On Our Own

by kwr2k13

First published

The continuing adventures of Little Horn and her cousin, Harmony Trebleheart, as they meet other ponies and become closer as a family in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Harmony Trebleheart has been given the task by her Aunt Shimmer of taking care of her younger cousin, Little Horn, after the younger unicorn was released from Mercy Hospital. Harmony has also been asked by her Aunt to teach Little Horn magic and use the time they share together as a family while living in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Along the way, they meet some familiar friends from Ponyville who need their help.

This Side Fiction Story is Part of the Five Score, Divided by 4 Universe, created by Twisted Spectrum. It is also a sequel to Little Horn's Story, and is a collaboration between the following writers:

kwr2k13 - Little Horn: Unicorn Filly; Harmony's cousin
Guardian and Friends - Babs Seed
StrayanPhoenix772 - Harmony Trebleheart: Unicorn Mare, Singer, Little Horn's cousin
BLT185 - Crankshaft
JXWheeler - Cutie Mark Crusaders and Duo
Swirlstar- Mayor Mare
Timstro59 - Amethyst
Superpony55 - Blue Skies
ElementBrigade - Golden Moon

Chapter One: Catching Up with Harmony and Little Horn

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On Our Own

Chapter One: Catching Up With Harmony and Little Horn

Little Horn arrived at her cousin’s house in a flash of teleportation from the hospital, courtesy of Harmony’s special ability. Shortly after overcoming the disorientation of changing scenery in such a quick manner, the tan unicorn filly looked around the place as Harmony showed her cousin around the apartment, pointing out such amenities as the television, the couch, the bathroom, the bedroom, and the laundry room, complete with a washer and dryer. The final room that was shown was the kitchen/dining room area. The tour ended back in the living room.

Harmony walked with Little Horn around the apartment, finishing up the grand tour.

"So, this is the place! I hope you like it!" Harmony exclaimed.

Little Horn looked around at the apartment and smiled, “Wow, thanks! So, you and I are going to live here?” The tan unicorn filly with the brown mane and tail wondered how her cousin could afford this place. “Do you have a job that allows you to have a nice place to live?”

"Well, you know, being a singer, you earn a lot of money! And I'm glad you like it!" Harmony told her little cousin with a smile on her face.

Little Horn thought about her cousin’s job. “You sing? Can you sing something for me? Maybe we can record a song together? If it’s okay with you.” She looked up to her big cousin. “I never knew I had a cousin until my mother explained everything at the hospital.” Little Horn sighed, “I wonder why my mom chose you to foal sit me?”

"Of course I can sing! How else do you think I got my Cutie Mark?" Harmony told Little Horn, showing her the two clefs that made up a heart on her flank. "And your mother chose me because we go a long way back. You see, the reason she never talked about me was because my own mother and father died when I was young, so Aunt Shimmer was kind enough to take me in, at least until I was old enough to fend for myself. And that was right at the time you were born. I guess she never talked about me since, though," The white unicorn explained. Suddenly, a small smile came across her face. "And of course we can do a song together!" She laughed, giving Little Horn a friendly hug.

Little Horn accepted the hug from her cousin warmly. This was the first time since her mother gave her a bath at the hospital to prepare her for her cousin’s visitation that she felt safe around another caring pony. She returned the hug back. “I was so scared back at the hospital, Harmony. No pony came to visit me while I was sick, except for Zecora. She’s that zebra that lives in the Everfree Forest. Although the zebra has her own way of doing things.” She then looked up at her cousin. “Do you know about those humans who are turning into ponies? It’s all over the news.”

"Yes, actually. Before I was Harmony Trebleheart, I was a singer named Holly Trader. I was really surprised when I was completely transformed," Little Horn's cousin replied. "I also heard that you were human before you were Small Horn! I don't know who, though."

Little Horn nods, “Before I became your cousin, I was Sam Horner. I got a bad case of food poisoning and had to stay at that hospital for three days. That sandwich I ate back when I was in Ponyville and the sandwich I ate on Earth had an extra ingredient the creepy waiter offered me. It looked like some strange blue flower. Zecora called it “Poison Joke.” She then continued, “You know some humans were male before their transformations occurred? They ended up with these strange marks on their thighs about their 25th birthday.”

Harmony nodded. "I heard about that. Anon and Jack were their names. Now they're Rainbow Dash and Applejack," She explained. "And what did that strange waiter look like?"

Little Horn’s eyes widened as her cousin mentioned the names Rainbow Dash and Applejack. “The Rainbow Dash and Applejack from Ponyville? Apple Bloom, Applejack’s little sister, was in school with me and her friends, Sweetie Belle, and an orange Pegasus named Scootaloo. They let me join their club since I don’t have my Cutie Mark and all.” She turns to show her cousin her flank is very much bare. “As for that waiter who appeared at that restaurant Ms. Twilight Sparkle and her assistant at the library recommended, he had white hair, strange colored eyes, and had a lion’s paw and a griffon’s talon for hands. Does that remind you of any pony you know?”

Now it was Harmony's turn for her eyes to widen. "Discord," She said in a grave voice. "You know him, right? He was actually the closest one to defeating the Mane Six! And why would Twilight and Spike recommend him to you?"

Little Horn shook her head, “I did not know Discord was going to be at Haute Couture that day! Ms. Twilight Sparkle and Spike only recommended that restaurant because they serve hay fries and daffodil and daisy sandwiches.” At that time, Little Horn’s stomach growled. The unicorn filly blushed as she heard her stomach rumble in hunger. “I guess I need something to eat.”

"That's fine with me. What do you want, Little Horn?" Harmony asked, walking into the kitchen.

Little Horn trotted into the kitchen, and attempted to climb onto the chair to set herself at the table. “I don’t know; what do we ponies usually eat anyway? I found out at the hospital during my transformation that dishes that have meat products aren’t very good. So, I think anything vegetarian would be fine.”

"Yeah, you're right," Harmony mumbled, as she used her magic to levitate food in the air. "I miss bacon, but I guess we just have to stick with this!" She said as she levitated some apples and alfalfa onto the table. "Will this meet your stomach's needs?"

Little Horn licked her lips as she attempted to levitate an apple to her mouth, “Yes, They had apples at the hospital. The doctor made sure to adjust my meals so they were all vegetarian dishes. They noticed I got my appetite back after they offered me apples and salads. I wonder what other foods I can eat?”

"I guess stuff like grass, flowers, and wheat. Just simple stuff. And it's a good thing you got your appetite back!" Harmony answered.

Little Horn continued to munch on her apple and then levitated over some alfalfa on her plate. “This is some really good alfalfa, Harmony! I can tell I’m not going to go hungry when you are cooking.” She remembered one of the menu items at Haute Couture called “Hay Au Gratin.” “Have you ever tried “Hay Au Gratin”? It looked very expensive, so mom and dad thought that I should stick to daffodil and daisy sandwiches. Oh, and prior to my bad experience at that restaurant, mother and father took me to some bakery place called Sugar Cube Corner. We met this pink pony and she baked some cupcakes for us.”

"No, actually. I've never tried it! I've heard it's good, though. Oh, the pink pony is Pinkie Pie! Always the laugh, she is. And her treats are delicious! I especially love her muffins!" Harmony licked her lips. "Those sound really good right now! Muffins..." Harmony seemed to go into some kind of muffin trance.

Little Horn chuckled and waved her hoof in front of Harmony’s face. “Uh, Harmony? You kind of zoned out there. Maybe you should try making muffins and we can eat them. I can help. Mother said I need to learn to control my magic, and you seem to be able to handle yours quite well. I only learned levitation spells from grandfather and father.”

Harmony snapped back into reality, "Hmm? Oh! Yeah! We can make some, and along the way, I could teach you magic!"

Little Horn smiled at her cousin, “Yeah, that would be really nice. Thank you!” She gave her cousin a big hug. “I’m still getting used to being this small and having to look up to other ponies, as well as being a filly. Good thing I have some pony to look after me.”

"Yeah, I guess you were a 25-year-old man before you were the cute, adorable, squeezable Little Horn!" She said, returning the hug. "And don't worry! I'll always be there to look after you!" Harmony promised as she ruffled Small Horn's mane.

Little Horn felt safe around her big cousin as she ruffled her brown mane in a show of affection. “Yeah, well, that final part of the transformation was kind of painful; it felt like my insides were on fire! But, after that, I felt different, almost like a rebirth of sorts. I even remember stuff from Ponyville, old friends, classmates, and family.” She looks up to her cousin with her blue eyes, shining brightly. “Even after I went through the transformation at the hospital, you still came to take me in. I think we are going to get along just fine.” She nuzzles Harmony warmly.

"Of course I still came," Harmony said before kissing Little Horn on the forehead. "You're family. No, you're more than that. You're the most important filly in my life, and I wouldn't ever let anything happen to you."

Little Horn accepted the kiss to the forehead from her cousin and returned the kiss to Harmony’s cheek. “So, Harmony, now that we know each other better, what do you want to do? I’ve been cooped up in that hospital, and I was so glad to finally get out of there. I’m glad Mother called you. How did you react to her telling you had a younger cousin?”

"Well, before I left, I saw that your mother was going to have a baby soon, but I completely forgot. It dawned on me after we were introduced, though. Her message caught me by surprise too. I was just sitting there, practicing my keyboard, when I heard Aunt Shimmer's voice. I teleported to the hospital immediately!"

Little Horn smiled, “And Mother made sure I was presentable to be checked out of the hospital.” She then changed the subject to the doctor on duty the night she was admitted to the hospital. “That doctor had some issues about ponies while I was in there. She put me in some scanning device and wanted to know more about the human-to-pony transformation phenomenon. You think she would dare publish her findings? I felt so helpless as she kept asking me questions about where I came from and what type of pony I was becoming. The horn on my forehead was an indicator that I wasn’t an Earth Pony or a Pegasus.”

"I hope she doesn't post her findings! That would probably lead to scientists tracking us down and dissecting us! We don't want that to happen, do we?" Harmony asked.

Little Horn shook her head, “Mother and Father took care of that. While I was talking with Grandfather and having lunch with him, Mother and Father told Dr. Wells that they would sign the discharge/release forms only if she had papers signed that she would not publish her findings. She mentioned she had “big plans” for me.” She shivers slightly as she spoke those words. “So, any idea what town or city we are in?”

"Yep! We're in Vancouver, Canada," Harmony stated. "You can tell! It's always cold around these parts! Now, what do you want to do?"

Little Horn thought about the various options she and her cousin could do. “I’m not sure what I can do. I am too small for some things. I’ll just be under hoof.” Her ears droop as she felt sad. “One of the downsides to being small is I have to look up at every pony. However, I think there are a few advantages though.”

"Oh, come on! You won't be under hoof! We're in a city full of humans! It's in their nature to stay away from things they don't understand!" Harmony said cheerfully. "Therefore, you won't be under hoof!"

Little Horn smiled as her cousin cheered her up, “Thank you, Harmony. You always have a kind word to say! Thanks for the delicious meal and the place to live. Are we sharing a bedroom? It’s okay with me.”

"Of course, kid! And, just remember, you can come to me if ever need anything. You've already proved that for me!" Harmony said with a sweet smile in her face.

Little Horn smiled back, “I think we should sing a song later. Do you know any good songs about being family and standing up for each other? Maybe I can sing and get my Cutie Mark.” She sighs, “I don’t really know what my special talent is. I almost had it until that Discord guy took that away from me. I think it had to do something about family.”

"Hey, look at me. No pony, not even Discord, can take your special talent away! It's always right here," Harmony put a hoof to where Small Horn's heart is. "As songs go, the song "Brave" is about standing up for yourself! Maybe we could try that one now!"

Little Horn smiled, “Back in Ponyville, there were a lot of ponies who loved to sing songs about all sorts of things. I wonder why that is?” Small Horn then felt her cousin’s hoof on her heart. “My heart? I think Mother and Father have Cutie Marks that have hearts. Even Grandfather Grand Horn had one. Maybe my special talent is linked to my family somehow.”

"Maybe. The possibilities are endless. You could become a scientist, a famous actress, or even the Mayor of Ponyville! You never know!" Harmony told Little Horn.

Little Horn thought about what the Cutie Mark Crusaders told her. “That’s what that little club my friends Sweetie Belle, Apple Bloom, and Scootaloo invited me to join is all about; it was called the Cutie Mark Crusaders! They even had a cloak that Sweetie Belle’s elder sister made for me!”

"You're talking about Rarity, aren't you?" Harmony asked Small Horn.

Little Horn nods, “Sweetie Belle told me her sister owns a store that sells fashionable clothes to ponies. It looks like some sort of carousel. Apple Bloom told me about her family’s apple farm. Scootaloo told me all about her Rainbow Dash fan club and invited me to attend a meeting at the clubhouse. I am beginning to remember some parts of my life in Ponyville before Discord took it away from me.” She frowned, then smiled, “But, you are here...and you said some of the Mane Six are back? When did that happen? We should contact them and let them know about us!”

"We should! But maybe later. We have muffins to make!" Harmony exclaimed, heading into the kitchen, with Little Horn trotting behind her cousin.

Chapter Two: Time to Make the Muffins!

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Chapter Two:

Time to Make the Muffins!

Little Horn trotted into the kitchen after her cousin, Harmony. The tan unicorn filly was really excited about making muffins with her big cousin.

“So, what kind of muffins do you want us to make, Harmony? I like blueberry, myself,” Little Horn asked eagerly as she looked around kitchen.

The kitchen in and of itself was not all that big, with the back wall dominated by the kitchen bench and the fridge. The fridge was located to the far left, with the rest of the wall taken up by the bench. The kitchen sink and the drying rack was located on the opposite side of the the fridge at the far right end of the bench. In the middle, which was mostly empty space, occupied by the toaster, the kettle, the knife-rack and a wooden chopping board. Beneath the bench was the customary cupboards for things like plates, bowls, cups, and miscellaneous things like that.

The right side of the wall was where the main food cupboard was located, just a few steps from the kitchen sink. It easily extended up to the roof, and the inside was lined from top to bottom with numerous shelves, each with all sorts of different things up for grabs that you’d typically find in someone’s pantry, such as pasta, sauces, sandwich spreads, spices, and so on.

She found the cookbook leaning against the wall next to the fridge and began to levitate the cookbook towards Harmony, surrounding the book in a blue magical aura. “See, here’s the cookbook!”

“Alrighty then, blueberry it is!” Harmony smiled cheerfully, opening up the book to the appropriate page with her own magic, which was coloured sky-blue. “Here, why don’t you help me find the ingredients?”

Little Horn nodded, “Okay. Let’s see, we need flour, sugar, milk, eggs, what else?” Little Horn began to open the refrigerator to look for the eggs and milk. “How many eggs do we need?”

“We shouldn’t need more than one,” Harmony replied, glancing at the recipe and adjusting her glasses.

Little Horn nodded, and opened the egg carton to reveal the dozen eggs that usually came with it.

“One egg; this shouldn’t be that hard.” The young filly breathed and focused on the one egg her cousin needed to complete the recipe. The egg floated up from the carton and meandered towards the mixing bowl.

“Easy does it...” Harmony watched with interest as the egg floated across the kitchen, “That’s it... Nice and gentle...”

Little Horn continued to move the egg closer to the bowl. “I have this; I’m a big pony!” the filly exclaimed. The egg wobbled in the air over the edge of the mixing bowl, and gently tapped the edge, breaking the shell. The yolk and the albumen, or egg white, spilled into the mixing bowl.

“I did it! I did it!” Little Horn grinned gleefully, and turned to look for a breaking egg Cutie Mark, but after a few moments, her flank still stubbornly remained bare.

“Aww, no Cutie Mark!” she pouted.

“Ah, not to worry! You don’t need a Cutie Mark to tell you that your magic is coming along quite nicely,” Harmony encouraged the filly, “Besides, a Cutie Mark in egg-breaking probably isn’t something to get all fired up about anyway. You deserve better than that. Now, the next thing we need to do, and probably the first thing we SHOULD have done, is fire up the oven!”

Harmony glanced across at the oven as her horn lit up, flicking the ignition and setting the temperature to one hundred and ninety degrees Centigrade.

“That will take a short while to warm up, so we still have plenty of time to put this batch together,” She glanced back at the book, “Right, now we need two and a half cups of self-raising flour, a tablespoon of caster sugar, and three quarters of a cup of brown sugar.”

She flicked open the cupboard and scrimmaged about for the correct ingredients, placing them on the bench.

“L-H, can you find the measuring cups for me, please?” she asked.

Little Horn blushed at cousin’s shortening of her give name,and then nodded. “Okay, Harmony. One three-quarters cup,” the filly began to levitate the correct measuring cup to her cousin, grabbing it in her blue aura, “one half-cup for the flour, and a tablespoon. Is that the big spoon or the little spoon?” Little Horn levitated the utensils to her cousin, “How many muffins are we making, anyway?”

“Well, the recipe makes enough for twelve muffins, which means six for each of us. That said, they’re only bite-sized, so if we still have time and ingredients, we might be able to cook up a second batch,” Harmony paused what she was doing as she replied, “The tablespoons are the big ones. The little ones are called ‘teaspoons’”.

Little Horn nodded as her cousin explained the differences of the various measuring cups. “Oh, I think I can remember tablespoon and teaspoon. Wow, you sure know how to cook!”

“Yeah, it’s pretty easy when you have the instructions list right in front of you,” Harmony smirked as she held up the bag of raising flour to her left in her magical grip, and a measuring cup to her right. With some concentration, she gingerly poured the flour into the cup until it reached the right level.

She held it for her smaller cousin to see, “Does that look about right to you?”

Little Horn examined the cup’s contents, “Yep! You got it! I really enjoy helping you make food. Mother was right in asking you to supervise my magic training! Besides, Mother also said I needed a positive female role model in my life. Whatever that means.”

That means that we don’t let you anywhere near Vinyl Scratch, Berry Punch, or Screwball,’ Harmony smirked inwardly.

“Not a problem, L-H. Anything for family,” she said aloud with a smile, pouring the flour into the mixing bowl. “Right, now for the sugar”.

Picking up the tablespoon with her magic, she scooped up the fine white caster sugar and delicately tipped it into the bowl.

“Now we want three quarters of a cup of brown sugar,” she offered the measuring cup and the appropriate sugar bag to the filly, “Think you can handle that for us?”

Little Horn smiled as her cousin prompted her to help with the brown sugar, “I got this.” She knew Harmony was counting on her to measure out the brown sugar for the muffins, so she better get this right! The filly levitated the measuring cup into the brown sugar, looking up to her cousin for approval, “Like this, Harmony?”

“That’s the way,” the older cousin gave an encouraging smile, “Now, just pour it in the bowl like so...”

Little Horn attempted to pour the brown sugar into the mixing bowl as her cousin observed. “Whew! Am I getting better at this or what?!”

“Without a doubt,” Harmony grinned, “Your mom would be proud, that’s for sure. Now, next on the to-do list is to add three quarters of a cup of milk, half a cup of vegetable oil, and a teaspoon of vanilla”.

Little Horn smiled, “I really miss my mom and dad. I bet you miss yours too.”

The filly’s thoughts drifted back to earlier that day, when Harmony mentioned her parents had passed away long before Shimmer had announced she was with foal.

“But enough about that; we have muffins to make!” Little Horn shook her head and grabbed the rest of the ingredients, while Harmony supervised her cousin. What responsible mare would ever leave a filly unsupervised in a kitchen?

Harmony’s cheery smile faltered for a brief moment. She blinked and shook her head, “...Right. Muffins”.

She held up a fresh measuring cup in front of her as she poured in the milk, her sky-blue coloured magic working with practised precision and accuracy. No sooner had she poured the milk in, she already had a teaspoon in her grip and glancing about for the vegetable oil. Wrapping it up in her magic, she narrowed her eyes as she let the oil drip onto the teaspoon, before tipping the spoon into the bowl as well.

“There you go L-H,” she gestured her cousin towards the wooden spoon, “Have a shot at mixing it all up for us”.

As Little Horn eagerly got to work, Harmony smiled to herself as she set about putting the leftover ingredients away. Perhaps looking after this filly in the long run wasn’t going to be all that difficult.

Little Horn gripped the wooden spoon in her blue aura, emulating her cousin’s technique. She began to stir the muffin mixture slowly, and then gradually, the muffin batter began to take on a brown, gooey appearance.

“Does this look okay to you, Harmony? I want these muffins to be so good; like Sugar Cube Corner good! So good, in fact, that Miss Pinkie Pie would want the recipe!” Little Horn was so proud of being able to help her cousin with baking. Too bad there was not a Cutie Mark for baking already on her flank.

“I guess I won’t be getting a Cutie Mark in baking.” The young filly sadly stated.

Harmony ruffled her cousin’s brown mane, “You’ll get your Cutie Mark when you discover your special talent, L-H. There’s no rush.”

She then checked on the batter’s consistency, “You still have more lumps in the batter; keep stirring! Otherwise, you’re getting better at this.”

Little Horn smiled as she received a good report, “I think you should write to Mother tonight and let her know how I am doing.” The little filly said as she continued to stir the batter with her telekinetic spell. The blue aura around her horn shimmered as the spoon was held in its grip. “Can we add in the blueberries? I want to do that, please, Harmony?”

Harmony sighed, “Okay, and I will be putting the muffins in the oven. I don’t want you to get burned on the stove. I am not sure if we have Pony insurance.” Harmony quipped as she looked at the batter again.

“Very good! Now, add in the blueberries, L-H, while I go check on the oven.” Harmony went to the oven door and checked on the preheating. The oven indicated that it was ready to bake the muffins.

“Okay, put enough blueberries in the muffin batter for the both of us. We are making one dozen mini-muffins.” Harmony waited to see if Little Horn could remember her math.

Little Horn counted the muffin pan where the muffin batter would be poured into each one using her magic and the stirring spoon.

“We need about forty-eight blueberries, with four in each one. Twelve muffins with four blueberries in each.” The filly began to count up the blueberries and add all forty-eight into the batter, then stirred up the mixture until all the blueberries were blended into the batter.

Time to put the muffins into the pan so Harmony can put them into the stove. The filly said to herself as she finished all the muffins.

Harmony took the full muffin pan after the muffin batter was distributed into each muffin cup.

“These muffins are going to look really good; I bet they’re gonna be simply delicious as well!” the white unicorn grinned as she opened the oven door with her magic, allowing for the hot air to escape.

“Alright, I’m setting the kitchen timer to twenty minutes. When it goes off, the muffins will be done,” Harmony finished. Her mouth watered, “Mmmmm...muffins...”

Little Horn waved her hoof in front of her cousin’s face. “Harmony? You zoned out...again.” The little filly was concerned for her cousin’s welfare.

Harmony blinked, “Huh? Oh, right.”

Little Horn shook her head and rolled her eyes, “You were about to put the muffins into the oven and wait twenty-to-twenty-five minutes. That’s what it says in the recipe book.”

The unicorn filly pointed a hoof towards the cookbook’s recommended time to bake on the section about blueberry muffins, “It also says you can make other fruit-based muffins. Wow! I didn’t know there were so many muffin choices!”

Harmony placed the muffins into the oven, and closed the door with her magical sky blue aura. She took the kitchen timer and turned the dial to the desired amount of time. “Okay, now we can hang out in the living room, watch some television, or do whatever you want.” Harmony suggested.

Little Horn and her cousin Harmony watched some news. They heard the kitchen timer go off, and Harmony trotted over to the oven, opening the door with her magic. Little Horn licked her lips in anticipation of the delicious treats.

The blueberry muffins were completely done. The smell from the delicious mini-treats made them irresistible enough for Little Horn to attempt to take one of the muffins with her magic.

Harmony pulled the muffin back from the anxious filly, “Hey! Settle down there. They’re still hot! The last thing I need is to have you burn your mouth on one of these things. They have to cool off, first.” Harmony placed the delicious muffins on the kitchen table.

Little Horn nodded, “Sorry, Harmony. I just wanted to see if they tasted the same as the last time Mother made them. I’m sure she used that cookbook for the recipe.”

The cookbook Harmony referenced for the recipe looked familiar to Little Horn.

Harmony nods, “This one was a gift from Aunt Shimmer when I took on the responsibility to care for you. Your mom figured that you would need to start eating healthier. There are lots of great recipes in here; all of them have no meat products, though.” Harmony turned the cookbook over to allow Little Horn to read the title.

Little Horn squinted to read the title, The Vegetarian Cookbook.

“How original. I bet they have recipes for different types of salads, like the pecan salad or the raspberry salad.”

Harmony skimmed through the pages, briefly glancing the different salads listed. All of the types from the Caesar salad to the ones her cousin mentioned looked very appetizing.

“Since we probably won’t be going out much, unless it is to the grocery store, I will have to plan out our meals so we can keep up our energy for magic training, which by the way, you did really well. Let’s call it a night and eat our muffins. Tomorrow’s a new day, after all. I have your bed moved to my room, unless you think you can handle being by yourself.” Harmony teased.

Little Horn looked around, sheepishly, “I think I want my bed in your room for the time being, if it is okay with you, Harmony.”

Harmony nodded, “Very well. Come along, L-H! Those muffins aren’t going to eat themselves!”

The muffins had finally cooled off as the cousins began to divide the tasty treats between them.

Little Horn started with the first muffin, “One for me, and one for you.” She placed the muffin for her cousin on her plate with her magic.

Harmony returned the favor, levitating the next muffin over to her cousin’s plate, “And for my little cousin, a muffin. If you want another, just ask, and I’ll get it for you. Take your time and enjoy the fruits of your labor.”

The cousins ate their muffins and washed them down with some milk. Little Horn polished off at least 5 of the mini-muffins, while her cousin ate 4. “Wow, you must have been hungry. You got tired of the hospital food?” Harmony teased.

Little Horn frowned, “Yeah, I did. These muffins are so delicious! We need to write to Mother and let her know we appreciate sending the cookbook.”

Harmony got out a pen and some paper with her magic, and began to compose a letter to her aunt.

Dear Aunt Shimmer,

Little Horn has finally settled in nicely. She is a great help around the kitchen and enjoys learning magic. The cookbook you sent with me has helped her feel more at home. The muffins were delicious, and I plan on sending you a batch in the near future.

Enclosed is a picture of myself and Little Horn with the muffins we made! Come by anytime when you and Uncle Big Horn can get a chance to visit.


Harmony Trebleheart.

P.S. Little Horn says hello!

The letter was placed in an envelope as was the picture of Little Horn and her cousin mixing the muffins. The picture showed Harmony consulting the cookbook while Little Horn breaking an egg with her magic to put it in the mixing bowl.

Harmony sealed the letter and the picture, wrote the address she was given where Shimmer and Big Horn was staying, and placed a stamp on it. She was not sure how the post office handled mail delivered from ponies to ponies on Earth, but she hoped it was something similar to the mail system in Ponyville.

Little Horn grabbed the last muffin when her cousin was busy finding a stamp for the letter, and ate it. When Harmony returned to place the letter in a location where she could remember to mail it, she noticed the muffins were gone.

“Oi! Where’d all the muffins go?” Harmony looked over at Little Horn, who audibly swallowed, looking as innocent as possible..

Little Horn smiled, “What muffins? They’re all gone!” Little Horn let out a burp, and covered her mouth with a hoof. “Oops! Excuse me!”

Harmony shook her head and ruffled her cousin’s mane with a smirk, “Cheeky rascal.”

Little Horn yawned and felt sleepy. “I’ve had a real tiring day today, Harmony. I think I’ll sleep on the couch. Can you wake me up when it’s morning?” The sleepy filly flopped in a heap on the couch.

Harmony glanced down, “Nah, I have a better idea than that”.

The older mare telekinetically carried her younger cousin to the bedroom. Two beds, one single and the other a queen-sized double, were set up on either side of the room.

“There you go,” She gently tucked her sleepy cousin under the covers, then fluffed a pillow to place under the filly’s head.

“Good night, L-H!” Harmony whispered, as the little filly rolled over and opened her eyes.

“See you in the morning, Harmony.” Little Horn said, yawning again. The young filly was out like a light as Harmony stroked her cousin’s brown mane with her hoof in a loving gesture. After placing a kiss on the filly’s forehead, Harmony went to her bed, and prepared for the evening.

Both cousins went to bed, anticipating what the next day would bring.

Chapter Three: A Brand New Day

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Chapter Three:
A Brand New Day

Little Horn was in her bed, sleeping soundly next to her cousin, Harmony. The young filly had a bad dream in the middle of the night, and chose to snuggle up next to Harmony in her bed, feeling secure and peaceful while she slept, snoring softly. The morning came, and the alarm clock sounded on the nearby dresser.

The young tan unicorn filly slowly opened her eyes, seeing the sleeping form of her cousin. Little Horn stretched and rolled over to face her.

‘Note to self:’ Harmony thought, ‘Must invest in some ear plugs. This kid snores like a freight train’.

“Morning, L-H,” she mumbled, half-asleep.

“Good Morning, Harmony. Did you sleep well?” The filly attempted to roll out of bed, but got caught up in amongst the sheets.

“Ahh! I’m stuck!” Little Horn cried out. Being small in stature had its disadvantages. The little filly tried to use her magic to untangle herself, only to make it worse. “A little help here, please?” She begged her cousin as she had her front hooves caught in the bed sheets.

Harmony sat up with an amused smirk, “You alright there?” She threw the bed sheets off with complete disregard, releasing the filly from her cloth prison.

Little Horn grumbled as her older cousin freed her from the bed sheets with ease, “I’m fine, cousin...just not used to being this small, that’s all. Do I have to go to school?” The filly wondered if there were any schools that would accept young ponies like herself.

“You’re a twenty-five year old ex-human,” Harmony deadpanned, “I think your previous education will suffice for now, unless you’ve forgotten it all already”.

Little Horn finally got out of the bed sheets to hear her cousin’s comment, “Do I look like a 25-year old human to you? I’m a little unicorn filly who happens to be your cousin. I can do some magic, like when we made muffins. Those were some good muffins!” Little Horn licked her lips, “Are there any more left?”

“I think they ran out when you scarfed down the last one, remember?” Harmony raised an eyebrow.

Little Horn smiled and blushed a bit, “Yeah, I guess I was really hungry! What are we having for breakfast?”

Just then, Little Horn felt a sudden urge to answer nature’s call.

“Um, Harmony? I gotta go to the little fillies’ room,” The filly announced as she blushed. Little Horn was looking around anxiously, “Can you help me find it?” The little unicorn filly began to fidget nervously, looking at her cousin for assistance.

“Down the hall, third door on the left. Right where it usually is,” Harmony replied offhandedly as she tried to re-organise her bed. Harmony reminded herself to teach Little Horn how to make her bed later.

Little Horn went into the bathroom as her cousin indicated, and closed the door behind her.

The bathroom was not really all that spectacular, with a rather plain colour theme of white. There wasn’t anything fancy about the bathroom, with the usual sink, bathtub, and toilet located within easy reach of each other. There was a rack along the wall for the towels and washcloths for the shower.

After a few minutes, a flush was heard, and Little Horn trotted out of the bathroom, feeling better.

“I’m going to take my bath now, unless you want to first,” She politely offered to her cousin.

“Nah. I’ll have one later,” Harmony shrugged, “I’ll probably go get breakfast ready while you’re doing that”.

She turned about to walk off, before stopping herself, “... You DO know how to run your own bath, right?”

Little Horn frowned. “How hard can it be? Just turn on the hot and cold water, get in, get wet, shampoo, soap, and rinse. I have magic, you know,” The tan filly tapped her horn, before adding in a cheeky tone, “Unless you think your little cousin cannot bathe herself.”

