A Friend In Need (Is Great and Powerful, Indeed)
It was yet another beautiful evening in Ponyville—the little town was filled with the last golden rays from Celestia's bountiful sun, and the birds were chirping an easily-recognizable tune. As the sun continued to set upon the town and the shadows stretched over the streets and became night, all the ponies out and about headed into their homes and got themselves ready for a good night's rest... all, that is, except for a chosen few who felt their duties still needed to be done.
Cue a brilliant flash of rainbow, in a line darting straight for the newly-risen crescent moon. Rainbow Dash, Equestria's most colorful pegasus pony and 'best young flyer', finished the night sky's final preparations, hovering in the air as she delicately pushed a cloud right over the darkest portion of the moon. Wiping a bit of nervous sweat off her brow, she looked down upon the town, admiring it in the not-quite-blue moonlight. But while doing this, she noticed something unnatural—from behind the Carousel Boutique, there was a silhouette surrounded by pale golden light. Curious, Rainbow Dash glided down out of the sky as slowly as she could and spied upon the hidden figure.
Elsewhere, in a house-slash-library on the other side of town still lit up like a tree on Christmas night, a familiar pony was still hard at work.
"Spike…? Where are you with that book?"
A gentle snore was heard and, as the violet-maned unicorn pony looked up at the top of one of her home's bookshelves, she saw her faithful dragon assistant asleep with his head resting upon a green leather-bound book. Suddenly, both the book and the dragon shimmered with a lavender glow, and they floated down toward the ground.
"Spike, if you were tired, then you should have just said so. You go up to your bed and rest; I can finish this by myself."
"N-no, Twilight," the little dragon, Spike, yawned. "You asked for my help so I... I'm gonna..." Trailing off, he rested his head once more, letting out yet another quiet snore.
"Oh, Spike... still just a baby dragon." With another shimmer, the baby dragon rose up and slid into place on his mistress' back. Climbing up to the bedding area, she let him down into his bed, covering him in his favorite blue blanket.
Just then, she heard a rapping at her bedroom window.
"Twilight…! Come here!"
It was Rainbow Dash, and she was trying to get the attention of her dear friend, Twilight Sparkle. Unfortunately, she was tapping so eagerly with her hoof that the clacking noise nearly drowned out her words.
Opening the window, Twilight looked on with curiosity. "Rainbow Dash, it's the middle of the night and I just put Spike to bed. What's so important that—?"
"She came back! I saw her!"
"No time to explain! Come on, she's by Rarity's place!"
Disappearing in the time it took Twilight to blink, Rainbow Dash blasted off toward the scene. Failing to get the answer she wanted, Twilight was given little choice but to follow behind as fast as her hooves could carry her… but upon approaching the Carousel Boutique...
"So tell me again, Dash, exactly who was here again?"
"But... it's... no way!" Circling the boutique a few times in only a second's time, Rainbow Dash landed, flustered. "She was here not even five minutes ago! Where...?"
"You’re always getting ahead of yourself, Rainbow Dash...” With a dejected sigh, Twilight made her way back towards her home. “I'm going to try and get some sleep."
"Good night, Rainbow Dash." With that, Twilight Sparkle trotted back to her tree house, only a little bit irritated that so much of her time was wasted.
The next afternoon, while Twilight and Spike were out walking toward one of Ponyville's many shops, she ran into another of her friends running to and fro in the town square.
"Rarity, what's going on? You're acting like you lost your best sewing set or something."
Swishing her deep violet mane, Rarity—a unicorn pony with a coat as white and soft as marshmellows—looked to Twilight with as straight a face as possible. "Oh, Twilight, I, uh... no, it's nothing that important, though the strangest thing happened last night. The other day, I was out in the gem fields and I saw this ratty old purple piece of fabric hanging from a tree. I thought I could use the fabric for a vest or part of a dress, so I brought it home, washed it up and let it hang to dry before sunset. Then this morning, when I went to get it off my clothesline, I didn't see it there so it must have blown away."
"Uh, Rarity," Twilight interrupted, "Rainbow Dash thought she saw somepony by your place just after the sun set, so she and I went there to check it out... I didn't see any fabric there last night."
"What? Well, that means someone must have stolen it! We have to find the culprit and bring him... or her to justice!"
"I don't think that'll be necessary. Look," Twilight mutters, pointing at a pair of oncoming ponies.
It was Snips and Snails, and the former was wearing Rarity's fabric like a cape. "So what do you think, Snails? Don't I look just positively great?"
