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StrongCopper

Moving into the Dorms (Open to the School of Friendship)

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Spearmint wasn't above saying that the situation he had found himself in was strangely surreal. It felt like since he had stepped hoof within the School of Friendship he had entered a slightly different world that was mostly the same, but the ponies within it seemed to operate on slightly different rules that came across as little more then utter madness to him. The only pony he had encountered so far that had responded in a manner he expected was the filly who had screamed herself breathless... and likely would start screaming anew once she got her breath back.

 

This was... kind of a problem, because this was his first day here and he didn't want to get into trouble with the staff due to something Chipper did. Even if Chipper's actions came about due to an overblown misunderstanding when Spearmint said he had believed his roommate was yanking his leg, he hadn't tried to stop him and considering that necromancy was involved punishment by proximity was likely incoming. Spearmint... had his doubts that anything the staff could do would be as bad as anything his mother would come up with, but the fear that gripped him ran deep. Thankfully, damage control was something that he could do!

 

Taking advantage of the chaos that Chipper and the two corn obsessed fillies were making, Spearmint walked over to stand beside Morning Glow and softly place a hopefully comforting hoof on her back in order to help her calm her breathing down enough to get her breath back. When he was fairly certain that nopony was looking in his direction (Chipper and Kettle Corn were wonderful distractions in that regard), Spearmint's horn briefly lit up with a faint, teal glow that seemed to match that of the crown on his cutie mark... before that glow moved to the hoof that was touching Morning before disappearing inside of her.

 

"My name is Spearmint Sovereign, but you can just call me Spearmint if you want. As for the necromancy thing, if what Chipper told me back in our room is correct... and I'm inclined to believe him, because if it wasn't I have my doubts he would be here right now, but necromancy is legal as long as he only uses it with animals and doesn't hurt anyone with it. " Spearmint briefly paused for a moment before adding "That all being said, I completely understand why you freaked out. I didn't know what I was expecting to find here but skeleton mouse was not on the list of things I was expecting to see today and I had warning before hoof that it was what he was going to do. I'm not sure if it means anything, but I'm sorry about all this."

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Morning Glow didn't speak. What could she say? It was clear these ponies were crazy. 100%, certifiably crazy. The two fillies seemed more concerned with popcorn than the fact that they were witnessing one of the most evil acts a pony could commit! And the necromancer himself seemed absolutely unhinged. Clearly what she had read about necromancy was correct: it did terrible things to the minds of those who practiced it. She recalled the story of Spirit Sentinel, the pony who had raised a horde of zombies to attack a village in the South. He would have killed everypony there if it hadn't been for Starswirl's interference. It was hard for her to believe that any kind of magic that could do that was wholesome in any way. 

 

And then there was the green colt. She couldn't quite figure him out. He seemed to be ok with all of this, though she couldn't figure out how. He walked toward her, and she glared reproachfully at him, flinching slightly as he put her hoof on her back. But as he talked, she actually began to feel at ease. Something about him just seemed... normal. Obviously he wasn't normal, because any normal pony would already be running for a staff member. But then again, she wasn't running either. Oh no! Was she becoming one of them?? No! No!

 

Somehow, she still managed to hear everything Spearmint said. At least he understood why she felt how she did, even if he didn't share those feelings. Sure, he didn't condemn necromancy, but at least he didn't treat her like she was weird for doing so. This time, when she spoke, she lowered her voice so that only he would hear. "I'm Morning Glow. And I guess it's... no. It's not ok. How can you be ok with this? Can't you see what's going on here? He's practicing necromancy! That's one of the darkest forms of magic there is! Not even Starswirl the bearded dare experiment with necromancy! If he's practicing that discipline of magic, there is something wrong with him! We have to stop him! Don't you understand?" She shot intermittent glances toward the group to make sure they weren't listening, but they appeared to be too distracted trivial things like by popcorn and friendship to focus on her and Spearmint. "Look, so far, you're the only pony here who seems to have a head on his shoulders, so so far, you're the only one I trust. We need to tell someone about this. I'm sure the headmare would want to know. Heck, I'm sure Princess Twilight would want to know! We need to stop this before he does something crazy!"

