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


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Chipper laughed at Morning's sudden bout of teleportation and subsequent bolting off towards the assembly room.  "Well, I guess that answers my question!"  He could only shake his head when Kettle asked him if he could teleport, but he didn't stop grinning.  "Come on!  We don't want to break school etiquette, so it's time to run in the hallways!"  Despite the somewhat tenuous reasoning behind that, he was pretty certain of getting Kettle to follow him, unless she preferred to stick closer to her slower, orienteering sister.  Spearmint, of course, was a given.  

 

Even with Morning's head start, Chipper was likely to catch up to her.  He's spent his early life in the wilds, rather than indoors with his nose in a book, so his body was pretty well developed physically.  He galloped full-out with little exertion present, and soon he was rounding the corner to the hallway right in front of the Assembly room-

Where Archancellor Blueblood had just peeked his head out to look for any straggling students.  "Hold it just right there!"  He called out, in a stentorian voice.  Chipper attempted to come to a halt, but momentum made him skid to a stop three feet beyond the door.  

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Naturally, Kettle was similarly predisposed towards shirking school ettiquite, and wasted no time ditching her sister to follow a total stranger with questionable ethics and undead companions. "Wait for me, wait for meeeee!"

 

She squealed in laughter as she followed on his heels. Naturally, a bucket of popcorn trailed close behind her, caught up in her buttery aura- that is, until she crashed face first into a solid wall.

 

Or, wait, no, that was just Chipper. While her momentum was regrettably reduced to zero, the popcorn was less fortunate, racing along through the air, free at last- before crashing right into the Archchancellor's face at full speed, spraying popcorn and butter everywhere

 

"Ow..."

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Morning Glow's whole body went rigid when she heard the voice of the Archchancellor behind her. She knew running was discouraged in the halls, but she also knew she shouldn't be late to orientation. She slowly turned around -- and a wave of relief hit her. It wasn't her he was getting after at all! It was Chipper Demise and Kettle Corn, several meters behind her down the hall! She released her breath (which came as a mild surprise because she hadn't realized she'd been holding it) and then sneered a little, turning back to the direction she was heading and trotting -- not running as before -- off gleefully. It was a shame. Had there been more time before orientation, she would have stayed to see what the Archchancellor said. Unfortunately, she was almost late as she was and did not want to start the semester off with a tardy. 

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Against her better judgement, Candy did not take off after her youngest sister, but instead kept pace with Caramel. "I think ya got the common sense in the family," she'd wink to Caramel before hearing a somewhat louder voice up around the corner and the sound of a crash. She would immediately put her hoof up to her face. "Please don't be Kettle...Please don't be Kettle...Please don't...." It was. To make matters worse, there was the pony she had to seek out, the head of the school, covered in popcorn. She'd make an grimace from the embarrassment before trotting up to Blue Blood to apologize, motioning for Caramel to follow behind.

 

"Kettle, are you alright?" she'd say, looking her over before looking to Blue Blood. "I apologize for my sister Kettle Corn. She gets excited easily, and at least she's making friends. That's what this school is all about," she'd laugh awkwardly. She would begin to levitate the popcorn off of the school head. "This is my other sister, Caramel Corn. They are both new students here." She said as the last piece of popcorn was levitated out of Blue's mane. "It's a good thing I ran into yinz...not literally but...I'm Candy Corn. I'm their acting guardian while Pop is busy on the corn farm in Bittsburgh. I'm apprenticing here in Ponyville if anything comes up. I think I have some papers for ya." Candy would levitate something out of her left saddlebag. Her papers where in her right. She would blush before echoing Kettle's earlier words. "Um...Bonbon?"

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Chipper was right to assume that Spearmint was a given when it came to following him. However, he didn't strive to keep pace with him. Spearmint was moving at a quick trot in order to keep Chipper and Kettle within eyesight, but he wasn't full on galloping after them because while he wanted to get where they were going in a reasonable amount of time, he would rather not run into someone in the process.

 

Case and point, running into the Archchancellor on your first day wasn't the worst thing that could happen... but running into the Archchancellor could be seen as a problem. While he wasn't going to speak up or defend the actions of his new friends because... well, they kind of brought it on themselves, he was at least polite enough to wait with them while they got a talking to.

