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Okay, finally back to where we started this whole thing.

Sorry if I sound impatient, but this's been a long time comin'; we talked a bit about Twi and me last time, but now it's time the rest of mah friends got their time in the spotlight.

Earth Pony Wizard or not, I couldn't have done a dang thing without those five ponies by mah side when all those things went down.  I'm tired o' bein' the only one who gets all the attention, the one that everypony focuses on; time y'all knew the whole story.

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Dragon-of-Twilght presents:

A Pony POV Series side-story:

Seeds of Magic; Part 3 of 4

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I know I said this whole thing started with the Summer Sun Celebration back at the start o' these here interviews, but that ain't the whole truth; it actually started a few days before that shindig.

See, me and Twilight had been friends ever since that day we met; but, fer a lot o' reasons, there were a lot o' times when we weren't around each other.  She had different classes than me, or at different times, or she had homework assignments; one time it was 'cause I had to sit with Aunt and Uncle Orange at a dinner with one o' his business partners.

Huh?  Oh, yeah; the portions... I gotta admit, I still don' understand how they eat so little and ain't always hungry.  The three o' us eventually reached an understandin': I would sit with'em at those dinners, and make mahself another dinner when we got back to the house.  It ain't hard to find a compromise when ya look for it.

Anyway, since me and Twi didn' exactly see each other often, we kinda drifted a bit; we were still friends, don' go thinkin' we weren't, but we weren't what we are now.  'S probably why I didn' notice all the time she was spendin' in the library right away.

Near as I can tell from what the librarian at the the school tells me, she'd been going there every chance she got, always looking at books and askin' fer obscure references.  Normally, that ain't too unusual; hay, I was there with her a few times doin' the same, lookin' fer some other pony who'd done what I did.  No, what was odd is, according to the librarian, she was always lookin' afraid when she was there.

She'd even asked to borrow Spike a few times to request special permission from the Princess to look up certain books most ponies ain't allowed to read.  Now, I don' like askin' the Princess fer nothing; y'all know how I feel about things like that, but... well, Twilight was basically mah only friend at the time, so I gave in a few times and got Princess Celestia's approval.  I guess y'all could say that was when this whole mess actually stated.



I was at Sweet Dreams's house; she was a sorta friend, but I was closer with her little sister, Star.  I'd been helpin' her with her schoolin' and she was one o' the few unicorns that didn't seem to mind that I didn't use a horn to do magic.  Either way, all o' a sudden, Spike comes rushin' in, all outta breath and lookin' more than a bit frazzled.

Now, Spike ain't never been the sort o' dragon to waste much time on stuff that ain't important, unless it involved some gems, so he went straight fer me.  "AJ, you gotta come with me; you're not gonna believe this."

Me, on the other hoof, I'd been learnin' a bit about 'Social Networking' as Aunt Orange called it: Gettin' connections to other ponies so that, when ya need somthin', ya always have some way o' gettin' it.  Sounds a bit low when ya say it like that, but I reckon it's got some use; after all, it's basically about makin' friends with as many ponies as ya can, and friends should help each other out.  Weren't as easy fer me as her, though; even when they didn' hate me fer bein' a freak, a lot o' ponies just saw me as more a curiosity than an actual pony, so this was the closest I had to an actual friend outside o' Twilight at the time.  So, I weren't really ready to leave just yet.

"What the hay has yer tail in a twist?" I had known these ponies long enough that I could drop the fancy accent around them, "and can it wait 'til later?"

Spike just shook his head, lookin' pretty desperate.  "Believe me, AJ; 'later' is gonna be 'too late'.  Just please, come on!"  He grabbed one o' mah legs and started pullin', and I just gave up.

"Sorry about this; tell yer sister I'll go over her homework later."  She seemed to understand and I pretty much let Spike drag me off finally.  I'd been livin' with mah bum leg for a while by then, so I'd managed to get him to let go and still kept a decent pace with him in spite of the ache in it I always got from tryin' to run.  "I swear, Spike; this had better be an actual emergency.  There was gonna be apple pie at that party."

I heard him mutter something as we moved, but couldn't make out what; either way, he did seem to think he had a good reason.

"It's Twilight; she's finally lost it."  I frowned as I found mahself pushin' mah leg just a little bit harder.  Twilight had been actin' weird lately, and I don't just mean that stuff with the library; she'd been talking to herself a bit, constantly checking the date and the position the stars were supposed to be in, even bugging me to ask the princess to delay the Summer Sun Celebration.  Every time I asked her 'why', she'd just start mutterin' about how somepony was comin' and needed to be stopped.

Honestly, I didn' have a danged clue what she was talkin' about, and even the Princess's Student ain't got the authority to tell her nothin'; especially the stuff she was askin' about.

With everythin' that she had been tryin' to do lately, though, I was a bit worried about what she was getting into now.  Turns out, she was all but screaming at one of the palace guards to let her in, that she needed to see the princess immediately.

"You have to believe me," she was flippin' through about seven books with her magic, pointin' at some o' them and lookin' like a filly tryin' to talk her parents into believin' her, "the signs are all there, the princess has to be warned before it's too late!  Please, I need to see her, now!"

"You and everypony else, Kid."  I glared at the guard as I finally reach 'em; yeah, it was his job to make sure nopony got to the princess unless they had an appointment, but that didn' mean he had to be rude about it.

"I'm serious though!!!"  It looked like Twi was about to start cryin', so I stepped up.

"What in the hay is goin' on?!"  The guard stood up a bit straighter, and I felt a bit smugger since he'd been rude to Twi; I might'a just been an earth pony, but the guards ain't showin' no disrespect to the princess's personal student.

"Er, um; hello, Miss Applejack," stallion seemed to be strugglin' to remember if'n he should be talkin' fancy with me, "it seems that-"

"AJ!"  I had to brace mahself when Twilight finally tore herself away from her books; fer somepony that didn' do much in the way o' physical activity, that filly sure has a good tackle.  "AJ, you've got to send a letter to the princess and get her to delay the Summer Sun Celebration!"

I had to hold back a groan; it was the same argument we'd been havin' fer over a month now and I was just plain sick o' it.  "Twi, even if I had that much sway over the princess- which I don'- you can't just 'postpone' the longest day o' the year."

"Princess Celestia controls the sun and moon, I think she could alter the lengths of a couple days."

"She's a got a point, AJ."  I turned to glare at Spike fer that little remark.

"Yer supposed to be on mah side."  O' course, he was right; but still, 's the principle of the thang.  "And Twi, you know that there's more to it than just that; hay, you start muckin' about with the days, even a lil' bit, and crops'll just go nuts.  Some o' them are really delicate."

"AJ, if she doesn't postpone, crops will be the least of our worries!"  She floated one o' her books o'er and shoved it in mah face.  "Nightmare Moon is going to return!"

I just blinked a bit, pushin' the book back to get some breathin' room.  "Huh?"

Yeah, not exactly the response she'd been lookin' fer....  "What do you mean 'huh'?  Don't you understand?!  She's supposed to return on the longest day of the thousandth year of her banishment; and tomorrow is that day!  We have to do something, or at least bring this to the princess's attention so she can; why is nopony listening to me?!"

