The Curious Friendship of Llewellyn and Vellum Scratches.

by OliveBranch

First published

Vellum Scratches, a young unicorn foal enters his first year at Celestias school for gifted unicorns. New spells, new knowledge, new teachers, and a new room mate.

Beginning his first year at Celestias school for gifted unicorns, shy and introverted Vellum Scratches is incredibly excited, as well as incredibly anxious to get started. What new spells await! New lessons to be had and...ah...of course, new ponies as well.


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Doors to new places always look more imposing than familiar ones. Especially when that new place is a boarding school for unicorns, Even more so when you're a shy young unicorn who was pushed ahead a year last minute. Vellum Scratches stood nervously outside of Capra dorm 211 of Celestia's school for gifted unicorns. A map cautiously floated in front of his face. His light brown eyes flicking between the page and the numerals above the door, checking, double checking, and checking again before he finally levitated his key from the soft woolen pack draped across his tan back. 'Here we go' Vellum thought as he stepped forward, plunging the key into the lock. His horn expertly giving his aura a twist around the key. Slowly the rose and tan colored unicorn colt nosed the heavy wooden door open and stepped cautiously inside.

Across the room to the left a grey unicorn sat, propped up against the headboard of his bed, book in his lap. The Grey colt lifted his gaze from his book. Two coal black eyes locking with Vellum's nervously darting copper pupils

“you're in my room?” the grey one said. His voice low and somewhat monotone despite the slight inflection at the end, marking it as a question. Vellum swayed on his legs, looking off to the right shyly. He wasn't sure how he'd be greeted by his new room mate, but this wasn't quite how he imagined it.

“Uhm..well, heh, it's technically our room silly. I'm Vellum Scratches. I'm uhm...your new room mate” Vellum said, trying to raise his voice along with a hopeful smile. His mother was always berating him about mumbling. To his response the grey colt simply raised an eyebrow

“Is it?” he said, his muzzle shifting downward again as he returned to his book. For a moment the two sat.. or rather, one sat and one stood, in an eerie silence before the grey colt spoke again “You must be impressive.”

Vellum tilted his head some, his hooves shuffling under him as he slowly pressed onward into the room. His horn glittering to life with a soft rose colored glow as he tossed a levitation aura around his suitcase to tug it into the room “Uhm....I-impressive? Why er...why do you say that?”

Short, grey, and monotone brought a hoof to his mouth, giving the tip a lick before bringing it down to turn the page of his book “I don't get room mates.” he said, slowly looking up again. His dark eyes seemingly scrutinizing every detail of Vellum's body, touring over his faded rose mane, all the way to his etched scroll cutie mark before those coal black eyes flicked back up to meet Vellums. As they bored into him, It made Vellum feel nervous and caused his tail to twitch, whipping the straight, reddish hair of his tail around his left hind leg in a spiral.

“And” The other colt continued “It's a little late to be enrolling. The school must think highly of you to let you in now. Not to mention to stick you with me.”

Vellum groaned inwardly. He had hoped to keep his early entry a secret, and here his room mate of one minute had almost already figured it out. Vellum didn't like being the center of attention. Well, certainly not the center of fellow, judgmental, students attention. He wasn't quite so shy about the adults “ guess so” Vellum could kick himself. Way to go, this introduction was just swell so far.

“Well Scratches, I'm Llewellyn.” The gray colt said, his hoof raising to point across the room at the bare bunk to the right of Vellum “If you're staying here, then there's your side. I apologize in advance if any of my stuff has wandered over there. Like I said, I wasn't expecting company” With that said Llewellyn turned another page in his book before giving a quick wiggle, sinking himself down into the soft mattress of his bed.

Vellum trotted up to his new bare bed. His Suitcase moving to hover above it before plopping down on the bed with a fwoosh as soon as his aura left it “uhm...did you...opt out of room mates or something?” Vellum asked curiously, turning to look at Llewellyn. A gesture that a very bored looking Llewellyn did not return

“Hmm...nope. Just never been assigned one in my past two years here. Probably have my Psychiatrist to thank for that” Llewellyn said, giving a soft chuckle. His hooves clapped together as he closed his book. Those dark eyes finally turning to acknowledge Vellum “They were worried I wouldn't respond well to a 'group' environment” Llewellyn said, drawing his hooves down in air quotes.