With a dopey giggle and a heavy drawl, Snails clopped his feet against the ground rhythmically. "So commanding; so powerful…!"
"Aha! Snips and Snails, I should have known... you never could keep your hands off other ponies' property. How dare you steal off my clothesline?"
"W-w-what…?" Snips said with utter surprise. "You got it all wrong! We found this hanging off a branch on the edge of the Everfree Forest! We would never—"
"Oh! You even got my fabric dirty after I worked so hard to clean it!"
"Hey, finders keepers; this is my cape!"
"I don't think that cape or fabric or whatever it is belongs to any of you." With that same lavender shimmer, the purple fabric piece floated in the air, folding itself up a bit before resting on Rarity's back. "I think I know who it belongs to... but I'm gonna need your and the others' help to bring them out. I'm sure that whomever this belongs to is still looking for it. Rarity, you go and get this washed up again and leave it out to dry; Snips and Snails, go back and, uh... just do whatever you do. I'll go gather the others." Leaving them to their missions, Twilight Sparkle dashed deeper into town.
That night, all went as it did the night before. Rainbow Dash was up in the sky, this time collecting clouds in the sky except for a small area around the moon, leaving its light to shine down solely upon the Carousel Boutique. As if on a cue, the mysterious figure came out from the outskirts of Ponyville and headed back behind Rarity's home. On that sight, Rainbow Dash signaled another of her friends to fulfill her part in the plan.
"Okay, little birds, on three... one, two..." Fluttershy, pointing with one hoof to a tree filled with birds, cued them to sing as loudly as they could. And as soon as she did, the lights in the Carousel Boutique flashed on, chasing off the now-cloaked pony. "Oh, no... Applejack, she's getting away."
"Not on my watch, sugar-cube…! Yee-haw!" With a lasso clutched in her teeth, Applejack flung the rope over as she made haste in following the silhouette. With expert rope work, she managed to ensnare the pony around her hind hooves, dropping her to the ground.
"Now," said Twilight, appearing from inside Rarity's home, "let's see who this mystery pony is." With another dose of magic and shimmer of light, the purple makeshift cloak was pulled away before the mystery pony had a chance to grab it and pull it back toward her.
"Say, I've seen that cutie mark before... she's the one that hogtied me in front of half of Ponyville!”
"I remember... that boastful pony that once ruined my magnificent mane!"
Examining the cutie mark—a star-filled crescent moon with a magic wand—Twilight finally remembered who it was. "I knew it... the Great and Powerful Trixie."
"Not anymore. I'm just plain... and boring, old Trixie now."
"But Twilight," Rarity asked, "how did you know it was Trixie?"
"To be honest, I really didn't at first... but I recall what Snips and Snails said while they were talking and playing with the cape. Do you remember?"
So what do you think, Snails? Don't I look just positively great?
So commanding; so powerful…!
The voices echoed both in Rarity and Twilight's minds, seeing them gait through town while sporting the cape. "But Trixie, where have you been hiding all this time?"
"W-well," Trixie started, "I've been traveling around Equestria, promoting my show... you know, seeing the sights and learning new tricks of the trade and all that. But, uh... well, it hasn't really taken off since coming here. Since there are so many more earth ponies in this part of Equestria than anywhere else, it was kind of difficult for ponies to get excited and—"
"Trixie, it's okay." Twilight interrupted yet again. "We aren't going to judge you any differently if you tell us the truth."
"Well, I might. That was mighty humiliating, getting all trussed up like that," Applejack blurted out.
"O-okay... if you really want to know, then..." With a heavy sigh, Trixie started again. "I never actually left Ponyville."
In Trixie's story, she told everyone around her about how utterly humiliated she was when she saw Twilight Sparkle so fearlessly take on and tame the Ursa Minor. The very next day after it had happened, Trixie was determined to go to Canterlot, home of many more magically-inclined unicorn ponies, to study there; however, having no mode of transportation other than her own two hooves, she found climbing the mountains that encircled the city too difficult for just one pony. Shamed, she felt afterward that she should start somewhere more accessible and decided to move on through to Fillydelphia, but that would mean going through Ponyville again and Trixie wasn't ready to deal with more embarrassment and abasement at her expense. With that in mind, she had decided to try and cut through the Everfree Forest, but quickly found herself lost in the dense woods, finding shelter from the rain under the thick canopy, and keeping track of the long and drawn-out days in the Ruins of the Ancient Pony Sisters.
