So on the next Monday I stood scraping my hooves on the road to the school. "Go on, Fuu. Trixie has to undo the mess you made yesterday. Go join the other foals in the school." Trixie offered, still a bit angry about me somehow having made the wagon collapse.
It really wasn't my fault.. Trixie told me to pull on something and I did. Didn't know that she meant the weed around the wheels and not the wheels themselves.. So when I pulled the wheel out from under the wagon, the entire wagon slumped over and.. well.. collapsed. We slept in the sideways-leaning wagon as good as we could since we wouldn't get anypony to fix it before dawn, and had breakfast outside (a couple of cupcakes since the cupboard holding the other food was inaccessible due to the mess).
"I..." I started, but the look Trixie gave me showed it was either school or spending a day without being able to talk, so I put one hoof in front of the other and hurried over to join Sweetie Belle as she moved into the classroom. "Hi, I'm Fuu.." I offered, and one glance at my blank flank made the other filly hurry over to her friends. Yeah.. Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo, Apple Bloom.. all three of them.. in the same class as me. My ears turned down low as I thought of what was to come. I searched for an empty seat, but before I could the three of them moved towards me as one and grinned. The most.. cute and.. expectant grins I've ever seen.
"Soooooo, you're new, right?" Scootaloo asked me, and I nodded.
"And you don't have your cutiemark yet?" Apple Bloom continued, and I nodded again.
"Want to join our club?" Sweetie Belle queried, and I backed away a little.
"Erm.. what club?" I wondered, knowing full well I was dealing with the Cutiemark Crusaders here..
"The Cutiemark Crusaders!" All three exclaimed, turning their happy and expectant grins on me again.
"The Cutiemark Crusaders!" Scootaloo repeated, "Isn't it a cool name? See, none of us have our cutiemarks yet."
Apple Bloom cut in at that point, poking at my blank flank. "And neither do you!"
"So you'd fit right in!" Sweetie Belle finished, then tilted her head. "That is, if you want to.. er.. Fuu, was it?"
I nodded again to my name being uttered, but the three of them took it all the wrong way..
"YAY! Ok, so we meet in the clubhouse over on Sweet Apple Acres! We'll show you where it is after school. It'll be sooo awesome!" they exclaimed, but before I could correct them the teacher walked in.
"Sit down everypony." Her eyes found mine and she raised an eyebrow. "Oh, I see we got a new student! Why don't you come up here and introduce yourself to the class?"
..as if my day couldn't get any worse.. With my ears and tail hanging low, I walked up beside the teacher and turned around to face the rest of the classroom. Eleven pair of eyes stared curiously up at me, and Apple Bloom gave me an encouraging wink. I felt my cheeks redden as she did and quickly looked up at the teacher.
"What's the matter, er.. Fuu?" teacher wondered, and I fidgeted a bit.
"I don't.. have anything to say, really.." I mumbled.
She looked at me curiously, then smiled up. "It's really easy, dear. Just say something like; "Hello everypony, my name is Cheerilee and I'm your teacher. I've always wanted to teach young fillies all there is to know about Equestria." Now you try. Go on, they won't bite."
I sighed deeply and turned back to the classroom. Some ponies were looking around boredly now and I smirked. Having a few not pay attention wasn't so bad? I had little to say anyway.. "Erm.. I'm Fuu.. and I live with Trixie over a.." I started, but immediately got interrupted by Snips and Snails..
"Trixie?" Snails asked confusedly,
"The G and PT?" Snips blinked,
"Err.. didn't she leave with that one major?" Snails wondered of Snips,
"It was an Ursa Minor, Snails." Snips retorted,
"Err.." Snails started, but got interrupted by miss Cheerilee;
"Snips and Snails! I'll see you two after class." she offered, "Now be quiet please, Fuu was trying to finish her introduction. Go ahead dear."
