"Starlight..." Oath Sworn whispers as she gently nudges the sleeping filly princess, "...it is time to get up and go to-"
The eyes of the little pink pony shoot open and she hops out of bed with her Smarty Pants. She then dashes out of the bedroom, leaving Oath behind...in utter surprise.
Starlight races to the kitchen to make herself some breakfast. But once she gets there, she sees that the chef has already made her a quick meal for her to eat. Since school is starting in less than an hour, she has to get ready as quickly as possible. The little filly sits at the table and eats her bowl of hot oatmeal, along with some apple juice.
As Starlight eats her breakfast as fast as she can, her parents walk into the kitchen to greet their little school filly before she leaves for her first day.
"Good morning, Mommy and Daddy!" Starlight greets them excitedly as she finishes her meal.
"Good morning, sweetie. Are you ready for your first day of school?" Prince Courageous asks his daughter.
Hopping out of her chair, little Starlight gives them both a big hug and nod, "Yes!!" She screams with joy.
As she hugs her precious daughter, Twilight magical places her old, but renewed, saddlebag onto Starlight's back. She took the liberty of filling it with her school books, along with some quills and ink, "Then you will be needing...this."
The cute little filly gasps as she sees that she has her very own saddlebag now, with all the material a student needs, "Oh Mommy...thank you so much. I love it!"
"You are welcome, my little Starlight. You now have all you need to make your first day of school the best."
Since she was once a student like her daughter is soon to be, Twilight spent most of last night gathering all that Starlight will need for school. In truth, she did repack the bag many times over after checking the check list over twenty times before making it all perfect. An old habit of organizing that she still carries today.
"Not everything..." Courageous corrects as he puts Smarty Pants inside Starlight's saddlebag, "You don't want to forget your favorite friend, sweetie."
Starlight smiles as her father places her doll right in the side pocket. As of now, the little school filly has everything she needs for her first day at school. She hugs her parents once more and says, "Mommy...Daddy...you are the best parents in the world!"
Twilight and Courageous feel so happy hearing their daughter say something so kind to them. They just know she is going to have the best time of her life at school, and meet some new friends to help make her life that more exciting.
At the Front Gate of Tambelon Castle, one of the smaller royal carriages is pulled up by two of the Unicorn Guard. They are ready to escort the princess, and her protector Oath Sworn, to the Tambelon Elementary school...within the next thirty minutes before the school bell rings and class begins.
Both Twilight and Courageous wish they escort her personally, but they do not wish to grab so much attention for their daughter...plus, they have other duties that need their urgent attention. But before being allowed to leave, Twilight spends a few minutes brushing her daughter's mane, just to make sure she looks nice and pretty for her first time outside of the castle.
"Mommy..." Starlight fusses, "My mane is fine..."
"You need to look much more than fine, dear," Twilight keeps at it, trying to get her daughter's mane just right.
"Daddy..." Starlight complains, hoping he will help.
"Come on, dear. Our little Starlight needs to hurry if she is going to get to school on time; Being late on the first day is never a good thing. After all, you know all about what happens when one is tardy~" He teases his beautiful wife.
Twilight blushes and gently bumps his shoulder with her hoof, "Oh, stop it~" She giggles as she rolls her eyes.
Starlight is helped onto the carriage and sits beside her best friend Oath Sworn, who still has her duty to watch over the little princess and protect her at all times.
"Have fun on your first day, sweetie." Twilight says, and hopes that she will.
"Use your best manners, and remember your manners," Courageous informs his daughter.
"I promise," Starlight reassures, "When I come home, I'll tell you all about my first day."
The two proud parents cannot wait to hear it all when she does. They then turn to the one pony they chose out of all others, and hope that even with this new change, she will still be the loyal protector and friend of their precious daughter.
Oath Sworn salutes the Prince and Princess and sits tall and strong, "I promise she will be safe under my watch, your Majesties!"
The two ponies happily approved of the vow that Oath made years ago, and they do the same to the one she is making now. They know their daughter will be safe...and will enjoy seeing the rest of the city in the days to come.
