“Okay,” Starlight Glimmer said as she looked over her notes. “Are we still looking for you to be able to lift something really heavy that I can’t?”
Rainbow Dash put a hoof up to her chin. “Not especially. To be honest, I don’t really use levitation much, especially now that I have Sweetie Belle around to help me out.”
Sweetie Belle herself raised a hoof.
Rainbow glanced her way. “Yes, Rhezenda?”
“Can I see you lift something heavy? You said you might show me sometime,” the young unicorn reminded her.
Without being prompted, Discord snapped his talons to flash in three lead couches on top of each other.
Sweetie Belle watched as a red magic aura lifted all three.
“Ta-da!” Rainbow Dash proclaimed with her red eyes.
After she magically set them down, Discord flashed them away in an instant.
Sweetie Belle clapped her hooves together proudly and smiled. “Neat.”
Rainbow Dash bowed her head as thanks and moved onto thinking about her upcoming trip. “I don’t think that kind of magic would help counter heavy winds, would it? The winds at the abyss are what stopped me last time I was there.”
Both Starlight and Discord grew contemplative at that.
“No, levitation is used to levitate objects or solid physical things, not winds,” Starlight noted in agreement. “And we’re trying to avoid using Discord’s magic if we can.”
“The winds might be something for you and Sweetie Belle to tackle,” Rainbow Dash considered aloud. “I want the two of you to get creative and come up with ideas. We’re looking for a way to halt or at least ease the winds. Fluttershy and I can handle some wind. It’s part of being a pegasus at all.”
Both Starlight Glimmer and Sweetie Belle nodded.
“How about a torch?” Rainbow asked. “If we reach the bottom, it will be dark and you two might not be with us if you have to sort of magically hold whatever it is you end up doing. They’ve got helmets with headlights, but if it falls off somehow, I want the option.”
“You could just pick it up with magic,” Sweetie Belle reminded her.
“Good point. Still, it’s a thing I want to know,” Rainbow Dash admitted.
“Oh, sure. Those are easy,” Starlight said, “especially since you can grow your own unicorn horn, which I would recommend doing for this idea.”
Rainbow Dash nodded, closing her magenta eyes, shifting into red again, and the horn grew. She uncoiled her wings to see that they were still their standard pegasus size. She wasn’t any taller either.
“Something wrong?” Starlight asked when realizing how Rainbow Dash was studying her own body.
“No,” Rainbow shook her head. “Just noticing a finer detail.”
“Which is?” Starlight prodded.
“My wings and height didn’t change like they did on Sunday,” Rainbow Dash informed her.
Starlight blinked and smiled as a theory came to her. “Because you’re with me on my flexchange night instead of Twilight.” She said it as a statement, rather than a question.
The master mev nodded thoughtfully in agreement. “Makes sense.”
Sweetie Belle raised her hoof again.
“Yes, Rhezenda?” Rainbow asked.
“But you could change them if Starlight wanted you to, right?” Sweetie asked.
“During a flexchange,” Starlight informed her.
Sweetie Belle nodded in acknowledgment.
Starlight turned back to Rainbow Dash and continued the lesson. “Alright, so just like a lot of magic, you just kind of think about what you want to do. The more precision in your approach, mind, heart, and all, the better. I think you should think of the song you sang today with your friends. You talked about a light inside of you, so you want to think about that light you feel and then channel such a feeling into your horn to shine that light.”
A white light appeared, as Rainbow had seen on unicorns like Rarity or Twilight or Starlight in the past, but Rainbow herself could not see it this time. “Is it there? I see some extra light, but it is hard to tell since it’s kinda light in here.”
Discord snapped his talons, and the room went dark, except of course for the light from the new torch.
“Oh cool, there it is. Thanks Discord,” Rainbow said. “Seems a little small. Can I make it stronger?”
“Very likely given the nature of your powers,” Starlight said. “Just focus more on the same light, maybe think of our friendship with it. A lot of this magic must be from myself and our bond.”
The room brightened even more, enough to see all three ponies and the one draconequis quite clearly. “Nice,” Rainbow Dash said to herself.
Discord snapped his lion paw fingers, returning the room to its lit form. The light from Rainbow’s head disappeared, and the horn whisked away quickly after.
“Alright,” Rainbow said. “Hopefully that’s enough for what we might need in Griffonstone. Let’s move onto the harder, more fun stuff for Nightmare Night.”
“First question,” Rainbow stated. “Discord, since this magic is in the framework of a performance, kinda like how you have a framework of a game with Spike and Big Mac…can your magic then let Sweetie Belle fly? Or at least mixed up with pegasus magic since we can freely use our reserve that night?”
Discord stroked his beard. “Oh yes, most certainly. With the pegasus magic is best,” he advised.
“Sweetie, we’ll have to pick the form later because I don’t want to dwell on it while I’m trying to learn this stuff. We’re just going to play around with what it might be,” Rainbow told the young filly.
“No complaints here,” Sweetie Belle said with a smile. She very much liked the idea of experimenting.