“Just making sure...” Harmony’s voice trailed off into an incoherent mumble. Harmony would help Little Horn with her bath if needed, but if her younger cousin was to be a big pony as she claimed she was, she would leave the personal hygiene to her.

Little Horn nodded, and headed back into the bathroom, again closing the door before selecting a blue towel and matching washcloth for her first bath experience at her cousin’s house.

Little Horn focused on the hot water spigot, turning it on by using her telekinesis alone, just like Harmony did with the muffin trays the night before.

That shouldn’t be that difficult. I have my magic, so that helps, The young unicorn filly focused on the cold water to make sure the water was at a safe temperature. Once it was adjusted to her liking, Little Horn eased into the tub, and began to get her coat and mane wet. The sound of splashing water could be heard from the doorway as Little Horn continued to make herself presentable for her cousin, like her mother taught her at the hospital.

After she got her coat and mane nice and wet, Little Horn looked around for the shampoo. There was a bottle of Mane n’ Tail where one would normally expect to find the shampoo and soaps for baths or showers. Little Horn smiled as she levitated the bottle of the all-in-one soap and shampoo and lathered herself. Eventually, the young filly rinsed off and pulled the plug on the bathtub with her magic, allowing for the dirty, soapy water to go down the drain.

She dried herself off with the blue towel she found, and hung the wet washcloth on the washcloth bar inside the tub to dry. She hoped that her cousin would be okay with that, unless she said otherwise. The towel then was placed around her waist as she left the bathroom to notify her cousin she was finished with the bathroom and the shower was empty.

“Harmony, the bathroom’s empty!” The tan unicorn announced as she sat down at the kitchen table, “So, what are we going to do today?”

“I dunno,” Harmony’s disembodied voice replied from across the house, “What do you want to do? I don’t have any major plans for today.”

Little Horn’s ears picked up on her cousin’s voice. “I’m going to get some breakfast. You want to join me?”

“I’ll be down in a few minutes,” Harmony answered.

The tan unicorn filly asked her cousin, “Is it okay if I go outside and explore? I promise not to eat anything that will make me sick or run into any creeps.”

The unicorn filly frowned at the mention of her last bad experience. Perhaps she would have a better time outside if she was more aware of her surroundings or if her cousin went with her..

“Don’t stray too far from the apartment, alright?” Harmony cautioned, “There’s a cafe run by a sweet old lady next door who I’ve known for years, and that’s about as far as you can go, otherwise I’ll have to come down with you.”

Little Horn nodded, “Is there a way we can communicate with each other if I get into trouble? I know you are supposed to look out for me.” She then added, “I’ll need a copy of the apartment key, some money, and...”

Just then, Little Horn’s stomach growled, “Breakfast.” The little filly finished as she blushed. “I’m hungry, Harmony. Can we have breakfast together?”

Harmony’s response was drowned out by the sound of the shower running.

Little Horn had her usual oatmeal and apple slices for breakfast, along with some orange juice. She washed her breakfast down and levitated her empty bowl, cup, and spoon in the sink.

“I’m going to go outside and explore, okay, Harmony?” The little unicorn announced. She did not hear any response from her cousin on the matter of leaving the sanctuary of the apartment, for Harmony was in the shower and did not hear her cousin’s announcement. Little Horn levitated a pen and some paper, and began to write a note:


I want to go outside and explore. I will be back in time for our magic lessons. I wish we had some sort of cell phone to allow us to keep in touch. I think we need money for that. Maybe we can get jobs so we can afford cell phones and other stuff. Speaking of money, I borrowed some money from you so I can buy something to eat at the cafe you mentioned earlier. I promise to pay you back. Maybe you and I can go eat out together. There should be some place that serves vegetarian meals.


Little Horn

The note was neatly left on the kitchen table as Little Horn telekinetically grabbed her key to the apartment with her magic and wore it with a blue lanyard around her neck. She even found a small change purse to put money in. She hoped that her cousin would not be mad she “borrowed” some money to eat on. It was enough for at least two meals for one little filly, if she budgeted it out correctly. If she met anypony else, they would have to pay for themselves.

As Little Horn traveled outside the apartment with the change purse and her key, she locked the door, and marvelled at how everything was big compared to her. The smells of the clean air assaulted her nostrils as she inhaled, and exhaled, producing a calming affect on her. Her small size kept her from most larger achievements, but the little unicorn traversed the stairs with some trepidation, and up to the sidewalk of the apartment complex. As the little tan unicorn stood on the sidewalk of the complex, her mind wandered off to what happened to her school friends: the Pegasus, Scootaloo, her fellow Unicorn, Sweetie Belle, and the red maned Earth Pony filly, Apple Bloom, as well as the two bullies, Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon. Her fellow Cutie Mark Crusaders had fled when Discord attacked Ponyville after their teacher, Miss Cheerilee, ordered them to hide. Perhaps her friends had ended up stuck as humans, and were looking for her?

Little Horn felt she needed to find all her friends from Ponyville, but where would they be on Earth? Or, more specifically, who were they on Earth?

As Little Horn began to make her way down the block towards the cafe her cousin mentioned, she wondered it was open and if the nice lady was as her cousin said she was. Little Horn also wondered what kind of fare did the cafe serve and if it was within her budget.

Upon entering the establishment, Little Horn saw some tables and chairs neatly organized where patrons could sit and have their meals. She hoped that being a small unicorn filly in a restaurant would not cause a scene. Her little hooves tapped on the floor as she slowly made her way to the end of the line, and waited her turn to order. Several of the human patrons saw the adorable filly enter. Some took pictures on their smart phones of the filly and others just stared at the sight of a small equine waiting in line just like everyone else.

The person behind the counter, as Harmony stated, was an old lady, who was diligently serving up a cup of coffee for a patron. She didn’t seem to notice as the small pony joined the queue.

Little Horn waited in line for someone to serve her as she examined the menu board options. She did not know what she wanted yet, but she hoped it would be delicious and nutritious. After all, she was a growing little pony!

“Next waiting, please,” the old lady called out.

Little Horn noticed she was the next in line and stepped up to order. “Hey, down here! I’m next in line, Ma’am!” The filly said in her cutest, adorable voice. If the owner would look down from her position, she would see a tan unicorn filly with a brown mane and tail standing there, smiling, her blue eyes shining brightly.

“Eh?” The lady glanced over the counter. Her eyes widened in surprise.

“Oh! You must be that relative Holly was talking about several days ago!” She tilted her head, “Is that right?”

Little Horn nodded, “Yes, I’m Holly’s cousin. You can call me Little Horn. I’m sorry about my appearance.” The little filly’s ears drooped as she hoped she would not be judged for her being a pony.

“Eh, don’t you worry none!” the lady smiled cheerfully, “You’re not the first person I know that’s suddenly turned into a talking horse overnight. Now, what can I getcha?”

Little Horn’s eyes widened as the cafe owner mentioned that there were more humans-turned ponies, “Really? I thought my cousin and I were the only ponies on this block.” She covered her mouth with her hooves, “Ahem, sorry, Holly’s a unicorn, like myself. We can do magic. She’s been teaching me a lot of cool spells!” Little Horn’s stomach growled, “Oh, well, what do you have for a little filly to eat?”

“Well, I could tell you nearly everything about everyone in this here block, and I can tell you that Holly’s little transformation there didn’t exactly go unnoticed. But anyway, I can get you a salad sandwich, if you want.”

Little Horn waved her front hooves as the owner claimed she knew everyone in the block area, and that her cousin’s transformation did not go unnoticed. “Oh, it’s okay. I really didn’t need to know about everypony here!” The little unicorn blushed, then composed herself.

“I’ll take the salad sandwich and a glass of lemonade, if it’s okay with you, please? My cousin gave me some money.” She focused on the change purse and pulled out some money with her blue aura. “Is this enough for the food and drink?”

“Yep, that’s fine. You just wait right here and I’ll be back in a jiffy!” the lady nodded and accepted the money, opening up the till with a loud clink and placing it inside, before closing it again and disappearing behind the food display.

Little Horn smiled as she made a new human friend. Still, she wondered if the lady’s claim was true about her cousin’s transformation being publicly known. Her own transformation was kept a secret as per her parent’s deal with the hospital administration. She would have to ask her cousin about this, but for now, the sandwich she ordered was being prepared, along with her beverage.

The other thought that raced through the young unicorn’s mind was that there may be humans who became ponies on the block. She would have to contact them and find out who they were. Maybe her classmates or her teacher were in this vicinity. The possibilities of running into a pony in this neighborhood would be nothing short of a miracle!

Chapter Four: Getting the Message Out

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On Our Own

Chapter Four: Getting the Message Out

Little Horn ordered her salad sandwich and lemonade from the owner of the establishment and sat at one of the window seats closest to the ordering area. The clock at the cafe was about 12:30 PM, and those patrons who were coming in for their lunch orders began to arrive, as usual.

After paying for her meal and beverage, she found herself a seat and waited for her food to be prepared. She felt so much alive as she looked out the window at the beautiful day. The other patrons continued to gawk and marvel at the sight of a small unicorn pony eating at their cafe.

Little Horn looked at the patrons who were staring at her. She shook her head and waited patiently for her food and drink order. She didn’t know what the fuss was about. All she wanted to do was have some lunch!

“Here you go,” the lady at the counter placed the order on the bench, “Have a nice day!”

Little Horn smiled as she picked up the plate with the sandwich and the glass of lemonade with her magic. The blue aura surrounded the food and drink as she slowly made her way back to her seat.

“This looks so good! You make this for any pony who comes in here?” The little unicorn filly asked, licking her lips in anticipation of consuming this delicious meal.

“When they ask for it, yes,” the lady replied, “Why else would it be up there on the menu?”

Little Horn nodded, spotting the vegetarian menu options. Sure enough, the salad sandwich was on the menu. Perhaps she and her cousin would come in for a meal together in the future.

“Thanks for the meal, then!” She then paused, “I did not catch your name. If you are a friend of my cousin’s, I think I should know in case we decide to come in together for a meal.” The little unicorn picked up her sandwich with her magic, levitating it with her blue aura to her mouth. The first bite of her sandwich was delicious!

“Oh, wow! This sandwich is so good! This is my first real good meal in a long time!.” The little filly’s ears drooped, feeling a bit sad as she tried to explain her absence until now to the lunch counter lady.

“I guess you want to know how I ended up living with my cousin, huh?” Little Horn asked the Lunch counter lady.

Little Horn continued her story, if the owner of the cafe wanted to hear it.

“About a week ago, I was kinda in the hospital and my cousin had to come get me to live with her. My parents are both unicorns, as is my grandfather. I really miss them.” The little filly sighs.

Then Little Horn perked up at the thought of her present situation with her cousin.

“However, my cousin Harmony, er, Holly’s been taking care of me, making sure I eat right and training me with magic lessons.” Little Horn offered the lunch counter lady, as she continued to eat her sandwich and drink her lemonade.

“That’s an interesting tale,” the lady murmured, before smiling cheerfully, “You can call me Ms. Robinson. Everyone else here does. If you ever need anything from me, whether it be a nice warm drink or an open ear, I’m always here in the cafe.”

Little Horn smiled at Ms. Robinson, “Thank you, Ms. Robinson. Maybe Holly and I can come eat here sometime! Although she goes by the name Harmony now.” She shrugs, “Pony names are a bit different than human names.”

“I see,” Ms. Robinson mused, “Well, be sure to give her my regard when you get home”.

Little Horn nodded as she finished her sandwich and drink. “Okay, Ms. Robinson. I’ll let Harmony know. She’s getting ready for work and let me go out to explore and have lunch.”

“Do you give free refills? I would like another lemonade, please?” The filly brought her empty drink container up to get it refilled with her magic.

Little Horn beamed with confidence as she placed her cup on the counter to be refilled. She was getting better with her magic. Probably would need to look into some more complicated spells, if Harmony was willing to teach her.

“I can do magic as a unicorn, Ms. Robinson! There are other ponies who can fly or do not have wings or horns at all. I think you already know that, yes?”

“While that’s very interesting,” Ms. Robinson smiled sadly, “It wouldn’t be very fair to the other patrons here if you were the only one getting freebies. All drinks cost exactly the same, with no refills available, unfortunately”.

Little Horn frowned and took her empty cup back from the counter, “It’s okay, Ms. Robinson. I really don’t need that extra drink. Thanks for the sandwich and lemonade!” The tan filly placed her napkins and empty beverage cup into a nearby trash can with her magic, and waved her hoof at Ms. Robinson in a friendly manner.

“I’ll tell my cousin you said hello, Ms. Robinson! Bye now!” With that, the little unicorn filly trotted towards the door leading out of the cafe. As she slowly opened the door with her magic, she looked around for anything familiar, like her cousin, or a landmark. She noticed her apartment was conveniently located near the cafe, as her cousin mentioned.

Little Horn headed back to her home after lunch, and stopped by the door of the apartment. Levitating her key to the lock with her magic, she was able to unlock the door and step inside.

“Harmony, I’m back from the cafe! Ms. Robinson made me the best sandwich ever!” The little filly said with excitement, then frowned as she realized her cousin was not present at the cafe with her.

“I should have picked you up something, if you want me to.” Little Horn waited in the living room for her cousin to talk to.

“No, that’s alright,” Harmony’s disembodied voice replied from the living room, “I’ll go get something later”.

Little Horn attempted to find the source of her cousin’s voice. “Okay! Ms. Robinson said hello and she said some things about knowing about your...*ahem* becoming a pony. That’s kinda weird, right?” She asked with a quizzical look on her face.

“Not really,” Harmony sighed, “She was the first person to know something was up when it started happening. She’s surprisingly observant for an old lady, and a compassionate ear for when you have problems you want to talk about. Whenever I felt confused or upset about the whole ordeal, I just turned to her for advice, and she gave me a sort of crutch to lean on when I needed it”.

Little Horn smiled as she finally found where her cousin was at, and gave her a hug, “Found you!” She snuggled up against Harmony warmly.

Little Horn then thought about her situation. Was it any different from Harmony’s transformation, except for the hospitalization and that doctor who was getting way too personal about witnessing an actual transformation from human to pony..

“I wonder when I started to change, why my parents wanted to keep my transformation from going public? I mean, I am grateful to know I have an awesome cousin who can teach me magic.”

“Well, just up and turning into a cartoon character is a bit... surreal, don’t you think?” Harmony raised an eyebrow, “I mean, think about it! People live their whole lives thinking that My Little Pony is just a TV show, and yet here we are: living, breathing specimens of supposedly fictional creatures. That’s going to be a pretty darn big tablet to swallow, don’t you agree?”

Little Horn nodded, “I guess so, Harmony. I mean, we can do magic by levitating stuff with our horns, and use pony-isms like everypony and anypony. Is there a reason why this doesn’t feel like Ponyville?”

“Maybe because it isn’t?” Harmony offered dryly.

Little Horn tilted her head, acting confused, “What is this place then? Where are the other ponies? So far, the only pony I met, besides our family, is you.” She shook her head in disbelief. “What the Hay is going on here?” The little filly queried.

The little filly then thought about her friends from school, “Perhaps my Ponyville school friends, the Cutie Mark Crusaders, and Miss Cheerilee are out there, somewhere! Maybe we can try to find them?”

Harmony glanced at her uncertainly, “Are you sure about that? We don’t have much of a clue as to where they could possibly be, and we’d have a lot of ground to cover. It’d be easier to find a needle in a haystack!”

Little Horn thought about ways to reach out to the other ponies, “What about the Internet?” She suggested..”Or not?” She sighed, looking to her cousin for assistance.

“I guess so,” Harmony murmured, “It couldn’t hurt to at least ask around”.

Harmony briskly trotted across the room to her desk, where her computer was located, and switched it on. The computer whirred to life with a low hum from the cooling fan.

Little Horn trotted into the computer room, “How are we going to tell everypony about us, Harmony? You think we’ll get some responses?” The filly also wondered if this would be a good activity to get her Cutie Mark in making an Internet video about ponies.

“The only problem is, I have a feeling that whatever responses we get will all be morons trying to make fun of us,” Harmony frowned, “False leads and misinformation that will be a waste of our time”.

Little Horn nodded as her cousin prepared the computer, “So, we get on Youtube or make a blog about us helping ponies find us? Would it be dangerous for a filly like me to be on the Internet unsupervised?”

“You have no idea,” Harmony deadpanned, “Just let me handle the Internet side of things for now. So... I suppose the first place we should start advertising is amongst the My Little Pony fan base, who we can at least guarantee won’t turn us down and make a mockery of us off the bat. Maybe like... Equestria Daily, perhaps?”

Little Horn nods, “Okay, Harmony! It’s your computer. Let me know if you need me to make an appearance. Maybe I can do a shout out to the Cutie Mark Crusaders!” Little Horn could not wait to see the reactions from the fan base, and see if there was a new pony friend among them.

“Right then,” Both the keyboard and the mouse lit up in a bright blue glow under the influence of Harmony’s magic, “Let’s get to business.”

Little Horn watched from her seat near her cousin as she controlled the computer with her magic. “Okay, we are going to Equestria Daily, right?” She couldn’t wait to see what kind of responses awaited from cyberspace.

“... That’s the idea,” The elder cousin glanced aside as she opened up the Internet browser.

Little Horn continued to watch in anticipation as Harmony opened the Internet browser.

“What do you want to say to the other ponies? Will there be any who are my age?” The young filly didn’t mind meeting older ponies, unless Harmony screened them first. The younger ponies, Little Horn could relate to. Especially those who did not have their Cutie Marks.

“If they’re even out there at all,” Harmony murmured, “Let alone on the Internet. I’m afraid I don’t know any more than you do.”.

Little Horn looked disappointed as she waited to see what type of message Harmony would be sending over the Internet. If anypony who had Internet access could be reached, maybe they could make their way to them.

“Uhm, Harmony, what if we find some ponies and they want to meet us? What will we do?” The little filly asked politely.

“I suppose we put our heads together and think of what to do next,” Harmony shrugged sheepishly, “Simply winging it is probably a bad idea, but at the same time, I can’t really think of an appropriate plan of action. Maybe someone else will have a game-plan, and we can just follow along with them.”

Little Horn nuzzled her cousin in support of finding anyone who may have experienced the transformation into ponies.

“I’m with you, cousin! Just tell me what I can do to help, and I’ll do it.” She looks around, shyly, “unless you think you can do this on your own?” She continues to give her cousin support by nuzzling her. “We’ll do this together, as a family!”

“Family... right,” Harmony nodded, concentrating her attention to the computer screen as she flicked through the maze of browsers and tabs popping up on the screen.

Little Horn watched as Harmony navigated the Internet, trying to find the right site to visit. “So, we just post something about us needing to find humans who have become ponies, and hope some pony answers back?”

“In layman’s terms, yes. That’s the idea,” Harmony nodded,

Little Horn waited to see what her cousin would be typing up on the blog. “So, is this going to be a blog or a video message?”

“We’ll probably have to do a video message,” Harmony replied, “Simple text isn’t going to get the message across without some hard evidence to back it up.”

Little Horn nods, “Just tell me when it’s my turn and I’ll try my best to let the other ponies know what they need to do.” She wondered about what type of message they would send. “So, what message should we send out?”

“Just a simple one should do,” Harmony shrugged, “As long as the viewer has visual evidence that we’re not pulling their legs about this, you could probably say whatever you like.”

She paused before adding, “Within reason, of course.”

Little Horn nodded, and waited for her cue from her cousin to chat on the video message. “You start the message, and you can introduce me to the other ponies!” She couldn’t wait to see if there were other ponies her age out there. “Maybe they want to join the Cutie Mark Crusaders!” She thought about getting a Cutie Mark in Crusader Recruiting.

“Now I know how bad Apple Bloom and my friends felt about not having their Cutie Marks.” The little filly looked like she was about to tear up. “Do you miss Equestria, Harmony?”

“I... I don’t really remember anything about it, to be honest,” Harmony shook her head, “I suppose it should hold some sort of sentimental value to me, but...” Her voice trailed off into silence.

Little Horn’s memories of the world of Equestria were a bit fuzzy as well. She remembered being invited to join the Cutie Mark Crusaders by Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo. Being teased by Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon made her upset enough to be a part of a parent-teacher conference between Cheerilee and her parents. Other than that, and the strange zebra from her dreams, that was about it.

“I remember there was this zebra who spoke in rhymes. She was really nice and helped me when I was sick.” The filly recalled.

“There was a spa in one of my dreams, run by twin sisters, one blue, and one pink.” She added.

“Huh,” the older cousin murmured amusedly as she adjusted the position of her glasses, concentrating on the computer screen.

Little Horn waited for the video message site to come up so they could record this message.

“Are we focusing on all the ponies or just the ones who have undergone the changes we experienced?” The young filly asked, tilting her head as she watched her cousin operate the computer with magic.

“I think anyone with half a brain, some eyes and some ears will do for now, to be honest,” Harmony remarked.

Little Horn smiled at her cousin’s wry sense of humor.

“How are we doing on the video message? I’m going to use the little filly’s room, and I’ll be back to help you.”

The little tan unicorn filly trotted out of the room, only to poke her head back in, “You want something to eat? What time is it, anyway?”

“Eight past two,” Harmony glanced at the clock in the corner of the screen, “I s’pose I should have my lunch now before it’s too late.”

Little Horn nods, heading to the bathroom. After taking care of business, she washed her front hooves in the sink, then trotted back to the kitchen to help Harmony with her lunch.

Harmony opted to go with a simple meal of various spreads on toast, producing the toaster from the cupboard, placing it on the bench and plugging it into a free electrical socket.

Ten minutes later, and Harmony was back at her computer desk with a plate stacked high with toast; some lathered with jam, others with peanut butter, and still others with just plain old margarine.

After all, simplicity is best from time to time.

Little Horn saw the stack of food her cousin brought in. “Wow, you sure were hungry! I already ate, so you enjoy your lunch. Maybe we can fix something for supper while we wait for responses from our video message?”

“Settle down, cousin,” Harmony smirked with a mouthful of toast, “Supper’s not for another four hours, yet, and we have plenty of time to wait for responses”.

She paused to swallow her mouthful before continuing, “Besides, we aren’t going to get any responses anyway if the video is non-existent! When I’m finished with this, we’ll get started!”

Little Horn’s ears drooped when she was admonished by her cousin for being too hyper, , then perked up when Harmony was about to begin uploading the video message.

“I’m ready to record my message when you are ready!” The filly said in excitement.

“Right,” Harmony shifted her chair to the side and switched on the video camera, built into the top of the monitor, “In three... two... one...begin”.

Little Horn looked into the video camera and blinked. Viewers who would see this video live would see a tan Unicorn filly with a brown mane and tail, with blue eyes.

“Hello, EveryPony! My name is Little Horn! My cousin Harmony and I are recording this video for you!” She continued. “Please listen to my cousin. She has something important to say to you!” Then she added, “Oh, fellow Cutie Mark Crusaders! If you don’t have your Cutie Mark yet, there’s a club you can join dedicated to helping ponies find their special talents!” Little Horn smiled at the camera, then looked over at her cousin.

Little Horn turned towards her cousin, motioning her to record her message. “Harmony, you’re up!” She pointed a hoof towards the camera.

“Huh? I do? Oh, right,” Harmony shuffled her seat back in front of the camera, clearing her throat, “*Ahem*, well, I suppose there’s not much to say, other than ‘Hi, I’m currently turning into a unicorn at the moment’.

“It all started around... six or seven days ago now, was it? I’m not keeping track... and I have no idea how it started myself, but over a four-day process, I started growing fur, weird ears and a horn, and before I knew it, I’m suddenly sporting the current appearance you see me in now. I’ll admit that I didn’t actually know this person beside me before all of this began...”

Little Horn waved her hoof at the camera to indicate she was the person Harmony was mentioning to the viewers as her cousin continued her message. “I’m her younger cousin!” She exclaimed.

“Apparently...” Harmony glanced aside briefly, before adjusting her glasses and continuing, “But... now we’re stuck together due to coincidental circumstances, and if there’s anyone out there on the Internet who knows about anything regarding... how this could be happening, please inform us as soon as possible! I’m linking my email to the information box below as we speak, so if you know anyone who is in a similar situation to us, or at least has an inkling of the situation surrounding it all, please let us know. That is all”.

The red light of the camera died as Harmony shut off the recorder with a sigh, “Now, we just sit back and relax.”

Little Horn leaned back in the chair next to her cousin, “I really don’t mind us being family, Harmony. I’ve learned to use my magic, just like you!”

“There’s a bit more to Magic beyond basic levitation,” Harmony murmured, “And to be honest, I don’t know much about any of it myself”.

Little Horn nodded and gave her cousin a hug, “You think this is why we were put together in the first place? To learn how to be a family and about magic?” The little filly asked, looking up at her cousin with her big blue eyes. “How do you feel about having a younger family member to take care of?”

“I dunno,” Harmony shrugged, “I was the younger sibling, so I don’t really have much experience in looking after other people.”

Little Horn nodded, “There are a lot of things I still don’t understand myself. Like, why did I end up as an adorable unicorn filly and be placed in the care of a relative I knew nothing about until my mother decided to appoint you as my guardian?”

The filly sighed as she looked up at her cousin. “I think you are doing a great job so far in keeping me safe.”

“That’s because it’s been easy so far,” Harmony chuckled, “It’s only been... what, two days and a bit since you arrived?”

Little Horn nodded as she thought about how many days she had stayed with her cousin.

“That sounds about right. Thank you for taking me in, Harmony. I’m still getting used to my magic. And, the fact we are both unicorns and female...I don’t really know. All I know is, we are together...we are family, and we are a team.” Little Horn smiled at her cousin warmly.

A grin worked its way across Harmony’s features as she ruffled a hoof through her cousin’s mane, “We don’t have much of a choice, do we? We’re going to have to make this work one way or another.”

Little Horn enjoyed getting her mane ruffled by her older cousin. It felt good to have someone to care deeply about.

“Of course we will, Harmony!. Perhaps this is what it supposed to be? A fresh start, a new family?” The little filly sighed as she thought about her old life compared to her new one with Harmony.

“I hardly remember any of my old human family, and now that I have a loving pony family, I just feel so warm inside; what does that mean, Harmony?” The inquisitive filly asked her elder cousin.

Harmony paused, “I suppose... well, I don’t know. Maybe turning into a pony includes psychological changes like that? I mean, it makes sense that our psyche would undergo some sort of reformation as our physical bodies change. To be honest, I never really thought much of you when I first met you, other than pity for your predicament. And now... I suppose you’re starting to grow on me.”

Little Horn thought about what her cousin said, “That makes sense, Harmony, but I don’t understand why I ended up as a little unicorn filly. A filly is a younger female equine, right?”

“That’s what it meant last time I checked,” Harmony smirked, “I don’t really know why your age has regressed like that, but I’m sure there’s a legitimate reason.”

Little Horn shrugs, “I really don’t want to know. Perhaps we’ll find out together. In the meantime, we can hang out and just enjoy each other’s company.”

With that, Little Horn gave her cousin a warm hug, snuggling her head into her cousin’s white coat. “I love you, Harmony.”

“... Likewise, L-H,” Harmony returned the gesture, “Likewise.”

Chapter Five: Answering Back

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On Our Own

Chapter Five: Answering Back

The Internet: a vast treasure trove of information that could be accessed via a personal computer, laptop, smartphone, or iPad. Those with internet access would soon discover that there were ponies living on Earth that only appeared from the popular cartoon show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

If anyone was watching the Internet videos at the time, they would see that a new one had recently appeared. A white unicorn mare with wavy blue hair and glasses and a smaller tan unicorn filly with a brown mane would appear on the screen, identifying themselves as cousins “Little Horn” and “Harmony.”

During the video feed, an email link from “Harmony” appeared in the information box, as she said it would. Now the question was, would someone actually respond?

Meanwhile, a unicorn mare with a blue and white trimmed coat and matching mane and tail viewed the video with special interest in what the pony cousins had to say from her location in her family’s cabin. Both were unicorns, and the smaller unicorn filly was very energetic in comparison to the calmness of her older cousin. A link to Harmony’s e-mail address was included as the new unicorn mare considered answering to the video.

Midnight Blossom, as she was calling herself, had undergone the transformation in around four days as well. She wondered whether the video from “Harmony” and “Little Horn” was a trap or actually legit. Her paranoia and wariness temporarily won over her sense of logic.

"It could be a trap..." Midnight murmured aloud. After giving it some thought, she figured that this was the real deal, and she wanted to reach out to them. Seeing the email link below, Midnight Blossom clicked on the email link with trepidation with her magic. She would be risking her own new life on the testimony of two ponies she had never met until today.

Once the email browser was opened, Midnight Blossom composed her message back to Harmony,

Dear Harmony...

My name is Samantha Harris. Or, at least I was Samantha Harris until I found a Cutie Mark on my thighs. I used to be a scientist at the Hawaiian Observatory in Honolulu, Hawaii. The first time the mark appeared, I thought it was a tattoo and would get it removed. I soon discovered the other changes starting to appear, such as my hair turning a dark blue with white trim. My hair became my mane by the end of the first day, which was my birthday on May 1.

I panicked when I grew pony ears and a tail on the second day. I grew more used to the changes as they continued, such as the back hooves and the blue fur all over my body. I locked myself up in my penthouse as the changes progressed by the third day and later moved out of the city by the time I grew a horn in the middle of my forehead. I quit my job and sought sanctuary into my family's lake cabin to wait out the final changes to my body.

I have Internet access here and saw your video. I am now a unicorn, like the two of you. Please respond, as I could use all the help I can get. I am enclosing a video picture of myself so you can know this is no hoax.

The video of the blue and white unicorn mare appeared in the video link enclosed on the email, along with a contact email for Harmony to respond.

I believe as a unicorn, I can do some magic. I noticed you can levitate some items. Maybe we can meet up? I am now using the name Midnight Blossom. I believe that is my pony name. Can you help me?


Midnight Blossom

Formerly Samantha Harris

Midnight Blossom hit send after she proofread her message to Harmony. Now she waited for a reply back.

Meanwhile, a dark grey unicorn stallion watching the video message from his location from Spokane, Washington responded:

Dear Harmony and Little Horn,

Thank you for sending out this video message. My name is Crankshaft, I began changing into a dark grey unicorn stallion on my 25th birthday six days ago. It's a great relief to know I'm not the only one going through this odd transformation. Please respond so we can meet up.


Little Horn was monitoring all the video responses at the time, and quickly read through the replies with eager anticipation.

Shortly afterwards, a third response came from a young colt named Duo. He was a unicorn, just like Little Horn.

Um, Hello my name is Duo and... I have already gone through what you both experienced. I am not sure what happened but if you can help me then please help. I also fear how much of an effect this will have on Sweetie Belle. I found Apple Bloom and she and I will be coming to your location through the airport. Can you help us?


P.S. Apple Bloom says Howdy!

The mention of the names of Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom perked the interest of Little Horn. A smile appeared on her face as she went over to find her cousin.

“Harmony! Come quick! We have three responses to our video! Three unicorns want our help! This one,” She points to the first responder, “is Midnight Blossom! The other guy is a stallion calling himself Crankshaft.” Then she saw Duo’s response. “Hay, this colt says he knows Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle!” She thought, “Come to think about it, he was absent the day we had class picture day.” She sort of felt sad for him... “Can I answer him back, please?”

“That was quick,” Harmony murmured, “It only went up ten minutes ago... Oh well, let’s have a quick looksee...”