Princess Twilight and Prince Courageous wave goodbye as the carriage takes off, riding out of the Main Gate and into the city that Starlight is now seeing for the first time in her life.
To her, this is going to be the beginning...of something very magical.
Tambelon Elementary School: fine, well built, and majestic; It is perhaps one of the best schools out of the few all over the island. Many young fillies and colts, of all species, attend here to get the best education that the city promises to offer.
As most of the students walk through the front gate and into the school, some arrive at the gate in their own personal carriages; Most of these students come from rich families, and prefer to go to school in style.
The other students arrive via the "school carriage", which is long and yellow, pulled by six ponies. This is the best method of transportation when getting around the city or anywhere else on the island. Some come all the way from Applelulu and Cumulai to attend the schools in Tambelon city, because of how popular and well established the education offers here.
As the students and teachers walk into the building to begin their first day, the Royal Carriage pulls up to the gate and Starlight and Oath hop off. They are both in awe at the magnificent structure they see before their eyes...while the students are in awe at the royal carriage that rides off. To them, they are not sure what is going on, but they hurry to class before the bell rings.
"Wow..." Starlight mutters, "It is so beautiful..."
"It sure is, Starlight," Oath agrees with the young princess as she stares at the school, "We should hurry inside and get you to class, kiddo."
Starlight agrees and they both walk on through the gate and into the building that is covered in a wonderful gold and red design, with hearts and butterflies all decorated around it. This place is already feeling like a warm place, full of happiness and learning.
The little princess can already see this is going to be a joyous day for her.
Upon walking into the entrance hall, Starlight looks around and notices many pictures and awards all over. She walks up to them and reads what they were given for. Starlight sees that this school has earned many achievements in Spelling Bees and "Best Artwork for the Youthful."
"Wow...so pretty..." Starlight mutters, as she stares at the trophy in front of her...seeing her own reflection as well, "...and so shiny."
"Ya like dat one?" Came a voice from behind Starlight.
She gasps and turns around, only to see a pink coated filly with a bow in her braided mane, "Who...Who are you?"
"Names Candy Apple, and dat dere trophy yuv been lookin at was won by me last year..." She says with a little pride, "...for winnin da Spellin Bee."
"Really? That is so neat," Starlight praises with great interest.
"Yep, I won it by studin hard and doin da best I could," Candy confesses truthfully, "...plus I had help from mah momma...who teaches here."
Starlight smiles and nods, "Oh? Your mommy is a teacher here?"
"Darn right...and ah take it yer new here?"
"Uh...well...yes." Starlight admits, a little nervous at first.
"Well, Allow me ta be da first ta welcome ya to da Tambelon Elementary School...uh...what was yer name again?"
"Oh! My name is Starlight," The little filly answers politely.
Candy reaches for Starlight's hoof, grabs it, and shakes it, "A pleasure ta meet ya!"
Starlight shakes her hoof in return and smiles. She is amazed how strong a grip this slightly larger filly has, but is happy to meet a nice filly her own age for the first time in her life.
Suddenly, the bell rings and Candy gasps, "Ah ponyfeathers! Class is startin and if I'm late again, my momma is gonna give me a big lecture after school ends!" She takes off but turns back to Starlight, "Ya'll better be gettin on ta class too!"
Starlight nods and waves goodbye as Candy dashes off, leaving the little filly alone in the entrance hallway...until Oath walks up to her.
"Ready to go to your classroom, kiddo?" The sworn protector asks.
"Yes!" She agrees happily.
Oath smiles and walks with the little princess down the hallway and to one of the classrooms that she has been assigned too. Starlight is so excited: Already she has meet a kind pony upon entering the building, and cannot wait to see what lies beyond this door leading into the classroom.
"Alright, my little ponies...Settle down!~" The purple coated mare with the flowers for a cutie mark announces to her students, "Time to take your seats, because class is starting now~"
The nearly one dozen fillies and colts within this classroom sit at their desks and quiet down.
