Broken then Healed

by Tohshi

First published

A young man has to learn to live with the consequences of his brash decision, as he learns to live in a new town, a new world, and a new body.

A young man has to learn to live with the consequences of his brash decision, as he learns to live in a new town, a new world, and a new body.

I would appreciate some feedback, though I hope my skin is as thick as I think it is. I am uncertain whether to add the dark tag first chapter is pretty dark if you ask me but past that it isn't so much. Edit: Decided to add the dark tag.
PS: I suck at editing so sorry.... :applecry:

Cover art done by Spicioc

Chapter 1

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Broken then healed

By Tohshi


“See I told you they were real!” exclaimed Lyra as she leaned back in her chair and swiveled to face the other pony in the room. “And you all thought I was crazy! Gosh, go on about Bipedals, and someponies think you need to be locked up.”

A large display through which a crowd of humans could be seen wandering a mall oblivious to their onlooker took up much of their basement. Bon Bon stood shocked for a moment. For all the years she had known her curious friend, she had thought her to be quite eccentric. Came with the whole being an artist. To have her theories proven acurte was a bit of a surprise.

“Well to be fair, it's not like you had proof till now. Besides we never locked you up. Nor would we,” stated Bon Bon. “Though it's scary to think of how right you were.”

“Even I have to admit I was strangely prophetic with that one” Lyra shot back at the beige pony. Turning back to the screen, her horn started to glow and her brow cinched with concentration. “Let's see if we can get a different view. Hmm can't seem to get it to move. Well, let's try something else.”


I ran the washcloth back and forth across the counter top. Work was slow, and it had been all week. I guess what do you expect with the economy the way it was. The counter was already clean but I wanted to look like I was doing something productive, the boss was there, and I was a bit paranoid with him around. He had been a bit short tempered for a while now.

Popping his head around the corner from the back room of the Taco Bell, the boss called to me, “Hey Alex, would you come here for a second?”

Turning from the counter I deposited the washcloth into the sink behind me and walked into the back room. He was sitting at the computer. My boss had made a carrier out of Taco Bell. It was a fate that I was hoping to avoid but with my job prospectives being the way they were it seemed unlikely that I could find anything better right now.

“Yes, sir?” I inquired.

“Well I got bad news and there isn't a way to sugar coat this. Profits are down and we can't afford to have as many hands on deck as I would like to have. Sorry Alex but I am gonna have to let you go. Stop by next week on Thursday to pick up your last paycheck,” he said not even looking at me. For a man who had so much time in this job he was still very awkward about firing people.

“Ok,” I mumbled at him. Off to the side Veronica gave me a sorrowful look, but continued on with her work. I had liked working with her but we were nothing but acquaintances. No my heart lay elsewhere. I slunk out the backdoor of the Taco Bell. It was quite back here but now it felt so awkward being in the employee only area's of the mall.

Stumped on what to do next I sat on a bench for a while to think. Rent was due soon and I just lost a good four days of that check. I didn't think it would be enough to cover the rent. What was I going to do? Melody and I would figure things out though.


“So do you think you can help me move the view around?” Lyra inquired of the purple pony who had joined them in Lyra's lab. Lyra was having trouble containing her frustration about her spell work. She was by no means a slacker when it came to magic and this problem was proving well beyond her. At least her former schoolmate, the Alicorn of Magic, lived in town to help with things like this. The two of them had never been much of freinds while they were in school but Ponyville seemed to have been good for both of them. It was nice to call her a friend now.

“I don't know if I can,” responded Twilight Sparkle. Her horn was lit with her magic as she poked and prodded the spell. “It's hard to tell if the view is of the location or following just one of them, and honestly I don't fully know how you manage to view this to begin with.”

“Well the idea came to me just a few hours after the Tirek incident. Not really certain where the idea came from but figured maybe they were on a different dimension. Different wavelength. But either way I channeled sensory magic through the two crystals there and vibrated the magic till it attuned to this world. At first I thought it didn't work. Had been pretty certain that I had messed up the spell but it cleared up with the fiddling.”

“I will have to study this for a while, maybe try to replicate it before I could say for certain but it may not be possible for me to change the view point. As I said earlier this could easily be attuned a specific one of them instead of the location,” said Twilight.

“Well thanks anyways, Twilight. I wouldn't try replicating it yet though I can't shut it off and it seems to have put a damper on my magic,” Lyra said.


My job search had been going badly. The last three weeks had given me only one interview. Melody had told me time and time again not to worry. That work would come eventually. That it was just that it was spring and that most places weren't hiring. Despite her efforts I had started to freak out about money. Melody still had her job but we were likely to loose our apartment if I dint' find something soon.

The ding dong dong of Melody's grandfather clock reminded me that it was time to start dinner. I had taken up all the household chores. It seemed only fair. Her mother had help us cover the bills that which Melody's paycheck hadn't covered. I really like Mrs. Smith. She had been so much help for the two of us this last few years. After I had left my dad's house he didn't seem care as much anymore and rarely stayed in contact. I had gotten halfway through preparing that night's dinner when the phone rang. It was Melody's ring tone. I smiled as I walked over and answered the phone.

“Hello,” a strange voice answered on the other side. “Is this Alex?”

“This is him,” I replied. My brain fought between two conflicting ideas. Maybe she had just lost her phone but I had a feeling that wasn't the case. “How did you get Melody's phone?”

“I am from General Hospital, downtown,” the voice stated. “There was an accident.”


Lyra sat watching and crying for hours. She hadn't left the room in a day. Bon Bon who sat next to Lyra sat comforting her while she cried herself. Their Biped was still up on the screen. Twilight had come by and tried to talk Lyra out of the room, and had only succeeded in further promising help in attempting to contact this other side.

The two worlds were quite different Lyra had noted, though they also shared a few similarity. The funeral procession was unmistakable for what it was. Her Biped hadn't left his house and it had been three days. It hurt her to see somepony in so much pain. To see him be so alone. Mixed in with her sadness was a frustration and anger that had been brought on by his world. How could so many bipeds let one of their own be so alone. Did they not care for one another?

Lyra's aura engulfed her horn as she once again as she repeatedly attempted to send a message through the viewport. The book Twilight had given her of communication spells didn't contain an interdenominational spell, so Lyra had been trying the only ones she capable of casting to try to contact the Biped, to no avail. All it was acomplishing was giving her a head ache as spell after spell failed.

A small knock on the door and Twilight came walking into the room her saddle bag laden with scrolls both new and old. She had a look of determination on her face. Lyra knew that Twilight was as invested in this as she was at this point. It had grown far beyond a simple curiosity about strange new creatures and into one of needing to save somepony from the dark clouds that surrounded them.

“I let myself in. I hope you don't mind,” Twilight said. The sight of her friend's state saddened her. Lyra was showing the signs of magical exhaustion. “I brought over the most powerful communication spell I could find I was gonna try that now if you don't mind, Lyra.”

“Do you think this will work? He has gotten worse," Lyra said. "We have to save him."

Nodding her head, Twilight began to cast her spell. A brilliant glow filled the room as Twilight poured as much as she could into her spell. Again her spell failed. Even Twilight was starting to feel the frustration at the magic's refusal to cooperate.

“I am sorry. I will have to fiddle with the spell's matrix to see if I can't integrate it into your spell. Why don't you go get some sleep, Lyra, while I do that,” Twilight stated calmly.

Lyra tried to protest but Bon Bon dragged her marefriend of to their bed for some much needed rest. Hours passed to no avail. On the screen, though something had changed. The Biped had left his apartment and had headed up to the roof of his large building.

Lyra came stumbling back down to the basement. She brought with her some sandwiches that Bon Bon had made for her and Twilight. She didn't really feel like eating but every bite felt so right that she ignored her brain's protests.

“Maybe he is getting better he left his room,” Twilight said hopefully. She grabbed one of the sandwiches with her magic and started to munch on it.

The spark of hope danced in Lyra's eyes as she nodded in agreement. Change had to mean improvement, right?


There wasn't anything left. Nothing. I stood on the edge looking down and although fear should have ruled me a strange sense of peace was all that filled me. Twenty stories should be more than enough. Images of her face flashed through my mind. Hmm maybe I will see you too. And I took the step off.

Though my mind told me that the fall would only last a few moments, it seemed to take much longer than that. The wind was strong but not as much as I had expected. I felt like something else had grabbed me and was pulling me up trying to stop my descent. Still the ground was about to embrace me one more time. They say your life flashes before your eyes when you're about to die but so far all I could think of was going to see her. And then for a second there was pain and then nothing more


“NO!” screamed Lyra. Her horn lit up a brilliant but light green aura engulfing it. Her magic hit the viewing spell and for half a moment lingered there before bursting through it. Why it was working this time was beyond Lyra but she didn't even give it a second thoguht. Her magic engulfed the falling biped.

Abandoning her lunch to gravity, Twilight burst into action. Her magic surrounded and blanketed Lyra, at first attempting to break the connection though her friend's will was steeled. She turned her magic to the view point. Maybe there she could stop her friend from hurting herself.

“He's going to die! I have to save him.” Lyra shouted at Twilight. The aura of her magic glowed brighter than it had ever before as she poured more magic than she had ever used before into her spellwork. It was too late though as the bipedal boy hit the ground. Everyone winced at the imagined thud. There was still time though thought Lyra. She could still save him if she could just bring him to her for healing.

Despite her friends stubbornness, Twilight continued her attempts to sever the connection between Lyra and the boy. Snaking out into the other world following Lyra's own magic, Twilight's magic made it to the other world. Her magic mixed with Lyra's engulfing it. This was not a simple task but one that the Alicorn of Magic found easy enough. Yanking on Lyra's magic, Twilight tried to sever the connection once more or at least pull her friends magic from this other world. Her friend was more powerful than she had expected and so Twilight tapped into her vast reservoir of magic, connecting to her element. Rising into the air as her magic came pouring out of her. Twilight pulled Lyra's magic back first from the body then from that world. It didn't come alone. With one last tug the two's magic popped back into their own world.

As the light faded from Twilight's eyes where once stood a screen into a different world floated a dimly glowing light engulfing in a blend of purple and green magic. Coming to her sensing after a brief mental stumble, Lyra realized her folly. Her magic had only brought his spirit. Turning to Twilight, she stated with an exhausted tone, “We have to make him a new body. I can't let go yet I have to save him. Please?!”

“I will try.”

For a second she just paused and stared, deep in concentration. Coming back out of her thoughts, she turned to Lyra, and explained, “I don't have any of his old body to build off, I will have to make him a new one from what we have here. I need a piece of you, something special to make him a new body. After all it takes two to make life.”

A confused Lyra sat there looking at her hooves. The light switched in her brain and she understood, replying, “Go ahead. Whatever you need. Please just save him.”

Gathering all her might, Twilight began to channel the power of the cosmos. Both her eyes and horn started to glow and she rose from the floor once more. Reaching out with her mind, she took from Lyra a piece of her, and then combined it with a piece from herself. Grabbing a hold of the boy's spirit she buried it inside the amalgamation of hers and Lyra's. And then she poured magic using the small bead as a baseline to build upon. Pushing her magic to its limits, she created a body.

As the swirling and brilliantly bright magic subsided, a final burst of light emanated from her work. Twilight collapsed from exhaustion from the effort. The light faded fully revealing Twilight's work. Upon the floor laid a small pony. Her ribs were visible through the lilac color fur that covered her body, and on her head through the scruffy though short and almost white purple hair protruded a horn.

Bon Bon ran over to Twilight. Scooping up Twilight's head, Bon Bn gently cradled her friend's head. Twilight whispered, “Get...Celestia...Spike.”

Gently setting Twilight's head down she looked over to Lyra who stood standing over the new unicorn. After a brief moment she ran out of the house to go find Spike.

Standing there dumbstruck Lyra whispered, “It's a filly.”

Chapter 2

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Voices filtered through my throbbing head. I only caught bits as I faded to and from consciousness. Small, starved, miracle. Opening my eyes only brought a blinding light, which caused me to fade out again. Waking again I just laid there with my eyes closed drifting between sleep and consciousness. Hours, days, years, or seconds passed I couldn't tell everything was a jumble. I couldn't even think straight for more than a moment. Finally my head started to clear, but still I sat there and left my eyes closed. I wondered if I was dead. I should be. No way I lived through that fall. No way. Yet I didn't feel dead. Though I guess I don't really know what it felt like to be dead.

At first it was painful to open my eyes as the light was far too bright but after a few moments and lots of blinking, my eyes seemed to adjust and the pain subsided. Even with some adjustment the room seemed excessively bright. The light filtered through a white lace curtains that covered the window in front of me. As my head continued to clear I could start to feel the ache of my muscles. All of them seemed to be screaming as if I had some how ran a marathon but the soreness was not limited to my limbs but everywhere. I spent a few moments trying to move to no avail before I just let the world fade away once more.

Waking with a startle, I jerked my head up but the movement was painful. My head hit the pillow once more. It was a good pillow. Perfectly fluffy that my head sank into it. The light from the window was much less bright now. Ignoring the pain for a second, I took a quick glance across the room. There was a book shelf that was neatly packed with books. My eyes fell on the flowers that were behind me. They were strange ones that I didn't recognize. Despite this they were quite beautiful. The door had a window with blinds over it that were drawn down. Except for a painting of a meadow on the windowless wall the room seemed more geared towards function than anything else. A strangely shaped bench caught my attention for a moment. Why was it so deep and yet so short for the back rest?

Hunger reared it ugly head but I didn't feel like getting up anytime soon. I must have been in a hospital whcih meant that someone would be around eventually. In the mean time if seemed pertinent to take stock of myself. As I tried to fee my arm from the blanket that it was caught under I came to a strange conclusion. My fingers were gone. Panic would best describe what followed next. Even when it came free from the infernal sheet of fluffiness, that didn't assuage my fears. No they only intensified when instead of a hand there was a hoof. Overcome with panic I faded to black.

Coming to once more. It had been more times than I could keep track of. For a moment I just sat there trying to wake from the nightmare that I had found myself in. Opening my eyes having steeled myself for disapointment I found wonder instead. Standing over me was a horse that must have been well over nine feet tall at her head. Her hair flowed outward in a pastel rainbow of blue, green, purple, and pink. I had never seen something so beautiful, it was like a sunrise in horse form. From her head sprouted a long horn and I would have missed them if they hadn't fluttered at just the right time but she had wings on her back. Her eyes though, were like looking into an endless depth of compassion flowing through them towards me. In just her eyes I could tell she cared for me, loved me though she knew naught of me. Tears poured out of my eyes as I tried to comprehend her splendor. And then she spoke.

Her voice, deep and soft, pierced me through, as she whispered, “Hello little one.”

She paused for a moment letting me bask in her light for a second. Her presence alone seemed to ease my aches and pains. And for a second I forgot my sorrows. Melody. Her face flashed in my mind, and all peace was shattered as the darkness in my soul came crashing in. My vision blurred and darkened. Melody why would you tear my heart out? Why did you leave me? Hastening its beat, my heart imploded. I tried to back away, pushing with all my legs on the bed away from the mare standing before me, not in fear of her but unworthiness. I, the dark and festering sore of the world, should not dare be so close to her perfection.

The perfect one lowered her head and nuzzled me, and whispered, “There there, I know it hurts. Let out your sorrow.”

I reached up with my arms or what ever they were anymore, and held her head as I let my sadness pour from me. And so we sat there for a while till my tears had ran out and sleep took me again.

When I woke again, the aches in my limbs seemed to have lessened. A strong breeze blew through the window, lazily playing with the curtains. Hours had past and darkened the light from outside cast shadows across the room. On the bench sat a green unicorn with pale hair. It seemed so unnatural seeing her sit like a human. I wondered if she could speak too. Eh that would have to wait. I wouldn't want to wake her. Still I stared for a while watching her breath. Some part of me felt connected to her, that she mattered even though I didn't know why.

Hunger reared its ugly head. It was time to see if these strange limbs of mine were good for something. Pushing myself up, dizziness filled my head and vision. It was strange feeling a light purple fur covered arm as your own. Everything was so different as I looked over myself. Nearly white hair fell into my vision and with it I noticed a horn just barely vissible poked out of my forehead. I reached up to touch it and found that I could feel it. Too much presure and it sent waves of pain throughout my head. I decided to leave well enough alone. Turning to my back legs I looked at the strange gangly limbs. My knees were much too high up and my ankels were not really ankels anymore. A tail matching in color to my hair protruded from my backside. Also something seemed to be missing between my legs.

Not wanting to think about that, I tried to stand. The soft bed made that impossible. So instead I scooched till my arms hung off the bed. Pushing off with my legs, I fell towards the ground. Which just so happened to be a bit further down than I had guessed. A resounding thud echoed through the room, as I landed head first on the floor. Damn. My horn throbbed from the impact, filling my head with pain. Feeling defeated, I sat there on my back with tears forming in my eyes for a while.

Getting up, I stumbled towards the door. I fell more than once on the way. My legs just didn't seem to have any power to them even when they did what they were suppose to. I was feeling drained after just this small of a walk. Standing in front of the door, a second problem occurred to me. The handle was a round door nob, which was a bit above eye height. I didn't trust my back legs enough to stand upright to grab the doorknob nor did I relish the idea of trying to open it with my mouth. Defeated I slunk back to the bed but it was much to high for me to get back into. Not wanting to sit on the cold floor, I stumbled over to the bench. Either I was quite small or the green pony was very big. The door told me that I was the one who was a bit odd. The bench was low enough that I could just barely push myself onto it. So I sat watching the green pony and waiting for someone to come help me.

Slowly and quietly, a mare with a nurses hat pushed her way into the room. I turned my head to look at her. For a second worry covered her face as she looked at the empty bed. Turning to leave, her worry dissipated as she spotted me on the bench. She whispered to me, “You shouldn't be out of bed, little filly.”

With a few short steps, she scooped me up. Bracing me on her shoulder, she quietly slipped over to the bed and laid me there. Still whispering, she asked, “Do you need anything? Are you hungry?”

“Uh...very...sorry,” I replied back, in a high pitched and almost squeaky voice. I blushed at the sound of my voice, so very unmanly. I mean the whole body was very unmanly but the voice was what really made it sink in. It bothered me much more than I wanted to admit.

“Oh you don't have to embarrassed,” she softly cooed. “Everypony gets hungry. I will be right back. You stay here, and I will go get you some food. Okay?”

I nodded to her as she turned and headed out the door. A few minutes later she reappeared with a tray of food, balanced on her back. She set the tray upon the nightstand, and helped prop me up with an extra pillow from within the nightstand. Picking up the tray with her mouth, she popped out some legs from beneath it and placed it in front of me. A bowl full of oatmeal and a glass of water. Saliva built in my moth as it took all my will power to not just slam my face into the food. I fumbled with the spoon for a minute before giving up and just chowed down with my mouth.

The nurse barely held in a snicker. I paused at her reaction, part of me telling me that she was judging me. That I must be some poor beast that can't even use a spoon. But my hunger overwhelmed my doubts, and I continued anyway. Having devoured half of the plate as fast as I could, my stomach started to protest.

“You didn't have to rush,” the nurse whispered with mirth in her voice.

Laying my head back I relaxed for a moment before trying reach for the glass. With both arms, I precariously held it and tried to take a sip. My mouth was pushing the glass out of my grip, so I tightened my grip. Too much.

With a crack and a burst of pain, the glass shattered, spilling its contents all over me. Shit. Now she's gonna yell at me. My mind was racing and I couldn't think straight anymore. Despite the pain in my arm it was fears of being abandoned that ran through my head.

“Oh no,” the nurse stated. She ran to the door, and shouted, “Doctor!”

I started to fade away. My head was light and I couldn't really keep track of anything going on around me there were blurs of bright colors that seemed to dance around me. There was these amber pools that caught my fading mind for a second. I could feel a new wave of pain shoot through me and then some tingliness overcame where my wound was. The world faded out.

My head hurt. Fluttering open, light poured into my eyes once more. The green mare's face fills my vision. A brilliant golden glow engulfed her horn. Her beautiful amber eyes sorrowfully stared at my face. Wet droplets splashed onto my face as she cried above me. As if seeing the sunrise, her eyes started to light up and the clouds of sorrow were chased away. She gently caressed my face with her nose, smiling as she did so. It was a weird gesture but I craved her touch for some reason.

“Now, Miss Lyra, you can put her down. The bed is clean now,” stated some unknown voice. “Besides you should be resting yourself. I told you to lay off the magic for a while – “ He sighed. “– though I guess its good you were here.”

Lyra blushed as she gently laid me down, and the glow in Lyra's horn subsided. A brown unicorn, with a stethoscope slung around his neck and he wore a lab coat, stared sternly at Lyra. She winced at his stare like she was about to get yelled at.

“Sorry, Doc. I will try to get some rest,” she stated, dejectedly. “Though, is it fine if I just rest here? Somepony is supposed to be watching this one,” – she nodded her head in my direction – “and I would prefer to be the one to do that.”

“That is fine, as long as you don't use anymore magic today okay,” the doctor replied. “I will have the nurse bring you a cot, I don't want you to be sleeping on the bench.”

“Thanks, Doc”

I watched as he walked away closing the door behind him. Turning to Lyra, I watched her. Was she full grown? Did she know what I was? Or where? Or where I came from? Nausea crept its way back into my body. What if she knew what I did? Did I steal the body of her child? Will she hate me for that? I would, no I do. How could I be so careless? The heart raced as my thoughts grew darker.

“So whats your name?” Lyra asked.

“Alex,” I whispered.

“Well, hello, Alex. My name is Lyra. And how are you holding up there?” Lyra inquired. Concern smeared across her face as she brushed some of my hair from my face.

“Fine.” I whispered back. Nausea greedily ate at my stomach. She wouldn't care. Not about me. Not really.

“Fine? I don't see how you could be fine,” said Lyra, her voice soft. “I don't know what you're feeling but I do know what you've been through recently. I was there for part of it. Now come on, tell me how you're really doing.”

Nausea had ate my entire stomach, and seemed to be working his way up to my brain. Opening my mouth, the words seemed to catch themselves on my tongue and refused to escape for a second. As Nausea continued his climb though, the words escaped as if running from his horror.

Spilling from my mouth, “No, your right I am not fine. I should be dead. There is a part of me that wants to be.” – tears start to flow from my eyes – “I 'woke up here in this weird body and now a talking pony is trying to talk to me and I hate my voice, and I can't get things right. I broke that glass. I bet that nurse hates me now I ruined her bed sheets, and I broke her cup, and now she hates me, and I miss Melody, and my heart hurts and...”

My tongue got tangled in my mouth, stopping my rant. Sharp and fast, my chest pulled air into me as panic got to my brain. I couldn't keep track of the world anymore but couldn't fade from this pain.

Lyra's hoof rubbed my head as she leaned her head down next to mine. She whispered to me, “Its alright. Everything is gonna be fine. I am here for you, and I won't be leaving you. Now don't worry about the sheets, stuff happens, okay? And the nurse doesn't hate you.”

Nausea released his grip, as Lyra's hoof did her work. Slowly my tears stopped.

“Now there. Let's see if I can answer some of your questions,” she said with an air of certainty to her. “First off, while your body may be weird to you, I am pretty certain its just a normal filly's body. Sorry about that by the way, I was trying to save your life not give you a new body but that was the only way. When you jumped I grabbed you with my magic and pulled. Well, the only thing that came with was your spirit, so Twilight made you a new body out of bits of her and me. I think mostly her. You look like her, well except for the eyes, those are my eyes.”

Stopping for a moment, her eyes drifted away from mine. She just stared off into the distance. Our eyes met again, and she started up once more.

“Now I don't want to overload you with information yet but I guess I should get some of the important stuff out of the way now. You are now in the land of Equestria, a land filled with ponies like me, and well, now you. Here there are no Bipedals –“ I gave her a confused look “– what ever you were before. Either way, this will be your home now. Well not here specifically but this world. I can't send you back. You don't have a body to go to, on your world, not anymore. So I hope you will be fine with living with me.”

I truly had no where else to go, and Lyra had been very nice so far. I nodded my head in agreement. I just hoped she wasn't gonna lock me up, or worse.

“Well that makes me feel better,” Lyra stated, taking a breathe of relief. “Now I can't take you home today the doctor said earlier it would have to wait till tomorrow. And well that was this morning so lets hope your little accident didn't delay that.”

A knock on the door, followed swiftly by the nurse who brought a cot with her. She set it up, and said, “I know that you probably have allot to talk about but both of you need to sleep so lights out in ten, okay?”

“Okay,” Lyra replied.

The nurse left and Lyra hopped onto the cot. She pulled the pink blanket that came with the cot over her and stared at me.

“I bet your pretty tired why don't you try to get some sleep,” she whispered to me.

I nodded my head at her. Closed my eyes and took her advice. Sleep found me.

Chapter 3

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Chapter 3
The wind blew against my face. Rays pierced the dawn as the sun climbed over the horizon. The chain link fence rattled in my hand, as I leaned out ward over the top of the building. There laying at the base of the building was my dead body, blood pooled around it. My hands slipped and I fell towards my other body. It turned over and looked at me, its eyes black and its mouth open wide with gnashing pointy teeth. He grew and reached out to me. No longer falling I ran away from the horrifying visage of my former self. He was faster. My sides burned and ached as I struggled to go faster, to escape from the monster that chased me. My face slammed into the ground as I tripped over my useless pony legs. The monster now on top of me picked me up by the tail and dangled me over his gigantic maw. Rows upon rows of teeth glistened, waiting anxiously to tear into my flesh. The monster dropped me and darkness engulfed me as I screamed.

The hospital room can into view, as my eyes were cleared of my visions. Lyra stood next to me, her arms grabbing ahold of my shoulders, gently shook me. Beads of sweat ran down my forehead to my ears. My labored breathing slowed, and I looked at her. The floodgates opened and tears flowed from my eyes.

Lyra scooped me up in a large hug. She gently whispered, “It’s alright it was just a dream. Sssshhh, it’s gonna be fine. Just breathe.” – My tears slowed – “There we go. Feeling better?”

“Yes,” I replied. Her warmth beat back the panic, and I calmed down.

Light flooded into the room, brilliant and bright. Lyra's cot was folded up and stuffed into the corner under the window. On the nightstand was a glass of water. My throat, dry and sore, nagged at me. Sitting up, I reached for the glass then paused. I turned to Lyra, and asked, “Can you help me get a drink, please?”

“Of course,” she cheerfully replied. Her horn glowed yellow again, engulfing the glass in her magic. She levitated the glass to my mouth. I took a drink, my throat thanking me for relief.

“Was probably for the best,” she said as she levitated the glass back to the nightstand. “Wouldn't want a repeat of yesterday now would we?”

I shook my head as my reply. Hunger gripped my stomach once more, as if the water had simply woke a beast. Ignoring his demands, I crawled from under my blanket. Still Lilac. It was starting to grow on me. Literally as well.

“As soon as the doctor comes and checks on you we can leave,” Lyra said to me. “I heard Twilight woke up today. We should visit before we leave, Okay?”

I nodded. My mind wandered. How was I gonna support myself? I couldn't expect Lyra to do it, that would be unfair to her. She didn't ask for me to come here. I would have to find a way to take care of myself. Wait why was Lyra saying Twilight woke up today. She had said that Twilight had made my body. What was wrong with her? What if creating my body she hurt herself? It was my fault. I knew it was my fault. I hurt her somehow.

My panic starting to build I tried to stand up to go find Twilight, wherever she was, to help her. I had to. Once again the bed proved traitorous so I flopped back onto my belly.
Lyra laid her hoof on me, and said, “What’s the matter? You looked panicked.”

“Is it my fault Twilight is here? In the hospital?” I asked as tears formed in my eyes. I already knew the answer. Of course it was my fault. I had hurt her. I shouldn't exist I kept hurting people.

“No,” Lyra sternly told me. “Well sorta, but not that you had a choice. Really the blame belongs to me. I couldn't bear to see you go. When she created your body it took allot of her magic, much more than I could ever conjure. The doctor said that she had just exhausted herself and that all she needed was some time to rest and she would get better. It happened to me though not as bad. Pulling objects, even once as mass-less as a spirit, through dimensions takes allot of effort.”

“Honestly I have no idea how she managed to create your body. I mean there is a spell to let to mares have a child together, but that still requires your typical pregnancy. But what she did was beyond that she took that basic spell and combined it with some sort of aging spell, or maybe she just used that as just more instructions to manifest a new body out of thin air. Still to do so would require massive amounts of energy, and I don't know if even Celestia herself would have enough juice to do that. Really impressive magic there though, I guess that’s what you get when you have an alicorn who is the living embodiment of Magic. And friendship.”

Bewilderment masked my face. My brain tried to grasp what she had just said. The idea that someone could just manifest a body out of thin air was insane. My knowledge of physics was shaky at best, but I did know of the Law of Conservation of Mass. Maybe the physics worked differently here.

“Oops,” Lyra said. “Sorry about that sometimes I really get into stuff. I guess that probably was a bit much all at once there. Either way long story short, don't blame yourself for Twilight's spell of illness.”

“Okay,” I whispered though my guilt had subsided but not vanished.

“Now, your hair is such a mess let me comb it for you,” Lyra stated. A brush floated towards my head, engulfed in her green aura. She gently brushed out all the tangles that had formed in my hair in the last few days.

A few minutes later, there was a knock on the door. The doctor from yesterday walked in while levitating a clipboard. He stopped at the end of the of the bed.

“Good to see you’re both up,” he said. “Now I just have a few instructions for you Miss Heartstrings. I want you to get plenty of rest, I know you’re going to be busy taking care of your young one here, but don't forget about your needs. Your magic isn't a full still so no major spell casting. Levitation shouldn't be a problem though.”

He paused to flip the page over on his clipboard.

“Now as for the little one. She is going to need lots of rest I recommend bed rest for the next couple of days still. Also she needs to eat small but frequent meals, preferably with plenty of protein. So lots of beans and tofu.”

“Also you should avoid crowds and other ponies for a while. Her immune system is probably not running at full, which means no school, at least not until I get her fully inoculated. It’s likely she will catch a cold over the next few days, so make sure you have cough medicine on hoof. And she needs to get some light exercise every day no more than 20 minutes of walking.”

“Any questions?” he asked finishing his lecture.

“Not really,” Lyra responded.

“Oh, one more thing: I will need her back here in a week to get her vaccines,” he stated. “And a general checkup.”

“Okay,” Lyra replied. “I will make an appointment with the secretary before we leave today. Is it alright if we visit Twilight?”

“Yes. The princess is receiving visitors, but don't stay for long. She needs her rest and I bet her friends will be visiting soon. One of them went to fetch the others.”

The doctor turned and left. Lyra's magic engulfed me and she levitated me onto her back and we walked out of the door. It was just a short trip down the hall. Turning at a door she magicked it open and there a lavender unicorn with wings, whom I assumed was Twilight, sat reading a book on her bed. Her horn glowed and the books pages seemed to be moving themselves as she read at an impossible speed.

“Hello, Twilight,” Lyra said.

Twilight looked up startled. She set her book to her side and said, “Oh hello, Lyra. I didn't hear you come in. So we need to ta –“ Our eyes met and she paused for a second “– Oh hello. You must be the one Lyra saved. What’s your name?”

“Alex,” I muttered. “I'm sorry. I caused you to be sick. I'm sorry. Really sorry.”

“Now, now. There isn't a need to apologize. I would have done this for anyone,” Twilight stated, her mirth showing. “I am just happy to see you’re alright. You remind me of one of my friends.”

She levitated the book to the nightstand next to the bed. The room was decorated in a similar fashion to how mine was.

“Lyra can you put her on the bed. I want to see her in her entirety,” said Twilight.

Once again Lyra's magic engulfed me, and she placed me on the foot of the bed. I blushed as she looked over me. Her eyes seemed to study in great length every part of me. This body was weird. Her eyes told me that. She thought I was wrong that I shouldn't be. I buried my head in the mattress.

“Twilight, you’re scaring her,” Lyra stated, exacerbated. “Your spell worked perfectly.”

“Sorry,” Twilight said. “I didn't mean to scare you. I just wanted to make sure that I made your body right. First time I had ever tried to do something like that.”

I nodded my head in acknowledgement.

“So either way, Lyra,” Twilight said. “What’s your plan for Alex? I will understand if you don't want to keep her. It wasn't really your choice when I saved her. If you aren't up for it, I can take her for a while. And talk to Celestia. She will find Alex a nice home, more permanently.”

Lyra didn't want me. I shouldn't be surprised. I wouldn't want me such a useless person such as myself. Nausea swallowed the stomach in one bite, and move straight on towards my brain. Tremors spread through my body. Tears stream once more down my face.

“Now, Twilight,” Lyra angrily stated. “I know that you mean well, but please stop trying to give poor Alex here a heart attack. I will be keeping her, if she is alright with that. It’s my fault she is here, and I will take full responsibility. Besides I don't think I would trust you with taking care of her.”

Twilight blushed as she realized her mistake. Her horn glowed and she picked me up with her magic. Hugging me, Twilight patted the back of my head gently as tears continued to stream down my face.

“I’m sorry, Alex,” Twilight said. “I shouldn't have said those things while you were here. I bet you’re confused and scared. That was mean of me, and I am sorry.”

Soon my tears dried. Lyra levitated me onto her back.

“We have to get going,” Lyra stated. “I want to get out of here before your friends get here. I don't want to expose Alex to too many ponies yet. The doctor said her immune system might not be up to snuff. Oh, say hi to Fluttershy for me, please.”

“Well, okay. Thank you for coming by I will come and visit once they let me out of here. And I will.”

Exhausted after my outburst, I had a hard time keeping awake as we walked to the receptionist. I failed and sleep took me.

“We're home,” Lyra shouted.

Awoken with a startle, I looked around. A small cozy room was to my right. Filled with a large brown couch, which faced the fireplace, and a coffee table it left little room to walk save for in front of the fireplace. The room was aglow from the multiple windows on both exterior walls. The hall way in which we were standing when down a ways, ending with a staircase on the left and an open door through which light poured. To the left through another arch was a massive dining table which took up most of the room in which it stood. It could sit at least ten. Another door could be found on the far back side of the dining room. The rooms green colored walls soaked in the light from the multitude of windows.

“I'm in the kitchen, Honey,” shouted a voice from inside the room beyond the dining room.

Laying me on the couch, Lyra said to me, “I'll bet you’re hungry?”

I nodded.

“I'll be right back,” Lyra said. “I'll go get us some food from the kitchen.”

Lyra pranced over to the kitchen. As she disappeared into the kitchen, she said, “Bon Bon, what do we have...”

Obscured by distance I couldn't make out what she said. My stomach snarled at me. I hope Lyra doesn't take too long.

“You almost killed yourself,” shouted Bon Bon, or at least I was pretty certain that was who it was. “You spend almost a week at the hospital, and tell me to go home on day one. You magically create a foal, with Twilight Sparkle. Who you also got hospitalized. And when you come home your only concern is stuffing your face?”

Quiet murmuring could be heard from the kitchen. Followed by a large smack, and an owww.

Bon Bon was very angry. I hope it’s not my fault. I didn't want to have piss off everyone I met, or in this case hadn't met yet.

After a minute a cream colored mare, who had a pink and purple mane and tail came out of the kitchen. She set a plate on the table. Prancing over to me, with a large grin plastered over her face. Dread crept into my heart.

“Why don't you come over to the table, okay Honey?” Bon Bon asked. “We wouldn't want to get crumbs everywhere, now would we?”

I shook my head and stumbled off the couch. No crumbs on the couch, that might cost me my head. My gait had improved since yesterday. I only fell over once. Climbing into the chair, which Bon Bon had pulled out for me, was a chore, though my efforts were rewarded with one of the most delicious looking half sandwich I had ever seen. Hunger had put a lens over the world but I cared not. Half grabbing, half shoving I lifted the sandwich to my mouth and began to consume it. The salted humus went well with the whole grain bread and the lettuce and tomato were very juicy.

“Lyra, dear,” called out Bon Bon. “Why don't you come out here and eat your sandwich too.”

Groaning Lyra came out of the kitchen levitating a plate on which was a triple decker sandwich filled with onions, tomatoes, olives, and pickles.

“That might be a bit overboard,” Bon Bon remarked at the sandwich.

Lyra shrugged her shoulders as she sat down across from me. She took a large bite out of the sandwich forcing a pickle to slide out from the sandwich.

“You know how much I love your humus. I just can't help but make a big sandwich when we have three flavors to choose from,” Lyra stated with a level of gravity that far out reached the topic at hand.

“Well whatever as long as you finish all of it,” Bon bon said as she returned to the kitchen. She returned shortly with a platter on which three glasses sat, filled with lemonade.

“Might want to change her glass to a metal one, Bon Bon,” Lyra said. “Alex doesn't have the best grip, she broke the last glass she tried to hold.”

I blushed. The bandage on my wrist a stark reminder of the consequences of that event. Bon Bon returned with a new cup for me and a wet rag. Finishing the last bite of my sandwich, I reached for the cup. Both hands pressed against it. Condensation formed on the cup made my attempts futile.

“You have to grip it,” Lyra said. “Just push your hoof against it and grab. All ponies have a bit of magic in them it lets them grasp things with their hooves.”

Pressed my hand, wait hoof, against the cup. Closing my eyes I saw my hand, I just grabbed with that gripping the imaginary cup with my hands and lifted. It worked. The lemonade was quite sweet, though I preferred it to be more sour. Placing the cup back down, I switched hands. Success, and without closing my eyes. A burning sensation spread throughout my hoof, I guess like all muscles I would have to practice it.

I grabbed the plate and hopped over to the kitchen. A large island filled the center of the rather large kitchen. To one side a collection of ladder racks, sat pushed against the wall each filled with sheet pans. Two fridges were on the far side, away from the ladder racks, one black and one white. A large two chamber sink each with its own faucet. In the island there were two ovens. Over the island was a large spice rack, it must have had a thousand different bottles on it.

I deposited the plate next to the sink. I don't want to break more dishes. I wish I had a stool to stand on so I could wash it.

Returning to the dining room, Bon Bon sat there sipping her drink stared dreamily at Lyra.

Patted on her leg, I whispered to Bon Bon, “Sorry, I can't reach to wash the plate.”

“Bon Bon doesn't like it when others mess with her kitchen, so I bet that's fine,” Lyra giggled.

“Really! That's because you leave huge messes behind. I wouldn't have so many issues with you in the kitchen if you would clean up more,” Bon Bon said. She turned and addressed me. “Don't worry about it we will look into getting a step ladder so you can help out if you want. I would certainly appreciate it.”