'Psychiatrist? Was his new room mate crazy?' Vellum thought to himself, his face paling slightly

Llewellyn could see the concern etched into Vellum's face as clear as day, despite the dim lighting of the room. He cracked a smile and snorted softly

“Haha, Chill out Scratches. You seem alright. It's the adults that get me grumpy. I'll be a right gentlecolt around you” It was the cheeriest Vellum had seen the grey unicorn look since he walked in but it didn't really make him feel any better. Vellum turned back to his bare bed and sighed as quietly as he could. Behind him he heard Llewellyn moving around on his bed, followed by the sound of sheets fluffing up

“Dunno what you're doing moving in so late Roomie.” Llewellyn said, his imphasis on the word Roomie a bit heavy.

“Classes start bright and early. You'd best get that bed made quick if you want those eyes bright, and that rosey tail bushy in the morning”. There was a tingle of magic and a click as the light in the room was extinguished, leaving a solemn looking Vellum in the dark with his suitcase and his thoughts.

Restless Leg syndrome

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Vellum rolled over in his bed, his hooves bumping the plain stone wall beside his bed with a soft thunk. Groaning inwardly the young colt brought his front hooves to his face, dragging them over his cheeks, tugging his eyelids down

'gah! How does anypony manage to get any sleep before the first day of school!' Vellums inner voice cried out. It all felt strange to the young colt. The air, the room, the room mate. Nothing save for the pillow he had brought from home felt right.

'Who would his teachers be?' Vellum wandered, his body shifting to face up at the ceiling once more. Everypony who taught at Celestias school for gifted unicorns was supposed to be top notch. Which before hoof seemed like a good thing to Vellum, but now as he lay sleepless in the dorm, his mind began to drift to more negative things.

'What if I can't keep up? What if it's too advanced?' Vellum sighed, loudly at first, but remembering his room mate he quickly dialed it back. Vellum had heard horror stories about the tests at Celestias. Stories of frightening monsters, impossible puzzles, and even foals getting hurt! Of course, by now everyone knew of Princess Twilights first test. Hatching a dragon egg. Unfortunately that knowledge was practically useless as the tests changed every year, and it was highly unlikely that the dragon egg would pop up in the testing roster any time soon.

Vellum scowled and rolled over to face the center of the room, his eyes locking on the silent form of Llewellyn on the other side 'I've got an older room mate at least. Maybe I can ask him about the tests.' Vellum thought 'past two years? Is that what Llewellyn had said? So that would make him a 3rd year this year' Vellum smiled and cycled once again to laying on his back. 'After two whole years he's got to know something.'

Vellum was in the middle of his 42nd strategic comfort seeking bed position adjustment when a voice drifted over from the other side of the room

“I couldn't sleep on my first day alone either”

Vellum twitched an ear and pulled his brand new purple school comforter tighter around himself “ah...sorry, am I keeping you up?” Vellum asked.

“Well, I have been watching you toss and turn for the past 5 minutes” Llewellyn replied

Vellum made a face, hidden by blankets and shadow “That must be why I can't sleep” Vellum said, rolling his eyes.

“oh hoh! So the colt has some pizzaz in him after all” Llewellyn said, tossing his forehooves behind his head as he stared up at the ceiling. “Don't worry. You get used to it. Being away from your parents I mean. Plus, you're probably less alone now than you ever were before. Crazy talented foals all around us. Course, a lot of em are assholes, but eh, what can you do ehehe” Llewellyns laugh grated on Vellums ears. It was too dry, to...detattached. Vellum couldn't place the other foals accent either. It seemed to flitter between some kind of farm pony accent and some thing similar to manehattan, though not quite. 'Certainly curses as freely as a manehattenite' Vellum thought. Scooping up his pillow around his head Vellum pressed the soft material over his ears. He didn't consider himself a prejudice pony, but dear Celestia was his new roomie giving off some very strange vibes. However weird though, Llewellyn was right. He was missing his parents already, terribly so, and the thought of other students all around, students ready to size him up as a newbie, did not put his mind at ease. With an exasperated cry Vellum tossed all four of his legs into the air, fluffing up his blanket like a camping tent “errgh!!”