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The last thing Hyper Drive remembered was waking up at five in the morning to go to Buckball tryouts, which were at 6am. Who has tryouts at 6am? Of course, this was the final practice before the school year started. Previously, there were two other practices the past two days. They were in the last afternoon. She lived in a house really close to the school, which was really nice. Hyper met her two best friends at the same time at the school's stadium, exactly at 5:45am where they did their warmups. 

 

Of course, this wouldn't have happened if Fruit Juice, Hyper's best earth pony friend, didn't literally beg on her knees to go to Twilight's Friendship School. The only reason they said yes was because Midnight Glory's parents said it would be a good opportunity to meet new friends, and not just stay in their little bubble. The three fillies still did just that, ignoring everypony else. They were either always fed up with their inside jokes, or focusing really hard on Buckball, because that's the main reason they bond so well. So, making the team was a huge goal the three little fillies had. 

 

They were all talented enough. Hyper Drive was an excellent flier for her age. Her spunky and positive attitude always helped her teammates out. Fruit Juice had amazing strength with her back legs, as she works on a fruit farm most of the time. And Midnight Glory was outstanding with magic. Her mother, who is a magic teacher, taught her many things about her horn. How to control magic, how to cast spells, all the good important stuff. She definitely wasn't a master, but magic was incredibly important to her. Showing off her magically abilities in a sport really made her content. 

 

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Tryouts were well over at this point. Hyper, Juice, and Midnight were huddled together in a group, absolutely ecstatic because they made the Buckball team. The little blue pegasus was flying in tight circles around the group, yelling, "We did it! We did it! Woo!"

 

They were all wearing their brand new uniforms. The little fillies felt really confident putting them on. Hyper Drive couldn't stop posing in the air with them. It made Midnight Glory laugh really hard. "We get it, Hyper. You look good," she said in her monotone voice. She still had a smirk on her face. Fruit Juice rolled her eyes, forgetting the time. 

 

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An hour seem to pass as they giggled by themselves on the field. Hearing a loud bell, Juice immediately stood up. "No stinkin' way! We're gonna be late for orientatin'!" 

 

Hyper finally landed, trying to check the time somehow. "No way, mate! It's only been like half 'n hour since practice!" 

 

"Then why is there a bell ringin'? If we're late to orientatin', we're gonna be a laughin' stock! Even the pigs back home will hear 'bout it!" 

 

Midnight stayed silent for a moment, just to think. "I'm sure it was just the five minute bell. If so, we should start trotting over there." 

 

The three girls picked up their main luggage from the bench and made their way quickly over to the huge building. They all seemed to convince their families to live in the dorms because 'they needed the full experience'. There were for sure enough rooms for every creature that showed up, but they hoped they shared a room together.

 

They came to a stop at the front doors, gawking at how beautiful the place looked. Midnight particularly thought the school was outstanding, making her horn bright up just a little in it's orange aura. The doors came open has she continued to stare. It was just so magical to her. But, she realized her friends already left her in the school, so she quickly ran into the building, shutting the loud doors behind her. 

 

Being in the building for the first time was breathtaking. Hyper couldn't help but throw herself into the air in excitement. "Holy Celestia. I've lived here just 'bout my whole life, and I've never seen anythin' like it." Her little aussie accent made her voice a little cuter than most, though she would never admit. 

 

"Ah know right? The nicest thing Ah've ever seen was seein' our whole fruit orchard bloomin'. The flowers on those trees were mighty beautiful." Juice's bright blue eyes become larger at the brightly lit room. 

 

Midnight couldn't help but walk around and look at all the walls. "I don't think any school in Equestria is like this." 

 

"Ah highly doubt it. Thank Celestia your momma said we should go here. Mah own Ma and Pa would never unless yours did," Juice responded, looking at the little unicorn with a large smile. 

 

Hyper Drive flew down next to her friends, looking around. "So- where's the buildin' we're supposed to be headin' too?" Suddenly there was a large thud to the left of them, making them all turn their heads around at the same time. It kind of sounded like a couple stray popcorn kernels fell to the ground too. Was it popcorn kernels? "What the hay was that?" 

 

 

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Caramel chuckled a bit at Candy’s comment, leading her big sister through the halls until they came upon the scene of the crash. Of course it was the two that had been charging down the hall, though she wasn’t entirely sure who the stallion covered in popcorn was. At least not until Candy started talking to him. Was he in charge around here? Probably, he looked like the pictures. In any case, as Candy talked to Blueblood, Caramel walked over to Chipper and Kettle, helping them both back onto their hooves and looking over when she heard her name. 

