Late at night, Spike teaches Sweetie Belle everything he knows about unicorn magic.
Like most young unicorns, Sweetie Belle did not know how to use magic. It wasn’t a skill one was born with, in the strictest sense; so it had to be learned, and it wasn’t an easy skill to learn. She did hear her parents talking about when she was really young and could levitate all her toys at once, but apparently, that was something she forgot how to do. So here she was, at Ponyville Park, hiding in some bushes, with an old magic book, trying to relearn a skill she had when she was an infant.
But at this moment, she wasn’t practising her magic, instead, she was looking up at the young dragon that so rudely interrupted her.
“Need some help?” he asked.
Sweetie’s ego was about to take over, telling him to get lost, that she could do it herself; but her self-esteem fought back, wanting to ask for any help he could provide; but the eventual victor was a third voice which simply said:
“What would a dragon know about magic?”
Spike was taken aback by this, but it wasn’t surprising. He wasn’t a unicorn, he couldn’t perform any spells. The only magic he had, was his fire breath. However:
“Twelve years as Twilight’s research assistant, I’ve picked up a few things,” he said with confidence as he stepped through the bushes. He sat down across from her, the stone sitting between the two. “What are you trying here? Basic levitation?”
With that comment, Sweetie’s horn glowed pink along with the stone, as it slowly levitated towards Spike, before dropping straight into his open claw.
“Okay, so not that,” Spike said, as he placed the rock back down.
Sweetie giggled. She then showed Spike the book that was sitting to her left, which Spike didn’t notice earlier. It levitated towards him, page already open, as Sweetie explained. “It’s a spell I found, to turn a rock into a flower.”
Spike was surprised as he read through the spell. “Sweetie Belle,” he explained. “This is pretty advanced magic, are you sure you want to try something like this?”
“What’s the worst that could happen?”
Spike technically couldn’t argue with that, but he did know it wasn’t going to be easy for such a young unicorn to conduct such a complex spell. In fact, he didn’t think it was possible. But, he did offer his services, and was certainly willing to try. Besides, he was in a really good mood.
He memorized the page number, and closed the book.
“HEY!” Sweetie Belle exclaimed. “You’ll lose the page!”
“Forget the book,” Spike explained as he threw the book to the side. “The book is useless. Magic isn’t about a bunch of instructions, it’s something you have to feel.”
Sweetie was confused. “But, Twilight uses books all the time.”
“Yes, but all the book is, is a map,” Spike explained, hoping his analogy wouldn’t break down. “It won’t tell you how to get there, just what path to take. Besides, you probably already have it memorized.”
Sweetie blushed at this, “Yeah.”
“OKAY!” a very excited Spike got to his feet and walked behind Sweetie Belle. He leaned against her, the flaps of his jacket covering her sides; and placed his claws on her head, gently massaging her temples. “Just relax,” he whispered in her ear.
She did, and as her eyes closed all she could feel was the heat from his breath on her ear, and his body heat as he leaned against her. She noticed that, while his body wasn’t that much warmer than anypony else, his breath felt like the heat from a roaring fire. That, plus his claws working her temples, really did a good job of relaxing her. All tension in her body was gone, and all that was left was her thoughts.
“Relaxed?” she could hear him whisper.
“Yes,” she said, in an almost trance-like voice.
“Okay, now, do you know where the rock is?”
“Okay, focus all your energy on that rock.”
Sweetie slowly opened her eyes, but Spike stopped her.
“Don’t open your eyes,” he explained. “Stretch out with your magic, feel it, don’t see it.”
So she tried again, focusing all her magic where she knew the rock was located. Suddenly, there was an image in her head of the stone, exactly as she remembered last seeing it. She could “see” the rock, even though she couldn’t see it.
“Okay, good,” Spike explained. “Now, ignore everything else, and…” he didn’t need to finish that sentence, Sweetie Belle already knew what she had to do.
Spike saw the stone start to shake, he could also feel Sweetie’s body start to tense up. “Stay relaxed Sweetie Belle,” he explained, continuing to whisper. “You need to put all your energy into your magic.”
Her body began to relax, the stone continued to shake.