I gave the guard a look, since he looked about ready to give a few reasons o' his own fer that, then turned back to Twilight.  "Twi, I get that yer upset o'er whatever the hay this is... but ya might as well be talkin' in reverse; who's this here 'Moon' pony yer talkin' 'bout, and what about her nightmares?"

"No, no, no!"  Twilight had this look about her that I'd seen her get when she was explainin' some obscure history fact that I just weren't gettin'.  "Nightmare Moon; here, just read this."  That book was shoved into mah face again, though far enough away that I could read it this time.  It was just some old 'Origin o' Equestria' stories, they're a bit-a-bushel really, but I pretty much had to read this one.  Nothin' too special, talkin' about two sisters and how one o' them got jealous and ended up turnin' into Nightmare Moon.

And, as far as I was concerned, it was nothing but a bunch o' hogwash.

Don' get me wrong, I know it's true now that I've met Princess Luna; but, at the time, I had heard and read so many as part o' mah classes that they'd all sorta just run together and gotten a bit cynical about'em.  Once I'd read it, I just looked at Twi with an eyebrow raised.  "Uh... Twilight?  Don'cha think yer over-reactin' to a story?"

Her face fell when I said that, and I saw some tears shinin' in her eyes.  "You don't believe me either.  Why does nopony believe me?!"  Now, bein' raised on a farm with a brother and grandma that really like honesty, I'll be the first to admit that I'm too danged blunt for mah own good at times.  But Twilight was mah friend, and I don' like to see mah friends upset.

"Er, uh..." I tried to think o' somethin' quick, "well, I didn' say that."

"But you impl-" I stuffed mah hoof in Spike's mouth before he could finish that sentence.

"Look, Twi; you're always tellin' me to write a letter to the Princess, how about we do that now?  Get her opinion on the whole thang."  I didn' even wait fer her to say anything, best to take charge o' things and get them down before she tried to do the same.  "Spike, take a letter."  He grumbled something about mah hooves, but pulled out his usual quill and parchment.  "'Dear Princess Celestia, Howdy!  I know yer probably busy, what with the Summer Sun shindig comin' up and all, but I was wonderin' if I could bother ya for a moment.  My friend, Twilight Sparkle, has been puttin' her nose in the books a lot, and she's talkin' about this pony called Nightmare Moon that's supposed to be comin' back then.  Now, I dunno if it's true or not, but I figured y'all'd know more about it; try to get back to me when ya can.  Signed, yer faithful student, Applejack.'"

Spike rolled the scroll up and blasted it with a bit o' magic flame; it's actually pretty interestin' to see how dragons work magic with mah eyes, but that's a tangent fer another time, either way, the letter was on it's way.

"There; now, how's about the three o' us go get a bite to eat somewhere?  I'm sure Star Dreams wouldn't mind havin' ya over at her party, they've even got some apple pie there."  ...don't look at me like that; after apple fritters, apple pie is the best danged food ya can make!  And besides, Twilight weren't havin' any of that anyway.

"How can you think of food at a time like this, AJ?!"  Even if she wasn't as upset anymore, she still looked pretty panicked.  "Once the princess reads your letter, she's going to want everypony who can help to be ready; we have to prepare for whatever it is she'll have us do!"

"Twi, I don' think-"  And Spike let out a flamin' belch that interrupted us and turned into a letter from the princess.

"You see?!  I knew she'd want to take immediate action!"  Twilight jabbed a hoof into mah chest, then turned back to Spike.  "Read it!"

He rolled his eyes, mutterin' about 'Bossy Ponies', but unfurled the letter and cleared his throat.  "'My Dearest Student; while I commend your friend for her zest for knowledge, she simply must stop reading those dusty old books all the time.'"  Twilight's jaw dropped, but Spike wasn't done yet.  "'Furthermore, I think you could do with some time away from Canterlot to return to your roots; I am in need of ponies to assist with the final preparations for the Summer Sun Celebration.  Therefore, I am sending you both to supervise Ponyville.'"

Now I was right there with Twi, mah mouth just hangin' open.  I'd expected the Princess to ease her mind, not send both o' us off to Ponyville outta nowhere.  So, I felt pretty justified when both me and Twi pretty much shouted out "WHAT?!"



O' course, after I'd had a few hours to pack, say goodbye to Aunt and Uncle Orange, and report back to the palace fer our ride, I'd calmed down about it a lot more.

"Think of it like a vacation, Twi," she was still sulkin', so I tried to help her, "get away from school and the city fer a while.  And remember, there was another part o' that letter as well: You and I are supposed to make some friends.  I don' think y'all want to miss out on an assignment."

She still didn' look too happy, but I had been tryin' fer most o' the flight and was fresh outta ideas, so I just left her be while I glanced down and watched everythin' as we flew.  Truth be told, I was really lookin' forward to it; between mah studies, mah leg, and livin' so far away, it'd been a really long time since I'd been back to the farm.  I love Aunt and Uncle Orange, I really do, but I couldn' help but think the Princess was right: I needed to get back to mah roots before I completely fergot'em.

And, while I'm not proud to admit it, part of me was just glad to see other earth ponies and even pegasi fer a change.  I don' have a problem with unicorns, I was just sick o' feelin' like me and mah aunt and uncle were the only earth ponies in the world.  "Doncha worry, Twi; this'll be just fine, you'll see.  Ponyville ponies are some o' the friendliest pony y'all'll ever meet."  I turned to a pink pony that had stopped in front of us to make my point, and waved at her.  "Howdy!"

She gave Twilight, Spike and me a quick once over, then gasped and jumped higher than my head and dashed off.

Twilight turned to me and gave me one of her disapproving looks and I blushed somethin' fierce while I rubbed the ground with mah hoof.  "Er... well, most o' them are anyway."



After that little scene, I managed to convince Twilight that we should at least get on with the job the princess sent us here to do; that, at least, got her movin', but ain't nothin' I could do to take her mind off o' Nightmare Moon.

"How can she celebrate when something so serious is about to happen?"

I rolled mah eyes as I hobbled along the dirt road, occasionally noddin' at some of the other ponies I vaguely remembered from when I was growin' up.  She had been going on and on about finding more information about Nightmare Moon fer a while now, and I was just barely listenin' to be honest; and Spike looked about ready to fall asleep on his feet.  "-can't believe she would take this so lightly, sending us away from the Royal Archives to this town.  I bet it doesn't even have a library!"

"Now you take that last part back, Twi!"  She might be my friend, but I don't cotton to ponies insultin' mah hometown.  "There is too a library here, the librarian was the one who told me about the school in the first place.  I wouldn've even gone to Canterlot if it weren't fer her!  Hay, the princess even arranged fer us to stay there since Page Turner wanted to retire."

Twilight didn' sound too impressed by that, but she at least quieted down; I still heard her mutter about findin' out more about somethin' called the 'Elements o' Harmony', but I still thought she was seein' a timberwolf where there was just a tree and didn' pay her much mind.  Besides, we were almost to the one place I wanted to see more than anythin' else that day.