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“I dunno if it’d work like that, Kettle. I don’t think dead stuff would grow, no matter how animated it was. Might be cool for Nightmare Night, though, having an undead corn maze.” Caramel hummed to herself, sitting down as she rubbed her chin in thought. Necromancy could be really bad, obviously, but so could basically everything. It all depended on how you used it, she supposed. While lost in thought, she idly munched on the treat Kettle was sharing. 
 

“Caramel is good.” She nodded idly, enjoying what Kettle had made for them. No bias here as far as liking caramel, clearly. None at all. “I wonder if I could make fake corn that looks undead, if we couldn’t get the real thing...” She added to herself quietly, already trying to figure out the logistics of that and any devices for scary noises and such. 

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Although the news that her brilliant plan could never come to fruition was somewhat of a downer, she was positively overjoyed to see everypony enjoying what she had made for them. 

 

"Thank you thank you!" Her smile was radiant as she bounced in place on top of Chipper's head. "And that's okay, if you teach me, YOU won't be the one making re-living plants. And sister is right, there's SO much more we could do with that! Me being the pointiest kernel, I'm the only one who could learn it, which is kinda sad, but also really great because that means I can do it for them!" She squeed, picking up speed but not quite at 'a million words a minute's speeds. "Oh, we could make them dance, or pop themselves, or dance AND pop themselves-" 

 

As she fantasized about future plans for a maize maze, she floated a kernel up to her snout and nibbled on it, humming in delight at the rich, sweet flavor and firm texture. 

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"Mmf, *gulp*, Oh, it does grow, but only by consuming living plants, like I said."  Chipper pointed out to Caramel, once he swallowed the mouthful of delicious popcorn in his mouth.  "And I don't know about making them dance and all that, you'll probably have to invent those spells yourself, Kettle.  But I'll be happy to help!  Always glad to help a new friend.  We are friends, right?"  It was fair to say that Chipper wasn't too sure about how one could tell whether or not a pony was a friend, but he certainly showed himself friendly, and that counted for a lot.

 

It was probably accurate to include Spearmint in that category too... but not Morning Glow.  She didn't seem to be with the program, or indeed know all that much about this school.  That was fair, being a new arrival and all that.  "Oh, well, the headmare's only a mare half the time, you know.  So we just call them the Archchancellor.  At least they don't make us call them 'Your Highness.'  I mean, we'd have have to ask what they were smoking if we did, nyahaha!"  Jokes and joviality probably would do little to soothe the situation, but it was the only tool Chipper knew.  He didn't quite understand why anypony would be upset about what he was doing.

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Spearmint was about to respond to Morning Glow when Chipper decided to drop a... well, compared to the whole necromancy thing it was kind of a minor lightning bolt but still. "The Archchancellor is prone to changing genders on a whim?"

 

Shaking his head slightly in order to refocus on the matter closer to hoof, he decided to take a deep breath as he glanced at Morning... through when he spoke he was talking to Chipper as he asked "Do the staff already know about your skill set Chipper?" It was a good question to ask because... well, if they did then clearly there wasn't much of a point of informing them of something they already knew.

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Archchancellor who changes genders on a whim, students who practice necromancy, fillies who couldn't think of anything but popcorn... This was all too much for her. What had her teacher (and her parents for that matter) gotten her into?? She sat down for a moment to try and take everything in. If the staff were as crazy as the student body - and from the sounds of it they were - then there would be no point in reporting Chipper even if they were unaware of his abilities. On top of that, he seemed like he may be able to talk himself out of any stick situations, though maybe that only applied with the children of the corn and Spearmint. Ah yes, and then there was Spearmint. To be honest, it sounded like he was mostly trying to keep himself out of trouble. She could sympathise with that. Trouble had never been something she was prone to getting into, and couldn't imagine getting expelled for something on her first day of school. Where Chipper was his roommate, it seemed only natural that Spearmint would defend him, if for no other reason than to protect his own flank. Spearmint seemed loyal. And wait, wasn't that one of the main qualities of friendship? Loyalty?

