Chapter 5 The Bell Tolls
Disclaimer: I hold no titles or ownership of any character written in this work of fanfiction and are property of their respective owners. i.e. Joss Whedon, Hasbro, DC comics, and Wizards of the Coast.
Chapter 5: The Bell Tolls
In the skies above Ponyville
Xander, in his true dragon form, watched from his cloud castle at the little Pegasus ponies going about there business. The weather magic of the little ponies was very interesting in that in this world, at least the ‘civilized’ parts of this world, was pretty micromanaged. Heck there was a schedule of the weather forecast at the town hall, which was very rarely wrong. This was due to the diligence of those weather ponies, such as Rainbow Dash. He watched as a couple of the ponies hoped on the clouds causing lightning to erupt from them. Of ponies were trotting across a large section of clouds to encourage the rain to fall. They all talked amiably with each other as they got about doing their assigned tasks, a couple for foreponies, supervising to make sure everypony was working in concert together. He kept a sharp dragon eye out for that mailpony with the crossed eyes, Derpy Hooves, as he was already aware of her penchants for accidents. Not that she did it on purpose, that filly was just too focused to be aware of the danger she placed herself and sometimes others in. Not that she wasn’t very good at delivering mail, she had a rare talent in it; it was just that everything else came hard for the little pony. She had made a large hole outside in the ground right outside castle’s front door, by flying through the cloud, when she first delivered a letter to said castle. A hole which Dawn had missed when they had existed their home, she was shocked at falling through a hole in the ground, she fell for a good fifteen feet before catching herself and flying back up to their cloud. It was a good thing they were so high up or she might have been hurt. Xander decided then, to place a mail box at the edge of the clouds. It meant a longer walk to get the mail, but it just seemed safer that way. Not that Xander had any ill will for the clumsy mailpony, as she one of the few who wasn’t terrified of him at first site. He just liked his new home the way that he had built it.
“Hey Xander!!” Xander was interrupted from internal dialog by Rainbow Dash flying up to greet him. The little tomboy pony was pretty friendly despite the competitive nature about her.
“Hello Rainbow Dash.” He inclined his head in greeting. “I was just admiring the work you ponies were doing.” Rainbow Dash, just seemed to swell up in pride at her work crew.
“This? This is just a little summer storm.” She stated, as if this feat of weather magic was merely a parlor trick. “You should have seen the blow out last year because we missed a day.” One of her hooves placed behind her head, while laughing in embarrassment about fumbling a job.
“Oh?” He inquired, still new to the patterns of normal pony lives. “Because you missed a scheduled shower, a storm was called for?” That seemed kind of like overkill to him. The Pegasus pony was quick to explain to him about nature abhorring a vacuum, that for harmony to be maintained the regular amount of water fall had to be precise, or else other ponies might have a hard time of it. Such as AppleJack and her orchards and all the other farm ponies, down to the other animals that lived in Equestria. The leveling of managing the life is this kingdom seemed to be a daunting task to him. So much so that his admiration of Princess Celestia and Luna grew, at the idea of all the work they put in to make their little pony’s lives better. He was glad he was just a dragon, his only responsibility being the care of Dawn, and of course the teaching of his new student Spike. This made him think of himself as a freeloader, since he didn’t really have a job. Sure he would be getting gems from Spike, to pay for his tutelage in the mystic arts, but that was a part time gig at best. His attention was drawn back to the tomboy pegasus pony, who literally got into his face to gain his attention.
“Hm? Oh Sorry Dash,” Shortening her name in a friendly way. “I didn’t mean to ignore you for a moment there; it’s just that you got me to thinking about something.”
“Oh? What about?” Blunt and curious, now if she was only a slightly greedier, she would be just like Anya. Xander sighed at the thought, perking the little pony’s interest. Wondering what was wrong with the huge dragon.