"Okay," Spike finally woke up and pulled out the list o' thing needin' checked, "first up is the Banquet preparations; from... 'Sweet Apple Acres'?"  He blinked, then looked up at me.  "Friends of yours?"

"Family, actually," I was pretty glad mah family had been picked to cater the whole thing, us Apples take a lotta pride in our food, "it'll be good to see'em again."

"Well, I suppose you know who we should see about the whole thing then?"

That made me slow a bit more than I already was with mah leg; that was a good question, actually.  I hadn't had time to get in touch with the rest o' the family, so I didn' know who had taken o'er general operations on the farm; I know it shoulda been obvious, but ya can sometimes ferget how much ponies can change growin' up.

It weren't till I saw a familiar red pony kickin' trees with one leg that I put things together.

"Macintosh!"  He paused, then spotted me and cantered over with a huge grin on his face.  Next thing I knew, he'd managed to pick me up in a hug; and I'll even give him a bit o' credit, he didn' mess with mah leg when he did either.

"Long time, no see, AJ!"  The big lug finally finished tryin' to break me in half with a hug and set me back down.  "Y'all coulda told us ya were comin' by; Ah woulda put somethin' together."

"Sorry, Mac," I couldn' stop grinnin', "whole thing was last minute; didn' even know it was happenin' mahself until earlier today."  Twilight cleared her throat, remindin' me this weren't just a family reunion.  "Oh, right; Macintosh, this is Twilight Sparkle, mah best friend, and Spike, mah #1 assistant.  You two, meet mah brother: Macintosh Apple."

"Mah friends call me 'Big Mac'," he held out his hoof and both Spike and Twi shook it, "nice ta meetcha; any friend o' AJ's is a friend o' mine."

"Yes, well," Twi weren't really interested in this, "we're here from Canterlot to supervise preparations for the Summer Sun Celebration; you're in charge of the food, correct?"

"Y'all better believe it," Macintosh smiled, "Wanna sample some?"

I jumped in before Twilight could; there was no way in Tartarus I was gonna turn down the first real meal I'd had in a long time.  "O' course we would, wouldn't we, Twi?"

She looked like she wanted to argue the point, but she'd known me fer a good part o' mah life by then; she knew that I weren't one to bend easily when I got somethin' in mah head.  It was what got me into the school in the first place, after all.

"Fine," she sighed out, "as long as it doesn't take too long."

That was all Macintosh needed to hear; he let out a whistle louder than I'd ever heard from him and called out, "Soup's on, Everypony!"

I had the sense to get outta the way just in time fer the rush; Spike and Twi weren't so lucky, but they got dropped off at one o' the tables we had around and I was left with Macintosh while the rest o' the family introduced themselves with Apple Bloom leadin' the charge.  "Nice to see ya found yer voice finally, Macintosh."

Havin' a red coat really helps him hide his blushes, but I could still see it; he'd always been shy growin' up, never speakin' more than he had to and pretty much standin' back while other ponies took the lead.  The fact that he'd raised his voice like he had, and hadn't shied away from Spike and Twilight, it really showed he'd changed as much as I had o'er the years.  "Well, with you away in Canterlot, somepony had ta step up and be the face o' the Apple Clan 'round here.

"Apple Bloom's still too young, and Granny Smith needs her rest; Ah didn' really have much choice in the matter, AJ."  He put a hoof around mah shoulders and gave me a light push toward the tables.  "Now, lets get some grub 'fore it's all gone."  I had to chuckle at that; pretty much all o' the family tends to eat a lot, so that was a real danger.  It woulda been a simple (and filling) meal, if'n one o' mah cousins hadn' decided to start flappin' his gums at me.


It was Red Delicious, one o' the Apples that had managed to make it in a big city, Manehatten to be exact, and one that I hadn't seen for quite a while.  I didn' know all that much about him, still don' really, but... well, I'll just tell y'all how it all went down.


He turned to me about halfway through mah second plate and just jumped right into the matter at hoof.  "So, Applejack, finally comin' back to the farm?"  If'n he weren't family, I mighta caught his tone and figured out where this whole thing was headin' before it got there.

"Nah, not yet anyway."  I was busy chowin' down, so I just answered without much thought, "just here to check up on things fer the princess and the Summer Sun Celebration."

"Hm, I see."  He took a bite o' a fritter, then continued.  "And here I thought you'd go back to doin' some real work."

I heard Macintosh sigh, but I was suddenly fixed on Red Delicious and how quiet the rest o' the table had gotten.  Part o' me wanted to believe that he hadn' just said what I thought he'd said, since he was family, but I was feelin' somethin' burnin' inside o' me.  "I do real work all the time, Red."

He scoffed, rollin' his eyes.  "Oh please; unless they installed a garden at that school, you're just readin' books.  I'm talkin' 'Git yer hoofs dirty, rough and tumble, come home tired at the end o' the day' work.  Not just those fancy lights and floaty stuff you do."

"Fer yer information, Red Delicious," I could feel that something buildin' up in me, "magic is work."

"You need to stop hangin' around unicorns so much, yer startin' to sound like one."  And he said it casually, like a parent talkin' down to a foal that didn' know any better.

I couldn' believe what I was hearin', from mah own cousin on top o' that!  "What in the hay is that supposed to mean?"

He sighed, finally payin' more attention to me than his food.  "Look, AJ; yer smart, everypony here knows it, don' waste it on somethin' like magic."  I was too busy gawkin' at him to reply, though I was glad Twi and Spike where well away from us then.  "It's a bunch o' lights and sparkles, that's all; fine fer unicorns, they wouldn' know a day o' hard work if it came up and bit 'em in the rear, but yer an earth pony.  Ya need to actually start focusin' that brain o' yers on somethin' that actually has some value."

He went right back to eatin' while I just sat there and stared at him.  Like I told ya last time, us earth ponies tend to be the ones that say that because o' how stubborn we can be, but I still never expected to hear it outta the mouth o' one o' mah own family.  I liked to think the Apple Family was better than that; but, well, I guess we can all be wrong about some things.

I didn' eat much more after that; I was too angry over him implyin' that what me and Twi did weren't real work, just 'cause it was magic and not physical labor.  That was the first time I'd ever been glad to get away from mah family once the meal was over; at least Twilight hadn't had any problems where she was sittin', just a few o' the others shovin' more food into her without realizin' she didn' eat as much as we did.

"Ohh... I ate too much pie."  Judgin' from her belly, she had, and she weren't lookin' all that happy about it.  At least Macintosh had walked us to the edge o' the farm, and taken the time to apologize fer Red Delicious to me.

"Ah told him ta keep his mouth shut," he grumbled alongside me, "he's been talkin' outta his plot like that fer three reunions now, Ah almost didn' invite him ta this one 'cause Ah'm so sick o' hearin' it."

"Yeah...."  I just glared at nothin', still ticked o'er the whole thing.  "Almost wish you hadn'."