"But there's still something I don't get—how could you have survived so long in the middle of the Everfree Forest?" Twilight inquired.
"One day, I came across an apple orchard on the southern border of the forest, but it was always populated by ponies," Trixie answered, tears starting to well up in her eyes, "so I would come back at night and steal some away."
"So you're the little critter that's been taking our bushels from Sweet Apple Acres! Why, I ought to—"
"Well, I can understand why she didn't want to be seen... I mean, who would in such a ratty old thing as this? It's absolutely atrocious!"
"Rarity, I don't think that's the issue here." Twilight, with the cape in her teeth, draped it over Trixie again and used only the slightest amount of magic to secure the clasp around her neck. "Trixie, you were right to come back here, but you shouldn't have hid yourself away like that."
"I... I was what?"
"Before, your boasting caused you nothing but trouble, but what was worse was when you ran away without admitting your mistakes. All of that could have been overlooked if you'd just come out and apologized for being so arrogant."
"You... you're right." Picking herself up off the ground, Trixie stepped out of Applejack's lasso and turned toward Twilight. "I was just so... I don't know... scared, I guess, that you'd just poke more fun at me."
"Now why would we go and do that?" Applejack asked.
"Yeah…! You're not that bad a pony, once you get down to it," Rainbow Dash added, hovering a bit overhead.
"Plus, you have some of the qualities of the Elements of Harmony in you," Twilight said. "I've never seen another pony with as much raw talent as you."
"...Elements of what-now?"
"You know—there's Honesty, like the honesty in admitting your past mistakes; Loyalty to your craft, always striving to be the best magician in Equestria; the Generosity and Laughter of sharing that gift with others and bringing them joy; and Magic, the one thing you love more than anything, even yourself."
"But wait," Fluttershy softly said from behind the other ponies, "you forgot about Kindness." The other ponies, in unison, agreed with her and spoke among themselves.
"Not necessarily, Fluttershy… for in sharing her story with us and showing us her true heart-felt feelings, Trixie demonstrated possibly the most important element of them all—Kindness."
"I don't understand, Twilight."
"You don't have to, Trixie. Girls, it looks like we have a new project. You think we can do it?!" All the other ponies cheered loudly, circling around Trixie as Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy worked to carry her above the small crowd.
"Hey!" From a nearby house screamed another pony, this one turquoise in color. "It's the middle of the night! Some of us like to sleep at night, you know!"
Another pony appeared behind her, this one in an off-white coat. "Lyra, please just come back to bed; it's getting cold." The other pony, grumbling a bit in anger, just closed the door and turned off the lights while the group outside cheered just a little bit quieter than before as they set Trixie back on terra firma.
"Well, come on. We have a long day ahead of us tomorrow. We should all get some sleep," Twilight said, turning around and heading for her library. The other ponies all agreed and made their way to their own respective homes.
Trixie, looking between them all, just trotted in place. "H-hey, wait. Where am I supposed to go?"
"Mm…? Oh, silly me..." Rarity doubled back and came up behind Trixie, nudging her forward. "Feel free to stay at my boutique for the night. I'm sure you could use a comfortable place to sleep instead of on that cold, hard, muddy ground... ugh, and perhaps a bath is in order as well."
The sun shone brightly that morning, its rays illuminating the inside of Rarity's home and causing everything to sparkle and shine. As well, the light shone upon Trixie's eyes, waking her from the most peaceful sleep she'd had in many nights.
"Rarity…?" Trixie called, making her way throughout the Carousel Boutique. "Miss Rarity, are you—oh, my...!" Instead of finding Rarity, Trixie nearly ran into one of her sewing busts standing in the middle of the room. It was a sight to behold; on the bust was a cape the color of lilacs and a matching hat, each with special sequins shaped like stars of all sizes.
"Do you like it? It's real velvet. It took forever to get the color just so, and I even gave it a coating of a special water-resistant wax that—"
"You went to all that trouble... for me?"
"Well, of course. It's my personal dream to make only the finest wares in all of Equestria. That dream can only be realized one pony at a time."
"I... I don't know what to say."
"Then don't say... your only 'thank-you' has to come from wearing your new ensemble proudly over Equestria." As her horn shimmered, Rarity controlled the cape and draped it over Trixie's shoulders, where a sapphire clasp secured it around her neck; and only moments later, Trixie's new hat rested on her pale mane, barely concealing her horn. "Come now, Trixie... so many places to go, so little time!"
"W-wait…! Where are we going?"