A step-ladder. She was right, I needed a step-ladder. So small.

“Can we talk for a bit, please?” I asked.

“Well of course, dear,” said Bon Bon. “Why don't we go sit on the couch?”

I scooted onto the couch, my muscles started to complain. Curling up in the center of the couch next to Bon Bon.

“Is there something wrong with me?” I asked. I knew there was lots wrong with me. I hadn't done much today and my arms already felt like lead. I think I had cried more in the last two days than in the last few years.

“Lyra. Dear, I know that you aren't finished with your sandwich yet but why don't you come over here and talk with us too, Okay?” Bon Bon told her. “Oh and don't bring your sandwich with I know you were thinking it.”

She shook her head as a the clink of plate on table told us she was right. Bon Bon started, “Now thats a hard question. I don't fully know what you mean by that. I mean physically yes you are anorexic or at least close to it. Twilight's spell may have gave you that body, but she couldn't replicate the years of practice you would have right now with that body had you been born that way. I mean it looks to me like you haven't eaten in weeks or months. I bet she just aged the body she made for you till it was big enough to function or maybe till she ran out of juice. I'm not a unicorn so I don't really know the ins and outs of spell casting but I do know that what she did there was something very special.”

“Don't sell yourself short Bon Bon, You know more than any non unicorn I have met and probably more than quite a few unicorns. With that said, I am well versed in magic, and I don't know for sure what she did. Though I think you might be right, Bon Bon. If she had just manifested your body I don't see why you wouldn't have had perfectly healthy body,” Lyra said. “But we all know that your body isn't the only thing hurt right now. We saw you jump. I can't say I understand why, and honestly I don't think I will ever fully understand why. But that’s not what’s important, really all that matters right now is that I care a lot about you. And you’re safe now.”

“We both care a lot about you,” Bon Bon said.

“Why?” I asked. “Why do you care? I don't get it. Why would you care about me? I am a human, or well I was. Is it just ‘cause I'm a pony now like you?”

“Because we do,” Bon Bon said. “You may not have asked for us to care, but trust me. We truly do. I know that Lyra cares very much for you. She risked her life to try to save yours.”

“I have an obsession,” Lyra said. “I am obsessed with Bipedals –“

“Humans,” I interrupted.

“– fine humans. I was trying to find proof of your existence. Well not yours specifically, but of humans in general. I figured that maybe you were on a different wavelength from us, you know a different frequency. So I found a way to open a one way portal to your world. It let me see into your world but not you ours. And for a while a good couple weeks I watched you.”

She paused for a second to catch her breath. She had been watching. How much of me did she see? She saw all the horrible things I did. How dare her watch? Guilt and Anger fought among themselves in me.

“I am sorry for spying. After I opened the portal I couldn't figure out how to close it. Still don't, it closed by itself when your body died on the other side. I watched as you suffered so much. I mean we couldn't hear what was going on but some of your practices mimic ours quit closely. Funerals in particular. I am so sorry for your loss,” Lyra said, tears could be seen forming in her eyes. “I wish I could have said something to you. Sent you a message so you wouldn't have felt so alone.”

“When you jumped, I was downstairs watching. Twilight had came over we were working on a way to send you a message a way to tell you that we cared. And when you jumped, I don't know I guess I felt guilty, that I had failed you by not being able to help you. I instinctively tried to save you and this is what we have now”

“Now I know that things are gonna be a bit weird for you for a while, but we would love it if you would stay with us,” Bon Bon said.

“I want to stay here with you,” I said. “You two have cared more for me than anyone back home did. I am so sorry I hurt you Lyra.” – tears streamed down my cheeks – “I just couldn't bear to be alone anymore. Melody, she was all I had going for me back there. I thought she was the one, that we were meant to be, but...”

Oh god, I miss you Melody. Pain pierced my heart once more, as the hole that had been torn out of it throbbed. I just sat there and sobbed, images of her perfect face flashing through my mind.

Bon Bon's hoof ran back and forth across my back. Her touch pushed away the pain a bit. A few minutes later I regained my composure.

Drying my tears with my hoof, I asked, “I have been crying a lot. I didn't used to cry this much. Is that normal?”

“Well to be honest I think so you've been through some pretty traumatic stuff recently. As for why more now than before, maybe because your younger now, maybe it’s just a species thing though I don't really cry all that often either so, I would say its your age,” Lyra said.

“My age? How old is this body?” I asked. “Well how old do I look?”

“Like a small child,” Bon Bon answered.

“How old were you?” asked Lyra.

“19,” I replied.

“And do your years have a 360 days, 12 months?”

“Close, 12 months, 365 days.”

“At what age are humans considered adults?”


“Hmm, I would say that if that body was human it would be 7 or so years old then,” Lyra said. “You’re just about big enough to be going to school, maybe your second year of school here.”

“Why would my bodies age matter on how much I have been crying? Even though my body is different, my mind is the same,” I asked.

“Well because it isn't. See at least based on what we know on this side. The mind is really just a bridge between the spirit and the body. So while I pulled your spirit over, I didn't pull your mind. Your body is very different now, and by extension your mind is going to be as well. So really that’s the best explanation that I have for you on that one. I wouldn't worry so much about it, you’re still the same pony on the inside, and that’s what matters right now,” Lyra said.

I asked, “Is there gender specific information I should know by this age? I was male.”

“Not yet,” Lyra laughed. “I had forgotten about that. –“ She giggled. “– You won't have to worry about that for years still.”

I blushed a little. Maybe things would be alright. At least they care. My head leaned against Bon Bon's torso, her breathing soothing to listen to.

Lyra removed herself from the couch. She stated, “Well I am gonna go finish my sandwich before it gets soggy.”

“Mm'kay,” Bon Bon said. We sat there for a while just the two of us. Not talking and doing my best to not think. It was nice to just sit and enjoy for a second. Sleep took me again.

Knock. Tock. Tick. Tock. The pendulum swung back and forth in perfect rhythm. Knock. Tock. Tick. Tock. The sound of the clock was all that filled the silence of the living room. The shadows of others left the room leaving just me alone in the room. Knock. Tock. Tick. Tock. Their departure revealed a coffin laying on a table on the far end of the sparse room. Getting up I walked over to the coffin. Knock. Tock. Tick. Tock. All but me and the coffin faded. The lid started to rattle. Knock. Reverberating with the knock the lid shook more and more till it burst open revealing a desicrated Melody, her hair had mostly fallen out and the skin was tight and gaunt on her face.

“Why didn't you Join me, Alex?” Melody rasped at me. Her hand reached out at me and grabbed me by the arm. “Why did you fail me Alex? We were supposed to be together for ever? Why Alex? Why?”

I tried to run but her icy grip held me fast. Her other arm reached up and started to choke me.

“Please, no” I sputtered out. “ I didn't mean to leave you. I am sorry,”

She paid little heed to my tears as her hand tightened around my neck. She said, “No. It’s too late for you apologies now. Now I will just take you.”

“I'm coming,” Lyra yelled, waking me from my nightmare.

I was still on the couch though Bon Bon was no longer. A large thudding noise foretold Lyra's entrance into the main hallway. I could hear faint mumbling from outside. Opening the door, Lyra said, “Hello Vinyl, and hi Octavia. What brings you over?”

“Well, we tried to visit you in the hospital but Somepony was busy,” stated an obviously annoyed mare whose voice was tinged with a more sophisticated air to it.

“Hey now, I tried but sometimes the music just needs to get out,” another mare stated playfully. “On the upside I might have finished my next album.”

“Well that’s good,” Lyra said. “I would invite you in but I have ask Bon Bon to make sure it would be fine, I don't want Alex to get sick. One sec I will ask.”

Lyra appeared from around the corner and walked back towards the bottom of the stairs. Stopping there, She shouted, “Bon Bon, Can Octy and Vinyl come in?”

More thudding, and then I could see Bon Bon and Lyra come towards the living room. Pointing at me, Bon Bon said, “She is-” noticing me being awake “-well was trying to sleep so no more yelling okay? Why don't you two come in now?”

“Thanks,” the carefree one said as she walked into view. Her mane was a strong dark blue with a few lighter streaks in it, and her fur was pure white as was her horn. She took off her large brimmed sunglasses and beamed at Bon Bon, then glanced my way. Her eyes were a striking red and there was an unmistakable wildness to them. “Hello.”

“Hi,” I whispered back. I stared at her for a second more her smile unnerved me for some reason. She was hiding a torrent of energy behind her eyes. She was gonna get me. I looked away to hide from her gaze and stared at the floor. The floor never was out to get you not really.

“A bit shy, huh?” said the white unicorn.

“Vinyl!” stated the other mare. “Please try to have some manners, won't you! I will not have you teaching her such uncouth behavior. Besides would it kill you to try to restrain yourself for once?”

“Geeze, Tavi I wasn't being that bad,” stated Vinyl, the white unicorn. “Was I?”

“Nah, well at least I don't think so,” Lyra replied as she smirked at the two guests.

Bon Bon walked over to me and nuzzled my head with hers. Her touch calmed me. She asked, “Why don't you come over and say hi?”

“Okay,” I said quietly. I slipped from the couch to the floor, tumbling as I went. I landed on my back with an humph. The ceiling was quite clean, Bon Bon must clean it frequently. Returning to the situation at hand, I returned right side up. Blushing I stumbled my way over to the rest of the group, who were busy restraining laughter, even Octavia though she did the best at stifling her mirth. Once again the floor proved to be nonjudgmental as a stared at it.

“Don't worry about it much,” said Vinyl. “I was quite the klutz at your age as well.”

“Vinyl!” Octavia stated exacerbated.

“It’s fine,” I muttered. “I know she isn't trying to agitate me.”

“Well you have an excellent vocabulary for somepony your age.” Octavia complimented me. She turned to Lyra. “Excuse my bluntness, but who is she related to, and if you don't mind how?”

“No one,” I stated dejectedly.

“Now that isn't quite true, Alex,” Lyra said, sadness tinging her voice. She turned to Octavia. “Alex is technically mine and Twilight's child. Well at least mostly.”

“Wait, when did you and Twilight have a fling?” Asked Vinyl. She eyed her friend with a look halfway between skepticism and approval. “I mean I know that magic can let two mares do that, but I don't remember you ever with foal.”

Bon Bon stepped in and stated, “I think the part you are missing really is the 'technically' part of her previous part. Lyra and Twilight made Alex with magic three days ago.”

“Twilight really did all the work I just provided a seed is all. Well and the soul I guess. Remember the person we had been watching through my vision portal. Well this is him or well her now.” Lyra stated. Her face was had a mask of guilt over it.

“Wait what happened?” Vinyl stammered. “I thought that was just a looking glass into their world. You said you couldn't figure out how to interact with the other side.”

“I jumped,” I whispered.

“What was that, Alex?” Octavia asked. “I couldn't hear you.”

Anger rushed to my head strangling reason with its ascended. I yelled, at myself more than anyone else, “I killed myself. I couldn't handle the pain anymore. I was too weak. I hurt Twilight and Lyra. This is my fault. My fault-” Tears flowed down my cheeks as I gasped for air. My voiced lowered. “-My fault. All my fault.”

I collapsed onto the floor the room spinning. My chest heaved but little air came to me, something had sucked it out of the room. Shadows stood above me with eyes glowing menacingly down on me. The shadows came closer and closer till all the world was consumed by them. Something warm touched my shoulder. Pushing away futilely the warmth gently held me. The shadows retreated though they left their eyes behind glowing at me. I cowered away from them towards the warmth and its protection. It spread across my back and wrapped around my front in strips. It became my refuge and the shadows retreated more till the world was relinquished.

Where the shadows once stood was Lyra and Octavia and Vinyl. Their faces wrought with worry. Tears ran down Lyra's face.

Bon Bon's voice softly cooed, “Shhhh, now its fine. Everything will be alright. No need to worry. I am here for you.”

I buried my head into her arms, that hugged me close to her. My worry kept at bay by her kindness.

“I am truly sorry, Alex,” Octavia said softly. “I didn't mean to upset you.”

I shook my head in acknowledgement though I didn't remove it from the comfort of Bon Bon's embrace.

“No Octavia, it’s my fault,” Lyra stated. “I should have explained to you outside. Told you what had happened. I'm sorry this is all my fault.”

“No don't get all worked up about ,” Vinyl said calmly. “I can tell that your feeling guilty for it. But I know you, and I know you tried your best. You always do. So you need to not let your own guilt hurt the situation. What happened happened, and we can't change that. Just move on, you know. Work on the future.”

“Thanks,” mumbled Lyra.

“You surprise me once again,” said Octavia. She rubbed up against Vinyl. “You are always so insightful, even if you lack tact.”

“Geeze, Tavi,” Vinyl stammered. She turned her head away to conceal her blushing face.

“Is there anything that we can help with?” Octavia asked. “I know that this must be a trying time for all of you and Vinyl and I would love to help you make it less so.”

“Is there any chance one of you three could go get food? I don't think it would be a good idea for me to leave her for now,” Bon Bon said. “It seems to calm her when I am touching her. Can't say I blame her I always want a hug when I am feeling down. Though on second thought maybe it could be you Octavia, I can trust you to go and get proper food for us. That and to not make too much of a mess.”

“Would be my pleasure,” Octavia chirped. “Why don't you two come with me?”

“Sounds fine to me, its been a while since I got some take out,” Vinyl said. “Ooo maybe we can get some Neighponesse.”

“Yeah that sounds good,” Lyra said, her voice growing more distant as she headed towards the door with the other two.

“Do you need anything else, Bon Bon?” asked Octavia from the door.

“No but make sure you get some non spicy variety. I don't know how well Alex's stomach can handle heat right now,” Bon Bon replied.

“I will,” Octavia replied. “See you in a bit.”

The door clicked close and soon their footsteps faded as well. Lifting my head I looked at the door confirming that it was closed. Safe, no one can get us now. Exhaustion crept into my limbs as I sat there in Bon Bon's arms.

“Do you want to go back to the couch, we can sit there together for a while?” asked Bon Bon. Her voice was serene, and felt like a ray of sunshine in a stormy ocean. I looked up to her and her eyes with streaks of red in them told stories of her tears.

“Yes,” I mumbled at her. “That would be nice.”

Bon Bon stood up and then helped me find my footing as well. She led me to the couch and helped me scramble onto it. Then she positioned herself between me and the couch arm. The couch was much deeper I noticed than a human couch and its back rest was quite shorter as well. Bon Bon pulled me closer to her and laid her arm across me as she did so.

“Why don't you get some rest while we wait for them to return?” Bon Bon asked.

“Mm'kay,” I replied quietly. Closing my eyes sleep over took me much faster than I had anticipated.

The door being swung open jarred me from my sleep. Looking up shadows had taken residence in the room and an orange glow sat over all of the room. Bon Bon's warmth and the sun played nicely with each other.

At the entry to the hallway, Lyra had entered carrying a bag in her mouth with a set of small saddle bags on her back, its adjustable strap compensating for Lyra's larger frame. Octavia joined her with a several more bags in her mouth. A few thin boxes encased in a brilliant red aura floating in behind them, followed shortly by Vinyl who also had two bags in her mouth.

Depositing her bag on the floor, Lyra said, “We're back!”

“What took so long?” Bon Bon asked. “Also what else did you get? I thought you were just out to grab food.”

“Well we were going to, but when we made it to the restaurant they had closed for the night. Apparently Pinkie Pie had bought all of their stock for some reason. That pony is really weird sometimes. Well anyway, you know how the pizza place is right next door we decided to grab that instead,” Lyra explained.

“Yeah who doesn't like pizza?” Vinyl asked. Her bags had been deposited next to Lyra's one. She set the pizza on the table in the dining room. “Want me to grab the plates, Bonie?”

“Would you, please?” Bon Bon replied. “Pizza does sound good. What about all the bags?”

Bon Bon slipped off the couch, having taken great care to not disturb me too much. She meandered over to the entry way. I stretched for a second before following her. Shaking the sleep from my limbs as I went. With a bit of effort I manage to walk over to the group without stumbling.

Octavia set her group of bags down next to the rest, and replied, “Pepper said that the pizza would take about an half an hour to make. So I suggested we go shopping to find some supplies to make Alex feel a bit more at home. Lyra had explained that she had just moved in today. Vinyl figured that she may want some more colorful and fuzzy blankets and such. Shopping took a bit longer than we intended after we ran into Rarity.”

“Rarity, why would running into her have made things longer? She hardly seems the kind of pony to complicate things, though I guess she is fun to talk with from time to time,” Bon Bon inquired.

“Well apparently, Princess Celestia had giving Twilight a bit of a stipend to help with Alex. Twilight had forgotten to give us any of it when we visited her this morning. Rarity had volunteered to deliver it for her sense she is supposed to be on bed rest at the moment,” Lyra responded cheerfully. “Quite nice of the princess to do this for us. Takes a bit of the stress off.”

Vinyl returned from the kitchen levitating a stack of five plates and cups. She set them on the table next to the boxes of pizza.

“Well yes but I don't think we really needed it,” Bon Bon replied. “My candy sales make more than enough to cover the expenses of an additional pony. Though I guess it is nice to have the security of it.”

I poked my head into one of the bags. A large fuzzy blanket took up most of the room in the bag. It seemed to be a dark blue with some sort of white pointy object imaged on it. I looked up at Lyra and asked, “Can I take this one out of the bag?”

“Sure, I don't see why not. Though why don't I help you with that,” Lyra replied. Her golden aura surrounded the blanket and levitated it out unfolding as it went. The image turned out to be a crescent moon on a splotch of black surrounded by a field of indigo. It was quit pretty.

“Why Luna's cutie mark?” Bon Bon inquired of Lyra.

“Vinyl suggested it, said it might ward off bad dreams,” Lyra responded. She turned to the box of pizza behind her. “So, Alex, cheese pizza or spinach artichoke?”

“Spinach artichoke if you don't mind,” I asked. I walked up next to her though the table was too high for me to see the pizza it smelled delicious. Pressure in my abdomen however told me that bathroom was a higher priority.

“Thats fine, we weren't certain what you would like so we got a basic one just in case,” Lyra explained.

Quickly I walked over to Bon Bon. Nudging Bon Bon's leg, I acquired her attention. She looked down at me, and I quietly whispered, “I need to go to the bathroom.”

Giggling, Bon Bon gently smiled at me. She turned and walked down the hallway calling after me as she went. When we got out of sight of the others she leaned down to me and asked, “Do you need help? I know that might be a bit embarrassing but I don't mind helping you.”

Blushing, I looked at the floor for a second. As much as it did embarrass me, I figured it paled in comparison to having to watch the group of them laugh at my incompetence. I replied, “Yes I would at least at first.”

Bon Bon lead me into the bathroom and explained the usage and proper hygiene of the bathroom to me and we returned to the group in a few minutes.

The others had sat down and were already eating. Vinyl and Octavia sat close to each other while Lyra had left space on either side of her. To her left a plate with a piece of pizza sat. Mid bite she motioned for me to sit there. With a little struggle I managed to climb up onto the chair and devoured the slice in front of me. The conversation had moved on to something but I wasn't paying attention eating took a bit too much effort. The slice had been large and my belly seemed full. I washed it down with a large drink of iced tea that someone had provided for me.

“So are we gonna get a chance to sit down and play the game this week?” Octavia asked. “I get it if you didn't have time.

Glancing at Bon Bon with a slightly puzzled look, Lyra responded, “Probably. Being on limited magic usage right now, I don't think I am gonna be working on any of my projects this week so yeah I am probably free. As long as Bonie is fine with it I would love to?”

“Its fine by me, dear,” Bon Bon replied nonchalantly. She glanced my way, smiling. “Did you get enough food, Alex?”

“Plenty,” I replied quietly, as a shook my head in acknowledgement as well.

“So the Temple of Darkness is nearly upon you so it would be best if you have an extra character prepared in case the worst had,” Lyra informed Octavia. “I feel you guys can handle it but hey who knows.”

“You said that about the last big dungeon and that one had not been all that bad,” Vinyl commented.

There conversation was interesting but I found my head had grown heavy. Melody would have loved hanging with these guys. I bet she would have loved the whole pony thing. Tears flowed slowly down my cheek. Jerking up, I tried to shake the fatigue from my head, not to much effect.

“Silly filly, why don't I get you to bed,” Bon Bon said having noticed my struggles.

I slowly nodded my head in agreement. A nice warm bed sounded wonderful right now. Bon Bon had picked me up and was headed out of the room when she turned and asked, “Lyra why don't you come and help tuck Alex in? Bring that blanket you got today.”

“Goodnight,” I mumbled at Octavia and Vinyl.

Lyra followed us up the stairs a smile on her face, as I stared at her with my eyes half closed. After a short distance Bon Bon put me down on a very large bed and pulled the covers over me. As lyra spread the new blanket over me, Bon Bon said, “Lyra's and my bedroom is just down the hall on the left, and the upstairs bathroom is the last door on the right, okay?”

I nodded yes.

Lyra nuzzled her head against mine, and said “Goodnight. May Luna guide your dreams to gentle fields.”

“Goodnight,” Bon Bon said. They both turned and left, lingering for a second before turning off the light.

Chapter 4

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Chapter 4
Panting I ran from a large beast again. Soon it would catch and devour me. There wasn't anything I could do but run. I was running out of wind. I could feel its breath on my back.

A brilliant flash of light turned my attention back towards the monster. The beast had been slew and stand in front of it was a large indigo alicorn. On her flank was the image on my blanket. Her starry mane flowed with the breeze never quite staying the same. She spoke with a gentle voice that calmed my heart, “No more shall these monsters plague your dreams to night little one. Sleep gently now.”

My dream faded to more pleasant things. A picnic with Bon Bon and Lyra. It was a strange yet pleasant experience.

The morning light filtered through the windows. Lazily I removed myself from under the covers. The bed had become thoroughly dismayed. For a few futile minutes, I attempted to make the bed. Giving up, I tumbled to the floor and managed to land right side up this time. I definitely needed some step ladders or something of the such. I visited the bathroom before heading to the top of the stairs.

On further inspection the stairs were not something I wanted to attempt yet. So I turned back towards my room. I had two options: wake Bon Bon or Lyra for help down the stairs or wait for them to come find me. It was an easy choice and so I waited in my room. The weather outside seemed perfect for such an early spring day. Every so often a pegasus flew past the window. Their wings surely couldn't let them fly with such ease. They were much to small for how little they were flapping.

After a short while I heard someone's ascent up the stairs. Seeking refuge from the boredom of my room, I rushed out to the stairs. Greeting Lyra with a smile, I said, “Good morning.”

“Good morning to yourself,” Lyra chirped back. “I was just coming to see if you had awoken yet. Want to come downstairs and get some breakfast?”

I nodded. I edged up to the stairs and started to step off. The stairs seem to warp and twist for a second. For a moment cars drove under me and the wind seemed to push on my out into the drop. There was a part of me that knew it wasn't real but it felt like it was. I started to wobble as I stood on the edge.

“Woah there,” Lyra said. Her voice cleared my vision and the stairs returned no longer slithering to and fro. “Do you want me to help you down the stairs?”

“Yes,” I said while nodding my head.


Lyra's magic engulfed me and she levitated me down the set of stairs. With me now firmly on the first floor, Lyra headed back into the dining room. She asked, “You hungry? You slept in and its almost lunch time.”

Her mention of food caused my stomach to rumble in consent. Following, I replied, “Very.”

Lunch today was another half of humus sandwich with lettuce and tomatoes, though the humus was garlic herb flavored today. The food here was definitely better that or my new mouth was just not used to the stuff.

“Where is Bon Bon?” I inquired between bites.

“She had to go tend her stall in the market,” replied Lyra. “She should be back in a few hours. I got a book to read for you. I am sorry we don't have much other entertainment right now but in a few days we can go out shopping for some stuff you like.”

“Reading is fun. What type of book is it?”

“A stunning tale of adventure and subterfuge. Its called Daring Do and the Quest for the Sapphire Stone. First one in a series.”

“Sounds interesting.”

“Why don't I read it to you? Might be a bit hard till you get used to your hooves, or for that mater your magic.”

I smiled at her. It must have been over a decade sense anyone had read me a book. After finishing lunch, Lyra deposited our plates in the kitchen and grabbed the book. The both of us sat on the couch as she started the book. The plot was fairly simple but engaging and soon enough Bon Bon returned home. None of the symbols that made up the book made sense, I was tempted to ask about it but didn't want to interrupt the story.

“Hello,” Bon Bon said as she entered the door.

“Hello,” I replied.

Lyra bookmarked the page and set the book down. She asked, “How was your day, Bonie?”

“Fairly slow, but I guess that's to be expected of Tuesdays. How have you two been?” She said as she joined us on the couch.

“Good,” I replied. “Lyra is reading me a book. Daring Do and some stone thing.”

“Well do continue,” Bon Bon said, smiling.

Lyra continued the story. After a bit Bon Bon excused herself to make diner. Spaghetti with large chunks of tofu in place of meatballs. With a full belly it wasn't long before I grew groggy. Not noticing in my food induced stupor, I found my self once again snuggled up in my blankets in bed.

Sleep was difficult that night, and when the morning rays woke me my head was filled with a fog. Lyra checked in from time to time, but between the haze filling my head and the coughing fits that over took me occasionally the day passed as a blur. Lunch didn't settle well and diner ending up being a simple broth with a few crackers floating soggily in it. Lyra spoon fed me both. A Lasting sleep found me later that night.

The next morning found me still coughing though the haze had lifted. Lyra spent the day with me. We finished the Daring Do book between my naps which were frequent. Lunch was more of the soup. Bon Bon brought up diner of a bean and leaf salad.

Pleasant dreams brought forth a well rested awakening. The my lungs felt clear for the first time in days and while sleep still filled my limbs a restlessness had also found its way into my body. The morning sun glared through my bedroom window. It must have still been early. Slipping out of bed I found my way down the somewhat treacherous stairs. Bon Bon was in the kitchen her hooves fast at work preparing some sort of dish. The smell of chocolate filled the air.

“Good morning,” I said from next to Bon Bon.

Smiling down on me, Bon Bon replied, “Good morning to you, too! Did you sleep well last night?”

“Yes. I feel much better now,” I said. “Can I have breakfast? I am ravenous.”

“Of course, silly,” Bon Bon replied. Pausing what she was doing she got me a pastry out of the oven and placed it on a plate. “I have to finish my prep for today, so do you want to just eat in here instead of at the table?”


The cherry filled danish was almost perfect and I deposited my plate near the sink. It was nice just to be in a place that seemed to love me. I asked, “Is Lyra up yet?”

“Not that I know of, though she should be soon,” Bon Bon said.

“I will be up in a second. Coffee first.,” Lyra joked as she walked in. She stifled a yawn with her hoof. A danish was devoured with the cup of coffee while she sat next to me. “I figured we should go visit Twilight today. She came by two days ago while you were sick but you were sleeping at the time.”

“She is out of the hospital then?” I inquired.

“Yes,” Bon Bon stated. “I think that would be great. Maybe while your there you can borrow the next Darring Do book.”

“Good idea,” Lyra said. She looked me in the eye. “Though the most important reason is that we need to get you started on magic. If a unicorn doesn't use its magic, the build up can hurt her, or in rare cases become released violently.”

“Has it been long enough for that to be a worry?” Bon Bon asked.

“I don't know,” Lyra replied. “It doesn't happen all that often. Well under normal circumstances.”

“Well the castle doesn't accept visitors till a bit later. Maybe you should get a bath, Alex?” Bon Bon asked. “Lyra could you help her with that?”

“No problem. I guess I could use one too,” Lyra replied.

Her magic levitated me onto her back and upstairs we went. The bathroom had a large tub, that looked like both Bon Bon could fit in it. Lyra filled it with hot water and some bubble bath formula that caused suds to cover the steaming water in no time. She hopped in first and then levitated me in after her. Lyra's magic gently held me upright in the tub the water being to deep for me to stand on my own. The hot water felt good, and Lyra's magic held me as she scrubbed gently with the brush. After she was satisfied I was properly cleaned she propped me on the side of the tub where I could hold on and washed herself. Shortly there after, she levitated me out of the tub and wrapped a towel around me rubbing as she went. Then she did the same to herself.

A short brushing later and we were headed out the door. Turning the corner from the house our destination became obvious, as the large crystalline tree castle came into view near the outskirts of town. How did I miss that? The town was bustling as it prepared for the day. Most of the ponies we passed stopped and smiled as we strode by. It all seemed too perfect.

“Hello,” a red maned mare said as she came to walk next to Lyra. I buried my face in Lyra's mane.

“Hello, Rose,” Lyra chirped back.

“So whose cute little filly have you stolen?” Rose asked. I couldn't tell if she was being serious or not.

“Mine,” replied Lyra shortly.

Shocked Rose stood there looking dumbstruck as we walked on without her. Lyra increased her gait and soon enough we found ourselves outside the castle gate. A pair of white stallions guarded the entrance. Each wore golden armor and were in every way I could tell identical. One of their horns glowed and the gate was lifted by a silvery aura. Lacking any seems or cracks, the tree appeared to be natural, or at least it grew here, I concluded. Inside a corridor a four more guards stood part way down leading to a set of crescent stair ways. The walls of the room were covered in bookshelves though only a few were all the way filled. In between the two staircases, Twilight sate at a desk, pouring over a book.

Walking up to the desk, Lyra stated, “Hello Twilight.”

“Hello,” Twilight mumbled her attention still in the book. After a second she pulled herself from her book. “Oh Hello Lyra-” I peeked my head out from behind Lyra's “-and Alex. Glad to see your up and about.”

“Hi,” I whispered before hiding behind Lyra's head again.

“Alex has been a bit shy today,” Lyra giggled. “So I was hopping you would have some time to help teach Alex to use her magic. I'm not the best teacher.”

“Well I do have a book on it,” Twilight replied. “Sadly, I have been summoned to Canterlot today so I don't know how much time I will have to help.”

“Well, I am just worried about magical build up, so if you can help her just get started that should be enough I would think.”

“Has she had any outbursts since she got to your house?”

“Not a one,” Lyra replied. “Is that unusual?”

“I don't know if she was a natural born baby at five days of age yes. The age she appears, not really but at this age she should at least be able to wrap her aura around objects so most fillies would be practicing allot. There is a spell in this book” -she picked one up and handed it to Lyra- “that should be able to let you read how much magical energy she has but I have been too busy with a few other things to try it out yet. Well that and I am not supposed to be doing any major spell-casting yet.”

“Well maybe I can pick it up. As long as it's not too complicated.”

A small bipedal lizard came trouncing down the stairs and said, “Twilight we have to get going since we have to take the train.”

“Thanks for the reminder Spike, but your not quite right,” Twilight said. “I got a message from the Princess that Luna is gonna come and teleport us to Canterlot.”

“Princess Luna is coming to get you personally?” Lyra asked a tinge of fear could be heard in her voice. “Is everything alright?”

“Oh its nothing to worry about but Celestia has decided that we can't have too many public visits or people might start to panic, and since Celestia has visited already once this week she figures a teleportation might help avoid such stuff. Though maybe if you could not tell anyone else might be a good idea,” Twilight rambled.

“Yeah I guess I could see all the Canterlot elite getting the pants in a twist if that occurred to much,” Lyra laughed. “Though I don't really see that happening here in Ponyville.”

“Luna should be here soon, so maybe she knows that spell,” Twilight said. “Oh Spike could you go retrieve my crown, I am supposed to bring it with when we go to Canterlot.”

“Right away,” Spike said as he hustled back up the stairs.

“Twilight, can we borrow Daring Do and the Griffon Goblet?” Lyra asked. “I read Alex the first one and she seems to like it.”

“Oh sure,” Twilight said. “It should be over-” She pointed to the second set of shelves “-there. Just make sure to bring it back when your done.”

Lyra walked over to the shelf. Many of the books looked worn. The Daring Do books themselves were quite well used, the first one in particular. I only recognized the book due to its spines image. None of the words made sense again. Lyra grabbed the second and third ones.

“Maybe we should get the third one as well?” Lyra asked.

“Lyra, why can I speak your language but not read it?” I asked quietly. The floor was my ever constant friend once more.

“That is a great question, and I have no idea. You should ask Twilight,” Lyra stated. “Why don't you go ask her while I pick out a few easy readers to help you with that?”

I slipped from her back and walked over to Twilight's desk. The eyes of the guard closest to me seemed to follow me. Circling over to the stairs, I avoided the guard as much as possible. Twilight had returned to her book and seemed thoroughly engaged in it. She would turn and explode me when I interrupted her reading or at least that was what was running through my head. Dreading such a fate I sat and waited till Twilight noticed me on her own.

Spike ran up carrying a large golden crown adorned with purple gems. The center gem resembled Twilight's cutie mark.

“Here you go Twilight,” Spiked said.

Twilight responded, “Thanks Spike, your my-”

“-Number one assistant. I know,” interrupted Spike. “Hey Twilight, I think the little one wants something.”

“Her name is Alex, Spike,” replied Twilight. Twilight pivoted to look at me. “Do you need something Alex?”

“Well, I, um...” I mumbled.

“I am sorry. You'll have to speak up I can't hear you,” Twilight said.

“Gosh, Twilight. What did you do to scare Alex so much?” Spike asked.

“Nothing,” replied Twilight. “Well at least I don't think so. So what do you need, Alex?”

Twilight knelt down to my level.

“Well, why can I speak your language but not read it?” I asked. I stared at my hooves to hide my blushing. “I used to be able to read in my....”

“The spell Princess Celestia cast on you can only impart the ability to speak,” Twilight stated. Her gaze lifted and her eyes grew distant. “I bet I could tweak it to give you reading but that would require allot of experimentation. Even with that I don't know how easy it would be to do, I have not cast that spell before. But I do know it could easily be very dangerous. The spell took away your old language didn't it? Don't normally have very many people with whom to test such a spell on. If it works you wouldn't be able to tell and if it didn't you might accidentally take someponies speech away from them.”

“Twilight, that might be a bit too much at once,” Spike commented. “No wonder you scare her.”

“No, it's fine,” I said. Gently I pawed at the floor with one of my front hooves. “How far behind on schooling does that put me? In my world people around my age can read fairly simple stuff by now.”

“A bit behind but not too much to be insurmountable. Besides you should pick it up quickly whence you get down the basics,” Twilight said. Her gaze returned to my face. “I am sorry I can't help you settle into this world more. My job has gotten a bit more demanding as of recent.”

“Lyra and Bon Bon are helping fine,” I said. My temper flared for a second till I met her gaze. Sadness was all that I could discern from her eyes.

“I didn't mean that they weren't,” Twilight said.

Lyra sauntered over to us, a pile of books floating behind her. Smiling she asked, “Did you get your answer Alex?”

“Yes,” I said. Lyra's collection of books were interestingly varied. Hopefully they weren't all kiddie books. Still as long as it wasn't Fun with Dick and Jane it should be fine.

“So I hope you don't mind but I grabbed a few more so I can help Alex learn to read,” Lyra stated. Her gaze had turned to Twilight.

“No of course not,” Twilight beamed. Happiness had beat away any hints of sadness left in her eyes. “If you need more please come by again. I don't know how long I will be in Canterlot but if I am not here, Captain Shining Spear has instructions on how to run the library when I am absent.”

“Well hopefully you won't be gone for too long. Besides I think I am cleaning you out for easy readers,” Lyra said. A tear ran down her cheek only to be caught by her hoof's wiping. “I had a naming dream last night.”

“Really,” Twilight exclaimed. “I think I did too. It was much more vivid than my normal dreams. A collection of paint buckets spilling onto a field of white over and over.”

“Similar to mine. Though not with paint, just splashes of color flicked onto a canvas over and over. Though it's weird that we both had the dream,” Lyra said.

“What's a naming dream?” I asked.

“A naming dream is a dream all expecting mothers have shortly before their foal is born. It has something to do with what their child will be good at. Helps with coming up with a name for the foal,” Twilight explained. “It is unusual for us both to have one, or for that mater that they have something to do with you, Alex.”

“In that neither of us carried you, in us,” Lyra added. She blushed at this and found a particular empty shelf to be fascinating for a bit.

“What does splashes of color have to do with my name?” I asked. I quickly alternated my gaze from Twilight to Lyra, and back.

“Well probably nothing to do with Alex,” Twilight said. “But the dream wouldn't show us what you were named simply what you are going to be good at in an abstract way.”

“My mom said she say a lyre slowly being plucked over and over again,” Lyra explained. “Hence the name Lyra.”

“I think you should think about taking an equestrian name,” Twilight said. “It may help you fit in. Besides it would also help avoid questions that you can't answer.”

“What do you mean?” I asked. Oh floor how are you today? Oh great don't mind me I just split the beans to Lyra's friends. No no, apparently not. Sorry for the mess I think I am going to be exploded now. As usual the floor neither talked back nor appeared to be judgmental.

“The Princess wants to keep your world a secret,” Twilight said. She hesitated for a bit. When the words came to her they sounded forced. “She doesn't want your past to color your future anymore than it has. Everypony deserves a second chance, and you got the most unusual of second chances.”

“I already told Lyra's friends,” I said. The floor still held my gaze.

“And I have told my friends,” Twilight said. I looked up at her, our eyes met. “You don't have to bear this alone, we just don't want ponies to ask too much about where you came from and instead just try to be your friend. So don't worry about telling Lyra's friends, I am pretty certain they understand that this is your tale to tell, and will not take that from you.”

“So what would that name be from that dream be?” I asked.

“Well my first guess would be Color Splash,” Lyra said. “Though maybe Lilac Splash, more in tune with your coat color.”

“I am notoriously bad at naming stuff,” Twilight said. “I was gonna name Spike Dragon till my brother convinced me otherwise. So don't ask me.”

“You almost named me Dragon?” Spike said. He rolled his eyes. “And I thought Spike was a bit unoriginal.”

“Sorry Spike,” Twilight said.

He just shrugged his shoulders. My mind was drawing a blank. Lilac Splash didn't seem like such a bad name, well for a pony. “I guess Lilac Splash would work, though its gonna take a while to get used to.”

“I can imagine,” Lyra said as she smiled. “Lilac Splash. Lilac Splash. Hmm Lilac or Splash for short?”

“Lilac, I think,” I said.

“Well Lilac, why don't we try to get some magic training in before Luna gets here?” asked Twilight.