He didn' really respond to that, just got all quiet-like while we walked and stayed that way until we got to the edge o' the farm.  "AJ, before ya go, there's one more thing."  He reached back behind him and pulled out Pa's ole hat and I stopped short; he just reached up and put it on mah head without a word.  "Ya know he always wanted y'all to have it; Ah think it's about time ya did."  And with that, he walked back.  I won' say it completely made up for all the things that Red Delicious had say to me, but it sure as a sugar helped take some o' the sting away; so, all in all, not too bad a reunion after all.

"What's up next?"

Spike, pretty full himself, finally pulled out the list again.  "After food is... weather."  He looked around the sky, takin' stock o' it.  "There's supposed to be a pegasus pony named 'Rainbow Dash' clearing the sky."

Twi and I joined him in lookin' up, findin' a sky full o' clouds.

Twilight said it best, really: "Yes, she's clearly working herself to the bone with that."

"Where in the hay is this pony?"  I looked around for any pegasus as best I could, but weren't findin' one.  "I'm gonna give her a piece o' mah mind so big when we find her she'll probably-"

And then, WHAM!

It'd been a good long while since I'd actually felt some real pain in mah leg; the aches I'd git in the winter, or when I was tryin' to run, those weren't anythin' too bad and I could even put 'em outta mah mind when I had other things to focus on, but gettin' full on hit by a fast movin' pegasus was a whole other world o' pain.

I crashed into Twi and the two o' us ended up gettin' knocked for a loop and into some mud, Pa's hat even got knocked offa mah head cause o' it.  And, me havin' just got it, that meant I really didn' want it to get dirty; thankfully, telekinesis and some quick reflexes helped with that.  Even if'n I made it out like it's somethin' really complicated last time, I'd had years to practice by then and could do it second nature; just like pegasi don' think too hard 'bout flyin', speakin' o' which....

"Whoa!  How the hay are you doing that?!"  I brushed some o' mah mane outta mah face to finally get a look at what had hit me and Twilight; and, well, y'all can guess what I saw.

I'll admit, it was pretty odd to see Dash when we first met; ya'd think that, with as colorful as some ponies can get, there wouldn' be a pony that stood out as 'Most Colorful'.  But Dash, well, she'd at least be in the top five o' a contest like that; only pony I've ever met that had more than two colors in her mane was the princess, and I'm pretty sure that's 'cause I'm pretty sure her mane is made o' magic.

Anyway, back to Dash.

After runnin' into us, and tossin' us into the mud, neither o' us were really all that pleased to see her.  "Never you mind," I snapped at her question about mah magic, "You 'Rainbow Dash'?"

"The one and only!"  She puffed out her chest and actually tried to strike a pose, like she was some sorta celebrity.  "Here, I'll get you cleaned up; anything for my fans."  She zoomed up, then came back with a cloud that looked a bit grey.

Some memories from the farm came back just as she started jumpin'.  "Wai-" and the rest just sorta got lost in the rain.  I was glad that Pa's hat wasn' gonna be ruined by somethin' like water; but I also weren't too happy about bein' soaked to the bone from a rain cloud, and Twi looked right there with me.

Dash chuckled overhead, "oops; guess I overdid it."  Truth be told, she didn' sound all that sorry o'er the whole thing, I think she was jist lookin' for another excuse to show off.  "Maybe this'll help."  And, before either o' us could stop her, she was zoomin' around us fast enough to make a tornado around the both o' us.  "My very own, patented, 'Rain-blow Dry'."

Why do ponies always say that?  'S not like she actually patented it.

(Interviewer's Notes(Unicorn): Actually, she did.)



Say WHAT now?!

(Interviewer's Notes(Pegasus): Yep, take a look at this.)

...Well, I'll be... 'Rain-blow Dry, patented to Rainbow Dash'.  Well fry mah tail and call it a 'fritter', I wouldn'a believed it if'n I didn' see it with mah own eyes.

(Interviewer's Notes(Unicorn): A lot of ponies say the same about an Earth Pony Wizard.)

...point taken.

(Interviewer's Notes(Unicorn): Shall we continue?)

Er, yeah; let's do that.

Anyway, Dash was tryin' to dry us off with that tornado, and... well, she was too busy braggin' to see we'd turned into somethin' that looked like one o' them poofy dogs rich ponies have.  It weren't so bad fer me, I've always kept mah mane and tail tied up and that meant that- even poofed up like it was- I could press it down some and not look too different than I usually do; never been on to keep up on the latest mane styles and all that really.

Twi had it worse though; her hair was always combed and straightened with magic, and it's longer than ya'd think just lookin' at her, so she had poofed up somethin' fierce.  And Spike and Dash didn' really bother hiding how funny they found the whole thing.

But, she did manage to stop laughing long enough to stroke her own ego again.  "So, I've never seen either of you around town," she struck another of her poses, "how'd you hear of me?"

"Because we're supposed to be overseein' preparations for the Summer Sun Celebration; and ye'r supposed to clearin' the clouds."  I pointed a hoof up to the sky, "wanna explain why it ain't clear?"

"I'll get it done," she waved her hoof like it weren't nothing important, "it'll be a cinch; right after I get done practicing."

"What are you practicin' fer that's so danged important that it can't wait?"  I'll admit, she was a bit hard to get used to at the time, so I weren't bein' too polite; she didn' seem to notice though.

"The Wonderbolts!"  That was the most excited I'd seen her since we crashed into each other.  "They're gonna perform at the celebration," she did a few flips then flopped on a cloud, "and I'm gonna show'em my stuff."

And me... well, I was just lost.

Like I told ya, mah head is full o' stuff about magic and the like, some other things just sorta fall to the wayside.  Thankfully, that's where havin' a friend like Twilight comes in handy.

"The Wonderbolts?"  The way she was talkin' I knew she already knew the answer.  "The most talented in all of Equestria?"

"Yep, that's them."

Twilight scoffed.  "Please, they'd never accept a pegasus that can't keep the sky clear for one, measly, day."

That seemed to get Rainbow's feathers in a twist.  "Hey, I could clear this sky in ten seconds flat."

Now it was mah turn to scoff at her.  "I'll call that bluff."  There were a lot o' mundane spells that I had learned, just to make things easier; one o' them was a timer spell that could also work as a stopwatch.  I can keep time pretty good in mah head, but- well- sometimes books can be distractin' and I needed a reminder.

I held up one o' mah hooves and concentrated until I'd pulled together enough mana to make a floating clock and set up the spell matrix to do what I needed it to; simple stuff, only took about a second.  "Start kickin', Rainbow Dash."

I started the clock, and she zoomed around the sky with a rainbow trail followin' her.  I'll give her this: I'd never seen a pony move that fast, and she sure as sugar made quick work o' the clouds; it actually reminded me a bit o' what I remembered o' Applebuckin', truth be told.  Either way, I had to be quick to stop the clock when she kicked away that last cloud; and... well....

"Hah!"  She did a bit o' a dance in the air as me and Twi stared at the clock; she hadn't done it in ten seconds, she'd done it in 9.85!

"What'd I tell you?"  She still sounded smug about it... but, after that, she kinda had a right to.  "I'd never leave Ponyville hanging."  Neither o' us could think of a single thing to say, and she seemed to get a chuckle outta that.  "You two are a riot; never got your names."

