Twilight Sparkle opened her eyes and stared up at the ceiling of her bedroom. She rubbed her head in thought and gasped upon remembering the morning’s earlier events. She lifted herself out of bed with her wings, stared at them, and placed herself on the floor. “Whew,” she said.
“Twilight, you’re up!” said Spike, mildly startling the wisteria alicorn princess. Sitting next to an empty hourglass on a small table, he marked something down on a scroll. “That’s great. Everyone’s still in the throne room waiting. Rainbow said she thought you would sleep for an hour, and we all wanted to see if that was true since it might be part of her new powers. For the record, she was right.”
At first, Twilight didn’t say anything. Curious, she tried lifting a pillow from her bed with her magic. Nothing happened. She tried again. Still nothing. She tried a third time with all her mental might and still, the pillow did not move.
“So no magic, huh?” Spike observed. He could tell from her expression what she was trying to do.
“No unicorn magic,” Twilight noted. “I can still fly apparently.” She sighed. “Okay, let’s go talk to everyone. I want to see Rainbow myself.”
With that, the two made their way to the throne room where the girls were chatting and what little Twilight picked up had nothing to do with mevs. At noticing her entrance, everyone stopped talking and paused. Rainbow swooped down to hover in front of her. “Hey, look who the purple dragon dragged in. How you feeling, Twi?”
Twilight relayed what she and Spike learned only a moment ago while walking to her designated throne. Rainbow herself remained in the air but hovered near her own throne as well.
“So, does that mean anything?” Pinkie asked.
Twilight looked at Rainbow to see if the pegasus wished to answer first. Indeed, the mev replied, “I think there are different types of magic. Unicorn magic is supposed to be my main source of food if I don’t have a pack. Plus, I’m really new, like kind of a baby in terms of being a master mev. So…it’s like…like an instinct to draw that out.”
“But you could draw out other types on purpose once you’re older?” Fluttershy asked.
Rainbow nodded. “Yeah, I think so. All of it, even.”
“What do you mean, all of it?” Applejack asked, growing a tad apprehensive.
“Flight from pegasi, strength from earth ponies, cutie mark from anypony who has one, well, except for kids and friendship magic, all of it. Everything Tirek could do to us…I’ll eventually be able to do it as well…for a week.” She tried and failed to smile at the small comfort of the condition being so temporary.
“Could…could you ever take it away longer than that?” Rarity wondered.
Rainbow put a hoof up to her chin and thought. “I don’t know.”
“No magical gut feeling to tell you?” Starlight asked.
At that, Rainbow brought her hoof down and quickly replied, “My gut tells me worrying about stuff like that is a waste of time, and I should keep my focus on forming a pack.”
“Oh, maybe Dashie needs a pack to do it longer then, huh?” Pinkie offered.
Everyone looked at Rainbow who said nothing.
“I guess that would make sense,” Twilight considered.
“Girls, I’m telling you-the question doesn’t even matter,” Rainbow insisted. “Who’s magic would I even want to take away for longer than a week?” she asked rhetorically.
“A baddie!” Pinkie Pie offered. “You know, like how you just said Tirek. Wouldn’t you want his magic gone like forever?”
“Could you even do that?” Starlight asked. “I’d think you would cancel each other out or something since your abilities are so similar.”
Rainbow face-hoofed in frustration and groaned. “Sorry. I. Asked.”
“Everyone, please.” Fluttershy spoke up. “We’re overwhelming her. Rainbow just got done telling us she’s like a baby. A cute, cuddly, fanged, different-kind-of-wings-whenever-she-wants baby,” Fluttershy lifted herself up with a smile. “Such a fascinating creature,” she cooed.
Still hovering above her own throne, Rainbow rolled her eyes with an ever so subtle upward curve to her lips.
“Ahem,” Fluttershy realized her excitement getting the better of her and floated back down to her seat. “These questions are worth considering, but they aren’t things we need to worry about right now.”
“Sorry,” Pinkie Pie muttered.
“It’s alright,” Rainbow said. “Thanks Fluttershy.”
Fluttershy nodded. “No problem.”
“So, if we aren’t going to worry about all that but the pack thing instead, what’s next?” Applejack asked.
