Scootaloo did not find it difficult to sleep in the hay at all. Nor did she have any trouble keeping herself warm at night with all these warm feathers surrounding her. However, waking up early in the morning by the loud sound of the rooster welcoming the morning sun, not to mention being randomly pecked in the face by the female residents of the chicken coop, was a bit irritating to her.
This morning was no exception. As soon as the first syllable of the "Cock-a-doodle-doo" was uttered, a yellow beak started digging into the orange filly's cheek. After a few pecks, Scootaloo finally managed to push the feathered nuisance away with her hoof.
"Cut it out," she told it with a sleepy voice as she rubbed the sore area. She stood up and brushed the little bits of hay off her coat before she did a few stretches. "Geez… you guys are so annoying. You still haven't gotten used to me?"
It had been a few weeks since Scootaloo did her overly dramatic escape from her own home and what she still sees as a traitor of a doctor. Although she had calmed down somewhat and become a little more capable of seeing this fight from his point of view, she still felt angry and sad that he would send her away, and to an orphanage for that matter. Since then, Scootaloo had been staying among the chickens every night. Here she would not have to fear being caught by anypony, perhaps except for the timid, yellow pegasus who owned it. But so far, Scootaloo had been able to hide from her as well.
Her life had become somewhat harder though, seeing as she had to be on guard every time she went somewhere in Ponyville. She had seen Dr. Heartfeld a few times, walking the streets of the village, but luckily, he never noticed her. As for food: Being such a small filly, Scootaloo would not be able to find a job anywhere; at least not a legitimate sort of job. Therefore, although she hated herself for doing it, she stole her food from the local stands in the daily town market. Her conscience was killing her, yet she thought it to be the lesser evil when compared to following that Mrs. Flowerbed or whatever that blue mare was called to the orphanage.
Scootaloo stuck her head outside of the coop and looked around the area, trying to spot any potential dangers. The coast seemed to be clear, so she got out and reached into a large haystack, from which she first pulled out her helmet, and then the actual scooter. She looked back and waved at the chickens, which did not seem to care much about her, yet she had come to like these feathered menaces through the last few weeks, even if all they did was annoy her.
Turning on her little biological engine on her back, she speeded away faster than most pegasi could fly. Her new life would not prevent her from fulfilling her duties as a student; and Copperbolt would probably not like it if she should prioritize her education any differently just because she did not have a home. She had to stay strong.
"Alright, children," Cherilee called out to the class with a smile on her face. The semi-angelic little colts and fillies sat with their hooves together in prayer, backs straight and smiles almost reaching their own eyes. Scootaloo was no exception, smiling as widely and politely as everypony, albeit a fake smile.
"If you would all just-…" the purple teacher continued, but was stopped by a raised hoof from the front seats. "Yes, Diamond Tiara. You want to say something?"
"Yes please," the filly said with her classical snobbish grin, yet a polite tone that she had probably been working on ever since she had learned of school etiquette. "I got an announcement that I'd like to make if I may?"
"Is that so?" The teacher said with a gentle smile. "Well, I'm sure we're all excited to hear. Why don't you come up here and tell us?"
"With pleasure." The pink-coated filly rose from her seat and trotted to the desk with her nose high in the air. She positioned herself next to the teacher and did a quick 180 degrees turn to face the class.
"As you all may know," she started, not attempting to hide the exaggerated and gleeful pride in her voice. "I've just gotten my amazing cutie mark a few days ago. Now, I know you all love it, and I don't blame you, since it's probably like the best cutie mark ever. That's why I'm having a little cute-ceaņera to celebrate it. I'd like for as many to see how beautiful and amazing it is, so I'm going to invite all of you to come celebrate with me. Bring gifts."
With that said, Diamond Tiara's silver-maned sidekick stuck her snout into her bag, from which she brought out a bunch of sealed envelopes with her teeth. She divided these into two piles, picked one up and began dividing these among the rest of the fillies in class, soon followed by Diamond Tiara with the second pile.
When the pink filly reached Scootaloo, she reached out her hoof with the envelope in it for the orange filly to grab. Scootaloo gave her a suspicious look, seeing as she never would have thought Diamond Tiara would invite her to anything, yet politely accepted the invitation. As she grabbed the paper piece with her teeth, the pink filly gave her a devious smirk, one that made Scootaloo's suspicion the invitation increase.
"What?" the orange filly asked in reference to the smirk with a hint of irritation.
The pink filly started giggling at her. "Oh nothing, Loserloo," she said, putting emphasis on the insult. "I should just tell you it's totally fine that you come to my cute-ceaņera. It's not like it'll be totally embarrassing to be a blank flank at a cutie mark party, right?"
Scootaloo narrowed her eyes as she let her gaze fall to the side and land on her bare rump. Sure enough, she was one of the few still lacking an actual cutie mark. With all that has been going on, finding her special talent had not exactly been her top priority. Though she lately found herself wishing she would have gotten her mark sooner, so a certain pony could have seen it.
"If it was up to me, I would have spared you the humiliation and not invited you," Diamond Tiara continued, raising her head so she could better look down on the orange filly. "But my mom told me I had to invite the whole class, so I guess you just have to… well… not show up, if you don't wanna be the laugh of the party."
Scootaloo felt the urge to kill rise, yet she kept her calm and simply ignored the rude filly's insulting words. She looked at the envelope before her, studying it thoroughly as Diamond Tiara walked back to her seat with an annoying giggle.
Although Cherilee officially started the class, Scootaloo did not look up from the invitation. She was wondering exactly what to do with it: Whether to burn it, soak it so the ink runs, or just tear it to pieces. But even so, she remembered how she had promised her mother that she would become more social. Even if it was Diamond Tiara's, a party is still a party, and it would be a social event where she would have plenty of chances to meet new ponies. She sighed and looked back at her flank with worry about the party's possible results. If she would go to the cute-ceaņera, she would have to be one of the few without a cutie mark. Diamond Tiara would definitely try and bully her with it, so she would have to take a lot with a straight face if she went. Still, she had to try. She would never keep her promise with Copperbolt if she simply stayed home. Besides, should the worst come to happen and the party becomes awful, she could probably just hide under a table until it ended.