I finally managed to close mah mouth before I started catchin' flies and swallowed.  "Mah name's 'Applejack'; this here's 'Twilight Sparkle'."  Twi just gave a bit of a wave, still a bit shocked by the whole thing.

"Awesome," she slapped us both on the back like we were old friends, then fluttered off.  "See you two around; I'll make it an even nine seconds next time."



After that, well, we just kinda stood there.  Not every day you meet a pony who could probably outrace the princess.

It was Spike that finally got us back to reality.

"She's amazing!"  And, really, she kinda was; but she still had left us lookin' like a couple o' idiots.

Yeah, we were still upset about that, and she never really seemed all that sorry about it in her apologies.  "Come on, we still have two more stops to make."

Twilight grumbled as we walked off, Spike trailin' behind us and tryin' to tell us that we didn' look as bad as we did.  He's never really been that good o' a liar.


Next, we had to look in on the decorations; like I told ya last time, lookin' good and takin' some pride in yer appearance are just as important as bein' who ya really are, so- when we got to the town hall- I could really appreciate all the work that had gone into makin' it look as good as it did.  Even more once I realized it was just one pony workin' on it.

"Beautiful...."  Spike seemed to be pretty impressed himself, and even Twilight didn't seem all that bitter.

"Yes, the decorations are coming along smoothly.  We might be able to actually get to that library you mentioned after all, AJ."

I was about to tell her to drop the whole Nightmare Moon thing, then Spike spoke up again.  "Not the decor, her!"  Remember how I mentioned there was just one pony handlin' the whole thing?  Well, seems somethin' 'bout her caught Spike's eye.  I dunno what it was, though, she just reminded me o' some o' the unicorns back in Canterlot, managed to look just as fancy as them without wearin' any o' their frilly dresses too.  She was goin' through a bunch o' ribbons and things fer the decorations, not lookin' happy with any o' them.

"No, no, Goodness no!"

I hobbled up to her, tryin' to at least make sure she was on top of things.  "Excuse me?"

"Just a moment," she held up a hoof as she continued to go through her ribbons, "I'm 'in the zone', as it were."  She finally picked out a blue one; it didn' look too fancy, but it did look pretty good when she finally tied it on one of the curtains.  "There we go; sometimes, simple is better.  Why, Rarity, you are a talent.  Now," she turned toward us, "how can I help yooOOOOW!"  She looked pretty shocked as she looked the pair o' us o'er.  "Oh my stars!  What in Equestria happened to you both!"

"Ya mean the manes?  It's... well, don' worry about it; we're just here to have a look-see at the decorations and we'll be outta yer hair."

"Out of my hair?  What about your hair?!"  It'll never stop surprisin' me just how much magic Rarity actually has when she gets her mind set on something.  I can usually get a good bead on how powerful a unicorn is when I see'em in action; but, Rarity, well... I still don' really have her down.  So, the last thing I was expectin' was fer her to pick both o' us up and literally carry us outta there with her telekinesis.

"Whoa there; what in the hay?!  Lemme go!"

"Help!  I need an adult!"

"That doesn't work when yer already an adult, Twi!"

And Spike, the lovestruck dragon, weren't any help at all; he woulda followed that mare right into Tartarus if she led him.  Plus, I think most o' the other ponies we passed knew better than to get involved.

Once she'd dragged the two o' us over to her shop, we pretty much had our own impromptu, three pony fashion show.  Twilight got the worst o' it really; once Rarity'd figured out I had a bum leg, she didn' really put me in any o' the really tight outfits, but Twi didn' have any excuse.  Even if I was wearin' a very loose dress, I couldn' help but wince in sympathy watchin' Rarity pull a saddle tighter than it had any right to be on a pony.

"Go on, Darlings," she pulled a bit more and I swear I saw Twilight startin' to cry, "you were telling me where you were from?"

"Well...," it was really hard to look at Twilight like that, "I was born here in Ponyville; but, I left when I was really young.  So, really, I guess we're both from Canterlot and-"  And Rarity let go of the strap so Twilight finally had some release.

"Canterlot?!"  She was suddenly remindin' me o' Twilight whenever she found out somethin' she didn't already know.  "I am so envious!  The glamour, the sophistication; I have always dreamed of living there!  I can't wait to hear all about it!"  She sighed, putting her hooves around me and Twilight.  "Oh, the three of us are going to be the best of friends!"

She suddenly glanced at mah dress, then looked shocked by somethin'.  "Rubies?  What was I thinking? Let me get you some emeralds!"  She all but bounced away, and I turned back to Twilight and loosened the strap on the saddle with mah teeth.

"Let's get while the gettin's good!"  I pulled off mah dress and were made tracks away from Rarity like two mice runnin' from a cat.  Twilight remember to snag Spike when we passed him, since he still was lovestruck and wasn't movin', and we managed to get gone before she came back with mane dyes or somethin'.

O' course, just 'cause we were gone, didn' mean Spike had left it behind yet.

"Wasn't she wonderful?"  He was actin' all wistful and the like, still head o'er hooves fer some mare he'd just met.

(Interferviews Notes(Pegasus): Like you were for Shining Armor when you first met him?)

...hush up.

Anyway, we still weren't done fer the day, so we needed to stay on topic.

"Head outta the clouds, Lover Boy; what's next?"

He pulled out the list that we'd been goin' by all day and glanced through it.  "Music; it's the last one."

I heard Twilight mutter somethin' behind us, but, after everythin' that had happened by then, I was too drained to tell her to drop it fer the nth time.  I just wanted to get the whole thing done and dusted and finally rest mah leg; after walkin' around as much as I had, it was startin' to hurt more than usual.

(Interviewers Notes(Unicorn): They do make carts to help ponies in your situation.)

I don' need some cart to get around, I can manage just fine on mah own!

Besides, once we got close, the singin' of the birds really took mah mind offa mah leg.  I'd grown up in a city without a lotta animals, so I'd almost fergotten what it was to hear a bird sing; felt real good to hear them.  And, though I probably shouldn'a been, I was pretty surprised to see it was a pegasus who was directin'em.  Most o' them had talents related to sports and things like that, and workin' with animals was an earth pony thing; but, seein' as I'm an earth pony wizard, I probably shouldn' judge like that.

Either way, I walked up to the other pony to get things o'er with.

"Howdy!"

And, like ya'd expect, the birds all flew off.

"Er... um... sorry 'bout that.  Didn' mean to scare away the birds; just here to check up on the music, and I loved what I heard."

She didn' say anythin', just looked at anythin' but me.  "Er... I'm Applejack."  Still nothin'.  "Um... what's yer name?"

"I'm... uh..." she muttered something real low, with an already pretty quiet voice.

"Huh?"

"My name is..." and she trailed off again.

"Can ya speak up a bit?"

And, after that, she just squeaked.  I finally gave up; I was a bit used to ponies not sayin' much, growin' up with Macintosh and all, but there was a point when even I couldn' do much with so little.  "Ohhhh-kay then... well, looks like yer birds are back, so I'll see ya around."  She squeaked again and I sorta hobbled off; I didn' miss the look o' pity when she saw that I had a limp, but I was too used to that sorta thing to care by then; either way, I was just gettin' back to Spike and Twilight, when I heard her gasp.