“Dear Harmony... yadda, yadda, yadda... bla, bla, bla... from Midnight Blossom,” Harmony skim-read, “Huh. What an interesting name that is.”

Little Horn smiled. She was so excited about the prospect of meeting Crankshaft and Midnight Blossom! Perhaps there would be more ponies out there!

“I told you that Internet video would work! We have three fellow unicorns who need our help! Should we respond and see if we can find out where they are? Maybe they can come to us...or we come to them.” Little Horn looked over at Harmony to see what the next best course of action would be.

“I suppose it’d be best if they came to us,” Harmony murmured, “If we go anywhere, it’d mean I’d have to keep a close eye on you on a constant basis. If we have to go through any rough or dangerous parts of town... I don’t want to be putting your safety at risk like that.”

Little Horn nods in understanding, “I know. You just want me to be safe. So, we need to tell these ponies to come visit us! Maybe we can get them rooms at the apartments!” She then looked up at Harmony and gave her a hug.

“... That’s not a bad idea, actually,” Harmony broke the hug and logged into the Apartment Mainframe, searching about for any possible vacancies.

“I don’t know teleportation spells yet, Harmony. I only know levitation so far, from what you taught me.” Little Horn’s ears droop after thinking about the spells she has learned under her cousin’s tutelage.

“To be honest, that’s about all I know myself,” Harmony murmured off-offhandedly, “Most of it’s a learning experience for me as well.”

Little Horn nodded, “I guess that is why we will be working on that together, then.” She smiled as she felt safe around her cousin. Being a younger pony did have some advantages, but also some disadvantages. One of the advantages of being small was that Little Horn could get into places a larger pony could not get into, as well as being adorable. The downside was that the little filly was still at the level of a foal who was in Magic Kindergarten and being underestimated for being so young.

“Alright y... it looks like Unit D is the only vacancy, I’m afraid. We’d have to put ‘em all in there,” she frowned, “I hope they don’t mind...”

Little Horn smiled as she looked at the two responses thus far, “You think we are the only ones who ended up as ponies? There could be younger ones like me who don’t have their Cutie Marks yet.” She continued to think about her three Crusader friends from school. “I really miss Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo, and Apple Bloom. If they saw this video, I am sure they’d respond, right?”

“That depends,” Harmony shrugged, “I doubt that they’re even on the Internet.”

Little Horn shrugs, “It would be nice to have some pony my age to talk to and play with.” She sighed as she kept monitoring the Internet postings, “Should we wait for more, or tell these ponies to come to us?”

“Let’s bring ‘em to us,” Harmony began typing at the keyboard, “In any case, if worse comes to worst, the boys can all stay in the one apartment, and Midnight can just stay with us.”

Little Horn watched with anticipation as her cousin worked to reach out to Midnight Blossom and Crankshaft. “I hope we have enough food for them. I wonder if they’ll like me?”

“Food’s not going to be an issue,” Harmony dismissed, “Unless they’re flat broke, I’m pretty sure they’ll be able to support themselves for a while. And besides, what’s not to like about you, eh? It’s always the small adorable ones which are the most likable.”

After a few moments though, she added with a soft snicker, “Although Diamond Tiara doesn't count, ‘cause she’s a douche.”

Little Horn laughed at her cousin’s crack at her old nemesis from school, almost falling off her chair. Tears of laughter came from her eyes, “Oh, cousin, that was really funny!” The little filly continued to laugh. “What about Silver Spoon? She is more of a follower, really.

“I only know them from their depiction on the cartoon show,” Harmony shrugged, “But they certainly don’t look like the sort of kids anyone would want to hang out with. I just don’t know what Silver Spoon sees in that pink piece of slime...”

Little Horn composed herself, “I think it’s because Diamond Tiara is spoiled rich. Her father’s name is Filthy Rich, owner of Filthy Rich's Barnyard Bargains.”

“Is that so?” Harmony raised an eyebrow, “Her old man is Mr Moneybags just from running a garage sale, is he? That’s interesting... I’m lucky to get fifty bucks whenever I sell junk from my front yard.”

Little Horn continued to laugh at the jokes her cousin cracked, then frowned. “Aren't we becoming the bullies by making fun of those who torment or have tormented us? What if I somehow run into Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon, or someone who has turned into them?”

“If you somehow run into them, they wouldn't do a thing, because I’ll wring their necks if they so much as say ‘boo’,” Harmony huffed indignantly.

Little Horn smiled at her cousin, proudly. “I’m glad you will help me with any bullying issues. That’s what family does, right?”

“Of course,” Harmony nodded determinedly, “You’re under my care now, and as far as I’m aware, no-one’s going to touch a hair on your head without my say-so. I can promise you that. So if anyone ever gives you crap, you come see me and I’ll sort ‘em out.”

Little Horn gave her cousin a hug, nuzzling up against her fur. The idea of two ponies, now related by a series of circumstances beyond their control sounded far fetched, but to Harmony TrebleHeart and Little Horn, this became a reality when Little Horn’s mother arranged for her child to be placed in a stable home under the supervision of a close family member. “Harmony, would this be a good time for a song?” The little filly asked, looking up at her cousin.

“Hmm,” Harmony tilted her head in thought, “Alright, I think I’ve got one.”

She flicked on the loudspeakers with a swipe of her magic and opened up her iTunes. Quickly scanning through the Library, she clicked on a song, and the music started to play.

Little Horn smiled as she heard the song. She recognized the tune as Summer of ‘69, as Harmony sang cheerfully along with the tune. She joined in on the song, but sadly, there was no singing Cutie Mark for her. “I just wish I knew what my special talent was.” She sadly said, feeling like she was in need of a hug.

It was quickly evident as to why Harmony’s special talent was singing. Her voice was very smooth and graceful, with little difficulty hitting the high notes. If someone didn’t know any better, they would think she was a voice actress for a Disney musical.

She brought her performance to a close with a smile, murmuring, “I think that’s my best rendition of that one yet. The ol’ vocal cords needed a good stretch, anyway.”

She glanced down at her cousin, “Oh? Why the long face?”

Little Horn chuckled at the joke her cousin cracked, “I just don’t know what I’m doing wrong...I tried cooking, singing, and made an Internet video to help find other ponies like us, but no Cutie Mark...” The small filly looked like she was about to cry.

“That’s no reason to start the waterworks on us here,” Harmony gently shook her head, “You have an entire lifetime ahead of you to figure out your calling in life. Just get out there and live, and maybe your Cutie Mark will find you, instead of the other way around. There’s no-one here on Earth who gives a stuff if you have a Cutie Mark or not, so there’s no obligation to feel pressure or anything like that.”

Little Horn thought about what her cousin said, and her tears stopped as she listened to her sage advice. “Yeah, you are right. I have been doing a lot of thinking about my situation; being a younger pony and all. So many advantages....”

“You have a young and inquisitive mind, L-H. The last thing you want is to have your Cutie Mark turn up telling you you’re destined to be a garbage collector or something like that for the rest of your life, so just find out what interests you the most in life, and aim for that,” Harmony placed a hoof on her shoulder, “Cutie Mark or not.”

Little Horn smiled as her cousin cheered her up. “You always know the right words to cheer me up, Harmony.” She felt her cousin’s loving hoof on her shoulder and closed her eyes, allowing the words of encouragement to sink in. “I guess we’d better prepare our guests for their arrival and send out those invites. That Duo colt could use some cheering up!”

Harmony stood up off the chair, “That means I better go make sure Unit D is all cleaned up and presentable then. It should be the same way we left it last time, but just to be sure...”

She opened up a drawer in the desk and produced a large white key, marked with a bold black letter ‘D’. “Right then...”

Little Horn hopped off the computer chair and asked, “Can I come help? I want our guests to be comfortable in their new lodging.” She thought about how they would accommodate them all. “So, I guess the mare, Midnight Blossom can stay with us, and the stallion and the colt can stay in the vacant apartment? And, if Duo actually found Apple Bloom, she can stay with us... I bet she is missing her family.”

“I don’t see why not,” Harmony replied offhandedly as she trotted out the front door.

Little Horn followed her cousin around the apartment block, feeling like an important part of her cousin’s life. If this was some sort of “Take your Relative to Work Day,” this would be one of those days.

The apartment block that Harmony owned was pretty easy to navigate. The four single-bedroom units were all within the same square-shaped building, connected by two intersecting corridors in a plus-shaped pattern directly up the middle of the building, with each unit in a corner. Harmony and Little Horn, who lived in Unit A, simply had to make a left turn out of their door, turn right at the intersection, and Unit D was the one on the left.

At the end of the hallway, in between Units A and C, was the service closet, where all the cleaning implements were kept, such as mops, brooms, the vacuum cleaner, and so on.

Harmony had inherited the business from her uncle, who had no children of his own when he passed away, and her older brother Todd didn't want it either.

The tenants living in Unit B consisted of two college students who went to the university just a few blocks away, who juggled their studies in between their jobs at Wal-Mart and a nearby petrol station, respectively.

The tenants in Unit C meanwhile were an old retired couple, who had been living there for years, and they got along well with Holly’s family.

The tenant who used to live in Unit D moved out just a few weeks ago, apparently moving to Halifax because of his job as a car sales representative for Chrysler.

Upon opening the door to Unit D, Harmony briskly trotted about to and fro, making sure everything was neat, tidy and presentable. Fortunately, they had performed a big clean-up of the place shortly after the previous tenant left, hoping to put it up on the market for rent, so there was little work to be actually done, beyond maybe a quick dust-off here and there.

Little Horn nodded and began to use her magic to assist her cousin with the clean up. “What tools do we need to clean this place up?” She asked.

“I don’t think we’d need anything more complex than a dust mop, I don’t think,” Harmony murmured, glancing around, “Maybe a vacuum cleaner as well. There should be one in the service closet.”

Little Horn nodded and went to the service closet, opening it with her blue magical aura. She levitated the vacuum cleaner to her cousin, helping her to plug it into an available outlet. “Okay, you can sweep, unless you want me to do it.”

“No, I’ll vacuum,” she picked the handle up off the floor, “If you see so much as a speck of dust, you sweep that crap up. There should be a dust mop in the closet, as well, on the shelf next to the dustpan and brush. I don’t think this should take more than twenty minutes.”

Little Horn got the dust mop from the closet and levitated it, wielding it as a weapon, “You got it, Harmony!” She said, mock saluting as if she was a soldier, declaring war on dirt and grime. The dustpan and brush were brought out as well. “Okay, I’m ready to get cleaning!”

“You start in the kitchen, and I’ll start from the bedroom,” Harmony directed, walking off with the vacuum, “We’ll meet up in the middle from there.”

Little Horn began her chores as her cousin instructed her. “Maybe after we are done, we can go get something to eat for supper? I don’t know about you, but sometimes, if I’m trying to learn new spells, I get hungry. Is that because I need more energy?”

“No, that’d be the tapeworms inside you demanding another feed,” Harmony rolled her eyes, “Of course it means you need more energy! What else would it mean?”

Little Horn continued to clean, and had more questions, “Uhm, what if we get sick and have to go to a doctor....would we have to see a veterinarian? I mean, I am pretty healthy. Just trying to cover everything.”

“... Let’s just hope it doesn't come to that,” Harmony murmured, “I don’t know anyone who specializes in equine healthcare.”

Little Horn shrugs her shoulders, finishing up her cleaning. “All done here. I’m ready for inspection!” The little filly was so proud of herself. It seemed she was getting better at her magic.

The young filly then asked her cousin, “Oh, did we get any mail from mom? I really miss her, dad, and Grandpa.” Being a third-generation unicorn, Little Horn came from a wonderful, rich family history. “I hope we can somehow make it back to Equestria.” The little filly liked being here with her cousin, but the thoughts of her real home kept seeping through her mind.

“I dunno,” Harmony swept the vacuum across the bedroom floor, “Maybe afterwards, we’ll go check.”

Little Horn nodded. She hoped her parents and grandfather would come visit. She could put on a magic show, but without the flashy show-off flair of, say Trixie Lulamoon.

The little filly finished all her chores and waited for her cousin to inspect the room she cleaned. “So how many ponies do you think we have confirmed coming?”

“At the moment, none,” Harmony muttered, “They’re not going to turn up if we don’t tell them to first, which we still haven’t done.”

Little Horn nodded, “Right. I confirmed at least three responses, four if you count Apple Bloom, last time I checked. Maybe the other ponies don’t have Internet access?” Having access to magic did have its advantages, but in the end, every pony was special in their own way.

“Who knows?” Harmony shrugged, concentrating on her cleaning.

Little Horn was pretty happy there were other ponies out there, including the young colt, who claimed Apple Bloom was with him. “Harmony, Duo said he and Apple Bloom were going to arrive through the airport and we had to come pick them up. Couldn't they just get a taxi or something?”

“Hmmm, to get a taxi from the airport...” Harmony furrowed her brow, “That’d be a bit pricey for them. Also, if they specifically asked for us to be there for them, then it’d be rude if we didn’t turn up. I doubt I’d be allowed to drive anymore, considering my current physical form.”

A wry smirk formed on her face, “Heh-heh, imagine the look on the copper’s face if he saw me as I am now in the driver’s seat! That’d be something you don’t see every day, would it?”

Little Horn giggled, “Yeah, and you and several other ponies, including Apple Bloom, Duo, and myself in the car. That would be an awkward moment.”

Harmony put on an exaggerated accent, shaking her head, “He’d be like, ‘I’m never having those vitamins with my breakfast again! I’m having a talk with my pharmacist, I think!’”

Little Horn waited for her cousin to finish her joke, and then laugh, rolling on the ground. “You know, that would be so funny!” The little filly stopped rolling and gets up on her four legs, “How did you deal with walking on hooves? I know it’s just one big toe covered in keratin.”

“It takes some practice, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes pretty easy,” Harmony replied, dropping the accent.

Little Horn sighed, “Well, I am done with my chores, and I will go put the items back into storage. Hopefully, our new pony friends will be able to keep this place clean.” She wonders what kind of adventures these new friends will have. “Crankshaft sounds like a nice stallion from reading his response. I’m kinda worried about Midnight Blossom though. The blue mare with the white trim in her mane and tail? I bet once she gets settled in, she’ll feel like sharing her story.”

“And what’s wrong with that?” Harmony looked puzzled, “How else are we going to get to know her if she doesn't open up and talk about herself?”

Little Horn nodded, “Is that why you want the stallions and that colt to be in this room, and we take Apple Bloom and Midnight with us to our apartment? Or is that for safety for me?”

“It’s just polite that males and females are segregated over night time,” Harmony explained, “Unless they’re married. Then it’s acceptable. There’s a long story behind why that is the case, but it’s a story for another time.”

Little Horn nodded, “I may look like a little filly, but I think I have the idea. Maybe you can go over the house rules and figure out how much to charge the ponies for rent.” She then adds, “What about the little colt and Apple Bloom? I think they are too young to understand the concept of renting a room...”

“The cost for renting a room isn't per head, you know,” Harmony replied, “If Cranky rents out the unit under his name, he can do whatever he likes with it, as long as he pays for his own gas and electricity. Rent is generally a hundred and ten dollars a week; Gas is generally around thirty dollars a month; Electricity depends on the power company he’s with, and Water is covered by me.”

Little Horn nodded in understanding as she finished up. “I guess the next step is to contact our new friends and let them know what arrangements we have for them. Maybe I can invite them for a meal at that cafe. I’m sure Duo and Apple Bloom would love that.”

“Well, they’re not going to invite themselves, you know,” Harmony unplugged the vacuum cleaner, “Let’s get cracking!”

Chapter Six: The Ponies Arrive

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On Our Own

Chapter Six: The Ponies Arrive

Harmony helped Little Horn chat with her younger friends online. The younger filly was so happy she was going to have a sleepover with Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo. What was more surprising was that even Apple Bloom’s cousin, Babs Seed, would be invited! They decided to have a Cutie Mark Crusader sleepover, with Harmony’s approval.

Little Horn was able to convince her cousin to accompany her to the airport to meet her old friends and the new unicorn colt, Duo. Little Horn drew on a white poster board her cousin gave her a sign that read Cutie Mark Crusaders in blue letters prior to their arrival

They walked to the airport in anticipation of a Cutie Mark Crusader Reunion. Little Horn found her Crusader Cloak and wore it to the airport. That is what she told Duo in order to identify her in the crowd of humans. Surely, a tan unicorn filly and a white unicorn mare wouldn’t draw that much attention at a crowded airport, could they?

They arrived at the Arrivals section of the airport, where Harmony wandered across to a nearby cafe for a drink, while Little Horn kept an eye out for the other ponies.

Meanwhile, two figures arrived by plane at the airport in Vancouver. The young unicorn colt named Duo had stepped off the plane alongside his Earth pony friend, Apple Bloom. They had made sure to be as bipedal as possible. They even managed to prevent being identified properly, due to an overly lazy security guard. Vancouver International was sure being a bit lax today.

“Okay, Apple Bloom, just like we practiced; look for a pony who looks like the picture we received.” He pulled the cloak further over his head to fully cover his horn as he scanned the airport for any signs of Little Horn or her cousin, Harmony.

The red-maned filly nodded, and kept her cloak over her pink bow, scanning the area for the newest member of her Crusader club.

“Ah haven’t seen mah sister or mah brother in a long time, Duo. And isn’t Babs Seed supposed to be with us?” Apple Bloom asked, her country accent coming through, loud and clear.

Apple Bloom could not remember all the details, but she knew her real family would be happy to see her again, including her cousin, Babs Seed. “Ah just hope Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo are all right..” The young filly added as Duo and her continued to scan the area for their classmates.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the airport, a small dark orange filly with a pink mane and short tail covered in a cloak with white freckles on her cheeks attempted to get by the airport security. This was Apple Bloom’s cousin, Babs Seed, from Manehattan. The young Earth pony continued on her way through the security checkpoint until an alert security guard stopped her.

“Excuse me, I would like to see some identification, please..” The man stated to the pony in the cloak. The cloaks the younger ponies wore resembled the Cutie Mark Crusader cloaks the girls wore during their clubhouse meetings. Maroon cloaks with gold lining, with a hoof-stitched blue logo featuring a young pony rearing up on its hind legs was emblazoned on each of the Crusaders’ cloaks.

Babs Seed blew the piece of mane out of her face, and dropped the hood of her cloak, revealing the muzzle of the Manehattanite Earth filly from the show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

“Name’s Babs Seed. What’s it to ya?” The orange filly smirked, her thick Brooklyn accent coming through strong. “Ah’m lookin’ for mah cousin. She told me she’d be on one of those flyin’ machines.” Babs blew that stubborn piece of mane out of her face.

The security guard began to approach the young filly. “First of all, It’s called an ‘airplane’...and you from New York? Brooklyn, maybe? You have a strong New York accent.”

Babs Seed looked at the guard, “Ah’m from Manehattan, actually. I visit mah cousin on the family farm if Ah need to get away from the big city from time to time. We just had our family reunion!” She explained to the guard.

The guard adjusted his hat and scratched his head, “Manehattan? Don’t you mean, “Manhattan?” He didn’t really understand the pony-themed pun the young filly was saying.

Babs looked at the guard quizzically. “It’s pronounced Manehattan...like a pony’s mane.” She blows that stubborn piece of mane out of her face. “Ah really need to get that taken care of.” She said, indicating her mane.

“Young lady, you’re going to have to come with me. I could page your cousin. What’s her name?” The guard seemed concerned for the younger pony in trying to reach her destination.

Babs Seed blew that piece of mane out of her face, “Mah cousin’s name is Apple Bloom, sir. She’s got a red mane and tail and a pink bow. Yellow fur, orange eyes. Has a country twang in her voice.”

The guard looked at the city pony for a moment, “Apple Bloom? As in the pony from the television show? You look familiar as well.” The guard was a closet brony, and so he was sympathetic to the young filly’s search for her cousin. “Didn’t they sing a song about you being a bully?”

Babs shrugged, then laughed at the reference to the Babs Seed song featured in the episode, One Bad Apple. This episode dealt with peer pressure, bullying, and how not to seek revenge on those who bully others.

“Yeah, but it all turned out good in the end. Stood up to those snooty ponies who were harassin’ mah friends and mah cousin f’r not havin’ their Cutie Marks.. Told those two ah’d tell their mommas about their bad attitudes.” She smirked again.

Their budding conversation was rudely interrupted by an angry human tourist. “YOU!” she yelled imperiously, waving her hands around in a fit of fury. “What the hell’s wrong with the airport today? I’m calling customer service!”

The security guard jerked his head towards the source of the commotion. “Sorry, Ma’am,” he apologized profusely. “Got major teething issues this week. Our airport co-ordinator has been AWOL for six or seven days... ”

He briefly turned towards the little filly as the woman unleashed another torrent of abuse at him. “Bit busy, as you can see,” He whispered. “Hope you’ll find your friends out there.”

“Ah hope so too. Anyway, ah’ll be on my way. Thanks, ah guess.” Babs Seed blows her mane out of her face, and turns to look for her cousin and the other Crusaders.

Meanwhile, the young unicorn filly, Sweetie Belle, was in another part of the airport having a tussle with her luggage that she was trying to pull out of the broken bag machine. “Dumb machine! Gimmie my bag!” With one final tug, the cloaked pony finally pulled the bag free, but flew backwards as its contents scattered around the floor. “Oh, come on!” She wailed. “How can they not fix this stuff?”

Scootaloo simply giggled when she saw this. “Hey, Sweetie Belle, I’m going to head over to the cafe so I can get a drink. Who knows? Maybe I will meet up with one of the ponies from the email?” She put on her helmet and hopped on her scooter before taking off, much to Sweetie Belle’s protest.

Sweetie Belle simply sighed as she started to pick up her belongings. “Dumb machine!”

Babs Seed heard Sweetie Belle’s high-pitched voice and trotted over to help her collect her belongings.

“Sweetie Belle? Is that you? Wowza, you haven’t changed a bit since you invited me to join your club.” She smirked. “You got the message from that unicorn friend o’ yours?” The dark orange filly asked her little unicorn friend. “Ya haven’t seen Scootaloo here, have you?”

She grinned big and hugged Babs Seed before picking up her things. “She was supposed to meet me here but knowing her she probably hopped on her scooter and went to the Cafe, she did say she was hungry.” Once she finished packing up her stuff, with Babs Seed’s help, she grabbed the bag with her mouth and started walking.

Duo’s ears perked up when he heard Sweetie Belle’s voice. “Sweetie Belle? Come on Apple Bloom!” Duo started running towards the sound of her voice.

“I’m doing fine! Babs Seed is here as well!” She pointed to Babs Seed.

Babs Seed blew on that piece of her mauve mane that became more of a nervous habit when meeting new and old friends.

“Apple Bloom! Ah’m so glad to see mah cousin again! Ah had to take a different flight comin’ out from New York. Mah big sister and Auntie Brown Betty gave us some gifts for us when we finally get settled in. It’s a surprise, so no peeking!” She showed several packages that needed to be picked up for the trip. Each package had the ponies’ names on them.

Meanwhile, Little Horn spotted her Crusader teammates, and went up to them, wearing her Crusader cloak. The tan filly trotted up to the assembled ponies..

Little Horn cleared her throat a bit to get the other ponies’ attention before speaking. “Hay everypony!” The girls and Duo would see a tan unicorn filly with a brown mane and tail, along with blue eyes and a smile on her muzzle trotting up to them. “Finally, you guys made it!” She went over to hug her friends warmly. It felt really nice to be able to hear, feel, and see the smiling faces of her classmates.

“I’m one of the newest Crusaders. You can call me Little Horn. My cousin, Harmony’s waiting for us to go to the cafe. Maybe Scootaloo will be there!” Little Horn suggested to the Crusaders.

“We can only hope!” Duo stated as he picked up his bag with his mouth, having now gone down on all four hooves. “I am still not comfortable being seen in public like this... let’s get to the cafe quickly and meet the others.” He then started walking as Apple Bloom followed right behind him.

“Come on, Little Horn and Babs Seed! We shouldn’t keep them waiting any longer!” Sweetie Belle rushed forward in a hurry past Apple Bloom and Duo to get to the cafe.

Little Horn slowed up and looked at her friends, “Harmony’s just over there! Come on!”

After a few more minutes of walking, the group of ponies finally reached the airport cafe.

Little Horn gestured towards her elder cousin once everypony was inside, “Everypony, this is my cousin, Harmony. She’s a unicorn, just like Duo, Sweetie Belle, and me.” She smiled as she introduced her cousin to the assembled ponies.

“As you can plainly see.” Harmony remarked dryly, glancing up at her forehead.

Scootaloo had finished drinking the last drop of her Apple Juice box when she noticed the ponies walking in. “Sweetie Belle, Apple Bloom, Duo! Over here!” She waved to the trio making all three of them run up and hug her, to the point where she struggled for air. “Suffocating... can’t breathe...”

Babs Seed entered the cafe, blowing that stray piece of mane out of her face. “Hey, Scootaloo! You here for the Crusader reunion? Found ya another Crusader. I think ya know her from your school and that video thing on the computer..” Babs pointed a hoof at Little Horn.

“Too... long...” Once the trio finished hugging Scootaloo she took a huge gasp of air before glaring at them. They then shared a laugh. “So you’re Little Horn, huh?” Scootaloo hopped off the stool and looked at the tan filly. “Name’s Scootaloo, nice to meet you!” She held out her hoof for Little Horn to hoof bump.

Little Horn hoof bumped the Pegasus filly and smiled, “I want to thank you for helping me out a long time ago when I first starting attending Ms. Cheerilee’s school with you three. Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon were teasing me for being a blank flank and having a small horn.” Her ears drooped upon remembering all the teasing she got at school.

“Alright peanut gallery,” Harmony spoke up, telekinetically throwing her empty coffee cup into a nearby bin, “Since we’re all gathered, let’s get out of here.” She hesitantly glanced around, “People are starting to stare.”

“Actually,” Babs Seed reasoned, “Ah think they’re just mad that we’re being happy in the airport. You wouldn’t believe how bad it is in there. Definitely worse than LaGuardia.”

Sweetie Belle huffed. “Yeah, tell me about it! That dumb bag machine!”

“Aww,” Apple Bloom couldn’t resist bragging. “I had a great time! The people at the desk didn’t even bother checking who I was!”

“Uh yeah, sorry about that,” Harmony could only muster a cheeky grin in response. “I heard on the news that the airport was running into some problems. Some employee’s been absent for six or seven... days?!” Her voice rocketed upwards as she realized the implications of what she said.

“Yeah,” Babs Seed answered nonchalantly. “They were saying some co-ordinator’s gone missing- ”

“What is it, Ms. Harmony?” Scootaloo said, concerned that their patron had seemingly been turned to stone.

The blue-maned unicorn snapped back into life. “Oh, nothing, nothing,” she gestured, reaching into her phone and quickly searching for some information regarding Vancouver International’s airport co-ordinator. “Let’s keep on going, girls.”

As they walked towards the airport exit, Babs Seed looked over at Harmony and her display of magic, “You can really do magic, Miss Harmony?” The young filly from Manehatten had heard of unicorns who could do magic from home, but hanging out with those that were more down to earth and friendly amazed her. “The unicorn ponies back home usually stuck their snouts in the air and didn’t give ya the time o’day.”

Harmony wasn’t responding, through no fault of hers. She was busy negotiating with the authorities. “Vancouver International? Yes, I’ve heard that one of your airport co-ordinators has been missing for quite some time... Could I just have some contact details? I think I might know what has happened... Ms. Meyer, was it? Alright then. I’ll tell her to get back to you guys as soon as possible. No worries. Bye... “

“Well... I wish you could have met me back then.” Duo stated sadly. He then perked up when he remembered what they were supposed to do. “Think we can get back to Equestria? Wherever that is...”

Little Horn frowned, “You can’t even remember our own homeworld? That spell that creepy chimera creature did on us must have removed most of our memories about our old lives.” The little filly’s mind was still fuzzy, except for the fact she had a cousin who cared for her, five best friends who would go on adventures with, and a wonderful life ahead of her.

Harmony was speaking again, and it was really getting in the way of the fillies’ conversation. “Hi, this is Harmony Trebleheart, Ms. Meyer. I’ve read the news about Vancouver International, and I’m almost certain that you’ve turned into a pony. If that’s indeed the case, I invite you to meet us fellow ponies at the junction of Coleridge and Doman at around 7. If not - well - ignore this voicemail, I guess... ”

“Ya mean Discord? Didn’t that yellow pegasus reform him or something?” Apple Bloom asked, tilting her head in a confused manner.

Little Horn shrugged, “I don’t know. I thought he had reformed...but he ruined my family dinner the night I was banished here. I was in the hospital and was really sick. Somehow, I ended up meeting a familiar face in my dreams. A zebra who gave me something for my upset stomach.”

“Evidently, Discord’s reformation was only temporary,” Harmony remarked dryly, finally having ripped her eyes from the bright screen of her mobile.

Duo’s ears twitched upon hearing the word zebra. “Are you talking about Zecora? She helped me dispel the weird spell somepony named Celestia put on me to cause the Crusaders to go crazy with love for me. They chased me through all of Ponyville!”

“Apparently it was a test of our friendship; the spell very nearly tore the Cutie Mark Crusaders apart!” Sweetie Belle said.

Scootaloo, Apple Bloom, and Sweetie Belle all giggled nervously. “Well... at least that problem was taken care of and we all know who Duo chose in the end.” Scootaloo said while smirking at Sweetie Belle. This action, in turn, made Sweetie Belle blush.

Little Horn continued to walk beside her cousin, while Babs Seed took up a position behind the Crusaders and Duo. Little Horn spoke up first,

“Duo, why would Princess Celestia put such a spell on you? Is it like the spell Ms. Twilight did on her doll once?” She looked around at the Crusaders, “Uhm, I kinda heard about that incident from a friend of a friend. There were a lot of gossipy ponies talking about it.”

Babs Seed missed out on many of these adventures with her friends and cousin, since she was in Manehattan, working on recruiting two new classmates to join the Cutie Mark Crusaders. The leader of the Manehatten Branch of the Cutie Mark Crusaders decided to update the group on what she was doing back home after she left Ponyville.

“Well, Ah recruited two more of mah classmates at mah new school in Manehatten to join the Crusaders. I’m not sure who they are though, or their names for that matter.” The streetwise filly said to the group as they walked along.

Little Horn chuckled, “I really missed out on all that Crusader business!” She then turned to Apple Bloom.

“I’m glad you and your cousin are getting along better. Your family probably misses you very much.” She gives the young red maned filly a side hug. “You were so kind to respond to our video message. I cannot believe you are really here!”

“Actually I responded since Apple Bloom can’t work a computer to save her life.” Duo said, earning a glare from the red-head filly.

“Well it’s not mah fault that you could use magic to use that pencil as a writin’ tool!” Apple Bloom retorted.

Duo simply chuckled at this remark.

“So you recruited two more Crusaders? That’s great! We have to make capes for them as well! What are their names?” Sweetie Belle asked Babs Seed.

Babs Seed thought about the new Manehatten Branch of the Cutie Mark Crusaders, “Ah believe they are named Fiery Mist and Candy. Fiery Mist is a Pegasus and won a lot of races with his fellow Pegasi. Candy loves to make candy, and Ah think that may be her special talent.” Babs replied to Sweetie Belle..

“You know what’d be ironic, is if Candy was a diabetic,” Harmony mused with a smirk.

