this book for? And why is it so big?"

"It's a book on magical energies. I was hoping that maybe my stupid spell thingy was mentioned somewhere in here." Sweetie Belle started flipping through the pages until she landed on the table of contents. "Wow. This must be one big book if the table of contents is eleven pages long."

"How'd you find out about your rainbow-magic thing anyways?" Scootaloo split the muffin in half and started nibbling on it, sitting down across from Sweetie Belle with an interested look on her face.

"Remember when we went to Sweet Apple Acres last week, during the Zap Apple harvest?"

Scootaloo snorted. "Oh, yeah. I remember that. It was so funny when you kicked that tree!"

"Well, I think that's the reason why I got my rainbow powers. I guess I'll call it... Zapping. With a capital 'Z'! It only make sense to name it after the Zap Apples, since... well, rainbow colors."

"I would have named it after Rainbow Dash! It would be called..." Scootaloo brought a hoof to her chin as she contemplated various naming schemes. "Uh... I got nothing."

"So Zapping it is, then. Hmm... it looks like we might need to do some research on Zap Apples, Scoots. I'm gonna go ask Applejack. Want to come along?"

Scootaloo smacked her lips as she finished her half of the muffin. "Nah, I'm fine. I guess I'll wait here and check out my awesome new helmet!" She patted the aforementioned object with a hoof, brushing muffin crumbs off her cheeks. "Oh, tell Apple Bloom I said hi. I'm going to see what else we can drum up for our experiments."

"Somehow, I really don't like this place anymore," Sweetie Belle muttered to herself.

She approached the barn on Sweet Apple Acres, determined to find the truth. One of the older Apple siblings was bound to be working right now, especially since Apple Bloom mentioned that she was doing her chores. If there was a pony in Ponyville who could help her out with this conundrum, they would be here.

"Hello? Anypony here?" Sweetie peeked inside the barn, only to find it deserted. "Apple Bloom? Where are you?"

"Lookin' for somethin', sugarcube?"

Sweetie Belle let out a squeak as she jumped into the air, landing with a thud on her belly. That familiar sensation was building up in her horn again, and she desperately looked around for an object to direct the Zap at. Luckily, a lone broom stood out in her vision and she attempted to focus her magic on it, turning it into a pattern she so quickly loathed.

"Whoa! Boy howdy, that's some fancy magic there. Never seen anythin' like that!"

"Sorry, Applejack. It's a recent thing." Sweetie Belle stood up and patted herself off, before looking at the cowpony. "I was afraid I'd accidentally Zap your hat, and I'm not sure what else would happen if I hit you by accident."

"Zappin'? You mean like Zap Apples?" Applejack raised a brow.

"Yeah, um... funny story about that, Applejack... it turns out kicking that tree last week wasn't such a good idea."

"Oh, y'all mean when ya got shocked by the tree? I saw that. Couldn't help but laugh, but you really need to be a bit more careful. I don't think that's what ya came here to ask, though... am I right?" Applejack turned her gaze toward the Zapped broom, smiling at it. "Well, I reckon it needed a fresh coat of paint anyhow. And look at it, it's so smooth! No flecks anywhere."

"You're not angry about it?"

"Why would I be angry about it, sugarcube? It's just a little harmless thing. As long as you keep it under control, that is!"

"Well, that's the reason why I'm here. I don't know what's causing it, and I think learning about Zap Apples might help. I was hoping you or Big Macintosh would be able to explain it to me."

"Is Sweetie Belle here?" Apple Bloom jumped into the barn. "Oh, hey, Sweetie! Y'all here to help with the chores again?"

The filly only pointed at the broom, eliciting a gasp from Apple Bloom. "I got some stupid magic, Apple Bloom."

"Ain't this some pretty advanced magic for a filly? How come y'all can do this now?" Apple Bloom tentatively poked the broom with a hoof. "It's safe, right?"

"Yeah, it's pretty safe. Just some aesthetic differences, that's all."


"A different look, Apple Bloom."

"Well, Sweetie Belle, I can tell ya about the Zap Apples, but it'll take a while."

"Sure, why not? Scootaloo's probably busy chatting up Rainbow Dash, anyways."

"That was kind of cool, but I don't think that really answered any of my questions." Sweetie Belle idly pushed a rock around with her hooves as she stood at the gate to Sweet Apple Acres with Apple Bloom.

"So what now? I guess ya ain't just gonna sit on it," Apple Bloom chimed up.

"Nope! It's obviously magic, and I figure if I practice enough with it I might be able to control it. It's going to be so cool!"

"Where's Scootaloo? Didn't you say she was helpin' ya with your experiments?"

"Oh! I totally forgot about her. Let's head on back to the treehouse, I bet she's got a few more things to Zap while I was gone."

"Hehe, 'Zap.' Y'all know it's safe, right? This whole Zappin' thing?" Apple Bloom increased her pace to match Sweetie Belle's trotting as they headed back to the forest.