"A Baby Dragon!"

And, fer the second time that day, I found mahself eatin' dirt.

"Oh, I've never seen a baby dragon before!  He's soooo cute!"

Ya could almost hear Spike's ego growin' with the compliments.  "Well, well, well."

"Oh my, he talks!  I didn't know dragons could talk!  That's just so incredibly wonderful I... I don't even know what to say."  Thankfully, before she could get so excited she asked him out on a date, Twilight picked him up and I managed to stand up.

"Well, in that case, we'd better be going."  She was anxious to get to the library, and I was gettin' sick o' this whole thing mahself.  Turns out, though, that mare had more than just a passin' interest in dragons.

"Wait, wait!  Uh, what's his name?"

"I'm Spike."

"Hi, Spike, I'm Fluttershy.  Wow, a talking dragon!  And, what do dragons talk about?"

"Well, what do you wanna know?"

"Absolutely everything."

And that was about the point that both me and Twilight resigned ourselves to a very long walk to the library.  Spike was still a dragon, baby or not, so he had more than his share o' pride in himself; and, if there's one thing someone with a lotta pride in hisself likes to talk about, it's hisself.

The only time I even paid attention to anythin' he was sayin' was when I corrected him right at the start, when he said he came from a purple and green egg; I still remember the day he hatched, his egg was purple, just different shades in places.  After that, though, I couldn' be bothered; I was right there with Twilight, wantin' to get to the library and put the whole day behind us.

The sun was goin' down by the time that we'd all gotten there, and Spike had finally finished his talk.  "And that's the story of my entire life; well, up until today."  Spike had jumped from Twilight's back to mine at some point; I didn' mind it as much as you'd think, but I was just so sick o' listenin' to him talk that it was pretty annoyin' this one time.  "Say, do you wanna hear about today?!"

"Okay, that's enough talkin' fer one day," I was pretty far passed the point o' politeness, "I think y'all need a nap, Spike; you are a baby dragon after all."  I made a point o' lookin' to Twilight when I said that.

"But I'm not-"  Thankfully, Twilight was plenty smart herself and figured out what I was going fer; she gave his tail a bit o' a yank and he fell right off mah back.

"See what I mean?  So sleepy, he can't even keep his balance."  Don' give me that look; dragons can play around in lava when they're still Spike's age, a little fall like that ain't gonna to anythin' to him.  Plus, like I said, I was way passed politeness after all that I'd had to put up with this day.  Besides, Fluttershy bought it lock, stock and barrel; she actually picked Spike up and carried him inside fer me.

"Poor thing," she sounded just sincere enough that I felt a bit guilty fer trickin' her, "you simply must get him to bed."

But Twilight didn' seem to have that problem, she pushed Fluttershy right outta the library by herself.  "Yes, yes; we'll get right on that.  Well, good night!"  And she slammed the door right in the pegasus's face.

Spike weren't too amused by the whole thing.  "Little much, you two?"

"Sorry, Spike," Twilight was busy feelin' around fer a table with a lamp, "but I need to convince the princess that Nightmare Moon is coming; and I need a place to study without a bunch of crazy ponies trying to make friends all the time."

Even I had to agree with her after all that had happened that day.  "I'm beginnin' to remember why I wanted to leave Ponyville in the first place."  I weren't proud to be talkin' bad about mah hometown like that; but, well, after havin' lived up in Canterlot fer so long, their way o' doin' things rubbed off on me more than I was willin' to admit.  I eventually joined Twi in lookin' fer the lamp, since I needed to find a place to rest mah leg.  "Where'd Page Turner put that lamp again?"

The lights suddenly turned on, and what looked like about half the town suddenly shouted 'SURPRISE!'

I got a sinkin' feelin' as that pink pony we'd run into at the start o' this whole thing bounced o'er to us with a smile on her face.  "Hi, I'm Pinkie Pie, and I threw this party just for you!  Were you surprised?!  Were you?!  Were you?!  Huh?  Huh?  Huh?"

"Ya could... say that, yeah."  I was still tryin' to work out how this pony, who didn' seem to know how to sit still, could have all this energy... or get so many ponies, supplies and all the other things together in such a short time... or how she knew where we stayin'.  "But... ain't libraries supposed to be quiet?"

"'Quiet'?  What's the fun in a quiet welcome party?  See, I saw you when you first got here, remember?  You were all 'Howdy' and I was all '*GASP!*'; because I'd never seen you around town before, and if I'd never seen you around town before that meant that you were new, because I know everypony- and I mean everypony- in town.  Then I remembered where I had seen you before."  Before I could get a word in edgewise, she pulled out one of the magazines with an article about me in it and shoved it in mah face.  "But the article didn't mention anything about your friends; and that made me sad, since that meant you didn't have any friends,"  Twilight looked a bit indignant there, "but you came to town with this pony, so you had to have one friend.  But, if you only had one friend, that meant you just needed more friends; so I threw this party, because, this way, you could meet everypony in Ponyville and have lots and lots of friends!"

It actually took me a bit to realize that she had stopped talkin'.  "...huh?"

I can't say fer sure what happened with Twilight after that; she just sorta sulked away at some point, and I didn' wanna put the effort into climbin' stairs after havin' been on mah hooves all day.  I just found a corner o' the main library and pulled a sittin' pillow over to rest on it; that woulda been the end o' it, but it just weren't that kinda day.  See, Rarity had snagged that article from Pinkie, and Dash still wanted to know how the whole 'Magic Earth Pony' thing worked; with Mac around to confirm that I really could do all those things, I had to show them off fer an audience.

Yeah, I know I sound bitter about it, and I sorta am.

I really don' like bein' made a spectacle of; I'd been treated more like a picture than a pony by a lot o' ponies in Canterlot, even takin' into account all the articles about me and mah magic, there were a ton more about mah apprenticeship with Princess Celestia.  They put me on a pedestal, made me into somethin' like a statue that was to be admired, but never a pony to be treated like one.  It's just one o' those things with me; I ain't somepony special, even with mah magic, but it seems like they all treat me better than the princess at times.  It ain't fair; it ain't fair to the princess and it ain't to all the other unicorns that worked their plots off to get into the school.

*sigh*  Look, sorry; it's a thing with me.  I'm good now, don't worry about it; I can keep going.

Anyway, the party weren't too much fun fer me; between me bein' paraded around like a showpony and havin' to cast spells at the drop o' a hat, there weren't much to enjoy.  Spike was havin' a blast, o' course, tryin' to flirt with Rarity most o' the night and gettin' nowhere.  I was glad when it all ended and everypony headed out to the town hall to watch Celestia raise the sun; it was good to see her gettin' some recognition fer what she did.

Spike was on mah back, like usual, but I was zoned out; Pinkie Pie had popped up next to me at some point, but I weren't payin' much attention to what she was ramblin' about this time.  At leat she stopped talkin' when the mayor got up on stage.