"Oh, you'll see very soon." Opening the door on her way out, both Trixie and Rarity were treated to a once-in-a-lifetime vision in front of them—in front of the Carousel Boutique was a chariot being pulled by two pegasi with pure white coats and gilded armor; beside them were Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy.
"My goodness, Rainbow Dash... however did you and Fluttershy get such transportation prepared in such a short amount of time?"
"Oh, Rarity, we just couldn't tell you our secret," Fluttershy mumbled.
"Let's just say," Rainbow Dash boasted, flashing a wink to both Rarity and Trixie, "that it doesn't hurt to be a friend of Twilight's."
"Well, then... shall we, Trixie?" Rarity climbed up into the chariot, waiting ever so patiently for Trixie to board as well. As soon as she did, she instructed them, "To the Sweet Apple Acres, dear gentlecolts... and do take the scenic route."
With a fancy flourish of their wings, the two ivory-coated pegasi took to the skies with the two young unicorns in tow, with Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy escorting them on both sides. For some time, they flew high above the clouds as Rarity reminisced about the time she and the others had visited Cloudsdale. Looking down from the side of the chariot, Trixie noticed something odd about the citizens of Ponyville, as if their actions were under the influence of some urgency.
Trixie couldn’t help but inquire about it. “Everyone seems like they’re in a hurry.”
“Well, I wouldn’t be surprised. Every day’s a busy day in a little town like ours. Always some sort of adventure, never a dull moment to it… I suppose you could say that it’s part of the appeal of life in the little cities.” Rarity flipped her mane out of her eyes, adding, “I wouldn’t pay too much attention to it for now.” Not long after they took off, they finally landed in a clearing in the Apple Family's orchard.
“Wait, what are we doing here?” Trixie asked.
“I told you before, you’ll see. Rainbow Dash,” Rarity commented, “be a dear and check on Applejack and Twilight’s progress, would you?”
“I’m already on my way, Rarity!” With a flap of her wings, Rainbow Dash darted across the sky and disappeared followed by a rainbow trail. Trixie merely stood there, flabbergasted, until Fluttershy nudged her along once more, heading in toward the Apple family home. It was a long trot there, where the three of them—Rarity, Fluttershy and Trixie—were able to see many more of Applejack’s relatives and just general volunteers around the farm. Two of them stood out among the lot—Big Macintosh’s hooves thundered against the ground, dropping apples from all the trees in the surrounding area, as Applebloom nudged along some of the lighter barrels and baskets filled with wide assortments of apples.
“Hey, over here!” shouted a familiar voice. Over in the distance, Twilight waved them toward her. “You’re a little earlier than we expected.”
“…‘than we expected’? Alright, could someone tell me what’s going on?”
“Not yet, Trixie… in fact,” Twilight said, “we want to keep this a surprise until the very last moment, so... no peeking.” Conjuring up a small blindfold, with a shimmer of her horn, Twilight magically set the blindfold in front of Trixie’s eyes.
“…you’re not setting me up for another fall, are you?”
“Now why in blue blazes would we do something like that?” Applejack asked rhetorically, coming out of the barn. “Alright, I’ll admit that I do want to get you back for that little rope trick you pulled on me last time I saw you, but that’s water under the bridge.”
“Applejack, they’re ready to put the wheels on. Are you coming?”
“Be right there, Twilight… Rarity, Fluttershy, why don’t you bring Trixie inside for the big unveiling?”
“‘Wheels’…? ‘Big unveiling’…? Okay, now you’ve got me curious.” Stepping into the barn under the guidance of the others, Trixie waited patiently until the moment that her blindfold came off.
“Ready as I’ll ever be, I guess.”
Rarity, using a bit of her magic, undid the blindfold covering Trixie’s eyes to reveal the fascinating sight—there in the barn was a brand new wagon, with all sorts of bells, whistles and contraptions as well as something extra covered up in a white cloth.
“No… you didn’t. My wagon…? You rebuilt my wagon?! Oh, my goodness, I-I-I don’t know how I’m going to thank you all for this!” Trixie said, tears once more welling up in her eyes and streaming down her cheeks.
“Trixie,” Fluttershy interrupted, her head slightly lower than it should be, “we didn’t get all of this together to be thanked.”
“Still, I think it needed to be said.”
“Well, if you plan on saying it, sugar-cube, then you can wait until we reveal our real surprise.”
“…your ‘real surprise’?” Trixie questioned. “Alright, I have no idea what’s going on, but I demand an answer immediately!”