With a thankful nod, the teacher greets her wonderful students as she does everyday, "Good Morning, class."
"Good morning, Mrs. Apple!~" the students reply together happily.
"Today, we have a lot to do...but first, we have a new student joining our class," She announces as she turns her attention to the door.
The students all turn their attention to the door as well and watch as a little pink coated filly enters the classroom. She is a little nervous, but is given a little bump from behind by her sworn bodyguard.
"It's alright. Come on in..." Mrs. Apple says in a comforting voice.
The little pony named Starlight enters the classroom, and stands before the entire class of other fillies and colts her age. She is still nervous, but feels a little better seeing the teacher being so kind and welcoming.
Mrs. Apple smiles and turns to her class, "Everypony, I would like you all to meet Princess Starlight."
The entire classroom gasps when they hear this; They cannot believe that the daughter of Tambelon's rulers is here in their classroom. They begin to mummer among themselves.
"Now now, everypony. Settle down," Mrs. Apple politely asks, "Yes, she is the young princess...but treat her like you would your own fellow classmates: with respect and kindness. Let us all help make her first time at Tambelon Elementary as special as your own first days were. How about it, class?"
The students all smile and agree at once, "Yes, Mrs. Apple!~"
Upon hearing this, Starlight begins to feel better and not as scared as she thought this would be. So far, the little pony's first day is turning out to be just fine.
Oath Sworn leaves the classroom and heads off, but will always remain as nearby as possible should Starlight be in danger. The little princess is left with the teacher as she helps her to her desk.
"I am so happy to have you in my class, Starlight," The cheerful teacher expresses, "My name is Cheerilee Apple...but you may call me Mrs. Apple."
Starlight nods as she arrives at her desk, and sits in it. She places her saddlebag next to her chair and turns to the teacher, "Thank you, Mrs. Apple. You are very kind."
"You are welcome, and thank you so much," She expresses her gratitude, "If you need anything, just ask me."
Starlight nods and smiles as Mrs. Apple returns to her own desk at the front. However, all the students are staring at her; They all are amazed to how she is a princess, and hope to get to know her better soon.
"Alright, my little ponies..." Cherrilee gets their attention, "There will be plenty of time to talk with our new student later. Right now, we need to get started on today's lesson."
The students all turn to the front, get out their books and quills, and get ready to take notes on whatever subject Mrs. Apple has ready for them.
Starlight pulls out her own material, and is ready to do her best. After all the tutoring she has received in the past few years within the castle, learning at a real school is already something she cannot wait to see more of.
After a few hours into the school day, Cheerilee ends the current lesson for now, and allows the students to chat with Starlight; Getting to know her is always the best way to make her feel more welcomed and help her make some friends. They all take turns asking her questions on what her life is like in the palace, and on what being royalty is like.
Starlight answers all the questions as best she can...until a familiar filly gets her turn to ask:
"So, what do ya think of Tambelon Elementary so far, Starlight?" Asks the one that little princess met earlier this morning: Candy Apple.
Starlight smiles at the young earth pony and answers, "I think it is amazing: Everypony is so nice to me, and I love learning in a classroom better than in the castle library."
"Well, dis school has its own library too, ya know," Candy informs her new friend with a smile, "Its probably not as big as yer own, but it has plenty of fun books ta read-"
"Yeah! Especially the ones on Daring Do!" A blue coated colt interrupts nearby in his desk, "She is one cool pony, just like my mother!"
"Oh...who are you?" Starlight asks. She did notice him in class earlier, but never got his name.
"Names Gust. I happen to be the best in all of the school," He brags proudly.
"Yeah...fer runnin yer mouth off!" Candy mocks playfully and laughs.
The other students laugh too, making the young colt blush nervously. "Very funny, Candy," He says sarcastically, "Your just jealous of my coolness and speed."
Candy smiles and rolls her eyes, "Yeah yeah, yer just tryin ta be cool for da new kid...but we already know just how "fast" ya are, Gusty."