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The impact didn't really hurt Chipper, though his robe would probably be butter-stained from now on.  Popcorn, especially extra-buttery popcorn, has a smell all its own, and now it would be one of the many elements of the faintly feral aura that would hang around the young necromancer.

 

Similarly victimized were the Archancellor's academic robe and mortarboard cap.  Blueblood himself was sputtering and coughing, a stray kernel having flown into his open mouth and halfway down his windpipe.  Slapping his chest with his hoof, he was able to eject the offending morsel, clearing his throat and blinking the butter out of his eyes.  "I don't suppose, *hack-ahem*, that you have a good explanation for why you were running in the halls?"

 

"We sure do sir!" Chipper practically saluted the bearer of authority with what was a rather unexpected reply.  "My new friend Morning Glow over there let us know it was ruder to show up late than to run in the halls."  He waved a hoof over to where the unicorn was casually attempting to sidle past Blueblood, offering a kernel to Caramel as she helped pick him up.

"Is that so?  Get back here young mare."  His tone would not brook disobedience.  Once the three offenders were arrayed in front of him, he would give them what would be the first lesson they'd learn in this school, formally.  "While it is important to be polite, no one should expect ponies or anyone else to risk hurting themselves or others to uphold a point of etiquette.  I don't want to see you tardy, but I'd rather you showed up late to class than have to be sent to the nurse's office.  Your welfare takes priority, both for me and your teachers, is that clear?  Good, please take your seats."

 

Once the three offenders were let aside into the room, he would greet the last stragglers.  "As it happens, we don't get a lot of new students at once, so you all are most of what we have.  In any case, it is good to meet you.  You don't have anything else scheduled today, so it really isn't much of an issue, I just don't want to take up too much of your day."  He smiled at Candy Corn, taking up her papers.  "Thank you, I shall give these a read and put them in their proper place soon."  One so young as an acting guardian?  Ponyville was a peaceful enough- actually, hm.  The townsponies were nice, but the location was possibly cursed.  "Good luck."  Was all he could say, letting the rest of the corn family enter.

Spearmint he recognized from his dossier photo, and he gave the colt a somewhat warmer smile.  "Ah, you made it, good.  Twilight told me to look out for you, Spearmint.  You're in good hooves here."

And that just left the trio of buckballers.  "Hello there, I think you're the last of our new students this term.  Please come in."  And with that, he would close the door and go up to the podium.  It was a long enough walk for the newcomers to acquaint themselves with those students already present.  

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Kettle Corn wasn't all too happy about her first lesson effectively being a (very light) scolding, but she understood well enough and affirmed her acquiescence with a cheerful chirp. "You got it, bark- er... ark? OH, OH, DOES THIS MEAN IT'S OKAY TO SHOW UP LATE IF I SPEND ALL MORNING MAKING KETTLE CORN FOR THE CLASS!?" Yush! An infinite time slot for her favorite and most productive pastime! This is going to be the best schoolyear ever! "Thanks, barkchancellor!

 

She was at least halfway certain that wasn't how it was said, but she couldn't remember the proper pro-noun-ciation, so she'd go with what's most fun to say ~ She'd wait for her sisters to take their seats, before claiming her own spot atop Candy Corn's mane. 

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Morning Glow froze again when Chipper Demise ratted her. She turned back and walked slowly towards the archchancelor, horn pointed down, tail all but between her legs like a puppy. She shot Chipper Demise a dirty look as she turned and entered the room. She took her seat, front and center, and waited for the rest of the stragglers to be seated and the orientation to begin. Her parents had filed her paperwork ahead of time, unlike the corn fillies, apparently. She sighed. Rural communities were the worst. Granted, this was the first rural community she'd ever been in, but if they were all like this one, then they were the worst.

 

Then buckball trio entered. She hadn't met these fillies before. She just hoped to Celestia that they were nothing like the other foals she'd met. She wasn't sure how much more she could take. Spearmint, of course, was an exception. From the sounds of it, he even had a personal recommendation from Princess Twilight! Morning Glow didn't have high enough grades to work directly with her. Her grades were good, just apparently not good enough. Supposedly, that's why she was here instead of back in Canterlot focusing on real education. Magic education. She sighed again as orientation started. It was going to be a long semester...