I rubbed the side of my head with a hoof, then shrugged. "That's basically it, miss Cheerilee. I live with Trixie over at the fields and come in town every so often to get apples from Sweet Apple Acres. I don't have much else to say. No interesting family history, no nothing.. I guess I'm a bit of an orphan.. Trixie took me with her from elsewhere. Besides Apple Bloom and the ponies at the farm, I haven't really met anypony else yet." I thought it was wisest to just shut up about me having once been a human, or the interesting ideas Trixie had about our "relationship".. or the mouth thing..
Some whispers had started in the classroom, but Cheerilee smiled down at me. "That was a good introduction, dear. And don't you worry, I'm sure you'll make lots of friends once you come to class a little more, dear. Have you studied anywhere else before coming here?" I shook my head. "Oh dear.. Well, it's going to be a repeat course today, class. Please take your seat, Fuu?"
I wandered over to the only empty seat in the room, right next to Apple Bloom of course. I cast a careful glance off to the side, and she was leaning in towards me. "You really live with Trixie?" she asked, and I nodded silently while trying to figure out how to get to my books.
"Er.. how do you.." I started, and Apple Bloom moved in to show me where the books and pencils were hidden. "Thanks.."
"Oh, you're welcome!" Apple Bloom grinned, taking to her own seat again and looking up towards the teacher as Cheerilee started to talk about Equestria's history. Judging by the bored faces on some of my classmates it was something so well-known to them that they didn't need it repeated, but I tried to focus nonetheless.
Most of the things about Princess Celestia and Princess Luna I already knew. But then Cheerilee started to talk about the dark ages when Earthponies, Pegasi and Unicorns were basically at war with one another. This was news to me!
I drank the story in as Cheerilee recounted the tale of the unstable alliance between tribes, the Summit of the Tribes following the unending blizzard that had fallen over the land, and the accusations made at that summit.
"But they were all still ponies, right?" I quipped, making some half-asleep ponies perk up, and Cheerilee nodded at my question.
"They were, yes. But they were focusing on their differences, not their similarities. Each tribal leader focused solely on their own tribe, blaming the other two for the blizzard. After the summit, each went back to their own land and complained to their advisors." Cheerilee continued, talking about each tribe and how they went to seek a new land for themselves, independent of one another. The pegasi looking for a land just for the pegasi, the earthponies looking for a land just for the earthponies, and the unicorns.. like me, I realized.. looking for a land just for the unicorns.
I shook my head at the story. Back home there had been "racial differences" that led to a lot of strange rules and regulations, but a lot of it was just silliness that I didn't much care about. I mean, I didn't care what complexion the girl in my bed had. I just as easily dated a blonde, redhead or chocolate brown girl. But that.. seemed far away already. I was learning about Equestria. The land I now lived in.. and went to school in.
The story had progressed to the three leaders finding a new land and starting their petty fight again. The blizzard was close to follow, of course, as it had been a magical blizzard made by, and here it comes; windigoes feeding off of the disharmony between tribes. It only got worse as they all took shelter in the same cave.
Before too long the blizzard reached the cave and started to encapsulate the six ponies between walls of ice. The leaders were squabbling too much to realize before they were encased by it, frozen in place with seemingly no hope to escape. Only when their assistants learned they didn't hate one another and really just disliked having to follow their leaders' silly commands that set them up against one another was there any hope again. The three bonded and the unicorn assistant let out a blast of loving magic from their friendship. Love warmed their hearts and the cave and drove the Windigoes away. The leaders defrosted, their hearts warmed by the sight of their assistants laughing and sharing stories, and harmony was found in what soon became known as Equestria.
When the story ended, I found myself having half climbed up and over my table, mouth agape, staring at Cheerilee. Some whispers around me made me well-aware of how silly it must've looked, and I quickly pulled myself back in my chair.
"It's almost like she never heard of Hearth's Warming Eve before.." one of my classmates whispered to their neighbour, and I blushed deeply.
"Settle down, class. Fuu comes from a different region in Equestria. Maybe she was taught other things that we haven't talked about, hm?" Cheerilee came to my rescue, and I sighed in relief.
"You never heard of Hearth's Warming Eve?" Apple Bloom asked, sitting to my immediate left, and I shook my head to her.