“Oh, you’ll get your answers… but there’s a couple more things we need in Ponyville to wrap everything up, as it were,” Rarity mentioned. “Care to join us?”
Annoyed but still willing to see where they were going with all of it, Trixie nodded and followed along. Stepping into her new wagon for the first time, she felt the wagon rock a bit and, looking out one of the windows, she saw Big Macintosh and a few other larger male ponies getting hitched up to the front of the wagon to pull it into town. Her wagon glided smoothly as it traveled along the dirt paths and rolling hills, much more so than her old wagon. A short while later, the wagon finally made its stop in Ponyville’s town square before hearing strange sounds—mainly, sounds of the other ponies unhitching and of chatter outside the wagon. Trixie, ever curious, heard the first clear voice in quite a while.
“Fillies and gentlecolts,” Spike roared just a few feet from the wagon, clutching a stick in his hand as he would a microphone, “today we honor the return of a legend known not only in Ponyville, but well across Equestria!”
Pinkie Pie darted in front of him, adding in her loudest voice, “That’s right, Spike! She goes by all sorts of titles, performing unimaginable feats for all to see! Not to mention she’s great at parties, and this one is going to be no exception!”
“But today, there’s only one name that echoes through the streets!”
“Making their glorious return before all the citizens of Ponyville, we present to you…”
“…TRIXIE!” As the both of them shouted her name, Spike pulled a cord on the side of the wagon and watched events unfold in the most literal sense. Before the massive crowd gathered in Ponyville’s town square, the widest side of the wagon fell forward and unfolded into a massive stage; the inner walls unfurled, displaying all manners of elaborate carvings and murals; and behind all that, a pair of deep blue curtains were drawn open to reveal Trixie, standing there in awe of everything. Music played, fireworks blasted high above, and the crowd roared as Trixie sat, paralyzed.
“Look at her!” Rainbow Dash shouted from the front of the gathering, “she’s completely speechless! Come on, Trixie, show us your stuff!” With her goading, the rest of the crowd shouted all manners of things before they all started in a chant, each pony screaming her name.
“I… I don’t know what to do, though. This is all so sudden,” Trixie admitted.
“Just do what you do best,” Applejack yelled from below the stage.
“Well, then, if you insist… let’s start the show!” In raising her arms, Trixie let loose a flurry of fireworks into the sky once more, bursting into incredible shapes and patterns. With the crowd still in an uproar, the Great and Powerful Trixie performed every trick she could think to do and even a few not previously seen before—she would conjure up a beautiful bouquet of flowers from nowhere and, taking off her cape and wrapping it around the flowers, quickly unravel it to reveal a flock of colorful birds flying into the air. Then, with her cape still out and with a bright shimmer of her horn, the cape whisked one of the earth ponies in the crowd off their hooves and flew them above the crowd as if on a flying carpet. After her demonstration, Trixie raised a hoof once more to try and calm the crowd.
“T-thank you, everypony, for your amazing support, but I’d like to perform one more trick for you. Even I’m not sure if it’ll work for you, though, but I hope it does… I most definitely want my show to end on a high note.” Closing the wide stage curtains behind her, Trixie said a few indiscernible words as her horn began to shine once more. Stomping her hooves down upon the wooden stage, a wisp of purple smoke exploded in the dead center of the stage, revealing Twilight Sparkle of all ponies. Trixie stepped closer, saying aloud, “I want to thank you, Twilight, for all of this. I never dreamed something like this would ever happen if I set my hooves back in Ponyville again.”
“Well, you were rather boastful when you came here before… but the past is passed, Trixie. You’ve learned from your mistakes, and I know that those lessons will stay in your heart whatever you do.”
“And I want to thank all of you, citizens of Ponyville, for your amazing support! Without you, I would never have been able to gather my courage and perform again… and of course, without you, I would have no one to entertain! For that, I—the Great and Powerful Trixie—personally thank you all!”
“Say, Trixie,” Twilight interjected, “do you mind if I perform a small trick of my own? I’ll try not to show you up too much. Spike, would you help me in saying the magic words?”
“Oh, this I have to see.”
“And now, without further ado, we present to you the one… the only…!” As Spike spoke into his makeshift microphone, Twilight mustered up her magical power and, for the final time, drew open the stage curtains. Upon the sight, all of Ponyville dropped low in genuflection.