Gust's face turns red again when Candy calls him "Gusty". 'Don't call me that..." He grumbles.
Starlight giggles at the conversation the two are having.
"What's so funny...?" The confused Gust asks.
"Oh, i'm sorry. It just...sounded really funny; Your conversation with Candy, I mean. Plus, I think Gusty is a cute and cool name."
Gust blushes a little, "Really? Well...thanks." He smiles and accepts, "I usually thought it was a stupid name that Candy calls me for fun, but if you like it, then I dont mind being called that."
Candy smirks, "So, yer okay with her callin ya Gusty?"
Gust turns to his best friend and reassures her, "You can call me Gusty too, Candy."
She smiles and is happy to be allowed the same privilege as their new friend.
"You know something...I like you, Starlight; You are a cool pony in my book," Gust admits, "In fact, you are like...20% cooler than when I first met you."
"That's right!" Gust holds out his hoof, "If you ever need a friend, who will be there to help you always like I am with Candy, I am the colt to trust."
Candy puts her hoof out too, "I'll be yer friend too, Starlight. That is a promise I'm makin right here n' now."
Starlight does not know what to say; She feels so happy and honored that two ponies here wish to be her best friends. She happily places her hoof on top of the others and smiles, "Thank you, both of you. I promise to be the best friend I can be to you both...and others as well."
With that, the two ponies welcome a new friend into their lives, and cannot wait to see what the rest of the day will bring for them.
After lunch and more of class pass by, it is time for recess.
The students all rush out onto the playground where they can play ball, hopscotch, jump rope, and even play on the jungle gym and swing set.
"I got us a ball!" Gust informs Candy and Starlight as he flies back over to them very fast, after grabbing a ball from the bin nearby.
"Wow...you are a fast flyer," Starlight confesses from what she just saw.
"Thanks. I learned from the best: my mother and my father," Gust brags on, "They happen to be the captains of the Wonderbolts."
"Really?!" Starlight is surprised that Gust is related to the ones that lead the best flyers in all of the island, "I've heard of them before; They are the best flyers in all of Tambelon."
"Yep, they sure are!" Gust brags once more, "When I grow up, I plan to attend the Wonderbolt Academy...and be the Number One best flyer in all of the world...just like my mother!"
"Ya sure like ta brag a lot, Gusty," Candy admits, "But ya got a long way before ya got a change ta be da best. Even I have a long way ta go before ah can be a strong apple buckin pony like da rest of mah family."
The blue colt nods and agrees with his best friend.
"Apple bucking?" Starlight questions, not quite sure what it means.
"Yeah," Candy replies and explains, "Mah family and some of mah relatives all live in Applelulu...north of here. We have da largest crop of apples as far as the eye can see. We are strong, hardworkin ponies that harvest da best apples ya'll have ever tasted!"
"She is right. The apples that come from there are the best!" Gust approves and supports.
Starlight is impressed by both of her friends: Gust's family runs the Wonderbolt Academy...while Candy's family runs the great farming community north of the city. She is learning so much from them, and finds it exciting with each new discovery.
After getting to know them better, Starlight talks a little about her life in the palace. Both Candy and Gust fine it all inspiring, and continue to listen.
Eventually, the three move on to playing with the ball, bouncing it back and forth between each other. They giggle as they go and have a fun time.
As the three bounce the ball back to each other with their heads, Candy hits it a little too hard and it flies over Starlight's head.
"Don't worry. I'll get it," Starlight reassures her friend and runs over to pick it up. However, once the little filly gets over to the ball, she sees somepony place their hoof on top of it...preventing her from retrieving it. Starlight slowly looks up and sees a light pink filly with jewelry on...along with an expression that makes her a little nervous, as well as frightened. Two other ponies are standing beside her...each wearing a shiny necklace.
The other students all gasp and cease what they are doing, and watch what is going on with the new student and the three most popular ponies in all of the school.
"Well well well...what do we have here, girls?" The one in the middle, the leader no doubt, asks her friends.