"She's never heard of Hearth's Warming Eve before?" Sweetie Belle asked Scootaloo, who sat one seat behind Apple Bloom, and Scootaloo mimicked my headshake. "Didn't miss Cheerilee just tell her?" Sweetie Belle continued, and Scootaloo rolled her eyes and nodded.
"Girls, girls.. settle down please." Miss Cheerilee tried again, as the whispers started again, but it was to no avail as the school bell sounded as soon as she finished her sentence, indicating class was over. Cheerilee sighed as everypony rushed out into the playground, but beckoned me to join her as I trotted past. I turned to face her and noticed Snips and Snails joining us as well. Cheerilee first addressed them. "What did we talk about last week again, boys?"
"No discussing things in class, miss Cheerilee.." they both replied, then Snails looked up in mild confusion. "Why was that again, miss Cheerilee?"
"Because you two get lost in your discussions and your grades are slipping, dears. Now do remember it, hm? Go play outside." She winked, then turned to me as the two boys rushed off to join the rest of class on the playground. "You live with Trixie, do you? Trixie the magician? How is she doing? She left town so quickly last time I heard of her.."
I had to giggle softly at remembering the episode, but then blushed and reached a hoof up to my collar. "Erm.. she's doing alright again, considering.." I started, scraping my hoof a bit on the ground. "Why do you ask, miss Cheerilee?"
"Oh, I do care for my students, dear Fuu." Cheerilee smiled, "And hearing about where you live just made me worry a little too much, I fear?" she blushed, wiping her mane out of her face. "Don't mind a silly mare like myself, dear. Just let me know if there's anything you need to talk about, ok?"
I nodded to her and she visibly relaxed. "Miss Trixie is a.. curious pony to live with, miss Cheerilee." I offered, and Cheerilee perked up with a concerned look on her face again. "I don't always know what she means, but she does her best to teach me what I need to know. She said I could be her magician's assistant one day, if I get better at my magic." I beamed proudly. It had been something I had clung to. Better to look to the future than to get stuck in the past, no? And I was here now.. a whole life in front of me. Better to have a goal set than roam around lost in memories of a life I couldn't return to without help. At least, not until I got better at magic. A whole lot better at magic.
"Magician's assistant.." Cheerilee mused a moment, but then smiled down and ruffled my mane with a hoof. "It's good to work towards something. For me, it was teaching. Perhaps your special something will be working as a magician's assistant. Now go along and play with the other foals. We'll have math after recess. You do know your tables, don't you?" Again that worried look.
"From one to ten, miss Cheerilee." I grinned up, even if I knew I was overconfident in saying so. I probably could guess my way through most of them.. The table of seven always gave me a slight headache trying to remember. We'd see after recess.
Miss Cheerilee gently shooed me out the classroom, and I joined the rest of the class playing and eating outside. Off to the side, half hidden underneath the shadow of a tree, Trixie stood watching it all. As I trotted out of the building, she moved forward just a little and her horn started to glow. I felt a tug on my collar and involuntarily moved closer, but once I noticed where I was headed she didn't have to tug so hard. Forget how she treated me or how I got there.. I had quickly grown used to being around Trixie. As I joined her in the shadow, I nuzzled up to her flank and breathed out a soft sigh of happiness. Trixie frowned confusedly at that but didn't bring it up.
"Trixie mended the wagon with some help.. How was school so far?" she wondered instead, sinking through her hooves on the grass and letting me lay down next to her. I leaned into her, her bigger form making the feat quite easy, and thought this might be what having a big sis must feel like..
I banished the thought for now. "It's been interesting, miss Trixie. There's a lot about Equestria I didn't know! Did you know the three tribes fought one another in the past? Bringing the.."
"The Windigoes.. Yes. The Hearth's Warming Eve later in the year is all about it. The story's been told a thousand times." Trixie interrupted, and I snorted at her.
"Could've let me finish.." I muttered softly, using my magic to slow the descent of a falling leaf and watch it swing left and right before it landed on the grass in front of me.