Little Horn looked up at her cousin and shook her head, then turned back to her Crusader friends. “I don’t think that’s nice to make fun of others. You guys learned that, right?”

“Gee, tough crowd,” Harmony muttered, “I said it’d be ironic, not as an offensive statement.”

Little Horn rolled her eyes, “Uh, how much further are we going to go, Harmony?” She then heard her stomach rumble...”and I bet you girls and young colt are hungry, right?”

Duo was about to say no when his stomach rumbled, getting a giggle from Sweetie Belle. “Yeah I am.”

“The exit’s just up here,” Harmony assured them, “How many of us are there... one, two... four... six.” She then sighed. “A bit too much for everyone to fit in my car. This is going to be interesting...”

Little Horn thought about ways to find a ride. “Cutie Mark Crusader Hitchhikers?” She suggested, then shook her head,”Yeah, no. I don’t think Harmony would approve of us trying to have these humans picking up six ponies; five of them being young.” She looked up to her cousin for advice. “How are we going to get home, besides hoofing it?”


Crankshaft was tired. He had been driving since late last night. It had taken him hours to fix his van to a point where he could drive in his current state. Getting over the border was a bit of a hassle, but he managed it. He was almost there, he was almost safe. He thought he saw something on the corner of his eye. Something very colorful.

He pulled his van to the shoulder of the road. He saw a white unicorn mare and a group of foals; two earth ponies, three unicorns, and a pegasus. Crankshaft wasn’t sure whether they were real, or hallucinations from his fatigue. The welding goggles he was wearing weren’t helping. He pulled them over his horn. His eyes told him he wasn’t dreaming.

“Do you ponies need some help?” He asked


Little Horn looked behind her as a van slowly pulled onto the shoulder. The driver was later revealed as a unicorn stallion with a brown mane and a dark grey coat. He asked the ponies in their caravan if they needed assistance.

The young unicorn filly known as Little Horn had blue eyes, a tan coat and brown har. She nodded to the unicorn in the van.

“We were heading home after picking up my friends from the airport. I am Little Horn, and this is Apple Bloom,” she points her hoof towards the yellow filly with the red mane and tail. The youngest member of the immediate Apple Family had her trademark pink bow in her hair.

Little Horn continued to introduce her friends to the stallion, “This is my cousin, Harmony, and these are my friends; Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo, Duo, and Babs Seed. Who are you and why are you driving a van? You aren’t trying to foalnap us, are you?”:

“Ah, so you are the filly from the video! My name is Crankshaft, and I was heading to your apartment complex, I thought it would be safer to live there with other ponies than alone in Spokane. As for the van, I bought it when I was about sixteen, I was a big fan of the A-Team when I was younger, and I figured modifying it so that I could drive as a pony would be safer and easier than walking all the way to Vancouver.”

Babs Seed looked at the van. “So, we should get in the van and you’ll take us to Little Horn’s house? Wowza, we appreciate this, Mista Crankshaft!” The Manehattan filly said, smiling as she approached the van.

“It’s no trouble, but you will have to give me directions.” replied Crankshaft.

Little Horn looked up at her cousin and back at the Crusaders, “Cutie Mark Crusader Road trip with Mr. Crankshaft! YAY!”

Crankshaft covered his ears, wincing, ‘How could something so small produce a sound so loud?’

Little Horn laughed at Crankshaft’s reaction to the emotional outburst. “Sorry about that, Mr. Crankshaft. My friends and I are trying to earn our Cutie Marks. Sometimes we get into trouble by doing stuff we shouldn’t be doing, but we are really nice.”

“It’s fine, it was just a little unexpected.” said Crankshaft. “I completely understand, finding one’s place in the world is very important.”

Little Horn looks up at her cousin and then back at her friends, “Well, can we ride with you? Harmony and I can show you to our apartment complex!” She smiled big when saying this. “We cleaned an apartment up for you, so you can move in immediately!”

“That sounds good, I haven’t slept in a while. I was too busy making preparations to come here,” said Crankshaft tiredly. “I have enough money to cover rent and food for at least six months.”

Little Horn nodded, “Harmony will take care of the paperwork and get you moved in. We have a cafe to eat at and we were just going there, so you can join us, if you want to, Mr. Crankshaft.”

“Certainly.” said Crankshaft.

Little Horn and Babs Seed entered the van’s interior. Babs Seed was the first to speak up.

“Wow! This sure beats takin’ a taxi!” Babs exclaimed as she took a seat in the back, attempting to buckle herself in. The orange filly usually took the train from Manehatten to Ponyville or a taxi if she wanted to visit with the Apple family, as was the case when she responded to an invitation to the last Apple family reunion, hosted by Applejack. Both train tickets and a taxi ride cost bits, but she wasn’t sure what currency the humans here used.

“Well, I wouldn’t say it’s better, but it ‘s probably less expensive” said Crankshaft.

Harmony eyed the van warily, before hesitantly turning about, “Don’t worry about directions, Crankshaft. You can follow along behind me. Just give me a few moments to fetch my car from the carpark. L-H, you’re in charge, and don’t give him too much trouble, will you?”

Little Horn nodded and sat in the passenger’s seat, buckling up with her magic. “Okay, Mr. Crankshaft. Once we get Scootaloo, Sweetie Belle, Apple Bloom, and Duo buckled in, we follow Harmony to our apartment complex. We can get something to eat and then, we can get you settled into your new home. Harmony will take care of your paperwork and collect your money.” The younger filly said, smiling as she felt so much alive. Her school age friends had finally shown up, and she hoped to have some games and other activities for them to enjoy.

“Oh, I forgot.” Harmony’s head poked back into the van. “I need to make a brief stop at Coleridge and Doman before we go back. There might be somebody - I mean, somepony else who might need a bit of help.”

The driver nodded, despite not having the faintest idea where Coleridge and Doman was.

Duo had to have been the only pony who wasn’t very comfortable about this. He had heard somewhere that it is bad to get into a stranger’s van. “I hope you know what you are doing Little Horn...” Duo whispered to the filly.

Little Horn smiled, “Harmony put me in charge and I think we can trust Mr. Crankshaft.” She then looked over at Crankshaft, “You wouldn’t hurt five little fillies and a colt, would you, Mr. Crankshaft?”

"No, I can't imagine why anyone would want to harm a foal." replied Crankshaft.

Little Horn nodded, “Come on, guys, please come with us. Harmony’s in her car, and we are supposed to follow her to the apartment where we will be staying. Unless you want to walk the rest of the way...besides, with all those gifts Babs Seed brought from her relatives for us, I’m sure our driver doesn’t mind transporting them.” Little Horn began to levitate the packages and luggage from the fillies into the van.

Babs Seed saw all the luggage Sweetie Belle brought with her. “Wow, Sweetie Belle, what did you pack for this trip? You expecting to go camping or somethin’?” The orange filly said, helping to stack the packages neatly on the floor of the van so they will not spill. One of the packages was supposed to be for Apple Bloom’s sister, Applejack. It was a brown Stetson, a hat that Apple Bloom’s sister wore every day. The packages were wrapped in the color schemes of each pony they were addressed to.

Once all the packages were safely secured, Little Horn wiped some sweat off her brow with a front leg. “Whew! Who knew all that levitation training finally paid off! I wonder what other magic I can do?” The little tan unicorn contemplated the possibilities of teleportation, shooting magic beams from her horn, and other magical spells she had yet to master.

Duo lightly nudged Little Horn with his muzzle before he hopped in the van to sit next to Sweetie Belle. “Come on, Little Horn!”

Little Horn was nudged by Duo and she glared at him, “I’m in, Duo. Just get Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo in here, and we can go. Harmony will be leading us to the apartment we are staying at.”

Apple Bloom hopped in next to Duo with Scootaloo following suit. “So is everypony inside? Let’s roll out!” Apple Bloom said excitedly.

Apple Bloom blushed embarrassingly. “Heh heh... sorry.” She said sheepishly.

Duo just chuckled as he put a hoof around Sweetie Belle and pulled her into a cuddle, making her blush.

“Eww...” Scootaloo replied as she made fake gagging noises.

“Aw, come on Scootaloo, I think they are cute together~” Apple Bloom giggled as Duo and Sweetie Belle both shared a blush of embarrassment.

"Are we ready to go?" asked Crankshaft.

Little Horn nodded, “All Crusaders accounted for?” She looked back to see Sweetie Belle and Duo cuddling, and Scootaloo’s reaction to it. “I think we have everypony here, Mr. Crankshaft. Just follow my cousin and we’ll be home before we know it. We can get something to eat at this cafe I found while exploring the complex. Harmony told me all about the owner and her being friends.”

Crankshaft started his van and released a sigh. Stressed as he was from his recent transformation, but the sound of the engine was soothing his nerves. He spotted Harmony’s car and began following, making sure her car never left his sight.

Little Horn stayed in the front passenger’s seat, buckled in as much as a little pony in a car would be. “So, since we are back together, how did you end up as the Cutie Mark Crusaders?” She said sheepishly, “I mean, you turned into the ponies that you are now?”

Babs Seed started her tale first. “Where do I begin?” She blew a piece of errant pink mane from her face, “Okay, so I was with Apple Bloom when it happened. Our accents became very evident by the second day. Ran into Duo when he was changin’, so we decided to stay together. Since Apple Bloom and I were cousins as humans, I figured it would be the same for ponies.” She looked over to Sweetie Belle, Apple Bloom, and Scootaloo. “How ‘bout you? How did ya end up as ponies?”

Chapter Seven: Dinner and Rest

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On Our Own

Chapter Seven: Dinner and Rest

Along the way back to the apartment complex, the fillies and colt were discussing their transformation stories while riding in Crankshaft’s van.

Little Horn spoke up after Babs Seed told her story, “I was in a hospital when I ended up becoming a little filly. I don’t remember too much of my life as a human. My new life ended up connected to Harmony, as I was introduced to her as a cousin by my mother. My cousin has been taking care of me ever since, teaching me magic and giving me encouragement along the way.” Little Horn then turned to the others, “We heard Babs Seed’s story and mine, now, let’s hear your story, Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo, Duo, and Mr. Crankshaft!”

Duo was about to speak when suddenly Scootaloo decided to speak first, instantly cutting him off and getting a glare in return. “I was just in a shelter working on tuning up my scooter when I felt a tingly sensation all over my body. Before I knew it, wings had come out my back... although they were small.” She flapped her tiny wings to make a point before continuing. “Soon after my snout came and then my hooves. When it was over I thought i’d stumble but strangely enough it was as if I knew how to walk on four legs. I then decided to run over to Apple Bloom’s house to tell her what happened but she was a pony too along with Duo!”

Apple Bloom adjusted the bow on her head before speaking up. “I was working on the farm getting apples out of trees when my whole body just transformed at once. I fell off the ladder and bumped my head!” She rubbed the back of her head where she still felt a slight sting of pain.

Little Horn listened to Apple Bloom and Scootaloo’s stories, “Ouch! You okay now, Apple Bloom?” The little filly asked with concern for her fellow Crusader.

“Yeah I am fine, nothing a little home remedy couldn’t fix!” Apple Bloom stated with a smile.
Little Horn then turned to Sweetie Belle and Duo, “What about you two? What caused you two to become ponies?”

“I was helping my sister... or thought I was helping her, with the dishes.” Sweetie Belle sheepishly said before continuing. “While I was doing that though a horn appeared on my forehead and levitated the dishes in front of me, I found it very cool while Rarity was beyond shocked!” She giggled lightly remembering Rarity’s shocked face. “Unfortunately, after it levitated for only a second, it fired the dishes every which way! There were broken plates and cups everywhere!” She looked at Duo and then sighed. “I got an email shortly after that, while I was now half pony and half human, from Duo telling me all about this gathering. Rarity said I could go if I promised to be on my best behavior and to write back to her.” She then suddenly realized something. “Horseapples! I forgot to write!” She quickly started to fumble around in her saddlebag as Duo face hoofed.

Little Horn nods, “Harmony and I write to my mother and let her know about my progress in magic training. Maybe we can sit down and write to our families and tell them we are okay?” She suggested to her friends.

Sweetie Belle nodded in agreement. “Yeah! I’d love that!”

“Heh, what family? Forgot I lived in a shelter?” Scootaloo deadpanned, slightly offended.

“Oh come now Scootaloo, Ah’m sure she didn't mean it like that.” Apple Bloom replied.

Duo simply sighed before beginning his story. “I was asleep when I transformed into a pony. Apple Bloom was the one who woke me up.” He pointed towards the yellow filly who nodded in agreement. “But in my dream... some pony named Princess Luna told me that I didn't belong in this world... and that I was her nephew. She told me that a very important event was going to take place to get me back to my real home. It was no coincidence that I found the video Little Horn made, and decided to take action.” Duo smiled to Little Horn after saying this.

Little Horn smiled at the stories her friends were telling her, “Those are some really awesome stories. Glad Harmony and I could help you. Now that we have the Crusaders back in action, we can try to find our Cutie Marks!”

“I think maybe we should first concentrate on how we are going to get back to our “Real Homes” as Princess Luna said.” Duo suggested.

Little Horn then turned to Crankshaft, “What about you, Mr. Crankshaft? What’s your story?”

“I was a mechanical engineer before all this started” said Crankshaft “ I lived in Spokane, Washington. I was just getting off work on my 25th birthday and...” Crankshaft trailed off, he noticed Harmony’s car slowing down.

“Why is she stopping?” asked Crankshaft. When he saw it, he was more than a little surprised “Well how about that? We found another one!”

His passengers stopped on a dime and turned out the window. “Where? Where?” they cried, already desperately searching for the answer.

And there she was. In the midst of the illuminated darkness, there stood a graying, tan pony, trotting in place and looking around as if something was the matter... well, there was. She had been a human a few days back; and now she was a pony. Of course she would be slightly aggravated.

Wide-eyed, as if they had never seen another of their kind before, the Cutie Mark Crusaders could only stare in quiescent curiosity. Harmony meanwhile, stepped out of her car and onto the curb, watching the flustered mare carefully.

“Are you alright, there?” She asked tentatively, “What’s your name?”

“Um... yes,” the tan mare fidgeted about. “I seem to remember my name as Mayor Mare in P-p... ”

“Ponyville,” the unicorn clarified. After a few moments, her eyes widened with recognition. “Ah, right! You must be Ms. Meyer, from Airport Security!”

“Uh... yes,” came the unhappy response. “I’m sorry. It’s been a tough few days.”

There was a brief silence as Harmony tried to collect her thoughts. Certainly the Mayor of Ponyville was showing much less enthusiasm than she had hoped.

“So... ” Mayor Mare tried her luck. “You know any way to turn me back into... you know, back into a human?”

The unicorn shook her head, “Erm... no.”

Despite expecting this, the gray-maned mare’s eyes still gaped with disappointment. She tried again, vainly hoping that Harmony’s initial response was some sort of test or something. “B-but... you know... my career... my life... ” she pleaded.

Harmony sighed, “Well... not much we can really do about it at this point, I’m afraid. Besides, wasn’t your life in Equestria better than it was here?”

The ex-politician pawed at the ground with her hoof. “I like Earth better,” she mumbled...

All the while, Little Horn looked out her window to see her cousin talking with the other pony. “Is that the Mayor of Ponyville?” She pointed with her hoof.

“Yeah!” Apple Bloom squealed as her brain finally clicked. “Let’s go out and welcome her!”

Uh oh, Crankshaft thought. He could see the two were having quite a serious conversation. “Hey, girls! Wait!”

Too late. With a heave from their excited little hooves, the doors to the pavement slid open, disgorging five extremely excited fillies out into the open.

Little Horn ran up to make sure her friends did not overwhelm the Mayor or Harmony. “Girls, Duo! Harmony put me in charge! Please slow down!”

Babs Seed went up to Harmony and the Mayor, “Ms. Harmony, I’m sorry, but the girls were getting excited that we were going to meet another pony.” The Manhattanite filly looked over at the Mayor of Ponyville. “I am Babs Seed, from Manehattan. I’m a member of the Apple family. Apple Bloom’s my cousin. You must be the town’s Mayor!”

The Mayor turned towards the new source of the disturbance. “Oh... hi.” Years of Earthly life had dulled her recognition.

Little Horn nodded and bowed to the Mayor. “I am Little Horn. I arrived in Ponyville with my parents, grandfather, and cousin. You were in Town Hall, and helped us get a place in town. Thank you!”

“Oh. Oh,” Mayor Mare shuddered. “I did. Of course.”

The tan filly fell back, perhaps assuming that the new addition to their group needed some personal space to think things over.

“Anyway, you remember my friends, the Cutie Mark Crusaders, right, Miss Mayor?” Little Horn added, hoping the beleaguered Mayor would remember the youngest members of the community she once presided over.

“Umm, sure I do,” The bespectacled mare scratched her head. She glanced at Apple Bloom. “You’re Ms. Applejack’s sister, if I remember.” She turned to Sweetie Belle. “You’re Rarity’s sister.” She finally stopped on Scootaloo, rubbing her chin in mental concentration. “Uhh... ”

“Great.” The pegasus folded her forelegs and gave out an annoyed sigh. “Typical.

Little Horn smiled, “Scootaloo here is President of the Rainbow Dash Fan Club. Right. Scootaloo?” She looked back at Mayor Mare.

“Oh. Rainbow Dash,” The tan mare finally had a hint of recognition in her voice. “Alright, I remember them. But- ”

“Oh! OH!” Sweetie Belle bounced up in the air. “You’re Ponyville’s leader, Madam Miss Mayor! What do we do now, what do we do now?” The young unicorn said, excited at the fact the Honorable Mayor of Ponyville was in their presence.

This unexpected and sudden assault sent the ex-politician reeling. “I... uh.. what?” she exclaimed. “But I- ”

Little Horn stopped the bombardment of questioning from her friends, “Girls, that’s enough! Can you not see the Mayor’s been through some tough times? Let’s just have her ride with Harmony and we can get her something to eat. After that, she can focus on what has happened.”

“But she’s Ponyville’s leader!” Apple Bloom wailed. “How are we goin’ to go home without a leader?!

“W-well...” Mayor Mare stammered, her convictions creaking under the fillies’ combined arguments.

“Hey!” Harmony nearly shouted above the noise, forcing herself between the hyperactive fillies and the ex-Mayor and interrupting the interrogation. “How about you all just settle down and give the poor mare some space to think?”

Obediently, the ponies withdrew, eyes still looking expectantly at the Mayor.

“Come on girls, back to the van. Harmony can take the Mayor in her car to the apartment. We can get something to eat and maybe find a gift for the Mayor.” Little Horn suggested as she ushered her friends back to the van.

Babs Seed found the gift for the Mayor, “Found your Mayor’s gift. How did Aunt Betty know what to get her?” The young filly asked her friends.

Little Horn shrugged, “Wait until after dinner, when every pony is ready to go home. I’m sure the Mayor would love it. As for your Aunt, I really don’t know.”

The gift for the Mayor was her white collar with the light blue ribbon she wore when administering her official duties. Also, a gavel was included, a symbol of authority for any town administrator.

The blue-maned unicorn figured now was probably time to peacefully incorporate this reluctant pony into their group. “Well, do you want to hang out with us for a bit anyway? I’m assuming you probably don’t have anywhere else to go, and we could always use an extra helping hoof around the place regardless.” She then muttered under her breath, “Celestia knows I’m gonna need it with those five rascals running amok...”


Upon returning the apartment block, Harmony directed the group of ponies into her unit, where she took Crankshaft aside towards her work desk.

“Alrighty, Mister Crankshaft,” Harmony spoke in a professional tone, getting straight to business, “Since you’re moving into the spare unit, I should probably lay out the ground rules.”

She opened up a drawer and produced several documents stapled together, moving the keyboard aside and placing them down. “These documents cover everything you need to know about moving into the Unit. You know, stuff like insurance, the fire escape plan, and stuff like that. But there are a few things which I should highlight for you.”

“Standard rent fee for the unit itself is a hundred and twenty five dollars a week, plus monthly payments of around a hundred dollars for water and electricity. Gas bills are based on usage, and are generally covered by me, but only up to seventy five dollars in total. Any excess beyond that starts coming out of your pocket.”

“The walls are all insulated and sound-proof, so unless you purposefully want to deafen yourself just to annoy the neighbors with your crappy music in the process, there shouldn't really be any issues regarding noise pollution.”

“If you are caught vandalizing the hallways in any way, not only will I make you clean it, but you’re also paying a two hundred and fifty dollar fine, on top of providing your own cleaning materials and utensils. Trust me, it has happened before, and it hasn't happened again since. I made sure of that.”

“Interpersonal problems between you and any of the tenants next door are your problem, not mine. BUT, if the problem escalates to physical proportions, just bear in mind that everyone here keeps a firearm of some sort in their linen closets, so it’s not worth the hassle in the long run. Yes, that includes me too, and I know very well how to use it.”

“If you suddenly decide to randomly set fire to your living room, and we have to evacuate the entire apartment block because of it, there is a fire escape plan pamphlet next to each and every main door. Fire drills are held on the first Saturday of every second month. The record so far is fifty nine seconds. You are only allowed to break a window if your door is otherwise unusable, or if neither of the front or rear entrances are blocked.”

She paused to take a breath and let the information sink in, before continuing, “The cafe next door sells really good, home-brewed coffee for around four dollars a pop, and if you ever feel the need to just clear your mind and dump your problems on someone, the old lady behind the cash register is a great person to talk to once you get to know her. “

“I think that’s all the major things you really need to know, so all I need is your signature... there,” she pointed at a blank, underlined space, “And I can officially hand over the keys. Take some time to read through it properly though. Don’t worry about any fine print. I wrote it all up myself, so there isn’t any. Aaaand... I think that’s it really. If you have any questions or uncertainties, don’t hesitate to ask.”

As Crankshaft perused the documents, a small smile began to form on his face. Overall it seemed better than the place he’d left in Spokane.

“It all seems reasonable, but I have a question.” He said as he signed the lease with his magic.

He paused for a moment before continuing, “Do you know of a place nearby where I can store my tools? Some of them are a little too dangerous to keep in an apartment.”

Harmony nodded, “Sure, there’s a small tin shed out the back where you can put your work gear. It’s not all that much, and I haven’t kept up with the maintenance in ages, but it’s something. Either that, I could probably give you access to the service closet in the hallway if you wish, and you can put your stuff in there with all the other tools.”

"I think it would be best if I used the shed and I can probably repair whatever problems I find." replied Crankshaft.

“Alright, outdoors shed it is,” Harmony opened up another drawer in the desk and magicked out a small key, which shimmered with a golden gleam. “It’s padlocked, so you’re going to need this.”

“Thank you, I was hoping it had a lock. I don’t want the foals getting ahold of them and hurting themselves, I worked in an auto-shop as a teenager, I’ve seen what some of them can do when used incorrectly, it’s never pretty.” said Crankshaft, taking the key in his own grey magical aura and putting it in his bag.

“I can imagine. One of my human uncles nearly cut his own finger off when his hacksaw slipped. Poor sucker needed thirty stitches and never touched a power tool again,” Harmony murmured off-handedly while sorting through the drawers again. This time, she pulled out a large white key marked with a letter ‘D’ on the side. “Here you go. The key to your unit.”

“Thank you for the apartment, and for your hospitality.” said Crankshaft, taking the key.

“Not a problem,” Harmony smiled cheerfully, “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

“And you as well” replied Crankshaft “I promise nothing too drastic will happen while I’m here, safety is my top concern.”

“Glad to hear,” Harmony closed up the drawers, “Right. I think that’s all the formalities out of the way, so let me show you to your apartment.” She gestured with a flick of her head in the direction of the door.

“Thank you, I’d like to start settling in, I’ve come a long way.” said Crankshaft, as he exited Harmony’s apartment.

She stopped outside Unit D, gesturing towards the door with a hoof, “If you’ll do the honours.”

Crankshaft nodded, took the key out of his bag, unlocked the door and stepped inside.

“You’ll find that all the units have exactly the same layout,” Harmony pointed out, “It’s fairly easy to find where everything is. Kitchen’s over here, living room’s over there, and the bedroom’s past the living room. The bathroom and the laundry are in that hallway over there, along with the linen press closet. If you need anything else, come and give me a holler.”

“Will do, thank you” responded Crankshaft, already beginning to unpack his bag. The contents were fairly simple, the key to the shed, his wallet, a first aid kit and some other items of sentimental value, placing them around the apartment as he saw fit.

“I’ll just make sure the kids aren't getting into too much mischief,” Harmony muttered as she trotted out the door, closing it behind her and leaving Crankshaft to his own devices.

“Good Luck!” said Crankshaft to the leaving mare.

Meanwhile, Little Horn was showing the Cutie Mark Crusaders, Mayor Mare, and Duo her room she was sharing with Harmony. “Harmony got me this bed to sleep on. She’s been a great help getting me through everything, since I was released from the hospital..” She smiled to Mayor Mare, “I guess you can stay with us. We don’t mind having you here, Miss Mayor!” The little unicorn filly climbed onto her bed and lay down to wait on Harmony to return. “My cousin’s been teaching me some new spells. I just mastered levitation. I am hoping to be able to do other things once she is up to teaching me more.”

“So where do we sleep, Little Horn?” Duo asked, tilting his head slightly with confusion. “Are all the Crusaders going to be in this room, or is there a guest room?”

Little Horn thought about how to accommodate her guests, “I think we can get some sleeping bags and have a camp-in. We will have to go to bed when Harmony says so, though. The bathroom’s down the hall, if you need to use the little filly’s or colt’s room.” The young unicorn directed the Crusaders to the restroom. “We have to share the bathroom with Harmony, the Mayor, and one, two, three, four, five, and myself makes six younger ponies. So, we need to come up with a schedule so every pony will have their turn for the bathroom and the shower. We have plenty of shampoo and soap. Any questions?”

“Yes... is there a way to limit how much hot water is used?” Duo asked making Scootaloo’s ears perk up. “Scootaloo tends to take really long showers.”

Scootaloo then turned around and glared at Duo. “Hey! You try taking cold showers with a water hose for more than half your life!”

“Doesn't mean you need to hog it all!” Duo retorted.

Sweetie Belle simply face hoofed as Apple Bloom stepped in. “Will ya’ll quit it? Sheesh, you’re both acting as cranky as Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon!”

Duo and Scootaloo instantly stopped upon hearing those names. “Sorry...” They both said in unison.

Sweetie Belle then looked at Little Horn. “Will we ever get back to our real homes Duo mentioned? What about my sister and Apple Bloom’s family?”

Little Horn face hoofs,” First of all, Scootaloo, you don’t have to worry about being in a shelter any more. You can stay here with Harmony and me and the other Crusaders! There’s a cafe at this apartment complex and the nice owner doesn't mind ponies coming in buying salad sandwiches and drinks.” She pauses to address Sweetie Belle’s inquiry,

“Sweetie Belle, I’m sure we will, eventually. Just need to stick together and remember the good memories of our lives in Ponyville.” Little Horn smiles, “Once a Crusader, always a crusader, right?”

The four fillies looked at each other before smiling at Little Horn and shouting. “Cutie Mark Crusaders shall forever be together!”

Babs Seed blew the cowlick off her face, and joined the fillies in their celebration, “I got those presents for all of our friends and families. Where do ya want them?” She asked her cousin and the other fillies and colt. Those packages were many, and they also had sweetie Belle’s luggage. “What did you pack in those suitcases, Sweetie Belle?”

Little Horn looks around the room, “How about stack them over there. Just not in front of the computer. How about the closet? I’m sure Harmony won’t mind. Maybe we can get our Cutie Marks in package stacking?”

“Package stacking?” Harmony murmured as she re-entered the room, “Come on L-H, you can aim a little higher in life than that, can’t you?”

Little Horn trotted up and hugged her cousin, “Hi Harmony! Just getting the Crusaders settled in!” She sighed, “I still haven’t found my special talent yet.” She lowers her head, ears drooped.

“Well of course it’s not going to come to you if you’re so aiming off-target,” Harmony scoffed, “Please, if you got a Cutie Mark for something as lame as that, no-one’s going to take you seriously. No, you want a Cutie Mark that shows you actually accomplished something in life. Something that represents who you are, and what you enjoy doing.”

Little Horn looked up at her cousin as she gave her advice. “I never thought about that before. What do you think I am good at?” The little filly seemed interested in what her cousin had to offer.

“L-H, I honestly believe you can be good at whatever you want in life, as long as you enjoy doing it, and that you have the willpower to overcome any obstacles in your way,” Harmony nodded sincerely, “The world’s your oyster.”

Little Horn smiled and nuzzled her cousin as she offered her counsel on finding your special talents. “You always have the right words to say to make me feel better.” She gave Harmony a kiss on the cheek in appreciation of having an awesome relative.

“That’s what I’m here for,” Harmony grinned, placing a hoof across the smaller cousin’s shoulders.

Little Horn felt her cousin’s hoof on her shoulder and smiled to her fellow Crusaders, “Well then, we got the group settled in, and we had discussed earlier about how we ended up as ponies in Mr. Crankshaft’s van. But, we haven’t heard about Harmony’s story.” She looked up to her cousin, “You were a singer before you became a unicorn, right, cousin?”

“Yeah, that’s right. I was a freelance performer, who could perform openers at gigs for other bands,” Harmony explained, “They paid me to give a warm-up performance for the crowd, to get them into the mood, so to speak, and I got to do what I enjoyed doing.”

Little Horn interjected, “Just like Sapphire Shores? She’s an entertainer back in Equestria. I think she’s an Earth pony who is from Canterlot.” The little filly wondered how she knew about Sapphire Shores, even though the aforementioned pony only had a small appearance in the show as a customer at Rarity’s Carousel Boutique.

She remembered the episode, A Dog and Pony Show, in which the Pony of Pop showed up to buy some outfits for her upcoming show, Zigfilly Follies. This cold opening scene set the episode’s main focus; gather more gems for the project. The episode also introduced the Diamond Dogs, who had captured Rarity and forced her to mine gems. Little Horn smiled inwardly as Rarity was able to turn the tables on her captors, whining and complaining so much that the Diamond Dogs decided to let her leave with her friends and all the gems they could carry out in carts.

“Not quite like her per se,” Harmony shook her head, “Maybe a little less... pizazz. And high-rolling.Certainly much less high-rolling. No, I’m more of a small-town-gig pony anyway. Big crowds aren't exactly my thing.”

Babs Seed then spoke up, blowing a piece of her cowlicked mane from her face, “Wow, that’s really cool, Harmony! “ The Manehattenite filly had been to some shows before when her big sister and family took her. They even got to meet Sapphire Shores at one of her performances.

Harmony smiled softly, regarding the stocky filly for a few seconds, before trotting off. “Here, let me get you something for that...”

She disappeared into her room for a few seconds, before reappearing again, levitating several bobby pins alongside her.

“These will help keep your mane out of your face,” she explained, pinning Babs’ fringe to the side and out of her face.

“There. How’s that?” She gazed expectantly.

Babs smiled, “Thanks, Harmony. Much better! Wow, I've been meanin’ to get mah mane taken care of, but you fixed it! Ya sure this is gonna help keep mah mane outta mah face?”

“As long as you leave the pins there, yes,” Harmony smiled, “It’s my pleasure.”

And all through this mini-commotion, scarcely anypony - too caught up in the reunions and the gossip - took notice of a sniffing Mayor Mare, who curled up in the corner of a bunk and tried hard - very hard indeed - to awaken from this terrible nightmare.

