The delicious aroma of a pot of fresh soup floated through the quaint Ponyville home, a grey pegasus stirring it as it sat upon the stove. Her wings occasionally flapped, sending the warmth and smell through the area to the point where she was positive that her neighbors were going to beg for some at any moment.
A smile spread across her face as she heard the click of her front door and the sigh of her young filly.
"Hello, muffin," she happily chirped, hearing Dinky's saddlebags hit the floor. "How was your day at school?"
Waiting for her response, Derpy listened as her daughter's hooves clinked across the kitchen floor, making their way to the living room, which was soon followed by the sound of the young pony plopping herself down on the couch.
Sensing the distress in her daughter's actions, she abandoned her stirring and trotted into the living room, looking at her grey filly with concern. She watched as the pony intentionally avoided her gaze.
"Dinky, what's wrong?" the mother inquired seating herself next to her filly.
A gasp escaped her mouth as she looked upon her face, immediately taking in the sight of the young girl's bruised eye.
"Miss Cheerilee wants to talk to you up at the school house."
Derpy momentarily ignored the possible appointment, her concern for her daughter and motherly instincts overriding her other thoughts.
"Dinky, what happened?"
"I got in a fight," the pony sadly stated.
"A fight!? Oh muffin, are you okay?"
"The other girls aren't..." The filly averted her eyes, avoiding the stern gaze of her mother.
The silence was too painful for Derpy, her mind racing with questions. "How did this happen?"
To her dismay, her question was met with only sealed lips and shaky eyes from her daughter as she stared at her.
"Tell me how this happened!"
The concerned mother immediately regretted her outburst, tears welling up in her filly's sorrow stricken eyes. Wounded by the look of her daughter, she immediately wrapped a comforting wing around her filly, hoping to offer some sort of mending.
"Listen, muffin. I'm not mad. Now we are going to go to the school house and find out what happened, alright?"
With a nod, Dinky looked up at her mother, tears shining in the corners of her eyes, before jumping on her with the tightest hug she could manage.
Despite her desire to remain seated in the embrace of her filly, Derpy slowly stood up, her daughter hopping to the floor. The pair slowly made their way out of the door of her home, Dinky staying close by her mother's side.
They walked together in silence. Normally, the young pony would be excitedly weaving in and out of her mother's legs, but this time she just stared forward, continually avoiding the gaze of the grey pegasus.
The door to the school creaked open, revealing Cheerilee sitting reclined on her desk. Noticing the sudden breeze from the outside, the teacher greeted her visitors, welcoming them inside.
"Hello Miss Hooves. Please, have a seat."
Doing as she is told, Derpy allowed herself to slowly fall into a nearby chair, her daughter hopping up upon one next to it, crossing her forehooves.
"I assume Dinky told you what happened?" the teacher inquired.
The wall-eyed pegasus exhaled, unsure of what to say. "She told me that she got in a fight," the mother answered truthfully.
"Yes, with Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon. Those two have been a real pain in the flank lately, but why Dinky would attack them is beyond me."
Derpy coughed and nearly choked at the teachers words, her shock becoming apparent across her face. "My sweet little muffin would never attack other ponies!"
The magenta pony shrank back at the mother's outburst, afraid to continue. "That's what they said happened, and Mister Rich confirmed that that was most likely the situation. I'm afraid that I have to believe him."
The pegasus fumed at the teacher's accusation. "Look at her black eye! My daughter is hurt!"
"And so are the other fillies. I'm sorry, but I'm afraid we are going to have to suspend Dinky."
Derpy felt her hooves hit the ground as she stood up, moving to exit the room. "Come on, Dinky. we're leaving."
The young pony watched as her mother headed towards the door, only to find her gaze falling back to the ground.
"Mommy, wait," her little voice sounded out, stopping her mother in her tracks. "It was my fault. I attacked Silver Spoon first," she stated flatly, not averting her gaze from the floor.
Visible surprise showed on the mother's face before she straightened it out, inhaling and attempting to grasp the situation. "Why, dear? Please, tell me."
"Th- They were making fun of me for being a blank flank."
Derpy exhaled, seeing that progress was being made as she walked back over to her filly, putting her hoof around her. "You should have gone to Miss Cheerilee or me first. You don't need to resort to violence."
The mare looked over to see the teacher nodding in agreement. "Is there anything else, Dinky?" she inquired, turning back to her daughter.
"Well what is it?"
She shook her head, her voice becoming shaky as she spoke. "I-, I don't want to tell you."
With a concerned smile, Derpy hugged her, reaching out with a hoof to wipe a lingering tear from her filly's eye. "Muffin, you can tell me anything."
Dinky hesitated, stuttering as more salty tears began to well up. "They-, they called you dumb, a- and said that you ruin everything and th- that..." the young pony couldn't stop herself turning and sobbing into her mother's coat.
"That's why daddy left!" she forced out.
The pegasus immediately began to comfort the filly, wrapping her wings around her and stroking the back of her mane. "I'm sorry Dinky."
The gray filly's irritated eyes looked up at her mother. "Sorry for what?"
"Being this way. I'm sorry I can't do things like other ponies. I'd be better if I could, but I can't." She looked down at her with a forced smile.
"No!" Dinky suddenly shouted. "Don't you ever change, mommy! You're perfect!"
Derpy looked at her, her forced smile turning into a real one as she tightly hugged the unicorn, her own tears beginning to stream down her face. "Oh, muffin. I'll never change, you can count on that."
Once more, their tears stained each other's coats, the young filly only able to find comfort in the embrace of her mother. Derpy began openly sobbing, the undying love of her filly overcoming her with both happiness and a certain relief.
Cheerilee sat in her chair, watching and trying to process the situation. With a breath, she stood, moving towards the door.
"I'll go talk to Filthy Rich. I'll sort this out."
She was unsure if the two had heard her, but elected not to break them away from each other as she left the building, allowing the mother and daughter to stay in peace. Silence engulfed them as Derpy continued to pat her filly on her head, the mother wanting nothing more than to comfort her daughter.
Slowly, both ponies' eyes began to yield no more tears. The pegasus looked down at her unicorn, brushing her mane out of her eyes.
"Yes, mommy. Can we go home now? I'm hungry."
Derpy smiled; her filly was back.
The two exited the schoolhouse, Dinky hopping onto her mother's back. She walked slowly as the young mare wrapped her hooves around her neck, never wanting to let go no matter what may come their way.
With a smile, Derpy walked with her protector; her guardian. She looked up at the sky to see a beautiful day, hoping only that her filly wouldn't mind that she might have burned their dinner.