The pink earth pony filly sat in an uncomfortable chair outside the office that would change her life on a crisp fall day that she wasn’t getting the chance to enjoy. She alone was in a wooden corridor with only one door and a couple of posters around depicting the town of Ponyville’s symbol. She knew why she was sitting her, she’s gone through this type of thing before, but the question running through her mind was how she was going to get out of it this time. There was no way she was going to let this count against her.
She had the money to bribe, but at the same time she was worried that ruse was being discovered. She was worried that the effect of her pity face was starting to wear off and she wouldn’t be able to use it to help her. Her excuses seemed to be wearing thin and she hated that fact.
“Diamond Tiara,” the unicorn receptionist said as she opened the door to Principal Golden Rule’s office. “Principal Golden Rule is ready to see you.”
“Finally!” Diamond Tiara exclaimed. “Let’s get this over with already.”
Diamond Tiara shoved past the secretary and into Principal Golden Rule’s office with a huff. Walking into the small square room with pictures on the wall to her left and right she sat down in the large chair in the middle of the room in front of a desk. On the other side of the desk sat a cream colored earth pony stallion with a brown mane who was not looking happy with her.
“Diamond Tiara,” Principal Golden Rule began. “To say I’m disappointed in you is a massive understatement. I knew your father Filthy Rich back when we were both in school together. Sure he could be a bit stuffy at times but he didn’t take his money for granted. He might have been rich but he made sure he earned his money and didn’t slack off. Top of his class he was and with a great aptitude for business.”
Diamond Tiara rolled her eyes. She had gotten the same chat in the last two schools she was in, minus them knowing her father part, and she didn’t care anymore. So long as he looked the other way like the last two, she’ll be fine.
“You on the other hand only have an aptitude for how best to torment your own classmates and bringing attention to yourself,” he continued. “You are constantly parading around the halls like you own the place, forcing ponies out of your way when they are in the middle of something, and always talk down on your classmates. You never play attention in class and are a distraction to those who are actually trying to play attention in class.”
“I so to pay attention in class,” Diamond Tiara said with a sly smile on her face. “I mean, haven’t you seen my grades? They’re pretty good aren’t they?”
“Don’t try that with me,” Principal Golden Rule said in a stern voice. “I know you get other ponies in your class to do your homework for you. I also happen to have seen your test grades and know that they don’t in any way reflect what your homework is showing. Would you like to explain that?”
“Pressure?” Diamond Tiara said uncertain at first but eventually getting stronger and more dramatic as she got her excuse. Her smile faded for a second but when she thought out her excuse it came back. “I always feel so pressured when I’m taking tests. The time limit, the thought that other students could be cheating off my test, it’s all too much. I should probably just be exempt from my tests. That way I don’t have to worry about them affecting my grade so much.”
“We can offer you a place where you can take your tests alone,” Principal Golden Rule said, eyes widening. “A place where you can have as much time as you want with nopony there. Well except for the teacher who will be there the entire time making sure that you don’t cheat.”
“W-what are you talking about?” Diamond Tiara asked. “Why would I cheat?”
“It’s funny actually,” Principal Golden Rule said, not directly answering her question. “Most of your tests are quite terrible but you actually have a couple really good ones. And I’ve noticed they all always happen to be around the same time the teachers talked to you about your test grades. I wonder why that is?”
“I guess I just try a little harder not to disappoint them?” she said, slowly losing ground.
Principal Golden Rule sighed and placed a hoof on his forehead. “You know what, I’m going to be frank with you. I know you’ve been cheating on tests. I know you’ve bribed everyone who catches you, including some teachers that will also be getting a talk from me very soon. I was hoping you would confess, but apparently not.”
Diamond Tiara’s smile faded. It was just as she was worried about; somepony had told Principal Golden Rule about her bribes. And she got the feeling that Principal Golden Rule wouldn’t be as easy to pay off as the rest of the teachers.
“I was hoping this year might be different this year, since I heard that your friend from Elementary School, Silver Spoon I believe, had turned over a new leaf herself. In fact it’s thanks to that hope that I didn’t bring you in here as soon as the fall semester started.”
Diamond Tiara mentally groaned at the mention of Silver Spoon. Her friend was forced to move to Manehatton at the end of Elementary School because of her parents. Since then Silver Spoon has stopped bullying others and when she returned to Ponyville again last summer for a visit had even attempted to atone to everyone she bullied in the past. She has also been trying to get Diamond Tiara to turn over a new leaf since her visit.
Pfft, easy for you to say Silver Spoon, Diamond Tiara thought. But it's either bully or be bullied here and I know which one I choose.
Diamond Tiara’s attention was snapped back to Principal Golden Rule when he said words Diamond Tiara didn’t expect to hear at all. “…But I have run out of patience for you now. I have the grounds to expel, or at least suspend you, and I have half a mind to do so.”
“W-what?” Diamond Tiara asked out of suprise. She has been given similar rants by teachers and principals alike but they have never threatened to expel her. “B-but you can’t.”
“I can and will if need be,” Principal Golden Rule answered.
“Please, please, please don’t!” Diamond Tiara pleaded. “My daddy will kill me if I get suspended or expelled. I can’t get expelled!”
“I should,” Principal Golden Rule said, “but I want to see you succeed. After all I did know your father and I’m sure he wants you to succeed. So I’m going to give you a choice.”
“I have an idea that will take care of both your lack of caring for your classwork and your attitude problem. As you know, I have a son that’s in the same grade as you. My little Featherweight.”
“You mean that mute pegasus that works for the newspaper?” Diamond Tiara asked.
“…Yes. ‘That mute pegasus that works for the newspaper’,” Principal Golden Rule repeated. Diamond Tiara could tell by the tone of his voice that he wasn’t very impressed with her description of his son. “And unlike you ‘that mute pegasus who works for the newspaper’ is actually doing quite well in school.”
Well duh, Diamond Tiara thought as she rolled her eyes. He’s got you staring down at him all the time.
“So what I want you to do is report to my house each afternoon where Featherweight will tutor you,” Principal Golden Rule said.
“Wait, you’re saying a mute kid will tutor me?!” Diamond Tiara asked seeing the obvious flaw in that logic. “How exactly is that supposed to work?”
“We have a doctor friend who is an expert in hoof language,” Principal Golden Rule explained. “She’ll be able to interpret for you and possibly help out. But Featherweight is going to be your main teacher. And here’s the catch. I want to hear nothing, not a single word, of you bullying him while he’s tutoring you. If I hear one word then I will make sure you are expelled. Got it?”
“How long will this last?” Diamond Tiara groaned.
“Until your grade start improving without other students doing your homework for you and without you cheating on your tests,” Principal Golden Rule answered. “It can take as long or as short as you want it to. It’s your choice.”
“And this starts?” Diamond Tiara asked.
“Next week,” Principal Golden Rule answered. “We need to prepare for you first. But starting next week I expect to see you at my house. As for today, I recommend you get started yourself. The faster you improve the faster you may avoid your ‘punishment’.”