“I need to get a job.” He deadpanned. This startled the little pony so much that she stopped flying for a moment, only to catch herself before she fell to far. If they had been on the ground it probably would have been a face-plant. It also embarrassed her and made her upset with the dragon, who was smirking at her shocked expression, before she chuckled at her blunder. That’s what Xander like about a lot of these little ponies, they didn’t get too hot headed about these kind of things. Heck if he had been back home, one of the girls would have smacked him on the head by now. He was sure that if they were more the same size and closer friends, Rainbow Dash would have also.
“A Job?” Rainbow gave him a puzzled look, after getting over her embarrassment. “That shouldn’t be so hard.” She looked him over critically. “There’s got to be a lot of things you can do. Ooh ooh. I know.” She perked up brightly.
“What?” He inquired, curious about what her idea would be. Also touched that she actually took interest in a relative stranger to try and help him out.
“Well,” She began. “Since you can turn into a pegasus pony, why don’t you become a weather pony-er dragon.” Even tripping over the last word, she nodded her head like it was the best idea in the world. Which Xander was sure it was to her. What with Xander’s dragon stamina and magical abilities, that he would feel right at home in the sky with the other fliers. But alas that was not to be. Rainbow Dash had a pretty good idea, but it would be at least a century before Xander was powerful enough to control weather.
“Nope, Sorry Dash,” He shook his head in the negative, before explaining to her why he thought so. “I may look like a Pegasus, but I don’t have the innate weather magic that you pegasus ponies have. I’m still a dragon, even when I don’t look like one.” The little pony looked a little disgruntled that her idea was smashed down like that, before another idea came to her.
“When you’re a pony, you have a cutie mark right?” She had seen it, the few times that they had talked while he was in pony form. “It’s a snowflake, right?”
“True,” He answered wondering where this was going. “I put it there so that I can better blend in among the ponies. I chose that design because Silver Dragons, like me, have icy breaths instead of fire breaths, like Spike does.”
“Ya, I remember how you turned those guard ponies into ice cubes.” While they could laugh at it now, at the time it was terrifying to the little pony. “That’s what I meant, you can make ice.” This confused Xander, why would making ice be a job.
“Oh? Is there a great demand for ice in Ponyville?” He asked her. She looked at him like he was crazy before blushing in embarrassment.
“Oh ya I forgot your not from around here. Duh.” She knocked her hoof against her head at the lapse in memory, before explaining her question. “It usually takes special delivery ponies having to go all the way far north, just to get ice and then ship that ice down here, so that ponies can put the it into their iceboxes to keep their food fresh. It’s a lot of work, so that usually makes it too expensive for most ponies to afford it, so only the stores and markets get some.” Iceboxes? Not refrigerators? It then occurred to Xander that there was no electricity in this land. “So you can make ice and sell it to ponies, or even flash freeze things for them like you did those guard ponies!” Rainbow became excited at the idea. This would mean more opportunities for ice-cream or helping out ponies like Applejack, storing their crops for the winter; it could put Ponyville on the map industrial wise. She rambled her ideas off to Xander about the potential such a venture could bring. Xander was rather impressed with the blue pony; Rainbow Dash was usually more laid back except when it came to completions, helping her friends, or the Wonderbolts. Warmness in his heart grew when he figured out that the little blue, rainbow mane hued, Pegasus pony, had started thinking about him as a friend.
“Won’t that put those ponies out of business?” He didn’t want to cause any problems for the local ponies.
“Na,” She eased his worry. “Those ponies don’t make many bits, compared to the work they do at least. Besides just get them to work for you.” Rainbow Dash, career councilor, yep that had a nice ring to it. She was so awesome like that. These thoughts and more passed through her mind. For once no pony shot her ego full of holes, as Xander actually seemed to take to the idea. It always felt good helping out a friend, especially if it makes you look good doing it.
Twilight Sparkle’s home and Ponyville library
Twilight Sparkle paced nervously around the library. Why was the purple unicorn nervous? She was going to be instructing her first student today. She had been asked by, Princess Celestia, her teacher, and Sir Alexander, a huge white DRAGON, to help the Princess Dawn work on the basics of Unicorn magic. She didn’t want to disappoint her teacher in her first teaching assignment; she might make her take remedial classes! Also she didn’t want to upset a full grown dragon; as he might take his wrath out on the town in his anger at her, then everypony would hate her, and she would have to find a cave to live in to hide her shame, then…..