Rainbow told them all, “Starlight and I both have a theory that Twilight might actually recover faster than a unicorn because she’s an alicorn. So, I’m thinking we wait three days and see if that’s true. If it is, then I’d like to try making my first fledgling. She has to be a unicorn.”
All eyes fell on Starlight and Rarity.
“And if she isn’t recovered by then?” Rarity asked.
“Give it another two days. By that fifth night…same plan. We want to save a little bit of leeway and not push the berserk to the limit,” Rainbow said
“Oh, this is so exciting!” Pinkie Pie bounced. “Which one of you is going to be the first fledgling?” she asked the two unicorn friends with an eager smile.
“I think Rainbow and Fluttershy make some really good points,” Rarity said. “Let’s take baby steps and just wait out these three days first. We can sort out a first fledgling thing later. Do remember Pinkie, I’d want Rainbow to have six ponies willing to be in the pack and so far, Twilight and Applejack are still not sure. Right, girls?”
“Well, to be honest, despite my lack of unicorn magic, I feel in otherwise good shape and all the better if I do recover faster. I am sure I’ll be joining you all but as the last in the group. That just feels proper,” Twilight said.
Applejack gave it a last bit of thought before saying “Alright, count me in, I’m sure we’ll still manage to keep Rainbow in line, somehow.” She winked upward.
Rainbow chuckled mischievously, rubbing her hooves together.
“Rainbow!” Fluttershy said in a shushing tone as if to put the pegasus to shame.
“Oh come on, that moment was too perfect to pass up. I’m a vampire now! You know you love it, Little Miss Ex-Vampire,” Rainbow playfully responded.
Everyone laughed. Fluttershy blushed and could not help smiling.
Rainbow Dash’s first meal as a master mev happened on a Saturday morning. After Twilight woke up, and they agreed to who all would be in her pack, the ponies further agreed they wanted a break from the whole vampire business and to go about enjoying this day as they originally planned. Twilight, Starlight, and Spike would attend to Twilight’s princess duties at the castle. Rarity had some creative ideas she wanted to work on at her boutique where Sweetie Bell was visiting. Applejack had chores to take care of with her family on the farm. Fluttershy would go to her cottage to take care of her critters and have a picnic. Rainbow had a Wonderbolts show, and it was blissfully uneventful, aside from of course being an event itself.
Later that afternoon before sunset, the group attended a surprise birthday party Pinkie Pie threw for her sister Maud, who it turned out only liked such parties because they made Pinkie happy. At Maud’s boyfriend’s suggestion, Pinkie set the party up, with Starlight’s help, so that a cardboard version of Maud would be given the surprise while Maud, her boyfriend Mud Briar, and Pinkie watched from atop a hill at a distance. Rainbow and Twilight appeared for a bit to mingle, and both left early, at different times, returning to their homes.
Rainbow spent some time with Tank and found one of the many open windows in her house to set him on the floor. She sat on her haunches in his line of sight. “Hey buddy, I have something to tell you and show you. The sun is almost set,” she peered out the chosen window and watched the sun dip under the horizon. Her fangs grew, and she allowed her eyes to turn red. She kept her feathered wings. Rainbow looked at Tank, so he could see the new color of her irises. Her mouth remained closed.
Tank blinked and reached out to touch her. When he did, he fearfully pulled his head back into his shell and his limb back toward himself.
She nodded though pained. “Yeah, that’s fair. I have changed into something. Something that can be kinda scary, depending on who you are. You’re my pal though, my pet, and I don’t want this thing that I’ve become, it’s called a ‘master mev’, to come between us. I still love you. I’ll still feed you, and my house is still your home. I’ll take care of you like I’ve been doing. I hope you can get used to this new me. I’m warming up to it now that my friends have a plan to help me.”
Tank poked his head out and touched her again, staring quietly up at her with a slow, slow blink and a slow, slow nod that she said what needed to be said. He’d still feel safe in her care, even with two red eyes and two sharp teeth.
“The fangs are a night thing,” Rainbow Dash told him. She showed him the iris color shift from red to magenta, pointing at her eyes with her right hoof. “Think of it like vampire red and pegasus magenta,” she said. “They’ll be magenta most of the time, even at night.”
Tank nodded in understanding the difference.
Rainbow reached out a hoof for him to bump, which he did.