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Candy breathed a sigh of relief as she had infact gave him the proper paperwork, and not the few bonbons from BonBon’s stand she had with her. “It will be nice working with Yinz, though hopefully you won’t have to send for me as long as these two behave.”

 

The nightmare night colored unicorn would enter the room where they all were gathered and took a seat. Out of habit, she levitated her youngest sister into her back. Not long after levitating a bonbon to each of her sisters. “I made this batch today at work,” she’d whisper. Yinz know I’m in town if you do need me.”

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The girls watched all of their peers walk in through the doors next to them. Hyper was already smiling from the possibility of showing off her skills to the other fillies and such. Juice nicely smiled at them as they walked by and took their seats. She noticed how friendly everypony was off the bat, which made her feel better about being there. Midnight Glory took particular interest in another unicorn filly, who seemed.. annoyed? Maybe grumpy? She honestly seemed like she was over everypony's nonsense. For some reason though, Midnight liked her aura. She never met another unicorn that seemed to know anything about magic. Something about Morning Glow struck Midnight as the "magic" type. Of course, she didn't know for sure yet. 

 

They all stood there awkward until a tall, white unicorn greeted them. Hyper immediately said, "Waddup!" to his hello. Juice then followed with a, "Howdy." Midnight composed herself with a frown, trying to make herself seem mysterious. With that, she briefly said, "Hey."

 

The three fillies took their seats as they watched everypony else do so. Hyper took the courage to find her seats first, seeing this as an opportunity to show off her abilities. She got into a crouching position, and before Juice could react to tell her to not do what she was thinking, the blue pegasus shot to the front of the chairs, almost taking out a whole row with her. The red earth pony hoof palmed, completely embarrassed. Midnight couldn't help but chuckle. 

 

Hyper landed ever-so smoothly onto her seat, leaning her back into it, placing her arm behind her, and giving out a toothy smirk. Fruit Juice traveled behind her, sitting next to her with an annoyed frown. Midnight used her magic to pull back her chair, then sat on it. She soon levitated the chair barely off the ground, matching it up with her friends. 

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As Chipper, Kettle and Morning were given a light scalding for their running in the halls and covering the archchancellor in buttered popcorn, Spearmint silently and politely waited nearby. While he recognized that he wasn't in trouble for anything, he kind of wanted to offer his roommate his silent support... while also showing the Archchancellor due respect in order to be in his good graces going forward. The idea of being in the bad graces  of the local authority that was now in charge of his life sent a shiver down his spine that left him feeling cold inside.

 

So it was that when Archchancellor Blueblood turned to him and addressed him by name with a smile on his face, Spearmint tried to return the gesture... but the older ponies nearby likely would be able to see that the young colt didn't seem to know how to respond to this situation properly. Spearmint didn't know what the Archchancellor expected of him and it caused a terrible moment of indecision that paralyzed him in an unsure smile and panic lingering just behind his eyes before he forced himself to swallow and bow his head. "A... a pleasure to meet you too Sir. I hope I can live up to the standards of your school." While on the one hoof submitting to authority like this felt wrong... on the other it felt incredibly natural. This was the primary stallion who's guidelines and rules would be shaping his stay at the school after all.

 

Still, in time he would need to go and find a seat for orientation. While naturally he would have liked to find a seat next to Chipper, his own nerves about being up and walking around to long caused him to take the first empty seat next to someone he knew... which turned out to be Morning Glow.     

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Caramel watched as Blueblood talked to the runners before they all entered the room. Taking a seat next to her sisters, she waited for the orientation to begin. This school already seemed interesting, and she’d only met a small hoof full of fellow students so far. 

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Kettle Corn's parting words may well have made the "barkchancellor" reconsider the minimum age policy for Twilight's school of friendship. Wasn't this supposed to be a secondary school, rather than a daycare?  But that was for later; he'd feel like an utter heel breaking up the family now.

 

Chipper, meanwhile, had taken his seat between Caramel and Fruit juice.  Having already introduced himself to the Corn sister, he gave a little wave to the late-arriving trio.  "Hi, I'm Chipper, and that's also my name, nyaha!"  He didn't get very much farther than that, though, when Blueblood had reached the podium at the front and rapped it with his hoof, a universal signal for the audience to settle down.  This audience being younger than usual, he had to do it twice, the second time somewhat, louder, before he was able to speak unobstructed.