At this point a brown bag was levitated out of a drawer and she began breathing heavily into it, to calm herself down. A very important piece of equipment to a pony indeed; especially for a pony that had such an active imagination.
She made sure everything was ready, a check list was floating in the air before her, to make sure she didn’t forget anything. First, some easy reading to help give the princess a good basis from which to start. Looking at the four books on the table, she nodded her head and checked off that item. Second, a black board for which she could write out diagrams, for Dawn to better understand her. Using magic she levitated an eraser to clear off the chalk board, which had a picture of a white unicorn on it with hearts drawn around it.
“SPIKE!” She yelled in frustration. Waiting for a response, but not receiving one, she called out again. “Spike?” Where was that little dragon? Momentarily distracted, Twilight searched for her missing assistant, only to find him in the kitchen reading a book. He seemed very engrossed in it, which perked Twilight’s curiosity. Standing behind him and reading over his shoulder, she was surprised to not be able understand the text written in it, as it seemed to be in a language that she could not comprehend.
“Spike!” This time Spike jumped in the air in shock at the sudden noise coming from behind him, this caused the top of his head to slam into the bottom of her jaw. “ooow” She groaned in pain.
“Ow!” Spike mimicked her groan of pain. “Jeeze Twilight,” He complained. “Way to give a dragon a heart attack and a headache.” Twilight looked contrite for causing her little helper pain.
“Sorry Spike,” She apologized. “But I called you two times and you didn’t answer. What were you reading that’s got you so focused.” The scholarly unicorn was truly interested in any book that got Spike so enraptured. Looking at the title, she could tell it wasn’t one of the library’s books. “Where did you get this book from?” The little dragon snapped it up and proudly displayed the title page, ‘Earth and Blood: A beginners guides to Sorcery’
“Isn’t it great Twi?” The excitement in Spike’s voice was hard to miss, his eyes wide with joy. “Master Alexander gave it to me after my first lesson!”
“Master Alexander?” she inquired with an arch to her brow. She didn’t know if she liked the idea that the Silver Dragon would demand that the little gem dragon should call him master. She had been informed that Xander had agreed to take Spike on as an apprentice, which excited her, as she was happy for Spike to be able advance himself as a being. That the bigger dragon would bully the baby dragon into calling him master, just seemed wrong.
“That’s just the title apprentices use to address their teachers where his kind of dragons come from.” Explained the purple and green baby dragon proudly. “It’s a sign of respect to those who teach us the mysteries of the universe.” Twilight was still slightly skeptical at the mysteries of the universe thing, but who was she to judge other cultures.
“Ookay,” Awkward. “What language is it written in?” Her curiosity once again overcoming her worries. “I’ve never seem that kind of script before.”
“It’s the language of magic of the ‘Realms’, Draconic.” Spike’s voice took an awed tone to it. “They developed a whole magic language around dragons! Isn’t that cool!?”
“Wow,” Twilight agreed with her little assistant. “And Xander taught you this dragon language in one lesson? That’s amazing.” To learn a whole language in just one lesson, that truly was..
“What?” Spike interrupted Twilight’s train of thought. “Don’t be silly Twilight, that’d be impossible. Xander taught be my first spell, Read Magic. It lets me read the language, so that I can learn it.”
“Oh.” She guessed that made sense. “So you need to a spell to be able to read this language?” That would keep it out of anypony’s hooves that would use it unwisely, as magic can be dangerous.
“Nope. Xander said that if I use the spell to read this whole book, I will not only learn to focus my magic better for higher level spells, but also learn this particular draconic language that he uses.” So it was an exercise as well as a teaching tool, very smart. It sounded really interesting to her. It also opened up so many more questions she wanted to ask Xander about. What were the levels of magic in this system? Could anypony learn it? Or just Dragons?