Chapter Eight: Chaotic Dis-Harmony

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On Our Own

Chapter Eight: Chaotic Dis-Harmony

Harmony groggily turned about in her bed. Glancing around the room, she noticed that it was empty and silent, save for herself. The make-shift beds used by the Little Horn and the Crusaders last night were scattered haphazardly across the floor, and the bedroom door was slightly agape.

The clock on the bedside table read 11:47 AM.

‘Huh, I’ve slept in. Duo and the fillies must’ve already woken up,’ she concluded after several moments in a half-asleep daze.

In her semi-conscious state of exhaustion, Harmony was more than happy to just lie there and drift back to sleep. But alas, nature’s course had other ideas.

Not exactly willing to make an embarrassing mess of her bed, the dishevelled mare grunted as she rolled about to get out of bed. Amidst her uncoordinated movement to escape her bed, her back leg became tangled up in a mess of bed sheets, and Harmony’s face met the floor with an unceremonious thud.

“... Ow,” came the slightly-delayed response.

She gingerly collected herself up off the floor, kicking the bed sheet away and stretching her neck about to release some built-up tension in her neck, before fumbling her hoof across the bedside table for her glasses, accidentally knocking off a book that was left there in the process, which fell to the floor with a loud thump. Attempting to use magic was unreliable in a less-than-alert state, a lesson she remembered she had learned the hard way on her first morning as a complete pony just over a week ago.

‘Wait... only a week ago? Goodness, this situation has developed rather quickly...’ she blinked.

With her vision restored, the white unicorn peered down at the book on the floor.

It was the book of magic spells her Aunt had lent to her, to teach magic to Little Horn from.

Harmony herself had very little knowledge of how to work magic, and had been up late last night trying to master the art of teleportation.

It was a very difficult process, and Harmony herself was still rather inept with the spell, but she had learned and had practised enough safely use the spell, and not accidentally teleport anything to oblivion.

She took a deep breath and sauntered out of the room, frowning slightly from a slight discomfort in her shoulder.

As she passed through the living room, she spotted Scootaloo and Little Horn sitting on either side of the couch, watching the morning cartoons. Babs Seed and Apple Bloom meanwhile were kneeling at the coffee table with their eyes also glued to the tv screen; the former clutching a glass of apple juice in her grip, and the latter fiddling about with the comically oversized bow tie in her mane.

“Morning all,” she murmured half-heartedly in a croaky voice.

Little Horn had finished swallowing her breakfast when she looked up at her cousin’s appearance.

“Harmony? Are you okay?” The unicorn filly asked in a concerned tone as she looked up from eating her maple and brown sugar-flavored oatmeal.

“I just woke up,” came the brief response, “Otherwise fine. Can’t talk now.”

Any further responses fell on deaf ears as Harmony dragged herself in the direction of the bathroom, passing by the Mayor, Duo and Sweetie Belle at the kitchen table; the former reading a newspaper, and the latter two whispering quietly amongst themselves.

Fortunately, the bathroom was unoccupied, and Harmony sighed in relief as she locked the door behind her and went about her business.

As she glanced around the bathroom, finally collecting her bearings, she noticed something terrible had gone wrong.

Very wrong.

“How the flip did we run outta toilet paper?” Harmony whispered under her breath with a frown.

Upon finishing up, her pulse skyrocketed as she quickly glanced around the bathroom in a panic, “Oh no-no-no-no-no-no! That’s not good! That’s not good at all! I can’t go around looking like this! One does not simply use the toilet and not wipe! Oh, what am I going to...?”

She stopped when she caught a glimpse of herself in the bathroom mirror. Her mane looked like a train-wreck, with stray clumps of hair sticking out in all directions.

“Argh! Now I know I look even worse! I can’t believe I just wandered through the house looking like this! Aw, and I left my brush in my room as well!”

Her head rapidly swivelled about, desperately searching for an answer to her problems within the confines of the bathroom.

“Ah, of course! The shower!” She exhaled and wiped her hoof across her brow, before placing her glasses down on the bench next to the sink. “A nice warm shower will help me clean up.”

A solution to all her problems had presented itself! Now, just to turn on the faucets like so... aaand wait for the warm water to kick in.

‘Any second now...’

After several minutes, the water still remained cold as ice.

Harmony’s eye twitched. “Don’t tell me someone’s gone and used all the hot water already!”

Torn between either death from embarrassment or death from hypothermia, Harmony’s sense of pride eventually superseded, and she took a deep breath as she stepped into the cold deluge, resisting the urge to scream all matter of profanity at the icy sensation pounding the sensitive nerves across her back.

Little Horn was very concerned for her cousin, and so, after washing her bowl and spoon in the sink, she went to the bathroom door to listen in. “Harmony, are you okay? I’m worried about you...” The little filly said through the door.

“Who the flip used up all the hot water?!” Harmony’s voice exclaimed through the wall, above the noise of the running shower, “Not exactly a very nice wake-up call, if you ask me.”

After several minutes, all became quiet from the bathroom as Harmony finished up her cold shower and stepped out. If one listened carefully, they could hear her teeth chattering as she shivered.

Little Horn smiled at her cousin, and then frowned as she saw her shivering. “You’re cold! Are there any towels available?”

She went to look for some, only to find them in the dirty clothes hamper near the laundry. “There aren’t any more clean towels! I told the others not to use all the hot water, honest!”

“... T-t-that’s j-just p-p-perfect,” Harmony muttered, “L-H, b-be a lamb and g-go f-fetch a f-fresh one f-from the linen p-press p-please.”

Little Horn smiled and saluted, “I’m on it!”

She cantered off to pull a clean towel from the linen press with her magic and headed back.

“Here you are!” She went to hug her cousin, draping the towel over Harmony’s back. “What do you have planned for today, now that every pony is up?”

“D-dunno,” Harmony gripped the towel in her telekinesis and started scrubbing herself down. “I haven’t even b-been awake for t-ten minutes. F-first, I need some breakfast, and maybe some n-nice hot c-coffee. Scratch that, coffee first, and then some breakfast.”

Little Horn nodded, and led her cousin to the kitchen to help prepare breakfast.

“What do you want to eat?”

“At t-this point, anything warm,” Harmony sat back on her haunches and shifted her attention with the towel towards her tail.

Little Horn looks over at her cousin, “Uhm, Harmony, is this a bad time to tell you that Babs Seed and Apple Bloom ate all the oats and apples?”

“So we’re out of stuff for breakfast?” Harmony raised an eyebrow.

Little Horn shrugged, “We really need to make sure we have enough food for all the ponies we have here. Not sure who was using all the hot water. I told them to not take too long in there.”

“I’m sure you did, just like the first three times you said that to me,” the elder cousin scrubbed the towel about inside her ear, “No matter. I’ll just have toast instead, and do a shopping run this afternoon. On top of that, we need more toilet paper anyway...”

Little Horn heads into the dining room to talk with her friends, “Guys, um, we ran out of food and toilet paper, so Harmony’s going on a grocery shopping trip, and we need to make a list of things we need...on a budget, of course. Maybe the Mayor can help us?”

Harmony meanwhile wrapped her mane up in the towel and trudged out into the kitchen, bee-lining for the toaster oven.

Or more accurately, what was left of it.

“What an earth happened to my toaster?!” Harmony stared in wide-eyed shock.

The device in question looked like it had been fried to a crisp, with thin wisps of smoke leaking out from cracks in the exterior shell.

“Sweetie Belle happened,” Duo pointed out, “When we ran out of oats, she decided to make some toast instead. Ended up cooking the toaster instead of the toast.”

Sweetie Belle shuffled about on her seat nervously, “I’m sorry Miss Harmony. Cooking just doesn’t seem to agree with me for some reason...”

“I see.” Harmony’s eye visibly twitched.

Little Horn looked over at Sweetie Belle, “I know you were trying to help, Sweetie Belle. I guess you’ll have to add a toaster to the list.” She looked over at the other fillies and colt, as well as the Mayor.

The young filly got a pen and paper with her magic and began to make a list of all the things they would need. If Harmony needed her assistance in shopping, she would help. At least she was making herself useful.

“Well, there goes a hundred bucks worth of hardware down the drain,” Harmony muttered, grabbing the destroyed toaster in her magic grip and taking it out to the bin at the front of the apartment block.

As she placed the toaster on the ground next to the bin, a glint of light out of the corner of her eye caught her attention.

Her face went a little whiter than usual. ‘Don’t tell me I left my car lights on yesterday...’

Little Horn came out with her partial list, “Harmony, I have started a grocery list. I have oatmeal, apples, toilet paper, and a toaster. Anything else?” She stopped as she saw her cousin’s expression, “Harmony, are you okay? Something wrong?” The young filly asked with a concerned tone in her voice.

Harmony didn’t respond as she quickly started trotting in the direction of the apartment car park. The headlights on her silver Ford Taurus slowly started to fizzle, and then went out.

“Argh crap, yes I did!” she exclaimed exasperatedly, face-hoofing. “Now I’ll never get that thing started! What with a dead battery and all...”

She turned about and headed back into the apartment block, oblivious to Little Horn’s presence, “Maybe Crankshaft can help me fix this.”

Little Horn smiled, holding up her pen and paper for the grocery run. “I am so sorry you are having a bad day, cousin....would you like a hug? Hugs always help me when I am having a bad day.” The little filly trotted along, carrying the list and pen with her telekinesis, hoping Harmony would take her up on her offer.

“Not now L-H,” Harmony brushed past hurriedly, “I’m a Mare with a Mission! I’m in the Zone!”

After quickly removing the towel from her head and placing it in the laundry hamper (her mane still looked like a mess), she bee-lined straight for Unit D.

She stopped outside the door and rapped sharply on the door several times, “Mister Crankshaft, is this a bad time?”

The door opened up. “Oh, good morning Ms. Harmony! What’s the matter?”

“My car battery died. Can you please give me a hand?” she pleaded.

"Of course." said Crankshaft. “What do you need?”

“I don’t suppose you brought a proper battery charger with you, did you?” asked Harmony.

“Actually I did. I thought I might need it if the battery dies in the van and couldn’t get anyone to jump it.” He replied, “It’s in the shed with my other tools.”

Harmony’s face brightened with a broad grin as she lightly patted his shoulder, “You’re a legend! Thank you so much!”

“No thanks necessary; and I’m not a legend, I was a Boy Scout,” said Crankshaft.

Little Horn came around the corner, “Oh, hi Mr. Crankshaft! Just making a list of grocery’s and items we need for our apartment. Sweetie Belle broke the toaster and we need to get a new one.”

“Let me take a look at it first, I might be able to fix it.” said Crankshaft

Little Horn smiled and levitated the broken toaster to Crankshaft. “If you can fix it and we can keep Sweetie Belle from destroying appliances, we would be grateful. I know she was trying to help, but she usually causes more trouble than good. But, she is my friend, and has a good heart.”

Crankshaft scrutinized the toaster. After a few seconds he said, “I imagine there’s a story here, but I’m a little too scared to ask about it. " he said. He stared at the toaster a little longer.

"It will take a bit of work, but I think I might be able to save it.” He announced his verdict in a professional tone.

Harmony sighed in relief, “Thank goodness for that. It’ll save me a hundred bucks at the shopping center, that’s for sure. Now, let’s get this car of mine charged...”

Little Horn smiled, “Can I come with you, Harmony, or do you want me to stay here and make sure my little friends don’t get into trouble?”

“I’m just going shopping, L-H,” Harmony dismissed, “You’ll just be bored out of your brain there.”

Little Horn nodded, “Okay, I will stay here with Mr. Crankshaft and see if he can fix the toaster and maybe check out the hot water heater. You said the shower was cold this morning? I took my bath and I had hot water. Must have been the other foals.”

“No, there’s nothing wrong with the shower,” Harmony clarified, “It just... ran out of hot water, and it hadn’t been able to refill and heat up in time for me to use it. The hot water will be running again by tonight.”

“The battery will take a little while to charge, how are you going to get the store?” asked Crankshaft

Harmony paused in thought, “... I don’t suppose I could borrow your van for ten minutes?”

Crankshaft was a little hesitant before giving her his keys.

“Yes, but I should let you know, the brakes need some adjustments and I didn’t have time to work on them before driving here. So, go easy on the turns.” warned Crankshaft

“I’ll keep that in mind,” Harmony nodded, “Thank you very much.”

“It’s no trouble at all, you gave me shelter so just consider this me returning the favor.” he said.

“I’ll be back in a jiffy! L-H, just let everyone know I’m leaving, alright?” Harmony trotted out towards the car park.

“If you need me I’ll be in the shed working on the toaster.” said Crankshaft walking in that direction.

Little Horn levitated the list and the pen to her cousin. “Here’s the list for groceries. You can add anything you need to think of on the list.”

Harmony took the list in her telekinetic grip. “Let’s see here... yep, yep, yep...” She folded up the list, “Just let me fetch my bag...”

She ducked back into her apartment, and came back out a few moments later with a satchel tied up around her abdomen. “Won’t be too long. Stay out of mischief.”

Little Horn nods and smiles, “Okay, cousin. Glad you are feeling better. And, don’t worry. I’ll stay out of trouble, as well as keep the Crusaders in line.”

“I’ll hold you to that,” Harmony smirked as she exited the building.

Harmony took a deep breath as she unlocked Crankshaft’s van with the key and climbed into the driver’s seat.

The cabin had a fairly well-worn interior, with the leather upholstery looking a little worse for wear in several places.

“Goodness, I haven’t driven stick in a while,” Harmony murmured, glancing hesitantly at the gearknob for the manual transmission beside her.

For several moments, she held her left hind hoof down on the clutch, barely able to reach the pedals as she moved the gear knob about several times with her magic, trying to get a feel for where the gear patterns were.

Once she was satisfied, she placed the key in the ignition and turned it over.

The van’s engine kicked into action, revving up slightly at Harmony’s behest, before settling down into a purr as it idled.

“Now, where’d ‘Reverse’ go...?” She studied the gear knob carefully, “Ah, there it is. Aaand, release the clutch like so...”

The van suddenly jerked about violently, before stopping dead.

“Aaaand I stalled it,” she frowned in disgust. “Let’s try that again...”

Re-igniting the engine, she released the clutch much more slowly this time, and the van jerked about as it responded to her demands.

“Bloody manual transmission,” she muttered, “What a stupid invention that was.”


Miraculously enough, Harmony was able to reach the shopping center with the van still in one piece. Harmony cringed at the thought that she potentially shredded the clutch, based on the amount of times it went *crunch* every time she changed gear.

The distraction of the manual nearly caused her to have a car accident several times, mostly at roundabouts where speed and concentration were essential to navigate properly, and the journey overall took much longer than she liked.

One particularly disgruntled driver even swore at the top of his lungs at her clumsiness.

“When I get home, I am never driving this van again,” she grumbled vehemently, having found a park and switched the engine off, “I could pick any random brick from the apartment, and it’d handle better than that tank.”

Making sure the van was locked, she placed the key in her satchel and made her way across to the shopping center, sticking close to the walls to avoid attracting attention. The shopping center was unusually busy today, and Harmony audibly gulped at the monstrous task of staying out of the limelight.

“Now, first and foremost on the list is more cereal for breakfast,” She held the list in front of her, “I could probably find all this stuff at Wal-Mart.”

Navigating her way through the chaos of the shopping mall, she was able to locate the big sign marked ‘Wal-Mart’, and slipped in past the front gates, grabbing a basket with her magic on her way in.

“Right, where’s the ‘breakfast’ aisle...?” She glanced about, “Don’t tell me they’ve gone and re-organised everything again! It’s only been a few weeks since I was last here...”

In the busy store, she could already feel the weight of several dozen pairs of eyes staring at her. The feeling made her anxious, and she picked up her pace to a brisk canter, prancing up and down aisles as she found items from the list and placed them in the basket.

Out of the corner of her eye, she caught a glimpse of a patron talking to a security guard at the gate. She dismissed it as someone reporting a theft, and paid it no further heed as she continued her shopping.

Wal-Mart was often frequented by shifty people looking to sneak an item or two past the cash registers, and it was a pretty regular occurrence for other people to report any thefts they witnessed.

“Now... that just leaves the toilet paper...” She murmured, levitating a box of oats into her basket.

A loud beep resounded throughout the store, and a voice blared over the loudspeakers, “Attention all patrons! The staff would like to inform you that there is a wild animal loose in the store! We request that you just stay away from it, and let the Animal Control Team do their job. We thank you for your attention and cooperation.”

Harmony’s blood went cold. “What... oh no. That woman wasn’t reporting a theft... She was reporting... me!”

She quickly started cantering towards the exit.

“I’ve gotta get outta here,” she exclaimed, “This can’t be happening! I’m not a wild animal! I might look like one, but I’m really not!”

Her pulse accelerated as she found her route of choice was cut off. Two men wearing uniforms reminiscent of the Ghostbusters stood at the end of the aisle, holding net guns and restraining gear in their hands.

“What the heck IS that thing?” The Ghostbuster-ripoff muttered to his companion, keeping his eye on the strange creature at the other end of the aisle. “I ain’t never seen a critter like THAT before...”

“Me neither,” His companion replied, uncertain. “What I want to know is how the heck it got IN here...”

“Your guess is as good as mine.”

“What’s up with them glasses? I didn’ know animals could wear those...”

“You’re right... It almost looks humanistic.”

“Team Two, this is Team One,” he raised his hand to a radio clipped to his shoulder, “We’ve got the critter cornered in Aisle Twelve, and frankly we’ve got no idea what the heck it is. Get down here and cut it off before it turns and bolts, so we can get a professional in here to have a look at it.”

“Can you give us a description of it?” The voice of Team One asked.

“It looks a little like... a Unicorn, ‘cept about four feet tall, with bright blue eyes the size of saucers, and the strangest-looking mane I’ve ever seen on an equine,” the officer responded.

“... Come again? You lost me at ‘Unicorn’.” Team One sounded incredulous.

“Well, why don’t you get over here and have a look for yerself, because that’s exactly what we’re lookin’ at!” the officer frowned indignantly.

“It’s alright,” The other officer said in a calm tone that to her, sounded more condescending than anything else, “We ain’t gonna hurtcha...”

“I’m just gonna go this way now...” Her eye twitched as she whispered under her breath, turning about and backing away slowly. Her muscles were tense with nervous energy, ready for action.

“Where are you Team One? She looks like she’s about to bolt for it!” the officer murmured anxiously.

As Harmony reached the end of the aisle, she peered around the corner.

The other team of officers were only seven aisles away, and were sprinting right for her.

In a blind panic, she dropped the basket to save weight and started sprinting in the opposite direction for all she was worth.

“Holy crap! You weren’t kidding!” Team One exclaimed.

“It’s getting away!”someone shouted.

“Get it!”

The entire store exploded into a blur of motion as Harmony ducked in and out of aisles, trying to avoid the incoming swarm of Pest Control operatives. Her mind raced as she frantically assembled a plan of escape in her head.

The front entrance was being monitored by security guards, who were trying to keep the curious crowd from entering the store.

“It’s too late,” she moaned, “Everyone’s seen me now...”

She shook her head and steeled her resolve, serving about to avoid running into a patron.

‘Gotta get home.’

Loud shrieks ring out from all directions as the other patrons became fully aware of what the fuss was all about.

With a deep breath, Harmony took the plunge and dove in amongst the dense crowd.

“Scuse me, coming through!” She muttered, dancing her way about.

Passing by the front gates, she was able to find some space and pick up her pace.

The crowd was dense in some areas, with the afternoon rush around lunchtime in full swing.

As she ducked amongst a crowd of people, a heavy force accidently knocked against her side, knocking her to the floor with a thud, hitting her head against the hard marble floor.


“Oop, sorry about that!” a voice apologised.

Harmony blinked and looked about. Her glasses were lying on the floor a short distance in front of her.

Just as she reached out with a hoof to grab them, a patron nearby wasn’t watching where he was stepping, and her glasses disappeared under his foot with a crunch.

Harmony’s eye twitched as she held her outstretched pose, her mouth agape in horrified shock.

The man glanced down at his shoe, and at the bits of shattered glass now embedded in the sole, “Huh? Oh! So sorry about that! I didn’t mean to... I wasn’t paying attention...”

“We’ve got ‘er now!” Another voice shouted above the cacophony of noise as the Animal Control teams closed in like sharks.

“Gotcha!” one of the Ghostbusters exclaimed as he fired a Net Gun at her from point-blank range, trapping her underneath. The crowd backed away as far as they could to give the Control Teams some space.

“C’mon, let’s get it out of here!” one of the Team members spoke up.

Harmony was nearly hyperventilating as she grit her teeth in frustration, glancing about anxiously for an escape route.

“I am NOT some animal you can just put in a net at your own discretion!” She shouted angrily, “Let me outta here! I just wanna go home!”

“Holy crap, it talks!” the crowd all started murmuring in wide-eyed shock.

Their murmurs turned into exclamations as Harmony grimaced with concentration, an adrenaline rush kicking in as her horn lit up and buzzed with bright blue energy, “I said... I... want... OUT!”

A blinding flash of brilliant blue light illuminated the area with a resounding crack, causing the people to reel back in scream in shock and cover their eyes.

Someone yelled something about a bomb, and suddenly everyone else went into a blind panic.

When the shock of the flash had subsided, Harmony was gone, leaving nothing but a vapor of tiny blue particles gracefully drifting towards the floor, and leaving the Animal Control officers with nothing but an empty net and many unanswered questions.


The first thing Harmony noticed about her new surroundings was that she was falling.

“Eek!” she squealed.

Directly beneath her was a fruit vendor, and there was a loud crash as she fell on top of it, snapping the wooden bench under her weight and throwing fruit in all directions. The awkward way in which she landed meant that her left arm was trapped underneath her, and was nearly tugged out of its socket upon impact.

“... Ow.”

The store owner rushed out with a startled look on her face, and screamed in terror at the sight of the colourful equine.

Harmony struggled to make out any details of her surroundings. The enormous strain of teleporting had sapped much of her energy, and she was breathing rapidly from exertion. Without her glasses, her vision was blurry beyond a few inches from her face. Her head and shoulder now also hurt like hell, further adding to her woes.

“Get out! Shoo! Shoo! Get out of here!” The owner waved about erratically, startling the dazzled mare.

“W-what? Where am I?” she quickly turned about.

“What does it look like?! You’re wrecking my store! Get outta here before I call the Police!” The woman growled.

‘That voice...’ Harmony’s eyes dilated with recognition, ‘That’s Mrs Redburn from up the road! I’m only three and a half blocks from home!’

“I-I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to do that, honest!” She protested, rolling off the broken table and limping away up the street, “I promise to pay for the damages later!”

“I just wanna get home and get away from all of this!” She clenched her eyes shut, wandering aimlessly and stumbling about like a drunkard. There was a noticeable limp with each step as she dragged herself forward. “What is going on with today?! I don’t get it!”

“Woah! Watch it!” someone called out, stepping aside to avoid her.


“Hey! I’m walkin’ here!” another voice shouted.

“Ah! Very sorry!”

“That’s gotta be the strangest-looking stray I’ve ever seen...”

“I am not a bloody stray! Nor am I a mere animal!” Harmony snapped irritably.

The pedestrians around her stepped back in wide-eyed shock from the strange, talking creature of white and blue in their midst, before resuming going about their business, trying to unsee what they all assumed to be a hallucination..

Eventually, after navigating three sets of traffic lights, she was finally able to identify her own front door through the blurry haze.

A passing glance at the mostly-vacant car park triggered a realization to arise.

If one listened very carefully, they could hear the last tether keeping her frustration in check snap.

“Oh, get stuffed!” She face hoofed in exasperation, “I can’t believe I left Crankshaft’s van behind!”

“And for all that trouble, I couldn't get any fff... freakin’ groceries!!” she caught herself, before grunting sourly, “I need a drink.”

Ignoring everything and everyone around her, pony or otherwise, she nearly broke every door she passed through as she stormed towards the kitchen. In a flurry, she whipped open the fridge and dug deep into a plastic drawer with her magic, wrestling out a glass bottle of clear liquid. With her prize in possession, she continued her whirlwind warpath and bee-lined for her bedroom, slamming the door shut behind her.

Every pony else just stared about in bewilderment and confusion.

Little Horn was relaxing on the couch when her cousin stormed through the house. Crankshaft had fixed the car and the toaster during Harmony’s absence. She noticed Harmony was not wearing her glasses. The young unicorn waited until she heard the door to the bedroom slam and lowered her head. Should she let Harmony cool off, or go see what was bugging her cousin?

Little Horn decided to go see what was bothering her cousin. She silently went to the bedroom door and leaned against it, sitting her rump on the floor. She placed an ear to listen in on what was going on.

Harmony threw her satchel at the foot of her bed and landed on the quilt with a graceless flop, planting her head into the soft embrace of her pillow with a loud sigh. After several moments, she rolled onto her back, positioning the pillow up against the bed’s frame to create a comfortable sitting position.

She sighed, studying the label closely.

‘Alberta Pure’.

“I usually save this stuff for social events, such as family gatherings or parties,” she murmured aloud to no-one in particular, “Maybe it’ll help me forget all this crap ever happened.”

With a surge of magic, she wrenched the cap clean off and took a large swig of its contents.

Little Horn heard her cousin sigh and tried to gain access to the bedroom. “Harmony, are you okay? I’m worried about you!”

Only silence answered her query.

Little Horn decided to open the door with her telekinesis, enveloping the door handle with a blue aura to gain access. “Harmony? I don’t know what happened today, but I’m glad you’re home!”

Harmony stared vacantly at the far wall, swallowing her mouthful before speaking.

“... Today has just turned out to be a big horror show after another so far. I was up late last night learning a new spell, so I haven’t slept properly, and I’m exhausted.
I somehow missed both breakfast AND lunch, so I’m starving.
The toilet paper was all gone, so I had to take a shower with water colder than an Alaskan winter just to clean myself up.
Sweetie Belle somehow broke the toaster.
My car wouldn’t start because I accidentally left my lights on overnight.
Some dickhead at Wal-Mart took one look at me and called for the Security Guards, and everyone tried to catch me like I was some lost dog. Do you know how degrading that is?! To just be reduced to the status level of just a common animal, that people in crappy outfits try to come and capture you and put you in some god-forsaken cage?!
I lost the groceries, my glasses, and I left Crankshaft’s van in the car park at Wal-Mart.
I accidentally broke someone’s fruit stand when I teleported across town, a feat which was not easy, and has now left me running on fumes.
My head and shoulder are killing me right now, so I’m in a lot of pain; and to top it all off, we’re STILL at square one groceries-wise.”

She tilted her head about towards her cousin, “So I’m more than a little pissed off right now.”

Little Horn smiled as she entered the room, hopping up onto Harmony’s bed to give her a hug. “Mr. Crankshaft fixed your car and the toaster. I told Sweetie Belle that she should let you operate the toaster if she wanted toast, or you can show her how. The girls are behaving themselves for a change. Is that better than your bad day?” The little tan unicorn filly continued to listen to her elder cousin vent while hugging her.

Little Horn’s eyes widened in realization, “Wait... you teleported? Really?! Wow, you must teach me to teleport! I only mastered the levitation through the telekinesis spell when we were making blueberry muffins. That is so cool!”

Harmony took another swig from her drink, muttering bitterly, “Uh huh... At this rate, anything is better than this.”

Little Horn caught a whiff of the alcohol from her cousin’s bottle, and then spotted the label on the side.

She frowned in disappointment, “You know you are not supposed to be drinking around the younger ponies, right? I’d hate for the pony equivalent of CPS to take me and my Crusader friends away because you’re drinking your problems away.”

“So shoot me,” Harmony scowled. She was not in the mood for a lecture, much less one from someone younger than her.

Little Horn was confused about this strange behavior coming from the elder unicorn. “...I’m really worried about you, cousin. I could try to get you something to eat. Maybe that will make you feel better? I can go to the cafe and pick up something for you?.” The little filly suggested.

“... That would be nice, yes,” Harmony nodded, wiping her eye, “... and I’m sorry for snapping at you like that... I’ve just had a rough day, and it’s getting on my nerves.”

Little Horn smiled and hugged Harmony warmly, accepting her cousin’s apology. “First of all, you need some new glasses, and I’ll get you something from the cafe. I have some money saved up, so this meal’s on me. What do you want to eat? Maybe we can eat in...oh, the other ponies will want something to eat too! I cannot allow my guests to not eat.”

“Just a salad sandwich will do for me, thanks,” Harmony nodded. “My purse is in my bag down there if you need any money.”

Little Horn used her telekinesis spell to levitate some money for her cousin’s meal and for herself, as well as for the other guests. “What about going to get you some glasses and groceries we need? From what you told me, we need to be careful when going outside. Maybe the Mayor can help us?”

“Forgive my skepticism, but do tell,” Harmony quirked an eyebrow.

Little Horn thought about how to remedy the situation. “I think we’d better focus on getting you and our guests fed, and in the morning, we can work on getting you back on your hooves. That means no drinking, and making sure you eat and get plenty of rest. You think we can have a vegetarian pizza instead for the other guests, and you can have your salad sandwich? Unless you are feeling up for pizza. I mean, we can have pizza with no meat products on it, right?”

“I’m pretty sure such a concept exists,” Harmony mused.

Little Horn smiled, “There’s the Harmony Trebleheart I know and love! Don’t allow one bad day to ruin everything else. Tomorrow, we can figure a way to go shopping for groceries without drawing too much attention to ourselves.”

Her stomach growled. “I’d better get that food and feed the hungry ponies in this house!” The younger unicorn hugged her cousin. “So that’s how many sandwiches and drinks for how many ponies?”

“Dunno. Why don’t you go out and ask them?” the elder unicorn shrugged.

As the young filly left, Harmony called out with a weary smile on her face, “Also...”

Little Horn’s head swiveled about.

Harmony exhaled, “Thank you. Thank you for trying to cheer me up. I appreciate it.”

“You’re welcome. That’s what family is for!” She gave her cousin another hug.

She surrounding the bottle of vodka with her magic. “I’m going to get rid of this before the others start to talk. In the meantime, if you need me, you know how to find me.”

“Hey! I wasn’t finished with that!” Harmony protested as Little Horn left the room. “It’s not within your jurisdiction to make that call!”

The little unicorn filly ignored her, heading out to dispose of the drink and see if the others wanted anything to eat.

“Oh come on! We could at least save it for later... aaand she’s gone.”

Little Horn was in the kitchen wondering what to do about the bottle of vodka. She contemplated dumping the contents of the bottle down the drain, but she chose to hide the vodka in the back of the fridge where the younger ponies would not have any access to it.

“There, problem solved. Now onto getting food...” The little filly said, heading to talk to Mayor Mare and the fillies, as well as Duo.

The young unicorn went to her friends, “Okay, every pony, listen up! Harmony’s had a really bad day today, and I’m going to cheer her up with some food. She needs her rest, so I think you guys will be camping out here in the living room. So, I’ve been asked to pick up some sandwiches for every pony from the cafe. They sell salad sandwiches, so that’s what we’ll be having. Maybe in the future we can have a veggie pizza.”

“Sounds good,” Babs grinned, licking her lips.

Little Horn smiled, “I have to go get some food for every pony. Harmony’s counting on me to make sure my guests are taken care of. Be back later!” The young unicorn went out to the cafe and found herself waiting in line to place her large food order.


Harmony sighed dejectedly as she approached the door of Unit D, with the keys to Crankshaft’s van levitating along beside her, trapped in the blue aura of her magical grip. Her hooves felt rather heavy, and her movement lethargic as she dragged herself forwards, step by step.