Magic training did not go well. Try as hard as she might I just couldn't figure out the trick, what to feel for. Twilight to her credit didn't get frustrated, if anything the lack of progress seemed to spur her on more. She found book after book to quote from but none of them seemed to solve the problem of not knowing where my magic was. Thankfully before too long our session was interrupted.

The mare with the moon mark from my dreams can walking down the stairs. All the guards saluted as she entered.

“Twilight Sparkle,” she bellowed from the stairs. “Are you prepared for our trip to Canterlot?”

“Yes, Princess Luna,” Twilight said. “I hope coming to get me wasn't too much of a bother.”

Luna walked the few remaining feet to join our group. She dwarfed the rest of us nearly twice as tall as Twilight, and more so than Lyra. Luna said, “No bother at all. I agree with my sister that we should limit our public appearances here, so as to not arouse suspicion.”

Tilting her head to the side she stared at me with a strange intensity.

“I must commend you, Twilight,” Princess Luna said solemnly. “That is the best aging spell I have ever seen preformed. Truly miraculous. Now little one, I welcome you officially to Equestria. May your stay here be more pleasant than your previous endeavors.”

“Thank you,” I mumbled.

“Sorry to cut our visit short,” Luna said. She nodded at both Lyra and me. “But my sister waits for our return. Are you ready, Twilight?”

“Yes, Princess,” stated Twilight. She levitated Spike onto her back and place the crown upon her mantle. With a brilliant flash the three of them disappeared.

“Well why don't we get going?” Lyra asked. She levitated me onto her back and we headed back out into the town.

“Do you feel like anything in particular for lunch?” Lyra asked. Our time inside the Library had lasted longer than I thought.

“Hmm, not really what would you want?” I asked back. Food definitely sounded good just uncertain as to what.

“How about a burger? There is a place near by that makes the best black bean and mushroom burgers. Comes with a side of fried potatoes.”

“Sounds fine to me.”

Our course took a small change as we stopped at a food stand a block or so off our course. There were quite a few other vendors on avenue. The Street it was on was bustling as ponies went about getting lunch or serving it. By far it was the most amount of ponies I had seen in one spot. They had such a variety of colors though most seemed a bit more pastel in coloration. A particularly bright pink one seemed to explode when she saw us. The line for the burger stand thankfully was fairly small.

Seemingly landing from a great height the pink pony came bouncing over to us.

“Hello,” the pink one said. “Are you new to town? I bet so, and I would know 'cause I know everypony, well except you, though I guess I know you now? Do you like parties? I like parties.”

The pink one was still rambling while I buried my face into Lyra's mane. Lyra turned to the pink one, and said, “Hi Pinkie. Slow down a bit your scaring Lilac.”

“Oh right sorry,” Pinkie said. “So when can I throw your welcome to Ponyville party? I bet the whole town will show up.”

My face could not go further into Lyra's mane. The idea of a whole town showing up somewhere because of me made my body shudder. Please let the pink nightmare go away.

“Pinkie how about we talk about this later, Lilac is still feeling a bit under the weather right now,” Lyra said. She walked forward a bit.

“Okie-dookie-lowkie,” Pinkie said as she walked away.

“Two mushroom burgers with extra cheese please,” Lyra told the stand owner.

The rest of our walk home was uneventful thankfully. After eating, Lyra and I worked on learning to read. It took a bit, but soon enough I could read pretty much anything Lyra showed me, even if I was a bit slow at it. All attempts at writing though proved difficult and quite illegible. My manual dexterity would need some work.

“I'm home,” Bon Bon announced.

“Hello,” I said. I pranced over to her in the entryway. “I learned to read today. Oh and I got a new name, Lilac Splash. Twilight said that I should have an equestrian name and apparently her and Lyra had a dream about it.”

“Well that's a cute name. Are you certain you want a new one?” Bon Bon asked.

“Not really but Twilight said we should keep where I came from a secret so I guess I kinda need one then,” I replied. “It doesn't bother me all that much, though its gonna take a bit getting used to.”

“I would imagine,” Bon Bon said.

Lyra had joined us in the entryway. She kissed Bon Bon on the check. Lyra said, “How was your day?”

“Fine,” Bon Bon said. Bon Bon returned Lyra's affection with a kiss of her own. “So you had a naming dream? I think I am jealous.”

“Well maybe we can get you one,” Lyra said. Her face had the most suggestive look to it.

“Remember, we are being watched,” Bon Bon said. Lyra blushed to which Bon Bon giggled. "Besides that is already taken care of."

“Really! So, uh, whats for diner?” stammered Lyra.

“I was thinking something healthy so probably a salad of some sort,” Bon Bon said.

Chapter 5

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Over a dinner of cobb salad, Lyra and Bon Bon chatted about Bon Bon's work. My head had started to ache and I ended up finishing my dinner last that day.

After polishing off her food, Bon Bon said, “I ran into Cheerilee today. She said she could come over and help catch you up on some schooling, Al.. I mean Lilac.”

“Does that mean that I have to attend school here now?” I asked. It was a chance to do better but there was a part of it that made me not want to go back and deal with all the drama that came with school.

“I can understand you not wanting to but other ponies will expect a child of your age to be in school,” Lyra said. “Besides this way you can met some new friends.”

I took a swig from my drink. As I reached to return the cup to the table, a surge of pain spread through my head. My hoof slipped and I dropped the cup, which thankfully was metal. Water split all over the table.

“You alright there, Lilac?” Bon Bon asked.

Lyra rushed to the kitchen door and grabbed a towel with her magic. Quickly she mopped up the water.

“Its just a headache,” I replied to Bon Bon. I rubbed my temples.

Bon Bon walked over to me and placed her hoof on my forehead. She said, “Well your a little bit warm. Hopefully it will pass by the morning.”

It didn't. The dull ache had not dissipated the next morning. The mid morning sun lit my room. Lyra sat at the dining room table munching on a bagel when I made it downstairs. She had a newspaper in her aura that she was reading.

“Morning,” I said.

“Good morning,” Lyra responded. “Feeling better?”

“Not really,” I stated. If anything I felt worse, though thankfully it was just a headache. “I will be fine though, not the worse headache I have had.”

“Well I hope it gets better,” Lyra said. She folded her newspaper and set it down. “Cheerilee should be here within the hour, I have to go out today. I have a meting I need to attend, for the Orchestra. I will be back before dinner. Let Cheerilee know that you guys can have anything in the fridge for lunch.”

She got up and walked to the door. She called back, “Have a good day. Oh and if you head ache gets worse there is some pain medication in the upstairs bathroom.”

“Goodbye,” I said.

My breakfast was barely finished when there was a knock on the door. Leaving my plate on the table, I walked over to the door. I cracked it just enough to look out. There stood a purple earth pony mare who had a lighter pink hair, and a small white unicorn filly with lavender hair.

“Are you Cheerilee?” I asked. I prepared to slam the door, just in case.

“That would be me,” the purple mare said. “You must be Bon Bon's filly. What's your name, she didn't mention it yesterday?”

“Lilac,” I said. The young one was positively beaming at me.

“My name is Sweetie Belle,” stated the small unicorn. She was a bit bigger than me, though not by much. “Lilac is a pretty name.”

“Can we come in?” Cheerilee asked. She smiled at me. I opened the door all the way and let them in.

“I just finished my breakfast,” I explained. Scooping up my plate from the table, I headed into the kitchen and deposited it by the sink. Still no step-ladder. Cheerilee and Sweetie Belle were waiting for me in the dining room. “Is the table better or the living room?”

“Oh the table will do nicely,” Cheerilee said. She unclipped her saddlebags and put them up on the table. She took a seat in front of her bags. “Sweetie why don't you sit here? -” She motioned to her right “-And Lilac you sit there?”

I scrambled up into the chair on the left of Cheerilee. My hooves fidgeted while I inspected them with great intensity.

“So Lilac, how much schooling have you had already?” Cheerilee asked.

“A lot and then not much all at the same time,” I said. “I probably well educated in math, but not as much in history, or geography.”

“You have a great vocabulary,” Sweetie Belle said. Her voice was quite cute and it betrayed her eagerness.

“Yes I suppose she does,” Cheerilee replied. “What's the hardest math you have been taught? Multiplication? Division?”

“Trigonometry, with a bit of calculus,” I said. “It has been a bit since I used them though so I am a bit rusty on them, but basic algebra I have down pat.”

“Well that is an impressive amount of math for someone your age,” Cheerilee said. “You must be very good at it, to know so much at your age.”

“Yeah maybe you'll get your cutie mark in math,” Sweetie Belle exclaimed. She was practically bouncing in her chair at the thought of it.

“Maybe,” Cheerilee said. A pulse of pain ran through my head, though neither Cheerilee or Sweetie Belle noticed while they were talking. “What about history? Or other subjects such as science, or writing?”

“Nothing relevant in history, or most sciences, and my han-hoof writing is horrible,” I replied. A pulse of pain throbbed my head. Cheerilee would accuse me of trying to get out of work if I complained. Would Sweetie Belle laugh at me?

“Well that's alright. I don't think you're too far behind the rest of the class,” Cheerilee said. “In fact I would bet you may know more math than I do. We can work on your hoof work today, probably the most important skill for school.”

I nodded in agreement. Cheerilee provided parchment, quill, and ink for both Sweetie Belle and me.

“Lilac, why don't you first practice your name for a bit and then you can copy from this history book to work on two problems at a time,” Cheerilee instructed. She plopped a small book near me. “Sweetie why don't you write down all the things you want to do with your new friend.”

Cheerilee grabbed a book of her own and read, while she let us work for a bit. She would check in every few minutes to see if I need help. By the time lunch rolled around, my hoof was cramping. The headache still persisted and was slightly worse off. Doubt still stifled any complaints I had about my head.

The rumbling in my stomach interrupted my studies. I said, “Cheerilee, can we have lunch now? Lyra said that anything in the fridge was okay to eat.”

“It is about that time,” Cheerilee said as she got out of her chair. “Why don't you two come with so you can tell me what you want?”

“Okay,” Sweetie Belle exclaimed. She pranced up behind her teacher. I followed suit. The fridge was full of a jars of various spreads and a ton of vegetables.

“Sandwiches sound fine with you two?” Cheerilee asked.

I pulled out my favorite humus, and presented it to Cheerilee. I replied, “I would like one, please. This is the best humus.”

Cheerilee made us each a sandwich with the humus and a bit of vegetables.

We sat back down at the table to eat. Sweetie Belle asked, “Lilac how do you like Ponyville so far?”

“Its nice, well what I have seen of it,” I responded. “I have been sick so we haven't gotten out of the house much.”

“Well that adds a whole bunch of stuff to show you,” Sweetie said. She stared up at the ceiling and seemed to be making counting motions with her hoof.

The rest of lunch went by quickly as Sweetie Belle explained about all the various place I had to visit. Cheerilee washed the dishes afterwards and we returned to our studies. This time Cheerilee gave me an overview of history of the area. My headache continued to worsen.

“Lilac, did you catch that?” Cheerilee asked after a particularly bad pulse of pain.

“No, sorry,” I mumbled. The pulse of pain was turning into more of a constant thing. Pain had finally beaten doubt in their tug of war. “My headache has gotten worse. Lyra said there is pain medicine in the upstairs bathroom. Can you go get some? Please?”

“Of course,” Cheerilee said. “Sweetie Belle, please stay here and keep a watch on Lilac.”

Cheerilee headed upstairs to find the medicine. Sweat formed on my forehead as the room seemed to grow cold.

“Sweetie, is it cold in here?” I asked. My head grew heavy so I laid it on the table.

“Huh, no,” Sweetie Belle responded. She stepped from her chair to Cheerilee's chair. Sweetie felt my head with her foreleg. She moved her touch from my forehead to my horn. Retracting it quickly she shook it. “Your very warm, your horn hurts to touch. I am gonna go tell Cheerilee. You wait here.”

Her instructions were unnecessary. She hopped out of the chair and walked to the edge of the stairs. Sweetie Belle shouted, “Cheerilee, Lilac has a fever. Her horn is extremely hot.”

Pain surged through my body. It moved from my feet towards my head and cumulated in my forehead. I screamed. I could feel the magic burning me. I pushed it out, or at least tried. A brilliant light erupted out of my horn and then nothing.

My eyes fluttered open. The bright light stung for a second. My head felt two sizes too big. The room was similar to my hospital room, though this time the window was between the two beds. I managed to flip over without too much pain. The other bed in the room was occupied by a small white filly with lavender hair.

“Sorry,” I said quietly. My tears once again started to flow. “Sorry Sweetie Belle.”

Sweetie Belle turned my direction. She had a smile on her face. Her right side of her face was covered with a bandage. Her visible eye showed signs of having been crying. She said, “Oh don't worry I have lived through worse. There was this one time with fireworks. That one was a bit scary.”

I giggled for a second till the pain in my chest told me how bad of an idea that was. Coughing replaced the giggle.

“How are you feeling?” Sweetie Belle asked after my coughing subsided.

“Like someone took a hammer to my head, and lit my lungs on fire,” I said. “How bad do I look?”

“Well It looks like most of your hair got burnt off and they had allot of bandages over you,” Sweetie Belle said. Concern masked her face. “Rarity said she would be right back. She went to go find Lyra or Bon Bon, I don't think anyone has told them yet.”

If I was covered in this much burns, how badly had the house been hurt? Guilt added to the pain and my stomach decided lunch had not meant to be. Leaning over the bed, I heaved. After the forth one my stomach settled, and hunger, that treacherous beast, decided to add to the mix.

“Sorry,” I said as I wiped my mouth with my foreleg.

Sweetie Belle looked a bit green, but kept her composure well. She slipped out of bed onto the far side of it. Sweetie Belle quickly said, “I'll go get a nurse.”

She dashed out of the room. The door clicked behind her and I laid back down onto the bed. The tick of the clock seemed to slow as I wallowed in my doubt. Had I hurt Cheerilee too. I should have mentioned my headache earlier. What if I burnt down our house? I don't want to live on the streets. Sweetie Belle must hate me. My breathe shortened. Poor Lyra. Bon Bon. Sorry.

The nurse burst into the room. I jumped and squealed in fright. Sweetie Belle followed the nurse into the room. At first she was smiling, but upon seeing my reaction she seemed taken aback. The nurse rushed over to me and grabbed me. I struggled against her grip. My vision blurred. Her mouth bit at me. A blur grabbed my arm. A sharp pain pierced me. Blackness spread. My breathing slowed.

When I woke again the room had darken. Bon Bon sat next to me. Her hoof stroking my head, which was both painful and calming. She smiled at me. I cried.

“I was so worried,” Bon Bon said. Her tears dripping down onto my wet cheeks.

“Sorry,” Lyra said. She walked over from the chair she had been sitting in. Lyra's eyes were streaked with red. “I should have noticed the signs.”

We sat there with none of us talking for a while. Sweetie Belle was sleeping in her bed, and another white unicorn seemed to be sleeping too her head leaning on Sweetie's bed. Her mane was a darker purple but despite that the two had a striking resemblance. The dying light of the day lit the painting on the far wall. It was of a castle perched on the side of a mountain.

Ceding to the complaints of my stomach, I asked, “Can I get some food?”

“I will have to go ask,” Lyra said. She walked to the door her gaze still focused on me. It looked like she was afraid I might not be there when she returned. “I will be right back.”

Lyra exited the room. I looked back at Bon Bon. Her brow was wrinkled with worry. Bon Bon said quietly, “You need to tell us when your in pain, okay? Cheerilee said that the only time you complained about your headache was right before the outburst. I don't want to see you get hurt again.”

She laid her head on my chest muffling her gentle sobs. I patted her head with my left foreleg. I said, “I'm sorry. I'm sorry.”

My sobs joined Bon Bon's and we cried for a little while. Our tears had dried up when Lyra returned. She carried with her a tray with a bowl on it. The aroma of tomato soup wafted into the room. She sat the tray down on the bed.

“Got you some soup,” Lyra said. “The nurse said she would be up in a bit, when she finished her paperwork.”

Lyra levitated a spoon full of soup to her mouth and blew on it to cool it. She then offered the spoon to me and I took it. We repeated the process till the bowl had emptied. During my meal Bon Bon regained her composure, and pulled two of the chairs over to the bed. She watched for a bit before getting up and coving Sweetie Belle's sibling with a spare blanket.

A different nurse from my last visit entered the room shortly after my soup had ran out. She was a earth pony with a bluish gray coat, and light green mane. She had a bag with her. She grabbed the clipboard from the end of my bed and sat there reading it for a bit.

“So I am gonna need to change your bandages, and apply a new layer of burn cream,” the nurse explained. She grabbed a large wrap and jar from out of her bag and set them on the nightstand. “This will hurt a bit.”

She gently removed my bandages from my head first. The pain was reminiscent of pulling tape from your hairy skin. I had expected more. She then coated my head with a light coating of the cream and wrapped new bandages over that. She repeated the process for the rest of me. The process had been strangely exhausting.

“How bad is it?” I asked.

“It was pretty bad,” the nurse said. Concern danced in her eyes as she looked at me. “The doctor had to perform magical treatment for your more terrible burns. But the treatments are working well and quickly, so right now you probably look worse than you are.”

This visibly calmed both Lyra and Bon Bon. It must have looked quite bad.

“What about Sweetie Belle?” I asked. If I had any tears left they would have been streaming down my face.

“Her injuries were less severe. Just some light burns on her right side,” the nurse said. “The cream was all the help she needed. She should be good as new by morning.”

“What about Cheerilee? Did she get hurt?” I asked.

“Yes, she is in a room down the hall,” The nurse said. “Don't worry about her. Cheerilee isn't as hurt as you.”

“She got burnt a little when she pulled you out of the fire,” Lyra said. “I went and talked to her earlier while you were asleep. She is doing fine,”

My guilt subsided a bit. I covered my yawning mouth with a hoof. I asked, “How bad is the house?”

“Don't worry about the house,” Bon Bon said. “Why don't you try to get some sleep?”

“Yes, sleep would be a good idea,” the nurse said. She packed up her supplies, and headed out the door.

It took a while but sleep found me. My dreams were strange and incoherent and when I awoke in the morning fatigue still plagued me. The dawn had just come, and was the only source of light in the room. The shadows in the corners glared at me.

Bon Bon was slumped over my bed. Lyra was missing from the room as was Sweetie Belle's sister. The dull pain that had cased much of my body seemed to have dissipated, though only to have been replaced with an itch. Sweetie Belle slept in her bed with the most adorable face, her mouth slightly ajar, and her hair sticking up every which way. She mumbled something and flopped over in her sleep.

I carefully extracted myself from the bed, trying not to disturb Bon Bon. My bladder demanded attention. Slipping my back legs off the bed I lowered myself to the ground. Thankfully I managed to maintain my balance, successfully avoiding making much noise. The door proved more difficult to surpass. After a two tries though I managed to get it to open. Silently, I slipped out into the hall. Dim lamps lit the hallway. Each room had a sign over it, that indicated the room number. To my right there were a pair of rooms with pony symbols instead of numbers. Those must be the bathrooms. I couldn't tell which washroom was for which gender so I picked randomly. I picked wrong.

The doctor was washing his hooves in the sink when I came in. I squeed in surprise and then ran into the other bathroom. Thankfully this one was empty. I quickly finished my business. There was a shorter sink that I could reach to wash my hooves. I blushed thinking about my mistake. A small giggle escaped my mouth. I didn't think it would have taken so short of time to think of myself as a girl.

After drying my hooves I walked out of the bathroom. Thankfully the hallway was empty. I sat there for a second unsure what to do. Maybe Bon Bon had woken up and she could help me find food. I pranced back to my room. I pushed the door open. Sounds of someone moving around in the room greeted me. I smiled as I walked into the room. Bon Bon turned towards the door. Panic gripped her face. She rushed over to me, and scooped me up in her arms.

Bon Bon took a deep breath and put me down on the ground. Bon Bon said, “You scared me. I woke up and you weren't here. Where did you go?”

“To the bathroom,” I said. My head hung dejectedly. “I'm sorry for scaring you.”

Bon Bon hugged me again. She said, “Its fine just next time wake me if you need to, Okay?”

I nodded my head. I asked, “Can we go get some food? Also where did Lyra go?”

“Good question,” Bon Bon replied. She thought for a second. “I bet she got up earlier and went and got food from the cafeteria. Maybe with Rarity. Why don't we go see?”

She released her hug, and we walked downstairs On the way down the stairs, we past the doctor from the bathroom, and I blushed. The wall away from him became quite interesting till we passed him by. When we got to the bottom of the stairs I tugged on Bon Bon's foreleg. She stopped and leaned her head over to mine.

“I accidentally walked into the wrong bathroom,” I whispered. “He was in there washing his hooves. I don't really get it but it was quite embarrassing.”

Bon Bon giggled. She whispered, “Well that could be fairly embarrassing for a little filly to make such a mistake.”

“See thats the thing, I used to be the same gender as him. It's weird that I acclimated so much to being female.”

“Maybe your just over thinking it?”

“Maybe,” I whispered. We continued on to the cafeteria.

The cafeteria was a medium sized room with five tables each with four chairs. A pot of various flowers decorated the middle of each table. One wall had a large window into the kitchen with collection of empty steam pans.

Lyra and Rarity sat at one of the tables near the window. Noticing us come in, Lyra waved us over.

“Now, Darling I simply will not have you apologizing to me or Sweetie Belle,” Rarity said to Lyra. “What has happened isn't anything to make a big fuss about. Besides, as I said earlier, Sweetie Belle has been through worse scuffs.”

“I know,” Lyra said. She stared at her cup of coffee for a second before taking a sip of it. “I just feel responsible. I should have seen the signs of magical build up and taken Lilac in that morning.”

“Lyra dear,” Bon Bon said. She rubbed Lyra's shoulders. “Your being a bit silly there. This isn't anyone's fault. So no more pouting about it okay? You're going to worry Lilac!”

I stared at my hooves.

“Your right, I am being foalish,” Lyra said. She came over to me and scooped me up into a hug. “Everypony is gonna be alright. And that's what matters.”

Lyra set me down in a chair and walked over to the window. She called back, “Bon Bon, coffee?”

“Yes please,” Bon Bon replied. Lyra returned with two plates and cups. She set a cup and plate before Bon Bon and I. A slice of apple pie, still steaming, sat on each of our plates. Rarity got up and refilled her coffee cup. I still had not mastered the art of the fork and instead resorted to the tried and true shovel method. Rarity grimaced at my performance.

“Dear, do you need help with that?” Rarity asked. She looked at me with concern not contempt.

“I guess,” I said. I set my fork back down and lifted my head up from the table's edge where it had been. Rarity walked around the table next to me.

“Have you tried to levitate the fork with your magic? It might come easier to you than using your hooves,” asked Rarity. She levitated my fork in front of me.

“No,” I said. Looking away I tried to hide my shame. “Twilight tried to teach me how to use my magic but I couldn't get it.”

“Twilight, while quite knowledgeable, is not always the best teacher,” Rarity said with a bit of mirth. “She tends towards the text book explanation of things. So first you want to center yourself.”

She waited a bit while I closed my eyes and tried to calm myself. After a short bit, my breathing slowed.

Rarity then said, “Okay now can you feel your heart?-” I nodded. “-Okay well next to that is you should have a pool of magic, imagine a spring, okay now I want you to draw from that and push it towards your head.”

Finding the pool was easy, pushing the energy upwards proved difficult for a while till it slowly seemed to build in my head. It caused a bit of a pressure near my horn, which felt similar to a stuffed nose.

“Okay I think I got it,” I said quietly. My focus slipped for a second and the pressure released harmlessly, flowing back into the pool. I repeated the process, which came easier this time.

“Next you want to picture you holding the fork. Imagine an invisible hand stretching from your horn down to the fork and grabbing the fork,” Rarity instructed.

I pictured the fork floating in my grasp. Its hard smooth surface cold in my grasp. I floated the fork in my mind up to my face. Opening my eyes the real fork had mimicked the mind fork and floated before me held in a golden aura. Shocked I lost my concentration and the fork clanked onto the table below.

“Good job,” Rarity exclaimed.

Bon Bon smiled at me and Lyra seemed to be bouncing with pride. I looked up to Rarity. I said, “Thank you!”

“Think nothing of it, dear,” Rarity replied. “Sweetie Belle is having some problems with the finer points of magic. So I have been reading a decent amount of teaching manuals. One of the more unorthodox methods, visualization techniques, has been helping her allot.”

“Still thank you,” I said. I returned my concentration on my fork and levitated it into my pie. I cut a piece out and tried to scoop up the piece with the fork. This proved difficult but after a few tries I got a piece of pie. Eating this way proved to be slow going and messy. Eating the pie exhausted my pool and when it dried up I felt waves of exhaustion spread over me.

“Levitation is way more tiring that it looks,” I said. Rarity giggled.

“Its just that your magical muscles are new,” Lyra explained. “With practice it will become easier and less tiring.”

“I hope so,” I replied. “I think I might need a nap.”

Everyone at the table giggled. I got a drink from the cup, a delicious orange juice, with my hooves.

“So how bad is the house?” I asked. Everyone paused for a second.

Bon Bon rubbed my back with her hoof. She said, “Pretty bad. But nothing that can't be replaced.”

Lyra reached over from my other side and laid an arm across my back. “We had been discussing moving before you came along anyway. Now we just have the kick we needed to do something about it.”

“Lyra, and I had been discussing expanding our family,” Bon Bon explained. “So we were thinking about moving closer to the school.”

“Don't worry your little heart, dear,” Rarity said. “I will make sure that you all are well taken care of in the mean time.”

“Thank you, Rarity,” Lyra said.

“Truly, it is no problem. After all what are friends for,” Rarity said as she shrugged her shoulders. Her tone shifted from a serious note to that of a cheerful one. “Have you two picked a date yet?”

“A date for what?” I asked. I looked back and forth between Lyra and Bon Bon.

“Our wedding,” Bon Bon said. She smiled and stared longingly at Lyra. “Lyra asked me to marry her a few days before her vision spell found you.”

“No not yet,” answered Lyra. “I would kinda like to have it soon though. Vinyl is going on tour for almost a year and it wouldn't be the same without all our friends there.”

“Well just let me know if you need any help planing. I have a bit of experience at that sort of soirée,” Rarity offered. “Oh and you simply must let me make your dresses.”

Lyra and Rarity started to talk dress design. While some of the talk was interesting quickly I tired of it. I leaned against Bon Bon. My eyes closed and sleep took me for a bit.

I was shook awake by Bon Bon when Sweetie Belle and Cheerilee came to join us at breakfast. Sweetie had her bandages removed and while her pale skin was visible in spots she seemed to be fully healed. Cheerilee had a bandage wrapped around her right foreleg, but was otherwise unblemished. Lyra pulled over a few more chairs with her magic and the two sat down with us.

Rarity grabbed a slice of pie for Sweetie Belle while Cheerilee grabbed her own. Sweetie smiled at me, while she sat waiting impatiently for Rarity to return with her food.

“How are you, today?” asked Sweetie Belle.

“Better,” I replied quietly. I shifted my weight from one hoof to the other. “Sorry again.”

“It's fine,” Sweetie Belle said. “Really this isn't anything too bad. The doctor used to joke about getting me a frequent visitor card. I think one more visit and I get a lollipop.”

“If you say so,” I said. “I still feel bad though.”

“Well don't,” Sweetie Belle said. “Hey you want to make it up to me? Why don't you come to the next official meeting of the Cutie Mark Crusaders?”

“What and when?” I asked.

“Oh its just a little club that me and my friends do,” Sweetie Belle explained. “The next official meeting is next Wednesday.”

“I will have to ask,” I said. “But I would love to come.”

Chapter 6

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Chapter 6
After breakfast, Lyra, Bon Bon, and myself went back upstairs. Lyra helped me back into the bed. A third nurse came in shortly there after. She had a light blue mane and a yellow coat.

“Good morning,” the nurse said.

“Good morning, Nurse Snowheart,” Lyra said.

I smiled meekly at the nurse. I said, “Morning.”

“So we need to change your bandages, and have the doctor take a look at you,” said Snowheart. “So I will be right back he should be free now so we can pick two apples at once.”

She left and returned quickly. She carried with her the bag of supplies from last night. Following her, the doctor strode into the room. He smiled at me.

“Got a little lost this morning, huh,” the doctor joked. He chuckled. “Well anyway let's see how your burns are healing shall we.”

He levitated the bandages off of me and inspected my burns. A few places he touched me to test for pain. While not painful his touch was uncomfortable. He quickly finished his inspection.

“Well looks like it's healing nicely,” he said. He grabbed the chart at the end of my bed. “She should be fine to leave after one more application. You can take the bandages off before bed tonight. Make sure you get a bath in before you sleep tonight as well.”

The doctor left the application of the cream to Nurse Snowheart, and left the room. Snowheart was quick, and soon we were headed out the door, me riding on Lyra's back.

“We need to stop by the mayor's office,” Lyra explained. Our route was towards the center of town. On our way we passed a large open air market. This crowd dwarfed the bugger stand crowd. As far as I could tell there might have been nearly a thousand ponies out and about. I spotted Rarity and Sweetie Belle near an apple stand. Near them I saw a pink blur disappear.

“Good morning,” Pinkie pie said from the other direction from where I had been looking.

“Good morning,” Lyra and Bon Bon replied. I stared cautiously at the bouncing pony.

Pinkie looked at me directly her smile as big as the morning sun. She said, “So now I have to throw you a hurray you survived a fire party. Though I guess it may have to be your welcome to Ponyville party too.”

Bon Bon smiled at her and said, “Might as well throw house warming party into the mix while your at it, Pinkie. Though that may delay the party by a bit. We still have to find a house first.”

“Oooh, well this is gonna be a tough party to plan,” Pinkie exclaimed. Her eyes seemed to be twitching, and her left back knee was wobbling oddly. “Especially by tomorrow. Well I gotta go get planing so see you all soon.”

Pinkie Pie dashed away, into the market. My jaw seemed to have malfunctioned and I had to close it twice. A short bit latter we came to a stop out side a large three story building. The crowd of the market had not spread out this way though a large number of ponies were frolicking in the good spring weather. I looked up into the sky a few clouds hung here and there. The closest one had a rainbow colored tail hanging from it.

We entered the circular building. Inside there was a number of benches and a great number of benches, along with a stage. To the right of the stage a door with a plaque over it that was labeled MAYOR'S OFFICE stood open.

Lyra headed into the office in which a tan earth pony mare sat at her desk. She was shuffling through some paperwork. On her desk there was a plaque that was labeled Mayor Mare. She looked up at us and smiled.

“Hello Lyra,” said Mayor Mare. “And Bon Bon. Oh and that must be your new little one?”

“Hello,” I said. Her smile was quite disarming, and I felt comfortable here.

“Why don't you introduce yourself, honey?” Bon Bon asked of me.

I blushed for a second, embarrassed by my lack of manners. I said, “Sorry. My name is Lilac. Its a pleasure to met you.”

“Pleasure is all mine,” Mayor Mare said. She smiled at me then returned her focus to Lyra. “So what brings you to my office today?”

“Well as you probably know our house is no longer … functional,” Lyra stated. “I was hoping that we could find out about some alternatives.”

“Hmm, well I do have a nice list of open houses right here,” Mayor Mare said. She grabbed a small vanilla folder and handed it to Lyra. “But I have one that might be a bit more convenient option. See I have this nice four bed, two and half bath house just two blocks from the Princess' castle that I think would be perfect for you.”

On the mayor's desk a large packet with University printed on it sat on top of the paperwork. Behind that a map which looked like it might be Ponyville was laid out under that. Lyra handed the folder to Bon Bon.

“You're right,” Lyra said. “That does sound pretty good. Do you happen to know how much the owner is looking for it?”

“Yes, I do. In fact the house is currently city property,” explained Mayor Mare. “So the price is quite negotiable.”

Bon Bon sat the folder down on the mayor's desk. She asked, “Okay, so what's your angle? You are practically shoving this house at us.”

“Its simple the field behind your current house would be perfect for a new project of mine,” explained the mayor. “But I by city code have to have road access to build anything there, which with your house out of the way I could do so.”

“How about a trade?” Bon Bon asked. “We will sign over our house to the city and you sign over this other house to us.”

“Sounds like a marvelous idea,” said Mayor Mare. She pulled out another folder out of her desk and handed it open to Bon Bon. “So if you will sign here and here all of the paperwork will be in order.”

“Wait, you already signed and dated these,” Lyra exclaimed.

“Hmm, so I have,” the mayor said. Her smile was still surprisingly disarming.

Lyra and Bon Bon read the documents throughly. Lyra asked, “Are you alright with this, Bon Bon?”

“Seems like a fair deal. The pictures of the house look nice. Might even have a bigger dining room which would be nice for game night,” said Bon Bon. “I think this place will do.”

Lyra took the quill Mayor Mare had produced and signed the paperwork. Bon Bon followed suit. Lyra stated, “Well looks like you have a deal, Mayor. How quickly do you need our stuff out of the house?”

“As soon as possible,” the mayor said. “To that end I have some help for you if you want it.”

“That would be appreciated,” Bon Bon said. She smiled at Mayor Mare. “Thank you for making this a quick and painless move for us.”

“No, no,” Mayor Mare said. “I am the one that should be thanking you. This will help tremendously. Princess Luna wasn't expecting me to have anything for a couple weeks yet so I can't tell you how please she will be at my quick progress.”

“Well we have some packing to do,” Lyra said. “So talk to you later.”

We left the town hall and headed to our old home. Bon Bon said, “That mare scares me sometimes. She always seem to have something up her sleeve.”

Lyra laughed, and replied, “That she does but I guess that's why she is the mayor.”

The walk the rest of the way was nice and quiet. The house came into view when we turned onto the block. The entire dining room wall had been burnt away and so too had the room above that. Smoke stained the walls in the hallway. A notice was posted to the door. It read Condemned. Stepping inside the damage to the house became more evident. The couch was half burnt half melted and the pictures on the walls were in a similar state. The ceiling in every room was coated in a black soot. My breath shortened as we walked through the house in silence. I jumped at as the stairs creaked. I could see the flames in my mind. How they had licked greedily at the walls. Tears rolled down my cheeks. I tightened my grip on Lyra. My head darted back and forth as I imagined the flames.

When we reached the top of the stairs Lyra paused for a second. She took a hold of me with her magic and turned to Bon Bon. Lyra said quietly, “Bon Bon, why don't you and Lilac go to the new house? I can tell this is agitating her.”

“Okay,” replied Bon Bon. Lyra gently set me on Bon Bon's back. “Are you coming with?”

“No,” Lyra said. “I'll get started packing what's still salvageable. I will see you guys soon.”

Bon Bon nodded her head, and headed back downstairs with me in tow. Our walk to the new house was passed quickly. I spent most of it with my head buried into Bon Bon's mane crying. The flames still licked at my imagination.

I unburied my head when we got to our destination. The house was painted a light baby blue. The front door was a bright red. We entered the house into a large room that had a fireplace on the far right end of it. A hallway led off down the center of the house, Through an open double door was another room with a door. Windows lined both rooms walls. The walls were a simple cream but the floors were a brilliant mahogany. An ajar door, next to the hallway, lead into one of the bathrooms, the floor had been tilled in there with a black and white cheekers. The sink was vissible at the back of the bathroom. A pair of doors sat near the end of the large entry room.

Bon Bon let me down off her back and headed left through the double doors. She inspected the single pane windows. Bon Bon remarked, “Well this is a bit bigger than our old dining room, though the living room is huge compared to our previous one.”

I nodded. Bon Bon opened the door which lead into the kitchen. This one was slightly smaller than our previous kitchen but lacked an island. The mahogany floors continued in this room and the counter tops appeared to be made of granite. The refrigerator was much older looking than our old one. There were less cupboard space but more counter space. The stove was equally old as the refrigerator.

Bon Bon finished inspected the stove and had turned back my way. She stared at me for a second concern masked her face. She walked over and hugged me. Bon Bon asked, “Whats the mater, honey?”

Tears ran down my cheeks. I gripped her tightly. Her presence held the sadness at bay. I tried to speak to say I was sorry but nothing could escape my head. We sat there in silence for a while.

The front door opened and interrupted our vigil. Bon Bon carried me out into the living room. Lyra was looking at the fireplace when we entered the room. There was a small bundle near the front door.

Lyra turned and walked over to us. Tears stained her cheeks. She hugged Bon Bon, making a Lilac sandwich. We embraced for a bit, before Lyra pulled away. Lyra said, “There isn't much that's salvageable. But hey lets not dwell on that. It just means we can do allot of shopping. I know how much you love shopping, Bonie.”

Bon Bon chuckled. She said, “I do love shopping. How are you holding up?”

“Fine,” Lyra lied. Her voice was cheerful and fake sounding. “How are you two?”

“I'll be alright,” Bon Bon said. She shifted me so I could look at Lyra.

I opened my mouth but once again the words didn't come. I tried again to no avail. My tears picked up again.

Lyra patted me on the head. Lyra paced for a bit. Her vision firmly planted on the floor. Every so often she would look up at Bon Bon and me, melancholy dancing in her eyes.

Bon Bon stepped over to Lyra and laid a hoof on Lyra's shoulder. Bon Bon said, “Why don't we go shopping? At least for some food and bedding. Our savings can handle that till the insurance comes in from the house.”

Lyra nodded. She headed into the bathroom and splashed water over her face, clearing away the tear marks in her fur. Lyra came back to us. She said, “I am gonna go talk to Claim Adjuster. Maybe he can get our insurance a bit faster. Why don't you two go see if Twilight is back from Canterlot. I bet she will want to see Lilac, and she might be able to help.”

“Thats a great idea,” Bon Bon said. She shifted me from one foreleg to the other. “Will you be fine dealing with Claim Adjuster? I know he can be a bit annoying at times.”

“Yeah, I'll be fine,” Lyra replied. Her eyes were no longer clouded in sorrow, instead determination shone through. “Don't worry. We will make it through this.”

Lyra gave Bon Bon, and me another hug and headed out the door. Bon Bon started to set me down. I tightened my grip. Images of her leaving me in the house alone flooded my mind. My breathing hastened and I started to sob.

Bon Bon extracted herself from my grip and gently whispered into my ear, “There there now. I am just gonna go wash up. Then we are gonna walk over to the castle. Okay.”

She left me there on the floor my tears still flowing. Never again would she love me. I would starve, left here alone forever. I curled up into a ball and hugged my back legs.

Bon Bon picked me up and placed me on her back. I held tight, certain that if I let go that her warmth would leave. The click of the door passed us and soon the clang of a gate as well. My breathing slowed.