"Fillies and Gentlecolts!  As Mayor of Ponyville, it is my great pleasure to announce the beginning of the Summer Sun Celebration!"  That got a cheer from all the ponies present, and I let mahself have a bit of a smile.  "In just a few moments, our town will witness the magic of the sunrise; and celebrate this, the longest day of the year!"  Another, smaller, cheer followed that.  "And now, it is my great honor to introduce the ruler of our land, the very pony who gives us the sun and the moon each and every day; the good, the wise, the bringer of harmony to all of Equestria: Princess Celestia!"

Right on cue, Fluttershy's birds started whistlin' and Rarity pulled her curtains aside on a balcony to show... absolutely nothin'.

Almost immediately, ponies started whisperin' and talkin' amongst themselves, since they all knew this weren't part o' the show.  "Remain calm, Everypony," though the mayor didn' look too calm herself when she said it, "there must be a reasonable explanation for this."

Pinkie immediately started bouncing again.  "Ooh, ooh!  I love guessing games!  Is she hiding?"

Up on the balcony, Rarity had stepped inside the li'l room behind it to check fer the princess, only to come right back out.  "She's... gone!"

Even while everypony else was having varying degrees of panic attacks o'er this, me included, Pinkie Pie just nudged me with an elbow.  "She's good."  Then, things went south enough to make even her gasp.

Up on the balcony, this big ole plume of blue smoke appeared; I could tell it was magic just by lookin' at it, even without the way I see the world with these eyes.  It almost reminded me o' the princess in a way... just, different; but there was somethin' else in there, somethin' I didn' like the look o'... and that really made me nervous.  Magic, no matter what kind or where it came from, had always looked pretty danged beautiful to me; but this magic... it just looked... there ain't no other way to say it; it just looked wrong.

Then, all o' a sudden, it zoomed away; and left behind an all black alicorn with a moon right on her flank.  Spike fainted right off mah back and I stiffened pretty badly, unable to believe what I was seein'.  She started speakin', lookin' around at everypony like we were a bunch o' apple fritters.  "Oh, my beloved subjects," I swear I could feel her voice tricklin' down inside me like syrup, "it's been so long since I've seen your precious, little, sun loving faces."  This was... it was....

"Nightmare Moon."  It was so quiet that everypony, Nightmare Moon included, turned toward the door; and to Twilight standin' there.  "The mare in the moon."

Right then and there, I regretted ever doubtin' her.

"Well, it seems there is somepony that remembers me."  She turned into that smokey stuff from before, and pretty much slithered over to Twilight.  She turned back into an alicorn, and walked around her with a hungry grin on her face.  "Have you been watching the signs, my little pony?"  I couldn' help but shiver, since that was what Celestia said all the time and- hearin' it outta her mouth- it just felt so perverse with that tone.  "Awaiting my return with bated breath?"

Twilight looked really nervous now, figitin' something fierce; but she was saved from havin' to respond when Dash decided it would be a good idea to try and fly at her.  "Alright, 'Nightmare Moon'; what've you done with our princess!"  I made to stop her as quick as I could, but Mac beat me too it and actually tackled Rainbow like he was playin' hoofball.

Nightmare Moon, if anything, seemed amused by the display.  "Such a foal; now, you," she turned back to Twilight, "you intrigue me.  You know my name, do you know my goal as well?"

Twi gulped, her eyes dartin' all around.  "Y-you're here to... to...."

She started laughin', her mane flarin' up as she stepped around Twilight.  "Remember this day, Ponies, for it will be your last.  From this moment forth, the night!  Shall last!  FOREVER!"  She laughed as the amount of magic she was pourin' out actually made thunder and lightnin' appear outta her mane.

The mayor finally regained some o' her senses and called to the royal guards that had shown up as part of the ceremonial preparations.  "Seize her!  Only she knows where the princess is!"

I tried to speak up, but Nightmare Moon was just too fast fer me.  "Stand back you foals!"  She lashed out with her magic, and they were sent flyin'; thankfully, most royal guard armor is enchanted to resist lightnin'.  They wouldn' be feelin' good when they finally woke up, but at least they'd actually wake up.  "Now then," she turned back to Twilight with a voice that was just so sickly sweet it made me feel on edge, "what to do with you?  You seem to know a lot about my royal self, and a queen such as myself should have a captain of the guard."  She lowered her head to Twilight's level, and lowered her voice, but I was close enough to hear what she was sayin'.  "I sense great magical potential in you, my little pony; join me, and I can help you achieve that potential."

And, at this point, I decided she'd said enough.

Thanks to spendin' enough time around Shinin' Armor, I'd managed to pick up a few shield spells; so I threw one up between Twilight and Nightmare Moon.  "I think it's about time you shut yer yap, 'yer Majesty'."  I did notice that Twilight blinked a few times, lookin' a bit confused and a bit shocked; at least it shifted her focus away from her and to me.

"An earth pony?  Using Magic?!  How is this-?!" She stopped, then glared at me for a moment and turned back to Twilight.  "Remember my words, Pony; I do not make offers like that to just anyone."  And, with that, she slipped away as a stream o' smoke just as Rainbow finally managed to get outta mah brother's grip.  She was out the door less than a second later, and me and Twilight weren't far behind; but we had a different plan than tryin' to follow Nightmare Moon.


After we'd gotten back to the library, and made sure that Spike was tucked away in a bed upstairs (he is still a baby dragon after all), the two of us were basically turnin' that library upside down.  "Elements, elements, elements; we've gotta find somethin' about those elements o' Harmony, Twilight!"

"And just what are the 'Elements of Harmony'!"  I don' know when Rainbow Dash had busted in, but she was the last pony I wanted to deal with right now; even less so since she started hasslin' Twilight right after me.  "And how did you know about Nightmare Moon, huh?  Are you a spy?!  Are both of you spies working for her!"

"Mah sister ain't no 'spy'!" Mac grabbed her tail with his teeth and pulled her to the floor with a thud, "and anypony she trusts ain't one either!"  Twilight seemed relieved at the vote o' confidence from him, but got nervous again when he turned to her.  I don' know why those five ponies showed up in the library that night; but I'm sure glad they did.  "But y'all know somethin', doncha, Twilight?"

It took her a moment to answer, but she finally seemed to resign herself.  "I read all about the prediction of Nightmare Moon; some mysterious objects called 'The Elements of Harmony' are the only things that can stop her.  But, I don't know where they are, how to find them; I don't even know what they do!"

"'The Elements of Harmony: A Reference Guide'."  Everypony else suddenly turned to Pinkie Pie, and then Twilight knocked her away to get at the book.

"How did you find that!"

"It was under 'E'~"

Yeah... I still don' quite get how that worked either; but, after all this time, one of the best things I've learned is to not question Pinkie.  It never works out well, ever.

Either way, with a book to read, Twilight was a lot calmer.  "'There are six elements of Harmony, but only five are known: Kindness, Laughter, Generosity, Honesty and Loyalty; the sixth is a complete mystery.  It is said that the last known location of the five elements was the ancient castle of the royal pony sisters.  It is located in what is now-"

"The Everfree Forest?!"