 

"Good Morning, and Welcome to Princess Twilight's School of Friendship!"  There was no way of phrasing the name of the school that didn't sound at least slightly dippy, but Blueblood was a professional diplomat, and his tone was as bright and serious as if he was giving the orientation speech to Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns.  "I am Archancellor Blueblood, but if that word is a little difficult, you can simply call me Principal, Headmaster, or Headmare, whichever you think is more appropriate."  That last bit would provoke a question, he was sure; it always did, but that distraction could be saved for later.

 

"This school was founded by Princess Twilight to pass down the lessons she learned in her personal tutelage under Princess Celestia, and later as she was trained to succeed her mentor as head of the Equestrian State; and while I cannot guarantee any of you will become the leader of whatever country you have come from, I will promise you that what you learn here will be both relevant and useful for similar ambitions.  The Principles of Friendship are not just about playing nice with others; to accomplish anything important and worthwhile in this world, you must know how to work with others, both as leaders and followers.  You must endure hardship and horror, discouragement and boredom, all the world has to throw at you and all the weaknesses you wouldn't dare tell anypony else about.  No one can be expected to do that alone, but anyone can do all of these with a true friend or three by their side.

 

"I know many of you have come here for different reasons.  Some of you wanted specifically to come here, because you had heard of our Founder Princess Twilight, and the feats of her First Class.  Others were likely sent here by their parents for the same reasons.  Yet more of you were transferred by educators who believed this was the best place to prepare you for your best possible future, and I know some of you are here because there is nowhere else for you to go.  All of you are a valuable part of this school, and each a potential friend to the other.  However high or low your origin, you have something to give others and something to receive from them.  To this, I can personally attest, as without the various friends I have made, and the lessons I have learned from them, I would hardly be worthy of bearing my own title of Prince.

 

"Therefore, it is my greatest honor to welcome you to this School, and will be my pleasure to assist you in your education in any way that I can.  Does anyone here have any questions?"

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Kettle Corn was with him all the way up until 'hardship and horror.' Becoming the Princess of Cornutopia would be AMAZING but first she'd have to found it, but she hadn't even found her own room yet, so that was unlikely. Still, Kettle wasn't a huge fan of boredom either. She just wanted to make friends and share kettle Corn- ALL the kettle corn!

 

Kettle corn is love, kettle corn is life.

 

Raising a hoof, the little pony energetically waved it. "Ooh, ooh! Pick me, pick me!"

 

When he inevitably did, because who could resist her buttery charm and 'Indoor' voice, she'd ask, perhaps, the one question he didn't want to hear right then, but would anyway because he made the mistake of voicing it to a curious audience. "Why would we call you Headmare? Are you secretly a mare!?" She gasped, then held two hooves up to her mouth. "or maybe you're BOTH!" It's like being both popped and unpopped. The perfect kernel. 

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Aaaand the three new fillies proved to be a disappointment as well. At least the pegasus did, anyway. She knocked over most of the desks, and Morning Glow had to hold on to keep from succumbing to the same fate as the others. The earth pony spoke with a country accent, which was an immediate turn-off for her. Morning Glow wasn't the type to associate with farmers. The last filly, however, seemed rather composed. Now there was a pony she might be able to get along with. And of course, there was Spearmint. Thankfully, he sat next to her. So far, he was the only other foal whom she had met that she even remotely got along with.

 

When the archchancelor began his speech, Morning Glow quickly levitated her notebook and quill -- only to find that she had forgotten them in her rush to be on time. Great. So there would be no taking notes on what was possibly one of the most important information meetings of the year. Well, she would just have to put that memory training to practice. 

 

His (or her, from the sound of it?) speech actually made her rather nervous. "Hardship and horror"? What exactly did that mean? From what she had heard, the School of Friendship was a place of sunshine and rainbows where no one did any real learning; it was a glorified social etiquette class (that spanned an entire school day). But hardship and horror were not things she had signed on for. Maybe her Theory of Defensive Magic book would come in handy sooner than she thought... She should probably read through it again, just in case.

 

When the time for questions came, she raised her hand politely and immediately, then waited for her turn after the corn filly had finished. "Exactly what do you mean by 'hardship and horror'?" she asked. Better to get a real answer than to overthink it all year if it was just an exaggeration...