Bon Bon said quietly, “We're here.”

The world came back to me, and I found us standing in the library part of Twilight's Castle. One of the guards from earlier was making his way up the stairs. After a bit he returned to the main floor. He said, “The princess shall be down in a moment.”

The guard then returned to his station. True to the guard's word, Twilight Sparkle came down the stairs a short bit later. A smile was plastered on her face, though when she got closer it disappeared. When she reached us, Twilight asked, “What's the matter? What happened?”

“Lilac had a magical outburst,” Bon Bon replied. Her voice resonated with sadness. “It cause a fire in our house. Lilac got burnt pretty badly. Thankfully Cheerilee was there and got both her and Sweetie Belle to safety.”

“I am so sorry,” Twilight said. “Is there anything I can do to help?”

“I hate to ask this of you,” Bon Bon said. Her head fell in shame. “Most of our belongings were destroyed or badly damaged in the fire. We talked to Mayor Mare and have worked out a deal for housing but right now we don't really have anything else save for a roof over our heads.”

“Don't worry about any of that okay,” Twilight demanded. “I have plenty of funds left from rebuilding the town after Tirek. So just tell me what you need, and I will make sure you get it.”

“I will pay you back for your help,” Bon Bon insisted. Her head no longer hung low.

“Don't worry about it,” stated Twilight. “Princess Celestia told me to do as I please with the left overs from the rebuilding. Also you and Lyra are taking care of my child. A task I wish I had the time to do myself. I will not hear a word about repayment.”

“Thank you,” Bon Bon said. She looked back at me her eyes tearing up and then back at Twilight.

“Have you eaten anything yet today?” Twilight asked.

“We had a small breakfast but that was all.”

“Well lets go fix that. Captain Spear, would you mind watching the library while I go out for a bit?” Twilight asked of one of the guards.

“Of course not, Princess,” replied the captain.

Twilight bowed her head towards the guard. She then led us out of the castle. Twilight asked, “So anything in particular that sounds good?”

“Not really,” Bon Bon replied. We exited out the gate. The sun was nearly directly above. “I am not all that hungry.”

“Well maybe something will catch our eyes on the way. Where is Lyra by the way?” Twilight asked.

“Dealing with Claim Adjuster,” replied Bon Bon. Her distaste for the stallion was readily apparent on her voice. We had passed the burger stand.

A large building with a pizza sign on it came into view. Twilight paused for a second. She asked, “How about a slice of pizza?”

“Lilac did seem to like the last pizza we had,” Bon Bon said. She glanced back at me. I continued to stare blankly at things. My mind was fuzzy and felt empty.

The pizza place had a few customers in it eating though no one in line. Twilight walked up to the counter and asked the unicorn mare behind the counter, “What do you have on slice?”

“Cheese and dandelion,” the mare said. She had a pale yellow coat and bright red hair. “If you want anything else I can have it made in a jiffy.”

“Thanks, Pepper,” Twilight replied. She looked at Bon Bon and me. I could see the sadness in her eyes. Twilight was trying to hold it back but it still shone through. “So do either of those sound good?”

Bon Bon took a deep breathe. The smell of melted cheese and pizza sauce filled the room. Bon Bon replied, “Cheese sounds fine to me, and I don't think Lilac will mind that.”

I nodded my head slowly. Twilight turned back towards Pepper, and said, “So three slices of cheese, please.”

“Coming right up,” Pepper said. “That will be 3 bits.”

Twilight's horn lit up for a second. With a small pop a small bag appeared floating in her aura. She extracted the money and handed it to Pepper. Pepper handed over three plates. Twilight lead us over to an empty booth. Bon Bon untangled me from her back and slid me into the booth. She joined me on the bench. Twilight sat opposite of us.

Twilight and Bon Bon ate their slice of pizza in relative silence. The bell that hung from the door rung and two mares walked in.

“-On an empty stomach,” Vinyl said. “Besides maybe we should get one to go that way we can cheer them up with pizza.”

“Vinyl, Pizza is not a fix all,” groaned Octavia. They walked up to the counter and Vinyl started ordering a monstrous pizza. Octavia sighed and looked around.

Noticing us she pranced over. She smiled at us concern dancing in her eyes. Octavia said, “Hello. We have been looking for you. Went over to your house for game day to find it nearly burnt down. As you can imagine I may have panicked a bit.”

“Sorry,” Bon Bon replied. “I had forgotten about the game. Had other things on my mind.”

Octavia giggled. She said, “Of course you did. How are-” Her gaze fell on me, and my bandages. “-Oh dear, Is Lilac alright?”

“She got caught in the blaze,” Bon Bon said quietly. “The doctors did a good job and said she could go home today.”

Twilight had finished her slice of pizza. She scooted over in the bench and motioned for Octavia to sit down with us. Taking notice of my plate, Twilight said, “Lilac you haven't touched your pizza. Are you not hungry?”

I continued to stare blankly at the wall. Bon Bon leaned over to me and said, “Lilac, you need to eat. I understand that your probably not very hungry right now but why don't you just try your pizza.”

I looked up at Bon Bon. Tears once more flowed down my cheeks. I opened my mouth to talk but still no words came. I leaned up against Bon Bon and hugged her tightly.

“She hasn't talked since we went to the house this morning,” Bon Bon said. With her free foreleg, I had pinned the other one, She grabbed my slice of pizza. She held it out to me and I took a bite. “I don't know whats wrong.”

“I think its shock,” Octavia said. “Maybe we should go talk to Doctor Clear. Maybe she can help. Though I think her office is closed today.”

Bon Bon continued to feed me. Vinyl had finished ordering her pizza and came over.

“See I told you they were alive,” Vinyl said to Octavia. “Though I guess we only found two of them.”

“Vinyl, please remember your manners,” Octavia said. Her grin was twisted and murderous. “How long till your pizza is ready?”

“Pepper said she could have it done in about half an hour,” Vinyl said, completely unphased by Octavia's death glare. “So sorry about the house. I am gonna miss that old table.”

“Thank you,” Bon Bon said. She offered another bite to me which I took. “I will miss the table, too.”

“What can Vinyl and I help you with?” Octavia asked. “Your welcome to stay with us for the time being.”

“Lyra and I have already found a place,” Bon Bon explained. Bon Bon took a large bite of her own pizza leaving just the crust left. She offered me another bite of my pizza. The pizza was quite good. “Thank you for the offer and we may have to take you up on that if we can't find bedding for the night.”

“We are out shopping for necessities,” Twilight said. “Food was our first stop.”

“Well what else do you need?” Octavia asked.

“Well beding, food for the house,” Bon Bon stated. She moved further into the bench allowing Vinyl to sit with us. “My mind is drawing a blank. Sorry.”

“No its fine why don't we just get those to covered and work from there,” Octavia suggested. “Vinyl why don't you go tell Pepper that you will be back to pick up the pizza in a bit, and then go tell Lyra what we are up to. Then the two of you will met us back at Bon Bon and Lyra's new house. Okay?”

“Sounds like a plan to me,” Vinyl responded. She got up and talked to Pepper.

Bon Bon presented my pizza to me again. My stomach felt full so I just shook me head. She placed the remainder of the slice on her plate and gathered the trash. Bon Bon asked, “Are you ready to go, Twilight?”

“Yes,” Twilight responded.

Octavia and Twilight slide out of the bench. With a bit of effort, Bon Bon managed to do the same without dislodging me. She placed me on her back and we headed out the door.

“Come again,” Pepper called from behind the counter.

Vinyl came out of the building last. Vinyl gave Bon Bon a quick hug, and kissed Octavia on the cheek. She stated, “See you guys in a bit. Have fun shopping.”

We all said our goodbyes, and headed off towards the center of town. Many ponies were busy selling their wares, while others seemed content to take a lazy day in the sun. Quite a few of them stopped and waved at Twilight as we passed.

After a short bit we made it to a large building with a large round sign hanging off of it. The sign read Sleepy's Furniture. Large windows on the front of the building revealed a number of beds arranged for display inside the large main floor. The inside was well lit and a dark blue stallion could be seen sitting on a stool near the back.

Twilight paused for a second outside the furniture shop. She asked, “Bon Bon do you mind if we make multiple stops? I'd prefer to not shop at Filthy's Bargain Barn right now.”

“I don't mind,” Bon Bon replied.

Twilight lead the way into the shop. On the right of the door a number of beds were spread about. To the left a number of couches and coffee tables. Seeing us enter the store clerk got up and sauntered over. He was a pegasus with a black mane and tail. He was tall and lean.

“Welcome to Sleepy's,” said the stallion. “My name is Active Pants. My father is taking a day off. Anything you need help with?”

“We are looking to pick up some furniture,” Twilight explained. “I know that we need at least two beds and probably a few other things. Bon Bon?”

Bon Bon looked over the beds to our right. She asked, “What do you have in princess size?”

“Right over here are our largest beds,” Active Pants said as he lead us over to the far front corner. “We have both spring and foam mattresses. And all of our bed frames come in multiple colors.”

Octavia started to wander around the beds, making her way towards the couches. Bon Bon inspected the closet of the three large beds. It was a foam mattress over a metal spartan frame.

“Bon Bon do you have preference on mattress type?” Twilight asked. She inspected another bed which had a large four post frame.

“I know that Lyra prefers foam ones,” Bon Bon explained. “Personally it doesn't mater to me much. Are all the mattress enchanted with a durability charm?”

“Yes they are as is all of our furniture,” explained Active Pants. “Should prevent any wear and tear for at least a year or two.”

Bon Bon moved to look at the third bed. It had a more simple wooden frame that had a stained finish and sported moon motifs. Bon Bon asked, “Twilight what do you think of this one?”

“Seems nice to me,” Twilight said. She looked at the frame for a second. “It has nice craftsmanship, but really I am not much one for picking based on ascetic. Do you like it?”

“I think so,” Bon Bon replied. She gently shook the bed. “I think I like this one the best.”

“Well we will take that one with a foam mattress,” Twilight said. “Can we get that delivered?”

“Of course,” Active Pants said. “We have free next day shipping or for a nominal fee we can have anything you purchase delivered today.”

“Today would be best,” Twilight said.

“Do you have any shorter frames for twin size mattress?” Bon Bon asked. She scanned the room. Octavia had made it over to the couches and was currently trying out a love chair.

“Yes right this way,” Active pants said. He lead us further back into the shop to a small frame which was just a two feet off the ground. “This is the only one we have in twin size. We do also have some more foal friendly beds” -He pointed over towards the left back corner- “over there.”

“Well what do you think, Lilac?” Bon Bon asked.

The frame was a simple wooden frame that lifted the bed a few inches off the floor. It was made of a dark brown wood and was painted white. There was a head rest that raised about three feet up from the bed.

Not even bothering trying talking I nodded my head. The bed seemed nice and I liked that it was short enough that I could get in and out of it on my own.

“Well I think that means she likes it,” Twilight said. “So we will take that two also with a foam mattress. Hmm can you take us to your dining room table sets?”

Active Pants lead us around the store first showing us to the table sets of which there was a small selection of. Bon Bon selected a nice large square one which could fit eight comfortably. We then picked out a couch and bookshelf. The couch was a fuzzy green corduroy, that could sit three. And the book shelf was a tall cherry wood with seven shelves. Twilight had insisted on getting a shelf.

Octavia join us after we picked out the shelf. Twilight suggested we go look at the foal section while she paid for the furniture. The foal selection had a variety of shaped beds, including one that looked like a lightning bolt and another that seemed to be Darring Do themed. There was also matching dressers and nightstands.

Twilight returned and we said our goodbyes to Active pants. We then headed out of the shop. We headed off to our right. As we walked the others engaged in small talk. I didn't pay much attention to them. Soon enough we came across another store. This one had a large sign that read Towels and Blankets. The windows were very opaque and tinted blue.

Twilight entered the building holding the door open with her magic. Bon Bon and Octavia followed her in. The room was filled with shelves with a large selection of towels on each. The shelves formed hallways which ran front to back. At the end of the entry hall way a old mare sat behind a counter. She was engrossed in her stitch work. She had silvery hair and a pale yellow coat.

After a short while Bon Bon picked out three towels, one green, one beige, and one purple. Towards the far left of the room there were racks of blankets and quilts. There were incalculable number of designs and patterns. Bon Bon picked out a set of blankets in princess size and then sat in front of the fuzzy blankets.

“Lilac really liked the previous blanket we got,” Bon Bon explained. “It had Luna's cutie mark on it.”

They had a similar one to my old blanket but also one that depicted a sun mark and a green heart. Twilight's cutie mark was also among the blankets.

“It is still weird to see blankets with my cutie mark emblazoned on them,” Twilight stated. She felt the one with her mark on it.

“Well if you want we could get that one for Lilac,” Bon Bon joked.

Twilight blushed at the comment. She started flipping through all the fluffy blankets looking for another one to suggest instead. Finding one that struck her fancy she proffered it for examination.

The blanket was a soft mint green blanket without any images on it. Twilight held it close enough that I could feel it. This one was softer than the last one and was a bit thicker. I rubbed my head against it.

“So I think thats a yes,” Twilight stated.

I nodded my head.

Twilight grabbed matching sheets and we paid and headed out the door. We paused for a second outside of the shop. Twilight carried the bags from the shop.

“Thought of anything else you need for the house?” Twilight asked. She had turned to look at Bon Bon. “Out side of food.”

Bon Bon pawed at the ground for a second, while she stared off in the direction of the castle. It had been nearly an hour since we had left the pizza place. Bon Bon replied, “Not right now. I am certainly forgetting something but I would like to get back to the house soon.”

“Well that's fair,” Twilight said. “I bet today has been tiring.”

We headed off towards the market. The roads became more crowded as we went and soon enough we hit the packed market. Bon Bon went and picked out some simple ready to eat vegetables and fruits. We came to the apple stand.

“Good afternoon, Twilight, Bon Bon, Octavia,” said a orange mare. Her hair was long and blonde. She had a cowboy hat on. “Need some apples?”

“Hello, Applejack,” Twilight said. Twilight motioned towards me. “I want to introduce you to Lilac, you know the filly I told you about a few days ago.”

“Welcome to Ponyville,” Applejack said. “So what brings the lot of you all out together today?”

“Shopping,” Bon Bon replied. “Our house burnt down and Twilight here is being very generious. Helping us get back on our feet.”

“Well here let me get you a bunch of apples, on the house,” Apple Jack said. “Won't ever be said that an Apple doesn't help those in need.”

Applejack handed Bon Bon a bag bulging with apples. There must have been at least a dozen apples in it. The bag was made of a cheap burlap.

“Thank you,” Bon Bon said. She bowed her head slightly.

“Ain't a problem,” Applejack said. She glanced over me, her eyes resting on my bandages. “Hows your little one doing?”

“She a bit traumatized,” Twilight explained. Twilight glanced my direction for a second before returning her gaze towards Applejack. “But physically in decent health. Just a few burns.”

“Well thats a good thing,” Applejack said. “Well you lot look a bit tired. So don't let me hold you up. Have a good night.”

Octavia trotted over a new bag added to her collection. She said, “I found some of the bread Lyra likes.”

We left the apple stand behind and finished our grocery shopping. The return trip to our new home was thankfully a quick one. Vinyl and Lyra were both there already.

“Hello,” Lyra said to us as we entered the house. Lyra hopped up and hugged Bon Bon. “How was shopping? Get anything good?”

Bon Bon extracted herself from Lyra's hug. Setting her bags down, Bon Bon said, “Yes. Just some of the necessities. Some furniture should be delivered soon.”

“Well that's good,” Lyra said. Her magic graspped me and Lyra pulled me into a hug. “How are you feeling?”

I cried and shook my head. I gripped her tightly as I burried my head into her shoulder.

Octavia and Twilight had entered behind us and set there bags down next to Bon Bon's bag. Twilight stepping out of the way for Octavia looked over the room. Octavia grabbed the groceries and asked, “Where is the kitchen?”

“Through that door,” Lyra said as she pointed towards the kitchen door. “Thanks for being here, Octavia.”

“It's what friends are for,” Octavia responded. She and Vinyl headed off into the kitchen.

Bon Bon rummaged through the bags from Towels and Blankets. She extracted the mint green blanket and wrapped it around me. She then placed me off to one side near the big front window.

The first load of furniture showed up as Octavia had finished putting away the groceries and had returned to the living room. A large burly earth pony stallion came up to the door. His coat was a deep blue and he had sky blue hair. He knocked twice in rapid succession.

Lyra opened the door. He smiled as she did. The Stallion said, “Furniture Deleivery for a Ms. Bon Bon.”

“Your at the right place,” Lyra said. “Do you need her to sign for it?”

“Yes,” the stallion said. Bon Bon got up from next to me and walked over to the door. The stallion produced a clipboard and pen, on which Bon Bon signed.

He shouted back out to the cart that was parked out front of the house, “Bring em up boys.”

The stallion then walked back towards the cart to get a load for himself. The first load was the princess size mattress which was being levitated by a pink unicorn stallion he had dark red hair. His aura was a light blue as was his eyes. He paused for directions when he got into the house. Lyra led him down the hallway. The next load was the couch, carried by the blue stallion and a green pegasus with bright blue hair. Bon Bon indicated them to place it down in the main room opisite of me.

Returning from the hallway the pink unicorn headed out to get another load returning with the other mattress which he took down the hallway again. The table and chairs came next followed by the bookshelf and then the bed frames which were in pieces. The blue stallion offered to put the frames together but Twilight said she could do it. The delivery crew bid their farewells and Twilight disappeared down the hallway.

I fell asleep while the others started to chat about their game. I was awoke by Bon Bon. Octavia and Vinyl had left by that point but Twilight had remained.

“Lyra told me that Rarity helped you find your magic this morning,” Twilight stated. She had been standing near me when Bon Bon had shook me awake. “I was hoping I could help you practice your telekinesis.”

I gave her a puzzled look. Telekinesis? I stood up and streeched the sleep out of my limbs. I turned my attention back at Twilight waiting for her to give me instructions.

“Well how about we try to play catch?” Twilight asked her voice was filled with uncertainty. My lack of speech seemed to be affecting her. She grabbed one of the empty bags with her magic. She concentrated for a second. Her horn's glow brightened for a second and the bag transformed into a ball. “Here this should be fairly easy to use and light enough to not break any windows.”

She tossed the ball at me. Instinctively I grabbed it with my hooves. It was a squishy foam ball that was colored a bright orange. Setting the ball on the ground I gripped it with my magic. Shakily I lifted it up to my eye height. I pushed the ball away with my magic and then let go. Only to watch the ball gently fall to the floor.

Twilight giggled for a second. When she regained her composure she said, “Nice try, but you have to push and let go at the same time to get it to throw. Also loosen your grip a bit I could tell that you were holding it tighter than you needed, the ball was deflated a bit while you were grabbing it.”

She grabbed the ball with her magic and tossed it back at me. This time I tried to grab it mid flight with my magic. My magic surrounded the ball and squished it down in size. The ball slipped through my grasp though and came pummeling into my face. Thankfully it was made of foam.

“Nice try,” Lyra said as she came into the room from the kitchen. Bon Bon was sitting on the couch watching us and Lyra joined her.

I picked up the ball with my magic once more this time trying hard to not squeeze to hard. I tried to throw the ball again. This time I was slightly more successful and manage to get the ball halfway between Twilight and myself. Twilight deftly returned the ball to me which I caught with my hooves again.

My third attempt at throwing the ball was much more successful though with much to much power. The Ball soared through the air and would have gone much to far if Twilight had not caught it with her magic. The throwing was starting to wear on my magic reserves and sweat formed on my brow.

“Much better,” Twilight said. She smiled at me and joy filled her eyes. “Though I think we should call it good for the day. Your magic reserves seem a bit low right now, which isn't all to surprising. Lyra you may want to feed Lilac some mana rich foods, so zap apple jam or any Moon Cactus dishes would be good.”

“I have never had moon cactus,” Bon Bon said. “How does one normally prepare it?”

“I am not certain on all the little details of cooking it. Not much of a cook myself,” Twilight said. “But every time I have had it it was baked into a quiche. I may have a book on it at the castle.”

I walked over to Twilight and gave her a hug. I whispered, “Thanks.”

Twilight embraced me back. She asked, “Are you feeling better now?”

“Yes,” I said. “A bit. Thanks for helping me find my words again.”

Chapter 7

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Chapter 7
Twilight had teleported to the Neighponese restaurant to get our dinner. While she was gone Lyra show Bon Bon and I the rest of the house.

The furthest door in the living room lead to a staircase that led to the unfinished basement. We didn't visit the basement. The door next to that opened up into a office or library. The walls on the far and near side of the rectangular room had built in bookshelves. The bare walls were painted a pale blue. A single light was fixed to the ceiling.

We then headed down the hall way. On the right the first door was to Bon Bon and Lyra's room. It was nearly the size of the living room though a bit skinnier. It had two doors in it as well. One lead to the full bath on the downstairs floor and the other to a walk in closet. The walls in the master bedroom were painted a dark maroon. The mahogany floors continued through the room. There were two light fixtures on the ceiling of this room.

The bathroom had the same black and white checker tile from the other bathroom and a dark blue paint on the walls. There was a large tub that may have been big enough for all three of us to have sat in. A shower head came down from the ceiling and a curtain could be drawn around the tub.

Across the hallway from the master bedroom there was my room. The room had the same flooring as the rest of the house, save for the bathrooms, and had creamy yellow paint on the walls. There was a large window directly across from the door but otherwise the room was fairly simple. My bed had been set up to run parrel with the hallway and could be gotten into from both sides.

The hallway turned leading to some stairs. At the bend there was a door leading into the bathroom. Upstairs the Mahogany continued still. The hall way ran back down the back side of the house about half way before turning inwards three doors two on the left as we headed towards the front of the house and one on the right.

The door on the right led to a bedroom which appeared to be situated above the kitchen and my bedroom. This room was painted creamy yellow as well. The room had two windows. The door directly across from that lead to another bedroom painted in the creamy yellow of the other bedrooms. It had a walk in closet.

The final door which was closer to the stairs than the bedroom had been lead to another full bath. The bathtub in this one was a bit smaller though not by much. This room had the checkerd floor as well.

The hallway opened up into a large common area. This comon area streeched the whole width of the house and was easily the largest room in the house. The walls in both the hallway and this room were painted a unassuming cream. There were a number of windows on the wall that was the front of the house as well as one on either end of the room.

Our tour complete we headed back downstairs to wait for Twilight. I was given a quick bath. Conviently she returned just a short bit after we had settled down on the couch. She appeared in much the same maner as she had left in. A brilliant flash of light and then out of nowhere Twilight was standing there.

“Hello,” Twilight said. “Hope I didn't take too long.”

Lyra shook her head at the comment. She said, “I think you were gone for less time than it would have taken me to walk there. Just there not back as well. You have gotten pretty good at teleportation.”

“Can you teleport, Lyra?” I asked. That was one magic I felt I absolutely had to learn how to do.

“Maybe a few feet,” Lyra replied. “My talents lie more in telekinesis or auditory illusions. I am still uncertain how I manage to cast the sensor spell that found you.”

“I have a few theories on that one but I haven't had the time to test them yet,” Twilight said. Her smile was hiding something but I couldn't tell what.

We headed over to the table which had been set up in the dinning room. Twilight handed each of us a take out box which seemed reminiscent of the ones in Chinese restaurants. The dish was some sort of rice dish with a mild curry sauce with chunks of tofu in it, as well as some larger chunks of carrots and other vegetables. Twilight also offered us a sweet pastry in the shape of a ring. The pastry had been fried in sesame oil and was quite flavorful. The sauce was a bit milder than I probably would have ordered but was good none the less.

“Did you like your dinner?” Lyra asked. She smiled in my direction.

“Yes,” I said quietly. I washed down the after taste with a large drink of tea. Which was a generic black tea slightly sweetened.

“I was worried it might be too spicy for you,” Lyra explained.

“If anything it was a bit too mild,” I remarked. A smile found its way across my face.

“Well, I am gald you like it,” Bon Bon stated. “Maybe I can make some like it for dinner again later.”

I had been tired before our meal but I felt recharged. The food aparently had been just what I needed. I picked up the ball from earlier, grabbing it with my magic. The pool was larger than it had been earlier in the day.

“Did my dish have moon cactus in it?” I asked. Maybe that was what one of the vegetables had been.

“No, I don't think so,” Twilight said. She inspected the remainder of my box. “Why do you ask?”

“My magic pool is refilled,” I stated. I was starting to get giddy. It felt like I had several energy drinks. “I think its bigger.”

Twilight looked at my shaking form then turned her gaze towards Lyra and Bon Bon. Apologies were dancing in her eyes. Twilight said, “There may have been Dragon Spine carrots in her meal.”

Confusion masked Lyra's face. She said, “What? Dragon Spine carrots?”

“They are a magical variety of carrots from the Dragon Spire mountains,” Bon Bon explained. “They are very high in mana, and are known to give unicorns large boosts in energy. I have used them in a few specialty candies once.”

“Normally they are too strong for foals,” Twilight said guilt mixed in her vioce. “They tend to have an extreme reaction. Sorry I didn't think about the carrots when I asked for a healthy meal for her.”

I had gotten out of my chair and was jittering next to Lyra's chair. Lyra looked down on me, I stared back my eyes bulging. My heart was beating a tad fast and excitement filled me.

“Well I guess we could play catch again,” Lyra said. She tried to smile at me. Lyra gave Twilight a death glare for a second but got out of her chair. “Why don't we go into the living room to play, okay?”

“Okay,” I exclaimed. I ran into the living room.

Lyra was much slower at getting into position so I paced back and forth waiting for her. It was fun to watch the ball shrink in my grasp as I pushed a bit harder only to let it inflate back out to full to squeeze again. Lyra had gotten into position and I tossed the ball her direction. My aim was horrible but the ball sailed the length of the room. Lyra catched it with her magic. Her return throw was much better aimed and I only had to jump a bit to grab it with my hooves.

We played for what seemed like hours though the ball had only passed between us maybe twelve times. My endless bound of energy had proven to not be endless. My pacing had stopped half way through our game and soon enough I was laying on the floor listly throwing the ball back at Lyra.

“You crashed fast,” Lyra said. She walked over to me and I simply nodded at her remark. “Why don't we go lay on the couch now?”

I stumbled over to the couch and with a bit of help from Lyra settled down in the middle of the couch. It was very soft. Bon Bon and Twilight, who had cleaned up dinner while Lyra and I played, join us in the living room. Bon Bon sat down in front of my head and I rested my head on her forelegs. Bon Bon nuzzled my head with hers.

Twilight had brought a chair in from the dining room. She sat down across from us on her chair. She smiled at me, and I sleepily returned her affection.

“Oh I almost forgot,” Lyra said. She stared intensely at Twilight. “We need to get Lilac's paperwork in line. Claims Adjuster said that without identifcation documents for Lilac that the insurance will likely not pay.”

“I can see how that would be a problem,” Twilight said. She stared into space for a second before continuing. “I will have to ask Celestia about what we need to do to fix that. Though it will likely require a visit to Canterlot. I have one planed for Tuesday, probably will be easier if all three of us are there.”

Bon Bon seemed sad for a second. She stared down at me for a second before laying her head down next to mine.

“I guess we can do that,” Lyra said. She reached over me and pet Bon Bon's head. “Do you want to come, Bon Bon?”

Bon Bon just sat there for a bit. She lifted her head up. Bon Bon said, “I would. Tuesday's are always a slow day at the candy stand. So I won't be missing too much sales.”

A large yawn escaped my efforts to prevent it. The lids of my eyes had become heavy and I tried to keep them from falling. Bon Bon giggled at my attempts.

“Why don't we get you to bed?” Bon Bon stated. I simply nodded, to tired for words. Sleep sounded wonderful. “Well say goodnight to Twilight.”

“Good night,” I mumbled to Twilight. I stumbled off the couch. I tried to walk towards the hall way but was grabbed by a purple aura.

Twilight scooped me up and gave me a large hug. Twilight said quietly, “Good night and sweet dreams.”

Twilight relinquished me into Lyra's grip and we headed off to bed. I didn't make it to the bed before sleep took me.

Flames licked at my feet and head. I could smell the aftermath of the burns. The sickly smell of burnt hair. In the distance I could see a group of ponies crying to me. They called for my help, for me to stop the flames. To save them. I ran faster urged on by the sound of their pain. I reached out to grab Bon Bon but my hoof was made of fire. Bon Bon screamed as my hoof burnt her leaving behind a patch of fire. The fire was spreading and everything I tried to stop it simply spread the flames more. Soon her form was no more. I screamed.

Waking with a jolt I could hear hooves scrambling towards me. Lyra burst into the room to find me sitting up in my bed sobbing. She rushed over to me and hugged me. I squirmed in her grasp. She too would burn if she touched me.

“Fire, Fire everywhere,” I muttered. The flames still danced in my vision.

“It was just a dream,” Lyra whispered into my ear. “Its alright. It was just a dream.”

Bon Bon came into the room. She shook sleep from her head. Bon Bon said quietly, “Another nightmare?”

Lyra nodded at her and continued to gently rub my back. Her movement did its work and I started to clam down. Bon Bon joined in on our hug. Soon enough their warmth did its job and sleep returned to me.

The mid morning sun filtering through my window finally woke me. I groggily visited the bathroom before looking for Lyra or Bon Bon. There was knock at the door. I walked over to door and stood on my hind legs in an attempt to see through the window on the door. A pink blur seemed to be bouncing up and down on the other side. I shuddered for a second. Something was off about Pinkie Pie, though I couldn't really tel what.

Pinkie knocked again this time a bit louder. I slowly opened the door half way and looked up at the pink mare.

“Good morning, sleepyhead,” Pinkie Pie said. Her smile was as large as ever and she figited in excitement. “Are Bon Bon or Lyra home? Well more likely Lyra.”

“I don't know,” I said. I looked back into the house. Hopefully one of them was but I couldn't tell from here. “Maybe I can take a message?”

“Well I was hoping to tell them myself,” Pinkie pie stated. Her hair had deflated ever so slightly. Lyra stumbled out of her bedroom and into view of the door. Pinkie Pie's hair poofed up back to its normal size. “Morning Lyra.”

Lyra walked up to the door and groaned for a second. She said quietly, “Morning Pinkie. Its still too early, what do you need?”

“Well its not that early anymore but I came to invite you to your House Welcoming Party Of Warming,” Pinkie said. She produced a coffee cup from somewhere I didn't catch and handed it to Lyra. Steam raised out of the cup. “Also here is some coffee. Because if we are gonna have the decorations up before the guest show up we are gonna have to start now. It has two suggers just like you like it.”

“How did you know that?” Lyra asked. Bewilderment coated her face for a second but then it returned to its tired state. Lyra took a sip from the coffee. “You know I don't want to know how. It's good coffee though.”

Lyra opened the door the rest of the way and motioned for Pinkie Pie to come in. The saddle bags on Pinkie Pie's back were bulging with stuff and a couple feet of streamer trailed on the ground as she entered the house.

“I am gonna go grab something for Lilac and I to eat for breakfast from the kitchen,” Lyra stated. Her face was waking up but still held its tired look. “Do you want anything, Pinkie?”

“Oh no thanks,” Pinkie Pie said. She rummaged through her bag spilling a number of streamers onto the floor. Finding her querry she produced a small cake box. “I brought breakfast for you! I hope you like carrot cake.”

Horror flashed over Lyra's face. She inspected the proffered cupcakes for a second before levitating two out and handing one to me. Lyra said, “Try not to make too much of a mess, Lilac.”

I gripped the cupcake with my magic. The moist cake was topped with a mound of frosting and a few shreds of carrot. A few bites in the frosting proved too sweet. I ate the bottom of the cupcake and left the very top layer of the cake allong with the remaining frosting. A quick trip to the kitchen and the remainder had been taken care of.

Pinkie Pie had wasted no time while we ate and was mid way through pining a streamer to the wall. With frightening speed she put up several streamers, of blue green and purple colors. She then pulled out of her bag a floor lamp that had been folded up and assembled that one placing a strange multicolored crystal in place of a light bulb. The light shone with a rainbow of colors ans spots filling the room. Lyra excused herself and headed downstairs.

A few hours later and the dining room and living room were filled with decorations. For the most part Pinkie Pie worked by her self, sometimes humming a tune and sometimes outright singing about decorating. When ever she sang I had the urge to join in, but I stiffled the urge. Instead I would just hum along with Pinkie Pie's singing.

When she decided she was satisfied with the decorations she pulled out an old phonograph and set it up in the corner near the fireplace. She started a record on it. It was a jaunty showtune which was reminscent of swing with a bit more modern pop to it.

She danced to the song for a minute before smiling at me. Pinkie Pie said, “I have to go pick up some of the gifts but while I am gone the Cakes should be dropping off tonights treats. Be back before the party starts.”

With that she left the house skipping the whole time. With my entertainment source gone I openned the door to basement. The stairs looked old and unstable. I called, “Lyra. Are you still down there?”

“Yeah, What do you need, Lilac?” Lyra shouted back. She came into view at the bottom of the stairs. She had been cleaning and dirt coated her pretty thoroughly.

“Do we have any paper I can draw on?” I asked. It would be nice to practice my hoof work and maybe my magic. Besides drawing was something that I had always enjoyed, even if I wasn't very good at it.

Lyra came up the stairs and headed towards the hallway. She said, “I don't think so right now. I need a bath but after that we can go get some from the store.”

“Could I just go ask Twilight?” I asked. She did live only two blocks away, and I was certain I could walk to and from in the time it would take Lyra to take a bath. “It's not that far away.”

“That's a great idea. Just becareful not to get lost okay,” Lyra stated. She looked a bit worried but praticality won out. “Don't be too long okay?”

“Okay,” I said. It was strangely exciting to go out by myself. I opened the door to the bright mid day glare and walked out into the world.

Equestria was much more laid back than Earth was, several ponies where out enjoying the weather or tending to their budding flower gardens. Most of them stopped and waved as I went by. There hospitality was some what unnerving. Doubt ducked in and out of my thoughts as I walked to the castle.

The front gate was guarded by a unicorn and a pegasus today. They ignored my presence and after a few minutes I got up the courage to asked them to let me in. With out a word or even motion the unicorn guard opened the gate and let me through.

Twilight was at her desk once more pouring over a number of books. This time she seemed to be reading from all three of them. She didn't notice me till I was right the otherside of her desk.

“Good morning, Lilac,” She said startled when she finally noticed me. “Did you come here by yourself?”

I nodded. There was something more intimidating about her at the library. Maybe it was the way she held herself, like she was putting on a show for someone.

“So what brings you to the library today?” Twilight asked gently. I could see that she was happy that I was here.

“Do you have any blank paper and a quill and ink I can borrow?” I asked quietly. She had lost some of her strictness but still I felt uneasy near her.

Twilight smiled as she opened one of her drawers from which she pulled out a roll of parchment and a quill. She handed them along with a sealed vial of ink to me. Twilight said, “Of course I have some for you. What are you gonna do with them, if you don't mind me asking?”

“My hoof writing needs work and I wanted to draw,” I explained. I looked greedily over the large roll of parchment at my hooves. “We don't have anything to do that with at home. I thought maybe you would. Do you have a bag I don't know if I can carry all this without one?”

“Why don't I just walk you back?” Twilight asked. She streached after hopping off her stool. “I could use some freash air.”

She piled her books neatly to the side of the desk and grabbed my supplies. We walked back to my home. Everyone we passed at least stopped and waved though quite a few bowed to Twilight as we walked past.

“I really wish I could get them to stop that,” Twilight said, annoyance filled her voice. She however didn't let her annoyance show in her actions and always waved back at everyone. Thankfully the trip was short and we made it to the house in no time flat.

Light poured out of the far door down the hall and faint splashing could be heard. Twilight set the parchment on the table and she smiled at me. She paused to take full note of the party decorations which there was so much the wall was barely visible behind them.

“Pinkie Pie,” Twilight mumbled. She turned towards the door and opened it. “Well I will be back for the party, I have to finish my paper for the princess.”

I nodded. After the door clicked close behind Twilight I ran down the hallway to the open bathroom door. Peeking in I saw, Lyra relaxing in the tub. She smiled at me when I stepped fully from behind the wall.

“Did you get any paper?” Lyra asked. Her head tilted at an odd angle as she laid back down in the tub.

“Twilight gave me a whole roll of partchment,” I said. I smiled at her and ran back down the hallway.

Lyra came out ten minutes later. Her fur was cleaned and dried. She leaned over me as I worked on my drawing, her damp hair brushing across my head. At first I had just practiced writing my name for a bit with my magic. The writing started quite shaky but I had quickly gotten a handle on how to use the quill with my magic. My drawing was of three of us. Magic helped me let the images in my head met the paper and this was easily the best drawing I had ever done. It was a bit off, the proportions being wrong on the heads, but otherwise was quite well rendered.

“You are really good at that,” Lyra said. She nuzzled my head. It was really nice to hear her compliment. “We need to get you real drawing tools.”

“That would be fun,” I stated excitedly. I would love an esel so I could paint. My painting like drawing had never been the best but I had loved to do it when I could. “Magic makes this so much easier than ever my hands did. It just flows right.”

“I know the feeling,” Lyra said. She looked off into space for a second a single tear rolling down her cheek. “It's the same with music for me. Especially my lyre.”

I leaned up against her. Her warmth was comforting and I hoped I comforted her. Lyra reached down and hugged me tightly.

“I love you Lyra,” I said quietly. She looked down at me a bit of shock in her eyes but mostly happiness. I blushed and looked away. “Like a parent. I love you like your my mom. Not ...”

“You don't have to quantify that,” Lyra giggled. She hugged me tighter. “I love you, too.”

“I am really happy to have met you,” I explained. Tears started to run down my cheeks. “My mom died when I was young. It was some sort of sickness, but I don't remember the specifics. My dad was never the same. I think I reminded him too much of her and he distanced himself from me.”

I was nearly sobbing at this point. Lyra rocked back and forth gently. She said, “Well Bon Bon and I will be here for you as long as you need. We both love you very much.”

“Thank you,” I said after my sobbing had run it's course.

Lyra just smiled at me she messed with my hair and let go of me. She said, “Can you draw me another picture?”

A few hours and a few pictures later, Bon Bon returned home. She carried a thoroughly stuffed bag which had a few cooking utensils sticking out of it.

“Hello,” Bon Bon said as she passed us sitting at the dining room table. She walked slowly and her face looked quite tired.