"Looks like the new filly..." The white filly answers.
"...hanging out with a couple of "blank flanks"," the purple filly finishes.
The one in the middle walks slowly around Starlight and looks her over, "You're right. But, she is not just any filly. She is...the princess."
The other students who have yet to know of this gasp as Starlight is revealed to be the young princess of Tambelon.
"Um..who...who are you?" Starlight asks nervously.
Crown snorts and stands proudly by her friends, "I happen to be Crown Jewel, daughter of the wealthiest family in all of Tambelon." She then points to the purple filly with the braided mane on her left, "These are my friends: Beryl..." She then turns to the white filly with the same style braid on her right, "...and Pearl."
"Nice...to meet you," Starlight holds her hoof out to greet them properly and politely, but Crown just stares at it, "Hmph...I have to ask why one with your standing is wasting her time with a bunch of peasants?"
"Or as we say: Blank Flanks!~" The twin sisters mock Candy and Gust, while giggling with such cruelty.
The two grumble and hate being teased on how they have not received their cutie marks yet. Many of the other students, who have not earned theirs yet, feel the same way. Those with cutie marks are not that much different, since they are judged on where their families stand in the ways of wealth.
"But...they are my friends," Starlight replies.
"Friends?!" Crown laughs at that, "Why would somepony like you want to hang out with them?!" Crown snorts as she shows off her expensive jewelry that her daddy bought her, "A princess should not bother spending time with the wrong sort."
"What do you mean?"
"Oh please, isnt it obvious?" Crown tries to explain again, "Somepony like you should be hanging out with the cool and popular ponies. Not these babies..."
"Who are you calling babies?!" Gust snaps.
Candy puts a hoof out to stop him, not wanting her friend to start something that might lead to him getting into trouble; She knows how Crown works and how she can get both her and Gust into trouble.
Starlight is shocked that Crown is treating her new friends like this.
"So, what do you say, your highness?" Crown asks, expecting an answer, "We dont usually welcome Blank Flanks, but we are willing to make an exception for you. Join our group, and we can give you an early demonstration of what it is like to rule. After all, we practically run this school ourselves."
"Yeah~" The twins confirm together.
Everypony stays quiet as they await to see what Starlight is going to do: Will she choose to side with Crown Jewel, or with the friends she has made.
It takes Starlight only ten seconds to decide: She looks back at the two ponies she has had fun hanging out with, and enjoyed their company. She is also sad that to see them getting picked on by Crown and her friends. After all she has been taught about Friendship by her mother and father, Starlight knows the answer to this.
"No..." She mutters.
"What?" Crown blurts when she hears this.
Starlight turns from Crown Jewel and walks back over to stand with Gust and Candy, "I said...No! I don't wish to be apart of your group...if all you do is make fun and tease others. I would rather stay with the friends I have made on my first day of school."
Both Candy and Gust are surprised. Most never refuse nor stand up to Crown like this, but they are so grateful that their new best friend remains a true friend to them. They return the favor by standing next to her, backing her up.
"Hmph...if that is what you want, then fine!" Crown snaps, "But know this: If you wish to be a blank flank like them, you'll be treated as one; Princess or not!"
"Yeah!!" Beryl and Pearl retort at once.
Starlight has made her decision, and does not plan to back down now, "Then I'll take it."
"Me too!" Candy joins in, supporting her new best friend.
"Same here!" Gust lends his as well.
The other students are surprised that Starlight is standing up to Crown, as well as refusing her offer. They may not know what to think on that now, but what they do know is that the little princess is very brave...especially when it comes to standing up for her real friends.
"Come on, girls. We have more important things to attend to than being around Blank Flanks!" Crown says in such a prissy tone. She turns and walks away.
Beryl and Pearl follow suite and walk away as well, following their friend.
With them gone and the students returning to their playtime, Candy and Gust turn to Starlight...and are so amazed on what she just did.
"Well I'll be a fish out of a barrel! I aint never seen nopony stand up ta Crown like dat before!" Candy says with such excitement and wonder.