Night finished its arrival, and Rainbow tucked Tank in for bed. After that, she stood outside her cloud house, looking at the landscape spread beneath her, trying to decide what to do. She could fly just as she did the previous first night of course, but she needed more options. A thought occurred to her. She went back in her house and grabbed her saddlebags, then concentrated for a moment. Her red eyes surfaced. She teleported herself to right at the front door of Twilight’s castle. “Easy peasy lemon squeezy,” she muttered. She knocked at the door.
“Rainbow Dash!” Starlight answered with a welcoming smile. “What are you doing here?”
“Is Twilight still up?” Rainbow asked.
“That she is. Spike’s the only one asleep here. Come on in. We’re in the library. What brings you back so soon and so late?” Starlight walked as Rainbow hovered next to her down the long hallway.
“Boredom,” Rainbow confessed. “I just realized I need something to do at night when most ponies are asleep, but I’m not. Irony of ironies, I was using the night to get more fly time, heh heh, but I can only fly so much to fill up all this new extra time. “
“You don’t sleep anymore?” Starlight asked.
“More like not as much, enough that it could definitely seem that way to anypony who doesn’t know better,” the master mev explained. “Figured maybe I’d borrow some books. Reading at night is easy enough, just need to find the right thing to read about.”
“Need some ideas?” Starlight offered.
“Sure,” Rainbow agreed.
“I think you should read about magic now that you have this sort of job about it. Even though you won’t be using it much, you should understand it for when you do or have to balance it out,” the lilac unicorn suggested.
“I don’t know, seems a little boring,” Rainbow hesitated. “Then again, the book did indicate master mevs could use magic to learn it,” she admitted.
Starlight chuckled. “Magic is not boring.”
“Well, perhaps not for a unicorn with the strongest magic ever and able to do it whenever, but…that’s not me,” Rainbow lamented.
“No, but you are friends with that unicorn,” Starlight winked. “I’ll be one of your vampire servants, right? Maybe I could make it more interesting for you. We’ll study together. I’ll be your Magic Mentor!”
“If you can find the time, sure,” Rainbow noted quietly with a small smile.
“Oh, the fledglings still sleep like regular ponies?” Starlight asked.
“To be honest, I don’t know,” the pegasus figure said. “We’ll find out soon enough.”
The two finally reached the door to the library and entered.
Starlight explained everything Rainbow just did to Twilight. Both Twilight and Starlight eventually gave Rainbow two books each that they recommended for a beginner level of understanding unicorn magic.
“Anything else to help fill your extra night time?” Twilight asked. “I’m glad to see you read more and expand your horizons of course, but I know you also might need some kind of physical stimulation perhaps. Besides flying more quietly than you would during the day of course.”
“Well…would it be alright if I used the school gym for that?” Rainbow asked. “I have stuff at home, but it’ll be a nice change of pace with a little more room and more equipment.”
Twilight blinked and considered. “Alright but just you know…be quiet. The students are trying to sleep.”
“Will do,” Rainbow said with a salute.
The pegasus mev waved them good-bye. She flew home instead of teleporting since the initial one had been a test to see if she could do it at all. Rainbow assumed that it was either part of her new powers or a power gained through eating Twilight’s magic since Twilight herself had mastered teleportation. Maybe beginner magic lessons could help her figure out which was true.
She filled her night with reading and eventually two hours of sleep before reading some more before sunrise. It didn’t truly answer her main question of the night though her own theory developed that it was an innate power once she had at least some unicorn magic in her. She could not have done it her first night as a mev.
Sunday morning brought about another team meeting at Twilight’s castle. They prepared to discuss a very delicate and difficult situation, just how much should others know about Rainbow now being a master mev. In particular, they were thinking of their students.
“Maybe not announce it, but if anypony asks, we should tell them the truth,” Applejack stated. “We’re literally teaching the students honesty, me especially, so you can’t go asking me to hide it.”
“But it is rather easy to hide it right now, Twilight’s condition notwithstanding,” Rarity replied. “Plus, it’s not like she has to announce to her students that she can’t use magic for a few days.”
“What do you mean?” asked Twilight.
“Spike’s always with you, right? And Starlight’s offered to help with whatever you might need that requires unicorn magic. Perhaps have Starlight assist you as well for any situations where you see magic as a necessity. From what I’ve seen of your classes, they are rather straight-forward lectures involving chalkboards and books and every manner of things that an earth pony teacher like Cheerilee does even without assistants. You’re not teaching them unicorn magic; you’re teaching them friendship magic. Rainbow didn’t take that from you. Just don’t draw attention to it,” the white unicorn advised.