“Hi,” I said. I glanced up from my work which had not drained me as much as other magic had.

“Hello,” Lyra said as well she got up and followed Bon Bon into the kitchen.

An ackward silence filled the room for a few minutes till Lyra and Bon Bon returned from the kitchen. When they did so, I hopped out of my chair and rushed over to Bon Bon. Gripping her legs in an awkward hug, I said, “I love you Bon Bon. I realized today, you and Lyra, are someponies very special to me. Like a new mom. I just wanted to let you know.”

Bon Bon scooped me up from the floor and embraced me back. She said quietly, “I love you too.”

Bon Bon held me out just far enough that we could look each other in the eye. She seemed happy despite the tears that ran down her face. I said, “I drew you some pictures. Lyra says they are very good.”

“They are,” Lyra agreed. She half hugged Bon Bon as they sat next to eachother. “It looks like we got another artist in the family.”

“I don't know if I would call myself an artist,” I said. Bon Bon and Lyra may like my work but that was cause they cared about me. No one else would like it as much as they did. A part of me felt sad at that, but another part of me didn't care. It made me happy to draw, and the more mature part of me knew that was what mattered.

We headed over to the table where I had been drawing and Bon Bon looked trough my pictures. She smiled at me as she did so, only once having to ask what it was I drew. Bon Bon said, “You are very good at this. I am very proud of you.”

Those six words made me more happy than I had been in a very long time. Bon Bon let me explain about all of my pictures. Just as I got into the latest picture there was a knock on the door. Lyra went to answer it. A short but stout mare with a bright blue coat and pink hair. Behind her was a tall earth pony stallion with bright yellow coat and orange hair. The stallion wore a small hat and they both had aprons on. The mare had a pair of young babies strapped to her back in a pair of saddle bags and carried a cake box on her head. The young foals were much smaller than me one a pale beige pegasus with dark brown hair and the other was a unicorn with bright orange hair and a cream yellow coat.

“Hello,” said the mare. “Pinkie Pie asked us to deliver by four. Sorry we are a bit late Pumpkin decided she needed two baths today.”

“Its not a problem you are still here before any of the guest show up,” Lyra stated. Lyra stood aside to let them enter the house. I headed back over to the table and continued on my drawing.

“Hello, Mr and Mrs Cake,” Bon Bon said. She stared longingly at the foals for a second and for that second jealousy tinged me. “How have you been?”

“Business as usual,” Mr Cake said. He lifted the four boxes he was carring off his back and placed them on the table. “How is life with the little one?”

“Pleasant,” Bon Bon said. She smiled at me. “For the most part. I must admit it is a tiring roller coaster at times. I don't think I have ever been more happy than I was today, or for that matter as worried as I was on Saturday.”

“I know what you mean,” Mr Cake said. He glanced fondly over at his foals. “It is surprising how much they can scare you at times. But hey makes life interesting.”

Bon Bon giggled. She said with mirth in her voice, “Interesting is definitely an understatement.”

Mr Cake laughed as well. He spread the boxes out so that they all laid flat. He asked, “Do you want them in or out of the boxes?”

“This is Pinkie's party,” Bon Bon casually stated. She shrugged slightly and walked away from the table. “Which ever way you think is better. Lilac, why don't you clean up your drawings for now.”

“Okay,” I said. I shoved the stopper in the ink and then gathered the rest of the papers with my magic and headed into my room. I didn't have any storage so I just put them down in a far corner. I returned to the dining room. Mr Cake had removed the lids from the boxes but left the treats inside. He then put the lids in the kitchen. Mrs cake had brought a few more boxes in while Mr Cake was setting up.

There was another knock on the door after Mrs Cake was making slight adjustments to Mr Cakes placements. Lyra who had been on the couch, got up, and answered the door. Pinkie Pie smiled as Lyra let her in. After a few minute of pleasantries, the Cakes left. Pinkie Pie having procured a card table set it up in front of the basement door and began to place the gifts she had brought with her on them. Her saddle bags must have been enchanted because there was no way that she could fit half a tables worth of gifts in them.

I walked over to Pinkie Pie when she was done placing the packages. She was concentrating very hard on the placement. I asked, “Pinkie Pie is it normal to have so many gifts for a house warming party?”

Pinkie Pie turned to me and lowered herself to my level. Smiling she said, “Not for a house warming party, but for a welcome to Ponyville and sorry for missing several birthday parties sure. Though sometimes house warming parties get allot too. Besides everypony loves a gift.”

“Missing birthday parties?” I asked. She didn't mean the nineteen I had previously did she.

“Well yeah you are only like a week old now, but you look like your maybe eight so thats at least seven missed birthdays,” Pinkie Pie explained. She turned back to the pile and decide to rearrange the gifts so the ones on bottom were on top.

“You didn't have to,” I said confused. Why would anyone make up for birthdays like that. I could maybe get hey I didn't know you so lets throw a hurray your x years old party, but still the pink mare was a conundrum.

“Of course I did silly,” Pinkie Pie responded. She was still focused on her task at hand. “Everypony needs a birthday gift.”

I just shook my head and sat down on the couch next to Lyra. Pinkie Pie rearranged the gifts three more times before she was satisfied. Lyra lazily watched her do it. After the second rearrangement I asked, “Should we be helping her set up?”

“No she likes to do it herself,” Lyra explained. “If you ask she will give you something weird to do that is out of the room so she can just work.”

Soon after her last rearrangement of the gifts there was another knock on the door. Pinkie Pie ran over to open it. Rarity and Sweetie Belle were at the door.

“We are a bit early. I hope you don't mind, dear,” Rarity stated. She had taken extra effort in her appearance, and she wore a vest with a few pockets and a few gems on the pockets. Rarity carried a gift box with her. “Sweetie Belle was just, so excited that, she insisted we show up as early as possible.”

“Welcome and come in,” Pinkie Pie said. She did a quick glance around the room. “Everything is ready except for the punch so why don't you come in!”

Pinkie Pie, leaving the door open, ran over to her saddle bag and grabbed it. Then she rapidly dashed into the kitchen. Rarity and Sweetie Belle walked in. Sweetie Belle was wearing a matching vest similar to Rarity's. She beamed at me. Greetings were given.

“How are you today?” I asked Sweetie Belle. Rarity had engaged Bon Bon and Lyra in wedding talk.

Sweetie Belle smiled and posed so as to show off her new vest. She said, “Rarity made us new vests. I really like it. How was your day?”

“Fairly exciting, I watched Pinkie Pie set up for a good part of the day and drew the rest of it,” I explained. I hoped Sweetie Belle liked my pictures. Lyra and Bon Bon were kinda suppose to like them, but Sweetie Belle wasn't as invested.

“Pinkie Pie is fun to watch,” Sweetie Belle said. Her attention swayed and soon she was intent on the treats. “I hope everyone else gets here soon.”

“I hope it's not too many ponies,” I stated. A crowd more than ten scared me.

Another knock and Twilight and Spike joined the party. Twilight brought a gift and set it on the table. She had greated the others on entry. She walked over to me and said, “Happy belated Birthday.”

“What day was it exactly, I can't remember the first few days very well,” I said. Sweetie Belle had walked off to go inspect the treats.

“It will be two weeks ago this Tuesday evening,” Twilight said. She scooped me up into a hug. “You were out cold for four days.”

“You were in the hospital for that long,” I asked. I didn't know it had been that bad. I hugged her tighter.

“It was on Princess Celestia's orders,” Twilight explained. Annoyance filled her voice. “She figured I needed to be told to get some rest that I might try Lyra's spell otherwise.”

“Would you have?” I asked timidly.

“Maybe,” Twilight admited.

I shook my head. I looked over at the table Twilight's gift stood out amongst Pinkies for being wrapped in newspaper. I hugged her close again, and said, “Thank you for being there for me when I needed it. For saving me.”

Twilight blushed. Twilight said softly, “Anyone would have done the same. If they were capable of it, which as far as I know only Celestia, Luna and I would be able to do so, but still anyone who could have would have.”

“Still thank you,” I said.

There was another knock on the door and this time a larger group had shown up. Applejack from the apple stand and what looked like her little sister came in. Also a pegasus mare with cyan blue coat and rainbow colored mane and a orange with salmon pink mane pegasus filly. They were introduced as Apple Bloom, who was in fact Applejack's sister and good friend of Sweetie Belle, Rainbow Dash, a good friend of the group, and Scootaloo, a stalwart friend of Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom. Also the three of them were the Cutie Mark Crusaders. With formal introductions over the four of us fillies were corralled away from the sweets table.

“There must be more people coming,” I stated curiously. I wouldn't be surprised it it was for the safty of the treats that we were shunted off to the other side of the room.

“You're a blank flank-” Apple Bloom not so gently kicked Scootaloo in the side “-haven't found your Cutie Mark yet,” Scootaloo said. Eagerness filled her voice and eyes. “Do you want to join the CMC?”

“I already invited her,” Sweetie Belle complained. She looked annoyed with Scootaloo. “You can't steal my recruit.”

“I did already say yes to Sweetie Belle,” I said quietly.

“So what have you already tried?” Apple Bloom asked me. I returned her a look of absolute confusion. “To get your Cutie Mark, that is.”

“Oh,” I said quietly. Apple Bloom and Scootaloo were much more direct than Sweetie Belle. Apple Bloom sort of scared me. She was much more muscular than either of the other two though Scootalooo looked like she was fairly active. “I haven't tried anything really.”

“Lilac is really good at math,” Sweetie Belle said almost bragging on my behalf. “And she picked up how to read in a single day.”

“Really,” Apple Bloom said. She stared at me with a bit of awe. “I hate math it's so hard.”

“I don't like it all that much either,” I said with mirth. “I just have been taught allot of it.”

“Reading isn't all that fun either,” Scootalooo stated. “I just want to be an awesome athlete like Rainbow Dash.”

“Did you know she reads, too?” I asked. Scootaloo gave me a look of doubt. “She donated her entire collection of Daring Do books to the library. We have one that I can show you, she wrote her name on the inside cover.”

“Well I guess reading is alright,” Scootaloo conceded.

Another knock and another group. This group was the largest yet. Octavia and Vinyl came in with three other mares. One of them I recognized as Rose, and another one had a striking resemblance to Octavia though her mane was blue and her coat a bit lighter. The third one was a pegasus with creamy yellow coat and light pink mane. The pegasus seemed to be uncomfortable with how many were now packed into the room.

Greetings were exchanged and the blue maned mare's name was Fiddlesticks and the pegasus was Fluttershy. Fiddlesticks, Lyra and Octavia all worked at the Ponyville Orchestra. Rose was a friend of Bon Bon and Fluttershy was as well.

“Now that everypony is here,” shouted Pinkie Pie. “Its time to Party. Oh and warm a house.”

I evaded the Cutie Mark Crusaders and made my way over to Bon Bon. There were far too many ponies in our house. Bon Bon was talking to Fluttershy. Apparently Fluttershy's pet bear had been having a stomach ache for the last few days. And someone named Angel was getting jealous of all the attention the bear was getting.

Pinkie passed by with a box of treats and handed one to each of us. This one too, had way too much frosting so I placed it back down on the table. Lyra was near the table talking with Fiddlesticks and Octavia. I nudged her slightly to get her attention.

“Are there any treats without frosting?” I asked. Lyra giggled at me.

“Here's a cookie,” Lyra said as she levitated a cookie out of a box. “Not much of a frosting fan, huh?”

“Not really,” I replied. I retreated back to Bon Bon who now was talking with Rose.

Bon Bon and Rose's conversation turned towards me. Rose said, “So Lyra wasn't joking when she said you were hers.”

I shook my head in agreement. There was something off about Rose though I couldn't tell what. Maybe it was just the setting. That each time I met her there had been other things that made me uncomfortable. Maybe it was just me. Bon Bon seemed to like her just fine.

Turning to Bon Bon again, Rose asked, “Did you adopt? She kinda looks like Lyra.”

“Sort of,” Bon Bon said. She shifted her weight to her other side. “She is related to Lyra.”

“Figured as much her eyes are so much like Lyra's,” Rose said. She leaned closer to Bon Bon. “So tell me the story.”

Bon Bon looked uncomfortable for a second, before answering. She said, “Lilac needed a new home and this is where she ended up.”

Rose looked like she was about to push for more when Pinkie shouted, “Present time. Lyra Bon Bon and Lilac up in front.”

Pinkie Pie's interruption seemed too perfectly timed for Rose stopped her questioning. Bon Bon picked me up and we walked over to in front of the fireplace. Lyra joined us shortly after we had stepped out of the crowd. The three Cutie Mark Crusaders were front and center of the group their siblings behind them save for Scootaloo for which Rainbow dash filled that spot. Twilight sat on the couch and Spike in front of her. Spike was figiting nervously. He asked Twilight something but I couldn't hear them. He seemed to be calmed by her answer.

The rest of the group piled in around them. Pinkie was digging through the pile of presents till she found one she had placed on the bottom. She presented it to Lyra and Bon Bon. The package had a sticker on it that read, From: The Cakes. Inside there was a nice baking sheet. Bon Bon seemed especially happy with it. Pinkie Pie then handed me a present this one read, From: Rarity and Sweetie Belle. Inside a beautifully crafted saddle bag sat encased in tissue paper. One side was some what haphazardly written Lilac Splash in embroider. Sweetie Belle must have done that herself. The rest of the stitching was perfect, better than machine made. There were a number of pouches in it, each of a different size one was big enough to fit a few text books in it and several would have been perfect for a single quil. I looked up at Sweetie Belle and mouthed my gratitude.

Lyra and Bon Bon had opened a few more while I had inspected the saddle bags throughly. Bon Bon had received a mixxing bowl and Lyra was ecstatic to have a new lyre. Pinkie Pie offered me another box this one was Twilight's gift. It had been wrapped magically because there was no tape or adhesive on the paper. It was simply folded into itself tightly, and had a folded flower on top of the box. Carefully I opened it from the bottom and saved the flower. In side the otherwise uninteresting box was a blanket which was wrapped around a book. The book was entitled The Art of the Mind: Mastering Magic with Visualization. The blanket was a quilt. The craftsmanship wasn't of the same quality as Rarity's gift but still was well done and it was adorned with images of gems and hearts.

Once again Bon Bon and Lyra proved more quick than I and had opened a few more of the gifts, much of was small house hold object that we were lacking. Like a lamp and a few kitchen utensils.

“Most of the rest are just for you, Lilac,” Pinkie whispered quietly.

The rest of the boxes went by quicker they were simpler or didn't mean as much to me. I always tried to put on a show of gratitude after each gift even when Rainbow Dash had given me posters of some sort of group called the Wonderbolts. Pinkie Pie's gifts, she had given seven of them were each tied to something I might have gotten when I was that age. A stuffed doll for one, a early reader book for two, some toy set for three, a winter coat for four, a set of quills and ink for five, another doll though this one was more ornate and less foalish, and finally another toy set.

With the gifts taken care of, Pinkie moved the party towards some games. She had just set up pin the tail on the donkey when there was a knock on the door. Pepper was at the door with six large pizzas. Pinkie invited her in but Pepper politely refused, having to get back to the shop. Each pizza was of a different variety. The Cutie Mark Crusaders each got two slices of plain cheese pizza. I selected a piece of the Artichoke and roasted garlic pizza, which had an Alfredo sauce. I would not have thought to put a white sauce on a pizza but it played well with the toppings.

Thankfully I wasn't expected to play any of the party games and it kept the Cutie Mark Crusaders from pestering me too much. Instead I hung around either Twilight, Bon Bon or Lyra, floating between the three on a regular basis. The crowdedness of the house started to wear on my nevres. Thankfully the party had started early and ended before too long. Pinkie Pie stayed to help clean up as did Twilight. Twilight did most of the work though and made short work of the party decorations strewn about. She even managed to roll most of them back up and returned them to Pinkie Pie's bag.

While Lyra helped Pinkie and Twilight, Bon Bon sat with me on the couch. I rested my head on Bon Bon. A sigh escaped my mouth as I finally relaxed. Spike was at the table eating a cupcake that had some sort of gems as toppings.

Bon Bon looked down to me, a smile plastered on her face. She asked quietly, “Did you have fun at the party?”

“Sorta,” I replied. I kept my voice low so hopefully Pinkie Pie wouldn't hear me. “I think I would have had more fun with less people. All of them seemed nice but it was too overwhelming.”

“I could tell,” Bon Bon whispered to me. She still had her smile. “You spent most of the night clinging to one of us three.”

“Well you guys are less scary,” I whispered back. I looked over at Twilight who was almost done cleaning. “Well except for Twilight she is the scariest pony I know, and most powerful.”

Bon Bon giggled at me. She said with mirth in her voice, “Twilight can be a bit scary at times. And yes she probably is one of the more powerful ponies out there, but that's why she is a princess.”

Twilight had done almost three quarters of the clean up herself, and the house was back to its unadorned state. She sat down on the couch next to me.

“I hope you like the book,” Twilight said. She smiled at me. “Its is sort of a tradition for me to get a book for ponies birthday. Right Spike?”

Spike, who had finished his cupcake and was eyeing another, looked up with a startle. He said, “What, Twilight?”

“I normally get ponies a book for their birthday,” Twilight restated in the same cheerful tone as before. “Spike made you the blanket by hand.”

“Sure did. Did you like it?” Spike asked. He had hopped out of the chair and come over to the couch. He held his breath in anticipation.

“Yes,” I said quietly. Spike let out a sigh and took a big breathe. “Thank you for making it for me.”

“Well I figured it should be something special, after all I am sorta your uncle,” Spike said. He puffed up his chest proudly.

In a display counter to his intentions, Spike burped. A large green burst of flame shot out of his mouth. Spike was a dragon, how had I not noticed that before. As his flames disappated, a scroll became visable inside them. Spike grabbed the scroll as it fell from the flames. He handed it to Twilight.

“Must be something important for her to send a letter so late,” Spike comented. Twilight paid him no heed as she was busy reading the letter.

She got off the couch rereading the letter. She looked at Bon Bon with concern on her eyes. She stated, “I have been summoned to Canterlot and need to leave immediately via teleportation. I have to bring Lilac with me.”

Chapter 8

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Chapter 8
“What? Why?” Lyra stammered. Concern tempered her voice.

Bon Bon had a similar look of concern. Their reactions made the tension of the day spring back into me.

“I don't know for what reason,” Twilight said. Twilight was trying very hard to keep her voice steady and calm, though it shown through a bit. She handed the letter to Lyra so that she could read it. “I am sorry, we may be staying the night. I will send a letter through Spike to tell you if we are. If we do just come in on the morning train.”

Twilight lifted me up with her magic and placed me in front of her. My whole body was shaking. I asked, “Does teleportation hurt?”

“No, though it might make your stomach upset,” Twilight said. She turned to Spike. “Spike I need you to go tell Captain Shinning Spear where I went. Then can you wait here till I send my letter?”

Spike nodded and headed out the door. Bon Bon had just finished the letter. She looked up at Twilight, and said, “Keep her safe, please.”

“I will,” Twilight stated. Her confidence shown through her voice, and it made me feel a slight bit better. A bright light spreading from Twilight's horn encased us. A sudden jerk made my head start to spin. The light faded and no longer were we at home. My dinner met the floor. Sorry floor, you are always such a good friend.

The room we had ended up in was an octagonal room made out of large stone bricks. There were a number of strange runes carved into each of the walls and a door in the center of each of them. The room was maybe twenty feet across. One of the doors opened and a unicorn guard, who looked just like those at Twilight's castle, entered the room.

“Princess Twilight Sparkle, please come with me. Princess Celestia and Princess Luna are waiting in the briefing room,” the guard stated. His voice did not belong to his body and was a bit to high pitched for how muscular he was.

“Yes of course,” Twilight replied. She engulfed me in her magic and sat me on her back She had to change the position of her wings to make me fit better. It was strange and felt somewhat unstable.

Worry fought with hungry in my stomach, each vying for control. Worry was wining. This visit must be punishment for the house. It was all my fault that the fire happened, doubt whispered gently into my ear. I even hurt Sweetie Belle and Cheerilee.

The guard led us up and through the castle. At least I thought it was a castle it was hard to tell till we went up two levels there was no windows. All of the walls were made of a uniform gray stone and each had a different decoration along them. Sometimes suits of pony armor with a litter placard beneath it. Other times large banners with sun and moon motifs. On the third floor up, which seemed to be the ground floor, many of the hallway's had large stain glass windows. Each depicting some scene. I didn't recognize any of the ponies depicted in them.

Finally after almost ten minutes we came to a large set of double doors. The guard opened them and said, “Announcing Princess Twilight Sparkle and her guest.”

Exploded or lit on fire? I leaned towards the fire seemed more poetic. I tried to brace myself for my upcoming doom, though to little effect. A part of me wanted to jump down from Twilight and run away, though my legs didn't seem to work.

The room was a large circular room with a large table in the center. Seated at the table was the large unicorn with wings who had visited me in the hospital. She was deep in concentration looking at a map of something that was spread out across the table. Also sat there was a pink unicorn who also had wings. She had tri-colored mane of pink yellow and purple. Her cutie mark was of a green heart like some of the blankets from the shop. Near an open door to a balcony Princess Luna paced to and fro.

The pink one hopped out of her seat and rushed over to Twilight giving her a hug. She said, “How have you been Twilight? Its been too long since we last got together.”

“I was doing fine,” Twilight responded her worry seemed to have deepened. She glanced at Luna and then back to the pink mare. “Cadence, is everything alright? Celestia's letter sounded a bit dire but I didn't think it was this dire.”

The white mare called from the table, “Twilight why don't you come in the room all the way so that the door may be closed.”

My dread reached an all time high, and a small and quiet squeak left me. Twilight blushed slightly and entered the room fully. The door gently closed behind her engulfed in the white mare's golden magic. All semblance of dignity left me and finally my limbs seemed to work.

The white mare stood up and I felt a magic engulf me. She set me down in front of her. She said, “Hello again Lilac Splash. I am sorry for having to call you away from your family. My name is Princess Celestia.”

I bowed as low as I could, though more out of fear than respect. Princess Celestia giggled softly. She said, “There are no need for formalities in this room. Sadly there is a troubling storm about and I must make sure you are not the cause of it. Please hold still for but a second.”

Princess Celestia's horn glowed brilliantly and the light washed over me. I expected this to hurt. It pierced me thoroughly and I could feel a warm probing through out my body. After a few seconds the light faded. Princess Luna had joined the group. My dread backed down slowly.

“Twilight do you know why necromancy is outlawed?” Princess Celestia asked. I couldn't get a read off her face.

“No,” Twilight said quietly. She looked at the floor hiding her shame.

“Necromancy causes a drain in the ambient magic, and corrupts the near by area if left unchecked,” Princess Celestia explained. She let her mask fade and I could tell the sadness in her eyes. “Technically, You performed necromancy when you saved Lilac. Discord has recently warned me of a distortion and drain of magic, though he couldn't be certain of its cause. I needed to be certain that Lilac wasn't the cause of this. Thankfully she was not the cause.”

“Do you think Grogar could be the cause of this storm?” Princess Luna asked. Her eyes were glazed over as if she wasn't watching the room but somewhere or some when else.

“I hope not, but first we have a more pertinent issue at hand. While the spell that bound Lilac's soul is not corrupting the area around her, I can tell that the spell is fading. If we don't more permanently reapply, it Lilac will die. I know of a spell that will fix this however it is dark magic and comes with its own negatives,” Princess Celestia explained. She looked down at me her sorrow shone through her eyes. “This spell is extremely painful, and potentially life threatening so. Also the spell corrupts and taints the magic present in the subject, which will have to be purged, for it to not cause permanent damage. Finally, we will have to contain the effects of the spell and its corruption inside a set of large crystals, which I have prepared.”

“Sister is there another way?” Princess Luna asked. “I do not want to watch you torture her.”

“Neither do I, Sister,” Princess Celestia stated. “Sadly there isn't an alternative I know of. Short of leting her soul fade away. Sadly time is of the essence, if Twilight's spell is wearing out we can not be certain how long it will stay effective.”

Princess Luna bowed her head slightly. A golden glow engulfed Princess Celestia's horn and she summoned four large crystals which she placed in a square formation around me. Strangly a calmness flooded over me. Princess Celestia telekineticly handed Twilight a piece of paper.

“I will need you to follow along with me, Twilight,” Princess Celestia explained. “I hope that is enough instruction for you.”

Twilight carefully read the piece of paper twice. She set the paper down and looked down at me. Twilight said solemnly, “It should be enough. Is this one of Sombra's spells?”

“Yes, Twilight, Sombra used this spell to extend his life. Luna, I need you to make sure the corruption is siphoned into the crystals, and Cadence I need you to be prepared with a healing spell as necessary,” Princess Celestia instructed. “Let us begin.”

Twilight's purple aura and Princess Celestia's Golden aura engulfed their horns and quickly turned a sickly green. Their eyes also glowed similarly. Their magic washed over me, burning me. The pain at first was manageable but grew till I could no longer hold it in. I screamed. My vision blacked over but I was still conscious of every single sharp stabbing as if something was sewing my body back together piece by piece. After an eternity the pain eased and faded to a dull throbbing. My vision returned and I laid on the floor panting.

My short reprieve was interrupted. Princess Celestia instructed, “Twilight take over the siphoning, Luna help me purge and purify.”

Both Princess Luna and Princess Celestia's magic washed over me. It gently infused my whole self and attempted to draw out my magic. The corrupted magic in me fought back holding tightly to me. As hard as their pull was its grip seemed stronger. It felt like they were tearing me up as the two forces fought for dominance. I could feel the colder more subdued though not less powerful magic of the two sisters instead of pull she purified. Where her magic touched changed and calmed. A wave washed over me converting the dark to light. With the last vestiges of darkness pulled from me, the diarch's magic withdrew. The pain did not.

“Good job, Luna,” Princess Celestia said. I could see the sweat on her brow. “I do not think we would have won that battle without your clever action.”

“Sometimes you can't fight the darkness head on,” Princess Luna said offhandedly. She too looked tired but no where near as Celestia did.

I felt a gentle and soothing breeze flow over me. The pain receded. A gentle magenta glow followed the breeze and the pain became a dull ache. I could move my head again. The crystals which one once a brilliant opaque white now were a dark almost black green. I could see an eye in it.

“Let me free,” the eye told me. No one else seemed to hear it. “Let me out and you will never hurt again. Let me free and Melody will live once more.”

I strained trying to regain my footing instead of the crumpled form I was on the floor. Trying to reach out and free Melody from the crystal. Her smiling face egging me on. Moving was too painful and I collapsed.

“You shouldn't be moving,” Cadence said. She seemed worried.

“I have to save her,” I cried. I stretched my foreleg towards the crystal. If I could only reach her, Melody would be safe.

“You imbecile,” Melody hissed at me. Her face distorted in anger and her eyes transformed into the dark green ones from early. “Just touch the stone and I will be free.”

“No, you're not Melody,” I screamed at the crystal. The last of my energy drained my foreleg fell to the floor. My heart ached and I sat there crying.

“Useless,” the eye said. It's voice rung with bitterness and anger. “Truly useless. Its no wonder she died.”

A golden aura engulfed the crystals and placed them into a large chest. As Princess Celestia's magic picked up the crystals, the eye started to wail. It pierced me and my heart pained me all the more. The eye's wail was silenced when the lid closed.

Twilight picked me up gently and cradled me. Twilight said, “Quiet now the nightmare is over. You are going to be alright now.”

I tried to calm myself but images of the eye taunting me kept popping into my head along sides of Melody and her funeral. My sobbing grew worse and Twilight hugged me.

“Lilac needs to sleep and we must discuss the true nature of Discord's discovery,” Princess Celestia stated. “Luna can you grant Lilac a dreamless sleep?”

“Yes, Sister,” Princess Luna said. Her magic engulfed me and pulled me closer to her. The glow of her horn intensified and sleep started to creep its way into me. “Sleep now, little one. No nightmare shall plague you this night.”

My eyelids became too heavy to keep open, no mater how hard I tried to stop their falling. Soon I did as Princess Luna commanded, rocked gently back and forth by Twilight's magic.

I awoke the next morning to find myself alone in a large room. I was in a comfortable large four post bed, it must have been “Princess” size. The bed did emphasize how small I was. I giggled. Easily ten of me could fit comfortably on this bed. A large dresser was off to one side of the square room with a decent amount of space between it and the bed. Windows that stretched from around two feet off the floor to inches away from the nine feet ceiling. I must have still been in the castle because the walls were made of the same gray stone. There was a large bookcase that was brimming with books. The room felt cold with no one else in it.

My limbs were sore and shaky when I tried to move. The bed was such a nice soft bed that it was nearly impossible to walk across so instead I scooted my self across it. The edge though proved much more passable and I managed to slide onto the floor with out tumbling. I slowly made my way over to the door. The doorknob was too high for me to try to get it with my hoof. I reached inwards for my magic and found my usual pond of it there to be a lake instead. Drawing from it was easy though I could barely limit the amount that came. In my mind I saw the handle of the door spin and gently opening the door. In reality the handle was spun rapidly and I could hear a crunch sound as the mechanics of the doorknob gave way. Thankfully the door did then gently open. I cringed, for there was a guard posted at my door.

“Sorry,” I said quietly. “I didn't mean too. Do you know where Twilight is?”

“Last I heard she was in the library,” The guard said in his best monotone. He didn't even look at me.

“How do I get there?” I asked. I stared at the floor again. I don't think I had properly apologized to the floor yet.

“It is that direction just ask a guard whence you reach the main hallway,” he instructed. He pointed down the hallway.

I nodded my head in acknowledgement and headed down the hallway in the indicated direction. The size of the castle had not hit me until I walked down the hallway. I was tired having just walked to the main hallway, which must have been a distance further than from home to Twilight's Castle. I stopped to rest for a second when came to the main hallway. There were a number of guards in this hallway which could have fit nearly ten ponies abreast and must have been a good thousand feet long. Each guard was posted every twenty feet down the side of the hall, the other side was of kilter from the first side but followed the same pattern. A great number of hallways branched off from the main one each had a tapestry over it with some symbol. One had a book over it which made me think it must be the way to the Library. At the near end of the main hallway a set of huge double doors were open leading into a large throne room. The room seemed empty.

I sat there fatigued from my previous walk. None of the guards seemed to notice my presence or at least they did not care that I was there. I looked back down the hallway I had come from and I noticed that the guard from the door sat there ten feet back. He wasn't watching me directly, but seemed to be guarding me. We sat there for a good ten minutes before I resumed my trek towards the Library. It was calming to know that my guard followed me. I decided that the book hallway must be the way towards the library. After coming down the hallway for what felt like half the distance of I had walked from the room to the main hall I came across a large window that looked into the library.

The library was absolutely massive. The main room was larger than the landing floor of Twilight's Castle but was filled with bookcases each nearly ten feet tall and filled to the brim with books. There was a desk off to one side from when we entered the library. An old unicorn mare with light blue coat and grey mane sat behind the desk.

I walked over to the desk. I couldn't tell if you could see me from behind the desk so I stood up on my hind legs and rested my forelegs against the desk for stability. I asked, “Is Twilight in the library?”

The ancient librarian squinted at me for a second. “Yes, Princess Twilight is in the Restricted section. I will have to go get her for you. For a second there I thought you were Twilight. She used to talk to me using that pose all the time, and you look awful similar to her save for your mane.”

The librarian got off her stool and moved with a spring in her step that I had not expected from such an old pony. She was faster than I was, and I had to half trot to keep up with her. The guard followed behind us at about ten feet still. We passed several subsections of the Library including one which had a depiction in the grate above it of a unicorn wearing a wizard hat that was brimmed with bells. The librarian led us to a large gate that was closed, though no lock was visible.

“Wait here,” the librarian instructed. She opened the gate with her magic and strolled off into the restricted section to find Twilight. It must have been a large section because almost ten minutes had passed when she returned with Twilight in tow. Twilight was reading a book, entitled Magic Imperium: The Collected Works of Sombra, King of the Crystal Empire.

“Here she is,” the librarian said. Though I couldn't tell if she was talking to me or Twilight. She walked off towards her desk.

Twilight closed her book and smiled at me. She said, “What are you doing up and about? I figured you would be too tired to do much today.”

“I didn't want to be alone,” I said quietly. I tilted my head downwards to look at the floor beneath Twilight, before looking back up at her only moving my eyes.

“Lyra and Bon Bon will be here in the morning,” Twilight said. She looked at the window in the hallway, at the shining sunlight garden beyond. “Soon. They may already be in Canterlot. Why don't we go wait for them near the entrance of the Castle?”

I smiled at that. Part of me knew that it had only been twelve hours at most sense I last saw them, but I missed them. I would have pranced around Twilight in excitement if my limbs didn't refuse to obey. I gave Twilight the most pathetic face I could muster and asked, “Can you carry me? My legs are very tired.”

Twilight giggled. She responded jokingly, “If I must.”

Twilight levitated me onto her back and we left the library behind. When we reached the main hallway my guard headed off in a different direction than us.

“Twilight, I broke the door to the room I was in this morning,” I admitted. I looked away from her head. “I didn't mean to, but I couldn't control my magic well enough. Why is my magic different now?”

“In what way? Each of last nights spells may have effected you in a different way,” Twilight asked. She either didn't hear about the door or didn't care.

“Well before when I visualized my magic reserves it was a pond, but now its a lake. I tried to pull a small amount out and way too much came out,” I explained.

“The first spell, Sombra's Soul Binding, is likely why. He created the spell to become more attuned with his magic while allowing him to live eternally,” Twilight explained. I could tell she was about to go into rant mode. “Nearing the end of his natural life span, Sombra made the spell to permantly attach his soul to his body, preventing his death by natural means. The spell was successful and he ended up living for many centuries after that, till Celestia and Luna defeated him and the Crystal Empire disappeared from the world. Part of his spell also was to let him access more of his formidable magic. I was reading his notes on the subject and I feel that he used his pool of magic as his life force to extend it past normal limits. Theoretically as long as he kept his reserves above a certain thresh hold he can't be killed. I don't know why this increased your reserve, maybe that the way I had bound your soul the first time was limiting the amount you could access and when we fixed this you now have access to the full amount.”

She paused to get a breathe. Curiosity pushed me forward. I asked, “How long do ponies normally live? I think I remember Cheerilee saying something about Princess Celestia being nearly three thousand years old.”

“She is. Normal ponies can live to be three hundred on average. Granny Smith, Applejack and Apple Bloom's grandmother is nearly three hundred twenty. She is the oldest non alicorn pony I have every met,” Twilight explained. “Alicorns are immortal, as far as I know. Princess Celestia and Princess Luna were the only Alicorns for thousands of years, till Cadence ascended, and then I did.”

“Wait, so Sombra lived for nearly six centuries?” I asked. That was a huge amount of time, to me. It was almost inconceivable.

“If you don't count the time he was banished, along with the Crystal empire, about that. If you do, it is nearly three thousand years,” Twilight explained.

We turned off from the main hallway into another shorter hallway, we had traversed to the end of the hallway while talking. This hallway had a guard every five feet and ended abruptly as we entered another throne room. This room had a large crowd of ponies in line. Princess Celestia sat on the throne and was administering court. We walked out of the room into another large waiting room many of the seats were taken though we found a set off in a corner to sit at. Twilight went back to her book as we waited, which she had brought with us.

Our wait was thankfully short. Lyra and Bon Bon came walking through the main entrance. Bon Bon glanced around and spotted us, though Lyra had rushed off to talk to the receptionist. Bon Bon rushed over and picked me up into a hug.

“Hello,” I said. I leaned my head up against hers.

“We were so worried,” Bon Bon said. She looked at Twilight who had closed her book again though she had sat it down so that the title could not be read. “Why did Princess Celestia need to see Lilac?”

“We should have this conversation else where,” Twilight said. She got up out of her chair and led us towards the court room. As we passed Lyra who was still trying to get the receptionist to give up some information. “Hello, Lyra. Why don't you come with too.”

Lyra spun around and rushed to follow us. She glanced back angrily at the receptionist. We walked back through the court room, past the main hallway, into a smaller hallway across from the entrance way, and into a small private meeting room nearby. Whence into the room Twilight cast some spell that coated the room in a light mist which faded in a few seconds.

“So, care to explain what's going on now?” Lyra asked exacerbated. She clearly was ticked off, and this was the most angry I had ever seen Lyra.

“Lyra, dear, please calm down,” Bon Bon said. Bon Bon rubbed up against Lyra and then sat down at the table, setting me down in the chair next to her.

Lyra took the other chair next to me and Twilight sat down opposite of me leaving two remaining open chairs. Lyra started intensely at Twilight.

“I am sorry that my letter was vague last night,” Twilight said. “I didn't want to unduly worry you with the truth. Not at least where I couldn't answer any of your questions. Something is afoot in the Everfree and Princess Celestia was worried that Lilac may have been the cause. When I saved Lilac, I cast a necromancy spell, which can cause wide spread corruption in the area around the casting. Thankfully Lilac was not the cause. Princess Celestia noticed, when she inspected Lilac, that the spell, binding Lilac's soul to her body, was fading. We had to cast another similar spell on her last night. She should be better now.”

“I...” Bon Bon stammered at a loss for words. She pulled me up into her forelegs and held me tight.

“What sort of spell can do that?” Lyra asked. She was staring at me, her eyes filled with a storm of worry.

“Dark ones,” Twilight said truthfully. “The particular spell we used was made by King Sombra of the Crystal Empire. The spell will hold. We already dealt with the side effects of the spell.”

“What side effects?” Bon Bon asked. Her grip had not slackened.

“Sombra used dark magic to maintain his rule and much of the spells he created were dark magic. This particular spell was as well. We had to remove any lingering dark magic in Lilac and purify her magic afterwards,” Twilight said. Her mask cracked, and her sorrow and worry shone through the cracks.

“Wouldn't that be extremely painful?” Lyra asked. Her angry had not dissipated.

“It was,” I said quietly. “But its over now.”

Lyra jerked her head in my direction. The rage in her eyes slowly melting away as she looked at me. Tears ran down her cheek as sorrow took the place of her rage. She moved over, to the chair next to Bon Bon, and hugged the both of us.

Twilight sat across from us, crying as well. I saw the loneliness in her eyes. I wiggled my way out of Bon Bon's grasp and walked awkwardly across the chairs to Twilight. I hugged her and said, “You tried your best. Don't feel bad because I had made a mistake that you tried to fix.”