“So what did you want?” Spike’s question interrupted her chain of thoughts.
“Hmm What?” She looked at him.
“You said that you yelled for me,” He reminded her. “So what was it that you needed?” What did she need? Oh yes that’s right. AH!!
“AH!!!” Twilight screamed out. “I need to finish getting ready for the Princess’s lesson!” With that she rushed back into the basement of the library, where she planned to hold the lesson. Spike just sighed at his friend’s antics.
“Man, she really needs to not worry about things so much.” With that he returned to his reading.
Speaking of said Princess.
Dawn, formerly, Summers, trotted along the road on her way to Twilight Sparkle’s library home. Trotting, hmm, that is an interesting word; at least she wasn’t prancing, which she had a tendency to do when excited. A lot has happened to her in her arguably short life. Born at the age of 15, although she had memories of living a full life, near sacrifice to a Hell goddess, and then reborn as a pony princess. While she did miss her friends and family, she hoped to stop bouncing around to such extremes, and just live a happy peaceful life. Well, peaceful with an occasional adventure thrown in to keep the boredom at bay. She didn’t really have the same problems that Xander had, as adjusting to a life without opposable thumbs felt natural to her. This world was so much more colorful and happy, at least compared to living on the mouth of hell. Also it’s been a couple months now and she still hasn’t been kidnapped; bonus.
“Hmm Hmm,” She hummed happily, as she stopped to smell a pretty flower. Many ponies calling out greetings to her, as she walked down the street, which she merrily returned. That was until she was called a name only Xander called her, in this dimension at least.
“Hey Dawnie!” Looking in the direction that the voice came from, she noticed that it was Pinky Pie working at the Sugarcube Corner bakery; she was hanging out the door waving, trying to get Dawn’s attention. Pinky was surprisingly observant for such a hyper pony. “Oh! You don’t mind if I call you Dawnie do you? I mean, I heard Xander calling you that, and I thought to myself, Pinky Pie, what would a Princess Pony want to be called when she was at home, because this is your new home, and we all want you to feel welcome, which is why we’re throwing a big welcome party tomorrow night. But its not a surprise party because Xander is a Dragon, even though he looks like a pony, and we wouldn’t want to all be turned into ice cubes like those guard ponies were, if we were to all jump out and yep surprise at him.” The pink pony rambled on happily, which kind of reminded Dawn of Willow’s rambling.
“Um, Okay.” Dawn interrupted the rambling, causing Pinkie Pie to look at her in confusion at just what Dawn had agreed to, and had to think about exactly she said in the last five minutes. Not wanting to be late for her lesson with Twilight Sparkle, she quickly answered as many of the questions Pinkie had asked her. “I mean yes, it’s okay for you to call me Dawnie. Thanks for the warm welcome, we got your invitation, and would love to attend your party. No it wouldn’t be a good idea to surprise Xander, except it’s really hard, nearly impossible to sneak up on him.”
“Oh is it hard to sneak up on dragons?” This got Pinkie’s attention. “But wait, it’s really easy to sneak up on Spike. Ooh! Maybe that’s because he’s a baby dragon.” It liked like Pinkie was going on another ramble, so Dawn excused herself.
“Sorry Pinkie, but I got to go or I’ll be late for my lesson with Twilight Sparkle,” She quickly made her escape, galloping away from the hyperactive pony. While she wouldn’t mind hanging around for gossip and such, it wouldn’t do to disappoint her sisters, as they went out of their way to get her a tutor in unicorn magic. Still she was a young pony, so she was distracted at least three more times before finally reached the library. A good thing about not having wrists was that she couldn’t wear a watch on it and can blame the loss of time on said lack of a watch. Of course that excuse would have been more convincing, if the clock on the town hall’ tower hadn’t tolled five minutes ago.
Another Chapter finished although I'm not too happy with how this one came together so I might modify it later on. I have to stop being so fragmented in my chapters to give a more linear format so that people can follow the story better. Sorry for rambling just my thoughts on my writing style.