"Yeah!" Gust agrees, "I almost thought you were going to join them in order to save yourself from getting picked on daily."
"Gust!" Candy bumps his side with her elbow.
"Oww..." The little colt grunts, "I was just saying..."
"It's alright," Starlight reassures, "I know joining them would have saved me from that...but...what kind of friend would I be if i turned my back on the friends I met today? A true friend would help their real friends out, not abandon them to join up with some bullies. You two welcomed me when I first got here, and you made my first day at school...the best day of my life."
Both ponies smile and are so happy to have helped Starlight as she has helped them. The young Princess is a true, best friend to both Gust and Candy...and they are all so happy to have met her.
Soon, the bell rings and recess is over. All the students put away the balls and other toys, and return inside to continue the rest of the school day...which this has a few hours left.
As Starlight heads inside, along with her friends Candy Apple and Gust, another best friend of the little princess watches them from nearby, while writing a letter to the Prince and Princess...on the lesson of friendship that their daughter has learned today.
"Starlight..." Oath Sworn says to herself as she finishes the letter, "You have grown so much since I was first assigned to watch over you as your protector. Now, you have taken a big step...and are discovering what friendship is all about. I am proud of you...as your parents are."
With the letter finished, Oath wraps it up and uses her magic to send it off to the palace...where the Royal family awaits to read it.
Inside Tambelon Palace, Princess Twilight Sparkle and Prince Courageous Heart are relaxing in the lounging room with their friends. Six best friends decided to pay a visit when they heard that Twilight was letting her daughter go to school. Plus, they have not spent time together in almost a month, and it felt like time to have a reunion.
Just then, a letter magically appears before Twilight and Courageous. They unfold it quickly and read it.
After finishing, they both smile and read it out loud for their friends to hear.
Dear Princess Twilight and Prince Courageous,
I am happy to report that your daughter, Starlight, is having the most wonderful time here at Tambelon Elementary. She has not only done well with her studies and showing good manners, but she has made herself some friends: Their names are Candy Apple and Gust.
Also, she has learned a valuable lesson on Friendship: There comes a time when one must decide which path to take that seems best for them...but there is also a time when to choose right from wrong. Starlight has shown what it means to be a true friend, and stand by those who are her real friends.
Your daughter is going to do just fine here at school, as well as with the friends she has made today and those that will come in the days ahead.
-Your faithful servant and sworn protector of the young princess Starlight,
As Twilight finishes reading the letter with her husband, she sets it down and smiles at her beloved. Both she and Courageous are so happy to hear their daughter is doing well in school, as well as making friends in the process.
"I am so happy for her...and so glad we allowed her to attend school after all," Twilight confesses as she blinks a tear.
"Me too, my love. I get the feeling she is going to be just fine," Courageous agrees as he hugs his precious wife.
"Ah am as happy as an Apple dat yer daughter is friends with mah niece," Applejack admits as sits with her friends on the comfy rugs.
"And my son too," Rainbow Dash adds in.
"Oh yes," Fluttershy admits, "I am so happy...I...I just don't know what to say."
"Well, I know that our children are all going to get along just fine," The beautiful Rarity believes as she looks to her husband, "Right, Spikey-Wikey?"
The purple and green dragon smiles and nods, "Absolutely!" He nuzzles his beloved mare as they cuddle on the rug.
"Yeah! Oh, and they should all come down to Sugarcane Lane for a treat!!!" Pinkie Pie suggests with much excitement, "I'd love for them to try out my latest milkshake creation!!! Well, it is more of Inkie's creation although I helped her make it and Blinkie mixed it all together and..." She continues on as the others giggle.
As the group of best friends all sit around together, chatting and reminiscing on their past adventures, Twilight and Courageous relax and cuddle as they think of the adventures their daughter and all her friends will have soon. There are so many places to explore on the Island, and they plan to show it all to Starlight.
The Magic of Friendship continues on today...and into the bright and shining future.