 

Hold on! Stop! Don't go there! Get a grip! You can't let this place get to you! Morning Glow thought. She resolved that if the staff wasn't going to act against Chipper, she would have to. Not right away, of course. She didn't know the extent of his abilities. She knew some necromancy spells, but had never cast any. The extent of what she knew about dark magic was the mechanics of dark spells and how to invert them for defence purposes. Call it defence against the dark arts, if you will. She had to know about dark magic to protect herself against it. But never had she dreamed she would come face to face with it so soon. She began to formulate a plan to keep an eye on Chipper whenever she could, whatever that meant. If that meant following him to the library, then she would. If that meant sitting next to him in class... then so be it. She was not going to let him out of her sight. And whenever she did, well, she would need Spearmint's help. She decided to write him a note when she got the chance. Until then... She had to earn Chipper's trust. 

 

She tried several times to start a conversation in the chaos, but got no further than opening her mouth and closing it again. What could she talk about? She could think of nothing but magic. She hadn't read any books for entertainment since she was a little filly, and hadn't seen any stage shows... Most of her life had been reading about magic, stars, and other informative subjects. Ok, then, she would keep things where she was comfortable then. Finally, after a minute, she decided to take advantage of a break in the conversation and spoke, keeping her eyes still somewhat down. "So, uh... Chipper Demise, um... Where did you learn to do necro- er, advanced healing magic like that?"

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“I dunno, Candy’s pretty pointy too.” Caramel chuckled before nodding to Chipper’s words. That made sense, she supposed, growing if they could steal the matter from other plants. 
 

“Still, kinda defeats the purpose of immortal plants if you still need to grow other plants to get them to do any growing.” She added with a shrug. “And sure, Chipper, you seem nice. We can be friends if you want.”

 

The talk of the pony in charge switching genders back and forth seemed a little strange, but as long as they were happy and weren’t hurting anyone else, she didn’t see any issue with it. Live and let live and all that jazz. It did make her curious about the mechanics of that though, did both forms have the same amount of mass, just moved around? 

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Were they friends? WERE THEY FRIENDS!? "Of course we're friends!" How could he ever doubt that? It's friendship school, after all, and she's gonna get an A++! "And I'm clearly more pointy than big sis ~" sticking her tongue out at Caramel seemed like the most reasonable reaction to her sister's statement, so of course that's exactly what she did.

 

Her ears perked up when Morning asked her own question, peaking Kettle's own interest even more as she bounced in place, her definitely-not-an-indoor voice probably able to be heard all the way from Ponyville. "Yeah! Yeah! Tell us tell us!"

 

"Did they also teach you to make birds?" Quieting down to more reasonable volumes, she curiously poked at the bird with her nose, because hooves were overrated. It wasn't as scary as the mouse, but then it wasn't trying to eat her corn either. 

 

"Oh! Did you come here to learn necro-whatsits too?" That final question was directed at Glow herself as her mind seemed to catch up with the question. After all, why ask if you didn't want to learn? It's an opportunity you simply couldn't pass up!

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Chipper was reasonably certain that the staff did in fact know of his prolictivies.  After all, it wasn't as if he made any kind of effort to hide them; and anyway Honesty was one of the Elements of Harmony, and therefore essential to friendship!  And, since Kettle had just assured him that they were all friends here, he felt safe in giving a completely honest answer to Spearmint.  "Oh, I'm sure Papa Halvard mentioned it in my application, and I know the Archancellor knows, because I told them.  But like I said, I can't read minds, so I can't say all the staff knows.  Why, do you think I should give a demonstration?  The class hamster hasn't died yet, so I can't do much."

 

That same comfort with complete honesty was extended to Morning Glow as well, though her question would mean giving her a much longer answer.  "Oh, I learned most of this stuff up in the Southern Wilds of Whitescar, when a Master of the Art picked me up after my parents abandoned me!"  He said the words in a discordantly upbeat tone, but not an insincere one.  "He was a tough old stallion, didn't want me to be soft, hated crying.  If he caught me doing it, he hit me until I stopped.  Or if I messed up my experiments.  He didn't hit me when I played with my little animal friends, though, he hit them.  One day, he hit them all so hard they died, and he said if I wanted them back, I'd have to raise them myself, and I couldn't do that if I cried all the time.  And then he hit me again.  Well, I only stopped crying when I ran out of tears, but sure enough, once I wasn't able to cry anymore, I did manage to bring them all back!  So, I took them back to my Master so he could apologize to them for being so mean.  Only, he didn't say sorry."  His grin didn't shrink, but it seemed to chill, along with the air.  "And... they didn't forgive.  In fact, they made sure he couldn't be brought back.  Not that I could if I wanted to, too big."