Twilight hugged me back. She said, “I am sorry. It is just very confusing to me right now. I know that its not my fault, but it hurt more than I thought it would, to watch you in pain last night. I don't even know what to think of you as. A daughter or just another person I saved?”

“Maybe both. The three of you,” I said motioning with my head at everyone in the room. “You all are my moms. I can't say I understand what you are feeling, but I hope you know how important you are to me.”

Chapter 9

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Chapter 9
The four of us left the room some time later. Hunger gnawed at me. I was being carried by Lyra. Twilight had wanted to, but Lyra insisted. Twilight looked exhausted and I was fairly certain that she had not sleep last night.

“Can we get some food?” I asked, no longer ignoring my stomach. My stomach rumbled loudly in agreement.

Lyra giggled, being the only other one to have heard my stomach. She said, “Food does sound good. Bon Bon and I only had a small snack before we headed off to catch the first train of the day.”

“Cadence had invited me out to lunch today,” Twilight said. “Why don't we all go? I would love for Lilac to met Shining armor.”

“That sounds lovely,” Bon Bon said.

“This is going to be awkward for me,” Lyra mumbled. She hung her head low.

“Why?” I asked. Cadence had seemed very nice last night, well as nice as anyone would have seemed under the circumstances.

“Last time I talked to Cadence was just after her wedding,” Lyra said. “I don't know if she has forgiven me yet.”

Twilight laughed loudly. She smiled at Lyra and said, “Lyra there was nothing to forgive, you were under a mind control spell. Its been two years, Cadence will be happy to see you. We have to go now.”

“I wouldn't let my awkwardness stop Lilac from meting her uncle,” Lyra said.

Twilight looked out a window for a second. Her pace quickened, and she said, “It is later than I thought we should hurry. I would rather not be late.”

We left the castle through the court room and waiting room. The crowd had thinned significantly. Outside of the castle there was a large wall with a drawbridge which was down. Gardens lined the path towards the gate, and they were lined with guards nearly thirty of them. We crossed the drawbridge and headed down the hill. I looked back at the castle finally being able to see its full splendor. The castle must have been seven or eight stories high and was a magnificent sight.

We walked for about ten minutes, taking a number of twists and turns and ended up in front of a small sandwich shop. The higher up floors seemed to be appartments. Cadence and a white unicorn stallion with deep blue hair sat at one of the window tables.

Upon entering, Twilight asked for another table to be added to Cadence's so that all of us could fit. While the waitress complied, we walked over to the table.

“Hey, Twily,” the stallion said. He must have been Shining Armor. “So Cadence told me you have someone to introduce me to.”

“Hello, Shining. Yes, I do,” Twilight said. Her mood took a huge upswing whence we got to the store. She was positively radiating happiness. She picked me up with her magic from Lyra's back and sat me down in the chair across from Shining Armor. “This is Lilac Splash. She is sorta my daughter.”

Shining Armor sat there his mouth hung limply open. He just stared at me for a while.

“Hello, Cadence,” Lyra said. She was staring at her hooves.

“Hello, Lyra,” Cadence said. Happiness shown through her eyes. “It is nice to see you, its been what two years now?”

“Yeah,” Lyra said awkwardly. She looked at Twilight then to me and back to Twilight. “Have you told her?”

Twilight blushed slightly and shook her head no. Twilight turned to Cadence, and said, “So Lyra here is also Lilac's mom sorta.”

Cadence looked then at Lyra and smiled. Cadence said, “I can see the resemblance. Lilac has your eyes, Lyra. So you keep saying that you two are only 'sorta moms'. Why don't you explain for Shining's sake?”

Lyra looked at Shining who had finally awaken from his shock. Lyra said, “Lilac is our child though she is also from another world. Twilight and I saved her from an accident and now she is here. I don't think we should say much more than that here.”

“Lyra is right, suffice to say she is our child,” Twilight stated. Twilight sat down between me and the window.

The waitress walked up and pushed a table that was near by up to our table giving room for Bon Bon and Lyra to sit down, having added another four chairs. She was a unicorn with pale pink coat and electric pink mane. She handed the four of us menus and added two glasses of water to the table that Lyra and Bon Bon were sitting at. She then left us.

“Hello, my name is Bon Bon,” Bon Bon said. She smiled at Lyra. “I am Lyra's finance.”

“Nice to met you,” Shinning Armor said. He seemed a bit uncomfortable. He turned to Twilight, his voice growing jovial. “So you aren't going to be introducing both your child and special somepony to Mom at the same time, huh?”

Twilight giggled at his joke. She stopped suddenly. Twilight said, “Crap, I have to tell Mom and Dad. That is going to be weird.”

This time it was the rest of the tables turn to laugh. Cadence said, “Twilight I am certain, that your mother will be happy to have a granddaughter. Also maybe she will stop sending Shining letters asking how soon she can expect him to have children. Though on second thought that might make her send more letters. So Bon Bon, Lyra, do you two have a date in mind yet?”

“Not really,” Lyra said. She nuzzled Bon Bon. “I wouldn't mind it being soon but we haven't had the time recently to talk much about it.”

“Soon would be nice,” Bon Bon agreed. “Maybe after we get settled into the new house.”

I tried to pick up the menu with my magic, and only succeeded in tossing the thing several feet up into the air. I blushed. I said, “Sorry I didn't mean to.”

“It's alright, it may take you a while to learn control with your magic,” Twilight said. Her magic held the menu in front of me.

They served a large selection of sandwiches, many which included flowers. I decided on something from the foal section of the menu. The waitress had returned with a steaming tea pot. She set it in the center of the conjoined tables.

“Have you decided what you want or do you need more time?” the waitress asked. She had a quill and note pad levitating near her head.

I nudged Lyra, grabbing her attention. I asked pointing at a particular sandwich, “Can I get this one?”

“Of course, why don't you tell the waitress,” Lyra said. She returned to studying her menu.

“Can I get the grilled cheese and zucchini sandwich please?” I asked. They were going to be out of the zucchini, I could just feel it. The waitress nodded in my direction.

“Two daisy sandwiches, one with light on the dressing,” Cadence ordered.

“Two daisy sandwiches, and a Grilled Zucchini. What about you two?” the waitress asked, looking at Bon Bon and Lyra.

“I would like the Alfalfa Supreme,” Lyra ordered. “Can I get some extra dressing on the side with that, please?”

“Of course,” waitress replied.

“Can I get a daisy sandwich too?” Bon Bon asked the waitress. The waitress nodded writing it down on her note pad.

“I would like the Moon Cactus melt,” Twilight said.

“Okay those will be right out,” the waitress said before walking off towards the kitchen.

The wait for our food was mercifully short as my stomach decided to be mutinous. My sandwich was quite good, though Twilight's looked great as well. I wasn't certain what I thought about a daisy sandwich. Small talk was made as we ate.

A bright flash interrupted our meal. A very large and very strange creature sat at next to Shining Armor. He had a cup of tea in his right paw which was a lion's paw. His other arm was that of a birds and he had two mismatched horns on top of his goat like head. Beyond his unusual physic there was some sort of unnaturalness to him that I couldn't place my hoof on.

“Sorry to interrupt dears, but Princess Sunbutt wanted me to tell you of my return,” the creature said. He took another sip from his cup, and the color faded from the cup leaving it invisible, an revealing the full cup of tea in it. “Hello, Twilight's progeny. You and I may be great friends some day.”

“Leave Lilac alone, Discord,” Twilight demanded. “Also I am pretty certain that Princess Celestia has asked you to stop referring to her as Sunbutt.”

“She asked that I not forget her station. I don't think she meant the Sunbutt part, hence Princess Sunbutt,” Discord said. His grin was large and quite scary. “Well we should get going, Princess Sunbutt went of to wake Grumpy Wumpy and I simply must be there to watch.”

He snapped his fingers and Twilight, Cadence and himself were gone in a flash of light.

Shinning Armor shook his head. He said, “I don't see how any of them can stand him.”

“Fluttershy seems to like him. I trust her opinion on the matter,” Bon Bon said.

Thankfully, the rest of our lunch passed uneventfully. Shining Armor paid for the meal, refusing to let Lyra or Bon Bon to help. He then headed back to the castle carrying Cadence and Twilight's leftovers with him.

“Now what?” I asked. We had left the sandwich shop and were standing outside.

“We have to go back to the castle to get your identification paperwork dealt with,” Lyra said. She looked at Bon Bon who was carrying me. My legs were still sore and I didn't think I could walk up the hill back to the Castle. “Though I would bet we will either need Twilight or Princess Celestia herself to help us with that, and they are probably busy. Why don't we go see my Parents?”

“We probably should. Your mother is going to be quite surprised. Did you ever tell her that were engaged yet?” Bon Bon asked. She was smiling at Lyra.

“Not yet,” Lyra said. Her gaze wandered. “We should probably get going then. This is going to take a while.”

Lyra lead us back up the hill. Our path lead us further from the castle till we entered a distinct neighborhood. The building were all of similar architecture, a more Victorian feel to them. After a few more minutes of walking we ended up in front of a large blue house. Lyra sat there staring at the door for a few minutes before she went up and knocked.

The door opened and an elderly unicorn stallion opened the door. He had a pale beige coat and dark brown mane, gray peppering it. He said, “Ah. Hello, Miss Lyra, Miss Bon Bon. This is quiet the unexpected visit. Please do come in?”

The stallion opened the door fully and stood back to let the tree of us in. Lyra hugged the elder stallion. She said, “It is nice to see you, Iron Hoof. Sorry this was a bit unexpected for us as well, but we figured that since we were in town that we should stop by.”

“Your mother will be happy that you have done so. Though you have missed your father he has a lecture to perform at the University this afternoon,” Iron Hoof explained. He lead us further into the massive house. “Madame Heartstrings is in the reading room.”

We walked through a long hallway and Iron Hoof showed us into a small library with a few couches in it. A light blue unicorn mare sat lounging in on of the couches. Her yellow mane was braided and tossed over one of the arms of the couch as she read some novel. From the cover image it appeared to be some cheesy romance novel, it was titled Fifty Shades of Neigh.

“Madame Heartstrings,” Iron Hoof said. “Your daughter, and Bon Bon, are here to see you.”

Heartstrings looked up from her book and glanced over in our direction. She set her book down and walked over to us. She said, “Lyra, dear this is quiet unexpected. What brings you to Canterlot? And who is that little Filly Bon Bon has with her?”

“Well, uh,” Lyra stammered. She looked over to Bon Bon and me. “I guess the answer to both of your questions is, my daughter, Lilac Splash.”

“Well that is a pretty name,” Heartstrings said. Her smile faded quickly. “Wait, did you call her your daughter?”

“Yes,” Lyra said. She tensed as if expecting her mother to exploded. “I know this is kinda sudden, and sorry for not telling you sooner but I only found her two weeks ago.”

“Who is the other parent?” Heartstrings asked. She looked me over. Her smile returned. “Lilac looks to be at least six, I don't remember you having any flings back then.”

“I didn't. Lilac isn't that old,” Lyra explained. “Lilac is biologically mine and Twilight Sparkles child. I had cast a spell that let me view another world and something terrible happened to Lilac on the other side of this veil. Twilight and I saved her, but to do so had to make her a new form which Twilight did out of part of me and part of her.”

“You are so much your father's daughter,” Heartstrings said. “He is going to be ecstatic, though I believe more based on the happenings than in having a granddaughter now. Can you stay for diner?”

Lyra looked at Bon Bon. Her face was covered in confusion. Bon Bon said, “We would love to stay for diner. I have good news as well. Lyra asked me to marry her. I said yes.”

“Well congratulations,” Heartstrings said. She turned to Iron Hoof. “Iron, can you make up something special for diner? I would love to celebrate.”

“Of course,” Iron Hoof said. He had a tear in his eye, which he wiped away before bowing and leaving the room.

“He is quiet proud of you, Lyra,” Heartstrings said. “Even if he is too proper to show it.”

Lyra blushed. We sat down on the couch. Heartstrings sitting next to me.

“So Lilac what sort of things do you like to do?” Heartstrings asked. Her smile was beautiful.

“I really like to draw,” I replied. “I could draw you something if you have some materials. Though it may not be very good I am still getting used to my magic.”

We talked for an hour or two. Our conversation flowed back and forth between wedding discussion and me. Heartstrings had giving me a stack of paper and a quill and ink. After a few tries I got my control down for the quill. It was mostly stopping trying to control the quill directly and more just seeing the picture I wanted to draw in my head and letting my magic flow. My third attempt may have been my best drawing yet. It was of Lyra and Bon Bon. The conversation had drifted towards wedding plans at this point.

I presented my drawing to Heartstrings. She said, “Another artist in the family. You are quite good at this. Can I keep it?”

I blushed at the compliment. The picture was decent but it needed work. My quill was too unsteady. I said, “If you want it, I don't mind if you keep it.”

Halfway through my next picture, a unicorn stallion entered the room. He was quite scrawny, and his coat was bright orange, and his mane was dark red. He said, his voice regal, “I am home, Symphonica. How-” He noticed Lyra and Bon Bon on the couch “-Lyra. Nice of you to visit. Who is the filly?”

“My name is Lilac,” I told him.

“Well I am Professor Twisted Logic,” He told me. Twisted Logic sat down on the couch with Symphonica Heartstrings. He looked at Lyra. “So who is the other parent?”

“Twilight Sparkle,” Lyra said.

Twisted Logic laughed. He said, “What sorts of magic made this happen? I was one of Twilight's teachers six years ago. Twilight was far to absorbed into her studies to have had a kid then.”

“Twilight created Lilac's body just two weeks ago,” Lyra explained. She looked down at her feet which were nervously fidgeting. “I don't really know what spells she used for it, though I know one of them was an aging spell.”

“Aging spell huh,” Twisted Logic said. He seemed ecstatic. “How did she age the mind? I don't know of any aging spells that would have imparted knowledge with them.”

“She didn't I don't think,” Lyra stated. “Lilac's soul is from another world.”

“That is truly impressive magic,” Twisted Logic said. He seemed to stare off into space.

“Now dear, enough of this,” Symphonica Heartstrings said. “Lets have a pleasant evening with our granddaughter and Lyra's fiancée.”

“You finally popped the question then,” Twisted Logic said. His voice was brimming with pride. “Congratulations.”

The conversation returned to wedding plans. I returned to my drawing and Twisted Logic seemed to find what I was doing fare more interesting than the conversation. He watched quietly, only interrupting me once.

“Were you an artist before? On your home world?” Twisted Logic asked.

“Not really. I liked to draw but wasn't very good at it,” I explained. “Something about this that just fits better. This is the best work I have ever done.”

Twisted nodded and let me work without further interruption. Diner came sooner than I figured it would. Glancing at the clock it was much later than I thought. Iron Hoof lead us into the dining room which had a large table that could have comfortably held twenty. He brought out a large collection of dishes, several of which Lyra oohed at.

“Iron, please join us for diner,” Symphonica said. “This is a family celebration and you are as much a part of it as anyone.”

“If you insist, Madame,” Iron Hoof answered. He sat down next to Twisted Logic.

The meal was quite delicious. My favorite of the many dishes was a green bean casserole with crispy fried onions on top. Most of the dishes must have meant something special to Lyra because she spent most of the diner savoring every bite and ate the slowest out of all of us. Bon Bon on the other hand ate quickly and spent most of the day talking with Symphonica and Iron Hoofs about parenting tips. Twisted Logic was still studying me, though he would occasionally pop in with tips for Bon Bon. Each of his tips while interesting and seemed valid were very situational.

When Lyra had finished her last bite, Iron Hoof excused himself and retrieved dessert. It was a simple blackberry pie, though magnificent in both taste and presentation. I was too full, and could only eat half of my piece. Lyra finished it for me.

Drowsiness fogged my head. It became difficult to keep my head lifted upright. I fought my tiredness as much as I could.

My efforts must have been cute for Symphonica was giggling. Symphonica said, “Why don't you stay the night?”

Lyra looked at Bon Bon, trying her best to be cute as well. Bon Bon said, “If you will have us that would be nice. It has been a long day for Lilac, and we do have business still in town.”

I was carried off to a bed. I stopped fighting the sleep and it came quickly.

We were sitting in the new living room. Someone had lit the fire and I was drawing though the images were blurry. The fire started to grow noisily until it burst out of the fire place becoming a little filly made of fire. The fire filly touched its horn on the wall and the flames greedily ate at the wall. I shouted at the fire filly to stop. It only smirked at me. Its eyes opened and they were the dark green from the crystals. Laughter escaped the fire filly's mouth, and flames started to radiate outward from the strange filly. I ran from her.

Somehow I had ran all the way to the Canterlot castle. I rushed in to warn and seek refuge though when I entered the court room instead of finding a princess I was met with the evil flame pony. It's laughter rang through the room as it royal guards all who had the dark eyes as well lept at me and piled on top of me. My head was the only part of me not buried and the flame pony jumped at us engulfing us in flames.

I was awoken by my own scream. I was alone in a guest room. There wasn't any living flame attacking me. My rapid breathing slowed. The light flickered on, as Iron Hoof came into the room. His previously stoic face had been replaced with a worried one. Tears ran down my checks. My bed felt wet, and looking down I realized that it wasn't sweat. My tears turned into sobbing. Iron Hoof picked me up out of the bed and cradled me in a hug.

Bon Bon entered the room, her face also clad in worry. Bon Bon asked quietly, “Another nightmare?”

“It would appear so,” Iron Hoof said. He chuckled quietly. “It has been a long time since I had to clean up a wet bed.”

“That one is new,” Bon Bon said. She took me from Iron Hoof and hugged me close. My sobbing slowed. “Is there any chance we can get her a bath with out waking the rest of the house?”

“Yes, Twisted Logic likes to take showers late at night so he has a sound proofed bathroom next to his study,” Iron Hoof said. He gathered the bedding into a bundle, and levitated it with him as we left the room. We passed a cupboard which he pulled two towels out. The cupboard next to the first one opened up and was a chute in which he shoved the bedding down. He led us to the particular bathroom. “Here it is. There is a collection of soaps and shampoos in the cupboard. Feel free to use what ever you like. Do you require anything else?”

“No, thank you Iron Hoof,” Bon Bon said as she entered the bathroom, me still in her grip.

Bon Bon sat me down on the floor mat and turned on the tub. The tub was both huge and had jets in it. A small rumbling started when Bon Bon turned on the faucet. The rest of the room was a fairly typical bathroom though both the floor and walls were tilled with a black with white veins marble.

Bon Bon picked me back up and lowered me into the filling tub. The water was just the right level of hot and when up past my ankles. Bon Bon had opened the cupboard and was looking through the selection of bathing materials inside. Bon Bon selected a shampoo and a bathing salt. She sprinkled some of the salts into the water and set the shampoo near the edge. The water had raised up to my knees.

“Do you mind if I join you?” Bon Bon asked quietly.

“I don't mind,” I replied. I scooted back to make room for Bon Bon. Slipping I fell with a splash into the water. I sputtered the water out of my mouth.

“You alright?” Bon Bon asked. She lowered herself into the tub.

I nodded my head and got back on my feet. The water level raised quickly as Bon Bon sat down in the tub. It was now half way up my torso. Bon Bon let the water run for a bit more, till it was splashing over my back and turned off the flow. Bon Bon laid down and the water level rose to the point that I had to tip my head back to prevent water from entering my nose. Bon Bon stood back up and the water receded. She got to work scrubbing me clean. She was much better at it than Lyra was. The scrub down felt quite good and that with the warm water washed away my tension. Weariness flowed in replacing the lost tension.

Bon Bon rinsed both of us off with fresh water as she let the tub drain. She got out and dried herself before drying me off. We left the room, leaving the towels hanging on a rack, and headed back towards the bedrooms. I feel asleep along the way.

Something shaking the bed woke me later. My limbs were wrapped around Bon Bon still. I rolled my head over to look at the rest of the bed and Lyra was trying to creep out of bed. She saw me awake and smiled.

“If you're not ready to get up, go ahead and get some more sleep,” Lyra whispered at me.

Gently I unwrapped myself from Bon Bon and crept out of bed following Lyra. We left Bon Bon to sleep and headed out of the room. We headed off towards the dining room and stopped one door short stepping into the kitchen. Iron Hoof was hard at work making some breakfast.

“Morning,” Lyra said. She walked over to the coffee pot, grabbing a coffee cup from the cupboard with magic she poured herself a cup.

“Good morning miss Lyra, and miss Lilac,” Iron Hoof said. He paused his preparations, and turned to look at us. “I hope the rest of your night was less eventful, Lilac.”

I blushed. I said quietly, “Sorry.”

“No need to apologize,” Iron Hoof said softly. “We all have had accidents before.”

Lyra's ears perked up, but she kept her face calm and unconcerned. Iron Hoof returned to his work. Lyra lead us into a living room where Twisted Logic was sipping at some coffee himself. Twisted was seated in an armchair. There were two more armchairs and a couch all spread out around a coffee table. There were a large set of windows on one wall which let the morning sun flood the room with light.

“Good morning, girls,” Twisted Logic said. He folded up the newspaper he had been reading. “Sleep well?”

“I did. Lilac didn't so much,” Lyra said she took a seat on the couch. “She has been having nightmares for a while now.”

“Well hopefully that clears up before too long. If you don't mind I have a few more questions for the both of you?” Twisted Logic asked. His eyes were a dance with excitement.

“As long as you don't tell anyone else, save Mom, I don't mind answering them,” Lyra stated. “Lilac can answer any she likes. Please don't push her too much though.”

“I shall be gentle. Now first off did you finally find this world of Bipeds?” Twisted asked.

Lyra's face brightened as she got into it. Lyra said, “Sort of, I cast a variable frequency scrying spell which I had attuned to a set of crystals to create a viewing portal. After a bit of tweaking the spell locked in on Lilac's world. I must have done something wrong because after it attuned to Lilac I couldn't get the spell to react to my commands.”

“Interesting, I assume you couldn't cancel the spell?” Twisted Logic asked. His own excitement feed on his daughter's, growing.

“I only tried once, didn't want to loose my chance to learn about the bipeds, but I couldn't get it to cancel. I am pretty certain that, relatively speaking, Lilac's world is somewhat close to us dimensionally,” Lyra explained. “Which would explain their appearance in our myths. That and Lilac wasn't very surprised by our appearance, which though could be attributed to her general personality.”

“Hmm, Lilac, does your world have myths about our ponies here in Equestria?” Twisted Logic asked. He turned his head to look at me, eye to eye. There was something off about Twisted Logic, a little too manic.

“Some things similar but these are legends thousand of years old or older,” I said, as I fidgeted. “We have myths of unicorns and a myth about a single pegasus. Though in those myths the unicorns and pegasus weren't depicted as intelligent.”

“Interesting. Leads credence to your theory, Lyra. I would have to more thoroughly research their myths to be certain though,” Twisted Logic said. He paused for a second, before speaking again this time his excitement grew more manic. “Now if you don't mind indulging my interests, can I scan Lilac? I would love to see if I could get traces of the spell Twilight cast to create Lilac's form.”

“I don't mind. Lilac, is it alright?” Lyra asked me.

“As long as it won't hurt I don't mind,” I said. I looked away from Twisted, my body tensing up in expectation.

Twisted Logic's horn lit up as his spell washed over me. His magic was a bit rougher than I was used to but it didn't hurt. His inspection was quick. Twisted Logic said, his voice having grown cold and serious, “Who cast Sombra's magic on her?”

“That's why you can't tell anyone,” Lyra explained. “Twilight's first soul binding was fading. Princess Celestia and Twilight used a modified version of Sombra's spells to permanently fix her. I don't know which spell specifically.”

“I do. It was Sombra's Soul Binding,” I said solemnly. “Twilight explained it to me.”

“That is powerful and dark magic,” Twisted Logic said. His voice still dark and serious. “Did they cast a purification ritual afterwards?”

I nodded my head. Relief spread across Twisted Logic's face. Twisted said, his voice having regained its enthusiasm, “Have you noticed any changes in your magic?”

“I have more I think, and its harder to control. Twilight said that it was more likely that her previous spell had been limiting my pool than the new spell having an increase.,” I explained.

“How much more would you say?” Twisted Logic asked. He had jumped

“At least twice as much, but maybe as much as ten times as much. I don't know for certain I didn't know how to feel it, till a few days ago,” I said quietly. I rubbed my hooves across the couch I was sitting on, slowly back and forth.

“Well that is interesting,” Twisted Logic rambled. “You have much more magic than a normal filly your apparent age, bigger than average for an adult. Though that could be from the genetics of your new body, Lyra is a bit above average for magical prowess and Twilight Sparkle is probably the most magical being, outside of maybe Discord. How old were you before your transition to here?”

“Nineteen, though humans don't live near as long as ponies do. A human reaching one hundred is a special thing,” I said. A strange comforting thought, I was likely to live over three times what I expected.

“Do you still feel that age?” Twisted Logic asked. “It could be due to your unusual nature you have an adult magical reserve. Magic comes from the soul, your soul being older could cause of your larger pool. Though it could easily be from your bipedal soul as well.”

“Not really,” I said. Confusion muddled my thoughts. “I feel like a kid again. I don't really feel like Alex anymore.”

“Makes sense. You have a new mind even if half of the blueprint is the same as the old you,” Twisted Logic said. “Thank you for answering my questions. Theoretical magic is sort of an obsession for me.”

“Your welcome,” I said. The stress which I had not been aware was building in me seemed to loosen and fade.

“Last night you said you still had business in town, what else do you need to do?” Twisted Logic asked. His tone had lost its excitement. He took a large sip of his coffee.

“We need to get Lilac some proper identification paperwork,” Lyra said. “There was a fire and our house was badly damaged. The insurance pony said we needed to have Lilac's information to apply a claim.”

“That might be a bit difficult with out direct intervention from one of the Princesses,” Twisted Logic replied. “I know a few of the social workers from the castle. They are stricter than our dean, when it comes to proper paperwork.”

“Twilight should still be in town, so hopefully she can help us with that,” Lyra said, concern licking at her voice.

“Hopefully she will be able to,” Twisted Logic said. He seemed unconcerned though. “Her help would definitely ease the headache of that.”

Symphonica Heartstrings entered the room. She had a cup of coffee as well. She said, “Good morning dears. Iron Hoof says that breakfast shall be ready shortly. Is Bon Bon up yet?”

“I don't think so,” Lyra replied. Leaving the couch behind, Lyra headed out of the room. “I will go wake her.”

Symphonica sat down in one of the large armchairs. Exchanging her cup for a section of the newspaper she read quietly. Twisted Logic had also returned to his section of the newspaper. I shifted to the end of the couch and laid my head on the armrest, or, as I realized, must have been intended as a headrest. Bon Bon and Lyra returned a short while later and I scooted back into the middle of the couch.

Just after both Bon Bon and Lyra had found comfortable seating, Iron Hoof entered the room. He wore a small smile on his face. Iron Hoof said, “Breakfast is ready.”

He lead the way into the dining. He had laid out a spread of fresh cut fruit a pot of oatmeal and had some scrambled eggs. Lyra got me a plate with a little bit of everything and then did the same for herself, though taking more generous portions. The oatmeal was simple but well cooked as were the eggs. I sat there fiddling with the last piece of fruit on my plate for a minute before finally eating it.

“So what are your plans for today?” Symphonica asked. She had finished her first plate and was working on a second one with just fruit.

“We have to go get Lilac's identification papers sorted out,” Lyra said between bites.

Bon Bon poked groggily at her food and had barely eaten anything. She said, “Lyra, can you two do that without me? I really need to get back to Ponyville, I can't miss another day at the stand.”

“We can manage. Are you going to be fine going home by yourself?” Lyra responded. Concern tempered her normally more cheerful voice.

“I will be. I just had a hard time getting back to sleep last night is all,” Bon Bon stated. She picked up her pace on eating.

“Sorry,” I said quietly. Guilt hit me, souring my mood.

“It's not your fault,” Bon Bon said. “I just shouldn't have got into the tub with you. It woke me up.”

My guilt subsided but refused to dissipate fully. Bon Bon ate for a few more minutes before giving up. Lyra had also finished her meal. She gathered our plates and took them into the kitchen. Twisted Logic had finished the section of newspaper he had been reading and moved onto another.

Lyra returned from the kitchen. She said, “We should probably get going. Thanks for having us, Mom, Dad.”

“Thanks for coming,” Symphonica said. She got out of her chair and pranced over. She gave each of us a hug in turn.

Putting his paper down, Twisted Logic said, “Yes it was nice having you over. I am looking forward to receiving a wedding invitation.”

“As soon as we decide on a date you will get it,” Lyra promised. She headed out of the room.

“Goodbye. Have a good day,” Bon Bon said cheerfully.

“Goodbye,” I said as I followed Lyra. “It was nice meting you.”

Iron Hoof met us at the door were another set of farewells were exchanged. Standing outside Lyra asked, “Do you want us to go with you to the train station?”

“Thanks for the offer, but why don't you two just head towards the castle,” Bon Bon stated. “No point in you walking down the hill to walk all the way back up it.”

Lyra hugged Bon Bon tightly and gave her a long passionate kiss. Lyra said quietly, “I love you. See you soon.”

I had been standing near by waiting for my turn. When Lyra released Bon Bon from her hug, I grabbed Bon Bon, giving her a hug. I said, “I love you, too.”

Bon Bon returned my hug. She said quietly, “I love you as well. Have a good day, and see you at home later.”

We parted ways us headed towards the castle and Bon Bon headed out deeper into the city off towards the train station which was visible from here. The city was quiet expansive though as far as I could tell none of the buildings were higher than four stories tall. On the whole the town was very asteticly pleasing. Even the poorer sections of the town, ones were nearly all the buildings were apartments, were well kept and decorated from what I could tell.

Our trip to the castle didn't take long and soon enough Lyra was back to haggling the secretary. There was less of a crowd than yesterday though the morning was still young. My legs were getting tired having walked all the way from the Heartstrings estate. The secretary was a young earth pony mare who had a pale baby blue coat and light pink mane.

“Hello again,” the secretary said. Though clearly trying to keep her voice cheerful, her disdain for Lyra shown through. “What can I help you with today?”

“Do you know if Twilight Sparkle is still here?” Lyra asked. She too seemed to be trying to hide her annoyance, though similarly failing.

“Once again, I am not kept up to date on who is still in the castle nor if I was would I be at liberty to share that information with you. If you need help with public paperwork or want to speak to Princess Celestia, I can help you with those,” the secretary said surly.

“We need to get some identification papers for Lilac Splash,” Lyra said. She pointed at me though I couldn't tell if the secretary could see me from behind the counter. I peeked up by standing on my hind legs and bracing myself with my forelegs against the counter.

“Replacement papers require that you provide proof of identification, do you have a birth certificate?” the secretary asked.

“It isn't a replacement set,” Lyra explained. “And no I don't have a birth certificate.”

“Okay, which hospital or town was Lilac born in? Who are her parents?” the secretary responded.

“Ponyville, though born probably not the right word,” Lyra said offhandedly. “And parents are Lyra Heartstrings, myself, and Twilight Sparkle.”

“Twilight Sparkle doesn't have any children,” the secretary stated. She looked a little bit confused and a lot annoyed.

“That's why I asked you if she was still in at the castle this would go much easier if she was here to explain,” Lyra snapped back.

“Well, I don't know,” the secretary said.

I hopped down from my perch and started to look around. The number of guards had doubled since we entered the room. Lyra and the secretary had started to go in circles with their arguing. I wandered over to the open door towards the court room. The throne sat empty. I turned back around and did a small lap around the chairs. Most of them were empty though a few ponies sat waiting for the start of day court. One of the ponies was reading a newspaper he had it folded out and was reading something a couple of pages in. The main headline read: Storms in Dragon Lands Wreck Havoc. There was an artists rendition of some large tornado.

I finished my lap. Lyra and the secretary's argument had gotten heated. I glanced back into the courtroom. Two Guards entered the courtroom followed by Princess Celestia. I glanced back at Lyra. Her anger distorted her features, causing fear to run through my spine. I shivered. Princess Celestia had almost made it to her throne, out of earshot of the ensuing argument. Panic wormed its way into my head. My breathing hastened and tears started to flow down my checks. I crumpled into a heap on the floor. The evil green eyes flooded my vision.

The warmth of a morning sun washed over me, chasing away my fears. I looked up, seeing Princess Celestia standing next to me. She looked down at me, her beautiful smile warming me. Princess Celestia strode over to the counter. She said, her voice quiet and calm, “Is there anything I can help you two with?”

Noticing the Princess for the first time both the secretary and Lyra dropped to the floor in a bow. The secretary was the first to regain her composure. She stood back up though her head still hung to the floor. The secretary said, “I am sorry, Princess. My behavior was unacceptable.”

“It was my fault,” Lyra stated. She too rose up into a standing position. “I have had a very stressful week, and I was taking out on her.-” Lyra turned to the secretary “-I am sorry for being an ass.”

“I am sorry for being a jerk as well,” the secretary said. She lifted her face and her stress shown through her eyes. “I can sympathize with having a bad week.”

“Looks like you didn't need my help after all,” Celestia said. “Miss Heartstrings what brings you back to the castle today?”

“I need to get Lilac her identification papers. Also do you know if Twilight is still in town?” Lyra said. Lyra looked Princess Celestia in the eyes as she talked.

“Elegant Note, I want you to help them draft up the identification papers. They will need brand new paperwork Lilac here just celebrated her seventh birthday a two weeks ago yesterday,” Princess Celestia said. “They will however need a full set of new papers. Her previous ones were lost. Lyra do you know the details enough that Lilac can come with me?”

“Yes, I do. Thank you for your help,” Lyra said. She did a curtsy bow.

“Will she need a new personal identifcation number as well?” Elegant Note asked. She lifted her head to look directly at me. She was staring at me intently.

“She will,” Princess Celestia said. “Anything that you need more official authentication on please send the filled out paper work to me after lunch.”

“Yes, Princess,” Elegant Note said. She turned to Lyra and beckoned her over to the desk.

Princess Celestia turned back towards the court room and she walked over to me. She lifted me up onto my feet with her magic. My outburst had taken its toll, as had the walk here, and I was shaky on my legs.

“Would you mind spending some time with Twilight?” Princess Celestia asked me. I shook my head. Celestia smiled at me. “She has been in the library for most of the time she has been here. I feel she may be a slight bit obsessed though I am hoping spending some time with you will help her with that.”

The two of us walked over to hallway leading into the castle proper. Princess Celestia stopped and said, “Sadly I am needed here. Day court opens in just a few minutes. Golden Glaive here will take you there. Golden Glaive if you don't mind I would like you to carry miss Lilac to the library to visit Twilight Sparkle.”

“At once, Princess,” said the white guard unicorn his magic levitated me and he walked off with me on his back.

Chapter 10

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Chapter 10
Golden Glaive stopped in front of the Library counter top. The ancient librarian looking up from her paperwork, smiled at the guard and me. She shuffled her paperwork to the side, and got out of her chair. From this angle, I could tell the chair was well worn, though looked quiet comfortable.

“Here for Twilight again?” the librarian asked. She came around the desk and headed towards the restricted section.

Both the guard and myself nodded yes. The librarian chuckled lightly. She lead as most of the way to the restricted section before turning to enter the a different wing. This one had the depiction of the bell hat unicorn. She opened the gate and let us in.

“She is in there somewhere,” the librarian said, gesturing to the wing with her hoof. She turned around and headed back to her desk.

After a few minutes of searching, we happened across Twilight. She was reading two books at the same time and didn't notice us approach.

“Princess Twilight,” The guard said, his voice gruff and deep. “I have a little one here for you.”

Twilight's head lazily looked up at the guard. She clearly had not slept. Twilight said, “Oh. Hello Lilac. Where is Lyra and Bon Bon?”

“Bon Bon went back to Ponyville, and Lyra is dealing with paperwork,” I said. I slide off the guards back and walked over to Twilight hugging her.

“I need to get back to my post,” the guard said. “Do you need anything before I leave?”

“No, We will be fine,” Twilight said. She got up and returned the books to there spots on the shelf. “What time is it, Lilac?”

The guard turned and left, leaving Twilight and myself alone. I watched him go for a second before looking back at Twilight. Concern wormed its way into my head. Did she do this all the time? Or was this because of me? I said, “Sometime after breakfast. Day court just started.”

“Then the kitchens are open,” Twilight said. She picked me up and placed me on her back. Her horn glowed and with a pop we were in a different room. The smell of coffee and baked goods wafted on the air. “Hmmm, Coffee.”

My stomach was a bit queasy from the teleportation though no where near as bad as the last one. I slide off Twilight's back and sat on the ground trying to regain my bearings as the room slightly twirled around me.

We were in some sort of cafeteria. There were a number of tables with chairs surrounding us. A few of them had ponies sitting at them enjoying a meal. Along one wall there was a large open window that lead into the kitchen. In the window was a large selection of breakfast foods in steam pans and a few ponies were collecting a meal from with in them. Twilight had walked off to an area next to the window where there were to large thermos, presumably of coffee.

Twilight returned with a steaming cup. She cooled the coffee with her magic and then drank the whole cup in one go. She smiled at me, energy returning to her face. Twilight said, “So what did you guys do after we left yesterday?”

“We visited Lyra's parents,” I said cheerfully. Outside of a certain accident, I had enjoyed meeting them. “Where do your parents live?”

“Here in Canterlot,” Twilight said. She stared longingly at the cafeteria food. Her eyes grew blank for a while.

“Can we go visit them?” I asked. There was something off about twilight but I couldn't tell what. Maybe she was sick, her parents would know.

“I guess we should,” Twilight said. She fidgeted with her cup for a few seconds. She lifted me back onto her back and her horn glowed once more. “Hold tight. Sorry I forgot to tell you about the previous teleport. Get ready for another.”

With a loud pop we found ourselves standing outside a simple town house. There was a large window through which a lit fireplace could be seen. Twilight walked up to the door and opened it. The room was empty of ponies. Two armchairs sat near the fireplace, facing the fire, with a small stand that separated them. A steaming cup of tea sat on the stand, still steeping. There were a number of pictures that decorated the walls, many of them depicted Twilight.

“Mom,” Twilight Sparkle called out loudly. “You home?”

“Twilight, is that you?” a female voice yelled from further with in the house. A petite white unicorn mare came walking into the room. Her mane was a light purple with streaks of white in it. She smiled as she saw Twilight and rushed over to give her daughter a hug.

“So, Mom, I want you to meet Lilac Splash,” Twilight Sparkle said. Twilight lifted me off her back and deposited me in front of her.