"Absolutely. It looks like it only changes the colors on stuff."

Apple Bloom admired the red and orange leaves of the autumn trees. "Ya reckon this should be somethin' we could show to Miss Cheerilee?"

"Maybe. I think it'd be pretty cool if we could give her a rainbow apple. She'd think it was a Zap Apple!" Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom shared a few giggles as they arrived back at the treehouse. A disappointed Scootaloo sat at the table outside, gloomily looking down at her helmet, which had restored its original colors.

"Oh, hey girls. The Zap wore off. Now I got my crummy purple helmet back."

"Oh, don't worry, Scoots! We'll figure out a way to replicate it, I promise!" Sweetie Belle put an assuring hoof on Scootaloo's shoulder, and Apple Bloom did the same on the other.

"Got anythin' new to check out?" Apple Bloom looked around, only to find their surroundings devoid of any new objects. "How come there ain't anythin' here?"

"I went back to Ponyville to find something to use, but I ended up bumping into Twilight. Now she wants to check out your Zaps for herself." Scootaloo pointed at the clubhouse. "She's inside right now, trying to organize our clubhouse. Did you know we had a whole can of glitter behind the drawers?"

As soon as Scootaloo finished talking, Twilight Sparkle exited the clubhouse with parchment and a quill following not too far behind her. "Oh, hello, Sweetie Belle! Scootaloo told me you were having some magic problems?"

"Yep. I have some sort of weird magic that makes things turn rainbow."

"Yes, I saw Scootaloo's helmet! It was a very excellent example of rainbow coloring. I suspect it's actually a variation of alteration magic, the same kind Rarity uses on her fabrics to give them different tones and shades."

"Wow! You mean this is magic that my sister uses?" Sweetie's eyes lit up with excitement.

"It certainly is! And I think I can help you with controlling it. It appears the shock you received during the Zap Apple harvest—Scootaloo told me about it—apparently super-charged your ability in alteration magic, so to speak. So for now, you won't need to focus on how it works, but rather on controlling it, so you can choose when to use it."

"Sounds like you're a special filly, Sweets." Apple Bloom smirked as she took a bite out of the half-muffin left from earlier in the day. "I always knew ya had it in ya, dictionary."

"Now, Sweetie Belle. I'll have you know that the magic you're about to use is far beyond the knowledge you know now. Without a doubt, there is great responsibility in using magic, which I'm sure Rarity taught you. Am I correct?" Twilight put on her reading glasses as she smiled over the parchment at the unicorn filly.

"Yep! Rarity told me about how all unicorns are expected to act in a safe manner, so that no pony gets harmed."

"Great! Now, let me tell you how to get started..."

Sweetie Belle had never really considered anypony other than Cheerilee as a teacher, but in the few hours that Twilight tutored her, she quickly added the Element of Magic to the list. It was awkward for all parties involved at first, but eventually Twilight learned that Canterlotian vocabulary wasn't exactly appropriate when speaking to a schoolfilly with basic knowledge in unicorn magic.

To Apple Bloom and Scootaloo, however, it quickly turned into "the egghead hour," as Scootaloo had borrowed from Rainbow Dash. With nothing to do, Apple Bloom and Scootaloo began coloring on spare parchment with crayons, and eventually dozed off in the comfort of the autumn sun, dreaming the dreams of innocent and playful foals.

"Buh!? What?" Scootaloo was nudged away by Apple Bloom's left hoof colliding with her face as she moved about. "Hey, Apple Bloom. Apple Bloom!" She shook the other filly awake.

"Huh? Wuz goin' on?" Apple Bloom groggily sat up and rubbed her eyes.

"I think we fell asleep, Bloom." Scootaloo looked back over to find Sweetie Belle still practicing magic with Twilight. It was clearly visible that Sweetie Belle had managed to grasp the finer points of magic control, as Scootaloo could see a multitude of rainbow-colored objects adorning the fields outside the clubhouse.

"Excellent, excellent work Sweetie Belle! Oh, I can't wait to tell Rarity. She'll be so glad you can cast this magic!"

"You think so, Twilight?" Sweetie Belle's hopeful expression brought a smile to Twilight's face.

"I know so. I think you've got your magic control down very well, so you can feel free to use it whenever you want. Just remember, this is a fairly advanced spell for a filly your age, so don't go around casting it too much! It might exhaust you. I'll see you girls later, okay?" Twilight packed her things back into her saddlebags and trotted down the path towards Ponyville.

Sweetie Belle looked around at all the objects she had casted on, proud of her new ability. As she did so, an idea popped into her head: this was an immense gift she was given. Not any filly would be able to handle such power, yet she was granted it so easily, even if it was by chance. It was up to her to use her gift, and she knew just how.

She jumped onto the table, bewildering Apple Bloom and Scootaloo, who looked up at their friend with confused glances. Their confusion was promptly answered as Sweetie Belle cried forth an oath of justice.

"I must only use these powers for good!"