"Trixie has little time. She brought you lunch." Trixie offered cooly, moving a couple of cupcakes and an apple in front of me. "The cupboard was a mess. Everything was out of place. Trixie had to sort all the books again, her showcoat and hat were full of crinkles and crumbs. They'll have to be washed, of course. And all because of.. hey, are you listening?"
I was, really, and nodded my head quickly, but my mouth was full of cupcake. Blueberry cupcake. It's strange.. I never liked blueberry. But it tasted SOOOO good in Equestria.. I just.. kept wanting to eat more.
"Ok." Trixie nodded, watching me try and chew with my mouth full of cupcake. "Smaller bites next time.. or Trixie might have to help you with that." she warned, and I looked up with a blueberry cupcake-stained grin. She rolled her eyes at me and looked away towards the playground just in time to see Scootaloo head our way. "Trixie has to go now. She'll be back for you after school, Fuu. Don't get in any trouble now." Trixie offered quickly, standing up and rushing away in the opposite direction of where Scootaloo was coming from. The loss of a pony body beside me to lean against made me start to tilt over, and as Scootaloo reached me I was lying on my back giggling while pawing with my hooves up at the canopy.
"Er.. what are you doing out here?" Scootaloo wondered, tilting her head at me looking at her all upside-down like. "Sweetie Belle, Apple Bloom and me have been looking all over for you!"
I pushed myself upright again and picked up my apple with my magic, taking a quick bite of it. "Miss Trixie brought me lunch." I grinned.
"Trixie was here?" Scootaloo wondered, looking around her.
"A moment ago?" I offered, stepping out of the shadow. "She left."
"Right.. we were going to tell you all about our club too! Now it's almost time for class again." Scootaloo frowned, walking off towards the playground again. I followed, since I had nothing else to do anyway. "You'll just have to hear it when we show you the clubhouse after school!"
"Ah, yeah.. about that.." I started, "Miss Trixie will come pick me up from school since it's my first day and all? I don't know if I can come."
A gasp from my other side made me turn my head to look right in Sweetie Belle's face. "Oh, but you have to. Apple Bloom's family always gives us the best apple juice while we're there."
"You and your apple juice.." Scootaloo giggled, "You're going to get that as your cutiemark, you know?"
Sweetie Belle giggled and shook her head. "Oh, I wish.. But you know how Rarity would respond; "Apples? So uncouth.."" she mimicked in Rarity's voice, and both laughed.
"What's uncouth?" Apple Bloom wondered, popping up from out of a mudpit and shaking herself clean.
"Er.." I started, but the school bell rang again to call us all inside.
Math was.. worse than I remember it having been. All the tables and additions and subtractions.. All the numbers started to swim around my head before I knew it. I must've had half the answers wrong, if not more. It made time slow down to a crawl and I had given up on the day ever coming to an end before the bell signaled it again. Knowing Trixie would be waiting for me outside, I rushed out with the others, slowing down to a trot and looking around until I felt the tug to my collar again. Still not seeing Trixie anywhere, I just followed the tug into a copse of trees. I faintly heard three others following behind, but I had to see Trixie first. The Cutiemark Crusaders could wait.
"Hey!", "Wait up!", and "Where's she going?", I heard behind me, but the trees soon hid me from their sights and when I made a sharp turn to the right - straight into a bush - I knew they would run right past me without realizing it. Inside, Trixie was waiting, sitting on her butt and staring at me intently. She didn't need to tell me to hush. Instead she just changed me so I couldn't speak and waited for the CMC to run by in their attempt to catch up to me.
When they were out of earshot, Trixie sighed. "Trixie isn't sure she should still be here. Maybe we should go to Fillydelphia or Las Pegasus.. Or Trotsdale.. Trixie hasn't been there before.."
Something in the way she said it made me realize she was hit harder by the events depicted in the show than she was letting on. I shuffled forwards and nuzzled up to her. "Ffh.. Fuu Frf.." I offered, trying to let my facial expression and ears show I meant well since I couldn't really smile or speak.