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Candy’s hoof went straight to her face as she heard Caramel’s questions and blushed. “Kettle,” she whispered. “You just can’t ask a pony that question. Perhaps he likes to wear mares cloths like Uncle Curl.” She did her best to not think about that, but he was a bit cheesy and corny. “Sometimes I think Uncle Curl has a better sense of fashion then we do,” she said loud enough so that only those near her could hear, especially her sisters.

 

Raising a hoof, Candy would ask her own question. “When you get a second Headmare Blueblood…” as she bit her lip for a second trying to get the image of her uncle out of her head, “Can you direct me to whose in charge of housing? It seems Caramel had everything taken care of, but this silly fully,” as she pointed to her sister sitting on her back, “Her housing paperwork only said to be assigned.”

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For his part, Spearmint didn't feel the need to raise a hoof and ask a question. Anything he might have asked already had been but... just in general, he wasn't used to (or encouraged) to ask questions of authority figures. They said, you did. Didn't matter if you didn't really understand why you were doing it, just as long as it was being done.

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The three girls minded their business until a rather cute peer of theirs sat next to Fruit Juice. She was the first to say, "Hello! Ah’m Fruit Juice!" She gave a cheesy smile. She was a very friendly filly. She loved meeting new ponies. The second to talk was the blue pegasus herself. She gave a huge smile as well, all her teeth showing in a cheerful manor. "Wazzup, mate! I'm Hyper Drive!" She fluttered her wings excitedly, slightly floating off her chair. The last to speak was Midnight Glory. "Hi. Midnight Glory." She gave a tiny smile, then frowned once again. 

 

The three of them rang their attention to the adult pony in front of them. Midnight stayed alert with everything they were saying. Fruit Juice brought out her bag and started taking notes with her mouth. Hyper seemed like she was going to fall asleep. That was very classic of her though. She was never interested in school. The only thing she learned from flight school were tricks and stuff, anything that was actually interesting. Not all that filler crap. 

 

The other two fillies listened with open ears, then immediately looked at each other with their eyebrows raised. Hardship and horrors? What did that mean? The three of them have never faced anything like that. The only time they face 'hardships' is when Hyper Drive is being a little selfish and wasn't listening to Juice's enlightened opinions. 

 

The red filly raised her hoof, until another pony asked the question she was thinking. She then added a, "Yeah! Ah was thinkin' that too!" She smiled at the unicorn, then looked away. In the corner of her eye, she could see Hyper asleep on her chair. She rolled her eyes and smacked Hyper on the stomach. "Wake up you dunce!" 

 

Midnight couldn't help but laugh. Hyper shot awake. "Huh?" She rubbed her eyes. "I wasn't sleepin'!" she whispered. 

 

"Suuuuuree." 

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Caramel listened to the speech in silence, tilting her head at the mention of hardships and horrors. Oh well, she could probably handle it with her family if not by herself, so she wasn’t too worried over all. Wrapping a hoof around her big sister in a half-hug, she listened to the rest and the questions that popped up afterwards. 
 

“Oh! Is there a mechanic place here? I like working on those things.” She spoke up after the others. 

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Let's see... by his count, that was two major questions, plus a couple of small ones he could answer at the end.  And he could take them in the order in which they came without breaking flow, which was convenient!  Giving a signal to his secretary waiting off-stage, he pointed into the audience at Kettle.  "You are correct, I am both a mare and a stallion.  Not at the the same time, though."  At this point, Blueblood's secretary, a monocled young lavender stallion came up on stage with a cup of tea, which he offered to the Archancellor.  Blue accepted it with a nod, and sipped from the cup.  The ensuing transformation was as clear and obvious as their Auntie's Summer Sun; in one smooth wave that washed over the unicorn, where stood a handsome stallion was now a beautiful mare, still dressed in the robes and cap of her office.  "You may see me like this as well over the course of the year; I am called Bluebelle when in this form.  How I came to be this way is a story that can wait until after the assembly.  Rest assured, whenever you come to see me, I will endeavor to be whatever you are most comfortable in speaking with."