“Let’s start with the pegasus filly form,” Rainbow said. She activated the form, and Sweetie now had more time to try and figure out how to fly.
With renewed confidence and assurance that this was for the show, the filly flapped her wings and was able to raise and maintain herself into an extended hover. It was akin to how Rainbow herself usually stayed in place around her friends. Soon, Sweetie Belle learned a simple glide. Rainbow decided that those two maneuvers of flight would suffice. If Sweetie was to be a master of ceremonies, she would be in one main place or a select few places and only gliding here or there. It occurred to Rainbow Dash then that having a cloud to stand on might be a better idea. With Discord’s guidance, Rainbow created one in the library and had Sweetie Belle stand on it.
Sweetie Belle looked down from where she stood. It wasn’t her first time on a cloud, thanks to Twilight’s help from times she’d been to Rainbow’s house before, even before the mev bond. Still, it somehow felt all new being able to do it with wings coiled at her sides and a missing horn.
“Alright, if we have you on the cloud, someone’s going to have to help move that cloud,” Rainbow decided. “I’m going to be busy handling myself and the other Awesomevs, and I don’t want to trouble you with learning it.”
“I could certainly do it,” Discord offered. “A sort of stage hand for your lot. I could take that on as my role.”
“There you go.” Rainbow immediately liked the idea. “Starlight, make sure Twilight and Pinkie get that. Discord on props and set will definitely be a proper support for the show.”
Starlight Glimmer nodded and wrote it down in her notes.
“Okay. Up next: vampire bat pony. Adult bat pony,” Rainbow decided.
They toyed with that some as well. Rainbow Dash asked about giving Sweetie Belle a microphone headset like she had seen from the Best Young Fliers’ competition and at some Wonderbolts shows. She tried doing it herself with the chaos magic before noting that was more for learning since Discord would be the better choice to do it on Nightmare Night. That was his end of the chaos casting work load.
“Let me see if I can turn Starlight into a bat pony,” Rainbow decided another next move.
Starlight innocently pointed at herself and then smiled that of course they would be trying such a thing this lesson. With a red glow on her backside, bat wings grew with ease. She found, like her master, that flying with the mev-given bat wings was actually quite easy. “I rather like this,” she said with visible fangs and flapping wings during a hover in the air.
There was a knock at the door, which had never happened during a lesson but Sweetie Belle decided that as Rhezenda, she should be the one to answer it.
Starlight descended, and Rainbow quickly turned the bat pony form off so as not to distract their visitor.
Twilight walked in and yawned. “I’m so sorry to interrupt your lesson, Master, but I wanted to tell you before I forget and before you left…I remembered a couple of things that might help with your trip to Griffonstone. And you know, maybe I should tell you before the lesson is over just in case.” She yawned again.
“No problem,” Rainbow said. “What did you remember?”
Composing herself and gathering all the focus she could, Twilight said, “I remembered what the rest of you told me about shooting yourselves through a canon to pass through the super strong winds of the storm in Canterlot. You know, the storm caused by the Storm King. And after that, I thought of the chain we all made holding each other together in the strong winds to get the staff. I even have the Staff of Sacanas in the archives and maybe, just maybe, you could use it even though it doesn’t contain all of the princess’ magic anymore. You’ve got mine and Luna’s actually in the reserve and are friends with Celestia and Cadance. It might be enough to help.”
“That is super helpful,” Rainbow replied. “I’m glad you told us. Anything else?”
“Nope, that is all,” Twilight gave a little bow, yawned again, and left the room.
“Starlight, Sweetie, your assignment is the same,” the master mev instructed, “but Twilight just gave you some great stuff to work with. We’ll bring the staff too, just in case.”
The two unicorns nodded.
“Speaking of Twilight, I want to learn that spell she used to make that glass case,” Rainbow noted.
Starlight tutored Rainbow on how it was done, and they tried it out on a few books in the library.
After that, the lesson soon ended. The ponies and draconequis parted ways for the night.
On Wednesday night, Fluttershy glided her way into Rainbow Dash’s house to meet for their flexchange. Rainbow was waiting, perched on her couch alone in full vampire form, her wings even half-spread for display. Sweetie Belle was staying at Rarity’s that night. Tank was tucked away in his own room, and Blitz was not present. She was off in her void until Rainbow wanted her company once more.
“Master Rainbow Dash,” Fluttershy said with a blush, instinctively suspecting the entire scene was set up for her. She flew down to perch on the opposite end of the couch.
“Segunda Fluttershy,” Rainbow said with an eager fanged smile.
“Are those wings on because you know I like them?” Fluttershy asked.
Rainbow kept smiling, her eagerness slightly abated. “Hoped. My powers are not so strong as to completely read your minds.”
“In that case, yes, I do very much like to see your bat wings,” Fluttershy admitted.
The fledgling mev felt herself suddenly being pulled forward closer to the master by Rainbow’s own magic though the red aura was not present, she rightly assumed as some dramatic effect. Rainbow’s left bat wing brushed against Fluttershy’s backside and stroked her gently. Fluttershy blushed with a small, delicate smile.
