How to Raise a Filly

by CharmingChaos

Chapter 1: Bad Beginning

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Tambourine, or 'Rine, as she prefered to be called crashed into the house, making sure to slam the door behind her.

She flung her bag onto the sofa in the sitting room before sitting down heavily next to it and moaning. "Mom, I'm home!" she yelled in the general direction of the kitchen.

Said mare trotted out and sat down next to her eight-year old daughter. "Afternoon, Tamby. How was your first day of Secondary School?"

"Yuck," Tambourine made a face as she pulled out her PonyPod. "The kids are stupid and mean."

"Oi, Tamby, don't say that already. You've only just met them. What's the matter with them?"

"Lots of things," she answered dramatically. "They don't like me at all, except Rose Bud and Notes, well, actually his name is Half Notes, he's a music nerd like you and Mommy. The other foals call him Half-pint because he's short."

"Well, that doesn't sound very nice. I'm glad you don't do that." Octavia smiled her usual gentle smile, and Tambourine felt some of her worries and anger melt away just from the loving look her mother gave her. "But who's Rose Bud?"

"She's a pink filly from Ponyville. I think Mommy might have known her mom, Roseluck," Tambourine answered, brightening. "Anyways, Rosie and I get along 'cos we both want to sing when we grow up. 'Cept I already know that's what I'm gonna do, because of my cutie mark, and hers is a quill and a paper with musical notes on it. So maybe she'll write the songs, and I'll sing them."

"Well, I'm glad you made some new friends. I'm sure everypony else will be nicer once you get to know them." Octavia got up and moved toward the door. "I've got to start dinner. I told your mother I would make roasted squash tonight."

"Do you have to?"

Yes, you know how much she likes it. And Vinyl has been working an awful lot lately. That Surprise character she's always talking about has a lot of parties. But she's related to Pinkie Pie, so I guess it's logical. Now, Tamby, honey, be a dear and do your homework, before it gets too late."

"Do I have to?"

Octavia nodded shortly as she disappeared into the kitchen. "Yes. Come out here, and we can talk at the same time."

"Fine," the filly moaned again as she grabbed her saddle bag and followed her mother into the kitchen.


"Hola, Chiquitas Bonitas!" Vinyl Scratch's loud, somewhat masculine voice exploded from just inside the front door.

Tambourine glanced up from her maths to say hello, watching as Octavia left the stove momentarily to kiss Vinyl Scratch lightly on the lips. She wrinkled up her nose, averting her eyes in disgust. "Ew, guys, save it for the bedroom! I'm too young to die!"

"Aw, lighten up, Tamby-cat!" Vinyl said, using an old nickname. She tousled her daughter's mane with the hoof that wasn't wrapped around Octavia. "You won't die, and if I don't get my kiss, I will, so that's that."

Tambourine gave her mother a sulky look. "I doubt that. Mom, I finished my maths, can I go watch the telly now?"

Octavia snorted. "The telly? What's with the Canterlot phrases all the sudden, Cat?"

"I heard Rose Bud say it, and it sounded cool. Besides, tv is a boring abbreviation. And I wish you would stop calling me Cat, it doesn't even make sense."

"Oh, somepony's grumpy today," Vinyl observed snidely as she lightly spanked Octavia's flank before flopping ungracefully into a chair at the table. "Jeez, Cat, what in Equestria happened to our happy little Tamby?"

"School," Tambourine observed shortly, leaving the table and floating her bag and her homework binder in front of her face as she went to her room. "Anyways, I promised Rose I'd text her, and I have... stuff to do in my room, so see you at dinner."

Octavia sighed as her daughter left, and turned away from the stove to face her wife. ""Do you think she's alright? I don't know if she's ready for Secondary School yet, she's so little."

"Our baby is growing up, 'Tavi," Vinyl said sadly, losing her brash attitude for a moment. She stroked Octavia's hoof with her own in a comforting manner. "She'll be fine, trust me. We need to let her grow up sometime."

Outside the door, Tambourine scowled, she left for her room on silent hooves, knowing full well that the blatant display of affection coming next wasn't something she wanted to witness.