I ain't gonna lie, I'd fergotton about this place since I'd been gone; and, really, I was glad that I had.  The Everfree was one o' those places that parents told their foals about to stop 'em from misbehavin' and pretty much everypony in Ponyville had a healthy fear o' the place.  So, I don' think any o' us were lookin' forward to goin' in there.

Though, Pinkie Pie mighta been the exception.

"Whee!  Let's go!"

"Not so fast."  Twilight stepped in front o' us and looked into the forest.  "I appreciate the offer but-"

"Whoa there, Twilight; I know where this is headin'."  He hobbled up next to her, lookin' her dead in the eye before she could recover.  "Yer not goin'; I am."

That got her somethin' good.  "What?!  But, AJ, your leg-"

"I don' wanna hear it, Twi.  The fact is, between the two o' us, I know more magic; and I have a better chance in there thanks to all those lessons I got from the princess.  Plus, we need a pony here to let Canterlot know what happened; see if you can get ahold o' yer brother and get him to send some guards down or somethin'."

"But he's leaving on a trip with Cadence today," she started pacin', "I don't know if I can get to him in time."

"Try wakin' Spike up if you can; tell him it's an emergency and the Princess is in danger.  I think his fillyfriend will understand."  At the time, it was somethin' o' a joke that they were datin'; talk about ironic, huh?  "Either way, you need to stay in town and make sure everythin' gets taken care o'; I'll be fine, trust me."

"And she won't be alone, either."  Mac stepped forward, and spoke up again before I could open mah own mouth.  "Don' ya say a danged word, AJ; no sister o' mine is gonin' inta some haunted forest by herself; where stickin' with ya like caramel on a candy apple."  Everypony else seemed to be behind that, with Pinkie makin' a remark about candy bein' involved; and, really, I knew better than to talk mah brother outta an idea once he'd gotten it in his head.  All Earth Ponies can be stubborn when they want to be, but the Apple family is always stubborn.

Twilight was silent for a long time, but she eventually nodded.  "Okay, I'll try and get a letter to Shining Armor, see if I can get some help.  But you be careful in there, okay?  The elements are still our best chance."

"Doncha worry, Sugarcube; it's me, remember?"

"Yeah," she smirked at me, "that's why I'm worried."

The two o' us chuckled a bit at that, but it didn' last long; we both had a job to do, and we were gonna do it.  It might seem a bit weird, but- even while I was walkin' right into a haunted forest, lookin' fer some lost trinkets that were supposed to stop an evil alicorn- I was more worried about Twilight than mah own safety.


We're gonna have to stop here though; I said it was a doozy, and this is all the time I can spare fer a while.  I'll try to get some more, but it'll take some time.

If you want some more info, why doncha talk to Twilight?  She deserves to tell her side o' things.

Anyway, see ya around; and thank ya fer yer time.
Sometimes, great things come from unexpected sources.




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I have a whole new level of respect for :iconalexwarlorn: after writing this, and struggling to get it submitted. It was a nightmare, no pun intended.

Also, some of you may notice that it actually has a number this is out of, and that they're pretty close to even. Do not panic if you like this story, this does not mean that it's almost over; it merely occurred to me that, while Applejack's journey to become the element of magic is important, it is not the only thing that has changed from this time, and magic isn't the only 'seed' that was planted that led to a great thing. There are many, many, more chapters planned, but only one more has the title 'Seeds of Magic'; just clearing that up before anyone panics.

My Little Pony and related characters: Hasbro.inc

Pony POV series: :iconalexwarlorn:
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner May 22, 2014
WANNA SEE THIS STORY CONTINUED BECAUSE IT IS AWESOME! 
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:icondragon-of-twilght:
Dragon-of-Twilght Featured By Owner May 22, 2014
I want to be able to write again. Maybe working on this will help with Necromantic.
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:iconrassilon001:
Rassilon001 Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2013
Ever since we saw some of the other worlds in the Pool of Truth, my favorite was probably the idea of Applejack as the Element of Magic.  I was halfway through planning a story of my own when lo and behold I stumble across this one.  And it is GLORIOUS.

You definitely keep faithful to the source material, it feels like reading another POV offshoot with the interviews, and it's definitely fun reading as greater depth is given to how an Earth Pony can use magic, seeing and manipulating leylines of energy.  I deeply enjoyed also the aftermath of certain events, I could feel real emotion from Applejack when she was in recovery, and then fighting for acceptance amongst the Unicorns of Canterlot.  At least she has a good friend in the form of Twilight, who share an interest in reading, if not necessarily in the same subjects (Twilight seems to prefer the romantics and drama of history while Applejack is more practical with mathematics and factual studies).  Very fitting with their personalities.

Given the story ends just shortly before the start of the series, with the return of Nightmare Moon, it's as good a place as any to wrap-up I guess.  Still, it might've been interesting seeing how the opening episodes would unfold with the new, slightly different cast.  The addition of Big Mac to a group of five/six females might shake things up a bit.
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:icondragon-of-twilght:
Dragon-of-Twilght Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2013
End? Who ever said the series was ending?

Just because the seeds of magic have been planted doesn't mean there aren't more seeds to sow. This story isn't done yet, not even close.
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:iconkendell2:
Kendell2 Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2013
"Twilight looked really nervous now, figitin' something fierce; but she was saved from havin' to respond when Dash decided it would be a good idea to try and fly at her.  "Alright, 'Nightmare Moon'; what've you done with our princess!"  I made to stop her as quick as I could, but Mac beat me too it and actually tackled Rainbow like he was playin' hoofball.

Nightmare Moon, if anything, seemed amused by the display.  "Such a foal; now, you," she turned back to Twilight, "you intrigue me.  You know my name, do you know my goal as well?""

Just a TINY fix here, Hoofball refers to what we Americans call soccer (the names of teams are all Soccer teams), Cloudball is the sport you're actually looking for here.

Sorry, just a tiny error.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2013
Pinkie Pie to Magic AJ, "You know, you remind me of a sister of mine." And pinkie Pie explains about Octavia, how her sister is an Earth pony, and yet isn't a farmer or a construction worker, or any of the other hands-on jobs that are stereotypical of Earth Ponies, but a musician. A job normally assumed by stereotypes to be held by unicorns. AJ of course would know about Octavia, or at least had heard of her, learning that she's sisters with Pinkie Pie I think would be a shock.
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:icondragon-of-twilght:
Dragon-of-Twilght Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2013
Learning that most of Pinkie's family is related to Pinkie Pie would be a bit of a shock, really; though, and this is just me, I do have several theories related to magic and cutie marks that would explain why ponies of unusual talent like Octavia Pie would not only be possible, but very likely to occur... one of these days I need to actually write them down.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2013
:-)

And I still go by my fanon that ponies have the option to change their names after they earn their cutie mark.
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:icondragon-of-twilght:
Dragon-of-Twilght Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2013
They probably have something like that, yeah; though their names/family likely do somewhat push them toward certain things like happens with real people.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2013
I just realized something embarrassing. In Laughter Jack's world, I wonder where the timeline broke off.
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