“You gonna be alright Scratches?” Llewellyn said, pulling himself into an upright position, to watch the newly formed tent sink back over the sleepless foal

“I....have...restless legs” Vellum said, sighing softly “and...Do you have to call me Scratches? Nobody but teachers ever use the last part.”

Llewellyn frowned for a split second but quickly shrugged it away. “Well, sounds to me like i'm doing the last part of your name a favor. It probably doesn't like not being used” Llewellyn said as nonchalant as someone asking for salt

Vellum sat up and stared at his room mate “What?” he said, peering through the darkness to try and make sense of what Llewellyn had just said. Vellum got no reply, only a shrug from Llewellyn followed by a question.

“Wanna go for a walk?”

Waiting for the night

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“B-but...what about being bright eyed and busy tailed for classes?” Vellum said in a hushed voice. His head poking out the door to room 211 after an amused looking Llewellyn trotted out and into the hall
“Bah, you already spent so much time fretting in bed that you're not going to get a good night sleep anyway. Besides, first day is nothing but instructions and introductions.” Llewellyn said, quickly moving down the hall
“Isn't there a curfew here?” Vellum said, glancing from left to right anxiously, as he did his best to quickly and quietly trot behind Llewellyn. The two foals were half way down the corridor, nearing the exit of the Capra hall dorms, when Llewellyn's horn sparked to life with a pale blue light

“Not if you don't get caught” Llewellyn said, glancing back at Vellum with a smirk “Come on, you're home now. Gotta learn to relax here, plus the garden is super cool at night” Llewellyn's voice was low as he spoke, but clearly laced with energy as he gestured towards the door. The blue light of Llewellyns horn growing as he levitated the brass handles of the heavy oak doors down. A soft creek drifted from the wood, but another blue grow from Llewellyn silenced it and the door pulled open the rest of the way without so much as a woosh
“After you” Llewellyn said, stepping aside. His right hoof twirling a bit before gesturing out the door.

Vellum bit his lip in an effort to cover his frown as he crept through the door. Vellum had never been one for breaking rules, and he wasn't sure why he had agreed to do this now. Maybe it was all the anxiety of being someplace new that made him more open to suggestion, maybe it was his legs unwillingness to settle down, or maybe, Vellum thought, casting a glance back at the ashen colt who held the door for him. Maybe he was kind of afraid to say no to this strange new roomie of his.

Upon exiting the building Llewellyn swiftly took the lead, trotting ahead of Vellum with an energy that Surprised the tan foal.
“Come on, old bean, you said your legs were restless eh? I know just the thing to put them at ease” Llewellyn said, causing Vellum to stop in his tracks.
'Old bean?' Vellum asked inwardly 'What kinda-' Vellum was pulled from his thoughts as a blue aura surrounded his hooves, pulling them forward. In a panic Vellum fought against the magic urging his legs forward, splaying out what of his legs he could control in all directions, trying to brace himself against the ground. After a moment the blue aura around his hooves vanished and Vellum cast his eyes up in an angry glare at Llewellyn
“Whoa hey! Personal space!” Vellum declared to a snickering Llewellyn
“Aww, Twasn't nothing. I just gave them a lil tug. I wont do it again, promise” Llewellyn said, smiling wryly before turning around to head down a worn but welcoming dirt path off the main walk.