"Stupid, stupid, stupid," she muttered as she shut the door. "I'm eight years old, for pony's sake! Why do they still think I'm a baby? I hate them. I hate everypony, everypony in the whole entire world! Why don't they just leave me alone?"

The grey filly flopped onto her bed in a dramatic way, staring at the pale lavender wall sulkily. She pulled her phone out of her bag to message Rose.

'Rine Scratch: This sucks.
Rosie: What sucks?
'Rine Scratch: Everything. My moms think I'm a baby.
Rosie: No they don't
'Rine Scratch: You don't know them. They do. They don't even think I'm ready for 2nd scool.
Rosie: That's silly. Noponys parents think that.
'Rine Scratch: Mine do
Rosie: :(
'Rine Scratch: exakly
Rosie: dad is calling me 4 dinner. by.

Tambourine let the phone drop from her magical f=grasp onto the duvet. She sighed and tilted her face into her pillow. "At least you have a dad to call you."


"So, Tamby, how was your first day?" Vinyl asked brightly, trying to loosen the awkward silence that surrounded the dinner table.

"I hate everypony, and everypony hates me." Tambourine pushed her squash around in her plate, trying to hold onto her bad mood. She had decided that she was mad at her mothers - she had every right to be - and she was sticking to that, and not being friendly. It was a final decision, and there was nopony to stop her from executing the master plan of sulking all evening.

Except herself.

Even as Tambourine did her best to block out her mothers' happy voices across the table from her, she could feel her attitude melting away, try as she might to hold onto it. By the end of the meal she was chattering away, as cheerful and silly as she usually was, despite her promise to herself to be unhappy.

Octavia smiled at Vinyl, mouthing it worked before turning her mind back to listening to her filly. She glanced at the clock. "Oh, my. It's nine o'clock, Tambourine. You really ought to get to bed."

Tambourine stopped talking to give her mother a sad look. "But, Mo-om, I'm not even tired."

Octavia shook her head. "Sorry, Sweetie. It's only the first week of school, you should get your rest so you'll be fresh for tomorrow. Go brush your teeth, and we'll come tuck you in when you're ready."

Tambourine grumbled halfheartedly, but the evening had been a pleasant one, once she'd stopped sulking, and, whatever she might say, she was tired, and her bed was beginning to seem like a very nice place to be.

A few minutes later, the blue-maned filly trotted back out, clad in a fuzzy blue robe, and quietly moved to sit next to her mothers on the sofa, where they had moved after the dinner dishes had been cleared. She curled up in the warm space between them, letting Vinyl Scratch stroke her mane softly.

"Are you ready for bed now?" Octavia asked kindly, interrupting the current conversation.

Tambourine nodded, yawning.

"Well, get up, then, off to bed with you," Vinyl gave her a playful shove. "Your mom and I need our peace and quiet. We have some very important things to discuss."

"What is it? Is it about my birthday? It's coming up, you know."

"Three months doesn't quite count as coming up, Tamby-Cat." Vinyl grinned. "But no, it's not. It's a secret. We'll tell you in the morning."

"Okay, fine." Tambourine slid off the sofa. "But can you come and say goodnight, please?"

Octavia got up, turning to help Vinyl as well. "Of course, Tamby. Lead the way."

Once she was tucked into her bed, Tambourine eyed her mothers sleepily. "This big secret you guys are gonna talk about. Is it in any way related to me? Am I in trouble?"

Vinyl shook her head. "No, Tamby-Cat. You're not. I guess it has to do with all of us, really. But mostly, it has to do with somepony none of us know yet."

"How do you know about it then?"

"Well, my little filly, that is what we're going to be discussing. Now, go to sleep, it's been a very big day."

Tambourine burrowed down further under the duvet. "Isn't that something all parents say to their foals if they want them to sleep?"

"Yes," Octavia kissed Tambourine's forehead. "But that doesn't mean it's not true."

Vinyl followed suit, giving her filly a light peck at the tip of her horn, before using her magic to pull the sheets up around her chin. She turned away and clicked off the light with a soft, "goodnight," before leaving the room.

Next Chapter: Decisions, Decisions Estimated time remaining: 2 Hours, 3 Minutes
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