"What was that?" Trixie wondered, returning my mouth to normal again.
"I'm sure you'll be fine, Miss Trixie." I offered, giving another soft nuzzle with my nose at Trixie's side. "I mean.. well.. You're a caring pony? Even if this is punishment, you still take care of me. You teach me. If the show has taught me anything, it.."
"Show? No, Trixie won't give another show here." Trixie snorted. "They didn't appreciate the Great and Powerful Trixie when Trixie did before."
"I.. I didn't mean a show like that. Back ho.. Back where I came from originally, everypony here is part of a show on television." I tried to explain, finding myself swallow the word 'home' as it didn't feel like it anymore.
"Television?" Trixie repeated, the word clearly alien to her.
"Box with moving pictures in it.. kind of like a book in that it contains stories about things. But it's more like a small version of a theatre?" I tried to explain, and Trixie just blinked. "Never mind. Look, everypony here is part of a story in my world.. I actually.." I started, then looked down and muttered the rest, "..saw everything that happened with you and the Ursa Minor.."
The stare she gave me went straight through me. For a moment there it seemed like she even stopped breathing.
"I mean I still consider you the Great and Powerful Trixie, miss Trixie.. You.. well.. moved me from a different world to here. You somehow turned me into a filly.. You're teaching me about magic.." I tried to minimize the damage, but Trixie's face was going from shock to anger and there was little I could do about it.
"You knew??" she hissed through clenched teeth, and I could only nod.
"Home. Now." Trixie demanded, and I found my surroundings change from the interior of a bush to the interior of the wagon. Trixie shut the door and window and stood up from her bed, staring me down. "You KNEW?!? Who else knows? Who else knows about the Great and Powerful Trixie's most embarrassing moment??"
"It wasn't that bad.. really.. and you kind of had it coming.." I started, but my mouth zipped shut as Trixie leaned her face in close enough that I could feel her breath on my muzzle.
"The Great and Powerful Trixie did NOT have it coming, Fuu." she hissed, and I had to back down from the anger in her tone.
"Ffh?" I tried, but it was useless. I couldn't really do much as a filly except for backing up into my little corner.
"All Trixie did was TRY to give a good show, TRY to convince everypony that the Great and Powerful Trixie was the best magician in all of Equestria." Trixie huffed, backing away and pacing over towards the door and back to the bed. "And was I so wrong to do that? I know some of the most spectacular feats magic every witnessed by pony eyes!"
This sounded familiar and I carefully crawled back out of my corner, lying down on one of my pillows and watching Trixie let her emotions out. I never was good with emotions..
"Trixie was, no IS the most magical unicorn in all of Equestria! She's gone between worlds for Luna's sake!" Trixie continued, but then stopped and her legs started to wobble. "And then that Twilight filly came running into the scene.. stealing the show.. ruining everything." There the tears came, welling up in her eyes and starting down her muzzle. As she collapsed on the ground, I could only shuffle forward to give her a soft nuzzle, but squeaked in surprise as she suddenly wrapped her forehooves around my neck and pulled me closer to her. "Oh, Fuu.. they called me a loudmouth.. scoffed at me.. chased me out of town.." I raised an eyebrow at the last bit, and Trixie caught it. "Oh, ok.. maybe they didn't chase Trixie out of town.. but they won't ever believe Trixie is the most magical unicorn in all of Equestria now.. Not after Trixie got upstaged by that Twilight.."
I found my mouth changing back and used it to peck a kiss on Trixie's wet cheek. "You are to me?" I offered, "Who cares what somepony thinks? I used to be a human. Now I'm a filly. Do I stop to think of what I lost? I don't. It wouldn't help me. I'm trying my best to live with this new life of mine.. I don't know how long I'm going to be stuck here.. I.."
"Trixie doesn't know how to make you human again.." Trixie muttered, and I stopped talking.
"You... don't?" I blinked after a moment of hesitation, and Trixie shook her head.