Vellum sighed but carried on behind Llewellyn, his hooves picking up their pace a bit. All this activity was making him anxious, far more anxious than he had hoped to be on his first night at a new school. The path beneath his hooves looked safe enough. It was dirt sure, but it showed signs of intense use, so at the very least Llewellyn wasn't leading him off into some creepy untraveled patch of forest. Vellum Glanced back up at his guide. Though it was dark; Llewellyns grey coat seemed to shine, as if charged by what little light the moon was giving off. Vellum was a tad impressed. At first he had thought his new room mate looked rather drab, being mostly grey, with an even lighter mane and tail, but he had to admit, the night suited him. Curious, Vellum let his gaze fall towards Llewellyns flank. He stared confused. 'Wait...that can't be right' he thought, his eyes squinting, scanning over Llewellyns thigh again and again. Vellum only noticed Llewellyn staring back at him when he spoke

“er..getting a nice look there Scratches?” Llewellyn asked, throwing a mock wink at Vellum, before giving his thick white tail a flick

“ don't have a cutie mark?!” Vellum declared, his mouth hanging agape “But... You're older than me aren't you?!”

Llewellyn took a breath and frowned, shrugging his shoulders “don't know, don't care” he said flatly, turning away to continue down the trail.
Vellum quickly trotted up shoulder to shoulder with Llewellyn, his head turning to stare at him open mouthed
“Don't care? Wah...but...What about jobs? What about.....the very laws of pony kind?! There's tons to care abo-” Vellum was cut off as a pink flower engulfed in a blue aura was stuffed into his muzzle. Llewellyn looked peeved as his magic dissapaited, leaving Vellum to spit out the flower

“Sure Scratches, there IS a lot I could care about, but I don't” he said, turning away to continue down the path, a little bit more intently this time. Not deterred Vellum bounded back up to keep pace

“ have to have a cutie mark...everypony does. At least...Everypony our age does, and I'm pretty sure you're older than me.” Vellum said, struggling to think up how anypony could fail to have one. Short of dying as a young foal, he was coming up blank

“Maybe I'm broken” Llewellyn replied bluntly, staring straight ahead as he slowly increased his pace. Vellum stopped, taken back a bit

“! Don't say that!” Vellum frowned and furrowed his brow as he drew energy into his horn. Focusing on the hurriedly trotting Llewellyns legs, he planned to grab at his hooves in the same way Llewellyn had done his but before he could act Llewellyn stopped abruptly and turned, flashing an evil looking grin back

“You do it, and you've nullified your personal space rule” Llewellyn said, pointedly. Vellum sighed and released the arcane energies from his horn as he walked up to Llewellyn

“'ve got to be good at something don't you? I're here at this school. That would mean at least....magic? or...studying?” Vellum asked. The question seemed to bug Llewellyn as his villainous smile pulled back into a frown, but he didn't race ahead as he had before

“I'm good at telekenesis...and...” Llewellyn paused for a moment, glancing up at the sky “ to sing.”
Vellum raised an eyebrow “Really? Er...Don't want to sound rude but, I didn't place you as a singing type.

Llewellyn chuckled softly at that.
“Nopony does. You shoulda seen the the look on my therapists face when she found out.” Llewellyn said, suddenly coming to a dead stop. His hoof gesturing out in front of him “And here we are! My lil slice of heaven here at Celly's”
Vellum's eyes followed Llewellyns hoof, his pupils growing small as he looked up, then up, and up some more. The two foals stood at the entrance to a giant hedge maze. Tall rows of green descending deep into the night. The path was lit at the entrance, and every few meters, by an iron lamp. A magical orb ablaze within the glass.
“Isn't it grand?” Llewellyn said, a sense of awe breaching the cracks of his monotone. Vellum gulped, suddenly feeling a bit prickly
“w..wait, we aren't going to go in there are we? At night? I agreed to a walk, n-not to get lost in a super huge maze” Vellum said, taking a tentative step back, meanwhile Llewellyn ran ahead

“Aww come on Scratches! Nothing to worry about, I memorized all the routes my first year, I know it like the back of my hoof” Llewellyn said, bringing his hoof to his face for a moment before swinging it back down to stomp the dirt path, poofing a little cloud of dirt into the air. “I wouldn't let you get lost. Just a quick trot to the central garden of the maze then back. We'll be done before you know it!”