“Hello, Lilac. My name is Twilight Velvet,” Twilight Velvet said. She smiled at me gently before returning her gaze to Twilight Sparkle. “So, I am guessing that you're not here to introduce me to just some random filly.”

“No, I should explain,” Twilight Sparkle stated. She stared at her hooves for a few seconds, rubbing on of her hoof on the other foreleg. When she started to talk again she did so very quickly. “Lilac is my child, biologically. One of my friends from Ponyville, Lyra. She went to school with Shining Armor and Cadence. She cast a spell that stumbled across another world. There she found, and watched, for about a month, a bipedal creature named Alex. Alex had a horrible accident and in attempt to save him Lyra tried to cast magic through the dimensional scrying spell. I tried to save Lyra from killing herself by trying to save Alex. Her spell was draining her too much the strain would have cause interruptible damage. We both succeeded, to varying degrees. I was much more successful than Lyra, and we had pulled Alex's soul through the dimensional barrier. Souls aren't meant to be outside of a body, so it began to fade and move on, and in an attempt to save him I created a new body, using myself and Lyra as a blueprint and bound the soul to the new body. This new being is Lilac. There you go all caught up.”

“Wait, you were too fast there, honey,” Twilight Velvet said. “So you are saying, Lilac is your daughter, that you made out of some extra-dimensional soul and a bits of you and Lyra?”

“Pretty much,” Twilight Sparkle explained. Concern coated her face. “Lilac is the amalgamation of a soul and Lyra and my child. I had to make a new body for Lilac's soul and the only way I knew how to make a living one, and not just trap her soul into a gem or something worse, was to create a new body. I had learned a spell that let two mares have children together, for a friend of mine, and I used a modified version of that and an aging spell to create Lilac.”

Twilight was staring at the floor. Worry seemed to have taken over her whole body, which was shaking slightly. I hugged her legs, and her mom hugged the rest of her.

Twilight Velvet asked quietly, “What has you all worked up?”

“I...” Twilight started. She sat there trying to form words, stopping part way through only to start another shortly there after. “Its just all becoming real. Up till yesterday it was all just a puzzle and then we got summoned to the castle. I didn't cast my spell properly and Lilac could have died because of it. To fix it, we had to subject Lilac-” She paused to stifle her sobs “-to the most painful and dark magic I have ever cast. I had to watch her screaming in pain, all because I messed up my spell. Because I wasn't good enough.”

“Twilight Sparkle,” Twilight Velvet said sharply. “You created a functional body out of thin air. No one I know, other than you, can do that. Sure there were some hiccups here or there but you made life, in your own special way, a way only you can do. Don't sell yourself short.”

“You didn't have much time to get your spell right,” I said. Guilt ate at me and tears ran down my cheeks. “I didn't give you guys time to think, only react. The fact that I am still breathing is a miracle. Please don't blame yourself for my mistake.”

We sat there for a few minutes till Twilight Sparkle calmed down. Twilight said, “Sorry I was being foalish.”

“Twilight you look like you haven't slept in days. You need to take care of yourself better. No wonder your so wrung up so tight,” Twilight Velvet said.

“I needed to be certain of the side effects of our spell,” Twilight Sparkle said. “We used some of Sombra's magic. I have to be certain, that our spell won't cause more problems than it already has.”

“What do you mean?” I asked. Fear fought with guilt over control of my mind.

“Sombra's spell will likely stunt your growth, physically. I'm sorry,” Twilight said.

“How much?” I asked.

“I don't know. It could be a lot or very little but some amount,” Twilight explained. “Also there are a number of other side effects that may or may not come into effect.”

I sat there contemplating what she could mean. Her vagueness scared me.

Twilight Velvet, still hugging her daughter, looked over at the clock. She said, “Twilight your father will be home in three hours. Why don't you go upstairs and take a nap till he gets home. I will take care of Lilac till then. Okay?”

Twilight Velvet wasn't asking. Twilight Sparkle looked like she wanted to argue but didn't and marched out of the room. Twilight Sparkle said, as she crossed through the door, “Thanks, Mom, for being here for me.”

“Thank you for letting me,” Twilight Velvet said. She turned to me and stared for a few seconds. Her face was mostly expressionless. “So Lilac, tell me about yourself.”

I spent the next couple of hours explaining the last couple of months of my life. Most of that time was explaining a few of the differences between Equestrain society and American Society. I left out much of the dietary differences. Twilight Velvet tried to seem interested, and always asked more questions when ever the conversation seemed to be faltering. We got up to the last two weeks and Twilight Velvet's interest seemed to spike. She was particularly distraught when I told her of the house fire and then of the soul binding. After recounting my tale, she insisted that I show her my drawing skills. I lost count of time and for a while I simply drew pictures for Twilight Velvet, sometimes just things I imagined, sometimes of things from Earth.

The door opening interrupted my drawing. A blue unicorn stallion walked into the house. He had a slightly darker blue mane. He said, “Hello, Velvet. And who is this little one?”

“Meet your granddaughter, Lilac Splash,” Twilight Velvet said cheerfully.

“Adopted or magic?” the blue stallion asked tiredly.

“Magic,” Twilight Velvet said. Her voice was falsely cheerful. “Dear, why don't you introduce yourself.”

“Where are my manners? Sorry, My name is Night Light. I am Twilight Sparkle's father,” the blue Stallion said.

“Hello,” I said quietly.

“Is Twilight here?” Night Light asked his wife.

“She is upstairs taking a nap. I insisted that she do so. I am going to go make lunch. When its ready I will wake Twilight and we will all have a nice lunch and talk,” Twilight Velvet stated. Her tone of voice made it very certain that we all would do exactly that. “Dear why don't you and Lilac chat for a while. Get to know each other.”

“Yes, Velvet,” Night Light said. He sat down in one of the armchairs, staring at the now dying fire. “Lilac why don't you sit down too?”

I scrambled up into the empty armchair. After getting comfortable I looked at Night Light, he seemed entertained by my exploits. If I were him I would fine myself funny and cute, too, not that I forgave his mirth.

“So Lilac, why don't you tell me how you came to be?” Night Light asked. His voice remained steady and calm. I could tell there was anger in his eyes, but not at me.

“Just over two weeks ago. I tried to kill myself,” I explained solemnly. “Twilight was watching me from another world, this one, and she tried to save me. Her attempts only managed to save a part of me. My soul. Twilight created a new body for my soul, and in doing so created me. At first she treated me like I was some sort of experiment, a puzzle. She was nice sure, but unattached. Two days ago we, as in myself and Twilight, were summoned to the castle. Something had been disturbing the flow of magic near Ponyville and Discord had told Princess Celestia. The princess feared the cause was me, so she had to check me magically to find out. Instead she found that Twilight's spell, the one that held my soul in, was fading. The four princess fixed that.-” I shuddered “-It was very painful. I don't know why but Twilight changed. I guess I became real to her. Seeing me in pain, a pain she inadvertently caused.”

I paused to catch my breath. Why I had been so honest, not that I normally wasn't honest, but so brutally so was weird to me. Something about Night Light made me trust him.

“One thing is for certain, you are Twilight's daughter,” Night Light joked. “You can ramble just like she can. I am sorry if I came off cold earlier. It's just, I am worried about Twilight. She goes from one crisis to another, some of them made by her own hoof, some of them world ending terrors, and I worry about her. I worry that she isn't going to be able to settle down and have a happy peaceful life.”

“I understand,” I said quietly.

“We can't just dwell on our worries though,” Night Light said. “Has Twilight been taking care of you, properly?”

“I have been living with my other mom, and her fiancé, Lyra and Bon Bon. Twilight hasn't needed to take care of me, and I guess she has monetarily done so,” I said. I started to cry. “We had a house fire. I caused it. I had a magically buildup, from not using my magic. I didn't know how or what to look for in me. At the climax of the buildup, I accidentally pushed all that magic out and caused our house to burn down. Twilight helped us buy new stuff.”

Night Light sat there thinking for a few minutes. He would look at me every so often and his eyes held a battle of worries. Night Light said, “Welcome to our family. I want you to know that Twilight Velvet and myself will be here for you. If you need it.”

“Thank you,” I said. My tears had dried up. I rubbed my hooves against my eyes, trying to clear the rest of the tears out of them.

Twilight Velvet poked her head into the room. She said, “Lunch is ready. I am going to go wake Twilight.”

Night Light slipped out of his chair and headed out of the room, I followed closely. Just down a hallway we came into a conjoined dining room and kitchen. A large number of floor to ceiling windows filled one corner of the bright room. The diner table basked in the sunlight cast by the windows. The kitchen was fairly compact but well stocked. On the table sat a set of plates with four sandwiches each cut in half. Night Light took a seat at the table. I scrambled up into one of the chairs as well.

Twilight Velvet and Twilight Sparkle entered the room. Twilight Sparkle was still shaking the sleep from her head. She smiled at me, and took a seat next to mine. Twilight Sparkle said, “Hello, Dad.”

Smiling, Night Light said, “Hello, Twilight. I hear you have had an eventful last few weeks.”

Twilight smiled at her father. Twilight said, “It has been. I just didn't realize it till little bit ago.”

Twilight Velvet had grabbed a few cups and some lemonade from the refrigerator. She poured us each a cup and divided up the sandwiches. The sandwich was fairly simple, made of flowers. I found the dandelions to be the best but daisies were pretty good too. No one spoke during lunch. I was only able to eat half a sandwich, though Twilight ate my second half.

After everypony had finished their sandwich, Twilight Velvet cleaned away the plates. She sat back down, next to Night Light. Twilight Velvet said, “Twilight, we need to talk.”

“I know,” Twilight Sparkle said quietly. She was staring at me, her eyes filled with dread.

“First off, I want you to know that we love you very much,” Twilight Velvet said. Her voice almost sounded sad.

Twilight blushed slightly. She said, “I love you too, Mom. And you too, Dad.”

“I, no we, are just worried about you Twilight,” Twilight Velvet said. “You are constantly chasing your obsessions, some of which bring good things to the world, some of them just seem to make you run in circles for a while. I wish you would start taking better care of yourself. Spike has sent us letters asking for help. That things have gotten worse in the last couple of months.”

“Princess Celestia needed me to work on some things for her. That had cut into my more typical research time which just cut into my sleep time. I don't need as much sleep anymore, now that I am an Alicorn,” Twilight Sparkle pleaded.

“Which would be fine and dandy if it was you slept only four or five hours a day. We were there, when Princess Celestia explained your physical changes, after your ascension. Spike's letters indicate you sleep every couple of days and at that only for six hours at most,” Twilight Velvet said. “And its not just sleep. I can tell that you haven't been eating right, you have lost weight since we last saw you. And you ate those sandwiches like they were the only thing you had eaten in a while.”

“I know I can get a little wrapped up in things, but it's fine. I can handle it,” Twilight Sparkle said defensively.

“Princess Celestia is worried about you,” I said quietly. “When she sent me to you today, she said that you had been in the Library for most of our time in Canterlot. I could see the worry in her eyes. She was hoping I could drag you away from your obsession.”

“I needed to be sure,” Twilight stated. Her eyes were filled with worry and a tear ran down her cheek. “I need to make sure you will be alright, more than anything else before. I can't see you in pain like that again.”

Her tear turned into a flood and she hugged me close to her. Twilight Velvet got out of her chair, walked over and hugged Twilight Sparkle as well. Twilight Velvet said, “Sparky, you can't take care of anyone, if you aren't taking care of yourself.”

“I know,” stammered Twilight. Her tears stopped and she loosened her grip on me.

Night Light had been sitting quietly. I glanced at him when his chair creaked. I couldn't get a read on his face. Night Light said, “Twilight, I know that your under a lot of pressure with recent events. But you have to pick a thing to be unwavering on. You can't do everything, nor should you try. You need to pick and choose your battles better.”

Twilight watched her dad intently as he spoke, taking in his words more thoroughly than she had with the rest of us. Twilight said, “I just don't know what I am supposed to do anymore. Things are piling up quicker than I can deal with them.”

“Then ask for help,” Night Light said. “You don't have to deal with this alone. Your mom and I will always be here for you. I would bet Princess Celestia would equally be there for you.”

“What would you do? I feel torn between two worlds now, life as a princess, and now being a mom,” Twilight asked.

“Personally, I tried to be the best dad I could for you, and your brother,” Night Light said. “But I didn't have to weigh the life of my child, and doing the best by them with doing the best by all of Equestria. I really think you should ask Princess Celestia, or maybe Princess Luna. Those two will be better able to tell you what to do, or at least guide you.”

“I wish we had answers for you,” Twilight Velvet said. She nuzzled her daughter's head. “We are proud of you, just also worried.”

“I do need to talk to Princess Celestia,” Twilight said. The sadness had left her eyes. “I am sorry to cut this visit short, but we should go. Lyra is probably worried about Lilac by now and I want to catch Princess Celestia at lunch.”

“It's fine,” Night Light said. He joined the rest of us on our side of the table and he hugged his daughter. “I love you.”

Twilight Velvet gave both Twilight and myself a hug. She said, “I love you, Sparky. Try to visit again soon. And I hope I see you soon too, Lilac.”

“Goodbye,” I said. I escaped from Twilight Velvet's grasp only to be grabbed by Twilight's magic. “It was nice meeting you.”

Twilight walked a few steps away from her parents. She said, “Lilac, we are teleporting again. Goodbye, Mom, Dad. I love you. I will come back to talk in a bit.”

Pop. We were standing in the main hall of the Canterlot castle. I was getting used to teleporting. A few of the guards seemed startled by our sudden appearance but most of them remained stoic. She walked to the end of the hallway, near the courtroom. A guard whose armor was slightly more impressive than the rest stood between the two hallways.

“Do you know where Princess Celestia is?” Twilight asked the guard.

“She is in her private study,” The guard said.

“Thank you,” Twilight said. “Can you go find a Miss Lyra Heartstrings for me? She should be somewhere in or near the castle. I will be talking with Princess Celestia.”

“As you wish Princess,” The guard said. He sauntered off into the court room.

“One more teleport,” Twilight stated. Pop.

We were standing out side a large double doorway. Four guards stood watch over the door. Twilight bowed slightly to the guards, who returned the gesture. She then knocked on the door.

“Come in,” Princess Celestia said from inside the room.

The door opened, with the magic of one of the guards. Twilight and I entered the room. Princess Celestia sat at a large desk, which was covered in a large array of papers, most of which were well organized. She had a platter with a bowl of soup and a partially eaten sandwich on it. A number of bookcases lined the walls. The areas of the wall not covered in shelves, instead had pictures of ponies. Each picture had one or two ponies in it. Off to one side I spotted one with Twilight in it. Next to that there was an orange and red unicorn mare.

“Hello, Twilight, and Lilac,” Princess Celestia said, smiling. Her eyes came to rest on Twilight, and shortly there after got out of her chair and headed our way. “You looked troubled, Twilight. Is something amiss?”

“I visited my parents,” Twilight said. “They were worried about me, rightfully so. I have been a bit of a mess recently. Princess, what should I do? About Lilac?”

Celestia seemed stumped for a second. She sat down and stared at the walls for a little while. Part of me worried what she would tell Twilight, that she would say to distance herself. I slid to the floor. Twilight wrapped one of her forelegs around my back.

“I can't tell you what to do,” Princess Celestia stated. “I can tell you what I did, and what I think you should do, but this is a decision you need to make for youself.”

“I understand,” Twilight said solemnly. “What would you do? Or did do?”

“Long ago, shortly after Luna and I had defeated Discord, I feel in love,” Princess Celestia said. Melancholy filled her voice, and she stared at one particular painting on the wall. A small one depicting a unicorn stallion. “We ended up having children. At the time I couldn't have been happier. But soon it became apparent that while time ticked away for them, it did not do so for me. I buried them, all three of them, my love and my two children, out in the gardens of our old castle. I never regret having them or falling in love, but outside of banishing my sister, I have never felt so alone as I did then, wiping the dirt from my hooves.”

“I'm sorry,” Twilight said. Tears ran down her checks. She walked over and hugged her mentor. “I didn't know.”

“Don't be,” Princess Celestia said solemnly. “I don't regret what I did, who I created, and I hope that you never will either. But that isn't all is it?”

“No,” Twilight said. “I don't think I can be both the best princess I can be and the best parent I can be at the same time. I don't think I am ready to take on more responsibility from you. Not that I won't try to help but I need to sort out my personal life now. Lilac just helped put that into perspective.”

Princess Celestia giggled lightly. She said, “I know that in time you will be a great princess of Equestria. If you want to postpone that for a bit so you can focus on being a great mom, I can not and would not deny you that. In fact I encourage you do this. Forever is a long time to live with some regrets.”

“I need to talk to someone else, too,” Twilight said. She looked at me, her eyes filled with love. “I can't step on Lyra's hooves. She cares just as much for Lilac, and honestly she has been a better parent so far than I have.”

“While I do think that is a good idea, don't let her talk you out of this,” Princess Celestia said.

“I won't but I want to have us all on the same page,” Twilight said. “The three of us, no the four of us need to sit down and talk as a family.”

There was a knock at the door. Princess Celestia said, “Come in.”

An armor clad Shining Armor walked into the room. He saluted both princesses. Twilight blushed. Shining Armor said, “I have my report for you, Princess Celestia. Also I was asked to deliver some paperwork to you by Elegant Note.”

Shining Armor handed Princess Celestia a stack of papers. She listlessly flipped through them, a grin growing on her face. Princess Celestia said, “If you will wait just a moment Shining Armor, I will take your report then. After I sign these, Lilac is an official citizen of Equestria. There is one here that you will need to sign Twilight.”

Princess Celestia handed a quill and the paper to Twilight, who signed the indicated spot. Twilight returned the paperwork to the princess. Twilight asked, “Shining, Did you happen to see Lyra when you acquired these?”

“She was there. Why?” Shining armor asked.

“I just need to talk to her. Do you see or hear where they would be?” Twilight asked, her voice filled with anticipation.

“Elegant Note and Lyra were headed off to the cafeteria,” stated Shining Armor.

“Thank you,” Twilight said, enthusiastically. “If you'll excuse me Princess, I need to go talk to Lyra.”

“Of course,” Princess Celestia said. Her gaze returned to the paperwork. “Though if you are going to teleport there, please do so outside of the room. I don't want to have to reapply the anti-teleportation spell. Again.”

Twilight nodded her head and we headed out into the hallway, me on her back. When we cleared the door, a large bright pop engulfed us. Once more I found us in the cafeteria. Looking around the room I spotted Lyra, and a lot of other tables. Conspicuously the area where we appeared seemed to be missing a table, despite the room for it.

Lyra spotted us as well and she came walking over to us. Lyra's eyes sparkled a bit. Lyra said, “Hello, Twilight. Lilac.”

I slipped from Twilight's back, landing on my shaky legs. I stumbled over to Lyra, leaning up against her for both support and comfort. I said, “I missed you.”

“I missed you, too,” Lyra said. Moving, which almost made me loose my balance, she engulfed me in a hug. “Are you feeling alright? Your a little wobbly.”

“Not fully used to teleportation, and I am a bit tired,” I said. My eye lids grew heavy though I fought against the sleep. “Can I have some coffee?”

“I guess,” Lyra said. She looked a bit suspicious. “Twilight, would you mind getting her a small cup of it?”

“Cream, please,” I asked as I peaked out of Lyra's arms, my head tilted backwards, at Twilight.

“One cup of coffee coming right up,” Twilight said as she suppressed a giggle.

Lyra half carried half guided me over to the table where she and Elegant Note had been sitting. Elegant Note was busy eating a salad which had numerous ingredients in it. She smiled gently at Lyra's return. Twilight joined us just a few moments after we sat down. Elegant Note fidgeted slightly when Twilight sat down next to her. Twilight handed me a gently steaming cup of joe.

“You did an amazing job, on Lilac,” Elegant Note said to Twilight. She blushed slightly. “Lyra told me you had created Lilac with magic.”

“I did,” Twilight said. She blushed slightly too. “Thank you.”

“So what have you two been up too?” Lyra asked. She took a sip of her tea. “I would regal you of our exploits in paperwork but I think that is about as exciting as I can make it sound.”

I took a small sip of the coffee. The familiar warmth spreading through me. It was fairly strong for black coffee and of adequate quality. The cream had cooled the cup enough that I could drink it properly. I took a big swig of the coffee before returning it to the table. Once it was safely on the table, I realized I had grabbed the cup with my magic.

“We went and visited my parents for a bit,” Twilight explained cheerfully. Her eyes told a different story than her voice. They were filled with a storm. “They were quite happy to met Lilac. We had lunch there.”

The coffee took effect sooner than I expected. I could feel its jittery claws working its way through me. The world had slowed slightly. I said, “It was nice to met them.”

“Well that's good,” Lyra said slowly. “I hope you had fun.”

I nodded my head, though the signal to stop seemed to be slow in getting there. My head bounced four times more before it stopped.

Lyra had finished her food and she pushed the plate a bit away from her with her hoof. Elegant Note was an exceptionally slow eater. She chewed each bite at least ten times, which was lower than the recommended but still seemed excessive.

Twilight smiled cheaply. I could tell she was nervous, some sweat I hadn't seen before had built on her brow. Twilight said slowly, “Lyra, I was hoping you and I could talk, in private.”

“That's fine by me,” spoke Lyra. She was being very deliberate in her talking. Lyra had a smile pasted on her face, which seemed at odds at how serious their conversation had become. “What do you want to talk about?”

“I wanted to talk to you about Lilac, and well, us,” Twilight said slowly. “I guess here would be fine. The Cafeteria has cleared out mostly.”

Elegant Note grabbed her plate with her magic. She hadn't finished her meal and was still on chew nine while she got up. Elegant Note said, slower than the rest had been, “I am gonna go get some more.”

Elegant Note walked over to the window where she was perusing the selection. She had left a spoon behind on the table, unused. I picked it up with my magic, and stirred my coffee with it. I let the coffee drip off the spoon before licking the spoon clean. I took another large swig of my coffee.

“Is everything alright?” Lyra asked slowly. Concern danced in her eyes.

I noticed that Lyra had not used her spoon either. I grabbed that one with my magic as well. I set the two spoons off onto a dance around my cup.

“Everything is fine, or at least it will be,” Twilight said. Her concern and agitation slowed her words. “I just wanted to apologizes for not being there for Lilac. I want to take a more active role with Lilac, if you will let me.”

Ms Spork, one of them had to be different, and Ms Spoon's dance had turned into a feverish waltz around my coffee cup. Ms Spoon said, “Fancy meeting you here. Do you come here often?”

“Twilight, I would love for you to take an active role in Lilac's life,” Lyra said slowly. Her eyes looked happy though a tear was forming in them as well. “Anything in particular you want to do?”

“THIS BEAT IS SICK,” Ms Spork yelled. The music in the Coffee Club had changed to an electric trance. Their waltz became a more unorganized mess. I took another drink of the coffee, disappointed when the cup emptied sooner than I wanted.

“I want to be Lilac's teacher,” Twilight said. She looked at me, her face slightly puzzled, though she still smiled. “She is a quick study, and I think she will get bored by more typical schooling.”

With the coffee gone the cup became a make shift Jacuzzi. Both Ms Spoon and Ms Spork decided that the convenient location inside the club was a bit unusual. However, when in Rome do as the Romans, so they took a soak. Mrs Fork, who had joined after her trip from Lyra's plate, decided that the Jacuzzi was a great place to listen to the beat. Mrs Fork said, “I hope you don't mind my company. I do love going to the club but all my friends are busy.”

“Won't that cut into your Royal duties?” Lyra asked, still speaking slowly.

Mrs Fork had had one too many drinks that night. She fell asleep in Ms Spoon's arms, well head. Ms Spork, feeling a slight bit betrayed got out of the Jacuzzi and wandered off to the Mr Salad's Bar, to drown away her sorrows.

“Probably, but those have taken up too much of my time as it is,” Twilight said. Her voice remained slow and steady. “I don't want to miss out on being there for Lilac. Princess Celestia can handle being one of three important Princesses for another few years, she doesn't need me right now. Sure if we have another incident, like Tirek, I will be there for those..”

I decided I needed more to drink, so I slipped out of my chair. Lyra and Bon Bon weren't paying much attention to me. I quietly dashed between tables and chairs, which formed a canyon in my mind. I stood on my back legs to better survey the coffee making device. With my package acquired I slunk back through the back alleys of this scummy town to my seat. A fight had broken out in Mr Salad's Bar between Ms Spork and Mrs Fork. Ms Spoon was nice enough to stir my drink for me.

“I have,” Twilight stated. Their conversation had continued at its slow pace. “Princess Celestia understands.”

Ms Spoon's stirring cooled my second cup of coffee quickly. I downed the whole thing at once, which was a bad idea. My stomach began to complain. As I was contemplating cup number three, Ms Spork and Mrs Fork's fight knocked over my first cup. I had grabbed a new cup for the second serving, which was held in my magic. Why was Ms spoon lazily spinning in my turned over cup, and Mrs Fork fighting with Ms Spork if my magic wasn't engulfing them?

“Lyra why are the silverware fighting on their own accord?” I asked puzzled. I had to admit the way the fork and spoon were fighting could have been misconstrued.

Lyra's head slowly spun towards me. I could feel one of my eyes twitch as I watched her take nearly a minute to turn my direction. Her mouth opened and slowly came forth, “I don't know. Twilight, do you know? Lilac are you feeling alright your shaking?”

“Come to Life spell,” Twilight stated very slowly.

Mrs Fork started to attempt to stab Ms Spork. The attempts were proving futile. A purple glow settled over the silverware and their motions stopped. I was certain that the purple glow would come for me next. Jumping from my chair I huddled under the table.

“So no more coffee for her,” Lyra said slowly to Twilight.

Chapter 11

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Chapter 11
A loud pop later and we stood outside the train station. Teleport number six was the least peasant of the lot that day. The world spun for a few seconds before once more my lunch met the floor. I was not always the best of friends with the floor.

“Sorry,” Twilight said. Her hoof ran up and down my back.

My world stopped spinning though I could feel the energy draining out of me. My mind had stopped running a million miles a minute and I could tell a crash was headed my way. Looking at Twilight I said, “Not your fault. Coffee was stronger than I expected.”

Twilight giggled slightly. Lyra had faired better than I had with the teleportation though she looked a bit extra green. She stumbled over to us from a few feet away. Lyra said, “Well thanks for saving us the time. I don't think I like teleportation all that much.”

“Your not alone in that one. Only Spike seems to like it at all,” Twilight stated. Her smile matched the happiness dancing in her eyes. “I think he is just used to it though.”

“How long will the train take?” I asked. My footing felt secure again, though I still could feel the crash rushing towards me.

“Only two or so hours,” Lyra said cheerfully. “Which means I might be able to make it to tonight's Orchestra night out. Only happens every third Wednesday.”

A light clicked in my head. Wednesday was the day of the Cutie Mark Crusaders' meeting. I asked, “Do you know where Sweetie Belle and her friends have their meeting? I wanted to go, if that is alright?”

“Depending on how you feel when we get home, I don't mind,” Lyra said. Her gaze turned to Twilight. “Don't they normally met out on Sweet Apple Acres?”

“I'm pretty certain so,” Twilight said. “Applejack would know for certain. It's early enough that I would bet you could make it there in time. That is if Lyra says you can go.”

I laughed lightly. Lyra and Twilight gave me curious looks. I said, “I just feel very grown up and very not grown up all at the same time.”

Twilight seemed more confused, though comprehension spread across Lyra's face. The train pulled into the station. Lyra was startled into action. She rushed over to the ticket vendor and returned in an equal amount of hurry. The conductor did his last call as we got onto the train.

I waved at Twilight, who had stayed behind. I shouted, “Goodbye, Twilight. Hope to see you soon.”

“You will,” Twilight shouted back. “Goodbye you two.”

The door shut behind us and before we had found seating the train started to move. There were few ponies in our car. Lyra sat in the window seat and I next to her on our bench. The gentle shaking of the train help sleep find me quickly.

The gentle squeal of the train's breaks woke me. We had made it to Ponyville. Stretching, I shook the sleep from my limbs as we left the train. My nap though had washed away the tiredness of my crash. Only about half of the passengers left with us.

Lyra picked me up with her magic and we headed back to home. Our trip was quick and we made it home in no time. Ponyville as always was filled with smiling ponies, which stood out more after Canterlot's lack of them.

Outside our front door three fillies and a handcart blocked our entrance. Sweetie Belle noticed our approach as Apple Bloom and Scootaloo were busy interrogating Bon Bon. Bon Bon also had noticed our approach, her face lit up with a smile.

“There she is,” Bon Bon said. “Remember though just because I said it was okay doesn't mean Lilac wants to come out with you three. She has had a long week already, and may just want to rest.”

Slipping from Lyra's back I walked over to the group of fillies. I flashed a smile at Sweetie Belle. I said, “I want to go, if its alright.”

Apple Bloom and Scootaloo spun around to face me, their excitement plastered over their faces. Sweetie Belle's excitement was a bit more restrained but still quiet obvious. Apple Bloom said, “We had best get going then. Got lots of stuff planned for tonights meeting, and now we have to squeeze in the initiation ceremony.”

A slight bit of dread creped its way into the back of my head. Initiation. I said, “How far away is the club house? I am not very fast at walking places right now.”

“Don't worry about that,” Scootaloo said proudly. “I am today's ride just hop into the cart and I got the rest.”

“Yeah Scootaloo gives us all rides, all the time,” Apple Bloom said. “Helps her build up her wing strength. Plus it's faster than walking most places.”

I scrambled into the cart, and Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle followed suit. Apple Bloom said, “All ready, Scoots.”

Scootaloo's wings started to beat furiously. After a few seconds she kicked into the ground and started the scooter moving, her wings pushing it forward as well as her back leg. Our momentum grew and we rocketed down the street.

“Be back before dark,” yelled Lyra, who we had left in our dust.

Scootaloo was amazing and the town was soon left behind. We found ourself in the middle of the biggest apple orchard I had ever seen. There must have been thousands of trees. They all seemed to be the same type of apples though it was hard to most of the trees had just started to bloom though. We headed down the road for a while till we happened upon a smaller trail. The trail was just a bit larger the the cart and had ruts in a few places that the cart's wheels fit perfectly into. Our trip had gotten more bumpy and I clung tightly to the cart. Sweetie Belle was very casually doing the same and Apple Bloom seemed to be enjoying our ride the most.

After a few minutes going down the trail, still passing nothing but apple trees as we went, we came upon a tree house built into the largest apple tree I had ever seen. The tree house itself looked ancient though well taken care off, which was impressive knowing what I did of the Cutie Mark Crusaders. There was a hastily made banner that was strung across the door that read Welcome Lilac Splash. The s and h of my name were squished into the corner of the banner. Scootaloo stopped the cart abruptly in front of the ramp that led into the tree house.

“Welcome to the official club house of the Cutie Mark Crusaders,” Sweetie Belle said. She hopped out of the cart.

Scootaloo unhooked her scooter from the cart and started up the ramp leaving her scooter leaning against the tree. Apple Bloom jumped out of the cart and followed up the ramp as well. The three of them left their school bags in the cart.

I stumble out of the cart, Sweetie Belle offering assistance which I took. There was a picnic table near by under the shade of another tree. Sweetie Belle and I headed up the ramp after the other two. Apple Bloom called from within the clubhouse, “You two coming? We have lots to get done today.”

“We are,” Sweetie Belle replied. A tinge of annoyance could be heard in her voice. “No point in rushing, we never get everything done anyway.”

“Doesn't mean we can't try,” Scootaloo said cheerfully as we entered the clubhouse.

The clubhouse was made up of a single room, around six feet by six feet. A single window adorned each wall except for the wall with the door in which a window sat on each side of the door. A few posters decorated the walls, one of which appeared to be a hand drawn one of Rainbow Dash. Otherwise the room was fairly simple and spartan.

Apple Bloom stood at the far end of the room away from the door, with Scootaloo standing to her right. Sweetie Belle hurried up to take a spot to Apple Bloom's left. Apple Bloom cleared her throat and said, “Welcome to the one hundred seventh bimonthly meeting of the Cutie Mark Crusaders.”

“I thought we were on one o eighth meeting,” Scootaloo interjected.

“Pretty certain its one o seven,” Apple Bloom said. “Besides it isn't all that important. Now as I was trying to get at, We welcome you, Lilac Splash, to the ranks of the Cutie Mark Crusaders. Do you promise to uphold our tenements? To leave no task untried till we acquire our Cutie Marks? To tirelessly work for them? And most importantly to come up with new things for us to try each week?”

Doubt crept into my mind, what had I just signed up for? I nervously pawed at the ground for a few seconds. I said quietly, “I will try.”

“Good enough for me,” Scootaloo said. “Fine for you two?”

“I accept your pledge,” Apple Bloom stated joyously.

“Great, we are all in agreement,” stated Sweetie Belle. “So what is first on our agenda?”

“Well, I was hoping to get Cutie Mark Crusader Mathematicians out of the way first. Do the boring one first,” Scootaloo said dryly.

“Sounds good to me,” Apple Bloom said. She walked over to the dresser and extracted a set of parchment and ink for us to work with. “Lilac, your the best at this why don't you lead us in this one. What sort of things do Mathematicians do? I mean besides math.”

I stifled a small giggle. I could not see how this would work, the idea of any of these three being mathematicians was hilarious. I stated, containing my mirth, “I don't really know. I know they solve hard math problems, like Calculus, but besides that I don't know. I think most of them are teachers.”

“We already tried Cutie Mark Crusader Teachers,” Sweetie Belle said. “That one didn't go so well. So maybe we should focus on the hard math problems.”

“Um, okay,” I said. Nothing came to mind as I sat stewing over what was a hard math problem. After a few moments I accepted defeat. “Maybe this isn't such a good idea, I can't think of any hard math problems. Without a paper right in front of me with all the problems laid out I don't think this is going to go anywhere.”

“Well hey, at least we have eliminated the boring stuff,” Scootaloo said cheerfully. “What other things are you good at Lilac? Maybe those will be less boring.”

Ignoring Scootaloo's unintentional insult, I thought for a while. I said, “I really like to draw and allot of ponies have said I am good at it.”

“We tried artist once before, but I guess seeing as your new we could try again,” Apple Bloom said. She returned to the dresser and grabbed more paper and some crayons. She handed a set of paper to each of us. “We should all do requests just like real artists. So what do you want me to draw for you, Lilac?”

“How about your family, or your house? Also you guys only ever try something once?” I asked bemused.

“Well how else are you supposed to find out what your good at if you don't try everything?” Scootaloo said mater of factually. “So what do you want Apple Bloom?”

“Why don't you draw your family? Or maybe what you think we should try next?” Apple Bloom stated. She had pulled out a few crayons and had started work on her picture. Her picture was fairly crude but she had a bit of talent.

“What do you want?” Sweetie Belle asked of Scootaloo. She had grabbed some crayons with her hooves.

“Ooo, you should draw one of Rainbow Dash and I being awesome,” Scootaloo stated. Her picture seemed somewhat abstract and I couldn't tell what it was meant to be.

I grabbed the quill and ink Apple Bloom had provided earlier and a piece of the parchment. I asked quietly, “Sweetie Belle, what should I draw for you?”

“How about your family as well?” Sweetie Belle said, looking up from her drawing. She was drawing with her hooves, which she seemed fairly practiced with. Why not magic crossed my mind.

I nodded my head and got to work. In the center of my piece of paper I drew myself, which was a fairly quick and rough sketch. To the right of that I drew in turn Lyra, Bon Bon and Twilight standing together as a group. Lyra and Bon Bon, were hugging, while Twilight sat surrounded by books reading one of them. To my left I drew what I though Melody would have looked like as a pony. My heart ached, missing her, but the pain had seemed to dull.

Engrossed into my work, I had not noticed that the other three fillies had filed in around me, watching me work. I decided it was done and looked up at the three of them, noticing them for the first time.

“Wow,” Sweetie Belle said in a hushed tone. “Your really good at that.”

“Who is that pony?” Apple Bloom asked as she pointed to Melody.

“Can you draw Rainbow Dash for me?” asked Scootaloo. Excitement tainting her voice.

“Thank you, Sweetie Belle. That is Melody, someone who was very special to me, Apple Bloom. I guess I could, Scootaloo,” I answered. Guilt and pain tainted my voice and my mind. A tear ran down my cheek the only bit of my pain that slipped from my grasp in front the other girls. “Do you want it in color?”

“That would be awesome, if you could,” Scootaloo stated. She seemed oblivious to my tear and rushed off to grab me more parchment.

Sweetie Belle embraced me in a hug. Sadness swirled in Sweetie Belle's eyes. She whispered, “I am sorry.”

Apple Bloom patted me on the side. Her eyes were filled with sadness as well, though deeper than Sweetie Belle's had. Apple Bloom said, “I am sorry as well. I know how it feels to loose somepony.”

“Thank you both,” I whispered. I wiped the tear from my eye. Sweetie Belle released me from her hug.

Scootaloo handed me a much larger piece of parchment and had gathered a few of the crayons, all colors I would need to draw Rainbow Dash. I said, “This might take a bit of time.”

The other three just watched as I worked. I first sketched an outline and colored in afterwards. The picture was primarily of Rainbow Dash's face. Scootaloo was ecstatic about it though Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle were much more interested in the process than in the picture. Some ten minutes later I had finished to my satisfaction. The picture went up right next to the other poster.

“So now what?” I asked, after handing over the picture to Scootaloo.

“We need to make plans for this weekend. We normally don't get too much done in our weekday meetings,” Apple Bloom explained. “So do any of you have family plans this weekend? Applejack wants to plant a new section of the orchard on Saturday so I will be busy but we can do something on Sunday.”

“I don't think I have any plans, but I need to ask first,” I stated quietly.

“Rarity is going to Canterlot this weekend, and our parents are still on their trip. So I will be at Fluttershy's all weekend, which means I should be free to come on Sunday. Fluttershy is so nice about that,” Sweetie Belle exclaimed.

“My parents won't mind as long as I tell them tonight,” Scootaloo stated. She had returned from tacking the picture up. “So what's the plan for Sunday?”

“Well I've been planing for another attempt at Cutie Mark Crusader Jungle Adventurers. Seeing as last time we got foalknapped I don't think that one counts as a full attempt,” Apple Bloom said. She scratched at the floor with her hoof. “Also I heard Applejack saying that the Timberwolves are on the move so we shouldn't have to worry about them if we wanted to go out into the Everfree.”