 

Well, that was about as short an answer as she could give to the first question.  The second was likely on the minds of many potential pupils, though it had only been asked by the one young unicorn.  Partly Bluebelle's fault for phrasing it like that, she supposed.  "I don't mean the curriculum, of course.  Your parents would have some very sharp words with me if I were to take you manticore-hunting in the Everfree."
 

"Aw, man!"  Chipper's audible disappointment carried across the audience, and Bluebelle had to clear her throat with a stern look to regain control before continuing.


"But what I do mean is this: the world has become a considerably more dangerous place than it was when I was your age.  Believe it or not, there used to be a time when nopony thought old legends could come true.  But though uncertain times have come upon us, so have opportunities for greatness.  You have all heard the stories of Princess Twilight and her friends saving Equestria; it is the Princess' belief that by passing on the lessons that she herself has learned, other ponies may one day be in a position to do what she has done.  Maybe not to the point of saving a whole nation, but there are many, smaller things that a friend in the right place can save.  I myself was so saved, once upon a time."  The students in the audience were likely a little too far away to see the misty look in her eyes, but the catch in her voice at the end likely carried.

 

Sniffing once, she shook her mane back over her shoulder, and continued.  "But for now, this will be as safe a place as we can make it for you to learn.  As to that, the housing office is the first door on the left of the administration hallway, you'll find a sign directing you once you go out of the doors of the assembly hall.  Mechanics classes are elective, and offered by Professor Applejack between harvest seasons.  If there is no more questions, then I welcome you to Twilight's Friendship Academy, and wish you a very good school year!"

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Kettle's quizical look was downright comical, although her electric grin was proof enough that she was more than satisfied with this answer. She squealed and jumped in place as the Archchancellor transformed before her very eyes. "Pretty, pretty!" She was probably going to give Candy a headache at this rate, but she was small enough that she probably wasn't that big a burden. She was still gonna call him Barkchancellor, though.

 

Most of the rest of what he said went in one ear and right out the next like corn through a tiller, although she definitely caught the part about being as awesome as the Princess of Friendship if she followed their lessons. She was definitely going to do that now. Not that she hadn't already intended to, but now she DOUBLE intended to!

 

At the end, she cheered for the beginning of the school year, throwing her hooves up and making it rain popcorn like confetti- because obviously that is the most appropriate reaction to such a stupendous event. Grinning, she bounced in place and looked at her other big sister, Caramel. "Oh, oh! I love mechanics!" She only vaguely knew what 'mechanics' were. "Can I come? Can I come!?"

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  • 2 weeks later...

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Candy's eyes blinked with each bounce of her youngest sister upon her head. After about the fifth bounce, she levitated Kettle back down to the ground next to her before rubbing her forehead with a hoof. "Well Kettle, I think I'll be seeing popcorn in my dreams tonight," she joked. "And Caramel, I'm sure Pa could use a good mechanic to keep all the farm equipment running."

 

When Blue Blood directed Candy where she needed to go, she realized one thing. The only other ponies there where three other fillies, assuming that most rooms accommodated two students. Candy elbowed Kettle. "Phst," she whispered. "I bet one of those three nice fillies is your room mate. I'll go finish your paperwork. Perhaps Yinz should get acquainted? Worse case scenario is if they are not, then at least you made more friends, right?" Candy would give Caramel that all familiar look. "Keep an eye on your sister. I'll be back," as she made her way to the office. Candy gave each of the fillies a smile as she walked by. She couldn't help but hope that it was the earth pony who Kettle would be sharing a room with. Kettle sure had enough energy and needed a well grounded room mate.

 

 

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Morning Glow still had many questions, but assumed they'd be answered in due time. The headmare, or headmaster, or-- Ugh, this pronoun thing was going to be difficult. But nothing she couldn't handle! Actually, she was very intrigued and impressed with whatever potion he took to transform himself into "Bluebelle". She assumed the transformation was permanent, well at least until s/he took another sip, in which case there was some powerful transfiguration within that cup of tea. She wondered which ingredients and/or spells might have gone into its creation, and whether it was a product of pony magic or zebras. 

 

She did, however, raise her hand for one last question as the archchancelor was departing. "Um, Archchancelor? I know classes start tomorrow, but when do we receive our schedules? I don't think one was included with my paperwork, though my parents might have missed it when it was mailed to them..." She wanted to know exactly where she would be going on the morrow because although she was already familiar with the layout of the school, she still wanted to be early to classes on her first day. 

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