“I told him I’d only need it ten minutes... and it’s now been three hours. What a waste of trust and faith on his part. He’s probably gonna hate me now for this...”

She took a deep breath and lightly rapped on the door.

After a few moments, Crankshaft opened the door. “Oh. Good evening Ms. Harmony. How’d it go?”

“... Erm,” she shuffled nervously, passing the keys across, “There was a bit of an incident you see...”

“You didn't crash it, did you?” Crankshaft’s eyes widened, as he accepted the keys.

“No, no, nothing like that,” Harmony assured him, “It’s just that... at Wal-Mart, the security guards all mistook me for a stray animal and... well, there was a big upheaval, my glasses were destroyed and I was nearly caught so... I teleported straight home, without even thinking about collecting the van from the car park. So... I’m sorry. You now have no van because of me.”

Crankshaft wiped a drop of sweat from his brow, “Oh, phew. For a moment, I thought something serious had happened. Well, not to worry. Since we know where it is, it’s just a matter of going back and collecting it, right?”

“I s’pose, but my glasses are gone, so I can’t drive,” Harmony murmured, “I’m exhausted, and it was an achievement unto itself that I managed to teleport myself home, and I was three whole blocks off-target no less! There’s no way I’d be able to teleport either of us back to the shopping mall.”

Crankshaft furrowed his brow in thought, “Well, I don’t exactly want it to be left there overnight. Don’t want the tow-away guys getting any funny ideas. Do you know the way to the shopping mall from here on foot?”

“The shopping mall is pretty easy to find,” Harmony mumbled, “It’s just ten blocks west, past all the roundabouts, and then you turn right, and it’s a fair distance up that main road. There’s a big roundabout at the main entrance. You’ll know it once you see it. If you walk, it might take around twenty five, thirty minutes to get there.”

“That’s not too bad,” Crankshaft shrugged.

“That’s twenty to thirty minutes of main road,” Harmony emphasized, “There’s nowhere to hide from the public eye along there! People are gonna see you coming from a mile away, and goodness knows how they’re gonna react!”

“Well, what do you suggest then?” He raised an eyebrow.

“I... don’t know.” Harmony sagged, “I’m tired, hungry and flustered, and I don’t really want to be thinking at this point in time. I just wanted to come and apologize about the whole situation... You put trust in me that I’d bring it back, and I stuffed it up.”

“It’s alright, it sounds like you've been through a lot today. You really didn't seem to have a choice.” he said.

He thought for a moment, gears were whirring in his head and the beginnings of a plan were forming in his mind.

“I have an idea!” he suddenly exclaimed.

“Hmm?” Harmony blinked.

“I think I may be able to retrieve my van, it’s a tad risky but it might work.” said Crankshaft he waited a moment before elaborating “I’ll wait until nightfall, my coat is a fairly dark color so as long as I remain out of direct light I should be harder to spot. I’ll make my way over to Wal-Mart and quickly get in the van and drive it home.”

Harmony sighed with relief, “Sounds better than anything I could probably come up with, knowing my luck.”

“Cheer up! I’m sure tomorrow will be better.” said Crankshaft putting a hoof on her shoulder.

“I bloody hope so,” she muttered.

“Well, from what you’ve told me, I can almost guarantee it.” he said.

“Well, at least if my toaster blows up again, I know who to talk to. Thank you for that, by the way. I appreciate it,” Harmony nodded.

“Any time Ms. Harmony, and please tell the others I said ‘hello’” said Crankshaft.

“Will do,” she smiles and turns about, “We’re all having sandwiches from the cafe if you want to join us, my treat.”

“I’d be happy to, but after that I need to go get my van.” replied Crankshaft.

“We’ve still got a few hours before nightfall anyway,” Harmony shrugged, “If we hurry, we might still catch L-H before she goes to the cafe with our order.”

“Lead the way, Ms. Harmony.” he said.

“Please, there’s no need for formalities,” she smiled, “It’s just ‘Harmony’.”

“My apologies, Harmony. It’s how I was raised.” he replied.

“Not to worry,” she shrugged, “Now, let’s go get some food...”

“Agreed,” said Crankshaft.

“Also... if you ever find that the clutch starts slipping, it totally wasn't my fault,” she grinned sheepishly.

“Sure, it wasn't.” he smiled.

“I swear, I have no idea how you can put up with that thing. I could pick out a brick from the wall that could handle better than that old tank,” Harmony smirked.

“It wasn't expensive and I was sixteen when I bought it. I know there are better cars, but I've grown so attached I just can’t bring myself to get rid of it.” Crankshaft replied. “Not to mention, it’s extremely fun to work on it.”

“Fair enough,” Harmony murmured, walking forward and muttering something under her breath about ‘boys and their toys’.

Chapter Nine: Food For Thought

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On Our Own

Chapter Nine: Food For Thought

Little Horn was headed off to the cafe to pick up some food for her cousin and the other guests at the apartment complex. She had a smile on her muzzle as she finally was reunited with her fellow Cutie Mark Crusaders and a new unicorn friend, Duo. She sighed, as she knew that Sweetie Belle liked Duo. Besides, Sweetie Belle was her friend, and she didn’t want her friend to be mad at her.

Staying mad at your best friend is the best way to lose a friendship forever, she thought to herself.

Little Horn then realized she needed to ask her cousin about how many ponies were eating with them. She went back to the apartment, hoping to be organized so every pony had enough to eat for tonight.

Meanwhile, Duo was in the bedroom with Sweetie Belle, reading a kid’s book they had found lying around.

“‘Goodnight room, goodnight moon.’” He finished up before closing the book, “Well... that was certainly worthy of being a bedtime book... I wonder what else there is to do in here?”

He shifted about onto his back, staring up vacantly at the ceiling. Without warning, Sweetie Belle suddenly jumped on him.

“Erk!” He grimaced.

She giggled as she leapt off the bed. “Maybe we can explore the room a bit more? I noticed that nopony has opened that closet yet, and it looks to be practically bulging!” She stated as she walked over to the closet. Indeed, it looked like it was going to explode any minute as she slowly reached for the handle.

“Sweetie Belle, stop!” He launched forward. It was too late though, as the door opened up and its contents spilled out with a resounding crash, burying both him and Sweetie Belle from head to toe in an assortment of trash. After a few seconds both their heads poked out the pile and looked around.

“Whoa... look at all this broken stuff! I guess somepony here is a hoarder,” Duo murmured.

Sweetie Belle nodded her head in agreement. “So... how do we put it back?”

Duo would’ve face hoofed, but his arms were trapped amongst the junk. Instead, he settled with quirking an eyebrow, as if to say ‘Are you serious?’.

“You opened it! I thought you had a plan already.” Duo exclaimed, scolding Sweetie Belle for being careless and impulsive.

Sweetie Belle simply giggled with embarrassment. “Oops.”

As they glanced about at the mess, they noticed two sturdy-looking safes made out of solid steel located at the back of the closet, sitting side by side. The safe on the left was square-shaped in appearance, and around three feet tall, with a simple padlock keeping it locked shut. The second safe was very tall, and nearly touched the roof of the closet. It had a more complex electronic lock, which probably required a numerical code to open, although there was also a slot for a master key to open it if required.

Babs Seed, who was with her cousin Apple Bloom at the time, went over to Sweetie Belle and Duo, “I don’t think ya should be messin’ ‘round in there. Maybe we should clean this mess up before Harmony and Little Horn get back?” The brownish-orange Earth pony filly suggested.

Little Horn was getting a pad of paper and a pen with her magic to write down meal orders when she came around the corner and down the hallway to verify how many orders of food to pick up.

“Harmony, I just need to know how many dinner orders to pick up and...” She blinked in surprise when instead of finding Harmony, she stumbled upon the mess the other foals had made.

“Hay!” She stomped a hoof in frustration, grabbing their attention, “You need to pick this stuff up before we get back from picking up dinner!”

Duo looked at Little Horn then at Sweetie Belle before looking back at Little Horn. “Sweetie Belle happened...”

At that point, Sweetie Belle jabbed her horn into his head making him yelp slightly.

“Okay, okay I’ll help!” He pulled himself out the rubble before helping out Sweetie Belle. He then looked at the mess and combined his magic with Sweetie Belle’s to clean it up.

Little Horn smiled, “I’ll help as well. If we all pitch in, we can all get something to eat, and we don’t tell my cousin about this? Do we have a deal?” She extends her hoof to Sweetie Belle and Duo, then looks to Apple Bloom and Scootaloo. “You girls want some food? I was planning to go to the cafe and pick up dinner for everypony here.”

Once the mess was satisfactorily cleaned up, Little Horn nodded to Sweetie Belle and Duo. “Great job, guys! Now we can go get something to eat! What are you in the mood for?”

“Maybe some salad would be nice. I don’t want to impose too much.” Duo said shyly.

Little Horn got her pen out with her magic and began to write down orders. “Anything to drink? Lemonade? Or we can just have water here.” Little Horn suggested.

Babs nodded, “I’ll have a lemonade and a salad, thanks.”

Little Horn wrote down a lemonade with Babs Seed’s order. “Anypony else want lemonade with their salad orders?” She waited for the other ponies to place their drink orders.

“I want apple juice!” Sweetie Belle and Duo had both said in sync, making them look at each other, and then away from each other blushing.

Scootaloo once again made a gagging sound while Apple Bloom giggled. “Me and Scootaloo will have the usual orange juice.” Apple Bloom replied as Scootaloo nodded.

Little Horn wrote down the drink orders, “Okay, that’s two lemonades, two apple juices, and two orange juices. Harmony said earlier that she only wanted a sandwich, so that just leaves a few more.” Little Horn tapped her pen on the pad, seeing that all her friends had placed their orders. “Anything else?”

A tiny sniffle in the corner alerted her to the existence of a mare who hadn’t ordered - and, to be honest, hadn’t really done much around the house except mope around and look rather sad. From what Harmony implied when Little Horn first saw the tan pony, Mayor Mare didn’t seem all that keen about the whole pony business. Little Horn couldn’t understand why anypony would think so, but she was diplomatic enough to understand that different beings had different opinions.

The gray-maned pony was still sniffling slightly. “Mayor?” Little Horn prodded the tan mare. “Mayor?”

“O-oh!” the ex-politician snapped out of her semi-trance. “Oh, M-Ms. Horn!”

The tan filly chuckled. “No need to get so formal, Mayor,” she began. “We’re just ordering some dinner.”

“Dinner. Right. Order.” the gray-maned pony put an unsteady hoof to her chin and closed her eyes, way too deep in thought for a meal... “I’d like a burger, please.”

Burger... BURGER?!” Little Horn blanked out for a moment, unaware how irked out the Mayor was by her gawping. “Did you say ‘burger’, Mayor?” the filly asked again, pen still determinedly not writing those words on the pad.

“Um. Yes. Yes, I did,” the Mayor replied, clearly uncomfortable with this continued interrogation.

“She means ‘veggie burger’, silly!” Apple Bloom clarified.

Mayor Mare’s eyes widened in horror. “No. No!” she suddenly exclaimed, shrinking back into a corner once she realized that her outburst had caused everypony’s eyes to be trained on her. “I meant burger,” she whispered. “Like an actual burger.”

“What- ” Scootaloo’s eyes almost bulged out of her head. “An actual burger?! L-like... with meat and everything?!”

“Y-yes,” the tan pony stammered, cold sweat forming on her trembling brow. “T-that’s w-what I m-meant.”

“B-but... I- ” the orange pegasus flailed her arms about, utterly lost for words. “You know ponies can’t eat meat, right?”

“W-well,” Mayor Mare stuttered in response, wilting beneath the (unintentionally) judgmental glare of her fellow equines. “Y-you know, maybe we can though, because... you know... what we came from... ”

“Come on, Mayor!” Babs Seed interjected impetuously. “You’re still thinking about that human stuff?”

An embarrassed silence from all sides, which only served to highlight the tension. Mayor Mare turned away and whimpered once more, eyes brimming with longing tears, mouth shuddering with unspeakable emotion. How could these ponies understand - how would they ever understand?

Duo, who had felt a need to comfort Mayor Mare, decided to sit next to her and nuzzle her side. “Hey... it’s alright, I am still getting used to my pony self as well. In fact, it is a bit hard to believe still... who knew we used to be ponies before humans, huh? A lot has changed.”

Little Horn coughed nervously, carefully finding a way to extricate the group from this awful, awful situation. “R-right,” she declared, determinedly putting pen to paper. “We’ll get a real burger for you, Mayor Mare.” She also added ‘Veggie Burger’ to make sure if the Mayor did not like the real burger, she could enjoy the vegetarian equivalent.

Keen to get this sorry episode behind everypony, Little Horn quickly turned to the last pony on the list. “Your turn, Mr. Crankshaft.”

“I’ll have a salad and a root beer please.” said Crankshaft calmly.

Little Horn wrote down the last two orders. “Thank you, Mr. Crankshaft and Mayor Mare. This is a big food and drink order, so I’m going to need some help in carrying it all back here.” She then noticed the Mayor did not include a drink order.

“Miss Mayor, would you like anything to drink with your burger?” Little Horn asked politely. Without waiting for a reply, she put down a water for a beverage.

Suddenly, a loud beep interrupted their thoughts, drawing everypony’s attention to Harmony’s computer, which throughout this time had been patiently sitting idly.

Little Horn’s ear twitched. “Harmony, you have another message!” She excitedly turned back towards the apartment. “Are you going to answer it?”

“Huh?” Harmony blinked, “Well, it couldn’t hurt to have a look…”

She wandered back into the apartment and across to the computer, commandeering the mouse with her magic.

After a few moments, the message popped up, revealing a Pink Earth pony mare with a golden mane. The mane looked very shiny, almost sparkling in the light.

“It’s a video message,” Harmony observed, clicking ‘play’.

"Hello, my name is Amethyst, and I'm replying to your message,” the pony explained in a dry, emotionless voice. “As you can see, I was subjected to a similar, if not identical transformation to your own. The major difference being that I didn't turn into a unicorn."

The camera shuffles around a bit then falls over. The mare sighs and picks up the fallen camera with her front hooves.

"Dammit, Austin, go play with your cousin." The mare turned and scolded her nephew.

"Okay, Auntie!" The little blue colt responded as a tiny set a blue hooves rushes past in front of the camera.

"Sorry about that,” the mare groans exasperatedly, “Anyway, the transformation happened a while back for me, about 5 months to be exact. I fear that whatever this… condition is, that it might be contagious, as it has also affected my nephew.”

The mare shuffled her hooves uneasily, shifting the camera around to get a shot of Austin. His lime-green mane seemed to clash with his cobalt-blue coat. A set of tiny wings adorned his back, folded up at rest by his sides.

As you can see, he's turned into a Pegasus pony," the older mare remarked, before refocusing the camera back onto herself.

"I'm hesitant to mention this next part, but I feel that I should inform you that the transformation might also affect the gender of the individual being changed, as I used to be a male before my transformation."

She pulls a picture into view, of a Caucasian human male with blonde hair, blue eyes and a goatee.

"This is who I used to be. My name used to be Andrew, but as I said, I go by the name ‘Amethyst’ now, because of the color of my eyes.”

She paused, sighing under her breath and regarding the camera with a subdued expression. “I look forward to your reply."

The video feed then shut off.

Harmony blinked in surprise. “... Wow. For real?”

Little Horn grabbed the list with her magic and turned to the assembled ponies. “Well, I’m going to get the food and drinks now. I’ll be back soon.”

“Hang on,” Harmony stood up straight and approached her cousin. “That list looks a little big for you to handle on your own. Here, lemme give you a hand with that.”

“Does this mean a new pony will be joining us?” Duo looked to Harmony for the answer then suddenly remembered about money issues. “Will there even be enough money? I’d volunteer to be cut off, if that’s the case.”

“What the hay are ya talking about, Duo? Little Horn already agreed to take you in. You ain’t backing out now!” Apple Bloom retorted, stomping a hoof in protest.

“Cutie Mark Crusaders never back down!” Scootaloo said, a bit more enthusiastic than it should have been.

“Besides, you are one of us now, and it would be bad if the Crusaders split up.” Sweetie Belle finished with a smile.

Duo looked at the three fillies and sighed before smiling. “I suppose you are right, sorry about that, girls.”

Babs Seed spoke up, “My cousin and friends are right, Duo. We gotta stay togetha! Glad we found some other ponies ta take us in.”

Little Horn gave Duo a hug, and invited her fellow Crusaders to join her. “Duo, you are forgiven. No pony will go hungry. After what you and the girls have been through, it reminded me of my own transformation into the filly you see before you..”

Little Horn continued,”Besides, you’re our guests, and as hostesses, Harmony and I will make sure every pony is taken care of. That means you eat your meals, sleep when it’s bedtime, and we can write to our families as part of a fun activity. Perhaps the Mayor can help supervise?”

“If she’s up to it,” Harmony murmured, grabbing her purse with her magic and walking towards the door. “Come on L-H. That food’s not gonna buy itself, y’know.”

Little Horn nodded, trotting alongside her cousin and bringing the list out. “Coming, Harmony!” The tan filly showed her cousin the rather large list. “This is what we need to get for every pony. I hope that Midnight Blossom and that other pony who just sent their video request will show up.”

Chapter Ten: Cutie Mark Crusader Rescue Brigade!

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On Our Own

Ch. 10: Cutie Mark Crusaders Rescue Brigade!

Little Horn and her cousin Harmony were headed out to the cafe to pick up the food they would need for their guests and themselves in the late afternoon, just in time for dinner. The little tan filly was especially happy that there were ponies her age to interact with. New additions Crankshaft and the Honorable Mayor Mare were also able to provide some adult interaction - barely, in the case of a still-whimpering Mayor Mare - for Harmony, the only older pony in the group.

“I’m really glad we were able to make contact with all those ponies, Harmony. The Cutie Mark Crusaders are all united with Babs Seed, and we found the Mayor of Ponyville!” The young filly proudly said, skipping around her cousin happily.

“Mhmm,” Harmony nodded. “Only problem is… where are we going to put them all? There’s only so much room in the apartment, y’know. We barely have enough space in the bedroom for Duo, Babs, and the Crusaders, which leaves the Mayor sleeping on the couch in front of the heater. Unless Cranky’s willing to start making room in his place, we’re going to start having problems real quickly unless we find a bigger place to put everypony, as well as acquiring more stuff like extra pillows and blankets.”

Little Horn nodded in agreement. “I know we should help any pony in need, but we need to be selective. I feel bad about Midnight Blossom and Amethyst. They could use all the help we can give them.”

“We never really did arrange anything with Midnight, did we?” Harmony mused off-handedly. “I s’pose we should get back to her at some point.”

Little Horn nodded, “We should call her and see if she wants to come over. I think she would be happy to know some pony cares for her.”


Little Horn and her cousin picked up the food from the cafe. Ms. Robinson, the proprietor, got to see Little Horn again.

“Hi, Ms. Robinson! My cousin and I are here to place a large food and drink order. Some of my classmates showed up and they are hungry! Oh, and the Mayor of our hometown is here on a diplomatic mission of goodwill. Right, Harmony?” The little unicorn filly smiled as she mentioned Mayor of Ponyville.

After paying for the meals and drinks, the cousins took the food in their magical auras over to Crankshaft first. After accepting the food, Crankshaft went with the group to find the Cutie Mark Crusaders, Duo, Babs, and Mayor Mare.

The meals were distributed and the Mayor began to bite into her burger. Although a Garden Veggie Burger was offered by the Cutie Mark Crusaders, the Mayor opted to try the regular burger. Unfortunately, the beef patty in the burger did not set well with her stomach, as she discovered. The ex-politician held a hoof over her mouth, and her tan face quickly turned pale green. She rushed off in the direction of the bathroom, and then proceeded to throw up in the toilet. After a few moments, she came out of the bathroom, still feeling a bit queasy. She decided she was not feeling well, and searched for some medicine in the bathroom. After taking the medicine, she went to bed early to soothe her upset stomach.

The Crusaders went off to their bedroom, where Little Horn bought out some paper and pencils for a writing project.

“I try to write to my mother every night. I heard you want to write to your family members, so you girls, and young gentlecolt will be able to write a letter.” she looked over at Duo, hoofing each of her friends some paper and pencils, “I am not sure of the exact addresses where you used to live in Equestria, since I only arrived a couple days before Discord showed up, and did not get a chance to visit your apple farm, or that dress shop in Ponyville.” Little Horn pointed a hoof towards Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle, referring to Sweet Apple Acres and Carousel Boutique, respectively.

Soon, it was time for bed, and the fillies and colt finished writing the letters. Apple Bloom’s letter was to her grandmother, Granny Smith, her big sister, Applejack, and her brother, Big MacIntosh about finding Babs Seed and Duo, then finding their lost classmate, Little Horn. Sweetie Belle wrote a letter to her elder sister, Rarity, telling her about helping the Crusaders reunite and clean up any messes at their hosts’ home.. Duo chose to compose his letter to his Aunt Luna. Scootaloo decided a letter to Rainbow Dash telling her about meeting Little Horn and finding Duo, as well as the Mayor of Ponyville would be really cool!

After collecting the letters and making sure they were written correctly, Little Horn placed the letters in their individual envelopes, marked with the recipients’ names on them. She hoped there would be a time where these sealed letters would be opened by the pony they were addressed to.


The next morning, the weather forecast said that it was going to be a warm, sunny day, so Duo and the Crusaders had decided to go outside after their morning baths and breakfasts and attempt getting their Cutie Marks selling lemonade. Much to their disappointment, Mayor Mare’s illness kept her from coming out to officially make any proclamations about the grand opening of the Cutie Mark Crusaders lemonade sale. It was about 10:00 AM in the morning, and the fillies and young colt got right to work on a crude-but-workable stand. Harmony had suggested the Crusaders start in the mid-morning to earn the most money from thirsty customers who would want to purchase lemonade.

The Crusaders finished the booth by the time the lemons, sugar, juicers, ice, and glasses from Harmony and Little Horn arrived. The Crusaders began to divide the tasks among themselves as to who would provide the lemonade to their first customers. It was decided that since Apple Bloom helped her family during Cider Season, she was in charge of pouring the lemonade into the glasses. Duo and Sweetie Belle took care of mixing the ingredients and collecting the money, respectively. Scootaloo’s job was to attract the customers, but with little to no success.

As soon as Little Horn had woken up, she went outside to check on the progress of the lemonade stand. Since the fillies and colt were just setting up for their first sales, they had no customers.

“Hey everypony!” she smiled cheerfully, “What are you doing today?”

Apple Bloom smiled and motioned Little Horn over. “Oh, howdy, Lil’ Horn! We’re tryin’ ta earn our Cutie Marks in sellin’ lemonade. Ya wanna help us? Ah mean, it can’t be that hard. Just like sellin’ apple cider, am Ah right?”

The unicorn filly nodded as she examined the stand, eyeing the C.MC. symbol on the sign in particular. “Sure! Harmony sent me out here to see what you girls and young colt are up too. Babs said she’d be out later after her bath. You sure did a good job fixing up this stand, Apple Bloom!”

Apple Bloom blushed a bit at the compliment, “Aw, shucks! Ah like ta fix up stuff all the time. Ah even helped fix up mah sister’s old clubhouse with Sweetie Belle an’ Scootaloo back in Ponyville!”

“Sweetie Belle, are you sure there’s a Cutie Mark for selling lemonade like this?” Duo raised an eyebrow while operating the juicer.

“Of course there is! Applejack sells apples and Carrot Top sells carrots, so why not?” Sweetie Belle figured, pouring a dose of sugar into the empty glass with her magic, nearly filling it up completely.

“Oops! Heh, a little too much!” She chuckled sheepishly, carefully pouring the excess to fill the other glasses to the correct amount.

Scootaloo was laying her head on the table with an exaggerated sigh. “Now if only we had any customers…”

The orange Pegasus had been trying her best to attract the attention of passers-by about the lemonade stand, but she only received several “No thank you’s” for her troubles.

“Come on Scootaloo, ya gotta be more positive about this,” Apple Bloom encouraged, “How are we gonna get any customers if everypony is doubting this idea?”

At that point, an unassuming man in a trendy tuxedo walked up to the stand. “Hey there! May I buy a glass?”

Apple Bloom’s eyes lit up as she gave a big toothy grin. “Sure ya can!”

She then filled up a glass and offered it to him, which he accepted.

“That’s twenty-five cents, sir.” Sweetie Belle said politely, gesturing to an empty cup which served as their makeshift till.

The man nodded his head and flicked several coins into the cup, before walking away with his drink. He had to admit that the drink didn’t really taste all that bad, considering it was mixed together by amateurs. A few yards up the road however, he then took his cellphone out of his pocket and punched a number, before holding it up to his ear and letting it ring.

“Yo...The talking pony you heard about in the shopping district? I found four more here… yeah they’re selling lemonade.” After he gave the address, he closed the cellphone and disappeared from sight.

Babs Seed approached the lemonade stand with some more lemons and ingredients, shortly after the man in the suit purchased the lemonade from the Cutie Mark Crusaders, and thus did not see him purchase a drink. Sadly, there were no lemonade selling Cutie Marks to be found on any of the fillies or colt’s flanks.

“Hey cuz, didja get any customers?” The brownish-orange Earth pony asked the others.

“Yeah, but only one so far.” Apple Bloom sighed in disappointment.

Babs Seed nodded with a smile, “Aw, it’s okay Apple Bloom! I brought ya some more lemons and sugar anyway, just in case. Maybe if ya put a sign about how much you charge for lemonade, and fliers, people or ponies will come buy your lemonade. Or, we can send one of us to pretend to be a customer and tell how good the lemonade is.”

“Thanks Babs! That would be very helpful!” Apple Bloom perked up slightly. She then smiled in a big toothy grin. “Go ask Crankshaft if we can use some of the wood he ain’t using anymore.”

“And maybe grab some snacks for us as well, please?” Duo asked, “I’m hungry.”

“You got it!” Babs saluted and headed back inside.

Shortly after Babs disappeared inside, a van marked with the words ‘Vancouver Animal Control’ marked on the side pulled up in front of the lemonade stand. Scootaloo looked up and smiled before turning to face the other Crusaders. “Hey, it seems word got around fast! Here are some more customers!”

Duo glanced warily between the logo on the van and the group of humans jumping out of the back with nets. He audibly swallowed, backing away in fear. “Uh, Scoots… I don’t think those are customers.”

Scootaloo looked at Duo with a raised eyebrow. “What do you mean? Why else would they be here?”

Her question was promptly answered when one of the humans approached her and swung the net down, prompting Apple Bloom to take action.

“Scootaloo, look out!” She ran and body slammed Scootaloo out of the way, only to be caught herself.

“What the Hay! Let go of me!” The feisty red maned filly yelled in frustration, attempting to bite down on the net holding her.

The human chuckled as he started walking to the van with a captured Apple Bloom in tow. “Pipe down, you freak!”

Scootaloo flared her wings and made a bold dash towards the person who captured her friend, screaming “Let her go!”

However, this attempt was in vain as she was quickly zapped with a stick taser and fell to the concrete sidewalk, unconscious. The orange pegasus never saw it coming.

“Scootalo- AARGH!” Sweetie Belle’s charge was stopped dead in her tracks by a taser gun as well. The animal control agents calmly picked up both fillies and placed them down next to a now-restrained and very angry Apple Bloom.

“Sweetie Belle! No!” Duo clenched his teeth into a snarl as he flared his magic. “Let them go!”

His horn lit up and shot a magic blast towards the group. The bolt however was made in haste, and was unfocused, possessing only enough punch to daze one of the agents for merely a few moments.

“What? My magic won’t work on the-” Before he could finish his sentence, a soft *fwip* and a *thup* were the only indications he had of a dart embedding itself into his neck. His vision went hazy as he wobbled from left to right, before eventually falling on the ground out cold.


Harmony’s ear twitched, as she sat on the couch reading a newspaper. She glanced across at Crankshaft, who was standing at the bench helping himself to her coffee machine, while Babs and Little Horn were grabbing snack bars from the pantry.

“... Did you hear something?” she murmured, glancing around warily. She peered over her shoulder and out the window to check on the Crusaders. Her gaze twisted into a horrified stare as she identified the van driving off. A secondary glance at the now-vacant lemonade stand confirmed her fears.

Crap! Crankshaft!” She screamed out of the window, helplessly watching as the vehicle turned a bend and disappeared. “Crankshaft, truck! Now!”

“Huh- ow!” the stallion yelped in response, having accidentally moved his hoof into the scalding espresso coming out of the machine. “Harmony, what- ”

Truck! NOW!” Harmony bellowed, the usual decorum fleeing before her desperation. “Animal Control- Animal Control!”

Crankshaft cursed. “On it!” he barked as he zipped back into his room for the keys. “We’ll need every adult against those people! Get Mayor Mare!”

Babs’ eyes widened at the implication. “Wait, what about us?!

Little Horn worriedly glanced about between Babs and her cousin. Something serious had the latter spooked.

“Harmony, what’s going on?” She looked over at the empty lemonade stand. “Where are the Cutie Mark Crusaders?”

Harmony was in no mood for interruption as she swiped up her sunglasses and began dashing around into each room, searching in vain for the ex-politician.

“Mayor! Mayor Mare! Where are you!?” she yelled with increasing anger as each room failed to yield the result she desired. “Mayor, get your flank here right now!”

Little Horn finally grasped the implications of Harmony’s orders. “But Harmony, what about-

“Girls!” the adult unicorn rushed back into view, her eyes dilated with fear and her chest heaving with terror and emotion. “The Mayor! Where is she?”

Babs looked at Little Horn. Little Horn looked at Babs. “Only if you tell us- ” they began.

Where is she?!” she screamed, not in the mood for negotiations. Mayor Mare was going to get a very large piece of Harmony’s mind.

Ahh!” Even Babs Seed slunk back in fear. “I… I think… s-she was walking out the door, and holding her stomach like she was in pain and- ”

“Great,” Harmony muttered. She knew the neighborhood well enough to know where the Mayor would most likely be. “You two stay here and don’t- ”

“But Harmony, what if the bad people come back and get us here?” Babs responded, cutting her off.

The little filly had a point. “... Alright, get in Crankshaft’s van, but don’t move. I’ll be back in a sec’.”


Public toilets were dark, damp, mouldy and above all, smelly. Had it been up to Harmony, she wouldn’t have touched the place with a sixty-foot barge pole.

But it was at least better than relieving yourself in the middle of the front yard, right?

“Mayor! Mayor!” the unicorn shouted as she galloped in through the door, stopping in front of the only closed cubicle. “Get out here at once! Animal Control has- ”

“Urgh… my stomach!” Mayor Mare’s voice groaned in agony from within the cubicle. “I’ve been out all morning, Harmony!”

The unicorn wasn’t too sympathetic. “Animal Control has taken the fillies, Mayor! We need to go to their offices, ASAP!”

“Urgh!” Mayor Mare moaned. “It’s too - I can’t go, H-Harmony… it’s just too- ”

“Mayor Mare!” Harmony was insistent, anger once again rearing its ugly head. “You are leaving with us, now!”

The ex-politician was still unwavering. “But- ”



“‘But’ what?! God, you are a total stuck-up pony, aren’t you!” Harmony growled. “Fillies are being taken by Animal Control, and your only response is to say ‘I don’t care’?!

A short silence. “I didn’t say that I didn’t care- ”

“Then get. Out. Now!” Harmony yelled as her horn ignited with blazing energy. The door’s lock groaned as metal twisted and buckled, before failing altogether and tearing clean off, eliciting a frightened shriek from the shocked occupant as the door slammed open.