Sweetie Belle couldn’t see a thing, she had to trust Spike to tell her if she was progressing properly, and as she continued to recite the necessary pattern in her head, she learned she didn’t need to.
She could “see” the stone crack, just slightly, along the top, as a small stem started to emerge from it. The stone she “saw” was also slowly shrinking as the stem grew longer. She dared not stop the spell at that point. From the bottom of the stone, she could “see” the roots form. They reached into the ground, taking hold. Above the stone, leaves started to form on the stem, and as the stone began to shrink to nothingness, it budded and bloomed into a purple flower with a green centre. She released the focus she held, and ended the spell.
But, she was afraid to open her eyes. Spike let go of her, and stood up. She could no longer feel the dragon’s scales against her back. Part of her thought she might have been successful. But perhaps it only meant she failed so miserably that there was no point in continuing. What if she reduced the stone into a pile of dust?
“Aren’t you gonna look?” Spike asked, she could hear a slight chuckle in his voice. Was that a good thing or a bad thing?
Sweetie slowly opened one eye. What she saw shouldn’t have astonished her, but it did. It was the flower, exactly as she saw in her head.
Part of her thought that maybe Spike switched out the stone with a flower when she had her eyes closed. Perhaps using his tongue. She heard a dragon’s tongue was quite dexterous, and could have done something like that. She took a closer look. It wasn’t just placed there. It was rooted to the ground, in the exact same location the stone was placed earlier. She did it!
“Oh my gosh… I did it,” she said in amazement. “I DID IT!!!” She turned around and gave Spike a big hug. “Thank you, Spike! Thank you, thank you, thank you!” she kissed him on the cheek. “Thank you!”
“Okay, okay!” he said. “It was nothing, really. It was all you.”
“But you helped!” she was extremely excited and Spike wasn’t exactly sure how to handle it. So he just went with the flow, returning the hug. “Thank you, thank you, thank you!” She continued, hopping up and down, and giving him another kiss on the cheek.
Eventually she broke the hug and just stood there, looking at him, smiling. But that smile quickly went away to be replaced by what Spike thought could have been slight panic. But before he could figure out exactly what he saw, she turned around and walked straight towards the flower. She plucked it from the ground with her magic and took a good look at it. There wasn’t much scent coming from it. But that was to be expected. Even though it was already pretty mature, it didn’t exist a few minutes ago. So the scent would take a while before it could be fully developed. She was going to keep it for herself, but she wasn’t really sure she deserved it.
She turned to look at her dragon friend and simply said, “Spike, do you want it?”
“What?” he said. “No, I can’t-”
Sweetie interrupted him, “Please? It a thank you gift, for all your help.”
Spike sighed before walking up and taking the flower, “Thank you, I appreciate it.”
Sweetie walked over to the book Spike tossed aside, and picked it up.
It was at this point, Spike asked a simple question. “So, what are you doing out here so late?”
“Late?” Sweetie asked, a bit confused.
“Yeah, it’s…” he looked at his bare wrist. “Oh, I don’t have a watch,” he said with a laugh and a smile. “It’s almost 10, last I checked.”
Panic set in. “Oh no!” Sweetie cried. “I was supposed to be home an hour ago!” She began pacing back and forth, thinking. “What am I going to do!? My parents are going to kill me!”
“Hey, hey, hey,” Spike said, trying to calm her down. He walked over and placed his claws on her shoulders, with the flower still in hand. She looked up at him. “It’s okay, I’ll take the heat. I’ll say it’s all my fault and I was teaching you magic and kept you way too long. We just lost track of time.”
“Really!?” she said.
“Yeah,” he explained. “It’s technically true.”
“Oh, thanks again Spike,” she once again grabbed him in a hug, this time one which Spike instantly returned. The hug was quickly broken as Sweetie’s attention turned to the matter at hand. “Okay, let’s go!” she ran off, leaving Spike behind.
He looked at the flower, breaking off part of the stem, before sliding it into his front jacket pocket. He then quickly tried to catch up with the young filly, as he was the one who had to talk to her parents. “Hey, wait up!” He yelled.