Twilight was racing through Ponyville, running around sharp corners and weaving past every other pony as they start the day. At her current speed, she could've easily competed against Applejack and Rainbow during the last Running of the Leaves.
On her back, sat Spike, who was temporarily back to his dragon appearance and holding on to dear life.
After Twilight deemed that spell had actually past the certain point that Spike would've changed back to normal, she tried changing Spike back to normal herself, with only temporary results. She ended up draining a good portion of her energy just trying. She tried requesting help from Princess Celestia, but Spike couldn't do his fire breath so he couldn't send it and Owlicious was only for the night.
Now running through the town, Twilight was hoping if anything she'd get to Sweet Apple Acres before the spell on Spike wore off. Just as she was turning the corner to the barn, she bumped right into Applejack, throwing Spike right off her back.
"OW! What in tarnation!" Applejack yelled out as she rubbed her head
"I'm sorry, Applejack, but I need your help right now."
"Well, what is it?"
As Twilight was about to answer, she saw the spell finally fade away off Spike. "In the barn." she just stated before running over to Spike, grabbed by his tail, and threw him right into the barn. Not before Applejack saw anyway.
"Is that little fella' Spike?!" Applejack asked as she and Twilight ran into the barn as well, her eyes almost stuck on the dragon turned earth pony.
Spike had been fortunate enough to have landed on some hay, but it only made his landing a little less uncomfortable, "Please, warn me next time you do that."
"Sorry." Twilight apologized, then looked at Applejack, "Yes, that's Spike."
"What the hay happened ta 'im?" Applejack asked, genuinely curious.
"I was just practicing my spells, and I accidentally....hit...him." she explained embarrassingly
"You hit 'im with a spell?"
"On accident. He scared me last night while I was charging a spell, and I ended up casting it on him instead. I just found him like that this morning, he looked absolutely fine last night."
Applejack looked at Spike as she listened, "Haven't ya'll tried turnin' 'im back?"
"I tried, but he just keeps changing back to a pony. It just won't work, and somehow it won't wear off on it's own."
"Well, ya'll were tryin' to make a permanent transformation spell." Applejack stated, trying to lighten it up a little.
"But, I didn't mean on Spike."
"Alright, so what do you need my help with? I mean, I'm not a unicorn, I don't know anything about magic."
"I know, and I already wrote out a message to Princess Celestia asking for help, but I need someone to watch Spike."
"I'm not a baby-sitter Twi. I need ta be sellin' apples today."
"Please, Applejack. Just this once, I just need the time to run errands and find the solution. Please."
Applejack gave a sigh, "Alright, just cause we're friends and all."
"Thank you so much Applejack. I really appreciate the help."
"I'm gonna still have ta be sellin' apples though at least till later this afternoon. Hm...think he'll mind being with ma sister and her friends till then?"
"What do you think Spike? Do you mind spending the day with the Cutie Mark Crusaders."
"I guess. I would prefer helping you out today though, so you have more time to find a way to change me back sooner." Spike simply replied.
"It'll be just for today Spike, and I promise I'll find a way as soon as I can."
"Alright, I guess so. As long as they don't try anything froo-froo-ly on me."
"I think 'froo-froo-ly' is the least of your concerns right now little fella." Applejack stated with a chuckle, as Twilight put Spike back on her back.
Twilight followed Applejack to the CMC clubhouse, where Applebloom was already outside just sitting around.
"Hey Applejack, Hey Twilight. Who's the new pony?" Applebloom greeted, noticing the little purple pony with a green mane on Twilight's back.
"It's me Spike." he simply replied.
"Spike? What happened to him?"
"It's a long story. Do you mind having Spike accompany you, Sweetie, and Scootaloo for today?" Twilight replied
"Um, sure no problem at'all. Though I think It'll only be me and Scoot. Sweetie Belle said she was going to help her sis today."
"What's Rarity doin'? I thought she didn't like having Sweetie Belle around during major projects." Applejack asked
"I'm not sure. Maybe it's a simple project that Sweetie could do. You know how much she's always wanted to help Rarity." Twilight replied, "Thank you Applebloom. Try going easy on him, he's still kinda adjusting."
"Just for today though, right?" Spike asked looking at Twilight.
"Hopefully. I'm just hoping that the Princess has the solution."
"Alright, that means your an honorary Cutie Mark Crusader for the day Spike. You can adventure with me and Scoot and find our cutie marks!" Applebloom stated with a grin
"Wait, what now...?"
"Well, you don't have a cutie mark." she simply stated and pointed to his side, which was apparently true as he checked his flank.
As the day wore on, Twilight ran around Ponyville to complete the errands she had planned on letting Spike do, get her message to Derpy to deliver to Princess Celestia, and get back home in time to find the solution. Most of the other ponies had just believed Spike was a new pony the CMC had recruited as Scootaloo made sure he was always on his hooves. The only exceptions were Fluttershy, Rainbow, and Rarity, as Applejack and Twilight told them figuring it was only time anyway. They didn't need to tell Pinkie, who for whatever reason that even eluded her, she kinda already knew.
As the sun began to set, Spike was walking back to the library, very much tired after the CMC's most recent attempt, which had left him bruised on several areas of his body and covered in leaves and tree sap. Fluttershy was walking with him, assuming responsibility to watch over him after Applejack, and after the CMC had gone their separate ways for the day.