Mayor Mare was in bad shape - her face was flushing red, hives had broken out all over her body, and she gave off the faint aroma of sweat and sick.

At least she wasn’t lying, Harmony blinked incredulously as she stepped back.

Mayor Mare narrowed her eyes at this flagrant breach of privacy. “There!” she screeched. “Are you happy now? Look at me - how am I supposed to go out like this?!

Deep breaths, Harmony; deep breaths. “Nopony is going to tease you, Mayor-”

“Oh, God. ‘Nopony’, is it?” the gray-maned pony’s frustrations were fast bubbling over. “Am I going to have to change my entire way of speaking around you guys as well? Haven’t I suffered enough already?!

For a moment Harmony could only blink dumbly at this sudden outburst. Sure, she had always known that Mayor Mare was a bit reluctant about this whole affair, but she had always assumed that it was more of a depression, as opposed to a raging resentment.

Whatever. This was not the time for philosophy. “Mayor, please! We can talk this over later once- ”

“Go away!” the tan pony snapped, tears brimming in her eyes. “You wouldn’t understand…”

The anger that Harmony had temporarily suppressed was resurfacing again, faster and stronger. “Mayor,” she warned. “There are fillies-

“I said go away!” Mayor Mare exclaimed.

That’s it. Harmony’s Magic went to work, wrapping the mare’s forelegs in a bright blue aura and roughly dragging her out of the toilet stall. “It wasn’t a question, Mayor. We. Are. LEAVING!”

“Argh!” Mayor Mare snarled, digging her hooves into the ground and resisting the Magic’s tug. “No! Get away from me!”

The unicorn, mind steeled by the adrenalin coursing her veins, could care less about the impotent struggles of her resisting associate. Yank by determined yank, she dragged Mayor Mare across to the washbasins, using her free hooves to turn on the taps to full-volume.

“You wouldn’t have been in this position if you hadn’t ordered a human burger, you idiot!” Harmony scolded the Mayor. “I knew you were going to be allergic to meat!”

The ex-politician cursed back. “I’m not a pony!” she sputtered as Harmony scooped up sink fulls of water and drenched her mane and body. “I don’t want to be a pony! I’m human, darn it-!”

“Argh!” Harmony, above all else, wanted to end this stupid game as soon as possible. She shunted Mayor Mare roughly against the counter and grasped a hoof-full of her hair, jerking it upwards so the mare was eye-level with the mirror behind the sink, gazing upon her own tan, gray-maned, pony visage.

Harmony swore she saw Mayor Mare’s eyes dilate terribly at the horrific sight. Her limbs went limp, her voice ran dry, mouth hanging open in awful terror. The Mayor must have been studiously avoiding mirrors for the past several weeks or so. In any other situation, her determination would have been admirable.

Harmony began talking slowly, making sure Mayor Mare took in every word. “Personally, I don’t care what you think you should be - and frankly, Equestria’s probably not the place for you. But you are a pony now, and there’s nothing you can do to change that.”

No response from the politician, save a rogue shudder and silvery tears rolling down her cheeks.

Bullshit, I wouldn’t understand! Nobody here asked to become a pony, sister!” Harmony continued. “Everything that is happening to you is happening to us as well! Nobody here thinks turning into a pony is all sunshine and pretty flowers!”

Mayor Mare hiccuped, disgorging another torrent of tears.

Harmony sighed. “But we live with what life throws our way, and we try and keep things going. But most of all, we try and stay true to ourselves.

Mayor Mare could only sigh and close her watering eyes, clearly absorbing every word.

“A month ago, you were Ms. Meyer, transport co-ordinator for Vancouver International,” Harmony stated, loosening her grip on the Mayor’s mane. “Now, you are Mayor Mare, mayor of the great town of Ponyville. Both are important jobs. Both involve the safety and welfare of many thousand beings.”

The tan mare twitched, eyes still firmly shut. “I… I… guess… ” she mumbled.

Harmony leaned in. “We have a situation, Mayor. A few kids are right now being held unjustly by people who should have known better. They are scared out of their minds, not knowing what to do, nor knowing what their crime was. Kids that were our responsibility to look after!”

Mayor Mare gulped unsteadily as another torrent of tears cascaded down her face.

“So what are you going to do, Mayor? What would Ms. Meyer do?

The gray-maned pony shivered and gave out a nervous sigh.

Harmony withdrew, confident that the Mayor had made her answer known. “Crankshaft is waiting in the van, Mayor. We need to get moving, fast.”

Mayor Mare nodded slowly, reddened eyes re-opening. Harmony helped the pony back on her hooves, giving her a few more splashes of water for good measure. “This way,” the unicorn gestured gently as she left the pungent room, a quiet earth pony following close behind.


Duo slowly woke up, and the first thing he saw was a cage that he was apparently locked inside. His head hurt too much to do any magic, no surprise since the last few times he tried the shock collar would go off on him and the other fillies. “Girls…” He said in a loud whisper.

Sweetie Belle slowly woke up and looked at Duo with fear in her eyes. “Are we going to prison?”

“Why the hay would they do that to us? Ah don’t remember it being illegal to sell lemonade.” Apple Bloom replied with a huff.

“Well it doesn’t matter now, does it? We’re going to a place where nopony will find us… Unless Duo wants to try and get us out of here.” Scootaloo sighed as she stayed laying sideways on the floor, before glaring at him. “Oh, wait. That will only give us more shock therapy!”

“Hey, I didn’t know, okay? Give me a break.” Duo snapped defensively.

“Scootaloo, don’t be so hard on him; at least he tried to help.” Sweetie Belle pleaded.

The van suddenly came to a stop as the back doors opened. A few people grabbed the respective cages they were in and took them inside the Animal Control building, where a bunch of barks, tweets, meows, and hissings can be heard from the various animals. “Dear Princess Luna… please save us.” Duo said in a defeated tone.


“Follow that van!” Harmony barked, as she hopped up in the passenger-side seat, while Mayor morosely joined Babs and Little Horn in the back.

“They have a fifteen minute head-start at least. There’s no way we’ll be able to catch them now,” Crankshaft muttered, “Where do you think they would take them?”

“The Animal Control Shelter on Raymur Avenue,” Harmony muttered, buckling up her seat belt. “That’s the only logical place I can think of off the top of my head.”

“Okay, where’s that?” Crankshaft frowned, “I don’t know this city like you do.”

“You turn right off of Main Street onto Union Street, and then another right onto Jackson Street,” she explained briskly, “You follow that through to Malkin Avenue, and Raymur is the third street on the left. The Shelter is on the first block on the right. You can’t miss it.”

He nodded and shifted the van into gear, flooring the accelerator.

“What are we going to do when we get to the Animal Control Shelter, Harmony?” Little Horn spoke up, “We cannot simply walk in and demand the release of four ponies they recently captured.”

Harmony narrowed her eyes with a snort, her horn flickering with static energy as her glasses glinted in the sunlight. “Watch me.”

“That’s suicide, you know that, right?” Crankshaft murmured worriedly, “I really don’t think that’s a good idea.”

“Have you got a better one?” the irate mare snapped, “The greatest asset that you and I possess is our magic, right? I’m no ‘secret-agent-ninja’, so there really is no point in attempting subtlety here.”

“So… what’s the plan?” the Mayor asked.

“The plan in a nutshell is that we walk in, convince them to release Duo and the girls, and run,” Harmony explained, “Crankshaft, I need you to remain in here in the van, so that we can drive off literally as soon as we’re out. Watch over Babs and L-H, and discourage the curious who get too close. Mayor, you’re with me.”

“W-What?! I can’t go in there!” Mayor shrieked, “You’re walking into a death trap in there!”

“Maybe,” Harmony admitted, “But Duo and the Crusaders are worth it, and I’m not going to sit around idle while there’s still time to save them! So I’m going in with or without you.”

Little Horn went over to hug her cousin and give her some encouragement. “Good luck, Harmony! I believe in you!” She nuzzled Harmony warmly. Bring Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo, and Duo home!”

Harmony smiled softly as Crankshaft parked the van out the front of the building, which was marked by a blue sign with white writing.

Vancouver Animal Control Shelter.

“Crankshaft, where do you keep the spare oil rags and stuff like that?” Harmony glanced around.

“In there,” Crankshaft gestured to a metal tool box behind her seat. “Why?”

Her horn lit up as her magic went to work, opening the box and retrieving eight rags, four of which she tied around her hooves with several lengths of string.

“Now hopefully, when I walk around, my hooves won’t make that annoying ‘clip-clop’ sound against the floor anymore. That should make sneaking around a bit easier,” she explained. She exhaled as she offered Mayor the extra rags and dismounted the van, “You comin’ Mayor? Eight hooves are better than four, y’know.”

Mayor stared warily at the large sign through the window, as if it were a sign that spelled the impending apocalypse.

“I…” she swallowed the lump in her throat, before hesitantly accepting the rags and stepping out, “I really hope you know what you’re doing…”

Harmony took a deep breath, steeling herself up as she adjusted the sunglasses on her muzzle. ‘For the foals. No turning back now.

Step by step, the two mares slowly paced towards the front doors.

“S-So, how do you plan to… convince them to release the children back to us?” Mayor asked tentatively.

“I’m only going to ask them nicely once,” Harmony replied matter-of-factly, “And when words fail, we will just have to be quick on our feet and make it up from there.”

“W-What do you mean ‘when’?! H-Harmony, these people are with the local Council!” Mayor hissed in terror, “Are you insane? Walking right into their lair isn’t going to end well for us!”

“This isn’t about ‘us’!” Harmony retorted, gritting her teeth, “This is about the safety of the foals! They’re just children! They don’t deserve to be locked up like common animals!”

“This is madness! I can’t believe you roped me into this!” Mayor grunted as they approached the door. “There must be some other way!”

Harmony opened her mouth to say something, before thinking better of it and opening the door with her magic.

The interior of the building was fairly simple in layout, with the front desk dominating the room directly in front of them.

The clerk at the desk blinked incredulously as Harmony marched straight towards her.

“Hi,” the unicorn forced a polite smile, “I’d like to file a report for a missing pet or four if you don’t mind.”

The clerk rubbed her eyes and pinched herself, unsure of the sight before her.

“Yes, I’m real,” Harmony grinned, “Your girlhood dream of meeting a magical unicorn has just come true. Now, this magical unicorn is under the assumption that your ground-team has brought in a quartet of rather… strange quadruped creatures within the last… oh, I dunno, ten minutes or so? Would that be correct?”

The clerk hastily regained her composure and quickly scanned through the records of all the animals they had brought in off the streets and registered to the system, ranging from dogs, to cats, to even the odd pet bunny. Four files however were marked with exclamation marks, and when the clerk tried to access them, a large warning popped up on her screen demanding security clearance, something she herself didn’t have.

“Erm… well there are four earmarked cases registered here, but they require clearance to access, and I’m not able to-”

“They’re here,” Harmony grunted, briefly glancing at the Mayor. She turned back to the clerk, “Who do we have to ask to get this security clearance?”

“Erm, I don’t actually know, to be honest,” the clerk shrugged sheepishly, “My best guess would have to be the head of one of the ground teams.”

“Where can we find them?” Harmony asked.

“I… I don’t even know, myself,” the clerk shook her head.

Harmony gestured towards a security door off to the right. “Where does that go to?”

“Oh, that’s just the holding area for where we keep the animals we pick up-”

“I want in,” Harmony demanded, “Those ‘four cases’ are ponies, like myself, and they do not deserve to be in here. I respectfully request that you release them from this facility at once.”

“I just told you, they’re earmarked for security clearance that I don’t have,” the clerk protested, “I’m just the chick who runs the front desk and greets people!”

Harmony grit her teeth, “Then this conversation has reached an impasse. Come on Mayor.”

“W-Where are we going?” the mare asked warily, as she followed the unicorn across to the security door. “Y-You can’t go in there, the lady just said-”

“Need I remind you of why we are here?” Harmony abruptly turned about, “Our friends are in danger. I’m nervous about this as much as you are, but we cannot stop for anything until they are out of here in one piece!”

“Er, l-ladies, please,” the clerk spoke up, “If you have no other business here, and nothing more can be done for your friends, then I’ll have to ask you to leave the premises immediately.”

“No ma’am, our business is not done here,” Harmony snapped. Her eyes narrowed as she spied the swipe-card secured to her hip pocket by a bulldog clip. “Let me ask you something real quick. To what lengths would you go, in a theoretical scenario, to protect your child from danger?”

“What? Er, well, I s’pose…” the clerk furrowed her brow in thought and scratched her temple, “... I s’pose I’d do anything, really…”

“Such as?” Harmony murmured off-handedly, her horn aglow with concentration.

“Well… I don’t really want to think about it to be honest,” the clerk mused, “It’s just not a situation that I don’t want to ever happen to me… to have my kids in danger or anything like that…”

“Yeah, well that’s too bad, because guess what? It’s something I have to be considering right now,” Harmony quickly glanced over the security card in her magical grip, “Trust me, it’s not a pretty thing. Thanks for the security card by the way, you liar.”

The clerk blinked dumbly at her now-cardless clip. “Wait, what?! How did you...?”

Harmony winked as she swiped the card over the security lock. It opened up with a loud clack, allowing the door to swing open. “Magic.”

“W-Wait for me!” The Mayor hurriedly followed the unicorn through the door, leaving the shocked clerk behind to muse over what exactly just happened.

Past the security door, there was a short hallway that turned off to the left, which led to another door, this one however not requiring the security pass. Upon opening it up, it let the two mares into a vast warehouse, with an entire network of corridors and cages.

“Aw crap,” The Mayor glanced around warily, “How on earth are we gonna find the children in here?! It’s gonna take forever!”

“Easy,” Harmony muttered, walking straight ahead, “We go straight to the back where all the heavy-duty cages are. That’s where they keep all the large, rare, or dangerous animals they find. Keep close to me, and watch out for guards. We’re better off if we stick together.”

They passed through aisles and aisles of cages, some empty, some not, as they searched around for any sign of the missing foals. With all the animal noises echoing throughout the warehouse which masked the soft thumps of their padded hooves against the bare concrete floor, they were able to sneak around relatively easily.

“Are you sure they’d take them to the high-security section?” The Mayor murmured, “They’re just foals.”

“Yeah. Multi-coloured, magical foals that technically shouldn’t exist,” Harmony muttered, “They’re not exactly an every-day sight, so these guys would first be scratching their heads trying to figure out what they even are.”

“I think it’s pretty obvious what they are, don’t you?” Mayor frowned.

“Yeah, but I highly doubt they will know that,” Harmony clarified as she checked around a corner.

Suddenly, red lights abruptly started flashing and a loud klaxon blared throughout the facility, startling them both.

“Ah crap, the clerk must’ve tipped the alarm,” muttered Harmony, “So much for doing this quietly.”

“W-What do we do now?!” Mayor exclaimed, panicking.

Harmony glanced around her, spotting numerous cages with animals locked up in them.

“We start a prison-break, that’s what,” Harmony looked the mare dead in the eye, “We’ll split up. You find the control room with all the buttons and unlock all the cages. I’ll keep the guards busy to buy you some time. And perhaps try to save the foals as well in the process. We’ll slip out amongst the confusion and chaos.”

“But Harmony-”

Go,” the unicorn shunted the earth pony aside and turned round the corner, breaking into a brisk canter.

Mayor Mare glanced around in a panic. “Harmony, come back! Where’s the control room..?”

The unicorn was gone.

Mayor cringed and started sprinting off in the opposite direction.

“How does she expect me to find the control room in a place like this?!” she muttered under her breath, “What kind of person does she take me for?”

Swallowing the lump in her throat, she found her way towards the far wall, and started following it around the sides, internally wishing that this was all just an absurd dream.


Harmony snorted as she stared down the half-dozen guards before her.

She glanced around past the guards, spotting four distinct and sorry-looking foals slumped in their cages. Apple Bloom’s expression lit up as she and Harmony made brief eye contact, which then turned to fear and worry as the guards started circling around the lone unicorn.

“That’s the one from the mall!” One of the guards recognised, “What’s she doing here?”

“Odds are she’s probably here for those four others that we caught,” another one mused.

“This doesn’t need to escalate any further than it already has,” Harmony growled loudly, “If you let the fillies go, we’ll be out of your hair, and you’ll never see us again.”

“Why would we do that?” the team leader frowned, “Who are you to go around making demands of us?”

“I’m just trying to be civil and diplomatic here,” Harmony shuffled about, “I’m not asking that you give up your day jobs. I just want my friends back.”

“Who, these four?” the leader narrowed his eyes, “No can do, I’m afraid. They’re marked to be transported to another facility for study and analysis. Unless you want to join them, I suggest you clear out, or suffer the consequences.”

“Over my dead body,” Harmony glared.

“Look, in all honesty, I don’t want to hurt you,” the leader warned, “We’re just being paid to do a job here, with no emotional investment. But if you’re going to make this difficult for us, then we will use force to subdue you if necessary.”

“I’d like to see you try,” Harmony boldly challenged, her horn flickering with blue energy in tense anticipation.

“Harmony, what are you doing?!” Duo murmured worriedly, “Where are Crankshaft and the others?!”

The lead guard produced a device from his pocket and held it up for her to see. “You see this? At the push of this button here, I can administer two hundred volt electric shocks through the collars strapped around their necks. If you do not leave quietly, then they will not come to any more harm. Take a single step closer, or make any sudden movement, and I will press this button out of reflex. That is your only warning. Leave, or the foals will suffer.”

“First, you have the audacity to kidnap innocent foals in broad daylight, then you lock them up like vermin in cages?” Harmony snarled, “And to top it off, you want to send them off to be experimented on like guinea pigs?! Look at them! Don’t you know My Little Pony characters when you see them?!”

“I never watched that show, to be honest,” a guard answered apologetically.

“My son is a brony…” another guard murmured aloud.

“Well, what would your son think of you if he learned that you were imprisoning and threatening young, innocent foals such as the Cutie Mark Crusaders?” the unicorn turned towards him.

“I dunno,” the man shrugged indifferently, “Nor do I care. I’m paid to do a job, so I don’t ask questions like that. Besides, it’s not like they’re human or anything.”

“These foals used to be people, just like you, you bastard!” Harmony seethed.

“... Seriously?” the leader quirked an eyebrow, “Why do I find that hard to believe?”

“It’s not so hard to believe when you realise that they’re characters from a cartoon show!” the unicorn exclaimed, “Technically, that in itself should indicate that anything’s possible!”

“... Touche,” the leader admitted. “But, it doesn’t matter now. What’s done is done, and there are now events in motion that you will not be able to stop, no matter how hard you try to resist.”

“Is that so?” the unicorn’s muscles visibly tensed up with anticipation. “We’ll never know until I try, will we?”

The guard held the trigger out at arms length as a visual warning. “... Go ahead. See where that gets you and your friends. I dare you.”

She glanced between the guard and the foals, who were staring at her with desperate, pleading looks.

Another klaxon suddenly blared, and all at once, cages everywhere suddenly started opening up, releasing the animals locked inside. Pandemonium broke out as creatures of all shapes, sizes, and colors charged into the open.

“Oh come on, really?!” The guards collectively groaned, “Do you know how long it took to get all of them organised, you jerk?!”

“Not as long as it’s gonna take for the clean-up crew to wipe up the paste off the floor, once I’m done with you,” Harmony growled, her magic flaring. ‘Brilliant work, Mayor.’

The leader suddenly gasped in pain as a tight crushing sensation clamped down on his wrist like a vice, causing him to drop the trigger device and grunt in pain.

“Get her!” the other five guards leaped into action to support their leader.

Amongst the flurry of noisy, panicked animals, Harmony was able to mask the distinct flash and *pop* of her teleport, re-appearing several feet behind the guards. Deciding against taking them head-on, she instead opted to swipe the clerk’s security card through the card slots, unlocking the final four cages.

She quickly held up a hoof for silence, and all four Crusaders strained to keep themselves from joyfully shouting in unison about their new-found freedom as they exited their respective prisons.

It hadn’t taken the guards long to realise Harmony was no longer in front of them, and they spotted the fillies bouncing around out of their peripheral vision, prompting them to fully turn around and face them.

The leader gingerly massaged his sprained wrist as he glared at Harmony with a cold expression of pure hate. “Now look at what you’ve gone and done! All that effort for just four little kids? Admirable as it is, it’s also really dumb. You’ve now gotten yourself and your friends cornered, and...”

With a grunt of concentration, Harmony’s horn lit up brightly once more, interrupting his monologue. A loud *pop* startled them all as Harmony and the fillies disappeared in a bright flash of light. All that was left in the spaces they just occupied were small smatterings of blue particles, drifting like dust on the wind.

“God… dammit!”


The clerk blinked incredulously as five ponies spontaneously appeared in the foyer before her in a bright flash of light.

“Run Forrest, run!” Harmony huffed, hurriedly gestured the Crusaders through the front door. “Get to the van now!”

The Crusaders didn’t need to be told twice as they bolted as fast as their little legs could carry them out the door.

Little Horn and Babs Seed watched as the fillies and colt sprinted towards the van. “Come on, girls! Duo! I’m glad you are okay!” Little Horn beamed, giving Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo, and Duo a brief hug as they quickly entered the van.

Babs Seed hugged her cousin warmly, then looked at the collars, “What’s up with those collars, ‘cuz? Some sort o’ fashion statement?”

“Get those things off of them!” Harmony shouted at Crankshaft, “Hurry! I’m gonna go back for the Mayor, and then we’ll be out of here!”

The Crusaders’ heartfelt reunion with their friends had to be put on hold as Crankshaft began analysing the shock-collars around their necks, retrieving a screwdriver and a pair of pliers from the tool box with his magic.

“Get this thing off me!” Scootaloo exclaimed.

“In a jiffy,” the stallion went to work.

Little Horn held Scootaloo’s hoof to comfort her as Crankshaft began to examine the collars. “What did those guys want with you any-hoof?”

Scootaloo shrugged and numbly shook her head. “Stuffed if I know.”

While Crankshaft was busy tending to the needs of the foals, Harmony turned about towards the clerk with a dark glare. She seemed slightly winded from her magical exertion as she wiped a trickle of sweat from her forehead with the back of her arm. “You dare even think about touching that phone, and I will come down on you harder than a runaway freight train!”

My Little Ponies were damn scary when they were angry, the clerk decided, and sagely stepped well away from the counter.


Mayor whimpered as she glanced around warily, trying to make her way through the chaotic crowd of animals, using their erratic, flowing movement to try and hide her tracks.

“That must be the one who let all the animals loose!” A guard exclaimed, pointing towards her. “I swear, if we can’t at least get this one…”

Harmony!” Mayor screamed, breaking into a sprint for the door, “Where are you?!”

A guard took aim with his dart gun and pulled the trigger. A dart blasted forward and buried itself into Mayor’s flank with a loud *thup*.

“Agh!” she stumbled and tripped over her own hooves, knocking her head against the smooth concrete floor.

“Gotcha now, ya sneaky little prick!” the guards grinned wickedly as they rushed towards the fallen mare.

“Here, you four pick her up, while you and I will keep watch in case that white bitch comes back,” the leader gestured to his team, keeping his taser gun handy in his left hand as they went to work securing the Mayor’s now-unconscious form.

“There she is!” the other guard on look-out took aim with his own dart gun towards the white unicorn, who was staring at them with an expression colder than ice.

Harmony’s horn flared as the guard pulled the trigger, using her telekinesis to abruptly drag the barrel of the weapon aside to the left, causing the dart to embed itself into the leader’s left forearm.

“Agh, crap!” He hastily tried to extract the dart from his skin, before stumbling about and drowsily dropping to his knees.

“I’ve got you boss- OOF!” The guard bent down to support his leader, before the butt of another dart gun, wrapped up in Harmony’s blue telekinesis, struck the back of his head, disorienting him and knocking him off-balance.

The four other guards quickly dropped what they were doing and hastily drew their side-arms towards her. Harmony paced her laboured breathing as she dropped the gun and struggled to keep all four weapons from pointing at her at once.

“Enough!” A guard reached behind his back with his free hand and produced the shock collars’ trigger device. “Those shock collars are most likely still in range, and I will set them off if you continue resisting!”

Harmony grit her teeth in fury, sweat dripping down the side of her face. ‘Please be done with those collars, Crankshaft!

The guard paused for several seconds, waiting for a reaction. After a few moments, the telekinetic force holding his weapon at bay had not subsided, and increased, if anything.

If I let go, then I’m done for, and this operation will be for nothing!’ Harmony exerted all of her will towards pushing these guys back, and her fatigue was slowly starting to catch up to her.

“Your call,” the guard muttered, and his thumb pressed down on the trigger.


Crankshaft sighed in relief as the third shock collar cluttered uselessly to the ground. “Phew! Three down, one to go!”

He gestured towards Apple Bloom, who was the last foal with the devious device still attached. “A-B, if you’ll just step over here for just a sec-”

A small whining sound suddenly emanated from the collar, and four LED lights suddenly lit up as it armed with a faint *click*.

Crankshaft’s eyes dilated. “Oh, that can’t be good.”


The filly screamed and writhed in agony as two hundred volts of power ruthlessly assaulted her small body, and she collapsed to the ground in a heap as smoke wisped from singed patches of fur. Everypony stepped back in wide-eyed horror.

Bastards!” Crankshaft snarled, standing up straight. “Stand back and don’t touch her, or you’ll get zapped along with her!”

“W-What was that?! What’s going on?” Little Horn exclaimed fearfully.

The stallion narrowed his eyes as he wrenched the collar off of the filly’s neck with the pliers. The forceful manner wasn’t exactly gentle or discreet, and the earth pony whined in pain as the device was thrown out the door.

He hopped out of the van and began closing the sliding door on the side. “You six stay in here and don’t move! That shock collar was triggered remotely, which means Harmony and the Mayor must be backed up against the ropes. They’re probably going to give me an earful about leaving you here like this, but they need help! I won’t be long; Duo, you’re in charge.”

“M-me?” Duo blinked, “W-What-”

He was cut off as the door was slammed shut, and he thumped his hoof against the hull in agitation. “Dammit! Where did things become so dangerous all of a sudden?! I don’t get it!”

He glanced at Apple Bloom whimpered under her breath as Little Horn and Babs wrapped her up in a comforting hug from either side. Black scorch marks around her neck provided visual evidence for the collar’s handiwork.

Reluctantly, he sat back on his haunches and rubbed his temples. “I’m too young for this crap.”


Something inside Harmony’s head crackled and went *snap*.

She honestly had no idea how she did it, but neither did she really care, as the magical supply channelling through her horn subconsciously switched from her natural magic reserves, and started feeding off of her raw emotions instead.

Emotions of anger, fury, and pure, unadulterated rage triggered a sudden power surge, as both her eye color and her magical aura switched from their usual sky-blue to a much darker navy blue.

With an ear-piercing shriek, a powerful pulse of energy suddenly overloaded the cartridges in the guns, and all four guards reflexively dropped their weapons as the bullets all started going off inside their magazines, ripping the guns apart from the inside-out.

“What the hell?!” The guards all stepped back fearfully, retreating behind the Mayor’s fallen form.

She narrowed her eyes on the guard holding the trigger device, and in an instant, the one hundred and ninety pound man suddenly found himself being lifted off the floor, a navy-blue aura clutching him by the throat and cutting off his windpipe in a classic, Darth Vader-esque Force-choke.

Drop it,” Harmony growled, her tone sounding almost animalistic.

A gurgling sound escaped his mouth as he released his grip on the trigger and let it drop to the floor.

“Harmony!” Crankshaft burst out of the doorway and into the main containment area. His eyes widened as she callously let the man drop, crushing the trigger device underneath his own weight.

“Get the Mayor out of here,” she instructed flatly, without even sparing the stallion a glance. A dart gun levitated and aimed itself at the man’s face.

“Harmony, what’s going on with you? Snap out of it!” He urged, “Look, they’re not going to bother us anymore, so let’s just wrap this up and get out of here!”

“They tortured defenseless foals, Crankshaft,” She quivered, “This apostasy cannot be left unrequited!”

“And lashing out back at them with violence isn’t going to solve the issue! It will only make it worse!” the stallion hissed, “Harmony, the foals are safe now! The mission is a success and we can leave this place for good!”

“And let these thugs go unpunished?!” She snapped, her eyes brimming with tears, “For all the pain and worry that they have caused us?!”

“Harmony, look at me,” Crankshaft placed his hooves gently on her shoulders and stared her dead in the eye. “They’re not worth it. They are but slime and filth way out deep in some dark corner of the back shed that isn’t even worth our time and effort to clean up. They will just sit there and gather dust, out of the way where no-one will be disturbed by them anymore. Please, I can’t stand this place anymore, so let’s just calm down and go home. Please?”

For several moments, both unicorns stood there in relative silence as Harmony’s vicious temper gradually reeled itself back in, and released her grip on the gun. She nodded sullenly as her breathing became strained from the high stress of her magical overexertion, and her eyes returned to to their usual sky-blue color. White smoke wisped from her horn, which was glowing red-hot from the strain of channelling the power surge.

“T-Thank you…” she shivered, “I… I-I was probably about to do something I’d later regret there… so, thank you.”

Shhh,” he hushed softly, “It’s alright. Go out to the van, and I’ll take care of the Mayor.”

She numbly nodded and slowly dragged herself through the hallway, through the foyer and into the passenger seat of the van. Ignoring the relieved exclamations from the foals, she rested her head against the back headrest and promptly passed out from fatigue.

Crankshaft followed close behind, levitating the unconscious Mayor a few feet off the ground. He gently placed her down in the back, shut the door, and hopped into the driver’s seat.

With a heavy sigh of relief, he switched on the ignition and gunned the engine. The old van responded immediately to its driver’s beckoning as he coaxed it through a sharp u-bolt and disappeared around the street corner off into the distance, leaving behind the shattered remains of the Vancouver Animal Control Center, and its workers.

Inside, the leader of the guards grumbled incoherently under his breath.

“I need a vacation.”

Chapter Eleven: Bonus - Letters from the Cutie Mark Crusaders

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On Our Own
Chapter Eleven
Bonus - Letters from the Cutie Mark Crusaders

Apple Bloom sat at Little Horn’s desk as she took out a pen and paper to write.


Dear Applejack and family,

How are you? I hope you are doing well. So far things have been very exciting and scary at the same time. Me and the Crusaders managed to meet up with Little Horn and Harmony! They agreed to let us stay at their place. Shortly after, me and the other Crusaders plan on getting our Cutie Marks at lemonade selling! Won’t that be awesome! I am writing this letter to tell you all I am doing fine, and miss you very much. I hope all this confusion gets settled soon, I want us all to go back to our real homes in Equestria!

With love, from Apple Bloom.


She rolled up the paper and grabbed it with her mouth, happily hopping off the chair to give it to Harmony to mail.

Shortly after Apple Bloom finished her letter, Babs Seed started writing one.


Dear Apple Family,

Jeepers! Where do I start? Okay, so, after getting turned into a filly, I met up with cousin Apple Bloom and her friends, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo. We then found out the Crusaders recruited two new foals: Little Horn, an unicorn filly staying with her elder cousin, Harmony; and Duo, a unicorn colt about the same age as Sweetie Belle and Little Horn! Wowza!

Harmony and Little Horn have been helping us adapt to all the new changes, and I received a gift; an accessory for my stubborn mane from Ms. Harmony. It helps keep that cowlick outta my face, so I heard. She told me I can keep it as a gift, so, I’ve been wearing it since she gave it to me. It matches my eyes, which I really enjoy about it.