“How’s this?” Rainbow asked.
“Quite nice,” Fluttershy whispered.
“Are you ready, my dear Segunda?” Rainbow spoke in a low, welcoming voice.
Fluttershy’s head was bowed down but she looked up enough to see the fangs when her master spoke. She pulled her long pink mane clear off her neck and happily nodded.
Rainbow leaned in and kissed Fluttershy’s neck for a short time before she bit into it. The master mev soon felt the bite back and sat firmly in place, closing her eyes. She tilted her head upward, basking in the magic of their bond filling her. With the exchange over, Fluttershy backed away to make a little more space between them. Rainbow Dash returned to her standard nocturnal form of a pegasus with fangs. She watched her fledgling quietly. They both knew what was next.
Fluttershy glided off the couch to stand with more space on the floor. She spread both her feathered wings fully, closed her eyes, and concentrated. Both wings took shape into bat form. She looked from one to the other and stared at Rainbow with an open-mouthed smile, speechless for a moment. “Master, they’re both here,” she finally breathed.
Rainbow smiled back. “Yes, Segunda, they are.”
“What about the rest of me?” Fluttershy asked. “Will my eyes and ears change? My coat? This feels too soon if it’s supposed to happen right before Nightmare Night.”
Rainbow Dash nodded in agreement at the theory. “Two more weeks. Those will be…optional.”
Fluttershy blushed and smiled at that prospect. She fluttered over to sit with Rainbow Dash and cuddled up against her. Rainbow smiled pleasantly and held her casual girlfriend.
“So, how do you like being a four week old vampire fledgling?” the master mev asked.
“It’s rather nice,” Fluttershy said. “You must be living it up as the master.”
“You got that right,” Rainbow agreed with a smile.
“It makes you so happy, and then that makes me happy too,” Fluttershy said.
“The eternal sweetheart.” Rainbow gave her a good squeeze though gentle enough with her strong forelimb.
“Hey, Rainbow Dash…” Fluttershy began.
“Hmm?” Rainbow wondered.
The other pegasus hesitated a moment before finally asking, “…Do you ever think about Tirek?”
“Obviously,” Rainbow answered with a chuckle.
“No. I mean, do you ever think about going to see him or confront him or to talk to him or something like that?” Fluttershy probed.
Rainbow sighed. “Yeah, actually, I do.”
Fluttershy sat up alert. “You do? Really?”
Rainbow nodded. “Yeah. I mean, think about it. I’m now a lot like him. I can kinda sympathize a little. The problem with how he ate magic is that he was a big jerk about it. A real grade A villain. But you know, I need to eat magic to not go berserk. I don’t know if he needs it like I do. I’m not familiar with the logistics of his imprisonment.”
“So why haven’t you or when will you?” Fluttershy prodded more.
“Where to even start?” Rainbow asked the room. “I just think about it. What would I say? What could I even do for him? Besides feed him. Maybe feeding him is something. Is there a proper time? Maybe I need to wait and have a stronger reserve to be able to do business with someone like that. Sure, I have protection now and food to share, but that doesn’t mean we’ll be…friends.”
Fluttershy giggled at that idea. “It’s not really so um..how can I put this? When I think of me and Discord, you and Tirek being friends doesn’t really sound impossible.”
Rainbow raised her eyebrows thoughtfully at that. She continued to stare out into the room. “No, I suppose it wouldn’t.”
“Do you think you could eat his magic?” Fluttershy wondered.
Rainbow nodded. “Mm-hmm.” There was no doubt in her.
“Would you take it from him…forever…like that time Pinkie mentioned it? Could you?” Fluttershy wondered even more.
Rainbow closed her eyes. “I…can’t. But…even if I could, that’s…” she sighed. “It’s not right. A last resort only. He’s not hurting anyone where he is. Being stuck in prison is a pain in and of itself too.”
“If you ever go, Rainbow, I…I offer myself to go with you,” Fluttershy told her.
“I think having the Element of Kindness who is my Segunda in my corner would be a good support for that,” Rainbow agreed. “Along with my girlfriend friend Fluttershy of many years.” Then she joked, “Might be kinda crowded in there.”
Fluttershy giggled. “Oh Master Rainbow Danger Professionalism Dash, Element of Loyalty, I can play that game too.” She bopped Rainbow’s nose with a playful hoof.
Rainbow giggled back, and they embraced tightly once more. Soon after, Fluttershy left for the night. The two pegasi always spent a little extra time but not to the same extent Rainbow would spend with Twilight sometimes or with Starlight and Discord for lessons. Fluttershy spent her extra nocturnal time to check on nocturnal creatures at her sanctuary and still liked to sleep some nonetheless.
Rainbow herself stroked at the back of her neck for a moment, thinking. She flew to the school gym. A little exercise sounded nice, and no doubt the students, maybe at least Ocellus, would attempt staying up to talk to her. Sometimes the mev curiosity was tiring, but Rainbow Dash did like attention. It might help develop her friendship bond with the students too, and she knew that was certainly worthwhile.