"Ow...I can't believe I let Scootaloo convince me into doing that last stunt." Spike stated, his head and tail pointed low to the ground.
"Um...we can go to my home...if you want. I could give you a quick bath and give you something to reduce the soreness." Fluttershy voiced in.
"No, I think I'll be alright. I'll just hose myself off and crawl into bed."
"O-okay, if you say so."
After helping Spike hose off all the tree sap and leaves, the two walked in to find a massive pile of books stacked on top of each other all across the library floor.
"Looks like Twilight's been busy." Spike simply stated, "Twilight! You home?"
"Maybe she's out. Do you know where else she would be?" Fluttershy asked
"Aside from errands, I don't think so." he replied looking around, "And according to the checklist that Twilight always makes for me." he adds looking at a checklist on a clipboard that hung off the wall, "She's finished all of them."
"So...what do we do now? I'm still suppose to watch you, but I need to go home soon to feed the animals."
"You can go home if you want. I've managed on my own before." Spike stated as he started trying to re-shelf some of the books that he thinks that Twilight might be done with.
Fluttershy watched him for a moment, and noted that he was having a hard time shelving books that required a ladder, "Here...I-I'll help you." and flew over to help him shelf the book.
After a moment of simply re-shelving books, Twilight finally returned, looking a little tired herself.
"Hello Twilight." Fluttershy greeted
"Hello Fluttershy, what are you doing here?"
"I was keeping an eye on Spike, well after Applejack wasn't able to anymore. I hope that was okay."
"Of course. Thank you so much for helping." she stated before walking over to where Spike was, who was busy piling a few books near the shelves they were suppose to go on.
"Spike was trying to clean up a little, but he needed help with the books that went on the upper shelves." Fluttershy continued to explain as she followed.
"You know you don't need to do that Spike." Twilight simply stated to him.
"I know, but...I need something 'normal' after hanging out with the Cutie Mark Crusaders all day." he replied, "So, where were you?"
"Oh, I went to Canterlot to talk to the Princess."
"All that way?" Fluttershy asked
"Yep. I missed giving Derpy the letter, so rather than wait for the next day I decided to just talk to her personally."
"So what did she say? Did she tell you how to fix this?" Spike asked a little excited
"Well...no. You see Princess Celestia wasn't there." Twilight replied, "Appears she had to leave on important business and left Princess Luna to tend to things till she gets back."
"Did Princess Luna-"
"Sorry, she didn't know." Twilight stated a little sadly, as Spike shared the look, "She hasn't dabbed in the transformation arts in so long, she had forgotten a few components on how to make the spell work. She did say though she'll try helping find the answer whenever she has the time away from royal duties."
"So what then?"
"Well, sorry to say it, but you'll have to remain that way till either Princess Luna or myself find the answer. I'll spend the time not running errands or monitoring the library practicing on transformations."
"Does that mean I have to hang out with the Cutie Mark Crusaders till this is all fixed?"
"If you want. It would be ideal since it would give you something to do, and I'm not sure what I can ask you to do considering."
"I'm sure some of us would have something for him to do." Fluttershy lightly rang in, "I mean...most of us wouldn't mind a volunteer every once in a while, if that's okay."
"You mean like gathering apples, bakery assistant, or something like that?" Twilight asked
"Yes, that's what I mean. Afterall, I'm sure Big Macintosh get's tired once in a while, and Rarity occasionally asks us to act as a model for what she makes."
"It's certainly somewhere to start with, especially if Spike really doesn't want to hang out with the Cutie Mark Crusaders."
After bidding Fluttershy a good night, Twilight went back to her practicing as Spike watched her, having nothing else to do.
Twilight gave another sigh as she continues her attempts to keep a transformed stone in the form she had changed it into, she did seem very close, but the transformation always reverted back to normal. Which only frustrated her further about Spike, since he was afterall an unintended target for her spell and somehow he did seem to retain the form of an earth pony rather than changing back to normal.
"Twilight, what would happen if you can't change me back?" Spike asked
"I will Spike. I promise you that. Just have a little faith in me, I'll figure this out soon enough." she replied to him before trying to change the stone again, this time into a ball.
"I know, and I don't doubt ya at all; but, I can't stop wondering. What happens if you can't change me back?"
Twilight thought about it for a moment, "Well, then we'll have to get use to a new lifestyle. I'll have to learn to manage without much of your help in the library, and you'll have to figure out how live the life as an earth pony."
Spike looked off to the side for a moment
"Don't quite fancy the idea of being a pony rather than a dragon?"
"No, I'll get use to it if I have to. Not to mention it might help me with Rarity." he stated, as Twilight rolled her eyes a bit, lightly happy that Spike could still find a silver-lining in all this, "And I get more free time for myself, but I like being your assistant Twilight, and if I'm no help I'll just get replaced."
"I thought I already told you, I'm not going to have you replaced." she stated as she trotted over, "You'll still be my number one assistant. I'll just have to figure out what you can and can't do if it does happen." she added just as the stone changed back to normal.
Spike then gave a light yawn.
"Looks like you better get some sleep. It's been an off day, I'm sure you're tired."
Spike simply gave a nod and started his way to his bed.
"I'll be up there soon to join you." Twilight stated to him, "A little too tired to really want to do another all nighter."