Any hoof, I’m doin’ fine, and I hope to see y’all for the next family reunion!

-Babs Seed


Babs placed her letter in the envelope, sealed it with an apple sticker and placed it near her cousin’s letter. She hoped Applejack and the rest of the Apple family would receive it if and when the next family reunion would be held.

Babs then went to Duo, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo. “Ya girls and gentle colt can start writin’ your letters whenever ya want.” She heads over to see what Little Horn was up to.

The young filly in question had just finished writing her letter to her mother, telling her about Harmony’s adventure at the local Wal-Mart, and how she helped her cousin feel better.

Sweetie Belle eagerly hopped up on the desk as she found a pen and started to write on a piece of paper.


Dear Rarity,

It’s me, Sweetie Belle! I hope you are doing fine, because I know I am. Quite a bit has happened since coming here, like staying at Harmony’s place, meeting up with the other Crusaders, and even meeting up with a few other ponies. Things are going well so far, and I hope to get my lemonade selling cutie mark!

Love, Sweetie Belle


Sweetie Belle rolled up the paper and hopped off the chair before running towards Harmony.

Scootaloo was the next to go as she climbed up onto the chair. Using the pen Sweetie Belle had before, and a new paper she found, she started to write.


Dear Rainbow Dash,

I am doing great over here, I have been following in your hoofsteps all the way, and are even planning on getting my lemonade selling cutie mark! I know I can see you again, I just hope it’s soon. Though I am slightly scared of going back to Equestria… what if I am an orphan there?

Your number one fan, Scootaloo


Scootaloo sighed as she rolled up the paper and jumped off the chair. She then turned and walked out of the room, humming a cheerful tune under her breath.

Little Horn took some time to think about what she wanted to write in her letter. After much contemplation, she began to compose her letter to her parents.


Dear Mom and Dad,

I hope Grandpa is doing okay!

Just writing to tell you my classmates from Ponyville School showed up to stay with Harmony and I for a few days. The young filly from the Apple farm, Apple Bloom, the white unicorn filly from town, Sweetie Belle, and the orange Pegasus filly, Scootaloo, also from town, are trying to earn their Cutie Marks in selling lemonade, and they want me to help them gather up the ingredients and find materials for our stand! Cousin Harmony has been helping them understand when the best time to set up the stand and attract customers and gather the materials needed for the lemonade sales.

Duo, the only colt in our group, doesn’t have his Cutie Mark yet. Like me, he joined up with the Cutie Mark Crusaders, a group of young foals who are working together to find their special talents. Another filly, Apple Bloom’s cousin, Babs Seed, is also helping us. She’s from Manehatten, so she has a distinct Bronx accent, but she’s really nice and enjoys talking about her adventures with her cousin and her friends.

Well, it’s time for bed, and I am worried about Duo. He seems homesick. He talks about his Aunt Luna all the time. I hope Duo will be able to see his Aunt Luna soon. He is a really nice colt who enjoys helping us with the chores around the house and sharing in our adventures.


Little Horn


Little Horn rolled up her paper into a scroll, just like they used back home to send messages to the Princesses. The question was; how do they send these messages to their intended recipients?

Little Horn went over to Duo and offered him a pen and some paper with her magic. The grey unicorn colt looked like he was feeling left out.

“Would you like to write to your Aunt? I’m sure she would love hearing from you.” She levitated the pen and paper to Duo, hoping he would take the hint and begin to think about what to write, hoping to bring the young unicorn colt out of his shell and express his feelings by composing a letter to his family.

“I know this isn't what you are used to back in Equestria, Duo, but I think you’d feel better about yourself that you got to meet two new Cutie Mark Crusaders; myself and Babs Seed.” The tan unicorn began to help guide her young unicorn friend towards allowing him to compose his own letter. “You think we can get our Cutie Marks in Letter Writing?”

Chapter 12: Sonic Rain Boom Alert!

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On Our Own

Ch. 12: Sonic Rainboom Alert!

The mood in Unit A was very somber, as Duo and the Cutie Mark Crusaders huddled up on the couch, recovering from the whole kidnapping ordeal with a quiet movie.

Harmony had expended so much magical energy that once they got home, she had to be carried to her bedroom, where she was now sleeping like a log.

The Mayor sat at the kitchen table, staring blankly out of the window at cloud formations basking in the bright afternoon sun, as she contemplated the events of the past hour.

“Wow, my cousin sure was brave, rescuing you guys,” Little Horn sighed. She glanced across at the Mayor, “You too, Miss Mayor! Are you feeling any better now that we got you that veggie burger from the cafe?”

The Mayor didn’t respond; she simply nodded her head in acknowledgement towards Little Horn’s question.

Little Horn smiled as she went up to the Mayor and gave her a hug. “I am glad you are okay. Every pony here is grateful for what you did to help my cousin rescue my friends.” She disengaged the hug and went over to sit with the Cutie Mark Crusaders.

Meanwhile, the television came on with breaking news. Scientists and other experts attempted to come up with a logical explanation that some colorful blast suddenly appeared in the sky over the American Mid-West, more specifically around a town in Iowa west of the Mississippi River.

Babs Seed was the first to see this blast on the television, “Whoa, what was that?” She pointed a hoof towards the television screen, staring in awe of the colorful explosion, and looking to her fellow Cutie Mark Crusaders for an explanation.

Scootaloo spat out the apple juice she was currently drinking, much to Apple Bloom’s dismay at being the recipient, before speaking, “That’s a Sonic Rainboom! There is only one pony I know in existence that can do that!”

Duo was staring wide-eyed at the news report, ignoring the question Babs Seed asked, and Scootaloo’s response, “She was right the whole time… It wasn’t just a dream.”

“What dream?” Sweetie Belle asked.

“The dream from last night!” Duo once again repeated.

“Just tell us the dang dream already Duo!” Apple Bloom impatiently retorted.

~Last night~

Duo stood in the middle of a vast space, surrounded by stars as far as the eye could see, behind him were a few planets, and in front was the milky way, “Where am I?” He asked as he tried to take a step forward only to realize he wasn’t standing, he was floating, “Whoa! What’s going on?” At that point, a small ball of light appeared in front of Duo.

A few seconds later the ball of light erupted and, after nearly blinding Duo before dimming out, a tall dark blue pony stepped out. She had a tiara on top of her mane that flowed without wind, and resembled the night sky. She had a long sharp horn on her forehead and long elegant wings that stretched to about six feet wide. She wore a darker variation of blue armor on her chest and hooves, the chest being adorned with a crescent moon that matched her cutie mark, “Duo, we meet again.” She walked up to Duo and, bending down, wrapped a wing around him.

Duo smiled happily as he willingly enjoyed the embrace, “Auntie Luna! I have so much to tell you!”

Before Duo could continue, however, Luna raised her hoof to silence him, “We know of thy recent events that hath transpired. We are very happy that thou is safe and unharmed.” She then let go of Duo and stood back up, “We came to remind you that the sign we hath mentioned in a previous dream shall come soon. Once thou hath seen this sign, tell the others to go to it; for it shall be a key in returning back home in Equestria.”

Duo looked at her with a raised eyebrow before speaking, “I thought that video message was the important event you spoke of?”

Luna simply shook her head with a smile, “T’was but a fortunate development, the real event shall happen very soon. Be prepared.” At that point Princess Luna started to walk away.

“Thanks so much! I can’t wait to get back home!” Duo waved happily to her saying this.


Scootaloo was the first to respond, since Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom were speechless. “That’s awesome! That means we should totally go to Iowa to find Rainbow Dash!”

Little Horn smiled at the hearing of Duo’s mentioning of getting a message from one of the Princesses. “So, your Aunt is Princess Luna? What about Princess Celestia? Is she your aunt as well? We have to tell the Mayor and my cousin! They’ll know what to do!” The little tan filly goes over to hug her friends, “It was no coincidence that you girls and Duo responded to the video message and showed up when you did! I am also wondering if anypony else was affected by that Discord character.” She sighs, “I remember this filly in class named Blue Skies. She’s a unicorn, like Sweetie Belle, Duo, and myself. She disappeared from Ponyville a couple days before I did. You think Blue Skies ran into Discord, too?”

"There is a high chance she did. It is starting to sound like everypony was affected.” Duo responded.

Little Horn nodded, “I hope Harmony is up for a road trip, because I don’t think a couple of fillies and a colt travelling on their hooves would last long out there with all that traffic. Besides, what will we do once we meet your family members? I’m sure they’ll be happy to see you are well.” She remarked to the Crusaders.

Hearing Little Horn ask him about his parents caused Duo to flinch and look away sadly. "I have no family except Princess Luna, and she adopted me."

Little Horn nodded, “And Princess Celestia and Cadence, her niece. Aren't they family as well?” The young filly frowned when she saw that Duo was saddened by her last comment. Somehow, missing her parents made her empathize with Duo. She went over to Duo and gave him a warm hug.

“You are among your friends, Duo. Me, Harmony, Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo, Babs Seed, The Mayor, and Mr. Crankshaft. You aren't alone anymore. When you responded to my message online and told me that the Crusaders were coming along, I was so happy! Harmony was able to find out when you would be coming so we could finally meet you.” She had a smile on her face as she looked at Duo after breaking the hug. “Feeling better?”

Duo Smiled when Little Horn hugged him and, in response, hugged her as well. Hearing about the new friends he made, and about the other princesses, made him more determined to get back home. When they broke the hug, he was smiling. "Yeah! Thanks, Little Horn!"

Little Horn smiled, “Glad to hear, Duo! Now, how are we going to let Harmony know about this? Anypony want to explain to her about the sonic rain boom and the newscast?”

Little Horn nodded, “I hope Harmony is up for a road trip, because I don’t think a couple of fillies and a colt travelling on their hooves would last long out there with all that traffic. Besides, what will we do once we meet your family members? I’m sure they’ll be happy to see you are well.” She remarked to the Crusaders.

Duo Smiled when Little Horn hugged him and, in response, hugged her as well. Hearing about the new friends he made, and about the other princesses, made him more determined to get back home. When they broke the hug, he was smiling. "Yeah! Thanks, Little Horn!"

Little Horn smiled, “Glad to hear, Duo! Now, how are we going to let Harmony know about this? Anypony want to explain to her about the sonic rainboom and the newscast?”

“You’re her cousin; her family,” Crankshaft gestured, “Why don’t you tell her?”

Little Horn blushed, “Yeah, I will right now! Thank you, Mr. Crankshaft! Be right back!” The tan filly galloped off to find her cousin in her bedroom to tell her the good news.

“... That, and I don’t want to be the fool who wakes up the sleeping bear,” Crankshaft murmured warily under his breath.

“Harmony! Harmony!” The excited filly exclaimed, almost out of breath as she burst into the room, opening the door with her light blue magic. “A Sonic Rain Boom happened over the mid-western United States today! It’s all over the news. Scootaloo said it’s the work of Rainbow Dash!” She paused to hug her cousin and catch her breath.

Harmony grumbled something indecipherable under her breath as she rolled about amongst the bed sheets, before sitting up and tiredly rubbing her eye. She yawned loudly before turning to glance at her cousin. “How long was I out for?”

Little Horn checked the clock in the room, “About a couple hours; you used up a lot of magical energy trying to rescue my friends.” She then paused to wait for Harmony to respond to her.

Harmony gave a dry, tired grin. “Heh, I can imagine. My horn felt like it was about to melt off of my head like an ice-cream. I… I didn’t even know I was capable of that kind of thing until it was actually happening. The rush of adrenaline gets to you, ya know?”

Little Horn nodded and attempted to climb up on the bed to join her tired cousin, standing on her hind legs and propping her forehooves on the bed. “You were worried about my friends and the Mayor’s safety, Harmony. And, that fight-or-flight response kicked in when you needed it. After that, you used up all your magical reserves. I’m just getting used to my magic. I still have a lot to learn to do the spells you can do.”

“Well… most of it was just levitation and teleportation…” Harmony murmurs, “That’s… really all I was doing. Levitation is a pretty basic and straight-forward thing; I guess it doesn’t even pass as a spell, per say. I wouldn’t call it one, at least. Teleportation on the other hand… I think that’s what consumed the majority of my energy.”

Little Horn nodded in understanding to her cousin’s explanation between the levitation and teleportation ability. “I’ve mastered levitation, thanks to you! It’s a simple spell any unicorn learns at Magic Kindergarten. I haven’t tried teleporting yet, but I am not sure if I am ready for that just yet. Besides, don’t you have to focus on where you want to go for you to teleport?” She then got herself up on the bed near her cousin and nuzzled her warmly.

“Focus is probably a good idea, yeah,” Harmony chuckled, gently ruffling up the filly’s mane, “Otherwise you might end up in Timbuktu or something if you’re not careful, and that’d be more than a little inconvenient for everyone.”

She took a deep breath as she rolled about and hopped off the bed. “Now, what was this about a Sonic Rainboom…?”

Little Horn smiled at the mentioning of the Sonic Rain Boom, “Scootaloo said it was all over the news! That, and the explosion at some bookstore in Seattle.” The filly jumped off the bed and followed her cousin out the bedroom door to the hallway as she told her about the various news updates.

Harmony meandered out of her bedroom and into the living room. “Well, it sounds like Dashie is definitely up and about, at least. She’s about as subtle as a space-shuttle launch at the best of times.”

She took a seat on the couch and scratched her chin in puzzlement. “Why do you think she would do something like that? What’s she trying to grab attention for?”

Little Horn sat next to her cousin, and faced her friends, "Duo mentioned to us earlier that his Aunt Luna came to him in his dream and mentioned that she requested Rainbow Dash to perform her signature move in the sky so everypony would come to a farm in Iowa. Do we know anypony who lives on a farm?” She looked over at Apple Bloom and then back at the other assembled ponies for a response.

"Ma' family, when Ah was human, lives on a farm. Although, they live in upstate New York." Apple Bloom responded.

Babs Seed nodded, and spoke up, sitting next to Apple Bloom.

"Ah often visited mah cousin on the farm while we were still humans. Ah even had a big sister Ah could talk t' if Ah got bullied in school." The orange-brown filly covered her bare flank with her bobbed tail, remembering some of the things said about her before the transformation.

Scootaloo nodded her head in agreement. "Yeah, it is an apple tree farm. I lived in the shelter in town; getting to her house always lead me through a forest."

"So... that means we do not know of anypony in Iowa." Duo stated before sighing.

"My sister Rarity told me of a friend she knows in Iowa that lives on a farm in Iowa, her name is...Jackie, I believe? When I saw her Skype chatting with her, she had these freckles, blonde hair, green eyes, and a big brown hat. She sounded related to Apple Bloom."

Apple Bloom looked over at Sweetie Belle with shock. "So then... the family Ah was with was NOT my pony family? Ah only know of one pony that wears a hat like that. Applejack!" Just speaking the name of her elder sister made Apple Bloom more determined than ever to meet her pony family.

Babs Seed looked over at her cousin, and nodded, “Sounds like mah big cousin, Applejack, all right.” She then trotted over to her cousin.

“Lissen here, Bloom; we are all in this togetha! Remember dat. And, if anypony starts any trouble, ya let me tell their mommas about their bad attitudes!” The orange-tan Earth pony stood near her cousin and placed her forehoof around Apple Bloom’s shoulder in support for her family member.

"To be fair, my sister is nicknamed Rarity... I am unsure if it really is the real Rarity though." Sweetie Belle said sadly.

"Don't worry Sweetie Belle, we will all get back to Equestria soon and everything will be back to normal." Duo said in an attempt to comfort the unicorn.

Little Horn listened to her friends talk about possibly meeting some of their relatives. “Perhaps that video we posted could have been seen by Applejack and her friends? Perhaps they responded? Maybe they can help us get to Iowa!” The young filly seemed just as excited about travelling with her friends to reunite them with their families.
Little Horn sighed, “Maybe Sweetie Belle can contact whoever ended up as Rarity and see if she can help us? I mean, duh, Element of Generosity?” She suggested.

“‘Element of Generosity’ does not necessarily mean ‘loaded with cash’,” Harmony shook her head, “We don’t know what his or her financial state is, so we cannot fully rely on her to fund our trip. If they can spare a buck or two, then that’s fine, but we’ll need something more solid than that to support us.”

Little Horn sighed again, looking up at her cousin as she countered her suggestion. “You have a point there, Harmony. I just want to help my friends get back to their families; their pony families, I mean.” She looked over at Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, Duo, Babs Seed, and Scootaloo for their response.

"Does Crank even have enough fuel in his car for the trip? Also, I agree with the video thing." Duo responded with just as much excitement.

Little Horn looked up to her cousin, “What do you think, Harmony? Should we try to reach out to those ponies on the Skype chat and let Applejack and Rarity know their sisters are okay and we need to get to Iowa?”

Harmony shrugged. “I think it’s certainly at least worth a shot.”

Little Horn nodded and hugged her cousin warmly, wrapping her fore-hooves around Harmony’s front leg in a show of support, “I’m with Harmony on this. What do you ponies think?” She waits for the Crusaders, The Mayor, Crankshaft, and the other gathered ponies for their response.

“Driving from here all the way to Iowa…” Crankshaft mused worriedly, rubbing his chin, “It’s a much longer, more expensive road trip than you might think, and don’t get me started on crossing the border. I’ll have to do some research and crunch some numbers, but I can guarantee the figures ain’t gonna be pretty.”

“What are we talking, here?” Harmony asked.

“The van is a thirsty old beast, so paying for four or even possibly five full tanks of fuel alone will just about bankrupt us,” Crankshaft furrowed his brow. “The next biggest problem for me is crossing the border. I highly doubt that our current passports will do us any good anymore, since we’re not exactly human anymore. I just cannot predict what the border security will do once they see us. If we were already in America to start with, then it wouldn’t be an issue, but...”

“I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it,” Harmony murmured, “So what’s next on your list of concerns?”

“Well, the van isn't exactly an RV, so forcing, what, six, seven ponies to spend three or four days cooped up in a van isn’t exactly going to be a pleasant ride,” the stallion grimaced, “We’ll have to make food stops and rest stops along the way, and even spend the night somewhere if we have to.”

Little Horn sighed, “Maybe Sweetie Belle can contact whoever ended up as Rarity and see if she can help us? I mean, duh, Element of Generosity?” She suggested.

“‘Element of Generosity’ does not necessarily mean ‘loaded with cash’,” Harmony shook her head, “We don’t know what his or her financial state is, so we cannot fully rely on her to fund our trip. If they can spare a buck or two, then that’s fine, but we’ll need something more solid than that to support us.”

Little Horn sighed again, looking up at her cousin as she countered her suggestion. “You have a point there, Harmony. I just want to help my friends get back to their families; their pony families, I mean.” She looked over at Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, Duo, Babs Seed, and Scootaloo for their response.

Meanwhile, an email alert from Harmony’s IPad computer beeped, indicating a new email had came through.

“Harmony!” Little Horn exclaimed. “We have another message! I think some pony’s trying to contact us!” She levitated the device over to her cousin so she could open the link provided. The image of the pony making contact came into view. This particular pony had golden wings, magenta fur, and green eyes, along with a blue mane and tail.

Little Horn smiled at seeing the golden Pegasus in the video. “I think we should contact her and let her know we can use her help. Please, cousin?” The little filly gave Harmony her sad-eye look.

“Besides, I think she may have been that other pony the doctor who was treating me at the hospital was talking about. I never saw her, but hearing that another pony was actually at that hospital was probably when Golden Moon was admitted!” Little Horn wanted to reply to Golden Moon, but she waited to see what her cousin would say or do next.Meanwhile, an email alert from Harmony’s I Pad computer beeped, indicating a new email had came through.

"Um hello, my name is Golden Moon. I used to be a freelance artist named Emilia Rosemary, that is until I ate some kind of cupcake with blue frosting and spots on it at a local 24 hour convenience store. I thought the guy with gray hair gave me a moldy cupcake, but he told me that it was their new special brand of cupcake. So like an idiot, I ate without a care in the world, and after that when I was walking home about 2 maybe 3 hours my head started to hurt a lot. The next thing I know, I passed out next to a playground next to a school. When I came to about 3 maybe 4 days later, I wake to find myself as a pony in the hospital hooked up to some scanning machine, and some weird doctor taking notes. I got scared and ended up running out of there when the doctor wasn't looking. I have been hiding in the clouds most of the time, but when I was looking online on a computer at one of the colleges I sneaked into a few days ago, I found your message about what happened to you, and I just had to send you a message to you for help."

Golden Moon continued her message. She sounded like somepony who was in need of some friends to hang out with.

"That pretty much it, so far. I have been on my own for the past few days, but during my time hiding from people, I heard on the news about Rainbow Dash’s Sonic RainBoom, and how there was sanctuary at the apple family farm that Princess Luna was saying in my dreams. So, I was wondering if I could help you all get to Iowa. I know I'm not that much of an expert at making things, but I am very good when it come to sneaking into places without being noticed and getting supplies. It's how I was able to last this long without getting notice by anypony. Please respond, and I will help as best as I can.”

Little Horn smiled at seeing the golden Pegasi in the video. “I think we should contact her and let her know we can use her help. Please, cousin?” The little filly gave Harmony her sad-eye look.

“Besides, I think she may have been that other pony the doctor who was treating me at the hospital was talking about. I never saw her, but hearing another pony was actually at that hospital was probably Golden Moon!” Little Horn wanted to reply to Golden Moon, but she waited to see what her cousin would say or do next.

Being the impatient filly she was, Little Horn wasted no time in using her magic to type out a response to Golden Moon:

Golden Moon,

I am Little Horn, cousin of Harmony Trebleheart. We received your message and my friends and I want to meet you. Can you come to my apartment? My cousin owns the complex and Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, Babs Seed, Duo, and Scootaloo are here with me. They are wanting to go to Iowa because Apple Bloom and Babs miss their family, as does Sweetie Belle and Duo. Scootaloo wants to go because Rainbow Dash performed her Sonic Rain Boom. Duo thinks it’s a sign that we are supposed to go. Can you help us?”

The message was sent, and the young filly waited for the response from the Pegasi.

"Sure, I'll be there. Just send me the address to the apartment number, and I should be there either in the afternoon or night. I'm a Magenta color Pegasus with golden yellow wings, wearing a purple colored skirt, and black hoodie with bunny ears. Reason why I'm wearing this was because I needed something to help me sneak around at night." Golden Moon replied.

Little Horn sent back a message to Golden Moon, explaining that the apartment number was Apartment A, and gave the address and mentioned the cafe. She offered to meet her at the cafe, and if Golden Moon wanted to consider stopping for something to eat, rather than at the apartment, that would be fine.
“I hope she will be able to help us. She sounds like a nice pony and she’s a Pegasus.” The young filly said to her friends and cousin.

Just then, Golden Moon replied back,

"Okay, sure let's go to meet at the cafe. Haven't eaten anything good in a while; plus it will be a good opportunity for us to know each other."

Little Horn showed the message to meet at the cafe to her cousin and to the Cutie Mark Crusaders. “Are you ponies hungry? Would you like to get something to eat at that cafe? That new pony, Golden Moon, will be there. We’d better bring some money along, since she says she hasn’t eaten in a while.”

Duo, Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo each nodded their heads vigorously.

Little Horn smiled as her friends wanted to go meet up with the new Pegasus. She turned the communications device to allow Golden Moon to see her friends.

“Golden Moon, these are my friends from Ponyville. This is Apple Bloom,” she said, pointing a hoof towards Apple Bloom, “Sweetie Belle,” she continued to introduce her friends to Golden Moon, “Scootaloo, Duo, and Babs Seed. Babs is a cousin of Apple Bloom’s. Of course, there’s my cousin Harmony, The Mayor, and Mr. Crankshaft. Yes, the Mayor of Ponyville’s been staying with us. We hope to get back home so she can get back to her job.”

“Hey,” Harmony gave a small wave.

Little Horn started to move the communications device to her cousin, “Here, Harmony, you can talk with Golden Moon and get her the directions to the cafe, while I make sure the Crusaders are ready to go. Do we have enough money for the dinner for all of us?”

“I sure hope so,” She murmured, glancing inside her purse, “If not, we hope they take credit cards.”

Little Horn yawned as she went to talk with Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo, Babs Seed, Duo, Crankshaft,The Mayor, and Duo. “I think this may be the first time Ms. Robinson, the owner of the cafe, has seen a group of ponies trotting in for a meal. I’m not sure what kind of reaction we will get.”

“I think it’ll be the first time anyone’s seen a group of ponies trot into a cafe for a meal,” Harmony mused.

Little Horn indicated that Golden Moon was still on the communications device. “Uhm, Golden Moon needs directions to the cafe, Harmony. She’s a Pegasus, so she would be able to spot us from the sky.”

“You did give her the address, right?” Harmony quirked an eyebrow.

Little Horn nodded, “I sure did! She’ll meet us at the cafe and then she can explain how she ended up in our neighborhood. Somehow, she found an Internet connection and she responded to our video message.”

“There’s WiFi spots everywhere,” Harmony murmured, “She wouldn't have needed to look very hard for Internet.”

Little Horn went to the door to motion her cousin and friends to come with her to the cafe. “What are you waiting for? An invitation? Golden Moon is waiting for us at the cafe. C’mon!”

“Damn, she’s quick,” Harmony blinked, “She only got the address like, forty seconds ago.”

Little Horn and her group entered the cafe and saw the hooded figure with a blue tail sticking out of her skirt. Her green eyes surveyed the assembled fillies, colt, and adult ponies entering the cafe. The Pegasus had golden wings, a blue mane and tail, and her fur was magenta, just like she said in her message.

Golden Moon lowered her hoodie and greeted the group of ponies in the cafe, motioning them over to join her table. Her demeanor was of good cheer and friendliness as the ponies went to talk to her.

“Hi, Golden Moon? My name is Little Horn and this is my cousin, Harmony. We talked over the computer. These are my friends from my old school.” She looked over at the Cutie Mark Crusaders, inviting them to share with Golden Moon.

"It's a pleasure to meet you all! My name is Golden Moon, and I'm very grateful that you replied to my message." She walked towards one of the chairs in the cafe and sat down. "You would not believe the trouble I had ended up while coming here."

“I can imagine,” Harmony mused, “So, what’s your story?”

"Well to make a long story short I was being chased by that weird doctor from the hospital. I don't know why she's after me, but if I seen a lot of movies involving aliens and stuff it would not turn out well. So I hid inside a university college hoping she wouldn't find me there. It worked for a while until the night I used the computer to send you that message. That's when she found me, turns out she worked there as a teacher during the night. So like a scared horse I bucked her by accident knocking her unconscious. During her unconsciousness I printed out the location that you send me, flew up into nearest cloud I could find, and headed towards the apartment/cafe."

Golden Moon started to shiver a bit from the ordeal of being chased for past few weeks. "S-so far that woman has been chasing me everywhere I go. I tried getting help from my friends, but they didn't want to be experimented on if the government found me living with them. I would of go to my parents for help but I can't due to....personal reasons, so I'm pretty much on my own."

Harmony remained quiet, a serious expression on her face as she pondered the mare’s tale. Little Horn felt a pang of empathy for the Pegasus. She went up to Golden Moon, sitting down between her and Harmony. “At least you are safe now. You aren't alone, Miss Golden Moon. My friends and family can help you.” The filly's blue eyes beheld an aura of kindness as she really wanted to give Golden Moon a hug.

Golden Moon smiled at the filly named Little Horn. "Thanks I really am grateful that I was able to find somepony that can help me." She sighed with relief. "But here's the thing I don't get? Why are they after ponies like us? I mean I been pretty much into hiding so I don't know anything that much."

Golden Moon smiled at the filly named Little Horn. "Thanks I really am grateful that I was able to find somepony that can help me." She sighed with relief. "But here's the thing I don't get? Why are they after ponies like us? I mean I been pretty much into hiding so I don't know anything that much."

Little Horn looked over at her cousin and then back at Golden Moon. “I do not know why they would be after us. But, my friends Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo, and Duo had an unfortunate run-in with some animal control agents a while back. Let’s just say my cousin can be very persuasive when it comes to dealing with inconsiderate ponies or people.” She smiled at her cousin in a loving manner.

“Not that it’s a skill I want to make a habit of using…” Harmony murmured sheepishly.

Little Horn chuckled and gave her cousin’s foreleg a hug in a loving manner, “It’s okay, Harmony. You and the Mayor saved my friends!” She looked towards Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo, and smiled at them. “I think that deserves a good meal. What do you say, ponies?”

"As long as it isn't meat," Golden Moon said sticking her tongue out in disgust. "I tricked a high school student into giving me his burger once, and let's just say I was sick for at least a day or two."

Little Horn nodded empathically, “It’s okay, Golden Moon! The cafe here serves vegetarian options. The owner is aware of Harmony and me becoming ponies, so just head up to the counter when you are ready. Just want to make sure we have enough money for all of us here first.” The tan filly looked over at her cousin to make sure it was okay to place their orders.

Harmony glanced across at the others. “Fruit Salad all around, I’m guessing? Anyone up for drinks?”

Duo and the Crusaders each smiled as they nodded their heads. "Apple juice!" They all said in unison.

“Oh me?” Golden Moon thought about what to get, after a few seconds she spoke out what she wanted to drink. “Um can I have a glass of orange juice please?”

Harmony quickly tallied up everyone’s order. She then stood up straight and made for the counter. “Alright then. Sit tight, and I’ll be back in a few minutes with our food.”

Little Horn looked over at her fellow Cutie Mark Crusaders. “My friends started a club back in Ponyville called the Cutie Mark Crusaders, Golden Moon. You’ve probably heard of it?” She asked Golden Moon, attempting to invite her friends to join in on the conversation before Harmony brought their food and drink orders to their table.

“A little bit yes, but not so much sorry.” Golden Moon said rubbing the back part of her head in embarrassment. “Hard to keep up to date with certain events when you’re being chased by a crazy scientist.”

Little Horn nodded in sympathy for Golden Moon, “Well, The Cutie Mark Crusaders are represented here by my friends Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo. Babs Seed, Apple Bloom’s cousin, became the fourth member, and Duo and I became the fifth and sixth official members, respectfully. You have a Cutie Mark, Golden Moon?”

“Hold on, let me check.” Golden Moon looked at her flank to see if she had a cutie mark. To her surprise she didn’t have a Cutie Mark. “It seems that I don’t have one yet; that’s odd, you think I would get one with all the running and sneaking around I been doing, huh?”

Little Horn smiled and looked at her fellow Cutie Mark Crusaders, “I think we should invite Golden Moon to be part of the Cutie Mark Crusaders. What do you think, Apple Bloom?”

“Ah think she would be a perfect candidate at becoming a new member!” Apple Bloom said with a smile.

Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle both nodded their heads in agreement before Scootaloo spoke up. “Although, she would also be the only Crusader that is not a little filly like us. Then again, we do not discriminate here!”

Sweetie Belle then spoke up next. “Everypony should have a chance to get their cutie mark, and we are here to help!”

Babs Seed nodded in agreement with her cousin and friends, “Yeah, what mah cousin and friends said. Welcome to the Crusadah’s, Golden Moon!”

Duo remained silent, but nodded his head nonetheless in agreement.

“So does that mean I can join?” Asked Golden Moon.

Little Horn answered, “Of course, Golden Moon! That’s what the Cutie Mark Crusaders were created for; to help anypony who wants to earn their cutie marks. Maybe your special talent is flying, since you are a Pegasus?” She suggested.