“What is it? What’s—oh, my…!” Trixie quickly tried to lower herself to show respect to the figure that appeared. Her coat was as white as the purest winter snow; her opalescent mane swayed as if caught in a perpetual breeze; her golden crown shimmered in the warm sun she brought her subjects each day—truly, it was no one other than Princess Celestia.
“Rise, o Great and Powerful Trixie…” Trixie rose onto all four hooves once more as Celestia continued. “My faithful student called me here to celebrate a momentous occasion. At first, I was a bit skeptical as to what was so special that it so urgently demanded my presence, but I can see now that it was justified. I must say, Trixie, your presentation today was nothing short of inspirational.”
“T-t-thank you… P-Princess Celestia…” Again, Trixie briefly lowered herself in worship, stuttering in awe as she knelt.
“And you, my faithful student,” Celestia added, turning to Twilight, “have you learned anything about the magic of friendship from this adventure?”
Taking a moment, Twilight nodded and looked to her mentor. “I think I have. It’s alright to be proud of what you have and what you’ve been given, but you should never be prideful… you should never take the things given to you for granted, or you just risk losing them.”
“A lesson well learned, wouldn’t you say, Trixie?” Celestia said, always smiling.
“I’ll say… I’ve learned a lot this last little while, both on my own and because of Twilight.” Her lips quivered the slightest bit, holding back a flood of emotions. “And I’ll be sure to spread what I’ve learned with others as I travel all across Equestria, getting better.”
“W-what…?” Twilight shouted, astonished. “You mean you’re not going to stay?”
“Twilight, the only way my dream is going to be realized is if I travel and learn from all sorts of ponies… but I swear I’ll come back and share what I’ve learned with you, say, through a bit of ‘friendly competition’?”
“But… Princess Celestia, you took me under your wing and taught me all sorts of magic. Couldn’t you do the same for Trixie?”
“Of course I could, Twilight.” Before her student had a chance to interject, Celestia carried on and said, “But I won’t. I taught you because you decided that it was the best path for you, and now Trixie has decided that she wants to learn by observing others and practicing daily. We should respect her wishes, shouldn’t we?”
Twilight tried desperately to find a flaw in her teacher’s logic, but couldn’t. Hanging her head, she accepted Celestia’s words quietly. “Yes… you’re right, Princess… as always.”
“Trixie, I want you to do something for me—just as Twilight writes to me every other day to report on all she’s learned, I want you to keep a journal of all you will learn… and when next we meet, I’ll be able to measure just how much you’ve grown by what your log contains.”
“I’ll do just that, Princess… I promise. But for now,” Trixie murmured, turning to the crowd still silently looking on, “with all this work thrown into preparing this party, it would be a shame for the guests of honor to leave early, right?”
The day dragged on, and the townsfolk participated in all sorts of festivities ranging from large banquets to grand performances both mundane and magical. Every pony in Ponyville celebrated long and hard until evening light, long after Celestia quietly excused herself from the party. As the sun was lowered and the moon began to rise up in its place, Twilight spoke to Trixie one last time.
“So I guess this is it… you’re sure you wouldn’t rather stay here in Ponyville?”
“Twilight, darling, I’ve made my choice. But how about this—when I learn something really impressive, I’ll come straight back to Ponyville to show you exclusively.”
Giggling, Twilight replied, “Sounds like a plan, Trixie. I think I might actually be sad to see you go this time.”
“Oh, whatever... it’s not like it’ll be forever. Anyways, I’d best finish packing before it becomes too dark to see anything around here.” Pointing her horn at a few boxes generously donated by the city’s ponies, Trixie used her magic to levitate them and guide them effortlessly into the back of her wagon, the faint glistening providing the slightest bit of illumination. From beside her, a few more boxes rose and fell on their own. Twilight again appeared beside her, the faintest trace of a smile on her face.
“Allow me to help, then. I insist.”
And as the two packed away the Great and Powerful Trixie’s newly-gotten possessions, another pair of familiar ponies stood at a distance, reminiscing amongst themselves.
“It looks like that Trixie really turned over a new leaf, eh, Rainbow? I mean, when I first heard about her coming to town, I was putting out the welcome mat; I thought we were just inviting trouble.”
“It’s kind of surprising. She’s not anything like the stuck-up pony we took her for when she came here the first time. I’ll admit, Applejack, I would have never expected such a drastic change from someone like her.”
“...so how long until you think she changes back?” Applejack mused after a fairly long pause.
Rainbow Dash answered almost immediately. “I’d give her about three days, maybe five.”
“No more than a week, tops.”