“And if somebody asks?” Twilight wondered.
“Twilight, how often are you asked, ‘why don’t you lift it with your horn instead of your mouth or hoof or tail?’, hmm?” Rarity prodded.
“Right,” Twilight realized. Indeed, ponies rarely posed such questions since a unicorn horn was not everything to a given unicorn, even if some, like Twilight and Starlight, excelled at magic in particular. “I guess I never even thought of how often we watch each other on that. Somepony might notice, but it is rather rude to comment on.”
Applejack reminded everyone, “These are kids we’re dealing with, so some of them might be more willing to be rude. We can’t have Twilight lying to them about it. We still gotta prepare. What if they ask still?”
“Well, you’re the Element of Honesty, you tell us,” Rainbow Dash challenged. “Can Twilight say something like she’s sick or doing an experiment and NOT talk about being bit by a mev? Is it dishonest to leave that part out?”
After several tense, silent moments, Applejack finally admitted, “Reckon it is. That part’s mighty important.”
“But…” Starlight started. She stood between Twilight’s throne and Applejack’s.
“All of you are overthinking this,” Spike piped in. “Go ahead and tell them if they ask. We live in Equestria, in Ponyville near both Canterlot and the Everfree forest at that. Lots of weird, magical things happen around here. It’ll just be another part of the background to them. This castle was a big deal when it first grew, but now it’s just part of how things are here. Seriously, I know we like to think we’re special and important, but your students have lives outside of you. I know, and I won’t be in your pack. I’m still here. A lot of the students are now used to having non-ponies as classmates at the school too. Really, it’s just another day in Ponyville.”
“Oh Spike, I’m so proud of you for that speech,” Twilight clapped her hooves together.
“You don’t think it will cause a panic?” Fluttershy asked. “I’d be scared about a vampire that could eat my magic too.”
“Fluttershy, you are literally sitting right next to one,” Spike pointed out.
By this point, Rainbow’s chin was resting on a hoof while she listened and thought. Her eyes darted in Fluttershy’s direction. She playfully raised her eyebrows a couple of times with a devilish smirk and blew a flirtatious kiss.
Fluttershy stifled a giggle before looking back towards Spike, who sat to Rainbow’s left in his own seat. “Yeah, but that’s different. I know Rainbow.”
“The students know Rainbow too!” Spike insisted.
“Not like I do!” Fluttershy argued.
“Okay, settle down you two,” Rainbow chuckled, straightening her posture. “The book says mev packs prefer discretion and that’s nice and all, but Spike made good points. Plus, I’m not exactly the type to be discrete if you catch my drift.”
“That you’re a show-off,” Applejack said.
“That you’re beautiful rainbow mane and tail call attention to you quite easily,” Rarity remarked.
“That you’re loud and obnoxious like me,” Pinkie giggle-snorted.
“That you’re a Wonderbolt,” Twilight added.
“See, you girls get it, except for Pinkie Pie…” She stuck her tongue out at the friend in question. “Maybe.”
Pinkie Pie giggled again.
“Speaking of the Wonderbolts….” Fluttershy started. “Are you going to tell them?”
“It didn’t come up during the show yesterday. This thing has no effect on my ability to fly better or worse so no, I’m not telling them, unless they ask. At least not yet,” Rainbow decided.
“Yet…?” Fluttershy wondered.
Rainbow sighed. “I’ll tell them when I’m done forming my pack. Then hopefully they won’t kick me out for being different or not telling them right away.”
A moment of tension.
Finally, Twilight broke it. “What about the fledglings?”
“Same idea,” Rainbow said. “Tell whoever asks. I can’t imagine we keep it that much of a secret when I have to meet each of you once a week at night anyway. Even if it only takes a couple of minutes, some of you have other ponies around. You already told Princess Celestia, right?”
Twilight nodded. “She’s the one who gave me the book. She also explained that she informed Princess Luna since your more vampiric tendencies happen at night.”
“I think the main ponies who should know about me know then. Everything else is just us trying to practice what we preach,” Rainbow stated.
The meeting was pretty much over at that point, so Sunday passed in much the same way Saturday did.