After that little retelling of trauma, though, he seemed to relax a little, moving away from painful memories.  "After that, I mostly lived with my little friends until this really nice caribou called Limi ran into me after being chased by zombies!  I knew how to handle them, so I helped him get home safely.  His mama Sigrun was happy to see he survived, though she was a little nervous around me.  But I did my best to show there wasn't anything to be frightened of!  And then, when their clan was hit by a plague that made everybou go berzerk, I poked around a bit and found it out it was being caused by these teeny-tiny little bugger things!"  He took a seat, holding his forehooves very close together to emphasize his point.  "Well, after that, it was just a matter of figuring out how to fry 'em, and since my magic doesn't work on anything big, it only hurt the little buggers, and not the berzerker bou!  They were all really happy with me then, especially Mama Sigrun and Papa Halvard.  They're the ones who sent me here, because they said,"  He paused, rolling his eyes up as he tried to recall exactly, "I was re-sill-i-ant against bad so-shull con-di-shun-ing, but that I could really use some of the good stuff!  And speaking of good stuff-!"

He magiced up another bunch of popcorn from Kettle's bucket, only taking a small bite this time, before letting Huginn and Munin have at the rest.  "And I can't make birds, only birds can make birds!  I can fix birds though; and I had to fix Munin a lot!"  The young colt had done his best, but the corvid's head would still remain forever crookedly attached to the rest of him.

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"Well that... that was honestly a journey Chipper." Spearmint answered at the end of Chipper's somewhat epic tale about his life and how he got to the School of Friendship. In fairness, what Chipper said was a lot and... he didn't have the faintest idea of what to say to him about the subjects that would give Chipper the help he quite clearly needed. For the best just to try and play it cool rather then make a big deal about it until they were on good enough terms that if Spearmint suggested he should go and talk to someone, Chipper might take it seriously.

 

However, he did glance towards Morning because... well, she had not been handling Chipper at all well since she had encountered them and he suspected things were going to get worse.

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Morning Glow was handling things quite well, all things considered. She didn't scream, speak, or even move. In fact, as soon as Chipper made his comment about the class hamster, she locked her jaw, knees, and hooves, and found herself unable to move. By the end of Chipper's story, she wasn't fully processing much of what he was saying. In fact, she pretty much checked out after he detailed his master's death. The cheery way he described everything... All those horrible things... Dark magic, abuse, murder. She was gripped with fear and disbelief. It was so hard to hear him from the end of that tunnel...

 

Another moment, and she felt the world spinning. Her head hit something hard, or was it soft? She couldn't really tell. Blackness surrounded her as she collapsed to the floor, passed out.

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It was a good thing that Spearmint had been paying attention, because Morning Glow... well, on the one hoof she didn't respond the way he was thinking she was going to. More screaming really would have been a headache after all. As she feinted, he took advantage of being so physically close to her to grab her with his front legs, using his magic to support her head as he carefully lowered her to the carpeted ground because her falling down and smacking her head against the floor likely wouldn't do her any favors in the slightest.

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Well, that was an... interesting story. Caramel wasn’t sure what to say in response to Chipper’s tale, but it was taken out of her hooves anyways as Morning Glow proceeded to faint. Caramel blinked a couple times after Spearmint lowered the filly to the floor, then sighed and moved over to pick up Morning. Carrying the other filly on her back, Caramel went back into her room and carefully deposited her load onto her bed. Thankfully they had been pretty close to the room, she didn’t want to move Morning that much right now.  

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Kettle didn't really understand the majority of what her new friend was talking about, but it sounded to her like his parents were really mean to him, and that made her sad. Instead of dwelling on the arcane details of what seemed to be his tragic backstrory, though, she latched onto the fee bits she did understand and perked right up, grinning right up until the less-nice unicorn went and fell asleep on them!

 

She shouldn't do that standing up, she could fall... Which she did! Thank the golden kernel that that Spearmint colt was there to help her, and her sister too! "I hope she's okay, that was a really long story. Kind of sad, too... So what else can you fix?" And right back to that grinning loon she went, bouncing around and rattling off every little thing she could think of that would need 'fixxing'.

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