"Trixie doesn't even know how you became a filly.. most of it was instinctual.. Most of the time Trixie just bluffs her way through these things." she revealed, being more honest in this one moment than I think she must've been in most of her life.
"Wow.. that.. er.." I stammered, the reality sinking in slowly. "So that.. er.. I.. er.. There's not a chance I'll ever.. er.."
"Well, Trixie does know how to get to your world.. b..but you'd be a filly there, as you are here, Trixie thinks.." Trixie smirked, pulling a handkerchief out of a drawer and dabbing her eyes with it. "It wasn't intended.. Trixie just got mad for getting hit by your.. car.."
I stared up at her in bewilderment until she finally looked away.
"Do you think Celestia might know?" I tried, trying to swallow that proverbial pill. "I mean.. er.."
"Trixie doesn't know. That Twilight filly might, though. Seems the Princess comes to visit her every so often." Trixie smirked, looking back at me. "Trixie didn't intend to keep you as her pet, but it was the easiest way Trixie knew how to distract you from all this. Trixie thought if she keeps you busy you won't notice you can't go back and it'll all be fine."
"And your assistant for life, I guess?" I snorted, shaking my head in disbelief. "How did you think that would work? Eventually I would start asking questions about how long the punishment would last, how much more I'd have to do, regardless of how many times you'd stop me from talking. I'm just a young pony now.. but I really didn't think I'd grow old as one.. Still don't see myself as an old mare like Granny Smith.."
Trixie winced at the thought. "Wrinkles all over.. erp.. Nono, Trixie just meant to distract you until Trixie found out how to fix it. Wouldn't take The Great and Powerful Trixie that long, she thought.."
I sighed and nuzzled in some more. "I appreciate the idea, really.. keeping me distracted so I wouldn't fall into depression, right? I get how that works.. on some level.."
"And that's why Trixie sent you to school as well. You have a lot of magical potential, Fuu. Trixie thought maybe if you could learn to live here you might not want to go back when Trixie found out how to send you back, and you could become Trixie's pupil for real." Trixie offered, smiling down weakly.
"Well, it IS nice here.. and it might be fun to get through one of those near-apocalypses Twilight constantly fights against.." I chuckled, trying to get myself to a happier mood. "Would've loved to be here for the chocolate rain."
"That was a few months ago, Fuu. Trixie hadn't even planned yet on going to your world back then." Trixie smirked.
"Er.. months? No, well.. I mean.. I've been here a couple of weeks now, right? And I saw the episodes that very day. They didn't get released until the day before.." I tried, my head swimming in math again and not seeming to get to any conclusion that worked for me.
"I don't know how that whole episode thing works in your world, Fuu. But over here it's been two, three months ago that the world changed around and chocolate rain came falling and buildings and Trixie's wagon started to fly through the sky. And then all of a sudden everything was normal again. Trixie didn't know what had happened until she asked somepony at the farm." Trixie revealed.
"Months in days?" I blinked, and Trixie tilted her head slightly. "I mean.. I.. well.. the first episode was the week before.. so if it's been six.. no, wait a week has seven days.. hm.. eight? That won't work.. Eight, nine days? Two, three months? Could that work? No.. wait.. that's four and three.."
Trixie just stared. "What..?"
"There's a problem with time here.." I offered, "I mean, you say you had all that a couple of months ago. But to me it was the episodes I saw on the day you took me here. They were only a week apart. How would that work?"
Trixie shrugged. "That's why Trixie bluffs her way through most of these things. Most magic doesn't make sense if you start to dissect it. It just works."
"Right.. except now there's no way I can get back. Because it doesn't work the other way around?" I sighed, and shook my head.
"Don't worry too much, Fuu. You're safe in Trixie's care, aren't you?" Trixie tried, and I buried my face against her coat with a soft whimper. That was it then. My former life over, this new future laid out for me. To be in Trixie's care until I outgrew it.
"Maybe if I keep learning magic I'll find a way to get back.." I muttered, and Trixie just nuzzled at me in response.
"Maybe you will, Fuu."