“We were going for Zoologist not Jungle Adventurers,” Sweetie Belle stated. Annoyance filled her voice. “Are you certain about the Timberwolves?”

“Applejack never lies,” Apple Bloom stated defensively. “If she says they have moved on then they have.”

“We could all meet up at Fluttershy's cabin,” Scootaloo exclaimed. “Then go talk to Zecora. I bet she knows all sorts of things about exploring jungles.”

“Okay so what sort of supplies do we need?” Sweetie Belle asked. “Probably should pack a lunch and water but what else?”

“We'll need a rope, which I can cover and definitely should bring the cart just in case we need to carry one of us back out,” Apple Bloom said.

“Well then I will bring my first aid kit,” Scootaloo said. “Though I hope we don't need more practice as CMC EMT. Not that we plan on that one very often. Still probably our most useful failure.”

“I don't know if Nurse Redheart would agree with you on that one,” Sweetie Belle said.

Dread had crept into my head, what had I signed up for? I stammered, “How often do you end up hurt?”

“Not all that often but we have found out that anything that involves going outside our front doors is a good reason to bring the first aid kit,” Apple Bloom stated proudly. “Besides this trip won't involve fire so our chances of getting hurt is pretty low.”

“That's a relief,” I stated sarcastically. Maybe I could come up with an excuse not to come on Sunday.

“Also when there is four of us we seem much more likely to not get into as much trouble,” Sweetie Belle said. “It's safer with more ponies.”

Crap. Now I had to go. I didn't want to be responsible for them getting hurt because I didn't go. I asked, “What should I bring with? Also how far into the forest would we be going? I get tired really easily.”

“Don't worry if you get too tried you can always ride in the cart,” Scootaloo said. “You look like you weigh less than Sweetie Belle, and she sometimes has to ride in the cart after a long day so I can handle it.”

“Hey,” exclaimed Sweetie Belle. “I don't weigh that much.”

“Sorry,” Scootaloo stated quietly. “I didn't mean to imply that you were too heavy, just that Lilac is the smallest of us all. By a decent bit if you ask me.”

“Well she is three years younger than us,” Apple Bloom said. “You should bring your saddle bag, and food of course. Maybe you can ask Bon Bon to pack some extra candies. She makes the best candies.”

“I will ask,” I said.

“Speaking of food maybe we should go and check in with Applejack,” Apple Bloom said. “I bet Granny Smith has diner done or near so by now.”

“That sounds good to me,” Scootaloo said hungrily. She headed out the door.

Sweetie Belle followed suit. She said, “Then we can work on our homework.”

“Thanks for reminding me,” Scootaloo annoyedly said. “I was hoping that you had forgotten.”

Apple Bloom headed out the door leaving our drawing mess on the floor. She looked back at me from the door, I had not moved yet. Apple Bloom asked, “You coming, Lilac?”

I nodded and hurried after them. Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo had grabbed their bags out of the cart and were waiting for us. Apple Bloom grabbed her bag as well and headed off into the orchard, following another less worn path. A large red barn came into view after about five minutes. I had fallen behind and the crusaders stood waiting for me at the barn. Pinkie Pie's face had been painted onto the side of the barn. A few dozen feet from the barn there was a large two story house. The apple green house had a very welcoming feel to it. A large red stallion was busy chopping wood. He had golden blonde mane and tail and wore some sort of yolk on his shoulders.

“Good afternoon, Big Mac,” Apple Bloom shouted.

“Yup,” shouted Big Mac, between blows of his axe. He had a particularly gnarled piece of wood that he split with one blow causing a loud crack to echo through the area.

“If Big Mac is chopping the wood then it must be later than I thought,” Apple Bloom stated.

She pushed her way into the house through what seemed to be a back door. The rest of us filled in after her as she held the door open for us. The door lead into a kitchen. An ancient pale green mare sat at the table in the kitchen. She must have been much older than the librarian at the castle. A large stew pot steamed on top of the stove. The table that the ancient mare sat at had seating for eight and looked like it could have been older than the mare sitting at it. Much of the rest of the kitchen was fairly typical though quiet warm and welcoming.

“Hello, young whipper snappers,” the ancient mare said as we entered the kitchen. “Who is your new friend there, Apple Bloom?”

“Afternoon, Granny Smith. This is Lilac Splash. She is Lyra's daughter,” Apple Bloom said. A tinge of annoyance floated in her voice, and she gently rasped her front hooves on the ground. “Remember I told you about her yesterday.”

“I remember,” Granny Smith stated. “Diner will be done in twenty or so minutes. Why don't you four work on your homework, alright?”

In unison the three crusaders said, “Yes.”

Sweetie Belle was by far the most happy about doing her homework. They had a sheet of math problems which I helped Apple Bloom and Scootaloo with. The problems where mostly simple division. The humor of our situation had not been lost on Granny Smith and she giggled when I started to teach the other three how to do their math work. We finished just before the stew was done and Granny Smith had all of us, except Apple Bloom, help set up the table for diner. Apple Bloom was sent to retrieve Big Mac and Applejack.

Apple Bloom returned shortly after she had left, Big Mac and Applejack in tow. The two older ponies washed up in the kitchen sink. After drying his hooves, Big Mac carried the pot over to the table.

“Howdy,” Applejack said, as she dried her hooves off on a towel. “How went your meeting?”

“It was fun,” Apple Bloom stated. “We made plans for Sunday.”

“Well, thank you for remembering you already had ones for Saturday,” Applejack replied. “How about the rest of you, did you lot have fun as well?”

“Of course,” Scootaloo said energetically.

“It was a productive meeting,” Sweetie Belle said.

“I enjoyed it,” I said quietly.

Apple Bloom sat down next to me with Sweetie Belle on my other side. Big mac dished each of us a large ladle full of the thick vegetable and potato stew. The oregano and basil stood out amongst the herbs and filled the room with a delicious smell. No one started eating yet.

After everypony had been served, Granny Smith said, “Thank you, Princess Celestia for bringing the sun that feeds our crops. So that we may partake in the lands bounty year in and year out. Thank you Luna for bringing the moon that leads the seasons and tides making life possible. Bless our food. Amen.”

“Amen,” chanted most of the table.

Apple Bloom tore into her stew, as if she had not eaten all day. Scootaloo had done the same while both Sweetie Belle and myself were much more reserved. Big Mac ate heartily as well and Applejack was some where in between. I got half way through my bowl when my stomach started to complain. I tried to slowly shovel the rest in but my efforts slowed considerably.

“You don't have to eat it all,” Applejack stated. She was serving Apple Bloom and Scootaloo a second helping. “Do you want seconds, Sweetie Belle?”

“No thank you,” Sweetie Belle replied. She scooped the last bit of her stew from her bowl and slurped it from her spoon. “The stew is very good today, Granny Smith.”

“Yeah very good,” Scootaloo stated between bites.

“Thank you kindly,” Granny Smith said.

“Are you done with your's, Lilac?” Applejack asked politely. “If you are, I'll finish your bowl.”

I nodded and handed her my bowl. I said quietly, “It was really good. Thank you. Sorry, I can't eat all that much at a time anymore.”

“Why not?” Apple Bloom asked her mouth still full of stew.

“Mind your manners, Apple Bloom,” Applejack said sternly. “Lilac has gone through some stressful couple of weeks recently. It's only natural that it would affect her appetite.”

Big Mac was working on bowl number three. He chirped, “Yeup.”

“Besides, I think you and Scootaloo are getting ready for a growth spurt. You both are eating an awful lot more as of recent,” Applejack stated. She sprinkled some hot sauce onto the remnants of my meal.

“That's what my dad said,” Scootaloo stated.

I took a drink from my cup for the first time. The sweet apple juice was by far the best I had ever had. I kept the juice in my mouth for a bit longer than necessary enjoying its taste. I said, “This is really good apple juice.”

“Of course it is,” Applejack said. “I wouldn't stand for anything less. Not from Sweet Apple Arces.”

“Well, thank you for diner,” I replied

“Was our pleasure,” Applejack stated cheerfully. “I hope you save some room for dessert though. Can't have a diner with the Apple Family without a slice of apple pie.”

“I hope I did too,” I stated. If the pie was as good as the juice, it would be to die for.

Applejack chuckled softly. She went back to polishing off my bowl, before she grabbed a second bowl for herself. I sat, watching the group eat. Apple Bloom finished her second bowl quickly and then downed her cup of juice. Scootaloo followed suit and soon all four of us fillies were done eating.

“Can we be excused?” Apple Bloom asked.

“As long as you lot take your bowls to the sink, yes,” Applejack said.

I gathered all four bowls in my magic and lofted them over to the sink. The effort was a bit taxing and I had to keep my vision firmly planted on the bowls but they all made it gently to the side of the sink. I said, “I don't know how deep the sink is or I would put them there directly.”

Sweetie Belle wore shock across her face and both Apple Bloom and Scootaloo had excitement dancing in their eyes. My eyes quickly darted towards the adults. Granny Smith was still staring intently at her bowl, seemingly oblivious. The stoic features of Big Mac's face showed little emotion, but in his eyes the slightest hints of something could be seen, I couldn't tell what he was thinking though. Applejack on the other hand had a warm smile plastered over her face, and her eyes were, unlike most of our group, were firmly planted on my.

“You are definitely your mother's daughter,” Applejack stated warmly.

“Wow,” Scootaloo said excitedly. “What other things can you do with your magic? Can you cast real spells?”

“Why are you so good at that?” Apple Bloom asked.

“Now you two don't get any ideas,” Applejack commanded. “I don't want you three pressuring Lilac into trying any spells, okay.”

“Okay,” Apple Bloom said. Scootaloo nodded in acceptance as well.

Sweetie Belle was staring at the far wall away from the sink. A small shiver ran over her body. I touched her and she jumped slightly in her chair. I asked, “What's the matter, Sweetie Belle?”

“Nothing,” Sweetie Belle said. Melancholy filled her voice and her shaking had not subsided. “I'm fine. It's fine. It's amazing that your so good at your magic being three years younger.”

She turned her face and a fake smile covered it. An awkward silence fell over the table.

Applejack stated, “Why don't you four go finish your homework out in the living room, while I clean up the rest of the way and get the pie ready.”

“Okay,” Sweetie Belle stated. She jumped from her chair and grabbed her bag which was laid underneath it.

Apple Bloom and Scootaloo dragged their feet while doing the same. After a few moments we had gathered in the living room. One wall was dominated by a large fireplace, in front of which an old well worn rocking chair sat. On the mantle of the fireplace a lone picture sat. What must have been a young Applejack and Big Mac sat with large black stallion and a petite beige mare. The mare looked pregnant. All four of them had large smiles on their faces.

A number of large paintings decorated the rest of the walls, all seemed to be done by the same artist. A piano stood next to the front door, a thin layer of dust covered it. A coffee table took up much of the middle of the room and a couch sat next to it against a wall.

Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo dragged out their homework and started work on it, on the coffee table. Their math homework having been finished they started work on some spelling work. I proved less useful in helping this time and mostly just watched. The language transfer spell was amazing, it must have transferred the casters knowledge, for several of the words in the homework I couldn't remember ever using but I knew them and could spell them. After a little while Granny Smith came out and sat down in the rocking chair. Big Mac followed shortly there after with a load of freshly cut wood which he stacked next to the fire place.

Applejack entered the room and sat down on the couch behind us. She said, “Pie should be done in ten or so minutes. How goes the homework?”

“We are a bit ahead for the week,” Apple Bloom said. “Thanks to Lilac, we got all of our math done today. Ms Cheerilee only want us to get half of it done by tomorrow. So we are working on our spelling homework so we won't have any homework to do this weekend.”

“That's mighty practical of you,” Applejack said. “Did you thank Lilac for her help?”

“Thank you, Lilac,” Apple Bloom stated.

“Yeah thanks,” Scootaloo said. “Save us allot of time.”

“Thank you,” Sweetie Belle said.

“I didn't help you all that much, Sweetie Belle,” I stated. “I really only helped Apple Bloom and Scootaloo.”

“Yeah but that way I could focus. Normally I have to help them with math, and thanks to you I didn't,” Sweetie Belle explained. Her smile looked genuine again. “Besides I think you did a better job than I normally do.”

The next ten minutes went by slowly and quietly, the silence only interrupted by Scootaloo spelling out words out loud. Thankfully before too long an egg timer went off in the kitchen and Applejack tended to the pie. The sweet aroma of fresh apple pie wafted into the room. The aroma alone made my mouth water.

A few agonizing minutes later Applejack poked her head out the kitchen door. She said, “Pie's ready.”

Despite my best efforts the other three fillies beat me to the table. So much so that only Sweetie Belle was not already in her seat. Applejack waited till I had taken my seat to dish out any of the pie. She gave each of us, starting with me, a small slice of the pie. She dished herself a similar sized piece and sat down with us.

Heaven. Simply heaven. The pie was perfection. For a moment with each bite all of the rest of the world disappeared and only the joy of that bite existed. Sadly the pie was not infinite though my stomach was satisfied with the last bite. Not wanting to ruin the night with some perfection induced vomiting, I declined on a second piece.

The warmth of the pie spread through out me and I could feel sleep slowly taking control of my mind. I fought against it, mostly futilely.

“Big Mac, will you make sure Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle leave on time? I am going to walk Lilac home, she is a bit tired,” Applejack said from the kitchen door.

“Yep,” Big Mac replied from the living room.

I followed Applejack out the back door and around the house. The sunset sent streaks of orange and red through out the evening sky which clashed with the dark forms of the nearby trees. I tried to keep up with Applejack but she out paced me thoroughly and ended up having to stop ever so often for me to catch up. By the time we had reached town my legs were burning and I had stumbled and fell a few times. The sun had completely set and bright moon illuminated our world. Applejack carried me the rest of the way home. Sleep found me some where on the way.

Chapter 12: The End...for now

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Chapter 12
Rays from the morning sun poured through my bedroom window waking me up gently. Returning home was a foggy mess in my head. I crept out of my bed and headed off towards the bathroom. I paused outside the door when I heard the sound of someone vomiting. Deciding not to wait I ran off down the hall to the other bathroom and found it unoccupied. Afterwards I headed towards the kitchen and found Bon Bon in there working on her sweets.

“Good morning,” I said. The aroma of chocolate and vanilla mixed nicely in the morning air. “What ever you are making smells great.”

“Thank you,” Bon Bon said. “How are you this morning?”

“Good,” I said. “Was that you in the bathroom just a minute ago?”

“You heard that, huh,” Bon Bon stated. She blushed slightly as she tried to busy herself with more candies. “Just a bit nauseas this morning, is all. Did you want some breakfast?”

“Yes, please,” I responded. My stomach growled in agreement. “Do we have plans for today? Is Lyra up yet?”

Bon Bon grabbed a danish from the oven, our traditional breakfast. She handed me it on a plate. Bon Bon said, “I don't know if Lyra is up yet. Twilight stopped by yesterday after she got home, you were away at your meeting, and she asked if you could come by her castle today for a few hours. She is expecting you in an hour or so. I want you to take a bath before then, do you think you can handle that on your own?”

“I can manage,” I stated with an air of amusement in my voice. New body or not I was still capable of basic hygiene. “Besides, I have a good grasp on levitation so that should make this easier.”

“I can imagine,” Bon Bon said bemused. She returned her focus on the candies.

I deposited my plate next to the sink and headed off to the full bath on this floor. The largest challenge of the bath was getting in and out of the tub on my own but besides that I had little trouble washing myself. I learned a few spots that were a bit more sensitive than I had thought that they would have been and noted to be careful with my magic next time. After finishing my scrub down I sat there enjoying the heat of the water for a bit.

Lyra knocked on the door which interrupted my soak. I scrambled out of the tub after I had pulled the stopper allowing it to drain. I said, “I will be out in just a second, just have to dry off.”

“Okay,” Lyra responded groggily. “Its fine I will just go use the other one.”

After a few minutes of scrubbing with the towel I managed to get myself dry. Out in the living room Lyra sat on the couch sipping from her morning coffee. I scrambled up onto the couch next to her and sat there for a bit. I said, “Good morning.”

“Morning,” Lyra responded. The grogginess had left her slightly. “Did Bon Bon tell you about visiting Twilight today?”

“Yes,” I said. “Should I bring anything with me?”

“Why don't you bring your saddle bags and some writing materials,” Lyra responded. She took a big drink from her coffee. “Twilight said she wanted to get started on your schooling. Mentioned that you have allot of history to catch up on.”

“Hopefully it will be less boring than U.S. history was in high school,” I stated dryly. My history teacher had not taught the class in a way I found engaging.

“Hopefully we will have some time this weekend for you to tell me about your world,” Lyra stated enthusiastically. “I keep forgetting to ask when we aren't busy.”

“Maybe tomorrow or later today? Speaking of this weekend, I got invited to another get together of the Cutie Mark Crusaders this Sunday. Can I go?” I asked. I tried to give Lyra my best puppy dog eyes, and quivered my bottom lip slightly.

“I don't mind, assuming that we have a quiet weekend for once. Your cute face needs a bit of work though, a bit more funny looking than cute, but nice try,” Lyra said. Mirth danced in her voice. “You should probably go get ready to leave, Okay?”

I nodded my head and rushed off to my bedroom. All of my presents from Monday had been neatly stacked in an empty corner of my room I found the saddle bag near the front of the pile. I then retrieved my drawing materials and the book Twilight gave me and put them into the saddle bag, each fitting nicely into its own pocket. Strapping the bags on proved difficult and before long I gave up. Taking the bag back out into the living room I found Lyra still on the couch.

“Can you help me put this on? Or at least show me how to?” I asked.

Lyra giggled slightly. She fastened the bag to my back with her magic making sure to go slowly so that I could watch how it was supposed to sit. She tightened the adjustable straps till they fit snuggly. Lyra said, “There you go. Make sure you say goodbye to Bon Bon before you leave, okay.”

“I will,” I said. I dashed off into the kitchen, finding Bon Bon still hard at work making her namesake. I startled Bon Bon slightly when I hugged her suddenly. “I am leaving now. See you later. Have a good day.”

Releasing me from our hug, Bon Bon nuzzled my head. She said, “Have a good day. I will see you around diner time okay.”

I nodded my head and headed for the front door. Pausing for a second in the doorway, I said, “Goodbye.”

The walk to Twilight's castle proved how sore my legs were from yesterday. Twilight was sitting at her desk again still reading a book. I could tell that a delivery of books had come in while we were in Canterlot because another self had been halfway filled. Nothing else had changed about the castle since I had last visited.

“Hello,” I said. Leaning against the desk, I stood up on my back legs to see Twilight better. She looked better rested than yesterday. The book she was reading was entitled: Tips and Tricks to Homeschooling. In two orderly stacks were a number of other books whose titles indicated they were all books about teaching. One of the pile was much smaller than the other one.

Twilight placed a bookmark into the book on the page she was reading, about halfway through the book, and placed the whole book onto the smaller pile of books. She smiled at me as she did so. Twilight said, “Good morning. Did you have fun with the crusaders last night?”

“Yeah, though I must admit the best part of it was Applejack's pie. She made one for dessert after diner,” I stated enthusiastically. Memories of the night flashed through my head and the images of Sweetie Belle's reaction to my magic stood out. My voice lost its happiness. “Um, Twilight, why would Sweetie Belle be unhappy at me doing magic? All I did was levitate our diner dishes to the sink, I grabbed all four of ours.”

“Sweetie Belle is having some difficulties with her magic,” Twilight stated. “I suspect that she might be a bit jealous of your progress, which to be honest has been pretty amazing. You have picked up Telekinesis faster than most ponies do. Faster than I did. Which isn't all to unusual if you ask me, at least based on your particular circumstances.”

“Lyra's dad said I had allot of magic for a little filly,” I said. “He thought it was because you were my mom. I know you said that it may have been from the spell you cast on me on Monday, but is that all that rare for a filly to have a big pool of magic?”

“Exceptionally so. I don't know enough about this to be certain but out of all of the ponies around my age those that have as large or larger pool, than you, is only around four of them, counting myself. Rarity, Sunset Shimmer, and Trixie Lunatune are the other three,” Twilight ranted. She barely paused to take a deeper breath. “Rarity is an element of harmony, so her magic may be simply do to that, but both Trixie and Sunset Shimmer come from exceptional bloodlines, at least when it comes to magic and both attended Princess Celestia's School of Gifted Unicorns. Lyra is a bit older than me, almost a decade or so, and she has a fairly large, though not unusually so, magic pool. I can feel your magic fairly easily from here and I would say you are at least on par with Lyra. I would say it is likely a combination of factors, both the spells and genetics.”

“So my magic is really only because of your gifts to me, not of any merit from me, or at least Alex?” I asked. Doubt and shame ate greedily at me. I didn't deserve to have such gifts. I didn't earn them.

“Not entirely,” Twilight responded. Her voice was calm and gentle. “Let me tell you a bit of a story. When I first ascended, became an alicorn, I asked Princess Celestia why me of all ponies had become a princess. Princess Celestia responded that part of it was her own machinations, that she had been trying for a long time to find someone worthy of being an alicorn, which admittedly Cadence was a surprise but I princess Celestia had intended for my ascension. At first with this revelation I was both a bit disgusted but also a bit ashamed. To think that my gifts had simply been the maneuvering of a several thousand year old being was a bit hurtful. However Princess Celestia continued she said that I had not been her first attempt, that Sunset Shimmer had been one and that countless others, most of those who pass through the doors of her school all were attempts, and yet I was the only one who had succeeded.”

Twilight paused for a second and took a deep breath. The princesses actions seemed suspect to me, why would she try to foster that upon others?

“She told me that the magic that transformed me would not have worked without another element besides my in born talents. That it wouldn't have if I had not the soul for it. That deep in my soul there had been a spark of greatness, that with coaxing had come to the forefront,” Twilight said. Pride forged her voice and it rang true and honest. “While Princess Celestia and I were performing Sombra's Soul Binding on you, I could feel your soul. On some level I got to touch it, on a much deeper level than I had when I first bound your soul to your current body. Your magic comes from your soul, we only gave you a vessel that can channel that properly. All magic comes from just beyond the physical, I can feel it everywhere, in small amounts there is some in the air, in the stones beneath our feet, and in every cell of our bodies, but the soul it burns brightly with magic. I suspect part of your magic comes not from what happened to you after you ended up here but instead from the first piece of you, from a world where only the soul contains magic.”

“Still feels like cheating,” I said dejectedly.

“Remember it's not how you came across your talents but what you do with them that matters,” Twilight said mater of factually. “So unless you have a more deep and soul searching questions why don't we get started on your lessons?”

“Nothing that I have the right words for yet, so okay,” I said. I smiled cheaply at Twilight. “So what is first? Lyra mentioned history lessons.”

“Don't like history?” Twilight asked. She had walked around the table towards me. Her horn glowed for a second and a table appeared out of thin air near us complete with two chairs and some writing material.

“It isn't my favorite subject. Also my last teacher wasn't very good at it,” I said quietly. “Well my last official teacher. Miss Cheerilee went over some basics, before my outburst, and she seemed like a good teacher to me.”

“Don't worry. History is probably going to be mostly a homework class, in that I have a few books on it you have to read, and a few more you can if you are interested in it,” Twilight said. “Right now I have mostly magic lessons planed. But today I need to gauge how much you have already been taught so I have made up some small quizzes for you today, in arithmetic, history and writing. Don't worry about getting them all right these have questions on them that are meant to be hard, and some are meant to be very simple.”

I nodded my head and looked down the quizzes she had provided for me. They were all hand well magic writing and each of them. The quizzes must have taken her all night to make, each quiz had at least twenty questions. I asked, “When did you make these? This must have taken all night?”

“Oh no. I only made them up this morning, might have taken maybe an hour at most. I took the questions from some old tests from my own schooling. I kept all the tests,” Twilight said dismissively.

I spent a good two hours trying to finish the quizzes. The history one was mostly a wash and I think Twilight knew it when she made it the number of simple questions that I could at least guess at were much higher than the other two. The arithmetic quiz contain a number of math problems that I could not recognize the symbols used in it. Asking Twilight for explanations on the symbols, I figured out several of them but some of the symbols were quite foreign to me, mostly dealing with magical constants. The writing quiz was fairly simple and was the one I was most confident in.

Twilight graded them quickly. Especially the writing quiz which she read through my work faster than I had thought possible. Twilight said, “You have a good base to work on. For the most part, in arithmetic, I think you are probably more than competent enough in that field, excluding magical mathematical theorems. As I figured you don't have much of a grasp on any history and your writing is technically adequate, though you lack a voice in your writing.”

“To what end?” I asked. “Not that I am trying to get out of schooling but what does it lead to? How am I going to use this later?”

“Sociology is one of the subjects I was planing on getting to eventually,” Twilight stated. Her enjoyment rang through her voice. “Some of this is considered mostly a necessary thing for all citizens to know, basic math, reading, writing and history. Some of this is subjects you may need as a unicorn. Considering your aptitude in that regard you could easily get into Princess Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns, though such a thing may be slightly redundant depending on how much I teach you. Though to be honest some of this may be frivolous depending on your cutie mark and special talent.”

“Can you explain those more? That is Cutie Marks?” I asked. I had noticed everypony had one though I had not spent much time paying attention to them or what they could mean.

“A cutie mark is a visual and physical representation of your innate talent,” Twilight stated. “Though admittedly they are fairly unspecific most of the time. Mine represents magic itself. Each pony has a bit of magic in them that lets them do special things. This magic manifests as your cutie mark. Everypony has to discover what that magic is for themselves and normally do so shortly before puberty or during puberty. It is somewhat of a coming of age mark, the physical representation of you growing up.”

“That explains allot, especially about the Cutie Mark Crusaders,” I stated. My interested had shifted. “Can you teach me more magic? Or at least what not to try? Applejack told the others not to pressure me into any fancy spellwork but to be honest I don't know what is fancy and what is not.”

“That sounds like a good idea,” Twilight said. Her eyes were ablaze with happiness. “If you want to be extra safe it is fine to say no to any non levitation magic, I feel you have a good enough grasp on that one. Hmmm, until you can read magical theorems you probably shouldn't be trying anything that requires more energy than levitation, which pretty much means everything. I can teach you a few basic spells, such as a light spell, that should help you out with more day to day stuff.”

“What about teleportation? How hard is that?” I asked. Being able to teleport places sounded quite fun.

“Definitely don't try that one, at least not yet or without me there,” Twilight exclaimed. “Teleportation has a large number of possible failures in the spell matrix that can cause injuries, which can be lethal. Have you read the book I gave you yet?”

“No, I haven't had the time to sit down and read yet,” I said. I pulled it out of my saddlebag with my magic. “I brought it with though.”

“Good thinking,” Twilight stated. “Why don't we start there? Would you prefer to read it to yourself or have me lecture from it?”

“I think I can manage it by myself,” I said. Twilight's ability to ramble slightly scared me, and at least with reading it to myself I could dictate the pace.

For the next couple of hours I read my book. The first chapter was an introduction to terms which was tremendously helpful. It explained spell matrixes and how when casting if you don't form the right mental structures for the spell you can cause failures and magical mishaps. Several of the symbols from the earlier math problems were defined though frequently not quantified. This was especially so for magical resistance constant. Apparently each type of molecule and atom had its own resistance constant that could change depending on what type of enchantment or magic you were trying to cast on it.

Thankfully the second chapter got past much of the technical jargon and moved into techniques for basic levitation. Much of that chapter seemed pointless seeing as a large number of its focal points were based on those who were having issues with any form of levitation or telekinesis. The second chapter got into more meaty spells and started with a light spell. The goal and trick to a light spell is to just radiate your magic out your horn. A few times I tried to cast it, to varying degrees of success. The basic concept proved simple to execute, however getting the right flow of magic proved highly difficult and much of the time I couldn't get my horn to not glow like magnesium. Thankfully this spellwork was less draining that levitation was and I didn't tire out because of it.

Twilight had been reading her own books while I was doing this. She had manifested sunglasses when I started to attempt the light spell and had continued to read through them while I was practicing. When ever I ended my light spell I could see her eyes glowing through her sunglasses. After she finished the second book, Twilight got out of her chair and stretched for a bit.

“I think it's about lunch time. Are you hungry?” Twilight asked me.

As if on cue my stomach rumbled slightly. I said, “Food sounds good.”

“Well lets go upstairs and see if Spike wants to cook something and if not we can go out to eat,” Twilight said.

I climbed down from my chair leaving my book on the table. Twilight lead us up the stair into a slightly smaller throne room. Six thrones surrounded a large table. One of the thrones had Twilight's cutie mark emblazoned on its back. The other five similar marks though I couldn't remember whose they were.

Six archways lead out of the large round room into a well lit hallway. Twelve doors lined the circular hallway, each an ornate twelve foot tall door. The lights on the ceiling seemed to be glowing lotuses that were in full bloom.

Opening one of the doors, Twilight led us into a large dining room. A large formal dining table took up most of the room which could seat at least forty. The table was an unusual pyramid shape with six chairs on one end and only two on the other end. The chairs on the larger end bore the symbols that were on the thrones in the previous room while the two on the other end depicted the moon and sun respectively.

“Why don't you wait here,” Twilight stated. Her kind smile shone on her face. “I am going to teleport around to find Spike, he won't let me use the kitchen anymore. I don't see why he is so worried about it but I don't mind too much. Either way he could be in a number of places and I will be teleporting in rapid succession, which can be a bit disorienting for those who aren't used to it.”

My head nodding triggered a pop and Twilight disappeared. There was a set of double doors near the larger end of the room, each made out of a strange crystal, similar to that of the tree itself. The rest of the room seemed to be made out of a white stone and the table itself some sort of dark wood.

I selected a chair near the larger end of the table, and sat down on it. The seat had a wonderful cushion and a well placed cross bar beneath the seat that made climbing into it easy. However the chair was a bit to low for me to properly eat from the table. As if on command the chair raised it self to be the perfect height for me. I love magic.

The room was lit by another blooming lotus which was beautiful to behold. Its many petals slightly pulsing with magic giving the impression of life. Maybe the whole castle was alive.

Twilight returned a short few minutes later, I was still observing the pulses of in the lotus light. Spike was riding on Twilight's back. He smiled gently at me when they appeared in the room near the door that we entered.

Spike slipped from Twilight's back and walked over to a blank section of wall, which opened to reveal another door. This new door had opened like a curtain leading into what looked to be kitchen nearly the size of the dining room. The entire kitchen seemed to be Spike size as if made for him.

“Anything in particular you guys want?” Spike asked from the other room.

“Anything is fine with me Spike, something simple though we have allot of work to do still,” Twilight responded. She sat in the chair marked with her cutie mark.

“What about you Lilac?” Spike inquired gently.

“I am fine with anything as well. Though can it be something small I don't eat that much,” I said quietly. “Um Twilight, are the chairs magical?”

“Probably. Why do you ask?” Twilight responded. Her curiosity shone through her voice, as she smiled at me.

“Well the chair was too small for me to reach the table comfortably and when I thought that it grew taller to make it so,” I explained. “Are there types of magic that respond to thoughts like that?”

“A few though I think its more the castle it self responding,” Twilight said. “I think the castle is alive and at least partially sentient, or at least aware of its inhabitants wants. It just made the door there for Spike after he complained about having to walk around through two doors with our food.”

“Oh, well that makes it the coolest castle then,” I said joyously.

“I agree,” Twilight said.

Spike joined us with a plater of food in his hands. He set a small bowl of salad before me. It contained a number of different vegetables, few of which I recognized. Spike gave Twilight a similar though larger salad, and had a small bowl of salad with gems sprinkled in it for himself.

Our lunch went by quickly and quietly as twilight set to eating as if it was an order not something that she wanted to do. Despite having over twice the amount I had she finished well before I did. Twilight asked, “Lilac would you rather work on some art after lunch or continue on magic studies?”

“I get to do art as part of school?” I asked, happiness dancing in my voice. I was shaking a bit from excitement.

“You are very good at it, and I want you to continue to grow in that field. So yes,” Twilight explained. “I assume that means you want to do art after lunch then.”

“I don't mind either way. Though if we go back to magic, can we do something a bit more hands on than just reading?” I asked.

“That is fine. I feel like we should stretch your magical muscles as it is.”

I finished the rest of my salad quickly. I levitated my now empty bowl and started towards the kitchen door, which had been left open.

Spike grabbed my bowl out of my grasp. He said, “I take care of that. You guys go ahead and get back to work, besides this place keeps itself pretty clean. I don't have nearly as many chores as I used to.”

“Thank you,” I said. I bowed my head slightly in Spikes direction.

“Yes, thank you Spike, lunch was delicious today, as it always is,” Twilight stated.

We returned to downstairs. Twilight cleared off the table before making it disappear with her magic. She then concentrated for a few seconds before a set of blocks appeared before us. Each one was of incrementally larger size. The largest one had a one on it and each block was numbered a bigger number all the way up to twelve.

“These blocks are each made of a special material that resists magic, the largest one has the least amount of this material in it and by extension has the least amount of resistance,” Twilight explained. “I want you to levitate each one in turn, starting with the number one block.”

“Okay,” I responded.

The number one block proved to be a difficult foe. Not only was it the heaviest object I had ever tried to lift with my magic it was slippery. I could lift it upwards but if I didn't concentrate intently it would slip and fall to the ground, making a large thump each time. After about ten minutes I could feel a slight burn in my horn, similar to that of a muscle. My grip had tightened though and I felt far more comfortable with holding the block.

“Why don't you try the number two block?” Twilight instructed. “Ten more minutes and we can move on to another subject, either art or more theoretical magic.”

I nodded my head. I engulfed block number two in my magic. It took twice the amount just to hold the block. After ten minutes I had barely manage to lift the block, my horn was burning and I could feel the exhaustion spreading to the rest of my body.

“Okay that's enough,” Twilight said looking up from her third book that day.

I let my magic fade from the block. The exhaustion took its full toll on me and I sat there panting for a little while. Twilight walked over and started to rub my shoulders.

“Here hold still for a second,” Twilight stated. Her magic spread through me chasing away the fatigue and revitalizing me, even my depleted magic reservoirs were filled up to the brim.

“Thank you,” I said. I turned and hugged Twilight closely. “Can we do some art now?”

“Sure,” Twilight said gently. Her horn glowed and a new smaller table appeared next to us along with an easel and a stool large enough to stand on. The table had a number of paints and brushes on it as well as several canvases. “I want you to try your hoof at painting today.”

“What should I paint?” I asked. The blank canvas was somewhat scary though also very exciting. There were so many things it could become.

“Hmmm, why don't you paint a portrait of me or one of the guards?” Twilight suggested. “That way you have a model. I want you to try to get it as realistic as possible for this painting. After you have shown mastery of the brush you can move on to stylistic paintings.”

I nodded. I started with a simple sketch of Twilight reading her book. After wards I tried to add over the top of the sketch. Each brush stroke seemed wrong and many I tried to cover up, which lead to smearing and more issues. The now brown smear on the canvas sat as a scar on the picture. I wanted it gone. My magic engulfed the paint and I pulled it slowly from the canvas, which removed most of the paint though left the canvas stained brown there. Starting a new I took much smaller strokes and a much slower pace at attempted corrections, letting my first stroke dry before returning to fix the picture. Though slow, the picture finally came together and I felt satisfied with the end result Twilight's fur in the picture had not turned out quiet the right color but besides other color matching issues the painting was fairly photo-realistic.

“Very good, Lilac,” Twilight commented. “I think that is enough for today. If you want to go home now you can.”

“What time is it?” I asked. I had lost track of time while painting.

“Three-ish, you have been here longer than a normal school day at this point,” Twilight said.

“I don't really have anything to do at home, is it alright if we continue for the mean while, at least till near diner time?” I asked.

“If you want to, I don't mind,” Twilight said cheerfully. “Do you want to continue painting or return to more scholastic endeavors?”

“Can we work on magic some more?” I asked quietly. “Maybe more on spellwork, less on lifting blocks?”

Twilight's smile grew larger, and her eyes sparkled with happy tears. Twilight said, “Okay. Lets start easy with a color change spell.”

Twilight levitated the easel out of the way but banished the rest of the art supplies. In their place a medium size red ball appeared. Twilight walked over to the ball.

“Okay so far every use of your magic I have seen, save for in the cafeteria yesterday, has been reflexively. This is a simple spell but requires you to form a proper spell matrix. Do you understand those?” Twilight asked.

“I guess in theory. Spell matrix are mental constructs that you use to form the spell in the right way,” I said. As for what mental construct was, I had no clue.

“That is a textbook answer, though correct. A spell matrix is a collection of mental constructs used to shape and change the mana, magical energy, that you are using to cast the spell. This spell only requires one mental construct. Imagine a crystal that you are pushing your magic through. As it passes through the crystal it changes color into the color that you intend to turn the ball into. Here let me demonstrate,” Twilight said.

Twilight's horn glowed for a second and the red ball turned blue. With a second glow the ball turned back to red.

“Okay so I want you to try now. Don't get too discouraged this is actually allot harder than it would seem,” Twilight said gently.

Nodding my head, I gathered my magic and tried to create imagine a crystal through which my magic shone through. The image of the crystal was firmly planted in my mind but getting my magic to pass through the crystal seemed impossible. I pushed the magic through and for all my efforts all I got was a bright glow on my horn. Great at least I have the light spell down now.

I sat there straining against this block for a while. A headache which started in my horn slowly creep through my body. I let my magic release, most of which sank back into my reservoir. A portion of it shot outward causing a blinding light to fill the room for a few seconds.

“Why don't you take a break?” Twilight asked. “This is a delicate task not one that you can just force. Getting your first spell matrix down is just something that will click one day. Or not. There are very few unicorns that can actually perform spells that require matrices.”

I nodded my head then let it fall. The ache in my head had receded though not disappeared. I stared at the red ball, a manifestation of my frustration.

Twilight closed the distance between us and engulfed my back in a hug. Her gentle nuzzle along my head helped wash away the pain in my head. Twilight said, “Don't worry about it. Everypony is good at different things. We can try again tomorrow. It is nearing diner time why don't I walk you home, Okay?”

I leaned into Twilight for a while just basking in her warmth. After a few moments I said, “Okay. Thanks for teaching me today. I had fun.”

“I am glad that you did,” Twilight said. Twilight engulfed me in her magic and placed me on her back as we left the castle. “Thank you for letting me.”

Book 2

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So this is just a big author's note that hopefully won't be as missed as much. There is a sequel to this book called Broken then Healed 2. You can click here to go directly there.